Disclaimer: I do not own the rights of Xena: Warrior Princess. Strictly fan fiction.

Season 3

Solan

Xena was already a legendary warrior who fought for good and everything she believed but had a dark side, a dark side that stemmed from her dark past. After her brother Lycius died, a series of events led her down a dark path and along the way she convinced herself that she didn't need love and was consumed with hate and wanting power. Her path led her to a man named Borias who she had a beautiful son named Solan with. Borias died and Xena didn't want Solan in harms way being as she knew she had so many enemies and she didn't want him to become like the person she was at the time so she gave Solan to the centaurs which was one of the most painful things she ever had to do. Xena then continued with her evil power struck ways for some years until she met Hercules, son of Zeus, half god/half mortal. Hercules was a good man and Xena fell in love with him. He influenced her to change her ways but they decided not to take their relationship any further. Months later, Xena met Gabrielle who became her best friend and kept her on the track that Hercules initially set her on. Once Gabrielle entered her life it was no longer okay to be alone.

Buried below all the anger, hate and power was the Xena of Amphipolis who was a mama's girl and love to fish with her brothers; the same Xena that liked to spend time at her grandparents farm and listen to them tell stories by the fireplace. The Xena who knew that family and love was more important than power was still there, her heart just needed to be softened again and when it did, it hurt that much more to not have her son with her but she knew he was better off.

Xena and Gabrielle found themselves back in the land of the centaurs after an entire year, two months and six days as Xena counted. The centaurs needed their help. Xena was excited to see Solan again, he had grown so much in just a year. As happy as she was to see him, things were quickly going down hill. Somehow Collisto was back and she knew about Solan so Xena had to do everything she could to protect him. She had him in the safest place she knew. While she and Gabrielle were off throwing Collisto off her tracks Hope was killing Kaleipus. Xena found Kaleipus before he took his last breath and then went to check on Solan. Kaleipus' last words to Xena was, "Raise him."

Xena informed Solan of the tragedy. He was heartbroken, feeling like everyone he loves and who loves him dies.

"I want to be with you." Solan said catching Xena off guard. It warmed her heart.

"Wouldn't you rather be with people you already have ties too?" Xena asked.

"No. I won't be any trouble. I promise. I can fetch my own food and I don't get sick much! Please, don't leave me." Solan pleaded.

"Ok! When all of this is over, you have your bags packed and be ready to go. We have a lot to talk about we might as well do it on the road." Xena then hugged her son tightly. It meant everything to her that it was what Solan wanted, it was obviously what she wanted and she knew Kaleipus would want it that way too. At the thought of Kaleipus she had a flashback.

"The-the-the ch-ild." Xena realized that's what Kaleipus said just before he said, "Raise him," and after she asked who did this to him.

"But what child?" She asked herself still holding onto Solan. Then it hit her. "The child."

-v-

Meanwhile Gabrielle was hugging Hope in a hut after worrying that something had happened to her.

"I have this power. I don't know why..." Hope stated.

Gabrielle was reminded that Xena claimed Hope killed someone with that power as a baby but Gabrielle didn't want to believe such a thing.

"I'm sorry mommy! I set Collisto free! I didn't mean to!" Hope pretended to be upset.

"How?" Gabrielle began to wonder.

"We have to tell Xena." Gabrielle said.

"No! Xena hates me!" Hope yelled out.

The statement caught Gabrielle off guard.

"Why do you think Xena hates you?" Gabrielle asked.

"You said she tried to kill me!' Hope exclaimed.

What Gabrielle actually said was, "I had to put you in the basket or I had to watch you be killed." She never said by who. Suddenly, Gabrielle began to realize that everything was too coincidental and Hope seemed to be at the center of it all. It hurt her to admit that Xena was right. Hope was really evil... and she had to be stopped.

"You're right." Gabrielle said. "I won't let Xena hurt you. We're going to stick together. Are you hungry?"

"... Yes." Hope replied to play along with her mother trying to be maternal. She actually thought it was pathetic.

Gabrielle got some food that was in the hut for Hope and then went over to get a bottle from a nearby bag.

"Here you go." Gabrielle handed the bottle to Hope and watched her drink it down. Hope's body fell limp soon after. It broke Gabrielle's heart to have to poison her own child to death but she had to realize that Hope was a demon incarnated as much as she didn't want to believe and admit it. She dropped to her knees in tears, tempted to drink the last bit of poison herself but decided against it.

Xena soon came charging in with her sword drawn but once she got there she realized that the child was dead and that Gabrielle had killed her.

"What happened?" Xena kneeled to Gabrielle's side.

"I'm sorry, I lied to you before. I didn't kill Hope. I couldn't. She was my daughter but you were right. She was evil so I poisoned her." Gabrielle sobbed.

Xena checked Hope's pulse. She was really dead this time.

"I'm sorry Gabrielle." Xena wasn't happy that Gabriellle had lied to her but at least she did the right thing in the end. Hope is only half the battle. I have to stop Collisto. Even though she can't work with Hope anymore, she still knows about Solan and she would do anything to bring me pain.

All the centaurs and mortal men helped Xena fight Collisto while Ephiny looked over the children. It all ended with Xena trapping Collisto in a cave. Everyone was happy the nightmare was finally over and Xena couldn't wait to get back to Solan.

"I'm almost ready." Solan hurried to pack his bags.

"Take your time." Xena smiled.

"Ok, I'm all done."

"Great." Xena sat down. "There's something I think you should know before we leave."

"What's that?" Solan sat next to Xena.

"I tried to tell you this once before... Sometimes people do things they will regret and a lot of times we don't know if the things we do are right or wrong until much later. I've done a lot of things in life that I regret. As you know, I was not always a good person. I started out that way but at some point I took a turn for the worst. Eventually, after doing a lot of bad I found my way back. You were where the light started and although it took me years later and another special person or two to pull me through that light, you were my hope. You were hope that there was still some good and love left in me but... I think all mothers see their children as a light of pure goodness and hope in the world." Xena stared into Solan's beautiful blue eyes that looked so much like her own and was a bit nervous.

"Mother?" Solan questioned.

"Yes, Solan. I'm your mother and I love you so very much. That's why I brought you here to Kaleipus so that you would be safe from my enemies and the influence of the person I used to be." Xena said.

"Mother." A smile slowly appeared on Solan's face then he gave Xena the tightest hug. "I love you, mother."

It was amazing to finally hear Solan call her mother. She didn't want to let him go now that she had him. They could finally be the family that deep down Xena always yearned for.

I'm enjoying writing this story so I hope you all enjoy reading it. Please tell me what you think.