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Disclaimer: The characters of Xena, Gabrielle, and Argo are property of MCA/Universal and Renaissance Pictures, they do not belong to me (although I wish they did!). All other characters and the story are property of the author. No infringement of copyright is intended and no money is being made in any way. So don't send the copyright cops around to put a Bard still wet behind the ears behind bars, coz that would just be mean!.
Trust In Dreams
Part One - Warlord Watch
The Warrior lay deadly still. Xena was so close to Denaitius she could smell the ale on his breath, and the blood and sweat hanging in the stale air around him. It wasn't hard to tell Denaitius was a Warlord, he pretty much looked the part. A huge curved sword hung at his side, two or more daggers adored his brightly coloured sash, his well-used armour clung tightly to his chest and shoulders. A scruffy beard hid the battle scars on his face and his long scraggly hair rested behind a long sword strapped to his back. The warrior slowed her breathing and stayed hidden while the warlord gave his orders to his first in command.
Xena had heard all she wanted to, she quickly eased herself away from her hiding place and silently made her way back to Gabrielle.
Gabrielle had been perched up in a tree watching for any movement from Denaitius' army camp. At least, that's what she was supposed to be doing. Around half an hour of watching the same two sentries drunkenly fight one another, the bard had got bored and so began to test her balance by walking along the branch she had previously been sat on. When the novelty had worn off, Gabrielle decided to be a little more adventurous. Swinging her legs over the branch, the bard dangled her head and torso over, and swung herself back and for. Suddenly, she lost her balance and came hurtling down towards the ground. Before she had time to scream she felt herself come to a abrupt stop in the arms of the warrior.
'Hey, nice catch!. Did you like that little reflex test I prepared for you?' Gabrielle said in her usual quirky manner
'Gabrielle....' Xena half said half growled
'Ok, so maybe I didn't prepare it, but it just goes to show your reactions are still pretty sharp huh?'
Xena looked at Gabrielle's smiling face and couldn't find it in her heart to scold the young bard, instead she mumbled something under her breath, put the bard down and turned away to hide a smile.
'So, what did that Warlord guy say?' Gabrielle asked as she followed Xena to the undergrowth where Argo was hidden.
'He's heading for Heamonolis right?'
'Yeah' The warrior replied as she untangled Argo's reins.
'So someone's gotta stop him right?'
'And that someone's us right?'
'Not exactly..' Xena said turning to face Gabrielle
'What?, what exactly does not exactly mean?' The bard said, her brow furrowing.
'Hey, I know that tone!, you're about to tell me about some old tale from your past and how you've got to do this by yourself because, oh, gee, I don't know he was mean to Argo one time so your getting your revenge by challenging him to a horse name calling contest and I can't come because I don't have a bloody horse!'
Xena looked quizzically at Gabrielle.
'Ok, ok, that was a bit harsh, but come on Xena we do everything together these days'
Xena lifted an eyebrow at Gabrielle.
'Well, maybe not everything...'
Xena held her expression.
'I mean, we never.. you know...'
At this point both Xena's eyebrows shot up.
'Gabrielle..., what exactly are you getting at?' Xena could feel her face getting hot.
'Well, you know...' Gabrielle said smiling lowering her head.
'I know....?' Xena said playing dumb.
'For the love of Zeus Gabrielle!, spit it out!'
'Alright, we never sing around the campfire ok?!, there I've said it!'
'Sing-around-the-campfire?, is that it?, well why didn't you just say that in the first place?'
'Because, it's not something a bard and a warrior are supposed to do right?'
'I could think of a lot worse' Xena mumbled
'What was that?' Gabrielle asked
'Nothing, I was just thinking about Denaitius that's all' Xena said mounting Argo
'Xena is something wrong?' Gabrielle asked worriedly
'Nothing a good hot tub and you couldn't fix' Xena said under her breath
'Xena, will you please stop mumbling!'
'Sorry, I said nothing a good stiff drink couldn't fix. Gabrielle you'd better ride up here with me, it's a long trek to Heamonolis and we haven't got much time'
Xena grabbed the bard by the arm and hoisted her up behind her on Argo.
'Ready?' Xena called behind her
'No, you still haven't told me why we're not fighting this Warlord guy together'
'I'll tell you on the way' Xena replied and urged her horse into a canter.
~~~ ~ ~~~~~~~~~ ~ ~~~
Part Two - All's Not Well At The Inn
After around an hour's explaining on Xena's part and around half and hours whining on Gabrielle's part, the two friends had made it into Heamonolis.
Dismounting from her horse, Xena lead Argo, with Gabrielle still sat in the saddle into the village's stable.
'Gabrielle, you're ok with this right?' Xena asked holding her arm out for the bard to dismount from Argo.
'Oh yeah, sure' Gabrielle said, deciding to get off Argo by herself
Gabrielle, being at a slight height disadvantage to her warrior friend found it incredibly difficult to dismount from the horse. In the end she just gave up.
'Fine!, I'll just live here!' Gabrielle said moodily
'Nope, I've really had enough, I'm just going to spend the rest of the day sat on Argo!'
'No you're not!' Xena smiled and pulled Gabrielle off her trusty steed.
'So, where are you leaving me this time, Mrs Warrior Princess?' Gabrielle said pouting
'You'll be staying at the Inn until I've dealt with this business with Denaitius' Xena said smiling at the bard, which only seemed to worsen her sudden mood.
'Ok, fine, whatever!' Gabrielle said and stormed off in the direction of the Inn.
'Hey!, wait up!' Xena called to her friend and followed her to the Inn.
Gabrielle poked her head around the heavy oak door of the Inn and quickly scanned the bar and tables for any unsavoury looking types.
'Gabrielle?' called Xena from behind her
'Oh, so you're actually going to grace me with your presence for five minutes Xena?' The bard said sarcastically.
'Give it up Gabrielle' The warrior replied
The bard shot the warrior and icy stare, to which Xena returned with a very over exaggerated scared look.
The bard turned sharply and walked towards the bar.
'Gabrielle, lighten up!'
Xena winced, she knew what was going to come next.
Gabrielle whirled around to face Xena, her anger building by the second.
'Lighten up?, lighten bloody up?!, you're dumping me in this flea pit so you can go prance around the country side with this warlord guy. And you're asking me to lighten up!'
'I don't prance!'
Xena turned the bard to face her and place her hands softy around her shoulders, which seemed to have some calming affect on the agitated young bard.
'Ok, take it easy. Look I feel bad enough about leaving you as it is, but it really is too dangerous to take you with me. I care about you too much to risk getting you hurt'
Xena gently tilted Gabrielle's head so that they made eye contact with each other. Gabrielle looked at Xena and a smile broke of her lips.
'Ok, go do your warrior princess thing, I'll stay here outta trouble'
'Thanks Gabrielle' Xena replied and gently kissed her on top of her head. 'Are you ok to sort yourself out with a room for the night?'
'Ok, I better get going, villages don't defend themselves, see you tomorrow'
'Yeah' Gabrielle said placing a hand on Xena's shoulder 'Tomorrow'
~~~ ~ ~~~~~~~~~ ~ ~~~
Part Three - Bedtime for the Bard
Gabrielle folded back the blanket on the bed and clambered inside. She scanned the room briefly.
'This place ain't so bad' She thought aloud. 'I just wish Xena were here to keep me company'
She let out a long sigh and fidgeted under the bed sheets until she was comfortable. As the bard's eyes got gradually heavier, her last thought before sleep overcame her was of Xena.
The bard awoke with a start. She was suddenly aware of a presence in the room and instinctively went for her staff.
'It's alright Gabrielle, it's me' Came the familiar voice out of the darkness.
'Xena?, I didn't think you were back until tomorrow' Gabrielle said propping herself up against a pillow.
'Fight ended early' The warrior replied and walked to the window where the moonlight illuminated her impressive frame.
'Besides' She continued. 'I've got something I wanted to give you'
'You've got something to give me?' Gabrielle echoed.
Xena walked to Gabrielle's side of the bed and stopped momentarily.
Before Gabrielle could continue, Xena had stooped down and placed her well-muscled arms around the bard's neck.
'Xena... what-are-you-doing...' Gabrielle questioned, almost in a trance.
'Shh' She smiled and pulled Gabrielle's lips to hers.
Suddenly, after what seemed like forever, Xena closed the distance and their lips met. Gabrielle pulled away suddenly, unsure what this meant. She looked questionably at her friend, Xena looked back, her eyes full of love. Gabrielle smiled at the warrior. Moving her arms around Xena's neck she pulled her into a passionate kiss. Xena's hands moved to Gabrielle's waist and then explored her supple back.
The bard ran her fingers through the silky hair of the warrior, and traced circles on her restricting armour. Xena broke the kiss and moved her lips to Gabrielle's neck. She gently kissed and sucked her way up to the bard's jaw line. Gabrielle moaned and urgently began fiddling with the buckles of her friend's breastplate. Xena smiled and slowly began undoing her friend's bodice.
Xena shifted onto the bed and manoeuvred her friend so that the bard was sat on top of her. She pulled Gabrielle into another kiss with one arm, while the other moved to expose the bard's breasts. Gabrielle inhaled sharply and shifted herself closer to Xena, knocking her amour onto the floor.
~~~ ~ ~~~~~~~~~ ~ ~~~
Part Four - Wake Up Call
Gabrielle awoke just in time to see her friend's armour hit the floor.
'Good morning sunshine!' Xena called.
'Xena?, did you just get here?'
'Yeah, it was a pretty long fight, but I managed to scare Denaitius off, coward!'
'You sound disappointed' Xena frowned
' Oh Gods, sorry Xena, I er... didn't sleep too well last night that's all' Gabrielle replied and turned so her friend wouldn't see the shade of crimson her face had turned.
'Gabrielle, are you ok?' Xena asked worriedly
'Yeah, I'm fine' The bard replied 'I'd feel a lot better if you'd take me like you did in my dream last night!' She thought with a smile
'So are you ready to hit the road again?' Xena asked as she began buckling her armour back on.
'Yeah, just give me a moment to tidy the room a little'
'Alright, I'll go and pay the barkeeper, 10 Dinars was it?'
'I'll met you outside when you're done' The warrior smiled and left the room.
Gabrielle watched the door close behind her friend and let out a long sigh.
~~~ ~ ~~~~~~~~~ ~ ~~~
Part Five - On The Road Again
Xena kept a watchful eye on the surrounding undergrowth, while Argo nibbled at the occasional passing bush. Gabrielle was deep in thought, she walked alongside her friend but didn't pay much attention to where she was going.
'You've been quiet all day, what's up?' Xena asked halting Argo.
' I've just been thinking about alot of stuff'
'Stuff?' The warrior questioned
'Yeah, about places we've visited, people we've met, us...' The bard trailed off
'Us?, what's there to think about with us?' Xena asked
'It doesn't matter, it's not important' Gabrielle said and began walking again.
'What is with her lately?, she's either really moody or really quiet. Maybe I should just go up to her and give her something to cheer her up. Yeah right!, good plan Xena and sure she'll love you for that!' She thought scolding herself.
'Xena?' Gabrielle called to her friend who was a good 300 yards away.
'I'm on my way!' She replied and picked up her pace.
~~~ ~ ~~~~~~~~~ ~ ~~~
Part Six - Settling Down For The Night
Xena sat opposite Gabrielle around the fire. She had finished sharpening her sword and was now polishing her armour. The camp was silently apart from the occasional crack from the fire. Gabrielle starred out into the darkness and then back to her friend's task.
'Xena?' She called softly to her friend
The warrior put her armour down and looked up at her friend.
'Was is it?'
'We need to talk' she replied and walked over to sit next to her friend.
'Ok, so talk'
'Alright..' Gabrielle began and shifted into a more comfortable sitting position. 'We've been together almost 4 and a half years. We've been through alot; battles, sickness, even death. I've been here when you've needed me and you've been there when I needed you. Last night I had a dream...'
Xena was listening intensely to her friend's speech but lost interest as soon as she mentioned the word 'dream'.
'What?' Gabrielle asked 'What is it?'
'The mind can play many tricks Gabrielle, don't always believe what you see in your dreams. I don't. They are only figments of your imagination and can't amount to anything when you wake up. I know it's happened to me many a time'
'Believe me Gabrielle, if it's a dream, don't buy it!' The warrior said
'Is there any way of getting through to you?' Gabrielle shouted
'Oh to Tartarus with this!' Gabrielle yelled.
Grabbing Xena's neck she kissed her deeply.
'Gabrielle' Xena growled and broke the kiss.
'Er.., spur of the moment' She said and laughed nervously.
'You could have just said!, I've been having dreams about this for ages!' Xena smiled
'Really, except it didn't stop at us kissing'
'Oh...' Gabrielle purred seductively and moved her hand through the Warrior's hair 'Then, what did it stop at?'
'I'm sure you'll be finding out pretty soon!' Xena replied scooping the bard up in her arms and placing her gently on her bedroll.
'I love you Xena' Gabrielle said starring into the warrior's piercing blue eyes.
'I love you too Gabrielle' Xena replied.
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That was my story, I was your Bard. This is Lava-Lamp of the Aquarius signing off, thank-you!.