Summary: Gabrielle is hurt over the relationship between Xena and Marc Antony, and can't stand to be around her lover any longer. Will she leave Xena forever, or will Xena find a way to win her back?

Disclaimer: See Part 1

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Enjoy the show! Or so to speak.

I Will Be


Mikaeli Hooper


Part Five


I felt hysterical laughter bubble up in my throat from the absurdity of the situation, but I managed to push it down, if only just. I didn't want her to think I'd gone completely insane since she'd left me. I had only moments before been wishing for her to be here, and now she was. Standing in the middle of my bedroom, in the house I've owned for less than a full day, staring at me. She spoke my name and I felt like I was on fire, my whole body shuddering at the soft sound of her voice. I always did love the way she said my name, the way it slipped off her tongue like the most natural thing in the world.

My heart was beating wildly in my chest and I felt a cold sweat break out over my entire body, sparkling in the moonlight. I could feel those emerald eyes burning into me as she gazed over my body, and over the bed I was laid in. She raised a perfectly sculpted blonde eyebrow, a small satisfied smirk on her lips and I frowned.

Did it give her pleasure to see me like this? So pathetic and broken since she had left me. I craved to know what she was thinking, but as quickly as the smile had appeared, it was gone. Neither of us moved for a long time, just gazing at each other, until finally I came to my senses and sat up, pulling the sheets tightly around me, feeling exposed under her intense gaze, though I wore a sleeping shift.

"Eve is in the corner, you can take her to the lounge and spend some time with her. She's been sleeping all day anyway, she won't mind getting up, especially to see you," I said, keeping my voice calm and devoid of emotion.

I laid back down on the bed, ignoring her shocked expression and watched as she turned away from me, walking to the crib in the corner. I couldn't stop the tiny smile as her face lit up when she saw our daughter for the first time in moons. I watched her lean down and pick Eve up carefully, whispering soft words to her as she held her.

"Gods, Xena," Gabrielle whispered in awe. "She got so big, and even more beautiful."

"Yeah, she has grown," I smiled, gazing at my two favourite people in the whole world. It was the perfect moment I had been waiting for, despite the fact that Gabrielle wasn't back for me , she was here. It felt good.

She turned towards me and gave me the brilliant smile that had made me fall in love with her, and I melted. My cool expression faded and I returned her smile, resting my hands behind my head as I watched them. My heart trembled in my chest as she walked over towards the bed, cooing softly to Eve as she sat on the edge of the cot beside me. I wanted so badly to reach out and touch her, to hold her, but I knew my hands wouldn't be welcome on her perfect body. She was too beautiful, too lovely and pure for my dirty hands, so I clenched them behind my head and just took in as much of her as I could, before the moment ended and she remembered what I'd done to make her leave in the first place.

Her eyes caught mine, and she gave me a tiny watery smile before leaning down and kissing our daughter's forehead. She nuzzled Eve's dark hair with her nose, grinning as Eve stretched out her tiny hands and touched Gabrielle's face. It was such a beautiful moment, and part of me felt like I should leave lest my prescence ruin it, but I couldn't move.

"She's missed you," I whispered softly, my voice cracking with the emotion that had been building inside of me for so long. "She looks for you everytime we enter a room."

"I've missed her too," you reply, and to my unbelievable suprise, you turned your body and laid down besides me, holding Eve between us in the crook of your arm.

We had laid like this, the three of us, so many times before, but I had never truly expected it to happen ever again. To have you so close to me, but not be able to touch you was torture. The fine hairs on my arms stood up on end and I felt a shiver go down my spine at your nearness, and I exhaled the breath I hadn't realised I'd been holding. I couldn't take my eyes off you, drinking in everything about you greedily, incase it was the last time I'd ever see you. Your incredibly soft golden hair, your sea green eyes, your smooth tanned skin, I took in everything, locking it away in my memory.

You looked up from our daughter, catching my eyes on your body, and that satisfied smirk returned. I averted my gaze, looking down at Eve and running my fingers over her soft cheek. You moved your hand so slightly as I went to pull away, our fingertips grazing, and I felt you in every nerve of my body. Even after all these moons, all the heartbreak and pain, your touch was still electric, and I found myself wondering how I had ever craved anyone elses hands on me. But right now, I couldn't think of anyone else, not with your eyes staring so deeply into my own.

You reached out to me, lightly brushing your fingertips over my jaw before your fingers tangled in the hair at my temple. You smiled at me, a small, unsure, crooked smile, and I felt like I was repeatedly being struck by lightening. I wanted to lean in to your touch, and I wanted to touch you, but I held back. I knew I had to let you set the pace of whatever it was that you were doing, I needed to give you complete control over me. I needed to give you everything I held back from you before, and so I laid completely still, reveling in your fingers running through my hair.

"Can we..." You frowned, biting your lip as you pulled your hand from my hair, trailing it over my shoulder and down my arm instead. "Can I stay here tonight? Can we just lay here? Together?"

I smiled, not able to believe my good fortune, and thanked whichever God that had given me this gift. Nodding, I reached down and pulled the deer skin blanket at the end of the bed up, placing it over us. I felt you cuddle closer to me, Eve still between us, but closer nonetheless, and I couldn't hold back any longer. Hesitantly, I reached out and softly rested my hand on your hip, giving it a gentle squeeze, before you covered it with your own.

"By the Gods," I whispered almost inaudibly, staring into your eyes. "I've missed you."

"Despite everything, I've missed you too," you replied, before closing your eyes and almost immediately falling asleep.

I finally had my chance, after all these moons, to prove to her that I could be everything she needed. And my last thought before I closed my eyes and let Morpheus take me was that I wouldn't dissapoint her this time. And tomorrow, I would start showing her just how much I missed her.


To Be Continued In Part Six


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