Spoilers: Set between Season 6's "The Haunting of Amphipolis and "Heart of Darkness."
Summary: Ever wonder where that lovely heart pendant Gabrielle starts sporting in Season 6 came from? Oh no? Just me, then? Well, here's my take on it ;) Xena and Gabrielle enjoy a little moment together. Fluff central.
Disclaimer: Really? No profit is being made from this, blah blah blah. If I owned them, they'd be married. Oh wait...
A/N: I don't know if this is came from riding the high of being at Xena Con 2012, aka The "It's Canon, bitches Con," or if the muse finally let me write a fic that's been hanging out in the back of my mind for years, but this little ditty popped out today. Maybe the muse was inspired by the dip that was tweeted and tumblred around the world? Special thanks to my lovely beta-for-life, 55angel55, for giving it a look-see.
Kardia/ καρδία, ας, ἡ: The heart; inner life; intention
Xena rolled over and curled around the warm body next her. She wrapped her arm around a narrow waist, and gently nuzzled the soft blonde hairs at the nape of Gabrielle's neck. "Mmm," she said on a sigh, as she pulled the bard tighter against her. "Gabrielle," Xena whispered. No response. "Gabrielle," Xena said again, a little louder this time.
Gabrielle stirred slightly, and let her hand cover the larger one resting on her abdomen. "Mmph." Gabrielle groaned and whispered, "Xena, are you really awake already? It's barely dawn."
Xena snickered lightly, placing a kiss on the bard's shoulder. "Just because I'm awake, doesn't mean it's time to get up," Xena said, perpetually amused at her partner's dread of early mornings.
Gabrielle turned in her partner's embrace beneath the furs, and snuggled into Xena's chest. "Mmm…good. 'Cause I'm not ready." Gabrielle yawned sleepily, and placed her lips over Xena's collar bone settling back into slumber.
"You don't say." Xena said, on a smile. Xena wrapped her arms more firmly around her bard, content at this small moment of peace they could share together. These times were few and far between. On a typical day, they were up right at daybreak eager to get back on the road. But, after all they'd endured with the Varia, the Amazons, and Mephistopheles in Amphipolis, Xena thought they could afford a little break. Wanting a little R&R of her own, Eve had ventured off to Athens the day before, planning to reconnect with Xena and Gabrielle in a week or so. Xena relished the time alone with Gabrielle. Xena loved her daughter, and loved that Eve had been travelling with them. But, Xena was finding herself increasingly nostalgic for the days when it had just been she and Gabrielle against the world. Before the crucifixions, surprise children, heaven and hell, and a 25 year sleep changed their lives forever. It seemed the simpler days were behind them.
Gabrielle uttered a sigh, breaking Xena out of her reverie. Xena looked down, only to be met with wide-open, emerald eyes implying that the bard was indeed not asleep. "Hmph," Gabrielle repeated. "Well, I can see there won't be any sleeping in this morning."
Confused, Xena pulled slightly away from Gabrielle, and looked more directly into her face. "Why do you say that?"
Gabrielle gave her an affectionate look. "I can feel you thinking, Xena. This…" she indicated with her hand raised to Xena's temple, "can be very loud, sometimes."
Xena smiled back, and turned her head to kiss the bard's palm. "I'm sorry." She said, giving Gabrielle's hand a squeeze with her own.
"What were you thinking about?" Gabrielle asked, brushing Xena's bangs from her forehead, her fingers gliding down the warrior's cheek.
"Nothing…. Everything." Xena stated, her eyes fluttering closed.
"Oh, is that all? At least it wasn't anything serious." Gabrielle said in a teasing tone. "Wanna talk about it?"
"Nothing to talk about really." Xena said. "Just that I am grateful to have some time, some quiet time, with you." Xena rubbed her nose against Gabrielle's, and brushed her lips against the bard's. Gabrielle returned the kiss, their lips moving in tandem, reviving a slow, familiar dance. Gabrielle's tongue sought entry into Xena's mouth, and Xena granted it willingly. "I can make our time a little less quiet," Gabrielle purred into Xena's mouth. Xena smiled, but slowly broke the exchange, continuing to plant sweet kisses to Gabrielle's lips as she did so. Gabrielle groused at the slowing pace and continued to kiss the warrior fervently.
"Hey, hey. Wait a minute." Xena said in between kisses, pulling back. "I have something I want to give to you first." She planted one last kiss to the bard's mouth and nose, before slipping out of the furs.
"Hey…" Gabrielle protested, "No fair," she shuddered and the sudden loss of heat. "It's cold in here without you," she said, burrowing deeper in their bed. Xena flashed her a grin as she kneeled in front of the saddle bags, looking in them for something. "Hold on…"
Gabrielle watched her curiously, wondering what her partner was up to.
After a few seconds, Xena grinned triumphantly. "Aha. There you are." She stood up holding a small box in her hand, and returned to the sleeping furs.
Xena scooted in toward Gabrielle again, her elbow propped on the fur she used for her head, her head resting in her hand. She held the small box out to Gabrielle.
"It's so small and lovely," Gabrielle replied as she brushed her fingers over the intricately carved wooden box.
"Well, lovely things come in small packages," Xena replied and winked at the bard.
Gabrielle rolled her eyes at her partner, a smile tugging at her lips. "That was terrible."
"Hey." Xena said mockingly indignant. "I don't claim to be the poet in this family." Xena tapped her finger against the box impatiently. "C'mon. Open it."
Gabrielle sat up, Xena following suit, and opened the lid. There, lying on small piece of navy blue cloth was a small silver heart charm. While Gabrielle had been picking out her new red velvet skirt and halter after the mess in Amphipolis, Xena had done a little shopping of her own.
"Oh Xena." Gabrielle gasped. "It's beautiful," she said, and held up the charm.
Xena grinned. "It's called a 'Kardia.'" Xena brought her hand up to the dark leather necklace already circling Gabrielle's neck and fingered the silver clasp in front. "It's for this."
Gabrielle looked down at Xena's hand, then back to the charm before locking her eyes with Xena's bright blue ones.
"I love it." She said. "Thank you."
Xena's grin grew to a full-fledged smile. "There's more." Xena said as she took the kardia from Gabrielle, and turned it over. On the back, carved delicately into the silver, was a small but distinctive "X."
Gabrielle brushed her finger over the "X," a slight look of awe on her face. Xena cleared her throat. "The kardia, is a symbol of faith. It represents the heart, being intentional with your love, and letting it guide your life." Xena paused a moment, allowing the words to sink in. "That's what you are to me, Gabrielle. My Kardia."
After a moment, Gabrielle smiled and shook her head, tears glistening in her eyes. "Gods, Xena. When did you become such a sap?"
"What can I say? You've rubbed off on me in more ways than one." Xena replied with a wry grin.
Gabrielle sighed, and swatted lightly at her partner. "Would you put it on for me?"
Xena reached up and unclasped the chain from Gabrielle's neck, slipped on the charm, and fastened it again. The kardia rested in the hollow of Gabrielle's throat like it had always been there.
"It's perfect." Gabrielle whispered. She rubbed the kardia with her index finger, and gazed up at Xena. Xena's face had sobered as she slipped the necklace on her partner. She looked steadily at the kardia and then up into the stunning green eyes of the woman she loved more than life.
"Yes." She agreed.
Gabrielle smiled. "I love you, Xena," she said and cupped her partner's face with her hands.
"And I love you." Xena responded and closed the distance between them.
The passion sparked alive between them, and Gabrielle laid back down on the furs pulling her partner flush on top of her. Xena brought her hands up to stroke the soft skin of Gabrielle's abdomen, igniting the heat in her partner with every brush.
Gabrielle moaned in pleasure, her lips meeting Xena's again and again. Breathless, she pulled back to look once more at Xena. "Can we get back to some 'quiet time' now please?"
"Gods, yes." Xena replied, and fell into her partner once more.
A/N: Kardia means "heart" in Greek, but the rest of it, is from ny own imagination;) Thanks for reading! Reviews are like henbane for the soul.