DISCLAIMER: Xena: Warrior Princess and its characters are the property of Renaissance Pictures and MCA. No infringement intended.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
FEEDBACK: To Eve.Hollowell[at]hotmail.com
Xena and Gabrielle: Bounty Hunters
By Eve Hollowell
Silence has never been my strong suit. My partner, however, is the master of it. We have been sitting in a black Explorer watching a house, where we believe my ex fiancé is selling drugs, for over 3 hours. Xena is perfectly content with the quietness that surrounds. I keep squirming in my seat like a 3 year old.
"Can you please stop that? You can be slightly annoying."
I huff and cross my arms over my chest. I don't know why I even thought I could be a bounty hunter. I hate running. I hate weapons. I am scared of pretty much everything. Most of all, I have no patience.
I look over at my mysterious partner. Ares, our employer, partnered me with Xena so I could learn from the best. I was thrilled. She, on the other hand, acted as if someone killed her puppy. That was almost 3 months ago.
"Can I ask you a question?"
She answers me without looking away from the house.
"If I say no, will you ask anyway?"
I flash her a smile and go for it.
"How do you do it? Why is it so easy for you to just sit here without dying of boredom?"
Xena finally looks right at me. She smiles. Wow. That's a first.
"Huh?" I said.
She smiles again.
"That was two questions." She turns her attention back to the house. "A lot of practice. I have been doing this kind of thing for a long time."
I nod my head as if I am agreeing with her. The truth is, I know nothing about her. She never talks to me. This is the longest I have had to actually sit with her doing surveillance, and frankly, it kills me.
"So, you been working for Ares a long time?" I bite my lip. I could kick myself for continuing. Any minute now she is going to throw me out of this car. Literally.
A woman of many words I see.
I turn my attention back to the house. I begin to think about what we are doing here. Joxer, my ex, is believed to be in there. He jumped bail last week. The son of a bitch was arrested for attempting to sell heroin to an undercover cop. I couldn't believe it when I heard about it. We were together for almost 2 years. I never suspected he would do anything like this. Apparently, he has been selling drugs for years. I was glad things ended when they did.
I snap back to reality and realize Xena spotted someone coming out of the house. I snatch the binoculars and see him. He is looking all around, most likely afraid he is being watched. Little does he know his sweet little ex is about to kick some ass. Or at least, her partner is going to kick his ass.
I hear the door open on the driver side, and see Xena sprint across the street towards him.
"Great. I'll just wait here. No problem." Great. Now I am talking to myself. I get out of the car and jog towards Xena and Joxer. He is handcuffed and looks frightened.
"Need a hand?" I ask. I know the answer, but I just wanted him to know that I, in some way, contributed to his re-arrest. God it felt good when he looked at me wide eyed.
Xena, practically dragging his skinny ass, escorts him passed me without answering.
"Gabby! What the hell are you doing?"
I smile and ignore him, practically skipping behind. Xena opens the back door of the Explorer and Joxer, willingly (most likely out of fear) gets in.
More silence in the car, except for the occasional curse Joxer says under his breath.
We drop him off at the police station with a wave and a wink. At least from me.
On the way back to Ares Bail Bonds, Xena surprises me with a question of her own.
"What did you see in that guy?"
I laugh. I ask myself that question daily. The truth is, I have no idea.
"His body." I joke. She actually laughs. It's beautiful.
She pulls into the reserved spot at Ares's.
"I'll see you tomorrow."
I nod my head and get out of the SUV. She watches me get into my car. She waits until I leave to pull out of the parking lot and head home herself.
The next few weeks were pretty tame. She was still hesitant to talk, but once in a while, I was able to break through. After an apprehension one night, she surprised the hell out of me when she suggested drinks.
We went to the bar a few blocks away from Ares's Bail Bonds. We sat at a table and ordered food and a pitcher.
"So I have to say, I was surprised when you asked me out."
Xena looks up at me. I suddenly realize what I've said.
"Out as in for drinks. Not OUT out. I mean OUT of the car." Nice cover. Go me.
"I know. I was surprised myself. Mainly because you are a major pain in my ass. I also just don't like a lot people."
No shit. I nod my head and smile. She is watching the television behind me, although I don't really think she is interested in Family Guy. I decide not to try and press on for any more personal information about her, and just enjoy the sounds around. Men playing pool, three different televisions with three different programs on, and a group of college students singing Boys 2 Men. I smile and when I look back at Xena. She is looking right at me. She has the most incredible eyes. Piercing blue eyes.
"Are you ready?" She stands up without waiting for me to respond.
I grab my stuff and follow her out the door. She drives me down the street, where my car is waiting. I feel ridiculously nervous.
"Well I had fun. We should go out again." I roll my eyes at myself. Damn you mouth!
She smiles and I get out of the car. As I am getting into my car, I hear the window roll down.
I turn my attention to her. She actually said my name. I don't think she ever has in me presence. I smile at her.
"I had fun too." She smiles at me. I almost hyperventilate.
She rolls her window up and waits until I am in my car and on my way. I am giggling like a school girl and practically dancing in my car. Wait a minute. Am I giddy over another woman? I mean, Xena is gorgeous. Anyone with eyes can see that. But it's that breathtaking smile and those eyes. The bluest I have ever seen.
"A crush." I say out loud. I've had them before on women. I just never thought of it before. I always thought it was a part of life, developing crushes on other women. But this felt like more. This felt stronger.
Only time will tell what it all means.
I walk into the office to find Ares sitting at his desk talking on the phone. I wait for him to get off to find out who our next apprehension is.
"Xena is already out looking for Callisto Amarice, the chick who was arrested for aggravated assualt." he said without looking up at me.
"So she is on a case without me? What should I do?" I really do not want to know what he is going to say. I knew this day would come, and I have been dreading it.
"I have a case for you. You only. It's been long enough, I am sure you can handle apprehending someone on your own."
Before I can disagree, he throws the file at me.
"Jim Loki. He is probably so drunk, he can't even remember he was arrested. He does this from time to time. Pick him up, drop him off."
After reviewing the file for the fifteenth time, I get out of my car and walk towards Jim Loki's door.
All I keep thinking is "please don't be home, please don't be home."
I knock on the door and wait. At first it is silent, but then I hear footsteps coming towards the door. It opens and I smell the stench of alcohol before I even look at the mans face. He is slightly taller than I, which makes me feel a lot better. I can see his hairline is receding, and he probably has not shaved in two weeks.
"Jim Loki? I am from Ares Bail Bond Agency. You skipped your court date. I need you to come with me." There. I did it.
I can see how confused he was, but without saying a word he comes outside. It is then that I see the rifle in his hand.
Shit. Just my luck.
"I ain't going anywhere." His speech is slurred. He lifts the rifle and aims it at my chest.
SHIT. Seriously, why do I have this kind of luck? I am in panic mode. I am completely frozen and have no idea what to do.
"Listen Jim, you don't want to add charges. Just put the gun down, come with me, and we will get everything straightened out. You can be back home in a few hours."
I can see I am not getting through. I am scared out of my mind. I decide that instead of standing here and letting myself get killed, I need to take action. Grabbing the taser gun I have out of my bag, I grab the barrel of the gun, move it out of sight of me, and taser him right in the stomach. During the struggle, the gun does go off hitting the porch roof.
I hear Xena calling me as I am standing there in shock. I am cuffing him and cursing out loud.
"Gabrielle. What in the hell were you thinking? Why would you do that?! You could have gotten yourself killed!"
I see worry in Xena's eyes. That's a first.
"I know. I'm sorry. I figured it would be something you would do. I couldn't stand there and let him shoot me."
Without another word, she helps me pick him up and walk him to her car. She is being overly rough with him, and calling him every name in the book. She throws him in the back seat and slams the door.
"Ares said you were on your own. I just wanted to make sure everything was going right. I get here and I see him with a gun, and then as I am running up the stairs, I hear a shot. I thought you were hit. You realize that you could have been shot Gabrielle? SHOT! Trust me, it hurts and where he was aiming "
" I know. I'm okay though. Alright?"
She gets in her car and drives off with MY apprehension. I watch as the Explorer disappears.
"Thanks." I say out loud, standing in the middle of the street.
Come to find out, I was actually decent at this bounty hunter thing. I was no Xena, but I was getting the hang of it. For the next three weeks, everything was trite. No more guns to the chest. I did have a homeless guy throw a shoe at me, but he thought I was sent from his home planet to bring him back.
Going to Ares Bail Bonds, I was picking up my check. It had been a long week. I walk in and Xena is standing by Ares desk. She looks right through me, and I feel the sting. We have not spoken since that Jim Loki incident. I decide to take the plunge.
"Hi Xena." Look at me. Look at me. LOOK AT ME!
She does look at me and nods. It's a start.
Ares gives us our checks and we walk out together. Both of us stop once we get outside near our cars, which are parked next to each other.
"Drink?" She asks me.
I smile and nod. We get in her car and go towards the bar.
Once seated and our drinks ordered, she begins to speak.
"I'm sorry for how I acted with the whole Jim thing. I heard the shot, I thought it was you. I just need you to be careful. This job is dangerous Gabrielle. Trust me."
"I can see that. I am surprised you were worried at all. Thought maybe you would be relieved to have me out of your hair." I smile at her, but her eyes are looking at me hard.
"Have I ever expressed any type of hatred towards you to make you think that?" Her voice is a little harsh but her eyes have softened.
"No. I'm sorry. I-I was kidding. It wasn't funny. I know. Sorry." Mumble McMumbleson.
The rest of the evening went well. We chatted a bit, nothing much. It's like pulling teeth getting her to talk, but I am learning more and more about her. She grew up in Chicago, and does not have any family. When I asked how she got into bounty hunting, she smiled and said that story is for another time. Score! There will be another time!
Xena drops me off at my car. Before I can get out, she says my name. The tone makes me turn slowly and she is looking at me. I saw this look earlier at the bar and I could not read it. I definitely know it now. I meet her half way and kiss her. I feel like my entire body is shaking. She pulls away and smiles. It is a good thing I am sitting, otherwise I would have fainted.
"Sweet dreams." she says in that sexy voice.
"Yeah, you too. Thank you."
I get in my car and start it. We both leave at the same time, going our opposite directions. This is by far the best night I have had in a long time.
The next morning I wake up to the sound of banging on my door. I look at the silent alarm clock. It's 6:00 AM! I am going to kill whoever this is. I stomp to the door and answer without checking who it is. It's her. She looks absolutely stunning at this hour. I, on the other hand, have bed head. Xena looks me up and down with that smirk.
"Morning sunshine. Thought you could use a coffee."
Before I could answer, she leans down and kisses me on the side of the mouth. I look up at her and feel myself swaying. She either doesn't notice or pretends she doesn't, so I balance myself by leaning on the wall.
"Are you hungry? I think I have cereal."
I turn and walk towards the kitchen silently praying I do not look as horrendous as I feel. I turn around to tell her she can come in and am surprised she is directly behind me. What is she, a ninja?!
"Did I scare you?" it's a teasing tone but extremely sexy.
Those eyes are so mesmerizing, I cannot seem to come up with an answer. Instead, I just grab the top of her shirt and pull her lips to mine. All the while I am wondering what the hell has gotten into me, I feel her put her hands on my waist. I am going to have a heart attack, I just know it.
I finally pull away or she does. I really don't know.
"We should head out. I can grab you a bagel at the donut shop downtown if you'd like." she turns and walks out the door while she yells over her shoulder that I have 15 minutes to come out.
I thought that is what I just did.
After getting ready in a record of 8 minutes, I walk outside and Xena is leaning against her truck. Once again I am in awe of her beauty. Those blue eyes. That jet black hair. The way she tells you so much without really telling anything just by a look. I realize I am standing on my porch just staring at her. She is looking right back at me though, so I do not feel as self conscious as I normally would have.
"I'm sorry." At first I do not even realize that she spoke. When I do, I am confused about why she is apologizing. My face must show my confusion because she gives a weak smile and walks towards me.
"I don't mean to give mixed signals. There is a lot you don't know about me. I have trust issues."
I see the pain in her eyes and feel protective over her. Not that she would need it. She is probably the strongest person I have ever met.
"I can understand that." I say, as she moves closer. She is only a few inches away and it takes every ounce of me to restrain myself. I want to kiss her again.
"Hopefully I can get passed it. I was thinking we can go somewhere today. The lake."
She smiles at me and I melt. I would go to the landfill if she asked me to.
We decide to go to the lake and fish. I never liked fishing but if it means spending time with this remarkable woman, I am all for it.
We are sitting on a dock in silence for what seems like hours. I am reading a book and she is doing the fishing. She doesn't seem to mind that I am not one for worms and fish, so she stopped at Barnes and Noble to let me get a book.
I turn to look at her, although I have been stealing glances all morning. She is not looking back at me but staring across the water.
"Yes?" I am almost scared she is going to say this wont work. I got the wrong idea. My heart is pounding and I am in panic mode.
"My parents were killed in a car crash. A drunk driver. I was 15." She finally looks at me. I think it's to see if I am really listening or pretending. I want to cry and I think she senses it.
"I am not telling you so you pity me. You asked the other night how I got into bounty hunting. Well, after their death I was angry. The guy got 3 years in prison. I did not understand how I am parentless and he basically gets away with it. I started thinking about being a police officer. I am not one for taking orders, so I nixed that. When I was 23, I saw this guy running down the street being chased by another. At first, I thought it was just a guy about to get his ass kicked. Then as he got closer, I remembered his face on wanted posters. He was wanted for drugs and the guy chasing him was a bounty hunter. When he was right near me, I grabbed him and apprehended him for the bounty hunter. The criminal put up a struggle but I made sure he did not get away. The bounty hunter, Hercules, then told me that I would be great at it. He told me the name of a bail bondsmen that he knew, and it all went from there."
I can tell this is one of the first times that Xena has ever opened up. I feel like I should say something but cannot think of the right words. Instead, I stand up and walk over to where she is sitting. I sit next to her and grab her free hand. She looks at me and smiles. I smile back at her. We sit in silence for a few more minutes.
"Thank you for telling me that. It couldn't have been easy, since you don't know me that well." I am staring at the water but feel her eyes on me.
"I know you. More than you think." I can tell by her tone that she is telling the truth. I feel myself blush.
"Like what?" I ask.
She laughs and reels her line in. She sets her pole to the side and turns her body towards me. I position myself so I am facing her as well and wait for her reply.
"I know that you are gullible. I know that you take a lot of sugar in your coffee. Why not just eat a few spoonfuls of sugar?"
I love that she is teasing me and we laugh. I urge her to go on.
"I know that you have a good heart. You see the best in people and give everyone the benefit of the doubt. I know that your favorite color is blue. You wear it all of the time."
The last part is actually a new thing. Ever since I saw those blue eyes, it has become my favorite color. Of course, I don't tell her that.
"I know you never thought about being with another woman. Until now."
I can see this bothers her. She is worried that I might be going through some type of "I hate men phase" and just want some type of connection. This couldn't be farther from the truth. Yes I have had bad luck with men but I never thought of the reasons as to why. I think my answer has been found. I had to go through all of the bad men, to find the right women. I realize what I have just admitted to myself and freeze. Xena notices that my head is going a million miles a minute, and places her hand on my shoulder.
"Are you ok, Gabrielle?"
No. I think to myself. I am in love with you. Even just saying it in my mind makes me feel vulnerable. She sees right through me. I know it. She has to. I cannot hide this. I can see that she is starting to worry. I love you. Stop it inner thoughts!
"Yes. I am fine." the way she looks at me tells me she knows that I am lying. "I just you are right. I never thought about being with another woman."
She nods and is looking out at the water again.
"Does that mean I can't think of it now?" I ask her, hoping that she does not give up on me. On us. Us?
"No." She smiles and looks at me. "You can think of me anytime you like."
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