Xena Alternative Fan Fiction

A Strike is Still a Strike
by PatC


This story was written without the knowledge or consent of MCA/Universal and is not intended to infringe on any copyrights.

This story is the work of the author and is protected by copyright. Please gain permission before copying and/or publishing any or all of this story.

"Bowling? You want ME to go bowling??" Xena's voice echoes through the peaceful forest. With an incredulous look Xena turns towards the young woman walking beside her. Argo, ambling behind Xena snorts in indignation at the thought.

"Yes, Xena." replies Gabrielle "Bowling. There has been a challengewe--"

"What is bowling?" Xena mutters half to herself. Then her face brightens from the previous scowl "A challenge! Yes!"

"Xena, Xena, let me tell you--"

"We are going to Kill Them All!" Xena exclaims in a dangerous voice.

"XENA will you listen to me for one second!!" Yells an exasperated little Bard, stamping her foot.

"Ok. I'll listen." Xena grumbles 'A challenge? Chakram? Sword?' She mutters to herself.

"Bowling is a game." Gabrielle begins in as patient a voice as possible. "Toxeus and some of his men-"

"Toxeus?" Xena inquires, raising a perfectly shaped left eyebrow. "He's dead!" Then with a quick thoughtful look adds "Oh, how could I forget. Dead today, here tomorrow. Yeah, yeah, been there done that."

"Bowling is a game. You throw a ball at 10 bottles--" Gabrielle tries to continue but is interrupted yet again.

"I can use Toxeus' head!" Xena exclaims excitedly "Yeah I like that!"

"No, a ball. Here I'll show you." Going to Argo's bottomless saddle bag Gabrielle takes out a leather ball about the size of an adult head. "See a ball."

Looking at it out of the corner of her eye Xena appraises the offered object. "Could be useful as a weapon. Tell me how to use it."

Gabrielle just raises her eyes in supplication to the heavens. "Ok." She sighs. "You insert your fingers in these hol--Ah, let me rephrase that. You place your hand on the--Oh, never mind! Just look!" Demonstrates how to hold the ball, "Then you throw it like--"

With quick realization Xena snatches the ball and throws it with a mighty heave.

"NO! Not like your Chakram!! In coming!! Hit the dirt!!" Gabrielle yells throwing herself on the ground, covering her head with her arms. Argo gives an annoyed snort, quickly bowing down thinking to herself "Annoying little blonde, or is it more red? I donno." Shaking head. "What is she going to think of next!"

The ball sails through the air as if launched from a catapault glancing off a distant tree. Making a graceful arc it heads back towards the trio. Xena watches gleefully as the ball whistles past her, disappearing quickly from sight. A very loud crash is heard in the distance followed immediately by an ominous rumble of thunder. A titanic fire cloud rises from the earth. In the midst of the inferno Hope can be seen. "Hell-lo Mother. Thank you Xena. I am free again to unleash every kind of evil on the World!"

Gabrielle, rising from the ground brushing dirt off her clothes, visibly shaken, looks on in horror.

"Gods, Xena! What are we going to do now!! THAT was a rental!! Now I will loose my deposit and have to pay a default fee!"

"We can replace it with a severed head." Xena grumbles.

As they walk on Gabrielle contiues to explain the game of bowling and the people they will meet.

"Each person gets two tries to knock down all the standing bottles with the ball. If you knock them all down on the first try it is called a 'strike.' "

Coming to a clearing which is atop a gentle hill ending next to a well worn wagon path, Xena's eagle like blue eyes quickly spy a group of bandits massing to attack and unknowing passing traveler. Without a word Xena quickly and effortlessly does a forward flip, trilling her famous battle cry. Instead of landing on her feet she continues to roll down the gentle slope, gathering speed and momentum with every rotation. The bandits who are arranged in an inverted triangle turn in disbelief but far to late to react. The furiously rotating Warrior Princess strikes the lead bandit and in the blink of an eye upends the remaining nine, ending up on her feet among the groaning and dazed brigands. Looking around with her hands on her hips and a very self satisfied look on her face, Xena addresses the approaching Gabrielle. "Something likethat?"

"Yeah," Gabrielle kind of reluctanly agrees. "You could say that." Argo snorts and nods in enthusiastic approval.

Nearing there destination they begin to encounter fellow travelers happily chatting about the event that they are about to attend. A bowling challenge between Toxeus and three of his henchmen and "The Pink Ladies."

"Who are the Pink Ladies?" Xena asks, raising that quizzical eyebrow.

"You, me, Princess Diana and Rizzo." Gabrielle replies.

"Rizzo? I don't know anyone named Rizzo. A warlord?"

Gabrielle going to the very annoyed Argo's saddlebag takes out a pink garment.

Xena who looks disapprovingly says "What is that?" "A jacket." is the reply, "All the Pink Ladies wear them."

"I will never wear that." Xena declares emphatically. "And who is this Rizzo?"

"She is the leader of the Pink Ladies."

"I will have to defeat her in battle and take her army!" Xena plans out loud.

"No, Xena, that is not the challenge!" Gabrielle says with annoyance in her voice.

Xena fixes Gabrielle with The Look! Gabrielle swallows hard but all momentary fear is gone as she notices the twinkle in Xena's electric blue eyes and and slight movement of Xena's tongue against her cheek as she fights her lips from forming into a smile.

"You were pulling my leg the whole time! That was mean! I'll get you for this Xena!" Vows Gabrielle. "Remember I cook for you!"

"Oh is that what you call it." Xena chuckles. "Tell me more about this Rizzo. I may like to get to know her better. Does she sing?"

The End

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