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DISCLAIMER: None of the characters in this story are my own and no copyright infringement is intended. This is written entirely in fun...if that's what you could call this...uh...effort.

VIOLENCE DISCLAIMER: Yes. This is almost exclusively about violence. Nothing is detailed graphically but there is a lot of stabbing and chopping. Nothing that you wouldn't find on the show.

SUBTEXT DISCLAIMER: I believe Xena and Gabrielle are deeply in love. Though there really isn't much subtext in this story I take every opportunity to get thought that in. <g>


OTHER STUFF: This is not one of my more light vignettes. In fact it's pretty dark and painful. If you can't handle that then please stop reading now. I hope I've done this justice (though I doubt it). I don't know why I just couldn't let it go, maybe because it was so painful for me to watch. And I didn't detail the whole entire fight in this vignette though I did try to stick to what actually happened in the ep. This is written in first person so I just describe feelings and emotions since (in my version) this person doesn't see the last part of the fight.

Feedback of any kind is always welcome and appreciated. Thanks.

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Ides Of March
by Shalon

I slowly crumple and fall to my knees and from there...fully to the ground. I barely feel the rough earth biting into my cheek as I lay here dimly aware that I am wounded. No, my focus is not on me.

I close my eyes, then my lashes flutter as I force my eyes open, squinting from the pain not in my body but in my heart.

I have to find her...

Slowly, too slowly, my head turns as I push up onto my arms, my eyes tracking to her.

I watch as she runs toward me, and scooping the sword into her hands, she slashes my attacker across the midsection not even looking at him as he falls lifeless to the ground.

She spins, the weapon catching the next man in the side. Her arms strain, the well-defined muscles standing out as she pushes him back until he is caught between the terrified fury in her eyes and the wooden support she is holding him against. She pulls the blade away and stabs him twice more, his lifeblood spilling onto the ground.

She screams at me and somehow I make myself answer her, my voice broken and strained.

Another comes at her, his sword raised and she strikes him across the chest. He spins from the blow as his weapon falls from weak hands and she plunges the sword into the back of his neck. She pulls it out viciously, the blood dripping carelessly onto the ground and twirls the sword, plunging it into the man behind her.

She spins, grabbing him before he can fall and holds the sword to his throat as her beseeching eyes turn to me...pleading for me to obey her shouts.

But I can't...I can't obey her. Not this time. I can do nothing...

Nothing to help...but more importantly...nothing to stop her...

I see the regret as she turns back, slicing his neck in one powerful sweep before she moves on to her next victim.

Although it scares me, I secretly love to watch her fight. I always have. But not like this...Gods...not like this...

I recognize that emotion in her eyes...she is gone now and I am helpless to save her. I mourn the loss.

I had only hoped to protect her and instead I took away everything she believed in. It's my fault...

"No..." I reach out toward her, my voice breaking with pain.

Not from my wounds, but from seeing her unleash a beast that I know will wreak unforgiving havoc on her soul.

As our enemies lives are taken, my heart is squeezed in my chest knowing I won't be able to help her with the anguish she will feel once she lays that cursed weapon down.

She moves, the blade singing through the air as she protects me even as I plead for her to stop. Even if it means my death...our death...

I barely feel the jolt of pain lancing through my broken body as I try to crawl toward her. No the physical pain is nothing compared to the pain I feel in my heart for the other half of my soul.

I clench my teeth and squeeze my eyes shut as her shouts assault my hearing.

After a time...heartbeats or an eternity...I no longer hear the ringing of metal or the sounds of battle and my eyes slide open searching...

She straddles a man lying on the ground and her back is to me. She is holding a dagger high, the crimson stained blade shining naked and accusing in the sun.

Slowly her head turns and I can just see her face...

Gem colored eyes widen as the dagger falls from suddenly nerveless fingers, flipping over end over end before it hits the ground with a barely heard chink of metal on gravel.

And then they surround us once more, roughly hauling us up. I bite my lip against the staggering pain caused by their uncaring hands as my eyes lock sadly with hers and we are taken to the cell to await our death by crucifixion...


By Shalon - 6Jul99

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