A SOULstice Carol
All the usual rules apply here. I do not own the characters of Xena, Gabrielle or Lyceus, They are used here solely for
entertainment purposes and without any intent of monetary compensation on any level. This is a work of fiction mostly from the author's imagination. This is my first attempt at fanfic so it's not too risque. There is no violence. This is however, a story about two women realizing that they love eachother (In other words, do not read if you are easily offended or under the age of consent for this sort of thing in your area!!!). Anyway, point is, if this ain't your cup of tea, drink coffee. If this ain't your cup of tea and it's illegal where you live, drink coffee in another kitchen, please. And don't forget the sugar, 'cause if you live where the censorship lords reign supreme, you need all the artificial stimulents you can get your hands on! Three lumps! Now either get the @#$% out of here, or read on!
OOh, seeing as how I'm a neophyte and all, feedback would be greatly appreciated at firstname.lastname@example.org
This story begins at the end of the "Fins, Femmes and Gems" episode.
"I dedicate this fish to Lyceus!" No sooner than the words were out of her mouth, Xena felt a searing headache which blasted her back to her senses.
"I was obsessed with fishing, wasn't I?" she asked.
"I really don't pay that much attention to you, Xena. I have better things to do," Gabrielle stated over her shoulder as she walked toward the lake.
"No Gabrielle, listen. All this time I thought I forgave myself for what happened to Lyceus, but I hadn't. Realizing that broke
Aphrodite's spell. There's something in your life that you're not satisfied with. Something that's bothering you."
"ME? What could possible be bothering me? Gabrielle mused in mock amusement.
"Gabrielle! Come on. There's something you need to get off your chest. Something you need to get out into the open to break the spell."
"WHAT! WHAT COULD POSSIBLY BE BOTHERING ME? MAYBE THE FACT THAT NO ONE GIVES ME CREDIT FOR ANYTHING I DO, AND THAT EVERYONE JUST THINKS I'M A SILLY SIDEKICK. OR MAYBE IT'S THE FACT THAT I DON'T KNOW HOW TO TELL MY BEST FRIEND THAT I AM COMPLETELY IN LOVE WITH HER!!!"
At that instant, Gabrielle's head fell into her hands and the spell-vanquishing headache washed over her, followed shortly
thereafter by a heat rising in her body as she realized that she'd just openly professed her love for her best friend, her companion, her soul-mate.
*OH ZEUS!!! DID I SAY THAT OUT LOUD???*
"WHAT???"Xena exclaimed, shock plainly scrolled on her face. Gabrielle looked up into her friends face just long enough to
realize that she did indeed say the words she suppressed for so long out loud. And she's said them to Xena.
Scampering quickly to her feet she muttered an apology in Xena's direction and ran off into the woods bordering the lake.
Gabrielle ran as fast as her legs could carry her; hot tears burned down her cheeks staining the normally alabaster skin red. Finally stopping to catch her breath, the events of just moments ago blew through her memory like a hurricane, making her feel dizzy and frightened.
"What have I done, sweet Zeus, what have I done?" she chastised herself aloud. "I've just managed to ruin the best friendship I've ever known. How will I ever be able to face her again knowing that SHE knows how I realy feel about her? STUPID! STUPID! I am such a fool."
"You're not a fool, Gabrielle." Xena said softly as she emerged from behind a tree.
"Xena." Gabrielle whipped around and looked into those deep blue pools for just an instant before casting her gaze toward the ground and turning around again.
Gabrielle, trying to hide the humiliation and fear in her voice spoke in a pitch barely louder than a whisper. "I'm sure you want
to leave as soon as possible. Just leave my things by the lake and I'll get them later. Don't worry. I won't follow you. I don't know where I'll go, but I won't bother you anymore."
"Gabrielle, I'm not going anywhere. Not without you. At very least, not before talking to you about this. We should get some things out in the open. If after you tell me what this is all about, if you still want to go your separate way, then I won't try to stop you. But first, I think we should talk. I know you can do that for me. You are a bard, aren't you? Talking comes naturally to you. It's what you do best."
"Don't Xena. Don't tease me at a time like this."
"I...I'm sorry. I was just trying to lighten the mood. I didn't mean to upset you more. Please talk to me...."
Gabrielle stood with her back to the warrior and tentatively began to speak, trying to keep the sobs in her throat from breaking up her diction. "You really want to talk about this? You're not mad, or scared, or...."
Xena moved behind the smaller woman and placed her hands gently on her shoulders. "Gabrielle, turn around and look at me."
"I can't," she sobbed.
"Gabrielle, please." The gentle plea she heard in the warrior's voice made her body betray her mind's judgment. Slowly Gabrielle turned into the circle of Xena's arms, but continued to cast her eyes downward. Gently, Xena placed a hand on Gabrielle's chin and brought the bard's eyes up until they met her own. Wiping a new-fallen tear from Gabrielle's cheek, Xena's heart cried out to the younger woman standing so vulnerably before her. It only took a moment to find the answer she was looking for in those eyes. She knew in an instant that she had heard the bard's words correctly. Still, she needed to hear it again, just to be certain.
"Gabrielle, did you say that you love me, or that you are in love with me?"
Gabrielle darted her eyes away and mumbled half under her breath, "The latter."
"Gabrielle," Xena said softly pulling the smaller woman against herself in a loving embrace, "Don't you know by now that I love
Fighting tears again, Gabrielle swallowed any pride she had left. ***I might as well open the flood gates and let all of it out. I
have nothing to lose at this point.*** She collected herself and spoke with all the depth and sincerity she felt in her heart. "I
know you love me...as a friend. But what I feel for you transcends all boundaries. It's stronger than any force I've ever known. Just being with you, being near you makes my heart soar. Walking along side you, helping polish your armor, breaking camp...from death defying battles to mundane everyday events. Anything and everything that we do together...every second of time we spend together engraves itself into my heart to become a cherished memory. I've been looking for the missing piece in my life since we began traveling together. I finally reallized that the only thing missing was my realization that there is nothing missing! You were there all along. You are my missing piece. The piece that fits into my heart, my soul, and makes me complete. With you at my side I feel that all things are possible. I never feel afraid. I feel safe, content, and...loved."
When Gabrielle finally said all that was on her mind and in her heart, she looked into her love's face and saw that Xena had been quietly crying. The bard reached up and brushed the tears from her friend's eyes. "Don't cry Xena. I can't bear to be the cause of your sorrow."
Xena held the form of the smaller woman closer to her as she gathered the strength to speak. "Gabrielle, that was the most
beautiful and touching thing that anyone has ever said to me. My tears aren't those of pain and sorrow. It's just that your words
have touched me so deeply that I, I really don't know what to say."
"It's OK. You don't have to say anything. I understand, Xena."
"No Gabrielle, you don't. I just never expected you to love me. I thought you were maybe in awe for a while there in the beginning, but...I never expected that you could look past the fact that I was a warlord. I was a terrible person, and that person still looms inside of me. 'She' is part of my soul. I am a warrior and I can't change that."
"But Xena," Gabrielle began, "You have. You may still be a warrior, but now you fight for the people you used to fight to control. Part of what I love about you is your tremendous inner-strength. The ability to single-handedly turn your life around speaks volumes about your will power and determination to do right where you once would have done wrong. It makes you all the more endearing to me."
Xena eased out of their embrace and looked down into the face of the bard who stood before her. "Gabrielle, I didn't do any of that single-handedly. I had YOU. You are the reason I am able to stay on the straight and narrow path. You're my inspiration. My light. YOU are the missing part of MY soul that fills my life with hope and laughter. I'd be nothing without you. I'm sorry that it took me so long to tell you. I thought you knew."
Xena cast her gaze toward the sky and took a deep breath before capturing Gabrielle's eyes with her own. "I love you. I have always loved you. I love your silent strength. Your pure heart. Your intelligence. And your ability to see beauty and goodness in all things and persons. I love you for a thousand reasons, and a thousand more that I haven't discovered yet. I love you not only
for what you are, but for what I am when I'm with you."
With that declaration Xena felt a burden lifted from her chest that she had thought she was destined to carry for eternity. They had both bared their souls and neither one had turned heel. With that revelation Xena slowly closed the distance between them, pulling Gabrielle into her arms. The bard inched toward the warrior never breaking eye contact until they stood in the circle of one another's arms a breath away from one another. Gabrielle waited with baited breath and had closed her eyes for only a moment when she felt Xena's soft lips lightly brush her own. Gabrielle opened her eyes to see why the contact had ended as suddenly as it had come. Xena gazed with wonder again into the bard's eyes looking for a sign, and saw the love that glowed there. Their eyes met and locked showing the bard a mirror image of the love she felt for the warrior. All her fears laid to rest, Gabrielle leaned into the warrior and very gently, softly kissed her. Xena let herself be guided by the bard's questing lips and slowly sank into the euphoric gentleness that was Gabrielle. The bard parted her lips slightly and let her velvet tongue glide across Xena's lips, requesting access into the warriors waiting mouth. Xena eagerly welcomed the invasion, and met the bard with a gentle eagerness. A small moan escaped from both women as their tongues met and entwined around one another in a mellifluious, sensual dance. Slowly they sank into one another. Tasting. Exploring. Loving.
Their souls had finally come home.
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