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Disclaimers: Universal/MCA/Renaissance are the proud owners of a '57 Buick...err...Ooops. I meant to say...they are the proud owners of Xena and Gabrielle. This piece of fan fic entertainment created for your enjoyment was written for non-profit purposes only.

Maintext Alert! Reflection is the fourth short story in the series called "Apparitions of Love", even though they really aren't stories, but just exercises in Alternative Fiction for me.

by Silk
copyright 1998

Walk on the ocean
Step on the stones
Flesh becomes water
Wood becomes bone
Song by the band "Toad"


Turning my face up towards the malevolent gray sky, I let the full force of heaven's fury fall down upon me, reveling in the wind that brushes past my body and the rain that wraps me in its wet cocoon.

Willingly embracing the storm, I am quickly covered from head to toe in its liquid essence. The rain cools my skin and plasters the simple white shift I wear to my body. I am essentially naked, bared to a world that cannot see, will not see me as I wish to be.

It is moments like these, when I am alone, that I feel as if I am two people. One soul split asunder.

Darkness and Light.

Fire and Water.

But here in the rainstorm's path I am only one, the shadows left behind for my harsher half as I am cleansed. The darkness, a black thick coil that lives and breathes like a monster from the depths of Tartarus inside of me, is banished by the rain and washed away from my body to lie dormant in the soil beneath my feet. The blood is cleaned away, along with the aches and the pains that plague me.

No longer am I a killer. No blood. No lies. No sorrow. No hate. No anger. No fear. I am unfettered, released from the bonds that others and I put upon me. No expectations.

Here, enfolded in the tempest's embrace, I am free to be anything I wish. Free to run wild and carefree in the green rolling hills. Free to laugh like a young child at the dazzling patterns the sun creates on the ground through the branches of a cypress tree. Free to love without fear of rejection. Free to be innocent once again.

I feel as if with only a single thought or wish I could become the rain that caresses my skin lovingly, to be a part of the storm itself. An elemental being of pure water that flows down to the soil and becoming a puddle. Then letting the downpour continue to fill me, expanding my very self until I flow along the ground and join with others like me again and again, until I finally reach the sea and I am embraced.

Rain slickens my skin and I raise my arms to try and enfold the storm more fully. All my concerns, my woes, my life drift further and further away from me and I let them. There is nothing to hold me here. Nothing to chain me to the dark husk that is the other side of me. Only the rain holds my future, all else is past. I need nothing else to escape.

I don't know when I first realize that I am no longer alone. One moment I am yearning for freedom from this tired flesh, the next there is someone with me.

The presence comes closer, but I sense no threat. Heat radiates from behind me, warming my back and sending a shiver up my spine.

A slim hand gliding up my raised arm is the first touch to breach the water that covers my skin. My mind rebels at first and my arm twitches at the touch, but something deep within me knows the one whose fingers entwine with mine and I surrender to the contact.

Warm breath caresses my ear as I feel her step even closer, but still only her hand touches me. The cold within me is melting, leaving a core of emptiness that aches. I suddenly yearn for something beyond the rain and the storm. Something elusive and tantalizing.

Then it comes to me...I know who this is. Woman. Companion. Friend. Lover.

A low guttural moan rumbles from deep within me as she finally steps close enough that her body touches my back. Her breasts and taunt stomach graze against me as her thighs meld along my own.

Confusion clouds my mind and my tenuous grasp on freedom starts to slip away. What is this feeling that is seeping within me from her touch, invading my body and filling the emptiness?

She pulls back the wet hair from my neck and her breath moves down from my ear to my shoulder. My muscles tense up in anticipation or fear and another link is reset on the chains that hold me to this life.

Lips, soft and almost burning hot, kiss my bared neck just above the collar to my shift. A bolt of energy washes through me from the touch, exploding both in the void deep inside me and in my brain. No longer am I hollow, unfulfilled. Instead, a fire slowly grows deep inside of me, expanding with each heartbeat of hers that I can feel pulsing on my back.

I can sense my other self nearby, looking in from the darkness which it inhabits. It wants me. I can feel it demanding to be let back in, but the rain still keeps it at bay. Or perhaps it's just my need for the rain with its cleansing power that makes the shadowy part of me unable to come near. Or perhaps it's something else all together.

But with this woman I feel the chains becoming heavier and the other part of my soul coming closer, heralding the weight of my life placed upon my shoulders again.

The expectations. The guilt. With every breath I take within this woman's embrace, I can feel the world starting to come crashing down upon me.

I don't want this! I need...freedom!

I am so very tired. My strength is nearly gone from carrying so many burdens. Let me go, I cry silently unable to speak.

My body becomes rigid and I start to pull away from her. She's the source of my bonds and I know to fully be clean I must escape from her.

But she follows me insistently, keeping my hand entrapped in her own and wrapping her other arm around my waist. She pulls me back to her and I shudder as we come into contact again.


The hoarse whisper barely escapes from my lips and the word is almost lost in the tempest's fury. But she hears my plea and answers wordlessly, pulling my shift down away from my neck with her teeth and gently licking the moisture from my skin.

An abrupt wave of weakness crashes through me, making my arms tremble with the strain until they finally fall to my sides. I stumble, my knees starting to collapse, but she has other plans and wraps my hand and hers around my body pulling me even closer towards her. back is so warm where she crushes me to her. Her nipples hard and demandingly crushed against me. The battle for my freedom is lost as the rain tries to come between us, but there is no space for it to enter. Hot flesh pressed up against flesh is a barrier it cannot pass.

Let me go. Free me. My mind silently screams the words, but the heat is burning the rain from my mind and body and I can feel myself concentrating more on my lover than my avenue of escape from life.

She raises her hand to my chin and pulls back my head to her shoulder as her lips move deliciously from my neck to my jaw and then my ear. Her playful tongue darts in and out of the seashell curls of my ear, sending more shivers through me. At the same time she uses our clutched hands to carefully unbutton the soaking shift covering my body, exposing my skin fully to the elements and to her touch.

I find no energy to fight her as my hand betrays me and assists her, our fingers moving in tandem along my ribs to my quivering abdomen.

She moves her other hand from my neck, making me moan with the loss, but her lips continue to pay homage to my ear, gently nipping the lobe and taking it within her mouth. Her hand drifts down to an unveiled breast, trailing light fingers over the soft swell, then gently over the puckered nipple.

I'm trembling at her touch and in desperation I make one last attempt to free myself. Placing my free hand behind me on her hip I try and push her away, but it is to no avail. I've lost the war as I betray myself and focus momentarily on my hand and the smooth naked flesh underneath it.

My fingers move slightly and pull her hips insistently towards me, wanting her to melt into me as much as she can. I find myself craving her skin, her touch, her smell...I find I crave her.


Our hands continue their wandering together, slowing drifting down until damp curls meet our touch. My legs spread slightly at the command of her knees and my thighs shake in expectation of what I know is to come. I can't resist her force of will, so instead I choose to flow with the tide of battle, accepting defeat and its price...and its reward.

I gasp loudly as our fingers slid into my slick folds, moving as one. The world ceases to exist except for the two of us. Her breath comes as harshly and as fast as my own, her groans of pleasure mimic mine as I come closer and closer to the edge. The heat of her body merges with mine and it burns the rain falling down upon us, sending billowing clouds of steam rising up into the storm.

I writhe in her arms, my head turning to her finally and my lips finding hers hungrily. She invades me with ferocity, claiming me as our fingers together delve deeply to claim the other source of heat and moisture of my body.

My eyes meet hers and our rhythm increases. As our tongues play fiercely, her hand ceases its teasing caresses on my breast and becomes more bold, firmly squeezing my nipple in time with our plunging.

The sensations explode within me catching me by surprise and driving all sense of time and place from my mind. Eyes slamming shut as the countless, merciless waves of pleasure surge through me, I scream my lover's name as she ravenously continues on.

She keeps going, demanding more from me. I give her what she wishes until I am spent, my body no longer able to keep itself upright.

As I collapse in her arms, I realize that there is no dark part of my soul waiting to overwhelm me when the rain is gone. That shadow self was always an apparition, a reflection I always expected to be there when I looked deep within myself.

The blood is real and so is the guilt, but they aren't simply washed away by the purity of water. They are a part of me, and I can only be released from their grasp when I learn to live with their weight.

The expectations and the burden of others' needs are another matter. I find that while my heart slows and my lover pulls me closer to her breast, that the influence of them isn't heavy at all. Instead they grow lighter as I find that I want people to need me. I don't thrive on their pain and suffering, but on being able to bring them hope and some happiness.

Turning my head slightly I look up at eyes the color of bright gems and smile softly, in awe of the power that this woman holds. A woman who loves me unconditionally and whom I love above all others.

Not even the elements can defeat her determination and heart. If anything, she is the true reflection of my soul and I am hers.

The End


Got ya this time;} Not as easy way to tell who it is this time, especially with the 3rd season under our belts. Muhahaha. *G* This went a bit farther than I anticipated or than I usually venture in regards to subtext. Go figure. I hope I didn't scare too many people away. It's not like I'm one of the great Alt. Fic. bards for goodness sake. I don't know many different words for bud after all. So, gimme a break;} I have no niche like they do, I just write whatever comes to mind. It's pure insanity I tell you!

Warlord in Training. I don't think I'm ever going to graduate. I'm just not depraved enough.*VBEG*

"Bard? Where? No one here except us lunatics. I'm Slik btw. Silk's evil twin. Nice to meet ya. Want a cookie?"

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