Disclaimer: See Part 1
If you wish to send them to me, my email is jacklavigne13@hotmail .com
After my short conversation with Xena, I left the dining hall to return to my hut but I couldn't find the strength to go inside and face my consort. If I was to go inside, there would be a huge arguement and I really couldn't deal with her right now. I did truly care about Miranda, but I was finding it harder each day to remember why I started seeing her in the face place. So instead, I sat on the small porch out front and attempted to ignore the guards that were gazing at me curiously.
My head was a mess as I sat there, staring up at the night sky. Everything was so confusing and just plain wrong. Being in this village, ruling as Queen and getting married to a woman that wasn't my soulmate, it just wasn't right. How had I ended up in this mess? How had my life strayed so far from what I had planned?
You've made your bed, now lie in it.
I don't know how long I sat there for, just thinking about the last few weeks in the village. My mind was a blur but I still mananged to noticed the figure creeping out of her hut in the darkness. I watched as Alexandria closed the door behind herself, her dark red hair shining in the moonlight and I assumed she was going to see Xena. A burst of jealousy coursed through me at the thought and I clenched my hands into fists in my lap. I had been contemplating doing the same thing until I saw the beautiful redhead leave her room.
As if she heard the grinding of my teeth when she walked past, Alexandria turned her head in my direction, her step faultering when she caught my eye. I tried to tame the anger in my eyes but from the confused frown on her face, I knew that I hadn't done a good job and I cringed when she changed direction and made her way over to me instead.
"Gabrielle? What are you still doing up?" She asked me, her voice tinged with concern as she knelt in front of me. More jealousy coursed through me as I took in just how beautiful she looked tonight. I had hardly noticed her at dinner, being so preoccupied with staring at Xena. Her black leather pants clung to her firm muscular legs, and she wore a sleeveless black leather jerkin with a silver belt that held two swords. Her dark red hair was pushed back with only a few thin strands falling into her midnight blue eyes and by the Gods, that smile. Why did I think that Xena would be able to resist this woman and that they were only just friends now? My wishful thinking left me feeling bitter.
"Where were you going?" I couldn't help but ask her, wanting to know the truth once and for all.
"To see Xena," Alexandria replied with a shrug. At least she was honest, I thought to myself as I fought the urge to bare my teeth. "I thought she might be lonely without Eve to keep her company."
I nodded, not trusting myself to speak as Alexandria gazed at me with a curious expression in her eyes. Her lips tilted in a smile before she raised her hand to stifle a large yawn.
"But," she continued slowly, giving me a meaningful look. "I am fairly tired after the last week. Dragging Xena out here was hard work. Maybe you could keep her company instead? I'm sure you both have a lot to catch up on."
I almost protested until I realised what Alexandria was doing. I contemplated her words for a moment and my mind was quickly made up. I had two choices: go into my hut and fight with my girlfriend now or go and visit Xena and have an even bigger fight with my girlfriend later.
It wasn't a hard desicion to make.
"I'll take care of Xena," I said as I pushed myself to my feet, realising too late what I had just said when I saw the amused look in Alexandria's eye. I ignored it.
"Brilliant," Alexandria smiled brightly, patting my shoulder. "Her camp is about a half candlemark walk from here. Just walk down the path from the village for about ten minutes until you see a giant 'X' carved into a tall oak tree. You should be able to track her easily from there."
Alexandria turned to leave and I quickly grabbed her arm to stop her. I smiled weakly at the woman I considered a friend, feeling guilty for letting my jealousy rule my actions. She seemed to understand the apology in my eyes and gave me another warm smile before returning to her room, a significant bounce in her step.
I was just throwing a few more logs onto the fire when I heard a branch crack in the darkness surrounding my camp. My hands inched towards my chakram as I listened, my nose twitching as I caught a familiar scent. I smothered my smile as I removed my hand from my chakram, pretending not to notice the prescence of my ex lover standing in the shadows. I waited for several minutes, giving her a chance to turn back and I was pleasantly surprised when I saw her step from the darkness and into the light.
"Hi," she smiled at me, some what nervously as she twisted her fingers together. She looked positively radiant in the light from my fire.
"Hey," I returned her smile warmly as I put my sword and whetstone away, leaning back on my bedroll. "What brings you out here, Gabrielle?"
I watched the Amazon for a few moments as she seemed to consider how to answer me. I frowned as her shoulders dropped in defeat and she wandered around the fire to sit beside me, pulling her knees up against her chest. I was surprised at how comfortable she seemed with me, despite what had happened with us in the past.
"I'm hiding from Miranda," she said softly, resting her cheek against her knees with her head turned towards me, her green eyes sparkling in the fire light. "We had an arguement and if I go back to my hut, I know it will only get worse. So, here I am."
I smiled at her sympathetically, unsure of what to say. Part of me was happy to hear this news and the other part was sad that Gabrielle was marrying a woman that was so obviously wrong for her.
Not that I'm much better, I thought to myself bitterly.
"Well, you're welcome to hide out here for as long as you like," I said, trying to lighten the mood as I gestured around my camp. "It's not much but I'm sure Argo doesn't mind sharing, with you at least."
We both grinned as the war horse nickered from where she was grazing at the edge of the camp. I turned my head and caught Gabrielle's eye and we held each other's gaze for a few moments before we finally broke the contact, though somewhat reluctantly on my part.
"So," I said with what I hoped was a warm and encouraging smile. "You're getting married. Are you excited?"
I watched with amusement as Gabrielle sighed dramatically, falling back on my bedroll with her arms covering her eyes. "I want to be, but Gods, it's doesn't get any easier the second time around. Though, I must admit that Miranda has taken care of most of it."
"I can imagine," I chuckled half heartedly as I gazed down at my ex lover. "The village looks beautiful though. She's done a good job."
"Yeah, she has," Gabrielle sighed, her voice emotionless.
I frowned at the bard's lack of enthusiasm. "Is there something wrong with it?"
"No..." Gabrielle said quietly before removing her arms from her eyes to look up at me. The emotion in her eyes made my mouth go dry and my heart thunder in my chest. "It's just... It's not what I wanted."
I could swear my heart stopped beating as I looked down at the bard. She seemed to realise what she said as I raised one eyebrow in slight confusion and quickly hurried on.
"I mean, the whole wedding is just not going to be how I pictured it. I mean, my wedding with Perdicus was so rushed that I hardly had time to get a dress and that was okay under the circumstances, but this... I have imagined this day since I was a little girl, you know? And nothing is going to be how I always dreamed it would. Not even the flowers."
"White daisies," I smiled slightly. Gabrielle gave me a stunned look at my words and I laughed softly. "White daisies, a white sleeveless dress, rose petals down the aisle, outdoors surrounding by candles and hanging lamps and saying 'I do' as the sun sets."
"And then knowing that you were mine forever."
I could hear Gabrielle's words clearly in my mind as I closed my eyes, remembering the conversation between the bard and I long ago, when everything in my life had been perfect. Because I had the love of my life at my side and I thought that nothing would ever tear us apart.
How things have changed.
"Why'd you leave?" Gabrielle asked me abrubtly and my small smile disappeared instantly as I turned to look into the fire. I could feel Gabrielle's intense gaze burning into my back and I sighed as I looked over my shoulder to meet her dazzling green eyes.
"I thought.." I stumbled over my words, unsure of what to say to the woman that I loved more than life itself. "I thought it would be better, if I left."
"I don't know," I sighed, running my fingers through my raven hair. "I'm not good with words, Gabrielle, I just act. I didn't know if I could have that conversation with you when you woke up in the morning. Everything happened so fast..."
"So, you thought it would be better if you just left?" Gabrielle said sarcastically as she gazed at me in disbelief, words starting to tumble from her lips before she could stop herself. "How could you, a woman so wise, think that was the best option? Do you know how it made me feel to wake up in bed alone, Xena? To be abandoned like that?"
I felt my anger rise at her words. What did she know about abandonment? The woman that left me over and over. "Are you serious, Gabrielle? This coming from the woman who left me in the beginning, only to come back and then leave me again!"
"You cheated on me!" Gabrielle exclaimed angrily as she sat up besides the dark haired warrior.
"Yes, Gabrielle, I cheated on you," I said softly, my voice filled with regret. "But, I am not the only one who made mistakes."
"You always remind me of everytime I have given in to weakness, Gabrielle. But what about you? Half a moon after the first time we made love, you were marrying Perdicus." The blonde cringed at the memory of her ill fated marriage but I couldn't help but continue. "And I know all about your little tryst with Ephiny before we went to Illusia. And then, there was Najara, a woman you were so quick to f-"
"Enough," Gabrielle growled as she ran her fingers through her blonde locks. Her eyes were tortured as she stared into my own, and I felt a twinge of guilt for upsetting her. That most definetely hadn't been apart of my plan.
"I'm sorry, Gabrielle," I said softly, reaching over and resting my hand on her forearm, feeling her muscles tighten and relax under my touch. "I just... I needed to get that out. I'm sorry."
"It's okay, Xena. You're right," Gabrielle whispered, her hand covering my own as she gave me a sad smile. "We both made mistakes. I just thought that last time... I thought all that would be over. I thought it would be us again. And now..."
We both sat there in silence for several moments and I was very aware of Gabrielle's hand that was still covering my own, her thumb stroking my skin absently as she gazed into the fire. If I tried hard enough, I could pretend that I was back in the past and it was a normal night between us, around the campfire. I could almost imagine her leaning over to rest her head against my shoulder like she used to, always wanting to be closer to me.
Until I realised I wasn't imagining it.
I was surprised as I felt the bard snuggle up into my side, but I didn't let it show. I stayed perfectly still, feeling her hand still wrapped around my own and her hair brushing against my neck in the most distracting way. I was scared if I moved or spoke that the moment would end and she would leave, so I silently endured. Not that I wasn't completely enjoying it, until her softly spoken words ruined my little fantasy."I'm getting married."
To Be Continued
Return to the Academy