Session Two at Sappho’s Couples Counseling Service

Part 4

by Ximena




As characters, Xena and Gabrielle, and any others borrowed from the show, Xena: Warrior Princess, belong to MCA Universal and Renaissance Pictures. As fantasies, they belong to us all. In this series of therapeutic vignettes, I’ve borrowed them for my own perverse purposes as a hopeless subtext romantic. This session contains specific references to several, episodes, among them: "Giant Killer," "Return of Callisto," "A Fistful of Dinars," "Ulysses," and especially "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun."


The meat--a pork roast and two pheasants--was cold but they finished every scrap of it, anyway. Xena scraped the bone clean on the roast with her breast dagger. Someone had come in while they were in the bath and left a bowl of grapes and a platter of dates and figs for dessert, another pitcher of wine, this one clear and sweet. They ate their fill, licking each other’s fingers and lips, feeding each other the sweet, sticky fruit till their teeth ached and the wine was gone.

"I’m stuffed," Xena said, rubbing her naked belly. "How ‘bout you?"

Gabrielle’s eyes twinkled in the firelight. "Not quite," she said, her teeth biting lightly on her lower lip as she watched Xena’s body. The square shoulders, dark-nippled breasts, flat belly, sharp bones at the hip, wide, strong thighs, thighs that could crush a Cyclops to death, black pubis hung with the gold chain mail of the loin belt she’d buckled on as soon as they were out of the bath.

For once, the loin belt didn’t bother Gabrielle. Maybe it was all the wine, the heavy satedness that the food had given her, the pleasure she’d taken in the bath. Maybe it was just the recognition that--except for the breasts and the missing organ between her legs--Xena had the strength and contours of a man’s body. You couldn’t see it so much when she wore her leathers, what with the whip and the chakram dangling off the sides and the armor accentuating her breasts and cleavage, the skirt announcing her gender loud and clear. But naked like that, sitting at the end of the sideboard with one long, hairy calf thrust over the back of a chair, rubbing her belly and picking her teeth with a chicken bone, there was nothing feminine about Xena at all. Even her breasts looked more like over-developed pectoral muscles than female organs. The thought made Gabrielle’s eyes twinkle, made her bite her lip and stare at her lover in a way that said I want you inside me as only one other person had ever gone.

"Dinar for your thoughts," said Xena, who had felt more than seen the energy emanating out of Gabrielle, like a sudden shimmer of heat lifting all around her.

"Let’s go to bed," Gabrielle said, her voice almost hoarse with desire. "It’s my turn to tell a story." She reached out her arms. "Take me," she said.

Xena responded so quickly it felt like a shadow had suddenly moved in the room and lifted Gabrielle out of her chair. Gently, the shadow laid her down in the cool silky softness of the bed, then stretched its long, lean body beside hers and held her close, a warm, weapon-callused hand stroking Gabrielle’s skin.

"I don’t know what’s softer," Xena whispered. "These sheets or you."

They kissed. Only that for a while, the tangling of tongues and sucking of mouths, moans punctuating the stillness. And then Gabrielle nestled her head in the crook of Xena’s shoulder and gently touched Xena’s face with her fingertips, like someone blind feeling the lips and nose and eyelids of her beloved.

"After Perdicus died," Gabrielle began her story, "after all those months of mourning him and hating Callisto with equal amounts of intensity--"

Xena rested her head back against the downy pillow and listened to the voice she loved, the storyteller’s voice, the voice of the Bard that was Gabrielle’s truest self.

"--I came to the realization that, though I loved him deeply and though I felt enraged at the unfairness of his death, and at my own foolish innocence that believed love could conquer cruelty, though I lusted for revenge, I could never have been a normal wife to him. I could have never settled down in Potidea, or any other town, and started a family with Perdicus, living happily ever after, bringing up children and taking care of a farm, or whatever. It would have been a life of love, yes, but also, of servitude and entrapment. I had to accept that I’d been on the road too long. I’d been with you too long. I’d shared too much with you to ever be able to give it all up for marriage or a family. I missed you, Xena, more than I ever missed my mother or my sister. Even in the chapel as Perdicus and I said our vows, I missed you. I felt you standing behind me, and I could tell you were hurting but were being strong for my benefit, and I ached for you, Xena. I ached for the loss of you in my life.

"At the inn that night, my wedding night, the big night when I was at long last going to become a woman for the first time, do you know what I was doing? While my husband sat on the bed waiting for me, I was staring out the window thinking about you, wondering what you were going to do without me. I knew Joxer was with you that night and that your mind was focused on putting Callisto away for good, but I was way beyond that night in my thoughts. I was thinking about all the other nights you would be spending alone, sleeping alone, eating alone, traveling here and there without me. I can’t tell you how the thought of your loneliness hurt me, a loneliness that I had caused by leaving you for Perdicus. Just before we made love, I asked him if we could name our daughter after you. I needed to test him, you see. I couldn’t have given myself to someone who didn’t understand how much you meant to me."

Tears trailed down the side of Xena’s face into her hair and the silk of the pillow covering. She had never told Gabrielle about the wrenching pain in her gut that had started the moment Gabrielle announced she was going to marry Perdicus, after all. By the time of the ceremony, the cramp in her belly was worse than birth pangs. Had it not been for Joxer keeping her company, annoying her with his jokes, staying awake through the night with her, she might have gone and fought Callisto, just to change the focus of the pain. Only a physical beating administered by someone who hated her as much as Callisto could have helped her forget for a moment the pain of an organ being cut out from inside her.

"When he started to touch me and I him," Gabrielle was saying, "I kept comparing his hands to yours, his kisses to yours, his awkwardness to your well-experienced love making. I understood pretty quickly that I was going to have to show him what to do, what I liked, but at the same time I was experiencing something that was totally new for me, something my body had been wanting for years without my knowledge. The feel of a man’s sex in my hands. The hardness of it, the sensitivity of it, the way it seemed like a third presence between us. Where my husband’s hands and lips felt clumsy and insecure, his sex moved surely between my legs, and seemed to be in no hurry to reach its mark. It seemed content caressing the insides of my thighs, exploring the wet opening of my body, waiting for me to be ready. In its self-assuredness, it reminded me of you, and in my mind (forgive me, Perdicus, if this offends your memory in any way), in my mind, it became you, Xena, that third presence, that knowledgeable lover."

Xena felt her nipples harden and her crotch grow moist at Gabrielle’s description. If only you knew, she thought, how much I have wanted to take you in that way, to make you mine entirely.

"The times you and I had been together you’d never attempted to penetrate me, thinking, perhaps, that I wanted to preserve my virginity the way you guard your warrior’s chastity. And I guess it never occurred to me, either, that I could have had you inside me the way I imagined you now, in my husband’s phallus, pushing into me, tearing through the fabric of my girlhood, and filling me with the hard, full presence of your love. I know you’ve had other women, Xena, have you ever done that to a woman?"

Xena didn’t know what to say. If she admitted that, yes, she’d done that before, she’d done only that and nothing more, no gentleness, no sweet loving words, no pleasuring of the other before herself--Gabrielle would want to know the details, and the details were part of the past that Xena tried daily to forget. She shook her head and grunted something noncommittal, then reached for Gabrielle’s breast and filled her mouth with it, rubbing her hand over the soft, warm flesh of her lover’s belly, the downy hair between her thighs. She knew what was coming next and secretly she thanked the gods that at last Gabrielle had come to it on her own.

"Go on," she murmured, "go on with your story. We’ll talk about me later."

"Don’t get me wrong," Gabrielle continued. "The pain of it was excruciating and I knew I was bleeding into the bedclothes. But beyond the pain, there was an ache inside me, a kind of throb that I’d always felt when you and I were together and that never seemed to go away, despite the intense pleasure you always gave me. I didn’t know I needed to be filled, I wanted to be filled. That’s what the throb was about, you see. Needing to be filled, to be fully connected with another being. Of course, there wasn’t any pleasure for me that night, just the pain followed by the knowledge that, at last, I’d been touched as deeply as possible. And I understood months later, as I mourned Perdicus and raged against Callisto, that my love and my hate were rooted in that same place where the throb had been, a throb that, I thought then, would never be quelled again. That’s the lesson I learned from Perdicus. That’s why he came back into my life. Not to make me a wife and a mother, not to take me away from my soulmate, but to learn the lesson of deep physical love, which is the only way for two people, two bodies, two souls to really be connected. Without that connection, we leave room for hate to take root inside us. And hate is the root of cruelty. That’s what was happening to me with Callisto."

Silently, Xena marveled at Gabrielle’s wisdom, the way she could draw these universal conclusions that explained everything and yet remained very personal to her own experience.

"You were so patient with me," Gabrielle was saying. "I had to ask you, remember? I had to ask you to make love to me once the mourning ceased and I realized no one could ever make me as happy as you."

Xena remembered the first time Gabrielle had asked her to go inside her, and a shudder coursed down the middle of her spine. She had used nothing but her hand, having buried her phallus when she buried the warlord long ago. First, her index finger, in long, slow thrusts that brought the wetness gushing out of Gabrielle, but Gabrielle kept writhing and asking her to go deeper. She added the middle finger, and pumped her some more. "Harder," Gabrielle said, "do it harder, Xena," and Xena plunged into her with three fingers, and pumped her as hard as she could until she climaxed.

As if she could read the images in her mind, Gabrielle climbed on top of her and started kissing her breasts, pressing her pubis against Xena’s.

If only I had what you want, little one, thought Xena, wondering what she could use for a phallus. How she regretted, now, that burial ritual, not because she missed the crazed and evil warlord she used to be, nor the way that instrument had brought pain and torture to so many innocent girls and good women, but because of that gold shaft she’d had forged in Athens, a blacksmith’s shop called The Midas Touch which specialized in sex toys and armor for the bed, as the smithy had called it. Her loin belt was all she had left of that useful device. It had been the length of two of Xena’s fingers, tip to tip (Midas, the smithy, had been very exact about measurements), and it had a good, solid girth, slightly curved and ringed at the back end with a leather band, and it worked in tandem with the loin belt. It slipped through a hinged opening that Gabrielle knew nothing about, and a tight cinching of the buckle at her waist would make it rise from her body like an erect, golden phallus, held securely in place by the chain mail against the leather band at the hilt.

"Fuck me, Xena," Gabrielle’s breath felt hot against her ear. "Fuck me hard and deep. Fuck me like you’ve never fucked me before." She sounded intoxicated, from the wine, from the story, from the feel of their breasts rubbing against each other.

Quickly, Xena glanced around the darkening room. The fire had died down to a red glow and the candles had burned down in their sconces. She squinted as her eyes raked over the furniture, the sideboard, the plate of fruit. That’s it, she thought, spotting something she could use. She jumped off the bed as suddenly and silently as a cat after its prey. She approached the board, took the pork shank from the platter, wiped off the grease with a napkin, then bent over to unhinge the opening on her loin belt. She knew Gabrielle was watching her from behind, but it was too dark for her to make out what she was doing. The bone was too wide and wouldn’t work with the loin belt. She’d have to try something else. Now, her mind was possessed with this idea. By the love of Aphrodite, she entreated in silence, something had to work, even if she had to go down to the kitchens and ask for a sausage.

And suddenly, a flame flickered to life in the hearth, and the light caught on something shiny sticking its head out of the saddlebag. Xena took two long steps and fished the thing out. There it was, her golden phallus. Only a trick of the gods could have done this. And then she remembered she’d sworn by Aphrodite and Aphrodite was in the house and had, no doubt, heard her appeal. Xena was too excited to ponder the situation any longer, or wonder what payment the goddess would expect in return. She slipped the phallus into position, tightened the belt, and turned around for Gabrielle to see her.

Usually, she went by another name when she was so-equipped, but she didn’t want to use the same old name; she wanted no associations with that past. A new alternative occurred to her as she approached the open-mouthed Gabrielle waiting for her on the other side of the veils that enclosed the bed.

"I sing of David," she said, and she could feel her own eyes glittering with passion, "Warrior Phallus of Xena."




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