Best Short, Short Story (alternative)
Argo's Thoughts On Life As It Is
by: Inge Reiffers
Disclaimer: Not mine, wish they were, they are great muses ;-)
Author's note: It takes place just after 'Animal Attraction'.
Was written for the Argo contest somebody told me about.
(Thanks Chantal). Feedback to: firstname.lastname@example.org
So, here I am standing in another stable in another city. You know I have seen so many different places while traveling with Xena. Although I didnít get to go to all those weird places like Chin, India and Brittania. I kind of wish I had been there, Ďcause everytime Xena and Gabrielle leave me they seem to change and not always in the good sense. Remember the time they came back from Chin? Well, I tell you, they looked really shaken up. Of course I have heard bits and pieces about what happened. Gabrielle uses me as a sounding board for her stories, you know. But Iím wandering off again. Where was I? Right, a new stable, a new town. I tell you Iím really glad to be back with Xena and Gabrielle again. I missed them and didnít have a clue what was happening to them. I couldnít wait for them to get back. Yeah, yeah I know Gabrielle and me didnít always get along. But we have an understanding now... ok, ok, Iíll admit it, I like her! She is good to Xena, she keeps her on the straight path and itís obvious they love each other, I just wish they would admit it to each other.
Anyway Gab and I get along fine now. So I was really happy they found me when they got back from where ever and it was just going to be the three of us again, traveling, having fun, fighting bad guys. I love that, I think Iím a pretty good fighter. Did you see me fight all those bad guys when they had captured Xena when she was almost dead? I was really pissed then and when they were hurting Gabrielle I got really mad. I galloped to them and started handing out really hard kicks. But they captured me and then I had to pull Xena apart with another horse. No way I was going to do that! Not even after they had hit me really hard and wanted to kill me, fortunately Xena saved me. She nearly gave me a heart attack by doing so, but she saved me. Xena was really proud of me that I had been such a brave horse and that I finally started getting along with Gabrielle too. Anyway I thought it was going to be the three of us again when they found me. But, boy, was I wrong!
First off that weird Amazon girl was there too. I tell you, I donít like her and itís her own fault. She was being mean to Gabrielle, and you just donít do that to my friends. But sheís gone again, something about wanting to be an amazon. I thought she was, she looked like it, guess she was a fraud. See, I knew there was something about her. A horse itís instinct is never wrong, you know. Anyway there is also that drooling over Gabrielle maniac Joxer. He is absolutely not a horseman. Never will be, might I add I mean, Gabrielle was not a horsewoman when I met her, but I taught her a thing or two and she is doing fine now. But Joxer, he just hasnít got the talent for it. The only thing he is good at is being stupid and in the way. Ok, ok, thatís not all fair, he has done some good things, like trying to save Gabrielle from Xena when she was having this blind rage after Solan was murdered. The idiot, like he couldíve stopped her then. I tell you, not even me couldíve stopped her, I would have tried though. And there was that time he tried to save me from that evil woman, Callisto. So he is kind of ok. Iím just pretty annoyed that he is around, since I was hoping it would be just Xena, Gab and me on the road. Back to the good old days, you know?
But that was not all, suddenly we ran into this horse who was trapped. He was in such pain, I was feeling really sorry for him. Of course Xena saved him, with the help of Gabrielle. Yup, I was proud of her, it really showed the horsewoman in her. So we took the big guy with us, he is actually very cute, just a bit dumb. I figured they were just going to fix him up, but then Gabrielle started to take care of him and I saw in her eyes she liked him. It was like when I met Xena, we looked at each other and BAM, we knew we were made for each other. It took the brown guy a little longer to realise that though, he is just not as smart as me.
So Gabby was doing everything so Browny (thatís what I call him, he has no name yet, I have to talk to Gabby about that, every horse needs a name) would like her. I said to him she was ok and just wanted to help him. But of course his big male ego stood in the way and didnít listen to me. Men! Always the same, he is fortunate that he is a cuttie or else I wouldíve showed him the inside of my hooves, I tell you.
Anyway, he suddenly saw the light when Gab was in trouble, he helped her and they became friends. So of course Xena couldnít say no to her when she wanted to keep him. Probably thought he would be good company for me. Well, I have to admit he is nice, but he has a lot to learn and I kind of miss the times Gabrielle spend with me, brushing me and talking to me. Of course Xena takes good care of me, she is an excellent horsewoman, but I like Gabbyís stories. I know I can always listen to them, but she used to tell them just to me. And above all that, during all that horse commotion and other stuff that was happening Xena tells everybody she is pregnant! Well, I was shocked, shocked I tell you! I mean if I wasnít standing firmly on four hooves I would have fainted. My jaw almost dropped to the floor. I mean, how? when? I didnít know she had a boyfriend, I thought she only loved Gab. And, well of course two women canít make a baby together. Not that they do that stuff, well, maybe if they would finally admit that they love each other. But Iím wandering of again. Turns out that Xena doesnít know who the father is either. How weird is that? I tell you, now Iím really curious what happened to them when I wasnít with them. Adding things up our little family has grown more than I like. Where is the time that it was just Xena, Gab and me? We had some terrific times, we also had some bad times, but we always pulled right through them, having the close bond we have. But now there is Joxer and Browny and above all that weíre gonna have a little one! And guess whoís gonna carry the extra weight? Not Browny, I can tell you that.
Back to Joxer, I heard something that he declared his love to Gabrielle? Can you believe it? Of course Gabrielle is just too sweet to turn him down the hard way. But is he blind or something? Canít he see whatís going on between Xena and Gabby? Gees, Iím a horse and I can see it! I think Iím gonna have to do something about that, donít know what yet, but Iíll think of something.
"Hey, Argo. Whatcha doin? Youíre making all these funny faces."
There you have smart boy, canít a girl have some privacy with her thoughts? "Oh, I was just thinking."
And heís curious too, "About the family being expended."
"Xenaís pregnancy." told you he was not the smartest horse around.
"Oh that! Well, itís cute, isnít it? A little Xena crawling around."
"Easy for you to say, youíre not going to have to carry the little brat. Wait Ďtill it grabs you by the tail and pulls real hard."
"Oh, come on Argo, it wonít be that bad, will it?"
"Weíll talk again when it can walk."
Gabrielle gives Xena a teasing push, "See! I told you they would get along, I think theyíre talking to eachother."
Xena looks at the two horses, "Maybe Argo is telling him to get away from her." she teases back.
"No way, Argo is too sweet for that."
Xena frowns, "Since when do you and Argo get along so well?"
"Come on Xena, pay attention, we get along pretty well these days."
A grin appears on Xenaís face, "Yeah, I know, I was just teasing you."
"I knew that!"
"Sure you did. So, do you have a name for that horse of yours yet?"
"Nope, but I will, itís gonna pop up in my head any day now. It has to be a special name, a name that suits him."
"Never thought you of all people would have a horse."
"Well, I never thought you would get pregnant without a father."
"Hey, thatís low."
Gabrielle lays a hand on Xenaís shoulder, "I know, sorry, I just have to get used to the idea. But Iíll help you through it and I wil take care of it like it was my own, I promise."
Xena looks at Gabrielle, "I know you will."
"Hey, Argo. Whatís up with those two anyway?"
"They love each other of course, they are just afraid to admit it."
"They look good together."
"They do, donít they?"
"Well, Argo, it seems you have a soft spot after all."
"Donít get used to it, after all, I am a warhorse."
"Youíll have to teach me everything you know. I want to be a good horse for Gabrielle."
So, he is not that bad. He wants to be as good as me, nothing wrong with that. I can teach him a lot of course. But you also have to have some talent to be a good warhorse. Well, maybe heíll surprise me. Iíll give him a chance. Now if only Xena and Gabrielle would give each other a chance and tell each other how they really feel...