Finding Peace
by Murphy

Disclaimer: Xena and Gabrielle and any other character are the property of Universal/USA Studios. The story is mine.
My favorite character is Gabrielle. When I watch the show it is nice to see someone who is in turmoil (Xena) have a person in their life that gives them some hope. Everyone needs that kind of person and if you are lucky enough to have it you should not take it for granted. The story is after they were crucified and went into the heavens.

Mild violence, and some of the events are from past shows. (Ides of March).

Song Credit to: Gloria Estefan from her Greatest Hits album and to Epic records.

Betad by Kamouraskan, my thanks to Becky.

Xena and Gabrielle are in a place that is neither Elysian Field nor Tartarus, but a realm of soft blue-white fog. A place of calm, a place to think about life, or as Xena was twitching, a lack of life. As Callisto has discovered Hell, maybe Gabrielle and Xena have discovered Heaven.

GABRIELLE: "Xena where are we? This place feels strange. Are we dead or not?"

XENA: "Gabrielle, you know just about as much as I do. I have a feeling we'll find out sooner or later. Let's just try to stay calm."

GABRIELLE: "That's just it, Xena," looking at her partner with a very peaceful expression, "I don't feel afraid, I feel like this is the right place, but I don't think we're dead yet."
Xena stopped and looked around, amazed at what she was looking at. She had seen the Elysian Fields before, and even Tartarus, but this was not either of them. The color of the clouds and the blue sky were familiar, but where were the land, trees, grass, and loved ones? Xena was starting to fear that the god Callisto had found was responsible for this.

XENA: "It has to be Callisto. She still has a hold on us."
Gabrielle just looked at her, confused.

GABRIELLE: "What does Callisto have to do with any of this? You killed her a year ago when I fell in the pit with Hope."

XENA: "When I tried to kill Caesar, she came to his defense and took my Chakram. I was trying to get away from there and she appeared in front of me again. She knew of Eli, India, and even my vision."

GABRIELLE: "How? You said you killed her with the hind's blood. There is no coming back from that!"
Xena could see the pain and anger in Gabrielle's eyes.

XENA: "She went to a place worse than Tartarus, it's called Hell. Her lord made a deal with her. If she helped Caesar become emperor and kept me out of the way, he would give her what she wanted. To cease to exist."

GABRIELLE: "We are never going to be rid of her, are we? First I have to live with the fact that she killed my husband, then helped my evil daughter kill Solan, now she has control of my after life? By the gods, this IS Tartarus!" she said with such anguish, it made Xena's eyes well up with tears.
There was a long silence. Neither of them knew what to say. Then, all of a sudden, Xena noticed a figure forming from a cloud. Xena quickly jumped in front of Gabrielle to attack when they heard a familiar voice saying, "Relax, Xena. No one here will hurt you."

XENA: "Iolaus?" she asked. There was shock, as well as relief to hear a familiar voice. "What in Greece are you doing here? Do you know where we are? Are we back in Illusia?"

IOLAUS: "One question at a time, Xena. Hello Gabrielle," he said with a grin. "This place is called the Land of Dreams. It's a place for good people who were killed by evil forces in an unjust manner. This place gives everyone a chance to make peace with one's self, and even gives one the choice of life or death."

GABRIELLE: "How did you get here? Are you in our minds?"

IOLAUS: "I was killed by Dahak. I was lucky enough to be sent here to make some plans on what I wanted to do with my life. The goddess gave me a chance to make a difference in other people's lives. She made me the Guardian of Light. What do you think?"

GABRIELLE: "To be honest with you, these clouds make me a little nervous."

IOLAUS: "I agree, let's try something more comfortable." With that, the clouds began to roll away and melt, leaving the trio standing on a hilltop overlooking a forest valley. White stone columns quietly rose from the grass forming a stone gazebo, complete with a marble fountain.

GABRIELLE: "Wow!" she said wide-eyed.

XENA: "Yeah, very nice. Now Iolaus, how about what we're doing here?" Xena said, unimpressed.

IOLAUS: "First things first," he said, turning to Gabrielle, "could you gather some firewood for us?"

GABRIELLE: "What!? You're joking right?" She stood up, looking back and forth between the two, but neither said anything in response. "Bad enough I did this all the time when I was alive. I still can't get away from it in the afterlife," she grumbled as she headed into the forest.

XENA: "Care to explain? Who is this so-called goddess that helped you? I never heard of the Goddess of Light."

IOLAUS: "Xena? Your path has been difficult but clear to you. Gabrielle has become lost on her way. The obstacles she has had to overcome have haunted her and held her back. Today she'll be given the chance to face them and she'll have to do it alone. I can't tell you who the goddess is, but if you think really hard it will come to mind." Xena looked at him rather puzzled for a moment then turned away.

XENA: "You're not Iolaus, are you?" Xena turns to run down the hill after Gabrielle only to find her way blocked by thorns and brambles. In her warrior fury, she spun around and reached for her sword, only to find it absent. "So help me, if any harm comes to her, you will pay!"

IOLAUS: "Calm yourself, you can see her here in this pool. You'll be able to watch her."

XENA: "I should be with her. She's my best friend and I've always tried to be there to protect her."

IOLAUS: "I understand your desire to protect her. However, some dangers can only be faced alone. You of all people should understand that."

XENA: "That doesn't mean I have to like it!" she hissed, walking over to the viewing pool wearing a mask of pain.

"Walk in the Forest"

Reluctantly, Gabrielle was collecting the firewood, wondering what was going on with Iolaus and Xena, when she heard a voice. She turned around, and to her surprise Callisto was standing there smiling at her with a tormenting grin.
CALLISTO: "Well, well, look who we have here. If it isn't Xena' s little brat. How have you been since you had your little fall with your daughter? That really gave me a good laugh."

GABRIELLE: "I'd tell you to go to Tartarus, but I hear that you found a worse place. Fitting for a person like you."

CALLISTO: "Tartarus was boring and they felt that I needed a new challenge. It's called Hell. Well, enough about me, I'm here to make you an offer."

GABRIELLE: "Bite me!" and she turned and walked away, just to see Callisto in front of her again.

CALLISTO: "Bite me, hmmm, it's a tempting offer, but I have other plans."

GABRIELLE: "Just tell me what you want and leave me alone. I'm dead already, what more do you want?"

CALLISTO: "Dead? Not yet. You're in a place between life and death. My lord has an interest in you and he wants to make you an offer. He'll take away all your pain if you give him your soul."

GABRIELLE: "Why would he want my soul?"

CALLISTO: "You see, you and Xena foiled my plan once again, and my lord is giving me another chance. I was supposed to make her stray from her path (way of the warrior) and bring Xena's soul back to him. And instead of her doing it, you go and stray from yours. By the way, nice little slicing and dicing in the prison camp. I didn't know such a little wimp like you had it in her!"
Gabrielle turned her back to Callisto as shamefilled tears formed in her eyes. Then she started seeing flashes of herself killing those soldiers and could hear Callisto in the background applauding. It felt like her heart was being ripped out of her chest. All the pain she tried to fight against, even from a time she had put behind her, came rushing forward in her mind. She saw a vision of Dahak, having to kill her own daughter, her daughter killing her best friend's child, and Callisto killing her husband. The final scene, of seeing Flanigus', (A Good Day), death overwhelmed her and brought her to her knees.

CALLISTO: "You see, all this pain you have is keeping you from your path (way of love). My lord can take it all away from you," she said sweetly. "All you have to do is surrender yourself to him and your pain will be gone. He has even agreed to give Xena her son back so she can go back to the life that you stole from her. What's it going to be? A peaceful afterlife or constant torment? It's your choice."
Gabrielle was still doubled over with the painful thoughts that were rushing forward in her mind. She could give Xena her son back; all she had to do was surrender herself to Callisto's lord. After all she had done, wouldn't it be worth it to be able to give her best friend her life back?

GABRIELLE: "How can I trust you? You want nothing more than to torment our lives, you'd do or say anything to get your way. What's in it for you this time?"

CALLISTO: "What I've always wanted ... to cease to exist. It's funny, Xena turns my whole family into crispy critters, kills hundreds of people, and she winds up in paradise. Rather ironic, don't you think?"

GABRIELLE: "Xena spent her life trying to do good and trying to make up for her past. All you've done is continue to torture and hate. Xena deserves to be in paradise."

CALLISTO: "Oh, spare me your preaching! I have to laugh, since the woman tried to kill you once! Well, I was right the first time, you are a pathetic little eel. Tell you what, I'm going to leave you to your tormenting thoughts for a while. Call me when you've made your decision. Make it quick, I do have better things to do." Callisto disappears leaving Gabrielle on her knees, crying, pressing her hands to her ears trying to drown out the painful sounds from within her.

XENA: "Don't listen to her, Gabrielle!" she screamed into the pool. She turned quickly to face Iolaus and with clenched teeth said, "You have to let me help her! She'd dying in there! You know damn well, if she goes with Callisto, she'll do nothing but torture her! I will not be able to live with that!"

IOLAUS: "This is something she has to do on her own. She needs to find the strength within herself. You being there would only distract her. If you interfere you will be sentencing her to constant torment, and she will never find the peace she so desperately needs to find."

XENA: "All the pain that she is feeling is my doing, not hers. Why is she being tortured with this and not me? She is the best thing in my life and all I ever do is hurt her. Even when she is dead."

IOLAUS: "Xena," he said, trying to reassure her, "she just needs to finally come to terms with what has happened and make a choice. She can either forgive herself and be free, or not forgive herself, die, and be tormented for eternity. Your choice was to follow your path, so you will return to your life. Gabrielle needs to decide whether to put up or shut up. She's been dealing with this for too long."

XENA: "I thought she put all this behind her when we were in Illusia. She even had a chance when she was in the Temple of Mnemosyne. Why is this still bothering her? I put any hurt feelings I had away a long time ago, why can't she?"

IOLAUS: "Guilt is a very strong thing. All the feelings came flowing back into her mind when you were on Mt. Amaro and she was killing those soldiers. You just need to be patient and give her time. You're going to have to learn to live with the whatever decision she makes."

XENA: "Why is Callisto there? This is really going to help her? Having Callisto torment her? Wow, you're right, I really shouldn't worry," This said with daggers coming out of her icy blue eyes. "Will she ever know how much she means to me? Did you ever think, Iolaus, that if anything happens to her, I won't be able to go on?"

IOLAUS: "I have faith in her, that's why I'm giving her this chance to make peace with herself. Callisto is there because she is the figure of pain in her mind. Xena, please try to find some faith, she could really use it. The best thing you can do to help her is pray. Don't worry, I am sending someone there to help guide her." They both gazed back down into the pool. Iolaus could sense the overwhelming pain that Xena was feeling for her friend.

"The Decision"

Gabrielle was still sitting in the forest. It was now dark and she was cradling herself, thinking about Callisto's offer.
She had the chance to make her best friend's life happy again, and relieve herself of the pain and guilt that had been weighing on her soul. She was about ready to scream out Callisto's name when a bright ray of light appeared before her. Gabrielle raised her hand to shield her eyes. The light dimmed and before her stood a beautiful figure.

GABRIELLE: "Who's there?" Her eyes cleared and she realized that it was Naiyima (Between the Lines), who stood before her. "What are you doing here?" she asked, surprised to see her.

NAIYIMA: "Gabrielle, do you remember the mehndi? I am here to show you your truth. You have a big decision to make and your pain has clouded your judgment. I am here to help you if you'll let me."

GABRIELLE: "How can you help me when I don't even know how to help myself?"

NAIYIMA: "The reason you started feeling this pain again is because of what happened on Mt. Amaro. Do you feel that by killing those soldiers, you betrayed your way of love? Would you rather have sat back and watched your best friend die?"

GABRIELLE: "No, I would make the same decision again to save Xena. But when I started killing those soldiers, I wasn't myself. I became dark inside and would've killed anything that tried to harm her. She was helpless, I had to do something. That brought such a feeling of fear... because Xena has never been helpless before."

NAIYIMA: "What would you have done differently?"

GABRIELLE: "That first soldier that was going after her, I should've just stopped him and tried to get Xena out before any more were killed."

NAIYMA: "Okay, let's see." She started moving her arms to start the mehndi and sent Gabrielle back into that moment.

Gabrielle has just seen Xena fall. The soldier is approaching, ready to kill her. Gabrielle picks up the spear and hits him, knocking him out of the way. She is trying to drag Xena from the scene when a second soldier approaches, hits Gabrielle across the face and plunges his sword into Xena, killing her instantly. Gabrielle, eyes wide with disbelief, screams, "NO!!"

She was again sitting in the forest with Naiyima, pounding the ground, screaming.

GABRIELLE: Looking up at the woman, and asked, "What was I supposed to do? Killing isn't the way of love."

NAIYIMA: "Your love for Xena saved her. Is that not following the way of love? You have been on your path the whole time, but there are times when defending yourself or others may be necessary. How can you continue to spread love and follow your path if you're dead? Who is going to hear you if you have no voice? Gabrielle, remember the menhdi," she said as she faded away.
Gabrielle sat for a long time considering what Naiyma had told her. She folded her legs and closed her eyes, trying to find that moment she had found with Eli, when they were imprisoned and they did... nothing. As she was meditating, she felt a cool breeze and a sense of peace. She opened her eyes and saw brightly colored lights floating around her. She had found her answer and her peace. She reached towards the lights and saw old visions of herself. She heard music in the distance and started singing to the image of her old self,

"I've been alone inside myself for far too long...
Never wanted it that way but I let it happen...
If I could do it all again my life would be...
Infinitely better than before I wouldn't waste a moment
(I'd) Make time for laughing with my friends...
Make love, make music, make amends...
Try to make a difference try to love, try to understand...
Instead of just giving up I'd use the power at my command...

(Chorus:) 'Cause there's always tomorrow to start over again...
Things will never stay the same the only one sure thing is change...
That's why there's always tomorrow...
I guess it took a little time, for me to see...
The reason I was born into this world and what I'd have to go through...
For I've finally realized that I could be...
Infinitely better than before definitely stronger...
I'll face whatever comes my way...
Savor every moment of the day...
Love as many people as I can along the way...
Help someone who's giving up if it's just to raise my eyes and pray...
(Chorus:) 'Cause there's always tomorrow to start over again...

Things will never stay the same the only one sure thing is change...
That's why there's always tomorrow...
(Bridge:) Before your last setting sun...
And everything your heart has longed for...
Has yet to be (one)...
Yes there's always tomorrow though people come and they go...
But if you brought some love to their lives...
Then you've got something to show...
Ohh... There's always, always, always tomorrow to start over again...
Things will never stay the same...
The only one sure thing is change...
that's why there always, always, always...
Always tomorrow...

Music ends. Gabrielle was finally at peace.

IOLAUS: Looking at a teary eyed Xena, said, "See, I told you to just have a little bit of faith. Have a wonderful life," and he faded away.
Next thing Xena knew, she's back down in Greece, holding Argo's reins, and looking around for Gabrielle.
Gabrielle stood up, wiped the tears from her eyes, but there stood Callisto.

CALLISTO: "Well, have you considered my offer? Time is dinars."

GABRIELLE: Calmly walked over to her, and said, "Thanks. But no thanks," and decked her, then walked out of the forest smiling. As soon as she exited the woods she was back in Greece. She saw Xena and Argo standing there smiling at her. They embraced each other, crying.

XENA: "You are the most important person in my life. I felt so helpless watching you down there but Iolaus kept telling me you had to do it on your own. Can we please put this behind us now?"

GABRIELLE: Looked up at Xena and smiling, said, "Sure, where are we headed off to now?"

XENA: "I thought we could visit our families and then move on to Thessaly."

GABRIELLE: "Sounds like a plan, but DON'T expect me to get any darn firewood!"

Laughing, they both turn and head off to their planned destinations and a new future.


Any friendly advice would be appreciated. Send to Amy at

alt fic <> homepage