Million dollar questions ... Do I own Xena, Gabrielle, Hercules, Iolaus, Callisto, etc ...? ~NOPE!~ Do I own Renaissance Pictures? ~No to that one too.~ Am I looking to make a fast buck from this story? ~You gotta be kidding!~ So what am I saying? Enjoy the story!
This story contains spoilers for the season finale of Xena: Warrior Princess, 'Sacrifice II' and contains bits and pieces from the 'Rift' storyline and the Hercules: Legendary Journeys story 'Stranger in a Strange Land' (I think that's the one). This story also contains some vulgar language but what do you expect from the God of War? And ... it contains the idea of two women being lovers so if none of this suits your fancy please don't read it. This is my first shot at a real Xena story, I've basically written only X-men fiction.
My e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org and anything nice you have to say would be taken with glee and much dancing in the streets (unless it's raining or snowing, then you're outta luck).
You can read more of Lady Phoenix's work at The Corner of the Cosmos.
On with the story.
The Loss of Light
By Lady Phoenix
Completed: May 29, 1998
How could this have happened?
I swear by the river Styx, I never believed she would do it. Sacrifice herself to save her lover.
Xena, my daughter.
I have had many children in my long immortal life, yet none have brought me more pleasure then she has. Even while fighting against me for the side of good, she's made me proud. Lesser men and women would break under the strain of her everyday life. The torments she faces. Now she must face the worst alone.
Gabrielle. My sweet, my beloved gentle bard.
I've longed to caress that golden red hair of yours on so many occasions. Those many times I've called you irritating, the loathsome sidekick to my daughter. How those words must have hurt you, even though they were being said by your enemy. How I've hated hearing those words on others' lips when they spoke of you. Did you know I turned some of them to ash for just alluding to what they would enjoy doing to you, sweet Amazon Queen? How they would desecrate your body and leave you in pieces for Xena to find. My rage took control on such occasions and I destroyed them with less then a thought, even those people who were my best warlords.
I saw your anguish when you learned of my mating . . . no, fucking your own daughter, Hope. It tore a part of my own eternal heart. Actually having sex with her was a disappointment. I was right when I said she was nothing like her mother. You always had your imagination, your vivacity of life, it made you take chances, try new things. But with her, she only wanted enough to get me excited to do the deed. In the end, she was much like a cold fish. I would have gotten more feeling from doing myself by hand.
Did you ever realize, dear Gabrielle, how much I enjoyed our conflicts, our arguments? How they brought meaning to an all too dreary existence. You were the challenger that never quit. Even when you were taken by violence when that pathetic Perdicus died. Did you know he was doing Callisto? I don't think you knew, even after he was dead. I know that blonde bitch never told you, it would have meant she herself needed companionship even if it was for a few minutes of good sex.
Part of me reveled in your rage that day, when you attacked the tree, then forcing Xena to teach you the ways of the sword. You don't know how I wanted to go to you then. I would have shown you, my bard. I would have taught you to be the best, as I knew you could have been. Yes, my Gabrielle, you could have become my best warrior, even better then my own child, Xena. I saw the world where Iolaus went to, where I was the God of Love, I saw you as the executioner and I marveled in your hate, your desire for death and how you worshiped my counterpart, Cupid.
Oh yes, Gabrielle, when you reached Callisto in that cave, I saw what you could become and part of me rejoiced. You would become my warrior. Then, if I played it right, you would become my lover, then my wife. My first and only wife among the masses of lovers I've taken. I saw it all in that moment, you would become my goddess of desire, my mate, but then I saw the other part, the part I didn't think about until that moment. Where your light died, and darkness would prevail, you would be lost, and I knew at that moment I couldn't allow that to happen.
It was my power Gabrielle, that convinced Mnemosyne to replay your memories, Xena's prayer to the gods, your talk with Perdicus, your later talk with Xena. I was the one who forced the darkness down, and I was glad to do it. It shocked Artemis, your mother, like nothing else. After all, everyone knew I despised you, right? How wrong they were.
Did you ever know, my sweet angel, why Artemis so rarely gifted you with her presence? How much you look like your mother, my dear. Everyone on Olympus knows whose child you are, why Terreis had to die so long ago so that you would take your rightful place as her child, her queen. A demi-goddess like Xena, you were a survivor, at least until him . . .
Dahak's own rage paled in comparison to my own when I learned of his attack upon you. One thing I never thought to take from you was your blood innocence. On that, my daughter and I agreed. I heard your screams from Mount Olympus that day, and saw Artemis's own grief at her daughter's tragic loss. Your desire for goodness and hope brought the beginning of the end.
Quaking in fury, I could only watch helplessly as the dark one plundered your body and planted his seed within you. Then enraged at my own daughter for ignoring your pain, at the time you needed her most. What ironic justice. My child did what I taught her to do best: stay focused on the situation at hand. Don't allow your emotions to blind you.
How could this have happened? My betrayal of the other gods, my mother, my father. You and Xena were wrong, my love. I never was willing to become Dahak's slave, but to acquire the Hind's Blood dagger, and destroy Hope once and for all. That was my plan, but I saw the Fate's and what they had planned for my daughter and I knew that as a father I couldn't allow that to happen. I remembered your words to Xena before your daughter killed her son, my grandson.
"I couldn't kill her Xena, you're a mother, you know this!"
Still I had to protect my child, and in calling your debt to me I thought I found the way. You would destroy your child, saving Xena, saving yourself, saving all of us.
When I watched you, spoke to you, I thought surely you would have pushed her into the inferno, never once did I believe you would hold your child to you and throw yourself into that fiery furnace.
Never, would I have believed it, but it was so like you. Sacrificing yourself for the greater good, that is what you told Xena when you were dying from that poisoned arrow.
Did you know your death would bring the death of your child for good? That the end of your blood innocence brought her into the world and the end of your life would take her out? It may be as simple as that my beloved, the Fates and Mnemosyne won't allow me to see it though.
Now you are gone, my beloved light, beautiful Gabrielle, daughter of Artemis, Queen of the Amazons, lover of my own child Xena. My heart and soul ache for you, my dearest, wherever you may be. I've looked in the Elysian Fields for you, knowing that is where you belong, but I have yet to find you. Hades is no help, he is still angry over my interference with Callisto and Xena. I have tried to seek you out in Tartarus but I cannot. It would destroy me worse then the thrust with the dagger to see you in that loathsome abyss. No, I will keep searching for you, there are others, other places in which you may have gone to.
I see Xena now, leaving the temple, Joxer at her side. Her face bears far worse pain than when the boy Solan died, than even when her brother Lyceus died. The warrior fool looks . . . as usual, but worse in some way. My half brother Hercules and his lover Iolaus rides in as Xena walks the path, ignoring the fleeing priests. I catch his words.
"Xena . . ."
She says nothing, my love, ever the stoic warrior she is.
"Xena, where is Gabrielle? What happened here?"
Her eyes cannot meet his, her jaw twitches in a struggle to hide her emotions. She thinks of you now, my blonde muse, your joys, your losses, her rage against you.
"Joxer . . . please tell me."
The boy stands away from Xena, looking to her for permission, then telling Hercules all that has happened. Hope was Gabrielle's daughter, the daughter of Dahak the evil one. How when she reached adulthood she looked exactly like her mother, how she and I mated to create one of the six destroyers, how Callisto worked with Hope, how in the end, sweet Gabrielle sacrificed herself to save her lover and best friend.
Hercules looks like he's been struck by lightening. I don't think he ever knew what happened with Gabrielle in Britannia, my daughter is good at that, keeping secrets that need to be kept. He didn't know that it was Gabrielle's child that brought the downfall of my own pupil Strife.
"You mean . . . ?" Neither man can ask the question.
"She's gone, she's gone . . ." That is all my daughter can say before she starts to walk on again, this time she waits patiently for Joxer to catch up. Misery does love company.
The two men walk into the temple. Do they think they will find some part of you, my love? Hercules stops at Callisto's dead body. Strange, I felt nothing when Xena plunged the dagger into her belly. I should have felt glad. Her words burn in my mind still.
"I never thought I'd feel so good again. Seeing poor dear Gabrielle sacrifice herself makes it all worthwhile. It finally gives me a reason . . . for living, and I have 'you' to thank for it, Xena."
My eyes narrow as I watch my half brother bend over to pick up an object. Your staff, my love, the weapon you chose so that you would never be able to kill. How ironic that this piece of wood brought about your own death by propelling you closer to your child.
How I wished Hope was my daughter, yours and mine. She would have turned out like Xena, I think . . . . No, I know she would have. To lie with you the way you sleep with Xena makes my immortal soul ache with need. I've slept with many women and men to take you from my mind, yet with each one, each time I peak inside their bodies, I call out your name.
My eyes close at what could have been, how perfect we would have been together. And for the first time in my eternal life, my dear sweet beloved bard . . .