Subtext: More like maintext, but nothing heavy.
Timeline: This fanfic takes place after the episode "Ides of March". I had to write this to tackle the depression I am feeling off and on after that episode. :)
Feedback is welcome and can be sent to: SumrBrezze@aol.com
She woke up and studied her surroundings. There was a blue sky up above that beautiful doves flew under. She sat up noticing that she was reclining on the greenest grass that she had ever laid eyes on. To her left she saw a deer prance by behind an apple tree. To her right she saw tall gorgeous mountains. Glancing around her she noticed flowers of all different colors and she could hear the faint sound of a waterfall in the distance.
She arose from the ground and took a deep breath. The air smelled sweet and fresh and she luxuriated in it. Looking at the mountains again, she observed that a broad multicolored rainbow had formed, arching behind the mountains.
'Where am I?' she thought. It was then that her past and the crucifixion entered her mind. The last thing she remembered was floating in the air with her beloved, and then the bright light took them away. The next thing she knew it she was waking up in a place that seemed to be paradise. She looked at her hands and feet, noticing that the wounds were gone.
"I must be in Heaven," she spoke aloud. Then she thought of her beloved and started to panic. "What if she didn't make it after all?"
She looked around more hurriedly and then started to run. She mused to herself that the other woman had to be around here somewhere. They died together, and if she had her way they would spend eternity together. If she had to leave Heaven in order to have it happen, then so be it. The next thing she knew it she was running towards the sound of the waterfall. It was as if some unforeseen force was pulling her there. She dodged some bushes in her path, finally catching sight of water. She ran a little farther and then she saw her. She breathed a sigh of relief.
Standing about twenty feet away was her beloved, kneeling by a small stream. She saw a small waterfall emptying into the crystal blue stream. Tears started to form in her eyes as she studied the woman by the stream, who had yet to comprehend that she was behind her. Suddenly, feeling a slight prickle on the nape of her neck the woman by the stream turned her head and enchanting blue eyes met teary emerald green ones. The blue-eyed woman stood up and turned around to face the other woman, with her hands on her hips and mirth in her expressive eyes.
"Took you long enough," she said smiling broadly.
The green-eyed woman made a dash for her and jumped into her waiting arms. Xena laughed, as she lifted Gabrielle off of her feet and twirled her around. She put the bard down and now there were tears in her own eyes. Gabrielle wiped away a tear that was cascading down the other woman's cheek.
"I thought I had lost you," Gabrielle began. "I thought you had…" She could not finish the statement, but Xena knew what she meant.
"Well I'm here." Xena gave her a tender smile. "We're here together." She wiped away a tear that slid down the smaller woman's cheek. "Don't cry."
Gabrielle smiled. "You should listen to your own advice." She took a step back mock scowling. "Hey! How come you didn't come to find me? I've been searching frantically for you and then I find you relaxing by a waterfall. What gives Princess?"
Xena chuckled. "I knew you were around here somewhere." She shrugged. "I was about to come get ya. Honest."
The bard gave her an incredulous look. "Yeah, right." She looked around and then turned back to her best friend who was staring at her openly with love and affection. "What?" she inquired softly.
Xena cupped her cheek gently. Her hand was warm. "I'm just so glad that we're together."
Gabrielle found it hard to control herself from crying again. "Xena, if we're…no longer living, how come we're breathing?" 'And my heart is beating a million times a minute?' she added to herself.
The warrior princess shrugged. "I have no idea, but I like it this way. It feels like we're still living, except we don't have all the pain and sorrow."
"So do I," the bard agreed.
"Come with me," Xena stated abruptly. She held out her hand, and Gabrielle placed her smaller one in it. Xena started walking past the waterfall and soon the two made their way to a small hill on which they sat on crossed legged.
"This is beautiful," Gabrielle said breathlessly, as she studied the view from the hill.
"It is," Xena agreed quietly, looking straight at the bard when she said it. Gabrielle did not notice the look as she spotted a pair of white rabbits running not far from them. She turned back to Xena and caught the woman staring at her again.
She raised a golden eyebrow. "Do I have something on my face?" She chuckled.
"Nothing that shouldn't be there," Xena replied, feeling extremely embarrassed that she had been caught.
The bard nodded. "Good."
Both were then silent for a few moments before Gabrielle asked, "Xena, don't you think something is missing?"
Xena glanced at her. "No. I hadn't noticed."
Gabrielle frowned. "I see animals, but there are no people. Remember when I died in Thessaly about four years ago?"
The warrior princess inwardly shivered. "Of course I do. How could I forget?"
"Well you remember when I told you that I saw people that had died?"
"Well where are they this time? I was sure we would see our friends and family who passed away before us, but their not here. It's like we have the whole place to ourselves."
Xena considered this. "To be honest with you, I hadn't given it any thought." She paused. "Maybe we're in limbo."
"Yeah. Maybe we haven't exactly made it to Heaven yet. Maybe this is where we just wait until we get there." She laughed. "I don't know. I have no idea why we're alone."
"Or maybe this is Heaven, and we just haven't found anybody else yet."
Xena chuckled. "Yeah. We might be on the wrong side, but I get the distinct feeling that we are alone."
Gabrielle sighed. "So do I."
Xena looked at her, trying not to show the hurt that she felt. "Does that bother you?"
The bard glanced at her quickly. "No," she said, sounding surprised. "Frankly, I'd be happy just to spend the rest of eternity with you."
The warrior princess reached over and squeezed her hand gently. "So would I," she whispered. She could not stop her next action. She leaned forward and lightly touched her lips to Gabrielle's. She found that they were warm and soft, unlike on the cross when both of their lips were tinged with blue. Xena pulled away gazing at the bard's surprised face, with worry etched on hers. The last thing she wanted was for Gabrielle to pull away from her after all they had been through, because she could not keep her emotions in check.
"I'm sorry, Gabrielle," Xena apologized.
Gabrielle stared at her for a minute not saying anything. "Well you should be," she finally stated, and could have laughed at the expression on her companion's face. "You can't do any better than that?" The last thing she saw was both of Xena's eyebrows lifting, before she closed her eyes and pressed her lips to the other woman's. She wound her arms around Xena's neck and manuevered until she was on her knees, her lips keeping contact with Xena's. Gabrielle then broke the contact peering down at her companion, who still had her eyes closed.
"Xena?" she whispered.
The warrior princess opened her blue eyes. "Yes?" she whispered back.
"Is this okay?"
Xena frowned slightly. "Is what okay?"
"Us kissing here in Heaven. Is this wrong?"
The blue-eyed woman replied, "If this is wrong, I don't wanna be right." She put her arms around the bard's waist and pulled her closer, planting a kiss on her neck. "Nothing that feels so special can be wrong."
Gabrielle thought about it. "I guess you're right."
Xena shrugged. "Of course. I'm always right," she retorted chuckling.
The bard just smiled shaking her head. She peered into the other woman's eyes. "I love you, Xena," she uttered softly. She touched her friend's cheek.
The warrior princess became serious. "I love you too, Gabrielle." She hugged the bard tightly. "So much. I wish I would have told you that more often when we were alive."
Gabrielle pulled back. "Well you can tell me now. It's not too late. It never will be."
Xena smiled. "Okay," she said getting up to her feet. Gabrielle wondered what she was about to do. Xena cupped her mouth with both hands and shouted, "If there is anyone out there, I want you to know that I love Gabrielle! Bard of Potedia, former Amazon Queen, Warrior, best friend and…" She looked back at the bard who was staring at her as if she had lost her mind. "And the love of my life," she ended quietly, her blue eyes becoming blurry with tears. She knelt down in front of a tenderly smiling Gabrielle. "You mean so very much to me, and I am so glad that you decided to stalk me four years ago."
The bard's eyes widened. "I did not stalk you," she replied indignantly.
Xena chuckled. "Yes you did. Even though I tried to warn you not to follow me by threatening you, you did it anyway."
Gabrielle shrugged smiling. "You know how stubborn I am."
Xena nodded persistently. "Oh, yes I do. Never would listen to me from day one." She touched the other woman's knee. "Although, I have come to love that about you."
Gabrielle smiled. "That is so sweet."
The warrior shrugged. "I have my moments."
"Speaking of moments, where were we a few moments ago?" She didn't let the other woman reply as she kissed her full on the lips. She pulled away, delighted to hear a frustrated growl from her companion. "How come it took you almost half a decade to admit how you really felt? How come you didn't kiss me before?"
"I did," Xena replied.
"My wedding and Autolycus don't count."
Xena sighed loudly. "I could ask you the same question," she said eyebrows raised.
"I asked you first."
"I asked you second."
"First goes first."
Gabrielle replied, "Says me." She pointed to herself.
Xena kissed her again, and pulled Gabrielle as close as she could. "I have an idea. Wanna here it?"
The bard nodded.
"How 'bout we stop all of this bickering and um…get to know each other better." She wiggled her eyebrows suggestively. "If you know what I mean?"
Gabrielle laughed. "I think I do."
She leaned forward and they kissed deeply. So lost in each other neither noticed the smiling angels that were directly above them, surrounded by a bright white light. They were in paradise and they were together.
Later on, the two sat with Xena leaning against a tree and Gabrielle between her bent legs with her head resting comfortably on the warrior's shoulder. They were watching a couple of ducks in the stream by the waterfall.
"This is so perfect," Gabrielle said, breaking the easy silence that had developed between them. You know the bard cannot stay quiet for too long.
"Yes it is," Xena agreed, kissing her companion on the top of her head.
Gabrielle looked up at her. "Did I tell you that I loved you?"
The warrior pretended to ponder the question. "You might have mentioned it once or twice."
The bard grinned. "Well, I love you, Xena," she said adoringly.
Xena grinned back and kissed Gabrielle on her nose. "I love you, bard."
Gabrielle raised her head and turned around to face the warrior, "Speaking of bard, even though you can't read my scrolls now, doesn't mean I can't tell them to you. I know every scroll by heart," she stated proudly.
Xena smiled. "I bet you do." How many adventures had they had over the years? "I'm listening," she added, waiting for the bard's harmonious voice to take her away.
Gabrielle made herself comfortable, thinking. "I guess I might as well start at the top. My first scroll is entitled, "Sins of the Past"…"