A NEW LIFE
Disclaimer: This story is based on the outcome of the episode of “Who’s Gurkhan” I wondered what happened after Eve and Sarah left North Africa so this is my take on it. There is no sex or violence it’s just a little story to complete the episode for my over active imagination. I don’t claim any of the characters I am only borrowing them for a bit. Please enjoy, Ri
Eve lay on her bunk in her cabin on the ship. Her mother had commissioned it to take them home to Greece. She was escorting the captives back home. Her real mission was to get Sarah safely back home to Lila.
Sarah had been having night mares every night. Eve had her stay in her cabin and the other girls were in the larger one. Eve was worried that if Sarah had stayed with them, they would try something, and Xena had told her to protect her at all costs. As number one wife, Sarah had been heartless and cruel. All the sweetness in her heart was buried by what Gurkhan had put her through.
At the moment the cabin was peaceful. Still Eve could see Sarah’s troubled sleep from her expression and how she was rolling around on the pillow. Eve understood that completely; she had more to atone for then Sarah did.
Eve had enjoyed being Livia. She loved the power; she didn’t miss it. She knew how seductive power was and she knew how it destroyed. That’s where her own nightmares merely started.
Eve looked up through the tiny portholes up to the stars and had a private talk with her Mother. I don’t know how you have dealt with all this for so many years. Mother, sometimes it’s so impossible. When I see Sarah go through the torture of the dreams and the hateful looks of the other girls, I see flashes of life as Livia. Does the Destroyer of Nations haunt you? How did you deal with all you had done? Doesn’t the guilt bury you? Don’t you sometimes just want to lie down and die?
A cry came from the bed next to her. She got out of her bed and rushed to the young woman who was screaming in agony. Eve felt a great empathy for the torture that Sarah was going through.
She had been having these nightmares every night since they left for Greece. Eve merely waited and then eased the guilty girl back to sleep. Sarah suddenly sat up and screamed at the top of her lungs. Eve held her close stroking her hair. She whispered, “It’s OK. You’re safe now.”
Slowly Sarah came back to herself, tear filled her eyes as she looked up at Eve and she whispered, “Will I ever be normal again? Will I ever be just Sarah? I not so sure.”
“It’ll take time. I still have nightmares; I know my mother does too. You’re a strong person. You will survive this.”
“How do you survive?”
“I…my problem is very different. When I was Livia I enjoyed it. I loved the power. I knew how good I was and loved to show that off. I was the heir to the thrown of the Roman Empire and my only guide was Ares. When I woke up, when Mother and Gabrielle saved me, I finally realized that I had been delusional. My nightmares show me what I did. Why I did it. I will have them until the day I die because I can’t deny them, and I doubt I will ever redeem myself.”
“Who comforted you?”
“Mother and Gabrielle.”
“They are different. Mother is just like me. She has gone through the same hell and she understands and loves me. Gabrielle has paid for her own mistakes — though not near what my Mother and I have gone through. She understands me too. She is very soothing and listens. She has done that for my Mother for years, so it was easy for her to extend it to me too. She loves me too. I am very lucky to have them in my life, and I know it.”
Sarah nodded and leaned back into my pillows, “When they walked into my cell and they told me who they were, I denied it. I denied them. They are so beautiful and young. They look like my dreams of them. I couldn’t believe my Mother’s fabled sister and best friend the great warrior were there to rescue me.”
“I hated my mother when she first appeared in my life again. I was jealous of how Ares looked at her. I despised her because she was a better fighter then I was. I couldn’t believe anyone was better then I was. I didn’t want to be anyone’s daughter. I was the daughter of Rome and soon I would rule it….until…I…”
“Yes and Eli. My mother allowed herself to be placed in a position where I had the upper hand. She prayed to Eli to save me, and he did. He showed me how much my mother and Gabrielle loved me. I had almost killed the two people who loved me most in the world. I wanted to die right at that moment. A part of me did. Livia died forever.”
“Wow! How did you deal with all that?”
“I had two wonderful people who loved me and helped me.”
“You must think I am pretty damn weak.”
“Why would you say that?”
“You and your mother really went through hell. I mean real torment. I was just a bitch…I….” She shook her head and closed her eyes. Tears fell from the eye lashes. A deep compassion welled up in Eve. She tenderly dried the tears and caressed her cheek.
“Sarah, one thing I have learned from your aunt is not to judge. I want to help you. This is hard because you’re in confined space with the very people you were cruel to. It will ease up a little when you’re away from them.”
“I will always see their faces and the others I sent to…”
“One step at a time. First you need to see that you’re now on the right path. The woman you were meant to before it was all stolen from you.”
“Who is that?”
“Whoever you want to be”
“I have no idea who that is.”
“I think it will help when you’re with your Mother again. It helped me. You need the guidance of older people.…”
“I know they look around our age, but they have a lifetime of experience that doesn’t show. Their joint wisdom is unbelievable. I want to be like them. I love them both so much.”
“You’re very lucky Eve.”
“I know that. You are too. You’ll love your mother. Lila is great; she’s sweet and wise and very strong. She is different from her sister but she’s so much like her too.”
“I hope she will still love me.”
“I hope so.”
“I know so.”
********* *********** **********
The ship came into port. There were two escorts waiting for them. One was a large good looking blonde haired, blue eyed man who walked right over to Eve with a huge smile. “Hi Eve. I haven’t seen you since the day you were born.”
“Hercules?” Eve asked with a shocked smile happy to see one of her mother’s mentors. “What are you doing here?”
“Your mother sent me a note.”
“From North Africa?”
“Carrier pigeon, your Mother is very efficient.”
“I wouldn’t question Xena’s abilities…”
“Oh I’m not. I’m merely awed by them.”
Hercules laughed and nodded, “Me too.”
A young handsome man strolled up to them from the wagon that the girls were getting on. He smiled at Eve, and then said to Hercules, “So Uncle, what do you I do after we get to Athens?”
“Just bring them to the lady that Xena gave us in her note. She’ll take it from there.”
“Ok.” He nodded, smiled at Eve giving her a questioning look, and then he shook his head and went to the wagon.
“Who is that?” asked Eve watching the young man gently guiding the captives into the wagon.
“Iolous’s grandson. He’s a nice guy huh?”
Eve nodded then with a tilt of her head, “Another pigeon?”
“No, I was visiting him when your Mother’s note came.” Hercules had a thoughtful look on his face as he helped Sarah onto the wagon. Eve was already up there helping to settle the young captive.
******* ***** ***** ****
After they left Talos and the captives, Hercules started them on their way. They were comfortable on the back of the wagon as the great hero drove them expertly.
“Is that really Hercules?”
“Wow, he looks so young, like Xena and Gabrielle.”
“No, he is immortal. He’s part God. Mother and Gabrielle were frozen for twenty five years; they are very human.”
“He seems so nice.”
“He is. He is amazing…. My Mother told me he saved me from Zeus when I was born. He had to kill his own father to save me. He didn’t want to, but Zeus gave him no choice. He loves my Mother very much. He had to protect us. He is so important to Mother and Gabrielle; so he is very important to me too.”?
Sarah nodded, “A real hero. Like your Mother.”
Eve smiled proudly, “Yes, I agree with that; so would Gabrielle. My Mother never will. She only sees what she has ahead of her to make up for her past.”
***** ******* ********** *****
Hercules was lying on the bed in his room at the inn he had booked them into on the way to Potidaea. He had a note that had arrived at his window by carrier pigeon. He shook his head smiling at his amazing friend.
She is amazing. He unrolled the scroll and read it shaking his head at his intuitive friend’s abilities.
Thank you so much for taking such good care of our Eve and Sarah. We both really appreciate it. About Talos, I think for right now you should let it go. Eve has so much to settle in her life he might be a bit of distraction. Maybe they could keep in touch, and if they form a friendship like ours they will be very lucky indeed. Don’t do anything my friend, just like nature take its course. If he is my Eve’s soul mate then they will come together on their own.
As for Sarah I think that you should let Eve take care of her. Has Eve said anything to make you worry about Sarah? She is in a very delicate condition right now. Gabrielle and I think she needs understanding and mature guidance, we know our Eve can do that for her. Eve also needs a break from her mission from Eli. Every time my baby goes on one of her missions she almost gets killed. So I rather she focus on Sarah right now.
Thank you again, my friend,
Hercules sighed and put the scroll down. “It’s hard not to try to help Xena, when I see such pain. Both Eve and Sarah are so deeply troubled. Eve is handling it better, but she has experience as a commander. She knows how to deal with unpleasantness. Sarah however dealt with it but taking part in it. She took the tragedy of her family and used that as a reason to become worse then her capturer— very disquieting.” He answered his friend’s letter out loud. It was his way of trying to work it all out.
“I sympathize and understand what you and Gabrielle want for her. I just see she has a very hard path in front of her. I want to help. How can I show her the goodness in her soul like I did for you, my friend?”
He heard a scream from the next room and ran out of his room. He knocked quietly . After a couple of minutes, Eve opened the door and smiled at him. “It’s OK Hercules; she has a series of nightmares every night. I just calm her and then tuck her back in. I hope this eases when she is in Lila’s arms.”
Hercules nodded, “I think it will. Would you let Sarah know that I’d like to speak with her in the morning? I’d like to help her deal with this a bit better.”
Eve looked skeptical. “I don’t want to hurt your feeling ever Hercules. I just don’t understand how you can help. You have never done anything bad. How can you…”
“I have never done that you are right, but I did help your Mother. I helped Iolaus. I may not have done anything bad, but I do understand guilt and pain.”
Eve felt tears come to her eyes. “I am so sorry. I didn’t mean anything...”
Hercules tenderly dried the tears, “You have nothing to apologize for. I understand completely.” He hugged her and patted her on the back. “You’re a very good woman Eve; your mother has a lot to be proud of.”
Eve pulled back and wiped more tears. “Proud of me? Mother told you about Livia and what I did....”
“Yes, I know all about it. Just like Xena, you were manipulated by my brother.”
“You’re something else.” Eve nodded, “Yes, Ares almost destroyed me, but Mother and Eli saved me. I have lot to make up for just like my Mother. Thanks for understanding.”
Eve chuckled and then said, “I better get back in there. I’ll tell her you want a chat in the morning.”
“Thanks Eve. Good night.”
“Not possible, I have my own demons. I will try to help Sarah to get around hers too.”
“You will. We all have great confidence in you.”
That really choked Eve up. She swallowed and replied, “Thank you. Goodnight, Hercules.”
He smiled at her as she closed the door and went back into his own room.
He sat down on his bed and said, “It is uncanny how Eve reminds me of Xena when she was starting on her new path. After Xena and Gabrielle, she makes the third strongest woman I know.”
******** ************* ********** *******
Hercules sat next to a nervous Sarah in the Tavern below the inn where they stayed. Eve had gone out to see to her horse and to have some private reflection before they left for Potidaea.
“There is no need to be nervous. Your aunt and Xena would not put you in a situation with people who would judge you. I hope you know that.”
“I know that. You’re a hero. I’m just a miserable….”
“Hey, none of that. I know it’s hard to be objective, but you were in a difficult position. You did what you had to do to survive. Your aunt is one of the best and purest people I know and she went through her own period of jealousy, guilt and shame. She went through a bad time and she pulled Xena down with her, but they both climbed out stronger and more connected then ever. They survived. Eve survived. So can you.”
“How can you be so sure? You don’t know me.”
“You have a lot of love in your life. If you let the people who love you, to help you, you will be fine.”
“The first step is to realize you’re a good person. To accept what you did and that it was a reaction to what Gurkhan put you through. Your mother loves you Sarah. Focus on that.”
“I know she loves me but how can she forgive me?”
“What did Gabrielle tell you?”
“She said she would. So did Eve but…”
“Lila has been through a few of Xena’s and Gabrielle’s adventures. She understands. Give her a chance.”
“Mom never told me that.”
Hercules was surprised that Lila had never told her about Hope and the Destroyer. Then again, Sarah was young girl when she was kidnapped. “Ask her about it then. Her story will tell you that she has faced real danger herself.”
“But is that enough…”
“Lila is a good woman; she is Gabrielle’s sister. They have the same good soul. I believe it will be OK.”
“I hope so.”
“I know it will, so does Eve.”
“Did Aunt Gabrielle and Xena ask you to have this talk with me?”
“No they just said to take good care of you and Eve.”
“Eve? But she is formidable.”
“Xena is her mother. To her, Eve is her little girl… her baby. She knows she is quite capable of taking care of herself, but that doesn’t stop her from worrying. Just like Cyrene worried about Xena. After she redeemed herself, saved Gabrielle from Slavers, she came home and from that time on her mother was always worrying about her and Gabrielle.”
“So it’s a maternal thing?”
“And my mother will be like that?”
“I barely remember her. I hope your right.”
“I think you will be pleasantly surprised.”
******** *********** *********** *********
Hercules, Eve and Sarah arrived at Lila’s house by midday. They were all tired but Sarah was scared.
The door flew open and Lila ran right to her daughter and hugged her tight. Sarah started to cry. Lila pulled back dried her tears and kissed her cheek.
Eve and Hercules smiled at each other.
“Another carrier pigeon?”
Lila gently led her sobbing child into their house.
“I guess we should give them some privacy.”
“Yes for a bit. Would you like to show me around? I haven’t been here for years.”
“When were you here?”
“Lila wrote me after we all thought your mother and Gabrielle were killed by the Gods. She asked that I come to a memorial service.”
“No just Gabrielle. Her father hated Xena. Lila and her mother insisted it be for Xena too. He gave in, but looked miserable through the whole service.”
“From what they told me I’m not surprised. That’s when they were sleeping in the ice?”
“I wish I knew.”
“I wish you did too. It might have saved you from Ares. You would have known then how much you’re Mother and Gabrielle loved you.”
“Yes, Livia would never have even existed. I wish I did. I’m so glad that I was saved by Eli. I would have destroyed everything if he hadn’t shown me Mother’s love.”
“You can’t control fate. You can only deal with it.”
“Thank you Hercules.”
“Anytime, Eve anytime.”
********* ********** **********
Lila had started dinner and Eve and Sarah helped her. She thanked both Hercules and Eve profusely and asked Hercules to send her thanks and love to Xena and Gabrielle. Hercules promised he would he gave them each a hug and quietly left.
Eve smiled at Lila and said, “I knew you wouldn’t blame Sarah.”
“You’re Gabrielle’s sister.”
“I’m not as good or special as she is…”
“Yes you are.”
“Really? Why do you say that?”
“Because you’re part of very special family.”
“So are you, Eve.”
Eve nodded, “I know. I think we are all so very lucky.”
Lila nodded. “Yep, we are. Come on lets convince my daughter of that.”
They both quietly walked to the brooding blonde by the fire. They sat on either side of her to help her to heal and understand what a special family she is a part of.