Here's the mandatory disclaimer. This is my first so follow with me. I don't own any of the characters (except Kialon, cause that's me), as much as I'd like to. The rights belong to Renaissance and Universal, um and to whomever else can make legal claim to them. The story was made up with the help of a late night and time to spare. Yes, there is subtext, because what would Xena and Gabrielle be like with out it...? Friends...nah, not possiable. This part of the story doesn't have much sexual content and no real fighting seen, it's just the beginning of a few parts. So guess what it's open to everyone to read. If you want to write to this little sixteen year old kid about some idea or comments you can reach me at Kialon_young_amazon@yahoo.com
THE YOUTH OF THE NATION
Gabrielle had just woken up and judging by the smell meeting her nose Xena had already started breakfast. She looked over toward the fire pit to see the dark haired warrior standing over a small fire with a pot suspended over the center. The bard stood up and put her hand on her partners shoulder.
"Need some help there tiger?" Gabrielle said as she slid her hand down the warrior's waist. Xena grinned and leaned over to place a kiss on the younger girl's cheek.
"Only if you don't want your goose eggs to spicy...you know how I like mine with a little kick." She smiled at the understated remark.
"A little kick... Xena a little kick to you is getting hit in the head by a centaur...Now give me the spoon I'll take over." She reached for the spoon but found a reluctant hand at the other end.
"If you want it you have to give me something in return." Xena gave her a grin and held the spoon up in the air away from her shorter adversary.
"Oh Xena come..." she was cut off by the look on her lovers face and jokingly played along "well warrior what'll it be, staff fighting, wrestling, or maybe a cook off?" Xena bent down and laid a kiss on her green eyed companion. Gabrielle receives the kiss and as her eyes opened she saw Xena's blue eyes staring back into her. "By the gods Xena, you do have a way at competing."
"Well you never were much in the way of competition, but if you don't stir those eggs soon we'll be having fish for breakfast again...and you know I have no problem with going fishing." She winked and let the bard go to take over the task at hand, but not before steeling one more kiss.
"Oh no, no more fish please Xena. You always come back smelling like the things afterwards." She winced her nose at the thought of the warrior's last fishing experience.
"I thought you liked taking a bath with me after, okay never mind, I..." she was stopped short by green eyes staring into her.
"Oh don't even go there Xe...you know perfectly well how I feel." She reached over and grabbed the plate to put the streaming eggs into. "Hope you like ‘em with not so much kick." She gave a little chuckle and handed the plate to her friend.
"Why do you always think about my stomach? If I can handle warlords and hundreds of attackers at a time I think a little spice won't hurt me that much." She picked at her eggs with her fork and tried to sneak a little ground pepper from the herbs bag. Gabrielle slapped her hand.
"Now you say that, but in about a half of candle mark I'll be hearing your complaints, you big baby. You know that stern face is just for show." The bard took a bite of her eggs and a sip of water.
"I'm no baby. I'm more like a dependent." The warrior chuckled and scraped up the last bit of eggs in her plate. She watched the bard elegantly put aside her fork and grab a small piece with her fingers. "Don't like ‘em either I see."
"Well fingers are just so much more useful." Just as she got her last word out an arrow shot past her and towards the warrior. Xena caught it and snapped it in half.
"Knew they'd try it sooner are later...when will they learn." She stood up, threw her chakram, waited, and then caught it in mid-air. "Damn fools, bunch of kid no less." The bard stood up and looked at Xena inquisitively.
"Um Xe, what in Hades was that about?" She picked up her staff and followed the taller woman into the woods in the direction her chakram returned from. "Xena...!"
"These kids have been around for the last candle mark, no telling why they tried that stupid stunt, but I'll be a son of a baccae if they're ganna get away with it." Before the bard could get out a word the warrior took a step and was in the air flipping to her desired destination. Gabrielle just shook her head and ran to catch up.
"Xeeeennnnaaa!!!!" she yelled as she ran up the hill. She found her companion holding a broken bow and two squirming kids.
"Told you we shouldn't have done that, I'ma kick the centaur dung out of you for this!" the younger of the two boys yelled at the other.
"Well you didn't try and stop me much, did ya?!" the older boy was kicking and punching into the air trying to reach Xena. They both stopped when the bard walked into the clearing.
"Now Xena there just kids, be nice." the green eyed girl rolled her eyes and leaned on her staff.
"But Gabrielle did you see what "these kids" just did?!" she held the two up higher and they squirmed trying to get the warrior to release her hold.
"Oh for the love of Zeus just let them down and we'll go find there parents, let them deal with both of them." The bard walked over and tapped her lovers hand and the two boys fell to the ground with a thud.
"OUUUCHH!!!" They both yelled.
"Could you be gentler next time Xe?" Gabrielle said with a slight chuckle.
"Nah, where's the fun in that. Plus there lucky that it's the only bump they get, they deserve more." The warrior extended her hand out to the younger of the two boys. He wasn't more than eight or nine. The older boy got up and adjusted his hat.
"Whoa, you really caught it. That was amazing; I knew you would of course, but WOW!" The older boy looked at his bow and sighed. "My older brothers ganna kill me, I was suppose to bring it back at mid-day."
"I'm glad you like my little trick, but if you didn't have such good aim you could have hit my friend here and then you wouldn't be as lucky as you are now. How old are you anyways little boy." The warrior looked back to make sure her partner was okay. The boys face got red and he looked down.
"I'm fifteen and Xena, ma'am, I'm not a boy." When the young girl said this her face got red and even Xena blushed, just a little. Under all the dirt, the oversized hat, and clothes she looked like a young boy.
"Well, that changes nothing..." The warrior was cut off by the bard.
"Come on Xe, lets go find there parents, and maybe pick up a new bow at the market, we'll find a way for them to work off a couple of dinars." The younger woman's smiled and placed a hand on the older woman's out stretched arm.
"Okay you two lets get a move on, where do you live?"
"Right over this hill, our mom's at market so can we go there first?" The younger boy said in a quiet voice.
"Sure, but if we are ganna get you two a bow I want Xena's horse brushed, and our camp site cleaned and picked up." They nodded and followed the two women out off the clearing and down into the path the bard made in her attempt to follow the warrior.
"You get a bucket of water for the fire, and you help Gabrielle with the sleeping gear." Xena grabbed the frying pan and cleaned it out with a little water then packed it into one of Argo's saddle bags. Gabrielle could hear her complain about kids these days, and then went up to the girl.
"What's your name, I'm Gabrielle as you probably guessed already and you already know Xena I take it."
"I'm Kialon, nice to meet you ma'am. Oh, by the way I knew I wouldn't hit you, and I knew, well hoped she'd catch it, she's famous for that trick." The girl had a self-confident grin as she looked towards Xena. The little boy was now holding a fresh pale of water from a near by creek.
"Um Ms. Xena ma'am, should I poor it here or...?" he looked at her with fright in his eyes.
"Sure little one just try not to splash it all over my boots, okay. Hey don't be scared, if you two behave yourselves now, I'll behave myself." He smiled a little at these words.
"I'm Danny, nice to meet you." He put out the fire and worked his way over toward his sister's side. Xena could tell he was trying to be brave, but his childhood insecurities made him look like a meek rabbit.
Not much later Argo was packed and saddled. The four were headed towards town in search of there mother and a bow.
"Right up here, not much farther and we'll be there." Danny shouted excited to walk into town with the tall dark warrior. The street was busy with market transactions and animals focused on getting a morning meal.
"Now where would your mother be?" Gabrielle said when they past by the second shop. Xena scowled at passers by to make her presence felt, or to ensure no trouble was wanted. Xena as always in a new town was in warrior mode.
"She might be getting some fabric or some wheat, but you never can tell with her." Kialon didn't really seem as if she wanted to find her mother. Xena thought it was because of the punishment she was sure the kids would get for the stunt they pulled back in the forest. Danny now held his sister's hand and some of the fear was gone. It was a familiar place for them. The warrior and the bard did get a few stares at first, but as time went on less and less people looked at them.
"How about we see about that bow, before we find your mom, huh?" the bard said realizing Kialon's nervousness. She nodded her head but the words of encouragement from the blonde woman did not make her feel better.
"That's a good idea I suppose, if you want to." Kialon directed them to the weapons shop.
"Now, you have to promises, if I replace that bow you won't aim it at anyone again, unless it's unavoidable or intended to kill someone." The blue eyed woman scowled at the young girl waiting for her response.
"Oh, um sure, I promise I won't Xena." Xena walked into the small shop and Gabrielle took this chance to ask the girl a question.
"Are you okay? Don't be scared of Xena, she knows how to scare people, but she won't get you into much trouble, I think." The bard trailed off thinking maybe it wasn't such a good comment after all. The girl looked down at her feet and poked at the ground making shapes with a stick she picked up along the trail.
"I'm fine. Nothing to really worry about. Danny don't go to far, we're almost done here." The young boy hurried back and took the stick from his sister and traced her markings. This obviously was a game to pass the time they played often.
"Are you sure you're okay? That little fall you had back there didn't hurt you to much, did it? The bard's eyes were focused on the girls until she smiled and reassured the blonde woman that she was fine. The door of the shop opened and Xena walked out, a bow in the left and one in the right.
"I figured a young girl like you needs her own bow. As long as it's used for hunting and nothing else it's yours. Is it a deal?" Xena held out the bow to the young girl. Her eyes grew big and a huge smile appeared on her face.
"WOW, Xena I promise! No one has ever given me a bow before, I've always used one of my brothers, or" she looked down again.
Kialon took the bow and pulled back the thread carefully, observing every aspect of it. She was fascinated at this gift from the last person she expected to get it from. The bard looked at the warrior in an unmistakable approving look.
"Xena, you know I would expect nothing less from you." She whispered into her lovers' ear "I love you." She rubbed her hand on the bards back and whispered a reply.
"I love you too. Plus she reminds me of my when I was a kid." The four walked off to find the elusive mother of the two youths. Kialon must have forgotten all her worries and settled her attention on the bow.
"I would have picked that one out for me you know" Xena explained to the brown eyed girl who when she heard that got even more excited.
"Kialon, Danny, what are you two doing here? I thought you were..." The older woman was loss for words at the sight of the two women.
"Is this your mom guys?" Gabrielle already knew the answer.
"Yes." Danny nodded.
"Hi, I'm Xena and this is Gabrielle," the warrior pointed to the blonde bard next to her, "We um, found these two in the woods. Kialon here, wanted to test my reflexes with an arrow." The tall woman raised an eyebrow at the young girl waiting to hear her defense.
"Kialon, you know better then that! What in Hades were you doing in the forest; you're supposed to be home, cooking and cleaning!! I told you only your brother was allowed to go play in the woods; you're not a boy young lady you need to be home!! Next time I catch..." She was cut off by the warrior.
"Look it's none of my business, but the girl needs to grow into what she wants and plus she's pretty good with a bow. We can work this out like civilized adults." The woman shot a look at Xena that made her feel like it was no use. This is when Gabrielle stepped in, as usual and since she was better with words then Xena it was possible she could intervene.
"Why do you think since she's a girl she can't learn everything her brother does. By the way it would be nice to know your name." The bard let the woman speak.
"I'm Anna, and she knows why I want her home and not out doing those things." Anna looked towards her daughter who had a tear in her eye, but was fighting it back.
"Mom you know I can do everything Danny and Elton does." The two women understood that Elton was the girl's older brother. "I can even do a lot of things better. If you not careful your ganna loose me too." The young girl now had an expression of anger and sadness on her face. Gabrielle put a hand on the girls shoulder and her mother spoke in a soften tone.
"Kialon why can't my daughters understand there duties...I see the same spark in you as I saw in your sister." At this the warrior and the bard looked up. They new she had a brother, but not once in there candle mark of discussion had she mentioned a sister.
"Maybe we should talk over a mug of cider or some ale for us three." The warrior said and the blonde agreed. The five now walked into a tavern a few feet from where they were standing.
"Two ciders and three ales, please." The bard requested from the tavern wench. They all sat down and Anna took the girls face in her hands and attempted to clean some of the dirt off while talking.
"Look Kialon, I don't want to loose you like I did Teaganus, you just need to understand what a woman does..." she put her hands down and grabbed the mug of ale and drank heavily from the seemingly bottomless mug. The warrior gave a scowl at the woman and attempted to help.
"Maybe she doesn't want to be so traditional Anna, she is fifteen and almost grown, let her decide what she thinks is best in that case." The warrior waited for a reply from the girls' mother. There was only a sigh.
"Anna I don't know what happened with your other daughter, but Kialon has skill as an archer and seems like a good child. I agree with Xena, maybe she just needs a little time to grow into who she can be." When Gabrielle had finished the sentence she had and idea, but imagined it should stay just an idea. She kicked the tall woman under the table.
"Ouch!" the warrior yelled.
"Xena can I see you outside for a second?" she was nodding her head towards the door.
"Huh, Gabrielle are you
feeling..." she understood "oh yeah, sure."
The two women walked outside and the smaller woman grabbed the older woman's hand.
"I've just thought about something, where are we headed?"
"Well, to the amaz..." she cut herself off in mid-word "No Gabrielle your not thinking what I think you are?!"
"Why not, Xena I know you can see the Amazon spirit in her...you wouldn't have got her that bow if you didn't see something." The green eyed girl was now looking hopefully into those baby blues.
"Yeah, but Gabrielle, it doesn't matter what I see or you see, her mother would never allow." Gabrielle was now looking at her lover with wanting eyes. "Well I can see what I can do, oh great queen of mine." Both women walked back into the tavern with a new mission at hand. Danny was now on his second mug of cider and smiling happily as the young girl and her mother was wrapped in quiet conversation.
"Oh your back," Anna unwillingly said, "Welcome." The young girl sat back and just sighed inwardly.
"Anna have you ever heard of the Amazons?" the bard said. The woman shook her head in a motion signaling she had. "Well I am the Queen of the Amazons, as unbelievable as it sounds." At this the younger girl let out a gasp and her mother looked amused.
"What does this have to do with me and my family?"
"If Kialon would like I can assure her a place in a nice tribe." The bard said. Xena's hand was now on her lovers lap under the table. "She will be safe I promises and she'll learn the value of family and hard work with other amazons." Gabrielle knew how funny it sounded for her to say that to this lady she hardly knew. She wasn't even sure if Kialon wanted this.
"Oh, Gabrielle I would LO..." her mother had stopped her.
"Kialon, why would you go to this...this tribe? Your sister only gone one day and you're going to leave me too. I will not loose both of my daughters." The woman put her face in her hands rubbing her weary eyes.
"Mom, you won't be loosing me, but doing what's best for me. Gabrielle I have thought about the amazons many late nights and long days. From what I have heard I value there way of living." The young girl took off her hat and curly dark brown hair showed and she suddenly looked older. The younger woman saw the look of seriousness in her brown eyes. She took her mother's hands in her own. "Mom you know I never belonged here, neither did Teganus..." The mother looked up at the warrior and her companion.
"I never thought both of you would leave me..." she was cut of by her daughter.
"Mama you know if I do not get your blessing I will go anyway, this is a sign from the gods. I must go." Kialon looked at her mother for an answer.
"Okay, Kialon, but Xena and Gabrielle if you do not make sure my daughter is safe I will have both of your hides." Anna looked sternly at the two women.
"We were headed to the Amazon village today; she can travel with us if it's okay with her and you." Xena said in a mild tone. "If so you'll need a sleeping roll and some spare clothes. You will get new clothes at the village if you would like." The whole conversation was buzzing in the girls ears, she was going to an Amazon village, with her mothers blessing. All of it because she wanted to test the great Xena warrior princess' reflexes...She decided it was fate.
Kialon walked out of the hut with a sack on her back and walked over to saddle her horse. As she tightened her saddle bags her mother was telling her something about her sister. She turned and gave her mother a kiss and a hug. She mounted the dark coated stag and took her place next to the two women, which she now had respect for.
As they rode along it seemed like the seen in the tavern lasted forever, but there was still three or four more candle marks till dusk. The team made good time, talking about Kialon's skills she had learned from her brothers or sister. Her sister was a subject she was willingly talking about now. Teganus was around seventeen and had left home when her mother had tried to make her except a proposal from a boy in the village the day before. It apparently was a big fight and her sister took off on a horse. The sun was setting and Xena knew a spot to camp about a quarter of a mile down the path.
"We'll be making camp soon, I'll get a fire started if you collect firewood Kialon." Coming from the warrior's mouth, this was not a request.
"Sure, I'd be happy to, Gabrielle are we ganna cook or..."
"Yes, I'm sure I can throw something together."
"Do you need help? I'd be more than..." She didn't get to finish her sentence, she was staring straight ahead. A horse was standing in the rode, rider less.
"That's Teganus' horse," the young girl said in a faint voice. "You think maybe she just stopped her yesterday to make camp?" Xena knew it was unlikely, but was not going to tell the young girl this.
"We need to check it out. Gabrielle come with me, Kialon stay on your horse and a little ways away."
"Xena what's going on? Why are you..." the bard held her staff in both hands ready for an attack. Both of the women walked up to the horse.
"I don't know what's going on, but keep and eye out." Her companion was on guard already. When they reached the horse the saddle was stained in blood and a trail leading away from the horse was stained in crimson as well. Teganus was no where in sight and neither were her attackers.
Part one: To be continued
I also wanted to put something here about the people I can either blame for a bad story or give credit to on a good one. To my sis Monkey, if you had never put the idea in my head to write one, well it would be there now would it. Also to the person who wrote first fan fic I ever read, Ms Melissa Good.