General Copyright Disclaimers
Characters and backstory of Xena: Warrior Princess are the property of Renaissance/MCA/Studios USA. This story is not meant to infringe upon their rights. This story was not written for monetary gain. Anything not copyrighted to the above mentioned parties is copyrighted to me. If you wish to archive or link this story, please contact me.
This story is rated NC-17 for implied sexual situations and language.
This story contains themes and descriptions of a loving, sexual relationship between two consenting adult women. This story is intended for a mature audience with an open mind. If it is illegal for you to read this story for any reason at all, please close this web page and find something that is legal for you to read.
This story is part of the Sacrifice for Love Series, which is set right after the episode Sacrifice. As such, it contains spoilers for that episode.
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When Evil Meets Itself
September 10, 1998
The young goddess looked around and cursed her circumstances. She was perched on a small ledge in a long cave; lava dripped from her golden hair. She frowned when she realized that she had disregarded one very important factor in her plan to usher her fatherís evil into the world. The idiot Joxer had told her; she knew from the connection she had shared with her mother while in the womb - love was indeed a powerful force.
For the love of a warrior, her mother Gabrielle had sacrificed herself to end the threat of Dahok. Unfortunately, the goddess mused, that sacrifice had included the righteous bard dumping her in some lava.
Hope spared a brief thought for her mother. She assumed that the mortal that had birthed her died. Being a goddess herself, Hope had been uncomfortable with the heat and poisonous stench. To believe that the mortal bard had not perished would have been impossible.
The goddess sighed in derision as she shook a few bits of lava from her hair. The heat that seared from below began to grate on her nerves; her ceremonial robe clung to her body over a layer of sweat. She frowned when she felt the movement in her womb.
"Pregnant and left out to dry," she mumbled. "íDo it for me,í he said. ĎAres will make a fine father,í he said." The goddess scowled as she mocked her fatherís demands. When a sharp labor pain seized her petite frame, she growled. "Why didnít they have the child," she moaned in protest.
Ten minutes later, the goddess gazed down into the face of her newborn child. "Bet they donít even show up to change diapers," she muttered.
Removing her robe, Hope swaddled the infant and tapped her fingers in irritation. Her moment of selfish thought was interrupted when a hand broke the surface of lava and caught her dancing fingers in a grip of steel. She looked up in annoyance to find a pair of icy blue eyes narrowed in malevolence.
"Oh, this is too good to be true," the strange woman purred.
"Do I know you?" Hope asked curtly as she attempted to pull her hand free of the deranged womanís.
"Do you know me?" the woman repeated; she laughed maniacally and released Hopeís hand to grip her chin. "I am your worst nightmare," she hissed. "I am Velaska, Goddess of Chaos!"
Hope rolled her eyes and smirked. "Yeah...and Iím Hope, Goddess of Goodwill."
The demented goddess (the Amazon variety) sneered in contempt. "You canít fool me, Gabrielle," she howled dramatically as her eyes glowed white with power.
"Shit. I knew I should have asked for another form." Hope raised a brow and considered the other goddess like a nuisance. "Iím telling you...Iím Hope. Gabrielle was my mother."
"All the better, then," Velaska roared even more dramatically; her voice boomed in the long tunnel. "To kill the daughter of my greatest enemy!"
Hope drew her hand back and slapped Velaska sharply. "Snap out of it, bitch." When the Goddess of Chaos stared in surprise, Hope sighed. "Iím nothing to my mother," she whispered. "Who do you think put me here?"
The mixture of anger and fury in the young goddessí tone caught Velaskaís attention. Her lips curled back in a snarl. "So, we have something in common then. Where is the precious queen, anyway?"
"Dead," Hope muttered disconsolately. She slapped her childís questing hand from her breast. "Who am I going to get to baby-sit the brat here, now?"
"What about Xena?" Velaska asked; her eyes turned white with godly fury.
"Who the fuck cares?" Hope snarled. "If Iím lucky, she gutted that bitch Callisto. Of all the low-down, double-dealing...." The blonde goddess turned to her ledge mate and growled. "I release her from her imprisonment so that she can help me torture Xena...and what does she do? She helps to destroy my fatherís plans for world domination! What does a person have to do to get good help these days?" As Hope lamented her fortune, she missed the dangerous glint in Velaskaís eyes.
"It was YOU!" The Amazon goddess stood and extended her hands. "You took her away...and left me here to suffer alone!"
Hope gurgled as the air to her lungs was instantly cut off. "Aacckk!"
Both goddesses tumbled from the ledge. Hopeís child fell to her knees to watch the cat-fight that ensued below. The childís eyes lit bright with the excitement of the battle; her small arms jerked in reflex as she imagined herself battling Velaska. When it seemed as though the two goddesses were evenly matched, the little girl sighed. Snapping her fingers, she procured a scroll and quill. Tucking her tongue between her lips, she began her prophetic verse:I sing a song of the bard whose abs were very hard. For the love of a woman She danced in the oven But Xe saved her in the end.
The child sighed again when she realized that the fight below would last an eternity. The small part of her that was mortal seemed to reside solely in her stomach; her hunger announced itself loudly. "Might as well set in for the long haul," she mumbled. Snapping her fingers once more, she created a banquet. "Ooohhh...nutbread," she cooed.
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