Joxer, Meg, and Autolycus belong to Universal Studios/Studios USA. I'm only borrowing these characters for this piece of experimental fiction. Everything else is from my incwedibwy scewy mind. NYAH!! Uh-huh-huh-huh.
Be warned. This story is VERY dark. There's extreme violence-physical and psychological. There is also the discussion of a rape and its aftermath. If you are under sixteen, GET OUT OF HERE NOW. THIS ISN'T FOR YOU. My writing is usually pretty intense. This ain't Teletubbies.
If you're looking for the silly Joxer and Meg-THIS ISN'T THE STORY TO READ.
THE GENESIS OF THIS PIECE
In this piece, I explore Meg's dark past. Again, I thought that there was a lot of potential here that was avoided, simply because Meg was just used as a vehicle for laughs. However, if the creators of the show had explored the serious side of Meg, I'm sure it would have allowed Lucy Lawless to look into a new and different side to her acting. Sadly, it was not to be.
Meg is a prostitute. That in itself opened up all sorts of dramatic possibilities for me as a writer-ones I eagerly wanted to explore. And again-since no fanfic writers were exploring this, I decided to take it upon myself to do it. This was a far more difficult piece to write than BRAVING THE INNER STORM, its predecessor. INNER STORM was based in part on the episode THE CONVERT. This new piece required much more thought, since it meant creating the piece from the ground up-with no episodes to base it off of. It continues where INNER STORM left off, a month later.
I started writing this fanfic August 26, 1999. I ended October 20, 1999.
I hope you enjoy the sequel to BRAVING THE INNER STORM. Once again, I am open to any and all opinions, positive or negative. You can be as brutal as you wish.
January 11, 2004
A crisp wind blew through the morning air. It twisted and
turned, poked and pushed. Sweeping up a few stray leaves, the wind soared up
and on, towards the open window of a large wooden house. A beautiful woman
stood there, gazing out into the massive forest before her. The wind caught her
hair, sweeping it up until a great mane of black whipped in the breeze. Her
brilliant, ice blue eyes surveyed the forest, and then the ground below her. A
warm smile formed on her beautiful, angular face as she relished the caress of
the morning air. She closed her eyes, and took a deep breath, savoring the
"Ahhhh..." she purred. "It doesn't get any better than this."
The woman smiled saucily at the sound of the man's voice. Then she felt two arms snake around her, hands gently cupping her stomach. She readily leaned back into the man's embrace.
"Mmmmm..." she purred again.
She turned around, and her companion lowered his lips to hers. They parted, and soon, tongues began tasting each other eagerly, caressing, dueling. After a few moments of this, the couple stopped kissing. They placed their foreheads together. The woman smiled again, her blue eyes glowing with love and passion.
"Morning Joxer." she said softly.
Joxer returned the smile.
He leaned forward, nuzzling Meg's neck. She pulled her head back to give him better access.
"Hmmm?" he mumbled against her soft skin.
"Sweetie, we've got to get ready."
Joxer traced little circles around her skin with his tongue.
"I want to stay here."
"We can't. We've got a lot to do."
Joxer nuzzled her neck a bit more. He sighed himself. Joxer pulled back, looking into Meg's eyes.
"Gods, Meg. I want to spend some more time with you."
Meg smiled sadly, placing her hand on the side of Joxer's face.
"And I want to spend more time with you. Gods, that month and a half was too long, Joxer."
She looked away for a few moments. Her eyes grew cold. Her lips twisted into a snarl.
"Damn that Stamrus..."
Joxer quickly placed his hand on her chin, turning her face towards his.
"Forget about him. Xena took care of him."
Meg's eyes narrowed.
"After what he tried to do to us, that ain't gonna be easy, Joxer."
Joxer leaned in, pressing his lips against hers. His tongue gently pushed against her lips, asking for entrance. Meg quickly complied, and the two kissed each other deeply. Meg moaned into Joxer's mouth. She sucked greedily on his tongue. After a few heated moments, Joxer pulled back. He smiled devilishly.
"I get the feeling last night wasn't enough."
Meg raised an eyebrow.
"Joxer, I was waiting on you for over a month and a half. I wanted to ravish you last night."
Joxer's eyebrows went up a bit.
"That...ya did Meg."
Meg smiled wickedly.
"Uh-uh. That, sweetie, was just a warm-up."
Joxer swallowed hard. His eyes widened.
Meg chuckled heartily. She traced Joxer's jaw with her finger.
"Oh yeah. I've got plans for you later, sweetie."
Meg walked past him and over to a chair, picking up some clean clothes. She sighed.
"Anyway, I'm gonna take a bath."
Meg walked up to the door, opening it. She turned towards Joxer, raising an eyebrow.
"Wanna join me?"
She left the room. Joxer ripped off his clothes in seconds, chasing after Meg.
Maria took a bite out of her piece of bread. She looked at Joxer with a sly grin. Joxer stared at her, puzzled.
The huge, muscular woman chuckled, and shook her head.
Joxer put down his fork. He smiled uncertainly.
Maria smiled mischievously. Her eyes turned towards Meg, who was approaching the table with her breakfast. Meg sat down next to Joxer, placing her food on the table. Maria raised an eyebrow.
"Sounds like you enjoyed your bath, Joxer."
Joxer blushed, turning a deep crimson. Suddenly, the patterns on the table cloth looked incredibly interesting. Meg leaned towards Joxer, raising an eyebrow. A gentle grin curled her lips.
"I know I did."
Joxer's brows knitted, and he let out a tight, nervous smile. He grew even redder, if that was at all possible.
Maria laughed heartily. Meg kissed Joxer on the cheek. She nodded towards Joxer's plate.
"C'mon sweetie. Eat your eggs."
Joxer glared at Maria, then at Meg. He shook his head.
"Boy. You two are bad."
Meg smiled devilishly.
"Meg's a bad influence. What can I say?"
Joxer chuckled. He took a bite out of his eggs. His eyes widened in surprise.
"Mmmph!! Hey, not bad!! Meg?? You made these?!"
Joxer turned towards Meg, pointing his fork at her.
"I'm telling ya Meg, you've got a talent. I don't give a damn what anyone says. You're really a gifted cook Meg."
Maria's eyebrows went up.
"I second that."
Meg blushed, smiling shyly.
"And I third that."
The three looked up. A beautiful red-haired woman approached the table, holding her plate of breakfast.
Joxer waved her over.
"Ah c'mon. Join the fun, Francisca."
The woman smiled, curtsying.
"Thank you, Joxer the Mighty."
Francisca got a chair, and sat down at the end of the table. Meg smiled at her in gratitude.
"Fran's the one who's given me these great cooking tips."
Francisca raised her hands, and shook her head.
"Whoa. Hold on there. Hold your horses. Meg, you had that talent in ya before we even met. All I did was just add a little spice to the talent."
Joxer nodded in agreement.
"I agree. Meg, you shouldn't feel shy about taking credit for your talent. You've always been a great cook. I believe in you Meg. Don't sell yourself short."
Meg turned to Joxer and smiled warmly at him. She was deeply touched.
The four friends dug into their food. There was silence for a few moments as they ate. Then Maria spoke up.
"So! What's the plan? You guys are going to Kratos then?"
Francisca nodded, swallowing her food.
"Uh-huh. That's where we're going to pick up some furniture. Gods, Maria, you should've seen the stuff I saw. I mean, really high-quality, classy chairs and tables. And the prices are pretty darned decent!!"
"Yeah! I've heard of Mirtos. That guy's developing quite a reputation."
"How much furniture are ya planning to get?" asked Joxer.
Francisca sighed, scratching her chin in thought.
"Weeeeeelll...I was hoping we could get another four tables, and about ten chairs. The stuff we got to replace what Stamrus wrecked is...well, it's not the best stuff we got."
Maria grimaced at the mention of Stamrus's name.
Francisca nodded. Her eyes grew cold.
Meg shook her head. She spoke up.
"Not to mention that the local guy, Calios, makes crappy furniture." she mumbled harshly. "Crappy, expensive furniture."
Joxer put down his fork. He sighed heavily.
Meg turned towards him, eyebrows knitted.
Joxer turned to Meg, eyes full of guilt.
"I broke some furniture too. I should pay you guys."
Meg raised her eyebrow in confusion. Maria stared at Joxer, bewildered.
"Joxer, what in Tartarus are ya talking about?"
Joxer hesitantly looked at Maria.
"Well...you remember when I messed up my hand, punching out that mirror?"
"Well, I-I...before I did that, I messed up a few tables and chairs...I-I was so upset about having to leave Meg. I-I should pay you for some of those tables and-"
"Forget it." said Meg firmly.
Joxer turned towards Meg, his face full of guilt and bewilderment.
Meg instantly clutched his chin. Her blue eyes bored into his.
"No. Don't even think about it."
Joxer swallowed hard, seeing the anger and determination blazing in her ice-blue eyes. He hesitantly grasped the wrist of the hand that held his chin.
"You guys...worked so hard for those..."
Meg raised her eyebrows.
"My problem. You let me handle that."
She moved in, and tenderly kissed Joxer on the lips. Meg caressed his face lovingly. She raised an eyebrow.
"Now, eat. Before your food gets cold."
Joxer sighed, and shook his head. He picked at his eggs. Meg rubbed Joxer's leg with affection. She turned towards Maria.
"So-you replaced the front wheel?"
"Yep. Runs like new."
Francisca chuckled, shaking her head.
"That's one durable carriage."
Maria nodded in agreement.
"Yeah, really. About a good half of the lumber we used to build this place was carried in that thing. They don't make carriages like that anymore."
"Aaaaand Mercury & Apollo finished up their hay this morning. They're filled up and ready to go."
"They're nice horses." said Joxer. "And boy, does Apollo love carrots!! He can't get enough of them!!"
"Got that right. Sometimes, I wonder if that horse is a reincarnated rabbit!"
The four chuckled. They soon finished their breakfasts. Francisca turned to Maria.
"So-you're staying here?
Maria nodded, wiping her mouth.
"Mm-hmm. Got some fixing up to do around here. Then I'm gonna see someone in town later."
Francisca turned to Meg and Joxer.
"So, it's gonna be the three of us then."
Joxer stood up.
"I'll go get the horses."
"I'll go with ya." said Francisca.
The pair took their plates and walked into the kitchen. Maria turned to Meg.
"How much you taking?"
"Ehh...about 300 dinars."
Maria rose to her feet.
"So-I'll see you back here in a couple of hours?"
Meg got up as well, picking up her plate.
"About that, yeah."
"All right then. You guys be careful out there."
"Whoa, guys. Whoa."
Francisca brought the horses to a stop. They were now overlooking the small town of Kratos.
"What's up, Fran?" asked Meg.
"Damn hole in the road. It's gotten bigger. Must've been the rain several days ago. Let's see if I can get around it. Yaaa..."
Francisca gently snapped the reins, and the horses drew the carriage carefully around the hole. Joxer's eyebrows went up.
"Huh. That needs to be filled up. Don't want a horse or carriage getting caught in that."
Meg looked around. She frowned. Joxer noticed this, and his brows knitted.
"What's up, Meg?" he asked.
"I was just remembering when you and I were here last..."
Joxer grasped Meg's hand. His eyes narrowed in pity.
She lowered her head.
"Ya know, I cried a lot when I got home. I missed you so much..."
Joxer wrapped his arm around her, and drew Meg close.
"I'm here now."
He tenderly kissed her on the cheek. Meg grasped Joxer's hand, and squeezed it tight.
"I hope you're gonna stick around for a while." she said softly.
"Yeah. I am."
Meg turned towards him, smiling warmly.
"I'm glad to hear that."
"Okay, you two lovebirds." teased Francisca. "We're entering town."
Meg and Joxer looked up. The streets were filled with people. A group of women were busy sorting and examining assorted fruits and vegetables. In another area, warriors were haggling with a merchant over some weapons. Children ran about, laughing and playing. Francisca steered the carriage towards a large structure in the center of town. She pulled up alongside of it, bringing the horses to a stop.
"Here it is." said Francisca. "Mirtos's Furniture."
"Great!" answered Meg. "Let's get going!"
The three of them got off the carriage, and entered the large wooden building. Meg gasped in shock at the massive amount of furniture inside.
"Wow!!" she exclaimed.
Francisca turned towards her, smiling.
"What did I tell ya?"
Meg walked over to several chairs, giving them a close examination. A saleswoman walked up to her, smiling.
"May I help you miss?"
Meg looked up, eyebrows raised.
"Huh? Oh yeah!! I'm looking around for a few chairs and tables. How much do these chairs go for?"
"20 dinars. Finest quality chairs you can buy."
Meg nodded slowly, scratching her chin.
"Hmmm...20 dinars, huh?"
She pursed her lips, walking around several chairs, once again taking a close look at them. The saleswoman spoke up once more.
"How many were you planning on buying, miss?"
Meg's eyes narrowed in thought.
"Dunno yet. I'll let ya know."
"And tables? You said you were interested in tables."
Meg straightened up, rubbing her chin absently.
She turned to the saleswoman.
"Where are they?"
The woman pointed to an area just off to her right. An assortment of tables stood before them. Meg raised an eyebrow.
"From 45 to 75 dinars."
Meg nodded slowly.
She looked around, and sighed.
"I'll let ya know. Thanks."
The saleswoman nodded.
"No problem, Miss. My name is Daria. Call me if you need me."
The saleswoman walked off. Joxer and Francisca walked up to Meg's side.
"What do ya think?" asked Francisca.
Meg's eyes widened a bit.
"Not bad! Actually, I'm pretty impressed. Way better than that centaur shit Calios tries to pass off."
She turned to Joxer.
"Whaddaya think, Jox?"
Joxer nodded slowly.
"Hmmm...I like it. Nice stuff!"
He turned to Meg.
"Listen, I'm going into town. Just going to look around for a few odds and ends. I'll meet you guys back here in a little bit."
"Okay. Sounds good to me."
She gave him a quick kiss on the cheek. Meg smiled.
Joxer grinned. He turned and left the building.
"For the last time. 25 dinars. Not one dinar less!!"
Joxer growled in frustration. He looked up at the old man with desperation.
"Aw, c'mon!! Please!! It's for my girlfriend!! C'mon, haven't you ever been in love before?!"
The old man's face remained cold, impassive. Joxer bit his tongue, turning aside for a moment.
"...probably hasn't even been laid before..." he muttered under his breath.
The old man's eyes widened in surprise and anger.
"What was that?!"
Joxer turned towards him, smiling innocently.
"Aw c'mon pops. Please. I can't afford more than 20 dinars."
The old man growled. He walked around the counter, eyeing Joxer face-to-face. Joxer recoiled slightly in fear. The old man suddenly reached out and grabbed his nose, twisting it hard. Joxer cried out in pain.
"Are you as stupid as you are deaf?!" began the old man. "Let me make this clear then. For the thousandth time, the price is twenty-five dinars. Twenty-five. Not twenty-two, twenty three, or even twenty-four. Twenty-five. Got it?!"
Joxer struggled in his grasp. His face was beet-red. A tear rolled down his cheek.
"Yeah, yeah, yeah!! Let go my dose!!"
The old man smiled cruelly, taking perverse pleasure at seeing Joxer suffer. Suddenly, the old man felt someone grab his right ear, giving it a vicious twist backwards. He shrieked in agony.
Meg drew close to the old man's ear, her face twisted into a heated snarl.
"Let go of my boyfriend's nose!!" she hissed.
The old man instantly let go. Joxer pulled back, rubbing his nose.
"Ouch!!" he exclaimed. "He almost ripped it off!!"
Meg growled savagely. She twisted the old man's ear again. He cried out in pain.
" Aaaaaigghh!! I give, I give!!"
"I tell ya what ya gonna give, ya scum-sucking sonofa-bacchai! Yer gonna give my boyfriend an apology."
"I-I-I-I-I'm-I'm sorry mister!! I-I'm sorry!!"
Meg snarled in disgust.
"Ya got that right."
She gave him a vicious shove backwards. He fell hard onto the ground. Joxer couldn't believe the fury in Meg's face. It was frightening.
Meg turned towards Joxer, her eyes ablaze.
"What was that about?!"
Joxer trembled in fear at the coldness in Meg's eyes.
"I-I-I just wanted to buy you some perfume. I-I was trying to haggle the price down from 25 to 20 dinars."
Meg's face softened a bit. She turned to the old man, a dark scowl covering her face again.
"This how ya treat yer customers, huh?!"
The old man stared at Meg in terror. Meg snatched a perfume bottle from his table.
"Twenty-five dinars? For this?"
She opened up the bottle and poured all of its contents onto his head. The old man screamed in pain as the perfume burned his injured ear.
"I wouldn't pay one dinar for this horse piss." Meg spat heatedly.
She dropped the bottle onto the ground as the old man cried, clutching his burning ear. Meg walked over to Joxer, slinging her arm around his.
"Let's get out of here."
The pair left, and soon they were near the entrance to an alley. Meg pushed Joxer against the side of a building. Joxer gasped.
"Shhh! Let me take a look."
Meg examined Joxer's nose. It was dark red, and an ugly bruise began to form on the bridge. Meg's eyes narrowed in sadness and pity.
She tenderly kissed it. Meg pulled back slightly, She looked deep into Joxer's eyes.
"Joxie, I don't want you spending money on gifts for me."
Meg quickly placed her fingers on Joxer's lips.
"There's only one thing I want. You. Nothing else."
She pulled his head down, and tenderly kissed him. Her tongue caressed his with affection. Meg pulled back, gazing at Joxer with a warm smile. He blushed, a shy grin crossing his features.
"I...I-I love you Meg."
Meg pressed up against him, rubbing her forehead on his.
"I love you too, Joxer."
She kissed him tenderly on the nose, caressing it with her lips. Meg pulled back, and took his hand.
"C'mon sweetie. Let's go."
Meg led Joxer out into the street. They walked along quietly for a few moments, holding hands. As they passed another alley, Joxer suddenly heard the sounds of someone crying. He stopped instantly.
Meg looked at him, puzzled.
"You hear that?"
Meg listened. She heard the crying. It sounded like that of a young girl. Meg and Joxer looked at each other.
"Let's take a look." said Meg.
The pair walked into the alley. Soon, the sounds of crying stopped. Meg turned to Joxer, and placed a finger to her lips. Joxer nodded. The two crept forward. Meg spotted a small side door. She walked towards it, and suddenly spotted a young woman, cowering in terror. She had been beaten severely, and her clothes were torn. She stared at Meg, burrowing further and further into a corner. Meg gasped in shock.
Joxer's face filled with pain and an overwhelming sense of pity. He began to approach her.
"N-No!! No!!" shrieked the young woman.
"I'm not going to hurt you." said Joxer in a gentle tone. " I just want to help."
"N-No!! Go away!! "
Meg turned to Joxer.
"Let me handle this."
Joxer nodded. Meg slowly approached the girl. The girl cowered even more.
"P-P-PPlease don't-don't hurt me!!"
Meg stared at her, puzzled.
"Now why would I want to do that?" she said softly. "Sweetheart, you're badly hurt. You need help. I can help you."
Meg crouched down, giving the girl a warm, friendly smile.
"Don't be afraid. You can trust me."
The girl sensed Meg was telling the truth. She straightened up somewhat, still eyeing Meg cautiously. Meg, ever so slowly, approached her. She carefully outstretched her hand, delicately touching the girl's face. Meg tenderly stroked it. At this, the young woman broke down and began to cry. Meg took the young girl into her arms, holding her close.
"Ssssshhh, sweetheart. It's gonna be okay. Don't cry. Sssshhhh...."
Meg rocked the girl slowly in her arms. Joxer stared at the young girl's injuries. Rage began to rise in him. What kind of monster would do this to a young girl?!
Joxer knelt down beside Meg, smiling at the young woman with tender affection.
"Hi. My name's Joxer. This is my girlfriend, Meg. What's your name?"
The young woman looked shyly at Joxer.
Meg gently grasped the young girl's chin, turning it so they were face-to-face.
"Who did this to you?"
The young girl swallowed hard.
"M-Men. Tsao-Li's men."
At hearing the name, Meg's color drained from her face. Both Joxer and the girl noticed this immediately. Concern filled Joxer's face.
"M-Meg? Meg, what is it?"
Meg stared out into space for a few moments, her eyes filling with anxiety. She quickly turned back to the girl.
"Gladys, this is important! Is this Tsao-Li a foreigner?? Almond-shaped eyes?? From the land of Chin?!"
The girl's eyes widened in shock.
"H-How do you know that?!"
Meg gasped. She swallowed hard, and began glancing around nervously. Joxer grew alarmed at Meg's behavior.
"Meg, what's going on?!"
Meg grabbed Joxer by the arm, and pulled him close. Her eyes were full of terror.
"Joxer, we've got to get this girl out of here!! Now!!"
"B-But who is-"
"I don't have time to explain!!" snapped Meg angrily. "Just get Francisca and tell her to bring the cart here!! Now!!"
Joxer nodded, and began to get up, but Meg grabbed his arm again.
"Hold it!!" she exclaimed.
Meg turned to Gladys.
"How many men are chasing you?"
Meg turned to Joxer.
"Alright go!! Hurry!!"
Joxer ran off. Gladys stared at Meg in bewilderment.
"H-How do you know Tsao-Li?!"
Meg grimaced. She held the girl close. A tear ran down Meg's cheek.
"Because I used to be one of his women."