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Awarded: 31 March 2000

Disclaimer: The characters of Xena and Gabrielle and others mentioned, belong to MCA/Universal and Renaissance Pictures. No infringement on their rights are intended.

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: None. Just whenever.

Please send any comments to asdease1@gte.net

Enjoy, I hope.



By FlyBigD

Xena put the cup to her lips, taking a mouthful of water and prepared to swallow when she quickly expelled the liquid, spitting it all over the table. “Stop that!” She whispered in between coughs and reached under the table to remove Gabrielle’s hand from her thigh.

Gabrielle resisted and put more effort into her purpose, which got her hand a healthy slap.

“I said stop that.” Xena’s voice was harsh despite it’s hushed tone. Hearing a noise behind her she glanced over her shoulder at an empty doorway, then watched as Cyrene passed from one side to the other and disappeared. “Oh gods!”

The ‘prayer’ as Gabrielle called them, wasn’t for Xena’s mother, who could be heard moving around the kitchen, instead it was for the fact that the bard had taken advantage of the warrior’s distraction and now had her hand firmly on Xena’s hot spot and was making no attempt at hiding her intentions. She moved her hand further down the warriors breeches and almost had her hand ripped off as Xena jumped out of the chair beside her.

“Gabrielle!” Xena hissed as she grabbed her chair before it fell over. Using the chair as a barrier against another assault, she shot another glance in the direction of the kitchen. Looking back at the bard she shook her head. “No.” Seeing the bard rise, she kept the chair between her and the hot blooded blonde on the move. “Stay away from me.” Her voice almost desperate.

“Xena.” Purred Gabrielle as she took a step forward. Smiling, she slowly ran her tongue over her bottom lip.

“Oh no, you don’t.” Taking a step back, the warrior felt her heart skip a beat and fought down the temptation to fling the chair across the room and give the bard exactly what she wanted. “That look’s not going to work, Gabrielle.” Seeing the familiar heat building behind two green eyes.

“What look?” Not succeeding at innocence, even if that was her intent, Gabrielle kept moving forward as the warrior continued her retreat. Putting on her most sultry look, she lowered her head and raised an eyebrow. “This look?”

“Yes, that look.” Glancing at the kitchen door, then back to the bard. “The ‘I want you naked and I want you naked now’ look.” She’d seen that look many times before and for a moment she felt her skin flush as the memory of what that look had led to came to cloud her vision. Hot, sweaty bodies, hands, lot of hands and lips. Can’t forget those lips... “No!” Closing her eyes, she shook her head furiously. “Stop it!” As much to herself as to the bard. Opening her eyes she found the vertically challenged woman very close, too close and reaching for her thigh. “No, I said.” Slapping at the hand, she let go of the chair and leapt out of reach. The bard kept coming and reaching, only to have the warrior slap each advance. “Gabrielle, I’m serious.” Slap. “Get away from me.” Slap. “This isn’t funny.” Slap. “My Mother’s in the next room for Zeus sake.” Slap. “Stop that.” Slap. “Don’t touch me.” Slap. “Gabrielle, no.” Slap. “Let go!” Slap. Slap. “Gods, don’t look at me like that.” Slap. “I mean it.” Slap. “If I promise we’ll leave in an hour will you just, please stop?” Slap. “I take that as a no.” Slap. “How many hands do you have anyway?” Slap. Slap. Slap. Realizing she was wasting her time, Xena quickly made use of one of her many skills and her long legs, moving swiftly she circled the table putting a safe, if that was possible, distance between her and the lust filled bard.

Keeping the look going, Gabrielle added to her assault by running her hand slowly over the top edge of her blouse, allowing a finger to dip just below the material. “Is it hot in here, or is it me?” Her voice a low husky whisper.

Sweat started to bead on the warrior’s upper lip. “Oh it’s definitely me.” Xena said without thinking as she watched the slow path of the bard’s hand. “Stop that!” Shaking herself. As she watched the bard move, she moved in the opposite direction around the table. “Stay away from me.” Pointing a warning finger at the Amazon hunter. “Gabrielle, I said stay away from me.”

“Xena.” Taking another step, Gabrielle continued running her hand over her chest and with each pass lowered the one finger further into her top. Slowly she circled the table, watching the warrior keep pace and with every step she felt the heat rise inside her. The side trip to Amphipolis, which Xena had said would be a mini holiday had turned into a major nightmare.

They didn’t come this way often and Gabrielle was more than happy to take a break from the normal ‘beat up the bad guys’ routine for a little rest and relaxation. She liked Cyrene and even felt a closeness to Xena’s mother that she found a little lacking in her own mother. Not that her mother wasn’t a good mother, she was great, it was the tension between her father and Xena that made it difficult. It put Hecuba on the defensive between trying to soothe her husbands temper and trying to keep Xena from killing him. The trips to Potidea were therefore few and far between and lately, Gabrielle had made a few of them by herself, leaving Xena at a village half a days ride away. And despite the lack of the warrior princess’ presence, it didn’t help to keep her father from listing all the reasons she should give up her life with Xena and ‘settle down’, a term which usually sent the bard into her worn out speech about not being a little girl anymore and that it was her decision to make and that if he loved her he’d understand. Which he didn’t, although she knew that he loved her, but she also knew that he was never going to be able to see her as anything than the daughter he wanted her to be and of course, he was never going to see Xena as anything other than the wicked warlord from Hades that stole his little girl. Her mother always made her feel welcome, but Gabrielle could tell that her mother felt almost the same way about Xena. She never voiced her opinions, but she knew the truth from the looks she got when she mentioned the warrior’s name. Her mother was disappointed in her and no matter how much Gabrielle tried to tell her that she was happy, the looks were still there. She loved her mother and she knew that she was loved, in turn, but she realized that the love wasn’t enough. She wasn’t what they wanted her to be and never would be, with or without Xena in her life and the lack of support and understanding that she expected from them left her wishing she didn’t have to go back, but she did. For Lila. The only bright spot in the dismal world that her parent’s created. After Gabrielle had corrected her mistake of not writing on a regular basis, Lila had lost her jealousness of Xena and had even been known to pry a conversation out of the warrior on the few trips that Xena came with her. Lila was the only person who tried to make the warrior feel as welcome as possible and for that, Gabrielle loved her even more. But even with her sister’s efforts the stress was almost too much to bare.

That stress, coupled with just being away from Xena and the tired feeling she always felt after a visit to her parent’s house made her appreciate Cyrene all the more. She knew that the situations of their respective parent’s were completely different, but even with that in mind Gabrielle couldn’t help being a little jealous herself at the love that Cyrene had for Xena. It was unconditional and even though she knew that Xena’s mother hadn’t always been proud of what her daughter had become in her past, Gabrielle knew that no matter what Xena did, that Cyrene loved her and after the warrior had given up her warlord days had forgiven her daughter, even if Xena hadn’t forgiven herself. The darkness of her past haunted Xena night and day, but in the presence of so much love, even the warrior princess couldn’t fight the feeling of warmth and comfort and, to the bard’s relief, allowed herself to relax. A feat which was even fewer and further between than Gabrielle’s trips home and so she had gladly agreed to make the trip. And, of course, there were the ‘little Xena’ stories that Cyrene loved to tell to her daughters ultimate chagrin.

Unfortunately there was a price to pay for this little bit of happiness and that was that Xena refused to tell her mother that she and the warrior were more than friends, which at first was amusing. Apparently Xena, the warrior princess who was well on her way to conquering the world, was completely unable to admit to her mother that she had a sex life.

‘Gabrielle,’ she had said in a very firm voice, ‘I have no intention of making mad passionate love to you with my mother in the next room.’

‘You’re kidding right?’ Gabrielle had stood amazed.

‘Nope.’ Xena hands on her hips for emphasis.

‘Xena.’ Meeting the warrior’s steely gaze. ‘She’s a grown woman with two, sorry, three children. I think she knows all about the birds and the bees.’ Smiling.

‘Knowing about it and hearing it all night long are two different things.’ Not letting herself think about her mother’s reaction.

‘Hearing it?’ The question didn’t take long for her memory to answer and she blushed. ‘Well you’re not exactly quiet either.’

‘My point exactly.’ Xena brought argument to a close. ‘Gabrielle, as far as my mother’s concerned we’re just friends.’

‘Xena, Cyrene isn’t stupid.’ Not willing to give up yet. ‘I think she’ll figure it out. Two bodies, one bed...’

‘Two bodies. Two rooms.’ Holding up two fingers of each had to illustrate her point.

‘What?’ Gabrielle’s jaw dropped. This was too much. ‘Why?’

‘I don’t trust you.’ A knowing smirk on her face.

‘What?’ The bard’s voice dropped an octave and took on a quite serious tone as her face lost all expression and just a bit of color.

‘And I don’t trust myself.’ Xena said honestly.

Gabrielle looked at the warrior’s face and closed her eyes. Putting her hands on her hips, she paced for several minutes before returning to face Xena. ‘This is insane.’

‘Please.’ Moving closer, she took the bards hand in hers and brought them to her lips, placing a gentle kiss on each one. ‘I love you, Gabrielle.’

Gabrielle looked up into those damned baby blues and sighed heavily. ‘GODS!’ She screamed then lowered her head, bringing it to rest on the warriors chest.

‘Can I take that as a yes?’ Wrapping her arms around the bard, Xena felt the blonde head nod in resignation.

‘How long are we staying?’ Gabrielle took a deep breath, as if it were her last and filled her senses with leather and Xena.

‘Not long.’ Smiling, she bent down and placed a kiss the bard’s head.

Closing her eyes, Gabrielle prayed a silent prayer to any god that might be listening for strength, patience, self control and for Cyrene to please be an intuitive mother and know when her daughter was up to something, like her own mother had known when she was trying to hide the fact that she’d eaten all the nutbread. Feeling a flash of heat between her thighs, the bard quickly decided that that wasn’t the best analogy for the current situation, but prayed that the gods would get the general idea.

That had been two years ago and Gabrielle had given up, not only on the gods, but also any hope that Cyrene would catch on. Thankfully, she and Xena didn’t come this way very often and when they did, they usually only stayed for two or three days. That was what happened usually, but not this trip. Oh no. This trip, Cyrene had found many little chores for Xena to accomplish around the inn and the mini holiday had turned into two very long, frustrating weeks for the bard and she had finally decided that, rather than kill Xena’s mother, to take matters into her own hands. And those matters were, at the moment, keeping a safe distance and a wary eye on her as she circled the table. “Xena.” Her voice almost feral as she continued running her hand across her chest. “Come here.” Moving to her left.

“No.” Keeping pace with the bard. “Stop that.” Watching Gabrielle’s finger disappear beneath her top and coming to rest on a nipple and then began to circle it, slowly. Xena licked her lips and took a deep breath. “God’s Gabrielle!” Glancing, yet again, toward the kitchen, the warrior was grateful that her mother was no where to be seen, although humming could now be heard above the rattling of pans.

Gabrielle, well aware of the effects her seduction was having on the warrior, moved around the table until her back was to the kitchen. Watching the warrior’s head bob back and forth between her and the door behind her, she smiled and continued to tease the erect nipple. “Gods. It’s just so hot in here.” Leaning her head back, to expose one of Xena’s favorite haunts, she ran her ‘unoccupied’ hand across her abdomen and down one thigh.

Xena bit her lip. Focus. Focus. She looked at the bard. Don’t focus on that. “Gabrielle, please.” It had been a long two weeks and although she was just as frustrated as the bard, she still had no intentions of giving her mother a heart attack. “Stop that.” Taking a firmer tone.

“Make me.” Closing her eyes, Gabrielle smiled and moaned softly.

“Gabrielle!” Her voice as quiet as possible, she watched as the bard removed her hand from her top, thankfully and moved it slowly downward until it was resting just above the top of her skirt. Her other hand was still making it’s way up and down a very inviting thigh and to Xena’s horror, the bard had started to slowly rock her hips. “Oh no.”

“Oh yeeesssss.” Moving her hand slowly upward, the bard shifted it from the top of her thigh to the inner thigh, raising her skirt as she went and rocking her hips faster. “Yes. Yes. Yeeessss.”

“No. No. Nooooo.” Xena raised her hand, blocking the bard from her sight and shook her head fervently. Moving her hand slightly, she quickly replaced it and put the other one over her eyes for good measure, but the sounds emanating from the bard were having an unsettling effect on her groin. Closing her eyes as tightly as she could, she moved her hands to cover her ears and started humming.

Gabrielle heard the humming and opened her eyes. Even in her extremely heated state, she couldn’t help chuckling under her breath at the vision before her. There was the warrior princess, eyes squeezed shut, hands over her ears and humming some inane tune. She hadn’t planed on this defense, however, she fully intended to take full advantage of it. Moving around the table as quietly as possible, respecting Xena’s keen senses, she crept behind the fidgeting warrior and waited. Her wait wasn’t long.

Xena, unable to withstand the visions her mind was sending her, opted, or hoped that the real bard was at least still clothed, which she wasn’t in her mind. Nor was she standing. Nervously, she willed one eye to open and then the other. Seeing no bard at all, she brought her hands from her ears and sighed. “Thank the gods.”

“I love it when you talk dirty.” Smiling a very dirty smile.

Spinning, Xena found herself looking into two pools of green that radiated sex personified. “Shit!” Feeling the immediate heat rising from parts south, she stepped back quickly, too quickly and promptly fell onto the table behind her.

In a flash, the bard lunged for the waylaid warrior and caught her as she was trying to backstroke across the table. Driven by her desire, she grabbed the warrior’s waist and, despite Xena’s monumental effort, managed to drag the struggling woman back across the table. “Come here, fishy, fishy, fishy.”

“Oh no.” She knew that tone and upon hearing it doubled her efforts to extract herself from the bards amorous grasp. “Gabrielle, please. My mother...” Where is she getting that strength from? She thought, but actually new the answer. Lust, she remembered, had it way over adrenalin.

“Let her get her own warrior.” Her arms still wrapped around the warrior’s waist, Gabrielle shifted her weight and used those powerful legs to pull with all her might.

“We can’t do this.” Feeling herself being drug to the floor. “We can’t do ...” Her words were cut off by a pair of fiery lips. Her arms flailing, Xena caught the edge of the table and tried to pull away from the five thousand hands of the Amazon queen. Slowly, her fingers were wrenched from the table and she quickly felt the floor come in contact with her back.

Gabrielle ignored the muted protests coming from the warrior and pressed the advantage home, straddling Xena’s hips, while holding the warrior’s struggling arms at bay and never breaking the kiss. Her lips moved feverishly over the warrior’s and she felt Xena’s personal struggle beneath her. She knew Xena wanted this just as much as she did and she could feel the warrior resistance starting to crumble.

Any real thoughts that Xena may have had were crushed by the speeding chariot of her desire, but her instincts still hung on and she struggled not to give in to what her body was yelling for. But the feel of the bard lips against her own and the bards weight on her hips were taking their toll on her resolve and slowly, she felt herself responding to Gabrielle’s passion.

Sensing that victory was at hand, Gabrielle let go of Xena’s arms and leaned into the warrior when she felt strong hands on her bare back, pulling her close. She smiled, to herself feeling Xena’s tongue pressing against her lips and quickly granted the warrior access and, in turn, probed her lovers mouth.

Xena was drowning in a sea of molten lava as fire ripped across her body. Her hands dug into the bards strong back as she tried to merge their bodies into one. Her hips, not to be left out of the fun, began thrusting upward against the bard as one hand slipped downward to a muscled thigh, then under the bards skirt and over a, now rocking buttocks. Giving the taut flesh a firm squeeze, her hand then continued making it’s way over familiar territory, the warrior’s hand moved under the bards breeches and quickly found the hot, wet center of the bard’s sex.

Gabrielle almost screamed when her hips bucked hard against Xena’s touch and only managed to suppress it when she felt two fingers thrust inside her core. “Oh gods!” she growled, moving against the warrior’s hand.

“Xena, dear.” Cyrene, called from the kitchen. “Can you open this.” Holding a large jar, she concentrated on trying to pry the cork out as she walked into the main dining area.

“Mom!” Xena shouted, bolting off the floor, sending Gabrielle backwards and landing with a loud thud. She stood ramrod straight, nonchalantly straightening her leathers and putting on a, what she hoped was a very casual smile.

Cyrene looked up from the jar and noticed her daughter’s unusual expression. “Xena. Are you all right?” Moving closer.

“Yea. Yea. I’m fine.” Xena waved her hand, brushing any problem she might have away. “What did you need?” Suddenly, she felt a hand on her leg that was moving up the inside of her thigh.

“The cork on this jar is stuck.” Moving a little closer. “Can you open it?”

“Absolutely!” Her voice an octave too high, she coughed and smiled. Trying to disengage her leg from Gabrielle’s wandering hand, she took a step with her free leg then pulled quick and hard with the other. Twice, unsuccessfully, then sighing with relief as the third attempt was the trick.

“Xena.” Very concerned by Xena’s strange behavior. “Are you sure you’re all right?”

“Fine, Mother.” Moving quickly around the table, she took the jar from Cyrene and pulled on the cork. It came out easily and she handed the items back. Smiling. “There you go.”

“Thank you, Xena.” She turned to back to the kitchen, then as quickly looked back over the dining area. “Where’s Gabrielle? I thought you two were having breakfast together.”

Xena looked over her shoulder and prayed for divine intervention, because she couldn’t think of anything. “Ummm.”

“I’m right here, Cyrene.” Popping her head above the table, she waved and smiled.

“What are you doing down there, dear?” This is very strange, Cyrene thought.

Lie. Please lie. Please lie. Please lie. Xena chanted to herself and closed her eyes as if willing the bard not to send her Mother to the Elysian fields today.

“Fork” Grabbing a utensil that had actually fallen in the melee.

Xena almost jumped out of her skin.

“I dropped my fork.” Bringing the item up for Cyrene to see, she continued to smile as if her face was frozen that way.

Opening her eyes, Xena felt her knee’s go weak and leaned on a nearby table. Thank you, she thought when she was able.

“I’ll get you another one.” Turning again, Cyrene disappeared into the kitchen.

“That’s okay, Cyrene.” Twirling the fork in her hand, the smile faded from Gabrielle’s face and was replaced by a deadly glare pointed at the soon to be dead warrior princess. “This one will do. Nicely.” Jabbing the air a couple of times.

“All right, dear.” Continuing her work, Cyrene thought of something. “Oh, Xena.”

“Yes, Mom.” Xena said as she saw the look in Gabrielle’s eyes.

The bard came around the table, fork in hand and approached Xena menacingly.

“Nice fork.” Xena whispered, trying to lighten the mood. Realizing her humor was lost on the bard, she started to put space between her and the Gabrielle’s current weapon of choice.

“You remember Mendius?” Cyrene cracked an egg into a large bowl.

“Mendius? Sure.” Dodging a lunge for her mid section. “How is he?” Keeping her voice calm as she evaded the bard from Tartarus.

“Quite well.” Stirring the cake mixture. “He’s been asking about you.” Xena’s mother smiled.

“What about?” Xena backed up quickly to escape another lunge.

“This and that.” Cyrene smile grew. “I’ve invited him to dinner tonight.”

“Ow.” The bard made contact and Xena winced. Thank the gods for thick leather.

“What was that, dear?” Pouring in more milk.

“I said why?” Xena was trying to decide whether to run, or try to disarm Gabrielle, before she ended up being impaled. “Why did you invite him to dinner?”

“He seems very interested in you, Xena.” Cyrene moved back toward the door. “I thought it would be nice if you two got to know each other better.” Stirring happily. “I think he likes you, Xena.” Cyrene poured a little more milk.

Gabrielle stopped in her tracks and turned to look at Cyrene standing in the doorway. Her eyes went from saucers to thin slits.

Cyrene smiled. “Spring is here. Love is in the air.” Humming as she stirred.

Gabrielle turned back to look at Xena, who, to the warriors continuing good health, looked completely shocked. Do something, the bard silently mouthed to the warrior.

What? Xena mouthed back. What can I do?

Tell her. Gabrielle motioned with the fork to the doorway.

Tell her what? Having a slight dense moment, Xena was lost.

About us! Waving the fork between the two of them for effect. Tell her about us.

Gabrielle! A look of pure terror crossed Xena’s face.

Xena. If you don’t do something, I will. Emphasizing the last two words.

Xena could see that the bard was serious. She’d tried to avoid this moment for two years and now, it seemed, she was being forced to send her mother to the afterlife whether she wanted to or not. The likelihood that Gabrielle would put up with go along with the charade to appease her mother was slim to none and there was no way the bard would sit through dinner with someone her mother was trying to fix her up with. It’s now or never, she thought ruefully. Her shoulders slumped in resignation, Xena took a step forward. “Um. Mom.” She said aloud.

“Yes, dear.” Cyrene looked up from her batter.

“We need to...” Xena’s words were cut off as the door opened at the other end of the room. The morning sun blocked a good view of the figure. “We’re closed for repairs.” Her mind set on the task at hand, Xena didn’t want any interruptions.

“I know.” Came a smooth baritone voice. Smiling, the man closed the door behind him and took several strides toward the women at the other end of the room.

Gabrielle almost dropped the fork at the sight before her. He was tall, well built, very well built, with dark wavy hair and as he got closer, the most hansom face she had ever seen, which was accented by two dark brown eyes. Mesmerized, she felt her jaw drop slightly as the man approached.

“Mendius!” Placing the bowl on a nearby table, Cyrene met the wannabe suitor for her daughter and gave him a huge hug.

“Oh no.” Gabrielle whispered and turned to look at the warrior princess.

Xena stood rooted to the floor as her mind tried to reconcile her memory with the figure before her. What happened to the pimples and gangly legs? She thought, but was quickly brought out of her reverie as her mother led Mendius to stand in front of her.

“Xena.” Moving to stand beside her daughter, Cyrene presented her current catch. “You remember Mendius.”

“Xena.” Taking the warrior’s outstretched hand, Mendius brought it to his lips and kissed it gently. “It’s good to see you again.”

“I bet.” Gabrielle, her trance broken and returning to her already sexually frustrated, pissed and generally not so happy mood, had no intentions of watching this without getting in her two dinars in.

“What was that, dear?” Cyrene turned to the bard.

“We haven’t met.” Taking a step forward, she smiled, twirling the fork in her hand.

“Oh, yes.” Moving to correct the mistake, Cyrene walked over to the bard, then brought her back to make the proper introductions. “Mendius. This is Gabrielle. Xena’s friend.”

Gabrielle extended her hand and found it quickly getting the same treatment as the warrior’s had, which she found quite enjoyable. “Mendius.” Smiling into those dark, dark eyes.

“Gabrielle.” Seeing the green pools for the first time, he arched an eyebrow and placed a second kiss on her knuckles for good measure. “It’s a pleasure to meet you.” Continuing to hold the bard’s hand, he smiled.

Xena, who had been a veritable statue since the man entered, finally found her voice and, to her mother’s chagrin, her reflexes. “Hey!” Slapping the hand that still held the bard’s.

“Ow.” Mendius quickly withdrew his injured hand. An astonished look on his face.

“Xena!” Cyrene paled at her daughters actions. “What are you doing?”

“Something I should’ve done years ago, Mother.” Pushing past Cyrene, Xena moved to stand between Mendius and a smirking Gabrielle. Grasping the bard’s other hand, the one with the fork in it, she presented it to her ‘suitor.’ “This,” holding up the bard’s hand, seeing the fork, she took it and displayed the hand again, “This is taken.” Giving Mendius her best ‘you touch, you die’ look. Bringing the fork up to drive home her point.

“Xena.” Cyrene said, trying to salvage the situation. “What are you talking about?” Smiling at Mendius from behind her daughters towering figure. “He was just being polite.”

“I apologize if I’ve offended you, Xena.” Keeping a close eye on the fork, he took a step backward. “I was just being friendly.” Smiling weakly.

“Friendly?” Xena smiled and shook her head. “Noooo, I’ve seen friendly and that wasn’t it. Lecherous maybe, but not friendly.” Waving the fork back and forth.

“Xena!” Cyrene, now devoid of color, stepped back and thankfully found a table to lean against.

“Shut up, Mother.” Taking a step toward Mendius, she held on to the bard’s wrist pulling the woman with her. “Now, where was I?” Waving the fork again.
“Lecherous.” Gabrielle prompted.

“Oh, yea.” Xena took another step forward as Mendius took a step back.

Hearing a gasp behind her, Gabrielle looked back at Cyrene, quickly becoming concerned about her color, or the lack there of. “Xena, your mother.”

“What about her?” Not taking her eyes off Mendius.

“I think she’s going to faint.” The bard had seen that look many times through the years.

“Faint?” Turning to look at her mother, Xena also recognized the symptoms of impending unconsciousness. “Mom.” Letting go of the bard, she remembered the fork and handed it to Gabrielle. “Hold this.” Taking a step forward, she stopped and leaned back to the bard. “Watch him.” Giving the man another glare, then went to her mother. “Mom. Are you all right?”

Gabrielle kept silent, but did as she was told and kept an eye on Mendius. Tapping the fork lightly in the palm of her hand, she gave him a knowing smirk.

Mendius’ eyes got even wider, if that were physically possible and he considered bolting for the door, but to his dismay, someone had nailed his feet to the floor, because despite his self preservation instincts, his feet refused to move. Smiling weakly, he held up his hands showing no evil intent. He knew Xena’s reputation, however the small blonde with the fork, from his perspective, looked just as dangerous.

“Here ya go.” Leading Cyrene to a chair, Xena eased her down. “Is that better?”

“Yes, thank you.” Feeling light headed, Cyrene fanned herself with her hand.

Reaching for a cup, Xena quickly filled it with some water and held it to her mother’s lips. “Drink this.” Allowing Cyrene to take a healthy swallow, before returning the cup to the table. Squatting beside her mother, Xena took her hand and watched as some color returned to the woman’s face. Looking into the blue pools that matched her own, she smiled. “How ya feeling?”

Cyrene gave her daughter a quick smile. “Better, thank you.”

Xena took her mother’s hand, giving it a gentle squeeze and smiled, waiting for more color to return.

“Xena.” Gabrielle whispered, then rolled her eyes as another faint victim appeared.

“Yeah?” Not taking her eyes off her mother.

“Now I think he’s gonna faint.” Gabrielle watched the tan on Mendius’ face slowly drain away.

“Let him.” Giving Mendius a quick glare over her shoulder, Xena returned her attention to her mother.

Gabrielle smiled and twirled the fork.

“Xena!” Cyrene’s color had returned and with it indignation and confusion at her daughter’s actions.

“Oh, all right.” Rising slowly, the warrior put on her best evil warlord mask, snapped her head and sneered. “Boo!” She yelled.

The nails popped out of Mendius’ feet and despite his lack of blood circulation, found just enough strength to run from the room, slamming the door behind him.

Gabrielle broke into a fit of laughter and turned to give the warrior a wink. Shaking her head, she smiled. “You are so bad.”

“Oh, you know you love it.” Xena’s mask fell away and was replaced by a knowingly evil and somewhat sultry grin.

“True.” Twirling the fork, the bard’s brought it to her lips and smiled a smile that reflected the warrior’s.

There eyes remained locked together until Xena sensed movement behind her. Turning, she saw the questioning look on her mother’s face and she glanced back to look at the bard.

Gabrielle saw the look on Xena’s face and her heart went out to her. She had longed for this day for two years, but somehow with the moment finally at hand, she felt her own fears gnawing inside. How could she ask Xena to do something that she, herself had been unable to do and, although she knew the reasons she had failed to tell her parents of their relationship were as different as night and day, she still couldn’t bring herself to face the thought of what the truth would bring. Sighing heavily, she looked into Xena’s eyes and shook her head slowly, smiling a soft smile, letting the warrior know that she wouldn’t press the matter anymore.

Xena looked into those green eyes, seeing the love that filled them and at that moment remembered all the reasons why she loved the bard in return. The warmth, the comfort, the shelter of that love enveloped her and she felt herself fall into it’s embrace. Her eyes held Gabrielle’s as she slowly moved toward the bard, until they were close enough to share the air they breathed. Cupping the bard’s face in her hands, she leaned down, looking deep into the green pools before bringing their lips close together. “I love you, Gabrielle.” She whispered before bringing her lips to meet the bards in a gentle kiss.

Gabrielle felt her heart pounding as she leaned into the kiss. The world fell away, as did the fork and she wrapped her arms around the warrior’s waist, drawing their bodies closer together.

Xena felt her skin tingle at the bard’s touch and she deepened the kiss as heat started to flow between them.

Cyrene watched as many questions were quickly being answered. Love is definitely in the air, she thought to herself and chuckled. Standing, she smiled and cleared her throat loudly and waited.

Xena broke the kiss and suddenly remembered that her mother was still there. Turning her gaze away from the bard, she gave her mother a sheepish look. “Mom, there’s something I’ve been meaning to tell you.”

“Apparently.” Walking over to the couple, she wrapped her arms around them, squeezing hard. Stepping back she gave them a wicked smile and a wink. “I’m not a monster, you know, Xena.”

“I know, Mom.” Xena lowered her head. “I just didn’t want to. . . “

“What, dear? Shock me?” Cyrene patted her daughter’s shoulder.

“Uhhh.” Xena fidgeted.

Cyrene laughed. “Xena, dear, I’ve conceived and given birth to three children. I know all about the birds and the bees. Besides, you’re a grown woman and quite capable of making your own decisions.” Patting Xena’s shoulder again, she turned, walking to retrieve the forgotten bowl of cake batter and disappeared into the kitchen.

Xena looked down at the bard, who had a definite ‘I told you so’ look on her face. “Don’t even say it.” She warned.

“Never crossed my mind.” Gabrielle lied and reached up, pulling the warrior down into a passionate kiss, which neither woman seemed in a hurry to break.

Cyrene continued her cake preparations and crossed the doorway spotting the couple. Sighing, she put her hand on her hips. “For Zeus sake, Xena. This is an inn.”

The couple looked to doorway with confusion on their face.

“Get a room.” Cyrene smiled, threw her hands in the air and disappeared again.

“Yes ma’am.” A wicked smile playing across the warrior’s face. Grabbing the bard’s hand, she quickly bent over, tossing the bard over her shoulder.

“Xena!” Gabrielle shrieked. “What are you doing!” Struggling to free herself. “Put me down!”

Ignoring her pleading package, Xena bounded for the stairs then paused and turned back toward the dining room. “Oh, Mom.”

“Yes, dear.” Cyrene walked to the doorway and laughed at the scene before her.

“You might want to invest in some ear plugs. Gabrielle gets pretty loud.” The struggling stopped as she felt the bard stiffen in her grasp.

“XENA!” Felling all the blood rush to her face, the bard’s face burned with embarrassment.

“See.” Patting the firm fanny on her shoulder. “I told you so.” Not waiting for the bard to regroup, she quickly turned and continued up the stairs.

“I’m going to kill you.” Gabrielle growled.

“Promises, promises.” Xena felt the fists hitting her back and patted the fanny again.

Cyrene just shook her head. “What am I going to do with those two.” Looking at the bowl of batter. “I guess I’ll be dining alone tonight.”

Gabrielle sat gazing into the fire and smiled absently, as her thoughts strayed to what her body was doing just a short time ago. The memory of their love making fresh in her mind, she closed her eyes feeling the heat rise briefly and a blush soon followed. “Gods.” She whispered, running her fingers through her hair. “I’m never going to be able to look Cyrene in the face again.” Groaning softly, she brought her knees to her chest, rested her head on them and pulled the blanket over her head. She stayed that way until she heard footsteps outside the door and groaned again. Lowering the blanket just enough to peek out, she watched the door opened and a tall, dark and delicious warrior stepped in. She quickly hid her head again.

Xena looked at the large lump by the fireplace and smiled. “Well. I haven’t inherited the inn yet.” Walking to the blanket in the shape of a huddled bard, she knelt down, placing the tray of food she’d brought on the floor and sat down. Smiling, she tugged on the blanket, which not surprisingly, didn’t budge. “Aren’t you going to ask me what I meant?” Tugging again.

“I know what you meant.” Holding the blanket firm.

“Oh, yeah?” Xena tried to open a flap and failed.

“You meant that we didn’t give your mother a heart attack.” Gabrielle groaned at the thought she pulled the blanket even tighter around her.

“Well, actually,” trying to pry one finger in, “I didn’t mean ‘we’. I meant you didn’t give her a heart attack.” Xena smiled. “But it was close.” Surprised as a blonde head popped out.

“Xena.” A pleading in her voice, Gabrielle looked at the warrior dejectedly. “I’m never going to be able to look your mother in the face again.”

The chuckle that started it’s way up, quickly fell as she saw the sadness in the bard’s eyes. Sighing, Xena put her arm around the bard and pulled her close, placing a kiss on the top of Gabrielle’s head when she rested it on the warrior’s shoulder. “Gabrielle, it’s not that bad.”

“Yes it is” Staring into the fire, a pout formed on the bard’s face.

“No, it’s not.” Cupping the bard’s chin in her other hand, she turned Gabrielle’s head to look into her eyes and saw something beyond simple embarrassment. “She’s a big girl, Gabrielle, who runs an inn. I don’t think it’s the first time she heard something go bump in the night before.” Trying to reassure the bard, but the sadness in the sea of green didn’t diminish. A look of concern crossed the warrior’s face. “What’s wrong?”

“It’s stupid.” Gabrielle pulled her face away from the warrior and looked back into the fire.

Xena placed her hand on the bard’s cheek, stoking it gently. “Tell me.” Bringing the bard’s eyes to meet her’s again. “Please.” The look of concern deepened.

Gabrielle closed her eyes and sighed. Reaching a hand from beneath the blanket, she grasped the warrior’s hand in hers. “I don’t want to lose this.” Bringing Xena’s hand to her lips, she placed a kiss in the warrior’s palm.

Xena’s heart skipped a beat as a feeling of dread passed over her. “Gabrielle.” Waiting until the bard’s gaze returned to her. “What are you talking about?” Pausing to search for an answer. “Do you you’re going to lose me? Do you think I’m going to leave you?” Fear spread though her at the thought.

“No.” She whispered and struggled to bring her fears into words. “I’m not afraid of losing you.”

“Then what?” Confusion and fear shown on her face.

“This.” She said softly, moving her head to look around the darkened room.

Xena followed the bard’s gaze and searched the area around her. “This room?”

“This room. This place. The inn. Your. . .” Her words trailed off and she lowered her head to avoid Xena’s eyes. “. . . mother.” She said at last with a heavy sigh.

“My mother?” The warrior knitted her brow in confusion. “Gabrielle, I don’t understand.”

“I know.” Closing her eyes, Gabrielle felt a knot in her stomach.

“Gabrielle.” Xena whispered. “What is it?”

“It’s hard to explain.” It wasn’t hard to explain, she thought, just hard to admit. The knot got tighter.

“Try. Please.” Xena really didn’t need to know what the problem was, all the warrior knew was that her friend was in pain and if there was anything she could do she would. “Just talk to me.”

Gabrielle opened her eyes and fell into a sea of crystal blue. The love that shown in those pools wrapped themselves around her and the knot in her stomach eased a bit as she allowed herself to forget there was a world out there and relish the warmth of the moment. “Do you remember,” she started, “when you told me that our friendship bonds us together more that blood ever could?”

“Yes.” The warrior nodded remembering.

“You meant that we were like family?” Watching Xena’s eyes.

“Yes.” She still didn’t understand but followed the bard wherever she was leading. “Now more than ever.”

“That would make Cyrene like...” Pausing to search for the right word and feeling the knot tighten once again.

“Family.” She prodded and somewhere in the back of her mind something clicked. “Ahh. I think I get it.”

“You do?” Not surprised by the warrior’s instincts, another one of her many skills.

“Yea. I think so.” Turning away from the bard, Xena looked into the fire for a few moments, then turned back to Gabrielle. “Gabrielle. I know that my mother loves me and I also know that she loves you.”


“But nothing.” Stroking the bard’s cheek. “Gabrielle if she can find it in her heart to forgive me for all the things I’ve done in my life, I don’t think she’s going to hold the fact that you love me against you.” Feeling the bard’s pain.

“I don’t want her to think that I’m trying to monopolize your time while you’re home.” Looking intently for something, she didn’t know what, but something in those eyes.

The other shoe dropped in Xena’s mind as she finally realized what was at the heart of the bard’s worries. Moving to face the bard, the warrior looked at her friend solemnly. “Listen to me, Gabrielle.” Making sure she had the bard’s undivided attention. “You mean everything to me and I would never do anything to hurt you.” Taking a deep breath and letting it out slowly. “I know your parent’s don’t like me.”

“Xena, I. . .”

“Let me finish.” Taking another breath. “I know your parent’s don’t like me and they have good reason.” Holding up a finger at the bard’s attempt to speak. “I know you left on your own and that even if I hadn’t come along you probably would’ve found a way outta there, but that doesn’t make them any less important, because they are. They’re you family.”

“You’re my family.” The knot grew again as the guilt of knowing that she preferred Xena and Cyrene to her own family.

“Yes, I am and so are they.” Studying her hands. “And you shouldn’t have to choose between the two. I won’t make you choose.” Bringing her eyes up to meet the bard’s and seeing the sadness there. “If they want to believe that I’m some evil warlord who stole their daughter and corrupted you with my wicked ways, I don’t really care.” Feeling a tear make it’s way down her cheek. “But you do and no matter what you say, I can see the pain that that causes you. I see it every time you come back from seeing them. I hear it in your voice when you come here and I sense it when you look at children when we’re out on the road.”

“I didn’t realize it was that obvious.” Trying to break the warrior’s gaze, but unable to pull away. “Why can’t they be more like Cyrene?”

“For your sake, I wish they could, but they’re not.” Leaning forward until their foreheads touched. “But I can tell you this.” Pulling back again.

“What?” Gabrielle searched the azure pool for an answer.

“No matter what, you’ll always have a home here.” The warrior smiled.

“I know.” The knot in Gabrielle’s stomach loosened a bit, but didn’t abate.

“And.” Xena’s smile grew.

“And what?” Seeing that smile and the smirk at it’s edges made the bard smile a little. “Xena.”

“And I think it’s about time I tried to be the model daughter-in-law.” The smirk pushed out the smile and added an evil twinkle to boot. “Now all I need to do is come up with a plan.” Tapping her chin, Xena’s started formulating a plan to accomplish her mission.

“Xena.” Gabrielle definitely didn’t like the sound of this. “What are you talking about? You just said that you don’t care what they think of you.”

“And I also said that you do care what they think; so I think it’s time I made them like me.” Smiling again, Xena leaned into the bard, placing a kiss on her nose.

“Xena you can’t make them like you.” Trying to stop the wagon before it became a run away, Gabrielle placed a hand on the warrior’s chest.

“Oooooo. A challenge.” Xena flicked her eyebrows up and down. “I love a challenge.”

Slapping her head for knowing better, the bard sighed and watched the wagon disappear in the distance. “What have I done?” She whispered as the thought of what the warrior would do to win her parent’s over. A dark thought popped into her head and her eyes went wide. “No pinching.” Poking the warrior in the chest. “You cannot put the pinch on my parents.”

“How bout Lila?” Making a quick change of plans.

“Xena. No.” Giving the warrior a push for emphasis. “She likes you, remember?”

“Damn. I forgot.” Snapping her fingers at a missed chance, Xena went back to square one. “Hmmm.”

Gabrielle’s mind was now working just as hard as her partners and she was about to lay down some serious ground rules, when there came a knock on the door. “No physical violence.” She whispered, then got to her feet, wrapping the blanket around her and went to the door. Glancing over her shoulder, she gave the warrior a menacing look. “I mean it, Xena.” Satisfied with the pout she got in return, she opened the door.

Cyrene noticed the disheveled state of the bard and shook her head. “I’m not interrupting anything, am I?”

“No.” Smiling sheepishly as she was suddenly hit by some recent and very steamy memories. “We were just talking.” Opening the door wider, Gabrielle stepped aside. “Come in.”

“No. No.” Raising her hand in refusal. “I just noticed that it was rather quiet and with Xena that's usually not a good thing.” Looking past the bard to her daughter, Cyrene noted the expression on the warrior’s face and moving closer to the bard whispered. “Is everything all right?”

Gabrielle followed Cyrene’s look and rolled her eyes. “She’s fine.” Shaking her head. “She gets that way sometimes when she’s planning strategy.”

“Strategy?” Cyrene didn’t like the sound of that.

“Don’t worry, Cyrene.” The bard placed a calming hand on the woman’s arm. “It’s a harmless exercise she does to keep her mind sharp.” She lied, but hoped the harmless part was true.

“If you’re sure.” Not completely convinced, but trusting the bard, Cyrene sighed.

“I am.” Trying to convince herself as well as Xena’s mother.

“All right.” Smiling, Cyrene brushed the bard’s cheek with her hand. “I’ll leave you two alone then.”

“Thank you.” Stepping forward, the bard gave the older woman a hug.

“What was that for?” Not truly surprised, the older woman smiled.

“Just being you.” Feeling the knot unravel, Gabrielle sighed at the warm feeling coming over her.

“Well, thank you dear.” Retuning the hug, Cyrene smiled and turned.

Gabrielle waited until Xena’s mother had disappeared down the hall before closing the door. Leaning against it, she studied the warrior for a moment.

“What did she want?” Xena asked, not taking her eyes of the distant point she was concentrating on.

“She thought it was too quiet.” Slowly, the simple smile on the bard’s face was replaced with a rather wicked smirk. “Speaking of which.” Easing off the door, she made her way across the room and moved to stand just in front of the seated warrior.

Xena’s brow knitted, her concentration broken, she looked up to the bard, giving her a questioning stare. It took a couple of seconds before the sultry look on the bard’s face registered in her mind and she raised her eyebrows as she watched the blanket fall to the floor. Change of plan, she thought and let her eyes wander slowly up the naked form before her, lingering here and there, until they were met with two dark green pools. “If you’re trying to make me forget about my challenge . . .”

“Yesssss?” Using one of her own skills, Gabrielle held the warrior’s eyes as she knelt down, brought her hand behind Xena’s head, tangling her fingers in dark tresses and planted a passionate kiss on the warrior’s lips. Breaking the kiss after several heated moments. “Well?”

“It’s working.” Smiling, Xena put away her plans and concentrated on the bard at hand. “Where are you from?” She teased.

“Shut up, Xena.”

The end, or maybe not. Maybe we’ll look in on Xena’s attempts at winning over Gabrielle’s parent’s. Maybe.

Thanks for reading.


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