Disclaimers: Xena and Gabrielle don't belong to me. I am just borrowing them and yup, I will put them back. Promise…
Subtext. That's the reason I wrote this story so…yup, subtext all through the story. Nothing graphic though…
Spoilers: No…just something I had to write after seeing "Friend In Need" 1+2 and I thought about it for a long time. This is what I came up with.
Final Note: I am still working on Fragments and part two is almost finished so hopefully I will be able to post it soon!
If you like to write me about the story, you are very welcome to do so! My email address: email@example.com
By Grit Jahning
…here I am
on broken wings
quiet thoughts unspoken dreams
here I am
I need her now
To hold my hands…
The sun was slowly swallowed by the sea. Its colour blending with the dark water…spreading across the horizon. Painting it in bright gold and red. The blue of the sky taking over by the slowly descending night. Black dropping like a curtain over the world.
Giving it back the innocence it lost during the day.
The ship wasn't more than a shadow gently moving on the dark sea. Rolling slowly from one side to the other aided by the waves brushing against its body.
The sails hanging down flat…the little breeze that had been going through the evening eventually dying down.
Only three members of the crew were actually awake. Minding their duties. Which at the moment consisted of finding out how fast one of them could move a knife over their splayed hands without cutting themselves.
A game that was even more fun considering that all three of them had had a few cups of wine already.
Their husky voices, the soft creaking of the wood and the flapping of the sails the only sounds drifting through the night.
Their laughter was branding up for a brief moment and then one of the cups was thrown to the ground as one of them jumped up from the barrels they were sitting at. Cursing colourfully while holding his hand close to his chest.
They were heading towards west. Their cargo silk and jewellery. As well as herbs and china.
And a passenger.
The captain had been arguing with the young woman for a long time. Refusing to take her offer of gold coins…pointing out that she would be the only woman on board for a unknown length of time.
But she hadn't backed down. Eventually talking him into taking her onboard. Agreeing to stay out of the sailors way.
Not that they were going near her anyway.
There was something about her that…they would never say frightened them…but as all sailors they were very superstitious and the young woman…
Those who had been close enough to her to look into her eyes…they were the most incredible green they had ever seen and they held an amount of sadness and pain - as well as strength and courage…
She seemed to be a warrior. Wearing a sword, sais tugged into her boots and a weapon none of them could name. A round metal thing that seemed harmless enough.
She seemed to be a warrior … and yet everything about her emanated a gentle soul so at contrast with what she was wearing. And the weapons she carried.
Her short pale locks and her small frame…a body well toned had more than one of the sailors tempted at first. Their husky voices ribaldry talking about what they would like to do with the little one.
And yet none of them had acted on their thoughts.
They would observe her standing on the front of the boat. Looking ahead into nothingness. A horizon bordered by water. All of them knowing that they wouldn't see any land for a long time.
The wind would tug at her clothes. Playing in her blonde locks and now and then it carried a word or two their way. Words in a language none of them spoke but that made them wonder whom she was talking to.
And if she might be a demon or a ghost. Talking to evil spirits to condemn all of them.
She had been assigned a small cabin in the back of the boat. Usually it held part of their cargo but at captain's order they had cleared it - turning it into a makeshift cabin.
It was small but she hadn't cared. Placing a small dark bowl on the table they had carried in. Her fingers caressing it ever so gently.
She had disappeared into the small room after the sun had started setting. The men following her every step always afraid she might explode into light and fire…taking them down into the land of darkness.
But she hadn't.
Those green eyes had met theirs. Tears ever so slowly running down those gently features and they couldn't help but wonder what had happened to her.
By now the sun had set. Darkness descending around the boat. One of the sailors got up and started to light candles placed around the deck. The flames creating sharp moving shadows dancing across the wood.
In the small cabin the young woman stayed in, light was still shining, too. A candle the only light source, so part of the room was drowned in darkness.
Pale eyes were watching the small frame getting ready for bed. Tracing across a body so familiar as her own.
A dark shadow slowly moving forward from the darkness lingering in the corners. Coming to a halt behind the small frame. The breathing almost inaudible as small hands dropped the straps from the top down well toned shoulders.
Revealing the complete picture tattooed on her back.
The shadow moved. Reaching out and touching the soft skin ever so gently. Nothing more than the touch of a breeze.
The top was followed by the skirt and the shadows flicking back in forth in the small room danced over the revealed body. And now and then it seemed as so they lingered.
Gabrielle reached for a shirt. Putting it on it fell well past her thighs. The sleeves almost touching her wrists. She wrapped her arms around herself. Taking a deep breath - recognising a very familiar scent on the cloth. She swallowed and moved to the narrow cot the crew had dragged in.
Curling up into a tight ball she wrapped her blanket around her and closed her eyes.
Praying that she would wake up tomorrow. A pair of strong arms securely holding her in a tight embrace…
Pale eyes watched the small frame drift off into sleep. Moving closer the shadow settled next to bed. Those blue eyes tracing youthful features that wouldn't relax even in sleep. Pale brows furrowed…soft lips moving in silent despair.
The shadow reached out.
Touching slightly trembling fingers to the soft skin. Caressing it ever so gently. Watching as the gently features slowly…slowly…relaxed.
Those trembling fingers lingered on the face for a small eternity.
And then an almost inaudible whisper broke through the quiet of the small room.
"Even in death, Gabrielle - I will never leave you."
The shadow moved. Slowly and very carefully coming to rest next to the small frame. Now sleeping more peacefully. Getting as close as possible without waking up the small blonde.
A long arm reached out. Wrapping itself around a slim waist. A hand now and then moving against the soft skin it found underneath the shirt.
Pale eyes content with simply tracing along those lovely features.
The shadow moved again.
Ever so gently…ever so gently touching her mouth to a pair of the softest lips. Lingering. Trembling.
And with a soft hiss the flame went out. Leaving the small room in nothing but darkness. The soft scent of the dying flame drifting through the cabin.
And the only sound a set of deep, even breathing…
Nope, this is not an end. It's a beginning…
Thanks for reading my story!! Let me know if you liked it……or if you didn't like it. You can reach me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
I also have my own web site now…(yup, I am slowly but surely moving into cyberspace …<smile>…) You can visit it at: www.fanfictiongrit.homestead.com
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