Timeline: Sometime in the third season.
Dedication: To my best friend, Terri. Thanks for the support, no matter the story idea.
Author's Notes: Just another story that popped into the ol' brain. I have no idea where it came from. All POSITIVE comments are welcome. Negatives I will simply ignore. Send your thoughts to email@example.com.
I treasure these times when we aren't fighting bandits and warlords. The steady pace of Argo pushes me into her back. I can't help but run my fingers along the leather under my hand. This is one of those rare times I swallow my fear and get on this tall beast to be closer to Xena. "Mallious was cute wasn't he?"
"What? Huh?" I smile. I actually caught her daydreaming.
"Mallious. He was cute." I smile, trying to rile up my warrior.
"The stable boy?" she said incredulously.
"Yeah. He had a cute butt." I can barely contain my laughter. I was doing my best to keep a serious tone. I felt Xena fidget. Ah, I've got her.
"No he didn't. If you call that bony little squirt cute...." she trailed off.
"He's got nothing on you." I had no trouble saying that seriously. She smiled.
"I hope so."
"Well he has one thing on you." I chuckled. I caught the 'Get your mind out of the gutter, Gabrielle' look. However, she decided to play along.
"Well, that's not my fault is it?"
She stopped Argo in the clearing and jumped down. She reached her hands up. I really didn't need her help, but loved it that she did it. I slid out of the saddle into her arms.
"Wanna make camp here?" I asked.
"Yeah." She began to remove the saddlebags.
"What was that?" I caught a flash of metal in a nearby tree.
"What?" Xena looked towards where I was sure I saw something.
"Never mind." Xena dropped the bags and began to remove Argo's saddle, while I removed her bridle, giving her a rub on the head as I did.
"Sooo," she smiled. Uh oh. I knew that teasing tone. "there's only one part of a man you find attractive?" I turned two shades of red.
"Uhhh well.....Why are we talking about this?"
"You started it."
"I know, so I'll stop it...Now." I saw the teasing glint in her eye. I don't see that very often, but I really didn't want to talk about this subject.
I loved night time. Xena sits beside me grinding that whetstone against the blade of her sword while I work on my latest epic. "Gabrielle," she sighed. "Can I ask you something?" I looked up at her from my scroll. Very rarely do I hear those words come out of her mouth.
"You know you can, Love."
"Something's bothering me." I sat quietly and waited for her to elaberate. "Its about Mallious."
"Xena, I was just kidding about....."
"I know, but do you think men are better lovers?"
"No." I chuckled. "What makes you say that?"
"Well you were talking about..?"
"Xe," I smiled. "You are the best lover I have ever had." I kissed her softly on the cheek.
"It's just that if I were a man, your life would be easier." She leaned back, pressing her back against Argo's saddle, crossing her legs at the ankles. I placed my head in her lap, looking up at her.
"How do you figure?"
"Well your father would be more accepting of us." I had to smother a laugh at that remark. I remember when me and a certain warrior princess were caught in the barn of my family's farm.
She moaned deep in her throat, causing my knees to go weak. Two days of no touching was taking its toll. Everytime we tried to be alone, Mother or Father would grab one of us for a 'talk'. I latched onto her mouth for dear life. Hungrily I dragged my tongue across the lips. I dove in for another taste. Her hands buried in my hair. One dragged down my neck to the laces of my top. I ached for her to release me. Xena stepped me back several paces until I felt the stall. "Gabrielle." she breathed as I finally let her up for air. Then we heard it, the sound of a clearing throat. We both spun around to see my mother standing several feet away with her egg gathering basket in hand.
"What's going on here?" Anger written clearly on her face when she made eye contact with Xena.
"Uhhhhhh. Well I was uhhhhh...." Xena gestured to me.
"Kissing my daughter."
That memory made me smile and made me sad. That event marked the end our charade and Xena's feud with Father escalated ten fold. Now they know Xena is not only my best friend, my protector, but also my lover. My mother has accepted my choice. She told Xena that as long as she loves me and will keep me safe, she would live with the fact my partner is a woman. Father on the other hand, threathened her with violence. Of course he didn't get very far before she handed it right back.
"Xena, you know I love you." I smiled up at her. She ran her fingers through my hair, a very pleasurable sensation.
"I know, Love. Seriously Gabrielle, you think that men are better lovers?" If I could have gotten away with it, I would have slapped her.
"This is really bothering you, isn't it?"
"If I knew it would have caused such deep thought," I smiled. "I wouldn't have teased you."
"Let's go to bed." She ruffles my hair as she eases my head up and out of her lap.
The figure sat alone on the top branch with a smile on her face. Being new to the world of the gods, boredom was a big issue. These two female mortals are the answer. This will prove to be a most interesting way to spend time. Pointing her finger and smiling, she sent a beam of light into the back of the tall one.
I awoke to a huge flurry of movement beside me. By the time I turned over, Xena was sitting across the fire with a dumbstruck look on her face. "What's wrong?"
"Nothing." she said a little too quickly. I got up, rubbing my eyes. I started towards her and she stood.
"Come here, Xe."
"Uhhhh." She began backing up.
"Xena, what's the matter with you?" She actually looked scared.
"Gabrielle, something happened to me." Her hands were visiably shaking.
"I woke up with more than I went to bed with."
"What are talking about?"
"Remember that talk we had last night?"
"Yeahhhhh." I said uncertainly, not sure where this was going.
"Well something happened and...."
"Xena will you just spit it out."
"Gabrielle," she started. "You remember what Mallious had that I didn't?"
"Yeah." I answered, without thought. The sudden realization hit it me. "Oh my....."
I awoke to see those blue eyes looking at me with a worried expression. "Love, are you alright?" I raised my head from its place on the ground.
"I did?" She helped me stand.
"You sure did."
"Xena were you kidding me?"
"Why would I joke about something like that?"
"Good point." I couldn't help but let my eyes drop. She shifted uncomfortably and I once again raised my eyes to hers. "How did that happen?"
"I have no idea, Gabrielle. I would bet my last dinar, a god is behind it."
"But who...and why?" I smiled.
"This is not one bit funny, Gabrielle." she said sternly.
"I'm sorry. Of course its not." I had to fight really hard to keep that smile and laugh down.
Xena said little to me all day. I think she was actually pouting. She refused to leave the clearing until she found out who was behind her 'transformation.' She came from the woods. "Okay?"
"Strange." she said quietly.
"Nature call." she said through her hand.
I tried to keep to myself. My thoughts were running rampant through my mind. If she could read my thoughts at this moment, she would send me packing. I watch as she works out her anger by doing sword drills. Her leathers were drying on a rock from washing, so she was dressed in her black trousers and white shirt. I only saw that outfit in the winter or when visiting her mother for a time. The trousers were neatly tucked into her boots. I must say, she is a sight to behold. "Done?" I asked as she walked towards me. She made it quite clear to keep my eyes above her waist.
"Yep." She drops her sword next to the fire and picks up the water skin, taking a healthy drink.
"Feeling better?" She looks at me.
"This is scary to me, Gabrielle." She sits down next to me and I give her my undivided attention. "I hate that I can be toyed with like this." I understand her frustration. I would have gone insane for sure if the situation were reversed.
"What are we gonna do?" She looks around the clearing.
"I'm going to scout around, see if I can see anything. You stay put." She stood and moved off to my left and into the woods.
I sat as quietly as possible, waiting, listening. I'm not half as good as Xena is, but I'm getting better. Xena emerged from the woods on my right. "Find anything?" She held up a couple of fish.
"Dinner. There's a river beyond those trees." she gestured. "But nothing as far as any intruders."
"What do you wanna do?" I asked her quietly.
"Stay." she said without hesitation. "If you want to go ahead and follow the path, its leads to a village."
"No, I'm not leaving Xena." With that, she starts work cleaning the fish.
Night soon came again, but for once Xena layed down on our bedroll and stargazed with me rather than sharping her sword. She jumped when I placed my head on her shoulder. She was very uncomfortable with any bodily contact. I understood why, but feeling her flinch made me want to cry. "I'll move." I said after a moment.
"No." She held me in place with an arm around my shoulders. "I'm sorry. Its okay." She kissed the top of my head. "That's not a bear." I smiled. She started every stargazing session with that sentence. Normally I would start to argue my point, but not tonight. Our minds were heavy with thought.
My thoughts were soon going to betray me. My mother would slap me sideways, if she could hear the things I was thinking. "Wanna go for a swim?"
"No. You can go on if you want."
"Ahh come on, Xe. Its warm tonight."
"No, I really don't want to." Damn.
"Fine." I moved as fast humanly possible and straddled her hips. I said nothing about the change I felt. Xena immediately began to squirm. trying to get out from under my weight. If she really wanted to, I know she could.
"Gabrielle...." The rest of that sentence was drowned out by my lips on hers.
"Shhh." I whispered. "I love you. Please don't run from me." I said with my lips pressed to hers.
It took several moments before Xena would stop trying to get away. I was being bad and I knew it. I unbuttoned her shirt as fast as could. She helped by removing it herself. I latched onto her left nipple, causing Xena to arch her back. Her hands shot up and unlaced my top, removing it. She cupped both of my breasts in her strong hands. Finally, she was relaxing.
A smile crossed the goddess' face. She was going to get a nice show. She had been sitting in that tree for a whole day and finally she was going to have a reason to stick around.
Her nimble fingers, made quick work of my skirt, leaving only in my breeches. I reached down and undid the catch on her trousers. Hooking my thumbs into the waistband, I pulled freeing her. I reflexily closed my eyes and stifled a groan as a shot of arousal went through my body. I couldn't say anything. I didn't want to say anything. Now my warrior was naked. Her eyes closed, for a different reason. "Open your eyes, Xena." She did slowly. "I want to make to love to you." I smiled, caressing her cheek. I can only imagine how awkward she must feel at this moment.
I started my explorations slow, kissing her heated skin near her collarbone. Licking sensually as I moved my way southward. Her noises of passion began as my mouth took a nipple once again into my mouth. I said a silent prayer that Xena wouldn't bolt. I scooted up her thighs and reached one hand down to touch her. "Ahhh!" Her hips rose off of the bedroll almost instantly. I had not done this in a very long time, not since Perdicus. I stroked her firmly. She became aroused a lot quicker than he did. Maybe it was just the situation, but I didn't care. I closed my eyes and just felt her throbbing. "Gabrielle." She was aching. There was need in that voice. I knew I was wet with need myself. I have been since she told me about what happened. I carefully placed myself above her. We groaned simultaneously as she slid easily into me.
"Oh gods, Xena." I said as I felt her stretching me, filling me. I rocked my hips slowly at first, then faster. I opened my eyes to see her bite down on her lip. I knew what she was doing. She was trying to stop herself, but I wasn't going to let her. "Come for me. Please." She held fast doing her best not to. I began to feel the tremors start deep within me. There was no way she could hold out against that and she didn't.
"Gabrielle." she hissed as I felt her jerk inside me. I rocked harder until I followed. I collapsed on top of her.
I have never been so...excited before tonight. We had to stop out of pure exhaustion. I awoke and Xena was once again sitting across the fire, this time looking directly at me.
"Morning, Gabrielle." She moved around to me, handing me a cup of tea. I mumbled a thank you as I tried to wake up. "Ready to move on today?"
"Huh? I thought we were staying." I rubbed my eyes.
"Don't need to." Now I was confused.
"What do you mean?"
"Whoever did...that, well I'm back to normal." she grinned as she stroked my back and sipped her tea. After a moment of no reaction, she chuckled. "Well let's not get all excited Gabrielle." I laughed.
"I'll miss that, but I guess I can live with being with a 'woman' again." She playfully slapped me on the butt when I got up to grab my discarded clothes, which Xena always gathered and neatly placed them next to me after we make love. I never fail to wake up and find my clothes next to me, no matter where she threw them in a hast to get me bare.
Two weeks later...
My head pounded. I've been sick for a week and can't shake it. Xena has made me ride Argo every day, but the steady rocking of the horse, makes me nauseous. We have developed a quick dismount system. The second I tap her thigh, she removes her foot from the stirrup and swing down. I usually don't get out of site before I lose my last meal. This time was one of the worst. She wets a cloth with the waterskin and moves to me as spasms still are rocking my empty stomach. I feel her hand rub my back. "I'm taking you to a healer again."
"No." I cough. I have been to two so far, plus Xe has been trying to help me feel better with herbs, but to no avail. I hate to be poked and prodded.
"You need rest, Love. Amphipolis is not far and neither is Poteidia. Why don't we go to one of them."
"Amphipolis." I say without hesitation.
"Come on." She helps me up.
We are a day's ride away and I feel compelled to tell her what I've hiding. I waited in vain to make sure before I told her. Its early morning now and I smell the clean air and listen to the forest waking up. Xena's arm, that's around my waist, moves signaling her waking. "What is it, Gabrielle? Still feeling bad?" I nod my head. She makes a soft cooing noise and rubs strokes my hair. "We should be at Mother's by this afternoon."
"Xena, I need to tell you something." I don't turn over to face her before I say, "I think I'm pregnant." I feel her strong hand nudge my shoulder, pulling me onto my back gently.
"Are you sure?"
"My cycle was due and I haven't gotten it."
"A little over a week." She sighs with emotion. I look into her eyes. "You know its yours."
"Are you sure?"
"Xena." I said in an angered. "YOU are the only one I've been with in two seasons."
"I know." she said. "Just thought I'd ask."
"Are you saying if it wasn't yours, you wouldn't help me?"
"I didn't say that, but I wouldn't be too thrilled about you cheating on me."
"Xena, whatever happened to you, it must have been," What was the word I was looking for, "complete in the change."
"Why didn't I think of that before we.." She pounded the dirt in frustration.
"Correction. Why didn't we think of that? If I remember correctly, it was my idea in the first place."
"Gabrielle," She turned to face me fully. "I will do my best to take care of you."
"I know." She rubbed her fingers through her hair and sighed heavily. "I'm sorry."
"For what?" she said. "Gabrielle, we'll be okay I promise. Its just not everyday I become a father."
"What will Cyrene say?"
"Don't know, but there's one way to find out. Let's get backed up."
Continued in Part 2.