Disclaimer: the usual, Xena and all things Xena are owned by MCA/Universal and are used here without permission and not for profit. No infringement is intended. This is basically a stream-of-consciousness type of thing Iıve been dwelling on since I saw ³The Bitter Suite².


by Georgia

I had the nightmare again.

Every night, it seems so real. When Iım finally able to pull myself awake, Iım cold and sweating at the same time, and Iım unable to believe Iım alive. And she is sleeping quietly beside me, her arms wrapped protectively around me. My soul. My love. And the horror of my nightmare.

In the dream, I can feel every bump and gash as Iım dragged behind a horse. The rocks and branches rip and tear at my skin. My head pounds against rock and dirt. My hands reach out for - what? - anything to stop this ride of terror. The pain is excruciating. The only thing worse is knowing *she* is the rider, whipping the steed forward, faster and harder as I am dragged into unconsciousness.

It seems that would be enough to jolt me awake, but my mind chooses to torture me a bit longer. In the next instant, I am high in the air by no power of my own. All I see is the overcast and angry gray sky above me, surely a testament to what is happening. All I feel is pain. Physical pain. Emotional pain. And an indescribable mix of horror, betrayal and utter disbelief when I realize I am being suspended above her head, by her own hands and she has every intention of pitching me off the cliff she is standing on. When she screams out the word ³vengeance,² it tears at my very soul. Doesnıt she know if I could take back everything that has happened, every single thing that has caused her pain, I would?

Itıs all I can do to kick at her in a feeble attempt to free myself. By some strange twist of fate, my heel hits its mark. More pain explodes through me as she drops me suddenly to the ground and I roll to a bonewrenching halt.

Time grinds down to slow motion.

She was going to kill me. The realization nauseates me.

After all weıve been through, all weıve shared, all weıve learned from each other and taught one another, she was actually going to kill me. Thatıs when the scariest part of the nightmare begins.

All the pain in my battered body is replaced by a white hot rage that Iıve never experienced in my life. It overtakes every inch of me until I can see nothing but fire. Iım terrified of the feeling eating through me, because I know what it is and Iıve seen what it does to people, does to their souls. I have never given in to hate, but I am slipping dangerously close to it at this moment.

When she meets my eyes, I am suddenly unable to control my descent. She is smiling! Sheıs actually smiling and there is nothing remotely happy about her face. This woman to whom Iıve given my heart is terrifying to behold. Her smile is pure evil and I suddenly know what itıs like to be on the receiving end of the wrath of Xena, Warrior Princess, Destroyer of Nations. And all at once, as if by some unseen force, her crimes are brought forward in my mind. I visualize all the people sheıs hurt, killed or worse. All the children who grew up without parents because of her. All the pain, all the suffering, all the anger, and all the grief.

The words are forcibly ripped from my throat as I give in to the wave washing over me.


These are the three scariest words ever to come from my own mouth. This is when I jerk awake, bathed in sweat and shivering uncontrollably.

I am frightened. Frightened to turn to her for comfort. Frightened not to. I know weıve been given a second chance. Solan saw to that in Illusia. But thereıs the tiniest trace of me that wonders. Somewhere in the back of my mind, a little voice taunts me. I look at her hands, holding gently to me. Strong hands. Loving hands. Hands that saved my life more than once. The same hands that tried to dash me into so many bloody pieces.

I settle back down against her and wonder. She softly tightens her grip.

There will be no more sleep for me tonight.


She had the nightmare again.

As she dreams, there is no need for me to wonder what frightens her so. It is painfully clear to me, and it tears at my heart to know that it is still with her, tormenting her sleep.

I wish I could take it all back. True, the loss of my son was the most devastating pain of my life, and I had every right to feel anger and deceit and betrayal. But there is no excuse for what I did to Gabrielle. As she writhes in my arms, murmuring small cries of anguish, I wonder if sheıll ever truly be able to forgive me.

It sickens me when I think about it, that day. I was completely out of control, unable to change my courses of action, driven only by rage and anger and hate, blind to all rational thought and reason. The fact that I actually got pleasure out of dragging my bard behind a horse is the most disgusting thought ever to enter my consciousness. *Argo* had more sense than me. When I think about how close I actually came to tossing her off that cliff, my heart constricts and Iım sure Iıll die from sorrow right then and there.

Lust for vengeance is the worst kind of desire.

She is still for a moment, and I know by heart what is coming next. Itıs always the same. Those three dreaded words appear, ripped from her throat. I feel as if a razor-sharp sword is plunged through my very soul, and I squeeze back tears. The most amazing characteristic of my sweet bard has always been her ability to avoid giving in to hatred. It is her strength. Nobody has ever been able to compromise her integrity on this matter. Not Callisto. Not the Horde. Not even Dahok. Nobody has ever *really* pushed her boundaries. Until now. Until me.

The only person who has ever been able to make her hate is me.

Itıs a heartwrenching realization, and I close my eyes letting the despair wash through me as she reaches the end of her dream and jerks herself awake.

I am frightened. Frightened to comfort her. Frightened not to. I pretend to sleep, even as she looks at me. I can feel the intensity of her gaze. After a few moments, she settles back down and I softly tighten my hands around her. Hands that Iıve used to love her, to save her life several times over. Hands that almost killed her. A little voice in the back of my mind taunts me. No! I scream in my head. I will not let it happen again. I will not!

I swallow hard, frustrated with the unsuredness of my own statement.

There will be no more sleep for me tonight.

The end.

Copyright 1998 by Georgia February 16

Return to The Bard's Corner


There will be no more sleep for me tonight.

The end.

Copyright 1998 by Georgia February 16

Return to The Bard's Corner