The day of Xena's and Gabrielle's wedding finally came. The wedding was to held in a
traditional Amazon way including the ceremonial consecration of their Guardian. Exl had been running back and forth in the village seeing to Xena's and Gabrielle's wishes and commands. She was exhausted when she arrived at the Queen's hut bringing Gabrielle her cape.
"Gabrielle… here is your royal cape", she tried saying while panting for air.
She was amazed to see Gabrielle in her wedding dress. It was a light emerald green
dress, with short sleeves and her royal emblem on her back. She had the Queen's
jewels around her neck and on her wrists. She wore brown leather boots.
"Well, how do I look?", Gabrielle asked and twirled around to show her Loyal her outfit. Exl bowed her head and said in a respectful voice:
"My Queen, you look extremely beautiful. Absolutely wonderful." Gabrielle laughed and said:
"You silly warrior, is everything else nearly ready?"
"Almost. I still have to see Xena and get changed", Exl answered the Queen her head still bowed.
"You may go", Gabrielle said and Exl was about to leave when Gabrielle made one last check:
"Exl, do you have the rings?" Gabrielle didn't want to be wed without the rings.
"Yes my Queen. Safe and sound", Exl said and left the hut.
A knock was heard on the door of the hut Xena was in preparing for the wedding.
"Come in", she said not looking to the door.
"My Princess, your humble servant at
your service", Exl announced bowing her head for the Warrior Princess. Then she looked at Xena, thinking she looked gorgeous in her short light blues dress, which had the same pattern that Xena had on her breast plate. She had a green wristband on her left wrist and on her feet, black boots. Her sword was in its scabbard on her back.
"Exl, you silly little…", Xena said a bit amused.
"Are you nervous?", Exl asked while going to sit in the chair.
"You bet I am, you don't get married everyday, especially to an Amazon Queen", Xena said her hands shaking so much she couldn't help it.
"Calm down, you're making me nervous", Exl tried calming her friend down.
"Everything ready?", Xena asked looking into Exl eyes, trying her best to calm down.
"I just need to get changed, that's all", Exl nodded.
"Great and you do have the rings?", Xena wanted to make sure.
"Yes, like I told your precious bride, they're safe and sound", Exl answered.
"Go and get dressed, I'll see at the ceremony", Xena gave Exl a push on the shoulder and a big smile. Exl gave Xena her special salute and left.
Everyone was ready for the ceremony. The drummers started drumming and the singers started singing a beautiful Amazon song usually sung at Amazon weddings. Ephiny walked to the altar and was given the ceremonial robe of an Amazon priest. After she had put it on, she gave a signal to Eponin, who whistled and then from the left side of the crowd Xena emerged and made her way to the altar. Pony was right behind her
carrying a covered pillow. When Xena arrived at the altar, she kneeled in front of Ephiny
and placed her sword in front of her and stood up. Ephiny gave another signal and Xena turned to see Gabrielle walking from the right side of the crowd. Chilapa was behind Gabrielle also carrying a covered pillow. Gabrielle walked in front of Ephiny, bowed her head to her Regent and then turned to Xena. Xena smiled at her bride and Gabrielle smiled back. One last signal from Ephiny and everyone turned to see who was to arrive
next. It was Exl, wearing a shirt with the other side dark blue, the other side dark green. On her back she had the emblem the Amazons had made especially for her, a double-edged axe inside of a heart held by two hands. She had brown pants and blackish brown boots. She had her axes in scabbards by her sides, a gold earring and was carrying a small wooden box. Xena and Gabrielle were amazed at their friend's beautiful outfit, it was just perfect. Exl walked to Xena and Gabrielle, bowed to both of them then kneeling on one knee holding the box in front of her. Ephiny began the ceremony:
"Amazons, we are here to witness the wedding of Queen Gabrielle and her Champion, Xena Warrior Princess and the consecration of their Guardian. Xena and Gabrielle have written their own vows, Gabrielle you may begin." She looked at Gabrielle and smiled.
Gabrielle took Xena's hand and said:
"Xena, my Love, my Life. Since the day we met, I knew you were special. You have always had a place in my heart and always will have. You are my breath, my will to live. You are my inspiration. In the name of our Guardian, I vow to love, to hold, to cherish you until the day I go the Elysian Fields. There we will be together again, for all eternity. I want to be with you forever, I never want to leave you. I love you Xena."
"Xena, you may say you vow now", Ephiny said to Xena.
Xena took Gabrielle's other hand and said:
"Gabrielle, my Love, my Precious. I wandered through the darkness until I met you. You are my Light, my Strength, my Heart. Without you I am not complete, you are a part of my soul. The reason I do the good things in my life is because of you. In the name of our Guardian, I vow to love, to hold, to cherish you until the day I go the Elysian Fields. There we will be together again, for all eternity. I want to be with you forever, I never want to leave you. I love you Gabrielle." The two women stared into each others eyes, sinking into a world of their own.
"Amazons, you have heard the vows of these two lovers. The words have come from their hearts. Gabrielle, do you take this woman, Xena, to be your wife and to love her and to protect her until the very end?" Gabrielle smiled at Ephiny, then looked at Xena and said:
"Yes, I do." Ephiny then asked Xena:
"Xena, do you take this woman, Gabrielle, to be your wife and to love her and to protect her until the very end?" Xena gave Ephiny a big smile, turned to Gabrielle and said:
"Yes, I do." Ephiny was happy and continued:
"With these rings, your love and dedication to each other will be sealed. Exl, the rings."
Exl opened the box and two rings were revealed. Xena took one and Gabrielle took one. "Please put the ring on your bride's finger.” The ring Xena put on Gabrielle's finger was
golden, it had a blue diamond and the letter X on the top. The ring Gabrielle put on Xena's finger was silver, it had a green emerald and the letter G on the top.
"With these rings, I pronounce you to be… wife and wife. Now you may kiss your wife." The two didn't need two be told twice. The kiss was warm and showed everyone this was a special couple.
"Now, as requested by the now wedded couple, they need to be appointed and consecrated a Guardian. Exl, please rise." Exl stood up and Ephiny continued:
"Gabrielle and Xena will now give their vow of love and dedication to their Loyal." Xena and Gabrielle took each other's hand and then Exl's hands. Gabrielle began:
"Exl, we have vowed to love and protect each other until the end. We need you to protect us to end and beyond it. If anything would happen to either of us, we need you to be there for the other. We need your love so our love will stay strong." Xena continued:
"Exl, we need to know that you are there for us. We will always be there for you, no matter what. Please become our Guardian, to guard our lives and our Love. We love you." Exl looked to the eyes of her beloved friends, then at Ephiny. Ephiny said:
"Exl, the Loyal. Now it is your turn to give your answer to this couple. What is it?" Exl turned to look at her friends and Begin:
"Queen Gabrielle, Princess Xena, it will be my honour to be your
Guardian. I will never leave your side, I will fight for you and your honour, I will give my life to save yours. I give you my weapons to serve you in anyway you wish. I will protect you until the day I die or until the day you will be together once again in the Elysian Fields. I agree to become your Guardian. I love you both." All three smiled and looked at each other.
"Amazons, you have heard the vow of this couple and their Loyal. They have promised to keep each other safe and to love one another. Chilapa, the pendant", Ephiny said. Chilapa stepped forth and removed the cover over the pillow and revealed a beautiful pendant. On the other side there was the jagged markings of Xena's chakram near the edges, a blue diamond in the middle and the letter X over the diamond. Below the diamond was Xena's emblem: a sword, a chakram and a lion's head inside a heart. This side represented Xena.
On the other side there were the straight markings of Xena's chakram near the edges, a green emerald in the middle and the letter G above the emerald. Below the emerald was Gabrielle's emblem: a scroll, a quill and a crowned heart. This was the side representing Gabrielle.
Ephiny looked at the pendant then at the Royal Couple.
"Xena, Gabrielle, you have the honour of placing the pendant around you Guardian's neck."
Together, Gabrielle and Xena took the pendant, placed it around Exl‘s neck, then gave her a kiss on both cheeks and on her forehead.
"With this pendant on her neck, I pronounce Exl, the Loyal is from this day on to be known as Exl, the Guardian. May the Guardian always be faithful and loyal to her Couple!. May the Gods bless this marriage and let their Guardian always be there to guard them", Ephiny announced and all the Amazons cheered.
"There is still one more thing do give. Eponin."
Eponin stepped forth by Ephiny's request and took the cover of the pillow she had been holding. No-one, except Eponin and Ephiny knew what was under the cover.
Everyone was amazed by the beautiful object that was revealed by the weapons master. Eponin said:
"Exl, this is a gift from our tribe. It is something that we hope you find useful when protecting our beloved Royal Couple. I want you to use it well and wisely."
It was a double-edged battle axe, like in Exl's emblem. It had her emblem on the black leather handle, and where the handle ended and the blade began, the letters X and G were engraved. It was especially made for Exl, to signify her duty as the Guardian of Gabrielle and Xena.
"Thank you Eponin, thank you Ephiny“, Exl said and bowed her head for the Amazons she respected. She took the axe, turned to rest of the Amazons, raised it high up in the air and shouted:
"Long live the Royal Couple!" That was a sign to the Amazons that now it would be time to party.
A celebration like this had never been seen in Amazonia . The food was magnificent, the dancing and performing spectacular. Everything had been perfect for the whole day, nothing had gone wrong, actually things had gone better than expected. Everyone wanted to celebrate the Royal Couple and their Guardian. Wanting a moment alone with the new couple, Exl took them for a small walk.
"Congratulations you two. How does it feel to be newlyweds?", Exl asked, finally getting the couple for herself for a while.
"I feel blessed, I could never have asked for a more lovely wife", Gabrielle said and looked at Xena.
"Yeah, thanks Exl, for helping us finally get joined as one", Xena said, smiling at her wife then at her Guardian. Exl saluted her Couple.
"Thank you for having me as your Guardian. I know that together, we will achieve great things. So, where are you two heading on your honeymoon?", Exl winked at the couple. "What do you mean, us two? You are coming with us, aren't you?", Gabrielle asked surprised at the comment made by her friend. Exl shook her head and said:
"Well back home, the Guardian was to be with the couple always, except on a few occasions. One is the honeymoon. You need your privacy."
"Well, that just won't do. You can‘t just leave us, who knows what could happen to us", Xena said.
“Well I could always accompany you and you need your privacy, I'll just disappear." Exl gave another wink. Gabrielle gave Exl a hug and said:
"Exl, we love you. We want you do be with us. Don't we dear?" Gabrielle looked at her wife, who said with a smile:
"Yes we do. You're not going to get rid of us that easy."
"Fine then, if that is what you wish", Exl said. Her Couple nodded.
"Let's get back, I have a surprise for you", Exl said with a mischievous smile that she must have learned from Xena.
Exl, Xena and Gabrielle returned to feast and when the new couple got seated, Exl called out:
"Amazons, my friends. I want to thank you all for this special day for Xena and Gabrielle, and for me as well. In my homeland, where this tradition has come from, we have another tradition that is part of becoming one's Guardian. The new Guardian will sing a song dedicated to his/her couple. And now it is my turn to the song I have made for my dear friends, Xena and Gabrielle. This is my way of thanking them for choosing me as their Guardian. I hope you like it."
Then she turned to her Couple and gave them her salute. The newlyweds couldn't believe their ears. Their young Guardian was about to sing them a song she had made, for them. Xena looked at Gabrielle with the "this is one of YOUR features" -look, but also showing she loved her Bard and her Guardian and Exl's features that were similar to both Xena's and Gabrielle‘s.
Amazon musicians started playing a peaceful song, and everyone was anxious of hearing the young warrior's song. Exl started singing in a deep, calm voice:
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
When Exl finished her song, everyone was in tears and amazed at the young warrior's beautiful voice and the lyrics she had written for her Couple's song. They began to cheer
for the Guardian, who bowed to her lovely audience and was pleased that they had liked her performance that much, even though she wasn't a very good singer in her own mind.
Xena and Gabrielle held each other in their arms, looking at their Guardian, knowing that their love for each other and love they had for their Guardian would never die. The women kissed and wiped the tears from each others eyes and said "I love you" to each other. Exl walked to her friends, kneeled in front of them and said:
"For you, my dear cherished friends." Both of the women grabbed Exl into a warm embrace and kissed her on the cheek and forehead.
"So I guess you liked it?", Exl said with hesitation. Gabrielle looked at Exl and said:
"No." Exl was surprised. Then Gabrielle smiled and looked at Xena who turned to her astonished young friend and said:
"We LOVED it." Exl's expression changed from amazement to great joy. She felt relieved and happy, she had finally got a family where she really belonged to, and Xena and Gabrielle were happy to have finally got each other and someone they both could love like a daughter, who would be there for them, until the very end.
All the Amazons present knew that from this day onward, these three women were inseparable and nothing they would face together could hurt them, as long as they were together.
End of part 3
The series will continue in: “Going Home”
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