Xena and Gabrielle belong to those lucky folks at MCA/Universal/Renaissance. This is a not-for profit fan fiction story. No copyright infringement is intended. The rest of the tale is mine with all copyrights thereto.
This story depicts scenes of violence, the aftermath of rape and explicit sex between two women. If any of this disturbs you, please read something else. Rated NC-17
You can also find stories by Pamela at XENADOM
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Hearts Found and Lost
by Pamela A. Lord (Heron)
© P. Lord, November 1999
The Conqueror looked down from her balcony window as the cool night breeze soothed her overheated body. The tops of her breasts and shoulders were unbearably warm for some strange reason; elsewhere she was covered with the exquisite silk robe from Chin. This was her favorite gown of all the hundred plus she had ordered a few years ago as a tribute from the minor kingdom of Chin. She had adopted this exotic style as calculated to create distance between her and the tawdry masses she ruled. The gold thread that transformed stitches into chrysanthemums and abstract designs enlivened the Stygian black silk base. Power reinforced by law, reason from chaos.
Xena allowed the appearance of rule by Lao Tzu. Knowing that the man lay in a vegetative state engendered by his brilliant wife, Lao Ma, made the ruse bearable. The beautiful Eastern woman was an accomplished lover and a philosopher of no mean talent: 'What is softer than water? Yet, who can withstand the raging flood' was a favorite saying of hers. Also, Xena had Lao Ma's young son, Ming Tien, as surety, hidden away in a remote fortress somewhere between the vastness of the Great Wall and the lands of wold blue warriors ruled by Boadicea. That woman of Britannia was quite formidable in her own right, however her fealty was similarly assured since her daughters were also 'guests' of the Conqueror.
Dinner was a non-event. The slaves had brought in one savory dish after another but Xena barely noticed them. Her wine goblet was never empty, but the quantity she ingested barely touched her mood. The servants recognized the brooding danger and tried to be even more unobtrusive and invisible. The one with the carafe of Phoenician white wine kept her eyes only on the cup held in a tight grip by callused, long slender fingers. If the level went even below the three-quarter mark by the merest sip, she refilled it unless otherwise instructed. She did not forget the first time she failed this simple duty; her back still bore the scars of her laxity of attention two years past.
"The cure for spirit--is fear," Gabrielle recalled, but strangely, she wasn't afraid to die. Her chest hitched as she strained to lift up, just a little, just one more breath out. A cup full of clean air in her lungs to fight against the suffocation, the weight of her own body betraying her, killing her softly, slowly. There was no strength left for tears or screams from the horrendous pain of her crushed legs, just the gradual arching of her back, an echoing movement as her breasts rose with the precious breath filling beneath them and not leaving. A bit more air pushed out of her, not all she wanted, but some, a little, enough for the moment.
There was something; something more that must be done before she died. Gabrielle wasn't ready to go to the Otherside yet. What was that thing that was so important? What more could she do, hanging above the earth, really, only wanting to let it all end.
Not yet, some small voice whispered, not yet.
The Tartarus be-damned guards had put that last one less than fifteen paces from Xena's favorite balcony. Granted, it wasn't work that required more than half a brain, but Ares' balls, dropping a post into a hole so close to the palace was not going to endear the lack wits to their ruler. Flogging at twenty-five lashes or three months in the midden pits? Both. She smiled, an expression of lovely cruelty.
The Conqueror watched the newest planting, actually the only person crucified in several days. The only one to raise her voice, let alone a hand against Xena's adamantine grip on her world. The young woman must have been from out of town, most of the locals were about as colorful and enervated as the smoke slowly twisting off the many torches that illuminated the low hillside. Odd, how the flames seemed to resonate in the girl's hair, a wealth of ripe wheat rippling over her shoulders and breasts, her only covering.
She had been wearing a coarse skirt and ragged blouse when Xena condemned her. The guards must have ripped off her clothing, stripped her, before she was raised up and dropped, jarringly, into the knee-deep hole. She was so pale, but surely that was only a trick of the lights scattered about and the flickering shadows that molded about the curve of thigh and ribs, curling under and around her bosom, full and firm. Yes, those were definitely bites on the full pale globes and those were fresh wine-dark bruises above her mons and deep scratches on her thighs. The legs crossed position prevented outright penetration but other savagery was still possible.
The two guards' position just plummeted from night soil collectors to archery practice. They'd be targets for the keenest eyes, arrows to be aimed at the extremities and worked into the center. No one touched the condemned unless it was on an order from the Conqueror. Apparently the lesson needed to be reinforced.
"No... it's not... the cure."
Xena recalled her own words, "The cure for spirit--is fear." In that moment, something was wrong. Out of place, out of time.
Cerulean blue eyes focused sharply on the wan figure as the blonde strained to lift with her arms and shoulders, her nipples hard in the evening breeze. She drew in needful air with miserly gasps, unable to speak more than a few words. Shadows dipped into the wheat colored curls at the apex of her legs and below on the mottled flesh, swollen, bleeding and broken under the stone hammer. The incongruity of the sensuous form and the punishment that warped her slender body caused Xena's breath to catch her throat.
"A bit late for philosophy, isn't it?" The Conqueror's sneer was felt rather than seen.
"If it was... then what... is the cure for fear?" asked the low voice.
"It's..." and Xena was rendered mute. A hundred lands, a thousand petty kings and countless armies had spread her name and power with the garnish of blood; all had listened and listened well to Xena, Destroyer of Nations. The great library at Crete was composed entirely of the Conqueror's speeches, her history, conquests and laws, but here and now she was without anything more than that single uncertain word.
Sea-green eyes gazed softly into icy blue, "What if... it's love?"
"ENOUGH." Somehow, the quarreling men heard that one word uttered in a low commanding tone. Feet shifted and chairs scraped as more than a dozen emissaries quieted. When the Conqueror stood, so did the men, in respect and deference, every head bowed to her.
"Your people would rather have peace, than to spill the blood of their sons and daughters on the battlefield. Let their rulers be accountable to me as well, and the peace will hold. Force my hand and lose everything." The raven-haired woman met every eye with her own icy cobalt gaze; she turned and left the conference room.
Silent guards stood at set intervals along the marble hallways as she swept past in her Oriental robes. The phoenix headdress weighed as much as a cyclops; the solid golden wings were a weighty visible seal on her vast kingdom. Sometimes she wanted to chuck the heavy ornamental crown on the midden heap, to Tartarus with it all. Her hand automatically reached for and held the doorknob to her private chambers and a smile broke her brooding.
"Late meeting again?" The soft welcoming voice asked in the semi-darkness by the great bed. A candle glowed and picked up long golden hair, an amphora of wine and a silver chased goblet.
"Oh, Brie, sometimes I would just love to lop off all those talking heads," Xena the Conqueror dropped the crown onto a pile of furs.
"But it's so hard to get blood out of those nice Persian carpets." Chilled Phoenician white trickled enticingly into the cup.
Xena considered for a moment, "Put their heads on the spikes at the front gate?" She shucked the heavy silk robes and kicked off her shoes to sit nude, sprawled in a lounge.
"That'll rust the iron and draw every fly from here to Thebes," came the answer from the blonde bard, as she came over with the much-needed comforts, liquid and especially, herself.
"I suppose you're right. What do I have to do to get their attention?" Xena gazed upon the young woman, who wore only a smile tonight. Handfasted for six years by Amazon ceremony, and lovers for two years more before that, there was nothing about her compact love's shape Xena did not know by heart and more, yet every new sight was an oasis in her world of parleys and decrees.
Gabrielle kissed the troubled brow and handed over the wine. "Well, I could cover your body in honey and rose petals and parade you about the grounds on a leash." She began circling her thumbs in the tense muscles on the back of Conqueror's shoulder blades.
"They'd just ask where I got the flowers out of season and go on arguing." Xena chuckled at the thought of her beloved Gabrielle leading her about half a dozen leagues worth of corridors, shedding sticky drips and splats of color in front of hundreds of dignitaries, guards, servants and assorted city folk.
"It's a thought," Gabrielle came around and straddled the long legs that crossed just before she sat. She massaged the tight ligaments just down and behind Xena's ears, then brought her fingers up to circle on the sides of the older woman's temples. Xena's eyes closed at the soothing touch. She carefully brought the cup under the younger woman's arm with the ease of many repetitions and drank off the entire contents.
"Mmmm, and what did you do today, love?" Xena raised her free hand and heard a quick intake of breath as she unerringly found the warm curve of a full breast with her cool hand. Her lacquered fingernails flicked over the roseate tip, bringing it to a studied attention as the aureole swelled and darkened in response.
"Well, I um..." Gabrielle slipped back a bit on Xena's thigh.
The warrior's hand moved lower over a lean stomach and down, teasing through the soft curls. Lean fingers felt a damp patch on her own thigh. The Conqueror's eyes opened slowly, an odd silvery-lilac.
Gabrielle stopped her ministrations, seeing her inquisitor knew the truth, demanding her admittance.
"I--I pleasured myself."
"Sixteen hours of negotiations as I listened to fools, without respite, and you couldn't wait for permission."
"I WAS thinking of you, I always do when--"
"When you disobey, you know the consequences. Open up the chest and take your position."
Yes, my lord." As Xena sat up, Gabrielle slid back and off the muscular thigh, leaving a light film of her previous arousal on her lover's skin. She moved like a dancer, light on her feet, years of sparring with a staff and riding, molded her calves and thighs to a strength hidden to most eyes. Her hips swaying just a little as she stopped and opened their toy chest. She moved to the left, to the foot of the great bed, and stood, taking hold of the ornamental blue silk scarves, wrapping them tightly around her wrists.
"Feet apart and bend over," ordered Xena as she rose and looked over the assortment. She quickly assembled a thin harness and taking a ribbed rosewood phallus, positioned it tightly against herself. Xena took out a thin belt, as long as she was tall, split the last third of its length and a thick riding crop of braided leather.
"How--many?" asked the blonde in a small voice.
"Did I give you permission to speak?" Xena answered in a dangerous tone from directly behind her.
"No, my lord." Gabrielle knew what a display she must present, her arms stretched out, her feet spread as far apart as possible, her buttocks prominently poised and ready for whatever the Conqueror deemed necessary.
"Count, and thank me for each stroke."
The leather snapped and connected on the fulsome right globe, "One, thank you, my lord." Gabrielle flinched, imagining the wide red welt. The belt connected again, "Two, thank you, my lord."
At the sixth, Xena switched to the left side, still pale in contrast to the brightness of the right cheek, each stripe less than a finger's width from the next. The precision never varied.
"Nine, thank you, my lord, ten, thank you my lord." Gabrielle was trembling, burning and even wetter than before.
A muted thwack connected with a swollen sensitive nub. Xena had snapped the crop between the bard's legs, stinging on her nether lips, then drew back gradually. Her love's juices coated the rough braided leather.
"You don't have to count, but you are forbidden release until I allow it."
Another quick stinging stroke forced Gabrielle to rise up on tiptoe, "Yes, my lord."
Xena moved the rough leather forward and up, scraping over the swollen bud before withdrawing at a groan from the smaller woman. She stepped closer; prodding Gabrielle's wet eager cleft from the back with the bulbous end of the phallus. Xena's wrist snapped the crop to the front over the full breasts, elongated as Gabrielle's arms pulled at the silk scarves. A fleeting smile came and went as her eyes flickered to the dark metal bands supporting the bedposts, preventing the wood from splitting any further from the performance the last time.
Xena's tongue flickered over the pulse on her neck, her teeth clamped down and Gabrielle hissed as the crop snapped across her taut sensitive nipples again. The rosewood slipped up and down in the abundant flow oozing out of her as Xena brought her up and slowed, driving her desire further. She loved the way her Conqueror played her, layering sensations and teasing paths that all ended up fueling the imminent explosion.
"This is mine--" Xena slammed the ribbed length deep past the girl's tight sphincter. Quickly inverting the crop, she took possession of the second orifice, as abruptly as well. "And especially this--"
"Yessssssss!" Gabrielle was lifted off the floor screaming with the intensity. Xena's free hand supported her too but that thumb played a merry havoc on her bursting clit. Only her grasp on the silken ties kept both of them upright.
The roughened base ground into Xena as she plunged the phallus into her love, taking them higher. Her hips circled creating a delicious pressure in her own core as beneath her, Gabrielle trembled, holding back the sweet torment.
"Nownownownowowwwwwwwwwwwww--" and they crashed together, their scents mingling with their cries of bliss. Uneven breathing and little gasps and grunts as they came to their senses in a staggering reversal, separating from the encompassing climax back into individual states of being.
Gabrielle's legs gave way and she gripped the cloths harder so they wouldn't fall. The bard felt Xena withdrawing gently from within her. Callused hands helped unwind the strips of material and intertwined with her smaller ones.
Awkward shuffling steps and they floundered together on the bed, laughing softly. Nimble fingers undid Xena's leather harness, then combed through the dark wet curls before Gabrielle lifted her glistening fingers to her lips.
"I own you too, you know." Sea-green eyes sparkled mischievously at the indulgent cyan blue gaze.
"Know it? I count on it," Xena brought Gabrielle's fingers to her own lips and sucked them dry. "Keeps me humble." She tossed her damp raven hair behind one shoulder.
Gabrielle burst out laughing. "THAT is one thing you will never be," she mocked her love. "But I will suffer with an overbearing, egotistical--" her forefinger poked at Xena's chest.
"Such big words! Serves me right for loving a bard," Xena stopped any further discussion by kissing the sweet accusatory lips. Gabrielle's tongue demanded her own surrender and the subject was forgotten. The two figures entwined, ivory and tawny limbs meshed and melted into each other.
A small cool hand slid around and rested on Xena's hip. She lifted her arm to allow the smaller woman to lean against her. Her lips brushed against the honey hair as she sighed, looking out the eastern window on the low hill covered in laurel bushes. Dawn crept around the dark leafs, outlining each with saffron and rose.
"If any eyes saw us, they would see an asymmetrical figure, perhaps like the mythic humans of old, two heads, four legs, one soul, in a joining that the Gods envied and punished." This fable came in low sweet tones from the smaller blonde woman.
"Have we deceived the Gods? Finding our halves in each other?" Cerulean blue eyes gazed into emerald ones.
"If we have, then it's Fate and not even the Gods can deny that." The smaller woman reached up and gently pulled down the dark head." They kissed softly..
"Where would I be without you?"
"Oh, probably running around the countryside, banging heads together. Literally."
"You are the best thing in my life, Gabrielle."
"I will never stop loving you. Not in this time, or any other."
A slow incremental exhale was barely heard over the last notes of a nightingale. The sea-green eyes unfocused, looked downward, closed gently. Her head bowed, at rest at last.
Xena turned away from the dawn, as silent as the other. A single tear, warm and salt, descended to her sculpted cheek, traced the edge and angled in between her lips. She tasted it and wondered where it came from, in all that emptiness.