An Awakening - Part 3

Amazon Bonding - Gabrielle

Part 1

by Hunter Ash

Disclaimer: As usual, I don't own Xena, Gabrielle, Lila, etc etc etc. Just borrowing them, don't bother suing me, it wouldn't be worth it.

Sex/Subtext/Alt Fiction: the story is of two consenting adults of the same gender in a loving and sexual relationship and it includes sex. If this illegal or bugs you then you have choices: leave, change your laws, open your mind.

Violence: A scuffle with the God of War, that's about it.

Storyline: this is Gabrielle's viewpoint of "Amazon Bonding" - I hope it offers some different insight and new scenes but it will be familiar if you read the original story. I hope these individual parts can stand on their own but they are part of a series and you might want to read the rest first.

A Visit Home, An Awakening


Amazon Bonding

Feedback: yes, please! beg beg beg.

Gabrielle shifted nervously and readjusted her wrap around skirt for the 10th time. Her mother, Hecuba smiled and wiped a tear away from her eye. The bard spotted her and tried to smile.

"Don't you start!" Gabrielle warned. "You'll get me going!"

Lila, watching from a stool in the corner of the dressing room, giggled and the bard glared at her little sister. That made Lila giggle even more.

The knock on the door caused all three women to jump considerably.

"Oh gods!" Gabrielle whispered, feeling her heart sink into her stomach and her courage take a quick exit.

Hecuba, looking much like she did twenty years before in her white linen, sleeveless dress trimmed in a green that matched her daughter's eyes, quickly hugged the bard.

"You'll be fine. It'll be over before you know it." Hecuba reassured her daughter.

"Gabrielle! I hear them coming!" a male voice called from the other side of the door.

Hecuba and Lila went to the door, reaching out and holding hands as they opened it.

Gabrielle turned and saw Iolaus standing in the doorway holding a sword and belt. He started to say something and then stopped dead, beginning to stammer.

"Wow, I... uh. You're gorgeous."

Gabrielle felt a familiar feeling of blush coming over her face.


Then she was across the floor and hugging the blond man tightly. He grinned and hugged her back and then moved out of her arms and began strapping the sword around her waist. He was grinning from ear to ear.

Gabrielle again reflected that he was quite handsome with his blond hair and blue eyes. He was about her height (one of the few people she knew that wasn't taller than she was) and today he was dressed in a formal leather tunic dyed green to match the trim on her skirt and sleeveless tunic. Grey trousers were tucked into fur boots and cross laced with green leather thongs. Gold wrist bands decorated his wrists, a gifting from Gabrielle's tribe and a simple gold band circled his forehead.

Gabrielle swallowed visibly as the sound of drumming, singing and cheering got louder, getting closer.

Iolaus grinned. "Are you going to get sick?" he teased.

"No," Gabrielle lightly punched his arm.

"Herc did." he whispered loud enough for everyone in the room to hear.

"Hercules got sick the day of his wedding?" Hecuba asked in an awed voice. She was still getting accustomed to dealing with Amazons, Gods and demi-gods.

"Yup," Iolaus grinned. "Got so nervous that he lost his breakfast."

"Iolaus, thank you for being my Kumbada." Gabrielle said quickly as the sounds outside grew very loud.

"My pleasure."

Gabrielle was pleased as well with Hercules and Iolaus both acting as Kumbadas for the ceremony. Since this wasn't a traditional ceremony but a combination of traditional, Amazon and quite a bit of adaptation, Xena and Gabrielle had decided on each having a Kumbada for the rituals they were facing and had instantly chosen Hercules and Iolaus. The women also agreed that they couldn't find a better pick for the traditional role of best man for their bonding, nor better godfathers if there were children later in the relationship.

Iolaus moved to the door and waited until there was a knock and opened it. Hecuba and Lila stepped outside the doorway and Gabrielle could hear Hercules' voice.

"It is the wish of Xena of Amphipolis to wed your daughter, Gabrielle of Potedaia. She pledges to care for her, provide for her and, most importantly, to love her. Do you accept this?"

Gabrielle knew that in a traditional wedding, the Kumbada would be bargaining with the bride's family for the dowry, monies and land exchanges and not love pledges. She was grateful once again to her mother for holding Gabrielle's father back from insisting on marriage at a young age for her oldest daughter.

"We do with open hearts," she heard Hecuba and Lila respond.

Then she could hear Iolaus asking the same of Xena's family.

Gabrielle had always been curious as to why Hecuba had fought back against Herdoctus about marriage for Gabrielle. Now that the bard knew her true father was Apollo and she was destined to have met Xena and, the gods had hoped, save the warrior from the darkness that had consumed her. The bard had been meant to save the world.

The little bard now understood why her mother had been so surprised when she came home and announced she was marrying Perdicus but pleased. Hecuba had been hoping that her daughter had saved Xena from her dark future but had broken away from the dangerous life being with Xena would mean. Gabrielle couldn't blame her mother for that one, marrying Perdicus should have been safe. A calm and secure but hard life as a farmer and healer.

When Callisto killed Perdicus day after their wedding, Hecuba had quit struggling against what the gods had said was inevitable: Xena was Gabrielle's soulmate. Gabrielle's mother was just surprised that it took both the bard and warrior so long to figure it out. Gabrielle grinned to herself, everyone around them seemed to know it except themselves.

"Sometimes for a bard you can be a little thick," she muttered to herself.

Then her heart skipped a beat as Iolaus came back to the door and offered his arm.

"Oh gods," she whispered and went to join him, adjusting the necklace of blue-green feathers and beads.

Gabrielle blinked as the cheer from everyone surrounding the hut washed over her and she self herself blushing again. Then her eyes caught sight of her mate and her heart skipped a beat again and she felt her eyes filling with tears of joy.

Everyone except Xena and Cyrene went to a bended knee for the Amazon Queen. Xena and Cyrene bowed their heads as Gabrielle began to approach them.

The warrior was dressed the same as Gabrielle was but her sleeveless white tunic was trimmed in blue and gold, to match her piercing blue eyes. The wrap around white skirt came down to the top of Xena's blue dyed boots that were laced up with white leather thongs. Matching blue leather bracers covered Xena's forearms and silver bands decorated her tanned upper arms. Around the warrior's neck was a necklace of black-blue feathers and beads. The sword at the tall, black haired woman's side was a silver ceremonial sword.

Gabrielle stood in front of her chosen mate and lifted Xena's head to look into those blue eyes. "You are so beautiful. I love you." she whispered.

"You take my breath away, little one," Xena whispered back. "I love you too."

The bard moved to stand next to her mate and everyone stood. Hercules and Iolaus went to a tray being held by an Amazon and carried two goblets to the couple. Each woman took a goblet and drank half the wine. Then, with grins, they each dropped a coin into the goblets and returned them to their Kumbada's.

"Wine, the sweetness of life and the coin represents that they each pledge to care for each other." Gabrielle heard Cyrene whisper to Solon.

Everyone cheered and the drummers began drumming again. Both families fell into behind the couple and the Kumbadas began to lead them towards the sacred grove of the Amazons.

Along the way the couple's hands sought each other and interlaced together. In their other hands they carried sprigs of ivy to symbolize the eternity of their love. Along the way the members of the tribe lined the path and tossed blossoms and grain at the wedding party.

As they neared the grove the party passed through an archway of ivy and holly and through the smoke of two smudge pots on either side of the archway.

Solon leaned over to Cyrene. "We pass through the smoke of sacred herbs to cleanse the body. Xena and Gabrielle have already gone through three days of purification. A day of sweating in the sweat hut, a day of fasting, and a day of meditation."

"Is it true that they couldn't see each other during that time?" Cyrene whispered.

"Yup, also heard rumors that Xena tried but Ephiny caught her." Solon giggled.

"I believe that of my daughter," the bard heard Cyrene whisper and Gabrielle looked over at her mate and discovered Xena had also heard her mother and Solan. Xena was blushing and Gabrielle bit the inside of her lip to keep from laughing.

As they reached the edge of the trees everyone stopped and the drummers and singers went siolent. An Amazon, the shaman stepped forward out of the shadows with a sword in hand and two attendants following, each carrying a bowl.

Hercules and Iolaus started to move forward and Solan moved around the two women to join the men. As they knelt in front of the priestess Gabrielle felt a swelling of pride and could feel the same emotion radiating from the warrior next to her for the young man. Gabrielle had heard the argument between Xena and her mother about the boy. Once Cyrene knew Solan was her grandson she had wanted him to know that as well and get to know the boy. Xena had been firm that he shouldn't know the warrior was his mother yet. The warrior had tried to convince Cyrene that it was just too dangerous and that he was better left in the dark and with the Centaurs. That argument hadn't been settled yet, Gabrielle knew. The bard could see where Xena inherited her stubborn streak from.

The three males knelt on both knees before the priestess and lifted their heads. The priestess, not speaking, placed the point of the blade against their throats and then moved to the next male after a moment. She abruptly handed the sword to an attendant Amazon and took a bowl from the attendant. She approached Solon first and dipped her finger into the liquid and smeared a streak across his forehead and moved to repeat the gesture to Hercules and Iolaus.

Another bowl was handed to the priestess and she smeared the cheeks of the males with this liquid.

Gabrielle could feel the unasked questions radiating from her mother and sister and leaned over to whisper to them. "The males have to be purified before entering the sacred grove of the Amazons, dedicated to Artemis, our patron goddess. First with the smoke that we passed through and then with the blood of one of the forest animals and finally with pure spring water to signify rebirth."

The drummers and singers in front parted to either side of the path and joined other tribe members and the members of visiting tribes waiting in the grove. The family members moved off to the sides as well, in front of the other guests.

Hercules and Iolaus approached the altar on the raised platform with Ephiny, Regent of the Amazons behind it.

"Wow!" the bard heard Solan exclaim and had to agree with him.

The Regent looked amazing. The chestnut haired was in complete royal outfit. Her white leathers gleamed in the setting sun and the leather and feathered mask made her look somewhat terrifying. In her hand she held a sword and an Amazon stood on either side of the altar, both in ceremonial clothing and with notched arrows, symbolizing Artemis.

Hercules and Iolaus knelt before the altar and placed the wedding bracelets on it.

Ephiny motioned for the two warriors to rise and the men slowly stood and lifted the crowns off the altar and held them high and then carried them around the altar three times.

Xena had asked the bard and Amazon Queen about that one and Gabrielle had found herself shrugging. "The crowns represent that a wedding is a royal affair, no matter what the status of the couple is. A ribbon joins the crowns to symbolize the joining. Why the bracelets or rings are exchanged three times between the kumbada or why they carry the crowns around the altar three times is beyond me. I can't find an answer for that one. It might represent the three phases of a woman's life: maiden, mother, crone. The three different types of Goddesses, who knows."

Xena and Gabrielle moved to the altar and placed their twigs of ivy that represented undying love on the altar and knelt. The men approached them and placed the crowns on the heads of the women with a kiss on top of the head. After a moment of silence the men then switched the crowns. After the third crowning the two men moved aside and left the crowns. Gold for Gabrielle and silver for Xena. The Sun and the Moon.

"Tribe members! Family and friends of the couple!" Ephiny's voice carried to the far ends of the grove. "Tonight we honor two friends, two loved ones, and one of our tribe in a bonding ceremony. They have committed to each other and have faced trials together. Tonight is a ritual of something that already exists. Tonight we honor the love between Xena and Gabrielle."

Ephiny stepped around to the front of the altar and held the point of the sword at Xena's throat. The warrior held her head up, eyes fearless.

"Do you enter freely into this bonding, warrior?" Ephiny demanded, face hidden behind the mask.

"I enter freely of my own will and desire," Xena answered in a strong voice and Gabrielle felt her heart soaring.

Ephiny removed the sword and placed it at Gabrielle's throat. The bard felt no fear but determination and felt that familiar clenching of her jaw, something her family and Xena were well aware of. "Do you enter freely into this bonding, bard and Queen?"

"I enter freely of my own will and desire." Gabrielle answered in a strong voice as well.

Ephiny handed the sword to an attendant and then pulled out a dagger. With a quick stroke she had cut a lock of the young woman's hair from behind the girl's neck and then quickly cut a lock of the warrior's hair.

The Regent moved behind the altar and held the hair for all to see and then mingled the locks together in her palm. "I offer this hair of the marriage couple to Artemis as sacrifice and ask that she bless this union of Gabrielle and Xena."

Gabrielle instinctively threw up her hand to shield her eyes as a brilliant light filled the altar area and found herself going to her knee when she realized Artemis was standing in front of the altar.

A quick glance around told the bard that everyone else had gone to their knee as well.

The bard grabbed her mate's arm as more flashes of light filled the crowd. When she blinked again a large portion of the Gods and Goddesses from Olympus were standing with the crowd.

Apollo, Cupid, Aphrodite, Zeus, Hera, Demeter, Persephone and Hades.

"I'm not surprised, Ares isn't there." Gabrielle whispered in Xena's ear and the warrior nodded. Gabrielle knew she had to be relieved of that small favor. The warrior was still tense, just as Gabrielle would expect, Xena hated dealing with the gods.

"I thought Apollo was kidding about coming to the wedding," Xena muttered under her breath and the bard bit her lip to keep from laughing at her warrior.

"Because of the good these two have done for world and the gods, we all offer our blessings to this union and encourage their love. Know this and let all witness our proclamation, their love is destined to span all eternity and beyond this reality. The love between Gabrielle and Xena is rare and it is a soul mate bonding. I call for a blood joining if they are willing to accept their fate." Artemis announced.

Everyone was obviously stunned by the presence of the gods and the announcement from Artemis but Ephiny quickly recovered.

Gabrielle was stunned, she felt Xena squeeze her hand tightly.

"As you wish, my Goddess." the Regent stood and faced the wedding couple. "Do you accept this, Xena and Gabrielle?" she asked simply.

The two women looked at each other, each sinking deep into the other's eyes. Both reached out at the same moment to caress the other's cheek. Gabrielle, with her empathic gifting, felt the love pouring from her lover and and the bard felt like her heart would burst with joy. Blue eyes began to fill with tears of joy, matched by Gabrielle's.

. Together, still holding hands, they stood up and faced Artemis and Ephiny.

"We do," they answered.

"Friends and family," Ephiny faced everyone. "The gods have blessed this union and have called for a blood bonding. This is a rare binding of soul mates, by binding their blood together in front of the gods they are binding their souls together. It is the ultimate commitment anyone can make, god or mortal. From this point, no matter what happens between them, their souls will be joined."

Xena and Gabrielle each squeezed their hands tighter, reaffirming their decision with each other. Gabrielle felt tears beginning to escape her eyes. She leaned against Xena's strong arm, wanting to be closer to the warrior. Xena squeezed her hand again.

Gabrielle watched as the shaman priestess stepped out of the shadows and approached her and Xena slowly. Wordlessly the woman's piercing eyes sought out Xena and Gabrielle's. She drew a dagger from her belt, the headdress hiding most of her face in shadows.

Together Xena and Gabrielle held up the hands they had a moment before been holding. They extended the hands, palms up before the priestess. Artemis nodded her approval as the priestess glanced back and the other gods and goddesses also nodded their approval.

The priestess turned back to the couple and held the dagger over their palms for a moment and then, with quick and deft strokes, sliced open the palms of both women's hands. A bowl appeared from somewhere within her robes into her hand as she caught a portion of the blood from both hands. She handed the bowl to an attendant, who also seemed to appear from nowhere, and then clasped the hands together again.

Gabrielle's breath caught in her throat at the sensation, the intensity. The bard heard Xena gasp as well, it felt like lightning was flowing through their veins. Gabrielle threw her head back with the surge of power and her body began trembling, she felt Xena's body responding the same.

After a moment the bard blinked and watched the priestess hand the bowl of blood up to Ephiny and tie the warrior's hand to the bard's.

Regent Ephiny knelt before the Goddess Artemis and the Goddess of the Hunt, patron of the Amazons, extended her hand over the bowl in blessing. Ephiny then stood and poured some of the blood into a wine goblet on the altar. Raising the goblet high, Ephiny chanted an invocation and blessing and then walked down from the altar to stand in front of the couple.

"Your vows, warrior." Ephiny instructed.

Xena turned to Gabrielle and took a deep breath, her eyes beginning to fill with tears of joy again. "You saved my life, my heart and my soul. They are all yours, my love. I pledge to be yours for eternity."

"Your vows, my Queen." Ephiny instructed.

"You gave me life and opened my heart and soul. They are all yours, my love. I pledge to be yours for eternity." Gabrielle said, a tear escaping her eyes.

Ephiny handed Xena the goblet. "With this wine and blood you pledge your soul and blood to each other. You will be joined beyond this life."

Xena drank half the wine readily and handed the goblet to Gabrielle. "With this wine and blood you pledge your soul and blood to each other. You will be joined beyond this life." Gabrielle easily drank the rest of the blood and wine mixture and felt similar sensations that she had when she joined her cut to Xena's.

Ephiny took the goblet back to the altar and faced everyone. She held up the bonding bracelets, interwoven strands of gold and silver. "These are the bonding bracelets chosen by Gabrielle and Xena, they symbolize their commitment to each other."

Hercules and Iolaus both approached the altar and took the bracelets from Ephiny, each handing Xena and Gabrielle a bracelet. Artemis pointed her finger and the leather thong fell into pieces at their feet. The two women placed a bracelet on the other's wrist.

"You are bound before your family, your tribe and before the Gods. May you never regret this decision." Artemis announced.

"Speak total truth, Daughter," Zeus spoke up and both Gabrielle and Xena turned to him with a surprised look. "You were destined to be together whether we agreed or not. We are pleased, though and you have our blessing."

With that Zeus, Hera, Demeter, Persephone and Hades were gone. Aphrodite, Cupid and Artemis looking pleased.

"Gabrielle, you are my Chosen and an Amazon and have my special blessing. Because of your binding to her, you have my blessing as well, Xena." Ephiny was left staring at the space where Artemis had been.

"We're glad you finally worked out, girls. Catch you later." Both Aphrodite and Cupid were gone.

Gabrielle heard Xena sigh in relief and couldn't resist elbowing her mate in the ribs. "Behave," she whispered, grinning.

"With that many gods around, I'm surprised nothing went wrong." Xena smiled back.

"Friends, family and tribe, I proclaim this part of the bonding ceremony over. The families, Kumbadas and escort will accompany the couple to the wedding hut on the far side of this grove. Beginning in the morning we will begin the reception of the delegates from surrounding cities and nations to honor our Queen, followed by a dinner tomorrow night. Then we'll send them all on their way and hold a week long festival here among ourselves and our honored guest and family members." Ephiny announced. With the announcement over she let out an Amazon celebration cry that was picked up by all the members of the tribe as well as the visiting Amazons from other tribes. Even Solon joined in the shouting.

Still holding hands the two women followed their Amazon warrior escort and their Kumbadas with their families following behind. As they approached the hut the escort broke off to take up positions on either side of the hut door. Hercules and Iolaus stopped and turned to face the two women. With wide grins they each kissed Xena and Gabrielle and hugged them.

"Thank you for choosing us as your Kumbadas," Hercules said.

"I wouldn't think of anyone else." Xena smiled.

Hecuba and Lila joined Gabrielle by her side. They were then hugged by the bard tightly. "I love you both," the little Amazon said simply.

"We love you too, Gabrielle and couldn't be happier." Hecuba smiled and hugged her daughter again.

Cyrene and Solon also came forward to hug and kiss Xena. The warrior wiped a tear of joy from her mother's face. "I love you, Mom."

"I love you too and I couldn't be more proud of your match."

Xena looked down at the teenager and then hugged him tightly. "I love you too, squirt."

"Yeah," he said simply.

Then the families took turns hugging their new daughter-in-laws. Finally, everyone moved aside and the escort opened the door for the couple to enter the hut.

Holding hands once again they crossed the threshold.

As the door closed behind them the bard felt herself swept into her taller lover's arms for a long and lingering kiss. Gabrielle wrapped one arm around the warrior's neck and the other around Xena's waist. As the kiss refused to lessen for either of them, the bard found her knees go weak and her body trembling.

"It's been a long three days, my warrior." Gabrielle complained as they broke apart slightly. The bard began to trail her kiss down to the warrior's neck.

"Yes, it has," Xena agreed and pulled the bard close again, lifting the smaller woman off her feet for another kiss.

Gabrielle took advantage of the wrap around skirt and surrounded her legs around her warrior's hips and ducked her head down to bite Xena's neck. Xena grabbed the bard's nicely shaped ass and pulled the bard tight against her as she groaned and whimpered. Gabrielle answered with a growl of her own as they fell against the wall of the hut.

Gabrielle moved back from Xena's neck back to the warrior's lips, both tongues fighting back and forth, the bard's hand lacing through the warrior's hair, holding the woman's head tightly into the kiss. Gabrielle felt Xena regain her feet and move them to the bed in the center of the room. The bard kept a tight hold on the warrior as they fell to the bed and with the agility of a cat, flipped Xena over onto her back.

Gabrielle was pleased when her mate yelped in surprise and then moaned in pleasure as the bard begin tugging at the laces of the warrior's tunic. With a growl she pulled the restricting cloth from Xena's body. Tears almost sprang to the bard's eyes as she slid down the warrior's body, position a leg between her lover's legs. The feeling of Xena's body melding into hers felt like a melding of fire and ice, intense heat that sent shivers over her body. She wasn't sure who was moaning more or louder, herself or her mate as she took a nipple in her lips, lightly rubbing her teeth over the tender flesh. Xena's hands in her hair captured her head in place as the bard began devotions at Xena's breasts.

The last thing Gabrielle expected was to be hitting the far wall of the hut with her back and the back of her head. Everything went black for a moment as she slid down the wall. The bard shook her head in time to see someone reaching for her, grabbing her by the collar of her tunic and lifting her off the floor and high on the wall, feet nowhere near the ground.

The bard blinked, staring into intense brown eyes and familiar beard.

"Ares!" she hissed.

Without looking back he snapped a fist back and caught her mate along the jawline, sending the warrior flying backwards to the floor next to the bed.

"Hi, can't say I'm sorry to break up this little scene. I need you to disappear for a couple of days, what say we get out of here?" he grinned.

"Never!" Gabrielle hissed and the God of War smacked the bard's head into the wall in response. The bard clawed as his arm, knowing it was useless.

Both the bard and War God looked down in surprise at the blade sticking through his stomach. For a moment Gabrielle had hope that this might be over but he merely brushed as the sword, breaking the blade off and backhanded Xena again.

Gabrielle, seizing his momentary distraction, jammed two fingers in his eyes when he turned back to her. With a howl of rage and pain Ares dropped the bard to the floor. Gabrielle quickly got to her knees and started to dive past him but was surprised with the speed of his recovery, receiving his downward fist blow at her temple and eye, sending her to the floor.

Before she could even blink and realize she was bleeding, he had lifted her up again and the bard was thrown across the room with the force of his blow to her mouth. The bard lay stunned.

As the darkness tried to claim her, the bard her Xena screaming in rage and the sound of blows.

When the bard's vision cleared she found an Amazon warrior bending over her, checking her pulse and head and Iolaus standing right beside the warrior. Then the Amazon Queen noticed another Amazon guard standing next to her, arrow notched with two more in hand ready.

"What's happened?" she whispered as Iolaus reached out a hand to help the small woman to her feet.

"What do you remember?" he asked cautiously.

Gabrielle's eyes narrowed and her jaw clenched. "Ares!" She quickly shoved past her Kumbada and saw a small crowd of warriors at a nearby tree. Through the crowd the bard saw her mate bending over someone.

"Xena!" she called, hurrying towards her warrior.

Gabrielle smiled when she realized that her warrior and Solan were standing and both in one piece. She rushed into her mate's arms with a sigh of relief. Ares was nowhere in sight.

Regent Ephiny approached the couple and Gabrielle attempted to resist her Regent lifting her chin to the torchlight but the Amazon was insistent, showing the Amazon Queen's battered face to the light.

The bard shrugged as several warriors growled or muttered curses. "I'm okay. Ares wouldn't take 'no' for an answer." The Queen looked over at the shaken Solan, realizing that he had somehow been involved with whatever had happened with Ares. "Are you okay?"

"Yeah, a little bruised, I think." he shrugged, instantly reminding the young bard of the boy's mother, Xena.

Iolaus stepped forward and handed Xena her tunic. Gabrielle saw the warrior grin at his blush.

"I thought you might like this back." he muttered.

The warrior stepped out of Gabrielle's arms and slipped the tunic over her head. "Ephiny send word to our families that we're fine, I'm sure they heard the commotion. Let's have the healer take a look at Solan and Gabrielle too."

"I'm fine," both the teenager and bard said at the same time.

"For me?" blue eyes pleaded with both of them and the bard knew she could deny her lover nothing, they both finally nodded. "Go on, I'll be there in a moment."

Together her son and mate began walking with the Amazons towards the healer's hut with Ephiny explaining to the bard what had happened with Solan filling some in.

The bard shook her head, realizing how close she, Xena and Solan had come to possibly dying at the War God's hands. It sent a chill down her spine for her warrior. She had no idea what Solan's or her death would do to the warrior. Gabrielle didn't want to find out.

The healer quickly looked both the teenager and her Queen over carefully and put some salve on the cut above the bard's eye and pronounced them fit. Ephiny sighed with relief and gave Gabrielle a quick hug.

As they waited for Xena to join them Solan became very quiet and withdrawn.

Part 3

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