DISCLAIMER: The characters Xena/Gabrielle/Argo are subject to copyright. No infringement of this was intended. I have a feeling that Ares and Hades have been around awhile. Like all my stories, our two heroes are in love. Because that is the way it is. There is no sex in this tale, so no-one should be offended. Actually, it is very sentimental. Though this has nothing to do with this story, I would like to say that all praise goes to Lucy and Renee, they make the greatest programme ever, what it is. Thank you ladies.
As ever ALL comments are welcome.
a short story about love.
I am writing this rather hurriedly, I fear my time is running out.
I'm Gabrielle by the way. Some have called me the bard of Potidaea, but I wish my name to live on in only one way. As Xena's best friend.
I know you have heard of Xena, the Warrior Princess. It is important that I write this now. Xena is the most beautiful, kind, loving and giving person that I have ever known. THAT is the Xena who must be remembered.
We were becoming very close recently, she had relaxed her normal stoic ways, and it was the glory of my life. Let me tell you what she said, only a short time ago.
"Gabrielle, I am afraid of dying"
I was amazed, yet she looked so serious.
"Do not worry about Tartarus" I told her, "You have such a kind heart, I believe, I KNOW that the Elysian fields are your destiny"
Her expression became even more intense.
"Five years, even five minutes in Elysia would be unbearable without you being there by my side"
Those words from my warrior must be the most beautiful sound ever.
My eyes filled with tears, as did Xena' s, we kissed. Then I tried to make things lighter.
"Perhaps I will die first" I said, though not at all solemnly.
"No!" That single word carried utter certainty. Xena looked at me with those astonishing blue eyes.
"No-one will EVER harm you, Gabrielle. I WILL NOT LET THEM"
And I knew Xena meant it.
So what happened? The irony of life. I have sealed my own fate by choosing the wrong mushroom. After all the warlords and monsters and common thugs we have battled together, I manage to poison myself while preparing supper!
The look on Xena's face as she left is the most heart-breaking thing I have ever seen. I know she wanted to stay with me, but she also needed to do something, anything that she thought might help.
I know it is futile, the nearest village is a half-days ride away. Besides, there is no guarantee they will have a healer with the proper skills or materials to supply me the anti-dote. Killed by my own stupidity! It is almost amusing.
Strangely, I do not feel too bad. My head is clear, and I think I would still have the strength to walk down to the stream. Xena forbade it.
Simply by writing this, I am sending the poison more quickly through my system.
But expressing my love for Xena is my only concern, for her sake, and for history.
I would gladly give up my eternity in Elysia, to spend just one more day on Earth with my beautiful friend. My Xena.
(Somewhere on Mt. Olympus)
"Damn it Hades, do your job!" the god of war was impatient.
"Ares, your hatred of Gabrielle is astonishing. You know Xena loves her completely, and that makes you jealous. It is an ugly sight"
"Listen Hades, once you have collected the brat, Xena will be mine! I don't understand what she sees in the irritating blonde, but I do know that seeing the scrawny kid dead will flip Xena's mind"
"Ares, you are my nephew, but I find you distasteful" said Hades.
But the god of war was still ranting.
"I have decided to blame Ismio, a second-rate warlord if ever there was one.
Xena will slaughter him and his little army so easily! And with a new found bloodlust, and no blonde brat to keep her in check. Xena, the murderous Xena, will be back!"
"Did you hear what Gabrielle said. She is willing to give up her eternity in heaven, for just one more day with Xena! That is an incredible sentiment. I have the power to grant that wish, Ares. You know I have" Hades smiled.
"No way! No tricks! My sentimental uncle! I know you are a fan of Xena's, but this is MY plan" Ares shouted angrily.
Even as she galloped Argo for all she was worth, Xena knew it was too late.
An emptiness, a black hole of loneliness had suddenly descended upon her.
She cradled the lifeless body of her bard against her own shaking body.
Tears streamed down her face, she spoke no words, just gently kissed the mouth, cheeks and forehead of her beloved Gabrielle.
When Ares appeared before her, Xena looked up, then immediately returned her gaze to her beautiful bard.
"This was no accident Xena. I saw it happen. Gabrielle had picked only edible mushrooms, then that scum Ismio and a couple of his thugs swapped them over with the deadly ones"
The warrior heard these words, but continued to cradle her love.
"So lovely, so beautiful" she cried gently.
The god of war became angry, he had expected a different reaction.
"They are laughing at you Xena! And your brat friend! Boasting about how easily they killed her!"
The warrior ignored him. She felt totally numb.
"Xena!" raged Ares "If you don't butcher these pigs, slaughter them like they deserve, then you truly did not love Gabrielle"
Suddenly, Xena gave a yelp. Shining green eyes were staring back at her.
Gabrielle rose to her feet and marched rapidly towards Ares.
"Don't you EVER taunt my Xena again! Or you will have ME to answer to"
The bard then swung her staff with all her strength and sent it crashing forcefully into Ares' face.
He looked utterly astonished. He stood for a moment, then vanished.
Xena and Gabrielle fell into each others arms and hugged as if they would never let go.
(Back at Olympus)
Ares stood gingerly rubbing his nose. He was aghast.
Hades was laughing loudly. "You know I am a fan of Xena's. I am now a big fan of Gabrielle too" he smirked.
"She belted me and I could not stop it!" Ares was disbelieving.
"Yes, I saw. It was great to watch!" said Hades.
Ares suddenly turned very angry. "It was you! You granted the brat that stupid wish of hers!" He then smiled.
"But you have done me a favour, Hades. Gabrielle MUST die within 24 hours. That is a rule you cannot break.
And seeing her precious friend expire TWICE in a day. Xena really WILL get mad!!"
Hades continued to smile.
"Only one problem, I did NOT grant that wish. I considered it, but no, I have not interfered in any way"
Ares shook his head. "A scrawny kid not only comes back to life, but also nearly disfigures my handsome features? Impossible! There is no power on Olympus that could make her do that!"
"The problem with you Ares, is you always underestimate the most powerful force ever. Love." Said Hades.
"And the love between Xena and Gabrielle is the most powerful of all"