Gabrielle leaned to her left to kiss her friend on the cheek. "Night, Xena."
Xena huffed and rolled over to her left to put her back to the smaller woman. "Go to sleep."
The bard grinned and lay down, her hands over her stomach, and she stared up at the stars. It had been just another day in their life. The normal, stop an army and stop a giant all at the same time. Yeah, Gabrielle had enjoyed the day overall. She sighed happily.
The stars above were bright. Gabrielle still didn't see that dipper up in the night sky Xena had pointed out because all she could see was the bear. Her eyebrows furrowed then she looked harder as she spotted the dipper her friend kept envisioning. She grinned while she turned her head to the left.
The older woman groaned. "What?"
"I see it."
Xena held back her sigh then patiently asked, "See what?"
Gabrielle gazed upon the stars. "That dipper."
Xena couldn't help it now, and she sighed then rolled to her right to face Gabrielle. "You're kidding me, right?"
The bard softly laugh then in her playful voice, answered, "No, I see it now." She then turned her head to her best friend. "So your nose still hurt?"
The warrior rolled onto her back and studied the stars. "No."
"I really thought you were going to stop my staff." Gabrielle's lips thin out from her thoughts. "Then again you let me hit you."
"I told you, you hit me fair and square."
The bard grinned and rolled onto her stomach so that she could stare down at the warrior. "Right, Xena."
Xena could feel a grin trying to break across her lips, but she held it back. Her voice remained quite serious. "You did, Gabrielle."
Gabrielle huffed but her grin wasn't lost as she teased, "The Warrior Princess's little sidekick actually broke through her defenses to hit her in the face." She giggled but admitted, "It's a nice thought though."
The warrior faintly shrugged. "Either way, I deserved it."
The bard now went serious and even somewhat distraught. "How you figure?" She leaned on her elbows; still peering down at her older friend.
Xena diverted her eye contact and stared at the stars instead. "After the whole day??"
"Oh gods, Xena come on. The two of us went back and forth on each other." After a beat, she brought out a wicked grin and teased, "But you started it all."
The warrior's eyes narrowed a little, and she had a defensive look. "How did I start all the teasing?"
"Come on, Xena. You used my frying pan this morning."
Xena gave a fake offended look. "It was in self-defense."
"How many weapons do you have, warrior? And that includes your body." Gabrielle mimicked her partner's arched eyebrow technique. "I do need to cook for us both."
Xena grinned, and her eyes gleamed. "Maybe you're right."
The bard huffed then reminded, "You know I'm right."
Xena smiled back warmly and finally gave into the bard. "You are." She brought up her left hand and brushed back some of Gabrielle's hair behind her ear. Her hand then dropped back down to her stomach. "So what did you think of Minya in those leathers?"
Gabrielle brought herself out of a trance quickly and smiled. "It was funny." She sucked in a deep breath after her heart pounded from the warrior's action earlier. "I'm just glad Howard doesn't have a hang up on you anymore."
The Warrior Princess arched an eyebrow. "Oh? Did that bother you?"
The bard bit her lip to try and hide her grin, but it failed. "Yes, when he is following us." She laughed. "He kept asking me if you would ever think of settling down and getting married."
Xena's eyebrows hiked up at this news. "And you said?"
The small woman shrugged her shoulders. "I just said you probably wouldn't."
"Mmmm." Xena pretended to think about it then she mentioned, "That's not what I heard."
The young woman stiffened up and in a semi stunned voice asked, "What did you hear?"
The warrior had a slow shaping grin as she stared up to her friend. Her voice though came out devilishly. "I heard something like? she likes what I do." Xena sighed then muttered, "Maybe it was just the wind."
Gabrielle looked away to the woods. "The wind." She nibbled on her bottom lip and nodded. "It was definitely the wind."
Xena snickered, but she brought her right hand back up and under Gabrielle's chin. She carefully turned the small woman's face to face her. "Was it me? Or did you say that?"
The bard recognized the fact that Xena knew the truth. Gabrielle just wanted to know why her friend was asking her since she knew the truth. She wasn't sure whether to answer the question or not, but she stared into deep twinkling blue eyes. An answer wasn't leaving her lips because she was too caught up in the warrior's eyes.
And Gabrielle knew as she stared down to Xena she was revealing her inner thoughts and emotions through her eyes. For once, she couldn't stop them, and all day she couldn't stop them. Now all her walls had fallen and it made her scared because of what Xena may do once she figured it out.
"Gabrielle?" Xena lowered her hand back to her own stomach.
The bard smiled but more so sadly. "Sorry."
The warrior assured her with her tender smile. "You know what?"
The bard shook her head as she felt a bit of hopelessness fill her. "What?"
"It isn't my nose that hurts but my lips." Xena's voice had held a plea in it.
Gabrielle breathed hard, and her heart pounded quite quickly. She didn't know how to respond, verbally. Yet her body knew how to respond, and she followed through with it. Ever so slowly she leaned down to Xena. She watched as the warrior closed her eyes and Gabrielle closed her own. Their lips met and warmth washed over them, which only made them encourage the kiss deeper.
Xena very carefully moved her hands to Gabrielle's sides, and she felt Gabrielle's right hand come to her cheek in the middle of the kiss.
The bard then carefully pulled back to gaze into her friend's eyes. "Xena?"
The warrior chuckled at the bard's awestruck expression. "Hi."
The young woman shyly laughed then went serious. "Did I just? you know?"
Gabrielle shook her head with a smile and looked back down to Xena. "Hold on, let me make sure this is real." She leaned back down again and captured the warrior's lips. Oh yes it was definitely real if not better. Gabrielle had never felt this amazing like she did now when she kissed Xena. Gabrielle slowly lifted her head back up after the kiss.
"Convinced?" Xena arched an eyebrow, and her lips creased with a grin.
"Yeah." Gabrielle took a deep breath. "I just need to breathe."
The older woman chuckled; she still had her hands on the bard's sides. "Come here." She lifted her friend onto her body.
Gabrielle easily settled down on the warrior's body and wrapped her arms around the warrior's waist as Xena did the same to her. "Xena?"
"How'd? how'd you know?"
The warrior grinned and gazed up to Gabrielle. "It was in your eyes? not to mention today."
Gabrielle looked away. "Oh right, went a little over board today." She turned her head back to Xena, which revealed her faint blush.
"We both did I'd say."
The bard nodded in agreement. "Yeah, surprised Howard and Minya didn't notice." She chuckled.
"Nah, they were too worried about my actions with Howard."
Gabrielle rolled her eyes then muttered, "True." She then smiled. "It wasn't the wind." She finally answered Xena's earlier question.
"I know." Xena then lifted her right hand and placed it on the back of Gabrielle's head. She brushed her lips across Gabrielle's then she sealed their lips and attentively kissed the bard.
After they pulled away, the bard nuzzled her cheek against Xena's. "Xena?"
"I love you."
Xena smiled and turned her head so she could kiss Gabrielle again. As they did kiss, the warrior felt Gabrielle's hands move to her shoulders and slip off her leather straps.
Xena had a bright smile as she whispered back to her soul mate. "I love you too."