Dana Scully, Fox Mulder, and the X-Files are the property of Chris Carter, Ten Thirteen Productions, and Fox Broadcasting. Xena: Warrior Princess, Gabrielle, and all characters from the syndicated show Xena: Warrior Princess are the property of Renaissance Pictures and MCA/Universal/Studios USA. No copyright infringement is intended in the writing of this fan fiction which may not be sold, can be reproduced for personal use only, and must contain all copyright notices.
This story contains violence and some implied sexual activity.
Some references are made to events in the Iliad of Homer.
You can find more work by Joseph at Joe Anderson's Creative Stuff
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Scully: Warrior Princess
by Joseph Anderson
Mulder and Scully exchanged glances and drew their guns just before they split up to check the long dark gallery. It was night and they had pursued the suspect, who Mulder discovered had been performing human sacrifices, into the Metropolitan Museum of Art where he was an assistant curator. Following his echoing steps and occasionally catching site of him, they had been chasing the little balding man deeper and deeper into the past, from the 19th century, to the 18th and 17th centuries, through the Renaissance and the Middle and Dark Ages, until now they were prowling amid the ancient Greek antiquities.
Mulder was on one side of the room and Scully the other, and they were methodically searching the darkened hall full of staring marble faces of long dead heroes and gods who never existed. Even Scully thought this was spooky. She heard Mulder yell, "Scully!" She whirled around and the suspect was almost on top of her with a knife raised to strike. She brought her weapon up and fired as the blade came down and she could feel a searing pain in her left arm. She fired once more as he prepared to strike again, and then Mulder fired twice in rapid succession. He finally went down.
"Could he have been on PCP or something?" Fox said, standing over the unmoving body, his gun held in both hands and still pointing at the little man.
Dana knew he hadn't shown the right signs for phencyclidine intoxication. It wasn't worth discussing with Mulder at the moment though; her arm hurt too bad. "Mulder, he got me," she said. He was beside in an instant.
"Damn," he said. "What should I do?" deferring to her medical expertise. She was applying pressure to the wound. "Let's just get the hell out of here and to a hospital," she said. Mulder was already on his cell-phone, calling the NYPD, telling them they had a dead suspect and a wounded agent. Scully, holding her left arm with the right, was bending over the body now, looking at the knife a few inches from his hand. It was black with age and covered with ornate carvings. At least she didn't see rust, though she would probably need a tetanus shot anyway. She took her pen from her pocket in order to move it slightly for a better view.
Mulder said to her urgently, "Don't touch it, Scully!" When her pen made contact with the ancient blade there was a blinding flash of light.
Xena and Gabrielle had just lain down on the blankets to go to sleep, when the flash of light threw everything into sharp relief. Gabrielle was blinded momentarily but she saw that somehow Xena was already standing with her sword drawn and her other hand covering her eyes.
Xena saw two figures where the flash of light had seemed to come from. A tall man and a short woman dressed in the strangest clothes she had ever seen. He had something pressed to his ear and she seemed to be examining something on the ground. Xena positioned herself so Gabrielle was behind her. The man and woman seemed surprised and then saw her and Gabrielle. The man pointed something at her and yelled in a strange language, and the woman held up something to show her, like a safe passage at a checkpoint and also spoke in that unknown language. They didn't seem hostile though Xena didn't like the way that man was pointing that small object at her. He held it like a weapon, though she had never seen anything like it.
The four of them remained motionless for a moment, then the man lowered whatever it was he was holding and Xena lowered her sword. Gabrielle came around from behind her and walked towards them.
"Gabrielle, stay behind me!" Xena ordered, but for once the bard ignored her. Her face had a rapt expression and she approached the woman, who Xena now noticed was injured. Her friend began speaking to them formally in that foreign language.
Gabrielle said to the short red-haired woman--even shorter than she was--standing there in her long, strangely cut, dark cloak, "God-like Achilles, noble son of Peleus, you have returned. Songs are sung of your deeds at Troy, of how you vanquished man slaughtering Hector. After your death, the city fell by a stratagem of crafty Odysseus, since the Achaians knew they could never take Troy by arms without you. But I must tell you, swift footed Achilles, that your comrade and leader, Atreus's son, Agamemnon, lord of men, is dead, slain by his own queen, Clytemnestra, on his return from windy Troy." Gabrielle paused and indicated Mulder as she said, "It is good that you have been reunited with Patroklos, best of men and best of friends."
Agent Fox Mulder was fascinated by the tirade of this little woman with a staff. If he weren't worried about his partner's arm he would even enjoy it. He looked over at Scully to catch her eyes and maybe make a joke, but the look on her face stopped him. She was listening intently and answered the woman sneeringly, "Agamemnon, lord of men. Lord of dogs! That greedy swine. I always led the battle but he always took the greatest prize. I accepted it as he was overlord, but then when he had to return his prize, Chryseis, the daughter of the priest of Apollo, in order to avert the wrath of the god, he took glancing eyed Briseis from me, a prize awarded me by the Achaians, and I swore vengeance. I would have cut him down where he stood but Athena appeared and commanded me not to. His death befits the dog."
"Scully, you've been holding out on me," Mulder said.
Agent Scully continued, her blue eyes lit with the passion and rage of the memories she was relating. "I withdrew from the fighting and the Achaians were driven back to their black ships by shining Hector. Then Patroklos," Scully indicated Mulder, "at seeing the plight of the Achaians and so many Greek souls going to Hades begged me to reenter the fight. I would not because of the insults of Agamemnon, and he asked me to let him wear my armor and lead the fight. I relented and brave Patroklos, in my armor so they would think he was me, led the Achaians back to the Trojan walls. Then Patroklos was slain by Hector," Scully's voice broke. After a moment she continued, "Once more the Achaians were driven to their black ships. Mad with grief and rage, I reentered the fight and made the ground red with Trojan blood. I slew Hector and dragged his body around the city behind my chariot. I meant to feed him to the dogs--as he was dying I told him I would--but King Priam came to me himself and begged his son's body and I relented."
"Big of you," Fox said.
Scully suddenly staggered and Fox caught her. He saw that blood was beginning to run from her nose and he felt sick. She said, "Mulder, what's going on?"
"You've been telling a story. You don't remember?" he asked.
The small woman with the staff was looking concerned and was supporting Scully on the other side from Mulder. Mulder watched carefully as that tall dark haired woman with the sword quickly came over. She had sheathed the sword and didn't seem hostile. The small woman said to Mulder, "My friend is a healer, she can help." Mulder dabbed at Scully's bloody nose with a handkerchief. She took it from him and held it to her nose. Xena could tell the two of them were more upset by that than her wounded arm. Well, she could only help the arm.
They lowered the small woman to the ground and Xena said to Gabrielle, "Get her cloak off, we need to take a look at that arm." The man and woman were looking at her and Gabrielle translated what Xena had said. The man looked at the red-haired woman who nodded; Xena handed the man a dagger, slowly. They got her out of her dark long cloak and he cut the left sleeve off of the underlying garments. Xena had never seen material like this, a blue coat and a silky white shirt. He handed the dagger back to Xena with a nod of thanks.
"Gabrielle, what language are you speaking with them?" Xena asked.
"I have no idea, Xena," she answered. Xena had gone to get her healing pouch from the saddlebag. She returned and laid it out. The red-haired woman weakly said something to Gabrielle who told Xena, "She says she is a healer herself and she wants to know what you are doing?"
"Tell her I'm going to clean her wound and then apply powders which will help it to heal."
"She wants to see the powders," Gabrielle translated. She could tell how exasperated Xena was getting. She wasn't used to having her healing skills questioned. But she complied and brought her pouch over to where the small redhead lay and took out the powders she would use. She examined them closely, smelling them and tasting one slightly, and then nodded to her male companion and lay back.
Gabrielle said, "Xena, did you ever meet Achilles? Before he died?"
"Yes. Scary guy. Imagine Hercules but with a temper like Callisto and you've got Achilles. Why?" Xena had cleaned the wound and now was applying the powders.
"That's who she is."
Mulder was watching the big woman carefully tend Scully as she talked to the younger woman standing near her. He saw her stop as she reacted to something said, then continue applying the powders. She looked over at him and said something else to the younger woman who answered, "Patroklos."
Fox said to the young woman, "You just told her I'm Patroklos, right? And that she is Achilles?"
He said, "Just for the record, what are your names?"
"I'm Gabrielle and she is Xena."
"Well, Gabrielle, the names we answer to anyway are Mulder for me and Scully for her," he said indicating his partner who was nearly asleep. She had said one of the powders would do that and for him not to worry.
Gabrielle translated this for Xena who was just finishing bandaging Scully's arm and answered something. Gabrielle said, "Xena says that you couldn't ask for a better person to carry the spirit of than Patroklos." Xena said something else and Gabrielle said, "If anything ever happens to you, some people are going to be in for a rude awakening from your friend here."
Mulder was digesting this. It was so absurd he figured he should just go with it and see where it led. He asked, "Xena knew Achilles and Patroklos? She was at Troy?" and waited while she translated.
Xena listened and answered, seeming amused by Mulder's attitude. Gabrielle said, "Xena says yes to both, but not at the same time. She was at the siege of Troy but not when Achilles was there. She knew Achilles and Patroklos from before." She added something and Gabrielle looked stunned before she replied, "Xena says your friend here is the only warrior in the world she knew she would stand a snowball's chance in Tartarus against."
"That must be quite a statement, from the way you are saying it," Mulder said. Gabrielle nodded, looking at the diminutive sleeping redhead. "Well, it's not really her, it's Achilles. A different life time." Gabrielle nodded, still looking at the sleeping figure.
Mulder was excited by the possibilities of this development; however, he was glad Scully wasn't awake. Acting on the assumption that what they said was true seemed the only course-- he was glad he wasn't having to justify that to his partner. He said, "Scully touched the blade that she was stabbed with, some sort of sacrificial knife, and that was when we found ourselves here. It is still over where we first appeared."
Xena was no longer amused when Gabrielle translated that. They walked over the ground and Mulder immediately found the strangely curved and ornamented knife. The warrior said something and Gabrielle gave her a disapproving look. With a sigh she turned to Mulder and said, "You're screwed." Xena picked it up. Mulder and Gabrielle jumped but Xena said there was nothing to worry about now, and they would probably need it. She wrapped it in a cloth and put it in Argo's saddlebag.
Early the next morning, Gabrielle, Xena and Mulder sat around the campfire eating a couple of rabbits Xena had killed with that round thing she wore. Scully was still asleep though she looked fine, to Mulder's relief. Mulder noticed the tall woman sat closer to him than he would've expected. Maybe personal space was different in this time--or maybe not.
Xena had told him the knife was used in the ceremonies of Bacchus. He knew that, but always thought Bacchus was a cute wine drinking kid; apparently that was wrong because Gabrielle, and then Xena after she translated for him, had both snorted in derision at that description. Xena said she had an idea of something that might reverse what had happened and that they needed to travel for a few days to an old shrine of Bacchus she knew about.
"Thank you for your help and for taking care of my friend," Fox said.
"Xena says she owes it to Achilles. She learned a lot from him. She also says she's glad to do it for you, too. Patroklos was one of the finest people she ever met, though he didn't like her in those days." As Gabrielle translated Xena laid a hand gently on Fox's arm for a moment. He thought he saw a peculiar look on the smaller woman's face.
Mulder already accepted reincarnation because of an earlier case, but being a famous hero seemed a bit convenient--kind of like Shirley Maclaine and Tina Turner arguing over which had been Hatshepsut. Or maybe he was bothered by the fact that he was the sidekick and Scully was the hero. It didn't fit with his self- image. "Maybe I should get myself a staff," he thought. Gabrielle had been telling him fantastic stories about Xena. The tall woman looked resigned as she heard her name pop up over and over in that foreign language.
They heard a movement from Scully and Mulder was instantly next to her. Xena and Gabrielle also came over. The small redhead's eyes were open and she sat up. Mulder helped and she looked thanks at him. She looked at Xena and began speaking.
"Xena. It's been a long time. Have you ripped out the heart of that scum, Cortese, yet? I offered to do it for you." Gabrielle translated and Xena answered.
"Hello, Achilles. I had to handle it myself, you know that. When I finally caught up to him I had changed and I turned him over to be tried. Patroklos would have approved."
Scully looked confused that she couldn't understand Xena and had to get a translation. She glanced down and seemed to notice for the first time the small body she was inhabiting. She reached between her legs with a panicked look.
Gabrielle quickly said, "It's all right. You are in a woman's body. You're reincarnated. We are working on fixing it."
Scully looked at Mulder and said, "I know you are Patroklos but you look nothing like him." Mulder put a hand on her shoulder and Scully grabbed it.
Mulder said, "I guess I'm reincarnated just like you are. I don't have the memories, but they," indicating Gabrielle and Xena, "say that I'm Patroklos just like you are Achilles. We are still together though we have different names and live in a different time."
Xena came over and began changing the bandages. Xena spoke and Gabrielle said, "Achilles, you were wounded by a knife of the Bacchae. That's why you and Patroklos are here."
"Bacchus!" Scully spit out with hatred.
Gabrielle asked if she wanted to eat and Scully said yes. Mulder was greatly relieved to see how healthy she seemed, and was amused to see the way his partner ripped the rabbit apart with her hands, crushing bones with her teeth; he wished he had a video of it. She looked at Xena and the big warrior got a flask out of her bag and handed it to her and Scully took a swig. She didn't give the flask back. Gabrielle had never seen Xena act like this with anyone.
Scully finished the rabbit, tossing the carcass aside and rose wiping her hands on her skirt. She swaggered over to Xena who stood there as the tiny woman looked her up and down and seemed unimpressed. Scully reached out and took the chakram from its thong on her hip--Gabrielle couldn't believe what she was seeing. She said something and the bard translated.
"Why are you still carrying a toy like this?"
Xena answered and Gabrielle said, "It's not a toy, it's a chakram. I know all about how you like to cut enemies to pieces with your own hands, but you have to be willing to accept advances." Xena seemed to have psyched herself up to say this. The little woman stared at her when she heard the translation and Xena couldn't meet her eyes. Scully turned and threw the chakram which ricocheted off two rocks and flew straight for Xena's face. The warrior princess caught it deftly and Scully laughed derisively and took another swig of Xena's flask, walking away. Xena had a sullen look on her face as she looked at her chakram, and then replaced it at her hip.
They prepared to set out for the shrine of Bacchus, Xena on Argo and the rest on foot.
Xena said to Scully, "Ride up here with me, Achilles." Scully just stared at her and after a moment Xena dismounted and had to help the small woman, whose feet couldn't reach the stirrups, into the saddle. Scully unceremoniously ripped her skirt up the side to free her legs. Xena adjusted the stirrups for her and Scully started Argo off so that her tail caught Xena in the face. Xena began walking next to Gabrielle and Mulder.
"Xena," Gabrielle said.
"Just don't say anything, Gabrielle." Xena said, her face red as she trudged along.
Gabrielle said to Mulder, "Is she always like that? It's tough being the sidekick, I know."
Mulder said, "She's nothing like that and I'm not a sidekick. We're equal partners."
Gabrielle rolled her eyes and said, "Do you have a song that you sing?"
"No, I don't have a song that I sing. Why would you ask that?"
"I was just wondering."
They stopped around midday to eat some bread and cheese that Gabrielle had in her bag. "Let me see your sword," Scully imperiously said to Xena. The tall warrior stood and handed it over. Scully took it with one hand and when Xena released it, the sword fell to the ground pulling Scully with it. Scully looked shocked. She began to use both hands but had to stop because of her wounded arm. Scully managed to lift the long blade for a moment before it dropped down again. Xena had turned away and had her hand over her mouth. It looked to Gabrielle like her friend would die if she didn't laugh but somehow she didn't. Xena turned back around and Scully managed to lift the sword enough to give it back to the warrior towering over her. She said something and Gabrielle said, "Nice sword, Xena. Euphemies of Corinth?"
"Of course, Achilles. You told me not to go anywhere else." Xena answered. She reached down and removed her boot dagger and sheath, handing them to Scully who accepted with a wry smile, putting them in one of the pockets of the overcoat. She handed Xena back her flask and they both took a swig. Scully kept it, though.
The next day after about an hour of travel they could see the temple of Bacchus, which Xena pointed out. It looked like it was just a big gazebo overgrown with weeds to Mulder.
"Looks abandoned," Scully said.
"I hope so," Xena answered through Gabrielle.
The tall woman and Scully suddenly looked alert, and moments later about ten, dirty looking, armed men came out of the woods surrounding them. Scully, who was still on the tall horse, smiled widely and Xena drew her sword. Mulder saw that Gabrielle had assumed a fighting stance with her staff, so Mulder drew his gun and held it in the Academy style two-handed grip. One of the men said something in a loud threatening voice and Mulder trained his sites on him. Mulder saw that Scully had started walking the horse directly at the apparent leader.
"Scully!" Mulder yelled, simultaneously with Xena yelling "Achilles!"
Borrie thought this looked like easy pickings. The big woman with the sword might be some trouble but the rest looked defenseless to him. The man wasn't even carrying a staff like the girl, let alone a sword or spear. He would kill the man and sell all the women to brothel merchants, unless he had to kill the tall woman too. He was surprised that the tiny red-haired woman on the horse was smiling and coming directly at him. Nice horse, he would keep it.
Mulder was frustrated as Scully blocked his line of fire. He switched to another target and waited. Suddenly there was yelling and his target was preparing to strike Scully with a sword, so Mulder fired twice. Then he shot another man running at him with a spear. There was a brief moment of silence then Scully spurred the horse.
Achilles looked down at the dog he had slain. He didn't like to dirty a blade on scum like this so he had killed him with two quick kicks, crushing his throat and breaking his neck. He had to compensate for the small weak body he was in; that was why it had taken two kicks. Before he could kill any of the others he heard three loud sounds he couldn't identify and could hear Xena's chakram. Several men were down and the others fleeing. Achilles rode down one with the horse and took Xena's dagger and threw it into the back of a fleeing man who went down. He walked the horse over to him and dismounted. After retrieving the dagger he turned him over and saw he was dead. Leading the horse, Achilles walked back to the man he had ridden over. He was moaning with an obvious broken leg and probably several broken ribs. Patroklos ran up just as Achilles cut his throat. This body was too frail to do much without weapons.
Gabrielle had knocked out one attacker and sent another running away. Now she was looking at the two men Patroklos had pointed at with that little weapon. One had two large stains on his chest and the other didn't have a face anymore. She saw Patroklos and Achilles returning walking Argo. Patroklos was pale and Achilles had her usual swagger.
"I guess you probably don't have a song that you sing," Gabrielle said to Patroklos. He didn't answer. She was the only member of their party who hadn't killed at least two attackers. She knew that Xena could have avoided killing if she had wanted to, but Achilles seemed to bring something out in her--like she didn't want to appear soft. The bard would be glad when they were through with them.
Xena could see Gabrielle looking at her in an odd way. She felt rather odd. Being with Achilles and fighting like this was both refreshing and dirty for her. She knew what upset Gabrielle. What the little bard didn't realize was that she was the only reason Xena didn't always fight this way. She couldn't rein herself in around Achilles though--or she wouldn't, anyway. His opinion meant too much to her. It made her proud seeing the way her old teacher could handle himself in that tiny unfamiliar body. When Xena had inhabited Callisto's body it was hard enough, but Scully was wounded and half Achilles' size.
Achilles was talking to Patroklos. Some things never changed. Even if he said his name now was Mulder, Achilles could tell he was upset by the way he killed that dog back there, just like Patroklos would be. Unlike Patroklos he didn't say anything-- well, he doesn't feel like he even knows me. Sometimes Achilles would rein himself in for Patroklos's sake but he wasn't going to do that around Xena--especially not after he couldn't even lift her sword. Just like Patroklos, Mulder came through too--he had taken a look at those two dogs his friend slew with the oddly heavy little weapon. He had one too--if they were trapped here he would get Patroklos to teach him its use.
Agent Scully found herself on a horse. Panicked, she looked around and saw her partner walking not far from her. "Mulder," she said urgently. He came over to her, and the two women she remembered from before were staring at her.
Her partner was holding her horse and had one hand on her arm. "How do you feel?" he said up at her.
"Fine, I guess," she answered.
The tall dark woman came over and said, "Scully?" She nodded. The tall woman helped her as she awkwardly clambered down from the horse, catching her when she fell.
"Thank you," Scully said. The woman nodded, smiling wryly at something. Scully looked around and saw they were near a small Greek temple. The tall woman was actually wearing a sword and dressed in some sort of leather costume, and the smaller woman was in what looked like a peasant outfit and carrying a staff. "What's going on, Mulder?" She looked down at her clothes and saw they were badly stained and her skirt torn. She took her overcoat off and saw that her left arm was bandaged. It was painful but did not feel infected. Mulder had that look he got when he was going to try to sell her something hard to accept. She was more open than he thought; she liked watching him squirm, though.
"Scully, remember in the Vernon Ephesian case, how I regressed and discovered that we were reincarnated again and again as friends?"
"Oh, Mulder," Scully said.
"For the last two days you have been acting like another person, calling me by another name, and Xena here backs it up. She knew both of us; before we died, I mean."
Scully was staring at him. Xena was glad to see someone else on the receiving end of one of Achilles's stares for a change.
"Do these people have names, Mulder?" Scully asked levelly.
"Achilles and Patroklos," he said quietly.
"Why should I be surprised, Mulder?" she said resignedly. "You just had to be one of the greatest figures in the western tradition." Dana saw the small woman with the staff looking at Fox expectantly.
"I'm Patroklos, Scully. You're Achilles."
Scully laughed. It sounded the same to Mulder as when she laughed as Achilles.
The tall woman said something sharply and the blonde said, "Watch out! More men coming!" Scully saw Mulder pull his Glock 9 and the dark woman had her sword out, so Scully unlimbered her own Walther PPK, checking the load quickly. Five horsemen appeared. They had shaven heads and were wearing robes that looked ritualistic and carried spears or swords. Scully had had enough experience with cults to know this was no joke. Mulder's safety was off his gun and he had selected a target on the far left, so she did the same, selecting a target on the far right.
The horsemen suddenly screamed and charged, the spears levelled directly at them and swords raised. Agents Mulder and Scully began picking them off like they were at the shooting range.
Xena was preparing to throw her chakram but it was already over. The riderless horses were wandering around or galloping away, and Achilles and Patroklos were walking over to look at the slain, still holding their weapons in that stiff-looking two-handed grip. They were just like she remembered: a killing team so smooth it was like they had one mind. Xena looked over at Gabrielle, who was pale. They had seen more death in the last hours than they had in the previous six months. That's what happened when you traveled with Achilles and Patroklos. The bard at one point had made a joke about Patroklos needing a funny helmet and Xena had told her he was no Joxer.
Scully reluctantly agreed that there was nothing to do but proceed as if what Xena and Gabrielle said were true. She suspected ultimately they would discover they had been subjected to mind control techniques or drugs and were creating this out of their own minds. But they couldn't act on suspicions when they had to deal with apparent reality. That had occurred to Mulder, too. He could just see him and Scully hooked up with electric leads in some secret lab and that chainsmoking cocksucker giving Skinner the runaround when he came looking for them.
All four of them were talking, with Gabrielle translating for Xena.
"Xena says that Bacchic temples often have powerful talismans and relics buried in them. It's too bad you killed all of the priests; they might've been able to help us in this. Especially since they obviously came here because of Achilles." Scully and Mulder looked at each other; they were being criticized for being bloodthirsty by someone who carried a sword. What could they say?
Xena caught two of the dead men's horses for Achilles and Patroklos in case they needed them later. Scully said she didn't know how to ride, but Xena thought Achilles might reemerge. She had gone through the priests' belongings to see if she could find anything that might be of help in returning Achilles and Patroklos to their time but had found nothing. They buried the dead Bacchic priests in shallow graves like they had the bandits just a few hours earlier. Xena knew if it were just her and Achilles they wouldn't have bothered with any of them.
Scully walked over next to where the blonde was sitting. She had noticed earlier she seemed to be busy writing something but now she was just sitting, looking contemplative. She looked up as the red-haired woman came over.
"May I sit down, Gabrielle?" she said.
"Please do," she said, pretending to smooth space next to her on the block of stone.
"Mulder told me that you don't know why you can speak our language or how you knew I was Achilles. Is that right?"
Gabrielle nodded and said, "Yes. I guess it was just one of those bardic inspiration things; either that or I'm a really good guesser." She laughed as she spoke. "It just came to me who you were and I was compelled to formally greet you. Well, Achilles, I mean."
"You don't like Achilles, do you?" Scully asked her.
Gabrielle stopped and frowned, surprised at this question. She answered honestly, "No, I don't. I don't approve of thoughtless killing like that. Even if they aren't innocent people or it's in battle--which I guess it always is with Achilles--it just seems too easy for you--or him I mean. Well, for you too. Xena isn't like that anymore, or not so much without Achilles around." She looked compassionately at Scully who seemed to take it to heart.
"Is that why you carry a staff?" she said perceptively.
"Yes." It was hard to see how this could be the same soul as Achilles, but then you saw other things that fit.
"I don't like to think that I kill easily." She paused looking upset, "but maybe I do. What did I look like to you when those men attacked us?"
"When the first group attacked and you were Achilles you seemed to enjoy the fighting--the same way Xena does sometimes. This last time when it was you and Mulder against those Bacchic priests, you just seemed like you were baking bread or preparing a goose."
Scully nodded. It sounded plausible to her. She tried to always appear professional--it was a point of pride in fact with her. And the more dangerous a situation the more professional she would want to be. When she was justified in using extreme force she felt no hesitation at all. Was that wrong? Probably not in her job. Gabrielle was a completely different kind of person. Scully could imagine her as an anti-death penalty activist or maybe a counselor for runaway teens--something like that. Scully thought she would need to question her partner more closely about what had happened with the first group Gabrielle was talking about. He had just said there was an unsuccessful attack. Apparently there was more to it than that. Mulder was trying to protect her from something she had done, she realized.
"Gabrielle, can you tell me exactly what happened and what I did in the first attack?" she requested.
Gabrielle was uncomfortable but she complied. As she described how Scully had struck first and then killed two men who were attempting to escape, she saw the blood drain from the little woman's face. Impulsively, Gabrielle hugged her and Scully returned it. "The man I rode down. That killed him?" she said slowly.
"No, Scully. Achilles came back and cut his throat." Gabrielle had been able to see all of what happened. She wished she hadn't. She didn't say any more as the red-haired woman next to her clasped her hands together in her lap and seemed to just stare at them.
Mulder was writing in his notebook and Scully was looking at him. She decided to punish him for not telling her how ruthless Achilles was. She understood he was trying to be kind but she didn't want his sexist paternalistic crap.
"Mulder," she said. He looked up from his obsessive scribbling.
"Did you know when those guys with swords were riding at us you let out a girly scream?"
His eyes widened. Gabrielle was listening intently. The bard whispered to Xena who was also watching.
"I didn't make any sound at all, Scully, and if I did it wasn't a girly scream but a manly shout." He replied with dignity.
Picking up on it, Gabrielle said, "Sounded like a girly scream to me. I almost dropped my staff it was so squeaky and, well, you know, girly." She said something to Xena who replied disdainfully and Gabrielle said, "Sounded like a girly scream to Xena, too."
Mulder stood up, looking at the three women arrayed against him. And they talked about an old boys' network. "If I made any sound at all, which I didn't, it was a manly shout of the joy of battle." He walked away and the three women collapsed in laughter.
It was late afternoon now and Xena hoped they were out of the area by nightfall. Mulder hadn't told Scully yet about why that was important; he just couldn't face her look when she realized they were talking about vampires. He'd tell her when he had to. Xena was inside the small temple, carefully examining the walls and floor. She indicated for Mulder to come over. She was digging around a stone on the floor with a knife and she had him do the same with a stick. Finally it seemed to loosen and the two of them rocked it a bit more and then lifted the heavy flat stone and set it aside. Underneath where it had rested Mulder could see a small casket with the same kind of ornate carving as the sacrificial knife. After a few moments digging they lifted this out. Xena opened it up and Mulder saw what looked like a large, gnarled, dried up piece of meat.
Scully came up, looked at it and said, "It's a human heart, Mulder."
"Now what?" Mulder asked.
Xena answered through the bard, "I'm not sure. I'm not a sorceress. Achilles might know something about this. He had more dealings with Bacchus than I did. He's a demigod like Hercules so it's more his style."
Mulder was looking at his partner's face as this last was translated. She kept it pretty expressionless though he could see a tightening around her eyes that betrayed just how offensive all this was to her. Scully was a Catholic after all, in addition to being a scientist. She said, "Well, if you have any ideas of how to bring Achilles back out, I'll do it." Mulder was proud of her.
Xena suddenly slapped Scully hard sending her falling back. She caught the dagger flying at her head a split second later.
"That did it," she said. She braced herself in case Achilles attacked her but the little woman was just standing looking down at the casket. She looked up at Xena who handed the dagger back to Achilles. She accepted it wordlessly and put it back in the pocket of her cloak. Xena glanced at Patroklos and saw he was replacing his weapon in it's sheath.
"Human sacrifice!" Achilles said, her voice dripping with disgust.
"We have the knife you were stabbed with and now we have that." Xena said. "Do you know what to do to reverse the spell that brought you and Patroklos here?" Xena asked through Gabrielle.
"Yes, my mother taught me about all of this vile filth," Scully answered.
Mulder said to Gabrielle quietly, "mother?" and Gabrielle whispered back, "Thetis. She is a nereid, a sea nymph."
"We'll have to wait till midnight." Scully said. "I don't suppose you have any dryad bones on you, Xena?" The tall woman shook her head. Both warriors looked grim.
Scully continued, "My driving the knife through this offal should do it. I'm sure it was the same blade that was used to take it in the first place. That would explain why we appeared near this temple. I'm not sure why we were near you and Gabrielle."
"Me and Xena were briefly Bacchae," Gabrielle said. Scully nodded.
"Small world," Mulder said.
Achilles took one of the horses Xena had caught and left to hunt for their supper. She didn't have the upper body strength to use any of the dead priests' spears or swords, so she continued using the dagger Xena had given her.
Gabrielle had been trying to talk to Mulder about his adventures with Scully, but he seemed hesitant to speak about them. He had told her that he and Scully were some sort of king's agents tracking down murderers and solving mysteries. He kept using terms she couldn't understand, and she didn't want to constantly stop him and ask him to explain himself. She got the sense that he and Scully's relationship with their masters was like Xena's with Ares and the other gods; full of suspicion and manipulation.
Fox was surprised at how easily he opened up to Gabrielle. 'Well, maybe we have heart-to-heart talks generation after generation just like me and Scully kick ass,' he thought. He still didn't talk about anything sensitive--just in case--but he allowed himself to open up about some of his feelings and describe generally what he did. Something about the little blonde made him want to trust her.
To his pleasure, Xena came over and sat down next to him. She said through Gabrielle, "It's good to see you, Patroklos." There was something else in her voice now. As she translated, Gabrielle seemed to be a little uncomfortable.
"Thank you, but you know I don't remember anything of being Patroklos at all." Mulder replied, looking in her clear blue eyes.
The warrior replied and Gabrielle, looking even more uncomfortable, said, "You're exactly like Patroklos. Scully is much different than Achilles, but not you." Xena said something to Gabrielle and the bard said to Mulder, "Excuse me, I have to see to the horses." Her face was red as she walked away. Mulder was surprised--and excited. He had been feeling something between himself and the dangerous dark woman since he had arrived. When she had first looked over at him and Gabrielle had said "Patroklos" he saw something in her eyes.
Gabrielle was brushing one of the new horses when Achilles returned with two birds and a rabbit she'd killed. She dismounted and started walking toward camp, and Gabrielle awkwardly said, "Wait." She looked at Gabrielle and the bard's face got red and she said "Xena and Patroklos ..." Achilles grinned and slapped Gabrielle on the shoulder.
"Let's you and me clean this game, eh? I was wondering if something would happen," Scully said slyly.
"You were?" Gabrielle said.
"Yes. Xena always liked Patroklos. Well, what's not to like? And in the old days he didn't approve of her and would have nothing to do with her, even if she was comely, so she liked him even more. Xena's not the kind to pass up a second chance."
The bard felt a little better. Seeing Xena just jump a man like that bothered her, but apparently this was something that had been simmering for years. She glanced over and the sitting figures were no longer visible. Scully saw her look, cackled and punched her in the arm. It made her like Achilles more. She had been looking at his soul in the red-haired woman as nothing but an affront to Scully, an agent of death and a bad influence on Xena. He was willing to lay all of his arrogance aside when it came to Patroklos, apparently.
They were eating the game Scully had killed. Mulder seemed embarrassed but Xena was the most relaxed Gabrielle had ever seen her. Scully handed Mulder a succulent looking piece of fowl saying, "Here, Patroklos, you have to keep your strength up." Xena seemed to be gazing off into space, twirling her hair between two fingers with one hand, while she ate a large piece of rabbit off a knife in her other hand. Mulder's face reddened whenever he looked at her eating.
It was nearing midnight and all four of them were inside the old temple. Achilles had returned Xena's dagger to her; Mulder had hoped she would forget about that. Xena gave Achilles the sacrificial knife and she was looking at it with distaste. She opened the small casket and took out the heart. Watching her, Mulder realized Achilles was more squeamish than Scully. She handled dead body parts all the time and never gave it a thought. As Achilles though she seemed to have more Mulder's reaction. She would do what was necessary but it repulsed her. Assisting people in reaching that point wasn't a problem for Achilles though, Mulder guessed.
Scully found herself in strange surroundings again. At least she had some idea of what was going on now. She had the sacrificial knife in one hand and a dried human heart in the other.
"Mulder," she said. All three of the others looked frustrated at the sound of her voice. "Sorry to disappoint you, but I'm back."
Her partner came over and said, "Feel okay?" She nodded. He said, "Well, Scully, you won't like this but at midnight, that is anytime now, you need to stick that through that." She was holding the heart easily now, Mulder saw, having changed her grip slightly to what he guessed was a textbook forensic pattern. His partner nodded at him with a tight look on her face.
If she were alone Scully would never do it. This was as close to elemental sin as she could imagine short of premeditated murder. Since Mulder was there though she would go through with this nauseating spectacle and pray later. How would she deal with this in confession? Mulder she saw stepped over to the tall woman, Xena, and they briefly hugged. Scully scowled. Apparently she missed some interesting developments this last time. Mulder shook hands with Gabrielle, who was much cooler she noticed. Then he came back over to stand next to her. The blonde woman said to her, "Good luck, Scully. I'm sorry I didn't get to know you more. And Xena feels the same way, even though she was glad to see Achilles again." Scully said, "Thank you," she glanced at Mulder and expertly penetrated the dead cardiac tissue with the ornamented blade. Nothing happened.
"Maybe you need to jiggle it, Scully," Mulder said.
"Mulder, I'm sure," she said sarcastically and twisted the knife. There was a flash of light and they found themselves back in the museum gallery, with the suspect dead at their feet. The heart sifted to the floor as a dusty powder and Scully was just holding the sacrificial knife. "Do you have a handkerchief, Mulder?" she said.
"You've already got it, Scully."
They could hear approaching sirens. Scully found the handkerchief Mulder had given her earlier. She looked down at her clothes and grimaced at the stained, torn shambles. She could feel her arm was still bandaged under the overcoat; she'd have to run some tests on those fibers. Scully took the handkerchief and wiped the handle thoroughly, keeping the spots of her blood well away from the weapon. She kneeled down and expertly wrapped the suspect's hand around it, then replaced it where it had been lying.
"You're pretty good at that, Scully," Mulder said.
She could tell by the body not much time had passed. She looked at the clock in the gallery.
"Nine minutes, Mulder."
"I know, Scully. I might have to take another look at some of the other X-Files."