Dream a Little Dream

Chapter 1
The Place of Rest and Restless Spirits

by Katrina and Joseph Connell

The following is a bit of alternative fiction based on certain characters from the Xenaverse. It is not meant to infringe on anyone else's rights.


He scraped his fingernails along her back and she arched against him like a cat in heat.

This was a fairly accurate description. If the woman had a tail, it would have been arched away for his favor. Short erotic soundbursts flavored the other noises they were making. There was a powerful aroma in the air, muskysweet. The heavy tang of it could be tasted.

The dusky woman's brow was wet with sweat. When she shook her head in a growl, droplets would fly. Her breasts swung in steady rhythm to her breathing. She moaned and shivered for where he was touching her; and that seemed to be all over. Her eyelashes were lowered, hiding the electric golden glow of power surging with lightening shots through her eyes. Brigid's skin was shiny with it and her markings moved langorously, hypnotically seductive upon her her shoulder and upper chest. Fast sharp flickers of light passed between Ares' body and hers. He huffed and flexed with the pleasure of it.

Ares thrust hard with a final emphasis, pressing and pouring himself deep into the demigoddess. His howl of pleasure spun the demigoddess out and Brigid convulsed in sheer bodily delight, sending another shockwave of eros pulsing past the boundaries of the tent. Ares smiled ferally, pleased with himself and her responses. He lifted her to him, spooning her body against his. He whispered something into the Brigid's ear and she quivered in response, turning to his rough kiss.

Then they started again, this time from the front.

******

Callisto watched all of this with a more than passing interest. She could hear the responding chaos outside. The camp's discombobulation suited their purpose. The goddess grinned with a predatory glee. Brigid's energy wave was a very heady and dangerous intoxicant.

Poor poor conquering Amazons. It would take them awhile to recover. It could take days. If they were lucky.

Fortunately the goddess didn't have to worry about that. For the moment she wasn't contributing to the Amazon's undoing. The goddess was busy. One part of her, the divine, was on the hunt - searching through the ether for answers or clues. Carefully she avoided the body of Olympus. If the gods were enemies of Xena, it would not do for them to see *her.* But there were other, older places to look. This she did, quietly weilding her most subtle powers in search. It was with gratified surprise that she found an aged friend and ally so easily. The results of their discussion made the goddess want to weep, but she knew what had to be done.

With reverence she tendered her fare-wells, and prepared for the next step.

Xena was coming back soon.

******

The blonde goddess finished kissing her way up to Brigid's face. Her mouth was salty with the demigoddess' juices. Brigid smiled at her sleepily and stretched against Ares chest. She let her arms slide down from around his shoulders and caressed Callisto's face.

"I love you so much," Brigid said. She tried to blink away the pleasurable fog that was summoning her away, but her body was insistant. It needed rest...for now.

"And I love you," responded the brown eyed goddess. Their kiss was long, slow and sweet, holding promises of things to come.

Ares' arms sqeezed Brigid affectionately. His tender affirmation of love made the woman smile. The demigoddess hummed in pleasure. She continued to resist.

"Rest," the Goddess soothed. She kissed Brigid's temples and forehead. "Dream," the Goddess commanded. The demigoddess shivered in response, mumbling vague words of worry. Callisto smiled softly, sadly. "Don't fret love," she said, "We'll still be here when you wake up."

Brigid offered up one last wide eyed blink. Then, with a loving, sated smile, she surrendered.

She wandered through the hardwood forest, naked to the elements. She wasn't the least bit chilly or afraid. The trees spoke to her, whispering their earnest greetings and guiding the woman with gentle assurances. Gaia was soft underfoot, the buff grasses a carpet protecting her soles from the rocky soil underneath. The sunless light overhead warmed her to the core. "You are in a safe place," the forest said.

The evocative words immediately reminded her of husband and wife, who were back there...wherever there was. At the moment Brigid was feeling very displaced. She yearned to return to them, to feel their tender arms around her, despite her body's weary lethargy. So she turned, willing to retrace all the steps that had led her to this place.

"Wait."

The voice, which was vaguely familiar, said nothing more than that.

She knew that voice. It spoke to her soul, deeper than even Callisto could, and wrapped her in a space as warm and safe as Ares' arms offered. It was *Her*. The ancient one who had always been her haven.

"Of course you are safe here," Forest whispered. "You walk under *Their* protection."

"Who's protection?" her voice asked independently of her brain. The answer came from behind the woman, independent of the natural forces around her.

"Our's."

It was a voice so filled with calm authority and strength. Brigid felt the crazy urge to genuflect. Instead she managed to turn, *without* spinning and falling, to face those addressing her.

Their number totaled just over a dozen. The women looked much more formidable than any of Xena's Amazons. Each was dressed in carefully cut and sewn animal hides, so well done that it would have left most tailors green with envy. Their swords were sheathed but in clear display. Not that they needed them. The looks they were giving her were deterrent enough.

The leader of this merry band (She questioned the truth of the assumption, but kept the notion to herself. Brigid got a distinct feeling of mutual authority here) took a single step forward. She was easily as tall, built and beautiful as Xena. Xena in her original body, that is. From where Brigid stood, the Amazon could probably twist-tie the Goddess with her bare hands. Her hair was as golden as Callisto's, and had eyes a soft blend of blue and greens, all of which was a marked counterpoint to the days frown creasing those sculpted features and stony look in those same eyes. Of all those present, she was by far the most intimidating one.

This should have made Brigid nervous, particularly the fierce glare she threw the demigoddess' way as appraisal. Instead, Brigid was reassured by their presence, especially *her's.* Brigid remembered her history...or is that histories?...and knew in who's presence she stood. She gave them all the Amazon salute and said "Hail Cyan, Queen of the Tribe of the Steppes."

Cyan accepted that which was her due, giving the demigoddess a brief nod in reply. "Hail Captain of the Bear Corp, General of the Third Division."

This caught Brigid short, and not simply because Cyan knew the demigoddess' old rank and command. Brigid studiously ignored the second half of the Amazon's salutation and concentrated on what Cyan said next. "We have been waiting your arrival for some time, Captain-General. Gaia was quite specific."

Brigid communicated her confusion by blinking several times, her face blank of expression, and (just for good measure) her throat issuing a vague gurgling noise. Cyan evidently got the message, an amused smirk interrupting her frown. "The answers you need are at the center of the grove, our Place of Rest." She nodded towards a hill cresting a short distance behind Brigid, then strode forward, taking the dusky woman's hand saying "Follow me, Brigid."

She didn't know what the Queen was thinking, but Brigid's mind was racing through possibilities. If she was walking beside Cyan, Tomyris, Li Sou, and the rest, that meant she was in the Amazon Land of the Dead. Even if she were just skirting its borders, the fact Brigid was there in the first place meant they were close to the gateway of Eternity.

Brigid recalled how Xena, her first bondmate but *not* her wife, (though in her heart she believed all the Xena's to be her wife..on some level. What affected one, affected all. Perhaps. Then again, maybe not. For some reason, all she knew was that the *original* Xena had been healed from the blending to become one with the Xena who was her wife. It was all very confusing, so she avoided tackling the issue very much and just relied on her loves to keep track of things.) was indirectly responsible for the gateway being sealed against the very tribe defending it. Cyan's tribe. The Warrior Princess atoned for that little deed later on by defeating the rogue shamaness responsible for the seal and letting the dead pass through. She hadn't actually set out to do that, as she was looking for Gabrielle's spirit at the time. Brigid's wife managed to avoid that particular blunder by bringing the steppes tribes into her court and making sure Cyan lived to a ripe old age.

Obviously event were following much the same course here, though Xena's ascension to godhood was throwing things off quite a bit. She'd come here before in search of Gabrielle, braving an enraged Cyan and a psychotic Alti. Brigid suddenly had a *very* good idea just where the Goddess of War was planning on marching that army of her's. Brigid doubted even the Underworld could have withstood the assault the demigoddess sensed Xena had planned, whether Hades intervened directly or not.

Cyan led the way up the hill, the others falling in step behind them. Brigid's mouth started working again. "Xena has become the Goddess of War in Ares' place. She has an army encamped on the outskirts of your territory...a big one. I think the bulk of them are Grecian Amazons..."

Cyan didn't break pace, or even glance back. "We know this already."

She didn't sound particularly worried, or even interested. Brigid pressed on all the same. "Well, its likely she plans to move into this area. Perhaps even bring her army here and storm into Eternity itself."

"That is *exactly* what she plans, Captain-General," the dead Queen confirmed grimly. They topped the hill right then and Cyan nodded into the silent grove below. "*She* told us."

Brigid looked down, and felt her blood turn to ice water. A cross stood there. She could make out someone's limbs hanging from its beams, but couldn't discern any details. Brigid turned to Cyane and was surprised to see harsh tears in those stony eyes, shed on behalf of a another.

Brigid's head shook on behalf of her heart, which faced the truth before she could even acknowledge it. "No…" the demigoddess whispered in futility. Cyane's jaw worked into an equally futile scowl. She couldn't even bring herself to nod.

Brigid felt her heart tumble to the ground, then with no more hesitation she ran...

...only to be stopped by the leather-clad backhand which materialized out of the ether, snapping her head back and taking her from the forest!

A too-familiar voice, one once dreaded then loved, rang in her ears.

"WAKEY-WAKEY!



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