Disclaimers: Go to Part I for disclaimers on this story.
Constructive criticism is always welcome and can be sent to Protek.
Northern Atlantic, April 15th, 1912
"Sweet Mary, mother of Jesus! Now that's a big lump of ice!" Seamus O'Riordan said with an astonished voice.
"Gods, that was close!" Xena added as the iceberg moved away from the ship.
"Aye! A little bit too close. She had a piece of that iceberg, that's fer sure."
The ship went slowly to a halt. Both Xena and Seamus had lost their interest to the fight.
"What do you think? Maybe we should finish fighting for now and find out what's going on," the warrior said to the Irishman.
"I think that's a good idea." O'Riordan put his sword into its scabbard.
They both headed towards the bow. Everything seemed normal. Few people were on the deck, discussing about the iceberg. Some pieces of ice were on the front deck, but there seemed not to be any visual damage on the vessel's bow or side.
"Everything seems normal," O'Riordan noticed.
"Yes, it does. We can't continue fighting, though. Too many people on the deck," Xena said.
"There will be another day. I'd fancy a scotch right now. That fighting made me thirsty."
"Come, I'll buy you one at the bar." Xena offered her arm.
"Nah, they probably won't let me in." Seamus objected.
"Then they'll have to deal with me," the warrior said with an evil grin.
"In that case, I accept the offer." O'Riordan took the offered arm.
"You sure haven't lost your touch, Xena." O'Riordan took a sip of his whiskey.
"You're not so bad yourself," Xena said.
"I've thought on occasion, what it would be like to fight against you."
"Me too. I guess, we both know, now."
"Here's to our next fight. May it be the last," the Irishman proposed a toast.
"Hear! Hear!" Xena raised her glass.
They were alone in the bar. Only the bartender was on the other end of the desk. He looked at them with a mild annoyance. He dared not to say anything, though. The two swords that were set neatly on the bar desk told him that these two were not the kind of people you wanted to argue with. He looked at the chandelier hanging in the center of the room. It was slightly slanted towards the bow. A member of the crew interrupted them.
"Ma'am? Sir? Could you follow me to the deck?" He asked politely.
"Why? Is there a problem?" Xena asked with an irritated tone.
"Please! There is now time to argue. Here, take these." He handed them two life vests.
"Is the ship going to sink?" Seamus asked.
"I don't know. I only got orders to gather everyone on the deck and hand out vests."
They followed him to the deck. More people were now gathered on the decks, some of them wearing the white life vests. There was no panic, though. People were rather amused about all the fuss going on.
Xena, on the other hand, was not amused. Her trained sense of balance told her that the deck was slanted to the front. "This is not good," she said to O'Riordan.
"Aye," he replied. "Have you noticed that there are only first class people here?"
"Figures," Xena grimaced. She looked at the boats that were lowered by the crew. She made a rough calculation and her eyes opened in terror, when the result hit her mind. "Seamus, there aren't enough boats! Not even close!"
"Are you serious about that?" O'Riordan said in disbelief. The look on the warrior's face answered him. "My god! Meggan and Martin! They must be still down there!" The thought hit his mind.
"Come on! Let's go find them!" Xena ran towards the stairs.
They came to a corridor. There was a gate on the right side. People were packed on the other side of the gate and arms were squeezing through the bars. One of the crew was watching the gate.
"Open this gate!" Xena said to the uniformed man.
"I can't do that, Ma'am. We'll have to wait," he said for the umpteenth time.
"You have to let those people out. This ship is going to sink." The warrior tried to plead him.
"No, we'll wait." The man didn't consent.
Suddenly, a child's cry interrupted the argument. Seamus recognised the voice and the next moment, hell was let loose as the Irishman went for the unsuspecting crewmember. O'Riordan grabbed him from the collar and smashed him against the wall.
"Stay clear!" Xena shouted as she grabbed her sword and hit the lock with it.
The gate opened and people began to come out from the stairway. Soon there was enough room that Xena could see Meggan. She was knelt beside the old man lying on the floor. Martin Collins had done all in his power to protect the small girl from getting flattened. He waved weakly the warrior to come closer.
"Please Take care of her," he said silently.
"We will," the warrior answered.
"God bless you Xena." Those were his last words. His glance was peaceful.
Xena closed the dead man's eyes and turned to the sobbing girl. "He's gone, Meggan."
"Grandpa, don't leave me!" The girl cried.
"Shh, come here, dear." Xena took the crying girl in her embrace.
"We'll have to get going. Time is running out," O'Riordan said.
Xena looked around and noticed that the ship was slanted in quite a steep angle. She lifted the girl and they headed towards the deck.
There was only couple of boats left on board when they arrived to the deck. The bow was already underwater and people were running back and forth in panic. They moved towards one of the boats. Xena recognised the man who was organising the people into the boat. He was the same young man who had taken care of her luggage on the first day.
"There is room for one more!" the man said.
Xena handed the girl to the tall Irishman. "Here, take Meggan with you."
"But Xena " O'Riordan tried to object.
"Don't give that crap about women and children first to me. You needed a reason to live and Meggan needs someone to take care of her," Xena said with a firm voice.
"Xena, I " the Irishman mumbled.
"And wipe that mushy look from your face. Immortals can't die, remember?"
"Well good luck to you, then," Seamus said as he seated in the boat with the girl in his hands.
"You too." Xena watched as the boat was lowered down.
Seamus O'Riordan took a final look at the dark haired warrior who walked towards the back of the ship. He had a feeling that he would never see her again.
Xena leaned against the back wall of the doomed ship. She watched the people trying to run away from the rising water. The ship had already slanted over twenty degrees and the stern was protruding towards the dark sky. A lonely signal flare enlightened the darkness for a moment. The dark warrior did not care about any of this. She did not care what would happen to her. She was too tired. She would throw herself in the hands of fate.
Was it irony, or what, but on that particular moment she thought about Poseidon. The paths of the dark haired warrior and the god of sea had crossed couple of times during her mortal days. You did not want get in bad terms with him if you wanted to travel by sea. Ulysses was a good example of a human, who had offended the severe god. Back then, the humans had respected the nature. Nowadays, the technological development had made the human race proud and unconcerned about the nature. Maybe this was nature's way to show that the humans could not exploit the Earth and get away with it.
A sudden darkness surrounded the warrior as the ship's electricity turned down. The cries of the people in the water were the only sounds in addition to the creak of the ship's hull as it did it's best to hold the ship in one piece. Xena could not see the lifeboats anymore. They had moved further away from the dying vessel. A whipping sound carried to warrior's ears as the supporting cables of the front exhaust stack snapped and the huge stack fell on the water and the tens of people in it.
Then, the ship's hull broke in two and the stern hit the water with unbelievable force. Xena fell on the deck from the force of the hit and she could only watch as a heavy pylon fell on her. She felt the air escaping from her lungs as the pylon broke her ribs. When the stern began to go underwater she saw a woman standing over her. The young woman had a reddish gold hair and she was wearing a forest green top and a brown skirt. Xena The warrior heard the lovely voice calling her name. "Gabrielle?" she asked. Xenaa The woman said again. Xena realised that she heard the bard's voice in her own head. Darkness claimed the raven haired warrior as she lost her consciousness. The Titanic let out her final breath when the air escaped through the windows and air vents and the once so glorious vessel began her final journey into the depths of the Atlantic Ocean.
Portland, Oregon, present day
Emil Holt was cleaning his office desk for the weekend. He thought about the few last days. The dark haired warrior seemed to be full of surprises and mysteries. Would some of them ever be revealed to the people who were part of her life? Only time would tell. He took a copy of an old newspaper clip. It was about a woman, who had been found on a secluded beach in Newfoundland 87 years ago. Well, the circle is closed, Holt thought and put the paper in his briefcase.
St. John's, Newfoundland, May 2nd, 1912
Xena opened her eyes. She looked at her surroundings and realised that she was in a hospital room. Her body was sore, but, except the bruises, there seemed not to be any physical damage. A nurse came into the room.
"Ah, good morning, young lady! Glad to have you with us," the elder woman said.
"Where am I?" Xena asked.
"You are in St. John's Central Hospital. Have been for two days, now."
"St. John's "
"St. John's, Newfoundland. You were found from the beach up north two days ago. Poor dear, you must have gone through hell, whatever it is that has happened to you."
"What day is it?"
"May 2nd, dear. You better get some rest. The police want to ask you some questions later." The nurse left the room
May 2nd Over two weeks! Xena thought. She remembered only flashes about the time after she had lost her consciousness on the Titanic. She remembered Gabrielle. The honey haired woman had stood in the light and spoken to her.
"Xena," she had called her.
"Gabrielle, have you come to get me?" She had asked.
"No, Xena. It is not your time. You must go back."
"But I don't want to go back! I want to be with you!"
"I know, love but we both must be patient. Don't forget what I promised you."
"Go now!" The bard had vanished.
Xena had pushed her head to the surface and breathed the cool air. She had somehow got free under the pylon that had squeezed her.
She remembered that she had gathered together a temporary raft from the debris and life vests that were floating among the bodies. Then everything was blurry until now. She was lucky. The currents could have taken her to Greenland or somewhere else.
It was early afternoon, when the nurse returned with a man in a uniform.
"This nice young man from the police would like to ask you some questions," the nurse said to the dark haired woman, who was now in a half-sitting position.
"Afternoon ma'am. I am constable Milton. How are you feeling today?"
"I'll live," Xena answered.
"First of all, could I ask your name?"
"Okay, Xena it is, then. You were found from the beach two days ago. You were barely alive, then. Do you remember what happened to you?"
Xena thought about the question. Sure, I was on this ship to New York. We hit a little snag and the ship went down. I built a raft and ended up here. "I I can't remember," was all she said.
San Francisco, California, present day
Xena parked the Mustang in front of the rather big mansion. She looked at Rickie, who was sitting next to her.
"Okay, this is it," Xena said to her lover.
"Ready when you are, Warrior mine," the young woman answered.
They stepped out of the car and climbed the stairs to the front door. Xena took a deep breath and pressed the door bell button. A maid opened the door.
"Yes?" She asked politely.
"Mr. Collins?" The warrior asked.
"Yes, what was your name, please?"
"Xena Amphipolous." She gave her card.
"Please come inside. I'll tell Mr. Collins."
They stepped in a spacious hall. It was neatly furnished. Stairs lead upstairs.
"Wow, this guy sure has an expensive taste!" Rickie wondered.
"Money talks, bullshit walks," Xena stated.
"Right ye are, lass!" Xena felt the quickening in her body.
"Seamus?" She turned and saw the Irishman standing at the doorway. "Is it really you?"
"I could ask you the same question. Thought, you were gone." He took the dark woman in a warm embrace.
"You know it takes a lot more than a sinking ship to kill an immortal." Xena grinned. "Besides, I have many skills."
"And who is this lovely lady?" Seamus smiled to the redhead.
"Sorry." Xena made the introduction. " Seamus O'Riordan, meet Rickie Gardner."
"Pleased to meet you. Xena has told a lot about you," Rickie said.
"All good, I hope." The Irishman grinned and shook the offered hand. "Though, people call me James Collins, nowadays."
"So you took Meggan's last name. How come I didn't think of that before." It now occurred to Xena. "Is Meggan ?" She started.
"Look behind you," Seamus said.
Xena turned around and saw a small white haired woman leaning on a cane at the end of the stairs. Xena still recognised the eyes that used to belong to a young girl a long time ago.
"It's so nice to see you again, my dear," Meggan said as she came down very easily for her age. She hugged the warrior. "You haven't changed a bit."
"Neither have you," Xena smiled.
"Oh yes I have. I seem not to have the same advantages as you immortals do," The elderly woman stated with a grin.
Rickie looked at the two women. It was hard to believe that they had met last time almost ninety years ago. It could have been only a couple of months, from the way they exchanged compliments. She thought about her own mortality. In seventy years, she would look like the elderly woman, presuming she was still alive. She gave that a thought every now and then. She had not talked much about that with Xena. She did not have to. She knew deep inside her heart that the raven haired warrior would stay beside her through her life, the same way she would stay beside Xena. Their love was everlasting.
"Come on! Let's have dinner at the porch. We have a lot of catching up to do." Seamus led them outside.
"I suppose this is not just a courtesy call?" Seamus asked the warrior after they had finished a delicious dinner and they were having drinks in the living room.
"You're right. We came here for a reason," Xena answered.
"I have a hunch, what that reason is, follow me."
They came to a large room. It was filled with paintings and artefacts.
"I started with bootlegging during the prohibition. I built my fortune after the depression with the money that I had got from the bootlegging. I have been collecting art and famous artefacts ever since." He stopped at one of the articles. "Is this it?"
Xena looked at the brass breast plate. The dim light reflected from the shiny metal. "How did you know "
"Actually I didn't. When the expedition on Titanic was under way, I asked them to take a look at your cabin, just in case. This is what came out. I believe it's a part of your armour."
"Yes it is," Xena said. "It looks brand new. It has even straps."
"I had it restored. I wanted to return it to its rightful owner in a mint condition."
The warrior looked at the tall man next to him. "But you have invested a lot of money into it. I couldn't just take "
"Think of it as a token of appreciation. You gave me a reason to live again. Meggan is the best thing that has happened in my life, after Sarah." O'Riordan gazed into distance.
Xena took the plate in her hands. She placed it on her chest and adjusted the straps. It felt so good to feel the weight of the metal on her breasts.
"Thank you," she said.
"Yer welcome, lass. I would like if you spent the weekend here as our guests. We'll show 'Frisco to you. My guess is that you and Rickie want to share the same bedroom," the Irishman said with an impish grin.
"You are a mind reader, Mr. O'Riordan." Xena laughed.
Rickie was standing on the balcony and watching the Golden Gate. The majestic bridge made out neatly in the night with its lighting. She felt familiar hands wrap around her.
"Thank you, Dreamer," Xena said to her.
"What ever for, Warrior mine?" She turned to look at the taller woman.
"For being a part of my life once more."
"I'm glad that I can be a part of your life and that you are a part of mine."
"Me too, Dreamer, me too."
The night closed the two lovers into its embrace.
Epilogue: Amazonian jungle, 1912
The tribe elder looked at the healer's hut that was now occupied by its original inhabitant. In time, the world would summon the warrior once again. The elder knew that it was inevitable and accepted it. He turned around walked into his hut.