Disclaimer: You know the drill. I dont own them, but I love them as if they were mine (and Im sure theyd be happier with me than TPTB if only I could convince them). Im not making any money off of this; its purely for entertainment purposes. Xena and all things Xena belong to Universal/Renaissance. Lucky dogs.
I am a firm believer in the idea that Xena and Gabrielle are lovers, so
Love/Sex: Yup. Always.
Spoiler Warning: Although there are not any major plot-ruining spoilers in this story, it is set immediately after the episode Chakram. If you havent seen it and dont want to read anything that might even slightly resemble a spoiler, maybe you should avoid this one for now.
Authors Note: Gotta thank my beta-reader, Syz, for pointing me in the right direction (even though I had to explain to her that 54" to somebody whos close to six feet tall is, in fact, "little"). My stories are much better than they might have been because she reads them first.
Feedback is much appreciated. firstname.lastname@example.org
Gods, its good to have her back. Its good to be back to my old self again, as well. I feel like were starting over and its not necessarily a bad thing.
I wasnt myself for a while. I do know that. I was aware of everything that went on. I lost my own bearings for a bit, but I remembered everybody else and everything about them, the ragtag bunch of misfits that followed me to Rome.
Eli and his Way of Love. Its odd how hes starting to grow on me, despite my misgivings with his chosen path. After all, the guy did bring us back from the dead, I dont care what he says. That earns him a place on my top ten list. When I had to tell him that I believed his friend Caleb was dead, there was a fire burning in the blue depths of his eyes, a fire I was very familiar with at one time. He vowed to us that Calebs death absolutely would not be a waste and I admired the tenacity and determination with which he said it. I know how Gabrielle feels about him, so Ive learned to keep my criticisms of him to myself. However, it takes a big man to admit that his pride got in the way, but Eli did it, and that earns him my respect. I still wonder about him, about his power and if he even realizes how much of it he actually possesses. I havent seen Ares become a shrinking violet in anybodys presence except Zeus, but he was definitely getting some scary vibes from Eli. I almost laughed out loud. I actually think Im going to miss the peace-loving beatnik.
Amarice, the renegade Amazon. Shes another one who seems to be growing on me. I have to admit I didnt like her following us. I didnt like her attitude towards Gabrielles chosen path at the time. An Amazon Queen who wont fight. I cant say I blamed Amarice for her skepticism, but to her credit, she protected her Queen whenever it was necessary, even if she did scowl in disgust the entire time.
Ive caught an odd look on her face every now and then, a sort of wistful grimace followed quickly by a flash of regret. My guess would be that she feels terribly guilty for running from the Romans instead of trying to help us fight. Im afraid she blames herself along with Eli for our crucifixion. Of course, shes wrong. Gabrielle and I both know it was our destiny. Try as I did to avoid it, it happened anyway. There was nothing Amarice could have done any differently that would have accomplished anything other than getting her killed as well. I need to sit and talk with her about this at some point, try to relieve her of some of her guilt before it begins to fester in her heart. Maybe Gabrielle can give me some "sensitive chat" advice tomorrow.
Joxer the Mighty. How is it that these initially annoying people are rapidly becoming my most treasured friends? I cant count the number of times Ive wanted to throttle him, rip him limb from limb with my bare hands just because he wouldnt shut up or I caught him ogling my little bard one time too many. But, he came all the way to Rome simply because he was having bad dreams about us. He risked his own life to attempt to take our bodies back home and give us the burials he knew we wanted. Thats a brave, big-hearted man. Of course, I dont know if Ill ever tell him that. He doesnt take compliments well, or rather, he takes them too well and prattles on and on, which makes me not only wish I had never said anything, but instills in me once again the nearly irresistible urge to tear his throat out.
I remember when I was stuck in Callistos body and Joxer had tried to protect Argo from me. I did what Gabrielle said I should try to do more often: I thanked him and told him I appreciated what he had done, that it took a brave man to stand up to somebody like Callisto, simply for a horse. Instead of nodding or just saying thanks or something quick and easy like that, he rambled on and on about how of course he was brave, he was Joxer the Mighty, a vicious warrior who drank the blood of his enemies and blah, blah, blah. I had to call upon every ounce of strength I had to resist the impulse to just run him through and be done with it.
He asked my advice about telling Gabrielle hes in love with her. Even now, when I think about it, I can only shake my head and roll my eyes. The poor sap. How often has he traveled with us? How often has he slept in the same campsite? Is he deaf as well as blind? The first time he tagged along, I discovered my little bard found the possibility of getting caught incredibly exciting and we spent several hours that night straining against one another in stifled, desperate passion, not three body lengths away from the Mighty Snorer. We tried hard to be quiet, something Gabrielle has a difficult time with anyway, but I know we werent. He must have been sleeping like the dead not to hear his beloved groaning her release into my shoulder.
Im interested to see how Gabrielle handles his admission, as I am not positive hes told her yet. Im sure she wont be surprised by it, although she may be shocked that he actually says the words. I mean, it isnt something that comes as a surprise. He follows her around like a puppy, for Gaias sake. Subtlety is not his strong suit. But, I know my bard and shell want to do whatever she can to spare his feelings. She wont want to hurt him, but I dont know if thats possible. I know exactly where hes at right now. Ive been there. He thought he lost her forever - again, but now shes back and he doesnt want to lose her a third time without telling her how he feels. I was in the same boat almost exactly one year ago.
I fully expected to die that day. Never in a million years did I think I would, instead, have to face life without Gabrielle. I was physically sick for days, weeks. When she returned and I still dont know exactly how that happened, although I refuse to look a gift horse in the mouth all I could think of was how I needed to tell her how much I love her and tell her as often as possible. It suddenly became very important that she know.
Luckily for me, Gabrielle feels the same. I know she does, she tells me all the time. Not so for Joxer. Im afraid hes in for a bit of a heartbreak. I tried to help as best I could by suggesting that he have no expectations of Gabrielle, as I know she doesnt feel the same way about him. She loves him like a brother and I hope that will end up being enough for the poor guy. Well see.
Gabrielle. My love. My light. My life. Shes back to her old self, and then some. Eli told me about their conversation, about how she admitted to him that his way was not for her. She told him her path was next to me, that she would do whatever she had to do to protect me. How my heart soared when I heard that! Ive wanted for so long to just lay it out for her, to tell her, point blank, that total and complete nonviolence was not going to work for her. To my own credit, I was able to keep my big, warrior mouth shut and let her decide for herself. It got us crucified, but thats beside the point.
She said shed protect me and protect me she did. Gods, she was beautiful to watch! My sudden desire for nonviolence did not inhibit my ability to appreciate the grace and choreography of a good fight, thank the gods. Gabrielle was amazing. I assume her archangel skills must have stayed with her on the return trip, because she was using the sais like shes used them all her life. Blocking, striking, roundhouse kicks, and spinning vaults over her opponents; she was not a force to be reckoned with, as Kals thugs soon discovered. I watched, dry-mouthed, as her muscles flexed and bunched, her sea-green eyes darting from side to side, always aware of where her enemies were. Her new clothes seemed perfectly suited for the exertion, allowing her plenty of freedom to swing her arms and legs, but showing enough of her magnificent body to cause a slight distraction. I know from experience that most soldiers dont expect a pretty young thing like Gabrielle to be able to whip their asses in a fight and I took great pleasure in watching her do just that. The astounded looks on their faces were amusing. The double-takes from Amarice were even better.
Gabrielle was careful to strike only to injure. She didnt kill unless left with no alternative she hasnt changed that much. In fact, I think change is the wrong word. My bard hasnt changed. Shes grown. I admit that I worried about us during our trip to India. We seemed to be going in such different directions and I was concerned that our paths might never intersect again. I realize now that it was a journey she needed to take in order to find herself and her true path in life.
She said something else to Eli, something in which I found relief and great comfort. She told him that at the time when I first came back, when I was not quite myself and unable to kill, at that moment, I was everything she always wanted me to be. Nonviolent, willing to walk away from a battle to prevent harm from coming to others, calm and peace-loving. And she didnt like it. She didnt like it! My little bard was finally able to grasp the idea of the balance between light and dark, something I only recently came to terms with after my conversation with Lord Krishna. It took Gabrielle a while longer, but she finally got it. I tried to hide my happiness after all, I didnt want Eli to think I was a total heathen who thinks violence is the only answer and peace is for the birds but Im sure he saw it. He even smiled at it, maybe realizing the importance of the balance himself.
Looking back now, my greatest moment of joy came a little later, on my balcony . I was trying to get some idea from whatever higher power brought me back without my darkness exactly what was expected of me. Gabrielle came to me, concern on her face. I felt a rush in my heart as I looked at her. I didnt recognize the Xena that Id become, but I did know that she was the kind of person Gabrielle had always wanted her to be. If becoming this new, peace-loving ex-warrior would make my bard happy, Id do it. Thats when she told me she thought it was vital that we retrieve the dark part of me that Id lost. As she explained why, the rush in my heart became a raging river, despite the unfamiliar emptiness Id been feeling, and it threatened to burst through the walls and right out of my chest, so filled with love was I. Her words made such perfect sense; it all seemed so simple. All I could do was look at her, my beautiful, beloved Gabrielle. When had she become so wise?
I remember thinking some time this morning that a small part of me wishes we might run back into that whacko Najara. Id love the opportunity to rub her nose in the fact that, not only is Gabrielle still with me, but weve come full circle, comfortable with our chosen paths, especially since they stretch out side by side for eternity. So there, you obsessive bitch. Then, of course, Id have to wrap her around a tree or something.
It feels good to be back. I feel stronger, more sure of myself and my life than I ever have. Being a peace-lover must have taken a lot out of me, because I relished the battle yesterday like I never have before. My body was a machine, muscles singing in harmony with my weapons. And my new chakram wow! I cant wait to practice with it. I feel like a kid with a new toy. Afterwards, my battle lust was stronger than ever and it was all I could do to keep from tossing Gabrielle over my shoulder and whisking her away to the woods to satisfy my aching hunger. But, there were people to take care of and goodbyes to be said, so I tried hard to rein in the growling animal that resides in my soul. I noticed Gabrielle talking quietly to Amarice, who smirked and nodded. Soon, she was pulling Joxer by his creaking metal breastplate, saying nonchalantly that theyd scout ahead and not to worry if they werent back with us before dark, that theyd just make camp and wait for us to catch up in the morning.
Then, they were gone and Gabrielles smoldering green eyes were twinkling mischievously as she turned them on me.
We made love recklessly at first. I think the battle lust must have gotten its claws into her, too, because she met my dominance with demands of her own. We each struggled for control of the other, rolling over and over on the floor of the clearing where we had set up our own little camp, needing absolutely to satisfy the dark beasts within us. Sex with Gabrielle has always been incredibly exhilarating for me, but this was unbelievable. More than once, she actually growled at me, pushing my hands away predominately or even more astonishing pinning them to the ground above my head as she straddled my hips.
Inside, I was fighting my own battle. Part of me a big part of me wanted to simply turn the tables and take command, satisfying my own immediate need to plunge my fingers into her, hear her gasp and beg me not to stop. I knew I could do it and so did she. Another part of me argued to let her keep the upper hand, at least for a little while longer, because I know what its like to be consumed by the need to dominate. Somehow, that smaller part won out, though the internal battle continued. Gabrielle seemed to sense it and she looked deep into my eyes, silently asking me if this was okay.
"Control freak," I whispered, grinning at her, my hands still held above me. She simply growled again and silenced me with a kiss that seared me to my very core, so intense was it. From that point, we were like animals, primal and aggressive, frantically tearing at the clothing we each wore, desperate to get to the skin underneath. We joked later that shed had her new top all of two days before I ripped one of the straps off. I told her thats what she gets for dressing to tease me.
After the first time, in which we brought each other to rapid and almost violent climaxes simultaneously, we slowed down. The recklessness was replaced by passion, the aggression by tenderness, the dominance by love. When we kissed, it was slow and deep and intimate it was hard to tell where her mouth ended and mine began. I worshipped her body as I spread it out beneath me, leaving no inch of creamy flesh untouched by my fingers or tongue. I whispered quiet words of love to her and she moaned them back to me as I explored her as if Id never been with her before, as if every part of her was new to me. In a way, it was. It was the first time since Ive known her that I felt she absolutely and certainly, without a doubt, understood me. Truly understood me. I noticed, as I finally answered her whispered pleas and brought my mouth to her, that she even tasted different somehow sweeter on my tongue, something I didnt think was even possible, and I couldnt get enough of her. I spent nearly the entire night there, stretched out between her smooth thighs, smelling her, tasting her, plunging into the depths of her, denying her attempts to please me, unable to get my fill of her, simply consuming the very essence of her as if it were necessary to sustain life.
I stopped many hours later, only after her weak-voiced assurances that she was entirely too numb to feel anything anymore and she fumbled blindly to grasp my shoulder and attempt to pull me up to lay on her. She was sweaty and breathless, bleary-eyed and exhausted, barely able to stay focused on me. Ive decided her short hair is very sexy and I brushed the damp tendrils off her forehead, placing a soft kiss there. She told me she couldnt feel her legs and scolded me for not letting her return the favor. I simply smiled as I wrapped her up in my arms. I adore when Gabrielle makes love to me. Shes an incredibly skilled lover, knowing by instinct as well as observation exactly how I need her to touch me at any given time sometimes hard and fast, sometimes slow and sensual, sometimes both, as was the case that night. But at that point in time, nothing made me happier than to feel her, to touch her, to taste her and listen to her responding to me. I was more than satisfied and I told her so.
Her body was very much like a rag doll and she allowed me to situate our bodies into our standard sleeping position, with her head cradled under my chin and her body snug against my side. I knew by the time we woke up, she would be fully atop me like a blanket, snoring softly with her head on my chest. She didnt disappoint me.
We caught up with Amarice and Joxer a couple of hours ago. It will be a long trip home, but the knowledge of our destination is comfort enough to keep our pace fairly brisk. Joxer has been unusually quiet today and I can only guess what he must be thinking. I know now that he did, indeed, tell his feelings to my bard yesterday in the temple, but she hasnt given him much of a response. I think his timing threw her off a bit. After all, the middle of a battle isnt exactly a great place to have a sensitive chat, even for her. But, I know her and shell talk to him soon.
Gabrielle is walking several yards in front of me, talking with Amarice, whos eyes shine with new respect for the Amazon Queen. Every so often Her Majesty turns back and gives me a look. My mouth goes dry and my body tingles with the memories of last night as I feel the dampness coat my breeches. I narrow my eyes at her and glare menacingly, as she knows exactly what shes doing to me. She simply favors me with that beautiful smile of hers. Nobody has ever looked at me with such unconditional love. My soulmate.
Gods, its good to have her back.
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