SUCH A SMALL PRICE TO PAY...
Copyright Zealander1@aol.com Darkbard Fantasies August 9, 1996 The characters of Xena and Gabrielle are the property of MCA/Universal. The story is all mine.
This is my first attempt at fanfic - boy how times have changed! This is really not very good... for anyone who lacks courage but feels the need to try...just go for it!
Mid-day. Sunny and warm. On the road to Athens. Xena and Gabrielle stop in a small village, name unknown, to replenish their supplies for the rest of the journey.
X - (matter of factly) "I'm taking Argo to the blacksmith to have that bad shoe taken care of." G - (looking all around to see what else the village had to offer) "Ok." X - "Meet me at the tavern." G - (eyes still searching. Aha! She spots a Falafel stand (!!!) and starts walking towards it) X - (agitated) "Gabrielle! Did you hear me?" (she, too, spots the falafel stand and rolls her eyes) X - "Oh no,no,no,no,no." (reaches out and pulls Gabrielle back towards her by the arm) "You don't need to waste your time or money in there. It's only junk." G - (pleading, with sad eyes) "But, Xena..." X - "No." G - "Please?" (searching) X - "No." G - "You never let me have any fun. And it's not *all* junk." (pouting) X - "No." G - "Why not?" (pleading again, ignoring Xena's stare, looking anywhere but at her) X - "No." (standing her ground, hands on hips) G - "Yes. I'm an adult and if I want to shop, I will." (defiantly turns and looks Xena in the eyes. Arms crossed, she takes one step in the direction of the hut) X - (exasperated) "Gabrielle. Promise me. You won't buy anything?" G -(all happy and smiling, touches Xena briefly on her left arm. takes off for the shop. "Ok." The Falafel guy is waiting. 'There's one born every minute, he thinks'. X - (shakes her head. Gabrielle can always get the best of her. A very small smile is on her lips as she leads Argo farther into the village)
Falafel Hut. Full of every item you could *never* imagine. Smells funny, too.
FG - "Hello! What can I do for you, young lady?" (spreads out his hands and he searches her face for a sign as to what she wants or needs) G - "Hi." (smiles, looks around wide-eyed) "I'm just looking."
The hut is filled with an unbelievable amount of merchandise - baskets, jewelry, statues, beads, stoneware, wall hangings, maps, rocks, drums, and scrolls just to name a few. The falafel guy watches her closely. Gabrielle picks up a pewter necklace of a pan-flute. A small red stone is set near the eye. 'This would be perfect for Xena', she thinks to herself, grinning.
FG - "10 Dinars!! A real bargain. It would be beautiful on you." (he eyes her hopefully) G - "Oh, it's not for me." (She turns her head longingly toward the door. Falafel guy sighs) Gabrielle sadly puts the necklace down, thinking: 'Xena will never wear it. 'I *wish* there was something I could buy for her, though'. She continues looking around the store. She spies a curtain in the rear and a sign overhead that reads: "Adults Only." Curious, she walks towards it. The Falafel guy nervously tells her that maybe it isn't the place for her. G - "I'm an adult." (confidently, pointing to the sign) FG - "Yes, yes but I don't recommend it for you. You have much softer taste. Here. Here is nice statue of Hercules. G - "I *know* Hercules. (proudly) I don't need a statue of him. Besides, it kinda looks a little like Atlas, don'tcha think? She here, the nose." (Gabrielle turns the statue around in her hand. Sets it down. Falafel guy frowns. Gabrielle heads towards the curtain). "I want to see what's back here".
The falafel guy turns away, bites his hand, and busies himself with inventory. She opens the curtain and steps in. The backroom is poorly lit. Just a few candles to keep it from being pitch black. It takes a few moments for Gabrielle's eyes to adjust. A strong odor of incense tickles her nose.
She coughs. There is a strange music coming from somewhere - very soft. Like a chant. She didn't hear it in the other part of the store and she looks all around for where it might originate. There are huge, dark velvet wall hangings for room dividers. The room is full of crudely made racks and shelves. There isn't a lot of merchandise but what there is, is nothing quite like Gabrielle has ever seen. One of the first things she notices is a black leather outfit...
On the front are hundreds of tiny pointed metal studs. 'So, this is where Xena buys her outfits. I've wondered...' She sees a collection of whips and various size chains hanging on another wall. She picks up a short riding crop, turning it over in her hand gingerly. Next, she eyes all sorts of other leather 'accessories' sitting on one of the shelves. Masks, gloves, pouches, arm- bands, headbands and what appears to be undergarments. She picks up one such piece and holds it up. It is triangle shaped with a string in the back. She turns it over trying to figure out which side is which. Shakes her head and smiles. 'Ah, now maybe Xena...' Shakes her head, 'Nah'... Then she picks up a very small box that contains two polished metal balls. 'What the ...?' She puts them down with distaste and confusion. On another shelf are some saddlehorn shaped items. She makes an odd face. 'A saddlehorn?' Some are kinda squishy, yet some are hard like old leather, wood, or metal, - they are all sizes and different colors. She picks up an ivory one. Little nubs are carved in it and something that reminds her of a raccoon or beaver is set in the handle. 'Huh?..' Above that is a shelf full of different oils and potions in fancy looking jars. She picks up one marked 'essence of cherry'. She opens it. 'Well, it smells like cherries'. Being brave, she sticks one finger in the jar and brings out a small amount and puts it on her tongue. Surprised; 'it tastes like cherries!' Yet, another shelf is full of incense. The containers are marked with names like 'Jasmine, Sandalwood, Opium'. Moving about the room, she spies a shelf in the back that is full of scrolls. Hundreds of them. Some are very old and the parchment is yellow and tearing. She picks up a large one with gold braid for a seal and unfurls it. Gabrielle is immediately engrossed. Her eyes grow wide. It is a love story like one she has never read before. She blushes. She has only dreamed that love could be like that. 'Xena...' Sometimes late at night while Xena is sleeping, she lies awake watching her and trying to sort out her own feelings. Many times, she has imagined the two of them like the lovers in this story. A far-away look fills her eyes and a gentle smile crosses her lips. She reads on.
FG - (questioningly) "Are you going to stay back here all day?" G - (startled out of her trance, jumps) "Wha..?" (closes the scroll, starts to put it back) FG - "Ah." (eyes the scroll in her hands, dinars in *his* eyes) 'Find something you like?" G - (uncomfortably) "Well.." FG - "I make you good price. (winks at her) "5 Dinars!" G - "I don't..." (shaking her head) FG - "But they are worth much more! Those are the 'Private Archives of the Women of Lesbos'. Very rare.. Only copy in existence!" (he looks at her pleading for a sale). G - "I'm sure they are but, well, I dunno..." (Gabrielle looks down at the scroll in her hand. She wants it bad. Surely Xena is tired of hearing *her* stories over and over. She needs new material. And these stories...) After all, what's a bard without something to talk about? FG - "Fine. 4 Dinars!!" (He wants to make a sale. Been a slow day.) "They contain the writings of the most famous of all of Sappho's women: Lady Delirium, Lisa, DAx, Kit, Quest, and more! Surely you have heard of them?" (he stares at her) G - (Gabrielle hadn't heard of them but she wanted to. Badly). She looks in her moneybag...
Gabrielle is seen walking away and waving at the falafel guy. A big smile is on his face. "Come back any time!" He yells to her. Gabrielle turns and waves again. She turns, then suddenly bumps right into Xena. X - (mad) "Where have you been? I've been waiting at the tavern forever!"(Oh, she's pissed) "Don't tell me you've been in that shop all this time?" (Xena glowers) G - (stares at her feet) "I'm sorry Xena. It's just that he had stuff..."(she looks back at the hut). X - (cuts her off) "Let's go. It'll be dark soon." (she grabs Gabrielle with one arm and leads Argo with the other.) In no time, they are back on the road with the forest closing in on them. They walk for a very long time not saying anything. Gabrielle is uncomfortable with the silence. G - (she asks softly) "Did you get Argo taken care of?" (pets Argo on the nose) X - (still grumpy) "Yeah."
Nothing more. Gabrielle sighs and learns to tolerate the quiet. They walk on. Afterall, she has her thoughts to keep her company; she can't stop thinking of the Archives and the wondrous stories they hold. If only she could find a way or a time to tell Xena about them! If she would just listen to them she wouldn't be so upset she'd bought them, she's sure of that! Xena has a soft spot. Right? Still, Gabrielle had to break the news she'd spent some of their money. Xena would *not* be pleased. Now the guilt was setting in, just like the darkness around her. She became fidgety and Xena, annoyed, was noticing.
X - "Whadya buy?" (frowning) G - "Huh?" (Gabrielle pretended not to hear her. She did, of course, it was like a tomb around them) X - "Tell me." (firmly) G - 'Nothing, really. Just a scroll." (Gabrielle cringed, ready for Xena to let her have it) X - "What! (turns her head for a fleeting glance) You bought a *scroll*? Of what? How much???" (she gave her that *look* that said, I want the whole truth and nothing but) G - (animated, walking with a gait. Hey, maybe her excitement would throw Xena off her interrogation spell. A girls gotta try!) "I got something really rare." (boasting, with a big smile) "I bought the only copy of 'The Private Archives of the Women of Lesbos'. Only three dinars! (she lied, but Xena didn't know Gabrielle carried a little extra 'seed' money. X - (grumbling) "hmmmph." Xena figured she musta paid at least one more dinar or possibly two. She knew she carried a couple extras for 'emergencies'. She's seen her hiding them in her shirt. She hoped Gabrielle hadn't noticed her staring when she dressed... "Let's make camp here for the night."
With Gabrielle following, Xena lead Argo off the road and walked into the forest until she found a secluded area with a high embankment on one side and a stream not too far away. "Here."
They both set about the task of setting up camp for the night. Gabrielle gathered some wood and started a fire. She made sure she had extra logs on hand so the fire would stay hot all evening. It was getting very chilly late at night this time of year. Neither she nor Xena had any winter wraps yet.
Xena set off to unsaddle Argo, brush her down and feed her. Then she left to get them some food. Gabrielle wondered what she'd bring back. Xena was a good hunter but she never did the cooking. She mused what did Xena do without her to actually cook the catch?
Meanwhile, Gabrielle set out the utensils and cleared an area off for sleeping. She lay down their blankets close to the fire. She went off to fetch some water down at the stream and noticed some wild blackberries growing nearby. They'd make a great snack for later. And Xena loved them! Maybe they would help put her in a better mood. She picked quite a few, washed them off, and went back to the camp. Xena was there.
X - "Whatcha got wrapped in your skirt?" (she was squatted down, poking the fire with a stick) G - "Blackberries!" (she smiled at her and winked - like you can't stay mad at me forever. Nah!) X - (no, she couldn't) "I like blackberries. Give me some." (she reaches over and puts her hand in Gabrielle's skirt. She brushed by her thigh by accident. She blushes for just an instant). G - (Gabrielle pulls away. Partly out of embarrassment, partly because she doesn't want Xena to spoil her dinner. Mostly, those haphazard, fleeting touches made Gabrielle's skin crawl and turn hot.) "What are we having for dinner?" (she busied herself with cutting a melon) X - (still a red tint to her beautiful face) "Quail." (she stared at the fire) "It's all cleaned and ready." G - (still just a little uneasy. Always wondering why Xena made her feel so funny.) "Ok."
It was dark now and dinner was over. The fire set off a warm glow. Xena had removed her sword and armor and was relaxing on her blanket: on her back, knees bent, looking up at the stars. The container of blackberries was by her side. Gabrielle was finished cleaning up from their meal and was sitting on a log, staring at the fire. She was daydreaming about the women in the 'archive' story she'd read. She longed to bring out the scroll and read some more. It was a perfect night. Perfect for anything. She glanced over at Xena and smiled softly, her eyes with a familiar gaze. Xena smiled back, just as softly. Gabrielle swore that sometimes Xena looked at her so gently, with what she thought was love in her eyes. Nevertheless, Xena never said anything. Neither did Gabrielle. But something was there between them; it was in the air, all around them. It was indescribable yet felt like a desire or wanting - it was as clear as the bright night sky. They were both too afraid to admit it or heavens forbid, act on it. But they knew...
X - (very sincere) "Why don't you read me one of the stories in the scroll? (she rolls over and sits up, removes her boots. She lay down on her stomach, looking directly at Gabrielle. G - (searching, still guilty over the purchase) " Are you sure...?" X - (meaningful) "Go ahead." (softly) "Read to me." G - "Ok. If you're sure you want me to?" (feeling a little more confidant) X - "Read."
Gabrielle goes over to her bag and pulls out the ancient scroll. She opens it and finds a long story entitled 'Captive' by a Lesbo named '3cats'. It is a story of two women captured and tortured by Barbarians, who realize their intense love for each other can never break them, even in adversity. She read the story slowly and with much emotion. That was easy because Gabrielle thought it all reminded her of Xena. Xena lay very still and stared at Gabrielle in awe and wonder by the feeling and animation being brought to life by her voice. She was a wonderful Bard and she never tired, (well almost never!), of listening to her. Gabrielle had been up walking around and moving her body for effect while reading the scroll. But now, she was near the end of the story and her voice had gotten soft. She was again sitting on the log while reading of the two women's lovemaking after being freed from tyranny. She wasn't quite finished, though...
X - (mid-sentence) "Gabrielle. C'mere." (there was a firm, gentleness to her command) G - (looks at her and puts down the scroll and walks toward Xena)
Xena takes her by the hand and motions for her to sit down. Gabrielle moves towards her and sits facing her. She feels almost light-headed. And she *knows* why. The air is very thick and heavy. It's quiet, but off in the distance she hears Argo whinny. She is not afraid but her heart is racing and she wonders if Xena can feel the heat from her skin. Xena reaches out and touches Gabrielle's face. Her hands are very rough and callused, yet they move with such gentleness that it startles Gabrielle. Xena is staring at her with such intensity in those gorgeous blue eyes. Gabrielle moves slightly and can hardly breathe. Xena is only inches from her face. She dare not blink!
X - "I love you, Gabrielle." Xena parts her lips and ever so gently touches them to Gabrielle's. Her one hand is under her chin and the other has reached around her back and pulled her closer. It was such a brief moment in time and they part. Gabrielle is on fire! Oh, how she has longed for this moment. She looks up at Xena with such love and desire that a tear slowly falls down her cheek. Xena reaches up to wipe it away but instead she pulls Gabrielle close to her again and kisses her with great passion. This time the moment seems to last forever. Xena's lips are burning! - or is it Gabrielle's? Together they become one with the kiss and their bodies meld and entangle. Xena, holding Gabrielle tightly, kisses her between her breasts, then moves upwards to a spot on the side of her neck. One hand is running through Gabrielle's hair, the other strokes her left breast. Gabrielle moans and grabs Xena by her thick hair hair and arches her back. Xena gasps for breath. Gabrielle pulls down a strap on Xena's dress and kisses her shoulder. She runs her hands up and down Xena's powerful, muscular arms. Xena's strong hands start tugging at Gabrielle's shirt. She wants to simply rip it off! Gabrielle understands and pushes Xena back and with Xena watching, she slowly takes it off. Xena groans in delight and reaches out to touch her. Gabrielle bends forward and kisses her then pulls away. She stands and takes off her skirt and undergarments. Xena has such a look in her eyes; they almost glow from the heat. Such hunger! Such desire!
Gabrielle takes Xena by the hand and pulls her to stand next to her. She reaches around her to untie the laces on her tunic then down near Xena's thighs, pulls the leather dress up over her head, and tosses it backwards. She gets down on her knees and pulls Xena's underclothes down to her ankles; all the while looking up at her with such lust. Xena kicks the garment away.
Gabrielle stays where she is, kissing, touching, and caressing Xena's smooth, hard legs. She reaches up as far as she can. Xena takes her by the arms and pulls her close. They hold each other so close, their lips embraced, this time their tongues entwine, wet, and hot. Xena's hands are touching Gabrielle in every place. She grabs her breasts, her nipples; she bends down to kiss them and playfully nips them to Gabrielle's delight. Gabrielle runs her soft hands up and down Xena's smooth, sinewy back then down her sides, then puts a hand on the inside of her left thigh and moves upwards. She can feel the heat rising in Xena. Xena throws her head back and moans. Xena then reaches down and does the same to Gabrielle. She is open to her touch. She is wet. Xena has never felt ecstasy like this before. Finally, they are lovers!
Gabrielle moves to lie Xena down on the blankets. Gabrielle lay next to her running her fingers and her tongue over every part of this woman she can find. Xena's body quivers. Gabrielle shudders as Xena takes a hand and gently touches her between her legs. Xena lets a smile shine through as Gabrielle stops to look at her as if to say 'yes, continue'. Xena rolls over on top of Gabrielle and lets her hand explore the unspoiled, wet reaches within. She kisses and tongues her smooth white breasts. Her other hand tenderly stroking her face, her lips then locked with Gabrielle's. Gabrielle stops to catch her breath. Her breathing is becoming very labored as Xena continues to caress her with a steady rhythm. Gabrielle feels a burning, a flame, like nothing she has ever felt before rise inside of her. She cannot control what is happening. Xena continues to feel her in every way, exploring even deeper and with more purpose. Gabrielle moves with her then suddenly moves her hips up as if to take in more of Xena and she screams in ecstasy! 'Oh, Xena', she moans, tears of joy streaming down her face. Xena looks down at her and with one hand brushes Gabrielle's hair away and kisses her so long and gentle. Tears fall on Gabrielle's face, for Xena is crying, too. Gabrielle kisses away the tears and moves so that Xena is beside her. Gabrielle bends forward and takes both of Xena's breasts in her hands. She kisses them and flicks her tongue between - fast then slow. Xena throws her head back as if to give Gabrielle more room. Gabrielle climbs on top of her and kisses her hard on the lips. Xena is surprised yet responds just the same. Gabrielle runs her hands firmly up and down Xena's body and moves her hips in a steady, slow pattern while moving her tongue downwards. Exploring. Xena's chest and stomach muscles twitch and Gabrielle delights in their smoothness and strength. She massages her breasts and notices how hard and firm they are - rising and falling with each short breath. Gabrielle moves down further. Xena gasps and makes a soft high pitched noise when Gabrielle reaches that area just below her stomach and above her thick dark hair line. Gabrielle looks up at her and smiles. Xena, writhing with fire, tries vainly to smile back. She takes one hand and oh, so gently, urges her on down. Gabrielle hungrily obliges her, kissing her all the way. Her face now buried between Xena's legs she slowly starts kissing her and running her tongue up the inside of her thighs. Gabrielle can feel Xena's wetness and the urgentness in her caress. Gabrielle slips her tongue inside. Xena moans so loudly that even Argo replies! Gabrielle continues to explore the depths within and slowly brings one hand up to join her, her other hand has her fingers tightly intertwined with Xena's. She slips a finger inside Xena while still kissing and tasting her. This must be ambrosia, Gabrielle thinks. Nothing could possibly ever taste as wonderful as her Xena. Oh beautiful Xena! Xena is thrusting about and Gabrielle is moving her fingers and tongue in the same sort of rhythmic pattern as Xena did. Sometimes slow and easy, others fast and hard. Xena groans with delight. Gabrielle can feel Xena growing hot and urgent beneath her. Her breath becomes more shallow. Her body moving faster. Gabrielle knows she is about to explode just as she did. Gabrielle feels that maybe she will again too, just over the intense feeling Xena is having! She feels herself becoming wet and hot again. Gods, how she loves her so! Xena is no longer in control of anything and Gabrielle can feel her rising inside. She can feel the heat coming through her chest and tiny droplets of water building. Her nipples are rock-hard, her legs tense. Xena makes not a sound as she starts to explode under her touch.
What seems like an eternity passes by and Xena lets out a blood curdling 'YIYIYIYIYI!!' Gabrielle laughs. Xena looks at her startled. Gabrielle slowly moves up to lie next to her. Their arms and legs intertwined and the sweat of their bodies mixing. G - "I thought that was your battle cry?" (kissing her neck) X - (breathless) "Was... more...(gulps for air) intense...(mumbles) battle." G - (smiles sweetly at Xena and reaches out to kiss her. Xena's lips meet hers then pull away - she can't finish the embrace. She lies back, still trying to catch her breath. That was nothing like she had ever felt in her life!) X - (waiting) "Where...(slowly) did you learn to do *that*?" (forces a small, mischievous smile) G - (a shy smile crosses her lips, she looks down at their legs wrapped around each other, then kisses her neck) "While you were out brushing Argo, I got bored and read another one of the 'Archive' stories; two women trapped in a cave." X - "Gabrielle." (a very small frown - like she was only sad she'd missed out) G - "I'm sorry. I promise to read the rest of them only with you." (she gives Xena a big 'I do' kiss) X - "Well, don't be. I forgive you." (passionately kisses Gabrielle) "So, what else did you learn while I was away?" (playfully touching Gabrielle's breast and smiling) G - "Well, there was this other thing..." X - "Yeah?" (all alert) Gabrielle reaches over for her bag. Pulls out.... X - "What's that!" (Xena exclaims, eyes wide) G - "Let me show you...."
A heavy fog rolls in and everything fades to black. A barely audible Xena is heard sighing deeply: "Verrry nice..."
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