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This story may be best classified as a Hurt/Comfort Story involving the

charactes Xena: Warrior Princess and Gabrielle. Readers who are

disturbed by or sensitive to this type of issue may wish to read

something other than this story.

Please if you have any comments on this story , good or bad please direct them to me at:

I also have to thank my editors Kim&Lauire for all of their help in getting this story to you the readers.




"Gabrielle, hurry up, we have to get out of this storm." Xena shouted over the roaring thunder and howling wind.Suddenly there was a loud crack, and the sky lit up as a bolt of lighting struck a tree just paces behind the warrior, causing her to be thrown to the ground.

"Gabrielle!!!" Xena shouted as she jumped to her feet.She turned to see her young companion pinned face up under a large tree branch. "Gabrielle!" she yelled as she ran to her side.

"Come on Gabrielle, wake up.Come on, open your eyes, please Gabrielle!" she pleaded as she slapped her cheek trying to arouse her, but there was no response."I have to get you out this storm."

She wished she hadnít left Argo in the village while they had gone in search of some herds to replenish their supply.The storm had come on quickly and by that time they were to far from the village to make it back before the worst of it set in.So theyíddecided to find shelter and wait out the storm.

With her powerful arms, she lifted the fallen limb from the bard's chest.Kneeling down beside her, Xena checked for a pulse."Thatís it,Gabrielle you just hold on.Iíll get you to a safe place."Then she swept her up into her arms and went in search of shelter. The wind was very strong and was pelting the warrior with rain and debris, scratching her exposed skin.As a bolt of lighting lit the sky, Xena was able to make out what looked like a cave 50 paces ahead of her.

"Hold on Gabrielle, weíre almost there, just hold on." Xena pleaded as she ran towards the cave.She could feel the young bard start to shake in her arms.

When she approached what she thought was a cave, she was relieved to see it actually was.It wasnít very big, about 25 paces deep, but it was high enough for Xena to stand up in.She placed Gabrielle on the floor of the cave and checked her pulse and breathing, both of which were weak.Xena knew that shock had already set in and that she had to get her warm,She pulled out a blanket from thesatchel the bard always carriedwhich somehow had managed to stay relatively dry."This should help until I can get a fire going."She spread it over the prone Gabrielle, then ran out of the cave in search of some fire wood.

Xena returned shortly carrying an arm full of wood, most of which was wet, but she knew she had to get a fire going to warm them both up.Making a circle with stones which were lying around the cave, she attempted to make a fire.It took several tries before she could even get a small flame.Then because the wood was so wet, it was more smoke then heat.Gradually the wood began to dry out and the heat began to radiate against the warriors wet skin.Turing her attentions to Gabrielle, she started to remove her wet clothing so it would dry and also to check for any injuries.Gabrielleís breathing had become more labored since Xena last checked and that caused her some concern.She pulled off Gabrielleís shirt, causing her to gasp as she noticed the large bruise now forming across her ribs.She gently palpated the area to check for any broken ribs.

"Oh Gabrielle." she said as she felt the numerous broken ribs.For the first time since being knocked down, Gabrielle let out a moan as Xena continued to probe the ribs."Iím sorry Gabrielle but I have to check."She became concerned that her labored breathing was caused because of a rib pressing against the lung.Then she checked to make sure she had no other injuries, which she didnít."I need to get you back to the village, but thereís no way in this storm."Knowing she had to relieve the pressure from the rib on the lung, Xena threw more wood on the fire, and began to collect some things from Gabrielleís satchel.Then returning to the bardís side,she tried to rouse her.

"Gabrielle, come on itís time to wake up."She waited for a response but there was none.

"GABRIELLE come on. You need to listen to me and wake up."Still no response."Well maybe its for the best.What I have to do is not going to be pleasant." she said as she pulled her breast dagger out and placed it on a rock around the fire.She noticed that the bard was now really having a tough time breathing and knew she had to work fast. Pulling the dagger from the fire and staring at the glowing hot blade she said"Here goes."

She began by making a deep cut above the rib on Gabrielleís right side, causing a deep moan from the bard but Xena continued to make the cut.The blade cauterized the bleeding as it went through the skin, making the bleeding minimal.When she was confident the cut was deep enough, she placed the dagger back in the fire.She reached her hand into the wound in search of the rib.This caused Gabrielle to flinch in pain and cry out.Having found the rib, Xena pulled it back into place and immediately Gabrielleís breathing eased. Pulling out her hand, she began to sew up the incision that now began to flow more freely.Once the wound was closed and cleaned up,Xena wound a bandage around the rib cage to secure it.She knew if she could get Gabrielle through the night without any sign of infection, she would be fine.But it would be a long night.

Xena kept a constant vigil by Gabrielle, making sure she was comfortable and that there was no sign of infection.Gabrielle still had not totally regained consciousness since being knocked out, and Xena was beginning to worry.She rechecked Gabrielleís head for signs oftrauma but there didnít appear to be any. Making sure the incision had stopped bleeding, she tucked the blanket tightly around the young bard to make sure the draft would stay out.For the first time, Xena realized she herself was chilled to the bone.

"Damn, I have to get out of these things." she said to herself, then started to undress.

Once she had removed her wet leathers and stripped down to her shift, she took a seat by the fire to continue her vigil by Gabrielle.Her breathing had returned to normal and she seemed to be resting comfortably.Xena sat watching the bard sleep, wondering what Gabrielle was thinking when she decided to befriend her. "Oh Gabrielle, please wake up." she pleaded as she stroked her bangs off her brow.

"NO!! NO!!" Gabrielle suddenly shouted out from her sleep as she began to toss and turn.

A bewildered Xena tried to control Gabrielle as she thrashed about."Gabrielle, itís OK, Iím here. Take it easy or youíll tear out the stitches."She grasped Gabrielleís shoulder tightly,trying to hold her down. "OK Gabrielle, itís time to wake up now,itís only a dream and you have to wake up." she continued to plead.Slowly Gabrielle began to stop struggling against her."Thatís it, just relax Gabrielle, relax."She lightened her hold on her and pulled the blanket back from Gabrielleís chest to check the stitches."OhGabrielle." she exclaimed as she noticed the blood beginning to soak through the bandage.

" Uhhh..." Gabrielle began to moan.

"Thatís it Gabrielle, itís time to wake up now."Xena said tapping her cheek. "Gabrielle, can you hear me?"

"Ugh, Xena.....AHHHHHH!!!!" she cried out as she tried to sit up.

"Take it easy Gabrielle, donít try and move."

"Ohhh Xena, what happened?My chest hurts so much." she asked as tears started to trickle down her face.

"You had a rather large tree branch fall on your chest and you broke 4 ribs, one of which was pressing against your lung. I had to cut into your chest to move it, otherwise you would have suffocated.It was going OK until you started to thrash around, then you reopened the stitches. Iím going to have to restitch it so you donít get an infection. As soon as this storm clears, we have to get you back to the village." Xena explained as she wiped the tears away from Gabrielleís eyes.

Then she started to remove the bandage, which was now thoroughly soaked with blood.When she had exposed the wound, she noticed that all the stitches had been ripped out and blood flowed freely from the wound.Gabrielle grimaced as Xena prodded the area.

"How does it look?" she asked as she tried to hold the tears back but to no avail.

"Itíll be fine." Xena replied, trying to conceal her doubts in her voice, but Gabrielle knew her far to well.

"Xena, come on,I know that look."

"What look?" she said, trying to lighten the mood.Then turning serious, "Gabrielle, Iím going to have to do something thatís not going to be pleasant."

"What?" she asked apprehensively.

"Iím going to have to cauterize it before you lose to much blood and try to prevent an infection from setting in....itís going to hurt like hell." she explained as she stoked the fire.She then placed the dagger back into the now roaring flames.

"Xena, do what you have to do..."Then with her eyes filling with tears, "Iím scared Xena." she whispered.

"Oh Gabrielle.." Xena bent down and stroked her face."Itís going to be OK."She tried to comfort her. "Here,I want you to bite down on this, OK.I need you to be as still as possible when I do this."She reached behind her and grabbed a small piece of firewood and placed it in Gabrielleís mouth."You ready?"

Gabrielle simply nodded and bit down hard on the wood. With one of the bandages, Xena cleaned away most the of blood that still continued to flow from the wound. She pressed down hard on the wound, causing Gabrielle to flinch.She reached towards the fire, withdrew the dagger and quickly removing the bandage,seared the wound.

Gabrielle had braced herself,but wasnít expecting the tremendous pain that ran through her body causing her to bite down hard, leaving deep marks in the wood.Xena had held the dagger for only a few seconds but it seemed like an eternity for both women, the smell of burning flesh filling the cave.She removed the dagger and her released her breathe, which she hadnít even known she was holding.Gabrielleís body began to convulse slightly as the pain ripped through her, then collapsed into unconsciousness.Xena checked the wound for any leakage and a smile crossed her face as she saw none.Then she began to rewrap the wound.

"Thatís it Gabrielle, rest now, itísthe best thing for you." she said as she stroked the bard's brow. Then she looked at the piece of wood that had fallen from Gabrielleís mouth and noticed that she had almost bitten completely through it."Iím sorry Gabrielle.I never want to cause you any pain." She put the blanket over Gabrielle and walked over to the mouth of the cave, staring out into the storm,which still had not let up since they had taken shelter."I hope it lets up soon.I need to get her to the village." she said out loud, then turned back to check on Gabrielle.She realized that she was exhausted and needed to get some sleep so she could get Gabrielle back to the village,knowing she would have to carry her the whole way.So she lay down next to her and wrapped a protective arm around the bard.

The fire continued to smolder as fresh morning air filled the cave.As the two companions slept,the suns' rays began to creep into the cave,warming Gabrielleís cheek.She wrinkled her nose as the fresh air called her back to consciousness.She could feel Xenaís protective arm wrapped around her.Turning her cheek, she could see the peaceful expression on Xenaís face, when suddenly Xena woke to Gabrielleís bright green eyes.

"Hey there." Gabrielle perked up.

"Hi yourself. " she replied as she sat up. "How are you feeling?" she asked as she pulled the blankets back to expose Gabrielleís bandages and was relieved to see there was no blood on it.

"A little sore." she answered as she tried to sit up but changed her mind as a wave of pain shot through her.

"Looks like a lot sore to me." Xena smirked.

"No really,I feel much better today, as long as I donít move the wrong way."

"You just rest. Iíll get our stuff together and then we can head back to the village where you can get some rest in a real bed.Sound good?"

"You donít know how good that sounds." she said as she watched Xena begin to collect their things.


"Yeah Gabrielle?" she answered as she continued to pack their things.

" Thank-you."

Stopping what she was doing,she turned back to Gabrielle. "For what?"

"For once again saving my life, of course."

"Oh Gabrielle, you donít have to thank me."

"You always seem to be saving me, a thank you is the least I can do."

Xena sat next to Gabrielle and placed her hand on her cheek."Gabrielle, you saved me from myself when we first meet. I will be forever in your debt."She could feel the tears in her eyes begin to build up and quickly changed the subject."Come on, all our things are ready."Then picking up the pack and putting it over her shoulder,she scooped up Gabrielle.

"I love you Xena!" Gabrielle said as she tucked her head into Xenaís shoulder.

"I love you too Gabrielle!" she replied as she made her way out of the cave.