DISCLAIMER: All characters and their background in this story belong to good ol' Renaissance and those wonderful TPTB who let us all think what we want about the show. This story may not be reproduced in any form without the prior consent of the author (namely me!) so don't go doing anything silly now, else I'll have to send over my boomerang-wielding lawyers! And believe me, they love the sight of blood ... they once bathed in a tub of blood ... their nicknames are bloody lawyers ... they -- oh, you get the drift now? Jolly good.

NOTE: Hi! Remember me? The little ol' bard who used to have stories trotting out like there was no tomorrow, then disappeared for a while, to return later and start a little dribble of fanfic once again? Ring any bells? Well ... good. I've been (and still am actually) really, really busy, but I've still got those 16 stories sitting around. I mean, they can't just sit there forever! Can they?

NOTE II: Yes, another subtext story. I decided that I've read enough fanfic where the minute Xena and Gabrielle admit their feelings to one another, they jump in the sack for a passion filled night. As in Daring Games, I've let our two heroes take their time. There's really no need to get jumpy, now is there? Anyhoo, let me know what you thought.

WARNING: Yes, there is subtext. From the get-go it's there, in your face. But, I might add, it's not sex! sex! sex! No, my dear readers, this is what I call tender loving care. Yup, the good ol' we've-got-the-rest-of-our-lives-to-live-so-let's-take-our-flipping-time! TLC. If you don't like it ... lump it. I ain't no pornographic writer ya know! :D

The Kiss



The unspoken words drifted like a gentle breeze between the two women as they sat across from each other in the campsite. The blue eyes would relay a soft tone to the green and would shimmer in delight as the unanimous reply was returned, unharmed by the flames of the crackling fire between them. Those crisp flames would jump up every now and then to try and snatch those precious messages out of the cool night air, unsuccessfully. There was nothing that could come between those two sets of eyes, for the communication between them was clearer than the words woven by any bard's tale or the deepest point of Poseidon's domain.

Sitting silently, closed off to the outside world, Xena and Gabrielle searched each other's soul for reflections of what they felt themselves. Both women knew exactly how the other felt, but it was like opening a treasure box over and over and over, just enjoying the sight of the riches that lay within. They would sit like this for hours sometimes, just basking in the security they found in each other. They would just simply sit and stare.

Slowly, the messages began to change. Gabrielle was ready to take the step, but Xena wasn't so sure. The green eyes became more insistent as blue became more hesitant. While one women had decided what she wanted, the other was still cautious taking it. It meant crossing the line that separates harsh reality and the smooth curves and soft lines of dreams. Their passionate feelings would come to life. Xena wasn't sure if she had a right to take that step.

'I'm taking it with you,' Gabrielle's eyes conveyed and Xena knew she was right. Holding her breath unconsciously, she shifted her weight and rose to her hands and knees, her eyes never leaving the other woman's as she crawled toward the beckoning green. The line began to approach at an alarming rate.

The minute Gabrielle saw Xena hesitate, she shifted her own weight and leant forward, quickly closing the distance between them, but stopping just short of the line. They had never been this close to it before and they wanted to remember the sensations for the rest of their lives. They hovered on either side, soaking in the powerful feelings that leapt between them, slowly drawing them together. They could now taste each other's breath. The sweetness of it made their minds spin but they remained where they were, suspended in time in this place of ecstasy.

Finally, the mutual message was conveyed and they reached out over the line, drawing the other toward them. Their lips brushed softly, the messages becoming a blur of passion around them as they closed their eyes and became one. With the connecting of their lips, souls wrapped around each other tightly, vowing never to separate. They had stepped over the line and eliminated all barriers between them. Barriers that had stood for what seemed like eternity. They were left floating in each other's arms in this magical, tranquil, safe and yet so foreign place. They were finally home.

The End

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