General Disclaimer: This is a fan fiction based on the television series Xena: Warrior Princess. All characters, locations, quotes, etc borrowed from the show belong strictly to the original creators and whomsoever holds the ultimate copyrights. There is no intention of copyright infringement or profit wherein this fan fiction is concerned. The remaining ideas, storyline, characters, etc are but a figment of my fevered mind and I will bear full responsibility for them.
Violence is inevitable and may even be overly graphic since a certain Warrior Princess is involved hence anyone who may be uncomfortable with such depictions is advised to avoid reading the story herein.
The story also depicts a loving relationship between two consenting adult women and as such may contain descriptions of a sexual nature, graphic or otherwise. In the event you are under the legal age wherever you may reside to be exposed to such contents or it is illegal in your country, please do not read any further. If a loving sexual relationship between two adults of the same gender makes you uncomfortable in any way, you might want to give this story a miss.
Please note that I will not be responsible for any trauma resulting from a failure to heed any of my warnings above.
Author’s note: This is my attempt to chart Gabrielle’s evolving feelings for Xena, using excerpts from Gabrielle’s hypothetical and obviously non-existent private journal to tell the story behind the story.
I love Xena, she’s my best friend. But recently, it almost seems as if she is becoming something more, much more.
It’s nearly impossible to say when it started but I was at the Athens City Academy of the Performing Bards when I first realised something had changed between us. Xena was no longer just a friend to me. Perhaps I was the one who had changed or perhaps it was Xena’s parting words that finally awakened something in me. I cannot be sure.
Before we parted ways, me to Athens and her to Keremus, Xena told me that we were family and that I was like a sister to her. Since she’d grown up with two brothers in her family, I was probably the sister she always wanted but never had. As for me, well, I had always looked up to Xena as a sort of mentor, what with her vast experience in life and her wealth of worldly wisdom and all. Xena was, contrary to popular belief, a veritable fount of knowledge and I have learned a lot from her in the half a year we’d been travelling together. In that sense, it might not be much of a stretch for me to view her as an older sister. But somehow, that particular characterisation of our relationship just seemed wrong to me. Don’t get me wrong; Xena was right. She is my family; even more so than, the gods forbid, my parents and Lila. But I think, perhaps, that I love her and that she just might be what I have been searching for all my life. You know the story I told Iolaus about everyone having four legs and two heads and being split into two by Zeus? Well, I believe that—that everyone has someone out there waiting for them; someone who shares the same soul and that everything we do in life is just so we can be reunited with the other half of our soul. I would like to believe that was what Xena was trying to tell me back then, when she tried to tell me the story of the two orphans and how sometimes the person we spend our whole life searching for could be right beside us the whole time without us even realising it.
Attending the Athens City Academy of the Performing Bards was a lifelong dream of mine. I love stories. Who doesn’t? Except perhaps a certain warrior princess I know. Come to think of it, Hercules doesn’t seem to care too much for story telling either. I guess listening to stories just can’t compare to real life experience and when you have lived the kind of lives Xena and Hercules have, stories just sort of lose their appeal. But I digress. My love for stories, any kind at all, started one winter when I was seven years old.
It was a particularly harsh winter, fraught with howling blizzards and sudden snowstorms that shook our house like a ragdoll and made the shutters rattle in their frames. It was a wonder our old farmhouse make it through that winter unscathed other than the odd busted window or two. But what made that winter memorable was the old man the snow storms brought to Potidaea one cold wintry night. He was a travelling bard, a kindly old man with peppery white hair sticking out every which way from under his simple woollen cap and an equally unruly beard that hung down to his belt buckle. He was a masterful storyteller and though a little hard of hearing and short of sight, neither detracted from the power of his stories and the magic he weaved in the hearts and minds of young and old alike. His name was Eramos and he had been travelling all over Greece for nearly thirty years and a bard for even longer than that. He knew all the classics by heart but it was the little known tales he picked up from the people he had come across in the course of his long life and the stories he told about his own experiences that captured my attention the most.
Every opportunity I had, I would sneak out of my house to listen to Eramos perform in the taverns, mouthing the words to the stories when I knew them and memorising them when I didn’t. At the taverns, I would always squeeze my way through the crowds until I found a space from which I could watch the old bard weave his particular brand of magic. But the taverns were no place for a young child like me and more often than not, my dad would storm in with a stony face and drag me unceremoniously back home where I would have to face the consequences of my disobedience. It never stopped me though; not until the day Eramos tracked me down and offered to take me under his wing if I promised to stay away from the taverns. It was an easy decision to make and at the tender age of seven, I became an apprentice bard. It wasn’t official by any means since my dad was vehemently against the idea of me being anything other than a model farmer’s wife but Eramos kept his part of the promise and so did I. He taught me all the classics and showed me how a lesson could be derived from every story and that the best stories are the ones that spoke to people’s hearts, not just their minds.
Under his patient tutelage, I quickly discovered my passion for storytelling and that I was actually really good at it. As Eramos used to say, I was a natural. My parents weren’t as approving of my storytelling ways however. Mom wasn’t that bad but she had always taken her cues from dad and my dad was, well, dead set in his ways. Despite that, or perhaps because of that, I was determined to become a bard someday, just like Eramos. The Academy was supposed to help me achieve that. But as I stood up there on the stage, retelling our many adventures for the sake of the judges and the audience, I realised that I no longer needed the Academy to achieve my dream. Travelling with Xena all these months, living and breathing the danger and adventure that never seemed to be far away, and recounting those stories in the villages and towns we inevitably ended up in; what more could I possibly want? I might not be classically trained but I am a bard all the same; a travelling bard, just like Eramos. And I like to think he would be proud of me if he could only see me now.
Moreover, I am not ready to leave Xena. I need to know if she’s the one. But given my lack of experience in this area, I don’t even know where to even start much less what I am supposed to feel towards her. How do you compare when there is nothing to compare to? I guess I’ll just have to figure out somehow. For now, I’m content just to have my best friend here beside me once more.