Disclaimer: The characters of Xena and Gabrielle belong to MCA/Universal and Renaissance Pictures. No infringement on their rights are intended. All other characters are mine and belong to me.

Subtext Disclaimer: Yes and lots of it. If you find the idea of a loving relationship between to people of the same sex offensive, go away. If you are under the age of 18, or reside in an area where this type of material is illegal, go away. There are bunches of general fanfic for you out there. Go find it.

Shock Factor: 8 Plan D #3

Send comments to asdease1@gte.net

Enjoy, I hope.


Written by FlyBigD


“Dad, come on. I said I was sorry.” Xena rolled her eyes and moved the receiver a few inches away from her ear, as her father began reciting all the negative attributes of riding a motorcycle across his lawn and tearing up his meticulously kept grass.

Sitting on the other end of the couch, Gabrielle watched the ten, tan bare toes, resting in her lap, wiggle with frustration. Smiling wickedly, she ran her finger softly over the bottom of Xena's right foot and chucked when the foot was jerked away.

“Stop that.” Xena hissed, glaring. “No, Dad, I'm not talking to you.” Shaking her head and rolling her eyes for, only the gods know how many times, the warrior went back to listening and sighed.

Taking a sip of her iced tea, the bard put the glass on the table beside the couch and laid her head back. Feeling the stray foot return to her lap, she closed her eyes and rubbed it with her hand. She never learns , Gabrielle thought, hearing the conversation progress to the promising stage. Then, letting out a sigh of her own, she opened her eyes and, turning her head, saw the warrior cover her eyes. As another wicked smile creased the corners of her mouth, Gabrielle slowly started her hand up the warrior's bare leg and, leaning over, placed a kiss just behind where her hand had been.

One blue eye appeared between two tan fingers, then both, as Xena's hand fell away, when the sultry look in green eyes made her smile. “Grace, are you listening to me?” Came a stern voice in Xena's ear. “Yea, Dad, I'm listening.” She lied, as the bard made her way to mid thigh, then onto all fours, to crawl seductively, straddling the warrior's hips. “Look, Dad, I've got to go.” Biting her bottom lip when Gabrielle started to unbutton her shirt and licked her way up Xena's throat to nibble on her earlobe. “Gods!” Slamming the phone down in it's cradle, Xena wrapped her arms around Gabrielle's waist.

“Grace! You ride that beast across my lawn again and I'm going to . . .” Dad looked at the receiver with disgust. “Maggie!” He shouted. “Your daughter just hung up on me.”

“You're gonna be in big trouble.” Gabrielle said into Xena's ear, dropping her head to the warrior's collarbone, then running her tongue up again.

“He'll live.” Smiling as the bard reached the bottom button and pulled hard, exposing Xena's bare chest. Closing her eyes, she threw her head back, when her wife hands found her breasts and started kneading gently and her thumbs teased two erect nipples. “He'll call back.” Whispering in a husky tone.

Gabrielle made her way, kissing and sucking, back down the warrior's throat and ran her tongue along a smooth, tan jaw line, coming to rest against two parted waiting lips. Sucking Xena's tongue, as the warrior probed her mouth, the bard slowly began rocking her hips, while teasing the warrior's nipples unmercifully, causing Xena to moan loudly.

Lowering her hands, Xena grasped the bard's firm buttocks, urging Gabrielle to rock faster. “We are worse than rabbits.” Whispering between heated kisses, she opened her eyes and smiled.

Taking the warrior's bottom lip in her teeth, Gabrielle pulled gently, then released it, to look into pale blue pools. “Are you complaining?” Pinching one of Xena's nipples between her index finger and thumb.

“Yes! I mean no.” Seeing the smirk on Gabrielle's face. “No, not me. Never. No way.”

“I didn't think so.” Lowering her head, the bard ran her tongue lightly across Xena's chin, down her throat, again and down to the space between her breast.

“Yesssss?” Watching the bard's eyes twinkle, she arched a little at Gabrielle's touch.

Taking her time, Gabrielle continued letting her tongue explore the warrior's cleavage and felt Xena's hips beginning to rock. Lifting her head a bit, she arched one eyebrow and smiled. “What do you think about me taking that job at the University?” Moving her lips to one breast, circling the nipple with her tongue.

“You little hussy.” Her hips still rocking, Xena closed her eyes tightly as Gabrielle took the nipple in her mouth and suckled viciously. “Gods! You're wicked.”

“That's why you love me.” Came a muffled chuckle as Gabrielle took the nipple between her teeth and bit down lightly, causing the warrior to groan and arch backwards, over the arm of the couch.

Xena gripped Gabrielle's hips, her fingers digging into the bard's jeans, lifting her head, she looked down, as Gabrielle moved to take possession of her other breast. “I told you if it's what you really wanted, we'd work something out.” Her voice a husky whisper. Reaching up with one hand, Xena grasped blonde hair, holding the bard to her breast, as she felt Gabrielle's hips grinding into hers, through their respective clothing.

“Really?” Removing her hands, Gabrielle quickly pulled off her sweatshirt and leaned into the warrior, bringing their bare torso's together, breast to breast.

“Gods! Gabrielle! Can we please talk about this later?” Sucking in air, Xena held her breath as the bard's skin began an assault on her senses.

“Sure.” Gabrielle smiled, letting the subject drop and concentrating on the task at hand. Wrapping her arms around the warrior's neck, the bard began thrusting her hips harder and faster, rubbing their bodies together and taking Xena's lips in a crushing kiss.

“No, Mom, I didn't hang up.” Waiting for her heartbeat to return to normal, Xena ran her fingers through the bard's blonde hair. “I think we got disconnected.” Feeling Gabrielle's lips on her neck, she cocked her head, giving the bard better access.

Pulling at the warrior's sleeve, she held it as Xena pulled her arm out, then waited for her to switch the phone to the other hand and did the same, dropping the garment to the floor. Scooting back, she straddled the warrior's thighs and began unzipping Xena's shorts.

“I'm sorry Dad thinks that, but I'm not ungrateful.” Sighing, Xena handed the bard the phone. “You tell her.”

Laughing, Gabrielle took the phone and put it to her ear. “She's not ungrateful.” Handing the phone back as she got a slap on her arm and a glare. Ignoring both, Gabrielle grasped the hem of the shorts and scooting back again, slowly eased the blue shorts and Xena's green undies down the warrior's legs.

“Ignore her Mom.” Scowling at her partner, Xena rolled her eyes. “Yes, Mom, I can hear Dad quite clearly from here and I'm sorry for putting you in the middle. I didn't mean to tear up the yard and I promise I'll never do it again.” Taking more interest in what the bard was doing, Xena watched Gabrielle remove the rest of her own clothing. “Mom, uhhh.” Losing her train of thought as her wife started kissing her way up her shin. “Mom, what? Oh! Dad, sorry.” Rolling her eyes, Xena spread her legs as Gabrielle reached her thighs.

Pushing Xena's legs further apart, Gabrielle continued her quest.

“No, Dad.” Closing her eyes as Gabrielle got even closer, Xena stifled a groan. “I don't like answering machines.” Biting her lip, when the bard stretched her legs even further apart and bending them, brought her knees to rest on the bard's shoulders. “Dad, my beeper is going off.” Telling a half truth, as the Gabrielle's tongue dipped into her center and she started hearing bells. “I'd better get off now.”

Gabrielle rolled her eyes, at the warrior's turn of phrase and started flicking her tongue deeper into hot wetness.

“Yes, Daddy, I love you too and I'm very sorry. Bye.” Punching a button on the receiver, Xena tossed it over her shoulder.

Picking up the phone, Xena sighed. “What is this? Grand Central Station?” Walking back to the couch, she wrapped her robe tighter around her, plopped down next to Gabrielle and took a piece of cantaloupe from the bard's waiting lips. Chewing slowly, she took a deep breath and pressed a button. “Hello.”

Gabrielle watched Xena's head fall forward and smiled. Shaking her head, she popped a piece of fruit in her mouth and chewed happily, thanking the gods that her parents lived in another time zone.

“Daddy, what a surprise.” With none in her voice, Xena closed her eyes.

Gabrielle chuckled when Xena slid sideways, bringing her head to rest on the bard's shoulder. Taking pity, Gabrielle shoved a piece of fruit in the warrior's mouth and patted her head. By the time, Xena had hung up, again, the bowl had been emptied and rinsed out in the kitchen sink. Taking her place beside Xena, Gabrielle chuckled.

Xena gave her a dirty look.

“Don't look at me. I didn't tell you to hang up and I certainly didn't tell you to do donuts in you parent's front yard.” Pushing in Xena's bottom lip.

“Well you weren't helping the situation. Crawling all over me. Taking advantage and pulling my clothes off.” Smiling at the memory, despite her mood.

“You looked like you needed a change of pace.” Smiling, Gabrielle laid her head in Xena's lap.

“Speaking of which . . . what was that about taking the University job?” Knowing that the bard was hoping she'd forgotten the conversation in the heat of passion.

“You remembered that, huh?” Lowering her eyes, Gabrielle studied her hands.

“Despite all the distractions, yes.” Running her fingers through the bard's hair. “Do you really want to take it?”

“I don't know.” Biting a hang nail. “It'd mean we'd only be able to see each other on weekends.” Looking up, Gabrielle searched the warrior's eyes. “What do you think?”

“I think that if you want the job, you should take it.” Smiling, Xena leaned forward, kissing Gabrielle's brow, lightly. “We'll figure out the details later.”

“Maybe.” Looking at her hands again, Gabrielle bit her lip thoughtfully.

“Gabrielle.” Whispering, Xena cupped the bard's chin, bringing sad green eyes to meet hers. “You know you want the job, it's something you've been talking about for months. For Zeus sake, take it. I'll be fine here and I'll come up every chance I get. I promise.”

“Like you promised never to tear up your parent's yard for the third time this year?” Smiling into blue eyes.

“I'll keep this one.” Leaning her head down, Xena kissed Gabrielle's smile. “Dad can resod, I can't get another you.”

Gabrielle curled her legs underneath her. Sitting in the darkness of their bedroom, she watched the warrior sleeping, the moonlight playing on her tanned face. Feeling a chill, she wrapped her robe closer around her and sighed. “What am I going to do?” She whispered. Do I really want to do this? Searching her heart, Gabrielle sighed. She'd wanted this job, even before the dean had offered it, knowing full well what it would mean. The university was over seventy miles away and no matter how she tried to figure it out, she knew there was no way to get around the fact that she'd have to move. The class schedule she'd been offered, meant she'd have to stay in town and could only come home on weekends and even then, it might be every other one. Looking at Xena again, Gabrielle closed her eyes. We finally get to a lifetime where we can spend everyday together and don't waste our lives searching the world for each other and something like this comes up. Shaking her head, she rested her chin on her hand. Xena's doing what she loves and I do love teaching, but is that worth sacrificing what little time we may have in this lifetime being apart? Slowly a tear ran down her cheek as she thought of how many times they'd been forced apart by circumstances beyond their control and how many times they'd spend doing that in the future. Xena fought so hard for these bodies and this life, why can't I be satisfied with what we have?” Opening her eyes, as another tear fell, Gabrielle slowly got up and went downstairs. Finding the phone, in the darkness, she dialed a number she knew by heart and waited for the line to pick up.

“Hi, it's Faith. I didn't wake you did I?” Staring at nothing.

“No, Faith. I was just going over some paperwork. What's up?” Brian asked, looking at his watch.

“I was wondering if I could come to stay with you for a couple of weeks.” Biting her lip, Gabrielle closed her eyes.

“What has my sister done now?” Rolling his eyes, Brian tried to imagine what stupid thing Grace had done this time.

“Nothing.” Chuckling, Gabrielle opened her eyes. “I'm thinking about taking that Professorship at the university and I might need someplace to stay while I look for an apartment.”

“Oh, no. No way.” Pointing at the phone, Brian's eyes grew wide. “You're not leaving that woman alone for a single minute. She's a menace as it is, even with you there. You leave her to her own devices and we'll be reading about it in the newspaper.”

Laughing, Gabrielle completely understood Brian's concerns. “Brian. Come on, she's not that bad.” Knowing better.

“I heard what she did to Mom and Dad's yard, again.” Shaking his head. “No way, you come here and she's bound to follow. Nothing doing. Either way, I'm screwed.”

“Brian.” Drawing out his name in admonition.

“No. Nope. No way. Wrong answer.” Making his answer as clear as possible.

“Please?” Pleading, Gabrielle smiled when she heard him sigh. “Pretty, please?”

“Okay, but you make her stay there. I don't want my kids falling under her rotten influence.” Frowning at his lack of stubbornness.

“That's a promise. No fingers crossed.” Holding out her hand, fingers spread wide.

“When are you coming?” Resigned to his fate, Brian moved into loving brother mode, which he saved just for Faith and not his own snotty sister.

“I'm not sure. I haven't even decided to take the job yet.” Bringing her hand to her lap, Gabrielle looked at the silver band on her ring finger. “I just wanted to give you a heads up.”

“Thanks for the warning. I wonder if we can move before you get here.” Waving to his wife, when she came in the room. “Jess pack up the kids, we're moving. Faith is coming and you know what that means.”

Gabrielle laughed when she heard Jess laughing in the background. “Look, Brian, I'd better let you go. I've got a lot of stuff to do and I'm gonna need all the sleep I can get.”

“Okay. Call when you're ready. We'll set up the spare bedroom for you.” Smiling as his wife winked. “Take care, Faith and tell my piss ant sister that I love her, despite the fact that I still believe she was brought by the police.”

“I'll do that, Brian. Love you and send my love to Jess and the kids.” Chuckling.

“Love you, too. Bye.” Hanging up the phone, Brian rolled his eyes as Jess fell on the floor laughing. “Stop that.” Pointing a finger at his wife. “We are nothing alike.”

Holding the phone for a few moments, Gabrielle put it down slowly and sighed. Standing, she walked slowly to the stairs and stopped when she saw the warrior siting in the dark stairwell. “Xena.” Whispering in the silence.

“I guess I'd better start looking for cardboard boxes.” Scooting over, Xena made room on the step for Gabrielle.

“I guess so.” Leaning into the warrior, Gabrielle closed her eyes. “I guess so.”

“Yes, sir.” Gabrielle, sitting at her desk, scribbled as she listened.

Xena peeked her head around the corner of the library door and bit her lip. Damn, she thought. She's never going to get off the phone. Sighing, she turned and looked at the present sitting on a near by table. Making a face, Xena wrinkled her nose. Something she did only in sheer consternation. Get off the phone, she mouthed silently and peeked around the corner again. Smiling, she picked up the box, walking proudly into the library.

Gabrielle looked up. Staring, first at the huge, brightly colored box and then at the look on Xena's face. “Is it ticking?” Smirking.

“I can take it back, you know.” Placing the present on the desk. “Now, open it.” Putting her hands on her hips, in mock irritation, Xena smiled from ear to ear.

“What is it?” Leaning back in the chair, Gabrielle smiled wickedly, knowing waiting wasn't one of Xena's many skills.

“It's a house warming present.” Tapping her foot. “Open it.”

“I'm not moving into a house.” Trying to keep a straight face as the warrior's patience waned.

“I know that.” Placing her hands on the desk, Xena leaned over and glared. “Open it anyway!”

Shrugging, Gabrielle tugged on the swirly ribbon, pulling it slowly.

“Did you wrap this yourself?” Pausing, she fingered the ribbon thoughtfully.

“Now! Open it now!” Losing what little patience she had left, Xena chomped at the bit.

“All right. Calm down.” Smiling to herself, Gabrielle did as she was instructed and laughed when Xena helped. Turning her head sideways, the bard read the boxes, then gave the warrior a confused look.

“I got us matching answering machines.” Smiling proudly. “And cell phones.” Pointing to the two smaller boxes, gift wrapped inside the larger one.

“An electronic leash. How quaint.” Opening one of the smaller boxes.

Xena's face fell. “You don't like it?”

“Well, I guess it's better than the pots and pans you got me for here.” Examining the unwrapped box, noncommittally.

“I'll take them back.” Sighing heavily, Xena picked up the boxes and turned to leave.

“Xena.” Waiting for the warrior to turn around, Gabrielle bit her lip.

Not meeting the bard's eyes, Xena turned back.

“I love them.” Letting the smile she'd been fighting spread across her face.

“Really?” Looking up, Xena saw the smile. “I hate it when you do that.” Setting the boxes back down.

“I know.” Rising, Gabrielle came around the desk. “That's why I do it.” Wrapping her arms around Xena's neck, pulling the warrior down for a kiss. “Thank you.”

“You're welcome.” Stealing another kiss, before reaching for one of the small boxes and starting to relate all the special functions. “I had our number here and my cell number put into the memory of yours and vice versa for mine.” Prying open the box. “And I got you two extra batteries.”

“And who's going to pay the national debt, aka our phone bill?” Leaning back against the desk, Gabrielle picked up the other small box and opened it.

“You.” Tossing styrofoam on the floor.

“Me?” Looking up from her new toy, Gabrielle's eyes grew abnormally wide.

“Yea. That way I'll know you won't be spending all your money partying with those college hunks.” Winking, Xena pushed a button and the bard's phone rang.

Rolling her eyes, Gabrielle pushed a button, bringing the phone to her ear. “Tell me, Xena.” Looking at the warrior, three feet away, holding her phone and listening. “Exactly how did I end up with the green eyes in this family?”

Laughing, Xena pushed a button and the line went dead. “Let me try it from outside.” Jogging out of the room.

In a few moments, her phone rang again and Gabrielle listened to giggling. Shaking her head, walking back to the chair, she sat down. “I can see what I'm going to be doing all day.” Smiling as the line went dead again.

And so the day continued, with Xena trying the phones from further and further away, leaving Gabrielle some time to get work done in the intermissions. The sun was setting, when Xena finally felt satisfied and stopped playing and Gabrielle put the phone out of arms reach. Looking at her desk, the bard went through the paperwork she'd accumulated during the transition from teacher to professor. Sighing, she closed her eyes and thought about what the last month had been like.

The decision to take the job had been the easy part. The rest was a nightmare. Xena's father was not happy to lose his favorite teacher and Maggie had cried, despite Gabrielle's reassurance that she'd keep tabs on Xena and would come by every chance she got. Brian, on the other hand, was not happy to see his sister arrive with the bard and was even further disgruntled when the two weeks had turned into three. It was Gabrielle's fault for taking the warrior with her to look at apartments, which she'd done to keep Xena out of her brother's hair and because she knew the warrior wanted assurance that it met with her standards. Thus, they'd looked at every available apartment within a twenty mile radius of the campus and, she'd only been able to find one that met with Xena's apparent lofty standards. Many had met with Gabrielle's, but the warrior had found something wrong with each and, to the bard's chagrin, had no qualms of voicing her opinions. One poor realtor had even been reduced to tears at the warrior's inspection and Gabrielle had had to drive the woman back to the office herself. Fortunately and after a very heated argument, she and Xena agreed on the next one they looked at, which Gabrielle had to admit was the best of the best. Next had come furnishings, which for some unknown reason, had gone quickly and without any arguments. She'd left Xena at home.

Now Gabrielle was in the process of packing up what personal belongings she wanted to take and found that just as tedious as apartment hunting. There were boxes everywhere and she'd already made two trips, starting with her most treasured keepsakes and working her way down to stuff that was less sentimental and more functional.

Staring at the desk again, she sighed heavily. The one thing wanted to take most, other than Xena was, in fact, her desk. It was over three hundred years old and she'd had it for almost as long and loved it. Xena equated it to her Harley's and Gabrielle had to agree. The dark mahogany wood seemed to call to her and she'd written some of her best work on the antique, but unfortunately the apartment, though huge, was no match for the wooden behemoth. The only room large enough to hold it, and allowed you to actually get in the door, was the living room. However, Xena had pointed out that unless they knocked a hole in the wall, the desk wasn't going to make it. So, with much sadness, Gabrielle had agreed to leave it behind, with the promise from the warrior to wax it once a week in her absence. Stroking the wood lovingly, Gabrielle sighed. “I hate to do it, guy, but I've gotta leave you here.” Looking up, as the phone rang, Gabrielle picked up her leash, pushed the button and frowned when the phone rang again. Realizing it wasn't the cell phone, she jumped up, running into the living room. Picking that one up, she laughed when Xena purred on the other end.

“What are you wearing?” Trying and failing to disguise her voice, Xena smiled.

“The same thing I had on when you left, stupid.” Sitting on the couch, Gabrielle rolled her eyes as heaving breathing met her ear. “You know they have medications to cure that asthma problem.”

“I've been watching you.” Lowering her voice.

“Good. Can you see this.” Extending her arm, Gabrielle held up a fist with an extended middle finger.

“That's not nice.” Chuckling, Xena came through the patio doors.

“It wasn't meant to be.” Hanging up the phone, she rolled her eyes. “Are you done playing yet?”

“I haven't tried the answering machines yet.” Plopping down beside the bard, Xena handed Gabrielle the cell phone. “This one's yours.”

“We're gonna have to get labels for them.” Unable to tell the difference from the one she'd used all day.

“I should've gotten different colors.” Nodding in agreement, Xena took her toy back. “I'll do that tomorrow.”

“We can't.” Taking the phone back, looking around at the open cardboard boxes. “We've got to take this stuff to the apartment tomorrow.”

“You're telling me you're finished?” Raising an eyebrow in doubt and looking at the boxes as well. “Did you leave me anything?”

“Yes, my plants.” Pointing to the wall covered with flora, Gabrielle watched Xena grimace. “You promised.”

“I know. I know.” Sighing at the jungle. “Water them twice a week and feed them once a month.” Repeating her instructions, verbatim.

“And don't forget the fish.” Pointing to the aquarium amongst the plants.

“I take care of them anyway.” Slapping at Gabrielle's hand.

“Just checking.” Laughing, Gabrielle kissed the warrior's cheek. “Thank you, by the way.”

“You already thanked me for the phone.” Puzzled.

“I mean for being so supportive.” Taking the warrior's hand, bringing it to her lips for a light kiss. “I know this isn't what you wanted.”

“Anything that makes you happy, makes me happy.” Flipping her hand and kissing Gabrielle's fingers in return.

“I'm gonna miss you so much.” Feeling tears welling up, Gabrielle smiled.

“Naw. Ma Bell will love us.” Leaning over, Xena placed her lips against the bards. “I love you.”

“I love you, too.” Falling into the kiss, Gabrielle felt herself being lifted off the couch and wrapped her arms around Xena's neck. This move has got to be the dumbest thing I've ever come up with, she thought as the warrior lowered her to the bed, then forgot about the move and everything outside Xena's embrace for a very long time.

Two days later, they took the boxes to the apartment.

“That's it.” Xena looked around at the living room of Gabrielle's apartment approvingly.

“I think so.” Looking as well, but without much glee, knowing that the boxes weren't going to unpack themselves.

“Do you want help unpacking?” Toeing a box, Xena studied the floor.

“No.” Gabrielle said softly, studying the warrior. “It'll keep me busy until the new semester starts.”

“Okay.” Still not meeting the bard's eyes, Xena felt tears running down her face. “I guess I'll go then.”

“Xena.” Whispering, Gabrielle moved to where the warrior was standing and wrapped her arms around Xena's waist. Looking up into blue eyes, she felt her own tears falling.

“I know.” Sniffing. “You'll be back soon.”

“Very soon.” Laying her head on Xena's chest, Gabrielle heard the warrior's pounding heart and felt strong arms wrap around her. Closing her eyes, she sent another wave of tears downward and squeezed, bringing Xena as close as possible. “I love you.” Her lips trembling, she looked up and saw her soul reflected in a sea of blue.

Xena held the bard tightly, staring at her own soul. “I love you.” Refusing to let her bottom lip pop out, she smiled gently. “Though our bodies may part, our souls remain together. Our hearts beat as one and our minds remember. For an eternity of love shall we live and for a lifetime of joy shall I give. You are the reason for the breath I take and the price we pay. This journey is but a twinkling in the night filled with passion and delight. Though our bodies may pass, we shall remain. Joined forever in the circle of our love, the warmth of our hearts, the strength of our spirits and the union of our souls. This I promise, this day and for eternity.”

Closing her eyes, Gabrielle listened to the poem Xena had written for her over a thousand years ago and that they'd used as wedding vows in every lifetime since. As the last words were spoken, she felt the warrior's palm on her cheek and then the sweetest of lips against hers. Lifetimes passed before her eyes, as every memory brought the poem home to her soul. As the eternity ended, Gabrielle opened her eyes and saw the love of countless lifetimes smiling down on her and basked in the warmth of that love.

Slowly, Xena loosened her hold and stepped back. Giving the bard a wink, she opened the door, pausing for a moment, then stepped out, closing the door behind her.

Gabrielle walked to the door, placing her hand on the cool wood and listened. When the familiar rumble of the Harley started, she turned, leaning against the door and slowly slid downward, sobbing.

The first few days had been tough. The hardest being getting used to sleeping alone, which Gabrielle had given up on trying to get used to. Her favorite pillow was missing and there wasn't anything she could do about it, so she tried not to think about it. Her pillow called several times in the next couple of days and she'd made a few lengthy calls herself, but once she'd unpacked and started getting into the routine of daily life, Gabrielle found less time to make those calls and after a week of not calling, she came home one day and pushed the play button on her answering machine.

Message one. Hi, it's me. I'm just calling to let you know that I don't miss you and that the dark spots on the floor are not grape juice, but burned spots from lightning strikes. Apparently someone has taken up Zeus' job and attacked me every time I told one of your plants that you'd be back soon. Did I mention that I don't miss you. Damn! There went another one. Going to get a industrial sander now, love you. Bye.

Message two. Me again. Finished refinishing the floor. Ignore the footprints when you come home and the shoe stuck in the finish. Funny how wet polyurethane looks just like dry polyurethane. Anyway, love you. Bye.

Message three. I've watered your books and dusted the plants. Oh, wait. That's not right. Well you know what I mean. I watered the fish too, but I don't think they liked the plant food. Must be an allergic reaction. Love you, Bye.

Message four. Bad news. Dad found out about the answering machine. I think he thinks it's his personal hot line. I haven't called him back yet, but you know me. I'll wait till Mom calls. Makes him mad. (chuckling) Love you, Bye.

Message five. Oh, wait. Sorry, my beeper is going off. Love you, Bye.

Message six. False alarm. Dad finally found my beeper number. He's worse than a blood hound. I guess I better call him. Love you, Bye.

Message seven. Were your ears burning? They should've been. Dad isn't happy that you haven't come back yet. Apparently he thinks you're on vacation. Denial is apparently genetic. Love you, Bye.

Message eight. Love you.

Message nine. FYI. Don't put liquid dish washing liquid in the dishwasher. It makes lots of bubbles. Thank god for tile. Where's the mop? Calling the plumber now. Love you, Bye.

Message ten. Did I mention that I love you? No? Well I do. Very much and I'm very proud of you too. The doctor and the professor. All we need now is the skipper and we've got Gilligan's Island. Love you, Bye.

There were three other messages, but they weren't from Xena so Gabrielle deleted them. Feeling quite guilty, she found her cell phone and started to push the button when it rang. Pushing the other button, she put it to her ear. “Hello?”

“I'm coming to get the answering machine. It apparently doesn't work.” Sounding very upset, Xena frowned.

“Hi.” Slipping into a comfortable position on the couch, Gabrielle smiled. If Xena's voice wasn't a dead give away, the Greek she was speaking certainly was. “I miss you.”

“Sorry, I must have the wrong number.” Still frowning, Xena picked dead leaves off some of the plants.

“Xena, I'm sorry. I've been really, really busy.” Knowing the warrior was feeling neglected, Gabrielle smiled, imagining the pout on Xena's face. “I love you.”

“I'm pouting.” Putting her words to action.

“I know you are. What can I do to make the pout go away?” Hoping her line wasn't tapped by some one underage.

“Tell me you love me again.” Sighing, Xena sat down on the couch.

“I love you.” Lowering her voice an octave, Gabrielle smiled when Xena chuckled. “Feel better?”

“Much. How have you been?” Picking at the fabric.

“Fine and busy. I've started on my subject plan and have had meetings all week. Everybody seems to think that I'm some great Greek guru, who's coming to salvage the history department.” Picking at the fabric.

“You are. Do you want me to beat them up?” Smiling at the thought, Xena made a few feints with her imaginary sword.

“I think I can handle them.” Seeing those feints in her mind, Gabrielle snickered. “Put down that sword.”

“What sword.” Suddenly taking much interest in her finger nails.

“Xena. You've been practicing, haven't you?” She'd felt something in her sleep one night and awakened with the strange feeling of a old battle cry ringing in her ears.


“Xena.” The silence said it all and Gabrielle sighed.

“Yes.” Wondering where the hidden camera was.

“How many nicks do you have?” Seeing the warrior covered in Batman bandages.

“Two.” Glancing down at her leg, Xena scratched above a Batman bandage.

“Are they serious?” Thanking the gods that it was only two, which was about twelve less than the last time she'd pulled out her sword.

“Batman's got it covered.” Scratching the other bandage on her left shoulder.

“No stitches?” Batman could cover deep wounds, Gabrielle remembered, when she'd gotten a glass shard in her hand that took seventeen stitches in three layers. Xena had stitched her up and Batman covered the mess.

“Nope. Just scratches. I think I'm getting my feel back.” Feinting again and adding a lunge.

“Are you that bored?” Sighing. Gabrielle was feeling guilty again.

“Nope. Just felt like some sword drills. Weird, isn't it?” Thinking that is was.

“For anybody but you, yes.” Looking at her watch and grimacing. “Anything else?”

“Nope. Just thought I'd call to see if you were still alive.” Lying through her pearly whites.

“When are you coming up?” Feeling she could use a reunion herself, Gabrielle hoped it would be soon.

“Maybe in a couple of weeks.” Picking at her toe nails. Xena tried to put one in her mouth.

“Okay.” Keeping her true feelings out of her voice, Gabrielle sounded okay.

“Well, I've got to go. I'm supposed to be having dinner with Mom and Dad tonight.” Rolling her eyes at the thought, Xena put her finger in her mouth, replacing her toe.

“Do not, under any circumstances, ride you motorcycle anywhere near the grass.” Pointing at the phone, with a stern look.

“Spoil sport.” Sticking out her tongue at the phone.

“I mean it, Xena.” Taking the ‘don't even think about it' tone, Gabrielle shook her head. “Promise me.”

“Promise. No motorcycle on grass.” Smiling. “How about in the shrubs?”

“Xena!” Looking for something to hit, she threw a pillow instead.

“Just kidding. I'll be good.” Uncrossing her fingers, Xena chuckled. “I promise.”

“All right.” Trying to pick up on a possible fib.

“I've got to go.” Standing, Xena started up the stairs. “I love you.”

“I love you too. Bye.” Sighing, Gabrielle closed her eyes.


Gabrielle put the phone down. A couple of weeks, she thought. Gods this is going to be murder.

Two days later, Xena showed up at her door, with the lame excuse of needing to pick up some parts for her motorcycle and after a brief stay, disappeared for several hours. Arriving back, she had a sprocket of some sort and dirty finger nails, which made Gabrielle feel about an inch high. The rest of the day was spent talking and going over possible prospective remodeling plans for their house. Apparently the wallpaper in their bedroom need replacing, so they went to an interior decorating store and spent several agitated hours arguing over prints. When Xena left, not long after, Gabrielle felt as if she'd been hit by a bus. The warrior hadn't made any plays for her and had only made marginal affections toward her. Their usual playfulness was gone and Gabrielle sensed that Xena was holding back for a reason, but she couldn't figure out why. Instead of spending the day in bed, like she'd hoped, they'd spent it like an old married couple. A thought that made the bard shiver. She never doubted Xena's faithfulness and was sure that anything that was going on would work itself out, but that didn't help the uneasy feeling she was getting and as soon as she got the chance to go home, Gabrielle promised herself to find out what was going on.

Unfortunately, duty called, like always and the trip home didn't materialize. They still called each other frequently, but the spark was starting to wane in that area too. There were no more cute messages, just the usual checking up ones and every day that went by started to seem like an eternity. Fortunately, Gabrielle had her work to occupy her mind most of the time and as the beginning of the semester drew near, she switched from uneasiness about Xena to nervousness about her classes. It had been a long time since she'd taught at that level and the idea of standing in front of a hundred strange faces was making her edgy. Needing someone to use as a sounding board for her ideas, she called Xena, but was surprised to get the machine. Six times, after which she tried the cell phone, three times and finally resorted to the warrior's pager. Finally the warrior called her late, the night before she had to start teaching the next day.

“Where have you been?” Worried, she paced around the apartment.

“Working.” Flipping through a book, Xena studied a couple of the pictures.

“On what?” Her frustration growing, so did the volume.

“Don't yell at me.” Picking up another book, Xena's brow knitted. Gods. What an awful picture.

“I'm sorry. I've just been worried about you.” Truthfully, she'd been worried sick, literally.

“I'm a big girl, Gabrielle. I can take care of myself.” Setting the books aside, Xena closed her eyes.

“That's my job.” She was being left out of Xena's life and it was killing her, even though she knew it was no one's fault but her own.

“I have parents.” Covering her eyes, Xena smiled.

“Xena. Don't do this to me, please.” Desperate, Gabrielle felt the quivering in her voice. “Don't shut me out.”

“Funny, that.” Sighing for effect, Xena's smile grew.

“Xena.” Suddenly the line went dead and Gabrielle threw the phone across the room. “Damn you, Xena.” Despite the fact that she was turning red with fury, tears started rolling down Gabrielle's cheeks and she wiped them away. “I will not cry.” Evidently her eyes didn't hear her, because the tears started flowing like rain. It continued raining until Gabrielle fell asleep on the couch. What little sleep she did get was fitful. Tossing and turning, she awoke at dawn, eyes red and puffy and her heart in the pit of her stomach. Reaching for the phone, she remembered what she'd done with it and found it in pieces on the floor. Turning she went to the land line and called home, getting the machine. Closing her eyes, she hung up before the message was finished playing. Sighing heavily, Gabrielle looked at the clock and sighed again. “D-Day.” Trying to put the nights events out of her mind and failing, she got ready for her first day in the saddle.

On campus, everything seemed normal. Students wander around, chatting and laughing, while others looked lost. Going to her office, Gabrielle went over her plan, focusing on it with a vengeance and fighting the visions of Xena in her head. Finally the appointed hour rolled around and she walked like a prisoner on death row, down the long hallway to her class. Coming in the side door, she stared up at the tiers of empty seats.

“Faith.” Joni said, coming in the room.

“Yes?” Not looking at her new TA, Gabrielle continued to stare into space.

“Are you all right?” Moving to the bard's side, Joni gave her a concerned look.

“No.” Whispering.

“Faith?” Waving her hand in front of Gabrielle's face. “Hello?”

“I'm sorry.” The wave did the trick and Gabrielle turned to face the young woman. “What did you need?”

“I'm just dropping of the roster for today's class.” Handing the bard a folded sheet of computer paper. The kind with green bars that nobody used anymore.

“Thanks, Jodi.” Giving the girl a half hearted smile.

“Sure thing.” Smiling like the girl she was, Joni beamed. “I'll be back before class starts.”

“Okay.” Watching the girl bounce out of the room., Gabrielle was again reminded of the warrior and shook her head. Moving to the small podium, she dropped the roster down, leaned against the wooden stand and imagined the faces that would fill the empty seats in a very short time.

As the first students started to file in, Gabrielle started arranging the papers she'd need for the day and didn't look up until she glanced at her watch and noticed she was making them wait. Looking up, she blinked at the classroom full of staring faces. Smiling, to cover her embarrassment, she took a deep breath. “Okay, first things first. My name is Faith Riley. This class is Greco-Roman history 501 and if your text books don't have half naked men on them, chucking spears at each other, you're in the wrong class.” Letting the chuckles ease her tension and switch her mind set into bard mode. Rubbing her hands together, she smiled warmly. “All takers and no leavers, good. Then we'll move on to the second item on the agenda, which is making sure everybody is here.” Flipping through the papers, Gabrielle pulled out the roster and opened it up. “When I call your name, please give a sign that you're breathing.” Another chuckle rippled through the class and Gabrielle squared her shoulders. As she called out the names, she'd look around the room until she spotted the face that went with the name and smile. “ . . . Jeff Lawson.”

“Here.” Giving a short wave.

Look and smile. “Patrica Lewis.”

“Here.” Nodding her head.

Look and smile. “Michael Mercer.”

“Yo!” Bobbing his head.

Look and smirk. “Robert Montgomery.”

“Here.” Another short wave.

Look and smile. “Grace Mor . . .gan.” Looking up, Gabrielle spotted a hand waving like it was attached to an idiot and then found an idiotic smile on the face beside it. “Xena.” Whispering as the breath left her body.

Xena winked and changed her smile to a warm and gentle one. “Ready to turn and burn, Ma'am.” Shifting to a wicked grin and another wink, before half the class turned to give her a curious stare.

You couldn't have pried the smile off Gabrielle's face with the jaws of life as she beamed into loving eyes. Staring a moment longer, the bard felt questioning eyes on her and proceeded with the rest of the names.

The rest of the day went as smooth as silk, except for the fact that Gabrielle had to mentally keep herself from being drawn into piercing blue eyes and fighting down the feeling that she was being visually undressed in front of the class.

Pretending to fuss over something, Xena waited until the last student left, and felt a pair of eyes on her. Looking up she smiled innocently. “Hi. You look like shit.”

“Do you know how mad I should be at you right now?” Folding her arms across her chest, Gabrielle leaned up against the chair in front of the warrior.

“Yes.” Smiling bigger, Xena leaned back in her chair.

“Then tell me why I shouldn't kick the shit out of you right here, right now?” Raising her eyebrows, Gabrielle gave the warrior a meaningful stare.

“Because you love me and know that I love you and that the thought of me missing you has driven me crazy and therefore I can't be held responsible for my actions and I've really really missed you since you've been gone. And that if I stay in that house by myself one more night, I'm going to kill somebody and I'm really sorry for making you mad and that I only wanted to surprise you and . . .” Her words were cut off by two lips pressed hard against hers. Rising to her feet, Xena wrapped her arms around the bard, pulling her into a passionate kiss and a bear hug.

“You broke the phone?” Glancing across the room, at the pieces still on the floor, Xena shook her head. “For that, Missy,” running a finger between the bard's breasts, “you get a pink one, next time.”

“Gag.” Smiling, Gabrielle stuck her finger in her mouth and choked.

Leaning down, Xena kissed the finger, then the lips.

Closing her eyes, the bard wrapped her hands around the warrior's neck. “Xena?”

“Hmmm.” Moving her lips up the bard's neck, she ran her tongue back down.

“How are you going to take my class and work, too?” Cocking her neck as the warrior started up again.

“I've taken an extended leave of absence.” Whispering in the bard's ear. “Jim is going to take my active cases and he'll call me if he really, really, really needs me.” Nibbling on a tasty earlobe.

“I take it you're expecting to live here.” Chuckling when Xena pinched her butt. “Okay, I can live with that.”

“Good thing.” Making a slow path toward Gabrielle's breast, Xena started it off with her fingers.

“Where's your clothes?” Arching her back when soft lips met hardened nipple.

“In the car.” Mumbling with the nipple between her teeth.

“Car?” Pushing the warrior away, Gabrielle stared at her in disbelief. “You hate cars. What car?”

“Brian's car.” Smiling wickedly as the bard's eyes grew into saucers.

“That dirty, rotten, little, son of a bachea.” Sitting up, Gabrielle glared into space. “He knew you were coming and didn't tell me.”

“I made him promise not to, or else I'd tell his kids how he made money when he was five.” Smiling with the memory of catching her brother selling peeks of his private parts for a nickel, to the neighborhood girls.

“I could strangle him.” Bringing her hands together in a imaginary strangle hold, Gabrielle growled.

“Take pity on him, Gabrielle. He's willing to live in the same city with me, just to make you happy.” Grabbing the bard's hands, Xena pushed her back down to the floor.

“Was I that obvious?” Rolling her eyes at what she'd been like the past couple of months.

“He said that if I'd waited another five minutes to call him, he would've called me.” Spreading Gabrielle's arms, Xena took up where she'd been so rudely interrupted.

“Gods.” Sighing, she arched with the warrior's touch.

“So, Gabrielle,” moving to the other breast, “how hard is this class going to be?”

“You'll have to study a lot..” Moaning softly, Gabrielle looked down into twinkling blue eyes.

“What do I have to do to get an ‘A'?” Moving further south on the bard's body, Xena kissed her way to blonde curls.

Closing her eyes, Gabrielle bit her lip. “That's a start.” Feeling Xena's tongue between her folds.

Dipping her tongue lower, Xena smiled as the bard groaned and started rocking her hips. “What about an ‘A+'?” Flicking her tongue outside Gabrielle's opening.

“You can have what ever you want, if you'd just shut up.” Throwing her head back, Gabrielle lifted her hips off the floor, when the warrior began thrusting her tongue inside her center. “Gods! You want extra credit?”

The End.

Epilogue. Brian's secret was kept, although his sanity was lost shortly after his sister's arrival. Dad ended up replacing all the fish that died, under his care, and finally gave in to his manly pride, allowing Mom to take charge when the plants started looking like the fish. His only condolence at not having the girls close at hand, was his thriving lawn. Xena spent her days and nights, between ravaging a certain blonde professor and studying and beating off every jock that came within twenty feet of that certain blonde and made a special trip home to retrieve her sword. Gabrielle fell into the groove, now that she wasn't sexually frustrated and began teaching the written history of her people and erasing the lies that filled the text books. Together, the warrior and bard set the record straight and somehow even managed not to get caught making out in Gabrielle's office, though they did have a few close calls, especially when Jim came for a visit and brought his police crime scene tape and didn't mention that it was Brian's idea. Joni, who quickly developed a crush on the warrior, was replaced after two weeks.

Thanks for reading.

PlanD - Part 4


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