Day In the Desert
Xena Fanfiction, Xena fanfic, Xena fan fiction, Xena and
Gabrielle fanfiction, Xena fiction
Here’s the latest invention from my warped mind <G>. They are stories of Janice Covington and Melinda Pappas that take place three years after the Xena Scrolls episode. Some are from Jan’s point of view. Some are from Mel’s. These ladies are deeply in love but they have yet to express that love to each other. So if the idea of two gorgeous dames longing for each other in a non-platonic way is upsetting, I feel very sorry for you. It’s hard to live with tunnel vision and you have my sympathies. It will be a very long road for you.
Janice and Mel's musing on their lives together on a
Sure, you can reach me at email@example.com.
A Day in the
I can’t take my
eyes off of her.
She captivates my
every thought. All my decisions are based on how they will
effect her. Whatever actions I take play a role in her life.
I never had this
‘problem’ before. I was a free spirit. I had ties to no
one; at times, not even to myself. I didn’t care whether I
lived or died. The rush of living on the edge, even if it
meant my mortal existence, was all that mattered.
Like a reckless,
untamed mare, I was never ‘broken’ by neither man nor
woman. Until this woman… This woman rules me although she
has no idea how much.
My heart flutters
with every step she takes closer to me now. It reminds me of
the Coney Island when I was a kid and how my father would take
me on the roller coasters. His work was his life so I relished
those few special moments he gave me.
I loved Coney
Island. We didn’t make it to New York often but when we did,
Brooklyn was always on the list. The Cyclone was my first stop
and I would tug him along, my small hand fitting snug in his
large callused one. It was quite a sight, I’m sure, to see
this grown man being led around, arm outstretched by a petite
I’d look behind
me and see the huge smile on his face beneath his long
stubble. At the time, I thought he was just as happy as I was
to be there. Later, in hindsight, I realized that I put that
smile there, not the amusement rides that brought ME so much
joy. I was the true ‘joy’ for him. And it was years later
that I too realized the best part of Coney Island was my Pop.
ourselves in and I’d feel the butterflies start as the cart
went in motion. Every click and jerk the cart made had my
nerves jumping both in anticipation and in fear. I waited for
the big ‘drop’ with my fingers digging into the lap rail
and my father’s hand over mine. It was a mixture of
excitement and comfort – of the unknown and of love. It was
a feeling I never thought I’d feel again as an adult. And I
never did until now... until Mel.
I’ve been from
one side of this world to the other and back around again all
before the age of 14. I’ve been in brawls. I’ve been in
firefights. I’ve even been shot. But nothing compares to the
fear that comes with knowing that someday my life might go on
without Mel in it.
compares to the butterflies I get when I look at her on a hot
day. The Cyclone never gave me the belly flips like this
southern belle. And I never thought I’d feel as safe and as
warm as when my father was sitting next to me. But on days
like today, as I watch Mel approach – her long hair piled
high above her head to offer some relief from the terrible
heat – I feel it again. She’s made my butterflies return
and it’s one of the best feelings in the world.
As she starts to
speak, she has a half-chuckle in her southern drawl.
"What’s on yer mind, doctor? Ya seem awful happy seein’
it’s about 160 in the shade," she teases.
about Coney Island," I answer cryptically.
She seems annoyed
when I answer in such a fashion, but I can also tell she likes
the challenge. Many folks think Mel’s just a looker with
little going on between her ears. How wrong they are. She has
a quick mind and an analytical nature about her that I truly
It’s a curse of
beautiful woman one could say. Perhaps that’s why I opt for
the plain jane look and khakis. If I’m going to be taken
seriously, my feminine wiles, as they are called, shouldn’t
be openly displayed. But Mel... Mel never leaves the tent
without her Avon in place. And I know it’s much harder for
her to win the confidences of the men we see from time to time
as we discuss business.
First, they see her
face. And then they see her body. Or perhaps it’s the other
way around. Either case, it’s the outward appearance that
first strikes them. And Mel is a striking woman without a
doubt. When she goes to speak and they hear that southern
accent, her credibility takes another shot in the arm. She’s
a cute little debutante in their eyes; nothing more. Sadly, I
can’t say I felt any different when I first met her. But
many a times, after Mel HAS their full attention, they start
to notice just how well versed and intelligent she is.
Jaws drop. Eyes
pop. And more times than I can count, I’ve had to stifle a
smile behind the back of my palm under the guise of scratching
an itchy nose. I truly love it.
I love it because
once they realize that Mel has looks, class AND god forbid
brains, they cower like timid, guilty school children. She’s
smarter than most of them. She’s certainly sexier than all
of them. She’s the madonna and the whore rolled into one,
which plays havoc on what they expect a woman to be. That in
turn, plays havoc with what role they should play as
threatened by a gentile woman who’d rather shoo flies away
than try to kill them. I’ve got a whip on my left hip and a
gun on my right, but Melinda Pappas is far more dangerous in
their eyes. Who’d have thought it?
The voice of my
partner of three years brings me back from my thoughts.
"Janice?" she questions, getting my attention.
"What in tarnations are ya talkin’ about?"
Uh oh. The
intellectual side has slipped back and the ‘hillybilly’ in
Mel as she calls it, steps center stage. I can see the heat is
getting to her. There will be no guessing cryptic messages
today for her.
answer looking away. I don’t want her to see just how weak
she makes me. I don’t need any clinks in my armor. I
haven’t spent years building it up just to have some damsel,
no matter how bright she is, take it away. "I saw you
walking here with a grin and it reminded me of when I went to
Coney Island with my father."
I finally turn to
see her smile has returned and, not to mention, much bigger
"I remind ya
of ‘dad’, uh?" she teases. "Is that good or
bad?" she asks, already sure of my answer.
I feel another
clink form on my ‘bronze’ with her confidently stated
didn’t say you remind me OF my Pop -- just some happy times
we shared is all." This conversation is getting way too
deep for my tastes and I turn again to pick up a shovel.
"But I’m sure you’re not here to stroll down memory
lane." I grin. "What did you need?"
I let out the
smallest of sighs when I see Mel’s mood shift to her
original reason for coming to my side.
something," she said nodding over to the area she and
some of my men had been digging.
like it’s a chest or strongbox of some kind. I had ‘em
bring out the smaller tools ‘til we have a better idea of
what it is."
"We know what
it is, don’t we, Mel?" I ask with a sly grin.
The last scroll we
managed to find gave directions to another chest containing
more works from my crazy ancestor. I honestly think that
perhaps I am the ‘mad dog’ I’ve been nicknamed sometimes
– and not because of my experiences so much but rather my
genetics. I think it all started with a certain bard who’s
been sending me all the way around the world to every place
she’d ever been. Either that or she had a really
‘warped’ sense of humor the more I think about it, perhaps
it’s a bit of both.
let’s not get too excited yet," Mel said being ever the
practical one when it came to the Xena scrolls. "We’ll
know more by the end of the day. Come take a look."
She nods toward the
site and starts to make her way over. At the moment I can’t
move my feet. I simple watch her glide along the sand. I could
have made a small fortune with all the things I’ve found in
my lifetime, but I realize the greatest treasure I found,
which I would never sell or part with, is Melinda A Pappas.
My first thoughts
are of Janice and how happy she’ll be to see this.
She gets so excited
– like a child on Christmas Eve - when we make a new
discovery. She has a habit of pacing like an expectant father.
In between, I’ll find her ‘reading’ the scrolls over my
shoulder, all the while ringing her anxious, dirty hands
Although her Greek
has gotten much better, she’s still terrible at syntax which
is why I’m still around, I’m sure. I feel proud to know I
can help the woman who’s well on her way to being one of the
world’s most renowned archeologists. The spotlight is never
a place I wanted to be. If I spent the rest of my life
standing behind this woman I would be happy because I think
she’s truly amazing. But as Janice points out to many folks
we meet, my place is at her side, not as a leader or a
I went home once
since I met Janice. Just once. Once was enough.
It had been a rocky
first year and I was feeling a little blue. Janice can be very
demanding - very stern at times. I guess I just wanted to see
some friendly faces and do some ‘catchin' up’ with the
folks back in Carolina.
When I announced my
plans to go home for a spell, Janice brushed it off, mumbling
something about me ‘deciding to give up’ and ‘have a
nice life’. At that very moment, I considered just staying
in Carolina - if my leaving meant nothing, then my staying
meant nothing either.
But on my last
night at the dig site, Janice came into our tent and
‘casually’ mentioned my plane trip in the morning. I
figured she’d give some brute response again, but what
transpired shocked me. She sat down on her cot that ran
parallel to mine, facing the door, of course. Janice always
needs all the angles covered she says. Anyway, she sat down
and told me that she hoped I’d return. I’d become a great
asset to her. But if I found that life in Carolina was better
she wished me well.
She didn’t wait
for my response. She just turned down her lantern and climbed
under her covers, turning her back to me. I’m kind of glad
she didn’t want an answer. For once, I was speechless. I’d
never seen Janice open up in that kind of way. Sure, she could
scream at me if I used the wrong tool for a job. Without a
doubt she could yell when I dropped an artifact on the ground.
But this side to Janice, this caring, was something I was
unprepared for. And it was certainly unlike anything I saw in
our first year together.
But as I said I
went home. I saw my friends. And every one of them never asked
me how I liked my new life. They just wanted to know when I
was coming home for good. After Janice’s confession I was
uncertain and I told them such. I didn’t know when, if ever,
I was going to come home. It was BettyJo’s comments that
helped me consider things more closely.
BettyJo was one of
my oldest and dearest friends. One night over dinner she asked
when I was going to get this wanderlust under control. I was
acting ridiculous. Janice didn’t really ‘need me’. And
besides, people were beginning to talk. I didn’t understand
just what she meant by ‘talk’, but it seems in some
circles, and quite close to me I should add since I left my
beau Richard to ‘take up’ with Janice, people were
wondering if I was one of THOSE girls.
I was offended. I
But when I got home
that night and I lay in bed, I thought back to something my
momma told me on her deathbed. She said, "Melinda, one
day you’re gonna met a man who will sweep you off your feet.
He’ll have all the right looks. He’ll have all the right
lines darlin'. But don’t be sold too quick on him. Because
the one for you will protect you and grow with you. Someone
who’ll stand beside you, not ‘own’ you. And you my dear
will feel the same." I asked just how I would know, and
she told me, "When it happens, you’ll know darlin’.
Cause it will hit ya like lightenin'."
as I lay alone in that stuffy bedroom that night.
Richard was the
‘looker with all the lines’. Janice was the real deal.
Momma never pointed out that the ‘package’ might be
different, but that special someone was still the same.
I thought back to
the very first day I met Janice. She saved my life several
times that day and I was a perfect stranger. She told me often
that I should finish up my college degree, even if it meant
correspondence courses. She gave me the freedom to return to
her or stay with my kin in Carolina. That night I realized
Janice was the one.
Daddy told me that
sometimes you couldn’t see the forest for the trees. I know
now that I was too close to Janice to see it, but once I
stepped back – saw where my life was and where it was
heading - the choice was easy... Janice Covington was my
I hopped a plane to
Greece and never looked back.
It’s been two
year since then. I haven’t confessed a single thought to
Janice At least not yet. Perhaps someday I will. Perhaps if I
knew she felt the same. At this point, the risk of telling her
would be too great. I enjoy my work. I enjoy my time with
Janice. Why ruin a good thing in the fleeting chance that it
might be just a little bit more? I mean I already love Janice.
I’d give my life for Janice. The chance at physical intimacy
is not worth losing my best friend in the world.
As I walk toward
her now and see that smile on her face, I realize I’ve made
the right decision. The only decision. My humor helps keep my
attraction at bay and as I walk up and see how dashing she
looks I plot my response to the grin that has me turned inside
yer mind, doctor? Ya seem awful happy seein’ it’s about
160 in the shade."
about Coney Island?" she answers without adding more.
She really knows
how to push my buttons by being ‘mysterious’, but with
this god awful heat and my growing attraction, I’m simply
not in the mood to be ‘pushed’ today.
tarnations are you talkin’ about?" I ask her a little
more shortly than I intended.
The language of my
momma’s kin always peeks out when I get agitated. Daddy came
from a ‘refined’ family. Refined is a clever way to say
‘rich’. My momma’s family didn’t have many
‘assets’ and it caused quite a stir when Daddy asked her
for her hand. Janice has learned at this point, when those
terms come creeping out it’s best not to push me.
Thankfully, today she notices.
she says in a bashful voice, not looking for a ‘fight’
Me? Did she just
say me? Is she smiling because of me? My heart is starting to
soar now, but I realize I have to keep things cool. The
thought of the word cool is a bit funny within itself given
how hot it is out here.
something about me reminding her of happy memories with her
father but ‘all business’ Covington soon takes over. I
realize it’s probably for the best anyway and I let the
comment go. Well, let’s just say I don’t push the issue.
But the comment goes back into my memory file I keep with all
the little moments that Janice probably wishes I’d forget.
Those ‘tender, mushy moments’ as Janice calls them.
I tell her about
the possible prospect of any other scroll case and instantly
she lights up, but I have to reel her in. We might come up
empty, as we sometimes do. I don’t want her to get her hopes
up too high because it’s terrible to try to cheer her up
afterward. I must admit she is getting better though after two
years of my ‘coaching’.
I instruct her to
follow me and for an instant it seems as though she’s...
watching me? Could that be it? I’m not sure, but I’m not
going to make mention of it. I turn around and I see that look
in her eye. Admiration. Perhaps it’s for the job well done I
tell myself. Nothing more.
or not?" I ask, waving her over.
I watch her adjust
her fandora, an action that always makes my blood race. She
looks so determined and dashing when she does that. With it
firmly in place, she begins to make her way over... I wait for
her and side-by-side we walk to the dig - the way it’s been
since the beginning. Perhaps the way it’s been for thousands