Awarded: 7 July 2000
DISCLAIMERS: These characters are not mine. They belong to MCA, Universal and Renaissance pictures. Even a good bit of this story belongs to them. I changed the ending to suit my needs. I just can't accept Xena smacking her beloved soul mate upside her head with her chakram and then dragging her around like a sack of potatoes. Please!!!! So, I've joined the cast of thousands of bards who have rewritten the ending of Motherhood to suit their own needs.
Please keep in mind that this is not how I portray the Xena and Gabrielle characters in my Ares' Gift series, but how the recently clueless writers of the TV series have been writing them. Thank you.
I have rated this story PG 13. I hope it helps some of you readers to deal with the fifth season Gab Smack and Drag, as I like to call it.
I do hope you enjoy it. Lena email@example.com
MOTHERHOOD REVISITED, AGAIN
The three women walked briskly along the sandy beach, the breeze had turned cold and biting as the sun fell into the sea. "We have to find a place to camp. There should be caves in those cliffs. Are you two up for a little climb." Xena asked her companions. Both agreed and Xena led the way.
Safe shelter was found in a deep crevice in the cliffs. It was just high enough to stand. The smoke from their fire was a bit irritating but the howling winds rushing by the opening sucked most of it outside. Xena and Gabrielle went about setting up camp as they always did. Aphrodite had generously restored their horses and supplies, which had been left behind at Meg's and Joxer's home while Xena battled the gods on Olympus. The beautiful goddess of love wept openly for the loss of her family and her husband, but held no animosity for the Warrior Princess, her daughter, or the petite bard, who she favored so dearly. She pointed them in the direction of Eli's followers, at Eve's request, and vanished in a cloud of golden dust.
"Eve, would you collect more fire wood, please?" Gabrielle requested. She needed to speak to her partner alone and she needed to talk now.
Xena had known this was coming and had dreaded it. She smoothed out her bed roll and sat down cross legged as she took out her sword and whet stone and began her nightly ritual. The familiar act of sharpening her sword comforted her.
"Xena, we need to talk about what happened at Joxer's. I keep going over and over it in my mind and I just can't make any sense of it." Gabrielle paced slowly from one end of the small cave to the other. "I remember thinking that you were in danger from Eve, that she was an evil murderer that was just waiting for the chance to kill us in our sleep. It was like someone was whispering it in my ear. "Then, when I saw Joxer's ghost....."
"What!?! You saw Joxer's ghost." Xena exclaimed in disbelief.
"I know it sounds crazy. But I saw his ghost. He was young again and he accused me of letting Eve kill him by letting a monster like her live. Joxer told me to kill her before she hurt anyone else. It had to be the gods Xena. They must have put these thoughts in my head....."
"The Furies. They sent the Furies to torment you and drive you to kill Eve. That's the only thing that makes any sense."
"I saw Hope, too."
"She was there in the room with Eve, taunting me. She told me I had to kill Eve because you weren't able to. That killing Eve was the only way to stop the cycle of violence. She kept saying "Kill her, mother, kill her for Xena." I don't really remember doing it. It was like I was watching someone else lift my sais and stab poor Eve in the back. Then I heard you scream and felt an awful pain in my head." Gabrielle sighed and wiped a tear from her cheek. "You tried to kill me, Xena. I know you were protecting your daughter, but you didn't have to do that. By the gods, Xena. You did kill me. Just like before."
"I didn't mean to. It was an accident."
"An accident? You call nearly cutting the top of my head off with your chakram an accident!?! Explain that to me." Gabrielle was obviously angry and hurt. Xena weighed what she was about to say very carefully.
"When I went out to confront Ares, it became clear he was trying to detain me so that the other gods could get to Eve. So I ran back into the house and the first thing I saw was you standing over my daughter, your sais plunging into her back. It was a knee jerk reaction, Gabrielle, I didn't think. I just reacted to protect my child. Can't you understand that? My goal or my desire was not to hurt you, but to help Eve." Xena paused to assess Gabrielle's reaction, but she just took a seat on her own bed roll and waited for Xena to continue. "I'm so sorry for hurting you."
"Not hurting Xena. You killed me. You didn't just stop me. There had to have been another way. Or, maybe I'm just having a problem with what you did because it only proves to me what an unnecessary object I've become in your life."
"What!?!" Xena couldn't believe what she was hearing.
Gabrielle held up her hands to halt Xena's denial. "I've felt this way off and on for a long time. Ever since we went to that town. What was the name of it, Spamona, Spumone, I don't know. When you told me about not knowing who the Father was and how this baby was good. Obviously only I could have a demon spawn."
"That's not fair, Gabrielle." Xena blurted.
"I'm not finished. You'll have your turn." Gabrielle was on a roll.
"All through your pregnancy we were fighting one evil or another. If it wasn't Alti, it was Ares. And those Proxidicae were a fun bunch. I would have fought Zeus himself to protect you and your baby, Xena. Then you had the nerve to tell me you were concerned about my violence. Boy, was that the pot calling the kettle black!"
The once stoic warrior couldn't meet the accusing glare of her partner but played with the handle of her sword, wondering how she ever let things get this bad between them.
"Maybe if you had shown me some affection. If you had let me make love to you when we were alone in our camp..... But you didn't want me to touch you like that anymore."
"I felt like a pregnant slug. I've never felt less desirable in my life, Gabrielle." Xena piped in.
"I thought you were beautiful. I never lost my desire for you. You just didn't want me anymore....." Gabrielle collected her thoughts, then continued.
"I thought things would improve after the baby was born, but they just got worse. Then we had to fight all the gods. I even agreed to your plan that you seduce Ares into helping us protect Amphipolis. Then you had the gall to tell me you "felt something" for him. Do you know how that made me feel when you so obviously no longer felt that "something" for me. By the gods, Xena, that hurt so much."
"But, Gabrielle, I didn't....."
"Oh no, no, no. Wait, there's more." Gabrielle charged on.
"You took no real interest in assisting me to lead the Amazons, even though you knew how important they were to me. Then, there was Marc Antony. How do you think it made me feel to see you seducing him, watching you kissing him and touching him. And don't you dare tell me you had no "real" feelings for him. I know you well enough to know when you want someone in your bed."
"After everything I went through to protect you and Eve, both then and some twenty-five years later, did you ever once show me any appreciation, any loving affection? No. What do I get? Bupkiss! That's what I get. I've tried to be patient. I've tried to understand all the stresses you've been under with the pregnancy and then the gods trying to kill your child. You notice I don't refer to her as our child. I never felt you really meant it all the times you tried to remember to include me."
"Damn it all, Xena." Gabrielle let out an agonized sob. "I want out. This hurts too much. You don't need me now and I don't think you are in love with me anymore. You couldn't have done all of that if you did." Gabrielle didn't bother holding back her tears any longer.
Xena sat, dumfounded, her sword dangling at her side. 'This can't be happening. Please, don't let this be happening. I have to say something. What should I say. "Gabrielle, I ..... I just don't.....know what to say. You really have me at a disadvantage here. I guess I was so wrapped up in Eve that I neglected the most important person in my life....."
Gabrielle looked at Xena with tear filled sea green eyes.
"You are and always will be the most important person in my life. I thought you knew that. I'm sorry you didn't..... I...um..... I need some fresh air..... I'm going for a short walk to think things out?" Xena walked to the mouth of the cave. "You'll be here when I get back won't you." Xena inquired timidly.
"If you want me to. Do you?" Gabrielle felt a glimmer of hope.
Xena nodded. "Yes, please be here when I get back, Gabrielle. There are things I need to say, but not right now. Ok?"
"Ok." Gabrielle nodded her head as she wiped at her tears. Her heart heavy and her future looking very uncertain.
Xena walked down to wear they'd left the horses. She stopped to pet young Argo, wishing it were her old friend. "I use to tell your mom all my troubles. Did you know that? She was a great listener." The very sad, confused, warrior stroked the blaze that distinguished this young mare from it's mother. "I love her, you know. Maybe I'm being selfish, but I don't want her to leave me. I wouldn't know how to live without her. I guess I should be telling the other blonde that, huh?" The palomino nodded her golden head. "Even the horses are more in tuned to her than I've been. I'm just gonna have to change that, aren't I." Xena turned back toward the cave.
"Gabrielle, you want to take a walk with me. Eve will be back any moment and I want you all to myself for a little while. We can leave her a note on a piece of your parchment if you don't mind..... Will you walk with me?" Xena felt very insecure. Dealing with feelings was never her strong suit.
"Alright." Gabrielle responded ever so quietly. Her emotions having exhausted her. She wrote a note to Eve that they'd be out alone for a while and not to worry.
They walked along on what was nothing more than a goat trail until finding another cosey crevice in the cliff face. The two very unhappy women sat facing each other, their knees touching. Xena stared at her friend's sad face, knowing it was her fault and wanting nothing more than to take her pain away.
"You had something you wanted to say to me, Xena?"
"I love you Gabrielle..... I don't know how we got so far off track and I'm sure it has a lot to do with our daughter....."
"Your daughter, Xena." Gabrielle interrupted.
"Our daughter, Gabrielle. She always has been and she always will be. Neither Eve not I would have survived all this without you there by my side defending us. You have always been there for us both and I never realized at what cost to you. You changed her nappies every bit as often as I did. By the gods, Gabrielle, you faced down Alti for her."
"You know I am a very focused woman. Eve has been my focus ever since I learned I was pregnant. I did neglect you....., us....., and I am so deeply sorry. We need to be alone, just the two of us again. That's if you still want me." Xena felt terribly insecure.
"What about Eve?'
"Our daughter has led the Roman army. I think she can handle a night on her own. Why don't we go get our stuff and camp here. We're close enough if she needs us and we are far enough away not to be heard." The warrior gave the bard a lascivious grin. "Please, don't say no, Gabrielle." Xena took Gabrielle's trembling hand and raised it to her waiting lips. "Won't you give me another chance. We were meant to be together. You know that." Xena beckoned Gabrielle with her ice blue eyes.
"It's not like I can go home to mother, is it..... Oh Xena, my parents and Cyrene, they're probably all dead now. We'll never see them again." Gabrielle burst into tears and Xena pulled her into a warm embrace.
"I'm gonna miss my Mom." Xena said softly as her own tears joined her partners. "I hope she didn't mourn us too much."
"Xena I want to go to Amphipolis. I have to look for Toris and Lilla, find out what happened to our families. Can we do that?" Gabrielle asked.
"Sure, we can. As soon as we get Eve settled with the followers of Eli, we'll go. I promise. Then, we should find Meg and Virgil, see if we can help them rebuild their home, since it was kind of our fault it burned."
"Yeah, we should do that too. Well, I guess we know what we'll be doing for the next few moons. Let's go get our things and set up camp before it gets too dark to find our way back."
"Hello, Mom, Auntie Gabrielle, did you two have a good talk?"
"Yes, we did. But, we need more time to..... ummm..... talk." Gabrielle hugged Eve to her side. "Actually, your mother and I are going to move our stuff into another cave." She took Eve's hand and led her to point out the cave where they'd be camping. "You're a big girl. We know you'll be perfectly safe here for the night. If you need us, you know where we'll be, but call out first so you don't get a chakram tossed in your direction." Gabrielle grinned.
"You'll be alright alone, won't you." Xena asked a little concerned to be separated from the daughter she'd fought so hard to win back.
"Mother, I'm twenty-five years old. I'll be fine. And it's not like you're deserting me."
"Then why do I feel like I am?" Xena groaned, her heart filled with guilt.
"Mother, can I speak to you in private please." Eve pulled the clueless warrior out of the cave so she would not be overheard. She leaned into her mother's ear and spoke her mind. "You two need to be alone. Tell her she's the most beautiful woman in the world and pledge your undying fidelity and devotion. Make love to her. She's feeling neglected and you're not helping matters by smothering me.
"I don't need to hear this from my little girl." Xena cringed.
"I'm not a little girl, mother. I'm a woman with needs and desires just like you. Anytime you two need to be alone, you just let me know. You have spent all of your energies on me. It's time you concentrated on your partner." Eve kissed her mother's blushing cheek, took her hand and led her to Gabrielle, then wrapped the large hand around her other mother's much smaller one. "I love you both very much. Now go make love."
"Oh I liked it better before you learned to talk." Xena groaned and grabbed their gear then she and her partner exited as quickly as they could.
Later that night:
"By the gods, Xena you are incredible." Gabrielle kissed the breast her cheek was resting upon.
"You're pretty incredible yourself, my love." Xena responded as she stroked her lover's firm soft buttocks.
"I've missed you and I've missed this more than I can say." Gabrielle whispered for only Xena's ears.
"I'm so sorry, Gabrielle. I promise to never neglect you or us again. And if I appear to be forgetting that promise, please just give me a good smack right upside my head." Xena didn't realize what she'd said til after it had passed her lips.
"Can I use your chakram?" Gabrielle flashed an evil grin.
I know it's just a little bit of fluff but they did show Xena breast feeding Eve on the show and they've teased us several times with the insinuation that our girls have had carnal knowledge of each other, so IT COULD HAPPEN!..... Ok, so a girl can dream, can't she.
Tell me how you would have ended Motherhood. Lena firstname.lastname@example.org
June 30, 2000
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