Disclaimer: The characters of Xena, Gabrielle and Argo are the sole property of MCA/Renaissance and the author intended no copyright infringement.

Subtext Warning: Iím not putting an 18+ rating on this fanfic because thereís no sex scenes, high-level violence or course language in it. There is, however, a mention of certain acts between two consenting same-sex adults. If this is illegal in your locale, or the idea of same-sex partners make you feel uncomfortable in any way, donít read this story. Instead, why donít you go and buy yourself a packet of M&Mís to make you feel better. The author holds no responsibility for those who do not heed this warning.

Just a note: I actually donít see Gabrielle and Xena as lovers, but I thought Iíd write a subtext story anyway Ö gotta keep the masses happy!

Truth and Dare warning: As we all know, there are *many* different versions of the game. The way I heard it played was if you chose dare, you had to kiss the closest person of the opposite sex. Also, if you chose Truth the first time, you were automatically set with Dare the second time round. I know some of you will be saying, "but I never played it like that!" Well, to those all I can say is, "tough bickies, lovie. This is *my* fanfic, and Iíll write the rules however I darn well please! ".

Enough with the warnings warning: Okay, okay! I get the picture! :D Enjoy!

Daring Games

By

Xenrielle
xenriele@ozemail.com.au

1997

The two women sat huddled under their blankets as the rain pelted down outside. Xena had noticed the dark rain clouds early, and was able to find a dry cave for Gabrielle and herself to wait in until the storm cleared.

"Letís do something," moaned Gabrielle. "Iím bored, cold and hungry."

"Well, if it wasnít raining out Iíd go and hunt a rabbit. The groundís too wet and muddy to find any tracks.

"As for coldness. you can have my blanket. Iím used this sort of weather." Xena stood up and put her blanket around the bardís body then turned away to poke at the fire. Argo snorted and flicked a fly away with her tail.

"Thanks. Iím still bored though." The younger woman pulled the two blankets closer to her chilled body and wondered how Xena could stand the temperature.

"Okay then, letís play a game." The warrior sighed and sat down opposite the fire and Gabrielle.

"Like?"

"Eye-spy?"

"Xena, how can we play Eye-spy when all there is for our eyes to spy is dirt, rocks and rain?"

"Fine then, you think of something." The warrior started to regret giving Gabrielle her blanket. Sure, she was used to this sort of weather, but it didnít mean she never felt cold.

The bard thought for a few seconds before a smile spread across her face and she looked at the warrior.

"Gabrielle, youíll never beat me in that game. Give it up."

The younger woman raised her eyebrows. "How did you know what I going to suggest?"

"Whenever you want to play Who am I, you get that look in your eye, like youíve finally thought of someone to stump me with. And yet," she grinned, "each time, I guess who it is."

Gabrielle sighed and lowered her gaze to the flickering flames.

"I know one," the warrior stated suddenly. "We used to play this when I was very young. Itís called Spin the Waterskin. Ever heard of it?"

"Yes! I used to watch the other children play it when I was young. I was never decided to join them because I was too shy to kiss anyone." She instantly blushed and looked at her hands. The warrior chuckled.

"Well, you only have to kiss someone if you choose dare. Game enough to play with me?" She raised an eyebrow and gave the bard a lopsided grin.

"Umm Ö err Ö gee Ö I guess so." What was that look in Xenaís eye? Could it be? No, it couldnít be Ö could it?

Xena jumped up and removed the waterskin from Argoís saddle, giving the war-horse a quick pat as she went past. She sat down next to Gabrielle and turned to face her, putting the waterskin between them. The bard bit her lower lip and slowly turned her body to face the warrior. This was going to be interesting.

"You want to go first?" Xena asked.

"Sure, okay." Gabrielle reached out and gave the waterskin a good spin. Both women sat motionless as it spun around and around and around. Finally it came to a stop - pointing at the bard. Xena chuckled as a slight horrified expression flickered across the young womanís face.

"Truth or Dare?" The warrior asked.

"T-truth, I guess." Gabrielle didnít dare meet the warriorís gaze.

"Okay then, what are you most afraid of?" The bardís eyes glanced up and she was met with a serious expression.

"*Must* I answer truthfully?"

"Those are the rules, Gabrielle." Her face was serious.

"Well, Iím afraid of losing Ö you." She lowered her eyes and pinned them to the waterskin, silently cursing it.

"Iím glad you told me the truth," The warrior said softly as she reached out and spun the waterskin. Once again the two women sat motionless as it spun around and around and around. Finally, it came to rest - once again pointing at the bard.

"Hey! Thatís not fair! Twice in a row!" Gabrielle folded her arms across her chest and stared accusingly at the warrior.

"Thatís the way it goes." The warrior chuckled. "Of course, since you chose Truth last time, you have to take Dare now." There was that look again. Was it what Gabrielle thought it was?

"Since when? I never heard of that rule."

"You must have been playing a different version. Tonight, we play it my way." Her eyes twinkled mischievously.

"Oh, okay then. So, I just have to kiss the closest male Ö gee, thatís a bit hard isnít it?" She grinned, then realised what the absence of a male meant and blushed.

"Youíll just have to make do with me or Argo," the warrior grinned.

"Well, that horse has never liked me, so I think Iíll have to make do with you." She blushed once again before quickly leaning forward and kissing Xena gently on the cheek. "Chicken," she thought to herself.

For the briefest of seconds, an almost disappointed expression fluttered over the warriorís face before she indicated to the waterskin.

"Your turn."

Gabrielle spun a little more gently this time, hoping that it would cause the tip to point at Xena. It worked and she couldnít help but let out a laugh.

"Truth of Dare, Xena," she grinned.

"Truth." The warrior met Gabrielleís gaze evenly.

"Hmm Ö I can ask you anything?"

"Anything." Arrgh! There was that hint of the look again!

"Have you ever had an Ö how should I put this Ö *interest* in other women?" She forced herself to keep the warriorís gaze. Donít let on, Gabrielle. Not until you know for sure.

"Yes," she said simply.

"Can I ask another question, since I had the waterskin point to me twice in a row?"

"Well, usually not, but Iím in a good mood tonight." She grinned.

"*Do* you have an interest in a woman?"

"Yes." Xenaís face was unreadable and the bard let out a silent scream. Why was this so hard to do?

"Since the waterskin hit you twice, and since Iím in such a good mood, Iím going to pretend that itís my turn again. I pick Dare Ö if thatís all right with you."

Gabrielleís heart skipped a beat and all she could do was nod slightly. Xena slowly leaned forward and rested her lips on the bardís cheek. She pulled away slightly before whispering, "letís try that again," and leaning forward to this time kiss the bard on her lips. It only lasted a few seconds, but when she pulled away, Gabrielleís eyes remained closed for a few seconds more before she realised it was all over and her eyes shot open. Xena smiled at her embarrassed expression before gently pushing aside the waterskin.

"I donít think we need this anymore. I dare you to dare me," she chuckled.

Gabrielle grinned and shifted herself closer to the warrior before lifting up her head and giving the older woman another kiss. This time, it lasted longer and their passion mounted. Finally they were forced to brake apart for air. They sat staring into each others eyes for an eternity before Xena reached out and ran the back of her fingers along Gabrielleís cheek. The bard closed her eyes and leaned into Xena's powerful, yet so gentle caress.

"Oh, Xena. Did I ever tell you that I love you?" She opened her eyes and gave the warrior a serious look.

"You just did. And Gabrielle?"

"Yes?"

"I love you too."

The End


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