of Heart Pt. 3
Xena Fanfiction, Xena fanfic, Xena fan fiction, Xena and
Gabrielle fanfiction, Xena fiction
These characters arenít mine. They belong to Mr. Tapert and
Co. Iím just borrowing them to vent. Itís not a happy tale
and it involves two women who once loved each other deeply. If
either of these facts disturb you donít read this tale. Also
it contains spoilers for the last few eps of season five.
Note: Like most Xena Gab shippers season five was a joke
and the ender, with Xena hitting Gabby in the head with her
chakram was the straw that broke the camel's back. I wrote
this series in response to my anger and the total character assignation
of season five. Enjoy!
with Herc's help tries to make Ares immortal while Gabrielle
travels with her new 'sidekicks' Eponin and August on the road
Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Changes of Heart
"Up and over.
Up and over. Again. Up and over."
August released a
deep sigh and let the staff fall to the ground. "I told
you. I donít want to be a warrior."
a sigh of her own and picked up the fallen weapon.
good," she said as she tossed it back to her student.
"But this training isnít about war. Itís about
self-reliance and protection. If youíre gonna be living in a
big city like Athens, you better damn well know how to protect
the one who said to run away if trouble comes?" August
the bard answered. "But there might be a time when you
have to stand and fight. If that time comes, itís better to
August groaned and rolled her eyes.
stupid kid. Come on breath Gabrielle. Take it easy.
Gabrielle said in the most even voice she could muster,
"why donít we take a break from this huh? Go see if you
can work on your fishing skills and get us some lunch,
August grumbled as
she went to the fishing poles.
skill I donít need Ė fishing. There are tons of inns and
taverns in Athens."
Gabrielle heard the
comment, but let it go. Sure, there are lots of place to eat,
but lots of places want money and if money is short you have
to make due.
Gabrielle sighed as she made her way over to Eponin who was
trying to hold back a chuckle. She plopped down next to Eponin
with a soft thud. She was already exhausted from todayís
lessons - not a physical tired, but an emotional and
intellectual tired. For every reason Gabrielle gave in their
discussions, August had a counter point.
head strong kid," Eponin remarked. "Not unlike a
certain amazon princess once upon a time."
"You must be
thinking of some OTHER amazon princess because it certainly
couldnít be me that youíre making the comparison to."
considered for a moment. "Was I really like THIS?"
she asked, waving a hand toward August who was now at the
riverbank, casting off.
"Like her? No.
You were a different kind of head strong," Eponin
had ideals, but you didnít narrow yourself into a corner.
August is very used to village life. I think sheís going to
have difficulty adjusting, but who knows. A few more weeks
with us, a small scuffle to see how dangerous life really is...
it might be enough to turn her around."
Gabby watched the
young woman as Eponin spoke.
realize sheís in love with you, donít you?" Eponin
Now or never. "You
do realize that Iím in love with you, donít you?"
Eponin could feel
herself swallow hard. There - I said it. Gabrielle gave
a crooked grin, but continued to watch the young woman in
front of her.
Eponin played with
one of the sais that Gabby gave her to hold onto during the
staff sparing session with August. The longer the silence
lasted, the heavier it felt in her grasp.
"So tell me
the truth," Eponin asked when Gabrielle didnít add
more. "After all these weeks on the road so far... do you
think itís possible for a lovely, young lady like yourself
to fall for an aging ex-amazon with graying hair?"
Gabrielle turned to
face her companion, hoping to choose the right words.
comes," Eponin sighed.
that's not some throw-away line. Iím not ready to move on...
but if I were, then, yes, Iíd say itís quite
tell you what?" Eponin said cheery, rising to her knees
to face Gabrielle.
Gabrielle smiled warmly.
Eponin closed the
distance between them to where they were mere inches apart and
her voice took on a deeper, more serious tone. "Iíll
stick it out my queen and when youíre ready... Iím all
Eponin closed the
distance and proceeded to leave a slow burning kiss on
Gabrielleís lips. Gabrielle for her part felt herself
sinking into the kiss. Oh my! How longís it been since Iíve
been kissed like this? Donít worry. Just enjoy. Her eyes
closed and she could feel her temperature go up a notch. When
she felt Eponin pull away, she opened her eyes to see her
friend smiling at her.
the ex-amazon said placing a soft finger against her lips.
"Whatever argument youíre going to give, please donít."
Gabrielle complied and with that Eponin rose to her feet and
dusted herself off. "Iím gonna help the young one with
lunch. Why donít you get a fire started?"
only nod and soon she watched Eponin walk over to August to
give her a few pointers before she mindlessly began picking up
Oh boy. Oh boy.
Oh boy. Come on Gabrielle. Donít start feeling guilty here.
It was just a kiss. A wonderful intense mind to the sex to the
toes to the sex again kinda kiss. But still itís just a
kiss. And besides youíre free. You washed your hands of the
warrior princess. You donít owe her anything. Youíre not
being unfaithful. Of course you were almost unfaithful that
night you learned Xena was pregnant and you were SURE she
cheated on you... but that was different. You were drunk and
angry and if not for Amarise stumbling into the back of that
tavern you might have very well did more than share one kiss
with that barmaid... That was foolish and stupid... but this
is nothing to feel foolish or stupid about. Eponin is a
wonderful friend and judging by that kiss sheís probably a
wonderful lover. But no more kisses. Youíve got to figure
out what you want for your life before you bring anyone else
into it... Okay... What was I doing?... Oh yeah, firewood.
The excited voice
of August waving a huge salmon in Gabrielle's face caught her
attention to say the least.
"And she did
it all on her own," Eponin commended, patting the girl on
"And I bet it will taste better than any fish you could
buy in Athens." Gabby winked.
"Can you show
me how to cut it, Eponin?" the young woman asked wiggling
it in front of her.
"You mean gut;
not cut, and, yes, Iíll show you," Eponin said waving
the girl over to a nearby rock. "Come on over."
her Ďsidekicksí begin the procedure as Eponin took a
moment to look up and admire the bard for a moment before
getting to her task. She gave a small wink and Gabrielle could
feel herself blush.
"This trip is
turning out a lot longer than I plan," Gabrielle mumbled
to no one but herself. "...and quite educational."
Son of a Bachee!
Damn it, this hurts!
Xena teetered on
the edge of the cliff after losing her footing on a loose
Hercules shouted to Eve who was going to try to scale back
down to get a grasp on Xena. "Iím immortal. You two
stay here," he ordered.
Xenaís good arm
that she used to hold onto the over hanging brush was getting
tired. She knew she couldnít use the other one in spite of
the pain. Herc had to hurry or she was certainly going to lose
her grasp and fall to the valley below.
"Did you break
it?" Herc asked when he got close enough.
Xena knew just what
he was talking about. She could feel the arm limp at her side.
"Yeah, I think so... Gods be damned!"
down," Herc said sensing her distress. "Weíll get
you up the hill."
great, but how am I supposed to get back down again like
this?" Xena jabbed.
concentrate on one problem at a time, shall we?" Herc
teased. "First, we have to get you back on the hill." He grinned
warmly. He got his footing and reached out grabbing Xena by
the back of her battle dress. With a strong heave he picked
her up, tossed her to the hillside.
Xena exclaimed as she landed, sending an even larger shooting
pain up her arm. "For crying out loud! Did you have to
Eve and Ares came
over at that point to inspect her as Herc climbed back up to
join the others.
broken," Ares said assessing Xenaís limb.
Plato," Xena snapped back.
to reset it," the ex-god told her. "Itís gonna
hurt like Hades, Xena," he warned her.
"How would you
know, Ares? At no point in your mortal life have YOU gone
through this," Xena taunted.
Ares said getting short. "Itís not my fault youíre so
distracted thinking about that irritating blonde that you take
a header down the mountain."
"You son of a
- arggh." Xena was going stand up to charge Ares, but
when she put weight on her arm to hoist herself up she
realized that wasnít going to happen. Besides, heís
right, Xena considered. I think about her more and more
each day. One way or another Iíve gotta find her and get
things settled once and for all.
ready?" Herc asked as he walked over to get a look at
Xena turned her
head, biting into the shoulder strap of her breastplate. She
gave a brief nod.
two of the straightest pieces of wood you can find. Weíll
have to make a splint... Come here, Eve," Herc
instructed. "Feel the arm... feel how itís out of
place? Good. Keep touching it until you feel it together
nervously to Herc as she held her mother's arm.
Herc asked Xena. Xena closed her eyes. She bit down and
another moment, Herc gave a light twist, given his strength.
He didnít want to make it worse than it already was or snap
her arm off entirely.
in!" Eve told him.
"Good, hold it
there in place. Ares, the splints?"
Ares handed over the pieces of wood he managed to locate on
good," Herc commended as he examined the wood. Ares only
nodded his thanks as he watched Herc and Eve wrap up Xenaís
arm with bandages.
"Can I do
something else?" Ares asked Herc.
"Yeah. Go get
my pack," he answered. As Ares left, Herc turned back to
Xena. "Iolaus made me take some of his special Ďbrewí
for pain relief."
it?" Xena asked, her breathing labored in trying to fight
the agony of her arm.
know," Herc chuckled. "He wonít tell me his Ďsecretí.
He made me take it on the trip... just in case," Herc
"Heís a good
man," Xena said managing a grin through her pain.
certainly is," Herc agreed.
Ares returned with
bag in hand and Herc weeding through it until he found the
blue bottle. "Lift her up, Ares," he told the
Ares knelt behind
Xena and brought her to a sitting position as gently as
possible, letting the warrior princess use him as a cushion.
drink this," Herc told her lifting the vile to her lips.
Xena took a few
sips and made the most hideous of faces.
tastes pretty terrible, huh? But trust me, it works." He grinned.
"Eve get the water skin. Donít drink the water,"
Herc instructed Xena as Eve retrieved the water pouch.
"Just swish it around your mouth to get rid of the taste.
If you drink you might dilute the potion."
When Eve handed
Xena the water skin she did as he advised.
she said as she wiped her lips. "Thanks to all of
you," she sighed.
absently found their way to Xenaís hair stroking it as he
held her. For the first time since their adventure began Herc
noticed... Ares really did love Xena. But judging by the look
of discomfort that was rising to Xenaís face at the
affection gesture, he would never have her devotion.
Herc felt sorry for
Ares in some regard. Yes, they had their share of quarrels to
say the least, but still... unrequited love was one of the
worst feelings in the world. He knew the feeling. He knew that
feeling with the warrior princess herself. He wanted her to be
a part of his life forever, but Xena had matters to attend to
and would never be able to love him the way he needed. He
accepted that and wondered if Xena would ever find that love
everyone needs. The first time he saw the way Xena looked at
Gabrielle he realized... Xena had found her true match... It
was a pity that Ares never saw it. He would always pine for
something Xena could never give him Ė her heart. The warrior
princessí heart was Gabrielleís and Gabrielleís alone.
it is," Herc said looking over the troop to the top of
the hill, "The Tree of Fieteus," he pointed.
finished a new poem," August said in a shy tone.
"Would you like to hear it?"
The bard grinned, looking up from sharpening her sais. The
only sounds to be heard were the chirping of a few crickets
and the crackle of the campfire. Nervously, August cleared her
"Toned and tan
she glistens in the sun. Her body moves like lightening and in
battle she never runs. Her hair is golden silk and blows
lightly in the breeze and I pray to the gods that someday that
sheíll look upon me. And in doing so I hope she sees the
truth thatís really there. Of all the friends and faces Iím
the one that really cares."
August fiddled with
the bottom of the parchment and chewed lightly on her upper
Gabrielleís fingers ran briefly through her growing locks,
stopping at her temple to nurse her headache, which suddenly
"I love you,
August looked as
surprised as Gabrielle did by the omission.
a wonderful girl-."
have the chance to continue. Suddenly, she was bombarded with
the weight of the young lady upon her. Her lips latched
tightly to hers. But as quick as the Ďattackí came,
Gabrielle had the girl by the upper arms, keeping her at bay.
"Listen to me,
Utter defeat washed
over the young girlís face when she realized she wasnít
quite as Ďwonderfulí as she assumed. Soon her cheeks
became red with embarrassment.
"I got some
huge rabbits!!" they heard Eponin say from behind them.
The amazon looked at the scenario in front of her - Gabrielle
with a firm grasp on August and August sitting in Gabrielleís
lap. "Should I come back later?" Eponin asked
sarcastically at the display before her. I donít believe
it. She refuses ME, but sheíll take up with that... that...
what it looks like," Gabrielle explained.
"And it never
will be either," August pouted rising to her feet.
"Iím going for a walk," she announced and turned
heel. "Iím sorry for being so foolish."
Gabrielle called out. "Please stay. I want to speak with
"I think you
said all you needed to say."
Gabrielle and Eponin watched August go into the woods.
Gabrielle let out a deep sigh and Eponin smiled.
funny?" Gabrielle asked thoroughly frustrated.
sexy thing you," Eponin chuckled. "All the women
just go mad over you - myself included," she laughed.
"Well, you I
can handle." Gabby smiled as she stood up. "August,
however, is a little different."
right you can handle me," Eponin said pulling the bard
closer by the waist. "Anyway you want by the way,"
she added in a smoky tone.
in spite of a rising uneasiness about being so close to Eponin.
She cared deeply for Eponin, but she knew she didnít love
her. At least not the way one should with a lover - the way
she loved Xena.
been Ďhandledí in so long I think Iíve forgot how it
goes," Gabrielle joked to lighten the mood Eponin was
trying to set.
riding a horse... once you learn you never forget. And Iíd
be more than happy to reintroduce you to... Ďhandlingí."
Eponinís fingers stroked Gabrielleís cheek and traced a
tiny pattern down to her lips.
her eyes and against her better judgment she planted a light
kiss on Eponin's finger, which halted itís movement.
Gabrielle opened her eyes and took Eponinís free hand in
wonderful offer, but as Iíve said-."
ready," Eponin finished. "I understand. These things
take time and Iím not gonna push... Look, why donít you
find the kiddo and do the heart-to-heart chat, okay? Iíll
get dinner going." Gabrielle smiled and pulled Eponin
down, giving her a light kiss on the cheek. "Whatís
that for?" the ex-amazon asked.
really been wonderful to me these past few months when Iíve
needed it most. Thank you."
Eponin released her
hold and took Gabrielle gently by the hand, kissing her
knuckles. "No, thank you. Iím honored to be your
traveling companion. Now go find your admirer and set her
and started into the woods. She didnít have to go far. She
found the young woman sitting on a fallen tree limb, soaked in
Gabrielle called gently. "Will you talk to me now...
nothing to say Gabrielle. Iíve already said too much."
now," Gabrielle said taking a seat next to the young
lady, "Thatís a beautiful poem, but youíve got the
wrong woman. Iím not the one for you, honest. You might not
believe that now, but itís true."
"Like I said,
I was foolish."
say that," Gabrielle said firmly. "Youíve got a
lot of courage to put your feelings out like that. Iíve seen
Ďbraverí people carry a torch for years and say absolutely
nothing about how they really feel out of fear." Like
Xena. "And Iíve cared for people too and couldnít
give voice to it." Like me and Xena. "So donít
ever think for a moment that youíre being a fool for telling
someone how you feel, especially when those feelings are full
of warmth and light. The true fool is one who never says
anything and letís opportunities pass them by, never knowing
what could have been. You may win. You may lose. But at least
you were in the Ďgameí."
That brought a
small grin to Augustís face. "So what youíre saying
is that... itís better to love and lose than to never love
considered it a moment. "Yes, thatís exactly what I
write that down," August thought out loud. "Thatís
pretty good. Remind me to put that on my parchment when I get
Itís better to
have loved and lost than never have loved at all? Yeah that is
pretty good. In fact... thatís where Iím at now isnít
it? I wished things had turned out differently. But in light
of it all Iím still grateful for the time we had together.
And I realize we both gave all we could to each other... this
past year just hasnít been enough. And I canít go on being
angry with Xena for not giving me something that she couldn't
give. I loved. And I lost. But the game was wonderful while it
smile for?" August asked the bard as she watched the
growing smile on Gabrielleís face.
the hair on top of the young womanís head. "I donít
think Iím angry anymore, Sweetie. That has nothing to do
with you and I know you have no idea what Iím talking
about," Gabrielle chuckled. "But trust me. Itís a
good thing." Because if Iím not mad... then I can
move on . . .wherever that may be...
Xena, Eve, Hercules
and Ares all meandered slowly up to the tree. It was a
beautiful sight - Golden bark and leaves that bared silver
fruit shaped like ovals. Ares lead the way and wrapped his
fingers around the immortal food that was his for the taking.
A few moments passed, but he still hadnít pulled the fruit
from the tree.
"Is there a
problem?" Xena asked getting a bit perturbed as she
waited impatiently for the former god to collect the prize
they had sought.
Ares let go of the
fruit and turned around. "As a God you wouldnít give me
the time of day, but as a mortal... Youíve helped me far
greater than my expectations Xena... I love you... but I know
if I eat this and become immortal Iíll never have the chance
to win your love. As a mortal man I think I have that chance...
I donít think I can do this. Iíd rather risk death and
have a chance at winning your favor than to walk alone
The circle stood in
stunned silence for a moment.
me?!" Xena exclaimed. "We traveled all the way up
here. I broke my arm trying to get here. And NOW you decide
you donít want to be immortal?! Please tell me he didnít
just say that?" Xena added rhetorically to Herc, as she
began to pace.
think I can do it," Ares mumbled sincerely.
Xena growled in frustration.
Eve offered going over to the tree and plucking an oval.
"Here," she said tossing it to the former god.
"Donít eat it now. Take it with you and if you decide
to change your mind and become immortal you can eat it
whenever you please. Okay?"
Sheíd only known
her mother for the course of a few months, but in that time
Eve knew when Xena began to reach her Ďbreaking pointí. By
the speed of Xenaís pacing, Eve knew that Ďpointí was
close at hand. Perhaps offering a solution to both of them was
the key to keeping the peace.
kill him," Xena mumbled repeatedly as she walked back and
Herc stopped her on
one of her passes by him, "No youíre not," he told
her as diplomatically as possible. "I think Eve has a
wonderful idea. Take the fruit," Herc told Ares,
"and if the time comes that you change your mind itís
all yours, okay?"
Ares walked over
and faced Xena. "Iím sorry," he told her
sincerely. "I appreciate what youíve done for me here...
what all of you have done... but if I thought there was no way
at all that I could win your hand Iíd eat this in a minute...
But I know that somewhere deep down inside, you love me too,
Oh for crying
out loud... why me? Xena wondered silently as she pinched
the bridge of her nose, hoping to release the dull throb that
was beginning from her frustration. Patience, Xena. Focus.
Xena began, "Thanks... but no thanks. Iím not going to
love you the way you want me too. That is never going to
happen because I found my true love... Granted, what I had
with you was special. There will always be this Ďbondí I
have with you. But thatís not the course I want to take on
my lifeís journey. Gabrielle is the one I want to travel
with in this life and the next and the next and the next. I
swear by any god or goddessí you name, I will search until I
find her, in this life and all others. So, yes, I love you
too, Ares because youíve helped me when no one else would, but
youíll never be my soulmate... never. And thatís what you
need to find to really understand love... Iím sorry I canít
be the one. I would, but... Iím already taken." Xena grinned
bittersweetly and kissed Ares on his cheek. She took the fruit
from his hand and placed it in his saddlebag. "Now letís
find a way off of this rock."
"Maybe you can
call on your One God to help you," Ares playfully jabbed.
"I think the
One God helps those that help themselves," Xena countered
with a grin as she considered a way down the mountain. Hey!
I got it! "But we might still have some help from
Olympus." Xena turned and faced the valley below taking a
deep breath. "Aphrooooditeeeeee!" she yelled as loud
as she could.
A glittering shower
appeared as the Goddess of Love materialized.
rang?" she replied with a teasing grin.
"Yes, I did.
Do you think thereís anyway you could... you know... do your
goddess thing and get us outta here?" Xena asked, unsure
of how Dite would respond.
Dite looked to Herc
first who gave a guilty shrug.
"So you got up
here, but now you canít get down, huh? Bummer babe,"
she responded as she started to fade away.
on!" Herc called, making her come back to her solid form
again. "Look, I know that Ares and Xena arenít your
favorite folks in the world," Herc began. "But Iíd
really appreciate it if youíd lend us a hand... so please...
will you help us?"
Dite crossed her
arms in defiance and looked at the group around her.
"She killed my
husband," Dite said pointing to Xena. "Hephaestus is
gone and all because of that little brat, whom Ares swore to
take care of," she added pitching a thumb to Eve and
Ares. "... Iíll get you off the mountain Herc, but the
rest of them-."
"No. All of
us," Herc insisted. "I canít leave them
Dite let out a deep
sigh. "If I do this you owe me big time, got it?"
Herc answered, extending his hand in a deal. As soon as they
locked palms, both of them they disappeared. Seconds later
Dite was back.
Xena and Ares said in harmony as they both pointed to Eve. The
warrior and former god shared a grin for thinking the same
thing as Dite and Eve disappeared.
A few seconds
later, Dite returned. "Next!" she said impatiently.
first," Ares replied to the two women.
gallant," Dite snickered. With that Dite and Xena were
gone and Ares stood alone on the hill.
Seconds later, Dite
appeared. "Looks like itís just you and me Bro,"
she replied as she returned.
looks that way," Ares answered. When he didnít give a
sarcastic reply, Dite looked deeper and could see his
she began, "Itís all for the best. Xenaís right about
this... Sheís not the one for you."
Ares gave a light
chuckle in spite of his dark mood. "So tell me ever
powerful goddess of love, will the ex-god of war ever find
definitely." She grinned. "But itís gonna take time so
hang onto that fruit. Ya might need it," she answered
giving him a chuck on the shoulder. "Come on, letís get
you somewhere safe, okay?"
Ares nodded and
with that they vanished from the hill.
Herc, Eve and Xena
all looked around at their surroundings, trying to place the
town they were standing in when Dite returned alone.
Ares?" Eve asked.
"I sent him on
another path," Dite answered. "Your path is
here," she told Xena and Eve.
where is Ďhereí?" Xena asked.
towns from Athens, in a tiny town called Aterrus," Dite
Xena asked. "I have to get to Potiedaia," she
Dite replied. "Thereís a big bad warlord on the way
here and these folks need your help. It would be WISE, hint
hint, to stick AROUND," she added.
Xena answered, with the bard being the only thing on her mind.
"Everything else came first before Gabrielle and this
time Iím putting her front and center. I canít stay
"Are all warriors this thickheaded?" she asked Herc.
Herc just chuckled. "Listen, babe," Dite began.
"Iíve heard your thoughts. Iíve listened to your
conversations and I can see your ready and rariní to get
your bard back, so trust me... hang out here, take in the
sights, go easy on the mead... Poteidaia is not the place you
want to be right now. Get it?" Realization washed
over Xenaís face and she started to look around the town.
"Relax... sheís not here. Not yet anyway, so just
you," Xena said sincerely.
me," Dite said. "Iím just setting up locale. The
events to follow will all be your doing so you better make
damn sure you make the right choices. Gabrielle isnít mad
anymore so that means one of two things - sheíll move on
with someone new or sheíll consider trying to build a life
with you again... This is your moment of truth warrior
princess so donít blow it."
self-assured in the fact she could Ďdo the right thingí
and she couldnít hold back her grin at the prospect of
seeing Gabrielle again. Iím going to see her again!
she thought excited. She missed her so much and the ache
returned stronger than ever. A moment later, however, a
butterfly feeling grabbed her stomach and a nervous nature
took over despite her joy. Oh Lord Iím going to see her
again. What am I going to do? What am I going to say-?
bro what do you think?" Dite said to Herc halting Xenaís
worried mind long enough to hear their conversation.
"Time to get you back to that hunky blonde in the
"Sure, as long as you think Xena can handle things here
in the village."
warrior princess?" Dite teased. "Oh yeah... this
little pissant wonít be a problem. Sheís a big gal - she
can handle it. Now weíll get to see if itís true if she
can fight with one hand tied behind her back," Dite
remarked, pointing to Xenaís arm.
"Very funny." Xena grinned.
Dite winked and put
her arm around Herc. "Kudos, chicky babies. Weíre outta
here," she said snapping her fingers.
Xena," Herc told her as they began to vanish. Xena knew
that Herc wished her well in the upcoming battle, but these
well wishes meant something deeper - her relationship with
everything, Hercules," she told him sincerely before he
was out of sight.
Once alone, Eve and
Xena looked around them. "So now what?" Eve asked.
Xena said putting her arm around her daughterís shoulder,
walking deeper into town. "We hang out here, take in the
sights, go easy on the mead." Xena grinned.
"And we wait
for her," Eve added.
Xena agreed. "We wait for her."
to Part IV