TITLE: Bound destinies
FANDOM: x-over Spartacus: blood and sand / Xena: warrior princess. Pre-series.
SUMMARY: With the Getae closing in and the Romans around, Spartacus and Sura seek supplies and possible allies in the surrounding villages. As they reach Amphipolis, Sura's scattered visions start taking shape when she meets a girl with blue eyes.
DISCLAIMER: not mine.
NOTES: once you stick to the main XWP timeline, this actually fits. It started as a drabble following sbsfemslash drabble table, prompt 50. Crossover. It turned into a one-shot and Spartacus decided to enter the story.
The rocky landscapes where they had been born, met and fell in love with each other slowly faded as they traveled south, aching memories and fear of loss, fire and destruction burning in the back of their minds.
Sura grabbed her husband's hand tight as he used his cloak to shelter them from the storm as they walked towards the village where she told him they would probably be able to get supplies and her husband recruit warriors. If the Getae got to their lands, they would surely reach these sedentary villages. The barbarian tribe was closing in on them again, and there was rumor that the Romans roamed neighbor lands, gathering men for their auxiliary troops. So the most united Thrace was against the Getae, the more chances they had to survive.
Her dreams had started again; scattered pieces making visions with no sense. A shield; a red serpent; blood; sand; a purple ribbon on what seemed a copper breastplate; two blue eyes she had never seen in her life.
Soon, she guessed, The Gods would visit her finally granting meaning to those shredded visions.
Sura privately hoped it would be like the last time, when she had met him and the Gods had revealed he would become a great man.
Sura raised her eyes and saw their destination at last, with darkness already settled in the angry skies.
"Let's go there," said Sura pointing towards her, "that must be the inn Bryzos told me about."
"Looks more like a tavern," he said.
She eyed him slightly amused. "You should travel into civilized soils more often. Come on, I'll introduce you to the world of taverns bearing rooms, you goat herder."
Smiling, the couple walked with quick stride towards the house, when a thunder crashed on the heavens, startling both.
Then a creak, a boy's scream calling his mother and a neigh.
Sura and her husband turned their heads to the sounds, right on time to see the door of the stables open wide. Then she suddenly felt two protective arms gently but quickly putting her aside, and another door opened behind them. A woman came running from the inn. "Toris!"
The horse, a magnificent black stallion, rushed out of the stable towards them, fear blinding his senses.
But the horse would not stop. Sura ran to protect the determined woman, knowing her husband would go for the animal. They did not need words between them. She just knew. And so did he.
At her husband's command the boy stopped. "Mother, Argo!"
"Do what he says, Toris!," she ordered. "By the Gods in the Heavens, lass, tell your man to stay out of the way, the beast has lost all sense!"
No. The Gods only came at their will, and her husband bore no faith for them.
His hand raised as he tensed to, on a swift move, he propelled his body towards the horse, twisting and extending his hand to grab the reins, and then, ran with the horse until he regained balance and jumped on its back, finally mounting him.
"By the Gods!" Awe colored the woman's voice.
Finally, the horse came to its senses and slowed its pace, steered by the soothing hands now caressing his side and whispering words, finally stopping in front of both women as the boy came running to them.
"Mother, I'm sorry, I had just taken the saddle off of Argo and was going to--"
"It's ok, Toris."
"Argo?," asked him as he dismounted and faced the animal, still smiling and breathing fast from the excitement of the little adventure. "Nice name for a horse."
"My husband's family tradition. All their horses, whether they'd be stallion or mare carry that name, one per generation. And you'd think a warlike horse would fear no storm," she protested. "Oh, dear Gods, I cannot thank you enough for this."
"Bear no need," he kindly said. "Anyone would have done the same…"
"Cyrene," said the woman correctly understanding the silence.
Sura and her husband introduced themselves as Toris, took the reins and led the horse back to the stables.
"We were looking for shelter, supplies and audience with the elders of this village," he said.
"I can procure you the first, I own the village's inn. But I will accept no coin."
Sura was interrupted. "Please. It is the least I can do." Then Cyrene eyed them both. "As for your other requests, let tonight pass, and we will see what can be done in the morning. Come, let's go inside."
As soon as they entered, Cyrene directed her voice towards the kitchen. "Deopus, make sure you have some stew ready!"
Then she turned back to them and put off her cloak. Sura took an instant to finally see the woman under some light. Her body and face spoke of strength and determination. The bulging midsection unveiled her condition. "You're with child."
Cyrene patted her belly smiling. "Third, and let's hope last. I'll sure have no energy left if I get another little terror like that one," she said as she looked with love towards a table from the tavern.
Sura and her husband followed sight and smiled. On a table, back to them, sat a little body with raven hair dressed in a crimson dress, wildly gesticulating with her arms, surely explaining some adventure to a man as her captivated and delighted audience.
"Xena!," called Cyrene.
The girl turned and smiled, kissing the man she was with on the cheek and happily jumping from the table with no apparent fear and running towards her mother.
"See what I mean?," asked Cyrene with a mixture of resignation and joy. "That energy of hers knows no end."
Sura looked at the girl, no more than three winters old. Her face resembled her mother's, but with her own distinctive traits, and a set of…blue eyes. Innocent and fearless at the same time.
Sura recognized those eyes.
"Ma, Ma! Father promised me a walk on the horsie t'morrow! We're going on the horsie t'morrow!"
"That's great, sweetheart. I am sure he will teach you his song too."
Awed wide-open orbs looked at her. "Father sings?"
"Only in very, very special occasions."
The girl's smile was contagious, Sura thought. And her husband's amused laugh corroborated.
"Did you do your chores?" The girl nodded vigorously. "Then can you walk these people to the free room upstairs?"
The answer was a trusting hand opened towards them. "Come."
He bowed his head in respect and took her hand. "Thank you, Xena."
"You know my name?"
"Your mother told us," said Sura, who was now carrying their things, still wondering about those eyes that now studied her, suddenly stopping on one spot. Sura followed. Xena was looking at the sword.
"Are you a warrior?," she asked in amazement.
He answered for her. "She is not." Sura thought she saw a glimpse of deception in the girl. Until he spoke again. "But she wields sword like the most experienced one. You see, Sura is not a warrior because she chooses not to be. And she uses me for such task."
"You fight for her?"
"But she can fight."
"I would not dare to face her with a sword."
The eyes came back to hers, now filled with respect.
"One day I will be a warrior, like my father. And will fight for the ones I love, like you do with her."
He kneeled so Xena could look him in the eye. "That is a very brave thing to do, Xena," he said. "But remember. The power does not lie only in your skill using a sword, or a dagger." He gently poked her forehead with his finger. "Above all, it has to be here. In your mind. You read your enemies, and you'll know no defeat."
Xena stared at him for what seemed a long moment, and then, gave a single solemn nod and walked towards the door to their room.
"In my head, then."
And with those words she simply opened the door to their room and left.
"A determined one," he said amused.
"You shouldn't have said that to her."
He turned his head. "Why not?"
"You speak of fighting with a toddler? Kids should play and learn other things, not listen to pig-headed warriors," she half-joked.
"I thought I was a goat herder who knew not of taverns and inns."
"That, too," she said chuckling.
"Put your mind at rest., my love," he said as he embraced her. "With that energy she will probably forget my words by the time she reaches her mother."
The Gods visited Sura that very night and brought visions of both her husband and a woman with blue eyes. Two lives, one same destiny. The serpent came again, as well as the sand and the blood. She saw lands she had never imagined existed, she saw Romans, felt hatred, betrayal… A cross. Then despair; an older Cyrene, face scarred with pain, confronting an armored woman; a blonde; love. Greatness.
She woke up in the middle of the night, startled and breathing hard, finding concerned eyes looking back at her. "Sura?" Her only reaction was to hold him as close as she could, desiring nothing but his warm embrace.
She nodded, but what to tell him? She would not reveal what she could only begin to understand. That some people were bound to live an unfortunate fate before the Gods sent them on the path of greatness, to learn from pain and their own mistakes. One her husband. The other, a girl who dreamed of becoming warrior, with raven hair and blue eyes.
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