by Trisha Von Doss,
Standard Disclaimers -
These characters are owned lock stock and barrel by The Powers That Be at Renaissance
Pictures, Universal MCA, and their various and sundry associates and affiliates.
No infringement on the copyright holders of these characters is in any way intended.
My sole wish is to share, through my humble efforts, my hopes, dreams, and fantasies
for the Incredible Beings so lovingly created by the staff of Gifted Individuals
at Renaissance Pictures.
Of course there are some pretty dusty hidden corners of this marginally balanced
intellect of who knows... I may even develop a few of my own peripheral characters
along the way.
Specific Story Disclaimers:
Violence - this is a Xena:Warrior Princess story for goodness sake... I rather
doubt I would come close to fullfilling the premise of the characters without
a little ass kicking here and there. I'll try to make it pertinent to the story
line when it's present. However occassional random acts of violence attributable
to other than the feature characters are beyond the scope of this disclaimer...
or my control. <BG>
Subtext - It bothers me a bit that I even have to make a disclaimer here. I don't
see too many disclaimers for stories with implied heterosexual relationships floating
around and I am inclined to follow suit. However, until such a time as people
can accept each others sexuality with reciprocal respect, it is evidently expected
that we who view the Bard and the Warrior as more than friends warn those of you
offended by this of the presence of such a relationship within the pieces we write.
In any case, their's is surely one of the greatest love stories of all time. It
is my own personal belief that the emotional integrity of that love should be
maintained at all costs, no matter how one views the physical aspect or lack thereof
in this relationship. So if you have something against love... this is not the
story for you.
Emotional Content- Well I should blessed HOPE so.
~ Carrying a chill that warned of the impending winter, the autumn wind whispered
its way through the last remnants of the summer's leaves. Brown and dry, they
hung on the edge of a frail existence to the branches of the now dormant trees.
Blue Jays, ever arrogant, flouted the coming cold and persisted in their antagonistic
caterwauling well beyond the annual exodus of their winged brethren. ~ Once roaring
waterways, the rivers and streams, which only three moons before had sourced the
earth's green resurrection, now trickled to a slow and peaceful dance across the
previously submerged riverbed. A dry and dusty earthen road, half covered in the
foliage's fallen remains, wound its way toward the distant foothills, where the
thickets of seasonal trees began to give way to evergreens. A golden mare, bearing
two riders, slowly picked her way around the road's pot holes and wagon ruts...the
only remaining evidence of the summers heavy traffic.
A powerfully built woman with long dark hair and unusually blue eyes rode with
one arm wrapped tightly around the fair haired woman in front of her. Resting
comfortably against her taller companion as they traveled, the blonde had fallen
asleep and was beginning to mumble her unconscious musings. Her saddlemate woke
her a few moments later, sensing fear and recognizing the
escalating tone in her voice as the sign of an unpleasant dream.
"Hey... Hey there... Gabrielle... Come on... Wake up" The darker woman gently
shook her friend to consciousness... That's it... You ok?"
"Yeah... I... ...Yeah" the blonde replied, her voice hoarse and slightly unsteady
in the aftermath of the nightmare.
The taller woman leaned forward and attempted to make eye contact with her friend
"You wanna talk about it?"
"Yeah... In a bit... Just gotta shake this icky feeling first."
They rode in silence for a few minutes before the smaller woman began to speak.
"Hmmm?" Her companion confirmed she was listening.
"I was dreaming about Eve."
Xena's heart constricted tightly. Gabrielle's dreams had been gifted with prophecy
from time to time. And she'd obviously been having a bad one.
"Past or future?" were the only words Xena could will out, not at all sure she
wanted the answer
"Past" Gabrielle answered
Xena sighed internally as her vital organs unclenched just a little. She pulled
Gabrielle closer, needing the contact to reassure them both.
Gabrielle rested her own arms over Xena's "I had these visions of that last village...those
people...her army...I saw her kill them... Xena there was so much rage...so much
hatred... It was as if she...as if she was..."
"Possessed"... Xena finished the storyteller's thought.
"Yeah" Gabrielle replied softly, nodding her head.
She grew silent as she remembered what that kind of rage felt like... fury without
control... Anger so complete that the desire to draw blood...to inflict pain...
Hunting Callisto after Perdicus' death.
Defending Xena in Gaul, when her back had been broken by her own Chakrum.
Rage born of unbearable pain... soul shattering loss.
She had only visited that kind of rage, that kind of pain. Xena had lived it for
ten long years. And Ares had been, in part, the reason. As he was now with Eve.
Gabrielle shivered reflexively. "Xena...do you have a plan? I mean... If we find
her... When we find her... What are we going to do if she refuses to listen to
Xena's ice blue eyes had grown still, lost in thought over this self same question...
trying to crawl back in time... to remember how her own twisted mind had worked
under the influence of the God of War's euphoric power.
If she could do that... maybe then she could find the advantage she needed to
take back what he had stolen from her. Maybe then she could reclaim her daughter.
"Xena?" Gabrielle, twisted in the saddle toward her non-responsive soul mate.
Recognizing the distant look in Xena's eyes, she cupped her face in a gentle hand
"Xena...hey... anybody home?"
The same green eyes that had beckoned her back from the dead, back from Hell itself...
now pulled Xena back from the past... back to the present. Gabrielle, time and
again, by the presence of your light alone, you have refused the darkness it's
claim on my soul. But can it save us both... mother and daughter too? She reached
up to cradle Gabrielle's hand in her own... And
placed a tender kiss in the palm of the hand of the woman who held her heart.
Gabrielle smiled cautiously "You ok?"
"Mmmm... Just thinking" Xena finally said. "Trying to remember what it was like
to be Eve. If I can guess her next move...get one step ahead of her... Maybe I
can prevent... ..." Xena's voice trailed off
"More sensless deaths" Gabrielle offered
..."Her death" Came Xena's quiet reply.
Continued in Part 2
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