The Warrior, The Bard, and The Bumbler


Author: RGK

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I do not own any of the main characters; Xena, Gabrielle, Joxer, Ephiny, Eponin, Solari, the Gods, etc., or anyone under a contract of Xena the Warrior Princess, and/or Hercules (yeah, Herc will probably make a guest appearance). I wish I did own them because I'd be one happy, rich woman. Anyway, the other characters in here are mine.

This is my story that I concocted in my brain; however, I did borrow the intro from the episode “If the Shoe Fits…” (I'll be using reference to other episodes too). No copyright infringement intended fellas! No need to get your lawyers involved!!!

Synapse: Xena and Joxer search relentlessly for Gabrielle. After an injury suffered in battle, Xena is brought to the Amazon Nation that is ruled by one blonde queen, who has had many experiences through a course of a year. Will they be able to rekindle their relationship? Will they form a new stronger bond? Read and find out my version of what happened!

Rated PG-R: Spicy, but not going into the down (no pun intended) and dirty details. I do like to let the ol' imagination work, but that doesn't mean I can't have a little fun.

As far as the violence bit; get real! This is Xena we are talking about! Of course there's going to be some kick-butt action! A little warning though, some of our favorite people are gonna die. Our favorite couple is safe this time around.

Language will be little to none. A few choice words here and there, but nothing that will be overbearing.

** If the idea of same sex couples offends you, then move on to a fluffier version of Xena and Gabrielle. If you aren't allowed to read this stuff, then why are you even here? Go away and find something else to do. **


Chapter 1

“That's it! I need space!” Gabrielle threw her bag at Xena, and walked away. ‘I'm the step-sister of dishes?! Who in Tartarus does she think she is? I've been there for her on more than ONE occasion. Why does she do that?!' Gabrielle thought loudly in her head as she stomped down the road leaving Joxer, Xena, and Alicia watching her back.

Xena watched in shock as her best friend stormed away. “She does this all the time, right Joxer.” Joxer looked around, not saying one word. Xena looked down the road again to see the figure of the woman she cared so much about get further and further away. The warrior felt a tiny tug on her leather skirt. She looked down at Princess Alicia. “This isn't going to have a happy ending is it?” The small voice was troubled, but Xena tried to keep her emotions in check, smiled, and laughed a little. She stroked the blonde hair of the child, and urged her along the initial route. ‘She'll be back. Gabrielle always comes back.' Xena thought as she walked the silent path to the castle.

The day had been an eventful one, even for Xena. She wasn't used to climbing down a cliff to save a child from falling. The skin on her knees was rubbed raw, and her hands had new blisters. All in all, everything had turned out alright for the king and his family. The jewels were returned, Zantar and his men had been escorted to prison (sporting a few bruises, compliments of the Warrior Princess), and most importantly Alicia was safe and sound in her home. The family needed to have time to work out their problems, but with effort, and love, they would conquer any obstacle and become much stronger for it.

Xena was happy that the royal family was on the right path, but the raven haired warrior's heart was breaking for the loss of Gabrielle. She thought surely the bard would meet up with them at the castle, say something inspiring letting Xena off the hook, and everything would go back to its normal routine, but there was no sign of the blonde bard anywhere. ‘Maybe we need a night apart. It might do us both a world of good'. Xena surmised. “Absence makes the heart grow fonder.” Xena said to herself, remembering the phrase Gabrielle used in one of her fantastic tales. Xena pushed forward down the road, walking beside Argo. She didn't want to ride thinking that she might miss spotting Gabrielle sitting in a field somewhere.

After several hours passed, and the sun was barely visible over the horizon, Xena decided to make camp. She stoked the fire into a medium blaze to ward off any creatures looking for a snack, but also to warm Xena's chilling bones. The warrior shed her armor and rubbed her aching neck. ‘The one time when I need one of Gabrielle's intense backrubs and she's not even here.' With a sigh, Xena unpacked her bedroll and saddle bags from her beastly friend. Xena patted Argo along her mane, urging the mare to take in the fresh grass that littered the ground. Argo didn't hesitate in enjoying her meal for the evening.

Xena reached into the saddle bag and pulled out some bread that was carefully wrapped in parchment in order to retain its freshness. Gabrielle had clearly pointed out that wrapping food in a leather cloth made it smell because of the moisture the leather held. The blonde would buy cheaper parchment, than she used to write upon, at the markets and made sure to wrap their left over bread, cheese, and dried meat. Xena had to admit it was genius, but she neglected to tell the bard how impressed she was. ‘That's my problem. I never let her know that the little things she did impressed me, and taught me so much throughout the years. What an idiot I am.' Xena sighed and chewed her bread.

The warrior rummaged through Gabrielle's bag, knowing there were some dried beef sticks in there. Xena found the beef, but wasn't able to get a good grip due to the mound of scrolls placed in the bag. Xena carefully pulled them out, making sure that each one was stacked on the flat bed roll. “Ah ha!” Xena cheered in a whisper as she was rewarded with a handful of the desired treat.

As the warrior chewed on the sticks, she carefully placed each scroll back into the bag. Her eye caught one scroll in particular. It had a red ribbon tied around it, sealed with red wax, and an ‘X' mark embossed in the middle. Xena read the small but unmistakable writing on the edge of the rolled parchment. ‘Xena, this is for you in case the worst has happened to me. ~G.' Xena threw the scroll into the bag with force. ‘No way am I reading that!'

As the night drew on, Xena felt relaxed enough to crawl under the blankets, and drift off into a slight slumber. She couldn't allow herself to ever enjoy a deep sleep. There was no time to indulge in such luxuries when a warrior had to be prepared for anything out in the open, and so she was right. Xena's eyes peeked open at the rustling bushes ahead of her. She could hear the “clank, clank” of metal, but was unable distinguish if it was a weapon, or armor. Unnoticed, she reached beside her and grabbed her sword. In a flash, she dragged the person through the bushes and onto the ground face first.

“OW!” The familiar voice complained from the ground.

“Joxer?!” Xena reached down and pulled the wannabe warrior to his feet with no effort. “Are you suicidal? What are you doing?”

Joxer straightened his “hand pounded” armor, and dusted off his hands. “Well, after WE saved the princess, recovered the jewels, and captured Zantar, I thought you might need me to watch your back.” He looked at Xena as if she missed the obvious reason for his appearance. Joxer took a moment to look around the campsite. “Where's Gabrielle?”

Xena placed her sword back to its original place. She laid down on her bedroll and covered up. “I'm tired Joxer.” She threw him a blanket. “Go to sleep.” Joxer shrugged his shoulders, removed his rattling armor, and lay down. He looked around at the area wondering where his sweet Gabby was.

He loved the bard something fierce, but he was too scared to tell her. After all, he was a mighty warrior, and he couldn't let his love see him in a weakened state. Joxer smiled and closed his eyes. Sleep came to him easily, especially when his dreams were filled with Gabrielle held hostage in a castle guarded by fifty of the greatest warriors. Joxer took one down, then another, then all the rest were disposed of with his might. He reached his fair haired maiden, and carried her to safety.


One Year Later

“And we're back to square one.” Joxer made the comment as he stepped off the boat leading his horse onto the old familiar land of Greece.

“Ya know, you don't have to come with me Joxer.” Xena said as she led Argo off the boat plank to solid ground.

Joxer shrugged his shoulders, “I want to be here. It's just that we've traveled all over the world looking for Gabrielle. She just doesn't want to be found Xena.” He said as he stretched out his sore aching muscles.

“I can't give up hope. She is out there, and by the gods I intend on finding her!” Xena swore as she packed her saddle bag.

Joxer mounted his horse, “Well then, onward we go.” He turned his horse to the main road then stopped. He looked back as the warrior strode up beside of him. “Which way do we go?”

Xena rolled her eyes, but smiled. She had a fondness for Joxer. He stood by her the entire time since Gabrielle left. Yes, she wanted to thump him one more than one occasion, but she tolerated the man, and taught him how to become a warrior, and more importantly, he had shed that ridiculous armor. He wore mainly leather gear. A thick top armor, but thin leather pants, mostly for flexibility while fighting. He wasn't a great fighter like other warriors Xena had been used too, but he put forth a lot of effort, and before the year was out, he would be able to hold his own. “I think we need to head to Potedea again.”

“Right, Potedea…right.” Joxer sighed and turned his horse around behind the Warrior Princess. He sighed knowing that this was going to be another dead end. Gabrielle was gone. Xena didn't stop looking for her, but every time the warrior would hear of one lead, off they went into the direction the information initially came from. They would travel for days sometimes without a break.

Xena was a determined woman.


To be continued…


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