No More Secrets
by Sarah Miller
Characters don't belong to me but we all knew that didn't we? I just borrowed
them for my personal enjoyment and
I enjoyed them greatly.
Violence: Of course, what warrior do you think this story involves? Nothing
gruesome, just some practice fighting.
Nothing involving blood and guts so don't worry.
Looking up. "I don't think its going to die down."
The smaller woman nodded, the cloak hiding her face.
Xena looked over at Gabrielle. "I'm sorry."
Gabrielle turned and smiled. "It's not your fault. You have many skills, Xena
but I don't think controlling the weather is one of
them." She shook her head.
"That's not what I meant."
"Then what did you mean?"
"I meant that I'm sorry I didn't let us stay at the village."
"How could you have known this would hit us?" She stopped. "Don't feel sorry for everything Xena."
Xena stopped and turned to her. "Sorry."
Xena looked around them. "No shelter whatso ever. Impossible."
"Yeah, well it happens."
"Maybe we should go down there?" She pointed to a hillside where she looked down. "Can Argo make it?"
Gabrielle started down, Xena behind her. Her footing slipped every once in a
while because of the mud and she had to move
just right. Her footing slipped again but this time she couldn't stop herself from sliding. On reflex, she grabbed onto Xena
Xena was paying no attention to Gabrielle until the bard put her hand onto
her arm. She couldn't respond quick enough and
they both slid down the hill, dropping to roll.
They hit the bottom of the hill together.
Gabrielle shook her head and looked up, smiling as she saw Xena on top of her. "Sorry."
Xena shook her head. "Its all right."
"What's so funny?"
"Your face is covered in mud. Except your forehead and mouth." She laughed some more.
"Oh yeah." Xena dropped her arm to her side and grabbed a huge gob of mud.
Gabrielle's smile dropped. "You wouldn't dare."
"I would." She dropped the mud onto Gabrielle's face and laughed as she rubbed the mud in Gabrielle's hair.
"Oh yeah?" She grabbed some mud too and the fight began.
Xena rolled them over and over but messed up, rolling them into a puddle of
mud. "Oh just great." She sighed and closed her
eyes. "Its gonna take a month to get the mud out of my leathers."
Gabrielle raised off of her and smiled down at her. "Not the first time." She helped her up. "Right."
"Right, but it still makes me mad, Gabrielle."
Gabrielle shrugged and pulled her hood over her muddy head. "Not like its so
easy to get mud out of your hair either." She
<*> <*> <*>
They made it to Amphipolis in one piece and received a warm welcome from Cyrene.
"Xena, Gabrielle." She pulled the two women into a hug, squeezing quite
tight. She soon let them go though. "If I'd of known
you were coming, I'd of made...."
"We didn't want you to go through all the trouble."
"Trouble? Nonsense. You are my girls, no trouble whatsoever."
Xena rolled her eyes and took a seat.
"Uh uh. Get over here."
"No, cooking is not my thing."
Gabrielle laughed. "I can tell you that."
Cyrene laughed. "Well then." She turned to the bard. "Well Gabrielle, its just you and me."
Gabrielle smiled and nodded.
Xena stood. "As much as I'd like to sit here and...."
Cyrene interrupted her. "Yes, yes, go on then. We'll call you when it's done."
Xena nodded and walked out.
"Got your hands full with her huh."
"Not quite." She laughed.
Cyrene didn't get her comment and shrugged, continuing with the food.
"It's hard to believe."
"That we've been together so long."
Cyrene nodded. "Not too hard to believe, you two are close."
"Yes we are."
Cyrene turned to her and smiled. "Does she know?"
Gabrielle turned to her suddenly. "What?"
Cyrene laughed. "Does she know?"
"That you love her."
Gabrielle sighed and looked down. "No."
<*> <*> <*>
"It's ready Xena."
Cyrene walked into the front of the Inn. "Xena?"
Gabrielle walked in behind her. "Did you expect her to sit down and wait?" She laughed.
"No." She sighed. "Go find her will you?"
Gabrielle nodded. "Yep, got a idea of where she might be." She left the Inn.
She didn't have to go far, the sounds of yelling and cheering told her
exactly where the warrior was. "Not again." She pushed
her way through the crowd to see Xena in the middle, fighting a man. Not fighting, just....play fighting? Gabrielle shook her
head. "Xena, wanna tell the boys to go home so you can eat?"
If Xena heard her, she gave no sign.
The man she was fighting with lunged for her and hit the dirt as she flipped
over him. He turned and got up, throwing a punch at
her again. She blocked it of course and turned to the side as he lunged. He fell to the dirt once again.
"Give up?" She gave a toothy grin. "Hmm?"
He shook his head. There was no way he was going to be beat by a girl. He
lunged for her once more and found himself in the
dirt again. He stood up.
She smiled. "Give up?"
He shook his head and walked closer. "Not yet. Swords?"
"I'm afraid I might hurt you."
He glared playfully. "I doubt it."
A man jumped in the conversation. "He's the best swordsmen in town."
She turned back to him. "Oh really." She drew her sword and smiled, curling a finger for him to come. "Come and get it."
He drew his sword and swung at her almost gaining contact.
She raised a brow and struck a blow across his arm, drawing some blood. Nothing deadly.
He looked down at his hand. "One for you, and now...." He twirled striking his sword and missing her.
She smiled. "You were saying?"
Their swords met, hard and fast. They fought for control. Xena flipped over
him, kicking him in the face. She smiled as he
wiped the dirt off of his chin.
She shrugged. "Not really." Their swords met once again and with one quick
flick of her arm, she had her sword at his chest.
He kicked at her, dropping her to her butt. "Don't get too cocky."
"I must be a little rusty." She smiled knowing full well she hadn't even begun yet.
He watched her stand. "No problem." His fist met air as he swung at her.
She dropped, legs striking out to knock him down on his butt. "Who's cocky now?"
He nodded. "Guess you beat me."
She saw the glint in his eyes and knew he had another trick up his sleeve.
She jumped as his sword slashed at her. "Not fast
enough." She twirled, smacking him in the back with her fist.
He shook his head. "That the best you can do?" He moved behind her, missing her playful smile.
She dropped to her hands, kicking her legs up behind her, striking him in the chin once again.
He grabbed his chin. "Okay, wanna fight. No more playing."
She sidestepped him, knocking him down as he lunged at her and kicked him
down. Before she could breathe, she was on her
back once more.
He moved to straddle her. "Looks like I...." He paused as he felt the cold steel against his throat. "Lose."
She smiled and flipped him off of her. Standing up, she sheathed her sword. "I win." She walked to Gabrielle.
"You done playing, Xena?"
"Good because the food is done and I'm hungry."
"What a surprise." She received a light punch to the stomach as she followed
<*> <*> <*>
Cyrene turned to the door to see them enter. "Oh good you found her."
"Wasn't hard. She decided to show the men who's the best warrior."
Xena sat down. A shit eating grin on her face. "I won." She popped a grape into her mouth.
"Yes she won." She turned to Xena. "So what." She dodge a grape. "Hey, watch it."
Xena smiled as she spit another one at Gabrielle, this one making contact with the bards forehead.
"Xena gross." She wiped her forehead. "You are too playful today."
She shrugged. "A fight gets my blood flowing." She smiled. "As you know."
Cyrene shook her head. "Well, the foods hot and ready. Lets eat." She started setting it down on the food.
Xena stood up, walking to the sink to wash her hands.
Cyrene smiled. "Looks like some of my teachings sunk in."
Xena rolled her eyes.
"I saw that."
Xena turned to her with a surprised look on her face. Her mother wasn't even looking at her and she knew.
"Not really, Gabrielle. Whenever I talk about things like that or give a
command to Xena, she always rolls her eyes." She
turned to the warrior. "And makes remarks." She lifted an eyebrow.
"That's where she gets it."
"The eyebrow thing. She does it and so do you." She laughed.
Xena walked to them, sitting down. "Doesn't take a lot to get Gabrielle
amused." She jumped as water splashed at her face.
Gabrielle laughed. "Oh sorry, I'm just clumsy these days."
Xena turned to her mother who was smiling. "Oh?" She stood and grabbed a towel, wiping herself off. "Come here Gabrielle."
"No, you're just going to hurt me."
She smiled. "That's right." She lunged and missed the bard. "Come here now."
Gabrielle ran to the door, but was blocked when Xena ran to it. "Xena, be nice, it was just a joke."
"Oh? A joke huh." She stepped around Gabrielle and heard the sigh of relief.
She turned to her mother before she twisted
around, grabbing Gabrielle around the waist, and hauling her over her shoulder.
"Xena, please." She hit her back. "Let me go. Drop me."
"Oh I will." She walked outside. "I planned on it."
Before Gabrielle knew what hit her, she was submerged in the water trough.
Spitting out water as she got out, she turned to
Xena. "That was not fair."
"Yes it was." She turned back and walked to the kitchen.
Cyrene looked up to see a satisfied Xena walk in followed by a wet Gabrielle. "Dear what did you do?" She laughed.
"Oh that." She pointed at Gabrielle. "Gabrielle just needed a bath." She sat down.
"Are you happy?" She sat down, a squishing noise sounded. "I'm soaked."
"Should of thought of that before."
"You should be nice, you barbarian."
Xena turned to her. "Some just don't learn." She stood and walked towards Gabrielle.
Gabrielle stood and backed away. "Now Xena. Be reasonable."
"I am. Really." She backed Gabrielle against a wall, holding her hands high over her head. "Very reasonable." She smiled.
Cyrene heard a yell from the next room and left to wait on the customers.
"Please Xena try to understand."
"I'm soaked to the bone and cold." She smiled.
Xena shook her head. "Oh no you don't. Not going to work with me. First you
get me all muddy, then you splash water on my
"And you got me back for it."
She shook her head. "I haven't even began to get you back. I still can't get the leather cleaned."
"But its hot weather, aren't you glad you don't have to wear your leathers. You can wear that shift."
Xena shook her head. "No." She turned her head to the side.
"What are you gonna do?"
"I don't know. I might go and throw you in the water trough again, but I
already did that once. I could go throw you in the mud,
no did that. I could go and...." She grabbed the mashed potatoes. "..cover you in potatoes." She smeared it all over Gabrielle's
face and neck. "Yeah that works." She let Gabrielle go and stepped back. "You look good in white." She laughed.
Gabrielle grabbed the gravel bowel and walked to Xena. "Funny. Lets see how
you look in this." She flipped it up. Gravy went
all over Xena's face and chest.
Xena gasped as she felt the warm liquid run down her chest. "Oh I'm gonna get you for that."
"Oh?" She grabbed a big spoon, filling it with potatoes. "Can't have gravy
without potatoes. She flung the spoon full at Xena. It
hit her in the chest right on the collar bone.
Xena reached for the honey. "Gravy and potatoes are easy to get off. Wanna try honey?" She walked to Gabrielle.
"Now Xena its all in fun right? That will never come out."
"I know." She grabbed Gabrielle and poured the gooey honey down her shirt and
patted it in. "Mmm, yummy." She set down
Gabrielle closed her eyes as she felt it slide down her front. "I'm going to get you for that."
Xena smiled before a very angry bard leaped at her, knocking her to the
floor. She rolled her off and tried to stand but was
pulled back down. Gabrielle rolled her onto her back and held her arms over her head. "Honey was not nice, Xena."
"Neither was gravy."
Gabrielle shook her head and looked down at Xena. She did look good in gravy.
She closed her eyes, shaking her head,
clearing her thoughts. She opened them and smiled. "Lets call a truce."
Gabrielle didn't move.
"Uh, Gabrielle, wanna get off of me?"
Gabrielle let go of Xena's arms and stood up.
Xena grabbed a towel and headed over to the sink, when Cyrene walked in. She
turned to the table and saw the food, or what
was left of it. "What happened?"
Gabrielle smiled. "Well you see, your daughter can be a barbarian and that's all I have to say." She sat down.
Cyrene turned to Xena, who's back was to her. "Xena."
She shook her head.
Xena slowly turned around and saw her mother break into laughter.
"My goodness, look at you." She turned to Gabrielle, who was trying to pull potatoes out of her hair. "You both are a mess."
Gabrielle looked up at her. "Do you know where she put the honey?" She pulled
back her shirt. "Look at this. This is so gross
Cyrene laughed and turned to the table. "Well I guess dinner is out." She
walked to the corner, pulling out a mop and some
towels. "You had fun, now you can clean it up." She set them down and walked out.
<*> <*> <*>
Gabrielle laughed and splashed Xena once more.
"Don't make me hurt you."
"Oh? Do you know how hard I had to scrub to get that honey out and the potatoes, I still have some in my hair."
"How do you think I feel? I'm the one that got dipped in gravy. That's not so easy to get out either."
Gabrielle laughed. "Don't we fight over the stupidest things."
"You do." She received a splash and grabbed hold of Gabrielle's short hair,
pushing her under the water. She waited a bit then
pulled her back out. "You were saying."
"You are an evil....." Dunk. "....mean...." Dunk. "...Barbarian..." Dunk.
"...who is going to get kicked in the ass if she doesn...."
Dunk. "...stop dun...." Dunk. "...dunking me." She was let go.
"No, I have a few more things to sa....." Dunk.
Xena held her under a bit longer. "Now are you done?"
Gabrielle didn't say a thing.
"Thank you." She continued to wash out the gravy.
<*> <*> <*>
Xena sat in the back of the Inn relaxing while she listened to Gabrielle tell another tale about the warrior princess. She sighed as
she looked around at the people. "They really enjoy this?" She rolled her eyes and looked back up at Gabrielle as she listened.
Gabrielle took a bow as she left the stage and walked to Xena. "How long have you been here?"
"Long enough to catch a story about how I once again angered the gods." She smiled.
Gabrielle sat down. "Hungry?"
"No, I don't think I can think about food now."
Gabrielle laughed. "Aw Xena, its not that bad..." She smiled. "..just don't eat any potatoes and gravy."
Xena shook her head and sat back.
"So how long we staying here?"
She shrugged. "Don't know."
"Taking a break are we?"
"Something like that."
"Fight any one else who thinks they can beat Xena?"
She smiled. "I won."
"I didn't have any doubts." She laughed.
"Yes you did."
"No, I always know...."
Xena stood up.
"Where you going?"
"To start another challenge."
Gabrielle stood. "Don't you think you should leave those men alone?"
"Yes, that's why you're doing it."
<*> <*> <*>
"Listen up. I propose another challenge."
The group surrounded. "No one else wants to fight you."
Xena smiled. "Not me, her."
Gabrielle's eyes went wide. "WHAT!"
"She'll fight." She handed Gabrielle her staff. "Any takers."
One man stepped forward. "I'll fight her."
Gabrielle stepped back but Xena pushed her forward. "If you can knock me on my butt, you can knock him on his."
"That was different."
"No it wasn't." She pushed her forward and walked out of the circle.
Gabrielle turned to the man and smiled. "Hi."
He nodded and walked forward. "Gonna fight or talk little one?"
Gabrielle gripped her staff and stepped forward.
<*> <*> <*>
"Told you you could beat him."
"Yeah, but I didn't believe it, or that I'd beat five." She laughed.
"I trained you well."
"Yes you did." She sat down. "My butt is killing me."
"You shouldn't of turned from him."
"He didn't have to knock me on my butt."
"True but you should of seen your face."
Gabrielle turned to her. "Oh? Well warrior how bout we fight?"
"Nah, don't want to hurt you."
Gabrielle stood. "Hurt me! Oh yes you are fighting me, so I can wipe that grin off your face."
Xena stood and looked down at her. "You couldn't beat me if I was blind."
"That's a challenge." She walked to the door and turned back. "Coming?"
<*> <*> <*>
They stood in the open field across from each other.
"How do you want to fight?"
"Me with my staff you without."
"Puts me on the same balance as you."
"I can still beat you without weapons."
"I'm sure you can. Stop talking and show me." She raised her staff high.
"Come on warrior princess, lets see what you're made
"Ooo, you're toast." She moved around the bard.
"Yeah yeah." She swung for Xena's midsection and missed. "Just getting warmed up."
Xena blocked the staff from her head and pulled it out of Gabrielle's grasp. "Still sure you can beat me?"
"Yes." She grabbed it back and swung for Xena once again.
Xena grabbed the staff and pulled Gabrielle to her. "Give up?"
"Not a chance." She kneed her in the stomach and stepped back.
"That was dirty."
"You taught me."
She hit the ground and swiped out her legs, but Gabrielle jumped.
"I know your moves Xena. It might not be easy to beat me."
Xena stood up. "I see." She flipped over Gabrielle, kicking her to the ground. She stood over her. "Give up?"
"Not a chance." She kicked Xena's legs out from under and stood over her. "Do you give up?"
Xena shook her head and stood up. "No." She ducked as the staff swung over her head. "Trying to be-head me?"
"No, but that would do."
Xena narrowed her eyes. "That's it, you're mine." She grabbed hold of Gabrielle
and flipped her to the ground, straddling her
waist. "I was being nice, giving you a fair shot, but no, had to beat me huh." She shook her head. "Not a smart thing, Gabrielle."
"So let me up then, you beat me."
"No, how bout I don't."
Gabrielle stared up at her. "Okay, so I lay here all day."
"Yeah, that's pretty much it." She smiled and got up off of Gabrielle.
"You're a barbarian." She felt herself being hauled over a shoulder as Xena walked back to town.
The villagers turned to see Xena walk through town with a screaming bard on her shoulders. They couldn't stop laughing.
"Xena, this is so embarrassing."
"I know." She smiled and entered the Inn. "Mom."
Cyrene came into the room. "What is...."
"Take care of this will you?" She dumped Gabrielle in a chair and sat down.
"What happened now?"
Gabrielle sat up. "Your daughter is mean, that's what?"
"Oh I see." She sat down. "What happened?"
"Gabrielle wanted to see if she could beat me."
Xena turned to her mother and smiled. "What do you think happened?"
"No." She shook her head. "She didn't. I did."
"How did I cheat?"
"She used her strength against mine."
"And how is that cheating?"
"Because it was not fair."
Cyrene laughed. "I'll never understand you."
"That makes two of us."
Gabrielle threw a towel at Xena. "Barbarian."
<*> <*> <*>
The night settled in and Gabrielle stood in the kitchen washing dishes. She turned to see Xena standing in the doorway. "She go
"Yeah." She walked to Gabrielle. "Having fun?"
"Tons, care to help?"
Gabrielle flicked water at Xena.
"Don't start that again."
Gabrielle continued with the last dish. She rinsed it off and dried her hands. "What did you do all day?"
She shrugged. "The usual, beat the good guys and be the bad."
"Played with the kids again."
"Let me guess, you were the bad guy."
"Did they slaughter you?"
"Oh they killed me dead. I have a bruise to prove it."
"See, I knew you had a soft side." She jumped up onto the counter. "Its late."
"Yes." She turned to Gabrielle. "You look tired."
She shook her head. "No."
Xena walked closer until she stood in front of her. She looked down at
Gabrielle's legs and spread them apart and she fit her
body in between. Her head leaned down to lay on Gabrielle's chest.
"You okay?" She stroked the dark hair.
"Fine, never been better."
Gabrielle didn't know what to think. Xena was never this soft. "Sure?"
Xena pulled away and looked at Gabrielle. "Yes."
They held a gaze for awhile till Gabrielle broke it. "So you had a rough day huh?"
"Being the bad guy tomorrow?"
"No, I told them you would be."
"Oh, I see. Did you think to ask me about it?"
"No." She pulled Gabrielle closer. "I didn't."
Gabrielle took a swallow, trying to get rid of the lump that was in her throat. She took a deep breath.
She shook her head.
"The fact that you are so close could be involved."
Xena smiled. "Oh? And why is that?" She pulled Gabrielle to her, till their faces were inches apart.
Gabrielle closed her eyes and took a deep breath.
Xena watched her face and felt her heart jump as she leaned forward and touched her lips to Gabrielle's.
Gabrielle jumped and opened her eyes to look at Xena. "Xe...."
Xena put her finger over Gabrielle's lips. "Shh, don't say anything." She
leaned forward and their lips touched once more. A
soft kiss, full of love and trust. Xena groaned as she felt Gabrielle's tongue shyly touch her bottom lip. She put her hand at the
back of Gabrielle's head and pulled her closer as she pushed her tongue into Gabrielle's mouth. The kiss deepened and both
were left breathless.
Xena pulled back to see Gabrielle's eyes still closed. She kissed each eye lid slowly. "Gabrielle."
"Open your eyes."
"I'm afraid if I do, this will all be a dream."
Xena kissed her mouth once more. "No dream. Open."
Gabrielle opened her eyes and felt her heart stop. "I love you."
"I love you too." She smiled. "No dream."
"I was afraid that you wouldn't ever think this way about me."
"I always wanted to kiss you, just didn't want to ruin our relationship."
"Why? I mean, why now?"
"I saw you working so hard, and you....I just don't know. It just happened."
Gabrielle nodded. "I'm so happy you came in here."
"So am I." She leaned her head down on Gabrielle's chest again and sighed as she felt Gabrielle's arms circle around her.
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