The Wedding

by Marion D Tuttle

Standard disclaimers Xena Gabrielle and the gang aren't my creation I don't own them Universal does I just borrowed them to take my imagination for a walk.

If the thought of two women being in love and being in a sexual relationship bothers or offends you, boy are you in the wrong place!

This story takes place directly after the event's of Ares' Challenge while it may not be necessary to read that story follow the plot line here you may want to.
No real conflict in this one folks I was just in the mood to write a romantic piece of fluff, enjoy

With the sun just beginning to crest the eastern sky, Xena and Gabrielle finished their preparations to head to the Amazon village. They considered sending a messenger ahead to inform Ephany of their impending arrival and other plans and then thought "Naw let her be surprised."

"What kind of reaction do you think they'll have Xena?" Gabrielle had been thinking about the reaction her Amazon sisters would have to their news. She knew that the Amazons had a deep respect for Xena but would they accept her as her wife? She didn't want to put Xena or herself in a
position of having to defend their love.

Xena sensed Gabrielle's fears and gave her a gentle squeeze to comfort her. "Hey it's going to be fine. the Amazons love you and they just want you to be happy. If they know I'm what you want they will accept it, you'll see."
The bard hugged her back "I know your right, Besides half of them have been taking bets on when we would get together and the other half think we've been lovers for a long time now."
Surprise registered on Xena's features, she had heard the rumors but she didn't think Gabrielle had. "I didn't think you knew!"
A small chuckle escaped the young woman. "I am the Queen after all, there isn't too much that goes on in the village when we're there that I don't get wind of."
Smoothing the hair away from her face Xena smiled down at the woman that had bought the light back into her life. "You never cease to amaze me my love, Just when I think I know all there is to know about you, you manage to come up with something new." She looked down into eyes that reflected love and desire back to her.
"Don't look at me like that or we'll never get out of here." she placed a light kiss on the bards lips and pulled away before it became something more intense. Scince they had given in to their desires it use hard for them to keep their hands off each other.

Turning from Gabrielle Xena secured the last of their gear to Argo's back "You know if you rode with me we could be on Amazon territory before night fall. How does a nice soft bed tonight sound?"
"Thats the second best idea you've had in a long time."
Xena raised an eyebrow at that comment "Second best huh? Suppose you tell me what the best one was."
Giving the warrior her best wide eyed innocent look Gabrielle answered "Why my dear warrior princess asking me to marry you was the best thing I have heard ever." She gave Xena a playful swat on the arm before moving away. The warrior smiled at her bard, she still had a hard time
believing that this amazing woman was in love with her, and would shortly beher wife.

Mounting Argo with a swift movement, she reached her hand down to pull Gabrielle up in front of her. The bard looked back at Xena with a question. "Since when do I ride in front?"
"Since I want you were I can touch you." She tightened her arms around her lovers waist while she nuzzled her ear tracing the outline with her tongue. She whispered to Gabrielle "Are you ready?"
Boy was that a loaded question, "For what?"
"To go." Xena answered her with a smile. Gabrielle couldn't believe the normally stoic warrior was actually engaging in playful teasing. She felt feather light touches across her mid drift and surpressed an inward groan "This is going to be a long trip" she thought to herself.

Xena nudged Argo foward,as they started their journey each woman became lost in her own thoughts. For Xena's part she couldn't believe the light that filled her heart, she still had a hard time coming to terms with the fact that she now had her hearts desire because of the challenge Ares had
made, and Artemis' intervention on their behalf.
She was not used to owing any thanks to any of the Gods, but when she arrived in the Amazon village she was going to make an offering of thanks at the Moon Goddess' temple. Even though she didn't want to she still had an uncomfortable feeling about Ares. he had promised to stay out of her life, but the one thing she had learned she could depend on with the God of War was that his word was most defiantly not his bond.
Gabrielle could sense that her warrior still had some serious doubts about Ares keeping is word she knew her best bet of keeping the warrior from slipping into a dark mood was to keep her distracted. "So tell me Xena have you given any thought as to how we're going to break the news to
"What's to think about? I figured we would just come out and tell them when we got there."
Gabrielle felt herself cringing at Xena's seeming lack of appreciation for the drama and romance of the situation.
"My,my don't we have a lovely sense of ceremony. Why don't we just waltz into town and greet everyone with with some idyll chit chat. I can see it now hey Ephany, Solari any boarder uprisings Scince we were here last? How does the summer harvest look? Any petitions I should look at? And oh by the way Xena and I decided to get hitched. Do you think we can slid that in there without causing to much of a stir?" Gabrielle was starting to feel real anger at Xena's seeming indifference to what she thought was a monumental announcement.
"I'm beginning to wonder if your having second thoughts."
Xena realized she needed to reassure her bard, and right now. "Hey, I didn't mean it that way."
The young bard's heart felt heavy with disappointment."It's almost as if you don't want anyone to know." It came out in a rush of hear so softly Xena almost didn't hear it.
Using her fingers to bring Gabrielle's face around she could have kicked herself when she saw the unshed tears hanging on her love's lashes. she rested her hand against her cheek "Gabrielle I'm so sorry, I don't want you to think I'm trying to down play this. I'd like to shout it from the rooftops that I'm in love with the most amazing woman in the world, and that she as done me the unbelievable honor of agreeing to become my wife."
"Do you really mean that?"
"With all my heart!"
Settling back against Xena she let herself relax."I'm sorry, I guess I over reacted."
Xena kissed her behind the ear "Don't ever apologize for telling me how you feel, you got that? I never want you to feel like you can't talk to me."
That bought a laugh from the bard "OH yeah, like expressing myself as ever been a problem for me." Settling into a bit more of a serious mode she added "I guess everything just happened so fast I'm still adjusting to the fact that this is all real."
"Don't ever doubt my love for you Gabrielle, it's very real.".
The conviction in her warriors' voice as she declared her love warmed Gabrielle's heart, all the hardship's and problems the had endured over the years flashed briefly across- the young bards mind, and it came to her that she would gladly endure it all again if she knew it would bring her
to this moment with her warrior princess. It never occurred to Gabrielle until that very moment, just how deeply she loved this woman.

They rode on for another two candlemarks in a comfortable silence each caught up in their own private musings, the scenery was becoming more familiar now they had entered into Amazon territory. So there was no surprise when they group of warriors descended from the trees. Gabrielle
immediately raised her clasped hands over her head in the sign of peace. The tallest of the sentry group stepped forward and raised her mask, "Solari, what are you doing on sentry duty? Why aren't you back at the village with Ephany?"
Sweeping a deep bow before her Queen, Solari answered her, "We've been a little short handed lately."
This caught Xena's attention "Is there a problem?"
"No not really, not unless you consider getting ready for a wedding a problem."
Xena and Gabrielle were dumb struck, they looked at each other, they couldn't possibly know, could they? Both women asked together "Who?"
Eponion looked up at her friends on horseback "Me and Ephany, I finally got up the nerve to ask her, some surprise huh?"

Gabrielle couldn't hold back the laugh that burst forth from her lips. "Oh tis is too good, I can't believe it."
Xena herself was using her own iron control to keep quite. She somehow sensed that she should let Gabrielle handle this one. She held the bard a little tighter so her shaking from her laughter wouldn't dislodge her from her seat on Argo.
A strange look crossed the tall Amazons face "This was hardly the reaction I was expecting!"
"I'm sorry Sol..." Gabrielle managed to get out after she had herself under a fair amount of control "It's just the timing couldn't have been better, Tell me how you think Ephany would feel about a double ceremony?"
It was Solari's turn to register shock "You mean...?" for the first time she took notice of Xena's protective hold around Gabrielle's waist. The berd's smile rivaled the sun itself in brilliance " Solari, I believe your well aquatinted with my future wife, Xena."

Solari was so far taken aback at the seemingly casual announcement that for a brief moment she had acutely lost the power of speech. She finally recovered herself looking first to Gabrielle and then to Xena she asked "Is this for real?"
She was met with a simple one word answer in to voices "Yes"
Turning to one of the runners in the group Solari issued a command "Run back to the village and alert Regent Ephany that The Queen and Xena have arrived. Say nothing else of what you have heard here. Is that clear?"
"Yes,Solari." with that the compact runner headed towards the village. Coming back around to face the two women a smile split her face "I want to be there to see the look on Ephany's face when she hears the news."
Xena finally gave into a chuckle "If it's anything like the look on yours it should be priceless."

Ephany stood in the doorway to the meeting hall watching for the arrival of the visitors, her insticnts told her that the young runner knew more about Gabrielle and Xena's resons for being here, but she had not said anything other than the two women were on their way being escorted in by Captain Solaria's scout party.
"Well I guess I'll find out soon enough." she thought to herself. Seeing the group of women approach the Regent felt a smile come to her face At the head of the guard party was her lover, soon to be wife. Catching sight of her Queen's smile she knew there was defiantly something going on. Gabrielle always looked pretty happy, but right now she was practically glowing.

The travelers came to stand before the woman who was not only ruler in Gabrielle's abcesne, although that would hasve been enough reason for a show of respect, she was also a dear friend to both of them. Gabrielle embraced Ephiny in a warm greeting, "Ephiany, We understand congratulations are in order! Solari told us the good news."
Flashing a smile at the tall captain of the guard she answered "She never could keep a secret." Solari and Xena both just rolled their eyes. "So tell me what brings you two here. not that we aren't glad to see you. We just weren't expecting you to be back this way for a while. Of course now it saves my the trouble of sending a search party out to find you with your indentation." she added with a smile.

Gabrielle looked to Xena for reassurance, and received a look filled with love that said "Go ahead and tell her your the bard afterall."
"Well the truth is Ephany we came because we have news of our own." she moved closer and took Xena's hand in her own, the warrior gave her hand a gentle squeeze, the gesture wasn't lost on Ephany. "Xena has asked me to marry her.... and I said yes."
"It's about damn time!"
That reaction was a little bit of a surprise "What makes you say it like that?" Gabrielle asked "It sounds like you've been expecting this, we just our selves got around to admitting our feelings."
Ephany couldn't hold back the chuckle "Just because the two of you were too pig headed to see what was right in front of you, doesn't mean the rest of us are blind." Hugging her Queen and friend she went on "I'm so happy for you both.Xena I haven't heard a word out of you Scince you got
Xena cocked an eyebrow at the woman in front of her "I have a hard timegetting a word in edgewise when you two get started."
Both Gabrielle and Ephany gave her playful swat on the arm. "You just use that as an excuse," her bard teased "We all know that under that strong silent type exterior...."
"Don't go there Gabrielle, I have my reputation to maintain."
This brought laughter all around. Ephany signaled to one of the sentries to come to her "Go to the dinning hall and tell the cooks to prepare a feast we have a lot to celebrate."
When the kitchen staff heard the news the common reaction was "Great God Zeus, two weddings to plan!"

Once they had met with the round of well wishes they made their way to the Queens hut. Gabrielle suddenly felt nervous and shy about being alone with Xena, funny she had never felt that way any other time, but that was before. They had shared one night of incredibly sweet passion, and then
spent all of today traveling to get here.
With the combination of the news about Ephany and Solari and the emotional upheaval of all the had been through with Ares she realized she had reached her limits of endurance.
Xena sensed that her bard needed to be held and reassured, she opened her arms to her love. "Hey, come here you."
Gabrielle melted into the strong arms of her warrior, lightly grazing her lips against Xena's neck she murmured "Mmmm this feels good, I've been waiting all day to get my arms around you." She felt the laugh rumble in Xena's chest before she heard it "What are you talking about? You've been
hanging on to me all day long."
"That doesn't count I was trying to keep from falling off Argo. Now I have the freedom to touch you the way I want to."
Xena had meant to take things slowly, she didn't want Gabrielle to think she was an uncontrollable animal, but when she felt those warm lips move against her skin all thoughts off restraint went right out the window.Xena picked her young lover up and gently deposited her on the bed.
She left her laying there long enough to divest herself off her armour before joining Gabrielle on the bed.Her mouth came down to claim soft firm lips with all the passion, love, and joy that had filled her heart when she had first heard Gabrielle say that she loved her.
"Gabrielle, I want you so much."
"Take me Xena, I'm all yours."
That was all Xena needed to hear she kissed Gabrielle again while her hands worked to remove the barrier of Gabrielle's shirt. She could feel that the nipples had already hardened underneath her touch. Having unlaced the front of her shirt, Xena pushed the garment down off Gabrielle's
shoulders and tossed it to the floor. Burying her face in the valet between the bards breath she breathed her name out on a sigh. "Gabrielle..."
Placing her hand on the back of Xena's head she tried to pull her even closer, "I've always loved the way you said my one else can make it sound the way you do."
At a loss for anything to answer the bard with she repeated "Oh, Gabrielle."
It became clear to the young story teller right there that her voice had a powerful impact on Xena as well she was in a mood to see just how far she could push her warrior with her voice. "Do you want me to tell you what I want to do to you Xena? There is so much. so many things."
Xena could only moan a response her throat muscles worked to croak out two words, "Tell me"
"First I'm going to slowly undress you and I'm going to kiss every bit of uncovred flesh as I pull your leathers off. And then I'm going to kiss and suck on your breast's until you feel as if the are on fire." With this comment she had flipped Xena over onto her back and had started the promised undressing. Her words were broken now coming between kisses and long explorations of a very talented tongue. She continued on "Next I'm going to taste you and then I'm going to take you with my fingers and drive you completely out of your mind."

The combination of Gabrielle's seductive litany and her warm mouth hand hands on her skin was almost Xena's undoing. "Gabrielle please.... I need you now!!!"
She loved the power she had over this magnificent woman Running her tongue around the delicate shell of an ear the bard whispered "SSShhh aren't you the one always telling my to slow down and be more in control?" she teased "There are exemptions to every rule. No take me please before I lose my mind."
Gabrielle raised her head from the assault she was waging on her lovers breasts "Scince you asked soooo nicely." She slid down Xena's body, positioning herself between trembling thighs. What she saw when she got there set her own pulse on a faster course, Xena was open to her and more
than ready She lowered her face, the first touch of her tongue caused Xena to arch her back of the bed to try and increase the contact. She withdrew slightly drawing a whimper of protest from the dark woman beneath her "Gabrielle...touch me....I cant take much more of this."

Right then Gabrielle made a decision "she's suffered enough" she thought to herself "Alright, Xena I'll give you what you need." She fastened her lips to the sensitive nub at the top of Xena's sex and plunged two fingers into her hard and fast.Xena rocked her hips to the tempo Gabrielle had set
with her hand reveling in the sensations her lovers mouth hand hands were pulling out of her. She was close to the edge, but she tried to hold on for a little longer to draw out the sweet torment, it was one battle she was destined to lose.
"Oh dear Gods ....Gabrielllle" she drew out the bards name as her orgasm crashed over her. The climax and ensuing after shocks rocked the warriors body "Hold me love." was the last thing Xena said before she crashed exhausted back against the bed.
Gabrielle climbed back up to Xena and wrapped herself around Xena's body "I love you Xena."
"I love you too Gabrielle, and if you give me a bit to catch me breath
I'll prove to you just how much."
It was a promise she wanted to keep but while her love held her Xena slipped into the arms of Morpheus.
Gabrielle kissed her tenderly "Sleep well my warrior, we have the rest of our lives."She held that feeling within her heart as she joined her warrior in slumber

Somewhere in the darkest part of the night, just before the dawn Gabrielle felt a feather light caress on her left breast that stirred her to awareness. She opened her eyes to see moonlight reflected in clear shaphire eyes. "Well I'm glad to see you finally decided to join me, you know how I hate to leave unfinished business....and if I remember correctly I did leave something unfinished..."
She replaced the fingers that were massaging Gabrielle's nipple into a hard peak with her tongue and lips They moan that escaped Gabrielle's throat inspired the warrior on to greater heights. "Like that do you?" Xena remembered the sensual verbal assault She had endured last night Xena
smiled to herself "two can play word games" she thought, and Gabrielle knew she was in trouble......

They sun poured in from the open doorway blinding both of the beds occupants, Ephany couldn't keep the laughter out of her voice as she ducked the pillow that was aimed at her head with deadly intent. "Don't you people ever knock?" Xena asked with more sternness in her voice than she truly
felt. "Come on you two the morning is half over and there is a lot to do today." Ephany tried to keep her voice level at the next statement "There is something you two should see it was left here for you, a wedding gift of sorts."
This caught the women's attention "Who could have left us a wedding gift? Xena asked "Up until last night no body knew, Hades I just asked Gabrielle two marry me two days ago and it seems like the whole world already knows it."
Gabrielle felt they same fear she had expressed yesterday "Thats not a problem, is it?"
Xena knew the warning signs of what could turn into a storm if she let it. She resolved right then and there to make more of an effort to open up and share her feelings with the bard, so she wouldn't be plagued by doubts "No love it's not, I'm just a little surprised at how quickly news
travels." That was the right answer, Gabrielle settled back against Xena "Give us a few minutes Ephany and we'll be right there."
"As you wish my Queen." she answered her voice tinged with laughter.
"Oh and Ep, cut the my Queen jazz, would ya?"

About a quarter of a candle mark later Xena and Gabrielle emerged from there hut into the village square On the statue of Artemis hung two pendants, one with a flashing emerald that held what looked like green fire, the color was the same that showed in the bards eyes with the
inscription " Xena, forever yours, Gabrielle." The other held a shaphire that showed blue sparks that were a perfect match to Xena's eyes holding a similar inscription "Gabrielle, forever yours, Xena"
The third parcel was a rolled parchment with a long pure white ribbon on it. Xena handed the scroll to Gabrielle "Would you like to do the honors?"
Gabrielle took the scroll and unwrapped it she began to read "Xena and Gabrielle, know that I am well pleased with your decision to formalize your joining. These pendants are my gift to you both as two of my chosen children you will have may love and protection. Always.....Artemis."
Tears were clearly evident in the bard's eyes as she looked up from the parchment. "Xena she really meant it, we do have her blessing."
Normally Xena wanted nothing to do with the Gods, involvement with them always seemed to carry a high price, but when she saw the joy on her lovers face that these gifts had bought she said a silent prayer of thanks to the patron goddess of the Amazons. "Maybe there not all bad." she thought

The next few weeks passed in a flurry of activity as the village prepared for the joining ceremony The decision had been made to have to separate ceremonies so each couple would have their own special day. Ephany and Solari had been married the week before and on the rare occasion that
they papered outside of their hut, the wore a look of complete and utter contentment.
As the day for their own ceremony came closer Xena and Gabrielle grow closer, they didn't think that was possible but this new facet of their relationship seemed to open up areas that nether woman had been willing to talk about before. Gabrielle told Xena about her fears of growing old and dying in Potidia without ever experiencing what life had to offer. And much to her surprise Xena found herself opening up about the things that had motivated her during her warlord years.That did more for Gabrielle then any declaration of love ever could have, because now she knew that Xena trusted her.

The morning before their wedding dawned clear and bright, they were awakened by a knock on the door. Xena smiled it seemed that Ephany had learned her lesson regarding knocking. "Come in."
Ephany entered the hut followed by four sturdy Amazons "Whats going on?"
Xena asked. "You know the rules Xena, Sarria and Jada are here to escort you to the
ceremonial hut to be prepared for tomorrow, Cassa and Dara will stay with Gabrielle. You will not see each other again until the wedding."
Gabrielle was the first to react "No I don't want to be separated from Xena."
The warrior knew it was going to be up to her to bring Gabrielle into line with the ways of custom "Gabrielle I don't want to be away from you either, but it is only for one night, and after that I promise We will never sleep apart again. Besides you know it's a custom how would it look
if the Amazon Queen herself didn't follow tradition." she added with a smile and kissed her on the nose.
Rising from the bed she couldn't help but notice the sharp intake of breath as her naked body was revealed to them. She slipped into a robe and noticed the warning look Gabrielle sent her Amazon sisters. Xena relaxed when she saw her smile before speaking "Remember ladies, she's mine you can look all you want, but don't touch."
Xena put a few things into a bag and reached down and pressed a brief kiss to Gabrielle's lips, "Until tomorrow my love, just think the next time we see each other I will become your wife."
"And I yours" The bard responded

That day and night seemed to be the longest either women had every lived through, in later years both of them would say they didn't sleep a wink that night.
The royal guard arrived to escort Gabrielle to the raised platform used for such ceremonies. Xena was already standing on the platform dressed in royal blue silks and the pendent that add been a gift from Artemis. When Gabrielle caught sight of her she felt as though the breath had been
knocked from her body "Gods this woman was beautiful, and she was all hers."
For her part Xena couldn't tear her eyes away from Gabrielle the woman was an absolute vision in an ivory satin sheath that was cut to show her figure to its best advantage. her pendent settled snuggly between her breast's. A completely lurid thought of wanting to press her lips against
that spot entered her mind. Time enough for that later she told herself. She watched entranced as Gabrielle ascended the steps to come and stand beside her. Reaching out for Gabrielle's hand she pulled her to her side and silently mouthed the words "I love you"

As Regent, it was Ephany's honor to officiate at the Queen's wedding. taking both women by the hands she place their arms together and wound a long silk cord around them. "May this cord be an outward symbol of the vows you take today that will bound your lives together. Gabrielle , as Queen you have the choice to speak your vows first. What do you have to say to Xena?"
Looking into the bottomless depths of Xena's eyes she began."Xena, for as long as I can remember I had hoped to find a love that would touch my heart and my soul. I had dreamed of a love so great that anything that had come before would pale in comparison, My family had always told me that I aimed too high, asked for too much. But you have not only met my dreams you have far surpassed them. I am not complete without you we are two halves of a whole and you hold my heart as no one else every could. I pledge my love and my life to you, where you go I will follow for with out you I am but an empty shell.
With all that I am I promise to be your mate for life."
By the time she was done speaking there was not a dry eye to be found Xena's tears were openly
rolling down her cheeks. She gathered herself enough to speak her vows "Gabrielle, you know that I'm not ginin to a lot of verbal expression, but you have to know that you bought a light into my life when I was surrounded by nothing but darkness. You have taught me that the most powerful force on earth is love and I could not possibly love you any more. You said that I hold your heart and the truth is That you own mine, were it not for you it would be useless. I will always be here for you and I prey to whatever God saw fit to put you into my life that you will always feel the way you do today."

Ephany came back to herself after listening to these impassioned vows. She had expected eloquence from the yong Queen, but was quite surprised at the vows Xena had made. In all the time she had known the usually stoic warrior she thought this was the most she had every heard her speak at one time. Looking two both women she turned to the assembled crowd "If any one can present a reson why these to women should not be joined, let them speak now."
"As if anyone would dare." she thought to herself. After waiting the prescribed amount of time and hearing no response she turned back to the couple. "I proclaim by the power given me as Regent to our Amazon Queen and the grace of Artemis that you Xena and Gabrielle are joined as one by the laws of the Amazon nation.." A cheer went up from the crowd as Ephany said too her two friends "Go ahead and make it official Xena, kiss her."
"With pleasure."
She swept Gabrielle into her arms and captured her mouth in a scorching kiss that would have had the bard falling to the ground were it not for Xena's strong arms holding her up.
" Now you are mine forever."
"Forever Xena."

They celebration went into the small hours of the morning, but after a few polite rounds of accepting
congratulations Xena and Gabrielle managed to sneak away from the party. The truth was their departure did not go unnoticed, but no one was going to try and stop them from leaving.
As they entered their hut they etched clutched the other giving in to their passions, they both knew
this was going to be a long night and neither one cared. When the awoke in the morning, they felt a warm glow that had nothing to do with the beam of sunshine that was pouring into their dwelling. The warmth came from their hearts.

The End


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