See Disclaimers in Part 1
REMEMBERING THE PAST
By: Jessica M. Hudson
Gabrielle arrived at the temple where Eve often prayed. As she walked in she saw the young women knelling before the altar. Wearing a simple green tunic, her dark locks falling past her shoulders. She reminded the bard so much of her soul mate, the thought itself made her heart ache even more.
Eve finished her prayer noticing the familiar presence behind her. She could feel the pain radiating from her. Taking a deep breath she asked Eli to give her the strength to help her see the Bard through what lay ahead. She stood up and turned around. Seeing instantly the pain and emptiness in those green eyes. The bard hugged her tightly.
Finally pulling away, Gabrielle could almost see Xena looking back. Tears began to form once more as she searched for the words to tell the young women what had happened. Eve gazed into the eyes of the women who had shared her mother’s life. Shuttering at the emptiness before her. The fire, warmth, and beauty she knew so well was no longer visible. The very depths of her heart and soul ached for the loss that was now so apparent. How could she help this women cope? How could she help her over come the loss of her soul mate?
Gabrielle began to speak but no words came out. Instead a small whimper passed through her lips. Eve knew what the bard was trying to say. She had felt her mother’s death when it took place. How it woke her from a deep sleep. Knowing that her only family left was the broken soul in front of her. “Take care of her for me, “ the words from her dream became incredibly clear. For her mother’s sake, she had made a promise to see the women, she viewed as a second parent, through the days ahead.
“I know Gabrielle, I know.” Eve could not hide her own pain. Even though she knew her mother was at peace she too felt the loss.
“Mother came to me in my dreams when she died, she told me to be strong.” Tears fell from her face. “Gabrielle, you are the only family I have left.”
“I miss her so much, Eve. How am I supposed to go on without her? I can’t live without her.” Gabrielle could not contain her grief any longer. She collapsed against Eve, body convulsing from the overwhelming emotions that she felt. “Why? God please! I need her! Give her back, I will do anything!”
Eve sank to the floor holding the bard close. Finally she felt her breathing slow and realized she had cried herself to sleep. She lifted the women into her arms, cradling her she carried her to the back of the temple where she laid her down on the cot she often used. Kneeling beside her she prayed that Eli would intervene and save her. Knowing in her heart the only thing that would save her was Xena. Days passed as the bard lay there, her body giving up. Refusing to wake, trying desperately to escape the pain. Wishing death would come and put an end to everything. Eve stayed with her continuously praying for her to find peace. No matter what the outcome. She did not want to be alone but she knew that Gabrielle could not continue on without help.
Arch Angel Michael stood with Raphael, his second in command, watching over the bard as she traveled. Witnessing her grief as she gave up and wished for death. Hearing the prayers of Eve. He felt torn to intervene, knowing that all though Xena’s death was not meant to take place as it did, she had chose her own path.
He remembered the innocense, light, and selfless love that the Gabrielle possessed. Now where her light was once so strong, stood an evil darkness that threatened to destroy both her soul and Xena’s.
“We have to help her Michael. If we don’t.....” Raphael did not want to think about what would happen if something was not done.
“Her soul will be lost forever, I know.” Michael interrupted as he shed a single tear. “We cannot send Xena back. Her soul has already moved on to her next life.” He paused for a brief moment to consider his options. “I think I just might have an idea.” With that he disappeared. Leaving Raphael to watch over the broken hearted Bard.
“Hang in there...” Raphael whispered, hoping the young women would hear him.
Aphrodite sat quietly in huge pink cushioned chair. Working diligently on a scroll in front of her. A sudden flash of light formed in front of her. She paused from her work to look up expecting to see Ares standing before her. Her breath caught as she looked at the lone figure.
Michael stood patiently watching the Goddess. Slowly going over what he wanted to say. Finally deciding he had her full attention, he bowed slightly. “Goddess Aphrodite, I am Michael, 1st in command of the Arch Angels for the God of Eli. I come to you on his behalf.”
Aphrodite sat speechless. She knew the God of Eli was responsible for the deaths of the Olypian Gods. “What brings you to my temple?” She sat the scroll down, debating whether or not to panic.
“I come to ask your help in a small matter regarding a mutual friend, Gabrielle.” He watched as the Goddess let out a breath she had been holding. Smiling inwardly at the thought of her being afraid.
“Gabby, why?” She sat the scroll down on a table next to her chair, got up and began walking cautiously toward the Angel.
“Well as you know, Xena has passed to next life. Unfortunately, this was not to be. They were supposed to pass on together.” He watched the confusion in Aphrodite’s face. Smiling at the goddess, he began to understand why she was spared by both Xena and the God of Eli. “They were given the gift of a long life together, if Xena had not strayed from the path she was given. Like all humans, they have free will. With that, the power to change their destiny. Xena chose to redeem herself and move on. As a result, Gabrielle is forced to endure the rest of her life without her. What Xena or Gabrielle did not know was that they had been tricked.”
“Why? Who would do that?” Anger showed in the Goddess’ face.
“A young girl from Xena’s past. She sent for Xena, to help with a demon.”
“Gabrielle had said something about that when she was here.”
“Yes, and now because of this turn of events. I fear that Gabrielle is in danger of losing her soul. Without her, Xena will not be able to fight the dark side of her soul. They are fated to do so much good in each life, but they can only achieve greatness through each other.”
“I see.” Aphrodite felt the pain of her friend. Her heart sank at the thought of their souls being permanently separated. “Why do you need my help?”
“Because through the past couple of years I fear I may have lost Gabrielle’s trust. You are her friend and you are the Goddess of Love. I can think of no one better to help reunite them.” He wondered if she would except and trust him to help the Bard.
“Whoa, wait a minute! If you think I am gonna help you take Gabby’s life then....” Knowing that this could be the case, given Michael’s history with the two women. She felt her powers reacting to her anger.
“No, that is not my intention. I want to bring Xena back.” He interrupted just in time to stop the Goddess from throwing a fire ball his way. She paused, studying the form in front of her. Not sure if she should trust him of not. Remembering a time when he himself had tried to kill her. ‘I want to help the little one, she is in so much pain.’ She thought of her options and realized he was probably Gabrielle’s only chance of getting back what she could not live without.
“Okay, you have my help. Gabrielle and Xena both have saved me more times then I can count. I would do anything to repay them. What’s the plan?”
“The God of Eli has a plan. You see he would bring Xena back but the time for that has passed she has already begun to move on to her next life. To pull her from that would destroy her Karma.”
Maddie slept peacefully as two figures stood over her bed. The darkness of the night could not hide the involuntary smile on her lips. Lisa lay with her, her head placed on Maddie’s shoulder, her arm draped over her stomach, clutching tightly. Each women content to hold the other. After spending the evening together, both having far to much to drink. Lisa had passed out. Maddie had carried her to her room and laid her on the bed. Planning to sleep on the futon in her office. Lisa had convinced her to stay, not wanting to be alone.
“Aww, look at them.” Aphrodite could sense the Ancient Bond between them.
Michael smiled, “they are a good match, a perfect balance between the light and the dark. More then any other pairing I have seen.”
“Have they...?” Aphrodite thought of them in their past life. How it had taken them so long to work through their fear.
“No, not yet. Though I have to say it will not be long now. Each life time they struggle with the same fear and have to over come it on their own. They always do, making the bond they share that much stronger.
Suddenly Maddie woke from her sleep, feeling the tiny hairs on the back of her next rise. She focused her vision and looked around. Unable to see the figures with in arms reach. Seeing no one she laid back gently and made sure the women in her arms had not stirred. She closed her eyes and let herself fall back to sleep keeping her senses alert.
Aphrodite shook her head and began to laugh, “some things never change with that one.”
Michael agreed and began to laugh himself. “It is amazing how each soul retains a part of their past life, carrying it with them always. Xena’s soul has carried a great deal of her past lives. So has Gabrielle.
“Why this life?” Aphrodite regained her composure. Calculating the time difference between each lifetime.
“Well like it or not this is their last life together. After this they pass on the be judged and will receive their place in Heaven.”
Aphrodite absorbed this information, “have they earned the right to enter Heaven?”
“That is the tricky part. They had until Xena’s untimely death in Jappa. Now everything hangs in the balance of that life time. If we can not keep Gabrielle’s soul pure she will be unable to help Xena in each lifetime. Her light keeps Xena’s darkness at bay. Without it they will not stay balanced and both souls will be consumed by evil.”
Maddie awoke to the gentle batter of rain against the roof. Slowly she allowed her senses to wake. Noticing instantly her hangover. ‘Ah, what a price to pay,’ she thought. As she began to remember the events that took place the night before. Feeling the warmth of a body entwined with her own. She froze, unsure of what to do. Afraid if she tried to remove Lisa’s arms from around her, she would wake her up. Knowing she would be mortified to find herself snuggled up to Maddie. ‘Not good. This is why I never drink enough to get drunk.’
Little did Maddie know that Lisa had already woken up earlier in the morning. Realizing where she was and decided to lay there and enjoy the feel of Maddie’s arms around her. Listening to the sound of the older women’s heart beat, she wondered what Maddie’s reaction would be if she woke up and found them that way. ‘I hope she does not freak out to bad.’ She snuggled closer and fell back to sleep.
Finally, Maddie gained enough courage and decided on a good explanation incase she was caught, she moved out from under the young women. ‘Whew! That was too close.’ She stood up and stretched. Reaching down she pull the covers up around Lisa and reached down to pet River. “Stay here girl. I am gonna go make some coffee.” Willingly, the dog obeyed and curled up next to Lisa on Maddie’s side of the bed. She left the room and made her way to the kitchen. Stopping first to check a message on her answering machine. Berating herself for sleeping through the sound of the phone.
No long after Maddie left the room Lisa woke to find the bed empty save for the massive dog next to her. She reached over and scratched the Shepard’s ear. River opened her eyes and began to wag her tail. Lisa laid back for a moment longer savoring moment. ‘I wish I could wake up here every morning.’ She turned over to face Maddie’s pillow, placing her head on it, closing her eyes. She breathed deep the scent that was only Maddie. Taking it in, praying to who ever was listening that one day she would be able to tell her how she felt and hear Maddie say the same. Deciding to get up she looked at the dog, “hey sweetie, where is Maddie?” She jumped up and headed for the door, waiting for the young women to join her. Lisa groaned as she began to stand feeling suddenly very sick. “Oh God, I hate being hung over.” Her head felt like it was going to fall off her shoulders. She forced herself to walk out of the room.
Following River into the kitchen, where she noticed the coffee pot was ready and a mug set out. She crossed the kitchen, looking into the dining room where Maddie sat with her back to the door, drinking coffee and reading the morning paper. Once to the counter she also noticed a tall glass of water and two aspirin sitting near by. Without looking up, Maddie spoke, “make sure you drink all of the water. It will help trust me.”
Lisa smiled and did as she was told. ‘She always knows... How does she do that?’ Pouring herself a cup of coffee after she finished the water she walked over the table and sat down across from Maddie. Noticing the women felt a tad uncomfortable. Though she was unsure if it was that hang over she must be feeling or that she woke up and did not like how she was laying. Searching for something to say to break the silence and figure out what was really bothering her, “thank you for the aspirin and the water.”
“Your welcome.” Maddie did not look up, she was worried that Lisa remembered last night and did not wish to talk about it. Hoping against all hope that she would not bring it up.
“Glad we have today off.” Lisa realized that Maddie what Maddie was trying to avoid and felt bad that she had not prevented it. She looked at her cup, worried the older women was mad at her. Finally looking up, she noticed the other women staring intently at her.
“You mean you have the day off.” She sat the paper down and took another sip of her coffee.
“What?” She tried not to sound upset. ‘Why does she not want me to work with her?’
Maddie shrugged, “ Capt. called this morning and ask me to cover a shift tonight.” She saw the hurt look in the rookie’s eyes. Quickly thought of a way to ease her mind, “You can work if you want but I figured you would enjoy your day off. If you want you can even stay here and spend time with River. I won’t be home until late.” She looked down at her cup. “You are not obligated.”
Lisa swallowed the lump that was forming in her throat, “No, I will work. We are a team remember. If you have to work then so do I. Besides, I don’t mind.” Smiling lightly as Maddie looked back up at her. Seeing her smile in return. Lisa felt butterflies in her stomach and fought to settle them down, before she was sick.
“Okay, its settled then, if you want you can shower here. We have to leave here by 3:30 and report to dispatch by 4 pm.” She went back to reading her paper. The rest of the morning was spent in silence.
The rain continued into the evening. Causing a slight chill to form in the air. Maddie and Lisa sat in their patrol car finishing paperwork from a previous call. Water cascaded down the windows forming a blanket over the car. Darkness had fallen hours before and both women were looking forward to getting off shift. “Man it has been a long night. Only two hours left.” Maddie commented as she watched the rain. “You hungry?”
“When am I not?” Lisa laughed, filing her finished paperwork.
“Good point Rookie. Can I interest you in some fast food, my treat?” Knowing Lisa would refuse and suggest something else. Stopping her before she had the chance, “come on, live a little. Please.” Lisa wanted so much to say no but when Maddie said, “please” she could not refuse. She smiled and agreed. ‘That is a first, she has NEVER said please to me.’
Maddie put the car in drive and headed to a near by burger joint she knew would be open late. She left Lisa in the car, knowing if she saw the inside she would change her mind, entering the small building and speaking with the young man behind the counter. After placing their order she stood there and watched them work. Letting her thoughts focus on what happened in the morning.
Suddenly, Lisa flew in the door, pausing for a moment to look at the room, feeling her stomach turn at the sight of so much grease. She shook her head and pushed down the nauseating feeling “Maddie we got a call, some one be attacked in the woods off Old Country Rd.”
Maddie cursed under her breath, she had been so focused on her thoughts, she did not even hear the call come over her radio. “Hey, hold those for me okay I will be back to get them!” She hollered to the staff as she followed Lisa out the door. Jumping in the driver’s seat they pulled off and headed for the area. Lights and sirens going, “when we pull up, I am gonna get out and head for the woods. Call for back up and get our rain gear.”
Lisa shook her head in understanding. Knowing that more often times then not Maddie would not follow protocol and take her with her. She knew the older women feared for her safety but she did not realize that Lisa felt the same way. She often worried when her partner took unnecessary risks. Once on scene, Lisa followed Maddie’s orders.
Maddie got out of the car and headed into the woods, her weapon drawn. She extended her senses and listened for trouble. She heard screams and answered back, “police dept. tell me where you are!” She began to jog further into the woods. Pausing once she saw a break in the trees, leading to a grassy area. She shined her light on the area seeing that no one was there she walked into the area. The rain was falling on her and she began to notice just how wet she was. She listened for more sounds. Hearing nothing she yelled again. Still nothing. She took a few more steps and stopped, feeling eyes on her. She turned carefully, not seeing anything. Watching the shadows around her. The events the previous night came to mind. How she had woken from a peaceful sleep sensing someone there. She pushed the thought aside.
She began to feel really strange, emotions began to flood through her. Feelings of hope, joy, and love. Then as those washed away she felt a deep loss, death, suffering, and most of all longing. She closed her eyes forcing herself to the mind set she needed to be in.
Goose bumps began to form all over her body, the hair on her arms and on the back of her neck began to stand. She felt a sudden jolt of static enter though the top of her head. Her eyes widened and she realized what it was. ‘Oh, God.’ “Lightening! Lisa stay back!” She yelled as loud as she could. Moments passed that felt like an eternity. She stood frozen in place, closing her eyes as a the bolt of electricity consumed her. Forcing her body into convulsions. Dropping to her knees, she cried out in pain. Her life passing before her eyes, scenes that made her relive the good and the bad in her past. A shroud of darkness began to fall around her, she fought desperately against it. Trying to keep conscious. Finally, giving in and sinking to the ground. Feeling a sudden blanket of peace cover her. Thinking death was coming to claim her, she wanted her final thoughts to be of Lisa, and they were.
To be continued in Part 3...
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