Disclaimer: See Part 1
Author's Note: This is my first Xena fanfiction, and it shows what could have happened to Gabrielle after Xena died in A Friend in Need. You may be confused for the first few chapters, but everything will start to come together eventually.
Comments are very much appreciated.
If you wish to send them to me, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Alexandria followed Gabrielle through the door and into the Council Hut, closing the door behind them before scanning the room. She glanced at the faces of the Amazon elders and the many Amazon queens before her eyes landed on Varia, who smiled at her as she walked over to her.
"Good morning," Said Varia softly, glancing towards Gabrielle before looking into at the woman next to her. "The Queen looks a bit strange this morning, you didn't tell her-"
"No," said Alexandria sharply, her eyes boring into Varia's. "I didn't tell her, and neither will you . How many times will we go over this?"
Varia shrugged as she looked away from the red headed womans intense gaze and focused once more at the small blonde who was talking quietly to Eponin on the other side of the room.
"She has a right to know," Varia said, as she watched the blonde frown and run her fingers through her hair. "Xena was her lover, you know."
"I know that," Alexandria snapped, her voice tight with barely controlled anger. "You think I haven't been reminded enough in the last year, Varia? Seriously, it's hard looking into her eyes everyday and knowing that I should say something. She wouldn't understand. And I don't think she could handle it."
"She's alot stronger than you give her credit for," Varia mumbled. "She's still here, isn't she? That proves more than any words could."
Both Alexandria and Varia watched as Gabrielle sat down in her chair, Eponin at her shoulder, and listened as the Queen started to speak.
"Elise, Alicia, can you tell us about the army?" Gabrielle asked the two scouts who were standing near the door.
Alicia, a fairly tall Amazon with long blonde hair and piercing blue eyes stepped forward, and looked around the room before her eyes fell upon the Queen.
"My Queen, King Delvin's army have regrouped, about a twelve day ride from here. There numbers are large, almost double the amount of warriors we have. There are at least one thousand men now," the blonde Amazon spoke nervously, taking a deep breath before continuing. "The only advantage we have is time, for it will take them a while to march so many men to our borders. But they are well armed, and seasoned soilders. I'm not sure how we will fare against an army of such size and strength."
Alexandria watched as Gabrielle frowned, lowering her eyes to the floor, her jaw clenched in anger. Many different thoughts ran through her head as she watched the Queen. She thought of the fear she felt in her chest, for the women in the Amazon village who had now become her family, especially the small blonde. She felt anger at this man who was so determined to destroy them, merely for his pleasure. And finally, she thought of many different battle stratagies from her years in an army.
"My Queen," she said softly, as Gabrielle looked up and caught her eyes. "If I may speak?"
Gabrielle nodded, but Queen Leandra from one of the Northern tribes yelled at her in outrage before she could voice her thoughts.
"No, you may not speak!" She screamed at her, the woman's hazel eyes blazing in fury. "You're not even an Amazon! The fact that you're in this village, let alone this room, and haven't been tied to the whipping post and lashed is beyond me!"
Alexandria opened her mouth to defend herself but was silenced once again by a menacing growl, coming from the woman next to her.
"How. Dare. You!" Varia hissed at the at the shocked Queen. "If not for Alexandria, we'd all have been slaughtered by now!"
"The only reason she has been of any help, is beause she is immortal and sadly cannot die!" the other woman replied fiercly.
"At least she is here! She fights besides us, asking nothing in return, and yet you stand here and tell her to leave!" Varia yelled, stepping towards the Queen angrily. "You hide behind your warriors and let them fight while Alexandria stands on the front line, taking the lives of men and offering herself up for Hades to send her to Tartarus!"
"Enough!" Gabrielle yelled, her green eyes narrowing in anger. "I will not have anyone speak badly of Alexandria, or they will be tied to the whipping post and lashed, Queen or not!"
The room fell deathly silent, as Varia stepped back towards Alexandria, a smug grin on her face. Alexandria smirked, keeping her eyes forward while gently nudging the dark haired woman next to her.
"Alexandria, you may speak now," Gabrielle said quietly, nodding towards her.
The red haired woman nodded back, clearing her throat and smiling sweetly at Queen Leandra before looking back to Gabrielle.
"My Queen, with such a large army, and so little forces of our own, we need to be a little less honourable this time around," Alexandria said, listening to the whispers from the other Amazons in the room. "I know how proud your people are, but if we are to survive this we need to set some traps for the unsuspecting army."
Gabrielle averted her eyes for a moment, glancing around the room before looking back to the red head, her face thoughtful before she nodded ever so slightly.
"What do you suggest?"
"Various different things," Alexandria shrugged. "We could poison their food and water to begin with, so that a considerable amount of the army is taken out before the battle ever begins."
She watched as Gabrielles eyes narrowed ever so slightly, tilting her head to the side as she regarded the woman in front of her.
"I have seen those methods used before," Gabrielle mumbled, more to herself than to anyone in the room. "They were quite effective."
Alexandria swallowed nervously, looking down at the floor before raising her eyes to the Queen once more.
"Was this stratagy something you picked up in the army you travelled with eariler in your life?" Gabrielle asked her voice vacant of emotion.
She could feel Varia's gaze burning into her back and she was sure at any moment she would burst into flames. She managed to hold the Queen's gaze, making sure her face was expressionless before she replied.
"Yes, My Queen," Alexandria said softly.
Gabrielle stared at her for a few moments more, before blinking after what felt like years to Alexandria.
"Very well," Gabrielle said, slumping in her chair slightly. "If it is what we must do to make sure the Nation survives, then it will be done. I wish to hear your others ideas a bit later, Alexandria, and we shall see what else we can do to ensure our victory."
"Of course, My Queen," Alexandria replied, nodding her head respectfully.
"Unless we have anymore matters to discuss, I wish to get some breakfast," Gabrielle said, her eyes scanning the room for any other requests of her before standing up gracefully. "Very well."
She looked one more time at Alexandria, a slight frown on her face before turning and walking out of the hut.
The room burst into conversation the moment the Queen exited and Alexandria let out the breath she hadn't realised she'd been holding.
"Shit," she mumbled to herself, running her fingers through her short hair before gently rubbing her temples.
"Shit is right," Varia said from next to her, recieving a glare in response. "Seriously, Alexandria, I think it's time."
"No," the red headed woman growled. "It's time when I say its time."
And without another word, she turned on her heel and marched out of the hut behind the Queen, Varia's sad eyes watching her as she left.
Gabrielle walked away from the Council hut, her head spinning as she tried to straighten out her thoughts. The plan that Alexandria had spoken of had thrown her. She remembered a time in the past when that very plan had played out right in front of her eyes, as a woman from Xena's warlord days attacked them. It had been the same plan Xena had used even more years before that.
"It's not possible," Gabrielle whispered to herself as she walked towards her hut. "It can't be. If Alexandria had been in Xena's army, she would have told me."
She froze mid step and stood in the middle of the Practise grounds where she had met up with Alexandria that very morning.
She's never really spoken about her past to me , she thought. Though, at the time of her death, Xena would have been in the middle of her warlord years...
"No," she muttered to herself, shaking her head as she started walking again. "She would tell me. I know she would."
As she continued her journey to the Queen's hut, deep in thought, she was unaware of the worried dark blue eyes that watched her from outside the Council hut.
To Be Continued
Return to the Academy