Pants on Fire
The song is over. The curtain closes
to raucous applause. Backstage the participants are milling around congratulating
each other. Xena, Gabrielle and Cyrene are in a huddle, laughing. The tavern
"Attention, everyone!" He yells, but no one hears him. "Everyone!" He tries again. Still no one pays him any heed, except Gabrielle.
"EVERYBODY PIPE DOWN!" She bellows. Cyrene puts her hands over her ears and the others all gape at Gabrielle. "This man has something to say."
"Uh, thanks," the tavern owner says. She nods.
Cyrene whispers to Xena, "I always thought Gabrielle was such a refined, quiet young lady."
"Oh, she can be plenty loud if she wants to," Xena responds with a knowing grin, thinking of the countless times she has made Gabrielle scream in pleasure. To Gabrielle, "Jeez, what are you, part Banshee? I think you broke my ear drum."
"Don't be such a baby. It can't have been any worse than your Argo whistle or your stupid war cry." Xena is readying her indignant reply when the tavern owner speaks.
"Thank you all for making the Battle of the Bands a huge success!" Assorted cheers abound. "Since the crowds made me wagons of dinars, you're all invited to my tavern for free food and drink!"
The thrilled throng erupts into whoops of tremendous volume, and makes its exit eagerly. Mother, daughter and daughter-in-law let the rest of the rowdy mob leave first.
"Aren't you two going to the party?" Cyrene asks.
"Yeah, Mom. We'll be there. You go on ahead," Xena answers.
"If you don't get there right away, the most eligible men will already be taken," Cyrene proclaims pointedly.
"OK, OK. I'll see you later." She departs as Gabrielle tries not to laugh. Xena glares at her.
"What is so funny?"
"The look on your face," Gabrielle chortles.
"Gabrielle, this is serious. I'm sick of my mother trying to find me a man! If she sends one more oaf after me, I'll - I'll sic Jace on him!"
"Now that would be funny." Xena levels a steely stare at Gabrielle, who sobers herself with effort. "I thought you made it clear to her you didn't need a husband."
"I thought so, too, but I obviously didn't get through to her. We have got to tell her about us before she drives me nuts!"
"Do you think she's ready for that?"
"I don't care if she's ready or not!"
"Do you want me to tell her? After all, I handle the sensitive chats." Gabrielle's eyes sparkle with mischief. Xena smirks at her, then sighs dramatically.
"No. She's my mother. I should be the one to tell her."
"How do you think she'll take it?"
"I'm not sure. She knows you and I love each other, just not to what extent." They smile warmly at each other.
"Come on, Love. The party awaits."
"Son of a Bacchae!"
"With Mom there, I won't get a moment's peace."
"Don't worry. I have a plan."
"What kind of a plan?" Xena queries skeptically.
"You wanna know what the plan is, do you? It's not fun being out of the loop, is it?"
"Just tell me what it is already!"
"Fine. I think it's an excellent plan. One of the local merchants has an eye for Cyrene."
"It's true. I've seen him gawk at her. So, I'll introduce them and hopefully they'll hit it off and that will keep her out of your lovely hair this evening."
"What if they don't hit it off?"
"Don't be so cynical, Xena. Let's go put my plan into action." They start walking from the stage. "But first I'm going to change out of this ridiculous outfit." Xena grabs her arm.
"No!" Gabrielle observes her curiously. "Please don't. I like it," Xena discloses sheepishly, and then ogles Gabrielle lecherously. Gabrielle raises her eyebrows.
"Hmm. Feeling frisky, are we? OK. I'll keep it on." She leans in close to Xena and says softly. "Until we can take it off in private."
"Gabrielle! You little vixen!"
"Come on. I have some matchmaking of my own to do. This will be a nice change of pace. I don't remember the last time we could kick back and enjoy ourselves."
"Sounds good. Lead on, my Bard." They hold hands and continue off the platform.
When Gabrielle and Xena arrive at the saloon, the festivities are in full swing. The noise is just below riot level, what with Jace and his merry men cavorting outrageously and the Amazon Band performing (if you could call it that) a boisterous number. A table is set up along the far wall laden with a vast variety of foods. Gabrielle spies it and squeals excitedly.
"Ooh! Nutbread!" She takes a step in that direction, but Xena corrals her.
"Hold on! What about your plan? Is the merchant even here? Maybe he wasn't invited." They both search the jam-packed tavern.
"Yes, he was. He was a stagehand during the contest. Aha, there he is! Mr. Zorba "
Gabrielle hurries to the merchant just as Cyrene spots her statuesque daughter.
"Xena!" Cyrene trumpets. The object of her pursuit cringes. "Xena, I want you to meet someone!"
Under her breath, Xena mutters, "For crying out loud!"
Several minutes later, things have calmed down considerably. The band is taking an undeserved but much appreciated break. Joxer is making the moves on Amoria again. Jace is holding court in a corner, telling stories to his cronies. Cyrene and Zorba are at the bar in animated conversation.
Gabrielle and Xena are sitting at a front table. The remains of what appears to have been a rather large meal is on Gabrielle's plate. A half-empty pitcher of wine rests nearby. Xena is sipping a mug of milk. Gabrielle stuffs the last crust of nutbread into her mouth. She rubs her full (but still flat) stomach contentedly.
"By the Gods, that was heaven." She becomes aware of Xena for the first time since she began inhaling her feast. "Did you get enough to eat?"
"If I didn't, it's too late now. After you visited the food table, there's none left. I'm supposed to be the one who's eating for two, remember?" Gabrielle sticks her tongue out. "Don't do that. I'm horny enough as it is."
Gabrielle naturally does it again. Xena stretches her leg under the table and pokes her foot in Gabrielle's crotch. Gabrielle jumps.
"My goodness! You are horny, aren't you?"
"As a pirate who's been stuck on Cecrops' ship for 30 years."
"My my, that is bad. Why don't we do something about it?" Her hand glides up Xena's endless thigh. Xena likes it, but controls herself and extricates her leg from Gabrielle's grasp.
"Party pooper," Gabrielle pouts, then realizes her gloves are still on. "Drat. I've got food all over my gloves. Guess I'll have to clean it off." She licks her fingers, sneaking a peek at Xena out of the corner of her eye. Xena groans. "Want to help me?" Gabrielle puts one finger in her mouth. Xena groans again.
"Gabrielle, you are such a tease."
"Who, me? You must have me confused with someone else. Oh, look. Here's a big splotch just for you." She offers her left index finger to Xena, who makes as if to knock it away, then snatches it and kisses the tip of the appendage. She deposits Gabrielle's hand on the table and pats it.
"Now, be good."
"I'm always good." Her eyes are seductive slits.
"No, sometimes you're bad. But you're very good when you're bad." They crack up. The band has returned from their break and is playing Whitney Houston's "I'm Every Woman".
"I love this song!"
"Have you ever heard it before?"
"Shut up! Let's dance." Gabrielle grabs Xena's hand and tries to drag her out of her chair. She is having none of it.
"I don't feel like dancing, Gabrielle."
"Come on, Xena! This song has a great beat. I have to move to it!"
"Then go and move to it by yourself. You're a terrific dancer. I love watching you."
"But I want to dance with you!"
"Gabrielle, I just ate and junior needs time to digest our dinner."
"Please?" Gabrielle begs. She knows it's a rare occurrence when Xena can resist her pleading.
"No." Apparently, this is one of those times. "Get out there and dance before the song is over."
She shoves Gabrielle away from the table onto the dance floor. At first Gabrielle is fairly reserved, but eventually, she forgets everything except the music and moving to it. She's doing a sultrier version of her earlier dance during the contest finale. Gabrielle is totally into her task. Her hands skim over her sculptured body sensually. She's playing only to Xena. Their eyes smolder and the heat between them is palpable.
The Amazon Queen is putting on quite a show, and Xena isn't the only one transfixed. Joxer, having wandered over to Jace's corner, is visibly drooling. His face has the same glazed expression that Homer Simpson gets when he sees a donut. Quite a few of the other men are leering noticeably. Even Amoria isn't immune to Gabrielle's charms. She keeps glancing at her while she sings.
Gabrielle deliberately strips a glove off and swings it over her head like a lasso. Then she swats herself with it in all the pertinent places, and throws it to Xena. Gabrielle turns around, wickedly wiggling her wazoo. She peers over her shoulder at Xena as she caresses her own behind, then facers backstage again. The pregnant princess is getting very stimulated and decides an excursion to the outhouse is in order. Gabrielle rakes her hands through her hair, across her pert breasts and down her sides to her shapely hips.
The next thing she knows, Jace is beside her.
"You are one sexy chica, Gabrielle, but if you don't stop shaking your cutie booty, you are going to give my brother and all the other poor unfortunate straight men in here heart attacks. Not to mention some of the women."
Gabrielle is not quite with it, her mind still on her exhibition.
"But I'm dancing for Xena."
"Not anymore, my muy hot tamale. She's vamoosed." Gabrielle twirls towards the crowd again, and locates Xena's vacant seat. She also sees how agitated a lot of the males are. "And most of the lads' tongues are hanging to their knees. I think you'd better end your performance before they all storm the stage."
"I think you're right. Thanks, Jace." She smiles weakly at him and returns to their table, wondering where her warrior is. Gabrielle plops down heavily and grabs the carafe of wine, pouring a goblet. She drinks it all in one gulp. Then she repeats the process, slamming her goblet down when she's finished. She smacks her lips and a deafening belch escapes them. She covers her mouth demurely.
Just that moment, Xena resumes her place across from Gabrielle.
"Where did you go? I missed you."
"You were making me crazy. I had to go and relieve myself."
Gabrielle's eyes widen. "Xena!"
"I went to the bathroom, Gabrielle."
"No! To use the facilities!"
"Did I miss anything?"
"No. I quit when I found out you left. It wasn't as much fun without you."
Sorry. But when you gotta go, you gotta go. Especially in my case. Here." She gives Gabrielle back her glove. She is slightly embarrassed and dons it quickly. Gabrielle replenishes her goblet, emptying the wine jug. She is crestfallen.
"We need more wine," she whines.
"I think you've had enough."
"I haven't had nearly enough of you."
They lock eyes. Both are becoming hot and bothered. They may well have cleared off the table and gone at it right then and there if not for Jace interrupting with a proclamation.
"Ladies and gentlemen! Tonight we have a special treat for you. Along with the Amazon Band, who have so graciously granted their contribution, my boys and I would like to sing a new song for you. Ready? Vamanos!"
The two groups launch into a spirited rendition of "Love Shack" by the B-52's, complete with century correct lyrics (listed later). Gabrielle and Xena come out (we wish) of their erotic haze reluctantly, and determine that this is a fabulous song. Xena extends her hand to Gabrielle, and they stroll onto the dance floor.
Our favorite couple is having a marvelous time dancing, with a single problem: it is becoming increasingly hard to keep their hands off each other. Make that impossible. They start by inventing 'the bump'. That leads to some dirty dancing, with Gabrielle sidling up behind Xena, rubbing against her butt and sliding her hands up and down the taller woman's torso. By that time, without any words being exchanged, they agree that they can't stand it any longer. They must proceed immediately to their room. As they are rushing to the door, Cyrene hails them.
"Xena! Aren't you going to tell your mother goodnight?"
"Yeah, goodnight, Mom," Gabrielle adds as they attempt to escape.
"Xena, wait a minute." Xena and Gabrielle are disinclined to stop, but do so with frustration evident on their flushed faces. "I've been having a delightful talk with Zorba, and "
"I thought you might," Gabrielle announces with a partially inebriated nudge to Xena. All ignore her.
"Anyway, Zorba has a very wonderful son who just happens to be unattached "
"That's it!" Xena explodes, this being the last straw. "Mother, we have to talk!"
With that, Xena hauls both Cyrene and Gabrielle out of the tavern where it is much quieter.
"What is it, Xena?" Xena takes a big breath and dives in.
"Mother, Gabrielle and I love each other very much."
"I know that, dear. Now about Zorba's son. His name is Bluto and he's a blacksmith."
"We're lovers." Xena blurts.
"You and the blacksmith?"
"No! Gab "
"Cyrene, listen." Gabrielle whispers into Cyrene's ear for a while.
"Really?" Gabrielle nods her head. "Why didn't she tell me before?"
"This is still rather new to her. It hasn't been going on very long and Xena's not prepared for people to know about it until it's a sure thing. For now, it's a secret."
"I understand." Cyrene gives Xena a big hug. "Congratulations, Xena! I'm so happy for you!" Xena is way bewildered, and questions Gabrielle with her eyes. Her light haired partner is less than forthcoming. She licks her lips suggestively. Xena gulps.
"Thanks, Mom. I really need to get Gabrielle to bed now." Oops. That didn't come out quite right.
"Good idea," Gabrielle quips.
Aside to Xena so Gabrielle can't hear, Cyrene confides, "That's the best thing for her. I think she's had a little too much to drink." Now louder. "I'd better go talk to Zorba. It was rude of me to just leave like that." Cyrene returns inside.
"Gabrielle, what did you tell " Xena can't finish her inquiry since Gabrielle's mouth is unexpectedly upon hers with great force. "Mmm."
"Let's go, Xena. We can talk about this later." Another wet kiss follows. It's hard, but Xena tries to get her mind back to the subject.
"Gabrielle, I need to know "
"I need you! Now!" The raw desire in Gabrielle's eyes conducts a jolt straight to Xena's groin, and the pair race to their room at the inn, where a short time later, we hear Xena's impassioned words.
"Oh, yes, Gabrielle. Just like that. Gods, that feels so good! You're getting to be an expert at this."
"I ought to be. I've had enough practice," Gabrielle retorts sourly as she massages Xena's bare feet, which are attached to her fully clothed body, which is reclining on their bed.
"You know how much I appreciate this, right? After all that dancing, my dogs were killing me."
"As long as you pay me back. And I know just how." Gabrielle crawls up to Xena and gives her a long, luxurious kiss. Xena enjoys it, however, she must insist on saying something else.
"I hate to do this, Gabrielle, but before we go on, could you please tell me what you said to my mother?" Gabrielle is annoyed, yet knows Xena's heart won't be in their activities until she confesses.
"I told her you and Hercules were lovers."
"YOU WHAT?!" Gabrielle flinches.
"Just joking. I really told her you were in love with Joxer." She winces, waiting for Xena's outburst. It doesn't come.
"If you value your life, you had better be kidding," Xena declares icily.
"You know I wouldn't really tell your mother that."
"I'd hope not. What did you really tell her?"
"I wanted to get her off your back, but I wasn't sure if she was ready for the truth, so I told her you had gotten reacquainted with Maphias on your last visit to Amphipolis, and you were an item again."
"That could work."
"Of course it will. I'm a bard, you know. He's a farmer and can't leave his land, so he won't be traveling with us. You'll see him when you can and later, if we haven't told her about us, we can say it didn't work out and you broke up."
"What if " Gabrielle silences Xena by placing a finger over her lips.
"And I told her it's a secret, so she won't ask him about it."
"You're amazing, Gabrielle."
"So I've been told." Gabrielle smiles goofily, batting her eyelashes.
"Even more amazing since you came up with that story when you were half crocked."
"Sometimes I get my best ideas when I'm a little tipsy."
"You don't say."
"I'm having a luscious idea right now."
"What is it?" Instead of speaking, Gabrielle takes Xena's right hand and arranges it on her own left breast. "I like that idea." Xena bestows a lingering kiss on Gabrielle. When she breaks it off, she takes in all of her adored. "You are so hot in this! It's a wonder half the bar didn't hit on you tonight." Gabrielle giggles. "What?"
"They almost did. But Jace made me stop before they swarmed the dance floor. Now, where were we?"
"I'm pretty sure I can remember." Her lips find Gabrielle's again and she combs her fingers through the tale spinner's cropped hair. Between kisses, Xena murmurs, "Did I ever tell you how much your short hair turns me on?"
"Oh, yes." She bombards Gabrielle with feathery kisses on her face, neck, shoulders, chest and stomach. "Mmm. You taste so good." Xena discovers the tassels on Gabrielle's top. "This fringe is just too much fun." She uses her tongue to flick the dangling strings, licking Gabrielle's abs in the process.
"Gods, Xena." Gabrielle's voice is husky. She puts a gloved hand up to Xena's face and traces her lips. Xena takes Gabrielle's thumb into her mouth and swirls her tongue all around it.
Moving up Gabrielle's arm, Xena peels the glove with her teeth. When she has it to the wrist, she licks the base of Gabrielle's palm. It is one of her most sensitive spots.
"I love it when you do that."
"I know. And I love doing it."
Before Xena can remove the other glove, Gabrielle apprehends Xena's lips with her own. Since the warrior's mouth is open, Gabrielle wastes no time in slipping her tongue inside. Their tongues collide, twisting and fluttering in limitless variations. When Gabrielle ends the invasion, both are winded and extremely aroused. Xena dispenses with the niceties and rips off Gabrielle's remaining glove. Her hands reach for the straps of Gabrielle's bikini, but the blond detains her.
"It doesn't seem fair, you being able to see most of me, yet you still have all your clothes on."
"Gabrielle, you can't tell me you like seeing me naked in my current condition."
"Yes, I do. Xena, it's true what they say about pregnant women. You're positively glowing."
"The only thing I'm glowing with is sweat. I look like a whale."
"A gorgeous whale," Gabrielle teases.
"You don't look anything like a whale." She frames Xena's face with her hands. "Xena, you are the most breathtaking woman I've ever seen. You are more beautiful to me now than ever. I can't take my eyes off you."
"Thank you, Gabrielle. You always know the right thing to say."
"It's the bard thing. But I meant every word. Now may I please undress you, my love?"
"All right, if you put it that way. But only if we do it together."
Both stand up. Gabrielle helps Xena off with her garb, gently kissing her lover's protruding belly. She steps out of the bikini bottoms under Xena's lustful scrutiny and rotates, presenting her back to Xena. Xena slips the slim straps over Gabrielle's strong shoulders and unhooks the bikini top. As it falls to the floor, she kisses the nape of Gabrielle's neck and wraps her arms around her waist, resting them just beneath the writer's breasts. Gabrielle leans back into Xena's embrace while the dark one continues to nuzzle her slender neck. This is a favorite position of Gabrielle's, and they stay that way for a spell to bask in their mutual bliss.
"I feel so full of love for you right now," Gabrielle muses.
"Me, too, honey."
"I'm overwhelmed with such unbridled joy that I could burst into song."
"Please don't. My ears are still sore from your yelling before. Hey, that rhymed. Maybe I'm a bard, too. I'll write an epic poem - 'Ode to Gabrielle'."
"Xena " The lanky stunner begins singing.
"Well, listen to my story 'bout Gabrielle "
Gabrielle pivots in Xena's arms with her hands on her hips.
"So, I can't sing, but you can?"
"Xena! That's not fair."
"Cute little gal that's lookin' really swell "
"Xena! I'm rapidly getting out of the mood here."
"Perfect hair, such a lovely lass. Nice round breasts and a firm young ass." Xena accentuates each of those attributes by stroking, fondling and groping them respectively. Gabrielle gasps at the final touch.
"I think I'm in the mood again." They share a probing kiss. Gabrielle is pensive as she admires all of her magnificent girlfriend. "She stands before me in all her naked glory."
"That's not bad."
"Not bad? It's damn good! It's easy to be poetic when I have a subject who inspires me."
"Always." A sizzling look passes between them and they clamber into bed, each savoring the sight of their beloved. "Can I tell you something?"
"No matter how many times we make love, it still gives me the biggest thrill. To know that you could have any man or woman in the world, and yet you choose me. I'm the only one who gets to see you like this. It's a real power trip."
"I feel exactly the same. You have such an incredible body and I alone can cherish it this way." A force field of pure electricity pulls them together. "I want to ravish you." Gabrielle opens her arms wide invitingly.
"By all means, have at me." Xena buries her tongue in Gabrielle's mouth and runs her thumb across her companion's erect nipple. Gabrielle moans her approval. Not in the mood to dilly-dally, Xena replaces her thumb with her lips and sucks with abandon. "By the Gods!" Gabrielle cries, throwing her head back, giving Xena more access to her meal.
The ravenous warrior switches breasts and swishes her tongue over the nipple before latching onto it. Gabrielle is nearly dizzy with desire.
"I'm so ready, I'm not going to last much longer if you keep that up."
"We can't have that." Xena's tongue draws a fiery path over Gabrielle's powerful smooth abs, skirting her bush and winding up at the muscular inner thighs that are coated with dampness. "I've never seen you this wet!" Her mouth vacuums the rivulets of moisture.
"Hurry, please," Gabrielle implores.
Xena diverts her attention to the saturated triangle scant inches in front of her. She breathes in Gabrielle's tangy scent and lightly blows. Gabrielle's nerve endings tingle and she whimpers. Xena can wait no more. She plunges her tongue into Gabrielle's slick crevices and executes a long, moseying swipe, finishing with a tug on the pulsing clit. That's all it takes to send Gabrielle into a wild orgasm.
"Xena!" She shouts hoarsely as she thrashes uncontrollably, drenching her lover with dripping juices that Xena laps up eagerly.
Afterward, Xena rests against the backboard, Gabrielle's head on her chest. She tenderly brushes Gabrielle's hair from her face.
"Hm?" Gabrielle keeps her eyes closed.
"I need to ask you a question."
"Mm." She snuggles closer to Xena. "Of course we can do it again, darling. I'm always ready for more." Xena chuckles.
"I know you are, my little sex kitten, but that isn't what I was going to ask. Although it is a fine suggestion." Gabrielle gets more awake. She opens her eyes and focuses on Xena.
"What then?" Xena is now somewhat uneasy and won't make eye contact with Gabrielle, instead playing with the sheet. Gabrielle is concerned. "Xena? What is it?" She disentangles herself from Xena and sits up. Xena figures she'd better just say it.
"Why were you jealous of Joxer and Amoria?" It's Gabrielle's turn to be uncomfortable.
"Jealous? Me? I have no idea what you're talking about."
"All right. I guess I'm used to him fawning all over me and when he quit abruptly and suddenly was completely engrossed in someone else, I felt sort of left out. It's not that I like him like that, Gods forbid. It's just that I've been feeling a bit under appreciated lately."
"I'm so sorry, sweetie. I've been so caught up in the baby that I've been neglecting you."
"It's only natural that you're preoccupied with the baby."
"Not to the point that I overlook the person who means everything to me. You've been more supportive than I could ask - fulfilling my every need. I've been very ungrateful. Please forgive me."
"Xena - it's not a big deal. Really."
"Xena - you could never do anything that I wouldn't forgive you for. We belong together, and we'll be together always, no matter what." Xena takes Gabrielle's hands.
"Gabrielle, you will have my heart and soul for eternity. You know that, don't you?" They gaze into each other's eyes with intense emotion.
"I know. And I will love you forever." Blue and green eyes tear up.
"I promise to concentrate more on you."
"Xena. I understand. You don't have to "
"And I can start right now." They kiss passionately and begin another voyage to the highest plane of ecstasy.
Lyrics for Love Shack
If you see a faded sign by the side of the road that says
15 miles to the Love Shack! Love Shack yeah
I'm headin' down the Athens roadway, lookin' for the love getaway
Heading for the love getaway, love getaway.
I got me a wagon, it's as big as a whale and we're headin' on down
To the Love Shack.
I got me a wagon; it seats 20 warriors,
So hurry up, and bring your extra dinars.
The love shack is a little old place where we can get together.
Love Shack baby, Love Shack, bay-bee.
Love baby, that's where it's at. Ooh love baby, that's where it's at.
Sign says Stay away fools, 'cause love rules at the Love Shack!
Well it's set way back in the middle of a field,
Just a funky old shack and I gotta get back.
Glitter on the bedroll
Glitter on the roadway
Glitter on the front porch
Glitter on the hallway
The Love Shack is a little old place where we can get together.
Love Shack baby! Love Shack, that's where it's at!
Huggin' and a kissin', dancin' and a lovin', wearin' next to nothin'
Cause it's hot as an oven.
The whole shack shimmies! The whole shack shimmies when Everybody's movin' around and around and around and around!
Everybody's movin', everybody's groovin' baby!
Folks linin' up outside just to get down.
Everybody's movin', everybody's groovin' baby.
Funky little shack! Funky little shack!
Hop in my wagon, it's as big as a whale and it's about to set sail!
I got me a wagon; it seats 20 warriors
So come on and bring your extra dinars!
Bang bang bang on the door baby! Knock a little louder baby!
Bang bang bang on the door baby! I can't hear you.
Your what? Thatch roof, busted!
Love Shack, baby. Love Shack!
Love baby, that's where it's at.
Huggin' and a kissin', dancin' and a lovin' at the Love Shack.