Why Leave Me

Part II

 By Ponyblue

Disclaimers: Xena, Gabrielle, Argo, and any other related characters are the property of MCA, Universal, and their creators.

Just borrowing them for a second.

No copyright infringements intended.

This story contains tough love situations between two women.

If you are under 18 or would find this subject matter offensive please look elsewhere for your entertainment. Otherwise read at your own risk.

 She woke up with a start

“Gabrielle.” Something was seriously wrong.

She could not move her hands, and her feet were tied.

'I'm not dead. Not really hurt either, not fatally anyway like before. Why am I not dead.' She thought as she forced herself to calm down as she fell into a deep sleep.

'Why am I here.' Questions flowed into her sleeping mind.

'No one on that battlefield had any kind of love in their heart for me. With the price I had on my head and the way I'd betrayed Draco. They were coming after me as hatefully as the centaurs.' She thought just the way she planned.

Two army's out for her blood. The only defense for her the were Amazons who were all the way in the rear of the battlefield, No chance of getting through to help her. At that point she could not have changed her mind if she wanted to. Since she was no coward. She fought long and hard. Using incredible amounts of energy, wearing herself down more then the battle to the point all she could do was stand near a tree, and defend herself as best she could.

Even though battle was raging fierce, she saw that Krull was being targeted, but not by one of Draco's men, but by his own second in command.

Xena released a vicious battle cry. Krull turned sharply in that moment his eyes locked on his second. Xena flipped onto his back and savagely fought.

While this was going on Draco's men charged Xena seeing she was preoccupied. They knew that was the only way they could get the upper hand.

She vaulted off the centaur and even though she was fatigued beyond belief she cut them all down. The last soldier actually throwing himself onto her blade pushing her hard into the tree Argo was standing next to. She had been preparing to catch her chakram but the Soldier dragged her down. The chakram wedged into the tree inches from her neck.

She lay there under the dead weight of the soldier, so tired she could not move free of him. Then suddenly he was raised up and flung a good ten feet out of the way.

“Look at you the Warrior Princess. Trying to save that old fool. Behold...” He motioned to Krull the fallen Centaur.

“He is dead. Your attempt to save him wasted, and I shall slay you for you denying me my true prize. “ He sneered.

He grabbed her neck up by her neck. She struggled...not to get free, but to grasp a few more breaths of air.

“You don't even pose a challenge to me. He threw her as easily as the dead weight of the soldiers.

“Get up Warrior Princess, and at least face your death standing.” He gloated.

She struggled to her feet, but her body was so weak now a perfect victim.

“Get up.” He screamed outraged at the show of weakness.

“What happened to your trademark insults? You will not even fight. Is this fear? Do you think I will not kill you all the same on your knees?” Said the traitorous Centaur.

Xena had been trying to reserve her strength. Why was it so hard for her to do this? She looked at the soldier who had ultimately killed himself on her blade. She looked the crazed centaur in the eyes.

“You know what you talk too much.” With the last piece of strength she had she lunged at him. If the bastard did not strike her down, She would strike him. She left herself completely opened.

He took the challenge. His battle lust boiling over as he savagely cut into the beautiful body. All too sudden he felt his very heart pierced as he looked down at the point of a sword ripping through his own chest

'Why would he defend me? Is he so blind he does not know?' Xena thought. She saw it coming as she prepared herself finally to crossover into oblivion. She looked into Draco's stricken face.

Krull saw her waken. He prepared to wait out a long strenuous fit, but all too soon it stopped. It was then that he noticed she called out a name. The name belonged to the young Queen he'd watched leave the camp full of grief. Had he been wrong not to stop her? Could she have been the one to heal Xena's soul?


Cyrene watched over the young girl. She'd put her and the Amazons up in the same room. They had insisted they wanted to take care of they're queen. That was three days ago, and the bard was wasting away. She would not eat unless she was forced, and most of the time she went through fits of nausea afterwards. It was so utterly heart wrenching. Cyrene could no longer take it. She knew Gabrielle's parents probably would not have helped her child, if the situation was reversed, but she could not watch this any longer without trying herself.

She entered the room. Solari was sitting on the edge of the bed with a bowl of stew. Gabrielle was balled up in the top corner facing the wall; her back turned to Solari. One hand was pressed against the rough wall.

Cyrene crossed the room placing a hand on Solari's shoulder.

“How's she doing.” She asked knowing the answer.

Solari just shook her head.

“Here let me try.” Cyrene took the bowl.

“I'll care for her tonight you and your friend...go get a hot meal and a couple drinks, She'll be alright. She knows my daughter would not want her to be doing this to herself.” She said firmly watching the girl.

'Yes my dear. You know I'm done with this game.' She thought as she saw the girl tense. “I intend to bring her back to the land of the living.” Cyrene announced to them both.

'My Queen does not stand a chance.' Solari thought as she looked at Cyrene the woman who raised Xena.

“Yes Ma'am.” She said simply grabbing Poni's arm and exiting the room.

Cyrene placed the stew on the nightstand and moved to the center of the bed. She propped herself up on a pillow making herself comfortable. If the bard was stubborn as her own daughter this was going to be a long night. She had to be of a strong mind to have traveled with Xena.

“Gabrielle.” She said focusing on the ceiling. “I am getting old. I have one child who died long ago. One child feared to be dead and, even though you are not of my blood. I am connected to you through Xena. That means I now have a child trying her best to follow the other two. You know I can't stand by and watch you--.” To her relief Gabrielle cut her off.

“Why not.” Her voice was horse. It sounded like she was forcing words out.

“You could rest assured my family would not help Xena.”

'She's lashing out. That's better. Her anger may pull her out of her depression. Fight me little one. Let's see how much spirit you got' Cyrene thought 'I think I'll tell the bard a story.'

“That may be so but we're talking about you.” She ran her hand through Gabrielle's hair. The girl pulled away.

“You know I think my daughter has rubbed off on you. Just that little gesture. You not wanting me to touch you, so much like her. My daughter was never the affectionate type. When she ran off and start doing all those horrible things. I was ashamed. Did she tell you that? A couple times she'd come here half-dead, and I made myself hate her. Because I just could not take it, not knowing if I'd ever see her alive again. My child the Warrior Princess. She felt my hate... She thought it was because of Lyceus death but I didn't blame her for that anymore. I didn't even bother to explain that to her. The last time I saw her before she met you was the worst. She didn't even make it here to the Inn...No.”

Cyrene's tears ran unchecked down her cheek. She took Gabrielle's hand. The one pressed against the wall in her own, making the girl turn towards her.

“She didn't even make it--.” She pressed the cold small hand in between her own. “Torres found her in the stable next to Argo unconscious, but she made sure that damned horse was okay.” She looked down at Gabrielle and, knew she was listening. New tears flowing from her closed eyes.

“I told Torres not to put her in her room but, to take her and put her in one of the Inn rooms. You see my dear I was finished. I could not watch this evil person go back and forth. In and out of my life. You see...she caused my heart to harden. I didn't want to see her dark soul in those beautiful eyes any longer. She got well. I had no doubt she wouldn't. I didn't check on her not once, and she never left the room. The last night she came out. She was ready to leave once more. I told myself I would be just as clod as she. She sat there and drank. It wasn't until the liquor loosened her tongue that she called out to me as I walked past. Still I ignored her. She cornered me at the end of the bar. She didn't say anything. She didn't have to, but I did. The things I said to my child will forever more torture me. The fact that she would not retaliate pushed me even further. People moved away in fear they'd get hurt for being in the way. Torres the gods bless his heart grabbed Xena's arms from behind in an attempt to restrain her if need be. When I was done...” Cyrene pulled Gabrielle into her arms cradling her head.

Gabrielle opened her eyes staring at the wall on the other side of the room. Her head resting upon Cyrene's breast.

“When I'd finished ranting and raving. I finally looked in her eyes and they were so empty. There was nothing for me to hurt. Can you understand? There was no fire of which to fuel, and I can't tell you if she was like that before I ripped thru her, or if that was what finally snuffed it. I couldn't help it. I grabbed her to my heart and, hugged her so hard. I asked her 'Why do you make me hate you' She tried to pull away but, I pulled her back in. I demanded of her 'Why do you insist on killing yourself inside. You have no right...You're my child...I brought you in the world. You have NO right to kill what I made.' I knew I hit a nerve. When I tried to push her away she held on tight her face buried in my shoulder. It pained me inside, but I had to push her away or, I'd never let her go without losing myself. I 'd ripped her up with my words, but if you'd seen her eyes after I pulled away from her with all the power I had. My heart shattered in pieces as, I turned my back to her. Torres told me when she was gone. She left and did not return for a long time. I heard all kinds of bad things. It was making me old. Then she came back and you was with her. It was like seeing someone reborn. Her visit was a joy and, I wasn't scared for her life when she left. She had a reason to survive. She once told me she had to protect you because no matter what she did you stuck by her.” Cyrene squeezed the girl.

“I thank you for that. For bringing light back into her eyes. I need for you to get through this. I know it sound's wrong if she did this on purpose--.” She felt the girl stiffen.

“If she did. It was only because she couldn't take the huge amount of guilt she carries for her past transgressions.” Cyrene could sense the rising emotions in the girl.

“I hate her.” Gabrielle fled the shelter of Cyrene's arms. For one it was to comforting. She now felt so lonely in this huge world. She set up in the bed hugging her knees to her body. She buried her face in her arms and, cried once more. “She could have talked to me. How could she claim to love me and, just leave me?”

'You said our souls were destined to walk together.' In her mind she released a soul-shattering scream.

...And from in her soul she heard a faint answer.

“...And so they are. It's bigger then you or I. You know you can feel my life force in your soul. I tried but I failed. I'm still here Gabrielle. Believe in our destiny. I'm sorry I hurt you.”

Sometime while this fathom in her soul was speaking Cyrene had pulled her back into her arms and, covered them both with a blanket. Gabrielle let herself fall asleep because for some strange reason the voice comforted her and, she didn't feel the cold loneliness seizing her heart any longer.


Xena woke but didn't open her eyes. She had a dream last night, or she hoped it was a dream. A raging scream. Lashing out at her about a past promise. She didn't even think the bard was listening when she said it. She'd felt the need to soothe the voice if she could hear her.

'Now what is this it's definitely one of Gabrielle's stories but the voice reciting it is the deepness of a man's. Why have I just now noticed it? It's been speaking from the moment I woke. Why for that matter do I feel healed and, rested and, well cared for? I know I'm not dead but, I've been here for a while. I've listened to that voice before.' At that moment she tensed.

She thought she was still bound, so she concentrated all her energy and, strength into her arms and legs.

Krull watched Xena carefully. She'd been half woke listening to him, as she'd done since the first time she'd waken. Since then her fits disappeared. She would just hover there in a state of not quite wakefulness, but aware and listening to him tell stories. She would stay calm then fall back asleep.

This time she was more alert. One moment she was in that dream state. The next without any kind of warning she propelled her body off the bed.

Krull was utterly amazed and he began to wonder if she was really a Warrior Demon. No need for him to be alarmed....

She flew through the air in the opposite direction from him, crashed into the wall, smashing down on a thankfully soft pile of straw, and before she passed out she looked across the room and saw a Centaur. For the first time in the past week that she'd been recovering. He had a look of shock on his face, not malice, or anger. She thought as she looked at him.

“Well, Warrior Demon if you wanted my bed there is an easier way to tell me.” He huffed.

As she awoke Krull was tying her back up.

“Don't tie me.” Her throat was so dry... but she forced herself to speak the words.

“I've worked to hard to get you well for you to undo it.” He propped her up gently to give her water.

“I wasn't trying to hurt myself---.” She started.

“I work to hard to keep me safe---.” He cut her off.

“I wasn't trying to hurt you---.” She cut him off.

“I work to hard to keep my place---.” Krull started joking.

“I--- Please I was disoriented and I thought I was still tied. You took care of me when I was defenseless. Why I don't know. I will control myself.” She said sincerely.

He looked at her. The situation overwhelming his mind. A fierce Warrior Princess begging him not to tie her. How ironic.

“Okay.” He said untying her. “So Warrior Princess you have a death wish, and don't care who you hurt in the process of fulfilling it.” He said looking into eyes that was now very responsive. He took in her every movement now that he had access to the women within.

She sensed this, and not wanting him in her mind she turned away.

“What do you know? You don't know me.” She said softly.

'Why he would help me I don't know, and who asked him. Wait, who else is involved. I know Gabrielle isn't or she'd be here right now.” She thought as a sudden tightness gripped her heart.

“Who knows I'm here?” She asked.

“To the world you're dead Warrior Demon. Except my chief physician, my brother...who by the way granted you the name Warrior Demon, and a couple others I trust. As for the Amazon Queen. The scene you left behind convinced her of your death. She took your chakram, and your stubborn steed. Ephiny said she went to your hometown to leave your two prized possessions. She sent two warriors to track her. Apparently someone cares about the little one you abandoned, and hurt so bad.” Krull criticized.

'He's trying to push my button's--trying to get me to snap.' She thought.

“I saw her go. Now that you decided to throw it in my face. I remember the whole wretched scene.” She said trying not to lash out.

She was weak still. She couldn't take Krull on especially after she'd flung herself into the wall. She knew very well he was aware of this. As she felt his hand turn her face back to him.

“If she's gotten over you. I hope you have the decency to leave her alone. You have no right to rip her apart every time you feel like doing yourself in. Don't you have any...?” He stopped as she pulled away harshly.

Xena felt so exposed. Tears began to flow. She turned on her side away from him, and curled herself into a ball. The wound that should have been fatal sending a sharp pain through her.

“--- compassion. I know you love her in that....way--. 'He continued on but she cut him off.

“Can't you tell when you're being ignored?” She said struggling to her feet.

“Where's my clothes. I still had my sword.” She said looking around the room.

“Why.” He asked simply moving to face her.

“I'm leaving.” She simply stated.

“No.” He stated matter-of-factly.

“It is wrong for you to force me to stay here.” She stated the fact. As she straightened her body with an effort. 'Not bad she thought.'

“Xena, you have no manners. You stay long enough for me to nurse you back from the dead. You do not even wish to keep me company at all.” He pouted.

The longer she stood the more she ached.

“You're probably hurting about now. Those are freshly healed muscles your using, and that's if they are fully healed. Sit down before you fall down.” He teased as he softly but firmly pushed her back.

Weakened she fell to a sitting position on the bed, pain searing through her torso. She glared at him. The only thing keeping her from tearing him apart was the pain.

He gloated over her smiling and, strangely she felt a sort of comfort.

“You should stop trying to fight me. You helped me out or I'd surely have died on that battlefield. I don't like to owe anyone anything and, I fought for your life even when you were trying to leave it behind. Not just for you. I don't even like you...” He lied. He liked her very much in a comrade sort of way. “...but for the little one. Even if you don't care to acknowledge what you did to her.” He said.

'For him not to care, he sure has been gentle in his treatment of me.' She thought.

“Well I can leave. You don't like me. Then why I ask do you want my company? I'll assure you I'll not bother her or anyone else ever.” She spat out the words at him.

The pain from her wound was subsiding but, the throbbing pain in her heart grew for Gabrielle. Shame of what she'd done washing over her wave by all too real waves.

“Oh no, that would be a cowards way out. No, I want you to face her and everyone else.” He did not intend to let up on her not for one second.

Xena rolled onto her side away from him.

“I feel bad enough. You have me at a disadvantage. Just leave me alone. I know it feels good to torment the Warrior Demon and, I know you don't like me. Then---.” She fell silent.

“How does it feel not to have that little bard to boost your ego--to soothe your troubled soul...?” He said looking down at her.

Xena squeezed her eyes shut but, tears still came.

“...To tell the people who remember you as a monster how much you've changed...”

She felt violated and, swore when she got her strength back Krull would know her fury.

“...but, even more I know why. You want to leave and stay dead to the known world. You don't want to look into her unforgiving eyes. You tried to kill someone that she loves with all her heart. Forced her to grieve horribly not knowing what your end was, and for what. Does she deserve that punishment for loving you? Despite the monster you keep showing yourself to be.”

Since her back was to him he did not see the damage his words were doing to her. Not because he was saying them but, because the words rang true. Defeated she gave up on escape her body was not willing. She surrendered herself to the tears his razor sharp words cut out of her soul.

“You no longer conquer villages. You now conquer souls. Her soul gets the honor of being your latest trophy--.”

A muffled sob pulled him out of his relentless tormenting of Xena. He came around the bed with a damp linen cloth and, wiped the tears from her face. So complete was her shame she did not move to stop him.

'Good.' He thought. 'You need to feel those feelings if you're to rejoin the little one and, the living world.' He thought as he left her to herself. She fell asleep. He took inventory of the cabin. It was well stocked. He left a note letting her know that he was leaving her to think and regroup, but that she was far from anywhere. Also that she was without a horse. So there was no sense in trying to leave. He had a gut feeling she would go back to her old ways if she were not reunited with Gabrielle. She would go off by herself wreaking havoc as only Xena can. Krull refused to let that happen. She did too much good.

The dream both

Souls shared

There souls

Becoming bonded

Xena reached out and stroked her hair. They were sitting side by side laughing, joking. Her hand roamed down Gabrielle's back, up underneath her hair to the nape of her neck, stroking the soft skin there.

It was maddening enough the touch of Xena's hand on her head. Her hand went down her back. Gabrielle felt herself liquefy. Her body tingled. The hand coming back up.

'No Xena, keep going.' The bard thought.

The hand stoking that sensitive spot on the back of her neck made her weak. She leaned on Xena's shoulder. Xena turned enveloping her body. With one finger she raised her chin. Her other hand---.

Firm hands were gently shaking her. It was Cyrene. Gabrielle awoke fully instantly.

“Are you okay?” She asked still holding Gabrielle in her arms.

A fierce heat spread over her face, down her body, ending at her moist center.

“I hate to leave you when you were sleeping so well but, I have an Inn to run kiddo.” She ruffled Gabrielle's hair.

Gabrielle shrunk away remembering the dream she had about Cyrene's daughter.

Cyrene shrugged and pulled the bard's blanket up to her chin.

“Try to get a little more sleep. Then bring your narrow tail down and, get something to eat. I need help in the Inn and, since the Amazons will be gone I want you where I can see you understand.” She waited for the answer.

“Yes ma'am.” Gabrielle said as she was distracted by a memory of Xena's views of her mother. “I'll battle a warlord here and there, but battle with my mother---The very thought is terrifying.” She had said.

'I could always remind her I am a grown woman.' Gabrielle opted to take heed of Xena's warning from the past.

An hour later there was a knock. Cyrene came in with her stable boys carrying a bath. Gabrielle never turned she was sitting very straight.

'She's doing one of those meditation things Xena used to do. Xena...' Cyrene thought of her daughter. 'I hope this is all a big mistake.

“Gabrielle here's a bath, and I want you downstairs within the turn of the sand.” Cyrene stared at the girl who was staring at the wall, and had not said anything. 'I hope the girl hasn't lost it.

“The women of this family just have a way of making me feel like a filthy 11-year-old.” Gabrielle said. Trying her best to come back to herself. Hadn't Xena came to her last night is that dream. The warm feeling she woke with after the soul touch was still washing over her.

Cyrene closed her eyes, and thanked the gods. If her child was indeed on the other side, she took joy in the fact that she would be grateful. She her mom had helped the girl out of her grief. Cyrene left Gabrielle to her bath.

She stripped and relaxed into a very needed bath. 'Xena will never again be here to wash my back.' She thought. 'I'll be okay.' she thought as she pulled herself away from the gloom she almost fell back into.


Needing wanting,

Reaching holding

Locked in an embrace. Xena's arms enfolded her holding tight. Gabrielle looked into her eyes. Xena looked down at her lips couldn't keep her eyes from them. They pull her, drew her. She could not hold back any longer. When their lips met Xena could not believe the beauty and texture, the oh so soft feel of oh so soft lips.

Gabrielle opened her lips not wanting to waste a precious moment.

Xena opened her own lips dreamily letting them flow over Gabrielle's. Her hands reaching out and caressing down her arms, to her wrist, over her palms, down to her fingertips. The lightest touch thrilled her senses, but she felt herself drifting away.

Gabrielle called her name, but no sound left her lips, as they clasped each others hands frantically, but to no avail. They were pulled apart, as her hands slid down her arms, to her wrist, over her palms down to her fingertips. The fear of loss gripping their hearts.

Xena was forced to watch Gabrielle's panic stricken face as she tried to run to regain her hold.

“You have no right to rip her apart. Don't you have any compassion? If she's over you leave her alone.” Krull's voice boomed.

“Why leave me alone.” Gabrielle cried out as her form crumpled to the ground. He voice echoed that frantic question over and over....


Xena woke in a rush her heart racing. She sat up the echoes still filling her head. She rushed to her feet dizzy from moving to abruptly, and the pained cries running in circles in her head

“Why leave me alone.” Gabrielle's voice cried repeatedly.

Xena's waking could not stop it. She paced unsteadily back and forth.

“Why...” Gabrielle's voice.

“No...” Xena shook her head quietly.

“Why leave...” Gabrielle's voice softly.

Xena tried to ignore it.

“Why leave me...”

“Stop...” Xena cried as she grabbed her head.

“Why leave me alone!!” Gabrielle's voice boomed. Demanding to know.

WHY DID YOU FOLLOW ME.......” Xena screamed. 'No----No....' Her mind cried.

“Very well. I'll walk away, but know this. I'll never let anyone this close....Ever again.” Gabrielle's bitter heartbroken voice spoke softly despite the harshness of her tone.

Gabrielle woke feeling so alone. The water was cold. For some reason she knew that was not the reason for the chill in her body, her soul.

---------------------Souls do not meet in dreams when the heart is shattered--------------------

The voice it was gone. For all the demanding, and guilt at least it had been a presence. Now nothing the loneliness, and silence she suddenly felt, and heard was so painful...so loud.

“Come back.” She cried out. Eyes wide crazed and panicked. “Come back.” She whispered more desperately.

No answer...Not anything.... She felt a warm sensation on her face and knew it was her own tears. Sinking to her knee's she tried to understand.

'Could it be to leave the bard behind will break my spirit, my very soul, and hers. Even if I tried again the bond may be broken beyond control. Gabrielle may not ever want me in her life again. She'll hate me, and it is my own fault.' She thought as she lay there in the middle of the floor. The guilt and pain did break her down...for now.

'Why had she been so harsh to the girl. She's so full of emotion. I cover my feelings by nature. It is what I am. I love her so much for who she is.' She thought. She knew outsiders thought she bullied the girl, and now as her mind pushed situation after painful situation through her mind. She saw that is was true.

But no one could deny her devotion, or the extent she went to protect the bard from any type of danger. As well as from herself. She knew that Gabrielle would be disgusted if she knew what kind of love she had for her. If she were the person they thought she was she would have overpowered the girl a long time ago.

Her desires were getting to strong in those last days. She had come to close. Her mind went back to the night that forced her to make some hard choices.


Gabrielle had laid their bedrolls out on top of each other, and doubled both the blankets they slept under. The cave Gabrielle insisted they camp in offered great shelter, but little ventilation. A fire was out of the question.

“Let's just use our body heat. We can sleep together.” Gabrielle said innocently.

Xena acted like she was casually leaning on a rock, but in reality she needed something to keep her from hitting the floor. Her knee's had turned to mush. She knew Gabrielle was being practical, but the thought of being so near her was downright torture.

Gabrielle started taking off her clothes.

“Wha-- What are you doing.” Xena stammered

She never turned around

“I'm tired more then hungry. I know that's a change for me, but you've run Argo and me into the ground.” She stripped naked and got under the blankets.

“Now since you're my bed warmer. I suggest you do not tarry. I'm tired and grumpy.” She joked with an overly snobbish voice, as she locked eyes with Xena.

Xena's mind went into overload. She pulled herself from those expecting eyes, and walked to the mouth of the cave. The image of a calm stoic Warrior. Inside there was a storm of fear, and between her legs a pool of arousal.

'How am I going to do this without her noticing.' She thought as she pretended to check outside. Once she'd finished out there. She entered the cave and wandered to the saddlebags. She searched through them hoping Gabrielle had fallen asleep. At the same time she was trying to look occupied. There was no use she decided to just hop in fully clothed.

She did pull out a fur skin to add to the bedding for warmth. Armour could get awfully cold. When she approached the bedrolls Gabrielle's eye's widened.

“What.” Xena Exclaimed. Her nerves could not take much more of this.

“Don't you even think of putting all that Armour and leather in her, but I will take the fur. Now get you skins in here and stop trying to pretend you're not tired.” The girl demanded warily.

Xena turned to conceal her arousal then stripped.

'I could say I am hungry, but we had more than enough to eat and she knows it. If I keep this up she's going to get suspicious.' Xena thought.

Finally undressed she slipped between the blankets, but before she could figure out the best neutral way to lay Gabrielle pulled her arms around her so that her body molded into Xena's.

“Gabrielle, I don't like this position.” She spoke honestly.

“Well I do Xena. I'm cold and you're nice and warm. I know your cold too but you try to be hard. So, If you move you die.” She threatened.

Xena could tell by the slur in her voice that Morpheus was creeping on her. So she rolled over her so that her own back was to the wall of the cave and flipped Gabrielle over. She wrapped her arms fully around the girl and pulled her in tight. Gabrielle struggled having been so rudely awakened from her half sleep. Just to be flipped and pulled into such a tight embrace.

“Xena what was that all about?” Gabrielle asked trying to turn and look at her.

“I like this position much better. I can see what's going on around me. Now settle down.” She shushed Gabrielle. She could have sworn she heard her mumble something under her breath. She did settle down and fall asleep though. On the other hand Xena could not sleep. With great effort she calmed her breathing. However she couldn't stop the sensations from Gabrielle's body being so close to hers.

Finally Xena was just dosing off when. Gabrielle turned pressing her face into Xena's breast. Her thigh sliding between Xena's legs. Xena caught her breath as the girl pressed her thigh firmly against her center. Liquid heat flowed into Xena's veins as she lost control and rocked against the girl's muscular thigh. A soft moan released from her lips. Her eyes flew wide open as she realized what happened and immediately she was wide-awake. She shrunk away from the girl only to have her snuggle up to her closer than before. Xena sighed heavily.

'Please let me make it through this night.' She pleaded to herself.


She dosed off once more......

Her forearm was pressed into the side of the girl's face. Keeping it turned away from her. Her other hand pawed at the girl's body, as she plunged furiously into her center over and over.

“Xena--please...you're--hurting--.” The bard pleaded.

She was cut off as Xena slapped her harshly and continued.

“Please--it don't--have to be--like this...” She cried.

“What did--oohh, you expect...” The destroyer of nations moaned?

“Xena wake up....” She called.

“No, Gabrielle it's not me....” Xena gasped as the destroyer pause in her abuse of the girl. She was still crying the words did not match the act.

“It's okay Xena it's just a dream.” She watched the girls lips say as she faded away.

Xena woke with a start. It was morning. She looked at the girl who was thankfully unharmed and fully dressed.

“What's not you?” She was asking. Concern showing on her face. 'She looks so haunted. If she would just trust me....” Gabrielle thought. She knew Xena needed a moment to collect herself. It was moments like this she got a glimpse of an untamed Xena at the edge of control. So beautiful, wild, and so very dangerous. At times like these her talking seemed to pull Xena back.

Xena moved away not saying anything. She did not trust herself.

“Xena the Amazons are having problems with Draco. The Centaurs have sent some help, but they need us. Ephiny and Solari are outside. I figured you must have been tired if you slept later then me. I couldn't bring myself to wake you.” She smiled.

'Would you smile like that if you knew what I dreamt about you.' Xena thought, but she still didn't say anything. Just stared back at the bard.

“Are you okay?” Gabrielle reached out to try to sooth the Warrior.

Xena pulled away from her sharply. She grabbed the skin they'd slept under and her leathers and rushed out the cave.

Gabrielle did not know what to make of that.

Ephiny and Solari tried to talk to her, but she rushed past them with a scowl on her way to the river.


For some reason Gabrielle's memory went back to that day Xena started acting funny. She remembered she had never been the same since that day. Xena's attitude completely turned. She decided that she wanted to go over to Draco's side. Demanded that she was either with her or not. Whether she was right or wrong. Then accused her of being a hypocrite and a spy when she said she wanted to stay with her.

'What went wrong.' She thought as she finished up her work.

Xena had shamed her into staying with the Amazons. Then refused any kind of contact with her. That was the last time she'd seen her alive.

'And these dreams. What do they mean? Are they some form of madness.' Gabrielle thought as she felt grief start to creep up on her again, but she shook herself out of it.

'I'll try to figure out this dream thing later.' She rushed downstairs to help Cyrene.

It was bizarre but, she felt a weight lifted off her shoulders at the thought that she'd see Xena tonight in her dreams. She worked hard only stopping when Cyrene insisted that she sit and eat. When everything was done she dragged herself upstairs, and all but fell into bed and drifted off.


She saw Xena standing by the waterfall and no matter how much she tried she just couldn't get closer. She called out but Xena didn't turn.

“Why are you shutting me out?” She screamed Xena seemed to ignore her. “Don't do this. I let myself live again because I knew I would be with you again.” She cried sinking to her knees. “You had No right to try and decide for me...” Gabrielle woke in a rush as her mind finally came to grips that Xena had attempted Suicide and most likely succeeded, and she broke down sobbing.


Xena lay there for a long time trying to make sense of what was happening. Finally she crawled back into bed and that's where she stayed for a long time.

She wanted to lie there until she died, but her very nature forced her up. She found a note from Krull saying that he was leaving her to herself for a while.

'Great now I don't have to worry about his nagging.' She told herself.

Her body was moving and functioning well but she felt like she was in a daze she just could not shake. She'd chopped wood, cleaned and fed herself, and went through drills. She was not well enough to leave and furthermore she felt she had nowhere to go. The centaur had interfered and now she had no Argo, and no Chakram. Just her and her sword. Gabrielle kept floating in her mind. One particular time as she was dosing was all too real. She felt her voice at her back. She tried frantically to ignore the voice telling her not to shut her out. She also felt another very unwelcome presence making the very hair on her neck stand. She tried to will it to go away because she knew in her present state of mind it would be hard to resist. Ares always was.


Krull traveled alone to Amazon land, but did not cross their borders. He could here them calling to each other through the trees, as well as watching his every step. He knew the danger of dealing with these savage women. It was a decision he made a long time ago in order not to lose one of his own.

Suddenly one of the savage women dropped soundlessly out of a tree. Had she dropped down behind his back he would have never seen or heard her. A chill ran through him as he fought the urge to check his back. The Amazon straightened and walked slowly towards him.

'She looks so much like her mom even with that ridiculous mask on.' He thought as the girl took off her mask, embraced him, and kissed him on the cheek.

“Father.” She said pulling away. “You are too confident. Not all my sisters know who you are. You could get yourself killed.” She said frowning.

“I've not crossed into your lands. I'm just an old senile Centaur. They would not harm me.” Krull said pretending to be harmless and innocent.

“May the fool who believe that get her just due. That kind of thinking could ruin a village. These words coming from a man that's sired eight children, and raised double that, and rules over the Centaur land. That kind of thinking is dangerous indeed old man. Now I've kept up with my training. I've stayed out of mischief and have been polite to the ladies, so what honor do I owe this visit poppy.” She said leaning against a tree.

“This visit is not to make sure your honorable. However, I hope your keeping up with Elsa.” He stated as he watched his Eldest child closely.

“I am not my sister's keeper poppy.” She said looking away from him.

Elsa was her half sister. They had different mothers. She'd always been bitter towards the girl as well as her other brothers and sisters. They were raised in her father's home while she was raised with the Amazons.

Even so her sister Elsa was different. She did not have a desire to marry a village boy, have children, and settle down. As a matter of fact the girl was driven to be unique it seemed. Her stepmother kicked her out and Krull brought her to the Amazons and handed her over to Laila. Laila was Solari's name given to her by her parents. Solari changed her name in an effort to keep them from finding her. Solari (Laila) took the girl in as if she was her own blood daughter.

This infuriated Elia. She felt the girl was getting the best of her father's world and now hers and she was filled with jealousy. How ever her sister clung to her even though she tried her best to push her away. Standing before her father now she felt a guilt pang at how badly she'd treated Elsa.

“I see that, but I thought you could be her friend. Laila is not her family and we can't expect her to---.” He was cut off.

“You should have thought about that before you sent her here.” Elia spat out.

“Baby...” He tried again but she cut him off.

“Don't baby me Krull, I don't want you dumping your family off on me. Like you dumped me on Aunt Solari, and if she is good enough for you to have dumped me on. She is good enough for your precious Elsa.” She hissed her temper flaring.

“She is your sister.” He said wearily.

“Half.” She said pushing off the tree she had been leaning on and turning away from him.

“Fine I made a mistake a long time ago. I was a young man and I thought I was making the right decision. I'll take her back home but...” He started

“How come I knew there was going to be a but.” She stated flatly her back still to him

Krull having grown tired with this line of conversation decided to get to business.

“I need to speak with Ephiny. It is urgent.” He said with authority.

“Why.” She asked turning to face him.

I'll tell you both when I see her. I need you to escort me through.” He told her.

“Poppy I don't have authority to do that. You forgot one of the most well known Amazon rules. No Men! My Scout Master won't allow it.” She said shaking her head.

“Don't tell me what you can't do. You're a Centaur Princess, so make it so.” He said.

'I can't believe he keeps insisting I take that title.' She thought.

“Some princess. Do you not remember you gave me away to the Amazons? I am not loyal to that title my heart remains with my sisters as just another Amazon. You denounced any birthright I may have had when my mother died.” She huffed.

“Step down Elia. That is enough. You should respect your father as an elder. Not to do so is disrespecting Solari...” Eponin looked over to Krull. She'd been listening and felt that it was time to make her presence known. “...Or Laila in this case. Why do you call her that?” She asked Krull somewhat irritated.

“None of your concern, Amazon. I need to speak with your Regent Ephiny. I don't need you to intervene between my daughter and me.” He said snidely.

“Suit yourself. We will lead you in to speak with Ephiny, but you have to surrender your weapon's .” She said as she directed a couple Amazons to watch the post while she was gone.

He looked her over. He was familiar with the conditions of any kind of visits to Amazonia, and had already bundled all his weapon up in a leather bag. He held the bag out to his daughter. She made no move to take it.

“First class scout Elia it is apparent he wants you to take his surrendered arms, or will you have us stand here all day.” Eponin snapped.

She stepped forward and took the bag. She didn't meet his eyes because she was both angered at him for causing Eponin to snap, and embarrassed that she did it in front of him.

“You will not take that tone with my heir.” He snapped back at Eponin as she approached him.

“I did and I will. Just because you're her father does not mean she should forget her training for a situation like this.” She motioned him farther away so no one else could hear.

“I understand she is your heir, but under Laila's honored name Solari, she is a first class scout and second class honor guard to the royal zone of Amazonia. You would not allow her to keep form, and that is why I spoke as I did. You wish her to be honorable. Well she can't change her loyalty every time you turn up Krull. You're making it hard on the girl.” She said quietly. She then turned and motioned to the sulking girl to follow them. Krull had come by himself and if the ruler of the centaurs surrendered his weapons, and requested to speak with the Queen, and in this case the royal reagent as he did. He had every right to do that.

As they approached the village Eponin sent a scout out to tell Ephiny to meet them in the meeting hut. Krull was well known in the village due to his daughters. Elsa met them on their way in and fell in line with her sister.

Ephiny was sitting at the head of the table when they came in.

“Krull you've sent no message that you were coming for a visit what is the meaning of this.” She asked him calmly.

“This is not a visit this is of official stature.” He said his head held high.

'Why is it that Centaurs always exude this superior attitude.' But Ephiny knew better. She herself had a centaur for a son. 'It is just their way. It is quite possible they don't know themselves that their attitude seems to proud to others.'

“I've sent for Solari as she speaks for the girls you put under her care, but if this is official they should leave.” She said noting the look in his eyes.

“Elsa go back to what you were doing. As for Elia it is time she took her place among her people.” He said.

“No--.” Elia started.

“Silence child.” Krull demanded.

Elia looked up to Ephiny her eyes watering. There was no doubt in her mind that Ephiny would send her away, as she had done her very own son.

Ephiny's heart hurt for the girl, but she knew this day would come. Krull had made it a condition to the girl being raised as an Amazon. Solari had cared for her dead sister's child. Solari had been a mere child herself, but she had insisted on raising her sister's baby.

Solari entered the hut quietly and took a seat towards the back.

“Elsa get back to your lessons.” Krull told her.

She started to open her mouth to protest. Solari caught her eye and she decided not to push her luck and left.

“Does she need to be here?” He said motioning to Eponin. These words must not pass beyond these walls.”

“I can speak for every one in this room as trustworthy. Every one except you that is.” Ephiny stated.

“How is Queen Gabrielle?” He asked ignoring statement.

Ephiny was a little taken aback by the question, but motioned to Eponin who had sat next to Solari.

“When we left the Queen she was grieving, but she seemed to be getting better.” Eponin answered the question suspiciously.

“Elia you may go sit by your aunt.” Ephiny said gently. She could see the girl was upset that she might have to leave the only home she'd ever known. “Krull may I ask why you need to know that?” She said turning her attention back to the father.

“What if I told you she does not have to grieve a loss of life?” He said noting how suddenly he had the attention of the whole room.

“What are you saying?” Ephiny snapped.

“Xena is very much alive.....Now the question is. Where do we go from here...?”


To be continued

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