Author: Skylark
Story Title: Family Reunion
Characters: Xena/Gabrielle
Rating: NC-17
Summary: This story takes place immediately after 'A Family Affair.' It ties up some loose ends.
This rating is for explicit f/f sex.

Xena and Gabrielle plus the rest belong and are copyrighted to MCA/Universal and Renaissance Pictures. They are used here without intent to profit. No copyright infringement is intended. The remainder of the story belongs to me and I hold the copyright to it. Do not use any part of the story without my permission.

The story is about two consenting adult women engaging in sex. IF you are under the age of 18, if this material is illegal where you stay, please split RIGHT NOW.

Otherwise, enjoy.

Please feed the shanachie at


Family Reunion
By Skylark


Moonlight silvered the pair seated on the bench, picking up tiny glints of light from the warrior's armor and her companion's reddish hair. It cast a shadow of their joined profile in black relief toward the farm house. Both were drained of energy yet emanated a deep sense of peace that it was over. The smaller woman stirred first, gently stroking the warrior's shoulder.

With a small hiss of pain, Xena said, "he slashed me good, but it was worth it."

"We better bind it up, then wash us both up."

"Gabrielle, your folks are not going to fix me a hot bath. You know that."

"Don't have to. There are warm springs below the house and . . . there's just us. Lila's been making sheep eyes at Joxer and the four of them are staying for a while in the village."

"Is that your doing?" Xena asked.

"Lila and Joxer?" queried Gabrielle, with that lopsided grin.

"You know what I mean."

They both rose from the bench. Gabrielle slid her arm around the lean waist of the warrior and drew them closer.

"That feels good."

Xena caressed her friend's supple neck and gave a low growl. Gabrielle's shining eyes darkened to emerald in anticipation. They walked up to the farm house and went in.


Gabrielle took the lead as she had never seen Xena look so . . . worn . . . worn out. That was it. 'Well, we will fix that,' she decided. Rummaging on the shelves, she took down a small bowl, a packet of dried plants and leaves and some pieces of cloth. Pouring steaming water from the kettle into the bowl, she dropped the leaves in, producing an aromatic mist which Xena inhaled deeply and relaxed her still tense body against the table.

"Come," Gabrielle said simply, taking her by the hand and leading them to a small room in the back. It was simply furnished, with a low chest, bed with a rush mattress and a small table which apparently doubled as the only shelf. Gabrielle pushed her friend on to the bed and went back out, returning almost immediately with the cloths and steaming bowl. One cloth in the bowl to soak, one dipped in and squeezed slightly. Gabrielle used it to bathe the cut on Xena's arm, rinsed it out and bathed the incipient bruise by her eye, kissing it softly. Xena cut the eye up at her with a questioning look. Gab just looked warningly back. She then took the soaking cloth, squeezed it almost dry, folded it into a pad, placing on the furrowed cut, then binding snugly with a dry piece of the cloth.

"Thank you. That feels a lot better," said Xena.

"Well, you are going to FEEL even more so when we get finished."

The room was lit by several candles and Xena could see not a twinkle in Gabrielle's eyes, but a gleam. Her friend stood in front of her, bent and lifted Xena's left hand, grasped the leather gauntlet, sliding it over her knuckles, placing it on the chest. Next, the armband was slid gently off and a fingertip caressed the silken skin of the arm until Xena gave a quick gasp of pleasure. The right arm was next and received the same attention. Xena licked lips that were suddenly dry and thought to herself, 'what is she doing?' Gab then reached out both hands and pulled her friend upright. Xena started to embrace her, but was stopped when Gabrielle reached up to unhook the bronzed breastplates and side fastenings to remove the armor. Fascinated with the way Gab was behaving, she let her take it off, making sure their bodies touched in as many spots as possible. Gabrielle carefully folded all the pieces and placed them beside the gauntlets and arm- bands. The dark brown leather garment was next, shoulder straps slid down and and skirt pulled up. "Raise your arms, " Gabrielle whispered. Xena complied and the garment was quickly pulled over her head. It, too, was carefully folded and placed on top of the armor. The loincloth next.

Gabrielle laved first the nipple of the left breast, then the right with her tongue while gently stroking and caressing Xena's back. She tangled her hands in the silken mane and suckled the protruding nub until a deep groan welled from the warrior's throat. With a deep inhalation of her breath, she slid both arms around Gabrielle and pulled her closer.

"Keep that up and ..."

But she could not finish her threat as Gabrielle's tongue was plunged into her mouth with ravishing intent and her head pulled down for two strong hands to caress. As abruptly as the tongue was in, it was pulled out.

"That was a small sample of what you're in for. Sit."

Gabrielle knelt in front of the warrior and commenced to unlace the high leather boots, first right then left. Her two muscular hands began caressing and massaging Xena's feet, pulling on the toes, manipulating them back and forth, then nibbling on them, pulling the skin with her teeth. She growled and stood. Xena looked at her beloved there in the candlelight, skin glowing, lips red and enlarged with passion, eyes darkening with pleasure. It was all she could do not to grab her and plunder and ravish that lovely body, but Gabrielle was too quick. She took a step and began to unlace the green bodice, releasing the amazingly full rosy-tipped breasts from their prison. Keeping her eyes on Xena's, she slowly lifted one then the other, sliding her thumbs slowly back and forth. The nipples stood firm. Gabrielle stepped forward and put her right breast in Xena's mouth while her left hand was gently caressing Xena's right breast. It was almost too much for the warrior. She began to pant while biting the nipple in her mouth. She spread both hands with their long supple fingers around the perfect waist of her friend to pull her down on top of her, but Gabrielle said, "not yet."

She began to remove the rust-colored skirt but Xena was too quick for her. Reaching around again, she untied the fastenings and the skirt fell off curved hips exposing a dark gold triangle of soft downy hair. Gabrielle braced herself against the chest and lifted her booted feet, first the right, then the left. Xena unlaced them and began to caress and massage as Gab had done for her, but Gabrielle stepped back saying, "not yet."

Both women stood, drinking in a most delectable sight . . . two perfect bodies, long smooth muscle flowing beneath silken skin, one woman tall with blue-black hair and startling blue eyes, broad shouldered, full-breasted with legs that reached forever; the other, shorter with defined muscles of arm and leg, almost stomach-less, golden-red hair and eyes of gray-green that changed with each mood and situation.

Gabrielle turned toward the chest, breaking the spell. Bending down to retrieve two robes, she heard a quick intake of breath and felt a long warm finger slide between her two cheeks and curve up into her womanhood.

"Ahhh," she sighed in a whisper as her beloved began stroking inside her. Still holding the robes, she leaned back into Xena's embrace, resting her head in the very familiar hollow of Xena's neck. She felt a rasping sensation below her right ear as Xena delicately licked her satiny skin. Gabrielle reached up her right hand, covering Xena's and squeezing it.

"I can't wait..."

"You'll have to."


"Mmmmm....Not yet."

There was an insistent pressure and Gabrielle hissed, "not yet." Xena released her, took one of the robes saying, "what next?" Her beloved put on a robe, picked up three rough towels, SOAP, and a small bottle of light oil.

"This way."

Taking the warrior's hand, she led her through the kitchen and out the back door.


They emerged once again into the moonlight. The air was calm and fragrant with thyme and mint. Picking their way down the well-trodden path toward the spring, they were both caught in their inmost thoughts -- Xena, remembering the weeks of separation, without her beloved, alone . . . no, not just alone, but lonely, a great wave of loneliness washing through her, a hollow where her heart had been, torn out and spinning down into the fire pit with Gabrielle.

And Gabrielle, the heartbreak of losing her Xena . . . so the stake set by Ares called in, her life so Xena could live, herself aching with loneliness, her very soul homeless. The warm springs had been flowing down from the hillside for as long as people could remember. Gabrielle's grandfather had been the first to add some flat bench-like rocks on the tiny beach so one could bathe one's feet, then later had scooped a shelf sunken in the water and placed several more stones in it. Additions had gradually made it a small picturesque oasis, surrounded by trees and flowering shrubs. Even the warrior woman felt a sense of peace and tranquillity. This very place had surely sheltered her beloved, filling her with that ease and gentleness that so attracted Xena from the beginning. True enough, Gabrielle had carried with her its stillness and beauty all her life.

Hand in hand, with fingers entwined, the two stopped at the edge of the spring and removed their robes. Misty steam rising from the water enveloped them as they stepped onto the rocks then down to the sunken shelf. "Ummm..ahhhh," they breathed together as the spring water enveloped them and warmth flowed up their bodies.

"Sit down, let the water come up to your neck," urged Gabrielle and she suited her own actions to her words, gracefully squatting on the rock and stretching her lissome legs out. Xena had for years silently and almost breathlessly at times, looked at, observed, panted for, lusted after, call it what you will that grace and beauty of her . . . what term could you say or use for the feelings the Warrior Princess held in her heart for the little girl from Poteidaia, Amazon Queen, Bard . . . best friend. More than that, so much more . . . her true love.

Gabrielle, tired of waiting for Xena to join her, looked up and fell drowning in Xena's eyes. Xena, the only one she had eyes for, for the rest of her life . . . the part of her soul, her heart that that had been empty until Xena came.

"Come on, sit." Reaching up her hand to the warrior, Gabrielle gripped it gently and pulled Xena down. Supply, she seated herself next to the bard and slid an arm across her shoulders, pulling them closer. Gabrielle leaned her head on Xena's neck and both women gave themselves to the soothing bubbles of the spring.

Gabrielle let her right hand begin a trail of feathery touches under the warrior's arm, down the sides, tracing the ribs, cupping into the slim waist, squeezing gently at first, then with increasing strength approaching painful intensity while she licked Xena's ear and softly breathed into it. She heard a quick gasp and felt the warrior's torso heave slightly.

'Okay, Gabrielle, it's now or never,' she said to herself, 'bring her back to you.'

She slid her tongue lightly around her love's ear, then curling it up, thrust it it her ear, then out. Kissing the ear and whistling softly into it, then the tongue around and in, a little harder with a flicking action alternating with the soft breath. Her right hand was busily employed in explorations around and on top of the warrior's wonderful breasts, firm, creamy white with the most glorious brown nipples one could imagine.

Xena's breathing was becoming ragged and a warm glow was spreading from deep within the seat of passion throughout her body. She opened her lips to speak but was stopped by that magnificent tongue of her beloved being run gently over those same lips. It slipped inside her mouth and filled it. Again the plunge and withdrawal, over and over and the bard's lips on hers as soft as butterfly wings. The flickering tongue was forced as deep as possible into Xena's mouth and withdrawn with ever increasing intensity. Xena groaned and warm honey poured through her brown pelt and mingled with the water. She swallowed and wrapped her quivering tongue around Gabrielle's at the next inward plunge. The two tongues fought passionately for supremacy as Gabrielle's hand slid with raking fingernails over the stomach and down between the thighs, curving in and exploring with two fingers the crevices and hills of the warrior's throne of passion. Again a groan and a sweet fire swept through her body.

Trembling slightly with suppressed desire, Xena fondled Gabrielle's breast, squeezing in rhythm to the plunging tongue. Her left hand slid down the slick ribs to the right thigh, into the glory land of Gabrielle, stoking the already engorged clitoris, beginning her own expedition. Gabrielle gave a soft pant and her nectar poured like a artesian well down hand and arm of Xena and into the spring. Tip to tip, then over and under, both tongues languorously tasted each other, teeth, lips, inside cheeks. Gabrielle slid her hand from Xena's womanhood and brought both her hands around Xena's head, bringing it close to her face. Emerald fire lanced into sapphire and Gabrielle brought her lips to her beloved softly, restrained, luxuriating in the texture, and muscles, barely touching, moving her own lips agonizingly slow over Xena's until she felt a slow quivering and molding to hers. They slipped into the water, submerging themselves totally, arms and legs entwined, breast to breast, thigh to thigh. The kiss deepened and the two embraced, content now to float in the warmth, giving of themselves to each other their deep love.

Four hands roamed over two bodies, re-memorizing every curve, every dimple, breasts and thighs. Fingers stroked, entwined, caressed. Lips kissed again and again, until salty nectar slicked four legs. With lungs bursting, they broke the surface of the spring, facing one another.

"Gab," gasped Xena, "that was wonderf . . ."

It was all she got to say. With water cascading over her body plastering the golden hair around the beautiful face, her beloved placed a hand over Xena's mouth.

"Talk later." Gabrielle leaned to the left, picking up the soap and cloth from the rocks. "Time to bathe."

Without taking her eyes off the warrior, Gabrielle began soaping the cloth, then delicately drew circles around Xena's breasts, down to the waist, sweeping in a great curve over the hipbone and cupping into her firm buttocks, down both thighs, then up again, over the stomach, up with a gentle finger through the breasts and a clasp round the bronzed throat.

"Turn around," she whispered huskily.

Xena presented that muscled back that Gabrielle had caressed so many times in the past for cleansing. Four fingers down the spine to the hollow of her back, two hands drawing up on each side of the ribs to the shoulder blades, each feathery touch causing small shock waves coursing through Xena's body down to the core of her glory. The two hands cupped under her breasts, slid down into the hollows of the hips and entangled themselves in the brown curls, gently tugging. More shock waves and whispered pants.


And Xena lowered herself onto the stone seat. The soapy cloth trailed up from her ankle to her knee, then behind down to her heel. More fire and Xena trembled with suppressed need. The other leg received the same treatment, with its accompanying fire. Gabrielle smiled inwardly leaning forward to twirl her tongue around the furred lips of her love and breathe ever so softly on the pulsing folds. She felt long supple fingers caressing her crown, then trailing over her ears and down to her neck. Both chests began slight heaves; both throats constricted with knots . . . and both hearts were lanced through with ever sweeter fire.

"Where's the soap?" A hand slid along Xena's thigh. "Are you sitting on it?"

"YES, and it's a poor substitute. It's lumpy. Not the right shape."

"Now, you soap me."

Gabrielle knelt in front of her beloved, resting her hands on her knees. Xena inhaled sharply, saying, "you are so beautiful." And truly she was, with moonlight frosting her face and changing the droplets of water into diamonds.

With fingers trembling ever so slightly, she smoothed the cloth over Gab's shoulders, around her neck, down the arms to the hands that set her ablaze. Back to the throat and down into the valley of the rose-tipped mounds, around and over with tender attention to the now hardened nipples. Both hands now, down the ribs and clasping around the indented waist. Gabrielle gasped with pure pleasure and marveled at the gentleness and sweet tenderness of her beloved's touch. Hands which had cracked skulls and jaws, fingers which had strangled and broken bones. Hands which trailed soft small fires over her skin when she touched.

"Turn around," Xena whispered.

Her beloved presented her straight back for the soap and more caressing.

"Stand up."

"I don't know whether I can."

"DO IT."

Gabrielle arose like a nymph, water cascading off her in silver sheets, a slight steam rising from her body.

"Your leg."

She lifted it at the knee to Xena, who slid the cloth down Gabrielle's inside thigh to her ankle, then, up along that lissome leg to the back of the knee.

"Xeeenna," Gabrielle almost sobbed, "PPPPPPLEEEEASE."

"The other one, now."

It got the same treatment, with Gabrielle so torn with pure desire, she almost collapsed.

Xena stood and the two immersed themselves again in the warm water, embracing as they sunk. Slicking their hands over each other, shoulder, breast, arm, leg. They painfully separated, and submerged, rinsing the lather off, each turning their backs to the other for further caressing. They spoke as one, whispering endearments and pleas. Lips melted on lips, arms slid around waists thighs and legs touched. They floated, side by side, fingers barely touching. Hearts calmed, breathing stilled as the night worked an enchantment over them.

Xena stood, stooped and lifted Gabrielle in her arms, liquid diamonds falling from their bodies back to the spring. Like young goddesses they both were, there in the moonlight. Gabrielle thrilled to being held by Xena this way, wanting never to be loosed, ever to be embraced. She stepped out of the spring on the stone seat and gently set her beloved on the robes they had worn. Gabrielle sat up, knelt as Xena squatted and knelt before her. Reaching behind, she picked up two towels. Handing one to Xena, she began to lightly run the towel over the warrior's shoulders, breasts, down her stomach, around the hips and up the back to her neck. Grabbing both ends, she pulled her beloved's face to hers and kissed her gently.

Xena brought her towel around Gab's back, up to the neck and down over, down the chest and around the breasts, causing frissons of delight down her spine and into her glory land. Down the back to the hips, around and delicately up to her navel. "Lie down," they whispered together, and both laughed. Two towels around thighs, then down and up the legs. Fiery desire was coursing in their hearts and blood. Xena softly caressed Gabrielle's cheek, bent her head down to kiss the passion-swollen lips. Gasping for air, the two broke apart minutes later and lay gazing at one another. "So beautiful," they said together and laughed again for sheer hearts ease.

Gabrielle touched Xena's shoulder, motioning her to lie flat. She picked up the bottle of oil and straddled her hips. Xena inhaled sharply with the touch of Gabrielle's curly down and warm labia against her skin. Gab allowed herself a satisfied little grin and began her torture.

"A nice massage, at first, thennnnn....."

"If you don't...."

"What, Warrior Princess?"

Xena started to flip over, massage or not, but was stopped by an elbow poking in below the shoulder-blade.

"Ahhhh." "Uh huh, stay."

Gabrielle poured minted oil into her hand, rubbed both together and began to lightly massage Xena's back, beginning at the base of the neck, bringing both thumbs down into the shoulders, working out the tenseness and knots, down along the spine and out to the ends of ribcage. Back up under the arms with a curving over and down into the collarbone, then back again.

Xena groaned as the pressure and manipulation grew more forceful. A trembling began deep in her core and spread throughout her body. Pressed into the earth, with Gabrielle's fingers lightly brushing the sides of her breasts, she could feel a primal rhythm pulsing from her heart. Nectar flowed, soaking the robes beneath her and the rhythm intensified as Gabrielle pressed her own damp mound ever tighter and further down into her hips and began a slow rocking back and forth.

She wiped Xena's back lightly with a towel and slid one oil-coated finger slowly between their bodies and in between Xena's labia. She began her explorations delicately, tickling the slick wetness and pressing ever deeper. A second finger joined the first, both took up the rhythmic pulsing of the hips. With heart racing and chest heaving, Xena gritted her teeth and dug her fingers into the sand. Waves of pleasure were emanating from deep inside stronger and stronger as Gabrielle slid her fingers in and out, ever so slowly, then upping the tempo.

At the brink, with Xena hissing a silent plea, she withdrew her hand, slid off the warrior's body and cupped the firm buttocks, pressing deeply in with her thumbs. Xena writhed in agony, her climax delayed. Gabrielle gave her a sharp little slap and bent to bite her behind the knee.

"Behave yourself."

She then commenced to work her palms down Xena's thighs and calves to her ankles.

"Gabrielle, I'm about to die. Please."

"I'm not quite finished. Patience."

A growled moan was her only answer. Again, the two fingers inside with a stronger pumping. More writhing as shudders shook the warrior without cease. Over and over, again and again. She withdrew when she felt her beloved on the brink. Gabrielle slid down to Xena's feet and gently lifted them to her lap. In between gasps and heaves, Xena managed to say "I AM GOING TO KILL YOU."

"We'll see."

Gabrielle tenderly stroked the tops of her feet, using her fingertips. Drawing small circles all the way to the toes. Twining her fingers in between the toes and pulling slightly, then, with the palms of her hands, massaging the soles up to the heels. She worked her way up the legs, rubbing the stiffness and knots away until Xena was boneless. Again, the two fingers slid into now soaking core with torturous stealth. A third finger joined them and the pumping began again. Again and again. More forcefully and at a greater tempo.

"I CAN'T TAKE ANY MORRRRRRRRRRRRRE," the woman screamed.

Gabrielle had just found the sweetest spot in the universe and pressed deep and hard. She held her hand for what seemed to be forever, rubbing it with strong fingers. Xena's muscles clamped hard around her wrist and a cataclysmic orgasm exploded in her body, sending white-hot fountains of pleasure shocks out and down to her very fingertips and toes. Gabrielle withdrew her hand, flipped the shuddering woman over and plundered that sweet mouth, absorbing the scream from deep within her being. Xena's strong arms came up and around Gabrielle's body and she pulled her as close to her heart as she could. The glorious blue eyes were glazed with passion, waves of ecstasy pounded in every fiber, every muscle, her minded blinded by the most intense glory she had ever experienced.

Gabrielle embraced her beloved, stroking the glistening hair, caressing her face. She kissed her warmly and whispered, "you're mine. Forever." An affirmation for their future.

Xena hugged her close, still barely able to believe the way she felt. Cleansed. Glorious. Washed through with every color of the world. With bodies touching, hearts slowing, they reclined, gazing into each other's eyes.

'Yes, I've got her back.' She couldn't absorb enough of the picture, her warrior in all her glory, the magnificence of her long mane of blue-black hair, broad shoulders, the line of her body from chest to hip to longer leg. Moonlight silvering her skin.

Xena inhaled deeply, drawing the sweet jasmine fragrance of Gabrielle's hair and the sharp mint of the oil into her being. The most beautiful woman ever born -- she could look at her forever. The way her head sat on her shoulders, the way she would tilt it to look up, the glorious eyes -- eyes that Xena would die for. Green? No. Emerald. Eyes that Xena wanted to see every moment for the rest of eternity. Lissome, supple arms and legs. Glorious soft skin. The list could be endless, but Xena was no bard with fulsome words rolling off her tongue. She knew better things to do with her tongue.


With one accord, the two arose wordlessly, retrieved the robes and headed back to the house. Bright as stars they were, silvered and diamonded by moon and water, jeweled with their love. Halfway there, they silently embraced and kissed tenderly.

"I don't want this to end."

"Me neither. Come on."

They kissed again at the door, again by the fireplace, before they went into the little room in the back. Barely in, for the fourth time. Sweet tender soft kisses, barely touching lips. Xena picked her beloved up and carried her to the bed. Grabbing a blanket, she set Gabrielle down briefly and spread the blanket out. Picking her up, she deposited the precious burden on the blanket, then straddled her hips. Long fingers ran themselves around her breasts, two thumbs tickling the still-hard nipples. Gabrielle gasped and rocked her hips. Xena responded immediately, press- her soaked mound into Gab's soft down. The gasping became more ragged. The speed of both women's rocking increased. Xena separated the thighs with her hand and firmly pressed her knee between Gabrielle's legs. Up and down, around on that flexible pleasure bone. Gabrielle groaned in glorious agony, managing to whisper Xena's name.

"Come on, Gab, you can do better than that."

"My heart is pounding so hard right now, I..."

With that, Xena slid a finger into the glory land and began her own version of torture.

Silk fire rushed through her beloved's body as the finger began its expedition in and around the crevices. With one hand still caressing a breast, a second finger joined the interior explorations. Tenderly and gently, they slid and tickled the pulsing slickness. Fingernails barely scratching. Causing waves of exquisite pleasure to rip Gabrielle's heart and limbs apart.

"Aaaa aaaaaahhhhhh . . ."


A third finger and off they go caressing, tickling, slightly pinching, and tremors and shivers crawl through every nerve.

"I'm on fire. PLEASE."

The only response is a fourth finger and thumb now filling all of her. The thumb rubbed slightly over an aching clit and Gab's body arched up into a half-circle. Xena's hand now began to pump back and forth ever so slowly. She gazed down at her beloved's face with a corona of red-gold hair and eyes almost black with desire.

"Oh, gods, you are so beautiful."

Ever faster went the hand and both their hips rocking in time. Xena bent, feasting on lips swollen and wine-red. Two tongues met and twined. In a frenzy of desire and need, Gabrielle grabbed her, pulling her into a fierce embrace. She was beyond slow and sweet, wanting immediate release.

Two patches of down, golden and brown, two mounds flooded with honey and nectar. Their two bodies shuddered and rocked in unison. Gabrielle ran her fingers through the dripping brown curls and jammed her hand into Xena's core, not bothering with exploring. Right to that smooth sweet spot with fingertips ablaze, stroking in rhythm with hips and Xena's hand in her. Both chests heaving, both bodies caught in ancient throes of utter delight. Almost unable to breathe, Xena slowed her hand, straightened it out, thrust and found Gabrielle's glory spot, stroking now in tempo with her beloved. Out of the world they went, with an earthquake of orgasm hitting both simultaneously. Two voices, together mouthing each other name's to the stars, two hearts pulsing in unison with more than love and devotion, two bodies almost convulsing with pleasure shocks.

How long they were gone, neither ever knew. Xena roused first, gazing at a most divine sight: the sea-green eyes of her beloved, drenched with tears of joy. She lightly traced her thumb over the lips and up to the eyes, wiping away drops.

"Hey, are you all right?"

"I thought for a long time I would never see you again, that I had lost you forever. Didn't know how to find you, where you could've gone. It seemed like I was frozen in a moment, that there was no way to move, no where to go. I didn't want to see anyone, I didn't know who to go to. I . . ."

And her voice trailed off as she lifted a strand of Xena's hair and let it ripple through her fingers. "I didn't know whether I would ever be able to touch you again, hold you again . . ." Tears sheened in her eyes as she spoke. She ran her fingers down Xena's cheek and cupped her chin.

"What if . . ."

"What if never happened. That's all in the past. The two of us, alive, holding each other. Heart of my heart, we're back together. That's all that matters." Xena's eyes brimmed with unshed tears.

Gabrielle smiled, eyes flaring with love. She embraced her beloved and snuggled close against the long warm body.

"Yes, sweet, sleep now."

Xena caressed down the arms to her hands, hands that awoke such need and passion in her body. Gabrielle's heart slowed in slumber, a sweet smile curving her lips. Xena pulled her close and shut her own eyes, her interior vision filling with the image of the first time she saw her . . . a village girl in the clutch of one of Draco's soldiers about to be whipped and sold into slavery. Then scenes and images from the years they had spent on the road -- Gabrielle kidnapped by the priest of Morpheus, becoming an Amazon Princess, leaving to go to the Academy in Athens, Gabrielle dying in the Thessalian temple, drugged with henbane in the cave, biting her in the cave of Bacchus, her gift of the wooden lamb at Solstice, the body swap with Callisto, her own death and Gabrielle's journey with her body, the kiss in Autolycus' body, the fight with Velasca, the ambrosia which brought Xena back, herself blinded saving Gabrielle from cremation, fighting the Horde, the betrayal in Chin, the death of Solon, the poisoning of Hope, their journey to Illusia, Gabrielle dying with the poisoned arrow, watching Crassus being beheaded, the risk of losing her beloved at the temple of Mnemosyn.


She was leaning over the stone rim of Dahak's fire pit with disbelieving eyes, despairing and horrified at what had happened -- herself just about to stab Hope, her beloved grabbing Hope and falling down toward the flames. She screamed, "GABRRRIELLLLLLE." The scream tore the fabric of the night and she awoke with throat raw, sweat pouring from her forehead, body all ashudder.

Gentle arms embraced her, a soft hand caressed her face, a sweet voice whispered in her ear. "Shh, shhh, I'm here. It'll be all right. Hush hush. I'm here, love."

For long minutes, Gabrielle rocked Xena like an infant. Calming with the hypnotic voice murmuring to her, Xena's shudders eased and the tension left her arms. Lifting her hand to Gabrielle's face, she ran one finger down the cheek from eye to chin.

"What would I do without you?" she asked.

"Probably scream yourself to death."

Xena gave a small laugh.

Gabrielle said, "you've been having this nightmare for some time. Groaning, whimpering and crying. But that last scream . . ."

Xena said very softly, "I was reliving you falling into the fire pit and not being able to do anything. Anything. I couldn't catch you or anything." Her voice started rising and tears spilled out of her eyes.

"Xena, there wasn't anything you could have done. How could you have caught me? You would've fallen in yourself. You know that."

"It's just, Gabrielle, I felt so helpless."

"You wanted to, I know, but we both know that it was out of your hands. It's over and done with. Part of the past. We're here now together. Come on." With that, she raised her face and kissed Xena very tenderly. Their soft lips melded and more sweet fires spread through both bodies.

"You kiss so good. Have I ever told you that?" Gabrielle whispered.

"Have you ever realized what it does to me when you touch me? Just touch me?"

Gabrielle sighed as she moved her right hand down and over her beloved's right breast. She began to twirl a finger around a nipple suddenly rock hard and very prominent. Xena gave a soft moan and Gabrielle ran her tongue over her lips. They opened for the thrust. Both tongues met and twined languidly, exploring ever so gently. More attention was given to the breast with thumb and finger pulling and pinching. Xena was not behind hand with explorations of her own, making Gabrielle gasp and hiss with pleasure. Her hands to those gorgeous breasts of her beloved to caress, pinch, pull with Gabrielle's hips arching up. Her thigh in between the legs and a knee against the bone -- around and around, in and out. Gabrielle now moaning, her nipples jutting out to Xena's tongue, flicking and gliding in circles around one nipple then the next. More moans from both, guttural and demanding.

Gabrielle abandoned herself to Xena's touch, reveling in the fiery pleasure raging in her body. The black mane covered her chest and burned small fires over her breasts and ribs as the warrior kissed and licked soft skin ever downward. She ran the tongue around the navel, then whirled it inside, generating a quick arch of the hips and a growl. She knelt up alongside the hips and cupped her hand over Gabrielle's mound, drenched with passion's dew, her own already soaked with slick juice. She bent her head while sliding the other hand around Gabrielle's neck, lifting her up for more kissing. Propping her knee up, she tenderly rested her beloved's back on her thigh, while swinging the other leg around and firmly tucking hips close between her legs.

Gabrielle laced her hands around Xena's head, pulling it closer. She fastened her lips to Xena's and plunged her tongue deep inside, then back. Another time, a third. Xena groaned and shivered with desire. The kiss deepened and a supple finger slid with agonizing slowness into Gabrielle's womanhood. She inhaled sharply, sliding a hand down along Xena's shoulder to her breast. Rubbing a finger over the erect nipple, she cupped it for fondling. The kiss was broken, a second finger joined the first, Gabrielle began to suckle the breast she held, moans and gasps followed. Laving both breasts with her tongue, she pulled Xena closer, burying her hands in the mass of her hair. Xena whimpered with need and with some very acrobatic moves, managed to stretch the length of her body alongside Gabrielle's, not removing her fingers and sucking her beloved's breasts.

"Pretty nifty, there, Warrior Princess," Gabrielle managed to gasp out, in between shudders and heaves.

A powerful surge of triumph roared through Xena with Gab's use of that title and she enveloped her in a strong embrace, plundering her mouth with scorching lips.

"Xena, I'm on fire, come on, " Gab managed in spite of the crashing waves hitting her at every place Xena touched.

They broke apart with mutual consent, sweat-slicked hair, eyes drunk with desire, bodies trembling. A very tender kiss, arms around each other, thigh to thigh. So, beginning again. Gabrielle settled her thigh between Xena's legs and started a ever increasing pressure, back and forth. Xena caressing her back and down to the buttocks, raking with her fingernails and sinking them in the soft skin. Gasps and heaving chests. Both bodies rocking in unison. Fingers sliding through soft curls and into two pulsing caverns of delight. They stroked each other, exploring, tickling with feather-light touches to generate pleasure shocks throughout both bodies. Their hips bucked together, both drenched mounds were sealed one to one. The stroking took on an ever-increasing tempo, lips on fire, both tongues plunging in and out in unison with hip and hand.

Time slid away and it was the first kiss of love they shared, hesitant then more assured, lip to lip, tongue to tongue. Gabrielle breaking away and trailing fire down Xena's jaw, throat to the top of her breast, saying, "it's you that I want, you, nobody ever, nobody else, just you..."

Xena's heart heaving with desire, "you are mine, heart of my heart."

Then the present claimed them, both heads buried in brown and gold down, drinking the nectar and honey flooding down their legs, both tongues plunging with the hips. They steadied each other's hips and wrapped their arms around each other's waists, bodies so close, no breath could force between.

Gabrielle slid her tongue delicately over one side of Xena's pulsing slickness, then the other while her beloved stiffened hers and probed deep to the back of the red cavern searching for Gab's sweet spot. Sweet rivulets of fire dripped through legs and arms. Xena gave a great shudder and Gabrielle quickened the sliding, sending it up and down, around. Both bodies now shuddering and with the tip of her tongue, Xena lightly brushed Gabrielle's throbbing nub, flicking over and under, creating ever increasing fire in her blood and heart.

Together, the tongues rhythmically plundered both heaving caves. Tasting and exploring every fold, wrinkle, dip. The shuddering grew ever stronger, chests heaving, throats hissing. Xena wrapped her tongue around the aching nub, pulling with agonizing languor, slowly building speed and pressure while her beloved incubated hers and blazed it down and on Xena's sweet slickness, battering it unmercifully. Two volcanoes bubbled in two cores as the speed of their tongues intensified and the heaving of the bodies threatened to annihilate the bed. Ever faster they went, ferociously until the climax hit. If bodies could have been torn apart, theirs would have. Their souls touched, each molten gold, embracing. Into shimmering light, they sped, glowing with silver and green, gold and red. Welded to one another, finger to finger, limb to limb, heart to heart.

As awareness returned and the shudders slowed, the tongues wrapped around both nubs and pulled ever so slowly, drawing out the final heaves and spasms. They stilled and laved the walls of the caves, licking up the dew of their passion, withdrawing gently, lapping as they went.

Xena pulled her face up, propping on her elbow to gaze at Gabrielle, lying spent with eyes blackened with love, a beatific glow in them. She twisted around and slid up to her arms. They wrapped each other close, Gabrielle nestling her head into Xena's neck, Xena pulling her body tighter into her chest.

"I love you," they whispered together. Placing her hand on Xena's chest, Gabrielle claimed it : "THIS IS MINE."

"FOREVER, FOR ETERNITY," answered Xena. "YOU ARE MINE," she affirmed, "THIS HEART IS MINE," as she touched Gabrielle's lips and left breast.

"FOREVER, FOR ETERNITY," replied Gabrielle.

A tender, sweet kiss of unadulterated love followed and both sighed, sinking into peaceful sleep.


Gabrielle was the first to rouse, heavy-eyed from their night of passion. Aurora was washing the sky with a pale gold and one ray beamed in on the bed, coating Xena with gilt, highlighting the silken strands with touches of bronze. A tender smile on her lips, a peaceful face.

'Blessed by the gods I am to have her, to love her, for her to love me,' she thought.

Xena opened her eyes to her beloved and smiled. "Hey, green eyes, what are you doing awake?"

"Loving you," was the simple reply. Xena reached out her arms and gathered Gab close to her. Sapphire and emerald gazed into each other, lips tenderly melted. Their kiss lasted until there was no breath left; a sigh was heaved, then a low growl erupted, not from a throat.

"Some things never change," Xena commented. A louder rumble this time. "Alright already. I'll fix some breakfast."

"Nutbread would be nice," Gabrielle said as she rolled off the bed. "Mother's sure to have some. Look on the shelf to the left of the hearth." Xena went into the kitchen and promptly filled the kettle, built up the fire, and began to search for utensils.

"You can tell you were a tavern wench," Gabrielle said as she came and sat at the table, lacing up her top.

"I was never a tavern wench! The bar maid, cook, dishwasher..."


"You want to eat?"



Gabrielle grinned hugely at being able to tease the warrior. She pulled on her boots as the former bar maid placed a mug of tea and a filled plate in front of her. She attacked the cheese and fruit hungrily, stuffing a thick slice of nutbread into her mouth. Xena went back to the bedroom and presently emerged leathered and armored. Gabrielle gave her a mug of tea and filled plate. As Xena ate, Gabrielle gathered her scrolls, pack with cooking supplies, a second pack with shifts, cloths, herb packets, a stoppered bottle of mint oil, spare quill and parchment, and other minutiae of travel. She wrapped the remainder of the nutbread, some cheese and the rest of the fruit.

The former dishwasher placed their plates and mugs in a washing bowl, poured the boiling water over and scoured them briskly.

"There, all done."

The table was swept of crumbs and bench straightened. Gabrielle had changed their love bed, gathered the towels from the spring and tossed all into the laundry basket.

"Are you ready?"


"Let's go find Argo."

With staff in hand and sword on back, the two emerged from the house, glanced briefly around, kissed and silently disappeared into the woods.


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