DISCLAIMER: The Amazons in this story are entirely my own creation. The characters of Xena and Gabrielle, creations of universal, are not my creation. I should have such genius. As you guessed, they will probably make an appearance, or play a more major role, Iím not sure yet.
Sexual content: I doubt it. Other than some affectionate touching here and there, I doubt there will be any sexual content, at least not in this series.
Rating: semi alt fan fiction. (If there is such a category)
Additional warning: Sirasi and Shantar might get romantic if Sirasi is in the mood, but wonít go further than kissing and suggestive touching.
Note: this is a follow up story to my Another Xena stories, so if you want to make sense of this one, you need to read that one.
It had been six monthís time since Jenaraís death and still Sirasi cried nearly every night in her sleep; still mourning her sisterís death as if it had been just the day before. Shantar would pull Sirasi gently into her arms, and hold her, and whisper to her that she was all right, that she, Shantar, was there and wouldnít leave her. Sirasi would quiet down, and return to sleep, sometimes crying again, still asleep, and again Shantar would soothe her until she slept again. When awake, Sirasi went about her duties as First Warrior, as emotionally controlled as she had always been before her sisterís death, only now she seemed to be dead inside. The old Sirasi was gone; she hadnít been able to follow her sister in death physically, but her soul had done so. When Shantar held Sirasi, and looked into her eyes, it was as if she wasnít there; as if she held nothing more than an empty shell.
When she made love to Sirasi, Sirasi allowed it, but no longer seemed to be pleasured by Shantarís touch. When she asked Sirasi to make love to her, she would do so as if by remote; as if her body went through the motions without her mind telling it what to do. Heart breaking, Shantar asked Sirasi one night when they were alone in their hut, "Sirasi, do you want me to move my things out of our hut and find other lodgings?" When sheíd asked Sirasi this, she had been so afraid of the answer that her entire body visibly trembled. Unemotionally, Sirasi answered, "No, why would I want that?"
ĎYou seem so, different, since, since Jenara died. So changed. And when I make love to you, itís as if you arenít there. I donít seem to bring you pleasure any more". This stunned Sirasi, she hadnít realized that she had changed. All she knew was that since Jenaraís death, she had this emptiness inside of herself that never went away, this aching, painful aching. Her heart and soul were reaching out for a sister who was no longer there, and all that was left behind was the aching. "Iím so sorry Shantar, I hadnít realized; I never meant to hurt you". "I know that; you miss your sister, I see it in your eyes. Your soul is gone. Your body continues to function because it has to, but your soul is with your sister, and so is your heart. The problem is, how do I compete with that? I canít. The love you had for her was different, deeper". "Shantar, I Ö" "No, let me finish. Iíll help you anyway I can to come to terms with her death, but you have to let her go. You canít keep living like this, this isnít living, itís living death". As odd as that sounded, it made sense to Sirasi, she knew precisely what Shantar was saying, and she was right, she couldnít keep living like this, she had to let her sister go somehow. If her sister saw her like this, she knew she would be ashamed of her.
She wasnít behaving like a warrior, and especially not a First Warrior, she had to get her act together, and get it together now. "Youíre right Shantar, I canít keep going on like this. The stories say that Xena has been to Tartarus and has spoken to Lord Hades himself. Maybe sheíll take me with her to Tartarus so that I can talk to Jenara again if Lord Hades will allow it". "Iíll go with you if you want me to, but first, I think you should go through the Cleansing Ceremony. Iíll have Selan run to Pharsalas and ask Xena to come". "Thank you Shantar" touched by her Bond Mateís loyalty and devotion to her, Sirasi put a gentle hand to her face in an affectionate gesture. "I donít deserver you". "Youíve got it backwards my love, itís me who doesnít deserve you". With a smile, Shantar kissed Sirasiís palm and left to instruct Selan to take the message to Xena.
TWO DAYS LATER: In a sweathut, Sirasi sits near to fainting, from the heat, attempting to cleans her anguished soul of the grief for her sister that she has suffered for the past month. Up to now she has been unsuccessful; nearly unconscious, a vision appears to her, a vision of her sister standing before her.
"Sirasi, you must let me go. You cannot grieve for me the rest of your life. I cannot come back to you and you cannot come to me. I know that you love me, and I will always love you, but the time to let me go has come, release the grief, and be happy again. I will come for you when it is your time. Release the grief Sirasi, release it". As she watched and listened to the vision before her, tears ran down Sirasiís face, tears of grief, pain, anguish, and loss. When the vision had vanished, Sirasi let out a long, loud, mournful wail of anguish; part cry, part howl, part scream, and then she fainted, collapsing to the floor of the hut.
When she regained consciousness two candle marks later, she found herself in the Healerís Hut, being attended to by the Healer, Palia. "She had only fainted, sheís coming around now. Sheíll be all right, all she needs is rest". Sirasi sensed Palia moving off, and turned her head slowly to see Shantar, and the Queen at her side. "My Queen" she greeted the Monarch of the tribe. She tried to rise and stand to greet the Queen appropriately but the Queen gently pushed her back down. "No, lay back, rest, you are weak". "I saw a vision my Queen, it was my sister, Jenara speaking to me. She told me it was time for me to let go of my grief, time to move on with my life and be happy again". "Sound advice First Warrior, advice you should heed". "Iíve tried my Queen, but itís so hard. I loved my sister so much, she was part of me, I canít just forget her". "You should never forget your sister. A sister of the blood is dearer than any other sister there is, or any other love there is. You two were inseparable. I had never seen two sisters move as one, think as one, fight as one, so mentally connected as you two had been. You two could speak to each other without words. Such a connection is rare between any two individuals, much less sisters. What you two had was very special indeed; yes, she such a kinship would be hard to forget".
After a slight pause, the Queen continued. "You must let go of the pain, and the grief however; remember her with love, and fondness, and kinship, without remembering the pain of her loss with it". "How can I my Queen? Itís my fault sheís dead, my fault, If I hadnít lifted her to her feet at the precise moment, she would be alive. I should have been killed by Anemyís spear, not her".
At this point, the tears of pain and guilt that she had been suppressing for so long finally surfaced as Sirasi admitted the guilt. "It was Anemy who paid for Jenaraís death, but it should have been me. I killed Jenara; I am the one who put her in the path of that spear. Anemy was trying to kill me, not Jenara. My sisterís murderer is still alive, me. How do I live with that? How?" Sirasi collapsed in tears into the Queenís arms, the Queen just holding the sobbing Amazon. "You didnít know that the spear was coming for you, you couldnít have known. Iíve seen you fight many, many times Sirasi; you have always protected your sister from harm youíve always watched out for her safety. Youíve saved her life many times. If you could have save taken the spear rather than her, you would have". None of the Queenís words eased Sirasiís pain however; and she continued to cry, her heart aching as it did when she had first realized her sister was dead. The Queen knew what it was like to loose someone, and just held the Amazon, letting her cry herself out.
Scene Change: The town of Pharsalas, The young Amazon Selan has run all the way from the Amazon village and is running through the town looking for the Inn where she believes Xena and Gabrielle will be staying. She spots them walking through the streets looking into the different stands buying supplies.
Xena, Gabrielle, my name is Selan; Iíve come from, Pherae. Third Warrior Shantar asks that you come to our village, First Warrior Sirasi needs you". "Why? Whatís wrong with her? Is she sick?" Gabrielle asked. "Is Thalissia all right?" "Yes, the Princess is fine. The First Warrior needs you. Will you come please?" ĎYes, of course. Gabrielle and I will finish gathering supplies, and then weíll start out right away. We should be there by nightfall". "All right then, Iíll return to the village and tell First Warrior that you will come". Selan turned to return to the Amazon village without so much as a rest, but was stopped by Gabrielle. Selan, wait, why donít you stay, and rest and eat something, and then be on your way? You must be tired after that long run". "Speaking of running. Why did you run here rather than ride horse back?" "Because my tribe doesnít ride horseback, weíre runners. We are taught to run long distances by the age of six seasons, and to fight by the age of seven seasons.
"Well all Amazons need rest and nourishment. Now come to the Tavern and eat with Xena and me". Selan looked as if she would refuse, but did not, thinking better of it. "And afterwards, you can travel back with us" "Yes Xena" Selan responded as she turned to follow the two into the tavern". "How is Sirasi, I mean, the First Warrior? Is she dealing with her sisterís death better?" Xena asked just as they entered the tavern and sat at a table. "She seems to be, and yet itís said that she cries in her sleep every night until Third Warrior comforts her, and then goes back to sleep. Itís said that some nights, she does this through the night". "Poor Sirasi. I knew she was devastated by Jenaraís death, but itís affecting her sleep. Has this been going on since we were last there?" Gabrielle queried Selan. "Iíll go and get our meal and some drinks, be right back" Xena announced as she got to her feet. "Yes, Selan responded. First Warrior is looking pale, and thin. When we eat meals in the communal dinning hut, First Warrior barely touches her food; eating only a few mouthfuls, and she drinks very little as well". "And sheís getting sick because of it" Xena said as she returned with the food, and the drinks. "Is there something you can do to help her Xena?" "I can try" Xena sat in silence for a moment as Gabrielle and Selan began eating, then an idea came to her.
"What if she were faced with a friend loosing someone she cared about?" "Xena what are you thinking?" Gabrielle asked, though she had a fair idea what was in Xena's head. "If she thinks that one of us is badly hurt, or mortally wounded like Jenara was, then sheíll be forced to associate the other oneís feelings with her own and will have to deal with her grief in that way". "I see what you're thinking" Selan said,
"I guess that means I get to be the hurt one. What kind of injury will I have? Preferably one that I donít actually have to suffer through". "How about a poison that you canít find a cure for Xena?" "Good Selan. Now how was she poisoned?" "How about a poisoned arrow? Remember when that poisoned arrow hit me? If you hadnít found that soldier, and if he hadnít had the antidote with him, I would have died". " Yeah, but they would wonder why I donít carry the antidote with me just incase you or I were to get poisoned again by the same poison". "Why donít we just say we got caught in that downpour we had two days ago and I caught a bad cold and that no matter what youíve given me, I just seem to be getting worse and worse".
"Perfect Gabrielle" Xena responded with enthusiasm as she bit into a good-sized apple. "I know of a plant that if given in the proper amounts can make you appear to be actually dieing, and in just the right amount, it will slow your breathing, and your heart to the point where youíll be barely alive. Itíll be just like going to sleep, and when the time is right, all I have to do is give you the antidote that will revive you". "And Sirasi wonít know the difference, nor will any of the other Amazons. Iíll appear to be dead to them". "Thatís right, but I doubt weíll have to take it that far. But just incase we do, have to, Iíll let the Shamaness know what weíre doing". "Iíll do that when we get back to the village Xena" Selan volunteered, "Youíll be busy taking care of Gabrielle". "Youíre right, I will" "Well weíd better hurry and get on our way before nightfall then" "Youíre right, while youíre packing, Selan and I will make a litter for you to ride into the village on". They hurriedly finished their meal, and left to hurry to their tasks.
END OF PART I
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