The Birthday Gift Part IV

By Shadowdancer

DISCLAIMER: I didn't create Xena and Gabrielle, Alti, nor any of the other characters you recognize from the show, but I did create the ones you don't.





 Once in the hut, and alone, Xena called to Ares, Gabrielle in the meantime, keeping watch at the door so that no one would walk in on them while Xena was having her meeting with the God of War and discover their little deception before they were meant to.  The only Amazons who knew of her meeting with the god of war were Ephiny and Danalia; they might let the others know about it later, but for now the only ones who knew she had any communication with the god of war were Ephiny and Danalia.  “And what if your little plan doesn’t work Xena?” “You’d better pray that it does Ares, or all of Olympus comes down, and the known world that your parents created goes with it”.  “I’ll do my part, I can’t speak for the other Gods, but if what you say is true, then they’ll see the need to follow your plan Xena.  You take care of the Amazons and your fellow humans, and we’ll take care of Olympus. You just get her to us, and we’ll take care of the rest. We’ll make sure she doesn’t come back this time”. Ares stepped back from Xena a step or two, and vanished in his usual manner.  “Xena! Somebody’s coming” came Gabrielle’s warning from the entrance to the hut; Xena hurried to get back onto the bed, and quickly lay still, closing her eyes as if unconscious. Gabrielle waited for the oncoming amazons and moved into the hut with them. “I am Dannay, Second and Regent Danalia has commanded me to guard the entrance to the hut to ensure that you and Xena will not be harmed.  Lannia, also assigned guard duty will be here soon, she was delayed. If you do not think that Lannia and I are suitable guards, then you may dismiss us and choose guards yourselves.” “Oh no, no, I’m sure you’re both excellent guards or Danalia would never have chosen you both. Xena and I trust her judgment completely”.  As the Amazon called Dannay had spoken, her partner, Lannia came trotting up and bowed to Gabrielle, “I am Lannia, please pardon my tardiness. I had just returned to the village after the morning’s hunt when I was commanded to guard duty.  I had to return to my hut for my combat weapons, I will not be tardy again, I apologize”.


“My these Amazons are so formal and so strict on protocol and ceremony, must be Danalia’s influence, Ephiny isn’t this strict” Gabrielle thought to herself.  “I know you won’t Lannia, you’re forgiven, please rise and continue in your duties”.  Both six-foot Amazons bowed their heads, never once meeting Gabrielle’s eyes, and posted themselves outside the door.  “Are they all six-feet tall around here or what?” she thought as she went to Xena’s side, and pretended to be checking her wound.  “We have guards now” she whispered to Xena.  “So I heard,” She answered just as quietly, not moving at all as she did so.  “What now Xena? “ “Now we have to find Alti and let her find out that I’ve been badly hurt and it doesn’t look like I’ll live much longer”.  Xena was keeping her voice down to a whisper so that the guards at the door wouldn’t hear her and know that she was conscious.  “But when she finds you laying here nearly dead, won’t she try to kill you herself, “finish you off” “Probably, I hadn’t thought of that, that is a problem, I could take care of her, but if I’m nearly dead, then I wouldn’t be able to fight her, and she really would kill me. Maybe it’s better if she sees me already dead, but you and the Amazons have to keep her away from me, but not be so obvious about it that she gets suspicious.  Maybe even let her see me on the funeral pyre “. “The funeral pyre! Xena are you crazy? She’ll insist on watching you burn”, “And she’ll get to see me burn, so to speak. Go and get Ephiny and Danalia, or whichever is available, and bring them, or her here and I’ll tell her my plan, but first, call the guards, and have them help me into the chair. Tell them I want to sit up for some reason, that I’m tired of laying down”. “Alright” Gabrielle knew better after all these years than to question Xena and just did as she was asked.


Dannay and Lannia entered the hut, and carefully got Xena to her feet and mostly carried her to a chair in a corner of the hut facing the door. Xena played her part well, barely moving, and keeping her body mostly limp, and making her breathing harsh as if she had difficulty breathing.  Gabrielle thanked them as she covered a limp Xena with a blanket.  Lannia whispered, “She doesn’t look good at all” as if Xena couldn’t hear her. “I’m going to find Ephiny, will one of you stay inside and watch her incase she should fall from the chair? Or something?” “I’ll stay with her “ Dannay volunteered, and posted herself inside the hut near the chair Xena slouched in as Gabrielle left to find Ephiny or Danalia.  Lannia followed Gabrielle out and then posted herself outside the door, staying very alert to any and all movement or sounds near the hut. Just to test the Amazon beside her, as she didn’t appear to be looking at her, Xena allowed herself to begin to fall forward.  Dannay quickly grabbed Xena, and pushed her back, Dannay made sure Xena wouldn’t repeat the feat, and then bent to adjust Xena’s bare feet so that her legs were bent in a way that would support her in the position that she now sat in and returned to her previous “guard” position.  “The Mighty Warrior Princess…(snort) not so mighty now ay Xena?” Dannay said under her breath scornfully.   Inwardly, Xena thought to herself *gonna half to watch her*, but she remained still, sitting in the position she had been put into, eyes shut, unmoving. 


Gabrielle ran to Danalia and Ephiny’s hut, and called out, knowing the social rules of this tribe.  It varied from tribe to tribe, but she knew this tribe like the back of her hand.  “Danalia? Ephiny? It’s Gabrielle; can you come to our lodge please? It’s important”.  Ephiny answered, “I’m here, Danalia’s gone to Canali’s village to see if she can enlist some of her warriors to join us in our battle against Alti. She thought to have some of Canali’s warriors dress as our warriors, and impress Alti with our numbers”. “But she’s already been here once, she’s seen the warriors of this tribe”. “Yes, but as far as she knows that was only part of the tribe, maybe the larger portion of the tribe was out hunting, or on a delegation to another tribe or some sort of thing. Danalia and I will work something out”. “Well you can explain it  to Xena, she wants to talk to you, she has a plan”, “Great, let’s go” Ephiny, and Gabrielle headed for the lodge that Gabrielle and Xena shared. 


 Part 5

alt fic index | homepage | what's new