Convert this page to Pilot DOC Format
By April (REDMSTHING)
This idea came to me after watching ADITL and rereading Katherine V. Forrest's 'Curious Wine' from which this story liberally borrows. I hope you all enjoy it, but please be patient as it looks like it is going to be a monster.
Xena sat awake and watched the young woman sleep. <I know I'm hurting her.> She thought to herself, but what could she do. It had been almost two weeks since their beautiful night together and the distance between them grew every day.
She moved closer so she could gently caress the red gold hair but did so quietly so as not to wake her. <:I miss holding you in my arms..so much.> She spread the soft silkiness of Gabrielle's hair over her knee as tears started to form in her sad blue eyes. Eyes that had seen many battles and many deaths but had never seen anything like the young bard who had so transformed her soul. <How can I you how very much I love you little one?> She had asked herself this question many times and had yet to find an answer. Xena wanted to make love to Gabrielle evey night as they had just a few moons ago but she knew that was not possible, not as long as the fear of losing control of her desire still overwhelmed her.
*Fear* It was something Xena had never had a problem with before. But this fear was different. It is a fear so black and hollow, it suffocates creation and refuses to allow rational thought in. What if she could not control herself? What if her desire for Gabrielle consumed her just as the desire for blood had not so long ago? Gabrielle brought so many feelings to the surface that Xena had never thought possible and sometimes they threatened to rob her of restraint, thought and , yes, control.
<I cannot let that happen!> The warrior thought to herself again as she looked at the woman she would gladly spend an eternity in Tartarus for. <I could never forgive myself, if, in my lust for her I hurt her in any way.>
The warrior studied the sleeping face beside her once more before slipping under the blankets to nestle herself against the bard. She would never hurt her. She would just have to learn to control herself and if that didn't work...well...hopefully that won't be an option. She would leave before she allowed anouther form of darkness to overtake her soul.
Gabrielle felt the warrior's strong arms tremble as they came around her waist and she tried to remain still so as not to alert the warrior to the fact that she was not asleep. She knew that Xena was struggling with something, had been, since their night of passion. <I wish I knew what it was.>
The young girl just laid in the peaceful protectiveness of her warrior's arms and as she felt Xena drifting finally to slep she silently promised herself that no matter what she woulf help Xena throught this. What ever it was.
"I love you, Xena." Gabrielle said simply as she drifted off to sleep trying to remember all of the events that led them to this.
"Gabrielle, I didn't *let* you hit me."
"Yes, you did! I can't believe it!" Gabrielle said, pounding her fists against the bedroll in frustration.
"I didn't.", Xena said, "I was.....distracted. You got me fair and square." She looked at the bard and Gabrielle knew it was the truth.
"Ok, but..." Xena had turned away and Gabrielle was now talking to the back of her head.
"But what?" Xena asked, still with her back to Gabrielle.
"But what could distract you sooo much that I could pop you so *easily*?" Gabrielle asked, more than a little curious.
"I was thinking ok? Just leave it at that. Go to sleep."
"No!" Gabrielle said, irritated now, "I won't leave it at that. You always do that. Not this time!! What was it? You know you can tell me anything."
Xena thought for a moment. <She's right. I need to tell her.> <We need to talk about this. It is time.> "I was thinking how... nice...it was being here with you. Looking at the stars, feeling your body beside me and....." Xena struggled to find the courage to continue.
Gabrielle watched in silent fascination as the warrior wrestled with her thoughts. She wanted to say something but remained quiet, this show of emotion being so rare from Xena.
"And wondering why you haven't mentioned it" she said finally.
"Mentioned what? I don't know what you are talking about." Gabrielle said. It was a lie and they both knew it.
"When I was in Autolycus' body..." Xena said, her emotions bubbling to the surface, "I..."
"You kissed me." Gabrielle said, half to Xena and half to herself; totally overcome by feelings she had been holding back for so long.
"Yes, I did. So, you *do* remember."
"Remember?" Gabrielle said with a wry laugh, "I was wondering if you did."
"It's all I have been able to think about." Xena said. "Even when you were hanging over that lava pit, all I was thinking was that I didn't want to lose you before I could kiss you again...as me." And with this admission a single tear fell down Xena's beautiful face.
Gabrielle looked at Xena and held her gaze as she asked, quietly, "Would you do it again?"
"Of course I would do it again Gabrielle. It's not something that I regret. I just wish it haden't been in *his* body." Xena said, the frustration very evident in her voice.
"Gods, Xena!! Sometimes you are so THICK!" Gabrielle said, giggling.
"That's not what I meant." The bard stopped laughing and reached out to trace a finger lightly over Xena's lips. Looking directly into the warrior's eyes she said, "I meant would you do it again...*now*?"
"Oh, Gabrielle", Xena sighed, "yes. Let me hold you."
Gabrielle's eyes closed as Xena's strong arms came around her body. Xena thought Gabrielle's body felt almost inconsequentially small in her arms. She held the bard's face against her throat and breathed a delicate fragrance from her hair and skin.
Gabrielle lay quietly feeling Xena's chest against her rising and falling with each breath. Lips touched her forehead, so gentle.
The bard tightened her grip on the warrior and turned her face into Xena's neck, brushing her lips over the silky skin, feeling the pulse beat.
Then it seemed so *natural*, so easy, to raise her face and feel the softness of Xena's lips with her own. Xena's mind vibrating with alarm, she pulled back but Gabrielle's mouth again came to hers with a boldness that surprised them both. Then Gabrielle's lips parted and she yielded to Xena's tongue.
"Sweet...you taste so sweet." Xena said as again and again she explored the bard's mouth. They kissed slowly, gently, unhurriedly; and as the moon hung brilliantly in the nightime sky, they knew there would be time for more later. For now they would be content to drift off to sleep in the warmth of eachother's arms.
They woke still in their last embrace.
"Hi." Xena said, smiling as she looked into pools of green that sparkled in the early morning sunshine.
"Hi, yourself." replied Gabrielle as her lips lightly brushed Xena's "I love you." She continued as she wrapped her arms once again around *her* warrior.
It was a statement of fact, so blunt in its honesty, that it took Xena's breath away. She pushed down the dark thoughts that were beginning to creep up her spine as she quietly disentangled herself from the bard and started breaking camp.
"We need to get going if we are going to make the village before nightfall. The sky is low in the north and the clouds are mean. I don't want to get caught in a storm." She said trying to keep her mind off of the frightening waves of desire coursing through her blood.
"Xena..."gabrielle said her name in such a way that it stopped the stoic warrior dead in her tracks. She closed her eyes as anouther wave crashed against the stone walls surrounding her heart.
"Yes, Gabrielle?" she said and as she turned around their eyes caught and held.
"Xena, did you hear what I said......"
there were other words said that Xena did not hear because Gabrielle was looking into her eyes with a slowly deepening smile the pierced her with its beauty and intimacy.
<Gods, but she is *beautiful*> Xena thought to herself as , despite the warning going off in her head, she wrapped her arms around this glorious woman.
"I heard you Gabrielle. But we really need to get going."She kissed her on the forehead. "I'll go get Argo."
As Xena got to the edge of the trees the normally calm warrior turned, "and Gabrielle?"
"I love you too." she said trying to mask the trembling fear in her voice. she was rewarded with a smile she would gladly give her last dinar, inded her very soul, to see every day.
<<<<<<<<You just might have
it was a whisper on the wind that no one heard.
<I do love you little one> Xena thought to herself as she took one last longing look at her bard.
That last thought made Xena very uncomfortable. Deep in her heart she knew that *love* didn't even begin to cover it and she was suddenly frightened to her very core.
As Xena had gone to get Argo that morning, Gabrielle sensed something was bothering the warrior. She haden't thought much of it then but now, two weeks later, the distance between them had grown almost unbearable. Not even a single * I love you* had been uttered the entire time.
As she lay, wide awake, in the warrior's arms she wondered what had gone so terribly wrong.
It had become almost a nightly ritual. Xena would gently kiss her goodnight and then, despite the bard's playfull protests, would sleep on her own bedroll across from Gabrielle on the other side of the fire. Gabrielle could hear Xena cry herself to sleep every night but felt helpless to do *anything*. If Xena couldn't tell her what was wrong...how could she help?
Then when Xena thought she was sleeping she would come sit next to the bard and fall asleep with her hands curled gently in Gabrielle's hair. It broke the storyteller's heart.
Sometimes during the long, quiet days Gabrielle would look up and Xena's gaze would just be leaving her. Several times she thought Xena had been looking at her breasts but decided she was mistaken. Xena had not touched them during their night together; she had held her in her arms, kissed her face, her hands; but that was all. Suddenly flushed with desire, Gabrielle remembered her own hands under Xena's shift caressing the warms softness of her back. But she had not touched Xena's breasts either. She felt them against her back now knowing that what she felt was regret.
The night had been so beautiful, almost like a dream. It had also been very emotional for them both as long hidden feelings had finally been expressed. In a flash of memory Gabrielle thought of Xena's mouth leaving hers to tenderly touch her eyes, her cheeks; her tongue warmly, gently, slowly washing the traces of tears from her face. Xena's mouth coming back to hers as Gabrielle tasted the salt on her lips, and as Xena's lips parted, the taste of salt on her tongue....
She looked at the bones of Xena's fingers and wrists now, remembering how she had kissed them and traced them with her tongue. The bard knew now that what she wanted more than anything in the world was to feel this woman of her heart shudder from passion in her arms.
"Xena, are you awake?" the bard asked, as the sun slowly warmed the Greek countryside.
"Yes," Xena said, as she gently ran her fingers along Gabrielle's arms.
<I miss her *so* much> Gabrielle thought. <I have to try> She turned in Xena's arms until she was facing the warrior. That was when she noticed Xena's tears.
"Xena, what's wrong?" Gabrielle asked, suddenly very concerned.
"I don't ever want to hurt you. EVER!" Xena sobbed, " But I will if...."
"Xena, if what? You would never..." Her words were stopped as Xena's mouth came to hers more meltingly tender than Gabrielle remembered, had *been* remembering for the last two weeks. Gabrielle held Xena's face in her hands and kissed across her forehead into her hair; her lips brushing the curving line of eyebrow.
She felt Xena's lips rest on her own, touching the corners with her tongue. Soft, tender lips. She did not answer the kiss, sensing Xena's wish just to feel the shape of Gabrielle's mouth. Gabrielle then captured Xena's mouth with a hunger that left them both gasping for air and thrown by the emotions they brought out in eachother.
Xena laid her face against Gabrielle's throat, and with trembling fingertips touching the bard's face, she whispered, "Gods, why must you be so very beautiful?"
After a few moments, Gabrielle whispered back, "For you. Only for you." and kissed Xena's fingers.
The raw passion in Gabrielle's voice combined with the growing desire in her own heart ripped though Xena in a blinding flash of liquid fire. In that instant she could see herself ripping the bard's cloths off, biting into her flesh; could taste Gabrielle's fear...and her blood.
Xean let out a soul shattering scream and ran from the campsite, and from Gabrielle, as fast as her muscular legs would carry her. Her scream echoing to the very tops of the clouds.
Gabrielle was left to stare at the retreating woman in agony. She felt the pounding in her blood becoming a dull ache in her battered heart. What demon could possibly be torturing her beloved so? It didn't matter. She would be here when the warrior returned. She would be here for as long as Xena would have her. She is my life, my heart, my soul. I feel her as deeply inside me as I feel my own being. The bard thought to herself. She loves me too, I can feel it in her touch As she waited for Xena to return and the sun rose higher and higher in the sky her desperation got the better of her and she collasped to the ground and did the only thing left she could think to do. She pleaded with any God who would listen to please give her the strength to be what Xena needed. To help her understand, no matter what this demon was. *She had to* Xena is her home.
To Be Continued.......