Warning: There be spoilers here. If you have not seen the finale of Xena: Warrior Princess, be warned.

Disclaimers: I do not own the characters of Xena, Gabrielle or any others from X:WP. I don't really know anymore who does but it sure as creditors and rent ain't me. I mean no copyright infringement here and would never seek to profit from the creation/work of another. Nuff said.

Nothing in here that should be upsetting to anyone but since there never seems to be a limit to the narrow mindedness or ignorance of bigots, here goes. YEP, this is about two women who love one another in every sense of the word. If you have a problem with that hit the delete button and move on. It really IS as simple as that.

Feedback: Positive feedback is manna to the Muse. I welcome any and all feedback. I only ask that negatives be sent to my private mailbox and not posted to the list. I can be reached at: samanthaeruskin@gmail.com .

Like many, I was less than thrilled with certain things in the series Finale. I felt strongly that the two episodes demanded a third to complete the arc. Yeah, I have lots more to say about those eps but I will not take up list space or time expressing that here or now. I look forward to reading many other wonderful stories by bards whose Muses, not unlike mine, are talking long into the night. This is just something I had to write. I hope you like it.


Seeking Xena

by Sam Ruskin

After Gabrielle casts the ashes into the sea and tells Xena "I knew you'd say that", she senses a presence behind her. It is Michael, the Archangel.

"Michael, I see you finally decided to show up." Gabrielle is too tired and heartbroken to mince words. "Your timing really needs work."

The Archangel smiles an almost apologetic smile. "Sorry but it seems some overachieving do-gooder decided to deposit some 40,000 souls at our ėdoorstep', all in one fell swoop."

She grimaces.

Michael proceeds to remind her that Xena did not need to redeem herself.

"Gabrielle, Xena had already done that many times over and had, in fact, felt the waters of redemption not so very long ago. I must admit I had been wondering when, if ever, the two of you would fully understand the nature of the lives you have been living since THE FATHER allowed Eli, myself and the angel Callisto to return the breath of life to you and your Warrior. Have you ever heard of Resurrection? As in Perfected Bodies?"

Gabrielle could not find words and just looked on in a mixture of curiosity, sadness, disbelief, hope and a general numbness that seemed to permeate her entire being.

Michael continued. "Haven't you or Xena noticed at all how easily you heal nowadays? Just how many mortals do you two suppose have been given the power to kill gods?"

Still weeping, the bard begins to comprehend what he might be saying but is hesitant to believe it.

Michael places a gentle hand on her shoulder: "Gabrielle, you once fought alongside the very angels of heaven. Did you really think for even a moment that meant nothing to us? There is a reason, after all, that the Lord of Darkness is called The Prince of Lies."

Light of reason began to dawn in green eyes.

" Xena did not need to redeem those lost souls. First, they were never lost so far as THE FATHER was concerned. Just as important, it was never the warrior's responsibility or fault anyone died that fateful night so long ago. I would have thought that by now the two of you understood that each of us is responsible for our own fate." The angel pauses only briefly for effect. "Yes, Xena was right all along."

Gabrielle sniffles, nods slightly and graces him with a hint of an upturned lip.

He smiles at that and lifts one hand to where she holds the small urn to her breast. It begins to glow. His hand gently extends toward the waters and the bard gasps in a near whisper.

The lid lifts as if on its own and ashes begin to swirl and rise from the waters of the ocean, making a smooth path of return to take their place in the black pottery. Green eyes, still glimmering with tears, look on in wonder and question. Michael cups both angelic hands in the space surrounding the urn which she now holds away from her trembling body, slightly. Soft blue light surrounds the urn as a glimmering begins to spread forth from it.

Xena appears alongside Gabrielle. She looks more than a little surprised and lifts her brow in Michael's direction.

"Hello to you too, Xena." Michael half smiles. "No rest for the wicked, eh warrior?"

"I see eternity has done nothing for your sense of humor, Michael. You know how I feel about being at my soulmate's side. I have little doubt that by now all of heaven knows."

Gabrielle looks confused by that remark as much as her appearance. She reaches out toward her as if to see if she is real. Xena drapes an arm across her love's shoulders. "Never mind, sweetheart. I will tell you all about it someday."

Tearing up again, "Xena, I......"

Taking Gabrielle her in a warm embrace, "I know, my love. I know."

Before anything more can be said, Michael looks toward the sky, nods, smiles and waves his immortal hands. Bard and Warrior find themselves lying next to a crackling fire, looking up at the stars.......still embracing, they stare first at one another and then at the archangel who sits on a nearby rock, which he materializes with barely a nod.

"I don't understand." They speak as one.

Michael explains. "Xena, you were not responsible for the tragedy for which you just made the ultimate sacrifice. You cannot be permitted to die a warrior's death in order to redeem your soul. It was redeemed long ago. Besides, you seem to have somehow missed the fact that the two of you have been walking around in perfected bodies for some time now. You were only permitted to experience the pain of childbirth with Eve as a gift.

"Gee thanks, remind me not to shake your solstice gifts from now on." Gabrielle giggles in spite of herself and the situation.

"Whatever." Says Michael. "In a few moments someone will come through the woods seeking Xena." He seems to be talking more to Gabrielle than the warrior. "What will you do about this, Gabrielle?"

The oddly clad man comes through and Xena starts to rise. Michael whispers, seen only by the two women: "She is the Bard, Warrior." Xena nods in newfound understanding. Gabrielle rises and listens to the small man tell her he is looking for Xena. She says calmly and without hesitation:

"This is not the Xena you seek."

The man seems to understand and as he turns to leave, a red glow encompasses him and a voice speaks to the archangel but is heard by all present:

"You win again, Michael."

"Truth will always reveal the lie, Lucifer and love will always win."

"So you keep saying." Cold laughter is heard and Gabrielle shivers but Xena embraces her and glares at Lucifer in the guise of the messenger. "We will meet again, Warrior." Xena snarls. "Perhaps I should come next to the little bard."

Xena gives an icy stare that even the Lord of Darkness feels. "I wouldn't, Lucifer." More laughter and then he is gone.

Michael turns to the women. "I must go now. Be good to one another and try not to be so quick to maim those bodies, please. They may be perfected but they do require maintenance." He starts to leave and then pauses, as if listening to an unseen speaker. Smiling, the archangel nods.

"And Xena.."


"About that question you keep asking THE FATHER."

Gulp. Blushing and trying not to look at Gabrielle, "Yeeeeeeeeees?"

"He says you should ask the Bard." With no fanfare or fireworks he is gone, leaving the warrior to face a very curious bard..........but then that is another story altogether.

The End? I don't believe it for a minute, do you?

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