Roaring : Gabrielle became aware of an overwhelming sorrow that hit her….

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Support the Samford RDA Horses-store.comRoaring : Gabrielle became aware of an overwhelming sorrow that hit her….

So strange. “Gabrielle.” A gentle, quiet voice spoke. “Yes.” She whispered back. “It’s time for you to rest.come with me.” “What happened?” She tried to turn her head, and couldn’t. “It’s your time.” The voice answered. “I will take you to your family, they’re waiting for you.” Gabrielle floated there for a time, thinking. “My family?” “Your mother, and your father, and your sister, and a baby brother you never knew you had.” The voice said. “They all want to see you.

They’re waiting.come with me.” Baby brother? Gabrielle wondered. “What’s happening to me?” She asked. “Am I … did I die?” “Yes.” Oh no.

Gabrielle became aware of an overwhelming sorrow that hit her right in the gut, the pain so intense it made the light fade, and started a roaring in her ears. “Oh no it’s not true” She got out. “Please tell me it’s nto true.

I can’t… I don’t want to….” “Gabrielle.” “Noo!!!” She started to struggle against the paralysis holding her still. “Gabrielle, you must come with me.

Your family is waiting for you.” The voice insisted. “You can’t fight it.

It’s time.” Don’t’ leave me.

Gabrielle suddenly heard another voice. “Xena!” Please don’t leave me.

The voice came again, so full of aching sadness it blocked out the sound of the voice near her, and the whispers.

I don’t’ want to live without you.

Please don’t go.

Every word rang like a bell in her head, the rawness, and the anguish coming through so clearly it made her start crying. It was Xena.

She knew it.

Begging her, simply and openly and Gabrielle started to fight her inability to move, wrenching at the unseen bonds with everything she had. “Let me go!” She told the voice. “I don’t want to go with you.” “Your family wants you.” “I don’t want them!” Gabrielle growled. “I want to stay with Xena! Let me go!” She could feel a strong pull drawing her towards the light, yanking against something she could feel holding her back, a thin, delicate line growing thinner and thinner even as she felt it, unraveling as the light pulled her faster ahead. She heard a cry in her mind, a gasp of grief that broke her heart and it was too much.

It was too much, and her will suddenly exploded in a flurry of clouds and darkness, and she turned against the pull and reached back to grab the fading line, clutching it in her hands that were suddenly able to move. Gabrielle.

Her name, in a whisper so soft, and so pitieous it was like a knife cutting through her.

She tightened her grip and kicked out behind her, against the insistent pull. “NO!” Don’t leave me.

Please. The voice came back. “Go back now, and you will never come here again, Gabrielle.” “Let me go!” “You will go into the darkness, stay in the darkness, and suffer with her.” Gabrielle felt her arms giving out, as she held against the pull. “That’s what I want.” She managed to gasp. “If her soul burns in Tartarus for eternity, I want mine to burn next to it.” — “It hurts.” The voice said. “But when you open your eyes, it’ll be worth it.

I promise you.” Gabrielle tried to peer through the mist, squinting and imagining she could make out a vague form next to her, a seated form with arms wrapped around it’s knees.

She got the impression of shaggy hair and bare skin and then the mist seemed to clear just a tiny bit, enough for her to make out eyes the same color as her own watching her. “Don’t let them win.” The voice said, deepening and taking on a faintly echoing strength. “Fight them.

I know you can.

I know you have the strength.

There is nothing on earth stronger than the love you know.

Trust me on that.” Gabrielle studied those eyes, feeling suddenly a sense of kinship so strong, it made her shiver.

There was such absolute knowledge there, she knew what this voice, this person was saying was the truth.

That this person knew as much and more about her than she knew about herself and also – that this person had been in the same place she was now and come through it. So she figured, if they could, then she could, and if the voice was right about that, then the voice was also right about Xena needing her. “I will.” She said. “I promise.” She had the impression of a strong hand enfolding hers, and squeezing it. “Be good.

Be true.

She is.” The figure suddenly loomed over her and she felt a gentle kiss on her forehead, and then… And then the voice, and the vague figure was gone. Gabrielle felt a mixture of awe and disappointment, but she tried to keep all the advice the voice had given her in her mind as she felt the mist swirl around her, and then she concentrated, sure she could hear sounds through it that weren’t there before. Tinkling.

The sound of water. The sound of a heartbeat. She could hear a growing sound, almost subliminal, a deep roaring that seemed to tug at her from all directions, and the next thing she knew she was caught in a maelstrom of sensation, and sounds were getting louder, and she had the feeling of something trying to pull her away again. The words of her visitor rang in her mind though and she yelled out Xena’s name, reaching out blindly in the grayness as she felt a white hot spear gut her, and heard an angry yowl very close by. She understood the stakes now.

She sensed a darkness rushing at her, blowing past the gray mist and enveloping her with icy suddenness, as chaos surrounded her and something very tactile grabbed her by the back of her shoulders and tried to yank her backwards. But she could feel something just a strong pulling her forward, a calling that filled her ears as she felt hands grasping hers and Xena’s voice calling her. Calling her. Calling her home.

And though the way back to that was into darkness, she plunged forward into it and pulled herself free from the grip behind her and she tumbled forwards into a growing pit of pain and anguish, so intense it was hard for her to breathe and it got worse the closer she came to Xena’s voice. Incredible pain.

She felt the gray mist calling her back, pulling her away from the agony and back to self preservation. “Gabrielle!” Xena’s voice cut through the confusion, and the note of pleading in it caught Gabrielle’s attention with shocking completeness and she remembered what her visitor had told her. That Xena needed her. A whisper. “Please don’t leave me.” And now, this close to the darkness, the voice was real, the pain was real, and she could hear the thunder of Xena’s heart and there was no question of responding. She yanked herself forward into the storm ahead of her, and dove into it, reaching for that need, and that pain and for the truth she finally knew as she left behind the mist and fell forward into a blinding burst of real pain and ice cold and a roll over overwhelming thunder. ** Xena had no idea what time of the day it was.

The curtains were pulled and she’d lost track of everything except the unconscious figure resting in her arms. Had it been a candlemark? Two? Xena wasn’t sure.

She kept her eyes fixed on the slight motion of Gabrielle’s chest, saying a soundless prayer between each one of them as she kept one hand touching her neck to feel the flutter of her heartbeat. She had never felt a fear so intense as this one.

It clenched her guts and kept her on the edge of tears and her stomach was so upset she couldn’t even drink the water in the mug left at her elbow. The lump on Gabrielle’s head was hot and swollen and horrifically frustrating to Xena since there wasn’t’ anything she could do about it.

The damage was on the inside, and she had no way of easing it, or using her healing skills to help her stricken lover. — “It hurts.” The voice said. “But when you open your eyes, it’ll be worth it.

I promise you.” Gabrielle tried to peer through the mist, squinting and imagining she could make out a vague form next to her, a seated form with arms wrapped around it’s knees.

She got the impression of shaggy hair and bare skin and then the mist seemed to clear just a tiny bit, enough for her to make out eyes the same color as her own watching her. “Don’t let them win.” The voice said, deepening and taking on a faintly echoing strength. “Fight them.

I know you can.

I know you have the strength.

There is nothing on earth stronger than the love you know.

Trust me on that.” Gabrielle studied those eyes, feeling suddenly a sense of kinship so strong, it made her shiver.

There was such absolute knowledge there, she knew what this voice, this person was saying was the truth.

That this person knew as much and more about her than she knew about herself and also – that this person had been in the same place she was now and come through it. So she figured, if they could, then she could, and if the voice was right about that, then the voice was also right about Xena needing her. “I will.” She said. “I promise.” She had the impression of a strong hand enfolding hers, and squeezing it. “Be good.

Be true.

She is.” The figure suddenly loomed over her and she felt a gentle kiss on her forehead, and then… And then the voice, and the vague figure was gone. Gabrielle felt a mixture of awe and disappointment, but she tried to keep all the advice the voice had given her in her mind as she felt the mist swirl around her, and then she concentrated, sure she could hear sounds through it that weren’t there before. Tinkling.

The sound of water. The sound of a heartbeat. She could hear a growing sound, almost subliminal, a deep roaring that seemed to tug at her from all directions, and the next thing she knew she was caught in a maelstrom of sensation, and sounds were getting louder, and she had the feeling of something trying to pull her away again. The words of her visitor rang in her mind though and she yelled out Xena’s name, reaching out blindly in the grayness as she felt a white hot spear gut her, and heard an angry yowl very close by. She understood the stakes now.

She sensed a darkness rushing at her, blowing past the gray mist and enveloping her with icy suddenness, as chaos surrounded her and something very tactile grabbed her by the back of her shoulders and tried to yank her backwards. But she could feel something just a strong pulling her forward, a calling that filled her ears as she felt hands grasping hers and Xena’s voice calling her. Calling her. Calling her home.

And though the way back to that was into darkness, she plunged forward into it and pulled herself free from the grip behind her and she tumbled forwards into a growing pit of pain and anguish, so intense it was hard for her to breathe and it got worse the closer she came to Xena’s voice. Incredible pain.

She felt the gray mist calling her back, pulling her away from the agony and back to self preservation. “Gabrielle!” Xena’s voice cut through the confusion, and the note of pleading in it caught Gabrielle’s attention with shocking completeness and she remembered what her visitor had told her. That Xena needed her. A whisper. “Please don’t leave me.” And now, this close to the darkness, the voice was real, the pain was real, and she could hear the thunder of Xena’s heart and there was no question of responding.

She yanked herself forward into the storm ahead of her, and dove into it, reaching for that need, and that pain and for the truth she finally knew as she left behind the mist and fell forward into a blinding burst of real pain and ice cold and a roll over overwhelming thunder. ** “Gabrielle!” Xena yelled for what seemed like the nth time, as the spasming body in her grip went still. “Please don’t leave me.” She whispered, seeing that chest stop, and the flutter at her neck stop and her world stop in all the same moment. And then, with a rough hiccup, Gabrielle twitched and her chest heaved again, and a flush of pink flooded her face and her eyes popped open, two dazed, bloodshot green orbs tracking at once to the face of the woman holding her. Xena had no time to dissemble. “Oh.” She let out a soft, awed sound. “you listened.” She shifted her grip from Gabrielle’s arms to enfold her, pulling her close and burying her face in her consorts damp hair. “Ohh.” Gabrielle drew in another strained breath, unable to reconcile the pain and cold discomfort with the deep and wonderful rush of happiness that washed through her, feeling the shaking in Xena’s arms and hearing the soft, almost helpless gasping cries coming from her. — Now that was fading.

Xena had brought her up here and hoped the circus would help, but she’d take her wins however she could get them. “Ah.” She drew her hand out of the basket. “Honey balls.” “Yeah?” Gabrielle was finishing the cake. “The messy kind?” Xena held up a thumb covered in honey, not expecting Gabrielle to lean right over and suck on it. “Hey!” “Mm.” Gabrielle leaned her head against Xena’s shoulder and savored the rich taste. Brent chuckled. Xena let her own head rest against Gabrielle’s and closed her eyes briefly, unable to put aside the poignantly horrific reminder of what she’d almost lost, her breathing coming short and rough for a moment. “Xena?” Gabrielle murmured into her ear. “What’s wrong? Did I bite you?” The queen exhaled. “Sorry.” She let her eyes blink open. “Go ahead, bite me again.” She fished in the basket, and came up with one of the goopy treats. “Here.” She glanced at Gabrielle, then immediately regretted it when she saw those pale eyes at very close quarters, full of worry and concern. For her. Xena could feel the caring and her heart clenched.

What would she have done, if she’d lost this? A faint roaring started in her ears.

If she’d been sitting here, all alone? A soft knock came at the door.

Brent stood up and went to answer it, drawing his sword and holding it behind his thigh as he blocked the portal with one boot while opening it. “Are you okay?” Gabrielle asked. Was she? Xena felt her body relax a little. “Yeah.” She said. “Haven’t gotten over you scaring the socks off me.” She reached up and rubbed her chest, which was full of a twinging pain. “Maybe I need some of that cider.” Gabrielle brought her cup over and held it to her lover’s lips, watching her profile as she took a mouthful of it.

She released the cup as Xena took hold of it, and gently smoothed the hair back from her face, tucking it behind her ear.

She waited until the color came back into the queen’s face, then she broke the honey ball in half, and offered a portion to her. “Here.” “Aren’t I supposed to be fawning over you?” “Your grace?” Mali appeared on her other side, with a tray. “Here’s some tea for you…

Uh..

And her Majesty.” She put the tray down. “The cook said he would come up if your Majesty wishes, and tell the story about the old king.” Xena straightened up. “Yeah?” She collected herself with an effort. “Great.” “Thanks Mali.” Gabrielle leaned back against the back of her chair again, keeping her hand tucked around Xena’s arm. “That would be great if he could do that after the circus.

Right Xena?” “Sure.” “Shall I tell him that, your Grace?” Mali looked uneasily at the queen’s still face. Gabrielle waited, then she nodded. “Could you please? I know we’d love to hear it.” Mali curtsied, and left. “Oh, Xena, look.” Gabrielle gently nudged her. “Look at the horses.” She indicated the floor, where six of the animals were trotted in a circle in unison, while the riders walked across their backs. “Isn’t that amazing?” After a moment, Xena lifted her eyes and peered across the room.

She felt Gabrielle’s fingers gently stroking her skin, and finally the gray haze lifted.

The sound of the room flooded into her ears, and she could appreciate the skill of the riders. “That’s pretty damn good.” Gabrielle relaxed. “How do they do that? Make the horses go like that?”

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