Sweet Home Part 2
Xena Fanfiction, Xena fanfic, Xena fan fiction, Xena and
Gabrielle fanfiction, Xena fiction
As always Xena, Gabby and the gang arenít mine. They belong to MCA/Universal. This story is however mine and itís just for recreation. If the idea of two women in love (who show their affection explicitly and use some Ďnaughtyí words in the process) offends you please move on. Same rule applies if love is illegal where you live or if youíre too young.
Note: This is the third story in the ĎHomecomingí
series. I behoove you to read the first two in the proper
order before proceeding into this one. I must warn you this
story is unlike any in the series so far. This one is
definitely a Ďcookie and hot chocolateí story since it's
angsty, but Iím hoping it will be worth the ride. Also, a
special thanks to Meluu for her poetry. Iím not a poet and I
wanted our loverís thoughts to be on paper for the reader to
see. She makes a wonderful Gabrielle and/or Xena
and Gabby see an amazon marriage councilor when things get
rocky as Zagreus' army arrives.
As always e-mail any comments to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I refuse to answer Ďhate mailí of a prejudice nature but I will reply to any and all constructive comments. As always, thanks for reading.
Home Sweet Home Part 2 of 2
"How many men
does Zagreus have?" Xena asked.
about 200, maybe 250," Ephiny replied.
killed that bastard in Laurel years ago," the warrior
defenses look like?" Gabrielle asked moving to her lover,
locking around the warriorís powerful arm.
"3 to 1,"
Ephiny answered in military fashion.
"And our best
and bravest are outta town, huh?" The warrior rolled her
eyes and gently shook off her bard. The women watched as Xena
paced; considering a strategy.
word," Ephiny offered. "With any luck they are
already on their way home. The scouts will tell them the
situation to speed up their return."
Ephí but our luck doesnít look real good at this
moment," Xena snapped. "So letís not count on
as they watched the warrior deciding on a battle plan.
hereís what weíll do," Xena began. "We have to
keep the fighting away from the village, so weíll make our
first strike out at the tree line. Put the archers in place in
the trees. Weíll put a sword Calvary together toward the
north. Thatís the quickest way into the village and knowing
Zagreus heíll take the shortest route. Chances are, he
doesnít know Iím here and that will work to our advantage.
The guyís a gutless coward, but with an army that size...
Letís just say it doesnít look good. I should, however,
be able to guess his troops movements. Ephiny, I need you to
stay with the archers at the tree line. Iíll head the north
Terris interrupted. "I only have two assistants here with
limited healing knowledge. I need another hands on
Kelodites?" Xena asked
"Yes, sheís a
healer, but sheís also one of our leading staff warriors...
Sheís with Eponin at King Licieus kingdom."
Xena sighed in
frustration and turned to Ephiny.
"I donít believe
this," she chuckled in misery.
are need here in the village, Xena, not the battlefield,"
Terris insisted. "Youíll save many more amazons by
Terrisí words and reluctantly agreed.
"Alright but who
will lead the north Calvary?"
a voice called from the hut entrance.
inside and stood next to Ephiny.
"Iíll lead the sword
Calvary," she announced.
have my head," Xena argued.
her to the caves with the young, as well as six royal
guards." Solari replied firmly. "Rations are being
sent now as I speak. And as for your head, Xena." The warrior grinned
briefly before looking serious again and said,
"she knows Iím volunteering for this battle and she
supports my decision."
best friend's back in support.
then," Xena sighed. "Looks like weíve got a plan. Ephiny; Solari, get your troops ready. Chances are, Zagreus
wonít be here until tomorrow, but see that they are set and
assembled... if thatís alright with our queen," she
Gabrielle nodded in
agreement to everyone in the room. The two amazons bowed in
respect and quickly left to see to their duties. Terris moved
as well, getting to get her medical supplies in order.
"What do you
want me to do?" Gabrielle asked, once she and Xena were
going to the caves with Lila," Xena announced firmly, not
wanting a debate.
Gabrielle replied. "Iím staying in the village."
not," Xena argued. Terris could hear the exchange and
bent an ear to listen.
am," Gabrielle insisted. "Now I can help you here or
I can fight next to Solari, but either way I am not leaving
damned, Gabrielle!" Xena shouted. "This is no time to
argue with me. Iím not going to lose you the way I... "
finish. She didnít have to. Gabrielle knew what she was
going to say.
"Iím going to do everything in my power
to see that neither one of us loses each other,"
Gabrielle replied, a calm settling in her voice that, in turn,
steadied the warrior.
want to take that chance," Xena answered.
Gabrielle moved and
took the warrior in her arms. Xena returned the gesture,
planting a soft kiss on the top of her head.
realize by now that I feel safest when Iím near you?"
Gabrielle whispered. "In light of everything... youíre
still my champion."
Xena closed her
eyes, savoring the words; tightening her grip.
"Okay," she returned in a similar tone. "Help
me here. Youíve become a pretty good healer yourself." She grinned.
Iím going to see Lila now. I wanna... I want to make sure
sheís okay," Gabrielle replied as she slowly pulled
going to give it to her now, arenít you?" Xena asked,
knowing the bard would comprehend.
Gabrielle sighed as
she turned back around.
"Iím sure Iíll be fine
I... I want to insure that the amazons have a leader... just in
case. Giving Lila what she needs will ease my mind, Xena,"
the bard answered. "I wonít be gone long."
Gabrielle blew Xena
a kiss and walked out of the healers hut before Xena could
respond. Terris walked over and put her hand on Xenaís
shoulder. "Come on," she coaxed warmly. "We
have preparations to make."
Lila was in a
corner tending to a frightened child who was perhaps 3 summers
old. When the guards came to attention, she turned to find
Gabrielle behind her.
"How ya holdiní
up?" Gabrielle asked.
Lila tasseled the
girl's hair and gave her a cookie. After the child smiled, she rose and walked the short distance between them.
joining the battle," she replied softly.
Gabrielle responded. She didnít want to add the fact that
Solari wasnít just joining, but actually, leading the
battle. "Sheís a wonderful warrior. Quick and smart.
And believe you me, I know my warriors," the bard added
with a smile.
Lila seemed coaxed
by the words. With that Gabrielle motioned three of the guards
over to them.
"I realize youíre the princess of this
village but I need to make things official, Lila. In case I
donít make it through this battle, Iím giving you my rite
of caste." Gabrielle turned to the guards. "I need
you to witness this in case thereís a problem."
Gabrielle then turned back to her sister again. "I would
still like Ephiny to rule as acting queen until youíre
comfortable with the role. This is my last request Lila so
please see that itís carried out."
talk that way," Lila insisted. "Youíll be
you, however, I also know that anything is possible... I want
to insure that the nation will go on, alright?"
Lila nodded without
that little niece of mine." Gabrielle grinned as she
looked around. She spotted the young one with cookie muck covering
her beautiful face. Gabrielle smiled larger at the sight and
looks good," Gabrielle said kneeling down to her nieces
level. "Think I could have a some?" the bard asked,
acting like she was going to take a bite. Reflexively, Ruth
pulled the treat away with an odd look on her face. Gabrielle
had to laugh.
now, Ruth. Hide your food when Aunt Gabbyís around,"
Lila said walking over.
back and smacked her sister's shin playfully. "I
wouldnít steal cookies from a baby... a baby sister, yes,
but not a baby." Gabrielle smiled. She picked the
toddler up in her arms. "Sheís so beautiful,"
Gabrielle commented, before trying to tickle the girl's belly.
When Ruth let out a giggle, the bard giggled as well.
a wonderful mother, Gabrielle," her sister commented as
she watched the two.
the bard began. "But thatís never going to happen... Iím never going to have a child."
The words stung. It
brought up the painful memories of years past. But it wasnít
just memories that caused the ache now. It was also
expectations that would never be met. She loved the idea of
having kids. In fact, the bard reflected silently, I
didnít really think about it until Ruth came along... Ruth...
About a year ago... BY THE GODS!
okay?" Lila asked. In the course of a few seconds she
watched her sister go from joyous cooing to total shock to...
realization? Lila couldnít quite put her finger on the
change that overcame her sister. "Gabrielle?" Lila
prodded when Gabrielle didnít reply. "I said are you
okay? Maybe you should sit down?"
"It canít be
that simple," Gabrielle muttered to herself.
Lila asked in total confusion.
up, coming back from her thoughts as she met her sisters eyes.
"I want a baby," she whispered.
one," Lila replied.
Ruth back to her sister.
"Itís not that easy. There are
other factors to consider."
what?" Lila asked.
"Like Xena for
one. I mean honestly, can you see her with kids?!"
Even as she spoke
the words, she could envision it. Xena, nervously trying to
steady a small bundle in her big hands. Xena draping a toddler
over her shoulder while they both laughed. Xena teaching the
finer points of self defense to a pre-teen. Xena inspecting
prospective suitors seeing who she could intimidate the most.
Yes... Gabrielle could honestly see Xena with children. But
whether the warrior could was a different story.
She decided to hold
her tongue until this mess with Zagreus was settled. She
realized the warrior didnít need any more pressure right
now. Announcing that she wanted kids was not the time or the
getting late and I need to help Xena prepare," Gabrielle
told her sister, giving her a hug.
Gabrielle," Lila said firmly holding on. "Iím glad
youíre here and although it isnít going to be necessary." Lila grinned. "I will do as youíve
You donít know how much that means to me," Gabrielle
replied. "Until later than."
Gabrielle wasted no
time and walked swiftly out the door. Lila realized, as did
the rest of the village, it would be a long, restless night.
Xena stood over a
wounded amazon, tending a broken arm, when Gabrielle rushed
noise, Xena? Is it thunder?" she asked.
carefully. "The archers didnít stop them," she
Xena, Gabrielle and
Terris all raced outside and the warrior turned to the healer.
"How are you with a weapon?" Xena asked with
concern. She saw the approaching troops - about 150 men on
Xena gripped Terris
shouder. "Go find the
other villagers and set up a guard around the huts. Judging by
those touches. Heís going to try
to touch the village... but he wonít succeed. I wonít let
Terris took off
finding her two assistants. After brief instructions, all three
headed in different directions. "Now what?"
Gabrielle asked nervously.
Xena could feel her
pulse pounding in her head, her heart thumping in her chest.
She loved the feeling. With a wry grin she replied, "We
wait... And then we fight."
Gabrielle ran back
inside grabbing her staff. When she returned she watched the
first melee between the sword Calvary and the warlord's army.
Solari was quick; fast Ė just like she told Lila. She took
out three soldiers and went back for three more. When more and
more men got closer to the village she pushed the defenses
back until both sides were deep into the village. Gabrielle
looked over to find Xena already engaged in sword play.
A solider thought
Gabrielle would be an easy target, but he ended up on his back
side. Soon two more suffered the same fate. She worked around
them, but they were stronger than she imaged. The blows to the
head she gave them werenít enough to break their spirit. For
a brief moment, she became distracted by Xena. Her warrior fell
to her knees; an open gash, sliced across the upper legs.
Gabrielle tried to rise upon being struck to the ground, but
she got shoved back down by the men who Ďplayfullyí kicked
her in the ribs and stomach.
The new location
gave her another perspective now. This time her attention fell
on Solari. She watched helplessly as her sisterís mate was
attacked from behind, a soldier driving his blade deep and
long through her back. She was gone instantly. Gabrielle
watched as the life suddenly vanished from her body, toppling
to the ground like a rag doll as he withdrew his sword.
feel her rage exploded. She shot up, taking one of her
attackers swords. She twirled, slicing all of them across the
chest. Two men charged her in anger. She kicked one and sent
the blade through the other. When the remaining two came back
for some more action, she handled it in a like fashion. In a
matter of seconds, all three men lay dead at her feet.
she yelled as she watched the warrior laying motionless in the
dirt. The attackers were gone and Gabrielle prayed that Xena
was only faking Ė trying to throw them Ďoff guardí. But
the bard knew the truth in her heart of hearts...
She walked over and
pulled Xena up to her. When she did, the warriorís head fell
back far Ė the only thing keeping the warriors head attached
was her spinal cord. As the head fell, it covering the bard in
blood. All Gabrielle could do was scream... and scream... and scream.
strong hands on her shoulders. Strong, sword callused hands.
Hands she knew well; intimately. Her eyes shot open.
okay," Xena whispered. "Whatever it was, it was just
a dream," the warrior added, giving a light kiss to the
bards sweaty forehead.
slowly to a sitting position. Gabrielle shook her head
forcefully. "No... No... I want you to go the cave
tomorrow. You and Solari both.."
The bard was
shaking now, coming down from the adrenaline rush as she
rested her head on the warriorís shoulder. Xena held her
"It was only a
dream Gabrielle," Xena insisted once again.
the Persians came?" Gabrielle asked, a pleading
expression on her beautiful face.
"Of course." Xena grinned. "But it didnít happen. I
Gabrielle argued. "It happened just the way I saw it. He
fell from the ceiling. He was ready to strike... but you
moved remember? You changed your position and it changed the
"Then tell me
what happened in the dream," Xena whispered, lying back
down taking the bard in her arms. "Tell me everything so
tomorrow weíll be prepared, okay?"
Gabrielle began to
weep at the words and understanding nature of her warrior.
Xena simply held the bard tighter, not entirely sure of what
to do or say. "Itís okay," Xena reassure her
again. "Weíll talk it out tonight and weíll one up on
Zagreus tomorrow. Bet he doesnít have an oracle in his
corner." She grinned.
just the dream," Gabrielle replied in a whimper.
"Itís you. The way youíre treating me right
now." The warrior started to look concerned and began to
rise. "No," Gabrielle said quickly. "That
didnít come out right." Once she felt Xena relax, she
continued. "People... in my village always laughed at me
when I spoke of things that would come to be. They looked at
me oddly, making comments. When I was around 12 summers I had
a dream about my house burning, my neighbors... everyone.
When the town caught fire because some drunk knocked over a
lantern at the tavern people no longer laughed at me... They
shunned me. I was a freak. My friends no longer associated
with me because their parents didnít approve... No one ever
considered what I have as a gift... Not until tonight,"
she finished beginning to sob again.
about you is a gift to me," Xena replied as the bard
snuggled closer. "Please donít forget that."
Gabrielle was close
to disclosing her recent revelation about wanting children.
She wanted the warrior to know she was beginning to find the
answers they sought. At the last moment, however, she changed
"I love you, Warrior Mine," she whispered instead.
The term of
endearment that Xena thought was long since forgotten brought
a smile to her lips and a tear to her eye. Gods how I need
this woman, she thought silently.
"I love you too, Beautiful," she replied softly. "I always
sat in a
tree, stoic as ever, as Diteria approached.
your thoughts?" Diteria asked.
her lovers gentleness. "Just wishing Eponin was
here," she said softly. "We could really use her
Diteria placed her
hand over Ephinyís. "We will be triumphant today."
she said confidently.
"But at what
price?" Ephiny prodded. "Weíre heavily
outnumbered. Casualties will be high... Why did I send so
many to King Licieusí Kingdom?" she added belittling
"You did it
because it was the right thing to do. He needed the help and
you gave it. Just like when we need his help. If I die today-."
that," Ephiny whispered. "Youíre going to be fine.
the objection. "If I die today, I die knowing you made
the right choice. You did right by helping King Licieus and I
donít want you to think otherwise."
"Thank you," she replied sincerely. "For the
last twenty four hours Iíve been beating myself up over this...
a two minute talk with you and Iím better... much
donít wait twenty-four hours. Come see me sooner, Ephí. You
donít always have to be the brave, strong one. Sometimes the
bravest and strongest thing to do is tell someone how you
feel. Remember that?"
and kiss Diteria, lightly; lingeringly on the lips. "I
really love you."
wonderful because the feeling is very mutual," she
Their eye contact
however was disrupted by horse hooves Ė many, many horse
come," Diteria whispered, taking her position.
first orders to her troops. Everyone stood ready, high among
the trees; their bow strings taunt just waiting for the
arriving troops and their queens signal.
About 50 men
charged toward the tree line, toward the 30 women waiting
their arrival. When Ephiny could see Zagreusí emblem on
their armor, the regent swiped her arm. The gesture sent 30
arrows flying through the air. Ten men dropped instantly with
arrows through their necks, attacking the main artery. The
next on-slot of amazon arrows arrived as Zagreusí archers
began to return blind fire into the trees. Ten more of Zagreusí
best men met their fate.
back!" Ephiny heard a captain yell. "Regroup!
She knew she had to
try to hold them off though the next wave. She knew they would
bring more soldiers up-front and she wasnít sure if she
could hold them off again. She ordered her amazons to change
their locations with a bird call. Quickly, she looked over to
check on Diteria. She found her pinned to the tree by one of
Artemis," she whispered. She leaped over in two fluid
movements to sit next to her lover. She began to shake as she
took Diteriaís hands.
get you outta here, love. Weíll get you back to Xena. Sheís
really good healer, ya know?"
"Saved you and
Xenan. I know. Told me quite often," she replied with a
warm smile, not quite able to give her full sentences. From
the pain throbbing in her side, she knew she wasnít dead.
This hurt way too much to be death.
A scout leaped next
to Ephiny. "Zagreus has pulled back from the tree
line," she informed Ephiny. "Weíve got three
others hurt as well. Weíve got to move quick and get them to
others down and to the litters," Ephiny replied quickly, "This is gonna hurt love,"
Diteria. The regent broke the arrow head to free her lover
from the tree. The archer, bit her bow. She didnít dare make
a sound. She wanted their locations to remain secret. Always the warrior,
Ephiny thought when she realized
what her lover was doing.
Two amazons readied
to take Diteria down. "Be easy on her," Ephiny instructed. It was an order; an instruction because
their leader. But her voice didnít sound very regal. It was
scared; pleading. They nodded in agreement, not as soldiers
but as people who also had lovers they want to see come
As quickly and
gently as possible, Diteria was on the ground. Soon she was
strapped down to one of the litter, that was recently in
hiding behind some overgrown bushes.
the reins," Ephiny told the driver.
Diteria insisted weakly. "Stay."
"I have to
village," Diteria said, struggling with her words.
"To help me, you must stay."
eyes grow watery. She knew Diteria was right. There was
nothing she could do for her... nothing except stop as many
of Zagreus men from reaching the village.
you," Ephiny whispered, placing a gentle kiss on her
lovers lips. "For you."
the litter driver. "Go," she instructed. "Like
The litter took off
carrying Diteria to the village, to Xena. Sheíll know
what to do, Ephiny sighed, trying to reassure herself. And I know what I have to do, she added in her mind.
With that, she turned to her second in command.
pay dearly," she told her commander. "And make sure
everyone knows Ė I want no prisoners. Do you got that?... He wanted this fight. So heís gonna get it."
Her commander was a
bit taken back by the regents order and killer mentality but
she nodded just the same. Once all the litters were gone, the
remaining ground amazons took to the trees once more. Come
on Zagreus, the regent thought silently in her growing
rage. Iím waiting.
was getting her infantry in line and conversing with Xena. The
consort was pointing toward the horizon and back toward the
village when Gabrielle left the healers hut. Without comment
she walked up, trying to pick up on the nature of the
"Sounds like a
good idea," Solari told Xena. "But do you think the
older amazon will be able to defend the houses."
priority is to get those touches out and defend themselves.
Weíll... I mean... youíll be able to then strike the
offensive at that point."
"But how do
you know heíll try to torch the village?" Solari asked.
"Do you know him that well?"
wickedly, glancing at the bard briefly, before come back to
Solariís eyes. "Letís just say I have some inside
Solari released a
chuckle. "Iíll take your word for it."
Nagen rushed up to
the trio. "Weíve got all the water in place," she
said breathlessly. "Now what, Commander?"
wait," Solari replied placing her hand on Nagenís arm
in compliment. "Go join your formation."
Xena asked. "Her formation? She should be in the caves
with the children."
21 summers old," Nagen replied. "I donít belong in
Xena could tell the
girl was quite offended but before she could reply Gabrielle
spoke up. "Sheís not that young, Xena."
"What are you
kidding?" Xena replied looking at her bondmate.
Gabrielle answered. "Sheís older than I was when we
started traveling together."
never THAT young!" the warrior answered.
Now the bard looked
offended. Just great, Xena mused. Itís not too
late. Perhaps I could open my mouth and offend Solari too.
Just to make things complete. Two women boring holes into
her flesh with their adamant stares as Solari tried to cover
her growing smile with her hand. Before Xena could speak the
bard cleared her throat.
"And just what
does that mean?" Gabrielle asked a bit miffed.
Xena knew Gabrielle
wanted an answer. "You just look old, thatís all,"
the warrior replied, spitting the words out quickly... and
regretting that fact as soon as she heard the sentence float
to her ears. She closed her eyes and heard Solari let out a
groan. Quickly, she opened her eyes again. "What I mean is
sorry," Solari chuckled, "but this is just too
painful to watch. Xena take my advice now. Donít explain.
Just apologize and shut the Tartarus up. Youíre just digging
yourself in deeper... Trust me on this one."
The warrior began
to giggle and soon she looked at Gabrielle, who was trying her
damnedest to not look amused... yet failing miserable.
"As you can
see Solari," Gabrielle said as she smiled. "Interpersonal
communications is not one of Xenaís many skills and if it
HAD been a major requirement, I would have left her years
Communities?... What did you just say about me?" Xena
asked the bard. Gabrielle began to laugh and the warrior
turned to Solari. "Call me crazy but I think I was just
insult and I donít even know how?"
the warrior around the waist and Xena rested her arm on
Gabrielleís shoulder protectively. "You know I love ya
donít ya?" Gabrielle asked.
Xena felt a flood
of awareness wash over her. The bard was joking with her,
smiling with her. "I do... Love ya too," she
answered kissing the bard on the forehead.
Solari just shook
her head. She was going to make a smart comment about the
mushy love display before her but she never got the chance.
The sight over the warriorís shoulder made her squint. The
warrior and the bard turned to see what caught the dark
warriorís attention. Four litters, coming their way.
Terris," Gabrielle said, taking off into a sprint to the
"Give us a
hand?" Xena asked, although knowing the answer.
one of the riders yelled loudly. "Here! Xena!"
Oh gods, Xena
thought silently. Ephiny!
Xena rushed up to
the litter and locked eyes with Diteria. "Ephiny says
youíre good," the archer joked in a shallow breath.
Xena could see the
arrow and the blood surrounding it, coating the litter where
"Iíll do my
best, Diteria," Xena replied. She motioned two Calvary
guards and they carried her inside. Xena followed behind but
not without commenting to Gabrielle who was checking on the
other arrivals. "Are you okay out here?" Xena asked
the bard as she walked. Gabrielle nodded as she went to work
prepping the other patients before moving them.
Diteria was placed
on a long table as Xena tore through the amazons clothing.
"You made her stay, didnít you?" Xena smiled to
Diteria, trying to keep the archer focus on other things aside
from the pain.
"She wanted to
come. Wouldnít let her." Diteria grinned.
"This is going
to hurt," Xena told Diteria as she reached for the arrow.
Swiftly, she pulled it out and the assistant instantly
cauterized with a hot poker.
After a few
moments, Xena took her hand and brushed the ash blonde locks
from the archers face. "Aside from the pain," Xena
asked, "how are you feeling?"
Diteria answered. "Tired."
Xena stood a moment
summing up her ghostly pale patient. "Youíve lost a lot
of blood, Diteria. Thatís why you feel so disoriented... Iíll be honest, thereís not much more I can do. I think
weíve stopped the bleeding, but... it may already be too
"Then tell Ephiny," Diteria struggled. "Tell her ĎIí said
you did everything you could. Okay? Promise me?"
promise," Xena answered with a comforting grin.
"Rest now. Alright?"
Xena knew Diteria
chances were low, but a thought occurred to her. It was a
gamble, but the odds were not in Diteriaís favor at this
point without some kind of action. Judging by her color loss
the warrior figured Ephinyís lover would be dead by sundown...
Xena walked over to
Terris after the archer closed her eyes. "Does Diteria
have kin in the village Ė mother, sister, cousin,
Gods," Terris whispered fearfully. "Is she
Terris thought a
moment. "She has a cousin in the village."
Xena smiled, but
quickly it left. "Is she here or is she with Eponin?"
"She should be
with Solariís team," Terris offered.
returned. "Finally, something has gone right so far. Have
an assistant go get her now."
Terris didnít ask
any more questions, she simply nodded and called the nurse
"What did you
have in mind?" Terris finally asked once the cousin was
Itís risky, but Diteriaís odds look rough now. I donít
think sheíll live to tomorrow morning with all the blood
sheís lost on the trip in. Her cousin is going to give her
some of her blood."
Terris looked at
Xena as though she had gone mad. "How is she going to
give her blood?"
Xena began to look
around the office. She found a small hollow reed on the table.
"This," she said holding it up. When the other
assistant walked over Xena handed it to her. "Take
this," she instructed. "Divide it into two pieces.
Widdle the end to a point and hollow out the top here at the
tip." Xena went on giving perfect instructions for the
needle the assistant would be making.
The warrior went
back to searching for supplies with Terris looking on.
"Now what do you need?" she asked, trying to help.
flexible. Something hollow," Xena said looking around.
perhaps?" Terris offered.
Xena asked quickly.
back," Terris answered. "Iíll go get some while
you look and see if thereís anything here, alright?"
The warrior nodded
and continued her search. Gabrielle came up and tapped Xena on
the shoulder. "What?!" the warrior answered shortly.
Xena turned to find
her lover looking hurt.
"Iím sorry Gabrielle. I
didnít know it was you. Howís it going out there?"
two. The third should be alright. Arrow through the leg. The
bleedings stopped... Whoís over there?"
Xena replied. "Doesnít look good,
but Iíve got an
idea. Iíve only done it a few times. It worked twice."
help?" Gabrielle asked.
"I think she needs a familiar face now more than
the gesture. "I can do that," she said confidently.
As she made her way over to Diteria, the bard watched two
amazons rush through the door.
Sileece," the assistant informed Xena.
"I wish this
meeting could be under better circumstances," the warrior
she?" Sileece asked.
but I need to speak with you privately for a moment."
The assistant got
the warriorís hint and wondered off finding some rags to
it?" Sileece asked.
die if I donít get blood into her Ė your blood. I could
use someone else but sometimes putting the blood of one person
into another can cause death to the wounded. I canít even
guarantee that you wonít be harmed. But I noticed when I use
peopleís kin the odds of surviving are much greater... With
that said, I need to know Ė will you help me?"
course," Sileece answered.
understand that this puts you at risk too?" Xena asked.
"Whatever it takes, Iíll do it... Will it hurt?"
Xena replied. "I have to tap one of your veins and tap
one of hers. The blood from your body should flow into hers.
Sheís lost a lot so Iím going to put you on bed rest for
two days after this operation understand?"
Xena yelled for the assistant. "I need a pail of drinking
water for Sileece please." Sileece looked bewildered.
"Fluids," Xena replied. "Youíll need to be
making more blood for yourself once this procedures over... Are you ready?"
"Yeah. Can I see her now?"
Xena answered. "Sheís with Queen Gabrielle. Iíll be
The first assistant
returned, followed by Terris.
"Will this work?" she
asked, handing the warrior the reeds.
examined them closely.
job," the warrior complimented with a smile, after
this?" Terris asked, handing over her item. Xena gave
Terris one end, holding the other up to her eye.
"A clear shot
all the way through," Xena smiled. She took the vine back
and inserted the needles into each end. "Are we
ready?" she asked rhetorically.
Sileece to lay down next to Diteria.
tie off her arms here," she replied showing the bard.
what?" Sileece asked.
"Lay back and
relax," Xena instructed. "Breathe deep and
Sileece closed her
eyes and did as she was instructed. After a few moments she
opened her eyes. "Are you done?" she asked.
the warrior replied with a grin. "Wasnít as bad as you
"How long do we stay like this?" she asked, looking
at their Ďjoinedí arms.
while," Xena replied. "So just lay back and donít
move. You may upset the flow. If you need anything yell and
weíll get it, okay?"
"Thank you, Xena," she said sincerely. "Iím
sure Queen Ephiny will be grateful."
in the clear yet," Xena warned. "but our odds just
got better, thanks to you."
Sileeceís arm and motioned Gabrielle to follow her.
"Keep a close watch on them both," she whispered
after they stepped away. "If blood seeps from the vine,
or anywhere, get me immediately." Gabrielle nodded in
"How long will
they stay that way?" Gabrielle asked.
sure. Watch their skin color. When Diteria looks pinker and
Sileece starts getting whiter, let me know. And make sure
Sileece drinks fluids, at least a glass every half candlemark,
Gabrielle nodded in
agreement. She was going to ask another question but a sound
from outside the hut distracted her. "Sounds like
thunder," Gabrielle thought aloud.
ainít no storm clouds out today," the warrior said
Xena bolted to the
door with Gabrielle on her heels. Both women stopped and
watched Zagreusí army approach. Approaching fast.
Solari sat proud
atop Argo, her sword raised high. When Zagreus men hit the
last small valley before entering the village, she gave the
signal. Thirty amazons rushed forth in a fury of war cryís
and hoof beats. Zagreus army would have to ride uphill now.
The warrior women would be coming down. The amazons had the
terrain advantage, which would give them more speed.
"How many men
you say, Xena?" the bard asked.
Xena took a moment.
"About 100." She grinned slightly. "Looks like
the archers took out half."
Xena turned back to
Gabrielle, placing her hands on the bards shoulders. "Go
check on, Diteria. Iíll be back."
Gabrielle insisted, the fear showing in her voice. "You
said you wouldnít join this battle."
"And I wonít," she replied. "Iím going to
the look out to see if any more wounded are coming in... Okay?"
Gabrielle nodded as Xena began to make her way to the tower.
Only when she watched the warrior begin her climb did she turn
back to go to the healerís hut.
Once Xena reached
the top she had a full view of the battle. Solariís troops
were engaged, but they were being pushed back. Xenaís mind
screamed. She could see them beginning to get surrounded.
"Pull back," Xena whispered aloud. "Pull
Almost by sorcery,
Solari heard the words and issued a retreat. Xena watched as
the amazons fled back up the hill. Wounded laid scattered
across the meadow from both sides Ė but it appeared to be
more Zagreus men than amazons.
Xena started her
descent back down when she noticed the remainder of Ephinyís
troops bringing up the rear. Xena, in a single back flip,
landed on the ground. She raced to a nearby mare and mounted
the horse as it galloped. She tore through the amazon retreat
and Zagreusí army, moving as swiftly as possible to the
archers. Xena felt a sigh of relieve as she watched Ephiny approached. She stopped until the regent could join her.
It was the first word from Ephinyís mouth.
alive Ephí. I want to get these wounded to the hut before
you aid Solariís troops. Double up the litters if you have
to," Xena instructed.
quickly. In a matter of minutes the archery team was heading
to the village racing past Zagreusí men. Xena followed suit
but a sight caught her eye. It was Zagreus himself, looking as
wide-eyed as a doe. "Youíre dead," Xena mouthed to
him before casting a menacing grin. She kicked her heels
sending the horse toward the village again.
going to join the battle, huh?" Gabrielle said with her
hands on her hips as Xena rode in.
have time to explain myself to you right now," Xena
barked, leaping from the animal. "Help get these women
Gabrielle knew Xena
meant business. The warrior princess mode was certainly up and
raging today. Obediently, Gabrielle helped take the women
inside Ė 15 in all. A few were walking wounded and Gabrielle
sent them to a special corner.
raced in and
looked frantically for Diteria. She found Sileece who waved
her over, being careful not to move too much.
Ephiny asked coming down to her knees to be face-to-face with
Diteria opened her
eyes and promptly started to cry upon seeing Ephiny.
wrong? What hurts? Iíll get Xena to get you something;
Diteria whispered. "All I need is you. I didnít think
Iíd see you again."
take Diteria in her arms, but Sileece warned the regent.
"Donít!" The demanding voice startled the regent
and she stopped. "Iím sorry Ephiny, but Xena said she
needed blood, my blood, so she canít be moved, okay?"
dangerous?" Ephiny asked.
nodded. "Maybe you should talk to Xena or
back, Love," Ephiny whispered, before placing a tender
kiss on Diteria forehead.
Gabrielle, instructing the group of walking wounded on how to
care for themselves. "Sorry it interrupt," Ephiny announced to the group.
didnít see you! Thank the gods!" she said hugging the
going on with Diteria?" she whispered.
Gabrielle led the
regent away from the group by her arm. "Perhaps you
should sit down," the bard began, motioning to a nearby
chair. Gabrielle kneeled before Ephiny. "Diteria lost a
lot of blood by the time she made it to the village. Xena
didnít think she would make it by nightfall unless we tried
this procedure with Sileece. And even thatís not a given,
Ephí. As Xena said, it doesnít look good, but her chances
are better since Sileece offered her blood."
"She still may
die?" Ephiny asked, not really needing an answer.
"But Xenaís been doing everything she can Ė."
Ephiny replied, putting her hand on Gabrielleís shoulder.
"I know sheís doing what she can... Youíre a lucky
lady to have her. I hope you realize that."
"Now more than
ever," Gabrielle whispered. They spent a few moments
looking at each other in silence until Gabrielle rose.
"We could really use your help in here," the bard
offered. "Could you dress some wounds for us? Your
mindís not ready to go into battle anymore, Ephiny. Youíll
be close to Diteria too... What do you say?"
friend knew her well. It was one of Gabrielleís traits she
admired - always the caretaker and always good at reading the
needs of others.
"Bring on the
bandages." The regent grinned.
procedure had recently come to an end and the vine removed
when the door of the healers hut burst open. Two of Zagreus
men stormed inside. Gabrielle was closest to the door, holding
a tray of bandages. With a mighty swing, she knocked the first
man square in the face. When the other solider swung his
sword, the bard vaulted backwards. Instead of the bard, his
intended target, he hit his fellow solider burying the weapon
deep in his stomach. Gabrielle kicked the soldiers arm free of
She pulled it from
the now dead man and shifted to face the remaining opponent.
As he charged, the bard raised the sword burying it deep in
his chest. She pushed the man off the blood soaked weapon,
letting him drop lifeless to the ground. Terris yelled for
Xena who was bringing out more rags. Xena watched as Gabrielle
sliced right; then left as two more soldiers tried to enter.
She yelled to the
bard, but it was as if Gabrielle couldnít hear her.
Helplessly, she watched her lover start to leave the hut,
heading into the raging battle out front of their door. Xena
leaped over the tables, landing on one of the dead men, losing
outta here!" she yelled to Ephiny as she picked herself
off the floor.
Xena looked around
and watched the bard taking in the scene. A few huts had
managed to catch fire. The remainders of Zagreusí troops
were wearing the amazon troops down, not with skill but by
being outnumbered. Gabrielle watched as a solider crept up and
slit an amazon warriors' throat from behind. When the man began
to laugh of his deed, something snapped inside the bard.
The way she walked;
the way she carried the blade in her hand, worried Xena. This
was not her Gabrielle. This was herself Ė many, many moons
ago. Xena drew her sword and tried to find an opening to get
to Gabrielle. She watched as the bard buried the sword in the
laughing manís back, casually kicking him off her weapon
once it served itís purpose.
came up behind Gabrielle. Xena knew the bard couldnít sense
his approach, but before she could scream a warning, Gabrielle
thrust the sword behind her, driving the sword high and deep
inside him. Xena, released a sigh and speeded her efforts to
finally make it to the bard.
Xena yelled as she ran up to her.
Gabrielle swung out
of instinct and Xena deflected in reaction. The bard's raging
eyes registered the face as her lovers although it took her a
Gabrielle asked unsure of her present state of mind. She began
to look around at the bodies on the dirt road; the huts
burning as orange as the now setting sun. "Look at what
they did, Xena."
okay," Xena said softly, sheathing her sword. She pulled
the bard close. "Youíll be okay," she added
okay!" Gabrielle yelled, pushing away. "Look what
heís done to my people! I swear by any god you name, Zagreus
will die at my hand!"
Xena held back her
tears and grabbed Gabrielle by the shoulders, giving her a
strong shake. "Listen to yourself! Youíre letting your
hatred get the better of you. Your people need a strong
leader, not a vengeful woman!" Xena pulled the bard back
into her arms, her words softening. "I know what Iím
talking about Gabrielle. Iíve been there and I refuse to
watch you start down the path I followed."
The bard understood
the warrior. She let the sword fall from her hands and began
to shake as Xenaís words sunk in even more.
I done Xena?" she pleaded between sobs. "Look at
what Iíve done."
on," Xena said picking the bard up in her arms.
"Letís get inside."
As Xena carried
Gabrielle back to the hut, she looked to her right. Solari was
approaching on horseback from the south.
Wait a minute, the warrior thought.
That canít be right.
She took a closer
look as the formation spread out and spread out and spread out
again, with more and more amazons. "Eponin's back," Xena
to fidget in the warrior's arms upon hearing the name and Xena
put her down. The bard wiped her tear stained face.
"Thank the gods," she sighed.
Eponin and her best
and bravest ripped through the village. She brought her mare
to a skidding halt and leapt from the saddle.
"Time to kick
a little warlord ass!" she screamed, taking down two of
Zagreus men in the process. She let out a fierce battle cry
and slaughtered any enemy foolish enough to take on her blade.
Quickly, she worked her way to Solari who was now surrounded.
Gabrielle held her
breath. The scene. The scene from her dream was unfolding
before her frightened eyes.
she whispered as the soldier readied himself to deliver the
He never did.
Eponin saw him first and sent a flying boot dagger into his
back. As Solari finished off the two foes in front of her, she
ran the distance to Eponin. And the warrior and the bard both
sighed in relieve as they watched them embrace.
began to retreat. At least they tried. A few managed to slip
through the wall of amazons now surrounding THEM, but the
majority came to realize the error of taking on the Amazon
nation. It was an experience they would never live to learn
fires out!" Eponin yelled. "Now! Or the whole damn
village is gonna go up!"
In an orderly
fashion, a team was assembled in seconds. Just minutes later,
the first hut was extinguished as others followed.
"I need thirty
amazons to go get those bastards!" she shouted. Eponin
counted women and they began to line up behind her. After she
had her total she ordered Zagreus to be captured alive. As for
the men in his army... well... that was up to each warrior's
discretion.. The troops took to their horses, tearing out of
the village as fast as they came.
Tartarus?" Ep told Solari looking around. "I leave
the town in your hands and look what happens... Youíre
grounded young lady!" Solari managed a weak smile and
hugged her friend again.
Xena shook her head
as she and Gabrielle walked over.
the warrior chuckled to the bard. "A real loose
Eponin exclaimed upon finally seeing the duo. "Long time
no see," she added.
been nice to see ya sooner," Xena remarked with a grin.
"Got here as
fast as I could." Ep smiled. "Seriously, Iím glad
youíre all okay... Howís Eph?" she added softly.
Eponin could be a
real joker, but she also knew how grave the situation really
was. In front of her troops and to outsiders she was reserved,
emotionless and quiet. To her friends she let her guard down,
being more Ďherselfí. Gabrielle had noticed after a few
visits that the warrior not only had dark features like Xena
but many of the same character traits as well.
been hurt bad," Gabrielle offered after all three women
examined each other unsure of what to say. "But Ephiny hasnít been injured," she added.
make it?" Eponin asked concerned.
to say at this point," Xena replied.
inside?" she asked pointing to the healers hut.
Xena and Gabrielle
"Iíve got to
get to the caves," Solari said excusing herself.
course," Gabrielle realized. "I think itís safe to
bring them back."
Gabrielle with a nod and turned to Ep.
youíre back," she said offering her forearm, which Ep
to be home," she whispered. "Now go get your
princess," she teased Solari.
As Solari left, the
remaining three women went into the hut. Ephiny was sitting
next to Diteria, just stroking her hair when Eponin spotted
her. Ephiny was lost in her own thoughts and didnít notice
her friends approach.
the dark haired warrior whispered loud enough to get her
attention, yet leaving her unstartled.
thought for a moment she might cry. She rose slowly and they
embraced for a long while. Finally, Ephiny pulled back.
doing?" Eponin asked, looking at the sleeping archer.
asleep for the last candlemark," Ephiny softly replied.
the new yet familiar voice, Diteria opened her eyes.
"What brings you to town?" she asked Eponin.
"I heard there
was an amazon in here that might need some cheeriní
up," Eponin remarked with a grin. "Just thought
Iíd lend a hand," she added, stroking Diteriaís arm.
gone?" Diteria asked.
yeah," Eponin replied with a sly grin. "But donít
worry. Weíre bringing him back." Diteria was fully
aware of what Ep meant. Zagreus was going to pay. And dearly.
herself as she stepped between the ladies to come to
"How ya feeling kid?" she asked
She felt Diteria
neck and forehead. She was getting warm, but not too warm. That
was a good sign. Her skin tone had actually improved too and
the warrior felt optimistic although she dare not mention it
to anyone there. The last thing she wanted to do was fill Ephiny
with false hope.
"Have you been
drinking your fluids?" the warrior asked Sileece. The
cousin nodded. "Whenís the last time you had a
cup?" Xena asked.
candlemark.," Sileece answered.
more," Xena instructed. "Do you think you can
stand?" Sileece nodded once more. "Good. After you
finish go for a walk around the room Ė not far and not fast.
Understand? And make sure someone goes with you for support.
Youíll feel quite dizzy I can assure you."
Diteriaís blankets down to her waist. "I want to keep
her uncovered to see if her body is steadying her temperature
or if itís the blankets. Okay, Ephiny? Make sure she stays
uncovered for now."
Whatever Xena said she was sure was for the best. "Thank
you for doing everything you could," Ephiny whispered.
"Not for just Diteria, but for every amazon. Iím sure
our casualties would have been much higher if not for your
planning and medical skills... Thank you."
"This is my
home too, Ephiny." The warrior grinned. "I was just
trying to save my village... but I thank you for the
compliment... Iíll still always think there was something
more I could have done. I... "
The warrior began
to think of the young swords woman who was brought in moments
before she had to chase down the raging Gabrielle. The girl
couldnít have been more than twenty-some winters old. Xena
did everything she could, but the warrior didnít feel it was
enough, especially when the young woman died in her arms. Too
many women in fact. Now that the Ďhighí from the battle
was wearing off she felt a growing uncomfortable.
said pulling the warrior back. "I watched you
work. Many amazons will be forever be in your debt... Myself
Xena pulled Ephiny close. "Donít ever think that you owe me
anything?" the warrior whispered, choking on her words a
bit. "Youíre one of the greatest friends Iíve had...
Lay down now. Get some rest," the warrior recommended to
Iíll take you up on that... Might not be a bad idea for
yourself," Ephiny added.
youíre right, but I canít. Iíve got to check on the
Eponin jumped in. "Iíve got the healing experience and
if something major starts to happen Iíll call for you."
"Iíll never need my mother again. Iíve got tons of
them here," she joked.
"Thatís right. And donít you forget it, sweet cheeks.
Go grab your bard queen and get to bed."
Eponinís advice. She walked over to Terris and told the
healer to go get some rest because Epís team was now on
duty. After that, she stepped over to the yawning Gabrielle. Ephiny
and Ep watched them walk out arm and arm.
know," Eponin said standing back on her heels. "They
really make a cute couple," she reflected upon watching
the warrior and the bard leave.
romantic streak, are we?" Ephiny teased.
Ep lost her grin
and put the Ďwarrior maskí back in place before turning to
"Donít EVEN go there," she warned
forcefully. After viewing Ephinyís sly grin a few more
seconds she smiled herself. "Lay down and go to
sleep," she ordered briskly.
smile and crawled under the covers next to Diteria.
what you will," Ephiny began. "But I always knew you
were a big softy at heart, Ep."
Ep leaned over
Diteria, who was once again asleep. "Weíll just see who
the softy is next week on the practice field," she
"I relish the
challenge." Ephiny smiled. Eponin waved her off as she
walked away. And Ephiny snuggled as close to her lover without
too much contact. Moments later, sleep began to claim the
regent and she prayed that the longest day of her life had
come to an end.
"Mind if we
call it a night?" Xena asked. She and the bard now wore
clean shifts after washing the grim of the long day from their
bodies. "Terris wanted us to do our exercises but Iíd
really just like to hold you if thatís okay."
The bard smiled and
snuggled into the warriors shoulder. "Will this do?"
the bard sighed.
Xena purred. The warrior could feel the bard smile against her
flesh and tightened her hold. After a few moments of silence,
the warrior stoked Gabrielleís hip. "Today was... different," she said softly.
way?" the bard asked.
Xena paused a
moment, contemplating what to say. Gabrielle gave her the
time. She knew her warrior would tell her when she was ready.
"Do you know
how I managed to be such a great healer?" Xena asked.
"I assumed it
was caring for your army," Gabrielle replied.
caring," Xena answered. "Experimenting. Everything I
know about healing came as a result of trying different
procedures. I didnít care if they died. They were
expendable. There would always be more men willing, and
sometimes unwilling, to follow me... Of all the battles, of
all the people Iíve treated... today was the hardest...
because I cared."
up blindly to stroke her warrior's face, offering her support.
She was slightly surprised when her fingers came back wet. She
hadnít even realized the warrior began to cry.
died in my arms today," Xena continued. "I did
everything I could, but she died anyway... I failed her. I
failed this village. I failed you," the warrior added in
me," Gabrielle responded by sitting up. "You have
not failed me or this village. And as far as the amazon who
died today... you said it yourself, you did everything you
could to save her."
wasnít enough," Xena countered.
happen, Xena. And you canít put the weight of this village,
or the world for that matter, on your shoulders alone... The
only person responsible for any amazons dying today was
Zagreus... And in truth, without you in the healers hut, a lot
more amazons would have died. You know Iím right," the
"Címere." The warrior grinned
pulling the bard back to her, squeezing
her tight. She loved the way the bard could turn her spirits
around by the storytellers shear force of will. Gabrielle
could be very determined when she wanted to be. And today she
valued the bards determination to make her feel better.
"You are the best thing that ever happened to me. Do you
"Yes I do. And
I hope you realize that if I had it all to do over again I
would still chose this life with you," Gabrielle
"Then why all
the fighting?" Xena asked sincerely, with no judgment.
"Why are we at each other's throats for days on end?"
weíve been doing rather well lately," the bard
have," Xena sighed. "But sooner or later itís
going to end again and weíll be bickering like before."
not," Gabrielle replied with a giggle. "Maybe I
found the answer... Actually, I know I found the answer."
Xena sat up. This
she had to hear. "Well, what is it?" she asked with
but she couldnít look Xenaís way just yet.
we should wait. Until we speak with Terris."
Xena started to
shake her head. "No, Gabrielle. I have to know. I have to
know now. "
at the warrior. The warrior, however, was not amused.
Xena," the bard began, "Iím not sure how youíll
react when I tell you and... in truth it might be the end
of our relationship if I do," she added, turning very
Xena pleaded, "tell me. I promised you forever and
whatever it is we can work it out together. I told you I would
do anything for you. I would give you anything you ever
give me EVERYTHING I want!" the bard said getting
can!" Xena insisted. "If I had to Iíd... "
The warrior stopped
as she thought of the bard's words. She could give the bard
anything she wanted, everything except one thing. When Xena
began to understand what that one thing might be, Gabrielle
began to shy away.
late," Gabrielle replied, rolling away from Xena.
"Iím tired and I donít want to argue anymore. Not
"How long have
you known?" Xena asked, not letting the bard ramble.
what?" Gabrielle asked evasively, her back still to the
Gently, Xena rolled
Gabrielle over and they locked eyes. "How long have you
wanted a child?" she asked softly.
her eyes. She didnít want Xena to know. Not yet. Not until
they could speak with Terris. She didnít want to know she
was going to lose the warrior; then be all alone without a
shoulder to cry on. At least Terris would give her that.
Gabrielle didnít have the chance to respond.
itís a wonderful idea," the warrior added.
She could hear the
warrior smiling in her voice so Gabrielle opened her eyes.
Sure enough. Xena wore a big ole grin the size of Zeusí ego.
"Do you really
mean that?" Gabrielle asked in reaction. "Of course
you do," she added quickly. "I donít often see a
grin that huge."
"A boy or a
girl?" Xena asked excitedly.
and held her hands up. "Just slow down, Xena. In all
honesty I havenít really thought past the Ďbeing a
motherí aspect... I havenít even thought about conception
either," the bard added in afterthought with a frown.
"I do have
many skills," Xena remarked playfully.
Gabrielle let her
laughter roll through the hut. "I donít think thatís
on your list, Warrior Mine. Granted, the list is quite long
but impregnation Iím sure isnít on there."
try," Xena smiled slyly. "It would be a lot of fun
"Oh, I donít
doubt that for a second," the bard said rising up and
giving the warrior a long, promising kiss. "Not for a
didnít feel so tired anymore. She went back to reclaim the
bards lips but a pounding at the door stopped her.
Gabrielle," someone called out urgently.
it?" she asked, almost dreading the news.
been captured," the guard announced.
there shortly. Inform Regent Ephiny."
majesty. Right away."
Both women got out
of bed and got dressed. As they walked up to the square they
found Zagreus shackled. He was alive Ė barely. Solari, Lila,
Ephiny and Eponin all stood by as the queen and warrior walked
Gabrielle smiled. There was every bit of friendliness and good
will in the statement but Zagreus knew it was a cocky display.
"Bet you donít remember me. We met years ago in Laurel
although we were never formerly introduced. My friend Minya
kicked your butt."
over his face. "Youíre that irritating blonde that
travels with Xena."
him, but Gabrielle held up a single hand that brought her
regent to a halt. She grinned at the blonde warrior behind
"You thought the same thing once Ephí."
queen smiled. "Donít be hypocritical," she teased.
Ephinyís outrage cooled at the bardís gentle, good natured
right," Gabrielle told Zagreus still keeping her smile in
tact. "Iím also queen of this village," she added
proudly. Suddenly, the happy expression fell from her face.
"Lock him up until the trial tomorrow," she said
As Zagreus was led
to the jail, a few amazons began to bicker and shout obscene
comments Ė some comments directed toward the queen in her
reluctance to kill him on the spot.
Gabrielle yelled. "I will have unity in this
talking at once. Gabrielle had their full attention. And she
took advantage of it.
"I want that
man guarded until the trial! Any amazon found torturing or
killing that man will be ordered to death! Is that
A few women looked
ashamed; a few defiant. Other such as Ephiny and Lila appeared
to be in full agreement.
"He will have
a trial based on the evidence we have. Then and only then will
his punish be carried out if he is found guilty... I will not
accept vengeance! This society is one built on civilization
and in being such we will act accordingly. Is THAT
Ephiny announced. She needed her subjects to know that the two
most powerful women in the village agreed on this procedure of
justice. "If I may Queen Gabrielle," she offered,
"I suggest we all get some rest. Itís been a long day
and it will be a busy day tomorrow as well."
Gabrielle nodded, acting just as regal. "Everyone is here
by ordered to... go to bed!"
quickly and walked away. Her group followed behind her.
bed?" Ephiny chuckled. "Boy, did that sound...
to laugh herself and she punched Ephiny playfully in the arm.
"Shut up!" she countered. "Itís late and
Iím tired, okay? Bed is the only thing I can think about
put her arm
around Gabrielle giving her a light squeeze.
"You know I
know longer think youíre irritating," she whispered in
"Thatís good." Gabrielle grinned. "Or otherwise Iíd have
to get my big, bad bondmate to beat you up."
Xena smiled as she
listened to the two of them banter back and forth. Ephiny looked over at Xena and frowned.
"Who her?" the
regent remarked. "You mean the one I gave a shiner
"Get off it Ephiny," the warrior menaced. The regent only laughed as
Eponin spoke up.
wondering how she got that?" Ep said putting in her two
cents worth. "But you realize Eph if you were any kind of
warrior, like myself, you would have given her two black
"Can we drop
the eye business?!" Xena exclaimed as she stopped in
front of the healers hut. "I have to go on rounds
now." Both Ep and Eph put up serious fronts, nodding
agreements, looking orderly Ė mocking Xena without a single
word. "Smart asses," the warrior muttered, going
into the hut.
Ep and Eph both
smiled as they walked inside. Xena went straight to Diteria
and Ephiny was the first to lose her grin as she followed the
Diteriaís forehead and neck once more. She was just as warm.
Her skin tone was even better than earlier in the evening.
This time Xena couldnít hide her pleasure of Diteriaís
recovery and she felt herself smiling.
"Does it look
better?" Ephiny asked, still not quite sure what the
warrior would say.
"It looks good
Eph," Xena answered holding her smile. "It looks
real good. We wonít be certain though until a couple of days
Xena thought the
amazon would begin crying at any moment. Softly Ephiny whispered, "I really am sorry about your eye."
Xena could hear the
deep sincerity in the statement and the amazonsí
gratefulness of still having her future bondmate alive. Xena
pulled the regent close, planting a soft kiss on her forehead.
Xena whispered in return. And she did Ė she understood
everything the regent was trying to say with the one
statement. ĎItís a warrior thing,í the consort thought
silently. "I know," she uttered once more.
Gabrielle sat high
upon her throne in the village square Ė her consort to her
left; her regent to her right. She was dressed in her regal
attire of leather and suede which fit her just as perfectly as
the first day she wore them, many years before.
shackled as the amazon guards dragged him unwillingly toward
the stage. The same stage where Gabrielle took the queen mask,
the same stage where she bonded with Xena and the same stage
that she would decide a manís fate.
has heard the evidence against you Zagreus," Gabrielle
announced as she traveled down the steps; only stopping until
she was inches in front of him. "Is there anything you
would like to say in your defense before I pass judgment?"
Gabrielleís eyes. The bard watched him snarl once before
spitting in her face. Xena tightened her hold on her chair,
stopping herself from bolting down to the warlord and carrying
out the sentence herself. Gabrielle simply smiled and wiped
her face with a cloth a guard handed her.
charming!" Gabrielle shouted loud enough for all to hear.
Many of the amazons
laughed along with the smiling bard as she made her way back
to her throne. "In light of the evidence which has been
given today the amazon nation finds you guilty of crimes
against our state... And the punishment is death."
seem quite as cocky. "I apologize for my behavior today.
I meant no disrespect-
wasnít reached in the last five minutes Zagreus. It is not
based on my Ďwounded egoí. In fact, I donít feel my ego
is wounded. Youíve only proved the point that should be
destroyed for the good of my people; if not the world in
general... My sentence stands. However, I will give you the
choice of execution Ė hanging or beheading."
After a few moments,
Zagreus didnít say anything and Gabrielle knew he finally
understood this was very real. He would die.
like me to choose?" Gabrielle asked.
Zagreus heard all
the stories of the peace-loving bard that traveled with Xena.
She didnít even carry a sword, just that stupid stick. She
didnít have the guts he told himself. "Yes, Queen
Gabrielle. Choose," he answered sounding so
self-confident, the regent thought she would be sick.
She didnít even
pause to take a breath. She didnít even think twice.
Gabrielle gave a slight wave of her hand and the chopping
block was brought out. The bard watched as the warlord's eyes
widened at the sight. He tried resisting again as the guards
moved him into position. "Donít do this to me?"
the warlord pleaded, looking at the queen, as he was tied
eyes with the man, thinking what a waste his life had been.
"Zagreus," the queen answered. "You did this to
The sack went over
his head and Gabrielle watched Ė elbows on the chair arms,
her fingertips touching, forming a triangle shape as she
rested her lips on her index fingers. As the executioner
raised the ax, the bard closed her eyes. The sound of metal
breaking flesh and bone and the cheer in the square told her
the deed had been done.
She turned her head
toward Xena. Then and only then did she open her eyes. Emerald
green searched sapphire blue looking for some peace of mind in
"You made the right choice," Xena
Gabrielle gave the
weakest of grins. Her chest felt lighter. Her mind a little
clearer. Without looking at the body she turned quickly to her
regent. "See that his body is disposed of," she
queen," Ephiny answered. Her voice also conveyed
acceptance and admiration.
She knew the
queenís reputation would skyrocket as an effective leader
based on the incidents today but she said nothing. She knew
Gabrielle would never want glory as a result of her decision
to see that another life was taken. For lack of a better word,
Ephiny felt proud to call Gabrielle Ďqueení. Not just
because she delivered justice but because she also felt
remorse in doing so.
still unwilling to look at Zagreusí lifeless body. The rest
of the stage came to attention too. Xena offered her arm to
the queen, which Gabrielle took immediately. With as much
confidence as she could muster she walked down the steps and
Xena lead her on the quickest route from the square.
Once a safe
distance away, and away from the eyes of the nation, the
warrior stopped; turning the bard into her strong, protective
arms. All the queen could do was cry into her warriorís
bosom until the warriorís tight grasp freed her torturing
some week hasnít it?" Terris asked as the trio walked
outside, behind the healers hut.
Xena and Gabrielle
nodded in unison. "This looks someone has a picnic
planned," the bard remarked as they got closer to their
"Itís a nice
day," Terris remarked. "Besides the hut is still
full for the time being and I thought it was important that we
get together today. Do you mind?"
donít mind; it looks lovely," the warrior answered
"Talking in Ďweísí again," she teased.
"Thatís a good sign," she added.
Xena began to blush
but managed to fight it down so it went unnoticed. At least
Terris didnít notice. Gabrielle could see it but said
nothing as they all took a seat on the spread-out blanket.
Terris smiled when
she watched the warrior and the bard chose their positions Ė
side by side, shoulder to shoulder.
"Are you sure you two
donít want to sit a little closer? I can still see a crack
of daylight between you," the healer commented with an
and threw a grape playfully at Terris. Xena picked the bard up
and promptly set her on her lap.
"Much better," the
warrior answered as the bard snuggled in. "Thanks Terris."
Gabrielle continued to try to get comfortable and the warrior
warned her, "You keep wiggling on my lap and I wonít be
responsible for my actions."
Unlike Xena, the
bard couldnít hide her blush which shot from her cleavage to
her hairline. "Xeeenaaa," the bard replied, amazed
that the warrior would be so forward in front of Terris.
"Cut it out."
out?!" the warrior replied acting total shocked.
"Youíre the one doing the dance of the three veils on
top of me and I have to cut it out."
Xena didnít think
it was humanly possible but the bard managed to get even
redder. She buried her face in her hands for a few moments
before turning to Terris. "I apologize for Xenaís
apologize for me because Iím not sorry," Xena replied
with a wink to Terris that went unnoticed to Gabrielle. Xena
patted the bards leg once and then the blanket. "Sit here
for a moment and let me get the scrolls," the warrior
With a frustrated
sigh, Gabrielle did as instructed as Xena got their scrolls in
order. "Would you like to go first or should I?" the
warrior asked again.
Terris was all
smiles today. She realized she didnít even need to be there
actually. The warrior and the bard were doing just fine on
their own. She was relieved. Events that had happen in the
last week could make or break a relationship and it was
obvious to Terris what path the couple was on.
"You could go
first. That is if you want to," Gabrielle replied.
the warrior answered as she began to unroll her scroll.
Suddenly she remembered something, or more to the point,
someone. "Is that alright, Terris?" Xena asked
Terris exclaimed. The healer had a permanent grin on her face
as she watched the couple, who was now smiling at each other.
Xena cleared her throat and began.
"I promise you
To lead the way for
To protect you
To pledge you my
When our paths grow
And out battles
And we endure.
I would die for you
But better this...
I will live for you
... I promise
Xena nodded to the
smiling bard, her lashes wet from unshed tears of joy. She
knew she dragged the warrior through Tartarus on her knees but
the warrior still loved her Ė lived for her. Without comment
the bard cleared her throat and began.
You lead and I will follow
That has been our way
And as it should be...
No battle, No fear
No anger, No separation
Will divide our love
That is our strength.
We have faced much.
Trust me to be there
I promise you...
You lead and I will follow"
Xena smiled for a
moment and Terris watched as the warrior began to frown.
"What are you thinking?" the healer asked.
think thatís true," the warrior answered honestly,
still contemplating the bards words.
true?" Gabrielle asked urgently. "I will always be
there for you," she added firmly.
that," Xena replied smoothing the bards arm up and down
in an affectionate gesture. "But I donít think I should
always lead. I think there will be times when I should follow
you. And even more times when we walk together, side-by-side," the warrior stated, trying to make her point
child you desperately want," the warrior continued.
"I think itís time we walk together. Are we going to
settle or stay on the road? I think those kinds of things
should be a decision we make together."
"You want a
child?" Terris asked. "Iím sorry to interrupt.
Itís just news to me," she added quickly.
"About a year ago when we came to visit Lila and Ruth, I
had a wonderful time. Not long after we left Arborea, I
started to feel empty and angry, but I couldnít understand
why. Xena didnít do anything, so what could I say? Nothing...
So instead of talking to her, I started to shut
her out; finding fault with everything... And believe me with
a woman as skilled as Xena it wasnít easy," the bard
joked, trying to relieve her growing tension. But soon her
face grew serious again.
"So I shut her
out. And I hurt her. And I hurt myself... And I almost lost
the one thing in my life that ever meant anything real... When I was a child, I had dreams like most little girls. I
would find someone brave and strong. Someone who would love
me, feed me, cloth me... It took me a while to realize it, but
I found that person. And when I realized just how much Xena
truly meant to me I vowed to never let her go . .She was with
me all along although I never saw it... But I found her. And
she found me... And because of my lack of understanding I
almost lost her... Iím so sorry Xena," the bard
whispered as she started to cry.
the warrior whispered, stroking the back of the bards head
tenderly while they held each other. "We know why
youíve been unhappy and now we can make things better. Like
Iíve told you many times, whatís in the past canít be
undone so donít worry about it. What we do have is the
future, okay? Youíve spent years telling me the same thing,
Gabrielle." The warrior grinned.
Gabrielle wiped her
eyes and smiled too. "Nice to see youíve been
listening," the bard teased.
"You may not
believe it, but I hear every word you say, Beautiful... I
"Stop it or
youíre gonna make me cry again," the bard giggled.
Xena reached for
the grapes. "Here," she said trying to lighten the
mood. "Donít cry. Have a grape instead," she
answered popping it into the bard's mouth gently.
"Good?" she added. Gabrielle nodded with a grin as
"A baby, huh?
An heir to the throne perhaps?" Terris asked thinking of
the concept. "Next month a raiding party is going down to
the next valley. Itís customary for the queen to take the
village leader as a mate if she so desires. Have you thought
about how to conceive?" Xena shifted uncomfortably.
"Whatís the matter, Xena?"
the warrior asked, pretending that she didnít hear.
Gabrielle was fully aware that the warrior heard every word.
uncomfortable... suddenly... when I brought up
conception," Terris replied.
"I know that
she has to... ya know... I just... I donít know how
comfortable I am with... sharing her."
sound like youíre very comfortable at all," the healer
remarked. "But I could be wrong. Would you like to talk
"I just... I
wanna be there when it happens, but I... I donít know if I
can watch someone else touching Gabrielle. I keep having the
visions of her in bed with a man and... I think about my
me?!" Gabrielle asked with a giggle. "I donít mean
to be insensitive by laughing Xena but... your mother?"
Xena smiled and
giggled a bit herself. It did sound a bit ridiculous the way
she had said it. "What I mean is that my mother left
Taria for my father... What if... "
Gabrielle sighed. "I wanna have a baby. Not a husband.
And if I have a boy then Iíll simply give Lila the throne.
She has the birthright and a precious princess to boot... But
under no circumstances will I leave you... I promise you
"You would do
that?! You would give up the throne," Xena asked
you?" Gabrielle asked, knowing that Xena would see her
understood. Yes. She would give up anything for Gabrielle.
"Well, let me
say I hope you have a girl, Queen Gabrielle... Does this put
your mind more at ease, Xena?" the healer asked.
does." Xena smiled. "But I still might strangle our
donor if he tries to kiss you," Xena added to the bard.
"Touching just to keep his Ďmoodí alive is fine but
if his lips go anywhere near youíre body I might have a
noted." Gabrielle nodded. "Iíll make it perfectly
clear itís not his lips I need."
Xena started to nod
in agreement, but she stopped as she realized just what the
bard would be after. Terris and Gabrielle chuckled at the
"Very Funny," the warrior
answered in intimidation before cracking the faintest of
smiles. "Very, very funny."
Night had fallen in
the amazon village. Gabrielle sat on the edge of the bed, her
back to the entrance, rolling her head back and forth. The
bard's motions and the dark green silk robe she wore stopped
the warrior in her tracks as she walked through the front
door. Xena was helpless. Erotic thoughts zipped through her
mind. She couldnít see her bardís hands and just wondered
where those hands might be based Gabrielleís movements.
starting without me?" Xena commented, turning the bards
For a moment, the
bard looked confused. One moment she was trying to work the
kinks out of her neck, the next the warrior was standing
behind her. Then she realized what the warrior could be
thinking and smiled warmly.
not!" Gabrielle replied, putting on an air of offense.
"How could you think such a thing? Iím not that kind of
girl," she added defiantly.
Xena had no choice.
She laughed out loud.
"Ohhhh, I know what kind of girl
you are Gabrielle," she said walking over. She leaned
down and planted a slow, smoldering kiss on the bards lips
that made Gabrielle whimper. As she pulled away and began to
disrobe for her bath she added, "And I wouldnít have it
any other way."
a staggered sigh as she watched Xena turn and climb into the
"Iím glad you like me the way I am,"
Gabrielle whispered, making her way over to the edge of the
tub, as the warrior soaped up her body.
"You know I
love watching you touch yourself," Xena remarked; her
growing arousal evident in her voice.
yeah," Gabrielle smiled. "What else do you
see," the warrior answered, carefully considering the
question as she rinsed herself off. "I love the way that
robe always brings out the color of your eyes. I love the way
you sigh hungry and deep when I kiss that spot on your neck
right below your left ear. I love the way your small hands
wrap themselves around the back of my head when my tongueís
buried far inside you. I love-
"Okay. I get
the picture" Gabrielle nodded. She could feel the wetness
between her legs growing.
me Gabrielle," the warrior teased. "I could go on
to tell me that. I know first hand." The bard grinned as
she remarked on the warrior sexual stamina.
The pair studied
each other for a few long moments, saying nothing. Finally,
Xena glided to the other side of the tub until she was just
inches away from her bondmate. The smiles left both of their
faces the longer they studied each other. It was replaced by
want and desperate need.
Without a word,
Xena rose and picked Gabrielle up, bringing her into the tub
Ė robe and all. The bard didnít protest. Gently, Xena set
her down; the water making the garment cling to all the bards
peaks and valleys. The sight made Xena shudder. Gabrielle
could feel her warriorís trembling hands on her cheeks as
the warrior brought her in closer for a delicate kiss.
She could tell the
warrior was trying to hold back; trying to be gentle. She knew
what Xena wanted and needed. And Gabrielle decided that after
months of fragile touches it was time Xena got it Ė time
that they both got it.
Gabrielle swept the
warriors hands away and turned her; pinning the mighty warrior
princess to the tub wall. Her tongue plunged into the warriors
mouth relentlessly, twining with Xenaís again and again.
Xena began to protest after a few moments of Gabrielleís
Gabrielle whispered, in the warriors ear, sending goosebumps
across Xenaís entire body. Gabrielle felt the bumps as well
Ė her hands never resting on Xenaís flesh, touching every
part of skin that was excisable to her. "How long has it
been since weíve done this?" she asked breathlessly.
"How long has it been since weíve really taken each
other. How long since we truly gave ourselves to each other?...
I trust you Xena."
Even as she said
the words her mouth never stopped for an instant Ė tongue
licking, teeth nipping at the warriorís ear. Xena replied by
suctioning her lips to the bards neck, sucking forcefully,
knowing that it would bruise; knowing the village would see
it. The thought only aroused the warrior further. ĎMineí
she thought as her lips repeatedly captured the spot. ĎAll
mineí. Then suddenly it happened and Xena couldnít
continue. She smiled instead.
it," she whispered in Gabrielleís ear. "Thatís the
sound Iím talking about. Gods Gabrielle! Do it again
When the warrior
returned to the spot, it was automatic for the bard. She gave
the warrior just what she wanted. And not by choice. Her body
no longer was just her own. It belonged to Xena as well.
"So sexy," Xena murmured against Gabrielleís skin,
her hand reaching for the bards center. "So incredibly beautiful."
reached her destination, but not before Gabrielle helped by
thrusting her hips forward.
"Oh Gods!" Xena
exclaimed at the feel of the bard's overflowing excitement Ė
so much that she could feel it underwater. It made the bard
all the more alluring. It never ceased to amaze Xena how hot
the little red-head could get her at times like this.
Xena," the bard whimpered in encouragement at the
warriorsí stroking. "Gods... Take me."
With that, Xena
plunged her fingers deep between Gabrielleís soft folds,
letting her thumb play with the sensitive nub outside.
Gabrielleís erect nipples which stood out from under the wet
robe, quickly met Xenaís mouth. The fabric rubbed against
her skin as Xenaís mouth continued to explore her mound. The
feeling was torture and pleasure all rolled into one. When she
could no longer stand it, Gabrielleís wandering hands ripped
the robe from her body, exposing her nakedness to the hungry
warrior. Both women sighed passionately in unison as
Gabrielleís hand claimed the back of Xenaís head returning
her to her breast.
The bard's movements
and continuing whimpers told the warrior she was close.
Reluctantly and despite the protest Xena took her loving hand
away. Gabrielle groaned as the hand departed. She was
teetering on the edge of the hardest orgasm of her life and
Xena stopped. Suddenly, she felt herself being lifted and laid
out on the small deck adjoining the tub. She smiled as the
warrior submerged herself under the water, only to emerge
again between her dangling legs.
"I need to
taste you," the warrior explained in a husky breath.
She didnít wait a
moment longer. Her tongue lapped at the bard as her fingers
returned to their task, driving in and out; in and out. Xena
reached up for only a moment to grab Gabrielleís hands; to
lead them to the bard's breasts. Gabrielle grinned down at
the warrior watching her Ė the warrior who still continued
to love her with her mouth. With understanding of what Xena
wanted Gabrielle rested her head back squeezing her breasts
together and pulling at her nipples.
Xena groaned in
delight, yet wished she could be a two places at once. The
warrior held onto the bards hips drawing her closer, deeper
onto her probing tongue. Gabrielleís hand shot down to the
back of Xenaís head, pushing her onward. But unlike the neck
reaction of earlier, Xena didnít smile. Her desire was far
too great. Her need to taste, to see, to hear Gabrielleís
pleasure was overwhelming. Nothing would break this connection
she had to her bard at this moment. Nothing. And she felt
herself growl in determination of the bard's satisfaction.
Gabrielle heard the
noise and understood itís meaning. She wants me to
come, Gabrielleís mind told her. She wants me to come
with her mouth all over me. She wants to taste my excitement.
Oh Gods... All rational thought left the bards head; her
body now controlled her. She grunted and bucked against the
wet, velvet softness of Xenaís mouth, riding the warrior for
all she could.
Xena could see
Gabrielleís chest rising and falling rapidly. And she
couldnít contain herself at the sight. Her own hand shot
down to her own sex - vibrating, racing against her nub in
back and forth motions as well as circular ones. ĎLook at
what she does to youí, the warrior told herself silently.
The observation did nothing to stop the warriors efforts to
please herself however. In fact, it only added fuel to the fire
and when the warrior watched the bard arch and shudder, riding
a wave of pleasure to the height of heights, she thought that
she herself might explode as well.
With as much energy
as she could muster, Xena sprang from the waters, kissing her
way up the bard until their lips met and their tongues
connected once more. Gabrielle took her time, exploring the
warrior's mouth, tasting herself on the warriors lips - and in
doing so feeling her arousal build all over again.
"You love the
way you taste, donít you?" the warrior asked between
kisses. "You are delicious... Keep it up," the
warrior insisted between more pecks and probes. "Keep
tasting how delicious you are."
The taste of
herself was no longer satisfying to the bard upon hearing
Xenaís words. She rolled the warrior over and stared deep
into her eyes. "Iím gonna taste you."
Xena was sure of
the tone in Gabrielleís voice. Desire. Determination. All
out lust. She could hear the undying want in the bards words.
When she quickly felt the bards tongue she knew she was
dead-on accurate. She couldnít contain the moan as she
watched Gabrielleís hand shoot under the water - mimicking
her same actions that she herself did moments before.
The feel of the
bard loving her and the sight of Gabrielle pleasuring herself
again was too much. She closed her eyes against the onslaught
of erotic sights. It still did nothing to stop her sense of
hearing which was acute. She could hear the bards labored
breathing, the licking noises from her sex, the small splashes
cause by Gabrielleís hand working madly between her own legs
as she pleasured Xena.
The bard always
loved the sound of her name on Xenaís lips and it never
sounded more sweeter than times like these Ė Xenaís legs
and soul wide open for her, Xenaís body shaking from the
satisfaction only she could give her. Watching her warrior
crest was all the bard needed. She parted her mouth from her
love as her head fell back.
the bard hissed as her second orgasm ripped through her
well-fit body, shaking her, making it difficult to kneel on
the tub bench. Xena watched a moment, still not trusting
herself to move, as Gabrielle came down from her high as well.
Feeling more confident that the blood flow had returned to her
limbs again, Xena scooted back down into the water to hold her
incredible lover," Gabrielle sighed, snuggling closer to
"A lover is
only as good as their partner," the warrior answered
still fighting for air. "Iím very fortunate that you
make me look so good," she replied honestly.
Gabrielle began to
relax even more but Xena could not. Someone was there. She
could tell they had been there awhile. But still she
couldnít see them. After a quick survey of the room she had
summarized it must be just her imagination. With all the
events of the week, her nerves were still a little edgy Ė
to bed," the warrior said giving the sleepy bard a little
trouble opening her eyes but she did and Xena helped her from
the tub. She dried the bard with loving care before seeing to
herself. Then she carefully picked the bard up and carried her
the few feet to the bed.
"I can walk
you know," the bard teased as she lay in the warriors
holding you," the warrior replied softly.
and tightened her grip. "I like being held," she
responded as the warrior put her down. Quietly, both women
climbed under the covers and into each others waiting arms.
After a few moments of silence the bard spoke. "This has
been the best and worst week of my life," Gabrielle
Xena opened her
eyes. "Why?" she asked opening it up to debate.
attack... His execution," the bard offered.
"You made the
right choice, Gabrielle," the warrior insisted again.
"And as far as the attack, it could have been a lot worse.
Iíve come to except the fact you were right... I mean I did
do a lot to save the village. I saved Diteria. And as a result,
maybe even Ephiny."
closer. "And we met our original goal. We found out
whatís been tearing us apart... and as a matter of fact,
Iíve never felt closer to you than I do right now... I
didnít think it was possible to feel closer, but I do."
"Right back at ya," the warrior answered with a
sorry," Gabrielle replied.
what?" Xena asked.
you awake. Youíre tired."
you can talk to me anytime, anywhere, anyplace with anybody.
Please donít be sorry for telling me how you feel. Okay?
Because no matter how tired I am, Iíll always listen."
sleep now and weíll continue in the morning. Deal?" the
"Deal," she replied firmly.
With that, both
women closed their eyes. Tomorrow they would talk Ė about
their past, about their present and about their future. Xena
smiled as she pulled the bard closer; tighter. The future. She
actually cared about the future with a need she never felt
before. But not just THE future. THEIR future. The life they
would build together, passing down all they learned to the
next generation. Xena felt her smile grow larger at the idea
warrior thought as sleep began to claim her. Life as a
parent could be very good. She snuggled one last time into
her bard Ė the light of her life and someday the mother of