How Can I Go On?
Copyright © June 26, 2001 Ambyrhawke Shadowsinger
All Rights Reserved
Disclaimer: The characters do not belong to me; they just invade my thoughts on occasion.
Spoilers: This story takes place after the series finale, A Friend In Need.
Subtext: This story depicts a loving relationship between two women.
After reading some posts asking how Gabrielle could continue being a warrior when everything must remind her of Xena, I sat back in my chair and asked myself the same question. My answer came in the form of Gabrielles voice sounding in my head. I started typing then and there. Ive merely added a bit to turn what I heard into a story.
Id like to thank Dreemer for inspiring the image at the end of the story.
All feedback is welcome atAmbyrhawke@aol.com
As I write this, I am sitting on the bow of a ship taking me away from Japa. Away from a land that has wounded my soul more than any other place Ive been to since beginning my journeys with Xena.
The sun is beginning its descent toward the ocean; ending yet another day. But the true ending came with a sunset three days ago. As Apollos chariot disappeared from the sky, so too did the life I had with Xena. Yes, I hope for a day when I can somehow bring her back to me, but I must learn how to live with only her shade at my side.
I saw the crew watching me today as I sharpened Xenas chakram my chakram now. Tears poured from my eyes, but I did not care that the others saw. Later I heard their sighs of pity as I broke down completely right in the middle of my sword drills. Everything I do is a reminder of the woman missing from her place beside me.
I could see the questions in the mens eyes as I stood back up, forcing myself to continue on through the waves of grief. Their thoughts were as plain as if spoken aloud, How can she continue to be a warrior when it reminds her of the one who is gone?
Looking into blazing sun, I know, in the deepest place of my soul, the answer to that question .
I continue on being a warrior because it reminds me of Xena. Every moment of the day, everything I do, reminds me of my best friend, my lover, my soulmate. My every action honors the woman I knew as no one else in the world did.
I grew up in my travels with Xena. Before I met her I was like a caterpillar waiting to become what I was meant to be. When she allowed me to travel with her, I entered a chrysalis state...the shelter of Xena's arms was the cocoon I could always retreat to when the pain of transforming was too great. Now my shelter is gone, and I find myself transformed into the person that was always inside of me. Xena helped me to become that person. To be anything less now would deny the best part of myself the part that is Xena.
Now I find that it's my turn to shelter Xena. I've become the one who holds and protects her, keeping her safe within my heart. And in the coming years, whenever a battle is over and a child asks me how I got to be so strong and brave, I'll sit down and tell her the story of a mighty Warrior Princess who loved a starry-eyed girl from Potadaeia. During those few moments time will turn back; my warrior will live again. She will be the one holding me, and neither of us will know what fate awaits us in the Land of the Rising Sun.
I can feel a warmth wrap around me as the sky deepens from orange, to red, to purple. I know without looking that the shade of my warrior is sitting behind me. Shes very quiet this time as I ease back slightly in her arms. At the edge of my vision, I see her reading my words.
As the light fades, I hear her sniffle and feel a drop of wetness on my shoulder. It may just be the spray from the ship cutting through the waves, but my heart believes otherwise.
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