The scream echoed loudly in the small compartment, and woke the warrior from a dead sleep almost instantly. She immediately turned over, and wrapped her smaller companion in a tight embrace, pulling the blonde head forward to rest against her chest, surrounding her partner with touch, and smell, to bring her out of her nightmare. She said nothing, not wanting her words to carry into the dream, and bring on further trauma.
She ran long fingers through reddish blonde locks, and heard the screams change to sobs, as tears wet her skin. She knew then that the bard had woken from her dream, and was shaking its hold from her mind. Small arms tightened around her waist, and she softly kissed the top of the fair head resting against her chest. The nightmares had begun the same night they'd left Rome, going back to Greece. The warrior had expected them, as the bard's subconscious sorted out her actions that had gotten Crassius killed.
She knew words wouldn’t help, because this was a war that only Gabrielle could fight. Normally, they slept cuddled together, as if the warrior's constant touch somehow kept the nightmares at bay. She didn’t understand how that was possible, only that it was. But tonight, Gabrielle had worried herself into exhaustion, and when the warrior had come back below deck, she had found the bard curled into a ball, asleep. Rather than wake her, she simply chose to curl up beside her, hoping that the nearness of her presence would be enough. It was only now, after the girl had woken, that it was apparent that it wasn’t.
The blonde head lifted, and green eyes, red from crying, gazed up into tear filled blue. The warrior's heart ached to see her best friend in such pain. But until the bard was ready to talk about it, there was little else she could do, but comfort her, like this.
"I'm sorry. I didn’t mean to wake you"
The bard dutifully shut her eyes, and the warrior knew without asking that she was attempting to will herself to sleep and not dream. What was she so afraid of? Was there something, or someone in her dreams that was frightening her to the point of irrationality? She was planning a trip to the temple of Morpheus, in order for Gabrielle to find help with her dreams, when she began to speak.
"Please, talk to me Xena"
Blue eyes snapped open. Betrayed? So the bard was still carrying guilt over her trip to Chin. But why? What had she done that was so awful that she couldn’t let it go? Instantly the warrior put aside her trip to Morpheus temple. She hated the thought of putting the bard though this, especially alone, but it was the only way.
The instant they hit land there was only one place for them to go, for Gabrielle to find peace.
The temple of Mnemosyne.
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