Xena, Gabrielle, Argo and all other characters who have appeared in the series Xena: Warrior Princess, are the sole copyright property of MCA/Universal and Renaissance Pictures. No copyright infringement was intended in the writing of this fan fiction. All other characters, the story idea and the story itself are my property. Please do not use my characters without my consent. NOTE: All works remain the © copyright of the original author.


This story depicts scenes of violence and/or their aftermath. Readers who are disturbed by or sensitive to this type of depiction may wish to read something other than this story.


This story depicts a love/sexual relationship between two consenting adult women. If you are under 18 years of age or if this type of story is illegal in the state or country in which you live, please do not read it. If depictions of this nature disturb you, you may wish to read something other than this story.

It’s happened many times before, but this time is different. Can the consequences of bringing the one you love back, cost you everything? A  post fin story.

For more stories from Ellixer, visit her page on The Bard's Corner



The Resurrection and The Life: Vol I Resurrection

By Ellixer


I find myself back in the mystical place of India. A place that holds mixed emotions for me but has become my refuge for the time being. I'm not sure how long it has been, years maybe since Xena left the mortal realm.

Now I pray and meditate to Shiva, for I know he will bring Xena back to me in the flesh. Her urn holds a place upon the altar that I sit before while her visage walks beside me, lays beside me, and whispers in my ear. Her destiny hasn't been fulfilled yet; it's only a matter of time before she is brought back to me. So I wait and I pray.

The sound of the rain falling down in a rushing torrent wakes me from my fitful sleep. I haven't truly rested since she left, I don't  know if I ever truly will. A flash of lighting, boom of thunder; I wonder what God is unhappy as I stand to look out the window. The street below has become a river of mud; panicked people are fleeing their homes with children and their few possessions on their shoulders. Should I leave? Where would I go?

Sigh. Xena what should I do?

I look to her urn; the urge to cry left me long ago, but the sorrow still stings me to my bones. It takes me a moment to gather my few belongings. I hug Xena's ashes to my chest as I step out of the inn, the rain soaking me immediately. I don't  know where I'm going; my feet just seem to move, pulling me in a different direction than the fleeing masses. The pull is unnatural, an invisible string leading up the mountain. My feet suck into the thick mud with each step I take. I strain and struggle, a fight against the very earth I'm walking on.

I'm not sure how long I walk, nor how far; but as I come to the crest of a hill my feet stop, my knees giving out under me in exhaustion. The rain only seems to be falling harder as lighting scratches and crawls its way across the night sky. I'm blinded by a flash, causing me to shield my eyes in the crook of my arm. Spots dance before me momentarily; as they clear, I find I'm no longer alone.

The God I've been praying to is standing before me. The rain doesn't seem to touch his skin, which glows despite the darkness. I watch as he reaches down towards me, taking the urn without so much as a sound. Fear rises up like bile into my throat, constricting me as I watch him remove the lid. I don't move, I can't . Slowly, he spreads the ashes along the ground where it's instantly soaked up into the mud, seemingly disappearing. He reaches out again, fingers grazing my cheek for a mere second before lightning hits the ground in front of me. The earth explodes, throwing me back with a ferocity that causes blackness to engulf my vision.

I don't  know if I'm out for long, but as my eyes creep open again I find nothing has changed. I'm alone in the dark, rain still falling down like a waterfall, the noise is so loud. Was it a dream? I look around, unsure of what to do or think. Slowly I crawl my way forward till I'm once again at the spot where Xena's ashes were spread. The mud undulates as if a million little bugs crawl just beneath its surface. I watch in utter shock as fingers pierce the thick viscosity, then an arm. Slowly a body claws its way up from the earth without so much as a sound. This can't  be? The rain begins to wash the mud from the figure, revealing a person underneath.

Sobs begin to choke my throat, my vision becomes blurred by my own tears. I have to be dreaming, this can't be true. The mud is washing away, revealing the skin, the scars, the figure of a ghost I've been living with for so long. I can't  say her name, no matter how hard I try, the word cannot get past my lips. Her eyes open, glistening blue with new life.

I reach out tentatively, afraid that this is all a mirage. Her skin feels cold under my touch, but not a deathly cold. She's real, so very real. The next few minutes become a blur I can barely remember. After wrapping a blanket around her, we stumble our way to a cave.

Mud still streaks her bare body which has begun to shake from the cold. She doesn't speak, but her eyes are following my every move as I rush to gather dry bits of wood and tinder and I finally manage to get a fire going. Grabbing another dry fur from my satchel and I wrap it around Xena. I can't  bring myself to look her in the eyes; memories are scratching away at the surface of my sanity.

Her body bares the faint scars of her last battle in Japa. While she seems fully healed, the scars are a visual reminder of the sins she died for. I hesitate a moment, but cannot stop my fingers from reaching out and tracing the scar that circles her neck. Bile fights its way up my throat momentarily as the memory of her decapitated body flashes before my eyes. I pull my fingers away hastily and try to busy myself with setting up a camp in this damp cave.

Her eyes continue to follow me, and finally, I get the courage to look back. Life is beginning to glow behind those dark orbs. Her lips move but no sound escapes. I wonder if she is the same person who left me so long ago, or if she will become someone else entirely.

She lifts her arm haltingly upwards toward me, her fingers curling up and down in a gesture that stops me in my tracks for a brief moment. I move forward, forgetting whatever it was i’d been doing to fall to my knees and wrap my arms around her shivering form. Slowly she manages to do the same, though her grip is far less severe than mine. I'm surrounded by a sense of familiarity. Tears, which I thought had dried up long ago, spring to my eyes once again.

"XenaXena…" I whisper over and over. I just want to hear my name fall from her lips once again. "Are you real?" My face is pressed into the bare skin of her chest. Her body is beginning to warm against me, as if to reassure me of her existence. Her arms squeeze just a little tighter around me as we sit huddled together.

"Gabrielle." Finally it comes, the barest audible rasping whisper; but it's her. This only makes my tears fall harder, sobs replacing any words I try to form. We stay like this, refusing to let go, falling asleep in each other's arms. The night passes us by, and with it the storm that brought us back together.


Chapter 2


"Xena." I finally speak again sometime after the sun has come up. My body is wrapped possessively around hers as we lay in the bedroll. The fire died some time ago, but I refuse to leave the refuge of her embrace. "Please don't  tell me you"ve come back only to fulfill another debt." Xena doesn't speak but I know she's  awake and listening. "I love you beyond any words I could ever write, but I cannot watch you die again, not so soon." A small sigh escapes her lips. "Next time you go, I go too…."

"I'm sorry." Her voice is low and raspy, but it's her voice. I lift my head to see tears glisten in her eyes.

"I'm afraid to let go." I confess as I wipe away a stray tear from her cheek.

"I never left." Confirmation that I wasn't  insane with grief, but that Xena really did walk beside me all these years, at least some of the time.

It's a slow process I think, one that perhaps we both know too well. This time though it's different. It's been years since she was a whole person, since she was simply alive. I find it painful to leave her side, but I have no choice at the moment. We are very close to a village abandoned in the night. The storm brought a sea of mud down upon the small enclave, destroying nearly all the homes and shops.

I do manage to find Xena some clothes, though they were made for a man; then I scrounge up the bits of food stuff that hasn't been destroyed. I try to do these things quickly fore I can't  help but worry that Xena will not be in the cave when I return. I'm plagued with an anxiety that I can't  shake.

Xena is sleeping silently when I return; I don't  think she even moved while I was gone. I wish there was a way that I could preserve this image of her. Every second I spend gazing at her I feel like I want to cry. My heart and soul were broken and now it feels like each piece is putting itself painfully back together.

Xena begins to stir when the sun is high in the sky and I find I haven't moved for the longest time. My heart is beating hard against my breast; I'm waiting for this dream to end.

"Stop staring at me." Her voice is still weak, her body moving slow as she tries to sit up. The fur falls off her shoulders, pooling at her thighs. Scars mark the points on her body where arrows struck; they dot her skin like the spots on a leopard.

"How are you feeling?" My eyes can't  stop scanning the bit of skin she's  exposed to me.

"I'm feeling." She winces slightly. "I feel like I've been brought back from the dead." She smirks at her own joke. I don't  think it's even a little funny.

"Xena, I nearly gave up." My body is visibly shaking; I just don't  find any of this funny right now. There’s been too much pain for far too long. I think I've had this conversation with her a million times now; but have I really? "Were you really here with me? I wasn't crazy this whole time?"

"I've always been here." The seriousness returns in her voice. "They could take my life, but they couldn't  take my soul. That belongs to you." Sometimes she just says the exact perfect thing. My eyes tear again, and I'm beginning to annoy myself.

"You know I haven't cried in such a long time, and now I just can't  seem to stop." I laugh a little, furiously wiping the tears from my cheeks.

"But they're happy right?"

"Yeah." My nose is running now. God"s I'm a mess. "Jeez Xena; I don't  know whether to hug you or to hit you right now."

"Come here." She beckons with her head just slightly. I get up and walk the few steps to where she is sitting among the furs. "Come on." She reaches up for my hand, guiding me to sit down in front of her. Despite the paleness of her skin and her weak demeanor, she still has the air of a true warrior. Our fingers intertwine, her hands don't  seem to feel as rough as they used to. Turning her hand over, my fingers delicately trace the life lines of her palm. I remember the nights when I would massage the tired muscles; each line and crease in her palms etched into my brain.

I used to push those memories down deep; it was the only way to stay sane. I've been able to see her, and talk to her, but not really touch her. Not like this. This is real. she's  not a ghost anymore; she's  not a figment of my imagination.

"Xena." I breathe her name out in a long sigh. Her fingers curl around my hand, stopping the flow of memories for a brief moment. But as my head lifts and I look into her eyes, those memories jump around in my brain once again. The chaos they're causing is immense.

"Shhhhhh." Her hand cups my cheek, and as I lean into it, her thumb gently swipes across my lips. God’s. My heart is jumping in my chest; my lungs refuse to suck in air.

"I feel like I'm about to die." It's hard for me to get the words out. Her other hand comes up, cupping the other cheek as she tries to get me to focus on her eyes. She swallows hard, her breathing becoming just as fast as mine. All of this is happening because of a look, because of a small touch. Because I love her beyond any love ever described. I refuse to dwell on the fact that she was gone. No, at this very moment I want to revel in her touch. I want to feel everything.

I find myself surging forward, my lips crushing against hers. Even as the tears slide down my cheeks, I'm forgetting why I'm sad. And as her fingers sink into my skin, I forget for a moment what sadness is. Her tongue touches mine for the first time and this moment is all I can think about.

My hands curl into fists as I grasp her hair; my legs wrapping around her waist. I don't  care if she's  sore or in any pain; I can't  contain the fierceness with which I want to show my love. I take her bottom lip between my teeth, tugging, perhaps a little too hard. Xena only groans in response, her body pushing a little more into mine.

My tongue pushes its way into her mouth and I'm tasting her again for the first time. It makes me hunger for more; makes me desire to make my body and my soul merge with hers. My lips are becoming bruised with each kiss, but I can't  stop.

My hands begin to dance across her body; remapping skin I once knew so well. Despite the scars, she still feels exotic under my touch. Her body still responds like she was made specifically for me; to be manipulated only by my hands.

Finally a migration begins. Her lips move down my neck; teeth grazing my skin, making me gasp. My clothes are removed in a frenzy of movement and thrown to the side. Her eyes sparkle as they dance across my newly exposed body. She needs me as much as I need her; I can't  begin to imagine what's going through her mind.

Her hands rake up my sides as her lips and tongue tease my breasts. My emotions are quickly beginning to overwhelm me. As I bring her lips to mine, I can feel the sobs building up inside me; and incredible pain seems to be etching itself across my heart. I'm beginning to feel strangled by my own grief; grief I thought I had buried so well long ago.

Xena senses this change in me, but I refuse to give in. I can taste the salt of my tears on her lips as my tongue dances across them. With each breath she manages to gasp, she is saying my name; asking a thousand questions with just one word.

I just want to be a part of her, to feel the heat of her body surrounding my fingers. It takes very little time for my hand to drop and find my way inside. She lets out a startled gasp, her body constricting momentarily with shock. I feel desperate to show her how much I need her right now, so my fingers move at a hard rapid pace in and out.

My head falls to her shoulder as I cry and groan and let everything go.



Chapter 3


I'm exhausted, so very exhausted. My body trembles in Xena's arms, as I cling to her. Part of me hates her right now for what she did to me.

"What did you have to give up?" She whispers against the top of my head. Why does she have to ask this now?

"What does it matter?"

"No God would do this without a price." Roughly, I pull away, gathering my clothes and pulling them back on.

"And what would you have done Xena? Even if it was my choice to die?" The anger continues to build inside me. I can't control it.

"Anything, everything." She swallows hard.

"Then don't  ask me that." I'm practically growling.


"Don't do that Xena!" Every muscle in my body is tense with rage. "After everything, you have no right!" Sorrow battles with my anger for control. Shaking my head, I turn away from the source of my torment. "I need to find us some food." Without so much as a glance back, I walk away.

I'm suffocating, drowning in these conflicting emotions. I thought I had forgiven her. I thought I had risen above that moment she stopped me from bringing her back. There was a hole inside me after that. It only grew with each passing day. Her constant presence did nothing to stop the decay my heart was experiencing.

Whooping sounds of monkeys in the trees above breaks me out of my thoughts. The dense foliage surrounding me is unfamiliar. I have no idea how long I've been walking, nor how far. I sigh from somewhere deep in my soul. This is not how I thought it would be.

Why? Why, why, why? Why did she have to do this to me? The visage of her headless body haunts me unyieldingly. And yet. I have her back. She was in my arms. How can I still torment for what was lost, when I now have it back. She's  back. Sobs bubble out. Crouching down to the forest floor, I put my face in my hands. I scream out in attempt to release the pain. Tears falling like rain.

"Gabrielle." Her voice sounds strangled. Reaching down, Xena pulls me up and against her body.

"Xena." I sob, repeating her name over and over in such a desperate fashion. Her arms tighten, holding me as close as possible.

"I'm sorry." She whispers. Can I forgive her? Of course. How is that even a thought?

"I'm sorry too." I mumble against her chest. This just isn't how I thought things would go. Slowly, and with great care, she walks us back to the cave.

"You haven't taken care of yourself." Xena states, sitting me back down on the furs. She moves now with much more purpose and strength.

"No." I know I haven't. At one point I stopped eating altogether. It was only when I came across Eve that she forced me to eat again. Xena roots around the supplies I had gathered from the village nearby.

"Here." Xena says, handing me some fruit as she takes a bite of her own. I stare down at it, rolling it around in my hands. "Eat." She insists. I take a bite, the sweet juices gushing out and down my chin. My stomach begins to protest, urging the little bit of food back up.

Xena watches me from where she stands. Analyzing my every movement and facial expression. I attempt another bite, this one going down a little easier.

"What have you done to yourself?" Her voice is nearly imperceptible, and I don't  think I was meant to hear. Worry, pain, sadness all flit across her face.

"What is the price you have to pay?" Xena asks again. I shake my head sadly.

"You don't want to know."

"Yes, I do." Taking a deep breath, I steady my nerves.

"Shiva came to me with a proposition. All I had to do was… lie with a man." I don't  bother finishing.

"Why?" Her voice waivers.

"Why do you think?" I narrow my eyes at her.

"Tell me." Her voice cracks.

"He plans to be reborn as a fierce warrior. I promised to be the one….." I'm finding it hard to go on.

"What?" She has become so still that I wonder if her heart even beats. I don't  answer.

"And…..after?" I stare at the half eaten fruit in my hand. "Gabrielle?." Her voice holds trepidation. I look her in the eye.

"I bring him back here to be raised by a sage." Silence settles over us. I was willing to pay any price.

"Gabrielle." Xena says my name as if she's  in pain. Tears begin to fall down her cheeks. "That is too high a price to pay."

"And the price I paid when you died?" I lost everything. She has no words for me. "This is my choice." I throw the fruit in my hand into the flames. She has no right to judge me. We sit in an all consuming silence for what may be hours.

Finally, Xena gets up and sits next to me. Lacing her fingers in mine, she kisses my temple. I lean into her, resting my head on her shoulder.

"I'm sorry." I breathe out.

"Don't  you ever be sorry for this. You brought me back to you, we're  together. We were always meant to be together."

"I love you so much."

"I love you too."


Chapter 4


The sun rises again; finding Xena curled against my back, arms wrapped possessively around me. In these few silent moments of peace, I take solace in the fact that I have her here. The warmth of her body is now a tangible thing. Her touch no longer a memory.

Hot lips kiss softly at my neck. I move my head, offering up more skin for these delicate touches. She pulls me tighter against her body.

"I've missed this." Her lips whisper against my skin. "Even now, I miss it. I will never get enough to fill that gap." A hand slides up my stomach, cupping my breast. "The way you smell, the way you feel… the way you taste."

"Xena." I plead.

"Nothing could ever replace you. Nothing could ever fill me the way you do." Teeth nip at my neck, her other hand sliding down my stomach, pushing at my skirt. Her fingers gently explore the curve of my hip. My eyes close, just reveling in the softness of her touch. In sure, methodical movements, she removes my clothes, only to pull my body back against hers once more.

Xena's bare skin burns against mine. Unlike the day before, there's no fervor to her exploratory touch. This is something altogether different. Where I sought affirmation and security. Xena seeks to renew the passion we once had.

I sink into this moment of connectivity. Fixing the gaps in my heart that had been torn asunder. Revel in pure joy at all the sensations her fingers alone elicit.

"I have never loved anyone the way I love you." Her whispered affirmations in my ear heal my soul. Everything about Xena is tender in this moment. Her hand slides inside my thigh, pulling my leg up and exposing me.

Xena breathes long and hard into my neck as she slides her fingers inside. I tremble at the sensation. My heart stutters in my chest as she moves her fingers slowly within me.

Meandering kisses trail from my neck to my shoulder. Xena's hand moves so excruciatingly slow, I whimper for need of more.

"Are you mine?" She asks, voice trembling.

"I've always been yours." How many times have I told her this before?

"I am forever yours." Xena shifts me just enough so she can reach my lips. My hand curls around her neck to pull her close.. The kisses are so delicate, it's as if they might shatter. Still she moves within me with no sense of urgency. My body seethes for more.

"Please." I beg against her lips.

"No." She whispers against mine. This torture is so extreme, I feel I might just break. I feel life at the end of her fingers. It pours into me with every slow gliding movement. I'm becoming whole in ways I’d forgotten I was even empty.

Time has melted away from us, and so has the world. Nothing exists but these two bodies here, drowning happily inside each other.

The pace increases. Xena's thumb now hits that spot of electricity that causes my body to strain with its burn. I try to kiss her with the same intensity I feel inside. Xena refuses to give up control though.

I hiss through my teeth as again the pace increases. Even now it’s slow, but I feel the fire and its imminent explosion. Xena's forehead falls to my temple as I'm overcome with gasps and groans.

She increases the pace just enough to set me off. To cause every muscle in my body to strain against my skin. I yell out Xena's name, grasping desperately for her. For a few brief moments, I'm floating off somewhere amongst the ecstacy filled clouds, only to come back down crying.

Xena turns me, pulling me against her chest. I don't  even know why I'm crying, except that there just seems to be so many emotions to let out.

"Shhh." She whispers against my head. If I could lay like this in her arms forever, I would.



Chapter 5


"We have to send word to Eve." I mention as we once again pull our clothes on.

"Where is she?" Xena asks with the excitement only a mother can have.

"Near Greece last I heard." I begin lacing my boots. "But, I can't  go back there."

"Why?" She hisses at me.

"Ares." I feel like this should say it all. Xena is silent, face pinched as if she's  thinking really hard.

"What happened?" She asks slowly. I stand, cracking my back as I do so.

"When I got back, he had already heard. He was raging because I was still alive. He blamed me, and tried to kill me for it." I shrug. "I nearly died." Xena's eyebrows shoot up as if in sudden realization. "And if we go back and you're  alive…..who knows what he'll do this time."

"We have to go back, if only just to stop the chaos he is wreaking." She leans down, hand on my shoulder. I knew it would be ridiculous of me to hope for anything less. Even with Xena back, Ares will still want me dead. I turn from her; frustrated that I still can't , for once, be more important. Digging through my things, I grab the chakram and hand it to her.

"No, Gabrielle.."

"No, I don't  want it." I shove it into her hand and turn, packing my things. I can hear the sound of metal scraping across her skin as she turns it over and over in her hands. "Come on, we should get on the road." I walk, leaving Xena momentarily stunned. I've changed, for better or worse I don't  know. But Xena doesn't really know me now.

Jungle closes in on us as we follow a well worn path. A cacophony of life surrounds us, making up for the fact we are silent. I remember a time when I would voice every thought in my head. Those days seem like another lifetime, and, really, maybe they were.

"We need to get you a weapon." I say after a time. "Since you hid your sword and armor, I was never able to find it." I clench my jaw, pushing away the resentment. Xena's hand moves to the small of my back, draining away the frustration I feel. Muscles I didn"t even realize were strained, begin to relax. Xena doesn't speak, but she doesn't have to does she? Her simple gesture is meant to ground me, to reassure that she is here by my side.

"We'll figure everything out." She reassures. If only I could believe so easily, my worries would drift away on the wind.

"I know." I give her a tentative smile. My heart turned to stone when she left. It will take time to chip that hardness away. "I wish things could be the way they were." I admit.

"Maybe it's better they aren’t." Her eyes scan through the dense foliage.

"Maybe." We navigate around a washed out bridge. Already clouds are building in the distance, ready to empty their contents. "I had dreamed for so long of what could have been. I already realize that just isn't going to happen." We climb over a fallen tree. The sounds of life not too far off.

"I know." Why is this all she says? "We need to get food. Do you have money?" Xena asks, sidestepping the topic.

"Yes." I sigh. After a time we reach a little town. There seems to be minimal damage, the people walk about doing their daily activities. I hand Xena the bag of money, nodding towards the blacksmith. "You can get a weapon over there."

Leaving her, I walk through the small market stalls. How long has it been since I simply just browsed? Sellers yell out to me, trying to ply me with their wares. Fabrics with vibrant colors share space with spices whose smell permeates the air.

I don't  even know how I got here with so little supplies. I suppose we`ll need to buy provisions, furs, water skins. Suddenly I feel overwhelmed. The noise of the crowd filling my ears like sand. they're closing in on me as I pull into myself. My vision waivers as my stomach rolls.

"Gabrielle?" The voice sounds so far off. A strong arm wraps around me, moving me through the crowd. "Gabrielle?" The voice is closer. I try to focus on the face in front of me. Xena is bent down trying to get me to focus on her. "Breathe." She coaches. I'm gasping for air and I hadn’t even realized it.

"Xena...I don't  know…" I start to gasp out.

"Shh. Just breathe." Her hand is on my cheek, providing an anchor for me to latch on to. "Do you remember that night under the stars? Just you, me and Eve?"

"I think so." I try to focus on her words.

"Do you remember what I said?"

"Yes." My lungs are beginning to calm.

"Tell me."

"As far as you were concerned, your life could not be more complete." I smile at the memory as my body journeys down from its panicked state.

"And what else?" Her voice is softer, less concerned.

"I'm the most beautiful thing to have ever come into your life. We were joined then, in your heart you said, we were joined forever."

"Yes." She smiles.

"And then Eve threw up." I chuckle a little.

"I still think you gave her berry juice." Her eyebrow cocks up as she grins.

"I think it was you throwing her up into the air a few minutes before that." We stare at each other, smiles slowly fading.

"Are you ok?" Xena asks after a few minutes.

"Yeah. I...I don't  know what that was."

"Let's see if we can get a room for the night, It's going to rain soon." She turns her eyes towards the sky. I nod. Xena smiles reassuringly as she grabs my hand and navigates us around the crowd. She manages to find us a place to stay, the room has two small beds but I don't  think I can stand to sleep without her.

"Come on, you need to eat." I choose not to think about how I look. Every glance Xena throws my way is full of worry and what may be pity.

I sit at a table, looking at the people around us. They give me sidelong glances, no doubt wondering if we are here to cause trouble. Xena sits a bowl in front of me before sitting as close as she can.

"Promise me you'll eat?" Her voice is near begging. I give her a little nod. Xena doesn't accept this. "Promise me." She says more firmly.

"I promise." I stare down at the food, half repulsed out of prolonged neglect. Still a part of me is hungry, no, it's starving. I wouldn"t give into that side if not for the promise I just made.

Xena has yet to eat. She sits, watching for me to finally decide to pick up the fork. Only when I take my first tentative bite, does Xena begin to eat as well. I take each bite slowly, my stomach is attempting to revolt and send anything back up.

When I've eaten enough to satisfy Xena, we make our way back to the room. Without hesitation or thought, she pulls me down on the bed beside her. The length of her body fitting perfectly against my back. And once again, I'm able to fall asleep in her comforting arms.



Chapter 6


Lighting flashes.

The rain feels like cold pinpricks on my skin. Pushing through the men I look for her body. Afraid of what I might find, unsure if I can handle it.

Lighting flashes.

I see legs first, suspended in the air. I try to steel myself but could never be prepared for what I see.

Lighting flashes.

I collapse under the weight of the shock and the grief. Struggling to just breathe. Pain surges in me like an animal, escaping with a roar I scream to the sky.


I wake up, arms flailing, falling to the floor. Xena's face is right above me, concern etched all over her features. The pain is too real and I'm crawling backwards on the floor away from it.

"Gabrielle, it's ok." Lightning flashes, illuminating the room. Xena slowly gets off the bed, hands out in supplication. I pull my knees to my chest, overcome and overwhelmed. Lurching over, I vomit, unable to contain the rising tide of memories. Xena's hand is on my back, rubbing slow circles. I remain hunched over, wiping the spittle from my mouth. The room lights up again.

"When I saw your body." I say in slow, measured words. "Something inside me broke. Your head…" I fight the next wave of bile but can't  seem to win. My body heaves. When it stops again, my hand sweeps away the snot and detritus. "It's haunted me." My voice sounds weak, not even my own. Xena inhales sharply behind me. "I never thought…. I tried Xena, I really tried. But how could I possibly go on?" I turn, looking at a mirror of despair. "I wasn't  whole anymore, I wasn't  even half. I was nothing."

"I never wanted to do this to you." Her voice is as strangled as my own.

"But you did." I reach for her still, even in my pain of her betrayal. I can see now that this won’t  be easy. This road will not be the same, it can never be the same. Her hands cup my face as tears stream down her cheeks. These few days have already been so hard.

"My beautiful, sweet, Gabrielle." Xena kisses my forehead over and over. "What have I done to you?" I have no more words. As the lightning flashes, so does my memory. Each picture vivid in my mind. The blood and gore that slid down her neck. Her severed head, so cold and lifeless. I thought these dreams would stop.

"Make it go away Xena." My hands claw at my head. "Make it stop." She pulls me against her, gently rocking as she whispers against the top of my head.

"I will sweetheart, I promise. I promise."

At some point I must fall asleep because my next conscious action is opening my eyes. The sun is shining in the room, blinding me. Groaning, I turn away. I feel like I've been to Tartarus and back.

"We can stay another day." Her voice can be so soothing.

"I'm sorry Xena." And by the God’s I am. She inhales deeply. "I'm just not as strong as you."

"You are stronger than I could ever be."

"We need to see Eve." I finally say. We’ve bonded on such a deep level. I feel more like a mother to her now than I did when Xena was alive.

"I've got all the supplies we need. We can leave whenever you're  ready." I turn, rolling to my feet. Xena's sitting on the edge of the other bed, regarding me carefully. A new sword sits on her lap, balanced carefully.

"Let's get going then." I’d rather keep moving than sit and swim in my own brain.

The road ends up being more treacherous than the day before. Mud and debri washing it out in many places. If it rains, we try and find a village to spend the night, if not, we just camp out.

We go on like this day after day. I just avoid talking about anything. Xena avoids asking. We seem to be silent partners. At night we curl up in each other's arms without a word, and in the morning we continue our trek much the same. It feels like everything is hanging by the thinnest of threads. I'm holding on with everything I have but I feel myself slipping.

The town we're  meeting Eve in is brimming with activity. I purposefully asked her to meet me here on the outskirts of Greece. I didn’t mention Xena in my message, that’s just something you have to do in person. Xena and I seperate with barely a word between us. She's  going to see about a horse, I'm going to look for Eve. I feel further away from Xena now then when she was…..dead.

I drift through the market, barely aware of my surroundings, yet acutely aware at the same time. I can feel her presence behind me, stalking somewhere behind stalls. Xena is hurting too, I know, but I just can't  figure my way out of this right now.

"Gabrielle?" I look up. "Gabrielle!" I can't  help but smile. Eve comes running up, wrapping me in a hug. "I came as soon as I could." She pulls back regarding me. "What’s wrong?" But then she looks behind me. I can see the very moment her heart drops in her chest. Tear filled eyes look back at me, asking for confirmation. I nod. "Mother." Eve says in wonderment.

Stepping away, I watch as mother and daughter embrace. Suddenly I feel like I'm intruding on something very private, so I remove myself from the situation. I walk with no destination in mind, but I somehow find myself at one of Eli"s temples. Inside is cool and empty and I find myself kneeling down. I'm lost.

"Eli… what am I doing?" I swallow back my tears. "I'm tired of this pain. I'm trying to open myself back up to love. I do love. I love Xena more than the air I breathe. But with every breath there is pain. I fought so hard to get her back and now…." My head drops, but I force myself to continue. "Look at me. Look at what I've become. Please take this pain away." I beg in vain.

"Without pain there is no joy." Eve's voice, calm and sweet, echoes around me.

"And when the pain is too much?" She walks up next to me, placing her hand on my shoulder.

"You are stronger than your pain Gabrielle."

"How do you know?" I look up, searching her face for answers.

"Because your love has always endured, and it will endure now. You just need to remember how."

"What if I can't?" She places a hand on top of my head.

"My mother once said you were the purest thing in her life. You can still be that Gabrielle. Release the pain."


"That is up to you." I have no response to that. "She's  worried about you. She blames herself."

"I blame her too." It comes out unbidden. I've never said these words out loud. "I couldn't  bring her back and I couldn’t  die with her. She abandoned me." Eve kneels next to me. "She took away my right to be by her side. She sentenced me to walk this world alone."

"Gabrielle. You have her back, take solace in that. You have another chance." Eve smiles at me. "You have loved me like a mother and I don't  want to see you in pain. You can be happy if you only give it a chance." I can't  help but smile, my hand cupping her cheek.

"What should I do first?"

"We can’t start by having a meal."

"Sounds like a plan."


Chapter 7


Xena and Eve sit close together. Just enjoying each other's company, basking in that mother daughter connection again. I can't  help but smile at their infectious happiness. I'm trying to let go, but that’s easier said than done. I know though, that I can't  push Xena away. I've worked too hard, sacrificed too much, just to get to this point. I can't  let the pain I suffered blind me to the love that sits right in front of me. Xena keeps glancing my way. For these brief moments our eyes lock, her happiness gives way to guilt.

"We're  staying just outside the town." Eve is saying. "How long are you staying mother?" Xena avoids my eyes this time.

"News from Greece is that Ares has been sowing chaos everywhere." Eve looks at me, knowing what her mother’s exact intent is.

"Are you sure that's wise?"

"Who else is there?" Xena asks, eyes flaring. Eve's eyes keep darting towards me. She knows what happened between me and Ares, but i don’t bother saying anything.

"Gabrielle." Eve's voice is quiet as she reaches across, grasping my hands. "Are you sure you can do this?" I smile, because, what else is there to do?

"Of course." I know she doesn't believe me.

"You don't  know what you're  asking." Eve turns back to Xena.

"Then tell me." Xena says with obvious frustration. I'll never truly understand the relationship between Ares and her. For my part, I just sit here staring at the two of them.

"Gabrielle." Eve looks at me imploringly.

"It's fine, really." I smile, trying to mean it. Eve practically gives me the same look Xena gives me when she doesn't believe me. Xena's jaw flexes. Sighing, I look down at the well worn wood of the table.

"I didn't meet Ares on accident." I contemplate my next words carefully. "The fight between us, was barely a fight."

"What are you saying Gabrielle?" Xena leans closer. Finally, I look up. Feeling nothing.

"I antagonized him. Pushed him."

"You wanted to fight him?" Xena hisses out in disbelief.

"It wasn't a fight I wanted. When he realized that….. He refused to give me what I asked. He left me there."

"What did you ask him?"

"To kill me." Xena looks stricken at my response. "Would you have felt any different?" Eve is looking back and forth between us.

"I came as soon as I heard. By Eli’s divine providence, I was close. When I saw Gabrielle….." Eve turns and looks at me with such sadness. I feel guilty for having put her through that, for having been so weak.

"I'm sorry." She squeezes my hands. Various emotions ripple across Xena's face. "But you brought me back, Eve. I found my way back because of you." She looks like she's  about to cry, and Xena looks like she wants to leave.

"Gabrielle told me so many stories about you two." Eve's face lights up as she looks at her mother, hands still grasped in mine. Xena makes a half hearted attempt at a smile.

"I'm sure you got sick of hearing about all those battles." Xena says, again half a smile sits on her lips.

"No, not those ones. The ones about the sacrifices you made for each other. I never realized how deeply you were connected." Xena's eyes lock on mine and I know, without a doubt, that I will love her through every lifetime. "I helped her realize that she still had love inside her. She didn’t have to be angry anymore."

"I spent a long time with Eve." My eyes stay on Xena's. "She has all of the best parts of you."

"If we had raised her together, she'd have yours too."

"I was so excited to raise a baby with you. I don't  think I ever told you."

"Oh it was a little obvious when you wanted to settle down with the Amazons." Xena chuckles a little. "And pulling her out of my arms every chance you got."

"She was cute." I look at Eve. "You were cute."

"Somehow, you got out of poop duty a lot." Xena growls, trying not to smile.

"Someone had to cook."

"Yeah yeah." Xena and I smile at one another. Genuine, loving smiles. It's been so long since I've had a moment like this with her.

"I'm going to get back. I'll see you tomorrow right?" Eve breaks the momentary silence.

"Of course." Xena stands, hugging her. We embrace, and then she's  gone.

"Come on." Xena jerks her head towards the rooms at the back. I follow without trepidation, letting any worries fall away with each step.

"Are you sure you want to follow me?" She asks once I close the door at my back.

"I will always follow you." She lets out a puff of air and runs her knuckles across my cheek.

"Do you hate me?" The question is so genuine, it hits me like a punch.

"No!" It nearly comes out as a yell. "I was angry because you chose to die, it wasn't  your time. And I know.." I shake my head. "We choose our destiny. But it would have been easier somehow. That you chose to leave me, that I couldn't  even die fighting by your side….. I was angry." Reaching up, I brush hair out of her face and behind her ear. "You chose my destiny for me, and I couldn't  undo it."

"What is our destiny now?" She leans her forehead against mine.

"Well, for you not to die on purpose." I smile. Xena lets out a small laugh. "But if you are, we go together this time."

"Deal." She breathes out, lips so close to mine. "And now, you're  supposed to give birth to the reincarnation of a God." I pull away, leaning back against the door.

"Well I'm trying not to think about it." I sigh, closing my eyes, willing the nagging thoughts away. I don't  want to think of the consequences.

"Gabrielle, you won't be able to ignore it forever. " Her hand splays on my bare stomach, still flat and taught with muscle.

"I can't  get attached Xena." Don't  cry, don't  cry, don't  cry.

"I'm not sure that's something you can control." Her fingers are on my cheek again. I relish in the comfort and strength that radiates from her touch.

"I love you Xena."

"Don't  change the subject." She smiles. "Is your path still the way of the warrior?"

"My path is your path. I'll gladly walk anywhere with you."

"I bet you say that to all the girls." She leans in close.

"They always fall for it too." Xena smiles against my lips, as my hands pull at her hips. "Especially, one in particular."

"Are you trying to say I'm easy?" She's  leaving teasingly small kisses on my mouth.

"I know you're easy." Xena looks at me in mock indignation. I pull at her hips again. "Why'd you have to get a nearly identical warrior outfit?" I pluck at her leather bodice with my finger. "These are so difficult to work with." Xena's hands slide from my waist, down inside the back of my skirt. She leans in close.

"And yours are always so easy." She whispers in my ear.

TBC Vol II Greece


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