Disclaimer: The characters of Xena and Gabrielle are the property of MCA/Universal and Renaissance Pictures. No copyright infringement was intended by the writing of this fan fiction. It was not done for profit, whatever that is.

Subtext Warning: This very short story implies the beginnings of a relationship between two consenting adult women. If this type of thing offends you, you are under 18 or it is illegal in the state/country in which you live, read no further.

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The Stare

By archaeobard

I knew she had been staring at me for some time. I pretended not to notice. I don’t know whether it was the wine we had consumed or something else, but I didn’t stop it. I could feel her penetrating gaze and I became aware in a room full of people. Eventually I turned my head to meet her. She dropped her eyes and found the table suddenly very interesting. I smiled to myself and would have laughed had I not felt so serious. I knew. In that brief moment I knew all she felt, all she thought, all she desired. I could not bring myself to stand, to run away. I had had enough of running. I had had enough of tiredness, of solitude, of fear and hatred. I made a decision, I would stay, not run, physically or emotionally. I was too spent to care, but I cared too well.

She expected loathing, repulsion, disgust, anything but what I gave her. I gave her my hand. She took it between both her own and stared at it, afraid. She turned it over and traced the lines of my palm with her fingers, exploring. She caressed the calluses where my fingers joined my palm, one by one before moving to the one thin callus that ran across the length of my palm. She turned it again to examine the backs. Soft fingers ran over my tendons and vessels down to my knuckles. She raised my hand to her lips and brushed my knuckles with her silky breath before placing the lightest of kisses, almost imperceptible. She looked up at me then and I smiled. There was wonder on her face. In that brief moment she knew all I felt, all I thought, all I desired.

The end.

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