Disclaimer: The characters of Xena and Gabrielle belong to MCA/Universal and Renaissance Pictures. No copyright infringement was intended through the writing of this fan fiction. It was not done for profit, whatever that is.
Subtext Warning: If you are looking for it, you will find it. Nothing horrifically graphic, but to be safe, this story, if you are desperate, implies an loving relationship between two consenting adult women. If you are under 18, this type of thing is illegal in the state/country in which you live or if you are offended by it, read something else.
Spoilers: This story contains reference to 'Callisto' and "Is There a Doctor in the House'. Hell, I quote bits from them outright.
Author's Notes: I wrote this after re-watching 'Callisto' and "Is There a Doctor in the House?' I swear the script writers must have been thinking of 'The Abyss': "Goddamn it you bitch you've never backed away from anything in your life! Now fight! Fight! Fiiiighhhht!" Hey ho, what can you do? As much as I love Gabrielle, Mrs Brigman makes a better corpse.
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"No, no look, you promise me, if something happens to me you will not become a monster "
"Don't you go changing Gabrielle. I like you just the way you are. Go get some sleep."
"No! No you promise me."
"She's not dead, I wouldnt let her. C'mon Gabrielle, wake up, c'mon wake up, c'mon wake up. You're scaring me, wake up! Wake up!"
"She's in a much better place "
"Get out of my way! You dont know anything! You never ran from anything in your whole life. C'mon fight! Fight!"
"Xena, it's time to stop now. Let her pass over peacefully."
"What do you know? You've killed so many."
"So have you. Let it go."
"No! Dont you leave me. Dont leave me, don't leave me!"
"You tell me Xena, do you sleep well at night?"
"Nooooooo!" the warrior's eyes shot open, she was bathed in sweat which ran hotly over her sleep tortured body. "No I don't." she muttered as the tears streamed over high cheek bones and trickled to the corners of her mouth. "I dont." she shook her head and wiped angrily at the tears. She glanced hurriedly across the fire and met two shining green eyes with her own blue. Gabrielle didnt need to see this. Xena rolled over and sobbed silently. She heard the rustle of sleeping covers and cringed.
"Xena, what is it?" the bard whispered as she knelt beside the stricken warrior, reaching out a hand but hesitant to touch a troubled shoulder.
"It's nothing Gabrielle, go back to sleep." the warrior sniffed, shifting to wipe a hand across her face.
The bard did not move but settled on her heels, staring at the woman's back.
"No Xena, you talk to me." the bard said softly, emotion clear in her voice.
Xena frowned, fresh tears stinging her eyes. She pushed herself to a half sitting position and doubtfully met the bard's intense gaze.
"I can't." There were so many things she wanted to say to the bard but couldnt seem to get them past the constriction in her throat.
"Try." the bard whispered, reaching out to wipe a tear from the warrior's face. Xena flinched at the contact and tried to brush the bard unsuccessfully away. "You listen to me Xena, I'm here, and I'm not going anywhere."
The warrior sobbed finally into the bard's hand. "C'mere." she choked and reached out for the smaller woman, griping her in a fierce embrace. "I thought I'd lost you Gabrielle."
"I know." Gabrielle murmured over the warrior's shoulder. "It's alright, I'm here now." she spoke the soothing words.
"I I just wanted to feel grounded. I just wanted to feel as if I had a home, and a family, a place where I belonged, was safe, if only for a short while."
"You you gave me that Gabrielle." the warrior took a shuddering breath, "And then I thought you'd taken it away."
"I could never take anything from you Xena." the bard pulled away and gripped the warrior's hands in her own. "I could never take anything, not even myself. Do you understand that?" Gabrielle raised Xena's hands to her lips and gently kissed the backs of the palms.
"I wish I could Gabrielle. But dont you see? Nowhere is safe with me, nowhere."
"Then tell me Xena, why do you bother?"
The warrior's eyes clouded over in the fire light. "Because because I need you Gabrielle." she faltered.
"Then it's worth it, all the suffering."
"The warrior shook her head. "I don't deserve you Gabrielle."
The bard smiled then, "Probably not, but what are you going to do about it?"
The warrior returned the smile despite herself. Nothing seemed to phase the woman, not even death.
"Dont go anywhere soon Gabrielle."
"Oh I plan on hanging around." the bard said, smoothing disarrayed hair from the warrior's face. She slung an arm over Xena's shoulder and pulled herself closer.
"Just stay with me." the warrior murmured as she sunk into the bard's embrace.
"C'mon," Gabrielle whispered, pushing Xena back down on her bed roll and nestled her head against the strong shoulder. "Let's get some sleep shall we?" she asked, gently stroking ebony hair.
So it's a little mushy, I couldnt help it okay?
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