2003 Bardie Honorable Mention!

Best Appearance by Support Female (Lao Ma)

Disclaimer: This is the "Showtime" version of the REAL Facts of Life. So please be prepared for pages of profanity, nudity and adult situations. Thanks to the Academy for such a fun topic.

Love/Sex Warning: This gets a rating of NC 17. There are scenes involving sex between two women and it is graphic in nature. Hold onto your hats. You have been warned. No reading this at


Facts of Life


D. S. Bauden and S. Lee


You take the good, you take the bad,

You take them both and there you have

The facts of life

The facts of life

There's a time you've got to go and show

You've grown out of farms and know about

The facts of life

The facts of life

When the gods never seem,

To give you peace in or out of your dreams.

Then suddenly they're dying out

And we can finally live without the brutes.

The facts of life are all about you.




Chapter One

Let's Start at the Very Beginning, A Very Good Place to Start.




It was a warm spring day at Athens School for Girls as the young women, some from the finest families in Greece, sat down for their morning meal. The cafeteria was bustling with activity and buzzing with conversation about classes, boys, and the latest gossip. Lao Ma, the girls' wise housemother, greeted the adolescents with her usual charm and grace. She moved from table to table, talking to the ladies. She walked to the front of the cafeteria and called for the girls' attention. With a wave of her hand, she hushed the din.

"Ladies, we have a new student coming today. Her name is Xena of Amphipolis and I want to make sure you make her feel welcome."


The girls answered in unison, "Yes, Lao Ma." The conversation again began to buzz, but this time, the talk was about the new girl.

Lao Ma strode over to the table where a group of roommates sat, enjoying their fruit, bread, and cheese. "Girls, Xena will be staying in your room. Since Callisto decided to run off and join that preacher, Najara, her bed is empty."

The younger girls, Schiloppa and Yakut, clapped in delight. Gabrielle, the older, spoiled roommate stood up with her hands on her hips. "Lao Ma, that room is barely big enough for the three of us without having to worry about someone new coming and messing things up. There simply isn't enough space for another girl in the mirror in the mornings. These two already get in my way and make it so much harder for me to look my best." With that, Gabrielle tossed her long strawberry-blonde hair with her hand. "I'm sure if I let Daddy know that his little girl is all cramped and forced to share a room with three other girls, he would be quite displeased."

Lao Ma smiled gently and wrapped her arm around the spoiled girl's shoulder. "Now my dear, you must remember that adversity builds character. You will be a much stronger person for the hardship you will endure. You will be blessed for your generosity. So, please, do me a favor and remember this."


Gabrielle sighed. "Yes, Lao Ma. But she better keep her stuff off my bed."


Just then the commotion of the cafeteria came to a halt as a teenager wearing black leathers strutted into the room. Her dark hair was pulled back into a ponytail and she carried a large saddlebag. Various weapons were strapped to her muscular body. Curious eyes stared after the stranger. She walked up to Lao Ma and the girls. She smiled and held out her hand to the guardian.


"Hey, how you doin'? My name's Xena."

Lao Ma smiled, accepted the offered hand and tenderly placed her hand on Xena's cheek. "Welcome to our school. It's lovely to have you here. I think you'll do remarkably."


Yakut and Schiloppa eagerly introduced themselves. "Hi! I'm Yakut and this is Schiloppa. We'll be sharing a room with you."


Xena smiled. "Hiya."


Gabrielle turned down her nose disapprovingly. "You must be joking. I'm sharing a room with this? She smells like horse and sweat."


Xena's smile faded as she held up her clenched fist. "Tell you what. How about I give you a punch in the nose? Then, you won't be able to smell anything."


Lao Ma stepped in between them. "Now girls, let's calm down. Gabrielle, that's enough from you. That's not very nice. Xena, here's your first lesson, I want you to remember this. To conquer others is to have power. To conquer yourself, is to know the way."

Xena looked confused. "What does that mean?'


Lao Ma chuckled. "You'll learn in due time. Until then, I will need to confiscate your weapons. They will be in my room."


The warrior argued, "Oh, come on. What am I gonna do if I get jumped?"


"Xena dear, you won't need them here, I assure you. You will be perfectly safe here. It is against school policy to allow weapons in the rooms."


Xena groaned and finally conceded. "Oh, alright." She began to hand over her weapons. She gave Lao Ma her long and short swords and her whip. She pulled a small dagger out of her boot. From between her young breasts, she brought out another dagger. The girls' eyes grew large at the wide array of weaponry. Finally, Xena took the chakram off her hip, kissed it gently. "You be good. I'll see you soon." She gingerly placed it into Lao Ma's care.


The housemother grinned. "Thank you, Xena. I promise they will receive the best of care.  Girls, will you please show our new friend to your room."


Schiloppa and Yakut enthusiastically took Xena's hands and started to lead her to the dormitory. Xena stopped and looked at Lao Ma. "Where will I keep my horse, Argo?"


Lao Ma gently answered, "We have excellent stable facilities. After you see your room, you can go take a look at them and stable your horse."


Gabrielle interjected, "I say she stays with the horse in the stables. From the smell of her, she'll certainly feel at home."

Xena took menacing steps in Gabrielle's direction. The offending rich girl hid behind her friends. Lao Ma stopped the young warrior mid-step with the slightest touch to her arm. Xena looked at the petite Asian housemother, stunned at the power she commanded.


Yakut took Xena by the hand and led her to their room. Schiloppa followed behind and quietly remarked to herself, "There's gonna be troouubuuuullll."


Schiloppa tried to lighten up the mood by talking to Xena. "I think you're going to like our room. It's nice and cozy. We're kind of a little family. So, what brings you to Athens?"


"My mother owns a tavern back in Amphipolis. I started running with the local warlord and she was scared I would turn into some big destroyer of nations or something. She thought it would be good for me. So now, she's scrimping and saving to send me here."


The young woman placed her hand on Xena's shoulder. "Wow. Is this real leather?"


Xena scowled. "Don't touch the leather."


Schiloppa removed her hand. "Sorry."


Gabrielle interjected, "Yeah. It might crawl off her."


Xena retorted with a growl, "Don't worry. It's allergic to snotty little rich girls like you, princess."

Gabrielle stuck her tongue out in response and Xena grinned. "Don't stick that tongue out unless you're prepared to use it."

Yakut asked nervously, "So, um, do you have any boyfriends in Amphipolis?"

"Nah. They're all scared of me. But, I prefer it that way."

Yakut continued, "Where'd you get all those weapons?"

Xena shrugged. "I picked them up here and there."

Schiloppa asked with interest, "Did you really ride with a warlord?"

"Yup. My mother said if I pillaged one more neighboring village, she'd ship me here and I'll be damned if she didn't."

Yakut inquired curiously, "You're pretty tough, huh?"


When they reached the room, Yakut opened the door and led Xena in. "Well, this is home sweet home. We live here in this room. Schiloppa and I sleep in the bunk beds over there.  Your bed is there." She pointed to a bed in the corner.

Xena strode over to the bed with fluffy pillows on the other side of the room. She sat down on the bed and reclined, placing her hands under her head. Her dirty boots soiled the blanket. Gabrielle fumed. "That's my bed, you brute!"

Xena simply shrugged. "So. I like this bed. I'm taking it."

Gabrielle stormed over to the bed. "Oh, no you're not. I'm putting my foot down." The blonde stomped her foot, Xena chuckled at the display of petulance.  Infuriated, Gabrielle lifted the blanket and dumped the warrior onto the floor.

Xena stood up and growled. "I see the little kitten has claws." She instinctively reached for her weapon. "Damn! You're lucky I gave my weapons to Lao Ma or you would be in pieces."

Gabrielle goaded the warrior, "Oh, please. You don't scare me, you wannabe."

"Oh, I'll show you wannabe." Xena stalked toward her prey. Just as she and Gabrielle began to grapple, Lao Ma walked into the room.

Angrily, she demanded, "What's the meaning of this?"

The girls separated. Gabrielle pointed at the girl in black. "She laid down on my bed, knowing it wasn't hers and put her nasty boots all over my blanket. My mother sent me this blanket from Rome."

Lao Ma reassured the young girl, "We'll clean the blanket. Don't worry. Xena, I'd like to see you in my office."

Xena followed Lao Ma into her office. The gentle housemother motioned for the girl to sit down. "Xena, why would you do something to deliberately provoke Gabrielle?"

"Because it's fun and because she's a spoiled brat."

The older woman had to stifle a laugh. "That may be the case, but you don't need to antagonize her."

"I don't like how she talks to me. She treats me like I'm something from the bottom of her shoe." Xena's eyes looked down at the floor.

Lao Ma moved in front of the teenager and placed her fingertips on the edge of the down turned chin and lifted it slightly. "You listen to me, Xena. You have the potential to be a remarkable woman. I see it in you. I can feel it in your presence. You are marked for greatness. But, there are a great many lessons for you to learn. I would like to help you learn them.  For example, consider the water. It is soft. Anything can move through it. But, who can withstand the raging flood? Be like the water. Calm yourself and move smoothly and then none can withstand you."

Xena looked perplexed. "What does that mean? I don't understand."

Lao Ma smiled gently. "You will, young one."



Chapter Two

We Can Work it Out, We Can Work it Out



The next day, Lao Ma in her infinite wisdom devised a list that outlined chores for each girl.  When they saw the list, the young women didn't accept their new roles easily.

Gabrielle looked at her guardian. "Lao Ma, do you really expect me to clean dishes? Do you know what that would do to my hands?"

"Now, Gabrielle. We must be expected to do our share around here. You and Schiloppa will do dishes. Yakut will do the floors in the dining room and Xena will help serve." All four girls groaned. Lao Ma continued, "You girls need to learn to work together.  When you learn to depend on one another, perhaps you will get along better."

Lao Ma walked out of the room. The girls whined and complained about their new assignments.

"This sucks!" Yakut exclaimed.

Gabrielle chimed in indignantly, "I'm contacting my father. I wasn't raised to do manual labor, unlike you Xena. This should be right up your alley."

"Hey, princess, kiss my ass." Xena growled.

"Brute!" Gabrielle huffed.

"Bitch!" Xena retorted.

That night, the girls began their new jobs. As Lao Ma prepared the plates in the kitchen, Xena began to serve the students in the dining hall. She could hear Gabrielle talking to her friends.

"That's the girl I was telling you about. I can't believe a girl like her is in here with us. She's rude, she has no manners, and she smells."

As Xena walked by, the spoiled rich girl loudly said, "I see the olive doesn't fall far from the tree. Like mother, like daughter."

Xena gritted her teeth as the girls giggled and walked into the kitchen, slamming her serving tray on the counter. "I can't do this Lao Ma."

"Why not?" she asked calmly.

"Gabrielle and all her friends are laughing at me. They treat me like dirt."

Lao Ma discontinued what she was doing and put her hands on each of the young warrior's broad shoulders. "My dear, I know it's difficult. You don't have a hard time doing things for me, do you?"

Xena shook her head. "No, of course not."

Lao Ma smiled gently. "It's easy to serve those you love. But, it is difficult to serve one you hate. See, Xena it's part of conquering oneself and curbing one's own desires. I know these lessons are difficult. But they will help you reach your potential. Please trust me."

Xena nodded. "I'll try, for you."

Lao Ma wrapped her arms around the girl and kissed her on the cheek. "Thank you, Xena."

Xena carried out another tray-full of plates in her muscled arms.  She walked to Gabrielle's table and began to set down the dishes.

"Well, it's about time," Gabrielle remarked. Xena maintained her composure. "Umm... Xena, I need a cup. This one's dirty." Xena continued her task. Gabrielle taunted, "It's so hard to get good help nowadays."

Xena had reached her limit. She poured the plate of food onto Gabrielle's head. "Sorry there, princess. It slipped."

Gabrielle stood, screaming, "Lao Ma! Lao Ma! Look what Xena did to me."

Lao Ma came running to the distressed girl's aid. "What's wrong?"

Gabrielle seethed, "Look what she did to me."

Lao Ma had to hold back a laugh that threatened to spill out. "Go on and take a shower."

Gabrielle cried, "Thank you." She went upstairs to clean up.

Lao Ma turned to the offending teenager. "Xena, I thought you said you were going to try."

"I did. I tried and I failed."

Lao Ma forced herself not to laugh. "Fine. Then as your punishment, you can do the dishes for Gabrielle tonight."

Xena, satisfied with herself, smiled. "Yes, Lao Ma."

As the smug student walked away, Lao Ma called out, "I hope it was worth it."

Xena nodded. "It was."



Chapter Three

Sweet Dreams are made of this, who am I to disagree?



With bedtime approaching, the girls were getting ready for sleep. Schiloppa was fussing with her bed furs, while Yakut was studying before the candles were blown out. Softly reciting her formulas, Yakut was shot an angry stare by Xena.

"What? I got a big test tomorrow," she whined.

"Well, can't you keep your thoughts to yourself? Or has Gabrielle brainwashed you in that category?" Xena chided, forcing Gabrielle to glare at her roommate.

"Very funny, you big dumb warrior wannabe. Just because she uses her brain instead of her brawn, doesn't mean you can be rude to her!" Gabrielle defended.

"All I'm saying is that she could try to be quiet when she's studying in a room boarding three other people," Xena said, getting in Gabrielle's space.

"Apparently, she's only bothering YOU!" the spoiled girl yelled, getting closer to Xena's face.

"No! YOU are bothering me!" the taller teen replied, her face within a single inch of Gabrielle's nose.

"Well, I'm ALWAYS bothered by you!' Gabrielle shot back, falling unknowingly into the pull of Xena's blue eyes.

Xena seeing the look in her eyes couldn't pass up the opportunity to embarrass her roommate. "Yeah well, being hot and bothered isn't the same thing, now is it?" Xena purred.

Gabrielle, being totally flustered with the direction this argument had gone, decided to back off to save face. "Get away from me. I'm going to bed."

"Oh, excuse me for intruding on your beauty sleep. I know how important it is," Xena replied sarcastically with a grin.

Walking towards her own bed, Xena immodestly stripped out of her clothing and got under her own bed furs. Gabrielle not missing the firm toned flesh in front of her, groaned internally and rolled away from the other girls praying sleep would claim her soon.




Gabrielle watched Xena ride Argo around the grounds of Athens School for Girls. Her hair, like Xena herself, was wild and free. Gabrielle couldn't get enough of watching her.

Xena noticed her admirer and waved as she trotted closer to her.

"Hey, what's up?" Xena asked smiling.

"Just watching you. You ride so well."

Xena jumped down from Argo, landing in front of Gabrielle. "You have NO idea," she growled and planted her lips harshly against Gabrielle's.

Gabrielle groaned in pleasure and grabbed Xena by the hair, pulling her even closer. Xena sucked on Gabrielle's lips until they began to swell.

"Take me, Xena. Please, take me," Gabrielle panted.

"So, the little rich girl wants to play with big bad me, eh?" Xena taunted.

"Oh, Gods, yes!" Gabrielle pleaded. "Please, Xena… don't make me wait!"

Xena grabbed onto Gabrielle's hips and pulled their bodies tightly together. Rubbing herself against Xena, Gabrielle couldn't contain the sexual energy coming from within. "More, Xena… I need to feel you, please."

Gabrielle led Xena into the stable and threw her onto a hay bale. She undressed slowly for Xena and watched as Xena disrobed herself quickly. Lying back against the hay, Xena commanded Gabrielle closer, "Come here, Gabrielle. Now."

Gabrielle obeyed and straddled Xena's lap. Xena harshly took Gabrielle's lips again with her own and kissed her until her eyes rolled into the back of her head. Xena's tongue entered Gabrielle's mouth and laved her tongue in an intimate dance of dominance. Pulling back, Xena grabbed Gabrielle's face with both hands, looking her squarely in the eyes. "Are you sure you want me, baby? Are you sure you can take it? Because once we start, there's no going back."

Swallowing hard, Gabrielle answered, "Yes, I'm sure. I want you! Use me, abuse me, make me yours!" she panted.

"You're not going to tell Lao Ma on me are you?"

"No, dammit! Just fuck me!" Gabrielle cried, frustration clearly in her voice.

"Such a naughty girl," Xena growled playfully.

Xena immediately switched their positions and hovered over Gabrielle's body. Taking her right nipple between her thumb and forefinger, Xena pinched and soon tongued Gabrielle's peak to full attention. Moaning, Gabrielle reached for Xena's head to pull her even closer. Grabbing Gabrielle's hands, Xena placed them above her head and told her not to move them. Nodding her clouded head, Gabrielle kept her hands above her.

Xena licked and suckled Gabrielle's breasts and listened to the small gasps and moans coming from her captive. Smiling to herself, she lightly bit down on one of the nipples, causing Gabrielle's hips to shoot off the bale of hay and rub against her thigh.

"Yes!" she cried.

"Patience, Gabrielle. You rich girls are so used to getting your way. This time, I'm going to have you MY way."

Xena trailed her fingers down Gabrielle's firm stomach and watched the muscles twitch from her touch. She brushed against the golden curls between Gabrielle's legs and stroked her sex to find a river of wetness waiting for her.

"What have we here? You really do want this, don't you?" Xena chuckled. "You are so wet, Gabrielle. Have you ever been this wet for anyone before?"

Gabrielle grunted and whimpered, but couldn't form words to answer. Xena feeling cocky replied, "No, don't worry about answering, I know you haven't."

Taking pity on her captive, Xena stroked the folds of wet flesh and found the tiny bud waiting to blossom. With a single touch from Xena, Gabrielle cried out in pleasure. "Yes!"

"You like that?" Xena asked, watching Gabrielle's head nod in the affirmative. "Good, then I'm sure you'll like this too."

Xena thrust two fingers inside of Gabrielle's hot entrance, and hummed sexily from the sensations. She proceeded to piston them in and out of her. Gabrielle began to cry out as the waves of climax started to crash down upon her.

"Yes, Xena, faster… harder… yes, Xena… Xena… Xena…."




"Xena… Xena… Xena…"

Hearing her name being mumbled from across the room, Xena awoke to find Gabrielle in the middle of a dream. Rolling her eyes, she assumed she was being yelled at for some reason or another.

"Gods, I can't even get a good night's sleep without her yelling at me," she groused and listened as Gabrielle continued to murmur in her sleep. "I'm never going to get any sleep with that going on."

Xena got out of bed and walked over to Gabrielle's and sat on the edge. Taking Gabrielle's shoulder in hand, Xena began an attempt to gently wake the mumbling girl.

"Gabrielle? Wake up, you're dreaming."

When no answer came, she brought her head closer to Gabrielle's ear. "Gabrielle, wake up."

Gabrielle opened her foggy eyes and looked upon the star of her dreams. Reaching for her, Gabrielle tugged on the back of Xena's neck and pulled her into a chaste kiss. Xena reeled back and stammered, "What are you doing?"

Fully waking from her dream, Gabrielle tried to ignore her flaming cheeks and sputtered, "What are you doing in my bed, you're naked! Get away from me!"

Confused by Gabrielle's reaction, Xena gave an icy grin. "Don't flatter yourself, princess. You are definitely not my type. I just wanted you to shut your trap so that I could get some sleep!" she exclaimed, walking back to her bunk to lie down.

"What do you mean, 'shut my trap'?"

"I mean your mouth never stops! Even in sleep you're bitching my name."

"Bitching my name…" Gabrielle whispered, stopping to think and flushed at the implications of her talking in her sleep. Trying to keep above the torrential waters threatening to drown her, Gabrielle replied, "Well, apparently I don't have enough hours during the day. You must be very proud knowing you infuriate me even in sleep."

"Whatever, princess." Xena rolled over and tried to sleep, but was too wound up, albeit a bit confused and a little aroused. Pulling the pillow over her head she growled out her frustration.

"Yeah, whatever," Gabrielle replied quietly. Looking up at the ceiling, she imagined Xena's face over hers again, bringing her almost to orgasm, and then again waking her up. Following Xena's lead, Gabrielle pulled her pillow over her head and growled out her own frustration. Gods, what in the hell does that mean?




Chapter Four

I Got Friends in Low Places…




Weeks passed as Xena settled into life at the Athens School for Girls. The girls learned to live together in relative peace. The young warrior promised her guardian that she would not cause, the always infuriating, Gabrielle any harm. Xena was learning more about self control than she ever hoped to learn. However, the young rebel needed to escape and blow off some steam before her top blew off. The gods help Gabrielle if that happened.

In the dark of the night, when the dormitory was silent and filled with sleeping girls, Xena slipped out of her room and away from the school. There was a tavern not far, where Xena had been a few times before, passing through with her gang. She had developed a friendly rapport with one particular waitress.




Yakut awoke during the night and noticed Xena was getting up to leave. Alarmed, she woke her best friend. "Schiloppa, get up. Xena's sneaking out."

Sleepily, Schiloppa asked, "Where is she going?"

"I don't know. Let's go find out."

"Oh, no, Schiloppa. We're not going anywhere."

"Come on, chicken."

"Don't go there," Yakut warned.

"I'm going. You can stay if you want."

Yakut exhaled. "Alright, let me get my shoes. Should we wake Gabrielle?"

"No, she'll just tell on us. Let's go."

"Okay, I'm ready."

The two young girls set out to follow their older friend. Little did they know, green eyes were watching them through the darkness. After they shut the door, Gabrielle quickly dressed and followed her friends. What do they think they're doing? They're going to get killed or expelled and it will be all that damn Xena's fault. I'll follow them and bring them back before they can get in trouble. Then, I'll wake up Lao Ma, the conniving teenager giggled wickedly.



When she reached her destination, Xena opened the door and walked over to a table in the corner. Musicians were in the front, preparing to entertain the crowd for the night. The waitress came over with a smile.

"Xena, it's good to see you. What are you up to these days?"

"I'm going to school. How you doin'? How's tips?"

"Not big enough for the hassle. But I'm doing alright. What can I get you?"

"I'll have an ale, please."

The blonde waitress smiled. "You got it, sweetheart."

Just then, Yakut and Schiloppa walked into the adult establishment, clinging to one another in fear. Xena's eyes grew in shock. She walked over to the young girls. "What are you doing here? What were you thinking?"

Schiloppa looked at her friend with vulnerable eyes. "We were just wondering where you were going."

"This place isn't safe for you."

Yakut questioned, "Then why are you here?"

Xena answered, "Because I can take care of myself. Get over here and try to blend in." Xena led them over to her table.

The waitress brought the young woman's ale. "Who's this?"

"These are friends of mine."

"Xena, I can't have those kids here in the tavern."

Xena reassured her friend, "They're with me. It's fine. Don't worry about it. Just bring a couple ports and water 'em down."

The waitress nodded. "You got it, Xe."

The young warrior turned to her friends, who were watching the tavern crowd with interest and amazement. "So what do you think?"

Yakut grinned. "This place is great. Do you come here often?"

"I used to pop in from time to time. It's been a couple of months. But you girls need to be careful doing stuff like this. It's very dangerous. All sorts of robbers and warlords and lowlifes hang around the roads and woods at night. Do you want to get sold as a body slave?" she asked harshly, intending to instill fear in the girls.

Yakut and Schiloppa both looked at the floor. "No, Xena. We're sorry."

"You two are good kids. I just don't want anything bad to happen to you." The waitress brought the drinks. Xena smiled at the server.

Xena turned towards the door and noticed Gabrielle peaking in. The teenager hid her surprise and grinned. "Well, look what the cat drug in." She stood and walked towards the door. "So, what brings a prissy little girl like you into a place liked this?"

Determined, Gabrielle walked in to the tavern. "I'm just here to get the girls. This is no place for them."

Xena raised one eyebrow. "Oh, really."

"Yeah, really. Although you wouldn't know much about that modicum would you?"

"They're with me. Nobody's gonna mess with them and I know quite a bit about a lot of things, princess."

Gabrielle stepped around Xena and walked over to Yakut and Schiloppa. "Whatever you say, Xena. Come on, girls. We're going."

Schiloppa crossed her arms in front of her chest. "I'm not going anywhere."

Gabrielle tried to persuade her friends, "Do you want to be caught by Lao Ma? In this tavern?"

Yakut pointed to Schiloppa and said, "I'm with her. I'm not leaving."

Xena tried to reason with Gabrielle, "Look, Lao Ma is sound asleep. We'll just have a couple of drinks and we'll go. Sit down for a bit."

The angry blonde looked down at the glasses of port. "What are they drinking?"

"It's only watered down port."

"And what are you trying to teach them, warrior wannabe, how to get drunk and pillage neighboring villages?"

The girls defiantly drank as their disapproving friend looked on. Xena looked at the privileged young woman. "Damn, you got a stick up your ass."

"How would you know? Are you into that sort of thing?"

Xena moved her face inches from her nemesis. "Interested, princess?"

Gabrielle's face flushed. "You are so infuriating."

"Relax and have something to drink. You're calling attention to us."

"Fine. But only to watch these two."

The waitress soon came over to the group. "Geez, what do you think I'm running here, a day care?"

Xena reassured the woman, "It's fine, trust me. I'll look after them. Just bring another port, please." Before she left, Xena turned her head and whispered, "Don't water this one down." Earning her a laugh from her friend.

Gabrielle motioned towards Schiloppa and Yakut. "How much have they had?"

"One glass." Gabrielle shot the young warrior an evil look. Xena continued. "They've barely been here ten minutes. How about you relax and have fun for once in your life?"

"Fine. I'm sure I'll have the time of my life in this filthy place," Gabrielle muttered that last adjective discreetly under her breath.

Xena grinned. "Don't knock it till you try it, babe."

The server arrived with Gabrielle's drink. The cocky blonde grabbed the drink from the waitress. "Bottoms up." The teenager took a large drink and exclaimed, "Wow! I thought you said this was watered down?" Gabrielle continued to drink almost the entire mug of port.

Xena chuckled and avoided the question. "Easy now, princess. This isn't a chugging contest. Would you like another?"

"Hey, that's pretty good," Gabrielle stated thoughtfully and nodded.

"Another port for my friend here," Xena ordered.

Schiloppa and Yakut laughed at their friend. Schiloppa turned to her bunkmate. "See Yakut, I told you she'd finally calm down."

Gabrielle turned to Xena. "So, what are you drinking?"

"I'm drinking an ale."

"What's that?"

"Fermented grain and water. Want a taste?"

Gabrielle shook her head. "Nope. I don't want anything that's fermented, whatever that means," the inebriated woman said. "I'll stick to this."

The younger girls continued to giggle. Yakut hiccupped loudly which sent the girls into a laughing fit. Xena smiled and chuckled at her young friend. Local musicians began to play folk songs. Gabrielle's face immediately lit up as she recognized a tune from Potadiea. "Hey, I know this song! My Mother used to sing this to me." The girl began to hum and sway.

Xena stood and held her hand out to Gabrielle. "How about a dance, princess?"

The privileged teen looked up at the warrior. Seeing Xena's warm blue eyes, along with the effects of the alcohol sinking in, disarmed the usually frigid girl. Before she knew it, she heard herself answer, "Sure, tall stuff."

Xena took Gabrielle into her arms as they moved to the music. The diminutive blonde held tightly to her dance partner's body. She was pleased to be able to hold the woman who had been invading her dreams for so many nights. "Mmmmm...this is nice."

"I told you it would be, all you gotta do is relax from time to time," Xena playfully stated.

Gabrielle stared glassy-eyed into the face of the warrior. "You know what, Xena?"

Xena rested her cheek on the light head. "Tell me, princess."

"You were right."

Xena wiggled her eyebrows. "I'm right a lot."

Chuckling, Gabrielle replied, "So you say."

Xena returned the laugh. "I didn't say all the time, just a lot." After a few minutes of holding one another tightly, the young rebel leaned down to whisper into her friend's ear. "You're not so bad at this, Gabrielle."

"Neither are you," Gabrielle contentedly responded.

Yakut and Schiloppa continued to drink and watched the dancing couple and sighed. The two upperclassmen danced slowly in their own little world. They were unaware of the people around them and the stares coming from the gruff patrons who stood at the bar. A tap on the warrior's shoulder by a burly looking thug soon interrupted Xena and Gabrielle. "May I cut in?"

Without breaking a beat or her focus on Gabrielle, Xena answered, "Sorry, pal, she's taken."

With her eyes closed and enjoying the feel of the leather clad body, Gabrielle asked, "Xena, what did he want?"

"To dance with you."

"Me?" Gabrielle asked surprised.

"Yes. And why wouldn't he? You're very pretty."

Blushing, Gabrielle responded, "Really?"

"Yeah. Really."

"Oh, Xena. You know, you have the most beautiful..." Tap. Tap. Tap. The snarly thug again disrupted the couple.

Angrily, Xena snapped. "Geez, get a clue. The lady's with me so back off." To emphasize her point, the warrior growled.

The large man grabbed Xena by the back of her leathers and pulled her away from her friend. "I can remedy that."

"Gabrielle, get out of here," Xena commanded.

Looking pie-eyed, Gabrielle asked, "What's going on?"

"Just get the girls and get out of here. I'm about to kick this guy's ass."

"Do you think you should? You could get hurt."

Xena squirmed under her captor's grasp. "It looks like I'm going to get hurt either way. If you haven't noticed, he's got me by the collar."

Flushing in embarrassment, Gabrielle answered, "Right. Then, let me help."

Xena stomped hard on the man's in-step, causing him to let go. Gabrielle picked up a large mug and smashed it over the thug's head, dropping him to his knees.

Xena looked at Gabrielle and exclaimed, "Good girl!"

A large brawl broke out into the tavern. Most of the patrons became involved. The musicians took their precious instruments and ran. Yakut and Schiloppa trembled and held one another tightly under a sturdy, round table. Xena spun, kicked and punched at all around her. Gabrielle sat on the bar and hit attackers in the head with a large skillet that she found behind the counter.

Yakut turned to her friend. "See, Schiloppa, I told you this was a stupid idea. But noooo, you had to come."

"I had to come."

"Yes, you."

"I was following you."

"It was your idea!"

"Yeah, right." A large crash above them caused them to huddle together more tightly.

"I just hope we get out alive."

Just then, Lao Ma walked in. "Then again, maybe not," Yakut said to herself.

As the girls were about to be overtaken, Lao Ma leveled the remaining brawlers with a few quick, graceful moves. Xena and Gabrielle watched in amazement at the skill of their mentor. As the last fighter fell, Gabrielle covered her mouth in awe. "Wow."

Tersely, Lao Ma ordered, "Schiloppa, Yakut, come here now." With their tails between their legs, the girls followed the command.

The housemother turned to her students. "Girls, how could you have put yourselves in danger like this? Do you see the damage that was caused? Do you have any idea what could have happened to you?"

Three of the girls answered, "We're sorry."

Xena stepped forward. "It's my fault, Lao Ma. I came out tonight, they were just following me."

Suddenly turning on her dance partner in order to save her own self, Gabrielle accused, "Yeah, blame Xena, she's the one who started all of this."

Xena looked at the spoiled girl with an angry look of betrayal.

Lao Ma spoke, "Xena, you are partially to blame. However, they chose to follow you. Therefore, you will all be held accountable."

"But Lao Ma, they're younger. I shouldn't have left to begin with. I should have brought them back as soon as they showed up. Don't punish them."

Gabrielle, feeling guilty, agreed, "Yeah, I could have stopped them and brought them back, but I chose not to because I wanted Xena to get in trouble. Let us take the rap for it."

Lao Ma answered, "Let's go. We can talk about this further in the morning."

The girls answered in unison, "Yes, Lao Ma."

With their heads hung in shame and dread at the upcoming punishment, the students followed their wise mentor back to the dormitory.


Chapter Five

'Twas a Cellar I Crept in, Cobwebs Brushing My Chin

Lao Ma escorted Xena and Gabrielle down the stairs towards the cellar. The girls made faces at each other the entire duration of their walk. Lao Ma turned around suddenly, stopping the girls in their tracks.

"Don't think I don't know what you're doing back there. Aggravating each other will not be conducive to your current predicament." Xena and Gabrielle looked at each other with intent to blame. Putting up her hand, Lao Ma cut off any further argument. "Stop this nonsense." The three of them arrived at the cellar door.

"Lao Ma? What are we going to do down here?" Xena asked.

"You're going to work as a team to clean up this place," Lao Ma answered as she opened the door to the small quarters.

"I have to clean? Clean this place? What if I break a nail?" Gabrielle asked, looking around horrified. Xena chuckled earning her another glare from her partner in crime.

Lao Ma walked over to the wall holding cleaning implements and pulled down two straw brooms. Handing one to Gabrielle and one to Xena, Lao Ma made her expectations known.

"You will sweep this place until there is nothing left to be swept. You will dust this place until I can eat off of that table," she said pointing to a tabletop that looked as if it hadn't been cleaned in months. Gabrielle's eyes were as round as saucers, unbelieving she had to do such common labor.

"Lao Ma, surely my father wouldn't approve of you making me do such work?" she tried to play her usual ace.

"But he would approve of you drinking port in a tavern well after curfew," she said, watching the confidence in Gabrielle's eyes fade. "That's what I thought." Looking at Xena, she added, "Anything from you?" Xena shook her head in the negative. "Good," Lao Ma continued, "I'll come down here in a few hours to check on your progress. In the meantime, if you choose to argue over doing this punishment, so be it. That will be your choice to make. The consequences will also be yours. Goodbye, girls."

Lao Ma closed the door behind her and walked upstairs to tend to her regular routine. Xena and Gabrielle sat in the enclosed room listening to the echo of the door's closing. Xena started cleaning off the top of the table, saying nothing to Gabrielle. Gabrielle walked up to Xena and slapped her arm to get her attention.

"Nice going, this is all your fault," Gabrielle griped.

"My fault! Who told you to follow me?" Xena argued. "That was all you, baby."

"Don't call me that, first of all," Gabrielle said, pointing her finger at Xena. "Secondly, I didn't think it was safe for Schiloppa and Yakut to be going out so late. I was following them."

"Yeah, yeah. Whatever... I think you were coming after me," Xena taunted.

"You're crazy!" she screamed. "And stuck on yourself, apparently."

"You wanted to see where I was going. You were checking up on me, weren't you," Xena continued, Gabrielle not answering right away. "Yeah... truth hurts doesn't it, princess?"

"Like I want anything to do with you!" Gabrielle screamed, throwing her broom at Xena who caught it easily. "Why don't you do something useful?"

"Oh, you were definitely wantin' somethin' last night when you were dancing with me," Xena purred closely to Gabrielle, who looked away not knowing what to say.

"Yeah... that's what I thought."

"Just leave me alone... let's get this done so I can get away from you... you are starting to irritate me," she said angrily, trying to hide her blush.

"As you wish, princess," Xena replied.

"Wannabe," Gabrielle mumbled.

Xena walked over to the corner and removed one of the floorboards. She pulled out a packet of something Gabrielle couldn't see. She watched as Xena pulled apart the edges of the packet. Trying desperately not to get caught staring again, Gabrielle continued to pretend to clean.

"If you tell anyone about this, you're toast," Xena threatened.

"What is that?" Gabrielle asked, looking at the powder in Xena's hand.

"My own private little stash," she stated proudly.

"What?" Gabrielle gasped.

"Henbane… and this is the good stuff." Xena chuckled.

"Doesn't that stuff mess with your mind?" she inquired.

"You got it, doll." Xena took a pinch of the powder and showed it to Gabrielle. "Just stick a bit of this under your tongue and wait a few minutes and then let the good times roll," Xena explained.

"Oh, no! I'm getting out of here! If you get caught with that stuff, I'm not gonna be anywhere near you," Gabrielle said walking towards the door.

"Oh, come on... it's not gonna hurt ya," Xena teased.

"I'm telling Lao ma," she said, reaching for the door handle.

"Oh, no, you're not," Xena said, walking towards the blonde killjoy.

Xena reached up to tug on Gabrielle's hands. They grasped the handle together, snapping it off the door.

"LOOK WHAT YOU DID!" they shouted at each other.

"Me? How in Hades is this my fault?" Xena cried, exasperated.

"This is ALL your fault, Miss I'm-gonna-act-older-than-I-am." Gabrielle began to mock Xena. "Ooh, my name's Xena I'm big and bad, I drink ale and suck on mind altering sand!"

Xena laughed sarcastically at Gabrielle. "Oh, please, ya big snitch." Xena taunted right back at her. "My name's Gabrielle, I'm a rich little baby, put away your drugs or I'm gonna tell Lao Ma on you!"

Gabrielle began to pound on the door. "Help, get me out of here!"

"They're not gonna hear you."

Gabrielle continued to pound on the door incessantly. "Can anyone hear me?" she shouted.

"We're unnnderrr grooound... get it... it's a cellar," the taller student ridiculed.

"Oh, shut up!" Gabrielle yelled back.

"That door is several inches thick," Xena stated.

"What, are you a craftsman too?" the blonde haired girl asked sarcastically. She tried to fix the door handle to no avail. Throwing the handle on the floor, she exclaimed, "Shit!"

"I do have many skills."

Gabrielle rolled her eyes and pounded on the door again. "Help me! I'm trapped with a maniac!"

Xena sat back and amusedly watched her roommate pound on the door. "You're wasting your breath."

Perplexed, Gabrielle replied, "Did I ask you to talk to me? Why don't you leave me alone? Just stay to one side of this wretched hole and I'll stay on mine!"



"Yeah, baby… I'm all brute... just what you've been wanting," Xena said saucily.

"Do you not understand what 'leave me alone' means? Should I speak slower for your brain to pick up on its meaning?" She walked away from the door and over to her side of the room.

"Damn, girl. Are you on the rags or something?"

"Why don't you just suck on your henbane while I do what I'm supposed to down here. You can explain to Lao ma why your side

isn't done," she finished and started cleaning.

"Oh, gladly... although I'm telling you… you'd really enjoy it... besides I can do two things at once," the blue eyed girl stated proudly.

"Ooo, you are a master," Gabrielle spat.

"So I've been told," she answered cockily.

Xena took a pinch of henbane, placed it under her tongue and began to work. With the effects of the drugs kicking in, her attitude began to change instantly much to Gabrielle's chagrin. She was whistling and humming as she worked. The more she listened to Xena hum, the more Gabrielle became intrigued about the substance Xena had ingested.

Xena moved around the room, happily cleaning with Gabrielle watching from a distance. Deciding she wanted to know more about this drug, Gabrielle walked to the middle of the room and stared questioningly at Xena. Xena turned around and noticed her staring. Gabrielle, embarrassed at getting caught again, turned away shyly.

"Are you sure you wouldn't like just a little shot? It only lasts for a few hours, it'll wear off before anyone comes down here, " Xena tried again.

"Um... what does it do to you?" she innocently asked.

"It just... makes you feel real... happy, maybe a little goofy," the impaired teen explained.

"I'm happy all the time." The shorter girl snorted, indignant.

Shooting her a 'yeah right' look, Xena replied, "Not like this... it takes away all your worries and problems, just try it."

"So, this is gonna make me goofy, it will take away my worries and problems?" Gabrielle pondered her decision of taking drugs. "Is this gonna come back later and haunt me?"

"Of course not. Look, we don't get along and all, but I wouldn't give you anything that would hurt you. I promise," Xena confirmed.

"Fine," she gave in and petulantly put out her hand. "Gimme."

Xena placed a small bit inside Gabrielle's hand. "Now, put it under your tongue and let it melt, you'll feel it in a few minutes."

Gabrielle put it on her tongue and winced at its bitterness. A few moments went by and the sour face she'd made was replaced with a small smile that grew by the second. Noticing her friend's transformation, Xena smiled back at her.

"What'd I tell you?"

"When?" Gabrielle answered and began to whistle, eliciting a laugh from Xena.

Shaking her head, Xena returned to the job at hand. Sweeping up some rubble, she bent over to pick up the larger bits to throw them away. Gabrielle watched her shapely ass bend and hummed in appreciation.

Hearing the hum, Xena turned back around, her eyebrow raised in question. "What're you looking at Gabrel," she asked, slurring her words a little.

Gabrielle's face flushed with a mix of a little embarrassment and a little arousal. The drugs affecting her speech, she attempted to answer, "Nnnn... nuthin." She giggled.

"Come on, tell me... you can tell Xena... we're friends remember?" she winked at the smaller teen.

Xena started to walk over toward Gabrielle. Gabrielle stepped closer and tripped over her broom falling to the ground. Xena moved quickly to gently pick her up. Looking down at her charge, their eyes locked.

"By the gods..." Gabrielle began, looking into blue pools.

"What is it?" Xena asked, concern etched on her face.

"You are beautiful." Gabrielle planted a kiss on Xena that sent them both falling flat on the floor. Lying on Xena, Gabrielle stared into her eyes for a few short moments. Leaning closer, she kissed Xena again, their tongues sought the others.

Xena tangled her fingers in Gabrielle's long blonde hair, pulling her closer. Kissing Xena deeper, Gabrielle began to moan in pleasure.

"You feel soooo good, Gabrielle."

Another kiss.

"You make me so nuts, you know that?" Gabrielle raked her teeth along Xena's tongue.

"I love the way you taste."

"You infuriate me," Gabrielle moaned, kissing Xena harder. "Grate all my nerves." She sucked Xena's tongue completely.

"You annoy me, every minute of every day," Xena growled, grabbing Gabrielle's ass, pulling her tighter. "You are a spoiled rich brat." Xena pulled off Gabrielle's top.

"You love that about me." Gabrielle nipped her bottom lip. "I get what I want... and right now... I want you."

"Yes I do, the gods help me," Xena moaned, cupping Gabrielle's sweet breasts. Gabrielle moaned and arched into Xena's touch.

She flipped Gabrielle onto her back and continued her assault. Roughly pulling off Gabrielle's skirt and undergarments, Xena noticed the nervous look her lover was giving her.

"Tell me what you want," Xena said softly, slowing her movements, removing her clothes and gently lying on top of Gabrielle. She framed the soft face in her rough hands. "Gabrielle, I won't do anything to hurt you, I promise... you're safe with me. Tell me what you want."

Searching Xena's eyes for any deceit, Gabrielle found none. "I don't know what I want. I um... never really did this before. I know I talk a good game... but," she stopped, her cheeks flushing.

Xena smiled and kissed her tenderly. "Do you trust me?"

Nodding, she answered without hesitation, "I do."

"Ok, if you want me to stop at anytime, just tell me. I only want to make you feel good." With Gabrielle's nerves in the forefront, she could only nod. She opened her arms to Xena, giving her the signal she'd been waiting for. "We'll go slowly."

"Kiss me?" Gabrielle asked in a small voice.

Xena pressed her lips to her new lover's. The kiss began softly and deepened, gaining in passion. Pulling back, Xena stared softly into Gabrielle's warm green eyes. "You are beautiful, Gabrielle."

Blushing hotly, Gabrielle buried her face in Xena's neck. Smiling gently, Xena kissed Gabrielle's head tenderly and lifted it to look in her eyes. "I want you to watch me make love to you."

Gabrielle barely whispered her answer, "Yes."

Xena's soft lips began to move over her young lover's skin until she reached a tight nipple. She flicked the hardened nub with her tongue, eliciting gasps from Gabrielle. "Oh, Xena that feels so good."


The warrior's mouth enveloped the rosy nipple. She moaned at the feel of the stiff peak against her lips. Not wanting to ignore the other breast, Xena made a trail of soft, moist kisses in the valley until she reached her destination. The teenager swirled her tongue around Gabrielle's aroused pike. "You are so perfect, Gabrielle.  Are you watching what I'm doing to you?"


Gabrielle bit her lip as she watched her lover devour her breast. "I've never felt anything like this. Yes, Xena, more."


Xena began to suck the breast more aggressively pulling it deeper into her mouth. She grazed her fingers over soft curly hair and brushed lightly over Gabrielle's swollen, wet flesh. Smelling her lover's desire on her fingers, Xena began to move lower. She lightly nibbled on the soft skin as she made her way to Gabrielle's center.  The teenager locked eyes with her partner as she traveled southward. Xena smiled as she hovered above Gabrielle's heat. "Lao Ma was right. No one can withstand the raging flood." She dipped her tongue into the sweet nectar.

Shivers of extreme desire shot through Gabrielle. "Xe, what are you, ohhhh. Oh gods. I... ohhhh... yes... yes... yes..."


Xena feasted on her lover, driving her crazy with desire. Gabrielle's hips rose up in time with the strokes of Xena's tongue. She zeroed in on Gabrielle's hard clit and began sucking in rhythm. The young virgin's cries grew louder as her impending climax drew closer. Xena lowered her tongue to Gabrielle's tight opening and entered as far as she could.


She reveled in the taste of her lover as she explored her most private place, moaning deeply from her chest in absolute pleasure. Replacing her tongue with her first two fingers, Xena plunged them deep inside her young charge. Gabrielle's body pulled her deeper with each stroke of her hand and tongue. The blonde teenager felt things she'd only heard rumors about. Her lower abdomen began to quake as did her inner walls. Before she knew what was happening, Gabrielle screamed out her climax. She tightly clamped her legs around the warrior's head, trapping her. Xena certainly wasn't about to complain. As the aftershocks washed through her body, Gabrielle's muscles began to unclench. Xena was soon at her lover's side. "What'd you think?"


"I can't right now."


Both women giggled. "I take it you liked it then?"


"Oh, yessssss. Where did you learn to do that? I didn't even know people did that."


Xena grinned. "I just picked it up somewhere."


"Remind me to thank whoever taught you that."


"So, how do you feel?"

Gabrielle sighed. "Wonderful." She suddenly flipped Xena onto her back, pinning her to the floor. "And insatiable."

"Oh, really?"

"Oh, really," Gabrielle answered sexily.

Xena held up one finger halting Gabrielle's further movements. "If you are still feeling that way, let me get something to help."

Gabrielle's eyes questioned Xena's. "What do you mean, 'get something to help'?"

Xena kissed her new lover on the nose. "Give me two seconds and I'll be right back."

Removing her damp body from Xena's, Gabrielle watched as she moved her naked body to the same floorboards where the henbane was found earlier. Reaching deeper into the hidden spot, Xena's face instantly lit up when her hand claimed what she was looking for. Pulling her hand out slowly, she showed Gabrielle the scroll she held.

Eyes widening slightly, Gabrielle asked, "A scroll? Xena, I didn't know you were into writing. Are you going to read me a poem?"

Snickering suddenly, Xena replied, "Not exactly, but when we start to use this, it'll be poetry in motion."

Xena unwrapped the scroll revealing a leather phallus to surprised green eyes. "Is that what I think it is?"

"Depends… what do you think it is?" Xena asked, instantly creating a deep crimson flush on her partner's face.

"It's a fake guy… thingy," she said quickly, causing Xena to nod and laugh.

Still feeling a bit high from the henbane, Gabrielle had a boldness to her she wouldn't normally feel. "Let me hold it?" Xena easily knelt down to Gabrielle and handed over the sex toy.

Gabrielle looked it over and stroked it softly to get an idea of its texture. "It's soft but hard."

"Don't start talking like Lao Ma now," Xena teased.

"I'm serious, I like the way it feels." Gabrielle held the tip of the phallus to her breast and moved it over a nipple. Xena's nostrils flared as she paid rapt attention to Gabrielle's movements. Rubbing her thigh, Xena felt a need to have contact with the younger girl as she played with the implement.

"Do you have any idea how hot that is?" Xena asked, her voice rough from arousal.

"Ooh, I have a good idea. Gods, this feels so nice," Gabrielle moaned as she continued to rub the leather toy over her breasts. Knowing where it would feel the best, she brought the phallus down to her clitoris and began to stroke herself with it. "Oh, yeah…"

Xena stood suddenly and went back to the corner to remove a second scroll containing a thin leather device. She brought it over to Gabrielle in hopes that she would want to share her passion. Sitting back on her heels, Xena continued to watch Gabrielle pleasure herself.

"Gods, you make me so crazy, Gabrielle," Xena said, still in awe of what she was watching. Gabrielle brought the phallus lower and teased her opening.

"Xena, I want this inside of me." Xena immediately was at attention.

"Oh, I can definitely do that, princess," she whispered. "Here, help me put this on, and we can Get. It. On."

Gabrielle took direction remarkably well, considering their state of mind, and helped Xena with the leather strapped harness. Gabrielle handed Xena the phallus and purred in pleasure once it was in place. "I want that in me, Xena. Put it in me, now." Gabrielle leaned back and pulled Xena down over her. Xena was shaking in anticipation. Even though she had experienced sex many times before, this was the first time she had experienced it with a virgin.

"I promise to stop if it's too much. I don't want to hurt you."

"Let me be the judge of how much pain I want," Gabrielle growled, guiding the sexual object inside of her. Grabbing Xena's ass cheeks, the blonde bombshell pulled her taller partner closer, pushing the phallus deep inside of her. Moaning in pleasure, Gabrielle urged Xena to move her hips. "Come on, hot stuff. Show me what you got."

Grinding her hips faster, Xena had the dildo slamming into Gabrielle. "Oh, yeah," Xena said between her clenched teeth. Swirling her hips along with Xena's, Gabrielle felt her world being rocked once again.

"Gods, you feel good. Come on… faster!" she demanded.

Xena complied with the demand and moved, more than willingly, faster into Gabrielle. Their bodies met at an amazing pace and sweat was freely falling from Xena onto her lover. Both teens were moaning and gasping at all the sensations racing through their bodies. Gabrielle could feel her impending climax and urged Xena even faster. She wrapped her legs around Xena's hips and drove herself to meet Xena's body.

"That's it! Oh, yeah, ride me big daddy, ride me!" the small impassioned woman cried out.

"Fuck… me… yeah!" Xena stuttered and screamed as her own orgasm crashed down on her.

Shaking from exhaustion and aftershocks, Xena rested her weary, but sated body on top of an equally content Gabrielle. Still breathing harder than normal, Gabrielle sighed into Xena's neck.

"That was incredible. Is it always like that?" she managed to choke out.

Lifting her head, Xena looked into her green eyes. "I can't say that this is my first time, eighteen summers will teach you a thing or two. I can say that I've never enjoyed sex as much as I have with you."

Smiling brightly at her words, Gabrielle brushed a strand of long black hair away from Xena's face. "That is probably the sweetest thing anyone's ever said to me."

"Well, it's just the truth." Xena kissed her tenderly. "You surprised me, though. I had no idea you'd be such a wild cat in the sack."

"Don't judge a scroll by its paper. I learned that today, myself."

"A lesson well learned indeed." The two kissed a bit more and realized they'd probably been at it awhile and nothing, as of yet, had been cleaned. "We should get this finished up," she said motioning to the room that still needed cleaning. "so we can have more time for this," Xena remarked, gently biting Gabrielle's nipple.

"Hey! If you want me to get up, that's not the way to do it," Gabrielle said with a sly grin, earning a chuckle from Xena as she eased the phallus from Gabrielle's wet cavern.

Moaning from the lack of contact, Gabrielle whined, "Quick, before I change my mind."

"Ok, ok." Xena leaned back and sat on her heels. Taking off her apparatus, the dark haired student stood and offered a hand down to Gabrielle.

Grasping her hand, Gabrielle stood and wavered a little from the drugs starting to wear off. "My head's starting to hurt. Is that normal?"

"Yeah, that's the only thing that sucks about Henbane. You always know when it's wearing off." Looking around the small room, she figured they'd get it cleaned relatively fast now that they weren't bickering. "You know, we should have this place spic and span before Lao Ma comes back."

"I was thinking the same thing. If you take the table, I'll sweep the floor. Who ever hasn't finished, the one that is will help them. Deal?" Gabrielle arranged.


After dressing, concealing Xena's stash and about an hour of cleaning, the teenagers heard the lock on the door being maneuvered. After a few grunts, they heard Lao Ma on the other side of the door. "Giiiirrrrrllllsss," she sang out. "I can't get the door open. Is something in the way?"

Gabrielle ran to the door and attempted to answer, "Hi, Lao Ma, about the handle…"

"It was knocked off the door while we were cleaning," Xena interjected. "I leaned into it while sweeping and it snapped off." Xena shared a soft smile with Gabrielle while kissing the top of her head.

"Ok, girls. Step away from the door. I have a way to open it." After a few minutes a loud bang was heard, followed by some smoke and the door opening. Coughing for a second or two, Lao Ma entered the cellar, pocketing a small pouch. Looking around the small room, she noticed its cleanliness and smiled. "Girls, you did a good job. You worked together even though you are adversaries, well done."

"Thank you," they said in unison, smiling shyly at the floor.

"Are we free to go now?" Gabrielle asked, motioning to the door to freedom.

"Yes, Gabrielle, you are free to go. I hope you two learned your lesson."

Looking at each other, they acknowledged the implications of that phrase. Smiling, they nodded at Lao Ma. "Yes, ma'am," Xena said softly, followed by Gabrielle's mirrored response.

"Alright, then. Go get cleaned up for dinner and we'll forget this happened." Gabrielle smiled and began to walk upstairs. Staying back with Lao Ma, Xena asked, "Is that black powder I smell?"

"I said, 'we'll forget this happened'. We will not speak of it again," Lao Ma answered cryptically.

Smiling inwardly, Xena replied, "Yes, ma'am."

"Oh, Xena?" Lao Ma stopped her.

"Yes ma'am?"

"You did well today."

Flushing at the double entendre in her mind, the tall girl said with a smile, "Yeah, yeah I did. Thanks, Ms. L."

"Go on, you'll be late for chores." Xena ran to catch up with Gabrielle as Lao Ma smiled, shaking her head. "Never a dull moment in this place."



Chapter Six

Secret Lovers… That's What We Are


Walking back to their room, Xena and Gabrielle smiled and laughed with each other. As they entered, Schiloppa and Yakut were sitting on their bunks waiting for their arrival. Expecting an outburst from their newest roommate, the girls remained quiet. Xena noticing their silence, decided to break the stillness of the room.

"Hey, guys. What's up?" she said, cheerfully.

Looking at each other dumbfounded, Schiloppa and Yakut stood and ran up to Xena and Gabrielle. Schiloppa exploded with questions, "Are you mad at us? What happened? Where did Lao Ma take you? What did you have to do? Are you still in school? Did she call your folks? Was…" Xena put her hand over the fast talking younger student and insisted she shut up for a second. Successful in calming her roommate, Xena told them to sit.

After they all took their places on the cots, Xena began to explain where she and Gabrielle had been. Gabrielle took her seat on her bed to listen, wincing a bit at the soreness of her lower parts.

"So she made you clean the cellar? I didn't even know we had a cellar," Yakut stated.

"I didn't either, Yakut," Gabrielle said, unconsciously smiling at Xena. Schiloppa noticed the smile and filed it for later exploration.

"Yeah, so we took the punishment for all of us, and Ms. L said we could forget about this. I hope she's serious, because I really don't wanna do anything like that again."

"Me either, Xena," Gabrielle seconded her statement earning her a wink from Xena. Schiloppa's eyes went wide and knew something was different. Ok, this requires some serious investigation. The way those two hated each other, something must have changed down in the cellar.

"Well, I don't know about you, Xena, but I need a shower after spending so many hours in nothing but dust," Gabrielle innocently said, unknowingly disclosing her state of undress in the cellar with Xena. Xena coughed suddenly and agreed with Gabrielle. Schiloppa was in a silent frenzy hoping she didn't pass out.

"Yeah, I could use a good shower. I have dirt in places that dirt was never meant to be. C'mon, Gab, I'll race ya to the showers," Xena playfully challenged.

"You got it."

Xena and Gabrielle grabbed their shower supplies, bid their farewells to their roommates and went in search of a shower. Schiloppa grabbed Yakut by her shoulders, scaring her senseless.

"What is your problem? Are you trying to kill me with fear?" Yakut asked.

"Did you see that?" she asked excited.

"Did I see what?" Yakut asked, clueless of her roommate's hyper nature.

"Them! Did you see how they were acting? It's like Lao Ma put some sort of spell on them. They didn't argue once while they were in here. Not only that, they were agreeing with each other. Something happened."

"You're crazy, Schilly. I think they were just happy to be out of the cellar. I know I would've been," Yakut deciphered.

"No, I don't believe that." Schiloppa went to the doorway and secretly looked down the hall at the two girls in question. "Something definitely happened and one thing I've learned from our new girl is wherever she goes there's gonna be troouubbbuuuuull."

Yakut laughed at her friend's antics and reviewed her homework for the following school day.




Walking down to the showers, Xena and Gabrielle touched whenever they possibly could. After they'd seen their fellow students around they would act like nothing was between them. Once they were out of sight, Gabrielle would drag Xena into a hallway just to kiss her one more time. Not that Xena was complaining she had no idea of the sex monster she'd unleashed in the cellar.

Walking into the shower room, Xena took a look around and noticed that only one girl was present with them. Noticing them enter, Meesha, a first year student, greeted them.

"Hi guys."

"Hey," they both said together.

"Don't worry, I'm done here. Both stalls are available. I didn't use a lot of water, so you both should get a decent flow. It's still pretty warm, too."

"Thanks, Meesha, it's appreciated," Gabrielle said walking towards her stall. "I hate cold showers," she commented, earning her a chuckle from her taller companion.

"See ya!" the student said happily while leaving the room.

Xena closed the door and approached Gabrielle. "This could be dangerous, you know. We can shower separately if you want."

"No way! That's half the fun!" she exclaimed, opening the door and peering down the empty hall. "No one's gonna come in here. Come on!"

Xena tried to act concerned when in actuality she couldn't wait to get her hands on a wet, soapy Gabrielle. "What's gotten into you anyway?" Xena asked of the normally cautious teen.

"You did." Gabrielle began undressing in front of the very watchful eyes of her cohort. Instinctively, Xena began removing her own clothes and walked into the stall after Gabrielle.

Pulling the cord to release the flow of water, Xena and Gabrielle began to soap each other down. Smiling widely, Gabrielle said to Xena, "This is so nice. I get to see you like this; I get to feel your strong arms around me. Now that I'm all soapy, your body moving against mine is creating a wonderful friction. Look," she said while pointing to her erect nipples.

Xena bent her head to take the wet peak into her mouth. Gabrielle moaned softly and gently pulled Xena's head closer. Xena put her hands on Gabrielle's hips pulling their bodies together. Xena began to grind herself into Gabrielle. With a mild, pained grunt, Gabrielle pulled away.

Xena removed the nipple from her mouth. "What's wrong, baby?"

"I guess I'm kinda sore from earlier." she blushed.

Xena framed Gabrielle's face in her hands. "Did I hurt you?"

Shaking her head, "No, I think I'm just sore from all the bump and grind. I've never had a work out like that before." They both smiled. Xena gently kissed her lips then looked into Gabrielle's beautiful green eyes. "I'm sorry. If I promise to kiss it and make it better, would that help?"

Feeling the wetness pool between her legs that had nothing to do with the water, Gabrielle nodded desirously. Xena dropped to her knees and gently parted Gabrielle's labia. Drawing in her essence, Xena almost came right there. Shaking her head, Xena continued the glorious task she'd begun.

With a long swipe of her tongue, Xena tasted Gabrielle's wetness, sending Gabrielle's hips towards her face. "Mmm… oh yes," Gabrielle moaned. "Just like that."




Schiloppa could not let go of the changes she saw between her two roommates. She tried to convince Yakut that something had changed, but to no avail. Giving up on her best friend, Schiloppa told her she would find out for herself.

"I'm gonna find out what's going on. Then you'll believe me," Schiloppa said sternly.

"Ok, Schilly, whatever you say," Yakut said, continuing with her studies.

Schiloppa rolled her eyes and went down the hall in search of Xena and Gabrielle. While on her way to the showers, she saw a familiar face from one of her classes. Waving at the smaller girl, Schiloppa greeted her.

"Hey, Meesha, how's it going?"

"Great! How are you, Schiloppa?" she replied.

"Pretty good, hey… have you seen Gabrielle and the new girl, Xena anywhere? We gotta get dinner going and I have no idea where they are."

Smiling at her friend, Meesha answered, "Oh, I just saw them in the shower room. They were just there a few minutes ago, so I'm sure you can catch them."

Nodding happily, Schiloppa replied, "Great! Thanks for your help. Talk to you soon."

"See ya!"

Schiloppa was convinced the girls were indeed in the showers like they said they would be. "Maybe I will catch them, Meesha. Then I can find out what's going on around here!" she said to herself.




"Yes! Oh, Yes! By the gods! Oooooh!" Gabrielle cried out, arching her body in ecstasy as Xena laved her clitoris to orgasm.

"Baby, shh. I know you're excited but we don't wanna get caught!" Xena said quietly, internally pleased she'd elicited such a response, but didn't want to be busted by anyone in the process.

"Then you need to stop right now," Gabrielle said breathlessly. "You're gonna make me shout out the gods' names individually if you don't."

Xena chuckled and rose from her knees. She kissed Gabrielle deeply, bringing Gabrielle's hand to her soaked center. "Touch me, baby. I'm so close already," she husked. Gabrielle followed Xena's lead and began to stroke her aroused partner with slow and steady strokes. Xena met her hand with her hips in a rhythm of extreme pleasure.

"That's it, right there, baby. Mmm, you feel so good," she whispered into Gabrielle's ear while licking her lobe and neck. Feeling Xena's pace pick up, Gabrielle followed suit, sending the taller teen into glorious oblivion. Xena hissed her pleasure into Gabrielle's ear sending jolts through the smaller redhead.




Schiloppa reached the shower room door and listened quietly. Hearing muffled sounds, she knew her friends were in still in there. Opening the door with a small creak, she took one step and heard a loud hissing sound.

With a curious scowl on her face, Schiloppa announced herself. "Hellooo? Gabrielle? Xena? Are you in here?"

Xena, having heard the door creak, whispered into Gabrielle's ear after climaxing. "Someone just walked in," she breathed. "We gotta do something so we don't get caught like this."

Gabrielle nodded in understanding and pushed Xena out of the stall into the shower room. "Get out of here, you pervert! I said I had soap in my eye! That wasn't an invitation!" she yelled at Xena who was now standing naked in front of a slack jawed Schiloppa.

"Jeez, I was just trying to help. Next time don't be such a baby and no one will try to rescue you!" she yelled back, not covering her naked body. Looking at her roommate who hadn't moved since she walked in. "Schiloppa? Did you need something?"

Nodding frantically, she answered. "Yeah, um… dinner is soon and um… we gotta get the kitchen going. I wasn't sure how long you guys would… um… be in here," she stuttered badly.

"Well, I was just finishing up when you got here," Xena started, hearing a slight snicker from the shower stall. "So I'll just get dressed and be down there in a few minutes, okay?"

Nodding, Schiloppa was satisfied. "Ok, I'll see you both later." She walked out of the shower room and leaned against the hallway wall once the door closed. "Now I'm really confused. I thought that… uugghh… I might as well get ready for the dinner rush."

Back in the shower room, Xena had walked back into Gabrielle's stall. Gabrielle had finished washing herself. She smiled at Xena and kissed her soundly on the mouth. "That was pretty good, you think she suspects anything?"

"I don't know, pervert." Both girls laughed. "I think she was more freaked out by seeing me naked than anything. I gotta rinse off though and get dressed."

"I thought you'd just finished when she walked in?" Gabrielle teased.

"I had; just not with my shower." She smiled sexily. "Get out of here so I can finish, otherwise, we'll be really late." Seeing the desire return to Xena's blue eyes, Gabrielle grabbed her shower bucket and quickly left Xena alone to wash.




A short time later found the girls clean, fully dressed and working the dinner rush. Xena was helping serve the meal, while Gabrielle and Schiloppa washed the endless amount of dishes. Every so often Xena would turn to catch a glance of Gabrielle, earning her a smile from the blonde haired young woman.

Xena attempted to serve some potatoes that ended up on someone's shoes because she was so distracted. "I'm sorry about that." Her cheeks flushed bright red and after that, she decided to concentrate on her work instead of Gabrielle.

Schiloppa watched the two girls, looking for any sort of clue to help her with her quandary. As she helped Gabrielle with the dishes, she caught Xena staring at her co-worker a few times. After watching Xena for awhile, she decided to watch Gabrielle as well. Soft smiles and winks were passed between them and Schiloppa was convinced she'd been had in the shower room. They're acting like they're dating! I gotta tell Yakut about this. I know I'm NOT making this up.

After their chores were complete, Xena and Gabrielle had left the kitchen together with Schiloppa running to find her best friend. Running through the house, Schiloppa ran right into Lao Ma.

"Hey! Slow down, where's the fire?" Lao Ma asked.

Flushing a little, Schiloppa answered, "Sorry, Lao Ma. I was just looking for Yakut. After she swept up the dinner mess, I didn't see where she went and we were supposed to um… study together. I have a test tomorrow so I really want to find her."

Watching the smaller girl stutter and look everywhere except her eyes, she knew that young Schiloppa wasn't being completely honest with her. "I see, " she said skeptically. "I saw Xena and Gabrielle outside on Xena's horse a little while ago, but now it's starting to get dark. Would you take Yakut with you and find the girls to tell them to come in within the hour?"

Eyes wide, Schiloppa nodded her head frantically. "Sure thing, Lao Ma. I think Yakut is upstairs, so I'll get her and we'll give Xena and Gab your message."

Patting her cheek tenderly, Lao Ma thanked Schiloppa. "I appreciate it, dear. I have a thousand things to do before the candles get blown out tonight," she said as she walked away, leaving Schiloppa with her new task.

Running up to their room, Schiloppa found Yakut in her typical position: on her bed, studying for classes. Grabbing her by the hand, Schiloppa pulled Yakut into a standing position knocking all of her work on the floor.

"Schilly! Have you gone mad? What is wrong with you lately?" Yakut cried out.

"We have to go outside to get Xena and Gabrielle. Lao Ma wants them to come inside and we have to tell them."

"How did I get sucked into this?" she asked her frantic friend.

"Lao Ma didn't want me to go alone. Besides, I want to show you how different they've been acting. Lao Ma said they were on Xena's horse… together!"

Intrigued with this new information, Yakut changed her tune. "Well, what are we waiting for?" Yakut loudly asked, grabbing Schiloppa in the process.

The girls ran outside in search of their roommates. Walking past the stables, they didn't find anyone. "Maybe, they're inside?" Yakut asked.

They walked in the stables only to find more animals and a few stable hands. The two looked around the loft and again, found nothing.

"Well, they've got to be somewhere. Perhaps they rode into the fields out back?" Schiloppa asked while gesturing to the land in question.

"Let's give it a shot. If we start going too far though, I'm turning around. It's getting dark."

"Fine, you big chicken. Let's go."

Walking around the back of the dormitory, Schiloppa and Yakut ventured into the small woods. Just beyond the tiny patch of trees, the field in question lay. Yakut was extremely nervous about their journey since it seemed darker under the cover of the trees, but Schiloppa was steadfast in her mission.

They walked a little further into the wooded area and could see two figures at the edge of the clearing. One of the figures was sitting on a tree stump, while the second figure was kneeling in front of the other . As the lower figure moved their head between the other's legs, the other grabbed their head to pull the person closer.

With her eyes wide open and clutching Yakut's arm, Schiloppa whispered to her cohort, "Look! I think that's Xena and Gabrielle! I told you something was up with them." Watching the interaction of her roommates, a little light bulb went off in her head. "By the gods, what is she… are they…?" she gasped. "They're… they're…"

"Doing it," they both whispered in unison, covering their mouths in shock.

"What do we do? Do we interrupt them? Should we let them know we saw them?" Schiloppa fired off more of her endless amount of questions.

Not being able to look away, Yakut held tightly to Schiloppa's arm. "We should um… um… oh wow…"

"Yakut!" Schiloppa whispered her outrage.

Shaking her head, Yakut looked at her concerned bunkmate. "Sorry. Look, let's just walk to the edge of the woods and shout out to them. They'll hear us and won't think we saw anything."

"Ok, sounds good. I've seen more of Gabrielle than I ever wanted to."

The two girls giggled quietly while making their way back to the edge of the woods. Schiloppa took a deep breath and shouted to her friends. "Gabrielle! Xena! Lao Ma wants you to come in now! I hope you can hear me!"

"That oughta do it. You've got a bigger mouth than anyone I know," Yakut gibed playfully.

"Yeah, I love you, too. Let's head upstairs."




"Gabrielle! Xena! Lao Ma wants you to come in now! I hope you can hear me!" A panting Gabrielle heard Schiloppa's voice in the distance.

"Xena?" she gasped out, Xena not stopping her ministrations to her vulva. Gabrielle tried again, "Xena, stop."

Coming out of her sexual cloud, Xena lifted heavy lidded eyes to her. "What's wrong, baby?"

"Didn't you hear that?"

Listening for more, Xena shook her head. "My ears were covered by your thighs. What did you hear?" Gabrielle giggled and blushed.

"Schilly called out to us to tell us Lao Ma wanted us inside." She looked up and noticed the darkened sky. "It's getting late. We'll have to finish this later. I'm sorry, Xena."

Taking one last taste of her lover, Xena stood and reluctantly agreed. "You're right." She kissed her smaller partner soundly. "But we will finish this later. I don't care when, but I've got to have you."

Feeling the fire rekindling between her thighs, Gabrielle stood up and adjusted her skirt. Xena mounted Argo and pulled Gabrielle up in front of her, sidesaddle. "Hold on, baby. I don't want you to fall off."

Xena directed Argo back to the stables just before darkness descended completely upon them. Walking together into the dormitory, Xena and Gabrielle met up with Lao Ma. "You girls are cutting it close. When I saw Schiloppa and Yakut return without you, I started to get worried."

"Sorry, Ms. L, time got away from us. It was such a nice night for a ride," Xena explained, watching Gabrielle's agreeing nod.

"Mmm, well make sure you're back here before dark next time. I don't want to call out a search party looking for you two. The rules are simple, girls. Dusk means you come in… Not dawn."

"Duly noted, Lao Ma," Gabrielle chimed.

"Good, now get ready for bed," she directed.

"Yes, ma'am," they said in unison.

The two walked up to their sleeping quarters and found Schiloppa and Yakut already in bed.

"Hi guys," Gabrielle greeted cheerfully.

"Hey," they said trying to hide their smirks.

Noticing their faces, Xena inquired, "What's up with you two? You're acting like the cat that just ate the canary," she stated, unknowingly sending the girls into fits of laughter.

Looking at each other, Xena and Gabrielle shrugged as their two younger bedmates continued to laugh. Xena having no patience insisted they tell her what was so funny.

Yakut, being the older of the two, took it upon herself to start. "Now don't get mad," she started, which was never the way to start a conversation with Xena.

"Whaddya mean?" Xena asked, her anger starting to build.

Schiloppa looked down to her bunkmate with wide eyes, knowing she was going to share their secret. "Yakut!"

"Schilly, it's fine."

"What is going ON?" Xena's voice stopped the two immediately.

"Ok," Yakut said softer. "We um… well… we saw you," she stated plainly.

"You saw us where?" Gabrielle asked, suddenly very nervous.

"In the woods," Schiloppa added.

Gabrielle's eyes got wide and her face flushed in embarrassment. Tears formed in her eyes as she went over to her bed to sit. Xena saw the distress in her lover and sat next to her, putting her arm over her shoulders.

"Did you tell?" Xena asked simply. Shaking their heads fiercely, the girls replied in the negative. "Good."

Sniffling next to Xena, Gabrielle looked to Yakut and Schiloppa. "Are you going to?"

Yakut got out of bed and walked over to Gabrielle's, sitting down on the other side of her. Wiping away her friend's tears, Yakut said, "Gab, we've been friends for awhile. I'm not going to judge you. If Xena's who you want, who am I to say it's wrong?"

Wrapping her arms around a surprised Yakut, Gabrielle said, "Thanks, Yakut. That means so much to me."

"That goes for me too, Gab," Schiloppa joined in. "You too, Xena. We don't know each other all that well yet, but if you guys want to be together, then so be it." Silence fell into their barracks. "Just don't be doing the nasty in our room." All of them laughed at their roommate.

Shaking her head at the younger girl, Xena said, "Don't worry. I wouldn't embarrass either of us like that on purpose."

Looking at Gabrielle, Schiloppa had to ask, "So earlier, in the showers… um… the pervert comment? Cover up?"

Blushing brightly, Gabrielle laughed and exclaimed, "Big time!"

Yakut reached over and lightly smacked Xena's arm. "You dog!" eliciting guffaws from all the girls.

"Yep, that I cannot deny," she agreed and winked, looking into relieved green eyes.

Feeling pretty good about the entire situation, Gabrielle thanked the girls for their understanding. Yakut and Schiloppa returned to their beds as Gabrielle undressed and changed into her sleep shirt. As the younger girls debated about something or other, Xena watched Gabrielle hungrily out of the corner of her eye. The sudden conclusion of their evening rendezvous left her with pent up desires. She wanted relief and she wanted it badly.

Walking over to Gabrielle's cot, Xena whispered to her, "I want you so badly, my tongue aches to touch you again."

Looking quickly over to the bunk beds in the corner of the room, Gabrielle was relieved the girls didn't hear her companion. Looking into passion-filled blue eyes, her heart began to hammer inside her chest. "I know what you mean," she whispered back.

"Let's wait for these two to fall asleep, then we can find someplace to be alone."

"Done," she agreed immediately.




With patience not being a part of Xena's nature, she contemplated drugging her roommates to put them to sleep faster. The ache in her gut seemed to get worse as time progressed and it was starting to be all she could think about.

After waiting what seemed like hours, Yakut and Schiloppa finally dozed off. Xena, hearing the light snores from them, went immediately to Gabrielle's bedside.

"They're asleep. Let's go," she whispered.

Nodding at her aroused partner, Gabrielle slipped on her robe and followed Xena's lead. The two made their way stealthily through the deathly quiet dormitory. Not even Lao Ma was awake in her office, as per her usual. Xena reached the stairs that would lead them to the cellar.

"The cellar?" Gabrielle questioned.

Kissing Gabrielle deeply, Xena replied, "Yeah… then you can scream your head off and no on but me will hear you."

"I like the way you think."

They made their way down the steps and into the cellar and immediately closed the door. Xena rushed Gabrielle and pulled her into a deep wet kiss. "Gods, I want you," she panted.

Gabrielle took off her robe and pulled Xena into another passionate kiss, agreeing with her, "I know," she breathed into Xena's ear.

Grabbing the ends of Gabrielle's nightshirt, Xena lifted the garment over her head. Wrapping her arms around her taller lover, the two aroused teens kissed again.

Enrapt in each other's lips, the two didn't hear the cellar door open. When a soft clearing of a throat was heard, Xena pulled away from Gabrielle's mouth, with her own agape.

"I want to see you both in my office. Pronto!" Lao Ma exclaimed, shocking the girls immensely.

Looking at their mentor, they said together, "Yes, ma'am."

Lao Ma exited the cellar leaving the two girls in awe of their situation.

"Shit, what the hell are we going to do?" Gabrielle asked, putting her clothes back on.

"Lao Ma's a fair woman. We'll just explain everything to her and hope she's as tolerant as she seems."

"I hope you're right," Gabrielle said, resting her chin on her chest.

Lifting Gabrielle's down turned chin, Xena lightly kissed her frightened partner. "Don't worry, baby. If I can manage this, I won't let you take any heat. This was my fault and I'll tell Ms. L that."

"Come on girls, make it snappy!" Lao Ma's angered voice filtered into their ears. The two students made their way out of the cellar, up the stairs and towards Lao Ma's office to receive their punishment.




Standing outside of Lao Ma's office, Gabrielle and Xena shared their nervousness. Gabrielle was the first to voice her concerns.

"What do you think she's gonna say? What are we gonna do? My father is gonna freak about this!" the barrage of questions flew from her mouth.

Xena took her lover's hand in her own and brought it to her lips. "Everything will be okay. Lao Ma seems to pretty liberal about things. I'm not going to let anything happen to you. Can you trust me on that?"

Nodding her head, Gabrielle replied, "Yeah, I'm just nervous. This is definitely a new one for the scrolls."

The young warrior chuckled. "Yeah, I suppose it is. I'm nervous too. But, whatever happens, I don't regret anything we've done. We'll get through this."

Gabrielle squeezed Xena's hand. "Okay, let's do this," she said and knocked on the door.

Lao Ma called the terrified girls into her office. The couple shared a quick smile before sitting down in the seats in front of Lao Ma's desk. Lao Ma looked at the girls and began to speak calmly.

"Girls, I'm very worried about you both. But not for the reasons you think. First of all, your feelings are natural. You shouldn't be ashamed. What are your feelings toward one another?"

Xena and Gabrielle looked at one another. Silence hovered in the small office for a few moments. Xena spoke first.

"I care very much for Gabrielle."

Gabrielle chimed in, "I feel the same for Xena. I know we had a shaky start, but we… I don't know… grew on each other. I really like her," she finished, looking into blue caring eyes.

Smiling at Gabrielle, Xena continued, "Yeah, we did have a shaky start." She looked at Lao Ma. "Are you going to kick us out of school?"

Looking at the young woman, Lao Ma answered, "No, Xena. I'm not going to expel either one of you."

"My father is going to freak if you tell him," Gabrielle said, her head hanging low.

Xena responded to her partner's pain. "Yes. Please don't tell her father. That would really mess up her life."

Gabrielle looked pleadingly at Lao Ma, who assured her, "I'm not going to tell your parents. However, if you two truly care for one another, be careful until graduation. I may not tell and I may understand your relationship, but there will be those who don't. Someone may catch you two and they won't be so liberal in their thinking. They might hurt you both or tell your parents."

Xena nodded. "I understand."

Gabrielle also agreed. "Thank you, Lao Ma. Yakut and Schiloppa already know, so that won't be a problem. In fact, they said they were totally fine with it."

Looking at Lao Ma skeptically one last time. "So, let me get this straight. You're not going to try and split us up?"

Lao Ma reassured the taller girl, "No, Xena. I'm not going to break you two up. I just want you to be careful where you… have your interludes."

The couple grinned at one another and automatically reached for the other's hand. "We'll be careful, Lao Ma, I promise," Gabrielle said, her cheeks blushing.

"Good. Now you two may go on your way. But, I want you both to know that there are many women who share your preferences. This relationship between you is not abnormal. Life may not always be easy for you, but if you need, you can always come to me."

The two girls stood and Lao Ma came around to their side of her desk. Xena smiled at her mentor. "Thank you, Lao Ma."

"Yeah, you're the best!" Gabrielle said, hugging Lao Ma.

Xena hugged her as well. "Yeah, what she said."



Chapter Seven

This is the End… Beautiful Friend



The weeks went by and soon the school year ended. Xena and Gabrielle prepared to graduate and Yakut and Schiloppa prepared to say goodbye to their friends. Excitement and sadness filled the halls of the Athens School for Girls. Nowhere was it more prevalent than in the room where Xena and Gabrielle packed their belongings. Graduation was the next day and the goodbyes would be difficult for the couple. After the ceremony, it was unlikely the two would ever meet again.

Gabrielle paused in her packing and turned to her lover. "I can't believe graduation is tomorrow."

"Yeah. I know."

"I've been here for four years, Xena. I'm going to miss this place and Lao Ma and Yakut and Schilly."

Xena's eyes met Gabrielle's as she questioned, "Is that all?"

Gabrielle smiled as tears spilled from her eyes. "I'm going to miss someone else the most."

Xena dropped her clothes and walked over to her lover. She tenderly wiped the drops from Gabrielle's face. "Tell me, princess."

Gabrielle gazed into Xena's face. "You, you big dumb warrior. I'm going to miss you so much. I can't think of my life without you now."

Xena wrapped her lover into her arms. "I know, baby, I can't think of my life without you either. I'm going to miss you too, very much."

Crying in Xena's embrace, Gabrielle whispered, "What are we going to do?"

Xena lightly kissed the top of her friend's head and sighed. "I wish I knew."

A troubled expression came to Gabrielle's face. "Xena, I have a

confession to make."

Surprised, Xena asked, "What, sweetheart?"

"You might want to sit down."


Gabrielle took Xena's hand and led the warrior to sit on her bed. The nervous young woman began to pace, trying to find the words she needed to say. "I... umm... I don't know how to tell you this."

Xena became concerned at her lover's obvious distress. "Just tell me."

Gabrielle exhaled and spoke, "I'm getting married when I get home."

Xena stood, angry and shocked. "You're what!"

Gabrielle placed her hands on her lover's chest to calm her. "Please listen, I know I haven't been completely honest with you."

Hurt, and feeling betrayed, Xena's voice began to increase in volume. "Dammit, Gabrielle. After everything that's happened these last couple of months. How could you not tell me?" Xena's heart felt as if it were shrinking.

Gabrielle was crying, knowing the pain she caused the woman she loved. "I'm sorry." Sobs racked the poor girl's body. "I didn't tell you because... because I've fallen in love with you." The young woman cried even harder.

Xena's anger faded at Gabrielle's confession and she pulled her lover against her tightly. "Oh, sweetheart. I've fallen in love with you, too." She leaned down and pressed her lips into the salty kiss of the betrothed young woman.

"I'm so sorry I didn't tell you. The truth is, it was arranged by my father. Perdicus' family owns a large trading business. My father says it's a good match. He's nice and all, but I'm not in love with him, nor will I ever be. I don't want to marry him." Gabrielle placed her hands on either side of Xena's face and pleaded, "Take me with you tomorrow. Let's ride off together."

Painfully, Xena removed Gabrielle's delicate hands from her cheeks. "Gabrielle, we've been through this. I can't take you with me. It's far too dangerous. I sleep outside; I fight thieves and warlords. That isn't any life for you. You would hate it and I won't risk your life. I love you too much."

"Xena, teach me everything you know. We can look out for one another. I'm a quick study. I've also been blessed by the gods. I have the gift of prophecy. I could be useful. Please," Gabrielle begged, "Take me with you. I love you so much. I don't know how to live without you."

Xena folded Gabrielle into her arms. "I love you, too. But, I can't and I won't put you at risk like that. I couldn't live if something happened to you. I'd rather you grow old with many children."

"But I don't want his children," Gabrielle argued. "I want to go with you. Please, Xena."

Xena maintained her position. "No, Gabrielle. I'm doing this for you. Can't you see that?"

Gabrielle stiffened. "No! I don't see that. I see you turning your back on us."

"Oh, come on. That's not fair."

"Why not? That's what you're doing."

Xena rationalized, "No, I'm not. I'm protecting you."

Gabrielle failed to understand. "By sending me into the arms of a man I'll never love? How is that protecting me?"

"At least you'll be safe. I can't give you the kind of life you are used to."

"The kind of life I'm used to is the one you're in," she continued to argue her heart.

"Do you think this is easy for me? Do you think it's easy for me to know that my Gabrielle will be in another's arms? In his bed?"

The feisty blonde crossed her arms over her chest. "Obviously, it's what you want or you'd be taking me with you."

Xena growled her frustration. "Arghhh... why do you have to be so stubborn? Why can't you understand?"

Gabrielle held up her hands in surrender. "That's fine, Xena. Tomorrow my father will come for me and I will go." She wiped the last tears from her face. "I'm sorry I wasn't the one for you. Be happy, Xena." Without another word, she left the room.

Xena sat down on the bed and picked up her lover's nightgown. She brought it to her face and inhaled the lingering scent. Painful tears fell freely as her heart shattered. She whispered, "But you are."




That day, Gabrielle's father arrived and she faked enthusiasm at seeing him. He kept talking about the young woman's upcoming marriage.

"My dear, Gabrielle, Perdicus keeps asking about you. He can't wait for you to return home and you two can become reacquainted."

The despondent teen nodded. "I suppose."

Her father scowled in confusion. "What's wrong, sweetheart? I should think you would be excited about marrying a handsome man like Perdicus. He comes from a wonderful family, and this arrangement will benefit all of us."

The young woman asserted, "Father, I don't want to marry Perdicus. I've tried to tell you that." I want to be with Xena. I love Xena.

"That's nonsense. Every girl wants to get married and Perdicus could have any woman he wants. You're very lucky," her father argued.

"Why won't you listen to me?"

Herodotus smiled and pat his daughter on the head. "Honey, I know what's best for you."

Gabrielle lowered her face to look at the ground. "Yes, father." I might as well. Xena doesn't want me anyway.




In Lao Ma's office, Xena paced as she sought counseling from her wise mentor. "What do I do? Her father's forcing her to marry someone she doesn't love. She loves me."

"You're sure about this fact, Xena?"

The young warrior insisted, "Yes, I'm sure. I love her too. I don't want her to marry him."

Lao Ma stated simply, "Then do as she asks and take her with you."

"And put her life in danger? She's lived a very protected and pampered life. I can't give her any of that. She would be miserable and then resent me and then I'd just lose her anyway." Xena's head hung in defeat.

"You seem to be in a bit of a quandary. Xena, look into your heart. You will find your answer there. But, remember, when given a choice, she chose you. You should trust her to tell you what she wants."

The teenager looked up and nodded. "I'll think about it."




That night was a lonely one for both girls. Gabrielle decided to stay at the inn with her father, rather than return to face Xena. The downhearted warrior tossed and turned all night long. She held her lover's nightgown in her hands, wishing for just one last night together.




The next day was a bustle of activity as all of the graduating girls from the school prepared for the ceremony. Xena tried several times to speak to Gabrielle, however, her efforts were thwarted. The brokenhearted girl refused to communicate with the warrior.

One by one, the names were called and the graduates walked to the front of the room to receive their parchments. Lao Ma watched on with pride and a bit of sadness as her students prepared to make their way in the world. She carefully observed Xena and Gabrielle, who both seemed as if their worlds were falling apart.

Yakut and Schiloppa also noticed their friends' sadness. "Look at those two, Schiloppa. They both look so upset."

The other girl agreed, "I know. They're not even talking and after today, they're not going to see one another again."

"What I don't understand is why Xena won't take Gabrielle with her? They love each other so much."

Yakut agreed, "Yeah, they do. But, Xena's scared for Gabrielle. I feel sorry for them both. Poor Gabrielle has to marry someone she doesn't love. Did you hear Xena crying all night?"

"Yeah, I wish they would kiss and make up. Xena needs to realize they belong together."




After the ceremonies had concluded, the new graduates mulled around with their friends and families. Unfortunately, Xena's mother had been unable to attend the festivities. Xena watched Gabrielle from afar. Finally, she summoned the courage to say goodbye.

She nervously walked up to her lover. "Hi. I couldn't let you go without trying to talk to you. I missed you so much last night."

Gabrielle didn't respond. Xena kicked the ground with the toe of her boot. "So, I guess you're leaving today."

Gabrielle swallowed back her sadness. "Yeah. Father should be coming around any minute to help me get my things."

Xena's heart pounded as she asked, "So, when are you getting married?"

Pain reflected in the blonde's eyes as she answered, "In a few weeks. Mother wants some time to go over a few things with me."

Xena's voice caught in her throat. "He's very lucky."

Tears began to build in Gabrielle's eyes. "I'll miss you... every day."

Xena's voice and facial expression softened. "I'll miss you, too. You do know I love you, don't you?"

Fighting to keep the tears from falling, Gabrielle nodded. "I do. I just wished you loved me enough. I have to go." Catching one last glimpse into Xena's blue eyes, Gabrielle quietly said, "Goodbye, Xena."

Xena watched as Gabrielle ran off to find her father. Xena resisted the urge to chase after her lover. Instead, she quickly went to the stables to retrieve her horse. She knew she needed to leave before her resolve crumbled.

As the teenager saddled her horse and loaded her bags, she spoke to her beloved animal, "I'm doing the right thing, aren't I, Argo? She's better off without us. She belongs in her world, not ours."

Argo whinnied and shook her head. Xena mounted her horse and headed away from the school. As she was riding away, she caught a glimpse of her lover, sitting in her father's cart. People were loading up Gabrielle's many belongings. The young woman looked so sad as she sat with her head down. Xena stopped and watched for a few minutes.

Hearing Argo, Gabrielle looked up with eyes that were red from crying to see Xena staring at her. Their gaze locked for a few short, electric moments. Suddenly, Xena's heart took over her head and she galloped towards Gabrielle, like a ship headed for home. Gabrielle noticed the change in Xena's direction and her heart became filled with excitement, anticipation and hope.

Xena stopped near the cart and grinned. "Wanna come along?"

Gabrielle slowly descended from her father's wagon and began to walk toward Xena. "What did you say?"

Xena hopped down from her horse. "Come with me, please. I can't promise you it will be easy, but I'll teach you what you need to know. I need you, princess."

Gabrielle began running to the woman she loved. "Yes! Yes! Oh, Xena. Yes, I'll come with you."

Xena caught the excited blonde in her arms, lifting her slightly off the ground and kissed her soundly. "I love you, Gabrielle. I was wrong to think I could live without you."

"Oh, I love you too, Xena. So very much. I promise I won't be any trouble."

Laughing, Xena responded, "Sweetheart, somehow I don't think you'll be able to keep your promise. But, that's one thing I love about you. Life with you will never be boring." Xena climbed onto her horse, and assisted her lover to sit behind her.

Herodotus looked up with a puzzled look on his face. Gabrielle whispered into Xena's ear, "And it starts now."

The angry father soon started running towards the couple. "Gabrielle, you get back here. I won't stand for this, Gabrielle! Gabrielle!"

"I'm sorry father. I'm leaving with Xena. I'm not marrying Perdicus and I'm not going back with you. I love you and promise to write soon. Tell mother I love her."

The couple galloped away, laughing, toward their future, knowing that whatever they faced, they would face it together.

Watching from the steps of the dormitory, Yakut and Schiloppa watched the dramatic scene unfold. Yakut placed on arm on her friend's shoulder. "Ain't love beautiful?"


The End

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