Coming Home

by Patty S.

Disclaimer: Yes, this really is an uber. No, the characters aren't two women, but read it anyway. The ending may surprise you. Any characters associated with pop culture are not mine. The other two, however, are all mine.

Sex: None

Violence: None

Language: Nothing you can't say to your mother.

Feedback: Patty S.

Her every breath was weaker than her last. Glancing out the window, he realized she would not make it to see the dawn. His strong fingers wrapped around her frail hand, bringing her thin fingers to his lips. His gentle kiss awakened her.


"Shh." He brushed back the remnants of her jet-black hair, wishing it had had time to grow long again. He would have enjoyed seeing it long one last time. "You need to rest, love."

"Time?" She opened pale blue eyes.

"Almost midnight," he answered.

"Dana, will you take me home?"

He felt her grip tighten on his hand, surprised at her sudden strength. "Katherine, if I take you home, you'll die."

"I'm already dying." Her tone was as harsh as her words. "We both know that."

"Yes, but-"

"Let me go on my own terms." Katherine sat up, her gaze boring a hole into green eyes so full of love that she nearly faltered. "Please."

Dana kissed her on the lips, urging her to lay back. "I could never deny you." He stood up, looking back at her as he walked out. "Spoiled brat."


It took him nearly an hour, but Dana eventually convinced the doctors to allow his wife to leave. She had the right to die in her own home if she so chose. Armed with a supply of pain medication, Dana wheeled her away from the antiseptic smell of the hospital, smiling as Katherine took in a deep breath of the cold mountain air.

"Ah. Better already."

Dana chuckled as he parked the wheel chair beside his Blazer. "Okay lady, end of the free ride."

"No wheelies?"

"No wheelies."

"Damn. You're no fun."

"That's what they all say."

"Who, exactly?"

Dana smirked. "All the girls."

"I'll kick their asses." Katherine buckled her seat belt.

"I'm sure you would, dear." Dana climbed into the driver's seat.

"Take me home."

He reached over and squeezed her hand. "You got it."


The drive from Ashville back to Townsend was spent in peaceful silence. Dana negotiated the mountain roads with practiced ease, sneaking a glimpse at his wife whenever possible.

Katherine never took her eyes off the passing terrain, taking in every snow-covered tree, rock and stream, knowing she would never see it again. She sighed and her warm breath fogged up the window. A shaking hand wiped the fog away so she could continue her view.

"Did you ever notice all the animal tracks in the snow?"

Her voice startled him. "Um, no."

"Hmm." Sharp eyes focused on the road ahead as they neared their home. "I never did either. There must have been a dozen different kinds along the road. Deer, raccoon, bear. I just never realized how close we really are to nature."

"Three years in the mountains and you're just now noticing this?" He teased.

"Yep. Funny, huh?"

"I guess so." He pulled alongside their cottage and put the Blazer into park.


"No." She held up her hand to stop him. "Let's just go inside. Please?"

Dana acquiesced, moving to her side and gently carrying her from the car into the house. "Just like our wedding night."

She snuggled closer to him, resting her head on his shoulder and enjoying the clean scent of his blonde hair. "Seems like so long ago."

He kicked the door closed, not stopping until he had her settled onto their bed. "It wasn't so long ago, babe."

Dana stepped back, realizing that Katherine was fast asleep. He took his time undressing her, making sure he found her favorite nightgown and placing it on her with gentle care.

He kneeled beside the bed when he was done, taking her slack hand into his.

"I intend to keep that promise."


It was cold. She reached over for the warm body she knew would be beside her, but found only a cold sheet. Panic set in as her eyes flew open, unable to make out where she was in the dark. "Dana!"

"I'm here, babe." Warm hands grabbed her, pulling her into a strong embrace. "I'm here."

"I thought-I didn't know where you were. I need you here."

"I know." He urged her to settle back against the bed.

"Come to bed," she said, her voice a soft whisper.

"Sure." He got undressed in the dark, finding his way to her side. Katherine immediately curled into his side as she had done for the 10 years of their marriage. "I love you."

"I know."

"Katherine, will you be here in the morning?"


"Thank you."


The sounds of someone in the kitchen woke her. She turned sleep-filled eyes toward the clock beside their bed. 5:45am. "Almost time."

"I know." Dana sat on the bed beside her, helping her to adjust the pillows so she could sit up a little. "Want some coffee?"

"No. I just want to sit with you."

He put his arm around her, resting his head against hers. "We promised we'd go together."

"I know." She sighed, snuggling closer to him. "You should stay here. It's not your time."

"I made a promise, Katherine." Dana wiped a tear from his cheek, glancing again at the clock. "I'm not going to let you talk me out of it this time."

"When have I talked you out of anything?" She smiled crookedly, looking up at him. "You never listen to me."

"I always listen to you. I just don't do what you want me to, that's all."

"That's for certain." Katherine laughed softly, letting a thousand memories roll through her mind. "You used to get into so much trouble."

"And you always got me out of it."

"Yeah." She kissed his chin, and then pulled back, looking deeply into his eyes. "Are you sure?"

"I've never been more sure of anything in my life." Green eyes locked with blue, feeling the connection of their souls. "Where you go, I go."

"The sun is rising."

"I know." He held her tightly, unwilling to ever let her go.

"I love you."

"I love you, too."

The sun began its slow ascent over the mountains, spreading its purplish hues across the Tennessee Valley sky. As it came into view, Dana felt his wife take her final breath. He closed his eyes and willed his soul to follow.


The warrior stood on the edge of the precipice, her gaze fixed on something in the distance. Her white gown flowed around her, her ebony hair trailing freely down her back. Three angels descended, urging her to go with them.

"No. Not yet. Not without my soul mate."

The angels smiled kindly at the warrior, allowing her this momentary indulgence.

She saw her soul mate across from her, short golden hair shining in the light that surrounded her. Green eyes met hers across the expanse as the angels lifted them both skyward.

Each reached out a hand for the other, touching and connecting two halves of one soul. Twin smiles were exchanged as they reached the top of the mountain. They stood side by side, gazing into the silvery gate ahead.

"Go on," one angel urged them forward with a gentle nudge.

Xena glanced down at her soul mate, her pale blue eyes reflecting her feelings. "I waited."

Gabrielle nodded. "I know. I've missed you."

"We're together now."

"Shall we?"

Xena laughed softly, tugging the smaller woman with her. "Where you go, I go."

The End

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