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Xena: Warrior Princess, Gabrielle, Argo and all other characters who have appeared in the syndicated series Xena: Warrior Princess, together with the names, titles and back story are the sole copyright property of MCA/Universal and Renaissance Pictures. No copyright infringement was intended in the writing of this fan fiction. All other characters, the story idea and the story itself are the sole property of the author. This story cannot be sold or used for profit in any way. Copies of this story may be made for private use only and must include all disclaimers and copyright notices.
This story may be best classified as a Hurt/Comfort Story involving the characters Xena: Warrior Princess and Gabrielle. Readers who are disturbed by or sensitive to this type of issue may wish to read something other than this story.
Gabrielle approached the spot where Xena was sitting sharping her weapons. Xena knew that she was there but never said anything as she came up from behind. Xena no longer even tensed as she drew near. It had been more than three years since they had been together and yet Gabby felt as if she still only knew a small part of her closest friend. She sat down quietly by the fire across from Xena and decided to just observe her as she worked. Gabrielle watched the firelight play across Xena's face as she sat with her eyes trained on her sword and yet not quite seeing it. It was if Xena was in a trance, yet so methodical were her strokes that it was apparent she knew exactly what she was doing.
After about half a candle mark, Xena stopped what she was doing and looked up at Gabrielle. "What?" Gabrielle looked into her eyes searchingly and finely asked, "What do you think about when you do that. I have watched you so many times before and yet never really 'watched' you. You are so close and yet so far away, that I wonder if you are even here at all."
Xena, looking down; slowly wiped her sword clean and slid it back into its scabbard. Then she placed the whetstone she had been using into its holder before looking back at her friend. Gabrielle almost thought she was not going to answer when Xena finally spoke. "When we first started traveling together, It was not a time for thinking. It was something that had to be done to keep us alive and our enemies at bay. I thought I was going to have to be protecting both of us, since you had guts but little actual fighting skills. Since then, you have gotten much better and needed my help less." Gabrielle burst in to object . . . "That's not true . . . I need you as much as ever." "Maybe so, but not as a warrior who needs to watch over you every minute of the day, as much as I may like the job." With this Xena flashed a smile so sweet that Gabrielle felt herself filled with love for this woman who had come to mean so much to her. " I have found myself more and more using this time for reflection."
Gabrielle wondered at what kind of reflections Xena could be having. Surely she was not thinking of regret over their time together and all that they had accomplished. Possibly she was looking back at how different her life had become. She was no longer the terrifying warlord that had brought so much pain and destruction into the world. Maybe she just reflected on where they were going next. "What do you 'reflect' on, O Mighty Warrior Princess? Share with me your great and powerful thoughts and wisdom," she said with a laugh in her voice.
Xena fought for the words to say to this woman who had become so much of her life. "I think mostly about you." Gabrielle, who had been laughing just moments before, stilled herself. "I think of how many times you have come so close to death being with me. And before you say anything, yes I know that it was your choice. But don't you see . . . it was mine also. I began wanting you with me. I needed you for so many reasons and yet couldn't voice any of them. I should have sent you away to safety but never could. I tried to leave you behind several times only to find myself wanting you back with me. You are my truest friend and companion, and I love you more than words can express." With this statement made, Xena looked down at her hands, not wanting to see Gabrielle's reaction to her words. One lone tear traced its way down her cheek as her eyes filled with tears.
Gabrielle sat in stunned silence as she listened to Xena's thoughts about her. Never did she expect to hear Xena admit to her love, at least not in this way. In an instant, Gabrielle was at Xena's side enveloping her in her arms. She pulled Xena close to her and then wiped away her tears that had begun to fall. Quietly she whispered back to Xena, "I love you too." With this said, Gabby lifted Xena's face to hers so that she could look into those crystal blue eyes that held her heart and gently stroked her face. " You are my life, and I will be with you no matter what happens, even into death." Placing her lips gently to Xena's lips, she kissed her softly yet lovingly. She rocked Xena in her arms as they sat together. Though she may not always understand this warrior woman, she knew that she would love her forever.
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