Page last updated: January 1, 2005

Chapter 10

Gabrielle made her way to the guest room and opened the door just as Daphne was trying to leave.

"Oh, Gabrielle. They found your clothes. I set them out on the bed for you."

"Thanks. I'm kind of glad you didn't find them earlier. It's been useful to not be me."

"Really," Daphne squinted her eyes at the bard and smiled.

"Yeah. So were those scrolls you showed me. Well, I'll see you at dinner tonight."

"Until then."

Daphne continued past her twin down the hall and looked up.

"You were right, Aphrodite. Timing really is everything."

"Of course it is, babe," came the laughing, ethereal reply.


Gabrielle entered the stables and looked around. It only took a moment for her to find the warrior and her horse in the last stall.

"Hey. It's almost time for dinner," Gabrielle said to Xena's back.

Xena turned around and smiled.

"Hey, they found your clothes. Where were they?"

"I don't know. Priestess Daphne left them in the room for me."

Gabrielle moved a little closer until she was standing right next to Xena, her shoulder brushing against Xena's upper arm. Xena looked down at her with a slightly puzzled expression on her face and then went back to brushing Argo.

"You know, you take really good care of her, Xena."

"She deserves it. She's always there when I need her and she's come through for me more times than I can remember."

"You love her a lot, huh?"

Xena glanced over at the bard again, the same strange look on her face.

"Yeah, I guess so."

"Do you ever tell her?"

Xena stopped brushing the horse and turned to face Gabrielle.

"Why are you so interested in Argo all of a sudden?"

"Not Argo. You."


"I want to know if you always show your affection by doing things for the ones you love or if you ever actually plan on telling them someday."

Xena felt her stomach drop and her eyes found it impossible to be anywhere near Gabrielle at the moment.

"I don't know what you're talking about."

"Yeah, ya do. And so do I. Remember, I'm the one that does the sensitive chats so well."

"Gabrielle, what did, um, did Daphne talk to you about anything?"


"Then what... Where is all this coming from?"

"Newfound confidence, now that I don't have to be worried about your reaction anymore."


Gabrielle took a step forward and almost laughed when Xena reflexively took a step back to maintain the small distance between them. She took another step and then another, until Xena had her back up against the wall.

Gabrielle reached for Xena's right hand and gently pried the curry brush from the warrior's grasp. She set the brush down on a shelf at her right and then turned her attention back to the spooked woman. She brought the newly freed hand up to her lips and kissed Xena's knuckles. She watched as Xena's breathing hitched and then Xena stood a little straighter and pushed herself a little forward away from the wall, even though it brought her closer to the bard.

"You were in Daphne's room, when I went to go talk to her. You heard everything we said."

"Not quite. You really do have a hard time telling us apart, Xena."

Xena turned her head and sighed.

"Look, just forget what I said. We're friends, that's all."

Gabrielle listened to the tone of Xena's voice. She'd obviously said that phrase many times, probably to herself as well as other people.

"You want me."

Xena stood stock still and brought her gaze down to study the bard. Her eyes narrowed and then she sighed again.

"So, you're just fulfilling a need again."

"Yes. I'm trying to get you to fulfill my needs. Now that I know you want me, I don't have to worry about being rejected on the grounds that you don't. I just have to wear you down and I'm very good at that. I got you to let me follow you, didn't I?"


"Don't you 'Gabrielle' me. Do you have any idea how long I've been waiting for this? No way, Warrior Princess. You're never gonna get rid of me now and sooner or later you're gonna give in. I've waited this long, I can wait a little longer," Gabrielle grinned smugly.

She dropped Xena's hand and sauntered out of the stall.

Xena stood dumbfounded. That wasn't how that was supposed to go. Gabrielle was not supposed to be the aggressor here. Xena checked and straightened her leathers and then jogged out of the stable. She saw Gabrielle walking back towards the temple and quickened her pace to catch up with the small woman. She reached out her hand and grasped the bard's left wrist and spun her around.

Before Gabrielle knew what was happening, her mouth had been covered by Xena's and a tongue was finding its way between her lips. She froze for several heartbeats, but then gave in. Her arms wrapped around Xena's neck and she felt Xena's hands move down to cradle her lower back. The kiss wasn't as romantic as she'd been hoping for, but it was definitely Xena and that was all that really mattered.

Xena finally broke away and stared down at Gabrielle. Gabrielle slowly opened her eyes and then grinned.

"If you don't want to say the words, I think I could deal with just the actions."

That got a grin from the warrior.

"I love you, Gabrielle. All right?"

"All right."

Xena waited for more, but Gabrielle just kept smirking at her.

"That's it? You're not gonna say any more? I thought you were a bard."

Gabrielle pulled down with the hands that were still wrapped around Xena's neck and gave her own version of a passionate kiss, which was a little more gentle than the previous one. She pulled away and the smile that graced her lips had changed from humorous to content.

"I love you, Xena. Don't ever doubt that."

"I don't."

Xena eased up on her hold on the woman and they stood a little more easily.

"So, how long...?"

"I don't know. A while now. I thought it was hero worship, too, at first. Just a crush on the amazing Warrior Princess. But I've gotten to know you, Xena. I know who you are inside and I love you. And it hasn't gone away. It just keeps getting stronger and stronger."

Xena pulled Gabrielle into a hug and they stood like that for a long time. Then Xena heard Gabrielle's stomach growl and smiled into the bard's hair.


"Yeah. Guess dinner's probably started by now."

"Let's go get you fed."

They walked into the temple and neither saw the smug look on the love goddess' face as she congratulated herself on another perfect match.

No really annoying cats named Felix, who kept meowing for my attention almost non-stop while I finished writing this because I spoil her rotten and she knows if she pesters me enough she'll get me to stop writing and hold her, were harmed during the production of this fanfic.

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