The water ripples and churns. A series of ficlets. 34 - She gave the lead another tug.
12 June 2006
X/A –ish. This one goes before 'wash off the blood' but after 'strain,' I'd say.
Ares found Gabrielle arguing heatedly with Argo on one of the side tracks forking off from the main road.
"What are you doing?"
Gabrielle growled. "Xena asked me to take Argo to the spring for her, but the bloody horse won't move!" She gave the lead another tug, but Argo only snorted and flicked an ear at her.
Ares gave an exasperated sigh, and Gabrielle glowered at him. "You think I'm doing this for my own enjoyment?"
"She probably thinks you're just being weird." He reached for the reins. "Move," he snapped, ignoring Gabrielle's insulted response.
He reached up to stroke Argo's nose, and there was something gentle in the way he looked at her. Turning, he walked toward Gabrielle with Argo following obediently. He handed her the reins and said, "You have to let her know what you want instead of just pulling at her."
She looked at him, surprised. "For a boorish bastard, you're pretty useful."
He scoffed, crossing his arms and turning his head away. "Huh. Without someone to tell you what to do, I swear…"
They were silent for a few moments as they walked.
Gabrielle glanced at him. "Apology accepted," she said softly, and his smirk was defensive and grateful at the same time.
"Hey," Xena's voice greeted suddenly. "What are you two up to?"
Gabrielle realized that they'd stopped walking again. "Um," she improvised, reaching quickly to her left. "Just picking some berries for Argo."
Xena eyed the small fruits. "You'll get attacked by a giant vicious rabbit again if you eat those," she said dryly.
"Very funny." Gabrielle rolled her eyes and dropped the berries. "I'll go ahead to the spring."
She turned her head slightly as she led Argo away, watching from the corner of her eye the absolute trust in Ares' smile when Xena looked at him and said something.