Disclaimer: The characters of Xena: Warrior Princess sad to say do not belong to me. They belong to Universal Pictures, MCA and Renaissance Pictures. No intention of copyright infringement is intended. I am grateful they allow me the privilege to extend the pleasure of this wonderful show by writing this fanfiction for fun.

Subtext: Of course. What would any X/G be without it. It is all about the love.

Sex disclaimer: No graphic sex. A little fooling around maybe. However, if love and intense caring between two consenting adults who happen to be women offend you, or you are not of age or it is illegal in your state...well...you can click the mouse and return when you are older and wiser.

Violence: Nah.

Author's note: Someone must have spiked Gabby's mug with henbane when Xena went to the little girl-warrior's room. Proving even in ancient times you could "trust no one".

Wine, Minstrel and Song

By Cheeyah

Xena held the door open as Gabrielle staggered into the cozy room situated directly above the very Inn they had just finished sharing their evening meal. She zig zagged her way across the room and with outstretched arms finally plopped herself onto the down filled bed.

Xena immediately pushed closed the heavy door firmly bolting the latch. Then with arms tightly folded she spun herself around and glared down at Gabrielle.

"OK. Now what was that all about?" she bellowed.

"Why, whatever are you talking about, my dear warrior?" drawled Gabrielle sweetly as she lay draped across the feather bed.

"The minstrel! The one you couldn't seem to keep your eyes off all night!" Xena reminded her emphatically.

"Oh...that one...er...oh... I don't know. I found the music and words intriguing. Say do we have any more wine in this room?"

"I think you've met your quota for the evening, my bard."

"No, Xena...I could use one more tiny sip to put me to sleep," holding up her thumb and finger to measure an inch. "Are you sure there isn't any more laying around?"

"You're turning into a lush, Gabrielle. Now about that minstrel. Tell me why were you blowing kisses all night? Just what was it you found so appealing?"

"To tell the truth..(hic) I think it was those eyes...they were so blue...so filled with tenderness. You know Xena, I'm such a sucker for blue eyes." (hic)

"Oh really?" said Xena softening her stance. "And what else are you a sucker for?"

Gabrielle began loosening the strings to her green halter top as she continued...

"Well, I like 'em tall and dark haired... wearing lots of leather, too. You know that minstrel was rather tall now that you mention it."

"I didn't mention it. But go on..." Xena grinned in mild amusement as she tried to follow the little blonde's eye movements. She couldn't help but notice how difficult it was for Gabrielle to focus on her or on anything else in the room for that matter.

"You know, Xena, when someone sings about how love tortures their soul...it just gets me right here." Gabrielle pointed to her right breast. Then appearing confused she pointed to her left breast. Both now concealed only by a sheer gauze covering.

"Just there?" inquired Xena poking at the same spot Gabrielle was holding her finger.

"Oh... and a lot of other places, too...but mostly in the heart and soul area," Gabrielle said in earnest.

"Uh...huh," Xena responded tongue in cheek.

She could not understand how a few sips of port could have gotten Gabrielle so tipsy. But then again she had gone out for a while to check on Argo, made a pit stop to relieve herself and had left her alone for some time at the bar just so she could listen to the music of that minstrel.

"Tell me, Gabrielle, would you want me to go find that minstrel for you now?" Xena asked suggestively.

"Oh, would you really do that for little ole me?" Gabrielle said fluttering her eyelashes in rapid succession.

'If that would make you happy."

"Actually, what would make me happy is a nice big mug of this Inn's finest port."


Xena growled clenching her teeth. Then gaining control of her emotions she continued using her softest maternal voice.

"...what I think you could use is a nice big mug of this Inn's finest sobering herb tea."

"Actually, what I need from you, my warrior, is not to be so intimidated by my acts of kindness toward a poor struggling minstrel who simply needs my encouragement for the sake of art."(burp)

"Is that what you were doing? Making a fool of yourself for the sake of art," smirked Xena.

Still feeling the heightened effects from the wine, Gabrielle retaliated by pointing a sharp finger at Xena.

"Why is it if I show emotion and love for something I care deeply about, Xena, I'm considered a fool? Sometimes I think that's exactly why I do it...just to embarrass you."

Xena knew in the old days if anyone else on the face of the ancient earth would have dared to speak to her like that, she would have sliced off their tongue with her chakram. But coming from Gabrielle it sounded so right because it was the truth. Xena had a painful time showing the bard the depth of her real emotions. She could sense how it hurt Gabrielle when she would not share her soul with her. Xena knew if she continued to keep her feelings hidden that one day they would burst forth like the lava from Mount Aetna. She had made a decision in just the last few days to change all that.

Ever so gently Xena reached out to direct the bard's face until they were finally gazing into each other's eyes. She knew at that moment just how much she loved this woman.

"Gabrielle, you don't embarrass me when you make a fool of yourself," Xena whispered with affection.

Responding only to the tenderness in Xena's voice rather than her words, Gabrielle couldn't stop the glowing swell of adoration and surrender forming deep within her. She knew at that moment just how much she loved this woman.

"I don't? Well then... exactly how do I make you feel?" Gabrielle teased tugging on Xena's breastplate while pulling her forward.

Xena decided to waste no time . She joined Gabrielle on the bed nuzzling against the soft skin of her neck. Then she began a trail of little kisses that lead all the way down her shoulder and arm and back up again finally ending at her left breast.

"Gabrielle ...do you still want me to find that minstrel?"

Gabrielle moaned softly.

"Uhhh..umm...nooo. I don't think we need anyone else in the room at the moment."

Suddenly there came a knock at the door.

"Oh--- centaur droppings! Can you believe this?" grumbled Xena in Gabrielle's ear.

Then she shouted toward the door, "We don't need anything...go away."

"No wait...hold on, love. We have all night to ourselves. Let's just see who it is first and what they want."

"Who's there?" Gabrielle asked through the crack in the door.

"This is room service and you'll want this," the voice from the other side of the door responded.

Gabrielle rushed to open the latch. As she pushed the door ajar she found a large box with a rolled parchment on top .

"Oh, Xena. There's a box with a note attached. Must be from the minstrel."

"What does it say?" asked Xena.

"It says, Dear Gabrielle, Just the sight of you... Fills my heart with music...

That's so sweet. But it's not signed. How will I ever say 'Thank you' to whoever sent it?"

"Guess you'll be wanting me to go and find that minstrel now for sure," said Xena.

"What? Oh, no...not really."

"Well, why not?" asked Xena her eyebrows twisted in disbelief.

"Oh, my sweet, jealous, wonderful warrior---don't you get it?" Gabrielle answered a bit exasperated.

"Get what?" Xena said shaking her head in confusion.

"This evening's concert was wonderful. True. But all it really did was get me in the mood. Now all I want is to show you the depth and passion of my feelings."

Xena felt her body becoming feverish as Gabrielle continued in her most seductive voice.

"...and you have every reason to be grateful to that minstrel for what I am about to do to you..."

"Oh, really..."smiled Xena. "Well, then let's drink to the minstrel."

"I'd love to --- but I thought you said we had no wine in the room," grinned Gabrielle suddenly feeling quite sober.

"Did you check the bottom of that box, yet?' Xena asked.

Gabrielle removed the soft hay used as a filler and discovered a fine bottle of Port, two goblets and a small gold box with a lid and key inside.

"Well, how did you know there was wine in there, Xena... and what do I do with this key?" Gabrielle wondered aloud.

"It's a new invention. They call it a music box. See___ you wind it up. The key was my idea. Here let me show you."

Xena inserted the key in the tiny hole and wound up the box. All at once the room filled with music.

Then Xena made true on her promise to share her emotions and feelings by gently grabbing Gabrielle about the waist and began twirling her around the room .

"One...two...three. One...two...three", she kept counting just to keep in time with her feet.

Gabrielle could not hold back her rapture. She felt her heart melting along with the flickering candles that surrounded the hearth. Just as the tiny rivers of wax cascaded along the edge of each candle, iridescent tears of joy glided down her cheeks only to land on the soft strong shoulders of the Warrior whose arms held her so tightly.

" You had this planned all along!?...Xena, what am I going to do with you?"

"Don't worry, sweetheart. You'll think of something."

As the firelight silhouetted the two entwined souls, Gabrielle gazed fondly at the little gold box and swore she could hear a symphony of angels playing the theme to Xena:Warrior Princess.

The End

Thanks for reading my story. Kind responses~even the other kind~are welcomed. xenaticfan@yahoo.com