Disclaimers: I don't own them. MCA Universal and whoever else does.

This story is alternative meaning woman with woman action with an R rating for implied sex; violence and language.

This is the sequel to Tension.

My thanks to my partner Lou Ann who is my inspiration; my friend Kim who encouraged me to do this and to the cast and crew of Xena Warrior Princess especially Lucy and Renee.

Thank you for reading any comments or questions can be sent to Xena-17@Juno.Com flames will be ignored.



Xena's Girl

Dr. Janice Covington woke with the sun and a smile on her face as she looked at her partner curled up beside her. Yesterday had been one hell of a breakthrough they found several personal scrolls written by the Battling Bard including one where she and the Warrior Princess went their separate ways. Today her partner Melinda Pappas and her were going to translate the second half of the scrolls and see what happened with their ancient ancestors; but first things first a shower then breakfast.

Janice (brushing the raven locks out of her partner's eyes): Mel come on rise and shine beautiful (she got a groan and then Mel pulled the blankets up over her head.) We have that second scroll to read and the days' a wasting. (Another groan) ok sweetheart you asked for it (she crawled under the blankets and began kissing her partner's exposed skin. That woke her up but of course their day started much later than they planned.

A couple of hours later they were sitting at the makeshift table papers scattered over the rough surface; Mel was reading and Janice was pacing.

Mel (writing something on paper then looking up at her partner): Stop that pacing love you'll wear a whole in the floor.

Janice (shrugging; she was impatient): How much longer?

Mel (finishing up her notes): I'm done; now come on and sit down and let's see what happened.

Aphrodite was happy she had her favorite couple on the road to getting back together. They had both read the scrolls that she had given them and they both were receptive to her ideas. Neither one knew where the other was but they knew they were safe. They just wouldn't know it until they were standing and talking to one another (hopefully.) Now for the hard part Xena's Grandparents cabin.

Aphrodite (walking in on Xena while she practiced some throws with her Chakram): Pack it up girlfriend we have a lot of work to do.

Xena (growling; she was not in the mood for this; she had spent the past several days reading some scrolls and she was edgy and impatient): What work? Have you seen Gabrielle? (Her heart ached at the thought of her soul mate; she was lonely and she felt empty inside.)

Aphrodite (well that was a good sign; Xena was still worried about her soul mate not that she doubted them for a second but she thought that maybe Gabrielle leaving Xena would spark the feelings that once made her the Destroyer of Nations but things had changed this Xena was lost and empty without her love; this Xena was in touch with her emotions and her feelings; the old Xena completely void of feelings except anger and rage ): Yes I have and we have places to go. So let's go already (Xena started protesting but found herself in a haze of pink and white then standing outside her Grandparent's farm looking at the dilapidated buildings.)

Xena (remembering the time that she had spent here with Gabrielle and of course Ares; it was a lot of fun and it brought back a lot of memories): Why are we here? This place is a mess…

Aphrodite (smiling; she could see the properties potential): Yeah now it is but with your muscles and my brain and a little ingenuity we could whip this place back into shape (a groan) oh come on you want to give Gabrielle her dream don't you?

Xena (smiling at the mention of the woman she loved thinking if this made her happy then there was hope for them; she didn't know how right she was): You mean that's all I had to do was find a place for her and I to settle down (realizing what had happened and how much at fault she was as she leaned against the fence; she had pushed Gabrielle away by ignoring the promise she had made when they were on Mt. Olympus; she had screwed up, again; no surprise there): I just want her back in my arms so what do I have to do?

Aphrodite (pointing her fingers at a large pile of dirt and making a bonfire): Xena we'll talk about things later, on what you can do to make Gabrielle happy. Right now I want you to go inside and get rid of anything that isn't salvageable; furniture; linen; pots and pans; stuff like that. When you're done just call me and then we'll move onto the second part of my plan. Bye (and she vanished in flurry of pink sparkles before Xena could utter a word.)

Xena took a deep breath and removed her armor; she carried it into the cabin and took a look around. Dam what did she get herself into; this whole place should have a torch thrown at it. Setting her armor down in one of the cleaner spots she started hauling stuff out to the bonfire.

Gabrielle was writing on her scrolls when Aphrodite appeared in front of her smiling.

Aphrodite (motioning to the scroll): What are you writing?

Gabrielle (rolling up the scroll; then looking up at her friend): Just some thoughts; things I'm feeling. How is she?

Aphrodite (looking around): She's ok. Now you and I have some things to do. Do you have any of your clothing from the Amazons (a shake of Gabrielle's head) any of the jewelry (a nod; taking a deep breath) well we'll start from scratch then.

Gabrielle (standing up): What are we doing?

Aphrodite (with her hands on her hips): We're getting your warrior back and knocking some sense into her at the same time. After all she's the cause of all this so she's going to be part of the solution.

Gabrielle (upset): But I left her…

Aphrodite (understanding): Gabrielle all couples go through hard times this is one of them. Yes you left her but after what you've been through its understandable. It's been a hard road for both of you and what's happened in the past few weeks was the straw that broke the camel's back. I'm not saying anyone is right or wrong. All I'm saying is things need to change between you two and I want to help.

Gabrielle (fighting back tears): I love her. I always will and I'm just as much at fault as she is. Maybe if I said something or done something…

Aphrodite (stroking her face): Shh little one. Let's not do the what if and if I had or should have ok. Now come on we have a lot to do. (Aphrodite asked for a description of Amazon clothing and ceremonial garb and Gabrielle provided it; she asked her about traditions and ceremonies and finally asked her about what she wanted from Xena. Most of them brought a smile to her face. As the sun sank into the horizon Aphrodite had Gabrielle's part of the plan worked out now for the warrior.)

Xena was covered in dirt and sweat and had just thrown the last piece of garbage onto the fire; there was hardly anything left salvageable inside and was wondering how in the hell things were going to shape up in the form of a home. She heard giggling then Aphrodite appeared with a tray in one hand and a bag in another.

Xena (wiping her face with the back of her hand): I took everything out that wasn't salvageable. ot much left inside. Did you see Gabrielle? Is she alright?

Aphrodite (handing Xena the tray which was loaded with food and a skin of juice): Yes and yes. Now I want you to eat that and then you and I are going to have a very serious talk Warrior Babe.

Xena (rolling her eyes): I don't want to talk I want to know how I can fix the mess that I made with my partner. I want her back dammit (this was said with a low growl in her throat.)

Aphrodite (not intimidated in the least): Now you listen up; you (pointing to the tray) are going to eat that and be quiet about it. Then we are going to have a long talk and not another word out of you. (A growl was her answer and she pushed up her sleeves) like I'm scared of you. Now sit down and eat before I force feed ya.

Xena (growling deciding not to argue; no one got away with talking to her like that well except Gabrielle; but here this blond Goddess was giving her orders and directions and she was taking them but it was for Gabrielle so she complied): You know besides Gabrielle and Eve no one has ever stood up to me. I must be getting soft in my old age.

Aphrodite (rolling her eyes pleased that Xena was eating a little better than she had the past week or so): You've always been soft; you just hated to show it because you thought it made you weak and vulnerable especially after all you`ve been through. It doesn't though, I thought I told you that a long time ago.

Xena (taking a swig of the juice): I miss her. I never depended on anyone before her. You know when we first started getting intimate with each other I questioned it. I wondered how such a wonderful creature such as Gabrielle could love a murdering bitch like me. How someone so sweet and innocent would want to even associate with me? And you know what? (Aphrodite motioning for her to go on) she said to me one night that she saw beyond all the pain; all the rage and violence; she saw my heart and soul and knew I wasn't as evil as everyone made me out to be including myself.

Aphrodite (smiling): She's an amazing women Xena. You two have been through the depths of Tartaurus but you love each other and that love has held you together. That alone in of itself is amazing but you two have been through things no mortals ever should that's what makes your love special. You'll get through this I know you will. You just need to have faith in each other and yourself.

Xena (nodding and finishing up her dinner): Thank you. Now what's your plan (at a raised eyebrow from Aphrodite) what?

Aphrodite (snapping her fingers and producing a blank scroll and a quill and unknown to Xena bringing Gabrielle there as well though no one could see or hear her except Aphrodite): Start talking girlfriend…

Xena (rolling her eyes): About what?

Aphrodite (gently): About your feelings. What do you feel for Gabrielle? How settling down makes you feel? What went through your mind in Jappa?

Xena (looking around; she was losing her patience; she didn't want to talk; she wanted to fix the place up and get Gabrielle back to her): Listen I just want to fix this place up and see Gabrielle.

Gabrielle watched all this and wondered exactly what Xena thought about all those questions and more. She knew Xena loved her; would do anything for her but what was truly in her heart and going on with her mind.

Aphrodite (making the pretense of looking around the room but looked at Gabrielle): Xena you can't fix things between you and Gabrielle if you don't talk. When she is back in your arms do you want things creeping up between you two? Do you want to send her away again?

Xena (angrily): No. I just I…

Aphrodite (gently): You just what? You think talking to me about your feelings makes you weak? You think bearing your heart and soul makes you less of a warrior (a slow nod and pacing.) It doesn't I thought I told you this before. Now please tell me what you feel inside?

Xena (wishing she had something she could hit; slash or break): I love her I know that I feel that. She's the most gentle soul I've ever known; she's the best thing in my life; she's the light in the dark; the strength that gives me reason to go on no matter how hard the road is and I know I screwed up a lot of times in our relationship. I always thought I was doing the right thing when I tried to correct the mistakes I made in my past but I know every time I did I hurt her. I don't know why she followed me after some of the things she found out about me. In Jappa I was just focused on saving those souls I didn't think about what it would do to her or what it would cause her to deal with. I never thought about what would happen; or if Akemi was lying to me. Then when we came back and were traveling around I thought about what she asked me about settling down but I didn't know what to do. What if I screw up again what will happen to her; to me; to us? I'm afraid I won't be what she wants me to be and I'm afraid of losing her again. I'm afraid I may not be enough for her or not be what she wants or needs.

Gabrielle looked at Aphrodite wondering what she meant by that and Aphrodite urged Xena to continue.

Aphrodite (gently moving closer to Xena): Scared of what? What frightens you of settling down? What's eating at you? Why do you think you may not be enough?

Xena (shaking her head she just wanted to get to work not talk about her feelings with anyone): Let's get to work…

Aphrodite (shaking her head; she had hit a soft spot and she knew it; something was troubling her and she wouldn't admit to it; she glanced at Gabrielle and she could see the determination written on her face; she wanted Xena to continue): Xena I'm your friend. You and Gabrielle are important to me. Talk to me Xena maybe I can help you with whatever is bothering you.

Gabrielle moved closer silently urging her partner on.

Xena (throwing her hands up in frustration): It's just that what if we settle down and she decides she would be happy without me; that maybe she made a mistake all this time. What if she decides that she would be better off without me? I couldn't handle that and I can't handle it now. Her being gone is killing me. I know I've screwed up; I've made a lot of mistakes dammit (growling angrily she slammed her fist into the wall in front of her letting out a painful cry; she leaned against the wall tears of anger and frustration flowing down her face.) I can't lose her again.

Gabrielle wanted to comfort her soul mate; reassure her that, that wouldn't happen but Aphrodite held her hand up.

Aphrodite (standing behind Xena and putting her arm on her shoulder gently): Xena…look at me (Xena tensed) please look at me. (She bit her own lip to keep from crying as she saw the tears running down her face) hey Gabrielle would never do that. You two have been through to much to let that happen and she's not like that.

Xena (shaking her head): But she could…

Aphrodite (wiping the tears from her face): She could but she won't. You know her heart Xena; it is entwined with yours just like your souls. Give it a chance ok. She loves you, you two are the most perfect example of love and I had nothing to do with it. Just trust your heart and Gabrielle`s ok(Xena nodded) good now let's get to work. And you can continue talking to me as we get this place cleaned up.

Gabrielle watched silently thinking about what Xena had said. They had come through so much and she couldn't understand why Xena would feel like that but then maybe she could; that one time when they were in that other world and Gabrielle was famous and Xena was the Empress. They had found each other but at what cost. There were a lot of things to think about and one of them was how to reassure her partner.

Xena and Aphrodite worked on the farmhouse after Aphrodite sent Gabrielle back to her temple. Tomorrow would be Gabrielle's turn.

The next morning Gabrielle was out in the courtyard writing when Aphrodite popped in with some breakfast ready to enact phase two of her plan. Xena vehemently protested saying she didn't want to invade her lover's privacy but when Aphrodite explained it wasn't invading just hearing her thoughts; then Xena argued that couldn't stand the thought of seeing her partner hurting like she did. Aphrodite told her that she needed to hear what Gabrielle had to say if she wanted them to get back together.

Gabrielle (looking up at Aphrodite and knowing Xena was around): Morning.

Aphrodite (setting the tray down): Hi little one. How are you feeling? (She had talked to her in length about not letting on she knew Xena's fears) I'm fine so what's on your mind? Aphrodite (looking at Xena who was standing beside Gabrielle): I want to know why you left her. What caused you so much pain little one? Gabrielle (taking a deep breath): I'm afraid for her; for us. We've sacrificed so much over the years and it took her dying and the lies to get to the crux of the whole problem. I can't do this anymore. I can't stand by and watch her enter battle after battle wondering if this one will be her last. I know she's the best there is and I have faith in her abilities but look at what happened. We've never known more than a few moments peace and I should be grateful for that but when do we get our chance. When do we have the chance of just being together; just being us without all the titles and pretenses? How come no one besides Eve; you; me and Virgil see a side to her besides Warrior Princess; Lion of Amphipolis; Former Destroyer of Nations; why can't anyone see the woman behind the armor and stoic façade. Why can't we say enough is enough already (tears fell down her face as the truth of her statement hit her.)

Aphrodite (looking at Xena and watching as the Warrior struggled with wanting to comfort her partner and wanting to fix things; she silently urged Xena to go ahead and get things ready for tonight): Gabrielle (rubbing her back) I think you're right. I think the world needs to learn or at least understand that you two need time to just be yourselves. I can help you both if you want me to.

Gabrielle (softly): I don't…

Aphrodite (touching her lips): Shh don't say anything. Just trust me ok I have never brought harm to either one of you and I never would. Please for me and for love. (Gabrielle nodded) ok you sit tight I'll be back later I have a few things I need to do.

Xena was pacing the home that had once belonged to her grandparents wondering if the things she had done to it would make Gabrielle happy.

Aphrodite (materializing): Ok Warrior Babe you know what the problem is now you have to fix it.

Xena (leaning against the wall): And how are we going to fix this. We have a home now but does that change things or do we sit here and… Aphrodite (tapping Xena's head): You are one thick headed babe. Now here's the plan…

After talking on for great lengths Xena understood and listened. The hard part was waiting for Gabrielle to get there with Aphrodite and hoping that Gabrielle would forgive her and come back to her.

Aphrodite (holding Gabrielle's arm): Come on you'll like it (silently I hope or Xena is going to make that Chakram a part of me and I don't' think I'll enjoy it.) Please just this once.

Gabrielle (giving in): Alright but promise me if I don't like it you get me out of there immediately.

Aphrodite (holding up one hand and crossing her heart with the other): Amazons honor (Gabrielle rolled her eyes) ok let's go. Aphrodite and Gabrielle materialized in the cabin and both of them took a deep breath; Xena had outdone herself with the little preparations; several candles lit the sitting room; a vase of flowers sat on a table and a fire was lit in the fire place. In front of the fire was a pile of furs and blankets and beside that was a skin of wine.

Gabrielle (looking around she knew this was Xena's grandparents farm but so much had been done to restore it; there were no longer holes in the roof or the walls; the floor had been clean and repaired; new furniture adorned the sitting room and she couldn't wait to see what else lay in store for her): What…

Aphrodite (smiling): You just sit tight and enjoy yourself. I'll see you later um maybe (and disappeared before Gabrielle could say another word.)

She heard noises from the back of the house and sat up waiting and the sight that greeted her almost sent her passing out cold. There in the doorway that led to the bedroom (she remembered that one night when her Ares and Xena had all laid on the bed together in the pretense of sleep but both Ares and Xena had other ideas in mind; Xena's was once Ares fell asleep they would sneak off to the barn; Ares was trying to get them both into his arms and for her well she wouldn't touch that one.) Looking up at the sight that greeted her she unconsciously licked her lips; there in all her magnificent glory stood her Warrior Princess naked except for a chain and collar around her neck; a loin cloth was the only thing covering her waist and her body glistened with oil in the firelight; she licked her lips at the gorgeous sight in front of her.)

Xena (standing there looking at the woman she loved more than life itself sat regally in the high back chair in her Amazon Leathers; a tight fitting halter top which barely covered her assets; a tight fitting skirt and ankle high boots; the color was a rich green with white trim; ceremonial feathers were attached at various places; her upper arms were decorated with two pieces of black leather adorned with beads and feathers; Xena noticed that Gabrielle had forgone the ceremonial headgear; licking her lips she moved forward slowly; butterflies making swan dives in her stomach): Gabrielle… Gabrielle (wondering if this was a dream or her loneliness driving her mad): Xena…

Xena (softly; reassuring her partner): Shh it's ok. Do you know the Amazon tradition of a Warrior surrendering to their mate; or one offering her life to her? (Gabrielle nodded) you know I've never surrendered to anyone for anything. I would rather die or suffer then to give in. That changed when I met you. I would give my very life for you (dropping to her knees) you know this part of the ceremony Brie what does it mean? (Slowly with the chain dragging behind her she crawled to Gabrielle; her head bowed in total surrender.)

To Gabrielle she reminded her of those sleek jungle cats they had seen in their travels; Xena's body was sleek and powerful glistening in the firelight; her muscles tense and rippling and she knew that Xena had indeed surrendered to her like no one before her. Gabrielle (gently taking the chain in her hands): I'm sorry…

Xena (softly not looking up): Don't apologize Brie. You followed your heart something I need to learn to do more often. Do you accept my offer of surrender; do you accept my sword arm for your protection; my body for your use; my heart and soul to do with as you please? Do you accept this Warrior pleas for forgiveness (her head still bowed she still had a part of her that was afraid and nervous.)

Gabrielle (sliding out of the chair and cupping Xena's chin in one hand while stroking her face): Did anyone ever tell you that it's hard to resist your charm? Xena there's nothing to forgive I just want things to change; I want to wake up in the morning and not have to worry about stopping an invading army; or chasing down some marauders or wonder if your going to come back to me or I'm going to have to light your funeral pyre (tears fell down her face as she thought of that horrible moment in her life.) I can't do that anymore Xena; I can't wake up wondering if today or tomorrow will be your last because some one got lucky. I'm sorry I know you're a Warrior but… (she didn't finish as strong arms pulled her close.)

Xena (comforting her): I understand and you don't have to apologize. You listen to your heart something I always admired about you. One of the many things I love about you. I promise things will change from now on. No more adventures; no more wandering around it's you and me (thinking) well if Eve and Virgil come to visit then that's well you get my point. But I owe you this… Gabrielle (shaking her head): No I don't want you to do this out of pity…

Xena (softly; stroking her face): It's done out of love; of all the times you stood by me when most people would have given up; all the times you loved me even at my worst. I want to give this to you (leaning forward and for the first time in weeks their lips touched; softness and passion meeting in a heated embrace; they could no more control their emotions and desires then they could control the weather. Gabrielle pulled Xena closer; not ever wanting to let go of her; their arms tightening around each other; their lips never parting. Moans and whimpers of pleasure was reignited. Their love exploding around them and it was just a kiss alone that led to the emotions.

Gabrielle (grabbing the free length of chain): Come on Warrior you can show me all the hard work then you can show me how much you missed me.

Xena (smiling then looking down at the chain and collar around her neck; then just went with it; that was a piece of advice Aphrodite had given her): Sure come on love.

Where holes in the walls and roof were now repaired; broken window panes were replaced with fresh glass; the back room that had once been used for storage was now a large bathing chamber and there was a doorway that led to the bedroom; the bed had been replace as well as the mattresses; two large chests sat on one side of the room and several shelves had been installed. There were many revisions done to the place but the one that touched Gabrielle the most was a small room designed for writing a large hand carved desk and chair; a small fireplace and a nice view of the woods surrounding their home completed the room. Xena had thought of everything including the revisions done to the kitchen.

Gabrielle (smiling and hugging Xena tightly): This is fabulous. Xena (trying to act nonchalantly): Do you like it? Is this what you wanted?

Gabrielle (nuzzling Xena's throat): You outdid yourself Warrior Princess.

Xena (kissing her lips softly): We can always farm and raise some animals and oh yeah right there (as Gabrielle's hands moved over her body setting the embers bursting into flames.)

Gabrielle (seductively): Take me to bed and let me thank you properly.

Xena (reaching down and picking her up; carrying into the bedroom and trying not to lose her concentration as lips and teeth devoured her neck): I thought I was the one who was…

Gabrielle (trying to figure out how to remove the chain): Don't think (yelping as she was tossed effortlessly on the bed then pounced on by her soul mate. Mischievous blue eyes met green) I missed you. I missed us and I missed this (wrapping her legs around Xena's as their bodies melded together. They fit together perfectly. As their passion met they both knew they had come home; maybe it would be this place maybe somewhere else but they both realized in those soul and heart binding moments that they couldn't be separated it hurt too much. Each kiss; each touch and caress healed their wounds and brought them back together. Entwined heart and soul for eternity.)

Mel (setting down her notes): That is one of the sweetest things I read. They really did love each. They suffered so much and in the end Xena did everything for her love. It's amazing how much she changed and Gabrielle too love.

Janice (massaging her partner's shoulders): I never doubted them for one minute (at the questioning glance of her partner.) Mel they had a hard life and they made mistakes yes but no matter what they pulled through them.

Mel (nodding and standing): So now the question is what happened next in their lives? Did they stay on the farm or eventually move on to somewhere else?

Janice (looking at her partner): I guess we'll find out; there are probably more scrolls to discover. You in love?

Mel (smiling and embracing her partner): With you always. Their lips met and their passions ignited their souls reflecting emotions thousands of years old. Like their ancestors their hearts and souls intertwined. New adventures waited on the horizon but for now there were more pressing matters at hand.

Aphrodite silently placed a small piece of paper on the table and vanished going back to her home to see her favorite visiting couple. Xena was listening to Gabrielle reading something while carving some small statue.

Xena (looking up): You think they'll figure out who gave them that piece of paper?

Aphrodite (sitting next to the dark haired warrior): Maybe. But you mortals are a curious bunch.

Gabrielle (smiling): It's nice to know that after all this time my stories are being read and Xena's (getting a look from her partner) and I adventures are getting some credit.

Xena (standing then pulling her partner into her arms): Aphrodite again thank you; thank you for the second chance with Gabrielle; our home when we're in between lives; and for being our friend. Now if you'll excuse us (picking a laughing Gabrielle up) I have a few things to discuss with my better half.

Aphrodite (smiling at them): Go on I'll be around.

Like thousands of years before and for thousands of years after the two soul mates and mortals bonded their hearts and souls together never to be separated in life or death.

Continued in Featherheads and Followers

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