I Can’t Make Love With You
By: Caina Q. Fuller
This story takes place during ‘Ten Little Warlords’.
Gabrielle sat next to Xena; the heat of the campfire heated the front portion of her body, but her back was uncomfortably cold. This was just one more annoyance to exacerbate the irrational anger that had taken root in her heart. She was angry with everyone and everything, and she could see no end to her anguish in sight.
It didn’t help that her best friend, her lover, was trapped inside the body of the woman she hated most. Gabrielle stared at Callisto’s body, angry that her soul mate was trapped within the shell of a woman that had caused her so much pain.
Every time she looked at Callisto’s face, the image of the blond psychopath cutting down her childhood sweetheart, not to mention countless other innocent people, filled her mind. The flames of hatred welled up within her once again, so she tried hard to shove away images of Perdicas’ dead body and concentrate on the movements ‘Callisto’ was making before her as she placed a log on the fire.
Gabrielle could see Xena in every move Callisto’s body made. She tilted her head just as Xena always did; the soul behind Callisto’s brown eyes was definitely that of her newfound lover, Xena. Gabrielle decided that since there was a very real possibility Xena would be trapped for eternity in Callisto’s body, she would try to think of this woman as Xena. She would go back to her mission of forgetting that Callisto had ever been born and see this woman as the one she’d chosen to spend the rest of her life with.
Xena placed a log on the fire, and Gabrielle struggled to bite back a mean remark about how much she hated Callisto. She was, after all, trying to forget Callisto. She had to. Now that she and Xena had moved beyond friendship and had become lovers, she would have to see past this shell and into Xena’s heart if she were ever going to be able to make love with Xena again. Then it occurred to Gabrielle for the first time that this may destroy their love life forever.
“You’re right you know. You can’t trust Ares,” Gabrielle said, squeezing her staff. It helped her, sometimes, to deal with her anger. “There are many gods on Mt. Olympus. There’s gotta be one that can help switch you back into your own body.”
Gabrielle could see the doubt in Xena’s eyes as she looked up from the fire. She decided to pace to work off the sudden, unexpected sexual energy pulsing in her thighs. Strange. She was repulsed at the idea of Callisto’s hands on her flesh, but at the same time her almost uncontrollable anger fueled her desire for sex.
What was equally strange was her awareness of life around her. Gabrielle hated the violent urges coursing through her body, but at the same time she found herself attracted by the impulse to do battle.
Gabrielle continued to talk, struggling to string together a meaningful sentence from the senseless words struggling to escape from her mouth.
“Of course, you know he won’t make it. Not with those warlords. Who wouldn’t want to make their rep by wasting the god of War? Or ex. Or…otherwise. I hope that it’s slow and painful. A taste of his own medicine.”
The pity she found in Xena’s eyes infuriated Gabrielle, though she knew that if Ares were still the standing god of war on Mt. Olympus she would be touched by the look. Gabrielle watched Xena’s lips part. She was about to speak in Callisto’s voice. Gods how she hated that voice!
“Try to get some sleep.”
“Who can sleep? Now I know what its like to be you! It’s exhilarating! Always alert; ready for a fight. Trouble could break out any time-“
“Gabrielle! Get a grip. You lose control now and there’s no turning back.”
“You seem to be controlling yourself pretty well,” Gabrielle said hotly.
Xena stood, and for one brief moment Gabrielle forgot that this was not the body she longed to make love with each night in their bedrolls. But the moment was brief indeed, and the sight of Callisto’s somewhat skinny body repulsed her again. She didn’t want this figure. She wanted Xena’s tall, thick, muscular body.
“I’ve lived with anger longer. Like it or not, it’s a part of me.”
Xena reached out and touched her. Instead of inflaming her underlying desire for sex, the feel of Callisto’s hands made her angry and a little sick. “Get your hands off me.”
The pain in Xena’s eyes should have hurt Gabrielle, but it didn’t. It excited her. It scratched the itch of hate that was just under her skin. She wanted to hurt this woman again, and she hated herself for it. Gods this was torture!
“Do you remember that poem ‘Elysian Fields’ you used to like so much? Every time you feel angry I want you to recite it.”
Gabrielle thought Xena’s suggestion stupid, but she was willing to give anything a try. “Elysian Fields calm and green. Love birds singing, so serene-“
“Gabrielle,” Xena said, interrupting her. “I didn’t mean right now.”
Gabrielle turned on her lover. “I am boiling mad right now! At you! I’ve got this overwhelming desire to just knock you upside your irritating blond-“
Xena reached out, taking hold of her shoulders. The way she was touching her was Xena, but the face…
“I want you to wait here tomorrow,” Xena said. “I’m going with Ares.”
Fear stabbed at Gabrielle’s stomach. No matter how often Xena whispered to her as they were making love that Gabrielle was the only one she wanted to be with, Gabrielle had a secret fear that Xena would grow tired of being with her. She and Xena enjoyed good sex, but until someone figured out a way to give women penises there were some things Gabrielle couldn’t do for Xena.
Ares could, however. He could make love to Xena in a way she never would be able to. She knew Xena well, and she knew Xena’s tastes in bed. Sure, she’d used a phallus on Xena before, but it wasn’t the same as being with a man. She knew from personal experience.
Gabrielle feared deep inside that one day the woman she loved would abandon her to follow the god of War to glory. Not on the battlefield, but in his bed. Now here Xena was, telling her that she was going to leave with Ares the next day. Even after all the pain he’d put Xena through, Gabrielle knew of Xena’s weakness for bad boys, and Ares was as bad as they came. Would she really leave her for Ares? Did Xena have any clue to the fear in her heart?
“That’s my decision. End of discussion.”
Xena turned and went to the fire while Gabrielle went to her bedroll, angry that Xena was refusing to discuss the subject. She didn’t try to continue the talk however. She knew Xena well, and she knew that the warrior princess would stubbornly ignore anything she said, so she decided not to waste her breath.
Gabrielle pulled off her clothes and then pulled the cover over her. She could hear Xena undressing behind her, and for the first time her anger cooled. She realized that she and Xena hadn’t made love in almost three weeks, and once again her desire for lovemaking returned. Her heart began to pound and her womanhood became moist and hot.
Though she was in Callisto’s body, Gabrielle knew Xena would hear her heart pounding and her breath coming in short gasps. Sure enough hot, naked flesh eased into the bedroll behind her.
Maybe, Gabrielle thought, I can forget Callisto. Maybe I can see past her body and into the soul of the woman I love. Maybe…
Xena’s hand, almost feverish in warmth, lazily trailed over Gabrielle’s right hip. Slowly the hand found its way between her legs, massaging her spot in circles with just the right pressure Gabrielle needed to get off quickly. The touch was right, but the hand itself was not. It was too small, to bony.
It was Xena’s soul, but it wasn’t Xena’s touch. Not quite.
“I love you Gabrielle.”
The sound of Callisto’s voice in her ear was like a bucket of ice-cold water over Gabrielle’s naked flesh. Gabby pushed her lover away and sat up, looking at the full moon shining above them.
“I can’t Xena. I’m sorry. I can’t make love with you.” Gabrielle looked down to find her heartbroken lover staring back at her. “Not yet. I still see Callisto more than I see your soul. Give me time.”
The heartbreak in Xena’s eyes slowly changed to understanding. She nodded at Gabrielle. “I understand. I do love you, you know?”
Gabrielle nodded, her anger momentarily, mercifully abating. “I know. I love you too.”
Gabrielle lay back down, staring into Xena’s eyes. Sleep was long in coming as she looked into the soul of the woman she loved, trapped inside the body of the woman she despised.