The Deal Part V
by Paully Adams
Gabrielle, Xena and any other characters featured in the actual TV series are copyrighted to MCA/Universal and Renaissance Pictures; just borrowing for this story. The rest of the story and other characters are mine. Please contact me before using any of my stuff. Thanks.
SPOILERS: This is my version of the "Twilight," so everything from seasons 1-5 is up for grabs.
SERIES DISCLAIMER: This is part 5 of a series that focuses on my favorite character: Gabrielle (whimper, drool, thud). You must read the previous parts if you want to understand what is going on.
This story depicts scenes of violence and/or their aftermath. Readers who are disturbed by or sensitive to this type of depiction may wish to read something other than this story.
I want to thank all of you who have responded to this series. Thanks for your encouraging words and thoughts. Now on with the show!
Apollo looked at his daughter. "I didn't want the fact that I was your father to influence your decision." He walked closer to her. "I would never ask you to chose between your child and me."
Gabrielle gazed at Apollo. Without a moment's hesitation, she pulled him into her arms.
Athena looked on at the scene. *It looks like she has made her choice.*
Gabrielle whispered, "So father, what do we do now?"
Apollo kept his arms wrapped around his daughter. "Fight of course." He leaned back and looked into green eyes that matched his own. "Ready?"
Gabrielle nodded. "Well, I guess we should let the others off the hook. I know Xena is having a fit over there."
"You be careful, young lady. Remember your dagger."
Gabrielle glanced at the gold dagger her father had given her that morning. "I will."
They separated from their embrace. She then turned back to Athena, who looked like a cat that just swallowed a canary.
"So Gabrielle, daughter of Apollo, have you decided?"
"Athena, there was no choice. My father is back in my life, and I will never do anything to harm him."
"Good. I'm glad to hear that."
Artemis ripped the mask off her face and looked at Xena. Worry etched both of their faces. "This doesn't look good Xena."
It was at this point Gabrielle looked back at them and winked. Xena couldn't stop the grin from appearing on her face. "Don't worry Artemis. Your niece has it all under control."
Gabrielle sneered at the Goddess of Wisdom and War. "I hate to disappoint you Athena, but I'm not about to harm my daughter either."
Apollo smiled as shock flushed the goddess's features. "In other words, my dear sister, you can take your offer and stick it where my rays have never reached!"
Athena's steel gray eyes flashed with anger. "So you want it that way, fine. I'm sorry, it had to be this way, I was hoping we could be a happy family."
Apollo looked at his daughter. "We already are."
Athena and Hades charged the pair, as Xena and Artemis fought Poseidon. Poseidon formed his body into a tidal wave and pushed Xena and Artemis down the hill. As he pulled back into a humanoid shape, Artemis formed an energy ball and hit him squarely in his chest. Steam rose from the area of impact. "Give it up Poseidon, you can't keep this up."
"I don't have to, just long enough to destroy the both of you." He aimed his trident at the goddess of the hunt and a surge of energy knocked her down. She got back up and threw another energy bolt. As the God of the Seas stood up, she prepared her bow and arrows.
Hades looked at the young bard and Amazon queen. "Did I tell you that you family is doing well in the Elysian Fields? Too bad you won't be going there when I finally kill you."
"I kicked your butt once. I'm looking forward to doing it again, but this time, you will be able to see the expression on my face."
"You could have had your family back. But instead, you will have nothing!" Hades lunged with his sword. Gabrielle blocked it with her sais. The two traded swings and blows, neither one gaining the advantage as metal clashed against metal.
Gabrielle could feel the sweat running down her body and the energy racing through her veins. Not only had she inherited Apollo's powers, but she also had his temperament: both the gentle spirit and the slow to lit but very destructive temper. And right now, her temper was beginning to burn. Hades lunged forward with his sword and Gabrielle easily sidestepped it. "Come Hades, is that all you got? And you call yourself a god?"
Hades groaned in frustration as he attacked her again. The sword attacks were accomplishing nothing, so he came up with an idea. He allowed the young bard to catch his blade between her sais, knowing that if she tried to break the blade the blades of the sais would break instead.
Unfortunately for Hades, Gabrielle did not try to break the blade. Instead, she pivoted, delivering a side kick directly into his chest, knocking the God of the Underworld back. Gabrielle threw down her sais and the sword and grabbed her dagger.
Hades stood back up and formed an energy ball in his hand. "Good-bye bard of Poteidaea." He threw the glowing orb at her and watched as the dagger absorbed its energy. A sadistic grin appeared on Gabrielle's face as Hades eyes opened wide in astonishment. "Oh Tartarus" he barely uttered.
"Tartarus is right." The Amazonian Queen threw a fireball at Hades, knocking him into a tree. He screamed as he hit the tree. Unconscious, he slid down to the ground. She walked up to the prone form. "Looks like I won't need this," she stated as she returned the dagger to its sheath by her side.
Meanwhile, Athena and Apollo battled each other. With each blow, Athena backed up, leading Apollo away from his daughter so that he couldn't come to her aid. She was about to signal to Hades to slay the young woman when she heard his scream. She grimaced knowing that Hades had failed his part of the plan. *If you want things done right...* Athena thought as she decided to take matters into her own hands. She sent a stream of energy towards Apollo and hit him square in the chest, knocking the wind out of him. "You know Apollo, if Gabrielle dies, Ares will stop protecting that child and Xena." Athena pulled out the Kronos' rib that was hidden in her armor. She threw it full force at the unsuspecting bard.
Apollo knew Gabrielle wouldn't be able to get out of the way in time even if he could warn her. So he did the only thing a father could do.
At the sound of the sickening piercing, Gabrielle turned around in time to catch her falling father. In that instant, seeing the bone sticking out from his chest, her mind flashed back to the deaths of Perdicus, Eli and Herodotus. Now, Apollo, the father she just rediscovered, was dying in her arms.
Apollo gazed at his daughter. "Give my grandchild a hug for me, okay? Love you." He closed his eyes, and millions of sparks flew into the sky as his body slowly disappeared. The sky darkened as clouds hid the sun from view. Lightening crashed and Thunder pounded into the earth. All that was left in Gabrielle's arms were Apollo's bow and quiver. A blood-curling scream forced its way from the bard's throat.
As Artemis and Poseidon attacked each other, Xena sneaked around Poseidon's blind side. From her sheath, she pulled out a pouch. When Xena opened the pouch and threw its liquid contents onto Poseidon, the god turned around. "What do you think you're doing?" He aimed his trident at her, and the warrior barely had enough time to dive away from the bolt of energy.
Artemis smiled as she lit one of her arrows and drew back her bow. The flaming arrow hit its target and the flames rushed over Poseidons watery humanoid form. Poseidon, screaming in pain, decided to fight another day and vanished. Artemis and Xena smiled as they realized they had won.
"Hope the others have had as much luck!" Artemis exclaimed. It was then that Artemis felt a sharp stab in her chest, the pain sending her to her knees.
Xena ran to her side. "What is it?" The next two things they experienced were the unnatural phenomenon taking place in the sky and the scream of sheer torment coming from the bard.
Gabrielle picked up her father's possessions and headed toward Athena. Athena watched as the bard tried to ready an arrow. "Put the bow and arrow down Gabrielle. You are fast, but not that fast." She watched as Gabrielle dropped the items to the ground. "I told you that if you chose to protect that child, your father would die. You have no one to blame but yourself Gabrielle. And since we, as your family, your flesh and blood, don't mean anything to you, maybe your own life does. If I kill you, Ares will stop protecting Eve and Xena. And your Aunt Artemis will be too busy grieving over you and her brother to care. So, it is up to you Gabrielle; your life or Eve's."
Gabrielle lowered her head in defeat. "Get it over with Athena. Kill me."
Athena shook her head. "As you wish, my niece. You fought a great fight. Now you will die as a warrior." Athena stepped up to the bard, raising her spear to drive it into Gabrielle's chest.
Gabrielle raised her hands in front of her face and sent a light beam directly into Athena's eyes; blinding her. Her mind pounded as anger fired up her blood. She hit Athena with a fireball, "This is for Lila." Then another, "This is for Hecuba." A third one found its mark, "This is for Herodotus." As well as a fourth, "This is for Apollo." As the fireballs slammed into Athena, Gabrielle made sure she stayed within arms reach. After the fourth flaming orb, Gabrielle pulled out her dagger. "And this is for me." She drove the dagger into Athena's stomach and yanked it up until it wouldn't go any further.
Green and gray orbs focused on each other as Athena slow slid off the dagger and down Gabrielle's body. The lightening and thunder began again, reflecting the bitter anger in Gabrielle's soul.
Back at the village, Ares smiled as the skies showed signs of the death of two gods. The God of War dropped the scroll he had been reading, *She is a good bard, but she makes a better weapon.* He looked at Aphrodite and Hept as they played with the child of his former chosen one. *Four down, six more to go.* A smug smile appeared on his face as he thought about the bones he stole from Kronos' grave. *Eli may have been the hammer, but she is the sword...my sword. *
It wasn't enough. Killing Athena wasn't enough. The need for revenge and blood coursed through Gabrielles body and soul. She heard the moan coming from behind her. She turned and saw Hades as he began to stir. Her steps were slow at first, but quickly gained speed as she began to sprint towards the semi-conscious god. She raised the dagger above her head.
Artemis appeared in front of the raging half-mortal. "No Gabrielle, not like this."
Artemis shook her head.
Gabrielle tried to get around her, but a pair of strong arms grabbed her wrists and held her in place. "Let me go Xena! Let me go!" Xena pulled Gabrielle back into an embrace. Needing to find release, but physically unable to get to her target, Gabrielle violently cried.
Artemis did not look at her uncle. When she finally spoke, her voice had a chilling calmness to it. "Hades, if you want to live, leave now."
Hades stood up. "You know this isn't the end of this!"
Artemis turned to the god, fire raging in her eyes. "You can count on it!"
Xena followed Storm's tracks. Gabrielle left Amazonia, stating that she needed time to be alone. That was over four candlemarks ago and Xena began to worry. The tracks lead to a cave. Xena entered the dark cave, noticing the lack of a fire. "Gabrielle?" There was no answer. Xena walked further into the cave, and barely saw the outline of her friend. Gabrielle had her back to the entrance of the cave, staring at the back wall. Xena called out once more. "Gabrielle."
"Go away Xena."
"I know you wanted time alone. But four candlemarks is long enough. Come back to the village."
"Xena, in little more than two months time, I've become Ares' chosen one, watched as Athena almost killed you and Eve, buried my family, found out who my real father was, only to see him die this afternoon, and I killed a god. So pardon me if I don't feel sociable! Just leave me the hell alone!"
Xena watched for a few moments. Part of her wanted to stay, to be by her friend's side. But knowing she couldn't help her until Gabrielle wanted it, she turned to go. "I've left some blankets with Storm. Gabrielle, please know that I'm here for you, okay?" Gabrielle gave no response. Xena left the cave and headed back to Amazonia.
Late in the night, Ares appeared in the cave, holding a bottle and a gold goblet. Gabrielle eyed the god and screamed, "Go away! Doesn't anyone know the meaning of I want to be left alone?"
Ares ignored her and pushed the bottle in her face. "Drink this."
Gabrielle took a whiff. It smelled very sweet. "What is it?"
"A bottle of wine from Dionysus special batch. Go ahead and drink. It might help cool down that fire inside of you."
Gabrielle took a swig of the dark liquid and felt it burn as it slowly went down her throat. "So you want to help me?"
Ares winced at the sound of distrust that permeated her statement. "After all I've done for you, and you still don't trust me? That hurts, Gabrielle." He took the bottle from her hands, filled his goblet and returned the bottle. "Need I remind you who you are? I don't like seeing you in pain. I understand the fire flowing in your veins, I understand the passion, the need of revenge that is sticking and twisting in you brain like a sharp needle. You need to release your frustrations Gabrielle. Not to speak ill of your father, but he overestimated the capacity of your mortal body. We gods can barely control our desires and passions, how can we expect you to do it? You inherited your father's disposition. You father could be the kindest god one could ever know. But he had a dark streak that ran through him. He could be very vengeful, especially if someone hurt a person he loved. And unfortunately for you, you have immortal passions and energies trapped in a mortal body. You need to fulfill your desires."
As he kept talking, Gabrielle kept drinking. The liquid helped take the edge off, but it did nothing to curb her disposition, if anything it made it worst. "You don't know what I want, so don't pretend that you do."
"Yes, I do." He reached out and caressed her face. "You want revenge, plain and simple. There were three gods responsible for the pain you are suffering. Only one is dead. Your need will not be satisfied until the other two die by your own hand." He grabbed her by the shoulders. "Isn't that what you want? Isn't it? ISN'T IT!?"
"YES! DAMN IT!" She lowered her head. "Yes."
Ares grinned and nodded as his claws dug deeper into her. "You can do it on your own. You know the way into Tartarus. All you have to do is swim there, and then..." he pulled the dagger from her side, "do what is necessary. Or better yet, I can take you there, right before him, and you can make it short and sweet. It is up to you."
In her mind's eye, she saw Apollo falling into her arms, the rib of Kronos sticking out of him. She saw Herodotus & Hecuba lying on the floor and her only sister lying on the bed, all dead by the will of gods. The rage built up again, consuming her with thoughts of repaying Hades and Poseidon for their part in the tragedy of her life. She looked at Ares and nodded. In a series of flashing light and smoke, they vanished.
Okay, so this is NOT the end of the series. But two of the gods have met their end. Stay tune for part VI. Feed the bard please with comments and constructive criticisms. Thank you!
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