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Xena, Gabrielle and Solan belong to MCA/Universal and Rennaisance Pictures and are used in this fanfiction for non-profit purposes.
This vignette is set around the events of the Rift, more particularly those taking place in Bitter Suite. Don't read if you haven't watched and dislike spoilers.
Gabrielle and Xena are presented as being in love.
This is written from Gabrielle's point of view. It is in some ways a partner piece to my other short vignette, My Meaning, only set after the Rift instead. It's depressing but hopefully will help others resolve those events in their minds, as it helped me. Remember, Gabrielle has emotions too. The bard is only human, with all the faults that entails. The same goes for Xena.
This story is about the powerful emotions I felt after watching Bitter Suite for the very first time.
All comments, constructive criticism, chocolates and lengthy debates etc can be sent to me at email@example.com.
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I love her. I don't know why. Can you forget to breathe? I can't forget to love her.
I catch her looking at me like she can't believe I'm here with her still. Sometimes I can't believe it. The nightmares have never left me. In the night she rides up to me with a feverish light beneath the ice of her eyes. A feral smile cracks her face from side to side as my own heart crumbles and cracks and leaks out my love.
"Where is he?" she demands of me and her voice is harsh and scraping. "Where is Solan? What have you done with him? What have you done to him?" My answer is always the same.
"I killed him! I'm sorry! I'm so sorry!" At that, she throws back her inky mane and laughs and laughs. I cry and cry.
"Everything changes!" she crows. "Everyone changes!" I nod and keep crying, ashamed of my tears in the face of her pain. She reaches out to me. Cupping my quivering chin in a hand that has crushed skulls, she whispers, "Even you, Gabrielle. Especially you."
"I love you, Xena," I sob. It's not enough to stop her insanity. What happens next haunts my waking hours. I see the whip. She has the whip. What will she do with the whip? Why does she look at me with that calculating glint swirling in the blue?
The whip unfurls at her side. Running the braided leather through her fingers she moans sensuously. I moan in mortal fear. Instinct hammers home. With a shriek, I turn to run away. Where can I go? How shall I hide from her? She is powerful. Gods help me, she is the only god I know.
My warrior reaches for me with her whip. Cold leather coils around my ankles. "Noooooo," I plead. "Noooooo, I love you, Xena, don't do this, Xena."
"Yaaaaaa!" she screams. It is primal. "Yaaaaa!" Her horse races away from me. The slack is taken up. I fall down, anticipating the pain before my bones rattle and thump.
Hoofbeats pound the ground. My heartbeats sound like thunder. My skin is scraped off by the gritty sand. Wood splinters around me as I crash through. My body is being broken.
"Murderess!" screams Xena. How can I hear her over the roaring of the fire? Flames flicker over my flesh. My body is being burned.
"Water," I gasp out. Is that Solan I see rising in the smoke before my eyes?
"Mercy," I gasp out. Where is my baby? Surely a mother couldn't kill her child. Could she?
Pain, make them go away.
The wind whistles through my robe. Blood trickles into my eye. Blinking it away, I look for Xena. Please don't leave me, Xena.
My mind is all muddled. Xena has hefted me over her head. Am I her sacrifice to the demons that ravage her soul?
"Welcome to my nightmare," she whispers when I finally see them, floating up out of the abyss. There are so many. Men, women, children, crying and screaming their agony. Demons in their death throes.
"Murderess!" they howl. How they hate her. How she has hurt them.
How can I help them hurt her?
She sets me down and looks for Solan. I sense the heavy guilt emanating from her. One day it will surely be her burial shroud.
"Xena," I murmur. The warrior won't look at me. "I love you, Xena."
One hand pressed to her heart, she sinks to her knees and weeps my name.
The nightmare rides away, the day is fresh and our pain blooms all over again.
I love her so much. That is why I'm still here. If I left, she might stop hurting.
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