Legal Disclaimer: You guessed it, the characters of Xena and
Gabrielle belong to you-know-who (MCA/Universal and Renaissance
Pictures, in case you don't). I belong to myself. No copyright
infringement was intended in the writing of this fan fiction.
This story cannot be sold or used for profit in any way. Copies of this story may be made for private use only and must include all disclaimers.
Sex, Drugs, Violence: No. But I'm pro-subtext, so... <G>
This vignette was originally written for a short story collection for a German fan-fiction archive (symbiont.de) under the motto "Doors In The Archive". This was Verrath's Door. :-)
March 13, 2000
Well, there it is, that door they were talking about... right in the middle of the room. I can walk around it. Looks just the same from the other side. Wonder where it came from... Hey, it's got my name on it! I guess I should open it, then... What do you know, it leads into a tavern...
The first thing that strikes me when I see them is that they certainly are an odd pair. A pretty young woman with hair the color of wild honey, vibrant and friendly, capturing the hearts of the patrons with a look and a smile here, a kind word there. She is talking animatedly to a group of listeners that have gathered in a semi circle around the table in the back of the common room she and her companion have chosen.
A bard, by the look of it, and a good one at that, for she is weaving a tale not only with words but with her whole body, adding atmosphere with the sheer power of her masterfully controlled voice, turning mere words into images and sounds, smells and sensations.
Every now and then, the bard's gaze flicks to her darkly handsome partner, who is sitting silently on the bench leaning against the back wall, hardly moving at all except for an occasional sip of her ale, or the raising of her empty mug to the barmaid to request a refill.
She seems half-asleep, and utterly uninterested in the story her companion is telling, but there is an air about her of a coiled spring that not even her half-closed eyes and relaxed posture can dispel. Clad in dark leather and bronze breastplate, a sword and scabbard as well as a curious, circular kind of weapon lying on the bench within easy reach, she is every bit the warrior.
The spirited little bard has no need to watch for signs of hostility among the audience - the mere presence of the somber warrior is enough to discourage anyone wanting to get fresh with the young woman. She is completely immersed in her storytelling.
As different as these two might be, the bright, lively bard, the somber, silent warrior - there is something between them that far surpasses mere companionship. I can tell from the glances that pass between them from time to time. Whenever their gazes meet, the bard pauses briefly, and a little smile flits across her face.
The change in the warrior is even more dramatic. When she meets the blonde's eyes, her harsh, aloof expression relaxes, and a warm glow lights up her steel blue eyes. She would give her life for this bard, and the bard would do the same for her.
I finish up my wine and toss a few coins onto the table, before I quietly head for the door again. My services aren't needed today. There is a bard here already, and she is better than I can ever hope to be. I admit I am a little jealous of what these two have between them.
But I'm sure there are many, many stories to tell about the bard and the warrior. Who knows, maybe I'll be fortunate enough to tell a few of them some day... Smiling, I close the tavern door behind me. I will be back.
Comments? I'm at firstname.lastname@example.org