The Longing

Darkbard Fantasies May 22, 1997

The characters of Xena and Gabrielle are the property of MCA/Universal. The story is all mine.

"Wantin' ain't a gittin'," my grandma always said.... :)

By the Gods, she has the most beautiful smile. Perfect lips, perfect teeth, perfect color, perfect curve. My heart soars every time I see the richness of it directed towards me. It is all-consuming; so real, so genuine. Sometimes I cannot look her in the eye for fear of having my entire soul fall into her. More often than not, I avoid the piercing gaze: her eyes so deep in color, sparkling like diamonds, probing for something I do not want to give away just yet. Then again, the silence is more than my will can stand. I am afraid of her reaction; her rejection of my words. And, the light in her face is too bright. That scares me, too.

And yet, I long to hold her. Even in my fear I want to wrap my arms around her and feel the heat of our bodies collide. I want to savor every curve, every swell, every muscle of a form so magnificent. My hands yearn to touch her skin, relish it's softness and pull her suppleness next to me. I would love to run my fingers through her hair, feel it cascade over my shoulders as she draws me near. I am afraid to admit to myself what I really want for her. And from her.

I would give my life for one perfect kiss. It might somehow satisfy me; satiate a need that radiates from my depths. Some days the desire to touch her so intimately drives me mad. I steal a million tiny glances in her direction. I imagine our lips brushing past the other for only a fleeting moment and contemplate how powerful that instant could be. Other times I stare at her longer, look a little deeper - like when she is finally asleep and I allow my thoughts a chance to runaway with fantasy...

We would be traveling in the mountains on a sunny day. A soft breeze, a mere rustle of wind, would encompass us. A few fluffy white clouds would wander into our sky. The journey probably began near dawn and by now we might be ready to search for a stopping place; a well needed rest. She stops and asks me for the water skin. I reach to the pack hanging on Argos's saddle. I hand her the pouch. We do not touch, but come so very close. I chide myself for not being bold and playing the game; I vow to think of something else more worthy than a childish prank. She takes a long swallow.

She walks over to me. She asks me to tilt my head back. I do. She pours the cool water into my mouth. It refreshes my palate and my heart - she flashes me that smile; puts one hand briefly upon my shoulder. She appears to strangers to be hard and callous. Often times her anger and hate flaring out and overriding her hurt or anguish. But I know differently. I know the goodness, the compassion, the tenderness she has inside. Her vast immensity of emotions overwhelms me. This woman feels everything. She just doesn't let you know it. You must be willing to look and not like everything you see to recognize all of her. I have no trouble looking past her demons to see her angels.

She motions for me to come sit next to her. We had been making our way down a dusty, forgotten path when we stopped to rest. She is sitting on a bed of huge rocks near a cliff with a spectacular view of the countryside. A smoky mist of blue is almost beyond our sight; a near mirage. She is in an engaging mood this afternoon. She talks frequently about her past and occasionally about what she desires of her future. I smile up at her and nod my acknowledgements. She points out to the west; 'Athens', she claims. 'Would I like to go there?' I exclaim 'yes!' 'Ok, but right now we should stay on course for Megara or maybe go into Piraievs.' She notices my smile falling and she gently takes my arm in hers and her piercing eyes look softly into mine. 'Soon - I promise.' She then points towards the mist. 'The Miroan Sea.' I disagree. 'The Gulf of Corinth', I reply. She points to a spot slightly southwest. 'That is the gulf', she explains. I should know better than to disagree or try and best her. She will always win. She is far more seasoned and intelligent than I. Her attainments keep me entranced. I feel light-headed and so very comfortable in her presence.

We begin traveling again. Searching for that perfect place to make camp along the way. More small talk, and even a light banter of wills encompassing the time. I want a secluded spot - she prefers the open. 'Easier to hear your enemies advancing', she replies. 'I thought this path wasn't used anymore?' 'You never know', is her simple explanation. I grin and shake my head. Again, she is always right. A moment or two later I find myself lagging behind and bump directly into her back. She has stopped. I instinctively bring my staff to the ready and look up.

I lower my stick. Her eyes are smiling at me for all they are worth. 'What do you think?', she asks excitedly. What can I say? 'It's perfect.' And it is. She has found us nirvana amidst the peaks. I find myself going in circles. Everywhere I look the view is unbelievable. The mountains surround us. To the left, I can see a glimpse of the faraway ocean. The salty air that swirls gently around us stings my tongue ever so slightly. A stand of Eucalyptus trees is to the right. I turn my head to a soft sound. My eyes grow wide. A hot spring - could it be? My warrior non-chalantly shakes her head yes. She is already removing her armor.

I quickly unburden the horse of our supplies. I lay the bedrolls near the trees, using the fallen leaves for cushion. My partner gathers stones to make a fire ring and unsaddles Argo. I set out the eating utensils. I notice the pile of discarded armaments and trappings. I add my staff to the pile. Together we search for firewood. I regard the sun beginning its nightly descent. The sky is turning the slightest of orange. I hurry up my duties in anticipation of a hot bath. We will not have fresh meat tonight, only bread, cheese and wine. I remember I have grapes hidden away for a special treat.

Side by side, we walk towards the bubbling sound. It is not far, but ever cautious she brings the sword with us. Around the next corner we both see the steam rising. A natural pool has ensued and the run-off flows down into a small brook. There is just enough room for two.

We sit amongst the mossy edge of the stream. We remove our boots first. I see her turn shyly away and attempt to undo the laces of her tunic. 'Here, let me help you.' 'Thank you.', she says softly. I sneak a peek as she lifts up the heavy leather. She must have gotten hot; the leather is difficult to remove. Her breasts are glistening with beads of sweat; her sinewy legs covered as well. At the same time, I stand boldly in front of her and remove my top and then my skirt. I chance a look and her eyes catch mine. She immediately puts her head down and runs naked toward the water. Half smiling, I bend down to grab the bathing sponge and run after her.

Within a minute, we are both lounging in the steamy sauna. I dunk my head under the water to exhilarate my face and rinse my hair. She does the same, only she brings her head up slowly, tossing her long locks forward then back to create the sexiest of scenes. My breath catches. Her eyes are closed; her body languid in the movement. Lost in time, I find myself suddenly awake, her eyes burning into me. Then she smiles that smile.

At the same time, my heart leaps out of my chest and I return the gesture. She moves an inch closer. I copy her motion. I notice my head is slightly turned. Will I be bold enough to lean in and kiss her? The thought swiftly moving from memory to reality, I blink and then a flash: she feigns left and splashes me with the warm water. Her laughter roars out. I find myself engaged in a childhood game with a woman who probably never played it as a little girl. Her genuine glee is infectious. Rolling over in the water, I find I am crying tears and my side hurts from giggling so hard. I am staring at her again. It amazes me how young she looks when she lets her defenses down. She tries to wipe away her own tears of laughter.

Calming down, I pick up the sponge and dip it into the water. Moving behind the taller woman, I set about washing her back. My mind drifts to thoughts best left to lovers. I imagine her pressed against me, her lucious mouth only an inch from mine. Her hands traveling downward... I feel her suddenly relax and lean back into my breasts for support. I move the sponge to the front.

I lazily run the sponge over her right breast then slowly to the left. I accidentally run a finger over one taut nipple. We both shudder. I in turn place the sponge on her neck and pull it across her strong shoulders. Then I go down her arm and over to the other, trailing my fingernails softly over the skin just washed. I small sigh escapes those perfect lips. I grin to myself. She likes this. Yet, how far will she let me go? Feeling bold, I brush lower past her stomach. A small moan escapes her. I run the sponge down her thighs and back up again. Moments later, no longer afraid, I let it go and replace the sensations with my hand. I let my fingers seek her out. Inside she is hot and slippery. I touch her ever so slightly. She leans back a little more, and guides my hand to what she wants...

Before long she turns to change places with me. We come face to face. I take one hand and reach up to touch her face. I find my fingers in her hair and my eyes closed. I feel her hot breath mix with mine. Our lips are nearly touching. We meet at the same time. Her lips are softer, her kiss more gentle than I imagined. We find our mouths parting, making way for a tongue that longs to provoke and search for answers to questions not yet asked. An eternity locked together passes before us. When we part, she slides behind me and starts to run the newly found sponge over me. She moves it to my neck. It feels smooth against my skin. I shut my eyes and imagine. Imagine her touching me; touching me within. Patience, I tell myself. I feel her moving to my shoulders and arms. She cleanses every inch. Her movements slow and determined. She is now washing my back. My mind wills her to go forward, to touch my aching breasts, to realize the need I have inside. I feel one hand cupping me, fingers caressing. I steel myself for more... Wanting it...

As quickly as my fantasy began, it ended. Xena was standing in front of me, impatiently waiting. Her smile upon seeing me first thing this morning had disappeared to cold hard reality. It was time to leave camp and with sword on her back, she was ready to go. I don't know if she had a destination in mind but, as usual, I would follow her wherever she went. I picked up my staff. She took Argo by the reins and we began our journey; the wind stopping by to rustle through her hair.

A million times later that day, I had stolen glances at her and dreamed of being with her again. My mind drifts backą a long time ago there had been a wonderful first time. And every day since, my heart and my lust simply cannot accept not having a perfect last time - with a thousand incredible moments in- between. Yet, for reasons unknown to me, she appears afraid of what a second passionate night might bring to her life. I am unable to help her and the longing of my soul will have to wait a little longer. Still, she still touches me in certain lover's ways, she cuddles her warm body next to mine at night and she continues to share her intimate thoughts with me around the campfire.

I will gladly wait for her to wrestle whatever demons she has inside. She is certainly worth it and hopefully my patience and determination will prove that. My heart is strong and her voice reassuring with simple words.

And suddenly she glances at me with a smile to light the sky for all eternityą

The end

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