Crusader - "Twisted, and Butchered".

Or "Show me the way to the Betty Ford Clinic".

Disclaimers: Xena, Gabrielle and most of the other characters owned by Renaissance Pictures. No copyright infringement intended, honestly officer. No profit gained, as if you needed telling.

Subtext: There’s not much, just a few hints really. There is quite a bit of swearing going on but it’s only in the name of fun. This tale is a re-telling of the episode "Crusader" from season 4. From one simple line, a story grew.....hope you like it.

By Silent Dee. e-mail: Feedback welcome, feel free to berate or praise.




The sword moved through the air in a graceful arc, striking the first man in his side, tearing across his stomach and chest. He fell to his knees and clutched at the wound as his intestines began to bulge out, the slippery pink snakes sliding through his fingers and dropping to the ground in a steaming pile.

The sword continued upwards and into the face of the second man, slicing though his right cheek, he briefly tasted cold steel running over his tongue, before the weapon emerged through the left side of his face, leaving him with a huge red grin from ear to ear.

Xena kicked the smiling man squarely in the chest and turned to face another two attackers running down the muddy hill toward her. Her eyes glazed over at the prospect.

Gods this was boring, why couldn’t they all come at once and get it over with? No, only in pairs, or even worse - one at a time. Idiots. The sound of clashing swords rang in her ears, and her stomach began to rumble. Supper time. A bad time to attack any warrior, especially Xena - the hunger made her more vicious as she thought about the meal she was missing. What would Gabrielle be cooking up tonight, she wondered, as an arm fell to the ground with a thud. Trout, perhaps, from the stream up ahead? A spurt of blood splashed Xena’s breastplate as she glanced over at her partner. She certainly knew how to handle a stick, not to mention a frying pan. Xena watched as Gabrielle fought a huge bearded man in heavy furs, making his ugly face even uglier by smashing her staff into his nose.

"That’s my girl" she said with a wry smile, which quickly turned to a frown, as another couple of thugs appeared to replace him. Who were all these guys anyway, Rent-a-Gang? They didn’t even say who they were fighting for.

As if to answer her question, a horse crested the hill at that moment and galloped down towards them. It’s rider, a woman in warrior garb, seemed to sway from side to side like a tree in the breeze. Xena could see she was clutching a small flask of some kind, and was attempting to remove the cap. The warrior’s mind raced. Could it contain black powder, or some kind of poison? Instinctively reaching for her chakram, she watched as the rider finally opened the flask and took a healthy swig of whatever was within. The horse showed no signs of stopping and as Gabrielle finished off the last of her attackers, the animal barged into her, knocking the small blonde to the ground.

The jolt loosened the rider’s grip on both her flask, and the reins, and she flayed wildly, trying to catch the precious bottle as the horse ploughed on. Xena’s eyes widened with anger and prepared to strike. The rider juggled with the flask and slid off the saddle in an attempt to retrieve it - her outstretched hand managed to grab the flask, and her arm caught Xena off guard, knocking her legs from under her.

The rider fell from her steed, and somehow landed on her feet - she rushed at Gabrielle screaming.

"Come on then, I’ll take you all on! Which blonde wants it first?"

Weaving and punching the air madly, her blows managed to connect and Gabrielle crumpled to the floor in a heap.

Satisfied, the woman unsheathed her sword and raised it above her head, ready to deliver the final blow.....and then........she stopped.

Her lips moved silently, and tears began to well in her eyes, as Gabrielle lay prone beneath her.

"Oh no, I’ve done it again. I’m sorry luv, I didn’t mean it, honest." She said, snivelling.

Xena approached, ready for action, but a look from her partner calmed the fire within and she lowered her sword.

The crying woman continued. "Really, I’m so sorry, it’s the Gin, the Gin made me do it."

"Are they spirits?" Asked Gabrielle, rising to her feet.

"It luv. It’s a spirit, yes. The Gin gives me all my power. When I drink it, my head is filled with voices, and they tell do stuff, and that. Has anyone got any fags? I swore I had a pack on me, but I can’t seem to find them."

"Are the voices here now?"

"Hmm? What?" Replied the strange woman, patting down her clothes. "Are you lookin’ at my tits? You’re not from that fuckin’ Lesbos are you?"

Xena stepped forward, and noticed a foul odour emanating from the woman in front of her. She stepped back again. "We’ll ask the questions here, starting with who are you, and why did you attack us?"

"I’m called Najara these days, and I’m over here fighting evil wherever I find it. My men thought you looked a bit dodgy, and it’s better to be safe than sorry. Hey, does anyone fancy a curry, I could eat a scabby donkey, me."

The warrior and bard exchanged a puzzled glance. "Where exactly are you from? I’ve travelled to many places and I don’t recognise" Xena asked.

"Athens, originally - the Eastend. Rough place, we never got many visitors ‘round those parts."

"Might have something to do with the smell....." The Amphipolian muttered.

"What did you.......Ah, there they are!" Najara reached down and picked up a small wooden box hidden in the grass. She opened it and removed a thin white stick which she placed in her mouth.

"Anyone got a light? No? S’pose I’ll save it for later. So, who are you two then? I haven’t seen fighting like that in a long time."

"I’m Gabrielle.....and this is, Xena."

"The Xena? I’ve heard alot about you........" Najara suddenly held her arms up to the sky and started to convulse in a most alarming way, her eyes spun round in their sockets so that only the whites were visible. Gabrielle took a step away.

"Er.....Xena, I think she’s going to be sick, stand back!"

"It’s alright Gabrielle, I think it’s some kind of prayer. It must be the Gin talking to her."

Najara stopped her weird movements and took another large gulp from her bottle.

"That’s better" she said, wiping her chin. "The Gin has spoken. It says we should work as a team and beat the crap out of the evil-doers in these parts. What do you say?"

And then Najara vomited.



Xena watched Gabrielle and Najara talking through the flames of the campfire. The new warrior seemed nice enough, now the misunderstanding had been taken care of, and the fourteen bodies buried, but there was something not quite right about her. The strange smell was one thing, but they had quickly learned to stay downwind of Najara when she was speaking. And speak she did - it was hard to get a word in sometimes, she would go on and on about this strange Gin, and the Light it gave her. Then some bird would fly past and she’d be off chasing it, usually with Gabrielle in tow. She had certainly taken a liking to her blonde friend, which was no surprise, everybody liked Gabrielle afterall, and the bard seemed to like Najara alot too. She always was a sucker for that spiritual stuff.

A knot of jealousy tightened in Xena’s stomach, so she put the thoughts to the back of her mind and concentrated on the task ahead.

"Let’s play a game or something, I’m bored!" Shouted a red eyed Najara. "How about truth or dare? Or spin the bottle!"

"Don’t you think we should be discussing the slavetraders we’re here to stop?" Asked Xena, annoyed.

"Aah, bollocks to them, they arrive in town, we go down, kick their heads in, Bob’s your uncle."

"I haven’t got an uncle called Bob."

"That’s not the point, what I’m saying is, it’s easy, and it’s tomorrow, so let’s have some fun now. Has anyone bought the cards?" Najara turned to her men, all of whom shrugged. "For fuck’s sake, what did I say when we left? Don’t forget the cards! I tell you Xena, the monkeys I have to put up with."

Xena stood up, suddenly angry. "I don’t think you’re taking this situation seriously enough - there are lives at stake here."

"Whoa, Xena, calm down babe, stress less. Everything’s under control. You trust me don’t you?"

The dark woman stood motionless, glaring, shadows flicking across her face.

Najara got to her feet, eventually, and wobbled over to Xena. "Here, if you don’t trust me, take my sword. Go on, take it, bloody thing’s doing my back in anyway. You can command my men tomorrow, they’ll do whatever you say."

"Keep the sword, but I will take command of your men, I don’t want any innocents getting hurt."

"We all get hurt at some point Xena. I’ve been hurt, you’ve been hurt. Gabrielle has too. The Gin knows all. The Gin makes the pain go away......away....away. But I love you. I do, I love you guys. You’re my new bestest mates. Now lets play a game!"

Gabrielle looked up at Najara. "Erm, what’s spin the bottle?"


High on a ridge, surrounded by trees, Xena studied the scene beneath her, loading a single arrow into a crossbow. "Maraud’s men have entered the village - I’ll go down and check out the situation, you stay here until I signal...........Right Najara?"

Najara cradled her head in her hands and squinted at the tall woman. "Hmmm? Yeah, whatever. You do that, I’ve just got to go to that bush over there - I don’t know what I ate last night, but it’s gone right through me. Has anyone got a scroll I can borrow?"

Gabrielle’s hand went to her pack as she avoided Najara’s bloodshot gaze - there was no way she was about to let that happen again, not even for her new friend.

"Oh well, I suppose it’s leaves again, I just have to remember what nettles look like...." The ill looking woman sidled off through the undergrowth, picking slivers of meat from her teeth.

Xena glanced at Gabrielle and shrugged, before heading off down the hillside.

Once in the village, Xena was drawn to a large building by the sound of crying and the occasional scream. "I guess this is the place" she muttered, and tentatively opened the door.

It was a typical scene before her. Children cowering in corners, parents getting beaten by the usual bunch of thugs. Instinct took over as she fired the arrow high into the sky and threw her chakram at the nearest brute, who was terrorizing a small child with a large hammer. The chakram cut the hammer’s shaft in two, and the heavy head landed with a squelch on the owner’s foot.

As Xena sliced and diced her mind began to wander. These men really did look familiar, in fact, some of them looked like men she’d killed before. She somersaulted over the crowd and landed on the shoulders of particularly ugly one. She swore he had her chakram sticking out of his head last time she saw him. "It improved his look no end" she said absentmindedly, snapping his neck with a twist of her feet.

The fight continued outside, as Gabrielle and Najara arrived with her men. Najara immediately set into action, tripping over a corpse and impaling a slavetrader with her sword. "I meant to do that!" She informed the crowd of non-lookers, and staggered to her feet.

She continued on, swinging her sword and veering from side to side - each swing managing to slit an exposed throat or sever a limb, each sway avoiding a whizzing arrow or sword-blow.

Gabrielle thought it must be the Gin guiding her way. She desperately wanted to be part of the Light that Najara spoke of, but she knew she could never leave her soulmate.

Xena kept a suspicious eye on Najara as she hacked and slashed her way through the melee. She was still picking at her teeth, this time with one of her huge earrings, whilst swatting men like flies with her sword. She was certainly a talented fighter, even if her style was a little unusual.

Xena’s ears pricked at the familiar sound of an arrow cutting through the air toward Gabrielle. Without hesitation, she leapt in it’s path to protect her friend, only to see Najara pluck it from the air with ease.

"Ah, this is perfect!" She said, sticking the arrow head into her mouth. "Got it. Gods, I remember now, it was that kebab I had last night!"


"You will all see the error of your ways, and in time, you will join me in the Light." Najara said to the captured slavetraders, sipping from her flask. Her captive audience fidgeted and yawned, their minds melting from the sermon.

Xena took Gabrielle to one side. "Does this stuff really work? She’s been talking at them for two hours now, and they look ready to strangle her, not bow down before her."

"I think Najara knows what she’s doing. Her ways are different from yours, that’s all."

"She’s trying to bore them to death?"

"She trying to educate them, to help them live fulfilling lives, without crime. Najara has great plans for the future. She’s going to build a hospice where the sick and needy can come from all around to be healed and helped."

Xena turned away, already aware of Najara’s plans, and Gabrielle’s desire to be a part of them. She hadn’t meant to spy on her partner, but her curiosity got the better of her, so she had followed Gabrielle and her new friend on one of their many walks. The jealousy she had felt was almost overpowering, but she could see now what she must do.

Najara approached the two women, crashing into a table along her way. "I know something you don’t know!" She sang merrily into Xena’s face.

The warrior coughed from the stench and stepped back, wiping a stinging tear from her eye. "W-w-what’s that?" She managed to splutter.

"I know where Maraud is, and I know which village is to be attacked next."

Xena’s composure returned in an instant. "Here’s what’s going to happen. I’ll take care of Maraud, you and Gabrielle take the village."

"Ah, that’s no fun - can’t we do it all together. Besides, I’ve heard this Maraud is a big fucker, you might need some help."

Gabrielle stepped forward. "I’m still not quite sure what that word means, but I’ve learned that it’s best to trust Xena’s instincts."

"Whatever. Now, who’s up for a sing-song?" Najara asked, pulling a lyre from behind her back.


Xena sat alone at a table, deep in thought. She felt snowflakes dropping gently onto her beaten body, and through a blue haze, she saw Gabrielle lying next to her, as a Roman soldier tied her to a crucifix.

"Hey-up, you look like you’ve seen a ghost." Najara stumbled through the doorway.

"Not quite." The warrior replied.

"Come on, cheer up - it might never happen."

Xena fixed the other woman with a steely gaze. "But I know it will."

Najara’s eyes rolled back into her head and she shuddered. "Ah, it is the future you see, you cannot find a way to save Gabrielle."

"How do you.....?"

"It’s the Gin talking. The Gin knows all. You will not return, after dealing with Maraud."

"It’s the only way. I must leave her here with you. Set up your hospice in the next village. Gabrielle will understand, given time."

"We will initiate her into the way of the Light. She will be free." Najara convulsed, and her eyes returned to normal. "Bloody hell, I talk alot of bollocks sometimes, don’t I?"


Maraud sat, eating grapes from a large bowl in front of him. He didn’t particularly like grapes, but he ate them anyway, spitting the pips into a basket he had attached to the opposite wall.

"Gods, I’m bored." He said to himself. "Why didn’t I just go with them? I usually do. It’s fun, beating up peasants. We could have played pin the dagger on the slavegirl and everything." The huge man sighed. "But no. Suddenly, for some reason, I decide that it would be better sitting in this room. On my own. Staring at the box in the corner." He looked across at the box. On it’s side, Maraud had painted a picture of a beautiful blonde woman, dancing in a cage. "If only she could move."

The door suddenly crashed open, smashing the box to pieces as Xena flew into the room.

"Okay Maraud, the game’s up."

"........My box........You smashed my box......" Was all the big man could say.

"It’s not the only thing I intend to smash."

Maraud tore his eyes from his beloved crate and they bulged with fear when they fell upon the woman in front of him.

"You! You’re the one with the Gin. It’s no use - you won’t turn me to your ‘Light’, so you might as well execute me now." Said the large man, dropping to his knees.

"What are you talking about?"

"I been told what you do. Giving your prisoners three days to change their ways. Burning their eyes and throat with the poison you exude. And if they don’t convince you of their sincerity........" Maraud made a slicing movement across his throat.

Thoughts raced through Xena’s mind - she knew there was something about Najara she didn’t like. No-one could smell like that and not be evil. Xena turned on her heel and sprinted out of the room.

Maraud crawled over to the shards of wood littering the floor. He picked up a piece with the woman’s face on it. "One day. One day you’ll dance for me."


The freshly liberated villagers stood transfixed, watching as the strange warrior staggered about in front of them.

"You are now free people." Najara said, gulping from her flask. "Free, as birds. Swan-like. Yeah, you’re all just like swans. Swans are nice, don’t you think? With their beautiful slender necks. Their full breasts, heaving. Their luscious blonde hair, and flat, firm stomachs......." She trailed off, suddenly confused.

"......But I digress. You are now free to go and do good in the world. So go and do something good."

The villagers didn’t move.

"That’s it. It’s over. Go home." She said, shooing the group away.

the villagers began to sidle out of the room, some stopping to offer gifts of thanks.

"For you." Said one, holding out a small bunch of flowers.

"Cheers, yeah, they’ll come in handy." Najara took the bouquet, and dropped it onto a table beside her.

"Thank you." Said another, bowing.

"It’s fine, really, no problem."

"Bless you." Said a third, offering a bowl of fruit.

"Okay, I get the point. You’ll all very grateful. Now, could you all just go, as I am actually quite busy. You know, slavetraders to reform, hospices to build and all that." She slurred.

Gabrielle approached. "Are you really building the hospice here?"

"Yeah, and these rough looking fuckers are going to help me do it, when I’ve turned them." Najara replied, waving at the collection of battered slavetraders huddled in the corner.

"Can you really do that?"

"Oh yeah, they’ll all walk into the Light - one way or the other."

Gabrielle took a deep breath, "I want to be initiated into the Light."

Najara turned to her new friend. "I hoped you would." She said, grabbing the bard and hugging her tightly. "Mmmm, you smell nice."


Najara and several of her men formed a large circle, with Gabrielle at it’s centre.

"Okay now, everyone hold hands. Oh, except you Kleptus, you’ll have to make do with what you’ve got." Najara leaned in towards Gabrielle’s ear. "Little accident in Arabia - he doesn’t like to talk about it." She whispered, a little too loudly. Kleptus looked suitably embarrassed.

"I call upon the power of the Gin. Accept this delightful young woman into your ever open and inviting lip....arms, where she may be cherished and loved. Where she will always feel warmth, and sweet, tender....ness." Najara shook her head, and tried to concentrate. "Gabrielle - walk into the Light, and look no more on the Darkness." She said, raising a wreath of flowers into the air.

"Hey, this is nice work - who made this?"

Kleptus raised his stump, shyly.

"Really? This is.....amazing. How did you.....? Er....Well done." Najara placed the wreath upon Gabrielle’s head. "It suits you," she said, smiling, "brings out your eyes."

Xena crashed into the room, a little short of breath. "Get away from her!" She shouted, raising her sword towards Najara.

"Xena, what a nice surprise. I wasn’t expecting you soon."

"There was a change of plan. I’ve been speaking to Maraud. He told me a few things about you."

"Really? And what did the murderous, lying, kill-his-own-mother-for-a-dinar bastard have to say?"

"Just that you give your prisoners three days to come around to your way of thinking, and if they don’t you execute them without a trial."

"And you believed him." Najara stepped back, and took a swig from her bottle.

"He seemed convincing enough." Xena edged around the room, ready for action.

"Is this true?" Asked Gabrielle, her voice tinged with disappointment.

"No, of course not. I don’t execute them. I liberate their souls, so they can join the Light."

"I think I’ve heard enough." Xena said, swinging her sword at Najara, who fell backwards over a chair, narrowly missing the razor sharp blade. She rolled over and scrambled to her feet, missing another attack as the weapon struck the wooden floor beside her.

Najara drew her sword and beckoned the tall warrior. "Come on then, you lanky bitch, if that’s the way you want it."

Everyone stood back, as the two women fought, the sounds of clashing swords echoing around the room. Xena tried every attack she knew, and somehow Najara managed to avoid it, and then counter-strike, forcing her back. Xena grabbed a table and smashed it over the other woman’s head, but it made little difference. It was as if she couldn’t feel pain.

Furniture flew and the battle raged on, Xena becoming weaker from the blows, but Najara seemingly unaffected as she staggered from side to side, tripping over the occasional chair and gamboling over. She seemed to be enjoying it.

With a final clash of weapons, Xena knocked Najara to the floor, spotting two broken chair legs lying next to her. With a flash of inspiration she grabbed them and attached them to her feet, creating a pair of stilts.

Najara stood up and laughed hysterically. "Hey Xena, with talents like that you should join the fucking circus!"

The now even taller woman ignored the jibe and raised a leg, the stilt catching Najara under her chin and sending her reeling. Xena continued forward, each step battering her opponent, until she collapsed in a heap against the wall.

The warrior stepped down from her makeshift stilts and turned to face Gabrielle. As she moved forward to greet her partner, Najara emerged from the shadows brandishing a large stick. She struck Xena with a vicious blow, knocking her to the floor, and then beat her again, and again until the stick snapped in two.

"Ow! Bloody splinters!" she cried, reaching for her sword. She raised the weapon above her head.

"I smite the Darkness!" She shouted, poised to strike.

"Noooo!" Screamed Gabrielle, launching herself forward and covering Xena’s body.

"You’ll have to kill both of us." She said, looking up at Najara.

"But I have to smite now. It’s smiting time."

"Leave Xena, and we’ll walk out of here together, you and me."

"You think I’m falling for that one?! I may have just been hit repeatedly in the face with a pair of stilts, but I haven’t lost all my marbles."

"If we go now, I can move on with my life, but if you kill Xena, I could never stay with you."

"Oh alright, I suppose I can smite some slavetraders instead. Come on then." Najara reached out her hand and helped the small blonde to her feet. They left the building, leaving Xena lying facedown, a circle of blood spreading around her head .


"You come in here, smash up all my furniture, bleed all over my floor, and who get’s to clean up the mess? I do." The small dog growled. "It’s just not on you know, I’ve got a business to run."

Xena looked at the animal nuzzling her side. "What business can a dog run?"

"And now you insult me! Well that’s just perfect."

"I’m sorry,’re a dog. You’re talking to me. This is a dream isn’t it?" The warrior opened her one good eye, to see a haggard looking man standing over her, poking her side with a broom.

"At last." He said, as she slowly got to her feet. She hobbled over to the bar and sat on the one remaining stool.

"Mind you don’t break that."

Xena ignored him, and spat a large molar into her hand. "I got my butt whipped didn’t I?"

"Yep, and I lost a bet - that other woman was all over the place, it must have had something to do with that." The man said, pointing further along the bar.

Her eyes widened, painfully, as she spotted the small bottle. "Najara’s flask!" She exclaimed, grabbing it.

"I don’t know what kind of potion it is, but it must be pretty powerful stuff."

Xena studied the flask closely. "It’s also her weakness. Well, one of them anyway." Her mind raced as she left the bar hurriedly.

"No, that’s fine. You go - I’ll just finish up here shall I? I’ll knock up a few tables and chairs in no time, don’t you worry about it." The bartender said sarcastically, as the door closed.


Najara paced around the huge cave, it’s walls glistening with moisture in the firelight. Her voice echoed as she spoke. "We can use this as a prison for the slavetraders. One way in, one way out." She looked down over a gaping chasm. "We could even turn this into a mass grave." She said with a grin.

Gabrielle looked at her angrily. "You could be so close to true goodness, and yet this one thing makes you so wrong."

"Oh come on Gabrielle, I was only joking - besides, it would get a bit smelly after a while."

The small blonde turned away in disgust.

"Alright, what would Xena do with these criminals?"

"She would make sure they were out of business, and then she’d turn them over to the local authorities."

"Yeah, right, after she’d just slaughtered most of them in battle."

"Xena only kills when it’s necessary."

"Now you’re just being picky. These men have made their beds, and it’s my job to wake them up." Najara said, happily.

Outside, a man screamed loudly.

"Oh, what now?" She said, stalking out of the cave, cursing under her breath.

Gabrielle turned away from the entrance, deep in thought. Could she really forget about Xena and stay with this strange woman? Perhaps Najara could be changed if she could convince her that she was on Najara’s side. The bard brushed her blonde locks from her shoulders. Maybe she could get a haircut like hers, to prove her loyalty. It was time she changed it.....


She spun around at the familiar voice. "Xena! What are you doing here? Najara will be back soon."

"Good, I could do with a re-match. I have to stop her - she likes killing too much."

"But she beat you so badly before..."

"And that’s another good reason." Xena said, moving over to the large chasm.

"How are you going to beat her?"

"I’m going to play on her weaknesses." She replied, holding up Najara’s flask. The dark woman put two fingers down her partner’s green top and pulled it open, inserting the bottle between Gabrielle’s breasts. "That should do the trick."


As Najara looked at the unconscious bodies of her men, her head began to throb. She instinctively reached for the flask at her hip. It was gone! She turned and headed back to the cave as fast as she could, waves of pain crashing against her skull.

She entered the darkness and saw Gabrielle hanging over the chasm by a burning rope, the flask nestled snugly in her cleavage.

Before she could make a move, Xena dropped down in front of her.

"Glad you could make it."

Najara drew her sword and stepped forward.

"Watch out Najara, she’s snapped." Shouted Gabrielle.

"You think I’m going to fall for the old ‘girlfriend over a chasm’ routine? You won’t just let her die."

"I came back to save her, and do you know what she said? She told me she’d rather be with you. It seems your odour is less frightening than my dark side. Ungrateful bitch." Xena spat the words out. "If I can’t have her, then no-one will."

Najara clutched her head in pain and ran towards the pit. The tall woman easily knocked her to the ground.

"I knew she was too good for a nutcase like you!" Najara screamed. She picked herself up and ran at the pit again. Xena grabbed her and flipped her into the chasm, the odorous woman managing to grasp the edge on the way down.

"I know, she must have a weakness for them." She said, placing her boot over Najara’s hand.

Gabrielle looked at her partner. "Don’t kill her Xena."

Xena reached down, and pulled the woman out of the pit. "I guess she saved both of us."

Najara looked over at Gabrielle and saw she was standing on a plank crossing the chasm, the rope having almost burned through.

"I knew it was a fucking trick! You pair of fucking lying cu -"

Xena punched the odorous warrior and knocked her unconscious.


Najara opened her eyes to see the world spinning in front of her. Her head still pounded, and her mouth felt like the bottom of a birdcage.

"Birds shouldn’t be in cages." She muttered to herself, her mind wandering once more, as memories of the past few days slowly began to surface. She noticed that she was chained to a pillar.

"Bloody hell, that was some bender." She said, and then chuckled, as Gabrielle and Xena approached.

Xena looked at the bedraggled woman. "You’ll be happy to hear the slavetraders will get a fair trial now, as will you."

Najara stared at Gabrielle’s chest and licked her lips. "And they will probably bribe themselves free, only to commit more crimes."

"We’ve heard stories that you attacked a village and killed most of the people there" Gabrielle said sadly.

"Er.....I don’t remember doing that - but I’m sure they were guilty of something." Najara replied, still hypnotised by the bard’s bosom.

Xena followed her gaze and reached between her friend’s breasts, lifting out the small flask.

"Oh, I forgot that was there." Said Gabrielle, blushing slightly.

The two women turned and slowly walked away.

Najara struggled in her chains and called out to them "Can I just have a sip?! Pleeease! I forgive you!"

Gabrielle looked out across the horizon as the sun set slowly in the distance.

"So what shall we do now?" She asked.

"I thought we could play one of Najara’s little games. What did she call it.....Spin the bottle?"

A puzzled look crossed the bard’s face. "But Xena, there’s only the two of us here."

The warrior looked at her friend with a sly grin. "Those are the kind of odds I like."


The End.

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