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
Special Thanks: Nick, William, and Cyclone
Xander and Brooklyn’s Room
Xander watched as Brooklyn wiped a taloned finger across the amulet as he sat down. He lifted his tail up and sat down on a boulder, placing it to the ground shortly after. The gargoyle ran a talon down the back of his hair.
“How long do you think it’s been?” Brooklyn asked his friend.
Xander gave it some thought. “Almost 3 months.” He let out a sigh, “I think so. It’s not like we have a calendar or anything.”
“Well, we can go by seasons. I think its been getting a little colder. So we might be heading into winter. It could be December, January, or February.” The gargoyle said honestly.
He nodded as he placed a pack beside, “Do you think we’ll ever get home, Brooklyn?”
Brooklyn looked at the dirt beneath him. “I dunno, Xander. Finding the other half of the Phoenix Gate is going to be really hard to do. It could pop-up at any time. Hell, when you found it in the first place as a whole was a very slim chance. Seeing as time keeps going, the chance of it is going to be really hard to determine if at all.”
Xander nodded, “It’s the ole Xander Harris luck.” He shook his head with a smirk, “At least no Hellmouth.”
Brooklyn looked at him and could tell he was holding back how he felt. The gargoyle could understand. Both of them left their homes together. He left Manhattan. Xander left Sunnydale. Their family and friends gone.
Yes, they now were friends with Xena, Gabrielle, and even Joxer. But…they weren’t the friends of their pasts. He sighed and looked toward the cave opening. The rain still poured outside.
This was their first day in India.
And during that first day, they were almost mugged. Xena got injured and was in the other room with Gabrielle taking a bath.
He shook his head, and glanced at Xander. “Hey, we’re in the same boat.”
Xander took out a sickle and looked at the blade. “I know. We’re stuck. But, I just keep hoping that…”
Brooklyn added, “Hoping that it will appear and take us home. I know, Xander. I know. I feel the same hope. Sometimes, it’s the hope that keeps me going. I’d love to see Goliath again. I’d love to see the others. But until then, you and I are going to have to stick together.”
He grinned, “At least I ended up with a gargoyle that I could trust.” Xander shrugged, “I just want to be able to see my friends again. I miss them.”
Brooklyn was about to say something when he heard a rattle. Brooklyn gestured his head toward the cave entrance and headed for it. Xander grabbed his weapon back into his sheath and joined him.
Xena and Gabrielle’s Room
Xena sat on her boulder. Needle and thread in her hand. “Gabrielle, I’m all for your spiritual quests, and India is a fine place to go, but remind me why we decided to take the scenic route.”
She smiled, wringing out her wet hair. “Come on. Local legends say that these mountains are a holy place.”
“No, no, no, no, no. I don’t care about local legends. I’m talking about the local thugs who tried to cut us in the pass.”
“Well, I’d apologize again. The truth is, I think you enjoyed it.”
Xena looked at her wound, “Having my leg gashed open?”
Gabrielle put the shirt Xander gave her back on and turned to face her, “No, having a good reason to bust some head.”
Gabrielle pointed out, “You smiled.”
She looked at her confusingly, “What?”
“When that big guy came at you, and tossed you at the other three, you smiled.”
Xena defended herself, “I winced. He was big.”
“I was relieved!”
Gabrielle went over to her and went for the thread, “You still smiled.”
Xena took back the thread, “Oh give me that. You got hands like a sailor. It was a thing of beauty. Did you see how they fell over? Just like a game of dominoes.”
“Yeah. It wasn’t a game to them.”
Xena clarified, “Let me get this straight. You’re standing up for a bunch of thugs who tried to rob and kill us.”
“Those guys were scum, I admit that. I just wonder if maybe your fighting for good has more to do with the fighting than the good.”
“Think my fighting for good is a cover for something darker? I don’t know.”
Gabrielle sat down next to her, “It’s funny. We come to places like this, you know the spiritual places? Looking for some sort of answer. Makes you wonder.”
“If instead of reaching out…maybe we should be looking in.”
Xena just stared at her as a vision started to reoccur.
Xena found herself bound to a cross. All around her was snow and she turned to her right and saw another cross.
On the cross was Gabrielle, only with short hair. She looked at Xena and Xena back at her.
Gabrielle started to change. She disappeared and was shortly replaced by a man with dark hair. A man that who recently came into their lives.
He took her place, and bound to the cross, the same way and position Gabrielle was earlier.
Xander disappeared and Gabrielle came back. She looked at Xena and mouthed the words, ‘I love you, Xena.’
Xena shot up straight. She looked at Gabrielle with a horrid look.
“Was it the vision again? Xena, would just forget that? You always say that we control out destiny, right?”
She shook her head, “It was different this time.”
Gabrielle looked at her, “How?”
Xena looked toward the room that held their friends, “Xander was there.” She turned to Gabrielle, “It was you. Then you changed into Xander. Then he changed back to you.”
Gabrielle got her feet, “We should tell him.”
She shook her head, “It shouldn’t concern him. He doesn’t belong here. And now I’m having visions with him. Gabrielle, we have to find a way to get him home.”
“And we will, Xena. But he should know. C’mon.” Gabrielle looked at the room too. “Xena, we’re in charge of our destines. You said we that, remember?”
She was about to say something when a rattle was head.
“What was that?”
“Did you hear that?” Brooklyn asked as he and Xander entered their room.
Gabrielle said, “Just—just stay here. I’m going to check it out.” She looked at Xena, “Don’t break those stitches. I’ll be right back.”
Gabrielle left all three of them.
“I’m going after her.” Xander said as he headed for the direction Gabrielle just entered.
Xena got to her feet and was about to head for them when Brooklyn got to her. “Here. Lean on my side.” She did. And the two went to where their two friends disappeared.
They soon went into the next room and found a huge hole in the middle of the ground.
The gargoyle and the tall woman approached it, “You don’t think?”
She looked at him, “You obviously don’t know Gabrielle.”
“So…you’re saying that…”
Xena told him, “Gabrielle and I’m pretty sure Xander are down that hole.”
“Great.” Brooklyn said with disgust. He looked toward the room they just left. “We have rope. I can tie it on one end and then…”
He cut himself off when he felt a sudden disappearance of weight. Brooklyn looked beside him and sure enough, Xena was no longer there. The gargoyle shook his head, “Great.”
Taking a step back, he went back to where Xena and Gabrielle were bathing. Looking around, he spotted some rope coiled up. Taking it, he went back to the room and tied one end on a big boulder, crafting it to form an anchor.
With the other end in talon, he descended down the hole.
No answer again.
He went further down but realized he didn’t have enough rope. Shaking his head, he gave the rope a yank making sure the rope was steady. It was. Looking beneath himself, he still didn’t know where the end of this hole was, but he continued to climb down…hoping this hole didn’t reach to China or maybe America would be the better way to think with that thought.
Gabrielle pulled herself into sitting position. “What happened?” She soon spotted both Xena and Xander moving slightly. “Xena, I fell down a…a hole.”
Xena looked at her, “Yeah, what is it with you and holes, huh?” She looked at her leg as she got up, “Look, my wound, it’s gone.”
Xander got to his feet, “Did I miss something?” He looked around him, “Where are we?”
She looked at him, “Good question.”
The three of them looked upward and saw Brooklyn falling down. He immediately opened his wings wide and was able to catch a draft. Looking down below him, he saw his three friends. Riding the draft, he was able to glide down to meet them.
Landing on his feet, he looked at them, “Everyone alright?”
Gabrielle looked at the scenery. “Do you know what this place reminds me of?”
Xander looked at them, “Wonderland?”
They were all apparently standing in a very vibrant forest. All the colors seemed to be brighter and more gleaming then usual. Animals were everywhere. It truly seemed peaceful. Calming and peaceful.
Xena replied, “I dunno about Wonderland, but I was thinking Illusia. But so far, the only music I’ve heard was the birds singing.”
Gabrielle looked at them, “You don’t think we’re dead?”
Xander sighed, “I hope not, because if this was heaven, I would seriously wonder why no Playboy bunnies were around.”
Xena was about to answer when she heard something. She looked around and spotted a man. Grabbing him, she pulled him to them. “What do you think you’re doing, sneaking up on us?”
The man looked at her strangely, struggled to get free, “What do you think your doing? Breaking into this garden?”
Gabrielle told him, “We didn’t break in.”
Xander added, “We sorta fell in.” He looked above him, “From a hole in a cave.” Xander looked at the animals again. “If we suddenly run into the Mad Hatter, I’d say we’d definitely be in Wonderland. And I’m not talking the Batman villain.”
The man asked, “A cave? There’s no gate through a cave around here?”
Brooklyn questioned, “Where are we? What is this place?”
He replied, “Well…ha-ha…that kinda depends on you.”
Xena glared at him, “Don’t play games with us. How do we get outta here?”
The man answered, “Ask Aidan. He—he—Aidan—owns this whole estate, and everything in it…except me.”
“And how do we find this Aidan?”
“Well, he’s everywhere. But, start at the house up at the path.”
He then ran away.
“Poor man.” Gabrielle told them.
“C’mon.” Xena said as the four headed toward the house.
The four of them headed for the house, each of them admiring the scenery.
“It’s beautiful. Don’t you think?” Gabrielle asked them.
“Yeah, in that lucky, ‘I’m in paradise kind of way. Let’s find out what’s going on.”
“Sooner we do that,” Brooklyn pointed out, “the sooner we get out of here.”
The quartet entered the house; all were stunned at the architecture.
Columns spread around the room covering a tiled floor. Tiles of dark and tiles of light blue decorated the floor. Blue sculptures, both designed to look like humans and gargoyles, lined the main pathway to the exit.
“If Aidan did this, he’s got talent.” Gabrielle said with awe.
Her friend added, “And a whole lotta time on his hands.”
“If we run into an Incan Mummy display, I’m running the other way.” Xander grimaced.
“Don’t know about Incan mummies, Xander, but these gargoyle statues look incredible.”
“They’re so unusual, the poses, the color.” She looked around her, “Look. What do you think?”
Xander smirked, “Someone’s got a Smurf fetish.”
Xena looked at the face of one of the statues, “Without a face, it could be anyone.”
“Exactly.” The four turned to see a man entered the room. “You see, these figures represent the ultimate, inner peace—something anyone can achieve.” He paused, “Both human and gargoyle alike.”
Xena said, “Don’t bet the farm on it.”
Gabrielle clarified, “She means it’s easier for some people than it is for other.”
He agreed, “Very true. Took me almost ten years, but then my demons ran deep. You can’t get rid of these overnight, but you can eventually release them. I’m living proof. I’m also Aidan, and you are?” He finished with an offered handshake.
She accepted it. “Xena. These are my friends, Xander, Brooklyn, and Gabrielle.”
He grinned, “Welcome to my home.”
Xena smiled, “This is some hospitality you have here. My leg, yesterday, it had a gash on it, and took twelve stitches. Now, it’s gone, healed completely. How d’ya explain that?”
“It’s amazing, isn’t it? Technically, I guess you’d call it, ‘Mind shifting matter.’”
Xander asked, “You’re saying your mind healed her leg?”
He shook his head, “Oh, no, no, not just my mind. You see, there’s breathing and meditational techniques, the whole approach to the, I’m babbling again, aren’t I? If you’d be interested, I’d love to show you.”
Xena explained, “It’s potent stuff, but I think we’ll pass. If you’ll just direct us off the place, we’ll be going.”
Aidan nodded, “A woman of action, commendable. Yet you still eat and sleep, don’t you? Why not stay the night here, and start free tomorrow?”
“Well…” Xena started.
“Good food, fine wine.”
Gabrielle grinned, “Warm bath?” She then slapped Xena on the back.
He smiled, “Excellent.”
Xander and Brooklyn departed both Xena and Gabrielle. The girls headed for the bathing room, leaving the two males alone.
They decided to explore a little before the four would meet for dinner.
Just as before, the rest of the house was decorated in the same fashion. Blue stone figures were everywhere.
Xander looked at them carefully, “Alright. Which one’s Papa Smurf? Because I seriously think that one in ‘The Thinker’ pose is Brainy.”
Brooklyn inspected one, “Smurfs is one show I didn’t see.”
“Your missing one of the best childhood cartoons out there, Brooklyn.”
He smirked, “Somehow, I think I’ll survive.”
The gargoyle headed for the railing before him. Turning around, he leaned against a column with his wings wrapped around himself to form a cloak. “This is a interesting situation we found ourselves in.”
Xander joined him, standing beside him, “You mean not knowing about Smurfs, then yeah, this is interesting.”
He smirked, “Forget about the Smurfs, Xander. I mean, this place. It’s so surreal.”
“Surreal is definitely the word to describe it.” He looked behind him for a second, “I half suspect to run into Dali any moment.”
“I could see Dali finding this place interesting.” The gargoyle agreed. “But think about Aidan. Do you really think he can do these things? He can help you find your inner peace?”
Xander looked at him, “I don’t know. Sure, inner peace is important, but I don’t think I need to go searching for it. It’s there. I know everyone has good and dark moments in their life. I’ve had my share of both, but I don’t think I need to try and find peace.”
“Oh…” Brooklyn said, not getting the answer he hoped. “So you’re happy with what’s going on in your life?”
He shrugged, “I’m not totally thrilled about it. I’ve done things that I’m not particularly happy about, but I’m not interested in trying to achieve inner peace.” Xander looked at him, and noticed the defeated look on his face. “That’s not what you hope I would say, is it?”
The young man asked with concern, “What happened?”
Brooklyn wasn’t one to talk about his past, but seeing as the two of them were actually starting to trust each other with delicate information, he didn’t seem to mind.
Sure, he had problems with humans. Partly due to Demona’s interference, but because of Goliath and Eliza, and because of his current situation, he knew not all humans were bad.
Letting out a breath that he was holding in he explained the story of Goliath being under Demona’s spell, and the part he played within the story. He explained Demona’s trickery and constant favoring of alternative motives.
“She hurt you then, huh?”
“Yes.” He said slowly. “And I was hoping that…”
Xander understood, “Hey, if you want to meet up with Aidan and think about stuff, then do it. I’m not going to stand in your way. Seeing as we’re here, you might as well take advantage of it. I’ll be fine. Don’t worry about me.”
He grinned, “Thank you, Xander.”
“Gods, this is bliss.” Gabrielle said in contentment.
Xena shivered, “How long do you think we’ve been in here? I’m pruning’.”
Gabrielle moved gently to hers side. The water was steaming all around them. “Would you relax? Aidan’s right. You need to just learn to slow down. You know? I’m surprised at you, Xena.”
Gabrielle answered, “For someone who’s seen what Lao Ma and Alti can do, it’s strange you’re not curious about Aidan?”
Xena answered honestly, “I’ve seen enough to know that most people can’t handle spiritual powers. It’s seems Xander has seen this too. And Aidan is no Lao Ma.”
The mention of Xander caused her eyes to cast down. The whole ordeal with Puck flash in her mind. She looked at her friend. “We still have to tell him about your vision, Xena.”
“I don’t know, Gabrielle. If we can get Xander home, then we don’t have to worry about it. He’ll be in the future and away from us.” She then looked at her and sighed, “But then that just leaves you. With Xander here, it means that this vision I keep having has just become even more serious.”
“All the more reason to tell him, Xena.” Gabrielle reminded her. “He deserves to know.”
“I’ll tell him after dinner.”
“Good.” Gabrielle smiled. “As for Aidan. Yeah, he’s a bit odd. That doesn’t mean we can’t learn something from him. I wanna ask him to teach me his breathing techniques. Will you come with me?”
Xena said, “Thanks, but I’ve been breathing just fine on my own for years, now.” She then noticed the look on Gabrielle’s face. “Well, you know I could have given him another chance. After all, the guy did heal my leg.”
“Mighty big of you, Xena.”
All of a sudden a knock on the door was heard.
Xena got out of the bath and was about to grab a towel when the door opened.
“Mm! Mm! Oh-h! Oh-h! Lieutenant Gar, reporting as ordered with clothes, Sir.”
Xena looked down at him, and as soon as he saw her naked, he glanced downward.