Characters and backstory from Xena: Warrior Princess are property of MCA/Universal/Renaissance. No copyright infringement is intended.
This is an original (I hope) work of alternative fan fiction. No profit will be gained from its production. This piece of fiction is copyright of the author.
There are depictions of love/sex between consenting adult persons of the same gender. If this is illegal where you live, you are underage, or this isn't your preference, then stop reading here and find something more appropriate to your tastes and/or laws.
There is implied violence in this story.
Thank you for taking the time to read this.
Author's Note: This was written after watching "Adventures in the Sin Trade (I)." I tried to see into Xena's soul during this episode, therefore, I have written this story in the first person and present tense (not what I usually do). In fact, the whole thing is a bit different that my usual <G>. I hope you enjoy it.
SPOILERS: ADVENTURES IN THE SIN TRADE I
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Madness And Discovery
Copyright October 3, 1998
Is it madness if you acknowledge it as madness? Does it matter?
I am driven.
I can think only of Gabrielle. Memories of her smile and her eyes beckon me to balance along a fragile strand of sanity.
I have been riding, searching for her.
I cannot live without her.
My focus refuses to be cast upon my tears; I vaguely hear the cries of my heart. I know that when I find her that all of my agony will dissolve under her sweet charms.
I have heard of a great massacre not far from here. Hades is sure to make an appearance. I must speak with him. I must find her.
I am lost.
The sun is reflecting dully off the cold lake; I barely take the time to notice the frigid wind that is like my soul. I say farewell to my warhorse, my comrade in battle. I briefly wonder if she knows that I have no plans of returning.
I must find my bard, so I begin a journey that takes me back to the darkest time of my past. I must find her.
As I ride north, my mind recalls the strange ritual I must perform in order to reach her. I had done it once with the help of an ambitious shamaness. I do not want to remember Alti. I have worked so hard to forget my past. It keeps attacking me, though. I don't want to go back to that time before I met Gabrielle, but I must. It is the only way I can find her.
I am desperate.
The smell of the deer that I have slaughtered is like those I have killed. Scenes of carnage and bloodshed assault me. I think of Gabrielle, though, and I remember my purpose.
I return to my work and curse the Fates that have separated us. I need her love and her body.
I am lonely.
I am cold.
Her voice is calling to me.
I hear you, I shout.
My eyes are wild and my hair is unruly.
I will come, I promise. I will find you, I swear.
I refuse to accept this loss. My will is fueled by my madness. My soul burns with a raging fire of denial that only her sweet touch can quench.
I need her.
She is my light.
The funeral pyre is burning hot.
I am almost there.
I will find my love on the Other Side. I will join her among the dead. It does not matter that my body is alive. My heart and soul went with her.
I am dead.
I am dark madness.
I need her light.
The sacrificial blood is hot in the back of my throat. I fight the urge to spit out the dark taste. My throat convulses in refusal, but I must find her.
I am driven.
I wail and scream.
I am angry.
I am forlorn.
I am alone.
I am surely mad. I will not be separated from her. I do not know how to live without her. How did I ever live without her?
My mind is gone.
My body is weak.
I have been traveling without sleep. I will sleep forever at her side when we are reunited.
I chant and dance; I invoke the spirits of the Amazon dead to help me to enter their realm.
Life is meaningless without her.
It is dark and cold.
I open my eyes and look up at the young Amazon who is prodding me. She thanks me for giving her a proper burial.
I have succeeded in my journey.
I wonder if the Amazon knows that my selfish desire to complete my soul drove my actions.
I mentally smirk when the young Amazon follows me - like my love once did. The young woman's questions come at me faster than I can consider answers. I shake my head and offer to tell her a story. It is a legacy I must have received from my bard.
My steps are quick; my heart beats fast. I know that Gabrielle is not far.
I must join her.
I have plunged into a dark madness that only she can dispel. She is the sun that caresses my face and my body as it is revealed under her hands.
I need her warmth.
I see Cyane and I remember how I betrayed her. Behind her I see the Amazons of her tribe that are denied entrance through the Gate of Eternity. Once more my past flashes through my mind. I silently scream for relief. Only my Gabrielle can chase away the nightmares.
Her touch is soft.
Her words are love.
I look to the volcano that Cyane tells me is the Gate. The Amazon Queen hates me; she despises an eternity walking the Land of the Dead. I know how she feels - I, too, am walking that path.
But Gabrielle is so close. I can feel her; she calls to me. I forget the weary souls that are trapped here; I can only think of my precious bard.
She calls to me.
Her voice is a siren's song.
I stumble, for my legs can barely keep up with my heart.
I look over my shoulder one last time before contemplating the journey ahead of me. My past and my future are revealed.
I think of Gabrielle.
I close my eyes and recall the soft green of her eyes and the fiery cast of her hair. I remember the purity of her soul. When I open my eyes once more, I gasp.
I am in awe of what I discover.
I was blinded by her radiance; I was mad in my grief. I never realized that she left me the greatest gift I could ever wish for besides her love. A seed of her light has blossomed in my breast; she has nurtured it the past few years. It is now bright with its own source; it is strong with a righteous purpose.
I apologize to my love; I tell her that I knew what I had to do. She would want it. It will be a gift to her. I look over my shoulder and turn to face my past with a power that I had never known before.
Light dispels the dark; evil cowers in the face of love.
Gabrielle is my light, she is my love.
I love her.
I am my own light; I accept who I was and who I can be.
I will the hero for her. I will release the souls that Alti has trapped. It will be my atonement to Cyane for my betrayal.
I will do it in Gabrielle's name.
I open my eyes after my spiritual journey and sit up with a start. My purpose and objective are clear; my mind is free of grief and madness.
I am sane.
I am ready.
I take a deep breath and rise to my feet. The Amazons that surround me look so young; they are losing a battle to their enemies.
They fear Alti.
I know Alti. She will no longer practice her dark power.
I have purpose.
I am courage.
I am Xena - a warlord to some and a crusader to others.
I am the light that was born of love. I am only one that my sweet Gabrielle has touched.
I am humbled by her power.
I thank the Fates that brought her into my life.
I am strengthened by her blessed love.
My sword is a comfortable weight upon my back. I clutch my saddlebags and scan the desolate stretch of land before us.
I am ready.
After I have defeated the evil shamaness, I will resume my quest for my love. I realize now that I can live without her. That does not mean, however, that I must. I may not need her light anymore, but my body still craves her touch.
She is my destiny. I have known it since my death. I will prove it by defying hers.
But I will face one challenge at a time.
I nod my head towards the far ridge. I signal the Amazons that have joined me in this battle.
I eagerly rush forward.
I will face one challenge at a time.
I pause when I sense Alti's men waiting over the ridge. I can feel the Amazons tense with the need to fight.
I am calm.
I will face the darkness.
I am light.
I give a battlecry.
My blood surges.
I picture Gabrielle and feel my power grow. Before I lose myself in this battle, however, I whisper a silent promise to my bard:
Wait for me, my love. I am coming.
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