Title: Cabin Fever
Archive: Yes, please. Let me know if you take it, OK?
Teaser: Christmas and "Old Ares Had a Farm"
Disclaimer: The characters are not mine. They belong to Studios USA or
Whoever owns the Rights to Xena: Warrior Princess.
Gabrielle shivered as she looked out the window. Nothing had changed in the last half hour since she had last looked. The winter storm outside was still blowing. The strong winds whipped the falling snow around in circles and it gathered on the frozen ground in deep snow drifts. There was a thick pile on the outer part of the window and huge icicles hung from the porch roof, some as thick as her leg. She wiped at the frosty glass, trying to see better but it did no good. The problem was not with the glass or her eyes; it was the storm. The snow was coming down so thick and fast that she could barely see three feet. Shaking her head, Gabrielle turned away from the window and moved back towards the roaring fireplace.
"Is it still coming down out there?" Xena asked as she poked the logs in the fireplace with a poker. The fire flared up and then settled back down. Xena sat on a chair next to the roaring fireplace. Ares sat across from her in another chair. They were both wrapped up in blankets.
"Yes." Gabrielle told them as she sat down on the empty chair between her two friends. She glanced at Xena and wrapped her blanket tighter around herself. "I don't understand this weather, either. Greece is supposed to have a mild climate. We never get snow here and now we have a blizzard? What's causing this freakish weather?"
"Just be glad we made it back here before this storm let loose." Xena told her. The Warrior Princess had a very good idea what caused this odd weather: killing off most of the Olympian Gods. Before they had controlled such everyday things, or they were supposed to anyway. Things had been OK that summer, when they had set up Ares on Xena's grandmother's farm. The house had been a wreck after sitting empty all those years. The walls had holes in them, the door fell off the frame from dry rot, the roof leaked everywhere except in one bedroom and the furniture fell apart at the slightest touch. Ares had been right when he said the God of War wasn't going to live there. But then he wasn't a God anymore. So they had spent a month living with Ares on the farm, giving him livestock and helping him repair the house. He even adopted a dog! So once he was settled in, the two women warriors had left. Xena had told him to stay put, as she might drop in on him again some day.
And now she and Gabrielle did. They had first noticed the change in weather when Autumn arrived. The nip in the air had been a lot colder and stronger than before. It got dark earlier than it should and the sky was often gray. Lately the sky had been nothing but a low hanging mass of flat gray-white. And it had been so cold that their skinned turned red and parts of their body pinched.
"Xena? How long is this storm going to last?" Gabrielle asked her friend. "And when is the weather going to go back to normal? Its been cold for three months already! I know this weather is normal in the North, but this is Greece! I'm getting tired of seeing gray and white all the time."
"I suppose in the Spring?" Xena said as she took a drink of hot tea. "I think this is caused by all those Gods dying. I don't think there's much we can do about it right now except wait for the weather to clear up."
"But there must be something we can do!" Gabrielle insisted. She glanced at Ares.
"Don't look at me. I hate sitting in this shack and freezing even more than you do." Ares admitted to her. "And these fireplaces are a joke. They provide almost no heat and lots of smoke. And being stuck in this gloomy, dark house is no fun at all. After awhile, I find myself talking to the dog!"
"You see, Xena? That's what I mean!" Gabrielle explained to her friend. "We'll all go bomkers being trapped in here for months without end with nothing to do! And I know how you are. You can't stand being in one place too long. You'll crack up first!"
"I aint gonna crack up." Xena said with a very sour expression. "I've been through worse. Besides, I got pleanty to do."
"Like what?" Ares asked as he leaned closer to the fire. Darn these mortal bodies and their constant need for warmth!
"Like sharpening my sword." Xena carefully put down her empty tea cup and picked up her sword. Reaching into a secret pouch, she pulled out a piece of flint and stroked it along the blade. Loud screeching filled the air. "See?"
"Xena, if you sharpen that sword any more you won't have a sword." Ares said deadpanned. "This is what? The fiftieth time today and who knows how many times the previous days?"
Gabrielle sighed. They needed some type of group activity, something to keep them occupied and entertain themselves. But what? She glanced around the small farm house they were stuck inside and realized she could see very little. The place was so dark! The fireplace provided some light but very little. And the windows didn't help much at all since it got light late and dark early. Maybe a few more candles?
Then Gabrielle realized the thing she missed most was colors. She had no idea how people in the north could live through a long, cold winter with no colors. It seemed to her that all the colors faded from the earth with the first snowflake. If she could find some bright colors somewhere, bring them into the house, maybe it might be enough to cheer them up. But how? What could possibly still be colorful amid all this snow?
"Ares is right! This place is dark and drab. What we need to do is make it bright and cheerful! It'll lift our spirits and we'll all feel better. Plus it'll give us something to do." Gabrielle told them, excitement in her voice. Her mind whirled as she tried to figure out exactly how to do it.
Ares laughed. "It'll take a God to fix this place and I'm currently without powers, so I guess that means we just lucked out."
"I wouldn't say that." Xena glanced at Gabrielle with a smile. "She's good at things like this. She's thought up some pretty amazing things in the past and sometimes just simply talked her way out of problems. I think it's the bard in her. If she says she'll think of something, I'm sure she will."
"Well, I just hope it does not involve me doing physical labor or going outside because I am NOT doing either!" Ares proclaimed loudly as he crossed his arms over his chest. His tough attitude did not last long and he was forced to hide his hands and arms under the blanket once more. He was convinced if it got any colder in this place he would be able to see his own breath!
After finishing their meal, the three retired to the bedroom for the night. Piling all the blankets on the bed kept them warm. The next morning Gabrielle was the first one to wake up, bright sunlight shining on her face. She carefully crept out of bed and moved over to the nearby window. Peering out, she was amazed! The blizzard had finally stopped and everything was covered by a thick blanket of clean white snow. It was so beautiful!
And there amid the thick field of snow was the answer she had been looking for.
"It's perfect!" she breathed.
So what do you think Gabrielle saw???
Posted on Dec 30, 2001, 7:16 PM from IP address 18.104.22.168