by Leslie Ann Miller
Disclaimers- The characters of Xena and Gabrielle belong to Universal
and Renaissance Pictures. No copyright infringement is intended.
Violence - Yes, some. Nothing worse than what you'd see in the show.
Subtext / sex - Yes, this story depicts sexual acts between women. If that is illegal where you are, you should go read something else.
Hurt / Comfort - Yes
Other - This story is loosely based on the Hercules episode "Armageddon Now"
Thanks - My deepest gratitude to Fizz, Ellen, and Jill for all their assistance with this part. You guys are the best! Also thanks to the ex-Guards for their feedback and help.
Let me know what you think, good or bad! My email address is: email@example.com
It was difficult to count the passing of days in total darkness. Even the visits from the guards seemed irregular and unevenly spaced. I lost track of time completely. I might have been there a few days or a month; it hardly mattered. It seemed an eternity.
Only Xena's presence kept me sane. Her gentle touch as she checked my injuries was my anchor to reality. Her voice calmed my fears.
We spoke of many things in the dark. I told her more of my stories, and she told me more of her past. I found myself opening up to her in ways I'd never done before with anyone, and amazingly, she responded with respect and sympathy.
When we weren't talking, we simply held each other, taking comfort in the warm embrace of another human being.
It was one such time when I was awakened from a gentle slumber by Xena calling my name.
"Gabrielle," she whispered.
"Mmmmm?" I asked sleepily, noting that Xena was curled up beside me, her head on my shoulder, one arm and chain draped across my stomach.
"Gabrielle," Xena whispered again, this time more intently.
"Xena, I'm right here, what is it?" I yawned, wondering why she was whispering when it didn't appear that any guards were coming. There was no sign of any torchlight.
"Oh, Gabrielle," Xena repeated, this time sensuously, and her hand slid slowly up my stomach to my breast.
Suddenly, I was wide awake. "Xena? What are you doing?"
"So beautiful," Xena mumbled, snuggling her head into my shoulder.
"Xena, are you awake?" I asked suspiciously.
Her hand began to stroke my breast through the soft fabric of my chiton, and she moaned. "Oh yeah, I love it when you touch me there!"
My hands weren't touching her at all. Oh gods. Xena was asleep, and I was living one of her erotic dreams.
I gasped as she pinched my nipple. "Xena!" I hissed at her, and gently shook her shoulder.
This had the undesired effect of eliciting another moan, and she shifted closer to me, wrapping her leg over what remained of my right leg, pressing her groin against my thigh.
Oh gods, oh gods! All rational thought fled for a moment when she began to rhythmically thrust against me.
"Oh yes, Gabrielle!" she breathed and her hand abandoned my breast and slid back across my stomach. And then kept going.
I cried aloud when her fingers pressed against my crotch, and she ground her hips into my leg. I grabbed her hand and elbowed her in the stomach. "Xena, WAKE UP!" There was definitely something far too twisted about the thought of letting her continue to make love to me in a dream while I was awake enjoying it.
She awoke with a jerk and a snort. "Whaaaa? Whaaat is it? Gabrielle?"
I released her hand. "Xena, you were having a dream!" I told her, doing my best to keep the embarrassment out of my voice.
"A dream?" she mumbled, returning her hand to its original position on my stomach. Suddenly I felt her stiffen. "Oh no..."
She knew. "Oh yes."
She hastily rolled off of me onto her back. "Gabrielle..."
She sounded so mortified I had to smile. "It's all right, Xena. You were asleep."
"But... I..., oh no...and I woke you up?!"
I laughed. "Oh yeah. It's a bit hard to sleep through that."
"I'm so sorry..." If I could have seen her, I'm sure she would have been blushing.
I reached out and touched her face, feeling suddenly melancholy. "Don't be. It's..." I swallowed. "You called my name out. It's nice to know that someone thinks about me like that, if only in a dream."
Xena was silent for an uncomfortably long time, and I was trying to think of something to lighten the mood when she rolled onto her side again, facing me. "Gabrielle, you're a very beautiful and desirable woman. I think of you 'like that' when I'm very much awake. I thought... I rather thought I'd made that clear to you before," she said, and I could hear the smile in her voice.
"I think about you in the dark," she said. "I think about what it would be like to touch you..."
"I...I thought you were just taunting me," I said slowly.
Xena snorted. "Truth always makes the most effective weapon, when wielded correctly. I was trying to hurt you, yes. I knew that you would be repulsed and disturbed by the fact that I found you attractive. And it's painfully obvious that you're completely unaware of just how lovely you really are. I know you have no reason to believe me after everything I've done to you, Gabrielle, but you truly are beautiful."
"How can you say that?" I whispered, feeling a lump growing in my throat.
"Have you ever looked in a mirror?"
"But all you see is a missing leg," she supplied. "That may be what many people see, Gabrielle, but it's not what Alexander sees, and it's not what I see. I see a very capable and courageous young woman whose beauty lights up this cell like no torchlight ever could." She touched my cheek with her hand, and I blinked back two tears.
"Are you crying?" she asked softly.
"I'm sorry, I know you don't like it..." I wiped my face with my hand.
"Shhhh." She caught my hand and kissed it tenderly, and I squeezed my eyes closed to stop more tears. She shifted positions again, and I felt her leaning over me, felt her lips touch mine in the gentlest of kisses.
My heartbeat quickened, and I ran my fingers through Xena's hair, pulling her closer. The kiss deepened, then, and I lost myself in the sensation. Xena moaned, then pulled away, leaving me breathless.
I was scared, but I wanted more. I wanted her to make me feel wanted, to feel desirable, to feel...normal. I had no idea how to go about making love to another person, but my hand found her breast, and I cupped it, running my thumb over her erect nipple. Aphrodite help me now!
Xena inhaled when I touched her, but then sat back on her heels, moving out of my reach. "Gabrielle, this isn't right for you."
I covered my face in despair. "How in Hades would you know what's right for me, Xena?" I asked bitterly, wiping my eyes.
"Do you really want me, little girl?" Xena purred from the darkness after a long pause. "Think about it. Do you really want me, the Conqueror, to be the first one to take you? I made you lose your leg. Do you really want to lose this to me, too? The first time is always special, you know."
Her words pierced me to the bone. "Damn you!" I cried into my hands.
"Okaaay," Xena said, her voice suddenly contrite. "That wasn't the proper tact to take." She took my hands in hers and pulled them away from my face. I tried to resist, but she held me firmly.
"Let me go!" I spat.
"No. Gabrielle, calm down. I'm sorry. I... I shouldn't have said it like that. Please calm down." She squeezed my hands reassuringly, then continued before I could interrupt. "You're right, I don't know what's good for you. Maybe I don't know anything anymore. But there was a time when I would have just... taken you... without a second thought, without consideration... just because I wanted you, and I knew I could..." She released my hands. "Gabrielle, I don't want to be that person anymore, but I...I don't have much practice at it. I'm sorry."
I swallowed, trying to get my emotions under control. What she said made perfect sense. It occurred to me that Xena didn't know how to make love any more than I did. Sure, she had more experience with sex, but not with love.
That word brought me up short. Love. But of course we didn't love each other! No wonder this whole situation was so screwed up. I was so confused. I didn't love Xena. I didn't want to love Xena. But I longed for her so much... I wanted her hands to touch me, to feel her warm skin against mine... I needed it...! I ached to feel her lips pressing against me, her fingers massaging me, her hips thrusting.... I shivered at the memory. "Xena, do you want me?" I whispered, trying to keep my voice neutral.
"No," she answered so quietly I almost didn't hear. "Not like this."
No. No. The word repeated itself in my mind as I lay there, numb. No. Of course not. All that talk of beauty... lies, lies, lies. More trickery, more taunting. Oh, it was possible that she genuinely wanted me to believe it out of some misplaced sense of pity, but it didn't matter. I wasn't really beautiful. I wasn't normal. I wasn't desirable. Xena's appetite for sex was legendary, but she didn't want me even after a year of abstinence. No doubt in her dream I had two legs, and we were on clean silk sheets in the palace at Corinth.
"Gabrielle," she said softly, stroking my shoulder.
"Don't touch me!"
She jerked her hand back as if I'd burned her. "I'm sorry."
"Don't be. You did warn me that truth makes the best weapon."
"That's not..." she trailed off, swearing under her breath. She grabbed one of the blankets angrily, and I heard her move to the other side of the cell.
I closed my eyes, unable to even cry. I felt hollow. Empty. Sick. I was going to die in this god forsaken hole, and all Alexander would find was my rotting corpse. It seemed to take forever before sleep came to rescue me from my misery.
I awoke with a start, my heart racing from another nightmare. In it, I had been slave aboard a ship that splintered on the rocks in a storm. I'd been nailed to the mast, and I drowned as the ship sank, unable to escape. I took a deep breath, gathering my thoughts, and tried to take in my surroundings. I was still in Xena's cell.
"Bad dream?" her voice asked from a corner.
"Yes," I answered shakily.
"I would have woke you up, but you told me not to touch you." She sounded like the Xena from my first visit again, angry, spiteful.
I stared into the darkness, feeling as helpless as I had in my dream. No wonder I'd dreamed of drowning. My life was a sinking ship. The war was over, and Xena was defeated. I had my histories to write, but that was my entire purpose in life, now. Alexander didn't need me any more. My family didn't need me. Perdicus was dead. If I did die tomorrow, who would miss me? Even Alexander would forget me soon enough. And what if the future didn't hear about the rebellion from me? Would that be such a great loss? Perhaps the future wouldn't even care.
I closed my eyes and chided myself for indulging in such self pity. This eternal blackness ate into the soul. I didn't think I could bear it much longer. "I understand now why you wanted to die, Xena," I sighed out loud. "What's the point in living like this?"
"Alexander will come for you," Xena answered quietly, all traces of anger gone from her voice.
And then what? I could look forward to months of total dependence while my broken leg healed, if it healed. And after that? Years of loneliness, secluded in Alexander's palace. What fun! I snorted skeptically. "With my luck, the cook's helper will get lost on the way to Corinth."
"Then Thelassa will eventually come to her senses. Or one of the guards will tell the next supply ship. You're going to be all right, Gabrielle."
She sounded sincere, but I was not in a mood to be consoled.
"You don't believe me, do you?" Xena asked.
I didn't answer.
"Tell me about your dream."
"I died in a shipwreck."
"But... that's not why you're upset right now, is it?"
I didn't want to think about it. It didn't matter. Nothing mattered.
I heard her stand up and move towards me. She sat down next to me again and took my hand.
I thought about pulling it away, but I didn't. I needed to be touched.
"Gabrielle," Xena said softly, "I.... I'm sorry. I didn't mean to hurt you." She kissed my fingers.
I inhaled, but she released my hand before I could protest.
"This dungeon," she said. "It's not the place you should make love for the first time..." She continued awkwardly when I didn't respond. "I'm not the one... Gabrielle, I crucified you. I'm a terrible person. You can't possibly want me..."
"I don't think that's the problem, Xena, and you know it, " I said angrily.
"Oh for gods' sakes, Gabrielle, your leg is broken!"
"And after you put your pinch on it, I can hardly feel it!"
"But in a dungeon...!"
"I may never get out of here, Xena. Maybe I don't want to die a virgin. Maybe I just wanted to experience... that... just once..."
"Gabrielle, you are going to get out of here. You'll have other opportunities!"
I laughed harshly. "With who, Xena? With who?! No one will ever fall in love with me!"
"You really believe that, don't you?" Xena whispered.
I closed my eyes. "What is there to love?"
"Gab..." Xena began, then swallowed audibly. "Here," she whispered slowly. "Let me show you." She took my hand again and kissed the rough scar on the back of my hand where the nail had been driven through. She then turned it over and kissed the scar on the other side.
I swallowed, and she took my other hand, repeating the action.
"I want you, Gabrielle. I want you very much," Xena said softly.
I groaned, feeling my desire for her return in full force. "Then please...!" I begged.
I heard her take a deep breath, and then she was next to me, her hands exploring my body, her touch bringing me back to life from the numbness of depression, her lips trailing fire along my neck. I gasped when one of her hands found my breast and teased my nipple.
"You're so beautiful, Gabrielle," she whispered in my ear before nipping at my earlobe.
I moaned in pleasure, more at the words than the sensations. I reached for her and stroked her face, her neck, her shoulders. She pulled away again.
"No!" I pleaded, trying to pull her back.
She laughed quietly. "Don't worry, I'm just getting out of this chiton." A moment later she was at my side again, and I felt her tug at my own garment. I helped her slide it up over my thighs, my hips and waist. She raced her hands up my sides, raising it over my breasts, then pulling it over my head.
I shivered in the cool air, feeling exposed and vulnerable.
"Gods, Gabrielle, you're perfect," Xena whispered breathlessly, and I smiled.
I tried to imagine what she looked like kneeling next to me in all her naked glory. What I pictured made my heart beat even faster. "Xena...."
She covered my mouth with a kiss, raw and passionate. I wrapped my arms around her shoulders drawing her body to mine. She shifted slightly, and a cold chain dragged across my chest as she tried to regain her balance. I gasped and flinched from its touch.
"Sorry about that," Xena mumbled, and started to reposition herself again.
"No!" I panted. "I want to feel you on me..."
Xena groaned and rolled on top of me, straddling my half leg. She kissed me again and ground her hips into my thigh.
"Oh gods," I murmured, arching against her. The movement caused some pain in my broken leg, but I didn't care.
Her hand began to massage my breast and the curious mix of cold metal and heated flesh against my sensitive skin made me shiver with delight. My fingers dug into the strong muscles in her back.
Xena was panting now, her face inches from my own. I could feel her breath on my cheek, feel her pace quicken as she moved against me. I felt her wetness smeared along my leg with each stroke, and I tried to pull her closer, needing the pressure against my own clit.
I moaned, wanting something more direct and was rewarded when she abandoned my breast and pushed herself up with both arms, squeezing my leg between her own, pushing her hips downward, increasing the friction against my mound. "Oh yesssss!"
She continued to thrust against me, and I felt the exquisite heat building between my legs. I touched her breasts with my hands, gently pressing and squeezing them.
"Oh yeah," Xena grunted. "Harder!"
I complied happily, kneading them with my whole hand.
"Oh gods!" Xena cried, and I felt her shudder. Her back arched away from me, and she ground her pubis into my thigh. "Oh gods!" she repeated, and I felt another spasm wrack her body. She drove into my pelvis. "Oooooh gods!" she screamed hoarsely as her entire body convulsed explosively and then collapsed on top of me, quivering.
She lay there panting for a moment, and I reveled in the feel of her hot, sweaty torso crushing me. I slipped my fingers between our bodies and briefly caressed the tangle of her pubic hair. I slid them further and felt the moisture between her folds, marveling at the firmness of her clit, stroking it with my finger. Her hips bucked again, trapping my hand, and I felt another shudder run through her body.
"Oh Gabrielle," Xena whispered, and I felt her hand move down my loin. She shifted slightly to the side and ran her hand across the taught muscles of my belly. She buried her head in my neck, and I felt her tongue rasp along my jaw.
I groaned in frustration, desperate for something more.
Xena chuckled, and slid her hand between my legs.
I cried out and clutched her shoulder with my free hand.
"You're so wet," Xena purred, and her fingers lightly stroked the shaft of my clit, causing me to squirm beneath her touch.
"Oh gods, Xena, please!"
"Please what, Gabrielle?" she teased, dragging her tongue across my lower lip.
"Harder," I whimpered, thrusting my hips upwards.
"Is this what you want?" she asked, increasing the pressure.
"Oh yes," I gasped. "Oh yes!" I could feel the tension building with each stroke, felt myself writhing under her body, straining for release as she increased the tempo and pressure of her strokes. Just when I thought I couldn't stand it any longer, she plunged her fingers deep inside me, and I climaxed in an explosion of pleasure and pain. "Oh yeeessssss!"
Xena continued to move her fingers inside me as wave after wave shook my body. Gradually my muscles began to relax, and for one brief moment I felt whole, satiated, completely....filled. Then Xena kissed my mouth and gently pulled her fingers free.
"You're so beautiful, Gabrielle," she said softly.
I smiled and thought that this woman had just given me the most precious gift possible. "So are you," I whispered, and I meant it.
To be continued in part 10
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