Disclaimer & Notices: See Chapter 1.
The Loudest Silence
by Red Hope
By sunrise, Gabrielle groused to get out of the bedroll but surprisingly, Xena let her stay in the bedrolls and got her leathers. Instead, Xena spent time getting a breakfast prepared which was the one meal that Xena had quickly learned to make, just for Gabrielle. She found it very easy to do than dinner, and she discovered that it was most rewarding because Gabrielle’s morning moods were far better than without breakfast.
The bard finally stirred a few candlemarks after sunrise, and she poked her head out from the furs. She swore she smelled a hot breakfast and that’s what really woke her up. She focused past the furs and spied her lover finishing up eggs in a pan.
“Where’d you get those?” the bard asked in a deep voice.
Xena glanced over at her soul mate and smiled. “I found them floating around in the water.”
Gabrielle rolled her eyes, but she got up from the bedroll. She drug a fur with her to conceal her naked form. She then came over to the campfire and took a seat on the water worn log. She yawned and played with her messy hair.
The warrior slid the two eggs out from the pan and onto a wood plate, which already had a flatbread slice on it. She picked up the plate, napkin, and fork then delivered it to her lover.
Gabrielle graciously accepted it and hummed at the hot breakfast in her lap.
Xena picked up two mugs of Chin tea. She deposited the mugs in the sand near Gabrielle then she retrieved her plate of hot breakfast. She took a seat beside her lover on the log and enjoyed the quiet breakfast. She had to admit, she could fry up an egg better than anybody else.
After the couple were done, they sipped on their tea and quietly talked about their plans for once they returned to the mainland. Gabrielle had mentioned checking on the Amazons, who probably thought they were long dead. She also promised Xena they wouldn’t stay too long.
Xena set her empty mug aside and took Gabrielle’s from her hands. She’d been trying very hard during the conversation to ignore Gabrielle’s bare shoulder that poked out from the furs. She couldn’t take it anymore so she set the mugs down then leaned in to kiss the exposed flesh.
Gabrielle grinned at Xena’s open affection, and she lifted Xena’s head for a soft kiss. She and Xena soon found themselves back in the bedroll and affirming their love again. But by midday, they had to clean up the camp and pack the rowboat. Xena had spotted Alexander’s ship not far off from the horizon, and she didn’t want delay him.
Gabrielle was glad because she wasn’t sure she could relax for another day. She was far too use to traveling, helping people, and seeing new or old places. But she was grateful for the nice break and alone time with her soul mate. She could sense that it’d help her, Xena, and their relationship after much of the year’s turmoil.
In the late afternoon, Alexander’s merchant ship dropped anchor not far from the island’s shore. The sailors all waited on deck and watched the famous Warrior Princes and Battling Bard return to the ship. They quickly caught the rowboat’s line that Gabrielle tossed up then they helped the warriors get back onboard.
Captain Alex warmly greeted the women back on the ship and asked about the vacation. Xena answered that it’d been well worth it. She again thanked him before he went back to helm. Xena then turned to her partner, who was leaning against the rail.
Gabrielle stared at the island and idly listened to the sailors running on the deck to fulfill the captain’s orders. She felt a warm hand against her midback. She peered up at her lover. “Thank you for this, Xena.”
Xena placed her freehand on the rail. “Thank you for coming.” She knew that her partner could have refused. She’d also sensed that perhaps Gabrielle wanted to part ways the other day after Ares saved Gabrielle’s life. She was very thankful that her soul mate was still at her side.
Gabrielle had her arms crossed over top of the rails. But she straightened up and let out a content sigh as if something felt right in her again.
Gabrielle curiously gazed up at her lover because she heard the hint of need in Xena’s tone.
“I love you,” Xena whispered.
Gabrielle hadn’t heard Xena say those words in some time. She reached over and covered her hand over Xena’s own. She stepped in closer to her lover and softly promised, “I love you too, Xena… always.” She then smiled, which Xena quickly returned to her. Gabrielle concluded that their love didn’t need any work, but just the relationship had to be healed. She felt some happiness come back to her now that she and Xena had reconnected again.