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: This story contains scenes of a loving relationship between two consenting adults, who happen to be of the same sex. If this offends you, or you are under 18 years of age, or you reside in an area where this type of material is illegal, read no more. There is plenty of general fanfic out there for you. Go find it.

Shock Factor: 3 Plan D #5

Please send comments to asdease1@gte.net

Enjoy, I hope.


Written by FlyBigD


Prologue: After Xena had woken up, the family and most of the hospital had celebrated, which caused much curiosity amongst the patients. Jim had been alerted by Janet and then alerted half of the town, by yelling out the window of Xena's room. Then he, somehow, managed to get back to his profession and cleared the room to give Grace a full examination, then smiled, giving her a wink and informing her and Faith that he'd have to do some tests, but as far as he could tell, Grace was fine. Bruised, but fine. Hearing that news, the family and friends returned and spent the rest of the night and most of the next morning, running around and acting like idiots. Something Xena's family denied as a genetic flaw and her father protested hotly, when Gabrielle's parents mentioned the similarity to ants on an ant hill. At which time, Xena had almost busted her cast and Gabrielle had had to act as mediator before more beds were filled with bruised bodies. Then, later, people started to leave, promising to return and proceeded to slowly disperse, leaving the warrior and bard very, very tired.

At Jim's, Xena's parent's and Gabrielle's parent's insistence, they'd both eaten and were ordered to get some much needed rest. They also got a hint that the five would fend off the other members of the celebration and that they'd stop by after, they themselves got some sleep. So the duo spent what was left of the day napping, smiling, talking and just loving being alive and together. Xena took this quiet time to explain what she'd been through and what she'd done, including tossing Aphrodite at an oncoming car and told the bard of her decision to leave. Gabrielle hadn't liked the news, but knew that Xena would only give up if winning meant someone else would suffer. She also made the warrior promise never to ride a motorcycle in the snow, rain, fog, excessive wind and several other weather conditions and promised to get Xena a new helmet.

The blonde bombshell was removed from Gabrielle's truck and placed in Xena's garage, to await the warrior's tender loving care. Argo and Girl were taken to a neighbor's farm, for safe keeping.

Michael made an appearance, after everyone had left and explained that there was to be no debt placed on the pair and that TPTB had chosen to heal Xena of their own volition. He didn't give all the details, but Xena and Gabrielle got the impression that the majority had won and that it had been by a slim margin. Thus, with a nod and a wink at his charges, the arch angel disappeared.

It was 2am, December 25th. Xena had been back in her body a whole 24 hours and laid quietly as the bard stroked her cheek. Looking into blood shot green pool and thinking that she'd never seen anything so beautiful, she smiled. “Merry Christmas.”

“Merry Christmas to you, too.” Resting her chin on Xena's arm, Gabrielle yawned. “Sorry.”

Yawning, in reflex, Xena's face clouded over. “Did you get your deposit back on the apartment?”

Rolling her eyes, Gabrielle chuckled, lifting her head and kissing the warrior's shoulder. “Yes.”

“Hmmm.” Thinking, Xena raised an eyebrow. “Did you get the phone disconnected?”

“Yes.” Smiling at the warrior's worried face.

“Did you . . .” Her lips stopped as two fingers held them closed.

“Xena, we've got plenty of time to discuss this later.” Letting the warrior's lips free, Gabrielle stood and placed a gentle kiss on a frown. “I think we'd better get some sleep.”

“I'm not tired.” Her eyes at half mast, Xena smiled and yawned.

“Right.” Gabrielle agreed, knowing better and stood, looked around the room.

“What are you looking for?” Following the bard's search.

“Someplace to lay down.” Taking hold of one of the chairs, Gabrielle started pulling it across the room, then stopped when Jim stick his head in the door. “Hi.”

“I don't want to disturb you, I just thought you might be looking for one of these.” Stepping in, Jim held the door open as Janet and Mary rolled in another bed.

Gabrielle looked at Xena, seeing her drop the nurse call button and gave her a raised eyebrow.

“It was the only present I could get you, under the circumstances.” Smiling, Xena used her good arm to direct traffic. “Bring that over here.” Pointing beside the bed.

Doing as instructed, Janet and Mary rolled the bed next to the warrior's, leaving several feet between them. “Merry Christmas, Faith.” They said in unison.

“Where's the blanket?” Looking at the bed, Xena wanted the other present.

“Got it.” Stepping outside, then back in, Jim brought in the blanket from off their bed at home. “There you go. Merry Christmas, Faith.” Handing her the blanket.

Rubbing the soft material, Gabrielle felt her eyes start to tear. “I don't have anything for you guys.” Looking at her friends forlornly.

“Sure you do.” Janet said, walking over and giving the bard a hug. “You came back and now we don't have to babysit her anymore.” Laughing and pointing at a surprised and none to happy, warrior.

“Funny.” Unamused, Xena reached out, pulling the bard's bed closer.

“Hey! Be careful. What are you trying to do, break something else.” Moving like lightning, Gabrielle, put the blanket on the bed, zipped around it and slapped the warrior's hand, which got three belly rolls from the trio.

“Thank you, Faith.” Mary said. “We love your present.” Turning as a cup was thrown at her, Mary grabbed Janet for protection.

Janet grabbed Jim for protection and all three laughed as the made their way, backwards out of the room. “Merry Christmas, Grace. Welcome back.” Closing the door as another cup came his way.

Looking at the bed, Gabrielle shook her head. “Do you always have to think of everything?”

“I have many skills.” Reaching for the bed again, Xena got help this time and pulled the bard's bed next to hers. “There are some sheets in the closet. You better tie the beds together, so they don't slip apart.”

“Sounds like a plan.” Finding the sheets, Gabrielle secured the beds, pulled off her shoes, crawled into her bed, spread out the blanket, covering both of them and curled up next to the warrior. Resting her head on Xena's good shoulder, and sighed. “I hope no body tries to take this away.” Sliding her hand down the warrior's arm, she laced their finger together, bringing Xena's hand up and kissing it. “I'd hate to have to kill someone on Christmas.” Closing her eyes, she sighed again.

Smiling, Xena closed her eyes as well. “Me, too.”

“Ow. Ow. Ow.” Squeezing her eyes shut, Xena yelped in pain.

Gabrielle looked at the idiot, aka her warrior. “I haven't touched you yet.” Holding the damp sponge, she wrung out some more water.

“I know.” Opening her eyes, Xena smiled. “I'm practicing, for when Dr. Helga Painmiester, the Swedish pretzel maker comes for me.”

“Xena, Helen Peterson is your physical therapist and one of our closest friends.” Rolling her eyes at the warrior's screwed up face.

“That was before she became the Painmiester.” Flexing her left leg, Xena watched her toes wiggle, not liking their pale complexion. “I think she's secretly the grinch's sister.” Scratching the cast on her left arm and picking at her hospital gown.

Dropping the sponge back into the bowl, Gabrielle put her hands on the warrior's bed, leaning forward, looking at Xena's toes in front of her. “Helen is 5' 5” and a hundred and twenty pounds.” Giving the warrior's toe a tug, to get her attention, the bard saw Xena smile. “How can someone that small, send the mighty Warrior Princess into hysterics?”

“You do.” Smiling wickedly, Xena took the toe and tried to lift Gabrielle's shirt, sticking her tongue out the side of her mouth.

Gabrielle looked down as her shirt was being hoisted upward, then she looked back at the warrior. “Xena. What are you doing?” Knowing full well what the warrior was up to.

Biting her lip, Xena didn't answer and concentrated on getting her foot under the plaid material. Succeeding, she inched her toes up the bard's abdomen, heading toward softer ground, when the door opened suddenly, sending her foot back to looking like a foot, instead of a lecherous tool.

“Hi.” Smiling, Jim ignored where Grace's foot had just been and walked over to the warrior. “How's my most pissy patient today?”

Gabrielle chuckled at the warrior's frown and put her shirt back in place. “She's well on the way to being her old self.”

“Damn. I guess the personality transplant didn't work.” Stepping away from a swat, Jim laughed. “Foot, leg and arm movement seem to be functioning properly.”

“You'll really think so when I put my foot up your . . .” Trying to slide off the bed.

“Xena!” Switching to Greek, as she did instinctively in situations like these, Gabrielle grabbed the warrior's legs. “You get out of that bed and it will be no more sponge baths for you.”

“Phooey.” Sticking to English, Xena gave Jim a scowl. “You're lucky she's here.”

“I know, I just wish I knew what she said so I could use it next time.” Moving back within arm reach.

“Trust me, even if you did, it wouldn't work for you.” Sticking out her tongue, Xena pulled the blanket over her legs and popped out her bottom lip.

“Now look what you've done, Jim.” Back to English, Gabrielle nodded her head at the warrior with a smile, tugging on a covered toe. “You've sent her into childhood regression.”

“It's common in cases like these.” Flipping open the chart, Jim shook his head. “Looks like we're just gonna have to send for the therapist.”

The lip miraculously popped back in and Xena sat up straight. “The Painmiester will not be necessary, thank you.”

Still shaking his head, Jim gave her a wry look. “I don't know, Grace. She's awfully good with children.”

“Yea, at making them into pretzels.” Folding her arm over her cast, across her chest, Xena huffed. “She needs to be a street vendor, or mud wrestler, not a therapist.”

“I think you're right, Faith.” Closing the chart, Jim smiled. “She's well on her way to her usual pleasant self.”

“You can go anytime you want, you know.” Staring at her feet, Xena fought her bottom lip.

Gabrielle and Jim exchanged amused smiles, then Jim winked. “I guess that's my cue.”

“Evidently.” Leaving the warrior's bed, Gabrielle walked him to the door. “Thank you for coming and stop by again.” Opening the door, she laughed as he bowed. Closing the door, Gabrielle turned back to the poutmiester and walked over. Leaning over, she kissed the pout away. Feeling a hand on her butt, she pulled back. “What did the Painmiester tell you about too much excursion?”

“Fondling is not strenuous.” Rubbing the bard's butt a little more, Xena move her hand to Gabrielle's back, pulling her closer. “Did you mention something about a bath?”

“You know, the more you fight Helen, the longer you have to stay here.” Smiling, Gabrielle leaned in and kissed the warrior's nose. “You've only been awake two weeks, and just had the cast cut off your leg and pins put in, Xena. Give your body a chance to heal. I want you back in action as quick as possible.” Stepping out of the warrior's embrace, Gabrielle slapped the hand before it could get a good grip on her shirt and walked down to the foot of the bed. “Now about that bath.”

“Yes, please.” Tossing off the blanket, Xena smiled.

“You've already had one today and apparently it's done you more harm than good, so I'll just wait till tomorrow for the next one.” Picking up the bowl, the bard felt a cup hit the back of her head when she turned around and laughed.

“Hey!” Sitting up, Xena pouted and frowned. “Where do you think you're going? Gabrielle! I'm filthy, really I am. Come back here.” Watching the bard leave, Xena threw another cup at the door. “Phooey!” Looking down at her body, her eyes drew into slits. “You better get your act together and get well, because if you think I'm gonna sit here for another month while you heal, you've got another think coming.” Slapping the cast on her arm, she gave it a menacing glare. “And you, mister are outta here, first chance I get.” Wiggling her fingers inside the cast, imagining them in warm wet places. “You're ruining my love life.”

“Remember to be nice.” Whispering in the warrior's ear as she pushed her down the hall, Gabrielle moved to her left, turning the wheelchair around the corner.

“Tell Helen to be nice!” Whispering back, Xena grimaced as she was brought nearer to the therapy room. “I think she's out to get me.”

“She's out to get you better, so stop whining.” Kissing Xena's head.

“I don't whine. I pout.” Sticking out her lip, to bring her point home.

“Yes and you're so very good at it.” Bringing the wheelchair to a stop, Gabrielle moved to stand in front of the warrior. “Xena, now you listen to me.” Leaning on the chair, putting her face close to the warrior's. “I've made some pretty big sacrifices for you, while you've been in the hospital and I'll continue to do so, but if you don't shut up and get better so you can come home, I'm going to kill you. I love you and I want you home. Our home. Is that clear?” Looking into deep blue pools.

“Yes.” Speaking softly, Xena lowered her gaze. “I'm sorry. I just hate being cooped up.”

“I know you do and I don't like having to share you with half the hospital, so why don't you put that infamous focus to good use and concentrate on getting better and not on driving me crazy?” Kissing the warrior's forehead, Gabrielle smiled. “You think I want you in that cast when you get home?” Running her hand over Xena's shoulder and up her neck, brushing her thumb over the warrior's earlobe.

Sighing, or moaning, Xena closed her eyes, then opened them wide when she felt her earlobe being nibbled. “Why are you wasting time here?” Using her good arm, Xena rolled the chair into the bard's shins. “Out of my way, woman. I'm late for my session.”

Stepping out of the way, Gabrielle chuckled when Xena made a complete circle with the chair.

“Damn.” Slapping the arm of the chair, Xena fumed. “Where's one of those electric things when you need one.”

“Need some help?” Coming over, Gabrielle grasped the handles and aimed the chair in the right direction, then continued pushing it down the hallway.

“Faster, faster.” Gripping the arm of the chair, Xena leaned forward. “Put those pistons to good use.” Laughing like a kid going downhill on a sled.

Smiling, Gabrielle picked up the pace and started jogging. Keeping an eye out, she swerved several times, bringing the wheelchair up on it's side and avoiding the local inhabitants. Laughing at their faces, she missed the therapist coming out of a hallway and almost ran her down.

“Hey!” Stepping back, Helen laughed as the chair came to a screeching halt. “There are speed limits around here, you know.”

Backing up, Gabrielle smiled. “Sorry. I got carried away.” Turning the chair around, she chuckled. “Special delivery.”

Still flushed from her wild ride, Xena bubbled. “Hiddy ho, Helen.”

“Well that's a change of pace. You usually just growl at me.” Smiling at the pair, she shook her head, then looked at the bard. “I guess I'll have to have you do this before every session.”

“Yes, please.” Wiggling in the chair, Xena threw her head back and smiled up at the bard.

Gabrielle looked down into two sparkling eyes and brushed some hair out of Xena's face. “I think she's contagious.” Kissing smiling lips, she looked back to the therapist. “She's all yours.” Giving the chair a gentle push. “Can you rotate the tires, while you're at it?”

“Hey! Don't give her any ideas.” Glaring at the bard, over her shoulder, Xena frowned.

“You know, as much trouble as she's been,” taking the chair and spinning it around, Helen laughed, “I'm really gonna miss you two, when this is over.”

“The feeling's mutual.” Giving Helen a wink.

“Not.” Still frowning, Xena missed the wink.

“What did I tell you, Grace.” Turning her attention to the pouting warrior, she gave her a serious look.

“Shut up and get well.” Giving the condensed version, Xena's frown and pout faded as she remembered the nibble on her ear and rubbed it, unconsciously.

Noticing where the warrior's hand went, Gabrielle raised an eyebrow. “Just keep remembering that.”

“I'll try to bring her back in one piece.” Giving the chair a shove, Helen chuckled as the warrior grabbed the arm.

“I'll be in her room, just throw her out as you pass by.” Taking a step toward the warrior, Gabrielle bent over. “Be nice.” Whispering and smiling.

“Okay.” Whispering back, Xena stuck out her tongue. “Once more into the breech.” Pointing down the hall, Xena braced herself.

“See ya later, Faith.” Moving the menace forward, Helen waved.

“Bye.” Gabrielle waited until they'd disappeared than walked back to the warrior's room.

“Ow. Fifty.” Closing her eyes, Xena winced as her knee sent her brain unkind messages.

“No and do it again.” Watching the warrior's knee closely, Helen smiled at the calmer and more subdued, Grace.

“A hundred.” Raising her leg again, Xena pulled the weight up slowly, as she'd been instructed.

“No and do five more.” Smiling at the expression on Grace's face, Helen put her hand over the warriors heel. “Five more.”

“A thousand.” One. Ow. Two. Ow. “Two thousand.” Three. Ow. Four. Ow. Five. “Please, Helen.”

“Grace you can't bribe me into letting you go before you're ready.” Turning the warrior around, she rolled Xena onto her back. “Ten of these.”

Starting the next torture, Xena made a face, not from pain, but from frustration. “Helen, Faith wants to go home. Can't you just let me go?” Stretching out her leg. “I'll come back for the sessions.”

“Grace. I know you.” Putting resistance against the warrior's leg. “You'll be back here within two days, in worse shape than when you left.”

“No, I won't. I promise.” Wincing again, Xena closed her eyes. “Just tell Faith what I can and can't do and she'll make sure I tow the line.” Knowing it to be the truth and nothing but the truth, Xena opened her eyes. “Please, Helen. She's getting so tired of being here. She only goes home to shower and change clothes. She hasn't even unpacked her stuff yet.”

“Grace.” Letting the warrior's leg go, Helen got to her feet. “You're just getting over the surgery on your leg. You'd have to stay off of it for at least two more weeks.” Putting her hands on her hips, she gave the warrior a ‘go ahead and lie' look. “And when I say off, I mean completely off, not sometimes, but all the time.”

“I'll catch up on my medical journals.” Resting her leg, Xena leaned up on an elbow. “And I'll sleep on the couch, downstairs.”

“That's sort of defeating the purpose of going home, isn't it.” Shaking her head.

“Helen, plleeaassee. I'm going crazy here and so is Faith.” Sitting up, Xena grabbed Helen's leg. “Plleeaassee. Pretty please.”

“I tell you what. If you let go of my leg, I'll talk to Faith about it.” Watching the warrior drop back to the mat, with a big smile. “Now lets get this over with, so I can go disinfect my leg.”

Xena chewed on a fingernail, watching Gabrielle read through several sheets of paper.

“Don't chew your nails.” Gabrielle said, without looking up from the pages.

Dropping her hand, Xena saw Helen smile. Then the warrior started chewing the inside of her bottom lip.

The list that Helen had made up was quite extensive and Gabrielle read the instructions several times. The don'ts far out weighed the do's and the bard shook her head. What price freedom, she thought, going through the pages again. Helen had offered to release Xena, if and only if, Gabrielle gave her word that she'd make the warrior adhere to the instructions that Helen had laid out. Keeping Xena in line wouldn't be a problem, other than the only thing she was allowed to do was eat, sleep, bathe and go to the bathroom. There was also three therapy sessions a week. She might as well stay here, she thought again, then looked up and at the warrior in question. She was smiling, tentatively and Gabrielle felt herself falling into a chasm of no return. “If you promise to let your Mom and Dad babysit, so I can go to the store once in a while, it's a deal.”

“Ooooooh.” Frowning, Xena wrinkled her nose. “I wouldn't be able to escape the wrath of Dad.”

“Grace.” Keeping her voice low, Gabrielle gave the warrior a meaningful look. “You have to promise me on your sword, that you won't give them any problems and that you won't try to sneak off the couch.” Pointing a finger for effect, the bard smiled. “On your sword.”

Helen watched the exchange with great amusement and a little confusion. She didn't get the sword part, but figured it was the ultimate oath for Grace and wondered if the doctor would agree to the terms.

Taking a deep breath, Xena let it out slowly, then took another one and held if for a moment, before doing the same. “Done.” Spitting in her palm, she stuck out her hand to the bard.

Rolling her eyes, Gabrielle got up. “Swear.” Looking at the hand before her.

“I swear, on my sword to be nice and not to give you, or my parent's any trouble and to stay on the couch and not sneak off.” Spitting in her palm again, Xena held out her hand.

“Done.” Shaking on the deal, Gabrielle removed her hand and wiped it on her jeans. Turning to Helen, she shrugged. “Looks like you've got yourself a deal.”

“You know, Faith. I don't know how you do it, but if anybody can keep Grace in line, it's got to be you.” Putting out her hand, she took the bards and shook it heartily. “Deal.”

Three days later, Xena was released from the hospital, with much fanfare and several sighs of relief and finally went home. Unfortunately, upon her arrival, she discovered her parents had gotten word of the jail break and were waiting for her. As Gabrielle pulled the truck up to the front door, Dad popped out of the bushes with a wicked grin on his face.

“Gods help me.” Whispering, through a surprised smile, Xena turned to give the bard a scowl. “This was your idea, wasn't it?”

“Brian's actually.” Laughing, Gabrielle got out of the truck and came around to the passenger side and opened the door. “Welcome home, Grace.” Smirking.

“Thanks.” Rolling her eyes, Xena then closed them. “There's no place like home.” Opening her eyes, she put on her best smile. “Hi, Daddy.”

“Here, Pumpkin, let me help you.” Moving to his daughter, Dad picked her up, being careful not to bump her leg or arm then winked at the bard. “Did I ever tell you the story of when Grace was seven and ate a frog?” Starting up the steps to the porch, Dad felt a head drop on his shoulder and laughed. “It's such a cute story.”

“Are they gone?” Holding the covers over her face, Xena waited for the all clear.

“Yes.” Laughing, Gabrielle watched tail lights disappear into the darkness. Closing the curtain, she went over to the warrior and sat down on the coffee table, in front of the couch. “You can come out now.” Pulling on the blanket covering Xena.

“Are you sure?” Keeping the blanket in place.

“Yes.” Smiling wickedly when the warrior popped her head out, Gabrielle leaned back on her arms. “That was some home coming, huh?”

“I'm going to kill my brother.” Folding the blanket down to her waist, Xena sat up with a scowl. “Sicking Dad on me when he knows I can't get away.”

“Well, according to Brian, it was just paybacks for most of his childhood.” Lifting her leg and giving the warrior a poke with her toe.

“I can't believe you let me get ambushed, like that.” Pushing the toe away. “You're supposed to be taking care of me, not setting me up.”

“There was nothing in the instructions about not letting you get a good dose of your own medicine.” Smiling, she poked the warrior again.

“I think I was safer at the hospital. At least they had visiting hours to protect me.” Smiling, she grabbed the toe and twisted it.

“Ow.” Snatching her foot back, Gabrielle sat forward, slapping Xena's hand. “That hurt, you snot.” Rubbing the throbbing digit and giving the warrior a scowl of her own.

“Ahhhhh.” Putting her mobile arm behind her head, Xena sighed. “It's good to be home.”

“Yea.” Looking around, Gabrielle sighed at the boxes scattered everywhere. “Now all I have to do is remember where all that stuff went.”

“We'll do it tomorrow.” Reaching for the bard's hand, Xena smiled. “So, did Dad give you your old job back?”

“Nope, he said the position has been filled.” Letting herself be pulled onto the couch, Gabrielle smiled at the warrior's expression. “Looks like the unemployment line for me.”

“WHAT?” Trying to get up, Xena was pushed back down by a laughing bard.

“I'm kidding, Xena.” Stretching out beside the warrior, Gabrielle laid her head on Xena's shoulder. “He said I could come back whenever I was ready.” Snuggling under the covers.

“Good thing.” Huffing a little, Xena made more room for the bard, then wrapped her arm around Gabrielle's shoulder. “So when are you going back?” Closing her eyes.

“The start of next year's fall semester.” Looking into wide blue eyes. “Is there a problem with that?”

“Are you kidding?” Shaking her head as hard as she could and still have it attached, Xena's smile went from ear to ear. “I've waited for a chance like this since we were kids.”

“I thought it might make you happy.” Sitting up, Gabrielle gave the warrior a kiss. “So what are you planning, in that damaged brain of yours, Xena?” Thumping the damaged skull.

“A vacation.” Closing her eyes, Xena started imaging all the places she wanted to go with the bard. “A real vacation. A real long vacation.” Opening her eyes, her face mellowed. “If that's what you want to do.”

“I was thinking of remodeling the house.” Smiling. “After we get back from the long vacation.”

“Or we could just tell people we're leaving and stay home.” Returning the smile and shifting to face the bard. “Or maybe we could start the vacation now.” Bringing her casted arm over the bard's waist and throwing her leg over the bard's thigh.

“I can see the sponge baths are out and cold showers are in.” Holding the warrior's bottom lip from popping out, Gabrielle chuckled. “Or, maybe we just need to be really, really careful.”

“Careful is my middle name.” Wrapping her good arm tighter around Gabrielle's shoulder, Xena drew her closer and brought their lips together for a much delayed and much needed passionate kiss. “Now that's what I call a homecoming.”

“Daggum it, Gabrielle!” Scowling at her reflection, Xena pulled her collar back and looked at the bruise on her shoulder.

“What is it?” Coming in from the kitchen, Gabrielle saw Xena standing at the mirror by the front door. “What are you doing off the couch?”

“Never mind that.” Turning around slowly, Xena pointed to the base of her neck. “You gave me a hickey.”

“So? I alway do that?” Walking over to the warrior, Gabrielle examined her handiwork. “What's the problem?”

“I've got a session with Helen tomorrow.” Frowning. “How am I supposed to explain this?”

“Tell her we've got sucking fish and you got attacked while feeding them.” Chuckling as she moved backward and out of reach.

“This isn't funny.” Slowly turning back to the mirror, Xena sighed. “I'm never going to get away from the Painmiester if this keeps up.”

“Xena, I'll put some cover-up on it and she'll never know the difference.” Taking the warrior's arm, Gabrielle pulled gently. “Come on. Staring at it won't make it go away.”

“I married a vacuum cleaner.” Leaning on the bard, Xena hobbled back to the couch and sat down heavily.

Sitting down, as well, Gabrielle smiled, pulling the warrior's collar out. “I know where they can check if they ever need to identify me by my dental records.”

Xena slapped her hand. “Stop that. Haven't you done enough damage?”

“You're complaining?” Raising her eyebrows.

“Are you kidding?” Throwing her hand in the air, Xena smirked. “I'm surprised my gym teacher didn't turn my parents in for child abuse, with all the bruised you left.”

“You ARE complaining.” Leaning away from the warrior, Gabrielle gave her a serious look. “What, after two thousand years you decide you don't like the way I make love to you?”

“No.” Putting her head on the back of the couch, Xena closed her eyes and sighed. “It's not that.”

“Then what?” Leaning back, again.

“I'm just tired, I guess.” Opening her eyes, she stared at the ceiling.

“Of what?” Turning to sit facing the warrior. “You haven't been doing anything to get tired.”

“That's my point.” Lifting her head, Xena looked at the bard. “I haven't been doing anything. All I've been doing is sitting around and watching you work, putting your stuff away and having you wait on me hand and foot.”

“You've helped.” Putting her hand on the warrior's shoulder. “You folded my clothes.”

“I folded three shirts in twenty minutes.” Holding up the arm with the cast, Xena rolled her eyes. “I'm useless.”

“Xena, you are not useless.” Getting up, Gabrielle moved the warrior's arms out and sat down on her lap, straddling Xena's thighs. “You are the most wonderful and beautiful and courageous and useful person I know.”

Looking down, Xena fiddled with the bard's shirt. “But I can't do anything.”

“You can make me happy.” Putting her finger under Xena's chin, Gabrielle lifted the warrior's eyes to meet hers. “You're always doing that.”

“That doesn't count.” Staring up into the bard's sad green eyes. “You love me.”

“So that means that I don't count?” Raising her eyebrows in question.

“You know what I mean.” Shaking her head.

“Xena.” Kissing the warrior. “You're recovering from an accident that took a miracle to bring you out of and deep down, you're still the warrior princess I fell in love with.” Running her hand over the cast. “This will be gone before you know it and you'll be back saving lives and fixing up motorcycles and running everybody off their feet to keep up with you, but for right now, you're gonna have to live with being human.”

“I know.” Sighing, Xena ran her hand over Gabrielle's thigh. “I just want to get back to being something other than a piece of furniture.”

Gabrielle smiled. “Are you saying I'm fat?” Sending her eyebrows skyward again.

“I'm brain damaged, not crazy.” Letting a smile creep up and letting her hand wander.

“That's a pretty noncommittal answer, warrior princess.” Leaning forward, Gabrielle kissed Xena's cheek.

“You know, Gabrielle.” Closing her eyes as the bard started her kisses down the warrior's neck. “If I didn't know better, I'd say you're enjoying my immobility.” Feeling the bard's hands start to unbutton her shirt.

“Let's just say I've discovered the advantages of a captive audience.” Moving up the warrior's neck to the scrumptious earlobe.

“What about a captive with two working arms.” Squeezing the bard's butt with her good hand and wishing she could use both her hands, right about now.

“I thought you were a woman of many skills.” Smiling when the warrior chuckled.

“Thanks for reminding me.” Bringing her hand up the bard's back and under her shirt, Xena unsnapped Gabrielle's bra with two fingers. “Ah, yes. Many skills indeed.”

“She's been very good.” Gabrielle smiled at Jim and Helen and ignored the warrior, who was smirking behind the doctor's backs.

“Are you sure?” Looking over his shoulder, Jim gave Xena a doubtful smile.

“Yes. I promise.” Crossing her legs, as she sat in the hot seat. “She's been the model of goodness.”

Xena's eyes went wide and she waved a warning not to go overboard and suddenly found an itch on her chin when Helen turned around.

“If I didn't know better, Jim. I'd say these two were up to something.” Watching the warrior closely.

“I know, it's kind of like trying to find the smoke and mirrors.” Giving the bard a questioning look, Jim jerked his head around, trying to catch the warrior at something.

Gabrielle, who'd been interrogated by the best and baddest, didn't even flinch. Instead, she kept calm and shrugged. “You said, yourself, that she was healing fast. How could she be healing that quickly if she wasn't doing what you told her to do?” Turning the tables on her friends and enjoying it.

Jim and Helen exchanged glances and drew closer together. “They're good.” Helen whispered.

“Scary isn't it?” Jim whispered back. “We'll be right back.” Raising his voice and taking Helen by the elbow.

After the two left, Xena and Gabrielle gave each other a high five.

Xena looked down at the cast on her arm. “You're outta here.”

Hearing something, Gabrielle held up her hand and moved to the door. Pointing at it, she mouthed that they were being eavesdropped upon and went back to her chair. “Grace, how do you like the new wallpaper?” Smiling at the warrior to follow her lead.

“It's not too bad. I thought the green would've been a better choice though.” Wondering where the bard was leading her, Xena went along for the ride.

“But the green was way too thin. It never would've held up to the abuse.” Raising her hands, Gabrielle made fists and moved them back and forth, like she was shaking something.

Giving the international symbol for lack of understanding, Xena shrugged with her hands out.

Getting up quietly, Gabrielle crept over to Xena and whispered in her ear.

“Oh, yea. It was much to thin.” Fighting the laughter that was welling up in her lungs, Xena closed her eyes. “Maybe we should've just put rubber cushions on the headboard.” Opening her eyes, she saw the bard wink. “I'd hate to think that we're gonna have to be replacing wallpaper ever couple of months.”

“I know. What a pain. I guess that's the price we pay for having such an active love life.” Agreeing, Gabrielle watched the bottom of the door and saw two shadows disappear. Then letting the chuckle escape as did the warrior.

“Don't you ever tell me I'm the evil one.” Laughing, Xena pointed a finger at the bard.

“Where do you think I get it from?” Getting up, Gabrielle sat down beside Xena. “Do you think they're gonna cut you loose?”

“Well, if they don't take the cast off, I'll break it over their heads.” Knocking on the plaster covered arm.

Scooting closer, Gabrielle put her chin on the warrior's shoulder. “Well it's been two months since you woke up. You're leg is almost back to normal and when you get the cast off we'll be free of responsibility for a while.”

“Yea.” Looking into twinkling green eyes. “And.”

“I was wondering.” Sighing, Gabrielle frowned.

“Let me guess.” Rubbing the bard's arm, Xena rested her head on Gabrielle's. “You're wondering what Athens looks like this time of year.”

“Actually, I was wondering if we could go camping up in the mountains.” Closing her eyes, she could almost smell the pine trees.

“Camping?” Snapping her head up, Xena looked down at the bard. “This time of year? We'll freeze.”

“Not if we go to your Dad's cabin.” Opening her eyes, Gabrielle looked up at the warrior. “We can take the horses. It would be like old times.”

“Yea. REAL old times.” Shaking her head in wonder, Xena thought she saw something in the bard's face. “Hold it.”

“What?” Sitting up straight, Gabrielle smiled.

“You're homesick, aren't you?” The term having a completely different meaning for the ancient pair. “You want to go sleep under the stars again and write.” Nodding, knowing she was right. “Telling me all those old stories, while I was asleep has got your juices flowing, hasn't it?”

“I know, I know. I'm being selfish, but I'm just itching to break out my stuff.” Wrapping her arms around Xena's good arm.

“So I guess the world cruise, we planned is out the window.” Sighing at the thought, Xena shook her head. “Good bye, Bahama's. Hello, freezing my ass off.”

At that moment, Jim and Helen came back in the room.

“Well?” Gabrielle asked, keeping her hold on the warrior.

“Break out the buzz saw.” Jim smiled and rolled his eyes.

Inside the cabin, Xena ran her whetstone down the blade of her sword slowly. Looking up, she checked the fire's strength, then watched the frown on Gabrielle's face. The bard sat cross-legged on the floor a few feet away, with an exact and slightly pricey, recreation of a scroll in her lap and the end of her quill in her mouth. “What's the problem?” Continuing her sharpening.

“I'm trying to remember the name of the policeman that helped me with the bike.” Closing her eyes, Gabrielle concentrated on the sound of the whetstone. “Heller. Hoffman. Henderson.”

“Jefferson.” Smiling when the bard's eyes popped open.

“How did you know?” Staring at the warrior.

“I was there, remember.” Putting her sword and whetstone aside, Xena moved out of the chair and sat down beside the bard. “He had a name tag on his uniform and the tow truck guy was Bruce Miller.”

“Now I know that wasn't on his shirt.” Putting her scroll aside, Gabrielle leaned into the warrior.

“I looked up the company name and found out who was on duty that day.” Wrapping her arm around the bard, Xena pulled her close.

“You did that for me?” Closing her eyes, Gabrielle smiled.

“Actually, I sent him and the officer a thank you note for helping you.” Watching the bard's head pop up, Xena chuckled. “You're not the only sensitive one in the family, you know.”

“Evidently.” Smiling, Gabrielle stretched out, laying her head in Xena's lap. “Will you ever stop surprising me?” Looking up into the bluest of eyes.

“Not in this lifetime.” Leaning down, Xena lifted blonde bangs out of the way and placed a soft kiss on the bard's forehead.

“Good.” Reaching up, the bard pulled the warrior down for a lengthy kiss. “How's the arm?”

“Who wants to know?” Lifting the bard's shirt, Xena rubbed Gabrielle's tummy with her recently released hand.

“The wallpaper.”

The End.

Epilogue: On their vacation, Xena and Gabrielle found interesting ways to help the warrior get back into shape. Xena chose chopping wood, sword drills, hunting and killing small woodland things and ravaging the bard's body. Gabrielle chose kneading bread, massages and being ravaged, along with being chased through the snow, when she made a comment about Xena having lost her warrior princess edge and after being carried back to the cabin, by said warrior, was forced to take a long hot bath with the warrior. At which time the everything became very steamy. Jim and Helen took the oportunity, since they had been chosen to house sit, to check out the wallpaper in the bedroom and spent many long hours spreading rumors of Grace and Faith's love life to the hospital staff. (the fish survived this vacation) Aphrodite sent Xena a bill for a new pair of shoes and a manacure. Michael decided to take advantage of the breather and went to the Bahama's. Brian thinking he'd gotten away with his little payback, discovered the background on his web page had been changed to a picture of him laying naked on a bear skin rug. Taken of him when he was in college.

Thanks for reading.

PlanD - Part 6

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