Disclaimer: Xena, Gabrielle and backstory belong to MCA/Universal. The rest is my fault.
Love/Sex warning: Although in no way graphic, this story depicts a romantic involvement between two friends of the same sex. You've been warned :).
Xena's hands is a filk of Holly Dunn's "Daddy's Hands" and is used without permission. No copyright infringement is intended.
Romance/saccharine warning: Cavities are sure to form.
Kleenex warning: You might need some of that too.
Comments, rotten veggies, and praise(ooo, i like that) can be sent to: email@example.com
"Yes, Nalia?" murmed the soft voiced woman.
"Would you sing to me?" came the sleepy eyed request.
"Of course, little one. What would you like to hear?"
"Sing me a song about Xena!" The girl, now smiling enthusiastically, rolled to face her mother. Tears came unbidden to Gabrielle's eyes as she thought of her warrior princess, gone now these many years. Nalia, sensing her mother's distress, frowned and whispered, "you don't hafta if you don't wanna."
"No, it's all right, Nalia. A song about the Warrior Princess is what you requested, and so you shall get it." Gabrielle smiled at her precious little girl...'Thank you for this, Tylen. I love her more every day.'
"I love you."
"I love you too. Now snuggle up and listen close. This is your last song tonight."
"Ok." The little red haired girl pulled her covers up to her chin and closed her bright blue eyes, waiting for the gentle sound of her mother's voice to carry her off to dream land. The one-time bard took a deep breath and began to sing in a clear, soft voice:
"I remember Xena's hands folded silently in prayer...
and reaching out to hold me when I had a nightmare.
You could read quite a story in the callouses and lines
years of work and worry had left their mark behind.
I remember Xena's hands how they held me through the night
and patted my back for something done right.
There are things that I've forgotten that I loved about the woman
but I'll always remember the love in Xena's hands.
were soft and kind when I was crying.
were hard as steel when you done wrong.
Xena's hands weren't always gentle but I've come to understand,
there was always love in Xena's hands.
I remember Xena's hands working till they bled
sacraficed unselfishly just to keep us all fed.
If I could do things over, I'd live my life again
and never take for granted the love in Xena's hands.
were soft and kind when I was crying.
were hard as steel when you done wrong.
Xena's hands weren't always gentle
but I've come to understand,
there was always love in Xena's hands."
Her tears traced the curves of her cheeks as she kissed her child good night.
"Momma?" muttered Nalia sleepily.
"You still love her, don't you?"
"Yes, Nalia. Now go to sleep."
"Ok momma. Love you."
Gabrielle closed the door to her daughter's room and slowly walked into the kitchen of her small four room house. Fixing herself a cup of hot tea, she stepped out into the summer night, and remembered.
...It was the summer of her fifth year of travelling with the warrior princess, and she had come to the conclusion that she was deeply, shamelessly in love with her best friend. Deciding that she was better off away from the mistress of her fantasies than facing her own fears and reaching out for the golden apple of her eye, Gabrielle had left the warrior to settle down in Poteidaia and start a small school for the local children. It was all too easy. Xena hadn't even said a word when the bard had left her, just hugged her close and whispered her goodbyes.
The first six months home had been a slow road to insanity for the bard. She missed travelling. She missed the excitement and most of all, she missed her warrior princess. Then, bandits had attacked a group of travelling merchants on the road to Thrace and Tylen had come into her life.
Bleeding, broken and dying, the handsome older caravan guard had appeared at her door begging her to heal him. She couldn't deny his request, and soon, Tylen had healed his wounds and wormed his way into her heart. She didn't fall in love with him, but he was easy to be with and easy to care for. Three months after the last of his wounds had healed, they were married. Her parents were ecstatic. Her sister beamed with pride and Xena, dear, stoic Xena just shook the groom's hand and kissed the bride. Then, once again, she was gone.
Their first few months were filled with love and laughter, each taking joy in spending time with the other. Tylen built her a small house on the edge of her parent's property and settled down to farm the land beside her. He encouraged her to teach, to tell her stories by the evening fire down at the local tavern and attended the weekly town meetings with her. When she discovered she was pregnant, he was as overjoyed as she. Their lives were described by outsiders as idyllic. To Gabrielle, it was only a life. One that at one time had been much more entertaining and exciting to live and was now only a life--hers all the same--but only life. Close to her time, her life once again shattered.
Bandits came again and with them came the spectre of death. Tylen, unable to stand by and see his new home ravaged by human predators, gathered some of the young men and women of the town and fought back. Xena, who had heard of her ex partner's problems arrived in time to save Poteidaia and her friend, but once again, too late to save her friend's husband.
Tylen fell, clutching a stray arrow that protruded from his throat like a newly sprouted branch. Numb, and in shock, Gabrielle had gone into labor. Nalia was delivered on the battlefield. Her birth-blood covering the blood of the bandit leader on Xena's healing hands.
When she was assured that her friend would be in good hands and her newly born heart's daughter would be well, Xena vanished with the wind.
Gabrielle raised her daughter in the house that Tylen built them. She did not look for another husband. She figured that sending two good men to Elysia was enough for her. So she went on. Continuing to teach the young children and telling her tales, the once bard learned to live alone. Her family provided what she could not trade for and she learned the arts of farming. But she was so alone...and her heart yearned for her warrior princess. Many a time did she set quill to parchemant and begin a letter begging the warrior to come for a visit, and just as many a time did that same parchemant end up as kindling for the evening's cook fire. She couldn't bring herself to break down and admit to Xena just how much she loved and needed her...
Night sounds brought her back to reality. Staring at the same summer stars she had known all her life, Gabrielle let her tears fall silently.
"Your face is too beautiful to be marred by so many tears, my friend." A voice right out of her wildest dreams caressed her ears.
"Xena!?" Gabrielle whirrled around to face the speaker. Standing behind her, dressed only in her brown leathers was the warrior princess, a little older and a little more battered than she had last seen her, but to Gabrielle, she was the most beautiful sight on this earth. Flying into the warrior's embrace she let out an incoherant cry.
Crushing the sobbing bard to her chest, Xena murmered, "Gods, Gabrielle, I spent years fighting every Tartarus-spawned demon and warlord to get away from you, but I couldn't run from my own demons any longer. I came to tell you that...I love you." Neither woman noticed the light rain that had begun to fall. As drops of water touched their skin, Gabrielle shifted in Xena's arms.
"I love you too, warrior princess. I always have." The light summer rain continued to scatter around them as their lips met in the first hello of their reunited lives.
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