Dedicated with love to Ef, who got me to write this story by asking a simple, and very innocent question: "How do you want the series to end?"



By: E. A.

All rights reserved

Xena and Gabrielle sat in front of the fire, silently eating dinner. Xena looked at Gabrielle and saw she was somewhat troubled. Putting down her plate once she was finished, she looked at the bard again and saw her with her spoon in the plate, turning it around in her fingers, staring at the fire.

"Is everything alright?" the warrior asked.

"Ha?" Gabrielle suddenly snapped out of her thoughts.

"Are you ok, you've been awfully quiet all day".

Gabrielle sighed and put her plate aside. "It's nothing, really"

"Come on, Gabrielle, you can tell me"

"It's nothing, really, it's just...."

Xena got up moved to sit closer to her friend.

Gabrielle looked up to her, and silently said: "I love you, Xena".

Xena smiled a little and started "I love you too, Gabri..."

"No, I..." Gabrielle stopped her. "It's more than that".

Xena's expression changed into a questioning glare.

"For a long time now, Xena, ever since I've known you, I have loved you."

"Well, Gabrielle, I...."

"No, Xena," she interrupted again. "I've loved you more than... more like... like a sister, a mother, a... soul mate. Now it's been some time now, a long time, that I realized I loved you, but loved you more, loved you more than... more than Perdicus, more than just a sister, I realized I...." She took a deep breath. "I realized I was in love with you".

But that wasn't enough. She still didn't manage to say what she wanted. She just tried, and tried again, but could not think how to say it in words. It was more. Much more.

Gabrielle turned her head away, not being able to face Xena's stare.

Xena seemed shocked. "Gabrielle, I..." she started.

"No, Xena, it's more than that." Gabrielle interrupted again. "I love you like.... Like I can't even imagine, like I can't even put in words, like... Like..."

"Gabrielle!" Xena exclaimed.

"Xena, you can't even start to imagine," she started crying "how much I..." she said out of her tears, as suddenly Xena jumped forward, pulling the bard closer and pressing her lips against hers. After the quick soft kiss, their heads retracted. Xena raised her hand and placed it behind Gabrielle's head, looking her straight in the eyes. With her other hand she smeared a tear off Gabrielle's cheek. Gabrielle smiled widely beneath the tears covering her face, and breathed out half a cry, half laughter.

Xena pulled her to her again, and their mouths opened, awaiting the kiss. And after a small halt that took just a split second yet seemed like forever, came the second kiss, long and ever lasting. Their heads turned, their lips hugged, and their eyes were lost in a never-ending fantasy, falling deeper and deeper into each other's arms, each other's eyes, and into the night.

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