Gone...But Not Forgotten
The news had just reached them. The horrible news of his death in a strange land at the hands of an evil king, and then used as as a puppet by Dahak. Gabrielle was still in denial, yet she was standing in front of the stone pillar that marked his resting-place.
She sank to her knees, as if there were a great weight on them. But the only heavy part of her was her soul. Letting the tears fall she placed a hand on the cold marble.
"You can't be dead... You have more lives than a cat! Hades has a scroll a mile long on you..." She paused and looked red-eyed at the stone. Anger now masked her grief. "How could you have been so stupid, Iolaus! Did she mean that much to you, for you to scrafice yourself? Of course...if you were here, you'd tell me that it was in your nature. ...Part of your Hero's Heart." She smiled. "Xena and I are going to India for a while. It'll give me a chance to clear my head." Tears returned to her eyes. "You may be gone, but you'll never be forgotten. I'll make sure of that."
She leaned in and brushed her lips against the cold stone, before getting up and leaving.
(The continuance of Gone...But Not Forgotten. Set shortly after Revelations and Ides of March.)
Iolaus sat with his back against the far wall of his small room at the inn. Unrolled scrolls littered the floor around him, leaving very little walking space. The hunter didn't care. As far as he knew, the world had stopped when Joxer walked into the tavern the night before. It had shocked both him and Hercules that Joxer manged to find them in the back of the room without causing the whole place to burn down.
Iolaus would never forget the look on his face when he told them the news. Xena and Gabrielle had both been murdered by the Romans. Publically excuted like common theives. The thought made him sick.
Iolaus shook his head and looked around the room again. The candle on the small table was almost gone, leaving the spent wax in a tear-like trail on to the floor. He slowly picked himself up and begain to put the scrolls back in the satchel they'd arrived in. They were Gabrielle's... They were her thoughts, her feelings, her life. And they were the only way he wanted to remember her.
~The dagger seemed to hover there for a moment before it made its way stealthily across the room, finding its sheath in an unintended target. The sound of life's essance draining echoed through the hall. The blond worrior lay there, his mortality oozing away from him, nestled in his brother's arms. The bigger man sat there, helpless, frozen by the knowlege that he couldn't do anything to save him. With one last word he drifted away from him into the darkness.~
Andi woke gasping for breath. The dream had left her with a sudden feeling of dread. "It was just a dream..." She said aloud, looking around the room trying to rid herself of the gruesome images, finally flinging the covers back and making her way to the bathroom. She looked at herself in the mirror, as if to make sure she was awake. Her deep green eyes were unusually alert, her long blond hair was swept up into a loose pony tail, and lines creased acrossed her face from where the pillow had left it's mark. Normally she would have woken up, realized it was a dream and gone back to sleep. This dream was different. It had seemed so real. She could almost feel the blond man's heart slowing down and stopping. Sighing, she flipped off the bathroom light and walked back to her bedroom.
"No...I mean it felt real." The tall blond looked over at his friend, who was trying desperately to explain his previous night's dream.
"I guess you had to be there, huh?" He tried to hold back the smile that was slowly creeping across his face.
"That's not funny, Nick."
Nick couldn't believe how serious he was being. Normally, his friend would have been laughing at something that had happened or talking about some girl he met, but not today.
"Okay, okay, I believe you. So what happened?" His friend's expression went blank.
"What - that's all?"
"That's all I remember. That, and how despondent I felt when I woke up."
"Hunter..." Nick thought for a moment. "It was probably just something you ate." He laughed. "Forget about it." Hunter sighed. It was sane advice from his best friend, but somehow he had a feeling the dream meant more to him than he knew.
Andi laid on the giant stone fence that encircled the small horse ranch. "Good book?" She turned her head and smiled at the raven-haired girl who'd asked the question.
"It's alright." She sat up so her friend could sit beside her. Picking up the book, the other girl studied it intently. On the cover, a well muscled man, in nothing more than black breeches, held onto a well endowed woman, barely clothed herself, in a lustful pose.
"How can you read this garbage?" She groaned.
"Call it wishful thinking, Meg." Andi smiled and looked off again. Something wasn't right, she could feel it.
"What's wrong?" Meg started - "And don't you dare say nothing."
"I had another dream last night." Andi said solemnly. Meg looked seriously at her. She would have just said to let go if it hadn't be her friend's third dream.
"He was killed." Andi fidgeted with a loose stone next to her.
"Could you tell who he was?"
"No...it's like I'm watching a movie with the mute button on. I can see what's going on, but I can't hear what they're saying." She hopped off the fence and threw her arms up in frustration. "I don't even think he's real." Andi paused for a moment before turning back around. "I think I'm going insane. That's it - my subconscious is trying to drive me INSANE!" She finally ended up screaming. Meg slipped off the fence and put a hand on either shoulder.
"Will you relax! You're far from being insane." Meg smiled again. "Why don't you go with us tonight, it'll get your mind off your dreams." Andi raised an eyebrow.
"You mean with you and Nick?"
"Yes, with me and Nick."
Andi shrugged. "Gee, I don't know, Meg. I don't want to interrupt anything." She smiled and fought hard to hold back the laughter. She gave Andi another serious glance.
"We're just friends, all right? Nothing more than that." The blond smiled again. Meg wasn't the type to talk very much about girl stuff.
"Uh-huh. What ever you say." She quickly fell into step behind her friend.
Chapter Two - The Encounter
Hunter shifted in his seat. The resturant's stuffy atmosphere contrasted to his mood and he was about to offer his first born to any higher power that would get him out of this.
If this is what Nick considers a good time, I'm seriously going to have to think about a new best friend. He thought as his eyes wondered over to the blonde sitting across from him. Her head was perched upon her hand while her other traced the flower patterns etched in the dinner-wear. Quickly he shot a glance at Nick and Meg, who were engrosed in conversation. "Any ideas on how we can get out of this?" Andi turned her green eyes to look at him.
"We could just get up and leave." She looked at the other two. "I don't think we'll be missed." Hunter smiled and stood up. Andi returned the smile when he offered her his hand. As they were leaving they could hear Nick and Meg ask where they were going but Hunter had pulled Andi close and told her to keep walking. Their laughter could have been heard for miles away when they reached the outside.
"Are you always this impulsive?" Andi asked tring to regain her composure. Hunter thought about it for a moment while taking off the sport coat he had been made to wear.
"Yes." He smiled once again. "Where to now?"
"Anywhere that has loud music and a lot of people."
~The big man stood infront of the great white temple staring at the
blonde man. A crowd of people had gathered to witness this
confrontation between the two. They had once been best friends, but he
had lost his friend to a beast and now the beast controlled him. This
was not his friend, this was not...~
~The big man stood infront of the great white temple staring at the blonde man. A crowd of people had gathered to witness this confrontation between the two. They had once been best friends, but he had lost his friend to a beast and now the beast controlled him. This was not his friend, this was not...~
The pounding that came from the front door pushed Andi out of the dream. She pulled the covers close to her chin and prayed that whoever was at the door would come back later. The pounding stopped and the pounder walked in. Meg put her key back into her pocket and made her way back to Andi's bedroom. Relieved that she was alone, she grabbed hold of the comforter and violently yanked it off.
"Do you know how many times I tried to call you last night?"
"12:30. You're late." Andi rolled over and looked her friend directly in the face.
"You had me up all night worried and all you can do is make jokes." Andi pushed herself out of bed.
"You know, you're all wrong about Hunter."
"Andi, he has more notches than Don Juan could even dream about." Andi rolled her eyes and made her way into the bathroom.
"Maybe, but he really is a nice guy. The only reason you're mad is because we had a better time." She could hear Meg swear something under breath, before sitting down heavily on the bed. Andi sat down next to her. "Meg, for the first time in a while...I forgot about the dreams." Meg knew she was right.
"But that still doesn't excuse the two of you for walking out." Meg finally let a smile sneak across her lips.
"I promise, next time we'll announce it." Andi smilled and disappeared back into the bathroom.
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