Xena Fan Fiction Recommendations:
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Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained by Tonya Muir
Recommended by: Lariel - 10.26.01
Sex/Violence Content: Alt
The first alternative universe story that I really liked, this one is based around that wonderful second season episode “Remember Nothing”, only this time, Xena didn’t shed blood. However, she has managed to rescue Gabrielle and this two part story deals with her efforts to rehabilitate the former slave, and to find again the best friend whom she left behind when she chose the path that the Fates had allowed her.
Both characters are drawn beautifully; we have our Xena, continually struggling against her violent nature, forced to try for a life of peace and desperate to reaffirm the relationship that she had with ‘her’ Gabrielle, yet astonished and almost reluctant to find the feelings she is having for this particular Gabrielle are very different to what she was used to. And we have Gabrielle. Just like the girl in the episode, she is fearful, subdued and subjugated; afraid to stand up for herself, mistrusting Xena’s motives, cynical and hopeless. Yet somehow, Xena manages to break through the girl’s shell, and the two begin to build a deep and trusting relationship.
It is interesting to see the switch in roles in this story; it is Gabrielle who becomes the warrior as a way of dealing with the psychological damage done to her. The girl flies into uncontrollable rages or crying fits, and can only purge them through physical exertion and violence. Xena, on the other hand, must keep to her path of peace if she is to stay with this Gabrielle, and it is the former warrior who helps Gabrielle to at last find happiness within herself.
Beautifully written, joyful and tragic by turns, this is one of the most moving pieces of fanfic I have ever read, and it still makes me cry now.
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