Disclaimer: The Character of Xena belongs to MCA/Universal, and the use of the name in this story does not infringe with any commercial use. This story is for strictly free fan use only.
This story contains a minor reference to violence between 2 animals and a reference to an off-color name for a cat.
Created between 12:00 am and 3:00 am on July 31, 2000 on the Ex-Guards e-group.
Another day, another bunny rabbit to bark at. Xena the poodle lay just within the shade provided by the overhang on her owners back porch. Nearly 15 feet away was the latest in a string of invaders to cross her territory. The furry vermin sat placidly chewing on her owner's tulips, but Xena didn't have the energy to discourage it.
Did I really go so far in the karmic path to come back as a dog? she asked herself. At this level, she could remember all her previous incarnations, and how she had been everything from a warlord to a priestess. But a mutt? Yes, she was pedigreed, but a mutt all the same.
She was alone most of the day, staying inside the confines of the 3 bedroom house tall lady owned. Now there was an odd one, Xena thought. She watches these odd moving pictures whenever she comes home, & likes to play a remarkably stupid game called catch. It didn't take more than half a brain cell to play it, but since it gives me all those tasty little tidbits, I really don't mind.
Recently, tall lady had brought home another poodle, this one smaller and very talkative. That pooch just won't shut up! It's always following after me, trying to get my attention. Her name was Gabbi, and tall lady seemed to like her pretty well. Why, I'll never figure out.
As Xena lay in the sun, her black coat soaking up the heat, the canine in question came out the dog door and stretched out beside her.
"Aren't you gonna get rid of that thing?" Gabbi asked, indicating the rabbit still in the yard.
"Why? It's not doing anything."
"But it's in our yard. We should get rid of it."
"What's it going to do? Leave such a big pile of turds that tall lady will step in them and fall on her face?" Xena asked sarcastically.
"Well, I still think we should chase it off."
"Give it up, pup."
Gabbi the miniature poodle rolled over on her back, her tiny tongue flopping out of her mouth. "So what we gonna do today?"
"Is there something about nothing you don't understand?"
"I understand. I just don't know why."
"Listen," Xena said seriously, "We're not supposed to do much beyond sleep, eat and play. Yeah, occasionally we have a trip to the groomer, and get our toe nails cut. After 28 years experiencing all life has to offer for us, I can tell you that the best thing to do, is nothing."
Little Gabbi kept one eye on Xena, and the other trained on the bunny. It's really bothering the kid that it's still there, she thought with amusement. The ernest look on her face was too much to ignore, so with some reluctance, she gave in.
"All right. Go get it."
Gabbi took off instantly, her little legs barely touching the ground as she bounded across the yard, barking for all she was worth. The bunny's ears twitched, then it took off, much faster than the little dog could ever hope to be.
Xena sighed and rested her head on her front legs. Some things never change.
Tall lady came home early that night. She had a real anxious look, and rushed around the house in a hurry. She came out of her bedroom, dressed in her favorite red silk dress that she always scolded for if Xena put her feet on it. She was dressed for a date, and was in a hurry to leave.
But like always, she stopped at the door, patted Xena's and Gabbi's heads and said, "You be good girls for Mommy. Guard the house, and stay out of trouble. Mommy loves you!" she flung over her shoulder as she walked out the door.
Xena and Gabbi both ran to the front window to watch her go. Regardless of anything else, Xena and Gabbi both liked the tall lady. She was nice, and always had time for them.
"Do you think she'll bring us back some scraps?" Gabbi asked, licking her chops hungrily.
"I doubt it. She looks like she's going to be gone all night again."
Xena climbed down from the back of the couch, and headed out the dog door. She expected to see the same rabbit that was there every day, but instead she saw a totally unwelcome visitor. It was Calli, the cat from next door.
Her hackles rose, and her lips curled up above her teeth. "What are you doing here?" she growled with menace.
Calli flipped her tail carelessly. "Xena, I'm hurt! Didn't you miss me?" Her siamese eyes narrowed, and cattily, she taunted, "Besides, aren't I the only thing in your dreary little life that entertains you?"
"I wouldn't call a thorn in my paw entertaining."
"Now, now, dearie. Wouldn't want the youngster over there to get the wrong idea, now would we?" Calli stared at young Gabbi, twitching her nose arrogantly.
"Xena, let me get her. Just this once. That's all it'll take."
"No. This is my fight." Xena remembered the nasty gash Calli had left on her leg the last time they had tangled, and didn't want that for the pup. "Go inside. Now."
Reluctantly, Gabbi left.
"We're all alone now. You can't distract me with that little pooch now." Calli paced restlessly.
"I always knew you were a pussy. I just didn't realize how much."
Xena and Calli met in a rush of fur and teeth. Xena barked her war cry, batting away Calli's sharp claws with her powerfull feet. Xena grabbed hold of the ruff on the back of the cat's neck, and was ready to shake her soundly, when a car door slammed and the sound of running feet approaching distracted her. The cat escaped during the confusion, and then she had to face the consequences.
"NO! Bad dog. BAAAAAAAAD DOG!" Tall lady was really mad, and Xena had come to respect that anger. She bowed her head and inched forward slowly, knowing to play the penitent in situations like this. But mistress would have none of it.
"In the house. NOW!" she hollered, and Xena slunk back inside.
Mistress rushed back in, grabbing her forgotten purse off the kitchen table. On her way out, she flipped the lever for the lock on the doggie door, effectively trapping Xena and Gabbi inside.
"Since I can't trust you to behave, you're just going to have to stay inside until I get back. Now behave. And I mean it this time!" Tall lady slammed the door, and seconds later, they heard the tires screech out of the driveway.
Trapped. Xena hated being trapped. But there wasn't much she could do about it. Not in my present form, that is, she thought with a sigh.
What's a poodle supposed to do? Just ignore you're arch enemy? Let her walk away after she leaves you scarred? I DON'T think so!
Since there wasn't much she could do, Xena decided a nap would be the next order of business. She went into the bedroom, leaping up onto the plush queen size bed the tall lady slept on whenever she was home.
Mistress let Xena and Gabbi sleep on the bed with her the majority of the time, unless she brought one of those Male mutts home with her, then she locked both dogs out, forcing them to sleep in the livingroom.
The bed was plush with thick feather pillows. Xena especially loved those pillows. They snuggled around her, reminding her of when Gabrielle would cuddle close beside her all those years ago.
Xena turned around three times, making sure the bedding was where she wanted it, then flopped down with her head on the edge of the pillow.
I sure miss Gabrielle, she thought with a sigh. Can't imagine why she hasn't appeared yet in this lifetime. Xena recalled every encounter over the centuries with fondness as she drifted off to sleep.
Gabbi watched Xena sleeping from the doorway. She doesn't think it's me, she sadly lamented. But the element of youth always has a strange effect on the reincarnated, and gave back elements of naiveté.
Well, she'll come around eventually, Gabbi surmised.
She jumped up onto the bed, curling up next to the sleeping Xena. She copied her pose, laying her head on the edge of the pillow. A tiny feather was sticking up through a seam, and Gabbi's sharp eyes found it right away. That could be dangerous, she thought. Might poke out an eye. I'd better get rid of it.
Gabbi gripped the stem with her teeth and pulled, but nothing happened. She took a new grip, and pulled, but again, nothing happened. Flustration set in, and she clamped the whole stem and the pillow in her teeth, bracing her feet as she flung back her head.
The seam gave way with a RRRIIIPPPPP, spewing feathers everywhere, from the bed to the tops of the curtains. Gabbi looked around, amazed that such little things could make such a huge mess.
Xena opened one eye and surveyed the the destruction. We're in for it now, she thought, laying her head back down on the pillow and falling back to sleep.
Later that night, a strange sound awoke Xena from her slumber. It was a funny scraping, like when tall lady tried to open one of the windows that didn't want to budge.
Gabbi was sound asleep beside her, and not wanting to wake the young dog up, she carefully crawled over her to investigate. Gabbi continued sleeping undisturbed, her feet twitching rhythmically to the growls and woofs emitting from her mouth. That dog could sleep thru a thunderstorm, Xena reasoned.
Stealthily, she paced through the house, checking room after room with her sensitive night vision. That's one of the few things I can say is pretty nice, she thought to herself. Never know when it will come in handy.
Xena was nearly finished with her circuit when she went into the livingroom. There she found a window standing wide open, the curtains billowing with the breeze coming through. The fur on the back of her neck stood up as her body tensed from head to claw. Somebody was in the house.
Her nose lifted to the air, capturing the scent of the intruder. It was a memorable mix of sweaty human and cow flop, and it lead her unerringly back to the bedroom where she had just arisen from.
There, across from the bed, was a short man in a black sweatshirt and cowboy boots, which were covered in dark, smelly splotches. The cow flop, Xena deduced, wrinkling her nose at the offensive smell.
The man was rifling thru tall lady's jewelry case, picking out certain items and stuffing them in his pockets. He was very quiet, not even making enough noise to disturb little Gabbi, still asleep on the bed.
He was making his final selections when Xena decided it was time to reveal herself. She snarled loudly, alerting the man to the danger present. The theif spun around, looking worriedly for a large canine to match the fierce sound. But what he saw was a medium sized black poodle standing in the doorway, baring her teeth and making a menacing noise. He was unimpressed.
"Shut up, mutt. Or I'll fix it so you don't say anything ever again."
He turned away from Xena, underestimating the power and passion the small package disguised. He grabbed the remainder of his loot and walked around the bed, but was suprised to find a small, apricot poodle suddenly attached to his ankle.
He yelped, shaking his leg furiously in an attempt to throw the little dog off. But Gabbi held firm. Her teeth were sunk deep, and she had no intention of letting go!
Xena watched, astonished her mini companion had suddenly turned so fierce. It soon became obvious that she couldn't maintain the attack though, under the rough treatment the burglar was inflicting.
So Xena ran to the rescue, flying through the air with a powerful leap, barking her battle chant and landing solidly against his chest. Xena, being a much larger dog, had more of an impact, and the theif tumbled to the ground like a clumsey dog walker.
Gabbi re-attached herself to his leg and thrashed repeadedly while the man hollered in pain. Xena snapped her teeth at his arm, which was reaching for anything he could use in his defense. His hand came into contact with a misplaced shoe Xena had been dillegently chewing the heel off of, and grabbed it like it was his last hope.
He wacked the mule against Xena's sides, but without the heavy wooden heel, it did little good. What it did do was make Xena all the angrier. She bit deep into his wrist, and he dropped the shoe in a hurry. The smelly man rolled, moaned and thrashed, knocking over a dresser and a chair in his bid for escape. But Xena had no plans for letting him get away.
She released his arm, planting her front feet squarely on his shoulders, and got up in his face, growling and drooling all over him. The man lay back down, knowing when the game was up.
The back door slammed the next morning, and the tall lady came walking in with a satisfied smile on her face. That is, until she reached the bedroom and saw the destruction that was once her sanctuary.
"GIRLS, what have you done..." her voice faded away as she spotted the cow flop-covered boots laying amidst her favorite comforter and the remains of her feather pillows.
When she saw the man attached to them, she jumped back, until she realized that the reason the figure on the floor was immobilized was because her dogs were laying on top of him, growling for all they were worth.
Not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, the tall lady picked up the phone, dialing 911 to report the burglary. As she hung up, sirens were already approaching from a few blocks away.
"Xena, Gabbi, you kept him from stealing from me, didn't you girls?"
Xena was still concentrating on holding the smelly man down, but Gabbi gladly got up from her task and trotted over for a friendly head pat. Tall lady picked her up, cuddling her against her chest.
"You are such good dogs! I have the best puppies in the whole wide world!" she cooed in that silly, sappy voice she reserved only for them.
The police knocked on her door, and moments later, they were leading the criminal away, evidence of the attempted theft still dangling from his pockets.
Xena ambled over to her owner, bending her head for a scratch behind her ears. That does feel good! she sighed in exctasy.
"Thank you so much, babies. Mommy will never forget how you protected the house while I was gone. I love you both so much! More than you can imagine."
She picked Xena up and sat her beside her on the couch. Gabbi sat on her other side, loving the attention she was getting.
"Well, I guess everything's back to normal." Gabbi sighed later that morning.
Xena looked over at her friend, recognising the soul housed in the diminutive body as her soul mate, Gabrielle.
"I wouldn't say all that."
"What do you mean?"
"Well, I don't exactly feel useless anymore. It's nice to know that I can still kick butt when I want to. Not to mention the fact that neither one of us were blamed for the mess in tall lady's bedroom. They guessed that the burglar tore one of her pillows apart, so we didn't even get in trouble for that."
Gabbi ducked her head, still a little ashamed of the mess she had made. Peeking back up, she watched Xena with hopefull eyes.
"So, I guess you know about me."
"I figured that out last night."
"When you attacked that guy, it reminded me of all those fights we were in together. I guess it just clicked. I'm really sorry I've been so mean to you."
"Don't worry about it. I was being a pest." Gabbi looked across the yard and spotted the rabbit munching on the tulips again. "Speaking of pests..."
Xena laughed, her tongue lolling out of her mouth in canine happiness. "Let's get the little furball, all right?"
Gabbi took off with a joyous bark, and Xena was running right along beside. It sure does feel good to have her back, Xena thought as she chased the bunny around the yard.
Inside the house, tall lady was hollering, "Xena! Gabbi, stop chasing that rabbit right now and get in here. I've got to take you to your appointment at the dog groomers..."
Some things never change, Xena surmised happily.