Xena: Warrior Princess, Gabrielle, Argo, Aphrodite, Eli, Michael, and all other characters who have appeared in the syndicated series Xena: Warrior Princess are the sole copyright property of MCA/Universal and Renaissance Pictures. No copyright infringement was intended in writing this fan fiction. All other characters, the story idea, and the story itself are the sole property of the author and cannot be sold or used for profit in anyway. This story depicts small hints of violence, bloodshed, and grief.
PASSION AND ROMANCE
By Kris Johnson
With the Twilight of the Gods passing of 25 years, Gabrielle is faced with a bards destiny of Passion and Romance, and a little help from Xena.
"Xena when are we going to get to the next village, Im starving." asked Gabrielle as they rode down the path in the woods. Xena replies "I dont know, but Im not taking chances on letting my guard down. Something doesnt feel right about this."
Suddenly a man lunges out of the bushes with blood covering his side and falls to the ground. Xena dismounts Argo and cautiously kneels next to the dying man. Gathering all the strength he could muster and says "Xena, you must help," he handed her a bloody piece of parchment and with his last breath he said "hurry, there is not much time." Gabrielle looks on at Xena as she opens the parchment to read the message written for them inside. "Theres a village not far from here. Someone they call The Keeper is needing our help, but its not clear why." "Xena whos The Keeper?" "I dont know. Come on lets go and find out." replied Xena.
As they rode into the village the people stood and watched them as they passed by and hitched their horses in front of a carpenters stable. Inside a short yet stout woman was sanding a beautifully crafted coffin. She caught Gabrielles eye and gave a little smile. Just then a loud thunder clap of a horse running at full speed was heard and out of the dust cloud could be seen a dark rider with long black hair like a raven. The villagers acted as if they didnt notice as the stranger rode up to Xena and dismounted quickly to the horses side. As the stranger looked Xena in the eyes she said to Gabrielle "She doesnt speak." "What?" asked Gabrielle. "Romey, she has a stutter so she doesnt speak much." said the stranger. "Who are you?" asks Xena. "Im The Keeper, my name is Passion." Gabrielle turns to look back at the stable and Romey is gone.
The Keeper motions Xena to follow her into an old temple close by. "Why am I here? A man died giving me your message." "Yes, that is why is so important that you and your friend are here. Since the fall of the gods," "What do they have to do with this" Xena says angrily. "Gabrielle is pure and it is her destiny to be a bard. Like Romey, so by a bard thy will must be done." "I dont understand." said Xena. Gabrielle walks in the temple "Xena, who are you talking to?" Xena turns and The Keeper is gone. Xena says "No one" as she looks around the room. "Are you feeling ok?" "Yea, fine. Come on lets find a room for the night and rest." As they walked out of the temple they pass an old woman who stops and stares, smiles, and then says, "The Keeper has sent for the deliverer in the form of a bard. Go spread the love of thy will be done." The old woman turns to walk away when Xena asks, "What do you mean?" The old woman continues on her way without turning back saying "Go, thy will be done." "Xena, whats that all about?" "I dont know. But Im going to find out. None of this is making any sense."
Xena walks off to try to find The Keeper and get some answers, mean while Gabrielle sees Romey walking behind the stables. "Romey? Hi." says Gabrielle. Romey sits down on a marble bench in a garden of fragrant flowers. She looks up at Gabrielle and smiles an invitation to sit down beside her. Gabrielle says to her "I feel like I know you have we ever met." Romey looks at her with a warm smile as if speaking into Gabrielles soul and tries to speak "I-I-I kknnnooow you b-b-byy a g-g-g-i-i-f-f-t. I-I-I- g-g-g-ave t-t-t-o-o- th-th-the world." She then stood up and gave a smile and a wave goodbye leaving Gabrielle sitting there unsure of what was said.
Back at the Inns room Xena was looking for the parchment that was handed to her by the dying man in her saddlebag. A cool breeze brushed her back and she turned to find The Keeper standing behind her. "You said your name was Passion so why do they call you The Keeper?" "I am Romeys keeper. Your friend is her destiny. An attack on the village will come tomorrow at noon and your friend will kill Romey. And in the days to come, you will know." Then in an instant The Keeper was gone. Slowly the pieces were coming together. Though Xena knew her and Gabrielle has been to hell and back, for the first time a small doubt and belief came to her in the name of Eli and the thought of Michael were all too real. But if Gabrielle was to be Romeys destiny and an attack was at noon, what do they have in common?
Early the next morning Gabrielle went out to see Romey and found her in the garden praying. Not wanting to disturb her she tried to listen behind the rose bushes. Romey quietly prayed with tears streaming from her eyes as if asking for forgiveness. When she was done, she walked away and Gabrielle quietly walked over and knelt beside the marble bench and touched the tears that soaked the bench. A loud commotion was heard and the attack had begun.
Xena ran out into the streets yelling for Gabrielle. Gabrielle came out of the garden and began to fight off the attackers. Xena spots The Keeper with a large sword walking towards Romey who was standing near the stable defenseless. By this time Xena knew who Passion was and knew what Gabrielle had to do, even though she knew it would hurt her. The Keeper tricked Gabrielle into a fight. Battling it out fiercely The Keeper turned to run towards Romey with her sword drawn when Gabrielle hurls one of her daggers towards The Keeper striking Romey deep into her heart. Grief struck Gabrielle runs to the side of Romey crying and screaming "NO!". Not noticing the attackers had given up and was retreating. As she cradled Romey in her arms sobbing Xena knelt beside her and put her hand on her shoulder. Romey looked Gabrielle in her eyes and with a last breath of life as the blood spilt from her chest and mouth she said, "It is done." And closed her eyes. The villagers without saying a word took Romeys body to the stable where she was crafting a coffin that was meant for her to be buried in. The villagers had been prepared for this day. Xena took Gabrielle back to the Inn to rest.
The next morning they headed out of the village. As they made some headway out side the gates; they came across the old woman from the village kneeling at two head stones placing fragrant flowers on the fresh grave. The old woman looking now more familiar Gabrielle asks "Excuse me, do I know you?" The old woman turns around and smiles as best she can and says, "You know, a mother shouldnt outlive her children." "Aphrodite?" says Gabrielle. "Yea, you know Ive always liked you two and considered you my friends. So during the twilights I gave up my immortality for passion and romance." Still confused Gabrielle asks "Aphrodite, what are you trying to say?" "You see, The Keeper of Romance is Passion. The only two people I know who share both for each other so strongly are you two. So when I gave up my immorality so did passion and romance in order for them to live in everyone sort of like eternity. Romance had remembered me telling of Gabrielles stories so in order to keep the spirit of romance and passion alive, her destiny was set through passion and only Gabrielle could set it free. Oh, something to do with love being the way or something." They said their good-byes and Aphrodite returned to the village.
"But that doesnt explain how Passion led us to here" said Xena curiously. A bright light came down from the heavens and a white shape appeared as Romey and said without a trace of stutter, "Passion came in the form of you Xena. You have so much passion for Gabrielle and for life that you have forgotten to see it. Gabrielle has so much romance she still needed to share. It was by her will thyn was done to show the world so that all mankind will have not only these gifts but to know compassion as well. Together all is possible." In an instant she was gone.
Xena took Gabrielles hand as they continued on their journey both knowing sometimes the best conversation two people can have is when nothing is said at all. The End.
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