The End of the Road
Many years later Xena and
Gabrielle found that they had reached the end of their road. Their children
were all grown and married and had children of their own. The world around them
had changed and grew and in many cases the habits that others had adopted as
new fads had somehow remained. Their presence had changed the course of the
history of the human race once again and neither of them noticed or really
cared. All they knew was that they were near the end and they needed to be at
“Well we’ve reached the end of
another lifetime.” Xena said in a weary voice as she sat down on the back porch
swing with a groan.
Gabrielle smiled at her and
laughed weakly. She slid her feet across the smooth boards of the porch and sat
down next to her lifelong love. “I have to admit that this one is ending much
calmer than most of them and it was a lot longer.” Her voice gained a little
strength. She looked out at the trees that lined the river that flowed less
than a hundred yards from their back porch. “This was a good home Xena and a
good life. I’m glad that we shared it together.” She leaned her head back onto
Xena’s ever present arm. It was as usual draped over her shoulder.
“Speaking of which… I wrote a
little something…” Xena was digging through her pockets with her free hand.
Gabrielle thought maybe she had
heard wrong but Xena was still digging in her pockets. “You wrote something?” She
“Yeah, it’s just a little poem.
It’s called a Haiku. I learned how to do it a long time ago. Ahh, here it is.”
Xena finally pulled a scrap of actual paper from down the front of her shirt.
“Haiku, isn’t that Japanese?”
Gabrielle said with some suspicion in her voice.
“Now Gabrielle, just because it’s
Japanese doesn’t mean that it’s bad.” Xena handed her the scrap of paper and Gabrielle
looked into Xena’s eyes for a moment more.
She shook her head at her silly
machinations. How could she still be jealous after all this time? Gabrielle
unfolded the paper and read aloud. “A lifetime with you… in your comforting
embrace… was my everything.” Tears sprang to her eyes and dripped onto the
paper. She was speechless.
“D ‘ya like it? I figured that
Sappho wasn’t here and well… I’m not as good as her but… I mean what it says.”
She smiled that endearing crooked smile of hers.
Gabrielle had covered her mouth
with her hand and was looking at Xena. “It’s all the more precious because you
wrote it.” Her voice was cracking and her heart was growing tired.
“Yeah, this life was precious. I
mean we killed Alti… finally and now we don’t have any more missions to go on.
So this one… this mission, and this life were the last. That’s probably why He
actually reincarnated us into bodies that were our own from the start... to
give us the life together that we never had.” Xena was looking Gabrielle in the
eyes. They were still the beautiful blue green hazel windows of light and life
that they had always been for her. One of her greatest joys was looking into
them and knowing that the woman that owned them loved her and would never leave
her. That knowledge brought to her a peacefulness that nothing else ever had.
Gabrielle was looking as deeply
into the baby blues that had seen so much pain and so much joy. She had never
imagined that she would love so deeply or feel so safe with anyone. But this
woman, this beautiful Warrior Princess had taken the young naïve Bard from
Poteidia and shown her the world and so much more. She had been Gabrielle’s
rock and life preserver and shown her a love that was epic. “You’re right this
will be the last like this. But we still get to go back to our house in heaven…
I think. But that’s not quite the same. I suppose we’ll have to figure out what
to do with ourselves.”
Xena chuckled lightly. Her chest
was growing heavy. “I can think of a few things… that we haven’t had the
strength or the inclination to do in a while.” She chuckled again but then
began to cough. It took a minute or so for the coughing to stop. When it did
Xena was wheezing and she tasted blood in her mouth.
“Too many times blowing fire
huh?” Gabrielle offered. Her voice was barely above a whisper. Her chest was so
heavy. It reminded her of something… another time she had died… no, she hadn’t
died… not that time… it had been a poison arrow… but Xena had saved her, she
had saved them both. Xena can’t save them from this. “Xena do you remember when
the Persians… Xena? Xena, honey…” She reached up and put her finger to Xena’s
throat. There was no pulse. She smiled sadly. “I’ll meet you on the other side
Gabrielle leaned against the
unmoving chest of her partner. The last time that they had died she had been
the first to go. Waiting for Xena had been near torture… until Hope came to
talk to her. She thought back on the events that had given her Hope, her eldest
daughter. It had been so hard and she had been so afraid. It was a long time
ago. But Hope was safe now. Her family was safe now, she was safe now… Xena
had… she had… Xena…
Gabrielle’s head dropped down.
Her fingers opened and the scrap of paper that Xena had given her fluttered in
the breeze. It tried to escape but her hand had tipped open onto an edge. It was
just enough weight to hold the scrap in place.
When their family would arrive an
hour or so later to enjoy the afternoon with their aging matriarchs they would
find the lovers sitting on their back porch swing. Gabrielle would be lovingly
cradled in Xena’s protective arm and in Gabrielle’s lap they would find the
piece of paper with three lines of poetry and a distinctive X signed to the bottom. Strangely it was
written in English; apparently Xena didn’t want to hide this thing from them.
The heroes would be cremated and instead
of placing yet another set of urns into the Society’s special room. The house
that Xena and Gabrielle had built would be turned into a museum and their final
set of ashes would be stored there in a special case in the living room where
so much love had been shared. The Haiku would be stored in the same case
beneath the urns and not a single one of their descendants would fail to know
the words by heart.