Disclaimer: The characters of Xena and Gabrielle and others mentioned,
belong to MCA/Universal and Renaissance Pictures. No infringement on their rights are
Subtext Disclaimer: This story contains references to 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.
Timeline: Part five of the Plan D series.
Note: Im adding a new permanent disclaimer. Its called shock factor. In the wake of Saving Grace, I discovered that some readers would prefer some sort of warning as to the harm factor involved. This story carries a shock factor of 2. (the scale is from 1 to 10) A 1 rating is a happy dream state and a10 is where someone smacks their head against a tree and ends up in a coma, or something along those lines.
Please send any comments to email@example.com
Enjoy, I hope.
Brain Damaged And Loving It
Prologue: After Xena had woken up, the family and most of the hospital had celebrated,
which caused much curiosity amongst the patients. Jim had been alerted by Janet and then
alerted half of the town, by yelling out the window of Xenas room. Then he, somehow,
managed to get back to his profession and cleared the room to give Grace a full
examination, then smiled, giving her a wink and informing her and Faith that hed
have to do some tests, but as far as he could tell, Grace was fine. Bruised, but fine.
Hearing that news, the family and friends returned and spent the rest of the night and
most of the next morning, running around and acting like idiots. Something Xenas
family denied as a genetic flaw and her father protested hotly, when Gabrielles
parents mentioned the similarity to ants on an ant hill. At which time, Xena had almost
busted her cast and Gabrielle had had to act as mediator before more beds were filled with
bruised bodies. Then, later, people started to leave, promising to return and proceeded to
slowly disperse, leaving the warrior and bard very, very tired.
At Jims, Xenas parents and Gabrielles parents insistence,
theyd both eaten and were ordered to get some much needed rest. They also got a hint
that the five would fend off the other members of the celebration and that theyd
stop by after, they themselves got some sleep. So the duo spent what was left of the day
napping, smiling, talking and just loving being alive and together. Xena took this quiet
time to explain what shed been through and what shed done, including tossing
Aphrodite at an oncoming car and told the bard of her decision to leave. Gabrielle
hadnt liked the news, but knew that Xena would only give up if winning meant someone
else would suffer. She also made the warrior promise never to ride a motorcycle in the
snow, rain, fog, excessive wind and several other weather conditions and promised to get
Xena a new helmet.
The blonde bombshell was removed from Gabrielles truck and placed in Xenas
garage, to await the warriors tender loving care. Argo and Girl were taken to a
neighbors farm, for safe keeping.
Michael made an appearance, after everyone had left and explained that there was to be
no debt placed on the pair and that TPTB had chosen to heal Xena of their own volition. He
didnt give all the details, but Xena and Gabrielle got the impression that the
majority had won and that it had been by a slim margin. Thus, with a nod and a wink at his
charges, the arch angel disappeared.
It was 2am, December 25th. Xena had been back in her body a whole 24 hours and laid quietly as the bard stroked her cheek. Looking into blood shot green pool and thinking that shed never seen anything so beautiful, she smiled. Merry Christmas.
Merry Christmas to you, too. Resting her chin on Xenas arm, Gabrielle yawned. Sorry.
Yawning, in reflex, Xenas face clouded over. Did you get your deposit back on the apartment?
Rolling her eyes, Gabrielle chuckled, lifting her head and kissing the warriors shoulder. Yes.
Hmmm. Thinking, Xena raised an eyebrow. Did you get the phone disconnected?
Yes. Smiling at the warriors worried face.
Did you . . . Her lips stopped as two fingers held them closed.
Xena, weve got plenty of time to discuss this later. Letting the warriors lips free, Gabrielle stood and placed a gentle kiss on a frown. I think wed better get some sleep.
Im not tired. Her eyes at half mast, Xena smiled and yawned.
Right. Gabrielle agreed, knowing better and stood, looked around the room.
What are you looking for? Following the bards search.
Someplace to lay down. Taking hold of one of the chairs, Gabrielle started pulling it across the room, then stopped when Jim stick his head in the door. Hi.
I dont want to disturb you, I just thought you might be looking for one of these. Stepping in, Jim held the door open as Janet and Mary rolled in another bed.
Gabrielle looked at Xena, seeing her drop the nurse call button and gave her a raised eyebrow.
It was the only present I could get you, under the circumstances. Smiling, Xena used her good arm to direct traffic. Bring that over here. Pointing beside the bed.
Doing as instructed, Janet and Mary rolled the bed next to the warriors, leaving several feet between them. Merry Christmas, Faith. They said in unison.
Wheres the blanket? Looking at the bed, Xena wanted the other present.
Got it. Stepping outside, then back in, Jim brought in the blanket from off their bed at home. There you go. Merry Christmas, Faith. Handing her the blanket.
Rubbing the soft material, Gabrielle felt her eyes start to tear. I dont have anything for you guys. Looking at her friends forlornly.
Sure you do. Janet said, walking over and giving the bard a hug. You came back and now we dont have to babysit her anymore. Laughing and pointing at a surprised and none to happy, warrior.
Funny. Unamused, Xena reached out, pulling the bards bed closer.
Hey! Be careful. What are you trying to do, break something else. Moving like lightning, Gabrielle, put the blanket on the bed, zipped around it and slapped the warriors hand, which got three belly rolls from the trio.
Thank you, Faith. Mary said. We love your present. Turning as a cup was thrown at her, Mary grabbed Janet for protection.
Janet grabbed Jim for protection and all three laughed as the made their way, backwards out of the room. Merry Christmas, Grace. Welcome back. Closing the door as another cup came his way.
Looking at the bed, Gabrielle shook her head. Do you always have to think of everything?
I have many skills. Reaching for the bed again, Xena got help this time and pulled the bards bed next to hers. There are some sheets in the closet. You better tie the beds together, so they dont slip apart.
Sounds like a plan. Finding the sheets, Gabrielle secured the beds, pulled off her shoes, crawled into her bed, spread out the blanket, covering both of them and curled up next to the warrior. Resting her head on Xenas good shoulder, and sighed. I hope no body tries to take this away. Sliding her hand down the warriors arm, she laced their finger together, bringing Xenas hand up and kissing it. Id hate to have to kill someone on Christmas. Closing her eyes, she sighed again.
Smiling, Xena closed her eyes as well. Me, too.
Ow. Ow. Ow. Squeezing her eyes shut, Xena yelped in pain.
Gabrielle looked at the idiot, aka her warrior. I havent touched you yet. Holding the damp sponge, she wrung out some more water.
I know. Opening her eyes, Xena smiled. Im practicing, for when Dr. Helga Painmiester, the Swedish pretzel maker comes for me.
Xena, Helen Peterson is your physical therapist and one of our closest friends. Rolling her eyes at the warriors screwed up face.
That was before she became the Painmiester. Flexing her left leg, Xena watched her toes wiggle, not liking their pale complexion. I think shes secretly the grinchs sister. Scratching the cast on her left arm and picking at her hospital gown.
Dropping the sponge back into the bowl, Gabrielle put her hands on the warriors bed, leaning forward, looking at Xenas toes in front of her. Helen is 5 5 and a hundred and twenty pounds. Giving the warriors toe a tug, to get her attention, the bard saw Xena smile. How can someone that small, send the mighty Warrior Princess into hysterics?
You do. Smiling wickedly, Xena took the toe and tried to lift Gabrielles shirt, sticking her tongue out the side of her mouth.
Gabrielle looked down as her shirt was being hoisted upward, then she looked back at the warrior. Xena. What are you doing? Knowing full well what the warrior was up to.
Biting her lip, Xena didnt answer and concentrated on getting her foot under the plaid material. Succeeding, she inched her toes up the bards abdomen, heading toward softer ground, when the door opened suddenly, sending her foot back to looking like a foot, instead of a lecherous tool.
Hi. Smiling, Jim ignored where Graces foot had just been and walked over to the warrior. Hows my most pissy patient today?
Gabrielle chuckled at the warriors frown and put her shirt back in place. Shes well on the way to being her old self.
Damn. I guess the personality transplant didnt work. Stepping away from a swat, Jim laughed. Foot, leg and arm movement seem to be functioning properly.
Youll really think so when I put my foot up your . . . Trying to slide off the bed.
Xena! Switching to Greek, as she did instinctively in situations like these, Gabrielle grabbed the warriors legs. You get out of that bed and it will be no more sponge baths for you.
Phooey. Sticking to English, Xena gave Jim a scowl. Youre lucky shes here.
I know, I just wish I knew what she said so I could use it next time. Moving back within arm reach.
Trust me, even if you did, it wouldnt work for you. Sticking out her tongue, Xena pulled the blanket over her legs and popped out her bottom lip.
Now look what youve done, Jim. Back to English, Gabrielle nodded her head at the warrior with a smile, tugging on a covered toe. Youve sent her into childhood regression.
Its common in cases like these. Flipping open the chart, Jim shook his head. Looks like were just gonna have to send for the therapist.
The lip miraculously popped back in and Xena sat up straight. The Painmiester will not be necessary, thank you.
Still shaking his head, Jim gave her a wry look. I dont know, Grace. Shes awfully good with children.
Yea, at making them into pretzels. Folding her arm over her cast, across her chest, Xena huffed. She needs to be a street vendor, or mud wrestler, not a therapist.
I think youre right, Faith. Closing the chart, Jim smiled. Shes well on her way to her usual pleasant self.
You can go anytime you want, you know. Staring at her feet, Xena fought her bottom lip.
Gabrielle and Jim exchanged amused smiles, then Jim winked. I guess thats my cue.
Evidently. Leaving the warriors bed, Gabrielle walked him to the door. Thank you for coming and stop by again. Opening the door, she laughed as he bowed. Closing the door, Gabrielle turned back to the poutmiester and walked over. Leaning over, she kissed the pout away. Feeling a hand on her butt, she pulled back. What did the Painmiester tell you about too much excursion?
Fondling is not strenuous. Rubbing the bards butt a little more, Xena move her hand to Gabrielles back, pulling her closer. Did you mention something about a bath?
You know, the more you fight Helen, the longer you have to stay here. Smiling, Gabrielle leaned in and kissed the warriors nose. Youve only been awake two weeks, and just had the cast cut off your leg and pins put in, Xena. Give your body a chance to heal. I want you back in action as quick as possible. Stepping out of the warriors embrace, Gabrielle slapped the hand before it could get a good grip on her shirt and walked down to the foot of the bed. Now about that bath.
Yes, please. Tossing off the blanket, Xena smiled.
Youve already had one today and apparently its done you more harm than good, so Ill just wait till tomorrow for the next one. Picking up the bowl, the bard felt a cup hit the back of her head when she turned around and laughed.
Hey! Sitting up, Xena pouted and frowned. Where do you think youre going? Gabrielle! Im filthy, really I am. Come back here. Watching the bard leave, Xena threw another cup at the door. Phooey! Looking down at her body, her eyes drew into slits. You better get your act together and get well, because if you think Im gonna sit here for another month while you heal, youve got another think coming. Slapping the cast on her arm, she gave it a menacing glare. And you, mister are outta here, first chance I get. Wiggling her fingers inside the cast, imagining them in warm wet places. Youre ruining my love life.
Remember to be nice. Whispering in the warriors ear as she pushed her down the hall, Gabrielle moved to her left, turning the wheelchair around the corner.
Tell Helen to be nice! Whispering back, Xena grimaced as she was brought nearer to the therapy room. I think shes out to get me.
Shes out to get you better, so stop whining. Kissing Xenas head.
I dont whine. I pout. Sticking out her lip, to bring her point home.
Yes and youre so very good at it. Bringing the wheelchair to a stop, Gabrielle moved to stand in front of the warrior. Xena, now you listen to me. Leaning on the chair, putting her face close to the warriors. Ive made some pretty big sacrifices for you, while youve been in the hospital and Ill continue to do so, but if you dont shut up and get better so you can come home, Im going to kill you. I love you and I want you home. Our home. Is that clear? Looking into deep blue pools.
Yes. Speaking softly, Xena lowered her gaze. Im sorry. I just hate being cooped up.
I know you do and I dont like having to share you with half the hospital, so why dont you put that infamous focus to good use and concentrate on getting better and not on driving me crazy? Kissing the warriors forehead, Gabrielle smiled. You think I want you in that cast when you get home? Running her hand over Xenas shoulder and up her neck, brushing her thumb over the warriors earlobe.
Sighing, or moaning, Xena closed her eyes, then opened them wide when she felt her earlobe being nibbled. Why are you wasting time here? Using her good arm, Xena rolled the chair into the bards shins. Out of my way, woman. Im late for my session.
Stepping out of the way, Gabrielle chuckled when Xena made a complete circle with the chair.
Damn. Slapping the arm of the chair, Xena fumed. Wheres one of those electric things when you need one.
Need some help? Coming over, Gabrielle grasped the handles and aimed the chair in the right direction, then continued pushing it down the hallway.
Faster, faster. Gripping the arm of the chair, Xena leaned forward. Put those pistons to good use. Laughing like a kid going downhill on a sled.
Smiling, Gabrielle picked up the pace and started jogging. Keeping an eye out, she swerved several times, bringing the wheelchair up on its side and avoiding the local inhabitants. Laughing at their faces, she missed the therapist coming out of a hallway and almost ran her down.
Hey! Stepping back, Helen laughed as the chair came to a screeching halt. There are speed limits around here, you know.
Backing up, Gabrielle smiled. Sorry. I got carried away. Turning the chair around, she chuckled. Special delivery.
Still flushed from her wild ride, Xena bubbled. Hiddy ho, Helen.
Well thats a change of pace. You usually just growl at me. Smiling at the pair, she shook her head, then looked at the bard. I guess Ill have to have you do this before every session.
Yes, please. Wiggling in the chair, Xena threw her head back and smiled up at the bard.
Gabrielle looked down into two sparkling eyes and brushed some hair out of Xenas face. I think shes contagious. Kissing smiling lips, she looked back to the therapist. Shes all yours. Giving the chair a gentle push. Can you rotate the tires, while youre at it?
Hey! Dont give her any ideas. Glaring at the bard, over her shoulder, Xena frowned.
You know, as much trouble as shes been, taking the chair and spinning it around, Helen laughed, Im really gonna miss you two, when this is over.
The feelings mutual. Giving Helen a wink.
Not. Still frowning, Xena missed the wink.
What did I tell you, Grace. Turning her attention to the pouting warrior, she gave her a serious look.
Shut up and get well. Giving the condensed version, Xenas frown and pout faded as she remembered the nibble on her ear and rubbed it, unconsciously.
Noticing where the warriors hand went, Gabrielle raised an eyebrow. Just keep remembering that.
Ill try to bring her back in one piece. Giving the chair a shove, Helen chuckled as the warrior grabbed the arm.
Ill be in her room, just throw her out as you pass by. Taking a step toward the warrior, Gabrielle bent over. Be nice. Whispering and smiling.
Okay. Whispering back, Xena stuck out her tongue. Once more into the breech. Pointing down the hall, Xena braced herself.
See ya later, Faith. Moving the menace forward, Helen waved.
Bye. Gabrielle waited until theyd disappeared than walked back to the warriors room.
Ow. Fifty. Closing her eyes, Xena winced as her knee sent her unkind messages.
No and do it again. Watching the warriors knee closely, Helen smiled at the calmer and more subdued, Grace.
A hundred. Raising her leg again, Xena pulled the weight up slowly, as shed been instructed.
No and do five more. Smiling at the expression on Graces face, Helen put her hand over the warriors heel. Five more.
A thousand. One. Ow. Two. Ow. Two thousand. Three. Ow. Four. Ow. Five. Please, Helen.
Grace you cant bribe me into letting you go before youre ready. Turning the warrior around, she rolled Xena onto her back. Ten of these.
Starting the next torture, Xena made a face, not from pain, but from frustration. Helen, Faith wants to go home. Cant you just let me go? Stretching out her leg. Ill come back for the sessions.
Grace. I know you. Putting resistance against the warriors leg. Youll be back here within two days, in worse shape than when you left.
No, I wont. I promise. Wincing again, Xena closed her eyes. Just tell Faith what I can and cant do and shell make sure I tow the line. Knowing it to be the truth and nothing but the truth, Xena opened her eyes. Please, Helen. Shes getting so tired of being here. She only goes home to shower and change clothes. She hasnt even unpacked her stuff yet.
Grace. Letting the warriors leg go, Helen got to her feet. Youre just getting over the surgery on your leg. Youd have to stay off of it for at least two more weeks. Putting her hands on her hips, she gave the warrior a go ahead and lie look. And when I say off, I mean completely off, not sometimes, but all the time.
Ill catch up on my medical journals. Resting her leg, Xena leaned up on an elbow. And Ill sleep on the couch, downstairs.
Thats sort of defeating the purpose of going home, isnt it. Shaking her head.
Helen, plleeaassee. Im going crazy here and so is Faith. Sitting up, Xena grabbed Helens leg. Plleeaassee. Pretty please.
I tell you what. If you let go of my leg, Ill talk to Faith about it. Watching the warrior drop back to the mat, with a big smile. Now lets get this over with, so I can go disinfect my leg.
Xena chewed on a fingernail, watching Gabrielle read through several sheets of paper.
Dont chew your nails. Gabrielle said, without looking up from the pages.
Dropping her hand, Xena saw Helen smile. Then the warrior started chewing the inside of her bottom lip.
The list that Helen had made up was quite extensive and Gabrielle read the instructions several times. The donts far out weighed the dos and the bard shook her head. What price freedom, she thought, going through the pages again. Helen had offered to release Xena, if and only if, Gabrielle gave her word that shed make the warrior adhere to the instructions that Helen had laid out. Keeping Xena in line wouldnt be a problem, other than the only thing she was allowed to do was eat, sleep, bathe and go to the bathroom. There was also three therapy sessions a week. She might as well stay here, she thought again, then looked up and at the warrior in question. She was smiling, tentatively and Gabrielle felt herself falling into a chasm of no return. If you promise to let your Mom and Dad babysit, so I can go to the store once in a while, its a deal.
Ooooooh. Frowning, Xena wrinkled her nose. I wouldnt be able to escape the wrath of Dad.
Grace. Keeping her voice low, Gabrielle gave the warrior a meaningful look. You have to promise me on your sword, that you wont give them any problems and that you wont try to sneak off the couch. Pointing a finger for effect, the bard smiled. On your sword.
Helen watched the exchange with great amusement and a little confusion. She didnt get the sword part, but figured it was the ultimate oath for Grace and wondered if the doctor would agree to the terms.
Taking a deep breath, Xena let it out slowly, then took another one and held if for a moment, before doing the same. Done. Spitting in her palm, she stuck out her hand to the bard.
Rolling her eyes, Gabrielle got up. Swear. Looking at the hand before her.
I swear, on my sword to be nice and not to give you, or my parents any trouble and to stay on the couch and not sneak off. Spitting in her palm again, Xena held out her hand.
Done. Shaking on the deal, Gabrielle removed her hand and wiped it on her jeans. Turning to Helen, she shrugged. Looks like youve got yourself a deal.
You know, Faith. I dont know how you do it, but if anybody can keep Grace in line, its got to be you. Putting out her hand, she took the bards and shook it heartily. Deal.
Three days later, Xena was released from the hospital, with much fanfare and several sighs of relief and finally went home. Unfortunately, upon her arrival, she discovered her parents had gotten word of the jail break and were waiting for her. As Gabrielle pulled the truck up to the front door, Dad popped out of the bushes with a wicked grin on his face.
Gods help me. Whispering, through a surprised smile, Xena turned to give the bard a scowl. This was your idea, wasnt it?
Brians actually. Laughing, Gabrielle got out of the truck and came around to the passenger side and opened the door. Welcome home, Grace. Smirking.
Thanks. Rolling her eyes, Xena then closed them. Theres no place like home. Opening her eyes, she put on her best smile. Hi, Daddy.
Here, Pumpkin, let me help you. Moving to his daughter, Dad picked her up, being careful not to bump her leg or arm then winked at the bard. Did I ever tell you the story of when Grace was seven and ate a frog? Starting up the steps to the porch, Dad felt a head drop on his shoulder and laughed. Its such a cute story.
Are they gone? Holding the covers over her face, Xena waited for the all clear.
Yes. Laughing, Gabrielle watched tail lights disappear into the darkness. Closing the curtain, she went over to the warrior and sat down on the coffee table, in front of the couch. You can come out now. Pulling on the blanket covering Xena.
Are you sure? Keeping the blanket in place.
Yes. Smiling wickedly when the warrior popped her head out, Gabrielle leaned back on her arms. That was some home coming, huh?
Im going to kill my brother. Folding the blanket down to her waist, Xena sat up with a scowl. Sicking Dad on me when he knows I cant get away.
Well, according to Brian, it was just paybacks for most of his childhood. Lifting her leg and giving the warrior a poke with her toe.
I cant believe you let me get ambushed, like that. Pushing the toe away. Youre supposed to be taking care of me, not setting me up.
There was nothing in the instructions about not letting you get a good dose of your own medicine. Smiling, she poked the warrior again.
I think I was safer at the hospital. At least they had visiting hours to protect me. Smiling, she grabbed the toe and twisted it.
Ow. Snatching her foot back, Gabrielle sat forward, slapping Xenas hand. That hurt, you snot. Rubbing the throbbing digit and giving the warrior a scowl of her own.
Ahhhhh. Putting her mobile arm behind her head, Xena sighed. Its good to be home.
Yea. Looking around, Gabrielle sighed at the boxes scattered everywhere. Now all I have to do is remember where all that stuff went.
Well do it tomorrow. Reaching for the bards hand, Xena smiled. So, did Dad give you your old job back?
Nope, he said the position has been filled. Letting herself be pulled onto the couch, Gabrielle smiled at the warriors expression. Looks like the unemployment line for me.
WHAT? Trying to get up, Xena was pushed back down by a laughing bard.
Im kidding, Xena. Stretching out beside the warrior, Gabrielle laid her head on Xenas shoulder. He said I could come back whenever I was ready. Snuggling under the covers.
Good thing. Huffing a little, Xena made more room for the bard, then wrapped her arm around Gabrielles shoulder. So when are you going back? Closing her eyes.
The start of next years fall semester. Looking into wide blue eyes. Is there a problem with that?
Are you kidding? Shaking her head as hard as she could and still have it attached, Xenas smile went from ear to ear. Ive waited for a chance like this since we were kids.
I thought it might make you happy. Sitting up, Gabrielle gave the warrior a kiss. So what are you planning, in that damaged brain of yours, Xena? Thumping the damaged skull.
A vacation. Closing her eyes, Xena started imaging all the places she wanted to go with the bard. A real vacation. A real long vacation. Opening her eyes, her face mellowed. If thats what you want to do.
I was thinking of remodeling the house. Smiling. After we get back from the long vacation.
Or we could just tell people were leaving and stay home. Returning the smile and shifting to face the bard. Or maybe we could start the vacation now. Bringing her casted arm over the bards waist and throwing her leg over the bards thigh.
I can see the sponge baths are out and cold showers are in. Holding the warriors bottom lip from popping out, Gabrielle chuckled. Or, maybe we just need to be really, really careful.
Careful is my middle name. Wrapping her good arm tighter around Gabrielles shoulder, Xena drew her closer and brought their lips together for a much delayed and much needed passionate kiss. Now thats what I call a homecoming.
Daggum it, Gabrielle! Scowling at her reflection, Xena pulled her collar back and looked at the bruise on her shoulder.
What is it? Coming in from the kitchen, Gabrielle saw Xena standing at the mirror by the front door. What are you doing off the couch?
Never mind that. Turning around slowly, Xena pointed to the base of her neck. You gave me a hickey.
So? I alway do that? Walking over to the warrior, Gabrielle examined her handiwork. Whats the problem?
Ive got a session with Helen tomorrow. Frowning. How am I supposed to explain this?
Tell her weve got sucking fish and you got attacked while feeding them. Chuckling as she moved backward and out of reach.
This isnt funny. Slowly turning back to the mirror, Xena sighed. Im never going to get away from the Painmiester if this keeps up.
Xena, Ill put some cover-up on it and shell never know the difference. Taking the warriors arm, Gabrielle pulled gently. Come on. Staring at it wont make it go away.
I married a vacuum cleaner. Leaning on the bard, Xena hobbled back to the couch and sat down heavily.
Sitting down, as well, Gabrielle smiled, pulling the warriors collar out. I know where they can check if they ever need to identify me by my dental records.
Xena slapped her hand. Stop that. Havent you done enough damage?
Youre complaining? Raising her eyebrows.
Are you kidding? Throwing her hand in the air, Xena smirked. Im surprised my gym teacher didnt turn my parents in for child abuse, with all the bruised you left.
You ARE complaining. Leaning away from the warrior, Gabrielle gave her a serious look. What, after two thousand years you decide you dont like the way I make love to you?
No. Putting her head on the back of the couch, Xena closed her eyes and sighed. Its not that.
Then what? Leaning back, again.
Im just tired, I guess. Opening her eyes, she stared at the ceiling.
Of what? Turning to sit facing the warrior. You havent been doing anything to get tired.
Thats my point. Lifting her head, Xena looked at the bard. I havent been doing anything. All Ive been doing is sitting around and watching you work, putting your stuff away and having you wait on me hand and foot.
Youve helped. Putting her hand on the warriors shoulder. You folded my clothes.
I folded three shirts in twenty minutes. Holding up the arm with the cast, Xena rolled her eyes. Im useless.
Xena, you are not useless. Getting up, Gabrielle moved the warriors arms out and sat down on her lap, straddling Xenas thighs. You are the most wonderful and beautiful and courageous and useful person I know.
Looking down, Xena fiddled with the bards shirt. But I cant do anything.
You can make me happy. Putting her finger under Xenas chin, Gabrielle lifted the warriors eyes to meet hers. Youre always doing that.
That doesnt count. Staring up into the bards sad green eyes. You love me.
So that means that I dont count? Raising her eyebrows in question.
You know what I mean. Shaking her head.
Xena. Kissing the warrior. Youre recovering from an accident that took a miracle to bring you out of and deep down, youre still the warrior princess I fell in love with. Running her hand over the cast. This will be gone before you know it and youll be back saving lives and fixing up motorcycles and running everybody off their feet to keep up with you, but for right now, youre gonna have to live with being human.
I know. Sighing, Xena ran her hand over Gabrielles thigh. I just want to get back to being something other than a piece of furniture.
Gabrielle smiled. Are you saying Im fat? Sending her eyebrows skyward again.
Im brain damaged, not crazy. Letting a smile creep up and letting her hand wander.
Thats a pretty noncommittal answer, warrior princess. Leaning forward, Gabrielle kissed Xenas cheek.
You know, Gabrielle. Closing her eyes as the bard started her kisses down the warriors neck. If I didnt know better, Id say youre enjoying my immobility. Feeling the bards hands start to unbutton her shirt.
Lets just say Ive discovered the advantages of a captive audience. Moving up the warriors neck to the scrumptious earlobe.
What about a captive with two working arms. Squeezing the bards butt with her good hand and wishing she could use both her hands, right about now.
I thought you were a woman of many skills. Smiling when the warrior chuckled.
Thanks for reminding me. Bringing her hand up the bards back and under her shirt, Xena unsnapped Gabrielles bra with two fingers. Ah, yes. Many skills indeed.
Shes been very good. Gabrielle smiled at Jim and Helen and ignored the warrior, who was smirking behind the doctors backs.
Are you sure? Looking over his shoulder, Jim gave Xena a doubtful smile.
Yes. I promise. Crossing her legs, as she sat in the hot seat. Shes been the model of goodness.
Xenas eyes went wide and she waved a warning not to go overboard and suddenly found an itch on her chin when Helen turned around.
If I didnt know better, Jim. Id say these two were up to something. Watching the warrior closely.
I know, its kind of like trying to find the smoke and mirrors. Giving the bard a questioning look, Jim jerked his head around, trying to catch the warrior at something.
Gabrielle, whod been interrogated by the best and baddest, didnt even flinch. Instead, she kept calm and shrugged. You said, yourself, that she was healing fast. How could she be healing that quickly if she wasnt doing what you told her to do? Turning the tables on her friends and enjoying it.
Jim and Helen exchanged glances and drew closer together. Theyre good. Helen whispered.
Scary isnt it? Jim whispered back. Well be right back. Raising his voice and taking Helen by the elbow.
After the two left, Xena and Gabrielle gave each other a high five.
Xena looked down at the cast on her arm. Youre outta here.
Hearing something, Gabrielle held up her hand and moved to the door. Pointing at it, she mouthed that they were being eavesdropped upon and went back to her chair. Grace, how do you like the new wallpaper? Smiling at the warrior to follow her lead.
Its not too bad. I thought the green wouldve been a better choice though. Wondering where the bard was leading her, Xena went along for the ride.
But the green was way too thin. It never wouldve held up to the abuse. Raising her hands, Gabrielle made fists and moved them back and forth, like she was shaking something.
Giving the international symbol for lack of understanding, Xena shrugged with her hands out.
Getting up quietly, Gabrielle crept over to Xena and whispered in her ear.
Oh, yea. It was much to thin. Fighting the laughter that was welling up in her lungs, Xena closed her eyes. Maybe we shouldve just put rubber cushions on the headboard. Opening her eyes, she saw the bard wink. Id hate to think that were gonna have to be replacing wallpaper ever couple of months.
I know. What a pain. I guess thats the price we pay for having such an active love life. Agreeing, Gabrielle watched the bottom of the door and saw two shadows disappear. Then letting the chuckle escape as did the warrior.
Dont you ever tell me Im the evil one. Laughing, Xena pointed a finger at the bard.
Where do you think I get it from? Getting up, Gabrielle sat down beside Xena. Do you think theyre gonna cut you loose?
Well, if they dont take the cast off, Ill break it over their heads. Knocking on the plaster covered arm.
Scooting closer, Gabrielle put her chin on the warriors shoulder. Well its been two months since you woke up. Youre leg is almost back to normal and when you get the cast off well be free of responsibility for a while.
Yea. Looking into twinkling green eyes. And.
I was wondering. Sighing, Gabrielle frowned.
Let me guess. Rubbing the bards arm, Xena rested her head on Gabrielles. Youre wondering what Athens looks like this time of year.
Actually, I was wondering if we could go camping up in the mountains. Closing her eyes, she could almost smell the pine trees.
Camping? Snapping her head up, Xena looked down at the bard. This time of year? Well freeze.
Not if we go to your Dads cabin. Opening her eyes, Gabrielle looked up at the warrior. We can take the horses. It would be like old times.
Yea. REAL old times. Shaking her head in wonder, Xena thought she saw something in the bards face. Hold it.
What? Sitting up straight, Gabrielle smiled.
Youre homesick, arent you? The term having a completely different meaning for the ancient pair. You want to go sleep under the stars again and write. Nodding, knowing she was right. Telling me all those old stories, while I was asleep has got your juices flowing, hasnt it?
I know, I know. Im being selfish, but Im just itching to break out my stuff. Wrapping her arms around Xenas good arm.
So I guess the world cruise, we planned is out the window. Sighing at the thought, Xena shook her head. Good bye, Bahamas. Hello, freezing my ass off.
At that moment, Jim and Helen came back in the room.
Well? Gabrielle asked, keeping her hold on the warrior.
Break out the buzz saw. Jim smiled and rolled his eyes.
Inside the cabin, Xena ran her whetstone down the blade of her sword slowly. Looking up, she checked the fires strength, then watched the frown on Gabrielles face. The bard sat cross-legged on the floor a few feet away, with an exact and slightly pricey, recreation of a scroll in her lap and the end of her quill in her mouth. Whats the problem? Continuing her sharpening.
Im trying to remember the name of the policeman that helped me with the bike. Closing her eyes, Gabrielle concentrated on the sound of the whetstone. Heller. Hoffman. Henderson.
Jefferson. Smiling when the bards eyes popped open.
How did you know? Staring at the warrior.
I was there, remember. Putting her sword and whetstone aside, Xena moved out of the chair and sat down beside the bard. He had a name tag on his uniform and the tow truck guy was Bruce Miller.
Now I know that wasnt on his shirt. Putting her scroll aside, Gabrielle leaned into the warrior.
I looked up the company name and found out who was on duty that day. Wrapping her arm around the bard, Xena pulled her close.
You did that for me? Closing her eyes, Gabrielle smiled.
Actually, I sent him and the officer a thank you note for helping you. Watching the bards head pop up, Xena chuckled. Youre not the only sensitive one in the family, you know.
Evidently. Smiling, Gabrielle stretched out, laying her head in Xenas lap. Will you ever stop surprising me? Looking up into the bluest of eyes.
Not in this lifetime. Leaning down, Xena lifted blonde bangs out of the way and placed a soft kiss on the bards forehead.
Good. Reaching up, the bard pulled the warrior down for a lengthy kiss. Hows the arm?
Who wants to know? Lifting the bards shirt, Xena rubbed Gabrielles tummy with her recently released hand.
Epilogue: On their vacation, Xena and Gabrielle found interesting ways to help the warrior get back into shape. Xena chose chopping wood, sword drills, hunting and killing small woodland things and ravaging the bards body. Gabrielle chose kneading bread, massages and being ravaged, along with being chased through the snow, when she made a comment about Xena having lost her warrior princess edge and after being carried back to the cabin, by said warrior, was forced to take a long hot bath with the warrior. At which time the everything became very steamy. Jim and Helen took the oportunity, since they had been chosen to house sit, to check out the wallpaper in the bedroom and spent many long hours spreading rumors of Grace and Faiths love life to the hospital staff. (the fish survived this vacation) Aphrodite sent Xena a bill for a new pair of shoes and a manacure. Michael decided to take advantage of the breather and went to the Bahamas. Brian thinking hed gotten away with his little payback, discovered the background on his web page had been changed to a picture of him laying naked on a bear skin rug. Taken of him when he was in college.
Thanks for reading,
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