Disclaimers:These characters don't belong to me. They're owned by some other
really lucky folks. No copyright infringement is intended.
Sex: None, (sorry)
Violence: Mentioned, but nothing too bad.
Spoilers:Mild, Seasons 1-5
Comments: Please send any and all comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
I've never gone out of my way to be apart from her before. The idea almost
frightened me, but I suggested it before I even stopped to think and by then
it was too late. Then when she agreed so nonchalantly, I thought maybe it was
what she needed too.
Sure, I had left before to go home and do some thinking. But this was different. This time I was consciously distancing myself from her, and she was acting like all I wanted was a little camp out to myself. Of course, that's what I made it seem like. All this talking, and nothing ever gets said.
Earlier that day I was in the marked place to get some supplies for us. I was looking for a place to get new laces for my boots, and out of the corner of my eye I could have sworn I saw Hope. Not Hope as I had last seen her, but as she was when she was a little girl. I felt both fear and despair clutching at my heart, but when I got a closer look I realized that it wasn't Hope at all. I had to stop and remind myself that Hope was gone, we had succeeded in ridding the world of her years ago.
Once I shook off the memory of Hope all these other memories were hitting me at once. I stood in the marketplace and visualized the deaths of everyone I ever knew. I saw Terreis being shot down by arrows. I saw Perdicus being stabbed by Callisto. I saw Xena holding Solan's body in her arms. I heard the crowd cheer as Crassus was being executed. I saw Eli being slain by Ares. And Joxer, poor Joxer. And countless other deaths assaulted my memory at once, and I thought that I too would join them, right then and there.
After I got my bearings together I headed back towards camp where I suggested to Xena that I camp out alone tonight. I told her I wanted to get some writing done and that being alone might do me some good. She agreed, said it was a good idea, and wished me luck on my writing.
As soon as she cheerily agreed I wanted to reach over and strangle her. Couldn't she see that I was in pain? Is it too much to ask that she acknowledges it when something's wrong? Why can't she ever reach out to me? Why must I resort to breaking down in front of her every time I need her to be there for me? Well, not this time. I could play little Miss hardass warrior too. So instead of verbalizing my panic I packed up my stuff and headed off into the night.
When I found a spot I went ahead and immediately set up camp. I was surprised at how easy it was. Xena and I had always equally pitched in on setting up camp. I had always assumed that it was a two-person job, but I had managed it perfectly well on my own.
After I got myself settled in I got out my scrolls in an attempt to write, but it was no use. Once I was alone with my thoughts there was no escaping them. Instead of recalling our latest adventures and recording them I could only get images of all my past pain. I know that memories always catch up with you unexpectedly, and this wasn't the first time that it had happened. Sometimes I'll remember things that I've sworn I put behind me, but Xena was always there to talk about it with. After all, no one knows regret better than Xena. But this time I didn't feel like I could go to her.
Over the years our relationship has made this awkward shift in balance. Years ago she was the one who would take care of the physical aspect of the job while I used my way with words to get us through the situations that were more delicate. But since then I've become a warrior in my own right, and communications have been lacking on both sides. It's like we were no longer involved in this intense relationship; it was more like we were partners.
It was this feeling that Xena had turned into a business partner that made me feel that I should take care of this myself, but it wasn't working well. I had no way of working through the pain. All I could do was sit there and feel memory after memory followed by a wave of nausea. I had no way to break the cycle. I began to pace. As I was walking furiously back and forth I felt a fever break all throughout my body. Although my body felt intensely hot I began to shiver. The shivering of my body made me feel even more nauseous and I tried to will myself to stop, but I couldn't. I started to wish for something to happen, anything at all to remove me from my thoughts. It was too quiet out there. I couldn't think with all that silence.
And it was then, right at my breaking point when I was about to scream for her that I felt a strong arm wrapped around my waist. I looked up and found a pair of blue eyes filled with concern. And at that moment my silence was broken.
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