Rating: Adult

Matchings: Xena/Gabrielle (and briefly Xena/Gabrielle/Ares, but you can stop reading before Part II if you don’t wanna read those bits)

Disclaimer: All characters in this story are the property of Universal Studios & Renaissance Pictures etc etc blah blah blah, I’m not making any money out of them or this story or the implication that they’re getting up to all sorts of good stuff when the cameras are turned off.

Warning: For those of a sensitive or narrow-minded nature (or if it’s illegal for you to be reading this), it would be a good idea to go away now, unless you have no problem at all with a variety of sexual dialogues and practices between two (and briefly three) consenting adults – two of them being women. There’s also a teeny tiny bit of light D/s – related stuff (but not too much, really).

Also, I’m open to constructive feedback, but if you just want to hassle me for being creative, don’t bother – I need positive reinforcement, and there’s enough bad vibes out there to last all of us a lifetime. For the rest of you…sit back (preferably with someone you like), read, picture the scene…and Enjoy!

(Xena – alt. fan fiction)

(C) to Barker (Jul/Aug 1998) ss-27b

"Lust Struck"

by Barker

It was one of those days that started out perfectly. The sun was shining, the birds were singing, the wind was a cool and bristling breeze just teasing the tips of the trees…and Gabrielle was busy doing happy Bardic things, composing and creating in the flattering morning mist.

Xena hated days like that. When days began that way, it usually meant that life was about to get…difficult.

On that dew-glistened winter morning, sitting cross-legged at the edge of their dormant fire, Gabrielle wasn’t so much creating as…musing on a thought. More of a concept actually, triggered by something Iolaus had said, concerning an alternative reality. Not that Gabrielle hadn’t imagined alternative realities before…like the ones where Xena had never run with Draco, never been a bloodthirsty warlord, never submitted to Ares but instead to a young and willing bard with the power of words that could seduce even –

No. Best not go there. Get back to the safe fantasy – the one that had intrigued her, the one where all the gods had been switched around and confused the jerkins off of poor old Iolaus. What had he said…? Cupid had been the God of War, Aphrodite had been Queen, and the most incredulous of all…not even with her storyteller’s imagination could Gabby picture that as being possible.

Ares, the God of Love?

Okay, maybe at a pinch he could pass as a god of Lust – his fierce raging heat…the power…the passion…the danger…now who did that remind her of…?

Oops. Bad bard. Baaad bard. Not a place she wanted to go. Mainly because it reminded her of the places she did want to go…and as far as she could tell, they had nothing whatsoever to do with Ares.

…just somebody who used to be his student. And the things that student could teach her…

"So do you want me to educate you or not??"

The question snapped Gabby out of her reverie, as she tried to focus her aching brain back into context. Xena stood a few metres away, sword drawn and ready. Of course! Now she remembered; they had arranged to fit in some early morning training before continuing on their journey to Salmacia. The bard eyed the warrior now with some trepidation, suspicious more of her own motives than Xena’s. A workout, yes. Firing up the passions, definitely. Getting the juices flowing…she was just going to plain leave that one alone. But for some reason this morning the urge to fight just wasn’t in her.

"Um…Xena, d’you mind if we put this practice thing on the back burner?" She gestured toward the parchment she’d been working on. "I kind of have this…thing…that needs to be seen through."

Gabrielle thought she saw Xena’s face look almost relieved, which was strange because Xena never missed the opportunity for a good workout. She had expected a tirade, a lecture about the purpose of the intended sparring – to always be prepared. To be adaptable. To – as they had discussed, but not exactly as she herself had imagined – let Xena overpower her and disarm her usual defences, so as to force her to lateral and alternative (that word again) lines of thought.

But nothing came. No badgering, no scolding, no asserting the power of her influence. Xena just paused for a moment, shrugged her broad warrior shoulders and said, "…okay."

Gabby looked at her. Okay? Okay?? This was Xena "I am in charge and it’s your place to obey" Warrior Princess. She of the single-minded battle-lust. Mistress of furiously beautiful windsong. Goddess of –

Never mind.

But come to think of it, the bard hadn’t seen Xena performing her own muscle-toning exercises for at least a couple of days. This was not like the Xena she knew. An alternate version (how alternate, she wondered briefly), someone who worried her just a little. "Xena…? Are you feeling…yourself this morning?"

The warrior fought the urge to growl, "That’s all I’m damn well doing…" Instead she resheathed her weapon with all the grace of a water buffalo and proceeded to begin packing up camp. "I’m…okay, really. Just tired I think. Guess I haven’t been getting much sleep." It was the truth. But she wasn’t about to admit why. She just couldn’t bring herself to tell Gabrielle about those damned dreams…and visions…and wild abandoned thoughts that lately seemed to be occupying her every waking hour.

"Maybe if we make good time, we could stop for a nap before we reach Salmacia."

"Sure," Xena muttered, hoping they wouldn’t. Dreams were the worst. When she was unconscious, she couldn’t control what she saw.

Gods damn him! Breaking into her mind without permission, still trying to court her, to win her back after this long, enticing her in exactly the ways he knew would arouse her response.

Xena refused to give in now – to him, anyway – but he still knew her triggers: taunting her with jibes about going soft, not getting in enough decent practice, not like when she’d been with him; going so long without satiating the bloodlust that she might start to lose her edge…her technique…her precious reputation. Yes, he still knew exactly which buttons to push. But she refused to yield. It was she who dominated this show now…and by the gods, she would never submit to Ares again.

They walked on closer to Salmacia in silence for most of the day, Xena finally giving in when Gabrielle begged for a rest.

"Guess I haven’t been sleeping well either", the bard yawned. She stretched out like an arching cat under the warm caress of the afternoon sun, Xena leaning stoically against a nearby tree.

"That’s easy for you…" Xena muttered, heading to the river in some desperate hope to stay sane, "…your inspirations have nothing to do with being tormented by a bloodlusting war god."

Gabrielle lay writhing in restless sleep, her inspirations tormented by a bloodlusting war god.

In her mind she imagined him a dark parody of what Iolaus had described – in white satin smelling faintly of muskrat and ylang ylang…but black leather still just visible around his chest, and a quiver of hard steel shafts at his back. These were arrows not of love but of something much more primal; pure animal pleasure, the most basic of instincts that with the merest touch could turn to obsession.

The bard fought to stave off the rage. All she could see was Ares, revelling in this new found game.

Within sleep, Gabrielle sighed; even if she did manage to keep him out of her dreams, in a way she knew the alternative would only disturb her more. There was only one other entity who haunted her soul – whether asleep or no – and thinking about that alternative really was dangerous.

It was a no-win situation; an internal battle that either way, she would both win and lose at once.

Xena surrendered herself to the cool touch of the river. It wasn’t as refreshing as she’d hoped – as she’d needed – but it would have to do. She needed something to distract her, both from Ares’ temptation and…her other frustration, which, when she thought about it, both really amounted to the same thing. For it was a temptation: to go up against young flesh, hot skin, a knowledge that if she so chose, she could simply (and without much resistance) indulge herself and her increasing need to bring on an end to this aching game…tempered only with a measured restraint that she deployed for the sake of friendship and respect and sanity.

There was still a part of her that remained warlord; the dominator, the mistress, the wildcat with claws unsheathed…that piece of her soul that Ares would always own. It was that part of her that knew with undeniable clarity that for all his being the bad boy of Olympus, the parts of her that Ares taunted her with now, were just as powerful as the gods themselves.

Refreshed but nowhere near cooled, the warrior emerged from the water’s icy embrace and stood for a moment to let the chilled air harden her already taut body. Shivers still glistened as she donned her armour…and it was not from the water or the cold.

A no-win situation; she hated those. She could not win this inner war, for either alternative would lead her too much to pleasure and too much to pain.

(Ares looked on from his vantage point, revelling in the influence he was having. Playing with sharp objects was always fun…especially, it seemed, if some of said sharp objects happened to be Cupid’s arrows. It was a war all right; they warred with themselves, and of course, war was what he was best at. But there was still so much more left to do…for war ignited passions, and passions were fun to play with too…)

It was the unfamiliar mist that Gabrielle first noticed; a warm fog clinging to her like second skin, heating her from the inside with sensation that seemed both perfectly safe and yet terrifyingly dangerous. The forest seemed draped in a velvet haze, diaphanous blanket of delicate touch. Magic, she thought…and she could only think of one more thing to make it all seem perfect. I’m definitely under a spell. It’s magic-

"No. Not magic. Just a little…primal enhancement."

She knew before she turned to look at him. No untarnished whites but the familiarity of rough – at this chest, glistening dark leather, sleeveless, a size or two too small; rebellious sneer topping off a perfect fit…

Wait. This was Ares, for Zeus’ sake. He was the bad guy…the rogue…the scoundrel…

"It doesn’t have to be a conflict, little miss bard…I see the fire in you." It wasn’t so much that it was him saying it, thought Gabrielle as he brushed her cheek, it was just that what he was saying suddenly made perfect sense. "Xena was right to want to…educate you…about the unexpected-"

"ARES!" If the venom in her voice had been hind’s blood, Ares would have been dead on the spot. As it was, for some reason he did not seem to expect the forward flip of hard-scented leather as the warrior princess propelled herself forward and into his face. Xena stood now between god and bard, the look in her steel blue eyes sending Ares a message so clear that even he could not turn it away.

The god took a step or two away, genuinely startled…then regained his composure and returned to his arrogant sneer. "Thought you went to the river to cool off, Xena. Doesn’t seem to have worked. Tell me, do I still fire up your blood? Or is it someone else now…?" He let his eyes rest on Gabrielle, who for some reason she couldn’t quite fathom, felt less intimidated as the situation progressed.

Xena stood her ground, restless hand fingering the chakram. "Is there something you want, Ares – I mean apart from the obvious – or have you just come to get your rocks off trying to torture us?"

"Xena! I’m hurt." Ares clutched his stomach in mock pain. "I would never torture anyone…directly. I let other people do it for me. You were always good at torture, Xena; especially at making it fun…" he glanced again at the bard, who had not moved. "…does that hold any fascination for you? I bet it would provide an epic or two for your little bardic brain…among other things…"

Gabrielle said nothing. There was no point in giving Ares the satisfaction of knowing that, well actually, she had thought about it once or twice…

"Ooh, bad bard…"

She looked up, registering horror as she realised that Ares had just read her thoughts. The bard blushed, steadfastly not looking at Xena…even though Xena could not see her anyway. What on earth would Ares tell her? Could he plant images as well as take them? Of course – of course he could. Well – he wasn’t listening to Xena, but what could he have been doing inside her mind… "Ares…leave her alone."

This was the voice of a warrior, resonating from a bard. Ares registered surprise for the second time that evening. He looked with what might almost have been called a curious respect at Gabrielle, then held her still with his words. "You have to find a way to channel that passion of yours, girl. If you’re not careful, you won’t be able to figure out who’s gonna be on top…"

He stepped back into the hood of trees and vanished.

After what seemed like forever, Gabrielle stole a bashful glance at the warrior princess. Xena still faced away from her; it was impossible to tell what she was thinking.

Actually, not quite impossible. But dangerous to guess. Even if she was right. Especially if she was right. "Xena…?" She really didn’t know what to say. If Xena asked her to explain it…for a bard, Gabrielle was feeling very short of words.

Finally, Xena turned to face the bard, still not quite meeting her eye. That would be too hard. She hadn’t needed Ares’ vision – it had only confirmed what she had thought – hoped, wanted – known. "Ares is still here – somewhere. He’s watching us."


"He wants to see what we’ll do."

"…and what – Xena, please look at me."

She did, reluctantly. Does my face betray my desire? I will not feel, I will not feel, I will not f-

"…what will we do? What do you want now?"

Damn. Caught. Unless…she could talk her non-committal warrior way out of it. Part of her wanted to flee in terror. But Xena had never run from anything – and besides, the other part of her just wanted to take the bard by the scruff of the neck and…


She felt the current as Gabrielle gripped her by the shoulder. No, touching is not fair… "Gabrielle, I don’t think it’s wise to-"

"…to what?" The bard drew on Ares’ words because somehow they just seemed to fit. "To torture you? What do think has been happening to me? I need to know, Xena. I need to know how you feel."

The look, the touch, the eyes…she was lost. Xena inhaled slowly – the sweet perfume before her only adding to her need – then let it out and lightly pushed back the bard’s blonde locks. "You want to know how I feel? Well you’re the bard, so don’t be surprised if I don’t do so well with words. I feel…interested. No – much much more than that…I feel drawn, enticed, intoxicated by just looking at you. I feel afraid , predatory, hungry, apprehensive, aroused, dominating and submissive, hungry – did I say that already?…oh gods, just come here …" She took Gabrielle’s face in both hands and kissed her, passionately, fiercely, a pent-up wanting and desire at last free to be unleashed.

The sheer force of Xena’s will shocked the bard – but only for a moment. Then she was responding – urging, searching, probing, desire answering skill, passion answering lust. When at last they breathed again, Gabrielle had to steady herself to keep from becoming overwhelmed completely. "Xena…" she breathed in a hoarse whisper, her hands moving from leather to skin, just wanting to touch, to drown in the power of whatever magic they were generating.

Magic –

Gabrielle froze. "Xena – is Ares still watching us?" She had wanted to become a lover, not an exhibitionist. At least, not yet. Still…Ares had certainly been right about her fire…and about her fantasies. Did he now expect to see them played out? Did Xena?

Did she?

Even as her total being was focussed on this sweet, beautiful creature, she could still sense him hiding in the shadows. It would do no good to demand that he leave, yet though she was not shy of an audience she didn’t want to push Gabrielle.

Oh but you do, you know you do –

Shut up.

So what to do? There was one other option…and it didn’t involve stopping. Not now. It was already too late for that.

"Gabrielle…Ares is still out there. He…wants to see a show. Now I’ll be honest with you, right now I want you so much I don’t care if the whole of Mount Olympus is watching. But…I don’t know how you want to do this. I could play a role for him – for you – but it would be just that – it wouldn’t be completely me. On the other hand, if I’m as gentle with you as part of me wants to be, Ares might just get bored and screw things up for us – and believe me Gabrielle, I’ve waited for this for so long, there’s no way in Hades I’m about to give up now."

Xena hoped she had provided at least one choice that sounded acceptable.

All at once the bard grabbed the metal breastplate and covered Xena’s lips with her own. "The way I see it," Gabrielle still clung fiercely to the armour, close enough to feel the rising heat of Xena’s skin. "we’ll have plenty of time later to go slow. At least, I hope we will. I don’t know if it’s Ares giving me an extra kick in the hot-buttered department but he said I have fire and he’s right. I burn for you, Xena…right now I don’t think whatever you did to me would be anywhere near enough. She pulled Xena’s thigh suddenly into her, grasping as the heat in her groin was accentuated all the more. "I’ve been watching you, Xena. I’ve come to know you…in every way but this. Now I need to know what you want. If you want to perform for him – for me – I can get into that, too. And if you want to choose roles, my Warrior Princess-"

Gabrielle stood suddenly in a submissive posture, glancing up coyly and projecting such innocence and beauty that it was all Xena could do to keep from giving in to her dark side and throwing the bard to the ground, holding her down and dominating her completely.

"I’m sure Ares expects me to act the virginal little apprentice…and I can do that if you want. But if you’re sick of playing the conquering warlord…" Deriving unexpected pleasure from throwing Xena offguard, Gabrielle seized the moment and pushed the warrior forcefully back against the tree.

Startled, Xena let herself be thrown backwards before she had time to react. She had never seen this side of Gabrielle – this passionate, wild danger – and realised both with surprise and increasing sensual perception, that she liked it. She knew she had the strength to overpower Gabrielle physically, yet as she stood with wrists playfully pinned above her head, Xena also knew that should this Gabrielle demand anything of her, she would deny her young bard nothing.

Gabrielle nuzzled into the side of Xena’s neck, nipped an earlobe with her teeth and breathed the heat of arousal with her words.

"Xena…would you offer your throat to the wolf…?"

In a second, Xena thought willingly. Instead she said, "Gabrielle, I would offer you anything. As much of me as you can take."

Oh really? And just who is it that you really want to do the taking? Ares’ influence reached out for her again – did Gabrielle really want to see what passion she was capable of? But it was beginning not to matter; Xena hungered to show it to her anyway.

The bard’s eyes bore like hot metal into hers. "Looks like I’ll have to make the decision for you – if you want it." Gabrielle relaxed her grip and eased them both around so that now the young bard stood fast against the thick rough bark. Xena felt soft gentle hands reaching for her belt. "You are the warlord turned warrior. I am your protégé. Teach me, Xena…" Gabrielle withdrew her hand then offered it back up to her. She was holding Xena’s whip. "…teach me all you know."

"Are you sure you want this, Gabrielle? Because if we go on, you won’t get another chance."

Gods! Gabrielle’s fists clenched in frustration. This was supposed to be a woman forged with the fire of bloodlust. What did it take for her to give in to it? Give it one more try, she thought, then I’ll just have to be the butch one. "Xena, listen to me. If you want, I can tie you up and ravish you next time. Now, I’m not afraid of anything that’s coming. I know you won’t hurt me – unless I want you to. But right now, you’re the warrior. I want you to take charge…" She levelled the most powerful burst of mental and physical desire at the leather clad goddess before her. "…I want you…to possess me."

Behind Xena’s dark eyes, the balance of power began to shift. The friend and companion retreated – not too far, but just enough – and the warrior warlord, the dominator, remained.

"All right, my bard. I will possess you." She took up the whip from Gabrielle’s hand, doubled it over and held it against the bard’s throat. "It’s about what I want now – and I want to see what I possess." She took the knife from her belt and with one deft stroke, sliced open the lacing that held Gabrielle’s forest green top. The fabric came away easily, exposing Gabrielle’s chest, and Xena let out a lean hungry breath. The chill of early evening was already hardening the rounded taut flesh, which only served to increased Xena’s desire.

For a moment she forgot herself – at least, her role – just savouring her gaze over Gabrielle’s exquisite form. She was beautiful; Xena cursed herself not for the first time for not having taken the opportunity sooner.

Her eyes…Xena felt she could drown in them, submit, give herself over completely –

"Xena!" Gabrielle hissed through clenched teeth. It wasn’t that she didn’t appreciate Xena gazing longingly at her breasts – she’d yearned to see that look for too long – it was just that while Xena was standing there admiring her, she wasn’t doing anything else.

…and Gabrielle had never liked to be teased.

Desperate measures, she thought reluctantly.

"…Xena, if you don’t start on some heavy action here…well…" Her voice faltered…then, as if by magic, she knew. "…if you don’t start ravishing me, I might just go get it from Ares. Or didn’t he train you as well as I thought??"

Xena’s eyes flashed angry passion, and Gabrielle knew that at last she had broken through. "All right! All right, you wanna play rough? I can do that…"

Gabrielle felt the flesh of her shoulders seared – not an unpleasurable sensation – as Xena gripped her powerfully and forced her to the ground. The belt and the rest of her clothing was ripped away savagely; this time Xena did not pause to admire her beauty. She looked defiantly at Xena, eyes blazing, hoping she wasn’t smiling as much as she wanted to. "Do you want me to struggle? Would that please you?"

A brief pause. Then, "Shall I show you what would please me? We’ll start with this." Xena forced the bard’s arms up over her head and back down to the ground. She held them down then with the whip, bound them together at the wrists. Straddling the bard, still with one strong hand holding the restraints, Xena brought her mouth down on Gabrielle’s, baring teeth and biting skin.

The thin sliver of pain shot through Gabrielle like and electric jolt – and she liked it, gasping in sudden aroused shock. She lifted her head to keep Xena’s lips on hers as the warrior drew away.

"No, my little bard. It’s not your place to try to kiss me. It’s not your place to try to do anything…except lie back and let it happen. In fact…"

There was a pause, and Gabrielle knew instinctively that whatever Xena was about to say, they would both enjoy following it through.

"…it’s time to put your imagination to work, little bard. I want you to imagine a restraint around your neck. It’s leather – in fact it’s from my armour – and it’s holding you down. You can struggle all you want – and I’d enjoy watching that – but if you break your bonds, bard…I’m going to come down on you very very hard."

Finding herself more aroused by the thought that she could not escape, Gabrielle immediately complied, bucking visibly at the non-existent collar around her throat. She knew she held the power to drive Xena’s urges; was beginning to understand just how to draw them out. "…I’ll never submit."

Raw desire growled in Xena’s eyes, and Gabrielle shivered in anticipation. "Yes you will, little bard. What’s more, you’ll be begging to submit…begging for me to take you." The warrior’s eyes closed briefly, and a look of pure indulgence swept over her face. "Ohhh, the things I can do to you…you have no idea."

Actually, Gabrielle had several ideas – the restraints had just been one of them. She hoped that Xena’s imagination would prove to be as inventive as hers.

The sheer driving power of lust coursed through Xena’s veins as she ran her hands over the bard’s smooth supple skin. Her fingers explored Gabrielle’s body: gripping the tender flesh with vicious intensity; changing pace and tracing the beads of sweat across her inner thigh. "Gods…your skin is…so hot…" Then she kissed again, strong tongue meeting no resistance as it ravaged the insides of the bard’s beautiful mouth.

She was answered with heavy, halted gasps, and eventually withdrew herself, dizzy with the taste. Her head was still swimming in Gabrielle’s salty lips as she lowered her mouth to the open, vulnerable throat "Who’s the wolf now, little bard?"

and gnawed at the throat with just enough pressure for pleasure and pain.

Gabrielle groaned in undisguised ecstasy, as Xena blew gently onto the tender, pulsing neck. The warrior lingered there just a little longer, then as her hands came up from Gabrielle’s stomach she moved her mouth to meet them, making contact at the full and tantalizing breasts. First one then the other, Xena stroked the nerve endings around the already raised centres, pinching, caressing then finally attacking them with the force of her mouth.

She had never seen – or heard – Gabrielle react to anything with such pleasure.

"Ohhhhh…yes, Xena…yes…"

The words affected her as much as her own arousal…and she wanted more. "Tell me how you feel."

The answer breathed like hot liquid velvet. "…incredible."

It was just what Xena wanted to hear. The warrior in her knew that she was in a position to demand anything…and just how good was this bard with words anyway?

Gabrielle was melting into a pool of pure pleasure when suddenly all movement ceased. Hands that had only moments ago caressed their way up her inner thighs, lips and tongue just drawing out her very soul from the most erogenous zones…all removed themselves in tantalising pause. Xena’s touch was withdrawn and Gabrielle could feel the aching throb within her to the very core. "Xena…?"

A pause. "Yes, my little bard?" came a soft purr from the dark.

The sheer need she felt threatened to overwhelm the bard’s agonising brain. If she hadn’t been so willing to see the game through, her passion would have driven Gabrielle to break her bonds and pull Xena’s hand straight to where she needed it the most…or perhaps she would have started back with the lips. As it was, her only weapon was her voice, and now it was filled with desire and longing, wrapped in the submission the game required. "…please…"


Gabrielle’s mind fogged. She had been having difficulty concentrating in any case, on anything except this long-awaited touch that set her body on fire. "Yes…Mistress??"

Xena laughed. It was low, deep-throated, almost evil, in a sexily dangerous kind of way. "No…I mean, what do you want? " Then, when Gabrielle made no reply, for once at a loss for words, Xena explained a little more clearly. "If you desire something, you’re going to have to ask for it. It would really give me pleasure to hear that. So what do you desire, little bard? Tell me."

The words would not come out. They would hardly even form – there was not logic in Gabrielle’s mind, only want and arousal and flame. She did not know the words – or rather, she did not have the courage. But she would have to find it – or go mad with sexual frustration.

When Gabrielle did not answer, she heard Xena speak again, this time with a more forceful insistence…and the excruciating pleasure of her nails dragging sharply across Gabrielle’s back. "Tell me," she hissed…and there was no choice.

"What…" Gabrielle finally managed to breath out, "…what you were doing before…my …chest…Do you have…any idea how much it’s…turning me on?"

If it was anything like what it was doing for Xena, the warrior knew it had to be something fairly amazing.

Take her, she heard Ares whisper…and she was scarcely aware that it was a command. Tell her what her arousal does for you. I want to hear your words…and so does she.

It may have been a command, but it was nothing she had not already desired to do. Xena breathed out hot arousal and moved her hands back up to Gabrielle’s chest. Again, she grasped the tight hardened points between her fingers, alternating between squeezing with increasing force, and flicking across them with the sharpness of her nails.

The ensuing moans of pleasure from the bard beneath her fiery body were unmistakable.

"I love the way you react to me," she whispered, as Gabrielle’s breathing became heavier, "I like to know how much I’m giving you pleasure." Moving one hand slowly away from what was obviously a "required" point of stimulation, Xena traced a line of shivering heat down Gabrielle’s torso, to her waist, her hips, caressing her inner thigh. She continued her other hand’s attention, replacing the original with her mouth. As her teeth again scraped the raised pink flesh, her tongue hungrily lapping at the surface, Xena heard the bard gasp as her breathing increased in a building wave of frenzy. At the same time, the warrior’s strokes on Gabrielle’s calf became longer and hotter, lighter and greater, as she brought her hand down teasingly between the bard’s thighs. Xena paused at the tip of sensation, teasing with featherlight strokes, not wanting to end this game a minute too soon.

All Gabrielle wanted to do was to beg, plead, cry out for more…yet she found she could not even whisper. All that escaped her throat was breath; deep, lustful, edged with the soft moan of arousal and desire. It seemed to her that everything she felt could be heard in that breath…yet did Xena really have any idea just how much she felt on fire?

Involuntarily Gabrielle arched upwards, as she felt Xena’s hand slip forward, deeper toward the aching centre of her heat. She continued to move without conscious thought, rising to meet Xena’s fingers as they moved within her, soft circles, stroking and feeding her fire.

The bard thought nothing could feel better than this – thought this must be the very edge of what she might feel – then she heard that deep throaty growl again.

"Do you know how much pleasure this gives me?" Xena breathed into her. "To feel the heat of your skin…to feel you move under my touch…to feel your desire getting stronger at what I do. You’re so…hmmm, what’s the word?…you’re so


A shiver of raw and unprecedented arousal shot through her, and Gabrielle knew instinctively that it was the words that had done it. Her breathing increased all the more, the relentless fever within her becoming almost too much. She longed – ached, agonised to be completed, knowing somehow that the final ecstatic rush was yet to come and take her. The touch felt so incredibly amazing, like Gabrielle imagined the Elysian Fields, and she wanted to beg for Xena to release her to the ultimate she knew was waiting, just beyond the seconds. Yet she could do nothing but breathe, for her body did not want this pleasure to end, and in total control, her body writhed and moved to draw out all it could.

"Please…" Gabrielle whispered again, her hips arching again in a desperate attempt to draw in Xena’s powerful hand. She would have offered complete surrender if the warrior had asked.

As if reading her mind, Xena spoke again, the lust-laced sigh of a Mistress who knew exactly what it took to draw her prey to absolute submission. "I love the way you feel, little bardling…and I don’t want you to hold back…"

The wave was rising, the heat almost burning her up -

"…give yourself to me…"

- every shudder an unbridled wrenching of her very soul.


Her eyes opened as she stared at the warrior through the passion and fire. "Xena…it’s…you, isn’t it? It’s not a role anymore…it’s you."

The answer was immediate. "Yes, Gabrielle; it’s me…it’s always been me…"

"…yes…" Gabrielle gasped out as the leather pulled against her wrists. "…it’s always been you…"

"Then show me…" Xena lapped at her flaming core. "…show me…now."

Hungry strokes of tongue and fingers, and Gabrielle’s body unleashed its ultimate pleasure, releasing finally in jerking convulsions as Xena held fast to her shaking form. The climax tore through her, shaking her entire body, overwhelming her senses like nothing she had known. She could feel herself clamped around Xena’s hand, the pulse still strong as she rode out the wave, the agonising joy finally beginning to subside.


"Gabrielle…?" Xena asked anxiously, all traces of the dominating warlord washed away with the bard’s now-sated urges. With one deft stroke, she freed Gabrielle’s wrists from the bounds of the whip. "…are you all right?"

"Huh? Oh…sure. I’m…I’m…" Gabrielle sighed the words out through long, satisfied breaths. "…I’m…just wonderful." There was a short pause, then she added wistfully, "I’m so wonderful…I can’t move."

Great, thought Xena, glad I could do it for you. She was torn between the immense and satisfaction at being able to give Gabrielle what she’d needed, to see the pleasure that she had helped to create…and the intensity of her own needs, searing lava coursing through her body.

Then as if by Gods-sent inspiration, the idea came to her. "…how would you feel if I played dominator a little longer?"

She was answered with a weary groan, filled with the afterglow of total satisfaction. "Xena, you were amazing, but I don’t think I could take it again."

Xena laughed, hugging the bard to her. "No, that’s not exactly what I meant. But if you really can’t move, I’m going to have to…provide some assistance." She reached for Gabrielle’s hand and guided it slowly across her own fiery body.

All it took were a few electrifying seconds…then faster than Cupid could string a bow, Gabrielle had rolled out from underneath the warrior, jumped up and straddled those powerful thighs.

You’re just full of surprises, Xena thought, thoroughly impressed. "I thought you couldn’t move."

Gabby grinned lecherously. "Some things are just worth moving for."

She stared down at the beautiful warrior before her, the remnants of her orgasm ebbing softly into floating caress. What remained behind the satisfaction now lay a growing desire to bring Xena to exactly that point of ultimate ecstasy that she herself had just been taken….and she was going to do it, too.

Gabrielle moved her hand gently up the side of her lover’s body, marvelling in the sensation that it gave her – that it was giving both of them. Her other hand came to rest at Xena’s forehead, and she brought it down tenderly across the warrior’s flushed cheek. "Do you know how…sexy you look right now?"

The warrior said nothing…just breathed an exhalation of pure arousal.

It was enough to urge the bard on, as she brought her hands to meet each other at Xena’s muscle-toned bronzed breasts. She kneaded – needed – somewhere between softly and firm, yet with a passion she found increasingly hard to contain. On her way down, Gabrielle’s lips found Xena’s neck, the throat exposed, inviting…offered. With soft intensity, she closed her teeth around the tender yet strong tanned flesh, the hunger in her howling like a ravenous wolf.

Xena’s head moved backwards, and she moaned deeply, breathing out that fire that had already scorched Gabrielle’s senses…not to mention her desire.

The bard finally broke away from the hypnotising pull of Xenia’s throat, filling the irresistible skin with the raking of her lips and tongue. As her mouth met her hands, she paused, wanting to see clearly the reaction displayed on the warrior’s face. "Is this what you want, Xena? Do you want me to do this? Is this what…gives you pleasure?"

For a few seconds there was no response but the familiar deep-throated sigh, laced with arousal that Gabrielle could almost taste. Then her words, igniting her senses yet again. "Yes, Gabrielle…yes…I want this…I want you…"

Encouraged, Gabrielle kissed her way around the circles of heat, wanting to give Xena every pleasure she could…wanting to hear that she was. "Do you…like this?" Making way for her mouth, she moved her hands back down Xena’s body, towards her abdomen…lower. "How much do you want me?"

It was halfway between a command and a plea. "…Gabrielle…please…"

Gabrielle stole another look at the lust-struck face of her beautiful lover. Xena’s eyes, half closed, only seemed to burn with the same beckoning flame.

"Are you as on fire as you look…?" Gabrielle asked her in soft whisper, finally grasping enough courage to find out.

The fire swept through her in like a shockwave, as she felt the smooth and slender hands further igniting her burning heat. They circled the sides of her desire, her pulse racing, throbbing, begging of its own volition for the ecstasy never to stop. "Ohhhhh…yeah…"

It was all that Xena could get out.

How does she know so much? the warrior wondered fleetingly – then thoughts were no longer possible. Just the touch, the flame, the fire – the wave already having begun its crescendo.

"Th…" It was almost impossible to speak. It was almost impossible to do anything except give over total control and be swept away in Gabrielle’s touch. "…that’s so…Gods…just…don’t stop…"

She thought she heard Gabrielle laugh softly, a mixture of genuine pleasure at her effect…and the sound of a wolfcub knowing it was making the transition into fully-fledged hunter…for this side of the fantasy, at least.

"Xena…you feel so wonderful…I know you want to let go…"

Ordinarily, it was something the warrior steadfastly refused to do. She was the powerful, the dominant, the cat who lived by her rules and her will alone. At least, that was how it had been before Gabrielle…before…this.

Let go. To this touch, to this fire, to this woman…

…yes. There was no question…no choice. Nothing else at this moment that she desired more.




The searing heat exploded within her, as she fought to contain the colossal forces unleashed from within…then gave in to the power without conscious choice and let the incredible sensation take her over completely. Her muscles tensed and arched her body of their own accord, gripping Gabrielle’s hands as they held her in continuous rapture. At last the wave began its retreat, and Xena floated breathlessly back into the real.

Gentle caress replaced forceful strokes, yet Xena could feel the beginnings of over-sensitisation. Carefully she reached down to lift Gabrielle’s hands away from her saturated pulse.

Gabrielle whimpered softly, tensing slightly at the grip. "…but I’m enjoying myself…" She knew that the ultimate had been reached…yet she had no desire to move from the marvellous feeling that this touch provided. "…aren’t you??"

She heard Xena breathe out a short tender laugh, relaxed and gave in as her hand was pulled away.

"Believe me, Gabrielle…enjoying doesn’t even come close. That was…you were…there aren’t any words. But right now, I really need to recover…" Xena shifted position slightly, laying Gabrielle back down, her head coming to rest on the bard’s shoulder. "…that was truly wonderful."

Gabrielle felt Xena’s arms drape across her as the warrior kissed her on the cheek, holding her in, keeping her safe. Then she heard the words she had waited for, really since they had first met. "I do love you, Gabrielle…and now there’s no rush for anything. We have all the time in the world."

"…all the time in the world," Gabrielle mused, feeling that if the afterlife was anything like this, it must be paradise indeed. "yeah…I like that. I love you too, Xena. Don’t ever doubt it…"

They stayed like that for the rest of the night, bathed in the afterglow of blended souls and truly satisfied peace.

* * *

"Y’know…for a blood-lusting war-obsessed metalhead…sometimes you can be an okay dude."

Ares glared at his sister. "That’s the last time I help you…"

"Oh get over it, bro. You just know there was no way they were gonna get together of their own accord, at least not in this lifetime…they couldn’t even do it with my help. They needed their passions really fired up…and we all know you can’t resist a good dose of passion…"

Ares kept scowling. "Bloodlust."

"Yeah yeah, whatever. Point is…you enjoyed it. Don’t you try to tell me you didn’t. It’s passion – lust, if you prefer – and pleasure – and love. Perfect combination."

They stared again at the two lovers, warrior and bard, lying satisfied in each other's arms.

"Perfect combination, " Aphrodite said again. "Mmmm…I just LOVE it when a plan comes together."

* * *




Part II – By the Gods

"Not bad…not bad at all."

In an instant, Xena was on her feet. True, they felt like jelly, but she was on them all the same…Gabrielle behind her, staff at the ready.

"Oh please…ladies…I’m not here to be fought with."

Xena glared daggers at him. "You’re always here to be fought with, Ares."

The powerfully built god shook his head. "Not in the sense you’re thinking – at least, not right now. Xena…in all the work you did for me…in all the battles, in all the heat of war…I’ve never seen the passion I saw in you tonight. It was – you were – truly magnificent."

Inwardly, both warrior and bard cursed reluctantly. They both hated it when Ares was right.

"…and you…!" The god turned his attention to Gabrielle. "I never expected it. Truly, I’ve severely underestimated your…abilities." He took a step closer; the bard did not flinch. "You have me…very intrigued."

As Ares reached out a hand, a sword blocked his path. Undaunted, he gazed back at the warrior. "Come on, Xena. Don’t tell me your flame has died already. Both of you – you’re still very much alive in there, aren’t you? What if I said I could do better than either of you – would your pride let you walk away from a chance to prove me wrong?"

Xena and Gabrielle looked at each other across the dark lit god. It was not supposition; they knew exactly what Ares was proposing.

"You’re crazy," Xena muttered, hoping it sounded convincing.

"You’re tempted, " Ares countered, taking in them both with one rebelliously daring stare. To Gabrielle he said, "I know you’re curious." Then, to Xena: "…I know you can’t resist a challenge."

Ares stepped closer, so that now he stood still facing them, but close enough that any reaching hand could touch another. "You never would have acted on your desires without a little help. I know they’re still in there…and neither of you is going to pass up the opportunity to…what’s the phrase…get one over on me?" He paused for effect. "…or two, for that matter. C’mon…" Ares beckoned them closer – and even as a surprised to him, they began to follow. "…try to prove to a god that he’s no better than mortal lust."

They spoke in unison, steading each other as they made contact with his human skin. "It wasn’t lust, Ares."

He shrugged as he ran his hands simultaneously down bare bard flesh and hard warrior leather. "…whatever…"

As Gabrielle’s eyes closed, she wondered if being so close to a god would allow Xena to pick up her thoughts as well as Ares had. She made a concentrated effort – which was difficult, because reluctantly she was responding to the dark god’s touch – to reach whatever place Xena was sending her mind.

Xena…you know this doesn’t really count. After what we’ve made each other feel, there’s no way in Tartarus that Ares could…She had to stop then, because the hand caressing her tail bone was just too distracting. What was worse; she couldn’t quite figure out just which one of them it belonged to…

The bard’s words formed with absolute clarity in her mind – at least, as much clarity as she could muster with Ares’ touch on her shivering skin to distract her.

She attempted to return the message…for the god’s benefit as well. Don’t worry, Gabrielle…I’ve been with Ares before – and he’s a good lover (that should satisfy the ego, she thought), but compared to you…he doesn’t even come close. Then, directing her thoughts only at Ares: there’s simply no competition.

The blood in his mortal body began to boil, and his already hardened muscles grew firmer. A counter-challenge! This warrior knew just how to set him off…and it would be a cold day in Tartarous before he would admit that he couldn’t still set her off too.

With one swift stroke, he pulled them both forwards, at the same time propelling himself back, so that they landed with a resounding thump horizontally onto his heavy bronzed chest. A shift in immortal perspective, and the outer trappings of dark leather and cold steel were gone. His, anyway; he kind of liked the feel of Xena’s leather. Always had. Always would.

Gabrielle lost her balance and found her face buried in a perfectly toned godly chest. She struggled for air, and when she came up, Xena’s lips were on hers.

It was a gentle, protective kiss – different than before – reminding her that for them it was love; for Ares, it was battle-lust, and there really was no comparison.

"It doesn’t matter what we do here," she heard Xena whisper. "We can enjoy it if we want to. It doesn’t matter…because ultimately, it isn’t real."

They both knew that this would enrage the god…because he knew as well as they did that it was true.

As if having been given permission to wonder, Gabrielle found herself thinking very unbardlike thoughts. Curiosity got the better of her, and she lifted her head and eyed them both quizzically. "…how exactly did you used to serve him, Xena?"

Both warrior and god stared at the bard in intrigue and amazement. There was no mistaking the subtext – and they all knew it.

The corners of Ares’ mouth curled slowly upwards as the beginnings of a smile spread over his perfectly chiselled features. "Xena…I think we’ve created a monster."

Xena opened her mouth to tell Ares that he’d had nothing to do with Gabrielle’s creation…or what she had rapidly become…but she was silenced by the touch of Gabrielle’s own lips in answer.

Mid-kiss, the warrior suddenly felt herself flipped over and on her back, all within a matter of seconds. She blinked rapidly and looked up – the god was astride one leg, the bard deftly straddling the other. Ares and Gabrielle working together? Now there was an interesting thought…

Ares recognised the look on the warrior’s face for exactly the expression of wild danger that it was. Give them a second, he thought, and uncharacteristically waited patiently for permission to continue. He found himself liking the game…and he wanted to see just exactly where it would take them.

Glancing carefully Xena, he instinctively knew that even if this was what she wanted…she needed to agree not to him…but to the mortal who now had her heart. Go on, he urged the bard silently – not much caring if Xena heard his thoughts or not. It was the principles that counted. The principles of lust…just ask her.

He watched as Gabrielle touched her hand to Xena’s moonlit face. There was no mistaking the look – it was wild curiosity if ever he’d seen it.

"Xena…I want to see this…to see how you played his servant … his… subordinate. I think it would…really excite me. Are you willing to do that, for me? …for you??"

Not bad, the god thought to himself. It seemed bards had their uses after all. He watched closely for Xena’s reaction…yet he had already guessed – and it hadn’t taken Olympian powers – what her answer would be.

Xena stared up at the bard lying invitingly across her left side. Ares could hear her speak before the words came out. "…are you sure you want to go there, Gabrielle? Are you sure you’re ready for this?"

She was so concerned…in spite of himself, Ares found himself admiring her loyalty and steadfast intent – to protect this new love – to keep her safe…but safety was relative. It was easily stretched…so too the boundaries of passion and pleasure. He had seen them both prove that tonight…and he was resolved to prove it again.

Gabrielle nodded, caressing the warrior’s cheek, a movement in which Ares could easily read the fire of her intent. "If you don’t mind an audience. Show me." She looked across at Ares, no fear and no contempt…just interest…just intensity …just… "Show me."

He smiled, eyes gleaming, displaying in them as much of his immortal desires as he thought they could possibly handle. Then he gently shifted his weight, rolling the bard a little more to Xena’s flank so he could give himself less restriction in his access. "You’re going to like this…in fact, both of you are…" Ares took the warrior’s powerful arms, and in one swift movement, pinned them to the ground above her head. Applying pressure to the wrists, he squeezed, fully aware of just how much the torture would arouse her.

Xena did not disappoint him.

"Ahhhhh…" It was the sound that Ares found most erotic. It was the sound of pleasure…caused by pain.

He could hear the bard breathing heavily across from him – knew that she was becoming just as turned on as he was. With more pressure – digging in with the nails of this perfect mortal body, Ares drew another breath from Xena; undisguised fire, heating his own blood, causing his already raised hardness to pulse all the more. "Do you want her as well?" He asked her, almost turning it into a command. What the hell – he wanted to see her as on fire as she could get.

"…if…it pleases you…"

The god knew that this was not something he – nor the bard – heard from Xena every day. Not these days, at least. But once, he had grown accustomed to it…and he remembered with perfect clarity how it felt to have her submit. "I know you do, Xena. I know you want both of us."

As he dug his strength into the warrior again, another long breath of drawn ecstatic pain emerged from her, and he glanced again at Gabrielle…her eyes said it all… she wanted a part of this…this primal, sexual torture was arousing her just as much as it was him.

He beckoned her with a flick of his head, and she was there – her face buried in Xena’s chest, suckling like a hungry wolfcub, again about to turn and unleash the true beast within.

Once more a look at Xena – eyes closed, riding the passions of them both, desire oozing from her exquisite warrior’s body – then in perfect judgement of distance and strength, he thrust himself inside her, sending all his godly power to the rhythm of this fire-filled dance.

He released his grip on one wrist to steady himself – and noticed immediately that the bard had replaced it with her own. There was no time to be impressed with her involvement yet again; the sensation was filling him and the rock of the lust inside his core drove him relentlessly on…

Then he remembered…why rush this? He was a God, for Zeus’ sake! It didn’t have to end yet…

But he had to be subtle…he had to be clever. He had to get them to have some more fun first.

He wanted to watch some more.

Slowly Ares eased himself outwards, his remaining hand letting go of Xena’s wrist as he lay back, breathing heavily. He sensed the puzzlement almost immediately.

"Wha…?" It was the bard who spoke first…but that was all she said. New to all this, not wanting to overstep her mark…he knew Xena would not be so cautious.

"What…do you think you’re doing, Ares?"

The excuse had formed before he’d had time to think about it. Still, he figured it was acceptable. The bard would believe it. Xena might, too. "Must be too long in a mortal body. Happens to some…men…y’know – HEY!" Taken by surprise, he yelped as Xena tested his words. Even though he’d taken precautions by simply willing himself to go soft, the grip on his parts hurt like hell. Sometimes it really was a pain taking form as a mortal –

"Okay, so something else is on your mind, huh?" Xena did not mince words. He’d always liked that about her…among other things.

(Hey…this wasn’t part of the deal…

A familiar voice popped into his brain, and he growled it away. Stow it, Sis. You should be pleased. I’m about to give them a bit more of…he winced as he thought it…what they really want. You wanna watch too???

A pause. Another pause. And Aphrodite was gone.

Knew it, he thought smugly. She wouldn’t have the guts to enjoy the show.)

Ares lay back on the grass, his head tilted toward warrior and bard. He spoke, not even bothering to use a commanding tone. "Perhaps you should…entertain yourselves for a while. I’d like that…and I know you would."

He didn’t have to wait long. A brief look from one to the other, and their lips were locked, tongues in fierce battle, breathing hot lust and fire. Hands roamed freely and fiercely, searching eager flesh for heat that he could almost taste.

Finally Gabrielle lay back and Xena’s hands reached her inflamed groin, stroking out the overpowering scent of her desire. Almost immediately the bard’s own fingers found Xena, feeding the warrior’s need with equally pulsating touch. They were moving with each other – within each other - and Ares could contain his passions no longer.

Watching their reactions carefully, Ares slid himself up and came in behind the sweat-soaked warrior. She arched as he pressed himself into her, his hips grinding forcefully in time to their frantic movements.

"Uhhh…yeah, that’s sooo good…" Her words urged him on…and on…and on.

(Curious suddenly, Ares floated out of himself for just a moment, marvelling at the scene they had created: Gabrielle the eager, gasping in pleasure at the warrior once again inside her; Xena the warlord with the best of both worlds, giving and receiving the pleasure of ultimate arousal; and Ares the God of war and bloodlust, dominating the powerful and submissive yet again. It was perfect. (He wondered briefly about getting the cold steel of a blade in on the scene…but decided that damn it, that was just too much trouble…)

Back into his body, Ares could feel the rush of vitality – and virility – returning even without conscious thought. The power pumped through his veins and he grasped onto whatever flesh he could find as all three of them continued in their frenzy of unbridled lust.

He heard the bard first; a cry of Sirensong, the crashing release of such a passion he’d truly never thought she’d possessed.

Seconds later, Xena followed Gabrielle into the flood; a bucking, throaty yowl to all the passions that had ever existed.

Then it hit him. Wrapped in mortal flesh, Ares felt as a mortal would; the wave of ultimate everything cascaded over him, drowning his senses, overpowering all that he was. He was everywhere and nowhere, he was outside himself, he was inside them. He was Gabrielle, on fire with this new and exciting touch; he was Xena, revelling in the power of two equally sexual beings who both ignited at her pleasure; he was himself, he was everyone, he was everything. He was Mount Olympus, he was the universe, he was a God –

oh. Yeah. He was a God.

The rush subsided, and Ares pulled himself together. Maintaining the image fit for an immortal of his stature, he rolled himself up, blinked back his leather and steel, and stood over them, smiling in utter satisfaction. "So…I know this is basically a rhetorical question…but was I good, or what??"

Xena and Gabrielle looked at each other, smiled deviously and looked back at Ares with total conviction. "Well…we’d do it again…" Gabrielle glanced at Xena, who nodded in confirmation…

…then they both stared steadfastly at the god, both projecting an image of the other into his mind, as they spoke in unison. "…but we’ve definitely both had better."

* * *

Vanishing into invisibility in his frustration, he didn’t hear her leaning up behind him.

"That was some show, brother."

He sneered. "I thought voyeurism wasn’t your thing."

She shrugged. "A girl’s gotta have some hobbies. Wanted to see what you’d do with our…handiwork.’

They both stood in immortal seclusion, staring down again at warrior and bard…now settled back safely in each other’s arms.

"..and they do seem a very cool hobby to have." Aphrodite sprinkled a little lovedust on herself and proceeded to slowly fade into the mortals’ reality. "…I wonder what passions they have left…?"

* END (?) *

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