Obligatory Disclaimers: Xena and Gabrielle dont belong to me. Never have. Never will. Pity. Nope, Im not becoming a rich woman from writing this stuff. They belong, now and forever, to the people at Pac Ren and USA Studios and whomever else has a claim to them.
No violence or subtext is in this story, though, as always, I write from the position that these two women were once lovers. Now? Your guess is as good as mine.
This isnt a very happy piece. But then again, Im not a very happy bard.
You know--or maybe you don't, it's so hard to tell anymore--that it's been a very long time since I've sat down, like I'm doing now, and put quill to parchment.
But, even if you never read these words, it's something I need to do, to get these words out of my heart and onto paper. Paper doesn't hurt as much as my heart does right now. And when it looks at me through unseeing eyes, I know that it means no harm.
When I was rescued from the depths of Hell and washed clean in Heaven's lake, Michael told me what you said about me. How you said that our souls were intertwined and how you couldn't let me walk through Hell alone.
But, Xena, Hell isn't always a place filled with horned demons 'living' to feed off the souls of the pure.
Hell is also a place without love. A place without light. Without hope. Without dreams.
When I told you, in Chin, that love wasn't something I could believe in anymore, I meant it.
I don't even think I know what the word means anymore. Sometimes it's so close that I feel that if I just reach far enough, and fast enough, I can pull it to me and make it part of me once again.
And sometimes, it's so far away that I wonder if I spent most of my life just imagining it was there.
I know I wasn't though. I can still remember, though it hurts--oh, how it hurts--falling asleep with love wrapped around me like the warmest of blankets, lulling me to sleep with the beat of your heart behind it, cocooning me in the safest place I had ever thought to be.
Even in our darkest times, Xena, when the death of our children brought out the beast, I contented myself as much as I could with the knowledge that the depth of your hatred and anger only proved the enormity of your love.
Because if you had never loved me so much, you could never have hated me so much.
Or so I told myself.
And where love has gone, my dreams have followed, it seems.
Do you remember asking me about my stories after Perdicus died? Do you remember that I told you my stories came from my dreams, and my dreams had left me?
They're gone again, Xena.
Every night I go to sleep, praying to whatever god might be listening, to just give me my dreams back. To give me the chance to feel in the night what I no longer have in the sunlight.
And every morning I wake up, my prayers unheard and unanswered.
Why have you never asked me, Xena? Why, when we spend night after night on opposite sides of the fire, fishing for conversation like newly met acquaintances, don't you ever think to ask me why I'm not writing in my scrolls?
Do you care that I've lost my dreams?
Does it matter that the only thing that burns bright in our night camps is the fire that does nothing to warm this chilled indifference we so suddenly have between us?
Without love, without dreams, I find myself without hope.
What hope can I have for a future which stands so sadly upon the ashes of a broken past?
What hope have I, a woman who has lived by the simple beauty of the written and spoken word, when those words have dried up and decayed within a heart that no longer beats with the simple joys of life?
You once held my hand and told me that even in death, you would never leave me.
Where are you in life, Xena? Why can't I find you?
And why did you break your word to Michael?
Why are you letting me walk through Hell alone?
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