by Marion D Tuttle


Standard disclaimers: Of course you know I do not own Xena Gabrielle or any of the characters mention here. I do however own the story and concept there of.

Subtext disclaimers: Yes this is the story of two women in love. There is nothing graphic here, but there is no mistaking the feelings they have for each other.

Author's note: This is a follow up to Reflections, you really ought to read that first to understand why Gabrielle is writing this entry into her journal.

I've just finished reading what Xena wrote about when we first met. I have to admit, I was more than a little surprised when she took my suggestion about writing things down being able to help her see things more clearly. What shocked me even more though was that she asked me to read what she had written. I could tell that Xena had been thinking about the past a lot
lately, a twenty five year gap in time will do that to people. My suggestion was made to help her reflect, to sort out any feelings she might be having. I had no idea she had been thinking so much about the time we met. After reading her thoughts, I must say I learned a few things, about her and about myself.

Xena had spent a lot of time building walls around her heart and her emotions. It took me a long time to get through the gruff exterior that she shows to the rest of the world. Sometimes she still does that, I guess it is a way of protecting herself from being hurt. No one would ever think of the mighty Warrior Princess of having been hurt, but she has been.

Reading her words took me back in time to that day, I could see it in my mind as clearly as it were yesterday. I would be lying if I said there haven't been times that I have wondered what my life would have been like had I not followed Xena. There have even been times that I have left her because I wasn't sure of the way I should be going. I have wondered if I would have been so quick to follow her if I had known then where my life would have led. I have wondered, but the answer has always been the same. Even if I could have seen into the future and known everything that was going to happen I still would have followed her.

Some people might find that hard to understand, Xena and I do not live and easy life. But then they don't know her like I do and they don't know what it means to love and be loved by a woman like Xena. I think I knew in my heart from the moment I saw her that we were meant to be together. Her movements as she fought against Draco's men for the lives of people she
didn't even know were enough to keep me mesmerized. But when my eyes and hers met I know I was looking at my future, although it took a while for me to convince her of that, I think she knew it too. From what she has written, it's more than clear she felt the same way.

I don't think I have ever felt so drawn to another human being in my life before or since. I have said here that I knew right away I wanted to be with Xena, but like her it took me a while to come to terms with my feelings. She mentioned seeing fear in the eyes of the young girls that were being rounded up, and there was. On different levels and for different reasons we all felt fear of what would happen. But that was nothing compared to the fear that Xena made me feel. Don't get me wrong I was not afraid of her hurting me, I instinctively knew she wouldn't do that. What scared me was the possibility that she might reject me. At first I thought I would be content to just travel with her and be her friend. I even convinced myself that I wanted
nothing more from her than that. I think the reason that I tried so hard to believe that was the fear that if I even hinted that I might be feeling something more she would leave me so fast I wouldn't know what happened.

I remember telling the cyclops that Xena wouldn't let any man get close enough to "do her". I didn't think about it at the time but those were very prophetic words. Xena wouldn't have let anyone close to her that she thought could get to her in any way. That is why she tried so hard to push me away. I always suspected that I made her nervous in some way, I was no threat to
her. Not in the way one would think of a threat, I could do her no physical harm. but in getting to her heart I made her more vulnerable than anyone else ever could.

Traveling to Amphilpolis I had so many thoughts going through my head but the one that kept pushing it's way to the fore front, I had to find Xena. There was something about this woman that drew me to her, I couldn't explain it other to say I felt the connection That I have never felt to any other person before or for that matter since.

The ride that I got from the farmer seemed like the longest in the world. Of course I had no perspective, never having been out of my own village I had no real idea how far I was from my destination. It could have been just over the next hill or three days away. He did assure me thought that we would be there long before nightfall, and true to his words we arrived several candle
marks before sundown.

Upon Arrival my attention was drawn to a tavern that seemed to hold the only real signs of life in town. I didn't know for sure but something told me this was where I would find Xena. I was right, she was in the middle of a crowd, and it wasn't a happy crowd. I say them, angry, hostile, and looking for blood, Xena's blood. The stones that were being thrown in her direction
were increasing in number and speed. I knew if I didn't find some way to stop it she would be dead before I even had a chance to talk to her again. Just the thought of standing there and watching her die did something to me, there was no way I was going to let that happen. Not after she had saved my life and touched something deep within me without even knowing it.

I pushed my way through the crowd, putting myself between her and the angry mob. People have said that it was Xena that showed me for the first time what blood lust looked like, but that's not true. I saw it in every face that was looking at me. There was a moment that I thought that they would kill me too for having the nerve to get in their way.

I explained to them that Killing Xena was not a good idea. I even had to play up that if Xena was Draco's woman as they thought it would only make things worse, not better if they killed her. They relented, allowing me to take Xena out of their midst. She tried to hide it but I could tell that their rejection really hurt her. She had wanted to go home, to lay her past
to rest. That was where she was headed when she saved my village, but the wouldn't let her.

When we went outside she tried to push me away again, my brave warrior, never let anyone too close. I wouldn't let her though, I made it plain to her that I intended to follow her. Making the final argument that I had just saved her life seemed to get through to her. She held her hand out to me and pulled me up behind her. I asked her where we were going and she said to see her Brother.

I fully expected to go to a home, the last thing I expected was to end up at a crypt. I stood outside the chamber her Brother's body had been laid to rest in. I listened as she poured out her heart to a long dead confidante. I didn't mean to intrude on her privacy, but when I heard the anguish in her voice I knew I needed to stay close. She told him of her regrets, of how she
had lost her way after his death. That no one trusted her, even their Mother. She went on to say she couldn't blame them because they couldn't see into her heart but she had to believe that he could.

They pain in her voice as she spoke was so clear. Here was a woman that had suffered so much. She carried so many personal demons it was a wonder she was able to stand under the burden. When I heard her say that it was hard to
be alone, I couldn't stand it any longer. I had to tell her that she wasn't alone. I felt like I had to let her know that know matter what might happen there was one person that cared and would always care.

That night I came into her campsite, cold and tired. Some great traveler I was, I couldn't even get a fire started. I rambled for a moment telling her I was just planning on following her until she got into another scrap. She tossed a blanket to me and told me I could sleep on the other side of the fire. She told me that she was going to send me home in the morning. I told
her it wouldn't do any good, I wouldn't stay there. I wasn't cut out for village life and I wasn't the good little girl that my parents always wanted me to be.

I saw something change in her eyes, something changed, I had done it I had gotten to her. Maybe she felt we were some how kindred spirits in the fact that we didn't really fit the mold of what our loved ones had wanted us to be. That was the beginning, I can't write an end to this story because I have not lived it yet. There have been many events in our lives since that
day that brought us together. And even though there has been heartbreak along the way I wouldn't trade one day of my life with Xena for a lifetime of quite village life. I love her, she told me once I was her source. What I have never told her and should is that she is mine. I am what I am because of her, not because she made me into who I am . But because of the love we share I had the courage to become the person I was meant to be.

The End


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