Title: "Eternal Love"
Author: Pirate Turner
Spoilers: All seasons
Summary: Joxer thinks of Gabrielle after her death.
Disclaimer: Joxer, Gabrielle, Xena, Meg, Eve, Michael, Eli, Amarice, Death, and Xena: Warrior Princess are all © & TM their respective owners and are used without permission. Everything else is © & TM the author, Pirate Turner, who makes absolutely no profit whatsoever off of this story. This story is only intended for entertainment.
Author's Note: If you are a Xena fan who would be interested in reading Xena and Gabrielle alive, together, and in love; their journeys as Piratesses; Joxer's union with his own lady love and his adventures as a bumbling Pirate; and/or Autolycus' union with his lady and his adventures as a Pirate/thief, please check out our on-going series, Love on the High Seas. Their journeys begin in the first book, Bright Promises of Tomorrow, and their roles and loves grow as the series continues. Aphrodite, Ares, and Discord also play important recurring roles. Love on the High Seas also includes such fandoms as Ace Ventura, Angel, BtVS, Charmed, Dawson's Creek, Disney, Elvira, Excalibur, Generation X, Harry Potter, Hook, Labyrinth, Peter Pan, The Pirate Movie, Pirates of the Caribbean, Sabrina (Salem only), Shrek, Smallville, Special Unit 2, Starsky & Hutch, 10th Kingdom, X-Men, and Zoolander, but the series is for ADULTS ONLY!
As the rain beats down relentlessly upon our thatched roof, I try desperately to busy my mind with the repairs that I'll have to make tomorrow, but it doesn't work. Nothing ever works once my mind starts going through those somber thoughts. Every moment of every day, I think of her, and there's nothing I can do about that. Every time my heart beats, I remember her beautiful face, and I hear her words in the dark. She may be gone from me for the rest of this lifetime, but I am never without her memory.
The thunder roars, and lightning slashes across the darkened landscape, sending a rare streak of light to brighten the room more than the one candle by my elbow ever could. A wail breaks from the nearby cradle, and I take the candle, stand, and walk over to her. I set the candle on a nearby shelf and reach down. I gently pick her up and carefully hold her close to me. I whisper soothing sounds to her as I reassuringly stroke her back. "It's okay, Eve. It's okay." My hand caresses her hair, and the candle's flickering flame illuminates her blonde hair. Every time I touch her hair, I think of Gabrielle's. I still miss her long hair; it was so beautiful and always looked like Zeus had captured all the gold in the world and had spun all into her soft hair. I understand why she cut it -- long hair is always a risk in battle --, but I still couldn't help missing it.
As Eve settles down, I place her back into her cradle and cover her back up. My hand rests on her small body for a moment, and I wonder if they know. I believe that the spirits of those we've loved can look down on us, but has either even bothered to look in on me? Do they know that I have dedicated the rest of my life to raising their daughter and letting the world know the wonders of Xena and Gabrielle? I know Xena would care, but does it matter to Gabrielle? Does she know that I haven't forgotten her and could never forget her?
Has she looked in on me only to find me with Meg, and has that made her even a tiny bit jealous? Does she know that I still love her and that I have never loved Meg? Has she ever even began to wonder about the true reason why I married Meg? Meg's a great woman and a good friend, but that's not why I married her. I married her for one reason and one reason only: Eve needed a mother. Meg could never take the place of Xena or Gabrielle any more than I can, but Eve still needed some one to fill that role. She deserves to have a long and happy life. That's what her mothers would want for her.
I tried to reach Michael after their death, but he would have nothing to do with me or even Eve. I've never been able to understand how a man could not want to be with a woman as wonderful as those two were or, even if the romance didn't work out, how he could just completely turn his back on his own child. My own family and life may be screwed up beyond redemption, but that doesn't mean the rest of the world is like that . . . Does it?
As I take a sip from my ale, I wish I could stop these thoughts. They never do me any good, but they're still always there. Always. I can't even sleep, because every time I close my eyes, it's her face that I see. I never get any peace. Even when everything around me is perfectly quiet and I'm all alone, I still hear her voice, whether it is her musical laughter or her beautiful voice spinning tales. She comes to me every night, but when I reach out to her, my hand always passes right through the apparition. My mind knows she's gone, but my heart and soul will never be able to fully accept that.
Besides Eve, the only other thing that matters to me these days is making sure that the world knows just how wonderful Xena and Gabrielle were. Xena might have started out evil, but long before the time she died, there was not a drop of that old Xena left in her. She never would have managed her redemption by herself; it was Gabrielle that kept her on the path of good. I know that just as I know that it was Gabrielle that made me the man I am today.
I was a laugh when I first met them, but I fell in love with her at first sight. She taught me so much, as did Xena. They are the only ones who have ever been able to see straight through the facade of my smiling face, clumsy body, and stupid jokes. They taught me what it really meant to live, to fight, to love, . . . and to lose. They taught me things that I never thought I would be able to do and helped me in more ways than I could ever even begin to tell.
Xena was a great friend, and I was honored by her friendship. However, it's always been Gabrielle that I've loved. She was the one that gave me the strength to actually open up and stop constantly hiding. She was the one that helped me to build my story-telling skills until I have finally been able to weave tales almost as well as she could; only almost, though, for no one will ever be able to tell a story better than she could. She was the one that taught me that the most important things you can do for a friend or give to some one is nothing man-made but instead comes straight from the heart; I'll never forget the time I sold my sword to buy her a present only to have her get so upset with me for having given away my sword just to buy her something. She was the one that finally taught me that, even though I'm clumsy, the best thing for me to be is myself. She was the one that taught me to be honest with my feelings . . . even though they might never be reciprocated. She was the one that gave me the courage to do and face the things that I have had to do and face in my life. I remember once when she gave me the courage to poison an entire army, and I never would have had the courage to work with Eli and Amarice to retrieve their bodies the time that they were crucified if not for Gabrielle.
She was my everything. She awoke the man in the boy. She made me feel things I never thought I would feel and loved me, even though it was only as a friend, deeper than I'd ever thought any one could love a clumsy fool. I know she's gone from this life and that might be something that I'll never be able to come to terms with. Still, though, I will never forget Gabrielle and will always love her alone for, after all, love is eternal and can not be stopped or lessened by even Death herself.