A Deafening Quiet

by Marion D Tuttle

Disclaimers: Okay we all know the drill by now the characters are not mine they belong to Universal the story however is completely mine

Sex: Of course there is if the idea of two women being in love is offensive to you Boy are you in the wrong place. having been duly warned read on and enjoy.

Gabrielle sat staring into the fire, the steady scraping sound of Xena sharpening her sword the only
intrusion on the deep silence that had enveloped them for most of the day. If she was going to be honest for most of the week.
Xena was never overly talkative as it was, but as this past week had progressed she had become more and more withdrawn. Only speaking to give direction or to ask the most mundane of questions.
The bard was bothered by her friends withdrawal for no apparent reason, she seemed even more distant then she had when they had first started traveling together, The thing that was causing her the most concern was try as she might she could not find a reason for Xena's sudden change. She thought back to the last 'normal' day they had, had together.
They had just finish helping a village rid them selves of a band of raiders that had been terrorizing the countryside, they villagers had insisted they stay and take part in a celebration in their honor. Knowing Xena was not big on crowds Gabrielle had thought to refuse, but Xena had given her an indulgent smile and told her it was alright. She had even suggest they get a room at the Inn and relax instead of hitting the trail right off.
Never one to argue against a hot meal and a warm bed the bard had readily agreed. Since she was the better of the two at negotiating she went to make the arrangements for the room and their dinner while Xena looked around the room to size up if there was still anyone there that might create a problem. Satisfied that all the trouble makers had been dispatched Xena went to join her friend.
Her gaze had fallen on Gabrielle talking to the innkeeper, when had the little girl she had rescued from Draco's army turned into the beautiful self assured woman she had fallen in love with? "Stop it Xena" she mumbled to herself "She doesn't think of you that way your her best friend can't you settle for that?" she shook her head to clear her thoughts. Too often lately she found her mind wandering to images of Gabrielle wrapped securely in her arms, Gabrielle kissing her in a fevered passion while Xena ran her hands down her body... She was going to drive herself mad if she wasn't careful.

They had eaten their dinner and gone up to there room Xena noticing the tired look on Gabrielle's face, although she knew the bard would never admit to being worn out. The warrior suggested they turn in early and get some rest. When the got up to their room there was already a fire burning cheerily in the fireplace. Xena sat down in the chair in front of the fire gazing into the flames, Gabrielle could see that her friend was in an introspective mood. she thought of ways she could draw her out. She sat on the arm of the chair offering Xena a glass of wine, her fingers trailing sparks along the well muscled arm where the touched. "Here Xena have a drink and relax a little bit, your muscles are like bow strings."
She moved behind the warrior and began to rub the stiffness out of the strong shoulders under her
hands. Xena was hit by a torrent of emotions her senses were telling her to lay back and accept what Gabrielle was so freely giving her. But common sense told her that the bard was not aware of what she was doing, of the desire she was arousing in the warrior. She was just making an innocent attempt to help her friend relax, totally unaware of the fire she had ignited in the warrior.
She sat bolt upright in the chair when a wave of desire washed over her almost making her grab
Gabrielle and kiss her. She all but leapt out of the chair and turned to face Gabrielle "I'll be right back I want to go check on Argo."
The bard tried to position herself between Xena and the door, "Argo is fine Xena calm down, why are you so tense?"
"I just need some air, I'll be right back." With that minimal explanation Xena bolted from the room,
leaving Gabrielle to look after her with confusion clearly marked on her features. She had hoped to get the warriors defenses down long enough to act on some of the desires she had been feeling but ever time she touched Xena lately she seemed to react with a feeling of tension.
When Xena came back later that night Gabrielle pretended to be asleep so she could see what the
warrior's reactions would be. She watched From lowered lids as Xena stood above the bed looking down at the bard a look of profound sadness on her face that Gabrielle didn't understand. Instead of lowering herself to the bed and laying down to go to sleep, she picked up one of the pillows and a blanket from the bottom of the bed, and settled herself in one of the chairs in front of the fire place. Tears slipped unchecked down the bard's cheeks at the perceived rejection, what she couldn't see with the warriors back to her was the tears that flowed from Xena's eyes.

The next morning when they woke up the walls were firmly in place and Gabrielle saw nothing of the warmth or love she had come to expect in the warriors eyes. They had spent the last week traveling with none of the familiar camaraderie they has both grown accustomed to and every day Gabrielle could feel Xena slipping further and further away. The pain she felt at Xena's withdrawal was to much for her to take, she made the decision that she was going to force the issue with the warrior. She had to break through this cold shell of indifference that Xena had seemed to encase herself in

With the resolve to speak to Xena in the morning she had gone to bed to try and get some sleep and gather her thoughts, she awoke to an empty campsite and a curt note from Xena


I have gone into the village to get supplies I'll be gone for most of the day. Wait here for me I'll be back around sunset, it'll give you a chance to work on your scrolls


Damn it what was Xena trying to prove, she was acting like a completely different person, she was going to sit down when she got back and hash this out or Gabrielle would know the reason why. She spent the day running the gambit of emotions from fear, to confusion, frustration, concern and anger. When Xena got back she was going to settle this once and for all. The day seemed to drag by each minute stretching out longer then the one before until it seemed like each minute felt like an entire day. As promised Xena returned just before sunset with the supplies she pulled Argo to a halt and began wordlessly pulling out the things they would need for the night. Gabrielle came up behind Xena and placed her hand on her shoulder, she felt the muscles tense immediately under her touch. "Xena we need to talk." She waited for a reaction, when Xena didn't even turn around or acknowledge that she had spoken the bard spun her around so that they were facing each other. "Damn you Xena we have a problem and it is not going to just go away, talk to me!"
Xena couldn't bring herself to look in her friends eyes, she knew if she did she would be lost. Looking anywhere but at Gabrielle Xena searched for a way out of this, but even as she did instinct told her she was not going to put Gabrielle off again. Anger was flashing in the bard's eyes she had reached her breaking point. The warrior knew she was being unfair to her friend she should just leave and set Gabrielle free to live her own life. She knew Gabrielle would never leave her of her own accord, she also knew that as long as Gabrielle stayed with her she would never meet anyone that she could fall in love with, build a home raise a family. These were all things Gabrielle deserved. Unfortunately they were things Xena did not think she could give her.
In that moment Xena made her decision she would leave Gabrielle and let her get on with her life. She tried for an indifferent tone in her voice as she began to speak. "It's just... well I've been thinking Gabrielle, maybe it's time for you to head out on your own. I know I have some things I would like to do on my own."
The bard felt as if the breath had been knocked out of her body, her head was swimming, Xena couldn't have just said that she had to have misunderstood her. For the first time in her life Gabrielle couldn't find her voice. the look of pain on her face almost tore Xena's heart out but she was committed to her course now. She looked again at the young woman that had come to mean more to her then her own life and prayed to whatever God would listen for the strength to go through with this.
"Of course I won't leave you stranded in the middle of nowhere, I'll take you home, or to the Amazons if you want."
She finally snapped back into her surroundings "Xena what are you talking about we have been through this all before I am with you because that is what I want....."
Xena cut her off "What if I don't want to be with you anymore, did you ever stop to think you might be holding me back from what I want? Your a sweet girl Gabrielle, just a little to sweet..." With every word she felt like a dagger was being plunged into her heart, but she had to get away from Gabrielle before she did something that she would forever regret. If she gave in to her desire's and Gabrielle didn't return those feelings Xena was afraid she would end up forcing her friend, and she never would allow that. Gabrielle felt a surge of strength fill her that she never knew she possessed she grabbed Xena and pushed her back against a tree. "Don't you dare lie to me! I want to know, and I want to know now what this is about, and don't tell me that you have a sudden desire to return to your old ways. I am not buying it! Now I want the truth!"
Xena wore a shocked expression on her face she had never seen her friend this forceful before, Gabrielle had always reacted in self defense, but never in an aggressive manner. Although the look in her eye told the warrior if she didn't get the truth she may very well break Xena in two. The warrior knew there was know way she was going to lie her way out of this one, she had to come clean any deception and the bard would know it. Looking into clear green eyes that held such trust for her Xena felt sickened at what she was about to do, she reached out and pulled Gabrielle to her claiming her lips in a bruising kiss, she had meant the kiss to be rough so that Gabrielle would fully understand the extent of the danger she would be in if she didn't walk away, but something amazing happened, instead of struggling or pulling away Gabrielle kissed her back. The contact became gentler but took on a new sense of demand from both woman. Xena was the first one to pull back from the kiss her arms had gone around the bards waist and she continued to hold her close. Gabrielle's head laid on her shoulder "Wow." was all the bard could say.
"That was why I wanted to leave you Gabrielle, I've wanted you for so long, I was afraid I would take advantage of you."
The bard hugged Xena "You could never hurt me ... unless.." it was Gabrielle's turn to look to the warrior with a worried look.
"Unless what Gabrielle tell me I've just made the hardest admission of my life and we got through that what else could there be?"
The bard felt fear grip her heart for the first time since she had ever known Xena, even at their darkest moments when Xena had been angry with her she had never feared the warrior, but the thought that had entered her mind now truly terrified her. "When you say you want me Xena.. what exactly are you saying? Do you love me... or is it just..."
Xena couldn't believe what she was hearing she finished the thought "No Gabrielle its is not just about sex I love you with all my heart, that's what made this so hard if I didn't love you I could have just taken what I wanted from you without a thought to your feelings. I was scared of hurting you, I knew if I told you how I felt and you didn't feel the same way I could never let way stay with me. Being with you day after day and not being able to touch you would have been more then I could take."
. Gabrielle saw the pain reflected back at her in the sky blue eyes. "Oh my poor vulnerable warrior
princess." she said gently cupping her cheek "How can you be such a brilliant tactician and miss what is right in front of you?" she brushed her lips against Xena's "Can't you see that I love you I have for as long as I can remember but I just didn't know how to tell you."
The light that came into Xena's eyes rivaled the sun itself in brilliance she gazed lovingly at Gabrielle
"Are you saying..?"
"What I'm saying is I think we have wasted enough time on doubt and fear, and I want nothing more in this world then to make love to you and show you just how much I do love you."
Xena picked Gabrielle up and carried her to their bed rolls she tenderly laid the bard down and stretched out beside her. "Gabrielle, if I do anything You don't like or scares you promise you will tell me." "I love everything you have done so far, warrior and I don't foresee that changing."
Every where Xena's hands and lips touched her there was a heat that felt like molten fire she arched
her back when Xena's hand made contact with her breast doing all she could to increase the contact. The feelings that the warrior was bringing to the surface so far surpassed her dreams that she was finding it difficult to breath. Her body felt more alive then it ever had she wrapped her hands around Xena's strong back and pulled her over on top of her, reveling in the feel of the weight of her love pressing her down into the soft earth.. She moved her hands to Xena's shoulders and pushed the leather straps down her arms "I want to feel your skin against me" she breathed into the warriors ear.

Xena sat back on her heels and shrugged out of her leather and armor, she returned to Gabrielle's
embrace but held herself slightly above her lover instead of letting her weight settle down onto her.
Reaching for the laces that held Gabrielle's shirt closed she quickly discarded the garment and moved her hands lower to undo the belt that held the wrap around skirt in place. Once she had Gabrielle as naked as she was she wrapped the bard tightly in her arms again fanning kisses down her throat to the tops of her breasts. "Gabrielle you are so beautiful......."
"You my love are the one that is beautiful I want you so much, please...I need you now." Xena was
surprised when Gabrielle took hold of her hand and guided it to the source of her desire, she was met with more warmth and wetness then she had ever felt. This was a side of the bard she had never seen before past self assured and very near forceful. Xena decided she liked this faucet of her lovers personality very much. She had thought that she was going to have to act to role of guide and teacher but here was her lovely bard not only participating eagerly, but taking the lead.
"Oh Gabrielle your so wet.."
"It's all for you my love" her hips began to match the rhythm Xena had set with her hand bucking up
against the welcome sensation of the warriors fingers filling her. A moan started low in the back of her throat growing in volume until she was shouting to the heavens with the pleasure her lover was bringing her.
Feeling muscles beginning to tighten around her fingers Xena increased the pace of her fingers as they slid in and out of Gabrielle. The bard gripped her shoulders as her climax claimed her she shouted to the sky as she gave in to the waves of sensation that washed over her "Xena!! Oh my Gods what have you done to me?"
"Nothing that I don't intend to repeat many, many times for the rest of our lives."
"The rest of our lives, I love the sound of that."
"Count on it love, now that I know that you love me as much as I love you I promise that nothing will ever come between us again."
Gabrielle snuggled in closer to Xena's embrace she could feel that the warrior's muscles were still tight with need, she gently pushed Xena onto her back kissing her the whole time. "Tell me what you need Xena I want to please you."
"Just do what feels natural Gabrielle, just to be able to hold you is Elysia for me." her arms tightened
around the bard as she felt her hands raise to cup a breast. the nipple hardened on contact as Xena's breathing became harsh and ragged with the feel of Gabrielle's hands on her body. The bard kissed the pulse at the base of Xena's throat Sucking on the flesh until she left a slight purple mark. She bought her mouth lower capturing a nipple between her lips she lightly grazed the sensitized flesh with her teeth. When her lips traveled lower Xena felt her breath catch in her throat at the contact of Xena's lips claiming her most sensitive area. The pressure of the warriors tongue and lips against the taunt bundle of nerves sent Xena higher then she had ever been in her life "By the Gods Gabrielle, where did you learn that?" Her lover broke contact only long enough to smile up from between Xena's legs.
"I am a bard after all, and there are some fascinating scrolls in a certain section of the Amazon library."
Xena's head slammed back against the ground when she felt Gabrielle's lips return to the sweet torment they had started. She felt the flames building and she knew she wouldn't last much longer she wanted to give her lover the same incredible pleasure that she was experiencing. "Gabrielle turn around... I want to taste you." it only took I few seconds for the bard to register what it was that the warrior was asking, without breaking the contact her lips and fingers had with the warrior she twisted her body around until she was able to offer herself to her lover. The first touch of Xena's tongue on her sex sent shock waves through Gabrielle. Her heart was pounding so hard she felt like it could burst through her ribs. The heat building in both their bodies made the lovers feel as if their skin was on fire. Fingers and tongues worked together to bring forth a shattering orgasm in the warrior the bard as they came together in a shower of heat and light. They called each others names while they each gave their bodies up to the sensations the other had created in them.
After the shattering experience the had just given each other neither woman wanted to move. They
held each other feeling the security of their love Drifting into the peace of sleep neither warrior or bard could remember ever being so happy

Gabrielle woke up with a cold feeling she sat up and saw Xena across from her on the other side of the camp fire, it had all been a dream. 'Oh Gods' she thought to herself 'I can't go on like this' she rose to stir the embers of the burned out fire and added more kindling and small wood until she had a good blaze going. She regarded the flames with sleep deprived eyes. She heard Xena stir behind her, just the fact that Xena had slept past sunset told the bard that the warrior princess must be exhausted her heart dropped when she realized the events of last night had never happened Xena woke up and once again the bard was greeted with an icy silence. She had to end this now one more day of this would drive her crazy, she was just about to confront Xena when she came closer she saw that the warrior had tears in her eyes. The sight was the last thing she would have expected and it melted the feelings of anger that had started to build in her heart for Xena keeping her at a distance. It was then that she determined whatever was bothering her friend they would find an answer together. She sat beside Xena and with her hand bought her face around so that they were looking into each others eyes. "Xena please tell me what's wrong, you haven't been yourself. You know you can tell me anything and I will understand."
"I'm not sure you could understand this Gabrielle." the warrior choked out the words Gabrielle looked at her, really looked at her for the first time in days The dark circles under her eyes, the lank hair the dull almost lifeless expression in the normally vibrant eyes and for the first time she felt scared not for herself but for Xena She knew that this needed to be settled to end both their suffering, once again she prompted
"Tell me what's what's wrong Xena."
"I've fallen in love..."
Gabrielle thought her heart would break at this words, but the had to get this out. Before she could ask Xena finished her sentence "With you."
That statement took Gabrielle completely by surpass, she had to remind herself to breath she was still searching for words when the warrior started to speak again. "I know you don't feel the same.."
Hearing that bought back the bard's power of speech "How do you know that?"
"Well you've never given me any indication."
Gabrielle couldn't surprises a chuckle, "Oh and you've been dropping hints all over the place, right?"
Xena raised her eyes to look at her friend "What?"
A hand reached up to tenderly caress Xena's tanned cheek "I do feel the same way Xena I do love you." she brushed a light kiss against warm lips "And I want you, as a matter of fact I have been having very vivid dreams of just what I'd like to do with you."
The warrior pulled her bard into the strong circle of her arms, holding her in a fiery embrace while she claimed her lips in a searing kiss :Dreams huh? show me your dreams Gabrielle."
"I'd love to."

The End

As always I look forward to any questions or comments you may have.

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