The characters of Xena and Gabrielle belong to Renaissance Pictures. No
copyright infringement is intended. This story was not written for commercial
LOVE/SEX DISCLAIMER: This story contains scenes depicting a love/sex relationship between two consenting adult women.
Domorus shook his head in disbelief. To come all this way, only to find out that the famous warrior woman was dead, was an enormous disappointment. He had heard the tales that proclaimed Xena was, undisputedly, the finest warrior in the known world. That statement alone was enough to cause any man with half a brain to take exception to the outlandish stories. No woman, no matter how good she was, could hold that title.
To prove the tales were just exaggerations, Domorus had wagered the sum of 10,000 dinars, that he could defeat the legendary warrior. Although he knew he was not the best warrior in Rome, he was ranked close to the top at his chosen profession, and she was, after all, just a woman.
He hadn't been able to believe that so many people could accept the myths surrounding the infamous woman, as factual. It had worked to his advantage though, and he had put up his life savings to cover all those willing to wager against him.
Now, here he was in Greece; traveling with an entire entourage of witnesses, and the woman was dead... killed in his own backyard.
The months spent in this quest had been frustrating. It had not been too difficult, once they landed in Greece, to find people willing to talk about the warrior princess. The people he found were either in awe of the woman, or trembled in fear at the sound of her name. Some said she and her companion were in India, so they followed that trail, only to find she had returned to Greece. Now that he had returned to Greece, word came from Rome that she was dead…crucified by Caesar himself. Damnthe luck.
The black car bounced over the un-kept road, hitting an especially large pothole.
"How much farther?" the passenger asked the driver, as she was jostled around in the back seat.
"Not too much farther, Ma'am," the driver answered, wondering again why a cultured American lady would be so anxious to come out here to the middle of nowhere.
Melinda Pappas sighed, her patience nearing its end. Her excitement had built steadily, as she had made plans for this trip.
Her family and her fiancée could not understand why she kept postponing the wedding, and they were especially exasperated when she announced that she was going to Macedonia to work. Roger had hinted that he might not continue to wait for her if she did not give up all her crazy ideas.
It had been so important to her father to know that she was going to be taken care of when he was gone. He had been so fond of Roger, that it had seemed a good idea at the time to accept the young man's proposal of marriage. The smile on her father's face when she told him had made all the soul searching worth it. But now, each time the wedding date approached, she would panic. Perhaps this trip was just another way of postponing it yet one more time. No, it was more than that. She was being drawn as if by a magnet, by something larger than herself. What, she didn't know, but Melinda intended to find out.
She had been so relieved when she had contacted the Macedonian government offices and found out that Dr. Covington was still in the country. The telegram that she had found among her father's belongings was more than a year old, and the chances that Dr Covington was still here, or would need a translator, was in question. Of course once she had verified that the doctor was still working the dig, the logical thing would have been to contact the archeologist to see if she was still in need of a translator, but Mel was afraid that she would say no. She would arrive unannounced, and do whatever it took to convince Dr. Covington that she could be very helpful. She would work for free if need be, but by hook, or by crook, she intended to stay.
She still didn't
understand why she wanted this so desperately. Her family had given
her many reasons why she shouldn't go, not the least of which was that
it was not ladylike. A southern lady did not seek a career.
She was supposed to stay home, cater to her husband, and bear him a passel
of children. There was also a war going on in Europe, and the absurdity
of leaving the safety of the States could not be denied.
"Here you go, Ma'am,"the driver said, as he pulled the car to a halt in front of a large tent. Mel stepped nervously out of the vehicle. Thanking the driver, she straightened her skirt and walked toward the tent flap and her uncertain future.
"Hello, anybody home?" she called as she opened the tent flap and stepped inside.
"Give me the briefcase….NOW!" a man ordered in a stern voice.
Startled, Mel looked and saw three men with guns aimed right at her. Dropping her briefcase, Melinda quickly raised her hands into the air.
"Now that's no way to treat a lady," said a feminine voice, and Mel looked over to see an attractive blonde woman dressed in men's clothing. "Run along now, boys," the woman continued. "I don't have time to play."
Her world was suddenly shattered by gunfire, and a terrified Melinda Pappas ducked for cover while a terrifying scenario played out before her eyes. When the shooting finally ended, the blonde woman stood alone, victorious in her attempt to drive the robbers from her camp.
Melinda stood on shaky legs; her mind trying to take in all that had just happened. How could a lone woman drive off three armed men? She looked at the woman again, realizing that this was no ordinary woman. "I could have been killed," she said as she stepped closer to her savior.
The blonde, still clutching a gun, glanced at the tall woman. Striding across the floor, she glared at the beautiful intruder. "Who are you?"
"I'm Mel Pappas, and I'm looking for Dr. Janice Covington."
"You're Mel Pappas?"
Melinda nodded her head affirmatively. "Yes, Ma'am."
Janice looked at her skeptically. "Winner of the 1924 Nobel Prize for anthropology, Dean of the University of South Carolina?" The blonde rased her rifle threateningly. "Nice try. Professor Pappas died almost a year ago."
"Well, I know that. I'm his daughter, Melinda Pappas, Mel for short."
Janice lowered the gun and turned away. "Around here it's hard to know who to trust." She put the rifle down and removed her gun from its holster and began loading it. "What do you want?"
"I was going through my daddy's records, and I found an old telegram from you."
"Yeah…so?" Janice continued loading her weapon.
"In it you said you needed help translatin' ancient writin' and…well, here I am." Melinda smiled hopefully at the intimidating young woman with the gun.
Janice looked over at the dark woman and smirked. "I don't think so," she said, as she slapped her gun back into its holster and walked out of the tent. Just what I need, she thought, some prissy southern belle stumbling around here getting in my way.
Following the rapidly retreating Dr. Covington, Mel could see all her plans falling apart. She had to make this woman see that she could be helpful to her. There was something dangerously exciting about the archeologist, and she was more determined than ever to stay and get to know her better.
When she caught up with Janice, the archeologist was chastising one of her men for letting Smythes henchmen into her camp. "Who's Smythe?" she asked as the blonde woman started walking away from her again.
"Look, you don't belong here," Janice said over her shoulder at the annoying woman still following her. "Now if you want, I'll have one of my men take you back into town."
Ignoring Janice's statement, Melinda continued her questions. "And why did they want to get my briefcase?"
"They must be after the tablet, it's the key to opening the tomb we found."
Melinda opened her mouth to ask another question, when suddenly a man staggered forward and collapsed, a knife sticking out of his back. Janice dropped to her knees to aid the man, but it was too late.
Men started scurrying everywhere shouting 'the curse'. "Come back," Janice shouted, but they continued running. "Come back," she shouted again. "There is no curse…it's a knife." Standing, she looked at Melinda. "They think the tomb is cursed." Shaking her head she continued. "Of course murder isn't good for morale either."
"Well it sure isn't suicide sweetheart," Janice said sarcastically. "Are you sure you still want to stay around here, Mel Pappas?
As frightened as she was, Melinda was sure she wanted to stay. She had never been more sure of anything in her life. "What's in that tomb that would drive men to murder?"
"If I'm right, the most important archeological find of the century. Something that will turn myth into history." Janice turned to the tall woman, and Mel could see the fire in her eyes. "The Xena scrolls."
It was obvious to Melinda that the archeologist was passionate about the subject of the scrolls. She could remember hearing people scoff at the idea of the Xena scrolls, saying they were just a myth. "I've heard learned scholars label the Xena scrolls a myth. What makes you believe they really exist?" Mel asked. The look on the blonde woman's face made her wish she could take her words back.
"My father found proof years ago on another dig site." Janice glared at the tall woman.
"Your daddy was an archeologist too?"
"He was the best that ever lived." Janice replied proudly.
"Covington, I don't recall an archeologist named Covington." Melinda tapped her forehead thoughtfully. Then it came to her. "Oh my goodness! You're the daughter of Harry Covington, the…"
"The grave robber," Janice finished for her. "Yeah, that's what everyone else called him. Why not you."
Again Melinda wished she could take her words back. She liked this woman, yet she kept saying things to anger her. "I'm sure it's just an unfair description." She said, trying to soothe Dr. Covington's ruffled feathers.
"No, it's right on. He'd sell anything he could to the highest bidder…but not for greed." Janice looked down thoughtfully. "Everything he did was to finance the search for the scrolls." Janice turned to face the tall woman. "And now that I'm this close to proving his quest wasn't in vain, I'm not about to enlist the aid of some spoiled brat who is trying to live on her father's reputation."
Now it was Melinda's turn to be angry. "Just like you're trying to live down your daddy's reputation," she snapped out quickly, without taking time to think.
"What did you say?"
"Nothing." Why do I keep opening my mouth without thinking? Melinda chastised herself. "I just mean that maybe we're both living in our daddy's shadows."
Janice and Mel turned to see a man holding a stone tablet with writing etched into the face of it.
"Look what I've got," he said, holding it up. "The Key."
Janice smirked as she walked toward him. "You can't decipher it….Sment."
"That's Smythe, and no I can't." He paused a moment for emphasis. "But you can. If you help me, I'm willing to offer a nice paycheck."
"I'm not interested in your money."
"Oh come now…The daughter of Harry Covington not interested in money? Don't make me giggle. I'll pay you $100,000.00 American dollars."
"That's a lotta moola. Maybe we can do business after all," Janice replied, pretending interest.
Melinda couldn't believe what she was hearing and she gasped involuntarily.
"Guess it's in my blood, honey," Janice tossed over her shoulder at the tall woman, then looked back at Smythe. "Show me what you've got."
Smythe held out the tablet.
"This could be the ticket," Janice said, taking the tablet. "Shall we try it out?" She started out for the tomb with the others following along behind. Using the combination on the tablet, she tried to open the tomb to no avail.
"This tablets a fake," Janice said, scowling. She hoped Smythe would believe her.
"Why, what's wrong?" Smythe asked, looking over her shoulder.
Melinda could see quite clearly that Janice was not deciphering the combination correctly. Now was her chance to prove to the archeologist that she could be helpful to her. "No, no, that's not a fake. Here, let me try." She reached out and turned the disk and the door slowly opened.
"I like her," Smythe said. "Both pretty, and smart."
Janice glanced over her shoulder at the tall woman. "You just had to stay and help."
"So, playing games are we? Well if you don't like my money, I have other plans." Smythe nodded to his men, who immediately placed the archeologist in the sights of their guns. Reaching over he took the little blonde's gun.
Everything happened so fast after they entered the tomb. Mel and Janice had been separated from Smythe and his goons almost immediately after they had entered. They had found the scrolls, and Mel had pulled half of Xena's chakram out of the wall.
Suddenly Smythe reappeared with the other half of the chakram, and the two halves were irresistibly drawn to each other.
Melinda felt a jolt go through her body as the two halves of the chakram came together. Blackness engulfed her, and a feeling of floating in nothingness. Suddenly… her mind was swimming with sensation. She was no longer floating, but… everything was still black, and she realized that her eyes were shut tightly. Her body was shuddering violently, in the midst of a powerful orgasm.
What? Her mind tried to grasp what was happening, as she heard a scream gasped out through ragged breath, and realized it was her own voice. Then her body let go and collapsed, like she had no bones, just a mass of quivering Jell-O. She fought to force her eyes to open. She needed to see...to understand what had just happened. As her eyes started to open, she could feel movement and realized that her legs were draped over bare shoulders, and the owner of those shoulders was straightening up. Blue eyes opened to see a blonde head lift, and the face of Janice Covington smiling at her. The archeologist's chin and cheeks slick and wet with her juices.
"OH MY!" was all she could say, as Janice crawled up her naked body, the smile never leaving her face.
Melinda's mind tried to grasp reality, but it eluded her. This had to be a hallucination. It had to be. Something in the tomb had temporarily affected her mind. How else could she explain what was happening.
Yes, this isn't real, just my mind playing tricks on me.
She gasped and froze as Janice finished her climb and collapsed, draping an arm and a leg over her, her wet face nuzzling into her neck.
But it feels so real, she thought to herself as the sounds of light snoring drifted to her ear, and Mel realized that the blonde woman draped across her body had fallen asleep.
Melinda didn't know what to think about what had just happened. Nothing had ever felt that good, that right. Here she was in the middle of God knows where, with the sleeping body of a virtual stranger draped across her, and it felt… wonderful.
Trying not to wake the sleeping woman, Melinda slipped out from under her and looked around. She was no longer in the tomb, but out in the open in some kind of campsite. A fire was glowing softly, and a large palomino horse stood nearby.
Looking back at Janice, she let her eyes wander over the sleeping woman, and blushed as her mind replayed what the little blonde had been doing to her just a short while ago. Mel closed her eyes, and forced herself to think of something else, needing a distraction to cool the fire that was beginning to build in her body once again. Melinda Pappas, get a hold of yourself, she thought crossly. You are a betrothed woman, for goodness sake. Thinking of Roger did the trick, extinguishing the fire in her loins quickly.
Getting to her feet, Melinda began to pace as her mind tried again to make some sense out of all this. Needing to cover her naked body, Mel looked around the campsite for her clothes, certain that they must be here somewhere. Seeing nothing but a tiny skirt and shirt, or a large leather dress, Mel picked up the dress and held it up to her body. It looked like it should fit. In fact, it looked like it had been made for her. Slipping it on made her feel much better, even if it didn't cover much of her body. At least the vital areas were covered, though she still felt nearly naked. Think Melinda, think, Mel thought, as she continued her pacing. Her thoughts were interrupted when two arms suddenly wrapped around her middle, and she froze in place. She could feel Janice's hands working their way up to cup her breasts when the sounds of footsteps drew her attention. She could see a group of four men stride out of the darkness and into the soft glow of the campfire. They were an unkempt looking bunch, and the lustful looks they were giving to the two women sent a jolt of terror through her body, her face frozen in a grimace.
"Well, well. What do we have here? Looks like we'll have fun tonight, boys."
"Xena!" Gabrielle cried, keeping her body pressed close to Mel's back to cover her nakedness.
The ruffian's eyes grew wide at the mention of Xena's name. The tall woman just stood like a statue and stared at them, which frightened them even more. They were all aware of the reputation of the Warrior Princess, and none were willing to wait around and die at her hand. Turning and tripping over each other in their haste to distance themselves from the formidable warrior, they ran into the night, grateful that The Destroyer of Nations did not think them worthy enough opponents to give chase.
"OH MY!" Melinda said, as her body finally unfroze, and her legs threatened to give out on her. Sinking to the ground, she was suddenly aware of the hands that had been gripping her waist. Hands that belonged to the little blonde archeologist.
A small naked body crawled around to face the tall woman, a seductive smile on her face. Leaning forward, she raked her teeth along the tall woman's neck.
Melinda felt the little blonde nibble on her neck, and she could feel the blush starting, and hoped her face was not as red as it felt.
"You're so sexy when you turn men into blithering idiots with 'the look'," Gabrielle said. "That really turns me on." Small hands went to the ties on the leather battle dress, as her tongue dipped into the tall woman's cleavage.
"Janice! What do you think you're doing?" Mel shouted, as she pushed the young woman away, her body re-igniting at the archeologist's touch.
Why did she call me, Janice? Gabrielle wondered as she looked at her distraught lover. Her throat constricted as she remembered the Fates. By the Gods, please not again. Her eyes carefully glided over the body of the woman in front of her. Either this is another God's be damned look-alike, or the Fates had visited her lover with madness again. She noted the scar peeking out at the top of Xena's right breast, and the hickey on her neck from the night before. Yes, there was no doubt, this was indeed Xena.
Domorus and his comrades were just settling down for the night when they heard the sounds of running footsteps, and four men rushed into the safety of their camp, gasping for breath.
"What frightens you so that you would run into a strangers camp, not knowing if it be friend or foe?" Domorus asked, seeing the obvious look of terror on their faces.
"Xena," one of the men managed to gasp out.
Domorus' eyes grew wide at the mention of Xena's name, and a large smile spread across his face. Even the stories of her death have been exaggerated. "You say you had a run-in with Xena?"
"Yes," one of the men answered, his breath slowing to a more reasonable rate. "We saw two beautiful women and thought we would have some fun. When one of them called out the other's name, we realized it was Xena."
"You did battle with her?" Domorus asked, his eyes tracking from man to man.
"Are you crazy?" the first man replied. "Didn't you hear me say it was Xena?" He shook his head at the stupidity of the question.
Domorus looked at the men with disgust. "How can four grown men be afraid of one woman?" he spat. "Her legend grows because of cowards like you who run like children at the sound of her name. Have any of you actually seen her fight?"
The four ruffians looked at each other and shrugged. "No…"
"Where is she?"
"She's camped due south of here in a clearing just past the waterfall."
Domorus turned to his comrades. "Pack up," he ordered, as he knelt to bundle up his bed-role. "We settle this tonight."
Gabrielle dressed quickly. She had to get Xena to the temple of the fates as soon as possible. Why is this happening again? She thought. The fates had given Xena the benefit of the doubt; conceding that there was a possibility, however remote, that Aries was her father. Had something happened to change their mind?
"I'm going to fill the water-skins," Gabrielle said, picking them up and striding out into the darkness. Somehow she needed to make Xena understand the urgency of leaving right away. If it were anything like the last time, the madness would come and go, with each successive episode worse than the last. There was no time to waste.
Melinda watched as Janice disappeared. She could still make no sense of any of this. Why did Janice call me Xena? She tried to remember what happened right before she found herself transported to this strange place. She had been holding a piece of what Janice had called 'Xena's chakram', when suddenly it began pulling her toward Smythe, and she couldn't stop it. Then the world she knew disappeared, and she found herself here.
Glancing down, she noticed a scar on her thigh that had never been there before. Puzzled, she reached down and ran a finger across it, and her gaze lifted to her well-muscled arms. Her eyes grew round at the realization…this is not my body. She remembered the puzzled look on the little blonde's face when she had called her Janice. Now it made sense why the woman had suddenly seemed so upset. That was not Janice, it was Gabrielle. Remembering what Gabrielle had been doing to Xena's body when Mel somehow entered it, made it clear to the tall woman what Xena and Gabrielle's relationship really was.
"Oh my," Mel said, as the concept really sank in. "They were lovers."
"Xena," Gabrielle said, as she lay the filled water bags by their bed-role.
Startled, Mel gasped. She had been so deep in thought that she hadn't noticed when the bard returned.
Gabrielle sat on the bed-role, and patted the spot beside her. "Come sit with me," she paused a moment. "We need to talk."
Nodding, Mel joined the pretty blonde on the soft furs. She let her eyes examen the young woman, and found several differences between Gabrielle and Janice that she hadn't noticed before. Perhaps if she had known the archeologist longer, she would see more. The similarities were astounding though, and she smiled, wondering if Janice was as passionate as Gabrielle had been. She could feel the heat rising in her face again and knew that it had to be beet-red.
Gabrielle reached over and took Mel's hand. "Xena, do you remember who I am?" she asked, hoping that this particular episode had been a short one. If Xena were lucid again, she would be able to explain to her the need to move as quickly as possible.
"You're Gabrielle," Mel responded, noting the relieved look on the little blonde's face, and the gentle pressure on her hand. "But I'm not who you think I am," she continued, not wanting to mislead Gabrielle more than she already had.
"Who do you think you are?" The bard asked, worry once again reflected in her eyes.
Taking a deep breath, Mel ran her fingers through her hair. How could she explain this to Gabrielle, when she didn't fully understand it herself. She won't believe me, Mel thought. She'll think I'm crazy. And who knows… perhaps I am. "My name is Melinda Pappas…Mel for short."
Afraid of what she would see in the bard's eyes, Mel kept her eyes on her hands, and lifted them so she could inspect them more closely. "I'm not really sure how I came to possess Xena's body…but I swear it's true. This is not my body, and if those men hadn't run away, we would have been in real trouble." Looking up, Melinda saw puzzlement, but not disbelief in the pretty green eyes gazing back at her.
"I don't know what you've heard about me, Mel; I'm not exactly helpless you know." Gabrielle smiled at Melinda. "Of course naked is not my preferred battle attire, but we would have been okay. Now, lets try to figure out how you got here, so we can get you and Xena switched back to your own bodies."
Mel smiled back at the young woman. She couldn't believe how well the bard was taking this news. She was sure, that in her place, she would not have believed this crazy story. "Janice and I had gone into a tomb that had recently been excavated, looking for the Xena scrolls, and I pulled a broken metal ring from the rocks. Janice said it was Xena's chakram."
"Wait," Gabrielle interrupted. "What do you mean…the Xena Scrolls?"
"Your scrolls." Mel tried to swallow the lump in her throat. "The scrolls you write to chronicle your adventures with Xena. Janice was trying to prove that Xena really existed, and that the stories about her were not just a myth. I was there to help her translate the ancient syntax."
"Ancient?" Gabrielle reached out and grasped Mel's shoulder. "How far in the future are you from?"
"The scrolls will help pinpoint that a little more accurately, but… we think about 2000 years."
Gabrielle was stunned even though she knew such things were possible. She herself had been sent into another body in a future life. But that was just one generation into the future. She could not even begin to imagine what life might be like in 2000 years.
The sound of
footsteps brought thoughts of the future to a halt, and Gabrielle armed
herself as she leapt to her feet. Stepping in front of Mel, she assumed
a defensive stance and waited to see who approached their campsite.
Domorus smiled, as he stepped out of the shadows, and into the glow of the small campfire. At last he would be able to prove once and for all that the myth of the Warrior Princess was just that…a myth. He looked at the woman standing protectively in front of her companion, and the smile faded. Could this really be Xena? Even though he believed the stories about the woman were exaggerated, still, he thought she would be bigger. Didn't the stories also say that her eyes were the color of the morning sky, and her hair the color of midnight? Something was wrong here. Stepping to the side, he tried to see around the small woman, but she stepped with him, always keeping her body between him and her companion.
"What do you want?" Gabrielle asked, never taking her eyes off the intruder. The man was well armed, but as yet his weapons remained sheathed.
"I am Domorus of Rome, and I seek an audience with Xena, the warrior princess." He smiled, and bowed graciously, "and who might you be?"
Gabrielle nodded slightly to acknowledge the introduction, relaxing somewhat, but keeping her weapons at the ready. "My name is Gabrielle, and if you don't mind my asking, what business do you have with Xena?"
It was clear to Domorus that the woman behind Gabrielle fit the description he had of Xena. "I made a wager of 10,000 dinars that I could defeat the Warrior Princess. I intend to win that bet."
Gabrielle shook her head. "You've come a long way for nothing friend, because Xena doesn't fight for money, or sport."
Domorus made eye contact with Xena, and saw fear in her clear blue eyes. This was going to be even easier than he thought. Drawing his sword, he stood at the ready. "Oh, I will fight her," he said, glancing back to Gabrielle momentarily. "If I have to go through you to get to her, so be it. Whether or not she wants to defend herself is up to her." As his eyes returned to Xena, he was startled to see a transformation had taken place in those devastatingly blue eyes. The fear was gone, replaced with an ice-cold stare, as a wicked smile slowly curled her lips. Quicker than he thought possible she sprang into the air, landing slightly in front of Gabrielle, the smile never leaving her face.
"I don't take kindly to anyone who would draw a weapon on my partner."
"I have no desire to harm your…partner', but I've come a long way to kill the legendary Xena, and if your pretty friend interferes in any way, I'll kill her too when I finish with you." He watched Xena as her gaze darkened, and she strode purposefully towards him. She carried no weapon, yet the intimidating woman radiated such confidence, that he unconsciously took a step backwards. "Get your sword and defend yourself, woman," he forced himself to say, as he realized he may have underestimated the legendary warrior a bit. Still, she was only a woman after-all, and that thought gave him the courage to continue. Suddenly, Xena sprang into the air again, this time kicking out, and his sword went flying from his hand.
"Pathetic," she spat. "I don't need a sword to beat the likes of you."
Domorus watched as she started to turn and walk away, but his pride had been hurt at having been so easily disarmed by a woman in front of his friends, and he balled his hand into a fist.
Xena sensed the punch coming and whirled to catch his fist in mid flight. Her ice blue eyes bore into his soul, as she squeezed his hand, forcing him to his knees, with the sound of his own breaking bones echoing in his ears. Xena released his hand, and took a step back. Reaching down she picked up his sword.
By the god's, he thought, cradling his broken hand with his good one. Everything they said about her…it's all true. He saw her bend and pick up his sword, and his immanent death flashed through his mind. She was going to kill him with his own sword. "Don't kill me…please," Domorus said, as he felt a warm flush, and knew that his bladder had betrayed him.
Flipping the sword around, Xena handed it to the cowering man. "I have no intention of killing you, just get out of my sight before I change my mind."
Taking the proffered sword, Domorus scrambled to his feet, and ran as fast as his trembling legs would take him.
Gabrielle watched him go, then turned to Xena, a seductive smile on her face. Gods that woman turns me on.
Blackness engulfed her again, and Melinda found herself floating in a seemingly endless void. Suddenly she was back in the tomb. "Oh my!" she said, as Janice grabbed her, and pulled her towards a door in the wall that was rapidly descending. They dove for the opening, and rolled under the door. They lay on the ground gasping, and watched the door come to a halt on a hand that was protruding under it. The hand struggled a moment, then disappeared underneath the heavy door.
"Who was that?" Melinda asked, as she got to her feet and brushed the dirt off her clothing. A puzzled look came to her face as she noticed that both of the side-seams of her skirt were ripped out. "And what happened to my skirt?"
"That's a long story, sweetheart," Janice said, reaching into her pocket for a cigar, and calmly lighting it up. "But the short version is, that somehow, Xena took over your body, and she ripped your skirt so she could fight Aries, the God of war.
Now Melinda understood where Xena had gone while she was occupying her body. "You got to meet Xena!"
Janice was surprised that Mel did not dispute the fact that Xena had been in her body. "Yeah, I did meet her. I also found out that you and I are direct descendents of Xena and Gabrielle." The little blonde smiled and shook her head. "I was disappointed at first, when I found out that I was from Gabrielle's line, but Xena told me that she was not just a useless tag-along, and she said that Gabrielle had been very important to her.
A knowing smile
came to Melinda's lips. "Very important," she said, as the smile broadened.
"Very important indeed."