Chiseled Words
by hobbes
September 04, 1997

She doesn't talk much. It used to bother me when we first began traveling together. My insecurities made me think she found me a pest---a talkative farm girl that couldn't or wouldn't shut up. The more insecure I felt, the more I chattered. I'm sure she learned more about me during those times than she would ever wanted to know, yet she never once told me to shut up. Xena let me ramble on, occasionally grunting in commentary during my one-sided conversations. She rarely even looked at me, other than sideways glances that defied interpretation. Those emtionless looks intimidated me, making me stutter more than once.

I thought perhaps she was still annoyed at my forcing my company on her until I realized that no one 'makes' her do anything against her will. I took some comfort in that. If she didn't resent my presence, then why did she act that way? Was her persona so deeply ingrained that she didn't know how to shed it?

I began studying her as time went on. Watching for the smallest of changes in her eyes and body language. Her feelings were well hidden, protected by the mask of the warrior. Xena's emotions were as cryptic as an Oracle's vision, yet the memory of our first conversation haunted me, keeping me by her side.

When she had announced that she traveled alone, her mask had slipped, allowing me to see the lonliness behind her words. That's why I followed her. That statement will never be uttered by me. She would take it as pity and send me away, then I would be alone once again. Amoung my family, I was an oddity. A girl with visions of adventure and stories. My inner sights left me an outsider amoung my own kin. Xena doesn't know that I was lonely too. We shareld that common bond.

So I watched her, living for those times when she did speak, those precious moments in time that revealed hidden pieces of herself. When she spoke, her words were honest and spellbinding. Those times and words are etched into my memories, to be forever savored. I wait for the day they come freely.

The End

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