Escape from the Path

Post-Episode 75

By Jinxie

Disclaimer: I don't own any of these characters; I just made up the stories. The beginning and ends of episodes are quoted from the actual TV series.

Content Warning: This is a series that takes place between episodes. The stories build upon the TV series and it is advised that you watch the episodes then read the post-episode (this story) in between. Many references by the characters are very specific to the episodes, so you may not get everything unless you watch at the same time or have the episodes memorized. The series does lead to a romantic relationship between two women, so if you don't like it don't read it.

Goal: To fill in the rest of the story of Xena and Gabrielle that I felt the series left out. This is more how I would have wished the show to go. I strive to make it a realistic love story of how the two get together and share their lives together. Please feel free to email me with constructive feedback Jinxie2013 at g mail

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End of Episode 75 (S4,E7):

In the Commandant's office, Thalassa addressed Xena, "Now, I owe my life to you. The gods certainly love playing with our fates, don't they?"

Xena replied, "Thalassa, I can't ask your forgiveness. I wronged you terribly. But there's one thing I know. When I met you, you were a wonderful, loving person. And if you continue to let that love be buried under bitterness and anger, evil wins."

The woman responded, "What you say- it's true. Your friend here, she helped me get back in touch with something these last few days; my soul. My ability to do good had been crippled. The evil Xena she did that to me. Don't let her do it to you." Then she looked at the bard, "Thank you, Gabrielle." Then she turned and walked out.

Gabrielle walked in front of Xena and handed her the Chakrum, "So, how about it?"

"How about what?" the warrior replied.

"Forgiving yourself."

"Gabrielle, that's not for me. But I won't let that monster that I used to be, the one that's sleeping so close to my heart, destroy all the good I can do now."

The bard smiled, "Not as long as I'm around."

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The sea was calm as the boat made its way back to the mainland. The voyage would take about three days from Shark Island. Gabrielle and Xena were below deck sitting on their separate beds. Xena was sound asleep, recovering from being in the pit. She had cleaned off before she got on the ship, due to Gabrielle getting nauseous due to her smell.

The bard was sitting up in bed, leaning against the wall of the ship. She had a scroll laying on her lap, but she was not reading or writing. Her eyes were glazed over as she stared at the floor boards, deep in thought. I really thought I could forgive her and just move on with our lives. I want to, but I can't stop thinking about her leaving me. She was right, she IS a hypocrite! She told me she would never leave me, then what does she do? Leave, just like that. It took her all of two minutes to decide that. Did she involve me in the decision making? No. Just on her own, without the person she loves.

Gabrielle looked down at the scroll in her lap; it's one she wrote a week ago when Xena left on the prisoner's boat. She read the opening verse, a poem by Sappho: "Set are the Pleiades; the Moon is down; And midnight dark on high. The hours, the hours, drift by, And here I lie, Alone." I sit here, in this seaside town, lost and alone. Xena has left me, for life. She has ripped apart my heart and fed it to the sharks that surround that damned island. She claimed another path, one that is not me. A path, not of redemption, but a path that will lead her to"completeness". I thought I made her complete; was I fooling myself? Or had she told me that? She has shattered my mind, my soul. How am I to live without my warrior?

Gabrielle skipped ahead on the scroll to read the entry before she decided to learn healing. Again, it started with a poem, 'My anger thought you too ignoble for my love, and close examination finds you too magnificent, and only equals are joined together smoothly.' I'm coming for you Xena, no matter if you want out of that prison or not. I have to at least face you and ask you why you would do this to me. Why you would leave so easily when you had just told me how much I mean to you? I need to know what you want me to do now.

Now, as she sat dwelling on these feelings, her anger continued to burn inside her guts. She bore holes into Xena from across the room with her fierce gaze. The warrior began to awaken, turning to face the bard. The blue eyes turned upon her, a smile forming across Xena's face. "Hi." The warrior greeted the bard.

Gabrielle couldn't get herself to reply. The overwhelming emotions raging inside her made her deaf to any sounds of the world. It was as if Xena had lost her voice, Gabrielle couldn't hear her. Her vision became somewhat blurry as her hate consumed her.

Xena noticed the lack of reaction from the bard so she sat up and started waving her hand in front of Gabrielle's view. Her mouth was forming words, but none that the bard registered. The warrior got off the bed and kneeled down next to Gabrielle's bed. She was eye level with the bright green eyes that were covered in unshed tears. Xena reached out to touch Gabrielle on the cheek but Gabrielle pulled her head away, looking the opposite direction as Xena.

"Gabrielle?" Xena pleaded with her friend. "Please talk to me." She put her hand on the bard's hand, only for Gabrielle to pull it away with a jerk. Xena saw Gabrielle's jaw clenching, her whole body ridged with malice. Finally Xena had enough, her own anger at the treatment getting to her. She grabbed Gabrielle by the shoulders and forced her to look at her, turning her shoulders and body so they were facing one another.

Gabrielle snapped as she yelled, "What! Are you planning on trying to fool me again into thinking that I'm your path!? HA! What a fucking joke, Xena! You lied to me, you betrayed me! 'I'll follow you anywhere', isn't that what you said to me just the other day? Then the SECOND you have the chance, you leave me! When it suits your purposes you do what YOU want. When did it go from 'us' to you, Xena?"

Xena's eyes filled with tears, both sorrow and anger warring against one another. "I love yo" She was stopped mid-sentence by a slap across the face from the bard.

"HOW DARE YOU SAY THAT TO ME! You don't leave people you love. Haven't we been over this before?" Gabrielle got off the bed and ran out of the room to the deck of the ship. She went to the bow and leaned over the edge, puking her guts up into the sea. By the gods, what's come over me?

Xena was still kneeling on the floor by the bed, staring at the space Gabrielle previously occupied. Her face is stern, but a tear escapes her right eye. She's never felt so vulnerable in her life. I have forced our paths apart. She hates me, the one person that means more to me than all the world, actually hates me.

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An hour later, Xena wraps a blanket around her shoulders, then grabs Gabrielle's blanket from her bed. Walking out onto deck, she takes a deep breath. Gabrielle is on the bow, staring out to sea as the sun sets in brilliant colors of oranges and reds. Xena approaches from the side and leans backwards against the gunwale, facing the opposite direction as Gabrielle.

Gabrielle is first to break the silence, "You know… I look back and realize that maybe you have never really understood me. I guess I was fooled into thinking you did. For some reason, you thought that my spiritual quest was about feeling complete." She pauses then sighs, "It's never been about that, Xe. I have felt complete since you and I declared our love for each other. You complete me, nothing else does." She chokes over the next few words, "You ripped my heart into pieces."

Xena's eyes were on the deck of the boat, head down. She quietly asked, "So…what is your quest about?"

Gabrielle scoffs, then whispers "I knew it." She pauses and shakes her head. "I'm just trying to find the right way for me in life, Xena. I'm trying to find where I can help people in the best way possible and still feel like I'm not betraying who I am inside. I just feel like I'm on the wrong path, but that does not mean you are wrong." A few moments of silence ensue between them, only the sound of the water hitting the hull. "Be honest with me? Did you really mean it when you said that you needed something to feel complete? That giving yourself up to the justice of prison would make you complete?"

Xena thought for a moment, knowing that she hadn't really meant that. The only reason she had said that was to give Gabrielle a chance at a better life, a peaceful life; without her. "I don't know." She replied, images of the crucifixion premonition flashed through her mind. She would not lead Gabrielle to her death. She would rather give Gabrielle the opportunity to escape from the path of violence than lead her to that kind of tortuous death.

Gabrielle walked away, back to their cabin and into bed. She faced away from Xena's bed, her body language clearly showing her feelings. She did not want to be talked to or touched. She wanted to be left alone.

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Beginning of Episode 76:

A person on horseback stops next to a man walking up a hill. The man says, "Around the hill- a warrior's destroying our men!"

The rider urges her horse on, "Yah! Yah! Yah!" She comes upon an open field where two women are fighting her men. She pushes her horse towards Gabrielle, knocking her to the ground. Then she flips onto the side of the horse and kicks Xena to the ground. When she pulls her horse back around, Xena jumps up and kicks her off the horse.

Both she and Xena pull out their swords and begin to fight. After a few moments, Gabrielle runs up behind the woman and tries to hit her from behind. "Gabrielle, No!" Xena shouts.

The woman, Najara, does a flip over Gabrielle's head and knocks her to the ground from behind. Najara lifts up her sword to end the bard's life. Xena pulls out her Chakrum, when suddenly Najara stops. She looks up into the sky and smiles, then sighs in relief. She lowers her weapon as she kneels on the ground.

Xena helps Gabrielle off the ground as they watch this woman close her eyes and nod her head. She is whispering to herself. She begins to cry, then says to the bard and warrior, "I'm so sorry. Can you ever forgive me?"