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Crawling in my skin
These words they will not heal
Fear is how I fall
Confusing what is real
MOTHER OF PEACE- Season 6 Episode 24
by Richard Kloosterboer
The sequel to Conflict of Interest - The arc ends here!
DISCLAIMER: Ares, Xena and Gabrielle belong to Renaissance Pictures and Universal Studios.
All other characters are mine and so is this story.
Any references to FIN or other episodes is purely coincidental.
Lyrics from Linkin Park [no permission]
WARNING: This is a tragedy - however there is an unusually happy ending
SEX: YES, and its a dream - practicing a little Alt/Main/Sub-text here.
Consent of both M-W, W-W but its still in a dream - puberty thing
If you disapprove of this; get over it. It doesn't hurt the story as a whole and its still an exciting read.
VIOLENCE:Extreme - not for squeamish Gabrielle fans - fairly graphic
PGR [without page 12]
or R18 [with page 12]
'You are an impossible child.' Raged Ares.
'Takes one to know one.' Stung T'Keya, Xena and Ares' godly child, hotly back.
'No don't throw that.'
'Do you have any idea how many people died to get you that…that…GRRR!' Ares tensed up.
'I want my mother, NOW!'
'You can't have your mother - she is reincarnated. She is mortal again.' Ares explained as best he could.
Behaving like a spoiled little brat the godly child threw another temper tantrum. 'I'm gonna get that horrible little bard.' She promised resolutely.
T'Keya was Xena's gift to Ares, a love-child born of Xena's Karmic spirit and Ares, God of War.
Soon after her birth, the one thing Ares always wanted got spoiled badly by the overly happy father.
Xena's spirit got neglected and forgotten and soon Xena longed to be with her soul-mate Gabrielle.
Aphrodite noticed the rift growing between Ares, T'Keya and Xena. Taking her friend aside she advised her to find Gabrielle and be with her.
T'Keya was at first platonic. Apathy she had inherited from her father. It took a little time, but eventually she too wanted to seek out Gabrielle. Not for a reunion - but for revenge.
Ares tried to convince his daughter to think long and hard about this.
'Let nature run its course.' He advised.
T'Keya's features looked so much like her mother's. But the dark eyes showed his own inheritance in her as well. The young female God could not be swayed from her path. All Ares ever wanted was a child of his own. But this child was a nightmare for him. Too much like him - with the subtleties of the Warrior Princess.
No one had any influence on the young god's mind. Soon she would leave Mount Olympus and seek out Gabrielle.
Gabrielle, who stole her mother Xena away from her.
Revenge will be sweet.
* * *
To Gabrielle's delight little Lilly was always near her grandmother's side. The bond she had with the little girl was eternal. Their soul's were as one - although they could never be lovers in this lifetime Gabrielle knew that one day they would reincarnate at the same time and seek each other out. Nearing the end of her life-span, she stayed close to little Lilly. Xena reincarnated anew. The little girl showed similar characteristics. Standing tall and proud. Defending the weak against bullies. Always wanting peace.
Little Lilly cuddled close to her Nana. Gabrielle envisioned the past when she herself snuggled close to Xena. How she misses those good times they had together - the battles they fought together - side by side. The last battle where she lost Xena. Tears rolled down her wrinkled face. Lilly noticed her Nana's sadness and reached up gently wiping away the tears.
'Don't cry, Nana. I love you.' Little Lilly comforted.
Gabrielle smiled a little, and gave her granddaughter a cuddle. 'I love you Xena.' She whispered.
Gabrielle was resting, dozing off a little. Lilly wanted to explore a bit more. She liked Nana's weapons. Xena's long-sword hung proudly and sheathed on the wall. Gabrielle's sais were still sheathed in her boots as a momento from a time long forgotten. The one weapon that always attracted Lilly was Nana's chakram. Little Lilly wanted to touch it, she admired it, but was also afraid of its magical powers.
For the past few weeks it had whispered to her. Secret whispers. Dangerous whispers. Warning whispers. Little Lilly was attracted to Nana's weapons, because they were Xena's weapons. Weapons used in a violent past - a past hidden in Lilly's soul consciousness. She only wanted peace. Peace like her father. Peace like her father's father. Peace like her Nana now has.
A peace that Gabrielle had worked hard to attain. And now she was nearing the end of her long life, her task as a bard with family and happiness fulfilled.
Little Lilly looked at her reflection in the beautiful chakram. She traced the edge with her fingers. It sings to her.
Little Lilly closed her eyes and a vision engulfs her entire being. Visions of violence and bloodshed. Darkness flowed into violent battles.
Screaming. Agonizing screaming of death and destruction.
Fire. Burning corpses everywhere. The smell of death overwhelmed her nostrils. Mutilated bodies surround her peripheral vision.
And she heard more screaming.
Someone jostled her. Lilly struggled against the iron grip. She wanted to run. Run as fast and as hard as she can away from this dreadful place.
Someone spun her around and she looked into a face she should know well.
Lilly looked into Xena's deep blue eyes.
'You should not be here!' Xena warned.
Lilly nodded mutely.
'This a dark place. A dark past that must be forgotten.' Xena looked pleadingly at her new incarnation. 'Leave this dark place and don't come back.'
A maniacal laugh echoed around the dark secret place within Lilly's old soul.
'There you are, mother.' Xena's likeness approached her on magical wings.
'Oh no,' Xena looked at Lilly. 'Run Lilly, NOW!'
'Stay Lilly,' said the sweet voice of T'Keya. 'Stay and watch me crush your soul.'
Lilly couldn't help it any longer. She screamed long and hard.
The vision abruptly ended and she saw the sweet face of her Nana. Elated she hugged her tight and then the hairs in the nape of her neck stood on end. She opened her eyes and they widened with sheer horror. Gabrielle felt her granddaughters heart beat faster and heard her whimpering with fear.
Lilly saw T'Keya smiling lustily at her grandmother's back licking her lips in anticipation.
* * *
Gabrielle's dragon tattoo tingled with certain determination. Letting go of Lilly very calmly she slipped her sais out of her boots and she stood up slowly, then turned around to look at a familiar face without fear.
The dark eyes of T'Keya bored deep into Gabrielle's soul who in turn took an immediate defensive stance. Lilly clutched at her Grandmother's short skirt, not wanting to let go, but she must give her soul-mate room to maneuver.
'T'Keya.' Gabrielle acknowledged icily. Knowing the name of Xena's godly daughter.
'Hello Gabrielle,' T'Keya said sweetly. 'Ooh, this must be Lilly. Look how much she's grown.'
'Leave my granddaughter out of this.' Gabrielle defended.
'Your granddaughter, 'she laughed, 'is the reason why I'm here,' she towered menacingly over the old woman, giving Gabrielle a mocking gaze, 'after I get rid of you!'
With inhuman agility old Gabrielle brought forth a hidden strength as she parried and counter-moved every strike T'Keya forced on her. Gabrielle somersaulted, then trampled against her opponent forcing her back against a wall.
T'Keya was ecstatic with battle-lust and forced a more precise attack on Gabrielle. Stalking her prey T'Keya produced a series of lunges. Gabrielle easily side-stepped these, dancing around the god's inexperience of one-to-one sparring.
'Tell me something, T'Keya. Why did you come here?'
'You took away my mother.'
'Ha! I knew your mother long before you were a figment of her imagination.'
Enraged the godly girl attacked with renewed frenzy. Gabrielle knew that this particular god was seriously deranged. How she wished that Ares would come to take away his sick little daughter.
No chance in hell that he would come. Gabrielle also knew that asking the God of War for help is a sign of weakness.
The former field commander was not to be toiled with so easily and slammed both her sais into the chest of her opponent. Surprising the young god by this tactic Gabrielle flipped easily over the female god's shoulders. Then she reached over and grabbed the handles of her sais before T'Keya could counter. And Gabrielle flipped her opponent with such force through the bedroom wall, the wall crumbled. Slipping of her impalement T'Keya fought to regain her foothold quickly before her next assault.
Gabrielle jumped through the break in the wall as agile as a teenager considering her age. The hunter and the prey stalked each other outside Gabrielle's home. A couple of Gabrielle's honor guard came to the rescue, but they were no match for the immortal God who laughed with an inhuman glee. All too soon the pair of guards lay wounded and dying beside her. There are just some things you can't teach a man.
'That was too easy.' T'Keya smirked. 'But you, Gabrielle, will make a fine warrior princess.'
It was Gabrielle's turn to smile. 'Why should I limit myself to being a mere princess. I am an Amazon Queen.'
Surprisingly fast T'Keya lunged at Gabrielle and grabbed her throat. 'Yes, a dead Queen.' Holding her close, she said, 'how about a goodbye kiss, aunt Gabrielle?' and T'Keya forcefully pressed her lips onto Gabrielle's. Gabrielle slashed at the inhuman strength of the godly creature to no avail.
'Leave her alone!' Screamed a tiny voice.
Lilly rushed out holding the chakram in her hand. She swung it bravely against T'Keya's thigh. Letting go of the death-grip on Gabrielle, T'Keya picked up the little girl instead, 'What do we have here? Little girls shouldn't play with sharp things. You might hurt yourself.' T'Keya tossed little Lilly hard against the door frame of Gabrielle's house. A sickening snap was audible as the poor girl's hip broke painfully. Still clutching the chakram Lilly fell inside Gabrielle's house. Unable to move for the moment.
* * *
'Noooo!' Gabrielle screamed through a bruised throat and lunged on her nemesis. The dragon on her back pulsating and sapping the strength of her opponent - giving Gabrielle renewed energy with every thrust. Knowing how to breathe, an experienced warrior beating an inexperienced god.
'I'm growing tired of this,' confided T'Keya.
'Well why don't you leave. You've done enough senseless damage as it is.'
T'Keya grabbed Gabrielle by the throat again, 'Didn't my mother ever tell you? You talk too much.' She threw the bard hard against the wall. Gabrielle heard some bones snap. To counter the pain and some internal bleeding she used the pinch on herself. Then stood up as quick as her old bones allowed.
Maneuvering swiftly around the god, Gabrielle tried to lure the evil creature away from her granddaughter.
'You are too old and weak for this game of cat and mouse.' T'Keya taunted.
'My-oh-my,' Gabrielle laughed. 'the mouse can speak.'
'You are going to die.' T'Keya shrieked.
'Over my dead body.' Chuckled Gabrielle.
Gabrielle yodeled and surprised the godly child with Samurai swiftness. Jabbing her sais deep within the young god's immortal body. Twisting the sais as its attack struck home. T'Keya felt no pain, only annoyance as the little woman beat her again and again. She was swiftly learning though, but was surprised that her stamina was suffering.
Lilly watched in slow motion as the unequal battle focused on a moment that will scar Lilly the rest of her life.
One thrust too many, thought Gabrielle and its all over.
The evil godly daughter T'Keya ruthlessly caught one of Gabrielle's arms. Holding on Gabrielle's wrist tightly a smile crept along that oh-so familiar likeness of Xena. The dark eyes betrayed of the other's inheritance as she was taking full advantage of her parentage.
Gabrielle could not be held on to like that for too long. Why the gods used the same physiology as humans soon proved useful in this battle of wits and stamina. Her wrist still trapped Gabrielle did not retreat or struggle. In fact she broke free by suddenly moving forward and twisting her own arm against the thumb of her opponent. Suddenly free Gabrielle did a running leap somersault and whilst the god slammed on her back, she landed squarely on her chest.
Jumping off, Gabrielle put her own knee on the god's chest to stop her from getting up.
'Why don't you just yield. I'm far more experienced than you.' Gabrielle pleaded with T'Keya.
Struggling against the weight on her chest, T'Keya screamed and tried to slash her talons at Gabrielle. Gabrielle winced as her thigh received four slices made by godly fingernails. Quick as she can, she produced her sash and tightened a noose around the top of her leg to stem the blood flow of the deep wound. It also meant that Gabrielle lost her advantage over the young god who stood up licking her fingers clean of human blood. Sickened by the sight Gabrielle turned away in disgust. That was the moment T'Keya was waiting for as she slammed Gabrielle in a nearby wall. Another audible snap and Gabrielle saw a bone protrude through the skin of her arm.
Her opponent quickly jumped out of the way before Gabrielle's counter move and smirked evilly when she realized that Gabrielle was in obvious pain and panic.
Gabrielle was fighting tears as she realized that T'Keya was going to win this battle. If only her son would come home soon. She looked at little Lilly lying inside helpless and broken. She must protect Lilly - she must.
With her broken arm dangling uselessly beside her, Gabrielle brought forth her last bit of strength. Impressive as she was, Gabrielle was no match for the young God in her weakened battle-broken state. The god grabbed the dangling broken arm of Gabrielle, which still held one of her sais.
Twisting Gabrielle's arm unnaturally, Gabrielle gasps in sudden surprise as she felt her own signature weapon piercing painfully through her own skin. T'Keya howled in satisfaction as she maliciously thrust the sais deeply into Gabrielle's chest piercing her heart.
As Gabrielle lay bleeding to death from her mortal wounds, T'Keya chuckled, 'Now you know what that feels like.'
With her dying breath Gabrielle stuttered, 'You…are…sick!…Go…to…hell!' Her eyes stared blankly into a familiar face and the soulless dark eyes of T'Keya.
'Bye Gabrielle.' She laughed triumphantly over the dead body of the Warrior Bard.
Lilly lay inside Gabrielle's home in a state shock. Tears cascading down her tender face.
'Gabrielle.' She choked as she realized her beloved grandmother and soul mate lay dead. A battle to the death with a god, an unfair advantage.
Xena's spirit was proud of her Warrior Bard. The old soul knew of the odds, but she was proud her lessons stayed true until the end. Her Warrior Bard's memory will not be forgotten. The Akashic records will remember her bravery for standing up of what she believed in.
T'Keya will be forgotten - Xena will do anything to get rid of this abomination of hers. Lilly needed the soul of the Warrior Princess to accomplish this task - Lilly needed to concentrate - Xena felt renewed energy crawling up through her body. The pain in her broken hip being focused on the new energy. In her hands the chakram hummed and vibrated with some unknown intensity of its own. With difficulty she managed to block T'Keya's view of this magical moment. The chakram split and became the Chakram of Darkness and the Chakram of Light. Realizing that the ancient weapon represented both Xena and her twin-soul whilst alive, she accepted that with hers and Gabrielle's death, the Chakram no longer needed to be the way it was. A new master would be found - but for the moment, Xena's soul recognized the weapon laying in front of her. With a vengeful look in the little girls face she quickly hid the Chakram of Light beneath the folds of her clothes and waited for T'Keya to come.
* * *
Gabrielle lay discarded like a rag-doll. The old warrior bard's badly bruised and broken body still clutched one of the sais in her dead hand. The other sais was driven deep under her ribcage through her heart. Surprise was embedded on her ancient face of witnessing her soul-mate's likeness kill her so brutally.
It was such a senseless killing.
It was sheer murder.
T'Keya triumphed over her mad jealousy. She had killed the hated Warrior Bard. The bard who stole her mother away. She laughed another maniacal laugh and then sought out the little girl.
All she still needed to do was free her mother's soul by killing little Lilly.
Then they could leave this godforsaken place together arm-in-arm.
A terrified Lilly lay still in the far corner of Gabrielle's home. The pain in her broken hip made her senses numb. She kept her secret weapon hidden from Ares' evil daughter.
'There you are, my precious.' T'Keya cooed at Lilly.
Reaching out at the little girl she intoned, 'I'm not going to hurt you…much.'
Finding some unknown courage Lilly accused. 'You killed my Nana. You killed Gabrielle.' Then cried, 'Why?'
T'Keya paused and replied. 'I only did it for you - mother. She took you away from me.'
'You had no right,' her little face was stinging with tears. Anger and fear combined on the young girl's face - already maturing quickly as Xena took over Lilly's consciousness. 'I will hate you forever for this, T'Keya.'
'Hate - love, what's the difference? At least you'll have some feelings for me.' She then picked up Lilly's small frame by the throat and squeezed.
'Time to come home, mother.' She said menacingly.
Too late T'Keya saw a circular light appear beyond the folds of Lilly's dress.
Caught by surprise the last thing T'Keya saw before oblivion was the Chakram of Light slicing through her head. The godly child died instantly and was reduced to ashes. The arm holding the little girl up so high in a choke-hold suddenly dropped poor Lilly painfully before the arm disintegrated before her very eyes. The Chakram of Light was still pulsating in T'Keya's very human looking skull, charred a sickened sooty pallor. A cleave precise and clean. A trophy for a mighty warrior.
'For you, my Gabrielle - my love - my soul.' Whispered Lilly with Xena's words.
'I'm sorry, my daughter.' continued Lilly as Xena. 'You killed my soul-mate. Now you will never hurt anybody again.'
After pinching several nerves in her back, rib area and thigh - Xena as little Lilly dragged herself to the lifeless body of her twin-soul Gabrielle. She closed her beloved grandmother's eyes, kissing her lightly on her lips. 'Rest Gabrielle - you have been avenged. I will never pick up a weapon again as long as I live.
'I swear this on your name.'
Lilly started wailing, mourning the death of Gabrielle, Warrior Bard of Potedeia.
* * *
Lilly's parents worriedly stayed vigil at their daughter's bedside. She had a deep fever that did not want to break. They knew of their young daughter's anguish - and the broken hip. They too grieved for the loss of Gabrielle.
Her son had cremated her as was tradition. His daughter Lilly had told them that Ares' daughter had come and killed Nana. However Lilly did not tell them that Xena took over her own body and killed her own godly daughter T'Keya with the Chakram of Light. It was enough of a shock to know that the ancient bard was murdered by T'Keya who in turn was mysteriously killed by an unknown benefactor.
Lilly fought for her will to live, but was losing the battle. Her grief was too deep, too personal.
She visualized a tunnel in her mind and reached eagerly for it.
Freedom at last.
She looked around the room in awe. Her parents were by her bedside. A girl suffering on the bed in obvious pain, her hip area badly swollen. She hovered for a closer look and recognized herself.
Lilly was free from her pain.
No, not Lilly! Lilly was lying on the bed. She remembers now. She was Xena.
She felt elated and free.
She can be with Gabrielle.
Gabrielle - her twin-soul.
A silver cord was tugging at her. Xena struggled to stay concentrated. Breathe.
Lilly's body inhaled through the nose and exhaled shuddering through slightly parted lips. Breathe.
The silver cord slackened as she found new energy for her search.
She traveled over the land of the Indus, flying so fast everything became a blur. She stopped as soon as she started.
'Xena.' A voiceless wind whispered.
'I am here Gabrielle.' Whispered Xena.
Xena looked around a familiar area. Transparent buildings lined perpendicular city streets. She remembered being here before looking for Gabrielle a little while ago. To her right she was near a cliff edge. Argo was waiting patiently. Argo, her faithful battle-mare.
'How long has it been, girl?' she asked her horse rhetorically.
Argo nuzzled her nose affectionately in Xena's palm as she stroked the mane of her horse.
In her peripheral vision she noticed a figure standing nearby.
Xena turned in anticipation and faced her twin-soul once more.
'Gabrielle.' Tears streamed down of sadness and joy.
Xena approached her spectral friend even as her silver cord tugged at her to come home.
'Gabrielle, stay with me.' Xena pleaded like a lost little girl.
'Soon, my Little Lilly. Soon.'
Xena knew then that Gabrielle saw her only as Lilly. 'Oh Gabrielle,' she cried. 'Can't you see me anymore?'
Gabrielle saw the pain she was causing her soul-mate. She reached out and held her. 'Xena, you are Lilly now. I will always love you no matter who you are.' Gabrielle comforted.
Xena's silver cord was pulling her back. 'I love you Gabrielle.'
Gabrielle gave Xena a radiant smile. 'I will always love you Xena.'
The spectral vision disappeared over the horizon.
'We will never be apart.' Whispered a voiceless wind.
Meditation - the stillness of the mind - breathing in slow rhythmic intervals. Lilly was one with nature. Her seven chakras were aligned at last. A soft breeze ruffled a few strands of her hair. She noticed, but did not react. Her mind followed the breeze across the land of the Indus. She saw the room with the girl on the bed. The girl looked so peaceful - so content. The silver cord tugged at her and she melded with her body - at last it was healing.
Lilly woke from her trance. Only a moment ago she was in a different plane of existence. For only a moment she was free.
For only a moment she was with her twin-soul.
Lilly was filled with renewed strength and hope.
Her vision was clearer as she sought out her quest.
She would go home to Greece. Bring her Grandmother's ashes and the remains of Xena's godly daughter with her to Greece. She would bring Xena's and Gabrielle's weapons and scrolls to the secret place. She would do this as soon as she could walk.
Soon the Xena scrolls will be hidden from mankind and the adventures of Xena and Gabrielle will stay preserved until a time comes that the world will once again hear of the tales of the Warrior Princess and her Warrior Bard.
* * *
Mount Olympus was shaking on its foundations. Inhuman screams echoed down the mountain side. No war in comparison could rock the house of the ancient Greek Gods, unless someone inside was hurt really badly.
It was Ares.
Ares felt a pain sear through his heart. A pain so intense that no human would survive the wracking. Losing Xena was a tip in the bucket compared with this particular pain.
This pain was too close and very, very personal.
He knew that the impossible had happened.
Fear stayed on the edge of his pain.
His daughter was dead.
T'Keya. His love-child.
Xena's godly child.
Why? He thought in sobs of anguish.
How? He thought in fear.
These questions tore at his mind.
He needed answers.
He would seek those answers even if it killed him.
Sarcasm at a time of mourning - his only daughter was slain - and must be avenged.
They will suffer in damnation forever - he swore on Zeus' name.