Disclaimer: See Part 1
Author's Note: This is my first Xena fanfiction, and it shows what could have happened to Gabrielle after Xena died in A Friend in Need. You may be confused for the first few chapters, but everything will start to come together eventually.
Comments are very much appreciated.
If you wish to send them to me, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org
The next few days passed in a blur as the Amazon Nation began to prepare for the war to come. Gabrielle and Alexandria were both preoccupied with many different tasks, Gabrielle, her queenly duties and Alexandria helping to train the Amazon warriors for the battle ahead. They hardly saw each other, except for a few moments in passing as they discussed more battle stratagies and their worries about the army heading towards them.
It was four days after the scouts had arrived when Gabrielle decided to get away from the crowded village so that she could compose her thoughts. She made her way through the dense forest surrounding the Amazon Nation and towards a small waterfall in an almost magical clearing not far away, where she and Xena used to go to spend time alone together when visiting their friends.
She heard the sound of water long before she arrived to her destination and as she was making her way past the last few trees, she noticed that someone had arrived there before her.
She hurriedly stepped behind a tall oak tree and watched the woman swimming lazily in the small, crystal clear pool. She spied on her for a few minutes before the woman started to emerge from the water and walk towards the grass. She quickly turned around, her back pressed hard against the wood, and held her breath, but curiousity got the better of her and she peeked around the tree once more.
The woman's body was magnificent.
Gabrielle's eyes took in the image greedily as she looked at the woman's perfect face before travelling down the long graceful neck and the broad, muscular shoulders. She felt her breath catch in her chest as her gaze roamed over the perfect, round breasts and down the taut abdomen and thin hips. Her heart beating wildly, her eyes fell even lower, towards the small, dark red patch of hair, covering the woman's hidden treasures and down the muscular thighs and calves that seemed to go on forever.
She was now convinced that this woman was a Goddess, born from the womb of Aphrodite herself.
She turned around til her back was pressed against the tree once more, breathing heavily as she felt a familiar warmth spread through her belly and pool in between her legs. She was unaware once more of the dark blue eyes that gazed at the tree she was leaning against.
We're just friends , she thought to herself in frustratation. By the Gods, she is beautiful though. But she doesn't think of me that way. Though, who could tell? She hides her feelings so well. Maybe even better than Xena used to .
The warmth in her belly evaporated almost instantly at the thought of her dead lover.
"Goddamn it, Xena," she whispered, her voice cracking with emotion. "I miss you so much."
How can I think of another woman like this? Xena has hardly been gone for a year, and here I am, thinking of bedding Alexandria. What the fuck is wrong with me?
Though they had this conversation once, after Gabrielle had been injured fighting the cannibals. She remembered Xena's words to her as they had camped one night, out under the stars.
"Gabrielle?" Xena whispered softly in her lover's ear, as she ran her fingers lightly up and down the smaller woman's arm that rested over her chest.
"Mmm?" Gabrielle mumbled, cuddling closer to her soulmate.
"You had me worried there for a little while, you know?" The dark haired woman said quietly, burying her face in her love's short blonde hair and inhaling the sweet scent.
Gabrielle smiled sadly, turning her head and pressing a soft kiss against her lover's chest before resting her chin on the soft skinand looking into Xena's pale blue eyes.
Gods, how she loved those eyes.
"I know," she mumbled, tilting her head and looking at her soulmate adoringly. "I'm sorry, love. If I hadn't of gotten so caught up feeling guilty about what happened in the desert, it never would have happened."
Xena smiled faintly at the blonde woman before leaning up and pressing a kiss to those incredibly soft lips.
"It's okay," she whispered into the kiss before pulling back to look into the emerald green orbs before her. "It's one of the things I love about you. How taking a life can affect you so deeply. I hate the pain it causes you, but I love your compassion, Gabrielle. It's who you are, and I love everything about who you are."
Gabrielle smiled, tangling her fingers in her lover's dark tresses and capturing her lips once more before leaning back slightly and resting her forehead against Xena's.
"I don't know what I'd do with you," Gabrielle whispered, gazing lovingly into her soulmate's eyes.
"I hope you never have to find out," Xena replied, running her fingers over Gabrielle's smooth cheek. "But one day, you might have to."
Gabrielle frowned, pulling away from her lover's touch and staring down at the woman in front of her.
"Don't say that," she said fiercly. "Don't you ever say that. I don't ever want to imagine my life without you. It breaks my heart just thinking about it."
Xena smiled sadly before closing her eyes and running her slender fingers through her thick raven coloured hair.
"Gabrielle," she said, opening her eyes to gaze at the blonde once more. "I know it's hard, but we have to talk about this at some point."
"Not right now, we don't," Gabrielle replied stubbornly.
"Yes, right now, love," Xena said, leaning up and resting on her one of her elbows, taking Gabrielle's hand and entwining their fingers. "It's going to happen one day, baby, and when it does, I want to be sure that you'll be ready. That you know that it's okay to find love after me. I want you to be able to move on when I die. I want to know that you'll be okay and have someone there to love you."
"Xena," Gabrielle whispered. "The thought of loving another is impossible for me to even consider."
"I know it's hard," Xena replied, gently squeezing her lover's hand before continuing. "I just want you to know it'd be okay, if you found another once I'm gone. Because you know that I'll be waiting for you when you join the afterlife with me. And we'll spend all our lives after this together. It's our destiny to be together for eternity, Gabrielle, and we will. I just want you to be happy in the time it takes for you to join me."
Gabrielle swallowed painfully, looking away from her love, as her eyes filled with tears. She wanted to be angry at Xena, to yell and rage, and push these crazy thoughts out of the beautiful mind that she loved so much, but she couldn't find the strength to deny her lover.
"I'd want you to find someone to," she said softly. "If I was to die, I would want you to find love in someone's arms til we could be together again."
She smiled heavyheartedly as she turned back to Xena, who raised their entwined fingers and gently kissed the back of Gabrielle's hand.
"Let hope it never comes to that," Xena said before lying back down and pulling Gabrielle into her embrace, holding her tightly.
Why did it have to come to this? Gabrielle thought herself, tears leaking out of the corner of her eyes as her breath hitched painfully. I never wanted this. I never wanted to be left on this earth without you, Xena. It hurts more than I could have ever imagined. When I found Alexandria, I thought it would be easier. I thought the pain would eventually lessen, but it hasn't, and I'm beginning to think that it never will. I can't deny that I lust after Alexandria. But I don't know if I could ever love her, no matter how much she reminds me of you. Because, she isn't you. She'll never be you. No one could ever measure up to you in my eyes. And you not being here, it's killing me.
She took a shuddering breath, wiping her eyes with that back of her hands, and was startled out of her thoughts by a voice from behind her.
"Gabrielle?" Alexandria called. "Is that you?"
Gabrielle cursed as she remembered that Alexandria's hearing was almost as good as Xena's had been. Quickly composing her features into a normal expression and hoping that the warrior woman wouldnt notice her slightly reddened eyes, she stepped out from behind the tree and smiled sheepishly.
"Oh, there you are," Alexandria grinned, as she pulled on her leather top, tying up the laces. "I thought I heard someone stumbling through the forest."
"I'm sorry," Gabrielle replied in embaressment. "I didn't realise that you were here. I was just about to leave."
"Don't be sorry," the red headed woman said, shrugging. "You know I adore your company."
"Do you?" Gabrielle uttered the words before she could stop herself.
"Of course," Alexandria replied in confusion, raising one of her eyebrows. "I have travelled with you for quite a few moons now. Don't you think if I had gotten sick of you, I'd have left by now?"
"I'm sorry," Gabrielle apologised again. "I just... I don't even know. It feels like you've been avoiding me the past couple of days."
Gabrielle watched as a look of alarm covered Alexandria's face, before it was quickly replaced by a warm smile.
"Me? Avoid you?" Alexandria laughed. "It's a bit hard, when you're the Queen of the village we're in. You have eyes everywhere, if you wanted to find me, you'd only have to ask someone."
"I did," Gabrielle frowned, as she stared at the woman only a few feet away. "No one ever seemed to know where you were."
Alexandria shrugged, and rested her hands on her hips as she turned and looked up at the waterfall.
"I'm sorry, My Queen, I didn't mean to intentionally avoid you," Alexandria said, her back still facing the small blonde, so that she couldn't see the frown on her face.
Gabrielle gazed at the woman's back for a few moments before quietly walking up besides her and looking up into her eyes.
"It's all right, Alexandria. I was just being a bit of a sook, I guess. This village has been all work and no play since we stepped across the borders. I just feel like I can let my hair down with you, or so to speak," she laughed softly, running her fingers through her short hair.
Alexandria smiled down at the woman, resting her hand on Gabrielle's shoulder, giving it a light squeeze. "I feel the same."
Gabrielle smiled at the woman, before gazing out at the beautiful sight in front of her, leaning slightly into the warrior besides her, and smiling even more as Alexandria wrapped her arm around the smaller woman's shoulders.
"It's really stunning out here, isn't it?" Gabrielle said softly, worried that if she spoke any louder it would ruin the peaceful moment.
"It truly is," Alexandria replied just as quietly, looking down at the woman besides her with a tiny smile.
Gabrielle felt the warmth in her belly start to return as she turned slightly in the woman's arms, and looked up in the deep blue eyes that she constantly found herself gazing at.
"You really think so?" Gabrielle whispered, her voice so quiet Alexandria had to strain to hear it.
"I do," Alexandria said, tilting her head to the side as she stared back at the blonde in front of her.
Gabrielle bit her lip, her thoughts running through her mind at a million miles an hour. Her mind screamed at her to turn away, but her body begged for her to surrender to the beauty in front of her.
And so she did.
She slowly pushed herself up til she stood on the tips of her toes, and leaned in towards the exquisite woman in front of her. And when her lips were only a breath away from the tempting ones before her...
Alexandria stepped away.
"I- I'm sorry," Alexandria stuttered as Gabrielle stumbled forwards slightly.
Quickly composing herself, even as her face flushed a deep red, Gabrielle shrugged and smiled reassuringly at her friend.
"No, I'm sorry," Gabrielle laughed lightly, trying to mask the dissapointment she felt welling in her chest. "I shouldn't have done that. It was stupid. I know you only think of me as a friend, but I had to try."
She watched as Alexandria turned away from her, running her fingers through her dark red locks, and tugging on them in frustration.
"It's not that," Alexandria said gently, as she closed her eyes. "It's just... My heart belongs to another."
Gabrielle's mouth opened in shock, but she quickly snapped it shut, crossing her arms over her chest as her dissapointment quickly turned to jealousy and anger.
"Now I'm really sorry," Gabrielle mumbled, looking everywhere but at Alexandria and she tried to push down the emotions building inside her. "Is it someone in the village? Is it Varia?"
"No!" Alexandria exclaimed, before laughing. "By the Gods, no."
"Then who?" Gabrielle said as she frowned.
"No one you know," Alexandria sighed, turning around to face her friend. "It doesn't matter, they have been dead for years." Metaphroically speaking , she thought to herself.
"I do have feelings for you, Gabrielle," she continued. "I have from the moment I laid eyes on you, even though you were face down in the sand, and you looked a mess, but you were perfect. But, like you, my heart is not my own, and it wouldn't be fair, to either of us. It would never be enough, and we'd only end up hurting one another."
Gabrielle's frown deepened, though her heart was beating rapidly from Alexandria's admission of her feelings for her, she was confused by what else the woman had said.
"Don't you think," Gabrielle muttered. "That if our hearts both belonged to another, that it would be more than fair? That we'd both be able to relate and connect to each other over the fact that the ones we love are no longer with us? Couldn't that bond us closer together if anything?"
Alexandria stared at the small blonde, her features thoughtful as she considered the Queen's words, before sighing softly once more.
"I suppose, that is also a possible out come." She said, turning to look at the waterfall once more.
Gabrielle smiled, stepping closer to the red headed woman, and gently grasped her chin, forcing their eyes to meet.
"Let's give this a test, shall we?" She whispered softly, and before Alexandria could refuse, she leaned up and kissed her.
It was only a slight brushing of their lips, but Gabrielle felt it in every nerve of her small body. Gently tangling her fingers in the warrior's dark red hair, she pushed their lips more firmly together, before pulling away and taking a much needed breath, as it felt like the kiss had stolen it from her very chest.
"Wow," she breathed, looking up into the blue eyes above her, and finding what she was sure was mirrored in her own emerald orbs: Desire.
She reached up to kiss the warrior again, as she felt her need for the woman burn deep inside of her, but Alexandria pulled away, a frown on her face as she looked down at the small blonde.
"I can't, Gabrielle," she said, sighing and shaking her head, before turning away from the sea green eyes that seemed to burn into her soul. "I'm sorry."
And then she walked out of the clearing and into the forest, leaving Gabrielle to watch after her.
To Be Continued
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