Troubles of Getting Joined
Disclaimer: The characters from XWP (Xena, Gabrielle, Argo, Ephiny and all the others) are still not mine. I wish they were. But I just borrowed them for a little fun. This is an alternative Fan Fiction story. It contains graphic sex between two conselting adult women. If you don't like the idea of two women who are in love with each other, go and read another story. But if you like this kind of story, then go on and read it. I hope you have as much fun reading this story as I did writing it. And I also love feedback. So write to me at Xenia@compuserve.com
I would like to thank some people here. First, Kathy and Linda, who always encouraged me in my writing and who become good friends to me. Also I would like to thank Watcher, my beta-reader, who always helped me when I thought I couldn't write anymore. And who told me what I could do to help make it better. Thank you my friend. And last but not least I would like my own Gabrielle. Thank you for always be here for me, when I need you.
A little note: This is the sequel to "Snakehead Gorgon". You don't have to read this story first, but you would miss some things.
Two weeks have gone by since Xena and Gabrielle said good-bye to Perseus. They brought Pegasus back to the Nymphs and retrived Argo. She was very happy to see her master again. Immediatly our two turtledoves were on their way to the Amazones, because they wanted to be joined. It was long enough until their true feelings came to the surface. Now they don't wanna wait any longer. Of course the trip was interrupted for eating and sleeping. And to make some "pleasant" things - lots of them.
As they woke up in the morning after a night full of passion, Xena looked to the sky.
"Look's like we will get a storm. We should go and find a shelter. Gabrielle, darling, stand up."
She kissed Gabrielle on her forehead, who was laying with her face on Xena's throat. Gabrielle smiled and turned her face so she could look in Xena's eyes.
"Good morning, sweetheart. Did you sleep well? I slept wonderful."
She kissed Xena deeply. As the kiss went deeper she felt a raindrop on her bare skin. She stopped the kiss and looked in the sky.
"I think it is beginning to rain."
Xena looked at the sky, too.
"Yeah, I think so. We should dress quickly and find a shelter. By the way, did I tell you today that I love you?"
"No, I don't think so."
"Alright. I love you. And I can hardly wait until we are with the Amazons."
"I love you, too. Come on let's go, before the rain gets worse."
With a last kiss stolen from Xena, she stood up and dressed. After that she helped Xena with her armor. They broke their camp fast, and all three went on their way to find a shelter. After a half hour they find a sideway into a cave where they have enough space for all. As Xena and Gabrielle arrived at the cave, they couldn't see anything because of the dark. After some searching, they found a torch, which they lit with Gabrielle's firestones. In the meantime, a heavy rain started to fall, and Xena and Gabrielle were happy to be in the cave. Xena, as usual, went forward to be sure that no harm was in there. After some steps they came to the middle of the cave. All around torches were hanging from the walls, which Xena lit. As all torches burned she scanned the area. Gabrielle also went forward to stand beside Xena, and looked around. Suddenly she was stunned.
"By the gods, Xena are you seeing this, too?"
Xena could only nod. The surprise was to big. In front of them on a rock was a big
egg. It was as tall as Gabrielle, and had green points everywhere.
"Xena, what's this?"
"I guess it's an egg."
Gabrielle turned around.
"Oh, really? Without you I would never have had this idea."
"Hey, you asked me."
Gabrielle started to say something, but was interrupted by a loud crack. Xena and
Gabrielle turned fast around, and saw that the eggshell cracked.
"I guess we will know pretty soon what kind of animal it is"
Xena said and then waited. But Gabrielle was impatienced. She was looking forward, so she went nearer to the big egg to take a better look. The cracks in the eggshell became
bigger and bigger and suddenly it happened. The eggshell jumped up, and the first part
flyed high in the air. Then it was quiet. Xena's eyebrow went up and wondered what kind of animal this could be. Carefully she stepped forward and sheathed her sword. Also Gabrielle went a step forward, to take a look in the eggshell. But suddenly a head shot up and someone was looking directly in Gabrielle's eyes. Gabrielle was scared so much, a scream came out of her throat. The animal was scared, too and screamed as loudly as Gabrielle. Xena put her sword back and went forward.
Gabrielle stopped screaming, and also did the animal. After that the animal looked
at Gabrielle started to smile and just said one word.
Xena raised an eyebrow.
The animal looked at Xena.
"She thinks we are her parents. Isn't this funny?"
"Yeah, I'm laughing my head off."
"Ah, come on Xena. I think her parents aren't alive anymore. The cave looks like someone wasn't here for a very long time. We can't this little animal leave alone. By the way, what is it?"
Xena went near the animal to investigate it. The animal looked at Xena too. And for an instand they both looked the other in the eyes. Xena couldn't surpess a smile.
"I'd say it is a dragon. I hadn't seen one for a long time, but I guess it is a kind of dragon who used to live in the area where the Amazons now are. But because it became to little for all of them, they gave the Amazons the area and now they are living on an island nobody knows where it is."
Gabrielle smiled and looked at the dragon. She had browngreen scaly skin, on his back
grew two little wings. Also he had tiny little prongs which went from the head to his tail. Her eyes were darkbrown and instead of pupils, she had slits. Her head seemed like one of a tiger just without fur. She was as tall as Gabrielle's waist. Gabrielle smiled at her.
"Welcome to earth, little girl."
Xena raised again an eyebrow, and looked first at the Dragon and then to Gabrielle.
"How did you know it's a she?"
"I don't know. It's just a feeling."
Gabrielle smiled again and stroked the dragon's head. She smiled and started to
purr like a cat. Then she smiled at Gabrielle again.
"Yes, I'm your mommy, and this is your poppy Xena."
Xena breathed deeply.
"Can I talk to you for a minute, Mommy?"
Gabrielle nodded. Xena guided her to a corner.
"How did you come to this idea to make us parents of this dragon, huh?"
"Xena, it looks like this cave isn't occupant for years. Why, I don't know. We can't leave her here. Maybe we could take her with us to the Amazons. They will know what to do. In their big library must be something about the island of the Dragons. Please, Xena."
Gabrielle knew, if she pleaded this way, Xena melt in her hands.
"Alright. We take her with us."
"Thank you, Xena."
Gabrielle laid her arms around Xena's neck and kissed her deeply. After Xena broke
the kiss, she smiled at Gabrielle and then they turned back to the dragon. Her first look went to Xena.
Xena sighed deeply and nodded. This couldn't be true. They were just on their way
to the Amazons to be joined, and now they became parents. And parents to a
dragon. Gabrielle smiled at the little dragon and went forward to take her in her arms.
The dragon smiled, and snuggled against Gabrielle and fell asleep.
"Look Xena, isn't she sweet? She's fallen asleep."
Xena went to Gabrielle and kissed her on her forehead.
"No one is as sweet as my future wife. But I have to admit that the little one is really nice. And you have the hang of it with kids. Even if they are dragons."
And again Xena tried to kiss Gabrielle on her forehead. But Gabrielle was faster.
She turned her head up, so her lips touched Xena's. The kiss was full of pleasure. Slowly Gabrielle opened her mouth, to give Xena's tongue admittance. Xena took the invitation. After some minutes she broke the kiss, heavy breathing.
"What do you think if we name her? Or will you call her the whole time "hey dragon?""
"Yes, you are right. What do you think of ..... Iokaste?"
"Hmm. Iokaste. Is there a story about her, you like very much so you came up with this name very fast?"
"And what a story would this be?"
"Well, Iokaste was the mother of Ödipus, the great prince, which killed without knowing his father, solved the riddle of the sphinx, and married his mother. Legends say that his mother Iokaste ruled the kingdom very wise and fair. And I think our dragon will be like Iokaste. But only with our help."
"Of course. So be it. Now we have to see if she likes her name. Hey little one. Do you like your name? Do you like Iokaste?"
The little dragon opened her eyes and looked at Gabrielle. It seemed like she would
think about it. But instead of an answer she just grunted. After that she fell asleep again. Gabrielle smiled.
"I think that means yes."
"I think so too."
"What do dragons eat?"
Xena scratched her head in thought. She never thought about it.
"Hmm. I guess she will like milk for now."
"And where are we getting milk?"
"If the weather is better in the morning, we could go to the farm we saw. I'm pretty
damn sure she has milk for us."
"And what if Iokaste will awake tonight night hungry?"
Xena looked at the exit of the cave, and saw that it was still heavy raining. She turned
around and looked at Gabrielle. Her eyebrow raised she said.
"You want me to go now to the farm to get milk? With this heavy raining?"
"Yes, sweetheart. Please!"
'Ah, there it is again. This word.' Xena thought. And then this irresistible smile.
"Alright. You start a fire. And it's for the best if you lay Iokaste beside Argo. I think
Argo will take good care of her. Will you, Argo?"
Argo just whinied. Xena nodded and turned around to Gabrielle.
"Well, then I will go. You take care, alright?"
"Of course. Take care of yourself."
Xena turned around to leave the cave, but was stopped as she felt a hand holding her wrist. She turned around and looked in the eyes of Gabrielle.
"Did I forget something?"
"Then I will make up for it."
Xena knelt down and kissed Gabrielle deeply. She opened her mouth and Gabrielle followed her lead. Their tounges touched and danced a magic dance. After some minutes Gabrielle broke the kiss. She laid her forehead on Xena's.
"I love you, my warrior."
"I love you, too my bard. Now let me go, before something else happens."
She gave Gabrielle a final peck on her nose and left the cave. But not without
cursing heavy about the weather. Gabrielle smiled, and looked down at Iokaste
who was still sleeping. Slowly she stood and went carefully to Argo. She laid a
bedroll on the ground and laid Iokaste on it. After that she went to Argo and stroked
"Take good care, Argo."
Argo just grunted. Gabrielle stroked her neck again and than she collected all the wood she could find in the cave and started a fire. As it burned she went to Xena's saddlebag and found some berries for making tea. As well she found some dried meat and some bread. She laid it beside the fire and started to make the tea. After an half hour she was ready. Now only Xena was missing.
"Where is she? I hope nothing happened."
"No, nothing happened. But for the next weeks I have enough of water."
Gabrielle turned around to look at Xena. She couldn't help it, but she started to laugh.
She had to hold her belly because she was scared it would explode. Xena wasn't very
amused about it.
"Why are you laughing?"
"Xena, I'm sorry. But you are looking soo funny. In your left hand the milk can, your
hair wet hanging in your face and this unique face you made."
Xena started to say something, but as she thought about it, what kind of picture she
presented and she started to laugh too. Together they laughed for some minutes. Xena
was the first who regained control.
"Gabrielle, help me to get out of the wet leather. How is Iokaste?"
"She is fine and still asleep. Even after our laughing. I think we are lucky and she will
sleep the whole night."
"Oh, how wonderful. I stepped through the rain and through the night, get milk from a farmer and the little one is sleeping. That is just wonderful."
"Xena, she is a baby. Babys sleep very much. Don't be angry."
"I'm not angry."
Gabrielle kissed Xena briefly on her lips, and helped her undress. Gabrielle started a second fire, and above she put Xena's leatherdress. Xena put a blanket around her naked body and sat by the fire where the tea was waiting. Gabrielle took a short look at Iokaste; she was still sleeping. Then she took a seat beside Xena.
"Do you want something to eat?"
"Yeah, that would be nice. What are we having?"
"Well, I have some dried meat and bread."
Gabrielle gave Xena the meat and bread, and took some meat too. Together they ate in silence. After they were finished, Gabrielle took the mugs and laid them down on the ground.
"What about dessert?"
"That sounds good. Do you have some nutbread left?"
"I thought about another dessert."
Gabrielle opened Xena's blanket and stroked Xena's thigh. She heard the
shart intake of breath from Xena and felt her own pasion rising. Xena let the blanket fall down and laidd her hands on Gabrielle's head to push her down. Gabrielle smiled.
"Patience my little warrior. We get there soon enough."
Slowly she kissed Xena's belly and wandered up to her breasts. There she stopped to suck each nipple. Xena bit on her bottom lip to stiffle a moan. Every spot Gabrielle touched with her lips felt like fire. A fire she loved. Xena entwined her fingers in Gabrielle's hair, and laid her head on top of Gabrielle's. Sweat began to build on her forehead.
"We...have...to ... be quiet. Iokaste...is ...sleeping. Oh, gods Gabrielle don't stop."
"I'm not planning on stopping. And I will help you to be quiet."
With this she began her trail again. Slowly she worked her way up to Xena's neck. Alternating between biting and kissing she whispered.
"I love you."
Xena tryed her best to be quet, but she wasn't very succesfull. A little moan escaped her lips. Suddenly Gabrielle stopped and she and Xena looked over to Iokaste if she was still asleep. Thank the gods she was. After a moment Gabrielle turned her face to look in the most wonderful blue eyes she had ever seen. Xena smiled at Gabrielle. A smile that could brighten a dark and cloudy day. Xena laidd her hand on Gabrielle's face and Gabrielle rested her face against her palm. She closed her eyes and felt lips touching her own. And it was like ambrosia.Gabrielle's hands entwined in Xena's hair. Slowly Gabrielle opened her mought to let Xena's questioning tongue in. Without breaking the kiss Xena and Gabrielle eased to the ground.
Gabrielle laid on top of Xena. Her hands trailed up and down Xena's body. Still kissing, Xena began to undress Gabrielle. First she opened the top, and let her hands feel the weight of Gabrielle's breasts. Then her thumbs played with Gabrielle's nipple. Slowly her hands wandered down Gabrielle's body to stop on her skirt. As her skirt went the same way like her top, Gabrielle broke the kiss to take a much needed breath. But that didn't stop Xena and she kissed Gabrielle's neck. Gabrielle felt like she would explode. Xena's tongue made a hot and wet trail from Gabrielle's neck up to her chin, and finally in Gabrielle's mouth. They kissed again. The passion seemed overwhelming. Xena opened her thighs to let Gabrielle settle between them. Gabrielle felt her own sex touching Xena's and moaned. She began to move her hips, and felt Xena's hands on her back, urging her on. Gabrielle agreed and moved her hips harder and faster. Breaking the kiss, her hands trailed down Xena's arms to her hands, where she captured them and bringing them over Xena's head, and held them there with one hand. Xena knew it would be easy to free her hands but she didn't want to. It just felt too good. and she still had her feet. She she crossed them around Gabrielle's hips to urge her on.
"Oh, Gabrielle that feels so good. Please don't stop. I love you."
"I love you, too."
Gabrielle was sweating and so was Xena. Breathing hard, Gabrielle captured Xena's lips once more. She moved her hips as hard as she could, and felt her climax nearing. And also she felt Xena's climax building. And she knew what would bring Xena over the edge. Her fee hand trailed down Xena's body and settle between Xena's legs. Still moving with her hips, she slid two fingers in Xena's opening. That was enough for Xena to climax. She moaned in Gabrielle's mouth, and that was also enough for Gabrielle. She climaxed and moaned also in Xena's mouth. As they felt their breathing return to a normal state, they broke the kiss. Gabrielle smiled down at Xena.
"I'm getting better, aren't I?"
"Oh, yes, you are getting better. I love you Gabrielle. More than I could ever tell you."
"I love you too. But maybe it is better if we get a little sleep. What do you think?"
"Yes, you are right."
Xena cradled Gabrielle in her arms and coverd them with her blanket. Together they fell asleep. But they couldn't sleep for long. Because Iokaste awoke screaming. Xena was so scared she jumped up and sheathed her sword, because she thought a whole army was attacking her. She didn't think about Gabrielle. Gabrielle shot up because of the power of Xena's fast jumping. But because she was half asleep and so her control of her body wasn't very good in this state, she fell back and hit with her head hard the ground. Now she was awake.
"Xena, are you crazy?"
"I'm sorry. I just was so startled because of Iokaste's screaming. Are you hurt, sweetheart?"
"No, I survived a lot more. What is it?"
"I don't know."
Gabrielle stood and went to Iokaste who was still screaming. Because Iokaste couldn't speak very much, they didn't know what she wanted. But as Iokste sucked on Gabrielle's thumb they knew.
Gabrielle stood and got the milk. But how could they give the milk to Iokaste? Xena
thought short about it. Then she went to her saddlebag and got an empty wineskin, filling it with milk. With the full wineskin she went to Gabrielle and gave it to her.
"Why should I feed her?"
"Because you are the mother, not me."
"How nice for you."
Gabrielle took Iokaste from the bedroll and laid her on her lap. With one hand she held Iokastes head, and with the other the wineskin. Slowly she put the opening in Iokastes mouth. As Iokaste felt some drops of the milk on her lips, she opened her mouth and sucked on the opening of the wineskin. Satisfied she grunted as the milk made her way from her mouth to her stomach. With her two little hands she tried to hold the wineskin but it was a little to heavy. Gabrielle had to smile, and stroked Iokaste's head. After that she looked to Xena, which was kneeling beside Gabrielle.
"Are you sure, you don't want to hold her?"
"Ähm, yes. I've never done something like that."
"This isn't very difficult. Come on, I will show you. Open your arms."
Xena did as she was told. Gabrielle put Iokaste in Xena's arms and laid her on her lap.
"Take her head and support her with one hand, with the other, hold the wineskin and guide it to her mouth. Iokaste will do the rest."
Quietly Iokaste drank in Xena's arms. Xena felt a little uncomfortable at the beginning. But it changed from second to second. As Iokaste was finished Gabrielle said.
"Now we have to make her belch. Because without it she will get a stomach ache. Take her in your arms and tap her back. That will help."
Xena took Iokaste in her arms and tapped her back. It didn't take long and Iokaste had to belch. But this belch was so loud, so even the gods on Mount Olympus were frightened. The walls in the cave shook. Xena put Iokaste again in her lap and looked with an raised eyebrow to Gabrielle.
"You call this a little belch?"
Gabrielle just shook her shoulders and smiled. Xena turned around to Iokaste, which smiled satisfied.
"Now my little one. That was quite the little earthquake you. That the cave is still standing is a wonder. The next time we will do this outside, where it isn't so dangerous."
Iokaste grunted and fell asleep again. Xena laidd Iokaste on her bedroll again. Then she went to her own bedroll and laid beside Gabrielle who was laying on the bed.
"The next time it's your turn."
Gabrielle just nodded. Xena laid an arm around Gabrielles waist and fall asleep.
The next morning Xena was first awake as ususal. She looked down at Gabrielle, who slept with her head on Xena's shoulder. Luckily Iokaste slept the rest of the night. But Xena had the feeling that this was just the beginning. And that it would become much worst. But she also knew that she and Gabrielle would make it. Their love for each other lead them through so many problems, so they would make it to bring the little dragon to the Amazons. She kissed Gabrielle on her forehead and stood. Without making a noise she went to Iokaste. She knelt beside her, and saw that she was still sleeping.
'She is looking so sweet, when she is sleeping' Xena thought. She stroked her head, and had to smile as Iokaste grunted. Then she stood again and walked to Argo, who was waiting for her master.
"Well, did you sleep well? Thank you very much for taking care about Iokaste. For this you will get an extra bundel hay, when we get to the Amazons. Alright?"
Argo just nodded with her head. Xena smiled and took her sword to practice a little bit. Shortly before she left the Cave, she turned around to look after Gabrielle again.
"My little wife. I can hardly wait until we get to the Amazons."
Then she wanted to leave the cave. But she didn't get very far. As she felt a cold breeze on her skin, she noticed that her battledress was still hanging over the second fire. Quickly she went to the fire and dressed.
"By the gods Gabrielle, you confuse me."
A half hour later Gabrielle awoke. Meanwhile she was used to it, that Xena was away when she awoke up.
"Wait until we have our wedding night. I'm pretty damn sure you will awaken after me."
She streched her tired limbs, and stood. First she went to Iokaste. Still she was sleeping deeply. Gabrielle decided to let her sleep. So she had enough time to do her work. She made a fire again. Then she cleaned the mugs and plates, and went to Argos saddlebags to get some berries for the tea. After the tea was finished, she sat down and divided the rest of the bread and meat.
"I hope we are not far away from the Amazons. Our supplies are depleted. Otherwise
Xena have to go hunting."
"I think that's what I have to do."
"Ahh, Xena do you have to scare me so much?"
Gabrielle held her hand on her heart, because she thought it stopped beating. Xena smiled and went to Gabrielle. She laid her hands around Gabrielles waist, and pulled her close. Then her head went down to taste the sweetness of Gabrielle's lips. Gabrielle laid her hands around Xena's neck and moaned. The kiss showed all the love they had for each other. As Xena broke the kiss, she looked in the most wonderful green eyes.
"I'm sorry, Sweetheart. Good morning."
"Good morning. It's alright. You said you have to hunting. Why's that?"
"The rain and sthe storm destroyed the bridge. That means we have to go outside of the ravine and that means two day's more."
"Two day's longer until we are married."
Xena kissed Gabrielle again. She also felt sorry that they have to wait longer. As she broke the kiss she started to say something, as they were interrupted by Iokaste's screaming.
"Guess our baby is up."
"I think so too."
Gabrielle loosenend the embrace, and went to Iokaste who was screaming terribly.
Xena also came and took Iokaste in her arms, and sang her a song. Gabrielle was stunned.Of course she heard Xena sing before when they were in Illusia. But that was something different. Here she sang to a little dragon. And she seemed to like it. Gabrielle felt a little jealous.
"You never sing for me in the morning."
"You never screamed when you awoke. But you know I would always sing for you.
I love you."
"I love you, too."
Xena kissed Gabrielle quickly on her mouth. Iokaste watched as they kissed and it seems strange to her. As Xena and Gabrielle saw the look on Iokaste's face, they had to laugh. After they had themselves under control again, they put Iokaste on the ground. But suddenly Xena said.
"Gabrielle, could it be that Iokaste has grown?"
"I think so. That couldn't be. That's impossible."
"Yes, I think this is possible."
Iokaste was now as tall as Gabrielle's shoulder. They watched as Iokaste stood, and
tried to walk. But she didn't came far. After some steps she fell down. Gabrielle smiled and wanted to help Iokaste, but Xena held her back.
"No. Let her do this alone. She can do this. Trust me."
She laid her hand around Gabrielle's waist, and Gabrielle leaned her head on Xena's shoulder. And together they watched, as Iokaste started to walk. After some thumps it seemed to work. Iokaste stood and went slowly to Gabrielle. Iokaste put one foot in front of the other. Sometimes she used her arms for balance. Gabrielle seemed to explode because she felt so proud. And even Xena had to admit she felt a little proud. Now Iokaste was standing before Gabrielle. Gabrielle went on her knees and held her arms out. Iokaste made a last step and landed in Gabrielle's arms.
"Oh little one, I'm so proud of you."
But instead of a grunt, Iokaste spoke.
"Mommy, proud of Iokaste?"
Now Xena and Gabrielle were really speechless. Not only her dragon could walk with an age of one day, she could even speak. Xena was the first to talk.
"Yes, Mommy is very proud of you. Poppy have to talk briefly to Mommy. Is this alright?"
Iokaste just nodded. Gabrielle loosened the embrace with Iokaste and went with Xena, arm in arm to a corner of the cave.
"I've heard that the dragons are growing faster than normal human beings. But I've never heard that they are able to learn the language of human beings. It seems she is very intelligent. And a very fast learner. But maybe this isn't so bad. That is making things a lot easier. But neverthless we have to take her as fast as we can to the Amazons. If somebody will knew that there is a dragon living who is able to talk, this somebody will hunt her, or will show her at the market. And both are very bad. What do you think?"
Gabrielle looked over to Iokaste which was now discovering the cave. A sad smile made her way to Gabrielle's lips.
"Yes you are right. But I will miss her. Won't you?"
"Of course I will. And it will be difficult for Iokaste, too. We are her parents in her eyes."
"Than we should break camp as soon as we can."
"Yes. Just one thing, Gabrielle."
"I love you."
"I love you, too."
Gabrielle kissed Xena with passion. Slowly Xena opened her mouth. And their tongues met. Together they danced a slow dance. Xena laid her hands on Gabrielle's face, and Gabrielle put her hands around Xena's waist. After some minutes Xena broke the kiss grudging and said.
"Come on let's go, before Iokaste destroys the whole cave."
Xena gave Gabrielle a little kiss, and then they went arm in arm to Iokaste, which was standing in front of Argo, and watched the horse with taut eyes. It seemed that she was a little scared of the horse. Argo seemed to feel this, and put her head down and snorted in Iokastes ear. Iokaste laughed out loud and stroked light Argo's nose. Now she noticed that Argo was a nice animal, and she stroked Argos nose again. Xena and Gabrielle watched this play with amusment.Gabrielle said.
"I think Argo likes Iokaste."
"That's what I think, too. Iokaste?"
Iokaste noticed that someone called her and turned around. Xena went to her knees and opened her arms. Iokaste laughed and jumped in Xena's arms.
"Iokaste, what do you think, if we go visit some friends?"
"Are friends of Poppy, friends of Mommy?"
"And Mommy is coming too?"
"Yes, Mommy is coming with us."
"Then we go. Is four-footed friend coming with us, too?"
Xena didn't know what Iokaste meant first, but then she had the idea that the four-footed friend was Argo.
"Yes, Argo is coming with us. You can ride on her if you want."
Iokaste clapsed her hands.
"Oh, yes. Riding, riding."
Iokaste laughed and seemed happy. She jumped up and down and went then to Argo to play with her. Xena and Gabrielle started to break the camp. They drank their tea and ate something. After a half hour they finished packing and went on their way to the Amazons.
It was nearly noon as Xena, Gabrielle, Iokaste and Argo found a spot to make a little camp for eating and resting. Xena was going hunting and Gabrielle made a little fire, and above it she hung a pot with water to make some tea. Iokaste in the meantime played with Argo. As Gabrielle saw Iokaste playing with Argo she asked herself what would have happened to Iokaste if they hadn't found her. What if someone else had found her? What kind of humans would they be? Would it be good people like Xena and she, or bad people which might kill Iokaste without a thought. A shiver ran down her spine, and she thanked the gods that she and Xena found Iokaste. Gabrielle was so deep in thoughts that she didn't hear as Xena came and laid her a hand on her shoulder.
"What are you thinking about, darling?"
"Well, I thought what would have happened if we hadn't found Iokaste."
"Who knows? Maybe she wouldn't be so lucky. But thank the gods that we found her. Now there is only one problem."
"And what is it?"
"We have to find her real parents. And we have to tell Iokaste, that we are not her real parents. We owe her this."
Gabrielle thought about it quickly.
"Yes, you are right. But let us wait. Maybe until we are with the Amazons. Please, Xena."
Xena smiled and kissed Gabrielle on her forehead.
Xena had to admit that Iokaste was now a part of her. 'For me it will be very difficult to tell her the truth' Xena thought. She decided to change the object.
"Look what I've hunted."
Proud, she showed Gabrielle two rabbits, which she already skinned. Gabrielle looked at the rabbits and made a face.
Xena couldn't belive what she was hearing. She raised her eyebrow.
"I'm so sorry your highness, but I couldn't find a deer. But if you like you can hunt for yourself."
Gabrielle saw the hurt look on Xena's face. She felt bad. She stood and laid her hands around Xena's neck.
"I'm sorry. I didn't mean what I said. Can you forgive me?"
"Hmm, I don't know."
Gabrielle smiled and kissed Xena passionatly. After she broke the kiss she looked deeply in Xena's eyes.
"Well, can you forgive my now?"
"What should I forgive? I was never angry."
Gabrielle gave Xena a slap on her shoulder.
"You are mean."
"No, just an good actress."
"That's right. Now should we talk about you qualities as an actress or should we eat?"
"Eat. Definitive. Iokaste, you are coming to eat?"
"Do you think she can eat normal like you and me? I mean she is still a baby."
"Yeah, she is a baby who is as tall as your shoulder, talking like a human being, and running like she is a girl of twenty summers. I'm pretty damn sure she can eat like you and me. Her stomach must be as big as yours."
"Alright. I don't say anything more. Let us eat."
After the rabbit was ready, all sat down near the fire and eat. Iokaste ate a whole rabbit, while Xena and Gabrielle shared the other rabbit. But it was enough for all. Even for Gabrielle.Gabrielle was the first to finish. She waited until all were finished. After that she collected the mugs and plates.
"I whish there was a place to clean all this."
Xena smiled again.
"There is a place. About fifty steps from here is a little stream. It's the best I will can come up with for you."
Xena looked deeply in Gabrielle's eyes. And Gabrielle understood what Xena wanted. She just nodded with her head, and turned her head to Iokaste.
"Iokaste, Xena and I are going to the stream to clean the mugs and plates. Could you take care of Argo and our things?"
Iokaste nodded with her head, and stood to play with Argo again. Xena and Gabrielle went on their way to the stream. As they arrived they cleaned their plates and mugs. But after they were finished, they just laid everything on the ground. Xena looked deeply in Gabrielle's eyes.
"Oh, gods I love you."
"I love you, too. And I want you now."
"You don't have to tell me twice. Come here."
Gabrielle stepped forward into Xena's embrace. She looked up into incredebly blue eyes. Xena came nearer Gabrielle's face, and slowly brushed her lips against Gabrielle's. Gabrielle moaned, and entwined her fingers in Xena's hair to draw her closer. Their lips met again, their passion rising. Gabrielle's tongue came out to trace the outline of Xena's lips. Xena put her hands on Gabrielle's waist to hold her tight. She opened her mouth and their tongues met in a slowly and erotic dance. Xena walked Gabrielle over to a tree, and lifted Gabrielle up. Gabrielle put her legs around Xena's waist. Gabrielle's back was against a tree. Still locked in a deep kiss, Xena began to undress Gabrielle. She opened her top and her hands found soft and firm breasts. She ended the kiss and let her lips blaze a trail down Gabrielle's neck.
"Oh gods Xena, that feels so good. Oh, ah."
Xena wanted to kiss those wonderful breasts, but was interrupted as someone lifted her on her armor in the air, and held her there.
"What in Tartarus........Iokaste. What are you doing, huh?"
Iokaste held Xena high and saw to Gabrielle.
"Did Poppy hurt Mommy?"
Gabrielle flushed, and was red like a tomato. She quickly closed her top again, and looked at Iokaste.
"No, I'm alright. What are you doing here? I told you to stay with Argo."
"I heard you screaming, and thought someone was hurting you. Then I saw Poppy how she pressed you against that tree, and I thought....."
"That Xena was hurting me?"
Iokaste just nodded. Still she held Xena in the air, who was now beginning to be really upset.
"Iokaste, put me down. NOW!!" 'I was right. It's getting worst.' Xena thought.
Iokaste didn't hear her. Still looking at Gabrielle she asked.
"Then what was she doing if she was not hurting you?"
Gabrielle flushed again, and looked at Xena. Xena had crossed her arms in front of her chest and waited with a grin on her face for Gabrielle's explanation.
"Well.......huh..........that was........how can I tell you this? We.....huh...."
"We were making love."
All eyes were focused on Xena, who was still in the air with her arms crossed in front of her chest. Gabrielle wished that there would be a big black hole where she could jump in, and never come out again. Iokaste turned Xena so they could look in each others eyes.
"What is this, making love?"
Now it was Xena's turn to flushing red. She swallowed hard and tryed to explain.
"Well, it's a thing parents do, when they like each other very much. They embrace each other, touch and kiss each other, just to show them how much they like each other. And to show that the other person is the only one you want to be with."
Iokaste now was very curious.
"Do parents making love often?"
"Well, uhm....yes. Whey they like each other very much, they do it very often. Could you put me down now, please?"
Iokaste thought about the information she just received. Then she looked at Xena and nodded. She set Xena gently down on the ground. Then she looked at Xena and Gabrielle.
"You embrace and touch and kiss each other just to show them how much you like them?"
Xena and Gabrielle just nodded.
"That is weird. You are touching someone to show how much you like her, and the other person is making sounds like she is in pain. I don't get this."
With this she turned around and walked back to Argo. Xena and Gabrielle just stared in each others eyes. And suddenly they began to laugh. They laughed so hard, that they had to hold their belly and tears were streaming down their faces. After they had themselve under control again, Xena helped Gabrielle dress again, but not without a few kisses, and than they went back to the camp.
In the meantime Iokaste was with Argo again and stroked her. Xena and Gabrielle had both the dishes in their hands and heads red like a tomato. Iokaste saw them coming and run to them. She embraced Gabrielle.
"How far is it to the Amazons now, Mommy?"
"I think two more days."
"Tell me something about those Amazons. What kind of humans are they?"
With this she was on the right address. Gabrielle took Iokastes hand and guided her to a rock, where both sat down. Xena went with Argo for a walk, because she knew this would take a little longer. Gabrielle breathed deeply and started to talk.
"Well, the Amazons are only women. They don't like men very much. They just need them for reproduction. They are all well trained warriors. When they are very young they learn how to fight. And they like to celebrate. I'm an Amazon Queen. When I'm not with the Amazons Ephiny is the Queen."
The little dragon interrupted.
"Who is Ephiny?"
"Ephiny is a very good friend of mine. I got to know her as Xena and I first came to Amazon Territory. I became an Amazon Princess, but Ephiny was against it. Because I had no royal blood, and I was no Amazon. But somehow we managed to work together, and in the end we ended up becoming good friends. I'm the godmother of her son Xenon."
"So is Ephiny like you? Are all Amazons like you?"
"Most of them, yes. But there are Amazons who are not so dear like Ephiny or me. They are dangerous, and it's better if you don't come in their way. Are there any more questions Iokaste?"
"No, I don't think so. Thank you."
"You are welcome. If you have any questions go ahead and ask me."
Gabrielle stood to break up the camp. A short while later Xena came and all three went on their way to the Amazons.
On their way nothing serious happened except a gang of robbers. But Xena handled them all well. After two days they were on the boundries of the Amazon Land. Xena turned to Iokaste.
"Iokaste, in some minutes women will come from the trees. If this is happening, I want you to put your hands in the air and clasp them together. This is the sign for peace by the Amazons. Do you understand me?"
Iokaste just nodded.
Xena, Gabrielle and Iokaste went on their way again. It didn't took long and Xena heard a noise in the trees.
"We are not alone anymore."
And suddenly five women jumped down from a tree. All weared their masks. Xena looked at them, and went to the first Amazon.
"Solari, good to see you. How are you?"
Solari put her mask down, and greeted Xena. After that she went to Gabrielle. At first she didn't noticed the dragon. But after some seconds she saw her. Her eyes went wide, and she went near to Iokastes face.
"And who are you?"
"I'm Iokaste. And these are my parents."
She pointed with her hand to Xena and Gabrielle, who smiled despite the situation. Solari looked at Xena, then to Gabrielle and back to Iokaste. She had to smile, too. She stroked Iokaste on her head and went to Xena.
"Ephiny will be happy to see you again. What are you doing here?"
Xena took Gabrielle in her arms and looked her deep in the eyes.
"I would like to be joined."
Solari raised her eyebrow.
"Solari don't be so stupid. Of course to Gabrielle. And she would like to join with me."
"Wow, that is amazing. You want to be joined, Xena? I never thought this could happen. I have to tell Ephiny immediatly about it. By the way this is great. You two belong together. See 'ya."
With this she said good-bye and ran with her sisters back to the village. Xena kissed Gabrielle shortly then they were on their way again. A half hour later they saw the village. Ephiny ran to them.
"Congratulations to you both. I think it is great that you are doing this step. I wish you the best. When do you want to marry?"
This time Gabrielle answered.
"As soon as possible. And I'm happy, too."
"As soon as possible, huh? Well the next full moon is tomorrow night. This would be the best time. Because you are getting joined after Amazon Tradition. You know what that means, Xena don't you?"
And a mean smile went on her face. Xena's eyebrow went up and she sighed.
"Yeah I know. But I will survive. I hope. It's just until tomorrow night."
Gabrielle took Xena in her arms and kissed her deep.
"Yes, it's just until tomorrow night. Than we have the rest of our lives for us."
Now Ephiny looked at Iokaste. Her eyes went wide, too and she pointed to Iokaste.
"This is a dragon."
Xena clapsed in her hands.
"Good identification, Ephiny. Yes this is a dragon. Her name is Iokaste. And because of her we are coming, too. But I want to talk with you alone about it. Is that possible?"
"Of course. You have time enough now."
"Yes, when you both agreed to be joined tomorrow night."
"That's just great. Now I have her finally, and then I have to let her go."
Xena looked Gabrielle deeply in the eyes again.
"I love you, darling."
"I love you, too."
And for the last time they shared a kiss. Than Solari took Gabrielle with her. Because one rule was, that the couple who want to be joined cannot see each other until to the joining ceremony. And this was the hardest rule for Xena. One day and one night without Gabrielle. How should she survive this? She sighed deeply again and went to Iokaste.
"Iokaste, could you go with Mommy please? I have something to talk about with Ephiny. That would be really nice of you."
Iokaste nodded and went to Gabrielle. Xena looked after both and would have nearly forgot to talk with Ephiny. But thank the gods Ephiny remined her.
"Alright, what is with the dragon. I thought there would be no more of these creatures."
"I thought so, too. But three days ago Gabrielle and I searched for shelter in a cave, and there we found this big egg. It didn't take long and Iokaste came out of it. We are her parents, because we were the first she saw. Gabrielle thought that maybe you have something in your library about the isle of the dragons. Because we want to take her back to her real parents."
"Xena I hate to tell you this. But one month ago we had a fire in the library. Most of the books and cards were burned. We still try to arrange things. You are welcome to look for it, but I don't think you will find something."
"I thank you Ephiny. Could you show me my hut, please? I would like to be a little more comfortable. And I have to arrange some things."
Ephiny nodded and showed Xena her hut. In the meantime Gabrielle was in her hut, and was bathed and clothed after the Amazons rules. A short while later Ephiny joined her in her hut, and told her everything that happened since her last visit. They sat on a table and Ephiny gave Gabrielle and herself a mug of wine.
"Well, I have some news for you. I married again."
Gabrielle had to choke, and started to cough. Ephiny came to her side and knocked on her back, until Gabrielle breathed normal again.
"Eponin? How did you manage this?"
"After you and Xena left the last time, she helped me with the ruling business. We had some trouble with a warlord who betrayed us. Eponin helped me to fight this warlord and in this time I noticed that I was in love again. At first I tried to ignore it. But then I thought Phantes would be happy for me. And Xenon loves Eponin like a second mother. And Eponin loves us both. One day we were hunting, and I couldn't hold back my feelings anymore. I told her about it."
"And what did she say?"
"That it took a little long. She had noticed for long time now that I was in love with her. But she decided to wait until I would make the first step. Because she didn't want to stand in the way. And then she told me, that she was in love with me, too. Well, that's how it happened. And on the next full moon we married."
"This is great. Congratulations Ephiny. Are you happy?"
"Yes. More than I could tell you. Are you happy? How did it come that your feelings went to the surface?"
"It was by the adventure with Perseus. We helped him to defeat Medusa, and somewhere in the middle of the adventure we showed our true feelings. After the adventure was over, Xena asked me to join her. Of course I said yes. And I'm very happy. Even with Perdicus I wasn't this happy."
"Does Xena know what will happen to her?"
"What do you mean?"
"Well, there is a little more, than just the fact that she cannot see you until to the joining ceremony."
"And what would that be?"
"She has to make a confession of love, why she is loving you and something like this."
"I think this will be a little difficult for Xena, she is not a person of great emotions."
"And she has to make you a gift. Either a gift she mades with her own hands or something that means very much to her."
"This will not be a big problem to Xena."
"Well, the same goes for you."
"WHAT? I mean I don't have a problem with the confession thing, but with the gift. What should I give a Warrior Princess? She doesn't like jewellery, and she is so well armed that even Ares would be pale if he sees it."
"This is your problem Gabrielle. But think about it, that it has to be from your heart. I leave you alone now, so you can think about it."
With a light smile on her face Ephiny turned and went out. She left a desperated Gabrielle, who didn't know if she would find a gift.
Xena was on her way to the library as she met Solari.
"Hello Xena, Congratulations again."
"Thank you Solari. How are you?"
"Well I'm fine, but you have problems I think."
"Well, since Gabrielle is the Amazon Queen the joining ceremony will be difficult from the rest."
"Spill the beans, woman."
"At first you have to make an confession of love in front of all Amazons. But not a simply 'I love you'. You have to tell her and us why you are in love with her."
You could hear Xena's scream though the whole village. Even Gabrielle.
"Aha, she knows it now."
Xena had problems to get herself under control again. But somehow she managed it.
"Alright. I will do it. For Gabrielle I do everything."
"Xena? There is a little more."
Xena raised her eyebrow and her face went dark.
"What else, Solari?"
She would kill Solari if she has to.
"You have to give Gabrielle a gift. Either something handmade or somehting that means very much to you."
"Well, that isn't difficult. But is there no way that I can get out of making this confession?"
"Alright, was just a question. Thanks. By the way did you see Iokaste?"
Xena wanted to tell Solari about it, as suddenly the stabledoor was pushed open, and 20 horses gallopped out.
"I guess this is the answer to my question. See 'ya, Solari."
Xena ran to the stable, and found a very distraught Iokaste. As she saw Xena she run to her, and embraced her.
"Poppy, why run the horses away? I just wanted to play with them."
"You know, all horses aren't like Argo. Many are scared about you."
"But I don't want to hurt them."
"I know that, and you know that. But the horses don't know this. It would be better if you leave the horses alone from now on. You have all the Amazons who want to play with you, and you have mommy and me. Agreed?"
Iokaste nodded. Xena embraced her again, and went with Iokaste to the library. Iokaste took a picturebook and sat down on the ground. But she couldn't forget the talk she had with Xena. During reading the book she asked Xena.
"Why are the horses and people scared of me?"
This was the question Xena feared most. It was time to tell Iokaste the truth. She just wished Gabrielle would be by her side. She breathed deep.
"Iokaste, I have something to tell you. I hoped that this could wait a little longer. But now it is time. You surely noticed that you look difficult from the rest."
Iokaste just nodded, now she was very curious.
"You look difficult, because you are not a human being. You are a dragon, Iokaste. Creatures like you lived here a long time ago. We found you in this cave, and you were in this egg. The cave looked deserted. Gabrielle and I went to this cave, because we were searching for a shelter because of the rain. In this moment we arrived you were born."
Iokaste seemed to understand. She stood and went to Xena. She sat on her lap and embraced her.
"That means, that you and mommy are not my really parents. Don't you love me anymore now?"
Xena had to swallow. She didn't thought that this conversation would hit her so hard. She took Iokaste in her arms.
"We still love you, and we will love you forever. You are like our own daughter that Gabrielle and I never can have. But we have to bring you back to your real parents. It is too dangerous for you."
"No, I don't wanna go. I want to stay with you."
"Iokaste we can't do this. I don't want anything to happen to you. I couldn't stand it. And don't you think your real parents will miss you?"
Iokaste thought for a moment about it.
"Yes you are right. But can I stay a little longer with you?"
"Of course. First Gabrielle and I are going to marry. Than we will take you back. As soon as I know where the isle of the dragon is."
"Poppy, why did my real parents leave?"
"I don't know. But we will find out, alright?"
"Yes. Can I go to mommy?"
"Yeah. It's easier for you than for me. Tell her I love her. And that I'm still thinking about the confession thing. And give her a kiss from me."
Xena kissed Iokste on her forehead, and then sent Iokste to her Mommy. Xena searched for a hint about the isle of the dragon. There weren't many books left after the fire. And it seems that exactly the books and cards were burned which she needed. After two hours searching Xena gave up. It was real late. Xena decided to eat something and to go to bed. 'An empty bed', like she thought.
Gabrielle sat still in her hut and thought what she could give to Xena, as someone knocked on her door.
"Come in, it's open."
It was Iokaste who stormed in Gabrielle arms and embraced her. Gabrielle wasn't sure what that meant.
"What's up, little one?"
"Poppy told me everything."
"Yes, but I asked her about it. I know that I'm not your real daughter. But Xena said, I'm like your real daughter, because you and Poppy could never have children. Is this true?"
"Yes, it is true darling. We love you like our own daughter. You are part of us. And you will always be a part of us."
Gabrielle kissed Iokaste on her forehead.
"Mommy? I have to tell you somehting from Poppy."
"Let me think about it. It was so much. Oh yeah. She loves you, and I have to give you a little kiss, and that she is thinking about the confession thing. Do you have a gift for her now?"
"Thank you Iokaste. Would you help me?"
"I need a gift for Xena. This is an Amazon Rule. But I don't know what I could give her. You know Xena doesn't like jewelery, and she's got enough weapons. What could I give her?"
Iokaste thought briefly about it, and started to smile.
"I know it."
Iokaste went near to Gabrielles ear and whispered her idea in it. Gabrielle started to laugh.
"This is the right present for Xena. Why didn't I think about it? Thank you Iokaste. I'll start to work on it right now."
"You are welcome. Can I play with Argo?"
"Of course. Go on. But don't go to far with her, alright?"
And so Iokaste was on her way to play with Argo. Gabrielle went out and got all she needed for the gift. And she thought about it what Iokaste told her. 'Xena said, I'm like your own daughter because you could never have children'."
"So Xena has the same wish like me. But it will never be come true."
Gabrielle sighed deeply, and sat on her table and started with the work.
Xena in the meantime had big problems with the Confession of Love. What should she say? Tomorrow night is the Ceremony. But how should she find the right words? She was a Warrior Princess not a bard.
"Damned, why does everything happen to me?"
She paced up and down in her room and thought for the rest of the night. In her thoughts she forgot to eat something, and to sleep. Somewhere in the morning she gave up. Everywhere in her room layed scrolls with notes she didn't use. She sighed and went to the bathroom. After cleaning up a bit, she went outside to exercise a little.
Gabrielle couldn't sleep, too. The whole night she used to make the gift for Xena. Short before dawn she was ready.
"Well, it doesn't look bad. And I just stung myself five hundred times, and lost two litres of blood. But it was worth it."
She admired her work, and went to the bathroom too, and then outside to get some fresh air in her loungs. As she closed the door outside and turned she saw Xena who went out for a little excercise. Xena turned, too and time seem to stand still. Against her will they started to move toward each other. They came nearer, but suddenly they were stopped by hands on their hairs. By Gabrielle it was Ephiny, and by Xena the hand of Eponin.
"Where do you think you're going?"
Xena and Gabrielle swallowed. They didn't know an answer. Eponin started to talk.
"It is not allowed to sea each other or to touch each other. Until the joining ceremony. So go on your own ways. This time we will forgive you."
Xena grunted and Gabrielle sighed. They looked in each other eyes and went on their ways. And they both thought the same.
"Just wait until we're joined. Then is vengence time. And how can I survive the whole day. The joining ceremony is tonight."
It was nearly midday, as Xena came back from her training. She was really exhausted. Sweat was on her face, but she had nothing better to do. And she had to get her mind of Gabrielle. But she wasn't very successfull with it, because she had many cuts on her arms and legs.
"I just hope the joining ceremony is soon, before I kill myself. I wasn't this nervous before. And I still have nothing for the confession of love."
While she thought about it, Solari came her way.
"Well, Xena, do you have a gift now?"
Xena clapsed her forehead.
"The Gift. I forgot the gift. Thank you Solari."
And so she ran to her hut, to think about the gift for Gabrielle. And she had to clean the hut from all the scrolls.
Gabrielle returned from her morning walk, and wondered where Iokaste was. She looked at the stables, than the training ground. But she couldn't find her. Desperated she knocken on Ephiny's door.
"Ephiny it's me Gabrielle. Do you know where Iokaste is?"
Ephiny opened the door, and let Gabrielle in. They sat on a table, and Ephiny handed a mug of water to Gabrielle. Gabrielle took a nip and looked at Ephiny.
"And do you know where Iokaste is?"
"Yes I know."
"She is here. She is still sleeping by Xenon in his room. After she played yesterday with Argo, she saw Xenon playing with some children. She went with him, and the two became very fast friends. They came home and after they ate something, Iokaste asked if she could sleep here tonight. I thought you and Xena would agree with me, and so I let her sleep here."
"Thank you Ephiny. I think neither Xena or me were very good parents yesterday."
"She told me, that you and Xena told her the truth. What do you have in mind now? Xena told me she didn't find anything in the library."
"She didn't find anything? But somewhere has to be a hint. Can't you help us Ephiny?"
Ephiny thought about it.
"No, I can't help you. Really. I wish I could. But don't give up hope. I know you will find a way."
"Thank's anyway Ephiny. I want to go to the library. Maybe Xena didn't see something."
Gabrielle drank her water, and said good-bye to Ephiny. She knew that Iokaste was in good hands. So she could concentrate better. In the library she searched all books and cards for hints, but she couldn't find anything. She sat down on the table and thought what to do. She looked around, and than she saw the picture book from Iokaste. She bend and took the book. She read and suddenly she began to smile.
"That's it. I know where the isle is."
With a loud "Yippeeee" she stood, and ran to Ephiny. She was preparing breakfast for her and the children as Gabrielle stormed in the hut and embraced Ephiny.
"Well, I didn't know that you would be so happy when I prepare breakfast."
"Ephiny I know where the isle is. It was the whole time here. Look. This is the picture book from Iokaste. It is a really old book. It is the story of an Amazon who traveled the whole world and had a lot of adventures. And this is the place where I know it."
Gabrielle gave the book to Ephiny and showed her the picture.
"Here it is. Wait, I'll read for you: After two days and nights traveling to east, she came to the big water. She took a boat and rowed two days to south as she suddenly saw an isle. She rowed to this isle and found some different creatures. They were very tall and nice. The Amazon became friends of the creatures and stayed for some months. This has to be the hint, Ephiny. I'm sure. This is the clue for the isle of the dragons."
Ephiny read the story again and looked to Gabrielle.
"Maybe you are right. You should try it when you are joined. By the way do you have the gift for Xena?"
"Yes I have it. But what she wish most I can't give her."
"What is it?"
"She would like to have an baby. Like me. But this wish will never come true."
Gabrielle started to cry. She wished really to have a baby for her and Xena. And Gabrielle felt lousy that she can't make this wish com true. Ephiny took her in her arms and tried to comfort her. It worked. A short while later Eponin came in.
"Good morning darling. Good morning Gabrielle? Did you sleep well?"
"Good morning Eponin. I didn't sleep. At first I because I had to make the gift for Xena and then I can't sleep without Xena."
Eponin just nodded and went to Ephiny to kiss her deep. Gabrielle turned red and turned around. Eponin ended the kiss and looked deep in the eyes of Ephiny.
"I love you more with every day."
"I love you, too."
After that she turned to Gabrielle and cleared her throat. She started to say something as the door to the children room swung open and a tired Iokaste and a more tired Xenon came in. Iokaste saw Gabrielle on the table and ran to her. Gabrielle took her in her arms and embraced her.
"Oh Darling. I missed you so much. Next time you say something before you sleep over at Ephiny's and Xenon's. I was scared about you."
"I'm sorry Mommy. I promise this will be the last time."
While Gabrielle and Iokaste were speaking, Ephiny took Eponin to her side and whispered something in her ear. Eponin just nodded, and than Ephiny went out. Gabrielle noticed that Ephiny was gone, and asked Eponin where she was. Eponin just swallowed and tried to find an answer.
"Uhm....she just went shopping. But she will return soon. Do you want some nutbread?"
"No thank you Eponin. I have to go now. Come on Iokaste."
"Mommy can I stay a little longer with Xenon and play with him? Please?"
"Alright, but don't stay too long."
"Thank you, Mommy."
Gabrielle said good-bye to Ephiny and went back to the royal hut to work on the Confession of Love.
Xena in the meantime searched for a gift for Gabrielle. But all what she saw wasn't the right thing for Gabrielle. One wasn't beautiful enough and the other was too little, another too big and so on. Xena thought she had to despair, as she had the idea.
"Now I know what I will give to you, Gabrielle."
She clapsed her hands and went back to her hut to prepare for the evening. On her way she saw Eponin and Ephiny who were deep in a conversation.
"Did it work, Ephiny?"
"Yeah it has. I just hope Xena and Gabrielle like it."
Now Xena was curious. She went to Eponin and Ephiny.
"What will we like?"
Ephiny and Eponin went red and cleared their throats.
"Nothing, really nothing."
"Why are you so red?"
"Xena, it's a surprise."
Xena raised her eyebrow and just nodded. Ephiny and Eponin ran fast back in their huts and Xena went to her hut to get dressed for the joining ceremony. As Xena thought about it, her stomach cramped. She wasn't this nervous in her whole life.
"They call me destroyer of nations, and I are scared of a little joining ceremony. That is amazing."
With these and other words she looked in her wardrobe where Ephiny had laid the wedding dress in. Xena's eyes started to wide and she smiled.
"I think Gabrielle will like it. But before I dress, I will take a bath."
Gabrielle started to dress too. But for her dress she needed help. Solari was at her side and helped her to close all the buckles. Her dress was beautiful. She wore a long white skirt, which was held by a brown belt. Her green Amazon top was traded for a short white blouse which ended shortly after her ribs. Her hair was elaborately braided and on her feet she wore sandals. On her hands and ears she had jewelry, and on her arms elaborate bracelets. As she was ready she looked in the mirror.
"By all gods, this is wonderful."
Solari had to grin.
"Yeah, and easy to undress."
"Yes your highness?"
Gabrielle started to say something but she had to smile, too.
"You are right."
"We still have time. I will leave you alone because I have to watch over the constructions. See 'ya Gabrielle."
"Yeah, till later."
Gabrielle heard as Solari closed the door and looked again in the mirror.
"Yes, I guess Xena will love it."
On the Central place everyone was deep involved for the joining ceremony. The platform where Gabrielle's throne stood, became wider because the Priestess and the bridal pair need space. Ephiny watched over the work on the platform, while Solari watched over the people who decorated the platform with flowers. Both of them watched the platform was well lited by torches. It was right before evening when everything was finished, and Ephiny went to Gabrielle. She sat nervously on her bed, as Ephiny came in.
"Gabrielle are you alright? You look so pale?"
"Oh Ephiny, I'm so nervous. My stomach feels like Monday morning in Tartarus. I think I can't do this."
Ephiny sat beside Gabrielle and took her hand.
"Of course you can do this. After all you've been through. Let me tell you something. As I married Epinon I was nervous like you. But when I stood on the stage and Epinon was by my side everything was perfect. And I know you will feel the same."
"Thank you Ephiny. I guess you are right. Alright lets go."
Ephiny smiled and thanked the gods that this crisis was survived. Together with Gabrielle she stood and Gabrielle laid her hand on Ephiny's arm. And so they went to the central place.
Xena was on her way to the Central place, too. Her dress was as beautiful as Gabrielle's. On her forehead she weard a metal frontlet, her old leatherdress was traded by a shiny white one, and she wore a cape which went to the ground. And she had white boots, and her sword was on her right side.
"By the gods, I have to shine in the dark."
Gabrielle came first to the Central place and was greeted by "Oh's" and "Ah's". The whole stage was lit by torches. But everyone waited for Xena. After two minutes she came. The Amazons who were in front of Gabrielle, stepped aside and through the way came Xena. Gabrielle stopped breathing. Ephiny noticed it and knocked Gabrielle on her shoulder.
"Gabrielle breathe, now."
Gabrielle breathed deeply. She couldn't look away. The light of the torches was reflected on Xena's dress, and covered her in a wonderful light which light her blue eyes more than ever. Xena stopped in front of Gabrielle and streched her hand out. She looked at Gabrielle with pride and love.
"You are wonderful my Queen. Can we go?"
Gabrielle nodded and stood. Together they turned around and waited until Ephiny started to speak.
"My Amazon sisters. Today is a great day for our nation. Our Queen is going to marry Xena the Warrior Princess. In according to our Amazon Tradition the two can only be joined by an Priestess of Artemis. So we get the Priestess Serena for them."
Beside the throne stood suddenly a beautiful woman. She had long blonde hair, blue eyes and was tall. She wore a long blue dress. Serena stood behind Gabrielle and Xena and asked Gabrielle and Xena to turn around. After that she started to speak.
"We are here tonight to join our Queen Gabrielle with Xena the Warrior Princess. Artemis seems to like this because the moon is full, and the sky is clear. So let's start. Xena would you please start first.
Xena breathed deeply and sank to her knees. But suddenly panic started in her. She saw all the people who waited for the Confession of love. Xena started to shake. Then she felt a hand on her shoulder. Xena looked up and saw in the eyes of a smiling Gabrielle. All the panic was away and just Xena and Gabrielle exist. With a loud and clear voice she started.
"In the face of all Amazons and the goddess Artemis I, Xena of Amphipolis, swear to you, Gabrielle, Queen of the Amazones, eternal loyalty. I will fight for you and the whole Amazon nation. Gabrielle you are the love of my life. I never believed in love. I always used people. I manipulated them. Love was a word of foreign origin for me. The only feeling I had was hate. Before I met you, I was distraught. I didn't want to live anymore, I had no family and no home. But then you came. Slowly you broke the walls I built around me. You gave my life new meaning and you showed me how beautiful it is to give and to receive love. I never loved anyone so deeply, like I you. Gabrielle you are my light, my family, my home. I want to spend the rest of my life with you."
Everything was silent. It seems that time stood still. Slowly Xena stood and looked deep in Gabrielle's eyes. Tears streaming down Gabrielle's face. The Priestess layed a hand on Gabrielle's shoulder to remind her for her confession of love. Gabrielle cleared her throat and took Xena's hands.
"In the face of all Amazons and the goddess Artemis I, Gabrielle Queen of the Amazons, swear to you, Xena of Amphipolis eternal loyality. I take you as my wife. Xena when I first saw you I felt an instant bond with you. Your wonderful blue eyes bored directly in my heart. From the first moment on I was in love with you. You allowed me to go with you. Because of you I'm now what I am. A woman who loves unquestioning. You showed me things I never thought were real. You were always there for me when I was down. With you, I can laugh. You are my inspiration for my stories. You showed me too, how wonderful it is to give and to receive love. I love you more than anyhting else in the world, and I want to spend the rest of my life with you."
Again everything was silent. All Amazons were impressed with the confession of Xena and Gabrielle. The Priestess was the first to speak.
"Xena, Gabrielle. After you spoke your confession, two things are missing. First the gifts, and then because Gabrielle is the Queen of the Amazones the blessing of Artemis. But first the gifts, Xena?"
Xena nodded and took something from her pouch. It was the Lyceus' necklace. She placed it Gabrielle around her neck and spoke.
"This necklace is the only thing I have from my brother Lyceus. I want you to wear it as sign of my love. Do you take this gift?"
Gabrielle touched the necklace and just nodded. She was speechless. She embraced Xena and kissed her. Then it was her turn. She nodded to Ephiny and she got the gift for Xena. On a pillow was a new sheath from brown leather. In the sheath was sheeps wool to protect the sword. On the sheath were elaborate designs. She took the sheath from the pillow and handed it to Xena.
"I made this sheath with my own hands. I want you to wear it as a sign of my love to you. Do you take it?"
Now it was Xena who cried. She looked at the sheath and then to Gabrielle.
"Yes, I take it. I love you."
"I love you, too."
And then they kissed. Suddenly a roaring applaus started with loud shouts and whistles. Serena lifted her hand to stop everything.
"Sisters we are not finished yet. Now we are waiting for the blessing of Artemis."
She lifted both hands in the air.
"Oh Artemis. These two mortals want to be joined and need your blessing. Do you agree with this alliance?"
Beside Serena came a glowing light and then Artemis stood between Gabrielle and Xena. Her hair was brown and shoulder long, her eyes were brown, too. She wore the dress of an Amazon (of course she was the goddess of the Amazones), and on her back she wore a bow. She took one hand from Xena and Gabrielle in her own hands and started to speak.
"I agree with this alliance. Gabrielle you are my favorite Amazon and you are a chosen. Xena, you are really an Amazon and you will do everything to protect Gabrielle and the Amazon nation. You two belong together. But I also have a gift for you both. Ephiny was in my temple this morning and told me about the wish you two have."
Xena and Gabrielle started to smile, because they know what it was. Artemis smiled, too and spoke again.
"You two want a baby. And I know that you two would be good parents I will fulfill your wish."
Artemis layed her hands on the bellys of Xena and Gabrielle. They began to glow, and than Artemis had two glowing balls in her hands. She lifted her hands and the balls began to dance. Artemis laidd her hands together and the balls united. After that she lifted her right hand and the ball laid in her hand. She guided her hand to Gabrielle's belly. It glowed again and suddenly the ball vanished.
"Gabrielle. In your belly will be created a new life, born from deep love between you and Xena. Be happy and live long."
Xena and Gabrielle were stunned, this gift they didn't expect. Xena was the first to speak.
"Artemis, I thank you with all my heart. You made this wonderful day much even better. This is the fullfilling of my dreams. Artemis I swear to you eternal loyality and I promise you to protect Gabrielle and our little child. Thank you."
And Gabrielle thanked her, too. Artemis took Xena and Gabrielle in her arms, said good-bye and vanished in the glowing light. Xena and Gabrielle looked in each other eyes and started to laugh. Xena took Gabrielle in her arms and whirled her around.
"I love you, and soon we are going to be a little family."
Gabrielle laughed, too. The people started to applause again. All congratulate the new married couple. After an half hour all was finished, and all went to the great banquet. They celebrate and danced, eat and drank, sing and laughed. But Gabrielle and Xena didn't notice much. Ephiny went to them.
"Well, a little impatient, huh? looking forward to the wedding night?"
"Ephiny you are impossible. By the way where is Iokaste?"
Gabrielle looked at Ephiny, which was still smiling.
"Iokaste is with Xenon and in bed. Tomorrow you have her back. But now go. The night is too short."
Xena smiled meanly to Ephiny. Gabrielle turned red like a tomato and nodded. Xena stood and took the hand of Gabrielle. Quickly Gabrielle her arm around Xena's waist and Xena laid her arm around Gabrielle's shoulder. And together they went to their hut for the wedding night.
To be continued.....
(yes, I know you are waiting for the love scene. But be patient you will get it. I promise.)
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