breeze swept across the bow of the swift sea vessel. Gabrielle sat on the sides
watching the dolphins jumping and playing in the wake of the large ship. Her
arms lay on her lap and her head tilted forward. She was tired. Hell was easier
on her than the last forty-eight hours. But she smiled.
along the way she struggled with the idea of life without Xena. Her heart held
her soulmate, but her arms no longer did. And they hurt. Like they had never
hurt before. A tear slipped down her cheek and she brushed it quickly away. She
didn't want Xena to know her true heartbreak. The pain she had consumed her
being. Gabrielle considered falling on the katana she had recovered. It was an
honourable way to die. But that was a lie; she felt there was never honour in
death. There was only theft. Theft of love, of sensation, and theft of peace. A
memory is good, a spirit is enduring, but human touch…
Like a pat on the back, a massage to soothe
aching muscles, a sweet gentle caress and a loving kiss. All these things she
had shared with her soulmate, were memories. Nothing else, wonderful and
bittersweet as they were, and that is all they would ever be.
will she go on, how could she?
voice drew her attention and she looked up and closed her eyes. Just as in the
encounter with Autolycus she appeared before Xena.
you're crying. Don't cry." Xena said with an incredible attempt at controlling
her own emotion.
to hold you. To touch you again. My heart..." Pain clutched her throat and she
could not speak. Tears slid down her face.
wiped away the wetness and smiled sadly. "I'm sorry."
Xena," Gabrielle choked out. "I don't want you to feel sorry."
I don't want you to hurt so. I wish this was easier."
could join you Xena. We can reunite and we could truly be together again."
faced flashed hope and then anger. "Gabrielle! Don't!"
flinched away from Xena's reproach. She lowered her eyes and Xena cupped the
you Xena. I need you."
here." Xena stroked Gabrielle's tear streaked face.
lifted Gabrielle's chin and their eyes met. She smiled a crooked grin and
brushed the hair away from Gabrielle's green eyes. "You still have much to do.
The world needs your love. You still have so much to offer."
Xena, I can't do it alone. How will I explain this to Eve? I don't understand
it myself. Please."
Xena said sharply. "You must. This is hard, the hardest thing in life to
endure, but you must do it. You can have a family. Your lifeline needs an heir.
We'll meet again in the flesh. It's just, time. time for you, to go on, without
me. Time for you to do what you must do in life. In time we will forever be
together within the bonds of our soul and now I will still be in your heart but
you must go on."
felt better, but her heart still thudded. "How?" She asked. "I can find no
reason to want to go on. Not one."
smiled and looked into the green eyes once again. "If I give you one reason
will it help?"
Gabrielle swallowed hard and slowly nodded.
are you?" Xena asked.
ship to Greece." The bard answered.
day." Gabrielle perplexed listened intently.
you been sick?"
Gabrielle's eyes opened and she looked out at the great expanse of the sea and
cocked her head slightly. "No, I haven't been sick once." She smiled and shook
her head. "I'll try Xena."
voice whispered, "You can do it."
No, it is the beginning of the new life for the
Bard of Poteidaia.