Last Chance

byImmortalRomance©

AUTHOR'S NOTE: This is the introduction to the story of Xena and Gabrielle immediately following "A Friend In Need". It is extremely subtext-friendly. If two women showing their love for one another is not your cup of tea, please find another story you'd like to read. This story will be submitted in several parts and is based off the series, yet the "history" has been changed somewhat to suit the purposes of this story. Not all the parts of this story will contain erotic sex scenes as there is a plot.

Also, I'd like to note that I do not own Xena: Warrior Princess, the series, or the characters and I will not be receiving any payment whatsoever for writing this story. It is intended for entertainment purposes only.


~*~

Gabrielle's Introduction :::

Gabrielle held the golden urn containing Xena's ashes to her chest. Xena was gone. Really gone this time. And there was no bringing her back. She had brought her back for a moment, but only for one sweet kiss. Their last kiss, and then Xena had to go again. Xena had to pay the ultimate price for all her past crimes. And that price had been death.

Gabrielle cried. She missed her best friend, her Love. Her heart felt as though it had been torn from her chest. In truth, it had. Without Xena, what was left? There was Eve. She had to go home and tell Eve the sad news about her mother. Eve was now a young woman with a life of her own. Even Eve no longer needed Gabrielle. As sad as she felt that night, Gabrielle could have tossed herself over the side of the ship, where pain would become nothing but oblivion. But she could not. She had promised Xena she would go on. And go on, she must.

But how? How without Xena? They had been One. For so long now she had been at Xena's side, and they had shared so much together. Not just their love, but their very lives. Gabrielle had no clue how to move forward without Xena.

Tears ran from Gabrielle's sorrowful green eyes. They fell onto the golden urn and mingled with Xena's ashes. "Xena, you can't be gone... you just can't be. I need you so," Gabrielle sobbed as she cried. "I need you, Xena. Can't you see?"

"Come back to me... ohhhh please come back," Gabrielle begged. She prayed to the Gods and even to The One God whom Eve and Eli had so faithly believed in. She prayed to whoever would listen. "Bring Xena back to me... please bring her back."

"I'll do anything... Anything! I'll suffer through any sort of Hell,

just bring Xena and I back together. Ohhhh please take all of this away,"

Gabrielle prayed, putting her full heart and soul into the prayer. And she meant every word. She would suffer any fate, as long as it brought her best friend and her Love back to her.

If only Xena had not become so evil. If only she had met Xena before she had killed so many. Perhaps she could have saved Xena from that ultimate fate.

But no... it was too late. Too late. Sad tears continued to fall as a harsh wind blew the ship to and fro.

Gabrielle fell upon her bunk, crying herself, still clutching the urn against. It was her last connection to Xena. The only thing tangable of the one she had loved. Merciful sleep come to take the grieving and exhausted woman into its embrace. But Gabrielle would never be prepared for the life ahead of her when she would awaken...

When Gabrielle awakened, she was in a strange, dark place. It was cold and damp here, and she was laying on the stone ground. She sat up and found the urn no where to be found. She searched for it frantically, but it was as if the precious container holding Xena's ashes had just vanished. Then Gabrielle realized she was wearing a dress which was virtually rags and locked in a small cell. "Gods, what is going on?" she gasped. She was no longer on the ship,

but where was she? This had to be a dream!

"Let me out of here! Please!" Gabrielle called out, beating against the metal bars. After a moment, a guard appeared and he growled something to her in another language. Gabrielle had no idea what he said, but it didn't sound nice.

He unlocked the bars and jerked Gabrielle out by her hair. He yelled something at her and gave her a sharp slap on the cheek. Tears filled Gabrielle's eyes, but she didn't cry. Although she was scared out of her mind and didn't know her fate, she tried her best not to show it. She and her younger sister Lila had been captured by slave traders just before she had met Xena and she found that being quiet and trying her best not to dissolve into tears had kept her captors from excessive violence. Xena had saved her, Lila,

and the others that day, but sadly Gabrielle knew there would be no Xena to protect her now. She had to get out of this mess on her own.

"Gabrielle, help me!" a voice cried out, and Gabrielle's eyes widened, seeing her little sister Lila. But how could that be? Lila had died many years earlier. This just couldn't be happening... It had to be a dream.

*Please let me wake up,* Gabrielle thought, but it didn't happen. The hateful guard drug Gabrielle along by her hair to the place where the other slave women were being loaded into a wagon.

*Hasn't this all happened before?* Gabrielle thought to herself, but something was different now. Everything was different, but Gabrielle wasn't quite comprehend what had changed. Yes, she and Lila had been taken as slaves before but that had been near Potedia, and this most definitely wasn't Poteidia.

They were in a strange land, and Gabrielle could not understand the language.

The slave women were smacked with a whip until they had all loaded onto the wagon. Many were naked and crying. Immediately, Gabrielle reached for her little sister, holding her tight. "Did they hurt you, Lila?" Gabrielle asked,

kissing her sister's long dark hair.

"No... but I am scared. What are they gonna do us?" Lila cried. "I want mother."

As Gabrielle looked into her sister's eyes, she saw youth and innocence there. When Lila had died, she had been married with a grown child of her own.

Now Lila was young again. Very young. A girl on the verge of womanhood. How could this be? Had Gabrielle somehow gone back in time? Was this just a dream?

*Gods, why can't I wake up?* Gabrielle thought as she tried her best to comfort her younger sister.

She stroked Lila's hair and wiped away her hot tears. "It's okay, sis. I won't let anything happen to you," promised Gabrielle. She hoped it was true and she could keep that promise. If anything happened to Lila, she wouldn't be able to bear it. She loved her with every ounce of her heart.

"They are gonna sell us... I know they are. I'm scared, Gabby. What if I never see you again?" sobbed Lila as more tears fell.

Gabrielle felt sick inside. They were slaves now and totally helpless. This wouldn't be good. And Lila was probably right. They would probably sold this day. She could only pray that they would be sold together and that their fate wouldn't be as cruel as they feared.

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