Disclaimers: The characters of Xena: Warrior Princess™ and all other associated with the television series of the same name are owned by MCA/ Universal Pictures. This is a work of fan fiction and no copyright infringement is intended.

Subtext: I guess with my writing so far we'll just quit calling it subtext and call it maintext. Yes they are in love with each other.

Sex: Yes! There are scenes of two consenting adult women making love and lots of it. If it offends you don’t read this. Move on. If you’re under 18 move on.

Violence: Flashbacks of a shooting.

Language: Mild…where we got Xena we got language.

Drugs/Alcohol: Light dinner consumption of wine.

Other: This is a sequel to We Never Say Good-bye you don’t need to read it to understand what’s happening here, but it couldn’t hurt.

 

 

 

Warrior Spirit

By T.Novan

 

 

2028

Gabrielle sat on the couch with the yellow lab puppy in her lap. She stroked the puppy’s head absent-mindedly as she stared out at the ocean remembering the night that she had been brought to this house which was now her home. How Xena had held her and introduced her to the Pacific Ocean. Those blue eyes brimming with tears as she tried to make the woman Gabrielle had been then understand that she truly loved her.

Then, to wake up suddenly on the sidewalk, with all her memories intact. Stumbling forward through the crowded intersection and watching them cover Xena with the sheet. Knowing immediately what had happened. They had been torn from each other once again, just as they were about to begin a long happy life together.

Twenty-six years of waiting had given Gabrielle Artemis Brock, Xena’s newest life. Oh she was Xena. Every ounce Xena and it didn’t take long for that to become quite clear. It also didn’t take long for them to get together once the bard had gotten Officer Brock’s attention that day along side the road.

Three years later and Gabrielle was alone again. "Brock", as she preferred to be called in this life, gunned down in the middle of the street while doing a traffic stop, just like the one she had been doing the day she met Gabrielle. The bard wiped the tears from her eyes as the visions of the police funeral filled her head again.

Hundreds of cruisers from all over the country, almost a thousand police officers all coming to pay their respects to a fellow officer lost in the line of duty. The procession had taken almost two and half-hours to the graveyard where Gabrielle Amphipolis had laid to rest another lover. She buried Brock just a few hundred feet from where she had buried Xena Gabriel so many years before. Another marble stone with a quill and chakram went up as a tribute to the passing of yet another warrior.

"Come on Argo let’s go for a walk. I need some air." She got up from the couch and grabbed the puppy’s leash as they went out the sliding glass door and down the stairs onto the beach.

The puppy, named Agro by Brock without any prodding from Gabrielle at all, was a gift from the cop just a little over a month ago. Brock had brought her home after seeing her in the window of the pet shop and falling head over heels in love with her. She had come in with the pup tucked in her gym bag and tossed her in the middle of the bed very early on a Saturday morning after her shift had ended.

Gabrielle found herself pounced on by the little beast as Brock yelled, " Sic her Argo!" from across the room. Luckily the bard’s aim was still good and the pillow hurled at the cop found its mark as she fought the onslaught of wet puppy kisses. She too fell in love with the little addition and it didn’t take long before the three of them were curled up together in the big bed sleeping another Saturday morning through.

Argo however, had learned very quickly that Saturday afternoon would relegate her to the laundry room where her own bed was, because apparently mommies needed privacy for their own playtime. Gabrielle remembered a very long time ago when she had been scared half-witless by another Argo who had gotten a little to close for comfort during a rather intense moment of passion. From that point forward she had always maintained a strict no animals within fifty feet policy.

She watched as the puppy bounded into the surf and out again after getting an unexpected snout full of seawater. She sneezed repeatedly trying to clear the water from her nose. "Silly dog. Think you’d have learned that lesson by now." Gabrielle knelt down next to her little companion and gave her a hug as the tears flowed freely down her cheeks. "Oh Argo I don’t know if I can do this again. God it hurts so much to be taken away from each other like this." She looked out into the expanse of sea in front of her. "Damn it Xena how did you manage to do this so many times? It hurts like hell!"

 

 

Xena looked at her hands, flipping them over and inspecting them carefully. Yup they were hers. Not hers in another body, but her own hands the ones she had been attached to when she was born the very first time. The hands that had wielded sword and chakram, the hands that had caressed and loved her bard.

"Okay something is up." She said aloud just to see if her it was her own voice. It was. "Something’s definitely up. I’m here, I’m me and I have all my memories." She looked around the Gallery. The Eternal Dance still stood in the center of the room continuing as if nothing had changed. Something had changed. She remembered Brock being torn in half by the semi automatic gunfire from the car she had stopped. She remembered the valiant fight for life the cop had put up and how her last thoughts were of Gabrielle and her love for the little blonde.

Xena headed for the door anxious to find her bard so they could figure this out together. As she reached for the doorknob, she really realized something wasn’t quite right. Her hand passed through the knob, she tried again with the same result. "Aw hell!" She growled as she made a third swipe at the knob. "Think Xena think. You want out how do you get out?" She made a fist and with a tentative punch she took a swing at the door. Her hand passed through the door, her arm passed through the door and before she had time to think about it, her entire body passed through the door. She turned around and cocked a dark eyebrow. "Okay that was creepy, but I’m out."

She strolled down the hallway then down the circular staircase to the living room she found the remnants of Gabrielle’s self-imposed bed on the couch. She looked around the house that she had purchased and made her home. Gabrielle and Brock had done some redecorating. She looked at the ‘modern’ art that was hung over the fireplace. "Oh well that has got to go!" She looked around at the room and realized she didn’t care for most of the decor. "Oh Ri we need to have a long talk about your taste in furnishings."

She moved to the sliding glass door and tried to grasp that handle as well, with the same result as trying the door to the Gallery, it passed right through. "Son of a bitch! What’s going on here?" She stood there staring at the handle. She didn’t really want to do that creepy walking through the door thing again. Just as she was about to give up she saw Gabrielle coming up the steps with Argo hot on her heals. She took a step back and waited with a broad smile.

Gabrielle opened the door and stood to the side to allow Argo the chance to go in first. The pup stopped just short and the hair on her neck bristled. She growled and barked at something just on the other side of the door. Gabrielle looked into the house wondering what could be upsetting Argo so much. She slipped into the room very carefully staying close to the wall and moved to a cabinet on the corner. She carefully and quietly opened a drawer and removed a .45 caliber Glock. Quickly she inspected the gun, chambered a round, gripping it in both hands, like Brock had taught her she brought the gun to the ‘low ready’ position. She was about to begin searching the house when she realized Argo was still barking at the door. "Argo quiet!"

"Yeah Argo quiet!" Xena growled at the dog that then disappeared under the table on the deck with her tail between her legs.

Xena didn’t like this. She didn’t like this one damn bit. Gabrielle had come in and walked right past her. It was then, she realized that her partner, her love, the other half of her soul couldn’t see or hear her, "Well now this just sucks." She groused as she looked at the cowering pup. "You can see me though can’t you?" The pup cringed again and tried to get further under the table. She turned back around and spoke calmly to Gabrielle. "There’s nobody here who’s going to hurt you Ri put the gun away."

Gabrielle turned back and looked at Argo cowering under the table on the deck. "Oh some watch dog you’re gonna be." She removed the magazine from the gun and cleared the round from the chamber. Replacing the round into the magazine she then popped it back in and put the gun in the cabinet. "Come on Argo, come on girl." She called the dog as she slapped her leg and made soft kissing noises. The pup refused to move. "Oh you big coward! We should have named you Ares. Your namesake was one of the bravest animals I have ever known."

She went out on the deck and pulled the quivering dog into her arms and carried her into the house. As soon as she was put down she scrambled out of the room and to her bed in the laundry room. Gabrielle sighed as she watched the dog disappear. She turned and closed the sliding glass door, reaching through Xena as she did.

Gabrielle didn’t notice it, but Xena certainly felt something and she shivered a little. "Oh I don’t like this at all." She moved to the side and freed herself from Gabrielle’s intruding arm.

After she closed and locked the door she returned to the couch and sat down. She pulled her legs up and curled them up under her as she brought the blanket into her lap and covered her legs. The tears came again. "Xena…" She cried as she tried to find comfort in the couch and the blanket. "I miss you so much. Hurry home.

Xena rushed to the couch and knelt right in front of her bard. "I’m here my love. Oh Gabrielle don’t cry, please don’t cry." She tried touching the bard only to find that she couldn’t do it. "Shh it’s okay my bard it’s okay. I’m here I’m right here with you."

"Xena…" Gabrielle wiped her eyes. She almost had ‘the feeling’, the feeling that they got when the baby was reborn. She cocked her head and waited for the feeling to ‘settle in’ as it were, but it wouldn’t. She chalked it up to wishful thinking. "I miss you Warrior." She whispered.

"Oh Gabrielle come on you can hear me…or feel me or something I know you can. I can see it in your eyes. Look at me." Xena waved her hand in front of Gabrielle’s face.

Gabrielle continued to stare out the door at the ocean. Xena stood and began pacing around the room. "There has to be a reason Gabrielle. There has to be a reason that I’ve been sent back." She noticed the bust of Ares was still on its perch by the sliding glass door. She walked over and stared down at it. "If you’ve ever done anything useful in your life you dirty bastard let this be it." She concentrated before placing all the energy she could muster into taking a swing at.

The bust toppled to the floor, shattering into a million pieces and causing Gabrielle to come up of the couch with a strangled scream. She looked to the spot where the bust had been sitting. She turned her head just slightly as she took a tentative step forward. "Xena?"

The warrior smiled. "Yes love I’m right here."

The bard moved slowly to the spot, reaching her hands out slowly in front of her. "Xena? Are you here?"

"Yes darling I’m right here." She stepped in front of Gabrielle once again her hands entered her body and passed through. "Oh that is just really creepy love." She stared down at the hands that penetrated her body. "Talk about having someone under your skin."

Gabrielle cocked her head. She wasn’t sure but she thought she heard the word ‘love’. "Oh I’m losing it." She quickly turned away and picked up one of the white house phones. "Michelle, I need a brush and a dust pan up in the living room. Thanks." She replaced the receiver and returned to the shattered bust. She dropped to her knees and began collecting the larger pieces placing them on the table. "Yup losing my ever loving mind."

The blonde continued to pick up the larger fragments as Xena continued to pace around the room. "I just don’t fucking believe this! Three thousand years I played by your damned rules!" She knew she was shouting at the Gods who had cursed them and that they probably weren’t listening, but it made her feel better. "Kept the chakram and the quill safe! Spent a majority of my life without her! Hoping that you would let us come back together and now you do this to us. Damn you! Damn you all!"

"Chill babe…"

Xena whirled to see Aphrodite standing by the column that the bust had been standing on.

"Aphrodite what in the hell is going on here?" She stormed over to the Goddess, as Gabrielle remained completely unaware of them.

"I’m like trying to help you out here sweets, calm down."

"Calm down? Calm down? How do you expect me to calm down when Gabrielle can’t see or hear me and now apparently I won’t be coming back."

"But you are back you big dumb warrior."

"Oh yeah great! I’m fucking Casper."

"For right now yes, but I’ve made a deal for you and if you meet your end of it you will be returned whole and," She winked as she motioned to the bard. "Solid, if you know what I mean. You’ll also be made immortal in the true sense of the word. You and little bardypoo can spent the rest of your unnatural lives together."

"What do I have to do?"

"Find out who murdered you."

"What?"

"Well, find out who murdered Artemis. Sis doesn’t take well to namesakes being gunned down in the street. Even if that namesake was you."

"And if I find out who did it, you will restore me?"

"To all your tall, dark and dangerous glory."

Xena looked down to the bard and smiled. "I’ll do it."

"Somehow I figured that would be your answer."

"I’m going to need her help." She waved a hand at Gabrielle. "Any chance you could let her see me or hear me or something?"

"Well yes and no."

"Oh that’s helpful."

"Hey I’m really sticking my neck out for you two as it is. You could try and like be just a little grateful you know." The Goddess pouted, turning her back to the warrior.

"Umm yeah. Look Aphrodite I’m sorry. I just know I can’t do this without her and it would be a lot easier if we could communicate."

The Goddess turned around to face Xena. "Oh you can communicate with her babe. Just use the worlds oldest language."

Aphrodite disappeared in a shimmering that always reminded the warrior of a waterfall. "World’s oldest language?" Her brows furrowed together as she considered Aphrodite’s words. When the meaning finally struck home she straightened and yelled into the air. "Oh yeah that’ll be easy, considering she can’t see or hear me!"

"You’ll manage babe…." The disembodied voice sang back at her.

A young brunette woman entered the room. She wore a gray maid’s dress and was carrying a brush and dustpan. "Miss Amphipolis what happened?"

"Umm must have been the wind when I let Argo in." She looked up at the maid as she got off her knees. "It just fell off the pedestal." She lied hoping the woman wouldn’t question her further. She didn’t want to explain that the damn thing had just jumped off the pedestal.

"Too bad, it was a nice piece. If it was accurate he was a very good looking man."

"Yeah with the personality of a sand viper." Gabrielle mumbled as the maid handled the task of cleaning up the debris.

"Excuse me?"

"Oh nothing just thinking out loud. I’m going to take a shower and lay down for a bit Michelle. Will you tell Katherine I’ll take my dinner in my room?"

"Yes ma’am." The young maid looked at her employer. "Miss Amphipolis?"

"Yes?"

"I know that you may think it’s too soon after…" She slowly finished sweeping up the mess. "But we’re, the house staff that is…we’re having a cookout this Saturday and well we’d like it if you’d join us. Some fresh air and sunshine would do you some good. I’d like it if you came."

"Oh I just bet you would." Xena scowled as she watched the young woman watching her bard.

Gabrielle smiled at the young woman. "I’ll think about it."

"Good."

Gabrielle headed for the stairs, climbing them quickly with the warrior hot on her heals. "And what was that missy?" Xena growled as she followed the bard. "Looks like the maid wants to give you really personal service." The bard continued down the hall to her room. Xena just managed to slip in behind her before the door closed. She sat on the bed and watched as Gabrielle began removing her clothes. "Oh Gods Gabrielle that’s really not nice."

The bard removed her sneakers, kicking them into the corner. Then she unzipped her jeans tugging them over her hips. Xena cleared her throat as she felt the blush climb up her neck. "Hmm this is taking voyeurism just a little too far." The warrior growled as she stood up and moved the to bay window with her back to Gabrielle. She listened as Gabrielle removed the rest of her clothes then moved into the bathroom.

She turned when she heard the shower start up. She looked around the room at the discarded clothing then to the bathroom. From her position in the room she could see the outline of Gabrielle’s body in the shower. She moved slowly toward the bathroom, swallowing hard as she did. She remembered making love to her bard in that same shower the very morning they had made that fateful trip to Beverly Hills.

She watched through half lidded eyes as Gabrielle ran her hands down her body. "Gods it’s hot in here." She mumbled as she took another step toward the bathroom. She leaned on the counter and crossed her arms across her chest doing her best not to watch Gabrielle through the shower door. She looked down at the counter and wondered momentarily how come she didn’t fall through. Not having a good answer at the moment she let it go and took a deep breath.

"Well my love we have a chance here to make everything all right again, but I need your help." She glanced at the shower again. "So how do I get your attention?" She sighed again as the water stopped running. The door opened and she felt like she was going to pass out. "Wonder if a ghost can faint?" She rasped as the bard reached to the counter for a fluffy towel.

She steeled herself for what she knew was coming. "Oh what the hell." She finally gave up and just enjoyed watching the bard towel the water from her firm young body. "You know when I get this solid thing worked out my bard you are in big trouble."

The warrior followed the bard back to the bedroom. Gabrielle paused long enough to grab her robe from the back of the bathroom door tossing it to the foot of the bed before lying down on the comforter. Xena stopped in her tracks when she realized what her little bard had in mind.

"Oh no,no,no,no,no that’s just tooooo cruel Gabrielle. Don’t do that to me pleeeaasseee." She gulped hard as the bard began doing exactly what she knew she was going to do. "It won’t do you any good to try and kill me Bri, I’m already dead."

"Xena…." The bard moaned as her hands traveled over her body.

"Oh Gods…." The warrior gasped as she felt her knees go weak. She knelt next to the bed just inches from her beloved bard. "I love you Gabrielle." She watched as her lover’s hands caressed her own body, slowly moving over the flesh she so desperately wanted to touch and hold again.

"Xena." The bard moaned again as her hand slipped between her legs. "I love you." Her hands worked the heated flesh as her mind flashed images of her beloved warrior behind closed eyelids. "Miss you…." She rasped as her hips began grinding against her hand.

"OKAY THAT’S IT!" The warrior stood and began stripping off her shirt. Again she wondered very briefly why her clothes felt tangible, but as her eyes traveled back to the writhing, moaning woman on the bed she really didn’t care. She finished undressing and moved onto the bed. The only thought in her mind was to be close to her bard. "Gabrielle. I love you." She reached out a shaky hand wanting so badly to touch her.

She was amazed when she actually felt warmth under her hand as it came to rest on the bard’s shoulder.

"Oh Xena…yes…." Gabrielle called as her fantasy took her closer to the edge. She could almost feel the warrior’s gentle touch on her shoulder. Then her mind carried to her the sensation of Xena lying next to her, touching her, kissing her neck and ear.

Xena moved her mouth to a sensitive earlobe and took it between her teeth. She moaned, not caring how this was being made possible. All that mattered was that she was loving her bard and the bard really seemed to be enjoying it. Her hand traveled down the bard’s arm to the hand between her legs. She lightly brushed the hand aside and slipped her own hand into the warmth.

"Oh God Xena…." Gabrielle arched into the fantasy touch, believing with all her heart that her warrior was loving her. Her body that was just going with all the sensations was shutting down her mind at the moment.

"Gabrielle…." The warrior moved closer, placing her body over the bard as she continued to make love to her. She felt the sensation of settling just under her beloved’s skin.

"Yes!" The younger woman gasped as the climax overtook her body. She actually felt her warrior with her, loving her. "Xena…I love you." She murmured as the orgasm rippled through her body leaving her shaking and weak. When it was over the tears came freely. She rolled onto her side and curled into a little ball drawing her knees to her chest, wrapping her arms around them. "God Xena I miss you so much."

The warrior tried to wrap herself around her love to comfort and protect her. She couldn’t manage it and it broke her heart to hear the bard sobbing. "I’m right here love. I’m right here." She whispered as she lay as close as she could. She listened as the bard’s breathing evened out and she fell asleep. The warrior closed her eyes and drifted off.

The knocking on the door woke them both at the same time. Gabrielle gathered herself up and tossed on her robe. Xena just rolled over on the bed and stretched out as she watched the bard move to the door. "If it’s the maid you can tell her you’ve already been seen to." The warrior chuckled as she crossed her long legs and put her hands behind her head.

Gabrielle opened the door, taking a step back she allowed the maid to bring on a tray of food. Michelle looked briefly at her employer, dressed only in a robe. "Where would you like this?"

"On the bed. Thank you Michelle."

"You’re welcome ma’am. Will there be anything else?"

"NO!" The warrior yelled from her spot on the bed.

Gabrielle pulled her robe a little closer as she glanced back at the bed. "No…no I’m fine thanks. I’m just going to have dinner and go to sleep."

"Yes ma’am. Goodnight then."

"Goodnight."

Michelle left the room, closing the door quietly behind her.

The blonde moved back to the bed taking a seat in the center and pulling the tray to her. She looked around the room, mumbling "Remote, remote…"

"In the bedside table on your side of the bed. Just like always." Xena grinned as she sat up next to the bard and looked at the tray. "Steak! What I wouldn’t give for a steak." She teased as the bard climbed across the bed retrieving the remote from the drawer.

Gabrielle returned to the tray and clicked on the TV. She flipped through about a half dozen channels before settling on a movie. When Xena looked to the screen she absolutely began howling with laughter. "Ghost! You must be kidding."

Gabrielle sipped her juice as she lay out across the bed, watching the movie. Xena was torn between the movie and the bard. She watched it very carefully. They were showing the penny against the door scene.

"Hmm where’s Whoopi Goldberg when you need her?" The warrior grumbled as she stretched out behind Gabrielle with her head resting on her fist. She draped her arm over the bard’s waist as they watched the movie.

Xena brought her hand up caressing the bard’s hair in soft, gentle strokes. "Love you. I wish I could do the penny trick."

 

 

Gabrielle awoke the next morning, having fallen asleep lying across the bed watching the movie. She stretched as Xena watched her from the window. The sun was just starting to break over the horizon sending an orange glow into the room. As the bard looked to the window she blinked several times as she saw an outline in the window.

"Oh yeah Gab you’re losing it." She stated as she shook her head. "First you think you can feel her making love to you and now you’re seeing things."

The warrior perked up and took a step forward. "Gabrielle…no you’re not seeing things. Come on sweetheart look at me."

The blonde looked to the window again. Again she saw it, an outline of the warrior. Xena reaching out for her, holding out her hand. She smiled as she reached out "Xena?"

"Yes."

Gabrielle’s extended hand returned to her lips as she gasped at the sight before her.

"You can hear me?"

She nodded as tears began to run down her face.

"Oh Gabrielle. Thank the Gods…or at least one Goddess in particular."

"Aphrodite?"

"Yeah."

"Xena what’s going on?"

"Well it’s kind of hard to explain."

"Try. I’ve been waiting for you to come back and now you’re not going to be able to. Oh Xena I can’t live this life without you."

"Aphrodite struck a deal for me Gabrielle. If I find out who killed Artemis Brock they’ll lift the curse and we’ll be together again."

"Oh Xena really?"

"Yeah really. Umm Gabrielle can you really see me?"

"Well it’s just kind of an outline. It’s because of the sunrise. You’re all orange."

"Orange huh? Does it suit me?"

"No. I much prefer tan." She could almost see the smile on her partner’s face.

"Well I’m gonna do my best to get my tan back, but I need your help."

"Anything."

"First, I have to admit that my mind is kind of Swiss cheese when it comes to Brock. I need all the information you can give me about when she was killed."

"Okay, ah, it was two weeks ago. She was doing a traffic stop and the driver opened fire as she approached the car."

"Don’t they have the plate?"

"Stolen."

"Damn." She turned and looked out the window.

Gabrielle took two steps toward the outline of her partner. She tried to touch her only to have her hand pass right through.

"I gotta tell you Gabrielle that really gives me the willies. Please don’t do that." Xena chuckled.

The bard pulled her hand back. "I’m sorry I just wanted to touch you."

She turned and smiled. "I know sweetheart. Just as much as I want to touch you, but right now it’s just not possible."

"You know I had the weirdest experience last night…"

"After your shower?"

"Yeah I was…HEY you were here! You dirty dog you."

"You didn’t complain last night."

"Xena I was missing you so much."

"I know and I stayed with you all night. Laid right behind you while you watched the movie."

"I felt something, but I kept telling myself I was imagining things."

"Well you weren’t."

"Apparently not." She smiled. "You really spent the night with me?"

"With my arms wrapped around you as much as I could."

 

 

Gabrielle started the Porsche, glancing over at where Xena should be as she revved the engine. She couldn’t see her anymore, but she could still hear her. "Love a fast car." She grinned as she pushed her sunglasses into place.

"This from the woman who wouldn’t get on my horse."

"These horses are much lower to the ground love." She put the car in gear leaving rubber on the driveway as she pulled out.

"For the love of Zeus Gabrielle slow down. You trying to get us killed?"

"Ah, but you forget my fearless warrior, I’m immortal and you’re very dead."

"Still Bri, let’s not take any chances until we get this whole mess sorted out and make sure that we are both truly immortal. Besides a wreck can still do damage. To be honest I’d rather not spent eternity in different pieces."

She slowed the car down as she grinned. "Oh all right. Since you begged so nicely."

"You know I’m keeping track now and when I get restored to my former self you are really gonna get it."

"Promise?"

"Oh yeah."

"I can’t wait."

They pulled into Parker Center. Several of the officers milling around recognized her immediately and came over to offer her words of condolence. She smiled at them and thanked them as she made her way inside. "You still with me partner?" She whispered as she held the door just a little longer than necessary.

"Right behind you Gabrielle. You don’t need to hold the doors for me. I can, well I can walk through them.

"That sounds painful."

"Not painful, just kinda creepy."

She walked down the hallway finally stopping at a bank of elevators. " Internal Affairs is investigating Brock’s shooting. We need to go up to the third floor."

"Gabrielle, sweetheart…it might be better if you don’t talk to me while we’re here. No one can see me remember. They still keep wrap around dinner jackets on hand here and I’d hate to try and get you out of one of those in my current condition."

She started to speak, but just nodded as she rang for the elevator. They both stepped onto the crowded elevator. When the doors closed Xena realized she could have some real fun. "You know Gabrielle I can’t wait until this is all over with. The things I’m going to do to you…." She grinned as she watched the blush creep up the bard’s neck. "Oh yeah I’m going to tie you to that big bed of ours and I’m going to make love to you until you scream my name."

The bard gave a little warning growl low enough that only Xena’s sensitive ears could pick it up.

"Ummhmm my Queen, I’m going to start at the very top of your lovely head and kiss, lick and suck my way own your body veeerrryyy slowly…."

"Stop…." She growled just a little louder through clenched teeth.

"All the while my hands will be roaming all over that supple young body of yours. On your neck, breasts that very firm ass…."

"Behave…." Gabrielle smiled at the uniformed officer who glanced over at her.

"Aww come on Bri. You know you like it when I talk dirty." Xena’s grin widened.

The elevator came to a stop, for which Gabrielle decided she would be eternally grateful. She stepped off and took a deep breath to chase the blush from her face. "I hope you can hear me Warrior Princess," She whispered as she walked slowly down the hall. "Because if you don’t behave yourself, you’ll be sleeping on the couch when we get this cleared up."

"Oh sure. I know you better than that my little bard. You’ve threatened me with the couch before. Even if I end up there so will you. Remember the couch in Paris that we had to throw away after…."

"I’ve never been able to look at a crepe the same way since." She giggled as she placed her hand on the knob of the required office. She took a deep breath. "Be serious now and behave."

"Yes ma’am," She paused biting back a grin. "All serious."

"I mean it." She pushed open the door moving into the room. She recognized one of the officers from Brock’s baseball team. "Hey Jim!" She smiled as she crossed to his desk.

"Gabrielle! Hey it’s great to see you." He stood, bringing the bard into a warm hug. "How you doing kiddo?" He asked as they broke the embrace.

"Well, you know. As well as can be expected I guess."

"Yeah it’s hard."

"It is. Listen Jim that’s why I’m here. Is there any new information on the shooter?"

"Not yet. All we know it that the car was stolen." He sighed and looked down at his hands. "You know I’m not suppose to discuss the case." He looked up and whispered at her. "But I’ll keep you posted, k?"

"Jim that would be great. I just need to know something is being done."

"Yeah I know. Trust me this case is at the top of everyone’s list. Cop killer’s are our least favorite people."

"See if you can get a copy of the report love." Xena crossed her arms as she watched the bard and the cop.

"Ah…Jim any way you could slip me a copy of the file?"

He drew a deep breath and shook his head slightly. "That’s big trouble kiddo." He smiled as he looked at the little blonde. "Okay, but if you get caught with it…"

"I found it under a magic rock." The bard offered.

He nodded as he pulled a file out of a pile on his desk. "Be right back."

Gabrielle watched him walk away as she sat on the edge of his desk. "Good thinking warrior. I thought maybe we were already at a dead end."

"Oh that’s funny." The warrior growled.

"Sorry that didn’t come out quite right."

 

 

Gabrielle sat on the deck picking at a salad as she looked through the file. Xena sat next to her looking into the file as the bard slowly turned the pages. "I don’t see anything here that could help us." The bard groused as she flipped the pages.

"There has to be something." Xena leaned in closer to her love.

Gabrielle drew a deep breath as she turned the last page of the report. Under the report she discovered Jim had also included copies of the crime scene photos. "Oh God…." She closed the file as she turned a slight shade of green.

"Gabrielle what is it?"

"Pictures. Pictures of Brock." She shook her head. "I’m sorry Xena I know these things shouldn’t bother me but…."

"Hey it’s okay."

"This is all so damn confusing. I know it was you and I know that you’re here now, but I just can’t stand to look at what they did to you."

"It’s okay. Just open the file so I can look at the pictures."

She blew a frustrated breath as she opened the file to the photos.

"Tell you what love. Why don’t you spread them on the table for me and take Argo for a walk?"

"Good idea." Without looking at the subject matter she laid the photos across the table. "I’ll be back in a bit."

"Take your time sweetheart." Xena smiled at her bard as the blonde opened the door grabbing the leash, calling for the puppy.

Argo came bounding to the door until she sensed Xena, then she began barking and pawing nervously.

"Same to you pal." The warrior growled as she glared at the pup.

"Okay you two." The bard grinned. "Be nice to each other." She leaned over and picked up the puppy. We’re all going to be living together eventually."

"Hey, I didn’t bring the little beast into the house."

"Technically darling, you did." The bard wanted to kiss the warrior and stopped just short realizing she couldn’t. "Oh Xena we got to get this fixed. I’m just aching to touch you." She scratched the dog behind the ear.

"You do realize that when we get this mess sorted out it’ll take us a week to get out of bed?" Xena grinned.

"Only a week? Geeze I’m disappointed."

"Take the dog for a walk. The sooner I get this done the sooner we get on to other things." She grinned despite the fact that the bard couldn’t see her.

Gabrielle clipped the leash to Argo’s neck they set off down the steps for the beach. The warrior watched them walking away. "Aphrodite you’d better not be playing with us. I swear by everything I am I’ll make eternity miserable for you if you are."

 

 

As evening settled in, Gabrielle sat down to a completely decanted pasta dinner while the warrior sat with head resting on fist grumbling just a bit. "It’s not fair. In this state I can’t have any of the things I enjoy."

"Sweetheart it’ll be all right." The bard said softly trying to soothe her grumpy warrior. "As soon as we get you back and whole I guarantee you that you can have everything you enjoy."

"Hmm I can’t wait. We still have one big roadblock. We don’t know anymore today about who kill Brock than we did yesterday."

"Well if you could remember something about that night that might help." Gabrielle sipped her wine.

"I know and I just barely remember the shooting. She…we…I…oh hell…. The point is Brock barely made it to the car before the driver opened fire. She didn’t have a chance. She didn’t even get her gun out of her holster."

Michelle came into the room with more rolls on a tray and a very sweet smile for her employer. Xena sat up glaring and growling. "She has got to go!"

Gabrielle ignored the comment as she smiled to the young woman. "Thank you Michelle."

"You’re welcome ma’am." The young woman stood awkwardly before her employer. "Umm if there is anything I can do for you…."

Gabrielle heard the low rumble that she knew was coming from deep within her very jealous warrior. "Ah no thank you Michelle I’m fine thanks. Why don’t you take the rest of the night off."

Looking crestfallen the young woman simply nodded. "Yes Ma’am." She tuned and left the room with a heavy sigh.

"She wants you." Xena growled as she watched the young woman leave.

"Xena every woman does not want me. Beside even if she did, my heart, soul" she paused smiling seductively, " and body belong to you."

"Gabrielle what would have happened if I hadn’t come back for a long time? Would you have found comfort with someone else?" She moved to the sliding glass door peering out at the ocean.

"No. Oh Xena no…never." She stood, following her lover’s voice to the window. "Xena I love you, only you. I waited for twenty-six years for you to come home. I would have waited forever." She moved beside where she believed Xena to be standing. "You are the only one who has ever possessed me like that and you are the only one who ever will." She turned and grinned. "What about you Warrior? You were alone a lot longer than I was. You did this more times than I have. Did you ever find solace with someone else?"

"The first few times, yes." She admitted quietly. "It just hurt so much to keep loosing you over and over again, but finally I couldn’t do it anymore. Taking someone else into my bed didn’t ease the ache I felt when I lost you. So I stopped. That’s when I started concentrating on other things."

"Oh yeah, you mean like making more money than the Treasury Department."

"Ummhmm. I figured eternity would be much more pleasant if we could enjoy it properly."

"You did good Warrior."

Xena chuckled as she turned to look at her bard. "Thanks. Too bad you spent some of it on that ugly painting." She gestured to the fireplace.

The bard whirled around to the item in question. "Hey I like that painting."

"It stinks."

"No it doesn’t. It’s very good. I bought it from a young artist on Venice Beach."

"Ummhmm…." The response was skeptical at best.

"One of these days it’ll be worth a fortune."

"It’ll take at least two hundred years. Good thing we’ll be around to get our money back."

 

 

Gabrielle prepared for bed. Freshly showered she emerged from the bathroom wearing a soft blue robe.

"Take it off and come to bed." The disembodied command was low and throaty, but very clear.

The bard smiled. She couldn’t see the warrior, but the thought of her being in their bed was just so delightful she had to believe that they would be able to find comfort with each other. She slipped out of the robe and under the covers. She turned on her side commanding her eyes to see the warrior. Willing her brain to make it possible, demanding her body to feel. Hey eyes snapped shut as she felt a slight jolt at her breast. "Ohhh Xena…."

The warrior grinned as she flicked her tongue over the tight nipple. She didn’t understand it, but it didn’t matter. All that did matter was that the bard was responding to her touch.

 

 

Gabrielle curled around the pillow and inhaled, she could smell the aroma of their lovemaking and the faint spicy scent that was the warrior. She languished in the blissful feeling that coursed through her body. "You know," She purred as she curled against the pillow. "This is rather interesting and very pleasurable. I thought that over the eons we had discovered everything there was about making love, but I was apparently wrong."

"Well, I’m glad you’re happy my love." The warrior watched as the bard continued to move against the pillow. "When I get back to normal…you owe me and I’m adding interest."

"Oh I promise to make it interesting."

"I’m compounding that by the hour you know."

"And you say it’s only going to be a week." The bard giggled as she tossed the pillow to where the warrior should be laying.

"Move the pillow bard." Xena growled as she looked down at her groin where the pillow had landed. She felt a slight tingling sensation as the pillow was pulled away. "Maybe I should compound that by the minute."

"Xena…are you staying here tonight?"

"Yup. I’m staying right here with you sweetheart. Go to sleep. I’ll be right here." She reached out stroking her fingers through the long blonde hair as the bard fell into a soft, content slumber. "I love you Gabrielle."

 

 

Xena eyes shot open as she sat up in bed. "Gabrielle wake up!" She reached over attempting to shake the bard. "Honey I need your help. Wake up!"

The bard groaned and mumbled something before burying her head in the pillow.

"Three thousand friggen years and you still sleep like a log. Come on honey wake up!"

"Hmm?" She lifted a very sleepy, pillow marked face. "What?"

"I remember something from the shooting. I need you to get up and see if we can find it in my records."

Gabrielle shook her head trying to get more awake so the words the warrior were saying would make a modicum of sense to her. "Records? What records?"

"The records from the antique gallery. There was a tattoo on the arm of the man that held the gun. I want to try and find the design." Xena climbed out of bed retrieving her clothes, realizing two things, one she couldn’t wait to get a change of clothes and two she was really glad she didn’t sweat right now. Wearing the same clothes over and over again would be just a little gross if not for that small reprieve.

The bard got up and threw on her robe as she glanced at the clock. "Three thirty in the morning. This had better be good Warrior." She teased as they headed out of the bedroom then down to the hall to the office. She flipped on the light then settled down in front of the computer. She yawned as she turned the machine on waiting for it to boot up. "So," She yawned again. "Where do we start?"

"China." The warrior replied as she watched over the bard’s shoulder. She noticed the shiver that ran down Gabrielle’s spine. "What’s wrong sweetheart?"

"I’ve always hated China." She clicked the mouse opening the file. "Now what?"

"Open the subfile marked Chin."

"Gods…." She groaned as she did as requested. She heard the deep sigh from her partner as she clicked through the various images in the file. "Anything?"

"Not yet. Keep going." Xena’s eyes scanned the images as the bard opened each one. "Stop! That’s it!"

Gabrielle let her hand slip from the mouse as she stared at the image before her. "Oh no not again…." She gasped as she felt the comfort of the warrior’s hands settle on her shoulders.

"Mieng T’ien…."

"How Xena? How?"

"Hmm I’m not sure. Reincarnation maybe."

"It’s the Green Dragon though isn’t it?"

"Well it’s his symbol. Maybe someone just dug it up."

"I hope so."

"Me too."

 

 

They waited until sunup. Having a shower together, which Xena admitted was a truly interesting feeling. Then Gabrielle tortured the warrior by having Eggs Benedict for breakfast. "Cruel. Very cruel." She growled as she watched the bard lick the Hollandaise sauce from her lips.

Then it was back to the Porsche for a trip to China Town. The warrior made the bard promise to keep it down to a respectable speed.

"Chicken." The bard teased as she dropped the car into gear.

"What happened to the limo?"

"I keep it for special occasions, but I don’t use it on a regular basis like you did."

"What about Rory, the driver?"

"Oh. he left us about two years ago. He got married and opened his own limo business. We’re investors. He’s turning quite the profit for us darling."

"Well done."

"Yeah I thought so." Gabrielle grinned as she hit the freeway.

"Gabrielle!" Xena growled as the needle began to climb.

 

 

Gabrielle parked the car setting the alarm as she closed the door. It was early and there were very few people on the streets. "So love where do we start?"

"I’m not sure. Let just take a slow walk and see what we come up with."

"Well this is certainly an interesting sight I’m sure. Little blonde woman roaming around China Town in the early hours of the morning by herself."

"You’re not alone sweetheart and even if I never get back to normal, you never will be again. You can hear me Bri and that’s enough. I’ll be with you forever, I promise."

The bard smiled. "I love you Warrior and if that’s what I have to settle for then I will, but I know in my heart we’re going to find out who murdered Brock…."

"Gabrielle. You have to be prepared for the fact that even if we do," She paused hating the next words she was going to say. "There’s a chance that the Gods won’t keep their promise. They are after all the same Gods who cursed us in the first place just to keep us apart. Why would they change now?"

"Xena it’s been three millennia maybe they’re ready to forgive you for being so umm…."

"Arrogant?"

"That’s a polite word for it." She snickered as she looked at the storefronts hoping to find something to connect to the Green Dragon.

Xena looked around also hoping something would catch her attention and spark her memory. At the corner she saw what she needed. "Oh shit…."

"What?"

"On the corner. That group of boys. Look at the jacket the tall boy in wearing."

The bard stopped. There was a group of about six young men on the corner. The tallest boy wore a black satin jacket with the Green Dragon emblazoned across the back. "Xena…."

"A gang Bri. A youth gang…."

"Do you think Mieng T’ien has any influence?"

"I don’t know. I’m guessing that since dragons are a large part of the culture, they just inadvertently came up with it by accident."

"Gods I hope so."

"You’re not the only one. You umm got your cell phone?"

She reached to her back producing the item in question. "Have phone, will travel."

"You think maybe your friend at the department would come down here and ask a few questions if you asked him to?"

"Yeah if I call him with more than, ‘Hi Jim it’s Gab…saw a guy wearing a black satin jacket in China town. I think he may have killed Brock…’."

"Okay, okay I get the point. We need to do a little more snooping around."

"Ah yeah."

"Well let’s keep an eye on them and see if maybe they lead us somewhere useful." The warrior looked around for someplace that Gabrielle could go without rousing a lot of suspicion. "Hey over there, the diner on the corner. You can go get some breakfast."

"I already had breakfast."

"It’s been two hours, don’t even try to convince me you couldn’t eat again."

"No really…."

"All right then tea, coffee, soda water…." The warrior grumbled.

"I get it. Geeze, you know being disembodied hasn’t done anything for your disposition."

 

 

 

Gabrielle took a booth that allowed her to keep an eye on the young men. She ordered a cup of coffee stirring it thoughtlessly as she stared out the window. She wanted to talk to her warrior, but it just wasn’t practical in their current location.

"Have I told you recently that I love you Gabrielle?"

She shook her head just a little and smiled.

"I do you know. I love you more than anything, I always have. I always will."

"Me too." The bard replied softly.

"Bri look." The warrior pointed out the window even though she knew it wouldn’t do any good. The boys gathered around a red Mercedes. "Didn’t the file say something about a red Mercedes?"

"Yup." Gabrielle said as she stood and started for the door.

"Gabrielle wait!" Xena followed quickly, but the door closed before she could get through it. She took a deep breath, then stepped through. "Oh bard you’re gonna pay for that." She growled. "Gabrielle damn it stop!"

The bard stopped turning to the sound of her partner’s voice. "What?"

"You don’t just go rushing…."

"Xena give me a little credit. I just want a look at the plate."

"It’s probably been changed."

"Yeah, but it’ll come back stolen too…right?"

"Could I guess."

Gabrielle stood at the opposite corner and flipped open her cell phone. She glanced over at the car as her friend picked up the other end. "Burlington…."

"Jim it’s Gab…."

"Hey kiddo. Listen I don’t have…."

"Yeah I know, but I might. Can you run a tag?"

"Yeah sure. Go ahead…."

She gave him the plate number waiting patiently for him to come back on the line. "Come on Jim…." She tapped her foot impatiently.

The phone clicked. "Gab?"

"Yeah?"

"Comes back stolen. Where did you get this?"

"It’s kind of a long story and you’re just really gonna have to trust me. I’m in China Town…there’s a red Mercedes here…that’s the plate on the car…."

"Red Mercedes huh?"

"Yup. Fitting the description that Brock gave to the dispatcher…."

"Where exactly are you?"

She gave him the location then promised to go back to her car and wait. Promising only to get involved if they moved before the police arrived. She and Xena returned to the Porsche watching and waiting.

When the black and white unit came into the area the boys took off on foot and the Mercedes peeled out. The officer’s jumped from the cruiser to pursue the boys on foot; Xena could hear them calling for back up over their shoulder mics.

"Aww shit!" Xena yelped when she heard the engine of the Porsche turn over. "Bri don’t! They’ve got other cars on the way."

"Oh no Warrior we are this close I don’t intend to let them get away from us!" She slammed the car into gear and peeled out.

She took the corner as the Mercedes shot through the first intersection. Xena was grateful it was still early enough there wasn’t a lot of traffic to deal with as Gabrielle hit the gas and shifted again. Xena had to admit that the bard handled the car extremely well and she was gaining fast on the Mercedes. Of course the black and white cruisers were gaining too. "Umm Bri I think you can stop now."

"Forget it…." Gabrielle growled as she continued after the Mercedes.

 

 

Gabrielle walked down the beach with Argo. She stopped as she flipped open the paper and read the headline again. ‘Drug Ring in China Town Broken. Suspects in Slaying of Police Officer Taken into Custody’. She tucked the paper back under her arm as the tears began again. "I should have known they were lying to us." She cried as she looked out to the ocean. "You were right Xena I should have known better than to trust the Gods!"

As soon as the men were taken into custody Xena had begun to fade. It didn’t take long before Gabrielle couldn’t hear her voice anymore and the feeling of being alone settled in again. "Damn you!" She screamed as she crumpled to her knees pounding the sand with her fists.

Argo interrupted her tirade, barking, growling and jumping at something down the beach. She turned her head to find empty beach. She wiped her eyes as she pulled the puppy into her arms falling back into the soft sand. "Shh Argo it’s okay. It looks like it’s just gonna be us from now on girl." The puppy broke free from her arms charging down the beach barking and growling.

The bard rose to her feet to follow the pup. As she started to chase the dog down, she stopped suddenly as the space in front of her began to ripple and shimmer. Slowly she began to take shape. With each step that carried them closer together, the warrior became clearer to the bard. Long, dark hair blowing in the sea breeze, a smile as bright and brilliant as any sunrise. She continued to move forward, becoming so solid now her footprints could be seen in the sand. Her arms opened wide to welcome her bard home. Gabrielle ran the last half dozen steps throwing herself into those strong arms, which wrapped around her without hesitation.

"Xena! Gods Xena!" More tears came now. Happy tears mixed with tears of disbelief. She ran her hands over the tall frame of the warrior, dressed in modern clothing of a denim shirt and blue jeans.

"Shh Gabrielle I got you sweetheart." Xena pulled the bard closer kissing the top of her head. "I got you honey. We’re together. Together forever now."

"They kept their promise?"

"Yeah believe it or not they did." Xena lifted the bard’s chin, peering down into water green eyes. "We are never going to be separated again." She lowered her lips capturing the bard in a kiss that promised an eternity of love and devotion. She gave a mischievous little grin as she pulled back from the kiss. "And you owe me."

"Hmm yeah, yeah I guess maybe I do."

"Oh you bet you do." The warrior growled as she picked the bard up in her arms then headed for the house, kissing her every step of the way.

 

 

"Bedroom or couch…." The warrior mumbled into the bard’s mouth refusing to give up the kiss.

"Floor…" Gabrielle moaned as she felt her feet hit the floor. She bent her knees pulling Xena down by the back of the neck.

The door slid shut, giving Argo just enough time to get in. "Argo bed!" Gabrielle growled as she simply tore the buttons from the warrior’s shirt, forcing it over her broad shoulders. The pup headed for the laundry room. Clothing was quickly discarded, mostly in pieces. Gabrielle hadn’t realized how easily denim could be ripped given the proper inspiration. It didn’t surprise her to find out her own jeans were coming off in two pieces as Xena growled over her, "Too many clothes…."

Their lips met and it didn’t take long for lips to part so tongues could explore and reacquaint themselves. Hands roamed, legs intertwined nipples hardened as breasts rubbed against each other and flesh began sliding together.

"Xena…." Gabrielle moaned as her mouth found an ear tucked behind ebony locks. She took the lobe into her mouth giving it a nip and a tug with her teeth. "Yes my Warrior…oh…yes….’

Xena’s hands explored her bard’s body. Mapping it once again, remembering familiar contours and sensitive spots that would make her lover scream her name. Her questing hand settled gently between the bard’s legs, which were only too happy to open at her warrior’s touch. As she ducked her mouth to a hard nipple, her fingers slid into the moist folds of the bard. "Love you Bri…."

"Ungh…." Small hands twisted into dark hair as Gabrielle’s body arched into Xena’s loving touch. "Love…you…too…."

Gabrielle’s hands pushed down her warrior’s back, massaging on the down stroke, then digging in and clawing on the up stroke. "Yes!" Xena growled, tossing her head back as the sensation of the nails on her back made her own desire build toward what was bound to be a fiery explosion for them both. She felt Gabrielle’s hands move to her breast, kneading them, pinching taught nipples. Her own hand continued stroking the bard, hard and fast.

"More Xena…please more…."

The warrior planted her mouth firmly on a patch of neck, nipping lightly. As she entered her lover, she realized this was the first time in a very long time that they both could remember the love that they had shared for more than three thousand years. She was rewarded with a long, deep, throaty moan and the bucking of her bard’s hips to meet the thrusting of her hand. "Feel so good…." Xena moaned into the ear that her tongue was currently exploring.

Gabrielle felt the sweat breaking out on both bodies as they rubbed against each other. She had missed this, making passionate love to her warrior. Even when they were together during the curse it was different, but this, this was the touch that she had known from the beginning. This was her warrior pushing her to the edge again; getting ready to send her to that special place that only Xena’s true touch could take her. The bard brought her hand between the slick bodies sliding down to the place that she desired. She pushed one of Xena’s legs over her own as she slid her fingers into the warrior’s warmth. "So good…." She moaned as she pushed down further to what she knew the warrior was waiting for.

"Yes…Bri please…." Xena’s head was tossed back again as the bard entered her warrior, thrust with almost as much power.

Grinding and thrusting against each other they carried each other to the ultimate pleasure. Both bodies shuddering and convulsing with the climax that they gave over to at the same time.

The warrior collapsed next to the bard, pulling her into her arms, planting soft kisses on her forehead as Gabrielle placed tender kisses to a bronzed collarbone. They didn’t speak, they didn’t move. They merely enjoyed the bliss that was their love and the passion that they shared. They were together again. Now and forever.

Fini


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