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Xena: Choose Your own Adventure #2


H = 22 & 23 & 33, X = 1 & 4 & 5

Xena shrieked her battlecry as she flipped over Argo's head and stood to face the surprised Danaka.

Xena grinned as she pulled her sword directly in front of the blond woman. Danaka narrowed her eyes. "Where is she, Xena? You didn't really kill her, did you?"

Xena didn't answer. With that, Gabrielle took the hint and got on Argo. Xena slowly backed away from Danaka and looked behind Callisto's sister. The people in the small caravan where nervous, and a few had sneaked back into town.

"Let these people go. They have nothing to do with your sister. I do," Xena admitted. Gabrielle watched quietly, her eyes wide. Danaka screamed her own battlecry and lunged towards Xena. Xena was prepared for that and took a step to her left. Danaka ran a few feet from Xena and whirled back around. Xena pointed her sword at Danaka's throat.

"What? Are you trying to kill me, just like you did my sister?" Danaka gasped.

"If I wanted to kill you at all, you'd already be dead," Xena hissed.

"Oh, real tough. Real tough, Xena! I don't believe you. You are not at all like what they talk about. They say that you are kind, and help the good, and bring justice where there is none. Well, let me tell you something. My reputation will be as 'good' as yours. I am trying to bring justice where there is none! You hear me? You killed my sister - and got away with it!"

Danaka was beginning to lose it.

Xena saw it ran in the family.

"I did not 'get away with it'," Xena whispered to herself.

"Oh? Then tell me who punished you, because I want to go thank them!" Danaka had tears streaming down her face.

"I punished myself," Xena had a dark shadow over her face from the morning sun. The sky was overcast, and it fit the mood. "I couldn't stand myself for a long time after that. When Callisto came back from the dead from Hades, I couldn't bring myself to kill her again."

"Ha! So you admit to killing her!"

"I can't deny it."

Everyone was silent. Danaka felt beaten. Xena knew that Danaka had gotten the information she wanted, but wasn't satisfied with the answer.

"If you never really knew your sister, then why are you trying to avenge her death?" Gabrielle spoke up, trying to stall the inevitable.

Danaka turned to the bard, not scared of having her back to the warrior princess.

"I talk to her everyday. I tell her that I miss her, and that I will avenge her death if need be. You're right, I never knew her in a sense of friendliness and sisterhood, but I am extremely close to her," Danaka explained quietly.

Xena stepped closer to Danaka.

"I'm sorry," Xena apologized. "I know that it's not enough, but if it means anything, the fire was an accident, and I never meant for your family to be killed. My army was planning to give you a chance to defend yourselves, but they changed their minds while I was gone, and they marched into town. I don't know if it was one of my men, or just an accident, but apparently a torch was dropped. I never meant..." Xena's voice cracked, remembering one of her most painful memories.

"I hate you," Danaka said plainly, almost whispering.

Gabrielle opened her mouth to say something, but decided against it. Xena stood there, looking at the ground. It was silent for what seemed like forever. Even the people behind Danaka stood there quietly. Xena slowly started to walk towards Argo, and that's when Danaka motioned for her army to move out. The people in the caravan watched doubtfully. Gabrielle was eventually behind Xena on the horse, as they crossed the hills that separated two small villages.

The villages were of the same basic town, and Xena got butterflies as she arrived at the familiar barn.

The previous events were almost forgotten as she rode up the plain and into the stables. She tied and brushed down Argo, taking in everything around her. Gabrielle stood watching. She wondered what was going to happen. Would Xena decide to stay? Would Xena get into a fiasco just like before? These townspeople really did not like Xena too much. Many were still hesitant to even talk about her.

A man with brown hair and a blanket in his right arm stepped into the barn.

"Xena?" the man laughed happily.

"Darius," Xena whispered, unbelieving.

They ran up to one another and embraced.

"Uh..." Gabrielle said uncomfortably after a few seconds.

Darius and Xena separated and Darius looked at Gabrielle.

"Darius, do you remember Gabrielle?" Xena asked breathlessly.

"Yeah..." Darius turned back and stared at Xena.

"It's been so long... I've missed you..." Darius said softly.

"I've missed you too," Xena smiled.

"Daddy-" a small boy ran in the barn. One look at Xena and he called to his older brother and younger sister. "Augolis! Sarita!" he cried happily, running back into the house.

The rest of the day was catching up and introducing. Gabrielle loved the three kids, and the three kids sat in Xena's lap as Gabrielle told stories of their adventures.

It was hard to believe, but Xena was actually happy here.

"But last time, Xena said the Cyclops was ten feet tall. Why did you just now say it was thirty?" the youngest boy, Lykus, asked.

"Oh! Yeah, of course! That's what meant to say. I must have gotten that confused with the titans," Gabrielle covered up.

Darius and Xena looked at each other and chuckled.

That night, Xena walked in the childrens' room. Gabrielle had collapsed along with the three, and they looked so peaceful, Xena didn't want to move them.

"Leave them," Darius whispered, coming up behind them. Xena turned around and smiled.

"I'm sorry, I moved the bed you had last time. The only other bed is mine," Darius said, still whispering as he moved away from the curtain to the opposite room.

Xena shook her head. "I have bedrolls I can bring in here," she insisted as she followed him.

Darius put his finger up to Xena's lips. "No. I'll sleep on the floor."

Xena grinned. "Fight ya for it," she joked. She playfully punched him, but Darius drew Xena in and kissed her gently.

The next morning, Gabrielle woke up first.

"This is a first," Gabrielle yawned. She got out of bed quietly and walked across the small house. She pulled apart the curtain to look for Xena - and found her in the same bed as Darius.

Xena was awake, but just lying there. She looked at her best friend. "Sorry!" Gabrielle whispered.

"That's okay, Gabrielle. I didn't do anything," Xena knew what Gabrielle was thinking. When Xena slowly rose out of bed, Gabrielle noticed that she was already dressed in an outfit that didn't look familiar. It was a nightgown sort of outfit, and Gabrielle saw that Xena was so different... more... feminine. Darius groaned as he sat up.

"It's already morning?" he paused as he sighted Gabrielle.

"It's all right," Xena said to the man. Darius smiled at the bard. He was close to embarrassment.

That afternoon was one of relaxation for everyone.

Everyone except for Gabrielle.

She was nervous. She didn't understand why, though. She had a funny feeling that Xena wouldn't want to travel anymore.

But then what would happen to Gabrielle?

What would happen to their friendship?

If Xena decides to stay, go to chapter #8

If Xena decides to leave eventually to go back on their travels, go to chapter #9