Hope For Hope Part IV

by Marion D Tuttle

Standard disclaimers: Yes by now everyone knows that Xena, Gabrielle and the gang are owned by universal not me. The story however is mine, with a little inspiration here and there along the way.

Sex disclaimers: Why do I even bother? We know if I wrote it sooner or later it's bound to show up.

As always any comments, questions or general thoughts on this story are welcome at mariontuttle@hotmail.com I hope you enjoy the story

It took a moment for the realization to hit her that it was in fact her
Father standing before her and not just her mind playing tricks on her.
His smile told her that he was in fact well pleased with the situation
he found, but she could not understand why. She had always thought that
his goal was to destroy the relationship between Xena and her Mother,
thus leading to the weakening and ultimate destruction of them both. It
made no sense that he should be happy that they had taken steps that had
cemented the love they shared and brought them even closer. "I don't

"Of course you do!" He countered "I should have listened to what you
where saying all along. I tried to tear them apart by force, I should
have known that if I hurt one it would bring the other even closer. They
are so sickeningly protective of each other. But this, you are a genus
my dear. You have worked your way into their lives, they have let their
defenses down. Now is the perfect time to strike!"

He looked past his daughter to the two women that were at the moment
blissfully unaware of his presence. "See what I mean, Xena is so
distracted by what has just happened she doesn't even sense that I am
here. That never would have happened before. Perhaps we should consider
sparing your Mother she could be valuable to us..."

For the first time in her life Hope actually felt repelled by the things
her Father was saying. She had come to understand many things in the
short time she had been with her Mother and Xena. One of the things that
came to her mind was the fact that now she knew there was another way.
That her Father's visions of destruction was not what she wanted. She
found herself torn in what she should do next, her whole life had been
dedicated to getting her fathers approval for her actions. Now that it
looked like that was withing her grasp, she did not want to do what it
would take to secure it.

She watched as her Father turned towards the sleeping women, her mind
racing for something to do. She had to find a way to stop him once and
for all. For the first time she saw her Father through Xena's eyes, she
saw the pure evil that he was and knew why the Warrior Princess had been
so determined to stop him. A thought came to her, it was not fully
formed in her mind but it was all she had to go on. The important thing
right now was distracting her Father from his determined course.

"Father I have a question for you, I know you plan to rule the world and
rid it of the weak and useless. But I have wondered what your obsession
is with Xena?"

Her question had the desired effect, Dayhok turned away from the action
he had been ready to take and faced his child. "I had thought you might
have figured it out by now."

"I know you wanted Xena away from Mother, you were afraid of what she
might do to me as an infant before I was able to defend myself."

His cold laugh sent a chill through her, the eyes that looked at her may
have been those of Hercules' friend, but the lacked any hint of
humanity. "My dear you attach far too much importance to yourself, yes
it is true that I wanted you born of an innocent. You were to be my
entrance into the world, but your repeated failures caused me to have to
take matters into my own hands. I would have protected you however, as I
will now because you have proven your loyalty to me. You will not suffer
because of Xena ever again, just don't make the mistake of thinking it
is because of any displaced paternal feelings. You are a pawn, nothing
more, nothing less. As it turns out a very valuable one, as long as you
never forget where the true power lies you will rule by my side as you
were meant to."

A feeling of cold fury settled over her. All this time he had worked to
make her think that her Mother had betrayed her, had not loved her. When
the truth was he was only interested in using her for his own ends. Her
first instinct was to strike out at him, but she knew she would be dead
within seconds if she did. She was still in a weakened condition and
even at her strongest she never would have been a match for him. She had
to stall, swallowing her pride she went on. "You still did not answer my
question, why the obsession with Xena?"

He could not believe she had the impertinence to question him further "I
can see you will not rest until you know so I will tell you. Years ago
Xena was to be the one to pave my way into this world. She was
magnificent, she spread so much blood and destruction, she was in a
position to have the world quaking at her feet. That arrogant bastard
Ares always took the credit for Xena being the force she was. The truth
of the matter is Xena became what she was because of me, because it is
my blood that flows in her veins!"

Hope was shocked by this revelation "Are you saying?..."

"I am saying exactly that my dear daughter, Xena is your half sister."

The news hit her like a blow to the stomach. "But how?...Xena turned
away from all of that... she fought for good.."

"I know it makes no sense that someone that could have had the world
would throw it all away. Xena never knew I was her Father, I made the
mistake of thinking that just the fact that she was my child would be
enough to keep her on the path she was on. She would rule the world and
when the time was right I would present myself to her and we would rule
together. Slaughtering all the useless sheep that spout off about peace
love and light in the world. There is only one true road to power and
that is my way. But she betrayed me, she turned from all that I would
have offered her and for what? To wander around with a little slip of a
mortal that didn't even have the courage to raise a hand and kill an
attacker that might try to take her down." He spat on the ground as if
the mere mention of Gabrielle was distasteful to him.
He continued on "I knew that the mistake I made with Xena was not
reviling the truth of her birth to her. She did not know what she was
destined to become. I did not want to make that mistake with you, I
wanted you to know from the start that you were of my blood. That would
insure your service to me.

Everything was hitting Hope from all sides. Xena was her half sister? It
had been remarked that the Warrior Princess must have some Godly
influence to pull off all the amazing things she had over the years, but
Hope had always viewed her as just an extraordinary mortal. It was true
what Dayhok had said about Ares taking credit for everything Xena had
been. He had made a point to tell her when they were together how
formidable a woman she was. She had sensed a pride coming from him as he
spoke as if he were somehow responsible for that. Her head was spinning
with this new information, before she could ask her next question Dayhok
started to answer her.

"Yes daughter, that is the reason I choose Gabrielle to be your Mother.
I needed a blood innocent and I knew that Xena would protect Gabrielle
from anyone that might try to bring harm to her while she was carrying
you. Even if she had her doubts as to the origin of the pregnancy, which
she did. She still loved Gabrielle to much to allow any harm to come to
her. Love is usually such a weak and useless emotion, but in this one
instance it suited my purposes. I needed Gabrielle to be kept safe, as
long as she was with child."

"But now you want to destroy them both?"

His demonic eyes bore into hers. "Your dear Mother outlived her
usefulness the second you were born. As for Xena, I had hoped she would
be true to her blood, but she has been to influenced by weak mortals and
so now she will die as one of them. No one betrays Dayhok."

He turned to send both women to their final rest when Hope made a snap
decision. She rushed at her Father catching him off guard her voice
carried across the valley as she shouted "Xena! Mother! Watch out!"

The sound startled both women from the light slumber, they had not meant
to fall asleep, but in the afterglow of their lovemaking sleep had
overtaken them. It took a brief second for Gabrielle to gather her wits
about her. Xena was already up and half dressed when she saw the drama
that was playing out on the bluff above them. On instinct she threw her
chakram knocking out rocks that were under the edge and making the
ground above shift enough to cause Dayhok to lose his balance. In the
brief second that Dayhok's attention was diverted Hope used the chance
to disappear into a ball of flame.

The dark God bellowed his rage, both at his plans being stopped and by
the fact that he had been betrayed yet again by another one of his
children. He howled his anger to the sky "You can not hide from me, I
will dispose of your Mother and Xena once and for all and then I will
find you!"

Jumping down from his over head perch Dayhok came face to face with
Xena. She was unsure of what was happening, all she knew was her primary
concern was to protect Gabrielle and to try once and for all to find a
way to rid the world of the ultimate evil that was Dayhok.

Gabrielle was in a state of shock, all that she could see was they had
come within seconds of being sent to the other side by Dayhok and Hope
had saved them. Where was Hope now? Gabrielle had seen her disappear but
was that something she had done one her own or had Dayhok destroyed her.
Rage suddenly filled her, she had been through so much, suffered and
lost so much all at the hands of this evil God. She had suffered through
the death of her lover's son had to endure the pain of trying to kill
her own child. Only to find she had been unsuccessful and having to
relive the nightmare over and over again. It had become to much, she was
blinded by an all encompassing rage she charged at him, heedless of what
the consequences might bring. Her staff raised above her head she came
at him.

"Gabrielle!" Xena yelled trying to draw the bard's attention away from
her deadly intent. Dayhok just stood a smile on his face waiting for her
to reach him, they were almost making it to easy. He was poised to
strike her with a blast of fire from his fingertips, he released the
flames but a fraction of a second before the reached her body Hope
materialized in front of her, pushing her out of the way and taking the
brunt of her Father's attack with her own body.

The force knocked her back against a tree, her body slumped to the
ground burned and bleeding. It was clear that the wounds she had
received from her Father were going to mean her death. She had a mission
to finish though and she hung stubbornly to life in order to complete
it. With the last of her strength she raised her arm and hurled the
object she held in her hand towards her Father.

His eye's flew open wide as the dagger thrown by Hope embedded itself in
his chest to the hilt. He opened his mouth as if to speak but only blood
poured forth. He fell to his knees, hands wrapped around the protruding
handel. The light that had burned like fire in his eyes faded to nothing
and he slumped forward into the dirt. His body twitched once and the lay

Xena approached him and carefully reached to check for signs of life,
she found none "He's dead" She said, her tone sounding flat. Turning she
saw Gabrielle had run to the side of her daughter. She knelt beside the
bard, gathering her into her arms. Hope's breathing was labored, Xena
felt helpless she knew Hope was going to die and she was powerless to do
anything about it.

Hope struggled to open her eyes her hand weakly trying to return the
grasp she was receiving from her Mother's hand. Tears were streaming
down Gabrielle's face "Why Hope?" Was all she could manage to say.

Struggling for breath Hope wanted to leave this world letting her Mother
know she had reached her. "I have known all along that Xena was going to
get the Hind's Blood Dagger.... I can see into your minds remember?" She
managed a weak smile "I knew that you both were afraid to trust me....it
took a little while before I could see past the fear and mistrust...But
I finally saw love." She coughed with the effort she was making to

"Don't try to talk Hope, just lay back and save your strength. You'll
have plenty of time later to..."

Xena was holding Gabrielle from behind, she knew the end was near for
Hope. She could also tell that whatever Hope needed to say was something
her bard needed to hear. "Let her talk Gabrielle."

"Xena she needs to rest."

"Ssshh, Gabrielle she needs to tell you something let her get it out."

A soft hand on her arm drew her attention back to her daughter. "Xena's
right Mother, I don't have much time we both know I am going to die.
There are some things I need to say to you before I go."

Gabrielle shook her head, trying to deny the truth, even as she saw the
life fleeing Hope's body she leaned in closer to hear a voice that was
growing weaker. "I finally know what it is to feel loved Mother, I have
you and Xena to thank for that. If you hadn't given me the chance I
would have known nothing but what Father was capable of teaching me. I
saw the love you and Xena have between you.... never let go of that it
the most powerful force in the world." It was becoming harder and harder
for her to breath but there was one other thing she needed to get out.

"I'm here Hope." Xena felt a strange sense of loss as she watched Hope
struggle to speak.

"Did you hear what Father said...about you?"

"I was to far away Hope I heard nothing he said until he came down from
the bluff."

Hope thought about telling Xena the truth of what her Father had
admitted to her, but what purpose would it serve? It would only lead to
torment for both women and they had suffered through enough of that. And
what if Dayhok had lied? Hope made the decision to carry that particular
secret to her grave. Xena had chosen her path in life regardless of what
her parentage might be. She closed her eye's and just said "He told me
not to trust you, but I know that you are a woman of honor. Please take
care of my Mother and protect her."

"With my life if I have to."

She used her last bit of strength to raise herself up enough to kiss
Gabrielle on the cheek. "I'm glad you were my Mother, I'm only sorry I
did not realize sooner..." She never got to finish the sentence. The
last breath left her body and she died in her Mother's arms.

Gabrielle's grief threatened to consume her she turned in the protective
circle of Xena's arms and buried her face in the warrior's chest. "Why
Xena? It doesn't make any sense! She finally came to me and she was
killed before she ever had a chance to do anything with her life."

Holding onto her lover trying to offer strength and support Xena told
her. "Hope did more in the couple of days she was with us then most
people do in an entire lifetime Gabrielle. She finally found her true
heart and she proved that she knew the true meaning of love when she
saved you. She was very brave, truly your daughter."

Gabrielle wept helplessly in Xena's arms for a few moments, her heart
broke for the child she had never had the chance to really know. Doubts
started to crowd in her mind about things that had happened in the past.
Was there anything that could have prevented this tragic chain of
events. Before she had a chance to fully form these thoughts both women
were bathed in a bright light. Hope's spirit stood before them smiling.

"Mother I want you to move on with your life, things happened they way
they did because of a greater plan. No one not you or I or Xena or even
Father could have stopped it. I had to be evil, experience the ultimate
evil so I would have a greater appreciation for the depth of love you
would one day teach me. You showed me that there can be love in even the
darkest heart." She held out a hand that was now transparent to brush
lightly against her Mother's cheek. "Your love saved me from the
darkness Mother, just as you helped turn Xena from the darkness in her
heart. The power you have is greater then that of any God. Always
remember that." With that she faded from site, leaving a warm feeling on
Gabrielle where she had touched her.

Gabrielle felt fresh tears spring to her eyes as she clung to Xena
"She's gone."

"No Gabrielle she isn't gone, she will always live on in your heart."

Gathering herself together she stood, looking down at the remains of her
daughter "We need to..."

"I know Gabrielle, we will give her a decent funeral, she deserves

There was no accusation in her voice when she asked the question, just a
deep sadness. "Why did it have to come to this Xena? Why couldn't we
have reached her before it came to this?"

At a loss for what to say to comfort the bard, Xena held her closer and
said. "I guess it's just like Hope said, she had to come to the
conclusion on her own. If we had kept her as a child nothing would have
changed Dayhok would have still had a hold on her that she would not
have been able to break. At least we know now that she did have the
potential to become good...."

There were no more words to say, they worked together to build a funeral
pyre for Hope, freeing her spirit to go to the other side. Xena stood
behind Gabrielle holding her and offering her silent support as the bard
watched the flames consume the body of her daughter. The pain of losing
her child was there, but the emotion that seemed to be in the fore front
was a sense of peace. After all that had happened, she knew. There had
been good in Hope and now she was finally at peace and would never be
used as her Father's tool of destruction again. Her last act on this
earth had been one of infinite love, she had not only saved her Mother
and Xena but the rest of the world from Dayhok. Her only words to Xena
as she turned from the fire was "It's finally over."


It had been six weeks since the day when Hope had died to protect them
from her Father. For the first few days since it had happened Gabrielle
had seemed a bit distant, it was clear she had something on her mind but
Xena had not wanted to push. Sensing that what Gabrielle needed most at
this time was the space to sort through what she was feeling. The had
slept close together at night, Gabrielle rested in the protective circle
of her warrior's arms but it had not gone beyond that.

On the fourth day Gabrielle had approached Xena, sitting close to her as
she sharpened her sword. The first instinct Xena had was to enfold
Gabrielle in her arms and never let go. She held her desire in check,
waiting to see what direction the bard was going to go in. "Xena, I
never thanked you."

"For what?"

Gabrielle reached out and took her hand into her own. "For not making a
snap decision to kill Hope right away. You gave her a chance, if you
hadn't I never would have known...."

"I did it for you."

"I know that, Hope said that we needed to hang on to the love that we
have between us. She's right you know, with everything that has
happened..." She covered the warriors lips with her own, showing with
her actions all she could not find the words for.

Xena returned the kiss with all the emotion and passion she had been
holding in check. She felt herself being pushed back as Gabrielle
deepened the kiss and began pushing the leather straps down over her
arms. Her hands and lips laid claim to the warrior as Xena revelled in
the feelings her love was arousing in her. Clothing from both women was
cast off in all directions until they were both naked and clinging to
each other. The touch of their bodies on each other was enough to drive
both women to the edge and over. They both found their mutual release
and held each other in the after glow.

In the morning when they awoke Gabrielle felt, for the first time since
Hope had been born like she was once again in control of her life. they
packed their campsite up and headed off towards their next adventure.
The days went on in their normal pattern, one melting into the other.
Xena was happy to see Gabrielle's sense of peace returning. They decided
to return to the Amazon village for a rest, and to give Gabrielle a
chance to attend to some tribal business.

They were surprised to find Artemiss awaiting them there, with Hades by
her side. "We have been wondering what took you so long."

Having had just about all the Godly interference they could take for one
life time both women where ready to make statements they would probably
live to regret.

Seeing this Hades held up his and and continued on. "I know that you
have both been through more than any mortals should ever endure, but you
are both more then you think and we as the Gods owe you a debt."
He started by turning to the warrior. "Xena your son died as a result of
you trying to stop a force that was bent on the destruction of the
Olympian Gods as well as the rest of the world. I can not return the
years you lost when you left him in the Centaur village, that was your
choice but I can return him and Kalopus to their lives, they were not
fated to die that day. It was only because of Dayhok's interference that
they did, now that he is gone things can be set right." With a wave of
his hand Xena's son and friend were standing before them. Xena ran to
embrace Solan and clasp Kalopus'hand all at the same time. "Their return
is contingent upon one condition, you must tell Solan the truth."

Gabrielle's heart was full of joy at the sight of her lover and son
being reunited, but there was still a small tug at her emotions when she
thought of her own child, until she noticed that Artemiss was holding a
golden haired infant. She stepped forward and placed the baby in
Gabrielle's arms. "You are a gentle soul Gabrielle, my choosen Queen.
You never should have suffered the tortures you did, Had this child been
born to you under any other conditions you would have raised her to be a
strong, noble woman. That is what you and Xena must do now, with the
help of the Amazons and the Centaurs you will form a family and raise
these two children. They will grow together and carry your legacy into
all time."

Kissing the small face that was nestled against her the bard asked a one
word question "Hope?"

"Yes it is Hope, But the way she should have been, an innocent child not
a weapon used only to destroy."

Xena pulled Gabrielle and Hope into an embrace with her free arm, the
other still tightly secure around Solan. "Well it looks like we are
about to met our greatest challenge yet love, raising our children

A smile tugged at the corners of Gabrielle's mouth as she kissed Xena
and said "There is nothing in this world I would rather do warrior!"

The end??????

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