A Journey of Love & Life

Part 4

When Xena awoke after a night of deep sleep she felt better than she had in

days, the nausea was still there but it wasn't threatening to jump out

anymore. She was able to get down some soup for breakfast and was beginning

to feel a little more human. Gabrielle was a constant presence not wanting

to leave the warrior's side for a moment and it made Xena feel so loved and

almost giddy with happiness that she still had her beautiful bard.

How are you feeling this morning sweetheart, your colour looks a little

better”, Gabrielle commented taking in the slightly pinker skin of her

partner. She knew Xena had been out almost comatose last night and knew

that if Xena felt better they would be getting down to business today and

that both scared her and relieved her.

Yeah, I do the nausea isn't so bad today amazing what a good night's

sleep will do, that and a lot of herbs”, Xena chuckled lightly wanting to keep

this morning light, now that she was a little better she knew they needed

to get to work and start trying to prevent this war, but she wanted this

morning to be one of napping and cuddling, this was going to be hard for

Gabrielle, and some physical and emotional reassurance would help them


I'm glad you are sweetheart, hopefully the herbs will continue to help, I

hate seeing you so sick”, Gabrielle said moving closer to Xena and pulling

her close for a hug, taking in the smell of her hair and the closeness of

her body, she wanted nothing more than to spend the day in bed with her

beautiful warrior princess snuggling and making her feel well loved.

I hate being so sick, I'm not a very good patient”, Xena said a little

distracted by the closeness of Gabrielle and the soft kisses that were

being placed on her neck, wanting more than anything to take this beautiful

woman to bed and make love to her, but she knew that she was nowhere near

at her best and she wanted the first time they made love to be very

special, to be a joining of souls, coming together for the first time.

You keep kissing me like that and we will be in bed all day but not to nap

and cuddle”, Xena chuckled mischievously happy to be feeling even just a

little better than she had the previous day and thanking the Gods those

herbs worked. She was trying not to think of the battle ahead knowing that

despite Athena's wish that she not fight, her warrior's brain knew that in

war nothing was impossible and that she would be a target for Lothar's men.

Do you see me complaining?”, Gabrielle responded snapping Xena back to the

present as she placed a very passionate kiss on the startled warrior's

lips. Twin groans sounded as the kiss deepened and it took all of Xena's

resolve to break the passionate clinch.

Gods, where did you learn to kiss like that, Perdicus must have been one

happy man”, Xena remarked still stunned by the intenseness of that kiss, her

heart pounding wildly. She looked into Gabrielle;s eyes and immediately

regretted mentioning her former lovers name.

Memories of that time flooded her so quickly it made her reel with

dizziness, of all she had given up to give Gabrielle the happiness she

thought she deserved, of almost losing Gabrielle to vengeance, the pain of

giving up on the love she felt for her bard but believing then she didn't

deserve the love she wanted. She felt the nausea that had been floating in

the background rush up so quick she almost fainted but she managed to keep

her self up right, not seeing the worried look on her partner's face as she

managed to get into the rest room before the nausea made its presence not

only known but felt. When her stomach could heave no more, she tried to get

up only to be pushed back down by dizziness as her world faded to black.

Gabrielle knew it was silly to feel a bit of hurt when Xena mentioned

Perdicus, but knew that he was going to come up frequently, what with him

being her only lover. She turned to tell Xena they should get upstairs to

rest when she saw all the colour drain from Xena's face, that worried her

but what worried her more was the clear look of pain on her partner's face

and the tears threatening to surface, but before she could take her in her

arms and hold her, Xena bolted to the rest room obviously to throw up the

soup she had tried so hard to keep down. She wasn't sure if she should go

to her, but when Xena didn't return after a few minutes her worry got the

best of her and she rushed into the rest room to find Xena out cold on the


Xena, sweetheart, come on wake up”, She asked gently shaking her partner,

her heart in her mouth as she tried to wake the warrior. When those blue

eyes finally fluttered open, she almost fainted herself with relief, but

focused on her very ill partner.

Thank the gods sweetheart, are you okay?”, Gabrielle asked sensing that her

partner was far from it, but thinking that getting Xena to tell her how she

felt would give her a better idea of how to proceed. She didn't want to

move Xena until Xena felt more human, knowing that getting Xena up when she

was still dizzy could cause her to faint again and she definitely didn't

want that.

My head is pounding, if I get up, I'll just fall back down again, all I

want is to sleep” Xena told her feeling like she had been run down by a

cart, a very big cart. She knew she had to get up or she'd fall asleep here

and she knew Gabrielle would have not a chance in tartarus of getting her

upstairs. She made a move to get up but felt a firm hand pushing her down

and looked up at Gabrielle to see her determined face trying to figure out

how to carry Xena up the stairs.

Gabrielle you can't carry me, I'm not a light woman, if you want someone

to carry me upstairs go tell mother what happened and let her know you need

help getting me upstairs, I guarantee that in less than 5 minutes she'll have

the 2 biggest guys she can find to carry me, even if she has to go to

Athena's camp to get them”, Xena chuckled wryly her humour returning through

her exhaustion.

Okay but you promise me you'll stay there, while I go get her, I know you

too well Missy”, Gabrielle told her sternly stepping into kiss her softly

before running to get Xena's mother.

Xena laid her head down and was almost asleep when she heard people coming

back into the room, and smiled as she was lifted into the arms of a big

burly man like she weighed nothing. Feeling her consciousness was

unnecessary she fell asleep again in the young mans arms exhausted beyond

belief. When she awoke again she was in her bed with a certain green eyed

blonde watching her sleep.

That's such a nice sight to wake up to”, Xena commented happy to feel no

nausea, and her headache completely gone. She had no idea how long she'd

been asleep but knew by the non-existent sun that she must have been asleep for

several hours.

You look so beautiful when you sleep, so much like the woman I know you

would have become if Cortese hadn't been a part of your life, I know it

sounds silly but I couldn't leave you, I'm so worried about you and the

baby, its so unlike you to faint once, let alone 4 times in the last few

days” Gabrielle commented knowing she was letting her fears overcome her a


I love that you care about me and I love you, if our situations were

reversed I would have carried you upstairs myself and not left your side

till I was sure you were getting better, we love each other sweetheart

caring is a part of that package”, Xena replied leaning over to kiss

Gabrielle, wanting to show her rather than tell her how much it meant to

her that she cared, taking in the smell of her skin, and her breath on her

face as she deepened the kiss, feeling Gabrielle”s hand come up to stroke

her face as they kissed and she felt tears well in her eyes as she realised

just how much she loved this beautiful woman. When they broke away they

were both left breathless and both wanted to continue, as Gabrielle

continued to stroke Xena's soft beautiful face.

I love you so much it hurts my bard, I just wish I wasn't so tired,

because I want nothing more than to show you just how much I love you”, Xena

told the bard, claiming her lips again only meaning to punctuate her words

with action, groaning when she felt Gabrielle pull her down towards the bed

with her and gasped as Gabrielle's fingers brushed against her breast.

We can go as fast or as slow as you want Xena, I just want you to know

that no matter when it happens it will mean as much to me as it would if

everything were perfect”, Gabrielle told Xena meaning every word, she loved

Xena and she knew that love would make up for any lack of energy Xena would

feel if she went ahead now.

I know sweetheart but you deserve the best I can give and with all that is

happening right now I think we should wait until we can give all of

ourselves to this”, Xena told Gabrielle not wanting to stop but knowing that

they would want to remember their first time together and this just wasn't

what she imagined for their first time.

I understand. You are such a romantic! Who would've thought”, Gabrielle

giggled as Xena kissed her again showing her just how romantic she could

be, and they spent the rest of the night wrapped in each other's embrace.

Gabrielle awoke to feel Xena still cuddled up against her, her face

peaceful with sleep and smiled at how beautiful she looked when she was

asleep. She disentangled herself from Xena surprised when it didn't wake

her but pleased she wanted Xena to sleep as long as she could, she seemed

to feel better when she slept well. She quietly padded down stairs happy to

see it wasn't too late and Cyrene was just starting breakfast.

Mmm that smells good”, Gabrielle commented taking in the smell of Cyrene's

kitchen, everything no matter what Cyrene cooked always smelt great, she

felt her mouth water and realised she had hardly eaten herself in the last

few days, too worried to think about eating, and now her body was

complaining with a vengeance.

Looks like you got a good sleep, hows my little girl?”, Cyrene asked

worriedly, Xena had seemed so vulnerable yesterday and she knew the

sickness was taking its toll. It was hard to think of Xena as vulnerable

and she knew Xena was going to be more vulnerable than she was comfortable

with as the moons went by.

Sleeping thank the Gods, I've never seen her this sick, its scaring me

Cyrene” Gabrielle told Cyrene, really needing to open up to someone on how

worried she was.

Don't you worry love, it will take more than morning nausea to break my

Xena, and what's with this Cyrene business, its mum and don't you forget

it!” Cyrene laughed wanting to see those beautiful green eyes light up for

a moment, she knew this nausea would pass and Xena would be fine

afterwards, that's assuming she doesn't get killed in this war. Gods what a

terrible time for a war to be happening she thought sadly. Gods if she lost

this baby it would kill her. I hope one of you Gods is looking out for her!

She thought angrily knowing one of them was involved in this. Xena and

Gabrielle still hadn't explained the conception of this child and she knew

her daughter better than to think that she would want to be with anyone

else other than Gabrielle, she'd known her daughter was in love with the

bard long before Xena had admitted it to her a couple of years ago at

Gabrielle's birthday party.

Are you okay Cyrene?” Gabrielle asked absently seeing the worried look on

Cyrene's face, which set off her own worries about Xena and her health, and

how she was going to fight this war, when she was the weakest Gabrielle had

ever seen her.

Yeah I'm just wondering how my baby is going to fight a war when she is

this sick, damn that Lothar, what did Xena ever do to him?”, Cyrene asked

feeling her anger rise.

I was responsible for the death of his brother”, Xena stated matter of

factly as she walked slowly into the room. She'd woken up about twenty

minutes missing Gabrielle's presence when it had hit her, where she'd heard

that name before, she'd known it was familiar to her, and she had smiled

knowing she finally knew Lothar's weakness.

Sit down before you fall down”, Cyrene commanded sternly unhappy that

another part of Xena's past was rearing its ugly head. She placed some

oatmeal and toast in front of Xena hoping she would at least try to eat

something, she knew oatmeal was her little girl's favourite breakfast food,

and she hoped that would help her eat something.

I'm okay mother, I haven't been sick this morning at all, I was out

comatose most of the night, sleep seems to make me feel better” Xena

retorted feeling a little uncomfortable with the coddling her mother was

indulging in. Normally she would shrug it off, but she knew this was no

normal illness, and being strong and trying to stop her mother and

Gabrielle from fussing over her was counterproductive. It felt good to know

she had people who loved her and wanted to take care of her.

Xena, how are you responsible for Lothar's brother's death?”, Gabrielle

asked worriedly, this was the last thing Xena needed more guilt over her

past, but when she looked at Xena she didn't see guilt, she saw a warrior trying

to understand her own actions.

I killed him, it was in Corinth, we were fighting the centaurs, he was my

one of my men, he switched sides and tried to kill me, I defended myself

and I- well you know what I was like then, my tendency to kill people was

on a hair trigger and the fact that he betrayed me, I wanted to just disarm

him but before I knew it he was lying on the floor with my sword in his

chest, his death was my responsibility”, Xena explained her head beginning

to ache again as the guilt of what she had done in her lifetime weighed on

her shoulders again.

Oh Xena, you always did put the weight of the world on your shoulders even

then” Gabrielle smiled, wondering if this was before or after Solan was

born, knowing that if her warrior princess was as sick as she was now when

she'd been pregnant with Solan, it would have made her even less able to

stop herself from killing the man.

He was young and impressionable, he joined a better side, a side I would

have joined if it wasn't for Alti, and I took his life without even

thinking, what part of that makes me not responsible!”, Xena asked still

angry with herself wondering if she would ever be able to get past her

past. Every time she came close to thinking she was worth something her

past reared its ugly head and held her accountable.

Xena, he knew what he was doing when he betrayed you, it was war and I've

seen and heard of warlords doing worse than that, remember he attacked you,

even now when you are fighting for good that's a very bad choice, you are

one of the best fighters in the known world, anyone but the best cant get a mark

on you, this man knew he was probably going to die when he took you on,

stop beating yourself up for the past, its over and if this Lothar wants to

live in the past so be it”, Gabrielle told Xena almost crying her self at

the look of self disgust and anger on Xena's face, seeing the tears

threatening to fall from those beautiful blue eyes,

I know all those things but it doesn't make it any easier to live with the

guilt I will always have, my only wish is that you and I had lived in the

same town when Cortese attacked, I know we would have been friends and I

would never have become what I did if I'd met you then, this blood that I

will never wash away would not be on my hands”, Xena said the tears she'd

been holding back came rushing out as Gabrielle took her in her arms and

held her wanting her to cry for her victims, wanting her to try to get that

hurt out, she knew Xena was never going to forgive herself for what she

became and if she'd known Xena then she wasn't sure she would have been

strong enough to stop Xena from becoming what she did, she'd seen a lot of

people fall to vengeance and anger and if she'd been through what Xena had

she wasn't sure she wouldn't have gone down the same road.

Xena, you lost your brother, someone who understood you better than

anyone, since we started travelling together, I've seen what that can do to

people and you need to stop hurting yourself by not believing you deserve

forgiveness, because I love you and I can't stand to see you like this”,

Gabrielle told Xena kissing her on the top of her head wondering how long

it would take for the world to forget Xena's early conquests and remember

her for all the heroic deeds she had done now.

I know I'm not the same person anymore but- things like this remind me

that it might never go away, that I may never be able to atone for my past”,

Xena said quietly exhausted by the outpouring of emotion and feeling

nauseous again. She just wanted to get this war over so she could sleep and

was going to suggest she go back to bed when she sensed a presence in the

room. She was instantly on her feet her defences on instant alert. She

quietly drew her sword and felt the dark energy permeate the room.

Okay Ares show yourself, I know you're here, cause I'm feeling sick to my

stomach”, Xena asked feeling her defences push the exhaustion and nausea to

the background and she felt stronger and more alert.

You've never told me how you do that, you're looking well”, Ares smiled

lecherously thinking he'd never seen Xena look anything like this, she was

pale, obviously tired and looking at him with the fiercest expression he'd

ever seen. Gods she makes my blood boil even looking like that. His

appraisal wasn't lost on Xena and she stood there annoyed waiting for him

to get to the point.

Okay what do you want Ares, you can't tell me this is a social call”, Xena

asked feeling her heartbeat pick up as her defences tried valiantly to pick

up her sluggish reflexes.

To give you a warning, Lothar is a ruthless man, losing his brother has

turned him into almost as good a warlord as you were and he will stop at

nothing to exact his revenge”, Ares told Xena wondering just why he had

decided to do this, he knew he loved toying with Xena, getting her to

reveal the darkness he knew was still trapped inside her was the highlight

of his visits to the warrior princess, but this felt like more, he was

worried about her and ever since Athena had informed the Gods that she was

pregnant he had found he couldn't stop thinking about her, he had to make

sure she was okay. Okay Ares you are finally losing it, your obsession with

this woman is going to be the death of you one day. Oh what a way to die.

He thought evilly knowing that part of his obsession was that she didn't

want him, she never responded to his advances except to manipulate him and

it was knowing that he may never have her that made him want her more.

Wow you came all this way just to tell me that? What do you take me for a

fool? I know what Lothar's deal is and I know how important vengeance can

be to a man, now I ask you again what- do- you- want”, Xena asked dragging

out the last few words to let him know that his presence was unwanted and

she just wanted him out of there. Her head was beginning to pound and she

was feeling a little clammy as the nausea threatened to make an appearance.

She did her best to fight it down cause there was no way in tartarus was

she going to let Ares see her throw up in front of him. She felt dizzy from

the effort until a small hand grabbed hers and she felt her heart start to

calm, her defences slowing and she concentrated on her breathing to try to

keep the nausea at bay, she gave Gabrielle a grateful look, surprised at

how much her touch calmed her.

Ares if you don't have something important to say you may as well leave,

we have a war to win, and believe me we will win one way or the other”,

Gabrielle said as calmly as she could, it had taken all of her reserve when

she had seen the obvious leer the God of War had given Xena when he had

first appeared to stop herself from pummelling him senseless. Okay Gab keep

it calm Xe needs you to be calm right now, Gods she is shaking and her

hands are so clammy, we need to get her in bed now before she faints again.

Although not perceptible to the human eye Xena was in fact shaking with the

effort of keeping her rebellious stomach at bay and with the emotions still

rolling around her head.

Just don't say I didn't warn you!”, Ares told them gruffly knowing the

only reason he'd come was to see Xena, to gaze on what he'd lost and what he'd

never stop fighting to get back. Annoyed with Gabrielle who he still didn't

understand Xena wanting around he looked over at them both, seeing the

paleness of Xena's face and the determined look on her face and realised

she was trying not to be sick in front of him, then he noted the clasped

hands of Xena and Gabrielle and the look of adoration on Gabrielle's face.

So its finally happened the bitch has fallen in love with the woman I want

well this makes this even more personal. He thought wickedly knowing he was

going to enjoy taking the blonde bard out, there was no way he was going to

settle for second best in Xena's life.

'Until next time Xena ', Ares laughed evilly as he disappeared from the room.

Continued in Part 5

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