Disclaimers: Universal/Renaissance owns the Xenaverse, created by Rob Tapert.

No profit is being made from this writing. It is written for the enjoyment of those who wish to share it.

 Summary - A more realistic ending to the Eve saga

 Rating M Drama

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

DEATH BECOMES HER

 

The Gods assembled on Mount Olympus, somewhat at a loss without Zeus and Hera. Athena sat in Zeus' his throne, though she did not quite feel comfortable. The Goddess of War curbed her own anger as she addressed the other Gods, knowing rage would avail them not.

"So, we've a crisis on our hands."

"Tell us something we don't know."

Athena glared at Hades before continuing. "And yet we've done nothing."

"Zeus and Hera are dead," Apollo stated. "We'd be wise to-"

Athena's icy stare bore through the God of the Sun. "Who died and made you Goddess of Wisdom? ... Yes, our King and Queen are dead, an that's all the more reason to act now. The longer we wait, the sooner the Twilight will be upon us."

"I second that," Hephaestos spoke up.

"All in favour?" Athena looked around, followed by an almost unanimous "Aye."

Athena's gaze seemed to bore into her brother. "Ares?"

"Whatever," the god of War said, torn between two worlds.

"Hades?" Athena looked at the God of the Dead, expectantly.

The Lord of the Underworld thought for a moment. "I don't revel in killing a mother and her child, though we have no choice."

Athena smiled. "The ayes have it."

"Can we leave the bard out of this?" Aphrodite pleaded. She's my friend."

Athena looked at her. "Then don't watch. We attack Xena at noon."

Alert, although unsuspecting, Xena travelled through the woods, Eve strapped to her back. Part of her wished the prophecy would just go away, the other part of her knew its importance.

Atop a nearby mountain, the Gods assembled.

"She won't stand a chance ..." Athena gave a smug smile.

Hades gave her a look. "You act as though you're enjoying this."

She glared at him. "No one should have power over us ... but you're welcome to go home, Hades, hide in the Underworld and wait for the Twilight to come knocking at your door. Wait while it kills Persephone and Celes-"

"All right..." Hades said, visibly disturbed, "though I do not have to enjoy it."

"Suit yourself."

Hephaestos watched Xena below.

"Let me ... let me ... Please let me ..." He slowly rubbed his hands together.

"All right," Athena said. "If you miss, we have no choice but to attack en masse."

The God of Fire grinned, as he created a fireball. "Warrior Princess in side pocket ..." He bowled his fireball.

And the Gods waited anxiously. They did not have to wait long.

Hephaestos whooped. Athena smiled. Hades vomited.

The God of Fire whacked him on the back. "Next time don't eat lunch before hand."

Hades glared at him, still quite ill.

Ares turned away, a silent tear meandering down his cheek that none of the others saw. He felt as sick as Hades, albeit more in control of his stomach.

The scream of the Bard pierced both Hades' and Ares' ears as though it would shatter the world. Athena and the others paid it no mind.

"Can I?" Hephaestos asked.

"No," Athena said. "Leave her be. Let this serve as a lesson. I wonder what she'll write..."

Ares glared at her.

Athena gave a mock sympathetic look. "Oh, my condolences."

Ares looked ready to kill his sister. Athena gave a smug smile as she indicated Xena's scattered remains.

"Make sure she burns in Tartarus."

"No," Hades said, simply.

"What?!"

"Xena has far outweighed her evil deeds."

"That's not what I meant, Hades. She dared to challenge the Gods. She would have killed us!"

"To protect her child, can you blame her?"

"Sympathy now? You think she would have spared you because you two were on friendly terms?"

Hades waited a few moments until Athena had boiled down to a simmer. "No," he said.

"Then send the bitch and her brat to Tartarus!"

Hades glared at her. "Neither of them asked for this. It's not as though she wanted to kill us, or showed up on Olympus trying to prove how big it is."

Athena looked ready to explode. "Don't tell me you're not angry in the slightest, Hades."

"I am the God of Justice," Hades said. "If I let personal feelings get in the way of my judgement then I do not deserve that title, wouldn't you agree, Goddess of *Wisdom?*"

Athena glared at him, angry at how right he was.

"Go back to your throne," Hades said. "You seem to have become accustomed to it."

Part of her wanted to draw her sword and run him through, the other knew exactly how right he was and became ashamed.

"Do what you feel in necessary," she said, her tone softer as she and the others vanished.

Ares came to his uncle and placed his hand on Hades' shoulder.

"Thanks."

Hades never thought he'd ever heard Ares say anything so soft and sincere and gave a small smile. "I'm sorry," he said. "though you know death is never the end."

"But it'll never be quite the same again either, will it?"

"Nothing is forever, Ares."

"Take care of her," Ares said. "And Eve."

"I will, Hades promised, as Ares vanished in a flash of blue light.

Hades appeared before Xena's mutilated remains.

"YOU BASTARD!!!!!"

Hades turned to be hit smack in the head by a rock, hurled with vehemence by Gabrielle, her face red, wet with tears. Though he wasn't effected by the object, Gabrielle's pain sliced through him like a sword.

"I don't care which one of you did this!!!" she screamed. "You're all guilty!"

"I'm sorry," Hades said so softly, the Bard barely heard him, and he didn't expect her to accept his apology.

Gabrielle regarded him for a moment. "What gives you the right... and don't tell me it's because you're a bloody God!!! Xena fought to protect her child - her family! And you all ... you had no right!"

Hades became angry. "No right?"

"No!" Gabrielle yelled. "As far as you're concerned, Xena had to die so you Gods could continue to rule, because your powers are so great and us measly mortals are ..."

"Enough!" Hades snapped, silencing the Bard. "Xena had every right to protect her family as we had ever right to protect ours. I can't speak for the others, Gabrielle ... I didn't want to harm Xena or Eve, though my family would have died if I didn't. Celesta ... Persephone ... I can't imagine a life without them... This may be no condolence to you, Bard of Potidaea -

I fought to protect those I love, but even that does not make me revel in what I had to do."

Tears streaming down the Bard's face, she looked into Hades' eyes, seeing his sorrow, almost as deep as her own.

"Who ... Who killed her? It ... it wasn't you ... was it?"

"No," Hades said. "Who killed her is irrelevant."

"Irrelevant!?"

"Do you want to start a cycle of hatred, rage and revenge that will destroy your soul, Gabrielle?" Hades said. "Become what Xena used to be? Spend your afterlife burning in Tartarus? I know you're angry, but think, is that what Xena would have wanted? You've changed so much since we first met, young Bard, and your life is yours, though I urge you not to throw it away."

Gabrielle sat on the grass and cried softly. Hades sat next to her, gently taking her hand.

"You .. you will take her to the Elysian Fields .. won't you... Please ..."

Hades smiled gently and nodded. "Yes, and you may visit her, but only once."

Gabrielle sniffed. "Thank you ..."

Hades stood, raised his hand, Xena's remains disappearing.

"Remember, Gabrielle, Xena's body may be dead, though her spirit is eternal, and when your times comes, you will both be reunited."

"Thank you, Hades ... I doubt any other God would have been so... kind..."

Hades smiled. "I take after my mother."

After a pause, Gabrielle spoke again. "I ... I've written so much about Xena ... Her adventures, trials and tribulations ... I'm not sure how to end it..."

Hades gave a sad smile. "It's not only Xena's adventure, Gabrielle. You shared it with her and death is never an end."

With that, Hades vanished, leaving the Bard, alone to grieve.

 

In the Underworld, Hades checked on his new arrivals.

"Xena."

Holding Eve, she stood to greet him with a smile.

"Hades ... You look surprised."

"I ... Expected a tad more ... animosity."

The Warrior Princess smiled. "At first I was ... somewhat put out... Though I've grown to like it down here."

"Xena, you've only been here for half an hour."

"This place has that effect. Nice job."

"Well I did want eternal serenity for the virtuous."

A pause followed.

"That's it?"

Xena smiled again. "Hades, in my youth maybe I may have tried to and escape, though Eve and I are safe down here and I can see Solan. The Angels still care for Eve, and the Twilight of the Gods will not come to pass... Everybody's happy ... And Gabrielle will come to terms in time."

Hades smiled. "I'm sorry we had to do this ... I-"

Gently she placed her hands on his shoulder. "I understand, Hades, you were protecting your family as I was mine."

"Thank you, Xena," he said after a pause.

"And thank you for comforting Gabrielle. No other God would have cared."

"My pleasure," Hades said.

Gently Xena kissed his cheek. In silence, Hades returned to his castle with mixed feelings.

* * *

 

A tear meandered down the Lord of the Underworld's cheek as he finished reading his copy of Gabrielle's Complete Works, "The Xena Scrolls," somehow knowing future generations would be inspired by these remarkable women and their inspiring journey.

* * *

In many years to come, the Bard joined her friend in the serenity of the Elysian Fields.

The Lord of the Dead smiled as from his castle, he watched them embrace, a tear filled reunion as Celesta returned to the Underworld after guiding the Bard to her rightful place.

Hades took his sister's hand, the beauty of her eternal flame never ceasing to captivate him as he kissed her cheek and embraced her gently, the spirit of Death as eternal as life.

 

*

 

Back to Hades page