A Warrior's Chance IV

(Fourth Part)

Xena rose but she was stand against a wall, Gonn use this to win the battle, he used the sword and hit the wall, then he used the sword like scissors. Xena used her graves and her braces to avoid been killed by the sword.
The hit was so strong that Xena's wrist began to bleed; the thin string of blood roll through her arm and dropped into the soil.

Xena knew that maybe she'll die, also Gabrielle was afraid.

Gonn approaches fast, draw a knife from his boot and stab Xena in the side, Xena was stunned and her sight was lost and surprised, she mumbled of pain, while Gonn was smiling, she held him and used her last forces and knock down Gonn by a kick, she caught his sword and almost killed him; but she noticed that that wouldn't bring back Ally, and that she wasn't a murder anymore; so she only hit him in the face letting him unconscious, she stood and said:

"So this is your best man, Ares" replied Xena with satisfaction, while blood was blowing thought her mouth and while she was pressing her wound.

"Well you know that you are my favourite," said the god in a seducer way, "Well see ya, Xena"

"Xena, are you all right" cried her friends.

Xena approaches slowly, to where her friends stay.

"I don't understand the thing that you say; that you finally understood what Artemis told you" said the bard with an interrogation face.

"Xena?" asked Gabrielle

Xena arrived and with a weak sight she fell in her friend's arms, weak and unconscious, she was covered with blood, she had serious wounds in her body.
Gabrielle held her head and her hand was coloured with blood, also she noticed that her friend had fever, this worry the bard a lot.

"Joxer help me" said Gabrielle with the begin of tears in her eyes.

They were to the inn and they asked for water, and for a healer.

The innkeeper asked: " What happened to your friend? She seems badly injured."

Gabrielle answered hesitated "she had a battle, a though battle; please help me, let's put her in the table; Joxer go and find a healer"

"Of course" answer Joxer immediately.

The tree carried the warrior into the table and put her gently; then Joxer arrived with the healer; he put Xena some herbs and cleans her wounds.

He said hopeless " If your friend is strong enough she'll survive"

"Of course she will survive, she is my friend and I believe in her, and she won't give up" replied Gabrielle.

"Well I don't know, the only thing that I really know is that she's here by miracle…" said the healer to make no hope to Xena's friends.

"Wait…. I…I don't understand, how is that of by miracle?" said Gabrielle while she was pressing her side's wound.

"Look...how I can tell. You your friend has…" said the healer slowly, and frightfully.

"Tell me please, she's my best friend…please" begged the bard.

"Look I really don't believe that she'll survive, her broken rib causes a lot of problems, she has internal bleed, and that fever is maybe for an infection…"

"Infection…?" asked the bard with weeping eyes.

"Yes, she was in a battle, no? Maybe the dagger with which she was attacked was poisoned, that can be the explain of the infection, can you see that greenish colour?

"Yes.." said hopeless Gabrielle

After that she began to cry and Joxer hold her and with tears in his eyes he told her " Don't worry of worst she had succeed"

The Healer went, and Gabrielle stay with Xena all the night; Joxer fell asleep, in the table. Gabrielle took a blanket and cover Xena with it, she took a chair and put it aside the table where her friend was resting, she touch her face and feel her hot, she had still fever; she stand and go for water she moist a piece of cloth and caress Xena's face.

Suddenly Xena began to cough and a lot of blood flow from her mouth, Gabrielle was terribly feared she awoke Joxer and this helped her to put Xena comfortably. She cleaned the blood from Xena's face.

Gabrielle began to think sadly, and with sorrow and with her mind clouded:

What do I will do if she dies? I can't return to my old lifestyle….if I do that I will die. She's my best friend, we were together in the good times and in the bad times…maybe I was my fault…no, It WAS my fault…I didn't helped her…if I helped her maybe she wouldn't be so bad. In that moment Xena whispered weakly "G...Gabrielle"
The bard awake from her mind collapse and quickly answered " I'm here… Xena I'm here"

She held Xena´s hand. Xena said softly " Ally's death is my fault, is my fault"

"Don't talk, it wasn't your fault that only happened" said gently the bard

"You don't understand Gabrielle, I finally understood what Artemis told me…." Said slowly and weak the warrior.

"Xena don't talk you must rest" said her friend with tears in her eyes.

"Let me talk…Artemis…she told me that I must find the reason of why it was my fault; the reason is because I didn't trust in Ally, she believed in me, she tried to explained me the danger, but I only close myself and I didn't give her a chance…She only wanted a chance a chance to be a warrior …or a hero.

She saved us, she protect you, and when I realise that she was right it was late…she died and It was my fault…damned It was my fault, I'm wrong for don't believe in my friends… and that's because I planned everything, every step of my life I've been planning everything with out thinking in my family or my friends, I'm very cold with the people I know…I almost destroy my family…damned….I almost killed you once in that rift, and why because my hatred to the people, and my fury to the life…to my life…." Said the warrior with tears in her eyes and with the voice weak and hesitated.

"Yes that's true," said a mysterious voice that came from the darkness of the room.

"You finally understood the message, your force come from your courage; that's because you're brave and awesomely strong, but if you put your heart with out thinking in the consequences, and the friendship as your new source, to protect yours you'll succeed."

"Who are you?" asked the bard; she was surprised nut she didn't feel fear of the voice.

"Come to light" mumbled Xena

The voice agreed and suddenly the stranger came to light, Gabrielle was stunned by the surprise she couldn't talk.

"Artemis" said happily the bard.

"Hi my queen" replied the god.
"Xena you finally understood the message" said Artemis gently.

"Yes but It's too late" replied the warrior with a sad and sarcastic smile.

"No…never is too late; when you're hurt inside and outside, and you finally rebirth in your heart… It doesn't matter your outside…while you keep the values of love and friendship above everything… above hatred, anger and fury…" said Artemis slowly and with a soft and gentle voice.

"I don't understand" said the bard.

"My amazon queen, you have changed a lot in a few time, finally you're the person I knew you'll be, the queen that was hidden in your heart, the friendship made you flow the best of you" said to Artemis to Gabrielle.

"This is a small gift from my part" Artemis aim to Xena and a thin light entered to her body, immediately Xena opened her eyes, and her wounds began to close.

"I…I can't believe it" say the bard with glee and joy.

Gabrielle embraces Xena and she realises that her friend was all right when she answers her hug. "By the gods, thank you Artemis," replied Gabrielle.

"It doesn't matter if Xena doesn't like us, I'm talking about the gods and goddesses, since I saw her strength I admire her, she has almost the same power as a god, like me. First I thought that she was only an angry, butt-kicking warrior; but then I saw that the things that she cared most were her friends, I saw her inside and I discovered a new Xena that have a lot to give…"said Artemis with a smile.

"When did you discovered that?" asked Gabrielle.

"Have you looking me?" asked Xena.

"Nope, the only way to discover the heart or the hidden Xena was to enter in her life…" replied Artemis.

"To enter in her life?" Gabrielle asked.

"The gods never said the thing easily it's something we can't avoid" answered the goddess. "Don't be worried of sad for the death of a friend, in other appearance I will be your friend forever…"said Artemis and then disappeared.

"By the gods I can't believe it…I never thought that a god can be so human, so worried for their friends or for other humans, I always thought that they were so envy, so vain."

"Let me see if I understood, Artemis helped you, and she convert in human so she was Ally!" replied the bard ingenuously.
"Well I see that there's always an exception" continued Xena "so she didn't wanna be a warrior, she didn't need a chance…"

"The chance was for you, your warrior's chance" interrupted Gabrielle.

"Gabrielle, thanks for everything… thanks" said happily the warrior.

In that moment they embrace happily because they are alive, they have friends and they understood the meaning friendship that day, suddenly the door opened he was Joxer, he saw that Xena was alive and health he approaches fast and shouted: "Xena, you're alive"
He hugged Gabrielle and Xena; the three friends joined again.

"Joxer, thanks for everything I owe you my life, and the life of Gabrielle" said the warrior who also hugged him.

"Thanks Joxer you saved us" said Gabrielle and gave him a kiss in his cheek.
Joxer turned and with out saying a word he got unconscious.

"Well we finally know the meaning fight and the things that deserve to die for…and Joxer and Artemis taught to us" said Xena.

"Yes, well let's go" replied Gabrielle.

"Well let's wait until Joxer awake, he also proved today his value as a warrior…" answered Xena.

"Whatever" said Gabrielle happily.

"I heard you" said Joxer.

And together the three friends get out of the village waiting another adventure, but with a new and strong friendship, joined with the meaning of life and of many things as that a good friendship deserve to fight and to give the life for.

T H E E N D .