Copyright: The characters of Xena: Warrior Princess are owned by MCA/Universal and Renaissance and are used here without permission. No copyright infringement was intended in the writing of this story, it was written only for the enjoyment of myself and other readers and I am not getting any profit out of it. The story itself belongs to me, and should therefore only be published elsewhere with my permission.

Sex and Violence: No violence, but this story does portray a loving and sexual relationship between two consenting, adult women. If you are underage or if this sort of thing offends you, please read no further. If not, I hope you enjoy it :)

On with the story...

After the Siege
By The Upside Down Kiwi-Bard (UDK_Bard)

"Xena, did you say that you felt something?" The warrior glanced sideways.

"No!" Xena mustered as much indignation in her voice as she could. She moved her squirming daughter from her hip to her front, pulling a face at her.

"No I think I heard you... you said you felt something." Gabrielle turned her head to fix Xena with a gaze that the warrior refused to meet.

"Gabrielle, I said no such thing." Xena drawled, maintaining her claim of innocence.

"Oh really?" Gabrielle let out the words with a laugh of disbelief.

"Maybe a little something." Xena muttered teasingly under her breath as they walked towards the town gates, heading for Cyrene's tavern.

"Wha-at?" Now she'd done it. Xena used the advantage of the public setting to gather her thoughts. She knew Gabrielle wouldn't start a scene out here but she was in for it once they were in private. The two women entered the Tavern, and headed towards the back rooms. They managed to gracefully acknowledge the thanks and congratulations of the townspeople gathered there, while carefully avoiding getting drawn into conversations with anyone. Xena took a deep breath as they reached their room and went inside. Gabrielle waited until the door was shut behind them and then she rounded on the warrior. She fixed the taller woman with a mock steely look and gave her a sharp poke in the shoulder.

"All right Warrior Princess, you have some explaining to do. Just what exactly happened in that temple, and what do you mean by you felt something?" Gabrielle was trying to keep her tone joking but the warrior could hear a slight edge in her tone.

"Gabrielle, it was nothing!" Xena tried to reassure her partner, but she found she couldn't look Gabrielle in the eye as she said it. She covered by turning to place Eve in the cradle Cyrene had unearthed, the one that Xena had slept in when she was Eve's age. She could feel the bard's gaze burning its way into her back and she closed her eyes for a moment, bracing her hands on the sides of the cradle. "All right it wasn't nothing. We kissed... and my body reacted. But that's all it was, a purely physical reaction." She sighed, fussing with Eve's blankets while trying to find a way to explain her feelings without making things worse. "Ares and I, we have a history, you know all about that. And even if I no longer feel anything for him emotionally, my body still remembers him. I guess it's a God thing, he just oozes with this dark sensuality that gets to me every time..." she heard Gabrielle snort.

"He oozes something, I know that much." the bard muttered darkly, and Xena sighed again, deeply.

"I know, but the worst part is that he knows how it affects me, and he enjoys it. He was using it to try to get me to join him not long ago. When Joxer was poisoned and we separated so you could try to get him to the antidote, Ares got into my head, into my dreams." Xena's voice took on a slightly ragged edge as she recalled the deeply erotic dreams Ares had sent her. "He made some promises. He said he'd fight for good alongside me, he'd protect Eve, if I joined him. And all the while, he was doing things to me that..." she closed her eyes with a quiet groan, a familiar little flame beginning to flicker in her loins at the memory. Suddenly, strong hands grabbed the back of her armour, spinning her around and Xena found herself staring into a pair of green eyes that flashed angrily. Those same hands reached up and grabbed the sides of the warrior's head, slender fingers tangling in her hair. Gabrielle pulled Xena's head down, seizing her mouth in a fierce, bruising kiss. The warrior's eyes widened and she made a surprised noise in the back of her throat. Then Gabrielle's tongue pressed against her lips, demanding entrance, and the noise turned to a deep groan as the small flame that Ares had started turned abruptly into an inferno. Without her conscious instruction, the warrior's arms wrapped themselves around Gabrielle's waist and back, crushing the bard against her as she returned the kiss with equal intensity. As Gabrielle felt her partner begin to respond, her hands left Xena's head and moved to the fastenings of her armour, moving back a bit to give herself some space and tugging at the buckles.

"Get this off." Gabrielle growled, breaking the kiss and meeting Xena's gaze. She saw hesitation in the blue eyes and snarled, her lip curling slightly over her bared teeth as she grabbed at the front of Xena's armour, bringing her close again. "I've left you alone since Eve was born, I respected that you needed to recover." Her hands returned to the buckles, working at the stiff leather straps. "Well obviously you've recovered, and I've waited long enough Xena. I'm not going to let some God come along and try to claim what is rightfully mine." Silence fell, interrupted only by the occasional gurgle from a sleepy Eve in the corner, and by the harsh, heavy breathing from both Warrior and Bard. They stared at each other, Gabrielle's eyes still flashing with an angry challenge, and Xena's rapidly darkening with desire. The last vestige of indecision left Xena and she broke the moment by silently holding out one arm for Gabrielle to remove her bracer and arm-guard. Her other hand finished undoing buckles and pulled off her breast and back-plates. This done, she let the armour drop to the ground and leaned in for another searing kiss while she ripped off her other bracer. Gabrielle's arms reached blindly around her to the laces of her leathers and before long Xena's clothing was on the floor with her armour, leaving her in only boots and knee-guards. The bard shoved the warrior down onto the bed and removed these, also taking the time to take off her own boots. Xena stretched out on the length of the bed, and Gabrielle needed no invitation. She flung herself down on top of the naked, raven-haired object of her desire, allowing one leg to settle between the warrior's thighs. Gabrielle's right hand worked its way back into the long dark hair, and an insistent tongue invaded Xena's mouth again. The warrior groaned loudly, a little overwhelmed. Though usually gentle and loving, the bard occasionally managed to surprise her with outbursts of intense, almost violent passion such as this one. The moments were rare, but very, very enjoyable, and Xena soon found her own desire rising to match the intensity of the younger woman's. Suddenly, just as a warm hand closed over her breast, Xena froze. Her eyes opened wide, and a look of near terror appeared on her face. Her head whipped around to face the opening door.

"Xena, Gabrielle, can I get you anything... to... eat?" Cyrene's voice trailed to a stop as she took in the scene before her. For the second time in less than an hour, her gaze settled on the shocked expression on her naked daughter's face, watching the blood drain from it. Then her line of sight shifted to Gabrielle's face, which seemed to be gaining the blood that the warrior's was losing as a bright flush of red worked it's way up from her neck. The bard made a half-hearted attempt to scramble away, but Xena's arms tightened around her, reminding her that the warrior was stark naked underneath her. Finally, Xena sighed, facing the inevitable.

"Yes Mom, this IS what it looks like." She drawled. Cyrene blinked, and closed her mouth, only at that moment realising it had been hanging open. Her gaze darted around the room, looking for an escape, and finally lighting on the cradle in the corner.

"Ummm, you two are obviously..." she searched frantically for the right word, "busy. Uhh... why don't I just take Eve with me and keep an eye on her for a while? I'll save some dinner for you, and you can come and get it whenever you're ready." As she spoke, she walked over to the crib and lifted her sleepy grand-daughter out of it, then she beat a hasty retreat, leaving the warrior and bard staring at the door as it closed behind her. Once outside, Cyrene took a moment to gather her wits, then she started to chuckle quietly, and grinned down at Eve. "Well, that's MUCH better than Ares, don't you think?" Still laughing, she headed back into the tavern.

Inside the room, Gabrielle groaned and buried her face in Xena's shoulder, wishing the earth would open up and swallow her whole. "I don't believe that just happened." She moaned into the warrior's neck. Xena squeezed her reassuringly and turned to plant a gentle kiss on the side of her head. Suddenly the warrior chuckled.

"Well, that wasn't quite how I intended to tell her about us, but maybe from now on my Mom will remember to knock first. Gods know it's taken her long enough to learn that lesson." Gabrielle's head shot up and for a moment she looked indignant that Xena could see the humour in such an embarrassing situation. Then her mouth quirked, and despite herself she began to laugh too, her shoulders shaking silently.

"I'm not sure who was more shocked, her or us." She said, her green eyes dancing.

"We may never know." Xena grinned up at her. As their eyes met the laughter died and the grin slowly turned feral. "Now..." Xena growled low in her throat, "where were we?"

"About here." Gabrielle breathed and leaned down to capture the warrior's lips with her own.

"Hmmmm..." Xena hummed with pleasure, then broke off the kiss. "I only have one problem with this though."

"What's that?" Gabrielle asked, a worried look flitting across her features, Xena grinned.

"You my bard, are wearing way too much clothing, don't you think?" She drawled sensually, idly sliding a finger under the shoulder strap of Gabrielle's top and pulling delicately on it.

"Well then, we'll just have to do something about that won't we?" Gabrielle smiled, her eyes narrowing seductively. Xena returned the smile with a look of unguarded desire, and proceeded to even things up.



Well meant feedback is welcome at: udk_bard@orcon.net.nz

I will do my best to reply :)

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