By Joseph Anderson

Revised 1/30/2007. This story was written around the time as my other stories about the Twilight of the Gods, during and soon after the events on the show. I just noticed this story had somehow been accidentally deleted from my site, so I decided to revise and repost it. I hated what they did on the show.

Characters from Xena: Warrior Princess belong to Renaissance Pictures. No copyright infringement is intended with this fan fiction, which may not be sold and must contain notice of copyright.

This follows the episode Motherhood.

No sex or violence.

All three of the women in the camp spotted the pair of horsemen coming toward them. Before the bard could make them out Xena caught Gabrielle's eye. "It's Vergil again."

"Xena, maybe he's....." Gabrielle started to say but trailed off.

"I doubt it," Xena said shortly and glanced back at her daughter, whose eyes were full of anguish.

"Who's that with him?" Gabrielle asked. A man with a covered face rode with Vergil. "Xena, what's wrong?" She saw her friend tense and move her own cloak so her chakram would be unencumbered.

Joxer's son and his companion stopped. The man uncovered his face. He was older than Vergil.

"Jayce?" Gabrielle said hopefully.

He grunted and shook his head. The older man dismounted. Underneath the robes he wore a purple tunic embroidered with porpoises and other sea life.

Xena recognized the style. "I wondered what happened after you escaped from Maramis. You joined the Phoenecian pirates."

Jett said, "That's right. I'm Jizerax to them."

"Jizerax the pirate!" Gabrielle said. He was famous.

Jett ignored her and continued. "Heard an interesting bit of news recently. My sister-in-law Meg is out of her mind with grief. My nieces and nephews lost their father... murdered by that Roman bitch Livia. My nephew Vergil tells me that's you." He directed the last at Eve who stood listening.

"Yes. I'm sorry. I'm so sorry." The young woman spoke in a low voice. "I'd bring him back if I could." She raised her hands in a helpless gesture. "I'm sorry."

Xena said, "I've been through this with Vergil."

The richly dressed man made a grunting sound and his eyes widened. "You can even kill gods now, I hear. Not likely your daughter will be punished. Most people loved the Olympians but never mind that."

Xena's eyes were teary as she listened. She looked at Joxer's son not Jett. "She's changed now. Vergil, let it go."

The young man looked ready to explode but his uncle laid a ringed hand on his arm. "That's just what I told him, Xena. Vergil, I said, let it go. There's no justice. That's the way of the world. The rich and powerful...and you are definitely powerful, Xena...don't have to follow the same rules everyone else does. Come work for me. That's what I said."

"Vergil, no!" Gabrielle exclaimed. "You followed Eli. You're a bard. Think of your father!"

"I am thinking of my father!" the handsome young man snarled. He drew his sword and spurred his horse at Eve. A moment later he was flat on his back with Xena standing over him holding his sword.

Jett hadn't moved. He said, "What'd I tell you, boy? There's no justice. Better to learn that now and not waste your life." He looked at Xena. "Thanks. Hard to make the younger generation listen. Sometimes they just need a lesson."

Xena said plaintively, "Vergil...Joxer was my friend. He was like a brother to me. I miss ..."

Jett interrupted her. "He wasn't like a brother to me. He was my brother. And your daughter murdered him. And because she's your daughter she won't be punished any more than you had to pay for the people you butchered. Am I missing anything here, Xena?"

Xena stepped back and allowed Vergil to get up. She tried to hand his sword back to him but he ignored her and remounted his horse and rode off.

Jett smiled and widened his eyes as he grunted. He held his hand out and Xena tossed him the blade.

Xena demanded angrily, "What are you doing? You want to send Vergil out on your ships? He'd never last."

The pirate lord grinned. "You're just saying that. He'll do fine and you know it. He never had the anger you need before but that's all changed now. Of course, I don't want him to just be a pirate. He has to learn the ropes a little though. I'm rich, Xena. But I didn't have an heir--until now. Thanks to you and your sweet little girl, I've got a son, or close to it."

"You're glad this happened," Xena growled.

Jett grunted again and shook his head almost pityingly. "Same old Xena. Blame this on me. Some things never change." He gave her a cold smile. Then he remounted his horse and rode in the direction his nephew had gone.

Xena turned and saw Eve staring after them. The girl began crying and sank to the ground. Xena went to her daughter and held her. The beautiful young woman sobbed out. "Everything he said was true!"

The Warrior Princess stroked her daughter's hair. "Don't worry, Eve. Nothing will happen to you."

She looked at her mother. "Because I'm your daughter and we can get away with anything?" Her voice held horror and fascination.

When Xena didn't answer, Gabrielle said, "Yeah, because of that."

Xena turned her stricken face to look at her friend. "Gabrielle..."

The blonde woman looked away. "Xena, I had a daughter too. But Hope never got a second chance. Maybe if she had..." Her voice trailed off. "I'll take care of the horses." She walked quickly away.

Tears ran down Xena's cheeks as she watched Gabrielle. Eve unsteadily got back to her feet. "I have to talk to her."

Xena nodded, lost in her own dark thoughts.

Gabrielle was brushing her horse as Xena's daughter came up beside her. The blonde looked over prepared to say something reassuring to the girl. She shouldn't have brought it up in front of Eve no matter how she felt. But the young woman looked at her with a familiar calm tight smile and cold eyes. Gabrielle froze.

The girl said, "I always loved you no matter what."


"That was sweet what you said, Mommy. About giving me another chance. Now I have it. Don't take it away again. Be my mother."

"Has it been you all along?" Gabrielle felt like she was in a dream or a nightmare. She wasn't sure which.

The girl smiled, "Yes, it's been me. Though I'm a little different. I certainly like to fight now. That's Xena coming out in me. We learned our lesson. If Xena is my mother she won't try to stop me."

"What about the Archangel Michael?"

"I'm afraid sometimes it's true about blondes. Michael was easy to trick. Callisto served my father and still does."

Gabrielle said, "The Devil is in league with Dahak?"

Eve said, "My father Dahak is the Devil. His names are legion."

"Oh, Hope..." Gabrielle said despairingly.

"You see how Xena is. Ready to kill your child but she'll protect her own no matter what. She would never show the strength you did when you poisoned me or carried me down into the pit."

"Why are you telling me this, Hope?" Gabrielle asked.

"Because you're my mother. I love you."

"How do you feel about Xena?"

"I love her too. She's also my mother. Let's go talk to her. I have to get on about my father's business. The only god with power now to oppose me is Apollo. When he comes Xena will kill him like the others. Oh, and Ares sacrificed his godhood to save me. It all worked out quite nicely."

Gabrielle said, "I see." Her hands flashed for her sais. Before she could strike Xena stood over her like she had stood over Vergil.

Gabrielle said, "Xena! She's Hope!"

The Warrior Princess said, "I know. I heard."

"But Xena! We have to destroy her!"

"No. She's my daughter."

The End