Disclaimers:This story is categorized as fan fiction. The characters of Xena, Gabrielle, et al, which have appeared in the series Xena: Warrior Princess, belong to the producers, writers and executives of Renaissance Pictures and MCA/Universal Television. I claim onlyto have borrowed them, without intent to profit or infringe these rights, for the purpose of creating this story for enjoyment ofthe series' fans, of which I count myself one of many.

Additionally, the story below contains references, explicit andimplied, of a sexual relationship between two consenting adultsof the same sex. If you are not of legal age to read this story,or such material is illegal where you live, or you do not feel comfortable with such content, please refrain from reading thisstory.

Timeline Notes: None

Just an Interlude
by LZClotho
(c) June 1998

E-Mail LZClotho at lzclotho@aol.com

Xena moved through the village with one hand on Argo's bridle and the other on the edge of her chakram, still secured to her belt. The bustle was distracting, which was exactly what pick pockets and thieves liked as cover for their work. It was nearly noon and she had promised to meet Gabrielle, who'd been doing a bit of shopping. The tavern they had agreed on for lunch was on the north side of town.

Xena smiled, looking forward to a bit of afternoon fun in their room. She drifted into thoughts of the bard's supple, tanned skin, muscles rippling under questing fingers. Her eyes closed and her senses reeled with the memories and emotions she always found swamping her body during their passion...which was probably why she was caught off guard.

A young boy, about eight summers old, bumped into her left side, falling to the ground. She quickly noticed he'd cut his hand. Trying to get the chakram, I bet, she thought as she reached down with her free left hand and met his eyes. He looked up and shrunk back from her upturned hand. She nodded and he reached up, permitting her to assist him in getting to his feet.

"Guess I didn't see where I was going." He pulled his tunic back into smooth lines on his small chest.

"You should be more careful." Xena stepped back and he got his first good look at her entire presence. She didn't miss the shiver of fear that ran through his small body. Xena knew this was not the first time or the last time she would regret the imposing image she presented. She put aside her aggravation at almost having her pocket picked, and let a smile shatter the forbidding set of her jaw.

Apparently the smile was infectious. The boy almost immediately smiled back with a little impudent twitch of his right cheek. Her smile widened a bit at that, and she found herself ruffling his hair.

The action seemed to shock him as much Xena, and he backed up quickly, dashing away from her and disappearing into the crowd. The warrior straightened, settled her mouth back into its usually austere expression and turned back into the crowd.

Only to have another child run up to her. Blonde and quite reminiscent of her bard, Xena realized the girl was about four summers old.

"Help me!" The child launched herself at Xena's legs. "They're going to get me!"

Xena gently grasped the little girl's frantically clinging arms and pulled her away from her body. Crouching as she did so, she came down to the girl's eye level.

The youngster kept looking back over her shoulder. Xena asked, "Who's chasing you?"

"The monsters!"

Xena looked around quickly, and saw nothing other than ordinary Greek men and women walking through the marketplace. "Can you describe them?" Xena didn't sense anything evil nearby, and she'd learned a long time ago that she could -- regretfully, with Gabrielle's child, Hope. She shook herself free of the disturbing memories and drew the child's attention back to her. "I don't see anything."

"Over there behind the bread man's house." The girl's bottom lip quivered in fear and Xena gave her a quick reassuring hug.

"Can you show me?"

"Don' wanna go back there." The girl pulled from Xena's grasp and huddled in the shadows of the building next to where they were standing.

"But, I need --"

A sudden shout of "Pickpocket! Stop thief!" rent the air, and Xena's senses keyed. She quickly identified the merchant who'd shouted, and saw him jumping up and down and huffing while pointing at a fleeing figure darting among people as he ran away.

"Stay here!" She motioned to the girl with a 'stay down' gesture. "I'll be right back!"

Xena darted through the throng, keeping the thief in sight. He was an older male, perhaps already in his adult years. Xena realized as she saw him increasing the distance separating them he was quite fast. She looked over the surroundings quickly and noticed a slant roof nearby. Finding a clear spot, she launched herself up and ran carefully across the thatch, up and over the peak, and down toward a series of shop roofs. She leapt from one to the other, keeping the dodging thief in sight. Finally she swerved and was able to get above him.

Fair warning, she decided, letting out her battle cry as she leapt from the rooftop aimed toward bringing the thief down with her body. "Aiyiyiyiyi!" The thief looked up in surprise and had only enough time to drop his head before Xena's body landed against his back and pinned him beneath her on the ground. She grabbed at his outstretched arm, and the money pouch he clutched in tight fingers. He wouldn't release his grip. "Let go of the pouch, or I'll break your fingers," she warned, shoving her knee into his shoulder.

"You're more likely to break my shoulder," he retorted and Xena jumped up, recognizing the voice.

"Autolycus!" Xena yanked him to his feet, taking possession of the money pouch in any case.

Caught, Autolycus hung his head and then smiled up at Xena. "Hey, gotta make a living."

Xena shook her head. "You're up to something. But right now, let's get this money back to that merchant."

She kept a fist wrapped in the collar of his shirt, an atypical dull brown for the usually flashy King of Thieves. Together they walked, or rather Xena walked. Autolycus got dragged back through the throng of people to where the flustered merchant still jumped up and down, his face beet red and babbling.

"Relax," Xena offered the money pouch back without another word. "You've got your money back, so I'll just take this fellow..."

"You can't!" The merchant poked a finger into Autolycus' chest. "He stole from me. That's against the law here. Even if I got it back, he has to pay for the crime."

Xena sighed. She hated sticky situations. The merchant, of course, was right, the crime had still been committed. But Autolycus was a friend. She put her head down for a moment, thinking.

"You might tell him not to steal either. I was actually getting that money pouch to return to some peasants he overcharged for a dozen eggs and a slab of ham." Xena looked up at Autolycus, who had leaned close to whisper in her ear. "I know you're in a bind. You were inside me, remember?"

Xena nodded. How could she forget? It had been the path back to Gabrielle. She nodded to Autolycus and turned to the merchant. "Perhaps we will consider it even if you agree not to overcharge your other patrons ever again." Xena said the word 'overcharge' loudly enough to be heard by nearby villagers.

The merchant's eyes went wide and he backed up. "Um, perhaps --" Xena's eyebrow rose. "Well, yes, of course. There's no harm done after all. Right?"

Xena nodded. "Not that I can see. I'll be taking him --" She inclined her head toward Autolycus, still gripped firmly by the collar -- "Out of here."

The merchant looked to Autolycus who smiled back, making him squirm uncomfortably. Autolycus and Xena walked away as the merchant turned to other patrons.

"Nice bit of talking there, Warrior Princess." Autolycus nodded appreciatively.

"What are you doing here?" Xena gripped his arm until he screwed up his face indicating pain. She released his arm with a push of aggravation. "Are you staying long?"

"Why? Wanna get rid of me so soon?"

"Actually, I -- "

Autolycus noticed something peeking out from Xena's pouch. "Flowers?" He started to reach for one and had to snap his hand back. "Ow! You didn't have to hit me!"

"I did. Don't ever think to pickpocket me, Autolycus."

"I wasn't. What are you doing with a bunch of flowers in your pouch?"

Xena looked down, and Autolycus was treated to a first-rate womanly blush. "Oh, that." She shrugged. "Herbs. Gabrielle needed to replenish our supply."

Autolycus looked up into Xena's face and then nodded. "Uh huh. Okay. So you don't share everything with your buddy, Autolycus. I understand. Yeah, I gotcha. Not tellin'. Well, I'll be seein' ya, Warrior Princess. And whoever that's for, I bet is one lucky devil."

Xena smiled. Angel really, Auto, but thanks for leaving it alone. "I've got to be going. You want to do me a favor?"


"There's a little girl back that way who could use some help fighting a monster. Likely just some boys bullying her with masks or something."

"Consider it handled."

"Thanks. And stable Argo for me."

Frowning, Autolycus waved as she walked away, toward the tavern they'd drawn near in their walking conversation.

Gabrielle stepped out into the sunshine at the Warrior Princess' approach and Autolycus whistled... very softly... when the smaller bard stood on her tiptoes, leaning on Xena's arm, and kissed the warrior firmly, lovingly on the lips. Xena's arms went around Gabrielle's waist, and they turned, disappearing inside the tavern.

The King of Thieves felt his heart melt a little more for the Warrior Princess' thawing heart.

 Gabrielle pulled Xena into the tavern. Self-conscious, Xena dropped her hands from the bard's waist. Insistently, but unnoticed, Gabrielle grasped Xena's near hand as they moved toward a table.


"Do you really want me to answer that?" Gabrielle squeezed Xena's hand and the warrior ducked her head.

"Did you have a good time shopping?" Xena slid into the seat opposite Gabrielle and looked around the room. Carefully eyeing each of the other diners in the room, she assessed if there would be any trouble, and determined that most likely no one would bother their meal.

"A good time? Absolutely. I'll show you some of the things when we get to the room." Gabrielle's eyes twinkled with suggestion and Xena found herself wondering which of them looked forward more to their afternoon.

"Tell me about it?"

Without further prompting, Gabrielle launched into a retelling of her morning.

Xena smiled. Now she could listen to the lilt of her bard's voice and admire the soft line of Gabrielle's throat, which rippled as she spoke. Xena's mouth began to water at the thought of her tongue moving over the heated pulse point. At that thought another part of her became damp and warmly alert at the same time. Then the movement of the bard's soft hands in the air had Xena imagining their touch on her skin. Closing her eyes, she pictured the blonde nude before her.


The warrior's eyes snapped open meeting Gabrielle's. She had to shake her head and focus. "Um, yes?"

"The tavern maid's here to get our order."

Xena looked up from Gabrielle to the maid studying them. "Ale. And a ham in bread."Find a Match Last Search Results  фVXPlKr4iPPjLlistenerenerJzIG4_|+czl_RQC/)*.Zr6遖,}1dWEWE' E]ݷ,!2Rd|F5,2{x%_3fP ðmW6Ox1g|ǘ,Ǖ/lC#H2 -qHaUKbyc*Xʥhn}hLHFs\nh#[j[Hswqɂ$7Ǐ%[J3/jp21VSeH ]ѯ*bN&4`fFU[{Cį,*Ze@G{՟,(N6 VI =yڳظxplain any further.

" I don't think anyone heard." Gabrielle did seem to understand. She started to reach across the table to grasp Xena's hand, but pulled back. Instead, in another moment, Xena felt a shy nudge against her right leg. Gabrielle lifted and crossed her knees, so that her left foot brushed the warrior. Eyes met and sky and earth fell together in complete communion.

Xena couldn't think of anything other than what would happen upstairs. She'd gotten over her need to constantly dominate in their unions, but the hunger she always felt about making love to Gabrielle built at the oddest times. Watching her bard eat, seeing her shift her hair to the back of her neck, or... Gods, listening to her tell a story. That got to Xena the fastest. Her blood would race. Her eyes traveled the length of Gabrielle, seeing the bard as a diaphanous ghost, the voice seeping into her very soul, touching it.

Their lunch arrived and without breaking their look, the two women ate quickly, finishing their meal almost without tasting it. Gabrielle had enough thought to compliment the cook to the serving girl as they dropped their payment, six dinars, into her hands.

Xena led the way to the stairs and then gestured for the bard to precede her. She dropped a hand to the small of Gabrielle's back, causing the bard to lift her green eyes and smile.

"So, what did you do while I was shopping?"

Xena knew it wasn't just a chance for small talk that prompted the bard to ask the question. Gabrielle was always interested in everything that happened to the warrior. "To chronicle everything. So people get to know the real you -- the woman I know," she'd always add with a secret smile.

"Well, I did have a near pick pocket. Then a little girl ran into me. Some bullies were scaring her." She paused as Gabrielle unlatched the room door, and entered, all senses alert for anything out of place, or any presence other than their own. Feeling secure, she lowered the tension in her shoulders.

At that sign, Gabrielle set her satchel down on the bed. Xena studied the supple movements of the slender woman, and found herself shocked by a low growl that came from her throat, drawing Gabrielle's attention.

"I see the morning improved your appetite." Gabrielle's smile was seductive. "The tigress is back."

Xena smiled, knowing her face was unable to mask anything from this woman. "I wasn't aware she'd ever left."

"Oh, and what was that two days ago? 'Gabrielle, you go on to the tavern. I'm going to see the smith.'?" Xena swept the bard up in her arms as she continued, "Where was the tigress then?"

"Did I miss a cue?"

"We did say we'd spend more time together." Gabrielle's hands slid up Xena's wrist guards. Fingers slipped into the threaded leather, loosening the ties. Just the faint brush of the bard's work-roughened hands against Xena's skin brought a hot flush to the warrior's cheeks. "So, are we going to make up for that now?"

Xena opened her eyes to find Gabrielle's green eyes filled with fierce, possessive passion. "I --" She pulled back a moment. "Um, actually I remembered the look on your face when I went to see the smith." She swallowed and removed the pouch from her belt. "I saw these on the roadside walking back to the tavern." Gabrielle watched her unstring the pouch and withdraw a small handful of short-stemmed wildflowers. Half were golden yellow, and the others were the fresh color of a sunrise.

Gabrielle lifted her eyes from the flowers to study Xena's face as it came up. "They're beautiful, Xena." The warrior pressed the flowers into her hands, wrapping her fingers around the stems.

"The color reminded me of your hair." Xena lifted her hand to Gabrielle's hair and slid her fingers from scalp to golden tips, causing the bard to close her eyes. "I'm sorry I left," she whispered just before her lips claimed Gabrielle's.

The bard opened her eyes and met Xena's blue, delighting in the texture of the warrior's mouth on hers, the love conveyed as Xena let down her barriers, now that they were alone. "I forgive you."

Xena smiled against the lips. "Before or after the flowers?"

Gabrielle giggled. "Before actually, but the flowers were a wonderful gesture."

"I'm learning then?"

"You never forgot. You just spent a long time not needing to remember."

"Why are you so forgiving of me?" Xena settled with Gabrielle on their bed, rubbing the bard's hand between her own fingers, studying the interlocked fingers instead of her bard's face, scared of the response to opening herself up this way.

Gabrielle shook her head, and lifted her hand from between Xena's only to gently tuck her palm beneath the warrior's chin, forcing it up, so their eyes met. "I may have slipped earlier Xena, but I did mean what I said. I love you. What else can I do?"

Xena didn't realize she had a tear on her face until the bard's soft fingers brushed it from her cheek. Gabrielle then pulled the warrior into a tight embrace and the two women lay back gently on the bed.

With slowly building passion, they stripped each other of their clothing. Whispered words carried on the still air of the quiet room, breaking their passionate cries as bodies mingled. Fingers touched, heightened and brought release.

As Xena touched Gabrielle somehow the sensation communicated back to her own body. It was like a tether, tying them together. Xena experienced a brief moment of insanity where she imagined she and Gabrielle were one person. Her cry as the bard's hand slipped over her hip and to her center melded with Gabrielle's cry as her own hand did the same.

She buried her head in Gabrielle's shoulder, realizing only as her mind returned that she was soaking the bard's skin with salty tears. Slight tugs were evidence of Gabrielle's stroking fingers through her dark hair.

"Together, Gabrielle. No matter what. I promise."

"You sound like you mean that."

Xena nodded into the bard's shoulder. "For the first time, I think I'm speaking the whole truth."

"What about Borias? Or even Marcus?" Gabrielle bit her lip. Shehadn't meant to speak her thoughts aloud.

Xena lifted her head. She ran a finger through the hair on the bard's temples. "I had a very loving relationship with Marcus, that's true. And you know what happened between Borias and me was when I was wild." She kissed Gabrielle's lips sensuously. "But we're connected, Gabrielle. I feel like we're one person. You're the calm half, and I'm the raw energy. Then sometimes we just switch. All of a sudden." Xena paused, worrying at her bottom lip with her teeth. "I don't entirely understand it. But I'll be damned to Hades darkest plane if I'll willingly let it go."

Gabrielle nodded. Quietly she confirmed that Xena was not alonein her experience of a few moments ago. "I -- I felt it too." Suddenly Gabrielle was shy.

The two women held each other tightly, falling asleep entwined.Both were unaware of anything except the remarkable moment whenthey realized they were each one half of a single soul.


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