At least one of these characters really wants to be based on Gabrielle and that one wants the other to be based on Xena, who belongs to Gabrielle in my little happy world, and they both belong to somebody other than me. But, in reality, the characters in my story belong to me. So hands off.
Language/Sex/Etc. Disclaimer: Somebody says "damn" and "heck" but that's it. No sex. No angst. No real plot. Not a whole lot of anything, really. These disclaimers are practically longer than the story itself.
Thanks to: Raven, Carrie, AJ, the wonderful world of uber, the Beyond Uber site, the members of the Beyond Uber list, and my kitten, Tango, just because he's absolutely adorable.
Feedback: Sure thing! You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Unless you hate it, then you have to blame Raven. She held me at virtual small Xena sword letter opener point and forced me to post this thing.
Why does the phone only ring when I'm doing something? Damn. Oh, well... you never know, it could be tall, dark, and deadly on the other end of the line.
"Hi, my name's Sarah," I hear when I say hello. "My friend Mike said to give you a call." Sarah? Doesn't sound like an uber Xena name. Obviously, further investigation is required.
"Uh, sure," I say, and put down the uber I'm reading. And it was just getting good, too. I didn't know anyone could bend in that direction. In leather. On a motorcycle. While doing… that.
"Great," says Sarah. "Mike said you might be interested in catching a movie or something with me."
I ponder that a moment. Mike, a mutual friend and perpetual matchmaker, should know what I want by now. Do we have anything in common? Is it worth the effort? We'll see. "I don't know. How about you tell me a few things about yourself?"
I can hear Sarah laugh. "Sure thing. I'm an open book. What do you want to know?"
Maybe she just pretends to be an open book, to hide her real feelings? "Not much, but I have a check list, so bear with me. It shouldn't take long." I pull out my handy dandy notebook, take a deep breath, and begin.
"Do you have black hair? Does your name have an 'x' or a 'z' in it anywhere? Do you have a dark and tortured past? Has any member of your family, especially your brother, been killed in a tragic incident, which you feel you could have prevented? Do you like leather? Are you afraid of being hurt so you hide it with a steely gaze and a stoic demeanor? Are your eyes cerulean/cobalt/sapphire blue? Are you around 6' tall? How's your muscle tone? Do you run every morning and workout every day to try to block out the pain of the past? Are you or have you been involved with the mob, the FBI, the military, hacking, or some other dangerous activity/profession?"
I hear her start to speak several times, but I continue before she can. "Do you find yourself strangely drawn to somewhat short women with blonde hair, green eyes, and a disposition which can best be described as 'a light so different from your own darkness?' Have you had many lovers of one or both genders but have never been in love? Do you feel you aren't worth loving? Do you feel a need to right the wrongs of your past but aren't sure how? Do you know many people, but call none of them true friends? Do you feel your mother is ashamed of you? Do you have a motorcycle? How flexible are you, in the physical sense?"
I stop briefly to take a sip of water. For some reason, my mouth is rather dry. I have several more questions, but she starts to speak again.
"Um, no." Is that all she's going to say?
"No? No to what?" I query. "Is your hair actually a dark brown color? Because I can live with that. Do you like swords? How about round killing things?"
"What? Swords? The mob? What the heck is crustacean blue?" I see she has her own questions. "What are you talking about, anyway?"
"I merely want to know if you fit the profile," I inform her calmly.
"What profile?" she asks, with more than a bit of alarm in her voice. I don't know what she's so upset about. I should try to get that out of her. After all, I am the inquisitive bard type.
"What's wrong, Sarah? Please don't run away. I know you feel guilty over the death of the brother and best friend you may or may not have, and some bad deeds you've done in your past, but don't let that scare you away from where you belong." There, see? I can do the sensitive chat thing.
"I don't have a brother," says Sarah. "All of my immediate family is still alive. All of my grandparents are still alive. I have a best friend named Rachel. I have red hair, am about 5'6", I drive a Volvo, I work in sales because I love to be around people, have never even so much as shop lifted, I only work out after the holidays, and don't care one way or another about hair or eye color. In fact, my eyes are brown. And I'm happy, no dark past, no major regrets… well, except making this phone call."
I'm stunned. This is not going how I planned at all. Why did I bleach my hair, get green-colored contacts, and start working out all day, every day with a personal trainer to get the famous abs of steel if my uber Xena isn't going to show up already? Ah heck, I'll give it one last shot.
"I apologize for confusing you, Sarah. Let me ask one more question, and then I promise to lay off the questions. Do you," and I pause here because I can barely stand to think what her answer might be, "watch the TV show 'Xena: Warrior Princess?'"
When I don't hear a response, I begin to think our connection has somehow been lost. But then I hear a slight rustling sound - maybe it's leather? - then she speaks.
"I'm probably going to regret answering this, but yes, I do watch Xena. I kinda like that Gabrielle character."
"Well," I reply, thinking that maybe for one night,
I can leave the contacts at home. "Okay then. Pick me up at 7pm?"