Disclaimer - I do not own them. I do own this story.
Title - Another Life
She used to want to grow old. After all the years spent exploring and writing, she would finally settle down. Maybe with a house of her own, outside of some village.
She'd tend a garden and perhaps teach children. She would hear their feet pounding up onto her porch, begging for another story and she would comply.
There might have been someone to share it all with. Maybe. Someone to hold at night, listening to the crickets. Someone to listen to her dreams and her fears.
Someone to hold the candlelight aloft as she slipped into Elysia.
But that is another life, isn't it? That is an unrealized dream.
There is no house and no porch. She never settled down. She just kept roaming and helping. She took the thanks and denied the pleasure of company.
There is no garden, not a patch of land that holds her interest long enough.
There are no children to guide. There is not an innocent soul for her to claim and love.
Least of all her own.
That is another life... isn't it? I didn't get that one. I don't even know if I got the best of this one, not anymore.
She got this road with no name. She got the bloody sais in her hands. She got these cuts and these bruises along her body. She was given this ache, deep in her bones, beating up her insides and leaving her weak.
Gabrielle got a heart and gave it away. She gave it away and watched it get broken. She watched it break and crack and shatter. She watched, mute with too much emotion, as Xena took off with it.
That was my life, wasn't it? Wasn't it, Xena? You took my life from me...
Gabrielle isn't going to grow old, not in this lifetime.
She has this road and these thieves and this death.
And as she hits the ground, she can swear that - in the distance - shimmers the vision of that other life, taunting her, teasing her...
You took everything, Xena. You took it all.
where a picture is worth a thousand words
- Another Life