Away From Home Part III

by Muzza

Disclaimers:- 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 the writing of this fan fiction. All the 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 but nothing graphic.

Sexual Violence - There is some references to the rape of one of the main characters in this part. If
this disturbs you, I'm sorry.

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 10

Cyrene and Xena were sitting in the Inn waiting for Gabrielle to arrived for her performance. They
weren't waiting long before Gabrielle, Hecuba, Herodotus, Lila and Darius arrived. Gabrielle headed
straight for them while the rest of the family sat down at a table, where they could see Gabrielle
perform clearly.

"So you are both coming to Amphipolis next right?" Cyrene asked

"Sure" Gabrielle said "If that's okay with Xena"

"Yeah I don't see why not" Xena said

"Good. It will be nice to have some company on the way back. I mean the traders coming here were
polite enough but they weren't exactly the type of people you could have a proper conversation with.
I mean... well you know what I mean" Cyrene said

"Yeah I know what you mean" Gabrielle said

"I don't see how you can. You have proper conversations with anyone" Xena reminded her, which
earned her a slap for her efforts "Oh no" Xena said as she watched Hecuba get up out of her chair
and start to make her way towards them

"What?" Gabrielle asked

"Your mother is making her way over here" Xena said.

Gabrielle and Cyrene followed her line of sight and saw Hecuba dodging chairs and waitresses to get
to their table. With an exasperated sigh she finally reached them.

"This place sure is hectic tonight" She said, as she set down next to Gabrielle

"You can thank your daughter for that" Xena told her, watching the slight blush that coloured the
bard's skin as she was reminded how popular her stories were.

"Yes it's good to know that she has made quite a name for herself" Hecuba said, with a hint of pride
in her voice, at her daughters work.

"Mother" Gabrielle said "This is Xena's mother, Cyrene"

Hecuba held out and hand and Cyrene extended hers in a friendly shake.

"Nice to meet you" Cyrene said

"Same here" Hecuba said "Gabrielle tells me you run an Inn in Amphipolis"

"Yes that's right" Cyrene said

"I've heard the Inn in Amphipolis is one of the best in the area. You must be very pleased?" Hecuba

"Yes I am" Cyrene said

"Yeah it is also known for the potent ale" Xena said "Four mugs of that and you are gone. Gabrielle
would be gone on one and a half"

"Really" Gabrielle said

"Yeah" Xena said

"You only say that because if you have more than four you are deadly" Cyrene said "Have you ever
seen her tipsy?"

"No" Gabrielle said, hoping to get some information on her lover. Xena would never allow herself to
get drunk in front of her because she said it was like she lost all control and she didn't want to expose
Gabrielle to that.

"Believe me when I say it is quite a sight" Cyrene said "The last time she had a bit too much to drink
at home she survived a knife throwing contest and a sword fight. All of which you know I do not
permit in my Inn. Well, if she did. I think the following morning she wished she had died in the sword
fight. She had the worst hangover ever. She was even more frightening with a hang over. Her brother
Toris made too much noise after he had come home from a few days away not knowing she had a
hang over. Everyone thought she was going to kill him. She had that warlord look in her eye, even
back then, well she made her way across to Toris who was now visibly shaking. He was always
terrified of her. Well just when it looked like he was going to pass out, she just said 'boo' and walked
away laughing. He never lived that down.

Gabrielle was chuckling as she tried to think of a hung over Xena but she couldn't. "That must have
been funny"

"Yeah it was. You know although Xena never shows it she has quite a sense of humour" Cyrene said

"Tell me about it" Gabrielle said "I have only had the chance of meeting that sense of humour, once or
twice. You'd never expect it to come from someone like Xena"

"Most people say that" Cyrene said. They all looked at Xena who was studying the table top with a
sudden fascination and not taking any notice of the knowing smiles she was getting of her mother and

"Anyway, I think it is time for me to go and do my stuff" Gabrielle said

"Yeah that's a good idea" Xena said, as she watched Gabrielle get up and moved towards the stage.
Hecuba stayed so she could carry on her conversation with Cyrene. Xena never listened to a word
of it. She was concentrating on the story her partner was telling. She was thankful that Gabrielle had
chosen a fairly mild adventure to tell tonight, in front of her mother. Xena knew Cyrene would flip if
she knew of some of the things they got up to. The voice of the bard was always enough to take
Xena away from everything. Away from the world that they lived in, until it was only the two of them,
in their own little paradise.

Before she knew it Gabrielle had finished for the night and was sat back down with her.

"Hey are you okay?" Gabrielle asked, concern evident in her voice

"I'm fine. I was just dreaming a bit" Xena admitted

"Oh about anything interesting" Gabrielle said in a quiet voice only audible to her

"Wouldn't you like to know?" Xena smiled seductively.

"You're bad" Gabrielle smiled.

"I know" Xena answered.

"Well Gabrielle" Hecuba said "I think it is about time we called it a night. Are you coming back with
us now or will you come home later?"

"I think I'll stay here for a while" Gabrielle said "I'll be over later"

"Okay, see you in a bit." Hecuba said "It was nice to meet you, Cyrene"

"It was nice to meet you too" Cyrene told her "Remember any time you are passing by Amphipolis
you are more than welcome at my Inn"

"I will remember that" Hecuba said "Thank you"

Gabrielle went over and told her father and sister that she would see them later. Then she went back
and sat with Xena and Cyrene.

"So when will you be ready to leave?" Gabrielle asked, she knew Xena didn't like staying in one
place very long and she was starting to get fed up with Poteidaia now. She just wanted to spend
some time with Xena away from the prying eyes of her parents and her sister.

"Whenever you are" Xena told her

"Well how about tomorrow?" Gabrielle said

"Sounds fine" Xena said "It might take us a bit longer than it usually would, because I don't know
who far I can go, without this playing up"

"Okay" Gabrielle said

"Well Xena get me up early then will you?" Cyrene said

"Sure" Xena said

"Well I'm off to bed. I'll see you both in the morning" Cyrene said "Nice and early"

"Yeah" Xena said looking pointedly at Gabrielle

"Hey any one would swear that I sleep late" Gabrielle chuckled.

"Oh really" Xena said "I wonder where they got that idea"

"Goodnight both" Cyrene said

"Night" They both said simultaneously, as Cyrene walked up the stairs and out of site.

"Fancy going for a walk?" Gabrielle asked

"Sure" Xena said being glad to be able to spend some time alone with her bard.

"Great. How about we go to the clearing where we first met?" Gabrielle suggested

"Sure sounds like a good idea" Xena said and she stood up and waited for the bard then both left the
Inn in silence.

The night was a warm one. The moon was high and bright and it was a wonderful evening for taking
a nice romantic moonlight stroll. Once they were out if sight of the village, Gabrielle grabbed Xena
hand and entwined her fingers with the long fingers of her partner. They didn't say anything, there
wasn't any need to. They walked in silence until they reached the clearing.

This clearing had made such a difference to both of them. This clearing was the same one where
Xena had buried all her weapons and even her leathers. Here was where she had wanted to give up
everything until she had seen a young girl trying to defend the rest of her village by offering herself to
Draco's men. That small motion had shown Xena that there were things that still deserved fighting for.
There were things she could do to help people like these villagers from the people that she had once
been. She knew it wasn't going to be an easy road but if she could see the joy on the faces of the
villagers like she had on the face of that young girl after she had saved them from Draco's men that
road would be easy enough.

This clearing had also made a difference to Gabrielle. Here she had met a woman who had taken
everything she had been taught a woman should be a shoved it in the face of everyone who said
women couldn't do anything except get married, have children and look after their husbands. Here
was a woman who had risked her life to save a bunch of villagers she didn't even know. This was the
clearing where a split second of eye contact with the warrior had let her know her life was definitely
not supposed to be that of the typical Poteidaian village girl. She was born to do so much more. This
woman was her ticket. Even when she found out that the woman was Xena - whom she knew then
as the Destroyer of Nations - she hadn't judged the woman. She had only seen the woman who
needed a friend and she planned to be that friend.

"If someone had told me on that day, that I was going to end up being your lover, I think I would
have laughed in their face. Not that I didn't want that because I did, even then" Gabrielle said

"Yeah it's the same here" Xena said "I didn't really believe in much back then"

"You know I don't think I did either" Gabrielle admitted, as she turned around and hugged the
woman who had changed so much for her "The only things I believed in were what my family wanted
me to believe in. In the corner of my heart though I always believed there was more to life than what
Poteidaia had to offer"

"Well you were right about that" Xena told her, holding her tight and revelling in the warmth that came
from holding her.

The pair stood silently for a while just indulging in the comfort of the other's presence. It was
Gabrielle who finally broke that silence

"You know I'm really looking forward to leaving tomorrow" She said

"Me too" Xena said, finally releasing her hold on the bard and taking her hand instead "Come on let's
get you home"

"Okay" Gabrielle said, entwining their fingers as they walked "Xena can I ask you something

'Uh oh' Xena thought to herself 'That can only mean trouble'

"Yeah sure" She said

"You don't have to answer if you don't want me" Gabrielle told her "I mean I'll understand if you
don't want to an.."

Xena cut her off as she started babbling "Gabrielle what is it?"

"Oh um well I know we haven't taken our relationship to a completely intimate level yet, if you know
what I mean" Gabrielle said "And I was wondering if you've ever been with a woman before?"

"Oh" Xena said "Yes I have. Does that bother you?"

"Oh no" Gabrielle said "At least one of us will know what we are doing"

"Gabrielle are you worried about that?" Xena asked, knowing what she had felt like the first time she
had been with a woman and it had been completely different to anything she had experienced before.

"Well I guess in a way I am" Gabrielle said "I mean I don't want to disappoint you. I mean I am not
experienced at this. I mean I never even slept with Perdicus"

"What?" Xena said completely stunned by the revelation that Perdicus and Gabrielle had not
consummated their marriage.

"Well it had been a hard day for both of us. It was late and neither of us really felt like you know.."
Gabrielle said "So we didn't. We thought we would have plenty of time"

"So have you been with anyone?" Xena asked

"You know I haven't. Unless you include that night with that priest when I set the Titans free"
Gabrielle said, smiling at the memory "And everyone knew I was a virgin then because I set the
Titans free and then I imprisoned them again"

"Oh boy" Xena said

"Does it bother you?" Gabrielle asked, afraid she may have told Xena too much

"No of course it doesn't" Xena assured her, seeing the relief in her lover's eyes "It's just that I've
never been with a virgin before"

"Really?" Gabrielle chuckled

"Yeah" Xena admitted "I mean not that I know of"

"Well then it'll be a first for both us" Gabrielle said "You'll be my first and I am already thanking the
gods for that. There is no-one else I would rather my first time by with than you. And I'll be you first
virgin" She chuckled again at how that sounded

"Well actually you'll be the first person I've slept with that I have been hopelessly in love with. So you
don't have to worry about disappointing me, love" Xena assured her "Whatever you do will be

"Thanks Xena" Gabrielle said, as she pulled the warrior down for a kiss "I hope we get to
Amphipolis soon"

"Why?" Xena frowned, 'What is so special about Amphipolis'

"Well you know a room to ourselves, a nice soft bed" Gabrielle said "I'm sure you can put the rest of
it together yourself"

"Hey maybe when I changed from being a warlord I decided to give up sex until I was married" Xena

"Yeah right" Gabrielle smiled "When was the last time you were with someone?"

"What is this question Xena on her love life or lack of" Xena sighed with mock exasperation

"No seriously Xena" Gabrielle said "I'd like to know"

"The last person I was with was Marcus" Xena finally admitted

"Really?" Gabrielle said "Maybe you have given it up then"

"Hey" Xena said, playfully slapping the bard. As she leaned in, and kissed her passionately.

"Did you have to do that?" Gabrielle asked "I have to go to bed now on my own and I'll be
constantly reminded that you are only about five minutes walk away. So don't be surprised if you get
a visit later"

"I wouldn't if I were you" Xena told her

"Why not?" Gabrielle asked

"Well see Mother is in my room. I thought it was pointless her getting a room to herself" Xena said
"Now let's get you home. It's starting to get chilly"

"Xena" Gabrielle said as they finally arrived at her parents house

"Yeah" Xena said

"I love you" Gabrielle said, as she gave her a peck on the cheek

"I love you too" Xena said as Gabrielle turned and walked into the house. Once she was in and the
door was shut, Xena made her way back to the inn.

Chapter 11

The sun was shining brightly as Xena and her mother left the inn. The town however was still pretty
quiet. Xena had done as her mother had asked and got her up just after dawn. Something her
Mother had not taken too kindly to.

Xena had been awake for a couple of minutes before Apollo made his appearance. It
was then that she decided to wake her mother.

"Good morning, Mother" Xena said as she looked down at her mother sleeping
peacefully in the bed. She was reluctant to wake her.

"Oh Xena what time do you call this?" Her mother said, noticing the time of day

"Early Mother" She said "You said you wanted to be called early"

"Not this early" Her mother said

"Well your up now" Xena said as she started to get changed. Her Mother managed to
rouse herself but not very quietly. Xena had smiled at some of the choice words her
mother had used. Mentioning something about remembering not to ask her for a wake
up call in the future.

As Xena arrived at Gabrielle's house she felt like a teenager going up to the door of her first dates
house. 'Come on Xena this is stupid' She said to herself but that didn't stop her feeling that way.

She knocked quietly on the door just in case anyone was still in bed but apparently they had all got
up to see Gabrielle and Ariana off. Ariana had made a few friends in Poteidaia over the last few
days, and although she was sad she had to leave them she was extremely happy to be finally going
home, she missed her parents a lot. So when Gabrielle had woken her up this morning, and told her
they were taking her home, she was ready to go within minutes.

Gabrielle had surprised herself by getting up as early as she did. She thought that Xena and Cyrene
would have had to wake her up when they arrived this morning. She never expected to be up and
waiting for them. 'I must miss her already' Gabrielle thought 'I can't believe I asked her those
questions last night' She flushed as she remembered how personal the conversation had become 'I
wasn't going to tell her I was still a virgin. I'm glad I did though. I don't want anything
between us'

"Good morning" Cyrene said, as she entered the house, in a cheerful mood. Xena left the house at the
same time to load Gabrielle and Ariana's stuff onto the horse.

"Morning Cyrene" Hecuba said, she had taken a liking to this woman, the woman who had given
birth to the Destroyer of Nations as Hecuba had seen her for a long time. Now though, she was
starting to see the softer side of the warrior. The side that only Gabrielle and her family had seen
before. She seemed so different from what the legends have spoken but so similar as well "So are
you already to go home?"

"That I am" Cyrene smiled "I've left the inn in my son's hands and I always feel a bit weary about that.
He can handle it well enough but it's just me"

"I understand how you feel" Hecuba said knowing how she felt when Lila was given one of her jobs
to do around the village. She knew Lila was more than capable of doing it but she just worried. She
watched as the warrior entered the house again 'But she never had that problem with her' She
thought with an inward smile.

"Hi, Xena" Ariana said as she ran out of the bedroom and hugged the warrior "I'm so very glad to be
going home"

"Yeah I bet you are" Xena said "Have you been behaving?"

"She has been as good as gold" Hecuba said "She is well disciplined for a young girl"

"Good I'm glad to hear it and so will you parents be" Xena said as she released the young girl, who
quickly took her hand "Is everyone ready?"

"Yes" They all said together.

"Come on then" Xena said as she lifted Ariana and put her on her mother's horse "You'll be riding
with my mother okay"

"Why can't I ride with you?" Ariana asked

"Um" Xena said, not sure how to answer her 'How can I tell her I want to ride with Gabrielle so I
can have my arms around her. So I can assure myself that she is safe' "Well see my horse is
stronger than my Mother's horse and me and Gabrielle are bigger than you and my mother and I
don't think her horse will be able to carry her and Gabrielle" 'Well done Xena. Good thinking

"Well why can't me and you ride that horse and Gabrielle and your mother ride Argo?" Ariana asked

'Damn this kid is quick' "Well neither Mother or Gabrielle can handle Argo. See Argo is a
war-horse and she is very stronger and only I can handle her" Xena said

"Oh okay" Ariana said, accepting this explanation.

It wasn't long before the family except Herodotus were outside to say goodbye to the travellers.
Herodotus still didn't approve of Gabrielle travelling around Greece with a ex - warlord. Not that
Xena blamed him one bit.

Once all the goodbyes were said Gabrielle moved over to Argo and Xena held out her arm to help
her up behind her. Gabrielle tried not to get to close because of Xena's wound but her body craved
the warmth of the body in front and it was like she had no control over it as she leaned forward and
put her arms around the warriors waist. Holding on as they all rode away from Poteidaia. Gabrielle
only turned back once to see her mother and sister waving at her.

* * * * *

The journey from Poteidaia so far had been pretty quiet. It was already starting to get dark when
they finally found a suitable place to make camp. Within a few minutes the whole camp was set out
and everyone was sat around the fire, eating some of the food Hecuba had packed for them.

"Your mother doesn't approve of what you are doing does she" Cyrene stated

Gabrielle looked up startled at the voice. It had been completely quiet the only sound was that of the
river not far away.

"No she doesn't" Gabrielle admitted

"She doesn't really approve of you either Xena" Cyrene said

Xena just chuckled "Who would?" She said, looking at her mother "I mean if I wasn't your daughter
and you only knew the warlord part of me that everyone else knew and I was seeing Toris would
you approve of me?"

"You know I don't judge people by word of mouth Xena" Cyrene reminded her "I wouldn't judge
you until I spend some time with you and I got to know you"

"Well not everyone is like that mother" Xena said

"I know that sweet heart" Cyrene said

Gabrielle and Xena both smiled at the affectionate term coming from Cyrene. It was something Xena
hadn't heard for a long time.

"Is it okay if I go to sleep now?" Ariana asked

"Oh course it is" Xena said "Go on"

"Thank you" Ariana said "Gabrielle will you tell me a story, please?"

"Sure" Gabrielle said, so she stood an walked over to where Ariana had laid out her bedroll. She
helped the young girl get comfortable, and then when she was settled, she told her a story.

"You two make a cute couple" Cyrene said quietly, in a voice loud enough for only Xena to hear

"You think" Xena said

"I'm glad you have each other, Xena" Cyrene said "It makes my heart happy"

"Thank you, Mother" Xena said

The pair sat quietly then waiting for Gabrielle to finish her story. Ariana was asleep just before the
end and Gabrielle finished it for the benefit of Cyrene who was contentedly listening to the story of
how here daughter had risked her life to save Gabrielle when she was on Cecrops' ship.

"Well ladies. I think I will call it a night as well" Cyrene said "Good night both"

"Night" They both said as Cyrene lay down on her bedroll and quickly fell asleep.

Xena sat by the fire and waited for Gabrielle to join her, which she did. Gabrielle sat in between her
legs and leaned back against her chest. Both feeling the warmth as Xena wrapped her arms around
the bards waist. They sat there for a while just enjoying each other and both looking forward to
getting to Amphipolis. Finally Gabrielle could feel herself dropping off.

"Come on you" Xena said "You need to get some rest"

"And you do" Gabrielle told her

"I am planning too" Xena assured her.

"Good" Gabrielle said as she stood up and both of them made their way to their bedrolls and
practically as Gabrielle put her head down she was sleeping.

* * * * *

"Well thank the Gods that's over" Xena said as they finally arrived in Amphipolis. After two hard
days of riding the wound in her back was starting to play up a bit.

Gabrielle looked at her partner with concern in her eyes "Are you okay?"

"Yeah just a little sore. I think I got back on Argo a little too early" She admitted, smiling sheepishly
"I'm getting too old for this"

"Oh Xena" Gabrielle said "Why didn't you say something?"

"I don't know" Xena said "I guess I'm so used to keeping it to myself when I hurt. It feels strange
when I admit it to anyone else. Being around an army, you learn to hide anything that could be seen
as a weakness"

"Well Xena I'm not your army" Gabrielle reminded her

"It's a good job too" Xena said

"Yeah if I was your second in command and I wanted your army I think I might actually get it without
much of a fight" Gabrielle said

"No doubt about it" Xena admitted. Both women knew this was one admission that neither had
expected. An admission that Xena for the first time had surrendered to something. Something she had
no chance of defeating. She had entrusted Gabrielle with her heart and for her part Gabrielle silently
made a pledge to love and protect that heart as long as she lived.

Just as the pair held Cyrene and Ariana of the horse and unpacked everything shouts from behind
them got their attention. They turned around and saw Ariana's parents Rhea and Andrus running
towards their daughter. Ariana was running towards them and the sight of the reunion was enough to
bring tears to Gabrielle and Cyrene's eyes.

"Xena thank you" Andrus said as he hugged her slapping her on the back unknowingly slapping her
wound although nobody would have know except Gabrielle that the sudden tensing of the warriors
shoulders were the indications that she was in pain.

"You're welcome" Xena said "I'm just glad I got her back. I'm sorry I couldn't get her back her

"It's okay. You Mother told us what happened" Rhea said "How can we ever repay you?"

"Just take care of her" Xena said "Now if you'll excuse me, I need to sit down"

"Oh of course" Andrus said, as Rhea and Ariana started to go back to their house. Andrus followed
behind them.

Xena and Gabrielle walked into the Inn and Cyrene came over with three mugs of ale, and settled
down with Xena and Gabrielle. Then she handed Xena a key.

"What's this?" Xena asked

"This is the key to the guest house" Cyrene smiled "It hasn't been used since.... well it hasn't been
used in a long time"

Xena looked at her in quiet understanding "Thank you, Mother"

"Xena I think if you do the house up it will look as good as new" Cyrene smiled

"I'll see what I can do" Xena told her "So who are you expecting?"

Cyrene frowned "What do you mean?"

"Well mother you must be expecting someone, or you wouldn't ask me to fix up the guest house"
Xena told her

"I'm not expecting anyone" Cyrene said, as she watched Xena take a mouthful of ale "I want you to
fix it up the way you want it and then I want to make it your home"

Xena almost choked on the ale she was swallowing "What do you mean?"

Cyrene smiled, as she saw the look in her daughters eyes, telling her she knew exactly what she was
saying she just wanted to hear her mother say it "Xena, I know you love travelling and helping
people. I know I can't ask you to give that up. All I am asking, is that you make Amphipolis you're
home again. Turn the guest house into your place. It will give you someplace to stay when you come
here to visit. It will give you a place you can call your own"

Xena looked absolutely dumb struck. She hadn't expected this from her mother, the woman who had
disowned her all those years ago, who had let the villagers stone her in the Inn when she had returned
two years ago. Not that she blamed her. Xena had led many of the local villagers to their death
against Cortese, including her younger brother Lyceus. "Um" was all Xena managed to say. She
closed her eyes and looked at her mother "We'd have to think about it"

Gabrielle looked at Xena as she heard the 'we' part of that statement. Then she looked at Cyrene
and saw the knowing look in her eyes which caused her to blush.

"You take all the time you want, just let me know before you leave" Cyrene smiled at them both
"Xena take Gabrielle to the guest house and show her around. You can put Argo in the private stable
as well. You two look like you could use some time alone"

Hearing this Gabrielle blushed as red as the sun setting on a warm summer evening. Cyrene just
laughed and the she left the pair.

"She knows?" Gabrielle asked

Xena smiled "Knows what?"

"About us" Gabrielle couldn't believe it. How could she have known. Gabrielle and Xena had both
kept their feelings undercover.

"Oh yeah I told her" Xena said. Now it was Gabrielle's turn to coke on the last bit of ale she
swallowed "Hey you okay?"

"You told her" Gabrielle gasped

"Yeah come on let's walk over and take a look at this guest house" Xena said as she stood up and
held her hand out for Gabrielle who took it and waited for the warrior to pull her up.

As they walked Gabrielle was trying to imagine how Xena had told her mother about them. She
couldn't actually imagine telling her mother. Knowing how she felt about the warrior was one thing
but actually knowing they were a couple was totally different "You told her" Gabrielle repeated

"Yeah although I didn't have to say much. She kind of figured" Xena admitted

"She kind of figured?" Gabrielle repeated

"Yeah when I was here before Ariana went missing. She asked me about my feelings for you. I could
tell by the look in her eyes she knew exactly what my feelings were. So I told her. She asked if you
felt the same and I told her I thought you did but I..." She was stopped by a hand gripping her arm
and pulling her to a stop.

"You knew, and you still did nothing about it" Gabrielle stated

"I wasn't sure, Gabrielle" Xena admitted "I wasn't willing to take that risk"

"Okay" Gabrielle said "So how did your mother figure it out?"

"I don't really know, but she knew" Xena said "And here is the guest house" Xena pointed to the
biggest house in the village. Gabrielle looked at it and then back at her partner "Pretty small, huh"
Xena said sarcastically.

"Small. Xena I've seen smaller castles than that" Gabrielle said "Why is it so big?"

"It never used to be a guest house. The whole family lived here" Xena admitted "As you can guess.
Toris and Lyceus had one room, mother had a room and I had a room"

"Where does your mother stay now then?" Gabrielle asked

"She stays in the Inn. She moved up there to be closer to the Inn and the village just before Cortese
attacked. She was only going to stay there for a while. Then Lyceus died. I left and mother didn't see
the point in staying in a big house like this when there was only two of them" Xena opened the door
and walked in holding the door for Gabrielle as she walked in.

"Wow" was all the bard could say.

Xena looked around and noticed that everything was just the same as it was the last time she had
seen it. It had been the day Lyceus had died. It had been the day Lyceus had died. The day started
off bad.

She remembered it well

Lyceus had been anxious all morning, knowing Cortese was just over the hill on his way
over to take the village. When the first scouting party had come to see what threat the
village poised to them some of them had been pushed back by Lyceus and a group of
other villagers. Xena had gone to check the back of the village on her own and she had
been caught by three of Cortese's men. Two of them had held her down while the other
had raped her. Just as the second was attempting to do the same time Lyceus had come
around the back and he had killed them. It had taken a long time to get over that,
longer than it should have because she didn't have time to recover. Cortese attacked
later that day. Lyceus had been injured on the battlefield and Xena had brought him
here away from the rest of the battle. He died just after she had put him in his room.
She had never forgiven herself for his death and she doubted she ever would.

"Come on let's show you around" Xena said as she walked into the main room "This is the living
room as you can tell" Xena took her through to the study which was exactly like she remembered it.
Her mother's desk was up against the wall with a pile of parchment on the one side, an inkwell and a
small tub of quills on the other side "You'd be at home in here" She smiled as she led Gabrielle up the
stairs. She stopped at the first door and opened it. Gabrielle walked in a noticed the two beds which
had been made but hadn't been used in a long time.

"This was Lyceus and Toris's room" Gabrielle said

"Yeah. Lyceus always slept next to the window" Xena said nudging her head in the direction of one
of the beds "He always figured he could protect Toris and the rest of the house if someone came
through the window"

I wonder where he got that from" Gabrielle smirked

"Yeah so do I" Xena smiled "Come on"

So she showed Gabrielle her mother's room and then led her to her room.

"So this is your room" Gabrielle smiled as she took everything in around her. It was far from what she
had expected it to be. This was the room of a young girl who was happy and loved. Gabrielle
realised that quietly she was beginning to know that young girl. Not the warrior she had first met.
There were small wooden ornaments all around the room and then hiding behind the door was a
small pouch. Xena walked over to it realising that was what the bard was focusing on.

"Me and Lyceus wrote these before Cortese" Xena smiled sadly as she pulled out two scrolls "We
were to read them if anything happened to the other. I never got to read Lyceus's. After he died I
never came in here again. I'd forgotten all about these"

Gabrielle could see the pain in Xena's eyes as she was haunted by memories of her dead brother.

"Why don't I go and put Argo in the stable" Gabrielle said

"Thanks" Xena said as she looked at her partner and then back down at the parchment in her hands.

"I won't be long" Gabrielle said and she turned and left. Xena sat down on the bed and slowly
debated whether to open the scroll from her brother or not. She did.

My Dearest Xena (it said)

If you are reading this I guess I must be dead. I knew I would die before you. Although
you would never admit it you were always the best fighter. Perhaps the best I've ever
seen, it's not surprising considering who one of your teachers were. At least I know I
died doing something I believed in. I hope our village will be safe from warlords like
Cortese from now on. people like them have to be stopped Xena. I know you can stop

Be Well Sister

I hope you find your happiness

I shall see you in Elysia

Love you Always

Your Brother


and written in quicker hand underneath which Xena realised must have been the last thing Lyceus had
ever written. Written the day Cortese had attacked and after Xena had been attacked.

Xe (it said),

Don't let what happened today ruin your life. You know you are strong enough to get
past that. I am just glad I got there when we did and I'm glad the first man I ever killed
had been the one who raped my sister. I hope you will find love Xena. I know Maphias
isn't it but when you find it don't let what happened today ruin the chance of keeping it.


Tears streamed down Xena's face as she read the letter. She had become one of the people that had
to be stopped. If only she had read this then. Maybe she wouldn't have turned her back on her one
true teacher and she would have fought for the right God of War. Maybe she would have stayed here
and been the protector of Amphipolis, like it should have been all along.

I wasn't long before she heard Gabrielle walk up the hall towards the room. Xena made no effort to
control her emotions. As soon as Gabrielle walked into the room and saw that her partner was upset,
she walked over and put her arms around her, knowing that she had read Lyceus's letter.

"Hey" She said as she kissed Xena on the forehead "What is it?"

Xena briefly debated about handing the letter to Gabrielle there were things in that letter she hadn't
wanted Gabrielle to know about. In the end she decided Gabrielle had every right to know what had
happened to her, so she handed her the letter and let her read it for herself.

Gabrielle knew as she read the letter which part had upset Xena. As she finished the first part she
held onto her partner and as she read the second part she understood another one of the many things
that had led to Xena not giving her heart away easily. She could feel herself starting to cry but she
controlled them and just held onto Xena until Xena's tears were spent.

"I wish I could have been there for you when all of this happened" Gabrielle said

"I wish you were too. I never even got a chance to grieve for Lyceus. So much happened that day I
never got a chance to grieve for anything that was taken from me that day. I always wanted my first
time with someone to be something special not like that. I tried to grieve what I had lost as a girl but
before I had the chance I was grieving the loss of my brother. I could have really used a friend then.
Maybe if I had someone I could talk to back then, the things that happened later wouldn't have
happened" Xena told her

"I love you Xena" Was the only thing Gabrielle could think of to say to the warrior who hardly ever
showed any of her emotions but in the last few days had shown more to Gabrielle than she thought

"I love you too, Gabrielle" Xena said

"What did you write in yours?" Gabrielle asked finally, not knowing what Xena would say. She knew
how private Xena was and she also know that her letter to Lyceus had been something private and

Xena surprised her by handing her the scroll "I can't remember"

Gabrielle opened the scroll and read the warrior's letter.

Dear Lyceus (it said)

Well, it appears I'm dead or you or you wouldn't be reading this. Unless we haven't even
fought Cortese yet and you are in my bedroom again.

Anyway seriously. If I am dead I hope you managed to stop Cortese and keep this
village safe. Give Mother my love and Toris if he ever shows his face in Amphipolis
again. Tell Maphias I'm sorry I didn't live to marry him. In a way I'm glad. I never loved
him. Not the way a wife is supposed to love her husband. As least this way I got out of
this obligation without hurting his feelings.

I hope you and Ilsa are happy. Hey if you two have a daughter name her after me will
you? Don't forget if you have a son we agreed it would be Solon. I'm not going to have
kids so I guess the game is over. All bets are off.

I Love You Lyceus

You were the one person I could always depend on.

I'll miss you Brother



Gabrielle quietly looked at the letter as she realised how happy that note had sounded, even thought
when Xena wrote had written it she had thought Lyceus would only read it if she was dead.

"Who was Maphias?" Gabrielle asked

"He was my betrothed" Xena said "He died in the battle with Cortese"

"Why did you and Lyceus have a thing about the name Solon?" Gabrielle asked as she thought about
her partners son who was living with the centaurs and didn't know his mother was still alive.

"Solon was the name of a very dear friend of our. He died when we were kids. Lyceus and I made
an agree that whoever had a son first was to name him Solon" Xena smiled "It seems I was around
long enough to for that"

"Can I ask you something else?" Gabrielle asked

"Sure" Xena said

"Lyceus said in his note that you were the best fighter he had known and he said it wasn't surprising
considering who one of your teachers were. What did he mean by that?" Gabrielle asked

"Back then when I was about ten, Lyceus and I had already started talking about being great
warriors and we had started training together. One night it was pretty late, I had just had an argument
with mother and I ran off. I was practising my drills and things and while I was practising this woman
came out of nowhere. She told me that I had a fire in me that was rare for a female to have. She said
usually the best fighters went to her brother" Xena said seeing the twinkle of realisation in her partners
eyes "Well she told me that she was Athena Goddess of War. She trained me to be the best. I was
her Chosen until I turned my back on her and went the way she said all the best fighters did. The way
of Ares"

"You were Athena's chosen" Gabrielle said "Is this cool or what. I am Artemis' chosen and you are

"I was" Xena reminded her "It also means that Ares may have wanted me as his Chosen but it would
never happened. You know one god can't pick another gods Chosen"

"Yeah which means you are still Athena's Chosen" Gabrielle told her

"I don't see how I could be" Xena admitted.

Xena and Gabrielle sat quietly for a while before Xena finally put her hand on her partner's shoulder
"Come 'ere"

Gabrielle smiled as she leaned back over to her lover and gently kissed her. It wasn't long before that
kiss became more intimate and both woman let their hands wander and finally they let their instincts
take over.

* * * * *

After a long while Xena looked down at the sleeping bard and smiled. She gently ran her fingers
through her partners hair as she felt her stir and tighten her grip on the warrior's waist.

Gabrielle looked up at Xena and smiled "Good Evening"

"Hi" Xena smiled "Sleep well"

"Very well thank you" She said as she gently kissed Xena's shoulder and she realised that, for the first
time in her entire life, she felt complete.

"Wore you out did I?" Xena grinned

"Absolutely" Gabrielle returned that grin "That was incredible. No wonder I was in such a rush to get
to Amphipolis"

Xena watched as Gabrielle blushed then leaned over and kissed her now red cheek "You're sooo
cute when you blush and yes it was incredible and you were worried about disappointing me"

"So I did okay?" Gabrielle asked still slightly unsure

"Gabrielle I don't think I have ever felt like that in my whole life" Xena admitted and it was true. She
had used her body as a weapon for so long that she had experienced all types of sex in her life but
nothing had prepared for what it was like to make love to someone you truly loved.

"Really" Gabrielle said

"Really" Xena said

"So Xena are we going to take the house?" Gabrielle asked as Xena started to look through one of
her closets and removed an old tunic from there. It was an emerald green tunic and as she slipped it
one Gabrielle was once again reminded how beautiful her warrior was 'My warrior' she mused

"Do you want to?" Xena asked

"I like it here" Gabrielle said "And it would be nice to have somewhere we could call home. I could
leave my scrolls here and when we are travelling I can send them back here. It will be nice for when
we are ready to settle down"

"Yeah it would be wouldn't it" Xena said "I guess I'll tell mother we'll do the house up the way we
want to then"

"I guess so" Gabrielle said, smiling at just how easy that battle had been. She had expected more of a
fight from the warrior than that. She knew that Xena didn't like to be tied down to any certain place
and having the house here meant that under no condition whatsoever she was tied to Amphipolis.

"So you want to see the Amphipolis sites?" Xena asked as she pulled on her boots

"I'd love to" Gabrielle said as she got out of bed and started to change into a grey tunic that really set
off the colour of her hair and eyes. As Xena looked at her, she silently thanked the gods for bringing
the bard into her life.

"Come on then" Xena said as she gently pulled the bard out of the house "First let's go and tell
mother about the house"

* * * * *

The Inn was pretty full when the pair entered. It was dinner time and people were there for their
evening meal Cyrene spotted them coming in and motioned for the two of them to go to the family
table. Xena lead the bard to the table and then waited for her to sit down before sitting next to her.

Within five minutes there were dishes of stew in front of them.

"Eat" Cyrene said, sternly.

Xena just smiled at her as the bard dug in. Before long Cyrene joins them.

"Busy tonight" Xena said

"Yeah they heard there was a bard in Amphipolis and they were kind of hoping that we would be
lucky enough to get her to perform for us" Cyrene said

"I never knew there was a bard in town. Is she cute?" Toris said, smiling as Gabrielle looked down at
the table then at her hands.

"From what I've heard she is extremely cute. Especially when she blushes" Xena told him, smirking
when she saw the bard reacting the way she had expected. Toris looked at her as she blushed

"Oh you're right" He said

"Hey stop picking on the young woman or I'll tell her some of the stories I know that you wouldn't
want her to hear" Cyrene said

"Okay" Xena said "I'll not say another word I promise"

"Good" Cyrene said looking at Toris

"Me either" Toris said.

"Oh by the way mother we have decided to take up your offer on the house" Xena said

"Really" Cyrene said "That's great. If you need any help getting it sorted out just give your brother a

"We'll do that" Xena said.

"So Gabrielle do you think you could honour us with a few stories tonight?" Cyrene asked

"I'd love to, Cyrene" Gabrielle said

"Oh please call my Mom" Cyrene said "You are family now Gabrielle. You are like a second
daughter to me, you know that"

"Really" Gabrielle said

"Well yeah. You put up with my daughter, that is not a simple feat. I know I tried for eighteen years"
Cyrene said

"Well thanks, Mom" Gabrielle said 'That feels weird' Gabrielle thought 'But I like it'

After Gabrielle and Xena had finished their meals, they excused themselves and then went out to look
around Amphipolis.

It wasn't long before Xena found one of her favourite places. It was a small pond with a wooden
bench on the side.

"What place is this?" Gabrielle asked

"This is where I used to come when I needed time on my own. Lyceus and I often spend a lot of time
up here, that was why we made the bench" Xena said, as she moved over to the bench and sat
down, Gabrielle joined her "This is where I used to come for my training with Athena. It was away
from the village and nobody could see us. Being Athena's Chosen always made me feel special. After
I turned my back on her and become exactly what she didn't want me to become I always felt bad
about it. I let down the person who believed in my ability to do good and I hated myself for that. I
never had that again until I met you"

"You are wrong daughter" A voice behind them said, Xena stood quickly and had her sword
unsheathed before she turned around

"Athena" Xena said

"Yes, Xena" The Goddess said

"What do you mean I was wrong?" Xena asked

"I always believed in your ability to do good. Even when you lost your way. I sent M'Lila along to try
and get you back on the right path but when it failed and she died I saw the change in you, you got so
far into Ares' clutches that I couldn't reach you but I never gave up hope" Athena assured her "When
you met Hercules, I asked him to try and sway you but I knew that it would never work unless he
believed you could change. Luckily he did. Then as the fates would have it you ran into a young girl
who although you didn't know it then would change your life completely" Athena looked at Gabrielle
"My sister has chosen well, Gabrielle. I want to thank you for what you have done for Xena. She
wouldn't have made it this far without you"

Gabrielle was still trying to figure out if this was real or not. She had only ever run into three gods
before Ares, Aphrodite and Cupid and that had been when they were either causing trouble or they
needed Xena's help. Having a Goddess here for a social visit was quite unexpected.

"Anyway, Xena" Athena said turning back to the warrior "You were then and you still are my
Chosen. Even if I have to remind my brother of that once in a while. I am glad you have found the
way back to the right way"

"How can I still be your Chosen?" Xena asked "I turned my back on you. I fought for everything you
were against. I have no right to be anyone's Chosen"

"You're wrong, Xena" Athena said "You never turned your back on me, you just buried that part of
you so deep that you lost touch with it. You said yourself you hated yourself for it. I know how you
felt. I feel it remember. As Artemis feels everything Gabrielle feels. Let me tell you something, that
can be a Olympian pain in the butt but you'll find that out soon enough"

"Find out what soon enough?" Gabrielle finally asked

"What it's like to feel what someone... oh wait you didn't know" Athena said realising that she had put
her foot in it "Well forget I said anything" Athena rolled her eyes knowing that was a stupid request
these two mortals were as stubborn as the day is long "Well let me warn you there are going to be
some thunderstorms tonight because when I get back to Mount Olympus I am going to kill
Aphrodite. See you two have been given what some would call Aphrodite's gift or some call
Aphrodite's curse. I can be both"

"The ability to feel the other's pain" Gabrielle said

"Not just pain Gabrielle. Aphrodite's gift is the ability to feel the other's emotions. You've had it for a
long time but it was blessed when you two finally got together. Did you know they were betting up on
Olympus on how long it would take" Athena smiled "Ares was the only one dull enough to think it
would never happen"

"Really" Gabrielle said

'Oh this is getting too much' Xena thought to herself 'How can I still be Athena's chosen. No this
isn't right. My mind must be playing tricks on me again'

Athena looked at her and smiled "No, Xena, you're mind isn't playing tricks on you. This is real and
you are still my chosen whether you like it or not. Now you two better get going. It's going to rain
soon and believe me, you wouldn't want to be out in it"

"Thank you, Athena" Gabrielle said

"Look after my Chosen, Gabrielle" Athena said "Xena you do remember that if you ever need my
help all you have to do is ask for it?"

"Yes I do" Xena said

"Good. Now go" Athena said and within seconds she was gone.

"Come on I think she meant it when she said it was going to rain" Gabrielle said as she grabbed the
warriors arm and pulled her towards the village.

Just as they reached the Inn a massive clap of thunder could be heard and Xena and Gabrielle smiled
knowingly at each other as it started to rain.

Xena sat at the table with her mother and brother while Gabrielle did her bard thing and before long
both were ready for bed. Neither of them were tired though.

Chapter 12

Gabrielle opened her eyes slightly and slammed them shut again as the sun shone brightly in through
the window. As she opened one eye she looked up at was surprised to see Xena still sleeping. 'She
is going to flip when she sees how late it is' She mused as she lifted herself out of her comfortable
position and gently kissed the warrior. When Xena realised what was happening she gratefully
returned the kiss which led to other things and both were once again ignited as their passion for each
other took over.

"Well that was a nice way to wake up" Xena smiled as she wrapped her arm tightly around the bard
and pulled her closer.

"Yeah you'll have to sleep late more often" Gabrielle said

"I will, will I?" Xena asked

"Absolutely" Gabrielle said as she nibbled on the naked skin underneath her cheek. "You know I am
still pinching myself to make sure this is real. I have wanted this for so long sometimes I just can't see
how it is"

"I know. It's weird" Xena admitted "So what are we doing today?"

"Well I was thinking about going to see Athena's temple" Gabrielle said

"Why would you want to go there?" Xena asked

"Well I thought it would be nice to go and give her an offering. I mean you are still her Chosen and
she might appreciate knowing that you still follow her" Gabrielle said

"I still don't get that" Xena said

"Don't even try to understand the Gods Xena. I thought we had given up on that" Gabrielle said

"Yeah we did didn't we" Xena said "Come on let's go or we'll never hear the end of it off Toris"

"Yeah I am hungry" Gabrielle admitted just as her stomach decided to make it's presence known

"Come on" Xena said and they both changed and left for the Inn.

"Good morning, daughters" Cyrene said as they entered the Inn.

"Morning" They both said together

"Come and eat" Cyrene said as she walked into the kitchen. Xena and Gabrielle made their way over
to the family table and sat down with Toris.

"So Xena mother says you've agreed to live in the old house" Toris said

"Yes we have" Xena admitted "Why is that a problem for you?"

"No.. no not at all. It'll be good to see the house get some use after all these years. You know she
hasn't used it since Cortese. She only drops in to clean it every week she doesn't stay there any
longer than she has too" Toris told her "I'm glad it's being kept in the family"

"Yeah well if it hadn't been me it would've been you, Tor" Xena said

"Maybe" Toris said "So how long are we going to be honoured with your company?"

"A few days most probably" Xena said "We have some more travelling to do before the winter
comes and when it does we'll come home for the winter"

"Oh great so we'll have you all through the winter" Toris said

"We will" Cyrene said as she sat at the table "Really?"

"Well if it's okay with Gabrielle I think I'd much rather a nice warm bed and a roof over my head as
opposed to the hard, cold ground and the winter sky" Xena admitted "It almost killed me last year"

"Me, too" Gabrielle agreed

"Well then it's settled we will have both of you home for the winter. This is great" Cyrene said as she
started to eat her food. Xena, Gabrielle and Toris joined her.

"I think I'm going to go back down to the house and do some work on my diary" Gabrielle said after
they had finished their breakfast.

"Okay" Xena said "I'll be down in a bit"

"Okay" Gabrielle said "Bye Mom, see you later Toris"

"Bye honey" Cyrene said and Toris just smiled as Gabrielle turned and left the Inn. Cyrene went back
to work and Toris just sat there looking at his sister.

"What?" She finally asked

"I was just thinking about how right now I am really jealous of you" Toris admitted

"Jealous of me. Why?" Xena asked

"Why not?" Toris asked "You have everything I ever wanted"

"What a bloody past and a price on your head" Xena said

"No" Toris said "You have strength, power and the respect of so many people, but more than that I
am jealous because you have the love of a very beautiful woman. I have never had that"

"You will, Toris" Xena assured him "You will"

"I hope so, because seeing you and Gabrielle so happy has made me want it more than I thought
possible" Toris admitted.

"Well you should want it Toris. I didn't. Not for a long time. Having it makes you feel like your flying
half the time. It was a saviour for me. Without Gabrielle's love I don't know where I would be right
now" Xena admitted

Silence feel between the siblings "I'm happy for you Xena" Toris said finally as he started to leave

"Thank you, Toris" Xena said and Toris left. Just as he opened the door a woman walked in. She
was slightly smaller than Toris with blonde hair. Xena smiled as she made her way over to the woman

"Solari" Xena said as the Amazon noticed her and walked over

"Hey Xena" She said "I was looking for Gabrielle I was. Is she here?"

"Sure, she is down at the house" Xena said "Come on I'll take you down"

"Who's house?" Solari asked as they left the Inn

"Ours" Xena said

"Yours?" Solari asked not completely understanding

"Yeah. Mother gave it to us so we would have somewhere to call home and where we could stay in
the winter" Xena told her, as they turned down towards the house

"Wow" Solari said as she noticed the big house in front of her. Not realising this was the Warrior's
house "I bet the village elder lives in there"

"Well um no" Xena said as she walked towards the house

"This is your house?" Solari asked

"Yeah" Xena said "It used to belong to the whole family but things happened and my mother doesn't
live in it any more. She made it into a guest house first of all but she never let it out. Now she has
given it to us" She explained as she opened the door "Gabrielle you have a visitor" She shouted as
Solari entered and looked around. Completely stunned by the size of it.

In a few seconds Gabrielle walked out of the writing room and was pleasantly surprised to see Solari
standing next to her lover. "Solari" She said, as she walked up to the warrior, who had helped them
battle Velaska after she had become a God, and she hugged her. "What are you doing here?"

"Well I was asked to bring this note from Ephiny" Solari told her, handing her a small scroll, she
noted the small frown that burrowed on the bards face.

Gabrielle unrolled the scroll and then read it to herself.

Dear Queen Gabrielle (it said)

I am writing to inform you of an upcoming festival that requires you presence. The
Festival of Artemis is being held in three weeks time and it is important you be there
along with your Champion, The Warrior Princess.

Then the letter changed from formal to personal

Anyway Gabrielle this Festival is one of the biggest in an Amazon year. We have heard
rumours that there is uprising in the tribe and the leader is planning on challenging for
the queen hood at the festival. You have to be here to defend it. I hope everything is well
with you. See you at the festival



"Gabrielle what's wrong?" Xena asked noticing the frown on the bards face

"Ephiny wants us at the Festival Of Artemis. Someone there is going to challenge me and I need my
Champion there.

"The Festival Of Artemis" Xena said

"Yeah" Solari said "It is.."

Xena interrupted her "I know what it is"

"Oh" Solari said "So will you come?"

"Of course I will" Gabrielle said "Both of us will"

"Oh thank Artemis" Solari said "I'd better be going then"

"Solari you may as well stay here tonight and leave in the morning. Give yourself I chance to rest"
Xena told her, Gabrielle looked at her partner and smiled her thanks.

"Okay" Solari said "I'll go and get a room at the Inn"

"Solari shut up" Xena said "This has three bedrooms. There is plenty of room for you here. I'm sure
my mother won't mind if I take one customer off her"

"Are you sure?" Solari asked

"Yes" Gabrielle answered "Now where is your stuff?"

"Out by the door" Solari said

"Well go grab it and I'll show you to your room" Gabrielle said "Shall I put her in the boys room?"

"Yeah" Xena said as she sat down on the soft couch they had in the living room.

'This is wonderful' She thought 'The Festival of Artemis. Why did it have to be so soon?'

Xena went to the stairs "Gabrielle, I'm going out for a bit. I need to see someone" She shouted up to
her partner

"Okay" Gabrielle answered and Xena left.

As Xena walked through the village she remembered what she had been told of this festival and she
didn't know whether Gabrielle or her were ready for it. She needed to know if there was anyway out
of it or of postponing it. Hopefully her friend would have the answers she needed.

* * * * *

Gabrielle and Xena told Solari the following morning that they wouldn't be joining her on her journey
back to the Amazons they would be there in a few days. Solari wasn't really surprised about that and
she let them know it as well. They said goodbye to Solari and then decided to spend the rest of the
day with Cyrene and Toris because they weren't sure when they would see them next.

The day went pretty quickly for both of them. Both who if they admitted it to themselves knew they
didn't really want to leave Amphipolis yet. In the few days they had been there they had, had some of
the best times of their lives. Knowing some of those times would be put on hold until they reached the
Amazons made them glad it was only two days away.

They spent all of their last night in the comfort of their bed. Enjoying the company and passion of
each other.

* * * * *

Well time finally arrived for them to leave they both got changed, Xena went and saddled Argo and
then they made their way up to the Inn where Toris and Cyrene were waiting to bid them farewell.

"You come back as soon as you can" Cyrene whispered into her daughter's ear as she hugged the tall

"We will mother. I promise" Xena said

"Good and take care of yourself and Gabrielle" Cyrene told her

"I will" Xena said as she released her mother and Cyrene went and hugged the bard whispering the
same things into her ear.

"See you soon, Sis" Toris said as he offered his arm, he was surprised when Xena ignored it and
pulled him into a hug instead.

"Look after Mother" She said "And yourself. I'll see you soon"

After all the goodbyes were said. Xena mounted Argo and held out her arm for Gabrielle to do the
same. Gabrielle grabbed onto the warrior's arm and she was pulled up behind Xena. Both of them
turned and waved at the two figures who were disappearing into the distance.

"So to the Amazons" Xena said

"To the Amazons" Gabrielle repeated as she wrapped her arms around her lover and let herself fall
into the warmth that was Aphrodite's gift.

The End

Coming Soon

Trust In Her

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