By: Patty S
Disclaimers: Xena: Warrior Princess and all the associated characters do not belong to me and I don't make any money writing about them. I just take them out and play with them and thank RJ Stewart and Rob Tapert for creating them. Thanks guys! X:WP belongs to whomever owns the rights. Hey, this is fan fiction...nothing more, nothing less.
Violence: Well, Xena's been dead a while. Odds are good that she will not come back in a good mood! Also, there are graphic depictions of blood, gore, a headless body, so be warned!!
Spoilers: This is Post FIN, though I think most readers already know what happens. But, there are spoilers very specific to the ep, so if you haven't seen it, you might not want to read this. And if you havent seen it, where have you been?
Subtext: You bet! Nothing very graphic, no gratuitous sex scenes (sorry). But most definitely maintext Alt.
Acknowledgements: Thanks to the best writer's group on the net...Dragons Quill And Ink. A better support group can't be found. Tale, Betty, Zuke, XC, Pam, Jeanie, Jane, Gem, Tig and Heathen, your FB gave me the encouragement I needed to get this done!
Feedback: Of course! Bards only get better with feedback. So E-Mail Me if you're so inclined.
Rebirth -- Prologue
Gabrielle ran her fingers along the smooth curves of the small black urn, memorizing every scratch, every mark. It had been in her possession since Japa, the finish on it shiny from her constant handling of it. She was hesitant to pull away, not wanting to be parted from what remained of her soulmate. Seated on a mantle in the center of the family crypt, the urn looked upon the sarcophagi of Cyrene and Lyceus--Xenas mother and brother.
"Thank you for bringing her home." Eves soft voice startled her.
"I promised her I would." Gabrielle stepped away from the mantle, her expression carefully guarded, despite the tremble in her voice. "Its what she wanted."
Eve gently rested her hand upon the bards shoulder. "You brought my mother such love."
The two embraced before Eve could complete her sentence. "It was mutual." Gabrielle replied. She stepped back and allowed her gaze to fall upon the urn one last time.
"Can you stay for a while? Im expecting Virgil in a few days."
"I dont think so." Gabrielle shook her head as they walked out of the crypt. "Besides, arent you heading back to Indus soon?"
Eve shrugged; her gaze fixed on the inn that had belonged to her grandmother. It still looked run-down on the outside, but inside her uncle Toris had managed to make it thrive again, just as the rest of the village was beginning to do. "I dont know," she answered honestly, feeling a strange need to stay in Amphipolis a while longer.
"It feels like home, doesnt it?" Gabrielle asked, sensing the other womans thoughts. "Toris has certainly brought the place back to life."
"But not without the help of his wife and son." Eve raised her hand to wave when Toris spotted them. Behind him, a tall, dark haired man stared back, his hand raised in a brief return wave. His eyes never left Gabrielle. "You know, I think my cousin, Lyceus II likes you."
"It happens." Gabrielle chuckled, then turned her attention to Argo, making adjustments to the cinch. Some things never change.
"Where will you go from here?" Eve asked, her hand lightly stroking Argos neck.
"South. I want to see my sister before I leave Greece." With her gaze drifting toward the setting sun, Gabrielle let her fingers touch the edge of the chakram, which hung at her side.
"Gabrielle," Eve waited until soft green eyes met her gaze. "You need time to grieve."
"I did that on the trip home. Im okay, really." She embraced the woman who had been like a daughter to her.
"May the god of Eli protect you and return you safely to us one day," Eve whispered.
"Id like that." She kissed Eve on the forehead and looked into blue eyes, so much like Xenas. "She was so proud of you."
"I know." Eve stepped back so Gabrielle could mount her horse. "Be strong, Gabrielle."
"You too, Eve." She reined Argo around and slowly headed south.
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