These characters don't belong to me, they belong to those nice PTB at MCA/Universal. I am
borrowing for my own sick and twisted amusement. The story, however, does belong to me.
It's copyrighted to the author on 2/1/99. This story does contain the idea and concept of
two women in-love.
"Aren't You Two..."
Tales of the Warrior Princess: The Private Scrolls of Gabrielle The Bard Who Loved Her
"...lovers?" was a question I got a lot. The first time it was asked, I was startled at the idea that people thought we were lovers.
We had been staying in the Amazon village for a few days, taking advantage of Queen Melosa's generosity. As Amazon Princess I now found myself allowed to wander the village. Having never had any contact with Amazons before this, I thought it would be a good idea for me to get a better understanding of how things worked. I wasn't sure what my obligation would be as Amazon Princess. Although the title was mine through the binding passing of the Right of Caste, many warriors were still resentful of me and the title I now carried.
That's why I thought she followed me that day. Everywhere I went I had her as a shadow. It was nice to have her following me for once, rather than me getting to see the backend of Argo most of the day. I just assumed she was protecting me from those that were angry with me. But, she told me much later that she thought she was actually protecting my virtue. Apparently she'd thought she'd seen something more than resentment in the eyes of the Amazons.
"They were all drooling," she drawled out, her mouth forming a smirk.
I smacked her hand lightly, feeling my face reddening in a blush. "They were looking at you, my formidable warrior."
She was serious as she looked into my eyes. "No Gabrielle, they were looking at you. So was I."
It was during that time that I was first asked about the nature of my relationship with Xena. Ephiny, still not comfortable around me, approached me one day while Xena thrashed some Amazon warriors on the practice grounds.
She stood next to me for a moment, both of us watching the amazingly graceful body of the seasoned warrior. Watching Xena go through her practice routines always managed to hold my fascination. Even after we had traveled together for years, it was as exciting to watch then as it had been when I first saw her rippling muscles being completely controlled by her careful actions. But, I'm letting myself get sidetracked with that image.
Where was I? Oh yeah, Ephiny was standing next to me and both of us were watching as Xena practiced on the Amazon warriors. Eventually, Ephiny turned toward me and bluntly asked, "Are you two lovers?"
Caught off guard, I must have given her a look that belied my incomprehension because she rolled her eyes and loudly exhaled. "You, her," she looked at Xena, "lovers." Drawing out the last word, she smiled at me in a seductive manner.
"Uh, no." For once my answer was short. I remember thinking about it for the first time at that moment. Lovers? Me and Xena? It was laughable. I mean, Xena treated me like a persistent child most of the time.
Ephiny merely gave a sharp nod to me in return, her attention once again on my best friend. Processing the information, I secretly studied the way Ephiny was examining my friend. It took me some time to come to the conclusion that Ephiny desired Xena.
Now, love between women wasn't new to me, but I'd never considered that it would be something that Xena would be interested in. It hit me with a sudden impact that day. Xena was just as attractive to women as she was to men. Why hadn't I thought of that? I knew she was very attractive, maybe the most beautiful person I'd ever seen. Why hadn't I looked at her as a sexual person?
After that realization I looked at her differently. I saw how she practically dripped with sensuality. She would often use that to her advantage. Without realizing it, I began to have very strong feelings about her.
The more people we met, the more I was asked the question. I began to look at why they asked me if we were lovers. Yes, we traveled together, and yes we were close, but there had to be more to it than that.
On the road, I was offered the company of many men. Well, at least from those who could get by Xena. Once or twice a vulgar, usually drunken, man asked her how much a night with me would cost them. Needless to say, they were quickly made to understand how they were wrong.
When we were with the Amazons, I never was propositioned. After a few visits, that bothered me. Wasn't I attractive enough? Maybe it was because I became their queen. But I began to suspect otherwise. Finally, I asked Ephiny.
I will always remember the first time I met Ephiny. She'd changed so much over time, and had become a very close friend. When I asked my question, her face broke out in a smile.
"Aren't you and Xena lovers?"
I was beginning to feel exasperated. "Why? Why does everyone assume that Xena and I are together?"
"I take that to be a no," she paused and I thought she was going to avoid my question. "Gabrielle, I know it must seem like we assume because you and Xena are close, but it's not that. It goes beyond the fact that you travel together, or that you have a strong friendship. It's the soft glow in your eyes when you look at each other. It's the look of lovers." She shrugged as if it was something that wasn't easily explained, but everyone understood it just the same.
I was in love with Xena by this point, but I didn't think it was that obvious.
"She gets the same look in her eyes when you're around," Ephiny explained when I told her this.
Could Xena love me as much as I loved her? I didn't do anything with this knowledge. I did, however, begin to pay more attention to how she looked at me. It could have been my imagination, or just the desire to see it there, but I did begin to notice a change in her eyes when she looked at me. One minute she could be focusing on an enemy, her eyes cold with hatred, and then, once those eyes were looking in my direction, they became softer and filled with emotion.
One day we stopped in Amphipolis to see Cyrene. I was outside checking the saddlebags for a scroll I'd started, when Xena came storming out of her mother's tavern. She was clearly muttering something, her hands clenched at her side.
"Why do they always ask me that? I don't get it! They assume..." That was all I caught of her mumbling as she walked passed me into the barn. I don't think she even saw me. I smiled to myself when I realized what had transpired in the tavern. I knew how Xena felt.
I kept that bit of information tucked away as I did the others. I didn't know how Xena felt, but I wasn't going to ask either. She'd have to tell me when she was ready. Like I wouldn't have seen it before I talked to Ephiny, Xena would have to find a way on her own to come to the conclusion that I had -- she was in love with me.
It was funny. After we did become lovers we found that our close friends no longer asked. We didn't volunteer the information, mostly because we both understood that Xena still had enemies out there who would love to take me from her. But our friends didn't need to ask. When I told Ephiny about the change in our relationship, she laughed, telling me she already knew.
"How?" I'd asked with surprise.
"It's your face, Gabrielle. Your smile tells me as does Xena's." I thought about it. She had been smiling more lately.
Thinking about it now, I think I have one answer. We were meant to be together, long before we admitted it to each other. Everyone else saw what we didn't and they assumed that we were lovers. Ask me now and I'll admit if proudly because my love for her always has surpassed anything else.
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