By D.virtue

“ Xena I told you I was sorry, please don’t exclude me from helping?”
Gabrielle pleaded.

“ It’s not that Gabrielle.”

“ Really?”

“ Yes, really, I was just thinking it would be easier to get one in than two.“

“ But now?”

“ I don’t know Gabrielle, I don’t know if you can handle it?” Xena said
raising a brow at Gabrielle.”

“ What?”

“ Gabrielle this idea I have is for the sole purpose of finding out what we
need to know to find this guy, and eventually the Kronos Stone so we can go

“ I realize that Xena.” Gabrielle stated with knitted brows.

Xena studied Gabrielle for a moment more before she said anything else.Then
when Gabrielle gave her an anxious look, Xena finally spoke again.

“ Alright Gabrielle, I’ll tell you what the idea is, but I am going to be
watching you for the next few weeks to see how you behave, and if I see any
hint that your being false with me, then I will take care of getting in, by
myself, is that clear?’

“ Yes. Now tell me please?”

“ Okay, I thought it would be better if you and I went in to this restaurant
where this woman frequents, and when she comes on to one of us, and invites
that one to her place, then that one tells her that they don’t go anywhere
without her woman. You understand?”

“ Yes, I think it’s a great idea.”

Xena looked at Gabrielle with some suspicion. Gabrielle noticed it and quickly
allayed Xena’s concerns.

“ Oh, no Xena, that’s not why I think it’s a great Idea, although I will
admit, it thrills me at the thought.” Gabrielle admitted honestly.

“ G.a.b.r.i.e.l.l.e....?”

“ But that’s honestly not the reason, I just think it’s a good idea because
that way we both can get in and look around for any clues.”

“ No, you can’t go wandering around that place, I was told that there are
camera’s and recording devices planted throughout the entire place, now if she
shows us around, well that’s a different story. Plus there are posted armed
guards around the house.”

“ Ok, so what if she doesn’t show us around?”

“ We get as much information from her as possible without telling her the
reason why, but if she pushes for an answer, we tell her that we notice she
had some antiques and we just happen to be looking for a dealer, and happened
into the restaurant because of your stomach.”

“ My stomach?”

“ Yes, as much food as you put away, it will be a believable story, make sure
you don’t eat to much that day and then when dinner is served whether at the
restaurant, or at her house, you have to eat, ok?”

“ Not a problem.”

“ Good, but make sure you don’t bring up the answer, unless she ask.”

“ I know Xena, we pump her for information.”

“ Right.”

“ Ok, how do you want to play the mate thing?”

Xena raised a brow at Gabrielle and then she said, “ By ear.”

“ Ok, but answer this for me, why did you say it would be a few weeks before
we move on this?”

“ A couple of reasons, one is I will go to the Grecian Embassy to see if I can
get any leads on this mystery man.”

“ How do you know its a man? “

“ I don’t, it’s what I was told, but since that’s all we have to go on, then
it will have to do.”

“ Alright, so what’s the other two things?”

“ Well it’s actually one more reason.”

“ What’s that?”

“ You, I plan on watching you Gabrielle, think of it as a test.” Xena said

“ Why?”

“ Never mind, I’ll have my answer one way or another. Well I need to get to
the Embassy, and you need to get to the nursing home. I’ll see you later.”

“ Does this little test start today?”

“ Yes. Gotta go, thanks for the breakfast, it was good as always.”

“ Your welcome, good luck at the Embassy.” Gabrielle called after the receding
form of Xena, as she went out the door.

Xena showed up at the Embassy and showing her ID that Zeus had provided her
with, she was lead inside to speak with one of the other diplomats about
antiques, and whether they know of the woman that she had been told about.

“ Mrs. Thelonis, this is diplomat Xena, she’s the Dr. here in the country to
observe the Americans in their practice of Medicine, using a lot of her

“ Hello Dr.”

“ Xena Please?”

“ Very well. You may call me Marisa.”

“ Marisa then, it is nice to meet you.”

“ You too Xena, that really is a very interesting name, how do you spell it?”

“ With an X.”

“ Ah, very good, you know your name is as old as time?”

“ Yes I knew it was an old name, but I’m wondering how you know that?”

“ Oh, I’m into Antiquities.”

“ Oh, really? So you would know where the most rarest antiques are, right?”

“ Yes, as a matter of fact I know of a woman who can get almost anything, her
name is Herista. She has a friend who knows someone, who knows someone else,
anyway, I’ve gotten some of my most precious antiques from this woman, I would
set you up if I could, but I was swore to secrecy, because of the rarity of
the items.”

“ That’s ok, thanks for the talk, it’s been real nice to meet you Marisa.”
Xena then turned and left the office to go and tour the rest of the Embassy.

Later after talking with the diplomat to the US Xena left and went to go and
see Kiara. She arrived at the Hospital, and before she could get all the way
into the lobby, she was immediately sieged upon by the security of the
hospital who were alerted by the Embassy, that one of their Diplomats was on
her way to the hospital to see someone, and they were told they were to escort
her and make sure nothing happened to her.

“ Excuse us Ms. Are you the Diplomat from the Grecian Embassy?” The lead
security personnel asked.

“ I am Xena.”

“ Yes Ma’am we’re with hospital security, it is the hospitals policy to escort
any and all V.I.P’s around the hospital.”

“ Well thank you anyway, but I really will be fine, I’m just here to see
someone.” Xena said with frustration.

“ We know, The Embassy called the President of the Hospital and told him, he’s
expecting you.”

“ But....fine, where is he?”

“ Follow us Ma'am.” The security officers lead Xena to the President’s office
and then introduced her. They then stepped out of the Office and waited for
Xena to finish talking with the President.

“ Welcome Xena, it is a pleasure to have you in our little hospital, we were
expecting you to stop by one day soon, but you surprised us, but that’s ok,
we’re flexible here, so I will escort you around with the security, that way
you can see the hospital, especially the cardiac unit, and how we have enacted
your theories into our hospital.”

“ Sir, that really is not necessary, I have been here before, I have seen how
you have enacted things, and I am quite pleased with the outcome of it all,
the only suggestion I would make regarding the care of the patient, is to make
sure you offer some educational classes for the Physicians. Preferable
something that teaches them the importance of everyone on the team, from the
house keepers to the administration, Now I am not trying to tell you how to
run your hospital, but I think I do have some right to tell you not only the
positives that I see in your hospital, but also the negatives, and one of
those negatives is the fact that there are some Doctors, here who believe they
are the only member of the team who do anything worthwhile, and everyone else
is incidental, whereas you know as well as I that is not true, but morale will
drop if those type of attitudes are allowed to prevail, everyone on the team
is important, and the sooner some of your doctors realize it, the smoother
things will run.”

“ Hmmm...that certainly gives me something to think about, may I ask you where
you saw these behaviors?”

“ CCU, IMC, Telemetry, ICU, ER, OR, you name it, it was pretty much in all of
those areas. You have a very good hospital here, and I’m happy that my
theories of practice have worked for your institution, but like all things,
there are bugs to be worked out. Now, thank you for the offer to show me the
hospital, but I think I’ve proven my point that I have seen it, and am very
impressed with it, but I really would just like to go and see the person I
came to see without being conspicuous, if you don’t mind?”

“ Of Course I don’t mind, but your Embassy would, especially if something
happened to you, but before you get upset, I think I can accommodate you

“ How?”

“ I can send a few of the security with you, rather than most of them?”

“ How many?”

“ Six.”

“ Two.”

“ Dr. you have to give me a break here, I can’t just let you walk around here
alone, without some security.”

“ Alright! Three, and that’s it, otherwise I leave.”

“ Alright three, that’s fine. Consulate Xena, it has been a pleasure to meet

“ And you as well.”

Xena then turned and walked out the door of the president’s office and the
President followed and told three of the security were to escort her around,
and get whatever she wanted.

Xena then thanked the president again and then turned and walked out of the
outer office and headed to the IMC to go and speak with Kiara. As she went
people stared either discreetly, or openly. They automatically assumed Xena
was some type of VIP, some even assumed she was royalty the way she carried

Xena smirked at some, and others she frowned at. When they arrived on the
floor Xena stepped to the side and brought the lead Security guard with her.

“ Now, this is how I want this to work, you gentlemen are to keep a discreet
distances, no sudden moves of any sorts,and no one is to tell anyone here who
I am. Do I make myself clear?”

“ Yes Ma'am.”

“ Good, let’s go.” Xena then turned and headed for the IMC where Kiara worked,
she heard and saw all of the activity on the floor, although it was not as
busy as all the activity made it look.

Xena stepped up to the nurses station and asked the secretary where she could
find Kiara.

“ Oh, yes ma'am, she just went to dinner, I think she is in the nurses

“ Thank you. Down the hall and around to the right?”

“ Yes ma'am.”

“ Thank you.” Xena then left the nurses station and headed for the lounge, the
security waited five seconds and then followed after her.

The people on the IMC all stopped at different points as Xena and her regal
stature strided by them. Xena made it to the lounge and she turned to the
security that was right there by the time she made it to the door.

“ Now remember what I said.” Xena warned and then she went inside and the
security followed.

Xena scanned the room quickly and found Kiara talking to another co-worker, as
they waited for their food to warm up in the microwave.

“ Who is that?” Lisa asked.

Kiara looked back at the door and saw who it was, her heart leapt for both joy
and anger. Xena’s and Kiara’s eyes met and after a moment, Xena raised her
brow at Kiara.

Kiara took a deep breath and looked back at the woman she was talking to and
told her quietly.

“ It’s a friend of mine, I’ll talk to you later, and thanks for coming in for
me, I really appreciate it. I’ll have dinner with you another day, alright?”

“ Ok, talk to you later Kiara.”

Kiara then turned back and walked over to where Xena stood. Xena studied the
young woman and noticed that she was shy about showing her soft side in front
of others, so Xena turned without a word and Kiara followed her, followed by
the security.

Kiara noticed the security and looked at Xena with some concern.

“ They’re here to escort me around because of me being a Diplomat.”

“ Oh.”

“ We obviously need to talk. I heard you tell that other nurse that you
appreciated her coming in for you, does that mean your off?”

“ Yes. I was just going to have dinner with her, to talk to her about some
problems she’s going through with a husband.”

“ I see, how about we go back to my place, we can have dinner there?”

“ I don’t know, I’m very mad at you.”

“ I know, I can tell, but that hasn’t stopped me before.”

“ Ok, fine, but you have a lot of explaining to do Xena.” Kiara whispered.

Xena just gave her a non concerned glance and then focused on getting home.
The ride to the house was quiet, Kiara sat looking out the window most of the
time, while Xena drove them to the house. Xena knew Gabrielle wouldn’t be home
at that time, but would be back in time for dinner.

“ Come on in Kiara.”

“ Thank you Xena.”

Once they were inside, Xena offered Kiara something to drink and told her she
could change her clothes if she wanted. Kiara went into the bathroom and
cleaned up and changed into her other clothes she had brought with her.

“ Comfortable?”

“ Yes, thank you.”

Xena smirked at the young woman's attempt at being indifferent, then she
finally brought up the subject she knew Kiara was waiting for.

“ Kiara I realize I haven’t seen you, or called, but there are reasons for

“ Really? Hmmm, well what could they be, let me guess, Gabrielle?”

“ Matter of fact it was.”

“ What happened, is she alright?”

“ She’s, she disappeared for four days, and I have been out looking
for her everyday, and night, and then finally after four long days and nights
she strolls in here while the police is taking three escaped murderers back to
prison after breaking in here and trying to not only rob the place, but they
had thoughts of rape in their minds. I am just happy that Gabrielle was not
here, she would have been hurt by those guys, anyway, that’s why I haven’t
called or come by until now.” Xena said finishing her explanation.

Kiara sat on the edge of her seat with her mouth open, just staring at Xena.

“ Kiara?”

“ Oh....Xena, I’m so sorry, here I was thinking mean things about Gabrielle
and all you have been doing was trying to find out what happened to your
friend, I just feel awful, please forgive me for acting like a jealous jerk?”

Xena raised a brow at Kiara and then she decided to play with her.

“ Well, I am a little hurt that you would think I would neglect you like

Kiara came to her feet and went and sat next to Xena and taking her hand in
her own, she covered it with her other hand.

“ I’m sorry. I told you I wouldn’t give you any reason to doubt your decision,
and what do I do, I turn around and make you do just that.” Kiara said as
tears rolled down her cheeks.

Xena smiled at the young woman and then let her off of the hook.

“ Kiara, come on now, I was just messing with you, I understand perfectly why
you felt the way you did, I shouldn’t have teased with you?”

“ No you shouldn’t have.” Kiara said in surprise as she gave Xena a slight
push on the arm.

Xena chuckled and then wrapped her arms around Kiara and pulled her back on
the couch with her as she planted a hot kiss on Kiara, that took the breath
away from Kiara, and she slid onto Xena’s lap and the two women liquefied into
their passion.

Gabrielle came in while the two were in the mist of things, and just as she
came into the den, she heard Xena moan her pleasure, and when she looked
inside she saw Kiara’s features buried between Xena’s legs, and tears welled
up in Gabrielle’s eyes, but then at about the same time, Xena and Gabrielle
looked up at each other, Gabrielle wiped her eyes quickly, but Xena simply
raised a questioning brow at Gabrielle.

Gabrielle swallowed hard, and the tears once again begun to roll down her
face, but she eased out the door quietly, so as not to disturb Kiara, and she
ran up the stairs to her room and cried, as well as became physically ill at
the thought of Kiara with Xena.

Xena heard all of it, but she did not tell Kiara that Gabrielle was home and
that she had seen her, Xena also did not go up to check on Gabrielle either.
But she listened out for her.

Gabrielle came out of her room after she cleaned herself up and composed
herself enough to be cordial. She came down the stairs and went towards the
den and saw the door open, she walked in and once again went to say hi to

“ Hello.”

“ Gabrielle, come on in, how was your day?’ Xena asked as if it were the first
time she saw Gabrielle.

“ Hi Xena, it was okay. How about yours?” Gabrielle asked as she went and took
a seat on the sofa chair across from Xena and Kiara.

“ Fine, I went and took care of some things, and the Embassy was helpful with
that, I think Marisa, one of the other diplomats, actually has dealing with
the people.”

“ Really, well that’s great. Hi Kiara, how are you?”

“ Hi Gabrielle, I’m fine, thank you for asking.”

“ Your welcome. Um-hum, I don’t mean to interrupt, I just wanted to say hi.
Xena are you hungry?”

“ As a matter of fact I was just going to go and make dinner.”

“ That’s alright, I’ll make dinner, you stay here and talk to Kiara. Kiara
will you be staying for dinner?”

“ I....”

“ Yes she will Gabrielle.”

“ Alright, I’ll let you both know when dinner is ready, again I’m sorry I
interrupted you Xena.”

“ Gabrielle you didn’t interrupt.” Xena saying assuring her.

Gabrielle gave a shy smile and then stood and left the room. Xena watched
Gabrielle go discreetly, and then listened to her as she headed into the
kitchen to begin dinner. Gabrielle arrived in the kitchen and the first thing
she did was cry for her lost, then she settled herself down enough and begun
cooking dinner.

“ Gabrielle the dinner smells wonderful.” Xena praised.

Gabrielle smiled and then discreetly looked over at Kiara and then down at her
own plate and said quietly.

“ Thank you.”

“ Gabrielle the veal is wonderful.” Kiara stated as she slipped another bite
into her mouth.

“ I’m, glad you like it, it’s one of Xena’s favorites, maybe you can cook it
for her one day, I’m sure she would like it.” Gabrielle said as she gave a
gentle smile, and then looked back down at her plate and pretty much picked
over her food, and every now and then she took a bite.

“ Yes, maybe I will one day, thanks for telling me Gabrielle.”

“ Your welcome. I think I will clean up the dishes, why don’t you two go on
into the den and I will bring your desserts to you.”

“ Aren’t you going to join us Gabrielle?” Kiara asked sincerely.

“ Um, no, I’m a little tired, so I think after I do the dishes and clean up
the kitchen I’ll turn in for the night.” Gabrielle said as she stood and begun
to collect the dishes.

“ Kiara why don’t you go on into the den, I’ll help Gabrielle clear the table
and I’ll bring our dessert in when I come, alright?”

“ Alright, Gabrielle again, thank you, dinner was wonderful, your an excellent
cook, I’m surprise Xena isn’t a large woman as a result of it.”

“ Thank you Kiara, I’m happy you liked it.” Gabrielle then turned and took the
dishes she had in her hands on into the kitchen, and after a moment Xena
arrived into the kitchen with the other handful.

Gabrielle went about preparing the water, only glancing up at Xena’s studying
gaze briefly, and then quickly focusing on the water.

“ I can do this, you go ahead and keep Kiara company.” Gabrielle said trying
to remain composed in front of Xena.

Xena saw the struggle Gabrielle was going through, and the brave face she was
putting on, but Xena knew it was breaking Gabrielle’s heart to watch her be
tender and caring with someone else, other than her, and she wanted Gabrielle
to know how much she appreciated her efforts.

Xena placed her hand on Gabrielle’s shoulder and felt the tremble underneath

“ Gabrielle thank you, you were the Gabrielle of old that I felt in love with,
and I won’t forget this, thank you.” Xena said as she gave Gabrielle’s
shoulder a gentle squeeze and then with a lingering smile of concern, Xena
turned and picking up the desserts she glanced back at Gabrielle and with a
bigger smile for her she said, “ My favorite, thank you.” Xena then turned and
walked out the door of the kitchen, but rather than walking away from the
closed door, she stood away from it enough so her shadow did not cast over the
lighted area of the door.

She listen to Gabrielle breakdown and sob once again, and felt her own heart
breaking as a result, she shook her head to clear her head of the feelings,
and then taking a few calming breaths she strolled into the den to visit with

After Kiara went home, Xena walked upstairs to check on Gabrielle, she started
to go in, but she heard her still sniffing at times, and she realized
Gabrielle had been crying once again, and she decided not to go in, but to
stay in her room and listen, until Gabrielle fell asleep, then Xena let
herself go to sleep. The next morning Gabrielle was up early and made
breakfast for the two of them once again.

“ Good morning Xena.”

“ Good morning Gabrielle, how are you feeling this morning?”

“ Fine, I made breakfast, are you hungry?”

“ Of course, thank you for cooking, but you know I can cook also?”

“ Yes, I just like doing things for you.” Gabrielle said shyly as she smiled
and then changed the subject. “ Um, so are you going to the Embassy today?”

“ No, Kiara’s off and she asked if I wanted to spend the day together with
her, she wants to go to a few museums and things like that.”

“ Oh.....sounds like fun.” Gabrielle said trying to smile but failing and just
settling on turning away as she went to the dining room, trying to choke down
the pain she felt in the pit of her stomach, and in her heart.

Xena followed and went and started to make herself a plate.

“ I’ll do it Xena, please, have a sit?”

“ Gabrielle?”

“ No, I’m fine, I told you, I love doing things for you, I always have.”

Xena stood up and then gazed at Gabrielle for a moment, and then she sat down
and Gabrielle begun making Xena’s plate, then she handed it to her and smiled
and then went to sit down after making herself a plate. Xena watched Gabrielle
and her heart couldn’t help but go out to her ex-lover.

After they had breakfast Gabrielle started to leave out the door, when Xena
caught her arm.

“ Gabrielle, I do appreciate what your doing, I see that familiar person I
came here with, and I really am pleased by that. Have a good day Gabrielle.”
Xena said with tenderness and love ringing through her voice.

Gabrielle didn’t say anything, she just gave Xena a hug and then turned
quickly and ran out to her car and jumped in and drove off. Gabrielle was
emotional once again all the way to the nursing home, she sat in her car for a
few minutes after arriving and composed herself, as she thought about what
Xena had said to her, and the feel of Xena’s arms around her once again,
although it was she who initiated the embrace.

After a few minutes, Gabrielle was composed enough to go inside and start her
day. Meanwhile Xena had stood by the door for a few minutes after Gabrielle
had hugged her and then rushed off to her car and left. Xena felt the
closeness she and Gabrielle once had in the early stage of their relationship

and it actually brought both a reminiscence type smile, and a concern frown,
to Xena’s brows.

Xena then looked back inside the house one last time before turning and going
out the door and closing it, as she went out Renna was coming up the driveway.

“ Renna, how are you this morning?”

“ Fine, yourself?”

“ Okay, I guess you heard of the change?”

“ Yes, that’s why I’m here to see how that is going?”

“ Very well, I actually have the time to check out things if I want to.
Gabrielle and I will be going to check out some woman who has connections to
the head person, the person who may be the thief.”

“ That’s wonderful news. When will you leave for this?”

“ Tomorrow evening. We will go to a restaurant and see if we can gain the
right person’s attention, as a couple, and if all works out, then we will be
steps closer to home.”

“ Excellent, and speaking of couples, how are things going with you and your
two lovers?”

Xena studied the woman for a moment after the comment, and then she corrected

“ You mean lover and ex-lover. Anyway, it’s becoming a little complex.”

“ Really? How?”

“ Kiara and I have gotten close, and I’m concerned about that for many
reasons, but I can’t help the way I feel about her.”

“ How is Gabrielle dealing with all of this?”

“ As well as can be expected, she’s the Gabrielle of old, the woman I fell in
love with, only it’s as a result of a broken heart, she’s attentive, and
loving, and all she wants to do is make me happy.” Xena said thoughtfully.

“ Xena I don’t think your going to like what I’m about to say, but I think you
already know it in your own heart. I think your feelings for Gabrielle are
resurfing, and at the same time you have fallen in love with Kiara as well,
your heart is divided at the moment and I don’t believe you know how to
remerge it, or whether you even want to?”

Xena looked at Renna with some irritation at her astuteness, but she could not
deny it.

“ Renna how can I help it, Gabrielle cries every night, and everytime she
thinks she is out of my hearing, but I hear her everytime, and it breaks my
heart to hear her, I never wanted to hurt her, I didn’t realize how much she
stilled loved me, at least in that way. At first I thought my feelings for her
were because of feeling sorry for her pain, but then I realized, I actually
find that I am in a way happy to hear her emotional, I know it sounds selfish,
but I have loved Gabrielle for so long, and when we finally got together it
was the best feeling, to know that she wanted me as much as I wanted her, and
then the breakup and now with her telling me it was a mistake she made and she
really does wants me back, and doing all of the now selfless things for me,
like she use to, I can’t help but feel close to her again, today I was
actually tempted to kiss her, But I am in love with Kiara as well.”

“ Xena.....can I give you some advice?”

“ What?”

“ Don’t push Gabrielle away, just let things happen whatever way it will
happen, if by the time you two leave here, and your feelings for Gabrielle are
as strong as they were prior to yours and her break up then so be it, when you
return you two can try your relationship again.”

“ And what about Kiara, I can’t hurt her like that?”

“ Xena, I think you should be with Kiara as much as you want while your here,
but make sure you tell her that you’ll be leaving as soon as you find what
your here to find, tell her how you feel about her, but make sure she
understands that you will be going home, let her know that you don’t want to
mislead her, or setup any false hopes for the two of you, tell her you want it
to be clear that you don’t want to hurt, but the reality is when you leave
your relationship will end, and that’s not to say you will forget about her as
if she never existed, but eventually you will move on with your life and that
life will probably be with Gabrielle, but she also would need to move on with
her’s as well, that’s what I think?”

“ Hmm......I have told her some of those things, but it can’t hurt to keep
reminding her of the future. I have to go, I’m going to meet her now. Thanks.”
Xena said as she got in her car and Renna closed the door, and stepped back
and waved as Xena backed up and then then put the car in drive and drove off.

Xena picked Kiara up at her house and she and Kiara greeted each other and
then Xena drove to the museum, and the two of them went about touring, and
then after a few hours, they went to have lunch.

“ Are you enjoying yourself Xena?”

“ Very much so, what about you?”

“ I’m having a wonderful time....because your here with me, I have never felt
so....alive, my heart is light, I just wish this feeling could last forever.
Kiara bubbled as she placed her hand on top of Xena’s and squeezed.

Xena wrapped her long fingers around Kiara’s hand and returned the squeeze.
Kiara beamed as a result. Xena had her mask firmly in place, her emotions were
everywhere, and she realized just how much she wanted both women. Kiara was
oblivious to the turmoil Xena was going through. But that’s how Xena wanted it
at the moment, so she listened to Kiara go on and on about how she felt about
Xena and how happy she was that they were together, and so on and so on.

By the time the day came to an end, Xena was quiet and reserve, and Kiara
noticed it as they drove back to her place. When they arrived they went inside
and Kiara told Xena to make herself at home while she went and got them both
something to drink.

“ Do you want tea or coffee, or a drink?”

“ Tea, thank you.”

“ No problem Xena. Here you go.”

“ Thank you.” Xena said as she sat down and begun sipping her tea. “ A
thoughtful look came over Xena’s face once again, and this time Kiara saw it.

“ Xena what is it? I’ve noticed you have been somewhat preoccupied by
something?” Kiara asked as she sat down next to Xena.

Xena glanced at her for a moment in thought, and then she turned to face Kiara
full on and setting her cup down she glanced down for a moment and then she
looked back up at her and then told her the truth about what she was feeling.

“ Kiara, first of all before I tell you what’s on my mind, I want you to know
I have had such a wonderful time with you today, I am in all
love with you...”

“ Really?!!” Kiara shrieked as she wrapped her arms around Xena’s neck and
hugged her.

“ Kiara...yes, come on let go, I need you to sit here and be still until I
finish, this is already hard enough, but I need to tell you, otherwise I will
not feel comfortable with things, Alright?”

“ Alright.”

Kiara then sat back and just waited for Xena to tell her.

“ I am in love with you, but the truth is, I am also very much in love with
Gabrielle....” Xena said and then paused for a moment to compose herself as
she saw the tears forming in Kiara’s eyes. “ Kiara, I have not been with
Gabrielle or anything like that, I give you my word, it’s just that Gabrielle
has been trying to accept things between you and I, and although she puts on a
brave face in public, I hear her pain when she thinks I can’t hear her.”

“ Have you thought maybe she is just using your feelings for her to manipulate

“ Kiara, I admit I did see that starting to happen with her, but this is real,
she truly does want me to be happy, and she is trying to support our
relationship as best she can despite her own feelings.”

“ Xena she let you go.”

“ I know...” Xena said as she brought her hand up to Kiara’s face to try and
comfort her. “ But the other day Gabrielle told me that she had made a mistake
in doing that and that she wanted me back, but she understood I have to do
what I felt was right for me at the time.”

“ So what’s the problem Xena? I don’t understand.”

“ Kiara, I know this is hard for you to understand, I think it would be for
anyone, but the fact is, everytime I hear Gabrielle sobbing because of me, it
breaks my heart, all I want to do is take her in my arm and hold her forever,
never to let her feel pain again, especially because of me. But then, I think
about you, and what’s developed between the two of us, and I don’t want to
lose it, I can see that I am not as pessimistic as I use to be since I met
you, your outlook on life is realistic much like my own, but you have that
ability to be optimistic. Both you and Gabrielle fill me with joy, and because
of that I’m only left with one choice.....”

“ Your going to breakup with me to go back to her...aren’t you?”

“ No. I’m going to break it off with you and her, Gabrielle and I travel
together, and hopefully that can continue, but if not, then I will accept
that, but I will not get into a relationship with her. We will either continue
as dear friends, or we won’t. I know this is a lousy time to tell you this,
especially after everything you have said today, the great day and all of the
other times we’re had together, but I can not get past the idea that as soon
as we find what we’re here to find, Gabrielle and I WILL return to our home,
and it is not fair to lead you on and let you become so attached to me, and
then leave you, it would only hurt worse, by breaking it off now, although it
will hurt for a while, you will get over me a lot quicker and be able to go on
with your life, I am so sorry that I’m hurting you this way, I truly don’t
mean to, but it’s the only way that I can think of to handle the fact that I
am in love with the two of you and I won’t you both in my life, but there is
no way to do that, I’m sorry, I hope you will forgive me for this one day, but
if not I will understand.” Xena then went quiet and waited for Kiara to say
something, anything.

“ I....don’t know what to say....” Kiara said as she sat completely stunned.

“ Tell me how your feeling?”

“ I....feel like my heart has just been stomped to pieces and there’s nothing

“ Kiara?”

“ Please leave Xena?” Kiara asked as she moved away from Xena’s reach.

“ Kiara I don’t want to leave you like this.” Xena stated matter-of-factly.

“ I’ll be fine, I just need you to leave, please?”

Xena hesitated for a few more moments, and then touching Kiara’s shoulder as a
gesture of comfort, Xena slid her hand from Kiara’s shoulder and turned and
picking up her keys, she walked to the door and went out.

Xena only stopped to look back once she had gotten to her car, she looked at
the house and then shaking her head she got in and drove off. Xena arrived
back home and was heading up the stairs to her room when Gabrielle met her at
the top of the stairs and saw the distress in her eyes.

“ Xena, what is it? Are you okay?”

“ No, no Gabrielle I’m not okay, I just hurt another person I care about.”
Xena stated, as she went to continue her trek to her bedroom.

Gabrielle let her go, figuring Xena needed sometime to herself, Xena stayed in
her room the rest of the evening, and Gabrielle was really concerned about
her, so she made dinner and made a plate for Xena and carried it up to her.
Knocking on the door and not receiving any response, Gabrielle realized Xena
was in a bad mood.

Gabrielle opened the door slowly and went inside, she closed the door behind
her with her foot and quickly located Xena within. Xena was standing by the
window looking out with her arms crossed, she cut her eyes to Gabrielle and
watched her set up her tray of food on the table.

“ What are you doing?” Xena asked flatly.

“ You need to eat, you’ve been up here all even sulking about something, and
the least I could do was make you something to eat, so that’s what I did, I
made some more of your favorites, I thought that would help lift your spirits,
at least a little?”

“ Thank you Gabrielle, it was very thoughtful of you.”

“ Your welcome. Xena can I ask you what’s going on? I mean if you want to tell
me, you know I’m a good listener....but I’ll understand if you think it’s none
of my business?”

Xena studied Gabrielle for such a long time before she said anything, too the
point where Gabrielle begun to feel as though Xena was thinking she had lost
her mind if she thought she would confide anything to her, especially with how
she had acted when they first met Kiara.

“ Well, then I think I will leave you to your thoughts Xena, sorry I disturbed
you, enjoy your dinner.” Gabrielle said thoroughly flushed by Xena’s intense

Gabrielle eased out of the room and scolded herself for being so dense.
Gabrielle sat in the den and flipped through the television stations for a
while, and then she turned it off and picked up one of her scrolls and begun
writing on it, as she wrote Xena came into the room, and Gabrielle saw her and
rendered a shy smile at her and went back to her writing trying to appear as
though she didn’t want Xena to think she was dying to find out why she has
been in such a mood.

“ Gabrielle?”

“ Yes?”

“ I know you weren’t trying to be nosy, but I know your over there sitting
hoping against hope that I’ll tell you what’s bothering me, right?” Xena said,
reading Gabrielle like the scroll she was writing on.

“ Yes! Are you going to tell me?”

“ I don’t know if I should?”

“ Why not?” Gabrielle asked as she moved over to where Xena sat and sat down
by her.

“ Because Gabrielle, it’ll probably hurt you more as well?” Xena stated

“ Why would it hurt me?”

“ Because Gabrielle, I broke off my relationship with Kiara, and I told her I
wasn’t doing it so I could get back with you, but because of the conflict I
have going on inside of myself.”

” What conflict Xena?”

Xena licked her lips and taking a deep sighing breath she turned to Gabrielle.

“ Gabrielle....I told Kiara that I was not only in love with her...but with
you as well, and I wanted the two of you in my life, but because that is not
possible, I will just have to not be with either of you, and live the rest of
my life celibate, I couldn’t deal with the idea of someone else coming into my
life, my heart is only so big, and the two of you have used all of it up. I
can’t help how I feel about the two of you, but I can’t have both of you, so
in order to not hurt the other, I can only think of this way to deal with

“ Xena, first of all let me tell you, I am just so completely filled with joy
at your admission of how you feel about me, and all I want to do is jump up
and down, but I see this hurts you, so I will just be here as your friend for
as long as you want, but I do have something to tell you, but I will tell you

That night when the two went to their rooms, Gabrielle cried herself to sleep
once again, but this time it was because Xena was hurting and she could not do
anything about it. Xena heard her and she thought Gabrielle was hurting
because of the decision to not be with either of the two.

Meanwhile Kiara was hurting because she thought she had a chance with Xena,
only to be denied when things seemed to be going the best. They had spent a
lot of great times together, and now, seems almost out of no, where Xena tells
her it’s over.

Kiara went back and forth over things, and was trying to figure out what
happened, although she already knew the answer.

“ Gabrielle, Xena is still in love with you as well as me, and she doesn’t
want to hurt either one of us, Man! I am so selfish, here this wonderful woman
was, trying to get over a painful relationship, even though she thought it had
ended over a year ago, only to find out that it not only has not ended in
either of their hearts, but has actually grown deeper, but I can’t give her up
to Gabrielle either, I need her in my life, so think Kiara, how could this
work?” Kiara asked of herself as she paced in her bedroom.

Xena waited until she didn’t hear Gabrielle anymore and then she slipped into
her room and saw the pillowcase stained with Gabrielle’s still wet tears. Xena
sat down in a chair near the bed and just watched Gabrielle toss and turn in
bed, like she had been everyday almost since Gabrielle had been crying herself
to sleep, and she slipping in and sitting with her and soothing her brow at
times, so that Gabrielle would not wake up tired.

Xena fell asleep in the chair, unlike she usual where she had stayed for a
while in Gabrielle’s room and then she would slip back into her room before
the morning, but she was more tired than usual and so she ended up sleeping in
the chair, and when Gabrielle woke up early to go and relieve her full
bladder, she groggily crawled from the bed and staggered to the bathroom, and
then staggered back to the bedroom.

She was still sleepy, but she saw a figure sitting in the dark corner of her
room, and at first she was a little shaken by it, but as she moved closer she
recognized that it was Xena asleep in the chair.

Gabrielle covered her mouth of the emotional outburst she felt at seeing Xena
watching over her, it made her wonder how long she had been doing it, but she
didn’t want to embarrass Xena, by seeing her there, so she eased back into her
bed and quietly sobbed once again.

Xena woke up a little while later and seeing Gabrielle was still asleep she
slipped out of the room and back to her own. She stretched her long body as
she went into the bathroom and cleaned up and then got dress. She went
downstairs and cooked breakfast for the two of them, and decided that tonight
was as good as any to go and handle the antique situation.

Gabrielle came down after a little while had past and smelled the breakfast.

“ Xena you didn’t have to cook, I would have done that, but thank you anyway.”

“ I know Gabrielle, but I was up anyway, so sit down and eat, I need to talk
to you.”

“ Alright.” Gabrielle said as she sat down in her seat and waited for Xena to
sit down. “ So....what’s up?”

“ I decided tonight we would go and try to see if we can find this woman.”

“ Ok, I think that is fine, in the meantime what are your plans?”

“ I will go over to the Embassy for a while, I suppose you will go over to the
Nursing home?”

“ Um....yes, maybe.” Gabrielle answered as she took a drink of her orange

After breakfast Xena left to go to The Embassy, and Gabrielle cleaned up the
breakfast dishes and was going to go and see Kiara after she finished them,
but Kiara obviously had the same idea and she showed up at the house to talk
with Gabrielle.

“ Kiara? What are you doing here? I mean, I was just on my way to come and see

“ Really? Well I thought you and I needed to talk, I saw Xena’s car was gone,
so I came on up.”

“ Well I agree, come on in.”

Kiara followed Gabrielle into the living room and the two sat down after
Gabrielle offered Kiara something to eat or drink, and she refused seeing how
she had already eaten breakfast before she came over.

“ Gabrielle I know I have not know Xena as long you have, and by no means am I
comparing our short time together with the years the two of you had, but I
know how I feel about her, and I know her well enough to see that she’s
hurting, but yet she doesn’t show it, and she continues to do irregardless of
how she feels, even if it hurts her all the while that she is doing it, she
doesn’t stop though, she.....”

“ I know Kiara, she has the biggest heart, and she doesn’t ask for a lot, if
anything at all, she’s been completely honest with both of us about her
feelings for us, if she were anyone else , she would have taken advantage of
both of our feelings for her, but not our Xena, she has always been straight
with people, and no matter what the consequences are to her own heart, if she
thinks it would make me, or you happy, then she would do it and not mention it
again, I mean if I had become involved with someone here, then she would have
let me go and develop it, even though she was dying inside a thousand times
with each encounter with that person, but that’s Xena, always giving and
giving and never asking for anything in return. Kiara I have cried myself to
sleep every night since the day the two of you started seeing each other, at
first I tried to manipulate things, I tried to use Xena’s feelings for me to
get you to go away, but that wasn’t me, and all it did was hurt Xena more, and
it confused her.”

“ Gabrielle, do you mind if I ask you something?”

“ What?”

“ What were you thinking when you broke up with Xena? I mean when she first
told me, I thought you were....well crazy, I mean how could anyone not want to
be with her, especially after all of the things you just said as well as how
beautiful she is? So regal and just sexy, it’s like nothing bothers her, and
she could take on a whole army and win, and never break a sweat, man she’s
something. So....what were you thinking?”

“ Isn’t it obvious? I wasn’t, I had figure that if I could get Xena to start
looking at life more positive, rather than as a daily challenge, then she
would be perfect.”

“ But Gabrielle? No one is perfect, you know that, right?”

“ Yes. I knew it then, just like I know it now, but at that time, we had just
come from visiting a village where the people there were being attacked,
because of their way of life.”

“ Which was?”

“ They saw life as a gift, that was not meant to be wasted on the negative,
their village was made up of couples and all of them had many children, they
went to the temples to offer their gifts and pray to their Goddess, everyday,
and then they started their work day, not a negative word passed from any of
their lips. If they broke something by accident, they would just say, no
problem, we’ll get another one when we can. If someone was hurt because of an
accident, they wouldn’t get upset, they would look at the bright side of it
and say....for example, one man had broke his leg, and while Xena was
resetting the bone, the husband and his wife were talking through his pain,
and he laughed at one point and said, “ well now I can practice my hoping, and
then when my bone heals I can win the hoping game against Julianne.” That was
his 5 year old daughter. I thought that was the best place, and although I saw
the down side to that, I loved how they focused on the positive, and that’s
how I always have tried to do, and to see it in action was just amazing to

“ What did Xena think about the Village?”

“ Well that’s when it started, when I really started seeing just how
pessimistic she was, I’m not saying that she was gloom and doom or anything
like that, but she’s always so....practical. She didn’t like the village at
all, she said that the people were looking through rose colored glasses,
rather than transparent ones, and that she understood why, people would want
to attack such a village, because the odds of them fighting back would be in
the attackers favor. She said that if she were still the person she use to be,
then she would have attacked such a village. When the man with the broken leg
made that statement, everyone who was there was nodding and saying yes, it’s
going to be just fine, but not Xena, she was miss practical, she asked the
man, how was he going to pay for food and grain for his family if he couldn’t
work his farm.”

“ What did the man say?”

“ He simply said, “ The Goddess will provide.” And he believed what he was

“ So what happen?”

“ His neighbors came and managed his farm. It was just amazing.”

“ So what did Xena say?”

“ She just said, she expected for the people to do something and not the
Goddess. I told her if it weren’t for their belief then their Goddess would
not have sent the people over to help.”

“ Gabrielle, you realize we as people have free will?”

“ Yes.....hmmm, that’s funny that you would say that.”

“ Why?”

“ Because, it’s exactly what Xena told me. I think Xena has rubbed off on you.
She thinks I wear rose colored glasses most of the time as well, but I think
I’m solidly grounded in reality, it’s just that I choose to try and look at
the positive side of things. Anyway, from that time on I started nagging Xena
about her negative perspective, and then one morning I woke up and got dress
and told her I couldn’t deal with her outlook on things anymore, and the look
on her face just made me want to just crawl under the nearest rock and die.
The pain in her eyes was palpable. We went our separate ways for a while, but
I missed her so much, and I realized that I had made a mistake, but my pride
wouldn’t let me tell her that at the time, so when we came back together, I
just told her that I still wanted to have her as my friend. That was so
painful, to travel with such a woman and having known her intimately, but not
be able be with her, or tell her things that I once had, and that one only
shares with a lover, it was hard.”

“ So you let your pride keep you from admitting your feelings for her, and
from telling her the truth about how you were wrong? Until you both came here
and she and I met and started to get to know each other.”

“ Yes, I want Xena back in my life, but she will not break her oath to herself
to be with me, knowing how it would hurt you, and she will not be with you,
knowing how it would hurt me, and I have to admit to you, I wouldn’t be able t
travel with her knowing she had chose you, it would be beyond my ability to
handle it.”

“ So what do you think we should do?”

“ I have an idea, it’s unusual, but I’m willing to try if you are?”

“ What’s that?”

Gabrielle studied Kiara for a few moments and then she asked, “ First let me
ask you this.”

“ what?”

“ What do you think about me?”

“ I think your very beautiful, I see you actually have a very gentle soul, but
I see strength in that, and I think Xena is or was very lucky to have such a
person like you in her life, now at first I thought you were the biggest jerk,
but now that I’m seeing the real Gabrielle, I like her a lot, thank you for
showing me the honest you, it really does suit you. Now you mind if I ask you
the same question?”

“ No, not at all, I think you are a very beautiful woman yourself, and I don’t
think I would have seen the true you if I had continued to try to manipulate
things, but seeing that I have seen the real you, I have to admit, I think
your a wonderful person, and Xena is lucky to have met you, and if she had to
be with anyone, I’m glad it was someone like you, someone who loved her for
her, and not for what she could do for them, Xena has so many skills and
talents, and most just come natural, she could be rich if she chose to be, and
the truth is she was once upon a time, but she gave it all up to change her
ways, and I was a fool to nag her about her outlook, considering everything
that woman had been through, I was so petty, and insensitive, I can’t believe
just how much. You accept her the way she should be accepted, no exceptions.”

“ Do you still have a problem with her outlook?”

“ No, it is so insignificant a part of her, she is so much more than just
that. I love Xena and everything about her, and I want her back in my life,
but I realize that won’t happen....not unless you and I can agree on some

“ What?”

“ What do you think about.....the three of us?” Gabrielle asked as she
flinched slightly from not knowing what Kiara would think of her, and possibly

“ hahahahahaha....” Kiara laughed, as she fell back on the sofa and laughed


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