Xena, Gabrielle, Joxer, Cyrene , Herodotus, Hecuba and Lila do not belong to me. They belong to MCA/Universal/Renaissance.
The lyrics to the song aren't mine either, they are a combination of the following songs:
Celine Dion – My heart will go on (from Titanic)
Linda Ronstadt & James Ingram – Somewhere out there (from An American Tale)
The Bangles – Eternal Flame
Far longer than forever (from Swan Princess)
I just combined these lyrics to form this beautiful song.
Stepping inside Cyrene 's inn and finding it was full of people, Xena, Gabrielle and Exl approached the bar to find Cyrene . Following Xena and Gabrielle, Exl was stopped by someone who put his hand on her shoulder and said being without doubt very drunk:
“Hey girl, you're quite cute…” Exl punched the guy, then turned to continue her way to the bar, but was stopped again with a hand to her shoulder. She said turning to see if the same guy hadn't understood her very clear hint:
“I thought I made it very clear that I'm not…interested…” She was standing in front of a very tall and bulk man who said:
“Did you just punch my brother, for your sake, I hope you didn't…” Xena and Gabrielle hadn't found Cyrene at the bar, when they heard the sounds of a fight behind them. They tried to mingle their way through the crowd and were surprised to see the other participant in this fight. Exl was on the floor and a man, at least double her size, was standing over her about to give her a good beating, when a woman shouted:
“Garth, I told you that if you start another fight in my inn, you and your brother would be banned from here for good! I will not have fighting allowed here and especially not unfair ones!” It was Cyrene , who was very upset for all this commotion going on in her inn. Garth was much bigger than his young opponent, the fight would have been over in an instant after it would have started. Garth and his very drunken brother left quietly.
Gabrielle and Xena quickly raced to Exl to see if she was hurt.
“Exl, are you okay? What happened? Are you hurt?” Gabrielle asked Exl who couldn't quite get on her feet yet.
“This drunken guy tried to hit on me and I made it very clear to him that I'm not interested, I gave him a little punch. Then his BIG brother decided to teach me a few things. The next moment, I realized that I was on the floor and he was ready to seriously kick my butt. I'm fine, except I think that this wound on my eye is bleeding again”, Exl explained and pointed to her eye. The cut was indeed bleeding quite much and she held her eye closed so she wouldn't get all the blood in her eye.
“Gabrielle, what are you doing here?” Cyrene asked noticing Gabrielle talk with Exl.
“ Cyrene , Xena and I…” Gabrielle started, but Xena interrupted her.
“Hello mother”, Xena said to her mother and smiled.
“Xena…” Cyrene said and opened her arms to welcome her daughter. Xena went to her mother and hugged her tightly.
“It's good to have you home Xena“, Cyrene said. Gazing into her daughter's eyes for a few seconds, Cyrene then turned to look at Gabrielle and Exl, noticing she was injured.
“Your friend, she's hurt. We need to get her to the healer.”
“No mom, it's best to get the healer to come here”, Xena said looking at Exl's wound.
“I'll go get him, you stay right here”, Cyrene said and left.
A while later, the town healer arrived and started sewing the wound. After finishing the suture, he put a bandage to cover the wound so it would heal better. Before he left, he told Exl to be careful with the stitches and to change the bandage to a clean one every day.
“So, will you now introduce us Xena?” Cyrene asked Xena after the healer had left.
“Yes of course, Exl this is my mother Cyrene . Mother, this is Exl.” Xena said introducing her young trainee to her mother.
“My name is Exl, I am honored to meet the mother of Xena. I respect and honor your daughter very much. I am sorry I caused trouble earlier, it wasn't my intention”, Exl said and saluted Cyrene in her own special way. Cyrene looked at Xena and Gabrielle who nodded, meaning “yes she really is like this”. Cyrene said:
“I am also happy to meet you Exl. Welcome to Amphipolis. Don‘t worry, those brothers are always causing some kind of trouble around here. I hope they didn‘t hurt you badly.” Exl said with a smile: “Not at all, this is an old wound. It just hasn't properly healed yet but now I hope that it will finally have the chance to heal.”
“Xena what is it what you said? Something about some news?”, Cyrene asked her daughter. Xena took Gabrielle's hand and started:
“Mother, I…we came here to tell you that… I've got married.” Cyrene looked very happy hearing these words from her warrior daughter, but the best part was yet to come.
“But the best part is…I got married to Gabrielle.” At first, Xena feared that her mother might freak out, but Cyrene 's reaction was just the opposite. Her eyes filled with some tears and said:
“Well it's about time. I kept praying to the gods that you'd find your love some day and somehow I knew that it has to be Gabrielle. Call it mother's instinct.” Xena smiled, trying to remember Gabrielle's exact words when she told her family about their joining and their Guardian.
“Mother, we got married in Amazonia , and Exl became our Guardian. In her homeland, far north from here, there is an ancient tradition. When a couple is married, they are consecrated a Guardian, who will always be there for the couple. To guard their love, their hopes and dreams and their lives. If something were to happen to me or Gabrielle, Exl be will there to keep us safe. We are a family.” Exl walked beside her Couple, smiling and thinking that the word “family” had to be the most beautiful word ever. Cyrene walked to the three and gave each one a big hug.
“Congratulations, I'm very happy for you. I always knew that under your warrior shell there is a person who wants to love and be loved”, she said to her proud daughter.
“You must be exhausted from your travel, I'll show you to your rooms”, Cyrene said and lead the women to their bedrooms. A soft bed and a hot bath were all they really needed now. Exl took quick bath and fell asleep the moment her head touched the pillow. Gabrielle and Xena took a long bath together, washing each other's backs and hair. Both felt very tired and wanted to get a good, long night's sleep. They laid on the bed facing each other, looking into one another's eyes. They kissed each other and let Morpheus take them into the dream world.
In the morning Exl woke up to the bright rays of sunlight that were shining in her eyes. She dressed and went downstairs to see if Xena and Gabrielle were up yet, but found only Cyrene to be up and about. “Good morning”, Exl said as she sat down at the bar.
“Good morning Exl, how did you sleep?” Cyrene asked.
“Absolutely wonderfully, I slept like a log. The bed is very comfortable”, Exl answered.
“That's nice to hear. Do I remember correctly that you're not from around here, but from somewhere up north?” Cyrene asked Exl.
“Yes, I come from a land called Finlandia. It is very beautiful there, it was hard to leave home. But I've learned that home doesn't have to be a place, it can be a person or persons, in my case. I am very lucky to be blessed with friends like Xena and Gabrielle”, Exl replied. Then she told Cyrene about how they met, about her homeland and about being a Guardian as Cyrene changed Exl‘s bandage to a new one .
“This is my pendant, signifying my duty and my Couple.” Exl showed her pendant and Cyrene said having seen the pendant:
“I think it is a great thing you became their Guardian. I know Xena is capable of taking care of herself and Gabrielle, but even she needs help sometimes. She can't be in many places at once and I know my daughter, she won't let anything happen to the people she loves.” Exl laughed:
“That sounds like Xena alright. I love Xena and Gabrielle very much, and as long as I live, I won't let anything happen to them.”
“I'm happy to hear that. You must be hungry, and so will the two sleepyheads when they wake up.“ Cyrene went to kitchen to make breakfast and Exl went and helped her.
Upstairs Xena was slowly waking up, she was in her beloved bard's arms, the best place to wake up in. She wanted to wake up Gabrielle in a pleasant way, so she started kissing her neck, then moving up to kiss her cheeks and finally kissing her lips. That was the best way Gabrielle had ever woken up in, she said with her eyes still closed:
“Good morning my dear.”
“Morning my love”, Xena answered and then asked:
“What would you like to do today?”
“How about relaxing and having some time for ourselves?” Gabrielle said smiling.
“Sounds wonderful, let's go down and get something to eat”, Xena said pulling Gabrielle from bed. Having dressed they walked downstairs and noticed Exl waiting at a table with plates of food. “Morning sleepy heads, we made you some breakfast”, Exl said smiling at her Couple who sat at the table just staring at the food. The food tasted great, and after finishing the last plate Gabrielle said: “That… was so good.” Xena nodded feeling like she was about to explode from all the food. Exl took the plates and said on her way to the kitchen:
“I'll take these to the kitchen, after that can we go and see the town?” Her Couple nodded and when Exl came back from the kitchen they told Cyrene they were going to tour the town. After a whole day of walking, the trio was happy to return to the inn and find Cyrene waiting for them with dinner. Dinner was appreciated after a long day.
“Mom, is Corf the blacksmith around here? Exl and I need to your weapons sharpened and Argo needs new shoes”, Xena asked.
“Yes he is”, Cyrene answered. Xena and Exl rose, Xena said to Gabrielle:
“Exl and I'll go and see Corf. Will you come with us?” Gabrielle shook her head and said:
“You go on ahead. I'll stay here and help Cyrene .” The warriors left and Gabrielle helped Cyrene with the dishes.
“ Cyrene , can I ask you something?”, Gabrielle asked after they had finished doing the dishes and were sitting at the bar.
“Of course my dear, what is it?”, Cyrene replied.
“When you heard about our joining, did you really feel happy for us?”, Gabrielle asked. “Yes, I wouldn't I have? I love Xena, I respect her decisions and I think you are the perfect spouse for her. As a mother, I feel like I gained a daughter, well I guess in this case I gained two. That is really something to happy about isn't it?” Cyrene answered, noticing that her answer touched Gabrielle. She continued:
“Have you told your parents about your marriage with Xena? What did they think of it?” Gabrielle felt tears in her eyes, she tried not to cry.
“My mother and my sister were happy for us, but my father… he thinks Xena brainwashed me. He threatened Xena to leave me alone and to leave his family alone. But Xena IS my family, so is Exl. I love them so much. I tried to tell my father that I have my own family now, but he won't accept it. He told me that his family only contained of himself, my mother and my sister. If he loves me, why can't he accept my happiness and my love?” Gabrielle felt crushed thinking about what his father had said before she was thrown out. Cyrene took Gabrielle's hand and gave it a squeeze.
“Gabrielle, I think your father was afraid that he would lose you because you've got married. But that's not true, like me, he has also gained two daughters. He knows about Xena's past and he wants to protect you from all evil and harm. But because he doesn't understand your love for Xena, he is hurting you thinking that he is protecting you. You have to talk to your father and tell him about your true feelings”, Cyrene advised Gabrielle. Gabrielle said worried:
“I don't think it will do any good. I don't think my father wants to understand, he is so narrow-minded.”
“You wont know what will happen, unless you try”, Cyrene said and went to the kitchen.
Gabrielle sat there for a while thinking, Xena and Exl would come back soon from the blacksmith's.
“Oh here you are Gabrielle.” Exl said entering the inn. She went to sit next to Gabrielle, who just sat there not noticing her arrival.
“Gabrielle are you okay?” Exl asked waving her hand in front of Gabrielle's eyes. Xena came right behind Exl, after having taken Argo back to the stable.
“Exl, what is it?”, Xena asked Exl, who had a concerned look on her face.
“I don't know, Gabrielle just won't respond.” Exl answered. Xena went to her wife's side and put her hand on Gabrielle's shoulder.
“Gabrielle…”, Xena said, then Gabrielle snapped out of her thoughts and turned to Xena.
“Xena, I have a plan. We have to get my family here to Amphipolis.” Gabrielle said with a sparkle in her eyes. Xena asked in amazement:
“What plan? Why do we have to get your family here?” Gabrielle brushed Xena's shoulder and said:
“I have a plan to get my father's approval of our marriage.” Exl asked:
“How will you do that?”
“I'll need both your help and Cyrene's as well”, Gabrielle said, looking at her baffled wife and Loyal. Gabrielle told her plan to Xena, Exl and Cyrene, and after hearing it Cyrene asked:
“Are you sure this will work?” Gabrielle nodded and turned her wife and Loyal for their agreement. “Gabrielle, if this is what you want, I'll do it for you”, Xena said. Exl saluted Gabrielle and said:
“If this is what you wish, I'll be here for you, My Queen.” Gabrielle was happy for her family's answer.
To carry out the plan, lots of preparations needed to be made. For a few days, all four worked long into the night, doing their part in the plan. Exl went for long errands, she left early in the morning and returned quite late in the evening. And at last, the plan was in action.
Herodotus, Hecuba and Lila were on their way from home to Amphipolis after receiving word from Gabrielle.
“I still think this is a bad idea Hecuba”, Herodotus said, not being pleased that he had to go to Amphipolis to see Gabrielle.
“Nonsense Herodotus, Gabrielle needs our help. It is our duty as her parents to go and help her. Lila read the letter once again to your father”, Hecuba said to her husband then to their daughter. Lila took the scroll and began to read:
“Dear mother, father and Lila. I am sorry for leaving in the way I did. I need your help now, and there is no-one else I can turn to. Please come to Amphipolis soon and when you arrive, find a woman called Cyrene. Signed, Gabrielle.” Herodotus thought about the words in his daughter's letter, she had to be in big trouble because she asked them to come and help. He had always known that Xena would someday get Gabrielle into grave danger. If only she had listened to him… None of them noticed that they were being followed…
Finally the Potidaeans arrived in Amphipolis. They asked a man in market if he knew a woman called Cyrene. The man told them that Cyrene was the innkeeper and where her inn was. They found the inn and stepped inside. The usually full inn was now completely empty, only Cyrene was there. Seeing the three she said:
“We're closed you have to leave.” Lila stepped forth and said:
“My sister Gabrielle is in trouble, she asked us to come here and find a woman called Cyrene. Can you help us?” Cyrene turned to the strangers and replied:
“You are the young woman's family, finally you arrived.” Hecuba was worried and asked:
“Please help us, do you know where my daughter is?”
“Well she came here with that warrior Xena a while back. The next thing I heard, Xena was badly injured and Gabrielle had protected her from her attackers, that‘s all know”, Cyrene told them.
“Do you have children of your own?” Hecuba asked Cyrene.
“Yes I do”, Cyrene answered.
“Then I ask you, mother to mother, wouldn't you want to help your children if they asked for your help? Where is Gabrielle?” Hecuba said with tears in her eyes. Cyrene gazed at Herodotus, who didn't seem at all worried for his daughter's life.
“I can see that not all of you are worried for her.” Hecuba turned to look at Herodotus and saw that he couldn't really care less about his eldest daughter. Hecuba walked to her husband and said: “Herodotus, you want to find Gabrielle don't you? And you want to help her? She is our first born daughter, remember?” Herodotus couldn't say anything, he just looked at the floor. Then he lifted his head, looked at Cyrene and asked:
“Where is my daughter?”
Cyrene told them that Gabrielle was held in the town jail under surveillance to keep her safe from those who attacked Xena and tried to hurt Gabrielle. They stepped into the prison and saw two hooded figures sitting behind a desk. They were the jail's guards, no doubt. Hecuba and Lila stood back when Herodotus walked to the table and banged his fist to the table to get the guards' attention. The guards turned to look at Herodotus, but Herodotus couldn't see the guards' faces because they were hidden behind a black mask and the hood.
“We've been told that our daughter, Gabrielle is being held here. Where is she?” Herodotus asked the guards. The other guard pointed at a cell door at the other end of the hall. Herodotus was about to go to the cell, but the other guard stopped him and pointed at a sign on the wall. Herodotus looked at the sign and it said: “All weapons must be handed over to the guards before seeing the prisoners.” Herodotus said:
“I have no weapons, I just want to see my daughter.” The guard turned to Hecuba and Lila who just shook their heads implying that they had no weapons either. The guards looked at each other and nodded. The other walked to the cell door where Gabrielle was held and Herodotus followed, Hecuba and Lila stayed a few steps behind. The guard opened the door and Herodotus looked inside. He saw Gabrielle lying on the bed with her back to the door and when he saw her, his heart felt heavy. He had thrown his daughter out because she had gotten married to the woman she loved and now she was in a jail, maybe even hurt.
“Gabrielle…”, he said and stepped in the cell. The moment he was in the cell, the guard slammed the door shut and locked it.
“Herodotus! Father!” Hecuba and Lila shouted with fear seeing Herodotus being locked in the cell. They tried to run to him, but the other guard stopped them. Herodotus got startled by the guard's actions, turned to the guard and started shouting:
“Let me out!” The guard just looked at him and removed the mask and hood. It was Exl, who gave Herodotus a satisfied smirk.
“You!”, Herodotus shouted realizing it was Exl. The guard blocking Lila and Hecuba also removed the mask and hood and the woman were very much surprised seeing Xena standing in front of them. “Xena?”, Lila said. Bowing her head to them, Xena turned to look at Herodotus.
“Xena! What have you two done to my daughter?”, Herodotus shouted with worry and anger.
“Exactly what I asked them to”, Gabrielle said behind her father. Herodotus turned to his daughter, she was now standing up and seemed to be just fine. Herodotus didn't know how to feel at that moment. Happy to see Gabrielle alive and well or angry at being tricked into coming here.
“Xena what is going on?”, Hecuba asked Xena. Xena smiled and said:
“This is Gabrielle's idea. This is the only way she can talk to Herodotus and try to change his mind. Come, let's go to my mother's inn and get something to drink.”
“What about Gabrielle and father?”, Lila asked pointing at the cell.
“They'll be fine, Exl is here to keep an eye on them. Let‘s go.” Lila, Hecuba and Xena left to give Gabrielle and Herodotus time to talk.
“Hello father”, Gabrielle said to her shocked father.
“This is all your idea? Why Gabrielle?” Herodotus asked and walked to Gabrielle.
“I'll leave you two talk in private, if you need me Gabrielle, just shout”, Exl said.
“Thank you Exl”, Gabrielle replied. Exl walked back to the table and sat to wait.
“Father, this in the only way I could talk to you without having fear that you would hurt someone or run away. We're in locked cell, without any weapons. I had Exl follow you some of way here, to make sure you'd arrive”, Gabrielle said.
“When we got your letter, we thought you were in trouble. Thank the gods you're safe”, Herodotus said seeming relieved that Gabrielle was okay.
“Father, I'm sorry I tricked you, but that was only way to get you to come here. If I had just written that I want to talk, you never would have come. But I know that you love me and that you'd come and help me.” Herodotus went to sit on the bed. Gabrielle went and sat next to Herodotus and asked:
“Father, why won't you accept the fact that I love Xena and I want to spend the rest of my life with her? Why?” Herodotus squeezed his hands to a tight fist and a few tears fell from his eyes to his cheeks. “Because…when you left home to start traveling with Xena, I thought that one day you'd realize that that kind of life isn't for you and you'd come back home. But as time went by, I began to lose faith in you coming home. When I saw you at home, my heart filled with so much joy. But when I saw Xena, I knew that my dreams wouldn't come true. And when you told that you had got married, I was crushed. Being married to Xena, I knew you wouldn't be coming home. I had lost a daughter, my dear eldest daughter to a former warlord and the Destroyer of Nations. I didn't want it to be true…I guess I had to blame someone for your departure and Xena was the one I took responsible for it.” Herodotus spoke bravely, showing his true emotions to Gabrielle. Gabrielle felt touched by her father's words and knew he had never stopped loving her.
“Father, I want you to listen very carefully to what you're about to hear. Okay?” Herodotus nodded, looking into Gabrielle's eyes. Gabrielle walked to the door and said:
“Exl. Exl, come here.” Exl dashed to Gabrielle.
“What is it Gabrielle?”, she asked. “Now's the time”, Gabrielle said smiling. Exl realized what Gabrielle meant. Gabrielle went to sit next to her father and took hold of his hand. Herodotus looked at Gabrielle then at Exl. Exl began to sing a very familiar song.
Every night in my dreams
I see you, I feel you.
Somewhere out there, beneath the pale moonlight,
someone's thinking of me and loving me tonight.
Close your eyes, give me your hand, my love
Do you feel my heart beating, do you understand?
Do you feel the same, or am I only dreaming?
Love can touch us one time
And last for a lifetime
And never let go till we're one
Far longer than forever
I'll hold you in my heart
It's almost like you're here with me
Although we're far apart
And even though I know how very far apart we are,
it helps to think we might be wishing on the same bright star.
Near, far, wherever you are
There is some love that will not go away
I close my eyes and I am where you are
I believe it's meant to be, my love
I watch when you are sleeping, you belong to me
Do you feel the same, or am I only dreaming
We have an unshakeable bond
Destined to last for a lifetime
And when the night wind starts to sing a lonesome lullaby,
it helps to think we're sleeping underneath the same big sky.
You're here, there's nothing I fear,
And I know that my heart will go on
We'll stay forever this way
You are safe in my heart
And my heart will go on and on
Somewhere out there,
if love can see us through,
then we'll be together, somewhere out there,
out where dreams come true.
Far longer than forever
I swear that I'll be true
I've made an everlasting vow
You are safe in my heart
and with your love
I'll never be alone
Listening to the song that Exl sang, Herodotus could feel in his heart what Gabrielle felt when hearing this song. He felt warm and safe inside and could feel the love that Exl had for her Couple and the love her Couple had for her, the love Gabrielle had for Xena and the love Xena had for Gabrielle. Gabrielle looked at her father and said:
”That was Exl's song for us, she sang it at our wedding. I wanted you to hear it, so you could understand my feelings for Xena. She loves me and would never let anything bad happen to me, she'd give her life to protect mine. Exl would do the exact same thing, that's why she's our Guardian. She is always here to protect us, to help us and to love us.”
”It was a very beautiful song”, Herodotus said. Exl saluted the two and went back to her place.
”Father, I can imagine how you felt like when I left. I love you, I'd never want to hurt your feelings. But you haven't lost a daughter, on the contrary”, Gabrielle said, with sparkling eyes. Herodotus asked:
”I haven't? What do you mean?” Gabrielle squeezed her father's hand, shook her head and said:
”No you haven't. You've GAINED a daughter, actually you've gained two. Let Xena and Exl be like daughters to you, let our family be a part a yours.” Gabrielle's eyes filled with tears. Herodotus hugged her daughter and said:
”Gabrielle my dear, it's great to have new members in the family. I love you and I love your family.” Gabrielle was so happy to hear the words from her father. Exl had heard the last part of the conversation and was also very happy.
Back at the inn, Xena, Cyrene, Lila and Hecuba waited. They waited for Gabrielle, Exl and Herodotus to come and announce that everything is okay once again.
“What is taking them so long?”, Lila asked very impatiently.
“Calm down, after they finish talking they'll come, won't they?”, Cyrene said turning to Xena.
“I'm sure of it, if I truly know my wife and her ideas. Exl is there if something happens”, Xena replied patiently. Hecuba turned to Cyrene and said:
“When I first saw you, I couldn't have imagined you were Xena's mother. But now I see the resemblance. You're a good actress Cyrene.” Cyrene smiled and replied:
“Thank you Hecuba. I've been wanting to meet Gabrielle's family and I'm pleased to have finally met the parents and sister of my daughter-in-law.” Lila said smiling:
“I think I have the best sister-in-law, I can always be confident that she'll always look after Gabrielle.” Xena smiled widely and said:
“You can be sure of that, and I have Exl to help me in that duty.”
Exl came rushing inside and said very breathlessly:
“Xena…I'm glad to find you here…” Xena jumped out of her chair and her heart jumped up her throat. “Exl, what is it?” she asked Exl. Exl tried to catch her breath and said:
“Herodotus…and Gabrielle…” All the women looked at the young warrior with fear. Then Exl calmed her uneven breathing and gave mischievous grin. All the others looked at her with amazement, but Xena had a slight idea what was going on. Exl went to door and announced:
“It is my honor to present Gabrielle and her father, who have finally reconciled.” She opened the door and inside came a very happy looking Herodotus and an even happier looking Gabrielle. They walked to meet the women, and Herodotus guided Gabrielle to Xena.
Herodotus was holding Gabrielle's hand and he said to Xena:
“Xena, I am sorry for the things I said about you and your family. I am sorry I blamed you for Gabrielle's departure, it wasn't your fault. Gabrielle made her own decisions. She has made me realize that I haven't lost her, instead I have gained two new daughters. I'm happy to have you and Exl be a part of our family. I give your marriage my blessing and as token of it, I give you Gabrielle's hand the same way Hecuba's father gave me her hand so long ago.” Herodotus took Gabrielle's hand and joined it with Xena's hand, then he held the joined hands for a while and then let go and stepped back. Xena and Gabrielle stood there with their hands joined, looking at each other in the eyes. Gabrielle said quietly:
“I love you Xena, forever.” Xena answered her beloved wife:
“I love you too Gabrielle, for all eternity.” Then they kissed. It was a long kiss, one with so much love. Herodotus walked to his wife and embraced her.
“Herodotus, I'm glad you finally came to your senses”, Hecuba whispered in her husband's ear.
“Well, I'm glad I have a daughter like Gabrielle to help me realize important things like this.” “Correction my dear, now we have four daughters”, Hecuba said smiling. Lila smiled seeing her parents and Xena and Gabrielle in each others arms. She turned to Exl and said trying to be amusing: “Welcome to the family, warrior.” Exl smiled and said:
“Thanks.” Cyrene walked to the young women and said:
“This turned out to be a nice family reunion.” Exl and Lila nodded.
Xena and Gabrielle walked to Exl and Xena said trying to keep a straight face:
“Exl, you little trickster. You gave us quite a scare coming in like that.” Exl tried to look innocent and said:
“I'm sorry Xena, I just thought it would be a nice surprise…”
Xena couldn't be mad at Exl, after all it was a nice surprise having Gabrielle and her father reconcile and to get Herodotus bless their marriage. Xena put Exl in a head lock and ruffled her hair. Exl released herself from Xena's clutch and said:
“Hey, what was that for?” Xena looked at Gabrielle, then at Exl. She winked and said:
“For just existing” Then Gabrielle hugged Exl and said:
“Thank you Exl, for always being there for us.”
“Don't thank me. I'm just doing my duty.” Exl said and saluted her Couple.
Then Cyrene announced:
“I think this calls for a celebration.”
That evening there was a sign on the inn's door saying: “Closed for a private occasion.” Those attending the special occasion, celebrated long into the night and were happy to be part of this big, loving family. Everyone had a reason to be happy about. Herodotus, Hecuba and Cyrene had all gained two daughters, two new daughters to love and to care for. Exl had gained three new “grandparents” who loved her like a daughter of their own. Only a while ago she was alone this world, now she had a big family around her. Herodotus now understood that even thought Gabrielle was now happily married and had a family of her own, she would never forget her birth family, her parents, her sister. She could always come home and visit and Herodotus didn't have to fear for her safety or for her life. He knew that Gabrielle now had a family that she loved will all her heart and a family that would always keep her safe from harm. Cyrene was happy that her fierce warrior daughter had finally found someone to love and to care for, who would hopefully calm down her wild nature a bit. Lila was very happy for Gabrielle and happy to get two tough warrior sisters. Gabrielle was glad that her father had accepted Xena as her soul mate and wife, she didn't have to worry about going home to Potidaea to visit her parents and fear that her father would try to attack Xena. Xena was happy to have the most loving, caring wife and the best, most loyal Guardian in the world. All was well, the gods had had truly been smiling on this marriage and on this family.
Someone knocked on the door. Before anyone could open the door, a man came running inside and said:
“Is Xena here?” Xena stepped forth, so did Gabrielle and Exl. The man was glad to see Xena, he said: “Xena, there are bandits headed this way. We need your help in defeating them.” Xena turned to look at her wife and their Guardian, then she looked at rest of their great family. They all nodded. Xena turned back to face the man and said:
“Okay, we'll help.“ The man left after hearing Xena would help them. Xena said, drawing her sword from its scabbard:
“Okay my dear family. Let's go kick some bad guy butt.” Exl drew her axes and Gabrielle clasped her staff in both her hands. The three women stood there side by side for a moment, they looked at one another and after Xena gave her war cry, they ran out door, disappearing into the darkness of the night. The ones who stayed just looked at each other and then Lila said something everyone could agree with:
“Like the old saying goes: A family that fights together, stays together.”
With this unusual family, it was the undisputed truth.
End of part 2
The series will continue in: “The Island of the cursed”
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