[set in 'Ides Of March', angst and love and stuff, Gabrielle POV]
She's made vows to a man once.
In a little temple, blessed by Aphrodite's hand, and she brushed her lips against his - and that was the kind of marriage that her parents would have approved of, the kind of marriage that Lila would have thrown flowers upon, the kind of quiet thing that would have taken her from the road and from the adventures... and directly to the kind of woman she never thought she wanted to be.
It wouldn't have been bad if Perdicus had lived, not in that world of greater good that means so much. But there might have come a day where Gabrielle would have shattered his heart - his good and sweet heart... she would have, one day, broken it.
It would have fallen to the ground and jaggedly ripped down the middle.
And it would have bled, it would have hurt like Hades, it would have looked like all the air had left his lungs and his eyes would have gone blank.
It would have looked a lot like dying.
Because the body can pass on and rot like leaves on the ground, but with losing love...?
It goes deeper than any blade.
But she made vows earlier than that long ago day with Perdicus - starting out for herself and her dreams, yet they slowly morphed and grew into vows to another person...
All those vows became promises to Xena, in the end.
Unspoken sometimes, shouted out at other times. A touch upon the arm. An embrace in the darkest hour of night. A smile. A laugh. Sorrows shared - willing and unwilling - and joys celebrated. Secrets revealed and layers peeled back...
...Gabrielle knows what it is like to be bound to someone else, body and soul. And that childhood betrothal does not hold a candle to this feeling and to this knowledge.
She would have hurt him, one day. And it would have killed him to watch her leave.
Like she is being flayed now, her heart suffering slashes even as it still wickedly beats.
Even as it wickedly beats and bleeds.
And yes, the air is gone from her chest. And yes, her eyes freeze in their staring.
And yes, she feels like she is dying.
Your hand, cupping my cheek. Your gaze locked onto mine. The feel of you beside me, warm and solid and real. The sound of your voice in my ear... You made promises, too, Xena... You made so many vows to me...
Gabrielle throws the spear without a second thought.
Because peace is but a glimmer compared to the what she could lose today.
where a picture is worth a thousand words
- Stay True [PG]