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Violence: Of course there is violence in this, its Xena Warrior Princess. *L To sum it up, there is sum gun shooting, weapon slinging, lightning bolts, flying daggers, deaths, explosions, and some blood.

CopyRight: Xena, Gabrielle, Melinda Pappas, Janice Covington, Argo, Velasca, and the Amazons all are owned by Universal/MCA and Renaissance Pictures, not mine, I wish though. But, the story line is all mine Mwahaha as well as the character Vanessa, Starling, Sylvia, and Hellenes so don’t "borrow" them.

Sex/Subtext: There is love between two women which if offends you, then don’t read this story. But for now on in my stories, there is no female sex! Sorry guys! Otherwise enjoy yourself.

Started: May 23, 1999
Finished: October 14, 1999

If anybody has comments about my story please let me know at:

~*The Return*~

Written by: Red Hope

Section One Section Two Section Three Section Four


Section Four

~*Part 9*~

The small blond sat on the stream’s edge, staff and gleaming chakram beside her on the gritty sand, while she threw in a few small rocks into the stream. In the water was a tall dark leather-clad woman, with her hands in the water, her hair up. The strawberry-blond looked up to her lover waning in the water.

"She’ll come around Xena" The warrior continued to stare into the water as her hands felt around in the cool water.

"I know she will…one way or another" The bard sighed as she threw another pebble into the steam.

"Let me talk to her love" The tall woman looked up from the water to her soulmate, sitting on the sand. The warrior looked into serious green eyes. She knew Gabrielle was right and she knew she wasn’t going to change her stubborn bard’s mind.

"I just hope it works Gabrielle, or else I’ll talk to her" The Amazon Queen raised an eyebrow at that.

"Alright tiger, just don’t scare her to much if it comes to that. Janice is family as is Mel" The Warrior Princess nodded then looked back down into the water. Finally feeling her prize the warrior’s large hands grasped a fish. Quickly she brought it up, tossing it to her soulmate. Gabrielle neatly caught the fish in mid-air, placing it on the ground. Looking back, the bard saw another trout coming at her, she quickly snatched it out of the air. After placing the trout by the first one, the bard looked back to her grinning companion in waist high water. The small woman raised an eyebrow at the warrior, whom grinned even more devilishly. In a flash, the ex-warlord tossed another large fish at the bard, but a little to the bard’s right. Gabrielle leaned to her right, just grasping the fish by it’s tail, almost falling over. The blond released her breath as she straightened back up, placing the third trout with the others. She then looked to Xena, glaring lightly to her, but also grinning to the warrior. Xena deeply chuckled then a twinkle entered the woman’s eyes, worrying the bard. In a split second the leather-clad woman threw a fourth trout at Gabrielle, but higher and far to her right. The small female launched herself up into the air from her sitting position towards the flying fish. Small hands tightly grasped the wet fish around its middle section. After grabbing the fish in mid-air, the bard landed hard in the sand on her stomach, fish being held up by her hands over her head. Gabrielle shook her head, flinging some sand out of her hair. The bard rose up from the ground tossing the fish on top of the other ones. She then turned her head to look at her smirking dark haired warrior. Xena could see the anger written all over Gabrielle’s face, her tightening jaw and hands balling up into fists.

"Xena!" The tall woman’s eyes widen as she held back her laugh. Now the bard took a few steps back and took off charging towards the strong warrior.

"Gabrielle…Gabrielle!" The blue-eyed female caught what her soulmate was planning to do. As soon as the water reached the running woman’s ankles, she leaped aiming for Xena. The Warrior Princess braced herself for the impact and to catch Gabrielle. The Amazon Queen slammed directly into Xena, sending the warrior off her feet. The leather-clad woman quickly wrapped her arms securely around the small woman. Both women went barreling into the deep water, Xena first then Gabrielle on top of the warrior. As the water engulfed them, Xena began to swim back to the top, the bard still in her arms. Finally they surfaced, both gasping for air and shaking the water out of their hair. Gabrielle looked to Xena as they both bobbed up and down in the water, wrapped in each other’s arms. The bard spoke in an outraged voice to Xena.

"I can’t believe you did that!" The warrior grinned then tightened her arms more around Gabrielle as she kept them afloat.

"Me? I can’t believe you leapt into me like that" Instantly it was the bard’s turn to grin, but more sheepishly.

"Well, I knew you’d catch me. Besides you know how I am when I am angry. I don’t think before I leap" The stoic warrior grunted and grinned smugly to her soulmate.

"Quite literally too" The bard’s eyes widen some and she released her hands from Xena. Now Xena felt water being splashed at her, she quickly released her partner. Both women splashed each other for a few moments, neither being able to see anything. Suddenly water stopped coming in the bard’s direction, she stopped splashing. Looking around Gabrielle tried to find Xena, not seeing her.

"Xena?" The bard swam in a complete circle, looking for her partner, but not finding her. "Uh oh, I am in for it now…ah!" The small woman felt two strong familiar hands grasp each of her sides. Rapidly she was pulled under water, a pair of warm lips captured Gabrielle’s. The kiss was deep and passionate, one trying to consume the other. As they kissed, the bard could feel Xena pushing them towards shallower waters. Both women slowly rose up out of the water, still passionately kissing. The warrior was the first one to break the deep kiss from lack of air. Gabrielle opened her eyes to gaze back into passionate filled eyes. The tall woman pulled her soulmate in closer while both stood in waist high water. The Warrior Princess lowered her head, placing butterfly kisses on the bard’s neck, tasting the spring water. The Amazon Queen moaned in reaction and rested her head between Xena’s breasts, as well as wrapped her own arms around the tall frame. Gabrielle then realized where she was and spoke to Xena in a low husky voice.

"Xena, we can’t do this here" The older woman stopped her pursuit and placed her chin on top of her lover’s head. Both females closed their eyes, surroundings themselves in the other’s warmth as they held one another. Slowly blue eyes opened once more, gazing at the sandy shore with four fish, she grinned. Gabrielle then leisurely opened her eyes, but continued to listen to the rhythm of her partner’s heartbeat. The bard sighed, then she tightened her arms briefly, feeling the warrior do the same. Xena then dropped her arms, as did her partner. The stoic warrior decided to break the silence with a teasing tone as they both made their way onto the beach, by the fish, chakram, and the small woman’s staff.

"We better get dinner going ‘cause I know there’s a hungry bard and archeologist" The small blond chuckled some as she treaded over to her staff. Reaching down the small female collected her staff in one hand and two trout in the other hand. Rising back up, the bard saw Xena release her wet hair, letting it hand down. The warrior then looked to the bard with a small grin. "We are going to be cold tonight Gabrielle" The bard leered back as she leaned against her staff, watching the warrior put her boots on tying them.

"Well I am sure we’ll find a way to stay warm, besides its your fault" The tall woman arched a bark eyebrow at the young woman as she reached down.

"And how you figure that, since you knocked us into the water?" The blond chuckled some and watch as Xena stood up straight with the other two fish in hand and chakram in the other. Gabrielle couldn’t help but grin, as Xena glistened in the late sun, beads of water slowly trickling down her body, her dark hair wet, making her look alluring and powerful. Gabrielle noticed the water drops outlined the warrior’s muscles and highlighting her soft skin. The bard then finally spoke to Xena, her voice a but husky.

"You sure it was only my throwing the fish at you that tempted you to knock me into the water?" Finally the bard’s eyes stopped wondering over the strong body before her and made their way up to Xena’s eyes. The tall warrior saw that sparkle in Gabrielle’s eyes become stronger, her beautiful lips forming into a sexy smile.

"Oh there could be defiantly be another reason as to why I got you wet" Now it was Xena’s eyes that started to twinkle in the sunlight. The warrior rook a moment to take in her soulmate’s body. The sun behind the bard highlighted her strawberry-blond hair, her skin glowing in the sun. "The water as well rolled down the bard’s body, making her glisten and sparkle. Her green top was darker from the water, making her breasts more noticeable as Xena followed a drop of water rolling down between Gabrielle’s cleavage. Looking down more the tall woman watched as beads of water ran down the bard’s muscular mid-drift which Xena longed to touch. Now she watched as the water traced the blond’s well-defined legs and calves, Xena memorized the site. Gabrielle felt herself go warm and not from the sun. The small woman was happy that she could freely let her eyes wander over Xena’s body and Xena being able to do the same to the bard. Now the ex-warlord met the bard’s eyes once more, she then leaned in, whispering to Gabrielle in an erotic voice.

"I bet there is, but I am glad you decided to get your self wet as well" The Amazon Queen felt by then extremely warm over the closeness and words and watched as Xena started walking towards the camp. The bard shook her head some and whispered to no one but herself.

"Anytime" Gabrielle grinned to her self then quickly walked to catch up with her partner, finally saying something to Xena. "You know that would have been your trout of it landed in the sand" Xena looked at her soulmate grinning to her as she walked.

"Could have washed it off easily. Besides I knew you would catch it with no problem" The small woman rolled her eyes as she walked along the path carrying the two fish.

"Would have been one crunchy fish, blah" Xena laughed deeply as she thought about that. She then looked at her smirking soulmate again for a moment then looked back to the footpath.

"Then I’d have had some of yours my bard" Gabrielle chuckled some as she kept her grin and retorted to that statement.

"Maybe, mmm only if you’d let me feed it to you" Now the ex-warlord felt a bit heated over the bard’s remark.

"Oh you are a bad bard" The blond looked to the raven-haired woman with a smug grin.

"I’ve learn it all from my soulmate" Xena grinned for a moment then tried to look innocent only sending the bard into a spell of giggles. Finally stepping onto the camp, Gabrielle handed Xena her two trout. The tall form quickly padded into the woods to clean the fish for dinner. The bard quickly spotted the roaring fire in the middle of the camp, she walked over to it. On the other side was the Amazon’s Queens descendent, sitting on a logs staring into the fire. The bard could tell Janice was thinking with the way her features shifted between thoughts. The blond almost had to laugh, amazed at how much her and Janice were exact. Slowly green eyes came to and looked up to meet another set of intense glowing green eyes. The archeologist patted a spot by her on the log, Gabrielle nodding in understanding. Walking around the bard sat on the log beside Janice and placed her staff on the ground behind the log. Then the small bard spoke to her descendent a quiet voice.

"So where is Mel?" The archeologist didn’t respond right away, but continued to stare into the fire. Finally she looked at her ancestor with a small smile, which even warmed the bard’s heart to see. Janice noticed the setting sun behind Gabrielle making the bard glow with different shades of red.

"Mel headed into the woods looking for something for her dessert" The small bard began to grin, happy that Janice was talking to her.

"Do you have any idea what she’ll make?" Now the blind archeologist began to grin to Gabrielle.

"I’ve got no idea. Could be anything when it comes to Mel, she is real good at surprises" The bard chuckled some, reminding her of her own soulmate. The Amazon Queen then watched as the archeologist removed her hat, placing it with her pack at the end of the log. Gabrielle was amazed once more how much her and Janice looked alike as well as their voices. Although she did notice Janice talked in a harder tone, the kind of tone Gabrielle would use if she were angry.

"Mmm Xena is quiet good with surprises herself" Janice grinned to Gabrielle, then turned her head to somebody walking into the camp. With strength, a tall dark-haired leather-clad woman walked over to the strawberry-blond bard. The Amazon Queen looked up into pale sapphire eyes, which moved down to her large hands. Gabrielle looked into Xena’s hand, which contained fish meat, the blond grinned. Janice had caught site of the fish and had leaned over to her and Mel’s packs. Finding the object, the archeologist sat back up and turned to the warrior and Gabrielle.

"Here you might need this" The small Amazon turned to a frying pan for cooking the fish in Janice’s hand. Gabrielle gratefully took it smiling.

"Thanks Janice. I’d better get these cooked, I'm starved" The warrior grinned as did the other blond.

"I second that" The bard chuckled at her descendant then stood with the frying pan. Both Xena and Gabrielle padded over to the other side of the fire. Carefully the bard placed some of the fish into the pan from Xena's hands. As they did this, the warrior sensed a presence coming into the camp, a familiar once. Across from the fire from Xena and her bard, a dark southern beauty stepped into the camp. Janice looked from the fire to her right to spot her soulmate in her khaki pants with sky blue shirt on with the sleeves rolled up. The blond smiled as Mel looked to her and walked over to the small woman. The archeologist noticed the belle carried a small brown canvas bag filled with something or another. Mel bent down and placed the bad on the ground by their packs, then she opened her pack digging through it. Grabbing the article, Mel gazed at it in the bag to confirm it was what she needed. Finally she recognized it in the dim light of only the firelight and grinned. Closing the pack back up, she looked up to meet curious emerald eyes. The belle grinned to her soulmate, whom grinned right back in response. Slowly the translator stood back up and looked across the fire to see the warrior and her bard. Mel looked a little harder and noticed that the two women were wet.

"Oh my, how did you two get so wet?" The bard was the first to look up from the frying pan as she placed the last bit of meat on the skillet. The warrior then took the pan from the bard and stood up hooking it over the fire with the metal rack that Mel and Janice had setup earlier. Xena then looked to Mel with a small grin forming on her lips.

"We kind of fell in" Now Gabrielle rose up from the ground next to Xena and looked to Mel. The tall belle furrowed her brows as she considered that explanation.

"That must have been some fall, I reckon" The warrior chuckled some at her decedent and turned to Gabrielle who placed her hand s on her hips.

"Yes it was remarkable how we just fell in" The bard bit her lower lip from laughing at Xena as she smirked at the warrior. Gabrielle then closed in the small distance, casually placing her hands on the warrior's hips. She looked up with a playful grin, her emerald eyes sparkling from the firelight.

"Yeah it was, but I enjoyed it" Slowly the ex-warlord's grin formed more into a sexy smile, the blond beginning to feel tingles all over. The tall dark-haired female leaned down, gently kissing her soulmate but the kiss became more passionate then she intended. Across the fire another pair of soulmates watched with intent, reminding them of their own relationship making them smile to one another in acknowledgement. Slowly the tall warrior pulled away, leaving the bard slightly stunned. Gabrielle easily came around and grinned up to her soulmate and turned her head towards the fish. Releasing the blond, Xena watched as the Amazon Queen pulled the skillet from the fire with well-cooked trout. Janice had noticed the food being removed and stood up from the log. Her legs ached for a moment from siting so long, then she looked to her pack, pulling out four plates, utensils and some seasoning. Blue eyes followed her the entire time even as she put her hat back on. Janice looked up to smile to her translator, whom smiled back as she took Janice's seat from earlier. The archeologist padded around the fire to her descendants and handed over the plates to Gabrielle. The blond then opened the seasoning container and sprinkling it over the cooked fish in the pan that Gabrielle was holding and closed it back up. Next she placed the bottle of seasoning under her arm and used a small metal fork to place a piece of the fish onto the top of the plate that Xena held. As she was doing this a tall form stepped up beside Janice which made her faintly grin to herself, the bard catching it. After placing a fair amount, the archeologist lifted the plate of the stack of other plates from the warrior and handed to her soulmate with a fork. Janice repeated this until she had placed all the fish on the plates and everybody sat down to eat around the fire. Both of the dark tall beauties didn't really bother to talk to their soulmates, knowing it was hard to get them to talk when they ate. After finishing the meal, all the four women felt pretty content, Janice and Mel though were getting tired. Both wore out from the long day's trek and excitement of everything. Janice was at one end of the large log, closes to her bags, then Mel, next to the translator sat Xena then her bard. The archeologist slowly rose up and collected the plates heading down to the stream to clean them along with the small forks. After Janice had disappeared, Mel had began to move, gathering up her filled canvas bag, the object from her leather pack, a bowl, and a large cutting knife. She strolled to the opposite side of the fire, depositing the articles to the ground. Looking to Gabrielle and Xena, the belle smiled to them.

"I am going to go make sure Janice didn't "fall" in the water" The bard chuckled some while Xena just lightly grinned. Melinda grabbed the frying pan and then disappeared into the darkness of the woods. Gabrielle then looked back to Xena, smiling at her and spoke to her warrior with happiness filling her voice.

"Well love, looks like Janice is trying" The warrior nodded some and then smiled to her partner.

"Glad too, she needs to give you a chance Gabrielle" The bard grinned and leaned into Xena, resting her head against the tall woman's' shoulder. Xena quickly then brought her arm around the bard's body, protecting her.


"You were right Mel about Gabrielle, I shouldn't have been so ignorant" Mel smiled to herself as she finish washing the last dish in the water. Rising back up, the belle shook the water off the plate and looked to her soulmate.

"Thanks for giving her a chance Janice" The small blond faintly smiled under her hat as she brushed the water of her now clean plate. Janice then turned around, collecting the clean forks of the rock. Mel the handed her partner her two plates and grabbed the pan from the rock. Janice placed them on top of her dishes, fitting neatly together.

"Well I owed her that much eh?" The blond then frowned, feeling bad about how she treated her ancestor, wishing she could take it back.

"Hun, don't beat up on yourself over that, you've given her a chance, that’s what's important. I know how when you were young you had a hard time, especially with trusting people" The small woman sighed still not feeling like she had any right to act like she had.

"But still Mel, I shouldn't have been such a bitch to Gabrielle" The belle stepped closer and brought her hands to rest tightly on the archeologist's shoulders.

"Love you are not a…bitch" The southerner sighed and looked directly at her soulmate. "You are human and made a mistake, but you learned from it. You shouldn't feel bad about it, nobody is perfect. Not even the archeologist Janice Covington" The small woman let a form of a smiled edge onto her lips, standing up tall the northerner kissed Melinda on the cheek.

"Thanks Mel" The belle smiled and dropped her hands from her soulmate's shoulders. Slowly the two women began their walk back to the camp. As they started walking back the translator reached over to grasp Janice's free hand. The archeologist looked to Mel and smiled to her and they continued to walk to their safe haven. Suddenly the wind pickled up rustling the branches above them. Janice and the tall belle both stopped walking, the blond releasing her lover's hand. The archeologist listened carefully and then the sounds of branches being weighed down came to her. Then the blond quickly drew her revolver and frantically looked up into the tress, not being able to see through the darkness. Mel held her breath as she looked up to the trees as well, not seeing anything. Now the sound was clearer to the two women and it briskly moved towards them. Janice tried to pin point the sound but wasn't having any luck, but t was closing in. Now a large branch just above her creaked under something's weight. The soulmates looked straight up not seeing anything, but quickly a shiver ran down the blond's back and finished with some goosebumps. The branch jounced up and down under the thing's weight, Janice and Mel frantically looked for the source. Now the branch could be heard fling up as the sound of somebody moving within the tress began again, but its intent was to head straight for the camp.


The wind had picked up out of now where when the two lovers were just resting in each other's arms. Neither of them moved as if expecting something, Gabrielle could feel her soulmate's body tensed up. Listening hard, the warrior heard the sound of branches buckling under pressure and it was coming their way from the stream. Xena didn't move or even breathe nor did her bard, both listens to the sound coming swiftly. Now it was close to the perimeters of the camp and Xena reach behind for her sword, unsheathing it. They sat there as the sound stopped on the edge of the camp, Xena turned to where she heard it and couldn't see anything up in the trees. Now the warrior signaled for Gabrielle to get up, which she did and kept her green eyes where she last heard the sound. The wind continued to howl, blowing the branches and leaves every which way. Beside the small bard the warrior stood in her fighting stance, sword in front to her as she eyes the trees. Now the sound came again and came directly at them from above. As soon as it came right above them, the bard felt her self-shiver and few moments then the thing in the trees rushed of among the trees to some wherein the woods. Now the shivers were gone and only left goosebumps on the bard. Xena watched where the thing had rushed off to listening to the fading sound, the wind though continued to blow. Now the ex-warlord heard the sounds of two pairs of running feet coming from the stream. Xena easily realized who it was and turned to them, and saw the archeologist and her soulmate coming, sprinting into the camp. Janice stopped just inside of the camp with Mel beside her, the blond looked around the camp with her gun still in hand, dishes and forks in the other. Slowly the wind began to die down and the archeologist stopped looking at the trees and to Xena and Gabrielle.

"Jesus Christ what the hell was that?" The strong warrior didn't say anything and looked to her soulmate, whom stood with her arms wrapped around herself. Xena placed a strong hand on Gabrielle's shoulder, making the blond turn her head to look at her. Quietly they exchanged glances, Gabrielle understanding what her partner was asking and nodding in response. The Warrior Princess removed her hand after a tight squeeze and watched as the bard dropped her arms back to her side, the feelings from earlier fleeing.

Janice and Mel had walked up to their descendents, the archeologist placing her gun back into her holster. The stoic dark-haired woman re-sheathed her sword with natural skill. Then two pairs of soulmates stared at one another, the same question hanging loose within the air. Janice was the first to offer anything out of the bunch, which was direct mostly to Gabrielle.

"Could have been an Amazon?" The bard shook her head in a no response and talked in a serious tone.

"They would have shown themselves. And we should have been able to see who ever or what ever it was up in those trees with that fire" The tall warrior nodded in agreement and looked down at Gabrielle then back to the group.

"I think its more of a who" Xena's remark was said coldly with and edge to it as she narrowed her ice eyes at the end. The bard closed her eyes to it briefly then opened them again and spoke once more.

"Besides I've never seen an Amazon move through trees at such a fast rate. The only person I've ever seen that is able to do that is Xena" The archeologist sighed, feeling a bit frustrated that she didn't have a clue as to whom it was. Mel could feel the strong tension lingering in the air, bothering her with ease. Then she decided to try and lighten things back up.

"Well there is nothing we can do about it right now. How about y'all sit down and I'll take care of the desserts" The small blond looked up at her belle, grinning some. Both Xena and Gabrielle had nodded in agreement about the idea. Mel then reached over and took the plates and forks from the small blond, now holding tight in her lager hand. The southerner grinned down at her partner and lightly pushed her towards the log close by the fire, Janice understanding it. All three women padded over to the fire, Janice sitting down on the log followed by Gabrielle. Xena was headed to sit next to her soulmate, but stopped short and grinned to herself as she sat down on the ground. She positioned herself to in front of the bard, leaning back against the younger woman's legs. Gabrielle smirked inwardly as she felt warm leather, smooth skin, and cool brass all pressed into her legs while she reached down to run her small fingers through jet black hair. The tall warrior gave into the feeling, closing her blue eyes and letting her body relax some, but still partially tense from prior. The tall aristocrat across from the fire began to put together her surprise for her soulmate and ancestors. Janice kept a close eye on her lover, watching every move and flinch the belle made. Mel grinned to herself, realizing her partner was watching her, she loved the attention she got from this other woman. The southerner sufficiently put the dessert together then placed a certain amount on two plates. Carring each, she first made her way over to Xena and her bard, the warrior opening her sky blue eyes from the movement and sound. Gabrielle looked up to the belle as she neared, Mel then handed one of the plates to the bard whom appreciatively took it. The ex-warlord peeked over her own shoulder to look at the plate's contents and grinned to herself as did the bard. Gabrielle then looked up to Mel from the plate with a smile she talked to the tall belle with a playful voice.

"Must run in the family, thank you Mel" Mel nodded and smiled back, out of the corner of her eye she caught her soulmate. Janice stared into the fire, but a smirk was edged into her lips, making the belle grin as well. Slowly the translator walked over to her soulmate just a few paces away to her right. Sitting next to the archeologist, the belle grinned as her soulmate kept looking into the fire with the same smirk. Placing the plate onto her lap, Mel had an idea come to her. Picking up one of the small objects cover in a thick, syrupy liquid, she put it in her mouth, but not biting down on it. Swiftly she grasped the side of Janice's face and turned the blond's head to her. Leaning in under Janice's hat, the tall woman kissed her soulmate passionately, getting her lover to open her mouth. With ease the translator slipped half of the object into Janice's mouth.

Janice for her part was utterly shocker about Mel's forwardness, she never expected her soulmate to do this in front of others let alone when it was just them. But the archeologist wouldn't complain as the taste of honey flooded her mouth. Finally, the small woman bit down, splitting the juicy object in half. Now the taste of apple zipped through her mouth, intertwining with the sweet honey. Janice thought she was in heaven, between the kiss, apple, and honey. Slowly Mel pulled back and opened her desire filled eyes once more, gazing back into a grinning and happy lover. The belle lightly chuckled at the look of surprise and happiness on Janice's face. Then the blond spoke to her lover in a low voice for only Mel to hear.

"I'll confess, I love your surprises Mel" The tall woman began to erotically smile as she whispered back in a low but throaty voice.

"Yes, I kind of reckoned" At a leisurely pace the belle gathered another honey apple slice to give to her soulmate. Both were expecting it to be a long night with the desserts, as did another pair of lovers' close by the fire.

~*Part 10*~

Janice brought her hand up to rub her temple, but kept her green eyes shut. Gradually, she dropped her hand back down, onto a large arm, she began to grin. She could feel the warmth of a stronger presence behind her, making her tingle all over. The small blond loved waking up into a new day like this, it always put her into a better mood. She laughed inwardly at that thought, how she use to hate mornings, always waking up early to a miserable life. But that all had changed soon as a tall southern accented beautiful woman stepped into her life. Now the archeologist could feel the heat of something touch her face, the sun, she knew it was dawn. She turned slowly in her soulmate's arms and opened her eyes to find sapphire eyes staring right back at her. The northerner began to grin and a small smug grin formed onto the belle's lips. The tall female leaned in to kiss her partner on her forehead, making Janice smile and her green eyes gleam. Mel was the first one to speak in a low soothing tone.

"We better get up love" The small archeologist nodded her agreement and felt strong arms release her. Casually a small blond got up from the bedroll followed Mel. Both women looked around the camp to spot their ancestors sitting on the log by the dead fire, eating something they couldn't tell from here. Janice looked to Mel whom shrugged her shoulder in response, making the small woman look back to the warrior and bard.

"I'll be damned they are up before us" The belle lightly grunted as she stretched her muscles, feeling the relief from it. She then turned back around to their bedroll, to see her black glasses, Janice's jacket with whip, gun, and hat. The translator reached down and grasped them and turned around to face her soulmate whom was tying her boots tight. Standing back up, the archeologist saw Melinda had her stuff and gratefully took them, slipping her gun into her holster and tying her whip to her side. Throwing her hat on over her pulled back hair, she easily slipped on her leather jacket. She then looked to her tall soulmate to see her dark glasses on once more. Slowly they headed over to sit with their ancestors. The bard was the first to look up as they neared, with a small piece if red apple in her hands over a bowl. As they sat down to the blond's left, the small bard rose up and collected two bowls from beside her lover. Gabrielle handed a bowl to Janice whom sat beside her then to Mel at the end. Both women took the bowls, to find different things contained in the metal bowl; apple slices, figs, cherries, and some kind of red berries. The tall warrior looked to her left to see her descendents with a small twinkle to her pale blue eyes.

"Was wondering when you two would decide to get up" The archeologist shot her head up and looked to the ex-warlord and saw the small grin forming on the tall woman's lips.

"Well Mel and I were quite tired from our trek across those mountains" Xena slightly nodded and continued to keep a tormenting grin on her face as she spoke in a teasing tone.

"Oh that’s why…thought it was something else" Gradually the archeologist let a smirk for on her lips now as she stared back at the warrior.

"There could defiantly be another reason" Now Janice heard a snicker to her left side and knew it was her lover. The four women all went back to finishing up their breakfast, mentally preparing themselves for the long day. But they didn't seem to mind that part, considering they were all grinning as they sat in the morning's silence. Once the foursome had finished their food, they had begun their trek through Amazon's forest to the mountains. It was a pleasant walk with no problems accruing. Nobody said much, all still in deep thought about last night's mysterious happening. For the two blonds' they felt like they knew, but couldn't quite put their finger on it. They racked their minds all day, trying to figure out what kept edging at their mind. Now Janice sat on a light brown rock, looking down the path as she took a deep breath. Next to her sat her tall soulmate who took another drink from the canteen. She then handed it to the small archeologist and Janice took a large swig herself. She then screwed the top back on the canteen and looked over to her ancestors to see them relaxing in each other's arms as they gazed at the view. The small blond looked back to the dirt path that weaved through the barren mountains, which only contained a few small trees here and there with shrubs. Janice figured it would be another half and hour or so before they made it through the mountains. She then looked up to see the sun just beginning its descent to the west, it must be one the blond figured. Slowly Janice opened her leather pack on her lap to place the canteen back inside. The blond then felt large hands fall onto her shoulders and then warm lips cover her neck, placing light kisses to her neck. The small woman sighed and felt a jolt rush through her, then she felt the warm presence move away from her neck and Mel stood up once more. The archeologist followed, stretching her arms some and then smiled to the other three women as she threw her pack over her shoulders. The warrior stepped up to Janice and faintly smiled at her as she spoke to everybody.

"Lets move" The Warrior Princess started walking down the slope at a fast pace, making Janice power walking. At this rate, the archeologist figured she would crash early tonight in bed. Xena seemed to have a never-ending high energy level, but then she was use to it from her own soulmate. Behind the two, were Gabrielle and Mel who took their time making their way down the steep hillside. The small bard looked up to her soulmate's decedent with a small smile playing on her lips.

"So how did you know Xena and I liked honey apples?" The tall belle looked down at the Amazon Queen letting a twinkle show in her blue eyes.

"I just reckoned y'all did, considering Janice and I do" The bard slightly chuckled as she hit flat ground.

"Yeah Xena has a bit of a sweet tooth I've come to figure out" Mel nodded as she retorted back in her southern accent.

"So does Janice, she tries not to show it though" Again the small blond chuckled at the aristocrat's words.

"The same with Xena, but after a while of traveling with her I began to take notice to small things" Slowly the belle's head bobbed up and down as she began to relate that to her relationship with the gruff archeologist. Then Gabrielle looked to her as she reached up carefully touching Mel's arm. The tall female in reaction looked down into serious intense green eyes. "I want to thank you Mel, for talking to Janice about giving me a second chance" The translator sighed as she felt the small warm hand release her arm then she looked back ahead. Melinda looked to her soulmate ahead of her talking to the tall warrior, making her smile some.

"She would have given you a chance Gabrielle, just would have taken a little longer. Janice just needed to hear the facts" The southerner took a deep breath as she continued to gaze ahead. "She has been through a lot, its hard for her to trust and like people" The small bard nodded her head, understanding just those feelings. The bard kept her eyes on her soulmate, coming to understand something.

"You know Janice reminds me more of Xena and you more of me. Janice seems like the strong one like Xena and you seem more…talkative like me" The belle looked to Gabrielle briefly letting a grin play on her rose lips as she thought about the idea.

"Maybe, I see it more Janice being Xena on the outside and you on the inside. Then I am you on the outside and Xena on the inside, mix" The dark haired woman paused for a moment and let that sink in. "When somebody or something upsets me I become very upset on the outside but anger on the inside and closed up. Janice has to work it out of me" The blond grinned recognizing the same thing about her and Xena's relationship. "But when Janice gets hurt she becomes upset all the way around and defensive, she does try not to show it in public, but its defiantly a lot easier for her to talk to me" Now a small smirk formed on the blond's lips.

"Yeah I guess I could see that" Mel smiled some and then decided to take it a little farther, but in a funnier way.

"One thing I recognized about both you and Janice is the bard thing" The blond instantly looked to the belle with an arched semi defensive look, causing the aristocrat to chuckle deeply. "I've noticed that every time Janice and I go to a new area, she seems to…take in her surroundings enjoying the beauty of it all, something I can't do. Its almost like she tries to convey it in her mind in words as well as images, it amazes me" And she always seems to write descriptive, the same kind of style you use I've noticed from your scrolls. Just earlier I was noticing you watching the scenery taking it in, the same look was etched on Janice's face. I just wish though Janice didn't try to hide it so much nor push it down" The small blond nodded comprehending that Janice just didn't act like her, is the bard inwardly. Gabrielle looked around her surroundings as she mused about that, slowly the bard recognized the area, making her grin evilly. She then looked back to her soulmate ahead of her and saw that Janice was listening to something the warrior was saying. Xena finished talking and then looked around and then she turned her head to look back at Gabrielle. The warrior bit down on a grin as she looked to Gabrielle, whom was devilish grinning. Gabrielle then started to chuckle and noticed Janice had turned her head around as well to see the bard laughing to herself. The archeologist then looked to Mel, to see Melinda shrug her shoulders in answer and then Janice did the same. The small blond gruff female looked back up at Xena under her hat in questioning. The tall warrior shook her head at the small archeologist as she continued to pull herself out of the memory that the area brought up.

"Sorry Janice, but like I was saying you should tell Gabrielle" The archeologist nodded and turned her eyes back to the dirt path. She sighed feeling the anger fill her once more.

"You think Gabrielle will accept my apology?" The warrior looked to he small woman with a beautiful smile formed on her lush lips.

"Does Gabrielle love to talk? I know she will Janice" The Warrior Princess paused as she watched the smaller female grunt at her small joke. "But Janice, be proud to be Gabrielle's descendent, like I've said before. I am so honored to be he soulmate as well as so many other things to her" The small blond nodded as she felt something snap with in her. She accepts who she really is and begins to release a part of her that had been buried since she was a child. The part of her that’s been hidden since her mother first left her and her father. A small sincere smile creased Janice's lips as she felt understanding come to her, filling her.

The four women continued to tread along the dirt path and made their way down the last mountainside walking back into another woods. Gabrielle and Mel had joined their soulmates and they decided all to head to Janice's rusty brown truck, figuring it to be a lot faster then by foot. Four pairs of boots stepped onto a gravel dirt road that lead north, just to the side of the road was an old beat up brown truck. They all walked over to it and Janice opened the passenger door, throwing her bag inside and then took Mel's throwing it behind the seats as well. The northerner then turned around to face the other women, and spoke in a serious tone.

"Let me check to see if this old thing still runs" Melinda chuckled some and watched as her soulmate walked over to the driver's side. She climbed in and inserted the key, turning it to her right. They all heard the engine whine but not start up, Janice cursed under her breath as she tried it again. This time Janice hit the gas petal as well.


The starter only whined, but the engine wouldn't come to life frustrating Janice. The blond turned the ignition enough to let the meters work plenty of fuel, not over heated, and no dead battery. The small woman climbed back out of the truck and walked in front of the truck. She grabbed the hood and pushed hard, managing to open it with a jerk. The warrior gradually stepped up beside her and looked inside to see some weird metal stuff contained with in the truck. Janice looked up at the warrior who had furrowed her brows together as she stared at the old Ford engine.

"I don't suppose you know anything about engines Xena?" The warrior looked to Janice then back at the engine. Xena quickly noticed something and pointed to it.

"No I don't, but I am guessing that could be causing some problems" Janice blinked up at the leather-clad woman then turned her gaze down to look at where the warrior pointed. Her amused expression dropped as she took notice to three hoses that had been cut. The blond curses in Greek, making the warrior chuckle some as she recognized the words. The archeologist instantly walked back to the driver's side, reaching behind the seat grasping a roll of tape. Janice walked back around, the warrior reach in, grasping the two ends of one hose and let Janice tape it. They did the same to the other two hoses, taping them tightly hoping it would last long enough. Closing the hood, the two women walked back around to meet their soulmates. Janice looked to the two women, more Mel then anybody.

"Well seems like somebody sabotaged the truck" Mel raised one dark eyebrow at that as she crossed her arms against her chest.

"And who could have done that all the way out here? There is nobody for miles around I reckon" Janice dropped her head in thought and then looked back to her soulmate with a confused face.

"I have no idea, only the Amazons could have done it" She then looked to the small bard beside her tall belle. "But they would have told us so" The Amazon Queen didn't respond, knowing Janice didn't need an answer to the statement. Gabrielle then turned her eyes towards her warrior, with a worried expression. Xena interrupted it easily then she looked from her lover and to Janice.

"Janice who else knew about you coming this way?" The blond pondered about that with nobody coming to mind and then she looked to Mel. Then the archeologist's face lit up as realization came to her and turned to the warrior with an arched eyebrow.

"Vanessa knows we would be headed up here" The small gruff female let her mind wonder back to last night and of Vanessa, relating the two. Now Janice finally figured out what had been tugging at the back of her mind all day and she quietly whispered it aloud, almost out of thought. "Vanessa was in those trees" Mel was in shock about her lover's words, it couldn't be. Janice then looked over to Gabrielle with a questioning face. "Last night Gabrielle, when that thing came through the tress…did you have shivers and goosebumps?" The bard's eyes slightly widen at the words as she nodded.

"Yes I did, did you get the same thing?" The archeologist nodded and the bard raked her right hand throw her bangs as she thought about everything. "But I only get that when…Velasca is close by" Then it hit Janice as she understood the truth and she widen her eyes as she told everybody in a speedy voice.

"Vanessa is Velasca. Gabrielle gets those shivers and goosebumps when Velasca is near, I get them when ever Vanessa is close by. It fits, by god, why didn't I see that sooner?" The small archeologist growled as she remembers that she left Vanessa in charge of her last dig site. "I knew I couldn't trust that woman" Janice looked up to meet sky blue eyes, Janice was angry while Mel felt horrible for insisting to leave Vanessa in charge. The blond saw it conveyed in Mel's eyes, immediately Janice's eyes soften to her lover. The small woman didn't care; she walked over and hugged her tall soulmate, the translator feeling some of her regret leave. Janice then loosened her hold, but kept her arms around the tall form as she looked to her ancestors. "We better get moving" The warrior look up to meet the small woman's green eyse as she nodded. Slowly Janice released Mel after kissing her softly on the cheek. The belle followed Janice behind the truck to leave their ancestors alone. Carefully the aristocrat hopped up into the truck, careful no to touch the bike on the left side. She sat down with her back against the truck's window and listened to hear Janice jump into the driver's side starting the engine without a problem.


"She is a talked like you, don't do anything bad" The bard chuckled at her soulmate's words as she enjoyed the warm hand on right side, while leaning against her staff to the right. She then made an innocent face as she spoke in a sweet tone.

"I won't be bad" The Warrior Princess grunted, knowing her bard wouldn't, couldn't resist telling a story about her.

"Uh huh, we'll see" Xena then leaned in and kissed Gabrielle, feeling waves of passion crash over her. The ex-warlord pulled away and released her bard, she looked down at Gabrielle with a smile while her blue eyes shined in the sun light. The bard smiled back and the tall woman winked then walked behind the truck, hopping up into the truck and sat beside her descendant. Gabrielle shook her head as she stepped up to the passenger side door, opening it the bard tossed her staff in. Janice caught it and moved it behind the seats where her and Mel's leather bags lied. The Amazon Queen then sprung up into the seat, slamming the rusty door behind her. Immediately the truck roared up onto the dirt road, off of the grass side. Gabrielle then took quick notice to the scent of something lingering in the truck, making her look to Janice. She saw a small round brown item coming out of the blond's mouth. The archeologist exhaled and a cloud of smoke came out of her mouth, lingering in the air then disappeared. Janice then reached down and wound the wind down, letting fresh air sweep into the truck cabin. The blond northerner then removed the brown item from her mouth and looked to Gabrielle and saw her trying to figure out what it was she was smoking. Janice lightly chuckled and smiled to her ancestor.

"It’s a cigar" The blond Greek nodded as she took in the scent, not minding it one bit, kind of liking it more then anything.

"It doesn't smell that bad" Again the archeologist wryly chuckled at the words as she placed the cigar back in her mouth, taking a few drags. She then spoke back to her ancestor through the cigar, faintly muffling her words.

"Yeah but their not good for you" The bard looked to Janice with a bit of a puzzled face.

"Then why you smoke them?" The small woman shrugged her shoulders as she considered that, trying to remember how she first got into them.

"Well my dad use to smoke them and I just got into them because of him. But they help me relax and calm me down" The Amazon Queen nodded and looked back ahead out of the window.


"How long have you and Janice been together now?" Mel looked to the other woman with a smile forming on her lips at the question.

"My Lord seems like forever, it's been about…nine months now" Xena nodded, thinking about the time when her and Gabrielle confessed their lover for each other. Slowly the tall leather-clad woman let a smile slip in, while the memories came to her. She at that moment looked back to the aristocrat with an expressionless face after wiping off the smile.

"How did it happen?" The translator dropped her head remembering the day in her life she thought she was going to lose everything, right down to her soul.

"Well after Janice and I had met, we had gotten into a bit of a tight spot. She ended up getting badly injured by a gun wound, thought she was going to die that night. That’s when I told her how much I truly loved her, but the next day when everybody reckoned she would be dead, Janice was feeling better. I mean at the time she was under a major concussion, but she managed to pull through and she said she had heard me, made her want to fight to come back around" The warrior nodded reflecting that to her own memories.

"Funny how it always seems to take something life threatening for somebody to confess their true feelings" The aristocrat nodded as she continued to think about that time in her life, when everything changed her, it made her smile.

"Yes but I am glad for them in a way, I would have never told Janice otherwise" The warrior smiled to Mel while feeling the breeze blow by her.

"Same here" Xena then thought she heard some laughter and turned to look into the window to see her soulmate and Janice, Mel does the same as Xena. Xena watched as Gabrielle leaned forward clutching her stomach as laughs rocked her body. The bard then leaned back in the seat resting her head back as she held her stomach, laughing, tears coming down her face. Melinda though was looking to her soulmate to see her gripping the steering-wheel tightly as she laughed, a few tears coming down her own flushed cheeks.

"My Lord, what are those two laughing about? Looks pretty funny" The ex-warlord looked at Mel then back to her soulmate, knowing her to be the source of the whole thing. She watched her bard, trying to figure out what they were talking about. Gabrielle released her left hand from her stomach to try and talk again. She said something that the warrior just caught from lip reading, and watched as Gabrielle acted out her words. The bard sat up straight and stiffened her face with the look of shock written all over her face, Janice watched as she kept an eye on the road. Then both blonds broke out laughing all over again for what seemed like forever. The Warrior Princess sighed and shook her head as she spoke to Mel with a small smirk to her lips.

"Gabrielle is telling a rather funny story about me that she loves" The tall belle grinned and soon afterward her grin broke and Mel's eyes slightly narrowed.

"Janice has a few of those herself" The warrior widen her eyes seldom and looked to Janice in the truck. Xena nodded her head towards Janice, the southerner hastily looked to her soulmate. Mel watched as Janice was still somewhat laughing, but she was talking between her laughs telling some kind of story. That was easy to tell by the way the archeologist moved her lips, one hand free from the steering wheel, freely moving to describe the story better. What did make Mel happy though was her soulmate was using her hands, letting her be herself. Next the aristocrat noticed her lover started to laugh again between her words and so was Gabrielle. Now the archeologist finished her story and it sent the bard into a fit of laughs. Now it dawned on the translator what her lover was saying to Gabrielle. Then the tall southerner looked to the warrior with a serious face. "Janice is going to get it for that" The leather-clad woman chuckled deeply and began to grin as she mused about what she was going to say to her bard about it.


Janice moved her free hand from her stomach and grasped the wheel again, happy that the road was straight. She finally felt her control come over her as she slowed down on her laughing. Gabrielle felt herself calm as well as she wiped the tears from her eyes. Janice then looked to her ancestor briefly then back to the road.

"But Xena was really that shocked huh?" The bard nodded as a few giggles bubbled up.

"Yeah she really was that shocked I said those words to her" Janice shook her head at that idea.

"So that’s what you and Xena looked to each other about in the mountains?" The Amazon Queen nodded and grinned to Janice.

"Yes, she remembered as well as I, one of my most favorite memories. Can still remember how shocked she was when I said those words; sexy, deep, passionate lovers. I've never let her forget that time" Janice grinned as she continued to drive the brown trick down the gravelly road. "Speaking of which" The bard turned around to look through the window, to see her soulmate talking to Mel, rather whispering to her. The small female corked an eyebrow at seeing the two women talking and looked to Janice. The archeologist caught the look and looked through the review mirror to see her soulmate listening to the warrior leaning into one another. Mel chuckled deeply, and Janice could swear she say that twinkle in her soulmate's eyes. Now she felt butterflies enter her stomach as to what Mel could be up to with the warrior.

"Gabrielle, can Xena by any chance read lips in her list of many skills?" The blond bard's eyes widen as she realized what could have happened. She slowly sunk down in her seat, answering Janice's question.

"Yes she can, now we are going to get it for those two stories" The northerner grinned as she looked to Gabrielle, watching her rake her hands through her blond bands.

"Ah what can they do?" The small bard looked to her descendent with a look making the gruff archeologist chuckle deeply.

~*Part 11*~

The small blond stretched her arms with her staff in front of her as she stood in the green grass. Slowly a tall form stepped up beside her, making the blond tingle some. She dropped her arms by her side as she looked to her left at her dark-haired soulmate. Sparkling blue eyes looked down at her and gradually a small smile formed on lush lips. Behind them they heard a door slam and two other figures walked up beside them looking ahead at the small mountain side. Janice shook her ahead as she hefted the leather bag over her shoulders, she was getting sick of these mountains. Now they had to walk up a mountainside to this cave that the warrior said that contained the tomb, at least Janice hoped. Reaching inside of her leather jacket, the blond removed a small cigar and a pack of matches. She easily lit the brown cigar and began to smoke it, letting the smoke slowly flow out of her mouth. Mel looked down at her grinning, the archeologist looked up and meagerly grinned to her. The warrior had turned her gaze to the other two women; she had her stoic form on as she spoke.

"Lets go" The tall leather-clad woman stepped ahead knowing the path ahead was probably gone, but she remembered the exact path to the tomb. The warrior also knew that the footpath was only meant to be traveled single filed. Xena though had to grin as she felt her soulmate following behind he, the she guessed Mel next, followed by the protective archeologist. The ex-warlord was on edge, expecting Velasca to show her face sooner or later, she was stalking them, and the warrior could feel it in her gut. Xena was looking forward to finally settling this, to stopping Velasca forever, leaving the warrior and her bard in peace for eternity. Gabrielle had expressed to Xena numerous times that she was worried about Ares taking Xena's soul from her. The warrior had just faintly smiled and told her soulmate that only Gabrielle owned her soul. Xena grinned inwardly as she remember the biggest smile that cover her bard's lips and the looked of pure love washed over her small features. Now the warrior stopped in her movement, the bard and the decedents stopped automatically. Xena looked around as she let her memory kick in, looking at her surroundings, it was all covered in vegetation, the path was defiantly gone. The tall woman looked to her left recognizing the area, now she remember as she reached behind, she instantaneously unsheathed her sword. Taking a few steps left, the warrior chopped a few large thicket bushes down, making it easier to pass through. Sheathing her sword once more, the tall female walked past the thicket bush walking up the mountainside, letting her memory guide her. Janice kept a close eye to her surroundings, not liking how quite everything seemed. She took another drag from her cigar, blowing the smoke out as she walked along the path. The blond continued to scan the mountainside expecting Vanessa to jump her or Mel. Janice pulled the remains of her cigar from her mouth, throwing it to the ground in front of her, t! hen stepping on it to smother it. She then let her eyes settle on Mel, the translator was looking around at their surroundings, which seem to calm Janice, some. The archeologist was glad to see the southerner was watching out for anything. Looking more ahead she caught site of Gabrielle, whom was looking around as she walked, occasionally she spun her staff in a full circle in her hands. Janice also notices the bard walked rather close to Xena, as Mel walked more closely to Janice. Or was Janice walking closer to Mel? The archeologist snickered at that question, wondering who was walking closer to whom.

The warrior looked up and over to her left seeing a small opening, she grinned to herself. Xena cautiously weaved her way up the mountainside closer and closer to the opening. Melinda could feel her heart pounding, she was so close to seeing Xena and the bard's cadavers. But why is she so excited? She is here walking on a path on a mountainside with Xena and Gabrielle. The belle figured it had be the archeology side of her, the adventure side. Now she knew exactly how her soulmate felt, actually the aristocrat knew this was how Janice was feeling, their connection told her. She looked back to her lover and quickly intense green eyes looked back to her. The bell began to grin, seeing her gruff soulmate return the grin then it slowly drifted into a loving smile. Looking back ahead, the four women were face to face with the dark opening that was covered in cobwebs. Xena reached to the ground grabbing a stick, she easily removed the spider webs out of the way. Tossing the stick back to the ground, she turned around to face everybody with a serious face. "Wait here" After those words, the tall woman disappeared into the darkness of the cave. Within seconds the sound of rocks being hit together came to them, then the cavern mouth began to glow as the smell of fire hit them. Now a tall dark warrior confidently reappeared from the cave as she nodded to the entrance. That bard walked up beside Xena as they made their way in, Xena and Gabrielle first, then Janice and Mel right behind them. They walked for what seemed like forever to the archeologist, turning right then left then going straight then it happened all over again. The entire way the wall side was lined with lit torches, Greek fire once again. The cavern sides wide enough to leave a small space between two people walking together. The ceiling on the other hand was rather low, just high enough for Mel and the warrior to stand up straight, once in a few they would have to duck. ! Janice looked ahead through her ancestors to see that it began to become brighter, more torches her guess was. Slowly they came around another left bend to walk into a large circular room that was completely lined with torches, which eliminated the room. In the center was a large rock sarcophagus, it seemed to be carved directly from the cavern floor. The bottom was in fact attached to the cavern floor. This surprised Janice that Greeks would take the time to carve the crypt from the cave's stone. Xena and Gabrielle slowly walked up the foot of the tomb that faced the entrance and exit of the cavern. Mel and her archeologist walked passed them circling the tomb and now stood by each other as they faced their ancestors and the tunnel leading out. Both Janice and her translator looked at the coffin's cover, seeing descriptive carvings of Xena on the right side of the lid and Gabrielle on the other side. The archeologist did notice the bard was wearing a different outfit in the c! arving then she was wearing now. She guessed it to be the Amazon Queen's outfit from the description she remembered in the scrolls. Slowly and carefully Janice ran her right hand over the lid as she felt her hands tremble. Then a large surge of emotion shot through her, she had the burning desire to open it. She then looked up to her ancestors across from her and Mel, they both were looking down at the lid as well. Janice watched, as did Mel, as Gabrielle moved closer to Xena and slid her right arm around the warrior's waist. She then rest her head against Xena's shoulder as Xena brought a protective arm around the bard's shoulder and dropped her own head on top of Gabrielle's head. The archeologist and belle looked to their sadden faces, their eyes frilled with unshed rears. Suddenly both Janice and her soulmate felt a wash of sadness hit them. Janice removed her right hand from the lid and reached for a larger hand that quickly clasped her small warm hand. The archeologist g! ripped her lover's hand tightly as she felt the urge to open the coffin left her, she couldn't or didn't want to. Janice and the southerner could feel their happiness drop, realizing something inside of themselves. Janice looked up once more and to Xena and Gabrielle as she felt a lump in her throat.

The blond bard looked up from the lid as a few tears slid down her face, she faintly smiled to her warrior. She spoke in a low voice to Xena, trying to hold her voice from cracking.

"We had a lot of good years together" Xena looked down to her soulmate with a small smile as well, then slowly the warrior let her guard down, letting tears roll down her cheeks at the memories.

"Yes we did" The ex-warlord leaned down kissing the bard on her forehead, she then reached up with her free hand. Lovingly the warrior wiped away her partner's tears from her eyes as she felt her own dry up. Xena looked down at the sarcophagus as she took a deep breath and slowly released it. She then look to her descendents with faintly redden eyes. "We should stay at the mouth of the cave, see how long it'll take Velasca to show up" Janice looked up first followed by the belle, both nodded in answer to the warrior. The ex-warlord and her bard turned around to face the exit and they slowly head back to the entrance, with Mel and the archeologist right behind them. Xena and the bard walked arm in arm as the belle and archeologist walked hand in hand, all still feeling sad. As they came around the last corner, the tall warrior kept her back to everybody as she spoke in her deep commanding tone. "Stay here, I am gong to go get us some fire wood and food" With that Xena released her soulmate and headed out into the dusk day, hunting. The bard watched as her lover disappeared into he early night, knowing that Xena wanted sometime alone to compose herself. Xena has rarely ever shown her emotions to others, it had actually surprised the blond to see her soulmate show them in front of Janice and Mel. The small bard conceived that her warrior trust the archeologist and belle. 'She defiantly has changed' The bard grinned to herself at that concept. Gabrielle at a leisurely pace turned around to face her descendents with a small smile crossing her lips.

"Janice, we have a pot and fresh water?" The small archeologist smirked under her hat as she reached for the straps over her shoulders. She efficiently took off the large leather pack from her back and setting it on the ground. She began to sit down as her partner joined her and the bard walked over and sat on Janice's other side. The archeologist dug through her bag, easily finding the pot and handing it to her ancestor. Pulling out a large rope, the blond grinned as she placed it on the ground and kept searching. Digging around a little more the northerner found her large canteen filled to the brim with fresh water. She handed that as well to Gabrielle and spotted her spoon for cooking as well and she handed that to the Amazon Queen. Then Janice felt to her left her soulmate nudge her and she looked up with a questioning expression.

"I know you packed those dried vegetables in your pack? I don't reckon you want to eat a stew without them" The bard giggled some at Mel's words while the archeologist just shook her head and grinned.

"Course I did Mel…I think" The belle arched a dark eyebrow at her lover as Janice went back to looking in her pack and quickly found a jar. Janice lifted it up and glances into it to see carrots, mushrooms, tomatoes, and onions all tightly sealed within. Janice grinned to herself then handed the jar to her ancestor, Gabrielle just shook her head then spoke to the archeologist.

"So I am taking it that I am doing the cooking tonight…again?" The blond looked up from under her hat to the beautiful bard with a wry smile.

"Well you did ask for the stuff" The bard rolled her eyes and Mel decided to join in the conversation.

"I'll help you Gabrielle" Janice looked to her partner with a serious face then looked back to the small bard.

"I'll take care of the dishes…again" The next thing that could be heard was a little yelp from the archeologist as she moved closer to Gabrielle. An offended look covered her features as she glared at Mel with a grin. The tall belle chuckling deeply as Janice rubbed her left side some from her soulmate tickling her.

"You know love, I did help you clean those dishes as well" The blond archeologist raised an eyebrow at Mel as she dropped her hand from her side and leaned back closer to her soulmate. Janice then reached for the rope from earlier slipping it back into the leather bag as she retorted back to the southerner.

"I never asked you to" To Janice's right she could hear the bard begin to chuckle some while Mel just slightly glared to the northerner, her blue eyes gleaming from the late sun peaking into the cavern entrance. "But I am not complaining one bit" The southerner's glare fell and was replaced by a sexy smile, making Janice take a bit of a gulp. Before anybody could say anything, a tall powerful form appeared in the entrance of the cave. Janice and Mel looked up in surprise but Gabrielle knew her partner was coming a while back through their connection. The bard looked up and smiled to her soulmate, whom smiled back in return. Gabrielle watched as her partner stepped in more, dropping some wood against the wall side of the cave. The warrior then sat down in the small circle with them, stern face. The bard was the first to say anything.

"Were you able to find anything for dinner?" Xena looked to her left at the bard, her pale blue eyes warming to the blond.

"Yeah, rabbit its outside skinned and all" Gabrielle nodded as she reached for the canteen and jar of vegetables placing them inside of the pot. She then stood up with the pot, the warrior looking up at her. Xena reached in between her breasts and pulled out her dagger, handing it to Gabrielle. The small blond took it with a smile, heading out of the cave and taking her cooking articles with her outside. "It's to the right" Right before the Amazon Queen disappeared outside, the warrior just caught the bard's nodded in understanding. Turning her head back to her descendants, Xena stood up and turned around to the firewood. Janice and Mel took notice and stood up themselves moving out of the way as the warrior began placing the firewood in certain positions. Once done, the leather-clad female reached for a torch from the cavern wall, placing it into the fire pit, directly in the middle. With in a minute or two, the wood began to burn, warming the cavern tunnel as the sun began it's finally minutes of decants to the west. The northerner and her partner were now sitting next to each other close by the fire, the warrior setting up a spit over the fire for the pot. Once the fire was well on its way, the bard re-entered inside, pot filled with water rabbit meat, and an array of vegetables. Xena took the pot and hung it over the fire to let it cook, then both women settled down on the cavern floor, remotely close to Janice and the aristocrat. The archeologist finally spoke to the group with a serious tone.

"So how are we going to handle Vanessa or Velasca?" Gabrielle looked over to her descendant with a stern face

"Well one thing is obvious is we can't let her get to the sarcophagus" Janice nodded and thought of a way to stop her assistant from the dig site.

"Janice do you have anything explosive?" The question came out of thin air, the warrior's had spoken with a cold edge. Janice looked away from the fire to the dark-haired warrior, to be met with powerful blue eyes. The small blond nodded her head then began to talk in a small voice.

"Yeah I do. What for?" Xena tore her gaze from the archeologist to look at her lover, then back to Janice.

"We need to trap Velasca and permanently as well as destroy the sarcophagus" The small blond opened her mouth to say something, but didn't. She closed her mouth, stun look washed over her features. She opened her mouth again to retort, but Mel did it for her, southern accent cutting in deeply.

"Now why would you want to go and do that?" Xena sighed, knowing just why her decedents didn't want the remains destroyed. Before she could reply her bard backed her up, bardic mode coming to life.

"Because we can't let Velasca nor anybody else for that matter get a hold of the remains. Ares never said that it only had to be Velasca to read the enchanted scroll, its possible anybody could do it. Beside that, it'll be easy to trap Velasca in here rather then let her be out in the world causing chaos" The bard paused, as she took a deep breath and then spoke in a low, quiet voice. "Besides Xena and I would like to be able not to worry about the situation any more" Janice dropped her head at the last part, reaching up to remove her hat from her head, placing it in her lap, blond bangs falling down on her forehead. She then looked to Mel who had removed her black glasses and was rubbing her temples. She dropped her hand with the glasses to her lap and looked at Janice, bit sadden face, frustration written all over. Both gazed into one another's eyes, asking the same question if they could really do this. Destroy the largest archeology find ever, the one thing Janice has been searching for all her life as well as her own father. Now she had the chance to not only prove their once existence, but show it. The archeologist nor translator couldn't be sure if they could destroy the remains, end a life's worth of work. The fire burned deep inside of the translator and Janice's mind to recovery the remains and show it them, to the world. They both though looked deep into their heart and soul, placing themselves in Gabrielle and Xena's position. Realizing what they would want done in this same situation. Knowing that this is family, knowing that Xena and Gabrielle are them, are their souls and knowing this is

The Greater Good.

Janice nodded to her soulmate with understanding, their connection sharing ever emotion and feeling. The archeologist turned to look back to Xena and Gabrielle, both ancestors already knowing the answer. The warrior and bard knowing through the connection they held with these other two women through soul. The northerner finally spoke in a very stoic voice, which sent a chill down the bard's back.

"I have enough explosives to take this mountain down" The warrior faintly smiled as did the bard, Janice and Mel returning a wry smile. Xena reached over and grasped Janice's knee briefly, squeezing it then releasing.

"Thanks Janice and Mel" A corked grin slipped onto the archeologist's lips while Mel nodded to her descendant. The four women for the remainder of the night sat back, working out a plan to stopping the immortal. Expecting Velasca to show soon, knowing she was waiting for the right time to come after the remains. All had discussed their plans while they had eaten their dinner, feeling their stomachs full from the bard's dinner. At the end, Janice had left the cavern with Mel to take care of the dishes. The entire time both women could feel eyes watching them, sending Janice's instincts into protective mode.

Once they returned back to the cavern, they spotted the warrior sitting up against the cavern wall. A small form snuggled in between her arms, chest rising and falling at a slow pace, sleeping. The stoic woman's sword on the ground beside them with the bard's staff beside it. Xena had opened her eyes to watch Janice and Mel walk in, Mel smiling over at the scene. The warrior smiled back and nodded her head towards the firewood. Janice looked at the fire and then padded over to the wood, hefting up a few large pieces and slipping them into the fire. The fire came back to life, warming and brightening the tunnel up. By the time Janice had that done, her partner had put the dishes back into the leather pack. She straightened back up from leaning over, she removed her dark classes and placing them into her blue shirt pocket. She then reached up, undoing her dark hair, letting it fall down beyond her shoulders.

The belle then sat down, the opposite side of the fire from the bard and warrior. Her back pressed up against the cool, smooth rock, feeling it begin to warm from her body heat. Janice looked down at her soulmate and grinned to her, emerald eyes sparkling. She removed her hat placing it beside her leather pack. Then the blond took off her leather jacket and gave in to her desire. Janice sat down, snuggling into Mel's chest, feeling the warmth and comfort, not regretting her actions one bit. 'Sometimes I just need to let my tough act go' The archeologist grinned inwardly at her thoughts as she brought her jacket over her and Mel. The leather coat just covering their upper portion, holding in the heat of their bodies with more comfort. The belle had wrapped her arms tightly around the blond's waist, feeling a smile crease her lips. The northerner then rests her head against Mel's chest, the tall female dropping her chin lightly onto Janice's strawberry-blond head. Slowly emerald green eyes became heavy, the smaller woman's body relaxing and her breathing going even.

Mel continued to smile to herself as she looked down beside the leather pack to see Janice's hat and seven sticks of dynamite. All the ends of the sticks twisted together, ready to be lit within seconds notice. Mel sighed at the site and then brought her eyes up to look across the fire to Xena, blue eyes already looking back. The leather-clad woman then quietly whispered over to the aristocrat, not allowing her soulmate to hear her.

"Go to sleep" Mel nodded and then smiled, getting one in return. Xena had agreed earlier to take watch over the night, knowing she couldn't sleep any way. The tall belle let her head rest against Janice's, sleep taking over.


~*Part 12*~

Janice brought her head up from Mel's shoulder, feeling the comfort of it all. She let her eyes come into focus as she gazed around. The fire was beginning to die out but there was a faint light becoming noticeable through the mouth of the cave. She figured it to be early morning, or not to far off, it was still fairly dark outside. Janice then looked across the fire, to where she figured Xena and Gabrielle to be, not seeing either woman. She took notice to the fact the bard's staff still rested on the ground, close to where they were earlier on, but the warrior's sword was gone. Janice felt something unsettling rise up in her over the scene, worrying her. The blond then reached for Mel's leg, just lightly squeezing it while whispering up to her soulmate.

"Mel wake up" The southerner felt the movement and stirred to hear the words, slowly blurred eyes opened up. Mel removed one hand from the archeologist's stomach to rub her eyes as she spoke with a hoarse tone.

"What's wrong Janice?" Once Mel dropped her hand to move back under the jacket to the smaller woman's stomach.

"I think something is going on. Xena and Gabrielle aren't here and Gabrielle left her staff behind. She never goes any where without that thing" The belle looked over to where her ancestors were originally, seeing the spot vacated except for the staff. Carefully Janice stood up, feeling the cool air against her back but quickly slipped her jacket on. She then reached for her hat, putting it on swiftly. She grasped her leather bag and pulled out her coiled rope, putting her arm through the center and pulling it up to her shoulder. After doing so a tall form rose up from the ground, stern look set in. Janice looked to Mel with a serious face as she felt under her jacket to feel cool metal, her revolver. "I am going to go check outside, I want you to stay here" Mel opened her mouth to protest but was cut off before she could. "Mel I need you to stay here, know you're okay and to watch over everything" A pause. "Besides knowing your luck you'll get into trouble" A dark eyebrow rose up from that remark as she grinned to the smirking archeologist.

"Be careful love" Janice smiled as she nodded and turned around jogging out of the grotto, but called out to Mel before vanishing outside.

"Always" The southerner smiled and then walked over to the firewood, throwing in some wood, bringing the fire back to life.


The archeologist stopped moving, hearing the sound of voices, she listened hardier.

Three voices.

All Female.

Xena, Gabrielle, and Vanessa.

Janice quietly cursed under her breath as she closed her eyes, pint pointing their location.

Down the mountainside.

And to the left.

Janice looked over in that general direction and took notice to a small cliff that over hung to where she heard the muffled voices. Stealthy the blond made her way over to the cliff's edge ahead of her. The voices began to come clearer as she neared the small cliff's side. Once she came to the cliff's ledge, she removed her revolver and took off the safety, but didn't pull back on the hammer. Carefully and soundlessly the archeologist got down on her stomach and moved along the ground to the edge of the cliff's side. She peeked through a bush on the ledge and looked down to take in the scene. Velasca had her back to the base of the cliff, the bard wrapped up in Velasca's right arm. The immortal held a small dagger in her hand that was to Gabrielle's throat. Xena was about ten paces away, sword unsheathed and in fighting stance.

"Come on Velasca let her go. You don't get anything out of this!" White-eyes stared at the warrior, gleaming as she flexed her wrist closer to the bard's throat. Gabrielle sucked in her breath, wishing she hadn't left the cavern earlier in search of food. She mentally cursed herself for not bring her staff, knowing the risks. Xena could feel her frustration kick in, but became aware of something metallic at the top of the cliff. It gleamed in the early morning sun's rays as the sun peaked over the mountains. Her eyes moved up to the object and noted the barrel shape of it, realizing it was a gun. She then quickly lowered her blue eyes to focus on Gabrielle's, the bard slightly nodded in understanding. Finally Velasca responded to the warrior's earlier comment with a harsh loud tone.

"I get plenty out of this Xena. You think I'd really kill Gabrielle" A pause as the ex-Amazon reached over with her left hand lightly grazing her hand over the bard's stomach. Gabrielle's stomach crawled at the touch, she thought she would be sick with disgust. "I'd rather have her see your soul be under Ares control more then anything" Blue eyes were iced over with hatred and rage, jaw taught with a little amount of patience refraining the warrior from lashing out. The Amazon Queen took quick notice to this and knew her lover was on the brink of letting her rage out. Without much thought, the bard slammed the left heal of her foot down on Velasca's right foot. Velasca growled in reaction as a small form leaped off the cliff ledge from above. The person landed directly behind the immortal and Gabrielle. Velasca quickly tried to get her barring but was to late, the new comer grabbed her right wrist, and the dagger pulled from the bard's throat. Gabrielle ducked under and moved from Velasca's reach, closer to Xena. The next thing Velasca felt was a fist and cold metal connecting with her face, sending her stumbling backwards. Velasca shook her head some and focused her eyes on the new comer, a small blond in a leather jacket, hat on, gun in hand, and danger eyes flashing.

Janice Covington

The immortal gritted her teeth and moved closer to Janice. Janice took notice to what Velasca is wearing nothing like from the dig site. She had tight brown leathers on, hair pulled back some, gauntlets on with a short leather skirt, braids in her hair and a gleaming sword on her back. Velasca looked beyond the archeologist for a moment and saw the bard and warrior behind the archeologist hastily talking. Velasca just made out the words.

"Gabrielle get back to the cave and Mel. Get things setup" The ex-Amazon growled and leaped towards Janice, taking the blond down on her back. Gabrielle watched it happened and looked back to serious blue eyes. "Go now!" The bard nodded and broke off running towards the cave, leaving two women behind to slow an immortal. The bard sprinted through the small trees and vegetation, getting swiped by branches and thickets. She caught site of a thicket bush in front of her in the eastern sunlight. Two more sprinting steps and she leaped high over the brush, landing neatly on one knee and foot. She stood back up and looked up a ways to see the cave's mouth, glowing with a fire.


The belle stood up from the cave's floor and stepped up closer to the mouth, possible hearing somebody moving this way. She was right, fast moving feet were headed towards the entrance. Mel knew it was either Janice or Gabrielle by the footfall, recognizing them immediately. She walked over the very entrance, as a small figure could be seen sprinting up the mountainside. The belle looked hard and saw it to be the bard. Gabrielle moved quickly, seeing the belle at the mouth of the cave, watching her with concern eyes. As she neared she called up to Mel with, breathing hard in between her words.

"She is here Mel! Go get the explosives!" The belle vanished into the tunnel, briskly walking over to the leather pack. She grasped the dynamite as well as a pack of matches Janice had left behind beside the explosives. Listening she heard Gabrielle jog into the cave and come over to her, dropping a hand to the aristocrat's left shoulder. The bard's breathing was ragged as she spoke to the belle as she stood up with the two items in hand. "We ready?" The translator turned to face Gabrielle and nodded with a stoic face. Gabrielle looked hard, taking notice to how the belle seemed to let something within her take control, a stronger side. The bard nodded and took a deep breath and walked over to her staff grasping it tightly and then neared the entrance of the cave. She scanned the low trees and shrubs a tall form stepping up beside her, holding the explosives and matches. They both gazed around, looking for something, anything. Then they both heard a shot and a deep voice yell Xena's voice. Gabrielle held her breath her heart rate picked up and stomach twisting and a certain anger following through her veins she knew to be her soulmates. Now the sound of feet running in their direction came, quick paces head directly up the mountainside. Then the two women could hear a second shot and a sword being sheathed, two people sprinting hassle.

The bard gazed in the direction she heard the shot to see a tall form and small form moving through the brush. The Amazon Queen pointed at them, Mel nodded her head and kept pale sapphire eyes on the figures moving rapidly. Within a minute Xena and the archeologist were at the entrance in front of Mel and the bard. The Warrior Princess was the first one to say anything, Janice sprinting up behind with her revolver in hand.

"Are we set?" The translator nodded her head and showed the explosives and matches to the warrior. Xena looked back up and nodded briskly, her head turned down towards where she and Janice had been earlier. "Let's get back there. She'll be here in a matter of seconds, that rope wont hold her much longer" All four women turned to face the tunnel, they all ran quickly single file to the back of the cave to where the sarcophagus was located. The torches still burned brightly inside of the cave, making it easy to find their way. As soon as the reached the end they could hear somebody enter the mouth of the cave and a loud voice echoed down the tunnel.

"You can't win this one, I am immortal or have you forgotten that?" Quickly to follow was a loud laugh and the sound of somebody's boots moving along the dirt floor headed their way. As Velasca neared the sound of her sword being unsheathed was proceeded by Xena's own sword. Mel and the bard moved to the very back of the room, and stood at the head of the sarcophagus. The belle kept her hands with the articles hidden behind the tomb, the bard's hands held up with her staff. Janice was off to the left side of the sarcophagus, Xena directly in front of the entrance to the barrel chamber. Velasca walked in with a strong gate, sword down by her side, her eyes flashing. The warrior's cold eyes were fixed on the immortal, her body tense as she talked with hatred seeping into her voice.

"You'll regret this Velasca" Two swords met with a loud clash, the warrior stepping back to her right, drawing Velasca in more. The warrior and immortal's swords continued to connect, ringing in the chamber. Velasca could tell Xena was holding back, she kept moving back as Velasca pressed harder and harder. As the two women fought, Mel, Gabrielle and the archeologist shifted closer to the single exit of the chamber. The ex-Amazon didn't take notice to this, but kept fighting the tall warrior. They both moved in a seeming dance, Velasca coming close to hitting the ex-warlord, but not close enough. Xena kept gradually moving to the head of the sarcophagus bringing the immortal with her, the other three women still moving towards the exit. Finally reaching the head of the tomb, the warrior held her ground against Velasca, agitating Velasca. Gabrielle then dropped her fighting stance and looked to Mel and spoke in a low voice.

"Here you go Mel" The translator traded with the bard, handing her the dynamite and matches and getting the Amazon staff in turn. Gabrielle looked up to see her soulmate keeping Velasca busy, buying them all time. The blond looked back to Mel and to Janice then spoke in a low but commanding tone. "Get out here!" Mel brought up a hand and squeezed the bard's right shoulder and dropped it quickly. "Thanks Mel, now go" The aristocrat nodded with a small smile, stepping back a few paces to her soulmate. Now to pairs of emerald green eyes were locked, one pair conveying apology another with love. Gabrielle smiled to her decedent, which warmed Janice's heart, she smiled back lovingly and nodded. Janice grabbed Mel's upper arm and they both turned around, breaking out into a run down the tunnel, leaving behind an immortal, warrior, and bard.

The two women ran with all their being seeing the mouth of the tunnel, they continued to hear swords clashing together. Mel was leading with Gabrielle's staff in hand then Janice with her gun in her left hand. Janice spotted her leather bag to her right near the mouth and began to bend down some. Once close enough the archeologist swiped her bag up off the cavern floor, slinging it over her shoulders as she kept running behind Mel. The pair bursted out of the cave's mouth and out into daylight, slightly stunning their eyes. They quickly adjusted and sprinted down the hill towards the brown truck.


The warrior looked to her left towards her partner to see the bard holding the sticks of dynamite. The end was flickering and sparkling, it was lit and burning quickly towards the end of the wick. Velasca followed the ex-warlords gaze and spotted what the bard held in her hand. The immortal's eyes widen in realization, knowing from experience at dig sites just what the bard had. Before she could react, Velasca lost focus, Xena caught her opening and kicked her sword out of hand. Velasca's sword went skidding to the ground as she looked back to the grinning warrior. The leather-clad female kicked again to the immortal's stomach making her bead over. Xena then brought the hilt of her sword down over Velasca's head, knocking her out in seconds, her body hitting the ground limp. Gabrielle rushed over to the warrior's side, Xena looked over at the coffin to see the seven sticks of dynamite on top, slowly coming to the end of the fuse.

Quickly Xena sheathed her sword and pushed Gabrielle over to the corner of the cavern wall. The tall female shielded the bard's body with her own as they heard the hissing stop for a brief second, then a loud explosion. Xena grimaced in pain as stones large and small came crashing into her back, embedding themselves, then a large rock came crashing down over her and Gabrielle. The last thing they heard was Velasca screaming out "No" in anger over all the sounds of the cave crashing in. Pain shot through both women, they screamed out in agony as their bodies became smothered beneath rocks. As soon as the incredible pain start it stopped, they could feel themselves leave their bodies. Their souls left the life-less bodies and began to float closer and closer. Then the bard and Xena's souls began to intertwine, becoming whole, fitting together with perfection, perfection of love, completion. The two linked souls vanished into another world.


Janice stood beside her Indian bike that now is settled on the ground while she packed away the staff and her hat to the back with three leather bags. Both women heard the loud explosion and looked up. They watched as the mouth of the cave burst out rocks and dusts that all came crashing to the ground. As rapidly as it all happened, a large rockslide began. Mel's eyes were wide open, mouth gaping open.

"Holy Shit!!" Janice knew she had given her ancestors an ample amount of explosives but not this much. The archeologist hopped on the bike followed by the tall belle. Janice brought up the kickstand as she watches the rockslide coming towards them. The blond frantically pushed down on the starter of the bike with her boot, getting no response from the engine. "Come on come on!" The translator looked up at the rockslide coming at them and felt her heart rate pick up. Janice frantically continued to start the bike as the avalanche neared them, dust beginning to surround them. "God damn it come on!" With one more hard kick the Indian bike kicked in, smoke coming out of the back. Janice looked up at the rockslide hitting the base of the mountain and still coming at them, she felt a tight grip around her waist.

"Janice!!!" The archeologist put the bike into gear, spinning down the road followed by the avalanche at their heals. Janice put the bike into fourth gear, speeding down the dirt road, the sound of rocks tumbling after them and the whisk of dusk flying through the air. The blond looked in the mirror to see the rockslide still right behind them, she then looked ahead to see the old large lava pit they crossed over a day ago in the truck. She didn't see the bridge that they went over, she kept scanning furiously, not spotting it. She cursed under her breath knowing they couldn't make it across the wide gap without it and the rockslide was still coming at them and fast. She figured Velasca had destroyed the small bridge some how or another. Mel herself also noted that their was no bridge, letting Janice know with a tight squeeze. The archeologist kept scanning for something as they neared the ledge of the pit, then she found it. Driving over to the left some as they sped ahead, Janice aim directly for something.

The gigantic avalanche still came rushing at them, its speed not slowing up. The pair now neared the edge of the dormit lava pit, Janice coming head on towards the pit. Her stomach twisted her heart rate picking up, the pure knowledge that she and her soulmate could die if this didn’t work. No, she couldn't let Mel die, not here, not like this. Those thoughts fueled her as she picked up speed towards a small hill she was aimed for, the rockslide's dust started settling on them. Janice stood up, Mel doing the same as they went flying high into the air, using the small hill to lift them high in the air. The wheels spun in mid-air as they flew through the air, wind whipping past them, no ground or safety below them, just pure rocks waiting far below. Both women could make out the sound of rocks crashing down into the lava pit and dust clogging up the air. The next thing to happen was the Indian bike making contact with the ground, whiplash, and then a jounce.

The bike kept moving on the ground, getting them distance between them the rockslide and the edge of the sleeping lava pit. Going a few more hundred feet, Janice slowed up and then finally stopped the bike. Both soulmates couldn't stand up, their legs feeling too weak from earlier. Janice turned the bike half way around and they both gazed back at the lava pit. They watched as a few more rocks tumbled down into the pit, filling it, dust still rose up from the bottom just coming up over the ledge. The blond then looked to her soulmate with a small smirk.

"Ready for a vacation?" Both Mel's eyebrows rose up at the question as she took a deep breath.

"My Lord yes, I might need a years worth after that little escapade" Janice chuckled deeply as she gazed back at the pit watching the avalanche finally end.

"That was something else, I think we should retire" The tall belle laughed deeply as she also turned her head to stare back at the mess. The couple stared for awhile, remembering the entire adventure from start to finish, and amazing them that they made it through. They could feel the lost of their ancestors, but knew it had to happen. Janice looked to Mel, the belle kept her eyes on the scenery. "I told you that dynamite would come in handy" Slowly sapphire eyes turned to look back at emerald ones, a corked grin appeared on the tall figure's lips.

"I reckon it did. Next time will you be more careful on how much you use" The archeologist laughed and turned the bike back on the dirt path. She twisted the handle, sending the Indian bike down the path towards civilization and home.

~*The End*~

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