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Xena: Warrior Princess, Gabrielle, Hercules, Iolaus, Argo and all other characters who have appeared in the syndicated series Xena: Warrior Princess and Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, together with the names, titles and backstory are the sole copyright property of MCA/Universal and Renaissance Pictures. No copyright infringement was intended in the writing of this fan fiction. All other characters, the story idea and the story itself are the sole property of the author. This story cannot be sold or used for profit in any way. Copies of this story may be made for private use only and must include all disclaimers and copyright notices.

NOTE: All works remain the © copyright of the original author. These may not be republished without the author's consent.

This story depicts scenes of violence and/or their aftermath. Readers who are disturbed by or sensitive to this type of depiction may wish to read something other than this story.

This story may be best classified as a Hurt/Comfort Story involving the charactes Xena: Warrior Princess and Gabrielle. Readers who are disturbed by or sensitive to this type of issue may wish to read something other than this story.

The Resistant Wound
by Chrystal Eve Jackson

"Xena - watch out!" Gabrielle’s words seemed slow coming out of her mouth not reaching Xena’s ears in time. Xena, who was still thinking of the crucifixion vision she had been seeing, let her mind wander for the one split second it should have been focused on the battle surrounding her. She turned only too late to see and feel the sword as it pierced through her skin embedding its blade deep within her side only to be withdrawn at an agonizing slow speed causing Gabrielle to stand speechless in her tracks. Was it because the soldier had the stature of a young boy that Xena had allowed her mind to wonder - young or not he left the scene with a speed unmatched by any soldier still alive.

Gabrielle rushed over to Xena who was trying to use Argo to pull herself back up to her feet. As Gabrielle approached, Xena was still facing Argo. Gabrielle came up behind Xena and wrapped her arms around Xena’s waist while slowly whispering in her ears "I’ve got you Xena - let go of Argo."

"If I let go Gab, I’ll fall."

"I know, just trust me, it’ll be all right just let go of Argo."

Xena’s grasp untightened and she fell with Gabrielle holding tight the entire time. Gabrielle layed Xena straight on the ground. A silent gasp could be heard leaving Gabrielle’s lips as she saw the paleness in Xena’s complexion and the pain on her face - the wound had surely succeeded in bringing down its prey.

"Xena, I have to get you to a cave where its safe. Remember the one we passed not too far from here - that’s where we have to go."

Xena weakly nodded. "Can’t make it that far Gab."

"You’ve got to try Xena - I’m right here and we’re going to do this together." Gabrielle slowly helped Xena to her feet as tears came to her eyes upon hearing Xena’s sudden cry of pain.
"Just down the road Xena - just down the road. Stay with me."

It was slow, and a walk that should have taken about 15 minutes ended up taking 45. Once inside the cave, Gabrielle layed Xena flat on her back with her bedroll under her head for a pillow. "I’ll be right back Xena - need to make sure Argo is hidden."

Once Gabrielle had taken care of hiding Argo she returned to Xena.
"How goes it my friend?"
"Not to good Gab - my side feels like its on fire and my head feels very light."

"There’s water down the road, I need to get some to wash and cleanse that wound."

Xena winced as Gabrielle slightly pulled away the cloth that she had pressed into place to try to control the bleeding.

"Be right back!" Gabrielle returned, started a fire and placed water in a pot for boiling. "See, I told you this pot would come in handy Xena."

"No doubt" came the weak response back from Xena.

Gabrielle’s heart jumped at the weakness of Xena’s voice - "Xena, you stay with me. Don’t you even think of leaving."

Gabrielle began undressing Xena until all clothing was removed.

"Xena, I have to sear this wound to stop the bleeding and it’s going to hurt. "

"Its okay Gab, just get it over with."

Gabrielle layed a knife on the fire. Upon seeing the redness of the blade she removed the knife to let it cool a little before placing it on Xena’s bare skin.

Suddenly upon hearing a noise, Gabrielle dropped the knife and quickly went for her staff. Much to her surprise standing before her eyes was the best site she could have ever imagined. Hercules grinned from ear to ear with Iolaus on his heels.

"Thought we heard voices in here....." He stopped in midsentence as his eyes caught hold of a naked female figure on the ground. "Xena! Gabrielle, what happened?"

"No time to explain now Hercules, Xena’s losing a lot of blood and I’ve got..."

Before Gabrielle could utter another sound Hercules could be heard shouting various orders: "Iolaus put that blade in the fire. Gabrielle hold on to Xena. Xena, how’s my favorite girl doing?"

"Not so good." came a reply so weak that Hercules could only quickly turn to wipe away the tears that were quickly forming in his eyes.

He turned back to face Xena: "before you know it, you’ll be up practicing that warcry and scaring off more warlords before the week is out." Xena felt Gabrielle’s grip tighten around her.

Gabrielle was behind Xena with Xena’s back and head resting on Gabrielle’s knees and thighs. The tightening of Gabrielle’s grasp gave Xena a warning that agonizing pain was about to follow. Through hazy eyes she saw Iolaus approach Hercules with something red in his hands, she saw Hercules glance and nod at Gabrielle. Suddenly Gabrielle’s head lowered to cover Xena’s eyesight and to tighten the hold on her friend.

The pain was agonizing. All Xena could do was grab Gabrielle and quietly sob into her arms. Gabrielle held her friend rocking her back and forth like a baby. Soon the searing pain was over. Hercules covered Xena up and instructed Iolaus as to what herbs were needed to help Xena heal. Iolaus left the cave as Gabrielle began relating to Hercules the events which had lead up to the wound.

That night, Xena awoke very feverish and in severe pain. Gabrielle knelt beside her friend stroking her hair.
"Its all right Xena - I’ m here and so is Hercules and Iolaus. We’re not going to let anything happen to you."

Xena strained to open her eyes: "The pain Gab side...something’s wrong, the pain’s getting worse."

"Hercules!" Gabrielle screamed as she ran over to the two male figures. Hercules and Iolaus both quickly jumped and ran meeting Gabrielle in midstride. "She says the pain’s getting worse - should that be?"

Iolaus looked - "That’s strange Herc, the pain should still be there but it shouldn’t be getting worse in intensity should it?"

"No." Hercules walked over to Xena. "Hi there beautiful" he said softly as he stroked the long black strands of hair out of Xena’s face. "What’s going on over here - you’re scaring all of us pretty good. Does your side feel like its getting worse?"

Xena grimaced: "Yeeesss-the pain is searing, something’s wrong Hercules."

Iolaus turned to give Gabrielle a hug who by this time was crying uncontrollably at the site of seeing Xena in such pain. "Don’t worry Gab - Xena’s in the best of hands with Herc."

Hercules stood up with a puzzled look on his face. "This shouldn’t be happening." He knelt back down and pulled the fur blanket down to expose Xena’s side. Slowly he lifted the makeshift bandage off the wound and saw redness, pus and all the signs of infection that had settled in to make a home. "This is impossible. Iolaus, Gabrielle, over here! There’s no way Xena’s wound should have become worse, but at the moment I can’t explain it. The wound; however, has to be reopened and cleaned." Hercules looked up at Gabrielle with sadness in his eyes: "Listen greeneyes, you have to stay together for Xena, what I’m about to do is going to hurt like hell and you’re going to have to hold on tight." He layed a hand on Gabrielle’s shoulder, "Xena’s lucky to have a friend like you, just hold on a little longer and hopefully this will do the trick."

Hercules turned to face Iolaus, "I know what to do Herc, I’ll get a stronger fire going and hot water brewing." Suddenly Iolaus slowed and looked back at Hercules, "I only wish I had something to put her to sleep with so she wouldn’t have to feel this."

"I know Iolaus, I know."

Gabrielle walked over to Xena and knelt down beside her best friend. Xena, feeling Gabrielle’s presence slowly opened her eyes to face her friend. Xena’s voice struggled as she tried to form words " Hey Gab - how goes it?" Even those few words caused her body to stiffen in pain as she grasped her side.

"Hold on Xena, I know it hurts and we’re trying to find out why. We have to reopen the wound and clean it. Xena - its going to hurt."

" I know."

"You’ve got to promise me that you’ll hang on and not leave me Xena." "...and you’ve got to promise not to let go Gab when you start to clean it - I’ve got to know that you’re there."

"You don’t have to ever worry about that Xena, I won’t let go until its over - and if need be, I’ll hold on to you longer than that. I’ll hold on until the pain stops - no matter how long that may be. You’re my best
friend - I’ll always be here for you."

Hercules stepped over to the two figures, "Are you girls talking about my good looks again?" Hercules stroked Xena’s forehead, "don’t worry my warrior princess, this should take away all the pain." Hercules gently kissed Xena’s forehead and walked back over to the fire. The time had come.

Gabrielle again positioned herself behind Xena with Xena’s back and shoulders reclining on her knees and thighs with Xena’s head resting right up against Gabrielle’s stomach. Gabrielle wrapped her arms around her friend as Hercules and Iolaus proceeded in cleansing the wound. Gabrielle turned her head when she saw the blade of the knife coming towards Xena’s exposed skin and she cried when she felt Xena’s body jump and stiffen followed by an agonizing scream that wrenched the hearts of all involved in the procedure.

Hercules stopped only twice to wipe away the tears from the pain he could see he was inflicting on Xena and Gabrielle just hugged Xena tighter hoping in someway to help ease her pain. Iolaus busied himself with handing Hercules what was needed to perform the duty at hand and trying not to look at the agonizing pain that was being endured by this woman that he still adored very much. Finally, it was over. Xena had passed out midway through the procedure and sleeping at the current moment.

"Why don’t you eat something Gabrielle?" Hercules asked with concern.

"I’ll get something once I’m sure she’s sleeping soundly. Right now she’s still shaking every so often."

No one knew what time it was, but somehow they had managed to fall asleep only to be awaken by the sound of an agonizing scream. Gabrielle was the first to reach Xena who was sitting up grasping her side and sobbing. "Xena! Don’t cry, I’m here. Tell me what’s wrong."

" My side, it feels like someone is poking a hot flame in and out of it - Gabby, I can’t take anymore of this."

Gabrielle’s heart broke at the sound of Xena’s weak voice - this was not happening. The Xena she knew could not be going through all of this. Hercules and Iolaus were next to arrive at Xena’s side.

"Hey blue-eyes" - Hercules stated in a soft voice - "you’ve got to try and hold on. I promise I will find out what’s behind this unhealing wound but first I have to take another look at it."

Xena reluctantly layed back down while Gabrielle gently but firmly held both arms down to the ground. Xena’s body jerked as Hercules removed the bandage again revealing a very infected wound which looked worse than it did before Hercules cleaned it. Hercules looked up at Xena who by this time had tears running down her face and then looked back at the wound.

"Iolaus, stay here, I have something I have to do, I won’t be gone long." Iolaus and Gabrielle looked at each other. Suddenly Xena started shaking from the coldness. Gabrielle held her closer while Iolaus covered her body back up with the fur blanket.

Outside, Hercules found a secluded area. "Ares, you bastard, come and show yourself or I swear as your
brother I’ll come find you and when I do..."

" Calm down brother, such violence, such a bad temper. You really should try to calm yourself more, afterall, its not good on one’s heart you know."

"Ares, why? Why would you put someone through so much pain and agony?"

"She can stop it you know. All she has to do is join me - become my warrior princess again."

"Why can’t you just accept that she has chosen to live a life of good - that she has chosen to help instead of hurt. That she..."

"Spare me, Hercules, if it weren’t for you, she would have already died by now, although, I’ve learn to never underestimate the power of that little green-eyed goody good two shoes. Let her die Hercules and her pain will end."

"Her pain will end now brother and you’ll let that wound heal or so help me..."

"so help you what?"

"so help me Ares I’ll see to it that every temple built to honor you is destroyed, I’ll see to it that you are hated by both warlord and regular soldier alike."

"Save it brother, that won’t make me let the wound heal."

"Ares, if you think so highly of your talents then surely you should be able to persuade Xena to rejoin you without the use of tactics like this. If you have to weaken her to make her come back to you then you’re not much of a god are you?"

"I suppose this should make me reconsider my wrong doings - normally it wouldn’t but I’ve grown tired of trying it this way - your meddling has made this tactic last longer than it should have. Very well brother, have it your way for now, there’s plenty of time for me to get Xena back. Go lance her wound again and this time it will heal."

"You could make it so I wouldn’t have to put her through that pain again Ares."

"HAAAA, indeed I could - but I won’t - not this time."

Hercules could no longer hold back the urge to swing at his brother but only empty air stood before him with the sound of Ares’s laughter lingering on. Hercules slowly walked back to the cave cursing under his breath over the unnecessary pain that would have to again be inflicted upon Xena just for the amusement of the god Ares.

Hercules quickly related to Iolaus and Gabrielle the event and conversation that had taken place as they once again prepared for the procedure to clean Xena’s wound. Hercules knelt beside Xena and stroked her forehead. "Listen princess, I promise this is the last time you have to endure this pain, I’ve found the source, and this time the wound will not become re-infected. Trust me?"

"I trust you."came a weak reply. "Hercules, listen, if I don’t make it, please make sure Gabrielle gets back to her family, I..."

"That’s enough talk like that Xena" Gabrielle quickly interrupted. "You’re not going to die - you’re going to stay right here with me - understand?."

"Yes Gab" Xena replied with both a weak voice and a slight smile.

Suddenly Gabrielle and Hercules looked over at Iolaus who was seriously standing back by the fire - "Its time guys."

Again Xena went through the searing pain and again Gabrielle held her tight as her body jumped and stiffened from the pain being inflicted. Finally it was over, and sleep had found its way to all the surgical participants. Gabrielle did not know what time it was when she awoke but looked over to see Xena staring straight up at the sky through the hole in the cave- her eyes unmoving. Gabrielle’s heart jumped, "Oh God no, please don’t have let Xena ...."

" Hey there Gab - ever notice how beautiful the sky is?"

Gabrielle couldn’t hide her relief as she ran over to hug Xena. Hercules and Iolaus upon hearing the commotion rushed over to Xena only to join in Gabrielle’s happiness upon seeing a clear-eyed Xena. "Hey princess - welcome back to the land of the living. How’s your side?"

"Hurts a little but not like before."

"What do you say we have a look?"

Gabrielle gently layed Xena’s head back on her lap while Hercules examined the wound. This time no signs of infection could be seen. Gabrielle and Iolaus were elated.

"I’ll never forget what all you guys have done for me - you stuck by me when I really needed someone."

After receiving three hugs from three relieved people Xena looked at Hercules: " Why did the wound take so long to heal?"

Iolaus, Gabrielle and Hercules looked at each other. Hercules finally spoke: "The source of the infection was very resistant to normal means of cleansing - alternate measures were needed and taken."

With that Xena was given another hug as Gabrielle slowly rocked the Warrior Princess backed into a peaceful sleep.

The End.

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