xippylogo.gif (33589 bytes)

Xena: Warrior Princess, its characters, and the images for the story cover are copyright to MCA/Universal Television and Renaissance Pictures. I'm just borrowing them, and of course I'm not making any profit, just trying to entertain.

This story revolves around a loving relationship between two women, what that relationship is will be up to the reader to decide.

I was a little bothered after seeing the season finale, Motherhood, so I had to stop everything I was doing, and write something to make me feel better. This story
is completely seperate from my Xenaverse, so let 's just assume for a moment that everything that has happened in the series actually happened. This short story takes place immediately after Motherhood. Let me know what you think.

Rainedrop@angelfire.com I look forward to hearing your feedback!

HoldingOnCover.jpg (74073 bytes)

Holding On


Gabrielle wasn’t sure how long they had stood there, watching Eve as she let a spider crawl over
and around her hands. At some point Xena had reached out and taken the bard’s hand in her own.
Now, Gabrielle held to that hand like a drowning woman would hold to a life preserver. It was the
only thing she could focus on, the smooth cool skin on Xena’s hand, the warmth their touch
created, and the familiar scar between Xena’s thumb and forefinger that Gabrielle now rubbed her
finger along.

As the sun set behind the mountains in the far distance, Xena suggested they make camp. Without
another word, the three of them set about their chores. After the events of the day, Gabrielle’s
head ached dully, which was a constant reminder of what had happened. Gabrielle didn’t know if
she should feel betrayed, angry, or thankful. All she knew was that it left her feeling deeply
sorrowed. There was a distance between the warrior and bard that had never seemed so great.
Always before Gabrielle had that seed of hope planted within her, but now she felt so barren...so
empty. It wasn’t a distance that had formed out of the events of today, but a distance that had
been growing for the past year, and to be truthful Gabrielle believed that it had begun with the
discovery that Xena was pregnant.

The fire danced and crackled cheerily, casting warm glows on the three somber faces settled
around the comfort of the blazing fire. Gabrielle couldn’t bring her eyes up to meet the warrior’s,
she could only stare sightless into the flames, replaying in her mind Xena’s words.

“You’ve got your daughter back,” Gabrielle said, stoically.

“No, we’ve got our daughter back,” Xena corrected through a proud smile directed at Eve.

That simple acknowledgment should have reinforced the bond of their relationship, but instead the
words rang hollow and fell like dead weight to the bottom of Gabrielle’s soul. She had waited for
so long to hear Xena say them, maybe too long.

An aching silence stretched across the campsite, until the intensity of it was more than Eve could
bear. With a nod of goodnight to the warrior and bard, Eve kneeled on her bedroll, and rolled
over pulling a light blue blanket over her shoulders. Her eyelids closed involuntarily, and her
breathing began to come in a slow steady rhythm, and soon she was asleep. Xena watched the
young girl, with what ifs and if onlys in her mind. Eve looked so innocent and young as she slept,
and yet there was always something darker boiling just under the surface.

Xena sighed deeply, pushing her uneasiness to the back of her mind, and turned her thoughts to
the quiet bard sitting across the fire. Just to look at her face took all breath from Xena’s body.
Gabrielle’s eyes were void of any expression, and she had her hands wrapped around herself as if
attempting to comfort herself. She looked lonely and lost.

Xena stood up, and walked the short distance around the fire. Quietly, she sat down beside
Gabrielle, and searched her face for any sign of emotion. She had no words for the woman, and
that alone delivered a jolt of pain to her chest. A single thought hit her then, and it was all she
could do not to retch everything in her stomach. A short gasp escaped her lips, bringing the bard
to glance sideways at the warrior. Her eyes held questions that Xena wasn’t sure she could ever

The terrible thought gave way to words as Xena struggled to keep the lid on her emotions. “I’m
losing you, aren’t I?” she asked, desperately.

What?” Gabrielle managed to utter. “You aren’t losing me,” she answered all the while thinking,
it’s me who’s lost you.

“I can feel it, Gabrielle. I can’t get the image out of my mind of you lying unconscious on the
ground, your blood on my hands,” Xena whispered, dauntingly. “What did I do to you?” she
asked through a silent cry, as she put her hand up to Gabrielle’s head where the wound had been.

Gabrielle looked down at her shaking hands, and tried to sort her thoughts into words. “You did
what you had to do,” she answered numbly.

“No, there had to have been another way. There’s always another way, Gabrielle. Don’t evade
this, please,” Xena begged.

“I saw Hope,” Gabrielle confessed suddenly. Xena’s face dropped instantly at the name. “She
came to me, Xena, and she said only I could stop the violence, that I had to be brave for you.”

“I’m so sorry, Gabrielle,” Xena said gently.

“And Joxer came to me, saying that I had to kill Eve...” Gabrielle added with a sniffle. “...and I
just blanked out. When I woke up, you were kneeling over me, and I thought to myself, that’s it.
I’ve lost her. I’ve done the one thing she could never forgive me for.”

“Gabrielle, no, you’ve done nothing wrong. Please know that. I can’t tell you how sorry I am,”
the warrior said through a soft whispered sob.

A single hot tear ran down Gabrielle’s cheek, as she looked up at the warrior’s perfect blue eyes.
More than anything, the bard wanted to just take Xena by the hand and run away from all of
this...pretend it never happened. But Gabrielle knew this was one day they could never pretend
away, and if they kept running, they would only run in separate directions. “I don’t know how to
feel Xena, about any of it,” she admitted finally. “There’s something between us now that’s never
been there before, and that frightens me.”

“What, Gabrielle? What is it?”

“I don’t feel like you need me anymore, Xena.” It was hard for Gabrielle to say the words, but
they were said now, and she couldn’t take them back.

Xena blinked away a storm of tears, shaking her head in disbelief. “Do I make you feel that

“Xena, no...” Gabrielle began before she was interrupted.

“Tell me, Gabrielle. Do I make you feel that way?” Xena asked forcefully.

Gabrielle rubbed at her eyes in irritation, and shouted, “Yes!” She put her head in her hands, and
wept in short painful sobs.

It was like a knife in Xena’s chest, the pain was so real. It took the breath from her, and choked
off her words. How could I have done this to you, she asked herself. “Oh, Gabrielle,” Xena
whispered. She pulled herself closer to the bard, and reached out her arms to bring her into an
embrace. Gabrielle buried her head into the warrior’s chest, and held her with all of her strength.
Xena held the woman for a long time, her own tears falling to Gabrielle’s golden hair, as she
gently rocked back and forth. She rested her chin on the bard’s head, and closed her eyes
searching for the words to convince Gabrielle that she loved her above all else.

Finally, Gabrielle pulled back from the warrior, and wiped away at the moisture running down her
face. Xena put her hand under the bard’s chin and forced her to look the warrior in the eyes.
“There was a time when I was in need, and you came and you brought comfort and love to me,
two things I never truly knew. You stole my heart, you healed my past, and if there is one thing I
know in this life, it’s that I need you. I can lay everything I am at your feet and not be afraid that
you’ll turn me away,” Xena said, solemnly. “You, Gabrielle, are my path in this life, and it makes
me ache inside to know that you even have to question that...to know that I gave you cause to

“Xena,” Gabrielle said the word with such reverence, “those are all things I’ve done in the past,
tell me why you need me now.” Gabrielle’s heart had to hear the words.

“Because, Gabrielle, I love you. I need you more than I need to breathe. I can’t imagine a life
without you, because you are my life.”

Gabrielle let out a weak relieved laugh, followed by the sound of weeping. She sank into the
warmth of Xena’s arms and let a year’s grief blow away with the light cool breeze that lifted the
warrior’s hair off her face.

Gabrielle looked up to meet the Xena’s eyes, and with a smile that lit up her face, she said, “I
missed you, Xena.”

Xena closed her eyes in aching comfort and let the tears fall freely down her face. “I know.” Xena
reached out and put a tender light kiss on Gabrielle’s lips, relishing the serenity that single act
could give her.

Return to The Bard's Corner