Disclaimers: This story is about two women in love. If this offends you please go elsewhere. If youre too young read this, please leave. If this isnt a problem please continue.
Are these characters mine? HECK NO!! They belong to the wonderful folks at MCA/Universal and Mr. Lucy Lawless<BG>. I was inspired to write this after the hoopla regarding the spoilers of Season Four and recent comments the stars and the powers that be (TPTB) made in regard to subtext. Ive also included some fragments of Sapphos work in here as well. Please send constructive comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks, as always, for reading.
By CN Winters
"Youre not really calling me a fool," Xena said looming over her twin. "Are you Meg?"
Meg released her nervous giggle. "Of course not. Not in the sense that youre an idiot or anything. Im just saying. . ."
"Saying what Meg?" Xena insisted, moving closer still.
Meg shifted uncomfortably from foot to foot. Oh Tartaris. She had to say something. "I just think that if Gabrielle was my traveling companion and I wanted to keep traveling with her. Id be down stairs right now finding out whats going on. I mean. . .you know your cousins reputation. She brags about how she can have any woman she wants any woman. And right now the one shes got her sights on is Gabby!"
Xena backed away and moved back to her chair without comment. She slowly digested Megs words.
"Gabrielle is a grown woman. Shes free to make her own choices. Who am I to stand in her way?"
"At this point youre just her friend," Meg observed. "But maybe theres more there. Something between the lines youre not reading. . . Maybe its something that that woman will tap into. Maybe Gabrielle really wants you but shes afraid of what the reaction will be so she can play with your cousin instead.
I mean she looked a lot like you before but now. . .with the dyed hair. . .She is you. You. Coming on to Gabby. Whispering all the words ANY woman would love to hear. . .Thats all Im saying. . .I mean how long are you willing to wait Xena?"
Xena knew it was a rhetorical question and she watched Meg as she turned around and quietly left the room. Xenas finger sat strumming the arms of the large chair. Nervously her foot began to tap; her boot clicking at every impact. The noise was becoming maddening.
"Thats long enough," Xena decided aloud, bolting from the room. As she passed swiftly through the corridor to the grand room downstairs, Meg watched from the shadows. That was quicker than I thought, she grinned wickedly.
When Xena arrived downstairs she found her cousin sitting with her arm draped around the bard a glass of wine in her hand as she read over Gabrielles shoulder. Xena was never one to eavesdrop unless it was a matter of survival. But the more she thought about it this was a matter of survival. Xena didnt know if she could go on without Gabrielle at this point.
Sure Gabrielle had left in the past the academy, back to her family, her marriage to Perdicus. All these things, in one way or another, offered something the warrior never could. Xena wasnt a scholar. She wasnt her sister. She wasnt a man. But this woman this poet well this was different. She listened carefully to the pair, huddled together on the bear skin rug in front of the roaring fireplace.
"Go ahead," the woman insisted. "Read this one next."
Gabrielle smiled her warm smile that could thaw (did thaw) the iciest of hearts and Xena ached. Perhaps Meg was right. Perhaps the grown woman known as Gabrielle had made up her mind. She watched as Gabrielles lips closed around the wine glass as she unrolled the scroll with her free hand.
The poets free hand, had now moved, coming to rest on the bards lower thighs. Xena could feel her lips twitch nervously as the womans digits covered Gabrielles muscled flesh.
Gabrielle cleared her throat and began.
"On the throne of many hues, Immortal Aphrodite,
child of Zeus, weaving wiles--I beg you
not to subdue my spirit, Queen,
with pain or sorrow
but come--if ever before
having heard my voice from far away
you listened, and leaving your father's
golden home you came
in your chariot yoked with swift, lovely
sparrows bringing you over the dark earth
thick-feathered wings swirling down
from the sky through mid-air
arriving quickly--you, Blessed One,
with a smile on your unaging face
asking again what have I suffered
and why am I calling again
and in my wild heart what did I most wish
to happen to me: "Again whom must I persuade
back into the harness of your love?
Sappho, who wrongs you?
For if she flees, soon she'll pursue,
she doesn't accept gifts, but she'll give,
if not now loving, soon she'll love
even against her will."
Come to me now again, release me from
this pain, everything my spirit longs
to have fulfilled, fulfill, and you
be my ally."
Upon finishing Gabrielle paused and neither woman said a word. Finally, Gabrielle whispered. "Thats beautiful."
"Thats you," Sappho whispered back. "Even when I glimpse you for a moment my tongue is stilled as speech deserts me; while a delicate fire is beneath my skin-my eyes cannot see, then, when I hear only a whirling sound as I shivering, sweat, because all of me trembles; I become paler than drought-grass And nearer to death. . ."
Gabrielle felt the lump rise in her throat. "Thank you," she said having it come out more like a croak than a comment. "I dont know what to say."
"Say youll stay with me. . .I could teach you so much about poetry and the arts. . .and love. . .and desire. . .You are a natural storyteller Gabrielle. With the right training training I could provide you could be the greatest bard in all of Greece, if not the known world."
Gabrielles tongue felt tied; her palms sweating; her head spinning. Did the tenth muse really just offer to train me? she asked herself. Of course she did. She wants me for more than just my bardic talents too. Gabrielle still hadnt replied so Sappho continued.
"Just think about it," Sappho urged. "You dont have to answer immediately. Take your time. . .Im sure Xena would stand behind you . . .and since youre not lovers. . .I dont foresee a problem. If need be Ill keep dying this blonde mane of mine so you dont miss her too much," the poet teased.
The comment inspired a giggle from both of them. Sappho, after a few moments however, turned serious again. ". . .Just promise me youll think it over?"
"But why?" Gabrielle asked. "Why me?"
"Why?! . . .Once again, desire-that looser of limbs and bitterly sweet. It makes me tremble because you are irresistible. . .so please. . .consider it?"
As Sappho made her request her fingers hooked under the bards chin so she could look directly into her green eyes. Slowly Gabrielle nodded. "I will," she whispered sincerely.
Xena cursed her super sensitive hearing. That was something she never wanted to hear. It was official now. Gabrielle wanted the poet. She was going to leave. Her light was gone, stolen by some over educated, pompous, egocentric
Xenas mind of rambling insults came to a stand still as she watched the poet, bend down and place the most delicate of kisses on the bards lips. Slowly she stood up and walked away from the amazon.
Xena had seen enough. Despondent and heartbroken she made her way back to her room. Shes not sure how, but as she climbed into bed, she noticed her boots where gone and she now donned a sleeping shift. Somewhere in the course of her growing depression she had changed for bed.
It frightened the warrior and it was a reminder of why she never let herself fall in love. It blinds the senses, makes one a fool. Not her. No way. She would never fall in love. . .but she realized as she pulled the covers up to her neck. . .She had. . .and it was the worst spill shed ever taken. Xena prayed for Morpheus to claim her mind but the only thing she felt approaching were the tears in the wells of her eyes and the sound of bard footsteps outside the door.
Quickly Xena reached over and turned down the lantern. She couldnt face Gabrielle not like this.
Gabrielle crept inside, thinking Xena was fast asleep. As quietly as possible in the near-darkness, the bard changed for bed. She gently eased beside Xena as not to wake her with the shift of the feather bed.
After a few moments of lying there, Gabrielle noticed something. Xena didnt roll over and pull her closer.
The first time it happened Gabrielle didnt quite know what to make of it. Xena often went to bed before her. Gabrielle used that time to chronicle their journeys as the warrior slept. Writing wasnt the only thing Gabrielle did however. Sometimes she would just watch the warrior sleep, soaking up the expressions that crossed Xenas face.
In the campfire light with her deep in slumber, Xena looked her age a young woman only a few summers older than Gabrielle. And in that firelight, Gabrielle wondered if Xena would ever need her, desire her, as a woman.
Often Gabrielles wondering lead to fantasy. And fantasy lead to self-exploration. She loved to climax watching Xenas beautiful face. Once her task was complete, only then would Gabrielle take her place next to Xena and she knew before Morpheus claimed her, Gabrielle would feel the warriors strong arm surround her.
But tonight. . .tonight was different. The warrior didnt reach out and the longer she waited the more she wondered if Xena was asleep.
"Xena?" Gabrielle whispered.
Xena was undecided. Should she roll over and act as if shes deep in slumber or should she roll over and ask the bard about her evening? Without any further thought, Xena rolled over.
"Are you going to accept her offer?" Xena asked. The words werent what she expected. She was going to play it cool and let Gabrielle make the confession but something forced the jealous words out before she could even control them.
"What do you mean?" Gabrielle said nervously.
Xena sat up and Gabrielle followed suit. "Sappho asked you to stay with her tonight. Are you going to stay?"
"You were spying on me?" Gabrielle asked a bit miffed. "I dont believe it," Gabrielle said in astonishment; more to herself than to her best friend.
"Well . .?" Xena said not giving up.
Gabrielle put her hands up to halt the conversations course. "Hold on just one Hades minute here. . .I cant believe you were spying on me," Gabrielle egged the warrior.
"I wasnt spying," Xena insisted. "I . . .I came downstairs to . . .talk to you. . .But I saw the two of you snuggling on the floor so I decided against it. I just overheard you Gabrielle. Not spying."
"Okay," Gabrielle said giving up the fight for now. "You say overheard I say spying. Whats the difference?. . . Well Im here now. . .Tell me what was so important that you had to lurk in the shadows overhearing my conversation."
Xena closed her eyes and shook her head. The bard was good. She could make her point in the most unappealing and frustrating of ways. This time was no different. Xena shook off the comment and pressed on.
"You still didnt answer my question. Are you going to stay with that. . .woman?"
Gabrielle grinned. It wasnt a grin of joy. It was open season on the warrior princess and Xena knew the look well. Grant it, if it came to a battle of blows Xena would triumph.
But with words. . .with words Gabrielle was the more deadly of the two. And sometimes her words could cut more deeply than Xenas chakram ever could. Not that Gabrielle was cruel to Xena. Far from it. Xena had witness this fury the bard had on other unsuspecting and . . .yes. . .stupid fools who tried to challenge her.
"Whats wrong if I spend my life with a woman?" Gabrielle said offended. "I know you may be a bit foreign to the fact that woman can love each other but Im well aware of what it entails."
"What makes you think I dont?" Xena challenge. "Ive had many female lovers over the years. . ." Xena didnt mean to make that confession. She and the bard rarely discussed sex. And Xena realized this was exactly why. Sex discussion leads to sex questions which could lead to questions about them; which could lead to. . . Oh Tartaris, the warrior cursed silently.
Uh oh, Xena thought frantically. Theres the first question and its gonna get rougher from here.
"Yes," she said softly. "I have. . .so its not all that foreign to me."
So, Gabrielle thought silently. Shes been with women. Desired women. But shes never mentioned it. Shes never . . . wanted me.
The bards quietness worried the warrior. "What are you thinking Gabrielle?" Xena asked when she could stand the stillness no longer.
"Who?" the bard asked, pushing her rejected feeling aside.
"It was years ago Gabrielle," Xena said climbing out of bed.
Gabrielle wasnt going to give up. Xena knew upon hearing the bard inhale deeply. She knew her bard now Sapphos bard so well and it pained her heart. She took a drink for the wineskin on their dresser, trying to collect herself for the inquisition that was about to begin.
"LaMao?" Gabrielle asked.
Xena nodded briefly. "Shes one," Xena answered without further explanation.
"Bodieca?" the bard questioned next.
"No," Xena replied with a dismal grin. "Her hatred of me had nothing to do with love of the heart love of country yes. I betrayed her and her people but. . .she and I were never physically intimate."
"Gabrielle," Xena spoke up, drawing out the syllables. Gabrielle always loved the way her name sounded when Xena said it. But tonight, for some reason, it had lost its appeal.
"Im not going to sit here and run down the list of who youve met and who Ive loved who Ive slept with, I should say. . .Its pointless."
Gabrielle realized what Xena said was true. Perhaps her questioning steamed from the fact she didnt want to face THEIR relationship. And the fact that Gabrielle wanted Xena but Xena had no interest in her as a lover made the bards entire being ache.
Gabrielle realized at that point she had nothing to lose. And she just had to know. "If you . . . desire women. . .why have you never made advances toward me?"
Xena chuckled lightly. "And do what? Ruin the best relationship Ive ever had in my life? What I have with you is more profound than sex. I can get physical gratification from anyone Gabrielle. To have someone touch your heart; someone to feel your soul thats rare. And thats what you do for me. . ."
Gabrielles warm grin returned and Xena realized that she wasnt about to let Sappho take that grin. Xena took a deep breath trying to keep her growing anger at bay. "So thats why Im not going to let Sappho keep you here. You may think you love her. You may think you desire her. But I know deep down, it will pass. Youre relationship with her is built on passion. Passion doesnt last."
Gabrielle lost her grin as she stood up. She walked over and took the wineskin from Xena, getting a drink for herself. "Im a grown woman," Gabrielle said handing it back to Xena. "Im free to make my own choices. You cant keep me if I dont want to stay."
Xena could feel her bottom lip start to quiver and her eyes get watery. Gabrielle was correct. Xena couldnt make Gabrielle love her no matter how much she tried.
The bard saw the unshed tears in Xenas eyes and she instantly regretted her choice of words. She raised her palm and cupped Xenas cheek. "Hey," Gabrielle whispered, drawing the warrior close, resting her head on Xenas bosom. The warrior, wrapped her strong arms around the bard, resting her chin on top of the bards head. At that moment sobs began to rack through Xenas body. The bard felt the vibrations and tightened her hold.
"I-I. . . dont want to lose you," Xena stuttered.
"I dont want to lose you either," Gabrielle replied. "But I need more. . .no matter how profound our relationship is. . .I need more. . . Sappho is offering me more."
Xena pulled away quickly and walked toward the window. She couldnt help but think what an awful twist of fate had taken place because of this mission.
It started so simple. Three warlords wanted to converge on the small valley. She would threaten one warlord. Meg would threaten the other. With a little hair dye the tenth muse would threaten the last. With a little coloring and a wardrobe change Sappho became the Warrior Princess.
The mission was successful. It bought Xena enough time to defeat each army one by one. But as she sat looking out at the sea from Sapphos estate on Lesbos, she realized this mission had cost her the ultimate price.
She only needed Sapphos help for a few moments. Now, upon seeing Sappho home safely, she was losing the bard. For the briefest of moments, the strong, undefeatable warrior wished she were dead.
"Go to her," Xena said softly; despondently. "Youre right ya know? She can give you so much more. . .She could make you a poet. Train you so you know just which words to use. . . How to captivate an audience. . .I cant give you any of those things. . ."
Gabrielle tilted her head and studied the warrior. "Xena," the bard began, "when I said Sappho offered more, I wasnt talking about poetry. . .I love fighting for the greater good. I like having a different place to tell my stories each week . . . I love. . . you."
Xena turned to the bard, searching Gabrielles face in an unasked question. "Then what-
"What she offers is physical comfort. . .sexual release. . .and . . .by the gods, if I cant have you, I can have someone who looks like you. . .well except for the brown eyes but still. . .With that dark hair; those cheekbones shes you. The you I waited years for. The you who desires me."
Xena still didnt know quite how to reply but a grin began to subconsciously form on her lips as Gabrielle continued.
"Is my desire for Sappho an exploitation? Perhaps. But I do have feelings for her. I do share common interests with her. And given time Im sure I could fall very deeply in love with her. . .But right now. . .well, right now the only person I want doesnt desire me. . .So where does that leave me?"
Gabrielle began to cry. She wasnt sure why. Was it the confession that did her in? Was it the fact that Xena was going to once more tell her to go back to Sappho? She didnt know. What she did know was that Xena was now holding her and comforting her with hushes and soft spoken Its alrights.
Gabrielle pulled away from Xenas grip and wiped her eyes. "I dont want your pity," Gabrielle said clearing her throat, raising her head high. "You cant give me what I need. Ive accepted that
"No Xena," the bard said cutting her off. "I dont want false promises. I dont want you forced into a change in our relationship. . . That WOULD ruin everything."
"No. Xena I know what Im talking about. I-
The bard stopped talking and waited for the warrior to speak. "Is it safe for me to continue?" Xena asked waiting for an interruption. When Gabrielle nodded the warrior took a deep breath.
"I never said I didnt want you. I only said I didnt want to lose you. I cant give you a palace like this. I cant give you tips on your scrolls. All I have to offer you is a battered heart and battered body to go with it. For a young beautiful woman like you. . .I always thought you deserve so much more. . .but if youre sure, really sure, Im what you want well. . .who am I to argue?"
As Xena finished her sly smirk fell into place.
"Xena?" Gabrielle began hesitantly. "Let me see if I understand-
"I want no I need. . .to be your lover," Xena explained. " I never thought you would want me the way that I want you. . . Guess you and I have more in common with each other than we realized huh?"
All Gabrielle could do at first was nod in agreement. But the longer she paused the more Xenas words took hold of her. She wants me? Gabrielles mind raced. She really does want me doesnt she? . . .Gods yes!. . .
Gabrielles mind shut down at that moment and her body took over. She dashed toward Xena. Her left hand captured the back of Xenas hand, demanding that their lips meet.
The first connection of their bodies stunned the warrior. She let the bard lead - her lips surprisingly seized as her eyes stayed wide open in shock. The bard looked enthralled by contrast her lips searching, her eyes closed shut trying to heighten the physical sensation.
At that moment Xena relaxed and let herself fall into the kiss, closing her eyes as well; her tongue puncturing through the storytellers mouth.
Gabrielle groaned at the contact. Thats all it took. Xena could feel her wetness settling at the apex of her legs. Legs, which as the kisses increased, became wobblier.
Xena scooped the bard into her arms, afraid to let the connection go for fear of losing the bard. As she walked to the bed indecision struck. Yes Gabrielle wanted her but how bad? And yes, Gabrielle wanted to love her, but just how much? Reluctantly, Xena pulled back as she settled her amorous cargo on the mattress.
"Im not sure what you want me to do," Xena whispered. The insecurity of Xenas voice made the bards heart melt and the words she spoke made other regions feel as if they were melting as well.
"Whatever you want will feel wonderful," Gabrielle said pulling the warrior down to her by her hands.
"No," Xena said stopping. Gabrielle looked a bit concerned and Xena could see the bard was holding her breath. "I mean. . .Oh gods. . .I dont want to rush you into anything."
"Do you want me?" Gabrielle asked sincerely.
"Of course," Xena said a bit unsettled by the question. Hadnt the bard been paying attention to their recent conversation? "Of course I do."
"How much?" Gabrielle grinned. "Be honest."
Xena smiled and blushed slightly before staring intently into Gabrielles eyes. "I want to kiss every inch of your body my bard. I want to feel your hands buried in my hair. . . I want to hear my name spoken as you explode with my mouth covering you all of you."
The warrior thought she had asked for too much. "Yes," she said nervously.
"I want the same things. . .I want them now."
Gabrielle once more took the lead pulling the warriors weight on top of her. . .and Xena was helpless to follow.
Sunlight in Xenas eyes was the first sensation that hit the waking warrior. The next was the firm, toned naked body that covered her own. Xena smirked as her hand lazily ran the length of Gabrielles back, over her buttock, and to her upper thigh.
She reminisced about the hours before sleep finally claimed them. The bards stamina had astounded Xena but she didnt want to let her surprise show. She didnt want Gabrielle thinking the bards desire was a burden. Xena did have to admit, to herself, that she had a hard time keeping up with her affectionate, young lover. Ill have to start working out even more, the warrior thought with a silent chuckle.
She always knew her bard was passionate; creative. Last night, and many different positions later, the warrior had her prove. . .and in the most delightful of ways.
Xena softly kissed Gabrielle on top of her matted, once-sweat soaked, hair. Both women would need to use the tub before starting the day Xena noted mentally. But then again, being able to still smell Gabrielles scent covering me has its advantages, she considered with a wicked smile.
Gabrielle stirred slightly and began to murmur sleepily. Xena smiled all over again.
The warrior knew the bard was still sound asleep, probably deep in dream state. Xena decided to play along.
"Yes Gabrielle," she whispered in her ear.
"Lets go swimming."
The warrior tried not to chuckle against the woman sleeping upon her. "Swimming huh? Where at Gabrielle?"
"Right there," the bard said raising her hand that clung to the warriors shoulder just a little bit.
"Id rather make love to you," Xena whispered. "Can I make love to you?"
Gabrielle nodded as she slumbered. "In the water. . .Lets do it in the water Xena."
The wheels began to turn in Xenas mind. Perhaps she could use the bards outspokenness to her advantage. She could give Gabrielle a special day at the beach. Xena felt her eyebrow go up in anticipation. Would it be considered being devious to play off the bards dreamscape? Sure it was. But the rewards of doing so could be very . . .fruitful.
Slowly and gently Xena shook the bard. When that didnt work she laid the bard on her back and began to nibble on her neck. After a few moments, Xena felt Gabrielles fingers work their way into her hair.
"Good morning," Xena said softly, not giving up on thoroughly kissing the bards neck. She had four more places to go yet.
"Good morning indeed," Gabrielle giggled. "Hey! That tickles!"
"Didnt tickle last night," Xena playfully bantered.
"Well, youre hands were also busy at the same time so I guess I didnt notice as much," the bard countered.
"I wasnt the only one with busy hands you know," Xena answered, finally rising to meet the greenest, most beautiful eyes the world would ever know.
"Can I help it that youre so touchable?" Gabrielle defended.
"Not at all," Xena agreed. She kissed Gabrielle tenderly - almost chastely on the cheek. "Good morning again," she whispered sincerely.
Gabrielle pulled Xena down, hugging her as tight as possible without hurting her. "I love you Xena. I still dont think I told you enough last night."
"Gabrielle youve been telling me and showing me that for years," the warrior replied pulling back. "But it will always be wonderful to hear because I love you too."
Gabrielle sat up and wiped the sleep from her eyes. "Thats good to know," she answered with a yawn. "So are we heading out today?"
"Yeah but I think you should talk to Sappho first," Xena offered. "But, that decision is yours," Xena reconsidered. She didnt want Gabrielle thinking she was trying to run her life.
"I agree," Gabrielle said stretching as she got out of bed. She walked around to put on her robe but stopped when she watched Xena staring at her. "Whats wrong?" Gabrielle asked looking over her body carefully.
"Youre absolutely beautiful Gabrielle," the warrior said softly. With the sunlight playing to her long, blonde mane and the way it showed her peaks and valleys Xena felt in awe at the sight of her lover.
Gabrielle politely smiled and promptly blushed. "Youre not so bad yourself," Gabrielle said putting on her robe and grabbing a towel. "Im going to the wash room. Did you want to join me?" she asked seductively.
"I would but it would kinda defeat the purpose dont cha think?" the warrior asked.
Gabrielle considered Xenas statement. "Good point. Wed probably just end up all sweaty again huh?"
Xena smiled and simply nodded. With a quick kiss Gabrielle left with a promise to return shortly. Moments after Gabrielles departure, Xena heard a knock at the door. She didnt bother to dress. Maybe it was Sappho herself. She looked forward to the expression on the poets face to see her body littered with hickeys. No sense in having them Xena thought silently, with no one to show them off too.
"Hi. . .Can I come in Xena?"
Xena left the door open and walked to her robe. "Sure thing Meg," Xena replied.
"Judging by the . . .look. . .of things Id say it was a good night."
Xena tried to remain the stoic warrior she was but she couldnt contain her joy any longer and she had to smile. "What did you need Meg?" Xena said avoid the conversation.
Meg returned the smile. "She any good?" Meg asked, not backing down yet. She could tell the warrior was just dying to say something to someone.
"Yeah. She is," Xena said dryly with a wily grin.
Meg clapped her hands together excitedly as she took a seat on the bed. "This is great. So what exactly happened?"
"I dont kiss and tell Meg," Xena said cheerfully yet letting Meg know that she had no intention of discussing things further.
"Of course," Meg said apologetically. "You two are . . .together. . .right? I mean that's all thats important. . .right?"
"Riiiight," Xena drawled.
At that moment Gabrielle walked in from cleaning up, cloaked in her towel. She looked at the bed and took a moment her eyebrows crunched in examination.
"Oh, hi Meg," she replied casually as she began to brush her water soaked blond locks.
"Hi Gabby," she replied making her way from the door. "So anyway Xena, were still leaving today as planned right?"
"Yeah. After breakfast," Xena nodded.
"Well, Ill see you two then," she said as she began to close the door.
"Hey Meg," Xena called out. "Thanks. . . I . . .uh. . .I couldnt have done it without you."
Meg blushed. A compliment from the warrior princess meant a lot to her. "No problem Xena. You guys believed in me when I didnt believe in myself. Im always here to help."
With that Meg shut the door behind her.
"Okay," Gabrielle said as she put on the last of her clothing. "Its your turn. . .Im going to go downstairs and talk to Sappho while you get cleaned up."
The bard tried to sound carefree but Xena could hear a worry in her voice. "It will be okay," Xena coaxed.
"I still have you right?" Gabrielle asked nervously. "Nothings changed."
Xena chuckled. "Oh my dear bard a lot has changed. But has my love and admiration diminished?. . . Not on your life," she said with a wicked grin. "I have no regrets about us Gabrielle," Xena said turning serious once more.
Gabrielle smiled and stroked Xenas cheek; the warrior leaned down and kissed Gabrielle softly on the lips.
"Dont forget to brush your teeth either Xena," she said slapping the warriors arm playfully, slipping from the embrace.
"You dont like my morning breath?" Xena said in mock offense.
"Lets just say its worse than a centaur but not as bad as a Cyclops," the bard teased.
"Thanks a lot!" Xena said throwing her hands up. Gabrielle giggled as she went out the door. But suddenly she popped her head back in.
"You know Im only teasin, dont you?" Gabrielle grinned. "I mean about the Cyclops comment."
Xena grinned back, "Yes. Gabrielle. I know how your mind works."
"No Xena," Gabrielle replied. "I mean I was teasing about not being as BAD as a Cyclops because I think you are perhaps WORSE."
Xena picked up a nearby pillow, projecting at the bards visible head. Missed me, she heard the bard call as she walked downstairs. Xena shook her head as she made her way to the wash room. . .making sure to bring her toothbrush.
Once Xena was clean she walked downstairs to the kitchen. Sappho and Gabrielle were laughing at the breakfast table. The sound made Xena feel a bit insecure. What if Gabrielle had changed her mind? What if shes going to say last night was a mistake? What if. . . Xena stopped her rambling insecurities as made her way over to the bard.
"Ahhh, why if it isnt the warrior princess," Sappho said cheerfully. "Please have a seat my dear cousin and do tell. How did you managed to steal the heart of such a beautiful young woman?" As Sappho finished she raised Gabrielles hand to her lips and kissed the knuckles with great care.
"Get youre lips off my bard please." It wasnt a request and Sappho promptly obeyed. Xena smiled and she poured herself a cup of tea before taking a spot next to Gabrielle. "Havent you fondled her enough?" Xena teased.
"Say what you will but Im not the one that put that passion mark on her neck," Sappho teased back.
Self consciously, Gabrielle pulled her hair over to one side concealing it again.
"Thats right Sappho. You didnt," Xena prodded. "And you never will."
"Why do I suddenly feel like first prize at a fishing derby?" Gabrielle interrupted the cousins.
"Because youre quite a catch," Sappho winked. "And Xena has been competing with me for years. And sadly, for me, it appears shes won the greatest prize of all."
Gabrielle blushed and Xena couldnt help but smile in her victory.
"Lets make a deal Xena," the poet continued. "Ill give you my title of Tenth Muse in exchange for Gabrielle. What do you say?"
"See Sappho thats where youre wrong. Gabrielle isnt a prize to be won. And any title you have wouldnt be worth giving up Gabrielles hand. . .Nah Sappho, you can be the Tenth Muse. Im happy being Gabrielles lover."
As Xena finished, the bard reached over and took Xenas hand into hers. Sappho may have all the fancy words but Xenas words cut to the heart of the matter. Xena wasnt a poet, she was a warrior HER warrior, who could still show her heart when need be. As the three of them sat there, Gabrielle knew she made the right choice. She didnt need a Tenth Muse. . .not when she had a warrior princess.
"Come on Gabrielle," Xena said waving from the lake. "The waters wonderful."
Upon seeing Meg home, Xena decided to make a side trip to Amphipolis. There was a private spring not far from her mothers inn. It was a perfect place to make dreams come true.
Gabrielle quickly shed her clothes and leaped head first, swimming strongly toward the warrior. When she finally reached Xena she couldnt get her footing.
"The waters too deep here," Gabrielle said bobbing up and down.
"Nahhh. . .its just perfect," Xena insisted. "Wrap your legs around me," she instructed.
Gabrielle did as asked and she felt Xena taking them toward the canyon ledge. It was a smooth surface against her back cold yet exciting. And soon she felt herself trapped between a rock and a warrior princess.
"Now what?" Gabrielle grinned.
"Now," Xena whispered, nibbling on the bards ear along the way. "I make dreams come true."
And as the sun began to set and their bodies gently rocked together, Xena made sure that all of Gabrielles dreams would come true. She would try to keep the demons at bay. And without a doubt she would love the little bard that completely owned her heart.
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