Stories on this page: In Confusion - First Steps - Friends Stick by Friends - Fugitives -
Gabrielle's Shock - Heart to Heart
Gabrielle's thoughts throughout Debt 1
by Marie E. Costa
Hope I'm sorry. Oh please wherever she is someone take care of her. Gabrielle leaned against her staff. Xena doesn't understand. Hope's my child how can she think my child would be evil? I don't know what to do. I lied to her...she thinks I'm so good, but I'm not. Used to be I wondered how to ease her dreams...now I can't sleep without dreaming fearful dreams. Slowly she let her eyes shut. Gods watch over my baby. Please let my baby be okay...let her be good.
Oh, Xena. How can I tell you I already hurt you...I lied to you. I killed my blood innocence is gone. You told me that it was important for me not to kill. I know you must be disappointed in me even if you haven't said so.
What the...? Green dragon? Xena? I've never seen her like this I'm scared. You're going alone? What are you saying? I don't understand. You're leaving me! Fearful of the answer I ask; "Am I just a nuisance then?" You say no...but you don't want me with you. Who? What? Why? I need to know! You're going to leave me alone? After all we've been through? I don't want to be alone. I can't handle being alone! You won't even look at me...there's some one else? Who can demand such loyalty from you?
What aren't you telling me? Would you throw away my love? Will choose this unknown person above me? You would? I don't believe what I just heard! It...how can murdering someone be worth losing us!? I want to strike out at someone anyone I wish some bandits would appear. I know I can't strike you. I try to look into your eyes. They've already changed. Icy then when first we met.
Look at you! I want to scream. You're just walking away. Turn around damn it! My tears flow as I press my head against Argo's mane. I don't believe you walked away without a backward glance. Do I mean so little to you? How much have I fooled myself?
Anger flows through my body. I feel an icy calmness settle over me. I can't let you do this. I won't let you go back to that animalistic life. No! I bite my lip to stop the tears. I will find a way to prevent your committing murder. Even if it means losing you. Maybe the woman you were ten years ago or even five years ago could have easily done this, but not you...not the woman you have become today not the woman I love.
Determination fills my soul. I set out to find a safe home for Argo, if all goes well one of us will return for her if not at least she will be happy. If I can get passage direct to Chin I can stop you. I can arrive first. Find a way to talk it out instead of battle to the death or committing a murder. I feel my heart beat again. Yes, I can do this. I can save your soul. I need to...I love you! I will explain. After all I am a bard. I can do this. I can.
Oh Gaia! Look at you standing there so shocked. I wish I could run to you, but I see it in your eyes. Disbelief. Shock. Defeat. Betrayal. I can only whisper I am sorry. I couldn't let you do this. I stand by his side. I am not sure who is more shocked you or me. I have stunned you with my betrayal and I have ripped my own heart out. I wish I were safe in your loving arms, but I have lost the right to stand enclosed in your embrace. I who only days before feared disappointing you, know that without a doubt I have not only disappointed you, but I have managed to accomplish what no Warlord, indeed no God, has ever managed. I have brought you to your knees. And so I stand stoic as you have taught me to, yet inward I weep.
A small scene that I imagine taking place during Sins of the Past
Marie E. Costa
The strawberry blond tentatively pushed the tavern door open.
"Hello?" She called out questioningly. "H..hello?"
"We're closed. What do you want?" Cyrene snapped the words
out. Angry at the whole world today. The Gods were too cruel
delivering her only girl back to her...then snatching her away
"I..I," the girl swallowed, her throat dry and uncertainty
making her more nervous. Briefly she considered turning and
running away. No, she needed to help her new friend...it's
what friends did. "I'm looking for Xena's mother." The
woman's face paled.
"She has no mother!" Anger turned the full lips into thin
whitened lines. "Now get outta here." She jerked her head
toward the door and turned to go back into the kitchen.
"Wait." Gabrielle implored the woman. "I know you are her
"Was her mother...I disowned her...this village disowned
her...she is evil...I curse the day I conceived her." She
tore her arm free and moved forward.
"Please," Gabrielle whispered the word, pain in her voice.
"A mother shouldn't hate her daughter." The woman faltered
and she continued her plea. "I want to tell you about the
woman who saved my village...gave me and all I knew back their
lives and their freedom." A pause as the woman glanced back
at her. "..she's not evil. She fought in only a plain
shift...she'd buried her armor and her weapons...I think she
was preparing to die." Gabrielle stepped closer to the older
woman who had turned fully around. "She had no reason to
live...and so many reasons to die."
"What about her army?" The woman glanced at the young girl.
Had her daughter been telling the truth? Was the army really
the other warlord's?
"Army?" Gabrielle shook her head confusion on her face. "Have
you seen an army? Xena travels alone now. She fights to right
as much of the wrongs as she can."
"Alone?" Cyrene gave the young girl a sharp glance. "Not with
Gabrielle shrugged sheepishly. "No, not with me..." She
looked down at her hands. "Although it's not for lack of
trying. I want to be her bard. I'll Chronicle all her
stories...she is amazing! I can't begin to tell you the sights
I saw as she fought. Backwards flips, low flips, high flips,
frontwards flips, her sword play, her...wait a minute. Don't
tell me...I know what it is...she told me once...uhhhh" after
a long pause she stopped and snapping her fingers made the man
working in the kitchen come running to see what was going on.
"She's telling me about the Warrior Princess."
"But I thought..."
"Maybe I was wrong...I have to find out." She looked at the
young girl standing before her. "It's called a chakram. Now sit
down." She pointed to a bench. "Tell me...from the beginning...the
truth...I'll know if you're lying."
Gabrielle swallowed hard and looked into eyes that begged to be
told all she knew was a lie...blue eyes, soft and pale from age
and pain born of years of failure. "I can only tell you of
that which I know. Everyone has heard the stories of Xena
Warrior Princess. In my village they used the tale to frighten
little children into bed at night. But, a few days ago I saw a
different Xena. A hero who saved an entire village with no
thought of her own safety."
Gabrielle sat down and took a drink before continuing her tale.
She looked earnestly into Cyrene's eyes. The leader of the war
band - I never did learn his name - threatened to kill everyone
and take all the girls. I tried to stop him. Threw myself
forward and said leave them take me. He laughed and said he'd
take me and all the others." She leaned forward, "That's when
it happened. He held out his hand and one of his men put a
whip into it. He meant to beat me into submission." She
closed her eyes.
Gabrielle bit her lower lip. "I can picture it as clear as if
it were happening in front of me right now.
>From out of nowhere there stood a woman...in nothing but a
white shift. No weapons. She had her hand on his whip.
Stopping him from attacking me with it...and with her knee she
whacked him once, twice, three, four times...he went spinning
backwards. He screamed at his men to take the girls while he
dealt with her. She attacked...unarmed...using their weapons
against them...there were at least twenty of them, but that
didn't stop her. Me and the others joined in the fight."
She paused to sip her drink and gauge Xena's mother's reaction.
The older woman sat silently staring at Gabrielle. Her throat
no longer dry she began again. "At first it looked like we
would win, but then one of them grabbed me. He threw me over
his shoulder. I struggled, but to no avail. He was too strong
for me. Somehow in the midst of her own battle she noticed and
paused long enough to throw a spear. It hit the man and I
broke free. I looked at her and she at me, that's when they
got her...from behind...knocked her to the ground. Everyone
else stopped fighting to see what would happen."
She shuddered remembering that moment and feeling responsible.
Shaking herself she returned to the present and reminded herself
of why she'd come to the tavern. "A dozen men surrounded
her...she was scrabbling in the dirt. The leader raised his
sword above his head...it started the downward swing...aimed for
her neck. And as it came down her hand went up and attached to
it a sword blocking his strike and in her other hand a round
thing she wielded like a weapon...she threw it. It sliced the
tops off the swords of the men surrounding her. She rose to her
feet and laughed at the fear she saw in their faces. The round
weapon returned to her hand and she battled the men
concentrating on the leader this time."
Gabrielle was breathing hard, caught up in the excitement of
her own tale. "And just before she finished him off she
noticed the cloth her wore on his shoulder. She flicked it
with her sword. Draco. She breathed the name as though it
were a poison. Pulling her sword arm back she said tell him
Xena said hello. And with those words she knocked him out with
the pommel of her sword." Gabrielle sat back and took a deep
breath. "It was quite a sight... " She let her voice trail off
lost in her memory.
"Then what?" Cyrene interrupted.
"Huh?" Gabrielle shook herself. "Sorry." She smiled. "Then
nothing. She turned from us and without a word began digging
her clothes out of the dirt. I helped her. She didn't thank
me...pulled her armor out of my hands. I noticed blood and
called my mother. She convinced Xena to return to the village
where she and my sister cleaned the wound and bandaged it. She
was lacing her boots when my father and the others came."
"Did they thank her?"
"No." Gabrielle lowered her head. Shame for her kinfolk filled
her. To see them treating the warrior they owed their lives to in
such a manner was a disgrace and one she didn't want to bear.
"They told her to leave. I argued with them, but they wouldn't listen.
So I asked her where she was heading. Amphibilos she said." A sad
smile came to Gabrielle's face. "I asked her to take me with her.
She said no. I don't listen very well...if I did I'd of been married off
long ago." She fell silent.
Cyrene needed to sort it out...she knew her daughter had turned
into a murderous bitch and couldn't reconcile this tale...but
the words of Xena kept returning to her: "I wanted to come
home...I thought maybe this time I could get it right."
And her own response: "I don't think anything will ever take
away the shame and sorrow you've brought on your kinsmen."
Xena so accepting of those words: "Probably not, but I'm gonna
spend a lifetime trying."
Still I wouldn't accept her back. "Oh, Xena...I wish I could
Then my neighbors came and filled my head with stories I knew
suited my daughter's nature more than the tale of heroism this
youngster tells. "Do what you will with her!" I turned and
fled to the sanctuary of my room...my daughter...how cruel the
gods are. I believed my neighbors and I left them to kill
her...yet this child saved her.
Now I see a stranger a mere slip of a child...as young as Xena
was when I lost her and she stands before me and says you are
wrong. Come love your child. She is good...please forgive
her...what's a mother to do?
Gabrielle rose to her feet. She gazed softly down at Xena's
mother. "I need to go to her...she needs me...she just doesn't
know it yet." She smiled. "Forgive her." Quickly she moved
out the door and hurried toward the tomb Xena had bid her wait
Takes place after The Reckoning
Friends Stick By Friends
Marie E. Costa
Gabrielle lay still listening to the night sounds. When she'd first
started traveling with Xena she'd been afraid of every sound. Now
she reveled in knowing what each sound was...the creaking of the
tree branches, the night birds, insects and even Argo moving about.
Tonight though she couldn't sleep. Had in fact feigned sleep in order
to be sure her friend lay down. Their latest adventure had shaken her
more than she wanted the warrior to know.
When I asked her if she was all right...that was quite a blow you took?
I asked tentatively, afraid of the rebuff I was sure would come.
Instead...I do have a throbbing headache...she admitted it! Oh Gaia
she must have been hurting, she never admitted to feeling anything.
She doesn't see her own goodness, but I do. Why did you let them
capture you? 'They're not warriors. It would have been a slaughter.'
And she thinks she is evil? Believe me that's not a comment an evil
person would make.
She really expected me to leave and let them kill her. When will she
understand - friends stick together. She swallowed back a sob. The
horror - when I saw that effigy being dragged through the street. I had
to wrap myself up, hide me away in a corner. I needed to prove I
believed her comment, cruel as it was - This isn't about you, Gabrielle.
I never thought it was...why did she? And her telling me; it was a dumb
thing you did back there! Gohds, that hurt! My retort; you would have
done the same thing. She didn't even try to deny it, just claimed that
was different. That got my anger up. 'Why because you're a warrior?'
Gabrielle opened her eyes and looked at the sleeping form of her
friend...you really believe it's different and I will never understand that.
You have a thing or two to learn about friends. I meant it when I said;
ordinary people like me can defend their best friends too! Her body
shook partly from fear and partly from anger...so she was still upset by
that exchange...I'll have to find a way to work through that issue.
Unable to rest Gabrielle rose and went to sit by the dying fire. Reliving
the events that had so recently shown her Xena's true capabilities.
And when the footprints disappeared...I was so frightened. I finally
understood her comment about it being more than I thought...at least
one god was involved and not looking out for our best interests. So
because it was dealing with a god Xena felt I should run away...leave
her to her fate...it's not her fate to die at the hands of misguided villagers.
Somehow I have to spread the word of her change, make people turn
to her instead of from her.
Then those men taunted her until her instincts for survival took
over. She was beautiful in her rage...but I was worried...I called to
her, but she was too far gone, she didn't recognize me and she attacked
me. It wasn't her fault, she was in a blood rage. I'd read about it. I
just never saw it before. I ran away...momentarily afraid...more
afraid for what she'd feel when she came out of the blood rage and
saw what she'd done.
I stood outside the doors trembling...I didn't know what to do...I knew
she needed to be freed...she was never meant to be caged...but she
refused to let me free her. She told me to leave her alone. My sorrow,
my hurt must of shone through...I was never good at hiding my
feelings. She relented. 'I didn't mean that the way it sounded...I'm
glad you came back.' She admitted. My heart soared with joy.
Guilty! No! My heart crumbled. How could she go so calmly to her
death. It wasn't fair...I'd only just met her...I'd only just began to
live...I needed her to teach me...my tears began to fall.
She tricked the god of war! She's so incredible! How does she do it?
I ran to her...she was so surprised. I can't tell you how much you're
coming back...after what I did to you...
I smiled. She might get the hang of this friendship thing someday...I
trust you...I knew you'd never hurt me. Her hand gently touching
my face...as if to say otherwise...
I smile. She is the very soul of goodness...she just doesn't know it.
Xena's Thoughts throughout Cradle of Hope
Marie E. Costa
Oh great! A baby! Just what I need! It's not enough that the gods give
me a girl that can't shut up now I get saddled with a baby!
Xena looked in disgust at Gabrielle as she went nuts over the baby...maybe
I should leave both of them at the next village I come to. "How do I know?"
She snarled angrily at an innocent question...unable to stop herself. The longer
she stared at the infant the more she thought of the infant she'd given
up...Solon...are you okay? My son...she shook the thought from her head
and clenching her fists tight demanded they be on their way.
What now? She thought exasperated, glaring at the path in front of her.
Her lip curled in contempt. So having sport hanging some local herb
witch more than likely. Not while I am in the area.
I had to interfere. Now I have Pandora, a baby, and Gabrielle. This
Pandora isn't all with it...I bet she hasn't had much human contact...I need
to get Gabrielle to give up that baby...especially if I want her to continue
traveling with me...no babies on the road. Maybe I can foist them off on
each other...the baby needs an adult and Pandora needs something other
than that damn box!
Kill a baby! The rat! How? Xena's anger boiled. This was exactly the
reason she'd left her son with the centaurs...why no one could ever know
she had a son! I want to look into this King's eyes...see for myself what
kind of man would order the dearth of an innocent baby!
He's not what I thought...he truly cares and he knows of me...is afraid of
me...I guess that can be used to my advantage...I just wish I could figure
out how. We lost that damn box! I need to get it back...can't let hope
escape. Even if I didn't care it would cause Pandora to totally flip...I can't
let that happen. I need to get into that castle. Gabrielle has a way with
people maybe she can find someone that would be willing to help us.
Trust my little bard. Not only did she find someone willing to help us,
but the very woman who sent the baby down the river for safety. And
she can get me into the castle with no questions asked. The gods are
smiling on us today.
So the King was once a father...that changes everything... I know what it's
like to be a parent without a child. A pained look entered her eyes briefly,
but she shrugged it away. They say the prophecy said the child would be
King...a sly grin came over her features as Xena realized what she had to
She waited in the alcove for the King to awaken and find the babe...smiling
as he realized the significance of the child in the bassinet. The joy at seeing
both child and King content swiftly turning to anger and fear as she realized
the King's own advisor intended to murder both child and Regent.
No! The children must be spared! She raced through the castle fear
speeding her way...for once wanting Gabrielle to be near...how do you
fight when you have a baby in your arms? She turned this way and that
trying to find a safe haven for the baby. Spotting Gabrielle she yelled
and tossed the baby to her...drawing her sword and making short work
of the King's guards.
Well that worked out for the best. Xena smiled. Gabrielle was still by
her side. Pandora had a protector...the mightiest man in the kingdom - the
King himself...she wouldn't be surprised if someday the two were to get
married. The baby had a new mother and father...the King and Pandora.
Gabrielle was ecstatic...they were naming the baby who would be king
This righting wrongs wasn't a bad job after all. She got to kick butt and
had a good feeling when it was all over.
After Altared States
Marie E. Costa
"I did what?" Gabrielle dropped her skewer of meat and looked at Xena in shock.
Xena smiled that sly sideways smile that only she could do. "Close your, mouth." She gestured with her skewer of meat, before biting off a piece of the succulent meat and continued to watch Gabrielle as she chewed it.
Gabrielle frowned. "Did I really...?"
Xena's smile turned into a true smirk. "Yes," a small chuckle escaped her throat. "You talked with the rocks and they talked back." She leaned forward and continued in a low conspiratorial manner. "As a matter of fact you and the rocks had a nice musical going there." She smiled at the bard's obvious discomfit. "Yup, you were coaching them on a song that only you and the rocks could hear."
Gabrielle groaned and put her head in her hands. "I'll never be able to show my face again! How many people know I did this?" Please let her tell me she's the only one...
Xena bit her lip to keep from laughing. "Well..." She raised an eyebrow at her friend. "For a price I think I can arrange that no one ever hears about it. But it does have a nice ring to it. Gabrielle Drugged Bard of Potedia." She wiggled her eyebrows at the younger woman.
Gabrielle gasped. "You're the only one that knows!"
A sharp glint entered Xena's eyes. "Well two other people are aware that something was wrong...but they didn't see what I saw." She rolled her tongue along her gums. "But, I am the only one that can tell exactly what you did...and I will if you don't come up with a good bribe to stop me."
"You?" Gabrielle shook her head incredulously. "You hate to talk. I don't think I need to worry about it." She grinned. A little color returning to her face.
"Maybe," Her eyes twinkled with mischief. "But I do know how to write," She tilted her head and raised an eyebrow. "And I can give a scroll to a passing Bard. I think it's the kind of tale that would spread quickly."
"You wouldn't!" Gabrielle exclaimed shock at the idea evident on her face.
"Well..." Xena let her voice trail off.
"No...Xena...I...I...you...you can't." Gabrielle stuttered.
"I can if I don't get offered a good bribe." She said in a dangerous voice.
Gabrielle shivered. "Fine." She took a deep breath and paused to think. "How about if I do all the cooking for one week."
Xena shook her head. "Nope. We both prefer your cooking to mine...you do most of it now anyway."
Gabrielle lowered her eyes and thought furiously. "I'll do the cleaning too."
Xena hesitated. She normally did d all the cleanup, but... "No, that's not enough."
"Okay." Gabrielle spoke through gritted teeth. "I'll gather the firewood too."
Xena grinned delighted with the concept. "Okay for one week you gather the wood, cook, and clean?" Gabrielle nodded her agreement that, that was what she meant. "One more thing. You get up in the morning without complaining."
Gabrielle glared at her warrior friend.
Xena waited patiently as time stretched. Maybe Gabrielle needed a little encouragement. Did I tell you about the rock that told you what to do?" She raised one eyebrow. "It was really cute...you said his voice was gravely, but you understood him."
Gabrielle's glare deepened. She's enjoying this way too much...I wouldn't put it past her to have someone tell the story...I'd never get a moment's peace. "Okay." She conceded defeat.
Xena smiled. "Okay story forgotten." She bent to the task of sharpening her sword.
"Ahh? One more thing." Gabrielle spoke in puzzled tones.
"How did we end up down that well?"
"Gabrielle," Xena fought a grin. "That's part of the story you just bribed me to forget."
Here is another story. I hope you all enjoy it! The standard disclaimer. The characters of Xena and Gabrielle belong to Universal. No copyright infringement is intended, and this all came from my brain, and is not taken from any literary source or any other source whatsoever. No one gets the blame for my stories except me.
After Death in Chains
Heart to Heart
Marie E. Costa
Settling her aching bones on the soft grass beneath an old oak tree, Gabrielle gazed down the path. She was weary of it all. Life...death...life. Why did Death have to claim Talas? He was so good...warm, sensitive, cute, and he had such a gift for helping others. How could I have not known he was so sick.
Xena returned to the campsite and her eyes softened as they rested on Gabrielle sitting despondently under the tree. She tightened her jaw. She's hurting and I don't know how to help her. I need to find a way. Maybe if I pretend everything is normal Gabrielle will snap out of it. "Hungry?" She forced a grin and dangled her catch in front of Gabrielle. "I caught two and found some wild onions and olives." She dropped them on the grass next to Gabrielle. "Now unless you want your meat burnt I suggest you start cooking, I already cleaned them."
Gabrielle tried to smile, but it didn't work. She knew Xena was trying to help in the only way the warrior knew how, but it hurt too much. Tears fell from her eyes, "Why? Why did he have to die?" Her eyes were a mass of confusion as they lifted to look at Xena. "He was good and kind. He didn't deserve to die!" She cried in pain.
Xena fell to her knees and gathered the young woman into her arms. "Hush, hush now." She whispered, rocking the bard like a baby. "It's okay...okay now." She murmured and cooed the words in an attempt to soothe her friend. Her own thoughts turning to the past. Her little brother, another man-child who hadn't deserved to die. Another good, kind soul dead before he'd begun to live. Why did the good die young? What was it that made the gods take the best among us? Her heart skipped a beat at the thought...the best among us...Gabrielle is the best of the best. Gaia please don't take her. The world needs people like her. I need her.
"Xena?" Gabrielle sniffed. "I'm sorry."
"For what?" The warrior puzzled, and pulled back so she could look at the strawberry blonde woman cradled in her arms.
"This." Gabrielle waved her arm.
Xena sighed. "Don't be." She closed her eyes. Was she so cold that the younger woman felt a need to apologize for being such a caring person? "You have a right to express your emotions...no need to keep it bottled up where it can sour and turn on you." She wiped a tear off Gabrielle's cheek and smiled gently at her. "Isn't this one of the things friends do for friends?"
Gabrielle smiled tremulously, enjoying the way the warrior threw her own words back at her. "Yes, it is." She agreed. Sniff. She wiped her eyes with her sleeve. "Thanks."
Xena smiled and Gabrielle sat wide eyed, amazed as always by the transformation that simple act always caused. Instead of the icy warrior she was looking at a soft, loving young woman with the most vivid blue eyes she'd ever seen. She wanted to get lost in those eyes. Somehow she knew she'd be safe in those eyes. Closing her eyes, she sighed and snuggled closer to her friend.
Xena gasped slightly startled. "Hey, what brought that on?"
"Feel safe." Came the muffled reply.
Xena chuckled. "How about hungry? Do you feel hungry?" Her own stomach had started to growl. She lifted Gabrielle's chin and looked into her eyes. Wincing when she saw the pain and confusion still present in the shining green orbs. Soberly she spoke. "Gabrielle, he wasn't sorry to die." She forced the younger woman to look into her eyes as she spoke. "He may have only lived a short life, but he lived it well. His illness was eaten him up from the inside and it was very painful." She spoke in soft tones. "Eventually the pain would either have driven him crazy or turned him into a bitter, sour man." She paused to wipe the tears that now flowed freely from Gabrielle's eyes. "Better he went as he did...with dignity and love. We will remember him, and someday..." I pray it's a long time from now. "You will get to rejoin him in the Elysian Fields."
Gabrielle sniffed. "I know." She smiled her thanks, knowing Xena would prefer no words. A quick hug and she stood up. "Now let me get cooking, before my stomach decides to rebel."
Xena grinned up at her friend and pulling her sword out reached happily for her whetstone. She couldn't help but feel happy. Gabrielle was quite a woman. She shook her head as she leaned into her work letting her mind wonder. The young bard had argued with death herself for the life of a boy she'd barely known. And when She lost the battle she turned to me for comfort...she lifted her lips in a wry smile. And I was able to comfort her...I think that's a first for me...I like how it feels...I like how she smiles at me. She watched the younger woman with a lightness in her heart that hadn't been there before.
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