These characters, Xena, Gabrielle, Toris, Lilla, Solan and Cyrene, do not belong to me. They belong to MCA, Universal and Renaissance Pictures. The story, however, is mine alone. Please refrain from plagiarizing.
I have not received, nor will I be receiving any financial gain
from the writing of this story. No plagiarism is intended on my part.
This is my first attempt at writing fan fiction. It was a cathartic
experience for me to express my feelings in this way. I hope you are not disappointed.
WARNING: This story contains a scene of sexual violence
and may be traumatizing to some sensitive readers.
RATING: (Alternative fan fiction. Rated NC17) There are explicit scenes of passionate love between two consenting adult women that I, deeply, enjoyed writing and I hope you enjoy reading. However, if you are under age or if material of this type is illegal in your neck of the woods, THEN .................... SCAT.
"You have your instructions. Do not fail me." The God of War's
voice boomed against the huge stone walls of the Halls of War.
"Ares, you waste your time on that woman. She's washed up. You
need a man to lead your armies. To be your chosen." The leader stood before
the god of war head held high full of false bravado.
"And I suppose you are just the man for the job." Ares grinned.
"Yes, I am. Let me prove myself to you, war god. Let me show
you what a real leader of men can do."
"Alright. You show me that you can follow orders. You show me
that you can subdue the Warrior Princess and deliver my little gift as I have
instructed you. Then, if you are still alive, we'll talk." Ares returned to
his thrown, lowering himself gracefully, a look of amusement on his chiseled
"Her mother runs an Inn and tavern in Amphipolis. I suggest
you start looking there. Now, run along and do not disappoint me." Ares dismissed
the four soldiers and there proud leader with a wave of his hand.
"How come Toris and I have to work and sweat in the fields while
you and Lilla get to stay in our nice comfy farm house?"
"Because you're bigger and stronger and, let's face it, Xena,
you can't cook. Besides, Lycea is only four years old and needs Lilla. Unless,
of course, you want to babysit your niece, do the wash for the five of us, cook
and clean, ride the candle mark into Amphipolis to do the marketing....."
"Ok, Ok, I get the point. Geesh! Come on Toris that irrigation
ditch won't dig itself."
Toris kissed his wife and daughter then hugged his sister-in-law
"Hey, keep your hands off my wife." Xena playfully shoved her
older brother out the door and into the hot summer sun.
"Lilla, if you don't mind, I think I'd like to write in my journal
for a candle mark. I haven't had the time to since Xena and I moved here and
I have fallen way behind."
"Sure, Gabby, I have a lot of sewing to do. This little daughter
of ours is growing faster than I can let out her clothes. If she keeps this
up she'll be as tall as Toris."
"Xena's no shrimp either. It stands to reason, Lycea will be a big girl."
Gabrielle gathered up her ink and parchment and curled up on
the wide window sill to work on her diary.
Xena and I have settled into her uncle Cyrus' farmhouse
with her brother, Toris, and my sister, Lilla. They've been married for five
winters now and have a beautiful daughter, Lycea, who is a miniature of her
aunt Xena. When Cyrene offered us her late brother's farm I didn't think Xena
would even consider settling down, but I was pleasantly surprised when she decided
to give it a shot. After all, Lilla and I were raised on a working farm and
there's not much we don't know about this life, but the road is all Xena's known
since she was fifteen. Farming's not easy but, working together, we are managing
to make a go of it. Lilla and I for once are the brains behind Xena and Toris'
brawn. It's been quite an adjustment.
Looking out the window of our new home, I watch Xena digging
the drainage ditch that will bring fresh water from the stream to the fields
and our well. Her muscles ripple with the strain and sweat slides off of her
tanned skin, shining in the early morning sun. Even after all these years the
sight of her excites me. She is magnificent. Her silky black hair is peppered
now with gray just around her temples, which adds a deeper dimension to her
I was afraid Xena would get restless for the excitement
and the challenges of life on the road, but forming the Amphipolis militia,
running our farm, and chasing after Lycea seems to be enough challenge for her.
She trains the villagers in use of weapons and defensive
tactics so they can defend their homes, and ours. I like to watch. Patience
is not one of my Consort's virtues, and to see her biting her tongue while clueless
villagers trip over each other playing soldier, is more entertaining than any
of the plays I've seen in Athens. The amazing thing is she enjoys it. She is
making a vital contribution to Amphipolis and it is appreciated. Our neighbors
respect her now, instead of fear her.
Lycea, that four year old tyrant, has my warrior wrapped
around her little finger. Every evening after supper, I watch her little replica
crawl into that welcoming lap to snuggle. I've seen the unshed tears in my partner's
eyes and I know she is thinking of her own child, so long dead. Solan would
be a man now of twenty winters. It's hard to believe so much time has passed.
She is restful now. I am so grateful to whatever gods gave
us this time. No more nightmares, no more murderess warlords and Xena wannabes
to face, to fight, perhaps to kill.
I know there are times she misses the freedom and solitude
of traveling. But, when those moods come over her, she just takes off on her
beloved mare for a few candle marks until she gets it out of her system.
Argo is gettting on. Xena sees to her comfort and is careful
not to push her too hard. I don't know which of us is getting fatter, me or
Xe's horse. She obviously enjoys our retirement.
Gotta go, for now, I have two hungry field hands to feed.....
"Lilla, I'm going to take Xena's lunch out to her and have a
little picnic down by the stream, in the shade. I'll try not to be too long.
Then I'll take Argo into town and do the marketing.....Um.....do you think you
could keep your family busy for, say, a candle mark?"
"Go ahead, Gabby, I saw you watching your Consort through the
window. You are just incorrigible. You two never tire of each other, do you?"
"Never have and never will, Sis. I can't help it if she gets
sexier every year. I'm only human, after all." Gabrielle stated as she gathered
enough food and wine for their picnic, and a couple of towels, just in case.
"Get going, already. It's going to take an hour to ride into
the market, an hour to shop, an hour to gossip with Cyrene and another hour's
ride back. You know Xena has a fit if you are out alone after dark." Lilla pushed
her sister out of the door.
"Oooh, this was a wonderful idea, Gabrielle. A delicious meal,
a jug of wine, a refreshing bath, a beautiful bard to scrub my back..... Life
just doesn't get any sweeter." Xena pulled Gabrielle's slippery wet body to
her own. In the water their breasts gently touched, the hardened nipples rubbing
and exciting the women's ardor. Xena leaned down to gently kiss her lover. Their
spirits soared as the kiss deepened, trembling hands went to tenderly caress
aroused flesh, thighs rose against swollen sex, and the dance of love began.
Aaaah, my meal and my wife were delicious. This could become
a part of our regular routine.....
G. (Smiling and wiggling her eyebrows suggestively.)
"It's done. We should have fresh water for ourselves and our
crops, in spite of the weather. See here? This lever releases the water straight
into the cooking area. No more having to cart water from the well into the house.
We've buried it deep enough that the water shouldn't freeze in the winter."
Xena explained proudly.
"That is amazing. It's just like in Rome. Just no fancy tiles."
"Or Roman soldiers trying to kill us." Xena smirked.
"Yea, let's not go there." Gabrielle squinched up her face in
"This calls for a celebration. What do you two say to joining
Lilla and I for dinner at Mom's and, maybe, Gabrielle will regale us with one
of her stories." Toris piped in.
"Sounds like a plan. Just give me a chance to wash up."
Xena leaned back in her chair at the rear of the tavern, watching
the patrons enjoy her partner's bardic gifts and drinking her ale as Toris drunkenly
boasted of how he came up with the idea for the irrigation system using their
stream based upon the aqueducts of Rome. The fact that he had never been to
Rome or seen an aqueduct in his life, slipped his mind, as well as, who he was
telling the story to. Xena just rolled her eyes and tried to ignore his bragging.
She was feeling mellow and very content at the moment and was determined not
to let anything ruin her celebration.
The tavern door opened, letting in the crisp evening air and
5 ruff looking strangers, covered with the dirt and grime of the road. They
all looked around the tavern til their eyes fell upon the Warrior Princess and
little Lycea sound asleep in her lap. Xena thought at first that they knew her
and braced herself for trouble, but they simply walked on to a table and proceeded
to enjoy a hot meal and a considerable amount of port. She kept an eye on the
strangers til Gabrielle completed her last story of the night and collected
After hugging Cyrene and helping Lilla collect Toris and a sleeping
Lycea, Xena and Gabrielle made there way home to the farm and gratefully fell
into the arms of Morpheus.
The morning broke clear and warm. Xena had arisen before the
sunrise, as was her habit. She stood in the doorway of the room she shared with
Gabrielle and watched her beloved sleep. Admiring the slight rise and fall of
her breasts and the little smile on her sweet moist lips, Xena felt the familiar
warmth at her center and debated if she should wake her love with tender kisses.
Alas, her morning bliss was not to be, as fate would have it,
Lycea came stomping up to her aunt, lower lip poking out and a familiar scowl
upon her lovely face. "What are you doing up, little one?" Xena asked as she
bent down to scoop her niece up into her strong arms.
"I'm hungry! Daddy is sick and Mommy is holding his head over
the wash basin. They said you'd feed me." Xena couldn't help but smirk at her
overindulgent brother's plight.
"How's about we go down to the stream for a picnic and a swim?"
Xena used this ploy more than once to get Lycea well scrubbed. She was amazed
at the amount of dirt the child attracted and in how many places it hid.
After filling a basket with bread, cheese, and preserves, Xena grabbed some rags, soap and a clean change of clothes for Lycea and herself and left a note for Gabrielle as to where they were headed, although she felt sure they would return before her bard rejoined the living. 'That woman sure loves to sleep.' Xena placed the bath stuff in the basket with breakfast, scooped Lycea up into her arms and off they went.
Walking down the long path through the forest to the stream,
Xena sang a song she had made up for Lycea, who joined in with her sweet breathy
little voice. They held hands, Xena lifting her over the ruff spots on the way,
and both smiled and giggled, enjoying this special moment.
After enjoying their meal, most of which Lycea wore on her face,
hands and clothing, Xena discarded the child's soiled garments and her own nightshirt
and raced Lycea into the cool, clear water for a thorough bath.
Lycea allowed her aunt to bathe her with the agreement that
she could "help" bathe her aunt.
It took some time for Xena to wash all of the soap from her
hair, ears and eyes. Her eyes burned like Tartarus and, for a moment or two,
the ex-warlord wondered if she would ever see clearly again. Lycea splashed
onto shore to escape the wrath of her favorite playmate as Xena rinsed her head
vigorously with the mercifully cleansing water. THAT'S WHEN IT HAPPENED. Her
life would never be the same.
Lifting her head from the water she heard the child's frightened
cries and froze. On the shore were the five suspicious characters from her mother's
inn last night. One had a tight hold on Lycea and a dagger in his hand held
out from his body so that Xena could easily see the threat from where she stood.
The others busied themselves tying the child's hands and feet and gagging her
mouth to squelch her screams.
Xena shook with the effort to control her rage, not wanting
to do anything to endanger her precious little niece, while weighing her options.
"What do you want?" Xena hoped to give it to them if they released
"We want you, Xena." The foul looking man holding the child
stated and chuckled. "You see, we are soldiers who come bearing a gift for you
from our sovereign."
Xena sneered, "What are you talking about?" She ever so slowly
inched her naked body out of the water toward this threat to her family. All
five men looked on with admiration at the impressive feline body of the prior
Destroyer of Nations. She could see the effect she was having on them and hoped
she could use their distraction to her advantage.
"Ah, ah, ah, Warrior Princess, stay right where you are. We
will kill the child, make no mistake, if you do not give us your full cooperation."
"And if I do cooperate, will you let her go unharmed?" Xena
"Yes, we will release the child unharmed, where we stand." The
"And, why should I believe a band of cut-throat, low-lifes like
you? You know, if you harm her, I will kill each of you, slowly and very painfully.
I have many skills in the glorious art of torture. But if you know who I am
then you already know what you can expect of me." Xena growled.
"No, Xena, you will do nothing. The child will be set free after
you have accepted the gift from the God of War."
Xena flinched at the mention of her nemesis, and sometime ally.
"Ares" the name dripped venom from her lips. "What does he want from me after
all these years. He knows I will never go back to him."
"Yes, he knows. But, he says, if he can't have you, then he
will have a part of you to lead his army and be his legacy." The leader recited
his master's words.
Xena looked on with confusion. Her mind raced. 'What can he
mean? Does he want Lycea to lead his army? She's only an innocent child.' She
looked at her terrified niece in wonder.
"No, Xena, Ares doesn't want THIS child." Their filthy leader
responded, following her gaze.
"What do you mean, Ares doesn't want THIS child?" Xena looked
on with suspicion.
The soldier of Ares laughed heartily as his comrades circled
the Warrior Princess, pushing her back up against a tree and shackling her arms
and ankles around the sturdy trunk. The bark was rough against her bare skin.
As one of the foul creatures rubbed the front of his trousers,
Xena's body went rigid. 'Oh Gabrielle, there's nothing I can do to stop this.'
She looked at the soldier who still held her niece and in a barely audible plea,
asked that the child be blindfolded. "You said the child would not be harmed
if I cooperated with you. Please,…..she mustn't see this." To her great relief,
her request was granted.
Xena stared down the soldiers approaching her, unwilling to
yield her will to such filth, as one by one they took their pleasure. Their
leader approached with obvious pride. She met his gaze with an equal sneer of
her own and felt the sharp pain in her left cheek and eye socket before she
even saw the blow coming.
"I want to hear you Xena, I want to hear you cry out for mercy."
He spat the words at her.
Another vicious blow and blood trickled down from her busted
"I want to hear Ares' Chosen whimper in fear." Xena just glared
at him with a look of disgust.
Another strike to her head and more blood joined that already
flowing from a cut above her right eye.
Xena's legs gave out as she began to slide down the bark of
the tree, leaving bloody scrapes down her back.
"Oh no, Princess, we aren't done quite yet. I still have to
give you Ares' gift." He said, reaching behind him for something.
Xena tried to glare at the foul smelling man, but her grasp
on consciousness was slipping. Then she saw a glint of sunlight reflect off
something in his hand and felt an agonizing, tearing pain. A triumphant "whoop"
came from her assailant as darkness overcame her.
Gabrielle awoke with a start. 'What was that?' Something awakened
her. She arose and padded out to the common living area to see if Xena had called
to her. But no one was there. Looking out the window she realized that the sun
was too high and she had missed breakfast and Xena was probably irritated with
her. Turning to go to their room to dress for the day, Gabrielle noticed the
note Xena had attached to the door. It read:
"Good morning, sleepy head. I am taking Lycea to the stream
for a picnic and much needed scrubbing. Toris is worshiping at the porcelain
altar this morning in payment for his over indulgence last eve and I have taken
pity upon him. It is not quite sun up, we should be no more than 2 candle marks.
I enjoyed last night very much and apologize for my lack of romantic vigor.
I do hope you will let me make that up to you, several times, tonight."
"I love you. Xena"
Gabrielle smiled at the prospect of a "romantic" evening with
her warrior and quickly dressed so she could join her and Lycea for a bit of
fun in the sun.
Lilla caught Gabrielle's attention as she was about to walk
out the door, "Good morning, where are you heading with that big grin on your
"To join Xena and Lycea down by the stream. Want to join me?
Um…..Where's Toris?" Gabrielle inquired with an evil glint in her eye.
"Toris is asleep, finally, after hurling everything he ate or
drank last night into our wash basin. Men! Why do they always have to prove
how strong they are by how drunk they can get?
Seeing her sister was anxious to leave, Lilla grabbed her bath
necessities and ran out the door close behind Gabrielle.
They gossiped and giggled over Toris' escapades the night before
like a couple of schoolgirls. Thoroughly enjoying each other.
As the women approached the clearing by the stream, Gabrielle
froze. Something was very wrong. She could make out Xena's apparently naked
body sitting up against a tree at an unnatural angle. There was dead silence,
highly unusual with Lycea around. And, where was Lycea? Gabrielle grabbed her
sister's arm with one hand and covered her mouth with the other as she pulled
her into the bushes, making shushing noises in her ear.
"Something's not right. Be very quiet. I'm going to check this
out." Gabrielle whispered to Lilla.
Gabrielle stealthily passed through the underbrush, closing
in on the scene before her. There didn't appear to be anyone else around. But,
Xena had taught her well and she was taking no chances on being caught unawares
by bandits, especially without her staff.
As her view of the clearing improved she saw Lycea, hands and
ankles tied, she was gagged and blindfolded. Gabrielle's heart was pounding
in her chest as she tried not to panic. Carefully approaching the child she
heaved a sigh of relief when she saw the rise and fall of her little chest as
Gabrielle called to Lilla as she unbound her niece and gently
checked her for injuries. Finding none, she handed the child to her sister and
turned her attention toward her soulmate.
From where she stood, she couldn't see how badly Xena was injured.
As she quickly ran to her lover, the blood, bruises and dirt that covered her
still body assaulted Gabrielle's senses and she staggered falling to the ground
at her beloved's side.
"By the gods, Xena. What have they done to you?" Gabrielle felt
Xena's neck for a pulse. Not sure of what she felt, she lowered her ear to her
lover's chest and listened, trying to quiet her own galloping heart. She heard
a thready, irregular heart beat. But, Xena was alive.
"Lilla, take Lycea, wake Toris and send him for the healer and
Cyrene. Then hook up the wagon to Argo, throw some blankets in it and come help
me get her back to the house."
Lilla just stood there staring at her friend's still body and
holding her whimpering daughter to her breast.
"LILLA, did you hear me?"
Lilla shook her head in affirmation.
"Then do it. NOW!!!" Gabrielle shouted in exasperation.
Lilla looked at her sister, turned and ran, with her child in
her arms, as fast as she could.
"Stay calm, Gabrielle, and think..... THINK!!!.....You have
to focus. What does she need most?..... Gods, I can't lose you, not now. Not
when we have finally made a home for ourselves. I won't let you die."
"Xena, wake up. Come on, love, wake up." Gabrielle gently beckoned
as she patted Xena's unbruised cheek. "There is so much blood and dirt and ....."semen".
Awww gods, no! No, no, no, NOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!" Gabrielle shook her head and
sobbed, hugging herself as she rocked back and forth seeking comfort in the
"OH, ZEUS!!!!! How could you let this happen to her?" Gabrielle
wailed at the sky.
"Ok, deal with that later. Right now, you've got to help her.
How can I help her? I have to stop the bleeding but there is so much grime,
I can't see where all her wounds are. If I can just pull her to the shallow
water, then I can wash her and find out where all this blood is coming from."
Grabbing her bath rag and soap, Gabrielle proceeded to carefully
drag her unconscious lover to the stream, leaving a trail of blood. Resting
Xena's head on her shoulder, the little Amazon gently soaped her hair and her
body, removing the blood and grime and uncovering a cut over her left eye, left
cheekbone, upper and lower lips on the same side, and a deep gash to the back
of her head that was bleeding freely. Bruises were springing out all over her
body, especially her breasts, neck, abdomen and upper thighs. There were superficial
scratches to her back, buttocks and shoulders that were seeping. Gabrielle carefully
cleaned them all.
"Now comes the hard part." Gabrielle said out loud as she wiped
the soapy rag, gingerly, between Xena's legs, cooing to her love, expecting
at least a whimper of agony. But, none came. Lifting the rag from the water
to soap it up again, Gabrielle looked on in horror at the amount of blood and
thick white semen the rag had collected. Turning away, so as not to soil her
lover, Gabrielle retched until there was nothing left in her belly but emptiness
and profound grief.
Collecting her resolve, Gabrielle pulled Xena's body to shore
and, finding her bath rag, began making a pressure bandage to staunch the bleeding
from her head wound. Not sure how to stop the flow of blood from her lover's
battered sex, she decided to pack her vagina with the rinsed out wash rag she
had used to bathe her.
"Xena, you're the healer in this family. If you would only wake
up, you could tell me what to do. Come on, love. Please, wake up."
Gabrielle pulled Xena's night shift over her shoulders to cover
her nakedness and provide some warmth. Gabrielle pulled her head and shoulders
into her lap, praying that Lilla would return soon with the wagon to transport
her precious cargo home to safety.
Rolling Xena onto a blanket, Gabrielle and Lilla were able to
hoist her onto the back of the wagon like a sack of potatoes. It was none to
gentle, but it worked. Quickly, Gabrielle wrapped her shivering lover in the
warm blankets. She spent the short ride back to their farm rubbing her extremities
vigorously and cooing in her ear. "You're safe, love. I'm here. You are safe,
now. Lycea is safe. Come back to me, Xena. Please, wake up. I need you. I love
you, my warrior." Gabrielle lay at Xena's side and held her until Toris returned.
It wasn't long before Toris and Cyrene arrived with the healer/midwife,
Alena, in tow. Quickly, he approached the wagon and turned his head away at
the pathetic condition of his heroic sister. Blinking back tears from his eyes,
he placed a supportive arm around his mother's waist as she swayed as if stricken
by a physical blow at the site of her little one.
Collecting himself, Toris gently lifted his frail sister in
his arms and carried her inside to her sleep pallet to be examined.
Alena was getting up in her years and resented being dragged
out of her comfortable home to tend to an ex-warlord who probably deserved whatever
beating she got. 'You know, what goes around comes around.' But, Toris and Cyrene
had been insistent and, truth be known, the thought of sharing a mount with
the young handsome man, was not at all unappealing. It had been many winters
since she had her arms wrapped around such virility. Her husband, the town's
healer for 25 winters, was gone now, leaving her to wear both hats of midwife
and healer. The demands were sometimes just too much.
The healer asked everyone to leave as she slowly and methodically
examined her patient. Xena's pupils were unequal and did not react to exposure
to the considerable daylight pouring into the room. Her head wound was very
severe. She had seen patients with these symptoms never wake up. But, then again,
It was with shock and horror that she examined the damage to
Xena's sex. Removing the rag that had successfully slowed the bleeding, Alena
cleaned the area and prepared it for stitching.
It was 2 candle marks, and a very sore back, later that her
task of caring for Xena's wounds was completed. She couldn't help feeling some
remorse. Even though her opinion of the ex-warlord was heavily colored by rumor
and memories of a time long ago, she felt no one deserves what was done to this
woman. No matter who she is or what she did in the past.
Alena joined Xena's family in the common area of the farm, with
her head and shoulders slumped in exhaustion and sadness.
"Who is the spouse?" The healer asked.
"I guess I am." Gabrielle said, her face a mask of anxiety.
"Gabrielle is the Queen of the Amazons. My daughter is
her Consort." Cyrene piped in as she slipped a reassuring arm around her daughter-in-law's
"Consort?" Alena responded.
"By Amazon law, Xena is my wife." Gabrielle stated firmly, shoulders
Alena raised an eyebrow at that revelation, but decided it was
none of her business.
"Let's sit down. There is much to discuss." Anxiously the family
sat around the dining table, Cyrene holding Gabrielle's hand as the younger
woman trembled in fear at what the healer had to say.
"Your, uh....., companion has lost a great deal of blood. Whoever
treated her wounds likely saved her life." Cyrene nodded toward Gabrielle, squeezing
her hand. "She may pull through, but she will have to awaken enough to take
fluids to replace what she has lost. I have sewn her wounds, the worse being
a long jagged tear in the birth canal. What ever entered her was not flesh.
I hate to imagine what it could have been." The healer let out a sigh, her eyes
full of compassion making contact with pained green ones. "She must stay quiet
to prevent that wound from reopening. If she does start to bleed heavily, come
"I will give you herbs to help prevent infection, fight fever
and to relieve her pain. Use a pinch of each in a cup of tea. Add honey to relieve
some of the bitterness and mint leaves to settle her stomach. I will leave this
salve with you. Apply it to her wounds twice a day. Help her with the chamber
pot and bathing. I don't want her walking unnecessarily, and definitely not
on her own."
"Now, that head wound is deep. Try to wake her about every 2 candle marks til tomorrow morning. If she cannot be awakened, then I am afraid there is nothing more I can do. The head wound may be too severe."
Gabrielle grimaced at the ominous prognosis. 'I can't lose her.
She would never accept defeat. And neither will I.'
Alena's words broke through Gabrielle's ruminations, "Now, the
next thing we must be concerned with is the very real possibility of conception."
All at the table gasped at this revelation. They were concerned with the immediate
life and death struggle of their loved one, never considering the obvious outcome
of rape..... a child.
"I will return to check on Xena in a couple of days if she is
still with us. I should be able to check her uterus for life in a moon. I do
so wish you the best of luck. By the grace of the gods, she may well pull through.
Toris I will expect you to fetch me in two days if your sister's heart still
beats." Toris nodded.
Alena gave Toris a lascivious look saying, "Well, young man,
I am ready to share your mount." Toris dutifully complied.
Gabrielle leaned against the doorway to their room, watching
her beloved sleep. She looked so peaceful, almost childlike in her innocent
slumber. Gabrielle wiped away her tears and moved to sit on her side of the
pallet. Taking Xena's fevered hand in hers, she gently called to her. The healer
said she must awaken every two hours and Gabrielle was determined that she would.
Gabrielle kissed her lover's hand and ran shaking fingers softly against her
"Xena? Xena, love, wake up. You have to wake up for me......
I love you...... Now, open those beautiful eyes and look at me." There was no
response to Gabrielle's pleas.
Cyrene entered their room with the medicinal tea for her ailing
daughter. Stopping in the doorway, she didn't want to intrude on this moment.
Gabrielle, sensing Cyrene's presence, turned toward her mother-in-law with despair
in her eyes.
"She won't awaken for me. It's as if she's not in there anymore.
I can't think of what else I can do to help her….. I have to help her." Gabrielle
held Xena's hand to her breast, bursting into tears, fell onto Xena's shoulder
and cried out her anguish and grief.
Then something occurred to her. Xena had treated many severe
head injuries in their time together. Gabrielle recalled always elevating the
victim's head. There was something about swelling in the brain that did most
of the damage and elevating the head decreased the swelling. Gabrielle immediately
placed two more pillows behind Xena then made a cold compress for her head.
Xena had long preached the benefits of cold compresses to relieve the swelling
of sprains. It couldn't hurt.
In the family room, Lilla questioned her daughter as to what
happened at the stream that morning. The bewildered child told her mother that
there had been 5 nasty men, one grabbed her while Auntie Xena was rinsing the
soap from her eyes. He had a dagger. They mentioned Ares, but she didn't understand
what they were talking about. They tied her up and Auntie Xena made them blindfold
"Why did she do that, Mommy? Did I do something wrong?" Lycea
asked her mother with tears streaming down her little face. Lilla's heart broke
at Xena's desire to protect her daughter from watching the horror that was to
be her aunt's fate.
"No, my love, you didn't do anything wrong. Auntie Xena had
the bad man blindfold you because she loves you very much. Do you understand?"
Lycea was confused and just shook her little head….. no.
"Do you remember anything else?" Lilla gently inquired.
"The man holding me kept saying that he had a gift for Auntie
Xena from Ares. Who is Ares, Mommy?"
Lilla thought for a moment, "A very bad god, Lycea, a very,
very bad god."
Gabrielle awoke with a jerk, having dozed off, her head on Xena's
shoulder. Noticing it was still daylight, she figured she hadn't slept more
than a candle mark or two. She took Xena's fevered hand in hers and rubbed and
kissed it. "Xena, it's time to wake up now, love. Come on. Open your eyes. Please,
Xe, I need you. Lycea needs you. You can't give up..... You promised." Gabrielle
leaned toward her love, touching her forehead to Xena's fevered brow, cooling
it with her tears.
Joining her family, Gabrielle expressed her concern over Xena's
increasing temperature. "She needs those herbs. But, how do we get her to take
the tea, if she won't wake up?"
A glimmer of an idea came to Cyrene. 'It just might work.'
Gabrielle lifted Xena's shoulders and sat behind her, supporting
her lover's limp body. Taking a hollow read, two hands in length, Cyrene sucked
up the tea then placed the end of the read deep in the corner of Xena's cheek
as she released the tea into her daughter's mouth, Gabrielle rubbed her throat
causing her to swallow the medicine she so desperately needed.
It was a long arduous process but, in time, all the medicine
was swallowed and Gabrielle resituated her lover on the pallet with her head
elevated and a fresh cold compress over her wound.
"Now we wait." Cyrene said with a weak smile for her daughter-in-law.
The whole process was repeated every 4 candlemarks over the next 2 days.
Xena remained unresponsive even though her fever was well controlled.
The four adult family members took shifts to provide for her care. Rags were
placed under the prior Destroyer of Nations to collect her waste and protect
the linens. Soapy water was kept boiling outdoors to clean the soiled rags so
they could be dried and reused.
Gabrielle insisted that they all speak to Xena as if she could
hear them. She hoped it would help Xena regain some awareness. The stress was
taking its toll on them all.
"You worthless fool. I send you to do a simple job and you fail
me." The God of War bellowed in fury. "You were to plant my seed in my Chosen.
That was all I told you to do."
"But, I did that, Master. I swear by your sword. I planted it
all deep within her. No one else's but yours did she conceive." Ares' filthy
soldier visibly shook in terror at his master's wrath.
"Tell me, oh faithful one," Ares sneared. "what good does her
conception do me IF SHE IS DEAD!!!! If she dies, my heir dies with her."
"My Sovereign, the woman still lives."
"You had better pray that she continues to do so. Because, if
Xena dies,…..YOU DIE!"
Ares disappeared in a bolt of lightening, leaving his soldier
in need of new trousers.
The God of War shook with rage and frustration as he paced the
Halls of War. "I had the perfect plan. No direct intervention in Xena's life
or harm to her irritating little blond. I kept to my agreement with the family.
And, that little nothing of a creature ruins it. If Xena dies, he will wish
he was never born. I can't even stop her death." He sighed...... "No direct
Ares dropped onto his throne. "I'm sorry, Xena." Ares hung his
head in his hands, "It's up to you now….. THIS WAS NOT SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN."
Ares pounded his fists into the arms of his throne as he yelled out his frustration.
"Aw, damn." The God of War realized he was feeling something
he had not felt before. At the prospect of losing his Chosen forever, of never
seeing Xena alive again, of not being able to intervene on her behalf, he felt......
"Please, Xena, don't die." Ares heard himself say as a single
tear escaped his cold black eye.
Gabrielle asked Toris to fetch a bucket of water and warm it
over the fire. "I want to bathe her and wash her hair."
"Sure, I'll get that for you." Toris gave her a wan smile. 'I
don't know what difference it makes now. She doesn't even know we are here.'
Toris kept his thoughts to himself, not wanting to upset his over wrought sister-in-law,
as he did what she asked.
Gabrielle carefully removed her lover's sleep shift, not wanting
to jar her battered body, sucking her breath in at the sight of the angry looking
bruises on her beloved's breasts, abdomen and thighs. "I'm almost glad you're
not awake to see what those animals did to you, my love." And, she covered Xena's
body with a blanket.
Gabrielle met Toris at the bedroom door, taking the pail of
warm water from him, and reminded him to fetch the healer. "She said she wanted
to see Xena in two days, if she was still with us, and she is." Gabrielle remarked
when Toris shook his head and sighed in frustration. "Now I'd like some privacy.
I need to be alone with her for a while."
Toris approached his mother, who was washing more rags for her
daughter. "Mother, Gabrielle wants me to fetch the healer for Xena."
"Has there been any change?" Cyrene asked with hope gleaming
in her sad eyes.
"No. And I don't see the point in my riding all the way into
town for nothing." Toris complained.
"YOUR SISTER IS NOT NOTHING." Cyrene responded in outrage. The
older woman took a deep breath, calming herself, she continued, "Toris, you
know how strong Xena is. If anyone can survive this, she can. So, don't give
up on her. Not just yet."
Toris looked at his mother and, not wanting to staunch that
glimmer of hope in her eyes, agreed to fetch Alena.
As he rode away, sure that no one could see, he let the hot
tears flow down his cheeks..
Having collected the toiletries she needed, Gabrielle began
washing Xena's luxurious, long, black hair. "Xena, remember the times we used
to wash each other's hair when we lived on the road. You use to claim one bath
was cheaper than two. So we'd bathe together, washing each other's backs and
hair until the water turned cold. Oh, how I enjoyed your tentative touches and
how red your face would get when I'd catch you staring at my body. By the gods,
you were so beautiful. And, I flirted with you unmercifully. Oh yes, I knew
you were watching as my towel would, accidentally, slip passed my breast, or
I'd bend over a little too far to pick up my clothes. How I loved that game.
How I loved you. I still love you, Xena. Don't leave me, please." Gabrielle
let her tears mix with the soapy rinse water collecting in a basin she placed
under Xena's head.
From head to toe, Gabrielle carefully washed the still body
of her soulmate as she recounted all her fondest memories out loud as if Xena
were quietly enjoying her ruminations. Gabrielle grimaced at the smell and the
grime around Xenas genitalia and was oh so gentle in her ministrations. "I know
this has gotta hurt, love, but I have to keep you clean or you'll get an infection."
Gabrielle spread the warriors legs wide and raised them at the knee so she could
thoroughly bathe her. There was still much swelling, but no more bleeding. Taking
the soapy wash rag, she continued to clean along the stitches and apologized
when Xena flinched in pain.
"Oh, Xe, I'm so sorry. I'll try not to hurt you….. WAIT. YOU
MOVED!!!" Gabrielle lowered Xena's legs a little too abruptly, causing her lover
to groan and wince. "Xena, can you hear me?" Gabrielle took Xena's face in her
two hands, encouraging her to open her eyes. "Xena, open your eyes. Open your
eyes and look at me. DO IT. DO IT NOW!!!" Xena's eyes fluttered open, squinting
at the light.
"Quit yelling at me." She said, ever so softly. "Ow, my head
hurts like I got kicked by a centaur." Gabrielle burst into joyful tears and
fell onto Xena's chest hugging her powerfully.
Xena was confused now. 'Gods, why do I hurt so badly? And, why
is Gabrielle trying to drown me in tears? Um….., why am I naked and wet?' She
tried to concentrate, but the pounding in her head made that impossible. Her
eyes found Gabrielle's but they looked all fuzzy. She tried to sit up….., threw
up….., and passed out.
"Well that's not exactly the welcome I had hoped for." Gabrielle
moaned as she collected a clean wash rag and started bathing the puke off of
herself and her soulmate. Then hurried to find her family to tell them the good
"She woke up?" Cyrene screamed with excitement.
"Yea. She woke up and puked all over us. It was wonderful."
The elated little bard hugged the older woman.
"Auntie Xe's awake? May I see her, please?" Lycea asked enthusiastically.
"No. Not just yet, sweet thing. Auntie Xena is still very sick
and we have to be very quiet around her cause her head hurts a lot." Gabrielle
hoped her niece would understand. The four year old stuck out her lower lip.
She thought using the "please" word was a sure guarantee she'd get her way.
"I've got to see her." Cyrene stated as she ran into her daughter's
bedroom. Xena appeared to be sleeping fitfully, mumbling words that Cyrene and
Gabrielle couldn't discern. Cyrene pulled a chair up to the bedside and leaned
over to kiss her daughter's forehead. "Sweetheart, it's your Mother. Wake up,
little one." As Cyrene gently smoothed Xena's brow, her daughter opened her
bleary eyes and smiled.
"Mom, what are you doing here? What happened to me?" the groggy
warrior asked as she reached up toward her head and then tentatively toward
"Sshh, stay calm, little one. We can talk all about that when
you're feeling a little better. Lilla is fixing some herb tea for you. It will
help with the pain."
Xena tried to concentrate, but she couldn't recall being injured.
Noticing the look of confusion on her daughter's face, Cyrene asked, "What's
the last thing you remember?"
"I was taking Lycea down to the stream and I, um....., don't
remember past that."
Gabrielle took Xena's hand, taking her attention away from Cyrene,
kissing her hand gently, "That's alright, love. It will come back to you. Just
rest now. The healer will be here soon to look in on you." Bringing the hollow
reed to Xena's lips, she instructed the warrior to sip the medicinal tea and
Lilla handed her some warm goat's milk to provide her friend with much needed
Too tired and sore to ask any more questions, Xena drank her
meal then fell into a fitful slumber.
The family gathered around the dining table awaiting the return
of Toris and the healer. "OK, we have a problem. Xena has awakened, but she
has no memory of what happened." Gabrielle flatly stated as she took her seat
at the table.
"But, isn't it a blessing from the gods that she doesn't remember?"
Lilla said with a sad smile on her tired face.
"It would be, except that, when the healer examines her, she's
bound to figure out that she was raped and beaten. There is just no other way
to incur those injuries." Gabrielle responded.
"Then, one of us has to tell her what happened before the healer
sees her. I'll tell her, if you like." Cyrene whispered as a tear slid from
the eyes that so reminded Gabrielle of her beloved.
"No, Cyrene, thank you. I think she would take it a little better
coming from me. But, she is going to need your support and love more than ever."
Gabrielle gave her mother-in-law's hand a gentle squeeze as she squared her
shoulders and turned to face the task at hand.
'She looks so frail and helpless, this warrior who has protected
me and cared for me for 12 winters. Now, it is I who must protect and care for
her. And, I swear to you, I will not fail you, my love.' Gabrielle took Xena's
right hand in hers and gently caressed the callused palm. "Xena? Xena, wake
up, I need to speak to you."
Xena opened her bleary eyes and tried to focus on the familiar
voice calling to her. "Gabrielle?" Her mouth was dry and her tongue felt like
it was sticking to the roof of her mouth. "Water?" Gabrielle helped her sip
some cool water from the hollow reed, not wanting Xena to try moving just yet.
"Love, I need to talk to you about how you got injured." Gabrielle
said, with obvious trepidation in her voice. Xena knew something was terribly
wrong by her lover's voice and body language.
"What's wrong, Gabrielle?" Then with obvious alarm, "Was Lycea
"No, Xe, Lycea is fine. No one else was hurt."
"You mean I let whoever did this to me get away. I wouldn't
do that without good reason."
"Xena, please just listen to me. Please let me finish what I
have to say, before you ask anymore questions, OK?"
Xena let out a frustrated breath, "Ok."
"You remember, you were taking Lycea for a picnic and a bath
down to the stream."
"Yes, I already told you that!" Xena remarked in exasperation.
"Please, sweetheart, don't interrupt me. This is hard enough
as it is." Gabrielle kissed a fevered hand. Gabrielle told the whole story,
including Lycea's version concerning Ares' gift. She struggled to keep her composure
as Xena just lay there staring into empty space as if she had gone far away.
In a hollow voice, Xena stated "So, Lycea heard everything but
did not see anything." Gabrielle just nodded her head as Xena fixed her eyes
upon her. "Gabrielle, would you leave me alone for a while, please?"
"I don't know that---" Gabrielle began to protest.
"Please." Xena interrupted her protest.
Gabrielle nodded and she wiped at her tears. "OK, call me if
you need anything and don't try to get out of that bed."
"I won't" Xena said, in a barely audible voice.
Xena stared off into space, trying to assimilate everything
she'd been told. 'Why? Why would Ares do this to me? Why now?' Xena raised the
blanket covering her body and studied her injuries with a healer's eye. Reaching
down to just above her mound she pressed to feel for internal damage. It was
sore and bruised but it would heal. She was aware of sharp pains and a throbbing
ache over the entire area of her sex but unable to examine herself, had to wait
for the healer to explain the gory details of the myriad of injuries she knew
she had suffered there. 'I guess there will be no more romantic evenings for
me for a while.' The warrior chuckled to herself.
"How did she take it?" Cyrene asked her daughter-in-law with
"I don't really know, Mom. She just stared out at the ceiling.
She asked about Lycea. Then she said she wanted to be alone." Gabrielle broke
down in Cyrene's arms as they heard Toris and Alena ride up.
"She's awake? That's wonderful. I gotta see that sister of mine
and tell her she's not to scare us like this ever again." Toris exclaimed.
"Toris, wait." Cyrene grabbed her son's arm effectively stopping
him in his tracks. "Xena doesn't want to see anyone right now. Gabrielle just
told her what happened and she needs some time alone. She only wants to see
the healer." With that, Alena braced herself to face the Warrior Princess.
"You must be the healer." Xena said, flatly.
"Yes, my name is Alena and you are a very lucky woman. That
blow to your hard head just about sent you to Hades."
"So I hear. You want to fill me in on my injuries?"
"I'll fill you in as I examine you." Alena stated, trying to be as clinical as she knew how.
After completing her examination, Alena remained to answer any
questions the warrior had. "Frankly, Xena, I don't know what was used to tear
you so violently. I do know it was not of flesh and blood and it was too jagged
to be a knife. It is, however, healing. You heal very quickly. You have received
excellent care from your family and your, um, partner. I have some instructions
for you to follow. Don't get out of this bed without assistance. You'll probably
have some dizziness when you sit up or move your head for a few more days. I'll
come back in a week's time to remove your stitches and I brought some more of
the medicinal herbs for you to take until I return. You shouldn't need any after
that." The healer turned to go.
"There is an herb used to end early pregnancy. Do you have any?"
Xena asked flatly.
The healer was surprised by Xena's question. "Why would you
want that. It will be nearly a moon before we know whether you are or are not
"DO YOU HAVE ANY?" Xena began to visibly shake with frustration.
"No. I don't usually have any need for it here. But, I can procure
some from Athens. It will take three to four weeks to arrive." Alena tried not
to meet Xena's eyes and realized she was afraid of the suffering woman.
"Then do so. I will expect you back here with the herb within
a moon's time." The warrior's tone broached no argument.
Alena nodded and rushed out of the warrior's chamber.
"How is she?" Gabrielle asked of the healer.
"We need to talk, privately." Alena took Gabrielle by the elbow
and led her out into the sunshine. "Xena has asked me to procure for her an
herb that successfully terminates early pregnancies. There is a possibility
that she did conceive as a result of her attack. I will do as she requests.
That is her right. But, I thought, since she is, for want of a better word,
your wife, you have a right to know what she plans to do. The herb will make
her very sick and cause a lot of bleeding and cramping. It often can cause violent
retching. She should not have a problem surviving the effects if she waits at
least a moon to use it. I can make sure it is a moon before she receives it.
But, only you and those who love her can help her deal with her actions."
"I understand, and thank you." A dejected Gabrielle shook the
healer's hand. "I'll have Toris return you to your home." The healer nodded
her head as their sad eyes met in understanding.
As Gabrielle entered the dining area, a loud thud and a string
of curses could be heard from the bed chamber she shared with her Consort. Racing
through the door with her family at her heels, a terrified Gabrielle screamed,
"What are you doing? You're not supposed to get out of bed on your own." as
she knelt on the floor next to her ailing partner.
"I had to use the chamber pot. I'd have made it to if it weren't
for the damn room spinning." With that the warrior grabbed her throbbing head,
moaned, puked and entered the land of Morpheus, yet again.
"Oh, gross!" Toris exclaimed as he ran out of the room to make
his own deposit into the water pail.
"I had no idea I raised two children with weak stomachs. Here,
I'll help you lift her onto the pallet. Lilla grab her feet." Once the women
had successfully tucked Xena in bed, they all pitched in to clean up the vomit
from the floor, Xena and, of course, Gabrielle.
"Someone is going to have to stay in here at all times. We just
can't trust her." Said Lilla.
"I'm afraid you're right." Agreed Cyrene.
A preoccupied Gabrielle simply nodded. "Will one of you stay
with her while I get some air?" Gabrielle asked.
"Sure, I'll stay with her. You go and clear your head. Don't
worry about a thing." Xena's mother said as she patted the little bard on the
"Thanks. I'll be down at the stream if she needs me." Gabrielle
lifted her staff from its resting place on the mantle and headed out the door.
Sitting on the shore, letting her feet dangle in the water,
she studied her dust covered staff. 'I never thought I'd feel the need for you
by my side again.' Gabrielle stood and, planting her bare feet firmly in the
sand, began the staff drills she had practiced daily for nearly twelve years
before moving to the farm, the farm that had been so tranquil and safe, the
farm where her beloved had been brutally beaten and raped. 'If I just hadn't
overslept, if Xena had only awakened me to join her this never would have happened.
Why didn't she wake me? Because she loves you and she knows how much you love
to sleep. This is all my fault. If I wasn't so damned lazy, I'd have been there
The more Gabrielle berated herself, the more violently she swung
her Amazon staff. Suddenly, spinning on her heals, she ran up to the tree where
Xena's body had been restrained and viciously struck it over and over as tears
flew from her eyes. "My fault, my fault. I shoulda been there. I shoulda been
there." Gabrielle repeated her self condemning words over and over with each
strike of her staff sending bark and sap flying. She continued until she fell
to her knees in emotional and physical exhaustion.
Xena awoke confused and achy. "Gabrielle?" She called out quietly, not wanting to cause the throbbing in her head any aggravation. "Gabrielle?"
"No. Little one, it's Mom." Cyrene responded as she brushed
the hair from her daughter's damp forehead. Xena's head cleared and she remembered
why she was aching so badly. Settling a neutral expression upon her face, she
asked where Gabrielle was.
"She needed to get some air. She took a walk down to the stream."
"No! How could you let her go there alone after what happened
to me? I've got to find her." Xena arose to sit at the side of the pallet, holding
her head and swaying slightly.
"Oh, no you don't. I'm sure Gabrielle is just fine. She took
her staff with her." Cyrene held Xena's shoulder, effectively halting her weakened
"She took her staff? But, why would she..... because she is
scared." Xena again tried to rise to her feet, but her mother had her restrained.
Cyrene was shocked when her usually stoic daughter began to cry. "Please, Mom,
take Toris and go find her. They could come back and do this to her. I couldn't
bear it. Please."
Cyrene held Xena's head to her breast and rubbed her distraught
child's back. "Sshh, Ok, now calm down. I'll find Toris and go fetch your bard
as soon as you lie back. There you go." Cyrene helped her lie down and pulled
the blanket over her shivering daughter. Turning to leave the chamber, she said,
"We'll bring her back to you, safe and sound, little one. Don't worry." Xena
gave her mother a sad smile as she watched her go.
Mother and son froze when they saw Gabrielle lying in a heap
on the ground beside the same tree where Xena had been found less than four
days before. "Oh no! Oh, my gods, no!" Cyrene yelled as she ran to her daughter-in-law's
side. Quickly assessing that the little bard was unharmed and not wanting to
frighten the sleeping woman she called her name as she gently touched her shoulder.
"Gabrielle? Are you alright, sweetheart?"
The little Amazon Queen raised her puffy, blood shot eyes to
her mother-in-law as tears began to fall anew. "It was my fault. It was all
"What was your fault, Gabrielle?" Cyrene asked, sincerely confused.
"I overslept. If I hadn't been so damned lazy I'd have been
there to watch her back. I always watched her back. OH, GODS! It's all my fault."
Cyrene lifted the smaller woman into her lap and comforted her
while she cried. "No, child, you have no fault here. And neither does Xena.
Those men were evil. If you had been with her, they'd have done the same to
"She hates me. She can't even look at me."
"Gabrielle, that's just not true. She asked me to find you and
bring you home to her. She is afraid for you being out here. She loves you so
much. She's just hurting right now and doesn't know how to deal with it all.
Be patient with her. She'll come around." Cyrene lifted Gabrielle's face toward
her own and smiled and Gabrielle sniffed and nodded in return.
Toris helped his sister-in-law to her feet and then his mother.
"Let's go home ladies." He said and motioned for them to precede him.
Gabrielle crawled onto the pallet, trying not to awaken her
injured lover. "Gabrielle?"
"I'm here, love. Go back to sleep. I'm here." Never opening her eyes, Xena gave a little satisfied smile and, taking her wife's small hand in hers, slipped into a peaceful sleep.
Continue to Ares' Gift part 2
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