Taming the Tiger
By spheeris1

Disclaimers: I do not own Gabrielle or Xena. I do own this fic. Title from a Joni Mitchell song.

In firelight, Gabrielle watches lines go from hard to soft. The edges of the trees and the rocks, every contour melting a bit and slipping into a darker shade.
Even that sword. Even this staff. All things look a little less deadly and a little more magical.

When she was a child and telling silly stories, creatures that she now knows, were just a fantasy. They were the things that wiled away hours of tediousness. They turned the mundane of her life into the bright world of color.
The bolt from Zeus was blindingly blue-white and the flash of wings against the sun were golden... 

And here I am now, loving the vision of things dulling a bit. Not so much color, I find that too jarring now. Just a little muted. Just a little more subdued. But still beautiful. In fact... more so. If you see everything, then nothing is a surprise anymore.

Like the dancing of a moth near the flame, sending out pale colors of pink and yellow. 
And the distant stars, incandescent points of light, so close and yet too far away to yet touch.
Or the slope of skin, burnished and smooth... 

So close and yet too far away to yet touch...

Looking deceptively calm, eyes closed and legs stretched out, like a wild animal finally taking rest - Xena merges with the night. Gabrielle catches the woman in flashes, amber and honey in the flames.
Then the black mane and fur for a blanket shield the rest from view.

Beast and beauty... could not have one without the other...

And Gabrielle knows that magic exists in the twilight hours. 
It brings her best stories, it shows the world in a different light... It allows this picture of Xena, the warrior is taken off...Just muted. Just subdued. 
Leaving Gabrielle with a woman, sleepy and languid, fingers twitching in a dream.
But still beautiful.

"Even more so..." Gabrielle whispers as she lets her eyes close, letting her own body fall into the shadows.

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