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Disclaimer: The characters of Xena, Gabrielle, and Argo are property of MCA/Universal and Renaissance Pictures, they do not belong to me (although I wish they did!). All other characters and the story are property of the author. No infringement of copyright is intended and no money is being made in any way. So don't send the copyright cops around to put a Bard still wet behind the ears behind bars, coz that would just be mean!.
Love/Sex Warning: Well, there ain't no sex in the story (Is she mad?, I hear you cry, no I'm British, no, no, sorry, you were right the first time!) but it does involve a little bit of romancing between our two favourite gal pals so if you don't like that sort of thing you should probably go read something else other than this little tale.
Spoiler: Well it's a kind of mix between 'A Good Day' and 'Is There A Doctor In The House?' but I don't think it'll ruin anything for anyone who hasn't seen those episodes yet.
Anyway enough of that legal mubo-jumbo on with the story!......
The Power Of Love
Gabrielle awoke to find Xena had packed away her bedroll and most of their camp. Rubbing her eyes, she reluctantly rose from her bedroll. She gazed up at the morning sky, it was barely light, she figured it must only be a couple of candle marks past dawn. She scanned the area but could see no sign of her friend.
'Xena?' Gabrielle called into the undergrowth
'I'm over here Gabrielle' Xena called from Gabrielle's left
'What are you doing?'
'I'm readying Argo, I'm glad you're up though, I was hoping to leave in less than half a candle mark'
'Leave for where? and why so early?' Gabrielle questioned
Xena walked out of the bushes leading Argo behind her, a worried look on her face.
'Xena?' Gabrielle asked gently, her face furrowing with concern 'What is it?'
The warrior's eyes met those of the bard's.
'We're going to Amphipolis' The warrior answered and sat down on a log next to the campfire.
Her eyes burned with a fury Gabrielle had not seen for a while. Xena broke contact and looked to the floor not wanting her friend to see the amount of rage and hatred that now had a hold on her.
'Amphipolis?, wait a minute there's something else isn't there?, Xena....'
Gabrielle froze, she felt her body go numb. The Bard wasn't sure but she thought she felt her heart miss a beat. She opened her mouth to speak but Xena had already begun to .
'About a candle mark ago a villager from Laureinius came into our camp. He was badly injured and barely made it here. He collapsed in my arms and tried to speak, all he could manage was a single word; Caesar. With the last bit of strength he had, he thrust this scroll into my hand and that's when I felt his body go limp'
The Warrior looked up at the Bard waiting for her response. The was a moments silence, then the Bard spoke
'What does the scroll say?
'The scroll was originally addressed to the Theantrium militia'
'Theantrium?' The bard looked puzzled 'Why...'
The warrior had already anticipated the Bard's reaction.
'The two villages are in alliance with each other, they defend each other in battles and join forces when warlords attack'
'I see so they form, almost an army I suppose?'
'Yes, the two combined militia are very effective but separated they are defenceless. Caesar must have known this and so attacked Laureinius with half his army while the other half guarded the area around the village. The villager was on his way to Theantrium to bring the militia to Laureinius but must have got caught in the crossfire outside the village. He didn't make it to Theantrium but he managed to get to our camp'
The Bard looked at the warrior, she was starring into the fire. Gabrielle knew Xena was making plans.
'I don't quite understand this, Laureinius is the village that needs help but we're heading for Amphipolis?'
'Caesar didn't want Laureinius Gabrielle, that was just a place where he could keep his army out of view not to arouse suspicion, he's going to push north'
'And attack Amphipolis?'
The warrior nodded
'So, what are we going to do?'
'Wipe Caesar off the face of this planet!'
'Xena, Caesar has more than 8 legions here in Greece, that's over half his entire army! . How are we suppose to overcome that?'
'First of all we'll head towards Theantrium, we'll gather the militia and any able body that's willing to fight. Once we've agreed on strategies we'll storm Laureinius and send Caesar to Tartarus'
Xena got up and walked towards Argo.
'Xena?' Gabrielle said her voice quivering slightly
Xena turned around to look at the concerned Bard
'What are our chances?'
Xena looked around. The wind was low and the sun was beginning its trek across the piercing blue sky.
'It's a good day for fighting Gabrielle'
Gabrielle knew then there was going to be alot of bloodshed and that herself and Xena may not come out of this battle alive. The Bard rose and packed away her side of the camp. Picking up her staff she walked over to the warrior.
'Before all Tartarus breaks loose, I just want to tell you that you're the greatest friend anyone could ever wish for, I'd follow you to ends of the earth and back and I've never regretted leaving Potedia to join you. I've treasured every moment we've spent together and in death I hope we will still be together'
The Warrior smiled at the Bard
'Right back at ya'
Gabrielle could no longer hold back her emotions and tears began to run down her face. Xena pulled the Bard in close for a hug.
'Hey, there's no need to get upset' Xena said soothingly 'Sweetheart....'
The Warrior cupped the Bards face in her hands and gently placed a kiss on top of her head.
'You're right, I'm.., I'm sorry..'
'Shhh, it's ok...'
'Will you promise me one thing Xena?'
'Promise you'll never leave me?'
Xena smiled down at the Bard and gave her a tight hug.
'Gabrielle, you know I'll never leave your side, in life or in death. Our souls will always be together, for eternity'
The Bard smiled up at the Warrior
'I love you Xena'
'I love you too Gabrielle'
The Warrior hugged the Bard a moment longer and then began to mount Argo.
'Are you ready?'
'About as ready as I'll ever be!' Gabrielle said trying to sound cheerful'
'Right then, lets go to Theantrium'
Around two candle marks had passed before the Warrior and the Bard had made it to the outskirts of Theantrium. Immediately their arrival was greeted by six armed guards.
'Identify yourself Warrior' Demanded a soldier armed with a curved sword
'I'm Xena and this is my friend Gabrielle' Xena answered
'My name is Pentalium, I'm the first officer in the militia, state your business'
'I bring bad news Pentalium, the Romans have captured Laureinius. The extend of the damage I do not know but there cannot be many left alive'
'By the Gods!' Pentalium's face went pale
'I'm sorry, I know how close the two villages were' Xena said reassuringly
'My brother was posted in their militia. Son of a Bacchae!, I'll kill Caesar myself!'
'Caesar intends to attack my home village, Amphipolis. We need to stop him before that happens. The more land and power he gains the more chance he will stay on in Greece to further his empire.'
'Then we have no choice, we must go to war with the Romans. Will you join our army Xena?' Pentalium asked
'No' Xena said and waited for the reaction off Pentalium and Gabrielle 'I'll lead it!'
Some time had passed. Xena had stabled Argo and was in the village Inn busy preparing for battle. She began sharpening her sword while talking over plans with Pentalium. Gabrielle's job was to go into the village and make sure all the militia were properly equipped and knew of the battle plan.
'You!' Gabrielle said and pointed one of the stable boys 'What's your name?'
'Medius, you can ride a horse right?'
'Yes I can'
'I want you to ride into the surrounding villages and get anyone who is willing to fight to come here and await orders from Xena'
Medius mounted his horse and galloped off out of the village.
'Gabrielle!' Xena called from behind the Bard emerging from the Inn
Gabrielle turned around to greet her friend
'Have you decided on a final plan yet?'
'Yes, Pentalium and I have decided that we will attack Caesar from the east, that way we will hit both sides of his army fast and hard. Although they outnumber us two to one, they'll be so taken by surprise they won't be fully prepared for battle giving us the advantage'
'Isn't that a little risky Xena?'
'Yeah, but it's the best chance we've got' Xena said and walked back into the Inn.
It was nearing lunchtime before Medius returned. He was riding in front of more than 200 men all armed and ready for battle. Xena greeted them at the entrance to Theantrium.
The warrior smiled up at Medius on his horse.
'Nice job' She said and turned to face the new additions to her army 'Right listen up men, my name is Xena, I will be leading you into battle against Caesar. You are all very brave and should be proud; we are all fighting for the greater good. Has anybody got any questions?'
Xena scanned the see of faces to look for any doubt, she didn't see any. Inwardly she smiled; these men were indeed very brave.
'Good!, Pentalium is second in command, he will sort you into your different legions'
The day had been spent organising the troops and finalising battle plans. It was dusk before Xena and Gabrielle had settled down for a meal at the Inn.
'One candle mark to go' Xena said as she finished eating her stew.
Gabrielle simply looked at the Warrior; she was very worried and had a gut feeling something bad was going to happen.
'It's time to ready the Troops' Xena said and rose from the table.
Outside, Pentalium had been drilling the soldiers nearly all day. They all stood to attention as Xena and Gabrielle emerged from the Inn.
'Right men, you all know the plan by now. I wish you the best of luck. May the Gods smile kindly upon us this night'
'On your command Xena' Pentalium called
'Onward to Laureinius!' Xena cried and headed the army with Gabrielle on her right and Pentalium on her left.
Xena was worried. Gabrielle hadn't said a single word since they had left Theantrium, but she put it down to battle nerves and thought it best to leave her with her thoughts. The army was nearing the outskirts of Laureinius. They stopped about half a mile before the village. Xena turned to look at Pentalium.
'Pentalium take the first and second legion to the north-east, Gabrielle and I will take the third and forth directly into the village.'
Xena turned to face her army, her face showing no emotion.
'The attack needs to be swift so don't hang around or you'll be killed. Ready?'
Xena stooped down and place a strong hand on Gabrielle's shoulder. She gently whispered in the Bard's ear 'Are you ready?'
Gabrielle looked into Xena's piercing blue eyes and saw her concern. She smiled at her reassuringly.
'ATTACK!' Xena yelled and the army split two ways charging into Laureinius.
'Caesar!, Caesar!' Cried one Roman soldier 'We're under attack!'
'Quickly gather the army, get them ready for battle!' Caesar bellowed
Caesar ran to a makeshift look out tower. 'Klenus!, who is at the head of the army?'
'It's a woman my lord, a warrior woman'
'XENA!' Caesar cursed. He ran to his first Officer. 'Is the army ready Bapilon?'
'Yes my lord, on your command' Bapilon replied
Caesar mounted his horse and drew his sword.
'For imperial Rome!' Caesar cried and his army charged out of Laureinius to meet with Xena's.
As the Roman's neared Xena and her army, Caesar laughed to himself.
'Oh Xena, you disappoint me, you expect to beat me with a hundred or so men?'
And just then, as if Xena had heard Caesar and was replying to his question, Pentalium and the rest of the army flanked the Romans from behind.
Caesar whirled his horse around and saw the other half of the army coming. He quickly shouted to his officer.
'Bapilon!, take the third and forth legions and attack the army behind us!'
'FOR CAESAR!' Bapilon and the Roman army cried as they quickened their pace.
'FOR XENA!' Cried the opposition as they too quickened their pace.
The distance between the two armies was getting shorter and shorter until the two sides met. The clash of metal upon metal was as if Zeus himself had sent a thunderbolt into the middle of the battle.
The Romans were fighting back to back as Xena's legions pressed one way and Pentalium's legions pressed the other. Blood flowed freely from each soldier; over twenty men from both sides had lost their lives in the clash. Xena kicked, stabbed and punched her way through the fray; she wanted Caesar. Gabrielle was exhausted but pressed on from fear of getting killed. She whirled her staff up and down, crashing down hard on one Roman's skull while jabbing another in the stomach, winding him then bringing the staff straight down on his back.
Xena spun round to kick one soldier and stabbed another with her sword. She yelled with battle lust but suddenly became aware that Gabrielle was no longer at her side. She called out above the chaos.
'GABRIELLE!' She couldn't see the Bard anyway as was deeply concerned.
She fought her way back to where she had last seen her friend but she wasn't there. Keeping an eye out and praying that her best friend was alright Xena spotted Caesar cutting through the soldiers in her army.
'CAESAR!' Xena yelled and ran towards him.
'Your days are numbered Warrior Princess, you can't change my destiny!
Xena caught up with Caesar. She flipped through the air and knocked him off his horse.
'Caesar this is your destiny!' Xena said and raised her sword. She brought it down swiftly but Caesar deflected it with his own sword.
'It's not as easy to kill me as it was to kill your friend Xena!' Caesar smiled and leapt to his feet.
'YOU BASTARD!' Xena yelled and threw herself at the Roman emperor.
Sparks flew as steal clashed upon steal.
'She didn't mean that much to you did she Xena?'
'You're going to Tartarus!' Xena shouted at him and sliced his arm.
'No, you are the one that is going to Tartarus!' Caesar said and drew blood from Xena's leg.
Suddenly Xena heard a muffled cry coming from her right; she recognised it as Gabrielle's. She quickly looked in the direction of her friend but with the distraction Caesar drove his sword into Xena's side. She cried out in pain and fell to the floor.
'It's over Xena, Rome has won!' Caesar said as he watched the warrior writhe in agony.
Xena looked up at him with all the rage of Tartarus burning in her eyes.
'You're a fool Caesar, you have less than ten men alive, you've lost'
'You may have won this battle Warrior Princess, but I will win the war!'
And with that Caesar mounted his horse and called his remaining army into a retreat.
Xena winced as she rolled on to her knees. She crawled over a sea of dead soldiers to get to her friend.
'GABRIELLE!' She cried out with the pain in her side and the pain now in her heart.
'Xe.., Xena?' Gabrielle cried weakly
Xena spotted Gabrielle and crawled over to her.
'Gabrielle, it's ok, I'm here sweetheart, I'm here' Xena said and smiled down at the Bard. She kneeled by the Bard and cradled her head stroking her hair. As she moved her hand to Gabrielle's shoulder for better support she felt it was very damp and hot. As she removed her hand she saw it was covered in blood. Her eyes moved from her hand to the Bard's shoulder.
'By the Gods!, what did they do to you?' Xena said, openly crying and rocking the Bard gently.
'Xena....' Gabrielle spoke, barely above a whisper
'I'm here, I'm here!'
'I'm going to die'
'NO, YOU ARE NOT GOING TO DIE!' Xena cried and shouted at the same time.
'Xena, I have to tell you something before I go...'
'Gabrielle!, no!, don't talk like that!'
'Xena, you've got to know this....'
'Gabrielle, please, don't leave me, please!'
'Xena, I love you, I've loved you ever since I first set eyes on you. I love the way you'd always look after me and comfort me when I was upset, I love the way you'd always put your life in danger to save mine....'
'Xena, you are the only true person I could ever or have loved, I just wish there were more time for me to express how I really feel about you.
Gabrielle weakened but just managed to hold on to her consciousness.
'I'll be waiting for you on the other side, I love you Xena'
Gabrielle closed her eyes and laid back into Xena's arms.
'NO!, DON'T YOU LEAVE ME!, GABRIELLE!, DON'T LEAVE ME!' Xena shouted as she shook the Bard trying to get some life into her.
'GODS!, NO!, COME ON GABRIELLE, WAKEUP!, PLEASE!. IF YOU TRULY LOVE ME DON'T GO!, I CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT YOU!'
Xena starred at the Bard for signs of life, but she lay deadly still. Tears streamed down the Warrior's face. She cursed Caesar, and she cursed herself.
'Oh Gods!, this is all my fault, I shouldn't have let you fight in a battle as fierce as this. I'm sorry Gabrielle, I am so sorry.'
The Warrior pulled the Bard in closer and began to stroke her face with the back of her hand.
'Gabrielle, there are so many things I wanted to tell you. You never realised how much I really cared about you did you?. Gods, I am so stupid, I have the courage to take on whole armies but not the courage to tell my best friend that I am in love with her. Hades!, Gabrielle if only I'd known you felt the same way!'
Xena wailed with sorrow, her whole body hurt from the loss of her friend.
'Gabrielle, I love you so much. You are the other half of my soul, my light and my heart. You taught me how to love; you are the reason I fight for the greater good otherwise what's the point?. I can't go on without you, Gabrielle please, come back to me, I beg you, please!'
Xena looked down at Gabrielle. The Bard had gone deathly pale. Xena looked up to the sky it was nearly dawn; she let more tears run down her face. She looked back at the Bard; she was so beautiful, how can the Gods be so cruel as to take her Gabrielle away from her. The Warrior pulled the lifeless Bard closer with one hand resting on Gabrielle's chin; she gently moved her face closer and closer. Xena lips met those of Gabrielle's as she gently planted a kiss.
'I love you Gabrielle' The Warrior whispered and broke down into tears again.
'Xe..., Xena?' A small voice said little more than a whisper
Xena's eye's opened wide with shock as she looked down at her Bard
'GABRIELLE!, YOU'LL ALIVE!, I THOUGHT YOU'D LEFT ME FOR GOOD!' She shouted and hugged the Bard tightly
'I don't feel too good, Xena could you....'
Xena laughed and kissed the Bard on top of the head.
'Oh, sweetheart of course you don't'
'Xena, my shoulder hurts, what's the best treatment for it?'
'Um, you'd have to clean the wound, mix some Bellenten healing herbs with some water and wipe across the injury then....
The Warrior looked down at the Bard who was smiling back up at her.
'What?' Xena asked puzzled
'I just think it's funny, I always thought the best way to make things better was with a kiss...'
Xena's eyes shot open and Gabrielle was almost blinded by their blueness. Xena's shocked face broke into a smile as she leant in for their first shared kiss.
Their lips move closer and closer together until they met. Gabrielle's lips parted and invited Xena's tongue to join hers. The sensation was like walking through the Elysian Fields themselves. It felt good, it felt right and both Xena and Gabrielle knew this is how it was meant to be.
'By the Gods!' Gabrielle whispered in her Warrior's ear.
'Gabrielle, you know that's a really nasty wound, we'll have to get you to the healer in Theantrium'
'Yeah I know but...'
'XENA!' A voice cried from behind them
'PENTALIUM?' The Warrior cried back
Xena turned her head to see Pentalium running towards her.
'Xena!, Gabrielle!, you're alive!'
'Pentalium!, I thought you were dead!' Xena said
'No, myself and some of the third legion finished the battle and made it back to Theantrium. The word is Caesar has begun to journey back to Rome. Gods!, we thought everyone else had died but I had a gut feeling you two would make it so I came back to look for you.'
The Warrior and the Bard smiled up at the soldier. He looked down and noticed they were both badly hurt.
'I anticipated you'd be injured, so I brought Argo with me to save you from walking'
'Thank-you Pentalium you are a good soldier' Xena said and shook his hand.
'We'd better get you two to the healer back in the village, are you ready?'
Xena accepted Pentalium's hand and hoisted herself and Gabrielle up. Supporting her Bard, Xena walked over to Argo.
'Steady girl!' She told her horse and she remained still while Xena gently lifted Gabrielle up. She made sure Gabrielle was comfortable and pulled herself up. She threaded her strong arms through Gabrielle's and held the reins around her Bard's waist.
Xena gently kissed Gabrielle's neck.
'Are you ready my love?' She whispered
'About as ready as I'll ever be!' The Bard answered coyly and turned around and placed a quick kiss on her lover's lips.
Xena smiled only a smile someone who was deeply in love could achieve at Gabrielle, and Gabrielle in turn smiled back.
The sun had begun to rise over the horizon and Pentalium had rode on ahead. As Xena urged Argo on, the Warrior and the Bard knew this is how it was meant to be and this is how they would stay forever.
Well?, what did you guys think?, I should tell you this is my first ever piece of Fan Fiction so feedback would be great. I'm a bit of a baby Bard (I'm 17 in April) so any veteran Bardy-Poo's or Fan Fic readers that would like to comment on my first piece of work please do.
E-mail me atRed1704@Hotmail.com
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