About that Kiss...
by BardGirl

DISCLAIMER:I don't own any of these characters. Wish I did, but I don't.
SUBTEXT:Oh yeah. More like main-text.
SUMMARY: Xena and Gabrielle's explore their relationship after the kiss.

Any and all comments welcome. Send them to bard_girl@yahoo.com

"Xena, I can't lose you again."

"Gabrielle, I'll always be here."

Xena leans closer. An arm slides around Garbielle's waist. Gabrielle tilts her head up and closes her eyes.
Soft, warm lips brush against hers.
The gentle tickle of a mustash.

The gentle tickle of a mustash?

Gabrielle's eyes snapped open. She stares sightlessly up at the night sky, her vision turning inward as dream becomes memory. Of what though, she is not quite certain. A kiss, of that there was no doubt but who had she been kissing, Xena or Autolycus? Who had initiated it?
Had Xena been leaning in to kiss her or had Gabrielle mistaken a hug for something more? Or had Autolycus been taking advantage of an opportune moment?
What did she want it to be?
"Gods," she muttered shakily, drawing in a deep breath and trying to steady her thoughts.

"Hey, Gabrielle, you okay?"

With a start she turned her head, and finds herself staring into luminous blue eyes. A shiver raced along her spine. Gabrielle was pretty sure she knew what she wanted the kiss to have been.

"Fine...yeah...I'm okay."


"It was just a dream.

Instead of nodding and going back to sleep, Xena rolled onto her side, facing Gabrielle and studied her with concern.

"It was...you were dead and..." She trailed off, not sure how much she wanted to reveal.

Xena's face softened in the moonlight as she reached out to stroke Gabrielle's cheek. "It's okay. It was just a nightmare."

A nightmare?

Xena thought she was dreaming about her being dead. About those lonely, dark days when she had been carrying Xena's body to Amphipolis.
What would she say if she knew the truth?

Gabrielle rolled onto her side to face her companion, wishing she had the words, the courage.

"I'm here now. It's alright," Xena whispered softly, shifting closer to Gabrielle and drawing her close. "It's alright."

Gabrielle settled her head into the curve beneath Xena's chin, feeling a warm whisp of breath across the top of her head every time Xena exhaled. "I've got you."

She closed her eyes and took a moment to savour the sensation of being held in Xena's arms, safe and secure. Xena wrapped her long arms around Gabrielle and allowed herself to pretend for a moment that it was an entirely different type of embrace then shook it off, reminding herself that now was not the time to be indulging in sensual fantasies. The poor girl had been experiencing troubled dreams for the last few days now, though this was the first time she had admitted as much aloud. Dreams of Xena's death. Maybe it would help her to talk about it

"Gabrielle?" No response."Gabrielle?"

She was sound a sleep. Xena tilted her head to give her a light kiss on the top of her head and closed her own eyes as well.

Gabrielle woke to the soft, gentle rhythm of Xena's breathing in her ear. A waking lullaby that chased away the lingering remnants of last nights dream. Feeling more rested, more at peace than she had in days she opened her eyes. And froze. Her face was buried against Xena's shoulder, her arm was wrapped tightly around Xena's waist and one of her legs was draped casually over both of Xena's.

Oh, Gods. Carefully, gently she began to extract herself, swinging her leg back and loosening her grip on Xena's sleeping form. Only to be frozen once again by a low rumbling in her ear that could only be...

She pulled her head back and found herself staring into eyes gleaming with mischief as Xena continued to chuckle.

Zeus, strike me down now.

"Morning," Xena said easily, as if this were an everyday occurance.

Gabrielle knew her face must be red with the blush that heated it. "Morning," she managed in an almost normal voice. Her first instince was to hide her face but when she did she found it pressing into a certain part of Xena's anatomy that she didn't want to contemplate.

Xena continued to chuckle as she whipped her head back and rolled away abruptly. The laughter stopped suddenly though as Gabrielle rose to her feet and paced away.

"Gabrielle?" Her voice took on a curious, worried tone. "You okay?"

Gabrielle drew in a shaky breath, trying to cool her blush and slow her heart. "Fine. Just fine. I uh.." she turned and trailed off to find that Xena had risen as well and was standing behind her, eyes full of worry, face tense in expectation.

"Xena, we need to talk."

"Okay," Xena said, drawing out the word warily.

"It's about when you were dead," Gabrielle began.

Xena reached out a hand and rested it on Gabrielle's shoulder. "I-"

"It's not what you think,"Gabrielle interrupted. "It was hard. I was in a very dark place but that's not..." She trailed off, took a deep breath and went for it."Did you kiss me?"

Xena stared. The silence lengthened and Gabrielle's heart seized. The answer she had been dreading had just been handed to her. Tears welled up in her eyes and she blinked rapidly to keep them at bay until she was alone.

Xena gazed deeply into Gabrielle's eyes, trying to judge the timbre of her question, wondering if the hopeful not she thought she heard had been real or just her imagination.

That kiss had been her attempt at letting her young friend know how she truly felt about her. Xena had figured it would be easier than trying to find the words. It was supposed to have cleared the air but had fogged it up instead.

Gabrielle hadn't mentioned the kiss until now so Xena had left it alone, believing that her companion had not returned the sentiment. Now it seemed as if maybe she did. At least, Xena hoped this was what her question implied.

Keeping her gaze level with Gabrielle's she nodded. "Yes."

There was a momentary pause then Gabrielle's face split in a slow, radiant smile. Encouraged, Xena stepped forward and slid her arms loosely around Gabrielle's waist.

They shared a soft smile then Xena tilted her head downward and brushed Gabrielle's lips with her own. Gabrielle's arms circled her, her hands coming to rest on Xena's back as she tipped her face upwards to meet the kiss. This time there was no confusion.


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