Disclaimer: The characters of Xena: Warrior Princess and Gabrielle are owned by RenPic and Universal. This story depicts a love/sexual relationship between two consenting adult women. If you are under 18 years of age or if this type of story is illegal in the state or country in which you live, please do not read it. If depictions of this nature disturb you, you may wish to read something other than this story.
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The morning light had barely passed over the hills, when Gabrielle awoke. Her eyes
still closed, she stretched, her breath catching as a sore muscle throbbed in her
shoulder. Opening her eyes she smiled ruefully that she wasn't as young as she used to be,
and began to rub the aching limb. "Here let me help." Xena's warm voice said
quietly. Gabrielle nodded and turned her back to the warrior she had been a companion to
for so many years.
"It doesn't get easier does it?" Xena said as she worked at Gabrielle's tense shoulders. "No, no easier," She admitted "and the years are starting to show." She sighed as she leaned into Xena's warm body. Xena nuzzled Gabrielle's neck causing a small gasp from her lover. "Your still as beautiful as the day I met you." Xena kissed Gabrielle's cheek. Gabrielle smiled. "Beautiful you say...you still stop my heart with your every breath, your lips a gift from the Gods, your eyes the only light I will ever need."
Xena laughed, "Base flatterer, serves me right for falling in love with a bard." Silence ruled as they lay together in the early morning. "Do you know what day it is?" Xena finally asked. Gabrielle shook her head confused. Xena disentangled herself from Gabrielle's embrace and stood up. Reaching her hand down she pulled Gabrielle up beside her. "It's our anniversary." Xena grinned. "So I have a few surprises for you." Whistling for her horse, Aril galloped to her side. Gabrielle noted the look of sadness that Argo's loss still caused her princess. "Come on." Xena pulled Gabrielle to her and lifted her up into Aril's saddle. Mounting behind her she pulled the bard into a tight embrace. "I love you." She whispered into Gabrielle's ear. "I want you more today than I have ever wanted anything in my life, you are everything to me."
Gabrielle grinned and rested her blonde head against Xena's shoulder, Aril quickly burst into a trot as they rode through the heavily wooded forest. After a few hours they reached a small lake. Xena slowed Aril's progress until they were barely moving. Leaning forward she asked Gabrielle. " What do you see?" Gabrielle gazed at the lake, the dense trees surrounding them, took note of the still air. "I see a beautiful lake, I sense peace and tranquillity here, lovely woods to walk through." Turning in the saddle she smiled at Xena. "I see happiness." Xena took the bard's face in her two strong hands. "You have been there for me always," Tears streaked down her face "you left your home, family. You fought beside me, helped me, taught me."
Dismounting she reached up, Gabrielle dropped into her lovers waiting arms. Xena spoke again. "When I thought everything was lost you never left." She wrapped strong arms around her love, her life. Kissing the top of Gabrielle's head she asked. "How many years have we been together?" Gabrielle pondered a moment. "Eight, yes eight years since you rescued me." She thought harder. "Wait this isn't our anniversary, I mean years together, that's two months away."
Xena took Gabrielle's hand and led her towards the lake. They walked in silence until they reached the waters edge. Xena turned to Gabrielle.
"Do you remember Thessaly?" Gabrielle grimaced. "How could I forget, I died and you......" She stopped. Gazing at Xena she realized the anniversary. "Seven years ago today I died, and you brought me back." Unshed tears clung to Xena's eyes.
"Yes..." Gabrielle could scarcely believe that after all they have gone through Xena still remembered. "When you died," Her gaze returned to the lake "I realized I could not, would not be able to live without you." Her voice broke "You were so still, when I tried to breathe air into your lungs, your lips were still warm. They told me to let you go, to let you cross over peacefully." Xena shuddered at the memory. "I couldn't, so I tried again, and again and again." Blue eyes turned to the bard. "And then you came back to me, and I swore then, and forever to make you happy."
Gabrielle flung her arms around her lover. Hugging her tightly she tried to shut out the pain that Xena must have suffered. "I am the happiest woman in this world." She murmured into Xena's ear. They clung together sharing more than a memory, but a lifetime. Pulling away Xena smiled down. "Now for your surprises." She lead her to a small clearing. The first thing Gabrielle noticed was a fountain. The artisan had rendered an exquisite sculpture of two women in passionate embrace. So intimate that their limbs flowed one into the other, thus they were never parted. The next to capture her heart was a meadow filled with so many wildflowers that her eyes blurred with the riot of color. But the greatest gift, the one that shattered her soul.....was a house. Built facing the lake and the woods beyond. "Xena......" She breathed not daring to hope.
Slowly facing her Gabrielle watched as Xena unsheathed her sword, unbuckled her armor, and lay her gauntlets on the ground. "I have come full circle, I am done." Kneeling she took Gabrielle's hand in hers. " I have done all that I could to remove the stains on my soul. I want peace, Gabrielle, I want to live the rest of my life waking in your arms, loving you." She kissed her palm. "I have never begged for anything, not from Gods nor men, but I beg you, stay with me here. Let me love you, care for you. No more battles." She bent her head, and repeated. "I am done."
Gabrielle touched Xena's head her heart beating wildly. She knelt facing her lover raised her head with her hand, and looked into the eyes that have controlled her from the moment they met, she touched her lips to Xena's her tongue flicking across her mouth, and breathed............
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