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DISCLAIMER: The characters of Xena and Gabrielle are property of MCA /Universal. No copyright infringement was intended in writing this fiction. All other accounts are property of the author, and may not be used without permission, ok? This fiction contains descriptions of a sexual nature between two consenting adult women. If you canít hang with it, then move on. Also, this takes place after The Quest... so there is a bit of spoilage contained within. Be warned. All comments and um... thoughts are welcome.
Copyright June 1997
Our life together has a rhythm. I find it changing all the time, but a rhythm none the less. It presents itself as two distinct entities, one when we are going about the daily task of living and one before we surrender to the night. She has been with me for nearly two years now. At first, she was a supreme source of irritation, always asking questions, to which I neither cared nor had answers. One thing I could say about the young girl from Potidaea, she was persistent. She accepted such emotional abuse from me; I wondered why she stayed. Great Zeus knows I tried to unfetter myself from her but could not. Or perhaps, would not, I wasnít sure. During the day, as we would travel, she put forth a barrage of inquiries, concerning every conceivable topic. My responses took four forms..."No, Gabrielle...Yes, Gabrielle...I donít know, Gabrielle...Be quiet, Gabrielle..." She took them all in stride. Sometimes it seemed she reveled in just hearing my voice, the answer wasnít important. There were times I simply relented and allowed her to recite a tale. She insinuated herself upon my life. Over time, I actually enjoyed the experience, anticipating the soothing lilt of her voice. My emotional shift was imperceptible, at first. She had become my friend and ally. There was also a change occurring within Gabrielle, but I didnít see it. Recognizing emotions in others was almost as difficult as facing my own. I guess too many years of warlording had stripped my ability to exist beyond my own preservation. I thought that capability was forever lost. I was so wrong.
Two events marked the course of our destinies. Itís funny, but to truly understand how much her life meant to me, I would have to see it taken away. When Gabrielle died and I bargained with Hades for her return, my own life was forever changed. Silently, she had become the best part of me, yet I did not tell her. I wanted to, but the words wouldnít form in my mouth. As a warlord, I could spew forth commands sending hundreds into battle, yet my feelings for this woman had rendered me mute. My pride and fear kept me silent, for certainly she couldnít feel the same about me. Grateful, perhaps, but nothing more. I was wrong again. It was becoming an irritating habit. As I hung suspended in Tartarus, I heard her heart-broken plea. "Please...I need you." Without her love for me and my acceptance of that love, the quest would have surely failed. It was only on joining within her did I fully understand the depth of that love. And I could no longer hide my real feelings. I was naked within her as she was within me. She felt the passion that was in my heart. I wanted to speak it when I first opened my eyes. In a way, I did, but stopped short of completely giving myself to her. That evening, I sat, sharpening my sword, pondering the enigma that had become my life. I needed time to sort through this. She came to my side, wrapped her arm around me and placed her head on my shoulder. I donít know why Iím concerned about crossing that physical line between us. The reality is that we have already crossed it and are waiting consummation. I know how she feels, yet I hesitate, not trusting the plain truth.
In the quietness of the evening I have seen and felt the love she has for me. It may be a look or the brush of her hand against my skin. My stubbornness holds me in check. The rhythm of our life takes her into a still place. She retreats to an inner world where even I dare not intrude. Sometimes, as I groom Argo, I peer at her writing in her journal. I watch her lips moving silently and her hand transcribing to the scroll. I am transfixed by her beauty and inner strength. Even the subtle movement of her wrist gives my heart pause. I cannot imagine my life without her. I am in love with Gabrielle, and must tell her how I feel... perhaps, tomorrow.
Sometimes I feel very out of sync with Xena. In the time Iíve been with her, the womanís thought processes still amaze me. Just when I think I have an inkling into some part of her, she darts in a different direction, leaving me scrambling to catch up. I believe she does this on purpose, not that I would ever suggest that to her openly. Itís a silent game we play everyday... a contest running just beneath the surface of our daily tasks. Guess thatís why I ask so many questions. Yaí know, if yaí donít ask, yaí donít get. But in Xenaís case, asking doesnít mean Iíll get anything...except silence or a raised eyebrow. She can be so frustrating at times. And she uses my own impatience against me. I have a tremendous Ďneed to knowí right now, and she lives somewhere in the future. Itís always "Tomorrow, Gabrielle, not now." You see what Iím dealing with here? Oh, there have been moments when Iíve pushed and she has relented, but they are as scarce as Blacktail eggs. Youíd think after all weíve been through, sheíd trust me more. Not that I donít feel she Ďmistrustsí me or anything. Gods know Iím probably closer to her than most. In fact, I find myself very attached to her emotionally. And how could I not be? I have watched her die, taking my own spirit with her. It was then I fully realized the depth of my love for her. It far surpassed my pain and guilt when Perdicus was killed. Guilt...you ask ? Yes, I felt I Ďshouldí have had a deep life-altering grief at his passing, but did not. I was more guilt-ridden that, because of Callistoís rage at me he died. I never experienced the complete anguish that I felt when Xena died. The rend of my very soul was so that I would have gladly sacrificed myself instead. It was at that moment, as I lay across her, heart breaking, I knew that I was in love with her. But it was too late, and I suffered so. I wanted to die just to be with her. I never told her my deep suspicions.. and she was gone.
I should have known a long time ago. She actually bargained with Hades for my life, you know. Now how many casual acquaintances do you know who would do that ? Right, exactly my point. But sometimes even I can miss the obvious. I mean she never gave me an indication otherwise, or so I thought. I knew for sure when she kissed me. So what if she was suspended between life and death... a kiss is a kiss. When she entered my body to fight Valaska, I felt more than her strength and determination; I felt an intimacy between us. For a few moments, we were connected on a cellular level, knowing each other so well. I know she felt my love for her as I felt hers. There would be no more secrets from one another. The most beautiful sight in all the world was seeing her open those eyes in the sarcophagus. When she said, "I know, Gabrielle." my heart sang. That evening, as I sat next to her, I could sense trepidation. I wanted to press, but figured she needed time to sort it all out.
So, as the evening falls upon us, I sit quietly writing this. She grooms Argo and I can feel her eyes on me, caressing like a warm summerís breeze. Another day has almost slipped without our feelings being verbalized. I have given this much thought. Xena can opt not to step across that physical line in our relationship, but I will no longer allow her to deny her feelings...our feelings. Tomorrow... yes, tomorrow.
"Do we have anything pressing today. I mean something we absolutely have to do?"
"Do you think that glen we passed has a stream nearby?"
"I donít know, Gabrielle."
"Wanna take a look and see?"
"Gabrielle, whatís your point?"
"I just thought, we could take the day and, you know, just relax. Maybe take a swim, enjoy a picnic, just laze around. We havenít done that in a while, and you said we didnít have anything pressing. Could we... please?"
Xena silently admitted that this might be a good opportunity to finally have that talk with the bard. She didnít want to sound too enthusiastic. No sense in giving Gabrielle an opening, at least not yet. She agreed.
A huge smile spread across Gabrielleís face. "Great! This will be just great!" Her mind was already constructing scenarios.
"Yes, you already said that." Xena had her back to her preparing Argo. There was a smile on her lips.
Before leaving the village, they stopped by the food vendors for supplies. Xena knew better that to underfeed her young companion. Gabrielle could get quite testy when her appetite wasnít sated. Adding a needless distraction to the impending activities would be counter-productive. She felt there would be plenty of Ďnaturalí obstacles to overcome. And had no intention of competing with the bardís stomach for attention. She threw the pouch containing Ďlunchí across the saddlehorn and mounted Argo. Gabrielle took her place next to her warrior and they headed out.
The pace was slow as Gabrielle refused to ride Argo. The steedís back was just too high off the ground to suit her. Xena was always needling her about it. Today was no exception.
"You know, we could make better time to your glen if youíd ride up here with me. Look at all the time youíre wasting by walking. " She was looking down at the top of the bardís head.
Gabrielle threw her a side glance. "Well, at least this way Iíll still be in condition when I get there. Believe me, falling off Argo isnít my idea of a good time."
"Hmmm... condition for what? " Xena had zeroed in on the implied reference. "I thought we were just going to have a swim and a picnic. Did you have something else in mind?" Although she couldnít see Gabrielleís face, even dinars said it was red.
Gabrielle tried to recover. "No, well, what I meant was..er..uh..if I were to take a fall then the day would be ruined. Yep, thereís nothing like taking a dive off a horseback to screw up your day. Thatís what I meant, yaí know."
"Uh-huh... sure. Gods know I wouldnít want to screw yo...uh..your day up. I honestly donít know why youíre so concerned about riding up here anyway. Itís very safe. Iíd hold on to you."
"Oh yeah, right. And what about the getting off part?"
Xena raised a brow and grinned wickedly. "Gabrielle, itís not...uh...getting off...thatís the problem. Itís everything that comes, so to speak, before it. Getting off usually takes care of itself."
"Of course youíd say that. Look where you are. I bet getting off is easy for you."
"Well, Iíve had more practice than you. Iíd be more than happy to show you how. To... uh... give you a hand. "
"Thanks... maybe later. " The air hung thickly around the bard. She was suddenly aware of the double nature of this conversation. Great Athena, she hated feeling like a child again. But it had laid the groundwork nicely for her. She just wished it had been her doing. This was a perfect example of Xenaís twists and turns. Gods, she was good.
The pair veered off the main road to a single footpath. It led past a stand of conifers and finally opened into a small glen. There was clear pools just off to the side. It was surrounded by vegetation. The heady smell of jasmine and honeysuckle filled the air.. Gabrielle took a deep breath; expanding her lungs and giving rise to her breasts. She folded her arms around herself, closed her eyes and slowly turned in a circle.
"Oh, Xena, just smell the air. Isnít it wonderful?"
The pirouette wasnít lost on the warrior. She gazed at the form before her, eyes following the graceful turn. "Yes, Gabrielle, it is." She slid off Argo. There was a warm feeling beginning to form in her core. She led the war-horse to a shady spot beneath the trees and settled her. Gabrielle strolled to the edge of the pool, sat on the soft sand and took off her boots. Her toes were teasing the waterís lip. "Címon, Xena, this feels wonderful. Youíre missing it."
Xena was busy removing her battle accouterments and placing them safely near Argo. "Donít worry, Gabrielle, Iím sure I can catch up. Start without me. You hungry?" It was a silly question and as such, she brought the food sac with her.
The bard was leaning back, resting on her elbows. The sun sparkled across the water and danced in her eyes. The sight of her took the warriorís breath. From her higher vantagepoint, Xena could see the swell of Gabrielleís breasts and outline of her nipples. Gods, how she wanted to touch her.
"Itís so peaceful here, donít you think?" Gabrielle turned her head to address the raven-haired warrior.
Xena sat next to her. "Yes, it is peaceful. Iím glad you suggested this. Grape?" She popped one of the dark purple spheres into her mouth.
"You donít have any cherries in there by any chance? I love cherries!" The bard reached over to search the sac. Her attempt failed as Xena moved it out of her way.
"Just be patient, let me see whatís in here." She peered into the sac. "Hmmm... ooh... whatís this? I believe itís... yes...by Zeus...cherries!" She pulled a handful of the stemmed beauties and cradled them in her palm. Gabrielle put her hand over to snare one.
Lightly slapping her wrist, Xena put forth her demands. "I donít think so. I bought them and Iím going to eat them. Now, Iíll be more than happy to share, but you canít touch."
"Well, just how am I supposed to eat them? I am not sticking my head in that bag. This is some silly game isnít it? Youíre paying me back for that Ďgolfí incident."
"You know, I hadnít thought about that, but now that youíve brought it up." She was rubbing her chin with her empty hand. "Tell you what, Iíll feed them to you. Ok?" Xena selected one of the orbs. Holding it by the stem, she lowered it to the bardís lips. Gabrielle lips slightly parted in anticipation of the delicious fruit. Her tongue moistened the entrance. She accepted the cherry and severed its attachment to the stem with her teeth. Xena was left with a naked stem between her fingers. She put the stem in her own mouth.
Gabrielle separated the cherryís flesh from the pit. The pulp went one way and the pit sailed from her lips into the water. She was looking at Xena with a puzzled expression. "Xena, what are you doing? You canít eat the stem. Well, I suppose you could, but I wouldnít."
The end of the stem made an appearance between Xenaís lips. The warrior slowly removed the little beauty. The bardís eyes widened. The stem had a perfect knot in the middle, and Xena had a very satisfied look on her face. She held it aloft eyeing it like prize. "See, Gabrielle, anyone can eat a cherry, but how many can do this?" She handed the gnarled stem to the bard.
"How did you do this? Itís a trick, right? No one can tie a knot in a cherry stem with just...uh... itís not possible. Címon, tell me how you did this? This is one of your Ďmany skillsí, right?"
Xena leaned close to the bardís ear and whispered, "Itís all in the tongue, my dear." She softly blew into the stunned womanís ear. "And yes, it is one of my skills. You want to try one?"
The bard sat up and took one of the cherries out of Xenaís palm. She ran the plump ball over Xenaís lips before allowing her to bite it free. The stem disappeared into Gabrielleís mouth. She began to furiously manipulate the object. Her face was taking on all sorts of poses. Xena sat back and popped another in her mouth. With the pit safely gone, she took the stem and once again pulled a knotted sliver out. Gabrielle was still working on hers. By the time Gabrielle retrieved her badly chewed stem, Xena had finished the handful. She had lined the knotted stems up like soldiers in the sandy ground.
Gabrielle was looking at her poor substitute for a knot. "Guess, I need more practice, huh?" She peered at Xenaís tightly knotted phalanx. "Seems like youíve certainly had plenty of experience. "
The warrior snickered. "Iíve had some, yes. Life prepares us for lots of things."
Gabrielle raised her brow at Xenaís response. "You mean like running into wayward cherry stems?"
"Of a sort." Xena was definitely enjoying this.
The bard pushed. "Well, Iím curious, just where would you use this... ah...skill?"
Xena was within inches of this beautiful woman. It was now or never. "I was hoping to share that particular secret with you, Gabrielle."
The bard was speechless, for once. " What? Share what with me?"
There was no stopping. "This Gabrielle." Xena leaned close and lightly touched her lips to the bardís own. It was electric. Both women felt the barely restrained fire in their souls. Gabrielle started to speak, but Xenaís fingers silenced her lips. "Shhh...donít say anything. If I donít get this out now, I never will. Just listen."
Gabrielle nodded and gave the palm of Xenaís hand a kiss, sending a shiver through the warrior.
"Iíve been giving this a lot of thought for a very long time. Iíve tried to not feel these things in my heart. I feared that you couldnít possibly feel the same about me. I was pretty sure about my own feelings but not so sure of yours. When we joined in the cavern to fight Valaska, there were no more questions. Why I kept a distance from you is beyond even me. I know itís a risk to change the direction of our relationship. There will be no going back to the way it was. But in many ways, we have already changed. I need you, Gabrielle. I am in love with you. "
There was a mist forming in the bardís eyes. She realized how hard it was for Xena to expose herself. She meant all that she said. Gabrielle reached over and ran her hand over the warriorís face. "Oh, Xena, you donít know how long Iíve waited to hear that. Iíve loved you, my warrior, for such a long time. I cannot imagine my life without you. I am yours, Xena, now and always. "
The embrace was one of passion and urgency. Their bodies were about to catch up with their minds.
Xena was running kisses down Gabrielleís neck, sending involuntary spasms jolting through her body. "Xena..." Her words were broken "... do you think you can show me... oh... gods...that... cherr...yesss...rie thing?"
"Hm-hum...anything you want." The warrior continued her sweet assault on the bardís neck, moving to her breasts. Xena slipped her fingers under the fabric of the top to tease her nipple.
"Oh...my.." Gabrielle pressed Xenaís hand tightly over her flesh. "...do you think we should go back to the...oh, yes right there...inn?"
"No, Gabrielle." Her fingers unlaced the front of the bardís top, freeing her firm mounds. The nipples were hard and erect.
The arch in Gabrielleís back announced a heightened level of excitement. "So, you have loved... yes... gods... me for a long...oh, please...time?"
"Yes, Gabrielle." Xenaís lips closed over her nipple and her hand played with the fine hairs on her abdomen.
A wave of gooseflesh ran over the bardís skin. "Why didnít you...please...tell me sooner...oh, sweet Athena..?"
"I donít know, Gabrielle." The warriorís tongue ran a torturous circle around the nipple, teeth nipping the tip.
Gabrielle pulled Xena into her hips moving against the warriors bare thigh, her undergarments wet with desire. Xena slid her hand under the waistband of her skirt and loosened it. Her fingers found the damp soft curls and slickness below it.
The bard took in a sharp intake of breath and held Xena tighter. "Youíre driving me crazy...please..."
"Please what, Gabrielle?"
"Please show me the secret...yesss...of the cherries...please...."
Xena moved down the bardís body with her tongue, Gabrielle completely surrendering. " You talk too much, Gabrielle." She buried her face in the bardís wetness.
Gabrielleís coherent speech was about to vanish. "And you...oh...gods...please now... think...too... muc... " The last was drowned by Gabrielle screaming Xenaís name along with an assortment of the gods.
Xena held her quietly until the aftershocks subsided. Yes, things were definitely going to be different. She posed a question to her lover. "I have to know one thing."
Gabrielle was limp as a tare in the wind. " Uh-huh...what?"
"You always going to try and have the last word?"
"Not always." She winked and pulled the warrior down on her.
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