What Dreams May Come
Buffy is Gabrielle's daughter. When Xena retrieved Gabrielle from the Amazon Resting Place, her daughter's soul returned to enter a dying Amazon infant. The child's mother died giving birth, but the Amazon Queen adopts her.Disclaimer:
BtVS belongs to Joss Whedon, and Xena Warrior Princess is a Robert G. Tapert production.Pairings:
This is the first story in an intended trilogy. It will cross with Xena, Hercules, Highlander, and eventually BtVS. The story will try to explain where immortals come from, and what that has to do with "Buffy." Please, know that her becoming Buffy in the future starts with this story.
Lysippe had led her Amazon tribe for the last twenty-two years when the call to war came from another queen, although one that had walked away from her tribe. One year into her reign, Elissa came into her life and Lysippe knew the true meaning of motherhood. Although Elissa was not the child of her body, she was the child of her heart. Now, she prepared to take her tribe and her child into battle against the Romans. Gabrielle sent out a call to war to the Amazon tribes. Lysippe was just a child when she met the legendary bard; she remembered wanting to travel the world, and experience one adventure after another like Gabrielle. The fates wove her tapestry with a different purpose. She became the queen like her mother, and her mother's mother before her. Elissa would share her fate when she left this world.
Elissa wasn't happy about helping the Warrior Princess and her sidekick. She could not stop the bad feeling she had about this whole situation. It was like an itch under her skin she couldn't quite reach. She walked proudly toward her mother's quarters, the epitome of an Amazon warrior. There was no challenge too large or small. She easily advanced in the ranks and stood as her mother's second-in-command. There was no challenge too large or small for the Amazon princess. Elissa stubbornly refused to take short cuts when it came to her training. By right of caste, she would take her mother's place as queen upon her death, but Elissa wanted to earn the honor of leading her tribe. She worked alongside the other girls her age, until she conquered a skill and advanced to the next. None of her sister warriors resented her abilities; they respected her more because she did not take on airs, even though her rank gave her that right.
She approached the queen's quarters. Elissa hid her smile when the sentries immediately straightened. They knew better than to appear lax when it came to their queen's safety. Many younger warriors thought the queen should step down and allow Elissa to take the rite of passage. Elissa refused. She was willing to lead her tribe when the time came, but not while her mother still drew breath. She nodded her head and went inside; her thoughts still filled with the rumors about Xena and Gabrielle. She could not understand anyone who would turn their back on their people, especially after fighting for that very place.
The rumors said the Fates imprisoned the lovers in ice for the last twenty years only to return looking the same. There were whispers they ate ambrosia before their entombment and were really gods. Marching into the royal chambers, she found a house cleaner massaging Lysippe with oils to keep her skin and muscles supple. Elissa's eyes ran over the trim body of her mother looking for any sign of injury. She sighed to see there was none.
Amazons led a rigorous, often times, brutal lifestyle. The outside world thought they had no emotions. This was not true. They felt deeply - love, hate, vengeance, sorrow and fear. An Amazon started her training from the time her mother weaned her not to show others her emotions. They knew as women, others expected this from them and they refused to give outsiders that power. Here now in the privacy of her mother's rooms Elissa showed her worry, doubt, fears but most of all love for the woman who had raised her.
Lysippe turned when she heard her daughter enter. Her eyes took in the sight of Artemis' gift, for only the goddess could have given her such a wonderful child. Elissa stood proudly, wearing full Amazon battle dress. Her golden hair fell long down her back with tiny braids holding it away from her face. She had rich, smooth golden skin with high cheekbones, red ripe, full lips and large dappled green eyes. Her eyes reminded Lysippe of forest leaves when the sunlight hit them. Elissa was small for an Amazon, but was smoothly muscled, strong and faster than anyone in the tribe. It was as if the gods made up for her stature by awarding her other gifts. Lysippe couldn't believe this beautiful creature was her daughter, hers to care for, love and train for more than twenty years now. She waved her masseuse away and signaled her daughter to come closer.
"Daughter, what troubles your mind?"
She gracefully rose from the table to grab her robe and wrap it around her. She was a tall woman, whose face didn't show its thirty-five years. Her hair was rich red, which she kept cropped close to her head in curls. Warm brandy colored eyes took up most of her triangular shaped face, she wasn't a beautiful woman but she was striking and not easy to forget. Sitting down on a pile of pillows, Lysippe motioned Elissa to sit beside her.
Elissa smiled, this was her favorite time, time alone with her mother, not her queen, just a mother listening to her child's worries. Her mother moved so gracefully, she reminded Elissa of the great mountain cats that they hunted for furs in the winters. She curled up next to Lysippe and laid her head in mother's lap, closing her eyes and letting out the breath she wasn't even aware she was holding.
"Why do we go to fight a war we aren't a part of, mother? Who is this Gabrielle that everyone talks about? Is she really immortal?"
"She was once the queen of the Northern tribe. Melosa chose her to take the right of caste over Ephiny. From what I understand, she and her lover died twice and then miraculously returned, before the Fates entombed them these last twenty years. Gabrielle wouldn't ask if it weren't important to every tribe. The rumors of the Romans have grown worse over the years, especially the one they call Livia. They say Ares trained her and that she will become the next to take the throne. If that happens, no one is safe. It's time we send the Romans back across the waters, where they belong once and for all."
Lysippe's voice was strong with conviction, but her eyes showed fear for her child. Too many Amazons had already lost their lives to the Romans; she didn't want to lose Elissa to them as well.
"Then, we join the others and go to war to defend our lands. I will promise you this, mother. May Artemis protect them if they aren't what they seem? I don't have a good feeling about the bard or the Warrior Princess. My dreams have been troubled, since we received the call to arms. I'll remain at your side, protecting you as I've done since I came of age. I won't lose you, mother, not as long as I draw breath. You'll crossover to our Lands of Death when I'm ready to become queen, and I'm far from that day."
Elissa stroked her mother's hand, but her words hung in the air like living flames.
"You should go and rest; we leave at first light. Elissa, if I should fall in battle then it's my time. You must lead our tribe to victory or safety."
She grabbed Elissa's hands as she pulled away. The Amazon Queen hid her smile as she watched her shake her head, as if it would stop the words from leaving her mother's lips. Her daughter was fierce in battle, but any talk of taking her mother's place turned her into the small child refusing to even think of a world without her mother.
"Please, daughter, you must think of your sisters first, and vengeance second. I choose to join this fight. No one is forcing me into this fight. I trust Gabrielle, she's a good person, one I remember as fair-minded and brave."
"I'll think on your words, mother, but can't promise anything. I'll do as I was taught by the best - you. The facts will show what needs doing, and then I will ensure that they are done even if it takes my last breath."
Lysippe watched her daughter leave, and wondered if her dreams were warnings. Few knew Elissa's had prophetic dreams. They had helped win numerous battles and evaded carefully laid traps. She hoped this time Elissa was wrong. Lysippe prayed her daughter's dreams warned against the dangerous and ominous enemy that they would soon face. A cool wind blew through her chambers, causing her to shiver. She clasped her chest where her heart suddenly clinched in fear.
Gabrielle paced the tent she shared with Xena, nervously wringing her hands. The normally levelheaded bard hadn't felt the same since she woke from her frozen tomb. She thought it was shared worry over Eve.
They still didn't know whether Xena's child still lived. They had searched everywhere, but found no word of her or Octavius. Something nagged at the back of Gabrielle's mind, something that wouldn't allow her to concentrate. It started when Eve was born, but in truth, she felt it when Xena brought her back from the Amazon Land of the Dead. Almost as if a piece of her didn't come back with her but went or stayed somewhere else.
The feeling was an itch beneath her skin. It prickled the hairs on her, or that strange feeling that someone watched her even when she knew she was alone. Gabrielle knew something or someone was coming.
Was it foreshadowing that she would lose Xena in this war.
She didn't think she could survive if that happened. She had barely survived Hope's death, regardless the evil that had consumed her daughter's soul. Gabrielle paled, wondering where that stray thought came from. She had locked those thoughts in the farthest corners of her heart and mind. No matter what else she was, Hope was her daughter. Gabrielle had loved her as only a mother can.
She jumped when a cool wind blew through the tent, causing her heart to clinch in fear. Spinning toward the flap, she expected to find Xena standing there. No one was there. Goosebumps covered her skin, and Gabrielle knew this war would forever change their lives. She had no way of knowing how right she was. The coming events would change not only the players but also the world.
Later that night as she lay safely in her lover's arms, Gabrielle started to dream. She saw a battlefield filled with dead bodies. She searched the bodies, frantically calling someone's name. Blood covered her hands, and there were bodies everywhere - Amazons, Romans, Greeks, the list was endless. She never found the one she searched for, while tears fell down her face, even in her sleep. The search continued, until she turned over the last body. A scream tore from her lips. It echoed throughout the valley. Suddenly, Gabrielle saw the valley from a distance, and as far as the eye could see; she was the only person alive.
Gabrielle shot up from the pallet. Sweat soaked her body, plastering her hair to her head.
"Gabrielle, what's the matter?"
Xena pulled her lover back down to the bed of blankets and her arms.
"You're soaked; did you have a nightmare?"
Her small blonde head turned to the one person she loved most in the world. She drank in the dark fall hair, the crystal blue eyes, her strong yet lush body bare to her scrutiny. Gabrielle leaned forward to place a soft kiss on Xena's lips.
"I will tell you about it in the morning. Right now, I'm awake and you're awake. I think we can find better things to do with our time than talk."
With that said, Gabrielle, usually the gentlest of the lovers, ravished Xena's mouth, nipping at her lips, demanding entrance. Her small hand cupped Xena's large breast.
Xena moaned; she wasn't sure what caused this aggressiveness in Gabrielle, but she wasn't complaining. Her back arched to give her lover better access to her bountiful charms. Gabrielle trailed hot kisses down Xena's neck, laving the shallow hollow of her collarbone. Her journey continued toward her goal.
The warrior princess cupped the smaller golden head that nuzzled her expertly. All their years together had taught them each other's pleasure points. Xena's thighs fell open to accommodate the small hand. Once they were both breathing heavily, Gabrielle replaced her fingers with her own heat and the lovers rode each other to a fevered pitch. They fell into each other's arms still entwined together and embraced the warm arms of a dreamless sleep.
Elissa was unusually quiet on the journey. Many noted it, but none felt the sharp pain of worry as much as her mother did. Lysippe knew her daughter wouldn't speak about her worries, until she worked through them to her own satisfaction.
Elissa's horse followed the others easily guided by the slightest leg pressure. Horse and rider were a remarkable sight. She wore full Amazon battle gear from metal breastplates to shin guards that gleamed gold as suited her status.
The horse was large by any standards and a gift from the King of the Centaurs. He was coal black with one white teardrop on his forehead. Elissa didn't look capable of controlling such a beast, until anyone saw her ride; some swore that Centaur magic caused her to become part horse. She caught many unsuspecting enemies on the battlefield while they stood gawking at the sight of her on horseback.
She tried not to think of her dreams; they were a muddle of strange flashes that made no sense. Emotions of love, hate and vengeance filled them. Her dreams were always clear and precise leading her where she needed to go, but now, when she needed them most, they scared her. Few knew she had the gift; they had turned the tides for them in many battles. Now, if asked. She would happily give the 'gift' back not to see the strange things she saw last night.
"Artemis, preserve and keep us. We are your loyal daughters, and fight to preserve our way of life." She whispered under her breath, hoping the Amazon patron goddess would watch over them.
They rode straight through the day and night, only stopping once for food. A fully trained warrior could go up to five days straight at this pace. A little known trail through the mountains cut off an extra day from their journey. They rode into the camp at dusk.
The rest of the army that Xena and Gabrielle gathered from across the lands were about to eat their evening meal. Everyone stopped to stare at the setting sun flashing off breastplates, shields and swords. The last rays of the setting sun bathed the Amazons in blinding lights, which gave them a mystical appearance. It didn't matter that they rode for a full day and half; each warrior's back was straight with their heads held high and their eyes facing forward. They could recite the camp's layout and provide a close approximation of their numbers.
Lysippe rode straight to Xena and Gabrielle who stood in front of their tent. Gabrielle's face broke into a happy smile, recognizing the young girl in the striking mature woman before her. She ran forward to greet the Amazon queen. Xena watched her lover's excitement at seeing the young girl who Gabrielle always said would do great things. Sky blue eyes searched among the new arrivals feeling someone watching her and caught dappled green ones. At first Xena thought, it was the stare of a curious child; the girl was tiny and couldn't have known many summers. When the girl refused to look away, the warrior princess looked closer. Xena realized she was mistaken; this was a fully seasoned Amazon warrior. If her look said anything, it was that she didn't trust Xena or Gabrielle.
"Elissa, come here daughter, and meet Gabrielle."
Lysippe motioned the young woman to join her.
Xena watched the green eyes that moments ago were blocks of ice, melt and fill with a warm loving look for the Amazon queen. Elissa dismounted the large black horse with grace and agility. She stepped forward, but refused to take Gabrielle's offered hand. Xena's eyes narrowed, she was used to people rebuffing her but Gabrielle's warm and loving nature usually won over people easily.
Elissa turned back to Xena and stepped to the side so she covered her mother's back. Lysippe drew in her breath, she had never seen Elissa act this way and wasn't sure how to react.
"Elissa, we are here to join Xena and Gabrielle in a united front for a common enemy. You will show the proper respect."
"I show my respect to those who deserve it. I'll take the others and set up camp, but I won't leave you here unguarded mother, do not ask it. Phoebe, Celaneo and Eurybe come; you will stay with the queen, until she's ready to return to camp. We will setup where we agreed."
Elissa turned to leave, but stopped.
"You should shore up the east side of your encampment. There are several places the enemy could sneak in if they choose."
With that said, she jumped back on her horse and led her tribe out, with a thunderous battle call and the pounding of horses' hooves.
Gabrielle looked from Xena to Lysippe in shock. She never thought she would see the day that someone would tell Xena how to lead and had an even wilder war call than her lover.
Did that sound really come from that tiny golden woman-child?
As if she read her thoughts, Lysippe answered. "Do not let my daughter's size fool you. She is our best warrior, and to a one my tribe would lay down their life for her. She has rescued many sisters and negotiated more peace treaties than any in our tribes' thought memory. You'll have to forgive her rudeness. She doesn't trust easily, especially when it comes to my safety. She will come around once she gets to know you."
Xena didn't think the young Amazon would be coming around anytime soon. She wasn't sure what it was about Elissa, but she reminded her of someone. Xena decided to look at the supposed holes in the east boundaries. She gave Gabrielle a look. The bard nodded, and then opened the flap to their tent to allow Lysippe and her guards to enter.
"Only I may enter with Queen Lysippe; Celaneo and Eurybe will guard the door," the one called Phoebe announced in a no-nonsense response.
"Aren't they tired? They can come inside and rest while Lysippe and I visit. She'll be safe, I promise," Gabrielle smiled, kindly.
"Elissa would have our heads were she to check on our queen and find us lax in our duties. We aren't tired; the journey wasn't a long one."
They refused to say another word and took up their posts.
Livia flopped back on the bed, with a Cheshire smile on her face. Ares rose on his side to trail his hand along her nude body. Her perfect oval face, large blue eyes and long auburn hair were pleasing to the eye. Her well-toned and finely boned body held his attention. Ares found her a suitable replacement for Xena, although no one could ever truly take the warrior princess' place in his heart; Livia would do - for now. She was a bloodthirsty little minx. Ares enjoyed how easy it was to whip her into a berserker rage then send her out on a rampage. It provided everything the God of War needed to fuel his own powers.
She smirked to herself; she loved having sex with Ares. He was a wonderful lover. Someday, he would make her a goddess, after he helped her become the sole ruler of the Roman Empire. Livia planned to make every head turn to this small isle then return to Rome in glory to take its throne as Empress.
Livia didn't care how many she had to slaughter to achieve her goal. The power of glory burned through her veins, along with her lust for Ares. Her eyes roamed the beautifully muscled body, equally handsome face, with its snapping dark eyes and black hair. Livia licked her lips then trailed them down his body to engulf him in her mouth. She took him to the brink of pain, just the way he liked it. Ares' eyes rolled as her lips surrounded him. They moaned, but quickly stopped when they heard Augustus Caesar call out for Livia.
Ares reluctantly orbed out with a sigh. He reappeared in his palace and called out for Discord. The dark haired minor goddess appeared in a flash of red light.
"What do you want, Ares? I'm working on something, and want to get back to it. There are plenty of opportunities for me now that Xena's gathering an army. She's always pissing..."
Discord could have bitten her tongue for mentioning the warrior princess.
Damnit, I'll never snag him, now that he knows Xena's back.
"What did you say?"
Discord jumped out of the way of the lightning bolt Ares sent at her.
"Tell me where she is, NOW!"
The palace shook causing Discord to fall to her knees.
"Would you just chill out, already? Don't tell me that you're still hung up on her."
Discord grimaced at the thought of Ares with Xena.
Ares advanced on the petite goddess that crawled backward.
"She and that little blonde of hers have gathered an army. They will fight your little protégé, Livia. I'm surprised you don't know about it. You are the God of War, aren't you?" With that said, Discord disappeared.
Ares sniffed like a bloodhound then disappeared. He reappeared next to Xena on the east side of their camp.
"It's true, you're alive. They said you were dead. I never should have believed them."
He pulled her into his arms and kissed her passionately. Xena jumped away from him.
"Ares, what are you doing here?"
"That's a good question. Everyone knows he and Livia are lovers. Do you share him or simply wait your turn?"
Xena spun around to find Elissa, leaning against a tree, watching her. A golden eyebrow rose in question, and her eyes were colder than the tomb that Xena had just left.
"I don't know what he's doing here; not that it's any of your business."
Xena's voice became hard; she wasn't up to a hostile Amazon and Ares simultaneously.
"Who's your friend, Xena? I thought you were with your little bard; you do have a thing for blondes, don't you?"
He swaggered forward with his best smile and bowed in front of Elissa. His lips turned up into their patented devilish smile.
"The name is Ares."
"I know who you are."
Elissa's voice became husky, and Xena's eyebrow rose in surprise. Ares' smile grew deeper and a twinkle lit his eye as he began to rise. Quick as a snake, Elissa's foot lashed out smacking Ares in the chin and sending him back almost to Xena's feet. She stalked forward to stand over the God of War and glared down at him.
"Were you by Livia's side when she slaughtered my sisters of the northern tribes? Did you whisper in her ear while you bedded her? Were you love words filled with the best ways to chop the head from small children, or how to put the women and old ones in the fields then set them on fire? You are no God of War. She doesn't wage war. Livia has a thirst for blood worse than the Bacchae, and I curse your name. May Artemis hear my oath, I will make you pay for the part you played in all that has come to pass, and will come to pass. Do you know about prophetic dreams, Ares? I have had them since I was a little girl. They always come to pass. Before we left our lands, I dreamed it was my destiny to ensure those," she glared at Xena, "responsible for the acts leading to this war will be punished. Be afraid, Ares, be very afraid, for more than just the gods protect those with the inner site, and well you know it. But, if you would like to give me a try, I'd be more than happy to kill you now."
Ares paled. A special force, one that even the gods feared, protected those with the gift of prophecy.
"I think I'll be leaving. Xena and I can catch up another time." He blinked out of sight in a flash of light.
"Sorry, I scared your lover off, well really I'm not. I see you found the holes in your line; I wasn't sure you would check."
Elissa shrugged her shoulder then turned to go.
"So, I decided to shore them up myself. My mother should be finished talking with your bard by now. I'll go escort her back to our camp."
Xena's eyes narrowed as she lunged at the smaller woman.
"Oh no, you don't."
Surprisingly, she wasn't there. Xena felt a tap on her shoulder, and spun into a right cross to the jaw. The fight was on. Xena returned the punch in kind, hitting Elissa in the mouth. She spit out blood then grinned. The red painted her teeth, and feral smile told Xena this might actually be a challenge. It wasn't long before a crowd started to grow. They started cheering and taking bets.
Gabrielle heard the cheers and knew Xena was fighting. Lysippe had a bad feeling she knew who had challenged the Warrior Princess. The old friends looked at each other then rushed from the tent to find their loved ones battling it out. What surprised many was that Xena couldn't seem to get the upper hand.
Xena did a full forward flip, only to meet Elissa's foot mid-air. The Amazon princess met the warrior princess with a flip of her own and landed on her feet. They continued to exchange blows and kicks for several more minutes until Lysippe called a halt. Elissa immediately stopped. Xena wasn't quite as quick to answer to the Amazon queen's voice. The other Amazons stepped forward to defend their princess. Elissa jumped to her feet from her place on the ground, after having her feet swept out from under her. Xena put her hand out to show she was willing to let the fight go. Elissa looked at the outstretched hand as if it were a snake, and gave a loud whistle. A huge black horse thundered through the camp, causing people to jump out of its way. She jumped onto the horse as it thundered by, leaning close to Xena.
"You don't mind if I borrow this do you."
Elissa asked as she snatched the chakram from Xena's waist. She rode several yards away, and then did something that Gabrielle had never seen anyone else do. She used the chakram as if it belonged to her, with a flick of her wrist it whirled out in a slicing arc, missing the top of Xena's head by mere inches. It cut the flag off the top of their tent then flew back to Elissa's hand. A look of envy crossed her face as she stared at the beautiful weapon then sent it back to its owner - none too gently.
"You can have it back. If you're going to lead then you should learn your personal life isn't your own, until after the battle's won."
She applied pressure to the black's sides, causing it to rear up then take off like a shot. Lysippe looked from Gabrielle to Xena then walked up to the warrior princess.
"You should learn some control, Xena. My child, though wild at times, knows when to stop. I've seen her do so within a hair's breadth from killing an enemy. Victory was ours and she simply let them go. If you aren't the right person to lead this army, you should step down and let another take your place. Something about you and Gabrielle sets Elissa on edge. Knowing my daughter, it's not a minor thing. There's more at work here than meets the eye."
She turned away from Xena, considering the matter closed. "
Gabrielle, I'm glad we had a chance to meet again. I only wish it were on better terms."
Lysippe bowed her head regally and walked away with her guards following close behind her. Xena looked at her lover, trying to gauge the effect of the day's events. Gabrielle wasn't sure what to think, but after everything, they had gone through; she would stand beside her lover no matter what. She put her hand out to Xena who walked forward to take it. They walked into their tent, allowing the flap to close behind them.