When Love Is Found part 5
Disclaimer: The following characters of Xena Warrior Princess are property of MCA/Universal. It is not meant to infringe on any copyrights whatsoever. However this story is mine and mine alone. WARNING! Subtext, YES!! There is graphic violence, some strong language as well. If this bothers you please leave. I write stories in ways that I see fit. I try to make it as real as possible, NOT for the ratings of television. So if youre NOT 18 or older, go read Barney or something. Enjoy. Please let me know what you think. Thanks!
Disclaimer: The following characters of Xena Warrior Princess are property of MCA/Universal. It is not meant to infringe on any copyrights whatsoever.
However this story is mine and mine alone.
WARNING! Subtext, YES!! There is graphic violence, some strong language as well. If this bothers you please leave. I write stories in ways that I see fit. I try to make it as real as possible, NOT for the ratings of television. So if youre NOT 18 or older, go read Barney or something.
Enjoy. Please let me know what you think. Thanks!
Smoke from candles and torches floated across the room. Conversations were light, but quiet as the music was played in the background. A light breeze blew though the tavern as two travelers entered the room. They proceeded to the far end of the bar only to change their minds as they saw a lone warrior in the corner, a very angry looking warrior at that.
Xena felt eyes looking upon her. She slowly looked up to see it was nothing to worry about and turned back to her port. Her eyes were very distant in thought as her fingers unconsciously stroked the outside of her mug. The dull ache in her head was beginning to disappear, but the ache in her heart was almost too much to handle at times.
Slowly she ran her hand over her face then though her hair, took in a deep breathe letting it go slowly as she rested her head in her hand. A distant memory popped into her mind. Tears began to creep to the surface, just as a small smile formed at the end of her lips. She fondly remembers the first time Gabrielle wanted to try her port. She tilted the mug to her and looked deep into its contents as the memory played back.
Small groups began working on putting the center of the village back together. Velasca did a rather nasty number on the village, but the village wasnt a total lost cause. Many buildings were burned to the ground. Others need a new roof here or a wall or two theyre those were repaired first.
"Ephiny. Where do you want this group?"
Ephiny turned to see Eponin coming her way with a small group of Amazons.
"Well, we have most of the houses put back together. The only thing I need is a group to move all the burnt out remains of those buildings outta here. Did you put someone on the Queens hut?" Ephiny asked as she still looked out over the burnt out remains of the hospital.
Epinon moved into her path of vision to get a better look into her friends eyes. Slowly she placed a hand on her shoulder, "Theyll be fine. Xena just took the bridge out. They should be here by tonight." Their eyes locked on one another. Ephiny smiled and nodded her head in agreement.
" Sorry. Im just worried. I thought for sure Velasca was going to win," Ephiny turned toward the Queens hut, "Call everyone into the mess hall, I need to have a meeting with everybody. The change of guards can pass on the message when the shift changes."
Ephiny gave her friend a small pat on the arm and was off toward her Queens hut. Eponin watched her walk across the courtyard and disappear. Slowly she looks around as Amazons continue their work putting all the pieces back together again. The last several days have been a nightmare. She places her hand on he hip as the other scratches her head.
" Whats the matter? Got bugs or something?" The voice was playful.
Epinon spun on her heels to see the best thing since this nightmare started.
Gabrielle and Xena.Thank Artimis.
"HEY!! Gods its good to see you two!" Epinon rushed over to the wide eyed Queen and gave her a hug. "Ephiny was just thinking about the two of you. Its good to see you Xena." The Amazon clasped arms with the warrior.
Xena place a protective arm around Gabrielle. "Where is Ephiny?"
"She headed to your hut. I think she wanted to make sure it wasnt as trashed as the rest of the village."
They turned look over the village. Gabrielle brushed a few strands of hair out of her face. " It looks a lot better then when we were running out of here."
"Yeah, it really does doesnt it. Hey. Why dont you two go and let Ephiny know youre here, so shell quite worrying and relax for a few hours. Shes holding a meeting on the reconstruction of the village. The two of you do not need to be there."
They exchanged good-byes and Xena directed Gabrielle to their hut. Both women were silent as the last several days replayed in their minds.
Xena step forward, opened the door and let Gabrielle enter first. The hut was in order; Velasca didnt seem to do any redecorating. Gabrielle moved over to her bags, and began to check her things; she most worried about her scrolls.
Xena paused a few steps away from where Gabrielle was milling about, her brow creased, "Wheres Ephiny?"
Gabrielle looked up briefly; "Maybe shes in the bathing room." She continued to look through the rest of the saddlebags to be sure all their belongings were there.
Xena headed in the direction, when water could be heard splashing round. As she came upon the doorway Ephiny was just getting ready to turn a leave, and definitely not expecting the warrior to be there.
"GREAT ARTIMIS!" Ephiny yelped as the warrior suddenly appeared into her line of vision. Xena jumped back slightly to the shock of Ephinys voice. Ephiny hand one hand over her heart and one holding onto the doorframe.
Xena was softly laughing to herself, something she rarely did until Gabrielle entered her life. Gabrielle quickly joined them.
"What happened What are you laughing at?" Gabrielle looked from a giggling warrior to an Amazon who had her tail feathers yanked.
Ephiny straighten up, walked up to Xena, and poked her finger in her chest, "Dont you ever so that again."
"Do what?" Blues eyes flashed innocence.
"You two could have made some noise coming in here." Ephiny answered as she walked over to Gabrielle and gave her an over due hug.
" Thought you heard us come in." Xena smiled at the Amazons expression. "Hey wheres my hug?" Gabrielle looked from her friend to Xena and smiled.
"Bite me Xena." She turned and headed to the door. "Oh were going to have a small get together at sundown. Need to get everyone mind off the bad track."
"Good Idea. Do you need help with anything, its the least Xena could do since she scared the Hades outta ya" Gabrielle poked the warrior in the side.
"No. I have things covered; you two relax for a while. Ill send somebody over when dinner is ready. See you two later." The door shut behind her and the room was silent. Gabrielle slowly turned around and looked at Xena.
Xena placed her hands on her hips, "What?"
"You didnt need to scare her?" Gabrielles eye brows shut up as Xena started laughing gout loud.
" Gab, I didnt. I was going into the bathing room and she was coming out, we just sorta surprised one-another. In didnt do it on purpose." Gabrielles eyes were still locked onto hers, but slowly they relaxed. "Hey. Why dont you go and take a long hot bath, since that what she was doing in there anyway. The water should be warm by now."
"What about you?"
"I need to clean up these leathers before I can clean up myself, okay?" Green eye regarded her friend. Gabrielle padded over to Xena, folded her arms around her waist giving her a loving hug. Xena enjoying the contact returned to gesture. For a long moment time seemed to stand still. Not one word was spoken between them as they moved away from each other and went about their business.
It was only a couple of hours before there was a knock at the door. The guard informed Xena that it was time for dinner. Xena padded across the foyer and called for Gabrielle.
"Gab, they want us for dinner." Xena stopped and listened for a reply. She slowly looked about the room to see if things were in order before they left. Footsteps caught her attention, she turned and what she saw made her heart skip a beat. It was definitely that outfit.
" You look beautiful." Her tone was soft, and her stomach tightened as she realized she said that out-loud. Gabrielle flashed a smile.
"Thank you. And you did a nice job on your leathers too." Her hand caress Xenas side where the leathers were torn from the climb up the cliff.
Their eyes met and stayed that why for a few, gratifying moments before Xenas words broke the silence.
"Thanks ready?" Xena asked softly. With a nod from her friend, Xena side stepped for the Amazon Queen then followed behind just close enough to let Gabrielle know she was there.
Dinner finally coming to an end, Ephiny had instructed some Amazons to get a drum circle started so everyone could continue their evenings. Conversations were picking up as the kitchen servers were cleaning up tables and putting at the left over food away until morning. Another couple of Amazons was bringing barrels of port, jugs of wine and what else was saved before the tavern collapsed.
Xena and Gabrielle were talking to Tyldus and Solari when drinks were served. Xena handed a mug of port to Tyldus and then took one for herself. The port was very cold and smooth.
"MMmm this is good, I havent had good tasting port since I was home last. Mom can make some great stuff." Taking a hearty swallow and smiled.
"I agree this stuff is really good. The next time you come back this way, bring me a skin or two of your mothers."
"Sure thing." Xena raised her cup as Tyldus turned and walked over to another group of people and began talking. " Solari hows the arm doing?"
"Oh much better, but its going to be sore longer than normal. I really havent had the time to rest, been to busy putting the pieces back together."
Gabrielle moved closer to Xena," Im still speechless at the progress of the reconstruction. You and everyone have been doing a great job, thank you." Gabrielles eyes were warm and sincere.
"Thanks. We have been really working hard. And this party was something we really needed." Solari smiled as she watched Xena down her third port in a matter of moments.
Gabrielle watched with interest, "Xena could I try some of that?"
Both Solaria and Xena raised an eyebrow.
"Gabrielle I dont think your really going to like this stuff. Took me awhile too." Waiting to see if her friend was going to change her mind and from the look on her face,"No huh?"
Gabrielle put one hand on her hip and the other held out in front of her waiting with the words annoyed on her forehead.
Xena quickly surrendering with one then handing her her mug with the other. "Alright."
Xena watched as Gabrielle place the mug to her lips and swallowed, almost immediately her face contorts as if she was in pain. Xena exploded in laughter as Gabrielle began to spit the vile tasting liquid from her mouth. Spitting, coughing, choking and making the strangest faces as Solari lightly pats her on the back. Xena was hoping that Gabrielles face wouldnt stay that way.
"See. You should listen to what Xena says." Solari couldnt stop giggling every time Gabrielle made that face.
"Shu *cough * shut up Solari." Gabrielle snapped, spitting one more time and finally washes the taste away with some cider. "Gods that stuff is nasty. How do you drink that crap?"
"Hey, it took me a while to get use to it, but hanging around the guys I had to. Thats all they drank. And I like it." She shrugged her shoulders, tips her glass to her friend and took a healthy drink. "AAAhhh!"
Gabrielle rolled her eyes at the warrior,"Yeah, but the cider is to sweet and that wine . that is what you call it, isnt it?"
"HEY! I didnt make it! " Solari states with force as she frowns. "Do you see me drinking that shit? NO."
"Alright, enough. Gabrielle I have just the thing for you. Be right back."
Solari and Gabrielle exchanged looks as they watched the warrior make her way across the room. Xena zig-zaged her way around amazons, laughing, drinking, and dancing to the drum circle, which was in full session as she made her way out to the kitchen.
"Hey, Annie. Do you have anymore of that wine I brought back for you from Athens?"
"Sure do. Want a mug? Its really cold." The older amazon playful slaps Xena.
"Yes and the bottle."
"Sure thin .Bottle?!"
"Ha.. Its for Gabrielle. She doesnt really care for port." Xena makes a face and chuckles with her friend. With a smile Annie hand Xena the bottle, shakes her head and smiles.
"I just dont get what she see in you." Annie places her hand on her shoulder gives a friendly squeeze and walks away.
"Here." Gabrielle about jumped out of her skin at the sudden sound of Xenas voice in her ear. Looking down to see Xena was holding out a mug for her to take. Raising it to her nose, inhaling slowly, as the sweet smell of berries filled her senses.
"Oooo what is this?" Gabrielle takes a light sip. The delightfully cool liquid washed over her lips and tongue as the flavor just starts her taste buds dancing with joy. "Oh, gods is that good!"
"Its Mulberry Wine." Xena stated, as she watched the smile grew bigger with every sip. "Now dont drink it all in one gulp. I know it taste good, but it will give you a nasty headache the next morning." Slowly shaking her head and rolling her eyes.
Solari snorted at her friend; "I take it youve been there before. Ouch." She looked over to Gabrielle who was pouring herself another. "Me, too." Playfully elbowed the Xena in the side.
"And Gabrielle is gonna make three."
"I heard that. Port breath." Gabrielle replied with out facing the warrior.
"Oh, hurt me Gabby. And so what if I have port breath." Xena flashed a smile waiting for a counter attack as Solari decided to bow out of this conversation.
"Im gonna get some more. Be back." Solari winked at the warrior and made her way out of the soon to be battle zone.
Xena moved up just off to Gabrielles left, noticed she was totally involved in the dancing on the floor. Her hair was back off her shoulders and that she looked wonderful tonight. "And whats wrong with my breath?"
"Well how are you ever going get any one to kiss you, knowing you drink that stuff." Gabrielle answered with out any real thought to Xenas question. She keep her eyes on the floor as two Amazon enjoyed each others company.
Xena leaned forward next to her ear, "You did."
There was no answer. Xena couldnt see Gabrielles eyes, all Xena saw was the little hairs stand up on the back of her neck, she straighten back up as a big smile began to show on her face.
"Well now thats a rather big smile, dontcha think boys?"
The low voice stopped her thoughts present path. As she replayed the voice in her head, which was rather hard at the moment, she felt heavy, tired and actually off balance, Boys?
She blinked her eyes a few times; she tried to focus on the mug in front of her. Her eyes were the only things she moved, her vision was still slightly blurred, but there were a few people whom she knew werent there for the stew. Xena sniffed the air and turn toward the direction of the voice, only to see someone directly in her face. Great. She thought with such disgust at herself for not seeing them come in.
"Vesco. What do you want?" Incredible disgusted with herself.
"Ah, to know why you had that silly smile on your face?" He raises his eyebrows. " And you."
"HA! Go away." Xena turned back to her mug.
"So. ..Where is your little friend?" Vesco looked around the room as several chuckles drifted through the air. "Huh? What was that? I didnt hear you." He watched her eyes grow dark with rage.
"Alright Vesco I dont want any trouble outta you. Got me." The old bar hag spat to Vesco and his bunch of low lives.
" Now, now Maggie, Im just here to have a drink with an old friend."
"Fuck off Vesco. Leave before you really start to piss me off."
"Come now Xena. No need for fowl language. Im just trying to make nice." Vesco leaned onto the bar facing Xena rubbing his goatee. "Like I said before. Wheres your little friend?" Xena slowly turned her head and looked straight into his eyes. Death was in them.
to be continued
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