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Please make sure to read the EXPLANATORY NOTES before reading these reviews.

Alternative stories are designated as such with an [Alt] at the end of the title line.

This file features reviews of stories written by Zuke. For any other fiction by this bard please visit any of the Xena fan fiction indexes.

WAKING UP by Pendaran - [Alt]  Save Alert
An old Xena classic tale from 1997, this story by Pendaran remains one of the most unusual ones in the fandom. While most alternative stories in those early days and through the years depicted a generally positive and often elated reaction from both Xena and Gabrielle to the acknowledgement of their attraction for one another, Pendaran's story explores a different scenario in which the revelation is not a welcomed one. Cleverly set during the events in the episode BEEN THERE, DONE THAT, the story has Xena feeling bored one morning after repeating the day over and over again. Having even grown tired of the local stud she's been spending her nights with, the warrior heads for the stables where she spots some of Gabrielle's scrolls and starts to read them expecting to get some laughs. Instead she gets the shock of her life when it quickly becomes apparent that she's reading about Gabrielle's attraction for a woman...and that woman is HER. Stunned, angry and even disgusted, the warrior lashes out at her friend, prompting an embarrassed and devastated Gabrielle to leave. It's a scenario that will play itself out over and over again during the coming weeks as Xena relives the moment but each time the shock of discovery is less while the regret over her actions grow stronger. Soon the anger is completely gone - replaced by curiosity as she starts to spend the repeating day getting to know this other side of Gabrielle. Surprisingly, in trying to understand her friend, she starts to reevaluate herself - starts to look at incidents in her own life, at feelings buried beneath. It's a self-assessment that will lead the warrior to a startling conclusion as she realizes that her greatest happiness might have been starring her in the face all along...only at this point, she may have thrown it away. Offering a different take both on the characterizations of these two women and the development of their relationship, this story is original and thought-provoking. It is a well-written contribution to the fandom that continues to stand the test of time. DO NOT MISS! - 25 pgs., 12/19/97

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