Flat Tires and Irritated Bards

by Callisto Wolf

Disclaimer: Xena and Gabrielle do not belong to me. They belong to MCA/Universal and Renaissance. Pictures. I am not claiming they're mine. Just borrowing them.

Violence: No real violence. A tire gets abused, that's about it.

Subtext: Yes always.

Love/Sex Disclaimer: There's love but no sex of any kind.

Rating: PG-13 for language.

Feedback: Yes please. Send as much as you want.

Gabrielle drove down the deserted country road. Her mind completely focused on her destination, that she did not notice the jagged chunk of metal lying dormant on the road. That is until the distinct sound of her tire losing air was heard. "Damn it." Gabrielle said smacking her hand against the steering wheel.

Pulling off to the side of the road. Gabrielle got out and kicked the front driver's side tire. "Gods be damned piece of shit tire." Trudging to the trunk of her car, she shifted through her thousand keys. Finding the right one, she opened the trunk.

Sunlight bathed objects that hadn't seen the light of day in centuries. Grumbling, she started sifting through the forgotten junk. She moves the bag of cans aside, a vague memory of when she was suppose to have recycled them years ago resurfacing. Using the ice scraper to push blankets, that had grown mold over the years, aside. Finding the jack and lug wrench fortunately together on top of the donut, hidden under a pile of old newspapers that had gone beyond turning yellow to brown.

Through the search Gabrielle's temper started to escalate as time started passing her by. Her mind filled with images of a tall, dark, and unbelievably gorgeous brunette beauty sitting alone in the French restaurant. Where Gabrielle was suppose to have arrived ten minutes ago.

Dragging the jack to the front of the car, Gabrielle grabbed the wrench. Looking down at the bald lug nuts. Gabrielle nearly let out a primal yell of frustration at her luck. Resigning to her fate she knelt down and begun fighting each little metal demon.

Finally all five were loosened. Returning to the jack at the front of the car. Gabrielle placed it in its proper position. Grabbing the lever, she begun to crank. Stopping when she realized nothing was happening. NO ratcheting sound was made when the lever was cranked.

Not in the mood to deal with rebellious machines, she yanked the lever out and stabbed it back in place a few times, nearly bending it in the process. Taking a deep, calming breath, she tried cranking it again. Still nothing. Deciding against destroying the only jack she had, she stomped around and threw a fit of complete frustration.

"Why did this have to happen? Right now I should be eating a fantastic meal and enjoying the company of the woman I love. But nooo! Instead I have to be stuck in the middle of nowhere with a flat tire. Why couldn't Xena have picked me up for this dinner date? Then when this happened, she could fix it. She can fix anything! But no, I have to be the one with the bad luck and the jack you have to be a rocket scientist to get to work."

Facing the jack now she pointed an accusing finger at it, "You. You are the one making everything a mess. You stupid piece of sh... she trailed off as something caught her eye. Walking over to the jack she knelt down and took a closer look at it. There on the side was a small switch that read "Flip down before use." Flipping the switch, Gabrielle took hold of the lever. Cranking it once she was rewarded with the sound of it ratcheting and seeing the jack rise up.

Not wasting any more time she jammed it under the car and started cranking. In no time the car was swaying in the breeze, literally. Rolling the donut over, Gabrielle quickly removed the lug nuts and flat tire. She placed the donut in its proper place, fastening the lug nuts. She didn't want to blow this once in a lifetime event.

Finally she had the car back on all four tires. Jumping back into the car, Gabrielle turned the key, praying the hunk of junk would turn over on the first try. Luck was with her this time. Gunning the engine, she pulled onto the road.

Gabrielle pulled into the restaurants parking lot two and a half hours late. Running in she pushed pass the host, scanning the room for Xena. Catching no sight of her she turned towards the little host; "Has Ms. Xena Crigger arrived yet?" she asked trying to keep her voice calm.

"Yes, and she has departed as well." The little man replied.

Hearing his words, Gabrielle's face turned crimson with bottled up frustration. Storming back out to her car she released the rage that she had been gathering for the last few hours, in the form of a primal scream.

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