~ I Can Hear You ~
by Jhapzeelog

DISCLAIMER: The characters of Xena, Gabrielle, et all are property of MCA/Universal Studios. No copyright infringement intended. The sole intent of this creation is for extracting my imagination and my affections to the lead characters and my support to them and have them shown in the BIG SCREEN.

WARNING: There's a little portion of violence since the story was in the episode of "Is There a Doctor in the House. No "FOR ADULTS ONLY" part (sorry)

The story took place in the episode "Is There a Doctor in the House", when Gabriel was having an episode and Xena was trying to bring her back to life (which actually succeeded)

I ran outside as soon as I passed the clean rugs to Democretes to look for the little boy of one of the Thesallian soldiers.

I almost can't see where I was going. The soldier said that Petrodes were hiding behind the trees by the river. I hope that's where my feet are bringing me. The sound of the swords clashing, shouting of the two different groups of soldiers and the stinging whistles of the catapult being fired prevented me to hear the sound of that big body of water I was hoping to find.

It was a quarter of a candlemark, I heard a gashing sound of flowing water. Faint but I can hear it despite of the deafening sounds of the war. I felt my way around the trees, carefully not to hit or hurt the trees with my hard head. Then it happened. A sharp, painful sting hit my shoulder. I felt something flowed unto my skin. I touched it and felt sticky under my hand. That's when I realized that I was hit by something. I ran back towards the temple to find Xena. I know she can fix whatever had happened to me. She's a gifted healer, actually the best healer I've ever known and I trust her with my life, to save it or not, but I know she will take the first.

As I ran back, it seemed that the fog that was blurring my vision seemed to get thicker and thicker. I know I'm going the right way. My senses are better than before since I learned from the best, Xena, who else. I didn't get that far from the temple, as far as I know, but why it feels like I already walked from Thessaly to Athens? I felt so heavy that my shoulders are being pulled down or as if there's something very heavy on my back. Every step I take pushes me lower, until I hit the cold, rough ground. I tried to lift my body up, at least to crawl the rest of the way, but my legs were numb. Then everything went black. I heard footsteps, I can feel people surrounding me and I felt my body being lifted and carried somewhere. I must be captured by the Matoan soldiers. Xena will be frustrated to have me back, I'm positively sure of that so they have to prepare themselves for the coming of my bestfriend. She never let me down in any kind of situations or circumstances.

The cold and war stench around me changed into something warm but noisy. I heard someone called my name. A very familiar voice. The voice I love so much to hear, though the owner of that voice is not really a chatter. I put an effort of opening my eyes and I saw the most beautiful face of all Greece. Xena was tending to my wounded shoulder. I should have felt the pain of the needle being punctured unto my skin and the pulling of the twine, but I don't feel any, even the pressure of her hands. Her eyes are starting to have the water works, but this steel nerved woman held it back and I know why. My chest feels so heavy and I can feel my breathing began to shallow. Its seems that the Fates are slowly going to cut my thread of life soon since I'm beginning to feel a little cold. I need to pass my rite of caste to Ephiny. She's the only one whom I can pass it to. As much as I want to Xena have it, she never wanted to tie down or settle down into one place. I heard Xena called loudly for Ephiny until I felt her hand grasping my cold hands. I wanted to hold her tight but I can't feel my own hands. I heard Ephiny refused my rite of caste. She said she refuse to lose me too. She must be referring to Tereias, Queen Malosa's true sister that I tried to save when we were attacked in the Amazon hunting grounds. As I closed my eyes, I felt a sudden quake and heard of a catapult attack. That's the last thing I heard before everything went blank.

I don't know how long I was passed out. I felt warm to my face. The sound of the birds chirping awaken me. I didn't yet open my eyes as I assess my surrounding. Despite of the sun's warmth, I felt cool unto my back. I can also hear the branches of trees swaying to the sound of the blowing wind.

"Gabriel! Stand up child. I know you are awake," I heard an old woman calling me.

I opened my eyes and lift my body with my elbow and saw my grandmother towering me with the arms bend on her hips. Her lips smiled at me ever so lightly that creases the corners of her lips and wrinkles on the corners of her eyes.

"How long will you lay there? Its gonna get dark soon. Come into the house and continue your dream there, if you are having any,"

I really can't remember when did I laid down on this green pasture, hence I didn't even remember how I'd get here. Well, that's me I guess. Wandering around unaware and then slump when I feel like it. I pushed myself up until I stood right beside my grandmother and wrapped my arms around her arm that still on her hips.

"How long I was out, grandma?"

"Well, you took a walk after you ate your lunch. You didn't even bother cleaning the table as I've told you. You let me work in the house alone, young lady,"

"I did? I'm so sorry,"

"It's alright. I can still hunt a game in my age. How do you feel?"

"Feel? I'm alright I guess," there's a sudden heaviness in my tone that I'm sure it didn't pass her.

"I don't think you're alright. Is there something bothering you?" see, I'm right. Nothing passed right through her without her noticing it.

"I… I don't really know, grandmother. Should there be?"

"I know you too well, Gabriel. I know you inside out since the day you popped out of your mother's womb. I'm the first one to put you in diapers. I'm the first one to see you naked,"

"Grandma!" I felt a little blush on my already warm cheeks.

"Oh heavens child, don't blush on your grandmother,"

"Speaking of my father, where are they? Where are mother and Lila?"

"Oh they'll come. Lets go inside and wait for them. I'll fix dinner,"

"I'm not really hungry, grandmother. Can I stay for a little while here on the porch?"

"Alright. Wait for your Uncle Morose. He's hunting rabbits for rabbit stew,"

"Wow! Yum! On second thought, I think I'll have some potion on that dinner,"

"I knew you'll bent somehow when it comes to food. Why don't you invite Telus when he passes by? You'll see him any minute now,"

I was surprised grandmother knows Telus. I don't remember even how I met him. All I know is he grew in Corinth. As grandma went in, I stalked a little but not far from the porch. I'm sure she'll yell at me like a little girl if she found out that I was gone to the spot where I promised to stay. It is so embarrassing when she treats me like a three year old.

A little few paces on the left side of our house, there's a hut lit by a campfire. A long haired woman is sharpening a sword. I wonder why she has a sword or even needs a sword. And a woman nonetheless is sharpening a sword, but then again I thought if my grandmother can hunt a game in her old age, why can't a woman sharpen a sword? Though this place never had any violence, let alone meeting Ares. This place, for sure, is much more peaceful than Mount Olympus. The sound of the steel rubbed by the rough sharpening stone is deafening, yet I seemed not to bother at all. It's like I'm already used to it, or maybe familiar. I don't know. My curiosity got the better of me as I started to walk to the direction of that hut.

A warm hand stopped my second step. I was surprised and turned around, hitting the owner of the hand right off the face. It was Telus! "By the gods, Telus! I'm so sorry! I didn't mean to! Oh gods!," there was a little blood coming out of the nose that in my instinct pinched the bridge of his nose to stop the bleeding and checked the rest of his face for any other injury.

"Getting better of your reflexes, Gabby. And you didn't faint in the sight of blood too. Good for you," I know it was he's way of saying "Don't fret, I'm okay" to ease off my guilt.

"Yeah, getting better that it hits you," but then again, "Did you just call me Gabby?"

"Yeah. That's what I've been calling you,"

What he called me rung in my ears but with a different voice. Not my grandmother's, nor my uncle and definitely not by Telus. A soft, yet powerful voice. I felt a loud thud in my heart as I thought who else called me Gabby. I can feel the thud stronger when I put my hands on my chest and a warm soothing air coming in into my mouth, through my throat, down to my lungs.

"Gabby, are you okay?" I don't want to worry Telus and motioned an upright thumb for an okay signal.

"Hey you youngsters, help with these, will ya'!" my Uncle Morose was a few paces away, holding three rabbits by his left hand, turnips on the other. On his back hung his arrows and his bow on his right shoulder. He looked like a fierce hunter but not that intimidating. I'm positive that if those bunnies know how to beg for their lives, uncle will surely set them free with his eyes doing the water works. I and Telus ran towards him taking the goods off his hands. He and Telus went inside the house first. I took a look again at the woman by the hut. She must have felt that someone was staring at her because she lifts up her eyes at me. She has these stunning blue eyes that, I think, make anyone stopped and drop what they are doing as soon as they stared on those eyes. It's actually what's happening to me. The turnips fall off my hands, but the connection of our stares broke when I heard the high pitch of my grandmother calling me.

The smell of the rabbit stew that my grandmother makes are second to no one. She has this technique that she has no plan on sharing with me until I come to a marrying age, which I found very amusing. Why? Because I don't feel anything like marrying anytime or to anyone soon and even to the farthest future. Everytime she mentions about getting married, she keeps on looking at Telus and kicking my leg under the table that sometimes making me spit what I'm chewing or drinking. I just ignore her and keep on eating, savoring the flavor of the tender rabbit meat.

The dinner went smoothly. We didn't let Telus help with clearing the table or washing the dishes. He went out to the porch and talked to Uncle Morose about something I don't really have any intentions of knowing. It's only me and my dear old grandmother.

"Gabriel, Telus is a bright young man, don't you think?"

"I think I know where this conversation is going. May I be spared?"

"No. I want Telus for you,"

Well, that was pretty straight to the point. At least grandma could've beated around the bush for a bit. But no, she has to say it straight.

"I don't know, grandmother. Sure he's nice and I like him…. Or maybe like him, like him. But then there's something missing. Something that makes me feel complete. I know Telus will be here for me, though I feel like he does not actually fit on the gaping hole inside of me," oh right, my mouth uttered what I've been having inside after I woke up in the pasture. My mouth was like an open faucet, letting the water out unless I shut it, and that's what I did; I shut my mouth before I spill everything.

"I know. There's something bothering you eversince this afternoon,"

"I can't really hide everything from you, can't I?"

"I'm your grandmother. I suppose to know that. But what you are having inside, I'm sure it'll pass. Take it from someone who has lived her life longer than you do,"

Okay, I'll take it that advice coming from her. I put the last dish on the rack before my grandmother pushed me out of the kitchen and ordered me to go to bed not before I say my goodnight to the two gentlemen still talking outside. I took a look again at the hut before going back in. The fire is starting to weaken. The woman is not out there anymore but my eyes are still looking for her. I don't know but somehow I want to see her again. It's like I want her form to be the last one I see before I close my eyes to sleep. I felt hopeless when my search for her failed and gave up. I went into my room after I freshen up. Sliding my body into my sleeping shirt and crawled under my blanket, the blanket that my grandmother sewed for me. However, for the first time, I think, this blanket is not keeping me warm. The coldness of the night makes my body search for some warmth that is missing. I closed my eyes and try to remember if what that thing that kept me warm. Its not a blanket, or even any of my warmer clothes. Its like a skin. Strong arms wrapping around my body, pulling me tighter against another much warmer skin. In my remembering, another thud, stronger this time, landed on my chest. I heard a woman crying out and calling for my name.

"You never ran from anything your whole entire life! Come on! Fight! Fight!" then again another gash of warm soothing air coming to my throat down to my lungs.

"Come on Gabriel, wake up! Come on! Don't you leave me! Don't leave me! Don't leave me!" every cry she makes, there's a loud thud in my chest as if she's pounding me.

"I hear you," I wasn't able to open my mouth but my thoughts said it. Can that woman hear me?

Her cry is so intense that it tears my heart. Why is she crying over me? Does she know who I am? Do I know her? Should I know her? Where is she? I can't see her. Is she my friend?

I can hear her heart begging for me to breath… to live. Who are you? I stretch my arms as if reaching for something or someone that isn't there, until I felt two hands holding my arms down.

"Gabriel, I think you should go," my grandmother telling me to leave, but to where?

"You don't belong here, dear. At least not yet," I opened my eyes and saw her eyes twinkled with a pear shape tear coming out of the corner of her wrinkled eyes.

I don't understand what she was actually telling me. She was pushing me even though she's not moving an inch, her words pushing me.

"WAKE UP! WAKE UP! WAKE UP!" that last call fully pulled me away from my grandmothers' loving hold.

"AHHHH!" I gasped for air as if this is my first breath after coming out of my mother's womb. Xena was holding me close to her chest rocking me back and forth. People around us were stunned at awe, seeing a dead girl coming back to life. They were all smiling with joy instead of fear of seeing someone dead suddenly opening her eyes to a brand new life.

"Sculipius, you've come back to earth!" Galen kneeled down from Xena after he witnessed a miracle pulling me back from oblivion.

"Get up, Galen. I'm not Sculipius, you should know that by now. It's Gabriel pulling that miracle, don't 'ya," I heard her say as she rocked me again, looking straight into my eyes, smiling at me with a chuckle cupping my face with her free hand and kissing my sweaty forehead. I saw straight flow of tears that kept on flowing with fear that she might be losing me. But now, the flowing of tears are not of fear anymore, but with joy of having me back.

She made me rest a little more and I was awoken by Democretes the next morning, greeting me a good morning.

I looked at my right after I greeted him back. I saw Ephiny helping her new born centaur son stand up. "I'm an aunt!" I can feel the sudden strength of seeing my Amazon sister becomes a mother that I was able to sit up on my own. This is going to be a great morning. After the life threatening civil war, after all the life that was lost, seeing this kind of miracle, and by miracle, I mean giving a new life, what I've come through, this was all worth it. Just like what I told Marmax, "Life is what you make of it. You can chose whatever you want to do with your life. Ruin it in killing innocent lives, or defend the innocent, or be a simple human being, its up to you. But whatever decision you make, you have to live with it, because at the end of the day, there comes tomorrow to straighten up whatever mistakes you did in the past. I stood by what I said to the Matoan General, "the secret in life is to live peaceful and share it to the world".

I was able to fully support myself and looked for Xena. She really is not one for sticking around in one spot. I took my staff that has been laying around on one of the temple poles and carefully went out to meet my bestfriend.



"I wanted to thank you for saving my life… again. You always seemed to be doing that,"

"It's your decision to come back,"

"How can I leave you when there's so many wars to stop and befits to foil. You're gonna need my help,"

"Well, I couldn't have done it without you, but you're gonna have to rest up for a while,"

I know I had my share of the fighting and defending in our adventure. She completes me as I complete her. I know that, even if she's not telling me about it. I'm positive. We both shared a short chuckle. It was so nice to hear that sound from her with a bonus of a shining smile on her beautiful face.

"You're not gonna believe this. I have the most amazing dream while I was on the other side. There was this green peaceful pasture with the most beautiful trees! And I saw my grandmother and my Uncle Morose and… you wanna hear about it?"

"I can't hardly wait,"

"And Telus was there….."

Oh I can never leave this woman. And not even my grandmother can keep me from her. She knows in her heart that what I and Xena have is something beautiful that even death can never separate us.


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