You believer, Warrior, that you do not deserve me. You have told me, both jokingly and as serious as a gray morning. I can see it in your eyes when you are so close, so close to touch and feel and hear, and you draw back. There is fear in your eyes, fear of what will happen if you let yourself love me. You rationalize, I see it before you sleep, what would happen if you would hurt me. You decide who would be right for me, who would make me happy. And you are sure that it couldn't possibly be yourself, because you are to dark for a "pure" soul like mine.

I have demons too, Xena. I wish you saw them.

How do I know all this? Because I know you. I watch you. I see the words behind your spoken ones. I watch you when you think I am lost in my stories, my own world. I know when you are afraid, I know when you are pretending not to be. I know your hopes. I know what you see when you stare absently in the fire. You see them; Lao Ma, Lyceus, Solan, Borias. You see everyone you hurt enveloped in the heat of the orange flame, and the sparks they send off are just reminding you bluntly of what you did.

The past will always be there, Xena. Didn't you say that when you threw that stone in the water? Someday I hope you will truly let it go, let me help you let it go.

I wish you would let me love you.

My demons lie in our story, our travels together. They lie in those days where we cannot save that one villager. They lie in Hope, the child that destroyed everything for that terrible, numbing moment. It is in the fear that I still wish I could have been a better mother to her, that I could have saved her, that I wish I could do everything differently. They lie in Perdicus, a man I loved, but could not love as much I thought I could, who died a too-soon death. They lie in you, and every time I disappointed you. They lie in every time I disappointed myself.

Figuring out the ways of life is a time laced with demons, also.

Your demons can be frightening. They're dark, lingering, ancient. They're your past forcing themselves into the future. You are the living proof people can change for the better, and yet you wish you didn't have to be. There is so much blood on your hands, it seems to be seeping out of your very pores. You say I should be afraid of them, but I'm not. I can't be. Momentarily so, maybe, but the feeling passes. I'll keep promoting your own goodness to yourself until you believe it, and I shall promote it then still.

I do love you. The words repeat in my head sometimes. I love you, I love you, I love you. Nothing you ever say or do, or anything the world throws at us will change that. I love you so much that it hurts somewhere inside that I didn't even know existed. It is a quiet storm perfect for a cozy night by a fire and warm day in the sun all at once. Your arms around me are my balance between the two. You are my balance. I didn't believe in soulmates until you became mine.

Every bard in the world has written these types of things, and it's only now that I understand why. After everything that's happened to us this past year, we deserve each other. We deserve the love that's trying to make itself known.

Tonight is one of those nights that you are particularly full of this guilt and grief. Unlike other when we're joking about the day's events, and just generally enjoying a peaceful night in each others company. Tonight your eyes are riveted by the fire. The only sound is the forest at night, creating its mystery of noises. I'm lost in my writing, lost in the day, and lost in my unspoken words for you, however cliched that sounds. I hear your demons chasing you away from me, and settling a mask on your face. I see my demons on a blank scroll. I hear the crackle of the fire, and I see you turn towards it. We lock eyes for a moment, then, and your face loses its last harshness of the day. You look worried for a moment, before you give me a brief smile. It is the smile you save for me, just a quick upturn of the lips to assure me that almost nothing is troubling her. You know I'll want to talk to you about the almost. Tonight I don't, I just reach out to stroke you arm, so strangely bare without your armor.

I want to lie in your arms tonight, but I know our arms will only brush against each other. Your eyes will be the last thing I see, and I'll see the moon in them.