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Title: Broken Promise, Fulfilled Debt
Author: Kat Lee
Fandom: Xena, Warrior Princess
Character/Pairing: Xena/Gabrielle
Rating: PG/K+
Challenge/Prompt: slashthedrabble #434: Debt
Warning(s): Cannon Character Death
Word Count: Cut to 500 -- Read the full version here.
Date Written: 7 February 2017
Disclaimer: All characters within belong to their rightful owners, not the author, and are used without permission.
Author's Note: Follows the author's The Next Chapter.

She should never have made her promise. She should have listened to her while she had the chance. She should have fought for her right to be happy with the woman she loves rather than always worrying about repaying her debt. She had taken so many lives when she had been on the wrong path, but like Gabrielle had reminded her countless times, she had also saved countless lives.

And she had been redeemed, Xena realizes now, or she wouldn't be here, sitting in this valley, idly passing the time, and thinking of all the things she could have done with Gabrielle if only she had ever once stopped trying to be the hero. She had finally found a battle she couldn't win, and it wasn't simply her last fight. It was the fight she'd been battling for years, the fight Gabrielle had both helped her with and tried her best to get her to stop. So many of her foes had spoken the truth: Her worst enemy had been herself.

The people who killed her are not the reason she's here today. It would have happened sooner or later; they were just the first ones to get lucky. She prays Gabrielle escaped their clutches but knows too that she must have because she's not here. She's not here, and if Xena has been redeemed well enough that she is, she knows her Gabby will come here when her time on Earth is over. She only wishes she was still with her.

There are so many things she still wanted to do with her. She wanted to spend a whole day frolicking in a meadow filled with flowers much like this one. She wanted to spend hours just laying and holding Gabby in her arms. She wanted to whisk her love away from the world and make all her dreams come true.

But she never had time for that. She was always too busy saving another life or otherwise stopping another warlord. She doesn't regret saving the lives she did -- she could never do that --, but she does regret not showing Gabrielle more love while she was still alive. She regrets not having another kiss with her, although she doesn't regret sending her away to keep her safe.

But now she's alone without her love and protection. It's only a matter of time before her sweet Gabby encounters an opponent against whom she can not win. She can't stand thinking about the things they could do to her while she's trapped here in the Elysian Fields.

She hears a murmur, looks up, and sees a figure approaching through the clouds. She stands though she stares in shock. "You promised," she whispers, not yet daring to believe her eyes.

"I had to break it," Gabby explains without apologizing. When she touches her lips to Xena's, Xena knows not only is no apology needed, but they're whole at last! They're together again! No broken promise has ever made any one so happy!

The End



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