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Disclaimer: Xena, Gabrielle, and Argo are not mine. They belong to MCA/Universal.

Violence: A little but not much

Other warnings: This story deals with animal abuse and the effects of it.

Comments: e-mail me at

The Power of Love

by warhorse

The night air was crisp and cool, the campfire had long died out and all that was left was smoldering embers. The night animals had quieted and all that could be heard was the occasional cricket. Argo stood dosing by a tall tree not far from her owner. The tall warrior was in a deep and for once peaceful sleep. So she was unaware of the dark pair of eyes watching from the bushes.

A small young girl was crouched behind the near by bushes of the campsite, her trained eyes taking everything in. The time was coming for her to make her move she made one last survey of the area making sure she was the only one around. Her heart leaped to her throat when she realized that the blond girl was gone. She tried not to breathe or make a sound, and then she realized that the warrior had dropped her off at her village early that day. She quietly sighed and started making her way over to Argo.

Argo's head shot up when the girl approached. Argo started prancing around until the girl rested her hand on Argo's neck, the mare quickly calmed down. The girl untied the reins from the tree and in one leap was sitting bare back on Argo. The mare shifted nervously and the girl patted the mare's neck to calm her down. Then the girl urged the mare forward and the two walked silently out of the forest.

As soon as they were out of the clearing the girl urged Argo into a gallop and they raced over the field and leaped over a fallen log. Argo raced on further and further way from the unknowing warrior.

Xena awoke and felt very well rested for the first time in what seemed like forever. She got up and stretched the kinks out of her muscles and put on her armor and weapons. She picked up her bedroll and put it back in her saddlebag. She dug out a brush and went to give Argo a well-deserved groom. That's when Xena realized Argo was no longer tied to the tree. Xena gave a loud whistle and got no response. Xena ran down to the stream to look for Argo. No sign of her could be found. Xena went back up to camp to see if Argo was there, she found nothing. Xena sat on the ground and buried her head in her hands "Think" she told herself and looked up. That is when she saw the footprint of a small child's leading to where Argo had been. She followed the track and then saw Argo's tracks lead out toward the road.

Xena got to the road and the tracks didn't lead down it they lead into the field. The tall grass gave away the path that Argo had taken. Xena ran along the path with a sense of urgency. She knew if she didn't find Argo soon it would be to late.

"Sarah get over hear and stop messing with that horse." A loud voice called.

"Coming Damiscus," a small voice answered.

"Did you get the horse?" Damiscus asked.

"Yes" Sarah, said in a small voice.

"Well where is she!!"

"I was just brushing he..."

"How many times do I have to tell you not to baby these animals. They will never do what you want if they learn that you are soft" Damiscus yelled

Sarah blushed and slowly turned and went back into the stables. She returned leading a very skittish Argo, who eyed Damiscus nervously. Damiscus approached Argo and smiled, as he looked her over. "Oh yes, she will go for a lot of money" He said with a twinkle in his eyes.

"Sarah take her to the round pen. I want to see what she can do."

Sarah led Argo to the large round pen unhooked the lead shank. Argo trotted around nervously. She stopped when Damiscus walked into the pen with a saddle and bridal. He threw the saddle on her back and put the bridle on harshly. Then he tried to mount the war-horse but Argo sidestepped away from him. "Stand up there!!!!" Damiscus shouted as he jerked the reins.

Argo stood still long enough for Damiscus to get on, but as soon as his butt hit the saddle Argo let out a huge buck that sent him flying. Damiscus got and his face was red with anger. "You no good piece of sh*t. I'll teach you to do that again"

Xena ran down the over grown path and onto a hill over looking a large valley. In the middle was a small house surrounded by corrals and a large pasture. A large barn was not far from the house. Horses were grazing in the pasture and smoke was rising from the chimney of the house. Xena slowly made her way down the hill and to the barn. She quietly opened the door and let her self in. She stood for a moment letting her eyes adjust to the dark. She looked down the rows of horses, but she didn't see the familiar head of Argo.

Xena slipped out the door and made her way to one of the near by pens. She looked in but no Argo. She turned around and caught sight of a familiar golden color in the round pen. Xena made her way silently over to the pen. She looked through the boards and what she saw made her cry out. Her beautiful mare was standing covered in dried blood and sweat. Xena climbed over the fence and walked over to Argo, but Argo side stepped away and eyed the warrior nervously.

"What the hell. What are you doing to my horse?" Xena heard a man shout.

Xena whirled around with tears in her eyes. "What have you done to her?" Xena said between clenched teeth.

"None of your business. Now get out of there before I make you."

"It is my business, that is my horse."

"Damiscus please just give her back her horse" Sarah pleaded.

"You stay out of this" Damiscus yelled as he pushed the young girl away.

Damiscus jumped into the pen and Argo tried to get as far away from the man as she could. Xena saw the terror in Argo's eyes when Damiscus came in. He lunged toward Xena and she stepped out of the way. She turned and faced him and he got out his whip and sent it flying toward Xena. Xena caught the end and yanked hard, which sent Damiscus flying forward and right into Xena fist. He stumbled back with his hand on his nose. He lunged again at Xena and got a foot in the stomach. He doubled over and then Xena hit him in the back of the head with the whip sending him into unconsciousness.

Xena dragged Damiscus out of the pen and Sarah ran up crying, "What have you done to him?"

"I taught him a lesson."

Xena turned and walked back to her beloved horse, which was trembling in fear. Xena softly talked to the mare as she tried to approach the beautiful horse. Argo eyed her but let her come near. Xena put out a hand and Argo took a tentative step forward and then another. She stretched out her neck and blew in Xena's hand. Xena slowly lifted her hand and stroked the mare's forehead. Argo put her head down and rubbed it against Xena. Tears streamed down her face and she stroked the proud mare's neck. "It's ok girl no one is going to hurt you."

Xena picked up a rope and made it into a makeshift halter. She slowly led the mare out of the pen and away from the farm. The battle had been won but the healing process was just beginning.

To be continued...

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