By MaryE

Copyright 2000

DISCLAIMERS: Xena and Gabrielle belong to MCA/Universal Studios and Renaissance Pictures. No copyright infringement is intended. Yeah, there’s sex between consenting adult women, this story would at least get an "R" rating. If you are not yet 18 years old or if you are offended by the very idea, stop reading now. If it’s illegal where you are, move and then read it. Okay, this is not intended to be funny (as my other stories are). It may however be unintentionally funny (yikes!) In either event please send feedback to:

PREFACE: This story is set at the end of the very first Xena: Warrior Princess episode, "Sins of the Past" and provides yet another explanation for all the subtext in the episodes that followed. It could have happened this way. I kind of think it did.

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The raven-haired warrior settled back against a tree to begin the evening ritual of sharpening her sword. She was grateful for something familiar to do – something tactile and uncomplicated. She had been in her head all day, thinking rather than doing. And worse, she had been besieged with feelings…quite possibly her least favorite state of being. Across the campfire a very young woman with strawberry blonde hair and an aura of innocence sat looking intently at the canopy of stars.

‘What in Hades am I doing?’ the warrior chastised herself while bringing the sharpening stone expertly down the shaft of her sword. ‘Why did I agree to this…to bring her along? She has no business being out here…on the road…with someone like me. She’ll only be in the way.’ She shook her head in rueful exasperation. ‘She’s still a child and cannot possibly comprehend the danger…or the hardship. She’s so…so verbal and awkward and eager and…Hera help me…so cheerful!’

Cool azure eyes traveled across the camp to inspect the suspect companion; warlord’s eyes that studied the girl as if planning a battle and contemplating the enemy’s strength. But she could find nothing about the slender young woman that explained her being here…in the center of a warlord’s self-imposed repentance…in the forefront of her warrior’s mind.

‘She’s certainly pretty, beautiful actually, but not particularly my type.’ Xena froze in mid-thought, a look of horror on her face. "I am not going there. I will never go back to that life again." The thinnest of barriers sat between her dark, violent past and her current determination to set things right. She knew better than to test it. Goodness, so far as Xena could grasp it, was an act of will and she had steeled her will against the sins of her past. "I will never use anyone, need anyone – ever again. This simple village girl is no match for a warrior’s will, my will.’ Xena asserted to her inner self and set her hands again to their familiar work with her sword.

But it was not the warrior’s will that felt itself tested by the young woman. It was Xena’s heart not her head. And her heart spoke the unfamiliar, uncomfortable language of emotion. So many emotions seemed to cascade through the warrior whenever the girl was around that Xena hadn’t been able to sort them out: compassion, exasperation, attraction even fear. Xena knew that something deep within herself was responding to Gabrielle. Something just beyond knowing; something very old and powerful. Something that made the proud warrior at once curious and afraid.

Why are you here, Gabrielle? I wish I knew.’ Xena sighed and rose to put her sword away. ‘Most of all I wish I knew what compels me to let you be here.’ She cast a final glance at the young woman. ‘I wonder how long you intend to stay?’ Closing her eyes Xena knew only that she very much needed Gabrielle to stay and no act of warrior will could change that.

Gabrielle had observed the tall, dark woman since supper, trying to remain unobtrusive yet fascinated by Xena’s every move. She continued to watch as the warrior unfolded her bedroll and began removing boots and armor. Her eyes stayed with the warrior until she realized that Xena was going to strip completely, and the young woman looked away embarrassed. ‘How does she do that? Just take off her clothes and stand naked to the world without feeling…whatever it is I feel when I’m naked? Which is why I am never naked, if I can help it. That and the fact that my body looks nothing at all like hers. Wow!’

Gabrielle found herself mesmerized by the stunning woman. Muscular but slender with feminine hips and lovely round breasts, Xena was the most beautiful human being that she had ever seen. It was nearly impossible not to stare. The firelight gave a reddish outline to the mane of dark hair and flattered the tan skin with golden color that glowed seductively. Gabrielle was mesmerized, staring until the beautiful body disappeared into the bedroll.

‘Good night, Xena. My friend. ‘Friend!’ Gabrielle remembered exactly how Xena had pronounced that word as they set out that morning. The sound of it had reverberated in her mind for the rest of the day. ‘I should be so lucky as to be her friend,’ the young woman told herself deciding to prepare for bed too. ‘She’s so different from anyone I’ve known. One minute stoic and unapproachable and then she changes and becomes friendly and warm…well almost warm. She keeps too much of herself back to be warm. Like a shield or something. Even her eyes can hide her secrets. But I know there is pain in there. I can feel it, sort of. It’s like seeing a friend suffering and yet she is not really a friend yet. ‘ Friend.’’ She smiled as she remembered the look on Xena’s face as she had used that word for Gabrielle, her mouth drawn in a crooked half smile and her eyes twinkling briefly. ‘She has such amazing eyes. They bore through me and it feels like she can read my heart. I can’t even read my heart. But she can, I think.’

The young woman placed the blanket the warrior had given her on the ground between Xena’s bedroll and the fire. The summer night was quite warm, but the darkness of the woods frightened her and she removed only her outer clothes, leaving her shift. ‘Actually I don’t know what intimidates me more – the dark woods, my own modesty or Xena’s incredible body.’ She chuckled as she lay down and wrapped the blanket around her. Turning her head to one side, Gabrielle waited for sleep to come and continued to observe the warrior woman. ‘I want to be just like her. I want her to teach me everything she knows. What must she think of me, this chatty tagalong?’ Closing her eyes, she added. ‘I wonder if you will let me stay? Oh please let me stay with you, Xena. This is where I am meant to be. You can see that, if you really can read my heart.’

The sudden hooting of a nearby owl startled Gabrielle awake and she jerked upright looking quickly around at the strange surroundings momentarily disoriented. Xena, who had yet to sleep, smiled as the girl stood up, dropped the blanket and took a few cautious steps over to the fire, adding wood and stoking the flames higher against the blackness of the night. The warrior noted how the firelight burnished Gabrielle’s skin and irradiated her amber hair. Still, it was the perception of an inner light about her that held Xena’s attention for it was that very light she was seeking for her own soul. A light barely remembered, yet dearly sought, and Xena began to sense the answers to her questions.

Aware of the warrior’s attention and self-conscious about having appeared so frightened of the dark, Gabrielle walked confidently back to her bedding. She stooped to pick up her blanket, and was surprised to find it neatly folded. She rose again to full height and for reasons unspoken even to herself, untied her shift and let it slip to the ground. The two women felt their eyes meet in an inexplicable act of profound recognition.

Rising on her elbow, Xena lifted the side of her own blanket in invitation and by so doing exposed her body once again to the young woman’s intense gaze. Gabrielle stepped forward and lay down beside the warrior who lowered the blanket over them both. Lying on their backs, near but not touching, neither woman moved for long moments letting the heat of the other’s body approach and surround them slowly. Their hearts pounded as much in disbelief as anticipation. It was Gabrielle who rolled toward her companion and placed her head on the strong shoulder and her arm across the slender waist. Xena brought her arm down behind the woman and began to stroke the golden hair gently with her long fingers. Her cheek was pressed against the young woman’s forehead. Turning ever so slightly, Xena placed a kiss on the soft hair.

‘She is amazing.’ The warrior thought when Gabrielle’s lips reached up to brush against hers. ‘How her touch moves me. How comfortable she feels beside me.’ The sensation of the young body curling along the length of her own filled Xena with a pleasure so intense it seemed remembered, and she returned the gentle kiss with another. ‘The taste of her.’ Xena let her tongue explore the warmth behind Gabrielle’s soft, soft lips and felt herself tremble as desire awoke deep within her, a desire very foreign to the warrior; a desire not for herself, but for her young companion. It was as if she were being called, guided really, to this girl. ‘She invites me to her without reservation.’ She thought astonished at the way Gabrielle yielded, responded, to the warrior’s touch. ‘Gods, I want to please her, to pleasure her…I could not bear it if she turned away now.’ Their kisses were passionate and filled with wanting. "She tastes, feels so good, so familiar. How is this possible?’ Xena pulled back leaving her hand stroking the silky hair but unwilling to let her passion get the better of her...of them. She sighed as her head returned to the bedroll and she closed her eyes. ‘Everything about this girl defies my understanding.’

Gabrielle took Xena’s free hand in her own and interlaced fingers with the warrior. The kisses burned on her lips and she felt warmth spreading through her body. ‘Can this be happening? Is this what she could read in my heart? The joy of her touch, her kisses filling me such happiness. I am home.’ She nuzzled Xena’s neck and planted soft kisses along her collarbone. The warrior held her breath, capturing a groan before it could betray the depth of her wanting. Gabrielle brought her leg over Xena’s and moved it gingerly along the length of the woman’s shin. She was rewarded with another passionate kiss.

Lifting herself up on her forearm, Xena embraced the smaller woman at the waist as she leaned across positioning their bodies breast to breast. Her hand traveled up and down Gabrielle’s side as she initiated another kiss letting her tongue press pass the soft lips and explore the warm moist sensations of her mouth. ‘She is so soft, so responsive. She bends to my touch as if she has always known it.’ Her mind recorded every curve and texture as she explored the woman with gentle hands and eager mouth. Hearing Gabrielle moan and feeling the shuddering of her nubile body, Xena couldn’t help but proceed. She settled herself fully atop the young woman, her weight sustained by her arms and the legs she slipped between Gabrielle’s. ‘Gods, she is very wet!’ She noticed once again amazed. She pressed her stomach against the wetness reveling in the sensation as Gabrielle began to move rhythmically against her.

Gabrielle could barely breath. Her body was possessed by pleasure, every nerve alive and yearning for the touch of the warrior. She felt her own sweat pooling at the nape of her back and the wetness between her legs where Xena pressed into her. Her breasts were relishing the feel of the warrior’s hands and the delicious sensation of being taken into Xena’s mouth and suckled, the nipples rolling beneath the flicks of her tongue. She felt as if she would die from the delight of it and moved against the warrior’s body seeking even more contact. ‘Please. Please. Please.’ Was all her mind could produce, having no words for what her body desperately wanted.

Xena made her way down the delicious body beneath her, kissing every inch of soft skin along the way. She lavished attention on the abdomen, the navel, the hips, with her tongue while running her hands across the full breasts and squeezing the nipples hard peaked at her touch. Gabrielle writhed and whimpered. ‘So soft. So beautiful.’ Xena was consumed with the desire to give pleasure to the young woman who responded with such passion to her. ‘All that I have experienced I will give to you, little one. Everything. Everything that you are capable of I will give to you. And then you will come for me, for both of us.’

As Xena blew a breath through the damp curls above the woman’s center, she felt Gabrielle tremble. She looked up and searched the young woman’s face finding it flushed with desire and smiled as green eyes opened and stared at her pleading for her to continue. ‘Soon, my sweet. But first I need to taste you, explore you, awaken every nerve to my presence and the promise of release.’ Then she pulled back the soft folds and ran her tongue along the swollen clitoris ever so lightly. Gabrielle cried out and lifted her hips to the warrior’s mouth. Xena ran her tongue along the length of the woman’s center, savoring the sweet taste and the heat within the folds. Using one hand to hold the hips still, she placed a finger from the other hand at the Gabrielle’s entrance and began tracing swirls around the opening. She could hear the young woman fight for breath as she moaned continuously. Then the warrior moved her finger inward slightly and began to move in and out slowly knowing the incredible sensations such motion produced. ‘That’s it, little one. Feel every bit of it. Make ready to take me into you. Let me touch your need. When you are ready I will fill you with what you want.’

Gabrielle buried her fingers in the dark hair across her belly and pushed the warrior down to the need. ‘Please. Please.’ Her mind repeated. Another finger joined the first and Xena drove them deep into the channel. Gabrielle cried out. The small hymen broke readily, surprising the warrior who had not expected it to be there. ‘I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I didn’t know. But now you are free to feel everything, little one. I won’t hurt you again.’ Xena promised her lover in her mind as she quickened the pace of her thrusts and felt Gabrielle approach the edge of release. ‘Now. It’s time to come for me. Come for me, my sweet one. Take me inside and feel your soul respond.’ She pressed her mouth over the clitoris and drew it in, locking on it with all the force she dared and sucking in concert with the thrusts of her hand. Gabrielle stiffened as her climax began, then arched her back as the waves of release began to move through her. Her head jerking backward she screamed out, then began murmuring Xena’s name over and over. The warrior felt the muscles around her fingers undulate and she lessened the pressure her mouth was exerting, but continued to suck until every bit of pleasure had been experienced and Gabrielle relaxed, totally spent.

Moving along side of the girl, Xena gathered her into a tight embrace and held her as she slowly recovered. A look of peace on her face, Xena savored the experience of giving pleasure and marveled how the sound of her name repeated over and over as Gabrielle had released had filled her with incredible joy. Not another word had been exchanged between them yet so much more than words had happened. They had joined, truly, into one being – one experience of ecstasy. Somewhere in a heart that had been locked away so long ago, Xena had felt a door open. ‘Who are you, little one? How can you reach me so? How do you alone know my hidden heart?’ Her mind questioned, but her hands were content to stroke the girl’s flushed cheeks and green eyes smiled into blue eyes communicating only gratitude and wonder.

They slept awhile, cuddled together. Xena awoke to the touch of a small hand moving gently across her abdomen. She turned and found waiting lips pressing onto hers, softly at first then with more urgency. The kiss proceeded to exploration as Gabrielle pushed her tongue into the warrior’s mouth and began a slow, luxurious dance with its partner.

Xena rolled toward the young woman, taking a smaller leg tightly between her own.

The knee pressed up against the warrior’s center and she felt an explosion of want and need roil through her groin. Xena looked into the wide green eyes that lovingly searched her face. ‘Oh, yes. Touch me, little one. Touch me.’ Her mind pleaded as desire overpowered her. And she stared into those green eyes without shielding her emotions, knowing it would be useless to hold back anything from this lover.

Gabrielle moved the warrior back a little so that she could grasp the firm breasts and run her fingers around the dark, hard nipples. Xena gasped and her breath became shallow and raspy as her body gave itself over to the will of her companion. Never before had the warrior yielded control to another, only to this young woman whose touch felt filled with ancient knowledge. Gabrielle sucked and kissed and nipped the breasts until Xena’s grinding against her knee became urgent. ‘I need you inside me. Please. Now. Oh, please do this for me. Please.’ The thoughts escaped only through Xena’s eyes as she locked them on the young woman’s face and lifted her center from the girl’s knee allowing the knowing hand to reach her. Fingers touched her core tenderly and the warrior bucked her hips forward. Her eyes poured themselves into Gabrielle’s conveying not only the warrior’s needs and thoughts, but her vulnerability and fear as well. And the young lover peered through the open door of the warrior’s heart deep into the tortured soul.

In a quick motion, Xena’s center was entered and she opened her mouth in a soundless cry. She rocked against the hand showing the rhythm that she craved, never breaking her gaze at Gabrielle. She was on her side, her chest and shoulders hovering slightly above her young lover’s body. Xena balanced on her forearm, one hand beneath Gabrielle’s head and the other positioned by the arm across her lover’s chest. Her head was free to move, maintaining its focus on those shining green eyes.

Gabrielle was below her so that her hand could access the warrior’s throbbing center exposed even more to her when the warrior’s upper leg moved over the young woman’s hips. ‘So needy. So alone.’ She thought as she touched the warrior’s core and found her very soul. ‘Oh Xena. Give yourself to me now, everything. Take my soul within your own. It is only me. I am here at last.’

Xena felt her self surrender completely to the young woman who seemed able to move through her being at will. ‘I can hide nothing from her. Nothing. Please, little one. Please reach me.’ Letting go of the guilt and the pain that had for so long been her only companions, Xena released. Her body at first rigid then spasmodic as she slammed against the hand that brought her to climax. Only her eyes remained stationary as they peered unblinking into the smiling face of her wise, young lover.

Gabrielle watched the woman warrior with awe, riveted to those amazing blue eyes. She read in them every bit of desire, guilt and pain that the warrior felt. She watched as Xena emptied herself of the will to control and yielded to the climax that wracked her body, and saw blue eyes fill with amazement, then joy and finally ecstasy. The warrior seemed to hold her breath as this transformation occurred. Her mouth opened, moved, but issued no sound. Her face flushed a deep crimson and Gabrielle felt her fingers drawn deep within the warrior by powerful, pulsating muscles.

The release lasted a long time and Xena began to wonder if it would end at all. Each pulse of it felt as if her soul were being filled with light. The young woman was becoming part of her, one with her, continuing to thrust into her renewing the sensations again and again. The experience was transcendent for them both and for a fleeting moment they knew they had found the other half of a single soul that had existed beyond time. Gasping for air while the spasms continued, Xena at last broke her gaze and dropped her head to the smaller woman’s shoulder. "Gabrielle!" she whispered. "Oh, Gabrielle."

When she awoke, it was nearly dawn. The young woman lay draped across her as if suckling at her breast. Xena touched the tousled blonde hair and swallowed as emotion threatened to overwhelm her. ‘I know now who you are, my little one.’ She thought. ‘You are the one whom I love above all things.’

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