NOTE: All the usual disclaimers apply here. Xena: Warrior Princess and all the characters therein do not belong to me; and this story is not intended to be an infringement on those rights, in any way. They belong to someone else. I think we all know who, but if you don't, read the credits next time. People work bloody hard to get their names there. The wonderfully talented people who brought this legend and it's characters into our lives deserve all the respect we can muster. Not to mention gratitude. They certainly have mine. Nuff said.

SUBTEXT: Well, I'm not too sure what to put here. It is there, I think. Although there is nothing here that is likely to offend. I hope, anyway. Still, the story does assume the feelings between these two women is not limited to "friendship". Unspoken, but definitely there. If feelings of this kind, between two women offends you, go elsewhere. Do not read my story. And while you are traveling (elsewhere, I mean) maybe you could do a little soul searching of your own. It couldn't hurt.


TIME: This story takes place shortly after the episode Amphipolis Under Siege. Naturally, it is my own idea of what "could" happen and not part of the actual storyline from the series.

This might be a good place to mention this is my very first attempt at writing fan fiction. Feedback is welcome, but know this: I am petrified. I can be reached at: samanthaeruskin@gmail.com Oh, it has come to my attention since I first wrote this that some are confused about gender. Shrug. Why it would matter is a mystery but I am Samantha. Not clear yet. I am a woman. (Yeah, you guessed it. This is the re-edited version of the first one. But little is changed, just a few screw-ups corrected. Same tale. Same bard. Same terror at hitting send. <g>)


In Her Dreams

by Sam Ruskin

It is dark. Only the flickering orange glow of the campfire allows Xena to see the figure of her sleeping friend.

"Friend?" she thinks silently. "Yes. Dear, precious, most beloved friend. And more. So much more." Eve stirs and Xena swiftly reaches out to adjust the infant's blankets, making sure all is well with her. It is, and she is lulled back into slumber by her Mother's gentle song and warm hands.

It has been a long day but Xena cannot sleep. She is not sure why. Probably all those years of keeping watch. Habits die hard, she thinks to herself. Adding another log to the fire, Xena leans back against a large rock and watches the sleeping forms of the two people who mean most to her in all the world: Eve and Gabrielle. She wonders if they know how much she loves them. Probably not, she realizes with a sigh. Mindlessly she begins to run the small stone against her sword. The familiar motion and rythmic sound do their duty and finally her head falls back softly against the rock. She is asleep. It is a good sleep. No dreams. No demons to chase. No warlords to outrun. Just ......wait....what was that?

"I said no. Stop it. Don't do that. No. I won't. Don't ....I....stop kissing me...." Gabrielle was tossing her head back and forth in her sleep and speaking quite clearly. More clearly than usual, and Xena had heard her talk in her sleep many times before.

The bard's voice was growing louder, more impatient. No. Not impatient. Angry. Gabrielle was angry with someone. Xena was awake now.

"I said no! Stop....stop kissing me! What part of no did you not get...?" Gabrielle was pushing at some unseen figure. The muscles in her arms tensed and released several times as she wrestled with someone in her dreams. Or might this better be described as a nightmare? Maybe she should wake her, Xena wondered. Yet, she sat transfixed. Who was kissing her sweet bard? And why was Gabrielle so mad about it?

"I won't. Stop it! I will.....not...do...this! Stop it! This is just ....just....wrong!"

Gabrielle was actually struggling against some unknown....unknown what? Just wrong? What could she mean? Xena drew in a sharp breath. Dear mother of Zeus. She knew what she meant. Gabrielle was having a nightmare about...

"I said no....I will not...do this...not even in my dreams. I just won't ....you will have ..to....kill me...first. Now, get....off...me...Ares! I said...no!"

Ares? Did she say, Ares? What in Tarturas is he up to now? She's trying to sleep you....wait. Heart pounding, the warrior scrambled to think. Gabrielle is sleeping. Someone is trying to.....

"AAARRRRREEEEESSSSS!!!! Get out here, you bastard! NNNOOOOWWWW!"

The bright, white burst of light made Xena squint. "This better be good, Xena. I was....busy," he smirked.

"Yeah and I know what - or should I say who - you were busy with." She picked up the heavy sword she had been sharpening what seemed ages ago. Whirling the blade swiftly through the air, she moved two steps closer to the god of war. "Ares, I'm warning you, stay out of Gabrielle's dreams."

"Uh...excuse me?" He cocked his arrogant head to one side and sneered at the Warrior Princess. "You are warning me? Oh that's rich."

The tip of the blade came to an abrupt halt just above what must have been Ares' navel. The War God's eyes grew wide.

"Hey, watch it with that thing!"

"What's wrong Ares? Afraid I might slip?" Xena raised one eyebrow and gave the war god a wicked grin, as she let the tip of her sword drop another inch or two. "Ooops. Now THAT would be unfortunate...even for a god." The air was filled with icy laughter.

"Xena." He ever-so-carefully pushed the sword aside. "You've made your point, my dear. Out of Gabrielle's dreams. Gotcha. She isn't much fun anyway. Fights me, even in her sleep. She's a strong one....maybe even stronger than you, Xena. Hmmm...."

The sword swung into place just beneath his strong jaw. "Don't even go there, Ares. Stay away from her. I mean it."

Xena had closed the distance between them and now stood so close she had to lower the sword to keep from cutting the war god. Not that it would do any good to cut him. At least not with this thing, she thought.

"What exactly is your problem Xena? And how is it any of your business whose dreams I visit?"

"Ares, I could care less whose dreams you visit. Just stay away from Gabrielle! You can have any number of young women in villages all over the known world for all I care. There are hundreds, maybe thousands who would gladly entertain a visit from the god of war. No doubt a few would even give you that child you want so badly. Go for it."

"Thank you," he sneered. "I think I will. Only first I think I will finish what I started, before I was so rudely interrupted...." He watched to see that muscle in her neck twitch. Gods, he loved sparring with her. Even sparring with words was fun when it involved Xena.

"Ares." Now the voice was low, growling almost. "Several times I could have killed you and I didn't. Don't make me regret that."

He raised his hand, "Sorry. Gotta run.."

"Don't you dare, you son of a Bacchae!" Xena was screaming at the shimmering white ball before her.

"WHHHAAATTT?!" He was back and he was not happy. Both were shouting. They were practically nose-to-nose.

"Stay away from Gabrielle, Ares!"

"Or what?"

"I mean it! Stay away from her. Stay out of her dreams. I know what you want. We both know what you want. What you do. Well, not with Gabrielle! You got that?"

"Yeah, I got that! I mean, I HEAR you Xena. Loud and clear, Warrior Princess. Only what's your problem? I mean it's not like...."

"Not like what?"

"Well, I mean, you act like.."

"Like what?" She was getting angrier by the second.

"Hades, Xena. You act more like a jealous husband than a friend. It's not like I'm gonna HURT the woman!"

"No Ares. You are not gonna HURT the woman. Because you are not gonna TOUCH the woman. I mean Gabrielle. You are not going to touch Gabrielle. You got that?"

Now, she was really starting to piss him off. The entertainment value of this little verbal sparring match was rapidly disappearing. Who did she think she was, threatening him? He was, after all, the god of war and he would damn well do as he pleased.

"This discussion is over, Xena."

"Well, you're right about that." With a look that sent a shudder down the war god's spine, Xena slowly reached between her breasts and withdrew a small bone.

"Wha......where......that isn't....."

Narrowing her gaze to a chizzled stare, she whispered: "Oh but it is, Ares."

The war god's gulp could be heard for miles.

"And isn't it lucky that Hercules thought to remove it before Zues passed from this world?"

"But I thought..."

"MMMMhmmmmm. I'll just bet you did. Now...about Gabrielle..."

".................What about Gabrielle? I mean....me?"

Xena's head jerked around to see her bard tuck the blankets around a still sleeping Eve. "Not right now, Gabrielle."

"Xena, what is Ares doing here? Oh gods.....that wasn't just a dream, was it? Oh, I think I'm going to be sick...."

"Excuuusse me?"

"Shut up, Ares!"

"Xena...what are you doing?" Gabrielle managed to ask between the spasms that has gripped her stomach. "Isn't that the rib of..."

"Yeah. Take some deep breaths, Gabrielle.."

"Well this is all very touching but I have to..."

"Freeze Ares. You and I need to settle this.. once and for all. You know what I can do. Now know this: I WILL kill you if you ever touch Gabrielle again. Do we understand each other?"

Continued in Telling Secrets

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