Disclaimers: This story has a small spoiler from season six, and takes place shortly after Gabrielle is released from her spell by Xenaís kiss. I composed this tale as an entry to the Winter Bardís Challenge at the Bardís Village.
Content: This is an alt X&G story with a twist. A loving relationship between two women is explored but nothing too graphic.
Thanks: Stacia and Tracey, thank you for working your amazing magic on my ramblings. You both have taught me so much. Big thanks to the wonderful people at The Bardís Village for reading and feeding. Itís a truly wonderful community.
Dedication: To Seela - you know who you are. Thank you for making me smile.
By Deb K
"Dell! Dell! Wake up, we have company." Seela used both hands to gently shake her sleeping companion. "Come on, Dell, wake up."
"Are you crazy?" Dell rolled over, pulling the blanket up tighter. "Itís the wee hours of the morning and itís cold out there."
"Fine, you stay and sleep, but Iím going to go check it out."
Seela stood up and shook her body slightly to adjust her transparent wings. Slipping a heavy winter tunic around her tiny frame, she lifted her long red hair from beneath the fabric so that it hung freely down her back. She walked to the small door made of twigs and quietly exited the miniature hut.
Seela listened carefully to the noises. She recognized the sounds ó humans.
"Oh goody." Seela rubbed her hands together not so much to warm them up, but in anticipation of what she would see. Effortlessly she lifted off the ground and flew across the rocks to a smooth ledge that allowed for a fairyís-eye view of the inside of the cave.
Perched unnoticed above the intruders, Seela crossed her legs and sat down. Below her were two female humans covered in snow. The strangers had obviously been caught in the storm that had blanketed the sky for two days straight. Struggling, they pulled off their wet outer coats and laid them on the rocks to dry. The two women moved about the cave separate from each other and intent on their individual maneuvers. Seela marveled at their actions. It seemed that each woman knew exactly what to do to complement the other. No task was duplicated, and without a word spoken, a camp was forming before her eyes.
ëAmazing,í Seela thought, resting an elbow on each knee and dropping her tired head into cupped hands.
The tall dark-haired woman inspected the surroundings and collected anything that might burn, while the smaller blonde removed and unpacked the supplies from the two horses that were tied at the front entrance of the cave.
"Have I missed anything good?" Dell whispered, landing gently next to Seela on the ledge and handing her a wooden acorn filled with hot spiced tea.
"So far they havenít said one word to each other," Seela said, holding the tiny cup in both hands and breathing the steamy aroma deep into her lungs. "I love this tea."
"You say that every time." Dell rolled her eyes, sitting and shifting her weight to get comfortable.
"Well, thereís nothing better than hot tea during a snowstorm," Seela said confidently.
"Shhh," Dell said, very softly. "The tall one just looked around. I think she heard you."
The two fairies sat motionless and waited until the blue-eyed human returned to her tasks.
"Thatís impossible," Seela whispered. "Sheíd have to have incredible hearing to have picked that up."
"Apparently, she does," Dell commented softly through the side of her mouth, raising an eyebrow.
The humans finished their chores and warmed themselves by the flames before silently climbing into the bedrolls set directly across from each other on either side of the roaring fire. Obviously exhausted from their travels and from fighting the snowstorm, the women seemed to melt into their blankets and sleep.
"Not one word?" Dell asked. "Are you sure of that?"
"Not since Iíve been sitting here," Seela responded. "They havenít said a single thing. Maybe their tongues have been cut out."
"Oh, good heavens," Dell snickered. "Do you always have to come up with the most outlandish explanations for everything? I swear, Seela, you crack me up."
"You never know, it could have happened," Seela said, indignantly.
"Most likely theyíre just exhausted," Dell smiled at her pouting partner, placing her hand on the tiny shoulder next to her. "If theyíve been travelling through this storm, they probably had no energy left for anything else but sleep. Theyíll be out for hours. Why donít we fly on back to bed and rest for a while?"
"And miss something?" Seela asked, looking over at her companion. "When is the last time we got to watch something as good as two humans? Lately the only things weíve had through here are a stray wolf, those pesky bats, and that really smelly warthog. It took me weeks to get that stench out of this cave. They might wake up and talk and I for one donít want to miss it. This is the best show weíve had in years."
"Oh, all right," Dell said, letting out a long yawn. "But, Iím gonna go back and get some things to make us more comfortable. We could be here a while, what with the snow still falling and all."
"Bring back those dried berries and some of that bread I made. Oh, and how about some apple juice and while youíre at it, a bag of that nut & seed mix," Seela said, turning her attention back to the scene below.
"Anything else?" Dell asked.
"Hmm . . . no, that oughtta do it."
Dell slapped herself playfully in the forehead as she stood up and flew slowly back towards their hut.
Seela smiled to herself. She loved to give Dell a hard time, and the brown-haired, blue-eyed fairy never failed to respond. This game between them was one of the many reasons she loved her mate so much. She and Dell always remembered to keep their hearts open, humble and childlike and as any good fairy would do, they frolicked in the sense of humor and zest for life that fairies were known for. In short, they liked to have fun with each other. Seela smiled again, happy with the knowledge that Dell made her heart sing with delight. And, it didnít hurt that she had a nice set of wings too. Seela chuckled as she thought about how attracted she still was to Dell after 128 years.
Below, the small blonde human mumbled something in her sleep, making Seela sit up and take notice. Leaning forward, she strained to hear the words. When she was still unable to make them out, she stood and scanned the cave, making sure it was safe to fly closer.
Dell returned, loaded down with two bags and a warm blanket. Puzzled by Seelaís absence she quickly dropped the goods and looked around. Within seconds she spotted the small fairy hovering close to the blonde woman.
"I hate it when you put yourself at risk," Dell mused to herself, watching her mate below. "Itís never safe to get that close to humans. You know better than that. Rule number one, donít go near humans."
Standing with her hands placed firmly on her hips, the dark-haired fairy peered intently looking for any signs of danger. Minutes later, she looked on as Seela finally flew back to the ledge.
"What do you think you were doing?" Dell said, looking sternly at her partner. "Donít you ever do that again. You know rule number one."
"I couldnít wait," Seela said, lowering her head away from the angry gaze. "She was talking in her sleep and I wanted to hear what she said."
"So," Dell said relaxing her stance and smiling at the red-haired beauty before her. "Whatíd she say?"
"Thought youíd never ask," Seela smiled. "Did you bring back that mix?"
Seela brushed past Dell and started unloading the bags. After spreading the blanket, she removed the food and juice and sat down. She looked up at the soft blue eyes in front of her, and patted the spot next to her on the blanket. "Take your hands off your hips and come on over here. Iíll tell you exactly what she said."
Dellís smile grew wider. She could never stay mad at Seela.
"So?" Dell said, sitting down.
"Pass me that juice, Dell."
"Seela! Come on. Whatíd she say?"
"I knew you were into this as much as me," Seela giggled and slapped Dell playfully on the arm. "She said ëDonít you ever leave me againí and then she moaned a couple of times and then she said ëMy path is your pathí."
"Do you think she was referring to the tall one?" Dell asked, pouring an acorn full of juice. She handed it to Seela and then poured another for herself.
"Thatís my guess," Seela said. "Maybe the blonde-haired woman is mad at the dark-haired woman for leaving her. That would explain the silence between them."
"Thatís possible," Dell said, placing a small hallow reed into the juice and slurping as she sucked.
Enjoying their breakfast, the two fairies sat in silence watching the scene below them. Both were hoping that the blonde would start talking in her sleep again, and therefore watched intently as they ate. Dell wiped her hands on her knees after she finished her bread, and moved closer to Seela. Still tired from not enough sleep, she rolled onto her back and scooted down, resting her head on her partnerís thigh. After a few minutes, Seela placed her juice on the rocks and brought her hand up to play with Dellís hair. Running her fingers through the dark brown locks, she looked down at features that always made her heart race and smiled.
"That feels so good, Seela," Dell hummed; her eyes closed in enjoyment. "I love it when you do . . ."
"Sheís talking again!" Seela said, standing up quickly, forgetting that a certain someoneís head had been supported by her leg.
"Ouch!" Dell fumed, reaching up to rub the back of her head.
"Iím going down there."
Before Dell could protest, Seela was gone.
Seela fluttered closer to the small woman and this time landed on the pillow, next to her head. The blonde moaned and rambled on incoherently. Seela waited as the mumblings began to form real sentences.
"Xena, I . . . I knew youíd come for me . . . yes . . . I dreamt of it . . . I wished for you. I wished for your kiss to bring me back."
Seelaís eyeís widened as she heard the wish for the kiss. She loved nothing more than a good romance and this was getting better all the time. Suddenly the woman shifted and rolled to her side causing the pillow to move. Seela lost her footing and fell just as a hand came up to rest under a human cheek, pinning the fairyís legs underneath. Seela struggled to move, but it was no use. Panic set in as she realized that her attempts were futile.
Without regard for herself, Dell flew as fast as she could. She snapped a small twig from the cave wall and hovering to the side of the blonde woman, she brought the twig under her noise and wiggled it. The hand below the cheek whipped out to scratch the annoyance as Dell swerved to get out of the way. Seela, released from her trap, stood up quickly and flew to Dellís side. Hand in hand they returned to their perch.
"Donít say it, Dell," Seela said, still shaking from the near disaster. "It was stupid, I know it, and Iím sorry."
Dell wrapped her arms around the tiny waist in front of her and pulled Seela close. She kissed her neck and cheek and finally made her way to the trembling lips, devouring them with a passion borne out of worry and love.
"Seela, donít ever scare me like that again," Dell whispered, still holding the redhead close. "I was so worried. I . . . I . . . I couldnít take it if anything happened to you."
The pair remained in the embrace a while longer, needing to feel the security of each otherís arms.
"Iím okay, Dell."
Seela finally stepped away to look at her partner. She saw the lingering fear in the blue eyes staring back and it made her sad. She did her best to lighten the mood.
"You wanna know what she said?"
"Seela!" Dell said, shaking her head. "You wear me out, you know that?"
"I aim to please," Seela joked, hoping that Dell would relax.
"Good grief," Dell said exasperated, putting her hands into her hair and pulling it. "What am I going to do with you?"
"Youíre gonna come over here and sit down so I can tell you what the blonde woman said," Seela said, taking Dellís hand and walking back to the blanket.
Dell moved to the back of the blanket and pulled Seela in front of her. She wanted her in close range in case she tried to go anywhere again. Seela leaned back as Dell tucked her wings to the side tenderly. Her back resting on Dellís chest, she felt warm breath invade her ear.
"Ummm," Seela purred. "You feel good. Nice and warm."
"You feel good too," Dell whispered, nibbling on the earlobe that was so tempting. She felt a small shake from the fairy in her arms and smiled. Taking her hand, she lifted the long red hair to expose the soft skin of the back of Seelaís neck. Methodically, Dell placed small kisses along the smooth nape, being careful to linger in the area where Seelaís wings met the flesh.
"Oh, Dell," Seela sighed. "You know that gets to me every time."
"I aim to please," Dell joked between kisses, using the same line that her partner had just used on her.
Their movements stilled as a noise focused their attention back to the cave floor. The tall woman stood and stretched, threw more wood scraps on the fire and then walked to the other side, kneeling next to the blonde. Very slowly she brushed the back of her hand along the cheek of the sleeping woman.
Seela sighed again, but this time it was in response to what she was witnessing.
"What did the blonde say when you were down there?" Dell asked very quietly.
"She said she dreamt of Xena coming for her. She had wished for Xenaís kiss that would bring her back," Seela whispered.
"Bring her back from what?" Dell asked.
"I have no idea, but I sure hope that tall one is Xena," Seela sighed again.
As Dell and Seela watched, the blonde slowly reached up and grabbed the hand stroking her cheek. Both fairies leaned forward in unison, listening.
"Xena, is that you?"
"Yes, who else?"
"Is it still snowing?"
"Hmm . . . I havenít checked yet. How did you sleep?"
"I had the weirdest dream. There was some flying thing tickling my nose or something."
Seela chuckled softly, which got her a small poke from her mate.
"It was probably just your nose thawing out from being frozen."
"Yeah, youíre probably right."
"There was something else I was dreaming about."
"You remember how you found me on the rock two days ago?"
"Your kiss, the one that brought me back . . ."
"I liked it, Xena. I dreamt of it then but I wish for it now."
Dell squeezed Seela tighter, neither of them breathing.
The tall dark-haired woman looked down and slowly brought her lips to the blonde woman below her. At first it seemed somewhat innocent but as their lips stayed joined, the strong arms of the blue-eyed woman wrapped themselves around the blonde, pulling her in closer and lifting her in an embrace.
Dell felt something wet on her forearms and pulled Seela around to look at her. "Are you crying?"
"Shhh," Seela whispered, sniffing back her tears and turning back to the action below, where the two women still held each other tightly.
"I love you, Xena."
"I love you too, Gabrielle."
"Donít you ever leave me again. Promise me."
The women hugged each other tightly before the green-eyed woman finally pulled back.
"Did you want to check on the storm?"
"Who cares about the storm?"
The blonde reached her arm around and pulled the tall women into another kiss. This time it was more passionate than before. Dell heard sounds that only meant one thing.
"Letís go, Seela," Dell said softly. "The showís over. Even strangers deserve their privacy."
"That was so beautiful," Seela cried, wiping away her tears as Dell pulled her up to her feet. "Have you ever seen anything that moving in all your years?"
"Come on, Seela."
"Letís just watch a little longer."
"Oh, no you donít, Miss Voyeur," Dell said, packing up their goods and rolling up the blanket. "There are rules around here and rule number two is no spying on anyoneís intimacies."
"More with the rules," Seela frowned. "What is it with you and these rules?"
"You wanna know what rule number three is?" Dell asked, grabbing the tiny hand next to her.
"Does it involve kissing?" Seela chuckled. "Because if it involves kissing, then count me in."
Dell laughed as they lifted off and floated back to their tiny hut.
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