This story requires a little explaining. I got the idea for this story a while back, after I first saw the 4th season finale (I can't think of the name). I knew that they were more than likely going to bring Gabrielle back (because I hadn't heard anything about her wanting to quit the series), and thought, well, what if she didn't come back, and Xena and Joxer started falling in love with each other? All right, so I admit, it's a little far-fetched, but nobody ever said it wasn't possible!
Neither wanted to leave, but both knew it was inevitable.
When they did leave, they left together, marking the beginning of a new friendship.
A month later, they still hadn't gone their separate ways. Joxer was much more sullen then his usual cheery self, and Xena was drawn into herself not saying more than one word at a time.
Both Xena and Joxer were basically in shock still. Neither of them had expected Gabrielle to sacrifice herself to kill Hope and save Xena from certain death.
Having lost a mutual friend changed Xena and Joxer's relationship for the better.
Xena took Joxer under wing, so to speak, like she had with Gabrielle.
The difference though, was that Xena and Joxer were falling in love with each other.
A month after that, Xena and Joxer FINALLY realized that they were falling in love, even if neither wanted to admit it.
Xena at least wasn't going to. As for Joxer...one never knows with him.
A few months after they realized what was going on, they started sleeping together. To them, at least, it was apparent that the fates had taken a role in their new relationship.
Xena got pregnant in a couple of weeks she didn't want the keep it, but after much arguing, Joxer convinced her to.
As Xena got bigger, it got harder and harder for her to fight off the men who wanted to take advantage of her condition.
One afternoon, after they had been ambushed for the third time that week, Xena sat heavily down on a rock. Joxer walked over and sat down next to her, putting his arms around her.
"I don't know how much longer I can do this. It's getting harder for me to keep fighting all the guys that come along."
Joxer kissed her. "Do you want to settle down somewhere until the baby's born?"
Xena nodded and Joxer embraced her.
They didn't notice a hooded figure sneak out of the clearing.
Xena and Joxer picked a small village out of the way of any main roads.
They were accepted easily into the village. There were a few eyebrows raised at the fact that Xena was pregnant but not married. The village needed a healer though, and accepted Xena as one pretty readily.
Xena and Joxer settled into a small cottage near the middle of town, where people could come see Xena quickly.
Xena noticed a group of men standing near the edge of town about three months after they arrived but she had too much to do so she ignored them.
A few minutes later, they started to attack the villagers.
Xena didn't have her weapons with her except for a small dagger in her boot, so she yelled to Joxer to bring her weapons, which were hidden in the house.
Joxer ran into the house, and came out a few seconds later with them.
Xena was already fighting someone when he threw her sword to her.
It only took a few short minutes for Xena and Joxer to kill the hooligans. (all right I just had to use that word somewhere!)
When Joxer was done killing the last guy he looked around the square and saw Xena leaning over, breathing heavily.
He ran over to her. "Are you all right?"
"I...will...be...just let me...catch my breath." A minute later she spoke again. "Damn, I was hoping that wouldn't happen. This isn't good."
People started coming out of their houses at that point.
"Who are you and what are you doin here?" the magistrate of the village asked as walked up to them.
Xena considered him a moment before sighing. "I'm Xena, and this is Joxer. We didn't mean any harm to anyone. We've been plagued by people who want to kill me because of what I did years ago. We were planning to quietly leave after our child was born.
Joxer put a comforting hand on her shoulder as they waited for the townspeople to decide what to do.
The magistrate finally turned back around.
"We've decided to allow you to stay for the time being, Xena. Your not in any kind of shape to be traveling and we really are in need of a healer."
Xena nodded deeply. "Thank you. We'll leave when the child's born."
The magistrate nodded, and the crowd dissipated rapidly.
Joxer helped Xena to stand and they slowly started walking over to their cottage.
"How long do you think you have till we have a son or daughter?" Joxer asked
"Not...long." Xena as she gritted her teeth against the pain she was feeling as her body rebelled against having to fight in her state.
Xena's legs buckled underneath her and she fell to her knees.
"Are you all right?" Joxer asked worriedly as he helped her stand back up.
Xena nodded. "Just tired...and sore."
"Let's get you into bed so you can get some rest," Joxer said as they walked in the door.
Xena nodded and headed straight for the bed. She lay down, and as soon as she closed her eyes, fell fast asleep.
A shadowy figure entered a sheltered camp not far from the village a few minutes later.
He slipped easily past the guards and silently entered a well-lit tent set up in the center.
He waited for the man to take notice of him, then bowed slightly.
"Yes?" A tall man in black leather asked.
"Xena is almost due. She should give birth to the life within her in a few days."
The man smiled sinfully, then subdued. "An what of the party I sent to kill her?"
"Descimated. No one is left. She and her new partner wiped them out in a matter of ten minutes. "
The man nodded, and turned around. "We'll try again tomorrow at sunrise. Try and rest till then."
"The hooded man bowed again and left the tent, leaving Tolin to his preparations.
Everything was ready by an hour before daybreak. A large group of 50 men marched out of camp, everyone expecting to arrive back at camp by noon.
Xena was up early as the baby was kicking and keeping her awake. She left the house and sat down on the front step to watch the sun rise. Joxer joined her a minute later, and put his arms around her shoulders.
Xena leaned back into his arms, and relaxed her body.
She took a moment to look around the square. People were already starting their days and signs of life were starting to show.
Xena turned her attention to the road that led into town and noticed a large cloud of dust heading into town.
"What in Hades?" she mumbled as she slowly stood up.
Joxer stood up with her, his brow furrowing as he noticed the cloud.
"Joxer," Xena said quickly. "Go get my weapons. I don't like the look of this."
"Just go. Grab your sword too."
Joxer ran into the house, and Xena started quickly walking toward the entrance of the village, warning the few people that were out to go back in their houses.
Joxer joined her a moment later, handing her her sword and chakram, and taking sword in hand.
The cloud of dust soon asserted itself into a large army. Xena quietly swore as she recognized the man that was at the front of the army.
"Who is that?" Joxer quietly asked.
"Tolin, one of my former generals. He never did like me."
Joxer just nodded, deciding not to ask anything else.
Tolin signaled the army to stop. "Well, Xena. How nice to see you again. You've changed quite a bit from the last time I saw you. And since when do you have a partner? I thought you always liked to work alone."
"Well, that's kind of changed now, since a certain former friend of mine latched on quite willingly."
"So, anyways how do you want to do this?"
"One-on-one combat, you and me. Now."
Tolin raised an eyebrow. "Well, all right, you were always were a stickler for that kind of thing. I just figured you would like to take a different option this time," he said, mentioning her pregnancy.
"Let's just get this over with. I'll worry about the pregnancy later."
Tolin jumped off his horse, and met Xena in the middle of the square.
The fighting started a moment later. It was very intense and Joxer could see that it wasn't easy on Xena, but knew better than to interfere.
Joxer watched in horror as Xena took a sword thrust to the chest. He could see that she was in a lot of pain, but she kept on fighting.
A minute later the fight was over, with Xena driving her sword through Tolin.
As soon as it was over, Joxer ran to Xena's side. He got there just in time to catch Xena as she collapsed. He lowered her to the ground, and looked up to see Tolin's men leaving.
Xena opened her eyes slowly. "Did...they...leave?" she asked slowly, taking deep breaths in between each word.
"Yeah, they did. Just relax, you'll be fine," Joxer said quietly, as he noticed the magistrate walk up next to them.
"Yes, you are. Just hang in there," Joxer whispered, on the verge of tears.
"Joxer...don't...worry...about...me...I'm...not...afraid...I'll...get...to...see...Gabrielle," Xena said softly as she weakly took Joxer's hand.
Joxer squeezed her hand, and smiled softly. "If you see her, say hi to her for me, all right?"
Xena nodded, and her eyes closed for the last time, and she took her last breath.
Xena passed over into the Elysian Fields, eager to see Gabrielle. She looked around, and saw the reason why she hadn't suddenly thrown herself at Xena. She quietly walked up to where Gabrielle was engrossed in a story about her (how ironic ::rolls her eyes:: NOT! hehehe) , and motioned to the children gathered around to keep quiet.
The story was the one about how Xena had died and then brought back to life. Xena smiled remembered that particular segment of her life, and waited till she finished to say anything.
"Um, Gabrielle, are you sure it went exactly like that?" she asked, grinning broadly.
Gabrielle turned slowly around, not sure she had heard that familiar voice, then jumped up off the rock she had been sitting on, and into Xena's arms, when she saw that it really was her. "Xena! O, it's so good to see you! I can't tell you how much I've missed you! What happened?..." she just kept babbling until Xena put her down and shushed her with a finger to her lips.
"Gabrielle, I missed you too, but you don't have to babble. I'll tell you everything that happened if you just be quiet for a minute."
"I'm just so glad to see you. I didn't except to see you for years!"
Xena and Gabrielle talked well into the next day.
They spent the rest of eternity together in the Elysian Fields, enjoying each other's company and their friends' company as they one by one made their way to eternal rest.
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