Surviving Hope

by Ri

Disclaimers: This story is the way I tied up the loose ends about Hope and Gabrielle falling into and surviving the pit at the end of season three and the beginning of season four. I claim nothing other then the need to clarify a few things in my own head and share my ideas with all of you. In other words I am doing this for entertainment purposes only.

Acknowledgment; I'd like to thank Webwarrior for her support as both my beta reader and friend, and Larisa for allowing me to bounce my ideas off her. She must be pretty bruised by nowJ


Hope and the Destroyer were dead. Xena had her hearts desire. Hope was gone and she had her Gabrielle back. They had left Poteidaia and went to one of Xena's private retreats. It was a secluded cove with a very deep cave. Inside was beautiful natural hot spring. They were both soaking in it trying to relax after all the hell they had been through.

Xena was trying to figure out what to do. She was really of two minds. She didn't want communication to be a problem between them anymore. She wanted to be open and honest but the flash of the vision would spoil all hope of that. At least she could try to be as open as she could be while protecting Gabrielle from the horror of what Alti's vision predicted.

One question was tormenting her and had been since she lost Gabrielle to that damn lava pit. She looked at Gabrielle who had her eyes closed and was relaxing beside her.

"Gabrielle, why did you do it?"

"What?" Was the quiet reply.

"Sacrifice yourself? I…your life is worth so much more then mine is and I…"

"Xena that is not true…" The green eyes were open and tears were falling down the soft cheeks. Xena pulled her into her arms and held her tight.

"I'm sorry. It's just been so hard with out you…I've missed you so…"

"I know…I'm so sorry…"

"Shh, You don't own me an apology. I just don't understand why you did it. I do know you Gabrielle you thought it all out carefully from the moment Aries said that I would die if I killed Hope. I just don't understand how you thought killing yourself was better then The Fates taking my life…"

Gabrielle pulled back; her eyes were full of tears and pain that broke Xena's heart. She then took a deep agonized breath and said, "I did think about it carefully. You did nothing to deserve such a fate but I did. This whole thing was all my fault…"


"Shh, yes it was…"

"Gabrielle…" gentle fingers covered Xena's mouth. "Do you want to know my reasoning?" Xena closed her eyes but nodded her head. Gabrielle sighed and said, "This is a part of that." Xena opened her eyes and nodded. She pulled back and leaned against the other wall of the hot spring giving Gabrielle the space she needed to tell her side.

"Go ahead." Said the Warrior quietly.

Gabrielle nodded, "I was the one who was jealous of La Mao. I thought you loved her more then you did me. I was jealous and stupid. I let Aries con me into getting to Chin before you. I asked him to I create the debt that sentenced you to death by the fates. I betrayed you…us…so…I thought you shouldn't suffer because of my weakness. Hope was my daughter…my responsibility…so I knew I was the one who should…" Gabrielle broke down, she started to cry, then sob as she leaned against the other end of the pool trying to keep from going under. Xena, tears pouring from her own eyes, scooped up the sobbing woman and took her out of the water. She sat down on the sleeping furs and got a towel around the shaking sobbing young woman. Then she pulled her onto her lap and pulled a towel around her own shoulders, hugging Gabrielle close and kissing her on the top of the head.

"I have never felt for anyone in my whole life what I have felt for you. I have never felt such love or devotion to any other human being. I love you so deeply it is startling to me. The only person who I felt as close to Solan, and that was because I was his mother; it's simply not the same thing. You are my soul mate. Gabrielle there is no one I have ever or ever will love more then I love you."

"I know that now…but that's why…"

"Sweetheart, your throwing yourself into that pit almost killed me. I went…I didn't get a chance to say good bye…" Xena said painfully, "After you vanished I went to Hades to see if I could find you. He had no idea where you were but he mentioned that if you were Amazon he wouldn't have you. I then knew where to go I went to the Amazon Land of the Dead looking for you. I almost walked into Eternity to find you. I…the only reason I didn't, was to right yet another wrong I did. And I did that because I knew you would want me to…"

"That's why the messenger I sent couldn't find you!"

"You sent a messenger?"

"Aries saved us from the pit. I made a deal with him that I'd give him my soul in my next life, so that he would take the curse off of you with the fates…"

"That Bastard!!!"


"He told me you traded your soul to save Hope. The deal was I'd marry him so I could trade your soul with mine. That manipulative Son of a Bitch!"

"You married him?"

"NO! Never…I tricked him into thinking I would. I said I would go along with his plan I asked that the ceremony be held at the pit where I lost you. When we were to exchange I do's, I didn't and jumped in. Guess who saved me?"


"Yep, I traded my soul for yours in my next life and I was to marry him. Then I stole the agreement and hid it where I hope the Bastard never finds it….Go on My Love, what happened next."

"It's really kind of foggy…I think I must have been badly hurt from the fall. Knocked out or something. First I was in this thick hazy forest with Aries. Hope was gone and I made the deal for your life. I woke up in a healing temple about a week later from what I could figure out at the time. They kept me there for two or three weeks till my concussion and wounds were healed. Then I went home…I didn't know were you were, like I said the messenger couldn't find you anywhere. So I went home cause I had no where else to go…"

"I knew that's where you would go once I found out you were still alive…"

"Sweetheart, Did Aries tell you I was alive? I mean how could you have known?"

"He hinted at it. Taunted me. Joxer was so mad that I even considered marrying him. It was the only way…I had to find you…I missed you so desperately."

"It amazing me that you knew I was alive at all. What happened in the Amazon Land of the Dead? Did they tell you I wasn't there?"

"No, I never got that far…I had to save the Northern Amazons from an old enemy of mine."


Xena sighed this was getting way to close to the vision. She knew she was going to keep her promise to herself about communicating anything about it, but she would also protect her love from the horror of what was suppose to be their fate.

"When Borias and I returned from the East I was pregnant with Solan. I became intrigued with a shamaness named Alti…she promised me great power. Um, I…What I was talked into may be unforgivable to you…"


"No, Gabrielle it was unforgivable. I…I killed all the leaders of the Northern Amazons. I made the tribes almost useless out there. I was following a vision of Alti's; she said if she was able to take the blood of the dead leaders it would bring her great power and I would become The Destroyer of Nations."

"The Amazons?" Gabrielle fell back a little her face stunned from what she was just told. Xena had always been the champion of the Amazons, her friends, Gabrielle's sisters. "Why didn't you ever tell me this?"

"How could I? You are an Amazon. I'm in love with you. You are my whole life…it would have crushed you. I found out what I did when I went to the land of the dead to find you. The blood that Alti took from their leaders trapped all the Northern Amazons in land of the dead. They couldn't cross over to Eternity. I knew that you were my light so I followed what I felt you would want me to do. I fought and destroyed Alti so the Amazons would be set free to cross over to eternal peace. I'm sorry…I'm soooo sorry…I'm sorry…"Xena bent her head the tears that had been falling turned to crying then to shuddering sobs. Gabrielle pulled her close she gently ran her fingers through the tangled wet hair and said softly, "Shh, Xena you fixed it. You saved them. I love you and I always will…"

"But I killed your Sisters…"

"Xena it wasn't the real you. You said once that you were twisted by hate and that your judgment was twisted at the time. I forgive you, you made it right. You set them free. You did the right thing."

Xena shook her head; "You forgive me? How can you?"

"'Cause I love you."

"I know that but…"

"We both made bad mistakes…"

"Can't compare…"


Xena pulled Gabrielle onto her lap and held her close whispering, "You can't, Love. I have more blood on my hands then I will ever be able to atone for. You made some mistakes out of love and innocence, all mine were out of greed and vengeance. You simply can't compare our mistakes…I'm so sorry Gabrielle…"

"Xena, you don't owe me an apology…"

"And you don't owe me one either…How about we make a deal, ok? I will try very hard to be more open with you and tell you what I'm thinking and feeling. Meanwhile, you try very hard not to beat yourself up for every misjudgment you make." Xena held her hand out smiling through the tears and said, "Deal?"

Gabrielle smiled for the first time since they were reunited and her nose crinkled just the way Xena loved it, too. She shook Xena's hand and with a smile said, "Deal."

Xena smiled brightly and pulled the hand to her so the smaller woman was now in a tight embrace and kissed her love passionately. Then she pulled back just slightly and whispered, "I've missed you so much, My Beautiful Bard. I thought of you every second of every day we were apart…I…I was terrified I'd lost you forever."

Gabrielle nodded, "I missed more then I can say too. I was very worried about you, although I knew you would be doing good. I have so much faith in you."

"I…well lets just say it was easier to stay on the right path when I felt your presence." She had rolled on to her back bringing Gabrielle on top of her. Her hand gently pulled off the towel that covered the bard's body so she could finally touch the soft skin she had missed so much.

Gabrielle closed her eyes holding on tight, as she felt her head fling back in reaction to the tender yet strong touch of her soul mate. This is what she'd been waiting for.

*** *** *** ***

Xena woke up the next morning luxuriating in the feeling of being held tightly in the strong arms of her beloved. It had been too long since she had this feeling of belonging. She gently ran her fingers through the soft blonde hair and smiled when a tiny squeak was heard from the other woman.

She opened her eyes to meet the smiling face of her sweet Bard, "Hi."


"Did you sleep well?"

It was simple question but Xena didn't want to really answer it honestly. She had not slept well; the vision haunted her most of the night. She was so happy to be back with Gabrielle, that she simply answered how she felt instead of how she slept, "I am so happy to be with you I feel better then I have in long time."

"I am very happy to be back home with you too."

"Thank you, how about we rest another day here and then we will go look for Argo."

"Where is she?"

"I let her go near where I found her…In order to enter the Amazon Land of the Dead…I had to kill a living creature…I couldn't do that to Argo. So I bought a horse and left poor Argo behind."

"You had to kill an animal to enter the Land of the Dead?"

Xena bowed her head ashamed and whispered, "Yes…it was quick and painless…I had to find you…"

"I know," Gabrielle hugged Xena tightly. She kissed the other woman all over her face till the stoic woman smiled then she asked, "What would you like to do today?"

"Relax, play, explore…there is a pretty meadow outside of the cave you might like. There is a beautiful waterfall; it's a bit of walk but I think you'd love it. Also there are a lot of lovely paths just to walk and talk on…"

"Sounds perfect to me…"

"As long as were together Gabrielle, it is perfect."

The End

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