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Through to Sunrise

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“Gabrielle, how many more hectares is it to the next town?”

They were riding Argo together over the rough, rocky, mountainous terrain – the only road out of town. Terrain they were used to, but when they were stuck sharing the same horse it seemed slightly more pleasant. Gabrielle was the one holding the reins for once while Xena leaned lightly against her back, her legs loosely gripping the horse’s sides, wincing whenever the horse jarred through a hard rut.

“I think a few. Is your knee feeling better?” She shot a worried look over her shoulder. Xena muffled a snort.

“It’s just a bit of a sprain. I’ll be fine once we find an inn and get a meal and some rest.” Xena was clearly still embarrassed that she’d tripped over a log while they were breaking camp this morning – Gabrielle knew not to push it.

Gabrielle relaxed slightly, and Xena could clearly feel it – her hand patted Gabrielle’s upper thigh.

Aside from her worry it was a beautiful night; indigo skies and soft pale pink-red clouds were on the horizon. They’d be somewhere warm by the time twilight fully took hold of the sky. She squeezed Xena’s hand, and Xena’s arm tightened around Gabrielle’s waist. The ease with which they managed to tackle the frightful things set before them always managed to make Gabrielle go still and think, really think, about what she’d done to be so blessed with such a perfect soulmate, such a wonderful lover, such a perfect friend.

Soon they’d be somewhere warm and comfortable together; soon they’d be cuddled up before a roaring fire. Gabrielle tucked her head closer under Xena’s chin, and kept moving closer to the chimneys emitting smoke, to the comfort of kith, kin and the promise of a new day.