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Xena: Warrior Princess, Gabrielle, Argo and all other characters who have appeared in the syndicated series Xena: Warrior Princess, together with the names, titles and backstory are the sole copyright property of MCA/Universal Renaissance Pictures. No copyright infringement was intended in the writing of this fan fiction. All other characters, the story idea and the story itself are the sole property of the author. This story cannot be sold or used for profit in any way. Copies of this story may be made for private use only and must include all disclaimers and copyright notices.
NOTE: All works remain the copyright of the original author. These may not be republished without the author's consent.
This story depicts a love/sexual relationship between two consenting adult women. If you are under 18 ears of age or if this type of story is illegal in the state or country you live, please do not read it. If depictions of this nature disturb you, you may wish to read something other than this story.
THE JOURNEY HOME
The warrior woman stood staring down at the fur wrapped bundle at her feet. Behind her a campfire crackled, spitting small sparks of glowing ash up into the cool night air. Xena, the warrior woman, knelt down beside her little friend Gabrielle's sleeping form and carefully removed a twig that had become entwined in her soft honey colored hair. Gabrielle gently stirred but did not wake. The clearing the travelers had chosen for the night was bathed in the soft silvery glow of a full moon, and in that light, Xena was clearly able to see the face of the one she held so dear. It had been many years since she had saved Gabrielle and the other villagers of Poteidaia from the evil warlord who sought to enslave them. Gabrielle fought bravely, but she was no match for the invaders who tried to destroy her home. Xena smiled down at her companion as she remembered how Gabrielle tried to save the others by offering herself. Gently, so as not to wake her, Xena freed a strand of hair that had become trapped in Gabrielle's eyelash. The little lady had spunk. Xena had admired that from the very beginning.
The flickering firelight played across the soft features of her companion's face. It had a mesmerizing effect on the warrior and soon she found herself unable to resist the urge to slowly trail the back of her hand down the side of young woman's face. She marveled at it softness. Gabrielle's lips were slightly parted and Xena took the chance and ran a loving finger over first,
the top, then bottom lip and then back again. Once again Gabrielle stirred. Xena held her breath as she quickly retrieved her hand. How would she explain herself to Gabrielle should her loving ministrations be the cause of rousing her sleeping companion? Gabrielle finally settled but in the process, knocked the furs aside. She was now lying on her side facing the campfire and consequently, Xena.
With the practiced stealth of a seasoned hunter, Xena began to rise, but as she did so, a log shifted position in the fire, causing sparks to fly out everywhere. One of the sparks hit Gabrielle in the chest, waking her instantly. She let out a noise that sounded like a screeching owl and sprang up. She seemed as startled to see someone staring down at her as she had been when hit by the wayward ember. She repeated the screeching noise and hopped to her knees instinctively reaching for her staff. Xena quickly slapped a foot down on the staff and shouted to Gabrielle not to panic, it was only her. Gabrielle looked up at the warrior woman, rubbed her sleepy eyes and attempted to focus. Xena quickly retreated to her side of the fire.
Xena prayed Gabrielle would think it was her attempt to keep the fire going that had her positioned where she was when Gabrielle awoke. Xena quickly threw a few more logs on the fire to add to the illusion and then sheepishly grinned at Gabrielle before she sat down. Gabrielle seemed to accept what her eyes were telling her, and she fumbled to retrieve the furs. Sleepily she smiled at Xena, pulled up the covers and resettled into position. This time her back was to the fire. It appeared her nocturnal visitation had gone undetected. Xena let out an audible sigh of relief. She had not been found out.
Gabrielle heard Xena's sigh. This was the third time in as many nights she had awoken to find Xena staring at her. She had felt the warrior's gentle touch on her cheek and Xena’s rough fingers as they etched themselves gently across her lips. That motion tickled and it took everything in her not to laugh or, at the very least, smile. All those years of feigning sleep at home when Lilla wanted to talk all night had finally come in handy. Gabrielle could fake sleep better than anybody. Xena was still being fooled. Gabrielle had to continue the trickery by reacting as she did with the staff. Not to do so would have alerted Xena to the fact that Gabrielle knew of Xena's bedside vigil all along. Xena was much too smart not to have noticed. Gabrielle had to continue the facade. Xena needed to be protected, but from what, Gabrielle mused. She drifted off to sleep wondering what it was that troubled the tall woman so much.
Xena stared across the campfire at her companion. Even in the quiet repose of sleep, she could still hear Gabrielle chattering away. The little woman had been unusually talkative all day due to her growing excitement about returning home. Home, that place Xena could never go. It was as lost to her as her dear brother's company and missed nearly as much. Her last trip back had been a disaster, and she left vowing never to return. The difference of opinion regarding her retaliation against those who sought to destroy her village and her subsequent attraction to the dark, evil ways of her own warlord lifestyle left her at odds with her village and most especially her mother, Cyrene. Xena will never forget the cold, angry eyes of her mother when she threw Xena out of the house and told her never to return. Previously she had only viewed eyes filled with that much anger poised at the end of an opponent's sword. Her mother's eyes burned two cold holes right through the core of what was left of her soul that day, and the pain was still very much with her. Xena clenched a fist in anger and swore under her breath. No, there was no home for Xena: Warrior Princess anymore. Home was becoming nothing more than a sad, fading memory. As it faded, it left a longing Xena knew would haunt her until she had breathed her last. She steeled herself against the flood of emotions that inevitably came with thoughts of home and then turned her attention back to the sleeping Gabrielle.
There was a frosty coolness in the air that added an edge to Xena's brittle mood. She tugged her furs tighter around her body and suppressed a yawn. She checked the position of her chakram and sword and then laid her head back against a poplar tree. The stars lost their brilliance in the light of a full moon, but Xena knew they were still there. Gabrielle once told her that wishing on the first one you see at night was suppose to bring good luck. She scoffed at Gabrielle for keeping such things as truth, but tonight it didn't seem like such a bad idea. Xena searched the dark sky that edged the light of the moon and located one. Xena wondered if you were suppose to close your eyes but decided it made more sense to keep them open. A chuckled escaped her lips as she contemplated what she was about to do. She glanced over once at Gabrielle and then back to the star.
She thought of the trip they were making back to Gabrielle's hometown. The village of Poteidaia was throwing a celebration to honor the twenty-fifth year of marriage for Gabrielle's parents, and Xena had agreed to accompany Gabrielle on her journey back home. This would be the first meeting Xena would have with Gabrielle's family since leaving Poteidaia all those many years ago. Her parents had been glad to see Xena leave back then, and she was worried how her return would affect them now. Gabrielle had tried to reassure Xena that there was no need for concern, but Xena knew better. Her parents had every reason to fear Xena. She had not been good for Gabrielle, but Gabrielle had been so very good for her. Xena had more of the brighter days and less of the dark since the gabby bard took up permanent residence at her side.
The warlord lifestyle was behind Xena now, but trouble still seemed to find her. It was this trouble, always aimed at the destruction of Xena, that seemed to constantly complicate Gabrielle's young life. Would the world ever give her the space she needed and wanted to live her new life? She doubted it. Forgiveness had come to some, forgetting to no one, most especially her own mother. Xena knew her trip to home was never to be. Her dark, evil past saw to that. The name of "Xena" would always cause a stir here, in Poteidaia and at home in Amphipolis. It was the disturbance she threatened to cause in Poteidaia that concerned her right now. Gabrielle was blindly forgiving of the dark Xena, but Xena knew Gabrielle's parents would never condone herbehavior. She knew a great deal about simple villagers like Gabrielle's parents. They were just like the people she used to terrorize. Many a bloody day she stared into the panic stricken faces of these simple peasants and relished in the fear her presence had put in their eyes. She laughed at their pathetic attempts to save themselves and their homes. They were no match for her or her army. No, Xena knew this journey was not going to be an easy one. But she made a promise to Gabrielle and she owed her so much, there was no way she could not make this trip. Xena felt bad for the trouble she was going to put Gabrielle through. Xena did not want to put her dear Gabrielle in a position of having to make a choice between her and her parents. Xena would never let that happen. As hard as it would be, she would leave Gabrielle for good. It was because she was so lost in thought about what her life was all about, that she failed to notice Gabrielle was wide-awake and staring at her.
"What did you wish for Xena?" Gabrielle asked, propping herself up on one elbow and staring across the fading firelight at her companion. Xena looked through the waves of heat rising from the fire and thought she had never seen the young woman look as beautiful as she did at that very moment. She felt herself flush with excitement as she noticed Gabrielle's furs had fallen backexposing the swell of her right breast as it crested over the top of her tunic. Looking away, Xena made a show of fumbling with the furs and locating her sword. Then all at once, she was still and unmoving.
Gabrielle thought she saw a glint of moisture in the corner of Xena's eye. Crying was something Xena never did, and Gabrielle strained to get a closer look.
"Xena what's wrong?" Gabrielle asked as she started to rise.
Her action snapped the warrior out of her reverie and brought an embarrassed smile to the dark-haired woman's face. Gabrielle continued to rise and make her way over to where Xena sat, but just as she stood, Xena jumped up and said she needed to check on Argo. Gabrielle watched her stalk off in the direction of where they had left the horse.
For a moment Gabrielle sat just staring at the place where Xena had disappeared into brush. She had seen the warrior many times anxious and angry, but this, this was somehow different. The events of the previous few days played through her head, and Gabrielle was unable to discern what could be troubling her blue-eyed friend. They had passed through a village yesterday afternoon and for a time they had become separated. When Gabrielle caught up with Xena, she found her helping an old woman pick up a variety of clay pots and baskets from the dirt in front of her home. Gabrielle had seen this before. There had obviously been a fight, and Xena was once again victorious. At least that is what she thought had happened. The truth was the shelves were of a faulty design and the wind had brought them all tumbling down. The old woman was upset, and Xena was trying to get everything up and out of the dirt at the same time trying she was trying to calm the poor woman. Gabrielle stood in the shadows of a larger home and watched Xena as she gently held the woman and dried her tears. This was a Xena very few, including Gabrielle, had ever seen.
So as not to embarrass Xena, Gabrielle backed up down the street and started towards her loudly calling out her name. Xena immediately let go of the old woman and started grabbing up pots and baskets. Before they left Xena rebuilt the shelves and also repaired a hole in the roof of the woman's home. She had also instructed Gabrielle to fill all of the indoor casks with water and then sent her to the dry goods merchant with the few dinars she had left to buy some bread, cheese and wine for the woman. When Gabrielle returned with the supplies, having much more than Xena had expected her to get due to her shrewd bargaining abilities, the woman insisted Xena and Gabrielle stay for dinner. Xena politely declined, and said they had to get going. The woman motioned Xena down, for she was a very old and stooped from old age, with a crooked wrinkled finger. Upon bending closer, Xena was rewarded with a kiss on the cheek and a pat on the arm. The woman whispered something in Xena's ear. Gabrielle could not hear what it was the woman said, but it brought a smile to Xena's face. Gabrielle had tried to get up the nerve all day to ask Xena what is was the old woman had said, but she finally decided if Xena wanted
to share it with her she would. The fact that she elected not to irritated Gabrielle just a bit. But she knew Xena kept a great deal locked up inside her and getting anything out of her of a personal nature was very difficult, if not impossible. She would have to wait.
Argo was still standing right where Xena had left her the night before. The horse nodded a good morning as her master approached. Argo took a few anxious swipes at the dirt with her right front hoof and flicked her tail back and forth. Xena nuzzled the horse's neck and patted her snout. The horse butted up against her in deep appreciation for all the attention. Words seldom needed to be spoken between these two, but this morning Xena needed to speak what was on her mind. Sensing her master's distress, the horse quieted down and cocked two attentive ears forward. The small clearing was quiet except for the distant sound of water slurping over rocks and the occasional splash as some frisky fish broke the surface waters.
Xena was anxious about meeting Gabrielle's parents again. Her reputation had preceded her the first time she had traveled to Poteidaia. She was not welcomed then, and she would certainly not be welcomed now. Xena knew how important it was to Gabrielle that she return with her and she was going to follow through with her promise. She just wished it was over and done with and that they were back on the road to anywhere else.
"Hey, Girl, I have been in some pretty tough spots before, but this one is the toughest. I would rather take on the Horde again than have to face Gabrielle's parents. She is very lucky to have two people who care so much for her. Family and home, that's what's really important. I have not been good for her, and her parents know that better than anyone else. I don't know what she sees in me. She follows me blindly everywhere and never asks for much. I am truly blessed by the gods to have such a friend. I love her as I have no other. I just wish¼." She never did finish her statement. Argo turned in the direction from which Xena had just come. Xena started to draw her sword, but when she saw Gabrielle she stopped. Had Gabrielle heard her?
Gabrielle had indeed heard every word Xena had said. She decided they needed to talk and had followed Xena into the woods. When she heard Xena's voice she stopped to listen. She was touched by Xena's concern over meeting her parents, but she was really moved by Xena's declaration of love. Gabrielle had known almost from the very beginning she was in love with Xena, but Xena appeared so removed from things like love, that Gabrielle gave up all
hope of ever sharing her true feelings with her.
"What, Xena, what do you wish?" Gabrielle asked as she approached her friend. Xena shifted from one foot to the next nervously pawing at Argo's mane and not looking at Gabrielle. Her emotions were too close to the surface, and she needed a minute to get them back where they belonged. She turned away.
"What are you talking about¼..wish¼.wish for what?" Xena swallowed hard.
"Xena, I heard what you said." Xena stopped all movement, bowed her head and stared at her feet. It was the safest place she could think of to look, feeling as she did just then. Gabrielle approached her and attempted to put her hand on Xena's. Xena withdrew and took a few steps away. Gabrielle could see she was taking deep breaths. For a moment there was no noise but
that of some forest birds and the rustling of leaves as a squirrel searched out its breakfast from some underbrush nearby.
Gabrielle walked a wide circle around Xena and came to a stop directly in front of her. Both women stood motionless for what seemed to Xena to be an eternity. She was wishing the gabby Gabrielle was back. That she could handle. This quiet one was most unbearable.
Without saying anything Gabrielle tilted Xena's chin upward and forced Xena's eyes to meet her own.
"I love you too Xena, and I always have."
With that, Gabrielle kissed Xena, not on the cheek as they had previously done so many, many times before, but rather on the lips as one lover to another. Xena started to return the kiss and then drew back in surprise. She stepped away from Gabrielle, surprised at the flood of emotions that threaten to take over.
"Gabrielle¼.I¼" Gabrielle put a finger to Xena's lips. Gently she drew a finger over first the top, then bottom, just as Xena had done. Xena recognized the motion and looked, first surprised, then longingly into Gabrielle's eyes. The kiss began again and this time both were more than
Gabrielle led Xena back to camp and there, by the fading embers of the night-time fire, made love for the first time. It was a slow, sensual, sharing of bodies, and when it was over they fell asleep entwined in each other's arms. Gabrielle was the first to awaken. The sun was setting in the sky and night would soon be falling. They had somehow managed to love and sleep away the entire day, for they shared the joy of their love many times that day. She leaned up on an elbow and traced circles around Xena's exposed nipple. A smile played out across Xena's sleepy face as Gabrielle continued lavishing attention on that part of Xena's anatomy that had proven so vulnerable to her loving ministrations just hours before. Xena moaned in appreciation as Gabrielle’s mouth took the place of her finger. Xena chanced a peek at her lover through a squinted eye and was met by a smile that made her heart melt.
"I hope you don't plan on putting this in your beloved scrolls." Her attempt at humor fell on deaf ears, and she could see by the look on Gabrielle's face, that laughing was not the emotion of the minute.
"No Xena, this part of you is mine and mine alone. I have waited a very long time to show you how much you mean to me. Sometimes it is time for writing, and sometimes it is time for loving."
"And what, my dear bard, is it time for now?"
The bard pulled herself up and looked down at the warrior woman. Never had she felt so happy, so contented, so full of love as she did at that very moment. She bent and gave Xena a kiss that spoke the passion of many sequestered years of loving from a distance. Xena was surprised by the depth of the kiss and wondered, once again, how it was that she gotten so lucky as to have Gabrielle in her life. They again made slow passionate love. Xena was surprised at the depth of Gabrielle's passion. Xena knew her friend was not experienced in the ways of physical love, but what she lacked in experience, she more than made up for in enthusiasm, and Xena had a few
scratches to prove it! Gabrielle was a quick study and prone to experimentation.
Gabrielle was a natural with her tongue, something Xena finally came to realize must have something to do with her constantly wagging it as they traveled together. It must have been a kind of work out for her. Xena was glad for the attention, but she also knew getting back up on Argo was going to be tough.
As for Gabrielle, she wanted to touch every part of her warrior princess with every part of her. She could have stayed wrapped in those fur bundles forever, but she knew that could not be. Tomorrow afternoon they would reach Poteidaia, for they were just miles away, and she knew it would be quite some time before they could once again taste the love they shared.
They were silent as they packed up to go in the morning. Each was lost in loving thoughts from the day before, and each wondering what the other was thinking. It was Gabrielle who spoke first.
"Xena I want you to know how much I love ¼." Xena silenced her with a kiss.
"¼I know Gabrielle; I feel same way. You don't have to say the words; I see it in your eyes, I feel it in your touch and I can taste it in your kiss. I have felt you live inside me since the first time I saw you." Xena stood back a bit from Gabrielle and motioned for her to stay put. Gabrielle looked longingly at Xena and patiently waited for Xena to compose herself. Xena started to pace back and forth in front of her.
"Xena please, what is it?" Gabrielle started towards Xena, and Xena stopped pacing and gave her the "look" Gabrielle knew only too well spelled trouble if she failed to stay where she was. The bard froze and waited for Xena to speak.
Xena resumed her pacing and then finally stopped. She turned to face Gabrielle. The bard held her breath.
"I have been tortured with the thoughts of never knowing the peace and contentment one finds by going home. I know my past is something I may never live down, but I try every day to put things right¼."
Gabrielle raised a hand to touch Xena, but Xena backed away and started her pacing again.
'No, Gabrielle let me finish." She took a deep breath and continued.
"It has cost me a great deal. My friends are no longer my friends, and my family, well I have already told you about how my mother feels about me. I can't go back there. My home is forever lost to me and there was an emptiness inside me that was not being filled with anything I was doing in the name of peace and harmony. I was constantly being tortured by feeling like I would
never be whole, nor happy¼"
Once again Gabrielle attempted to intervene and was buffed back by an even bigger look than before. Gabrielle would not interrupt again.
"You, Gabrielle, have given me hope. You have made me see that home is not a place. Home is a feeling. Home is where your heart is and my heart is at home in you."
The last sentence came out as barely a whisper, and Gabrielle would not be buffed off again. She approached Xena and took her hand. Gently she brought it to her lips and gave it a kiss. Xena looked deep into Gabrielle's eyes and saw love there. She saw passion there. She saw home. Never again would she be tortured with the lonely feelings of belonging nowhere. She knew that as long as her little bard was in here life, she would always have a place to call home.
With that, Xena and Gabrielle both mounted Argo and, with a gentle arm wrapped around Xena's waist, Gabrielle kissed the back of Xena's neck and whispered the promise of everlasting love to her and her alone. Xena smiled, turned Argo back out on to the road, and once again headed to Poteidaia. Only this time Gabrielle knew that after today, she would never view the small village as home ever again. Home would forever be the love of her life, Xena, the Warrior Princess.