Disclaimer: The XWP characters mentioned herein belongs to RenPics and those folks, and sadly not to me. If they did, you bet I'd have used them a lot more than RenPics did, but I'll just make do with borrowing them for a little while. ^_^

Subtext: Is, as always in my stories, maintext. Although I guess it is ambiguous enough to ignore if you want, for once.

This is a very short and rather dark fic - in case the name didn't tip you off. In fact, if I don't stop here the disclaimer will be longer than the fic itself, go figure.

As always, feedback is very much welcome at rosmari.karlssonfaltin@telia.com.

by Carola "Ryűchan" Eriksson


She hates the dark. She hates the cold.

Even the slightest spark of a flame would be welcome, but she has no way to create one. She is to weak to even try.

She hates to be alone. Alone is her greatest fear, not that anyone would know it.


Staring into the darkness. Not blinking, not moving. Alone.

In a sense that is not true, but that is a problem as well. Because the darkness is alive.

Alive, and hunting for her.

So she remains still, motionless, passive. Not something that comes easily to her, but it is the only path for now.

Creeping, crawling things climb up her body and scuttle across it like a tiny wave, across her legs, her stomach, her chest, until they slide across her face and sift through the strands of her hair. They are colder than ice, pulsing as they shift in shape when they move, and her skin wants draw back into itself to avoid the revulsion and the pain of the touch. Yet she remains still.


The wave draws past, and she almost sneers at how easy she avoided detection. Almost. Instead she hates the dark that spawned them.

She stares into the dark, knowing it is staring right back at her.

How she came to be in this place she does not know. She has no memory of coming here, no knowledge of what place this is, or how long she has been here.

She remembers other things though, and they have occupied her occasionally as she waits.

Her weakness is frustrating, she dislikes not being able to act. Any act would do, but for now there is only waiting left.

She listens to the silence, searching for the non-sounds made by the crawling things. Of course she cannot hear them, but she tries anyway.

That is when she hears it.

A faint tapping sound, like the echoe of a tiny pebble tumbling down. And it echoes in her darkness, which roars silently with it's non-life.

The sound grows, the pebble becomes a stone, the stone a rock, and the darkness rears, drawing near to attack at long last.

But then the wall breaks.

A rock is flung inwards, gravel and dust pouring with it like it was trying to hold it in place. With it, a ray of faint light.

And the darkness draws back, wounded. The silence is silent suddely, like it should be, and noices are just the sound of moving rock. Until she turns to the light.

There she is. Like she knew she would be.

Standing calmly with a torch in her hand, only the dust covering her dark leathers proving that this is not a mirage, not a memory of her from before. That she is really standing there.

Come to offer deliverance from the dark, as only she can.

Those lips quirk in a smile rarely seen, and she is tempted to respond in kind. But she doesn't.

Instead she meets those eyes, because she can. No longer in the dark, no longer alone, she can look into those eyes, and let them caress away the dark menace that until now had been all there was. Eyes no one would believe could be tender.

The woman on the other side of the stone wall was never supposed to be tender. Caring. Understanding.

Yet she knew like no other.

A hand reaches in though the opening, and she sees her own come to meet it. A small struggle later, and she takes in the long, narrow tunnel that seems to wind up through dark infinity, presumably to a world beyond her rocky prison.

The hand slips around her waist awkwardly, as if unsure what it is doing, or perhaps unsure whether it will be welcome.

She looks up into those eyes.

The one that would always understand, even the things that cannot be named. Understand them, because they are shared equally between them, every dark and painful whisper, every urge, every need.

The eyes that will always find her, always support her, always.

Always. Their always is so much more than the simple word can begin to describe.

They will always find one another, always be together, even when other forces try to tear them apart. It was not a thing of conscious choice, merely the fact of the bond that has existed since they first met.

Perhaps it was fate.

She might not belive in such things, in fact she believes in precious little besides the other woman. In her, the belief is complete and utter. Not that many would know, or recognise it if they witnessed it, but all the same it is there.

Those eyes would never judge, and never abandon.

In the gaze of those eyes, far more than the light of the torch, it was so much easier to lock away the darkness within herself again. That hated darkness that is a part of her.

Those eyes question without words, and she answers the same way. No, those eyes would never judge her for her darkness, never cast her aside in fear or loathing.

Because they knew the darkness too.

"Ready to get out of here?" Callisto asks, cocking her dust-covered head to the side with a devilish grin.

And Hope smiles.

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