By Holly Rose

Copyright © April 11, 2011, Holly Rose



Disclaimers: Unfortunately, these two characters don't belong to me. In fact, I suppose they don't belong to anyone anymore – they're both dead, and in more ways than one.

Warnings: Angst.

Author's comments: I should really, really stop watching FIN.

Comments? Insults?

A short vignette, post-FIN.

She is awakenedinto a night ofpain, anguish, memories,and even more remorseful – living. Her flesh is pounding and sweat pools between her breasts. She can't turn her head for fear of seeing that Gods-forsaken urn with its intricate engravingsand the heart of a lost love held within.And as she struggles for breath, her tears begin fall in earnest.

They do not go unheard, however. The shadow moves closer, away from the corner from which she resides inevery night while the other sleeps.She is known sometimes as an angel, or perhaps her keeper – but tonight she is just a ghost.

The sobbing woman is hysterical – her cries so loud that her body is wracked with heaving wails. The shadow hovers, hesitant, then climbs in beside her. An arm is placed around the crying woman's chest and the shadow watches as the woman stills and her leaking eyes widen to stare blankly at an unseen corner of the room.

The ghost sighs at the disregarding response and moves closer so that her breath – if she were alive –is released against the woman's neck.

You're so cold, the womanwhispers as her fingers begin to trail over the arm.

I'm dead, Gabrielle.

The woman's breath catches painfully and the ghost moves to stroke her cheek.

Don't cry, Gabrielle. It breaks my heart.

But you don't have a heart.

I can still feel.

The woman laughs bitterly.

I don't think I can do this, she says.

Yes you can –

No. You're my strength. Without you I can't go on.

You can. You are so strong and know so much – so much! Give that gift to someone else – like I did.

And replace you?What about you?

I can rest in peace –

Gods, I think I'm gonna throw up.

You can't go on like this – you're killing yourself.

But I'm already dead, Xena. I died the day you did.

No, no! –And she is sobbing now –You have to go on, you have to.

The ghost is gone, then – as sudden and as sharp as a knife through the heart.

The woman turns and screams into the night, damning the Fates and the Gods and the forty thousand souls of Higuchi and Calisto and Alti and Joxer and mother, father, Lila, Saraand then Gurkhan and Caesar and on and on until finally – finallyher exhausted mind refuses toabet and her body succumbs to that place called sleep.


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