The Price of Love
I've been a big fan of "Bitter Suite" ever since I first saw it. It was the only ep that made me laugh
so hard. This is my take on what would have happened in an alternate universe if Xena and Gabrielle had never been pulled into the land of Illusia.
Gabrielle had never meant for it to happen. She had
never meant for Hope to kill Solan, forever breaking
Gabrielle and Xena apart.
Gabrielle knew Xena would kill her if she had the
chance so the morning after the incident they went
their seperate ways, Gabrielle going west to the
Amazon nation and Xena going east to nowhere in
Ephiny welcomed Gabrielle to the village with open arms. She had secretly ordered the tribe not to ask where Xena was, sensing that that was a sensitive area.
Gabrielle had been reigning for a few months when she started to worry about Xena. She hadn't heard any news about her former friend, and was starting to get worried.
Ephiny knocked on the open door of Gabrielle's hut, and interrupted her thoughts. "Worried about Xena?" she asked. Gabrielle nodded. Don't be. She can take care of herself."
"I know. It's just hard not to be." Gabrielle said with a sigh.
"Do you want to talk about it?"
Gabrielle looked at Ephiny hard, then sighed, shaking her head. "I guess you have the right to know." She sat down on the floor, as Ephiny did the same. "A few months ago, my daughter, Hope, came back into my life."
"Wait a minute, you have a daughter?!"
Gabrielle chuckled. "Yeah, but I never wanted her. She's the daughter of pure evil, Dayhok. She's also completely evil, but I didn't know that when she was born. Xena wanted to kill her immediately, but I sent her down a river, saving her from being killed." Gabrielle stopped for a moment, overcome with the memory. "She came back, and killed Solan, Xena's son."
"No wonder you left. She would have killed you," Ephiny said sadly, shaking her head.
"There was no chance of us staying together."
"Where was she headed?"
"East, as I headed west, I don't think she had anyplace in particular she was headed to."
Ephiny put a hand on Gabrielle's shoulder. "I'm sure she's fine. I can't imagine her ever getting into major trouble."
Gabrielle managed a small smile. "Neither can I, but I'm a little worried about there not being any news from her."
Xena was finding that life on the road was harder than she had expected without Gabrielle. She was constantly being attacked by bandits who thought they could kill her now that she was traveling alone.
She was almost killed one afternoon when she was attacked by ten men. She knew she was in trouble, but still killed eight of them. She was bleeding from a dozen different places, and soon lost conciousness, not expecting to wake up among the living.
Xena woke up with a start. She was laying in a bed! She looked around the room and found a woman sitting on a chair, watching her.
"I'm Megahn. We didn't know if you would make it."
"Me and my husband."
"How long have I been unconcious?"
"Three days. Me and my husband found you nearly dead. Is there anyone we can contact for you?"
Xena thought of Gabrielle, but knew that it wasn't possible. She slowly shook her head, looking at her hands with an almost sad look on her face.
Megahn gave her a strange look, but didn't say anything. "Are you hungry?" Xena nodded. "I'll go get something for you to eat."
Thus began her 2 week stay with Megahn and her husband. It only took her a week to get back to regular health, but she stayed an extra week to help them around their farm, to pay them back for their kindness.
She left their farm with a heavy heart. She had sent a message ahead of her to the Amazon nation, to Gabrielle, saying that she would like to talk to her, and if she wanted to meet with her, she was headed in that direction.
Ephiny knocked on Gabrielle's open door a few days later, message in hand. "I've got a message for you, I was told that its from Xena."
Gabrielle immediately took it, and scanned it.
"Gabrielle, I want the chance to talk things over with you. I'm headed your way, and if you want to meet with me, send a message.
There are a few things that have happened to me, and I don't have any wish to kill you any more."
Ephiny was reading it over Gabrielle's shoulder, and raised an eyebrow after reading it. "Rather to the point, isn't it?"
Gabrielle chuckled as she folded the letter. "She never was one of many words."
"What do you think, do you want to meet with her?"
Gabrielle sighed. "I would, but we should make some precautions, just in case she's lying."
"I agree. How about we pick a neutral place, we bring the whole tribe, and we send someone to bring her to this place."
Gabrielle slowly nodded her head. "I agree. Start making the preparations."
Xena was rather surprised when her Amazon escort caught up with her. She had been sure that Gabrielle wouldn't agree to meet with her, thinking that she was lying.
She was about a day away from the meeting place, her escort said.
The two of them hadn't said a word since, with Xena just thinking about what she would say.
They reached the meeting place early the next morning, having traveled all night.
The whole tribe was there on the field. "Some precaution," Xena muttered.
An Amazon walked up to them, and Xena recognized her as Ephiny.
"I'm gad you wanted to talk to her. She's been worried about you, but if you try anything, you'll be dead in a second. Ephiny said solemnly. Xena just nodded. "You can rest up today, and talk to her tommorow.
Ephiny walked away, and Xena sat down against a tree, admitting to herself that she could use the rest.
She soon fell asleep after that.
Gabrielle woke up the next morning slightly tired. She had not slept very well, wondering what the next day would bring.
As she watched the sun rise over the trees, she saw Ephiny headed her way. "Are you ready?" Ephiny asked.
"About as ready as I can be."
"All right. I'll go get her."
Ephiny left the hut (more of a tent, actually). Gabrielle looked out of the window, and sat down to wait.
About five minutes later, Xena followed Ephiny into the tent, and took a quick look around.
It was rather small, with a table and two chairs taking up most of the room. On the table was an assortment of fruits set out for breakfast.
Xena sat down in the chair across from the one that Gabrielle was sitting in. "Hello."
"What did you want to talk to me about?"
Xena took an apple from the pile, and took a bite. "I've had a lot of time to think. About three weeks ago, I was nearly killed, and didn't expect to wake up. I was found by a couple, who gladly helped me out. It took a week for me to recover, and then I spent a week helping out on their farm, to repay them for their help."
"How did you get injured?"
"10 men jumped me on the trail one afternoon, I killed them, but I was pretty beat up, and had quite a few wounds from the fight. At that point I just layed down, and figured I was just going to die. I woke up 3 days later, and found out that the couple had saved me."
"Wasn't it hard to sit for a week and do nothing? I know you Xena you won't just sit and do nithing for a week."
"I was just too weak to do much of anything. I really didn't have much of a choice."
"What does all of this have to do with me?"
"Well I was lying there, I had a lot of time to think. About what had happened, and about my relationship with you.
"As the week went on, I realized I couldn't blame you for what you had done. After all, you were just looking out for her, and doing what you thought was best for her." Xena sighed.
"Do you think it was easy for me to come here? It took the next week to convince myself that the next thing I should do was to ask you to meet with me."
Gabrielle sighed. "You've given me a lot to think about, I'll admit that. Why don't you go relax, and I'll think about what you have said. I'll talk to you again later."
Xena nodded and got up to leave the tent.
Ephiny sat down in the spot Xena had vacated. "What do you think about what she said? Do you think she's lying?"
"I don't know what to think, I mean, I didn't expect to ever see her again, let alone have her ask me to join her again. I was half expecting her to come here to challenge me for the right to rule the Amazons. I'm somewhat glad though that that wasn't the case."
"Well, whatever you decide to do, the Amazons will back you on it."
Gabrielle managed a small smile. "Thanks, I'll take that into consideration."
Ephiny got up and left the small room quickly, leaving Gabrielle to her thoughts.
Gabrielle decided to leave with Xena the next morning, talked through most of the night about what had happened, and Xena's "accident" (can't think of a better word). They left a tribe of happy Amazons heading back to their village.
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