By the Mighty Lu Bu
I Don't Own Xena, or Texas Hold Em. Besides I suck at it.
I dedicate this story to Johnny Cash, the man who made it ok to care about prisoners.
As this is a one shot, i shout out special respect to Phineas Redux who is one of the best one shot writers in fanfiction. Writing one shots it not as easy as it looks but Phineas Redux makes it look so good.
AN: For this little short, Hercules never managed to change Xena from her ways, and as such, Xena was imprisoned for her crimes.
Xena awoke in chains, as she looked around her. All she had known for a year was chains. Chains on her feet. Chains on her hands. A chain collar around her throat. She had all these chains because she was a very dangerous woman. Xena had grown quite familiar of this place. She knew just about everyone in here. Every sound, nothing escaped her in this place.
Recently the cell next to her was emptied as the man who lived there had been executed for his crimes. Course she didn't mind. That man was a loud asshole. Finally she had some peace and quiet. That was until the main door to the block opened up. Xena knew their wasn't any executions occurring today so she wondered who it was that was being imprisoned. Xena turned as she saw a blond woman. The woman was protesting loudly.
She said, "I was his slave! He beat me! He had it coming!" The guard said, "You've been convicted so stop trying to talk your way out of it." They threw her in as they laughed. One said, "Another scheduled to die." She grabbed the bars as she said, "Please!" They closed the main door and left.
She fell to her feet and started crying. Xena said, "Hey, stop crying. I've still awhile longer to live, I don't want to here your damn crying for the rest of it." The woman replied, "Leave me alone please." Xena replied, "If you were me, you'd feel the same way. Who are you anyway?"
She replied, "Why do you want to know?" Xena said, "Say I have no life if you but I have nothing better to do." She said, "I'm Gabrielle." Xena replied, "Well Gabrielle, what did you do to get here?" Gabrielle replied tearfully, "I was made into a slave by the army of Draco. Well, then was sold to another man. He was a magistrate of a small town.
Well he did terrible things to me. Beat me and the like. One night he started beating me and I got a knife I had hidden and killed him. No one had known he had a slave and…" Xena said, "Someone entered the room and saw you with a bloody knife." Gabrielle replied sadly, "Yes." Xena said somewhat uncaring, "Too bad. I've heard worse."
Gabrielle asked, "Why are you all chained up like that?" Xena replied nonchalantly, "Because I'm Xena and I kill people for fun." Gabrielle asked inquisitively, "Isn't that uncomfortable?" Xena replied sarcastically, "No, it just feels perfect, helps me sleep. Yes this sucks. Now leave me alone." Gabrielle sat in her corner and started sobbing. Xena said, "Stop that."
Gabrielle tried to quiet down. She was suffering though, such injustice in her life. Xena turned her head, "Why can't you just except this as fate. You see fate is a cruel bitch that only cares to see things get worse. Learn that and you'll be a lot happier." Gabrielle still sobbed.
Xena wanted to calm her down. All Xena really wanted was sleep. Xena said, "Maybe it will all work out. You know, once in awhile something good happens." Gabrielle replied, "Oh, what would that be? The ceiling falls down on me and ends my miserable life." Xena replied raising an eyebrow, "Now your thinking positive. Seriously though. I've seen a lot of people have bad things happen to them. But once in awhile I've seen people get what they deserve." Gabrielle sobbed more.
The next day Xena asked, "Gabrielle. What's your home like." Gabrielle looked up. Xena said, "C'mon, I haven't got all day." Gabrielle said, "It was nice. A little village in northern Greece. Potidaea. Lots of trees. Pleasant people. A little boring, but I never knew how much I'd miss it. What about yours?" Xena didn't want to answer.
Then Gabrielle demanded, "What about yours? Come on Xena, I told you mine." Xena said, "I'm from Amphipolis. It's a small Thracian town. It was lovely. My brother and I used to play there all the time. Helping out at moms tavern to. It was great, and I loved it. Until one day Cortese came and attacked. Killed my brother. That's why I became the warrior princess." Gabrielle said, "You must have had so much pain." Xena said, "Yes I did. I had a lot of pain. My brother was my best friend. Glad he can't see me know. Chained like an animal.
Perhaps it's good he didn't see any of it. I've had time to think, and I wish I had not lived the life I did. I killed alot people. Not all them deserved to die. A lot of people tried to reach me, but I never listened ever. Now I'm paying for that. Perhaps if I listened to Hercules. He tried. No, I was too stubborn. Here I am." Gabrielle said, "I feel so sad for you."
Xena said, "What about my victims? Someone needs to feel for them too." Gabrielle said, "You've had great suffering, you made some terrible mistakes but sometimes we forget the pain that people like you must have." Xena replied, "You too good for this world." Gabrielle replied looking down at the ground, "Maybe that's why they are executing me."
The next day. The two had been talking for a long time. Xena replied laughing, "Wow, your sister must have been mad." Gabrielle replied, "Not as much as mother. She gave me such a whooping like I'll never forget. Xena, how ho you deal with this place." Xena replied, "I deserve it Gabrielle, it's easier that way. Course you don't and that's worse."
Gabrielle replied, "What kind of life is this? I go through life trying to be a good person, and this is where I wind up." Xena replied, "It's fate. You can't control it normally. I would have liked to have met you before I got here. Maybe then I would not have wound up here." Gabrielle replied, "That would have been nice. What would it have been like?"
Xena said, "It would have been better than this. Gabrielle I'm going to miss you." Gabrielle asked, "Why?" Xena replied, "My execution is a little more than a week away. I wish there was something I could do before I die. You know one final good deed at the end of a bunch of bad ones." Gabrielle replied, "Maybe you'll get your chance."
Later that day Gabrielle noticed Xena writing something. Gabrielle asked, "What are you writing?" Xena said, "A letter to mother. It's private." Gabrielle nodded and went back to sleep. Then she awoke to see one of the guards having sex with Xena. Gabrielle demanded, "What are you doing?" Xena shouted, "Stay out of it." Gabrielle sat in her corner trying not to look. Then she saw Xena give the letter to the guard after they were done.
When he left Gabrielle asked, "Xena, why did you do that?" Xena replied, "It's the only way for a woman to get a letter out of here. I don't like it, but it was the only choice. That was the only letter I've ever sent and it will be the last." Gabrielle said, "I'm touched your mother means that much to you." Xena said, "Yea."
In the several days Xena and Gabrielle had become extremely close. Gabrielle had heard all about Xena's life and Xena had learnt all about Gabrielle's life. Her desire to be a bard and everything. Xena said, "That sounds nice. I only wish you could get such a chance. Maybe you will. Who knows." Gabrielle replied, "Nah, I'm know I'm going to die in here." Xena replied, "Don't lose your hope, it makes it better."
Gabrielle asked, "Why? Earlier you told me just to accept it." Xena replied, "I know, I'm sorry I said that. Have hope Gabrielle. It'll help. Whatever help you can get, you should get. This is not a pleasant life." Gabrielle stuck her arm between the bars and touched Xena's face. Xena shook it off as she said, "I don't deserve that."
Gabrielle replied, "But I love you Xena." Xena replied, "I'm not worth loving. I've lost the right." Gabrielle replied, "Everyone needs to be loved Xena. Everyone." Xena said, "You really are wonderful. To bad, tomorrow I get executed. Then I won't have you to talk to anymore."
Gabrielle started tearing up again. Xena said, "Oh no, don't start bawling again. I hate that." Gabrielle tried to wipe her tears away as Xena said, "Whatever happens. Whatever they do to you. Keep your light. It's all you have left. If you hold on it to it, you have something they can't take away. Which is something more than the rest of us ever get."
The next day, Xena had barely slept as she talked with Gabrielle. She thought, why waste my last few hours asleep as she told Gabrielle everything she knew. Then the guard came. He said, "It's time Xena." Then another voice said, "Wait. It will be a minute." Xena recognized the voice. It was Hercules. Xena said, "Well you bastard. Here to see me die?" Hercules said, "I got your note. I checked out that magistrate. I've spent the last two days calling in every favor to appeal Gabrielle's conviction."
He pulled out a note, "We the people of Gelipin, hereby declare that Gabrielle is innocent of all charges. The murder is ruled self defense." Gabrielle started crying tears of joy. Hercules then said, "As long as I take her out of here. She is free to go." Gabrielle said, "Xena, you did that for me? Why didn't you tell me?"
Xena said, "If it failed, it might have destroyed you. It's that last chance to do a good deed I told you about." Gabrielle turned to Hercules. She said, "Can you free her?" Hercules shook his head no. He said, "She is guilty and her conviction stands. I tried to get her to a nicer facility with life. But they refused. She still dies today,"
Gabrielle shouted, "Its not fair. She's changed. She deserves a second chance." Hercules replied, "What about the families of her victims. If Xena went free, would they think it's fair?" Xena then said, "No they wouldn't and they would be right. I had my chances and I blew them. Now you have yours. Don't blow it." The guard opened the door and Gabrielle came out. Then Hercules grabbed the guard and stripped his armor off of him.
Hercules said, "I'm charged with arresting you for using your position to obtain sexual favors. You will serve 60 days and never again shall you be a guard at Gelipin. Thus says the council in Gelipin." The guard shouted but no one listened as another guard took Xena out and begun to take her away.
Gabrielle grabbed Xena's hands as Hercules held her back. The two's eyes met for the last time. Xena then looked at Hercules as she said, "Make sure she gets home safe. Get her some scrolls she can be bard." Hercules said, "I will Xena. Thank you, I wish that you didn't have to die, because I see your change too," The guard took Xena away.
Gabrielle continued to cry as Hercules took her out of the prison. Once outside they observed the gallows. The men read off Xena's crime list. Xena stared at the ground as the noose was around her neck. Gabrielle didn't know if Xena was saying anything. She could only cry as her friend was about to die. Then a kick to the stand, that Xena stood on. Gabrielle turned and grabbed Hercules as that terrible sound of the crack of Xena's neck was heard. Hercules then fulfilled his word and took Gabrielle back to Potidaea to be with her family. He also got her the scrolls that Xena had asked her to get.
Some time later Gabrielle thought about Xena as she was about to write in her scrolls. She wrote her first line. I sing the song of Xena, the warrior princess, the woman who brought the world to her knees and gave me back my life. I sing the song that I will never forget to show the world the good heart that was chained inside the great woman. Xena.