Disclaimer: Xena and Gabrielle belongs to RenPics, Rob and the
by Carola Eriksson
The darkhaired warrior sat absently stroking the small braids in her hair, lost in a
for her uncharacteristic pensive moment.
Such simple, trivial little things, braids. Xena liked having her hair done up, as
impossible as that was to admit the feared Warrior Princess couldnt likely go
around and admit to something so
girlish, now could she? Talk about ruining
But she did like it, it was comfortable and neat, and she always did like neat, and it kept her hair out of her eyes in a fight.
The warrior snortet derisively at herself. Yeah right. And the person who does those
braids has nothing at all to do with the reason she liked it so much, nu-uh.
A soft sigh escaped Xenas lips.
Gabrielles touch in her hair, her closeness
Those treasured, stolen moments
of relaxed, safe, closeness. To be able to have her that close without fearing that this
is the time shed lose control, this is the time shed go to far. And
lose the one person that was her very world.
It was hard, so very hard, to keep those feelings locked away. Not to reach out and
simply take the talkative little bard in her arms, and keep her there.
Not that Gabrielle was aversed to physical expressions of affection, rather the reverse
the girl seemed to thrive on those casual touches, the errant hug or caress.
Which of course meant a world of trouble for the dark warrior, since none of the walls
shed erected in her soul could keep the bard out. And no experience in her long,
lonely existance had ever prepared her for
falling in love.
There, shed at least admitted it to herself, Xena thought wryly. It was rare that
she managed to think those words, much less speak them out loud. And yet she had, on rare
occasion, managed to do just that, to that lovely creature that meant everything. It was strange how such a bright person as
Gabrielle never seemed to understand Xenas words for what they really were, but the
warrior thanked whatever force at work for that small but all-important favor.
The moment she realizes, its all over, Xena thought darkly to
herself. No amount of friendship would be able to keep Gabrielle at her side once the girl
knew the true depth of her friend's feelings. And once that wedge of fear, of
revulsion, was between them, Xena would well and truly have lost her. Even if Gabrielle
tried to stay after that, nothing would be the same.
And nothing could hurt as much as seeing that
in those guileless
So years of self-inforced control and steely determination kept Xenas secret
safe, and that all-important young bard in her life. Or at least until someone else would
come along, and offer Gabrielle so much more than Xena ever could. And Xena would once
again be alone.
Another soft sigh escaped, and long fingers absently ran across the forgotten sword
laying in the warriors lap.
That was fine with her, wasnt it? As long as Gabrielle was happy, as long as
Gabrielle was safe
What did she care what happened to herself?
Alone. The word tasted bitterly to her now, like an ocean of unshed
Alone? Never to see that smiling face again? Never to hear that sweet voice call her
name? The crushing pain that erupted in her chest at the mere thought of losing her
companion made it hard to even breathe, so Xena stood, intending to distract herself from
those pointless thoughts somehow. But what
would she do?
What would she do?
From the other side of the fire, a pair of green eyes noticed the distraught expression
on the normally so stoic face as Gabrielle returned to their camp.
Quickly the expression was gone, as the warrior realized she was no longer alone, and
the ever-present calm fašade was put in place.
Oh no my warrior, youre not fooling me. Gabrielle thought with
some concern. Even so she kept a cheerful little smile on her face. "Hey."
"Hey yourself." Xena couldnt help but to smile, looking into those
mesmerizing green eyes.
A hand on the warrior's shoulder.
Cant you feel how I shiver from your touch?
"You look tired."
Too surprised to object, and Gabrielle knew it.
"Didnt think I could tell, huh?" Spoken with a smile, earning a
cautious shrug in response.
"Ah, but Im quite skilled at reading your warrior mask these days,
By the gods, I hope not! "What?"
A wry chuckle from Gabrielle.
"Heres a novel idea, how about we just snuggle up by the fire for a bit.
Huh? I promise I wont bite." Another contagious smile from those lovely lips.
"S..snuggle? Oh! Uh, sure Gabrielle." Snuggle, right, get a grip warrior!
Thats not what she meant, and you know it.
Xena watched, unmoving, as Gabrielle gathered their bedrolls together and brought them
next to a boulder closer to the fire. And continued to watch as Gabrielle turned, locked
eyes with Xena, and waited. And waited.
Gabrielle rolled her eyes and sighed in an exaggerated way. "Xeena!"
"Come here." Patting at the furs next to where she seated herself.
Hmmm, lets see
Next to you, on the bedrolls, to snuggle? Oh I can do that.
Can I ever
No, stop that you moron! Snap out of it! "Oh. Right."
Sitting down next to Gabrielle and stretching out those long legs in front of her to
get comfortable, she had to admit that it was indeed nice to just
Gabrielle scooted closer, resting her fair head against one no longer armed shoulder
and put the other blanket over them.
Ever so hesitantly, the normally so assertive warrior put her arm out, to drape it
carefully around the shoulders of the younger woman. Her heart was already fluttering in
her chest, but she told herself that she could do this, it was no more than a friendly
gesture, and surely Gabrielle would think nothing of it. Would she?
The small bard sighed contently at the contact, and squirmed around slightly in
Xenas grip, pulling one arm around the older womans waist in a familiar way.
The old ticker was certainly going to be on overtime tonight, Xena decided.
They sat in silence for some time, under the pretense of watching the flames dance in front of them. Xena closed her eyes
momentarily, reveling in all the sensations that was Gabrielle so close to her.
She smells so nice
And her hair is so soft, too. Resisting the
urge to bury her face in that red-gold treasure.
The scent of her
All leather, metal, horses and weapons polish, and just
that tiny bit thats uniquely her
Who would have thought shed
come to crave something like that? That shed find the smell of her tall, stoic
companion more alluring than any perfume? Gabrielle shook her head inperceptibly, wryly
amused at herself. And shes so warm, too. Unable to resist
uttering another soft sigh.
Xena, being not the talkative kind, but also being altogether unprepared for the
silence from the woman in her arms, who, on the other hand, usually were of the very
talkative kind, was desperatly thinking of what to do. Should she speak? Or was silence
the better course of action here?
"Xena? Do you want to talk?"
Innocent green eyes, turned dark and shining by the campfire, looked up at her
expectantly. Idly Xena wondered if Gabrielle couldnt feel her treacherous heart beat
much to fast under her ear, and what kind of excuse she could give the girl if she asked
"Huh?" Realizing she hadnt been listening.
"I said, do you want to talk about it?" Concern colored the gentle voice, as
well as that sweet face now mere breaths away. "I can tell something has been
bothering you today. I just thought you might feel better if you talk about it, but you
dont really have to if you dont want to
Xenas brilliant smile, alone, was enough to silence the young bard, and when that affectionate look got transferred into a
strong, tight hug Gabrielle lost the concept of
speech altogether. Then the deep, musical voice rumbled in her ear, wreaking even more
havoc with her poor defenceless senses.
"M okay. Ive just been thinking a lot, thats all."
Expecting Gabrielle to ask, she continued more hesitantly. "'Bout stuff.
you." Surprised by her own daring, when as far as she was concerned, she
most definitely was a coward were her feelings for Gabrielle was concerned.
Noticing the body in her arms start in surprise she added teasingly "Yeah,
Gabrielle could practically feel the smile against her ear, and the small chuckle that
followed as Gabrielle automatically pinched Xena lightly in protest to the troublemaker
comment, sent tremors down her shapely form.
"Are you cold, Gabrielle?"
Concerned, Xena wrapped the blanket, as well as her arms, more tightly around her
precious bard, drawing her into Xenas lap as she did so.
"Ummm, yeah, I guess
a bit." Gabrielle lied, not sure of what to say,
only wanting desperatly to stay right where she were, and quite positive that Xenas
sensetive hearing would pick up her rampant heartbeat.
"Uh-huh. So why dont we stay right here for now, and Ill keep you
warm, hmm? You can go to sleep, its
OK." Gently she kissed Gabrielles forehead. "And youll keep me warm,
Any protest that Gabrielle would have made died right there, unspoken.
Xena reprimanded herself for doing this, scolded herself that she wasnt being
reasonable, angry at herself for taking advantage of Gabrielle in this way
some reason she just couldnt move a muscle to put the other woman down.
Realizing defeat, she locked up all her inner demons in their usual little cages,
allowing herself to relax, and waited for Morpheus to come and invite her to his realm.
And Morpheus found them like that, the small bard curled comfortably within the
warriors strong embrace, forming the figure of oneness in sleep that in waking still
May I keep you
Can I just
stay? Right here?
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