Legal Disclaimer:The typical stuff, i do not own the rights for Xena, Gabriele and the others, unfortunately that rights are of StudiosUSA , Universal Pictures and the rest of TPTB, and my personal opinion is that they are persons who care nothing about the fans and need a good kick on their asses.
Subtext: Not much....well at this point what's subtext anyway?
Yep, they love each other...and no it was not a simple water exchange =)
Spoilers: this is made because I'm truly disappointed with Robert Tapert, and the rest. This is another idea of an alter ending....they were so many ways to end a wonderful show and they chose in my opinion the most stinky.
Comments: are well received on firstname.lastname@example.org
Another: The lyric used here is "Distant Sun", sung by Lacuna Coil; my favorite rock group. I read it and saw it was pretty good for a FF, so i couldn't avoid it.
The night was calmed, with it's characteristic cool mist surrounding the place, the crickets sounded near beside them, it was a pretty silent night. The bard opened her eyes and look into the sky again; the moon reflecting her eyes that were moisten from tears. She sighed heavily, holding the parchment that was on her hands...unwritten she broke in sobs again covering her mouth with her hand; the pain in her heart was crushing her harder than before.
She curled herself throwing the scroll on the fire with rage; she has never ever felt so hopeless, the despair and sadness coming from the deepest part of her soul. She clenched her hands and pounded the ground furious, shouting to the sky she let all her anger flow just for being filled with emptiness and ending like a whisper "Why you leave me?! You told me we were gonna always be together....And it's a lie.....it's a lie....it's my fault"
She sobbed again; and curled herself on the bedroll, everything she made brought a memory of a not so long ago past; the past that was her life and that now was only and empty shell of her own person, every sigh, every breath, brought more memories. Too painful to remember, but impossible to go on with out them. "Why?" she just whispered "Why....why now......"
The bard hasn't realized that the sun was going about to rise, 'another day' she thought with sadness. She packed everything again and mounted Argo, another painful memory; lucky she found her when she returned from Japa. Her life has been...well she couldn't call that a life...she thought of everything since the moment she died... because when the sun set on the top of mount Fuji that tragic day she has truly died.
All the night she has been troubled, crying and sobbing, letting her sorrow drown on a wineskin; she didn't like to drink, but it numbed her pain. Just a little until she remembered again that this was life and not a terrible nightmare.
On the next day she bought a passage for Greece, she couldn't stand to be on that place one more minute; she'll always remember it the place in which hope, love and happiness died for her.
She waited until for the boat in the local inn, Higuchi was burned but the people were fastly re constructing their city; many passed and gave her thanks, other gave her their condolences, but all were grateful to her and to the dark warrior that saved them from a sure death.
Her eyes were dark, no more happiness in them, no more hope. She aboard the boat and something that she didn't know if it was a curse or a wish happened, Xena appeared, in that moment Gabrielle broke in tears and the warrior hugged her whispering in her ear "Don't worry...everything will be all right " Gabrielle turned and slapped her hard snorting "Don't touch me!"
The warrior stood perplexed, her eyes reflecting sadness and concern at the same "Gab..."
"Don't!" the bard shouted not caring about what she has just done she advice her "Don't say anything!...Don't dare to speak to me..."
"But Gabrielle..." the warrior pleaded sobbing, with her face full of tears.
"Stop! Never dare to speak to me...." the bard rose her voice, then ran heading to her cabin, there she fell on the bed and cried her most bitter tears, more painful than when her daughter died, more painful than when Solan was killed, more painful that everything she has ever experimented. It was like a continuous stab on her heart.
The warrior saw how the bard disappeared in the deck and fell in her knees "What have I done?" she slowly faded but the pain in her soul was crushing, she couldn't breathe, or something like that it was the same feeling although spirits don't breathe.
Gabrielle held a pillow, and hold it tightly until her fingers were white. "I hate you..." she said almost audible, she closed her eyes and fell in a deep sleep.
In the middle of the night she was tossing all around, her dreams troubled with flashes of Xena's death, her rejection, her butchered body and all the journey through Japa.
'If I have only 30 seconds....You are dead!...will you risk your life?.....without hesitation....the fountain....the fountain...give me her head!!....Listen to what's behind the sounds....I'll love you forever...I can't come back....always remember I love you...I must stay dead.....dead...dead.....' she rose shouting, sweating cold, and shaking.
She curled again and tried to sleep afraid that her dreams will turn in nightmares and at the same time fearful that tomorrow she'll be living another day.
To the bard's expectations she didn't sleep in the night, she just spent with her eyes closed, she opened them red and sore.
"Gabrielle?" Xena said fearful of another rejection, the bard's behavior was destroying her.
Gabrielle turned and her eyes hardened "What are you doing here?!" he demanded.
"I'm sorry..." was the most that the warrior could say "please don't do this...It's enough hard to be apart from you...please don't make me this..."
This rose Gabrielle's anger "Do WHAT?! Xena, what the hell did you EXPECTED? That....that I'll be saying 'Oh Xena, love come here?' I'm sorry but I can't you destroyed me....you killed me" ended in tears again.
Xena gave one step forward the bard "I'm sorry..."
"I can't..." the bard said between tears. "You left me....you...you betrayed me..."
"No, Gabrielle. I'll never do that!" the warrior choked out.
"So how you call lie to me?....left me out of the most important decision in your life? Leave me for that bitch"
"I didn't leave you! I have to do it!" Xena tried to explain but neither herself believed that.
"Ah no? You didn't let me help you....Xena, you...you once told me that in everyone's life there was something that went beyond the greater good" she winced at the memory "....and you didn't let me choose that neither my destiny...you killed yourself...it could have been better if you stabbed yourself with your own sword!" her words cut the warrior deep.
Xena approached and cupped the bard's face making her look to her "Gabrielle, please understand...I had to stay here...there were no more options...please understand...If there will be a way to return without condemning that souls believe me that I'll have done it..."
'There has to be more options!' the bard's mind screamed, at the words she has heard "Please forgive me..." the warrior pleaded.
Gabrielle tried to do it but the words never came out her mouth, Xena sighed sadly "I understand....I love you..." Xena leaned and kissed the bard's lips lightly.
It was painful for both of them, memories came, and the reality stabbed them 'Xena was dead and Garbielle was deeply hurt with Xena'.
"Please leave me alone...I can't talk to you now...please I'll call you when I'm ready" the bard begged with a faint smile.
Xena knew this was a goodbye, she knew that Gabrielle won't call her again but she couldn't deny her this, she denied her to revive her and to fight with her, she won't make the mistake again she just nodded and then disappeared muttering the words she hope Gabrielle will hear "I love you". Gabrielle saw the warrior disappear, she was hurt inside and knew that Xena understood her message. She knew that if destiny was fair she'll die soon, but life never has been easy, not for them.
She headed to Greece, but avoided to see Eve; she didn't know what to say, she remember the land of Pharos and went to there. Months passed and she arrived to the exotic land, she helped the people of there and searched for a way to bring Xena back again.
Her life has been pretty empty since that day, the day her soul died, the day Xena the warrior princess fell; almost a year has passed and she still couldn't call Xena, she was hurt, and she hasn't forgiven the warrior. She rode the mare for many hours until exhaustion fell on them she arrived to a small town. She settled Argo and went to the inn, she ordered some food and a some wine, she was going to try to finish a scroll. In the back a bard was telling a story, she closed her eyes when the bard began telling the story of Xena: Warrior Princess.....she couldn't stand it, and run away from the inn, she lean for support on a tree and closed her eyes, she couldn't go on like this...not anymore....her life was empty without the warrior and she felt worse about what she did...she dismissed the warrior and she promised to never speak to her again, "I can't....i can't go on...." she crushed the scroll in her right hand, she fell in the ground, she opened her hand and tried to read her own scroll:
" We've never been apart
The day has come
I'm feeling that your sun
Shines away from me
Holding my hands you smile again
I couldn't see you away from me
I do realize it now
Will something happen to me?
How did I lose my guide?
You left me all alone
But now is too late
I know is natural but now
What can I do without your presence here?
A never-ending pain"
In the spirit realm, the warrior was at the tea house, it has almost passed a year since she died, twice, the first at hands of the samurai and then at Gabrielle's rejection. She has never felt so destroyed, her soulmate hate her. She couldn't deny the truth; Gabrielle hasn't forgiven her, and probably that will never happen. A tear fell from her face "I have lost her..." she whispered. Akemi appeared "Xena, what happen to you?" she innocently asked.
"Nothing..." she replied somberly
"It's Gabrielle isn't it? Xena get over it...it has already passed a year, and she hasn't been able to forgive you.... although you tried to be with her, she don't want you" Akemi's words cut Xena until she thought her soul won't stop bleeding.
"What the hell are you saying? I can't get over it! She is my soulmate..."
"Yes, but she don't want you beside her" Akemi stroke her again.
"She's broken...as I am" Xena whispered with tears again.
"She don't understand you....but I do" she come closer to the warrior sitting beside her, then she did something the warrior didn't expect she leaned and kissed her in the lips. Xena broke the touch quickly "Akemi...I'm sorry...but"
The heart of Akemi was crushed with the truth Xena doesn't love her "I can see where your heart rests Xena"
"I'm sorry Akemi...I don't love you...I don't think I have ever done it...I cared about you, and you well, you thought that I wasn't a complete beast"
"But you don't love me" Akemi snorted hardening her eyes and face.
"No i don't" Xena told her calmed.
"But...I was your soulmate! I was first than Gabrielle! Why?" Akemi asked with hatred in her voice.
"I dont' know but it's like this...I'm sorry"
"you should be!...After everything I made to bring you back...."
"What?....what are you saying?"
"I planned everything for seeing you again...I sold you the idea of redemption masked with my own desires..."
"You lied to me?"
"Yes, I have to say that i thought that your live for her would be stronger than your honor....but no, you felt so guilty about Higuchi that I saw the opportunity, to bring you back to me..."
Xena opened her eyes at the revelation, she approached to her and took her by the throat "Are you saying that you planned everything, to make me return?"
The eyes of Akemi answered "You are sick Akemi...."
"You'll have to learn to love me Xena....we are the last ones here, and Gabrielle will never forgive you...you know it! Don't deny it!" She shouted clinging from the warrior's arm.
Xena smiled " Gods, Warlords and death haven't been able to split us apart...do you think you could be able to do it?"
Akemi's heart broke again and again with Xena's true feelings, tears fell from her eyes.
"So i think that you lied about the souls too....there are no state of grace for them with me here....that was useless" Xena rose and was about to leave, when Akemi pleaded her "please no... Xena don't go"
Xena hardened her icy eyes "I hope your antecessors can forgive you...because I can't...." after that she disappeared leaving Akemi broken.
Xena appeared in front of Garbielle who was still on leaning on the tree suffering "Gabrielle...I'm here" she softly whispered.
Gabrielle's eyes lightened "Xena..." she ate her own pride and hugged the warrior "Don't leave me" she pleaded clinging from the ghost "Please...I'm sorry.... I can't go on with out you...don't leave me....please"
Xena soothed her "Never again....I'm sorry, i was wrong..." she held the bard's face up forcing her to see her "I need you to forgive me for doing so many stupid things, I don't deserve you for every thing I did....I left you...i lied to you...Forgive me please....please..."
"Of course...I'm sorry" Gabrielle said embracing Xena tightly, she was about to kiss her when a strong wind came and Akemi appeared "You are not going to leave me Xena...not again!"
Xena put in front of Gabrielle to fight but she discovered that Akemi wanted to hurt Gabrielle and not her. Gabrielle took her sais and defended against the katana that Akemi held.
"Akemi stop!" the warrior shouted trying to make her understand, but the spirit was too blind with hate and rage.
Xena put in front of Akemi and began to fight her, Akemi wounded her severly, nothing to be worried but this slowed her, Akemi used her powers and threw her to the other side of the place.
Akemi's eyes were full of hatred toward the bard she fought Gabrielle.
"Akemi what's happening to you?"
"Xena want to leave me again...and that's not gonna happen...not again, and not for you!" she shouted delivering a strong blow to the bard's side, hopefully this was able to stop it and block it with her sais.
Gabrielle was still confused "What's happening here" she asked looking at the other side where Xena stood up bleeding, strange a ghost can bleed she thought.
"I made everything for you Xena!" Akemi shouted to her."I wanted you with me again"
Gabrielle's eyes hardened in understand she growled "You...you planned all this.....because of you she's dead!" she attacked this time with rage to the spirit, punching her face and in many other places.
"You lied to her again....you made her think she has to stay dead" Gabrielle blocked a high blow to her head with her said gritting between her teeth she still could not believe what the girl has done.
"I told her I thought her love for you will be stronger than her sense of honor.." she stroked the bard with the comment.
A tear fell again from Xena's face because of the comment, she has lost everything, or better said she let lose everything.
Gabrielle was good, but she was not match for Akemi and her katana, Xena's former student, that possessed all the knowledge of the evil Xena and Gabrielle the student that Xena made after being reformed.
Akemi attacked Gabrielle with everything she had, and she could be like that for ever; but Gabrielle was still human and the tiredness was showing in her face and soon in her slow movements.
Gabrielle was starting to feel tired and Akemi was attacking stronger or that looked like. She was about to slice with her katana the bard's neck when Xena stood in front of her stopping the sword and making her hand bleed.
"Akemi stop this" xena pleaded threatening her.
Akemi looked at her and answered instantly "Never"
Xena protected Gabrielle and began to fight the girl, she kicked her strongly and made her fall several times, until she disarmed her and took the katana pointing to Akemi's neck with it.
"Give up" she ordered giving that cold look.
"Kill me..." she ordered, defiant as Xena has never seen her before.
"No...hope your antecessors and gods have mercy on your soul" the warrior answered simply.
Akemi was about to plunge herself on the edge of the sword when a light blinded them.
"Akemi..." a voice strong as thundered called her "You have done great evil to all...specially to the one that save the lost souls in Higuchi, the one who destroyed the greatest evil Japa has faced; and to her soulmate...and with that you have dishonored us..."
Xena opened her eyes and look at the group of men that looked powerful with a godly escense, like the one Ares had.
"I don't care" she answered.
"Do you feel guilty...do you feel wrong?" another one asked.
"No i don't...I don't care about you...!" she answered again more childish.
"So be it..." a third voice added; the light surrounded Akemi, she shouted in pain, feeling all the pain Xena, Gabrielle and the people of Higuchi felt in all their life, it was too much for bear in seconds, she finally realized what kind of monster she has become although she didn't feel guilty; the light shone brighter and took Akemi, then they disappeared. Leaving just Xena and Gabrielle alone.
Xena opened her eyes and the first thing she do was go to Gabrielle "Are you all right?" she asked worried for her bard.
"Yes...don't worry just...just scratches" she smiled, straightening herself, she put a hand on the warrior's arm saying a soft "I love you"
"Love you, too" the warrior answered, smiling for first time, in a lot of time. But another light stole the moment, Gabrielle's tattoo began to glow, Gabrielle was confused, she didn't knew why, immediately the dragon tossed Xena to the other side of the place, landing heavily on the ground.
"Xena!" Gabrielle shouted running to her. 'I don't understand this is suppose to protect me from evil spirits, not from you!' she cupped Xena's face hopping she'll be alright, and her heart skip a beat when Xena smiled and breathed, appearing a golden glow in her.
Gabrielle was mesmerized, not believing in her eyes, Xena opened her own and smiled to her. "I think I'm back"
Gabrielle eyes were soon full of tears and her voice choked with emotion "I...I don't understand..." she fell in the warrior embracing her tightly.
A voice sounded from the sky "Akemi lied to Xena...that finished on her death...after that she still lie to her to fulfill her own and selfish desires; she didn't cared about the 40,000 souls, neither from all the good Xena has done. Neither she cared about Gabrielle's pain....So we think it will be not fair to you being apart from Gabrielle just for a betrayal...The tattoo she gave her protected her from evil spirits, and it also helped to vanish the enchantment Akemi made to make Xena's spirit stay and condemming the souls...We just give it a little more power to revive you...since we think is the best we can do to pay our debt with you... "
Gabrielle and Xena didn't understand it very good, they just registered "Alive again" and shouted a happy thank you, the spirits replied and then their presence disappeared from the environment.
Xena embraced Gabrielle stronger, kissing her forehead "I miss you"
"I missed you too" she answered with more tears of happiness "Xena...I'm...I'm sorry for..." before she could finish Xena silenced her with a finger "Don't say anything" and they embraced again staying like that for several minutes.
They didn't care about the future, because again hope was in them, and most of all because they had each other; because a second chance was given to them to finally be happy.
"So where are we heading now?" Xena asked looking at the majestic sea before them.
"To get some vacations, warrior princess" Gabrielle asked holding Xena's arm "What do you think? You told me before....well before all of this...of why not traveling...so what do you think, some big vacations and then we'll see"
"Great!" Xena answered getting closer to her. "Cold or Hot?"
"No more nordic-like places...I'll like a cruise through Mediterranean...well if you like...of course if you don't want to..."
"What ever you want, you get" she answered happily. "And I owe you some tickets for looking a certain poetess"
Gabrielle turned to her and her face lightened "Really?"
"Of course" Xena answered, Gabrielle held her face and planted a big kiss on her lips.
"I take that as a yes?" Xena teased.
"With out a doubt"