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Xena: Choose Your own Adventure #2
|CHAPTER #32 ----- APOLOGY ACCEPTED||
H =23 & 33, X = 2 & 12 & 25
Xena put up her hands. "Iím sorry," she apologized.
Darius looked at the ground. "No, youíre right, Iím wrong. Iím sorry," he said quietly.
Xena took a deep breath and looked around.
"Well, this will be a good place for the wedding," she said, changing the subject. Darius nodded happily. "Iím going to go make out invitations now," he said.
Xena found herself watching his every move on his way out. She realized that she really loved this man, and that she was happy with him and his children. Then she thought about Gabrielle. As Xena untied Argo to go graze in the field, she thought about her adventures that she would miss, and thought about the bard that she would miss.
"Hey!" a voice called out from behind her. A young man dismounted a horse and handed Xena a scroll. "Youíre Xena, right?" he asked.
"Yes," she said hesitantly.
"This is from Gabrielle of Potedia," the man said.
"Thank you," Xena nodded as the man got back on his horse and rode away. Xena opened the scroll. It said:
I know that you are wondering where I am. I am home now, in Potedia. I think it is better this way. You and Darius are perfect together, and I am just a friend. I will visit the day after your wedding. I canít visit before then - Lila, my sister, is getting married, too.
Your best friend,
"No, Gabrielle, youíre wrong," Xena gave a small smile to the scroll.
"Youíre not my best friend. Youíre my sister."
"Taco?" a man asked the traveler as he walked past his road-side cart.
"Falafel, donít you have a home?" the handsome man asked, rolling his eyes. His blond friend chuckled.
"Hercules! You can have two tacos! For free - just tell all of your friends!" the thick accent started to get on Herculesí nerves.
"Havenít we gone through this already? I mean, no offense, but your food is... is not edible!" Hercules threw up his hand. "Come on, Iolaus," Hercules motioned to his friend.
"If my food isnít edible, then why am I catering a wedding?" Falafel asked proudly.
"Depends. Who's wedding?" Iolaus asked curiously.
"My cousinís! He is getting married to the Warrior Princess Xena!" said Falafel matter-of-factly.
Herculesí eyes opened wide. "Who is your cousin?" he asked.
"Darius," Falafel said, scooping more road kill into a crisp corn shell.
"Where does he live?" Hercules asked.
"I wonít say unless you admit that my food is delicious!" Falafel raised his chin.
"Hercules wonít lie," Iolaus said, his arms crossed. Hercules elbowed him.
"You can come along with me the day of the wedding," the chef decided.
"When is that?" Hercules asked.
"Xena! You look beautiful!" Sarita said. Sarita and Xena were alone in the barn, getting dressed for the Big Day.
Xenaís heart was beating fast, and she was sweating.
"You look gorgeous," Xena picked up Sarita. They were both wearing white dresses with lace. Darius offered Xena his late wifeís wedding dress, but Xena refused. When Xena made her own, Darius watched in awe. Xenaís response was:
"I have many skills."
Xena walked over to her bouquet and picked out a daisy.
Xena put the small flower behind the flower girlís ear and opened the barn door.
It was a small wedding, with mainly Dariusí relatives. The only person Xena knew was her mother.
"Iím so happy for you," her mother hugged Xena. Xena hugged her back, the feeling different from what she had ever felt before.
The ceremony began, and ended with Dariusí kiss to Xena. Xena felt like an entirely new person.
At the small party after the wedding, Xena walked over to the food table. There, a dirty-looking man stood there, scraping what looked like road kill off his outside stove.
Xena made a face and moved along the table.
"What? Are you just going to cut in front of me?" a familiar voice spoke out in front of her.
"Hercules!" she cried happily as she hugged the huge man.
"Now, what is this? I had to have the cousin of the groom invite me along?" Iolaus popped up from behind the half-god.
"Whoís the cousin?" Xena asked.
The two men looked at the clumsy chef. They all laughed.
"So, who is this Darius," Hercules smirked as he crossed his arms.
Xena started to explain when she was tapped on the shoulder.
"Did you fix me something to eat?" Gabrielle smiled. She looked tired and nervous, and not her usual happy self. Xena felt a lump in her throat. She felt guilty of something that she shouldnít feel guilty for - marrying Darius.
"Lila says Ďhelloí", Gabrielle said as she hugged the new bride.
"Who did she marry?" Xena asked.
"Some guy I donít know," Gabrielle muttered. Xena grinned. There was the familiar over-protective Gabrielle she knew.
"Xena, are you going to eat that?" Iolaus spoke up, pointing to Xenaís plate of fruit.
"No. Here," Xena shook her head and smiled, handing her plate to Iolaus.
The two men took that as their cue to leave. Gabrielle looked over at Darius. He was talking to friends and relatives.
"Xena, are you sure tható" Gabrielle started.
"A little late for second thoughts," Xena grinned. "I thought you said you would be here tomorrow.""Yeah, well, they eloped," Gabrielle gave a half-smile. Xena laughed.
"Youíre acting likeó"
"Like a mom?"
"No, like a worried best friend." Xena and Gabrielle stared at each other.
"I have to leave tomorrow. I have to keep watch over our house back home," Gabrielle sighed.
"Iíll be ready by dawn," Xena said.
"Alrightó" Gabrielle agreed before she realized what was going on. "No, Xena. I said I am."
"Weíll see," Xena said slyly.
The next day, Gabrielle woke up at dawn and walked down the road and over the bridge. It wasnít until noon that she realized that she was being followed. She turned around cautiously when she came over a hill. Her staff prepared, she called out to the follower.
"Hey! Show yourself!" the bardís voice shook.
"Mind if we join you for a family honeymoon?" Xena asked. The three children were riding Argo, and Xena held Argoís lead rope in one hand, and Dariusí hand in the other.
Gabrielle grinned and set down her staff. "Itíll be good to have some company."