Amazon Fate
by Cat

Okay, I can honestly say I think this is the shortest story I've written.  I think it's something like 1/70th the size of Berries.  *g*

This story was inspired by the questions left unanswered at the end of the episode "Them Bones, Them Bones."  Well, some of them at least.  This deals with Amarice's past and how she came to be where she ended up.  Not too much story development here, more of a fill-in-the-blanks type story.

The characters of Xena, Gabrielle, Amarice, Yakut, and Ephiny and basically the universe they exist in belong to Renaissance Pictures and USA and all that.  No copyright infringment is intended and this is solely not-for-profit.

Oh yeah, this is not actually a Xena and Gab story, though they are mentioned.  Whoa, the back buttons being clicked right now...  *g*

Questions, comments, whatever, can be sent to Cat.

On with the story, such as it is:

 “Tell me why you wanted to be an Amazon, why you tried so hard to be something you were not,” Yakut said, sitting down across from the young redhead with a bowl of food.

 “It’s a long story,” Amarice sighed, aimlessly playing with her own food.

 “I’ve got time,” the shamaness assured her with a smile.

 The young woman knew there was no way out of this, and prepared to tell her tale.  She had never told anyone before, at least not the whole story, so she had no idea where to begin.  How about the begining?  Or at least the begining as she saw it, that was.  “I’ve always wanted to be an Amazon, for as long as I can remember.  When I was little, I would listen to every story anyone in my town would tell about them.  I guess it was a way to escape...  I, uh, didn’t have the best of childhoods.  My family, well, wasn’t...”  She looked up nervously to see if she was getting her point across.  There was no other way to explain it.  She wasn’t a bard, that wasn’t her strong suit.  From what she heard, that was Gabrielle’s department.  From the expression on Yakut’s face though, she could tell the other woman understood and was silently urging her to continue.  It was probably all for the best anyway, get it all out in the open.  No more secrets; not about this, not from her, not again.

 When I was old enough, I ran away from that hole-in-the-mud town and tried to find a real life.  I was hoping to come across some Amazons, show them what I was made of, but I couldn’t find any.  So, I went from town to town, doing odd jobs to pay for food and such.  Whenever I found a bard, I’d ask them just tons of questions about the Amazons and make them tell me all their stories about them.

 Eventually, I found out where a tribe of Amazons lived.  I ran into one who came into town to do some trading and talked her into taking me with her.  They were a small tribe, and I knew there were bigger, ‘real’ tribes out there too, but I wasn’t about to pass up the chance of learning about them.

 They taught me so much; how to fight, how to live away from the towns I had been living in, and all about their different customs and such.  I went through their training, earned the Sword of the Amazon and everything, but wasn’t really one of them, not yet.  I was supposed to go through this Ritual of Initiation thing, they had rituals for everything, but something came up.  Okay, I admit it, I was a bit unsure about the whole ritual thing.  It meant that I really was an Amazon, the very thing I always wanted to be, but it also meant that I belonged to their tribe, to their family.  I had never belonged to anything in my life, and the thought of it sort of scared me.  I mean, this was for life, right?  Not something you can just say no to later down the line.  That, and I wasn’t sure if I really wanted to belong to that tribe, you know?  I mean, there were all those other tribes out there, the big, main ones I had heard all the stories about.  What if I wanted to join one of those?  If I joined this one, I would always be part of this one, no changing it, or so I thought.  They gave me some time to go and think about it.  They told me it was a big decision and that I shouldn’t take it lightly.

 While I was off debating this, the village was attacked.  I found out later that I had basically led the raiders right to them without even knowing it.  I was so lost in my own thoughts, I didn’t think to cover up my trail when I left the village.  When I got back, so many people were hurt and dying...  I figured out it was because of me, and knew they wouldn’t want me around.  I mean, they might say they would, but I knew they were going to blame me, at least some of them, at least some of the time.

 So, I left.  I wandered for a while, from here to there and such, but everywhere I went, everyone assumed I was an Amazon.  I mean, I looked like one, I dressed like one, I acted like one, I knew their ways...  To everyone else in the world, I was an Amazon.  I came across a couple of Amazons in another village and they thought so too, or at least they assumed it.  I told them I was just wandering from my tribe, looking for my place in this world.  It wasn’t quite a lie, but it wasn’t the whole truth either.  They accepted this, and offered to take me to their tribe.  It was one of the larger southern tribes, the tribe of Gabrielle and Ephiny.  The Regent Queen also bought my story, and was willing to let me stay for a while and learn from them.  I guess their tribe didn’t used to be so open and stuff, but because of who their Queen was, they grew to be, or so they told me.

 Then, after I had been there for a little while, the Romans attacked.  Our, I mean their, village was in the path of the two armies.  Many Amazons were caught up in the fight.  Ephiny knew she had to lead her tribe into battle to save the rest of her people, and all the other Amazons the Romans would be after.  She knew I could fight, she had seen me in practice and in the little squirmishes we had, so I was able to talk her into letting me go with her.  She didn’t really want me to fight, thought I was too young, so she made me promise to stick by her, just to be safe.

The rest, well...  The rest I think you know from Xena and Gabrielle.  I wasn’t able to save her; she died protecting me...  And then they...

 The young Amazon broke of her tale, tears streaming down her face.  She wiped at them angrily.  Some Amazon, huh?  Crying, and in front of the leader of a tribe no less.  Gabrielle was wrong, she didn’t deserve to be an Amazon.  Her whole life, everything she wanted...  It was all just a waste.

 “No it wasn’t,” Yakut’s reassuring voice broke through into her thoughts.

 Amarice looked up, startled that the other woman knew what she had been thinking, until she realized she had mumbled everything out loud.  “If I hadn’t been chasing after my dreams, none of this would have happened.  How many lives could I have saved by just staying at that stupid village?  Just because I didn’t think I belonged there.  I don’t belong anywhere, I should know that by now.”

 “You belong here,” the shamaness spoke.  “You are an Amazon, Amarice.  Gabrielle accepted you into her tribe, and I accept you into mine.  You belong anywhere you want to, any tribe or any town.  You are your own person.  Do not dwell on the past – things happen for reasons we cannot explain.”  She smiled as the girl wiped away the last of her tears and looked up hopefully.  “I talked to Xena, and I talked to Gabrielle.  You have saved more lives than you think.  There was a purpose behind everything, a purpose that brought you to where you are today.  Accept that, and accept yourself.”

 “Thank you,” the redhead whispered.  Somehow, just talking about it made it all seem better.  Maybe Yakut was right, maybe there was a purpose behind all of this.  She just wished the Fates would come out and tell her what it was instead of leaving her guessing all the time.

The End.
(Well, at least until TPTB come up with something more.)

What did you think?  Email Cat.

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