xippylogo.jpg (7708 bytes)

Disclaimers

The characters of Xena: Warrior Princess™ and all others associated with the television series of the same name are owned by Renaissance Pictures and Studios USA.   This is a work of fan fiction and no copyright infringement is intended. 

Sexual Content: None

Violence: Talk of violent actions, but none shown.

Language: Mild

Drugs/Alcohol: No

Spoilers: Yes contains spoilers for FIN, When Fates Collide, and The Xena Scrolls.

Other: 06.09.02

 

A Stitch in Time

By T.Novan

 

2253 A.D.

“Dazell!” The Empress roared as she threw open the door of her chambers. “Dazell! Bring your worthless hide in here!”

The Empress’ first, and most of the time, favored servant entered the room quickly, quietly and with head down. “Yes, My Empress?”

The angry woman shed her jacket and stormed across the room, grabbing the redhead by the arms and pulling her within an inch of her face. “Where were you tonight?” She hissed as her gripped tightened.

“I, I wasn’t feeling well Empress.”

“And your discomfort is why you didn’t come down for dinner tonight?”

The woman blinked, trying to keep the tears from forming in her blue eyes. “Forgive me Empress. I didn’t think you would want me there if I might make a bad showing in front of your guests.”

“What you did, was make me look bad in front of my guests. It appeared that I have no control over my own house. And if I look weak in my own house, you can imagine what they must think about how I control the realm.”

“Forgive me Empress. What can I do to make it better? To atone for my indiscretion.”

“Oh, I’ve already taken care of that. I had to have Raj lashed for your indiscretion.” The Empress lifted a dark brow, watching the blood drain from Dazell’s face. “You understand.” She released her servant and removed her belt and began unbuttoning her shirt. “You know my rules Dazell. You failed me, your son paid the price.”

The Empress continued changing from her dinner attire into her evening attire. Dazell stood, shaking and trying desperately not to cry at the thought of her son being lashed for her mistake. The Empress turned to the slave. “Go on, before you burst into tears. I don’t think I could take your tears tonight. I’m afraid I’d have to kill someone.”

Dazell bowed deeply and left the Empress as quickly as possible. She needed to find her son and see how badly he had been beaten.

*****

She entered her own quarters to find Raj tending to a cut of his shoulder. “I’m fine.” He said before she could even cross the floor. “She was far more gentle than you would have expected.”

“I’m sorry.”

“It’s the chance we take Mother.” He placed a bandage over the cut on his shoulder. “Did she hurt you?”

“No. No, she didn’t touch me. She even let me come check on you.”

“She’s getting worse. You know she’s planning a campaign that will get millions killed.”

“This is what she does Raj, she conquerors and kills.”

“I know. It looks like I’ll be one of the first ones shipped out on this next mission.”

“Oh God.” Dazell sat bonelessly in the closest chair. “Raj, I may be able to get you palace duty.”

“At what cost? Your own life, your soul? I won’t have it mother.”

“Raj, I can…”

The young man crossed the floor and knelt in front of his mother. “No. I’ll do what my duties require I will not have you doing something this ridiculous.”

“We have a ‘difficult’ relationship, but I’m sure I can…”

“Mother please, just stop this.”

Tears filled her eyes as she palmed her son’s cheek. “I love you Raj. You’re all I have in this miserable life. I don’t want to lose you too.”

“You won’t. I’ll come home. I promise.”

*****

After Raj had gone to his own room, Dazell took the risk and decided to get some air by taking a walk. By the Empress’ command no one was allowed outside the palace at night, but she hoped that the guards would recognize her not only as the Empress’ favorite, but as Raj’s mother and let her go on with her walk.

She made it to the stream where she had spent many happy hours with Raj as a boy. The Empress had allowed them more latitude before Raj had grown to manhood. Once that had happened she seemed to grow darker and they found themselves at her mercy more and more.

Dazell sat under a tree and looked to the stars, wondering how so much could have gone wrong. The Empress seemed to close down more and more each year, wanting only to go to war and kill those she considered her enemy. Lately, she considered everyone her enemy. The Ministry of War had recently released the figures that stated the Empress was responsible for at least fifty million deaths and those figures were going up on a daily basis.

She sighed and plucked a blade of grass from the ground. “What is it that makes a person so evil?”

“A wrong that was performed many thousands of years ago.”

Dazell turned to find a cloaked figure standing behind her. She scrambled to her feet and started to back away.

“I won’t hurt you.”

“Who are you?”

“That doesn’t matter. What matters is the situation that you are in now. Do you want out of it?”

Dazell shook her head. “No, it’s a trick. You are here to…”

“Trap you? I’m not here to trap you, I promise. I really am here to help you if you want it.”

“You won’t even show me your face. How am I supposed to trust you?”

The hood came down and Dazell was looking into eyes that looked as if the woman had an eternity weighing on her shoulders. “Is that better?”

“Who are you?”

“A very old friend.”

“I don’t have any old friends.”

“You do, you just don’t know it.” The woman gestured to the spot that Dazell had just jumped up from. “Please let me try to explain. I’m not here to hurt you.”

Dazell glanced around, wondering if the palace guards would be coming for her, deciding she had little to lose she sat back down. The woman with the blonde hair and the reserved aura joined her there.

“Tell me Dazell, do you believe in love?”

The woman swallowed hard and nodded. “Or at least I did once.”

“Would you like to know how the Empress has become like this and what you can do to help her?”

“Yes.”

“Do you love her?”

“Yes.” Tears fell as she covered her face with her hands. “God help me I do.”

“That’s why I’m here. I have a story to tell you.”

“It will help me understand her and help her?”

“Hopefully.” The woman shed her cloak and offered it to Dazell. “Take it. It’s chilly it’ll keep you warm.”

“What about you?”

“Very little bothers me anymore. Do you know history?”

“Yes, The Empress made sure I was well educated.”

“Do you know ancient mythology?”

“Greece, Rome, multiple gods?”

“That’s the ticket. This story starts there.With the Gods and two very special women.”

*****

Dazell just stared at the woman who watched her carefully. “You think I’m insane don’t you?”

“I just can’t understand why you would expect me to believe that story.” Dazell wrapped the cloak tighter around her body, finding it very warm and comforting in the familiar feel of it, even though she had never worn anything like it before.

“Because every word is true.”

“Then tell me what happened to this Xena and Gabrielle.”

“Oh I will, because you see that’s the most important point of the whole story. After Gabrielle destroyed the Fate’s loom she truly put humankind on their own paths. Each path having various forks and a turn down a wrong fork, could be well…”

“Devastating?”

“You have no idea. Not only devastating for that life but for all the others that followed.”

“I don’t understand.”

“You see Xena made a sacrifice and forced Gabrielle to make one as well. Xena died for souls that she felt responsible for on some level.”

“She wasn’t?”

“No, not really. Not in the grand scheme of things. In the grand scheme of things she was only responsible for two people and she failed them both.”

“Herself and Gabrielle?”

“Yes.”

“But how did she fail Gabrielle?”

“Gabrielle was left to find her own way in the world. A world that had been changed and a world where she was now the ‘warrior’, a path Gabrielle never should have been on. Because of this ‘switch’ Gabrielle’s energy has been doomed to return as the warrior and Xena’s energy had been doomed to return as the ‘peaceful’ one.”

“Are you saying, I was Xena and The Empress was Gabrielle?”

“That’s exactly what I’m saying. You see, by making that choice, Xena doomed your energies to an eternity of torture. But it must stop here and now and it must stop with you. If it doesn’t, The Empress will truly destroy the world.”

“How?”

“You need to go back to that first mistake and make it right. You must let Gabrielle resurrect Xena. If you don’t, you will be reincarnated many times, in many forms. Always in reverse. If you correct the mistake then you will be reincarnated on another path. A path that will include many good incarnations like Melinda Pappas and Janice Covenington and so many others.”

“How can I possible go back so many generations and do this?”

“I can send you there. Once you are there you will know what you must do.”

“And what of my life here?”

“It will change. It will be different, but can it really be any worse?”

“No.”

“So you’ll do it?”

“Who are you?”

“If you go back, it will be clear who I am.”

“I don’t know if I can. What about Raj?”

“You’re son may cease to exist. However, it will be like he was never born, instead of remaining here and dying on The Empress’ battlefield.”

Dazell nodded. “Yes, I’ll do it.”

“Good.” The woman stood and held out her hand. “Take it, it’s okay.”

*****

Just as Gabrielle was about to dump the urn, she felt Xena’s hand on her own. Looking behind her, she smiled when her partner smiled back and together they dropped the ashes in the water. Xena sucked in a deep breath as she returned to solid form. She dropped to the ground and Gabrielle was right there cradling her head in her lap.

“I love you Xena.”

“I love you too, Gabrielle. Everything will be all right now.” Blue eyes slid shut and there was a feeling of floating.

*****

Dazell opened her eyes. She was lying in a soft bed, a light breeze caressing her skin. Two sets of concerned eyes watched her, one blue like her own and the other green and misty with tears.

“Dazell, my love. Are you all right?”

“What happened?”

Raj took his mother’s hand. “Kaylyn and I were out exercising the new horses when we found you in the meadow. You’ve been feverish for two days.”

The woman Dazell had only known as The Empress, who had never allowed her name to be used, leaned over her and gave her a kiss on the forehead. “We’re very glad your back.”

“So am I.” She whispered, wondering if she had the strength to set up, but deciding she had to do it just to see if she could tell of any other differences in her world now.

Kaylyn helped her to sit upright but held her close and stroked her arms gently. “Are you all right?”

“I think so.” Dazell saw the palace was gone, replaced by a modest house, full of sunlight and items that decorated it showing it was a home rich in love. “I’d like some air.”

“I’ll take you.” Kaylyn assisted her in getting up and walking out to the porch.

Dazell smiled when she saw the farm and the comfortable life she had been returned to. She was looking over the land when the woman from the stream appeared before her.

“Congratulations Dazell. You did it.”

“Aphrodite?” She whispered.

“The one and only. I had to come back. I had to help. With each life I could feel love dying. You two were dying, I was dying. Thank you for fixing it.”

Dazell sank into Kaylyn’s loving arms and sighed. “My pleasure.”

 

END

 

 


Return to The Bard's Corner