There was a big challenge on the Joxerotica list a while back (tailor-
made for everyone who was up for it) This was my answer to my 
challenge.

I was asked for: gross amounts of something purple; for Gabrielle to 
be possessed by Kryten from Red Dwarf (extra points for making it 
believable); For Joxer to get it together with somebody (not 
Gabrielle or Kryten); Argo (Xena's horse) has to appear; two lines 
from Rick Springfield - and I have named it after one of his songs. 
I don't know it's famous song. I hadn't heard of him
before the challenge.

Title: Why? 
By Elvichar
Archive: Please archive on Britslash
Email: elvichar@yahoo.com
Fandom: X:WP/Red Dwarf 
Pairings: Wait and see 
Rating: R 

Why?

by Elvichar


"Joxer, for the last time there are no creatures from the stars -
and they are not going to visit you in the night to suck your brains 
out," 

Gaby smiled, "although if they have visited it could explain a
lot of things."

Joxer stared at her. Why was she so mean? He could understand it if 
she were trying to ward off any amorous advances from him - but
he'd given up on that idea years ago. "I disagree. I think there are -
and you'll be sorry when they come down in their ships to take over
the world!"

"Ships? They have ships? Are you saying the sky is made of
water?" Gaby bent over laughing. Joxer was so stupid. 

Xena had been riding ahead, trying to ignore her two annoying 
companions, but now she was getting angry. She turned Argo 
around, "enough!" she snarled. 

"Excuse me? Are you talking to us Xena - because my good friend
Joxer and I were having a private conversation. If you choose not to join 
in with our discussions then you really shouldn't tell us when to 
shut up," Gaby leaned on her stick and stared at Xena
triumphantly. 

It had been a rough couple of weeks. For some reason the Warrior 
princess had been extremely upset at Gabrielle in the last village. 
The blonde had insisted on accepting gifts from a local merchant, and 
had spent the three nights they were there giggling and talking with 
him in the corner. Xena had sulked the whole time. Of course in Xena-
world it wasn't sulking. It was righteous indignation. 

Joxer had been off on his own. neither woman asked why or where
he'd gone - he just wasn't there. And they were too caught up in their
own squabbles to bother trying to find out. 

In the last few months Joxer had changed a lot. He'd grown.
He'd matured,. He'd finally stopped worrying what other people thought
of him instead of just pretending. 

Xena and Gabby were oblivious to these changes, but if they'd
been paying any attention they would have realized that they'd been 
bumping into Hercules a lot more than usual lately. And the demi-god 
was almost always travelling alone. 

Iolaus had `gone on ahead' or `decided to take a
break' or, most baffling of all if they'd only stopped to think about it,
`visiting his grandmother with a basket of goodies'. 

In the last village he'd said hello to the Warrior Princess,
before disappearing on personal business. Coincidentally, Joxer had gone at 
the same time. 

They had been meeting in secret for almost half-a-year. Joxer was 
only travelling with his two friends now so Hercules could be sure he 
was safe. Joxer had finally come to terms with his lack of ability as 
a warrior. Sure he got by - almost as if he were protected by outside 
force - but he didn't even enjoy fighting. 

He didn't mind any more - Hercules still called him Joxer the
Mighty. Sometimes three or four times a night. One time almost six. But now 
the three travelling companions were on the verge of splitting up. 
They had all grown tired of the other two's pecadillos. 

Xena was particularly disgruntled at having to carry all
Gabrielle's gifts from the merchant in Argo's saddlebags. The weight was
chafing the horse. 

Gabrielle and Joxer stared at the Warrior Princes as she seemed 
suddenly to lose her usual facade of composure. 

"Will you shut up will you shut up. I've had enough I tell
you enough. Every time we go somewhere new you end up with some man - and 
then when we leave I have to listen to you talking about him, and how 
wonderful he was, and how you'll never find true love again. Well
I'm sick of it ya hear. Sick!"

That Joxer and Gabby had been discussing star people and not
Gabby's conquests was completely irrelevant as far as Xena was concerned. It 
was the end.

Xena reached into the saddlebags and grabbed the trinkets and 
baubles collected from Gabrielle's various suitors over the
years. The last item out of the bag was a large pot of valuable purple dye. 

Xena threw it 

The pot hit Gaby in the head, breaking and running down her face. 
Gaby collapsed on the floor, the purple mixing with the red of her 
blood. 

Xena's hand went up to her mouth. She jumped from Argo's back
and rushed to Gaby's side. 

************************

"Xena - I think she's dead," Joxer said gently, an hour
later. They had tried to revive her. But there was nothing they could do. The cut 
was too deep, and the poisonous ink had speeded up the Amazon's 
demise. 

Xena sat there, whimpering, with Gabby's head in her lap. Joxer
had to bury her. Xena was too distressed to do anything. She just sat 
there staring ahead.

****************************** 

Months later. Xena was a broken woman. 

Nothing Joxer could do could snap her out of her catatonic state. 
After Gaby's death he'd managed to drag her to the nearest
village. 

She had said a few things to him, "Oh Joxer, what have I
done?" was the reoccurring phrase.

He'd hired a room for her and made sure she was asleep.
"It'll be fine in the morning," he told her. 

It wasn't. 

She was awake. Joxer knew this because her eyes were open. Every so 
often she'd make a sickening gurgling sound and look straight at
him. 

After a week or so he realized she probably wasn't going to get 
better. He'd arranged to stay at a house in the village and moved
the former warrior princess in. Hercules found them both about two weeks 
after that. 

He'd gone to a village several days journey away, ready to wait
for Joxer - and Xena and Gabrielle. But they never arrived. At first
he'd panicked, asked everybody if they'd seen the three travelling 
companions. Eventually he traced their path back to this village. He 
could have kicked himself for not looking there sooner. He was 
shocked at what had happened to Xena, and even more shocked when 
Joxer told him the whole story.

"What are you going to do?"

"I'm going to take care of her. She's been a good
friend," Joxer was determined not to let her down, even though he couldn't be sure
she was even aware of anything any more. 

"All right - but I'm staying with you," Hercules said.
Joxer tried to argue with him but he was even more stubborn than Joxer.

Iolaus caught up with them a few months later - he`d been
travelling with Autolycus, miles away. "It's unbelievable!" He said,
"how could this happen?" There was no answer. It just happened.

Joxer kept telling him that sometimes things happened for no reason, 
but Hercules couldn't accept this. With his family background he
was sure there was some godly force behind the events. 

But the god's failed to appear when called. It was like
they'd just ceased to exist. 

Iolaus was surprisingly accepting of Joxer and Hercules' 
relationship. And that's what it was. It had been all about sex 
before - but Xena's illness and Gabrielle's death had made
them closer somehow. The three took it in turns to watch over Xena, make sure nothing bad 
happened. As if anything worse were possible. 

It was Hercules' shift tonight, and Iolaus decided to take Joxer
out for a drink to try and help him forget. And of course alcohol was 
also good for loosening people's tongues. 

"So Jox - how did you and Herc get together?" Joxer talked
for a long time about this. Iolaus just kept smiling all through. He used to 
think he was in love with the demi-god, but that was way before he 
and Autolycus met. There was real fire there. Nothing had happened 
yet - but it was only a matter of time. 

The subject turned to Gaby's death.

"And there was nothing you could do to stop it?" Iolaus was
curious -it sounded like it had happened too quickly. He was all too aware 
that the action of a second could have infinite consequences - but it 
just sounded so unreal. 

"Iolaus - it was like Xena was possessed - she just started
throwing things for no reason," Joxer shook his head sadly.

"And Xena's been that way ever since?" Joxer nodded,
"I've tried everything to make her talk to me - but it isn't working.
I've failed her."

"No Joxer. You can't take responsibility for this - it
wasn't your fault." 

But that didn't make him feel any better. 

**************************************** 

Hercules was still trying for divine intervention, "Father!
Answer me," but Zeus was not responding, any more than Xena was. 

"Ares? Strife? Discord - one of you is behind this. Show
yourself!" 

Nothing. 

"Hera! I thought I'd got rid of you for good." The sound
of peacocks screeching and the sight of wibbly eyes in the sky were both notable 
by their complete failure to materialize. 

Hercules was just going to have to accept it. This time it was not 
the gods. 

**************************
In the grove just outside the village a strange grey mist was 
forming. And it was strangely Gabrielle shaped. 

*************************

Three million and a bit years later... 

The gods had indeed gone from the Earth, it had started to bore them. 
And there were so many competing gods all of a sudden. It was too 
depressing.

It had been Apollo's idea - why didn't they just find
another planet. They could start from scratch and make sure it was really 
good this time. Maybe abduct a few mortals to restock the new place - 
make sure there was a plentiful supply of new worshippers. And this 
time everybody would respect them. Because if they didn't... 

A few of the gods had worried a little about what would happen in 
their absence, but they soon put it out of their minds. Nobody would 
miss them. 

And for almost three million years everything was perfect. 

Then the Cat people arrived. 

The Cats had no respect for the gods. They had their own deity - 
Cloister the Stupid. He was going to come to save them. He was going 
to lead them to the promised land of Fushal. Anyway, these Olympians 
were just far too cool. Hardly slobby at all. 

So after dealing with the cats for a lot longer than most of the 
Olympians thought was strictly necessary, it was finally resolved 
that the best way to deal with them was to find this Cloister the 
Stupid and make him take responsibility.

****************************** 

Back in ancient Greece... The ghost of Gaby slowly became more solid. 
But it needed a body - the memories it had in life were vague - as 
cloudy as its physical being - but it knew it had a purpose. The 
ghost tried to get back in the body buried in the ground. And it 
managed. 

Gaby's body's eyes shot open. It started scrabbling at the
dirt, trying to escape. Eventually it was at the surface. Three months in 
the ground had done nothing to improve Gaby's looks. But the
purple dye must have had some sort of preserving qualities, because the 
flesh was surprisingly un-decomposed. That's not to say the
gaunt, shrivelled being looked entirely human, but for a corpse it was quite 
attractive.

********************************** 

Autolycus was on his way to meet Iolaus. There was something about 
that little fella, but he couldn't put his finger on it. 

He loved the woods, they were always so peaceful. He sat on a rock 
and took in the scenery. A rustling in the bushes drew his attention. 

Autolycus had heard rumours of Gaby's death, and from the looks
of the wraith coming out of the undergrowth he would have said these 
rumours were definitely not exaggerated. 

***********************************

Iolaus had offered to keep Xena-watch. Herc and Jox hadn't had
much time together for a while.

The demi-god stroked Joxer's hair. He had never understood why
Jox had always kept himself hidden under that awful armour and that 
terrible hat. 

"What you'd have preferred me to go around naked?" Joxer
laughed. 

"Well..." Herc grinned, Jox hit him playfully. 

Joxer started to kiss the demi-god, a sweet, deep kiss. He slowly 
moved down from the mouth to the neck. Herc let out a breathy moan as 
Joxer reached his nipples. Joxer had got as far as the navel when 
they were interrupted by a commotion form the other room. 

"We'd better see what's wrong," Herc said
regretfully. Joxer sighed. They never seemed to get very far these days
without some crisis getting in the way. 

********************************** 

Autolycus was almost hysterical, "You've got to lock the
doors, there are terrible dark forces at work!" He yelped.

"Terrible dark forces?" Iolaus stared at Autolycus. 

Locking the doors wasn't going to keep any evil out. Things were
bad. It looked as if they were going to stay bad. But surely they
couldn't get any worse

******************************
Lister hovered over the body of the frozen girl.

He wasn't going to defrost her. He was determined not to defrost 
her. This kind of thing kept happening to him - luscious, nubile 
women on ice that turned out to be bloodsucking monsters. But this 
one looked different. She was little and cute and dressed in a tiny, 
tight top and short skirt. 

"Kryten, please let me.." 

"No. I absolutely forbid it Mr Lister sir," Kryten folded his
arms and set his face into a determined look. 

"Oh you forbid it do you?" 

If there was one thing guaranteed to make Lister do something it was 
somebody else forbidding it. Lister knew Kryten knew this about him. 
So Kryten must want him to switch the defrost mechanism on. He was 
just about to when Rimmer came rushing through from Starbug's 
cockpit. 

"Listy! Aliens!"

"What are you on about Rimmer. There are no aliens," Lister
tutted. 

"Well if there are no aliens what are they doing signalling
us?" 

******************** 

"So let me get this straight. Gabrielle is definitely dead?" Auto 
hammered on Iolaus chest to emphasize the question. 

"Sh... Xena. Have some respect." Iolaus nodded towards the
catatonic warrior. "Yes Gabrielle is dead," he whispered. 

"Well then - why is she chasing me through the woods?" 

"Who's chasing...?" Hercules came out of the other room,
closely followed by a half-dressed Joxer. 

Autolycus did a double take. Hercules and Joxer? 

A slow, rhythmic pounding on the door stopped everyone from saying 
anything more.

"That's the thing."Autolycus said with a strangulated voice. 

Xena sat up and screamed. 

******************** 

"Is Cloister the Stupid on board?" A blonde-haired vision
appeared on the view screen. 

The Cat laughed. "Hey that's you bud."

Lister raised his eyebrows. "Are you a Cat woman then?" To
meet more Cats after all this time. Wow.

"Cat woman? You think she's a Cat woman. She's not a Cat
- don't be ridiculous," the Cat shook his head. Cat woman? It couldn't
be. He'd never met a female of his own species before - apart from his mother. 
And this babe didn't look like his mother. 

The woman on the viewscreen made a face, "Eww no. I'm not a
Cat woman."

"All right well how do you know about Cloister then?" Lister
said triumphantly. 

"Are you Cloister?" The blonde asked petulantly.

"I might be? Who's asking?" 

Aphrodite appeared in the cockpit, followed by a shower of 
petals. "You don't look like a god," she said. 

Kryten made an `ahem' noise, "Excuse me Mr Lister but
maybe the young lady could help us with the other young lady."

"How?" Lister thought it was a stupid idea, but he was
willing to play along. 

"What other young lady?" Dite screwed up her face. Lister
showed Dite the block of ice. 

"Oh my," Dite said. 

"You know her?" 

"I'm afraid so," the goddess answered."She's not
someone I expected to see again." 

"Are you from the same alien planet then?" Rimmer asked
gleefully. 

"Earth - heard of it? It goes by a lot of other names,
Terra..." Dite smiled wistfully.

"Earth!" Lister interrupted, "did you hear that -they're from 
Earth." 

"Oh do you know it?" Dite asked. 

"That's where I'm from. And The Cat is decended from
earth creatures. Kryten was made on Earth. Rimmer's from Io - but don't let
that put you off him. There are loads of other things to hate him for,"
Lister laughed. 

"Watch it m'laddo, " Rimmer warned. 

"You mean those Cat people used to be real cats?" Dite
hadn't even considered that. She liked cats. She didn't like the Cat people - 
they were far too...eww. 

******************************** 

The pounding continued. Xena stopped screaming and jumped up, wild 
eyed and ready to fight. In the months she had been in bed she had 
lost a little of her former athleticism. 

Hercules and Joxer had been shocked at the speed in which she'd 
gained weight so they tried to cut down on the amount of food they 
gave her. This had resulted in long periods of wailing until she was 
fed again. in the end they just fed her on demand. Consequently the 
dark force behind the door now had five hundred and 95 pounds of 
warrior to deal with. 

Autolycus only now seemed to recognize the strange lump that had been 
in the corner of the room since his arrival. 

"Is that Xena?" He asked. He liked a woman a little on the
meaty side - but this was ridiculous.


Aphrodite touched the block of ice. 

"I don't think she's there - this is just an empty shell." 

"Oh, pity. There's nothing we can do to bring her back to life then?" 
Lister was disappointed - but at least she wasn't likely to try and 
suck his brain out. 

"Well - not knowing how she got in this state... hang on though - I 
could send her back to before whatever happened happened. It's risky 
but it might work." 

"How do you think she got here?" Rimmer was sceptical. Scantily clad 
young women didn't just appear from nowhere, and now here were two. 
They were obviously aliens in disguise. But no-one was really 
listening to him. 

"Won't she bit a little useless - you know just a body with no 
personality, no mind?" Lister was curious as to what the strange pink-
clad woman was planning. 

"Oh don't worry about that - nothing new there!" Dite giggled, " I 
know! Maybe if we send someone who looks like Gabrielle but isn't 
actually Gabrielle back then we could find out what happened." 

Rimmer smirked. The woman was obviously quite, quite mad. "And where 
is 'back' exactly?" he asked incredulously, "Atlantis? Shangri- La? 
Maybe somewhere a little more realistic - ancient Egypt perhaps?" 

"No, ancient Greece - say, you're a good guesser. Not bad haircut-
boy!" Dite gave Rimmer a winning smile. 

Haircut boy? Hair cut boy! He really didn't like this woman. 

"But isn't that dangerous - I mean who could pretend to be this 
young lady?" Four sets of eyes turned to Kryten as he finished 
speaking. "Me? But I don't look anything like her - my nose is the 
wrong shape for a start... And green really isn't my colour." 

"It can be arranged," Dite said. 

************************* 

The pounding grew louder. Xena flung open the door and stared at the 
living-dead woman outside. Gabrielle snarled and pounced on Xena, 
who tried to shake her off. The others backed away. Then Hercules 
decided to take action. He strode forward, picked up a shovel that 
had been resting against the wall, and slammed it into Gabrielle. 

The body went limp and fell to the floor. 

"Well - that was easy!" The demi god said. Now they had to find a 
more permanent way of getting rid of the body.

*********************************

Lister walked around and examined Kryten from every angle.
"It's amazing man - you wouldn't tell the difference!"

"Really? You don't think perhaps this little skirt makes me
look fat?"

"Kryten - you are going to ace this! I'm telling you - you
look fantastic." 

"It is pretty good isn't it!" Aphrodite was proud of the
job she'd done. It looked just like that annoying little bard. 

"Why am I doing this again Mr Lister?" Kryten asked. He was a
service droid, his duty was to do whatever was asked of him. But he liked 
things to be explained.

"That's what I'd like to know!" Rimmer scoffed. 

"Okay - I suppose I'd better come with you - see everything
works out. I knew we shouldn't have just left like that!" Dite was 
preoccupied and not really in the mood for answering stupid questions.

"Left like what?" 

"So you're from the Earth. How did everyone cope without us
there to help?" Dite said, ignoring Rimmer's question and talking to
the cute one little one. 

"Well I don't know how to answer that really - not knowing
who you are an' all," Lister shrugged. 

Dite blinked. How could he not know who she was? 

"Sorry," Lister reiterated.

Cat had left Starbug on automatic pilot after curiosity got the 
better of him. He wasn't familiar with the old Earth saying.
"So - cute babe, you know Cat women?"

"Why are you interested?" Dite looked at The Cat and suddenly
noticed his teeth. "Don't say you're one of them?"

"I am a Cat. Why? You got a problem with that?" 

"No. It's just you're.. you're..." 

"Suave, sophisticated, devastatingly handsome?" the Cat
preened. 

"No. Well yes. I mean... You're a Cat?" Dite exclaimed. 

"Yes - what's the problem?" 

"Well for a start you don't have fur growing all over you.
And you're not asleep - all the cats I know are asleep most of the time. Your 
breath doesn't stink. You don't make me itch. You seem to be
free of fleas. You're not covered in nasty stains... I could go on." 

"You met my mother?" 

"I've met the Cat people. Are you sure you're one of
them?" Dite narrowed her eyes. 

"Wait a minute - are you saying all the other cats are different
to The Cat?" Lister wanted to know. He really wanted to know. After
all he was their god - he felt he should take an interest. 

"Also you haven't tried to jump on me." Dite said. 

The Cat looked at Dite askance, "Are you saying I'm not a
real Cat?"

"Not one of the Cats I know - I told you. You seem so different.
Much better." 

The Cat beamed. Then his expression changed to confusion, "but
I'm not a real Cat?"

"Cat - you're a Cat," Lister reassured him. He
considered reminding the disheartened creature that as Cloister the Stupid, the god of 
Cats, he should know. But then The Cat didn't believe in him.

Dite was getting bored, "Can we go?" she said, and
transported the crew back three million and some years before they had a chance to 
answer. 

********************************** 

Hercules was patting the last of the dirt down on Gaby's new
grave. They planned to put a huge pile of stones on top of that - just to 
make sure. 

"Are you sure she's dead this time?" Autolycus asked. You
could never be too sure with this kind of thing. 

"Herc?" Joxer said gently. Hercules turned around and Joxer
kissed him. The two embraced, lost in each other's arms. Joxer licked
the sweat from the demi-god's face. Herc started to nibble
Joxer's ear... 

"Hey guys, can we just concentrate here?" Iolaus said. Joxer
looked up and Herc pulled away from him. <<Every time>> he sighed.

"It's just - she came back once and Autolycus is right -
this thing could happen again." 

"Oh relax - she won't come back," Herc said. Whether she
was or she wasn't dead, he was more interested at getting back to Joxer at
the moment. While they still had the chance. 

Xena stood to one side - trying to lurk behind a tree and failing 
miserably. 

"Xena?" Joxer spotted her and walked over to see if she was
all right. this was the first time she was out of bed for some time. 
Hercules sighed. Looked like he wasn't going to get Joxer's
body. Again. 

"Joxer?" Xena said quietly. She leaned forward to hug him.
Joxer almost got lost in the mass of Xena presenting herself before him. 
But he just let her get on with it. He was jolted as massive sobs 
came out of her, her body heaving.

"There, there Xena, it's all over now," Joxer managed to
say, despite the crushing he felt on his ribs as she squeezed him in her 
enormous arms. 

"Joxer... I'm hungry. can we eat now?" She said as she
finally pulled away.

*******************

Xena bit through a chicken leg and turned to Joxer. Through a 
mouthful of meat she said, "Why is it so hard to be yourself ? I 
never understood it."

"Why is it so hard for me to be myself or for you to be yourself?
Who are you talking to?" Joxer shrugged.

"Oh just in general. But yeah - why do you always hide - why are
you always pretending to be someone else?"

"Uh Xena. Maybe you should leave Joxer alone," Hercules was
not about to stand by and watch Xena tear into his lover in the same way 
she was tearing into that chicken. 

"I'm sorry - I was just asking. So," she grinned,
"you and Joxer, hey Hercules? Kept that one quiet didn't you!" After not speaking
for so long the mighty warrior princess was more than making up for it now. 

Iolaus and Autolycus glanced at each other as she finished everything 
on her plate and proceeded to eat everything else on the table, 
talking incessantly with her mouth stuffed full of food. 

"That was good. But I'm still hungry - what else have we
got?" She sat back and picked at her teeth.

"Xena - don't you think that maybe you should - um - cut
down on the food?" Joxer cowered - ready to be hit.

"Nope. Want to be good and full!" They all wanted to mention 
Gabrielle - but it didn't seem wise. They would all rather a
happy, talking, eating Xena, than an enormous mountain of rage. All that 
fighting skill was bound to be extra dangerous in someone so very 
large. 

Only Hercules wasn't afraid. Well he was a bit scared but he had
to keep up appearances - he was a demi-god after all. "Xena -
enough. You're obviously still all worked up about Gabrielle. You've
been sick for a long time. You should take it easy." 

"No point. Everything's pointless now," Xena laughed. It
wasn't a pretty laugh, full of pain and more than a touch of madness. 

"Joxer has looked after you for all this time - are you not even 
going to thank him?" Hercules said in his most self-righteous, 
disapproving voice. The one he always used when talking to or about 
Hera - and Ares.

Xena stood up. The floor shook as she Wobbled towards Joxer.
"Thank you very much Joxer," she said insincerely. "I'm so glad
you kept me alive - and didn't let me just die and stop suffering."

Joxer wiped his ear to remove Xena's spit. 

"Uh - not to break up this party or anything - but I really
don't think you`ve seen the last of Gabrielle," Autolycus said. 

"Aw shut up you whining little piece of toad spawn, " Xena
said, turning on Auto just for the fun of it.

"All right if you say so," the thief folded his arms.
"But I bet I'm right," he said as an aside to Iolaus. Iolaus couldn't help
laughing.

A heavy pounding on the door made them all stop and look. "Told 
you," Autolycus said. 

*************************************

Kryten pulled at his tiny skirt and tried to cover his thighs. This 
was so embarrassing. And there was something about being a human 
female that made his modesty chip really kick in. 

"Stop fidgeting!" Dite warned, "You're making me
nervous. And it's not good for the goddess of love to look flapped." 

"You're the goddess of love?" Lister grinned, "get
outta here!"

"I am. What's the problem?" 

"No - nothing. If you want to be the goddess of love you go right 
ahead." Lister turned to Rimmer and smirked. Rimmer pursed his
lips and shook his head. Now maybe they'd believe him - she was quite, 
quite mad. 

The door opened. A big man with a shovel looked at them in 
amazement. "Aphrodite - where have you been?" then he spotted
Kryten. He was about to hit him with the shovel when Dite stopped him. 

"Hold it right there big bro. What do you think you're
doing?" 

"She's evil - I have to destroy her." 

"This sweet little thing?" Dite put her hands on her hips
and simpered.

Kryten's lips formed a smile. His mouth didn't open - in his
robot body he didn't open his mouth to smile - he didn't see why he
should now. It gave Gaby's face a very goofy expression. But it was
enough to reassure the big man. Hercules pout the shovel down. 

"That's not her. Gabrielle is dead." 

"If Gabrielle is dead Herky, why are you trying to kill her?"
Dite spoke slowly so as not to confuse him. Hercules had always struck 
Dite as being a little on the slow side - he was mainly brawn. If you 
wanted the brains of the operation you'd look to Curly every
time. 

A loud wail came from the woods. Hercules grabbed the visitors and 
pushed them inside. 

"Quick - it's coming back. You'll be safe inside." He
locked the door. 

"Gabrielle?" Xena gasped.

Kryten didn't respond at first, but a nudge from Dite alerted
him to the fact someone had just called for the person he was currently 
residing within. 

"Oh. Hello. Very pleased to make your acquaintance
ma'am," he smiled at the large lady. Lister and Rimmer looked at Xena - their jaws 
hanging open. The Cat walked towards her, almost in a daze.

"Mom?" he said.

Xena , still shocked by the reappearance of her dead sidekick, was 
even more confused by the sudden hug given to her by the Cat.

"You remind me of my mommy," the cat said, "I've
always wanted to meet a girl like my mother." 

"Your mum looked like her?" Lister said incredulously.

"Well she does look a lot like one of the Cat women," Dite 
said, "maybe a bit smaller. Who is she by the way?" 

The conversation came to a halt as the door was pushed in by an 
angry, twice-buried bard. 

The Cat turned around , "Yeuch - what is that?" he said. He
hugged Xena closer as Gabrielle lumbered through the door. 

Hercules went for the shovel, but Gaby was too quick for him, she 
grabbed it before he got there.

"Shovel bad," the monster said, snapping the tool in half.

"It's alive!" Joxer yelled. He held Hercules muscular
arm and squeezed so hard that the demi-god winced in pain. 

"My god it's hideous," Rimmer said. 

"Is that who I'm supposed to be?" Kryten asked
incredulously.

Everyone looked from Kryten to Gabrielle. Gabrielle herself stopped. 
A puzzled look crossed her face.

Hercules looked straight at Lister and threw him a broom. "Make 
yourself useful - cover me," he said.

"What did he say?" Lister whispered to Aphrodite. "I may be
an enlightened 23rd Century guy, but it's a bit much expecting me to 
understand ancient Greek."

Dite sighed and realized that, rather than translating every word, it 
would be easier to just zap them all so they could tell what was 
happening. Although, she could understand Ancient Greek and she was 
still a bit confused.

Monster Gabby's head went to one side as she noticed Xena. She 
shuffled towards her. "Big," she said. She stretched out her
hand and jabbed Xena in the side. Everyone went quiet. 

"Xena?" Gabrielle said curiously. 

"Xena? That's Xena?" Dite said. It was becoming a common
refrain. 

The monster Gabby started making a strange rattling sound in the back 
of its throat. The noise got louder, and its shoulders started to 
shake. Gradually the noise turned into a nasty hollow laugh. The 
creature shook, it ended up on the floor, laughing and pointing. 

Xena's mouth settled into a thin line of hatred. `Right
that's it. I've had enough. I've taken all a person can from you!" 

The warrior princess wandered over to the recumbent Gabby and sat on 
her. There was a loud crack, followed by a squishing sound as Gabby 
was crushed like a cockroach underneath the mass of Xena.

"Um - can someone help me to stand up again?" Xena asked.

The five men, one goddess and Gaby clone all rushed forward to try 
and lever Xena up. It was a struggle but they made it eventually. 

Rimmer stood at the periphery and tutted. All that body on one person 
and he didn't have any body at all. 

They looked at the mess that had been Gaby. 

"It's a pity she broke that shovel - looks like we'll be
needing it," Autolycus said. 

"So Xena?" Dite said eventually, "finally got rid of the
nasty little blonde eh? Good for you." 

"Hey I've just thought- Dite could you zap Xena back to her
old body?" Herc thought it was an excellent idea.

Dite shook her head, "Why would I do that. Anyway have you heard 
that thing about a butterfly's wings in China?" 

"Chin? What's Chin got to do with anything" Herc frowned. 

Kryten, ever helpful and ready to explain things in simple terms 
said, "I think what the young lady is trying to say is that every 
action has an equal and opposite reaction."

"Yeah - what he said!" Dite smiled. "Have you thought where all
that flesh would go? There's only so much space in the universe." 

"Mass and inverse proportions and stuff!" Rimmer said, using 
everything he could remember from his multiple attempts to pass the 
astro-navigation exam. 

"Uh huh. If a butterfly's wings flapping cause ripples can
you imagine how much vibrations Xena here would make?" Dite nodded.
"So I think the best thing would be to leave warrior walrus as she is."

"Hey!" Xena said. 

"Um - excuse me sirs, ma'am, and er... other ma'am, am I
to take it that everyone stays as they are?"

"Yep," Dite said informatively. 

"Does that include me?" Kryten enquired. 

"Oh. I hadn't thought about that," the love goddess
admitted, "I suppose so. Yeah. Only, if there was an intact body in your spaceship 
three million years from now - I suppose it was probably you. It 
wasn't that was it?" Dite wrinkled her nose as she gestured
to squashed-Gaby. "Sorry about that - I probably shouldn't have
messed with the time thing. Cronus must be turning in Tartarus!"

"But that body looked just like Kryten does now!" Lister
said, "does that mean he's going to get frozen really soon?" 

"Good point! Well done Other Curly," Dite could probably have
thought of a much better nickname given time, but she had other things on her 
mind. "Maybe I should freeze you now! You don't mind do
you?" 

Kryten didn't really have time to protest, he was a block of ice
less than a second later. 
"I'll zap him into deep space now all right. You should pick him
up about three million years from now. He'll probably be all right
once he's defrosted." 

She got rid of Kryten and then zapped the crew of Red Dwarf back to 
their own time, leaving the ancient Greek's a little perplexed.

"Ok, " Hercules said after a while, "what just
happened?" 

****************** 
In the years that followed the reputation of the Mighty Mountain, AKA 
Xena, grew and flourished.. The lone warrior became a legend for her 
skill at crushing warriors in battle. 

Literally. 

Hercules decided to settle down. The gods were gone - there was 
nothing to fight against. Besides he had a big strong man to look 
after him. Joxer was brave and handsome and ... oh, the things he 
could do with that lyre of his. Hercules determined to stop righting 
wrongs and instead concentrated on researching for a series of 
scrolls entitled, Erotiki Zestos me Athropoi (loosely translated as 
Hot Sex with Men - but Herc never was much good at grammar).

There was no way Iolaus was going back to farming, but there
wasn't much else he could do without Hercules by his side. Autolycus came up 
with a solution. 

"You and me Blondie - travelling from town to town, helping those 
less fortunate. You'll keep me on the straight and narrow. Well the 
narrow at least." 

And so the Legendary Journeys begun by Hercules continued.

********************* 
Three million years later The Cat was in feline heaven. He'd
learned to be slobby - found it got him as much kitty sex as he could fit 
into a day.

That was a lot.

Red Dwarf was crowded with the cats. And all of them were gullible 
enough to really believe Lister was their Cloister the Stupid. After 
all - stupidity was part of the creed. Why wouldn't they believe? 

Dite felt bad about everything that had happened. She also figured 
bribery and corruption were by far the best ways to get the Red Dwarf 
crew to take all the Cats away. 

Kryten got a heart. The Cat got courage and it looked like Lister 
was finally going to go home - eventually. And she'd given Rimmer
a body. 

A real body. A real brain. It opened up a whole new world for him. 
Although after trying it on with some of the lady cats (he always did 
like a great big fat woman - especially when he was drunk) he soon 
got tired. 

Surprising himself, he found he needed something more meaningful. 
He'd started to get along quite nicely with Lister and he'd lost some 
of his inhibitions after his cat love-fest.

Added to which, when there's only one other person of your species 
aboard they start to look mighty appealing. 

And it was good exercise. Very good exercise.

The end (although the Red Dwarf stuff may go somewhere later)


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