A bacchae tells his story of love. Falling in love with a certain blonde bard that is. And how he copes, knowing that he’ll never be able to have her in that way, and the lessons he learned while holding her captive…
Subtext: Subtext? Consider it MAINTEXT. Well not directly anyway. But these two wonderful characters are indeed “in love” with each other. Though none of it is explicit.
Violence: It’s Xena… of course there’s violence. If there wasn’t then they’d be starring in Martha Stewart’s show! But nothing major. A little blood, some bruises… the usual.
It is dark, like many of these scenes play out… and this was a scene indeed. This filth smells of death as crimson flows. The crimson that runs through the veins. The crimson that runs life.
Something so pure…so natural…and it goes to waste. To fill the throat of an immortal. These new ages, I can’t stand. A stake through the heart. What heart? What soul? The whole world knows of us. Instead of fear there’s joy.
Immortality is overrated. Mortals seek it, die or it… when death is the one thing that brings immortality. From my words to your eyes…growing old is a privilege.
I sit, alone in my tomb. Starving. Thinking of myself as a monster. Once, when I was…younger so to speak, immortality was a bliss. A…high that I never got rid of.
Until I came across another high. An up and down to mortality. Tartarus and Hell itself can’t bind it. Love. This love that I write about is a bliss…and yet…a curse.
To think that it took death for me to find life. Love. Two spirits. Mortals. Two different mortals. One a light fox. The other a dark panther.
Not even the fates themselves could separate the two. A warrior and her bard. One soul. Two hearts.
So now I finally share my story. To think that one as myself could share a story of something suck as love and companionship. To hear these words from a mortal. A human. A bard. I learned to love…from just one phrase, “ Blood runs thicker than water, but love diminishes all.”
My food-to-be, made my heart…my dead heart beat faster. Ahh that blonde…my capture…the life I loved after death…
I watched in the trees. The shadows. Listening. Watching in awe. In amazement. For these two mortals would invoke my betrayal. Invoke me to betray my kind…
And so it all started with a chuckle…
“Gabrielle…what now?” the warrior questioned irritably.
“I- I’m sorry, Xena,” the small blonde spoke, “but seeing the ‘warrior princess’ dancing…table dancing was priceless!”
The warrior glared at the small bard, “Gab-ri-elle…it was the only way to distract the slave traders.”
“Xena, they were drunk! You could flick them over the head and they would topple over!” the young blonde teased.
“As drunk as they were, my Bard, they were skilled. As I recall, their sword cost you two stitches,” the warrior replied.
The blonde chuckled, “Yeah, and you say I have hands like a sailor.”
From the treetops, I watched. A bard and a warrior. Even as a soulless monster I could see what they couldn’t. The connection they shared. To me, at that time, was sickening.
Yes, I was hungry, but something kept me entranced. These two mortals interested me. In my life as an immortal, I never made it an interest to get to know my dinner. But this “Xena” and “Gabrielle” had a force against me. So I listened.
“How long until we reach Thessaly?” Gabrielle asked.
“Well if we start early then we can be there in four candle marks,” Xena replied.
Gabrielle murmured, “Hmm… more time to write in my scrolls.”
Xena smirked, “You’ve been writing non-stop in those scrolls.”
“I have good inspiration,” the bard added with a smirk.
The warrior tensed slightly, “Inspiration?”
“Uhh yeah… beautiful…scenery. Uhh my muse must be on an overload,” the bard answered a little too quickly.
An overload indeed. I could smell the blood boiling through the warrior’s veins. This…bard affected her in wondrous ways. But as much as I wanted to stay, sunlight at dawn would be an issue. So I decided to take shelter in a nearby cave, burrowing myself in the rocks.
The next night I would continue my conquest…
But to think I was going to rest easily… for in my sanctuary, I was greeted by another soulless one.
“You are foolish. You would starve just to watch two women by a campfire?” my unwanted companion questioned sarcastically.
“It is not your business who I watch…besides, aren’t you the one who likes to toy with their food?” I asked.
“Evan, you are naïve…Bacchus always said that you were weak,” he added.
“And Bacchus is dead,” I replied.
“To think that we were the lucky ones… that tomb saved us,” he said.
“Herodimes, we were imprisoned by our ’leader’! My brother, it is you who is weak. Our abandonment may have saved us, but death would have been more welcoming than starvation and imprisonment!” I exclaimed.
“We will see who is the weak one…brother,” Herodimes replied.
And then he was gone.
We always had a challenging relationship…
I departed as soon as the moon rose, anxious to find the magnificent companions. It wasn’t difficult. I could smell their trail. And quickly I found them in Thessaly. An inn…
“I’m sorry, but we are full, Miss,” the innkeeper said.
“This is ridiculous! I don’t see anyone here!” Gabrielle exclaimed, becoming furious.
The impatient innkeeper replied, “That is because they are in their rooms. It is late. Don’t start any trouble.”
“C’mon, Gabrielle, we’ll make camp outside of town,” Xena said, gently pulling the angered bard out into the night.
“Gods, Xena that innkeeper is the most stubborn thing I’ve ever seen!” the bard exclaimed.
“Just relax. Sleeping out under the stars for another night won’t kill you,” the warrior added, gathering wood for a fire.
That is when things became interesting. And it made me more cautious toward my prey.
Four thugs searching in the night for extra loot wondered onto the campsite, approaching the two. They all reeked of port and at first I thought that I would lose my entertainment…but was I wrong.
I still couldn’t pry my eyes from the scene as a battle broke out…
They foolishly attacked the bard first, thinking they had easy pickings, but as a man’s hand reached out to capture her, his head met her staff.
The quiet campsite was filled with clashing of swords. The warrior’s war cry pierced the air as she majestically flipped over an oncoming attacker. He was greeted with a kick to his spine and he suddenly tasted dirt as he collided with the ground face first.
It was interesting to see how the warrior would constantly keep an eye on her little bard as the battle continued. It was also interesting to see the bloodlust of the warrior as she started to have some fun with the battle.
But no matter how much the dark warrior interested me, the little bard seemed to draw me to her. And that is when I made my decision. Swiftly and silently I leaped out of my shadow, creeping into the battle unnoticed.
The bard continued to protect herself against the one attacker as he swung his sword toward her abdomen. She blocked the oncoming attack with her staff, but I could smell the blood as the tip of his sword still grazed her bare stomach. I had to move quickly.
Finally the bard had an advantage when she gracefully knocked the sword out of the attacker’s hands. She lifted her staff to execute her last move, but it was halted by my hand as I easily snapped the thug’s neck. Ohh the look of fear in her eyes struck me like ecstasy. Those deep pools of green.
I wanted her as my own. The thought exhilarated me as I tightly gripped her around her waist and leaped into the air onto an overhanging branch.
“Xena!” She screamed. How I loved, craved the fear in her. Her blood ran cold.
“Gabrielle!” I could her the warrior shriek. I grinned. The stoic warrior was succumbed with fear…how I loved that as well.
I continued to hold the bard close to me as we made our way back silently to the cave I had taken shelter in the day before. Dawn would come in a few hours, and what a nice way to celebrate the joining of my own mistress than a day in a cave…alone.
“Who are you?” she questioned, backing away from me as I let her out of my arms. Quickly I blocked the small opening of the cave with a large boulder to block the sunlight, as well as safety from the warrior.
“You should be asking ‘what am I’ or ‘ what is going to happen to me’,” I said, pining her with a gaze. Yes she was the one. This…innocent little bard would be my own. I was ecstatic.
“You shouldn’t be afraid,” I said, “I’m going to give you a great gift.”
“A gift?” she questioned.
“Yes, immortality,” I answered.
“I- immortality,” she stuttered.
I chuckled, “Well I was just going to have u as dinner, but I became entranced by your beauty…innocence…love.”
“Love, how would you know love? Xena will find me and when she does you’re going to be kissing daylight,” Gabrielle retorted.
“How I longed to find a soul as fiery as yours, Gabrielle,” I added.
“Well I really don’t have a fiery soul,” she replied, “in fact, I don’t even like fire.”
I grinned, causing her to shudder at the sight of my gleaming fangs, “Oh but you do. It is your soul that attracts so many wonders,” I said.
“Wonders…more like a bacchae with nothing else on his hands,” she replied.
“Hmm…so you know of us…what do you think of us?” I questioned. She was brilliant indeed.
“Soulless, evil monsters who kill for pleasure,” she replied.
I chuckled, “And you will be one hell of a pleasure.”
I was foolish. Trying to seduce the one thing in my undead life that I actually grew to love in just one night. But little did I know then that she had caught me. She was my trap. Just one question brought my undoing.
“I have had pleasure watching you and your warrior,” I said.
She shivered. I guessed that it was from the cool, dry air of the cave, “Y- you were watching us?”
I nodded. Even in pitch black I could see her eyes, her beautiful green orbs, her long strawberry blonde hair. Her innocent soul. Why was someone like her traveling with such a warrior.
“You are in love,” I said, breaking the silence between us.
“What?” she questioned.
“The warrior…you’re in love with her,” I replied.
She didn’t reject, but yet she didn’t give an answer either. She was in thought, longing for her warrior. That is until she broke the silence.
“What do you know of love?” Gabrielle asked.
“Love,” I whispered, “power, control.”
“You’re wrong,” she interrupted.
I chuckled, “Then what do you think of love?”
It took her a moment, but when she answered… “Love is a mutual feeling between two people…power and control is equally shared.”
I Scoffed, “Power cannot be shared. Power rules all.”
“Love rules all,” she quietly answered.
“You are…quite the bard,” I replied, gently caressing her cheek with the cold palm of my hand. She flinched under my touch, but she continued to keep her composure.
“You truly believe that Xena will come for you,” I stated. I knew that she believed that she would be rescued. I could feel her confidence. Her heartbeat paced a beat faster when I spoke of her warrior, “you are in love…aren’t you?”
“Yes,” she quietly answered.
“Your heart beats faster at your thoughts of her…she does the same,” I whispered, “your blood boils at her touch, I can feel it.”
“Do you feel love?” she quietly questioned.
It was a hard question. One I’ve never been asked before, but indeed I could love and this bard I loved, “Yes, I can”
“Then who do you love?” she questioned, her voice only a small whisper.
“ A bard…someone I want to share eternity with,” I replied.
She must have known that I was speaking of her. But I had her under my spell as she did me. A spell that still holds me to this day.
“But….eternity is overrated…growing old is a privilege,” she answered.
“Growing old is a curse,” I said.
“No it’s not,” she replied.
No matter, I thought to myself. Even if she didn’t share my thoughts now, she will in a while. Immortality to me then was a grand thing…just another piece of your life. A life without death. I could now feel her warm blood flowing through her veins. How I wanted to taste it. To taste her… her essence. Her life. The one I love, and will love forever. So I tasted her. Gently grabbing her hand, I caressed her. Of course she fought to escape, but she couldn’t. She was trapped. She whimpered slightly as I sunk my teeth into the edge of her hand. Of course I wanted her life, but I wanted to know more. Know more of her young life.
Her blood tasted sweeter than ambrosia would…if I needed it. Warm blood trickled from the corner of my mouth. I could hear the almost silent echo as it dripped onto the cold ground of the cave. The first taste, I will always remember.
She pulled away, crying out as the pain struck her. I watched in the dark as she held her hand close to her, but now I could see her tears. Her tears of pain, of fear. Usually I would enjoy seeing this look on the face of a mortal when she sees death so close to her. But as this bard. As Gabrielle cried softly, I was pained.
If I had a heart…it would have broken. And so that is when I changed. Changed forever. I could only think of what her loved one was going through at this moment…
Xena was worried. Worried about Gabrielle…her life. She sprinted through the woods. Even though the bacchae had skillfully left no trail, her feelings led the way. ‘Please just let her be alright…’ she thought to herself as she leapt over fallen logs and small trenches in the ground of the forest.
She blamed it on herself. She knew that they were being watched. She could feel it. And now she cursed herself. If only she had been more careful. If only….
She had once told Gabrielle to live in the present. She told her that going to the ifs of a past situation you wished to change would kill you. Kill with grief. With pain.
She loved her. Body, heart, and soul. How she yearned just to hold her bard and tell her the truth. Still fear struck her at the thought of Gabrielle leaving her. She knew that Gabrielle didn’t share the same feelings….did she? Did Gabrielle love her the way that Xena did? Or would she run?
None of it mattered now. Xena would rather her run than die. She knew that if Gabrielle died, that her soul would die as well. She would have no reason to live…to go on. And so she continued to search. Search for her love…even if It was to be a secret for the rest of her life.
That night, Gabrielle slept uneasily, constantly worrying about her future...Xena's future. She knew that her captor wanted blood, but still he didn't take any...except from her hand which throbbed painfully.
Evan watched the bard in awe. He admired the way that she stood up to him. He licked his gleaming, white fangs in anticipation of tasting her, but for some reason he couldn’t. Some, unseen force was keeping him from his destination. The moonlight was full, and Evan knew that the warrior would soon find them… time was running out.
“Well… aren’t you the soft one,” Herodimes taunted.
Evan jumped, cursing himself for not hearing him appear, and also stared, wondering how Herodimes could’ve gotten in the cave without any of them knowing.
“Why are you here? The moon is full…why are you here patronizing me while you could be feeding off of a rat in an old alley?” Evan retorted in anger at his brother’s unwanted appearances.
Herodimes chuckled, “But it’s so much fun to watch how this little blonde has captured your heart… oh wait…you don’t have a heart….so what’s the problem? Performance anxiety?”
“Get the hell out of here, Herodimes!” Evan growled.
Herodimes chuckled once more, “I can’t wait to watch that bard’s warrior rip you limb from limb.”
Gabrielle listened to the argument between the two bacchae. At least she knew that Xena was searching for her, and that meant that there was still hope.
‘Please hurry, Xena’
‘Gabrielle… gods, you better be alright or I swear that I will kill every single bacchae that I come across…’ Xena pondered as she followed the trail left by Gabrielle’s kidnapper. It wasn’t like this was the first time Gabrielle had been kidnapped, and it was definitely not the first time that the duo had gone against bacchae, but Xena was worried. What would happen if Gabrielle was turned. Would Xena be able to kill the one she loved?
Now extremely anxious to find her bard, Xena continued her search…
“What’s your name?” Gabrielle asked.
“What?” Evan questioned, brought out of his silent reverie by the sound of the bard’s voice.
“Well…I would like to know the name of the bacchae who’s planning to kill me,” Gabrielle stated.
Evan chuckled, “You are so naïve, Gabrielle… My name’s Evan.”
“How…how long have you been like this?” Gabrielle questioned.
“For many years… I really don’t know how long,” Evan replied.
Gabrielle continued, “You’re not like the last bacchae that me and Xena met…you seem more compassionate.”
“Only to you, my bard,” Evan replied, smirking.
“Don’t call me that…I’m not your bard,” Gabrielle quietly retorted.
Evan chuckled, “For a girl who is about to be my bard, and is also famished from food and drink… you sure are feisty.”
“Just confident… you see,” Gabrielle said, “even immortality ends.”
I couldn’t believe my ears from that small phrase. Then, in my younger years in immortality, I didn’t know that someone so young could be so wise… so loving. Yes, compassionate I was, and it was true love that I had experienced. For even one that doesn’t have a heart can love. Love… it changes everything.
“You should feel honored,” Evan said.
“Honored about what?” Gabrielle asked, “Being trapped in a cave with a stinky bacchae?”
Evan growled, “For knowing that you’re loved.”
“Well…from what you say about Xena… I am loved,” Gabrielle retorted.
“Maybe I should just kill you!” Evan exclaimed.
Gabrielle remained calm, even though she was inwardly shivering in fear, “If you were really going to kill me…you already would’ve.”
Evan smiled, "You are... truly one of a kind, Gabrielle."
Night finally fell, bringing the second night of Gabrielle’s capture. Xena rushed through the dark forest, refusing to stop for Gabrielle’s sake. After a candle mark of guessing where the bacchae’s trail was, Xena finally found a clear indication of where Gabrielle was taken. She eyed the small mountain.
Evan paced around the cave, admiring the sight of the bard huddled in the corner. She shivered from the cold environment in the enclosed tomb.
“Beauty becomes you, Gabrielle,” Evan softly said, breaking the cold silence.
“Evan,” Gabrielle started, “if you love me like you say you do… then you’ll let me go.”
I could tell by the sound of her voice that she was highly famished. Thirst made her voice raspy, and fear succumbed her heart. But even in her weakened state she wouldn’t allow me to see the fear I brought to her.
But I didn’t want her to fear me. I wanted her to love me.
The bard laid uncomfortably on the cold rock of the cave. Dehydration and weight loss from lack of food and drink weakened her to a state of unconsciousness.
“Gabrielle,” Evan started, “I hate to see you suffer like this… it is time for you to join me in love… and immortality.”
Gabrielle shivered, fearing what was to come,‘Xena… I am so sorry… I love you’
"Xena," a dark figure called, startling the warrior. Xena gazed at the creature in shock, cursing herself for allowing the intruder to pass her defenses.
“Who are you?” she asked cautiously, unsheathing her sword.
The figure chuckled, “Herodimes… if you’ll follow me, I’ll take you to your precious Gabrielle.”
“I don’t trust you… you’re a bacchae,” Xena snarled.
“My brother, Evan has your bard in his custody in that sealed cave ahead of us… it seems he has developed a… crush on the little blonde,” Herodimes taunted, “he’s planning on turning her…”
“Alright… I’ll bite… let’s go,” Xena stated.
Herodimes chuckled, “Biting… my style…”
Hearing a slight commotion outside the cave, Evan froze knowing time was quickly running out. The warrior had arrived.
“Evan,” Gabrielle stated weakly whispered, “if you let me go then I promise that you won’t be harmed.”
Evan snarled, “No! Nothing will separate us!”
Suddenly, moonlight shone in the cave, causing Gabrielle to squint her eyes.
“Herodimes…my brother… my betrayer,” Evan growled. Unable to wait any longer, he grabbed Gabrielle, supporting her weakened state as he prepared to drink. To taste her essence.
Herodimes chuckled, “Not betrayal, Brother… just competition.”
Xena charged in the cave behind Herodimes, spotting Gabrielle as she was limply held by Evan. She turned to Herodimes to find him gone.
Evan chuckled, “ I guess this means that he betrayed us both… so this is your precious bard… my mistress.”
“Xena…” Gabrielle weakly whispered upon hearing the warrior’s voice.
That is when all hell broke loose.
I was so naïve. So… deeply filled with compassion for the bard that it enraged me. I could hear the warrior’s rapidly beating heart. Blood boiling. She was afraid.
Suddenly, Gabrielle was ripped from Evan’s grip by a snarling Herodimes.
“No! Gabrielle!” both Xena and Evan screamed in unison.
Herodimes’ evil laugh echoed through the cave as he gripped Gabrielle tightly around the neck. He smiled as he sensually sniffed the welcoming scent of the frightened bard.
“From your mistake, Brother, comes my success,” Herodimes growled sinking his fangs into the blonde’s neck.
Gabrielle screamed in pain as the teeth punctured her skin. She could feel the blood stream down her exposed neck as she felt her oncoming death.
Xena watched in fear at the sight of Gabrielle’s blood trickling down her neck. Her fear was interrupted by Evan’s furious snarl as he tackled his brother, leaving Gabrielle to sink to the ground.
“Gabrielle!” Xena screamed, rushing to the bard’s side as the two bacchae attacked each other. Evan smiled, tightly gripping Herodimes around the throat.
“You forget… I don’t breathe,” Herodimes said.
“I don’t forget,” Evan snarled, “suffocation won’t work… but sunlight will!”
Herodimes’ eyes widened at the sight of the rising sun outside of the cave, and struggled against Evan’s grip with no luck.
He screamed at the first hint of sunlight against his skin.
Aware that he, too, was endangered by the sunlight, Evan slung the other bacchae through the cave opening. Jumping away from the sun’s rays, Evan watched in satisfaction at the sight of Herodimes erupting in flames, leaving a pile of ashes in only a few moments.
“Gabrielle, can you hear me?” Xena questioned, gently kissing the bard’s forehead, “c’mon… wake up.”
“She will be fine… she was not drained completely,” Evan interrupted.
“Why do you care? This is your fault!” Xena exclaimed angrily.
“I love her… just as you do, Warrior. I’d rather watch her as a mortal than lose her altogether,” Evan answered, “you don’t deserve her, but it is you she belongs with.”
Xena nodded, cautiously accepting the bacchae’s strange gratitude. She smiled when Gabrielle stirred, beautiful green emeralds appearing from behind the closed lids.
“Xena… this bites… no pun intended,” Gabrielle said, in pain but grateful that she was alive and with Xena.
Xena chuckled, “I love you.”
Gabrielle smiled, “I love you too, and we need to talk… but now let’s just sleep.”
And so I disappeared, promising myself that I would never taste the blood of another human mortal. Her blood is the only taste I know of. And now, decades from our meeting, her smile and voice only occupies my mind.
Love is both a blessing and curse. And now dust and ashes seal the memory of the bard… as immortality ends… welcoming.
Buffus the Bacchae Slayer became highly jealous of the story, but did not harm anyone… cause now she spends her time searching for the author that snatched her spotlight.
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