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This vignette is sort of the backstage version of the events in "A Day in the Life," one of my all-time favorite Xena eps. There *had* to be a good reason for why Xena and Gabrielle were so twitchy with each other all day. :-) This story assumes erotic desire between two women, so if that sort of thing isn't your cup of tea, don't drink it. It's rated R. The characters and some of the situations described are the property and creations of MCA/Universal and Renaissance Pictures. I'm just taking them out to play with for a while, but I promise I'll put them right back when I'm done. No infringement of copyright is intended, and I'm certainly not making a financial profit. Please check with me before archiving or distributing.

A Day (and Two Nights) in the Life

by atara

Copyright (c) 1998

It had been a frustrating night all around. Xena and Gabrielle had been sitting by their campfire, talking and joking and sharing a skin full of wine. Gabrielle had occasionally laid her hand lightly on Xena's thigh, and Xena, her blood starting to flame dangerously in her veins, had offered Gabrielle a massage. The wine overcame her usual cautions about touching Gabrielle too much, and she had massaged Gabrielle's shoulders slowly and sensuously, her strong thumbs rendering knotted muscles into compliant mush. Gabrielle had been elated, a flush rising to her cheeks, hoping against hope that this was not simply a therapeutic massage. After firmly rubbing the base of her friend's skull, Xena began drawing light circles on the back of Gabrielle's neck.

"Oh yes," sighed Gabrielle. "That feels so good." She took another swig of wine, as Xena's fingers began drifting down her arms, stroking them lightly and maddeningly.

Her head beginning to swim slightly, Xena revelled in the feel of the smooth flesh beneath her fingers, cooled by the night air. Her fingers were tingling with desire, as she urgently wanted to shift her attention to Gabrielle's breasts. A knot of anxiety suddenly twisted in Xena's stomach. This was wrong. Gabrielle was probably still in mourning for Perdicus, the thought of whom inevitably spent spasms of guilt through Xena. They were both slightly drunk, but Xena knew it would be inappropriate for her to take advantage of her friend. *Some friend I am* thought Xena. *Exercise a little self-control, girl.*

She moved her hands back up to Gabrielle's shoulders, giving them another quick massage. Then she yawned deliberately, as a prelude to saying, "Well, we'd better get some sleep."

*Huh?!* thought Gabrielle. *What gives? One minute she's making a pass at me, and the next she wants to sleep!* "Sleep?" asked Gabrielle flatly, the irritation evident in the edge in her voice.

"Sleep," agreed Xena firmly, thinking, *Maybe she *does* want this. No, down girl. The last thing Gabrielle needs is *that* kind of relationship with *you*.*

"Sleep," repeated Gabrielle, thinking *What-*ev*-er . . . .* She pointedly moved her blanket a distance from Xena's. Both took a long time falling asleep, Gabrielle confused by Xena's mixed signals, and Xena confused about whether she'd done the right thing.

The next morning allowed no time for talking. Xena was awakened by a sword pointing at her throat. She clapped her hands onto it, and leapt into battle with a group of armed warriors. Snatching the nearest weapons that came to hand, she began battering her enemies with cookware, pouring all her sexual frustration into a thorough enjoyment of the fight. She had to wake Gabrielle quick, and leapt onto the water skin, spraying Gabrielle's face, grinning and winking broadly as she wielded her culinary weapons. Once the battle, as much as it was one, was over, Gabrielle boiled over in fury at Xena's ruining of their only frying pan. She was still angry about last night, and slightly hungover. Her angry retort, "Can we *cook* with your juices?" was as much a reference to her own frustration as it was to the frying pan.

Their frustration spilled over all day into irritation with one another, an irritation they tried to veil under pointed teasing. It didn't work very well. Gabrielle channeled her feelings into an intense competitiveness with Xena, trying to surprise her with a whack of her staff and burning to win their usual guessing game with which they passed the time. Xena responded with her own feeling of competitiveness. When Gabrielle insisted, "I got *this* close," Xena turned and purred in a devastatingly biting tone, "You got this close because I *let* you get this close." That voice of Xena's sent an irresistable thrill to Gabrielle's groin, which frustrated her more than ever. When Xena yanked on her bodice to pull her away from the misleading direction sign she had made, she fumed even more. Xena had a childish desire to get back at Gabrielle for leaving her frustrated, even as she knew it wasn't Gabrielle's fault, surreptitiously tearing off a piece of her prized scrolls to use for some personal business and deliberately throwing raw fish at her, right out of the stream.

Gabrielle later got her revenge by trading Xena's whip for a frying pan.

The temptation of a hot bath was too much to resist however. Xena and Gabrielle had bathed together before, but hot water was a rare lurxury.

Xena remained firmly businesslike, though, as they washed each other's hair. The feel of the sponge being stroked down her back, as she sat naked between Gabrielle's thighs was a delicious frustration. She longed for Gabrielle's hands to slide around her and cup her slippery breasts. It was not to be. When it was her turn to help wash her friend, she scrubbed at her ears roughly, trying to treat Gabrielle as a difficult child, not the object of her raging desire, a desire the hot water only exacerbated. She wished she could pull Gabrielle back, so she was pressed against her aching groin, and desperately wanted to slide her hands all over Gabrielle's wet skin, roaming around her breasts and exploring the topography of Gabrielle's lower body.

Gabrielle had also found the bath equally excruciating, as pressure mounted between her legs, a pressure she hoped Xena was also feeling.

The interruptions by Minya, the problem of the giant, and the annoyance of Hower's crush on Xena all served to force desire into the background. Still frustrated, Gabrielle continued her efforts to get Xena with her staff, just one good whack to release tension, and just as tenaciously Xena thwarted her.

It was a long day. Gabrielle finally got in her whack, right to Xena's nose, as they settled down for the night, and just as irritatingly had leaned over and kissed Xena on the cheek. "Hey!" snapped Xena grumpily and insisted they go to sleep. Gabrielle smiled to herself. Even while arguing that Xena had let her hit her because she felt sorry for her, she knew that light kiss would be sufficient revenge to make up for her frustration the night before. It turned out to be a long night as well.

The End--I'll leave it up to your imaginations what did or didn't happen next . . .