"The Gift of a Day"
Disclaimer: Okay you know the rules: Xena, Gabby, Argo, and the rest of the gang are all owned by Universal. I'm just bororrowing them for my own fun.
This story is about two women in love, and although it's not graphic, there is quite a bit of affection displayed between the two. So, if you're under age...unable to see love outside "the box," or if it's illegal where you live, RUN! Run far away 'cuz this story's not for you.
Gabrielle plopped down on their bedroll and began to take off her boots. 'Gods am I tired..' she thought. Fumbling with the laces she looked over at her warrior. Sitting in front of the fire, she had a stone in one hand, sword in the other laying it across her knees.
'Amazing,' the bard thought. 'I hear her sharpening her sword and I know we can relax.' Shaking her head, she continued with the laces. "Xena..?"
Body perfectly still except for the hands that continued their choreographed movements, only a pair of eyes diverted to acknowledge her.
"Do you want anymore to eat, or shall I wrap this up?" The eyes looked down at the meal as Xena took a breath. Lips pursed together, and a nose slightly wrinkled as the eyes looked back to Gabrielle. Smiling, the young woman replied, "Okay. It'll be nice to have a little breakfast waiting in the morning."
The full moon hung low in the sky, it's light seemed to challenge the light of the fire. The night air calm and cool.
"Xena...?" Eyes once again looked at Gabrielle. The same hand held the sword, but the other hand now held a cloth, wiping the blade. "I'm going to get our bath supplies..."
The eyes softened, a slight smile, Gabrielle rummaged. Looking over at her warrior, she smiled back. Hands returned the sword to it's sheath as a left eyebrow raised, and a lower lip bit.
Gabrielle couldn't control her smile, "Yes my love, I _did_ get more lavender oil!" A crooked little smile now as they both stood, eyes locked. "BUT..." Gabrielle began, voice low...almost commanding...
Lips touch -a quick kiss- a smile. Then a second -a moan- and a third. Deep, longing, a thousand thoughts of desires and wishes expressed by each, held for what seemed an eternity, slow to break away.
Tongues touch, teeth nip at a lower lip, a voice now filled with desire, "...only if you're a good girl..."
Taking Xena's hands, Gabrielle slowly leads them down to the little stream.
Gabrielle deeply inhaled the cool morning air. Eyes still closed, she felt the weight on her chest. Her left arm and leg pinned under it.
Such sweet comfort.
Slowly turning her head to the right she opened her eyes. The light rays of the morning sun were barely visible over the tree tops. She loved to see the bright reds and pinks of the morning clouds. The cool breeze rustled the leaves, blending with the sounds of the birds.
Looking down to her chest, she drew another slow deep breath as she took in the sight of her sleeping warrior. The soft face surrounded by slightly rumpled hair made Gabrielle a bit sad. This was one of the few times Xena was truely relaxed. She resisted the urge to caress the face, not wanting to wake her just yet.
Gabrielle so rarely got to wake first, to enjoy this calmness. The sound of a sleeping lover gently wrapped in her arms. 'No nightmares!' she thought. 'She slept through the night!' Gently she kissed Xena's forehead, and slowly allowed her hand to stroke her back.
'If Xena had awakend first, Argo would be saddled by now, the camp packed, except of course for the sleeping bard, and breakfast would probably be some nuts and wildberries!'
Gabrielle loved how Xena felt, her skin smooth and warm. She realized as she looked back to the morning sky, their breathing was once again in sync.
'Oh Artemis, why can't it be like this for a while? No one else for once, just Xena and myself? I know that sounds selfish, but when do we get...I mean...' Gabrielle closed her eyes to keep the tears from escaping as her thoughts continued.
'Artemis, she didn't have any nightmares! Why can't we have this peace more often....During the day? I would do anything for a day of peace, to love her in the sunlight!'
Xena's hand rested next to her face. Gabrielle gently caressed her shoulder, tracing the length of her arm, over the curve of her elbow, and across to place her hand on Xena's. The sleeping warrior began to stir under her lover's touch.
Legs softly tightend around each other, Gabrielle's arms now firmly held a still half-asleep warrior. Kissing her forehead again, "Morning sleepy-head!" she whispered.
"Mmmm..." Xena kissed the left breast she'd been sleeping on, then slowly lifted her head. "...I can't believe..."
"...That I woke up before you...?!" Gabrielle giggled as she leaned down to kiss her. Slowly lips met. Passion always felt by both, but rarely able to be enjoyed as they did at this moment.
Xena opened her eyes fully, she was awake now! "Good morning, Gabrielle.." A crooked little smile again, as Xena moved up and over her bard. Gabrielle look up into the soft blue eye she could never see enough of, the dark hair now brushing against her cheeks.
Time stood still...
Gabrielle felt the familiar ache in her heart she new she shared with Xena. She placed her hand over her warrior's heart, feeling it's strength, smiling at what she knew she'd feel. "We're in sync, again..." she whispered.
Xena looked down into the soft green eyes she could never see enough of, "I...Gabri..." Closing her eyes, her thoughts took over. 'Come on, you know what you want to say! You're the other half of my life, my...'
"Two hearts, two souls, combined into one.." Eyes still closed, Xena lowered her head to rest in the crook of Gabrielle's neck. Inhaling the scent of lavender, "Oh Gabrielle, how do you always know what to say? You can read my heart." Hands slowly slid up Xena's back, a small but serious voice simply stated, "I too, have many skills..."
Laughter, kisses, rolling on the blankets, but soon time began to catch up.
"Xena, you slept well last night."
"Yes! Why I didn't even hear anyONE snore!" More giggles from a bard, gentle laughter from a warrior, soft caresses from both. Xena moved to lean on her left arm, taking her weight off of her, 'Little one. Hmm, better not let her know I think that!'
Shifting a bit herself, Gabrielle reluctently asked, "I guess you'll want to be getting up now, huh?" 'Please say no!' The bard's thoughts quickley interrupted. Fingers now traced the eyes, the lips, the curves of Gabrielle's face.
"Well, I suppose we _should_, but..." Blue eyes held by green, trying to hide the emotions.
Her bard _needed_ to stay.
A small, shy voice, "Xena?"
Taking her love into her arms, "I kinda like it here Gabrielle. Don't you?"
Kisses down the side of her neck, "Oh Xena! You mean we..."
Lips meet again, passion taking control.
Gabrielle lay safe in Xena's embrace. The thoughts of a prayer answered, the feel of a lover meant only for her.
The rain softly fell around them. Argo had quietly moved to join them under the large tree. The morning's sun blocked out by the clouds. Xena enjoyed the closeness with Gabrielle in this peaceful setting.
'No fights to break up, no villages in peril, just Gabrielle and...'
"Is everything alright?"
"Of course..." The warrior moved to see her beloved's face. "Why wouldn't it be?"
"Well, it's mid morning.." Gabrielle wasn't quite sure how to put it..., "Argo's still waiting for her morning run..."
The quick response surprised Gabrielle. Slowly she continued, "_You_ ate leftovers for breakfast..."
"You're a good cook. It tasted just as good this morning as it did last night."
An eyebrow arched, "Well, we haven't moved from this spot..."
"I'm comfortable." Warrior's face softened by concern. 'By the Gods I love you!' "I love you, Gabrielle." The bards worries instantly melted away. "I never tell you enough, I never show enough, I never.."
Bard's tears gently wiped away, "Xena," the voice almost a whisper, "You always show me."
"Xena, how many times do you alter our travels so I can be comfortable?
The warrior's eyes closed.
"You know when to touch me, _how_ to touch me. You know when to let me talk.."
"Well, that's an easy one...!"
"Hey!" In one swift move, she rolled them over. Xena now moved to rest her head on Gabrielle's chest. Listening to the one voice she loved the most, 'Lavender..' she sighed deeply.
"Xena, you can read me, my thoughts, just by looking at me. With that same look, you can make a thousand tears, and all my fears dissappear. You say volumes with just one look."
Slowly raising up, "Gabrielle, it's not the same as this. Saying I-Love-You! Touching you as only I can, where _only_ I can." Her voice softened even more as she continued, "To be gentle with you. To allow you to...allow me, to be gentle." She paused, 'Did that make any sense...?'
"Xena, you know..." Strong fingers gently covered soft lips.
"No, I mean you and me, no one else. This..." A trail of kisses from the side of Gabrielle's face, down her neck, up to her lips....'Oh her lips. How sweet they are...' Hands covered everywhere, urgency realized, emotions further revealed.
The rest of the morning a gentle attack of love.
The rain stopped, a walk down to the stream. Love freely given, time spent in each other's arms.
Lunch by the fire, it was raining again. The drops seemed unable to fall through the branches of the tree.
"No Xena, use this scroll..."
"Hey, I just wanted..."
"Yea, I know what you wanted.." Green eyes trying to look mean, blue eyes feining fear.
"Oh Gabrielle, I would never think of reading your scrolls before you were finished!"
"Uh-huh! Argo, tell her to mind..." The bard slowly rises, keeping an eye on a not so innocent lover. Standing now in front of a golden mare, thoughts focused on her.
Kisses for Argo, scratches behind her ears, the warrior now joined, apple in hand.
"You're a good girl, aren't you?"
"Yes you are!"
"We're gonna brush you down, don't worry..."
Argo too, was part of love freely given.
"Xena, tell me again."
Sitting in front of the fire, mid afternoon has a slight chill. Whom held whom? The blanket covered them both, as small hands covered large hands, and the warrior became the bard.
Gabrielle leaned in to Xena. 'Oh Artemis! Did you hear me? Is this day a gift from you?'
"The first story I've probably ever told from beginning to end, and you're somewhere else..."
"Oh no, Xena!" Small body turned in to hold the larger, "I'm right here!" Eye to eye, she sat on her warrior's lap. Small legs astride the powerful thighs.
"Tell me again..," whispered her love.
"Oh please!" 'How can one refuse such a passionate plea?' The warrior knew, only times like this proved her heart wasn't stone. If it were, it wouldn't ache as it did now. Though it only responded to her bard.
She held her love tightly, and began again a tale of, "Argo the War Horse stood alone, far away from the rest of the horses..."
Green eyes darted to look at the mare. 'I love Argo...'
"She was very much..."
Then, returning their gaze to, 'Xena, I love you...'
Then closed, 'Thank you, Artemis.'
As evening fell they returned to their camp. Their dinner easily caught, ready to be cooked.
"I love rabbit!"
"Uh-hmmm, I know!" A playful punch.
"You...!" Spoken through a bard's crooked smile.
The sun nearly lost over the horizon, dinner long ago eaten when, "Fthhhhpt!"
The bard shook uncontrollably in a silent laughter...finding her voice, "Umm, try it again. This time, just barely place the tips of you fingers under your tongue."
"Alright, but it's not gonna work..."
Gabrielle finally lost the battle to hold her laughter, as she watched her warrior try in vain to master the art of a 'wolf whistle..' Tears streaming down her face, "Oh Xena..!" Gasp... "I'm sorry! But you look so funny!"
Xena glared at the bard, "Oh I do, do I?" She turned her back to Gabrielle.
The warrior had different look on her face. She was definitely, "POUTING! You're pouting!" exclaimed an amazed bard. "Am not!" replied a defensive warrior.
"Yeah, you're pouting!" Gabrielle jumped up, "Argo, do you see this?!!"
"Look. let's just drop it, okay?" Xena pretended to examine the laces of her shift.
Gabrielle was beside herself, "Oh, this is rich!"
Xena stood up, "Fine. Be that way!" 'Stupid thing anyway...whistling...Furking fingers...I did have the tips...'
"Hey now..!" Gabrielle wrapped her arms around the warrior's waist in an attempt to slow her down. Changing the tone of her voice, "Love, this just means one thing.."
Xena stopped. "What's that?"
Sensing she wasn't about to give in and turn around, Gabrielle shimmied around to face Xena...well, to try anyway. "Look at me.."
Eyes straight ahead.
"Xena.." A bard on her tip toes. "Look at me..." Hands slipped under a shift slowly caressing firm breasts...
A sharp intake of air, as eyes slowly look down at the only person who could, "Wrap me around you little finger. You know that?"
Eyes look deep into each other.
"I was aiming for your heart!"
"Gabrielle, that was the very first thing you got."
Slowly leading them back to the bedroll, "Xena, this just means we have to keep practicing." Taking Xena's fingers, "Here, this is what I mean..." And placing them in her mouth...
"Ohhhh, prac...practice is gg...whooo! ...Good, Gabrielle."
The warrior soon forgot about pouting as other ideas came to mind.
CHAPTER SEVEN Conclusion
The next morning, far above the clouds, "ARTEMIS!"
"WHERE are you!"
'Hades! I knew it coudn't last...' "Zeus, is that you?" a sweet voice innocently asked. "You know it is! I told you one day...There you are...One day! From my estimates, it's been two nights, one day, and correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't it morning again?!"
As if she didn't hear his question, "Oh Zeus, look at them!" Artemis openly adored her Amazon Queen. "Two lovers, one embrace..." she sighed, 'Small body on top...'
"Yes, and your point Artemis?" He was growing impatient. It was bad enough he'd gotten tricked into giving her a favor...
"Zeus..," she cooed, "You agreed with me, and even said it yourself. Xena deverves this break. And besides, I won this time for my Queen fair and square!"
She had him with that statement. Trying hard to control her smile, she stood her ground. It was quite easy, to tell you the truth. Zeus' ego had worked in her favor. She couldn't help but replay it in her mind... 'Zeus, I bet I can ask you to do something, that you can't possibly do!'
'Impossible!' was his response. 'After all, I _am_ Zeus! There isn't anything the God of Gods doesn't know, or can't do!'
So, after ensuring Gabrielle's wish, she asked, 'Zeus, would you please...get lost?' It was so easy! Get lost! Though she thought she'd regret this particular action... he can be pretty intimidating at times...but he gave in. Probably was the little remark in regards to the other Gods finding out this little loophole... 'Get lost! Oh, I..'
"I know what we agreed on, Artemis! I gave you one day of time. No fights to break up, no villages in peril, just Xena and Gabrielle. Now..."
The arguement was suddenly interrupted. Not by action, but by thoughts.
'Sweet Zeus, look at you...'
"Huh?" The God of Gods turned to take a closer look.
The thoughts of a woman slowly returning to a warrior. The thoughts of Xena, 'You're perfect Gabrielle. A perfect woman...small, delicate...' She smiled to herself. 'Though you can be a pretty tough warrior, too! Oh, and your voice! You can soothe any beast, myself included with just the sound of your voice. By the Gods, what did I do to deserve you?'
She had Zeus' full attention, now...
'Thank you!' A single tear from the warrior's eye, though her heart overflowed with emotion. Holding Gabrielle close, "Xena..?" a whisper.
"Sshhh.." the response. A kiss on her forehead, "It's alright, Love."
Xena's thoughts always a struggle, but she was sure, 'I think you deserve more, you think you deserve me. I don't know who to thank, and now I'm rambling to the Gods!'
Zeus looked over to Artemis, defeat obvious in his face.
"Half a candlemark more!" She smiles, he disappears, 'Perfect timing, Xena!'
'I really should get up...' Thoughts of logic start to creep in.
"I love you, Xena." the small voice whispered in her ear.
'I guess Argo can wait half a candlemark...'
Artemis' smile turns to a grin....