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Teresa M Shafer - For books that kindle thought and ignite the imagination!
The Big Question 

Xena and Gabrielle were welcomed home as the heroes that they were. A huge party was held that lasted literally for days and encompassed the entire planet and all of Mars’ satellite properties. Xena and Gabrielle were kept busy visiting every city on the planet and doing video conference calls with the outlying settlements. 

As Xena had predicted the story of their victory and their meeting with the two Angels was already being told by young and old alike. Pictures of the heroes with Angel’s wings and clothing were being sold as posters, key chains, t-shirts and necklaces and everything and anything else a person could imagine. They were asked to sign the items by star crossed fans in every city at every stop. 

At first they didn’t mind. But as the party wore on their patience grew thin. They wanted the warmth of their own bed and some peace and quiet. The Guardians seemed to feel their pain and one night after yet another highly energized appearance their Shadow Guardians, as they were now being called whisked them away between the grand hall where they had appeared and the hotel room where they were meant to stay. The Shadows took them to a deserted launch bay and put them in the back of a small dignitary shuttle and took them home to New Thebes. Once there they were secreted in the back of a non-descriptor vehicle and returned to the Amazon compound. 

Xena and Gabrielle got out of the vehicle next to the large park that was in the center of the community and walked to the far edge nearest to Gabrielle’s home.

“It doesn’t feel like home Xena. It did when we left a week ago but now it feels like my mother’s home.” Gabrielle had her head on Xena’s shoulder and Xena had her arm stretched behind Gabrielle’s neck.

“I know what you mean. I want to go back to our house and just relax with you.” Xena confirmed the feeling that Gabrielle had assumed a week ago… the children had grown up and out. They were now almost fully the women that had lived so long ago and now they were being given the chance to finish the life together that they had once been denied.

“You know what… this is going to sound rotten of me… but they don’t even know that we’re here. The Guardians can tell them that we are safe and nobody will have any choice but to simply accept that. If we just go to our house and spend the night no-one needs to be the wiser.” Gabrielle felt kind of dirty just suggesting it but darn it she wanted nothing more than to just lie down with Xena in their own home. Was that too much to ask?

Xena didn’t think so. “That’s not a bad idea honey. The Shadow Guardians have been keeping your secrets for a thousand years or better… what’s one more to them?”

Almost as if the Guardians had expected the trickery a conveyance rolled up to a stop not far from where they had stopped to take a seat. A Guardian stepped out of the vehicle. Xena and Gabrielle did not hesitate or ask any questions. They ran to the vehicle and jumped in. The Guardian drove them to their home and pulled into the garage and shut the door so that they could disembark without being seen.

Before Gabrielle walked inside she turned back to the driver. “Let everyone know that we’re safe and happy. We are grateful for everything that has been done to honor us and our friends but we are very tired and we need some alone time. School has been cancelled until next Monday. We’ll make it back before then. Tell my Shadows that I’ll let them know when we’re ready to rejoin the human race.” The Guardian didn’t say a word she nodded and put the vehicle in reverse and waited for Gabrielle to disappear into the house before she opened the garage door and departed.

Late the next afternoon the two soul mates were lounging on their large couch and watching television. They were actually enjoying an old movie that Cara had suggested. The house was full of suggestions from their friends. There were recipes in the kitchen, mostly from Margo and television and music suggestions from both women and all sorts of other information that had been programmed into the GEV. Xena and Gabrielle had been given an indoctrination of sorts from the other women via the GEV when they had stayed the night for the first time. Cara and Margo had tried to think of everything so they wouldn’t have to fumble around trying to figure things out. It had been and still was a positive experience for both Xena and Gabrielle.  
Gabrielle was presently lying with her head in Xena’s lap and Xena had sprawled with one foot on the coffee table and the other on the floor. She was munching on something called cheese dip with some homemade corn tortilla chips and she was drinking a rare Pepsi, tea just didn’t taste good with this indulgent snack.

The movie was winding down and Xena was about done with her dip. Gabrielle was smiling at the way that the movie was ending. When it was done she stretched lazily and wrapped her arm around Xena’s thigh and started rubbing Xena’s calf with her other hand.

“You’re in a good mood honey.” Xena said as she ran her fingers through the silk that was her beloved’s hair.

“Mmmm, I’m relaxed and that makes me happy.” She kissed Xena’s leg and hugged it again.

“I’m wondering if I can’t make you even happier.” Xena pondered.

‘That was an intriguing comment.’ Gabrielle thought. “However could you do that my love?”

“Well, something’s been on my mind lately and it seems like it’s been on yours too. So I have a question for you.” She stretched the moment.

“Shoot, I’ll answer anything today.” She rubbed her cold nose against the warm thigh.

Xena smiled. “I really hope so babe.” She took a swallow of her soda and burped lightly. Gabrielle giggled and gave Xena the I’m waiting look. Xena couldn’t stretch it any thinner without angering her beloved. “So babe… I was wondering if you would marry me?” She held a little burgundy velvet box next to Gabrielle’s face and didn’t move despite the fact that for the first time in a very long time she was a bit scared. It had been the scariest question she had ever asked and her leg had started to shiver.

Gabrielle didn’t quite register the question but when the little box appeared next to her face she forced herself to really hear the question. She sat up and looked at the box as if it was a giant spider and she wasn’t sure if it would bite or not. She looked over at Xena’s face. Xena was smiling tentatively and her blue eyes were full of pleading. That was when Gabrielle realized that Xena had not been joking.

“How did you…” She glanced at the box. “When did you…” She looked deeply into the cool baby blue eyes of the most wonderful woman that had ever lived. “Oh Xena… I thought I would have to ask you… yes.” The word was little more than a breath that had escaped her surprised mouth. But she came to the realization of what she had said and knew that it was the one thing that she really wanted to shout… not hide. “Oh by all the Gods that ever lived and the one we serve now… yes my love I will marry you!” Her voice matched her heart’s enthusiasm.

Xena closed her fingers over the box so that it wouldn’t fly across the room when she realized that Gabrielle was half a heartbeat from engulfing her in a very big embrace. She got it just in time to return the gesture. Then it dawned on her… she had said yes. Gabrielle had said YES

The two of them tried to talk to each other after the initial excitement but their words were swallowed by their desire to show each other what they were having difficulty verbalizing.

Many hours later they were relaxing in the hot tub and Xena slipped a three carat diamond ring on Gabrielle’s finger. It had a one carat heart cut solitaire with two carats worth of channel cut diamonds on either side. The actual wedding ring would fit on either side of this one and had another carat of round diamonds alternating with the clearest of dark green emeralds, to match Gabrielle’s dark green hazel eyes. The ring brought on another round of loving kisses and more.