of Souls Part 1 of 5
Xena Fanfiction, Xena fanfic, Xena fan fiction, Xena and
Gabrielle fanfiction, Xena fiction
The following story contains spoilers from season six episodes. It takes
place after my Changes of Heart series. You donít
have to read it, but you might enjoy it. Itís an alt story,
which means women in love with women, so beware. These
characters belong to Ren Pics. I think that about covers it.
stories are accompaniments to the season six episodes of
Coming Home through Who's
Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bonding of Souls
Part 1 of 5
BOUND (set after 'Coming Home')
Gabrielle sat below in the
valley with Eve as she waited for Xenaís return.
"I should go
Gabrielle turned to Eve who
was staring out into the forest. The girl looked as if she was
under some kind of spell - hypnotized.
"And what good would it
do?" Gabrielle countered. "Youíre worth more to
this world alive than dead Eve. And those amazons will kill
you if you go back."
Eve gave a deep sigh.
"So Iím above the law then? Just because Iím the
daughter of the warrior princess and an amazon queen? That
doesnít sound right to me."
How can I explain this?
the bard considered. "Your mother was put on trial once
for her past crimes. She even went to prison. But she
realized, after the whole experience, that she could serve her
Ďdebtí for all the misery she cause by helping people who
needed it. It was a waste for her to be locked in a cell when
she could help thousands upon thousands of people. It donít
see your crimes being anything different... Hell, if we
were still in Rome youíd be the conquering hero."
"You donít have to
remind me," Eve muttered.
sweetie," Gabrielle answered. "What I mean is . .
." For crying out loud what do you mean? Youíre a
bard. Think. Eve and Xena have lived parallel lives. Remember
what you told Xena all those years ago.
murderer," Eve answered.
"You killed people who
stood in the way of Rome," Gabrielle answered. "At a
certain point you took pleasure in it. The pleasure you felt
was wrong. And now, looking back, your heart is so heavy you
canít find the goodness within yourself."
"Iím not sure if
there is any real goodness."
"Iím certain." Gabrielle grinned.
"Because... your our
daughter. You just lost your way. And your mother and I will
do everything we can to help you find it. Youíve decided not
to harm anyone unless itís in defense. Thatís very noble.
For a time I walked a path where I didnít want to harm
anyone, no matter what the price... At least until I
watched a Roman almost kill your mother. I took down half
those men at that outpost with your motherís sword. And I
havenít looked back since."
"Doesnít it bother
you? The violence?"
"Itís for the greater
good," Gabrielle answered. "When youíre pushed
sometime you have to push back. Thatís what I did by
challenging Margot. If your mother and I couldnít reason
with her then I would take control. I admire your mother for
not stepping in today. She let me handle it and make my
challenge without a word." Gabrielle grinned with pride.
"Point is, I didnít want to fight her, but I would have
Ė for the greater good of that tribe... So Iím sorry
Eve. I canít support you going back into that village
because your death wouldnít serve the greater good."
A silence passed between
them for a moment. Until Gabrielle spoke up, "Are you
sincere about wanting to help people? Getting Eliís message
"Well, you canít do
that from a coffin," Gabrielle answered as she rose.
"And thatís where those amazons would put you."
"But what about you?
"What about us?"
"You can never go
Ďhomeí to them again. Youíve broken their law by helping
me escape. I never wanted to split you two from the amazons..., but thatís what youíve done."
"No. WE made that
choice - not you. Besides..." Gabrielle smiled. "Do
you think they are the only amazons?"
"Margot said it herself...
itís the last tribe."
Gabrielle added a chuckle to
her smile. "Oh Iím sure thereís a tribe someplace
where Margotís never been. Far, far north and away from the
Greek amazons in fact. If I ever need an amazon Iím sure I
wonít be on the Ďoutsí with them."
"How can you be so
sure?" Eve questioned.
"In truth Iím not, but
Iím certain there has to be more than one tribe out there. .
. And if Margotís correct and they are all gone all that
really matters to me is my family - the ones I live with day
in and day out." Gabrielle leaned down and took Eveís
face in her hands before placing an affectionate kiss on her
forehead. "Iíd give up any throne for you because I
believe in you, Eve."
With that, Gabrielle moved
away and began her trip up the grassy hill as she watched Xena
approaching. Eveís bottom lip began to quiver slightly and
one by one the tears streamed down her face. They really do
love me... I really have a family.
Gabrielle had a grin for
Xena as she came down the hill shaking her head.
"Hey." the warrior
yourself," Gabrielle answered.
Xena didnít add anything
she just stood looking at the bard smiling. Gabrielle
scrunched her eyebrows as she examined the warrior. "You
kissed him," she said matter of factly. Xenaís smile
fell a brief moment before returning. She looked away and
found her fingers scratching the back of her neck.
"Youíre not even going to try to deny it are you?"
Gabrielle asked. She couldnít help it. At this point she had
to giggle watching the warrior fidget.
"Yeah I kissed
him," Xena admitted in a defeated sigh.
"He still a good
kisser?" the bard jabbed.
replied, stressing out each syllable of the bardís name.
"If you must know I told him his chances are 1 in a
"Ahh I see, so Ares
took it as a sign of hope?" Gabrielle continued to prod.
Xena opened her mouth to
respond to stop. Not being able to find exactly what she what
to say she asked, "How do you do that?"
Gabrielle asked coyly, taking the warrior by the hand and
leading her back down the hill.
Xena chuckled. "You know I kissed him. You know heís
STILL wishing. How do you know that?"
It was the bardís turn to
laugh. "Because I know you have a soft spot for Ares. I
accept that. And I know youíve felt sorry for him. The kiss
would be a nice Ďpeace offeringí to the God of War. And as
for Ares well Ė he might not be a god anymore, but heís
"So youíre not
jealous?" Xena asked softly, testing the waters.
"Of what? The fact
youíll be sleeping in my bedroll tonight instead of his." Gabrielle grinned victoriously. "No, Iím not
jealous. Ares has nothing I could want. But I, on the other
hand, have something he wants very much, but canít have... So you can give him the Ďkiss offí. Thatís fine by
Xena gave Gabrielleís hand
an extra squeeze as they walked along, getting closer to Eve.
"I knew there was a reason I loved you so much." Xena grinned down at the bard, giving her a quick peck on top
of the head.
"Mom," Eve called
warrior and bard answered together. "Okay enough of
this," Gabrielle said waving her hands to the group.
"Eve... sweetie... I love you dearly, but perhaps
you should just call me Gabrielle again. I wonít think any
less of you and Iím certain that I hold a special place in
your heart. For confusion sake, letís just call me Gabrielle
Eve looked to Xena for
"If Gabrielle is okay
with it then Iím okay with it," Xena said.
"Good." The bard
grinned. "Now what do you say Evie? Are you going back or
coming with us? Itís your choice," Gabrielle answered.
Xena looked back and forth
between them. Going back? What is she? Crazy? she
wondered, yet said nothing.
"I choose the greater
good." Eve smiled to Gabrielle.
Gabrielle answered, giving her a light chuck on the shoulder.
"Did something happen
here I didnít know about?" Xena asked, a bit baffled by
"Yes dear, but you were
too busy kissing Ares at the time," Gabrielle teased.
"You what?!" Eve
exclaimed, rising to her feet in surprise.
answered. "Itís not what you might think," she
added to Eve. "I see now that you are never gonna let me
live this down are you?" Xena asked the bard.
Gabrielle gave a brilliant
smile, walking away with Eve, "Ohhh not on your life
warrior mine. This oneís gonna last a pretty long time
Iíll have you know."
"Oh jeez," the
warrior grumbled as she picked up their saddlebag. "I
hope mother doesnít give me a hard time. Iím not sure I
can handle two of you ganging up on me at once."
"So weíre going to
Amphipolis?" Eve asked the bard.
"Yes dear. Weíre
after 'Haunting of Amphipolis')
Gabrielle had tried for the
umpteenth time to light a fire in the old fireplace of
Cyreneís with no success. She dropped the flint and ran her
fingers through her hair in frustration omitting a deep sigh.
"No fire eh?" Xena
teased as she walked in with Eve carrying their saddlebags.
"Itís too damp in
here I think," Gabrielle answered.
instructed as she put down their belongings before taking a
spot next to Gabrielle. With a few clicks the twigs were
smoking and moments later when the wood was added the room
began to warm up considerable.
Gabrielle grinned and shook
her head. "Iíve tried at least half a candlemark trying
to light that fire. Whatís the secret?"
"Guess I gotta knack
for fire," Xena answered. "Being Queen of Hell might
have its advantages after all," the warrior chuckled.
Neither Gabrielle nor Eve
found much humor in the statement yet they remained quiet.
sighed. "Everything will be fine. Iím not taking any
thrones despite what some wind bag demon from the underworld
says, okay? Heís not the first evil god Iíve vanquished so
donít worry. Everything will be okay. . . youíll
see," Xena added as she smoothed the bards arms up and
down for reassurance.
"But what if you
donít have a choice mother? What if Hell comes for you
instead of you going to it?"
Xena tried not laugh, but
failed. "Evie?" The warrior smiled. "Gabrielle
and I have been through Ďhellí before so I canít say
Iím all that concerned."
Gabrielle grinned. Itís
true. We have been through Hell before. In this life
and the afterworld. But still... "Eve does raise a
point Xena. What do we do if you get Ė I donít know Ė
sucked down there?"
"Mmm," Xena gave a
playful growl as she picked the bard up and sat her on the
table behind them. She started to nuzzle Gabrielleís neck
playful. "Will my sexy blonde girlfriend come with
me?" she added.
Gabrielle took Xena by the
shoulders and pushed her back to arm length. "Iím
serious," the bard told her.
"Like I said Iíll
cross that bridge when I come to it," Xena answered as
she walked away to put another log on the fire. "I think
you two should just relax. Hell isnít going to get me
without a fight. I realize my place. I know what I consider
Ďhomeí. Everything will be fine. I promise you," Xena
replied as she walked back to the bard. She picked up each one
of Gabrielleís hands, giving a light kiss to her knuckles.
The answer satisfied
Gabrielle and Eve. Xena went to work emptying the saddlebags
as Gabrielle began to straighten out an area for their
bedrolls. Eve noticed a small drawing on parchment hanging on
the wall. It was a picture of a small girl. She cocked her
head as she examined it. Carefully she took it down, bringing
it over to Gabrielle. "Is this mother?" Eve asked.
Gabrielle smiled upon seeing
it. "Yeah it is," she answered. "Hey
Xena," the bard called out to the warrior who had gone
into the kitchen. "Check this out."
"What is it?" Xena
asked, carrying out a tray of food Ė bread, cheese, fruit
"Your mother still had
this drawing," Gabrielle answered handing it to her.
Xena grinned. "Donít
let this drawing deceive you Eve," the warrior gave a sly
grin. "I was much cuter than this picture."
Gabrielle gave the warrior
an elbow for acting so conceited before grinning.
"Itís a bit
unnerving," Eve answered.
Gabrielle asked before Xena could.
"We looked a lot alike.
I was always smaller Ė thinner framed. But this picture
looks a lot like me as a child."
So many years lost. What
I wouldnít give to see a picture to compare Xena
thought. Perhaps Hecuba and Herodetus will have a picture
of Gabrielle we can see. Eve just might look like her other
momma too. "Did your parents ever have a picture of
you commissioned?" Xena asked the bard.
Gabrielle answered. "Not that I know of. But it might be
a possibility. Did you have any baby pictures Eve?" the
bard asked. "Iím sure Augustus had enough riches to
hire an artist or two."
"I believe so,"
Eve answered. "Iím sure theyíre all burned at this
point... Not that I blame him," she answered before
quietly moving away. The young womanís head and shoulders
seemed to slump in response.
"Did you really love
him Eve?" Gabrielle asked, considering perhaps regret she
"In my way... yes. I
mean it was nothing like what you and mother have," she
chuckled before a sober look returned to her face. "But
few people in this world have what you and mother have. I
think itís very rare and very beautiful. So yes I did love
him... But I also know I used his power more than I cared
about his love."
"Youíll find the
right person someday Eve," Xena replied. "Iím sure
"Iím not sure if
thereís a single soul out there that could see the things
Iíve done and still love me."
"You might be
pleasantly surprised someday." Gabrielle grinned warmly.
"Just donít be so quick to brush her off and try to
send her home packing," the bard teased the warrior with
a nudge which earned her a playful swat on the backside. Eve
grinned at her parents, which made everyone feel a bit better.
Neither woman enjoyed seeing Eve enter a dark mood nor did
they want her to dwell on it too long when those moods did
arrive. "Come you two - letís eat," the bard said
taking them over to bench.
Later that night Eve slept
as Xena stared into the fire. She darted to her feet as
quietly as possible when she watched the bard walking in
juggling some wood in her arms.
"I could have done
that," Xena chastised.
"I was outside
anyway," Gabrielle answered as they set the wood into the
fireplace. "That should be enough for the rest of the
night donít you think?"
answered. "We should be quite cozy." She grinned.
The warrior and bard cuddled
up on the bedrolls, both of them watching the fire wordless in
each otherís arms. After a few moments Gabrielle could feel
some tremors pass through her lover.
"Xena? You okay?"
Xena didnít answer
immediately. The bard heard her sniff and watched her wipe her
eyes. The warrior had begun to cry silently. "I miss
mother," she finally said softly.
Gabrielle tightened her
hold. "Iíll miss her too..., but now sheís finally
at rest," the bard added optimistically. "You might
not have been able to save her life Xena, but you saved her
soul. I think that means more in the end. Sheís at peace
I donít care that
sheís at peace. I want her here. I want to hold her. I want
to be held. I want her to spend time with her granddaughter
like she wanted. "I guess Iím just selfish,"
Xena replied to the bard. "Peace doesnít mean much when
I think of all the time thatís been lost."
opportunities. Things you wish you could have changed. Done
differently," the bard commented. "I think I
understand," she added.
Xena grinned despite her
pain. Her bard did understand. "Well, things can only get
better right? I mean chances are Lila is still alive. Eve will
get to spend time with her aunt... But still . . ."
"I know," the bard
answered. "Itís not the same. But someday weíll all
be together again." I wonder if Lila is alive? And
what about my parents? Did they meet the same fate? Did the
King of Hell go after them too? No sense in worrying now. Like
Xena says, weíll cross that bridge when we come to it.
Xena tightened her grip on
the bard. "Iím so lucky to have you in my life,"
Gabrielle gave a light
chuckle. "Not that Iím complaining, but where did that
"My heart. My soul." Xena grinned as she moved up, giving the bard a
tender kiss on the cheek. "No matter what Gabrielle. I
will never, ever stop loving you Ė ever."
"Iíll never stop
loving you Xena," Gabrielle answered in kind. "Even
when I went away... I was angry, but I never stopped love
you. I never hated you. I never could."
"Iím not sure what
Iíd do if you went away again," Xena answered honestly.
"Well, letís BOTH
promise to do our best to see that doesnít happen." Gabrielle grinned as she held out her pinky.
Xena gave a light chuckle
and grabbed hold with her own pinky finger. "You gotta
They both settled down to
relax to get some sleep. But before Xena drifted off she heard
Gabrielleís voice. "I would follow you to hell...
Iíd follow you anywhere."
Xena closed her eyes with a
new resolve as she snuggled closer. That wouldnít happen.
She wouldnít be going to hell. She already had heaven here
on earth. And her name is Gabrielle.
HEART (set after 'Heart of Darkness')
"Donít go getting all
emotional on me."
Xena could hear the
merriment in her bardís voice although Gabrielle walked
behind her, the blondeís face hidden from view.
"We wouldnít want
that to happen now would we?" Xena teased as they walked
outside, heading back to the inn. She slowed down a bit until
the bard was at her side and tenderly took her hand in hers.
They walked along in silence for a moment, just taking in the
night air. "The kids will probably be busy for
awhile," Xena commented casually.
Gabrielle smiled. Although
the words were spoken off-handedly the bard understood the
message behind it, but she was willing to play along.
"Probably. Why? Did you have something in mind?"
"Well, Iíve got a room
all ready and unused." Xena grinned, finally making eye
contact with the bard.
"You donít say,"
Gabrielle answered just as carefree.
answered. "And if you would do me the honor I would love
to share it with you."
Gabrielle melted. Xenaís
sultry, husky tone did her in. She might have Ďburnedí
with Virgil earlier in the evening, but the heat that Xena
could radiate in the bard turned Gabrielle to molten liquid.
The bard could feel her legs turn a bit rubbery, but managed to
keep her pace.
conditions," Gabrielle answered.
Xena put on her best
Ďoffendedí face. "Conditions? I get conditions
now?" she teased.
"Okay then." Xena grinned. "Out with Ďem."
"First you have to
dance for me. Just like you did for Lucifer."
"Only if youíll lick
my stomach like you did Virgilís," Xena countered.
I had that coming.
Gabrielle chuckled. "Deal," she answered giving
Xenaís hand an extra squeeze.
"And the second
one?" Xena nudged.
"And the second
request, you have to wear that coat again."
Xena considered it a moment.
"I think I can arrange that." She grinned deviously.
"Just the coat,"
Gabby added. A fire burned within her eyes and silently Xena
thanked the fates for bringing such a seductive creature into
her life. "Nothing else," Gabrielle added in a
Now Xenaís grin turned
into a bright smile. Oh my little lecherous bard, Xena
considered. "Anything you wish," Xena finally
The ache between Xenaís
legs threatened to take the bard then and there. She
considered finding the nearest tree to prop the bard against
while she fell to her knees to pay tribute to the woman. But
she decided against it. Besides, building up was almost half
the fun some nights. Xena knew this night would be no
exception. When Gabrielle didnít add more Xena continued on
in the Ďgameí that had begun.
"So what exactly did
you have in mind for me?" the warrior asked.
Gabrielle grinned. "Mmmmm,"
she hummed as she considered. "Should I tell you every
little detail or should I surprise you?"
"How about a little of
both?" Xena countered. Xena felt the bard pick up the
pace of her steps, feeling the bardís anticipation of
getting back home soon.
"Okay then." Gabrielle grinned. "How about if I tell you what that
little black coat does to me?" she offered.
"Oh do tell."
Gabrielleís chuckle was
wicked. Almost as wicked as Xenaís response to the question.
"Where to begin," the bard said with a song in her
voice. "The pleasures of human flesh that await me under
that garment are intense. Knowing, but no quite seeing all that
could be in store for me sets me ablaze. The need to feel your
skin beneath it was overwhelming. I would have taken you on
that dance floor you know? If Virgil hadnít appeared to lead
me away and back to the darkness I was feeling... Lucifer
would have gotten the show of his life."
Xena halted her steps.
"Right there? In the middle of the room?" she asked
unsure of what she was hearing.
Gabrielle answered firmly. "In the middle of the room.
You and I Ė center stage with all eyes upon us; where
everyone could see where love and lust blur together to make
Speaking of infernos,
Xena considered as she adjusted her breastplate to get some
air under her leathers. "Gabrielle are you sure you
really feeling better? I mean... The darkness IS gone
right?" Xena chuckled at her own assessment.
"Oh itís me
alright," she grinned. "Itís just something I
havenít let myself feel since we got back together."
"And what is that
exactly?" Xena asked.
passion. Undeniable desire."
Gabrielle could tell Xena
was beginning to understand, but some areas were still a bit
shadowy. "I gave myself to you again in that little inn
in Athens Xena. I gave you my mind, my body and my soul. But
something thatís been missing, for quite sometime, has
Xena didnít interrupt. She
simply felt herself falling into Gabrielleís words, hanging
on what the bard had to say next.
Gabrielle answered as she closed her eyes, her breathing
becoming almost labored as she spoke. "That mix of
passion and desire that causes men and women to throw caution
to the winds; to not care about tomorrow if the needs of today
are met. And the overwhelming need to feel you, to be felt... Iíve missed that passion. Iíve been holding it back that...
carnal lust. And I know why. Iíve been afraid of
losing my heart again if I give into such temptations. But I
realized something tonight."
Xena answered her voice uncharacteristically cracking in
arousal at the thought of hearing more. Gabrielleís eyes
opened, but stayed hooded in her growing desire.
"Life without passion...
desire... lust... isnít worth living. And if you
find someone who shares these feelings with you and FOR YOU,
then youíve managed to achieve something few ever will - a
perfect balance if you will... Like I said, Iíve given
you my body and my mind and my soul. Tonight let me give you
back my passion."
Xenaís hands captured the
bardís face. "If youíre offering... Iíll
Gabrielle grinned. The
desire and the promise were written on Gabrielleís face like
all the parchments that contained her words of devotion to
the bard whispered sincerely.
All pretense of making it
back to the inn died at that point as the warriorís lips
claimed the bards. With three easy snaps the breastplate Xena
wore fell to the ground along with her scabbard. The kisses
were numbing as the warrior backed the bard against a nearby
tree. The warriorís hand worked their way under the bardís
skirt to relieve her of her britches. Xena was pleasantly
surprised when she found none. She looked down, momentarily
stopping her movements to see the bardís smile on her face.
bother," Gabrielle commented. "I knew no matter
where we were tonight, by dawn youíd be in MY bed."
Xena growled. I love it
when she gets Ďpossessiveí. Her fingers wasted no
time, finding the bardís center soaked and ready. The
whimper of desire Gabrielle gave her fueled Xenaís need even
more. No matter how much you have itís never enough,
Xenaís mind screamed as she recalled her earlier
conversation with Lucifer. Xena knew first hand. She could
never get enough of this little blonde no matter what.
Gabrielle pulled Xenaís
battle dress down with a hard thrust exposing the warriorís
breast. Her lips and teeth latched onto her lover, refusing to
release itís hold. At that point Xena entered Gabrielle with
Gabrielle cried out as she threw her head back.
The bard wanted to continue
what she had started, but she couldnít do it. Instead of her
mouth she found her arms reaching out as her hands and fingers
worked the warriorís nipples to erect points. Not that
Gabrielle had noticed. She was too caught up in what Xenaís
fingers were doing to her.
Gabrielle thrashed against
the bark as her hips began to grind against the warriorís
hand. The sounds the bard produced made the warrior so wet she
could feel a trail of arousal going down her inner thigh. She
grabbed one of Gabrielleís hands and roughly placed it
against her leg.
"See how hot you make
me?" Xena whispered in the bardís ear as the woman in
her arms continued to grind and grunt against her. "See
the power you have over me?"
echoed in a shallow voice. Her mind ran wild, but one word was
all her lips could form. She was so close now. She ached for
release and her vocalizations of her desire grew louder.
"Ohhhh Xena," she sighed as she struggled toward
climax. She knew that when it did come she would explode. And
that moment grew nearer and nearer with each thrust of the
Xena found herself grunting
along with the bard. Her own soul soaring as she watched the
bard taking her hand, loving every moment of it. As she looked
at Gabrielle, Xena understood exactly what the bard meant
earlier about letting go. That look on Gabrielleís face -
sheer passion - was something that had been gone for a long
time she realized. How she had loved that look so many years
ago. She wondered how they had managed to get so far off
But she had her now. Right
where she wanted her, feeling just what she wanted her to
feel. And Xena vowed in that instant that she would try
everything in her power to see that Gabrielle had her passion,
her desire, her everything.
"I love you so
much," the warrior said burying her head into the crook
of Gabrielleís neck.
The tone of Xenaís words,
not so much the words themselves, put Gabrielle over the edge.
There was a need and a want in her loverís declaration. But
more than that there was a genuine affection. Love and lust
were colliding quite well. It was that image that put
Gabrielle over the top as her body began to quake and she
erupted with a mighty cry of satisfaction. She felt her legs
beginning to go out from under her.
tried to tell Xena. The warrior quickly left Gabrielleís sex
and caught the young woman in her arms.
"I gotcha," Xena
answered, tightening her hold around the bard. "I wonít
let you fall."
Gabrielle relaxed in the
embrace and let the sheer joy of the waves pass over and over
through her body. When the last wave left and no more
returned, Gabrielle began to chuckle in her delight.
"So much for going
home," she said as she opened her eyes.
Xena gave her a lecherous
smile as she readjusted her battledress. "Oh my dear
bard," the warrior said. "The night is far from
"Iím not sure I can
walk the rest of the way," Gabrielle answered, as she
stood unsteady by herself.
Xena picked up the bard in
her arms and started to walk which made Gabrielle erupt into a
fit of giggles. Something else the warrior hadnít seen or
heard in a very long time.
"If we wait a few
moments," Gabrielle told the warrior as she played with
the ends of Xenaís hair that tickled her cleavage.
"Iím sure I could walk on my own."
"Iím not sure I can
wait that long," Xena answered as she carried her lover.
"Besides... remember all those times weíd find a
beautiful river bank someplace - quiet, secluded. And then
Iíd carry you back to the bedrolls to do Ďas you
Gabrielle grinned slightly. "I swore Iíd never forget...
but I had
until you just mentioned it. I really loved those times."
"Well, then," Xena
asked as she continued to walk to the inn, which was now in
sight. "Should I put you down?"
Gabrielle smiled and cuddled
into the warriorís strong arms. "No, Xena. Carry me
"As you wish, my bard."
The warrior grinned. "As you wish."
Eve watched Virgil rounding
up the glasses and goblets that lay around the temple,
carefully placing them in a large bucket they had found. Her
heart went out to the young man. And the regret she felt over
taking Joxerís life shadowed over her once more. She knew
she could never say sorry enough for all the lives she had
taken or shattered or both.
She took the two glasses she
had in her hands and walked over. "Hereís some
more," she said giving them to him.
answered as he placed them with the others. He didnít add
more and Eve didnít know quite where to begin. Finally, she
found a starting place.
"I know Iíve told you
how sorry I am about your father, Virgil, but I think-."
He held his hands up and
stopped her from going on. "I said forgiving you was a
mistake earlier today. That was wrong. I did a lot of things
today that I wouldnít do... I mean great Eli above! Iím
not sure how Iím ever going to look Gabrielle in the eye
again after today. Or even Xena for that matter. I grew up
hearing tales about them. My dad even referred to them as my
Ďauntsí... I almost got it on with Aunt Gabby!"
Eve knew he was being
serious, but with the way it came out she couldnít help, but
chuckle. When Virgil looked up Eve thought that perhaps she
took a major misstep, but soon Virgil started to grin which in
turn made Eve laugh a little harder. In moments both of their
chuckles echoed through the vacant temple.
"Iím sorry," Eve
apologized, trying to get some sense of control back. "I
"No go ahead." Virgil grinned. "Itís pretty damn funny in a way if you
think about it."
"Well, you got farther
than your dad ever did," Eve teased. She paused a moment
to see what kind of reaction that would bring.
She was relieved when Virgil
seemed to loosen up and hold his grin in place. "Yeah,
well... Gabbyís not really my type," he added before
giving a sigh. "Iím just glad it all worked out in the
"Me too," Eve
Virgil sat down on the sofa
and found two empty glasses. He poured some wine and handed
one to Eve, motioning her to take a spot next to him. She
accepted the offer quietly.
After taking a sip her
cleared his throat. "After my dad died, I felt empty.
Like I didnít have a purpose. When I came back here I knew
youíd still be with them. But I needed something. Some kind
of connection to my father I think. But I knew I had to start
over too. My darkness I felt convinced me it was a start with
Gabrielle I needed. With the blackness gone I see now that
what I need is a second chance... Time, experience Ė I
need to find my course in life again. I hope Xena and
Gabrielle will let me travel with them so I can examine that
"Iím sure they
will," Eve answered. "They both love you dearly. You
know I could insert a jab about Gabrielle here, but I think
Iíll let it pass," Eve added playfully.
Virgil smiled. "Thanks
for trying to let me live that down," he replied.
"No problem," Eve
answered with a friendly grin. "So now what do we
do?" she asked. "Seems weíre both looking for
Virgil thought a moment and
then raised his glass in a toast. "To second
chances," he replied.
"And a new
beginning?" Eve asked trying not to sound too hopeful or
assuming in the request.
He clanked his cup against
hers with a warm smile and said, "And to a new
Eve took a drink and wiped
her mouth on the back of her hand nervously. "Thank
you," she whispered sincerely.
Virgil turned to Eve as he
stood up and gave her shoulder a light pat. "Youíre
welcome," he answered sincerely. "Now what do you
say we finish cleaning up this pig sty?"
"You gotta deal."
DAY'S VENGEANCE (set after 'Who's Gurkhan')
Xena watched her family with a
proud smile on her face. They beat the bad guy. They saved the
maidens. Just like old times. But something was different... That Ďfamilyí element - something they didnít have
Eve and Gabrielle looked so
similar as they stared out across the water. Eve had Xenaís
height and color, but the way her eyes looked out on the
horizon, the way she held her jaw was totally the bard.
Xena watched as Sarah walked
up and took a spot next to the bard. She watched them converse
for a bit before the bard turned to her giving a soft grin.
Xenaís smile grew wider as a result. She had to go over.
As she approached, Xena ran
her hand up Sarahís back, stopping at her shouldering giving
a light pat. "How you doing, hon?" she asked the
Sarah gave the question
serious thought. "I think Iím okay... Just a little
worried about going home I guess. Itís been so long."
"Well, donít worry." Xena grinned. "Your mom was always a great
gal. Very understanding. In fact, she was the only one in
Gabrielleís family that supported Gabrielleís decision to
travel with me. Iím sure youíll be just fine."
Sarah smiled a genuine
smile. "I remember when my father tried to betroth me, but
mother wouldnít hear of it. Needless to say I never had a
Ďhusband to beí," she said with a light chuckle.
"Dad used to think he was king of the castle, but mom
always had the final say in the end."
"Not unlike your
grandparents," Gabrielle interjected.
Sarah turned her smile
toward her aunt as she nodded. "Yes... Very much like
them... But theyíre all gone now," she added, the
sadness returning to her voice, as she played with her
Gabrielle turned away. Gone.
Theyíre all gone. In all of this I havenít taken the
time to realize that... And I never got to say goodbye.
"Iím gonna get some herbs for my stomach,"
Gabrielle muttered as she headed below deck.
Xena could feel the
heaviness that hung in Gabrielleís heart, but she said
nothing and simply let her walk away to have some Ďprivate
timeí. Xena turned to Sarah. "You still have your
mother," she told the young woman. "And sheíll
love seeing you again. I know it."
"Even in light of
everything?" Sarah answered, her voice cracking a bit.
"How can you be so
"Because Iím a mother
and I know."
Xena smiled over at Eve and
gave Sarahís arm a light pat before going in search of her
bard. Eve took the opening that was given to her and began to
speak. Xena didnít listen to their conversation. Instead her
keen sense of hearing picked up on something else. Sobs. Sobs
coming from inside the cabin.
"Did you find those
herbs?" Xena asked, as she entered the doorway.
Gabrielle seemed a bit
startled and kept her back turned to Xena as she spoke,
"Yeah, but I know not to use too much this time," she
Gabrielle didnít add more
and Xena approached on careful footsteps. "Are you okay,
Gabrielle? Did you want to talk?"
Gabrielle cleared her
throat. "Iím fine, Xena," she answered finally
turning around. Her eyes were swollen. Xena could tell sheíd
been crying and quite hard from the looks of it.
"Now donít go being
the stoic warrior, Gabrielle." Xena grinned warmly.
"Youíll put me out of a job."
Gabrielle grinned and opened
her arms. Xena took the invitation and curled the bard into an
embrace. They rocked for a few moments with the movement of
the ship until Gabrielle broke down in tears. Xena just held
her and smoothed her hair over repeatedly as she cried. She
knew what the bard was feeling.
Her mother was burned at the
stake. Gabrielleís parents were beheaded. Both of them were
now officially Ďorphansí.
"Iím not sure how I
feel," Gabrielle answered, trying to cry and talk at the
Xena told her. "You donít have to be sure of anything
right now. Itís okay to feel sad and unsure, Gabrielle."
Gabrielle composed herself a
few moments later and pulled away wiping her eyes. "I
keep thinking of all the towns weíve saved. All the people.
I mean... How many warlords have we defeated over the
years? Tons right?... But when the time came for me to help
my family, I wasnít there. MY OWN FAMILY... And I
couldnít do anything. They all died because I wasnít
"Please donít blame
yourself, Gabrielle," Xena answered, hoping to pull the
bard back to her. Gabrielle, however, sidestepped the warrior.
"Then who can I blame?
The Gods? Ares? Joxer for not finding us sooner?"
"It was beyond our
control," Xena told her. "It was the only way to
keep Eve safe from the gods."
Gabrielle flinched a bit and
Xena scrunched her eyebrows in examination of what the shutter
meant. She didnít have the chance to respond to it though.
"Look, Xena," the
bard began. "Point is we travel the countryside, doing
the greater good, helping those that canít help themselves.
When the time arrived and my family became those in need I was
nowhere to be found... Thatís a hard fact to live
"Yes - it is, "
Xena replied. "Knowing you could have helped, but
werenít able to. Knowing that they cried out for you even in
the end. Yeah, itís tough."
Gabrielle stepped closer to
the warrior. "Iím sorry, Xena. I know you understand how
this feels and I wasnít trying to berate your feelings of
losing Cyrene. Itís just -."
"It hurts," Xena
answered for the bard.
Gabrielle gave a bittersweet
smile. The facts were cold and harsh, but Xenaís
understanding had a warmth she needed now. "Yes - it
"But weíll get
through it together. And we do still have family we can love
and who loves us. We have Eve, Sarah and even Virgil. Who
knows maybe Minya is still around somewhere? Salmoneus? Heck
Hercules even said that Autolycus is still around - last time they
saw him heíd gone straight... Of course that could have
changed by now," Xena chuckled. "What Iím saying
is we still have family out there. People we value and cherish
and as long as youíre with me, Iíll always have a home.
Youíre more important to me than anything else, Gabrielle... And you always will be."
Gabrielle asked unsure.
Xena grinned, but the tone of
the bardís question had her curious. Why does she doubt
that? "Yeah," she answered firmly. "Of
course... Look, are you sure youíre okay? Because I get
the feeling that something is going on that-."
"Iím okay, Xena."
The bard grinned. "Maybe I could just use a little bit of
a break in the action is all."
"Well, Eve and Virgil
did make a suggestion."
Gabrielle laughed heartily.
"A vacation? Iím not sure I follow you."
"Well, they said they
would see Sarah home once we get to the next port. Eve thinks
it would be nice for you and I to do some traveling on our
own. Check out Northern Africa. I mean, except for Egypt, we
really havenít done any exploring here. It could be
"Sun, sand and surf, huh?" Gabrielle grinned. "Itís starting to have
"Well, that settles it." Xena grinned. "The Ďcousinsí can head back
home and you and I could just Ďget awayí for a little bit.
What do you say?"
Hmmm... sun, sand,
surf... and if weíre lucky maybe a little uninterrupted
sex. This has potential.
"Okay warrior princess.