Disclaimer: I don't own the characters, I just love writing about them. In this story there is Graphic Lesbian Sex, so if the idea of Xena and Gabrielle writhing together passionately doesn't turn you on, or for some reason it's illegal for you to read about it, don't read the story.

Description: This is a first time story and an alternate ending to "Back In The Bottle"

Send comments to: MiladyCo@aol.com

That Unfamiliar Activity

aka "After Black Powder 2"
by Xena's Little Bitch

Hark! Let no one say that I, Gabrielle of Poteidaia, am not a bard! Over time I have been known by many names, and many titles. I have been called Amazon Queen, Archangel, The Betrayer. And I have been many things: warrior, champion of peace, mother and grandmother to demons--in fact a demon myself once or twice. But let no one say that I have not always, too, been a bard.

There are times in life that things happen. Terrible things, wonderful things. Or life moves so quickly around you that you can barely take it all in before it speeds by. There can be periods where there is no time in which to record it, to take it apart and analyze it, to embellish it, to bring it to life again for others with words.

And then there are those times when you meet a person, and something that they say or you say reminds you of the person you used to be, of the thing you forgot about yourself as life enveloped you in it's confusion and pain and wonder. Suddenly you remember the core of who you are, that it was there all the time. Twice this has happened to me recently, and to these two people I give thanks for their gifts, so accidentally given.

To Amarice, for reminding me that I was not, when we met, acting as a warrior. Her words stung, stirred something in my heart, reminded me that I was always the sort of person who would fight for what I believed in, that I was always the sort of person who would put my physical body at risk to protect others, that in fact I left my home to be a warrior, "like Xena."

And to Lin Qi, for mentioning the "storyteller" who traveled with Xena, for reminding me that I was she, The Bard. She who wrote, who created, who declaimed. I have always loved telling stories, always, and with all I have experienced I can tell stories that can truly change people's lives. So thank you Lin Qi for reminding me of this, and of other things too easily dismissed.

I pretend to be myself four years ago and look at myself now and wonder: how did I become such an extraordinary warrior and how did I lose my joy? Simply by living this life with Xena? Certainly it brings me great pride to be this strong, this self-reliant, a true warrior. But the joy, that I could do with finding again.

This is the bard as she is today. A woman who has seen so much she cannot imagine there is much left to see. A woman who has known people at their best and their worst, traveled through time and space, given birth and killed, gone to hell and back and cried and danced and healed and seen her death foretold and lived it and returned to write about it. When there is conflict, sometimes I run, sometimes I talk, but when it comes down to it, I am no longer someone to be rescued.

So I wake up early and chop wood for hours until dawn. Everything is dark green; brown and emerald. Emerging from the woods I see the cave where Xena and I have set up house for the moment. Smoke floats out of the rock chimney and blurs in with the fog. I pull the logs into the cave's shelter and there she is, sleeping soundly in a pile of furs. Staring at her stomach I cannot help but wonder what she carries inside it. I believe her when she says it was not conceived in the regular fashion. This is no regular baby. I imagine it is not ours to keep and cannot consider sharing that with her, she who sleeps deep, who looks so beautiful and so at peace. She wants so badly to get it right this time, to be a mother. Certainly I can relate and I cannot be the one to tell her that this might not be the plan.

I must address the other thing Lin Qi reminded me of. Not simply of Perdicus, but of men. He was the first man I felt a real pull towards who I said no to because of Xena. It felt so right. Because of what I have with her, not because of what I don't have. Over time it has become clear to me that I have given up the possibility of other relationships by committing myself to her. But when I reach out for her body in the night, the comfort she provides has clear boundaries. I don't know why, but they are there and it seems unthinkable to cross them.

And yet. And yet perhaps this is the key to what plagues me. The feeling that I have sacrificed something. I have given up romantic love, I have given up that unfamiliar activity others talk about so freely in the taverns we pass through. But if I could have with Xena what I give up to be with her, well, do I not deserve that? Nights of passion, Xena's eyes blazing, dark, infused with it, her strong arms wrapped around me. I have imagined these things and found them worth imagining again.

"Good morning, Gabrielle," she says, startling me.

"Good morning. Did you sleep well?"

I see her taking me in, barely dressed in this new outfit, my muscles slick with sweat, my hair sticky and disheveled. I imagine this appeals to her. I imagine.

"Yes. Slept like a baby." She smiles and pats the bed next to her, "Get in. I'm cold."

"I'm wet."

"Get in," she says in that way of hers that no one can resist, let alone me. She holds the blanket up and scowls into it's empty dept hs. "Waiting..."

So I get in bed and snuggle up against her stomach.

"This thing is huge," I say.

"True," she says, closing her eyes as I stroke her stomach.

"Warmer?" I ask. The smell of her when she's just awakened, it's beyond expression. I breathe it in and open my eyes into hers, staring, warm and blue, already into mine.

"Much warmer," she says, pulling her arms and the blanket tight around my back. We lie face to face, her stomach's length away. She reaches her face out and kisses the tip of my nose. Her lips are hot and my nose feels, well, loved.

"Xena!" I exclaim.

She grins at me. "What?"

"You kissed my nose."

"Should I say 'sorry'?"

"Nah. I was just surprised." More than once I have thought how to bring it up, how to say I am so happy with you, we have everything except.

"Your turn," says Xena. Her face gives away nothing. I should be used to that but there are times...

"Okay. Just tell me the rules and I'll take my turn."

"The rules...lemme think...so far the rules go I kiss you, you kiss me, and so on."

"Got it." My palms placed gently on the leather of her stomach, I close my eyes and softly kiss the skin of her cheek near her mouth. It's only my first move, I tell myself, if I get another turn I will be more brave. "Your turn."

"Think, Xena, strategize," she says, furrowing her brow in mock concentration. I watch her close her eyes and I close mine and feel her kiss just graze the edge of my lip. It feels suddenly as if that part of my lip and my heart are the only parts of my body that have not gone numb and in fact they have burst into flame. I open my eyes as she says in a voice I have never heard her use before, "Your turn."

Okay. My turn. The warrior and the bard within me have no disagreement about how this hand should be played. I look at her mouth, close my eyes, and kiss her. Just press my lips to hers with a gentleness I can barely control. I pull my head back and look at her. Her eyes are endlessly deep in the dark cave, and she pauses before she speaks.

"You win," she says still in that voice, "Do you want to play again?"

"Yes," I say immediately without thought, "Yes. Does the winner go first?"


"Alight then." Yes, I like this game. I will just go for it. What is it the followers of Athena the Victorious say?--Just do it!

As I reach my face towards hers, she too reaches out towards me.

"Are you cheating?" I ask her as our lips are a hair's breadth apart.

"No, no," she murmurs, as I touch my lips again to hers, "This is totally within the rules."

Suddenly my tongue is in her mouth and hers in mine and the kiss has gone beyond the range of anything I have ever experienced. Never have I kissed before this moment and it is beyond any expectation. Her lips are so hot and so gentle, even as I feel her strength inside her trying to pull me in, her desire to have every bit of me, I feel her gentleness. Her lips are like, like....like...unlike anything. Xena is kissing me and all thought has left my head. It's so wonderfully not a game and I've got my hands all over her back and--

"Xena," I whisper, my mouth suddenly at her ear.


"Please--tell me it's not a game any more."

"It's not a game," she holds the back of my neck in her palm, and again, only the back of my neck and her palm exist in all the world.

"Oh, your hands!" I whisper. She presses them along the muscles of my abdomen, and I press myself hard against them.

"Look into my eyes, Gabrielle"

I do.

"No going back," she says.


Xena smiles.

"I sure do like your smile," I am driven to say.

"Yes," she whispers as she starts kissing me again. My hands are tangled in her hair and I feel her reach up my back to undo my top. It's not much of a top, but the difference is amazing. The feel of her hands, of her leather, against my naked breasts is like the smell of freshly cut grass three hundred times over, like the taste of fresh sweet cream, like I never had breasts before in my life. Overpowering and clean and beautiful. Suddenly I feel our kiss reach yet a deeper level, it is as if we are already making love, as if we have moved into the next step and I'm not sure what it is. I do not know how delicate her stomach is, I don't know what I should do next.

"What is it?" she whispers, "Did I do something wrong?"

"Gods, of course not. I just..may I undress you?"

A smile like a sunrise spreads across her face. I have said the right thing! With as much patience as I can come up with, I loosen the laces of her bodice. Soon she is naked. Xena, naked, pregnant, before me, lit by fire light, in a cave, a look of desire on her face so pure and so unique--I can tell that this look, this look, she saved just for me. I move back slightly to take it all in.

"You're stunning," is all I can say. Somehow everything we have been through has made her more beautiful to me. Seeing her as a demon, desperate for my love and acceptance, a naif in need of my protection, a woman whose equal I have come even closer to being in battle. All of these things have only added to my love for her, enormous as it was before.

"So are you. Like always but so much more so now."

"I was just thinking exactly that about you," I say.

Xena puts her hands to the ground and crawls the step it takes her to reach me. She extends her neck like a jungle cat, and captures my mouth with hers. Her tongue in my mouth, now behind my ear, whispering into it those words from all those back road taverns, yet now they have new meaning, now they set off layer after layer of excitement within me. Xena is practically purring now, rubbing the side of her face against mine, and she continues to crawl forward, causing me to be pushed backwards so softly and slowly onto the furs. Once she has me on my back she opens her eyes and looks down at me. Her face is pale, her hair cascading down around it, and she's smiling like a five year old with a secret too good to keep to herself.

"You are just precious," I say.

"I am so in love with you, Gabrielle," she says, and her lips move down and cover mine. Her hands have moved back to caressing my body, the furs around us have fallen to the ground, but we don't mind now. She never actually was cold, as far as I could tell. Xena, on her hands and knees above me, such easy prey. I hold her breasts in my hands as they hang there above me, so much larger than they were before. She gasps as I touch them and her stomach just barely grazes mine. I hear myself moan with pleasure at the touch. She presses her lips against my neck and sucks my skin into her mouth. My pleasure is so intense, and the feeling of her hands in my hair is almost paralyzing. Xena shifts so that her knee is between my thighs, and I rub myself against it.

Her kisses are wild now, and somehow I am compelled to move my hand slowly from her breast to the spot between her legs that is just radiating wet heat. I touch her there.

"Uhn!" Xena moans into my mouth, "Gah--" and she is mine. As I move my hand she moves her self against it, and her stomach brushes against mine with every stroke. The sounds she makes are beyond imagining. I open my eyes as she kisses me, trying to take her in from this close, and even as a blur of black and blue, she is beautiful. I feel her excitement build as she pulls the top half of her body upright, holding on to my shoulders for support and as her climax nears, so does mine.

"Who am I?" I whisper urgently.

"Gabrielle," she gasps, "Gabrielle," and I watch her as she comes, the look on her face beyond ecstatic. Hearing my name from her lips, so raw and passionate, sends me over the edge as well. Like a tidal wave breaking against a beach, someone wrote once; just like that.

"Is that enough, to just be Gabrielle?" I ask her once I can speak. I lie on my back, my head tilted to the side to look into her eyes, my hand in hers.

"What do you think?" she asks, her eyes wet and sparkling.

"I think maybe so."

So I sit here by the fire tonight, writing furiously in a scroll, covered in the sweat and scent of our love making. Let me try again from whence I began this story, and end it in a slightly different way.

Hark! Let no one say that I, Gabrielle of Poteidaia, am not a bard, nor that I am not a warrior, nor that I am not, for all time, the beloved of Xena, warrior princess. Let it be known throughout the lands, that I am this and only this: Gabrielle.


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