Warning : This story raises the subject of physical relationship between Xena and Gabrielle. If thats not your particular beverage, you have been warned.
Three little words.
The bard had spoken them hesitantly, almost timidly. The warrior had seemed preoccupied when she spoke them and asked her to repeat what she said. She almost didnt, but spoke them again, with more conviction.
She had held her breath waiting for the warrior to respond. And let it out explosively in relief when the warrior said the three little words in return.
Three little words, that broke down a barrier between the two women, and moved their relationship to a new level.
Three little words, that simultaneously solved and created problems.
Three little words.
Gabrielle enjoyed the comfort of resting against Xena's body. 'My lover's body,' she thought, and smiled at the way the words felt to her. She felt completely protected, completely safe, completely in love.
She sighed contentedly as Xena's large hand pressed against her stomach to snuggle closer to her back.
"Happy?" asked Xena, nuzzling the hair by her face.
"Never happier," replied Gabrielle.
They fell into a comfortable silence. Xena closed her eyes and started to doze, Gabrielle watched the fire slowly burning out as sunlight flowed into the campsite.
"Fire's going out," said Gabrielle.
"Don't care," muttered Xena. "Warm enough."
Gabrielle giggled silently. A short while later she heard a rustling in the bushes. A rabbit hopped into view.
"There's a rabbit over there, you could catch it for breakfast."
Gabrielle turned in the warrior's embrace to face her. "Not even for me?" she grinned.
"I'm always hungry for you," said Xena, and claimed the bard's lips.
The sun was well up by the time they finished their lovemaking.
"It's getting late," commented Xena.
"Had enough of me?" teased the bard.
"Good. Because I don't want to move. In fact we're going to spend all morning in bed."
"All morning? There's not much left of it."
"The afternoon as well."
"Then it'll be time for bed."
"Okay. We're going to spend until tomorrow morning in bed."
"I can live with that."
"And then we can spend all of tomorrow in bed, and the day after. I think we should spend a whole month in bed."
"Making up for lost time?"
"Something like that," said Gabrielle settling closer to the warrior. "Thinking about it, I reckon we should spend at least a year in bed."
"In fact, I think we should spend the rest of our lives together in bed and never get up."
"Yeah," concluded the bard.
"Okay," agreed the warrior. "We spend the rest of our lives together in bed."
Xena let her hand slip lower and started to stroke Gabrielle's thigh. Gabrielle groaned, broke free of Xena's embrace and climbed out of the bedroll.
"What's going on?" queried Xena. "I thought you said we were going to spend the rest of our lives in bed?"
"I know, but....."
"I need to..... you know."
"I need to... go and... use the bushes."
"Hurry back," said the warrior to the bard as she dashed away. "And wash your hands."
Xena lay back and waited for Gabrielle to return.
This past year I've struggled to put the demons of my past to rest. The hate, the anger, the evil, that has stagnated inside for so long is slowly being eroded.
And Gabrielle is doing the eroding.
Her light, her love, her whole being, is the medicine to cure me. Just by being around she makes me feel better. Her simple love of life, her willingness to see the good in everyone, even in me, lifts my spirits and makes me aware that I can move on from my past.
There is still a problem, however.
She needs me to return her love. I want to return her love. I returned her words of love, and I so much want to feel it. While those words weren't a lie, they were hollow words, empty of true feeling.
Sometimes I don't think there is any love in me. All I feel is emptiness. I was so filled with hate that there was no room for anything else. Now the hate is gone I can't fill the space it's left behind. I've forgotten how to love.
All the good I feel, all the hope I have, and all the love is external. It all lies within Gabrielle.
Without her, I am nothing.
"I can feel the outside feeding on my inside
It leaves a growing darkness in it's place"
The Hollow Man - Hogarth
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