The Warrior Bard--Gabrielle's Scroll

Love is as strong as Death, but the grave is so cruel. Unforgiving. Unrepentant. Inescapable.

A long time ago, I never weighed what finality really meant. My comprehension didn’t allow me the foretaste of what one day I would feel. How devastating the pain when ultimate love is ripped from your fingers in only a shred of time. With one last breath, her life was gone and all that we had shared together became nothing more than a collection of memories that could now only fill the emptiness on new parchment.

The wind blows my hair back as I ride her horse as hard as she’ll go. I keep her sword sheathed and attached to my saddle, her chakram at my side, and scenes of our bodies coated in sweat as we made love over and over long into the night in my head. I push the beast even harder, prompting her to run faster and to be more powerful. I shake my head as it becomes overfilled with thoughts and visions and realization that my Love is actually gone. I never thought I’d see it happen, and I never thought I’d learn to feel absolutely nothing within. I look down to see blood dried beneath my fingernails and know I should be feeling remorse about what I had just done.

Xena may have intended on passing the torch of battling evil with respect and honor to me, but the heaviness deep within my gut has prevented any hint of goodness from springing forth. How could she leave me? Forever? Who cares about the fucking forty thousand nameless, faceless souls in Hirogatchi? It seems to me that this one little soul, who loved her more than life itself, should have mattered much more. I now know that my fate and future mean nothing. She took away from me the very thing that made my existence worthwhile. Without her I am lost and undone, and angered beyond belief.

A week or so ago, I met and camped with Virgil for a night, and we talked a little. He probably could have handled an in-depth conversation about my love for Xena, but I didn’t feel like baring my soul to him. I then ended up with the Amazons for a couple of days, wishing that Ephiny could be there with me. There was no one who could truly understand what I was forced to endure, and I found that being alone was better for me anyway. So I started traveling on Argo, not sure where I would end up.

My mind refused to slow down even though I walked along in silence, holding Argo’s reins in my hand. I thought of the last days Xena’s spirit was with me.

After her death, she was with me constantly. After a couple of weeks, she talked to me one night suggesting I try to find love again. I felt as if I would go into shock. How could she even suggest something so ridiculous? I couldn’t just drop what remained in my heart and start over with a new lover. Her voice still plays over and over in my mind…

“But Gabrielle…you’re too young to spend the rest of your life alone. I made this choice and I can’t expect you to pay for that.”

“Xena, damn it…I’m a part of you, and any choice you make affects me regardless. You can’t tell me you are going to accept this as your final fate. You can’t do this to us!” My body felt like lead. I refused to accept that she would not return to me, but that night she seemed to be letting me know that once again my optimistic outlook was slapping me in the face. This really was the end.

After that night, she stopped communicating with me. The only times I saw her were through vicious nightmares, me begging her in agony not to leave me. Waking up in tears, it only made my grief for the day worse than usual. There was simply no justification for her deserting me, especially with no warning. Ever since the morning I woke up completely alone, I remained just that. Even with Kira’s persistence.

Kira was something I didn’t see coming. I tried avoiding her that afternoon she appeared from nowhere. I was letting Argo graze for a while and I sat against a tree with my eyes closed. In my mind, I was busy brushing over Xena’s gorgeous body with my fingertips, watching as the goose bumps would rise along her skin. I heard a small stick snap and was up and on guard in a split second. Seeming surprised that I heard her attempting to sneak up on me, she held her hands up to signal that she was unarmed and not here to fight.

The closer she stepped, the more I saw that my eyes were not deceiving me. She reminded me of a younger version of Xena with her long, dark hair and blue eyes. Although she wasn’t quite as tall, she was the first person whom had reminded me of Xena, and it was almost eerie seeing such a close match. Was this a cruel joke from the gods? My mouth was very dry, but I was determined not to show any signs of weakness. With my sai in each hand, she recognized quickly that I would fight for whatever reason.

She held her hands up and stopped in her tracks. “I’m a friend!” she said, giving her age away as I noticed her voice sounded so young.

“Who are you?”

“My name is Kira…I’ve been trying to catch up with you for a couple of days.”

“Why? You need some help in your village or something?” I really hoped not, because her earnest young face would be difficult to say no to, and I was determined not to help anyone.

“No, not at all. I haven’t come here for you help. I’ve come to help you.”

That did it. “Look…I don’t need any help,” I said, returning my weapons to their usual position and taking Argo’s reins to continue moving forward. After only a few steps, I heard her yell, “No, wait, please!”

I stopped and turned to face her again. “What?” I really wasn’t in the mood for a tagalong.

She began explaining that her parents were gone now, and she was interested in traveling with me and learning from me. I hadn’t heard much more after she said she was from Amphipolis. I found that kind of odd. It seemed like Xena would have known of her family.

Not wanting to encourage her in any way, because I really didn’t want anyone traveling with me, I coldly responded, “Why do you think I would even consider taking you with me? I don’t want a partner, and even if I did, it wouldn’t be someone like you. ”

She was definitely persistent. “Why not someone like me?” she asked.

I gave her several reasons why, but the main one being she really didn’t want to be around me right now. I tried ignoring her and walking ahead, but noticed that she trailed behind me, leaving just enough distance that she wouldn’t lose my trail.

She followed me all the way into the next town. I left Argo tied out front of the tavern and went inside for something to eat and drink.

I found a table in the corner and ordered a mug of ale while waiting on my meal. I hadn’t eaten in a day or two, and I could tell that my body was demanding some energy. I watched the door slowly open and then looked up to see my pursuer. The men were turning around and whistling at her, and it reminded me of the attention Xena always drew whenever we entered a public place. I’m sure they would have tried the same, but I had a “don’t fuck with me” aura about me these days. Too bad Kira didn’t see it.

I heard one of the nasty men say, “Mm girl…you are fine. I’m giving you one minute to drop your drawers and have a seat on my face.” I watched to see her reaction. And that’s when she kind or worked herself into my liking.

She gave him a cocky smile. “Well, you’re half-right…”

She then stepped back and proceeded to kick under his chin and send him falling backwards, straddling his neck in a matter of seconds.

“What a shame…Here I am sitting on your face, and you don’t have the working equipment to do anything about it.”

The men snickered at what just happened, but didn’t bother to rise and help their buddy. Neither did they say anything else to Kira. She stood up and straightened her clothes, looking over at me and giving me a beautiful smile. I held my mug up in her honor and then my food arrived.

I was glad that she didn’t try to sit at the table with me. I did notice that she sat down at the end of the bar and didn’t order anything to eat. The bartender was talking to her but I saw her shaking her head.

Before I left, I ordered her a plate of food. I was leaving out the door and looked back to give her a slight smile and wave. After I got outside and let Argo get a good drink, I decided to maybe let her travel with me for a while. I wasn’t sure what had softened me enough to think about letting her go. Maybe it was feeling that I had a tiny part of Xena with me, at least when I could look and see blue eyes. It wasn’t a feeling of replacing her. Only letting her remain with me more.

“What do you think, Argo? Should we let her travel with us for a bit?” I heard her favorable response and then headed back to the door of the tavern. Just as I was going inside, she was coming out. I told her that I was heading toward Corinth and that she could travel with me that far. Pleased with my offer, she did what I expected her to do.

We didn’t talk much at first. It was difficult for me to act interested enough to have an actual conversation. As we walked together, I had to ask her about being from Amphipolis. The whole time we talked, it was hard for me not to look at her too much. I didn’t consider myself attracted to her…I just found it so amazing that she reminded me of Xena.

I found out that she was sixteen, her parents were dead, and that she was a pretty good fighter. I warned her that things could get dangerous on the road at times. She seemed confident that she could take care of herself. Listening to her talk, I couldn’t help but remember how young and inexperienced I was when I first started traveling with Xena. She must have gotten impatient with so much of my babbling. I had grown up being with Xena. Always feeling like her property and never wanting it any other way…

The first night Kira and I camped, I had even more problems going to sleep. I knew how the nightmares would wake me up, and it was very personal for me. I didn’t want her hearing me crying or calling out Xena’s name.

I searched the night sky for any glimpse of Xena as I lay awake, silently begging her to appear to me again. I needed to know that she wasn’t upset about Kira traveling with me. I needed her to know that she was still the only one I could love. But as usual, I was faced with the same disappointment…she was nowhere to be found. It was close to dawn when I finally dozed off.

The next few days on our journey were quiet and uneventful in the way of any fighting. Luckily we had met no bad guys or thugs to injure, so we traveled and talked, and it was a slight relief to get my mind off Jappa. I almost felt that I was betraying Xena when I didn’t let my mind center on her continually. Kira had learned to back off and not talk quite so much. She was good at preparing our meals, even though I didn’t have much of an appetite.

Sometimes during the nights, I would look over to see her face just a few feet away. I wasn’t used to Xena being gone, and it took me a few seconds at times to rationalize if this was Xena or was it not and then why had I let this young girl travel with me? There were a few times I felt my resistance losing a little of its strength, especially when I’d wake up from a dream and be so wet from Xena’s imaginary touch. Then I’d remember what Xena told me that last night she remained with me…I should try to find someone to love. But I couldn’t let her invade my heart. That was forever Xena’s place and possession, and I would go to my grave before letting myself make love to anyone else.

Sometimes Kira and I walked a long time without uttering a word. I would let myself imagine that I was hearing Xena’s footsteps walking alongside me, and as long as I looked down at the ground and walked ahead, it could be real. I’d imagine it being the way it used to be…me thinking of some new story and Xena creating some type of new fighting strategy. We were so content just to be together. We had a perfect love. I missed her touch. I missed her strength around me. Especially inside me.

After a week had passed, I woke up one night unexpectedly in Kira’s arms. I had been dreaming of seeing Xena’s headless body once more, defiled and dishonored, meaning no more to her murderers than an animal killed for the prize of some body part that signified the success of their hunt. This scene was one that continually plagued my sleep. I can’t remember a more sickening time…my stomach heaving over and over as I fell to my knees in the mud. I can remember the drenching, cold rain, and being strangely glad for its presence. It seemed only fitting that the Heavens weep along with me. It was devastating to find that she had been killed, but what they did to her body was uncalled for. That night changed me forever.

I was inclined to pull away from Kira’s embrace, but it felt so good to be held and consoled. I was lying on my side and she was facing me with her arms wrapped around me, never loosening her grip and giving me all the time I needed to calm myself. I cried as silently as possible and let her hold me for a long time.

After getting a grip on my emotions, I dried my face and leaned up to look into her eyes. “So much like her…” I heard my own words betray.

For just a minute, I felt the pain start to leave my body as I moved in closer to that young, beautiful face. Her eyes had grown to icy slits, just like Xena would when she was very…needy. If I closed my eyes, maybe I could pretend…

Gods! I jerked my head back, immediately feeling like an ass for nearly using her and for nearly desecrating my love for Xena. I apologized and rushed off into the darkness, afraid of what I would see in Kira’s expression.

In the black stillness of the forest, I stood with my eyes closed, my arms outstretched, begging for Xena to come to me once again. I was babbling, I know, but I was too tired and angered to try to pretend I would eventually get over it. I broke down sobbing, screaming for my love to appear.

And was only met with eerie silence.

I found myself hoping that Kira might be gone when I returned to the campsite, but she was still there, facing away from my bedroll. I sat there for a minute, looking over at her slender figure, her hair so black it was difficult to discern in the barely flickering campfire light. It wasn’t her fault I am the way that I am. She had done everything she could to draw me out of my despair, and had even succeeded a few times. I felt gratitude for that, but a thank you and see you later was all that was needed. Having her near me would guarantee Xena wouldn’t return, for I suddenly knew Xena WOULDN’T come back as long as she thought Kira had even the slightest chance with me.

I had heard Xena tell me many times how different she felt when she was conquering the world. She described it as a blackness surrounding her, crushing her down, and engulfing her when she was alone. She drew others around her so she could siphon their light, their color from them, either through combat or through sex. That disturbed me, because the next morning, when I awoke, the world had gone black.

I warned her. I know I did, but Kira was full of the same naivety I had when I first started traveling with Xena. Xena had learned to vanquish the darkness by then, and although it was a long road, she claimed I had become her constant light.

But right now I was craving the dark, and Kira didn’t take my advice to get away from me. Now it was just a matter of time…

For the first time in months, I pulled a piece of parchment out of my saddlebag, and tried to at least be a bard again. The poetry of my words had left me though, and I sat there by the fire scratching the same words into the scroll over and over. Xena…help me….Xena…help me…Xena…help me.

The moment I heard the sharpening stone glide across Xena’s blade, my body seemed to take on a mind of its own. I jumped from where I was sitting and towered over Kira, irate that she had removed Xena’s sword from my saddle and was actually attempting to condition the blade. “Nobody touches that sword except me…” I yelled, reaching down to yank the weapon from her quivering hands and then taking the inside of my foot and kicking her across the jaw. She fell back onto the ground, her hand immediately rising to feel of her face.

I roughly picked her up by her shirt and pulled her to her feet, holding onto her shaking body just long enough to let her gain her balance. With the neckline of her shirt still bunched in my left hand, I drew back my other fist and planted a solid punch to her jaw once more. Gods it was so easy to reach out with my fist, feeling my fist crunch the bones in her jaw.

This time she fell backwards from her standing position and landed hard on the cold ground. She laid there on her back, questioning me. Her eyes reminded me of a terrified animal. It only made me angrier, seeing that pitiful look on her face. “I warned you, you fucking whore! And you wouldn’t listen!” Her eyes were filling with tears.

“Don’t you fucking cry, you pussy! And don’t look at me!” I screamed, reaching down to roll her to her face, twisting her shirt bottom up. She tried to get up, and I slammed a booted foot into her back, enjoying the power I had over her at the moment. With those eyes which were so much like Xena’s out of view, it was easy to forget who it was as I tore the shirt from her body, and used it to bind her hands behind her back as I finished stripping the clothes from her, revealing that firm young body that she loved to flaunt in my face.

She was crying out my name, but not in a passionate way. “Please, Gabrielle…please don’t do this…”

How did she know? She was pushing me with every plea…pushing me to give into the darkness that I felt. I imagined Xena’s reign of terror when she decided to take whatever satisfied her craving. It began giving me an adrenalin rush to think of teaching this young girl a lesson. I mean, after all…she had been asking for it all along. And Xena certainly urged me to touch someone else.

“Shut the fuck up, you stupid Cunt! I didn’t say you could talk, and stop that whimpering. You know you want it…”

“Please…” she cried, now breaking into a sob.

I knelt down with my knee in her back and tightened the fabric around her wrists. “See? You’re begging for it already, and I haven’t even touched you yet.”

I slammed my hand around the back of her neck and pushed her face into the dirt. Part of her body was lying on the bedroll, but I didn’t bother making her more comfortable. Forcing her head to stay down, I moved to kneel beside her body. I took my right hand and ran it up her skirt, finding the waistband of her panties and ripping them off her in one quick move. She shrieked when she realized that I was going through with this.

“Don’t move, Kira! And don’t try to get up. I promise you will regret it.” I removed my hand from the back of her neck, waiting a couple of seconds to see if she was going to try and escape. She only cried, and didn’t try to move. I grabbed one of her thighs and pulled it towards me as I moved to place my body between her legs.

During some of our talks over the past couple of weeks, she had confided in me that she was still a virgin. I knew that she was attracted to me, though, and would have been with me if I had initiated it before now. Her attraction was quite evident. Somehow, I don’t think she had envisioned me touching her the first time quite like this.

Taking both my hands, I ran them up her the backs of her thighs and then beneath her skirt, raising it to reveal her firm, young ass. “Gabrielle…don’t do this…I’ll do anything you want, anything…”

I leaned forward and yanked the back of her hair, wrapping it around my hand several times. I pulled her head back and held it so that I could speak easily into her ear. “I know you will…you’re going to give me something I’ve never had tonight… and I’m going to do the same for you.”

Pushing her head forward again, I blocked out her cries as I forced my fingers inside her, seeing blood quickly coat them by the firelight. She didn’t try to get away even when I flipped her over on her back with her hands still tied behind her. I took her again and again, never finding release for myself and never actually wanting to find it. I only wanted to conquer, hoping I was teaching Kira a lesson in being unwanted company and hoping that Xena was getting an eye full of what she had inspired me to become.

I noticed Kira’s eyes had been closed for some time, probably trying to block out what I was doing to her body. I pulled my fingers from her one last time and used the back of my hand to slap her across the face…seeing no response. Her head limply rolled to the other side.

I took a second to breathe again, and looked down at her again.

Oh my gods, I know I was responsible, but at the same time, reality refused to sink in completely. I had hurt her so badly…so without remorse…and my first thought was to finish her off so she couldn’t tell anyone who had done this to her! Gods, was there any saving for me?

I felt my stomach overturn and I was suddenly bent over, heaving the contents of my guts onto the forest floor. With that purge, I felt the horrible sinking feelings of regret and shame crashing over me in an ever-building crescendo. How could I live with what I had done? Was that why Xena had finally given up on living? The sickness got to be too much for her?

Kira moaned softly, but didn’t stir, and I knelt to look at her. Her face was barely recognizable; Xena had done her job well when she trained me to be the warrior bard. And she had trained me to have mercy on my victims as well…

Silence met me when I finally quit arguing with myself, and lifted Kira to drape over Argo’s saddle. I would take her to the next civilized spot, and leave her in the stillness of the dark. It turned out to be a temple to Aphrodite, in a little clearing at the edge of the forest. The path was well worn, and I could see it had been recently traveled. I said a quick silent prayer to Aphrodite to appear, and then bolted into the night, the guilt and regret too great for me to ever let the Goddess of Love near me again.

Argo was at the ready, and as I hopped onto her back, she galloped north. I didn’t have any specific destination in mind…just as long as it was away from here and her. I was alone again, totally alone.

I intended to stay that way.

COMING NEXT WEEK: The action heats up, when Gabrielle finds herself in the violent clutches of a conquering Xena who not only doesn’t recognize her, but is intent on breaking her.

Kira's Scroll
The Xena and Gabrielle XXX Scrolls Page 3