FINDING MY WAY

BY: ThingforGabrielle


Disclaimers: The characters of Xena, Gabrielle, Eve, Ares, Varia, Aphrodite, and any other original Xena character belong to Renaissance Pictures.....MCA Universal....and the creators of Xena: Warrior Princess. The character of Terrais, even though she is named after an original Xena Warrior Princess character, is my own creation. I am not receiving any payment or compensation for this story.

Ares Disclaimer: Ares will not be portrayed in a favorable light throughout this entire story. I enjoyed the character, and loved Kevin Smith as an actor, however to serve this plot, Ares won't be a very nice god.

This is a do not read at work warning!

Sex: Eventually there will be very detailed, explicit sex between two women. There will also be some descriptions of attempts at non-consensual sex between both same sex couples as well as opposite sex couples. If this is illegal where you live, for heaven's sake close this page NOW!! You could get in lots of trouble!! If by chance you are underage, go away and do not read this.

Language: Yes, there will use foul language.

Violence: Will happen, including dealing with battle lust in a sexual manner.

Spoilers: There will be references to any and all episodes throughout the series.

Post-Fin: This piece of work is difficult to explain. It definitely takes place after FIN. Xena is dead in this story and remains dead (for the most part.) There will be an original character that will be the co-lead of the story. Yes, Gabrielle will move on, so if you don't like that idea, then this may not be the story for you. There will be closure to a lot of points from the original series that I felt were left hanging open. But again, I REPEAT, GABRIELLE WILL BE INTIMATE AND FALL IN LOVE WITH ANOTHER PERSON BESIDES XENA.


PART ONE

The short-haired blonde decided it was time to make her way back to her homeland. She had missed Greece during her time in Japa, however, returning alone was not what she had in mind. Carrying all of her supplies, as well has her weapons, she left the boat, sighing deeply. Her first priority was to find a horse. Gabrielle knew then where she had to go. She had to find her daughter, Eve, and tell her that her other mother had been killed. Gabrielle also knew that she had to finally put Xena to rest by placing her ashes in the family shrine at Amphipolis. All of these tasks ahead of her would not be simple. She dreaded the idea of having to enter Xena's hometown without her.

Of course, over the last 25 years, while sleeping in an ice cave, Xena and Gabrielle had lost most of their family and friends. As Gabrielle walked along the pier, leaving the boat, she thought about visiting her sister and seeing how her niece, Sara, was fairing. All in all, however, Gabrielle didn't know if she had the strength to do all that was ahead of her without her best friend and soul-mate.

Gabrielle quickly found a stable that had a horse she could purchase. After haggling over the price, she placed all of her belongings into the saddlebags and took off from the port city. Once escaping the city limits, Gabrielle slowed the horse and began thinking back to the day that she lost her soul-mate. Her mind wondered at what she had been thinking when she listened to Xena and did not place her ashes in the Fountain of Strength, ╬What the hell did I do? Xena, I can't believe I let you convince me that not bringing you back was the best thing to do.' Tears slowly began to escape from Gabrielle's beautiful green eyes as she wandered the road that led to Amphipolis. She had heard from travelers that the messenger of Eli, Eve, had gone to Amphipolis to visit with cousins of Xena's. Gabrielle hoped she would get there before Eve left. Again, Gabrielle's mind wandered back to when the boat left Japa, carrying her with Xena's ashes. Xena had told her, as a spirit, that she would always be there, ╬Even in death, Gabrielle, I will never leave you.' Gabrielle ruefully thought, ╬What good does that do me now?'

Quietly Xena's spirit watched over her soul-mate. It hurt Xena terribly to know how much Gabrielle was struggling. She so much wanted to help, but wasn't sure if her ghostly appearances didn't, in fact, make matters worse. Xena watched Gabrielle ride through the countryside, regretting not being able to physically comfort her

soul-mate and the love of her life. It was too late to undo what had been done, but Xena felt that she should be

doing more. As Gabrielle disappeared around the bend, Xena felt a presence next to her. As she turned, she saw a

flicker of pink and then Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love appeared. Xena smirked, then frowned at the serious look on Aphrodite's face.

"Xena, what in the world were you thinking?" Aphrodite put her hands on her hips, jutting them to one side. She stared menacingly at Xena, at least as menacingly as this goddess can.

"What are you talking about? And why are you here?" Xena turned to look up the road where Gabrielle had just disappeared.

"You know, I thought you were selfish, but this takes the cake. Do you know what you have done to her girl?" Aphrodite waived her hand towards where Gabrielle had been standing.

"Yes, but I had to. Anyway, this is none of your concern." Xena bowed her head, knowing that Aphrodite had always had a soft spot for Gabrielle.

"Well, it is my concern, but at the moment, that is not why I am here." Aphrodite walked towards Xena.

"How can you see me anyway? I thought Gabrielle was the only one." Xena relaxed a little. Aphrodite had always been one of her favorite gods, even though Aphrodite usually spelled trouble wherever she went.

"I am a god, you know." Aphrodite looked completely appalled with Xena, "Anyway, since you are in this mess, I have come to try and help you." Aphrodite made a chair appear from nowhere.

"I don't need your help, thank you." Xena stalked around the chair as Aphrodite sat down and delicately crossed her legs.

"I hate to admit, girlfriend, but you do need my help. And I need yours." Aphrodite again looked serious, which concerned Xena greatly.

"What?" Xena had no patience for not knowing what was going on.

"You don't beat around the bush do you?" Aphrodite looked at Xena and then broke out into giggles, "Never mind I said that. Anyway, someone close to me is in deep trouble. She's an Amazon." Aphrodite looked up to find Xena watching and waiting for more information. "Her name is Terrais, she is named after the Amazon

princess who Gabrielle tried to save a long time ago. She is --important to me and she is dying." Aphrodite turned away, clearly upset.

"It's a little difficult for me to help someone when I am already dead." Xena paced, her mind wandering off to where Gabrielle was going.

Aphrodite continued, trying to ignore Xena's unwillingness to help, "Terrais is in your home village, Amphipolis. Eve is there with her. Terrais had been traveling with Eve since she left Indis, until Terrais was attacked by a bunch of thugs. Eve was attacked too, but Terrais saved her and took the brunt. She was beaten so badly. . . ." Aphrodite whimpered.

Mentioning Eve's name quickly gained Xena's attention, "How is Eve?" Xena asked, moving closer to Aphrodite.

"She is fine. She and Terrais have become close in their travels. Eve is extremely upset and is convinced that Terrais could die at any moment. The problem is, it isn't Terrais' time, and I can't stop it. It's a . . . a higher power than me." Aphrodite started playing with her pink nightie.

"What higher power?" Xena sat down next to the goddess of love.

Aphrodite looked towards the heavens, "I have spoken with Eli. He asked that I find you and seek your help."

"How can I help? I'm dead. I can't help anyone." Xena looked down, saddened by the fact that she could do nothing to stop what was about to happen.

"Well, you're wrong, warrior babe. You can help. And it is much bigger than just saving Terrais' life. It will also save Gabrielle's." Aphrodite stood, seemingly stronger.

"What does Gabrielle have to do with this?" At the mention of Gabrielle's name, Xena became tense.

"She is dying inside. She misses you so. She lost half of her soul. She needs it back." Aphrodite again began to look nervous, "Terrais is not fighting for her life. Her injuries are not lethal, but she has lost her will to live. She was beaten so badly, and the men were about to rape her when she lost consciousness. They actually failed, but deep within her consciousness, she believes they did and she thought at the time that Eve was dead. She felt that she failed and now doesn't want to live. Eve can't get through to her, nor can anyone else."

"What did this Terrais mean to Eve, were they more than friends?" Xena didn't believe that Eve had had an interest in women, but then Xena never shared her physical interest in Gabrielle either, so it was possible for Eve to have hidden those same feelings.

"To Eve, Terrais was a close friend, nothing else. But Terrais was developing feelings for Eve. I know that Terrais wasn't in love with her, but Terrais was beginning to learn that she had feelings for women. Terrais just misplaced that attraction towards Eve, because they were close." Aphrodite walked around, swishing her hips in an almost distracting manner.

"So to Terrais, this was completely devastating." Xena had a clear understanding of what Terrais was going through. Xena, herself, had struggled so with the pain she had watched Gabrielle go through, bearing an evil child, death more than once, and loss of family.

"Yeah, I think you've got the picture." Aphrodite was quite pleased that Xena was understanding her.

"But wait, I still don't understand what this has to do with Gabrielle." Xena whirled around, staring boldly at the beautiful goddess.

"Well, that's the tricky part that I had to get info from Eli about." Aphrodite once again sat down, knowing this would be more difficult that the first part of the story. "Terrais' soul is all but dead. Without another soul, she will not survive. For love and peace within this world to continue, and to stop Ares from destroying the world, Terrais and Gabrielle must join together to stop him." Aphrodite looked to see if she still had Xena's full attention, and although Xena was visibly more tense, she knew she was listening, "Terrais needs a soul, and that soul must be yours, to save both her and Gabrielle. Without your help, Terrais will die, Gabrielle will give up living and Ares will cause a war that will destroy the known world. This is your chance, Xena, to make it all up to Gabrielle."

"How will saving Terrais save Gabrielle?" Aphrodite could tell that Xena was definitely considering doing whatever it took to help Gabrielle.

"Well, you may not care for this part, but it's a necessity. It is all so complicated, that I can't explain all of it to you, you have to trust me. But, I can tell you, Gabrielle will fall in love with Terrais and Terrais will fall in love with Gabrielle. When this happens, your soul will reunite with Gabrielle's." Aphrodite tensed, waiting for the explosion.

Xena stared at Aphrodite for what seemed to be an eternity. Then, in a very quiet but forceful voice asked, "What do you mean Gabrielle will fall in love with Terrais? Gabrielle is not attracted to wo--." Xena could not finish her sentence. Had she missed her chance during all those years?

"Xena, you were so blind and stubborn. Gabrielle has always been attracted to women, at to least you, if not others. This is your chance to make up for not giving Gabrielle the intimacy she deserved." Aphrodite placed her hand on Xena's arm, but Xena jerked it away.

"You mean I could have had an intimate relationship with Gabrielle? Why didn't you tell me? Couldn't you have interfered one time?" Xena was yelling at the top of her lungs.

"Xena." Aphrodite gave Xena that placating, charming smile with which she could win anyone over, "Really, would you have listened to me?"

Xena knew she would not have listened. She was too busy blaming herself and denying that she could ever make Gabrielle truly happy. Now she had to make the decision of whether someone else could make Gabrielle happy. At least their souls would be together, Xena reasoned.

A few moments passed before Aphrodite decided to speak, "Xena, I know this a lot to ask, but Terrais is important to me. She is important to Eve and most importantly, she will be important to Gabrielle. Please, think about this."

"I have thought about it." Xena turned to look at Aphrodite, "I will help. What do I need to do?" As soon as Xena realized that this could help Gabrielle, she knew she would do this for Aphrodite.

Aphrodite beamed her approval and started hopping up and down, a potentially dangerous task for the Goddess of Love, considering her giftedness, "Oh goodie. Okay, I need to calm down. Alright, all you need to do is close your eyes and Eli and I will take care of the rest. Now, let me tell you one thing, you won't really be aware of anything in the future, but there may be a time when your strength, your soul's strength, will show through and Gabrielle will clearly recognize your soul within Terrais. But, hopefully by that point they will have fallen in love and Gabrielle will realize what a gift she has been given."

"Alright, then let's get this show on the road." Once Xena had made her decision, she was anxious to get started. She, too, was tired of hurting. This way, her soul, in whatever form, would be with her soulmate.

Gabrielle rode into Amphipolis the day after she left the docks. The small village looked to be prospering and she was glad the portal to hell had not completely destroyed the village. She remembered back when hell almost claimed Xena, as well as the acts she and Xena had performed together, and with others. That evening had been the closest that Gabrielle and Xena had come to making love. But, for better or worse, Gabrielle realized that, in that moment, it would have only been sex, nothing more. Neither of them, at the time, were capable of truly loving, not with that much evil in the air.

Gabrielle shook her head free from the thoughts of the past and sighed. She knew that she would never get the chance to make love with Xena, something that she had desired, but couldn't share, for so long. Now it was time to concentrate on the present. She needed to find Eve and make sure she knew about Xena. Then it would be time to put her friend's ashes to rest in the family tomb. After that, Gabrielle didn't care what she did or where she went. Her responsibilities would be complete.

Gabrielle jumped off her mare and walked through the village towards Xena's mother's tavern. She thought she would start there looking for Eve. As she walked into the tavern, she noticed a few people sitting at tables, eating an evening meal. She didn't recognize anyone, too much time had passed. She saw slightly familiar faces from when they had been there almost two years before, but she didn't know names. Gabrielle walked up to the barkeep and asked if he had seen or heard of Eve.

"Eve, Xena's daughter?" The barkeep seemed unconcerned with the questioning.

"Yes, yes, Eve, Xena's daughter. Do you know where she is?" Gabrielle couldn't believe that she could so lucky to find Eve this quickly.

"Yeah, she's over at Virgil's homestead. She's been tending to a sick friend. I think she's been over there for quite a few days." The barkeep brought out a cup of water for Gabrielle to drink.

"A sick friend? Do you know who?" The last time Gabrielle had seen her, Eve was alone, traveling to Indis.

"I don't know who she is. Word is, the friend was injured severely in a fight to save Eve. I don't know much else. Do you know where Virgil lives?" The barkeep stopped to see if Gabrielle needed any further help.

"Yeah, I know." Gabrielle drank down the water, "Thank you. I appreciate your help." Gabrielle turned and quickly made her way back to her mare and rode to Virgil's.

Eve continued to sit by Terrais' bedside, waiting for some sign of improvement. When Eve was not sitting beside Terrais, she was praying to Eli for some kind of guidance. Terrais had been unconscious for over a week, the chances of recovery were looking dismal. However, late last night, Eve had sensed a change in Terrais' breathing pattern and thought that color had begun to return to Terrais' face. Eve didn't know what had occurred, she had all but given up on Terrais making a recovery, but after last night, Eve started to have some of hope.

Eve felt guilty about Terrais' injuries. If Eve had not insisted on traveling the exact road they had been on, the thugs would not have crossed their path. Eve also had vowed not to fight, following the path of peace, leaving everything to Terrais. Even though Terrais was a well-trained Amazon, it was too difficult for her to defend against the six attackers. Not until Eve saw the remaining three men prepare to rape Terrais, did Eve leave her path of peace and render each of them helpless, saving Terrais from at least that fate. But Eve had not stopped the horrible beating that had almost killed her friend.

Terrais and Eve had met on the border of Indis, when Eve decided to return to Greece to spread her message of peace. Terrais had left her Amazon tribe to see the world and had run into Eve in her travels. They were fast friends and traveled together. Company made travel easier for both. Eve grew fond of Terrais. But only shortly before the fight, did Eve begin to realize that Terrais had feelings for her, in an intimate way. She had to gently explain to Terrais that though she did not feel that way for her, she completely understood and excepted Terrais and her feelings for women. For Eve, love was love. She had witnessed a strong womanly bond between her mother and her mother's partner, Gabrielle, and was convinced that love between women was not wrong, just not for her. Terrais had accepted this from Eve, and still wanted to be close, and to continue to build a friendship. Then this horrible event had taken place. Now it seemed that Terrais had given up all hope to live.

Eve looked upon Terrais, noting the physical toll the injuries were taking on her. Eve would not have described Terrais as classically beautiful, but definitely attractive. Terrais was a few inches shorter than Eve, close to the same height as Gabrielle. Terrais, while small, was very strong for her size. All muscle and stout, Terrais was a formidable opponent. She also had an inner beauty, caring for people she did not know and helping anyone in need. Even though Eve was not physically attracted to Terrais, she knew that Terrais' bright blue eyes and shoulder- length, light brown hair would attract many women, once Terrais made it known that she was available and interested. Her smile alone was winsome. Eve only hoped that she would see the smile again.

Well after dark, Eve heard someone approaching the house on horseback. Virgil and his wife had left earlier in the day to visit his wife's sister, who was about to give birth to her first child. This left Eve and Terrais alone in the home. Eve knew that if Terrais did not wake soon, that she probably never would. There wasn't much Eve could do, except wait. Hearing the horse, Eve exited the house to see who could be approaching so late in the evening.

Gabrielle rode toward the house, which was mostly dark, save one candle burning in the front window. As Gabrielle dismounted, she could see Eve stepping out to the front porch. The moonlight shone brightly around this one she had come to know as her daughter. Gabrielle was relieved to see her, and yet very sad concerning the news she had to deliver.

Eve couldn't believe her eyes. She had not seen Gabrielle since leaving the Amazon village, bound for Indis. Eve saw immediately Gabrielle's distress. Eve also noticed that her mother was nowhere to be seen. Eve, however, was not surprised. Eli had already come to her in her prayers and had been told that her mother had been illed in another country. She had grieved, and with Terrais' support had come to accept the loss. Eve was relieved to see that Gabrielle had survived physically, if not emotionally.

"Eve." Gabrielle approached Eve with outstretched arms. They embraced, but as they did so, Gabrielle began to sob. She had not grieved to this extent since leaving Japa, and seeing Eve, Xena's child, was her undoing.

"It's alright Gabrielle. I know and I'm okay. I've known for awhile." Eve continued to hold Gabrielle while she cried.

"How did you know?" Gabrielle stepped back, but continued to hold on to Eve's hands.

"Eli came to me. I've had time to deal with it. I'm glad to see that you are still alive." Eve tried to smile at Gabrielle, but Eve could see the profound sadness.

Gabrielle awkwardly stepped back, needing to gain control of her emotions, "Yes, I'm alive, still here in this miserable world." Gabrielle turned her back to Eve, took a deep breath, and then turned back around, clearly putting the cold, icy barrier back in place, "So, I hear you have an injured friend. What happened?"

Eve wanted to tell Gabrielle that she didn't need that defense barrier here with her. Instead of pushing, Eve decided to move on. Eve now had more than one person to try and take care of, "Yes, her name is Terrais, she is an Amazon." Eve turned, and motioning her into the house.

"Terrais? Named after the princess from many years ago?" Gabrielle brought her bag into the house and sat it by the front door.

"Yes, that is what she told me. She is an independent soul. She left her tribe to see the world, believing that when she returned, she would settle down. But she knew she wouldn't be ready until she had seen a bit of the world. We met outside of Indis, during my return to Greece. We instantly became friends." Eve walked towards the back room where Terrais was laying.

"Well, I'm glad you had someone to travel with. How is she injured?" Gabrielle stepped into the room to see the still, quiet body of a woman on a narrow bed. Gabrielle noticed the sweat-soaked hair and twitching eyelids of the girl that lay before her.

"Terrais and I were about the enter Amphipolis when we were attacked by six men. She was able to stop three of them, but the others overcame her. It was brutal and I was too late in helping her. I had originally stood on my damned principles and almost got us killed. They were about to . . . ." Eve started to choke and tear up at the memory, "they were about to rape her and then I finally came to my senses and was able to stop them." Eve sat down next to Terrais and started running a cold wash cloth over Terrais' heated skin.

"So they didn't. . . ." Gabrielle let the sentence hang in the air as she watched Eve tend to her friend. Gabrielle looked on curiously as Eve took care of Terrais. She noted how tender Eve was in her ministrations. "No, thank goodness. But they did beat her badly before I could stop them. The healer didn't believe it was life threatening, but it's been almost a week since the fight. If she doesn't wake up soon, she probably won't." Gabrielle could see the pain of guilt in Eve's eyes for her friend's injuries.

Gabrielle placed her hand on Eve's shoulder, "I'm sure you're doing everything you can to bring her back. It really is up to her to fight her way back here."

"I thought I saw some improvement in her appearance last night and this morning. I'm hoping . . ." As Eve continued her thought, she felt Terrais jerk her hand. Then, just as quickly, Terrais started trying to open her eyes and take shallow, faster breathes. Gabrielle stepped back, realizing that Terrais was going to come around. Whether or not she would be alright was another matter.

Eve held her breath and waited, anxiously, for Terrais to fully open her eyes. Terrais tried to focus on her surroundings, with great difficulty. Her head hurt severely and the rest of her body didn't feel much better. Her throat was so dry that she didn't think she could speak. She felt Eve by her side, but also felt another presence in the room, another person.

"Terrais, can you speak? Are you awake?" Eve grabbed Terrais' right hand and squeezed tightly.

Terrais could only nod slightly. She stayed still, closing her eyes, wondering if she could try to open them again. After a few seconds, she tried to pry the heavy lids open and focus on the people in the room. As she fully opened her eyes, she first saw Eve, sitting by her side, and then off to Eve's left, another woman, about her size, but with bright blonde hair, watching intently. Terrais had no idea who the woman was, but noted that she was absolutely stunning in her bright red velvet top and skirt. Terrais wondered if she was dead and this blonde woman was an angel, but then she realized she hurt too much to be dead.

Eve handed Terrais a cup of water and Terrais was able to lift her head slightly and take a couple of sips. Finally, she tried to speak, "Eve. . ."

"No, Terrais. Save your energy. We can talk when you feel better. I am just so glad that you are awake." Eve began to cry and lay her head on top of Terrais' chest. Terrais was able to lift her left hand and pat Eve on top of the head. However, Terrais could not stop looking at the unknown blonde standing quietly off to the side.

After a few moments, Eve raised herself up and wiped her tears away. She was so relieved, Terrais had regained consciousness. It was a miracle. Eve had all but given up hope of recovery. She looked at Terrais and saw that she was looking past her, towards Gabrielle, "Oh, Terrais. Let me introduce you to someone I have spoken about on our travels. Terrais, this is Gabrielle, Gabrielle this is my friend, Terrais."

Eve stood and made way for Gabrielle to say hello. However, Gabrielle was rooted in place, staring into bright blue eyes. It was haunting to Gabrielle, those eyes reminding her so much of Xena, so vivid. Terrais continued to stare at Gabrielle, both waiting for the other to say something.

Eve watched the interaction, and wondered what was happening between the two. It was unusual to have either individual speechless, but that was surely the case now. Finally, Eve could not stand the silence any longer, "Do you two know each other?" Eve looked back and forth between the two.

"No, no, I'm sorry. It's nice to meet you Terrais." Gabrielle tried to recover the connection she felt between the injured one and herself.

"It's a pleasure to meet you Gabrielle. I wish I could stand to greet you properly. But as you can see, I am--." Terrais turned her head, clearly upset by her helplessness.

Gabrielle, understanding, cautiously approached the side of the bed and bent down to touch Terrais' hand. When they touched, an electric shock passed between them and surprised them both. Gabrielle recoiled, needing to gain control, "It's okay. I'm sure, in no time, you'll be up and around. Eve tells me nothing is broken and that the worst damage was to your head."

Terrais looked at Gabrielle and then at Eve. Terrais tried to take stock of her body. She didn't think anything was broken. She hurt all over, but her body felt intact. What she had believed to be the inevitable rape came crashing back on her mind. Suddenly, Terrais got a horrified look on her face and started to cry. Taken aback, Gabrielle stood up and looked to Eve for help.

Eve rushed to the bedside to hold Terrais. Terrais struggled out of Eve's embrace, shouting, "Don't touch me. I feel so filthy after what they did to me." Terrais continued to thrash around. Gabrielle helped Eve restrain Terrais, attempting to prevent further injury.

"Terrais, what's wrong?" Eve asked, trying to understand.

"Those men . . . you were down . . . my clothes were ripped . . . I saw the bigger man come towards me while the other two held me down . . ." Terrais sobbed.

"No, no it's not what you think, Terrais." Eve tried to hold Terrais as she cried, "No one raped you. I stopped them. It's okay, no one hurt you like that." Eve patted her on the back as she began to calm down.

After a few moments, Gabrielle decided to leave the two alone, granting Terrais some privacy. As she wandered on the front porch of Virgil's home, she tried to recall the last time that she had seen Virgil. It probably had been when they left him here, suffering from the ordeal with the cannibals. It was supposed to be a vacation, camping out in the woods, her, Xena, Virgil and a friend of his. But, of course, nothing involving Gabrielle and Xena was easy. Gabrielle had almost become lunch. Luckily, they had survived.

Gabrielle was deep in thought and didn't hear Eve approaching from behind, "She is in a lot of pain. I gave her some herbs, hopefully it will help her to drift into sleep." Eve rung her hands. Gabrielle could tell that this had taken a toll on Eve. It did seem that there was more to the story than simply a friend being injured. What the "more" was, Gabrielle was unsure.

"It would be best for her to sleep now. How long can you both stay here?" Gabrielle gestured around Virgil's homestead.

"Virgil told us we could stay as long as needed, but I think it would do her good to get back to the Amazons. She is from Varia's tribe. She has childhood friends there who could help her physically and emotionally recover. She needs more than just me." Eve sat on a bench taking up most of the space on the porch.

"Does she have family?" Gabrielle sat next to Eve. Gabrielle was extremely curious about the woman who owned such brilliant blue eyes.

"No. She was adopted by the Amazons almost at birth. Her parents had been killed, at least that was what she had been told. She is such a strong-willed individual. I hate to see her like this." Eve started to cry and she began to unwind after the day's events.

Gabrielle placed her arm over Eve's shoulders, "Well, at least she is awake. It will just take time." Gabrielle gave Eve a tight squeeze and then relaxed. Quickly, Eve stood to go back to Terrais.

"I am going to sit with her a while. I don't want to leave her alone right now." Eve turned and entered the house.

Gabrielle sat on the porch for what seemed like a couple of candle marks. She tried to let her mind go blank, but continued to wonder where her dear friend's spirit would be wandering. She had not heard from Xena's spirit since she left the docks. If anything, Gabrielle thought that Xena's presence would be stronger now that she was in Greece, especially in her hometown. Gabrielle thought she felt a presence to her right, off to the side of the house. Gabrielle slowly stood and leaned around the corner. She didn't fear the presence, but she knew it wasn't her soulmate.

As Gabrielle stood at the end of the porch, Aphrodite made her self visible, "Hi, honey." Aphrodite looked as sad as Gabrielle felt.

"Hi. Considering the look on your face, you must have heard about Xena." Gabrielle leaned back on the wall of the house, not really wanting to have another lengthy discussion.

"Yes, I did. I know she was your soulmate. I am sorry. But I do have another purpose for popping in like this." Aphrodite was rarely all business, and this stance made Gabrielle take notice.

"And what would that be? Is Ares pissed and coming after me?" Gabrielle half expected Ares to storm in, demanding an explanation for Xena's death.

"Well, Ares does know. And right now he's grieving. I'm not as worried about him being mad at you, as much as who he will use as a replacement." Aphrodite had been worried about Terrais, and was somewhat relieved that the woman had regained consciousness.

"I will never side with Ares. You know that, Aphrodite." Gabrielle sighed, not wanting to admit her next statement, "I know he loved Xena in his own way, but she is gone, and this time she is not coming back." Gabrielle thought she should be crying, but somehow the tears just would not come.

"I know you, it is not you I worry about." Aphrodite placed her hands on top of Gabrielle's. She could tell how much Gabrielle was hurting. But she could not interfere anymore. Ares did not know who Terrais was and she couldn't risk telling Gabrielle. And not just because of Ares.

"I don't think Eve would ever leave her way of peace either." Gabrielle didn't seem to be actively participating in the conversation. Aphrodite knew it was time to leave for now.

"Well, I need to go get my hair done. Why don't you try to get some rest. I will see you in a few days." With that, Aphrodite gave Gabrielle's hands one last squeeze and vanished into pink air.

Gabrielle realized it was time for her to find a place to rest. She re-entered the house, towards the small room that housed Eve's friend. Something about the woman intrigued Gabrielle, but what she wasn't sure. As she entered the small room she was surprised to find Eve lying in the small bed next to Terrais, as if protecting her. Gabrielle suspected then that the relationship between the two probably was more than friendship. She was happy for Eve. Another feeling though, something she couldn't put her finger on, nagged at her as she watched the two sleeping. She shook her head and returned to the front of the house to lay her bedroll on the floor and try to rest. Rest did not come easy, however, for Gabrielle continued to the haunting blue eyes of Xena, or was it Terrais.

To be continued on Part 2

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