Disclaimers:

General: Although the characters in this Uber piece might bear some close resemblance to a certain tall, dark and deadly warrior and an Amazon bard, it ain't them. Xena and Gabrielle belong to Renaissance pictures, MCA T.V. and whoever else who claims to have a claim on them.

Violence: There's no violence in this FF.

Subtext: I think it's called maintext here. Or, it's called love, you choose.

Oh, and recognition goes out to the wonderful lyricist of the song that I've used. No copyright infringement intended, I swear. You guys rock!

This is a kind of continuation to the Ashley and Sidney story found in 'The Boy Next Door'. While it isn't necessary to read that, since it's just a little ditty I came up with since I've more or less put off writing the proper continuation of TBND, this FF pretty much stands alone. Hope you guys like.

Comments and/or criticism can be sent to the address below.

sy_geriack@hotmail.com

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Just A Love Story

By D_Exphagus

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She looked around, green eyes aware of the candles that were lit on the table in the far end of the boat. When Sidney had told her that it would be a special outing, Ashley had believed her. After all, she thought, it was Valentine's Day.

The peaceful sound of the ocean reminded her that they were in the middle of the sea, with nothing around them for miles. Ashley smiled quietly to herself, Sidney certainly can be romantic sometimes.

Soft music and moonlight glinted off dark hair as Sidney made her presence known to the younger blond. Sidney was dressed in a pair of pants, with a navy blue sweater hugging her outer top. And to Ashley's eyes, Sidney looked very sexy.

The older woman grinned at the sight before her. Ashley, standing in the middle of the deck with a slight smile creasing her face - a smile which now broadened when she caught sight of her. Slowly, Sidney crossed the short distance between them.

Ashley's heart pounded harder when Sidney walked to her. She wasn't sure why she was feeling like this, after all. She and Sidney had been together for more than a year now. So why do I feel like some darn love-struck teen on their first date? That was a long time ago!

"You look gorgeous, Ash." Sidney smiled as she handed Ashley a single rose. Loving the expression on her lover's face as she accepted the rose, expression of childlike wonder on her face. Shyly, Ashley brought it up to her nose and sniffed it delicately.

"Thanks." Meaning it for the compliment and the rose. She took another breath and the spicy smell of the rose crept up her nostrils, making them flare slightly. "You look good yourself." She added.

Ashley blinked, as a long tanned hand slowly reached out and pushed her hair behind her ears. The first beats of a song started on the recorder Sidney had thoughtfully brought along.

"Will you dance with me?" Came the question from Sidney's lips, her hands never stopping the caress on Ashley's cheek. Ashley opened her eyes and smiled up at her. "I'd love to." Was her answer as she took Sidney's hand and guided it to rest on her waist.

Sidney's arms were wrapped around her, her breath gently warming Ashley's back. Sighing, she buried her head into Sidney's shoulder in response. Her own hands started it's restless wandering on Sidney's back.

They stayed like that for a moment, arms around each other and swayed gently to the sounds of music, each in their own thoughts. I feel ... so ... loved. It was just so out of character of Sidney and Ashley briefly wondered if it was a dream. The feeling of love surrounded her was just so profound, it was almost palpable.

Ashley took in a breath, smiling when all she smelt was the scent of her lover. She let out a breath carefully and smiled more when the arms around her tightened just a little. Ashley was absolutely contented where she was.

The feeling of Ashley was just so right in her arms, her blond head tucked in the crook of Sidney's neck. Funny ... I always was ticklish there. No one could've touched me there without getting a black eye ... or worse. And yet ...

Blue eyes glanced down at the blond head. And yet ... the gentle tickle of Ashley's hair on her neck didn't seem to bother her a bit. Weird. A smile. She's a part of me as much as I am her.

Sidney bent her head down and touched her dark head to Ashley's lighter one. Gentle fingers slowly tilted Ashley's chin up as green eyes met blue. Eyes speaking more than any words could say.

A gentle smile and a softly whispered "I love you" was audible as the ocean breeze carried Sidney's voice towards her. Ashley could've sworn that her heart stopped for a moment, touched by the sweetness of the moment. And the gesture that just was totally unlike Sidney.

Eyes still locked together, Sidney brought her head down to meet Ashley's lips. Warm and tender, as a single tear slid down Ashley's cheek. Sidney's lips lingered around hers and before the tear could make it's way down, it was intercepted by a kiss.

There were no words for this, Ashley realised as she hugged Sidney and felt Sidney's arms tightening around her once again in response. A hug that expressed the love that they had for each other.

Moments of silence as they both just stood there to absorb the feeling. Sidney's embrace suddenly stilled as she moved her hands to Ashley's neck, arms encircling them. "Gods, Ashley I love you." Each syllable stressed and spoken with clarity. Ashley smiled, "I love you too," before lips met for the second time. This time it was longer, a very passionate moment of love shared by two souls that were bonded.

As music played softly in the background, they broke off, both hearts beating fast. They swayed gently to the music. A sudden clear of the throat that Ashley was nestled in and Ashley found herself hearing a voice that she loved to hear, sing to the soft tunes of Trisha Yearwood's 'How Do I Live?'

The warm tones tickled her hearing. Ashley closed her eyes in bliss. What was up with Sidney today? It wasn't often that Sidney sang, much less without any pleading and begging. Smiling to herself, the blond head nodded, as Sidney's voice made out the lyrics to the song. You don't have to worry about that Sidney, she mentally spoke to her soulmate, I won't ever leave you, I'll always be there with you and for you.

As the song ended, Sidney took Ashley in her arms once again and looked in the green eyes. Serious blue eyes studied her for a moment before they gentled and took on a softer look. "Ad infinitum, Ashley, forever and ever more." Shocked green eyes looked back at her, lips moving but no sound coming out of them. What the ... ?

Sidney continued tasting the foreign words before speaking them. " Te amo, je t'aime Ashley, do you know just how much I love you?" Serious blue eyes drilled into green.

Silence as Ashley absorbed the words Sidney had spoken, in a language that was foreign to her, but still managing to understand what it meant by the look on Sidney's face. Each syllable imprinted itself on her heart and Ashley was conscious of thinking that it was something incredibly sappy of her lover, but. Ahh ... who was she to complain? And I thought that I was the poet.

Ashley's heart fluttered and smiled a full smile before answering softly, "Yes I do. If that's as much as how much I love you, then I do know, I love you too, Sidney."

They both smiled and nodded a bit, then kissed again. Two souls bonding again. An affirmation of love so strong, it held all troubles at bay. A love whose boundaries stretched across the world. Forever.

THE END

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