Title: Someone please believe in me

Disclaimer: The characters Xena and Gabrielle do not belong to me, they belong to whoever owns Xena Warrior Princess. I get no profit from this story so please don't sue me.

" Can't you do anything else but sit around watching that show on TV. There is too much violence in it. It's not good for you."

Annie sighed and let a single tear fall down her cheek. Arguing, it seemed that was all she did with her mother these days. She really tried to stay out of trouble at school and do all her homework like she was suppose to but it was a real challenge. And now her mother had found something else to yell about. When she wasn't out meeting friends or forced to do her homework she was always watching her favourite television show, "Xena Warrior Princess".

It was about a beautiful woman. Annie always felt she could identify with this woman who had a dark past but was trying to make up for her past mistakes by travelling the world with her friend helping people. That was something Annie would like to do herself one day. She wasn't a bad person. At least she didn't think she was, she just had this way of getting into trouble everywhere. Especially at school where there were a lot of bullies who liked to pick on the little kids.

Personally she had something against that, maybe it was a result of being one of them a few years back that made her want to stand up for what was right. The teachers never noticed anything and if you tried to tell them they just ignored it. They didn't want to know the truth. They were more than happy with things as they were. So every time some big guy from one of the gangs was beating up on some small twelve year old who just happened to cross the school-yard at the same time as him, Annie reacted and felt the anger rise inside and she couldn't help but run over there. It always ended up with herself in a fight with the much bigger guy. A teacher came and they were dragged over to the principal's office. He would ask what happened and she always ended up taking the blame. All the witnesses said she started it, because they were too afraid to do anything else but obey the gang. And the one who she had tried to help never had the guts to tell the truth because he knew if he did he would end up with two black eyes the next day.

Things like that had happened a lot lately. Ever since her father left her mother for another woman, it seemed she got into even more trouble than before. She had dropped all her after school activities and instead sat at home watching Xena fight for good with her companion Gabrielle by her side day after day.

The principal had told her that if there was ever a next time she would be expelled, so she had done her best to take her aggressions out on other things than bullies at school and watching Xena fight made her feel more relaxed. Annie rose from her seat on the couch and walked over to the VCR to change the tape inside it so she could watch another episode.

"There is not too much violence in it, mom. It's actually a show about love too. If you ever took the time to watch it with me than maybe you would see that."

Her mother didn't even bother to answer that pathetic remark but kept pushing papers on the coffee table around looking for something. Annie held her breath, hoping her mother wouldn't discover the note from her teacher about the latest fight hidden under her English book. How could she have been stupid enough to leave it there? She should have gotten rid of it immediately instead of stalling. Her mother picked up the note and read it. Her expression changed from annoyed to furious. She dropped the note and locked eyes with her daughter who lowered her eyes and waited for the screaming to begin.

Annie lay on her bed in her room studying the ceiling. An hour had passed since the argument with her mother about the note and of course everything else the woman could think of that she wasn't pleased with about her daughter. She had started with announcing that there would be no more watching that "show" from now on. She was convinced it was the main reason her daughter had been fighting at school again. Of course Annie knew that wasn't true, and it made her sooo very angry knowing that her mother was wrong but not being able to convince her of that. Life was unfair.

She wished her father was there. She could always talk to him when she needed it and he had always been there for her, except the last two years when he had been working overtime a lot to pay for the bills, or so he had claimed. But she knew better, he had been having an affair and she would never forgive him for that or for leaving her and her mother. This was one of those moments which she seemed to be having a lot of lately. One of those when she wished that she could just escape right into Xena's world and hide there until she had worked out her problems and her mother and father had worked through theirs as well.

She looked around for something to keep busy with. She had read all her books, watched all the good movies and so on. She figured a walk outside would do her good so she got to her feet, retrieved her jacket and left. She could hear her mother's frustrated voice screaming that she wanted to know where she was going right before she slammed the door. She didn't even know where she was going so there was really nothing to tell her mother anyway, they would just get into another one of their regular arguments about rules.

She kept walking until she reached her favourite space. It was a small lake with a bridge leading out into the water. To her this place was sacred, where she always went when she needed to be alone to think. She had never told anyone she use to come here because she didn't want to risk them starting coming down looking for her before she was ready to return.

Annie sat down at the edge of the bridge and slowly lowered her feet into the cooling water. A shiver ran through her and she wrapped her jacket tighter around her shoulders. Her fifteenth birthday was coming up in a few weeks, her mother had probably forgotten about it. Maybe she would go out with her friends that evening. That would show her mother not to take her presence for granted, even at special occasions.

When she was a little girl her parents had always brought her to the zoo on her birthday, it was their very own tradition. But as she got older they had stopped and they hadn't started a new one either. Annie moved a stray of her long brown hair away from her face and sighed heavily. Her life was falling apart and there was nothing she could do about it. A single leaf singled through the air and landed on the water surface not far from where she was sitting. She reached out for it but it was out of her reach. She felt the anger resurface inside again as she stretched farther out, trying to reach it. Suddenly there was a loud splash behind her. She turned her head and saw a boy her own age swimming around at the more shallow part of the lake. Turning her head to lock had been a mistake, she lost her balance and fell into the water.



"Is that rabbit just about done? I'm starving"

The Warrior Princess locked up from polishing her sword. She glanced over at her friend seated comfortably by the fire, cooking their lunch. It was actually her turn to cook, but they had both agreed that rabbit tasted too good to be wasted like that. It was midday and the sun was high, shining down on the two friends enjoying each others company.

They had set up camp for the night by a small lake the day before, just before sunset and had been staying there until now. Xena had called it "taking a personal day" from work. She thought they could use some rest, a day doing nothing but fishing, sleeping and other relaxing things. Gabrielle had been surprised by her suggestion. The warrior wasn't usually the one to suggest such a thing. Then again they had been working hard these last couple of weeks, travelled from one village in jeopardy to another in a similar jam.

Gabrielle grabbed a bucket that lay on the ground next to the saddlebags and tossed it without effort to Xena.

"Great! Then why don't you get some water and work up an even healthier appetite at the same time." She teased" Your sword won't run away from you, it'll be here when you get back."

She tried to suppress a smirk but failed. Xena locked eyes with the bard. There was a dangerous spark in the warrior's beautiful blue eyes. Gabrielle could feel a friendly fight was on it's way, it hadn't been her attention to start it. She just thought since she was doing the cooking, the Warrior Princess might as well make use of herself in another way. Xena put her trusty sword aside and kept her eyes locked on the bard.

"You know, Gabrielle." She started" A sword is not something to make jokes about. It is a weapon and should be treated with respect just like any other. I don't make jokes about your staff do I?"

"I was just kidding. I didn't mean to almost bring you to tears over it." She quickly realized what she had said and covered her mouth with both hands, wishing she could take it back. Xena rose from her seat, put her hands on her hips and stared at her friend.

"Bring me to tears, huh?" she took a few steps closer to the bard who started moving away from the tall warrior. "Xena....I just thought you could make use of yourself by helping me out." She swallowed hard "But of course, if you don't want to get the water....I can always do it my self."

She made an attempt at taking the water-bucket but Xena snatched it away from her. She smiled sweetly and started moving closer to the bard again. Gabrielle backed until she was standing at the edge of the water. One more step and she would fall in. Gabrielle took a look behind her with wide eyes and swallowed again. It was a very hot day, but she really didn't feel like taking a swim with her clothes on right now.

"Come on Xena. Just give it to me and I'll get the water. I promise you don't have to do anything all day. Except maybe take a bath."

"Oh, so now I'm dirty too huh?" she grabbed the bard's arm playfully.

"Uhm...no...that's not what I meant. I just meant it's such a warm day and I thought you might want to cool off."

Xena knew Gabrielle hadn't meant anything by it, but she was having fun seeing the bard so nervous. She didn't see any harm in making the bard take a little unwanted swim on such a hot day, her clothes would dry in minutes any way. Gabrielle didn't feel the same way though. As Xena gave her a gentle push thinking that was all it took to get her to loose her balance, the bard grabbed the warrior's arms and swung her around her back, causing Xena to trip and fall into the water. Gabrielle was so surprised at her little victory that she couldn't help but let out a little "Yes".

She waited for Xena to return to the surface, a little nervous of the warrior's reaction to the accident. She waited but there was no sign of her friend. She started to get worried Xena had hit her head on a rock or something in the water. She bent over, leaning over the water to see if she could spot her friend. Suddenly a pair of strong arms grabbed her and pulled her in with a loud splash sending water everywhere. When she got to the surface gasping for air she found herself looking into a familiar pair of laughing, blue eyes.

"Xeena!" Gabrielle screamed frustrated, spitting water. Xena looked at her with innocent eyes.

"What? You pushed me in first."

"Only because you were going to do it to me, stupid."

"So now I'm stupid too." Xena announced angrily splashing water in her friend's face with such force Gabrielle threw her head back. She quickly returned fire and then dove beneath the surface for cover. As she got up again she looked around for Xena and saw her swimming out to the centre of the lake. She was swimming very fast seeming wanting to get to something out there.

"Maybe she saw a big fish she wanted for dinner tonight." Gabrielle said to herself floating on her back gazing up at the white clouds in the sky. After staying that way for a few minutes she brought her thoughts back to her friend and looked over at where she had last seen her. Xena was swimming towards shore on her back, but she wasn't alone. There was something in her arms, and it wasn't a fish. It was a person, a girl. Xena was close now, Gabrielle swam out, helping the warrior bring the girl to dry land. Xena forced the girl's mouth open and blew air in her lungs trying desperately to revive her. Gabrielle sat besides her, holding her smaller hand in hers whispering southing words in her ear. Without warning the girl started coughing up water, Xena who happened to be bent over her became victim of the second splashing that day. Gabrielle helped the girl sit up and was kind enough to bang her on the back, making sure she spit it all out.

The warrior wiped her face clean with the back of her hand and started to look for injuries on the girl's body. There were none. They spent a few minutes trying to calm her down, wrapping a blanket around her and offering some water. Xena took a good look at the young girl sitting on the ground. She had shoulder length brown hair that covered most of her face. Xena moved a stride of her wet hair aside and found that she had a look of terror on her face. She felt sympathy for the young thing who seemed very confused. Almost as if she had never seen this place before. And the clothes she wore, they didn't look like anything the warrior had ever set eyes on before.

Annie coughed heavily and stared at the two strangers before her. There was something familiar about them both but she couldn't quite put her finger on it. Her vision was a blur and she couldn't focus on the things surrounding her. It was very annoying not being able to see straight at a time like this. The last thing she remembered was falling in the lake. Her guess was that these people had some how rescued her and that she was now laying back on the bridge again.

Her head was throbbing and she felt as if she was going to be sick any minute, and she really didn't want to. Annie blinked a few times and sighed with relief as she felt her vision coming back to normal again. Hands lifted her off the ground and helped her stand.

This was the first time she actually saw the two women in front of her. One leather-clad warrior, with long dark hair, carrying a sword and a round thing in a belt at her waist. And one shorter, blond woman with beautiful sparkling green eyes and a warm smile covering her lips. She was also wearing strange clothes, not leather but still not quite what you expected a hot summer day like this.

There was something veeery strange going on here. This didn't look at all like her home. The lake seemed a lot bigger than before, and where were all the buildings you could usually see miles away? Suddenly she was aware of where she was, who these two women were. She was also aware of something else. She was no longer in Wisconsin, she was in Greece.

To be continued