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Disclaimers:

General: Xe and Gabs do not belong to me whatsoever (if only they did), they belong to MCA TV, Renaissance Pictures.

Violence: Nay, sorry.

Subtext: Yeah, sure.

Spoilers: There are some parts of "Is There A Doctor In The House" mentioned.

Thatís about it. This is my first attempt guys, so please, be kind with me huh? I would like to say thanks to my Beta reader Alina, whoever knew people could make such idiotic grammar mistakes?

Comments and criticism can be sent to the addy below.


LOVE AFTER WAR
By d_exphagus
Sy_geriack@hotmail.com

 

It was a dark stormy evening. She could feel the gust of cool wind on her face. Outside, she could hear Argo whinny every now and then and munch on the grass by the cave mouth. Beside her, seated her best friend trying to light a fire.

"Gabrielle? You there?" came Xenaís low voice, which rang clearly through the small cave.

"Hmm? Yeah..so..Whatís for dinner?" the bard asked, trying to keep her stomach from rumbling too loudly.

"Umm..maybe we could just make some hot soup from yesterdayís meat. Besides itís too bad a weather to hunt in," Xena said, rummaging through their storage bag.

"Well..yeah..umm..here..lemme help," Gabrielle said, moving from her seat near the newly lit fire.

"Gabri.." Xena started.

"Look..Iím okay. Xena really..I really appreciate your concern..but Iím fine..really..itís healing fine," Gabrielle protested, showing Xena the almost healed scar on her left shoulder.

It had been a week since Thesally.

"No Gabrielle..Just lie down..Please?" the warrior coaxed her friend, trying to get her to rest.

"Oh okay. But really..Iím fine," the bard said, returning to her seat near the fire. "Brr.. this cave is cold..I wish I..Ohh.."

"Here.." Xena said, interrupting her, and draped a blanket over the shivering bard. "The soupís almost ready."

"Yeah. Thanks," said the bard. She paused, then continued in an unsure voice. "Xena?"

"Yeah Gabrielle?" Xena asked, concern and curiosity mingled in her voice. "Whatís wrong?"

"I-Iím..fine. Thanks for asking. Itís just that..I really wanted you to know..I really wouldíve..died..if..it werenít for you..I just wanted to thank you," she stammered, her voice breaking.

"Címere," the warrior said, tugged the smaller woman towards her. "You know Gabrielle. I..should be the one to thank you. I mean, giving up the Elysian Fields just to come back to a life with a beat up old ex-warlord. Thanks Gabrielle. I-I..you..really made my life worth living," Xena said, hugging the bard closer.

"What?..I mean..Gods no..Iím the lucky one to have had you agree to let me tag along." She couldnít help snuggling closer to Xena, enjoying the warmth on her skin. She rested her head on Xenaís shoulder.

"Yeah..Iím thankfull actually that that side of me lost. I was..afraid..that an innocent girl like you..travelling with me would be..Gabrielle..you do know the risk donít you? I mean..like..what happened at Thesally..I-I..almost lost my best friend-you Gabrielle..My pride almost killed you. Iím so sorry Gabrielle," Xena said as her voice broke and tears streamed down her face.

"Hush..Xena..Xena," the bard said wiping tears off her own face and then those streaming from the warriorís blue eyes. "Yeah I know the risks..But Xena..I donít care, Iíd do..anything really, just so that Iím around you..Iíll..I could follow you forever Xena, I never regretted it, not even for one second. You realize that right..donít you?" Gabrielle asked, suddenly afraid of the answer.

"But Gabrielle..you never..why?" Xena asked, curiosity, disbelief, surprise and happiness showing on her face. "Gabrielle..you almost..died..ícause of me. But you forgave me..and…why?"

"Xena, like I said before. How could I leave you? You gave me everything Iíve ever wanted in my life..companionship..joy..trust..and the best friendship that I ever could ask for." And the love of my life. She stopped in horror, realising that she said that last part out loud. She looked up at Xena fearfully. A blush was rising up her friendís cheek that mirrored the flush she felt on her own.

"I..umm..I mean..umm..Xena." Oh Gods. "Look, Iíd understand..if you donít.." Gabrielle tried to explain. Oh Gods..what have I done? she thought to herself. Stupid, Gabrielle stupid. When will you finally learn when to shut up? She looked away in anger and embarrassment.

"Gabrielle.." a smile eased slowly across the warriorís face.

"I know. Iím sorry..I shouldnít have," the bard mumbled, pulling away from the warrior.

"Do you really mean that?" came the quiet question.

"Umm..yeah.." Oh God..What the hell? "I..love you Xena..always have and always will.." There..finally..Now what? "I know..Iíll..umm.. Just forget I said anything," she said. She started to get up when she felt the arm around her tighten and pull her gently back onto the ground next to Xena.

"Look..Xena.." she started, but caught a look at the warriorís tear-streaked, smiling face and immediately forgot what she was going to say. "Are you all right?" she asked instead.

For an answer she felt Xena hug her, strong arms encircling both of them, bringing her into a bone crushing embrace.

Finally, when the grip loosened, she looked up, only to find Xena looking at her with such a look of love and devotion that she felt her breath quicken. Then Xenaís lips slowly came down to meet hers. Oh good Gods. This canít be happening..can it? she thought dizzily. But it really is.

Moments later, they both broke apart, both hearts beating fast.

"Wow!" Gabrielle managed to say, being speechless for once.

"Yeah..wow!" Xena repeated, smiling. "Gabrielle, please donít leave me," she said seriously.

"You know better than that. I love you Xena," Gabrielle replied, looking directly into the warriorís clear blue eyes.

"I love you too Gabrielle." came the reply.

"Well..then..umm.." the bard said, slightly flustered and trying to ignore the blush creeping up at her face again.

"Iím glad we got that settled," Xena said, unable to stop smiling.

"Yeah, me too," she said, before her lips were captured by Xenaís again. Yeah..really glad, she thought, before they both got preoccupied in kissing for any other thoughts.

THE END

Finished 24/4/99


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