~ Dyo Zoi ~
by Destacain

Disclaimer: See Part One.


Xena's heart was racing. Her palms were sweating. Her eyes were twitching. And, her whole body was tense. It wasn't that she was nervous, but….well ok she was bit nervous.
It wasn't that she was unsure of what she was doing, Xena had never been more sure and excited about anything in her life. It was just the fact that today was the day. She was going to get married.
Although Xena had begged for something small, the marriage of an Amazon queen was not a quant affair. All the tribes from the united nation had once again joined for the joyous occasion. A big, long, formal ceremony had been planned. Gabrielle and Xena had to go through a week's worth of preparation, much to the warrior's dismay. But, she endured because she knew how important it was to Gabrielle.
It really had turned out beautifully. Xena had been granted one of her requests, she wanted the wedding to be held outside at the spot where her life began. The place where the two had met. Gabrielle found it simply sentimental and loved when the warrior showed her romantic side. She had been easy to convince. And once she had a battling bard on the case, the rest of the nation became convinced too.
Sara had arrived in yesterday. Gabrielle had asked her, in true Amazon style, to give her away because she was her only surviving relative. It saddened them both that she would be the only actual family member present.
Eve was still in Chin and couldn't be reached, much to Xena's dismay. But she accepted it and was ok with the fact. The only thing that truly hurt was that her mother couldn't see the wedding. Although she knew Cyrene was looking down upon her from the Fields, her presence was surely missed. Xena knew how much her mother would have loved the ceremony. She also knew how much the woman loved Gabrielle and would be so pleased at their union.
She could have made Xena's wedding outfit. Her mother had always spoke of how Xena would someday wear her wedding dress. They had made a trip to Amphipolis, just incase it was still there, but like almost everything else had been in the inn, it was in ruins.
Refusing to wear the skimpy Amazon leathers, she opted to design and have her own outfit made. She was dressed completely in black leather. She wore a tight pair of leather pants, covered in the ends by knee high black leather boots. The top was cut much like the bodice of her usual leathers, except it have any straps. It fit much more like a corset. And, instead of a breast plate, Xena had the seamstress embroider the design of her plate onto the actual leather in gold thread.
Covering it all Xena wore a long black leather coat, left unbuttoned, which fell only a few inches shy of the ground. She looked stunning and felt the lusty stares around her. Absolutely shameful, she humorously scolded. Easy ladies, I'm about to be a married woman.
Married. In all her years, Xena never thought she'd ever get married. First, she didn't believe she wanted to. But as time went on, her reasons changed. It wasn't that she didn't want to get married, it was that she didn't think she deserved that kind of happiness in her life. A part of her still believed that.
Everything was much too perfect for her. The whole day Xena had been constantly looking over her shoulder, waiting for the next shoe to fall. She could feel it in the air, something was about to happen. As much as she wanted to, Xena could never let herself relax and be happy. She was always waiting for the sadness to come.
She prayed today would be different.
Gabrielle loved her with all her heart and Xena more then reciprocated. They were going to be together forever. Xena vowed she would never let anything change that. Forever…..it will be forever. She smiled with certainty.
Lethara came up behind her and whispered in her ear.
"We're about to begin."
"Ok." Xena acknowledged and let out a hesitant breath.

Gabrielle looked at herself critically in the mirror. Since they had decided to have the wedding where the two had first met, several tents had to be set up for the preparation. Gabrielle was more thaen happy to be inconvenienced. She found the warrior's sentimental request very romantic.
Her hair was braided on the top, like she had while in Gurkhan's harem. Xena had later remarked that she liked that style and Gabrielle wanted everything to be perfect.
Her dress was of a more traditional style….well semi traditional. The Amazons had insisted that she where a traditional gown which basically consisted of a strap and a thong. Gabrielle had steadily refused. She made a compromise by agreeing to the huge ceremony.
Instead she had opted for a dress, the one she had truly wanted for her wedding. When she and Perdicus were married, there hadn't been time to pick out the perfect gown. They had simply found one that fit and purchased it. This time Gabrielle was going to do things right.
She had drawn plans for the outfit earlier, and had Calia make them secretly, letting no one see. She had chosen a two piece dress. The top was white and short. Much like the cut of her other top. She had Calia do bead work on it. The beaded design was the one on Xena's breast plate and it had turned out beautifully. Gabrielle was exceedingly pleased.
The skirt was a plain white that reached down to the floor. Two long slits reaching up to the top of her thighs ran up the sides. She truly looked perfect. The bard was exceedingly pleased with herself.
Everything was so perfect. Today was the first day of the rest of her life. It was a new beginning for them both. It would ensure that they would always be together. Gabrielle couldn't have been happier and more sure about anything else in this world.
Xena was her heart, her soul, her life, and today they would truly become one, they would be together…..for always. Always, what a beautiful word. We'll be one for Always.
She smiled at the thought as she turned to see someone enter the tent.
Everyone in the village had been ecstatic about the bard and Xena's pending nuptials. Even Aphrodite had given her blessing. Everyone was happy for them. Everyone except Varia.
She had tried. She had tried so hard. She told herself to forget about Gabrielle, to let her be happy. She tried to fall out of love with the bard. But, the more she tried, the deeper she fell.
They say absence makes the heart grow fonder. It was all to true. The more she was denied the company of Gabrielle, the more the bard became her obsession, her goal.
She had told herself, that she accepted Gabrielle's life with Xena. Told herself that she would let Xena make her happy. And she thought she could do it. She thought she could stand by and watch the woman she loved fall into another's arms.
But, she had only been fooling herself. She wanted a chance. Gabrielle and Varia had never had and honest chance. I could make her happy. I could make her see. It could be me.
Wishful thinking at best, but it was all Varia had right now. She had to stop this. She had to do something. It took her only a moment to decide on a course of action. She only had a few minutes before the ceremony began. The queen rushed into Gabrielle's tent.
"Varia, what are you doing here?" Gabrielle asked, a little shocked by her presence.
"I have to talk to you."
Oh no! Gabrielle thought. This is the last thing I need today. How do I turn her down without hurting her feelings.
"Varia, I value your friendship deeply. And, I care for you so much, but I can't…."
"Relax Gabrielle, I'm not here to propose marriage….again." She said with such calmness and humor, the bard was left a little scared. "I know you're determined to do this."
"I love Xena, I want be with her forever." Gabrielle spoke with touching sincerity. "Wait, if you're not here to stop me. Why are you here Varia?"
"Gabrielle, I love you."
"Don't Var…."
"No, I have to say it. I love you more then anything. That's why I wanna see you happy. And if marrying Xena will make you happy, then you have my blessing."
"Thank you."
"But, I think you should know about the woman you're about to marry." She purred suggestively.
"I know and love everything about Xena. We don't have any secrets."
"I doubt she's told you this one." Varia baited, hoping to intrigue the bard.
Gabrielle didn't want to listen. She knew she should shew Varia out. She knew the Queen was just trying to tempt her. Trying to place doubt in her mind. But as much as Gabrielle fought it, she had to know.
"Do you know where Xena was when the Dyo Zoi was taking place. Do you know what she was doing?"
Varia asked in disgust.
"She told me she wasn't where she should have been. That's all that matters."
"Really, I'm sure you wouldn't say that if you really knew."
"Then tell me, what she was really doing." Gabrielle calling Varia's bluff, secretly hoping
that she would fold.
"You want to know. I bet she didn't tell you about her little roll in the sack with Ares."
"What?" Gabrielle asked in disbelief.
"That's right. When you were whipped she was having sex with Ares." She spoke accusingly.
"No….no…." The bard began to tear. "I don't believe you."
"When Xena and you stormed off, I followed her. I saw Ares appear, I saw them kiss. And, I saw the begins of what was to take place. They slept together. Ask Ares, I'm sure he'd be all too happy to gloat."
With the second mention of Ares name, Gabrielle blood ran cold. She remembered back to the short encounter with him several weeks ago. Hadn't he implied something to that effect, saying I should ask Xena?
"By the gods." It was true. It was all true.
Varia seeing her plan had worked, decided to make a stealthy exit. She left the bard to her thoughts, hoping she'd make the right decision.
Gabrielle didn't even notice her leave. She was simply too wrapped up in her own thoughts. She lied to me. I asked her about this, and she lied to me. She slept with Ares! How could she?
The pain was unbearable. Her heart welled up in her chest. How can this be happening? Why is this happening? Gabrielle cursed the day. She felt nothing but immeasurable pain.
She had promised herself she would not be hurt again. It seemed all Xena did was break her heart. What am I going to do? I can't live with her, but I can't live without her. Betrayal stung as tears rolled down her cheeks.
Another person entered the tent, Gabrielle still unaware. The figure walked over and placed a hand on the bard's shoulder. Gabrielle turned, surprised, to her assailant. It was Sara.
"Hey are you ok?" Gabrielle shook her head, incoherently.
"I just came to tell you that it's time. Are you ready?"
"I don't know." Gabrielle replied, lost. "Please, I just need a minute alone."
"Sure, Gabrielle. Whenever you're ready." She smiled and placed a light kiss on the top of the small queen's head then exited.
Gabrielle was again alone. Whenever I'm ready….what if I'm never ready. The bard was at a loss. All she could feel was the pain.
What am I going to do?
Gabrielle fell in reckless abandonment to the floor and began to sob uncontrollably.
Dun dun da…..Well this is the end, right now. Sorry about the long ride, but thanks for sticking with me. So, what do you think? Should I write a sequel? Drop me a line at
dctalk2me@hotmail.com. Thanks.

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