Title: DBL: India Bound
Rating: Nothing worse than the tv shows. Think people around the age of 15 are mature enough to read this.
Spoilers: In Buffy, post: “Living Conditions,” In Gargoyles: Post “Journey” If Greg isn’t counting season 3 as canon, I’m not either. In Xena, post:
“Key to the Kingdom” In Darkverse, post fic, “Dark Becomes Light”
Summery: Xander, Brooklyn, Xena, and Gabrielle are in India, and are now experiencing some new traditions.
Disclaimer: Buffy: the Vampire Slayer is owned by Whedon, Fox, and UPN. Gargoyles is owned by Bueana Vista and Disney. Xena: Warrior Princess is owned by Renaissance Pictures, Tapert, and Raimi.
Author Notes: This is the second fic in the Darkverse. You don’t have to know “Dark Becomes Light,” to enjoy this, but it might help. It continues Xena Season 4 canon.
Buffy: the Vampire Slayer
Xena: Warrior Princess
“I trust everything was to your liking?”
Gabrielle smiled, “It was good, thank you.”
Aidan nodded as the others said their enjoyment for their meals. He smiled in response and turned around. He turned back to them, “Gar will take you to your rooms.”
He glanced at the gargoyle. “I was hoping you could teach me some of those breathing techniques.”
Gabrielle joined, “I’d like to learn that too.”
He grinned, “Absolutely. Why don’t you two get washed up and meet me back here?”
Gabrielle and Brooklyn agreed.
“What about you?”
Xena replied, “I thought I’d walk around the garden. Try and do some meditating.”
Xander answered, “Um, I’m actually going to do the walking thing. Just enjoy the scenery. Might try and do the whole ‘Be one with Nature,’ thing.”
“Very well,” Aidan stated. “As I suggested before, Gabrielle and Brooklyn can wash up and meet me back here. Xander and Xena are more than welcome to explore the garden.”
That being said, Aidan left the four of them within a few moments.
Waiting for certain sounds to fade away, she looked at her friends. She turned to Gabrielle who nodded in return. “Xander?”
He finished a piece of broken bread that was left on his plate. “Yeah?”
She leaned forward, “Lately, I’ve been having visions.”
Xander nodded. He took a breath, and said to her, “Prophetic visions?”
Xena was taken back for a second. She was surprised that he didn’t seem surprised by any of this. Especially that he knew about prophecies. But then…
Xena remembered the brief conversations the four of them had, and particularly talking about his past, his life in Sunnydale. She had even heard rumors about vampire slayers.
True, she never met up with vampires or vampire slayers, but she did remember Hercules talking about Strygoia. Vampires as they were commonly called. So she knew a little about vampires. And rumor had it that vampire slayers had prophetic visions.
Using that logic, Xena understood that why Xander wasn’t surprised with visions. More conveniently, one of his friends back home was a vampire slayer. Xena gave him a nod. “Yes…” She gave it some thought. “Well, maybe. I don’t know. I keep having them for the last four months or so.”
Gabrielle added, “They’ve been telling her that Xena and I are going to die, being bound to crosses by Romans.”
Xander sighed. Visions. Nothing unusual. The question though why were they bringing this to his attention? He wanted to find out. “Yeah?”
Brooklyn saw the concerned look on his friend’s face. “Are you saying that…”
The tall woman said, “Before we fell down that hole, I had the vision again. This time, it started as it usually does. But when I looked at Gabrielle, she changed. You appeared in her place. Then you disappeared and Gabrielle came back. The rest of the vision went as usual.” She then faced Gabrielle. “Interesting enough. You’re hair was back to normal length.”
She showed a confused look, “My hair?” Gabrielle took a look at a few tendrils. “So it was back to being long?’
Xena nodded, “Yeah.”
Gabrielle shrugged, “I like my hair long anyway.”
“Um, Xena.” Xander said to bring the conversation back at hand. “The vision, remember?”
She nodded, “Right.”
The bard said, “We just wanted to let you know.”
Xander sighed, “I appreciate that. I do.” He ran a hand down the back of his head, followed through with a scratch. “I just don’t know what I’m supposed to do with this information.”
Xena responded, “We’re going to get you home, both of you. We do that, then you won’t be here if my vision comes true.”
He nodded slightly, keeping his eyes on her. Xander let out a sigh, “As much as we want to go home, we don’t want that vision to come true.”
Brooklyn added, “You two took us in. We’ve had the pleasure to be your side for the last three months, but when we do leave, we want to be sure that that vision won’t be coming true.”
Gabrielle looked at her elder friend, “Think of this way, Xena. With them here, it’s two more variables that can change the course of things to come.”
Xena sighed, “I just don’t want to be the reason for any of your deaths.”
Xander grinned, “And you won’t. It’ll probably be because of doing something stupid back in Sunnydale.”
Xena thought back to the last few months and reminded him, “If your friends back in Sunnydale are like us, you won’t have the chance to die from stupidity.”
He slumped back into his seat, not knowing if at all if what Xena just said would ever be true.
Brooklyn and Gabrielle reentered the room a few moments later.
The dinner table they recently ate from was pushed by the far wall. The chairs were neatly pushed underneath.
Aidan was just ahead of them, starting outward, just looking outside. He could make out Xander and Xena both walking down the path that led from his home to the main gardens.
He smiled when he felt the vibration as two pairs of feet approached him. “Welcome.” Aidan turned around, and sure enough Gabrielle and Brooklyn approached him. “We’re going to start with some general breathing techniques.”
Aidan walked toward them, “Both human and gargoyle have found these methods beneficial. I’m more than willing to teach them to you.”
Brooklyn nodded, “Thank you.”
He smiled, “It’s very important that you have your bodies flexible. Seeing as you four come travel daily, training, I am more than eager to start. You’re daily regiments will only make these exercise flow smoothly.”
“I want you two to sit down, sitting cross-legged and face one another.”
That being said, Gabrielle and Brooklyn did as suggested. The gargoyle sat down first, allowing his clasped wings to cloak him. He made sure that his arms were able to move freely afterward. Gabrielle followed suit.
Aidan sat in front of them, looking at them. “I want you both to close your eyes and breath. Slowly. Allow your lungs to fill with air and release. Block out all the sounds around. Just listen to my voice and when we reach a calming realm, we’ll open our eyes and start the procedure.”
Moments turned into minutes as the two visitors allowed their breathing to commence. Each one allowed their lungs to fill and release their natural purpose.
Aidan opened his eyes first and watched as his two students continued their lesson. He got to his feet and approached Gabrielle first. Taking her wrists in his hands, he said to her, “Relax and open your eyes.”
Gabrielle did as she was told and the fist thing she saw was the breathing gargoyle. “Alright, Gabrielle. Lay down. Allow your chest to touch the floor.”
She did as she was told as he continued, “I’m going to stretch your arms a little. Just relax and continue to breath.” He arched her up as he continued, “And inhale, slowly up, through the nose and exhale slowly down. Concentrate on the breathing. Good.”
Gabrielle then chuckled a little.
“Good.” He repeated.
Gabrielle then pulled herself back into a sitting position. She looked at him, “I’ve never concentrated on just breathing before.”
Aidan sat beside her. He turned to Brooklyn, “Come over here, Brooklyn. You should hear this.” He opened his eyes and joined them. “After I finish up with Gabrielle, I will attend to you.”
“Nobody really concentrates on breathing. But that’s exactly where it starts. From a single breath. Without breath, there is no life, right?”
Brooklyn agreed, “Makes sense.”
He spotted a concerned look on the young woman’s face, “Something wrong?”
“A small warning, to both of you.” He said as he directed a look at Brooklyn as well. “These breathing techniques, the meditational techniques that I’m teaching you, the whole approach to inner stillness. It could stir up some thoughts and feelings that you didn’t even know you have. Some of them, not so nice.”
“I’m game if you are.” Gabrielle said with a grin.
“We both are.” Brooklyn clarified.
“Good.” Aidan said. “Alright,” he began by getting to his feet. “Come with me Brooklyn.”
Xander and Xena headed further down into the gardens. The sun held brightly above them and cast its natural glow over them like a blanket. Birds chirped happily as if they were leading a symphony.
Xander followed his friend as they walked deeper.
Along with the chirps, they could hear the sound of water hitting off a rock from a waterfall.
“This looks like it will do fine.” Xena said as they entered into a clearing.
Xander nodded as he walked the perimeter. When he reached a stump, Xander sat down and looked at his friend, “You’re really going to do this?”
She looked at him, “I might as well try it. No real harm in trying it. Besides, I told her I give him a shot.”
He nodded. “I dunno if I’m going to do it.”
Xena approached him. “Xander, if you don’t want to do it, you don’t have to. I don’t know about this guy myself. But, it doesn’t hurt to try.”
Xander let out a breath. “Alright. I’ll try some breathing.”
Xena smiled as he got off the stump. He spun around and started to clear the grass beneath him. Sitting down, Indian style, he stared ahead and said simply, “I’ll just relax a little.”
Xena nodded as she went to the center of the clearing and started to close her eyes. As soon as her breathing become more at ease, she started to perform some techniques taught to her by Lao Ma. Her eyes opened slowly as her movements became more fluid. Her gestures became more violent shortly after and they started to thrust with ease. She moved more and started to become in tuned with the wind surrounding her. Her mind was soon losing her sense of self as she became more and more aware of her body and its movements.
Brooklyn let out a breath that he was holding in as Aidan took his talons and helped him stretch out his muscles. His wings expanded outward as he arched his back. His tail straightened as his breathing commenced.
Memories started to re-appear in his mind as he continued to breath. He started to lose his self as his memories flourished. Past images of Scotland and mainly Manhattan flashed within his mind.
Images of Demona transpired next. Her voice echoed in his mind. Goliath shrieking out in pain as Demona cast the spell. Brooklyn could remember the pain Goliath must of felt.
‘I thought the spell was supposed to open his eyes.’
Brooklyn’s teeth gritted as the memory was fully playing out. He remembered everything so vividly…as if it just happened moments before.
‘No. This wasn't the plan. I wanted to free his mind, not enslave it.’
His eyes flew open and his breathing started to unleash large gasps of air.
“That’s intense.” Brooklyn said in a whisper.
Gabrielle spun around from what she was doing and looked at him in concern, “Is he alright?”
Aidan helped Brooklyn to his feet. Gabrielle joined them shortly.
Brooklyn looked at him and thought back to before he started to breath. “That’s what you warned us about, isn’t it?”
Aidan asked, “Maybe you should stop?”
Brooklyn looked at him, “I dunno, Aidan. It was so real. I could remember everything that happened. I could remember the way my friend felt when this all transpired. I remembered how I felt. I…I…”
Aidan nodded, “That’s what happens. Dramatic experiences resurface just as fresh as if they just happened moments before.”
The gargoyle nodded as he placed a talon behind his head. He shook his head. This was a lot for him to remember. Demona. Damn her. He soon felt a hand on his shoulder. Brooklyn turned to face who it was.
Gabrielle gave him a smile. She looked at Aidan, then back at her friend, “You want to go sit down and talk? Just the two of us.”
He looked at Aidan, defeated. With a nod, Gabrielle looked at her teacher. “I’m going to see if he’s alright. I’ll be back shortly.
Xander opened his eyes after giving himself what seemed to be thirty minutes. He looked above him and noted the sun was heading toward the its evening resting ground.
He felt the warmth of the sun started to get colder. A slight shiver ran down his spine. Xander got to his feet and sure enough, Xena was still in the middle of her meditation technique.
Xander knew it wasn’t a good idea to interrupt her. He didn’t want her to lose her focus. So, he went back to his stump and watched her. The way she moved was almost hypnotic. All her punches and kicks seemed to be intoned with the bird chirps they heard previously. Watching her was truly an amazing experience.
He knew she had to be in a trance and knew that she was in deep thought. Xander thought back to his minutes of meditation. While, he did try to accomplish some growth or some small amount of nirvana. He smirked when he realized that probably would never happen. In truth, he just wanted to be able to gain some amount of perspective.
But he didn’t reach any chance of that goal. All he was able to do was think about his time in Greece. All the friends he made and the adventures he had. He also wondered if he would ever feel the same as he did before if he got back home.
Would his whole perspective on Sunnydale life change? Would he resort back to the to his role as the lovable geek in the eyes of his friends? Would he retain his skills that he learned from Brooklyn, Xena, and Gabrielle? He didn’t know. That was a question he was afraid to answer.
Don’t get him wrong. He loved his old life in Sunnydale. He loved his friends. They would always be a part of him and they were in part responsible for shaping the way he was. But he was afraid that when he did get home, he would lose everything he had gained in these past three months.
He had forged amazing friendships and came out of incredibly tough situations. He came out of slavery. He made decisions that were solely based on his motives. He felt that he was valued here. He felt that his friends depended on him and respected him at the same time. He didn’t want to lose that. Yet he still wanted to go home. He didn’t know what to do. He did know one thing he had to do though.
Xander had to think about this some more.
Brooklyn’s and Xander’s Room
Gabrielle led Brooklyn to the room that he shared with Xander. The two of them made it over to the circular bed in the middle of the room. She helped sit him down on one edge. Giving the room a spin, she spotted a wooden chair by the far corner of the room. Taking it, she went back to her friend and sat down in front of him, making sure that she was able to look him straightly in the eyes.
She watched him as he gazed downward and he ran a talon down the back of his head. “I didn’t realize it would be like that.”
“Like what?” Gabrielle asked with concern.
He looked at her, “It felt like I was reliving it, Gabrielle. I remembered the whole experience, every detail was there.” Brooklyn let out a breath that he was holding in. “I was that real.” He then looked at his friend for the first time since before his session with Aidan started. “I don’t know if I’m going back in there.”
Gabrielle nodded, wanting to understand his experience. If he shared his story, then she would truly understand what he was going through. However, she knew this story hurt him, and she didn’t want to cause him any more pain. She took his right talon and held it firmly in both hands. His talon almost covered both her hands. “Brooklyn…”
“Yes?” He said in a slight whisper.
“Do you want to talk about it?”
Brooklyn sighed. This story has been going allot within the last few hours. He already told Xander and that was hard. Then he relived it again freshly in his mind, and now Gabrielle wanted to hear it? His first instinct wasn’t to tell her the story. She didn’t need to know.
She was like him. They were going through techniques with Aidan, and if there was a way that he could save her some pain or give her some perspective, maybe telling her would be alright. To learn about it if anything.
He took a breath. “Demona tricked me. She cast a spell on Goliath to make her see things the way she wanted. She took over his body.”
Gabrielle immediately looked away when she heard that line. She looked at him again, “You mean like what happened with me and Puck?”
The gargoyle thought for a second, “Actually, that makes a good comparison.”
That little tidbit took her back again. She was about to say something when Brooklyn continued, “Just be glad that Xander did what he did. What Demona did to Goliath was far worse. She took control of him. She forced him to be the way she wanted. She tried to get him to see the world the way she did.
“I didn’t know what she was planning. I thought she was only going to make him aware. Not to enslave him. And then when I tried to fight back, to get Goliath free. But, she forced him to fight me. If it wasn’t for Eliza in using the spell to her advantage, Goliath might still be under the spell.”
She knew enough from previous conversations from Brooklyn about his friends. Not as much as she knew about Xander, but she did know a small amount of Brooklyn’s past.
But what really got her was that Brooklyn went through the same situation she did. Well, maybe not exactly, but he knew the feeling that she must of felt. Gabrielle did realize she was lucky. Even though Puck did cause trouble and made her do things that she would never do of her own free will, Xander only made her do things that caused her no harm, injury, or torture. He respected her, and he knew she respected him. But, Gabrielle doesn’t know how much she’s grateful for what happened.
The story Brooklyn just told her made her realize that she was by far luckier than she originally felt. Gabrielle wanted to let Xander know how she felt and when she gets to talk to him, she wanted to let him know just how much.
“Gabrielle, one of the reasons I told you this story is just to warn you.”
Brooklyn’s comment made her pay attention to him again.
“Aidan’s methods will take you by surprise. You’re going to remember some things and they’re going to hurt. Before you meet back with him, think about it.”
Gabrielle nodded and understood his concern. “Are you going back?”
He sighed, “I don’t think so. That was allot to go through,” he then looked out the window, “and I couldn’t do any more tonight anyway. The sun is on the way down.” Brooklyn turned back to his friend, “Just think about it, Gabrielle. Talk to Xena and Xander if you want.”
A moment passed.
He headed for the window and looked behind him, “Think, Gabrielle.” Brooklyn headed to the banister. He looked back at her, “And thank you, Gabrielle. Thanks for the talk.” Brooklyn smiled. He leapt on the ledge and chose a pose and turned to stone.
That being said, she headed for her room hoping Xena would be there. Maybe Xander would be there too.