Fighting The Dark
by Marion D Tuttle
Okay let's do the legal mubojumbo shall we? These characters are not of my creation they belong to Universal Studios. I intended no infringement on any ones rights this story is written for fun and not for profit
Love and sex of course its in here, What did you think? no violence although there are references to Xena
and Gabrielle's confrontation with the Horde.
Read on and enjoy
Gabrielle woke to Xena tossing in the clutches of a night mare "Xena" she tried to gently shake her and said a little more loudly this time "Xena, wake up, your having a nightmare." Xena came awake at Gabrielle's insistent touch, taking a few minutes to focus her eyes.
"Gabrielle, whats wrong."
"You were dreaming again."
"Is that all you can say? Xena talk to me whats going on? This is not like you."
"I'll be fine Gabrielle just leave it alone alright?"
Gabrielle couldn't believe her ears Xena was becoming more and more irritable each day.She knew that Xena had been hauted by the events that had taken place during their confrontation with the Horde, but there was something else that the young bard couldn't put her finger on.
Xena's thought were running much along the same lines she had told Gabrielle that some of her nightmares surrounded the reemergence of her dark side during their life and death struggle. Xena had done what she thought she had needed to in order to get them out alive but, she had regretted the fact that Gabrielle had been exposed to the part of herself that she had never wanted her to see. But there was an even bigger problem that Xena didn't want to admit even to herself.
It had become Gabrielle's custom scince there battle with the Horde to
move her bedroll closer to Xena's and hold the warrior at night to quite
the nightmares she suffered, and it had seemed to help at first. Once Xena
had settled back into Gabrielle's embrace she seemed to be able to relax
and sleep without the fitful tossing and turning. Of course this was creating it's own unite set of problems for the warrior, she had been able to control the urges she had begun to feel just being in Gabrielle's presence every day. She had even managed, with a great deal of effort to clamp down the desires she felt when Gabrielle rode behind her on Argo, her arms clasped tightly around her waist. But when Gabrielle held her at night to try and comfort the night mares she was having it was more then she could take."How could she tell this dear woman that her efforts to comfort her was the very thing that was causing her pain? Her nightmares had started out about the blood bath that
the Horde had created but over time those images were replaced by something Xena found far more disturbing. She saw visions of being with Gabrielle of holding her in her arms and kissing her... the dream was always the same She started with gentle caresses, and Gabrielle willingly responded, at first. but her touch became rougher, inflicting pain instead of pleasure. Gabrielle protested verbally at first and then tried to push the warrior away. The more the bard struggled, the more excited Xena would become reveling in the fear she saw in the young woman's eyes she forced Gabrielle to her will, uncaring and unfeeling of the pleas to stop.
She always woke up in a cold sweat at this point, trembling at the power of the images. she had to get away from Gabrielle before she acted on her dreams and hurt the one person in this world she would give her life to protect.
Unknown to Xena, Gabrielle had been dealing with some very similar
feelings nothing about darkness and violence mind you, but she was having a hard time just being
closeto the warrior princess these days without feeling an intense heat and sudden shortness of breath.
To be perfectly honest even her nearness to Xena at night had an
ulterior motive, oh it had started out in an innocent enough way. She had
truly been looking to give her friend comfort, to help her. But the longer
it went on the clearer it became to Gabrielle that she craved the contact
So both women were trapped in there own private torment each afraid to say anything to the other for fear of what reaction they might get.
They walked back to their campsite, a deafening silence hung in the air between them. Reaching the clearing, Xena sank down onto the log, her legs no longer anle to support her. One look at the warrior and the irritation Gabrielle had been feeling was replaced with a feeling of alarm "Why don't
you try and get some sleep Xena? you haven't been sleeping well lately and you look like your ready to drop."
"I'll be alright the sun is up now anyway."
Gabrielle knelt down in front of the warrior taking her hand she said, her voice filled with concern. "I'm worried about you Xena, you haven't really slept in days, you can't go on like this." By the time she was done speaking the bard had tears in her eyes.Xena reached out to brush the tears away from her friends cheeks. She knew what Gabrielle was saying was true, if she didn't do something soon it could literally cost her, her life or Gabrielle's. Slower reflexes in a fight, dulled senses, inability to concentrate were all fast becoming problems. Xena knew she had to do
"Why don't we go visit my mother for a few days, maybe I can get some rest there."
"That sounds like a good idea, I'd like the chance to see Cyrenne again."
Xena chuckled "More like you'd like the chance to earn a few dinars telling some of your stories in mothers tavern."
"Hey as long as were there may as well restock the supply."
"Well scince it doesn't look like either one of us is going back to sleep, what do you say we get started?"
Both women set about there familiar task of breaking camp and they were on there way in a very short period of time. They were less than a day's ride away from Amphipolis. They arrived in town late in theafternoon.
Cyrenne tried to mask her shocked expression at the first sight of her
daughter's appearance. The dark circles under her eyes and her drawn
appearance only acted to accentuate the lack of light in the normally bright
"Hello Xena, Gabrielle I'm surprised to see you both."
"Happily I hope."
"Of course, you know I'm always happy to see you both."
All three women sat at the table to enjoy a glass of port and a hot meal. Cyrenne exchanged worried glances with Gabrielle, both mother and friend growing more and more concerned with every passing moment. At last Xena said to Cyrenne "Which room do you want us to take Mother I'm going to go up and see if I can get some rest."
"Your old room is empty why dont you take that?"
"Thanks" Xena drained the last of the port and headed towards the stairs. turning to wish her mother and Gabrielle a good night she ascended the stairs and headed for her childhood bedroom.
Once she was sure Xena was out of earshot Cyrene turned to Gabrielle "Whats wrong with her? I've never seen her look like that before."
"The attack of the Horde had a terrible effect on her. But I think there is something else bothering her, I've tried to talk to her about it".
"Let me guess, she won't open up."
Gabrielle drew a ragged breath "No she won't, and I don't mind telling you I'm getting really worried."
"Do you have any idea what it might be?"
Looking towards the stairs Gabrielle said almost to herself "I'm afraid I do." turning back to Cyrenne Gabrielle told her "I think I might have some idea of whats wrong. I'm going to see if I can do something about it tonight." And then finishing the thought to herself she said under her
breath "No matter how much it hurts."
Xena had stripped off her leathers as soon as she entered the room she laid down on the bed and exhaustion took over. She was in a deep sleep within minutes. When Gabrielle entered the room she was relived to see a sleeping warrior princess.
The bard had come to a decision, as painful as it was for her she was going to have to leave Xena. She had reached the conclusion that Xena's problem stemmed from the fear that she could no longer protect Gabrielle from harm.
Sitting in the chair by the bed Gabrielle watched Xena sleep, Her heart was breaking over what see planned to say to the warrior when she woke up. But she truly couldn't see another way. The thought of leaving the woman she had come to love was killing her, but she knew Xena could not survive if she kept going the way she was. That was her final thought as she gave into sleep.
It was four candle marks past sunrise when Xena opened her eyes, she
couldn't believe she had slept that long. She was just starting to sit up
when Gabrielle came into the room carrying a tray. "Oh good your awake I
bought you some lunch, I figured you'd be hungry."
Xena regarded her friend, the solution to her problem had come to her in a dream. She knew the only way to make things right was to tell Gabrielle the truth and pray for the best. "Lunch does sound good, I feel better than I have in days."
"Funny what 12 candle marks of sleep will do for a body."
Xena started to get up and Gabrielle stopped her "Don't you dare move, I'll bring it to you."
"Really Gabrielle, I feel much better."
Bringing the tray over and setting on a bedside table she handed Xena a cup of hot tea. "No way are you getting out of that bed, when we got here you were ready to drop, you will rest."
The warrior smiled at her young friends commanding tone "Yes Maam." she responded, in a more serious tone she continued "Gabrielle we ned to talk."
Hoping to put the inevitable off for as long as possible she answered "Yes we do, but not right now you need some more rest ." She held up her hand at the protest she saw in Xena's eyes "Don't argue with me, you need to rest and I told Cyreene I would help her with the lunch rush. I'll be
back in a little while."
With that she turned and headed back down stairs, she wanted to put off the conversation she had convinced herself would be nessacery for as long as possible.
Coming down the stairs she was met by Cyrenne "Is she awake?"
"Yeah, I think she just woke up. If she's not to stubborn to stay in bed she'll probably drop off again." Taking a deep breath Gabrielle continued on "Cyrenne I should tell you that as soon as Xena gets her strength back I plan to tell her I'm leaving."
It took a minute for the words to sink in "What do you mean your leaving?"
"It's simple my traveling with Xena has become a problem for her. I think the reason she has been so tense is she's afraid she can't protect me anymore. After the attack by the Horde she was badly shaken. I tried to convince her that I could take care of myself. But the more I talked the worse things got. If I'm not around the pressure will be off."
Gabrielle was surprised by the power of Cyrenne's denial "No! Your wrong your leaving would destroy Xena!"
"I know my daughter, I've been waiting for her to tell you herself but apparently that hasn't happened. Maybe that's been her problem."
The bard was growing more confused with each word "What are you taking about Cyrenne?"
"Tell me what things have been like scince you and Xena left the compound, after Xena killed the
Horde's chief. Don't leave out anydetails."
"You heard about that?"
"Any news concerning the warrior princess usually travels here pretty fast." Cyrenne grinned "Now tell me what's been going on."
Thinking back over the events of the last few weeks Gabrielle began to recount the events between leaving the Athenian Army fort and their arrival at the tavern. "The first couple of days didn't seem too unusual, I'd wake up at night and Xena wouldn't be in her bedroll, but that didn't strike me
as a problem because Xena frequently gets up in the night and checks the area, just to make sure we don't get ant 'surprise' guests. Then about the fourth night I was awakened by Xena screaming in her sleep. Gods that sent chills done my spine , I've never heard anything like that before. To tell
you the truth Cyrenne it didn't even sound human. I tried to wake her up but I couldn't get through to her, Her eyes were open but see couldn't see me. So I did the only other thing I could think of to do I laid down beside her and tried to hold her. She struggled at first but after I got my arms
around her she seemed to settle down."
Cyrenne asked "Did she know what happened when she woke up?"
"No I always woke up and moved before she was awake, you know how she hates to let any one see her weakness' Any way this went on for a couple of more nights, and I always got up before Xena was awake to move. Then one morning I overslept and Xena woke up in my arms. I could tell she was embarrassed but she wouldn't talk about it. Right after that is when she basically stopped sleeping altogether. Whenever I tried to get her to open up about it she just said the attack had effected her more than she had thought, and she just needed some time."
The light of understanding began to show in Cyrenne's eyes as Gabrielle continued on with her tale.
"After that it seemed like anytime I touched Xena she would flinch, it was almost like she was afraid to have me touch her.
Taking the young bard's hand in her own Cyrenne asked "You've fallen in love with my daughter, haven't you?"
Gabrielle looked away a light pink blush covering her cheeks.
"Thats all right you don't need to answer me, I can see the truth in your eyes."
The older woman rose and placed her hand on Gabrielle's shoulder "You need to be honest with Xena about your feelings."
"But what if I tell her and she rejects me? I don't think I could take that."
"What difference does it make? You plan to leave her anyway, so if I'm wrong and she does not feel the same way you can go with a clear conscience. But what if I'm right? Don't you think you owe it to Xena and yourself to find out the truth. She deserves that from you Gabrielle."
The bard thought about everything Cyrenne said, there was wisdom there. After everything they had been through together she couldn't just walk away without an explanation, she at least owed Xena the truth. She made the decision to talk to Xena tonight after she had I chance to rest a
As the afternoon wore on Gabrielle helped Cyrenne with some of the chores around the tavern, as well as entertaining the patrons with some of her stories.
Just after sunset she prepared a dinner tray to bring up to Xena.
Entering into the room she noticed the tub had been set up, Xena had all
ready taken a bath and put on a clean shift she was sitting in a chair
watching the flames dance in the fireplace.Gabrielle noticed that Xena
looked well rested, more so than she had in the past month.Setting the tray
down she crossed the room to sit in the chair across from Xena.
"How do you feel?"
"Much better thanks, I didn't realize how exhausted I was until we got here."
Looking into the clearest blue eyes she had ever seen, Gabrielle took a deep breath and plunged ahead.She was still terrified of the reaction she might get but she knew Cyrenne was right, Xena deserved to know the truth.
"Do you feel up to talking now?"
"Yeah, I'm okay. What do you have on your mind?"
"I'm worried about what's been happening to you, your all right now. But what if we leave here and the whole cycle starts all over again? Xena you can't go on like that."
She moved closer to Xena and placed her hand on the warrior's leg, she noticed that Xena made no effort to pull away."I talked to your mother about it, I had thought the problem stemmed from your fear that you couldn't protect me. I tried to think of ways to make things better but they just
kept getting worse. I finally reached the conclusion that if I wasn't there for you to worry about the problem would go away, so I decided it would be best for you if I left..."
The word "NO!" exploded from Xena "No, you can't leave me Gabrielle!"
The warrior bound up from her chair, pulling Gabrielle into her arms "You can't leave me." she said a little more quietly this time.
Gabrielle was startled by Xena's strong reaction, she had expected a denial but this went far beyond anything the bard had thought might happen. She held Xena stroking her back, all of a sudden she felt as if their roles had been reversed and suddenly she was the strong one.
"It's okay, I'm not leaving, like I said I talked to your mother and she convinced me that leaving wasn't the answer.Cyrenne made me see that I have to be honest with you about what I've been feeling. Xena pulled back to look into Gabrielle's eyes "What are you trying to say?"
Swallowing hard she prayed to any God that would be listening for the courage to get this out."I have fallen in love with you Xena." Noticing the shocked expression on the warriors' face she pushed forward, now that she had started this she had to get it out. "I know what your going to say, but this is not some form of hero worship or confused feelings...I love you."
"No let me finish, I know you think I'm too innocent to know about....."
She never got to finish that sentence Xena pulled her into a tight embrace and kissed the breath out of her. Relaxing the hold she had on the bard she let her lean back in the circle of her arms, while looking down into a very startled expression.
"Why did you do that?"
Xena's smile grew wider "Aside from the fact that I have wanted to do that for a very long time now, it just seemed like the only way to shut you up."
Gabrielle began to feel a warmth running through her body. Asmile tugged at the corner of her lips. "You've been wanting to do that?"
"Very much would you like me to prove it?"
Needing no further encouragement Xena bent to thoroughly kiss Gabrielle again more gently this time, she couldn't measure the joy she felt when Gabrielle started kissing her back. They stood that way for what seemed like an eternity lips pressing against lips tongues seeking each other and
exploring. When they finally broke contact both women were a little breathless and light headed..
Sitting back down Xena pulled Gabrielle down with her positioning the bard on her lap."You were partially right Gabrielle,at first it was the nightmares about the Horde that plagued me, but I knew eventually they would go away theyalways did before. The real problem started when I woke up in your arms."
She gave the bard a quick kiss before going on. "I had wanted you for so long, but I was afraid if me dark side ever emerged I would hurt you."
Gabrielle started to protest, but Xena placed a finger on her lips to quite her "Sssshh, please I need to tell you this. "That morning I was having a very vivid dream, but it wasn't about the battle. It was a very graphic dream of what I would like to do to you, I've been having the same dream for quite some time and it scared me."
"Why would a dream about the two of us scare you Xena?"
Because in the dream we start out like we are now and I'm very gentled loving with you, but as it progresses I become the warlord again and I hurt you..." She hung her head a look of unparalleled pain crossing her beautiful features. "When I woke up and you were holding me it took every once of will power I possessed not to take you right then and there. After that every time you touched me it was torture, because I thought you were just trying to comfort me and I was terrified that I would take what I wanted with your without you permission."
Gabrielle raised a hand to wipe away a tear that was rolling down Xena's cheek. "I know you've been with women before, this is not news."
"But that was just sex, I've told you what I was like. Any one I took to my bed, male or female was there because the served a purpose. I used my body as a means to an end and I didn't care who got hurt."
"You've changed Xena, you would never hurt me, I know that."
"I don't want to, but I was afraid if I acted on my desires I would do just that. And then too there was there fear that you would not feel the same way and want nothing more to do with me. I was afraid you would hate me."
Gabrielle held Xena's face captive between her hands and forced her too look her in the eye "You listen to me Xena I could never hate you, got that?"
Xena still had her arms wrapped around Gabrielle's waist and she had
begun to lightly massage the muscles that were there. she notices a slight
stiffness. "Hey turn around and let me rub your back, you've been going nonstop scince we gat here and
you haven't gotten much more sleep than I have lately."
The bard relaxed against Xena's expert hand, letting her work the tension out of her muscles. She hadn't realized until that moment just how truely tired she was. "What now?" Gabrielle asked.
"Think it would be I good idea if we both got some rest and carried this conversation on in the morning I want us both to have clear heads for this, and to tell the truth I'm still a little groggy and I can tell your tired."
Gabrielle started to get up and head for the door. "Where do you think your going?"
"I thought you said...."
"I know what I said but I want you with me, if that's okay with you I mean. I want to hold you tonight."
"It's more than okay, just let me get some of these dishes out of here. you didn't eat much."
"I'm not really that hungry, don't be long."
Gabrielle carried the stll mostly filled tray back downstairs, Cyrenne was concerned when she she it was basically untouched. "How is she?"
"She's fine still a little tiered but thats to be expected."
"Thats not really what I'm asking and you well know it. Did you two talk?"
Gabrielle smiled at Cyrenne, so like Xena cut right to the heart of the matter. "Yes we talked I think everything is going to work out. Xena suggested we get some rest and talk more about... things in the morning."
"I'll see that you aren't disturbed."
When Gabrielle got back to their room she was greeted by a sight of a lightly dozing warrior stretched out on the bed. She laid down next to Xena and warped her arms around Xena "I love you Xena."
Strong arms reached out and pulled her closer "I love you too Gabrielle, now sleep."
Bright sun rays shined in through the window Xena was the first one to open her eyes, she looked down to see Gabrielle's head resting on her shoulder her arm draped across her rib cage just below her breasts and smiled. "This is how I want to wake up every morning" she thought to
herself. She felt Gabrielle stir beside her looking up at the warrior she said "Good morning blue eyes."
"Good morning, gorgeous, you do you feel?"
Stretching out her muscles she pushed closer to Xena "You tell me." she took Xena's hand and placed it on her breast. This was what Xena had wanted for so long, but she felt compelled to make sure her bard knew what she was getting into. "I do love you Gabrielle, and I have dreamt about being with you....making love with you for so long now if it's what you want are you sure
Gabrielle wrapped her arms around Xena in a tight embrace that pulled their bodies together. "I want nothing more than to make love with you Xena....but I'm not sure I know how."
"I'll be more than happy to teach you." Xena chuckled as she let a hand drift up to cup a soft breast.
She brushed a thumb against a nipple that was quickly becoming hardened by desire while pressing long slow kisses along Gabrielle's throat and collar bone "You mean right now?"
"No time like the present, besides aren't you the one that told me I should spend a few days in bed?"
She couldn't surprises the laugh "I meant to rest."
"I am rested, come here and let me prove it."
After exchanging several more soft kisses, Xena's lips became more insistent and demanding.
Increasing the pressure she began to push Gabrielle's shift down off her shoulders. Settling her hand
back over Gabrielle's now exposed breast, she could feel the wild heartbeat against her palm. "If I'm, moving to fast for you tell I want you to tell me. I'll stop anytime you want me to."
"No Xena, I don't want you to stop... I want this...please love me."
"Nothing would make me happier."
In one fluid motion Xena rolled them both over so that Gabrielle's back was against the bed with the warrior princess stretched out on top of her. She pushed the shift down the rest of the way until it slid past the bards hips and off her legs.
Bending over her love she captured a taunt nipple between her lips, drawing on the tender flesh until
she felt Gabrielle start to squirm under her. "I want you so much Gabrielle." Xean groaned as her hand moved lower and found an ocean of wetness waiting there for her. "Oh you are so wet love." The warrior turned lover ran her fingers along the length of Gabrielle's silken flesh
The bards breath was coming in short ragged gasp now "Yes Xena...more please."
With her normally amazing reflexes Xena swung herself around so that now her face was positioned
between Gabrielle's thighs, when she started to kiss and lick at the heated center of her lover Gabrielle thought she would die from sheer bliss. "So sweet" Xena murmured against Gabrielle sending vibrations through her body.
The real surprise came for Xena when Gabrielle grabbed her hips and pulled the warrior to her waiting mouth her tongue tracing the outline of Xena's sex before plunging in.Her head whipped up from what she was doing "Gabrielle, where did you learn that!?"
"Why from what your doing to me, my dear warrior princess. You know I'm a quick study."
That was the last coherent thought either woman had for quite some time as they drove each other
towards the edge. Finally after the had both reached an earth shattering climax Xena turned back around to gather her lover into her arms. She claimed a long slow lingering kiss. They could taste each other on their tongues.
"That was amazing, I don't think I'm going to have any more trouble sleeping. With that she kissed
Gabrielle again. Breaking the content of their lips Gabrielle sighed "If you keep kissing me like that I'm going to need you again."
"And this would be a bad thing?" Xena joked. They made love again more slowly this time, with less urgency but no less intense. The feelings that Xena had held in check for so long finally bubbled to the surface. Gabrielle notice a tear slipping down her cheek. "What's wrong."
Embracing Gabrielle so tightly that breathing became a challenge. "It's just that I love you so much
Gabrielle, I always want to protect you . But I'm still afraid.... What if something like the Horde happens again? How can I be sure I won't revert to my old ways? How can I be sure I won't hurt you?"
"You would never hurt me Xena I know that and I believe it enough for both of us." She kissed the warrior again before rising from the bed "Now do you think you can drag yourself out of bed today and come downstairs for breakfast?"
That gained her a pillow tossed playfully in her direction.
Cyrenne sat in the common room wondering what was taking place between her daughter and the little bard. She had to fight the urge to go to their room and find out for herself what was going on. "They need time ." she told herself. No one had left the room scince Gabrielle had gone back upstairs last night there had been no indication of a disturbance all she could do was hope that things were progressing well One of the barmaids came from upstairs she was carrying some of the trays she had collected that had been left outside of the doors. Cyrenne approached her to see if she had seen or heard anything that might give her some indication of where things stood.
"Megan did you see my daughter or Gabrielle upstairs?"
"No mam' the door was closed so I didn't knock, your daughters young friend made it very clear to me that Xena was not to be disturbed."
"Thank you Megan" Well no help there, she resigned herself to the fact that she was just going to have to wait. Going about her daily chores, Cyrenne tried unsuccessfully to put it out of her mind.
Cyrenne did not have much longer to wait in limbo she turned to see Xena and Gabrielle descend the
stairs, the radiant smiles that both women wore told her all she needed to know.
"Good morning girls I'm glad to see you up and about." Turning with maternal concern to Xena she
asked "Are you feeling better?"
"I feel great now" reaching down she took Gabrielle's hand. The gesture was not lost on Cyrenne.
"I see you two talked last night."
Gabrielle couldn't believe her eyes, but see thought she acutely saw a blush on the warriors cheeks.
"I don't believe it Xena you're acutely blushing."
This bought even more color to the warrior's cheeks "I am not, its just hot in here."
Both Xena's mother and lover looked at each other holding back the laughs that were threading to burst forth. "Whatever you say Xena, Whatever you say."
Xena and Gabrielle had been together for five summers now. Four moons after they had given into their
passion for one another the had gone to the Amazons, seeking Artemis' blessings on their union and had
gone through the joining ceremony, cementing their commitment to each other.
There had been conflicts when Xena's dark side had surfaced and threatened to pull the warrior back into her past ways. But Gabrielle was always there to gently pull her back and remind her that the love the shared could surmount any challenge placed in their path.
Looking up at the light of the full moon that hung in the sky Xena drew her love back into her arms and lightly kissed her neck "Gabrielle, if I haven't told you lately thankyou."
"For what my love?"
"For my life, without you I wouldn't be what I am today."
"Its very mutual Xena."
As always I welcome any questions comments or expressions of opinion.
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