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Water and Fire
by Tim Wellman
WARNING! This story is Alternative Fiction and contains scenes of an
adult nature (two fictional characters exploring their sexuality). You
must be at least 18 years old to read this.
"Xena, it's so beautiful, here." Gabrielle looked around the site
they had picked for their camp. "The trees, the clear stream..." She
breathed in the air, so different from the dust of the road they had
traveled. The sun cast long shadows across the clearing, and as she
walked around, the light caused her hair to shine, as if she were a
goddess, walking among her minions.
Xena could only watch her in silence, afraid, if she spoke, her
voice would wake the dream. She took a deep breath and smiled. She had
to admit, it was beautiful.
"I would love to stay here, forever." Gabrielle wrapped her arms
around herself and spun around. She looked at Xena and noticed there
was a tear rolling down her cheek. "Xena, what's wrong?" She walked to
Xena and touched her arm.
Xena smiled. "You know, there are tears of joy, too." Her eyes
never moved from Gabrielle's. Gabrielle dropped her stare, then looked
back and smiled. "But, enjoy the dream while you can, tomorrow we have
to go." Xena said the words as much for herself as Gabrielle.
"We should do something, so we'll always remember this place." She
looked around, forgot the words, and went back to exploring the camp.
Xena smiled again, and looked at the ground. She marveled at
Gabrielle's energy and innocence, and thought about her own... once
forgotten, but slowly being renewed by Gabrielle's companionship.
Xena shivered from a cool breeze, and prepared to build a fire.
She picked up a limb and tossed it into the middle of the clearing, then
found another. She tried to clear her thoughts, and act the part of a
warrior, again. "Gabrielle, you think you can help?"
Gabrielle looked up from studying a flower. "What?"
"We need to have a fire. Help."
Gabrielle joined Xena in gathering wood, and soon Xena had a small
fire burning. They both stood close for a moment, holding their hands
toward the flame. "Don't you think it's too early yet to start a fire?
I mean, it's not even getting cool, yet."
"Gabrielle, the first thing a warrior does is build a fire." Xena
looked at Gabrielle and smiled.
"Oh, yea, right." She bumped her shoulder into Xena's. "More
wisdom from the warrior princess." She turned her head to meet Xena's
eyes, then they both laughed. "Come on, let's sit by the water."
Gabrielle started walking toward the stream, but Xena didn't move. She
looked back. "Are you coming?"
Xena smiled and looked away, then back to Gabrielle. She walked
toward Gabrielle, and together they sat down on the bank. They were
both silent for a few moments, looking over the water as the fading sun
caused it to glow bright red. "What do you think of when you see a
The question surprised Xena. She thought in silence, then shook
her head. "The river Styx, I guess." She dropped her eyes to the
water's edge. "I've sent so many people across it." She knew it was
not the kind of answer Gabrielle was looking for, but it was not easy
for her to say words which she would like.
Gabrielle smiled. "I see a woman... the surface hides the turmoil
and darkness, but it also hides her heart." She turned to Xena, trying
to tell her she was the woman. But as she turned to face her, she could
see that Xena understood. She felt like telling her anyway, but let the
"Gabrielle, you imagine me much more interesting than I am." She
took a deep breath and looked out over the water. "My heart?" She
looked at Gabrielle and smiled. "I'd forgotten I had a heart till you
came along. It was buried so deeply in the darkness." She quickly lost
her nerve and dropped her stare in silence.
Gabrielle smiled, sensing the nervousness in Xena's voice.
"Xena..." She searched for the words she wanted to say, but settled for
the ones she felt she had to say. "Thanks... for everything."
Xena looked at Gabrielle and tried not to laugh. She nodded her
head and bit her bottom lip, but she could hold it no longer. "That was
the silliest remark I've ever heard." Gabrielle started laughing with
her. "I search for just the right words to say to you, and you say,
'Thanks for everything'?" She pushed Gabrielle's arm with her own.
"Why not just say, 'Have a nice day'."
"Well, what did you want me to say?" Gabrielle raised her eyebrows
and stared at Xena.
Xena's laugh became a smile. She dropped her head and looked up at
Gabrielle. "Say what you want to say."
Gabrielle smiled, knowing it would be impossible, and tried to
stand, but she lost her balance. She started to fall into the stream,
but Xena grabbed her arm and pulled her back. "Gez, now what I want to
say, is 'Don't let go'!"
She pulled Gabrielle back to her feet and released her grip. "It's
all in the training..." Before she could finish the sentence, the sandy
ground beneath her feet gave way, and she fell straight into the
stream. "Damn!" She sat for a moment in the knee-deep water, then
smacked her hand on the surface.
"If you find your heart in there someplace, bring it out, will
you?" Gabrielle could hardly control her laugher. She had to walk away
and allow Xena to get herself out of the water. As she walked back into
the camp, she thought about how close she had come to saying something
she would've regretted... something Xena would have hated her for. She
She leaned against a tree, getting her senses back, as Xena sloshed
up behind her. "Gabrielle, this is not funny." Xena was trying to hold
back her own laugher. "This is water-soaked leather... I feel like I'm
Gabrielle turned to Xena, trying to stop laughing, and as she
looked at her wet armor and wet hair, she suddenly felt sorry for her.
"Oh, Xena." She still smiled. "I'm sorry. You look so pitiful."
"Believe me, Gabrielle, I feel just like I look." She undid her
wrist armor and threw it on the ground, then looked up and started to
Gabrielle put her arm around her and led her back to the fire,
which lit the camp with more light, now, than the sun. She took her
blanket and put it around Xena's shoulders, then took the end and tried
to dry her hair. "I didn't mean to laugh."
Xena turned to face Gabrielle, still smiling faintly. "Yea, well I
guess I needed the bath, anyway." She looked down at her body. "But my
"Xena, you're going to have to take everything off. You'll catch
your death of cold." Gabrielle took the blanket and laid it on the
ground. Her throat was dry, partly from laughing and partly from fear
of doing or saying something that would drive a wedge between Xena and
her. "Sit down, and I'll pull your boots off."
Xena looked at Gabrielle. "I'll be OK." She tried to squeeze some
of the water from her leather armor. "I think I may have a fish in
there." She pulled her top out and looked down.
"Sit." Gabrielle nearly forced Xena to the ground. Xena stretched
out her legs and Gabrielle sat down on the ground and started removing
her boots. The smell of wet leather was oddly appealing, only because
it smelled like Xena on the rare occasions when they had been close.
"You can wrap a blanket around you till morning. Your armor should be
dry by then." One boot slid off in her hand. Gabrielle looked at the
rare sight of Xena's naked leg, and allowed herself a small fantasy, but
when she looked up and saw Xena looking at her, she quickly dropped the
thought. She pulled off the other boot. "Now, take the rest off."
"Gabrielle, a warrior without her armor is..." This time, the
words escaped her. "I'm usually much more clever than this."
She rubbed Xena's feet and toes, trying to bring back some warmth.
"Is that better?" She looked up at Xena, who nodded. She couldn't keep
herself from one last touch before standing.
Xena turned so her feet were near the fire, and wiggled her toes.
"Gabrielle, I've been wet before. I'll survive."
Gabrielle didn't seem to hear her. "OK, now the armor." She
walked around Xena and knelt down. She removed her sword and the metal
armor, then reached around Xena's waist, undoing her belt. She paused
again, breathing in the fragrance of Xena's damp hair. She thought of a
thousand things to say, of a thousand stories. She started to raise her
hands up to Xena's breasts.
"Gabrielle, stop!" Xena jumped up and stepped away. Gabrielle had
gotten too close, and Xena didn't know how to fight this time. She
looked into her eyes, finding a calm surface like the water; if
Gabrielle got any closer, Xena was afraid she would fall in again.
Gabrielle, at first shocked with herself, and nearly crying,
started to explain that it was all a mistake, but then she noticed
something in Xena's eyes. Perhaps what she had done was not so
unwelcome. She stepped closer. "I know the answer."
"What are you talking about?"
"A warrior without her armor is... a woman." Gabrielle touched
Xena's face and smiled. "So, what are you afraid I'll see?"
Xena looked down and took a deep breath. She looked back at
Gabrielle, gathering her strength. "I'm afraid you'll no longer see
your warrior princess."
Gabrielle felt a tear fall to her cheek. "Xena, you'll always be
Xena smiled and slowly stepped toward Gabrielle... she had heard
the words she needed to hear. She searched her eyes and realized she
had already fallen in. She lifted her arms in the air and allowed
Gabrielle to loosen her armor and pull it down to her waist. Xena
turned around, then Gabrielle picked up the blanket and began to dry
Xena's back. Xena still stood, silently, holding up her arms.
Gabrielle ran the blanket under Xena's arms and then hesitated.
"Go ahead." Xena spoke in a low voice, afraid, if she spoke
louder, that Gabrielle would hear the quiver, but she had never wanted
anything more than to feel the hand's of her friend exploring her body.
Gabrielle then reached around her body and rubbed the blanket over
Xena's breasts, losing courage for a moment. She closed her eyes, and
buried her face in Xena's hair, slowly closing her grip, feeling Xena's
breasts beneath the cloth. Xena dropped her hands and cupped them over
Gabrielle's. They seemed to breathe together.
She turned around and took the blanket from Gabrielle's hands, then
stepped back and dropped it on the ground.
Gabrielle suddenly felt awkward, and she was losing her bravery.
She had never seen Xena so vulnerable; she had to fight to keep from
running to her arms and cradling her like a child. She swallowed to get
the lump from her throat, but it only made it worse. She looked at the
ground, then felt Xena's hand on her chin, lifting her gaze back to her
sea-blue eyes. "Xena...." She smiled and touched Xena's hair. "I
don't know if I can...."
Xena reached for Gabrielle's hand, kissed it, then held it against
her breast. She saw Gabrielle's eyes close, and suddenly her legs felt
weak. "So long.... For so long I've looked at your face and
Gabrielle opened her eyes and another tear rolled down her cheek.
"My sweet warrior... do you know how my heart leaps every time you touch
me?" Gabrielle gathered her strength and slowly found Xena's mouth with
her own, softly, at first, satisfied just to feel the warmth of Xena's
skin against her own. But when she tasted the sweet warmth of Xena's
lips, she became more eager. As Xena opened her mouth, Gabrielle felt
her breath on her face, and opened her mouth to capture the precious
sigh. And as their lips touched again, she fell into Xena's arms,
unable and unwilling to allow another moment to pass without exploring
the body she had touched a thousand times, but never known. She moved
her hand to Xena's back and slid her armor the rest of the way over her
hips and allowed it to drop to the ground.
Xena stepped out of the leather and pushed herself away from
Gabrielle's grip. She raised her eyebrow and smiled. The firelight
made her naked body shimmer in the shadows of the cool evening... a
shiver went through her body, but she was unsure if it was from the
cold, or from anticipation. She looked into Gabrielle's eyes, and saw
the reflection, not of a warrior, but of a woman who had lost all will
to fight. She was ready to drown. She dropped to her knees and placed
her hands on Gabrielle's thighs, then ran them up her legs and under her
skirt... she found the thin cloth and slowly slid it down her legs, then
moved her hands back up, lifting Gabrielle's skirt.
Gabrielle tilted her head back, then reached out for Xena's head,
and from instinct alone, pulled her face to her body. She gripped her
hands in Xena's hair as she felt her mouth, finding, finally, the gift
she had waited for so long to give her. "Xena..." Her voice was barely
above a whisper... the name said only for her own ears to hear... a
confirmation of the dream, fulfilled. She looked at the stars,
imagining everyone shone just for them, tonight... the whole world had
stopped for this moment. And as she felt Xena's tongue, the stars
splintered into a thousand shards of brightly colored glass, falling
through the heavens... she closed her eyes and melted in Xena's
mouth.... She opened her eyes and looked at Xena, then bent down and
lifted her head, and as their eyes met, Gabrielle fell to her knees and
kissed Xena's glistening face and lips. Then, pushing her backward till
Xena was arched on her hands and knees, Gabrielle bent over her and
kissed her breasts, then her navel, finally resting her mouth between
her legs. She couldn't control herself... the smell, the taste of her
friend overpowered all her senses. She wrapped her hands around Xena's
body and lost herself in the poetry of the battle. Glancing upward, she
caught Xena's stare with her own. She watched as her eyes widened and
her body began to anticipate every move. She heard the rhythm of Xena's
breath quicken; she felt her body stiffen, then soften in her hands...
finally, the battle decided... the warrior, conquered... the moment
As the morning sun woke Xena from the night, she saw Gabrielle
squatting by the dying fire. She felt her body, half thinking she would
still be dressed, as if the night before had been a beautiful dream.
Gabrielle heard her wake, and turned to her and smiled. "You're
armor is dry. Boots are going to be a little squishy, though." She
grabbed the leather from the ground and took it to Xena.
Xena smiled and stretched her arms into the sky. Then, keeping the
blanket over her body, she stuffed herself back into the familiarity of
her armor. "That's better." She stood up, and walked to the fire, then
bent down to absorb the little heat that was left. She sat down next to
her boots and began to pull them on.
"Xena, do you think we could stay here one more day?" Gabrielle
smiled and looked around. "It's just so beautiful."
"And so are you, Gabrielle." Xena looked up at her and smiled.
"So are you."
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