By Marie E. Costa

Xena's thoughts at the end of Debt 1

Betrayed! Again! When will I learn? Gaia I must be a rotten person to invoke so much betrayal. But her! How could she? I stare at her. Do my eyes convey my loss? I feel so alone...she lied to me. She was the one constant I never - I thought - she was my reason for going on. She the one that convinced me there was good inside of me...that I could be saved. I came back from the dead for her. I can't think. I close my eyes and will the panic to go away. How many other lies has she told me? I feel the metal doors closing in around my heart - too late! I want to scream the pain hurts so. I stay silent. It aches worse then Lyceus' death. Worse than my own death. Worse than Caesar or least them I came to understand...I should have learned my lesson a long time no one. Gabrielle can you feel the ice?

I'm tired. Tired of the pain that caring brings. I want out - out of the whole damn thing. I wish I stayed dead - better that than to have this betrayal. I look with blazing eyes upon the Green Dragon. Go ahead and kill me. I challenge him without words. I feel the rage coursing through my body. I see your smug face knowing full well what crime you have wrought here. If I snarl will you become the frightened little boy I knew? I laugh. It's all gotten so predictable hasn't it? Do you wish to hunt me as your father did? You'll lose...even if I'll lose. I'm no longer ruled by my passions...fear of death and hatred for life are not factors for me.

Against my will my eyes are drawn back to her, I flick them back to you. What did you do to her? It's all my fault...I never should have let her stay all those years ago - was it just three? Seems another lifetime away. She was so full of love and desires...I envied that. I could have forced her to return to Potedia, but there was something - that even then - struck a chord in me - and I was helpless before her. Gods! I love her! My eyes stray back to her standing by his side and my heart stops. It takes all my will to remain upright. My heart is being ripped through my ribcage a giant fist has taken hold and is squeezing I bite my tongue to stop from screaming in primordial pain.

How could you do this to me? I let my eyes say the words that were written in my heart when first I saw her. Didn't you know, I love you. I let you in - I never let anyone else in and this - this is your response! My lip curled in a sneer as I continue to memorize your face. Do you know what you have done? Do you know what they will do to me? All our days be so you. It would hurt less if it were by another, even my brother. What lies have they filled your heart with? For lies are what it would take for you to turn so far from me. When did your role in my life change?

I stare at her beautiful face and my heart grows colder...the beauty I thought woven deep throughout her was skin deep...

Confusion reigns in my heart. My mind is a swirling mass of emotions. Emotions running rampant each one strong and seeking to control me. I force it all down - I will not give in. I taste the blood from my poor wounded tongue...still I refuse to submit. I would rather die!

I laugh. Even you step back from the look in my eyes. Do you like what you have caused? I feel the dark power surge through my body. Ares is calling to me. No! I shout silently. I control myself. I console is not the time.


Betrayed Part II
by Marie E. Costa

Xena's thoughts throughout Debt II

Xena breathed heavily. The rage unable to stay buried.. Gabrielle! The name screamed over and over in her head. How dare she. Who in Hades did she think she was?

What? A friend? "No, not by a friend." She snarled the words. I don't know what, who she is or was, but that wasn't the act of a friend. Oh Gaia It's a dark hole! I hate cramped spaces! No. She fought the panic as she was thrown forward. Splash! What the-? Not such a small hole after all. Breathe. She moved slowly.

Mine? As if anything in here belongs to any of us. She glared angrily around the room daring people to come near. Clothes? For me? Why? I failed! And still people I don't know want to thank me…but not the one I thought I knew. Betrayed! Bile rose in her throat. She fought it down.

I hate her! Hate her! Anger filled her heart. She tried to shut out the old man that talked near her, but anything was better than hearing and seeing that bitch over and over.

Lao Ma? She shuddered. Her mind flipped back in time! Chills ran through her body as she relived those times. I loved her…almost as deeply as I loved…no I won't go there. That…it's a lie! I hate her! She betrayed me! She hung her head. Gods but her neck hurt. Gabrielle, how could she? Lao Ma…remember her teachings. I can't get out of this without focusing. She closed her eyes and a tear trickled down her face. Do I even want to get out of this? What's the point in living? It's all a lie! Everyone and everything lies! He had her killed. Lao Ma…what will he do to Gabrielle? She jerked her head. What do I care? She made her bed let her lay in it!

I kneel here and stare at him…so much the boy I knew. Does he know he had his mother killed? How would it effect him? Ignore that voice. I let her words wash over me. Does she truly believe what he says? I always knew she was naive, but this? It borders on stupid! Ignore her…she is a betrayer…
Slap. Hmph Violence? From Gabrielle. I am forced to look and the fear, the hurt, the confusion, it almost undoes me. A tear for the friend I've lost finds it's way down my cheek. She reaches out to soothe. No, I jerk away. I can't abide her touch. I have nothing to say to her to him nothing! Go ahead pronounce my punishment. Kill me! I have no reason to live anyway! She took it from me!

Xena looked around her. Funny in a way. For my life to end here in Chin…this is where the beginning of the end of the rage started. Lao Ma I failed you. I understand today just why you threw me out of Chin. No matter how much they disappoint us we can't stop the loving. I'll find a way to make him small for you…even if it kills me, but I won't go to my death without avenging yours.

The teachings, empty myself of my desires. I can do this. I understand now. What the…? Gabrielle here? Why now? To torment me some more. What's this? Hate you? No, the words are torn from my mouth against my will. I could never hate you. Gaia knows I tried. Lao Ma do you see my dilemma? She's such a child…and I love her so! I look at her and feel all the hate wash away. How to let her know. "Scratch my nose." Can I make her understand any of this? It's a different world than the one she's used to. A difference…no she'll never understand.

Gabrielle go back, stand and watch. If she fights I won't make it. With all my strength I silently beg her to stay still and then I turn my focus inward. Lao Ma, I bring her forward. It'll be okay. I can do this. I can make it work. Focus on her teachings. Empty myself. I can give up my rage, my wants, my desires. I picture them all wrinkled up and turned into a small ball. I toss it away. I am free. Oh Lao Ma…I am free! Free.

No don't say that! The rage is returning. How dare you destroy the one that brought you into this world. I play with the broach. She told him to give it to me. It can only mean one thing. She knew what I would do. Make him small she said. I remember, she kept her husband in a coma. She stared at the roach not really hearing what the boy said. Her mind was back in time with Lao Ma. "This is very beautiful…it could be a very useful weapon. If thrown at the right body part you could kill someone using a hair broach. If necessary…I don't like to kill however." Xena's eyes hardened as she recalled her own words. "Everyone has their preferences. I happen to like a good kill." The anger returned. She focused on the boy. She couldn't kill you, Xena's eyes were slightly mad, but I can. Make him small…but there are so many ways one can be made small. You're dead and now that you are dead you are small, so very small. A slight laugh tore from her throat and she started to talk to him as though he were still listening. Of course the dead can hear you speak..

Gabrielle back? I'm surprised. She glared at her, but weakness from lack of food and the fight allowed her touch. She clung to Lao Ma's book. You love me? We? Xena glanced at Gabrielle. I love you too. The words once again involuntarily torn form her throat. Silently she added, but I can never trust you again. I can never be with you…alone I'll be alone forever.


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