Disclaimers: The characters of Xena and Gabrielle belong to Renpics. I'm just borrowing them for a while. No copyright infringement is intended. This story is a "back story" to Soul Crossing, an uber that ties directly back to Xena and Gabrielle. Right now, it's rated G, but that might progress to PG-13 later. This is a story about two women who love each other. You can assume that they have a physical relationship.
Timeline: Toward the end of season six.
By Web Bard
Xena sat in front of the fire and pushed a stick through the red embers. She peered through the light veil of smoke that separated her from a clear view of her beloved soul mate.
The two women had been ambushed by a band of raiders the day before. Xena escaped with just a few cuts and bruises, but the bard had been stabbed in the side and was now suffering a fever and was recovering from her wound.
The silent warrior breathed a heavy sigh and wondered if there would ever be a day that they would be free from the constant threat of attacks. Her soul mate had already suffered more heartache and physical pain than most people could ever shoulder. Yet, she managed to wake up every morning with a smile on her face, ready to face a new day. Even more amazing was the fact the young blonde chose to spend each day with her. Always by her side. Always loving. Always supportive. Xena caught a tear with the back of her hand and wiped it on her leathers. How she loved the woman sleeping restlessly in front of her
Xena was distracted from her thoughts when Gabrielle rolled over and groaned in pain. The warrior threw the stick into the fire and dropped to her knees beside her friend.
"You okay?" Xena brushed a lock of hair away from the bard's face and looked into the green eyes wincing with pain.
"Hurts a little," said Gabrielle as she tried to maneuver into a comfortable position. "I can't remember not to roll on my side when I'm sleeping."
Xena placed the back of her hand on her friend's forehead. "Your fever has gone down a little. Let me check your side again, okay?"
Gabrielle obliged and carefully rolled over on her side. Xena removed the poultice and threw it into the fire. She took a medicinal paste from a small pouch in her saddlebag and placed it on a new piece of cloth. The warrior gently placed it over the stab wound and wrapped another long strip of cloth around her partner's waist to secure the bandage.
"There now," said Xena as she gently pulled Gabrielle's shift back down. She lifted the blanket back over her friend and leaned down to kiss her on her cheek. "You need to rest for at least another day, okay? The infection is better, but I don't want those stitches to pull."
"Yes, doctor," said Gabrielle, looking into the steel blue eyes that held her captive every day. "To be honest with you, I just don't have the energy to do much of anything right now."
The weary bard dropped her head back on the bedroll and then reached out for Xena's hand. She intertwined her fingers with her soul mate's. "How are you doing?"
"I'm okay. Just worried about you, that's all." Xena gently squeezed her partner's hand. "Is there something I can do for you? Are you hungry or thirsty?"
"Water would be nice. But there is something I'd like for you to do for me."
"Name it and it's yours," said Xena smiling down at the bard. She gently lifted her friend's head and held the water bag to her lips. Gabrielle savored the cool water as it ran down the back of her throat.
"Now, tell me what else I can do for you?" Xena placed the water down by the bedroll and then ran her fingers through Gabrielle's slightly damp hair.
"Well, you know I don't sleep well unless you're right here beside me," said the young blonde. "You're my favorite pillow."
Xena chuckled. "I think I can remedy that for you, love."
The usually stoic warrior felt her heavy mood begin to lift as she pulled off her boots. Gabrielle could bring Xena back from her darker side with just a look. A playful glance. A loving touch. She always could. Xena fidgeted with the buckles on her armor until it finally came free. She pulled her leathers over her head and then smoothed down the shift she wore under them. Xena placed her sword and chakram above the top of the bedroll, and then slid under the blanket next to Gabrielle.
Gabrielle immediately snuggled into her partner and placed her head in her favorite place over her friend's heart. She placed one arm over Xena's waist and pulled her closer. Xena's arm wrapped around her back, carefully avoiding her injured side. Gabrielle felt long slender fingers run gently through her short hair, then rest on the back of her head. Both women sighed at the same time.
"I really want to rest now," said Gabrielle with a yawn. She tilted her head up slightly and kissed Xena under her chin. "But tomorrow, I have something important I want to talk to you about."
"Just rest now." Xena matched the bard's yawn with one of her own. She pulled her partner closer. "We'll talk tomorrow, I promise."
Gabrielle listened to the heartbeat under her ear and waited for her partner's breathing to fall into a steady rhythm. Tomorrow, my love. Tomorrow.
Continued in part 2
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