Disclaimers: The characters in this story are copyright MCA/Universal

Lyrics copyright Charisma/Rondor Music

Warning : This story deals in love, not sex.

Thanks : To Ann

Important Note : This story is not very long, (it’s absolutely tiny, honest), so please read it. Comments welcome.


Winter Trees

by Claire Withercross


The low winter sun enhances the shadows, making the scene one of harsh beauty. Like leafless trees casting stark shadows across the land.

I laugh.

And when I laugh, I remember her.

Before I met her I didn't know how to laugh. After she died I never thought I'd laugh again.

I only knew her for a year, and it's been twenty years since she died. I never thought someone could affect me so much. Even now I catch myself thinking, 'Gabrielle would like this', or, 'I must tell Gabrielle'.

I can still feel her body in my arms, limp like a doll made of rags. The life gone despite my efforts. I would've have given anything to save her, even my own life.

For a long time afterwards I sank into a depression, I drank, and was often prone to wild rages. Why Gabrielle? Why her? I took risks with little thought to my own safety in order to.... to what? Join her in death? Take revenge on the world, the gods, for taking her away from me?

I have no idea.

Then one day I woke up after a drunken rampage, lying by the side of the road, next to a pool of my own vomit. I couldn't get any lower.

I wanted to die right then and there. It wouldn't have been a fitting end for a great warrior, but I didn't care.

Whether it was the after affects of the alcohol, or a real vision, I don't know. But I saw her standing in the road. My Gabrielle. As large and as real as if she was alive.

"No one really dies," she said. "We live on in the hearts and minds of those we leave behind."

Then she disappeared.

I realised that if I died, Gabrielle would die. I had to stay alive to keep her alive.

That was the day my grief ended.

I still miss her, even today. But I don't grieve.

My life has moved on, as it does for everyone who as ever lost someone. I lived again. I laughed again.

And I loved again.

The love I have now does not compare to the love I had for Gabrielle. But it is no less valid. We've been together sixteen years. Sixteen times longer than I was with Gabrielle.

I'll never forget Gabrielle. I'll never stop loving her. But, I'll love those who love me today.

My last day.

"You're thinking about her," my love says to me.

Her voice is gentle and understanding, not bitter or resentful or jealous.

I nod.

"You always do when you laugh," she says.

"Maybe you shouldn't make me laugh so often, then," I say to her.

She laughs at that, and shakes her head.

I notice the odd streak of grey creeping into her blonde hair. Hair like Gabrielle's I've often thought. Maybe that was why I fell for her.

"I love you," I tell her sincerely.

"I love you," she returns.

I turn my gaze across the field. The sun is very low, not long before it sets. I turn my head to look at my love. It will probably be the last time I see her.

We won’t survive the night on our crosses.

My love, Najara, and I.


03-Jan-2000 11:40 GMT

"Watch the world simply carry on

We live on laughing and in no pain

We'll stay and be happy

With those who have loved us today"

Estonia - Hogarth


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