Disclaimers: The characters of Xena: Warrior Princess and all other associated with the television series of the same name are owned by MCA/ Universal Pictures. This is a work of fan fiction and no copyright infringement is intended.
Subtext: I guess with my writing so far we'll just quit calling it subtext and call it maintext. Yes they are in love with each other.
Spoilers: Callisto, A Necessary Evil
Other: Part Fifty-four in the series "Raising Melosa". Takes place right after "The Box" This segment also takes a very dark and somewhat violent turn.
By T. Novan
I approach the tent. I dont want to go in, but I have to. I have to see her. I have to try and reach her. I notice all the guards around the tent. They dont enjoy doing this and it shows on their faces. Many of them consider my Mother a good friend and this is hard on everyone.
As I approach, Delia the new village healer exits the tent. "Its as hot as Tartarus lower level in there, lift the sides of the tent a bit to let some air in." She tells the guards as I continue to them.
"But the light makes her worse." A young guard protests.
"I dont care. Shes been sedated. She needs some fresh air lift them just a bit."
"As you wish." The guard takes two others and they do as the healer has ordered.
She turns to me and smiles. "Your Highness ."
I shake my head and wave away the title. "Mel please call me Mel. How is she?"
"Im afraid the news is not good Your Mel. She seems to be slipping further away from us. Her mind is gone."
I shake my head again. "No. I cant believe that. I wont believe that. May I see her?"
"Of course you can. You do realize that she wont recognize you."
She smiled at me and nodded. "We can hope. Stay well back. She is chained and sedated but we never know when shes going to lose control."
"Has she eaten anything today?"
"No. She hasnt eaten in three days."
I drew a deep breath. "Thank you." I move away from her toward the tent opening. Aunt Eph gives me a smile as she draws the flap back for me. I enter and the flap drops back.
I simply want to give over to all of my emotions as I look into the cage that holds her. She is leaning against the back of the cell. Sitting up on the thick bed that Mom insisted be placed there for her. Her eyes are closed, her head tilted back. I look down her body. My heart sinks as I see the bandages around her wrists, over the bandages the shackles that are attached to the bars.
I know I shouldnt but I move to the side of the cage that is closest to her and I get down on my knees. Reaching a tentative hand through the bars I touch her arm. "Mother? Mom its Mel." She doesnt react to me. She continues to just sit there with her eyes closed. Maybe it is the sedatives. I refuse to believe that she has lost her mind. "Mother look at me. Please?"
She turns her head a little and opens her eyes slowly. She smiles a little. I can hear her breathing. Its hard through her nose and has little growls that come with it almost like a wounded animal.
"Mel ." She whispers. I almost dont hear her.
"Hey pal." I smile. She closes her eyes again. "No now come on Mom, stick with me here."
She shakes her head slightly. "Mel why?" She tries to lift a manacled hand but doesnt seem to have the strength.
"You dont remember?" I squeeze her arm.
She turns her head to me again and opens her eyes, tears form there as her face twitches. "No."
"Umm you went a little crazy the other night. You started tearing up the house ."
"No please no ." Her eyes fall shut and the tears stream down her cheeks. "How bad ?"
"Well you you hit Mom."
She drops her head and lets the tears fall. "Im sorry . Is she okay?"
"Yeah shes gonna be fine. Her cheek is bruised and her lip was busted ."
"Stop no more ." She looks up at me. "Mel listen to me I cant stop whats happening. Im trying but ."
"What is it Mom whats going on? Tell me so we can help you ."
Her eyes close again. Then her head lifts and a cruel smile crosses her face. The voice that comes out of her mouth is not my Mother. "You cant stop it. You cant help her. I will have my revenge."
Suddenly she jerks at the chains, making a lunge for my hand. I fall back and scoot on my hands and heels to get away from her. She laughs again as she struggles with the chains and fights them. Guards rush in with weapons drawn. She leans forward as best she can against the restraints and stares at them. "Youre all dead. You just dont know it yet!"
The guards just stand there staring at the woman raging in the cage. Aunt Eph comes over and helps me to my feet. "Mel are you okay?"
"Ah yeah ." I continue to watch her struggle with the chains. "Im. Im okay ."
Abruptly she slumps back to the bed. Her strength once again gone. Her breathing again labored. "Eph ." She rasps through heavy breaths.
We look to each other. Eph clears her throat and takes a step forward toward the cage. "Xena?"
"Eph kill me please ."
"Xena I cant ."
She looks to her friend with pleading eyes. "Im a monster you must." She licks her lips. "I hurt Ri. Broke my promise. Please do it."
I step up to the bars. "No! Dont ask that of anyone. No one here will do it. Were going to help you."
"You cant Mel. Too dangerous. You must protect your Mom ." Her eyes close again as she gives her head a violent little shake. "NO!" She growls as she fights with whatever monster is trying to take her over.
The flap opens and Mom steps inside. "Whats going on?"
Mothers eyes fly open as that same evil laugh erupts from her again. "Oh Your Majesty. Yes do come in wont you? Come let me see what Ive done." She pulls on the chains at her wrists and tries to get upright. "Id love to give you a big hug, but Im a little tied up at the moment." She laughs again as she tugs on the chains.
Moms hand goes to her throat as she watches Mother struggle against the bonds that hold her. "Xena?"
I move to her side. "No! No Mom this isnt Mother."
Without warning there is a loud sharp sound and then a clanging as the chains that hold her snap at her left wrist. Her lips turn up into a snarl as she moves forward as close as she can get to the front of the cage. She whips the broken chain at the bars. "Im coming to get you Gabrielle. Ill destroy you. Ill kill everything you love. Your amazons, your children, your grandchildren and your loving consort. You, you will die too, but not until you have watched them all die at my hand."
"Xena ." Mom says softly. "Please. What is wrong? Let us help you."
"You cant." She hisses even as more guards enter the tent. She stands up straight and looks at them. "Pathetic." All of a sudden she crumples to her knees sobbing. "Ri ." She wraps her free hand around her head covering it, refusing to look at Mom she continues to cry into the ground. "Gods Ri Im sorry ."
Mom kneels by the cage reaching through the bars, stroking her hair. "Xe my love. Look at me." The guards start forward as if to move Mom away from the bars, but she motions them back. "Xe come on honey look at me."
"No I cant ." She shakes her head. "I hurt you ."
"Xena you arent responsible. Youre sick. We want to help you. Let me help you my love." She continues to stroke her fingers through her hair. "I love you Xe."
"Love you ." She mumbles. She looks up, her face is dirty and the streaks of her tears are visible. "Ri let them kill me ."
"Xena how can you even think such a thing? Were going to get through this." She smiles as she caresses Mothers cheek.
"Do you remember the night by the fire? I promised you I wouldnt become a monster "
"Of course I do love."
"I have. Its the only choice now. Kill me. Dont let the monster out."
"Xena. Stop it. I wont even consider that as an option." Before anyone realizes it. She has grabbed Moms arm and is putting a vicious twist on it. "Xena! Stop! Youre hurting me!"
Two of the guards open the door to the cell. I take my staff and move past them. "Stay back!" Order as I move into the cell.
She rises and turned to me, still gripping Moms arm. "Back off or Ill break it I swear I will!" She sneers.
"I love you Mother but Im only going to tell you this once. Let her go!"
"Oh how cute! Gabrielle its priceless. She thinks she can take me on." She turns to Mom and glares. "Shes gonna let me break your arm Gabrielle."
"No Im not!" I raise my staff and bring it down hard across her forearm. She howls in pain and lets go of Moms arm. The guards pull Mom back and usher her outside.
Mother whirls around on me. "Oh you are sooooo gonna pay for that. You know," She growls as she steps forward. "You are as annoying as Callisto and she had to go too."
Before I am even aware. Six guards enter the cell and tackle her. Driving her hard into the ground. "Dont hurt her!"
The only thing that makes it possible for them to subdue her it the fact that one arm is still chained. I also notice as they move around her that her body has gone limp again. The place another shackle around her wrist and secure it to the bars. Then they move her back to the bed.
"Mother." I step forward only to have one of them stop me. "Dont." I pull away and move to her. Settling down with her I pull her head into my lap. "Mother?"
She opens her eyes and gives me a little smile. "Mel. Hey pal ."
"I love you Mother. Im sorry I had to hurt you."
"You had to. Mel dont let me hurt her."
"Youre a warrior Mel." She looks me directly in the eye. "You do what has to be done. Promise me ."
"I cant." I run my fingers through her hair.
"You must. Please Mel. You know. You understand. Promise me."
Tears fall from my eyes as I nod my head. "I promise. I wont let you hurt her."
"Youll do what you must?"
"Thank you " Her eyes close as I continue to hold her.
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