Goddess' dream, Bard's Nightmare

Most of the characters herein belong to Renaissance Pictures, MCA/Universal, Studios USA, Flat Earth Productions, and any other individuals or entities that have an ownership interest in the television program Xena: Warrior Princess. This story was not written for profit and no copyright infringements are intended. This story takes places after FIN. I’m not sure of the rating, though this story does contain sex and violence, some graphical!! This story contains scenes of sexual violence and may be traumatizing to some sensitive readers.

MAINTEXT: Story is FULL of it!

Rating: NC-17

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Thank you to my proof readers from XOC J

Gabrielle and Xena had been travelling together for just over two summers; a lot had taken place over their time together. They had fought evil warlords, saved children from bad kings, defeated Morpheus, died, helped villagers against giants; Gabrielle had been married, but had been widowed. All their adventures had helped greatly with Gabrielle’s writing, she was a bard. Whenever Xena and she were running low on dinars, Gabrielle would tell a few stories in local taverns and get a small pouch of dinars in return. She had been telling stories in the few taverns in the village Xena had left her in a few weeks before. Gabrielle had gotten used to the warrior princess just leaving her behind, she would go off to fight some warlord or other, she sometimes told Gabrielle where she was going, and sometimes she didn’t. Gabrielle had learnt not to ask, Xena would tell if she wanted her to know. She hadn’t told her when she would be getting back; Gabrielle hoped it would be soon, she had missed the warrior terribly. She had got a room at the tavern on the first night; the owner had given it to her for a cheaper price once he had seen how many people were coming in on a night to listen to the bard’s stories. Gabrielle hated sleeping alone; she enjoyed the warrior’s company, feeling Xena next to her, holding her as she slept.

Gabrielle had fallen completely in love with the dark warrior, she didn’t know when it had happened, and she in fact couldn’t remember not loving her. Gabrielle however knew her feeling were hopeless, Xena only considered her as a friend, if that meant she would allow her to keep travelling with her, Gabrielle had to except that fact. Gabrielle had even gotten married, at first she had hoped Xena might beg her to stay and tell her she was madly in love with her, and kiss her as she had dreamed she would for months, but she didn’t. She had been the friend she knew she would be, and seemed happy for her.

Gabrielle had gotten married to Perdicas, Xena and Joxer were present. Gabrielle pulled Xena aside, to say goodbye, and found she couldn’t. As they spoke she screamed in her head, begged Xena to make her stay, but she had just received a gentle kiss on the lips, and Xena had sent her off. Gabrielle had acted happy for Perdicas, but was torn inside as they left the church. Their wedding night had gone as all wedding nights are supposed to go. They talked about their future, kissed, and had slept together. Throughout Gabrielle and Perdicas having "sex" Gabrielle kept her eyes closed, imagining it was Xena above her, it was Xena making love to her. When they had stopped and Perdicas had fallen asleep she had cried herself to sleep, she had lost her warrior. The next day however Perdicas had been murdered by Callisto, Gabrielle had been angry he was innocent; he had been killed because he was married to her. She almost revenged his death, but wouldn’t allow Callisto destroy her. Xena and she had continued travelling together, she kept trying to tell Xena how she felt, but backed out at the last minute. Why Xena ever love her? Someone as experienced as her, in every sense, why would she want anything to do with a simple farmed girl. Gabrielle was sat in the corner, quietly thinking to herself drinking water, when a voice came out of no where, “Gabrielle? You’re up”. Gabrielle looked up and saw the owner; she smiled slightly and nodded, and took her place, feeling all eyes fall on her. She cleared her throat slightly, “I sing of the warrior princess and Hades, god of the underworld”, and proceeded to tell of Xena going to the underworld to save souls which had been falsely sent to Tartus, and how she and Marcus and put things right.

The bard saw movement out the corner of her eye, turning her head slightly without pausing in her story, she saw the mighty warrior princess. She felt her heart and stomach flutter slightly at the sight before her, how she had missed Xena.

As she finished her story, she bowed slightly at the applause the local villagers gave her, as she stepped down from her stool, the owner passed her a small pouch of money which he had collected while she told her story, Gabrielle smiled brightly and thanked him, and made her way over to the tall woman who had only visited her in her dreams these last few weeks. She sat down, and looked up at the warrior, “I’d wondered when you’d come back for me, thought you might have forgotten I was here”, she smiled slightly, she wasn’t about to tell the warrior that she had been scared maybe she had forgotten about her.

“Yeah, sorry,” The warrior shrugged, a shrug which cut deep. She knew Xena didn't feel the same way as the bard, but she didn't have to seem so unbothered by the fact they hadn't been together, Gabrielle had cried herself to sleep almost every night since they parted. She felt like a silly teenager with a crush, which thinking about it was what she was, except she knew her feelings weren't those of a crush, but true honest love.

“Ended up taking longer than I thought.” Gabrielle nodded slightly, she understood that, things don't always go the way they were planned or the way people want them...boy didn't she know that. Gabrielle realized she was still pouting from asking Xena if she'd forgotten her, and that she hadn't actually said anything since. Her face fell slightly, but Xena didn't seemed to notice she eyes were wandering around the tavern, checking for threat, Xena always seemed to do this, as a warrior Gabrielle understood she needed to feel safe. It was always at these moments when Gabrielle would look at the warrior, study her, every line, and freckle. How she loved this warrior sat before her, every curve, every movement she made. Gabrielle had lost candle mark upon candle mark, just picturing what it would be like to really kiss those velvet lips. Xena had kissed her after she had gotten married, but that was just a friendly kiss, she wanted a soft passionate kiss, or any kiss for that matter, just to feel those lips on hers, and on her body...With that thought Gabrielle was gone, and could see Xena's lips moving as she continued to look around the room, and took a few seconds and a crooked grin from the warrior which made Gabrielle's knees go weak, causing her to sit down before she fell down.

"Yeah, they seem to love the warrior princess", she smiled, but Xena had turned to look around the room. She felt like screaming at the warrior, "the taverns safe", but she just looked helplessly until the warrior attention was back on her.

Xena turned back to her with an itch of a smile on her lips, which Gabrielle was only too happy to return.

“I’m only planning on staying a couple of days, get some supplies.

Gabrielle felt her face drop, disappointment hit her in the face like a wet fish, and Xena was going to leave her again.

"I was wondering… “, Gabrielle's face lit up, and she leant forward almost hanging on every word that the warrior spoke.

“Well, it might not be easy, I’m going to meet up with a couple of guys, and we need to visit some folks over in Pellos…” Gabrielle felt her brow crease, she was unsure where this was leading, however was getting ready to hit Xena if she didn't get on with it, she knew words didn't become the warrior princess, but this was worse.

“Well, if you wanted to, I wouldn’t mind you coming with me this time. I mean only if you wanted to.

” Gabrielle felt as if she was going to explode, she felt her mouth open wide, and then close before she did anything. She nodded really fast, "Yes of course I want to go with you!" Gabrielle then saw the look which Xena was giving her out of the corner of her eye, and her heart almost stopped, she knew! "I mean I could write another story to tell these people", she said with a nervous smile, and waved her hand showing the people in the tavern.

Gabrielle saw the warrior's hands stretch across the table towards her, however stopping a little before they could touch her, how Gabrielle would love to extend her hand, and grasp the tall woman's, but knew even if Xena felt that way she never would in such a public place. Gabrielle didn't however move her hands from where she had rested them on the table. "You must be tired, been a long trip", Gabrielle smiled, "I'm sure the owner wouldn't mind you sharing with me", her face dropped, "Not that you have to, I could get him to give you a room, I just thought it would be cheaper", she said in a rush, pleading with every god that could possibly listen Xena would pick to stay with her, she needed to feel the warrior's arms around her, her body pressed against hers. She felt herself gulp, 'Gabrielle get a grip of herself', she told herself.

Gabrielle waited what seemed minutes while Xena seemed to think about sharing a room, her heart skipped and broken within the small time, picturing Xena accepting and declining her offer.

“Alright. Yeah. I’m pretty tired. Let’s get them to bring some hot water up for a bath. I’ll be out like a light before you know it.

” Gabrielle managed to stand hiding her huge grin which had taken over her face, a bed with Xena AND a bath, it took a lot of self resistant to squeal, not that wouldn't do, Xena wouldn't want a child, if she was to get Xena she had to be "a grown up", if she'd get Xena at all. Her face fell slightly, as she walked up the stairs in her own world, aware of Xena walking behind her.

The bath was a quiet affair, Xena didn't speak to Gabrielle, and she didn't want to disturb the warrior's thoughts. Gabrielle had kept stealing glances of the tall woman before her, her body. As Xena got of the bath Gabrielle watched the water traveling from her hair down her back, over her behind, its journey finishing at the woman's foot. She sat in awe, she felt cheap for staring at the warrior in this way, in secret, but it was the only way she could.

They crawled into the smallish bed, Gabrielle hadn't noticed how small the bed was, when she had been sleeping in it alone, it had seemed so big. She didn't mind, it meant she would have snuggle up close to Xena, which she loved to do. She moved closer to Xena resting her head on her shoulder, and raised her hand on the warrior's waist to ensure she didn't fall out in the night, or at least that would be her excuse if Xena called on her. She was content, she had Xena, the woman she loved holding her, she sighed slightly, and closed her eyes. After a few minutes, Gabrielle's face screwed up with confusion, she didn't open her eyes, but she was sure she could feel Xena's hand moving, she assumed the warrior was simply moving, as sometimes if the bard laid on the wrong part of her arm, it make the blood flow stop to Xena's hand. A faint smile began to show on Gabrielle's face when her eyes shot open, Xena was touching her breast.

“You can tell me to stop if you want.

Came Xena's low whisper from above her head. Gabrielle pulled away slightly, resting on her arms to look the warrior in the eye, and instantly lost in the ocean blue pools before her. Gabrielle shook her head slightly, pulling herself away from Xena's eyes. Her mouth opened, and closed several times before she spoke, trying to think what to say, she had pictured, dreamt of this moment for over a year, yet here was the moment and she was speechless. "Xena what? What if this doesn't work? I can't lose you, you're my best friend, I can't lose you." Eyes locked emerald green, and ocean blue. "I love you Xena", she said with such desperation, she hoped Xena understood, she didn't just mean as a friend.

It seemed to take an age, for Xena to realize or to act on the bard's declaration of love; she simply rolled the smaller woman over to the flat of her back. Gabrielle looked up into the warrior's eyes which seemed to be sparkling like sapphires, her beauty was breath taking, Gabrielle let out a slight sigh as their lips made contact. Xena was displaying such tenderness, such love, Gabrielle had never seen it before, as the bard's mind worked over time and analysising everything, when it didn't really warrant it, she wondered if she was like this with all lovers, or if Gabrielle was special. Gabrielle felt Xena's tongue seeking access into her mouth, to which she willing gave. Xena traced every inch of her mouth, Gabrielle's mouth felt cold from the fresh mint she'd chewed before getting into bed, she could also feel the heat from Xena's tongue, the two sensations were mind blowing. Their tongues danced, getting to know each other. Gabrielle could feel Xena's hands roaming across her body; her body reacted without her knowing it. Xena pulled back slightly, and received a glare from the bard from stopping, only for the blonde warrior to let out a low moan as she kissed a trail across her cheek, down her neck, Gabrielle's body moved with Xena trying to get as much contact as she could.

Both women's bodies were responding to this sensual dance, Gabrielle could hear a mixture of moans and other noises come from both of them, however was unsure which were her own, and which were her lovers, Gabrielle smiled inwardly, Xena was her lover! With that thought, Xena lifted her head, and looked her straight in the eye, and closed the small gap which had formed between them, pressing her body into the younger woman's, Gabrielle moaned loudly, knowing this time which moan had escaped her own lips, as she felt Xena's hand trace the valley between her breasts, undoing her sleeping gown.

“You won’t lose me Gabrielle, but it will most definitely change things between us. After tonight, I will have to kill anyone that touches you.

” Gabrielle raised her hand to the warrior's face, gently stroking her cheek with her thumb, "I'm only yours Xena, no one will ever touch me, only you", she said in a small voice, but looking Xena directly in the face. As she moved in to kiss Xena, they seemed to meet in the middle, "great minds think a like", Gabrielle thought to herself. Gabrielle's hand which had been resting on the warrior's cheek made its way entangling itself into the ebony locks above her, guiding her in closer.

Simply kissing Xena was the best feeling she had ever felt, The Elysian Fields could be damned!

Gabrielle's over active brain started working again, what if she did something wrong, she'd only slept with one person, a man, and even that hadn't gone well. It had hurt really badly when Perdicas had tried to enter her, they had stopped when the pain had become too much for Gabrielle, they had cuddled and Perdicas had fallen asleep, while Gabrielle cried for the warrior princess, had there been something wrong with Gabrielle? Why had it hurt so much? She'd never told Xena about her failed attempt concerned she would laugh or confirm there was something wrong with her. The cold air hitting her new uncovered nipples brought her out of her thoughts, the cold caused them to stiffen, not that Xena's tongue or hand was happening a problem with that, again the mixture of hot and cold, shot pleasure straight to her slowly heating core, Gabrielle's breath was coming in short, ragged rasps. The hand which had nestled itself into Xena hair, snaked its way down the warrior's back, Gabrielle gently dug in nails in as the hand moved.

Gabrielle heard her breath falter for a second as Xena slipped her leg between her own, pressing their heated centers together, Gabrielle altered her lower half slightly, as Xena looked up at her, again gently kissing her, “If something doesn’t feel good, you just tell me. It’s all about pleasure my beautiful Bard. It’s about your pleasure. You do whatever feels right for you. And we can stop anytime you want.

" Gabrielle could only nod and gulp slightly, but the hand which had being travelling down Xena's back, and was now resting on the base of her back, gently but with purpose slid down onto the warrior's behind, pulling her in closer, increasing the pressure on both of the women's mounds, Gabrielle let out a noise which could only be described as a hiss.

Gabrielle’s hips had already began rocking of their own accord, grinding herself into the woman above her, Gabrielle audibly groaned from lack of contact with the warrior’s mouth, but sighed contently was she left Xena making a trail of kisses and nips down the outline of her throat, down her chest, and stopping at her breasts. Looking down at the ebony head working its magic on her already stiffened nipples, which oddly Gabrielle thought looked like rose buds, “oh gods Gabrielle you would think like a bard at a time like this!” inwardly scalded herself. Gabrielle’s breathing was extremely short, and heavy, she could see her chest raising and falling fast under Xena treatment, as their hips continued to grind, their rhythm becoming faster. Xena raised herself slightly, looking down at the bard, and attached herself again to her neck with kisses and nips, Gabrielle knew in the morning they’d be marks, but she didn’t care, she’d be marked as Xena’s.

Xena felt as if she was everywhere at once, her body was pressed against the smaller frame of Gabrielle’s, she could feel long, strong fingers making their way down across her stomach, as Xena’s head came in level with Gabrielle’s, Xena ran her fingers over Gabrielle’s mound. Gabrielle moaned, and arched her hips slightly to get more contact from the wanted invader.

Gabrielle could feel Xena’s breath tickling her ear, hear her labored breath, ““Open up for me beautiful lover”, as if her body had a mind of its own, her legs spread slightly giving Xena perfect access. Gabrielle’s breath became even heavier as Xena explored the younger woman, Gabrielle stuck her tongue out slightly, noticing how dry her mouth had become, and this was clearly because all liquid in her body had gone south. Xena brushed Gabrielle’s clit in entering her, Gabrielle gasped and arched her back slightly, she felt Xena begin to enter her, and she felt a slight resistance, but Xena appeared to continue. Gabrielle felt Xena withdraw her finger, but continued her task rubbing the Bard’s clit. Gabrielle had been watching Xena, she looked slightly confused, and she looked up into the younger woman’s eyes. “Gabrielle did you and Perdicas…” Gabrielle felt her eyes widen slightly, why was she bringing him up? Oh gods she knew, there was something wrong.” Did the two of you, make love?” Gabrielle recoiled instantly from Xena touch, crawling backwards up the bed, in a much panicked voice she said, “How? How did you know that?” Gabrielle could feel herself tearing up, something was wrong with her, Xena wouldn’t want her.

“Oh Gods, baby. Come here, come here.

” Gabrielle was surprised by the warrior’s softness, she however flinched slightly as Xena moved closer to her, but relaxed into her arms as she was folded close, resting her head on the breast she had been pressed against, she could hear Xena’s heart beating. Xena gently placed a kiss on the top of her head; she couldn’t help but smile a little, her sweet warrior. Next she kissed her tear streaked cheek, then her lips.

“Tell me what’s wrong? I didn’t mean to say anything to scare you. Gods, you’re so beautiful and I want you so much.

” How could she want her? There was clearly something terrible wrong with her! She shook her head slightly, she didn’t want to admit it to Xena, she wanted to be close to the warrior, even if it hurt, if she told her, she might stop. With that thought in mind, Gabrielle allowed Xena to lay her back on to the bed, however she still had a firm grip on the bard, almost as if she was afraid she would try and escape again.

Xena lowered her head and whispered in a reassuring fashion, “Honey, your maiden’s head is still in tact, that’s all. It’s usually broken when a woman makes love for the first time. It can be painful if you are not excited or ready for it.” Gabrielle’s eyes widen, Xena had just called her honey, and without laughing, and she, Gabrielle was perfectly fine, it was normal. Better so Xena understood, she made a mental note to have a “talk” with the warrior princess at another time about her wedding night, as the warrior princess in question claimed her lips once again, her tongue began its dance with her own. Xena’s hand travelled back down to her breast, while her movements were sensual there wasn’t any unneeded force, or quickness, she was taking things slowly.

“But I’m going to make sure you’re ready for it, okay?” Gabrielle felt herself gulp and sigh; releasing some of the tension she had managed to build in her own body. Gabrielle saw Xena flash a grin, which had she been standing would have reduced her to a heap on the floor. Xena hand travelled down to her mound gently taking hold, as her fingers began this work, Gabrielle tensed slightly, however her body took over, and her hip rose slightly. Xena tugged Gabrielle even closed to her, who Gabrielle was surprised was even possible. Xena seemed to almost inhale almost half of Gabrielle’s breast, which would have been funny, if it didn’t feel incredible, Gabrielle could feel her wetness building, however she felt odd, like she needed something….more.

She looked down at the warrior, through hooded eyes, “I’m going to put my mouth right here.

” She gestured to Gabrielle’s clit as she applied a little more pressure.

”And I’m going to make you come and when you do, I’ll go inside of you with my finger and it shouldn’t hurt so badly.” Gabrielle nodded; she wanted this and knew she was safe with Xena, however she was also scared.

Gabrielle watched as Xena made a trail of almost sloppy kisses down her stomach, positioning herself in between the bard’s legs which she widened, with a little help. Gabrielle could see the top of Xena’s head, and could see her eyes taking in the view she was offering, she hoped Xena would do two things, 1. Get on with it, before she started to blush, and 2. Keep her eyes open, how she loved those blue eyes. Xena seemed to move in slow motion, latching on to the bungle of nerves, which gentle nips, flicks of her tongue, and sucking on the hood. Gabrielle’s body twitched and writhed under Xena’s ministration, her breathing before shorter, and harder, at times it seemed she even forgot how to breathe. “Xe?” She pleased, feeling her legs almost starting to cramp.

Gabrielle’s hips frantically tried to increase the speed and pressure of their sensual dance, grinding herself on Xena’s mouth, arching her back slightly as Xena started to work on her breasts. Gods Xena seemed to be touching her everywhere at once. Gabrielle tried her best to keep her eyes open watching the warrior, her eyes however occasionally betrayed her, closing tight in pure ecstasy, before flying open glazing down at the beautiful woman between her legs. Gabrielle felt rather than saw Xena’s other hand starting to work its way into the bard. She wanted Xena more than anything, but was afraid, the need however was much stronger. As Xena entered her, Gabrielle’s suddenly found a new rhythm to dance to, a faster, more desperate beat, she could feel Xena entering her deeper. The image of the woman she loved more than life itself, making love to her entire body, as well as the sensations was enough to send her over the edge. She felt her whole body tense, her breath stop, as her hips gave several more frantic jerks, stars appeared in Gabrielle’s vision, she felt light headed, and pain. Gabrielle cried out both in pain and pure pleasure, “Xeee!!” Gabrielle bite her bottom lip trying to put aside her pain, as her body of its own accorded milked the last of her orgasm; her hands grasped the bed beneath them.

She felt Xena withdraw herself from inside the bard, noting both her own and Xena’s breathing was labored. Xena continued her gentle kisses and licks, Gabrielle opened her mouth to ask Xena to come lay beside her, when the warrior moved, hovering above her original spot, presenting Gabrielle’s body with a small track of tender kisses up her stomach, making sure to make contact and gentle flicks of her tongue to her breasts, Gabrielle moaned from somewhere low in her throat. Suddenly Xena was over her, owning her lips, begging entrance, which Gabrielle willing gave. A Gabrielle eye widened considerably, tasting herself on the warrior’s lips and tongue, was surprising arousing. Gabrielle felt Xena pull on her side, causing her to roll on the top of the warrior’s body, she snuggled into Xena’s neck, half her body laid across Xena’s, she was too spent to move, she could feel both their hearts pounding faster than usual, but in perfect synch. Her breath was still labored, and she could feel it grazing Xena’s chest, and upper breast. Xena placed her hand on the bard’s back offering love and support, Gabrielle sighed contently, she was where she was meant to be.

“I may never say this enough and the Gods know that I probably won’t show it very often, but I love you Gabrielle.” Gabrielle felt her eyes brim with tears, “Xe, I know, you’re actions speak louder than words”, Gabrielle smiled slightly, “maybe I should write that down somewhere…Xena, I love you too so much, my warrior”.

Xena’s hand glided across her body, oddly this movement made Gabrielle feel more relaxed and at ease than arouse, she smiled slightly, feeling Morpheus gently guiding her, there was no where else in the world she’d want to be, but the arms of her warrior.

Xena placed her lips on the bard’s not passionately but sweetly, Gabrielle smiled looking up into the deep sapphire eyes before her, “It will always be like this. I will always love you and want you over and over again. There will never be another for me my beautiful Bard. I’ll be with you always.

” “I love you Xena”; Gabrielle’s voice broke with emotion, as she saw her warrior’s body start to fade, “Xena! Xena!” Gabrielle shouted repeated in pure panic as she felt her warrior disappear around her, the last of Xena she saw was her eyes, and sweet smile.

Gabrielle felt herself jumping awake, tears streaming down her face, looking around she called for Xena, receiving no reply, she saw she was in one of Aphrodite’s temples, and the last few seasons came flowing back to her. Xena’s death, her warrior leaving her side. At first Gabrielle was greatly upset but she still had the warrior princess at her side, in spirit form, but then it got to difficult, the last “talk” they had came flooding back to her, she’d asked, no told the warrior to leave.

"My Gods Xena. Look at you, you're dead. I can hardly feel you when you touch me. I hug you now, and there is no warmth or heartbeat. You use to have the smell of leather about you. But now there is nothing. I can't even talk to you around people without someone thinking I'm crazy. Because they can't see you. To them you're not there. You’re barely here to me." Gabrielle’s voice broke, as she fought to hold back to the tears of loss and anger, “Please…Xena just leave”. She had expected her to argue and try and stay, but her simple reply was, “I will always love you my beautiful Bard. I’ll be with you always.”

Gabrielle raised her knees to her chin, wrapping her arms around her legs, hugging herself. “Xena why did you so ready do as I asked?” Gabrielle whispered into the dark, knowing she wasn’t going to get a response. She sometimes felt as if she could feel Xena’s presence still with her, and hoped Xena would appear, but she never did. Maybe Xena really was gone. Gabrielle felt the tears burn down her face, she cried so much in the past seasons, having little comfort. She kept having dreams about Xena’s death, dreams which caused her to awaken in tears. She hadn’t the heart to get rid of Argo the second, she had never like to ride horses but felt she owed it to Xena to continue riding her horse. It soon occurred to her that her friend and goddess of love, Aphrodite, might be able to help bring Xena back or at least allow her sometime with the warrior. Upon coming to the decision she rode across planes, and planes of greenery to get back to Greece, she had even travelled across the seas, which she attempted to avoid at all costs. She had taken several weeks to return Greece and her first and only stop was to one of Aphrodite’s temples. She walked straight in looking around, the temple wasn’t as greatly decorated as it had been back in the days before the twilight, “"Aphrodite," She called out to the empty temple, "Aphrodite. Come on where are you?" "Just hold your horses, I'm here." The Goddess of Love said as she appeared in a flash of light and glitter. "What took so long sweet pea? And before you ask of course I’m going to try and help you” Gabrielle had smiled for the first time in so long, she might to get to see her again. They had talked for several candle marks, Gabrielle had told Aphrodite about her dreams, and the love goddess had said she could sort that out for now, and cast a spell over her, she remembered as she fell asleep she heard the goddess voice saying, “Sleep well, little one, I’ll try my hardest”.

Gabrielle gave herself a little shake back into the present, the owner of the temple was no way to be seen, but her spell had worked, she had had a good dream for the first time in so long, it felt so good, it felt real. “Aphrodite? You there?” she whispered into the night. Gold and pink sparkles appeared before the mortal, “Yes little one, sorry you looked so peaceful, so I thought I’d wait for you to wake, naturally. Did my spell work?” she asked sounded concerned, Gabrielle smiled and nodded. Aphrodite returned the smile and sat beside the bard, I’ve…found a spell, it might not work though”, she added in a rush as if making sure Gabrielle knew it wasn’t certain, Gabrielle nodded. Aphrodite carried on, “I found a spell in my father’s books. Look it would be easier if I did it, rather than explain it, okay?” Gabrielle knew the goddess of love wouldn’t do anything to harm herself or Xena, not that much harm could happened to Xena, if it went wrong. She simple nodded, and stood, and walked a few steps away from the bard, and turned to face her. She smiled down into Gabrielle’s face, “Come on, I know you’re here, show yourself warrior babe”, she grinned as Xena faded in, in between the two women; Gabrielle’s mouth fell open, then into a smile. Aphrodite raised one hand to the bard, “stay” her voice had lost all it usual bubbly-ness, Gabrielle gulped, and nodded, feeling it was necessary for her to stay quiet.

Aphrodite walked forward, to be stand sideward to Xena, placing one hand over her stomach, and one of her lower back. The God started to mumble words to the spell. First a bright light started to shine from Aphrodite and Xena. Gabrielle could hear the sound of thunder and see flashes of lightening in the distance. The light got brighter and brighter it got until Gabrielle had to cover her eyes for it hurt to try to look at them. The wind got stronger and harder and the sound of the roaring thunder grew louder. Gabrielle had to cover her ears, the thunder was so loud. Suddenly there was such a huge flash of bright light that the force of it knocked the bard onto her back. Then the silence pressed itself hard across the bard’s ears. Slowly Gabrielle opened her eyes. She gently stood up and looked around her feeling a little out of place. As everything started coming back into focus she turned to look back at where the others had been. Her heart skipped a beat at seeing them lying there not moving. "Xena," she screamed as she ran as fast as she could over to her soul mate. Falling to her knees she carefully lifted Xena's head onto her lap. Gabrielle softly ran her fingers over Xena's face pushing the hair that had fallen into her eyes out of the way. "Honey," Gabrielle called softly as she touched Xena's face trying to wake her up. "Sweet heart come on, Xena open your eyes for me."

Gabrielle saw Xena’s flicker open, seeing a flash of deep blue, Gabrielle grinned then she saw her warrior awakening. Xena screwed her eyes shut, Gabrielle understood, bright light, plus lots of noise. She gently rubbed the warrior head in comfort, “I’m right here sweetie”. Xena’s eyes opened her eyes again, Gabrielle smiled down at her, then causing her to frown, and Xena was pulling away from her. Gabrielle was trying to understand, but she needed to feel her warrior, she watched her stand up, and felt herself stand as well, shaking on her feet. Xena nearly fell over, Gabrielle had to pull herself away from her, trying to help her up, and Xena had to do this herself. Xena looked around, looking confused at both blondes, she opened her mouth to speak but her trembled slightly, and Gabrielle felt her face drop in sympathy, her dear warrior.

“I need water.

” Gabrielle looked around trying to see any water; she then looked over at Aphrodite, who snapped her fingers and appeared a jug, to which Xena drink the whole contents in several gulps. The jug made a large thug on the floor, as it left the warrior’s hand, Gabrielle jumped slightly. Xena continued to look around in pure confusion, her eyes stopped on the bard, her eyes traced the smaller woman’s body, and Gabrielle felt oddly naked.

“Where am I?” Came Xena’s demanding voice, Gabrielle gulped, “you’re in Aphrodite’s temple”.

Aphrodite moved into the warrior sight, she looked up and down the warrior’s body, “Not bad Warrior babe. You still got all the parts in the right places. I’d say the spell was a success.

What do you think, Gabs?” Gabrielle held her breath, but nodded, “definitely worked”.

Xena seemed to completely ignore the bard, and turned and snarled at the love goddess, “Enough. You’re obvious a god. Aphrodite I’m guessing from all of the… All of the frill and pink.”

Gabrielle frowned, Aphrodite got on Xena’s nerves sometimes, but she was never this rude.

Gabrielle saw Xena receive a fully developed pout from the other woman, “Xena, you hurt my feelings. How could you not remember the sexiest and most bodacious goddess around? MMM..?? What about your Gabby over there? You for sure must remember her?” Gabrielle held her own breath, come on Xena, please remember me, she quietly begged in her mind.

”Gabby” Xena said in full wonderment, but she didn’t seem to know the name.

“No, I don’t remember any of this.

” Xena growled, waving her hand round her head. Gabrielle felt her heart crumble, she felt sick, Xena didn’t remember her. Xena had lost her memory last time she died, but she lost her evil side, this Xena stood before her, seemed to have no goodness in her.

“I need a horse.

” Xena demanded, sliding her hand behind her back, then looked confused, “And a sword.

Where’s my sword?” Gabrielle opened her mouth to speak, “Xen…”, the warrior span round, looking at the bard, glancing down at the bard’s hip.

“That’s mine.

” Xena said in an accusing tone,” That’s mine and I want it back.

” Gabrielle mouth still hung open, as Xena strode across to her, ripping the weapon from her side, and tearing the latch Gabrielle had used to keep it attached to her skirt.

“This is my chakram.” Xena said in a furious yell, staring angrily into Gabrielle’s face, , “Did you steal this from me?” Gabrielle shook her head, slowly, trying to digest what on earth was going on. Xena attached the weapon to her own waist, and looked up at the bard. Xena grabbed Gabrielle’s arm, painfully tight, so hard in fact Gabrielle gasped in the pain, and looked up at the warrior in pure fear.

Aphrodite, stepped forward, but before she could do or say anything the warrior’s voice spoke out,” Come on, we have to go. I need a horse, a sword and I have to find Ares.

” before Gabrielle could help herself, she shouted, “Ares! What? No Xena!” She pulled her arm away from the warrior’s grasp. “Xena you can’t go to Ares, you’re on the side of good, please remember that, please!” Gabrielle stepped forward, and kissed the warrior’s lips. She expected the warrior to do one of three things, do nothing, push her away even, kiss her back and be hers again, or kiss her forcefully, like she knew “the warlord” would.

Gabrielle felt the warrior kissing her back; a chill ran through the bard’s body. Xena’s arms enclosed her in, pulling the smaller woman towards the warrior’s body. Gabrielle felt the warrior tug her upwards, because of the height difference the only way Gabrielle could keep a hold of the warrior, she had to wrap her legs around her waist, which she did, and quite gracefully she thought to herself. She could feel Xena’s mouth, her tongue, her body surrounding her, she got lost in the sensation. Xena pulled the bard in even closer, causing friction to her centre, which she started to grind slowly into the warrior’s stomach; she let out a small moan straight into Xena’s mouth.

Suddenly she heard a teenage girl sounding giggle, “Well I guess this is the temple of love” She blushed slightly she’s forgotten Aphrodite was there. Xena pulled away, glazing straight into Gabrielle’s eyes, “come on Xena, see me, know me” she begged, sending out the message in her mind, Xena had always been able to read her mind. Xena let go of the bard, causing her to slowly slide down the warrior, she had to use her feet from stopping her hitting her backside off the ground. She just stood in misbelieve.

“Yeah, well, that was pretty nice sweetheart.

You part of Aphrodite’s welcome wagon here at the temple?” Xena smirked at her, as she was a lady of the night, and not the woman she had been joined with only summers before. Gabrielle felt her eyes fill with tears, and no matter how hard she tried they just spilled over, running a traceless trail down her face.

“We’re gonna finish this up later…without the audience.” Xena gestured towards the goddess of love. Gabrielle couldn’t do or say anything, she wanted to feel Xena, to get comfort from the warrior, but knew she wouldn’t get it from the Xena that stood before her, her Xena was lost.

“And as for being on the side of good?” Xena laughed as if Gabrielle had made some really good joke.

“I am good at a few things; after all, I do have many skills.

” Xena smirked and winked suggestively at the bard, had this been her Xena she would have played along, and enjoyed a good tease, but with the woman that stood before her, the teasing had a whole new meaning.

“But right now, I’ve got a mission. Need a weapon, a horse and army. I figure Ares is the best resource for all of that.

You see, me and him, well, we got history!” Gabrielle actually physically cringed, she of course knew the war god and Xena’s history, but she didn’t like to hear about it, however the images of Xena and Ares had already flooded her mind, Xena writhing beneath him. Gabrielle violently shook her head, both saying no to the warrior before her and attempting to remove the images from her head. Xena however seemed to be ignoring her.

“So since you seem to have the potential to be a nice little bed warmer, you’re coming with me.”

 That was it; Gabrielle had become a whore of the warrior princess, this warrior princess, which grabbed her arm again in a manner of ownership, and pull sharply nearly causing the woman to fall over. Xena swung open the doors of the temple, the harsh daylight, hit both women square in the face causing them both to slam their eyes shut, Gabrielle felt the warrior’s hand let her go, and attempted to look across at the woman behind her sheltering hands, the warrior was doing the same.

Once Xena seemed used to light she began looking around, seeing Argo II, “That horse yours, ‘Gabby’? “ Xena asked. Gabrielle simply nodded, but inwardly flinched, Xena never called her Gabby. Gabrielle slowly followed behind the warrior, who slowly approached the great horse, checking her out, gently stroking her mane, her neck.

Come on. Let’s go.

” Xena span around to look at the bard, who in turn jumped in fright.

“Look, I’m not going to hurt you…unless you want me to.

” She grinned again, suggestively, and then mounted the large horse. Xena looked down at her, expecting her to follow. Gabrielle just stood, looking up into the warrior’s face, it was her warrior’s face looking down at her, but someone else was behind the beautiful blue eyes. “Xena”, came Gabrielle’s soft whisper, “You can’t do this, you can’t. Why don’t you remember? Looking for Ares won’t help you; we saw to that, Ares no longer has the power he did. I can’t come with you; you CAN NOT take MY horse!” She ended up shouting, before stepping back slowly, she’d gone over the line, had she been Xena slave she expected a beating any minute.

Gabrielle had tensed her entire body waiting the blow; she looked up in confusion it didn’t come.

“What is your real name? Is it really ‘Gabby’?” Gabrielle shook her head, but Xena’s train of thought had seem to change for her to notice.

“Whatever. Here’s the situation ‘Gabby’. I can do what ever I want. I’m not sure what you’re referring to in regards to Ares, but I’m pretty sure his powers will work just fine for what I need.

” Xena continued with a wink. Gabrielle cringed before she could stop herself, Xena had to stop mentioning her and god of war, or Gabrielle would either throw up, or have to bang her head off a tree to stop the images stop.

The horse is now mine and so are you.

” Xena grabbed the bard before she could stop her, and jumped her bodily on to the large horse, oddly for a fleeting moment Gabrielle remembered the day they started riding together when Xena had done this for the first time. Gabrielle was fighting the urge to jump back off, she would hold on to Argo II’s mane, if she felt she could stop this nightmare...“Don’t fight me and try and jump off of the horse.” Gabrielle stared at the back of Xena’s head in disbelief, not only was she surprised she had known what she was thinking, but the warlord was actually showing she cared. Maybe her Xena wasn’t totally gone after all…With that thought Xena clipped the mare’s sides, and off they went. Neither of the woman talked to the other, they seemed lost in their own heads. Gabrielle slung onto Xena, both to ensure she didn’t slip off, which had happened in the past, and to make sure her warrior didn’t slip away. She could feel the warmth of Xena’s body through her back, warmth she thought she’d never feel again. Gabrielle gently rested her head on the warrior’s back, and silently thought to herself.

How did Xena not remember their past, she could almost get passed Xena forgetting her, thought it pained her greatly; she didn’t remember her soul mate, lover and friend. How did she not remember the Twilight, Eve, Livia, her own death? Would she remember Solan? His birth was before they met, while she was still a warlord. Tears threatened to fall again from the bard’s eyes, but she refused to let them fall, she had to help Xena, had to help her remember, but how? Would a simple trip down memory lane help? Would going to the Temple of Mnemosyne help? Would Xena ever agree to that? Unlikely. Gabrielle was in a total loss at what to do. Gabrielle then realized that it was getting darker; they’d been travelling for at least half a day. Gabrielle could feel her legs were cramped from sitting on position so long, and Argo was now walking quite slowly.

“Well at least you travel prepared.” Xena called to her over her shoulder, Gabrielle simply nodded into the warrior’s back. Xena had taught her to ensure she always had what she needed, thought Gabrielle hadn’t been eating so well recently she made sure she always had some, and some other provisions.

“We’ll look for a place to make camp. If you promise not to run away, I won’t tie you up.” Gabrielle gulped slightly, “I won’t” came her slightly broken voice, she was unsure whether it was from lack of use or the fact she knew Xena would tie her up if she tried to run. The rode a little longer, while Xena decided where to camp, once she’d decided she slipped off the horse, as did Gabrielle behind her. As soon as the bard’s feet touched the floor she was off, looking for the prefect type of firework, to make a fire. She needed something to do, knowing that either Xena wasn’t going to talk to her, or she’d make her talk. She was unsure which she wanted.

Gabrielle felt without looking at the warrior, she had gone to grab for her once she had dismounted. She tensed slightly while looking for the wood, it had rained recently, dry wood was scares, and she spent at least a candle mark looking for suitable wood, and then retrieved it. She didn’t really make fast work, she was thinking of ways of getting Xena back. Had her mother still been alive, she could have helped, but no that plan was out the window. If she knew where Eve was, maybe they could meet up with her, but finding her and trying to get Xena to see her would be difficult. Gabrielle made it back to the clearing she’d left the warrior in, and saw the bedrolls laid out, next to each other, she gulped slightly, thinking back to Xena’s comment about being a bed warmer, which make her cringe, and feel sick again. She’d thought would Xena would see her as a personal whore, rather than her wife.

“I’m going to find dinner. Get the fire going before I get back.” Xena almost barked at her, as she went back, Gabrielle didn’t reply to the warrior, her voice seemed lost. Gabrielle had wasted no time in build the fire, and she sat watching the dancing flame, feeling the warmth hit her skin, but it wasn’t doing anything to warm her insides, she felt cold, and lost. If Xena was back with her, why did she feel more alone than she had in over two seasons? Xena had come back with a turkey, which Gabrielle plucked, and cooked silently, and dished it up for them both. Both women sat in silence as they eat their meal. Well Gabrielle ate small mouthfuls, but on the whole just pushed the food round her plate, the reminder she threw on the fire. Gabrielle thought back to when she had first had a meal with Xena in the open, and she had thrown her remains into bushes, Xena had gotten so angry and had shouted at her about attracting wild animals, Gabrielle smiled slightly to herself, that seemed so long ago, a lifetime a go even.

Gabrielle could feel the warrior’s eye on her, though she didn’t show she knew, she simply looked blank into the fire, she hoped her attitude would stop the warrior from asking questions.

“I’ll be back.

” Gabrielle heard Xena say in a rush that almost came out as a frantic cry. Gabrielle looked up to speak, but the warrior had already rushed into the trees. Gabrielle just sat thinking, maybe Xena was just going to leave her. She often thought what Xena would do with her if she ever went back to her warlord days. What use would she be to her? Well Xena had already answered that, her personal sex slave. Gabrielle felt a sob suddenly over take her body, she raised her knees to her face, and sobbed. She’d lost her warrior, her Xena. This was worse than her being dead, the woman who had taken Xena’s body was violating the memory of everything good Xena achieved in their time together. Gabrielle sobs slowly calmed, her breathing came slowly back to normal, which was luck as she heard the warrior re-entering their clearing. Gabrielle lowered her legs, and looked up at the former “destroyer of nations”, she looked majorly pissed about something. She came even closer; standing over the smaller woman, Gabrielle felt her heart beat faster. Gabrielle then noticed Xena wasn’t looking at her, maybe at the twig behind her, her bedroll, but never at the bard herself.

“Look… I wasn’t serious about the whole ‘bed warmer’ thing. Okay?” Xena finally looked down into her eyes, she looked awkward, as if she didn’t know what to do next, but Gabrielle watched as the warrior dropped down to her knees. As if in slow motion, Xena came closer to the bard, she could feel her breath dance across her face. Their lips met, ever so carefully, Gabrielle felt a tear run down her face. Xena’s tongue snaked across the bard’s lips, wanting an invitation inside, Gabrielle openly welcomed it. There wasn’t anything rushed about this kiss, yet it felt passionate. Gabrielle moaned slightly as she felt Xena’s tongue glide across her own. Gabrielle pulled away slightly, unable to look at the raven haired woman before her. “You really don’t remember me do you?” Her voice came out as if one of a small frighten child, Gabrielle inwardly scolded herself for the tone.

“What answer will get you into my bedroll tonight?” Came Xena’s voice through a smirk, Gabrielle eyes widened both in shock and disgust, yet again she was made to feel that the village whore. Xena stood in a rush, causing Gabrielle to jump, and draw back slightly.

Xena ran her fingers through her long raven hair and sighed“Okay, no I don’t remember you. I feel like I should. Like I’m supposed to know you, but it’s only a vague kind of feeling.” Gabrielle just looked up at the warrior, in slight surprise, realizing her mouth was hanging open, she abruptly closed it. Gabrielle fought the urge to cry and tell the warrior, that she in fact was her…wife, or whatever you called a woman who was married to another. Gabrielle watched the warrior kneel back down beside her, placing her hands on her shoulders, she could feel she was being claimed. It felt as if she was being held by her warrior, looked like her too, but her eyes, they seemed to distant. Gabrielle openly allowed herself to be pushed back onto the bedrolls, with Xena claiming her lips, Xena covered the bard’s smaller body, and every inch of her body was pressed against the body above her. Xena’s knee slipped its way through the bard’s legs, though Gabrielle couldn’t remember opening her legs allowing her access. Xena’s knee make contact with Gabrielle’s centre, causing her back to arch, trying to gain more friction, more contact, she groaned with urgency into the warrior’s mouth. Xena seemed to be touching her everywhere at once. Gabrielle groaned slightly in frustration and disappointment when Xena left her mouth, only to lift her chin higher, allowing Xena more access to the soft skin of her neck. “It doesn’t matter who we were before. It only matters that I want you now.” Gabrielle closed her eyes silently praying to any gods listening, Xena would remember her again. A stray tear fell from the bard’s closed eye.

Gabrielle shivered as she felt a strong hand travel down the curve of her side, the hand gently tracing the edge of the bard’s breast, causing her to raise her chest higher, hoping for more.

“So beautiful” came Xena’s low tone, which caused a jolt of electricity travel straight to her core. Xena gently cupped the blonde’s breast and squeezed, increasing the pressure she was applying to the bard’s centre , she began to rock against her as she massaged the breast, Gabrielle whimpered, and ground herself into the warrior’s leg, Gabrielle’s hands were around the warrior’s neck always trying to meld their bodies together.

“We don’t have to know each other at all to enjoy this.” Gabrielle debated in her own head if she was strong enough to stop this, every time she was came close to voicing her decision, Xena’s hands would find a new sensitive piece of skin to dance across. No Xena we don’t need to know each other to enjoy this, we need to love each other to feel our connection though, she silently thought, if only Xena could read her thoughts. Xena’s hand drifted further south, gently cupping Gabrielle’s sex though her breeches. Gabrielle moaned at the connected, trying to move slightly, so she could grind Xena’s hand better. Gabrielle felt an odd shiver travel down her spine that was a new experience, not that Xena didn’t send shivers though her body, but this felt different. Xena’s increased her tempo on the bard’s centre, setting her into a new dance as her hips rolled. “Well, well, well, here’s a sight I’ve had a few fantasies about.” Gabrielle jumped away from both Xena and the man which had appeared before them. Gabrielle instantly recognized the voice and the war god stood before them however didn’t share this information as she saw Xena’s boot slam into his head, causing him to stumble, but sadly not fall.

“There it is. There’s that fire I love.

” Gabrielle watched in disgust as the god looked Xena up and down, while her passion still flew through her veins, the throbbing slight ached at her centre.

“When I heard you call me earlier, I didn’t believe it was you. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that if anyone could find a way back from the dead, it would be you.

And here you are…in the flesh” Gabrielle felt her teeth grind together, and she may have even bared her teeth at the god, though he did not seem to notice. She had wanted to tell Xena, inform her, not Ares! And Xena had called upon him, when? Then it hit her, just before she had returned from camp, did she only kiss her because she couldn’t have Ares? She felt as if her heart had stopped beating.

Ares flashed a grin, “I should have known it wouldn’t take you long to find her!” Ares’ voice rang out full off annoyance, Gabrielle couldn’t help but inwardly smirk, at least she’d pissed him off. “Dead?” Gabrielle snapped her head back round, her attention back on the warrior, she heard the confusion in the woman’s voice, and silently cursed herself, she could have been the one to tell her.” You’re crazy. Where have you been? I don’t know what’s going on here, but I need a few things.” Xena’s “warrior” voice caught the bard’s attention; Xena was in command she knew that.  She saw the grin, spread itself across the war gods face, “Oh yeah. That’s what I’m talking about. You, me, an army that will conquer Greece.” Ares looked as if he was about to wet himself in pure excitement.” Why stop with Greece?” Xena retorted. Gabrielle felt pure disgust run through her body; it soon replaced any passion that had been there moments before. She’d lost her.” What about your little friend?”

Ares declined his head in the bard’s direction; clearly he felt annoyance that the bard was even still alive, never mind in the same clearing as them.

“What about her? She comes with me.” Gabrielle lowered her eyes to the ground as she heard Ares’ laugh rumble through the trees. Why did Xena seem clueless to how she made the blonde woman sound.

“She does, does she? Have you asked her? Or have you been too busy…reminiscing?” Gabrielle felt physically sick, she felt dirty and cheap. She felt like curling up and crying, if only she could feel her strong warrior’s hands comforting her, something she knew she would never feel again. It felt across her mind, why hadn’t she just ended her life when Xena had left her side, it would have been simpler and less painful.

“She comes with me, end of discussion.” came Xena’s voice, with…Gabrielle couldn’t believe it, there was actually emotion in the warrior’s voice, she however didn’t look up, she didn’t think she dared to the look into the eyes of the stranger which had stolen her lover’s body.

Ares’ low voice seemed to bark, “And you’re not going to get in the way and try to stop her?” Gabrielle realized he was addressing her, and slowly raised her head, and quietly sighed, “What can I do? I’ve already lost her to you. I’m not competition to the god of war.” She felt her eyes watering, but she wasn’t going to back down, she looked up Xena, and said in a voice as clear and emotion free, “But I won’t go with you, Xena”.

Gabrielle could see the hurt, disappointment and anger in the woman’s eyes; however she did not see the warrior hand until it made contact with her face. An extremely pain burnt its way across her face, in the wake of Xena’s hand. Gabrielle stumbled backwards, and looked up in shock at the warrior. Xena had only ever once struck Gabrielle in this manner, which had been in warrior haze, Gabrielle had approached her after a fight, Xena believing she was still under attack had hit Gabrielle, only to realize it was her friend, not an enemy. Gabrielle’s eyes filled with tears, both at the pain of her face, and in her heart. She had to get away from Xena. She didn’t want to but she needed a way of making a good again, she wouldn’t and couldn’t think of the other option. Gabrielle could feel the skin on her face burn; she felt the tears gliding down her face, stinging the raw flesh.

“We’ve already discussed this. You and the horse, belong to me.” Xena barked at the smaller woman, causing her to flinch and lower her eyes. Belong? Maybe she was just a slave. Someone worthless, Xena would simply get bored of, and cast away when she found something better. Gabrielle bit her lip to stop the sob from ringing out. Gabrielle refused to look up, but she heard Ares laugh, and saw movement, and the laughing stopped immediately. She glanced up at the god, ensuring she didn’t look at the warrior, Ares was rubbing his jaw; at least Xena saw sense enough for that.” What? Why are you pissed at me? It’s the battling bard over there that’s going to be the biggest pain in your ass. I’m just here to help.” Gabrielle fought the urge to strike the god herself, she knew both Xena and Ares would never stand for it however. To help! Ares had once claimed to love Xena, how could this be helping her? “Battling Bard?” Xena looked from both Ares, to Gabrielle confusion written clearly on her face.

Gabrielle nodded slightly, Ares however interrupted, “Forget about her.

Gabrielle inwardly thought, you’re in look Ares, she already has.

Gabrielle saw Ares pulled Xena towards him, and fought the urge to throw up; the urge only grew stronger, when she heard Xena say,

“Would that please you?” and saw the warrior push herself against him. Gabrielle could feel a burning in the back of her throat she was actually going to be sick. She felt as if she’s just found Xena cheating on her with someone else. What was worse it was a man, okay a god, but a god with…man parts. Something Gabrielle could never give her, even when the warrior knew who she was.

“Would it make you happy and get you excited if I forgot about her?” Oh gods, Gabrielle waited for her dismissal, Xena was going to get rid of her. She could see Ares’ body reacting to the warrior’s attack on his body, and senses, she needed, her eyes to look away, she pled with her own brain to look stop watching but she couldn’t. “Oh yeah,” Ares pulled Xena is claiming her mouth with his own; Gabrielle’s tears seem to increase, her heart breaking. “Well it’s not going to happen” Xena snarled, knee him solidly in the groin. Gabrielle’s eyes widened, as she saw the god stagger backwards, and fall to the floor.” Now keep your mind on your own business and I’ll take care of what belongs to me.” Again Xena snarled to the dark haired god, without a word his disappeared in a blue light. Xena span round, and Gabrielle physically flinched, “I think it’s time for you to tell me who you are.” Xena commanded at her.

Gabrielle’s mouth hung open slightly; she knew it would come to the point where Xena would ask questions, though she still hadn’t figured out what to say. She opened and closed her mouth several times without saying anything. “Great Gabrielle you’re bard, you’re meant to be great with words!” she silently scolded herself. “I’m…I’m Gabrielle. I come from a small village Potidaea. You allowed me to travel with you”. Gabrielle took a breath, and considered how to continue, “We fought on the side of good, helping people, you…you wanted to…” Gabrielle’s head swam with things she should and shouldn’t say. “You wanted to help the people you had hurt in your warlord days. We travelled for six years together. Both of us have died going good. That’s what Ares meant you died; Dite and I brought you back. I couldn’t stand being alone, being alive without you. But you came back like this. The Xena before I knew you. We…I’m…” Gabrielle fought back the tears which had been fighting to explode all day. She said in an almost frantic cry, “We were joined by my people, I’m a queen of a tribe of Amazons, and we were joined just over a summer ago.”

Xena looked terrified, pure fear touched every feature on her face.

“You are an Amazon Queen? And we’re…” Gabrielle nodded, but same a shy smile. At least Xena wasn’t hitting her again.” And we’re married? You and me?... I’m married to you?” Gabrielle could only nod, noting Xena still looked afraid, and in total disbelief. Oh great scare her away, stupid idiot, Gabrielle cured herself. Xena moved, not so gracefully, trying to get away from her, Gabrielle just sat and watched as the warrior princess nearly fell.

“I have to go… I need some air” The bard watched as Xena fled the clearing, straight in to the trees, she stood unsure whether to go after the warrior, and decided best not. Xena needed time to digest the information she’d shared, she hadn’t even mentioned Eve, Hope, amongst other things which had happened between them. Gabrielle turned and roughly hit a log with the flat of her foot in frustration. She felt a jolt of pain shoot through her leg, she cried out. Oddly she actually felt better, the physical pain felt better than the darkness that was falling over her heart, and soul. Gabrielle paced around the fire, silently begging Xena to come back, battling with herself to not go after the woman. Gabrielle heard a noise behind her, and span round fast, had she not had her reflexes she would have probably lost her balance. Xena looked mad, she looked frustrated and confused; she in fact didn’t look any better than she had when she left. She walked straight passed the bard and began to collect her belongs; Gabrielle simply stood confused watching the warrior buzz round, making sure they hadn’t left anything.

“Come on” came Xena’s harsh voice, “I‘ve had a change of mind. I’m taking you to the nearest town and dropping you off…I’m keeping the horse."

Gabrielle backed away slowly, her eyes widened. “Xena, no you can’t. Why because now you know who you really are? Who I am…You didn’t seem so bothered with that when you…when we…” Gabrielle pointed down at the spot where they had been so wrapped up in their passion. “Come on Xena, what’s a little Amazon to you? You might as well slit my throat, than leave me in some town. The death would be just as painful.” She rushed over to her saddle bag, pulling out a small dagger, raising it to her own throat, “If you feel you can’t, I will”, she said through gritted teeth, the tears scolding their path down her face.

Gabrielle didn’t even notice the warrior flip straight over her head, and was only aware of her presence, when she felt the dagger being pulled from her grasp. Gabrielle was pulled close to the warrior chest, feeling the warrior’s arms engulf her. The Amazon queen fought the urge to retrieve the fallen knife, and do what she threatened. Xena had actually pinned her body against her own. Xena moved her round, Gabrielle felt so heavy, so she was unable to move herself. She rested her head on the warrior’s chest, which rose and fell with each breath. Xena was holding her, breathing, yet no where to be seen. Gabrielle surprised even herself, as sobs shook through her body, as she clung onto the woman before. She was crying through her grief, her disappointment, her joy of being held. She didn’t know what to do anymore. She silently begged for her own death, she couldn’t see Xena be destroyed again. Gabrielle’s sobbed slowed, her breathing came slower, and steady, Xena’s hold never weakened.” Okay” Gabrielle heard the warrior’s voice, and felt her breath brush passed her ear.” I won’t dump you in the nearest town.” Gabrielle closed her eyes tight, a remaining tear fell.

She didn’t know if she wanted to go with the warrior, she didn’t want to see everything HER Xena had worked for, gone…

Gabrielle was led over to the bed rolls, Gabrielle silently hoped Xena wasn’t about made an advance on her.

“Come on, let’s lay back down and try to get some sleep before day break. We’ll figure out a plan then.” Gabrielle simply looked down at the bedrolls which she felt herself being pushed down onto, closely followed by Xena. Xena pulled her onto her shoulder, Gabrielle couldn’t help but smile, this felt right. She draped one hand over the warrior’s stomach. Xena placed a kiss on her forehead, followed by a kiss on the cheek, the cheek she had slapped not long before. Gabrielle closed her eyes at the sensation, “Xena, how can you be like this, like my Xena yet talk of wars”, she in warded thought.” We’ll figure it out." Gabrielle opened her eyes, gazing up at the stars; she forced herself not to think of anything. She closed her eyes, begging for sleep. Just before she slipped away she said in a whisper, “I love you, Xe”.

Suddenly Gabrielle could hear Ares’ cruel laughing ringing out, taunting her. “Her fascination in you will last so long” came the god’s voice. “You’re too weak for such a woman, you always were! She’ll come back to me, you’ll be long gone I can promise you that” an evil laugh rang from Ares’ mouth, as Xena appeared before her, grasping the dagger she’d been threatening to kill herself with. With an evil smile, Xena made one swift movement across the bard’s throat. Gabrielle felt the pain shoot across her neck, she raised her hands to her throat, looking down her hands were crimson. Her legs buckled and she fell to the floor… Gabrielle shot up from the bedroll, in a blind panic.

“What?” came Xena’s voice from the dark, Gabrielle jumped, she wanted to get away from the woman which in her night terror had slit her own throat, however she also wanted to take comfort in her wife’s arms…her wife who didn’t given remember her. Gabrielle’s breathe shook greatly. Her legs refused to allow her to run, run straight into the trees and not look back.

“What is it? What happened?” Xena’s voice came again; Gabrielle willed her eyes to work properly she needed her eyes to adjust to the small amount of light that surrounded them. Gabrielle felt herself being moved by strong hands, and stiffened up slightly, until she felt the warrior’s leather, she had only been pulled towards Xena. Xena began rocking her ever so carefully, she was being so careful with her. This wasn’t the woman from last night, or even her dream. Gabrielle heard Xena’s breathing change slightly; she could almost hear the fright in her chest.

“Are we really married?” She heard the taller warrior say in a low whisper against her ear, Gabrielle gulped slightly and nodded. “Tell me that story.” Came her soothing voice again, at least she seemed to believe it now, Gabrielle thought with a slight smile. Gabrielle’s voice broke slightly before she’d even said a word, “Y-you asked me, to be your wife. We had travelled to see the Amazons, and we took part in a ceremony”, Gabrielle paused for a moment; she wondered whether she should tell Xena that the ceremony had been to make her own daughter an Amazon princess, their daughter. Gabrielle sighed slightly, “After that ceremony you said you were thinking of settling down”, Gabrielle hesitated slightly, “with me. It was beautiful. The ceremony I mean and you didn’t wear your leathers, “Gabrielle chuckled lightly, through Gabrielle’s talking she could feel Xena’s hand tracing mindless patterns down her arm, and she the kiss placed on her head hadn’t been lost. Gabrielle sighed slightly contently, what had changed? Xena was actually listening, or she seemed to be, wanted to know what she didn’t, and even seemed to be more like her old self. A silence fell between the two women, Gabrielle waited for Xena to make some comment to try and break the silence. She still knew the warrior hated awkward silences, Xena didn’t disappoint, if face Gabrielle couldn’t help but grin into the warrior skin. “We should get up and get moving before the full light.” Xena was trying to keep her voice as low as possible, why she didn’t know, no one else was around but them, unless there was something Gabrielle didn’t know, her eyes darted around the campsite.

"I’ll go bathe and catch some fish. You can cook; you know you’re much better at that than I am.” Gabrielle couldn’t help but chuckle both at and with Xena, however she stopped verily quickly, and a thoughtful expression took its place. Xena remembered being a terrible cook? She remembered, Gabrielle’s eyes widened, and her head shot up, but the warrior had already walked away, she looked lost in thought. Had she noticed what she’d said? Did she really remember? Gabrielle couldn’t help but think to herself as she rebuilt the fire from last night, because of their early rise the ambers were still burning, so the fire as much easier to start this way. Xena returned with two fish, Gabrielle couldn’t help but remember when Xena had tried to teach her how to fish, hadn’t gone well. She de-boned the fish, and cooked them. Giving Xena her breakfast, they sat in silence, as per usual Gabrielle didn’t want to eat much of her food, several mouthfuls in she placed her food on the log beside her, and got her Sais out of their place in her boots. She held them in her hands, as if testing their weight, before flipping them in a full circle before catching them again, she did this several times before she spoke. “Xena I don’t want to be a burden to you. I want to travel with you, I always have. But I can’t…” Gabrielle paused, mindlessly running her tongue over her lower lip, before giving it a gentle nip with her teeth, “I can’t watch you replace me with Ares. I would rather die, than see that happen. Gods forbidden if it was someone else…if you decided you no longer wanted to be with me, to be with”, Gabrielle gulped slightly, and suddenly found a mark on her boots more interesting, her voice lowered considerably, “instead of me.” Emotion hit her; she felt a chill travel through her, her jaw clenched of its own accord. “I would understand, but I can’t see you go back to him. I can’t.

I don't know what that means or what that means for us”

Gabrielle froze slightly as she saw the taller stand, from her position, Xena looked much taller than her usual six foot form, Gabrielle gulped slightly. She waited for some remark, to be hit, for something.” Come on, we can talk about this later. We need to get going.” Gabrielle sighed rather loudly, this was something they had to discuss, something they needed to sort, she knew Xena wasn’t much with words but something had to give. She watched Xena start to clear their belongings, and began to stroke the great mare’s neck.

Gabrielle’s ears strained to hear what Xena said next, “Argo. I’m going to name you Argo.” Gabrielle sat opened mouth. Xena, remembered Argo? Okay this was Argo’s daughter but still, that was a huge improvement, however the look in Xena’s face told her she wasn’t aware of what she knew, and what hope she’d just given the smaller woman, maybe she’s still in there. Gabrielle didn’t fight or in fact she didn’t help either as the warrior from astride the horse pulled her up, so she was sat behind her.” I haven’t seen my mother in a long time. Need to visit my brother.” Gabrielle closed she eyes into the warrior’s back, and rolled her eyes slightly. “Shit” was all she could think, Xena didn’t know about her mother’s death. How could Gabrielle tell her that, there were so many things Xena could be told, if only she’d sat still long enough to hear it. Gabrielle felt the strong hand press against her hip and inner thigh, and heard and felt her own heartbeat and breath quicken. Xena however gently tapped her heels into Argo’s sides and off they went.

There was definite wind; the wind in fact was pulling Xena’s long hair into the bard’s face. She couldn’t stop herself from eating it. Xena seemed to relax slightly as they rode; Gabrielle couldn’t help but be calmed by the warmth and closeness of her warrior. Suddenly she felt Xena’s weight shift and then saw her flying towards three men, with an arrow in her hand. She handed with her feet solidly hitting one of the men in the chest. Her sword flung out of nowhere, slicing another of the men’s head clean off. Gabrielle borked slightly, she hated seeing Xena fighting, though sometimes it was necessary even if it was to end in the spill of blood. Gabrielle show the man carrying a bow, drop his weapon looking up at the warrior with pleading eyes.

“Have mercy.” Gabrielle saw the moment before she register what it meant, she heard the warrior’s voice snarl,” There is no mercy for anyone who gets in my way!” with that she ran the man through with her sword. Gabrielle felt herself become lightheaded, she clutched onto Argo’s saddle, not wanting to fall. Xena had just killed an unarmed man, something not even the most respected warriors did; it was seen as unfair, and unjust. Gabrielle watched through slightly clouded eyes Xena search the dead men’s pockets, collecting anything that she might need or could sell, and mounted the horse once again. Gabrielle did not resume her hold of the warrior before her, but grasped the back of the saddle, she did not wait for Xena to tap the horse into action but did it herself, willing them to leave the scene around them. Once they had left the dead men behind them, Gabrielle shuffled backwards, attempting to dismount Argo from the back, she usual had no trouble falling off Argo backwards she was unsure why she couldn’t just get off. “Xena, we need to talk”, Gabrielle slide off the horse’s back, and landed firmly on the ground, “And I mean NOW!”

Xena looked frustrated and angry at her, “So do you being my wife mean you get special privileges that I’d kill somebody else over?” Gabrielle tensed her body by as she saw the great hand extend to her; she closed her eyes tight as if waiting for a blow. When the blow didn’t come, she looked up at the warrior through half closed eyes seeing her hand was inches away from the bard’s face.” We can’t talk here; the flies from those dead bodies will start to really get on my nerves. Get back on the horse and well make camp early so that we can ‘talk’.” Gabrielle nodded slightly, and grasped the warrior’s hand; through she felt she needed to get as far away as possible from this woman. Xena, her Xena didn’t like to “talk” though she had agreed to it, as she knew it was essential for their relationship, she wondered how this warrior would handle it. Xena seemed to shuffle back while pulling her up all in one movement; Gabrielle was placed in front of Xena. Before Gabrielle was probably settle Xena had her around the waist, Gabrielle’s body stiffened both in sudden arousal and fear. Gabrielle swallowed with a dry throat as she felt Xena hand wonder up her front as she nudged the horse forward. She could feel the breastplate of her wife pressing into her back; she could picture Xena’s breasts beneath it. Gabrielle’s breath quickened slightly, she couldn’t allow this to happen they needed to talk.

In a low husky whisper the raven warrior said, “Have you ever done in on a horse?”

Gabrielle’s knees went weak, and made a slight groan of confirmation. Yes she had in this position with her warrior behind her. She was becoming lost in the sensation of the strong hand roaming across her chest. Argo started to ride faster, Gabrielle’s breath caught in her throat, feeling the saddle grinding her clit through her breeches. They needed to stop this now. Gabrielle’s hand glided up to the matching hand on her breast which belonged to the woman behind her. She placed hand across it, groaning in a low, thick tone, “Xe” Her mind told her she couldn’t call Xena, “Xe” anymore she may not like it, but her brain was long gone. “Xe...We can’t…do thisss. Please Xena”. Surprisingly Xena removed her hand from the bard’s most sensitive areas, though her hand did not feel her body. Both the fact she’d stopped and the fact the warrior’s hand was still touching her flesh, though she knew it was best to stop, her skin, her core, her being wished Xena hadn’t stopped, she knew she needed their connection back, but on every level. On habit alone Gabrielle leaned back onto the warrior’s chest, tucking her head beneath her chin., she then wondered whether she should move, then she felt Xena’s relaxed breathing playing with her hair, and couldn’t help but smile, and sigh contently too.

Gabrielle could have fallen asleep in her current position; she could feel her lover’s heart beat, feel her breath against her skin, strong arms around her…

Argo had seemed to stop, though Gabrielle was in her world, she felt herself being moved, and couldn’t help but scowl; she’d been warm and safe in her warrior arms. She turned to protest, seeing once again this wasn’t her warrior. “We have a choice. We can bed here by the river or in that cave in the hill. You decide. We’ll get settled and then…. We’ll talk.” Gabrielle smiled faintly; maybe her warrior was still in there a little. Gabrielle sighed slightly, they had been to this cave several times in the past, whenever going to visit Xena’s mother, they had some memories in that cave, an image of Xena pinning an naked Gabrielle against the cold rock surfaces, cooling her scorching skin…they weren’t they’re memories anymore, they were hers.

“I think sleeping in the cave would be best, but I need a wash, the track dirt has clung to my skin, feel really dirty” with that the bard started walking toward the river, before turning round, her voice slightly shy, “Do you want to join me?” “Ahh... yeah.” Gabrielle couldn’t help but chuckle at the great warrior princess stood before her, who just by being asked if she wanted to bath with her, could barely string two words together. “Yeah, go ahead let me get Argo situated.” Gabrielle nodded with a smile, and turned walking slowly towards the river, hearing Xena rushing around behind her. Gabrielle sighed deeply, she didn’t know what she was going to do, they needed to talk, there was so much Xena didn’t know that she should, however also she supposed there maybe some things she didn’t, although Gabrielle was not the one who was going to make that decision. They needed to talk, however she could feel that far too familiar ache in her groin. She felt selfish, here Xena did not know who she was, probably confused and scared, though she knew she wouldn’t admit it, and she wanted to get laid. Gabrielle had imagined their first time together again quite a lot over the passing season, each time it had been fierce, passionate, loving and gentle. While Gabrielle strongly felt this new Xena would be able to be fierce and passionate, she was unsure in regards to having sex she’d have a clue about gentle and loving. Xena had once told her she’d had sex with a lot of people, Gabrielle had been crushed, she knew of course of Xena’s past but she didn’t want to hear about her conquests. Xena carried on saying that, she, Gabrielle was the only one she’d ever made love to; would this warrior even understand that? Gabrielle sighed yet again, the river which had seemed a number of strides away from them had seemed to have moved during her time of thinking and walking. Gabrielle reached the river edge, slowly removing her garments, and walked slowly into the water, walking further enough in that her feet could still touch the ground if need be, though she gently kicked her legs to stay afloat.

Maybe Xena wouldn’t expect they would do anything intimate, while she wanted to so badly, they needed to talk, Gabrielle kept telling herself. Gabrielle heard a splash, knowing Xena would be joining her any minute, in the past, while in this river in fact; Xena would swim under the bard, coming up behind her. Maybe this would jog Xena’s memory, maybe this was what she needed, okay this was what Gabrielle needed, to know she had got Xena back, that this hadn’t been a dream. Yet maybe if Gabrielle couldn’t get her Xena back, maybe she preferred it had just been a dream. Gabrielle felt a strong hand claim her waist, pulling her backwards, while she normally hated being small, her feet no longer could touch the ground, she knew she was safe. Xena hand snaked up her flat stomach, cupping her breast. Gabrielle moaned leaning backwards trying to feel as much of the warrior behind her as possible, only to be rewarded with Xena own centre ground into her, causing Gabrielle to groan even more. She had once admitted to Xena she loved this seduction, while she preferred to be able to see her warrior while they made love, the build up was more intense if she had to picture the woman who was roaming across her body. She briefly wondered if Xena had remembered this, or had simply done it of her own accord. Gabrielle’s breath was becoming quickly more rapid by the second, her nipples hardened instantly under the warrior’s touch, growing continuously harder under her stimulation. Gabrielle opened her mouth, although she was going to speak, words did not come out, she simply lost her self in all the sensations.” Is this what you meant by talking?” Xena voice rang out from beside her, in a low sultry tone; thankful Xena still had her pinned against her with one hand, as her legs could have just given way. Gabrielle simply groaned in response. No this wasn’t what she had planned, but all gods be damned if she was going to stop it.

Gabrielle ground her backside gently into the woman’s centre, almost wishing they weren’t in the water any longer, she wanted to feel her lover’s wetness smear across her lower back. Xena began to kiss her way down the bard’s neck, which in turn Gabrielle raised her head slightly to one side to give her better access, only for her lips to continue round to her cheek, which Gabrielle turned her head, claiming the warrior’s lips. Gabrielle groaned at the contact, her skin felt as if it was on fire, as if she could melt into the woman’s arms any minute. Gabrielle felt Xena let go from around her waist, she opened her mouth to protest, only to feel the same strong hands guiding her round to face her “mystery” lover. She wrapped her legs firmly around the warrior’s body while reclaiming her lips once again. At the contact from above the water, and from below, she let out a low husky groan, straight into Xena mouth. Her tongue flickered against the lips before her own, begging entry, which she got with no hesitation. Their tongues danced to the same beat and rhythm as Gabrielle’s centre played against Xena’s midriff. Although it wasn’t long until Gabrielle needed to speed up the dance, as her hips began to buck on their own. At this moment she was lost, she didn’t care what Ares thought or did, in this moment it was her Xena wanted, Xena needed. Xena released her lips, far too quickly for Gabrielle’s liking. Xena began her trail of kisses and nibbles down the bard’s neck, which once again, she lifted her head to give the warrior more access, she had to remember to breathe. A low whisper came from near her ear, “This is the kind of conversation I like to have.” Gabrielle stopped in mid grind of her hips, bringing down her face to the warrior’s stood before. She fought with herself what to do. As it seemed usual for this Xena, she yet again felt like the village whore.

Gabrielle slipped her legs down from the warrior, realizing her feet wouldn't touch the ground, when her feet didn’t meet it. She managed to travel backwards a little way from Xena, her voice came out in such a scared, and vulnerable way she’d never heard herself use before, “Is that all I am to you? Your own whore? A way of getting what you need? I’m sure there are some people in the next village with a few dinars to spend on a whore like me.” She almost spat out the last “whore” in pure disgust and anger. She turned making her way back to the shore, her legs trying to cut through the water, and it seemed to be trying to push her back. Instead of reaching for her clothes once she got the land, she almost seemed to throw herself to the ground, although she felt no pain, burying her hand into the folded arms on the soft ground. She fought so hard not to allow the sobs which threatened rake through her body. She no longer cared she was in fact stark naked, she was no longer scared, what was going to happen next. Xena could rape her for all the cared, she felt dirty, and alone, then realizing it she’d felt the same for the last two seasons.

Gabrielle could hear the water being sloshed, it noising becoming louder. Gabrielle knew she’d over stepped the boundaries this time, her body tensed, waiting for the blows which were to follow. She’d often wondered what Xena had been like in her warlord days, she’d heard stories but she was unsure what to believe.“What are you doing? What do you want? Is this some kind of game? You lead me on, and then…” Gabrielle winced at the harshness and anger in the warrior’s voice. No she wasn’t trying to lead her on; she was trying to get the woman she loved back. Xena’s hands were soon on the bard, flipping her over, pinning her to the ground by her shoulders. Gabrielle’s eyes widened in shock, as pain shot through her body, Xena claimed her mouth fiercely, passionately, and painfully. Gabrielle groaned straight into the warrior mouth, not in pleasure but in pain. She felt her hands being unceremoniously pushed above her head, and gripped at the wrist by Xena’s hands, Gabrielle knew there would be bruising. Gabrielle tried to struggle at the warrior’s grip, but she was too strong for the smaller woman. Xena’s knee slid up, making contact with the bard’s centre, Gabrielle cried out, trying to get away from her currently position.“So is this better?” Gabrielle continued to struggle as her neck was sucked and nibbled at; she again knew come morning she’d be marked. She wondered for a moment how far this would go, how far would Xena go, what would she do if she ever got her memory back, would she remember this. She loved Xena so much; she wanted to make love her, to have her take her, in comfort, in love, not like this. The more Gabrielle struggled the more Xena seemed to grind her knee against the flesh between her legs, it hurt like Tartarus.

Gabrielle could only see through a blur, knowing she’d begun to silently cry, Xena latched herself onto her breast, sucking hungrily, painfully claiming this woman as her own. Her Xena had already done that, but she hadn’t been so harsh.

”Is this the way you want it?” Xena growled at her. Gabrielle felt the sobs take over her body, tears streaked down her face, she shook her head vigorously. “N…no” Gabrielle’s voice broke into frantic cry, “Please, no…Xe”, she began her frantic attempt to escape again from the vice grip the woman above her, had her in.

Xena’s grip on the bard’s wrists only intensified, causing her to cry out in pain, her knee was forced even future into the bard’s centre. Xena shifted her weight, completely pinning her against the ground.

”It’s all a game to you isn’t it?” Xena sneered against her flesh, near her ear, in a tone she’d never heard come from the warrior’s lips before, a tone which told her, Xena had won, and she Gabrielle was going to be raped by the warrior who ground herself, and her into the ground. Gabrielle continued to escape through she knew there was no point, Xena claimed her lips once again, just as harshly, as brutal, forcing her tongue into the bard’s mouth. Gabrielle sobbed throughout the warrior’s attack on her body, the body she had once promise to protect, and care above even her own. Xena released her hold on the bard’ wrists, she moved to get out from under the woman, only to be pinned by all her weight. Xena greedily grabbed for one of Gabrielle’s breasts, while she did not want this, her body was betraying her, she could feel her core becoming hot and wet, and through the stimulation she was receiving was agony.

Xena ceased one of the breasts with her mouth, sucking and biting the nipple. Xena’s hand roamed across her stomach, through the small nest of curls hiding her centre, Gabrielle stopped her attempts to get free, as her body froze up. Silently pleading Xena to stop. The hand continued, cupping her sex, running one finger to her clit. Her core felt as if it was on fire, although it wasn’t in the usual way, it felt sore and raw.“Gods, you are so wet” Xena’s husked voice, travelled to her ears; had this been any other situation the warrior would have had her right then."I am on fire.Can you feel the heat?” Gabrielle whimpered slightly. Xena continued her work on Gabrielle’s clit, and opening. Gabrielle could still feel the tears falling from her eyes.“You want it don’t you? Go ahead. Beg me for it. Tell me how badly you want to feel me inside of you.” She needed the warrior inside her, Xena was right, she needed someone to take the pain away, not cause more of it, like this woman before her doing. “Xe, PLEASE, stop, please”, she sobbed, her breath ragged, “I’m not play…ing you, I’m not playing you. I love you, please not like this.”

Gabrielle looked up into the deep blue eyes, full of passion, and shock. She looked confused as well, how she would love to reach up, pull the woman down and kiss away her thoughts, but her body refused to move. Xena leapt away from the bard, she screamed in frustration and anger, the scream had maybe Gabrielle actually shuffle backwards in fright. Gabrielle watched Xena searching for their clothes, finding the Amazon’s she threw them at her, causing them to whip her in the process, Gabrielle had gasped slightly. What was her Xena going to do, or say when she found out she’d nearly raped her wife. Gabrielle felt as if she’d been kicked squarely in the chest, what if she didn’t come back to her. Gabrielle cried softly both in emotional and physical pain, as she dressed herself. Gabrielle glanced up, almost expecting the warrior’s eyes to be on her, only to see her with her back to her.

In the past they had, had a lot of different…types of sex, or love making. Sometimes fierce, sometimes loving. Gabrielle sighed, she wanted Xena, but for this once, for the first time, she wanted to take their time, to go easy on each other’s bodies, enjoy the slow drawn climax. Gabrielle’s tongue snaked out slightly, licking her dried lips. Xena turned to face the smaller woman, Gabrielle could see a look in her eyes, had this been her Xena she would have described as love, in this warrior, she was unsure, and she certainly wasn’t about to question it.“You said you wanted to talk.” Gabrielle couldn’t help the remaining tears fall from her eyes. She had to be honest with Xena, although she didn’t know where to start. Gabrielle opened and closed her mouth several times before she could do anything, instead she stood, walked slowly over to the horse which was grazing, placing a hand on the animal’s neck, and gently stroking the beast. “This isn’t Argo, that’s not her name. Her mother was Argo, she was your horse. But she died, and you took up riding Argo Two instead. We didn’t call her that, a friend of ours named her.” Gabrielle hadn’t looked up at the warrior while talking to her, “Xe…I mean Xena”, Gabrielle gulped slightly, “Why don’t you ask me, questions and I’ll try and answer them.

“Ask you questions?” Gabrielle nodded timidly in encouragement, she seemed to look petrified. Mixed emotions ran through her body, she didn’t want to hurt Xena but she knew what she needed to know. Also after what she’d just put her through, she almost felt Xena didn’t deserve to be scared.“Why don’t’ we set up camp. I’m hungry. I should go catch some dinner; we’ll eat and then get settled in that cave.” Gabrielle sighed in disbelief, she lowered her head onto the great mare’s neck. She could hear Xena’s shallow, worried breath behind her, Gabrielle closed her eyes tight, pleading Xena to go, she needed time, they both did.“I’ll think about the whole question thing.” Gabrielle held her breath put turned to face the warrior, and nodded, maybe things weren’t going to be as bad as she thought. She watched Xena walk away from the bank, as she herself walked to the mouth of the cave, sliding down the wall, tiny jolts of pain shot in her back. She turned to look at her back; she broke the skin on her back attempting to escape from Xena. Gabrielle also noticed for the first time in quite a while the tattoo on her back, she’d got it to protect herself in getting Xena’s body back, and why couldn’t she protect Xena as well. Gabrielle sighed once again, and stood making a fire.

Xena returned not long later with two rabbits, which she skinned and passed to Gabrielle who in turn roasted them over the fire. Gabrielle noted Xena sat across from her, placing the fire between them. ‘She hasn’t done that in summers’ Gabrielle thought. The meal went silently, only the crackling, and popping of the fire, and the insects singing in the near by trees and bushes. She kept throwing glances over to the warrior, who seemed lost in her own mind as she gazed into the fire, Gabrielle fought the urge to walk over and kiss away any trouble that plagued the warrior’s mind. A whisper as if in the wind found its way to the bard’s ears, ““I won’t hurt you again. I got carried away, but if you don’t like it like that... I… I won’t touch you that way.” Xena didn’t know how much she wanted Xena to touch her, even in time the way she wanted. Gabrielle like it rough like the rest of them, she just couldn’t cope with her first time back with her soul mate to be anything more than gentle, soothing for their souls. Gabrielle oddly felt ridiculous, she seemed to have fairytale ideas about having sex, yet when they connected it felt so much better than a fairytale. She saw Xena begin to clear up, and slowly rose to help, nothing more was said. Xena walked over to their bedroll, and pulled her own away from the bard’s by a few feet before settling down. Gabrielle allowed the small puff of air she’d been holding in her mouth escape from her lips, before walking over to her own bedroll, and tugging at it, pulling it closer to her warrior’s, there was a matter of inches between them, she glared at the warrior, as if daring her to move. She laid on her own bedroll, raising her head on the ground, gazing up at the cave ceiling, while it was much warmer in the cave, she wished she could see the stars.“Were almost to Amphipolis.What am I not remembering? What surprises are waiting there?”

Gabrielle sighed in frustration, she’d half excepted Xena not to ask anything, or at least start with an easier question for her to answer. Gabrielle turned on her side, resting her head on her hand, which she had raised on an elbow. She could see the fright in the warrior’s eyes, the flame from the fire danced against the blue of her lover’s eyes. “Xena, there’s things I need to tell you. Things I wish I didn’t. Things…I know you’ll get upset over, and you’ll be damned if you try to hide behind the warrior! Okay sorry, but please remember I’m here okay”, Gabrielle wondered whether she should reach over and take hold of the warrior’s hand, had this been her Xena she would have. “Mephistopheles sent evil spirits to your mother’s tavern years ago. She tried to fight back; she stayed in Amphipolis for years. Over the years she”. Gabrielle sighed slightly, biting her bottom lip, she looked into the sapphire eyes before her, waiting, hanging on her every word. Gabrielle knew the look which would take her lover’s eyes, a look she knew she would cause. Gabrielle continued, “She went mad. When the crops failed, the people blamed the evil in the tavern. They said your mother was a witch for Mephistopheles.” Gabrielle paused for a moment, remembering to breathe, and also ensuring her body was ready to be either thrown across the cave, or for the warrior to take comfort from her. “They…they”, her voice broke and lowered into a whisper,”They burned her at the stake”.

Before Gabrielle had chance to react, Xena was up out of her bedroll, and seemed to run towards the opening of the cave, but stopped short. Gabrielle had raised herself to her knees to run after the warrior if she had to, though Xena even if she kept looking out the mouth of the cave, did not seemed to move. Xena seemed lost in thought, yet again the urge to rush over to her lover and kiss away any problems. Xena turned back towards her, Gabrielle could see a struggle of emotions play behind her warrior’s eyes. ‘Xe, come on I told you not to fight this’ Gabrielle silently thought, she didn’t want to see Xena hurt, but knew she would have to cry over her mother’s death at some point. Xena seemed to shrink in every way on her way back to her bedroll; she began to remove her armour and leathers.

“The story that you told me makes no sense. My mother was a simple woman. Stubborn, yes, but she could no more be a witch than you could.

” Xena spat angrily; as if it was her fault her mother was dead, as if she blamed her. Gabrielle once again simply felt her love for the woman before her, she saw Xena’s eye rise to her own, and saw a hint of love lingering.

“Gabrielle, I don’t understand any of this. Why I can’t remember several important years of my life. I’m thinking that I just got off on the wrong track and now it’s my chance to make it right. Do what I was intended to do. Rule Greece.” Gabrielle hung her head low; her tongue snaked out, licking her dry lips. Nothing she could do would change this woman, she had once helped Xena away from her evil ways, and Xena had described her as her light in the darkness, all those summers ago. All these years later, she didn’t think she had even a light of her own anymore, how could she have even thought she could do this.

“But what ever the reason, this is where we are now. I know that I’m not the woman you married.” Gabrielle grimaced slightly, ‘understatement’, she thought.“And I may never be her." Gabrielle could feel her eyes fill with tears, Xena still some how managed to read her mind."But I want you with me. I can’t change who I am… and the truth is I don’t want to.

But…” Gabrielle raised her head slightly, Xena the destroyer of nations, as this was who she was, the woman sat before her, wanted Gabrielle with her. Xena’s eye contact flickered, Gabrielle felt as if her heart was in her mouth, constricting her breathing.“But I want to treat you better, if you’ll stay with me.” Gabrielle watched as Xena lay back in her bedroll, hiding her face as if afraid of what she might do or say. Gabrielle once again traced her tongue on her dried lips, trying to think.

“Xe,” she gulped slightly. “Regardless of the person you are now, you’ll always be the woman I married. You’ll always be the woman I love. But…” her voice trailed off, what was she going to say, not even her mouth had caught up with her brain yet. “I can’t let you hurt me again Xena, I won’t let it happen again. There are too many things that we’ve fought through for that to happen. I’ll understand if you choose Ares. The Warrior Princess doesn’t need some wife following her round Greece. We both know I don’t agree with what you plan to do. I’ll always love you Xe, you’ll always be my champion”, Gabrielle gave Xena a sad smile, and stood, walking over to where Xena had just been stood. Her voice was in low tone, she didn’t know if it was from happiness or sadness, “You know last time we visited Amphipolis, was to show off our daughter to your mother”. Gabrielle sighed ever so slightly.

To be continued

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