Subtext: Of course. What would any X/G story be without it? It is all about the love.
Sex disclaimer: No graphic sex. Maybe next time. However, if love and intense caring between two consenting adults who happen to be women offend you , or you are not of age or it is illegal in your state..well... you can click the mouse and return when you are older and wiser.
Author's note: This story should have taken place toward the end of the first episode if I had my way.
This first effort is dedicated to my Austrian Warrior Princess who planted the seed of possibility and sprinkled me with words of encouragement.
Confession by Firelight By Cheeya
The monotonous rhythm of whetstone against sword ...zweet...zweet...zweet seemed to have a distracting yet calming effect on the lone warrior. Dangling from the tripod above the campfire the rabbit stew she had concocted slowly steeped. Xena stared into the flames and wondered why she even bothered to make supper since she no longer felt hungry.
"Maybe I can pawn it off on Argo," she mused.
Comforted only by the flickering firelight, her thoughts kept returning to the unexpected events of the past few days. There was nothing she could do. She had to give the little blonde the brush off. Who needed her tagging along like a spur under Argo's saddle. But there was just something about her. As smothering as the thought of a full time companion might be--- it was this very possibility Xena could not retreat from. Just the sound of her name ...Gabrielle...kept invading her thoughts. How would she get thru this night?
She admitted to herself she was intrigued by the girl... even missed her.
Xena thought back to the moment when she first saw the petite blonde. Concealed behind the bushes, she had watched as the feisty young woman took on impossible odds at defeating those tyrant warlords and slave sellers. She knew then and there that somehow her heart would be bound to this little gal's spirit forever.
She recalled the very first time they had come face to face with each other. How their eyes locked instantly forcing a jolt in the pit of her stomach. She had never felt that before with any other person she had met. Usually it was mere lust. Maybe the allure of power or the need to control...even envy... perhaps. It was never this kind of feeling. This was something new.
"Am I crazy? How stupid is this?," she spoke aloud to no one in particular. The conversation continued in her head... "I am the lone Warrior and yet I keep feeling I am missing a part of myself. Ever since I first saw her, I got the instant sensation our destiny would be connected by some strange force."
But now away from her source she fought that feeling.
"No! No! No! Not another heartbreak!". she cried leaning against her sword for support.
There had been so many attempts at love in Xena's past. Hadn't Alti held up Anokin as an enticing offering which she greedily accepted. Hadn't she had some fun with her but then ended up poisoning her soul. And M'lila... so devoted to her and yet Xena had always treated her like a slave.
"Sweet M"lila", Xena lamented. "She ended up sacrificing herself for me by becoming a human shield. Another one bites the dust, eh."
Xena recalled her cherished experiences with her beloved mentor Lao Ma so pathetically destroyed... a victim of ancient beliefs... leaving even Xena unable to save her. And Akemi, although her adoring companion, sought out a warrior's death by sword.
No! No! No! She would spare this little wannabe warrior such a fate if she had anything to do with matters. That was that. She would think no further of this woman...this... Gabrielle.
But merely to say her name was intoxicating. It made her light headed and almost prayer filled. How could it be this little wisp of a near woman could have so completely captured her heart. So much so that she could hardly concentrate on anything else since they met. She envisioned those lovely azure eyes that seemed to fill up with tears whenever Xena caught her glance.
"Xena, you are a fool!", she thought to herself. " You even went to Draco to beg him to spare her village. You didn't give a damn about the village. It was just her life that you wanted spared. It was a good thing he didn't catch on or he would have grabbed her as a bargaining chip. And that's another thing. Once word gets out that you have a soft spot for a certain bard from Poteidaia she will be in tremendous peril. So there--forget it. She is no good for you. No, actually--you are no good for her!"
Xena laid down her sword and placed it beside her bedroll. She knew what she must do. At first light tomorrow she would leave and never again venture to this part of Greece. Keeping a distance between the two of them would insure the possibility of their paths ever having to cross each other. It would be hard. But being a disciplined warrior it would be the best and only right thing to do.
Xena got up and stretched her long legs. Noticing the fire was dwindling, she added a few more pieces of wood to the fire. She tried to ease the pain forming inside her--- next to her heart. But then began to rationalize how traveling alone might be a good thing. She could from time to time stop at a famous Inn and while there seek some comfort and companionship. A nice hot tub and a consort for the evening. It might not be so bad. Argo could get some rest and she would enjoy the fun and diversion. After that she would travel on free from committments and regrets. Gabrielle would be none the wiser and always the more safer.
Xena felt a lump forming in her throat and tears began to burn her eyes.
"Gabrielle...here she comes into my thoughts again."
Gabrielle's sweet smile seemed to haunt her. "What would become of her if I leave her behind and never see her again? Would she team up with another passing warrior? Or settle into a dead end life or boring marriage? Yet what could I offer her?" she pondered."She thinks I live an exciting life when actually it is a terrible, horrible life. I have lived with no purpose except for hate, revenge and death. No--- Gabrielle this is not the life you want--- nor deserve from me."
"If anything," she thought,"you should have someone who can provide you with protection, loyalty and uncompromising love for all eternity. Someone who could recognize your purity, kindness, beauty and loving soul. Who will cherish these qualities and nurture them . Whoever can do this deserves a chance at life with you as their companion. How could I dare presume that... that...I...could..."
Xena felt so unworthy of such trust. She began to rub her temples . The stress of all this soul searching was making her head throb. She even chastised herself for thinking Gabrielle might actually try and track her down to this campsite .
"How could I even dare hope for that... though she did say she was good at reading maps."
Xena remembered back to when they parted. As sternly as she tried to warn Gabrielle not to follow her under any conditions, there came a glint in the young woman's eyes that seemed to say "Oh, Warrior---you just try and stop me!"
The thought of that suddenly made her chuckle. She then came up with another plan.
"Tomorrow I will do something about this turmoil in my head and soul," she resolved.
At first light she would return to the Village and explain to Gabrielle why she could not go with her. She would stay calm, focused and unemotional as any true warrior would be. She would make her understand the logic of it all. That it would be for her own benefit. Convince her how insane and dangerous life on the open road can be. That way Gabrielle would not feel that she had completely rejected her.
Xena smiled partly knowing this was for the greater good but more so in knowing she would once again get to see the beautiful smile that melted her heart.
"Yes. I now know what I must do."
Suddenly the silence of her determination was interrupted by the rustling of branches and soft footsteps leading up to the path from behind the campsite. Xena quickly grabbed her sword ready to disembowel the intruder but froze in surprise upon recognizing the form in the long woven skirt and the flowing flaxen hair that appeared as a silhouette against the firelight.
"Xena, it's me...," Gabrielle cried out breathless. "I've found you...thank the gods!"
Swiftly lowering her sword Xena did not allow her joy to show. Her slight grin only revealed the relief and gratitude that she had not reacted with her usual lightning fast impulses. She also thought how now she would not have to ride all the way back to Poteidaia just to see her.
"Gabrielle...!" Xena heard herself shout. Her own voice trembling. And then as if shot by a thunderbolt from the gods she found herself helplessly running toward the young girl whose jaw had dropped in total surprise at Xena's reaction to seeing her.
Grabbing her by the shoulders, Xena pulled her close. Gabrielle felt strong arms enfold her tightly. Gabrielle thought how these arms were like weapons themselves tightening around her body as if to prevent her from escaping. For a moment she felt imprisoned by those arms but then as she relaxed into the feel of what Xena was expressing she thought, "Mmm...this feels good. So protected and secure. I could get used to this."
She suddenly had an urge to giggle as her nose snuggled between Xena's cleavage.
"Hey," said Xena. "It tickles. Stop that."
"Sorry," said Gabrielle. "I couldn't help myself. I am so glad I found you. I was beginning to worry that you might leave before dawn and widen the distance before I could catch up."
Xena gave a smile and nod... grateful now that she had tossed that plan aside.
"Yeah, I thought about it," she said, gently releasing her vise-like grasp from around the young woman's waist.
"Well, what stopped you?" grinned the bard still clinging to the warrior while gazing straight up into those crystal blue eyes. .
"I had planned to see you one way or another before I left. But I'm glad you found me, Gabrielle."
"I guess we found each other," Gabrielle smiled, her eyes swelling with liquid as she fondly gazed up at Xena.
Xena had to look away quickly fearing any continuance would give her away as vulnerable and weak. It would also show how much control Gabrielle already had over her emotions. So she decided to ask her if she was hungry.
"You know me so well, already," Gabrielle chirped. "I am usually always hungry. What have you got?"
"Well, we've got some fresh rabbit stew and some honey mead wine. Sorry, if I knew you were comin' I'da baked some nut bread."
Gabrielle leaped in the air. Clapping her hands like a small child.
"Nut bread? Why that is my most favorite thing! How could you know? But that's OK. I managed to bring along some dried fruit and cheese with me. We can celebrate our first night together with a feast."
Xena couldn't hide the grin that was suddenly creeping across her face. Here before her was the one person on this earth that seemed to matter to her. Just a mere candlemark earlier she felt so alone and forlorn but now it seemed here was a new purpose in her life. What a difference from what she was used to all these past years. She felt someone had given her fresh air to breathe and a hundred candles had just been lit to brighten her darkness.
As the evening crickets provided background music and the fire glowed softly, two souls shared a simple meal. The first of many to come. They smiled continuously enjoying the comfort of one another's presence.
After the meal, as was her usual custom, Xena began to stretch out on her bedroll and quietly reflect on the constellation of stars above her before drifting off into Morpheus' realm of sleep. Just as she was about to doze off this time she heard Gabrielle's voice.
"Xena. Are you asleep? I have something to ask you."
Gabrielle's sense of timing seemed to jar the about-to-fall-asleep Warrior Princess and she found herself answering with a terse---
"Well, about sleeping arrangements...," persisted the blonde. "I don't like sleeping alone. It gets too cold. So would you mind if we shared bedrolls?"
"Oh?" replied Xena with one eye brow raised.
Xena then reached over and flung an extra animal skin in her direction. Seeing it land and cover the top of her head, she had all to do to supress a laugh out loud but instead allowed the glee to reach down to her heart.
"Here then...I hope this suits you, Lady Gabrielle."
"Yeah, this will do fine...I guess..." Gabrielle replied while trying to smooth out the fur's lumps and bumps.
"But Xena..." she continued.
"Now what?" Xena growed slowly.
"Well, Lila and I always gave each other a hug and a kiss good night before we went to sleep. I kinda miss that."
"Huh?" said Xena thinking to herself... "What have I gotten myself into?" But then realizing this was her first night away from home she relented and moved her bedroll closer to the young bard.
"OK...sure...anything for you, Gabrielle. But promise me after this it's beddy bye time. We have lots of miles to cover tomorrow and we both need our rest."
Xena leaned over and nudged the sweet smelling hair of her new companion softly kissing her on the top of her head. She smelled of wildflowers and clover. So like the fields surrounding the campsite. Whenever the breeze would bring forth that scent Xena would be reminded of Gabrielle for the rest of their lives.
Gabrielle closed her eyes thanking whatever gods had brought her to this moment. Holding on tightly to her warrior she found the softness behind her ear and tenderly whispered, "I love you, Xena."
"Yeah---OK. Me, too," mumbled Xena softly. Knowing full well she would prove how much...with each and every day they would share their lives together.
Thanx for reading my story. Kind responses~~and even the other kind~~~are welcomed. firstname.lastname@example.org
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