Away From Home

by Muzza

Disclaimer: Xena: Warrior Princess, Gabrielle, Argo and most of the other characters who appear in this story belong to MCA/Universal and Renaissance Pictures. No copyright infringement was
intended in this writing of this fan fiction. All other characters, the story ideas and the story itself
belongs to me. This story cannot be sold or used for profit in anyway. Copies of this story may be
made for private use only and must include all disclaimers and copyright notices.

Specific Story Disclaimers:-

Violence - There is a bit of violence here.

Subtext - This story is based on the premise of two women very much in love with each other. While there are no graphic scenes involved, the theme runs through the story and if this bothers you you'll have to find another story to read. There are plenty of good ones left.

Chapter 1

"Come on Gabrielle" Xena said as she dragged Gabrielle away from the warmth of the fire.

"Do we have to leave now" Gabrielle groaned as she got to her feet and watched Xena put out the
small camp fire that was the only thing left that showed they had stayed there the night before.

"Well you want to go to Poteidaia" Xena reminded her as she mounted her war-horse Argo and held out her hand to allow Gabrielle to do the same.

"I know" Gabrielle said once she was settled "I really appreciate you coming with me" the bard said
"I know how you feel about Poteidaia.

'Oh Gabrielle' Xena thought to herself 'You don't know the half of it'.

Poteidaia had been the venue for one of the hardest moments of her life. As she smiled at Gabrielle
and blessed her marriage to Perdicus knowing that when she said goodbye to the most important
person in her life this time it would be for good. Xena never really realised until that moment how
much her life depended on this woman. The pain they had suffered and the battles they had fought
had brought them closer than either would have imagined. Xena knew somewhere along the road her feelings for Gabrielle had changed to more than friendship. She just hadn't realised just how much
until then.

"Hey no problem" Xena stated trying to sound enthusiastic but she knew she had failed miserably.

Gabrielle knew how hard it was for Xena to be going back to Poteidaia. She thought it was because
everyone blamed the warrior for Perdicus' death. When he died at the hand of Callisto the day after
they had been married everyone blamed Gabrielle's association with Xena. Although Gabrielle had
told her a million times it wasn't her fault she knew Xena just couldn't let go of her guilt. And the
sadness of knowing that the bard had found happiness only to have it taken away so quickly and so

As Gabrielle sat with her arms holding onto Xena's waist as Argo carried the, nearer their destination she thought about the last time they had made this journey. Although a small part of her had been excited about marrying Perdicus a huge part of her had realised how much she would miss her best friend. It wouldn't just be her it was the little things she did that would send Gabrielle's heart soaring. Like the way she quirked her eyebrow when she was impressed or humoured by something. The way she smiled when Gabrielle had just finished telling her one of the stories she had been working on. Those moments to Gabrielle were priceless.

"Hey you not falling asleep back there are you?" Xena finally said

"No just thinking" Gabrielle said

"About?" Xena asked

"Oh different things" Gabrielle said knowing she couldn't tell Xena what she was thinking about
because she didn't want to upset her again.

As Xena and Gabrielle edged ever closer to Poteidaia, Xena found it even harder to go there. That
town had given her a new look on life when she saved a group of women from a band of slavers.
Gabrielle had been among them and no matter how determined Xena was that Gabrielle remained
there the young girl had refused and followed Xena anyway. Then this town had killed a part of her
heart that she didn't even know she had, the part that allowed her to love another unselfishly with all
her heart and would willing die for that person. That part had died the day she had blessed
Gabrielle's marriage to Perdicus. 'Come on Xena' She thought to herself 'You can do this for her. It
means so much to her. She wants to see her dying friend. You just have to put you memories
aside for now. For her' Xena knew how much this meant to Gabrielle but deep down the pain of
that memory was starting to get to much for her.

"Hey how about making camp here?" Xena asked as she spotted a small cave to her right. "We can
set up camp and we should be in Poteidaia tomorrow night"

"Yeah sure. It's starting to get dark" Gabrielle agreed as Xena directed Argo over to the cave.

Xena went in first sword unsheathed just to make sure the cave was empty. When she was certain it
was she called Gabrielle in and she brought Argo in as well Xena started to build the fire in the corner
of the cave where previous campers had made a fireplace with the fire wood that was left there. It
wasn't long before their camp was set up Gabrielle's bedroll was lying next to Xena's between Xena
and the wall. Gabrielle was used to this set-up now as she knew it was so Xena was nearest the
opening of the cave so she was able to protect herself and Gabrielle if she had to.

"So what do you fancy for food?" Xena asked trying to think about something else rather than where they were headed.

"How about some rabbit stew" Gabrielle smiled knowing that they had, had this meal for the last
three days.

"Well that would make a pleasant change" Xena smiled "I'll be back in a bit"

With that Xena was gone. Gabrielle knew she wouldn't be too long because Xena was one of the
quickest hunters Gabrielle had ever seen. So has Xena went hunting for their food Gabrielle took out her diary and began to write about her day.

Well there is one more day before we get to Poteidaia and I can honestly say I am not
looking forward to it. I know I should be. I mean I haven't seen my parents or Lila since
Perdicus but I know Xena is finding this really painful and that makes it hurt me. She
won't admit it though. I know I have my own unpleasant memories of that place now.
Those memories more unpleasant than the memories of the death of Perdicus. Watching
Xena walk away from me in that temple knowing that it was for the last time was like
someone driving a spear into my heart. Although she will never know that. There are
times I wish I could really tell her how I feel but her friendship means more to me than
anything and I will not risk losing that. It wouldn't be so bad if I knew she felt the same
about me but knowing that she doesn't makes it worse for me. I am looking forward to
seeing Lila, Mother and Father tomorrow though. I just hope they still don't blame Xena
for Perdicus.

Today has been a fairly quiet day no attacks which was good but the uncomfortable
silence between us was hard to take. That silence spoke volumes for the way Xena is
feeling about this journey. If only she knew I felt the same way. But for a different

"One rabbit" Xena said as she walk into the cave holding a headless, skinned rabbit. Gabrielle smiled at her as she put down her diary and quill and took the rabbit off Xena. Then placed it into the now boiling water she had placed in the fire.

"While you are doing that I'm just going to go out and do a couple of drills" Xena said

"Okay" Gabrielle said as she watched Xena sheath her sword and walk outside the cave.

As Xena walked outside the cave she wanted to work off some of this energy coming from her
uneasiness about going to Poteidaia. 'Come on Xena' She thought to herself 'You have returned to
towns where you brought mass destruction. I can't believe a small town like Poteidaia is
having such an effect on you. Get over it' It didn't matter how hard she tried she could do it.
Whenever she thought of returning there a huge feeling of melancholy swept over her like a cloud.
Although she knew that she didn't have to worry about being abandoned yet she knew that if
Gabrielle's parents had their way Xena would be leaving Poteidaia alone. 'I don't know if I can
handle that again. It almost killed me last time. And by the gods I didn't feel this strongly
about her then. I can't do this. I can't go to Poteidaia with her knowing what I am facing
there. I have to let her go there herself. She'll understand. I hope'

So Xena finished up her sword drills and walked back into the cave where Gabrielle was just serving the rabbit stew.

"Hey have a good drill?" Gabrielle asked as she handed Xena her dish of stew.

"Not really" Xena admitted "Gabrielle I need to talk to you"

"Sure" Gabrielle smiled "What is it?"

"I can't go with you" Xena said watching the bard frown knowing exactly what was coming next

"What do you mean you can't go with me?" She asked

"I can't go to Poteidaia with you" Xena said looking down at her hands unable to look her friend in
the eye.

"Why?" Gabrielle said as her voice caught

"I can't explain why Gabrielle. So if you want me to take to Poteidaia I will drop you off but I can't
stay with you"

'That's the best I can do Gabrielle. I wish I could do more but it's just too hard. Harder than
you will ever know' Xena thought.

'She's leaving me' Gabrielle realised 'I knew she was uneasy about going coming with me but
she's leaving me' Gabrielle's heart started to pound at the reality of not having Xena with her. 'I
don't know if I can do this without her. Without her support. But it wouldn't be fair to drag her
there if she was uncomfortable. She wouldn't do that to me. I just have to try and accept her

"Are you sure?" Gabrielle asked just making sure Xena was serious about this.

"Yes" Xena said "I wish I could come with you Gabrielle but..." Her voice drifted off leaving her
sentence unfinished.

"I understand Xena" Gabrielle lied 'I wish I truly did understand Xena, but I don't'

Xena could tell by the look in Gabrielle's eyes that she didn't understand but Xena refused to let
herself tell why she couldn't go to Poteidaia with her. She would do just like she said, she would take Gabrielle to Poteidaia drop her off and then leave.

"Where will you go?" Gabrielle asked

"I think I might stop at home for a bit. It is easier then. When you are ready to leave you can send
word and I'll come and get you" Xena said as she looked into her friends eyes and she could see the
start of tears welling in her eyes. 'Xena you really are stupid' She thought to herself 'You are
cutting off your nose to spite your face. You are so worried about Gabrielle leaving you, you
are causing yourself the pain of leaving her'

The rest of the meal was eaten in silence. Both were trying to come to terms with the fact that they
would be separating tomorrow. Xena didn't have the energy to do much so she just lay on her
bedroll and closed her eyes. Gabrielle sat against the wall and began to finish her diary.

Well I knew this was hard on Xena but I never thought it would come to this, she is
leaving me. Maybe I should tell her exactly how I feel about her now. Would it make her
stay to know that I can't live without her? If she knew just how much I depended on her.
She would most probably think I am only saying that because I want her to come to
Poteidaia with me. Which I do and she would be right. I would be saying that because I
can't go there alone. So she would think that I didn't mean it. Boy do I ever. It's seems
funny really. After all we've been through it takes a moment like this to realise just how
empty my life would be without her now. I realised when she died that I can't live
without her. I felt that lose more than I felt Perdicus' loss. I wish I could tell her that she
is the other half of my soul. I can talk to her about anything but not about this. I just
want to throw my arms around her and tell her that I am so in love with her that I can't
see straight. But I can't. How can I? I would rather risk my heart than our friendship. I
would rather have her as part of my life even if it is as a friend than tell her how I feel
and lose her friendship altogether. I couldn't survive that. At least it isn't forever. I
hope. She said she will wait in Amphipolis for me to send word that I am ready to leave
and I hope that will be pretty soon because although she said she will wait I know she
won't wait long. She hates staying in one place for too long.

When she finished writing her diary Gabrielle put it away and then lay down next to Xena. She knew
Xena wasn't sleeping but she couldn't even talk to her. Gabrielle knew her voice would betray her if
she attempted to speak. It was going to be a long night.

"Goodnight Gabrielle" Xena said

"Night" Gabrielle said making it short. Then she turned over to face the wall and tried to sleep.

Chapter 2

Well it had been a long night but both Xena and Gabrielle had managed to get some sleep. Xena had fallen asleep after Gabrielle and had woken up before her. So Gabrielle was more rested than Xena. As Xena mounted Argo she held out her arm telling Gabrielle to do the same which she did. Gabrielle settled her arms around Xena's waist as Xena nudged Argo into a walk. There was a uncomfortable silence between them for most of the day. 'I have to talk to her' Gabrielle thought 'Where do I start. I have to talk to her before we get to Poteidaia or we will both regret it'

"Gabrielle we need to talk" Xena said as if reading her mind. A small smile etched Gabrielle's face
without her permission.

"Sure" Gabrielle answered quietly. So Xena stopped Argo and dismounted, then helped Gabrielle
down. She tied Argo to a nearby branch and then walked over to a log and sat down. She waited
until Gabrielle joined her before she started talking again.

"Gabrielle I'm not going to leave you like this. We'll both regret it if we don't sort this problem out
before I drop you off" Xena said knowing all to well what happened between friends if they
separated on bad terms.

"I totally agree with you Xena, but what is there to say?" Gabrielle asked 'You're going to drop me
in Poteidaia and then leave me. I can't think of anything else'

"Gabrielle I know you don't understand why I can't go to Poteidaia with you" Xena said

"Yes I do" Gabrielle lied again

"No Gabrielle you don't. This isn't about how people will react to me because of Perdicus. You
know I don't care what other people think of me. I am used to seeing that look of hatred on peoples
faces. I have learned to accept that" Gabrielle looked into her eyes and felt like she was drowning a
feeling she always got when she was looking into Xena's eyes and the warrior was being so open.
She knew Xena was telling her the truth which only confused her even more.

"Well if that isn't the reason what is?" She asked

Xena thought quickly trying to find another lie to tell Gabrielle knowing she couldn't tell her the real

"I don't want to be in the way of your homecoming" Was the only answer she could come up with.

"You won't" Gabrielle said

"Yes I would. Gabrielle I don't want to come between you and your family. I don't want you to have
a bad time having to deal with them because of me"

"Xena I don't really care what my family think of you. This is my life and I chose to spend it travelling
with you. If they can't accept that it is their problem not mine or yours" Gabrielle reassured her

"I can't accept that" Xena smiled sadly "I wish I could"

"Why can't you?" Gabrielle asked

"Because they are your family. They were there a long time before I was and they will be there
after...." She was silenced by a hand covering her mouth

"Don't even say that Xena" Gabrielle pleaded

"Gabrielle we know that something will happen to me whether it is sooner or later. If you turn your
back on your family now and something happens to me what would you do then?" Xena asked

'What would I do. I would die that is what I would do' Gabrielle thought knowing she couldn't say
that to Xena "I don't know. I go and stay with the Amazons most probably"

'Damn never thought about them' Xena thought. "Gabrielle your family are more important"

"You are my family Xena" Gabrielle admitted.

"And you are mine and I am going to miss you but I still can't go to Poteidaia with you" Xena said
with a note of finality in her voice. So Gabrielle knew not to push her anymore.

"I'm going to miss you too" Gabrielle said as she put her arms around Xena and hugged her with all
her energy and then felt that pressure returned. 'This is going to be hard' Gabrielle thought. 'Harder
than you can ever imagine, Xena'

They held each other for what seemed that ages before Xena reluctantly released the bard from her
grasped and felt Gabrielle do the same. Then they climbed back onto Argo and continued their

It wasn't long before the fields of Poteidaia came into sight. Xena could feel Gabrielle's arms around
her waist tighten as reality struck home. 'At least this time I know I'm leaving her so she can go
and marry someone else' Xena thought which in a way made this a bit easier.

"Hey you okay?" Xena asked as Gabrielle's arms tightened again.

"Yeah" Gabrielle said "Why do you ask?"

"Well I was just wondering because it feels like you are trying to cut of the blood supply to my legs"
Xena smiled unseen to Gabrielle who blushed as she realised exactly how tight she was gripping the

"Sorry" Gabrielle said as she relaxed her arms. "I didn't mean to do that"

"It's okay Gabrielle" Xena said as she placed her hand on the bards arm and squeezed it softly then
let go as she pulled Argo to a stopped just outside the village. This was as far as Xena was going.
She smoothly dismounted and helped the bard down. As she did she was surprised when Gabrielle
wrapped her arms around her again.

"Hey" Xena said realising just how much this was upsetting her friend "Do you want me to work you
to the house?"

"No it's okay" Gabrielle said as she released her champion.

"Okay" Xena said "Right if you still want to leave, you will send word as soon as you are ready,

Gabrielle frowned "If I still want to leave?"

"Yeah" Xena confirmed

"Oh you don't have to worry about that" Gabrielle assured her "I will want to leave and I will send

"Okay" Xena smiled not wanting to believe that Gabrielle would leave knowing to believe would kill
her if her friend changed her mind.

"I'm going to miss you, Xena" Gabrielle admitted again

"And I shall miss you my bard" Xena said as she wrapped her arms around the smaller woman
hoping there wouldn't be any tears yet until she was alone. "Take care of yourself, okay"

"I will" Gabrielle smiled "Don't you go getting into any trouble"

"Me trouble" Xena chuckled "Never"

"Yeah right" the bard returned the chuckle "Well I'd better get going"

"Yeah" Xena said as Gabrielle turned and slowly walked away. Both woman thought their hearts
were going to break as their separation became real and even more painful. Gabrielle turned around
once just to see Xena mount Argo and watch as she entered the village. Xena lifted her hand in a
wave and turned a rode away. No longer able to hold the tears Gabrielle just let them come. As she
turned and walked into Poteidaia. Realising this was no longer her home made this return even more

Walking through the town Gabrielle noticed the looks of some of the residents she was getting. There
were looks of recognition, looks of suspicion and looks of friendship as some of her friends came up
to her and greeted her.

"Gabrielle" Someone shouted as she carried on through the village. Hearing some shout her name she
turned around and saw her old friend Metrus or Wolf as everybody called him. Gabrielle smiled as
he made his way over to her.

"Hello Metrus" Gabrielle said as he reached her he wrapped his arms around her.

"Are you back to see Alex?" Metrus asked.

"Yes" Gabrielle said sadly

"He'll be glad to see you Gabrielle" Metrus said.

Everyone knew that Alex and Gabrielle had been close before Gabrielle had left and when Alex got
sick he asked for her. He knew that he was dying and seeing Gabrielle would have made him happy. He had been in love with Gabrielle for a long time and his heart had been shattered when she married his best friend Perdicus. Alex, Perdicus and Metrus had all made bets when they were kids as to who they thought Gabrielle would marry when the time came. Alex thought he had a chance because Gabrielle was closer to him then the other two were. Perdicus thought he had the better chance because he had a lot of girls after him and he was pretty self assured. Metrus never really thought he had a chance with Gabrielle. He wasn't as infatuated with her as the other two. He liked her a lot but she wasn't really his type. He had always thought that Gabrielle would end up with Alex though so he was just as shocked as Alex when Gabrielle was betrothed to Perdicus. Although she had stayed around long enough to actually marry him. Alex and Metrus had been at their marriage and Metrus knew how hard Alex had tried to control himself at the ceremony. One of the reasons he had stayed pretty quiet was because he was afraid of upsetting the tall warrior that had stood for Gabrielle.

"Where's your warrior friend?" Metrus asked knowing that usually where-ever Gabrielle went the
ex-warlord wasn't far behind. He had to admit for someone with the reputation that the Warrior
Princess had, no-one ever said how beautiful she was. Metrus had thought so the minute he had seen
her. Although he had never told anyone that. He knew that there weren't many good feelings about
the warrior in this town. It had taken a while for everyone to realise that she hadn't taken Gabrielle
away when she came here but that Gabrielle had followed her.

"She went home to Amphipolis" Gabrielle replied "She thought it would be fairer on the village"
Gabrielle smiled as she looked at the look in Metrus' eyes as she said it

"Fairer on the village" Metrus repeated "How come?"

"Well she knows that everyone here still blames for Perdicus" She said sadly "And she wasn't really
in the mood for fighting and if anyone had started anything she most probably would have finished it"
Gabrielle said 'I hope you don't mind me keeping up your reputation her' Gabrielle thought.

"Really" Metrus said as they reached the family house "I thought she didn't do that anymore"

Gabrielle chuckled as she saw him start to get a little nervous though. The mention of Xena: Warrior
Princess did that to people.

"She doesn't. I'll see you later Metrus"

"Okay Gabrielle" Metrus said and turned to leave "It's good to have you home"

'Just don't expect me to be staying' Gabrielle thought as she walked into her parents home.

"Hello" She said as she shut the front door behind her and walked around

"Gabrielle is that you?" Her mother said as she heard the small voice for the living room.

"Yes mother" Gabrielle said as her mother ran out of the kitchen and through her arms around her
eldest daughter.

"Gabrielle it is so good to see you" Her mother laughed as she held onto to the bard as if holding on
for dear life. Gabrielle smiled and just hoped that she wouldn't break her back.

"It's good to see you too, Mother" Gabrielle smiled and she realised that for the first time it had sunk
in she would be coming home without Xena that it was good to see her mother. She was also looking
forward to seeing her father and Lila as well. Although not to the lectures she knew she was going to
get about running after Xena. Although they blamed Xena for that as well. No matter how many
times she told them that she decided to follow Xena and that Xena didn't really have a choice in the
matter they wouldn't believe her. They couldn't believe that their sensible eldest daughter would run
after a warlord.

"They said they had sent word for you but I never expected you to come" Her mother admitted

"Mother, Alex is a very dear friend of mine if it is his last request to see me why wouldn't I come?"
Gabrielle asked

"I just didn't think word would get to you. What with you travelling around with that mad woman"
Hecuba said

"Mother she is not a mad woman" Gabrielle sighed knowing that, that was the way most of the
villagers saw Xena. It didn't matter that she saved them from a group of slavers. It didn't matter to
her parents you to Lila that Xena had saved her life more times than she could count. All that matter
to them was that Xena was a woman that went against everything that they had believed in. She was
a woman willing to stand up for herself and what she believed in. She might had lost her way once
but she was back on the right track again and Gabrielle knew that she was one of the reasons Xena
hadn't gone back to Ares the God of War.

"You keep thinking that dear and you will get yourself killed" Hecuba said. Gabrielle couldn't tell her
that she had got herself killed once and that it was Xena who brought her back. She knew her
mother would have a heart attack.

"Maybe" Was all Gabrielle could answer.

Just then Lila walked into the house with Darius another old friend of hers.

"`Gabrielle" Lila said as she ran over and threw her arms around her sister.

"Lila it's good to see you" Gabrielle said as she returned the gesture. "Darius you look good"

"Thank you" Darius smiled

"Alex is going to be glad to see you" Lila said "But somehow I don't think you are going to like this"

"Like what?" Gabrielle asked

"Alex isn't dying" Lila said

"He isn't" Gabrielle said

"No he was very close to it and they thought he would because his fever wouldn't break and he was
getting weaker. But his fever broke last night. He should be okay" Lila said.

Gabrielle just looked at her sister. Filled with mixed emotions. She was glad that Alex wasn't dying
because she had already lost one of the few friends she had as a child she didn't want to lose another
she was however annoyed because she had left Xena to come and see Alex because it was his last

"Well that's great" Gabrielle said "Why wouldn't I like that?"

"Well I know you would rather be travelling around with that warlord than coming back her to see
your friends and family" Lila said with a little more anger than she had intended.

The only part of that statement that really made Gabrielle angry was the 'warlord' remark.

"Well I am beginning to wonder why I even bothered" Gabrielle snapped back and turned Hecuba
"Mother I will be staying at the Inn if you want me"

With that she turned and left.

"Lila go after her" Hecuba said

"Why?" Lila said knowing how much she had hurt her sister "Everything I said was true"

"No it wasn't and you know that" Hecuba said looking into Lila's eyes she knew that Lila was sorry.

"Okay" Lila said and with that she turned to Darius "Wait here for me?"

"Of course" Darius said and with that Lila turned and left.

"`Gabrielle" Lila shouted as she watched Gabrielle walked towards the Inn. She also noticed that
Gabrielle was ignoring her. So Lila ran and caught up with Gabrielle "I'm sorry Gabrielle I didn't
mean that"

Gabrielle turned to her with a sad smile "Yes you did"

"I was wrong and I'm sorry" Lila said sadly "I know that you wouldn't rather travel around with her
than spend some time with your family. Speaking of her I didn't think she'd leave you here on your

"Her name is Xena, Lila" Gabrielle reminded her "And she isn't here because she didn't want to get in the way"

"Well I can see that" Lila said "Nobody around here likes her"

"So I see" Gabrielle snapped

"Hey come on Gabrielle. It's not like we know her or anything. From what we see she is a warlord
who killed hundreds of men, women and children. Using everyone she got close to, to further her
cause. For all we know you are one of those" Lila told her

"For your information sister" Gabrielle said. Lila knew the way Gabrielle had called her sister that she was mad "She never killed women and children. It just proves how little anyone knows about her but she was used more times than she ever used anybody else"

Lila looked at her sister and she saw the deep understanding in her green eyes. Lila knew that
Gabrielle was telling the truth.

"Who would be stupid enough to use her?" Lila asked.

Gabrielle smiled at sister "Or you would be surprised"

"Most probably" Lila smiled "Now can we start this over again and will you please come home"

"Okay" Gabrielle smiled and she took Lila's arm and they walked back to the house.

"So how long are you staying for this time?" Lila asked she wanted Gabrielle to stay home for good
but she knew that was practically impossible so she just hoped her sister would stay home long
enough for her to understand why she had to leave.

"I'm not sure. Xena asked to me to send word when I was ready to leave. It will take two days to
get the message to her anyway. Two days for her to get here. So even if I sent word now. I would
be here for about a week" Gabrielle said

"You are not going to leave straight away are you?" Lila asked

"No it will be nice to spend some time with you, Lila" Gabrielle admitted. Maybe then I can try and
sort out my feelings for Xena. It is going to kill me before long. I just wish she felt the same way
about me.

"Good" Lila said.

* * * * *

Meanwhile on the road to Amphipolis Xena dismounts Argo and settles down on a rock and places
her head in her hands. Willing herself not to let the tears come. She felt like if they started they would never stop. She felt really stupid about all of this as well she had never felt this way about leaving anyone before. She knew that if everything went well it would only be for a couple of weeks but even that wasn't any help. She knew deep in her heart that Gabrielle had always wanted to fit into Poteidaia. She hadn't for a long time, that was why she came after the warrior without knowing
anything about her, only the stories of Xena: Warrior Princess, The Destroyer of Nations. Xena
knew that her parents and sister didn't approve of Gabrielle travelling around with her because of the constant threat of injury and death she was under. That was the only thing that had ever worried
Xena. That maybe there wouldn't be an arrow she could stop or a sword headed for Gabrielle she
couldn't parry. She hoped that, that day would never come. She wouldn't be able to live with herself
if it did. Xena also knew that Gabrielle's parent would do anything to keep Gabrielle in Poteidaia or
at least away from her. Even if that meant they would have to marry her off to someone she didn't
want to marry. The idea that they would do that to Gabrielle because of her made her sick. She
knew that to marry someone she didn't want to would not only kill the bard's dreams but it would
also tear her up. Gabrielle enjoyed their life on the road and deep down Xena knew that the bard
would miss that terribly.

Xena finally stood up realising that she had sat down a lot longer than she had intended. So she
walked over to Argo and scratched her behind the ears something Argo had always like and the
mare whickered softly.

"What would I do Argo?" She asked this was one of the times she wished Argo could talk and could
give her advice "What would I do if she decided to stay in Poteidaia. After everything we've been
through I can't say I'd blame her. I never exactly gave her a reason to stay did I?" She just stood
there for a minute as a memory came to her of a better time

It was just after Gabrielle had helped bring her back from the dead. Her and Gabrielle
had spent nearly all night talking about the past week. "Gabrielle" She had said "I want
to thank you for helping bring me back. It meant a lot to me"

"Xena I did it for myself as much as I did it for you. I thought I was going to die with
grief and when Autolycus showed up and said that you were still alive and you needed
his help I thought he was completely insane. I wanted to kill for trying to make me
break my promise of taking you home" Gabrielle had admitted

"I know I was there" She said

"You were" Gabrielle said still slightly shocked by the fact that Xena's spirit had taken
over Autolycus' body

"Yeah I also heard everything you were thinking. I didn't know you had a lot of that in
that head of yours" She smiled as she watched blush slightly. She had heard Gabrielle's
thoughts as she thought about what the warrior would have done to Autolycus if she
had been in her position. She would likely have ripped his arms off. If he was lucky.
Gabrielle thought about what it would have been like to do that to him. She had to
admit she had seriously thought about ripping him apart but Xena's funeral was the
most important part of her day and she wouldn't let anything distract her from that.

"What else did you hear?" Gabrielle asked

"Well I heard calling me everything under the sun. I also heard you telling Iolaus you
really wanted to hate me for leaving you. I heard all your thoughts that were about me"
She had admitted

"I didn't mean those things, Xena" Gabrielle said with a slightly ashamed tone in her

"I know you didn't" She assured her "You were upset. That was understandable. I knew
what you were going through. I felt the same when Lyceus died. I hated him for leaving.
For not fighting to stay alive. I asked M'Lila to apologise to him for me." With that
Gabrielle put her arm around her waist and she put her arm around the bard's shoulder.
And they had stayed like most of the night. She had thought of nothing except the
precious form that was leaning against her causing feelings in her that she thought she
would never feel.

Xena finally shook herself out of her reverie and mounted Argo and nudged the mare forward.

"Come on Argo" She said "Let's go home"

'Home. Where is home?' She thought 'My home was back in Poteidaia. Gabrielle is my home'

Trying not to think of the bard for now Xena concentrated on getting to Amphipolis. Knowing that if
she didn't stop thinking about Gabrielle her mind would over cloud her instincts. The instincts she
depended on so much. In a way she was glad to be having this break away from Gabrielle because it
gave her a chance to figure out her feelings for Gabrielle. not that they really needed figuring out. She
was in love with her, there was no doubt in her mind. What she did need to figure out was whether
she was strong enough to tell her that. Or if she was just silently admire and love the bard from a

* * * * *

Back in Poteidaia Gabrielle and Lila were lying in bed. Lila watched her sister for a while knowing
there was something wrong. Gabrielle had not spoken much since they had got ready for bed and
tried to settled down. Finally Lila decided to question her "Gabrielle what's wrong?"

Gabrielle looked at her and smiled "Nothing" She lied.

"You're lying" Lila told her knowing her sister better than that.

"No" Gabrielle sighed "I'm fine" 'I can't exactly tell you I am just wondering how Xena is. That I
am wondering if she found somewhere safe to sleep tonight. ' Gabrielle thought to herself

"Well why don't you try and get some sleep Gabrielle" Lila said "Maybe you can tell me about it in
the morning"

'How can I tell you that I'm afraid to go to sleep Lila' Gabrielle thought 'How can I tell you
about the nightmare I know will haunt me when my eyes are closed'

"Lila" Gabrielle said finally deciding that her sister deserved to know she would most probably be
woken up during the night

"Yeah" Lila said

"I just wanted to tell you not to be surprised if I start talking in my sleep or I start to panic" Gabrielle
told her

Lila just looked at her and saw that something was bothering her sister "Why?"

"It's just that I have these nightmares and they tear me apart. I usually start to panic in them. I just
thought I'd warn you"

"What are you nightmares about 'Gabrielle" Lila asked

"It doesn't matter" Gabrielle said sadly. Then she remembered the little wooden lamb that Xena had
bought her for Solstice. It was in her bag. So she reached down into her bag by the side of her bed
and pulled it out. She placed it on the table next to her bed so she could see it. Then she closed her
eyes and finally drifted of to sleep.

As she had expected the nightmare invaded her sleep again that night. She remembered the feeling as
Xena had stopped breathing in Nicklios hut and then she remembered her panic as she felt Xena's
heart stop under her hand. She was crying telling her not to leave her when she felt herself being
shaken softly. She opened her eyes hoping to look up into the blue eyes that were Xena's. Her heart
was still racing and her breathing was still rapid. When she saw the brown eyes of her sister looking
back at her with a concern in them she settled down a bit as she remembered that she was in
Poteidaia and that Xena was still very much alive. The little lamb on the table reminded her of that.

"I'm sorry Lila" Gabrielle said "I told you didn't I"

"Yes you did" Lila said "Gabrielle what are those nightmares about?"
"What did you hear?" Gabrielle asked

"Not a lot. I just heard you shouting please don't leave me" Lila said at first she thought Gabrielle was
having a nightmare about Perdicus. Because she could tell it was the nightmare of losing a loved one.
Lila wasn't sure if Gabrielle had met anyone else since Perdicus died she didn't think she would have.
Most men wouldn't look twice at someone associated with Xena. "It doesn't matter" Was all
Gabrielle said "Go back to sleep Lila"

"Are you going to be all right now?" Lila asked still slightly worried

"Yeah I'll be fine" Gabrielle said

"Okay" Lila said and she went back to her own bed and was quickly asleep.

'I hope you are all right Xena' She thought 'I miss you already and you've only been gone for a
day. I wish you could hear my thoughts now. Maybe then you would know that I love you
Xena' With those final few thoughts she closed her eyes and went back to sleep.

Chapter 3

Gabrielle woke up earlier than usual the following morning. She stayed there for a while before
actually getting out of bed. Lila was already up and about which she was pleased about because it
gave her a chance to write her diary before she announced she was awake. She didn't really have a
lot to say in her diary so it wouldn't take long.


Well my first day in Poteidaia wasn't so bad. I did figure out that this isn't my home
anymore. I guess I realised that before I got here but being here kind of confirmed it. I
know this sounds stupid but I miss you already. Even though I've only been away from
you for one day. This is stupid. I know it is but I can't help it. Last night I keep thinking
about what you were doing last night. Whether you were okay, whether you found
somewhere safe to sleep. Were you sleeping under the stars or were you in a cave
somewhere? I had mixed emotions yesterday because I found out that Alex isn't dying.
His fever broke and he is going to be okay. I was happy because I know now that I am
not going to lose another one of my friends. I was annoyed though because I came here
because it was Alex's last wish. I left you to grant a wish to a friend. I guess that sounds
a bit selfish but.... I'm glad Alex is going to be okay. I was thinking yesterday about
some of the fun Perdicus, Alex, Metrus and I used to have. Everyone used to think I was
weird for hanging around with those three. Now everyone thinks I am weird for hanging
around with you. I can't win. I think now though they would rather me hanging around
with Alex and Metrus than they do you. I am going to see Alex today. It should be good
to talk about the old times. Knowing that they might be the last words Alex ever says. I
will be staying here for a couple of days. I will most probably send word to you that I
am ready to leave now. I might leave it for a day or two though because it isn't very
often you get to see your mother and I think she will enjoy spending some time with you.
It will also give you a chance to rest. Something you haven't done in a long time. I am
finding it a bit awkward around here because everyone is asking me about you and I
swear something shows in my face. How can I tell them that I am completely in love
with you. I know they would freak out if they knew.

Just as she finished writing Lila walked in.

"So you are awake then." Lila said as she sat down next to her sister "What are you doing?"

"Just writing my diary" Gabrielle told her "I've been awake for a while but I just thought I'd get this
done before I was up and about"

"I thought being on the road would have changed how early you got up. I see I was wrong about
that" Lila said "I'm surprised Xena let you sleep in" Lila had never been able to get over the fact that
Gabrielle had left her to go traipsing after a Warlord. She hated Xena for it. She knew that Gabrielle
had wanted to leave Poteidaia before she followed Xena but she had thought that once Gabrielle was
away from here she would leave Xena and then just settle down somewhere and get married. She
had come so close to that with Perdicus but she had been denied that by Callisto. Although she knew
better than to admit it to her sister she still blamed Xena for that as well. Maybe it was just her hatred
and distrust of the woman that made it easy to blame her for everything that happened to her sister.

"Well Lila she does" Gabrielle said "Anyway I am going to see Alex. I'll see you later"

"Okay" Lila said as her sister turned and left. Lila watched as her sister walked through the bedroom
and door and out. 'She has changed' Lila thought to herself. She had noticed the newly formed
muscles on her sister that hadn't been there when she left home. She walked with an air of confidence
about her now. Something she hadn't seen from her sister before. This also confirmed that leaving
home had -as much as she hated to admit it- been good for her. She was actually fulfilling her
dreams. Something Lila would never be able to do.

* * * * *

As Xena carried on towards Amphipolis which had so far been pretty peaceful she heard a racket
slightly in front her nudging Argo into a canter she moved towards the sound. It wasn't long before
she was at the sight. And was surprised to see and group of villagers trying to turn a caravan back
over. Xena dismounted and walked over to them.

"What happened here?" She asked

"A couple of runaway horses ran in front of the caravan, the horses panicked and this is the result of
that" One of the men said

"Xena is that you?" Another voice behind her asked

Xena turned around and looked at the man who had asked the question recognising the man straight

"Toris" She said as she walked over to her elder brother "What are you doing here?"

"I cam home to see mother. I have been escorting this caravan back from Asernia and this happened"
Toris explained "Where are you off to?"
"Well actually I was headed home as well Xena smiled. She hadn't seen her brother since just before
Cortese attacked almost ten summers ago.

"Really" Toris said

"Yeah. I just dropped Gabrielle off in Poteidaia so I thought I would go home and see Mother for a
while and wait for word off her" Xena explained

"Gabrielle, that is your bard friend yeah" Toris asked. His mother had told him that Xena had
changed from the warlord he had so much off in Athens and she had also told him that a young bard
named Gabrielle had been the key to keeping Xena on that road.

"Yeah she is" Xena smiled. Toris watched as Xena's eyes misted over and she looked almost sad.

"Hey what's that look for?" Toris asked

"What look?" Xena asked

"Never mind" Toris said as him and Xena started helping to turn the caravan over again. Once it was
started out they all decided it would be better to set straight off. They didn't want to spend anymore
time on the road than they had to. Xena joined them for the trip. 'Well it's better than being by
myself' Xena thought 'At least I have someone to talk to now. So I won't have any reason to
just think' That thought sounded absolutely wonderful to Xena. She had spent most of her journey
trying to clear her head that she had felt herself becoming more confused. She had been trying to
figure out when exactly she had let herself become so dependant on someone else. Someone she was
sure was going to leave her again. No matter how hard she tried she couldn't figure out when her
feelings for Gabrielle had changed.

"So" Toris said bring Xena out of her trance "What have you been doing lately?"

"Oh you know, the usual saving villagers from a Cyclops. Battling Gods. Just your typical good
deeds" Xena smiled at the look on her brother's face

"Good for you" Toris smiled "So why did you leave Gabrielle in Poteidaia?"

"She is visiting a dying friend" Xena told him

"Well why didn't you go with her?" Toris asked slightly confused. He had heard that almost since the
beginning the bard and his sister had been practically inseparable. He knew there must be something
wrong for Xena to be alone.

"It's a long story Toris" Xena said. With that they carried on towards Amphipolis.

* * * * *


Gabrielle knocked on the door to Alex's house and waited until his mother opened the door and
asked her in. Alex had heard her voice and came out of his bedroom to greet her.

"Gabrielle" He smiled as he walked over to her and hugged her tightly. "I'm sorry your journey here
was a waste but it is wonderful to see you"

"It's good to see you too" Gabrielle smiled. 'He hasn't changed at all' She thought as she looked at
him. 'He has lost weight but that is most probably from the fever' Gabrielle had always found
Alex the nicest looking out of the three boys she used to hang around with. She had convinced
herself at one point that she was in love with him. She was only young and didn't know what love
was. She had hoped that one day she would marry him. But she was then betrothed to Perdicus. As
she stood in front of Alex now she realised that none of the old feelings she had, had for him were
there. Just the feeling of happiness at seeing an old friend. Those feelings were now focused on a
warrior on her way to Amphipolis and they were stronger then they had ever been for him or for
anyone else for that matter. She shook her head to clear it and looked at Alex again.

"It is nice to see you are healthy Alex" She smiled

"Yes it is" His mother smiled "We thought we were going to lose him for a while. Until you go through
that you have no idea what it's like"

Gabrielle looked at her and smiled "Well I have a pretty good idea. A friend of mine went through
that about thirteen moons ago and I know how she was. I know it is really hard"

"That it is" Alex's mother said "It's good to see you again Gabrielle"

With that his mother went into the kitchen so that Alex and Gabrielle could do some catching up.

"Gabrielle first I want to tell you how sorry I am about Perdicus. He was a good man" Alex said

"Yes he was" Gabrielle said. 'A man who didn't deserve to die. That was my fault' She thought
sadly. 'If I hadn't married him, Callisto wouldn't have killed him'

"So is your warrior friend here?" Alex asked "I have heard so much about her lately. Good things

"No Xena went to Amphipolis for a while when I can here" Gabrielle said. 'By the gods Alex' She
thought to herself 'In two questions he had drudged up two painful things' She shook her head
again 'Pull yourself together Gabrielle. She is only gone for a while. As soon as you send word
she will come and get you' She tried to convince herself that this was true but she couldn't.

"Oh. I really wanted to meet her. I didn't get to meet her last time. But rumours around here is she
has saved your live more than once" Alex questioned. He had heard the rumours but found it difficult
to believe that Gabrielle had been travelling all around Greece with an ex-warlord.

"Yes that she has. I lost count after the fifth time" Gabrielle smiled

"It happens that often huh" Alex said shocked

"Yes" Gabrielle admitted "But don't spread it around. Everyone around here is bad enough thinking
that I put my life on the line by travelling with her. If they knew how close I had come to dying on
some occasions they would never survive it"

"They deserve to know" Alex told her "They are your family"

"I know that but I would rather tell them when I am ready not before and I really don't want them
finding out off someone else" Gabrielle told him a slight warning tone in her voice.

"Hey I wouldn't do such a thing" Alex smiled knowing exactly what she was on about.

"Good" Gabrielle said "Now how is everything around here?"

"Well from what Mother and Father have said it has been quiet around here lately. I haven't been
able to go out for a while so I have to go by word of mouth" Alex said "I did here that there were
raiders in the forest between here and Amphipolis though. Think your friend will be okay?"

Gabrielle smiled at that "Believe me it's not Xena you have to worry about. If they decide to attack
her than that is their bad luck"

"I hope so" Alex said "For your sake. I know how much you have come to like the warrior"

'Like is not the word Alex' Gabrielle thought then said "Well she has been there for me a lot. She
was the only one I could turn to when Perdicus died"

"You should have come home, Gabrielle" He said "At least you would have had your family around
you to help you grieve"

"Yeah well I thought it would be best if I didn't show my face around here for a while and like I said
Xena helped me a lot" Gabrielle said

"So Gabrielle can you tell me a story. I also heard that you are an accomplished bard" Alex said. He
had always loved listening to Gabrielle tell stories. Even as a kid she had always made the story come
to life. She made you see the story.

"Sure any one in particular?" Gabrielle asked

"Well one about you and Xena. I've heard some great stories about the two of you and I would really
like to hear them from your point of view" Alex told her

Gabrielle thought for a minute and than got the ideal story.

"Well have you heard the story about Xena and the Battle of Troy?" Gabrielle asked

"Is that how it ended?" Alex asked

"Yes it is have you heard it?" Gabrielle asked

"No not that story but I heard that Xena had something to do with it" Alex said

"Well then I sing of Xena and the Battle of Troy....." Gabrielle was off. There was never any stopping
her when she started telling a story.

"That was great" Alex said "Xena knows a lot of people doesn't she?"

"Yes she does. And travelling with her means I know a lot of people as well. In the last two years I
have met Hercules and his best friend Iolaus. Celesta, Prometheus, Ares, Aphrodite, Cupid and the
list goes on and on" Gabrielle said

"Well it's okay for some" Alex smiled "So is Aphrodite as pretty as everyone says she is?"

"Well if you like the blonde haired, blue eyes type. I guess she could be called pretty" Gabrielle
smiled. She thought Aphrodite was quite pretty but she wasn't her type.

"You must love your life on the road" Alex stated as he saw the glow in Gabrielle's eyes when se had
told him who she had met on the road.

"Yes I do. I don't think I could come back to this sort of life anymore. It isn't my idea of fun
anymore. It is okay for some but not for me" Gabrielle explained

"You don't have to explain to me" Alex assured her "I understand. There are times I sit and wonder
what it would be like on the road but I don't want that. I used to but my home is here, just like your
home is out there"

"You do understand" Gabrielle smiled "You are most probably the only one in the whole of Poteidaia
that does"

"Well it's good to know" Alex smiled "So when are you leaving?"

"Well I have to send word to Xena first so I will be here for at least a week" Gabrielle said

"Good maybe we can get together and talk about old times" Alex said

"Yeah I have to get going anyway" Gabrielle said "I have to sort out the note I want send to Xena"

"Okay" Alex said "It is good to see you again Gabrielle"

"It's good to see you too, Alex" Gabrielle said as she hugged Alex and then turned to leave "Bye"

"Bye" Alex said as she left and he quietly shut the door behind her.

* * * * *

About a day outside Amphipolis

"Why don't we stop now" Toris said to the trade leader as they found a safe place to camp for the

"Yes that would be a good idea" The leader said "Okay everyone find somewhere to sleep. We will
stay here tonight"

Xena and Toris help get the camp set up and then Xena decided where to set her bedroll so she
walked over to the spot and lay her bedroll down and quietly started to sharpen her sword.

"Don't you ever give it a rest?" Toris asked as he moved his bedroll nearer to Xena. They had almost
ten years to catch up.

"Well I have to keep my weapons in good condition and I need to settle my mind if I plan on getting
any rest tonight" Xena told him

"And sharpening your weapons settle your mind?" Toris asked

"Yeah it does" Xena admitted

"So Xena what happened to you after Cortese. I know what happened but well you know what I
mean" Toris said he knew this wasn't exactly the time to bring up Xena's past but he had wanted to
know what happened to the quiet but strong sister he knew that only ever wanted to protect her
village from people like Cortese. From people like she had become.

"I wish I knew Toris" She told him sadly "I spent 10 years trying to figure that out. I guess I just
thought that if I conquered every village around Amphipolis I would have to risk losing anymore of
my family or friend. Losing Lyceus tore me apart. So much I couldn't see straight. Because of that I
became exactly what Lyceus and me were fighting against"

"Do you ever wish you had run with us instead of staying and fighting?" Toris asked which sparked a
memory to Xena of a different time.

After a visit to the temple of the fates to honour Lyceus on the eleventh anniversary of
his death she had killed a boy admittedly in self defence but he seemed even younger
than Gabrielle. Xena went into the temple and told the three fates she was sorry she
ever picked up a sword in the first place. On hearing this they told her that they could
restore anything. She thought they meant bring the boy back. But they hadn't. She went
outside and looked for Gabrielle but instead found Lyceus. She was in a world where
she had never picked up a sword and Lyceus was still alive. She thought she could live
like that until she ran into Gabrielle. This Gabrielle had been taken by the slavers
outside Poteidaia they day they had met. She hadn't been there to stop them. This
Gabrielle was hurt and full of hatred and mistrust. Xena had rescued her but when
Gabrielle had killed a a warlord Xena knew she couldn't stay in this world. There was
only one to get out of it. She had to draw blood in rage. Although it was the hardest
thing to do knowing doing so would lose Lyceus it was also the easiest decision she
made. She couldn't live knowing that this Gabrielle had so much to give the world yet
her years as a slave had broken her spirit. And Xena also found out that even though
she had done bad things in her past she knew that the good things she had done when
she was with Gabrielle had also been important. Because she wasn't there the Amazons
and Centaurs had gone to war and like she had expected Krykus had won. The
Amazons were slaves and the Centaurs were on the verge of extinction. She couldn't
live with that. So she struck the next man that attack her. She had never seen what she
did in the past as a good thing. But being in that world had made her realise that
everything does happen for a purpose you change anything and it could ruin everything.

"No I wouldn't have run" Xena told Toris "I would have told Lyceus to run with you but I would have
stayed and fought Cortese"

"Even if it meant you would become the warlord after it?" Toris frowned he couldn't understand why
his sister would want that.

"Yes" Xena admitted "Toris everything is on it's way to somewhere. I am happy with the person I am
now. If I hadn't become the warlord then I wouldn't be the person I am now. I would have hated
myself more for running than I ever could if I had fought Cortese lost everything and become what I

"I guess" Toris said as he started to understand what his sister was telling him. He had often
wondered about that.

"By the way have you seen Maphias since Cortese" Xena asked

"Maphias" Toris said "Why do you ask of him?"

"Well I was just wondering that's all" Xena asked

"Well actually he move to Athens with me" Toris said "When we first left he was mad that you didn't
come with us. And when you defeated Cortese he was absolutely furious when you didn't come and
look for him"

"What did he expect me to travel all of Greece to find him. He should have known me better than
that" Xena said

"He did. I think it was wishful thinking" Toris smiled "Anyway he is married now and he has a lovely
little girl. She is my goddaughter"

"I'm glad he is happy" Xena smiled as she thought about the man she had been betrothed to. She had never loved him but it was something her family had wanted. The joining of Maphias and Xena would have benefited both families. Maphias' family run the smithy and of course Xena's mother ran the Inn.

"He is" Toris said

"What did they name his daughter" Xena asked curiously. Her and Maphias had talk about what they would name there children if they ever had any. Xena had never seen herself as the mother type of person but it was what was expected of her.

"They named her Syrena" Toris said. He looked at his sister as he saw a smiled start on her face

"That was what we were going to call our daughter if we ever had one" Xena admitted

"Really" Toris said "That's what I call planning ahead. What were you going to name the child if you
had a son?"

"Well that would have depended" Xena said

"On what?" Toris asked

"On whether Lyceus had had a son before me or not" Xena told him

Toris looked at her confused "What has that got to do with anything?"

"Well if Lyceus hadn't had a son before me we would have named him Solon. If Lyceus had had a
son before me we were going to name him David after Maphias father" Xena told him

"Why?" Toris asked

"Well" Xena said as she finally stopped sharpening her sword and placed it next to her bedroll "Me
and Lyceus made a deal that the first one to have a son would name him Solon. After the Solon that
trained Lyceus and me" Xena explained

"Oh right" Toris smiled in understanding. "Well you've still got time, Xena"

Xena smiled at him wishing she could tell him that she actually did have a son and that she did actually name him Solon. When Solon had been born she knew that she couldn't keep him for his own safety.
At first she was going to name him Lyceus but she knew that, that name would be to closely
connected to her. Especially if he grew up and looked anything like her. So she decided to name him Solon. The name matched him perfectly.

"Yeah I guess I have" Xena said "Anyway you'd better get some sleep. Hopefully we'll be on our
way nice and early in the morning"

"Yeah it'll be nice to sleep on a bed tomorrow night" Toris said

"I can't remember what a bed feels like" Xena smiled

"Really" Toris asked not really that surprised he knew his sister travelled around a lot and that usually
meant sleeping under the stars.

"Yeah" Xena smiled "I think the last time I slept in a bed was about four moons ago"

"Oh I couldn't survive that. I've only slept on the floor for five night I don't think I could do for any
more than that yet alone four moons" Toris admitted "Good night Xena"

"Good night Toris" Xena said and with that they both closed their eyes and went to sleep.

* * * * *


Gabrielle and her family are sitting around the table quietly eating their food. There hadn't been much
discussion about anything that evening and this caused Gabrielle to wonder what her parents were up to.

Once they had all finished Gabrielle was the first to speak.

"If you will excuse me. I am going to my room to write a note to Xena telling me she can come and
get me when she is ready" Gabrielle said with that her mother looked up and finally decided to talk to her

"Gabrielle why don't you stay here for a while" Hecuba said

"Stay here?" Gabrielle frowned

"Yes this is still your home remember. We were thinking that since Xena is visiting her family it would
be nice for you to stay here and let us spend some time together as a family. Xena won't leave
without you Gabrielle" Hecuba reminded her.

'I'm not so sure about that Mother' she thought to herself.

"Let me sleep on it okay Gabrielle said

"Okay Hecuba said with that Gabrielle went to her room.

Once she was in her room Gabrielle decided to do her diary for that day.


Well everything has been pretty quiet today but then there is nothing special about that
in Poteidaia. It is also quiet here. Sometimes when I am on the road I wish I was home
having some peace and quiet but when I am here I wish I was back on the road. Or
maybe it was just anywhere where you are. It doesn't matter how much I try to enjoy
myself I can help thinking about what you are doing now. How did you sleep last night. I
know you still suffer with those nightmares of your past and they always restrict your
sleep. It is like me really. At least I let you comfort me when I have mine. It helps that
you is the cause of my nightmares and knowing you are right next to me alive is a great
comfort. I don't know why I am writing this as in a letter to you because you will never
see this anyway. It speaks too much of my feelings for you. But I guess it makes me feel
closer to you. That is okay for me. I am looking forward to seeing you again. Mother
asked me today if I would stay here for a couple of days to spend some time with them. I
want to but I don't want to. My Mother said you will wait for me. But I am worried that
you won't. I think I will send word to you that I am staying for a couple more days and
at least you will know then.

'Yes' Gabrielle thought to herself as she put her parchment and quill on the table next to her bed and
started to get into her night shift 'That is what I will do'

Then she lay in bed and thought about the only thing that seemed to really matter to her anymore.

"Good Night Xena. I miss you" She said quietly as she tried to fall asleep. She was surprised that Lila
hadn't come to bed yet though. It was pretty late and her parents weren't exactly known for letting
their two daughters run around Poteidaia at this time of night.

Shortly after that Lila came in quietly hoping not to wake Gabrielle up.

"Hey your late" Gabrielle said as she watched Lila get into her night shift and get into bed.

"I thought you were sleeping. I didn't mean to wake you" Lila said

"You didn't wake me. I was just thinking" Gabrielle said

"Oh" Lila said

"Anyway Goodnight Lila" Gabrielle said

"Night Gabrielle" Lila said and they both lay there quietly both lost in their own thoughts.

Continued in part II

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