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Disclaimer: Xena Warrior Princess, it’s characters and all related materials are the property of MCA/Universal and Renaissance Pictures.
Those lucky dudes.
Character uses are for entertainment only, not to hurt any rights. As always.
Warning: We are talking about Xena here guys…so there is always the chance of something dangerous happening, in one way or the other ☺.
Anyway, this scene is about two women finally getting a clue about what the rest of the world has known long before them. So if you are under 18 years old, or this kind of story is forbidden where you live, please do not read it.
Or move… ;)
Gabrielle’s POV: Being with the warrior again after managing their way out of Illusia, the bard realizes that going back to the way things were isn’t as easy as she thought it would be.
The air of the night is hot, almost dry it seems, and the fire we built up is more to add missing light than warmth to our campsite. Although we chose a spot near the sea our journey through Illusia has ended in, there is no wind, not even the slightest whisper of air, to carry some of the waters salty freshness over to us.
The heat hovers over me like a heavy blanket, covering my skin with a fine sheen of sweat, pressing down on my chest like a huge bulk of stone.
Or maybe it is the silence surrounding me, I am not sure.
I sigh, then turn my head a little to chance a look at the woman sitting only a few feet away, once again busy with sharpening her sword.
The flickering of the firelight on her face together with the silvery moonlight now shining on us gives her features an almost magical glow, and now, after everything is over, after we found our way back to each other, I can finally remember how it feels like to be in love with her.
She is so beautiful. So breathtaking to me I can instantly feel my heartbeat picking up, feel my insides start to tremble, feel my hands starting to shake. How could I have lost sight of all of this? How could I forget the way her eyes glint when she looks at me, that sparkle in them she always allows there for me and me alone? How could I forget that smile, that stunning heartbreaking smile she gave me countless times, making me fall deeper and deeper for her with such ease it was downright scaring? How could I forget the loving, almost hesitant touches we shared, assuring both of us of a love so new, so young and fragile we feared to break it should we dare go too far?
Well…I did forget. All of it.
The anger and hate, the hurt and loneliness that has dominated our lives for a far too long time now has made me blind to it. Made me lose sight of what has been important to me, to us, has been essential to us more than the air we breathe. Made me cold inside, and left scars I am afraid nothing will ever be able to heal again.
And yet…here I am. Watching the love of my life. Daring to hope again, against all odds, that one day, no matter how long I’ll have to wait, she will come back to me.
The moment I made the decision to go to Chin, I knew I would lose her. I knew, without the slightest doubt, that she could not forgive me would I betray her. Not because she was above forgiving mistakes, no, she had made too many herself to be thinking like that. Not because she despised the betrayal itself, because the gods only knew, betrayal had been some sort of kick for the fierce warrior princess way back when. No…
I knew she would never forgive me because I did it on purpose.
Would it have happened out of the situation I had been in, or by mistake, she eventually would have been able to deal with it. but like this, while knowing I intentionally hurt her, intentionally destroyed her trust in me, in the bond we shared…no matter how many times we will be pledging livelong forgiveness in the future, I know this, she will never include in it.
And why should she? Not only did I do it once, I made the same mistake over and over again, betraying her in Chin, betraying her with Hope. Betraying her with Solan…
I have no idea which god to thank for the fact that she is actually still sitting next to me. But I do, I do with every part of my being, for now I know that maybe, just maybe, I have a chance to win her back again. Win back her heart, win back her smile, win back the love shining in those deep, azure pools. Not her trust…no, never her trust. I know I screwed that up way past redemption…
A sound alerts her and she stops what she is doing, raising her eyes from the shining metal in her lap, scanning our surroundings with the usual concentration. Letting her hunters instincts take over, making me marvel once again at how the youthful, soft features instantly change to the ones of a fierce animal, ready to attack at any moment. The way she cocks her head just the tiniest bit to listen reminds me of the agile grace of a black panther I saw once in a little circus not very far from my hometown. So beautiful, so unique, so far from anything I had ever seen it made me tear up with the sheer power of its presence. Knowing that looking at it, not only was I seeing one of Zeus most amazing creatures, but also one of the deadliest fighters the world had ever known.
Just like her.
She takes a deep breath, nodding, and I know that whatever it has been that alerted her isn’t any danger to us. She flexes her shoulders slightly, then sighs and, finally, turns her head to look at me. I am sure she has sensed me watching her for a while now, but I know it never bothered her before, and I am hopeful that this, at least, hasn’t changed.
I smile at her, feeling more shy and afraid of her reaction than I wanted to, and I see in the quick flinch in her face that she has no difficulties at all reading my thoughts.
She smiles back. It’s a tired, defeated smile. Then she returns to her work.
I bite my lip, suddenly on the verge of tears.
I remember the night we admitted our feelings for each other. It was a beautiful night, and I can still feel the gentle breeze on my skin, hear every sound, smell every scent that surrounded us like it was yesterday. The way we stood there, our shoulders touching, both gazing out at the starlit sky.
Until that day I always wondered when that day would come, the day I would be brave enough to take the first step, brave enough to find the right words to express my feelings for her. Until that day, I had spent so many nights laying awake, watching her sleep, asking myself again and again if I ever could be as lucky as for her to want me like I wanted her. Until that day, I always thought that given enough time, I would know exactly what to say would that magical moment finally come.
From the moment she turned her head to look at me, from the very moment I could read in her eyes the depths of her emotions, I knew that words…weren’t necessary. I didn’t need to say a thing, for our eyes told us everything we needed to know. They called to us, called us closer, called us deeper into a swirl of long denied feelings, left us drowning in them so fast we wouldn’t have been able to stop had it meant our death.
The moment she kissed me, for the first time, for real…I knew I had found something I never would be able to bear loosing again…
And yet…here I am, sitting so close to her, yet being so far away it feels like we are standing on different ends of an unknown abyss. Knowing I lost her the moment I did exactly what she confessed to me that night would break her apart. What she told me could destroy her in places so deep inside nothing would ever be able to reach them again. And laying in her arms after we had made love to each other through the night, I swore that never ever would I do this to her. I loved her more than anything else in the world. Never, never would I do this!
My eyes burn and I blink, rubbing over them with my hand, not surprised to find it wet with the tears that are now finally falling.
Two days later, she got the message from her old mentor. Two days…not more than two days lasted a promise meant to be for a lifetime. Thinking about what followed, I am not surprised she won’t forgive me. In fact, it doesn’t matter if she ever does. I will never be able to forgive myself anyway.
Gods…that voice. So warm, and gentle, and full of love it makes me cry even harder. I will never be able to make up for the things I have done to her. Never again will I deserve to hear that tone in her voice again.
A hand under my chin, lifting it carefully. Forcing me to meet the concerned gaze out of those clear blue eyes that stole my heart from the very first moment I fell into them.
“You are crying…”
Matter of fact. Like she always was. I try to smile the question away I can see forming in her eyes, but the memories of those precious moments I spent in her arms before everything went to Tartarus is still too fresh in my mind. They leave my insides burn with agony, make them cry out with the sheer pain of having to deal with the loss. It’s too much, all of a sudden it’s too much to deal with anymore, and I can feel myself starting to choke on it.
This is killing me…how I wish she would have finished what she started…this is killing me…this is killing me…
A caress on my cheek…not hard, not angry, but gentle and caring.
A sad look in those clear blue summer skies.
A thin smile on trembling lips.
“I am sorry Gabrielle. I know this…I know I am hurting you.”
Her voice sounds rough, and as I fight to look through the fog that clouds my sight, I find her eyes sparkling with tears as well.
“You…have nothing to apologize for.” My throat hurts so much I instantly regret having tried to speak in the first place. Her touch intensifies. So does the sadness in her eyes.
“After we came back, I promised you things would be just like they have been.” She sighs, shaking her head slowly.
“But to me…they are not. Nothing is like it was before.”
It hurts me more than I ever thought possible.
“I…I just can’t go back to the way things were…”
She doesn’t need to say more. I understand. ‘Please…please don’t…stop it…stop…’
The emptiness that come over me the moment those words leave her mouth is by far the scariest thing I have ever felt. I just sit there, staring at her, not able to say anything at all to stop any of it from happening.
“But I…I want to…I want to try and…make a new beginning…with you.”
It shocks me to the very core, like a lightning hitting into a tree.
“With us. I…I just need some time to…think.”
I nod. I can’t do more than that.
“But I want you to know that I…I miss you, Gabrielle.”
It breaks down every last bit of strength I had left. From one moment to the other I am crying helplessly, feeling her strong arms pull me into a mindless hug, pressing me so tightly against her warm body that I am almost robbed of breath.
But I don’t care.
Air to breathe…is not what I need right now.
I need her.
I always will.
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