Disclaimers: The characters of Xena: Warrior Princess and all others associated with the television series of the same name are owned by MCA/ Universal Pictures. This is a work of fan fiction and no copyright infringement is intended.
Subtext: I guess with my writing so far we'll just quit calling it subtext and call it maintext. Yes they are in love with each other.
Violence: Yeah a little. Xenas not a happy warrior.
Other: Just a little something
What You Cant See
"This is NOT funny!" The she growled.
The bard tried the hide her smile behind her hand as her eyes shifted to the thief. He was trying his best not to laugh also, and it only seemed to make the warrior more upset.
"I repeat, this is NOT funny."
"If you say so." Autolycus tried to sound sincere. He realized he had failed when an unseen hand smacked him on the back of the head. "Well, now thats not quite fair!" He groused, rubbing the spot.
"You know," Gabrielle cocked her head trying to figure out exactly where the warrior was standing. "I can see certain advantages to this situation."
"Excuse me!" The warriors voice boomed from behind her. "Advantages! Advantages! I didnt see any damn advantages."
"No, now Xena," Autolycus snapped his fingers, as he got to his feet. "There are advantages to this. We could make a fortune. You could get into places that "
"Forget it! I know where youre going with that line of thinking, but just forget it."
"True." Gabrielle agreed. "It would be wrong for Xena to utilize her situation to rob people, however Xena, your fighting capabilities have just been increased about ten fold."
"Gabrielle! How can you even suggest such a thing?"
"Come on Xena, youre friggen invisible. Thats such a major perk to the whole "
"Stop it! Just stop it! Both of you! We need to figure out who did this and why and make them fix it. I want to be solid again."
"Yeah, Ill admit, its a little unnerving having you grousing around and not being able to see you." The bard nodded, turning back to where their bedrolls were laying. She bumped into something that she had so assume was Xena. "Sorry."
"Salright." The warriors disembodied voice mumbled. "Ill just go sit on the log and get out of your way."
"Xena are you sure you wouldnt like to " Autolycus tried again.
"No!" The bard and the warrior yelled in unison.
"All right, all right." He put his hands up in defense. "It was just a suggestion."
"So," The bard inquired even as she began packing up their camp. "Who do you think is responsible?"
"I should know?" The warriors voice carried from the vicinity of the log.
"Ares?" Autolycus offered, feeling the open air around the warriors last known location so he wouldnt sit on her.
She growled. "Get your hand off that, or loose it at the elbow."
The thief jerked his hand back, then took a seat. "Sorry."
"This is not Ares style. He likes face to face confrontations."
"Athena?" Gabrielle asked, wrapping a rope around the bedroll. "She was pretty tweaked when you interfered in that little skirmish up north a month ago."
"No, I dont think so." Xena sighed. A pebble shot across the ground, kicked by an unseen boot. "To childish for Athena. If she were that upset, she would have challenged me to a fight."
Before another suggestion could be made, six men rode in to the edge of the camp. The apparent leader of the group held up his hand to stop his men. "Well lookie what we have here boys. A little early morning fun."
Autolycus was on his feet. Gabrielle grabbed her staff. And Xena, well neither of them knew exactly where Xena was, but they were glad she was there.
"Fellas," Auto began in earnest. "This would be a really bad idea."
"You dont look like much of a threat." The leader slid from the saddle, drawing his sword. "And the little girl certainly isnt any match for the six of us."
"Amazing that you can be so wrong on all counts." The thief shrugged, taking up a hand to hand fighting stance. He considered for a moment that only an idiot would plan on trying to hit a man with a sword. "In for a dinar " He mumbled, stepping forward.
Two of the men rushed forward, Gabrielle just rolled her eyes and proceeded to pummel them senseless with the staff. Auto ducked a rather clumsy attempt by the ringleader to take his head off. Then he rushed and tackled the man, causing him to lose the grip on his sword. "Now the odds are a little more even." The thief growled, throwing the first punch.
The last three men werent exactly sure what it was that was kicking their asses. All they knew was that they couldnt see or hear anything and they were getting the beating of their miserable lives. Within moments, the would-be bandits were making a hasty retreat. And the trio hadnt even really broken a sweat.
Gabrielle tapped her foot impatiently, watching them ride away. She shook her head, "They never learn. They see the horse, they see the warrior, but they never learn."
"Excuse me?" Xenas highly irritated voice called from just over the bards left shoulder. "Maybe had they actually SEEN a warrior it wouldnt have happened. Can you say downside, Gabrielle?"
The bard scratched her cheek, leaning in her staff. "Hmm, yeah, I guess maybe its not as great as I thought it could be."
"You know Xena, maybe if we cover you in mud or something " Autolycus comment was cut short when he suddenly began having trouble breathing and his hands went to his throat, wrapping around an unobservable wrist. "Sorry." He croaked. "Bad idea."
"Very bad idea!" The warrior hissed.
The thief knew exactly where Xena was at this moment. He stumbled back a bit when he felt himself shoved down. "I was just trying to help."
"I dont need stupid suggestions. We need to figure out who did this." A bedroll seemed to float over to Argo and stow itself behind the saddle.
Gabrielle and Auto looked to each other and shivered together when Xena started moving things around the camp. It was just plain creepy to watch things moving by themselves.
"Xena, why dont you let us do that. Its a little disconcerting to see things moving around like that." The thief said laying his hands on a pack that seemed to be floating in the air.
"Well excuse me for trying to be helpful." Her voice growled. Footsteps could be heard stalking away
"How about Aphrodite?" Gabrielle suggested, taking the last of the gear to Argo.
"Would be her style." The warrior agreed.
The bard listened as the leather of Argos saddle creaked, she assumed Xena had mounted up. "Are you up there?" She waved her hand, making contact with Xenas calf. "Yup, guess you are."
"Xena?" Autolycus shouldered a small pack of his own.
"Can you see yourself?"
"No." She grumbled. Argo started down the road. The thief and the bard followed almost dutifully. They looked at each other and grinned. "I can hear you smiling. Stop it!" Xena called.
* * *
Gabrielle looked at the etchings on the walls. "Thats not possible!"
The thief peeked over her shoulder. "Oh yes it is. All you have to do is "
"I dont want to know." Gabrielle put up her hand. "Let me put it this way. Youd never catch me doing it."
"But its lots of fun."
"I really dont need details." Gabrielle could feel herself getting a little jittery as she looked at a few more etchings. She knew she shouldnt really be looking, but they were kind of like a bad cart wreck, once you get that first glimpse it was really hard to look away.
"Gabrielle?" Xena called.
The bard turned around, trying to figure out where in the temple the warrior was standing. "Keep talking Xena."
"By the altar Gabrielle."
The bard moved to the altar, following Xenas directions. "Okay so now what?"
"We need to get her attention."
Gabrielles knowledge of the way Xena thought, helped her catch the warriors hand before it could knock the pot from the pedestal. "Let me try before you go breaking things."
The bard chuckled at the grumpy harrumph that met her request. "Aphrodite? Come on, we need your help here."
The Goddess sparkled to life in front of the bard. "Bout time babe! So how do you want me to do this?"
"What?" Gabrielles brows came together.
"What?" The Goddess tossed her hands up. "I figured you wanted my help in that little matter you keep dreaming about every night."
The bard blushed, cleared her throat and grabbed the Goddess, dragging her away from the altar. "No! I dont need your help like that "
"Yes you do, Bardie-poo."
"No, I dont!" Gabrielle growled under her breath.
"Are you making time with old tall, dark and sexy yet?"
"Then you need my help." The Goddess drew back her hand. The bard caught it before a spell could be cast.
"No, I dont." The bard looked around then realized that was a totally futile maneuver on her part. "We need your help with something else. Im taking it that you didnt have anything to do with Xenas current state."
"State of confusion or state of arousal?"
The bard huffed a bit, blowing her bangs from her forehead. "Invisibility actually."
The Goddess perked up and grinned as she scanned the room. "No, not me. Is she really invisible?"
"Do you see her?" The bards tone was most definitely frustrated at this point as she waved her arms around, indicating the room
"No." Aphrodite continued to try to find Xena then she jumped just a bit, grabbed her backside and whirled around. "Well, hello to you too Warrior Babe!"
Gabrielle glanced down to where the Goddess was rubbing her butt. She couldnt help but feel a little miffed that Xena had never laid a hand on her like that. In whatever capacity that might have been, but she had a feeling that Aphrodite has just gotten her butt pinched.
"Hello Aphrodite. So you have no idea who did this to me?"
"Not a clue tall, dark and deadly. But Ill be happy to look into it for you."
"Is there anything you can do to help until then?" Autolycus asked from across the room.
"No," The Goddess shook her head, never bothering to turn around to look at him. "Im sorry to say theres not. And put that back!"
Autolycus returned a small statue to a pedestal, shrugging at Gabrielle when she turned to glare at him. He shrugged. "Im a thief. You expected less?"
"Behave!" The bard and the warrior growled at him.
He rolled his eyes, crossed his arms against his chest then leaned against the wall to simply wait for his companions. He knew very well by now, when he was with them, that his thieving was always look upon with some disdain. Sure, Xena could break some poor guys hand and Gabrielle could beat them half-daft with that stick of hers, but let him try to earn a living and they yelled at him.
"But," The blonde Goddess continued. "I will do some checking around for you."
Xena sighed. "Thanks. Id appreciate that."
"Oh dont sound so down Warrior Babe, its not that bad."
"It took me a half a mark to find my sword this morning. I cant use my chakram because I cant see it to catch it. Do you know how hard it is to get dressed when you cant see your clothes? I put my boots on backwards, and lets not even start on how hard armor is to get into."
"Cant say Ive ever had that problem." The Goddess sucked a deep breath through clenched teeth, as she suddenly felt very sorry for the warrior. "Ill see what I can find out. In the mean time feel free to hang out here and be comfortable." Before she disappeared, the Goddess took the time to add beds and a fireplace to the temple. In the hearth there was a kettle of stew and a pot of hot tea.
"Thanks Aphrodite!" Gabrielle called into the air. Then she returned her attention to the last place she believed Xena to be standing. "Xena?"
"As well as can be expected, considering I cant see my own hand in front of my face." The warrior was starting to sound truly depressed.
The bard reached out, making contact with Xenas arm. "Dont worry Xena, well figure it out."
Autolycus, led by his stomach, was checking out the food. "You know Xena, you just run around naked if getting dressed is that much of a problem. Not like anyone can see you."
This time he could see the hand that slapped him in the back of the head, it belonged to Gabrielle and she was glaring at him again. "You two are abusive, you know that? You need an anger management class or something."
"Ill give you anger management Amazon style if you dont behave." She pointed her finger in his face. "Xena is having a hard enough time of this, without you continually offering dumb ideas."
A slight depression showed up in the mattresses of one of the beds. "Dont be too hard on him Gabrielle. I was actually thinking the same thing when I tried to find my bracers this morning."
The sound of a long drawn out sigh was followed by the metallic clang of weapons being put down, then impression of one warrior butt, soon became a full-length impression of a stretched out warrior.
* * *
After making short work of the stew, Autolycus decided to take a walk through the village not far from the temple. "Just dont skewer me when I come back." He snickered a bit before leaving the temple.
Gabrielle watched her friend leave. Then she turned to the bed where she was pretty sure Xena was still laying. "Are you awake?"
"Are you hungry? The stew is really good."
"No. Im not hungry."
The tone of the warriors voice broke Gabrielles heart. She sat her bowl aside, moving to the bed she carefully sat on the edge. She wanted to reach out and touch the warrior, but didnt know if it would be welcomed or what would happen if she landed in the wrong spot. "I promise you, well figure something out."
She smiled when she felt Xenas fingers tangle with her own. "Thanks." The warrior said softly. "Im sorry Ive been grumpy today."
The bard chuckled a bit. "Youve had very good reason."
"No matter what happens, I shouldnt be cranky at you. Its not like this is your fault."
Gabrielle sighed. "I wish there was more I could do."
The blonde perked up a bit. "Name it."
"Lay down here with me?"
"Sure. Let me get changed." Gabrielle moved to her pack, pulling a shift from it she changed rather quickly, noting the feeling of being watched that made her blush a bit. She retrieved one of Xenas shifts and returned to the bed. "Do you want this?"
"No. I dont want to take a chance on anything else becoming affected. Its bad enough my weapons are."
The blonde swallowed hard when she realized that meant Xena would probably be sleeping in the nude. Invisible or not, Gabrielle had a very talented imagination and it hadnt been all that long since the last time she had seen the warrior. "Kay." She managed to stammer a bit before lying down on the bed. "Youre going to have to position us so youre comfortable."
Very soon the bard felt herself on her back with Xena next to her, apparently lying on her side facing her friend. "Comfortable?" Xena inquired.
"Then why so tense?"
"Umm, Im un "
"If youre not comfortable, you can leave. Aphrodite left three beds for us."
"No Im fine. I just was wandering what youre wearing."
Xena was really glad the bard couldnt see the smile on her face. She reached out, taking the bards hand and placing it on her hip. "Does that answer your question?"
Gabrielle managed to stifle the gasped that nearly escaped when she felt warm flesh under the palm of her hand. "Un, yeah " She licked her lips, closed her eyes and tried to figure out how to move her hand without caressing the body it was attached to.
Xena watched the bards face. Well that certainly looked like a request for a kiss if she had ever seen one and the fact that Gabrielles hand was still on her hip served to intensify the belief. She leaned in, barely bushing her lips over the bards.
The blonde couldnt stop herself when she felt what she believed to be Xenas lips on her own. She moaned. She moaned again when the sensation returned.
"Shhh " The bard quickly quieted the warrior by returning her lips to Xenas. She closed her eyes again. She visualized the warrior in her mind as the sensation of the kiss deepened.
"Maybe," Xena rasped when the kiss was complete. "We should wait until we can both see whats going on."
"Or we could just go with the feeling." Gabrielle croaked, having absolutely no desire to move from her current position or to give up what had been started.
"Dont you think its a little odd?"
"Our life is a little odd Xena."
"True." The warrior placed her hand under the hem of Gabrielles shift, caressing her thigh. "Could make for an interesting story."
The bard nodded. Not that she would ever reveal to anyone what it was like to make love to the Warrior Princess. Xena already had a reputation and if she lived up to it, Gabrielle had no intentions of intensifying it. "So, now what?"
"Hmm well that depends."
"You, and what you want to happen."
"I want you to make love to me."
"Well my, my Gabrielle." Xena chuckled. "You certainly seem to know what you want. I didnt think you saw me in that light."
"Every night in my dreams Xena. You make love to me every night." The bard admitted quietly.
The warriors laughter was soft, as soft as the caress Gabrielle felt on her leg. "Am I any good?"
"You never fail."
"Hmm, Im sure I can compete with myself. You may find the dream me more satisfying than the real me."
"Somehow, I dont think so." She leaned forward for another kiss. Her eyes closed again while she enjoyed the sensation of the kiss. She might not be able to see her warrior, but the sensations were real enough. "Xena?"
"I love you Xena." She opened her eyes and was startled to see the ghostly presence of a pair of blue eyes staring back at her. "Xena!"
"I I can see you or at least part of you!"
"What part of me?"
"Your eyes. Your beautiful eyes." She extended tentative fingers allowing the tips to graze gently around Xenas eyes.
"Did you mean it?"
"When you said you loved me. Did you mean it?"
"Of course I did. I wouldnt have said it if I didnt."
"Say it again. I have a theory I want to test."
"I love you."
The warrior closed her eyes when she felt a tingle. "Again Gabrielle."
"I love you Xena."
The warrior felt the rush sweep over her body, causing almost and orgasmic quality of pleasure. She took a deep breath and opened her eyes. She could see a slight outline of her hand. "You got the key my bard." She leaned in giving her partner another kiss. "You are the key. Just like I always believed."
* * *
Autolycus returned to the temple very late that night. The fire burning in the fireplace gave him just enough light to find his way to his bed. He sat on the edge to remove his boots. Glancing up he noticed the bard lying in the bed next to his. She was sound asleep, looked very happy and, he took a moment to notice that she was nude under the sheet that covered her from the bosom down.
"Wonder what I missed." He chuckled quietly, continuing to remove his boots.
"Nothing." Xenas voice was firm, but quiet when she lifted her now visible head from the pillow behind Gabrielle. "Now shut up and go to sleep."
"Xena! Its good to see you my friend. How did you I mean what happened I mean "
"Lets just say that the power of the bard should never be underestimated. Now go to sleep."
The thief watched as Xenas arm curled around the bard. He may have missed the floorshow, but he was pretty sure his mind could fill in the gaps.
"You think of her like that again Autolycus, and Ill kill you myself." Xena mumbled, pulling the blonde close to her.
Okay so maybe he wouldnt be filling in the gaps. He wiggled his toes and lay back in the bed, lacing his fingers behind his head. "Congratulations Xena."
"For what?" She mumbled again, never lifting her head from the pillow.
"For falling in love."
"I dont think I had much of a choice in the matter."
* * *
Aphrodite and Cupid watched from the corner of the temple. "Oooo so very radical my boy." The Goddess chirped. "Clever, very clever."
"It was inspired."
"Well, when I heard Xena talking to her horse about how she felt like she was invisible to the blonde. I had to give it a shot. But landing that arrow in the warrior was not easy. She doesnt stand still for very long."
"So basically when the bard broke over and said the three magic words the spell was broken."
"Half broken. Xena had to say it back."
"Apparently she did."
The minor God laughed, nodding. "Oh yeah, many times. I think at one point she actually screamed it. Apparently the little blonde is, umm, really talented."
"Well you cant be a bard without incredible oral skills."
The Gods watched as all three of the temple occupants fell into a content slumber. They turned to each other, high fived and disappeared into the night satisfied that their work was done.
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