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by kiera woman
I remember back to a time when my life was filled so much hate and bitterness, and then I look over at you and feel such love that it brings a lump to my throat. How could I have ever existed without you. I see you sleeping so soundly and wonder what thoughts are going through your mind as you enjoy your slumber. I wish that I could tell you the ache that sits here in my heart everytime I look at you. Some big bad warrior I am, I can't even tell you how I feel. When we are together I find myself wishing I could hold you, and then when the notion hits me I quickly push it aside because whether you know it my sleeping love, one glimmer in your eyes and I would fall down at your knees and plead for you to love me. Where you are concerned you are my whole life, I could not bear to live without you. I wouldn't want to live without you...
The sun is starting to peek upon the meadow when Xena starts to pack her things onto Argo. The air has that special crispness that comes with the rising of the sun and the coolness of the night is still trying to hang on for just a while longer before the sun takes over to warm the earth. Unseen by Xena there is also something else that rises to greet the day, something no human eye is able to see.
"Gabrielle...wake up, breakfast is almost ready... Gabrielle", Xena softly shakes Gabrielle and then when she gets no response shakes her a little harder. "What?" says Gabrielle. "Good morning sleepy head time to get up and get going", says Xena. Gabrielle slowly slips back into the bliss of sleep. Xena breaks off a twig from a nearby tree and slowly tickles Gabrielle's nose with it. "What the ....", says Gabrielle and she opens her eyes to see steel blue ones looking at her. She notices the twig in Xena's hand. "Xena...that wasn't funny. I thought there was a spider crossing my face", Xena tips her head back and chuckles. "Come on...up and at em. We've got a long day ahead of us", states Xena. If you want to bathe make it quick and I'll warm breakfast up", and Xena sets the rabbit closer to the fire, while Gabrielle slowly rises and collects her things to take to bathe.
Gabrielle makes her way down to the lake and finds a shallow area where she can sit and wash the sleep from her face. She slowly unlaces her boots and slips them off her feet and next comes her clothing. "Brrrr the water is freezing", she muses to herself as she slowly bathes. Unknown to her something passes by her and sends a shiver down her back causing her to loose her balance on the slippery bank. Flaying her hands she tries to grasp something to hold on to, but nothing is close to her and she falls and hits her head on a stump that was protruding out of the bank and then she slowly falls unconscious...The spectre that was watching her bends down and sweeps Gabrielle away leaving no sign of where Gabrielle has gone.
Xena by now has gotten Gabrielle's bedroll and things packed on Argo and wonders what is taking Gabrielle so long. She sets off down the path that Gabrielle took that leads down to the lake. "Gabrielle.....Gabrielle.....answer me......where are you?", she yells. No answer. Xena by now is getting a little concerned and quickens her pace to the lake. She finds Gabrielle's footprints leading to the lake and spots something out of the corner of her eye. Running to the spot that she sees, she finds Gabrielle's boots and clothing. Looking closer she sees a long imprint in the soil as if someone had slid and fallen. "Gabrielle", she yells with panic in her voice and the tears well in her eyes. "Where is she....she has to be here somewhere" cries Xena. Xena searches all around the lake and even dives into the water surrounding the bank where Gabrielle's things were and still no sign of Gabrielle. By this time Xena is so filled with fear for Gabrielle and losing her that she collapses to the ground and sobs aloud. "Gabrielle my Gabrielle".
The Spectre leans over Gabrielle and waves a soothing breeze across her brow to wake her from unconsciousness "Wake up little bard" she whispers into the wind. Gabrielle stirs and opens her blurry eyes and sees this woman kneeling beside her. "Who are you and where am I", she asks. "You are here in the between of the earth and the heavens", she whispers softly. "Do not be alarmed I will not hurt you", she states in a sigh. Gabrielle sits up and stares intently at the spectre, her vision clear again and sees the most beautiful woman she has ever seen in her entire life. "Who are you?", she says in awe. The woman floats across the ground and then turns back around to look at Gabrielle, her eyes filled with such tenderness that Gabrielle has to gasp at the intensity she sees directed at her. "My name is Amora and I am the goddess of all the emotions of love and I have brought you here because of someone who loves you so very much", she says compassionately. "Until your heart shows you what is inside you must remain here", she says with tears forming in her eyes. Gabrielle doesn't understand what Amora is trying to tell her and she says to her "I don't understand?", and Amora glides away with tears falling freely down her cheeks. "You must search your heart deeply Gabrielle because you have caused the one who loves you deeply unfair heartache by being so blind, and I can't allow this to happen anymore." and Amora leaves Gabrielle. "Don't leave me please tell me who it is", she begs. "Listen to what your heart tells you" the wind whispers back to her.
Gabrielle wonders in her mind who Amora is talking about. She remembers her mother and father and the love they gave her as she was growing up, and she remembers her Perdicus and their short marriage before his death. "Could Perdicus be the one she is talking about?" she's says to herself. "No it can't be him because I loved him more as a brother than a husband", who can it be?" she cries out. Amora materialises beside her and says "Little one look deep in your heart and you will see", and she touches Gabrielle's chest with the barest of movement. Gabrielle falls into a deep sleep and dreams. In her dreams she remembers back to the night a warrior woman rides up to her to save her from the terror all around her, and how this warrior took this waif under her protection and showed her a new path in life, and who has always loved her. "How could I have missed the love showing in my beautiful warrior's eyes and heart, Oh Xena what have I done to you?", she cries out in anguish. Realizing Gabrielle has finally found her true feelings in her heart, Amora softly awakens Gabrielle and says to her "Did you see the one who loves you my little one?" and Gabrielle lets out a sob and says "Oh God it's Xena, how could I have been so blind all this time. She is the one I love", and with the understanding dawning in Gabrielle's eyes Amora passes her hand across Gabrielle's face and Gabrielle sees Xena sobbing on the ground calling for her and sees the anguish in the racking sobs of her warrior. "Please Amora let me go to her". begs Gabrielle as she cries for the one she realizes she has loved all along and with the merest of gestures Amora sends her back to Xena.
"Wake up Gabrielle" Xena says as she shakes Gabrielle out of her nightmare. "Xena oh God Xena you are here", and she grabs Xena around the neck and buries her head in Xena's chest and cries,"Xena, I've been so blind", Xena feels the love and passion building for this girl and she quickly masks her feelings . "What is this all about?" and Gabrielle grabs Xena even tighter. "I love You", she whispers into Xena's chest. "What did you say Gabrielle?", and Xena's heart quickens it's beat. Gabrielle looks up into those blue eyes and sees the love there and says "I love you", and with those words Xena picks up Gabrielle and looks into her eyes and slowly lowers her lips to Gabrielle's in a kiss so gentle but filled with so much love and emotion that the tears start to fall from the warriors eyes. Xena realizes her prayer has finally been answered. "Thank you" she whispers to the sound of the wind.
Amora looks with tears in her own eyes and say's. "You are welcome my brave warrior", and she disappears with the wind......
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