THE CHALLENGE By Zealander
Darkbard Fantasies July 27, 1997
The characters of Xena and Gabrielle are the property of MCA/Universal. The story is all mine. So is the angst, but ya'll knew that, right??? <G>
for every woman who ever felt used...
ARRRRGGGGGHHHH!!!!! I found out I was nothing more than a conquest for her. Our first night "together" had nothing to do with shared chemistry or mutual respect. She simply wanted me because she was "in a mood." That hurt. It hurt because I found out about it 3 + months later - - after I'd fallen for her; given her my heart; my time.
But, on the other hand.ā Maybe I was using her, too. Maybe I wanted to be needed, Maybe I felt like taking, Maybe I made it out to be bigger than it was. I have a tendency to do that. To make it more important than it really is; I think it's the writer in me always looking for the bigger, better story.
Yet, I had always liked her. We got along well, We shared many of the same interests and ideals, We had fun together, made each other laugh. She appeared caring and compassionate, She said she was always there for me, She offered me some of her precious time and a good ear for listening, She helped me when I reached out - - which wasn't often. But maybe I didn't appreciate it enough. Maybe I didn't offer it in return and truly mean it.
Maybe it was me. Maybe I didn't understand her. Maybe I didn't want to.
Maybe I was selfish. Maybe she was, too. After-all, do I really know her? Did I ever ask her, her side? I don't remember; which means I probably didn't ask.
I remember that night so vividly: Xena came to me so very late one evening - - carrying a bottle of Port, some fruit and the usual bread and cheese. I did not know her well thenā not like I do now. She was charming and funny and intelligent. She was warm and teasing and made me feel special. I fell for her. Right then.
Or did I? I was vulnerable at the moment. I had just left my home of Potiedia and I knew very few people in this new land. Her kindness won me over. I was attracted to it and her like a magnet. I needed to feel loved and wanted and desired. I needed that security so very badly. Right then. So when she teased me into kissing herā I did. And, I liked it. So when she teased me into bedā I went. And, I loved it.
She has not touched me since.
Somewhere between the first night and the last, (the one I dreamed of) we went wrong. The warrior has too many battles to fight. The bard has too many stories inside of her. It was bound to end.
Or did we ever begin?
But I felt something - in a place I can't reach. And it ended. But today? Why today? Why not yesterday or last week or last month? Why now? Now that I'm in love with her. Now that it's so hard to say goodbye.
"I can't fix this." "I know."
I look back on it all and try to figure out the mistakes. I know I supported her. But I complained about the lack of time she actually spent with me. I know I gave her everything I could. But I complained I gave too much and didn't get the same in return. I know I loved her. I know I tried. But I didn't see that she tried, too.
Always black and white. Never any grey....
I was so damn busy living in the past of that one wonderful, perfect night that I could never comprehend why it wasn't happening now. I didn't let it. I wouldn't listen to what she was saying. I wouldn't listen to what she needed. I wouldn't listen to anything. Except my own fears. Unfounded fears - - fear of intimacy, fear of rejection, fear of the future.
I was so caught up in needing security, I scared her away. I was so caught up in "wanting", I wouldn't open up to let her in.
I couldn't. So I didn't.
I never even noticed until she was gone that she was exactly like that first night, every single day we spent together.... She was charming and funny and warm and teasing and intelligent. Always.
And, Today was real, Yesterday was real, Last month was real, That first night was just one night. This, "us", would take time. If we truly wanted it.
That night was a simple, meaningless contest.ā And, I was her challenge. And, since then she was mine. Four months ago today. All just a gameā A silly game. Both of us competitive until the very end.
All the giving, all the taking, Day in and day out.ā It took it's toll. On both of us. And we both are loathe to admit we lost.
Two competitors in the game of love. Neither knowing or realizing That a true champion knows when to lose. Or when to play the game.
And when to recognize it's not really a game at all.
The Bard's Corner