The Healing Journey
WARNING; This story contains descriptions of sex between consenting adults, and a graphic description of a dismemberment journey. This is meant as a healing moment, and not as gratuitous violence. If you are under 18, offended by such material, or it is illegal where you live, STOP READING NOW.
Copyright except for the use of characters copyrighted by universal pictures
Gabrielle shifted closer to the woman with the intense dark eyes. The energy of their discussion crackled in the air. Xena looked up, alarm washing just fleetingly over her face, then she looked back at her plate of food. She pushed it away, suddenly not hungry. The inn was like any other inn. She'd grown up in one, for the God's sake.
"I'm jealous again. Will it ever stop?', she asked herself.
After all, it was just another bard buddy Gabrielle had picked up in the village square. And it had been amusing to see they play dueling bards that afternoon. Each had chosen one side of a question, and debated with comic, whimsical exaggeration. The audience had grown huge, and after the take was divided, Gabrielle and Xena actually had money. Lot's of it--at least by their standards. So Gabrielle had insisted on a nice meal and a room at an inn. Great, once they were alone they could really heat up the night, if Xena could endure one more philosophical discussion.
"No, no, no. At the core, the only thing we are, really, are human beings. Not Macedonians, or (with a nod to Xena) Arcadians, just human.", said the strange bard.
"Ha!", said Gabrielle. "I am water, I am air, I am the food I eat, the wine I drink, the land I live upon and the woman I love. That means there *is* no core. I am completely fluid. All I know is that I *am*. The *me* that exists has too many forms for one label to describe."
"Gabrielle, I am impressed. You just blow me away with your mind. Beside you, Socrates seems dull and pedantic.", said the strange bard.
"That's because he is.", said Gabrielle.
At that, a man set his tankard down with a thump and turned on her.
"What did you say about Socrates?", he said in a dangerous tone.
Xena tensed, ready to fight. Gabrielle glared at the man. "I said he was dull and pedantic.", she repeated.
"He invented the Socratic Method, for the Gods sake!", said the man. "My old grandma used to ask questions all the time too, mostly to induce guilt, but it worked. You can't invent something that's been around since Chronos was a baby.", said the other bard.
"Women are all illogical.", huffed the man.
"If I define A, and then define B, C will inevitably be what I want it to be. Logic belongs to the philologists, and the Sophists.", said Gabrielle.
"Take that back!", said the man.
"I will not, you Plato-fixated, linear-thinking chauvinist.", said Gabrielle.
"I'm not Plato fixated, damn it, I'm Plato.", said the man. Then, turning to Xena, asked, "Is she always like that?"
Xena rolled her eyes. Plato was all she needed now. This was likely to be an all-nighter, and she had plans. Oh well, scratch them now.
Gabrielle was on a roll now. Her eyes grew animated as she gabbed away, thrusting and parrying with words rather than swords. The discussion was almost endurable if Xena thought of it that way. Then Xena noticed the strange bard's eyes on her, reading her soul. Xena glared back. The strange bard now fixed her eyes on Plato, gazing into them. Then, when she had his attention, taking her tankard, and cupping it in her hands, cradling it against her breast. Plato lost his train of thought. The strange bard set about seducing him most effectively, and, as she reeled him in and got up to leave with him, she glanced at Xena, then at Gabrielle, then back at Xena with a wink. Xena grinned at her gratefully.
Gabrielle looked up at Xena. Her eyes were still bright from the discussion. Just like Xena felt after a good fight. The lust was pounding inside her now. Xena stood and held out her hand. Gabrielle stood, took Xena's hand and walked with her to their room.
They undressed slowly, wanting each other, but aware that their imaginations needed prodding. The sex was good, but predictable, and Xena was already looking around at others. They kissed as they always did, touched in the ways they always touched...Gabrielle took her mouth off Xena's nipple long enough to look her in the eyes.
"This is getting kind of...how can I say this? Routine?", said Gabrielle.
"We're in a rut.", said Xena.
"Well. I have an idea. It's pretty different though. You might not like it.", said Gabrielle.
"I might.", said Xena, propping herself up on one elbow.
"Okay then, lie down and close your eyes.", said Gabrielle.
Xena did so willingly, and waited. She felt Gabrielle lie beside her, their hips and shoulders touching.
"Now take four deep breaths and imagine yourself to be at the base of an ancient tree, overgrown with moss and thrusting itself through the sky. You can't see the top of it.", said Gabrielle.
"Okay.", said Xena.
"Now you are on *my* turf. It isn't as safe as it looks, so pay attention to what I tell you. Once we start, *always* go back to this starting place. *Do not *talk to me until it is over, and *do not* startle me. Got it?", said Gabrielle.
"I've got it. Gods, do I really sound like that?", said Xena.
"Shhhhh!.", said Gabrielle.
Xena laid quiet, took four deep breaths and pictured an ancient, moss-covered tree. Oddly, she could smell the damp earth and feel a breeze. Then she heard Gabrielle's voice.
"Now relax. We can be anything we want to be here. Climb the tree, and when you get to a pool of water, go through it and climb out of it, onto the ground. Then wait for me."
Xena climbed the tree, slipping slightly on the moss, which tickled her bare skin. The pool was over her head. She held her breath and swam up, through it. Opening her eyes, she saw a gorgeous meadow, with grass so green it hurt her eyes. She walked out of the pool to the shore. Her body felt wooden and unresponsive. She sat on the grass and waited. Gabrielle came out of the pool and smiled at her.
"Okay now, turn yourself into a stream.", said Gabrielle.
Amazingly, Xena was a stream. Then she felt Gabrielle become a spring, bubbling up into her. The feelings almost overwhelmed her. This felt like how much she loved Gabrielle. It was intense beyond words and it hurt so good. But, unlike sex, it didn't climax and release. It just *was*. After minutes, Xena couldn't stand it anymore. She sat bolt upright and cried out, "Enough!"
Gabrielle didn't move. She was pale and breathing oddly. A grimace washed over her face. Then she opened her eyes. Her voice was light and breathless.
"What did I tell you? Now you've done it. How do you feel?", she said.
Xena felt as if she could pass her hand through her own body. There wasn't any *there* there.
"I feel empty inside.", she said. And her own voice sounded light and wispy.
"You've lost part of your soul. So have I. I'm going back for mine. Wait and be quiet and don't touch me.", said Gabrielle.
Gabrielle took four deep breaths. He face was closed and Xena could read nothing. She could see Gabrielle's eyes moving under closed lids. Then Gabrielle twitched a few times. The color came back into her face and she looked more, *there*. When Gabrielle sat up, Xena expected a lecture, and flinched, prepared for a real chastising.
"You've been needing this for a long time and you have work to do. Don't be afraid. I'll stay with you the whole time.", said Gabrielle. And her voice sounded vibrant and alive.
Gabrielle laid Xena down and settled next to her again, shoulder to shoulder and hip to hip. Then she took Xena's hand and gave it a reassuring squeeze. "Remember, I love you.", she said.
They were back at the tree. Xena climbed up and went through the pool again, astonished to find herself sitting on the grass beside a stream. She went to herself and they merged. She went to the stream and it merged with her. The she felt better, but unsettled, as if danger was nearby. She looked around for Gabrielle, but didn't see her. A snake came near and Xena was poised to kill it, when it spoke.
"Don't kill me. You love me, remember?", said Gabrielle's voice out of the snake's mouth.
Xena was rocked back on her heels. The snake *was* Gabrielle. The other snakes came, and pushed her down, tying themselves around her wrists and feet. She struggled.
"Relax. I know it's scary, but you'll thank me later.", said Gabrielle.
Then appeared something guaranteed to terrorize a Greek. Two huge vultures flew overhead, then came down and started to eat Xena. Xena screamed with fear.
"To be reborn, you have to die. Just let it happen, you'll be fine.", said Gabrielle.
The odd part was, it didn't hurt. The vultures ate her liver, entrails, legs, trunk, heart, arms...then her eyes, so she didn't have to see any more.
The sound of the great birds puking came next as Xena was hurled out of them. The snake lovingly rolled her into a ball, washed her clean and re-formed her bones. Then all the snakes got clay and rebuilt her body, putting in crystals for her eyes, heart, liver, hands and feet. Xena felt beautiful and refreshed.
"Lie still now. I have to get something for you", said Gabrielle. Then the snake turned into a goose and flew off. Just seconds later, the goose reappeared with two Xena's on its back. One was the age she had been when Cortese's army had taken her. She hugged that sad one to her, and felt the emotions of that moment wash over her. They became one. Then the little Xena, who had watched her father leave, ran up to Xena and threw her arms around her.
"Welcome home, little one.", said Xena. And, when they became one, all the empty places inside were gone.
"Go back through the pool, then down the tree. Then wait for me.", said Gabrielle. This time Xena did what she was told. Gabrielle appeared next to her, in her own form. "Now go back to your body.", said Gabrielle.
Xena was instantly inside her own body again. She felt better than she had ever felt before. Waiting carefully for Gabrielle, Xena stayed perfectly still. At last Gabrielle's eyes opened, and in professional mode, she checked on Xena.
"How do you feel?", she asked.
"Alive and whole and wonderful.", said Xena. "Also ashamed of not obeying you. It's funny to walk in your shoes, so to speak. That is a dangerous place. I was scared half to death. Do you do this often?"
"Oh, at least once a month. I have to fight the, "Bads", who try to ruin the crops. It's payback from Demeter for trashing her shrine. And then I meet my Muse up there. I get some of my best ideas...", said Gabrielle.
But Xena kissed her and that was the end of the conversation. Gabrielle flung her arms around Xena's neck and the old electricity was back, plus something new and exciting, so it didn't matter how often they had touched tongues together before, or how often they had explored each other's breasts. Every touch was precious. Now Gabrielle knew that Xena respected her, understood her work and was helped by it.
She thrilled as Xena slipped a leg between hers and rode it up to meet, vulva to vulva. They rubbed and bumped together until the climax began, then went over the top. They cried out together as Xena flowed on top of Gabrielle like honey, and there she laid, not moving, but breathing heavily. And Gabrielle held her--just held her.
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