I Don't Know You Anymore
Disclaimer: The whole bunch of 'em belong to Renaissance Pictures and
USA/Universal Studios, not me, so no one pays me to do this, so on and so
forth. Please don't sue me.
Violence: Mentioned in passing.
Archive: If you wish, I guess. I was kinda thinking it might need some
Summary: Gabrielle visits an old friend.
I was listening to a rather melancholy little song by Savage Garden titled
"I Don't Know You Anymore". It struck me as a perfect outline for a story
using my favorite characters, also a bit melancholy. Short, too. I'm sharing
this with you guys just after writing it (something anyone who knows me well
enough will know I never do), so if it sucks, let me know, and if it
doesn't tell me how and why it works for you.
Gabrielle stood nervously outside the door, trying to get up her nerve to
knock. Why had it taken her so long to do this? She had known all along
where her friend was living now, but finally got up her nerve to send a note
and propose a visit. Of course, the invitation had been immediate and
enthusiastic. And now she was here.
Gritting her teeth with determination, the blonde warrior woman knocked.
There was silence for a moment, then some scuffling, and then the door swung
open to reveal that dear familiar face.
"Hi! I'm really glad you made it," the dark-haired warrior (ex-warrior,
Gabrielle reminded herself) announced, almost breathlessly.
The bard peered around curiously. "Where's."
"She's at a friend's. I thought it would be easier for the two of us to
Gabrielle nodded tightly. It probably would, but she might have welcomed the
distraction. "That's the same reason I came alone." She was taken by
surprise by the open arms before her.
"It's been too long." And she was enveloped in an awkward hug, which just
did more to increase her uneasiness with the situation. Felt odd, resting
her head gently against a spot that now wore simple homespun where once
there had been armor. She pulled away, trying not to be rude about it. The
discomfort was acknowledged, first silently and then with a rapid subject
change. "Why don't you come in and sit down? Or would you like to sit on the
porch? It's really nice outside."
"Sure. Whatever." Oh, there's Gabrielle, the brilliant wordsmith. This had
been a mistake.
"So, how've you been?" the voice drifted back to her as she followed her
dark-haired friend outside. "We hear stories here, but they can be a bit
She settled onto a bench. "I'm fine. We both are. There's a lot of righting
wrongs still to be done, although we don't sing a lot of songs."
The answering giggle surprised her. "Gods, I'd almost forgotten that stupid
"Well, it's one of those tunes that takes up residence in you brain."
Sadness eclipsed the amused expression. "I guess there isn't any 'Joxer the
Mighty' anymore, is there?"
Gabrielle gave a lot of thought to her answer. "The foolish buffoon who
claimed that name had been disappearing, a little at a time, for quite a
while before you left us. You know that."
Sad eyes met hers. "And the man that replaced him?"
She felt the same sorrow in her own gaze. "Different." An affectionate smile
came unbidden to her lips. "But still sweet, in his own special way."
After sharing another nervous smile, discomfort hung in the air once more.
Finally the ex-warrior broke the silence. "So, you're still with."
"Of course," the bared jumped in, not entirely comfortable with either where
the conversation had been or where it was going. "We work well together."
"So who plays the sidekick these days?"
She grinned. "We're fairly evenly matched anymore. Partners, more or less."
Another sad smile. "That's good, Gabrielle. It's what you always wanted."
Damn, the bard mused. Why do we keep getting maudlin here? She searched her
brain for a subject that could stay light and effortless, but came up blank.
She was about to make some lame excuse and just leave, when the door from
the house burst open and a small bundle of arms and legs flew through it,
followed by an apologetic tall blonde woman.
"She insisted on coming home, and I couldn't dissuade her."
"It's okay, Tilpah. I should have expected this." The ex-warrior smiled
widely at the little girl in her lap. "Eve, do you remember your Aunt
The bard stood, going over to kneel down beside the child. "I bet she doesn'
t, Xena. It's been almost a year." Hesitantly, she stroked the small dark
head, and was rewarded with a shy smile. She stood up.
"I do need to be going. He's waiting for me, you know."
Xena rose, Eve on her hip. "I still don't understand why you didn't bring
"After he killed all those men, it took him a long time to come back out of
his shell. He knew he'd saved Eve's life, but he still felt like somehow he
was responsible for you deciding to leave us and settle down. I tried to
tell him that if he hadn't ferreted them out, we'd probably all be dead now,
but he still thought he had done something bad. You know how he struggled
with guilt after he killed Kryton. This was ten times worse. I couldn't
convince him you'd be glad to see him. He still feels like he came between
us, too. He insisted I come alone."
"I knew how you were starting to feel about him before you did, Gabrielle.
If I'd minded, he'd have known."
"He's a lot different now, you know. I miss the old silly guy sometimes. But
I don't worry as much about him anymore." She caressed the small girl's hair
"So, you two planning any, um?" Xena bounced Eve slightly to illustrate.
The bard's gaze grew distant. "We've talked about it. Now just doesn't seem
to be the time." Her expression hardened. "I need to go. We've been summoned
by Queen Diana, like I told you when I wrote." She softened again slightly.
"I miss you. I'm glad the road brought us through here this time."
The former Warrior Princess wrapped her free arm around Gabrielle's
shoulders. "Please bring Joxer next time. And don't wait another whole year
before you pass this way, okay?"
Reaching out, Gabrielle pulled both Xena and Eve into an embrace. "I love
Her friend smiled. "We know."