spent the day at school accepting Birthday tokens from a good portion of the
school. She wasn’t overly popular since she wasn’t like Gabrielle in any way. The general consensus was that she was
neither a Bard nor a Warrior and that made her a type of outsider with
everyone. She thought that it was funny in an ironic sort of way that they
would make such a judgment based upon her own writings. They only knew the
Gabrielle that she had written about… they didn’t know Gabrielle or Galatia
very well at all. None of the people at school or her own little family knew
that Galatia had kept a running journal ever since she had learned how to
write. In her journal she told the stories of her friends and of her family
upon occasion but mostly she wrote of their imaginary adventures on the untamed
planet of Mars.
oddity was that had there been fewer members of her family she would have been
more readily accepted but there were literally multiple dozens in multiple age
groups for people to choose from to follow. She had her group of friends and
that is what she had. The sad thing about that was that her friends were all
members of the Families and up until yesterday morning they had all followed
Galatia was a member of the Family
she was given lots of little tokens of esteem by the staff and
students of the Academy. Mostly she got single roses or small bars of chocolate
or special fruit snacks. She didn’t get a lot but then again she didn’t really
expect a lot. It was all the same to her she liked her small core of friends
and really didn’t feel that she needed anything more.
through school that day sometimes holding Zaria’s hand and sometimes someone
else’s. They hadn’t yet decided if they were going to announce their
relationship to the school. None of them thought that it was anyone’s business
anyway and the lovers were content just to be in each other’s presence. It was
a non-issue for them all.
At one point
she was confronted by Lance who held out a red rose to her and suggested that
he had a better present for her if she would only reconsider her position with
him. She declined the rose and the other offer. He had made the offer
publicly so he was subsequently denied publicly. This news traveled
quickly and the Amazons were notified that Lance was not allowed into the party
at all. It might take him years to live down the humiliation… if Gabrielle did
not come out and tell who she was. If she did then all would be forgiven and
Lance would be lauded for having been her boyfriend at all regardless of how
she had broken up with him.
dragged on as these types of days do. Even her practice time was slowed to a
crawl when Peace found herself unable to lift a staff and had to be taken to
the hospital for x-rays. Nothing was broken but the nerves in her collar bone
had been inflamed and she had to wear a sling until they healed. Cadence was
beside herself, first with worry and then with anger and she took out the
frustration of both on Galatia.
She threatened to call off the birthday party
at least a dozen times but had to recant the threat when she remembered that
the grandmothers would be there. “I don’t know why they give a damn about you
let alone show you special interest!” She said just after getting the prognosis
while in a rage. It of course made Galatia wonder exactly what she was talking
about. She would have to ask the grandmothers at the party.
after much verbal torture from her mother and having to return to school for
more classes the day was finally over. Galatia looked forward to the relative
anonymity of a party, even one that had her as the guest of honor. There were
far more children that demanded and received a great deal more attention than
she even at her own party. What she was really looking forward to was speaking with
Faith, Solace and Dura again. They had been so young the last time that she had
seen them, but that had been thirty-nine years ago. And of course she had not
forgotten that after the party Zaria had promised that they would be alone for
a time and that was the big promise that kept her from decking Cadence hours
She and her
group of friends had walked back to the park where they met and departed each
day. The park was a flurry of activity as it always was for a birthday… which
were quite frequent. But because the grandmothers were coming to this party
some of the seating had been changed from the ordinary seating to accommodate
the honored guests. Galatia looked at it as if she were seeing it for the first
time. She had never really noticed which parties the grandmothers attended. She
just remembered that she always loved seeing them and sitting on their laps
until she was too big to do so. They always asked her to tell them stories. She
had told them stories from her journal. Those seemed to make them very happy.
Xena began. “Tonight Gabrielle and I are going to speak with the grandmothers,
and if the timing is right we’re going to tell them who we are. Stay within
sight ‘cuz you may get called into the conversation.” They looked a little
nervous at the prospect of speaking to the grandmothers concerning this
particular topic. Since they were Family they had often sat with the
grandmothers but this was a particularly important topic and it made them
I don’t remember them biting.” Galatia offered when she saw the faces. The
girls all nodded and said their farewells. They would all be seeing each other
in an hour or so. “I suppose you’re going home as well?” Her voice was sad.
This was really hard on her for some reason.
you know that I have to go home. I can’t go with you to your home right now.”
She thought for a moment. “You’re going to have to either be the sixteen year
old teenager or the Amazon Queen. But stop jumping between them. It’s gonna drive
us both nuts.” Right now she was being the teenager, but at school she had been
right. My emotions are flip flopping so quickly it’s tough to keep track of them;
it’s got to be the hormones. Which should I be?” It was almost as if she was
don’t remember what you were like at this age do you?” Gabrielle shook her
head. “You were naïve and innocent but at the same time you were brave and
decisive, where is that Gabrielle?”
barked a soft laugh. “I am no longer naïve or innocent… those are gone…
weren’t like this two days ago. So there is hope.” Xena said.
ago I didn’t have the memories of what has happened to us… to me. Two days ago
I was innocent and naïve. Now I’m… I
don’t know… something else. Do you remember when you told me that taking a life
changes everything? Well… what happened to me on Uranus changed everything too.
It’s a distant memory but it is a
memory.” Gabrielle’s eyes begged Xena to find a solution for her aching soul.
closer to Gabrielle and took her hands into her own her heart ached for her
beloved. “Gabrielle, I know that you were hurt… deeply. But remember that this
is what Alti wanted… for you to lose your innocence and hence your purity.
Don’t let it happen… don’t hide what you think that you have lost by being a
brat or a bitch. Please, don’t do what I did and try to take out your revenge
on anyone who happens to cross your path.”
realize that I was doing that… but you’re right I have started to do just
that.” She began to shake her head. “Poor Peace… that was unnecessary. I was
willing to get the shit kicked out of me just so I could land a few humiliating
blows of my own. That is so not like me.” She was realizing what Xena had been seeing
was true. “But until I can get some balance what do I do?”
your sense of wonder. You may not be innocent or naïve but you also don’t know
everything. Remember how you used to stop and smell the roses and listen to the
Sea Gulls?” Gabrielle was smiling faintly. “Do that Gabrielle. This is a whole
different planet with all new smells and sights and sounds. Take it in and
marvel at it. Your God… I bet He made this planet too. Check it out and see if you
don’t find something that sparks your curiosity and renews your innocence.”
Gabrielle was nodding her head and smiling widely. Xena had found the solution
for her, just like she knew that she would.
“How do you
do that Xena? How do you just pull that kind of philosophy out of your head?
You’re a Warrior for God’s sake. Why couldn’t I see that?” She was amazed once
when you’re so close to the problem, it’s near impossible to see the answer. You’ve
always seen the answers for me and I seem to do the same for you. That’s why we
need to stay together from now on. Every time that we split up… no matter how
good it sounds… we get messed up. I left you in Greece when I went to China the
first time and we both made some bad decisions and I almost got killed. I went
to the North lands without you and nearly got myself killed. I went to Japan
without you and did get myself killed. You lived the rest of your life without
me and went mad and then got yourself killed. And you went into the Castle
alone and I was to go into the spirit world alone and we both got ourselves
killed.” She stopped to make sure that Gabrielle was tracking with her.
“We know how
to kill her. We know exactly what we have to do. But we must do it together. We
can’t do it alone… never again can we do it alone. You and me… we’re soul
mates. That’s what it means to be soul mates. Just like Aella said. I didn’t really
understand it then but I get it now.” Xena had dropped Gabrielle’s hands and
taken her shoulders.
“I need you
and you need me… we can’t do it alone. Now that makes all the sense in the
world.” Gabrielle had brought her hands up to rest on Xena’s wrists.
“So what say
we whip our four friends into the meanest and leanest fighting machines since
the three hundred so they can occupy Alti while we both go into the spirit
world and kill her and sever her link with Luce? After that we can take her
body and burn it and be done with her forever. Then we can go home if that’s
what you want.” She sounded excited at the prospect and probably was.
was nodding and when Xena was done she said, “Sounds good babe. When do we
with a conversation with the grandmothers.”
nodded but she was hesitant. “Can we retrieve their bodies first?” She didn’t need
to specify which
we can, that’s one of the topics of discussion for tonight.” She was still
looking at Gabrielle intently. “So Gabrielle, if you decide to be the Queen,
can you kind of keep the teenage… energy. I kind of like that.” Xena was
looking a bit too intently at Gabrielle.
had to think really hard to figure out what the heck Xena was talking about.
Then it hit her and she had to shake her head in wonder. “You just like the
teenage libido that’s what you like.” She chided.
“Well not just the libido dear but that too…” She
didn’t buy the innocent look that Xena was giving her. “Don’t worry honey, I
don’t think that I could turn that
off if I wanted too… you’re just too cute!” She said and laughed as Xena’s face
turned from joy to surprise and then to her I’ll
get you for that look.
ways so that they could both accomplish a few tasks before the party. But they
both felt better for their short talk.