When Love Is Found Part 7b
Disclaimer: The following characters of Xena Warrior Princess are property of MCA/Universal. It is not meant to infringe on any copyrights whatsoever.
However this story is mine and mine alone.
WARNING! Subtext, YES!! There is graphic violence, some strong language as well. If this bothers you please leave. I write stories in ways that I see them. I try to make it as real as possible, NOT for the ratings of television. So if youre NOT 18 or older, go read some Barney and have a glass of milk with your cookies.
Enjoy. Please let me know what you think. Thanks!
"Hey Don wait up." Luna called to her friend who acted like his pants were on fire. Don stopped just before the entrance, folded his arms and gave her a look. "What?"
Don tilted his head to the side. "You look nervous."
Luna, eyes widened, "What? No Im not." She paused. "Look. I just dont want you busting in there and giving her a scare. Shes never seen you and shes been through enough already. Okay?" She turned to head into her home when throaty laughter stopped her. "Oh what the hell is so funny."
Don slapped a hand over his mouth to muffle the laughter. "You, You funny. Cricket Youre getting soft in your old age." He chuckled some more , And a friend of Xenas at that."
"Ha, ha. Sooo funny Don." She turned to continue her journey up the hallway.
Luna called back to her friend, "Yup, all mushy on the inside, but crispy on the outside."
"Thats sick Cricket." Don answered, only to receive laughter back. He shook his head thinking about her comment and to be honest, she wasnt all wrong about what she had said. Parts of her were crispy, but beneath all that burnt skin was the most beautiful person he knew. He still cant get over the fact that she was helping take care of someone who was friends with Xena, Destroyer of Nations. He couldnt begin to understand what she went through, but what he did know was that it takes a strong person to face an evil in their lives. Luna was facing that evil just in a round about way, for now at least.
The two walked down the rest of the hallway in silence, both lost in their own thoughts. The main fire pit was burning nicely and water echoed quietly in the air. Their footsteps echoed off the stone walls. Luna moved to the pit to added more firewood to the hungry flames, Don stopped short of where she was to take a scan of the room. He noticed new growth in the small grove in the back, new tapestries, an unfinished table, and his eyes rested on a very beautiful blonde, who seemed to be sleeping at the time. His eyebrows rose into his hair line.
"Thats Xenas little friend. Hmph, now I know why you saved her."
Luna stopped, turned and tossed Don a look, "What the hell is that supposed to mean?" Placing her hands on her hips, waiting for an answer, as a stupid grin crossed his face.
"Hey, I just figured ." Don was cut short.
"You figured wrong." She snapped at him. Spinning on her heels Luna headed toward the sleeping form. "Now just stay there." She let out an aggravated sigh as she headed up the steps. Chance was asleep next to Gabrielle and awoke to see his master approach. He laid with his head on his paws as his tail began to wag with fury. She reached over, patted his head and made a hand gesture to get off the pallet. The faithful friend obeyed his master and hopped down and moved under the pallet , once again he placed his head on his paws and closed his eyes.
Luna stood over her patient she has been caring for, for the last 2 moons. She could feel Dons eyes on her back watching with such intent it made her skin heat up, no pun intended. She slowly placed a hand on the girls shoulder and softly gave her a little shake. "Gabrielle," her tone was soft and gentle. Nothing. "Hey, Gabrielle." again a little louder this time. Slowly Gabrielles facial expression began to change.
Gabrielle let out a small sigh. "Xena?" She whispered.
Luna immediately frowned. She straightened to her full height, "Gabrielle." She said at regular volume, and waited.
Don watched pensively as his friend tried to wake the sleeping beauty. He could see the tension in her shoulders as she quietly called the womans name. He folded his arms across his chest and wondered what type of person would follow a murdering warlord like Xena, then again why did Luna decide to help her, even after she found out who this girl really was? Luna never ceased to amaze him, whether it was on knowledge of things in general, blacksmith skills, or just her dealing with everyday life. He watched as she called her name again. He tilted his head to try and hear her a little better when he heard Xenas named called. "This should be interesting." He thought to himself as he watched Luna stand to her full height.
Gabrielles eyes slowly began to focus on the image in front of her, she blinked trying to adjust her eyes to the light. "Xena?"
A heavy sigh was heard. "Ah, no."
Gabrielle held her breath once she realized where she was and who she was talking to. "Sorry Luna." She answered as she exhaled, running her hands through her hair. Gabrielle could see the annoyance that was painted on her face. Lunas face was scowled as she turned to look back to her pain in the ass.
"Well come on." She called to the front.
Gabrielle craned her neck to try and see who she was talking to. At first her heart skipped a beat thinking, no hoping it was going to be Xena, but a young man appeared in her view. She shot a look to Luna.
Luna turned to see concern on Gabrielles face. "Its alright. Hes a friend, nothing to worry about." Foot steps were coming closer. Luna turned away from Gabrielle to remove her cloak.
"What happened to your head?" Gabrielle spat out when she saw an angry wound on the back of her head. Looked as though the bleeding stopped, but it was going to require stitches.
"Dont worry about it." Her tone was flat.
"Yeah, shes got nothing up there to hurt anyway." Don cut in hearing the tone of his friends voice. Luna shot the young man a look. He stepped closer to the pallet. "Hi, the names Don." He spoke gently as he extended his hand.
"Hello Don." Gabrielle took the hand. "What happened?" She looked over to Luna who was setting up a tea kettle over the cooking fire. Watching her eyes look over to Don.
"Nothing, got into an argument and lost it for a second. And Don werent you just leaving?" She shot him a cold stare.
Gabrielle watched the two exchange looks, she could tell that they were both hiding something. She looked over to the young man standing beside her. "What kind of argument? It had to do with Xena didnt it?" Gabrielle looked to Luna, then to Don, then back to Luna.
Luna poured hot water into a mug, stirred its contents and brought it over to the waiting Gabrielle. Handing her the mug, her eyes caught the young womans. Luna dropped her arm to her side, clenched her jaw and inhaled. "Yes." She answered.
"Yup, Emery really doesnt li.."
"Thats enough Don." She snapped at him, handed him a small pouch. "Give this to your father. Ya met her, now go. Out!" She waved her arm in the direction of the door and walked over to her table of herbs and medicine.
Gabrielle sipped at her drink as she watched the exchange of words between these two. Emery must have lived in this valley when Xena came through here in her warlord days. She looked into her mug wondering. Was Luna looking out for me, or for herself? She watched Luna walk over to the man with something in her hand. If Luna was looking out for herself, she would have given her to them by now. That much she knew. Her thought was broken by the tone in Lunas voice. As she looked up, she noticed Luna walking away.
"You wanted to meet me, why?" She asked Don.
Luna looked up from her work to watch.
He looked at her. Gods is she pretty. "I just wanted to see who would travel with an ex-warlord like Xena. Youre not at all what I expected."
He was honest she would give him that. "What did you expect?" She sipped her tea once more.
Luna continued to listen and watch them both, she was really hoping he wouldnt ask her something stupid, or embarrass her.
"I guess I expected someone like herself." Don jerking his thumb in Lunas direction. " Cricket always told me she liked the strong warrior types."
Shit, too late.
Gabrielles eyebrows shot up. "Cricket?" She looked over to Luna who was obviously annoyed. "Did you just call her Cricket?" She watched as Luna tried to answer, but was cut off by Don.
"Ya see, when I was a kid, I asked her," He nodded over to Luna, " What she looked like under that hooded cloak she wore all the time, then she asked me if Ive ever seen a burnt Cricket before. So ."
"Let me guess, you lit one on fire." She watched as a smile busted across his face as he nodded his head in agreement. She looked back to Luna who was not amused at the moment.
"Don, go home, will ya?" Lunas tone was tired and she was beginning to look it, that hit to her head was beginning to catch up to her, Gabrielle has seen that look on Xena one to many times.
"Don." She leaned forward on the table and just looked at him. A look that would make most people want to leave the room. He wanted to stay and she knew it, its been a while since she had seen him. Gods he was all grown up and handsome just like his father. She exhaled, rubbed her face and pushed off the table to stand. "Look, why dont you check in with your father and come back in the morning. Im gonna need help with the snares anyway."
Don stopped and saw the look in Lunas eyes, she ment business. He exhaled in disgust, "Alright." Don turned, adjusted his cloak over is shoulders. " Anything you want to me to tell father?" He looked back to her.
"No. Just be here in the morning and dress warm, its going to get cold the next few days."
"Alright." He stopped just short of the entranceway. "Hey Gabrielle?"
Gabrielle looked up from her tea. "Yes?"
"Xenas not playing with fire anymore is she?" He asked sarcastically.
"DON!! That is enough!" Lunas voice boomed in the cave. Gabrielle jumped at the sound of Lunas voice. "You will NOT disrespect anyone in my home, no matter who that person is do you understand." Luna bit off the end of the sentence.
"Luna that woman set .."
"Yes. Xena did. Not Gabrielle." Luna looked over her shoulder to Gabrielle then back to Don. "Do you have anything to say for yourself."
Silence filled the cave. Don could hear his heart beat and feel the anger coming from his friend. Boy did I screw up. "Im sorry Gabrielle."
Don didnt even wait for a response from her. His shoulders slumped as he turned and left.
Gabrielle watched to expression on Lunas face turn from anger to a mask of non-emotion.
"Luna are you alright?"
"Im sorry about what Don said, he knows better than that." She shook her head in disbelief. "Im the one who should be pissed off at Xena, I mean she set me a blaze not him."
"Hes just angry." Gabrielle caught Lunas eyes. "I can see her cares a lot for you.".
"Yeah, I guess he does, but it didnt give him the right to say what he did." Luna raised an eyebrow in question. She was seated across from Gabrielle leaning back into the chair looking at her. "Why?"
Gabrielle drank to last of her tea, set the mug down, and up a little, "Why what?"
"Do you trust her?" Her tone was flat.
"I just do." Gabrielle could see that wasnt the answer Luna was looking for, guess she would have to explain. "I met Xena when Draco was trying to take my village. Xena's reputation of being a murdering warlord was still fresh ever where you went. I took off from home to follow her."
"You did what? You followed her? And she didnt send you home when you caught up to her?"
"No, she didnt. There were many time I thought she would but for some reason she let me stay. So many people wanted to kill her and at first I couldnt understand why people were the way they were to her."
"Your kidding right?" Luna was becoming very interested in Gabrielles story.
"No, I was so young and really didnt have a clue on who she really was, but the longer I stayed the more I learned about her and her past and realized that Xena was really a good person at heart, she was just confused and angry." Gabrielle paused and looked up at her friends banner that hung on the wall. "Once I realized what she wanted to do I wanted to help her and be there for her ."
"What did she want to do?" Lunas spoke softly.
"She wanted to atone for her past in anyway that she could." Gabrielle let a smile turn up at the corners of her lips. "Now why dont you come over here and let me look at the cut on your head."
Luna couldnt believe what Gabrielle was telling her, Xena wanting to atone for her past. Interesting. Could all those stories be true? Could Xena really have changed her ways. And letting this kid follow her was still a mystery to her, Xena never let anyone get that close or let them help her. Hmm now I have got to see this change for myself. Sure hope Jasmine found her.
"Luna? Hey You in there?" A voice called
Luna blinked her eyes a few time, "Huh, What did you say?"
" I said let me look at your head."
"Na, dont worry about it, it will heal on its own. Cant feel it anyway."
"Okay, but your still bleeding, you need stitches." Gabrielle pulled herself up to her feet, winced a little from pain, but she did it.
"Hey, you shouldnt be getting up, now sit down before you fall down." Luna got up and moved over to Gabrielle who was making a move to Lunas healer table.
Gabrielle made it to the table before Luna could reach her and sat on a tall chair. "Look, you saved my life at least let me clean up that wound and put a few stitches in there, okay"
Luna couldnt say no the those green pools looking back at her, "Alright. Then I want you to get off that knee, deal?"
"Deal. Now sit down here." Gabrielle pointed to the chair in front of hers. The chair was the right height for her to work on Lunas wound. She didnt have to do any unnecessary bending, her ribs were still very sore from her ride down the abyss. The wound wasnt long but it was pretty deep. Gabrielle realized for a person who was burnt over most of her body, she was still surprised at the head of hair she had. Gabrielle finished up her last stitch and patted down the wound, cleaned up that last of the blood and applied some herbs so the wound wouldnt become infected. Gabrielle gave Lunas shoulder a gentle pat to let her know she was finished.
"Done already?" Luna stood up, turned to face Gabrielle and felt the back of her head. "Hey nice job." Luna let out a smile.
"I had a good teacher." Gabrielle smiled back.
Luna looked down to the floor still smiling like an idiot. "Yup, bet you did."
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