The Vision

by Darkone

Disclaimers: The usual...

Written February 1997

Xena had been on the hillside, fasting, for 4 days. She was into the beginning of her fifth day of meditation, and she still hadn't been gifted with 'The Sight'. A breif vision gifted by Artemis to the one fasting. It was said this vision would show the gifted one a glimpse of their destiny. Gabrielle, in a surprising move, joined her on her quest. This was a surprise! The amazon bard, agreeing to go without food for more than an hour?

'She's wanting to see what it's like to be me. Gabrielle, you don't have to do this to impress me.' The warrior smiled at the thought.

Gabrielle, however, had a different motive altogether. She did this as her way of showing how much she loved Xena. It surprised the young woman at the depths her feelings had run. She knew she loved the raven-haired beauty, but more and more she realized she had fallen IN LOVE with her warrior. This shocked and amazed her. So, in a perhaps stupid move, she had asked Xena if she could join Xena on her journey. Xena could never say 'No' to the bard. Therefore, she agreed to let her come. Gabrielle had surprised her greatly, she didn't give in to her stomach's growling, or the pain of sitting in the lotus position for so many hours. The physical training seemed to be more intense while fasting. Each day, they would practice, excercise, and in the evening, a long bath, and the fast and meditation began at night.Gabrielle's body and reflexes became sharper, and Xena's were already razor sharp. Xena could feel the bard's exhaustion as well as her own. She was fiarly certain Gabrielle felt the same as well. At the moon's zenith, Gabrielle's body slumped back with a thud. Before Xena could respond to her friend's predicament, she lapsed as well.

"Xena! You have chosen the path of righteousness and justice! You seek your destiny, when it has been at your side. I have not watched your deeds without a hint of the amusement it brings as it inflicts pain on Ares. What is the answer you seek?"

Xena stood and was embraced by Artemis. The godess's auburn hair flowed as she held the warrior at arm's length. Xena felt the warmth in her body as the ethereal beauty smiled. Xena regained her composure as she looks at the godess. "Yes. I need to know--about-- I--want--" Xena scratches her head, and looks at the godess again."I'm not good at this." The godess looks irritated and smiles warmly at the warrior,"Keep trying. Don't fight the feelings." Xena strengthens her resolve and the words fly out; "I need to know if I have caused Gabrielle pain. She smiles and tells me she's fine, but I can feel it. There's something different, we don't act the way we used to toward each other. I need to know if I've hurt her." The warrior looks at the godess with a look of despair. The godess smiles and her next statement is so matter-of-fact that she doesn't realize the pain it will inflict. "Yes, Xena, you have inflicted pain on your sweet bard. A pain she carries gladly." Xena is shocked and filled with loathing at the thought of this. "Will she leave me?" Artemis is puzzled, and she realizes the warrior's misconception as she tilts Xena's head up to face her. Shaking her head emphatically;"No, Xena. Gabrielle would never leave you again."

Xena is holding back tears and looks at her unconcious friend on the ground. She sees that the bard's hand is entwined with hers, fingers laced lightly,lovingly. She looks back as Artemis places a finger on her chin, turning her back to face her.

"Xena, the pain you have unwittingly inflicted is that of love. Gabrielle fell in love with you the day, you met in that feild against Draco's army. her love has grown, day by day. She has never stopped loving you. She accepted, from the start what you were, are, and what she hopes you can be."

Xena feels emotions pull at her, then mistrust. "But she left me, for Perdicus. I never stood a chance. I knew how I felt, but I couldn't tell her." Xena leans on Artemis' shoulder, crying.

"Xena, do you know why Gabrielle married Perdicus? She wanted you to stop her, wanted you to tell her how much you loved her, needed her. But when you locked your walls in place, Perdicus' pleas for salvation by Gabrielle's love won her over. You wouldn't fight, and she left." Xena feels her body shrink as she realizes the truth in the huntress' words. "The mistrust you feel now has been the bane of every love you've ever known, close your eyes. When you awake, you will understand. Good-bye."

Xena opens her eyes, and she's on a cross, heavy chains hold her aloft. One by one her past lovers appear. "Xena! I loved you, we had a son! yet you betrayed that love!" Barias slaps her and he fades away.

Marcus walks up, smiling. "Xena, I want you to know. Our love was one of convenience. It kept us warm on the battlefeild." Marcus fades with a smile.

Hercules walks up, saddened. He pulls at the chains, but can't break them. He looks at her, dejected. "I'm sorry. But these chains are of your design. Each chain is a love you've tainted with mistrust. I can't help you." Hercules vanishes. She screams in anguish, she calls their names and none of them appear. The truth hits her, like a warhammer, in the center of her chest. No one trusts her with their love enough to help her. And, by the same token, she doesn't trust anyone to love her enough to help her. She feels the shame and the despair wash over her as the darkness encrouches. 'Perhaps it's better this way. Let the darkness and pain I've wrought consume me.' She bends her head and closes her eyes. It is then that she feels the light, its warmth. She opens her eyes and the figure unshackling her is silhouetted by the light. She can't see who, but she feels soft, strong hands lift her up and cradle her to the ground. She then opens her eyes and looks into the sunkissed face of Gabrielle. "You've got to learn to trust me, Xena. My love has been entrusted to you since the day we met. Do you trust me?"

Xena looks up to the amazon bard and frames her face with elegant hands. "With all my heart and soul. Gabrielle? You are my salvation." Gabrielle smiles as she leans down to kiss her warrior princess. The darkness dispells and a light is born.

Gabrielle awakes in a feild, death and destruction, everywhere. She looks on in horror as a woman sneaks up behind her warrior and plunges a sword through her back. Xena screams in agony as she falls to the ground. Gabrielle tackles the woman from behind, rage guiding her movements. The woman twists over and Gabrielle is horrified at the sight of the woman. It's HER! Gabrielle has run the warrior through the back, slaughtering her in a cowardly fashion! Gabrielle is ill, she wants to scream! Gentle arms wrap around her as she cries. The vision disappears. Artemis is holding her as a mother would her child. "Shhh! My little one. This is the destiny you sought."

Gabrielle is in tears and she begs the godess for an answer. "Why? Why would I kill her! I--I love her!"

Artemis cradles the bard and rocks her;"My sweet bard, what you saw was a possibility."

The amazon looks at the auburn haired beauty. Confusion on her face;"A possibility?"

The godess nods her head;"Yes. What you saw was the death of the darkness in Xena's soul. You didn't kill her, you set her free. The love you have set her free!"

She looks at Gabrielle and reassures her as best she can. Gabrielle looks at their bodies on the ground and sees that she and Xena are in an embrace. Their bodies unconciously seeking the comfort of the other's touch. Gabrielle smiles, but the godess offers a warning; "Yes, Gabrielle. Your love is Xena's salvation, but it can also be her damnation."

Gabrielle looks at her, fearful. "Listen. Your love is a beautiful thing. But you let the ideas of what is possibly someone else's opinion deny that love. Gabrielle, all you have to do is keep denying that love and you will kill Xena as surely as you had run that sword through her back. That love isn't just her salvation, but yours as well. You must tell her."

"But, how? I can't put the feelings I have for her into mere words. It's deeper than that! I--I'm afraid." Gabrielle looks at the ground and Artemis speaks once more; "Gabrielle? Words are important, but sometimes the heart needs a more physical outlet. Xena is just as frightened. Help each other. Love one another."

With that, Artemis is gone. Morning, the two women awake in one another's arms. Xena's eyes are alight with joy, until she sees the pain in Gabrielle's eyes. She pulls away, the walls in place again, almost. Gabrielle's arms wrap around her, pulling her back. Xena struggles at first, but those arms, so gentle; yet so strong. Those arms overpower her and pull her back into Gabrielle's loving embrace.

"Xena, I know now. The answer has been here all along. I love you, and now? I want to show you." Gabrielle knows that Xena is weaker than she is now. She had joined Xena on her quest two days after Xena started. She lays Xena back and begins unlacing Xena's leathers. She then looks down at Xena, and smiles as the warrior's trembling hands rty to unlace her top. The hands are shaking as Gabrielle clasps her hands over them. She brings Xena's hands up and kisses each fingertip, sucking on each one. She then leans down to kiss Xena's lips, her tongue is inquisitive, searching for Xena's soul. The kiss is like ambrosia. 'What does the rest of her taste like?' Gabrielle's heart does triple time with this thought. She moves down Xena's neck and shoulders, licking, kissing, biting. Xena's reaction is everything she had dreamed, and more. Her red-gold hair trails over Xena's skin, raising a trail of gooseflesh in its wake. Xena's body is in a fit of anxiousness, wanting any part of Gabrielle touching her. The electricity Gabrielle causes is all-consuming, and she wants, needs to be consumed. She starts to moan, but the emotions she feels, the joy render her mute. Gabrielle kisses her breasts, taking each nipple into her mouth. Inflicting the sweetest pain as her teeth gently nip at them. She pushes her hips into Xena's, and the warrior spreads her legs. She begins matching the rhythm her amazon sets. The amazon bard arches her back, and Xena seizes the opportunity. She closes her lips around Gabrielle's lightly tanned breasts, feasting as a starving babe. 'Godess! She's so beautiful! She tastes so sweet. Like-MMMmm!" Gabrielle pushes her down and wraps her lips around Xena's right breast, torturing her. She stays there for the longest time before kissing her way down Xena's toned stomach. The sweat there tastes so sweet and salty. She then moves to Xena's legs, kissing her way up each thigh. She feels those muscles contract as she reaches her goal. She kisses her tenderly before she pulls Xena's legs up on her shoulders, leaning back against the log behind her. Her hands roam over Xena's hips, stomach and finally to her breasts. Gabrielle locks eyes with her warrior before she begins tasting the very core of her chosen one.

"You are so sweet. You taste so --" Gabrielle can't finish her statement, her desire drawing her back to her ultimate goal. That of reducing Xena to a spasming pile of muscles and bone. Xena's hands wrap themselves in her hair. The warrior's head is tilted back as her eyes close, tears streaming her proud features. Gabrielle hears the words, and they break her heart.

"Please, save me." Gabrielle starts to release her hold when Xena's powerful legs lock over her shoulders. She knows, this is what Xena needs. She needs to lose control sometimes. Trust in someone. Trust that someone to love her enough to save her. Gabrielle prays that she is that one. Xena's body is an insrtument, finely tuned, and masterfully played by her sweet Gabrielle. Her release is an explosion of the love she's felt for the amazon bard since they met. She's no longer afraid, she can be gentle and loving, but most of all, she can be loved. Gabrielle holds her in that position until Xena's breathing calms, her heart slows. Gabrielle releases her hold and lays Xena, spent and exhausted, on the bedroll adn crawls up her body. Xena spasms wherever Gabrielle's hair, breasts, hands, her very skin touches hers. Her tears are in full force as Gabrielle cradles her, loving her as exquisitely as she made love to her.

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