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.

Sex: None

Violence: Mild

Language: Mild


Other: Part Sixty–six in the series "Raising Melosa". Takes place right after "Decisions, Decisions." This is from Xena and Gabrielle’s POV.



What Do You Fear

By T.Novan


My arm hurt like Tartarus and my shoulder throbbed, I felt the numbing in my fingers. I knew it would only be a matter of time before the arm was completely useless. As we continued down the tunnel Mel and Autolycus followed behind me. The two healthy ones, following the wounded one. I’m so proud. I sighed. "Umm Mel maybe you should take the lead here."

"Okay." Mel moved forward slowly taking point. She moved tentatively, carefully paying attention to every little thing. "So would any one like to bet on what we’re gonna find?"

"Artemis?" Autolycus offered.

I couldn’t help it. I turned around and smacked him on the arm.

"Hey! No beating the thief."

"Yeah, well keep your stupid answers to yourself." I growled as we stared at each other. He just grinned at me and I felt my frustration melt away. "I’m sorry Autolycus. I’m afraid my arm is making me a little cranky."

"Gee and I just thought it was your personality that made you that way."

"You know, it’s a good thing…." I couldn’t finish the sentence. Pain shot through my arm causing my to suck in a gulp of air and collapse against the wall. Autolycus caught me once again helping me sit down.

"Mel hold up." He called as he knelt down next to me. He began checking my bandages. "Xena you need to get this treated."

"No time now. We’ll deal with it when we’re done."

"Look I hate to argue with you on this one…."

"Then save us both the trouble and don’t." I glanced up to see Mel returning to us. I lowered my voice, so only Autolycus could hear me. "I don’t want her to worry. I’ll be fine."

He took my dagger from my boot with a disgusted little breath then cut one of the sleeves from his shirt. Then he split it into two pieces. "Well let’s at least bind it to your body. If we can keep it from moving around, that may help with the pain."

I nodded as he began binding my arm. "Your clothes are really taking a beating my friend."

"Yeah, well you don’t know it yet, but you’re buying me a new shirt when we’re done here." He tied my arm off with the strips, making sure it wouldn’t move anymore than necessary. "Nice blue Egyptian silk I think." He grinned at me as he finished with my arm.

"It will be my pleasure."

Mel knelt down, offering me a water skin. "How you doing?"

"Eh, I’ll live." I took the skin and took a nice long drink.

"Maybe you should go back outside and wait." Mel quirked her brow at me. "Your arm…."

"I am not going back outside. We are going to see this through together." I handed the water back to her and forced myself up. "I’ve still got one good arm and I know how to use it." She nodded as she capped the skin. I looked to Autolycus who also nodded. "Well I’m glad that’s settled. Let’s go."

We continued into the tunnel. Mel stopped to examine some writing on the wall. She cocked her head as she passed the torch over the inscription.

"What does it say Mel?" I asked as she ran her hand over it to brush away some dust.

"It lives deep inside. It destroys from within." Mel turned to us.

I heard Autolycus suck in a deep breath. "Oh that’s not good."

"Well so far I haven’t been pleased with most of this trip." I stepped past him to look at the inscription.

"What do you think it means?" Mel brushed a little more dust away.

"I don’t know. I’m thinking that it’s not talking about whatever is in the tunnel."

"So it’s not deep inside the caves? Where then?"

I put my finger to her head. "Here," I moved to her heart. "And here."

"Ah I got you. They’re going to play with our minds."

"So it would seem. Okay now we have to be prepared. The things we see and feel may not be real."

"Great," Autolycus grumbled. "Just great. There I was," He mumbled as he ripped the other sleeve from his shirt. "Just about to go up to my room and spend the evening with myself blissfully wrapped around some nice young lady and now I’m in a tunnel…." He trailed off as he just shook his head.

"I’d much rather be home taking care of my little girl and wrapped blissfully around my wife too, but…."

"Yeah, I got you my friend. In for a dinar, in for a for gold piece." He smiled at me. "So what kind of mind games do you think we can expect?"

"Oh who knows. These are Gods we’re dealing with and Hera has never been known for her sense of humor." I draw a deep breath. "Ready?"

"As ready as we can be." The both agree.

As we approach a larger part of the cavern I saw some carvings I recognized. I grabbed Mel by the arm as the realization started to set in. "Mel what’s your worst fear?"


What’s your worst fear?"

"I never really thought about it…."

"Autolycus? Your biggest fear, what is it?"


"Come on now is not the time to be shy what is it?"


I managed to hold back the laugh as I turned to him. "Mice?"

"Yeah it’s a long and painful story, but let’s just say that after you’ve had mice in your pants you develop a whole new respect for them."

"I can only imagine." I turned back to Mel. "Mel honey think hard this is going to be very important. What’s your worst fear?"

She looked to me as she licked her lips. "Losing you."

"Okay," I moved to the inscription on the entrance of the bigger cavern. "We are about to face our biggest fears. Can you do it? Mel can you continue without me?"

"No." She grabbed my good arm. "No I can’t do this without you."

"Mel if your biggest fear is losing me, it could happen. You’ll have to go on without me. Mel promise me, no matter what happens…Kessa’s life and the lives of a lot of amazons depend on it."

"I can’t…."

"Not too long ago you were willing to kill me to protect your Mom. It’s the same thing. It’s up to you and Autolycus."

She nodded. I looked to my friend, he agreed. "Mel get my sword." She pulled my sword from the sheath. I gripped it in my left hand adjusting the balance as we entered the cavern.



I paced around the main room of the house. The messenger stood waiting. "I can’t leave right now."

"But Your majesty we need you."

"My little girl is sick…."

"Yes Your Majesty I know and I’m sorry, but a lot of amazons have this fever. Eight of the twelve queens have also died because of it. The nation is crumbling. We need your leadership."

A knock on the door disturbed my thoughts as I crossed the room. I opened to door to find Ephiny and Delia. "Gabrielle we came as soon…"

I nodded and ushered them in. "Eph we have a big problem."

"What’s going on?"

"Mira," I gestured to the messenger. "Is here from the tribes from the north. The fever has claimed all of the queen’s from those tribes. They want me to come and try to help them regroup."

"What about the regents of those tribes?" Ephiny directed the question at Mira.

"Regent Ephiny, with all due respect, not all the queens of our nation have the leadership qualities and foresight that your Queen has. Not all of the tribes had regents. Not all of those Queens were willing to share their rule or their power. That is why the tribes have voted to seek out the guidance of Queen Gabrielle. We believe she is the only one who can lead the survivors of the plague from the darkness."

"It’s not a plague Mira, it’s a fever." I said as I took a seat at my desk and began writing a letter.

"I’ve lost many friends Your Majesty. To me it’s a plague."

I nodded as I continued to write. "Ephiny take Kessa over to the village so Delia can care for her. Kai, Bailus and Rosa are still with Solan and Alana. The fever hasn’t seemed to disturb the Centaurs or Solan’s place so we don’t need to worry about them."

"Of course Gabrielle. What are you doing?"

"I’m going with her." I finished the letter, blowing on it gently to dry the ink before folding it and sealing it with my wax seal. I kissed it before standing and crossing to Eph. "Give this to Xena when she comes home." I pressed the parchment into her hands. "Tell her I love her and I’ll be home as soon as I can."

Ephiny nodded as I turned to my room to pack. I packed and changed into my traveling clothes, as I sat down on the bed to pull on my boots I looked over to the table on Xe’s side of the bed. On a display stand was a medallion I gave her many seasons ago. It was a gold medal with chakram with a scroll etched in the center. She never wore it, telling me that she was afraid she’d lose it. I know the truth, she never wore it because Xe didn’t wear a lot of jewelry. Our bonding bracelet was almost too much for her, I smiled as I took the medallion from the display and slipped it over my head, tucking it in my tunic. I need her close to my heart for this trip.

I grabbed my saddlebags from the bed and returned to the main room. Ephiny was sending Delia back to the village with Kessa. I stopped them at the door as the healer held my little girl in her arms I said good-bye to her. She still burned with fever and I doubted that she heard my words, but I kissed her forehead and said them anyhow. "Love you Princess. Hold on."

"She’ll be fine Your Majesty." Delia gave me a warm smile as she wrapped Kessa in a blanket. "She has a good strong bloodline."

"That she does. Thank you Delia."

"I’ll make sure to tend to her personally Your Majesty. Please be careful. Your people need you too."

"If we are lucky," Mira started. "She will be my Queen soon too." She smiled at me.

"Well let me go saddle a horse…."

"Gabrielle," Ephiny moved to me gripping my arms. "Take my horse, it’s saddled and ready to go. Please be careful. Hurry home my friend."

"Thanks Eph. Take care of things and please make sure Xe gets the note."

"I will, on both counts."



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