Copyright Disclaimer: As always, there is no intention of any copyright infringement intended. Xena and Gabrielle belong to Universal Studios, MCA and others. They do not belong to me, and I am not being paid for this. Yada, yada, yada.

Love Disclaimer: If love between two women offends you, grow up! If you are not of legal age where you live, save this story and read it when you are older. If it is illegal to display this love where you live then move, quickly. Get out while you still can!!!

Story premise: This is a sequel to my story "After Thoughts" which takes place right after the episode "One Against An Army". I would like to thank Cousin Liz for giving me the nudge to write this sequel. You do not have to have had read the first part (After Thoughts) to understand this story but it would be helpful and of course, I recommend that you do read it first. If you have not seen the episode "One Against An Army", you will not understand the ‘story behind the story’ but it should be fun to read it anyway.

If you have any comments, (only good ones please, all others will go directly into the trash bin) you may write to me at: bodonnell@cfl.rr.com.

 

The Day After (Thoughts)
11/98

BY: BJ O’Donnell
bodonnell@cfl.rr.com

The day began for me almost as any other except for one thing. I couldn’t move. I heard Xena’s voice calling for me to wake up, somewhere just out of reach of a dream it seemed. But when I tried to move, to raise myself from the soft straw of my bed, I couldn’t move. Not even an inch. The pain shot like fire through me from my shoulder to my toes. Oh my gods, what’s wrong with me? Why can’t I move? And this pain… Oh yes, I remember now. The arrow, the poison, the fight, oh and the love. Yes, the love I remember.

The restless sleep I was in eased its way out of me as the memories of yesterday came flooding in.

The arrow hitting hard, then the pain. The desperate look in Xena’s eyes when she breathed in the poison on the tip of the arrow. I wanted to cry, not for my own sake but because she looked so lost at that moment. Then her frantic attempts through out the evening trying to decide what to do. Should she save me or stay and fight? Those questions tormented her, I could see it in her eyes. Her decision to stay was not her own, I know that. She would have saved me. I couldn’t let that happen though. She would have never forgiven herself afterwards.

The fight, by the gods it must have been horrible for her. I feared so much that she wouldn’t make it, there were so many of them.

So many dead when it was all over with. I wonder sometimes how she lives with the pain of so much death.

She saved me. She found the antidote that I needed then placed her hand to my mouth so gently with the serum on her fingers. I wanted to kiss those fingers, bring them into my mouth. Not just because they held what would save my life but because they are my life. She is my life.

Xena was down on the main level and was now on her way back up the ladder to find out why I had not answered her when she called out.

As Xena peeked over the top of the ladder, I gave her a bright smile as I tried to sit up. The pain shot through me again and I fell back down to the straw with a thud. Moving quickly, Xena was soon at my side, her arm wrapped gently around my back for support as she helped me to sit.

I relish the feel of her strong arms wrapped tightly around me. I can’t stop remembering the feel of those same arms around me yesterday.

"I shouldn’t have left you alone like that. Here, just relax and let me help you. Geez, I’m sorry Gabrielle, just because I heal quickly, doesn’t mean that you would too. I can’t believe I didn’t think of that." She says as she slowly pulls me into a more comfortable sitting position.

I love the way she worries so much about me. Why didn’t I ever see before just how much she loves me.

"There, there now. Are you alright?" She says more gently now as she brushes the hair and straw from my face.

I will always be alright, now that I know you love me. Ah, the touch of your hand against my face, so gentle, so caring.

"Yes, I’m fine now, thanks. What’s to eat?"

"Yea, I’d say you were alright." She laughs.

Her laugh is so rare. I cherish every time I hear it.

"Hey, don’t laugh, I didn’t eat at all yesterday if you remember and I have this wound that’s gonna take energy to heal." I banter back at her.

Ha, I get to make her laugh again.

"Here, let me have a look at it. I need to change the bandages. You had me scared there for a minute, thought I was going to loose you." Her voice trailing off softly.

Oh please don’t worry about what happened yesterday. You saved me and everyone else. You should be happy.

"No way are you going to get rid of me that easily. What’s a little poison arrow and a near death experience? All in a day’s work for us, right? Anyway, you said we would live till we were old and gray, remember?"

I want you to remember your promise. And you know that I’m going to hold you to it. Till we’re old and gray.

"Yea, right. I should have just tried to get you to a safe place instead of keeping you here like that. It wasn’t fair to you." She snaps at herself as she gently removes the old bandages from my wounded shoulder.

Please don’t do this to yourself! I can’t bare the look on your face when you feel so sad.

"Xena, you know as well as I do that you did the right thing. The people needed you more then I did at the moment and look, I turned out to be okay. You saved us all. You saved me."

I’m right and she knows it. Oh but the hurt in her eyes makes me want to cry. I can’t let her feel this bad when she only did good. When she made me realize how much I love her and… how much she loves me.

Turning to face her, I place my hands on her shoulders, then looking deeply into her incredible eyes, "I love you Xena."

Does she see it in my eyes? Does she see just how much I truly love her?

"I love that you cared so much for me to want to save me from any more harm and I love you for staying and fighting for the greater good."

"Yea, yea. Just doing my job." She replies so casually.

The sadness still shows in her eyes though. I can’t bare it any longer, I must say something.

"Listen Xena, the things you did and said yesterday had a very profound effect on me. I finally realized just how much I love you and… how much you love me. I don’t want you to make light of that, please. I really do love you, all of you and in every way that I can think of." I reply quickly before I loose my courage to say these things to her.

I watch her eyes now. Does she believe me? I need her to.

"Gabrielle, I don’t know if you truly realize just what you are saying." Xena begins to say, but before she has a chance to utter another word…

Oh no you don’t…

"Stop right there. I know exactly what I’m saying. I know what you said to me yesterday and how you responded to me and I know how I feel about you. You are not going to just blow this off to "Oh well, it’s just some ‘hero worship’ that Gabrielle has because I saved her" kinda thing. I do love you, I think I have always loved you. And, I know that you love me, so just deal with it!"

There, I said it. It feels so good to finally release these feelings. Why have I kept them hidden for so long?

"Well, er, um, I guess I can’t refute that now can I?" Xena says as she brings her eyes up to meet mine.

Xena’s stammering! And is that a smile I see beginning to appear on those perfect lips of hers? I don’t think I have ever seen her more beautiful then she is right now as I look into her eyes. Does she know what she is doing to me? My body and soul fall into those eyes. There is no escape, no escape from my feelings for her.

Her arms envelop me now as she softens her eyes on me. Those strong arms of hers around me make me feel safer then I have ever felt. I melt into her.

"I do love you Gabrielle, in ways that I didn’t know I could. You have brought love and light into my life and I will forever be grateful to you for that. I just couldn’t let you die or even be in pain like that, I just wanted to save you from any more harm. You are my responsibility now and I want always to protect you."

My mind wraps in the warmth of your words. By the gods Xena, you are the reason I remain alive.

I listen again now as you continue to speak.

Softly, she adds, "Protect you even from me."

Pulling back away from her, I search her eyes for meaning.

"What do you mean, ‘Even from you’?

Panic.

"Well, it’s just that, I can be so very… hard to live with." she says.

What is she trying to tell me?

"Tell me something I don’t know. I have lived with you long enough to know how you are Xena. That can’t stop how I feel about you. So tell me, what do you really mean?" I reply to her as I shift positions so that I can see into her face more clearly.

"It’s just that, well, I’m afraid I guess." She quickly says.

What is she hiding from? My body begins to tremble. No! Don’t try to stop this, please!

"You, the mighty Warrior Princess, afraid! I don’t understand Xena, what is there to be afraid of? Are you afraid that our love will somehow weaken you or something?"

Please don’t be afraid. Don’t let anything stop what we feel for each other.

"No. Your love for me can only strengthen my soul."

Her eyes even softer now and is that a tear I see? What is it, what could you be afraid of?

"Then what are you afraid of?"

She’s looking down now, she is trying to avoid my eyes. I reach out to draw her face gently up. I must see her face.

"Well, lets see if I can explain this without scaring you half out of your wits. It’s just that I can have some rather… powerful desires at times. I don’t know if you are ready for that, for me."

Her voice so soft I can barely hear her. She still wants to protect me. Doesn’t she know what I feel for her, what attracts me to her? By the gods Xena!

I lean in to place a soft kiss on her cheek then smile, "Xena, don’t you know by now how much I love you? What it is that attracts me to you? I know how you can be. True, I don’t know what your ‘passions’ are like but they are a part of you. A part I want to know."

I know what she is referring to. I have seen the blood lust in her eyes. I have seen the heat build in every muscle of her body. The first time I saw her, fighting for our lives, for my life, that is when, I realize now, that I fell in love with her. My own desires stirred by her ‘passion’, her strength. I need her to release that passion with me. I need to feel her strength. How can I tell her what I need, what my own desires are?

I sit there for a long moment and just look into her eyes. They are so fearful yet there is hope that shows through them as well. Is she afraid that I will reject her? Does she fear that she will hurt me or scare me into leaving her?

Oh, she is so wrong to fear those things.

I smile at her. I need her to know that I have my own desires for her, for her ‘passions’.

Slowly I lean in closer to her, watching her eyes carefully as I approach.

My lips meet hers. Soft, so soft as I let mine gently touch hers. My eyes close as I deepen my kiss. I melt once more into her.

The pain in my shoulder forgotten as I feel her arms wrap tightly around me. Her lips pressing harder against mine.

The moan from my throat escapes as my own desires begin to flare.

She hesitates. I slide my tongue into her mouth. She welcomes it and relaxes then lays me down gently on the straw.

"I love you Xena."

 

The end…


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