Disclaimer: The characters of Xena and Gabrielle and others mentioned, belong to
MCA/Universal and Renaissance Pictures. No infringement on their rights is intended.
Subtext Disclaimer: This story contains references to a loving relationship between two consenting adults, who happen to be of the same sex. If this offends you, or you are under 18 years of age, or you reside in an area where this type of material is illegal, read no more. There is plenty of general fanfic out there for you. Go find it.
Shock Factor: 0. There are changes, but you know the story.
Note: This is the revised version. The updates begin!
Timeline: Past, present and future.
Please send any comments to email@example.com
Enjoy, I hope.
WHY YOU NEED A PLAN "D"
Written by FlyBigD
"Oh boy." Escaped with a sigh as green eyes disappeared behind the palm of her hand. Closing her eyes, Gabrielle began to massage her temples with middle finger and thumb, listening again. The sigh turned into a soft groan as her ears confirmed the distant rumbling. It was still too far away for average ears to pick up, but she knew that sound, all to well. Giving the international signal of resignation, the bard shook her head, ran her fingers through her short blonde hair and opened her eyes. Resting her chin on her hand, she scanned the room watching the tops of twenty-eight heads bowed in consternation. Why does she do this on test days, she thought. Not knowing the answer, she watched her students as they racked their brains trying to remember why they had taken this class and, more importantly, who the hell was Anaximenes anyway and what was his philosophy. Smiling, she noticed that Jeff was chewing the end of his pencil. Not a good sign, she thought and spotted Mr. Daniels leaning suspiciously to his right. Prepared for such occasions, a rubber band came off her desk to take aim. Letting it fly, then giving the young man her best stern look when he glanced up, she raised an eyebrow for effect and nodded as he shifted back to his left.
Sensing she was being stared at, Gabrielle glanced to her right and found a pair of gray eyes quickly replaced by auburn hair. The big lug, she smiled to herself while David pretended to take the test seriously. Hes got it bad, she thought and heard the rumble again. Listening carefully, she glanced down at her watch. Maybe, she hoped to herself, shell get caught at the light. Turning to stare out the window, she concentrated. Red, red, red, turn red. Listening again, she heard the rumble fluctuating in a slow rhythm of louder and softer. Thank the gods. Relieved, she took a deep breath and held it, then let it out slowly as she relaxed. Closing her eyes again, she smiled. Just five more minutes, she thought. Just five more minutes.
"Youve got five more minutes." The nurse said from the door.
Xena growled over his shoulder until the woman disappeared, closing the door.
"Xena." Gabrielle whispered, taking the warriors hand.
"Gabrielle." Returning her attention to the bard, she leaned down close to whisper softly. "Im here." Brushing a gray hair from her friends brow, the warrior ran her hand gently over the rough stubble of the bards face. "You need a shave." Giving the old man before her a warm smile.
Smiling back, she looked up at a face as wrinkled as her own and couldnt help but laugh, even though it hurt. "Im not the only one." Reaching a shaky hand upward, she ran her hand slowly over Xenas face. Funny, she thought, no matter what body our souls are put into I never get tired of that face. Laughing again, a pain shot through her chest causing her to cough violently.
"Easy." Xena soothed, taking the shaking hand, she brought it to her lips and kissed it. "Easy, Gabrielle." Placing a gentle hand on the bards shoulder, the warrior waited until the spell subsided then leaned in closer. "Ive gotcha. Just hang on to me."
Closing her eyes, Gabrielle smiled through the ebbing pain then suddenly felt it coming and squeezed the hand holding her so gently. "Xena."
"Right here." Realizing that her own hand was shaking, she tried to focus and felt the bards grip slacken. "Gabrielle." Her head began to shake slowly as the grip weakened. "No, please. Just stay a little while. Dont go."
"I love you, Xena." She said softly, as a light appeared in the distance. Slowly the pain subsided and she heard the voice calling her name fade into the distance. "Ill be waiting for you." Her voice barely audible.
"Gabrielle! Gabrielle!" Gripping the hand tighter, hoping for a response, Xena looked down at her friend with tears in her eyes. "No! Gabrielle! Nooooo..." Then came the gut wrenching scream that had come so many times before.
Gabrielle sat, watching angels move around across the way from her. Although her times in paradise had always seemed too short, she enjoyed the peace it brought and sighed, knowing that soon Xena would be there and theyd start the journey again. How many times, she asked herself, had they done this? How many times had they traveled the circle? She couldnt remember, but it didnt really matter. Knitting her brow, the bard noticed a group had formed not far away and that she was getting the occasional sidelong glance from them. "Thats strange." Her curiosity bristled with each sneaky look and she finally got to her feet to quell her infamous nosiness. "Whats going on?" She asked as the angels parted before her and tried to hide their smirks. "All right, give." Placing her hands on her hips, she saw a young woman point to a medium sized rock and walked towards it. Getting closer, she realized it was a reflecting pool. "Who are you snooping on?" Leaning over slightly, she gazed at the still water. "Xena!" Looking up, she saw some broad smiles and heard a few ill hidden snickers. "What now?" Rolling her eyes, she returned them to the pool to find out what her soul mate was up to.
Gabrielle watched carefully as her friend, in the body of an eighty-something year old man paced back and forth in a small room, occasionally throwing his arms in the air. She couldnt hear what was being said, but she knew Xena and it appeared someone was getting a good dose of the warrior princess. Concentrating on the reflection, the view expanded and she suddenly realized that Xena was talking to herself. "Has she gone crazy?"
"That depends on who you talk to." Coming up beside the bard, Michael tucked his wings and looked down at the water.
Lifting her head, the bard turned to give him a concerned look. "Whats going on?"
Not taking his eyes off the scene, he shook his head. "Unless Im mistaken, I believe Xena is throwing a fit." Suddenly a vase was hurled across the room, breaking against the far wall. "Yep, thats a fit." Smiling, the angel tapped the edge of the pool with his finger.
"Michael?" Placing a hand on his forearm, to get his full attention, Gabrielle searched his smiling face. "Whats going on?"
"Apparently Xena is not too happy with her current trip through the circle." Pointing at the reflection.
"Why?" Glancing down, she saw another object disintegrate against the wall. "I know I was only with her for two days, but her life couldnt have been that bad." Ow. Cringing, she thought that one looked expensive.
"Thats the problem." Smiling as the old man tried, unsuccessfully, to pick up a chair.
"What?" Almost mesmerized by what was taking place, she listened to his explanation.
"Shes not happy about spending eighty-six years looking for you, only to have two days before you left." Shes gonna strain something, he chuckled to himself.
"Dont laugh." The fury showed on Xenas face and it hurt her to see the warrior in pain. "I wish I could help her."
"Oh, shes not the one who needs the help." Wincing, he closed one eye. "He shouldve seen that one coming. Thats gonna hurt." Shaking his curly head.
"What?" Confused by the he. "Seen what coming?" There went another vase. How many of those things does she have? Gabrielle, thought. "Whos gonna hurt?"
"Oh, right. You cant see them." Michael waved his hand over the pool, causing the reflection to ripple then calm.
"By the gods." Gabrielle whispered as the image changed and some familiar figures appeared in front of the wall Xena was hurling household projectiles at. "Thats..." Pointing at the pool in disbelief, she was suddenly speechless at what she saw.
"The gods." Nodding with a smile. "A whos who of the powers that be. Yea. Incoming!." Grimacing a tad, he thought that one was going to require some medical assistance. "You know for an old man, she hasnt lost her aim." He commented dryly.
If Gabrielle hadnt been so shocked at the scene, she wouldve laughed. The powers that be were bobbing and ducking flying objects as they were, what seemed to be, trying to calm her warrior down and by the look of it, they werent very successful. "Whats going on?"
"I told you. Xenas having a fit." Ouch, he winced as another one found a victim.
"I can see that, but why are they there?" Shifting her torso to the left, in an unconscious attempt to help the wayward PTB. Gabrielle watched as the onslaught paused while Xena ranted and looked for something else to throw.
"According to unofficial sources." Clearing his throat, Michael glanced around at the other angels. who hadnt gone far and were standing on tip toes to see the action. Giving them a stern, admonishing stare, he waited until they moved to a discreet distance before whispering to the bard. "Shes calling in her markers."
"Shes what?" Turning her head, she stared at him in another round of confusion.
"Calling in her markers. Favors" Seeing that he wasnt getting through, he explained further. "You know, as well as I do, that over the centuries, Xena has pulled a few butts out of the fire and now shes using those instances as leverage."
"Ahhh..." As the light finally dawned, Gabrielle turned back to the pool, remembering their previous lives and took stock of the bodies present. "Thats about everybody." Nodding, she smiled, then leaned down for a closer look. "Why cant I hear what theyre saying?" Staring intently at the image of the warrior, she watched her lips move and winced. "Never mind."
"She does have a way with words." Able to hear what was going on himself, Michael blushed at the less than heavenly language being used.
Almost able to feel the heat of his blush, she looked up to smile. "Dont want to singe any feathers, huh?"
"To say the least." Nodding, he shook his head, then lowered it to watch the event of the universe. Apparently Xena had given up on trying to hurl furniture and had moved closer to TPTB to continue her assault verbally, with a few added gestures thrown in for good measure. "Shes pissed." Chuckling softly, he saw that the TPTB knew exactly what the gestures meant.
"Michael!" Using her best youre and angel and therefore youre not supposed to use words like that tone, Gabrielle smacked him on the arm.
"Right. Sorry." Rubbing the offended appendage, he shrugged then went back to being the studious Archangel that he was supposed to be.
Her eyes glued to the pool, the bard watched closely while her emotions swung between pride at Xenas ability to stand against TPTB and a sense of concern for the love of her lifetimes. It was evident that TPTB were not happy campers; who would be in their position and although the onslaught of projectiles had ceased, they were now putting their respective feet down. Shaking their heads, there were a few stoic figures with arms folded across their chests, but they were obviously united in their stance. Whatever Xena was asking for was apparently out of the question, no matter how many markers she had and they were not going to cave in to her tantrum.
To Gabrielle, this seemed like a very bad idea. Xena didnt like to hear the word no and in her present mind set, the word could have cataclysmic consequences, despite the body her soul was in and this fact was demonstrated when the old man straightened to full height, cracked his neck and put two wrinkled hands on hips. "Oh, shit." She whispered in the most heavenly of places and closed her eyes, but not before seeing the last signs of an all out explosion ready to go off, which was one gray eyebrow going up on the mighty warrior princess forehead. Placing both hands on the edge of the pool she felt the tremor rock the stone enclosure and winced.
"Oh boy." Watching for both of them, Michael saw the warrior throttle a supreme being, while the others stood awestruck. Then there was a moment of quiet, as time stood still in the room and Xena was motionless, hands around an immortal throat. Across the room, a form appeared, wearing very little except an attitude and a golden sword at her back. This one didnt fear the warrior princess and after a brief discussion with TPTB disappeared as time resumed. Glancing at the bard, he could see that her eyes were still closed and breathed a sigh of relief that shed missed this interlude. Suddenly the pool shook again and he waved his hand across it, sending the image into rippling fragments. "Here comes trouble." He whispered, catching the death of the warrior in the last remnants of the water.
"Xena." The bard whispered and shook her head.
"Gabrielle!" Appearing from the mist, Xena was still in a none to happy mood, despite the fact that shed gotten her way and searched the heavens for her friend. "Gabrielle!" Spotting the bard, with a quick turn of her head, she tromped through the mist, sending up tendrils and creating a whirlwind behind her. "Gabrielle!"
Opening her eyes, Gabrielle turned around at the first call and winced, then tried to smile. "Xena." Calling to the warrior, she reached out with her hand, only to have her arm nearly yanked out of the socket as she was pulled forward. "Xena!"
"Were leaving." Her love firmly in her grasp, the warrior princess turned on her heel, to tow the stunned bard in her wake. When a hand touched her shoulder, she slowly rotated her head until her blazing blue eyes found the source of the annoyance and growled.
Michael, wanting to keep his hand attached, removed it from Xenas shoulder, let her go without further delay, then used it to give Gabrielle a parting wave . "Have a nice trip." He added with a smile and got a modern gesture as a response. "Oh, thats not nice."
Gabrielle felt her butt hit the sidewalk and looked up at the boy laughing at her. "Butthead!" Kicking out with her leg, she tried to get up, but was pushed back down by the same leader of the pint sized brat pack. "Hey!"
"Look guys, the runt cant get up." In mock dismay, the boy laughed again as the blonde squirt tried to get up again. Giving her another shove, he got a round of laughs from his buddies at the girls predicament.
Realizing that she couldnt take on these bullies with bulk, she switched to her best weapon. "Look, you goat faced, smelly, flashback to the sixties pin head, if you dont leave me alone, Ill..."
"Youll what?" Bending down, he hovered over her like a predator ready to pounce and drew back his hand to strike, but froze mid stroke.
Gabrielle cringed at the expected blow and waited for the pain, which didnt come. Opening one eye, she looked up at her assailant and was surprised to find a pained expression on his face. Confused, she followed his gaze to see a dark haired girl to her left. Checking closer, she realized that the girl had stopped the blow and was now holding the boys wrist in a white knuckled grip.
"Let go." Goat face said as he tried to break free, unsuccessfully. "That hurts."
"Funny, I dont feel a thing." Smiling, Xena pulled the bully towards her and tightened the hold.
It took a moment for the boy to move his eyes off his wrist and find the set of piercing baby blues and almost fainted at the intensity they were giving off. Suddenly a bead of sweat began forming on his upper lip and forehead, as he was pulled closer to those eyes, by the hand clamped painfully on his wrist..
"If you ever touch my friend again," dropping her voice as low as it would go, she snarled, "Ill tear off your head and shi..."
"Xena!" Shaking her head, Gabrielle held up her hand for an instant, giving the dark haired girl a warning stare, then stared at her hand when she realized what shed said. "Xena?" She whispered and brought her hand back down, turning it over in confusion. "Whos Xena? Where did that come from?"
Never taking her eyes off the bully, the dark haired girl just smiled. "I think you get the point." Arching an eyebrow, she watched the bully nod his head furiously. Smiling bigger, she released her grip as the group took their cue and dispersed. Well, ran like their butts were on fire, actually.
The blonde watched her tormentors disappear in the distance and then looked up to see a hand reaching down to her. Not knowing why, she smiled as she took it allowing the other girl to help her to her feet. Brushing herself off, Gabrielle bent down to retrieve her books from the grass and noticed two bare feet in front of her. "Where are your shoes?" She asked, annoyed at the sight, then slowly raised her body and took stock of her rescuer in the process. No shoes, tattered overalls, long legs, hands on hips, tan skin, t-shirt, no sleeves, dark hair, evil smirk, straight nose, baby blue eyes... "By the gods." She whispered as a freight train ran through her brain and the world went dark.
"Gabrielle?" Cradling the bard in her lap, Xena stroked her too pale face and looked worried. "Gabrielle?"
Hearing her name, the bards eyes fluttered open while her eyes tried to focus on the face staring down at her. "Xena?"
"Hey." Relieved, the warrior smiled down at her friend. "For a minute there I thought Id lost you again."
"What happened?" Gabrielles mind was clearing and she quickly discovered that it was filled to the brim with memories. Lots and lots of memories. Lifetimes worth of memories. Grabbing the crammed item, she groaned softly.
"Flashback." Running her fingers gently over a sweat moistened cheek. "Sorry, I didnt have time to warn you. Its the memory dump. Now your head is full of all the memories of our past lifetimes." Smiling in empathy. "Hurts, huh?"
Nodding, she stopped instantly when a pain shot up from the back of her neck. "By the gods." Putting her hand over her eyes, she tried to sit up, but fell back with the pounding in her head, making her dizzy.
"Here." Placing her hands on the bards temples, Xena began a gentle massage. "Better?"
"Yes." Letting out a soft moan, Gabrielle relaxed. "Oh that feels good." Lowering her hands, she kept her eyes closed while the warrior continued to use her skill to get rid of the killer migraine. After several minutes, the pain was gone and she opened her eyes again. Taking a deep breath, she smiled up at her friend to thank her, but lost her smile instead. Staring upward, she saw a face she hadnt seen in over two thousand years and it was beginning to bring the headache back. Blinking a couple of times, she tilted her head for a better look then felt her forehead wrinkle. "Xena?"
"Hmmm?" Continuing the massage, the warrior smiled down at her.
In all her lifetimes, the bard had given up hope of ever seeing that face again, but even with that, she was amazed at how young Xena looked. "How old are you?"
"Ten." She admitted simply and watched Gabrielles face go from curious to astonished.
"Ten!" Bolting to her feet, Gabrielle spun around to look down at the woman shed loved for two millennia, in the form of a ten year old. There, sitting on the grass with her long legs stretched out in comfort, was the destroyer of nations, mother of peace and warrior princess smiling up at her as if this wasnt supposed to be a shock. "Ten?" Still trying to register the news, her brain suddenly took a side street that circled the block. "Well, then how old am I?" Almost afraid to ask.
Tilting her head, Xenas smile faded as she contemplated the question. Wrinkling her nose, she bit her lip, shrugged, then looked over at the books the bard had been carrying. "Six?" She said with a little conviction and turned to give the bard another smile.
Her eyes going way too wide, the bard looked down at herself. Seeing her outfit and the seemingly small body in it, she closed her eyes to concentrate. Pushing the old memories aside, she sorted though two thousand years and multiple lifetimes, to get to this one. When she did, she let out a small sigh as the answer came to her. Holding out her hand, all digits extended, she opened her eyes. "Five actually."
"I was close." Shrugging again, the warrior leaned back on her hands, crossing her legs at the ankles and took in the sight before her. Slowly a broad smile filled her expression.
"What?" Seeing the smile, Gabrielle put her hands on her hips.
"You were a cute kid." Giving her a wink.
"I was a . . ." Taking a closer consideration of her present form, Gabrielle realized that Xena wasnt the only one in her original body and sighed heavily with this new knowledge. "Do I even want to know what you did to TPTB to get us back into these bodies?" She asked, again not really wanting to know the answer.
"Ummm..." Rolling her eyes skyward, Xena cleared her throat. "Well . . . "
"Never mind." Holding out her hand to stop the warrior before the truth came out, she shook her head and smiled. "Thats my Xena."
Gabrielle opened her eyes as she heard, or felt the rumble draw slowly closer. Why does she have to do this on test days? She asked herself. Letting out a sigh, she turned to her students and noted that their training was complete because the Greek mid-term theyd been taking had suddenly lost its allure and they were staring out the window in anticipation. Groaning inside, she shook her head and followed suit. Glancing out the window, she waited the ten seconds for the show to begin, as a tall, lean figure glided up on the two wheeled monster, then stopped. She also noticed that the rider had again failed to even consider a parking space and instead had parked the Harley on the sidewalk. Making a quick mental note about flattening some tires on the beast, she arched an eyebrow when the rider unstrapped the black helmet and she went as slack jawed as her testosterone filled, non-test taking students, when the warrior princess emerged. Taking a sudden quick breath at the sight, she thought that somewhere in two thousand years she shouldve gotten used to these little displays, but felt her heart begin to pound despite this insight.
As the other blonde eyebrow went up, she saw long dark hair tumble down, released from its fiberglass prison and could feel the oxygen level drop in the room as Xena bent over toward the class. This sent her dark hair forward and she shook her head to get rid of any signs of helmet hair before she straightened, sending the dark wave back to fall down her back. With this done, the helmet went on the gas tank and the warrior moved on to the next oxygen depleting action, which was the sloooow removal of her black leather jacket. Unzipping the item with a calm ease, it came off at an agonizing pace, shoulder by shoulder. "Breathe." She whispered, reminding herself and her students to exhale before they passed out.
Her eyes glued to her warrior, Gabrielle watched the jacket get placed by the helmet, then a set of jeans covered, and oh so lusciously long legs swing over the tank bringing Xena to a standing position, as she stretched and flexed her cowboy booted feet. This move elicited another round of gasps that permeated the room and masked the bards own intake. Then came the sunglasses, removed slowly, folded together, as one arm slid beneath the fabric of the I shouldve never bought you that low cut, v-neck, dark blue, Im too sexy for words t-shirt.
With a little stretch of the arms, Xena turned to see the gawking faces through the glass and smiled at them. Finding Gabrielle amongst the crowd, she flicked her eyebrows once and waved a fingers only wave.
Waving back, Gabrielle imagined the idiotic grin on her face, but couldnt prevent it and caught a few extra waves out of the corner of her eyes. Moving her eyes to the left, she watched the warrior disappear up the sidewalk, then though the double doors. This broke the spell shed been under and she glanced at her watch, then sighed. Shes got this down to a science, she thought and waited. Looking up she found that her students had recovered, although not completely, some still had drool on their chins, but were making a concentrated effort to pack up their things. "Okay." Clapping her hands to finally snap them out of it, the bard stood and moved to the front of her desk. "Remember that those essays are due on Wednesday and put your tests on the table by the door as you leave." One, two, three. The bell rang, just as the door opened. Refusing to even look at the woman, the bard folded her arms across her chest, leaned back against the desk and waited for the room to empty.
Xena held the door open and smiled as the boys filed past her, giving a wink here and there, until the last one straggled out. That one she glared at and remembered not to growl as he went past. "Big lug." She hissed at his back. Knowing David was always the last one to leave, she entered the room, closing the door behind her.
"You are in such big trouble." Her head held low, Gabrielle lifted her eyes only to shoot daggers at the warrior and began tapping one foot in agitation.
"What?" Apparently surprised by this announcement, she gave the bard an innocent look as a defense.
"You know what." Pushing off the desk, she walked over, unfolded her arms an placed a finger right above where the sunglasses hung. "And dont give me that look." Giving the warrior a one fingered shove.
"What look?" Sticking to her innocence, Xena saw that it wasnt working by the scowl on Gabrielles face and decided not to push her luck. Switching to plan beta, she put on her best pout. "Im sorry."
"Its not working." Waving a hand in dismissal of the quivering bottom lip, Gabrielle picked up the tests beside the door. Returning to her desk, she sat down and ignored the fidgeting warrior princess.
Damn, she thought, shes really pissed. Okay, I can do this. Ill just have to go with the old standby. Plan gamma with a smile. "Hungry?" She asked hopefully and smiled her best smile.
"No." Flipping through the papers, the bard squashed the plan flatter than the pancakes shed had for breakfast.
Xenas smile faded instantly and was replaced by a sincere expression of loss. Closing her eyes, her shoulders slumped in defeat and she leaned against the door to let out a heavy sigh. "I dont have a plan delta." She said under her breath and put on a real pout.
"Wouldnt do you any good if you did." Gabrielle stated firmly, keeping her eyes on the papers and away from the irritation at the door.
"Gabrielle. . ." The warrior began, but stopped when she opened her eyes to find two green anger-filled beams glaring at her. "Im sorry." Lowering her head, she let out another sigh and studied her boots. After a few minutes, she lifted her baby blues and saw the bard flipping through the papers. "I. . ." She began again, but was again stopped in her attempt at an apology when those fiery emeralds found her.
"Xena." Her agitation in full swing, the bard pushed the papers aside and looked at her sad excuse for a best friend and wife. "Why do you do this?" Resting both elbows on the desk, she clasped her hands together for the answer.
"Because its fun?" Xena answered with a smile, then lost it a second later with the unamused stare she got. Wrong answer, she thought and scratched her cheek. After another minute, she shrugged. "I dont know." Studying her hands. "You used to like it."
"Yes I did. Fifteen hundred years ago when there were no such things as sidewalks and my students were Greek and you were still riding a horse." Feeling her frustration slipping, Gabrielle rolled her eyes, bringing them to rest on the tall, dark, beautiful, dejected warrior princess. "Xena, we arent in Greece anymore."
"I know that." Refusing to meet the bards gaze.
"And we arent kids anymore. Your Dad may be superintendent of schools, but not even he can keep me from getting fired if you keep this up." Without looking, she pointed to the motorcycle parked on the sidewalk. "This has got to stop, Xena." Sounding harsher than she intended, the bard could see the sadness in those baby blues as the warrior looked at her, then out the window. "What am I going to do with you?" She asked herself softly, but knew the answer already and gave into her fate and let out a heavy sigh while her hands moved to collect her things. Picking up the briefcase beside the desk, she placed it on top, opened it, then picked up the tests, placing them inside. "Why dont you go home, Xena. Ill be there in a little while." Her eyes on her work, she avoided seeing another pout.
"Gabrielle. . ." Looking away from the bike, Xena started to apologize when something brought her eyes back to the windows. "Bitch!" Growling out the word.
"What?" Gabrielles head shot up to glare at the warrior. It took a moment before she realized that Xena wasnt making the biggest mistake of her life and she followed her gaze out the window to a see a large heavyset woman walking toward, what had affectionately been labeled by her male students as the blonde bombshell. "Oh, no." She said as the breath left her body and her day went down the crapper.
"If she touches my bike. . ." The threat left hanging, the warrior spun around, opened the door and was down the hall before the bard had a chance to stop her.
Glancing down at her desk, the bard tried to decide if she should take the tests to grade or try to find boxes to pack up her stuff, knowing a dead grinch would surely end her teaching career. Looking back out the window, she saw Xena burst through the front doors and approach the the heavy set woman with ill intent. "Oh boy."
"Dont you touch her!" Coming up behind the woman, Xena quickly passed her and placed herself between the moving mountain of human flesh and her pride and joy.
Mrs. Lynch sized up the woman in front of her and was unfazed, nonplused and unimpressed by the twig with hands on hips, so she huffed. "Youre too late, missy. Ive already called the tow truck and theyre coming to take that thing away once and for all." Raising up to her full height, which matched the twigs, she puffed out her considerable chest and smiled triumphantly.
"Thing!?" Feeling her blood boil, the warrior saw red and took a step closer to her victim, giving her the most lethal glare imaginable. "That is no thing. Mrs. Grinch." She said through gritted teeth and pointed behind her. "That is a motorcycle and it happens to be a classic."
"Thats Lynch and I dont care what it is." Moving a step forward, she continued to smile, showing the lack of awe. "Its got wheels and it doesnt belong on the sidewalk."
One more step and Xena closed the gap between them. "Now you listen to me." Bringing a single finger up, she put it an inch from the grinchs nose. "You so much as look like youre thinking about touching my bike and Ill . . . rip . . . your . . . something . . ." Losing her legendary focus, the warrior caught sight of a sight that made her forget what she was mad about and virtually everything else she knew.
Stepping out of the building, briefcase in hand, Gabrielle walked out into the sun and stopped. Bending down, she placed the case on the sidewalk and looked up at the sun, feeling it warm her body. Smiling, she unbuttoned the dark blue suit jacket she wore and pulled it off ever so slowly to reveal the dark green, low cut, sleeveless silk shirt beneath. Folding the jacket, she placed it over one forearm, then she bent over again to retrieve her bag. As she did, she gave the warrior an eyeful of what she had to offer, then straightened with a smile. Feigning complete oblivion to the warring pair, she continued to look upward as she started forward and ran a hand through her short hair, then gave her head a shake.
Wondering if shed ever breathe again, Xena watched the show and felt the color drain from her face. When she got her eyeful, she gulped to keep from drooling and let a soft moan escape her lips. Running her tongue over the dry items, she continued to watch as her pulse raced and she wanted to look to see who Gabrielle was waving at, but her motor skills hadnt quite returned, so she just gawked instead. "By the gods." She whispered at the sight before her and when Gabrielle turned the corner in front of her, with a swish of her hips, then gave her a wink and a smile, Xenas knees went weak, but she recovered instantly and followed the bard with her eyes, pushing the mountain out of the way when it blocked her view.
Pausing in her display, Gabrielle turned to glance over her shoulder and gave the warrior a sultry smile, as she ran a finger over her bottom lip for fun. "Xena, Ill see you at home?" Asking the question in their native tongue, she didnt wait for an answer and turned back to walking down the sidewalk. Adding a little more sashe to her sway, she nearly lost it when the bike horn sounded and she had to fight the urge to burst out laughing.
"What did she say?" The grinch asked, totally confused by the recent chain of events.
"Its all Greek to me." Xena managed with a smile, just before her legs gave out and caused her to step backward for support, which she found in the handle bar of the bombshell and its horn. Moving her hand, she silenced the sound, but held on when the bard turned to walk backwards a few steps and gave her another wink and a wave. "Oh, boy." Feeling a message come up from parts south, she sent another wash of saliva down her throat.
"Did she just wink?" Frowning, the grinch turned back to the twig.
Her heart pounding in her ears, the warriors brain finally got some blood and she pounced on the effects of coherent thought. Taking action, before the real bombshell could get any further away. "Thats for me to know and you to mind your own business." She said with a smile and hopped on the motorcycle, flipped up the kickstand, then flipped out the kick start and began stomping the pedal for all she was worth. "Come on, baby. Dont fail me now."
"And what do you think youre doing?" Remembering why she was out there in the first place, Mrs. Lynch moved to stop the menace to society from escaping, again. "Youre not going anywhere."
"Look," her eyes till focused on the bard, Xena paused in her efforts to start the bike and pointed, "I havent spent the last two thousand years hop scotching through bodies and saving up favors from the powers that be, to finally get these bodies back and have you stand between me and that bard now." Giving the crank another kick, the engine turned over. Sitting down on the seat, she pulled the clutch in, dropped the gear shift into first, then released the clutch, easing the bombshell forward.
"What?" Hands on her hips, Mrs. Lynch didnt have a clue about what shed just heard, but she was sure she had no intentions of moving.
Narrowing her eyes, the warrior tore them away from the bard to give the woman a look that was ten times more deadly than the one shed gotten over the motorcycle. "Move, or die." She growled out, her voice blending with the low rumble of the engine.
Seeing the feral snarl on the womans face, Mrs. Lynch chose the better part of valor and stepped aside. As the twig rode past, she watched her drive the thing down the sidewalk, to follow the little blonde. "Im calling your father!" She shouted and shook her fist, then huffed and turned to make the call.
"Bite me." Xena shouted back as she slowed her approach to the bard. Not really wanting to change her view for the moment, she followed behind the behind, matching the pace of those vertically challenged and incredibly sexy legs. Somewhere, way back in her mind, where rational thoughts were stored, a voice asked if this was really worth all the trouble she knew she was getting into. But watching the figure in front of her, all other thoughts that didnt concern getting naked and sweaty were pushed aside and the answer her brain gave was a heartily shouted yes! "Thats the body I fell in love with." Flicking her eyebrows.
Gabrielle knew Xena was close behind her, how could she not know with the noise the engine made, but she chose to ignore the fact and continue walking casually, like she wasnt being stalked. Stepping off the sidewalk, into the parking lot, she held on to her feigned ignorance when she heard some very ugly words, thankfully in ancient Greek, pour out behind her and laughed as she imagined that the warrior wasnt too happy to discover that the blonde bombshell she rode, was too large to fit between parked cars.
"Gods! Youre as bad as Argo." Pulling in the clutch and the brake, Xena managed to stop the bike, with the handlebars an inch away from two sets of tail lights and watched the bard get further away. Taking a deep breath, she set her feet firmly on the asphalt, then pulled back hard, until the front wheel was free to turn. Letting the clutch out slowly, she gave the throttle a little nudge and turned to head toward the end of the aisle. Keeping an eye on the blonde head, the warrior made the turn easily and caught up to be parallel with the bard. Holding the pace, she stood on the pegs to search for Gabrielles final destination, then spotted the truck at the far side of the lot. Smiling, she gave the throttle another nudge, sending it ahead and made for the last row of vehicles. Timing it perfectly, she pulled up just as Gabrielle slipped in between her truck and the car beside her. "Hi." Putting the bombshell in neutral, she put her feet down and revved the engine.
Turning to see the grin on the warriors face, she leaned against the truck bed and twirled her keys. "Hi." Smiling back.
"What ya doing?" Flicking her eyebrows suggestively, Xena gave the throttle a twist.
"Waiting for you to move that thing so Glenda can pull out and I can get into my truck." Gabrielle said, giving the warrior her own sultry look.
"What?" Confused, she saw the blonde nod to the car beside her, then noticed the red and white tail lights lit up on the car. "Oops. Sorry." Smiling apologetically, she waved as she backed the bike out of the way. Waiting until it was clear, Xena pulled into the empty space, shut off the engine and put the kickstand down. Drinking in the vision, she tilted her head as she watched Gabrielle unlock the truck, open the door and toss her jacket and briefcase onto the seat.
Turning around, the bard felt, not for the first time in her lifetimes, like she was completely undressed while being completely dressed. "Ahem." Clearing her throat, she folded her arms across her chest and leaned against the truck.
"Hmmm?" Hearing something, Xena untilted her head when her gaze finally made it up to the bards face and found herself on the wrong end of an indignant glare. If she had been able to pry the grin off her face, she wouldve, but since she couldnt; she just went with it.
"Are you lost?" Gabrielle asked, raising both eyebrows for this question.
"Huh?" Losing a bit of her grin, she was shifting to a frown in her confusion.
"I said, are you lost?" Repeating the question, she said it slowly to make sure it was understood.
Looking around, she saw the parking lot and thought no, Im not lost. "I dont think so." She said with a mild amount of confidence and turned back to the bard. "Why?"
"I figured you must be to actually end up in the parking lot." Pushing off the truck, she sauntered forward. "And in an actual parking space." Her smile belying her sarcastic tone.
Looking around again, Xena put her hands on her hips and frowned. "Damn. I was looking for the lunch room." Turning back, she discovered the bard next to her and her two favorite snacks at eye level. "And look. Here I am." Licking her lips, she leaned forward for a nibble, but was halted in her endeavor by a firm hand under her chin, which brought her eyes and her lips away from their intended targets.
"Xena." Making sure she had the warriors full attention, Gabrielle waved a finger in front of the warrior. "The lunch room is closed." Smiling into those baby blues, she almost lost her resolve, but by sheer force of will continued. "Until you promise to stop parking your bike on the sidewalk and park it in the parking lot, in an empty space." Covering all the bases, Gabrielle closed any loopholes her wife might try to use and got a genuine pout in return, but ignored it. "Xena." She purred, letting go the warriors chin and putting her hands on her hips.
Closing her eyes, the warrior took a deep breath, inhaling the faint hint of jasmine and baby shampoo, that was uniquely Gabrielle and let the breath out as a sigh. She was already fighting the urge to wrap her arms around the bard, which she had promised years ago not to do on school grounds and now it seemed that her last bit of pleasure was being wrenched from her. Finding the choice of becoming forcibly celibate and having to park in the parking lot a tough decision for about two seconds, she opened her eyes and fell into two deep green pools. "I promise." She said with a smile and gave up one pleasure for the ultimate in fulfilled desires. Adding a devilish glint to her grin, she leaned forward, with the hopes of finally getting close to the bard and kept right on going until the holes in the asphalt met her gaze, as Gabrielle stepped back. "So close." She whispered with regret.
"And." Not finished quite yet, Gabrielle returned to lean against the truck. "For disrupting my class, yet again. . ."
Hoping that by closing her eyes, she wouldnt hear what was coming next, Xena squeezed them shut.
". . . you have to help me grade the mid-terms." She said smugly and heard a groan, which was followed by Xena slumping further toward the ground. Nodding in satisfaction, she let out a soft chuckle.
So much for that theory, she thought and sighed before straightening to look at the smug grin on those disgustingly tempting lips. She hated grading papers worse than bamboo shoots under her nails, which she actually experienced. So, thinking as quickly as possible for an excuse, she fell back on the differences in their chosen professions. "Gabrielle. Im not the one with the degree in Education, here."
"Your point being?" Having spent over two thousand years with Xena, Gabrielle still found herself surprised when something new was learned, but this wasnt one of those things. She was well prepared for the argument and had her weapon locked and loaded, ready to shoot down the warriors sad reasonings for not wanting to grade papers.
"Dont you think those kids deserve to have their work graded by someone more qualified than I?" Fighting the urge to clasp her hands and plead, she hoped the bard would take the bait.
"Xena." Taking mental aim, she pulled back the hammer on her invisible pistol. "Its ancient Greek history." Finger on the trigger. "Who better to judge than an ancient Greek warrior princess?" Fire and smile.
Dropping her jaw, Xena rubbed her forehead feeling for the bullet hole that just had to be there. As her attempt fell to pieces, she surmised that love must be blind, because she never saw that one coming. Closing her eyes, knowing she was done for, she sighed. "Just tell me its not philosophy." Still trying to find the hole, she let her hand drop to tap the black helmet still securely on the tank between her legs. No wonder they make you wear these things. Opening her eyes, she looked up to the bard with pure agony in her eyes. "Anything but that, please." Her shoulders slumped in defeat, she pleaded with her voice.
"Sorry." Bag it and tag it, she thought and smiled triumphantly. Turning as the warrior groaned, she slid into the truck and closed the door, then turned her smile back to the woman of her dreams. "Oh and Xena."
"What?" Gods, I thought trying to redeem myself for being a bloodthirsty warlord was bad. "What now?" Getting a little miffed at being out maneuvered.
"I love you." Starting the engine, Gabrielle smiled and winked as she put the truck in gear, backed up, then pulled away, leaving Xena to stare blankly after her.
Once the bard was out of sight, Xena resolved herself to her fate and put on her leather jacket. Then she tucked her hair in the helmet, fastened the strap and started the bombshell. Revving the engine, she mumbled inside the plastic shield. "I have really got to come up with a plan delta. Thats all there is to it."
Xena smiled, chewing on the end of her red pencil. Propped up on one elbow, she admired her handiwork laying on the bards bare back beside her. "Gabrielle?"
"Hmmm?" Stretched out on her stomach, Gabrielle stared through half-lidded eyes into the fireplace, watching the flames dance. Smiling, she felt the warriors bare leg rub against hers under the blanket and wrapped her arms around the pillow under her head. Now this is how you grade papers, she thought and fluffed the pillow to get more comfortable, if that was possible.
"You must not be a very good teacher." Looking at the line of red circles shed made on the paper and smiling wickedly. "This guy doesn't even know English, let alone Greek."
"What?" Broken out of her contentment, she frowned and raised up on her elbows to turn her head around. "What are you talking about?"
"This guy is a real rock." Lifting the paper, Xena tried to hide her smirk.
"Let me see that." Snatching the test out of the warriors hand, she gave her wife an arched eye brow glare before looking over the material with a teachers eye. Seeing the damage done and the name on the test, she growled. "Damn it, Xena." Looking back at the warrior, Gabrielle swung hard, smacking a chuckling shoulder, before snatching the red pencil to begin trying to undue Xenas artwork. "David is not a rock. He happens to be one of my best students and just because he has a schoolboy crush on me is no reason for you to act like some jealous brat." Erasing furiously, she saw the red smear instead of disappear and sighed. "Look what youve done." Sounding as disgusted as she felt, she turned to hold the paper up, which resembled a bloodied parchment. "How am I supposed to explain this to him?"
"Tell him the dog ate it." Suggesting the unoriginal universal excuse, she patted herself on the back and got another hit on the arm. "Ow." Rubbing the pained spot.
"Im serious, Xena. Just look at this." Shaking her head, Gabrielle considered what lie she was going to have to tell. It had been an essay test instead of one of those fill in the dots and there was no way she could ever forge the boys handwriting. "This is hopeless." Sighing heavily, the bard dropped her head in despair. "I cant believe you did this."
Realizing shed screwed up again, Xenas face saddened. Me and my stupid ideas, she chastised herself and felt all of an inch tall at that moment. "Im sorry, Gabrielle." She whispered her apology.
"That doesnt help." Talking into the pillow, the bard closed her eyes.
Chewing the inside of her bottom lip, the warrior could feel the pain shed caused by her joke and sighed. Placing her hand on Gabrielles back, she began to rub gently. "I make your life miserable, dont I?" Wishing shed learn when too much was too much.
"No." Sighing heavily, she lifted her head to look into sad blue eyes. "You just make it hard sometimes, ya know?" Wondering how many more times they were going to have this conversation.
Nodding, Xena lowered her eyes from the bards gaze. Running her hand over Gabrielles back, she thought of what theyd been through together and how, even though there were no more warlords to vanquish and no more real evil left in the world, that their lives were still full of turmoil. Yet, through it all, Gabrielle had stayed. Shed put up with Xenas antics for over two thousand years and somehow always found it in her heart to forgive the warrior her fallacies. Remembering this, she raised her eyes to meet the disappointed ones of the woman who loved her. "Youd think," she said softly, "that after Id fought so hard for a life and a love I needed so badly, that Id be smart enough to find better ways to say I love you than little red circles on a piece of paper." Her face solemn, she leaned over, placing a soft kiss on the bards shoulder. "I love you, Gabrielle." She whispered.
Setting the paper aside, Gabrielle sighed, then reached up to tangle her fingers in dark tresses. "I love you, Xena." Smiling warmly, she rolled onto her back, bringing the warrior on top of her and stared up into the blue eyes shed missed for centuries. Tugging gently, she brought soft lips down to meet hers and melted into the warmth that was the warrior princess. That was Xena.
I think I found plan delta, she thought and lowered her body to cover Gabrielles. Falling into the love in the kiss. Falling into the love that was her heart, her soul and her reason for living.
Epilogue: David, the big lug with the crush, never did find out what happened to his mid-term, since it was never seen again, although he was happy with the A+. Xena kept her promise about the sidewalk issue. She had her father put motorcycle parking right beside the sidewalk, much to the grinchs dismay and Gabrielle found a nice collection of posters of Greece, placing them neatly over the windows of her classroom, so there would be no more test day distractions, except by her desk, of course. She was the teacher, after all and therefore allowed to be distracted by the long leggy brunette that rocked her world.
Thanks for reading.
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