Disclaimer: I know, another rescue. But I recently received three very depressing letters from certain individuals, and I can only respond in one way. So, this is for Eve, Inga, and Carmen, and all those who are still hoping, and trying to believe in a show and characters with which they once fell in love.
The characters belong to RenPic, but that and having some fun, is the point of this exercise. The story is mine, the wishes I am trying to convey, belong to thousands.
I feel as though my mind is encased in lambs wool, and it should be comforting, but there is a nausea out on the fringes of my awareness of my body, and I move like an old woman. My body is fit and toned, but I have no control over it; they have been drugging me, I know that much. I am so tired.
I am walked/dragged through an office, then a doorway, and another room. Everything is so clean and all the surfaces so smooth. I know somehow that this is a hospice, and that I am waiting for some kind of healer, but I can not seem to get my mind to function.
Whatever we have been waiting for occurs, and I am almost lifted by my white garbed escort and taken into the adjoining room. There is a familiar man behind a desk of some kind; I know that I have spoken to him before today, but it is difficult to sort the dreams from the reality. I shake my head to try to clear it, but instead it just seems to cause more confusion. The guard leaves me standing by the window looking out into some kind of courtyard. I watch as the snow flakes drift down outside, my eyes following them, trying to capture some memory.
"The snow..." I hear my voice croak, "It was like this the day..." but I cant complete the thought. Something terrible happened, I know that much.
The healer behind me breaks his silence as well. "Yes, that was the day you received your first electro-convulsive treatment. But I thought we promised that we wouldnt dwell on that."
I have no idea what he is referring to, but there is a memory of some promises made in this strange room. He gets up and moves a chair towards me. "Would you like to sit down?"
I dont know why, but a part of me rebels, and I shake my head. He speaks more firmly. "Id hate to think that you werent cooperating again..."
I feel an insuppressible shiver, and I move automatically towards the chair. He smiles a reward. "Thank you, Martha."
My eyes turn and catch his. "Gabrielle." I correct, knowing that this, of all things, is important.
He seems disappointed. "I know that you are a little confused after your last treatment, but you also should know that I really cant encourage your fantasy."
"Gabrielle. "I repeat, as firmly as my condition allows.
The healer shakes his head sadly, but doesnt correct me this time.
"Now." He decides to move forward with some vigour. "Last time, we were discussing the destructive relationship that you were in?"
I dont know where the answer comes from, but I know that this too, is important. As important as what my name is. "Its not over." I say quietly. "and it wasnt destructive." There is a momentary flash of a warrior, a brave and wonderful friend, but it is lost before I can grasp at it.
The doctor gives a sigh, and then a ruefilled chuckle. "Martha..." My eyes turn to him quickly, angrily. He raises his hand condescendingly. "Gabrielle." I nod.
"You and I know how inaccurate that denial is. The relationship was over, and for your own good. It was tremendously destructive, and if it werent for the people who loved you who brought you to us, well... I doubt very much you would be alive today."
"This is not alive." I mutter.
Choosing to ignore the comment, the healer reads from a series of thin pressed scrolls, and the details seem familiar. "Now, you were involved with this Woman..." there could be no doubt of the doctors opinion of same sex relationships, "before that though, you had been in exclusively normal associations.
"Somehow you found yourself drawn into this relationship, most likely due to some form of hero worship, but that changed." There was a pause as the doctor turned a page. "You began a form of sexual activity sometime after this, which you kept a secret from your family. During this period, you were injured several times, nearly killed, and you admit that she struck you. You wouldnt consider that to be destructive?"
"It wasnt like that..." There was love, I think. I know that there was love, once...
"You are here to come to terms with reality, not to continue making excuses, Martha. You are holding onto this Gabrielle fantasy just to obscure the fact that you are like every other woman trapped in a injurious relationship. What is worse, is that you began to get involved in this persons violent actions, to the point where several people began to fear for the sweet and gentle girl they loved." The healer pauses, and says sadly, "You hurt them, Martha, and yet for months, you have been fighting my attempts to help."
He fold his hands in front of him, speaking with great sincerity.
"I see many destructive relationships in this place and outside of it, and they all have one thing in common. Denial. You have exhibited every sub symptom of this. You have claimed that this woman would change, and you have denied that the violence was an integral part of her personality and your relationship. This, even in the face of the complete lack of any interest on her part to talk with you over the lengthy period you have been with us."
Unwanted tears begin to stream down my face. The word break through! falls from his lips, but to me it seems more that he is moving in for some kind of finishing stroke.
I am so alone at this moment. I murmur "I dont understand why she hasnt..."
"Hasnt what, Martha...?" the doctor moves closer, taking my hands in his.
More memories, or are they only part of a fantasy, as he is telling me? "I gave everything... for her...."
"Yes, you did, Martha, and how does that make you feel...?"
"But how do you feel about her...?"
He waits. Trying to hold back his anticipation.
"I love her."
It is said through tears, but the words are still fiercely determined, almost defiant.
The healer slides back into his chair, disappointment clear in his body language.
He picks up my file and prepares to make a notation. "Then Im afraid that well have no choice..."
Then there is a commotion outside of the door. It opens and the shoulders and head of the another of the assistants squeezes through. "Im sorry, Doctor Tapert, I have tried to explain to these people but..." With barely a glance at me, the healer leaves and follows the woman. As he leaves, I stumble over to the door, and slide the bolt across, to lock him out. I look to the window, it is not barred like the rest.
Outside I can hear a strangely familiar voice, one I associate with a mustache and a ready smile. A friend, thank the Gods, a friend.
"Ah, Dr. Tapert? Im Dr. Firefly. Rufus T.. Firefly? Im terribly sorry to have to interrupt this way, but since that patient is about to be removed from this...facility, we didnt think there was any point in continuing to waste your valuable time..."
The healer, the Doctor, gives a disbelieving snort. "I dont think so..."
There is a confident amusement in the response. "Well if youd like to take a glance at these papers," and I hear a rustling of parchment.
The doctor seems suspicious and replies "I have full commitment and Power of Attorney from the parents of the patient...Doctor...?"
"Firefly. Well Im afraid that they didnt have the right to assign them to you, and as you can clearly see, a judge agreed with our petition. In fact, it was also agreed that the only family this woman has is..."He pauses dramatically and even in the room apart, I was aware of anothers presence. "...her."
There is a gasp from the healer, and a quick fiery retort. "I am not releasing this patient, and certainly not into the custody of this...woman." I imagine that he must have pointed his finger in the face of the newcomer, because the next words I hear are cold, almost without any inflection, and yet they are the most wonderful things I have ever heard. I stop trying to climb out the sill at their sound.
"You really dont want to be doing that, doctor."
The other voice, the one I visualize with the mustache, chimes in, amused. "Im afraid that you dont really have a choice. Your own records indicate you have put this young woman through treatments that were never authorized by her parents, that you have kept her away from any contacts..."
"Those contacts were sick and unnatural!" the healer is now raising his voice.
The womans voice, the voice of my lover, moves closer to the door and I can hear the impact of this Dr. Taperts body slamming against it. "You kept her here, an author, refusing her any sort of writing tools! You tried and nearly succeeded in reshaping her into an entirely different person! Of what value was that therapy to her, HEALER?" I had never heard the title used before with such sarcasm. The woman stopped, clearly restraining homicidal feelings. "Now. You will let us take her from this place, and you will release her personal property, and you will PRAY..." by now there was a scraping noise as I pictured a body being raised off the ground by a strong grip about the throat, "...that we have no reason to DISCUSS this again..."
Doctor Firefly must have interceded. "Easy Tiger..." He spoke to his colleague. "I apologize for my friends...enthusiasm, but shes right. Your personal feelings aside, it would be a pity if this facility and all its... fine works would have to be closed because of certain enthusiastic.. partiality on your part."
There was no further sound from the healer except for a gasping sound.
There is a knock on the door. I am huddled, half in, half out of the second story window sill, hoping, praying that the next word I hear will not be Martha....
"Gabrielle?" The bolt means nothing in the face of the force of nature outside, and she is standing there. The clothing is unfamiliar, but it is the face that brings a cry of joy to my lips. It is alive with passion and love, and I have not seen those expressions for such a very, very long time. Even in this fragile state, I am ashamed of being weak again with her. I know that I worked so hard to be stronger, I remember finally not always being the one needing rescue. But it occurs to me, that the openness in her face is new. That she has been through the same pain of separation that I have.
But the words come out before I know that I am going to say them.
"Where in Tartarus have you been! Why havent you..." And I halt at seeing the shame in those startlingly beautiful blue eyes, as she accepts my rebuke. "Gabrielle, hes been playing with me too, I, its really complicated..." she stands with her hands outstretched and I know I dont care about complications or anything else but being in those arms.
She holds up her hand to stay me and my heart almost stops at this rejection. She smiles and says, "Once I get you in my arms, Im not letting go. So first things first." She moves over to the desk and searches for some pieces of paper, successfully it seems. She hands me a writing implement, "I know how you feel about being saved lately, so we thought you should do the honours. Do you think you could copy this...?" She indicates a scrawl of ink, and then points to a line on the parchments she is carrying. The pen feels comfortable in my hand and it is with confidence I mimic the doctors scrawl onto the indicated line. She take the papers ,and scribbles on another line. Then smiles and says as she passes them out through the doorway, "the first of many more opuses." I hear the other doctor, my friend, give a satisfied laugh, and declare "Good news, Doctor! Youll be glad to know that youve just agreed to avoid charges of violating several laws in exchange for being treated at the Themascara Clinic... with, I might add the full support of your nearest relative, that would be your...wife?"
Taperts voice is harsh, his throat must still be bruised. "Those are faked! No one will believe them..."
Fireflys voice has lost none of his confidence. "Well, here are the clinicians youll have to convince." I can hear that there are more people entering the room, "This is Ephiny, and this is Solari, but I think you might find them a little hard to persuade. They have a bit of a grudge against you, too, Im afraid..."
There is a sound of dragging, and a quickly silenced call for help. Firefly sticks his head in the doorway. I recognize him immediately. "Are we ready to go?" He asks.
I shake my head in wonder, feeling better than I can remember in a long time. "The Themasrcara Clinic? "I question.
He smirks and says "They have a variety of therapies. I think theyll start with Primal Scream."
We shares a grin. "So..?"
I look up at my warrior. "Where to?" I ask, though I already know the answer.
"Home okay?" is all she has to say.
I bury myself in her embrace, feeling my strength returning. "Dont have to go very far..."
The nurse returns to the unoccupied reception area with the strongest orderlies she could find. She looks around the empty room and startled, blinks. She couldnt have...?
But it seems to her, that just for a moment, there had been some sort of doorway, and beyond it were two, strong, remarkably dressed women, who were standing in the most brilliant of sunlit glades, beside a beautiful golden mare, and they were laughing....
Return to The Bard's Corner