Disclaimer:I do not own Xena Warrior Princess or any of the characters. Xena and Gabrielle are my friends---and you cant own your friends.
Violence:Naw---This is a love story J .
Subtext:In my stories, it has always been MAINTEXT! If the idea of two women who are deeply in love with each other disturbs you, then dont read my stories.
Spoilers:What could I spoil? Shows been off the air here, unfortunately, for a long time now. You might want to go back, however, and read my other stories. This has become kind of a "series" for me. You might understand Xena and Gabrielle better if you know how theyve gotten to this point.
About Me:I am a 50 year old Xenite and very proud of it! If it matters to you--- no, I am not gay. I am, however, a woman who strongly believes that love is the most important force in the universe. And if you have been lucky enough to find your true Soulmate, the "outside" doesnt matter---its whats inside that counts!
ThanK You:To Mary at AUSXIP: Thank you for accepting me as one of your Bards. Because of you, I have found so much happiness! To Ginny, who wrote me my first fan letter and has become the best friend Ive ever known: You are a blessing to me every day J . To all of you who have read my stories and written to me : Thank you for your kind words and encouragement. And to all of you who read my stories (whether you write to me or not) --- I hope you have enjoyed them.
Comments are always welcome. You can reach me at:
In The Beginning
November 23, 2002
It was the middle of the night, and Xena was wide awake. The house in Amphipolis was so quiet. Outside, there was the slight rustling of leaves as the night breezes played through the trees. The sweet smell of honeysuckle wafted through the open window. The soft glint of moonlight was just enough to illuminate the darkness with a silvery glow.
Xena was sitting in the wooden chair that rested by the wall near the door of the bedroom. She was wearing a dark blue robe that usually lay on the chair, but that she seldom wore. It was always just there in case either she or Gabrielle wanted to use it. The night air was cool----too cool for bare skin. Her well toned legs were crossed, and her legs were exposed up above the knee. On Gabrielle, the same robe almost reached to her ankles.
A slight gust of wind, moved the curtains, and Xena felt the coolness play over her skin. But she was too peaceful to care. Her elbows rested on the chair arms, and her strong hands lay folded across her taught stomach.
Across the room in the wood frame bed that had once belonged only to Xena, Gabrielle lay sleeping on the plump feather mattress. She was laying on her back for a change, her short blonde hair tousled against the feather pillows. A sheet protected her body from the night air, covering all but one arm which lay stretched out, palm up, across the empty space that Xena usually filled. Her left hand was relaxed, and her bonding scar was visible even in the moonlight. Her face was very peaceful, and she wore a slight smile on her soft lips. The sheet rose and fell slowly in cadence with her gentle breathing.
Gabrielle was unaware that Xena was watching her. Xenas blue eyes sparkled in the moonlight, and she had a contented smile on her lips. She could not sleep. Unbeknownst to Gabrielle, this was not the first time, nor would it be the last. There were many nights when Xena awoke and, disengaging herself from her sleeping Warrior Bard, she would sit in the chair and just allow the peace and quiet to envelope her.
She allowed her mind to wander through the book of her life. She would travel through the bad times, as well as the good. This was her time for memories, for reflection, for healing. Even after all these years, the great and powerful Warrior Princess needed this time alone. Sometimes she would weep silent tears, grieving over her past sins and lifes losses. Other times the tears were for the happiness that was in her heart.
Gabrielle was a sound sleeper. She was unaware of Xenas ritual. It was a special time, a secret time, and Xena felt the need to keep it just for herself. Eventually, she would return to their bed and Gabrielle would snuggle up against her, reclaiming her Warrior Princess. And Xena would join her in peaceful slumber.
This night, Xenas memories had paused on a happy page in her book. Perhaps it was because she had been watching her Warrior-Bard so intently as she slept. The memories of their first time filled her mind and warmed her heart. "Do you remember, Gabrielle?" she thought as she smiled at her sleeping Soulmate. "I remember it all."
The road on which they traveled was dusty from lack of rain for several weeks. The sun was high in the sky and beating down upon them. Xena was walking slowly, holding Argos reigns loosely as the Palomino obediently followed her Mistress. It was too hot to force her beloved Argo to carry her. Xenas leather and brass armor felt glued to her skin. Gabrielle trudged along beside her. The Bard of Poteidaia was strangely silent, but Xena knew that beneath her long blonde hair, knee length skirt and long sleeve blouse rolled up to her elbows, she was suffering just as much from the heat.
The only sound was that of Argos feet, and the thud of Gabrielles staff as she poked the end into the dry ground.
"Xena," Gabrielle finally said hopefully, "Is that town getting any closer?"
Xena smiled slightly. "Gabrielle, you just asked me that only a few minutes ago."
"Well?" she asked impatiently.
"Well what" asked Xena, absentmindedly. "Gods, its hot today!"
Gabrielle sighed. "Are we getting near the town?"
Xena wiped the sweat out of her eyes with the back of her hand. "I sure hope so," she said as they continued down the dusty road.
"I wish sometimes she just wouldnt talk so much!" Xena thought. But she knew that Gabrielle had a good heart, and she wasnt doing it to annoy her. "Yes, Gabrielle?"
"I need some water."
" I wish she wouldnt have said that" Xena kept her eyes on the road. "Were out of water. I gave the last of it to Argo."
"WHAT?" Gabrielle shouted. She banged her staff into the ground hard. "Xena----STOP!"
Xena stopped walking and turned to look at Gabrielle. "Even when shes mad, she beautiful!"
"Were hot and dirty and Im thirsty, and you gave our water to thatthat HORSE?" Gabrielle pointed to Argo, who turned her head and snorted disapprovingly.
Xena patted Argos snout. "Argo can get us out of here faster than we can walk---if we need a quick escape. Shes important to us, Gabrielle."
"She hates me!" Gabrielle said, pushing past them to continue down the dusty road.
"Gabrielle, youre acting like .."
"Dont you dare say it, Xena!" she called back in anger. "Im not a child anymore! Im not!"
"Then stop acting like one!" Xena mumbled out loud. She watched Gabrielle storm up the road, and she began to follow with Argo at her side. "Sometimes its hard to remember that shes all grown up now, isnt it Girl?" she said to Argo. "But she can be so darn stubborn!" Argo snorted as if in agreement. Xena patted her neck. "Yea, but I know you like her, too."
Xena watched Gabrielle as she walked well ahead of them. She didnt want Gabrielle to get too far away, in case they ran into any trouble. But she gave her the space that she seemed to need at the moment. It also allowed Xena the freedom to admire the little blonde from afar. They had been together almost three summers now. Gabrielle had grown from a slightly pudgy peasant girl to a very beautiful woman. Her skin was tanned, her arms and legs well toned. She had been so eager to train with Xena to try to get her body into shape. Xena let her mind wander to how gracefully her body moved. She especially thought of how she had looked when she had shed her clothes at their last encampment and approached the lake to bathe.
"Ive got to stop this", Xena thought, shaking her head. "Gabrielle is my friend!" But she had been having more than friendly thoughts about the Bard for a long time now. Almost from the first day they had met. There had always been something about Gabrielle that had drawn Xena to her from the beginning. At first it had been curiosity: the idea of being idolized by the young girl. Then it had been friendship. But as time passed, there was something more. Something that frightened her. Feelings that she was not at all used to.
Shed been able so far to smother those feelings. They were not just feelings---they were desires. But it was getting harder and harder all the time to keep herself under control. Gabrielle would innocently touch her arm, give her a hug, or snuggle up close beside her at night, and Xena would feel her will to control her feelings slipping away.
In her Warlord days, many men and women had given themselves to her willingly. Those that she desired, she took---never once concerned about anything except satisfying her own dark lust.
Even in her travels with Gabrielle, the small blonde never questioned where she often disappeared to at night when they stayed in a town or village. She had so understandingly accepted Xenas need to satisfy her "urges". But Xena had stopped prowling the night. There was only one person that she desired---a small blonde woman from Poteidaia. It would be so easy to take her by force. That had so often been Xenas way. She knew she could overpower anyone---except perhaps for the Gods themselves.
But Gabrielle had saved her life. Not just in a physical sense. She had saved her soul. She had brought her out of her darkness with her gentleness, and compassion, and her sense of humor. She had given her something she had never had----a true friend. And Xena would never do anything to destroy the relationship they had built. Losing Gabrielle would be losing herself.
If only Gabrielle felt the same way. But Xena knew that was impossible. She had never shown her anymore than deep friendship. She had been married to Perdicus for all of one night before he was slain. She flirted and occasionally went out with men---especially the young and very cute type. But she had never been intimate with anyone else---and certainly no one female. Gabrielle was the type who would most likely be repulsed at the thought of being desired by a woman.
"You were right, Xena." Called Gabrielles voice from the distance.
"Yea, I know I am," Xena muttered, still absorbed in her thoughts.
"Hey Warrior Princess----anybody home?"
Xena blinked and focused her eyes up ahead. Gabrielle was standing at the crest of a hill watching her curiously. "What? Oh---yea. I was just .just thinking." She walked toward her friend. "What was I right about?"
Gabrielle pointed down the hill. "Look."
When Xena arrived at her side, she saw a town not far in the distance. After their all day walk in the blazing sun, it was a welcome sight indeed. "Looks safe enough," said Xena, always wary of places they had never been.
"Oh, Xena!" Gabrielle gushed enthusiastically, "If they have an inn, can we get a room. One with a real bed and a bath?"
Xena smiled. "What---no food?" She knew Gabrielle had to be starving by now. They had eaten what was left of their bread and cheese along the way. And although Gabrielle was small, she could pack away food like she was storing it up for the winter.
Gabrielle rolled her eyes and licked her lips. "Oh---a hot meal we didnt have to catch and cook ourselves! Do we have enough money?:
Xena watched the young Bards pink tongue flick across her ruby lips. "Ill steal it if we dont!" she thought. But she calmly replied, "We have enough, Gabrielle."
"Well, come on, Xena!" she said practically running down the dusty road. "I cant wait!"
Xena picked up her pace, giving a slight tug on Argos reins. "Neither can I, Gabrielle." She thought. "Neither can I."
The town was called Hyrantium. It was fairly small, but it did have an Inn. The people seemed friendly, and the stablemaster was very obliging about adding an extra portion of oats for Argo without charge. Xena wiped her down with rags and made sure that she was settled comfortably before going to the Inn. She had left the room arrangements to Gabrielle. The little blonde was very good at charming innkeepers into giving them a good room at a reasonable price.
Sometimes Gabrielle would manage a trade. She would recite a few of her stories in exchange for a room. Innkeepers usually always welcomed a good Bard. A storyteller at suppertime meant happy customers who stayed to eat and drink. Often, Gabrielle would be given a few dinars in addition to the room and board. She could really keep a crowd enthralled for hours.
It was almost dark when Xena entered the Inn. The heat of the day had been replaced by a welcome cool breeze. The Inn only had a few patrons. They were leaning on the big oak bar. "Looks like well have to pay tonight." Xena thought as she scanned the small group of men. At least they all looked harmless enough. She wasnt in the mood for trouble tonight.
Gabrielle was seated at one of the tables. A pile of picked-clean chicken bones lay neatly on her plate. There was another roasted chicken on the table, along with a half loaf of fresh bread, a block of cheese, and a full tankard of port.
Gabrielle was wiping her face and hands, and she looked very contented. "I couldnt wait. I was so hungry, Xena."
"Youre always hungry," Xena said, sitting across from her at the table. She took a large mouthful of the port and swallowed slowly. "Gods, that tastes good!"
"Wait till you taste the chicken! Oh, its all so wonderful!"
Gabrielle was right. The food here was very good. And Xena hadnt realized just how hungry she was. In the end, nothing was wasted. She finished off her drink and ordered another, while Gabrielle had a mug of tea.
A portly middle aged woman with a generous smile approached their table and announced to Gabrielle, "Your baths ready, Miss."
Gabrielles face lit up with a grin. "Oh, come on, Xena. Weve got a tub in our room!"
Xena felt her heart melt as she met Gabrielles beautiful green eyes. They were so expressive, so happy, so loving. She tore herself away from the pools of green, and wrapped her hands around her tankard. "You go on, Gabrielle. Ill be up when I finish my drink."
It wasnt unusual for Xena to make such a request, so Gabrielle did not think it was odd that her friend wanted her to go up alone. She jumped enthusiastically to her feet. "Okay. I cant wait to get all this dust off me."
Xena watched her cross the room and bound up the stairs. Her long blonde hair bounced around her shoulders. "Gods, shes beautiful!," she muttered under her breath. She quickly took a long gulp of her port. "This is ridiculous," she thought. "Ive got to stop this. Shes my best friend. Shes my only real friend. Why is this happening to me?" Xena ran her fingers over the rim of the tankard. "I want to be upstairs right now. I want to touch her face." She closed her eyes. "I want to feel her skin, and taste her lips and ." Xena snapped her eyes open and glanced around quickly, afraid that perhaps she had voiced her thought aloud. "Stop! Stop!" she ordered, as if she could control her thoughts anymore. "What in Tartarus is wrong with you!"
She knew the answer to her own question. She knew. Xena, Warrior Princess----Destroyer of Nations, Dark Warlord feared from Greece to Chin, was in love. At least she thought it was love. She didnt really know how it felt to be in love. She had certainly never felt like this before. Her lips turned up in a smile. It did feel rather nice. Kind of warm and fuzzy. "Oh gods---wouldnt my enemies love to catch wind of that! Id be the laughing stock of all of Greece!" But that wasnt what Xena was afraid of. It was Gabrielle that she feared most of all. "You cant let her know. You cant risk losing her." Xena nodded at her own thoughts. "I know," she said sadly, "I know." Xena rose from her chair slowly and carried the empty mug with her to the bar. One more drink just might dull her senses enough to get her through the night.
Xena opened the door to their room and stepped inside. She made sure that the door was tightly bolted. The room was illuminated by a candle next to the side of the bed, and another on a small table in the center of the room. Moonlight was streaming in through the open window. It was a small room. All Xena really wanted was a bath and a bed. Compared to sleeping on a blanket on the ground out in the elements, this was like the Elysian Fields!
Gabrielle was sitting on the left side of the bed. It always seemed to be her chosen side, whether they were outside on their blankets or sharing a bed. It was not a very large bed and Xena knew Gabrielle would end up snuggling against her. "Give me strength." She thought to herself.
Gabrielle was wearing her linen sleep shift and she was busily brushing her freshly washed hair. She smiled warmly at Xena. "Oh, Xena, that was wonderful! It feels so good to be clean again!"
Xena nodded, trying to keep her eyes away from the beautiful woman whose smile could make her legs grow weak. As she crossed to the other side of the bed, she saw the steam from the freshly poured hot water rising from the tub. She suddenly realized how grungy she felt. She removed her scabbard and chakram and carefully lay them on the floor beside the bed. They always had to remain within reach, even in a pleasant setting such as this. Danger could come at any moment.
She began removing her armor. It was her usual ritual. First the gauntlets and armbands, then the breastplate and back piece, her greaves, boots, leather dress and underware. Before she could reach behind to unhook her breastplate, Gabrielle was up and behind her, working on the buckles.
"Gabrielle---I can do it myself," she said, stepping away from her. She realized her tone of voice sounded a little hard. She hadnt meant it to be.
"You always let me help," said Gabrielle, a note of sadness in her voice.
"I cant look at her," Xena thought as she continued to undress. "Well, Im covered in dust, and you just got clean."
"Oh. Okay." Gabrielle walked over and sat on the foot of the bed, seemingly appeased.
Xena dropped the last of her clothes to the floor. She knew that Gabrielle was watching her. They had seen each other naked many times. Xena tried to imagine that the blonde was not there as she crossed the room, stepped into the tub and lowered her body into the clean hot water. "Oh, gods, this feels good!" she said as the warmth seeped into her aching muscles.
She scrubbed the dirt from her skin, soaped her long black hair, then slipped beneath the water to rinse. When she surfaced, she sputtered and wiped the water from her eyes. Suddenly she felt warm hands on her shoulders, and she looked up to see Gabrielle standing over her. "Gabrielle ."
"Sshhh," said the Bard, squeezing the flesh tightly between her hands. "Your muscles are so tight. Relax Xena."
"Im laying in a tub naked and shes touching me. Sure, Xena---relax." Xena closed her eyes as Gabrielles strong fingers kneaded the taught muscles. Her touch was firm, but always so gentle. So .loving. Xena frowned. "Gabrielle has always seemed to enjoy touching me. She isnt even shy about me seeing her naked anymore." Xena smiled at the memories of Gabrielle dashing off into the bushes to change her clothes. That hadnt happened in a long time.
"Youre smiling. Does that feel good?" Gabrielle asked quietly.
"Ummmm," Xena replied as she felt the tension draining out of her body. But as Gabrielle continued, Xena began to feel a warmth spreading deep within her. In a forbidden place. Xena sighed. It felt so good, so arousing, so .right. Gabrielles hand slid down her arm beneath the water and gently brushed against her sensitive breast. No----this wasnt right at all!
Xena grabbed the sides of the tub and quickly got to her feet, pushing a startled Gabrielle aside. "Waters getting cold!" she exclaimed, stepping out of the tub, the rivulets running down her skin and forming a puddle on the floor. "A towel, Gabrielle. I need a towel!" Her voice sounded stern and demanding, and Gabrielle quickly grabbed a towel from the bed and held it out to her. Xena snatched it from her and quickly wrapped it around her body, making sure that it was fastened tightly.
"Xena," asked Gabrielle in a trembling voice, "Whats wrong?"
Xena padded barefoot over to the bed. "Wrong?" She grabbed another towel and began to roughly dry her long black hair. "Nothings wrong."
The small blonde folded her arms across her chest. She had regained her composure, and she wanted answers. "Look, Xena---youve been acting strange for awhile now."
"Youre imagining things. Im Im just tired, thats all," she said, sidestepping Gabrielle to get the sleep shift that Gabrielle had so carefully laid out for her on the bed.
But Gabrielle managed to quickly step in front of her. "Xena---talk to me, please." Her tone of voice was almost pleading.
Xena raised her head, forcing herself to look deeply into her liquid emerald eyes. She could feel her heart leap in her chest. "I wish I could, Gabrielle, but I cant. I cant!" Xena shook her head. "Nothing is wrong," she said, turning her back to the Bard. "Ive got to get out of here!" Xena reached down and picked up her leather dress from the floor.
"Xena, what are you doing? You just told me you were tired."
She shook the dust from her dress. "Im going to go out for awhile." She said, trying to keep her voice calm. "Ive got to go. Ive got to get away from her."
Gabrielle was suddenly in front of her again, only this time she grabbed Xenas arm and held on tightly. "No!," she said firmly, "Not this time."
Xena swallowed hard. Her legs felt weak. Gabrielles hand squeezing her arm was so warm. She could smell the soap she had used on her hair, and the scent of the skin that was Gabrielle. She felt as if she would drown in the depths of her eyes. "Oh gods, shes so beautiful!"
The small blonde held her ground. She knew that Xena could easily knock her aside. But she also knew that Xena would never hurt her. "Why do you want to run away?"
Xena lowered her gaze. "Im not running. You know ..you know how I get, Gabrielle. I have needs."
"Why do you leave me alone to go off with strangers, Xena?" she asked quietly, "When you could stay here with me?"
Xenas eyes locked onto Gabrielles, and she saw them glistening with tears. "Gabrielle ." But the words would not come out. Why was Gabrielle crying? "Does she know how I feel? Is she so unselfish that shes willing to give herself to me?" Xena calmly removed Gabrielles hand from her arm. "You dont understand."
Gabrielles face broke into a warm smile. "I think I finally do understand, Xena. I see it. I finally see it in your eyes."
The Warrior Princess was suddenly deeply embarrassed. She lowered her gaze to the floor and whispered, "Forgive me, please. I .I never meant for this to happen."
"Please look at me," she begged. Once Xena had focused her blue eyes on her, Gabrielle said, "Dont you know, Xena?"
The Warrior Princess frowned at her blankly. "Know what, Gabrielle?"
Gabrielle slowly moved closer to her until their bodies were almost touching. "This," she said in a whisper. And Gabrielle reached up slowly and slid her hand behind Xenas neck. She slowly pulled her head down closer to her level. Xena knew what was coming, but she was unable to defend herself against this small woman. She felt Gabrielles warm breath on her face, and then the softest lips she had ever felt lightly touched her own.
Xena groaned as she allowed her lips to play over Gabrielles. Hesitantly, she enfolded Gabrielle in her well muscled arms. Even with towel and shift between them, she could feel the heat rising in their bodies. Gabrielle pressed herself tighter against her, and raised her body just high enough so that their breasts touched. Xena gently and timidly allowed her tongue to trace over Gabrielles upper lip. To her surprise, Gabrielles lips parted, and they both moaned softly as their tongues met for the first time and began a sensual dance.
Xena had never experienced a kiss more full of passion and desire. "This cant be happening," she thought, but the woman in her arms was soft and warm and eager. This was Gabrielle. But this wasnt Gabrielle. Not the Gabrielle that she knew.
Xena forced herself to break the kiss, raising her head, but still holding Gabrielle tightly in her arms. "Are you sure you want this, Gabrielle?" she asked, her voice deep and husky.
Gabrielle reached up and caressed her cheek. She was smiling and her green eyes were full of love. "From the first time I ever laid eyes on you." But then she bit her lip self-consciously. "I .I dont know what to do, Xena. I never ..with a woman, I mean .." She stopped, her cheeks beginning to blush a beautiful shade of red.
"Are you afraid?" Xena asked. She realized that she was shaking inside. "Because I sure am!" she thought. Gabrielle nodded silently. Xena cupped her strong hand under Gabrielles chin and whispered, "I will never hurt you. That I swear to you on my life."
Gabrielle pulled away from Xenas grasp. For a fleeting moment, Xena thought that her Bard had changed her mind. But Gabrielle pulled her sleep shift over her head and tossed it aside. Xena gasped unexpectedly. She had seen Gabrielle naked so many times, but never before had the sight of her body been more exciting, more frightening, more
Before Xena had a chance to respond, Gabrielle reached forward and loosened the towel covering Xenas body. It fell silently to the floor. For the first time, they faced each other not as friends, but as potential lovers. Xena felt suddenly even more nervous as Gabrielle looked at her body with such adoration. She couldnt move. She couldnt speak. Gabrielle grasped her hand gently, and Xena followed her to the bed slowly.
"Gabrielle .." she said, managing to find her voice, "After tonight .everything will be different." She knew that after they experienced making love to each other, it would be impossible to go back to just being friends.
Gabrielle sat on the bed and looked up at her. "Will you still be here in the morning?" she asked quietly.
Xenas face broke into a smile. "And every morning for the rest of our lives." She answered as her lovers pledge to this beautiful young Bard from Poteidaia.
Gabrielle stretched out on top of the bed and held out her arms to her Warrior Princess. "Then lets start this journey together."
Xena slowly and carefully lowered herself into Gabrielles waiting arms. When their bodies meshed together so perfectly, Xena knew. "This is what Ive been waiting for. This is where I belong."
Xena sighed contentedly as her mind and senses returned to the bedroom of their house in Amphipolis. Yes, they had been wonderful memories tonight. She was very, very happy. She rose slowly from the chair and discarded her robe. Naked in the moonlight, she carefully slipped under the sheet on her side of the bed, and stretched out onto her back on the feather mattress. Another sigh of contentment escaped her lips.
Gabrielle turned onto her side, and snuggled up against Xenas body. Her soft breasts pressed against Xenas side, her warm arm slipped around her waist. One leg instinctively draped over Xenas thigh. Gabrielle lay her head in the hollow of Xenas shoulder, her cheek pressed against her breast. "I love you, Xena," she mumbled, just loudly enough to be heard.
Xena folded her arms around her gently and kissed her forehead lightly. And she spoke the words she had first said that first night so many years ago. "I love you, Gabrielle."
And in the warm embrace of her small blonde Warrior-Bard, Xena found peace once again.
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