Disclaimers 1: All characters who appear (Xena and Gabrielle) belong to Renaissance Pictures and MCA/Universal. No infringement is intended and no profit will be made.

Disclaimers 2: Once again the story belongs to me, don’t forget to read Part 1, it helps! ( I wasn’t actually supposed to write a sequel, but I made the mistake of saying ‘to be concluded’ and basically trapped myself into doing it. Besides Sociology was getting really boring until the brunette warrior and blonde amazon popped up in my thoughts, I’m just so glad I wasn’t asked any questions, I probably would have answered with something like ‘By the Gods Xena, you’re good’. Doesn’t get many points in a lecture about Functionalism.)

Posted: February 1999 (Re-posted March 1999)

Thanks: As always to Dean for the use of the web-site.

Historians Note: This story can take place any time after Gabrielle has become the Amazon Queen, but was obviously written after Adventures In The Sin Trade.

Warning: This story is sub-text friendly. If this kind of material offends you then, or is illegal where you live, or you are under age the exit is the way you came in.

Any mail or comments to: masque@talonthorne.co.uk

This story is for my Avator, I know you’re out there.

By Masque

Gabrielle’s Thoughts

By the Gods... I can’t believe I just did that. I can’t believe that I just walked up to her and kissed her, right in the middle of the Amazon Village. I thought I was going to lose my nerve for a moment, but when I saw the look in her eyes I knew I couldn’t go wrong. I don’t know who was the most shocked - me, because I’d actually done it, or her, because she hadn’t. I knew I wouldn’t be able to stop with just a kiss, that’s why I came here.

And her I am - stood in the shadows of my chambers; the last of the suns rays filtering through the window and across my empty bed and praying that she’ll follow me. All my prayers are answered when the main door creaks open and Xena enters, pressing the door closed behind her with her back so that she doesn’t take her eyes from the room and her search- she won’t find me.

A lazy smile touches her lips and reaches those beautiful eyes, a glint of mischief present in their brilliance. Slowly she turns and slides the bolt into place - now it’s just Xena and Gabrielle.

While her back is turned I make my move. As quietly as I can I step out of the shadows and as quickly as I can I move across the room towards her. Slipping my arms around her waist I pull her towards me, pressing my body to hers. I feel her muscular form tense at the close contact, but as I run my fingers over the leather, across her stomach she slowly begins to relax. She tries to turn in my embrace but I grasp her hips and hold her forward, to my surprise she does not resist and remains still. Perhaps she too is content to revel in the simple contact of our bodies; before was all about sight and watching, now is a time for touch and feeling. And I could touch her all night, and believe me I intend to.

Cautiously I reach for the scabbard at her back, unclasping and removing the weapon from between us and then carefully lay it on a nearby table. Next I reach for the chakram at her right hip; as I move to unhook the metal ring I feel strong fingers covering my own, stopping me.

"You don’t need it Xena," I whisper against her shoulder and press a gentle kiss upon the exposed flesh, "not here." I feel the ripple that runs through her body as my lips brush against her and she releases my hand, in turn I release the chakram and lay it by the sword.

Only one more weapon to go. Casually my right hand snakes a pathway up the front of the leather bodice, over the bronze armour to rest upon her chest where the leather meets flesh. Xena inhales deeply as my fingers slip inside and down between her breasts, curling around the breast dagger and carefully draw it out. Moments later it too joins the other weapons. With them gone I wrap my arms tightly around her again. After a moment her head drops back and, amazingly enough, rests on my shoulder. Ebony hair cascades over both of us and exposes her neck, which is far too irresistible. Beginning with feather-light kisses which quickly escalate to more confident caresses my lips move over the sensitive area. I relish to shudder that renders her body paralysed as I open my mouth and sink my teeth into her flesh. No sooner have I done this I hear Xena gasp and she spins around, her hands grasp my face and for a moment all she does is look at me.

Eternity could not be as long as this, finally Xena lowers her face and gently brushes her lips over my forehead and begins a light trail down the side of my face. I’m so anxious to feel those lips against my own once more that I barely notice that she has paused. My eyes flicker open to discover hers tightly closed and that’s when I realise that she is trembling; her whole body - the broad shoulders, the strong arms and the usually sure hands are shaking uncontrollably.

My own desire forgotten, I even forget to be angry with myself for starting the whole thing, at the image in front of me my concern is for Xena; I’ve never seen her look so vulnerable, so fragile. For once I am at a loss; I don’t know whether to speak or act. Do I try to talk to her or simply reach out and touch her? I make the decision to do both, "Xena...." I whisper as I gently lay my palm against her cheek. She flinches at my touch but as I try to draw my hand away she captures it in her own and holds it tightly against her cheek. This simple act lets me know that she wants, that she needs me to stay with her; my other hand wanders to her hip and with her eyes still closed I guide her towards the bed.

Lowering her to the mattress I stand before her and wait. I’ll give her all the time that she needs but now it is up to her. Her hands reach out to me, sliding over my hips and around my waist; I put up no resistance as she pulls me to her and rests her head upon my chest and we stay like that. I have no idea how long for, but gradually the trembling has ceased, the ragged breathing has calmed and the silent tears - that she tried to hide from me - have stopped.

"I’m sorry," Her voice is barely more than a shaky whisper.

"No, I’m sorry," I tell her as I stroke the long black hair.

Her head moves so that her forehead rests against me, when she speaks her voice tickles my exposed torso, "I want this so much.... to be with you." She shakes her head, sorrowfully, "The darkness.... it could destroy you. I’m afraid."

Finally she gives voice to her fears, yet I already knew them. She always worries that her darkness will harm me, but in the next breath she tells me that I am the light she has been looking for. She has never spoken of this fear before, it must have been a difficult admission for her and I know that I am the only one who will ever hear such a confession from those lips.

Clasping her head in both my hands I lift her face up and meet azure eyes, glistening as the last of the sunlight hits them. Looking into those eyes I fall even more deeply in love with the warrior, and the woman, and I need to let her know that everything will be alright.

"Don’t be afraid." The only words I can tell her, because the time for words is over.

* * *

Xena’s Thoughts


Don’t be afraid. Can three such simple words really make all of the anger, the hurt and the pain go away? Maybe not, but I realise then that it is not only the words, it is the voice that wraps around my soul like a shroud and the arms that cradle my body that can soothe that which haunts me.

From the moment that I stepped into this room, the moment that I locked the world outside and the two of us inside, I had begun the healing process. Gabrielle, her hands have stripped me of my weapons, just as her presence has stripped me of the warlord. I always thought that I needed those things to protect me from the enemy, even when that enemy was me, but now I know that I only need her.

She is the most important person in my life. It was only recently, when I thought that I had lost her forever that I admitted that I could no longer live without her. I would have journeyed to Tartarus, and I almost did, to find her, to be with her. But I hurt her. No matter what I do I always end up hurting her. How can I expect her to stay with me after all the things I’ve done to her? But then I have to remind myself that she has stayed with me, and that she is here with me now.

As I gaze up at her once again I see what I have been searching for. The one who tames my darkness and hatred with light and love. Beyond that I gaze upon the woman who would be my lover, if only I could....

I see the eyes that I have wanted to get lost in, the hair that I’ve wanted to tangle my fingers in and the lips that I’ve wanted to kiss for so long.... Instinctively my body, knowing what my soul desires, takes over; As I have dreamed of doing so my hands reach out, lightly tracing over her features: her cheeks, her jaw, her lips, even her nose pass under my curious finger tips. Little things, so long denied to me, suddenly become the most important things in the world. My hands slide into her golden mane, silky hair slipping through my fingers, all the while our eyes firmly locked on one another.

Hands now resting upon her shoulders are still shaking, or is that her? Maybe it’s both of us. Why is that? Fear? Desire? Both? I’ve not made love for so long, not that I’d ever forget how to, it’s just that I want everything to be perfect for her.... for us.

She’s noticed my pause and I see a glimmer of uncertainty and concern in her eyes, "Xena?" She moves to lay her hands upon me put I keep her hands immobile.

"I need to do this Gabrielle. I need to touch you." I tell her. I don’t know why. Maybe I need reassurance that she’s really here and in my arms. Maybe I just need to build up my courage to continue. A slow nod from her grants her silent permission and my hands proceed on their path of exploration.

Shyly my attention falls from her shoulders to her chest as my hands glide against the suede of her top and cover her breasts. Both of us are watching my movements intently, and both of us are having difficulty believing that this is actually, finally happening. A sharp intake of breath causes me to look up just in time to see her eyes close and her head drop back at the intimacy of my touch. Her chest is heaving with her ragged breaths and I know I have to have her close to me.

Reluctantly I lower my hands, taking my time as I stroke her stomach feeling those wonderful muscles tensing beneath my finger tips. At her hips, my arms circle her waist and my hands slide over her rear; a small giggle escapes both our lips as she recognises the movements, she knows it was me, at last she knows it was me. Lingering for only a moment I move to the exposed thighs, her skin is so warm and soft and the muscles so firm and strong and I want them wrapped around me. My hands descend to her knees, as I touch the sensitive area at the back her legs they weaken and I ease her into a straddling position on my lap - her legs wrapped around me!

Pulling her ever closer, one arm circles her body while my hand returns to her face, lightly stroking. Nerves quieted, fears subsided and desire rising in their wake I’m ready to kiss her again. Drawing her face to mine, I feel her breath on my lips as she can feel mine on hers.

"Xena.... please...." Her voice is deep, and so husky and I can’t deny it any longer, I refuse to. No hesitation this time, I press my mouth to hers - joining our lips and knowing that I’m joining so much more.

As our kissing deepens it’s now her turn to explore my body. Gentle fingers touch my throat and begin a journey to my shoulders where they find - my armour. Much to my disappointment she pulls away from the kiss, her eyes focusing on the shoulder pads and then the rest of my armour. A frown draws her eyebrows together and then a wicked grin lights up her face, "This has got to go," she demands as she draws circles over the breastplate. With nimble fingers and expert precision she removes the breastplate, shoulder pads and back-plate which are quickly relegated to the floor with a resounding clank. While I am left wondering about how quickly she did it my arm bands and gauntlets have also become a thing of the past and now she’s working on my boots. No one has been that fast since Cyane. Forget the past warrior, Gabrielle is your present, Gabrielle is your everything and Gabrielle is about to conquer you.

Sheer panic rises inside as I realise the truth of that statement. Gabrielle is about to take everything; the light and the dark, the warrior and the woman, the body and the soul - she already had the heart. And as she firmly pushes me back on the bed and once again straddles my hips, lowers her lips to mine I realise that I am willingly giving it to her. This Warrior Princess is finally surrendering.

* * *

Taking The Chance

With arms wrapped tightly around one another and hands reluctant to break physical contact both Xena and Gabrielle seemed destined to hold one another all night. But soon kissing was no longer enough and the minimal contact that clothed bodies allowed was infuriating.

Xena found her hands fumbling with the laces of Gabrielle’s top; she had never had the opportunity, or pleasure, to examine how the outfit was put together. With a frustrated growl she gave up, and with an amused giggle Gabrielle reached for the fastenings, the top falling away in her hands.

The warrior glanced down between their two bodies, taking in Gabrielle’s exposed breasts. She had seen them on any number of occasions, but never this enticingly close. A satisfied smile crept across her lips as her hands slid up the sides of the amazons torso and lightly caressed the soft flesh.

In reaction Gabrielle closed her eyes and sighed with contentment, "At last," she breathed, pushing away the passed years of torture that she had endured as she had only dreamed of this moment. Seconds later her eyes re-opened, fierce determination burning within. She pulled Xena into a sitting position, still straddling her, and grabbed at the laces that bound the leather bodice to the warrior like a second skin.

Whilst busy pulling leather straps from Xena’s shoulders she had not noticed that the warrior had begun unlacing her boots, they slipped easily from her feet and fell to the floor next to the bed. Piece by piece every item of clothing was removed and discarded in a similar fashion, until only Gabrielle’s feathered choker remained and neither one of them attempted to get rid of it.

Finally Gabrielle laid down atop Xena, pressing her full body weight onto the warrior. The sensation of flesh upon flesh was so incredible to both of them that for a long while all they could do was relish the feel of their lovers body against their own.

With her forehead buried in the bend of Xena’s neck and shoulder Gabrielle fought to speak, to find words to describe the sensation, some way of communicating how she was feeling, "Xena.... I.... I...." It was not just about the sexual energy thrumming through her body, it was the sense of emotional completeness that she felt in her soul. That was what she was trying to say, she wanted to tell Xena that she had been right, that she had found her soul mate. "You.... I feel.... whole...." No matter how she tried coherent sentences just would not form. It was her body trying to tell her something: The time for words is over. Strong hands lifted her gently until she gazed down into Xena’s eyes.

"I know," Xena told her and then lightly kissed Gabrielle’s lips, "I know," she kissed the amazon, more passionately this time. The disjointed words, the half finished sentiments made perfect sense to Xena, they echoed her own thoughts.

With sunlight died and night above, the world went on without Xena and Gabrielle. For them all that existed was each other and the bed that they had finally made together. And as the night turned to dawn the sunlight found them just as it had left them.

The End.

* * * * *


There you have it. Hope you enjoyed it. No reply to it.

I just wrote this with the Bittersuite song ‘The Love of Your Love’ playing in the background. How cliched can you get!