The Snakehead Gorgon 16- 19
In the evening our three friends arrived with Pegasus to the lake. In the middle of the sea you could see an isle, with dark clouds hanging over it. The isle seemed to be in endless dark. Thick fog was everywhere. Xena jumped down from Pegasus' back and took a step forward.
"The isle of darkness. We're here."
Pegasus took a nervous step back und whinied. Gabrielle stroked Pegasus' neck and tried to calm him down. But it was ineffective. Pegasus became more and more nervous. Perseus and Gabrielle decided to jump down, too, then they went to Xena.
"What's up with him?"
But before Xena could answer the question, a voice said.
"What do you think? He is scared. Or do you cheering by this sight?"
All three turned around. At first they couldn't see anything, but after some seconds you could hear a splash, that seemed to come from someone who stroked with a staff in the water. Shortly after that you could see a boat. On the bow of the boat was a skull. On the stern was a figure who was dressed in a big black cape, and carried a staff which he was using to drive the boat. Xena knew this figure too well.
The figure lifted his head and you could see a man. Or better said the remnants of a man.Charon's face seemed to be just skin and bones. He smiled at Xena.
"Hello Xena. Aren't you dead yet?"
Xena lifted her eyebrow.
"Is one of your companions dead?"
"Than what in Hades name do you want here?"
Gabrielle took a step forward, after she noticed that Xena's patience was wearing very thin.
"We want to go to the isle of darkness to fight Medusa. We need her head to defeat the seamonster that Athena will send in six days to kill first Andromeda and than all of Athens."
Charon's eyebrows went up, and he breathed deeply.
"Are you still talking so much?"
Gabrielle opened her mouth to protest, but Xena spoke first.
"Charon, could you take us to the isle of darkness?"
"I could, but I don't want to."
"Maybe I'm dead, but I'm not stupid. That is a suicide mission."
Now Perseus was very angry. It was getting to long for him.
"Hear me Charon. My name is Perseus. Andromeda is my bride. And I will do anything to rescue her. And if this means to swim through this lake I will do it. I will get to this island one way or the other. Now, will you take us there, or not?"
"You don't have anything to pay me. I don't drive for nothing. I'm a ferryman, and no merciful Hercules."
Xena thought shortly about it. They really didn't have anything material to pay Charon. But then a idea came to Xena's mind. She went to Pegasus and stroked his neck.
"Pegasus, what do you think about staying with Charon. You don't seem to be very comfortable around here, and on the isle it will be worse. With Charon you will feel better. And I promise to fetch you later."
And in her mind she thought 'even if I don't know how yet'.
Pegasus seem to like this idea. He whinied shortly and then he went with Xena to Charon.
"Charon, I give you Pegasus the flying horse. He will be loyal to you."
Charon looked at first to Gabrielle, then to Perseus and in the end to Xena. He crossed his arms in front of his chest and then he said with sarcasm in his voice.
"Yeah, great. Then I can sell my boat. Because in the future I will take the dead to the other side on Pegasus' back."
Xena turned angrily to Charon.
"Hear me very clearly Charon. We don't have money. Couldn't you help us once for nothing? For the power of love. Weren't you ever in love?"
Charon started to smile to himself, as he thought about his great love. But suddenly he stopped smiling. He went to Xena.
"Alright. Climb in. But when you are dead someday Xena, you owe me a lot of money. I hope you can pay me then."
"I don't want to die early, but when I die someday you can be sure that I will have the money."
Charon nodded. After that he let our three friends climb in the boat. Pegasus stayed on the shore. Slowly the boat starts to move. Charon looked at our three friends.
"Some special wish while we are driving? A song maybe or a sightseeing tour?"
Like from one mouth our three friends screamed.
"Good. I just asked. That's what I like. At first I have to drive living people, of course for nothing, and than they start to address me as stupid. I hate my job."
With these words, and lot of others the boat moved slowly in the direction of the isle. Xena looked to Gabrielle and noticed that she was shivering.
"Are you cold, my love?"
"No. To be honest, I'm a little scared now."
"I know. I'm a little scared too. Come here."
Xena opened her arms and Gabrielle stepped into Xena's embrace.
"It's going to be alright, my love. I will protect you."
"I know you will. I love you, warrior."
"I love you, too, bard."
Gabrielle turned in Xena's arms so she stood with her back to Xena's chest. Xena crossed her arms around Gabrielle's waist, and Gabrielle put her hand's over Xena's. After a half hour, and with a song from Charon (which was granted under big protests), our three friends arrived on the isle of darkness. Charon let the boat run aground and looked around. After he said something about the beauty of this isle, Xena stepped out first. After that she helped Gabrielle and Perseus out. She thanked Charon for the journey. But she couldn't supress a remark.
"Say Charon. Do you like to sing?"
Charon was touched by these words. He lifted himself to his full height and said proud.
"Yes. I love it."
Xena raised her eyebrow, and answered.
"Then, why don't you learn it?"
Gabrielle and Perseus started to laugh. And even Xena couldn't supress her laugh as she saw the face of Charon. He set his lips in a grim line and breathed deeply to protest. But he was speechless about this comment. That was the first time.
"Ha, ha Xena. Very funny. And though you were so mean to me, I give you good advice. You know you can't look in Medusa's eyes. And they are well armed. Every one of them has a bow, and they know well how to use it. So be careful. In the room where you will find the Gorgon's, you also will find soldiers. Be careful not to stumble over one. And take this."
Charon gave Xena a piece of rag.
"What is this?"
"You will find out. But it will be very helpful to you. Believe me."
Xena thanked Charon for the rag and the advice, and then the three went to find the cave of the Gorgons.
The isle of Darkness was really not a comfortable place. Everywhere on the ground you could see skeletons, and the isle laid in eternal Darkness. The clouds in the sky were darker than the night, and the fog that was laying above the isle, made the progress of our three friends very difficult. Xena cursed internally, and Gabrielle and Perseus were angry, too. They wondered if they would be able to find the cave of the Gorgons, as Xena said.
"Here it is!"
Gabrielle and Perseus looked in the direction Xena showed them, and through the fog they could see the entrance of the Cave. Gabrielle and Perseus couldn't surpress a smile. After all the strains, they made it. But the smile vanished as they thought what was to come now. Xena noticed that Gabrielle was very nervous and uncomfortable so she went to her.
"You don't have to come with us, if you don't want, my love."
Gabrielle tried to smile.
"No. I want to come with you. That's where I belong."
Xena took Gabrielle in an embrace.
"I'm so proud of you. You are scared, and nervous but you decided to come with me. I love you."
"I love you, too."
They looked in each other eyes deeply, and slowly Xena came nearer and kissed her. The kiss turned into a very deep and passionate kiss. After they broke apart, they had to catch their breath. Xena was the first to speak again.
"Do you feel better?"
"Good. So do I."
"I want more when we are finished here."
"You will get it, I promise."
"So. What are we waiting for? Let's go."
Xena just smiled and went forward. Slowly and with careful steps our three friends went to the entrance of the Cave. On the entrance they found some torches, which they lit, and after all three took a deep breath, they went inside. The way in the middle of the cave seemed to be neverending. Gabrielle started to ask herself if they were walking in a circle.
"Xena, are you sure we are in the right cave?"
Xena turned immediately as she heard the question of Gabrielle.
"Gabrielle, this is the only cave on this isle."
"Then are you sure we are on the right isle?"
"Gabrielle, are you kidding?"
"Good. Because I know we are right here. I can feel a mysterious cold. I never felt something like this before."
Perseus took a step forward so he was standing beside Xena.
"Yes. I know what you mean. This place is much colder, than the coldest winter."
Gabrielle felt that Perseus was scared, and she felt Xena's uneasiness. But she was good in hiding it from the most people. But Gabrielle knew her too well. And she had to admit that she don't feel at home either. Xena looked at Perseus and Gabrielle.
"Let's go. The sooner we finished with this work, the better."
Gabrielle and Perseus nodded and again they walked. After five minutes you could see a weak light, that became stronger, the nearer our three friends came. Xena decided to make a fire so they would have a torch when they leave the Cave. She turned around.
"I think we made it. The temple of the Gorgons is laying before us. Take care. I will see you healthy and not turned in stone."
Gabrielle shivered. Xena gave her a quick kiss on the lips and smiled at her. Gabrielle was more scared than she thought. She never fought against something like this. But she took all her courage and went forward. Xena pulled her sword out and went forward, too. But suddenly she stopped.
"Perseus, take your shield, and pull your sword out. You know you are the only one who can kill Medusa. And I don't want you turning to Stone while you pull out your sword. Gabrielle and I will help you as much as we can."
Perseus nodded and pulled his sword out. His shield he held in his left hand. It shines so brightly, that Xena and Gabrielle were almost dazzled. With almost faint steps our three friends went into the light. As they were in the middle of the cave they were shocked. The inner being of the cave was gigantic. In front of them, Xena, Gabrielle and Perseus could see three exits; in the middle was a gigantic bowl with fire burning in it. But the fire lighted the cave only a little. The cave was supported by seven columns; four columns were standing in the middle of the cave, and three columns standing right behind the other four. The three columns were so built that if you hid behind them and looked forward you could see through the other four. But there was only one problem. In each case in the middle of the columns - even if it was a little behind- a stony soldier was standing there. So you couldn't see straight to the three exits. Xena, Perseus and Gabrielle were hiding behind the three columns as they heard slipping noises.
"The three Gorgons are coming. Now we have to work fast."
Xena looked again at the soldiers. Everyone of them had a shield as high as Xena and Perseus eyes. But the shields were very dusty. Than Xena came the idea. She got the rag from Charon, with the advice that she could use it very good. But time was getting short. The three Gorgon's came nearer. And before Xena came to the first Soldier, the first Gorgon came out from the right exit. Xena cursed internally. Was it to late for the plan? She had to try. In the meantime the other two Gorgons came from the exits. Perseus looked in his shield and was shocked. He never saw something like this before. All three Gorgons had the height of Xena, their skin was green and scaly, and instead of legs they had the lower abdomen of a snake. On their head grew hundreds of little snakes, and their eyes were yellow like the sun. On their backs they carried bows and arrows, and Perseus noticed that every Gorgon had five arrows. That made fifteen arrows. Xena looked to Perseus and he showed her the armor of the Gorgon's. Xena just nodded. Fifteen arrows, that made the whole thing harder. She held the rag above, and pointed to Gabrielle and Perseus what she planned to do. Gabrielle and Perseus just nodded. Xena breathed deeply. Now she had to run, and trying not to look in the Gorgon's eyes, and at the same time trying to get out of the way of the arrows. Xena ran forward to the first soldier and polished his shield. In the mirror she could see, how the first Gorgon streched the bow, and shot an arrow. Fast like lightning Xena ran behind the second column and than to the second soldier. She made a somersault and stopped in front of the soldier. Quickly, she polished his shield, but this time she wasn't able to get out of the way of the arrow. She heared behind her the sound of a flying arrow and she caught the arrow with her hand. She threw the arrow away, and ran to the third soldier. While she polished his shield, the Gorgon on the left streched her bow, and aimed at Xena. But before the arrow could hit Xena, she jumped in the air, and the arrow hit the column. Now were only two soldiers left. Again Xena jumped in the air, to stop in front of the fourth soldier. This time the Gorgon in the middle streched her bow. Again Xena was faster. As the arrow came to her target, Xena was at the fith soldier, to polish his shield. The last arrow flew, and missed the target.
Gabrielle prayed to the gods for Xena to came back healthly, as she felt a hand on her shoulder. She turned around and saw it was Xena. Quickly she embraced her love and kissed her on the lips. So she made it to polish all five shields. After Xena broke the kiss she turned around and whispered to Perseus.
"How much arrows are left?"
"Five were shot. So that means that there are ten arrows left. What do you want to do?"
"Because I polished the shields, we can see now the Gorgons. Stand with your backs to the columns, so they could see your face in the mirror of the shield. Now you can see the Gorgon's and they can see you. The light in this cave is so bad, so they will not know how many attackers are there. Now we have to make it, that they shoot the rest of the arrows. Otherwise it is to dangerous for us to look for the right Gorgon. So you have to run between the columns, that your face will show everytime in another shield. The Gorgons will presume it is always another attacker, and they will shoot their arrows. Do you understand this?"
Gabrielle and Perseus just nodded.
"Alright. Let's go."
With these words Xena was the first to run forward. She stopped at the second column on the left side, and looked in the shield. The Gorgon in the middle saw Xena's face and shot an arrow. Xena caught the arrow again with her hand. In the meantime Gabrielle ran forward, and hid on the column on the right side. An arrow was shot but missed his target. Now only Perseus was left. He stood behind the column on the right side behind the four columns in the front, and he ran to the column on the left side in the front. That means he had the farthest way. He ran fast as the lightning. But the Gorgons were as fast as him. They shot six arrows at him. But no one hit Perseus, because he caught most with his hand, and the others hit two soldiers, which fell down with great roar, and broke. Now the second column, and the third column on the left side in front were without a soldier. Xena cursed internally about the stupidity of Perseus. Because that means she and Gabrielle were without protection, and just have their hearing. Xena looked to Gabrielle and knew that her hearing wasn't as good as hers. So she ran to Gabrielle to protect her. With great speed she came nearer to Gabrielle and heard the sound of flying arrows. One she could catch with her hand, but the second came too fast, and pierced her left thigh. With a scream she broke down, but she had to go. She ran to Gabrielle and fell into her arms. Gabrielle laid her down on the ground between her legs. Then there was silence as nothing moved. Perseus looked to Xena. Xena made a face of pain, and just nodded. In the meantime Gabrielle took care of Xena's wound. She broke the arrow, and pushed it through the thigh. Xena bit on her lower lip to supress a scream. Gabrielle saw it, and it broke her heart. But she had to take out the arrow. She looked at Gabrielle and just nodded. Xena took hold of Gabrielle's waist, and Gabrielle came down to kiss Xena. As their lips were locked, she pushed the arrow from Xena's thigh. Xena's fingers bored so deep in Gabrielle's waist, that Gabrielle felt a pain. Xena screamed her pain in Gabrielle's mouth. Then it was over. Gabrielle broke the kiss and looked at her lover. Xena smiled at her, and handed her the rag she used to polish the shields.
"You have to bound my wound, my love. I'm very proud of you. I love you."
"I love you, too Xena."
Gabrielle kissed Xena again, and then took the rag to bind the wound. After that she looked to Perseus. In the meantime he went a little more to the right side to get a better look at the Gorgons. He could see, that no one had arrows. Now he could concentrate to find the right one. In his shield he watched all three Gorgons, and than he could see it. The Gorgon in the middle was the right one. The little and the ringfinger were grown together.
"So this is Medusa."
No one of the three sisters made a sound. The only thing you could hear was the sizzle of the snakes on their heads. Again he looked in his shield, and saw that the three Gorgon's were on their way back in the exits. Because of the two broken soldiers and the injured Xena they assumed that all attackers were dead. Perseus cursed, that he will now never get Medusa, as she turned around and went in Perseus direction. It seems that she wanted to look if they really killed all attackers. Slowly and with sizzling noises she went to the column where Perseus was standing. Perseus held his sword even stronger now. Sweat was building on his forehead. He had just one chance. Medusa came nearer and nearer. Perseus looked in his shield again and was shocked. Medusa was standing in front of him. But before she could "look" at him, Perseus swung his sword. With one blow he cut off her head. Her lifeless body felt down and her head rolled in front of Perseus feet. But he knew that he can't look in her eyes now. Her "look" would even work now. So he took her head, and put it in his cape. He tied it, and than he ran to Gabrielle and Xena.
"How are you, Xena?"
"Thanks, I felt better before. You did it."
"Yes. But without your help, I wouldn't make it. I thank you both."
"You don't have to thank us. Just help me to get up, before the sisters of Medusa come back."
And Gabrielle said.
"We loved to help. But we are not finished yet. There are just five and a half day left. So. Let's go."
Perseus and Gabrielle helped Xena get up. Xena laid her arms around Gabrielle's and Perseus' shoulder, and then they went out of the cave. The torch Xena had saved helped our three friends to find the way out. As they came out of the cave, they saw that Charon was waiting on the shore.
"So. You did it? What is in the bag?"
Xena raised her eyebrow.
"That's the head of Medusa. Charon take us as fast as you can to the shore on the other side of the lake. We have no time to lose."
Charon just shook his head.
"The living. Always in a hurry. So climb in. But I would be greatful if you could lay the head on the other side of the boat."
Gabrielle looked at Charon.
"Are you sickened about it?"
"Look little girl. I drive the dead ones, and meanwhile even the living , but most are in one piece and have their whole body. Of course I'm sickened about it."
"Then don't look at it."
Charon wanted to say something to Gabrielle but decided against it. Someday she would come anyway, and than it would give him revenge. He let our three friends climb in, and slowly the boat began to move. Everyone was happy that this chapter was over. But time was short. They hoped that nothing would happen to Pegasus on their flight back. Gabrielle looked at Xena's wound.
"Are you alright?"
"It is hurting a little bit, but I'm fine. Come here."
Xena took Gabrielle in her arms and took her in her embrace. She could feel that Gabrielle's tension went slowly away. She took her face in her hands and looked her deep in the eyes she wanted to see for the rest of her life.
"I love you."
"I love you, too."
And then they kissed. Slowly Xena asked with her tongue for entrance in Gabrielle's mouth, and Gabrielle opened her mouth. Their tongues danced against each other, and they deepened the kiss if that was possible. Gabrielle entwined her fingers in Xena's hair, and Xena put her hands on Gabrielle's waist. Perseus looked away and Charon did the same. Gabrielle broke the kiss to take a much needed breath. She smiled at Xena.
"I want more, if we have time for it."
"Believe me, my love. You will get more of it."
And she kissed her again. But this time Charon interrupted them.
"Sorry, to interrupt you lovebirds. But we are on the shore. And you said you were short on time. So get out of my boat."
Perseus, Gabrielle and Xena climbed out of the boat, and thanked Charon again for his help. As they turned around, Charon said.
"I wish you good luck."
All three turned around again, but Charon was gone. Xena smiled.
"So, he isn't a bad guy. He has his heart in the right spot."
Gabrielle came to Xena and laid her hand around her waist.
"Yeah, I think you're right."
Perseus just nodded. Than he whistled for Pegaus to come. They hadn't long to wait. Pegasus whinied as he saw our three friends. Xena, Perseus and Gabrielle stroked Perseus neck and after that they jumped on his back, and went on their flight back to Athens.
In the meantime it was dark, but our four friends were still in the air. They decided to fly as long as possible, to not lose too much time. As the next day broke, our friends just took a break to eat and drink something, and to bath in a lake. But just this break caused them problems. As Gabrielle was bathing in the lake, and Perseus washed his clothes, out from the bushes came five man, with nothing else on their minds, than to raid them. As Perseus noticed them, it was too late for him to get to his sword, that he had laid on the ground, because it was in the way, when he washed his clothes. The leader came near to Perseus.
"As you are not able to defend yourself, just say where your money is. That would save you from your anxiety to be killed, and me from the work to kill you. So. Where is your money?"
But before Gabrielle or Perseus could answer, Xena jumped from a tree to land in front of the leader. She had terrible pain in her thigh, but Gabrielle was in danger, so she ignored the pain. And her anger was rising.
"For the money matters I'm relevant."
With these words her fist went forward, and hit the leader directly on his nasal bone. The man made a somersault back and laid unconscious on the ground. After that she turned around and looked at the other man with her raised eyebrows and an evil smile on her lips.
"Do you want my money, too?"
With lots of screams they ran. Meanwhile Perseus grabbed his sword, and Gabrielle climbed out of the water. Of course she had her clothes on. Gabrielle went to Xena.
"Everything alright with you? How is your leg?"
"I'm fine, love. And my leg is also fine. But it was very unwary for you, Perseus to let the sword out of sight and reach. This ground is unsafe."
Perseus hung his head low.
"I'm sorry, Xena. I know you're right."
"It's alright, Perseus. We are safe now."
Gabrielle and Perseus nodded. After that they went to Pegasus, jumped on his back and went back in the air. Now were only four day's left, before the seamonster would come to Athens to kill first Andromeda and than to destroy Athens. Time was getting shorter. Perseus was getting nervous. Everyday, every hour, every minute he thought about his bride and if they were able to destroy the seamonster.
As they took another break, Xena went to Pegasus and whispered something in his ear. Gabrielle and Perseus looked at them, and wondered.
"Xena, what did you tell him?"
Gabrielle was really curious. Xena turned around and took Gabrielle in her arms. Gabrielle kissed first Xena's chest, than laid her head on it. How she loved it, when Xena took her in her arms. That gave her the feeling of complete safety and home.
"I just asked him, if he could hold out to fly four days without a break. The time is getting too short, Gabrielle. If we fly through and eat while flying we could make it."
"And Pegasus agreed, right?"
"Yes. You know he is a creature from god's origin. So eating isn't really necessary for him. And I have the feeling that he also likes to get as soon as possible to Athens."
Gabrielle just nodded. Perseus heard everything, and agreed. So Xena and Perseus hunted something that would last enough for the four days. Gabrielle collected some berries, and after all were finished, they went back in the air. It seemed that Pegasus flew faster than before. The eating and sleeping part now just happened on Pegasus back. Gabrielle slept with her head on Xena's back, and her arms wrapped around her waist. Xena and Perseus slept in a crumpled posture. They just landed if they needed a trip to the bushes. So the days went by. The weather was always good. Gabrielle thanked the gods for it. After three days, suddenly Pegasus whinied, and woke Xena, who was falling asleep.
"What is it, Pegasus? Are you alright?"
Pegasus whinied again, and showed with his head in one direction. Xena followed the look of Pegasus, and than she recognized it. Quickly she woke up Gabrielle and Perseus. Gabrielle rubbed the sleep from her eyes.
"What is it?"
"Gabrielle, we did it. Up ahead is Athens."
"I said we did it."
Perseus raised his head, and looked forward. Than a scream of pure happiness came out of his throat. Gabrielle and Xena were laughing. They were also happy that they made it. They even had a day left. Gabrielle took Xena in her arms from behind, and the women shared a deep kiss.
In the evening of the third day Pegasus landed in the yard of the palace. Perseus jumped down, and ran to the palace to search for Andromeda. Xena and Gabrielle took Pegasus to the stables where he could get something to eat. Pegasus was really happy to get something to eat. After that Xena and Gabrielle went to the yard again to wait for Perseus. Xena turned around to Gabrielle and took her in her arms again.
"Oh, it feels so good to hold you. So right. I could do this all day. I'm very proud of you, Gabrielle. You were four days on Pegasus back without a complaint. Thank you."
"You don't have to thank me. But don't ask my butt to do that again. If she could talk, she would tell you something. "
"I guess, that means in the next time I have to lay on the back."
Xena said with a grin. Gabrielle flushed and raised her head.
"Ha, ha. Very funny. You will see."
Xena had to laugh about what Gabrielle said. And Gabrielle also started to laugh. But suddenly their laugh was interrupted from someone calling their names. It was Perseus. He came the steps to the yard down, and stopped in front of Xena and Gabrielle.
"Xena, Andromeda is away."
Gabrielle couldn't believe what she heard.
"Andromeda is away?"
Perseus went nervous up and down, and told them what happened.
"Two hours ago, a messenger came from Athena. He said he should take Andromeda to the rocks, because Athena is now here to get her sacrifice. The guards Andromeda were calling, were killed by this man. It seems he had superhuman powers. After he killed evey man, he took Andromeda and took her to the rocks."
Xena saw, that Perseus was in panic.
"Perseus, try to calm down. I know you are very nervous. But to be honest, I knew that something like that would came. Gods and Goddesses never play after the rules. I know what I'm talking about, believe me. Perseus we have to get as fast as we can to the rocks. Take us there. Than you take care of Andromeda and the seamonster, and I will take care of this unknown warrior, if he is still there. Let's go."
Perseus and Gabrielle nodded. Perseus just took his bag with the head of Medusa with him, and after he had it, our three friends went to the rocks to save Andromeda and Athens.
After some minutes Xena, Gabrielle and Perseus arrived by the rocks. They looked quickly around, and Xena saw first Andromeda tied to a post. She showed Perseus where Andromeda was, and as fast as he could he ran to her. Xena and Gabrielle followed him. As Perseus was by Andromeda, he freed her from her ties.
"Andromeda, finally. I thought we wouldn't make it. But thanks to my friends Xena and Gabrielle we did it. I'm so happy. Are you alright?"
"Yes, I'm fine. Perseus, I'm also very happy. Now I'm no longer scared. But the monster will come. What will we do?"
"Calm down, love. We just find a way. But I want you to go back to the palace and stay there. We will be there soon. I love you, Andromeda."
"I love you, too Perseus. And I will follow your advice. Xena and Gabrielle I thank you very much for your help. I hope after all this, we have time to get to know each other."
Xena and Gabrielle nodded, and Gabrielle said.
"We loved to help, Andromeda. And Xena and I would be happy to get to know each other."
Andromeda smiled, and turned to Perseus. He took her in her arms and kissed her deeply. After they broke the kiss, Andromeda said good-bye and ran to the palace. As soon as Andromeda left, Xena heard a noise from the sea. She turned around and looked sharply to the spot where the noise came from. On a special spot she saw a whirlpool, which became bigger and bigger. Meanwhile Gabrielle and Perseus also noticed the noise and went to Xena. Suddenly a tower of water came from the sea, and than the seamonster was there. The skin of the monster was black like the night, and full of seaweed. He didn't had a face, it just looked like a grimace of a deformed fish. He had hands with big swimflays. And he was bigger than Poseidon. The roar that came from his throat made the earth shake. Perseus was shocked and scared to death. Xena had to scream at him to get his attention.
"Perseus, just get the head of Medusa. Gabrielle, look away. Don't look in the eyes of Medusa. And don't look at the monster either. The light on his skin will be reflected. If you look on his body, the light from Medusa's eyes will be reflected and you will turn to stone, too. The same for you, Perseus. You have to hold the head of Medusa in your hand, until you hear the cracking of stone. After that you have to throw the head in the sea. Do you understand everything?"
Perseus and Gabrielle nodded. Xena wanted to say something, but suddenly the hand of the seamonster came in their way. Xena, Perseus and Gabrielle had to jump on the other side, so they didn't get hit with it. The fist came down on the ground, where it left a two meter deep and three meter wide furrow. Perseus stood firm, and he got the head of Medusa out of his bag. He screamed to Xena and Gabrielle to look away now, and after that he held the head in the direction of the seamonster. The monster saw the head of Medusa, and then a terrible scream came from his throat. The eyes of Medusa opened and from it came a incredible glaring yellow light. The seamonster tried to protect his eyes with his hand, but it was too late. His hand already turned to stone. Slowly his other hand turned to stone, too, as you heard from somewhere a voice. It was the voice of Athena.
"NO! You will not thwart my plans. When my seamonster won't stop you, I'm sure my warrior will. Until now, nobody defeated him."
Perseus doesn't seem to be impressed by Athena's words. He knew that Xena would take care of the warrior. Xena turned around from the rocks and looked in the direction from the palace. And suddenly the warrior appeared. He rode on a big black horse, and he was two heads higher than Xena. In front of Xena he stopped. He jumped down from his horse and went to Xena.
"My name is Santor. I'm a choosen Warrior from Athena, and I was seny to kill you and your friends. Which I will do with the greatest pleasure."
With these words he pulled out his big sword. It was a sword Xena had never seen before. It was so gigantic, that you had to held it with both hands. Xena also sheathed her sword and went a step back. Santor turned his sword around his own axis. Xena wasn't impressed by this show. A tired smile showed on her face.
"Is this everything you can do? And you are unbeatable?"
"Don't make jokes with me, Xena. You will see soon what I can do."
"Well, we'll see."
These words made Santor furious. No one had ever offended him like this. He swore to kill this woman. He raised his sword to push it through Xena's middle. But she parried the blow. But the force of the blow threw her two meters away. She stood immediately and took her Chakram. With her warcry she threw it in the direction of Santor. But he was prepared. Before Xena's Chakram hit him, he raised his sword. The Chakram bounced of Santor's sword and landed in a nearby tree. Again Xena wasn't impressed. She ran forward, made a somersault so she landed behind Santor. But before Santor could turn around, he felt Xena's fist on his back. But he didn't care about the force of the blow. He just turned slowly around, and looked in Xena's face.
"Xena, I thought your punches were stronger. It seems you are a little out of practice since you are no longer a warlord. You just punch like an old woman."
Xena raised her foot to hit Santor in his stomach. But again Santor didn't feel anything. Santor raised his mighty hand, and hit Xena in her face. The force was so powerful, that Xena was thrown two meters away and laid on the ground. Santor slowly approached Xena, and helped her to get up, just then he began to strangle her with one hand. Xena tryed desperately to defend herself. But for the first time she felt she would lose. She felt that she was getting weaker. But than Gabrielle came. She hit Santor with her staff in his back, so Santor was startled and let Xena fall. Xena just breathed laborously. Santor turned to Gabrielle and hit her too, in her face. Gabrielle was thrown five meters away and laid unconcious on the ground. In the meantime Xena heard as something big seemed to fall in the sea. Perseus did it. But Xena was still to weak to defend herself. Santor turned around again and stopped in front of Xena. He raised again his sword to bore it through Xena's heart, as a voice from behind him said.
"Hey, you Giant. Do you think you can defeat me?"
Santor turned around, and then he just looked in the eyes of Medusa. After Perseus defeated the seamonster, he saw that Xena was in trouble. He rushed to her, and was standing behind Santor. And again Medusa did her job. Santor wasn't able to do anything. He felt like his arms and legs turned to stone. He tried to fight it. But a invisible might seemed to tie him on the eyes of Medusa. After some seconds everything was over. Santor was completely turned to stone. Xena stood, and thanked Perseus. Than she went to Gabrielle, who was waking up.
"Gabrielle, my love. Are you alright?"
"Well, I have terrible headache, but I'm fine."
"Thank you, Gabrielle."
"If it wasn't for you, Santor would have killed me. Again you saved my life."
"I couldn't allow it, that this Giant would kill the love of my life."
Xena took Gabrielle in her arms and embraced her. Gabrielle raised her head and looked in the eyes she wanted to see for the rest of her life. She kissed Xena deeply and passionately. After she broke the kiss, Xena helped her to stand, and than they went to Perseus, who was still holding the head of Medusa. Xena looked at him.
"Did you like this head so much, that you will keep it with you?"
Xena just smiled. Perseus smiled back at her and Gabrielle.
"Well, I think not. It's time to destroy it."
With this, Perseus threw the head in the sea. After that he embraced his friends and thanked them again for the help. Together they went back to the palace where Andromeda was waiting. They made a big feast for the heroes, and Gabrielle of course ate as much as she could. As they all finished eating and drinking, they decided to go to bed. Perseus showed Xena and Gabrielle their rooms, and wished them a good night.
Gabrielle and Xena went inside and were surprised by the beauty of the room. In the middle was a great bed, with lots of pillows around it. In the fireplace was a nice fire burning, which warmed the whole room. On the table were standing two mugs and a bottle of wine, and beside was a plate with fresh fruits. Gabrielle was the first to speak.
"Oh, Xena this is wonderful."
"Yeah, it is. But not as much as you, my love."
Gabrielle turned to Xena and kissed her deeply. Gabrielle's tongue traced the outline of Xena's lips, and slowly Xena opened her lips and Gabrielle's tongue slipped in. The feel of Xena's toungue playing with her own, made Gabrielle's knees go weak. She moaned in Xena's mouth and buried her hands in Xena's hair. Xena felt her heart beating faster, and the starting wetness in her loins. She wrapped her arms around Gabrielle's waist and lifted her up. Without breaking the kiss, Gabrielle crossed her legs around Xena's waist. Slowly Xena walked in the direction of the bed, and carefully she laid Gabrielle down. Xena broke the kiss and took a much needed breath. Then she looked in the beautiful green pools of Gabrielle's eyes.
"God's help me. But I love you so much Gabrielle."
"I love you, too Xena. More than any bard in the world could tell. More than I can tell you."
Xena laid on top of Gabrielle and kissed her again. But suddenly she broke the kiss, much to the dismay of Gabrielle.
"What are you doing?"
Xena stood and took Gabrielle with her. Gabrielle didn't understand what Xena was up to, but she decided not to ask anymore. Xena had a reason for it and that was the only thing that counts. Xena sheathed her sword and took off her Chakram and walked to Gabrielle. Than she threw her weapons down, and got down on one knee.
"I, Xena of Amphipolis, Warrior Princess, once unbeatable, declare now, that for the first time I lost a battle. The battle against love. But I admit that I loved to lose it. I once thought that love was only for weaklings.
But when I first met you, something changed. Slowly and carefully you broke the walls I built around me. I allowed you to see behind those walls. I learned so much since we were travelling together. I learned to live again, and to love. Now I know what real love is. You are the woman of my dreams Gabrielle. You are the one I love, care about, the woman I want to spend the rest of my live with.
And so I'm going to ask you, Gabrielle of Poteideia, bard, Amazon Queen, best friend and family: Will you marry me?"
Gabrielle didn't know what to say. Tears were starting to build in her eyes. She took Xena's hand and just said.
Xena looked in Gabrielle's eyes and smiled. A smile that was only reserved for the woman of her dreams. She stood and took Gabrielle in her arms.
"Oh, Gabrielle. I'm so happy."
"I love you so much, Xena. I never thought this dream would ever come true. But you know I'm an Amazon Queen, so we have to marry by the Amazon Rules. You know what that means?"
"Yes, I know. But I don't care about it. I love you, that is all that count's."
"I love you, too."
And again they kissed. Gabrielle entwined her fingers in Xena's dark mass of hair. Xena walked her over to the bed and laid her down again. Slowly she went to kiss her jaw, and her neck. Her hand went to Gabrielle's top, and she opened the ties that hold the top together. Everytime Xena kissed her skin, Gabrielle felt like she would burn. Xena felt the heat in her body rising, and again the wetness in her loins started again. Gabrielle moaned deep in her throat as she felt Xena's lips on her breast. Xena kissed first the nipple, than took it in her mouth to suck on it, while her hand massaged the other. Gabrielle started to moan louder.
"Oh, Xena. Don't stop. That feels beautiful."
"I'm not planning on stopping. But you are still wearing too much."
"Well, so do you."
And as fast as they could they undressed and resumed their positions on the bed. Xena laid on top of Gabrielle and enjoyed this feeling of their naked bodies pressed together. She kissed Gabrielle again, and started her downward track. Xena just stopped on Gabrielle's breast to suck on her nipples. Gabrielle put her hands on Xena's back, alternating between rubbing and pulling.
"Xena, I can't wait. I want you now."
Xena smiled and kissed one last time Gabrielle's breast. Gabrielle's breath was coming in gasps, and so did Xena's. On Gabrielle's forehead Xena could see sweat, and also the rest of Gabrielle's body was shimmering with sweat. Xena kissed her way down Gabrielle's body and heard her moaning. That sound alone almost sent Xena over the edge. But she decided that she first wanted to bring pleasure to Gabrielle. At Gabrielle's navel she stopped and played with her tongue around it, before she dipped into it. Gabrielle's moans became louder, and Xena knew it wasn't long before she would reach her climax. With one hand she opened Gabrielle's thighs. Gabrielle pushed Xena down.
"Take me Xena. I'm yours."
That was all Xena needed to hear. She kissed her way down to the patch of redgold hair, and slowly she let her tongue explore Gabrielle's clit. Gabrielle screamed Xena's name as she felt Xena's tongue caressing her. She gripped Xena's hair tightly. Her breath was coming in gasps. Xena let her tongue explore all of Gabrielle. She felt Gabrielle was about to climax. So Xena slipped two fingers in Gabrielle. That was enough for Gabrielle. She screamed Xena's name, and fell back on the bed exhausted. She felt it hard to breath. Xena waited until Gabrielle's heartbeat returned to a normal state, than she kissed her way back until she came to Gabrielle's lips. The women kissed deeply and Gabrielle could taste herself on Xena's tongue. Without breaking the kiss Gabrielle raised her leg so it was touching Xena's sex. Xena moaned in Gabrielle's mouth and started to move her hips. Forgotten was the pain in her leg, she just concentrated on the pleasure Gabrielle gave her. She broke the kiss, and threw her head back. She was also sweating, and her breath was ragged. Her need for release was too big now, so she just gave into it. After some strokes she also climaxed and fell heavily breathing on Gabrielle's chest. As her heart started to beat normally again, she kissed Gabrielle.
"I love you, Sweetheart."
"You call me Sweetheart?"
"I kinda like that sound."
"Good, because from now on you will hear it more often. Come here."
Xena turned around and took Gabrielle with her. Gabrielle laid her head on Xena's shoulder and one arm was draped across Xena's waist. Soon sleep overcomes her, and she fell asleep. Xena laid awake for sometime and thought about what was to come.
"So. I'm going to marry soon. Who had ever thought that I would marry someday? Do you know what you do to me, for me Gabrielle? I love you so much, sometimes I have the feeling I would explode because for the feelings. Without you, I would be nothing. I couldn't go on with my way without you. And I'm so happy that I can marry you. Because that's what I want. Where I belong. At your side. I love you."
She closed her eyes, and soon sleep overcomes her,too.
In the morning, Gabrielle wouldn't wake up. She was just to exhausted. So Xena decided to let her sleep now. She slowly stood, careful not to wake Gabrielle, and went to the tub downstairs. After an half hour she returned, and saw that Gabrielle was awake now.
"Good morning, Sweetheart. Did you sleep well?"
Gabrielle stepped in Xena's embrace and kissed her.
"Yes, I slept wonderful. And you?"
"I slept very good, too. Are you ready? We will eat something, and than we have to go to the nymphs to bring Pegasus back, and to get Argo."
"Do we have to fly?"
"Come on, Gabrielle. You have to admit, that you liked it. And I promise that we don't have to fly long. Please."
"Yes, you are right. So let's go."
"Not without a kiss from my future wife."
Gabrielle smiled and kissed Xena deep. They let their tongues explore each others mouths. Xena was the first to break the kiss.
"If we keep that up, we will never get to the nymphs."
"Alright. Let's go. But I want more soon."
"You will get it, I promise."
Gabrielle dressed herself, and than they went down to the dining room, were Perseus and Andromeda were waiting. They ate something small, and Gabrielle told them their plans, and of course of the marriage. Perseus was very happy about it."
"I think this is a wonderful idea. I wish you both good luck and lot's of happiness. You really belong together."
Andromeda raised her mug.
"So let's drink to the marriage of our new friends. I'm happy for you both. And please come back as soon as you can. You are always welcome in this house."
Gabrielle and Xena flushed. Xena thanked Perseus and Andromeda for their words, and they started eating again. After that they said good-bye to their friends. Perseus went to Xena.
"Xena, I hope the next meeting will be under different circumstances."
"Oh, believe me it will. Because than I'm married. And you, too. I wish you both good luck and lots of sons. Take care, my friend."
"Good bye Xena, Good bye Gabrielle."
"Good bye Perseus and Andromeda. It was nice to know you. Take care of Perseus, will you?"
"Yes, I will."
Andromeda said good-bye to Xena and Gabrielle, and than our lovers and soon to be married couple went to the stables to get Pegasus. He was waiting impatiently, and whinied as he saw Xena and Gabrielle. Xena stroked Pegasus neck.
"Alright, boy. Now we are flying home."
Pegasus again whinied, and Gabrielle took him outside. Xena and Gabrielle jumped on Pegasus back, and soon they were in the air again, to take Pegasus back to get Argo, and than as soon as they can, be on their way to the Amazons.
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