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Spoiler Alert: Some episodes are mentioned in here, A Solstice Carol, The Quill is Mightier, Maternal Instincts, Return of Callisto and some others here and there so if you don't want to have any episodes spoiled don't read this fan fiction.
Disclaimer: The characters in this story are all the property of Universal/MCA. (Seeing I was to lazy to make one up)
Hurt/Comfort Disclaimer: Gabrielle is ill in this story, and there is a lot of comfort in this part. And for some I'd like to recommend a tissue alert.
Joxer and Gabrielle Romance Alert: Joxer and Gabrielle do fall in love in this story and kiss!!! there is no subtext.!! Over all this part has, drama, hurt and comfort, and dash of comedy, and a bit of adventure.
Violence Beware: Slightly gruesome in one particular scene.
In My Life
Yes this story is based on Titanic, the
title doesn't give that away, but you'll recognize the movie when you begin
to read this story. This is my first attempt on actually writing something
that makes sense. If you have read my other story. Its just another Normal
Day You'll know what I mean. I hope this tale brings tears to your eyes.
I tried to write it as beautifully as I could.
Spoiler Alert: Some episodes are mentioned in here, A Solstice Carol, The Quill is Mightier, Maternal Instincts, Return of Callisto and some others here and there so if you don't want to have any episodes spoiled don't read this fan fiction.
I sat in the tavern watching a bard perform a story. It was a bit of a relief to watch a fellow bard tell a story instead on myself. After all my years of performing tales, I have become famous around Greece for some famous tales. I've worked in the academy of Athens and traveled to other cultures to share my tales with many other people outside my homeland.
In all the time I had been sitting where I was, I had noticed a stranger had kept looking at me. I didn't understand why the stranger kept looking at me. I kept sipping at my drink and tried to look away. But this stranger kept annoying me. Eventually when the bard finished their tale, everyone applauded. I too cheered for the bard. Then the stranger looked over at me, then decided to raise their hand ready to speak.
'Old woman,' he said referring to me. I looked at the stranger, and everyone focused their attention to me. I looked around at everyone, then looked back at the stranger. 'tell us, a story' the stranger added. I looked at him puzzled then shook my head.
'What makes you think I am a bard?' I added, as I took a sip of my drink once more. The stranger nodded his head and eyed me.
'I know you are bard old woman,' the stranger added, 'now tell us the tale about 'the heart of the ocean' the stranger said with a smile.
The smile from my face disappeared. No one knew about that tale. I had never told that tale ever. That story was forever lost in the past never recovered. I looked at the stranger for some time, then back to the audience in the tavern who were waiting for another tale. I nodded slowly, then stood up, and walked to the center of the room and sat down ready to begin.
I will tell you the story about a special voyage, to save a very special persons life, a bard, her name was Gabrielle, she loved a man, so long ago....but when she realized she loved him it was too late I said in a loud voice, I had captured the audience's attention.
This man she loved, underneath his shabby armor he had a heart of gold. He was so kind to her, but she would keep rejecting him over and over again I paused to wait for the audience to quiet down. I kept my eye on the listeners to see if there attention was still here with me. With the silence which filled the air I continued.
He was a man, who was very romantic, the son of a warlord and a warlord's wife. The bard on the other hand, was from a very gentle family background, not like this man who was brought up with the use to force against him I looked at the audience, who were ready to listen. The stranger nodded. I smiled as I begun to tell the tale.
The seagulls swarmed along the shore line looking for a bite. The pier was littered with thousands of people, awaiting the leaving of the greatest ship to Britannia. It was the biggest ship in all of Greece, it could take a thousand people to Britannia, in one voyage. They called it the unsinkable ship....the Titan.
The name was simple, named after the largest being, a titan. It was one of Greece's pride and joys. Better than any war ship, or cargo ship, but cost a lot to travel on. Gabrielle darted along the pier to see the magnificent ship. She wore an Amazon Green top and a skirt with patterns around her belt. In her hair several plaits and it was the color of the sun, on a misty morning. Her eyes were like the green of the jungle leaves on a tropical tree, and her skin was fair, but tanned in some spots from the harsh sun. She sighed, how she would love to travel on it. She watched as the happy faces of many Greeks and other cultures were boarding the Titan. The little children waving good bye to their loved ones and the men going off the Britannia leaving their families behind. The saddened wives that watched their loved ones leave, and the excitement the children had on their faces. She was caught in a daze for several moments but then a familiar voice grabbed her attention.
Gabrielle!? the bard turned to see Xena, approaching. She wore leather and bronze armor. On her belt hung her prized possession, the chakram. Hey, lets go to this tavern over there, might grab something to eat she said with a small smile. your sick enough as it is to be standing out here in the sea breeze the warrior added with her smile slowly disappearing. Gabrielle nodded, and followed Xena into the tavern.
Inside they were greeted with the sound of men talking. Laughing, and drinking ale. Xena and Gabrielle sat down at the bar, and the tavern keeper approached them ready to serve them both.
One ale please, and chicken broth Xena said, the man nodded in response. Gabrielle looked and Xena and shook her head angrily.
Hey why cant I have ale too? the bard protested.
Cause every time you have one, you always end up getting drunk Xena replied with a wide grin. And besides, you need this chicken broth to keep your strength up
What ever! Gabrielle replied as she accepted the broth that was placed before her, and ate it eagerly. Suddenly, there was a crashing sound. The sound of men talking in the tavern stopped and the air was silent. Xena and Gabrielle turned to see, a familiar face, who was in trouble yet again. He wore scrappy armor. And a dented hat. To add to this monstrosity he had torn pants made up of all materials and a dented metal plate of some sort as a chest plate. His long face looked up, and could only say one word.
Gabby! Joxer said with a smile, then he remembered that he was being held by a man who was much bigger than him. The man breathed onto him, Joxer almost passed out from the odor. Could you help me out, huh guys?! he added sheepishly with that childish grin of his.
Xena stood up, and approached the bulky man, and stood before him, arms crossed. The man just peered down at her, and smiled. Half of his teeth were missing and they were a yellow, brown color. He wore dirty leathers, with an eye patch over his left eye. Gabrielle got up and stood right behind Xena in a defensive position ready for trouble. Drop him Xena said simply, then followed with a sigh.
This piece of trash yours? the man replied.
Yes, and I'd like him back Xena replied. Now!
You want him back you have to play for him! the man added, he sat down, and threw Joxer to one of his fellow companions. The other ruffian held Joxer down, and sat down to drink some more ale. As he drank the ale and spilt it everywhere, Xena approached the table and leant against the chair before her.
What game did you have in mind? she questioned with a sly smile. The man, took out some cards and began to deal.
Poker he said with a toothy grin, showing the teeth that were missing. winner takes all Xena sat down and accepted the cards, Gabrielle sat beside her.
You're on! Xena said feeling quite sure off herself. She turned to Gabrielle.
Xena this isn't such a good idea Gabrielle said weakly.
Xena turned and looked anxiously at the bard. Gabrielle, remember what the healer in Athens told us? Xena protested.
That I have a terminal illness, and Ill die soon! Gabrielle said aloud. Joxer looked up when she said the words Ill die soon
Yes, and that the antidote is only found in Britannia, and if I win against this guy I may get enough money to get us there Xena said, with excitement.
All right its worth a shot Gabrielle said as she handed Xena the money pouch.
Xena set some dinars on the table to make the first bet. You wanna place your bet? she said, as she placed several more dinars down on the table.
'So this is the Titan?' an armored man asked to his associate. He dismounted his horse and looked at his companion even if he did hate him.
'Yes, isn't she just marvelous Caesar?' Pompey the Magnus admired the great ship looking over at Julius Caesar of Rome. Caesar wasn't at all impressed though. He shrugged his shoulders and looked over at Pompey and eyed him.
'No bigger than any warship I've seen' he said sarcastically. 'why did we choose this ship to get to Britannia anyway?' Caesar question in curiousity. Pompey the Magnus paced around his horse then turned back to his associate.
'When we get to Britannia I plan to out buy this ship' Pompey said as he marvelled the ship.
'For what purpose exactly?' questioned Caesar in confusion.
'For the purpose of transporting my armies over the sea in one ship instead of many' Pompey replied raising an eyebrow.
Caesar grasped his chin with his hand, thinking of the proposil. 'That's a good plan Pompey,' Caesar said in agreement. 'but not if I plan to out buy you and have the ship for my access only' Caesar added in sardonic voice. He walked away with his hands neatly folded behind his back, leaving Pompey to stare at him in disgust. Caesar turned around and starred at Pompey.
'Well come on, are you coming aboard or not?' Caesar said in a loud voice. Pompey nodded and followed and muttered. 'not if I can outbid you first Caesar' under his breath as he boarded the ship.
Xena, you've betted all of our money!! Gabrielle yelled angrily almost falling off her chair. Xena peered over at her opponent.
I can't believe you betted our tickets! one of the other men said furiously. The muscle, unshaven man simply laughed. Shell lose, we'll have our tickets to the Titan and her money when the game is over he glared at Xena with his good eye.
Xena glared down at the three tickets on the table. She looked up at her enemy and smiled. She took out three cards, and placed them on the table with one swift movement.
Gimme three she muttered, one of the other men gave her three more playing cards. The other man, placed two on the table.
Two! he said, as he took the two cards and looked at them.
Show `em if you've got `em! Xena said wildly.
The other man placed his cards onto the table. Nothing! he simply said.
Xena sighed and shook her head. Sorry Gabrielle she said, were not going to Britannia too soon Xena added miserably.
What, you lost!!! Gabrielle blurted out, she was ready to kill Xena.
You're not going to see Britannia for a long time cause were going there right now! Xena yelled ecstatically. Full house boys!!! she placed her cards onto the table, and grabbed Gabrielle's bag, and shoved all the money into it. Joxer jumped over the table while all the men were preoccupied with the loss and leapt behind Gabrielle. Xena took the bag and ran for the door, knowing the ship was about to leave. Joxer and Gabrielle followed close behind.
Outside the three of them were greeted by the sea air. They ran through the crowd and into the ship. They began to search for there cabin. They were all filled with excitement. Gabrielle turned around to face Joxer and Xena.
Look, Ill go ahead to the deck to see us go, Ill meet you later at our cabin Gabrielle said with a smile. Xena nodded and Gabrielle ran up the hall towards the deck.
Joxer waited for Gabrielle to be out of sight, before turning to Xena. He shook his head sadly. Is it true that she is dying from a serious illness? Joxer questioned quietly. Unsure on how to act during this conversation.
Yeah, Xena said softly. She hated to recall the story of their lives for the last month or so. She shivered at the thought, but Joxer had the right to know.
It started like a simple cold, Xena began. but then it attacked her lungs, left her blinded for a week, she was dizzy, and vomiting everything she ate, Xena paused for a moment, and sighed. then we saw a healer in Athens only a couple of days ago, he said Gabrielle was dying from a terminal illness, which must be treated as soon as possible or she'll die. But this antidote was only found in Britannia. We didn't have the money though to get there, so Gabrielle told me, that she knew she had to die. I tried everything possible to get the money for her, but I failed Xena stopped to place her hand on Joxer's shoulder. only recently she has gotten better, she hasn't coughed in days, this scares me, I've heard that many people who have been this ill have suddenly gotten better then died, I'm afraid she'll die before we reach Britannia, if it wasn't for that lucky poker game back there I would have never had a chance to save her life, but I'm beginning to doubt that I will, even with the last chance a tear fell down from the warriors eye. Xena wiped away a tear, then continued to walk up the hall, and left Joxer standing in shock..
Up on deck Gabrielle stood on the deck, leaning heavily against the railing. She watched as the ship slowly moved away from her homeland, Greece. Behind her stood Joxer, who stood quietly for a while. He just watched as Gabrielle's golden hair flew around in the breeze. It seemingly moved around rhythmically in the sea breeze. He knew that that he may have to treasure this moment with her forever. He felt he had to tell her how he felt, before it was too late, but how to tell her? He didn't know. Slowly he turned around to walk back down into the hallways again to meet Xena. But as he turned he tripped and landed loudly with a thud. Gabrielle turned to the sound, and smiled.
Hey Joxer! she yelled. Joxer looked up at the sound of his name. Come here! Joxer got to his feet and scampered up to Gabrielle and stood beside her and looked into her evergreen eyes.
Look she pointed towards the shore of Greece. might be the last time I see it for a while'. Gabrielle sighed. Joxer looked at the shore too, and sighed. He looked into Gabrielle's eyes and again, then looked back at the water again when Gabrielle noticed he was looking at her. She smiled.
Come on Joxer! Gabrielle said as she placed her arm around him. lets find Xena she added as they began to walk slowly away.
Xena sat on her bed and looked over at Gabrielle's leather bag and staff. If Gabrielle was to go she would miss her so. Xena stood up and picked up Gabrielle's bag, and studied it for several moments. She then took out a scrolls slowly and opened it up.
It was the end of another adventure, and an important day. Xena gave me her Solstice present. I felt so bad, I had forgotten to give her something. Yet I opened it. It was the lamb from my childhood, it made me cry the tears of joy to remember my childhood memories. Then I realized that the warlord that Xena once was would have never had given a gift to a friend, but I had saved her, and she became my family. Our friendship binds us closer than blood ever could. Then when she told me that I was her Solstice gift, I simply smiled, I now know what friendship is all about, friends always pull through everything, thick or thin, no matter the trouble they stand by one another, fight every battle to the end, that's the true meaning of friendship.
Xena wiped away a tear which had fallen from her eye as she read the scroll. As she closed the scroll Gabrielle walked in with Joxer right behind her. As she entered, Xena placed the scrolls quickly into the bag, and put it down trying to hide the fact that she had been tampering with it. Gabrielle entered and stood in front of Xena with a giant smile on her face.
Time for dinner! she said in a loud cheerful voice. Gabrielle noticed the warrior's troubled face. What's wrong? she said quietly. If you don't want me running about everywhere, Ill stay in bed and rest Gabrielle added.
No, lets go Xena said managing to fake a smile.
The eating quarters on the ship were so well presented. It was like there was a tavern on the ship. They entered and sat down at a table which was standing just beside the dance floor in the center of the room. A band and disco ball added to the effect. Just as they sat down, a man came to serve them.
What do you pleasure for tonight? the man asked politely. He wore the proper attire, and looked well presented for any normal person. He looked like a servant in a royal palace.
Well for me, just some fish with bread, Xena said, she turned to face Gabrielle waiting for her to order. Just some bread please, with some fruit They both faced Joxer who was pondering on what he should have. He eyebrows arched and his tongue sticking out of his mouth. I would like some squid Joxer said as he rose an eyebrow cunningly. with extra tentacles Gabrielle turned a ghostly pale white, Xena shivered to herself.
And to drink? the man added.
Just some water thanks all round Xena replied with a gentle smile.
Dinner will be served shortly the man said. And with the blink of an eye he wandered off to take some other orders. The three of them all stood in silence for some time. Eventually Xena looked up and stared at Joxer and laughed.
Squid Joxer. Over all the stupid things you have ever ordered in a lifetime that has to be the worst! Xena said almost gagging.
I like sea food, what can I say, you have to be a man to eat.. before he could finish the sentence the man returned with Joxer's squid. Joxer starred at it, and turned white. And within seconds passed out.
Now that's funny! Gabrielle said aloud. Xena and Gabrielle waited patiently for Joxer to get back up, but he didn't move.
Uh Xena Gabrielle said quietly.
Is Joxer all right? Gabrielle questioned wearily.
The two of them peered at Joxer who was just coming to. They both sit up straight and look at one another eye to eye. Yep they said together.
Joxer climbed up onto the chair and took his glass of water and drank it eagerly. Xena and Gabrielle began to eat away at their simple meals. As they ate Joxer looked at his and shivered to himself and muttered something under his breath. Gabrielle looked up at Joxer.
Joxer, are you going to eat that? she questioned as she munched on an apple.
Sure! he replied trying to pretend he was enthusiastic about eating squid. I am a man, as a man I can eat squid! Gabrielle nodded, and smiled at Xena who grinned back at her.
Joxer looked at his food for sometime. He eventually sighed and gave in.
Okay, I'm not a man, I can't eat squid! he admitted angrily. He turned red with embarrassment.
Want some fruit? Gabrielle offered. I can't eat it all, I don't feel to good Her eyes wandered around the table instead of connecting with Joxer's eyes. Joxer gently took the piece of fruit from Gabrielle's tiny hand.
Thank you Gabrielle he said quietly as he took a bite out of the juicy fruit. There was silence that followed. Eventually the silence was broken by Xena.
So Joxer, what have you been up to? Xena questioned, as she took another bite out of her bread. Joxer looked up and shrugged.
Not much, the usual that a hero must be doing to protect these lands Joxer replied proudly. He tried to show a good impression but failed miserably. When he noticed that no one was believing him, his shoulders slumped and he took another slow bite from the piece of fruit he held in his hand.
Gabrielle looked at him and smiled. We've been out of the action scene too lately she said, she took a bite out of her bread and continued. I've been sick for some time, leaving Xena not able to do what she usually does Everyone sat in silence, Xena looked down at the table and fiddled with her bread. But, I bet I'll be fighting again in no time! Gabrielle added with a slight giggle trying to lighten the conversation a little. But Xena didn't look up at her, just kept starring into the bread she held in her hand. There was silence again.
I might go up deck, want to join me? Xena asked quietly breaking the silence.
Gabrielle's head jerked up. No, I'll stay here Gabrielle said, I think I'll just sit here, I don't feel like going up deck or back to our cabin yet she added, whilst fingering some of the fruit on her plate. Xena eyed Joxer.
Ill keep Gabrielle company Joxer said, declining Xena's offer, and trying not to make eye contact with her directly.
If you say so Xena said as she turned and headed out to the deck. Joxer and Gabrielle sat in silence. They didn't look each other eye to eye. Joxer looked up at Gabrielle, afraid that she was going to pull at his nose if he noticed he was glaring at her. Gabrielle looked up and smiled slightly. Joxer looked at the dance floor which was lit up with tiny lights which looked like stars dancing along the night sky. He turned back to Gabrielle. He took a deep breath.
Gabby? he said in a tiny nervous voice.
Yeah Joxer? Gabrielle replied, she looked up into Joxer's sheepish face.
You want to dance with me? he said in a trembling voice. He sat and waited for Gabrielle to hit him over the head or to tell him how stupid he was. Gabrielle blinked and smiled, she stood up and took his hand.
Sure she replied as she pulled him up and onto the dance floor. Joxer didn't know what he should do. But Gabrielle took his hand and placed it on her waist. Joxer gulped nervously. Gabrielle took a grasp of his hand, and he felt her hand thread around his waist. He looked up at Gabrielle who smiled in return.
I don't know how do dance to well Joxer said nervously.
Don't worry, I can't either, just go with the flow of the music Gabrielle replied. The two of them danced slowly in the center of the dance floor. Before long they were both lost in the music. Gabrielle looked into his eyes, and Joxer into her eyes. They found they were completely lost within each other. Before long the music could not be heard, they were lost inside each others unconsciousness. The magical moment was lost when they tripped over each others feet. Gabrielle landed on top of Joxer on the floor. She starred at him for sometime. Joxer shook his head in confusion.
Gabrielle, would you please get off me Joxer reminded her, she had forgotten that she was still sitting on top of him, she was in some sort of trance.
Oh yeah she said as she got up. She got up and Joxer too. They looked at each other, and Gabrielle nervously stood there and starred at him.
I think I'll go back to our room she said with a bit of a laugh. She slowly backed away from him. She hadn't been so shocked in all her life. Snap out of it Gabrielle! She said to herself. This is Joxer were talking about. I can't fall for him!! This doesn't make sense.! Gabrielle started to walk faster out of the room. Joxer stood motionless deep in thought on what had just happened between them. Gabrielle had never been that close to him before? Was Gabrielle falling for him? He shook the thought off his mind and decided to go up deck.
Up on deck Xena stood and watched the sunset from the bow. Xena looked at the water that split apart as the Titan glided through it. In the water were several dolphins jumping along the side of the Titan. Joxer slowly approached her and stood beside her and looked out into the sunset. He sighed. They both starred out for some time. Then Xena finally broke the silence.
Joxer? Xena said softly.
Yes Joxer replied.
Promise me, Gabrielle won't die. Promise me she'll make it to Britannia Xena said, she turned to look into Joxer's long face. and promise me, you'll give her the greatest gift of all before the voyage is over she added.
Joxer shook his head in confusion. His mouth opened wide. He couldn't understand what she was saying, or trying to say to him. A gift? Joxer said in total confusion.
Yes, a special gift she will always treasure Xena added. you're the only one who can give her the gift Joxer
Joxer stood puzzled, then looked out into the sunset once more. He couldn't understand Xena. Xena slowly turned and walked quietly away. All of her emotions had hit rock bottom. She was drained and was too worried about Gabrielle. Joxer turned and focused his attention on the sunset. A day was almost like a lifetime. When the sun rises you are born, and when the sun sets it is the end of your time on this world. Joxer sighed.
He placed his hand into his pocket and pulled out a beautiful, diamond necklace. It was a deep blue, heart shaped diamond. He held it up so the sun would shine through the delicate heart, to show its magnificent beauty. He blinked as he starred into the necklace. It was a family heirloom. Probably stolen from some famous king or queen many years beforehand, but it was one of the families most sacred possessions. He held it in his hand then slowly closed his hand and slipped it back into his pocket.
Gabrielle paced around the cabin in confusion. She couldn't understand how she would fall for Joxer like she did. Then a sudden coughing spasm hit her. She coughed continuously each one made her body convulse furiously. She held her throat as each cough sent a flame through her throat. Eventually she gave in, with the lack of breath and collapsed onto the bed.
Xena entered the room to find Gabrielle laying on the bed, coughing furiously. She lay there trying to get in some oxygen between each cough but couldn't. Her face was turning blue, from the lack of air. Xena panicked and grabbed one of her herbal oils and a cloth and soaked the cloth in it. She then grabbed the back of Gabrielle's neck and held her up. Whilst holding Gabrielle up she placed the cloth onto Gabrielle's nose and mouth. Gabrielle thrashed and groaned underneath the cloth, she could feel the odor invading her lungs. Her once tight chest began to loosen. Gabrielle's body, which was tensed, became to relax in Xena's arms. Gabrielle closed her eyes slowly.
After a while Gabrielle opened her eyes back up, and smiled as Xena took away the cloth.
'Thank you' Gabrielle croaked, her throat still hurt and her chest still numb from the coughing.
'You all right?' Xena asked as she stroked Gabrielle's hair.
''Yes, just a little warn out' Gabrielle whispered.
'Why don't you get some rest' Xena suggested as she helped Gabrielle remove her boots. She took the blanket and covered Gabrielle. Gabrielle, now exhausted, fell into a deep sleep.
Xena sat and watched her peaceful face. After a while she turned around to spot Gabrielle's leather bag again. For a while she simply starred at it. She slowly leant over to pick it up. She carefully took out a scroll, and opened it.
I'm so sorry Xena. I wanted to save my daughter. I loved her. But she was evil, I didn't understand at the time, I just couldn't bear the thought of her in that way. She came from me, I gave birth to her, that is why I believed so strongly that she was my blood. And now, because of my decision, I am responsible for the death of Solan. I felt my heart tear in two, my life shatter. When will I stop hurting you? When will I stop killing innocent people? Is this who I am? Can you forgive me?
Xena sighed as she read the words, 'Who am I?' She placed the scroll down and felt suddenly very miserable. Her heart sank to the ground. She felt as if a thousand centaurs had just ran over her in a stampede. She hated the memory, she picked up another scroll and read it...
My beloved Perdicus, died at the hands of Callisto. I thought I had understood everything there was to know about life and love. But I didn't know that life and love could unexpectedly take a bad turn. I hated Callisto for what she did. I wanted to kill her...see he blood on my hands!! I was on the verge of loosing myself to the darkness that was inside me. I pulled through. All because of Xena, who wouldn't let me cross the line. And I thank Xena for helping me through that all. If it wasn't for her I would have been heart broken.
Xena smiled as she read the words on the scroll. Then she read the last words that were on the scroll, which brought a tear to her eye. I love you Xena. She took, a deep breath and looked back at Gabrielle who was sleeping peacefully beside her.
'By the gods Gabrielle' Xena whispered. 'what would I do without you?'
'Xena?' a voice said from behind her. Xena turned to see Joxer leaning in the doorway. He slowly walked in and sat beside her. He looked over at Gabrielle who was sleeping. 'What are you doing? he asked quietly, not to disturb Gabrielle's slumber.
'Just reading some scrolls' Xena said as she put them back into the bag. 'brings back some memories' Xena added with a small smile. Joxer noticed one that caught his eye, he picked it up and opened it.
Titus couldn't bare loosing any of his money that when Joxer won big at Titus' Casino, he had him beaten up, seeing Joxer was conned into losing his money to fools gold. This made me angry. Joxer is weird, yes I know, but underneath it all he is a kind and gentle man. And even though Xena and I make it look like we don't like him around, he is like family to us and he always will be.
Joxer smiled and handed the scroll back to Xena who placed it carefully back into the bag. Silence filled the room, only the faint sound of Gabrielle's wheezing could be heard and the sound of the scrolls crackling. Xena slowly closed the bag and placed it back where she found it. She sat on her bed and removed her boots and armor. 'I'm going to bed, it's been a long day' Xena said as she removed her breastplate.
Joxer sat back on his bed and removed his scrap armor and boots. 'Yeah, I agree' he replied. Xena crawled into the bed, and looked over at Joxer, waiting for him to get into his. When Joxer did he nodded and Xena blew out the candle that lit up the room.
'Good morning!' a loud and cheerful voice boomed. Xena opened her eyes groggily and looked up to see Gabrielle jumping about waving her arms about. Xena blinked several times to clear her vision then sat up at looked at the happy Gabrielle.
'I take it by the way you are acting you feel better?' Xena said as she rubbed her eyes.
'Yes!' Gabrielle yelled happily. 'what did you put on that cloth?' Gabrielle questioned, in a more serious tone.
'Something to soothe the throat, loosen the chest and induce sleep' Xena replied as she got out of the bed and placed her armor on. Gabrielle looked over at Joxer who at this time was sitting up and rubbing his eyes. He looked over at Gabrielle and frowned.
'Have you ever heard of sleeping in?' Joxer said angrily. Gabrielle's loud cheery voice had woken him from his slumber. Gabrielle looked over at him then rn over and pulled at his legs. She dragged him out from the bed and he landed in the floor in a heap. Gabrielle stood up and laughed hard, inducing some coughing to follow. She sniffed and wiped her nose several times. Xena watched, and worried. She was getting worse again there was no doubt about that. After what had happened last night, it had to be it. Gabrielle looked over at Xena, and Xena looked away to hide the fact she had been looking at her. Gabrielle sat beside Xena and placed her arm around her reassuringly.
'Don't worry Xena?' Gabrielle said quietly. Xena looked up to meet the bards evergreen eyes. 'I'm going to get through this, I'll make it to Britannia' Gabrielle said with reassurance. Xena relaxed then placed her arms around Gabrielle bringing her into a hug. They broke away and Xena placed her hand on Gabrielle's soft cheek.
'Promise me, Gabrielle, you won't give in to this battle, that you'll make it to Britannia?' Xena said with hope in her eyes. Gabrielle placed her hand firmly on Xena's arm.
'I promise' Gabrielle said with a smile escaping her lips. Gabrielle turned around to find Joxer was still laying on the floor. She got up and grabbed a pillow and pushed it onto his face. Joxer squirmed around yelling muffled words under the pillow. Xena and Gabrielle laughed as she pulled away the pillow. Joxer looked up at Gabrielle and she simply said.
'Wake up Joxer!' Gabrielle said with a giggle.
'That was one of the best breakfasts I hae ever had' Xena exclaimed, trying to start a conversation. But Joxer and Gabrielle just kept on looking into nowhere. They watched the children playing on the deck. The girls sitting down playing with their dolls the boys playing with their marbles. Joxer looked at Gabrielle and back at the boys, then at the girls. He remained focused on the girls as his mind wandered back into his childhood.
A little boy walked behind his father, with his little teddy bear in his arms. He wore little overalls, torn, and a small shirt. He stopped as his father stopped. He looked up at his brother who stood over him. He gulped nervously. Then he spotted a small girl, blonde, looking at him a smiling. The little boy hid behind his father in fear. His father then began to walk again leaving him in the open. The small girl wandered up to him, and stood infront of him looking at his teddy bear.
'Is that your teddy?' the little girl asked in a small voice. The small boy nodded nervously. 'I like him, he's cute' the little girl added. 'Joxer!!?' the boys father yelled, the boy looked at the little girl and ran away. The small girl watched as his father grabbed him. Then left him with his brother. His brother then kicked him then wrestled him to the ground. The small boy was left there whilst his brother walked away to join his father. The small girl skipped over and looked at the boy. She smiled as she helped him up. The boy looked at the girl and shook his head.
'You are a nice girl, you don't deserve a friend like me' he said as he hugged his teddy tightly. 'Teddy is the only one who understands me' he mumbled quietly. He then ran away as quick as he came.
Joxer sighed at the memory then saw the little girls face in his mind again. He then looked at Gabrielle who was chatting away at Xena. Joxer looked at the children again, then at Gabrielle.
'Gabrielle?' he said, Gabrielle stopped talking and looked at him. 'Yeah?' she replied. Joxer then stopped walking and Gabrielle did too. Xena looked at them both them smiled.
'Leave you both to it then' she said as she slowly crept away. Gabrielle watched her as she left then placed her concentration back on Joxer again.
'When you were a kid, did you meet a small boy with his teddy?' Joxer asked hesitantly. Gabrielle looked at him in confusion, not understanding what he was talking about, then she saw a vision of a small scared boy cuddling his teddy bear. She snapped out of it and looked back at Joxer.
'Yes' she replied in confusion. 'Why?' she questioned.
'That little boy was me' Joxer added, with a small grin. Gabrielle searched his face trying to recognize the small boy she saw all those years ago.
'That was you?' Gabrielle said in shock. Joxer nodded, and Gabrielle smiled. 'why did you think that your teddy bear was the only thing that would understand you?' Gabrielle questioned.
'When I was a boy, my family hated me, everyone hated me, they couldn't understand why I was so gentle, why I wouldn't play with the other boys, just sit alone' Joxer replied, he felt a tear welling up. He wiped it away. 'nobody cared about me, I shut myself from the world....and I thought that only my teddy bear was the only one who could understand me' Joxer added, he looked to the ground.
'I never could understand the story behind the sad face the boy I saw held' Gabrielle said as she placed he hand gently on Joxer's shoulder, making him look up. 'I can relate to that little boy' Gabrielle added with a smile. Joxer looked into Gabrielle's eyes. Gabrielle began to walk along the deck and Joxer followed and looked at Gabrielle.
'Everyone feels like they are an outcast sometime in life,' Gabrielle said, 'just like me, before Xena came along I was frustrated because I was suffocating where I was' Gabrielle paused and looked at Joxer, who was listening to everyone of Gabrielle's words. 'I was everything a young woman should be, one that lives in a village though. I was going to marry Perdicus, which I despised. I wished to see the world beyond my village's walls, I didn't want to be a wife sitting at home looking after the children whilst my husband was out in the fields, then Xena came along. I knew that she was the one to see the world with, she accepted me, after a while' Gabrielle laughed at the memory. 'but I was always meant to be an adventurer, that is why I travel with Xena' Gabrielle said with a giant grin.
'When I was to marry Perdicus, I felt like I was in a crowded room and no one was listening to what I had to say, what I wanted, everyone was making my decisions for me' Gabrielle added, Joxer was deep within the bards words. 'then I did shout out, when Xena came, I escaped, and did what I always wanted to do' Gabrielle added, she turned to face Joxer once more. 'Joxer, if you want to be a hero, go for it....don't let anybody tell you that you are useless, cause often the heroes are the ones that don't even know that they are one' Gabrielle said with a grin, the grin soon disappeared. 'I know this, cause I know, that once long ago a young woman from Poteidaia saved a warriors soul, and still makes a contribution everyday...and she's a hero' Gabrielle added. Joxer looked into nothing in silence, then back at Gabrielle.
'You're my hero' Joxer said out of no where. Gabrielle turned around and looked at him in confusion. 'you showed me how to be myself' Joxer added with a smile. Gabrielle returned to smile, and the two of them continued up the deck.
Remember the time you'd change every time the bell rang? Gabrielle said with a giggle.
Yeah Joxer laughed in reply. They looked into each others eyes, then they both leant against the rail and looked out into the ocean.
Or what about the time we had to stop my brother , Jet from assassinating Cleopatra? Joxer added as he looked into Gabrielle's eyes once more. Gabrielle looked at him then starred out into the ocean again.
She watched as the waves crashed into one another. She then sighed, and fingered her hair which blew around in the wind.
You know, Gabrielle said as she mad eye contact with Joxer once more. we've had a lot of fond memories between us Gabrielle said softly. Joxer looked into Gabrielle's eyes. He placed his hand gently onto hers. Gabrielle looked up and smiled slightly, then they both looked back out into the ocean. Gabrielle then took a deep breath, and looked into Joxer's long face once more.
Joxer, Gabrielle whispered. Joxer looked up to her. I don't think I am going to make it to Britannia Gabrielle said quietly.
Gabrielle of course you are! Joxer said aloud, he didn't believe on what he was hearing from the bards lips. you're going to keep fighting, you'll rise above this! he paused to think of more to say. You are going to live until you are an old woman in her warm bed Joxer searched Gabrielle's eyes for a change of heart. Gabrielle! he said again, getting more anxious. promise me, you won't give into this illness? Joxer pleaded with the bottom of his heart.
Gabrielle swallowed hard and looked up into Joxer's concerned pleading look. I promise Gabrielle said, barely in a whisper.
I looked up at the audience who were deeply intrueged with the tale I told. I took my drink and took a sip to sooth my dry throat which had formed a lump in my throat as I told the tale. I eyed the stranger who has drinking at the same time. He starred into my eyes. He looked to the ground then back up at me.
'Well, are you going to continue?' the stranger asked. I tried to focus on his face, but it was difficult because of the cloak the stranger wore. I placed my cup onto the table, and looked back at the audience.
'Was Gabrielle going to survive?' a young man asked, taking off his cap. He searched my eyes for an answer. I turned to face the stranger once more, to find he nodded at me as if to tell me to continue. So I turned around again to continue.
'They were not the only ones on the ship. Xena had somehow ran into an old foe. Yes he was devilishly handsome, but he was also the most uptight man in all of the world. Divide and Conquer was the key to his life, and Xena his obssession...'
Xena watched from a safe distance. She had reconized the scum straight away. Who could miss him. His armor identified him in every provence and who could miss his handsome looks. Even though Xena didn't think of it anymore. She watched as Caesar spoke to Pompey the Magnus. After several moments, Pompey left the scene angrilly, and bumbed into Xena on the way. They looked at one another then at Caesar, Pompey grinned devilishly.
'So Xena we meet again' Pompey said as he reached out to shake her hand. But Xena declined.
'I don't want any trouble Pompey, I just want to reach Britannia' Xena added.
'I don't want trouble either' stated Pompey, 'I won't tell Caesar you're here' he added. Xena eyed him unbelievably.
'I don't believe you' Xena said aloud.
'I swear I won't tell him' Pompey added. 'anyway it would be fun to tell him later that you were on the Titan too, right under his nose' he added with a sarcastic grin. He marvelled the idea of seeing Caesar's face when he told him.
'Fine' Xena said as she turned around.
'Till we meet again Xena' Pompey added. But Xena didn't stop walking. Pompey stood and smiled at the idea of seeing Caesar's face when he told him later. He laughed as he left the scene.
'Joxer, where are you taking me?' Gabrielle muttered with her eyes tightly closed. Joxer held her hand tightly, careful not to lose her.
'It's a surprise' Joxer replied. Leading Gabrielle to the bow of the ship. He helped her up onto the railing on the front of the ship. He then threaded his hands around the bards small waist. Holding her in position, he rose her arms up. He then whispered into her ear.
'Open you eyes' he whispered. Gabrielle opened her eyes and looked out into the sunset that lay before her. With her arms out and the ship moving along, it made her feel like she was flying like a bird. She smiled and laughed.
'I'm flying!' she said aloud, followed with a giggle. A wide smile covered her face. The wind flew past her body making it feel like she was up in the air flying like an eagle. It was like a dream. She closed her eyes to embrace the moment. She then opened her eyes slowly and turned to look at Joxer's long face. They starred at each other for a moment, then like they were in a trance, they pressed their lips together to form a long passionate kiss. Gabrielle closed her eyes lost in the moment. She brought her arms down to snuggle against Joxer's gentle hold of her.
They separated, then looked into one anothers eyes endlessly. Then Joxer gently helped her down, and like it was just a dream, she woke up and fell into Joxer's arms. She leapt up and grabbed Joxer's hands and whirled around on the deck. They danced about, in the sunset, then they stopped and Gabrielle ran away from Joxer, playfully. Joxer ran after her, with laughter.
'I'm gonna get you!' Joxer yelled as he laughed. He watched as Gabrielle continued to run.
'Not if I can help it!' Gabrielle yelled back at him.
Joxer kept running though, then Gabrielle suddenly fell into the way and slid down it. Joxer stopped and panick rushed through him.
'Gabrielle!!?' Joxer yelled. He rushed to Gabrielle's side. She opened her eyes and focused on Joxer's worried face.
'What's wrong?' Joxer questioned, as he placed his hand in hers.
'I feel weak all of a sudden,' Gabrielle whispered as she closed her eyes again. 'I can't stand upright' she added. Joxer knelt down and picked up Gabrielle, and gently took her back to their cabin.
Xena paced the room, woried Caesar would
discover that she too was on board. She heard the door open behind her.
She turned around her head and the sight broke her heart.
Joxer stood in the middle of the doorway, with a precious burdan in his arms, Gabrielle. Xena's mouth and eyes widened in horror.
'What happened?' Xena questioned as Joxer rushed past her and placed Gabrielle onto a bed.
'She passed out all of a sudden,' Joxer replied frantically. 'we were running up the deck then she just collapsed' Xena and Joxer sat beside Gabrielle. Xena placed her hand on Gabrielle's feversih cheek. Gabrielle's eyes fluttered open to the touch. She scanned the room.
'Gabrielle?' Xena said, looking at the confusion on the bards face. Gabrielle searched the room for the voice.
'Xena...' the bard whimpered as she reached out trying to find her friend. Xena took hold of her hand.
'It's all right Gabrielle,' she whispered. Gabrielle relaxed. 'Your blind' Xena added. She placed her hand onto Gabrielle's fever filled forehead. Gabrielle flinched to the touch.
'It's okay, just listen to the sound of my voice' Xena said as she placed her hand firmly onto the bards sweaty forehead. She took away her hand to find Gabrielle was very hot. She checked her pulse, to find it was very rapid. Xena turned to Joxer.
'She's getting worse' Xena said, 'she's blind, and she has a raging fever' she added. Joxer shook her head.
'Isn't there anything we can do?' he questioned.
'Yes' Xena replied, she searched her leather bag for the supplies she needed to aid Gabrielle. She found a cloth and filled a bowl with some water. She placed the bowl beside Joxer.
'Try to control her fever' Xena said as she gave the cloth to Joxer. Joxer nodded as he wet the cloth and placed it onto Gabrielle's forehead. Gabrielle flinched at the cool touch, and gasped. Joxer realised he had scared her.
'Gabrielle, it's just me, Joxer' Joxer said soothingly. Gabrielle relaxed again and closed her eyes. Joxer looked back at Xena who had prepared a herbal remedy for Gabrielle. Xena sat beside Gabrielle and held her neck up.
'Gabrielle, here drink this' she said as she placed the mug up to Gabrielle's mouth. She helped Gabrielle drink the whole formula down. When she was done she lay Gabrielle back down and placed the mug beside her. Gabrielle slowly closed her eyes and fell into an eshausted sleep.
Xena got up and sat on her bed. She watched as Joxer looked onto Gabrielle. Knowing Gabrielle was in the best of hands, Xena fell asleep.
Xena awoked to the sound of Joxer's yelling then it was followed by a crashing sound. Xena opened her eyes to find a horrid sight.
Joxer lay on the floor unconscious, above him stood Caesar, who was holding Gabrielle at knifepoit. He glared at Xena, then traced the dagger around the bards chest until he met her heart.
'Did you sleep well?' he said with a wide grin. Xena sat in shock, unable to make any sudden move.'If you hadn't of noticed,' Caesar began, as he pressed the dagger against Gabrielle chest, leaving a scratch. 'I have your precious Gabrielle' he narrowed his eyes.
Gabrielle whimpered to herself, giving Xena a pleading look. Xena responded, then looked back at Caesar.
'What do you want?' Xena questioned.
'To see you worship me' Caesar replied. He looked at Gabrielle then back at Xena. 'drop your weapons' he continued.
Xena looked at him hesitantly, then gave him a look of pure anger.
'And if I don't?' she questioned.
'Gabrielle dies' Ceasar replied.
Xena dropped all of her weapons to the ground and looked back up at Caesar. Caesar grinned.
'Now kneel before me' he added. Xena shook her head.
'Like Hades I will!!!!' Xena shouted angrilly. Caesar pressed the dagger harder drawing blood. Gabrielle flinched and let out a silent cry. 'all right' Xena responded hesitantly. She knelt down before Caesar. Caesar looked down and laughed evilly.
'Divide and Conquer Xena, divide and conquer!!' with the words he said he took Gabrielle by the shoulder and crushed her shoulders. Xena watched in horror as Gabrielle screamed. He then lunged the dagger into Gabrielle's abdomen. He dropped her to the ground. Gabrielle looked at the dagger and screamed again, but this time even more ear piercing. She then closed her eyes, as blood ran from her nose and mouth.
'You bastard!!!!!' Xena yelled grabbing Gabrielle's tortured body.
Xena awoke, to find Joxer still sitting where he was left. He looked over at Xena. He noticed the state she was in.
'What's wrong?' he questioned in confusion. Xena got up and paced the room.
'I'm going to a walk' Xena replied as she approached the door. 'stay here and watch over Gabrielle' she added as she left.
Xena strolled up the coridoor as quietly as she could. She searched all the rooms one by one, then came upon the one she was in search for. She peered around into the room from the doorway. There sitting in front of a wooden polished desk sat Julius Caesar. He was writting on a scroll. Xena moved back around the corner of the door out of his view as he stood up and turned around. Xena rushed around the corner in the hall and waited patiently for Caesar to leave. He exited his room and walked at a fast pace up the corridor. Xena, satisfied he was gone, entered his room and looked at his desk.
She searched through all of the papers, then came along the one he had just written on. She opened the scroll and read it:
To the captain of the Titan,
I have a request, it may be overwhelming, but the price will be hard to resist. I am willing to purchase this ship from you for a healthy sum of 80,000 dinars. I'm sure that it is a great offer, think about it wisely.
Kindest Regards, Julius Caesar, Emperor of Rome.
Xena narrowed her eyes, What would he want with a ship of this size? She muttered under her breath. She heard a familiar voice from behind her.
'Simple,' responded from behind her. She turned her head to fund Pompey the Magnus, standing behind her, his arms folded in a neat fashion behind him.
'He wants to use it as a war ship,' Pompey added. Xena crossed her arms and gave him a dirty look. 'mainly for the purpose of transporting his armies in one trip' Xena shook her head then smiled at the scum behind her.
'Why would you be here now snooping around Caesar's desk as I was?' she questioned raising an eyebrow, pretending not to know.
'None of your business!!' he replied aloud, his voice raising in anger.
'By any chance would you be wanting to purchase this ship too,' Xena added, she still looked away from Pompey.. Pompeys eyes widened, then narrowed. He moved about uncomfortably giving the answer away.
'How did I know that?,' she added sarcastically. 'but might Pompey be having trouble competing with 80,000 dinars!' Pompey's eyes widened.
'80,000 dinars, I'll beat that!!' Pompey laughed.
'Highly unlikely. But I know you. You planned to take the ship before he can. Aren't you? Planning to make a higher bid before hitting Britannia?' Xena replied. Pompey stood shocked then the anger started to well up inside him.
'That's why you entered here when you did. You wanted to find out what his bid was' she added smiling, playing with Pompey's mind was fun. In the process she took a piece of parchment and quill.
'I....I,' he was lost for words. 'I....well yes I was, but don't you tell Caesar or I'll tell him you're here!!!' Pompey demanded angrilly. Xena continued to write down on the parchment then folded it up neatly. She turned around.
'Deal' Xena said as she walked past Pompey and out of the room. In the process she placed a small piece of parchment in Pompey's hand. When Xena had left he opened the parchment and read its contents and smiled.
Joxer sat beside Gabrielle and held her hand gently. He watched her peaceful face. She had turned pale white and sweat sat upon her forehead from her fever. Joxer closed his eyes and sighed.
In the past he had wanted to say so much to his love, but the words would come out all jumbled, but he put it all behind and opened his heart.
'Gabrielle, it is too late to tell you this but, I have always loved you. When I see you I turned red, I couldn't talk to you without stuttering. But in my time with you we have shared so many great times together.....'
Gabrielle awoke to find herself wearing an opal necklace. It had greens and blues. Gabrielle looked at the necklace confused.
'You like it?' a voice said from behind her. She turned around to see Joxer, sitting with his knees tucked up to him.
'Yeah, its beautiful,' Gabrielle was lost for words. 'but why?' Gabrielle stammered.
'I wanted to get you something,' Joxer replied sheepishly, 'I wanted to say sorry for the three naked you's and everything!' he added.
'What I'm trying to say is, please don't leave us' he said with tears welling up in his eyes. 'make it to Britannia' he continued. Then silence. 'For me' he added as a tear fell onto Gabrielle's hand.
Gabrielle mumbled, then stirred. Joxer rose upright to the sound.
'Gabrielle?' he said.
'Joxer?' Gabrielle whispered. She opened her eyes and focused on Joxer.
'Joxer!' she said with a smile.
'Can you see me?' Joxer questioned, a smile growing on his face. Hope growing larger inside him.
'Yes' she replied.
'Thank the gods,' Joxer sighed in relief.
There was a long silence.
Promise me, you'll give her the greatest gift of all before the voyage is over. A special gift she will always treasure. You're the only one who can give her the gift Joxer. The words rung thought his mind. Xena had told him to give her a gift only he could. Joxer put his hand into his pocket and fished out the necklace. Gabrielle watched as he took out the delicate necklace. She looked at the blue, heart shaped diamond. He placed it into Gabrielle's hand and closed it. Gabrielle opened her hand and looked at the necklace then back up at Joxer.
'I want you to have it,' Joxer said smiling. 'it was a family heirloom for many generations' he added. Gabrielle smiled. Then nodded.
'Thank you,' she replied, 'it is beautiful'
Pompey sat in Caesar's room looking at the scrolls. Then a sudden presence chilled him to the bone. He heard the sound of foot steps behind him. He turned around hesitantly to see Caesar standing in the doorway with an angry face.
'Pompey, Pompey, Pompey,' Caesar muttered as he shook his head in disgust. 'going through my private things again' he approached Pompey and looked at him. Pompey stood speechless.
'Look, if you really want this ship as much as I do, why don't we share it' he offered. Pompey narrowed his eyes then thought about the offer.
'We both purchase the ship and both get uses out of it?' Pompey questioned making sure this deal was for real.
'Yes!' he replied smiling. He took Pompey in his left arm and walked him out of his room.
'He both pay for it, half and half, then both use it for the same purpose' Caesar added. Pompey smiled. He nodded. Caesar smiled. 'Good,' he added as they walked along the hall. Pompey stopped and smiled evilly and narrowed his eyes.
'Xena's on board this ship' Pompey said his smile growing bigger.
'Really!!!?' Caesar yelled. 'well, she going to get a visit from me' he added as he began to ponder. Pompey slowly turned around and began to walk away. Caesar stopped him.
'Don't you want to see Xena get puverized!?' Caesar questioned. Pompey shook his head.
'Sorry, got other plans' he replied as he walked away.
Xena stood up on the deck looking out into the ocean. She was deep in thought. On alot of things really. Gabrielle and Caesar. She suddenly heard a familiar voice behind her.
'Xena' the voice said. Xena turned to see a tall dark man dressing in Roman attire, fit for an emperor. It was indeed Caesar. He stood behind her smiling. Xena turned around trying to ignore him, but he walked up to her and stood beside her.
'I know why your here on this ship' Xena said not looking at him.
'Yes and what is that?' Caesar replied.
'You plan to buy this ship to use it for warfare.' Xena added. 'and I plan to stop you' she added.
'Not if I can help it' Caesar added. Several centurions surrounded Xena.
'In trouble are we?' he said smiling. He laughed out loud. 'get her!!' he commanded. The centurions began to chase Xena down the deck. Xena ran as fast as she could, but she knew she couldn't just keep running. She was trapped on a ship. She went down to the deck below. She ran through door after door after door. Through walking people, and pushed through crowed halls. She heard the sound of the centurions yelling not far behind her.
Her heart raced, and her mind ran a thousand miles per hour. Her blood ran like ice. She was on the verge of just jumping off the ship to escape. The bastard better not try to harm Gabrielle!! She thought to herself. The centurions were getting closer and closer. She ran down deck after deck. She finally came to a door, she opened in and ran inside to find it was the bottom storage area of the ship where the horse's were kept. She turned around to see the centurions standing right behind her. Caesar slowly walked in and crossed his arms.
'So how are you getting out of this one?' Caesar mocked. Xena looked at him and growled.
'You bastard!!' she yelled.
'Well, I don't want you to spoil my plans to buy this ship and turn my back on Pompey?' he added.
'I wouldn't be telling that to me,' Xena said smiling. 'I'd be telling it to him' she looked behind her as Pompey stepped out from the shadows. Caesar gulped as Pompey hissed angrilly.
'Caesar, luckily for me Xena knew what you were up to,' he stepped towards the emperor of Rome. 'she and I have one thing on our minds,' he stood face to face with Caesar. 'to see you dead!!!' Caesar yelled, and pushed Pompey away. Then approached him, and and grabbed him.
'If I can't have this ship, no one will!!!' with that he threw Pompey into some crates which sat upon some weakened planks in the ship.Pompey got up and threw himself at Caesar knocking them both over. Caesar planted a fist onto Pompey's jaw, knocking it out of place. Pompey fixed his jaw then, grabbed Caesar's neck and planted his head into the cargo. Blood dripped from Caesar's mouth, and nose. Caesar shoved his elbow into Pompey's stomach sending him to the ground. With that he grabbed a spear from one of the centurions, and threw it at Pompey. Pompey jumped out of the way and the spear landed in the wall. Caesar rushed past Pompey and pulled the spear from the wall. But it was stuck. Pompey found an opening and charged at Caesar again, but just before he hit him, Caesar pulled the spear from the wall. With the spear was the plank of wood on the wall.
The planks began to fling off, due to the hole the spear had left, between the two planks of wood in the wall. The planks began to crack and sprug up flicking nails all about. Everyone looked at the hole developing. More and more water gushed through the split plank. Then a plank of wood came right off the wall and water gushed in by the gallon. Caesar and Pompey looked at one another angrilly. But then the stare was broken when they noticed Xena had left the scene.
Joxer watched as Gabrielle ate the rest of the broth he had prepared for her. As she finished the last spoon Xena burst into the room panicked. Joxer and Gabrielle looked up, and Joxer took the bowl from Gabrielle.
'We have to get off the ship!!' Xena shouted. She grabbed A cloak from the corner of the room, and Gabrielle's bag. Gabrielle sat in the bed confused.
'What happened?' she questioned.
'No time, the ship is sinking' Xena replied. With that Gabrielle got out of the bed and put on her boots. Xena handed her the cloak. Gabrielle put it on, and grabbed the necklace Joxer had given to her and placed it into the pocket in the cloak. Joxer grabbed some other things and with that they exited the room in a hurry.
They ran through hall after hall, yelling into all the rooms, warning people to get off the ship. Xena pulled Gabrielle up the hall, then suddenly she noticed Caesar turning a corner just ahead of them. He noticed all three of them, and the chase was on.
Xena pulled Gabrielle close behind her. Joxer followed close behind. They rushed and pushed their way through the crowded halls of panicking passangers. They suddenly came to the tavern and ran inside and hid amongst the tables. Xena pushed Gabrielle and Joxer to the ground, and quietened them both.
As Caesar passed the room them sighed in relief. Gabrielle and Joxer looked worriedly at Xena. Xena's breathing slowed down, then she looked at Gabrielle and Joxer.
'We have an hour to get off the ship,' Xena said, 'at the rate the water is flooding below it will take about that long' Xena added. She looked around then back at Joxer and Gabrielle.
'I'm going to find a way off this ship, you stay here,' Xena commanded. Gabrielle and Joxer nodded breathlessly. Xena lowered her eyes and stared at them both. 'I'll be back soon' she added. With that she stood up and raced out of the room, and into the crowded panicked halls.
There was silence for some time, then Joxer broke the silence.
'Gabby?' Joxer questioned.
'Yes?' she replied turning to face him, letting go of a little cough that managed to escape her throat.
'Do you think that this journey was worth wild?' he asked, with a slight smile.
Gabrielle sat in silence, and hugged into her cloak even tighter than before. She blinked, then placed her hand gently onto his shoulder.
'Yes' she replied. 'on this journey,' she began, 'I have discovered many things, I never knew before' Joxer smiled, feeling warm inside. 'I discovered that I have loved you the whole time, it was just I never knew it, because I was too busy to even notice' she gave Joxer a small smile that gave out a little giggle. Joxer stopped laughing, and looked above Gabrielle's head worriedly. Gabrielle stopped and looked at Joxer for an answer. They both looked up, and gulped. Hovering above Gabrielle's head, was a knife, the hand that held the knife belonged to Caesar. He held the knife at Gabrielle's throat, and smiled.
'Joxer, Gabrielle!!' Xena breathed as she returned. She only found Gabrielle's bag sitting on the gound when they hand been. She turned around and looked about frantically. Only one name stood in her mind at that time.....Caesar. She muttered the cursed name under her breath. She repeated it over and over again. Then with a blink of an eye took out a dagger and planted it into a wall near the doorway. She exited the room, and pulled the dagger out as she left.
Joxer and Gabrielle watched as Pompey and Caesar talked in the doorway. Gabrielle rubbed her wrists, and tried to pull of the ropes that held her. Joxer watched on. They both stopped and looked up at Caesar and Pompey who stood in a conversation.
'You watch over these two,' Caesar ordered. 'I don't want them to escape' he added, scratching his head. Pompey fiddled with the hilt of his sword then looked up at Caesar angrilly.
'She betrayed me!!!' Pompey yelled. 'that Xena betrayed me, how could I fall for her?' he added.
'Welcome to the club' Caesar added in sarcasm. Pompey narrowed his eyes angrilly. He started to form fists in his hands, his knuckles turned white. Caesar put up his head to block the blow from his associate.
'No, need for violence,' he said smiling, 'just watch over these two whilst I search for some way of transportation off this vessel' Caesar added as he walked past Pompey. 'and don't harm Gabrielle' he added as he continued out of the room. Pompey looked at Gabrielle and smiled. He walked over to her and held her head up with his hand under her chin. She shook away from his hold. Pompey laughed.
'Caesar says I mustn't harm you,' Pompey said as he sat down nearby and planted his dagger into the desk before him. 'he says he wanted that power over Xena,' he continued, Gabrielle watched on. 'he has some idea that by possessing you and using you we have power over Xena' he added. He dragged the dagger into the desk even further in. 'I don't really see the point though' he added as they threw the dagger into the wall beside Gabrielle's head. She stopped moving at that instant and looked at the dagger planting in the wall beside her head. Pompey approached her and grabbed the dagger from the wall it was embedded in.
'I think I'll need this,' he said as he fingered the daggers blade. 'just incase things get ugly' he added as he sat back down again. Joxer looked over at Gabrielle who was finding it hard to breathe again. Joxer held her tightly, trying to calm her down, but her fate was near.
Xena rushed through hall after hall searching for the location of Joxer and Gabrielle. Caesar had hidden them both well. All she could hear around her was the sound of panicking souls on board the ship, looking for a way off the ship. She looked at the floor to see some rats running up from the lower deck. She ran up the hall again calling their names.
'Gabrielle!!!?' she yelled hoping for a response. 'Joxer!!?' she added loudly. She ran up the hall looking at the innocent sufferers on board in room after room. She stopped, when she saw a little boy standing alone crying. She approached him and knelt down to his height.
'Have you lost your mother?' Xena whispered quietly not to alarm him. The little boy nodded in response. Suddenly, a woman came along and picked up the small boy.
'Get away from him!!' she yelled. She took the small boy in her arms and walked away. The little boy waved at Xena as they left. She blinked in response. She turned and looked at everyone in the hall once more. She watched elders, who were having trouble getting off the ship, getting through the crowds. The suffering was too much for her. Xena continued up the corridoor again, yelling their names. She stops again, to see some theives taking a womans whole life savings. Xena grabbed the men and brang them head first together knocking them out. She handed the woman the pouch and the woman thanked her. Xena kept on walking down the hall trying to find her companians.
'Gabrielle??' she yelled again. 'Joxer!!?' she added. She kept walking, she saw only room after room. She started to panick, knowing that time was short. The tears welled up in her eyes.
'Gabrielle!!?' she cried out, falling to her knees. 'Where are you!!?' she yelled. She got to her feet and continued to search. She passed person after person, door after door. But no luck everytime. She continued to search for them both in vain.
Pompey watched as the water seemed to seep under the door. They were a fair way under by this time. He stood up and approached both Joxer and Gabrielle. Gabrielle by this time was falling into unconsciousness. Joxer held her tightly, trying to protect her from Pompey. Pompey stood above them both then without warning kicked Joxer in the head, sending him unconscious. Gabrielle muttered and opened her eyes, weezing. She looked at Pompey with blurred vision. He got down to her level and grinned.
'Before I go, I have to give you our goodbye present,' with that he hit Gabrielle in the side of the head with the handle of his dagger, drawing blood. Gabrielle though didn't give into the unconsciousness that tried to claim her. She remained focused. She watched as Pompey got up and walk towards the desk. With that he planted the dagger into the desk, and left the room laughing to himself. She searched the room, then noticed the water starting to seep into the room. She cried out softly, unable to scream. She shook Joxer hard, waking him up. Joxer opened his eyes and looked at Gabrielle. He immediately noticed the blood dripping the the cut above her eye.
'Gabrielle are you all right??' he said as he reached for the cut. Gabrielle moved his hand away.
'I'm fine' she replied. 'we have to worry about that now' she added as she pointed the water seeping into the room. Joxer gasped.
'By the gods..' he yelled. 'Okay Gabrielle, we have to get out of this somehow' he said, trying to muster up a plan. Gabrielle shook him, and pointed at the dagger planted in the desk.
'We have to get it' she said. Trying to wrap her legs around the desk legs. The pressure was on her now, they had to escape.
Xena walked up the hall still searching for her friends. She rushed around a corner and she bumped into Pompey. He looked at her and attempted to escape but she grabbed him but the neck and held him in front of her and glared at him.
'Where are they!!?' she yelled, Pompey lowered his eye lids.
'Where's who??' he said innocently.
'You know who I am on about,' she yelled. 'now where are they!!!?' she questioned again, her voice raised. People around her began to watch on.
'I really can't tell you that' he replied. With that Xena took the dagger from her boot and held it at his throat. Pompey looked down at it and smiled.
'Okay Xena,' he said smiling. 'down the hall, until you reach some stairs, take the stairs down and go up the hall. It's the first door on the left before you hit the next corner'. he said smiling. He looked down at the dagger, it drew closer to his throat.
'You better be right!!' Xena said, she grabbed him and held the knife at his throat. 'cause if you ain't you're gonna get it' she continued. 'now lets go' she commanded as she dragged him down the hall with her.
'The water's rising!!!' Gabrielle yelled panicking. Joxer continued to reach for the desk, but it was now floating in water by this time. It floated further away from him. He looked up at Gabrielle who was watching They both looked at each other for sometime knowing it was all over. There was no escape.
Suddenly Xena burst through the door with Pompey she saw them both and released her hold on Pompey. He ran away. Xena noticed the predicament they were in. She looked at them both. Then took the dagger and freed them from the ropes holding them captive. She checked the cut above Gabrielle's eye.
'Are you all right?' Xena asked them both. Joxer nodded, and Gabrielle followed. 'Good,' she added, 'cause we have to get out of here!!!!' she yelled. The water was up to their chest's by this time. Gabrielle frowned.
Once leaving the room they swam through the chest deep water. Soon they found the stairs which were too now flooding. They climbed the stairs to find the halls crowded with people, too many to break through. They all turned around and ran down the hall, finding another way out. Suddenly they came to a door, which was leaking. The nails flunk off it. They all turned around and looked at the crowd. Then simutaneusly they yelled: 'Run!!!'
The crowd began to run as the water broke the door down and rushed down the hall. Xena, Gabrielle and Joxer, ran as fast as they could trying to get away from the raging water, they soon came to some more stairs. They climbed up them, fast. Then Joxer slipped and Xena grabbed him just before he went with the water. The water slowed down and Joxer sat in it and shivered. Xena pulled him out and they continued to the deck above.
'Caesar!!!!?' Pompey yelled as he approached the well dressed man. Caesar looked at him and smiled. He grabbed him by the shoulder and led him to a boat.
'Here is our way off the ship,' Caesar said smiling. 'come on, lets go' he added. The two of them alone sat in the small boat and Caesar gave the signal to begin the lowering of the boat. Then out of no where, Xena leapt out onto the boat and grabbed both Pompey and Caesar and threw them on board again. halting the operation. Caesar and Pompey stand up and look at Xena, who looks over at Gabrielle and nods. She begins to help lift children onto the boat, with their families. Caesar watches on and gasps.
'Are you insane!!!!' Caesar yelled making a fist. Xena ignored him as he waved his arms about furiously. Pompey stood behind him looking on angrilly.
Xena turned around, and faced the roman, 'No, but I think you are' she replied, she gave him a quick smile then turned back to the job she was doing previously. Caesar started to burn inside. The anger built up.
Joxer stood aside shivering from the coldness of the night air. Gabrielle turned to see his discomfort and took off her cloak and handed it to Joxer. He put out his hand and refused to take it.
'I can't take it Gabrielle,' Joxer said, 'you take it, you're sick, you need to keep warm' he continued. Gabrielle though still wrapped it around Joxer.
'Here, just take it,' Gabrielle said, 'I'll be all right' she added, reassuringly. Joxer smiled, and snuggled into the warmth of the cloak. Gabrielle turned to face towards Xena once more. The boat was full and she was lowering it slowly. She crossed her eyes over to where Caesar had been, he was no longer standing there. Gabrielle looked about for the tall dark man, but couldn't spot him anywhere. She turned to Xena again and watched her. As Gabrielle turned around again, a firing sound could be heard. An arrow pierced through the air right towards Gabrielle. Before it made contact with her chest, a hand came out of sight and caught it. Gabrielle looked up the arm to see Xena's face looking at her smiling. She looked across the deck and Gabrielle followed her movement. There, standing nearby, was Caesar with a crossbow. He was fuming.
'Give it up Caesar!!!!' Xena yelled. 'don't even think about bringing any harm to Gabrielle' Xena continued. Caesar growled then turnedabd walked away. Xena took Gabrielle's shoulder firmly.
'Gabrielle, you and Joxer go help some other's board some other boats,' Xena said. Gabrielle nodded and turned and grabbed Joxer's arm and dragged him off.
'Be careful!!' Xena yelled as they left. She turned to help some more families onto the boats.
Joxer and Gabrielle walked along the crowded deck looking for anyone who needed help. They found mother with her baby in her arms, crying. Gabrielle approached her, and knelt down before her. The woman looked up.
'Please help me,' the woman said, 'help me get to a boat' Gabrielle smiled. She helped the woman up and led her to the nearest boat. As she did, her head started to pound above her eyes. She closed them painfully and stumbled. The woman noticed.
'Are you all right?' the woman questioned.
'Yeah,' Gabrielle replied, dizziness started to overwhelm her again. She started to crumble to the ground. Just as she did, Joxer caught her and held her upright. Gabrielle started to turn pale again. Joxer held her up trying to keep her awake.
'Gabrielle!!?' he yelled slapping her cheek gently. 'come on, don't pass out now!' Gabrielle slowly opened her eyes and looked about, then focused on Joxer's face. She mumbled. Joxer sat her down on the deck, the woman watched on worriedly.
'What's wrong?' the woman questioned. Joxer turned around, and looked at her.
'She's dying' he replied, tears welling up in his eyes. Gabrielle's breathing was shallow. She hand her eyes still closed. Joxer studied her fragile form then turned to the woman.
'Can you watch her for me?,' he asked. 'I'll go for help' he added. The woman nodded and Joxer gently kissed Gabrielle's forehead and got up. He then ran down the deck looking for Xena.
'Okay lower it down!!' Xena commanded,
the boat started to lower. Xena looked behind her at the people waiting
for a boat. She then looked about for another boat but then realised there
was no more left. The dark, saddened realisation just hit her, there weren't
enought life boats on board.
She turned to the crowd that had formed behind her.
'There are no more boats left here,' she said aloud. The crowd shook their heads and began to worry. 'but there should be some on the other side' Xena continued. The crowd began to leave the section of the deck, and for the other side of the ship. When the crowd was gone Xena sat on the ground, and looked about saddly. Many were going to die on this night. Suddenly Joxer appeared running towards her yelling. He stopped before her, Xena got up and looked at Joxer worriedly.
'What's wrong?' she asked frantically. Joxer got his breath back and started to reply.
'It's Gabrielle, she's dying,' Joxer replied with tears in his eyes. Xena in an instant, rushed in the direction Joxer had come in. Joxer followed. They came to the spot Gabrielle was left in, to only find a mother with her baby, standing in shock. Joxer approached her wide eyed.
'Where is she?' he questioned. The woman shook her head.
'A tall dark man took her,' she said saddly. 'I couldn't stop him, I tried but it was useless' she continued. Xena had one name in her mind, Caesar.
Caesar and Pompey walked along, dragging Gabrielle behind them. Gabrielle's wrists were bounded and Caesar was pulling her along with the other end of the rope which bound her. Gabrielle kept stumbling and tried to walk but she felt weak. She eventually gave in and crumpled to the ground. Caesar could feel the rope tense up, he stopped and looked at the barely conscious form behind him. Pompey followed.
'Get up,' Caesar commanded, he kicked her in the stomach. Gabrielle didn't respond.
'Get up!!!!' he yelled louder, kicking her several more times. Still she remained in the same position. Caesar and Pompey stood in confusion. Then Pompey knelt down and turned the bard over onto her back. Gabrielle's face was as white as a ghost, Pompey went to touch the face, and found it was very hot. He felt for a pulse to find a very faint one. He looked up at Caesar.
'Well, is she....' Caesar began.
'No, I think she's dying though,' Pompey replied. They both looked down at her, then Caesar took out his dagger.
'I say we put her out of her missery' he said smiling. He pointed the dagger down towards Gabrielle. Pompey looked down at the frail form, and back at Caesar who placed his hand firmly on the dagger and raised it high above his head.
I took my cup and emptied it of its contents. Everyone looked at me, waiting in suspense to hear what happened next. I placed the cup back onto the table. The cloaked figure looked at me eye to eye. I looked at him narrow eyed clearing my throat.
'Well, what happened?' he said. I looked about the silent room, then back at him.
'Please tell us the rest of the tale' a young child yelled from the audience. I looked at the child then back at the stranger before me. He nodded, and I cleared my throat and continued the tale.
Fierce magnetic sparks flung from the dagger as it was knocked from his hold. Caesar look up as Xena caught the chakram. She look at Caesar and shook her head angrilly. In a flash she leapt through the air and landed before Caesar, and kicked him in the abdomen. He stumbled back, then picked up his dagger again. With the dagger in his hand he stood ready to defend himself. Xena threw her fist into Caesar's shoulder, dislocating it. He grabbed his shoulder then drove the dagger towards Xena. She blocked the dagger and sent another kick into Caesar, this time making him fly across the hall. He landed against the wall heavilly, knocking him unconscious. Pompey looked at him and smiled.
Xena and Joxer ran to Gabrielle and helped her to her feet as she started to come to again. With the help of Joxer and Xena, Gabrielle left the scene and back to the deck.
Pompey looked down at Caesar.
'I don't care if you die here,' Pompey snarled. 'I'd kill you myself, but I think I'll let the sea take you' He added as he too left the scene.
When they reached the deck, they found it was tilting slightly. Xena knew it was now going down. She and Joxer placed Gabrielle onto the ground so she may rest. Gabrielle looked at Xena as she looked about the deck pondering. Xena turned around and looked at Gabrielle.
'We have to get on the highest point on the ship,' Xena said, 'we have to remain out of the water as long as possible' she continued.
'Why?' Joxer asked.
'That water is so cold, that it will feel like a thousand needles are piercing through your skin' Xena replied. Joxer shivered at the thought Gabrielle followed. Xena looked at Gabrielle who was now looking around the place more alert than before. Xena sighed in relief. She grabbed Gabrielle and Joxer and led them up the the stern of the ship.The ship tilted more and more, people fell from it, hitting the water with great impact.
'What do we do now!!!?' Gabrielle yelled when they reached the stern. They all grabbed the railing trying not to let go. The ship tilted on a 90 degree angle. Then Xena helped them climb onto the railing, as the ship tilted even more. All three of them sat of the railing watching as the ship slowly went down. Suddenly without warning the middle of the ship broke, and the end of it fell down with great impact and hit the water. All three of them clung onto the railing for dear life, then when all was over, the ship began to tilt again. Then slowly it got upright again, this time going down for real.
'Okay this is it,' Xena said looking at the two of them. 'we are going down for sure, when I say breathe, breathe and hold your breath' Xena looked down at he water that was claiming the ship.
'Hold each other as we go down, and we
shouldn't lose each other' Xena added. With that they all grasped hands,
and as the ship was just about englufed by the sea, Xena yelled: 'Breathe!!!!'
They all took a deep breath jsut before the sea engulfed them.
The water swirled around them, making it hard to concertrate. The force was so strong that they couldn't swim upwards. Gabrielle looked at Joxer, whose hand was beginning to slip away. Xena looked to and in one swift movement Joxer slipped away and was sucked down with the great force and dissapeared into the darkness of the great sea.
Xena and Gabrielle emerged and Gabrielle yelled out Joxer's name and screamed from the sudden feeling of the cold night air hitting her wet cold skin.
'Joxer!!!!!!!' she cried out, the tears rolling down her face. Xena grabbed Gabrielle, as she began to cry out painfully.
'Joxer!!!!' she cried again, shaking uncontrobly she attempted to go under water but Xena stopped her. Gabrielle fell into Xena's arms crying in pain and saddness.
'Joxer, Joxer,.....' Gabrielle continued to cry. Xena tried to calm her down, but couldn't. Everything was taking its toll. The ice cold water, was stabbing at her previously hot skin, and the loss of the one she loved.
'Joxer!!!!!!!' she yelled out one more time. She then cried out in the pain the water was giving her. Xena looked about knowing she had to get Gabrielle above the water. She spotted the remains of a life boat, just big enough for two. Xena took Gabrielle and they swam to the boat. Gabrielle cried out still, emotionally and physically distressed. Xena helped her onto the boat, and then hauled herself onto the boat. Gabrielle buried her face into her arms, and Xena placed her arm gently around her trying to keep her warm from the cold night air.
'Joxer!!!!' Gabrielle weeps again, this time helplessly she looks out into the sea. She sits on the boat and looks out into the sea. Xena looks at her, and rubs her in an effort to keep warm, but it is helpless, they would surely freeze to death if not found yet. So what did happen after that you may ask. Well a heart was broken, and a friend was left with the pain for seeing her best friends pain filled heart cry out into the ocean looking for Joxer. So is this the end of a story, maybe.
I looked at the audience that had gathered around me, and were wanting to hear the rest of the tale.
'They were found, floating on the great sea. Gabrielle was at the end of her life, everything was drained from her. Their frozen bodies were the only things that could be found in the great sea mass of dead bodies of families frozen to death. The saddest sight an infant in its mother's arms. Xena with all her energy she could muster up took her friend to be healed. Gabrielle sat up long at night looking out the window searching for her loved one. When she fully recovered she left the healer.'
'Her friend Xena and herself, sat in a tavern one night, soon after they had left the healer. Gabrielle sat in the chair not moving at all, just looking out the window and into the ocean outside. Xena had given in to her best friend, all the love in their friendship was gone. She left Gabrielle, sitting there, in the same chair. She has sat there ever since. She sat in this very tavern, looking out that very windown.' I pointed over at the window that viewed the ocean.
'She sat and waited, waited for her love to come home. But that love, never came back to her. She rots in her own guilt. She lost everything in her life. Cause in her life, she fell in love with a man, and in her life she lost this man, and in her life, she lost everything, because of her sadness. She lost her best friend' a tear rolled down my cheek.
'So never give up on your lives, don't do what that woman did. She will die a lonely old woman, and will still be waiting for her love to come home'
Everyone in the tavern was in tears. I nodded slowly, then looked down to my feet. Slowly everyone got up and left the tavern. I looked up at the cloaked stranger. He looked up at me.
'Very well told,' he said grinning. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a necklace. It was a heart shaped diamond, I looked at it wide eyed. It was the heart of the ocean. 'I believe this belongs to you' the stranger said lifting off his cloak. There before me sat a young man, he smiled and handed the necklace to me. I took it in my hand, misty eyed. I looked at it for sometime, then I looked up at the man that sat before me.
'How did you get this?' I asked as I wiped the tears away.
'You beloved Joxer gave it to me,' he said.
'You know where he is then' I said smiling.
'Yes,' he replied. 'he's in here' he placed his hand on his heart with pride. I looked at him, confused.
'He died didn't he' I added.
'Yes,' the man replied. 'you see, he survived the sinking' he added. 'he travelled the world looking for you, but never found you. He then got sick, after all his years of searching and came to me. I tried to heal him, but before he died an old man, he told me the story of the heart of the ocean. He gave me the necklace, and told me to look for you. He explained that he had the necklace when he sunk. He died soon after, I don't think because Hades knew it was his time, but I think it was of a broken heart. That is why I had to find you and ask you to tell that story, the story of the heart of the ocean'
I looked down at the necklace, in my fist and held it tightly. I stood up slowly, and walked towards the door of the tavern. I stepped outside into the sunset. It was like the sunset Joxer and I enjoyed many years ago. I walked towards the ocean, and stood on the rocky beach and looked out into the ocean. The sun left its pattern on the water, and I remembered Joxer's arms being held around my waist. I held the heart of the ocean, in my hand and looked at it.
'I sat here, waiting for you,' I said. 'but you never came. I lost my best friend, I lost everything in my life!!!' I said angrilly. 'and for what, now I am alone!!!!!' I yelled into the ocean. 'why did you have to do this to me!!!' I added. 'why do the gods not have pity on my worthless life,' I fell to my knees. 'Because in my life, I fell in love with you,' I stood up slowly. 'I gave up everything, for nothing, and got nothing' I paused. 'but I think to myself, that in my life, I fell in love with you, that love will never go away Joxer, till we meet again on the other side' I stopped and looked at the diamond in my hand. 'I love you Joxer' I added.
I raised my hand and threw the necklace with all my might, back into the ocean. Where it belonged. I stood in silence, unable to think. Then from the ocean, and light beamed up from where the diamond sunk and the heart appeared before me, it hovered like a little light. Then it morphed into a man, he stood before me.
He had an unshaven look, bleech blonde hair. He had dark brown eyes, and he wore a Roman garment of leather around his waist. He had wings pertruding from his back. It was Cupid.
'Because your love was true for Joxer,' he said placing his hand gently on my shoulder. 'I will grant you one wish' he added. 'you many not wish for Joxer to come back to life' he continued. 'you need to speak to Hades about that' he continued.
I stood in silence, thinking on what to wish for. Then a spark came to my mind. I looked up at him and smiled.
'I wish that none of this ever happened. I wish everything is as it was before.' I said smiling. A flash of light beamed around me. Cupid was gone, and I was alone once more. The sun was still setting. I looked down at myself, my hands weren't old and wrinkled, I stepped forward and looked into the water, my face was young looking and I had blonde hair once more. I stood back confused.
'Gabrielle!!?' I heard the voice call my name from behind me. I turned to see Xena running up to me. I looked behind her for anyone else. But nothing. Xena stood beside me, and noticed to pained expression on my face.
'What's wrong?' she asked hesitantly.
'It didn't work' I muttered to myself.
Then from the horizon stood a man, he wore jagged metal, a plate on his chest. In his arm he held his helmet, and he wore ripped ragged pants. He looked at me, I looked at him. He walked up to me and stood before me.
'Hey Gabrielle,' he said. 'what ya doing?' he added.
I grabbed him, and gave him a big hug. Xena looked at me confused, scratching her head. I broke away and Joxer looked at me confused too.
'I'm glad to see you too' he said, confusion in his face. I took my friends arm in arm, and walked away into the sunset. At least now I could say that in my life, I had my family and friends with me. Till death do us part. Joxer looked at me and said:
'What is with the hug Gabby?' he said confused. I stopped and gave him a small kiss on the cheek. He shook his head, as Xena and I walked away. We heard the sound of a thumping. We turned to see Joxer laying on the ground dazed.
'That's my Joxer,' I said smiling. I looked at Xena, and we walked away, Joxer will follow. He always does. But will I tell him that in my life I fell in love with him. No, I'll keep it a secret.
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