In order for me to be able to tell you about this story, first I have to tell you about the finale of Xena.
I know, I know, you've heard it all before, but you know what? Suck it up.
One thing made me really disappointed with what Mr. Tapert did in the end. It was not the fact that we did not see a true, passionate kiss of our heroines (and while both of them were alive and well). It was not the fact that Xena died in this episode. It's the end, people, we all knew that, and did we really expect it to be a happy one? I for one did not.
However, what I did not expect to see was Gabrielle smiling while holding the ashes of her soulmate in her hands. If you have gone ahead and killed off *one* of the women who consider themselves bound for eternity, please, please do not end the show with the other sharing a laugh with the ghost at the situation.
That would be my rant (edited for content and time, of course).
But, now to Temora. A wonderful author. Gracious, beautiful writing and touching stories. I've had a review of a Temora's story in mind for a while now, but I just read her conclusion of "FIN", and it became my new favorite (and mind you, I ain't no $2 whore, I tend to stick with my favorites for a while).
I, uh, have to admit something. It made me misty-eyed, the story did. Honestly. Though, in defense, I am exceedingly hormonal (in that eat-lots-of-chocolate-and-chips kind of way) right now, it being "the time of the month", so... It could be just me. (Though it is purely my luck that the horrendous ending of the only thing I watch on TV would coincide with a monster of a PMS streak. Welcome to my life).
(cough) Not too much information for my esteemed audience, I hope.
On with the story. Temora. Temora did a wonderful job here of explaining how Gabrielle's life after Xena's death in Japan could still be worth living. I won't try to tell you much more beyond that, except to say that reading it helped remove a bit of the bitter aftertaste caused by Mr. Tapert. She (I do apologize if any of the authors I review are actually men - but since I don't think any man would be capable of the depth of sensitivity and insight Temora has shown here, I think I'm safe for now. And prone to stereotyping, I know.) - so, *she* has taken a very negative experience and worked with it, giving us a story in which we not only see the depth of connection between Gabrielle and Xena continue despite death, but also made "FIN" almost, almost (almost) bearable. Almost.
And that is saying a lot.
I do fear I'm still a bit verklempt with the whole experience, so I'll stop now. But, do read the story. I can assure you that it will help, somewhat, with whatever you're feeling after watching the finale. And even if you're in no way unsatisfied with the ending, but do love to read good fiction, you'll love this one.
"A Once and Future Journey"
Review by Xenalicious in mourning, this (Black) Saturday, June 23, 2001. RIP, Warrior Princess. And many happy fan fiction returns.