Disclaimers. Universal and Renaissance Pictures own the copyright on the characters. I own the copyright on the story.
This story hints that Xena and Gabrielle are more than just friends
This story was written for the ex-guards challenge, it didnt win because there were better stories. You have been warned. :-)
Feedback welcome. email: firstname.lastname@example.org
THAT TIME OF THE NIGHT by Harpy
Night insects chirped somewhere in the darkness, and moths circled the flame of the campfire. Overhead, a myriad of stars fought for dominance of the night sky with a glorious full moon. The heat of the day was still present and the scent of flowers hung in the air. It was a perfect time; that time of the night when the day seemed balanced between the end of the days activities and sleep. The time for doing nothing but relax, and maybe talk.
Yet, it was the incomprehensible ramblings of a dark-haired woman lying on a bedroll that destroyed the perfect scene.
"Woo woo wooop, oogee ooogee ooogooo."
The person lying next to her was totally unengrossed by the attempt at conversation. She closed her eyes, blew a bubble of spit, and made a mess in her diapers.
Gabrielle stood at the edge of the glade, watching the tender exchange between mother and daughter. Very few people had ever seen the compassionate side of Xena, and Gabrielle felt privileged to be a witness to this part of the warrior. Yet, even she found it hard to believe that the hands that were gently changing the babys soiled diapers were the same hands that had killed so many; the same hands that had...
Dont go there, Gabrielle warned herself.
She shook her head to dispel the thought. It had been a long time since she and Xena had been intimate; they had died since then. Now seemed the perfect moment to rekindle the passion that had been lacking this past year.
The warrior turned and smiled as she heard Gabrielle approach.
"I think shes asleep," said Xena, indicating the silent child.
"Shes beautiful," whispered Gabrielle. "Just like her mother."
"What was that?" queried Xena, turning her attention from the baby back to Gabrielle.
"Xena, I..." she let the sentence trail.
Words, which in the past would have come so easily, had suddenly deserted her. She averted her gaze and sat down on her bedroll.
"No. Go on. What were you going to say?"
Its now or never, thought Gabrielle. She took a deep breath "I know things... a lot of things, have happened this past year."
"Dont I know it," said the warrior, and stroked Eves head while blowing the baby a kiss. "You were saying?"
"I feel weve... um... You know you mean a lot to me..."
"And you mean a lot to me, too. More than you can imagine."
A weight lifted from Gabrielles mind at the response, and she reached out to take the warriors hand. She was gifted with a smile from the warrior and started to fall into the azure depths of the warriors eyes.
"Xena, its been a long time since we--"
"Pfffvvt! Waaaaaaaaaaah! Waaaaaaaaaah!"
"Oh, Eve!" cried Xena. "Ive just changed you." She started fumbling at the babys clothing.
"Here, let me do that," said Gabrielle, gently moving Xenas hands away.
"Are you sure?"
"Yes. I like looking after Eve."
Xena sat back and watched as Gabrielle took care of her daughter. The sight touched the warrior in ways she hadnt felt for a long time. Its as if Eve is her own child. I can think of no other person I would want to look after her if anything should happen to me.
Things had changed between them since the crucifixion, Xena now found it difficult to confide in Gabrielle the way she used to. Part of that was in the change to her companion. The Gabrielle of today was a confident, strong, capable, independent woman. The Gabrielle of old was an ingenuous girl with plenty of enthusiasm, she had been brave, but had little grasp of the real world. While she was still brave, the bravery was now backed up with honed fighting skills; and the knowledge that she would take a life if necessary. It was nice to see the gentle side, to see the girl Gabrielle had been surface once more.
Without thinking, Xena leaned forward and placed a kiss on the top of the blonde hair before her. Gabrielle looked up quickly.
"What was that for?" she asked.
"I just... It was just to say, thank you."
"I told you, I dont mind cleaning up Eve."
"Not just for that. But for staying with me. For everything. For being you."
The chirping of insects and the crackling of the fire became evident as the two women stared at each other in silence.
The gap between them shrunk. Just as it was about to close, a cry broke the moment. Xena and Gabrielle looked down Eve, who bellowed for attention. Their eyes found each other again.
"Its that time of the night," said Xena. "Shes just having her last cry before sleep."
"So we can let her cry, while we do other things?"
"Oh yeah," smiled the warrior.
The distance between them closed.
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