Disclaimer: The characters of Xena and Gabrielle and others resembling those from the TV show, belong to Studio USA and Renaissance Pictures. No infringement on their rights is intended. All other characters are of my own creation and belong to me.

Subtext Disclaimer: This story contains graphic scenes of a loving relationship between two consenting adults, who happen to be of the same sex. If this offends you, or you are under 18 years of age, or you reside in an area where this type of material is illegal, read no more. There is plenty of general fanfic out there for you. Go find it.

Shock Factor: 0, unless you’re never had to deal with a pregnant woman and then the shock factor will be a 10. Plan D #27.

Note: This story is real short, but I hope you’ll like it anyway.

Please send any comments to asdease1@gte.net

Enjoy, I hope.

Lessons To Survive By

Written by FlyBigD

"Xena, I’ll be fine." Standing in the doorway of the garage, Gabrielle had her hands on her hips and sounded a little agitated.

"No. It’s too dangerous. You’re staying here. End of discussion." Shaking her head, the warrior sat behind the steering wheel of the bard’s truck. Closing the driver’s door, she put on the safety belt, then put the key in the ignition. Rotating her wrist, she was slammed backwards when the Jeep lurched forward, then stalled. "Ow." Rubbing the back of her head, she refused to look at her wife.

The bard closed her eyes and folded her arms across her chest. "You have to take it out of gear before you start it."

"I know that." Getting a little agitated herself, Xena pushed in the clutch, then moved the stick shift to the neutral position. Taking a deep breath, she turned the key again and pumped the accelerator until the engine conked out. "Damn."

"Xena." Sighing out her wife’s name, she opened her eyes and shook her head.

"I know. I know. Pump before you start. I’ve got it now." Tucking her bottom lip between her teeth, she turned the key again and smiled when the engine turned over and stayed on. "Ha!" Shaking her fist in triumph, she patted the dash board affectionately, then slapped it when the engine stalled again. "No! I did everything right!"

Gabrielle closed her eyes for a count of ten then opened them again. "Choke."

Rubbing her forehead, the warrior looked down at a knob below the dash board. "Choke." Saying the word like a curse, she reached down and pulled it out. Then she pumped the accelerator three times and held her breath as she gave the key another turn. When the big engine turned over, she continued to hold her breath until it revved up. Puffing out the air she’d been holding, she glanced over at her wife and smiled.

Smiling back, the bard pushed a button beside the door and watched the rolling door behind the truck start to go up.

Xena adjusted the rear view mirror while this was going on waited until the temperature gauge started to move before she eased the choke back down and pushed in the clutch. Throwing the gear shift into reverse, she put one arm on the back of the seat, twisting her body around so she was looking out the rear windshield. Then she barely pushed down on the accelerator while she eased out on the clutch and tried to keep from sticking her tongue out the side of her mouth.

Crossing her fingers behind her back, Gabrielle held her breath when the big truck started to move, then closed her eyes when it stalled again. Sighing heavily, she stepped down out of the doorway and opened her eyes to walk around the front of the truck to the driver’s side. "Parking brake."

Squeezing her eyes shut, the warrior slumped forward to bang her head on the steering wheel.

"Xena, if I promise not to go overboard in the sardine section again, can I please drive us to the grocery store?"

LESSON 1 - Learn to drive your wife’s truck before she starts having cravings.


Watching her wife carefully, the warrior checked every item placed in the buggy against the list. Seeing the bard pick up a box of Rice Chex, she checked the list and shook her head, then remembered that was her favorite cereal and jotted it down at the bottom.

"Gods. I feel like I’m at the Spanish inquisitions again." Grumbling under her breath, Gabrielle tossed the box in the buggy and tried to ignore the fact that her every move was being scrutinized.

It wasn’t her fault that she’d gotten a craving for sardines when they were on sale and gone home with five bagfuls of little metal cans. She’d done the right thing. She’d given them all to Bud after she’d opened the first can and the smell made her throw up all over the kitchen counter. Why couldn’t Xena get past it? Things happen, don’t they? It wasn’t like she intended to throw up right in front of her in-laws. They understood completely after they’d opened all the windows in the house and had to wear their coats for a couple of hours until the smell went away. And it wasn’t like she was having mood swings, or anything.

"That’s not on the list."

"Fuck you."

LESSON 2 - Learn to recognize mood swings before you take your wife out in public.

Sub-Lesson (A) - Though it normally takes the jaws of life to open a bag of cereal, they burst into smithereens when you’re hit over the head with them and Fruit Loops are deceptively hard.


Looking at a sea of canned veggies, Gabrielle was trying to remember what she’d put on the list and didn’t want to risk getting her hand slapped if she picked up the wrong item. Although she could see that the warrior was still distracted with the Fruit Loops stuck in her hair, so she risked going for the corn. Casually picking up a can, she pretended to be interested in the nutritional value, then dropped the can in the buggy. Feeling a little sneaky, she put two more in, then moved to the peas. Getting five cans of peas in the buggy without being caught, she moved down the aisle casually looking at cans and grabbing handfuls of anything that had an interesting label.

Hearing repetitive clunks, the warrior looked up from her fruity locks and found that the buggy was now half full of canned veggies, some of which were not on the list. "What are you doing?"

Smiling innocently, Gabrielle dropped the can in the buggy then took off at a run, pushing her ill gotten gains down the aisle at a break neck speed. "Hahahahaha! Mine!"

"Gabrielle, come back here! Those are not on the list!" Running after the run-away bard, Xena was about to grab her when Gabrielle stopped short beside a new product display. Taking drastic measures to avoid a collision, the warrior side stepped her stationary wife and went flying out the end of the aisle into heavy buggy traffic, where she tripped over a stock boy who was trying to pick Fruit Loops off the floor, and crashed into the lady giving out samples of barbecued cocktail weenies.

"Xena, aren’t these the cutest things? Xena? Oooo, free samples?"

LESSON 3 - Pregnancy induces the ability to stop on a dime while pushing a two hundred pound buggy full of canned veggies at a full run.

Sub-Lesson (B) - Barbecue sauce does not augment Fruit Loops as a hair care product.


"Xena, I said I was sorry. Is this really necessary?" Gabrielle asked and hoped nobody was noticing that she was being tied to the front of the buggy like a hood ornament.

"Ask me again when we get the bill for that lady’s broken toe." Tying the freshly appropriated dog leash to the buggy, she hooked the snap to the back belt loop of her wife’s jeans. Tugging on it gently, she tested the strength of the metal chain, then smiled. "That ought to do it." Stepping back, she eyed the arrangement with a sense of accomplishment and relative safety.

Sighing heavily, the bard consoled her embarrassment by eating another weenie. "Gods, these are so good." Chewing with an almost sexual moan, she closed her eyes. "You did put these on the list, didn’t you?"

Opening her mouth to refuse, Xena watched her wife for a long moment, then noted how warm it seemed to be getting and pulled the list out to write down barbecue cocktail weenies below Rice Chex.

LESSON 4 - Learn to choose your battles and don’t question your wife’s sudden attraction for weenies.


Checking the item directory, the warrior compared it to the remaining items on the list. "Left." Giving out the instruction, she expected the buggy to move and looked up from the slip of paper when it didn’t. Frowning, she gave the buggy a shove, running into the back of her wife. "Gabrielle, I said left."

Raising her left arm to signal the turn, Gabrielle began to sob uncontrollably and tried to check for traffic.

Sighing in disgust, Xena threw her hands in the air and walked around to find out what the hold up was. Moving to stand in front of her crying wife, she shook her head. "What’s the problem?"

The bard signaled harder and leaned into the warrior.

Glancing to her right, she spotted the source of the buggy trouble and closed her eyes. There, at the end of the aisle was a display of Disney videos, which was featuring "Bambi. Gods." Sighing again, she stepped forward, wrapping an arm around the bard’s shoulder and cradling her head. "Shhhhh, Gabrielle. It’s okay. It was only a movie and he lived, remember?. Honest he did."

LESSON 5 - Pick up a flyer before you take your wife to the store and avoid ones featuring Bambi as the video of the month.


Sniffing the air, Xena picked up a pungent aroma and arched an eyebrow. Glancing around, she tried to locate the source and eyed her wife suspiciously. Turning her head sideways, she picked up a slight crunching sound and narrowed her eyes. "Gabrielle, what are you eating?" Pulling the buggy to a stop, she put her hands on her hips.

Swallowing hard, the bard tucked her stash inside her jacket. "Nuffin."

"Nuffin, huh?" Moving around the buggy, the warrior strolled to the front to confront the bard. "Then why do I smell garlic?"

"Spices, two aisles over." Smiling innocently, Gabrielle shrugged.

"I see." Xena nodded, rolling her tongue on the inside of her cheek and smiled. "And what was that crunching noise I heard?"

"Crunching? Must be Fruit Loops stuck to the bottom of your shoe." Nodding confidently, the bard smiled again.

"Uh huh." Lifting one foot at a time, she checked the bottom of each shoe and found it devoid of multicolored loops. "No Fruit Loops." Folding her arms across her chest, the warrior eyed a suspicious looking bulge and tilted her head. "What’s that?"

Looking down at her body, Gabrielle searched it carefully, patting her pockets. "What’s what?"

"That?" Xena unfolded one arm to point to the bulge.

"Oh, that?" Nodding, she scratched her cheek. "The apple I didn’t eat for lunch today."

"Why’s it in your jacket and not in your lunch bag?" Refolding her arm, the warrior smiled curiously.

That was a tough one and the bard had to think for a second. "I was gonna eat it on the way home and I didn’t want to risk an accident by trying to unzip my bag, and drive at the same time. Safety first."

A dark eyebrow went up again and Xena eyed the bulge. "You know, that’s kinda funny, because it sure does look like a jar of pickles from where I’m standing, but that can’t be. We haven’t been down the pickle aisle yet."

"Bad lighting." Glancing up to make her point, Gabrielle made her fatal mistake by taking her eyes off her many skilled warrior wife and when she looked down, there was a half eaten jar of garlic pickles in front of her face. "Damn."

"Who’s buggy did you steal them out of?"

"That little old lady."

"Which little old lady?"

"The one with the white cane."

LESSON 6 - There is no such thing as ethics when it comes to pregnant women and pickles.




"I’m out of pickles."

"We’ll be there in a few minutes, now help me pick out which of these roasts looks good."

"I’m out of pickles."

"I heard you the first time. We’ll be there in a few minutes."

(slurp) "I’m out of pickles and pickle juice."

(groan) "So I heard."

"I need more pickles."

"Lick the jar. Now, is it going to be that one, or that one?"

(grunt) "Why won’t the buggy move?"

"My foot is in front of the wheel." (evil laugh)

"I need more pickles!"

"Then help me pick out a roast and I’ll take you to the pickle aisle."

"I want more pickles!" (throw)

(boink) (thud)

"Xena, I want more pickles now!" (grunt) "Xena!" (grunt, glance) "Xena! Xena? Xena this is no time to take a nap!" (big grunt) (squeak, squeak, squeak) "Ahhhh, come to mama."

LESSON 7 - See lesson 6.


"Next please." Removing the little plastic stick, the cashier stepped back when a short blonde stepped up and growled at her.

"Don’t touch my pickles." Crunching away, the bard eyed her suspiciously and cradled her jar of pickles protectively.

"I have to scan those, Ma’am?" Half heatedly reaching out, she drew back her hand when the blonde tried to bite it.

"Don’t worry, I’ve got twelve more jars you can scan. Just scan one of them twice. Trust me, it’s safer that way." Holding a steak over her eye, Xena began unloading the buggy one handed. "And here’s the package for the steak and the leash."

"Yes, Ma’am." Taking the bloody package, the cashier scanned it with two fingers then threw in the trash, then did the same with the package for the leash, which she was thankful was in use.

Squeezing in beside the buggy, the warrior continued to unload it without saying a word and had no problem ignoring the stares she was getting, because she couldn’t see most of them.

"Plastic okay?" Asked a very frightened bag boy, who was too close to the blonde for his liking.

"Plastic is fine." Nodding absently, Xena continued to unload the buggy until all the item were scanned, then she gave Gabrielle another jar of pickles to keep her from killing the bag boy when he tried to load the bags inside the buggy. "How much?" One-eyeing the amount, she didn’t even contest it and merely pulled out her wallet to hand over the money. Once the transaction had been completed, the wallet went back in her pocket and she sighed. "Truck."

Guarding her pickles, Gabrielle growling and crunching her way out of the store, towing the buggy behind her.

"Is she pregnant?"

"Is that a rhetorical question?"

LESSON 8 - Don’t take your troubles out on innocent people and just be thankful when you come out alive.


Xena tossed the steak as she climbed into the driver’s side of the truck. When she had the seat belt fastened, she closed the door and checked to make sure that the bard was secured as well, then started the truck perfectly and drove home without a hitch.

LESSON 9 - Driving home half blind is better than riding home with a half-crazed pregnant woman behind the wheel.


"Xena, aren’t you coming to bed?"

"I’m sleeping down here."

"Are you still mad?"

"No, I’m tired."

"I put the pickles away and I brushed my teeth."

"Thank you for the update. Go to sleep, Gabrielle."

(sniff sniff) "Okay." (sniff sniff) "I love you, Xena."

"I love you, too."

(long silence)


"Yes, Gabrielle?"

"Can I come sleep down there with you?"

(heavy sigh)


"I’m coming."

LESSON 10 - Never forget what’s really important.


The End.

Epilogue: Xena’s eye felt much better once Gabrielle had kissed it about a hundred times.

Thanks for reading.


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