Disclaimer: Xena, Gabrielle and all the other characters in the Xenaverse belong to MCA and Ren Pictures, I'm just playing in their sandbox.

Okay, let me start by apologizing. This is a sad story I wrote one day while I was feeling down. It does not really fit into the Xena timeline but, it was something I just felt the need to write. I hope you enjoy it. BTW you may want to have tissues close by.

Shared Loss

Charging headlong through the heavy underbrush, too late she saw the man rise from behind a clump of brush. As he jumped into her path she attempted to halt, but her forward motion was too great. In what seemed like some type of macabre slow motion she felt herself impaled on the long spear, held forward by the thief. For a belief moment there was no pain as the weapon buried itself deep into her chest.

"NOOO!!!! screamed the young strawberry blond as she watched the spear sink nearly an arm's length into it's startled prey. Whinnying in pain, Argo reared. There was a loud snap as the spear lodged in her chest, broke in half. Realizing he no longer controlled the large, wounded breast the man quickly stepped back, hoping to avoid the razor sharp hoofs pawing the air before him. As the great mare returned to the ground her legs buckled and she began to fall.

"Agro!" cried Gabrielle as she leapt from collapsing horse's back. Landing she rolled to one side, to avoid being pinned under the wounded horse. Coming to rest on her hands and knees the bard watched in despair as the animal tried desperately to rise. Hearing a twig snap she turned to find the thief advancing on her. Fire raged in emerald eyes as she reclaimed her staff and charged the man.

Raising the broken spear as a club, the thief intended to beat the young woman senseless. As he swung for her head, Gabrielle ducked the strike countering with a powerful blow to the man's knee. He howled in pain as she struck him quickly up and down the length of his body. Finally, a solid blow to the face dropped him to the ground. Still feeling rage she hovered over the man, staff held ready to deliver another blow if he so much as flinched. From behind her came a pain filled whinny. Forgetting the unconscious thief she moved to the injured horse.

Carefully kneeling beside the fallen horse, she attempted to assess the damage done. Sickness crept up her throat as she watched the broken spear raise and fall with each labored breath. "Easy girl, easy." She cooed softly, while gently stroking the silky golden mane. Argo tried to raise her head, only to fall back weakly. Overcome by a sense of helplessness Gabrielle fell forward, burying her face in Argo's muscular neck. "Don't die, Argo, please." She pleaded. "Xena needs you." Choking back a sob. "I need you."

Sitting up, she violently brushed the back of her hand across bloodshot eyes, trying to wipe away the tears. "Hey," Forcing a tone of levity into her voice. "you can't die. Who will I have to pick on, huh?" Sucking in a sharp breath. "Who's going to criticize my music?" Laughing weakly.

Once more her eyes fell to the spear, causing an aching in her own heart. "I'll get Xena." she announced. "She'll know what to do. You just hang on now you hear?" Agro neighed softly in reply. Allowing herself a slight smile, Gabrielle leaned forward placing a light kiss on the golden neck. "I knew you'd understand." Jumping to her feet she quickly disappeared into the brush.


Kicking the closest man in the stomach, the woman warrior did not wait to see him hit the ground. Turning in one fluid motion she met the last of the four attackers. Charging forward he held his sword out intent on running it through his opponent's chest. Sidestepping his attack, she laughed as she struck the flat side of her blade against his buttocks. Howling with pain and anger the man spun to face her once more. As he moved within reach, she deflected his attack and struck him square in the face with the hilt of her sword. He dropped to the ground, unmoving.

"Xena!" Cried Gabrielle as she entered the clearing.

Xena spun to face her, a broad smile gracing her proud features. The smile quickly faded as she saw the blood covering Gabrielle's hands and forearms. But, it was the look of terror in those beautiful green eyes, which froze her heart. Reaching out a reassuring hand, the warrior found the shoulder beneath it trembling. "Gabrielle," she spoke softly. "What's wrong? Are you hurt?"

"No..." Answered Gabrielle fighting to control her voice. "It...it's Argo." Sobs threatened to overtake her once more.

Relieved the bard was unharmed, Xena felt her heart sink once more at the news she bore. Firmly taking the younger woman by the shoulders, she stared into tear filled eyes. "Where is she?" Unable to find her voice, Gabrielle pointed in the direction she had arrived from moments before. Without a word Xena charged into the woods at a dead run.


When Gabrielle finally caught up to her friend, she was greeted by a scene that broke her heart. Sitting on her knees, Xena was gently stroking Argo's neck while softly speaking to her. Quietly approaching, Gabrielle knelt opposite the warrior. Ignoring her arrival Xena continued to comfort the horse. Gabrielle noted Argo's breathing had grown shallow. Turning to ask if there was anything she could do, Gabrielle noticed the grim smile on Xena's face. 'She'll help her. I know she will.' The bard assured herself. "Xena." She called softly. Humming softly the large woman gave no indication she had heard her name. Swallowing hard to force the lump from her throat Gabrielle tried once more. "Xena..."

For a moment she though her large friend would continue to ignore her. Then the humming stopped. Slowly Xena raised her head till her eyes meet Gabrielle's. What Gabrielle saw shocked her. Tears streamed down Xena's face, but they could not wash the pain from her eyes. The depth of pain in those blue eyes torn at Gabrielle's soul. It as all she could do to keep from throwing her arms around the grieving woman. Finally Xena spoke, her voice trembling with each word. "There is nothing I can do." Gabrielle wanted to say something anything but for once in her life words eluded her.

Turning back to her fallen friend, Xena began to hum once more. Argo whinnied and Xena leaned forward to whisper in her ear. Neighing softly the mighty mare seemed to relax. Xena continued to whisper in the twitching ear, while steadily stroking the muscular neck. Suddenly Argo shuttered drawing a sharp breath and then she was gone. Gripping the golden mane tightly, Xena's head slowly lowered, burying her face in the mare's neck. Softly she began to sob.

Gabrielle felt lost as she watched her friend grieve the loss of one she held so dear. As Xena's sobs grew louder Gabrielle offered the only help she could. Leaning forward she placed a gentle kiss upon the large woman's bowed head. Feeling her own grief surfacing Gabrielle wrapped strong arms around her friend, holding her tightly. Half expecting the proud warrior to pull away from the show of affection, she was mildly surprised when instead of refusing comforting Xena began to sob harder. Gabrielle tightened her grip as her own tears began to rush forward. Deep in the woods far from wondering eyes they sat, two friends comforting each other over a shared loss.

The End


Hope you enjoyed the journey.

Reviews are always well and greatly appreciated.