My Heart Will Go On
A Post-FN tale
by Paully Adams
and any other characters featured in the actual TV series are copyrighted to
MCA/Universal and Renaissance Pictures; just borrowing for this story. Thanks
writing/creating two of the best characters I've ever had the honor to see. The rest of the story is mine.
Spoiler/Timeline Disclaimers: Story is set after FIN 1 and 2.
SUBTEXT: Yes, it's here, and yes it's truly subtext. I know what I believe (they’re married; man!)...but no matter what you believe, I think you will enjoy the story.
MAJOR ANGST WARNING
Wherever you go, I’ll be at your side.
I knew you’d say that.
I said those words with a smile on my face and an ache in my heart. I’m not even sure anymore if you actually promised to be by my side or if my mind had played a cruel trick on me.
I thought I could do it. I thought I could live with just the specter of you. I tried to be so strong, tried to be what you wanted. But being stoic was never my skill. Soon all the anger, all the pain, all the sadness made it’s way to the surface. But as the days and battles wore on, I lost those emotions as well.
I went to the land of the Pharaohs, just as we had talked about. Soon peace occupied the lands I traveled. How ironic. I could bring peace to the lands and yet I couldn’t find it in my soul. Not without you.
But you were still there, at least that’s what my heart and dreams told me. In the night I saw you: The Warrior Princess strong and mighty; riding into battle. And then at times you would come to me as just Xena: the woman that I loved and adored, the woman with whom I made plans for our future. A future that never id come to pass.
In the daylight, I thought I felt you by my side. Even though my head and my eyes told me you died in that far away land called Japa. And yet those very same eyes and my heart tell me you were right by my side. Maybe it was the desert sun.
The emotions I hid from the world found release on the battlefield. Soon, I didn’t even have them anymore—just emptiness and loneliness. And I tried to drown those out as best as I could. Who would have ever believed I could learn to like port?
And then it happened. On the anniversary of your—of our separation. He was all too willing and I was all too drunk to care. But for some reason he was tall, olive skin, hair as dark as midnight and eyes as light as the sky. I don’t remember much about that night, except for screaming out your name and then crying.
I left him there; asleep in his booze-aided slumber. I was all too sober at that point. I don’t know why, but I felt like I betrayed you. And then the anger came, an anger I haven’t felt in ages. I was angry at me, at you; at everyone.
And I hated. I hated you for coming into my life, for turning it upside down, for loving me, for choosing the Greater Good over me. I hated myself for following you, for loving you, for being the one to survive.
I rode for what seems like days. I rode until I became sick—and I rode some more. Rode until pain shot down my legs—and then I rode some more. Rode until my legs became numb. And then I prayed for the numbness to overtake all of me. But no one was listening.
After one moon, I finally came to my destination. I didn’t let anyone know I was in town. I just wanted to get it over with—keep my final promise I had yet to keep, one that I made to you so many years ago.
I carefully pulled the urn from the saddlebag and walked into the family vault. I paid my respects to Lyceus and Cyrene once again before taking you to your place. Seeing the fresh flowers at their sarcophaguses, I knew Eve must be in town.
I placed your urn down and then pulled off my leathers, sais and bracers. I placed all my things into a corner. A strange calmness invaded me. I wondered how you felt on that day—the day you given up hope and buried your things before you saved the girls from my village. I wondered if you felt the nothingness that I did.
Everything was in place. I looked down at the chakram and then around the vault. There was no use throwing it, it would instinctively come back to my hand. I stretched out my left arm and held the chakram in my right hand. The sharp edge felt cool on my wrist.
And then she came. I never saw such rage in her eyes. She knocked the chakram out of my hand, and began to shake me. Then she gathered me in her arms. Before I knew it, we were no longer in the vault.
She tried talking to me, yelling at me. And then she cried. I reached out and caught a tear. It’s been so long since I did something like that.
She grabbed my hands, telling me I can’t end it all.
Why not? For over a year, I’ve simply gone through the motions of living, without being alive. I son’t want to do that anymore. There was no reason to go on.
She said there was still so much loving and living yet to be done. But she doesn’t know—I’m cursed. Everyone I’ve ever loved has been taken away from me. The Fates waited until I had given my heart fully, waited until I dared to dream about a future full of hope and promise instead of one filled with an early death and despair—and then they delivered the biggest blow. No, there’s nothing she can say tht will make me change my mind or my course.
“You have to live for your baby.”
Did she say ‘baby’? I recoil. I don’t want it. I don’t care about it. Why me? Why now? No damn it! I can’t. I have nothing left to give.
Except anger and fear. My hands trembled; from anger, from fear, from both.
She wrapped her arms around me hard; telling me to let it out. I don’t know if I have anything to let out.
It started slowly. First the silent tear which gave way to violent sobs and then all out wailing. I don’t know how long it lasted, but she held me the whole time. I fell asleep whispering your name.
I had the strangest dream that night. I saw you flying on a dragon, circling all around me as I stood on the ground. We were close enough to see each other, to know what the other was feeling. And for the first time I noticed an expression on our face that I never sensed before: release; freedom from guilt. Then a winged horse landed beside me. You nodded and I climbed upon it.
Our creatures took us on a dance through the clouds. We darted in and out, causing the clouds to streak, to bend to break apart and form new bonds. You soared high above, while I dived below. We looked at our handiwork, you on one side, and me on the other. Each cloud had joined with another, until they were joined together—not as one big pillow, but a series of separate but joined clouds. Then you smiled at me and flew higher than I ever seen.
I awoke to find tears falling from my eyes. And once again, she was there to hold me and encourage me to feel.
I needed to know why. Why did she care? She looked at me and smiled. “Because when I needed help the most, you were there. You’re my friend. And the world needs someone who knows what real love means.”
Little by little, I started to live again. Part of me fought against it. Part of me still does. But each time the baby kicks or moves; it gets a little easier to go on.
I know that you can see little Cyrena. Her hair is just a shade lighter than yours, her eyes are blue with flecks of green. And her cry can rival yours. By the time she is ten winters old, she is going to be sick hearing about our adventures, the gods we sometimes worked with, sometimes worked against, sometimes loved.
I smile as I watch her trying to feed Cyrena. I never did see her as a mother hen, but she is growing into that role. I’m glad she found me that day. Except for you, I don’t think anyone understands me more. After all, she too lost her greatest love.
It is that link that drew us closer together. She taught me it was okay to live and love again.
So now, Aphrodite and I are raising Cyrena together, taking life one day at a time; learning to let our hearts go on.
Bard of Poteidaea
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