Disclaimers: I don't own the characters Xenaand Gabrielle or any of the many characters that have graced the screens in Xena Warrior Princess MCA/Universal does but I'm borrowing them for a bit.
Violence: This is Xena we are talking about of course there is violence
Subtext: This story is based on the fact that Xena and Gabrielle have admitted not only to their love for each other, but the sexual nature of that love, love is not a crime and neither is sex, so if you don't like it move on and read some other stuff.
Additional notes: This is a series of stories set after Friend in Need Part 2, a series of 3 books although just how may parts are in each book I cant be sure of until its finished.
If you'd like to give feedback or comments on this story please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org
She was alone; save for the presence of her soul mate which she couldn't decide was a figment of her imagination or really her soul mate. Her heart ached at the thought of how her soul mate had died and how she was never going to feel those safe arms wrap around her again. Her soul cried out in pain and in rage at the cost of saving those souls Xena had inadvertently killed.
It just wasn't fair, Xena had accidentally caused a fire that had taken the lives of 40,000 souls, but it had been an accident; no intent had been there to kill that many people, so why did Japa honor decree that she had to stay dead in order for those souls to be avenged. Why did she have to leave Gabrielle again?
Gabrielle thought of their journey on the ship carrying her away from Japa, of when she had first felt Xena's presence on the ship, when Xena had told her that she had returned to the place she had always remained, in Gabrielle's heart, Gabrielle had thought that would be enough, she thought if she knew Xena was still with her then she would be able to go on, but she had found she couldn't.
Xena couldn't hold her, couldn't touch her, Gabrielle wasn't even sure she was real, wasn't sure her heart hadn't made her up so that she could go on without her. The thought of going on without Xena tore Gabrielle up inside and she cried out in pain again over her loss, the pain making her want to hate those 40,000 souls, hate Akemi for bringing Xena to Japa and making her stay dead, for using Xena the way she had and causing this anguish for them both. The pain continued to grow every day and she could tell she was beginning to lose herself, without Xena she was lost, the only thing keeping her alive was the knowledge that Eve was out there and she needed to let Xena's daughter, their daughter know that her mother was dead and she was never coming back.
More tears flowed as she thought of how much Xena had lost again, just when she was getting a pretty good relationship going with her daughter; she had been taken from her again. Anger flared again, as she thought angrily, desperately this can't be right, she can't leave me, I need her so much, Gods help me I can't live without her.
"Where are you now Eli? Why didn't you save her, how can you take away the very thing I need to live to breathe, the other half of my soul, how can the God of Love be so cruel" Gabrielle asked hopelessly as she flung herself on her bed in her cabin, tears streaming down her face, crying her heart out until sleep finally mercifully took her.
Unbeknownst to Gabrielle, two figures had been watching her in her grief, had seen her struggle with the pain and one of them was not very happy.
"How can you do this to her, why haven't you done something?" Eli asked angrily, his despair at his friends anguish making him forget that he was talking to the God of Love his "Abba". He raked his hands through his hair and continued pacing.
"Cant you see what this is doing to her, not to mention Xena, you know she hasn't passed over, she is keeping herself in the land between the dead and living for Gabrielle" Eli asked again, feeling a sadness was over him as he thought of the anguish two of his dearest friends were experiencing, the pain it would be causing Xena, as she used up all of her energies as a ghost to remain with Gabrielle, to never leave her knowing that doing this was jeopardising her very soul.
"Eli, I can't interfere with the Gods of Japa, not without asking them first, they rule well, they are not like the Greek Gods, if I do this it would seem like I'm undermining them, besides Xena made her choice, how can I argue with that?" The God of Love asked smiling at the man he knew would one day bring peace to the world, the love for his two friends shining from his eyes.
"Abba Xena didn't have all the facts when she made that choice, or she would have known that souls killed by accident don't need to be avenged, this is wrong and you know it, let me go the Japa Gods, plead them to let us have Xena back please Abba I need to do this I can't be a witness to their pain anymore, it- its killing Gabrielle" Eli said quietly knowing that was exactly where her friend was headed, he knew that Gabrielle and Xena could not exist without each other and slowly their separation would destroy them.
"Alright Eli, if you can convince the Japa Gods to turn Xena's soul over to me I will bring her back, I will give her back to Gabrielle, I don't want to see this destroy them anymore than you do, but my role with the Japa Gods is clear I promised them I would not interfere in their rule" The God of Love replied and silently transported Eli to the Japa Gods temple.
"Approach Eli, you wish to speak for the Warrior Princess Xena?" A man's voice asked, peaking Eli's curiosity. He nodded and stepped forward where he saw an old man, with long grey hair tied in a braid sitting on a mat with a small table in front of him.
"Sit, drink and your questions will be answered" The man beckoned to Eli, to sit before him and gestured toward a small cup on the table. Eli sat and drank from the cup, liking the taste of the sweet cool liquid he found there.
"We don't have possession of Xena's soul" The man told Eli seeing no surprise on the man's face prompting him to realise that this Eli already knew that Xena's soul was still with her soul mate.
"We know why you came, and we have no objection, Xena had no need to sacrifice herself, the souls were saved, and released to a state of grace, it was never Xena's fault that they died, the one responsible is already dead and will remain here to ensure those souls are safe" The man told Eli seeing the shock on the young man's face, smiling at the obvious love he shared for the warrior princess.
"So you are saying that Xena was lead to believe she had to die to save those souls, even though she wasn't? Eli asked incredulously wondering who would have the reason to do that to her. Then it hit him Akemi, a woman so similar to Gabrielle, a woman who could have been Xena's soul mate had it not been for her role as the seeker of vengeance for her families deaths.
"Yes Akemi confessed it to us just before you came, she planted those thoughts in Xena's mind because she was jealous of Gabrielle and she wanted Xena to be with her, she knew Xena would do her duty if she believed she was responsible for those deaths, don't worry Eli she will be punished, her honor has been tainted by this, we hope the God of Love can fix this situation" The man told Eli, seeing the visible anger on the man who had looked so peaceful before.
"Oh he will indeed, I can't believe that she would do that, to Xena after all she had done for her, finding out she'd caused the deaths of 40,000 people nearly killed Xena, it tore another part of her heart, how could she do this?" Eli asked nearly exploding from anger he knew he had to channel.
"She loved Xena, jealousy makes people do horrible things Eli, surely you've seen that, take heart that now that it will be fixed there will be no more pain for your friends" The man told Eli and then disappeared from the room, leaving Eli shocked and still angry. The pain his friends had gone through was for nothing, they had suffered so much and what for nothing, Xena hadn't needed to choose the greater good, Gabrielle hadn't needed to suffer. Tears sprang to his eyes as he thought of the needless pain those two had been through, I will not let them go through that again, If Abba can bring Xena back he can erase their memories of Xena's death too, and make sure that when they do die, they die together. Eli thought determination filling his entire being as he felt his God pull him back to him.
"It will be done Eli, as soon as possible too, I'm also going to give them a gift, you need to decide who will get it" El's God told him as he too disappeared leaving Eli speechless, he had come there thinking he would have to fight to get Abba to do this. I wonder what this gift is. He thought wondering if he could ask Abba for the chance to see his friends after their ordeal. He felt the answer come to him from Abba and smiled silently thanking his God for the love he showed these two mortals.
Eli watched on as the scene began to unfold, the one that had once torn his heart out, his heart filling with happiness when he knew this time it would have a better ending. Abba had turned back time, to just before Gabrielle was going to put the ashes in the water, he could see Xena coming to take the urn from her, and knew it was time, he heard the words pass Xena's lips that they couldn't and he made his presence known.
"You can Xena, put the ashes in the water Gabrielle and I will explain everything" Eli told Gabrielle seeing her shock and then tears as she complied with his wishes. He smiled as Xena's spirit disappeared into the water, and it begun bubbling ferociously until finally Xena appeared once again in her leathers whole and alive.
"You've just doomed the souls of 40,000 souls Eli, your explanation had better be good" Xena asked angrily, she was glad she was alive, glad the decision had been taken from her, but her heart already ached for those 40,000 souls her being alive just condemned.
"Xena, you weren't responsible for the deaths of those 40,000 souls, Akemi was she set the events in motion that caused those deaths, it was her death that would release them into a state of grace, unfortunately Akemi's father had other plans and took the souls before Akemi died, the souls are safe, and you are alive, everything is as it should be" Eli told Xena seeing the smile on her face at knowing she hadn't needed to leave Gabrielle, he watched happily as Xena took Gabrielle into her arms and kissed her deciding to leave them with this moment, so he could think on this gift Abba was giving them.
Continued in Part 2
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