The Blue In Your Eyes

By: Aleria


Author’s Notes : Though I have been working hard to tone my writing skills over the past couple of years, this was my first venture into Alternative Xena work; creating a sweet, but short story. Post "Sacrifice," after Gabrielle had given her life to destroy Hope and save Xena’s…



"Oh come on Xena. I think that the blue part of the flame matches the color of your eyes perfectly."

The azure subjects of Gabrielle’s sentence lifted themselves from the blade of the warrior’s sword to observe the color of the flames. The campfire that the two women had set up when the sun had begun its journey west now provided them with the adequate amount of lighting needed to perform their respective tasks. Xena, tending to her weapon of choice, and Gabrielle, writing in a scroll that could either be her diary, or her dramatization of the last adventure the two wanderers had shared.

"The blue part of the flame is the hottest, isn’t it?" the warrior answered more than inquired. By the time Gabrielle had processed that information into an accurate way to describe Xena’s piercing stare for her tale, she sighed in response. The former warlord had gone back to her nightly routine, not waiting to hear for some sort of poetic analogy her partner might make.

Gabrielle on the other hand, didn’t seem to realize that she had lost Xena’s attention. She was, like always, too involved with her story weaving to notice. These nights were precious to the both of them. Times when they could unwind, relax, and enjoy each other’s company. Or, on nights like these, the lack thereof.

"You know what Aristotle once said?" Gabrielle began. She knew Xena wouldn’t respond too enthusiastically, but the itch to share philosophical ideas and concepts always irritated her until she could share them.

In actuality, she was taking a pause in writing her story. The bard had decided to title it ‘Sacrifice.’ Her sacrifice. When she had given her life to save the world from Dahak’s destructive daughter and the destroyers she would bring. When she had saved Xena’s life. Putting that to papyrus was too much for her at the moment, even though she had convinced herself that she had come to terms with the things she had done. Nevertheless, trying to describe the heartbreaking look in Xena’s eyes when she had committed herself to taking that final plunge into the fiery pit was too excruciating on both her writing skills and her heart.

With a slight tease to her voice, the older female commented again. "Aristotle probably hasn’t said half as many things in his lifetime as you, Gabrielle."

The bard’s emerald eyes gleamed with a fake mirth. "Funny, Xena, really…" She even cleared her throat before stating her main point to make sure she had at least half of Xena’s attention.

"Aristotle said that friendship is a single soul dwelling in two bodies." There was a thoughtful pause. "What do you think about that?"

Xena’s stare instantly adjusted to Gabrielle, and it was obvious to the ‘revived’ girl that her partner was assessing her response. It became even more apparent when Xena set aside her sword and whetstone.

"I think that Aristotle must have been watching me through all those sleepless nights I had without you."

Their eyes locked from across the campfire. Neither of them dared to move from their position, for fear of spoiling the moment. Even though they were sitting on opposite sides of their heat source, the connection between them was unbreakable.

It was now Gabrielle’s turn to set aside the objects in her hands. "I don’t know if I’ve told you this story before, but," she smiled, albeit somewhat shyly and uncomfortably, but it was still a vibrant smile, "they say that once upon a time, humans used to have two heads and eight limbs. But the gods, they threw lightning bolts down, splitting everyone in half. So then they all had only one head and four limbs. After becoming split, the humans felt an incredible sadness… because not only were their bodies split in half, but so were their souls. And that’s why, now, we’re always searching… Searching for the other half of our souls."

Xena honestly couldn’t remember if she had already heard that story years ago or not, but it didn’t matter. It was at that moment that she knew. No, she had known for many days and nights before this one. The weeks that were by now months ago, when she was struggling for meaning and truth because her meaning and truth had ostensibly died when she fell down that gorge of fire.

If by any chance during those nights alone that Xena had dozed off, she quickly jerked herself awake to Gabrielle’s final stare and echoing cry. The look in her eyes that had made two statements. Goodbye, and I’m sorry.

Those had been long nights indeed. And since she had found Gabrielle again, they hadn’t spoken a word of it. Gabrielle was just content with being back, and unwilling to resurface any memories of Dahak, Hope, or the betrayal to her friend. But Xena had her own reasons for holding back.

Xena knew that she wouldn’t be able to walk away from the conversation without telling Gabrielle precisely how she felt. So she had avoided it to all costs.

The needing look in Gabrielle’s eyes, however, insisted that it be discussed.

"You’re looking at me like that again," Gabrielle whispered. So quietly, that Xena had to snap herself back into her attentive mode to catch the resonance underneath the crackle of the fire.

"Like what?" Despite the attention being paid to her stare, Xena was hard pressed to changing the way she was looking at her partner now.

"The way you looked at me when…" Gabrielle’s sentence drifted into mute nothingness as her eyes shifted to her scroll. Memories of the hellish flames scorching her back as she sank came to her, and she swallowed a sob that was either one of pain or guilt. They always came hand in hand, she couldn’t decipher between the two anymore…

Xena decided it was time for the two of them to get a little closer. She rose to her feet, and made her way to Gabrielle’s side, sitting down on the cool earth beside her. Instead of insisting that Gabrielle finish her statement, Xena decided it would be best if she just let Gabrielle do what she felt doing.

"Xena," Gabrielle paused when a gentle hand began to stroke her golden tresses.

The smile on the warrior princess’ face was calmer and more loving than anyone who’d met her would have ever thought possible. Xena would have also thought so, but these past few years with Gabrielle had resurfaced the tender loyalty she had only briefly felt once with Lao Ma. Even then, it was different. Yes, the spiritual connection and purity were present in both relationships. But Gabrielle was special, and Xena knew why. Admitting it aloud was the hard part.


"I’m sorry… I’m so sorry." The words barely escaped Gabrielle’s lips before a few translucent tears spilled from her eyelids. The sight was quick to entirely somber Xena’s mood, and her heart would have broken again at the sight of her partner’s tears. Before the melting warrior had time to respond, Gabrielle had her face hidden in the crook of Xena’s neck.

The woman decked in leather needn’t ask what Gabrielle was referring to; the understanding between the two was too strong for questions of such a trifle level. Xena was concerned, however, with the fact that the bard was still coming to her with apologies. People with such unpolluted consciences must carry guilt like a burden, she mused to herself.

With a reluctant motion, Xena pulled Gabrielle away from her body so she could assess Gabrielle’s situation thoroughly. The beauty with such emotionally honest people like the object of her affection is that they wear their emotions on their sleeves. No matter how crudely tailored the stitches might be.

The striking green of the young girl’s irises didn’t completely catch Xena off guard, but the expression was still enough to make her head spin with concern. "Gabrielle," the raven-haired woman caught herself sounding sterner than she had anticipated. She cleared her mind, took a low breath, and started again. "Gabrielle… You did what you had to do, I know that now. There’s no need for you to carry that guilt around anymore, don’t you see? I love you… I respect your decisions and the reasons that you make them."

"But it’s because of my failures that I had to make that decision!" Gabrielle pulled away from Xena’s grasp with enough force to cause even the warrior princess to startle. The bard began to cry into her palms. Deep, throaty sobs leaked from her throat like water being poured from the urn of Apollo.

"You don’t understand, Xena. If it wasn’t for my debt to Ares, it never would have come to that ultimatum! It’s… It’s like no matter what I do, no matter how many times I repent or apologize or dream about the things I’ve done to the people I love, I’m never done paying for the pain I’ve caused."

Gabrielle snapped out of her teary rant when she felt one of Xena’s hands firmly gripping her arm. She was too spent to talk, and too exhausted to cry. For the moment, she was reassured enough with the sincere words coming from Xena’s heart.

"And we’re stronger because of it, Gabrielle. The days I spent alone, thinking that you were dead felt like a lifetime of torment. But because of it, I finally understood. I finally understood everything. My life, our journey, everything I’ve ever done and ever will do… is because of you. I told you that you’re my source Gabrielle, and I never knew how true that was until you weren’t there beside me."

If it weren’t for Gabrielle’s current state, she might have blushed at that genuine confession. Instead, she found herself embracing her partner. Gabrielle longed to feel her embrace. Even the warmest and most comforting of embraces could not take away from the heartache she had caused Xena. Despite that knowledge, Gabrielle would try doing so for the rest of her life.

"I just want you to know, Gabrielle…" Xena’s hands continued caressing golden locks of hair, "That you are everything to me. I wouldn’t trade a memory of you for anything on Olympus."

The younger girl’s tears halted, and her quieting sobs were replaced by a discreet sigh. "I love you Xena."

A lump made itself known in the warrior’s throat. Gabrielle must have said those words at least a dozen times, and Xena to her, but just saying them had never been sufficient. Xena had a better way to express the magnitude of her feelings towards her young bard. Without fully analyzing all possible outcomes of her actions like she usually did, she lowered her mouth to touch the ample lips of her partner.

Gabrielle’s discreet sighs turned into shuddering spouts of breath. The kiss was firm, but gentle. Cool, but it made the blood just beneath her skin boil to amorous temperatures. The element of shock caused Gabrielle’s lips to freeze, unable to do anything but soak in the warmth of Xena’s lips against them.

After a few lingering moments the kiss ended, and their eyes were once again acquainted with their own form of intimacy. Xena, relieved that the look on Gabrielle’s face was anything except one of discrepancy, was the first to break the silence. "I love you too, Gabrielle… You’re my family, my home… my soul mate."

It was impossible for Xena to discern all the emotions crashing in Gabrielle’s shaking limbs. She looked surprised, confused, and utterly unbelieving. In short, she looked completely adorable.

The bard was impressed with her warrior’s new method of expressing her inner feelings. With that idea in mind, Gabrielle allowed her lips to touch Xena’s once more. When they touched, she could feel her partner’s lips curling into a smile that she eventually coaxed her out of. Without being caught off guard, Gabrielle permitted her tongue to play out all of the pent up passion and desire pumping in her veins.

They rested in the arms of each other for a long while, exploring both this new aspect of their relationship, and the feel of the other’s mouth against their own. The butterflies in the pit of Gabrielle’s stomach eventually withered to naught, and were replaced with a new sensation in the bottom of her tummy.

"I don’t have to search anymore…" Xena whispered against Gabrielle’s lips after a peaceful period of reflection. At first she thought her reference to Gabrielle’s story went unheard, until Gabrielle eventually searched Xena’s eyes out with her own.

The expression Gabrielle’s eyes held was one the warrior had never seen on her before. Xena tried reading what Gabrielle’s orbs were trying to say, but she had to give up when her brain could come up with no words to describe what her lover might be saying. "What is it, Gabrielle?"

The blonde lightly tapped her fingernails against her partner’s metal breastplate. "Try again…"

Xena’s smile widened before she pulled Gabrielle closer for an intimate kiss.

The look in Gabrielle’s eyes suggested that it was going to be another long and sleepless night.

And Xena didn’t mind at all.


The End.


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