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: Past, present and future.

Please send any comments to asdease1@gte.net

Enjoy, I hope.


By FlyBigD

“Oh boy.” Escaped with a sigh as green eyes disappeared behind the palm of her hand. Closing her eyes, Gabrielle began to massage her temples with middle finger and thumb, listening again. The sigh turned into a soft groan as her ears confirmed the distant rumbling. It was still too far away for average ears to pick up, but she knew that sound, all to well. Giving the international signal of resignation, the bard shook her head, ran her fingers through her short blonde hair and opened her eyes. Resting her chin on her hand, Gabrielle scanned the room watching the tops of twenty-eight heads bowed in consternation. Why does she do this on test days, she thought. Not knowing the answer, Gabrielle watched her students as they racked their brains trying to remember why they had taken this class and, more importantly, who the hell was Anaximenes anyway and what was his philosophy. Smiling, she noticed that Jeff was chewing the end of his pencil. Not a good sign, she thought and spotted Mr. Daniels leaning suspiciously to his right. Prepared for such occasions, Gabrielle picked up the rubber band off her desk and took aim. Letting it fly, then giving the young man her best stern look when he glanced up, she raised an eyebrow for effect and nodded as he shifted back to his left. Sensing she was being stared at, Gabrielle glanced to her right and found a pair of gray eyes quickly replaced by auburn hair. The big lug, she smiled to herself as she watched David pretend to take the test seriously. He’s got it bad, she thought and heard the rumble again. Listening carefully, she looked down at her watch. Maybe, she hoped to herself, she’ll get caught at the light. Turning to stare out the window, she concentrated. Red, red, red, turn red. Listening again, she heard the rumble fluctuating in a slow rhythm of louder and softer. Thank the gods. Relieved, Gabrielle took a deep breath and held it, then let it out slowly as she relaxed. Closing her eyes, she smiled. Just five more minutes, she thought.

***** ***** ***** ***** *****

“You’ve got five more minutes.”

Xena growled over his shoulder at the nurse standing in the doorway until the woman disappeared, closing the door.

“Xena.” Gabrielle whispered, taking the warrior’s hand.

“Gabrielle.” Xena returned her attention to the bard and bent down close. “I’m here.” Brushing a gray hair from her friends brow, the warrior ran her hand gently over the rough stubble of the bard’s face. “You need a shave.”

Gabrielle smiled. Looking up at the face of a wrinkled old man, she couldn’t help but laugh, even thought it hurt. “I’m not the only one.” Reaching a shaky hand up, she stroked the face of her friend. Funny, she thought, no matter what body our souls are put into I never get tired of that face. Laughing again, she felt the pain in her chest and started to cough.

“Easy.” Xena soothed, taking the shaking hand, she brought it to her lips and kissed it.
“Easy, Gabrielle.” Placing a gentle hand on the bards shoulder, Xena waited until the spell subsided then leaned in closer. “I’ve gotcha. Just hang on to me.”

Gabrielle smiled and closed his eyes. Suddenly, she felt it coming and squeezed the warrior’s hand. “Xena.”

“Right here.” Realizing that her own hand was shaking, she tried to focus and felt the bard’s grip slacken. “Gabrielle.”

“I love you, Xena.” The light appeared in the distance as she felt the pain subside. Then she heard the voice calling to her as it slowly faded into the distance.

“Gabrielle! Gabrielle!” Gripping the hand tighter, hoping for a response, Xena looked down at her friend as tears welled up in her eyes. “No! Gabrielle! Nooooo...” Then came the gut wrenching scream that had come so many times before.

***** ***** ***** ***** *****

Gabrielle sat, watching angels move around in the distance. Although her times in paradise had always seemed too short, she enjoyed the peace that it brought and sighed, knowing that soon Xena would be there and they’d start the journey again. How many times, she asked herself, had they done this? How many times had they traveled the circle? She couldn’t remember, but it didn’t really matter. Knitting her brow, the bard noticed a group had formed not far away and that she was getting the occasional side long glance from them. “That’s strange.” Her curiosity bristled with each sneaky look and finally got to her feet, heading for the group. “What’s going on?” She asked as the angels parted before her and tried to hide their smirks. “All right, give.” Placing her hands on her hips Gabrielle saw a young woman point to a medium sized rock and walked towards it. Getting closer, she realized it was a reflecting pool. “Who are you snooping on?” She asked as she looked into the waters. “Xena!”

Gabrielle watched carefully as her friend, in the body of an eighty-something year old man paced back and forth in a small room, occasionally throwing his arms in the air. She couldn’t hear what was being said, but she knew Xena and it appeared someone was getting a good dose of the warrior princess. Concentrating on the reflection, the view expanded and she suddenly realized that Xena was talking to herself. “Has she gone crazy?”

“That depends on who you talk to.” Coming up beside the bard, Michael tucked his wings and looked down at the water.

Gabrielle looked up from the pool and at the angel. “What’s going on?” A concerned look on her face.

Not taking his eyes off the scene, he shook his head. “Unless I’m mistaken, I believe Xena is throwing a fit.” He watched as a vase went hurling across the room, breaking against the wall. “Yep, that’s a fit.”

“Michael?” Placing a hand on his forearm. Waiting for his complete attention, she searched his face, which was smiling. “What’s going on?”

“Apparently Xena is not too happy with her current trip through the circle.” Pointing at the reflection.

“Why?” Gabrielle watched another object disintegrate against the wall. “I know I was only with her for two days, but her life couldn’t have been that bad.” Ow, she cringed, that one looked expensive.

“That’s the problem.” Smiling at the old man tried, unsuccessfully, to pick up a chair.

“What?” Almost mesmerized by what was taking place.

“She’s not happy about spending eighty-six years looking for you, only to have two days before you left.” She’s gonna strain something, he chuckled to himself.

“Don’t laugh.” The fury showed on Xena’s face and it hurt her to see the warrior in pain. “I wish I could help her.”

“Oh she’s not the one who needs the help.” Wincing, he closed one eye. “He should’ve seen that one coming. That’s gonna hurt.” Shaking his curly head.

“What?” Confused. “Seen what coming?” There went another vase. How many of those things does she have? Gabrielle, thought. “Who’s gonna hurt?”

“Oh, right. You can’t see them.” Michael waved his hand over the pool, causing the reflection to ripple then calm.

“By the gods.” Gabrielle whispered as the image changed and some familiar figures appeared in front of the wall Xena was hurling vases at. “That’s...” Unable to complete the thought.

“A who’s who of the powers that be.” Incoming. “You know for an old man, she hasn’t lost her aim.”

If Gabrielle hadn’t been so shocked at the scene, she would’ve laughed. The powers that be were bobbing and ducking flying objects as they were, what seemed to be, trying to calm her warrior down and by the look of it, they weren’t very successful. “What’s going on?”

“I told you. Xena’s having a fit.” Ouch. The arch angel grimaced.

“I can see that, but why are they there?” Moving to the left in an unconscious attempt to help the wayward PTB. Gabrielle watched as the onslaught paused as Xena ranted while looking for her next projectile.

“According to unofficial sources.” Glancing around at the others around the pool, Michael gave them a sten look and waited until the other angels were out of ear shot. “She’s calling in her markers.” He whispered.

“She’s what?” Gabrielle turned to face Michael.

“Calling in her markers. Favors” Looking down at the bard and seeing a confused look. “You know, as well as I do, that over the centuries, Xena has pulled a few butts out of the fire.”

“Ahhh...” As the light finally dawned, Gabrielle looked at the pool and, remembering their previous lives, took stock of the bodies present. “That’s about everybody.” Smiling as some of the memories lingered. Watching her friend, she looked closer. “Why can’t I hear what they’re saying?” Not taking her eyes off the water, she tried to read Xena’s lips. “Never mind.”

“She does have a way with words.” Able to hear what was going on himself, Michael blushed at what he heard.

“Don’t want to singe any feathers, huh?” Smiling at the arch angel’s red face.

“To say the least.” As they watched, Xena had given up on hurling furniture and moved close to TPTB and continued her verbal assult. Shaking her head and making some not so nice gestures. “She’s pissed.”

“Michael!” Giving the arch angel an admonishing glare.

“Right. Sorry.” Turning his attention back to the pool.

Looking back to the scene, Gabrielle watched as her emotions swung between pride and concern, finally settling on worried. TPTB were not happy. Who would be in their position, she thought and it showed on their faces. No longer dodging projectiles, they were now shaking their heads, a few with their arms across their chests, apparently making a concerted attempt at telling the warrior princess that she couldn’t have what she wanted, which, in Gabrielle’s mind was not a good thing to do. She didn’t need to hear what came next, the body said it all. Xena, the old man, straightened, cracked her neck, put her hands on her hips...

Gabrielle closed her eyes, but unable to keep them closed grimaced as she opened one just in time to see the warrior princess, or the old man, raise one eyebrow. Quickly closing her one eye, she put her hands on the edge of the pool. Her hands shook as a tremor rocked the pool.

“Oh boy.” Michael ran his hand over the water and the reflection disappeared into rippling fragments. “Here comes trouble.”

“Xena.” The bard whispered and shook her head.

“Gabrielle!” Appearing from the mist, Xena searched and finally spotted the bard standing with Michael. “Gabrielle!”

The bard turned to see the warrior approach. “Xena.” Smiling, more to try to counter the look on her friends face than anything else, she reached out her hand, only to have it grasped firmly as she was jerked forward. “Xena!”

“We’re leaving.” Turning, with bard in tow, Xena felt a hand on her arm and without looking, growled until it was removed.

Michael, wanting to keep his hand, removed it from the warrior and instead used it to wave to the retreating figure of Gabrielle. “Have a nice trip.” That’s not nice, he thought of the bards reaction.

***** ***** ***** ***** *****

Gabrielle felt her butt hit the sidewalk and looked up at the boys in front of her. “Butthead!” Moving to rise, she was quickly pushed back down by the leader of the pint sized pack. “Hey!”

“Look guys, the runt can’t get up.” In mock dismay, the boy laughed as Gabrielle tried to get up again.

Realizing that she couldn’t take on these bullies with bulk, she switched to her best weapon. “Look you goat faced, smelly, flashback to the sixties pin head, if you don’t leave me alone, I’ll...”

“You’ll what?” Moving to hover over the little blonde, he bent down, drew back his hand and froze.

Gabrielle cringed at the expected blow and waited for the pain, which didn’t come. Opening her eyes she looked up at her assailant and was surprised to find a pained expression on his face. Confused, she followed his gaze to see a dark haired girl to her left. Checking closer, she realized that the girl had stopped the blow and was now holding the boys wrist in a vice like grip.

“Let go.” Goat face said as he tried to break free, unsuccessfully. “That hurts.”

“Funny, I don’t feel a thing.” Pulling the bully towards her, Xena tightened the hold.

It took a moment, but the boy finally looked in her eyes and almost fainted as two steel blue orbs peered at him with an intensity that made him sweat. As he was pulled to stand face to face with those eyes he barely heard the words as they were burned into his brain.

“If you ever touch my friend again,” squeezing his wrist for effect, “I’ll tear off you head and shi...”

“Xena!” Gabrielle shook her head. “Xena?” She whispered. “Who’s Xena? Where did that come from?”

Never taking her eyes off the bully, the dark haired girl just smiled. “I think you get the point.” Raising a eyebrow, she watched the bully nod his head furiously. Smiling, she released her grip as the group took their cue and dispersed. Well ran, actually.

The blonde watched her tormentors disappear in the distance and then looked up to see a hand reaching down to her. Not knowing why, she smiled as she took it allowing the other girl to help her to her feet. Brushing herself off, Gabrielle bent to retrieved her books from the grass and noticed two bare feet in front of her. “Where are your shoes?” She asked. Slowly coming to a standing position, she surveyed the figure before her. No shoes, tattered overalls, long legs, hands on hips, tan skin, t-shirt, no sleeves, dark hair, evil smirk, straight nose, blue eyes... “By the gods.” She whispered as a freight train ran through her brain.

“Gabrielle?” Xena cradled the bard in her lap and stroked her too pale face. “Gabrielle?”

The blonde opened her eyes slowly and tried to focus on the face before her. “Xena?”

“Hey.” Smiling down at her friend. “For a minute there I thought I’d lost you.”

“What happened?” Gabrielle’s mind was clearing and the bard soon found it completely filled to the brim with memories.

“Flashback.” Stroking Gabrielle’s cheek. “Memories of previous lives, that sort of thing.”

“By the gods.” Putting her hand over her eyes, the bard tried to sit up. “My head hurts.”

“Here.” Placing her hands on the bards temples, Xena began a gentle massage. “Better?”

“Yes.” Relaxing, Gabrielle opened her eyes to take a better look at the warrior and blinked in wonder. “Xena?”

“Hmmm?” Continuing to rub, the warrior smiled.

“How old are you?” In all her lifetimes, she’d never seen the warrior so young.

“Ten.” Smiling at the astonished look on Gabrielle’s face.

“Ten!” Bolting to her feet. The bard looked down at a very young warrior princess, sitting in the grass by the sidewalk. “Ten? Then how old am I?” Almost afraid to ask.

Xena looked at a book beside her, bit her lip, looked up at the bard, tilted her head, wrinkled her nose then shrugged. “Six?”

Gabrielle’s eyes got bigger and she looked down at herself. Concentrating, she pushed the old memories aside and tried to remember this lifetime. Closing her eyes she thought about what she remembered most recently and sighed. “Five actually.”

“I was close.” Leaning back on her hands, Xena stretched out her legs and took in the sight before her. Slowly a broad smile filled her face.

Gabrielle opened her eyes and looked down at the face smiling up at her. “What?”

“You were a cute kid.” Giving her a wink.

“I was a . . .” Taking a closer consideration of her present form, Gabrielle realized what the warrior had wanted of TPTB. Shaking her head she took a deep breath, letting it out slowly. “Do I even want to know what you did to get us back into these bodies?”

“Ummm...” Xena looked at the sky.

“Never mind.” Shaking her head again, all she could do was smile. That’s my Xena.

***** ***** ***** ***** *****

Gabrielle opened her eyes as she heard, or felt the rumble draw slowly closer. Turning toward the students, she noticed that their Greek mid term had somehow lost it’s attraction and that the sight out the window was far more aluring. Groaning, she followed suit and glanced to see the tall, lean figure glide up on the two wheeled monster and stop. Noticing, again, that the warrior had failed to even consider a parking space and instead parked the Harley on the sidewalk, she made a mental note to flatten one of the tires on the ‘beast.’ Unable to do any better than her crew of slack jawed, testosterone filled, non-test taking students, she sat and watched the warrior princess. You’d think I’d get used to this, she thought and felt her pulse quicken. Raising an eyebrow, she saw Xena’s long dark hair tumble down her back as the helmet was removed. The oxygen level dropped in the room as Xena bent over toward the class, allowing her hair to fall forward and shaking her head. Straightening, her hair seemed to move in slow motion as she ran her hand through it, removing any signs of helmet hair. Placing the helmet on the seat, the warrior sloooowly unzipped the black leather jacket and removed it, shoulder by shoulder. “Breath.” The bard whispered, willing her students to exhale. Laying the jacket by the helmet, she swung her leg over the front of the bike and stood, stretched her jeans covered legs and flexed a cowboy booted foot. The gasps that permeated the room helped mask the bards own intake. Removing the sunglasses, she folded one side and slid the other to hang them from the front of a very low cut, I should’ve never given her that shirt, v-neck t-shirt. Turning to see the gawking faces, the warrior smiled her evil half smile at the bard and waved. Gabrielle waved back, out of reflex. What else could she do? Noticing that the reflex wasn’t hers alone, she took one last look as the warrior disappeared up the sidewalk. Glancing at her watch, she sighed. She’s got this down to a science, she thought and waited. Looking up she found that her students had recovered, although not completely, some still had drool on their chins, but were making a concentrated effort to pack up their things. “Okay.” Clapping her hands to finally snap them out of it, the bard stood and moved to the front of her desk. “Remember that those essay’s are due on Wednesday and put your tests on the table by the door as you leave.” One, two, three. The bell rang, just as the door opened. Refusing to even look at the woman, Gabrielle folded her arms across her chest, leaned up against the desk and waited for the room to empty.

Xena held the door open and smiled as the boys filed past her, giving a wink here and there, until the last one straggled out. That one she glared at and remembered not to growl as he went past. “Big lug.” She hissed at his back. Knowing David was always the last one to leave, she entered the room, closing the door behind her.

“You are in such big trouble.” Shooting daggers at the warrior, Gabrielle tapped her foot in agitation.

“What?” Xena gave the bard her best innocent look.

“You know what.” Moving to the warrior, the bard unfolded her arms and placed a finger right above the sunglasses. “And don’t give me that look.”

“What look?” Maintaining her innocence, but seeing the look on the bards face, realized she’d shouldn’t push her luck and swiched to plan beta and tried a pout. “I’m sorry.”

“It’s not working.” Gabrielle turned away from the quivering bottom lip and picked up the tests beside the door. Returning to her desk, she sat down and ignored the fidgeting warrior princess.

Okay, thought the warrior and smiled, plan gamma. “Hungry?”

“No.” Flipping through the papers.

Xena’s smile faded and was replaced by a sincere expression of loss and closing her eyes, her shoulders slumped and she leaned against the door. “I don’t have a plan delta.” She said under her breath.

“Wouldn’t do you any good if you did.” Gabrielle said, still not looking up.

“Gabrielle...” Xena tried, but stopped when she caught the green beams glowing on her. “I’m sorry.” Lowering her head, the warrior studied her boots. After a few minutes, she looked up, saw the bard flipping through papers and sighed. “I...”

“Xena.” Her agitation in full swing, Gabrielle pushed the papers aside and looked at her sad excuse for a best friend. “Why do you do this?”

“Because it’s fun?” Wrong answer, Xena thought and reconsidered. Scratching her cheek, the warrior shrugged. “I don’t know.” Studying her hands. “You used to like it.”

“Yes I did. Fifteen hundred years ago when there were no such things as sidewalks and I wasn’t trying to teach Greek to my students and you were still riding a horse.” Feeling her frustration slipping, the bard rolled her eyes, bringing them to rest on the tall, dark, beautiful, dejected warrior princess. “Xena, we aren’t in Greece anymore.”

“I know that.” Refusing to meet the bard’s gaze.

“And we aren’t kids anymore. Your Dad may be superintendant of schools, but not even he can keep me from getting fired if you keep this up.” Seeing the sadness in those baby blues as the warrior looked at her, then out the window. What am I going to do with you? Sighing heavily, Gabrielle started collecting her things. “Why don’t you go home, Xena. I’ll be there in a little while.” Reaching for her briefcase, Gabrielle placed the tests inside.

“Gabrielle...” Xena started to appologize when somethingand someone caught her eye. “Bitch!”

“What?” Gabrielle’s head shot up glaring at her friend. It took a moment before she realized that Xena wasn’t making the biggest mistake of her life and she followed the warriors gaze out the window to a see a large heavyset woman walking toward, what had affectionately been labeled by her male students as the ‘blonde bombshell.’

“If she touches my bike...” Turning, Xena opened the door and was in the hall before Gabrielle had a chance to stop her.

Glancing down at her desk, the bard tried to decide if she should take the tests to grade or try and find boxes to pack up her stuff. Looking back out the window, she saw Xena burst through the front doors and approach the ‘grinch.’ “Oh boy.”

“Don’t touch that!” Coming up behind the woman, Xena quickly passed her and placed herself between the moving moutain and her pride and joy.

Mrs. Lynch sized up the woman in front of her and huffed. “You’re too late, missy. I’ve already called the tow truck and their coming to take that thing away once and for all.”

“Thing!?” Feeling her blood boil, Xena took a step closer to her victim, giving her the coldest glare imaginable. “That is no thing. Mrs. Grinch.” Pointing behind her. “That is a motorcycle and it happens to be a classic.”

“That’s Lynch and I don’t care what it is.” Moving a step forward, clearly not impressed with the twig before her. “It’s got wheels and it doesn’t belong on the sidewalk.”

Xena closed the gap between them. “Now you listen to me,” bringing her finger up to put it an inch from the ‘grinch’s’ nose, “you so much as look like you’re thinking about touching my bike and I’ll...” Momentarily losing focus, Xena glanced over the moutain’s shoulder and promptly forgot anything she had ever known.

Gabrielle stepped out of the building, holding her briefcase in one hand, stopping as she came into the sun and bent down, placing the leather bag on the step beside her. Feeling the warmth of the sun, she unbuttoned her suit jacket, removing it slowly to reveal a low cut, dark green, sleeveless silk shirt beneath it. Folding the jacket, Gabrielle bent over to pick up the briefcase, lingering for a moment to give the warrior princess an eyefull, then placed the jacket over the leather bag. Straightening, the bard looked up at the sky, casually running a hand through her hair, then giving it a quick shake.

The color was attempting to return to Xena’s face as she watched the bard lean over, then it disappeared again as she took in the full expanse of what was presented to her. A soft moan escaped her lips as she continued to watch the bard pick up her brief case and move toward her. The mid thigh dark blue skirt wasn’t helping her breathing and the way the bard was moving wasn’t helping her pulse. She thought about glancing to see who Gabrielle was waving at, but it seemed her neck, head and eyes were not responding. “By the gods...” She whispered when Gabrielle smiled as she turned the corner in front of her. Xena’s eyes followed on their own and ignored the brief blockage as her hands moved the moutain from the view.

Gabrielle paused for a moment and turned looking over her shoulder at the warrior. Putting on her most sultry look, she smiled and ran a finger over her bottom lip. “Xena. I’ll see you at home?” Speaking in a forgotten language, then turning back, she put a little more sway in her sashe and almost lost it when she heard the horn beep behind her.

“What did she say?” Asked the ‘grinch,’ who was totally confused by the recent chain of events.

“It’s all Greek to me.” Xena managed, just before her legs gave out and she stepped backward feeling for something to steady herself and finding the handle bar of the bike and the horn. Not taking her eyes off the real blonde bomshell, her heart stopped beating when the bard turned, walking backward a few steps and winked.

“Did she just wink?” Asked the ‘grinch.’

As the blood finally returned to her brain, Xena took action. “That’s for me to know and you to mind your own business.” Hoping on the bike, she put the kickstand up and proceeded to kick start the engine.

“And what do you think you’re doing?” Remembering why she was out there in the first place, Mrs. Lynch moved to stop the menace to society from escaping, again.

“Look, honey, I haven’t spent the last two thousand years hopscotching through bodies and saving up favors from the powers that be, to finally get these bodies back and have you stand between me and that bard now.” Giving the crank another kick, the engine turned over and Xena sat down, released the clutch and eased the ‘beast’ forward.

“What?” Her hands on her hips, Mrs. Lynch had no intention of moving.

“Move, or die.” The growl in the warrior’s voice easily overroad the rumble of the engine.

Seeing an almost animal scowl on the woman’s face, the moutain moved aside and watched the brat ride the thing down the sidewalk after the little blonde. “I’m calling your father!” She shouted, then huffed back toward the office.

“Bite me.” Xena shouted back as she slowed her approach to the bard. Not really wanting to change her view for the moment, she followed behind the behind, matching the pace of those vertically challenged and incredibly sexy legs. Somewhere, way back in Xena’s mind, where rational thoughts were stored, a voice asked if this was really worth all the trouble she’d gone through. Watching the figure in front of her, all the thoughts in the front of her mind, the not so innocent ones, turned around and shouted a hardy YES. “That’s the body I fell in love with.”

Gabrielle knew Xena was behind her, how could she not know with the noise the beast made, but she chose to ignore it and continue like she wasn’t being stalked. Stepping off the sidewalk into the parking lot, she kept on ignoring the warrior, even when she heard some very ugly words, thankfully in ancient Greek, pour out behind her and laughed as she imagined that the warrior wasn’t too happy to discover that the ‘beast’ was too large to fit between parked cars.

“Gods! You’re as bad as Argo.” Pulling in the clutch and the brake, Xena managed to stop the bike, the handlebars an inch away from the back of two cars and watched the bard get further away. Taking a deep breath, she pulled back hard, until the front wheel was free to turn then let out on the clutch and gave the throttle a little nudge. Keeping an eye on the blonde head, the warrior went around to the end of the aisle and caught up with the bard, keeping parallel with her as she passed through several more sets of cars. Sitting up straight, Xena strained to spot Gabrielle’s final destination. Smiling, she gave the throttle another nudge and made for last row of vehicles. Timing it perfectly, she pulled up just as Gabrielle slipped in between her truck and the car beside her. “Hi.” Putting the ‘beast’ in nuetral, she reved the engine.

“Hi.” Turning to see the grin on the warrior’s face, she leaned against the truck bed and twirled her keys.

“What ya doing?” Flicking her eyebrows sugestively, Xena gave the throttle a twist.

“Waiting for you to move that ‘beast’ so Glenda can pull out and I can get into my truck.” Gabrielle said, giving the warrior her own sultry look.

“What?” Confused, until she saw the bard nod her head to the side, then noticed the red and white tail lights of the car her front wheel was behind. “Sorry.” She smiled and waved, then backed the bike out of the way. Waiting until it was clear, Xena pulled into the empty space and shut off the engine. Drinking in the vision, she tilted her head as she watched Gabrielle unlock the truck, open the door and toss her jacket and briefcase onto the seat.

Gabrielle turned around and, not for the first time in her lifetimes, felt completely naked while being completely dressed. “Ahem.” Folding her arms across her chest, she leaned againt the truck.

“Hmmm.” Xena untilted her head when her gaze finaly made it up to the bards face and found herself on the wrong end of a indignant glare. If she had been able to pry the grin off her face, she would’ve, but since she couldn’t; she just went with it.

“Are you lost?” The bard asked, raising both eyebrows for this question.

“What?” Xena’s smile faded into a look of confusion.

“Are you lost?” Gabrielle asked again, slowing down her words for effect.

Looking around. “I don’t think so.” Turning back to the bard. “Why?”

“I figured you must be to actualy end up in the parking lot and,” shifting her weight, Gabrielle moved toward the warrior, “in an actual parking space.”

Xena looked around again. “Damn. I was looking for the lunch room.” Turning back, she discovered the bard next to her and her two favorite snacks at eye level. “And look. Here I am.” Licking her lips, the warrior leaned forward, but was halted in her endevor by a firm hand under her chin, which brought her eyes and her lips away from their intended targets.

“Xena.” Making sure she had the warrior’s full attention, Gabrielle waved a finger in front of the warrior. “The lunch room is closed.” Smiling into those baby blues, she almost lost her resolve, but by sheer force of will continued. “Until you promise to stop parking your bike on the sidewalk and park it in the parking lot, in an empty space.” Covering all the bases, Gabrielle closed any loopholes the warrior might try to use and got a genuine pout in return, but ignored it. “Xena.” She purred, letting go the warrior’s chin and putting her hands on her hips.

Xena closed her eyes as the scent from Gabrielle filled her scenses. She was already fighting the urge to wrap her arms around the bard, which she had promised years ago not to do on school grounds and now it seemed that her last bit of pleasure was being wrenched from her. Opening her eyes, she took a deep breath and looked into those deep green pools. Well maybe not all my pleasures are gone, she thought. “I promise.” Smiling devilishly, she leaned forward and kept going as the bard backed up. Stopping when her vision was filled by little holes in the asphalt. “So close.” She whispered.

“And,” Returning to lean againt the truck, “for disrupting my class, yet again.”

Xena hoped that by closing her eyes, she wouldn’t hear what was coming next.

“You have to help me grade the mid terms.” Gabrielle heard the groan and watched as the warrior’s head slumped even further toward the ground.

So much for that theory, she thought and straightend to look at the smug grin on those disgustingly tempting lips. “Gabrielle. I’m not the one with the degree here.”

“Your point being?” The bard had spent over two thousand years with the warrior princess and although she hadn’t figured out everything there was to know about Xena, there was one thing Gabrielle had down pat. And that was how to shoot down the warrior’s sad reasonings for not wanting to to something.

“Don’t you think those kids deserve to have their work graded by someone more qualified than me?” Please, please, please take the bait, Xena pleaded. She hated grading papers, only slightly less than a root canal.

“Xena.” Gabrielle mentally aimed her weapon and pulled back the hammer. “It’s ancient Greek history.” Finger on the trigger. “Who better to judge than an ancient Greek warrior princess?” Fire.

Xena rubbed her forehead feeling for the bullet hole. Love must be blind, she thought, I never saw that one coming. “Just tell me it’s not philosophy.” Still trying to find the hole. Now I know why they make you wear helmets. Tapping the black shell between her legs, Xena looked up at the bard. “Please.”

“Sorry.” Bag it and tag it. Smiling triumphantly, Gabrielle turned, slid into the truck and shut the door. “Oh and Xena.”

“What?” Gods, I thought trying to redeme myself for being a bloodthirsty warlord was bad. “What now?”

“I love you.” Starting the engine, Gabrielle smiled and winked as she backed out of the space and pulled away.

Once the bard had left, Xena put on her leather jacket, tucked her hair in the helmet, fastened the strap and started the ‘beast.’ “I have really got to come up with a plan delta.”

***** ***** ***** ***** *****

Xena smiled, chewing on the end of her red pencil. Proped up on one elbow, the warrior looked over the test laying the bard’s bare back. “Gabrielle?”

“Hmmm?” Stretched out on her stomach, Gabrielle stared into the fireplace, watching the flames flicker about. Smiling when she felt the warrior’s bare leg rub against her under the blanket. This is how you grade papers, she thought and shifted her head on the pillow.

“You must not be a very teacher.” Looking at the line of red circles she’d made on the paper and smiling wickedly. “This guy dosen’t even know English, let alone Greek.”

“What?” Broken out of her contentment, Gabrielle raised up on her elbows and looked at the warrior. “What are you talking about?”

“This guy is a real rock.” Lifting the paper, Xena tried to hide her smirk.

“Let me see that.” Gabrielle snatched the test away from the warrior, giving the woman a glare before looking over the material with a teacher’s eye. “Damn it, Xena.” Turning her attention back to the warrior, Gabrielle snatched the red pencil from her and began erasing Xena’s artwork. “David is not a rock. He happens to be one of my best students and just because he has a schoolboy crush on me is no reason for you to act like some jealous brat.” Erasing furiously, Gabrielle sighed. “Look what you’ve done. How am I supposed to explain this to him?” Giving the warrior a disgusted look, the bard held up the paper, which resembled a bloodied parchment.

“Tell him the dog ate it.” Suggesting the old stand by, Xena patted herself on the back and got hit in the arm by the bard. “Ow.”

“I’m serious, Xena.” Shaking her head, Gabrielle considered what lie she was goint to have to tell. It had been an essay test instead of one of those fill in the dots and there was no way she could ever forge the boy’s handwriting. “This is hopeless.” Sighing heavily, the bard dropped her head in dispair.

Xena’s face saddened. I did it again, she thought with regret. Me and my stupid ideas. Feeling all of an inch tall, the warrior sighed. “I’m sorry, Gabrielle.”

“That doesn’t help.” Talking into the pillow, Gabrielle closed her eyes.

“I make your life miserable, don’t I?” Xena placed her hand on the bard’s back.

“No. You just make it hard sometimes.” Raising her head to look at the warrior, Gabrielle thought about how many times they’d had this conversation.

Xena didn’t meet the bard’s gaze. Running her hand over Gabrielle’s back, she thought of what they’d been through together and how, even though there were no more warlords to vanquish and no more real danger left in their lives, their lives were still full of turmoil. Yet, through it all, Gabrielle had stayed. The bard had put up with Xena’s antics for over two thousand years and somehow always found it in her heart to forgive the warrior her falicies. Remembering this, Xena looked into the bard’s eyes. “You’d think,” she said softly, “that after I’d fought so hard for a life and a love I wanted so badly, that I’d be smart enough to find better ways to say I love you than little red circles on a test paper.” Her face solom, Xena leaned over, placing a soft kiss on the bard’s shoulder. “I love you, Gabrielle.” She whispered.

Setting the paper aside, Gabrielle sighed, then tangled her fingers in dark tresses and rolled onto her back, bringing the warrior to lay on top of her. “I love you, Xena.” Staring up into the blue eyes she’d missed for so many years. Gently pulling the warrior to her, Gabrielle brought their lips together, melting into the warmth that was the warrior princess. That was Xena.

I think I found plan delta, the warrior thought and fell into the love that was her life.

The end.

Post Script: David, the big lug, never did find out what happened to his mid term, since it was never seen again, although he was happy with the A+ and Xena kept her promise about the ‘beast.’ She had her father put motorcycle parking right beside the sidewalk, much to the grinch’s dismay and Gabrielle found a nice collection of posters of Greece, placing them neatly over the windows of her classroom. Except by her desk, of course.

Thanks for reading,


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