Subtext, Violence, Sex: None. This is young Gabrielle not Xena!
Spoilers: I reference some parts of Xena’s past that come up later but not actual episode spoilers.
General: Xena, Gabrielle and all other characters from the show belong to RenPics and RT. This is just for fun, not for Profit.
Authors Note: I just want to say a big thank you to all of the bards out there that are still writing Xena fic. Especially Missy Good, DJWP and Swordn’Quill. You have inspired me.
The children sit in a loose circle talking in hushed voices as the rain thunders against the barn roof. In the centre is a girl no older than thirteen animatedly telling a story above the noise of the storm. The small fire she sits by casts shadows across their serious faces adding even more atmosphere to her tale.
"Then the fierce warrior raises her sword in the air and cries out, `Behold all who do evil! I will defeat you wherever you may stand!' and with that all of the warlords throw down their weapons and move away to start farms to help feed the orphans that their senseless wars created. Finally they are willing to take some responsibility for the suffering that they have caused."
"Oh come on Gabby that is sooooo lame!"
"Is not," Gabrielle retorts, "I'm sure that even warlords would change if they had the chance and someone to help them. I think that all people must have good in them, even if it is sometimes buried. Besides it's not like you can do better Alex." Gabrielle glares at her critic, daring him with her gaze to take up her challenge.
"Well, if I told a story it would be much more believable than yours. I mean who's even heard of a woman warrior anyway?" Alex looks around the group just waiting for their confirming nods.
"I've heard of women warriors." one voice pipes up, "They're called the Amazons, and they're all women and they're meant to be some of the best fighters in the world!"
"I've heard of them!" another voice confirms.
"Yeah and I heard that there was this huge army marching on Corinth and that it was lead by a woman warrior. And I heard that she is the fiercest, most beautiful woman ever. She's some sort of princess from the East and her name is Xena and I heard that she was going to take over the whole world." The boy's voice gets more and more distant as he tells his friends of this special warrior.
"Even Potedia, Perdicus?" Alex's voice takes on a taunting edge as he addresses the other boy.
"Yeah, even Potadia. It's in the world isn't it?" Perdicus replies with a barb of his own, not wanting to allow Alex the satisfaction of the last word.
Alex laughs scornfully, "Well now I know you're making it all up. After all who would want to take over Potedia?"
The rest of the groups laugh at this, looking at each other with knowing glances, as though they have personal experience of the world away from their small town home.
The rain on the roof has eased off a little and most of the children stand and brush themselves off in preparation of returning home. However a few stay behind, Gabrielle among them.
"'Hey Perdicus," Gabrielle's soft call stops the boy before he leaves the barn, "where did you hear about that warrior? Or did you make it up?"
"Nope I didn't make it up. I heard my Pa talking to the merchant, Theo, last week and it was all he could talk about."
"Wow, the life of a warrior must be so exciting. All that travel and adventure. I wonder what she's like?" Gabrielle's dreamy voice trails off as she starts to get caught up in the possibilities.
"It might be exciting but I don't think this Xena is the hero in your stories Gabby. The way Theo was talking she sounds really mean, almost evil."
"I'm sure she's not that bad. Besides isn't it nice to dream about a hero talking in and saving you?"
"Yeah I guess it is Gab. See you around ok?"
"Bye Perdicus and thanks for standing up to Alex for me."
Smiling shyly Perdicus turns to leave the barn, following the last of the stragglers out.
Gabrielle disappears into the back of the barn and climbs up to the hayloft. Settling down into the soft fragrant hay she stares up at the ceiling imagining her brave warrior and all of the adventures that they could have.
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