When Love Is Found 8a
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 you’re 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!
The sun was finally setting behind the trees setting the skyline on fire. The wind was calming down but the temperature was dropping quickly. Steady sounds of hoof beats was all Xena heard. She didn’t feel the cold anymore, she had been ridding since sun up. The sun was out when she had left the Inn but by noon the clouds moved in and the snow began to fall. Argo, Xena and Jasmine were pushing dusk at a slow canter.
Xena sat in her saddle one hand on the saddle horn the other on her thigh, her thighs were red from the wet cold weather she has been exposed too. Her cheeks, nose (which has been running all day) and forehead were red and chapped from the snow and wind and her lips held a blue tint to them. Her mind put all her discomforts behind so she could keep going, kept pushing closer and closer to the one thing in her life that meant anything to her.
"Gabrielle." She whispered out loud. Her throat closed, her stomach knotted and her legs began to race. Gods how much she wanted to be there already. How hurt was she? Is she hurting? Was someone giving her the best treatments? Or maybe she was dead. Maybe she died but told them who to look for. "Or what? Stop think like that." She told herself out loud.
Argo’s ears perked up, she stopped and stammered a bit, almost knocking Xena off the saddle.
Xena corrected herself and looked behind her to see Jasmine sitting there. Xena quickly dismounted.
"What? What’s the matter Jasmine?" Xena asked in a panic as her boots gently kicked up snow as she walked towards the wolf, but Jasmine just blinked at her. Xena looked around, her eyes almost bugging out of her head. "What? Did we miss a turn off? What?" Her breathing quickened as fear began to build in her chest, she looked back into the forest which she came, nothing but falling snow. "Jasmine?" Xena called as she turned around to see her sitting next to Argo. Both animals didn’t move, they just sat there looking at her.
"What?" Xena asked again as she spread her arms outward then letting the drop the her sides.
"Roo." Was Jasmines’ answer, then she got up and trotted off the road, Argo followed.
Xena's brow creased as she watched them disappear in to the woods. "What the fuck?" Xena snapped the question only to be answered by her stomach. Xena looked down to where the noise came from and realized that they haven’t eaten in several hours. ‘Gods have I been stupid.’ She shook her head slightly, inhaled deeply then letting it go slowly running a hand over her damp face and hair. "Think they were trying to tell ya something dummy." Xena asked herself as she moved off the road and followed the tracks into the woods. "Okay. I’m sorry. Do you two want to wait up." She called out to her friends.
"Roo!" Jasmine called back to Xena as Argo snickered loudly.
Xena walked through a small opening in the trees to cut off the two animals, she looked to Argo then to Jasmine, finally realizing that she was really cold and wet. She looked over the area and spotted a small cave opening then headed in that direction knowing that she could get warm and find something to eat.
Gabrielle sat at the edge of her bed waiting for Jasmine to come over and help her to the spring. A splash caught her attention. She looked over to her right and saw Jasmine coming her way.
"What did you just do?" Gabrielle looked over to the pool.
"Well I decided to try something different for that knee
of yours." Luna extends her arm for Gabrielle to steady herself as she
stood up from her bedding. "Easy. Here……use your cane."
Gabrielle slowly and painfully made it the edge of the stairs that led into the pool.
"Was this pool already here when you found this place?" Gabrielle asked as Luna helped her sit on the top of the steps.
Luna walked further into the water, "Yes, everything but the furniture and those two storage rooms." Luna pointing to the left of the pool. " I put those in not long after I decided to stay here." Luna reached under the water and pulled something across the bottom which made a grumbling noise.
Gabrielle thought about what Luna said, "How did you do that?" Gabrielle began to push herself up.
"Greek fire." Luna wadded over to the steps extended her hand out to Gabrielle to help her into the water. "Here."
"No, no it’s okay. I want to do it myself." Gabrielle slowly took the steps careful not to over extend her knee, which was still very painful. The water was warm, like a comfy blanket surrounding her, further into the water the lighter her body weight became and the pain lessened a little. "Ooo that smarts." Gabrielle slowly let herself float for a moment until the pain slowed to a slight throb. Her shoulder burned a little from the warm water, but it felt wonderful. Her body began to relax as the aches and pains began to retreat.
Luna watched Gabrielle as she entered to water, wearing a sleeveless shirt and a light pair of cotton shorts. Gabrielle’s knee was improving, but being able to walk with out the support of a cane was a difficult task. Her shoulder was still very bruised , but the stitches were finally out. Gabrielle has lost a little mobility, but the exercise in the water was helping with good improvement, as for her knee that’s going to take a little longer. Luna watched as Gabrielle leaned back into the water and let herself float freely letting the warm water help relax her battered body. ‘What does she see in Xena anyway?´ Luna’s thoughts turn dark and cold memories of past times, evil times where Xena was most feared and she got just about anything that she wanted most of the time. Be it taking a village, an army or whom ever she wanted. Nope Xena never took ‘No’ for an answer or orders for that fact. Luna could see her, could see Xena in her tent bitching and moaning on how she wanted to take Sung Lee’s army from him. Emotions of hate and anger began to fill her veins, just the ‘thought’ of Xena was making her sick to her stomach.
"Luna? Are you alright?"
Luna heard the soft voice and looked up to see a pair of soft green eyes looking back at her. Her voice failed her as she just looked into these pools of green, loosing her self in them. All the anger all the pain just stopped. Luna took in a deep breathe and ran a damp hand over her face to help clear her mind. "Yeah…I’m alright just wondered off some where. That’s all."
Gabrielle tilted her head down to get better look at her eyes, "Are you sure?"
"Yeah, yeah I’m sure." Luna floated away from Gabrielle. "Um, come on over here and I‘ll show you what I would like for you to try, then I’ll go see about something to eat for dinner. Plus I need to feed the animals." Gabrielle moved over to Lunas’s side as she demonstrated what she wanted Gabrielle to do, Luna stepped up and down on top of the small crate. " I’m hoping this will help in regaining the flexibility back in your knee, want to try a couple?"
Gabrielle gave Luna a nod as she moved up to where the crated was and took a step up and immediately winced from the sharp pain that shot through her knee. "Oh gods did that hurt." Gabrielle continued to stand on top of the create almost afraid for step back down.
"Gabrielle if this is too painful we can try something else?"
" No, no. I know how important it is not to let a an injury like this sit for to long." Gabrielle stopped and looked into the water, looking at her knees knowing what could happen. She release her breathe she was holding, "If I don’t try this, I’ll being using a cane for the rest of my life." Her voice was almost a whisper at the end as she looked to Luna. "Wouldn’t I."
"Yes it’s very possible."
"Well then. No pain, no gain I guess."
"Here." Luna wadded across the pool to the steps and retrieved a staff and brought it back to Gabrielle. "I want you to use this to help keep you balance as well as a support, just incase it becomes to painful for you." Luna handed to staff to Gabrielle. Her face once more contorted in pain as she stepped down. "Do this a few time, but don’t…." Luna was cut short as Gabrielle finished her sentence for her.
"Over do it, I know. I don’t know how many times I‘ve been told that one."
"Let me guess, Xena right?"
Gabrielle looked into Lunas eyes, "Luna what’s going to happen when Xena shows up?"
Luna didn’t answer. She moved away from Gabrielle and out of the pool, reached for a towel then truning back. "Do you love her?"
Gabrielle was taken back by the question, no one has ever asked her that before. "Yes." Her voice was soft as her eyes moved to Lunas, "But I’m not sure how she feels about me."
Luna’s brow creased as her head bobbed up and down as if she was answering a question that was asked aloud. "Hmph, if you need anything just have Chance come and get me." Luna turned and walked away.
Gabrielle wasn’t sure what that was about but it was giving her something to think about. Was Jasmine going to be able to find Xena? How far has she traveled since this whole nightmare began. Her heart began to ache as a lump formed in the back of her throat, see really missed Xena. Gabrielle couldn’t only imagine what she was going through, well almost. It was hard for her when she thought she lost Xena forever, but that kind of grief effects every person different. Would Xena still be near? What if she heals before Xena is found? Would Luna let her stay when she no longer needs help? So many questions and what ifs’ it was begging to give her a headache.
Her thoughts were beginning to run into her emotions creating a cold fear that swept through her very core. A thought that she wouldn’t think would ever cross her mind. Would Xena give up on herself? Gabrielle closed her eyes, placing her hand over her heart. ‘You promised Xena.’
The fire was burning bright. The heat felt good against Xenas' cold skin as her leathers laid on top the rocks nearby to dry. Argo was munching on some brush near the caves’ entrance and Jasmine was finishing a tasty rabbit that Xena had caught and gave it to her as a peace offering. With her body finally warm, her stomach full she sat with her back against Argos’ saddle her right arm resting on a bent knee. Here eyes were fixed on the fire. They appeared empty. Once those eyes were bright full of happiness and life, but they were so unhappy. They idea of Gabrielle hurt was knotting up her stomach making her head spin. Her heart was screaming at her to move to get up and go find Gabrielle. How badly was she hurt? Was Luna taking good care of her. ‘ So help me if that bitch did anything else other than give her stitches..’ Her thought was cut off by a very cold nose poking her on the cheek.
Two yellow eyes looked back at her. Jasmine sat down and placed a paw against her left shoulder tilting her head to the side releasing a small whimper. Xena was shocked at the display from this animal whose master she tried to kill many years ago. Xena reached her hand over a gave the wolf a small scratch behind the ears.
"Guess wolves can change too, huh?" Xena asked her furry companion.
"Roo!" Jasmine replied then she proceeded to lay down on Xenas' lap. Xena raised an eye brow to her new blanket, gave her head a slight shake as a question entered her mind. ‘What would Gabrielle do?’ Xena rolled the question around a moment, a smile slightly turned as she began to pet the wolf. Letting the combination of the warmth of the fire and the warmth from Jasmine furry coat she finally began to relax for the first time since that horrible day. They feeling of Jasmins’ coat was so soft she closed her eyes and lost herself in the moment. It was so calming, so peaceful that sleep began to creep its’ ugly head into the room.
‘Xena come here and check this out?" Gabrielle yelled across the road to her friend.
‘What? Whatcha got there?" Xena crossed over the road to see what her little friend was getting herself into this time. Xena notice that Gabrielle was holding a small animal in her hands. A small furry animal.
"What is it?" Gabrielle was petting the small animal as it curled up in her arms.
"It’s a Ferret. They belong to the weasel family." Xena made a face scrunching her nose. "They’re cute when their little but once they grow up they get stinky." Xena proceeded to pinch her nose making Gabrielle giggle.
"Stink? How bad could they stink, they’re so cute." Gabrielle began talking like some little kid rubbing noses with the animal.
"Yeah. So is a skunk." Xena replied as she gave Gabrielles’ hair a flip with her hand. "I’m going to go get supper while you and your little friend here set up camp." Xena turned a walked into the woods as Gabrielle headed back to Argo with her new friend.
Xena slowly opened her eyes and looked back into the fire. She remembers coming back to camp and seeing Gabrielle sitting on a log next to the fire petting the animal. She couldn’t remember how long she stood there leaning against that tree watching Gabrielle pet and play with the little guy.
Over the years Gabrielle has changed her life so much and reminded her just how much life she had left to give. Never in the last 10 years did she ever think that her life could get to the plain that she was at. Anger, hate and revenge was all that mattered, she didn’t care weather she lived or died. There was nothing that she really wanted to live for, until Gabrielle came into her life. She never took the time out to stop and take a look around her. She never really notice the beauty of the land, the twinkle of the stars or just stopping and smelling the flowers.
Xena looked down at her furry companion as she continued to stroke Jasmines’ soft fur. The feel of it was very soothing, something she has been with out since Gabrielle was gone. Gabrielle had this power to calm the raging beast within her, mostly it just took the soft tone of her voice or a gentle touch of her hand to bring her back from the edge. Xena tilted her head back, took in a deep breathe and released a heavy sigh as she let her eyes look over her little camp sight. Gods it was empty and quiet. Normally she would see Gabrielle lying on her stomach writing in her journal of the days’ events. The light from the fire would accent the color of her hair, outline her facial features, which at time she couldn’t take her eyes’ off her, Gabrielle fascinated her.
Xena let out a aggravated sigh she choked on as tears began to form. The lump in her throat was back and the sick feeling in her stomach was making her angry. Jasmines’ ears perked up at the sound coming from her friend she turned her head up to look at Xena.
Xena looked at he furry friend as her eye brow knitted together. "What Jasmine." Her tone was soft and quiet.
"Roo." Jasmine answered as she tilted her head to one side waiting for a response.
"What is it? Do ya hear something?" Xena looked over to the entrance just as Jasmine snorted in her face. "Oh thanks for the bath." Xena wiped her hand over her face as she felt the wolf leave her lap.
Xena watched in question as Jasmine trotted over to where her leathers where drying on the rock and gentle picked them up and carried them over to Xena, placing them in her lap. Xnea kept looking from her leathers to Jasmine blinking her eyes a few times decided on what she was trying to say to her. Her thought was interrupted as Argo bent her big head down and nuzzled her hair. Xena snapped her head around and looked in to Argos’ big brown eyes and smiled.
"Time to go get Gabrielle, huh girl." Argo lifted her head and snorted as Jasmine barked out in agreement turning in circles. "Alright then. Let’s go."
"Roooo. Roo Roo."
Xena began the routine of putting her leathers and armor on then continued to break camp.
Jasmine was running around Xenas' feet anxious to continue their journey to her home. Xena began dress Argo for the ride back to the only one thing in her life that has meant anything to her. Her heart was beating fasting just thinking about Gabrielle. Soon. Soon she kept telling herself. This time no amount of fear was going to stop her from telling Gabrielle how she truly felt. That she loved her more than life it self and the she wants to send the rest of her days with her. Being with out Gabrielle is a living hell and walking in hell would be a picnic compared to this.
With Argo saddled and ready to moved Xena placed snow over the remaining coals of the fire and headed out the cave opening to her destiny.
The wind blew against the roof making the rafters shake a little. Chickens clucked, pigs oinked and a few cows talked with Blue and his friends. The calm atmosphere for the barn was destroyed by the small gate being kicked open send a few chickens scampering for there lives.
"Zeus!!!! I cannot believe that!!! AARRGH!!" Luna yelled into the air waving her arms in disgust. "I’m a complete idiot." Luna stopped in front of her work bench and laid her hands down hard making the metal tools clank together. "Do you love her? Where the hell did you come up with that Luna ." Luna sorted to herself.
Blue walked to the front of his stall to get a better look at his mistress wondering why she was all upset. The energy coming from Luna was different than just being angry. Luna was kicking at crates, bags of grain and throwing punches in the air. His Mistress was definitely pissed off at something. Blue called out to his friend thrusting his head up and down.
Luna stopped near a side door to the chicken pen. "Oh what?" Luna whined. Blue snorted again. Luna turned a looked at the large horse. "Look I’m in a really bad mood so stop it." Luna opened the door and walked into the pen, grabbed at the nearest chicken by the neck and walk out.
She walked toward her work area, still clutching the chicken by one hand and grabbing a bucket with the other. The chicken was screaming in panic not knowing what it’s fate will be. Luna shoved the chicken into a small cage, closes the door and proceed to fill, an already boiling pot of water.
" I don’t fucking get it." Tossing the bucket to the ground then turning to Blue who was watching her. Luna reaches out placing her hands against the railing leaning against it looking down at her boot thinking of the days past.
Finding that girl and learning of her friendship with the leather clad witch that destroyed her life twisting her into a hideous creature. Lunas eyes widened as the anger swept her soul, bone chilling anger erupted from her chest.
Luna pushed off the railing and yelled in rage. "How is it possible that bitch could destroy everything in her path and then all these years later is being hailed a fucking hero?!?" Her eyes were filled with rage. Luna grabbed the chicken out of it’s holding cell slamming it onto the table as the chicken lets out a scream. "And to top it all off she finds this……THIS kid who loves her worthless ass to death!!!!" <<<SLAM>>> Luna brought a small axe down onto the chickens neck. Decapitating head from body in a fit of rage.
Luna dropped the chicken to the floor letting the animal run its’ life out. Luna stood with her eyes fixed on the dying animal, blood spurting over the floor, her heart began to quicken and her palms began to sweat. Her entire body was swept by a cold rage, her muscles tightened then flexed as she threw the axe at its’ awaiting victim. The scarecrow at the opposite end of the barn died a very messy death. Luna embedded the axe not only in his forehead but connected it to the wall as well. Luna didn’t remove her eyes from the vision before her as she flexed her fingers.
"I’m waiting Xena."
….To Be Continued
Note: Hello all, this a quick note to all and anyone Xenites near Chicago. If you get the chance
Or live near by check out the play ‘Xena Live’ at the AboutFace Theater. If ya wanna see subtext in the flesh, check it out or go to www.xenalive.com.
Peace, WildBard J
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