Disclaimers: The characters of Xena: Warrior Princess and all other associated with the television series of the same name are owned by MCA/ Universal Pictures. This is a work of fan fiction and no copyright infringement is intended.
Subtext: I guess with my writing so far we'll just quit calling it subtext and call it maintext. Yes they are in love with each other.
Other: Hopefully this is just a little romantic piece of mush, another gift from the muse.
Hold me by the Fire
The first time it happened, I slept with my back to her. Under my own blanket, but close enough that I felt truly safe in the darkness. She allowed me this concession because she knew I felt frightened and alone, but lying next to her, it seemed to disappear into the night like the smoke of our campfire.
The second time it happened, we still slept back to back, but this time under the same blankets. It had turned cold suddenly and even with our fire it was almost too cold to sleep outside. Unfortunately, we were too far from any town or village to seek appropriate shelter. So, using the fire and the blankets and the heat from our bodies, we kept each other warm and safe through the night.
One night I remember waking from a nightmare. Her fingers combing gently through my hair, words being spoken quietly. Words meant to soothe me and comfort me. I never opened my eyes. I just listened to the kind, soft words, turning my body toward her, she embraced me. Enfolding her arms around me, I felt a gentle kiss on the crown of my head and listened like a small child to the soft lullaby that eventually allowed me to go back to sleep. Once again, safe and sound there by the fire.
Then I got sick. It wasnt anything serious, just a cold, but I felt awful. My entire body hurt and I certainly didnt feel like traveling. So we didnt. She took care of me, keeping my fever down, cooking for me, keeping the fire banked so it would be warm and give me some modicum of comfort as I lay there chilling. But it was when nightfall came and she settled in next to me, taking me into her arms and holding me close to her for extra warmth and comfort that I truly felt at ease.
One time, we were both healing from wounds received during a fight. Mine were not a severe as hers and I found myself giving her the same comfort she had given me countless times. Taking care of her, tending to the things that would make us both well and of course, when the night came, I moved next to her and held her by the fire
Somehow it just became habit for us. When camp was set up, our blankets just naturally seemed to end up together. Of course, we had discovered lots of good reasons for this, warmth, comfort, just the ease of preparing one bed over two. There were lots of good reasons. Neither of us had considered the best reason.
After that, we started sharing the same bed even when we got rooms in the villages we stopped at. This was dismissed by both of us, as being cost effective one bed was cheaper than two rooms or even one room with two beds. Funny thing I noticed, not one innkeeper ever questioned our request for one bed.
Then it happened, in the Amazon village of all places. But we had both been so frightened. Frightened of being torn apart from each other. I rolled over in the bed we shared. Her arms went around me, drawing me closer, holding onto me with such power I could feel her heart beating with my own. That was when I knew for sure. My lips tenderly grazed her collarbone, offering a soft kiss. I thought she was asleep. "I love you." I whispered. I couldnt hold it back any longer. It was true, I had fallen in love with her and I never wanted to be apart from her again.
She smiled, her eyes opened, looking at me and captivating my entire being. "I love you too." She whispered back, as if saying it too loudly would somehow endanger us and what we were finally starting to understand. She moved very slowly and very tenderly placed a kiss to my lips. One brief kiss sealed our fate. We knew from that moment on, we were indeed, soul mates, and nothing could ever truly come between us. We would be together forever.
There were tests to our love, trials of our faith and commitment to each other. I decided that we were being tested because of our bond. To find ones true soul mate is a special and rare gift. It is easy to fall in love with someone. Ive done it. She has done it. We have both loved others, mentally and physically, but it is never the same. It never feels just right. It never feels the same way it feels with her. The only perfect fit for my body and soul is her as I am hers and we both know it.
Lying by the fire, either in her arms or with my own wrapped around her we are many things to each other. Friends, partners, and lovers, but most of all and most importantly we are soul mates, destined to be together for eternity, from one lifetime to the next.
I know as we move throughout the ages together that we wont always share the things that we share now and I am grateful that for now, night after night, she can just hold me by the fire.
Return to The Bard's Corner