General disclaimer: All the character in this story are the property of MCA and Universal yada yada yada... You all know the drill...

Insanity warning: For those of you who don't know it yet, I'm quite mad. Sometimes I get these really stupid ideas in my head and have to write them all down... which is kind of why I became a FF writer in the first place... Well this is one of those times. Don't say I didn't warn ya...

 

I'll Take The High Road

by Annemaart

 

"Gabrielle! Come on, get up!" Gabrielle lazily pried open an eyelid, then immediately closed it again, seeing nothing but darkness. Another shove. "Gabrielle!"

The bard blinked a few times, then focused her attention on the shadowed shape above her. "What is it?" she yawned.

The warrior pulled her up, exposing her to the cold morning air. "You wanted to go to Athens, didn't you?"

Gabrielle frowned her brows. "I wanna shop, Xena, not see the Acropolis by night!" Xena didn't respond, but just threw the woman's travelingclothes in the directions of the bard and started to pack up their bed rolls. Gabrielle just shrugged, not wanting to push the warrior too far, knowing that would probably cost her her day shopping. She put on her clothes then walked over to Xena, who was already sitting on Argo. The warrior hastily extended a hand. "I'd rather just...whow..." She started, then she was pulled up behind the saddle. "...walk" she finished in a mildly surprised tone, then grabbed on to the body in front of her as Xena pushed Argo into a wild gallop. "Hey, what's all the hurry about?" She yelled at the warrior, trying to overpower the noises of galloping hooves. "I know you just love to shop Xena, but this is a little over the top, you know?" Xena just grumbled a little. "Well, tell me, what's the big rush? Is there someone in trouble? You should have just said so Xena, I would've..."

"No it's not that." The warrior called back over her shoulder.

"Well, what is it then?"

"It's just... Oh Tartarus..."

Gabrielle was just able to keep herself from falling off as Argo suddenly stopped dead. "What the..." She muttered, then peered over Xena's shoulder to see what was going on. A long line of horses and carts was lined up towards the city gates she could see in the far distance. "Xena? What's going on? Is this some sort of parade I didn't hear about?"

Xena shook her head and sighed "Traffic jam."

"What?"

"Traffic jam. You know, when to many people want to get into the city at the same time... this is what happens..."

"Oh..." Gabrielle said. "This is why you wanted to get up early, huh?"

The warrior nodded. "I hate these things, big waste of time..."

"Sorry." Gabrielle apologised softly

Xena turned in the saddle and smiled. "It's OK. It probably won't take that long."

But it did, of course. The first delay started when one of the waiting horses got tired and bucked into a cart, bumping out al the merchandise. And since no one had the decency to help the poor merchant out, the two women felt they had to. Then two other horses crashed into eachother. Xena of course had to help both horses and men get back on their feet. After all that they went back to stand in the line, not having gained an inch in two hours. They stood there for about fifteen more minutes, then Xena decided she had enough. "All right, that's it. I want to get into this gods be damned city before it starts falling apart." She turned Argo away from the line and went to a spot beside it, facing the large city walls towering in the distance. "OK Gabrielle, hang on tight!" She called over her shoulder. Argo suddenly sprint away, heading straight for the walls.

Gabrielle grabbed on not understanding what in the name of Hades the warrior was doing. Then suddenly it hit her. "Xena! Don't tell me you're going to... Oh Hades! You can't just..."

"Shut up and hold on!" The warrior interrupted her. Gabrielle wrapped her arms even tighter around her friend as she felt Xena push of when Argo hit the brakes, sending the both of them straight up into the morning sky. Xena let out a wild battle cry and pulled the both of them into a flip as they flew over the walls. With a thump they landed on the other side. Xena turned around to check on her friend. "You OK?" Gabrielle stared at her with wide open eyes. "Gab?"

The bard shook her head. "Yeah... I'm uhm... fine... really, just great..." She stuttered. They walked towards the market square in silence. "Xena?"

"Yeah?"

"Next time I ask you to come shopping with me, remind me how dangerous that is, OK?" A low chuckle drifted up into the morning air, as they joined the crowds towards the Acropolis.


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