Disclaimers: The characters of Xena and Gabrielle belong to Renpics. I'm just borrowing them for a while. No copyright infringement is intended. This story is a "back story" to Soul Crossing, an uber that ties directly back to Xena and Gabrielle. Right now, it's rated G, but that might progress to PG-13 later. This is a story about two women who love each other. You can assume that they have a physical relationship.
Timeline: Toward the end of season six.
By Web Bard
Gabrielle woke up to smell of fresh fish being fried and smiled at the immediate reaction of the rumbling of her stomach. She's cooking for me. That's a switch.
"Morning," said Xena as she watched her friend's green eyes slowly open. She smiled and placed the fish and a piece of bread on a plate. "Breakfast in bed, warrior princess style."
Before taking the plate from her soul mate, Gabrielle leaned over and kissed Xena softly. "Thank you. I love you, you know that don't you?"
"Of course, I do," answered Xena. "I don't cook breakfast for just anybody you know."
The young blonde smiled and began enjoying the food especially prepared for her. "It's quite good, actually."
"You doubted my cooking abilities? I'm hurt." Xena grinned in mock resentment and folded her arms over her chest.
"Never," said Gabrielle as she placed her plate on the ground. She dropped to her knees in front of the taller woman and pulled Xena's arms away from her chest. "I love everything you do for me. But right now, I want you to wrap those arms around me, instead of wrapping them around yourself."
Xena immediately pulled the bard up into her lap and squeezed her gently, trying to avoid the area where she had been wounded. The young blonde ran her fingers through the long black hair cascading down the warrior's back and then rested her head on Xena's shoulder. Out of reflex, the taller woman began softly rocking the bard back and forth.
"You know what?" Gabrielle smiled and then looked up at her best friend.
"I could stay like this all day," said the bard releasing a sigh. "I'm safe here. Nothing can ever harm me when I'm in your arms. It's the most wonderful place I know. It's home to me."
"It's home to me too, love." Xena continued her gentle rocking motion. "I have another wonderful place that I'd like to take you today if you're feeling up to it."
"It's a healing springs not too far from here," answered the warrior. "In fact, it's a part of one of Aphrodite's temples. Maybe we can check up on our old friend while we're there. Consider it a few days of vacation. After the bad week we've had, I think we deserve it, don't you?"
"Absolutely. When do we leave?"
Xena slowly deposited the bard back on solid ground and kissed the top of her head. "Right now."
After getting Argo II settled into the stables, Xena and Gabrielle walked hand in hand toward Aphrodite's temple.
They opened the large wooden door to the temple and walked into a room filled with candles and incense. A scantily clad Goddess of Love emerged from the shadows.
"I've been expecting you two," smiled the Goddess. "It took you long enough."
"Gabrielle needed an extra day to rest before we came," explained Xena. "But how did you know we were coming?"
"Oh please," said the exasperated Goddess. "I always keep tabs on you. Plus, I heard from visitors to my temple that you were close by."
The Goddess looked down at her blonde friend and noticed her bandaged side. "Let me take care of that for you."
With a quick touch to the bard's side, the Love Goddess completely healed the wound. She then placed her hand on the side of the young blonde's face and smiled. "I hate to see you hurt, little one. You both will be safe here. I've prepared a special room for you. Everything in the temple is at your disposal. Just ring if you need anything."
With a swing of her hand, Aphrodite disappeared, leaving only a small bell where she was standing only seconds before.
"I'll never get used to that," said Xena as she looked incredulously at the empty space. "That was nice of her to heal your side."
"She's my friend, Xena," said the young bard. "She always has been."
"I know that," answered the warrior. "It 's just that you and I don't have the greatest track record with Greek Gods, ya know?"
"Yes, I know that all too well." Gabrielle interlaced her fingers with her companion's. "Let's go see what she has prepared for us."
As they opened the door to their room in the temple, Gabrielle gasped. A full banquet had been prepared for them and was laid out on a long table. Candles fully illuminated the room. In the corner, was a nice fireplace with a strong fire already blazing. Against one wall was a full-sized bed covered with large pillows. In the center of the room was a stone bath that was directly connected to the warm healing springs. A thin layer of steam was rising from the bath.
"Oh my," whispered the bard. "What do we do first? Eat? Bathe? Get comfortable?"
Silently, the warrior pulled Gabrielle into her arms and then leaned in for a kiss. She nuzzled the bard's neck and spoke softly into her ear. "I vote for a bath, then bed, then food."
"Yeah, um, me, too," said the young blonde as she felt her knees go weak. Expert hands began to undress her. She, in turn, began to unbuckle Xena's armor and release the straps of her leathers. They made a dance of their mutual disrobement as they made their way over to the bath, never letting go of one another as they moved ever closer to the warm water. In one swift move, Xena picked up her beloved and placed her in the bath. She slid in behind her and pulled her closer. With one hand, she began washing the bard's hair and with the other, she began to trace a series of small circles over younger woman's stomach.
"You know," said a contented Gabrielle. "I said earlier that I liked that rocking thing you do to me, but this is pretty good, too."
"Oh, I'm very skilled," grinned the taller woman as she placed a series of kisses on the back of her lover's neck and back. "You should know that by now."
The young blonde turned to face her partner and placed her hands on either side of her friend's face. "Oh, I'm very aware of your many skills, my sweet. I fully expect for you to show me all of them over the next few days. I still have something to talk to you about, but it can wait. Right now, I just want to get lost in you. Lost in your blue eyes, lost in your arms, lost in your love "
Xena leaned over and kissed her and without a word, lifted her out of the water. She reached for a drying cloth and wrapped it around the petite body that she had gently placed on the bed. Xena tenderly dried the water droplets off of her soul mate and placed the cloth on the floor. Gabrielle pulled back the covers on the soft bed and moved to one side. She reached out a hand to her partner and then pulled her into her waiting arms. "I love you so much."
Xena rested her head on Gabrielle's chest and listened to the comforting sound of a steady heartbeat beneath her ear. "Love you too, sweetheart."
As the two women began a slow and loving exploration of one another, Gabrielle looked over her partner's shoulder to see a vision of Aphrodite standing by the bed. The Goddess of Love blew a kiss to her friend and Gabrielle winked back at her. Then, as she had requested earlier, the bard began to lose herself in the blue eyes and soft caresses of her soul mate.
To be continued in part three
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