A Plan that Worked
Requiem for the Warrior Princess
Gabrielle faces an old enemy
and realizes she must work with him to save Xena from Ares' grasp.
Disclaimer: Xena Warrior Princess
and that world of hers, including Gabrielle and all of the others, do not belong
to me. They are RENPIC's. I guess, though I don't really know. I won't make
any dollars, dinars, drachmas, lira, (or insert your monetary unit) on this
story. I didn't write this for money.
Violence: Just like any episode.
Spoilers: Is There A Doctor
In The House
This is a sequel you can find
the first story here:
Timeline: Two days after the
events of Requiem for the Warrior Princess
Thanks: To my bardic circle
friends who made this be better than it was. Thanks Circlers!
To my readers: I hope you enjoy
the read. I like writing and I like getting feedback even better. This will
be my last Xena fan fiction. I really enjoyed the whole Xenaverse and its inspiration
that led me back to writing. I thank you readers and all the friends I met because
of the Warrior Princess and her Battling Bard.
To Lucy and Renee: I hope this
story is worthy of Xena's realm, a wonderful place that you brought to life.
If it is half as good as you guys are, well, it would be tremendous. Have a
great life and thanks for the memories.
Requiem for the
Warrior Princess Part II
Dust swirled. Gabrielle's vigorous
sweeping kept the minute particles in motion. She wiped her forehead with a
cleaning cloth she pulled from her waistband, and surveyed her work. Satisfied,
she poured a cup of cold cider and drank it completely, poured another, and
walked slowly to the furthermost table of the tavern. She sat with her back
against the wall, put her feet on the opposite bench and sipped her cider. Hot
and dirty she wiped at the dust on her neck and stretched her aching muscles.
The pace of the past day was beginning to take its toll.
'I know I'll be sore,'
she thought, 'but it beats the alternative‹missing Xena. '
Gabrielle bit her tongue trying
to keep tears at bay. It didn't work as they left a trail in the dust on her
face. She smeared the dirt as she wiped the wetness away when a customer entered.
A large man with a full beard
and jingling spurs walked up to Gabrielle's table. He smiled a yellowed grin
and reached into his tunic. "This is a tavern?"
"If you don't mind, I'd
like a bottle of your cheapest wine." He seemed to be asking more than
Gabrielle looked him over.
After working so hard she was tired and didn't get up right away.
Annoyed the man reached into
his tunic and threw some dinars on Gabrielle's table. "I can pay."
She slowly got his wine and
a glass, and set both in front of him.
"I won't need a glass."
He opened the wine and took a long drink, and reached into his tunic again.
He threw a padded metallic leather object and a length of rope on her tabletop.
Gabrielle instinctively reached
for her staff, but came back with the broom she'd used. She didn't understand
what his intentions were and eyed him sharply.
"You want to know what
that is?" He finally asked.
"Not really, but I think
you're going to tell me. Right?" The bard tried the leer that Xena did
so well, and nearly achieved the effect.
The man stepped back and raised
his hands. "Now don't get like that. I don't want to hurt you."
Gabrielle saw he was a big
man, oily leather breeches adorned his long thick legs and a wool tunic covered
his barrel thick chest. His hair was pulled harshly back and braided behind
his head. Fractured yellow teeth completed his rugged look. Gabrielle was amazed
with the fact that he was at least twice as big as she was, but he appeared
worried about her.
"I don't want to hurt
you either," the bard replied and a thin smile inadvertently spread across
her lips, because she pictured the look on Xena's face at her fa?ade of daring.
"This is a little insurance
brace. I make 'em and sell 'em just as quick as I do." He smiled proudly.
"I call it life insurance."
Gabrielle picked up the object.
It had a leather strap tied on both sides and each end was attached to a padded
Seeing her confusion the man
picked up the object and placed it around his neck and put the strap under each
arm and around his collar. He threw the rope over a thick rafter and tied it
to the wall. Gabrielle watched in shock as he fashioned a noose out of the other
end. He quickly climbed on a chair, placed the noose around his neck, and kicked
the chair away. His body swayed back and forth, and he emitted choking, gurgling
"Wait a minute!"
After a moment of stunned disbelief, Gabrielle tried to pick the man up, but
she couldn't lift his massive body.
Suddenly the man laughed and
Gabrielle jumped back. He was clearly alive and laughing at her. Anger darkened
her emerald eyes. "What the hell?"
"My own little creation,
you like it?" The man laughed again, but it was more of nervous apprehension.
He saw Gabrielle's perplexed expression. Plus, she was holding the broom in
a defensive sort of way.
Gabrielle started to laugh,
but didn't know why.
"You want to cut me down?"
He asked a bit confused at her laughter.
"We could talk about a
friend of ours."
"A friend?" Gabrielle
motioned her finger to his chest and then to hers. Of ours? Who?"
Shocked, the bard sucked in
her breath and struck the man with the broom handle. "That is not funny,
The man's face showed no reaction.
"You want to cut me down?"
Gabrielle laid the broom gently
against a table. Her heart pounded; a storm of emotions raged in her eyes. She
wasn't sure she should, but after a moment passed, she pulled a chair and put
her foot on it and retrieved Xena's breast dagger from her boot. She climbed
on the chair, studied the man's face for a second and cut the rope.
The man pitched forward and
lost his balance. He landed on the floor face down but rolled over quickly.
"I meant to do that."
"Uh huh," Gabrielle
said and got down. She felt light-headed, sick and angry; placing her head between
her knees, she took in slow and deep breaths.
The man patted her back. "Hey,
I didn't mean to scare you."
The bard didn't say anything.
"What's going on here?"
Cyrene shouted as she entered the tavern. She ran to her daughter's soul-mate
and kneeled. "Are you all right?"
Gabrielle lifted her head and
tears coursed down her face. "Oh Cyrene! I miss Xena so. Gods!"
Cyrene hugged Gabrielle's shaking
body and looked at the man with a confused expression. "Who are you?"
"Names Lykus ma'am. You
must be Xena's mum."
"Yes, I'm Cyrene. What
is going on here?"
"I was showing the little
one a device I made. I was told to show her how it was used. I thought it was
a joke. I don't think she thought it was very funny."
"Who told you?" Gabrielle
raised her reddened-green eyes for his answer.
"Hippocrates. He told
me to tell you a name. But I can't remember it. He said to tell you he would
meet with you tomorrow. He had to stop at the temple first."
tried to remember the name.
"He is a healer Xena and
I met in Thessaly."
"Oh yes. Why did he send
you here? Surely he didn't want to hurt Gabrielle like that." Cyrene demanded.
"In all respect ma'am,
he wasn't wanting to hurt her. He wanted her to know he was speaking the truth.
He said you gotta to make sure Xena's body was still pliable. Whatever that
means. Funny isn't it. I remembered that word."
"Please, try to think
of the name, it must be important. You're sure Hippocrates said it was a name?"
Gabrielle stood and looked into the man's eyes.
"Yes. I'm sure. Lemme
see. Mellon, Melee." He scratched his head.
"Meleager? I think that's
it, yes I'm sure of it. Meleager."
"Thank the gods."
Gabrielle hugged the man. She then turned and hugged Cyrene tightly. She danced
around Xena's mother. "This is good news! Xena's alive!"
Cyrene didn't understand but
went with it.
Gabrielle sensed her uncertainty.
"Do you remember when Xena and I had to prove a warrior innocent of murder?
And that Xena didn't get back in time with the proof? And they hanged him?"
"When they hanged him,
Xena saved him, but she made it look like he had really been hanged. She must
have figured out how to save herself too!"
"I don't know." Cyrene
glanced at the man and then to the bard.
"It must be. I have to
check Xena's body." Gabrielle nearly tripped over two benches as she ran
out of the tavern.
Xena's mother smiled sadly
and hoped the girl was right.
The sarcophagus was still sealed.
Gabrielle hadn't considered she wouldn't be able to lift the heavy lid. She
pushed but it would not budge. She searched the area for a lever and found nothing.
After a few moments of frustration, the bard started to go for help when the
man and Cyrene entered the crypt.
"Help me open the sarcophagus,
hurry!" The bard went to the opposite side and when the man was ready they
tried to lift the lid, but it only moved slightly. Exasperated Gabrielle scratched
her forehead and then ran from the room. Cyrene shrugged her shoulders and started
to follow after the anxious girl. After a moment Gabrielle came back with Argo
in tow. She led the mare into the crypt and tied a length of thick rope to the
lid and then placed a loop around the strong animals neck.
"Pull Argo!" she
said as she tugged the horse's head.
The horse snorted and yanked
her head out of the bard's hand and puffed air. She then stepped forward and
the lid slid slowly off the sarcophagus. Gabrielle lit a torch and peered inside.
Her eyes widened in shock.
"By the gods," Gabrielle
said as she stepped back.
Cyrene looked inside too. The
coffin was empty.
Gabrielle entered the tavern
and sat down. The torch drooped in her hand and Cyrene took it from her. Lykus
didn't know what to say or do, so he sat beside the young woman.
"I looked everywhere.
I don't understand. Where could she be?" Gabrielle said. "Two days
ago I watched her die and now, I've lost her body."
Xena's mother shook her head
and Lykus did the same.
"I know she was there
yesterday, because I placed her body carefully and covered her myself."
A tear slid down her face and slipped into her mouth. Its salt flavored her
Cyrene stepped outside and
threw the torch into a rain barrel and stepped back inside the tavern. Clearly
confused she tried to understand what happened.
The door to the tavern opened
and a warrior walked inside. He surveyed the room and then walked to the table
where Gabrielle sat.
the blonde said, she really didn't feel like telling any stories.
"Yes, but I'm not telling
"I don't want to hear
a story, geez. I got a message for you from some boy in Thessaly."
Gabrielle nearly tackled the
man. "What is it?"
"He said to tell you to
meet him where you died."
"I'd like a mead. I rode
"Sure," Cyrene said.
She prepared the man a meal as well.
The bard pondered his message.
"Cyrene," Gabrielle pulled Xena's mother away from the men in the
room. "I'm leaving tonight. I cannot rest now, not 'til I know where Xena
"Cyrene, I know where
to go and some how I feel like I know where she is. I don't know how to describe
the feeling I have. I know I'll find her."
"But alone, I don't know
Gabrielle, the road is dangerous." Gabrielle smiled at Cyrene. "I
guess you already know that."
"Please let me know where
you are and what you've discovered as quickly as possible."
"I will, no matter what,
I'm going to bring her home, I promised her that much. I cannot believe I let
someone steal her body. I should have guessed there were people out there who
would steal Xena's body."
"Gabrielle, you did what
you promised. Be careful."
"I will. I promise. Bye."
Cyrene watched the young girl
run out of the tavern. She felt, oddly enough, sure the bard would find Xena,
or maybe it was just a mother's hope. She'd heard Hercules was in the next town
over. He would help‹if she needed him, but she hoped she wouldn't. At any rate,
she was going to make sure Gabrielle was okay.
Gabrielle rode the mare for
all she had, trees blurred, and the ground rumbled with the pounding of the
Palomino's hooves. After a while Gabrielle stopped at a stream. They had covered
a great distance in a short amount of time and she patted Argo's lathered chest.
Sadness burrowed into her psyche, she wondered if she had gone too far with
Argo snorted and stamped her
hoof. She nudged Gabrielle as if telling her to get on and let's go. Gabrielle
rubbed the soft muzzle and said, "No, Xena would kill me if I let you run
yourself to death. We'll walk for now."
Argo snorted and bathed Gabrielle
with sweat and saliva.
"Back atcha!" Gabrielle
smirked and slung the wetness at the mare.
The duo walked for a candle
mark and stopped again to rest. Gabrielle's ankles were swollen from her running,
but she decided to go on. She had to get to the temple; she had to for her own
peace of mind. No matter what it took or how many candle marks, she decided
she would give no less than her very best. Her best would require her to be
rested; so she grudgingly she set up camp and kept trying to keep Argo from
going on. The restless horse finally stopped after Gabrielle gathered some sweet
grass to occupy the mare's time. Her efforts to start a campfire were abruptly
changed when a spark popped. The hair on her neck rose and then Ares appeared.
Is that how Xena sensed him, she wondered. Gabrielle sighed and took a long
hard look at the God of War.
"I knew I'd encounter
you, and I am a little disappointed," Ares said to the bard.
"Excuse me?" Gabrielle
said sharply. "I don't need you or your meddling."
"I could say the same
thing." Ares said with a bit of kindness to his tone. "But I know
we want the same thing‹er, person."
"Leave me alone Ares.
I have had enough of your games. Xena told me to watch out for you."
"I know that. I am
a God." Ares said. His eyes flickered and he seemed to radiate a strange
"What's that?" Gabrielle
asked when a glow outlined the God of War's body.
Ares laughed and extended his
arms toward the heavens and struck a pose. "I call it: Unadulterated
Gabrielle laughed out loud.
The sparkle around Ares faded.
"Enough! My how you have changed, Gabrielle. You're more like Xena the
warlord, than you were ever like the little girl from Poteidaia."
Gabrielle considered what he
said and shook her head. "The problem is Ares, I am not like her enough.
If I could do what she did," Gabrielle hesitated for a second. "or
rather what she does, I would be a better warrior. And the best part, the best
part of all‹I could kick your ass." She sneered angrily.
"My, my, my, little girl.
Such anger, such venom, such boring drivel. Let's stop this silly fighting and
do what we both want to do." Ares opened a portal and images began appearing.
Xena's body was lying on a rock slab, surrounded by guards. Ares watched Gabrielle's
"Xena's body is safe.
I can get you there in no time at all, but you have to do something for me.
There will come a time, when you will see that you have to act. You've never
killed. But you will and when you do, you give me all the anger and I'll give
you the way, the strength and the drive to succeed."
"I don't understand,"
Gabrielle shook her head. "I won't kill."
"You will, one day and
when that day comes, give me all the rage and anger you have..." Ares tapped
Gabrielle's chest. "...locked in there. Gabrielle, you shouldn't fear the
dark. It's very empowering."
Suddenly Gabrielle grabbed
Ares leather vest. "Take me to her!"
"So we have a deal then?"
Gabrielle nodded. "You
do nothing unless you gain. Yes, we have a deal. Now, take me to her!"
Ares waved his hand and Gabrielle
was found herself standing in thick fog. It started to burn off and after it
disappeared Gabrielle found herself face to face with Hermodes.
"What the..." Hermodes
looked around and then back to the bard. "You're Xena's little..."
looked for Xena's body.
"My friend's body back,"
Gabrielle watched as two men worked their way around her.
"It doesn't matter why,"
the bard said and whirled. She kicked one man and flipped him into the other,
and knocked them both out. She grabbed a sword.
laughed. "I like that."
Gabrielle grabbed a dagger
from one of the men. "I don't have time for this. Where is Xena's body!?"
Ares appeared. "I'm sorry
I think I messed up."
"What in Tartarus are
"Well, I don't really
think you ought to know that just yet," Ares smiled.
Hermodes approached Gabrielle
and reached out his grubby hand. "I think you should turn over your weapons."
"Yes, you see we have
a little insurance for this situation," Hermodes whistled and two men dragged
a hooded person into the room. A thick black robe prevented the bard from seeing
who it was. "Now, give me what I want and I'll give you what you want."
asked the hooded person.
"Uhm, no," Hermodes
taunted. He placed a blade into the body of his captive and looked back at Gabrielle.
Gabrielle glanced at the God
of War and dropped her weapon. She watched and waited for Hermodes next move.
The hood was pulled off the
prisoner and Gabrielle recognized Hippocrates. "He has the ability to give
what you desire."
Gabrielle watched him fiercely.
"Desire? I just want to take Xena's body home."
"And raise her from the
dead," The young man laughed a quiet laugh.
"Well, I realized there
was a little conspiracy going on when my mother demanded to take Xena's last
meal." Hermodes said with venom. "She was soft and I knew it then.
My mother felt some kind of guilt because she knew who killed Marmax, and she
had to know what Xena had in mind. Would she escape? My mother was so uneasy
then and I think she knew I killed the general."
"You? Why?" Gabrielle
"Xena made him weak. I
had to stop his peace plans and found a way to get rid of Xena too. So, my mother
wanted to help me, and she talked to Xena. She said she would help the Warrior
Princess clear her name. But no, Xena had a better idea. She would fake her
death and I could be institutionalized. But the joke was, and it was funny too,
he was with me. He showed me the whole deal." Hermodes pointed to Ares.
"Xena didn't tell you because she was afraid it might not work. Him and
me, we knew it wasn't gonna work."
Gabrielle's thoughts whirled
and she took in the surrounding a large cave with several exit possibilities.
Hippocrates seemed to read her mind and nodded slightly toward the rear of the
area. Gabrielle dropped her head and scratched absently as she looked at the
"And so, well he and I
made sure Xena wasn't killed," Hermodes continued.
"It is so good,"
Ares butted in. "I know that human's can go a certain time without breathing.
It causes brain damage, makes the person kinda slow, and it's a good way of
jumped at the God of War, surprised by Ares' revelation she felt a tremendous
rage envelope her.
"Easy," Ares said
and waved his finger in front of Gabrielle. "She will be much easier to
manage. The healer is gonna help us bring her back. But, and it is a big but,
you might be a problem. You always bring her back from the darkness. I don't
think it is a good idea for you to be around right now."
Hermodes charged and screamed
at Ares. "You said we would kill her!"
"I have other plans,"
Ares said and blew Hermodes back.
"I don't believe this,"
Gabrielle said to herself more than to anyone else.
Ares waved his arm and all
disappeared except for Gabrielle and Hermodes. Ares had them chained at the
wrist to each other.
"What in Tartarus are
you doing!?" Hermodes yanked at the chain.
"You gotta get a hold
on yourself there, Hermie." Ares laughed. "You're gonna love it."
Gabrielle found herself hanging
by a chain attached to her wrist. She was surprised she didn't feel extremely
uncomfortable while dangling from a rocky ledge. A sound startled her, and when
she turned around, she found she was face to face with Hermodes, and he was
staring angrily into her green eyes.
"I'm gonna kill you!"
Hermodes screamed as he clamped his hand around Gabrielle's throat.
"Stop it!" Gabrielle
slapped his hand away. "Idiot. You can't do that while hanging from this
Stung by her name-calling,
Hermodes slapped the bard. "I am not an idiot!"
Gabrielle caught her hand before
it hit Hermodes' face, and shook her head sadly. "I'll give you that one.
Now, we gotta figure out a way to get down. We have to work together."
Gabrielle looked. There was
nothing but blackness beneath them. "By the Gods."
"Ares you mean."
Hermodes said. He saw she was just another person he'd never really looked at
before. He studied Gabrielle's face, and realized she was very pretty. "Why
do you do Xena's bidding?"
"You follow her like a
Gabrielle shook her head. "Couldn't
we discuss this when we're on solid ground?"
"You know where we could
Gabrielle studied the area.
A beam of light shone from an opening at the end of the rocky ledge. "We
can make to the light."
"Then what? We're locked
in this, this cave or whatever!"
"Well, I'm going to try."
Gabrielle thrust her body forward and back. Severe pain shot to her wrist.
Stunned, Gabrielle stopped
moving. She pulled the chain and felt more pain. She shoved Hermodes and there
was no pain. "Obviously we have to try at the same time."
"When I say now, we work
together. We'll rock towards the opening. Put your foot against mine and push
slightly. That way we can try and yank the chain forward, okay?"
"Okay. I'll try, but if
it hurts, forget it."
Gabrielle shook her head. She
raised her foot and placed it against Hermodes boot. They pushed off each other
and found there was no pain. They pivoted enough to take the weight off their
binding. "Now!" Gabrielle yelled and yanked the chain about a foot
toward the opening. "That's it!"
After a half-candlemark, Gabrielle
surveyed her surrounding and noticed a small opening on the ledge they dangled
from. Below, a small outcropping of rock seemed sturdy enough to hold their
"Hermodes, if you'll place
your foot on those rocks," Gabrielle pointed to them. "And lift me
up, I could swing the chain over the small opening and we could then climb out
of this pit."
lifted the bard. No pain. "Okay. But first, what's out there?" He
pointed to the opening.
Gabrielle leaned and saw rushing
water. She sighed. "A river."
said. "Oh well. Let's do it." He lifted Gabrielle and she pulled the
chain over several twigs and rocks. Finally she pulled firmly and the chain
fell free. She lost her balance and fell.
Hermodes grabbed onto a tree
limb just outside the opening when he saw Gabrielle pull at the chain. He was
glad he did when she suddenly fell. He braced himself and held on. Gabrielle
cried out when pain shot through her arm. Hermodes tried to pull her up but
she stopped him.
"My arm, I think it's
broken." Gabrielle said.
"My arm. Don't pull,"
Gabrielle cried out. "Please."
"Let me grab the chain."
Gabrielle yelped, gritted her teeth and caught the chain with her left hand.
She pulled herself up and rested a moment. "Hermodes, pull me up. I'll
step on the rocks to help."
Hermodes pulled the chain and
slowly lifted the bard. After several long minutes they stood side by side.
Gabrielle lay back against a slanted outcrop and sighed. Sweat beaded and slid
down her face. She wondered what Ares had waiting for them outside the hole.
He was cruel at times and delighted in pain. But she wasn't going to give him
any hint of her suffering.
Hermodes studied Gabrielle.
She was strong and brave, and he wished he could have been more like her. But
she would not know, and besides she traveled with Xena. He shook his head and
clenched his jaw. Always a flaw in the women he liked, always. He pushed the
thought away and climbed to the hole to get a better look. A large whirlpool
of water awaited them and he dreaded the coldness of water.
Ares stroked Xena's face. She
would be his soon and he could feel the blood in his body pulsate harder. He
knew he loved her from the first time he felt the feeling he was experiencing.
She was all of seventeen when he noticed her development into a beautiful young
woman and he relished her many, many skills.
"Oh Xena, if you could
only see the real me," Ares thought. "I could give you the world,
but it isn't me is it? I'm not your soul mate and to you that was all that mattered,
wasn't it? I wonder if Gabrielle knew how lucky she was?"
Hippocrates stood face to face
with Ares. "Yes."
"Kill her," Ares
"I said kill her, unless
you want to take her place." Ares put the tip of his sword to Hippocrates
The healer nodded and Ares
lifted his blade.
Hippocrates opened Xena's mouth
and leaned in to hear if she were breathing, and he discovered he didn't have
to kill her. He slowly looked at the God of War. "She's dead."
Gabrielle yelped and swallowed
a large mouthful of icy water. Pins of cold pierced her body. She tried desperately
to swim, but her broken arm rebelled and failed her. An explosion of fear stunned
her struggle, she went under after several attempts to save herself. The water
beckoned her into its murky darkness, deeper and deeper. "Up!" screamed
her brain. "Up!"
An arm wrapped around her throat,
and her will to survive fought it. Thrashing about, the bard kept pulling Hermodes
under water. He yanked the chain that held them both and grabbed the back of
Gabrielle's neck. "Stop!"
Gabrielle heard his voice,
and she willed her body to go limp. Hermodes cupped her chin and gently pulled
her from the water. She rolled onto her back but the coughing and retching forced
her to crawl onto her good arm and knees. She emptied her stomach and her throat
burned with bile. Finally able to breathe, she gasped a thank you to her companion.
Hermodes nodded, "We made
arm throbbed and she had a terrible headache, but she was very happy to be alive.
A reflection in the water caught her eye. A small crystal orb seemed to glow
in the light of the sun. "What's that?"
Hermodes followed her arm with
his eyes and looked where she was pointing. "By the gods." He plucked
the orb from the water and held it in his hand. A picture of Ares standing over
Suddenly a fierce whirlwind
spun them into its vortex. Gabrielle and Hermodes held onto each other and the
bard closed her eyes. "I'm coming to you Xena!" Gabrielle thought.
"We'll be together soon."
Ares turned as the two of them
landed behind him. "What the Tartarus!"
Hermodes stood and helped Gabrielle
do the same.
Ares began to laugh. "I
love an audience, but this is ridiculous. Now Healer!"
Hippocrates stepped from the
shadows and listened to Xena's chest. "She's dead. It's time."
Ares raised his sword and one
of Zeus lightning bolts hit the blade. The current raced down and arced at the
hilt. It jumped into Xena's chest and her body jerked. A moment later her arms
rose from the table, but then fell back.
Hippocrates pumped Xena's chest
and started to place his mouth over hers to push air into her lungs. Ares stepped
in front of the healer and bent down over her face. He placed his mouth over
Xena's and pinched her nose closed. He motioned for Hippocrates to keep pumping.
They worked for several minutes until color began to show on Xena's white face.
Wide-eyed, Gabrielle whispered,
"Come back to me, please, come back."
Hermodes rushed the God of
War and was slammed back by Ares' huge forearm.
Hippocrates listened and smiled.
Gabrielle nearly cried out
Ares blushed as a tear slid
down his chiseled face. He quickly wiped it away and his heart swelled as Xena
opened her eyes. He looked into the pools of blue and wanted to be a part of
them. He kissed Xena and she bit his lip. Ares yelped and jumped back.
Xena flipped to her feet and
backed away from the group. Her breathing was rapid and she seemed to fear the
people with her.
Gabrielle stepped forward and
held out her good hand. "Xena." She whispered. "It's Gabrielle."
said the name in a confused way. Her eyes pierced into the bard's. "Do
I know you Gabrielle?"
Ares had done what he set out
to do, and he reveled in it. "Xena," he roared. "Come to me!
You know me don't you?"
Xena looked at him hard, "Yes,
I think I do. You're the God of War. My mentor."
"Yes," Ares said
and emphasized the hiss sound. "That's right. Your mentor." He pointed
to Gabrielle. "She is your enemy." And then he motioned at Hermodes,
"And he had you hanged."
Ares expected a raging inferno,
but Xena did not attack the bard or Hermodes. She blinked and tears slid. "Why
do you hate me?" Xena said in a child like manner.
"Xena, I don't hate you.
I'm your best friend. Xena, I love you," Gabrielle said gently. She reached
her hand to the Warrior Princess.
Xena backed up and dropped
her head. "I love you too, Gabrielle. But he," she pointed to Hermodes.
"He hated me. I remember."
"It was a mistake,"
Gabrielle touched Xena's hand. Her heart raced with happiness as she felt the
warmth of life coursing through Xena's hand. "I have missed you so."
Ares harrumphed. "Xena!
Come to me!"
Xena jumped and ran behind
Gabrielle. "Help me."
"Ares!" the bard
yelled. "You're scaring her. Stop!"
"Xena! I said come to
Hermodes rammed his sword through
Ares body. Ares turned and faced him. "What are you thinking?"
"You lied to me! You said
you were going to kill her, but no! You brought her back!" Hermodes yanked
the blade and rammed it into Ares again.
"You're a fool! You can't
kill me. Now, she's escaped. Get outta my way," Ares waved at Hermodes
and he flew against the wall.
"No Ares! You cannot take
her! She's not well!" Gabrielle said as she blocked the door.
"Oh Gabrielle, she's well
enough." Ares grinned.
Hermodes charged at Ares again
and the God of War plunged his hand into his attacker's chest. "This is
your heart!" He laughed evilly. "This is your heart being compressed
by the God of War!"
Hermodes gasped and looked
at Gabrielle. She stopped in her tracks.
Ares pulled his bloody hand
and looked at it. He then walked toward Gabrielle, "Next?"
Hippocrates ran back into the
room and kneeled by the fallen Hermodes.
"I've had it with you
Gabrielle. You pulled and pushed Xena into the light. You've taken her away
from me. Your light brightened her darkness, but not anymore. I want to see
your heart, and I should have looked at it a long time ago. Besides, you won't
need it on the other-side."
Gabrielle backed up and tripped.
Like a lion circling his prey, Ares was upon her.
Hippocrates raced to help,
but he was thrown back.
"Well, well, well,"
Ares said and laughed. "Let me see now."
The God of War turned to face
"Now!" Xena said;
her voice deepened.
He shook his head. "Wait
a minute my dear."
"Get away from her! Now!"
"Oh Xena, we've been through
this. She is the problem! She won't let you complete your destiny. She'll keep
you away from me!" Ares grabbed Gabrielle's collar and pulled her to her
feet. "But not anymore, because now, she dies."
"Sheeeee ya!" Xena
flipped backwards, and landed the heel of her boot in the Ares' nose.
He yelped and grabbed his nose.
He turned away from her and drew his fist back and struck Gabrielle in the jaw.
She hit the ground unconscious.
Xena felt a rage envelope her
being, and a fire consumed her heart. She jumped into the air and kicked Ares'
behind. He lurched forward and landed on his face. She straddled his body and
yanked his shoulder so he would face her. "I know something you don't,
"Really!" Ares said
angrily and tried to get away.
Xena put the pinch on him.
She wasn't sure if it would work or not, and it held him briefly. He twisted
his head and released it. "Xena, you disappoint me. What do you know?"
"Your plan didn't work!"
Xena punched him in the nose. Blood flew and his mouth fell open in shock. "I'm
"You made me bleed!"Ares
"I have many skills,"
Xena said and kicked at the God of War.
"Why can't I ever have
a plan that worked!" Ares jumped back and flickered away. "Coward!
Take your leave, and don't come back!"
Hippocrates had set Gabrielle's
arm and was working with her as Xena knelt beside her. "Gabrielle?"
The bard stirred and slowly
opened her eyes. "Xena?"
"Is it really you?"
Gabrielle said and winced when she touched her jaw.
"No, I'm okay. Thank the
gods, you're here. You're really here!" Gabrielle said as she reached for
Xena and locked her in a firm one-armed embrace.
Hippocrates sat back and smiled,
"Nah it wasn't the Gods, it was Xena's doing. She taught me how to keep
the heart pumping and the kiss of life to bring people back from the other side.
Plus that little something extra didn't hurt. But that lightning bolt, you think
maybe Zeus likes you well enough to bring you back?"
"Nah," Xena and Gabrielle
said in unison.
Gabrielle hugged the healer. "Thanks for bringing her back to me. And fixing
"I did little, but you're
welcome," Hippocrates waved at Xena and headed his horse towards Athens.
Gabrielle said as she lit his funeral pyre. "He was so afraid to believe
in himself. I hope he has found peace."
"Life is harsh if you
let darkness take you over. Hermodes struggled with the darkness, he saw it
in me easily, but in himself he was blinded until it was almost too late."
"Xena, darkness is needed
to make the balance, right?"
"Uh huh," Xena answered.
"Finding the right amount of each is the hard part."
"We did it," Gabrielle
said as she held Xena's hand.
"We did. Your light and
my darkness evens out our lives, and spices up our love." Xena smiled and
waggled her brows.
"Xena? How did you make
"I don't know, but I think
it is because he made me what I was, and maybe the ambrosia Hippocrates put
in my mouth helped too." Xena said and smiled.
"Are you a goddess?"
Gabrielle asked excitedly.
"Nah, it was just a tiny
bit, it's a big part of what brought me back. A handy thing to know, huh?"
"Well, we'd better go,
there is a storm brewing." Xena said.
Meanwhile, at Mount Olympus:
"Have you stolen another
bolt of lightning?"
said sweetly. "Search me. I don't have it."
"What caused that burn
mark on your gown?"
batted her eyelids. "I am the Goddess of Love."
Ares walked in as Zeus disappeared.
"No Bro. It's cool. How'd
the 'lectric shock do?"
"It worked. How'd you
know?" Ares asked his sister.
"Well Ar, in the future
there was this really cute heart doctor...."