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Disclaimer: The characters of Xena and Gabrielle belong exclusively to MCA/Universal and Renaissance Pictures. No copyright infringement was intended in the writing of this piece. Nipples on the other hand, belong to us all.

Subtext Warning: Well, yes, I suppose, so, this story implies a loving relationship between two consenting adult women. If you are under 18, this type of thing is illegal in the state/country in which you live, or if you are offended by it, read no further. But honestly, it's not that juicy.

Acknowledgments: My eternal thanks must go to Justin Pont and Richard Maude for supposedly inspiring me to write this bit of fluff. Sorry Justin, I'm quoting you once in here. You see archaeobard has been in her box for a little while suffering from writer's block. This is an attempt to purge some of the demons, or as Kamouraskan put it, I needed a brain enema, thanks Kam. So, as all think tank things work, I was at the pub…yes, again…and was having a word with my mate Justin, who is also a writer, I was begging for inspiration. Yes, I know that archaeobard should not beg, archaeobard does not beg on principle, but sometimes one gets desperate. I wasn't asking for much, not really, just a word would do. That word being (drum roll) NIPPLE! So, thanks again people, and to you too Kam and to Willowluvyr for the 'inspiration' and conversation.

Feedback: If you think I have been misinspired, or have a couple of roos loose, or simply wish to inspire me further, I'm at archaeobard@hotmail.com 


By Archaeobard


If the tavern had been any less crowded, the word dropped from Gabrielle's lips would have carried much further. As it was, Xena almost choked on her port.

Spluttering on the strong, fruity fortified wine, the warrior glared across the table at her travelling companion.

"What did you say?"

Gabrielle grinned foolishly and smothered a small giggle with the back of her hand.

"Nipple." she repeated after a moment, concentrating on the word.

Xena glared at her as if she had grown two heads. The bard had not had that much to drink, and they had eaten.

"Why?" she queried, hoping to force an answer if she allowed her eyes to drill into their target a moment longer.

"Oh," the bard shrugged non-committally and grinned again, "I just like the sound of the word, you know," she sat forward in her seat and leaned conspiratorially over the table, "'malleable nipples'." The bard pronounced each syllable slowly, letting the words roll languidly from her tongue in a cascade of imagery.

The warrior paused a moment while she remembered to breathe, and swallowed the lump that had somehow managed to lodge itself in her throat.

"Uh-huh." was all that came out when she tried to speak.

"Oh come on Xena, it's a bard thing, listen to how it sounds." The bard repeated the two words, this time with the added imagery of rolling her thumb and forefinger over an imaginary nipple. "See, you can almost feel it." Gabrielle finished with another grin and sat back in triumph.

"Almost." the warrior muttered by way of response, whatever, she was definitely feeling something.

"No look, I'm serious, it's in the 'malleable'." The bard took a quick swig of her port and leaned forward again, she was on a roll. "See, if I'd of said 'pliant nipples' or 'pappy nipples', it wouldn't have felt the same." she gestured with her hand.

"Pappy?" Xena raised an eyebrow, beginning to see what Gabrielle was getting at.

The bard was nodding, "But 'malleable', it's all in the tongue, you have to use your tongue."

"Yeah," the warrior nodded briefly, losing her expression behind her port, "you gotta use that."

"And the fact that I used the term 'malleable', implies something more." The bard continued, oblivious to the slight frown that creased Xena's brow.


"Yeah, it's left hanging, it means I can still arouse them."

"Who?" the warrior asked, thinking that something was being left hanging.

"The nipples, they are not yet erect." the bard said, pointing her forefingers out straight at the level of her chest.

"Oh Gods." Xena groaned as Gabrielle's gesture forced her eyes down to the level of the bardly bust, somewhere where she had previously managed to keep her eyes from straying…too much.

"So you have to…arouse them." Gabrielle trailed off, noticing where the warrior's attention was focused. "Xena! Hey! My eyes are here." She pointed at them and Xena dragged her gaze guiltily from the bard's breasts. "Have you been listening to a word I've been saying?"

"Yeah, uh arousal." the warrior said, shifting slightly in her chair.

"Right, so this opens up a whole new chapter, how am I going to arouse the nipples?"

Xena let out a breath through a half sneer. Many thoughts flashed through the warrior's skull at that moment.

"Do I fondle them, pinch them, lick them, nibble them or a combination of all of the above?" the bard continued with various gestures to get her points across, so to speak.

Xena swallowed hard and looked to the table for inspiration.

"Nibble." she said finally.

"Uh-uh," the bard said, taking a swallow of her port, "can't say nibble."

"Why not?"

"Xena, it sounds stupid, 'nibbled her nipples'? It's farcical, I may as well put a 'nub' in there too."

"A what?" the warrior wasn't really concentrating on the conversation at this stage, but rather thinking that it wouldn't be too bad to have her nipples nibbled, and it certainly wouldn't have been farcical.

"A 'nub'…a protuberance, " seeing the confusion on the warrior's face, the bard brought it down a level, "a lump." she said finally, staring at the woman across from her.

"Oh." was all the warrior said.

"Okay, so here I am, licking, sucking, raking with my teeth, yeah, raking is a better word, and fondling, so, what do I end up with?"

Xena squirmed uncomfortably in her chair and frowned, warriors did not squirm.

"Erect nipples?" she tried, hoping that the things had better be darn well erect after all that.


"Wrong?" Xena couldn't believe she was having this conversation with Gabrielle.

"Dead wrong, I have descriptionless nipples." Gabrielle threw her arms out across the table in defeat.

"You do?" Xena sounded disappointed.

"Well, not me exactly, but the nipples have no description. I just can't say they are erect and leave it at that, that's boring. You have to describe them, you know, the colour, the shape, the feel against my tongue, things like that."

"Uh-huh." Never one to mince words, the warrior was having trouble finding but a one.

"Yes, like are they chocolate, or a deep almond, peaked or rounded, hot and moist or warm and feathery? See what I mean?" the bard asked in an imploring kind of tone.

Xena cleared her throat before she could speak. She opened her mouth, but nothing came out, so she took another sip of port to wash the sudden dryness away.

"I think so." she said, shifting in her chair yet again and adjusting her armour, which had become rather cloying.

"Good," the bard paused a moment before grinning, "and then of course you have the rest of the breast."

"Oh Gaia." Xena whispered as she felt a stab of uncalled for passion rush through her.

"I mean is it, or rather are they…" the bard halted when she noticed Xena's blank expression, "Are you alright? You look a little…flushed." she asked with concern.

Xena tried to smile, but it came out more as a showing of teeth.

"Yeah, fine, no problems here." the warrior grunted out.

"Right, so, as I was saying, the rest of the breast. Now, there are many terms to use in this description, some of them are awful, 'mounds of flesh' for example sounds like what you get after a bloody battle, 'soft globes', 'perfect pillows', and my personal horror, 'love bunches'." Gabrielle shuddered at the description and took a sip of port to clear her mind.

"Love bunches?" Xena queried, eyebrows raised.

"Well I didn't write it!" Gabrielle said a little too defensively.

Xena nodded, her wayward desire momentarily curbed by the description.

Picking up her train of thought again Gabrielle continued, "But you've got to be more tactile than that. You can't describe a breast in two words, they are palpable things."


"Exactly!" Gabrielle stabbed a finger in Xena's direction, a triumphant smile on her face. "So," the bard continued, more animated now, "do I cup the breasts in my hands like this?" she made a cradling gesture with her hands against her own breasts, "Or do I gently stroke the supple curve along to the nipples?" she asked, running her hands over the slope of her own. She cocked her head in query and raised her eyebrows to Xena, hands still firmly affixed to breasts. Getting no immediate response from the warrior, Gabrielle folded her arms and leant over the table once more, depositing rather large amounts of cleavage in Xena's line of sight.

Xena closed her eyes briefly as the momentary curbing of her desire flew out the window like a bride's nightie.

"Well?" Gabrielle prompted expectantly, leaning over a little further.

The normally stoic warrior shuddered once visibly and opened her eyes, forcing herself to focus on Gabrielle's.

"I don't think now is the right time for this conversation Gabrielle." The words were said slowly and evenly, with just a hint of tremor.

Gabrielle blinked once and straightened up, staring at the warrior.

"Well, fine, if you don't want to give me a hand," the bard shrugged, trying not to sound disappointed, "I can deal with that." she nodded and took a swill of her port.

"Gabrielle, you don't know how much of a hand I am willing to give you, but, I'll be right back." Xena mumbled through a half smile that was more of a grimace, pushed her chair out from behind her and bolted out the back of the tavern, leaving the bard stranded and confused at their table.

"What?" Gabrielle said to herself, throwing her hands in the air, "Something I said?"

The End.

Told you it was a bit of fluff. Until next time, cheers,


Oh yeah, and for anyone out there who doesn't know the term 'off like a bride's nightie', it just means pretty damn quick, I couldn't resist using it, and it reads better than 'off like a bucket of prawns in the sun'…mate.


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