Disclaimer 1: Xena and Gabrielle are coming out to play this time around and as much as I would like, they dont belong to me but to Renaissance Pictures and MCA/Universal. No infringement is intended and no profit will be made.
Disclaimer 2: This story is inspired by the Leann Rimes song Soon, some lines of which appear here. Again no infringement is intended and no profit will be made in its use.
Spoilers: This story contains spoilers for the episode, Friend In Need Part I & II.
Authors Note: Finally finished! This ones been driving me mad for months now but I think it was worth it. I think apart from the usual people I have to thank, this ones for my Astronomy lecturer. Without his essay that I should be writing right now I wouldnt be trying to distract myself with finishing off old stories. So I guess now its back to the books. <g>
Any mail or comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org
My site: http://www.turangi.co.uk
Soon, So Far Away
Naked under the flow of the waterfall two bodies bathed; painted dragon and warrior poet, the cool water trailing in light sheets down the dragons dyed skin- itself wrapped around pale flesh.
The tattoo was so intricate and alive with color it seemed nestled into the defined muscles of its carriers back. His flaming head pressed upon the womans shoulders, the sketched body at an easy rest over the small of her back and the last sweeps of his tail reaching down to caress her ankle.
Closing her eyes the woman arched into the rain above her, one hand leant against an outcrop of the rockface for balance. A subdued moan escaped her lips as she felt a touch, a feather light pressure on the inked pattern that was something more than the fresh spring water simply kissing the dull pain of the still healing art. It was an achingly familiar touch, the touch of a lover, which brought to the young womans mind bittersweet remembrance.
It was dark outside the teahouse, a rich ink-blue sky encroaching upon the window frames. The inside however was lit with white candles, their light bleeding into the thin walls
Lying upon the cushioned floor, the young womans face settles into the material in apprehension. A drape of blue silk rests across her hips, leaving her upper body exposed to the humid night breeze coming in through the open window. At the first touch of the fine needles upon and then sinking into her back, the young womans fists clench in the fabric beneath her.
This hold eases as a presence beside her dulls the pain to a wanting ache the dark haired woman wrapped in red silks. As the needles and ink delve into pale flesh they are accompanied by light strokes of her partners hand along her bared side; that lovers touch.
Dark, damp stains sink into the silk cushion beneath her closed eyes and wet lashes. Though as rich red blood is mixed within deep colours of green, blue and yellow, there is the reassurance of those fingertips trailing up her flank to be drawn through cropped blonde hair.
Her own hands now brush back those locks, dark beneath the stream of flowing water. The memory of tears is all too real as salty rivulets briefly leave their mark upon her cheeks before the waterfall carries them away. Then, in Japa, they had been for her lover being there, beside her- sharing her pain, both of them breathing and living it.
Now though all tears are only for her absence.
And in that absence Xenas voice still whispers in her ear, past the rushing water, as her ghostly fingertips move from Gabrielles back to wrap the younger woman within a shadow of an embrace.
It was a plea for the tears to stop which Gabrielle could not concede. At the touch of her soulmate wiping away tears that seemed almost forgotten, the sensation only brought forth fresh mourning and more tears.
I will cry my last tear, soon
I will be over you, soon darling
All these tears wont be here, soon
You know that I will be over you soon.
I dont want to leave. I cant.
The sunset is too beautiful for my words, the light simply fading slowly beyond my reach. It casts her face in such exquisite shadows; theyre like the ones in her heart, the soft and quiet darkness where she still tries to hide, knowing only I can find her there.
I had been resting upon her shoulder but I raise my head to look up at her. Theres a sad smile on her face and the shadows now dance within her blue eyes.
No, Xena, please. I dont want to leave.
The shadows are changing, deepening, and yet she still smiles, continues to hold me to her.
And the shadows are getting darker. Around us, within her.
Before its too dark to see she leans down, taking my face in her hands, and presses her lips to mine. Our kiss tastes of salty tears.
And its when that first tear fell that the dream begins to change
Caught between the realms of waking and sleep Gabrielle struggled briefly with breath and coherence. Her hands grasped the thick blankets to her shaking body, the feeling of her hammering heart becoming faint through their layers.
Finding herself able to take in air she exhaled in a sob, a cry into the darkness all around her. "Xena!"
A sickening wrenching of her stomach came in response to the silence answering her call. The bards heart continued to pound behind her ribs even as her breathing came under a shallow control. But the pain stayed, the empty ache of half remembered dreams of sunset being lost to rain, to blood, and the mutilated body of her lover.
Every night the same. Every day but a wait.
One night, baby
You wont be in my dreams,
Ill finally make it through, one night darling
I wont call out your name
I wont be in this pain,
I will be over you soon.
The anger in the blondes eyes hurt more than the tears that escaped them Xena thought; and in wishing to end both she spoke.
Gabrielle had turned away moments before to face the ocean horizon as she silently cried but now she spun on Xenas spirit form. "No. Youre not."
Instantly she saw the hurt in her lovers eyes and regretted her words. The younger woman lowered her head again unable to bear both to look up at Xena and to say the words she wanted to share with the dark warrior.
"I know, in my heart you always will be here. That youre still with me, but "
Her voice faltered on her words, leaving Gabrielle biting her lower lip briefly whilst trying to find what she wanted, needed to say.
"I remember the touch of your skin against my fingertips, and the taste of your lips, how you felt against me "
Xenas voice reached Gabrielle as a purred whisper and she brushed her hand across the bards cheek, lingering in the touch whilst lifting the other womans chin to meet their gazes.
In her rich blue eyes shone Xenas love, their love. The sense of loss that brought about the realisation of such devotion that prevented the darker woman from leaving her soulmates side even in death. An affection and friendship beyond all mortal words that could only be read by their two understanding hearts.
When Gabrielle smiled radiantly at Xena through her tears, the elder woman lightly placed her lips upon short blonde tresses, smiling into them herself, wrapped in the warm scent and knowing Gabrielle understood she would never abandon her. Pulling back though the bard took Xenas hand in her own, placing them both over the dark warriors heart.
There they both felt the stillness and silence. Gabrielle still held a saddened smile on her lips and Xena allowed a single tear to caress her face.
"Its not the same, Xena."
Soon as the mountains turn to rivers,
Soon as the sea turns into sand,
Soon as the sun comes up at midnight,
Thats how soon that all the hurt will end
But till then Ill just pretend it will be over
I keep telling myself Ill forget you