Sad Tidings

Written by: Caina Q.  Fuller




Gabrielle stood on the dock, waiting and watching as the boat, which was still tiny on the steadily brightening horizon, grew larger and larger as it approached. Even at this distance and in the weak, early dawn light she recognized the familiar form of Eve, Xena’s daughter. 


I’m about to break her heart, Gabrielle thought. It would be a short while before Eve reached her. It hurt her to know that Eve had only thirty minutes of happiness left before Gabrielle had to tell her that her mother was dead.


She thought of the day she’d returned home to find that her parents were gone forever.  What had hurt her the most was that she hadn’t even gotten to say good-bye to them. She’d blamed herself for not being there for her family more before the twenty-five year freeze.


She’d mentally berated herself for all the opportunities she’d had to tell her parents that she loved them, but had wasted them by putting off a simple trip home to be with them.


Now Eve was about to face the same emotional turmoil she’d faced upon coming home. Thankfully she’d had Xena and Eve to see her through. Now Eve would have her.


She began to pace across the shore, remembering the good times she’d shared with Xena and Joxer in the old days right on this same lake. She thought of their biggest adventure when they’d struggled with Aphrodite’s obsession spells to save the Mystic Diamond from the goddess’ selfish plans to decorate her constellation.


Those were the days…, she thought, reliving that day so long ago as she waited for Eve to arrive. She’d give anything to go back in time, if even for only a day. She would stop to just enjoy the love she’d shared with Xena and her friends and family. She wouldn’t take one minute or one second for granted.


Nor will I now, Gabrielle vowed to herself. She would spend time getting to know Eve now. She would learn about the girl she’d given up her life to save. She would share Eve’s pain and the secrets of their lives. She would make certain that through her, Eve got to see a side of her mother no one else knew.


The sound of the oars splashing in the water pulled Gabrielle from her reflections. When she looked up, Eve was close enough for Gabrielle to look in the eye. The young woman’s smile was so bright, so happy, but it faded the moment Eve took in the sadness in Gabrielle’s eyes.


Gabrielle helped Eve tie the boat to the dock.  “Eve. I’m so glad to see you.”


“I’m glad to see you too Gabrielle.”


They shared a quick hug. A hug that Gabrielle relished every moment of before stepping back to look up into Eve’s eyes.  For a moment, it was just like looking up at Xena.


Funny, Gabrielle thought. How I never noticed how much Eve favored Xena. Until now.


“Where’s mother? I haven’t seen her in almost a year.”




Gabrielle’s voice trailed off, and without having to say the actual words, Eve knew the truth of why her mother wasn’t here to greet her. Pain, deep and heart wrenching, filled Eve’s eyes.


Once again Gabrielle found herself holding the woman whom she was coming to think of as her own daughter. A daughter she shared with Xena like no man ever could in the role of father. 


She continued to hold Eve, feeling the girl’s tears slide over her shoulder and down her back in a hot, continuous rivulet as low sobs wracked her thin frame.


“Eve.”  Gabrielle pulled back and together they sat back down in the boat. The Bard took Eve’s hands in her own, holding onto her both physically and emotionally.


“Your mother gave her life to save the souls of thousands of innocent people. She was a hero, in every sense of the word. She’s been seeking redemption almost all her life. In the end she found it.”


This seemed to do little to ease Eve’s pain, but she nodded regardless. “It’s just that she died before I had a chance to really get to know her.”


I knew her Eve, and you know me. I share with you everything I know about your mother.”


Eve nodded.  She appreciated what Gabrielle was trying to do for her, but hearing stories about her mother couldn’t replace living life with her. Gabrielle knew what was going through her mind, and responded to her as best she could.


“Your pain will ease Eve. Your loss will lessen. But until that time comes you should know that I knew Xena better than anyone alive.  I’m going to tell you all about her, and I won’t leave out a single detail…”


They remained there, clasping hands and sharing their pain over the loss of the most important person in their lives. To any other person the sun was rising on an ordinary day, but to Gabrielle and Eve it was the first day of the rest of their lives together.


Without Xena…


The End.

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