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After the Bath

by Erato Bard

This story is about Xena life ten years ago when she met the mysterious Lao Ma. It takes place between the scene where Lao Ma is brushing Xena's hair, and the next shot where Xena is trying on clothes that Lao Ma has picked out for her. The story depicts a love/sexual relationship between two consenting adult women. If you are under 18 years of age or if this type of story is illegal in the state or country in which you live, please do not read it. If depictions of this nature disturb you, you may wish to read something other than this story.

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Skip the cheap and/or homophobic shots, I will delete those suckers promptly!


Xena looked around the chamber. All around her was soft light and gentle touches. Lao Ma was gently rinsing her hair as Xena rested her back against the smooth bath wall. Only moments ago, Lao Ma had pressed her lips against Xena's and breathed air into the fugitive's oxygen starved lungs. Xena had touched her cheek, anxiously trying to draw air from the beautiful courtesan. But more than that, Xena longed for a moment's connection with this woman, a woman she tried so deperately to hate, who she felt vastly inferior to.

Now she was naked in Lao Ma's bath, looking around the room, and at the courtesan, almost sheepishly, certainly confused by this kindness. So cool and crisp before in her ceremonial clothing, now Lao Ma was warm and soft, with her hair down around her shoulders. She had thrown Xena through the roof, now she was combing her hair with a soothing glide that hypnotized Xena and left her mind silent- except for one thing. Shame. Xena hugged the smooth blue robe tighter to herself, and again looked at Lao Ma.

'She can see into my soul' Xena thought to herself. It frightened her. If only Lao Ma saw the only Xena that Xena herself would face. Somehow she saw something that Xena thought was destroyed when M'Lila died. There was no place for that Xena anymore. That Xena had trusted Julius Caesar, let him touch her body, only to break it and her heart on a cross. That Xena had been weak and foolish, and when M'Lila had looked into Xena's eyes as she died, that Xena had died with her.

Xena remembered the strength she had felt as she let a darkness like Ares' blood stream into her soul, and she wondered where it was now. She had jumped up from her sick bed and killed all the soldiers who had come to take her. Beyond protection of her home, beyond duty, it was plain bloodlust, the enjoyment of the death rattles, the anticipation of all the kills to come. That dark rage had taken her east, and now far from home, that rage was burnt out. She was worn out, letting this mysterious woman care for her, too bewildered to plot how to use this for some strategic advantage. For the first time, all that was left was silence.

Lao Ma gently took Xena's shoulders and helped her to her feet. Again Xena was fascinated by the strength of this small woman. The crutch had been forgotten, somewhere between 'the hunting grounds' and Lao Ma's home. She didn't want to move, didn't want the courtesan to see her limping and awkward. Lao Ma smiled and put her arm around Xena's waist, her hand just below Xena's right breast. Xena closed her eyes with the contact. "Did I hurt you?" Lao Ma asked, looking at Xena with deep concern in her eyes. "Are your ribs injured?" she said, gently running her hand along Xena's side. A small sigh escaped Xena's lips, she could feel her knees giving out and Lao Ma tightened her grip. Xena quickly recovered and felt her face flush with embarrassment. "No I'm fine, just a little tired." she replied. Lao Ma looked at her silently for a moment, and quietly said "I will help you to your bed Xena, lean on my shoulder."

Lao Ma took her to a small candlelit room ajoining the chamber and helped her sit on the bed. "Lie down Xena, so I can examine your legs." Xena did as she was told and stared at the ceiling as Lao Ma ran her hand gently up and down Xena's legs. "You had a wonderful healer, he did a fine job at setting the bones. However, you have not let them properly rest and the muscles are still bruised and weak. I will rub them with some oil, then you must rest." Lao Ma left the room for a moment, and returned with a small vial in her hand. Pouring a smooth dark liquid onto her hands, she rubbed it into Xena's shins and calves until they were warm and relaxed. "That's all I can do for now" she said as she drew her hands away from Xena. After gently placing the blanket over Xena, she started to rise. Seeing the desperation in Xena's eyes, she stopped, touched Xena's cheek and looked into her eyes questioningly.

'She loves me' Xena thought, 'why does she love me?' Tears came from her eyes as she leaned into the healing hand which then caressed her face and wiped her tears. That only broke the dam, and the tears were soon a flood that poured from Xena's trembling body. Lao Ma climbed onto the bed beside her, and pulled Xena onto her. Xena felt herself go limp in the courtesan's arms as she cried onto the sympathetic shoulder. She felt Lao Ma kissing her head, rubbing her arm, shoulder and back, and heard the woman whispering reassuring words in her ear. Soon everything was still again. Xena laid there quietly, spent from her tears, Lao Ma was gently stroking her back. Xena's legs were intertwined with the smaller woman's, her hand resting on Lao Ma's stomach.

After a few minutes, Lao Ma gently pushed Xena's shoulder until she was again lying on her back. Xena felt her heart sink as the exquisite contact was broken; she was alone again. Lao Ma looked down at her, studying her face. "How long has it been since someone has touched you Xena?" she asked calmly. Xena looked away and scowled, thinking of her and Borias's last moment of passion before his henchman knocked her out. "I don't just mean your body Xena, I mean your soul." Xena's eyes shot up to hers and the two women silently looked into each other's eyes.

"You've touched me..." Xena replied "that's all I can think of right now." Lao Ma smiled down at Xena and lifted her hand. She began to stroke Xena's hair, then her face, and finally her lips. Xena was paralysed, how could a woman move her like this, how could she long to be even closer to this woman?

Lao Ma gently lowered her face pausing to search Xena's eyes. There she saw desire and longing looking back at her. She pressed her lips to Xena's and felt them shudder beneath hers. She briefly thought of pulling back, but immediately understood that while Xena was too afraid to respond, she was not pushing her away. After a moment the courtesan carefully touched Xena's lips with her tongue, very tentatively so she would not frighten the warrior. She felt Xena pause, then those lips opened and she glided her tongue inside Xena's mouth. Gently she thrust her tongue in and out, probing and searching.

Xena began to breath faster, her mind was racing, her heart pounding. Her eyes opened and wildly searched the room. What was happening to her? She was loosing herself in a woman's kisses? She lifted her hand to push Lao Ma off, but suddenly she felt a hand touching her breast. Again she stopped in wonder, her eyes rolling back as she groaned with pleasure.

Soon she felt hands reaching for the belt of her robe. Not breaking contact for a moment, Lao Ma continued to kiss her as the robe was pulled open. She could felt Lao Ma's silky gown on her body now, warm breath as the courtesan kissed her neck and two feather soft hands carressing her breasts. She couldn't look at the woman, she was so overwhelmed by what was happening to her, and her body. Finally Lao Ma stopped and pulled back, kneeling next to Xena, again studying her face. "Do you know what you want Xena?" she asked. "Yes" Xena responded. "Then show me" Xena sat up and looked at Lao Ma. She was at the crossroads, she could try and take control, play it rough and fast, or she could let herself go and simply trust this woman. She paused and slowly reached for the belt on Lao Ma's robe. Opening it, she slide the cloth off the woman's shoulders and arms. She put her hand on the back of Lao Ma's neck and slowly drew the woman to her. As they kissed again, Lao Ma pushed her back onto the bed and laid down on top of her. Xena had made her choice.

Moving her head from side to side, Xena moaned as Lao Ma placed feathery kisses on her eyes, cheek and then her neck. Lao Ma's legs again were intertwined with Xena's and she slowly began to push her hips against Xena's. Soon Lao Ma began stroking Xena's nipples and thrusting her tongue in and out of Xena's mouth in unison with their bodies. Just when Xena thought things could not be more intense, two fingers slide inside her and joined the rhythm. Her head snapped to the side as she muffled yet another groan. "Do you trust me Xena?" Lao Ma asked, breathing heavily, while thrusting and carressing the warrior's body. "Yes" Xena replied without hesitation. Lao Ma began kissing her breasts, then her stomach, moving lower as Xena gripped the bed expectantly. Suddenly she felt hands parting her legs even farther, there was a pause and then the feeling of Lao Ma's tongue softly carressing her clit. Again tears filled Xena's eyes, and she leaned her head back, overwhelmed by the initimate gesture. The carresses became firmer and faster, and again two fingers slipped inside her, this time stroking the high smooth spot that make Xena push her face into the pillow to muffle her cries. "Look at me Xena" Lao Ma whispered. Xena turned her head back, her moans building again when she saw the courtesan's face. Lao Ma continued to stroke Xena deep inside. "Don't hide your pleasure from me Xena. No one will hear you but me, I promise" As the courtesan replaced her tongue, Xena felt herself go over and over, her cries and moans ringing in her ears. It seemed to go on forever.

In the morning sun, Xena laid there studying Lao Ma's face. Even in sleep, the woman was an enigma, so peaceful, and yet there was some great knowledge lying below that calm surface. As the courtesan opened her eyes, Xena felt an incredible stirring of love, and of something else, and she hastily grabbed the woman's hand, kissing her palm and wrist. Lao Ma smiled. "We have to get up Xena, we have to find a way to hide you" Xena looked at her and thought to herself that she couldn't imagine needing to hide anywhere but in this woman's arms. As if reading her thoughts, Lao Ma shook her head "They will be back, and next time, they will tear this place apart until they find you. We must act before that can happen" Standing up and slipping on her robe, she held out her hand to Xena. "Come with me."

Xena's clothes were rags, covered with mud and blood from her escape from the dogs. Lao Ma had thrown them out the night before, knowing they would bring back painful memories to Xena. "You are tall, but I think I can find you something" she said as she painted Xena's face with her own makeup. In awhile, Xena was dressed in a fine robe, and Lao Ma was slipping her hairpin back into her hair to hold it into place. 'She kept it, even though I tried to kill her' Xena thought, her shame growing again 'she always knew.'

Again Xena felt lost and confused, awkward with her new clothes and her new desires. Finally she turned to the courtesan grabbing Lao Ma's hands, " I owe you my life, I would die for you Lao Ma..." she whispered fiercely to the woman. "...and I would kill for you." Lao Ma looked at her quietly and Xena looked down, feeling awkward again. 'I just can't seem to get it right!' she thought. In a soft voice she added, "I know you think I have some special destiny, and I'll try not to let you down, but even if I do fail you, I need you to know that wherever I go, I promise I will come back if you need me." Lao Ma took Xena's face in her hands and kissed her. Then she looked at the warrior with a saddness that broke Xena's heart. "Maybe someday you will regret that promise." was all she replied.

The End