by Alan Plessinger
Disclaimer: Xena: Warrior Princess and the names, titles, and backstories used in "Kindred Scrolls" are the sole property of MCA/Universal. The author intends no copyright infringement through the writing of this fan fiction.
This is a scene missing from "Kindred Spirits".
Xena had always been wary of reading Gabrielleís scrolls, afraid of what she might find there. But now that she finally picked one up, she began plowing through them one after another, amazed at what she found.
She always thought the scrolls were full of nothing but hero worship, and there was some of that, but for the most part the scrolls were full of Gabrielleís love for Xena. It shouldnít surprise her, after all this time, that Gabrielle really did love Xena, yet it always did. Xena was amazed at all the things Gabrielle found to love about her, qualities that Xena had never even noticed in herself.
And the scrolls had a little fun with some of Xenaís not so laudable qualities. And Xena actually managed to laugh at herself.
Little Eve started to coo and gurgle in her lap, and Xena picked her up and looked at her.
"I havenít been doing right by her," she said to Eve. "What else is new, huh?"
Eve looked at her mother quizzically.
"Oh, donít pretend you havenít noticed," said Xena. "Now that I have you, Eve, Iíve been taking her for granted. Sheís been wonderful through this whole mess. Sheís been so devoted to me. And to you. Sheís been telling me how much she loves us both. More than that, sheís been showing me, putting her life on the line again and again. And all she ever gets from me is, ĎThatís nice, Gabrielle, go play with Joxer.í"
Eve smiled, and drooled a little. Xena wiped her chin.
"No, I didnít actually say that, but I might as well have. The way Iíve treated her, I donít blame her for wanting something else. She should be Queen. Sheíd make a great Queen. And you, Eve, youíd be happy here. A lot happier than on the road with me."
Xena held Eve in her arms and stood up.
"Letís tell her," she said. "I hope you like it here, Eve, Ďcause this is our home, now. And if Iím miserable here, well, what right do I have to be happy, anyway?"
Xena headed out the door, and almost ran into Aris coming in.
"I just wanna know one thing," said Aris. "Why her? Why her and not me? What has she got that I donít got?"
"Aris, sit down."
The two sat down, and Xena grabbed one of the scrolls. Eve tried to grab at it with her little fingers, but Xena playfully held it out of reach.
"Aris, I donít know how much you know about me, but Iíve done some terrible things. I was a warlord, once. I led a terrible, brutal existence. Iíve even killed Amazons, Aris. Because I wanted to. And because I could."
Aris shook her head.
"Thatís all in the past, Xena. Now youíre a great hero."
"No, Aris, I am not a great hero. All the good Iíve done and all the good I could ever do could not bring back a single man Iíve slaughtered. The carnage Iíve committed can never be undone. And you donít know how close Iíve come, so many times, to falling back into that old life."
"Thatís not true."
"It is true. I promise you, I could never have stayed to the path of righteousness without Gabrielle. I owe her so much, Aris. I owe her my soul. Sheís my heart, Aris, canít you understand that? Sheís my home, and without her I have nothing. Without herÖwithout her I swear Iím not even human."
"I can do all of that for you."
Xena laughed slightly. She handed Aris the scroll, and stood up.
"Read this story, Aris. This is called ĎThe Ties That Bindí."
She headed once again for the door, and as Aris began reading, Xena turned toward her.
"And when you get to the end, see if you can imagine yourself doing what Gabrielle did."
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