The Water's Edge by Tegan Jovanka

THE WATER'S EDGE
by Tegan Jovanka

DISCLAIMER: The characters of Xena and Gabrielle are property of Universal-MCA. No improper infringement is intended.

WARNING: This story deals with a romantic relationship between two women and includes some scenes of a graphic sexual nature. If you are offended by this, please do not read further.

Tegan may be contacted in care of Pink Rabbit Productions at pinkrabbit@mailexcite.com

 

Xena opened her eyes…and saw herself.

It was a distorted shimmering image. It took the weakened warrior some moments to clear both the exhaustion from her mind and the moisture from her eyes to realize that she was staring into her own reflection. The image of herself was tied to a pole, her arms outstretched on a cross pole and bound.

Snow was falling all around her, a light cascade on her head and shoulders. Xena opened her mouth to scream, but she could not. The cold had tightened her throat.

Xena’s reflection tried to scream back from the shiny surface of the shield in the snow, but it had no better luck. She watched herself being lowered into the snow by the roman centurions, until her eyes could only stare up at the gray sky above. The flakes of snow, drifting by the wind, floated down upon her face now and it almost gave her some comfort. The cold was lifting the haze from her mind more rapidly now. She was beginning to shiver now, but she had survived worse in her time. If lucky, she might survive this.

But the question remained whether she would want to.

Xena turned her head to the right, trying to focus on the centurions moving about her. It seemed like twilight, but Xena could still see her surroundings about her.

Then, she saw her……

Xena sat up with a start. It was night and it was warm. A small fire burned nearby, but it was a faint illumination compared to the light of the full moon above. Xena shivered, knowing the feeling was generating from within herself and not from the temperate air around her. In a frantic move, she turned to Gabrielle lying almost next to her. Her companion was lying atop a clothspun blanket, her body covered in a small cotton nightdress. The hem had hiked up over her thighs. Xena started to reach out to recover Gabrielle’s legs, when she suddenly stopped. The moonlight glistened on the bard’s blonde tresses and Xena’s hand moved towards Gabrielle’s hair. Her fingers barely touched the strands sloping across her friend’s throat, when the warrior suddenly pulled her hand back.

Xena pulled her knees to her face and held them in her arms, trying not to make a sound. Alti’s vision had begun to haunt her dreams, the tableau of two of them, Xena and Gabrielle, being crucified by Caesar’s soldiers. Alti had wanted to make Xena suffer by showing the warrior princess her future. But Xena would have suffered this death gladly, if only it meant Gabrielle would be safe.

Xena looked at Gabrielle lying there, the light playing over her alabaster skin. Xena reached out again and pulled the hem of Gabrielle’s nightdress down her thighs, her fingers brushing gently against the bard’s flesh. Her fingertips lingered for a moment, then Xena drew back. Gabrielle remained unmoving, her breast rising against the fabric of her dress with every breath. Xena could only sit and admire Gabrielle’s beauty, her feelings of pride subduing the dread of Alti’s horror.

Xena could feel a faint heated breeze waffling up the trail from the lake. They had camped some yards away from the water’s edge to allow Argo to graze in a nearby field. Xena stood up and enjoyed the feeling of the warm air playing over the naked flesh that was exposed around the leather doublet she wore. She closed her eyes to absorb the sensation into every part of her body, letting her mind flow with the feeling.

Xena looked down at Gabrielle’s sleeping form. For a moment, she want to lie down beside her, take the woman’s body and hold it close to her own, hoping upon hope that what Alti had predicted would never, ever harm them. But Alti’s predictions had always come true, Xena reminded herself, from the moment they first met and the old witch had offered her the young Amazon, Anakin. Xena had become Alti’s creature for a time, manipulated……. deceived…… used.

But Alti was dead and Xena had gone to the other side to try and find Gabrielle. She had no intention of losing the bard again…ever. The breeze played over her again, reminding Xena of where she was. With a quick glance to ensure that the fire was burning bright enough to ward off any animals that could endanger her friend, Xena picked up her blanket and made the short walk down to the water’s edge.

The warm, moist breeze was swirling over the lake, as she approached. Xena marveled at the display of the moonlight playing across the water and sat down a few feet from the edge, laying the blanket on the soil. Deftly, she removed the doublet and stood nude in the wind, allowing the warm air to caress her body. Xena closed her eyes and outstretched her arms, doing a slow pirouette to allow the air to touch every part of her body. There was no Alti, no Caesar, no dangers. There was only warmth and a tingling in her body she hadn’t felt in some time. Xena slowly collapsed down on the blanket and stretched her body out, her legs pointing towards the water edge to allow the breeze to play upwards over her frame. Xena stretched her arms above her head and relaxed, staring up at the stars, trying not to let the sensation lull her back into sleep and Alti’s vision of the future.

The breeze traveled up her legs, her calves, through every valley and mound of her body. Xena allowed herself to move slowly against it, as if against an invisible lover. Moving her legs slightly apart, Xena slowly arched against it, as if she could absorb more of the wind. Without a thought, she moaned, closing her eyes. The tingling sensation was intensifying in body, and Xena’s hands began to move across her body in a attempt to satisfy the feelings that were generating within her. One hand touched her left

breast , the finger tips grazing over her ever-hardening nipple Her other hand moved down towards the region between her legs. Her fingers caressed the flesh that they found there and Xena plunged her fingers within, her moans increasing, changing, forming a name………

 A sudden snap of wood brought her back to awareness. Xena quickly opened her eyes and sat up, her body braced for the attack. But her expression gew sheepish , as her gaze fell upon the intruder. Xena pulled the blanket from under her and draped it around her around her body, as the visitor approached.

Gabrielle stepped into the moonlight and stood next to her, the cotton dress fluttering in the wind. The bard was giving Xena a curious expression, as she slowly sat down beside her.

"I woke up and you were gone, " She stated, " Your armor were still hanging out, so I figured you didn’t go far."

"I couldn’t sleep, " Xena replied, looking towards the lake, " I went for a walk."

Xena looked at Gabrielle suddenly and asked, "How long were you here?"

"Long enough," Gabrielle replied with a small smile, picking up a stone and tossing it out over the water, "I wouldn’t be embarrassed, if I were you. We all have our….moments. Even me. It’s normal, Xena."

"I know that!", The warrior replied, a slight grumble in her throat, as she pulled the blanket around her tighter. She tried to give the bard a angry look, but could only look sternly sheepish, "A friend would have left me in my privacy."

"I was doing that," The bard replied, "But I stepped on a fallen branch or twig. I’m sorry."

Even in the moonlight, Xena could see the color of her companion’s eyes. Realizing she was staring, Xena turned her gaze towards the water.

"That’s all right, " She said softly, " No harm done."

The two women sat silent for a moment, enjoying the breeze, the air fluttering through their air.

"That feels good," Gabrielle remarked in a soft tone.

"Yes, it does," Xena agreed.

Gabrielle suddenly stood up, declaring, "I’m going swimming."

"What?"

"I’m going swimming!"

With that statement, Gabrielle pulled her dress over her head and tossed it aside. She ran towards the lake and splashed into the water, diving beneath the surface head first. Xena simply sat there, unsure of what she should do. Gabrielle suddenly broke the surface and stood towards Xena, the water coming to a point below her waist. The moonlight played over her naked body, causing Xena to suppress the gasp rising in her throat at the sight of Gabrielle’s beauty. The bard splashed water towards the warrior..

"Come on!" Gabrielle invited, "Is the Warrior Princess afraid of a little water?"

Xena smiled and rose to her feet, allowing the blanket to drop at her feet. With a smile, Xena ran towards the lake. As she reached the water’s edge, she leaped into the air. Her body rose into a high arc, turning over in a gymnastic tumble as she flew over Gabrielle’s head and plunged into the water a dozen yards away from the bard. Gabrielle’s gaze followed Xena’s dive and she smiled, shaking her head.

"Show-off."

Gabrielle continued to stare at the point where Xena had disappeared. The surface remained calm. Gabrielle’s face went from a smile to concern. Her mind raced, as her eyes darted around the lake’s surface. Where was she? Did she hit the bottom on her dive and was rendered unconscious? Was Xena drowning?

"Xena!" She cried, swimming towards the point where her friend had disappeared, "XENA!"

She reached the point and continued to scan the lake’s surface.

"XENA! XENA!"

Gabrielle was about to dive below the water, when two hands grasped her ankles and flung her upwards into the air. The bard found herself flying upwards into a high arc. Gaining her senses, she straightened her body into a diving position , as she began her downward journey. She gracefully plunged into the water and completed an arc that took her back to the surface. She broke through the water and looked eagerly about.

Xena was several yards away, her head and shoulders above the surface. She was laughing.

"What’s the matter, Amazon Princess!? Afraid to fly!?"

Gabrielle gritted her teeth and began to swim towards Xena.

"XENA! I’LL GET YOU FOR THAT!" she yelled, "WHEN I GET MY…."

Gabrielle suddenly stopped, as if she was seized from below. A look of terror crossed her face.

"Xena! XENA! XE…."

Gabrielle disappeared beneath the surface as if jerked below.

"Zeus!" Xena cried, as she began to swim towards the spot where Gabrielle had disappeared. As she approached, she filled her lungs with air and dove beneath the surface. The moonlight provided little illumination beneath the lake’s surface. Xena strained her eyes for some sign of her companion in the depths, but could see nothing but the stygian darkness. Her lungs aching, Xena rose to the surface, breaking above the water, sucking for air.

"GABRIELLE!" she screamed.

A form rose behind her like a dolphin shooting above the lake, sailing a few inches above the warrior’s head. Suddenly grasping Xena’s shoulders firmly, the intruder shoved the warrior beneath the surface in one quick motion. The form plunged back into the water, as Xena again burst above the surface, spitting water and coughing for air.

Gabrielle broke the surface and laughed.

"That’ll teach you to make fun of the Amazons!"

Xena began to swim furiously towards Gabrielle, a intense expression on her face. Even in the moonlight, Gabrielle could tell that Xena was not to be trifled with. She looked about for some kind of exit, took a deep breath, and plunged straight down.

"Not on your life!" Xena declared in a savage tone and dove beneath the lake.

The surface of the lake returned to it’s placid state. Absolutely nothing stirred for many moments.

Then the surface erupted. Xena and Gabrielle burst upwards, both pushing their arms forward to spray water on the other. This continued for many moments, before both got exhausted from the activity. With a growl, Gabrielle charged Xena and grabbed her shoulders again, attempting to force the warrior under the surface. Prepared this time, Xena seized Gabrielle’s arms and flipped her body totally out of the water and up in the air. For a moment, Gabrielle was upside down, perched in the air on Xena’s shoulders. The bard then fell backwards into the water. Xena laughed, as Gabrielle bobbed to the surface.

"Had enough?" She asked with a smile.

Her smile faded, as she noticed Gabrielle’s pained expression.

"Gabrielle?"

"It’s nothing," Gabrielle said with a twinge in her voice, "I just hit the water a little too hard …My back ."

Concern crossing her face, Xena glided to Gabrielle. She wrapped one arm around the bard’s waist, and began to touch her back with her other hand, keeping both of them buoyant by the swaying of her legs.

"How does that feel?"

"A little lower."

Xena touched the small of Gabrielle’s back, then realized how close her companion was. Gabrielle’s head was nestled at Xena’s throat, her breath caressing the warrior’s flesh, their breasts pressed against each other. Xena could already feel both her and Gabrielle’s nipples beginning to harden at the contact. She shifted her head to look into the bard’s face.

Later, neither would be sure who initiated the kiss. Suddenly their lips were pressed against each other’s, then parted and their tongues began to probe and duel. Their bodies slid about in a slow circle on the surface of the water, Xena holding Gabrielle, as the other’s hands held the larger woman closer to her.

When the kiss was over, their heads moved apart, their eyes locked in the mystery of this moment. Xena moved apart from Gabrielle, her hand sliding down the blonde’s arm, until it encircled Gabrielle’s fingers. With a gentle tug, Xena led Gabrielle back to shore.

They slowly walked out of the water, Xena retaining her gentle hold on Gabrielle’s hand. She led her to the blanket and looked into her eyes. Gabrielle moved forward, her arms encircling Xena and kissed her again, eagerly. Xena felt a pang of responsibility, a pang that quickly faded as the younger woman melted her mouth against hers. Gabrielle then began to kiss Xena’s throat, slowly leaving a trail of caresses as she traveled down to Xena’s breast. With a look of hunger, Gabrielle cupped Xena’s left breast in her hand and moved her lips to it, darting her tongue back and forth across the nipple. The warrior felt like her chest would cave in from Gabrielle’s touch, as the bard moved from one breast to the other, lavishing each with her hot tongue. Gabrielle then encircled right nipple with her lips and , in a sudden moment, nipped the tip with her teeth, an action that brought a cry of surprise from the warrior princess.

Gabrielle smiled up at the taller woman and slowly fell to her knees, kissing Xena’s stomach on her journey downward. The warrior princess began to breathe heavy in anticipation, as Gabrielle moved Xena’s legs apart. Gabrielle gave Xena teasing glance, as she kissed one thigh and then the other, moving her hands on the muscular flanks, as her head moved slowly towards her target. Xena resisted the urge to entwine her hands in Gabrielle’s hair and force her lips between her thighs, instead giving the bard full control of their lovemaking. But, as Gabrielle’s hot breath drew closer, Xena felt her resolve wavering.

Gabrielle reached her goal and nipped the folds between her lips, careful not to bite them. Xena quivered in response. Gabrielle then moved one hand and parted the folds. As she did, she blew her hot breath between them.

Xena wanted to scream, as Gabrielle’s tongue probed into her flesh. The younger woman was sending sensations through the warrior’s body that she hadn’t felt in such a long time. While her fingers rubbed against her folds, Gabrielle pushed her tongue harder against the small mound that sending pleasure through every inch of Xena’s body. Keeping a steady darting assault on her target. Xena’s knees started to buckle.

"Gab….Gabrielle!"

Gabrielle slowed her motion and looked up into Xena’s hungry eyes. The warrior’s breath was heaving.

"I have to lie down," she said in a husky voice.

Gabrielle moved back, her hands grasping Xena’s wrists and slowly helping her down to her knees. As Xena moved closer to the bard, she noticed the juices on her mouth glistening against the moonlight. With a smile, Xena leaned forward and licked them from Gabrielle’s face. Gabrielle smiled and kissed Xena in return, as she placed her hands on the warrior’s shoulders and pushed her gently back upon the blanket.

"I’m not done yet," The bard murmured.

Xena propped herself on her elbows and watched in eager anticipation, as Gabrielle spread the warrior’s legs apart and returned to her task. Xena watched for a few moments, before the sensations drained the energy from her and she dropped flat on her back. She stared up at the stars and thanked whatever Gods were responsible for this moment. She closed her eyes and allowed the pleasure to wash over her. Caesar…Borias…even Marcus…none of them had ever conjured the feelings that this young woman was manifesting in Xena now. As the feelings swelled, Xena began to dig her hands into the soil on either side of the blanket, grasping the dirt, then flinging her fingers open as another wave of passion engulfed her. She could feel herself nearing the heights of her sensations. Suddenly, Gabrielle began to probe deep between the folds with first one, then two fingers. Xena yelped and arched her back, thrusting against Gabrielle’s mouth and fingers, her body undulating in rhythm with her partner’s urgent motions. Xena gave out a little scream, a sound to encourage Gabrielle to maintain her ministrations. The pair moved faster against each other. The pounding waves rose higher and higher, as Gabrielle added another finger to the pair plunging inside of the warrior princess. Her tongue lapped and darted at the small mound that she knew was bringing Xena closer to the moment she craved. Xena’s body began to shake, as she screamed her passion into the night sky, her hands entwining Gabrielle’s hair and pushing her face against her body. Xena quickly released the bard and fell back against the blanket, gulping deeply for air. As she did, she looked down at Gabrielle, who had removed her fingers, but was still gently lapping at Xena’s flesh.

"Gabrielle….Your legs!"

Gabrielle looked up, a confused look on her face. Xena gestured for Gabrielle to spin about. Gabrielle pivoted her body around to a point where her legs were now on either side of Xena’s head. The bard then dipped her head back between Xena’s thighs, her tongue slowly licking the warrior’s body.

Xena raised her head and began to lick Gabrielle’s thighs, moving upwards. She reached up and parted Gabrielle’s lips. Xena smiled.

"Ahhhh….Gabby’s little stick."

Xena pronouncement brought giggles from the bard, who slapped Xena’s ass several times in retaliation. Xena laughed back. Then, with a look of desire, the warrior brought her mouth against the target she sought.. Gabrielle shivered at the touch, stopping her own motions to absorb the ministrations of her partner. Xena seized Gabrielle’s thighs, pulling her back into almost upright position. Gabrielle was now sitting, her back arching, as she thrust herself back onto Xena’s eager mouth. The bard began to moan, first softly, then louder. Xena suddenly nipped at her flesh, causing Gabrielle to yelp. The bard propped her hands against Xena’s thighs, raising herself to look at the smiling woman beneath her.

"Xena…What are…."

" Shhhhh…I’m not through yet."

Xena gently grasped Gabrielle’s thighs and lowered the bard back to her sitting position. She then took her right first finger and slipped it in her mouth. Making sure it was sufficiently moist, Xena removed the finger from her mouth and again assaulted Gabrielle’s 'stick,' her tongue moving fast and furious. Gabrielle thrust her hips back at Xena, careful not to put her full weight down, but letting the waves of pleasure build in her body. As her movements became more frenetic, Xena raised her wet finger to the small of Gabrielle’s back and moved it down the center of the bard’s buttocks. As she reached her goal, Xena thrust her finger deep into Gabrielle.

It was as if Gabrielle had been hit by a thunderbolt from Zeus. This new tactic by the warrior caused Gabrielle to stiffen and then tremble at this new assault, her hands clutching Xena’s thighs for support, as she thrust her hips back against the invading appendages. She tried to lower her head to Xena’s thighs to return the pleasure, but the sensations were too great. With one hand holding Xena’s body for support, she thrust her other hand between the warrior’s legs, her fingers rubbing and probing in the same quick motions that she had utilized before. Xena buckled against Gabrielle’s thrusts, trying to keep up her own attack, as her body gyrated against the bard’s fingers.

Gabrielle suddenly arched up in a sitting position and screamed, her body shaking violently. Her total concentration was lost in her moment of passion, her entire body concentrated on only one goal, to thrust back against the pleasure that Xena was giving to her. As she fell forward, one hand missed Xena’s thigh for support and the bard rolled off her companion onto the soil by the water’s edge. Xena pulled her self up and moved to Gabrielle, slowly pulling her back onto the blanket. As she did, she lay down beside her and encircled her arms around the bard. Xena looked down at Gabrielle’s tired, but satisfied expression, the moonlight glinting off the shimmer of sweat covering her young body. Xena leaned forward and lapped at a small puddle of perspiration between Gabrielle’s breasts, creating a shiver in response.

"Keep doing that…we’re going to start up again," Gabrielle warned.

"It wouldn’t be a bad idea. I’m curious to see what other surprises you have for me."

"Surprises?"

Xena gave Gabrielle a cynical look and stated, "You seem to know your way around, if you know what I mean."

"Oh…that."

"Yes, that," Xena smiled, "I get the idea I’m not your first….woman."

Gabrielle touched Xena’s cheek with the palm of her left hand and said in a sincere tone,

"You are, Xena. I could never want or be with anyone else."

Gabrielle then lay back and stared at the stars.

"It happened after you….died and I took your body back to the Amazons for burial. You remember that I was chosen to lead the Amazon tribes and Ephiny was trying to indoctrinate in as many Amazon customs and mores that she could. To the end, I was staying with two of the tribe, Artemis and Diana. Unlike Ephiny, who married a male, these two women were…a couple."

"And you slept with them," Xena concluded.

"No!" Gabrielle replied, moving her fingertips over Xena’s lips. The warrior could see the distress in the bard’s eyes that Xena would consider that possibility. Xena gently kissed the bard’s fingers in apology.

"You were….are the most important person in my life. I was empty inside. Diana and Artemis respected that. But they lived as a loving couple and allowed me to….observe, so that I would better understand the people I would be ruling over. I have to confess it was quite educational. But it couldn’t replace the loss I felt without you."

Xena leaned forward and kissed Gabrielle long and deep. Then she moved back. Gabrielle snuggled closer to Xena’s body, her head against the warrior’s chest.

"Artemis and Diana showed me…how they made love," She continued softly, "Slowly, tenderly, then with great passion. I have to admit the curiosity to join them was there……but they weren’t the one I wanted to be with.. When I was in that hospice recovering from my fall with Hope, you were all I thought about…Where you were, all the times we spent together…and all the missed opportunities. We had a LOT of those, Xena."

"And what made you think tonight was the night?" Xena inquired coyly.

"Well," Gabrielle replied in a matter-of-fact tone, "When I came by and found you doing what you were doing by the water’s edge, you just happened to be moaning my name."

Xena gave her a disbelieving look.

"I was not!"

"Yes, you were!"

"Wasn’t!"

"Was!"

"I was?"

"You were."

"I was."

"Yes, you were."

"Well, it’s a good thing you stepped on that twig and brought me out of it," Xena mused.

Gabrielle giggled, "I didn’t step on that twig…. I broke it deliberately. I told you I wasn’t going to let another opportunity pass ."

The two women stared at each other for a long moment. Then Gabrielle nuzzled against Xena’s breast and took her left nipple between her lips, her tongue moving over it in a lazy lapping motion. She then looked up at Xena. "What do we do now?" She smiled.

In a sudden movement, Xena took Gabrielle’s shoulders and pinned her to the blanket. The bard’s body trembled slightly in anticipation, her nostrils flaring, her lips parted. Her eyes widened as she met Xena’s intensely passionate gaze. The warrior gave Gabrielle her most ruthless smile. " My turn!" she stated in a dominant tone.

The morning found them asleep on the blanket, Xena’s arms around Gabrielle’s body, holding the bard close to her. The warrior opened her eyes and slowly took in the beautiful warm day. She snuggled closer to Gabrielle and kissed her hair gently.

Xena suddenly realized that she had spent the whole night without once being visited by Alti’s vision.

The warrior stroked Gabrielle’s blonde strands and mused to herself that maybe the future can be changed, that perhaps their love will be the factor in changing it.

"Xena?"

Xena looked down, as Gabrielle slowly rolled over in her arms to face the warrior, the sleep still evident in her eyes.

"Good morning," the bard yawned.

"Good morning."

Gabrielle reached up and tenderly touched Xena’s cheek.

"Do you think we have a little time before breakfast?"

"Gabrielle, we have all the time in the world."

In a quick motion, Gabrielle rolled up and pinned Xena down to the blanket by her shoulders.

"Good!" She declared, "My turn!"

Their laughter and screams echoed across the lake.

  END

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