Warning: The following story may describe a physical relationship with two consenting adult women. If this offends you, or is illegal where you are, stop reading and move.
Legal Disclaimer: MCA owns all rights and privileges, to the characters of Xena and Gabrielle. The characters of Poseidon, Ares, Penelope and Ulysses are in the public domain and have been for thousands of years. The elements of the story taken from The Odyssey have also been in the public domain for thousands of years. The new parts of the story are mine, so read, enjoy, but please do not steal. Copyright © 1997 by JS Stephens All Rights Reserved.
Poseidon was in a horrible mood. Troy had been defeated, but the Greeks forgot him in their wild celebrations. Worst of all, Ulysses did not pay proper homage to him and this really stirred the waters. Poseidon fumed as he watched Ulysses walking along the beach--no doubt that he would soon catch a boat and make his way back to Ithaca to claim Penelope from the horde of suitors who had taken up residence there.
As Poseidon mused over this, he noticed three men rushing to attack Ulysses. He grinned to himself; high time that Ulysses faced the odds. Yet, Ulysses started handily defeating the men, barely breaking a sweat while fending the outlaws off. Poseidon growled to himself, but started grinning wickedly as he noticed a larger band of outlaws making their way up the beach. He whispered to their leader of a stranger with many riches just ahead on the beach, then sat back to watch the fun.
The fun was interrupted by that warrior woman, Xena and her pesky sidekick, Gabrielle. "Damn!" Poseidon muttered to himself. He watched the battle rage on, but it was soon apparent that the outlaws were out of their league. He roared and drew himself up to his full height as the trio sent the last outlaw packing. He grew even angrier as Xena openly defied him, as she did all the gods and goddesses. But Poseidon was determined to keep Ulysses from reaching Ithaca...wait, he thought, watching Ulysses. He likes her. And Xena keeps defying us...so, even as he lashed out at the mortals, he threw a spell on Ulysses and Xena to cause them to fall in love. He also bespelled Gabrielle, so if they did make it to sea, she would not be any help whatsoever...
Gabrielle rushed to the side of the ship for what seemed like the millionth time. She could not figure out why her stomach was so weak now, she had sailed before without this much trouble. Plus, Xena acted as if it were funny. True, Xena did not readily show her emotions, especially in front of other people, but this was ridiculous! She really needed a friend now, or at least a healer. The last time she was this sick, Xena was with her all the time, brewing special teas, sponging her forehead and generally playing nurse. Gabrielle pushed stray hairs away from her face as she considered the situation. Plus, she had not seen Xena take any interest in men since Marcus. Still, she had rushed off to marry Perdicas, not thinking about how much it would hurt Xena. Maybe Xena was getting back at her, she thought. Yeah, Xena--no, that was not Xena's style. Not when Xena had fought so hard to return to her own body and to come back from the dead. Not after what they shared, both with their souls and their bodies.
Gabrielle's thoughts were interrupted by footsteps. She looked up at Xena, who merely asked, "Are you though feeding the fish?" Gabrielle felt a rush of rage at Xena's uncaring attitude. She stared hatefully up at her best friend, then punched her in the stomach and walked away, not caring if Xena came after her and punished her. She dropped behind a barrel in a miserable heap, not caring if she lived or died.
Xena finished tying Ulysses to the post, saying, "It is for your own good, Ulysses. I can't have you coming up and trying to steer the ship aground. You must get back to Ithaca!" With that, she strode out of the room and up onto the main deck.
Xena took the wheel, deftly steering the ship through the water. Her keen ears had already picked up the Sirens' singing as they tried to lure the ship to their island. Xena felt the battle lust stealing over her, relishing the feeling. This time, though, her weapon of choice was her own voice. As the Sirens' song grew louder, Xena started singing a counter-song, battling to override them. Even though it was not her usual field of battle, she enjoyed it as much as her more traditional fighting. She kept the ship on a steady heading towards Ithaca as she let her voice soar in battle. Suddenly, Ulysses appeared. He ran down the deck, then came up and tried to wrest the wheel away from her. She sang louder. Suddenly, the Sirens' song ended and Ulysses snapped back to normal.
Ulysses was declaring his love for Xena. He felt compelled to, as if driven by an inner force. Penelope receded in his mind to a mere wisp of a figure. This, he thought, is a real woman! So dark and strong, so compelling, so fierce and unrelenting in battle! Every time he looked at her, his heart swelled with love, even as his love for Ithaca shrank. Yes! She loved him too, oh glorious day. He stared into her deep blue eyes, trying to lose himself in them. Maybe, he thought, we should just sail wherever the wind takes us and forget about Ithaca...
Poseidon smiled from Olympus at the couple. So far, his revenge was working.
Xena listened as Gabrielle stated that she would not try to get between Xena and Ulysses. "You let me go marry Perdicas. Follow your heart, Xena. If Ulysses has captured your heart, you must follow him. Don't worry about me, you have taught me well." Xena smiled at the bard. She wanted to take the younger woman in her arms and bury her face in Gabrielle's hair, but something held her back. Didn't she love Ulysses? So why did she suddenly want to hold Gabrielle so tight? She dismissed the thoughts abruptly, stuffing them deep inside of her.
"Land!" the three cried out. Xena helped steer the ship towards Ithaca, then laughed as she watched Gabrielle wallow in the sand. She then turned to see the conflicting emotions crossing Ulysses' face: joy, confusion, sorrow, hope. Xena put her indulgent smile on, waiting for the other two to stand up.
Ulysses was still in shock from both seeing his childhood friend ruthlessly killed and from hearing that Penelope was still alive and waiting for his return. He was both eager and reluctant to find Penelope, eager after all these years apart and reluctant because it meant losing Xena. As the trio walked along, he pondered this strange turn of events. Somehow, something did not feel right. He had battled seas, monsters and gods trying to get back to Ithaca and Penelope, yet now all he wanted was to run back to the ship and travel the world with Xena by his side. She was so strong, so vibrant, so independent. He never had looked at another woman in all these years, just counting the days until he was reunited with his wife. Yet, he had been overwhelmed by Xena's fierce beauty and grace. He didn't even mind her having a personal bard tagging along, even if the girl was a lousy sailor. He smiled as he imagined Gabrielle telling his tales at various taverns along the way. From what Xena said, Gabrielle was not only an excellent bard, but a memorizing storyteller. Maybe this would come out on dry land.
As they approached the castle, Ulysses felt a tight knot forming in his stomach. It looked so different, yet the same. The whole island seemed smaller, yet he felt the tug of being home. He started chattering nervously, pointing out various landmarks, laughing over youthful exploits. He noticed Gabrielle soaking them up for future tales and Xena listening politely. Xena did not seem to be one for looking back, only forward, he noticed. Well, once they cleared these suitors from the castle and set things to rights, he and Xena could contemplate their future together and she would not have to look back at all.
The trio entered the castle from the back, scurrying underground to some unused passageways. Ulysses quickly led them towards the servants' quarters, snagging serving cloaks for them. They disguised themselves, then laid out their plans to infiltrate the main hall. Gabrielle went ahead to find some trays for them to carry, but Ulysses pulled Xena back for a moment. "Xena, you know that I want you by my side forever, that I love you with all my heart," Ulysses declared.
Xena looked at him contemptuously. "Ulysses, you have a living wife. I will not be party to breaking up a marriage. I was just toying with you, now I am bored with you. I'll help you liberate the kingdom since this is what I do best. After that, go to Penelope. I'm through with you."
He stared at her, unbelieving. "But Xena, we are so perfect together! What has come over you?"
Her cold blue eyes drilled into his brain. "I can't be chained down to any one man. It was fun, but it is time for me to move forward. Now, let's go kick some butts." She abruptly turned and stalked off. He stared at her retreating figure, then sighed and followed. How could she do this to him? Well, at least he could watch her in action and keep that memory forever.
Poseidon was not happy. Xena was shaking the spell off--how could she do that so easily? He watched the mortals as they snuck into the main hall and started serving drinks. As he tried to decide what to do, Ares appeared. "Dear uncle," he grinned, "Xena is the best at eluding our spells. I swear she would defy Zeus himself if it suited her needs. Besides, she is mine, not yours. You have lost Ulysses, so find some other poor mortal to make mincemeat out of."
Poseidon glared at the handsome god of war. "I'll do what I wish, nephew. Ulysses ignored me after the fall of Troy and I must have my revenge. If Xena can help, I'll make her help."
Ares laughed. "No god or goddess can control Xena. I gave her an edge, hoping to make her mine, my ultimate warrior. Yet, she has shaken off her old ways and decided to work for good." He stroked his beard thoughtfully, then said, "I must admit that she is much more of a challenge this way. I have tried to win her back. I probably could by getting rid of that bard, but I fear I would lose Xena altogether if Gabrielle died. Just watch, Poseidon, just watch her in action. I am still proud of her prowess as a warrior, even if I can't have her as my warlord."
Poseidon sighed, then smiled unpleasantly at Ares. "You are right, nephew. I won't interfere, but I put a very strong spell on Ulysses. He will pine for Xena and ignore his kingdom, thus I will still have my revenge. He will ruin his kingdom by neglect. This will be a proper revenge for his gloating over the Trojan war." Ares just rolled his eyes and turned to watch the action.
"Any man who can string Ulysses' bow will be my husband and new king." Penelope declared. The years had finally taken her toll and she no longer believed that Ulysses would return to her. She had heard that the Trojan war was over, so he should have returned now, even if Poseidon had thrown storms in his way. She held the bow out, waiting for the first man to try. Maybe a new champion would string it, someone kind and gentle like Ulysses was when they were courting.
She nearly despaired as man after man tried to string the bow. Yet, her word on this was absolute law. No man could take her as wife and queen unless he could fulfill this requirement. Then, a commoner spoke up. "I'd like to try."
One of the other suitors growled, "You, a mere peasant? This is for proper suitors, little man."
Penelope looked at the man, then made her decision. "I said any man who could string Ulysses' bow. Let the man try, it won't hurt anything. If he can string the bow, then the gods meant for him to be king." She watched as the man came up and gently took the bow from her hands.
Ulysses grasped the bow, then turned to the crowd. He concentrated on stringing the bow, which seemed harder than he remembered. His arms started trembling with the effort and he thought, "I can't do this! I am not worthy to string my own bow." He was about to give up when he made one final effort. He felt the bow give just enough to allow him to string the bow. "Ulysses!" he heard Penelope exclaim. He saw movement out of the corner of his eye and he instinctively swung the bow up, grabbed an arrow from Penelope and shot through three men.
A huge fight broke out. Ulysses launched himself into the fight, seeing Xena and Gabrielle launching themselves into the fight as well. He was grateful that they would take on his fight. It was his fight, he realized as he dropped a man. His kingdom, his wife, he had to fight for them. For a moment, the spell lifted, but then he felt a tug for Xena again as she crossed his vision, beautiful fury in action.
Xena looked at the Kingdom of Ithaca one more time as the men prepared to set sail. She sensed someone beside her and whirled around to see Ulysses looking at her with love on his face. She suddenly felt irritated; didn't she tell him to stay put? She listened as Ulysses declared his love again, then she scoffed, "I told you already, you were a nice diversion, but you belong to Ithaca and Penelope. Go back, take some responsibility, grow up. Penelope waited faithfully, you have to be worthy of that faith. I don't like men who try to shirk their duty." She watched as he stared at her, shocked, then slowly turned and went back down the gangplank. She glared at him until she saw him standing next to Penelope. Penelope looked up at her husband, smiling. Xena saw Ulysses suddenly fall in love with his wife all over again.
She turned away, going down below to her quarters. As the ship set sail, she watched Gabrielle furiously scribbling, recording all the recent events. As she watched Gabrielle, she felt as if a fog was lifting from her emotions. She thought back over recent events and realized that she had treated Gabrielle very poorly, but wasn't sure what she should do about it. Gabrielle had been willing to let Xena go if she wanted to follow Ulysses, seeming more genuine than when Xena said she would let Gabrielle go to marry Perdicas. Maybe I should take a nap, she thought. I'm so tired that I'm being moody. She laid down in a hammock, falling asleep almost immediately.
Ares laughed at her in her dreams, then appeared to her in her dream. "Xena, my sweet" he purred, "once again you managed to elude the gods themselves. This time, though, I am very proud of you." He reached out to caress her face, but she knocked his hand away. He laughed again, then asked, "Did you know that you disrupted Poseidon's plans for Useless? I mean Ulysses?"
Xena stared at the god, then asked warily, "What plans?"
Ares laughed as he sat down beside her in the dream room. "My dear Xena, my Uncle Poseidon decided to use you to keep Ulysses from going back home to Ithaca and Penelope. He cast a spell over the three of you, causing you and Ulysses to fall in love and Gabrielle to be a horrible sailor. He even made sure that you had to go by the Sirens. But, as I told him, all bets are off when Xena is involved. I knew that you could not stay in love with a married man, especially since you love Gabrielle so much." Xena stared at him, not sure where this was leading. "Xena, if I can't have you, I don't want any other god or goddess interfering with your life. I still hope that you will come back to me and be my ultimate warlord, but if I can't, I will protect you from the other gods and goddesses. And, you just would not be the same without that pesky bard. Remember, Gabrielle holds the key to your heart, much as I hate to admit it."
Xena got up and started pacing, then stopped and looked at Ares. "So, Poseidon put a spell on us? Why?"
Ares leaned back against the wall, clearly ready to spin his tale. "It seems that the Greeks started partying pretty hard after Troy fell. This was after you and Gabrielle had already left the scene. For some reason, they were supposed to pay homage to Poseidon and Athena, but they were too drunk or something. So, Uncle got mad and decided to punish the lot of them. He detoured ships, stirred up storms, that sort of thing. He has always hated Ulysses for some reason, why I'm not sure. But, he decided that Ulysses would not get back home. You were just the last major obstacle in his way back to Ithaca. We all know that you are sucker for the underdog, so Poseidon decided to use you when he saw you appear on that beach, fighting with Ulysses. What better way to waylay a man than by making him fall in love with a beautiful woman?"
Xena grunted, motioning for Ares to continue. "Well, my dear warrior, it didn't work. Just think, though, Gabrielle loves you so much that she was willing to give you up for that wimp. Although you would have been bored with Ulysses' puppy dog devotion soon. As much as I hate to admit it, I admire your spirit, Xena. I get a kick out of watching your moral conflicts, your trying to use your warrior skills to bring peace. I will never stop pursuing you, but you are much more interesting with Gabrielle by your side. Just wake up and smell the flowers, Xena." Ares stood up and walked over to Xena. "No mortal has affected me like you have. I got to make love to your body, but it just wasn't the same with Callisto in it. Now, go back and patch things up with your little bard." He tenderly kissed her cheek, then disappeared.
Gabrielle looked up from her writing, stretching to work the kinks out of her neck. She looked over at Xena, who was sleeping restlessly in a hammock. The whole episode with Ulysses seemed unreal now, even as she recorded it on her scroll. Xena never fell for men like that or was so insensitive. She had sent Ulysses packing and claimed to be somewhat upset over the whole thing, but it felt different than when she lost Marcus again. Gabrielle twirled her pen, trying to put her finger on what was so different this time. Xena had been depressed for days after she had to kill Marcus, but had also seemed to reach a point of peace. One night she had confided that Marcus was the only man she had truly loved, that sometimes she wished that he had been the father of Solon. Xena had said that she was glad that she and Marcus were able to be together one last time, that it brought a sense of closure to their relationship.
She bent back over her scroll, writing the rest of the tale, then carefully blotted the ink and put the scroll away. Xena was still asleep, which was unusual, for Xena rarely took naps, especially ones that lasted several hours. Gabrielle left the room to answer nature's call, then went to the kitchen to get their supper. She finally went back to their quarters to find Xena awake and sitting quietly at the table, staring out through the porthole at the sky. Xena turned her head as Gabrielle came in and set down the supper tray, smiling briefly. Gabrielle kissed Xena's forehead before she sat down. She started to reach for a roll when Xena grabbed her hand. "Gabrielle, I...well, um, I'm sorry about ignoring you earlier." Xena squeezed Gabrielle's hand briefly, then dropped it. "Never mind, just eat your food." Gabrielle looked at her quizzically, but Xena smiled at her, saying, "Eat if you can. Thanks for bringing supper." Xena then reached out and filled her plate.
"Xena, is there something you want to talk about?" Gabrielle asked hesitantly. Xena shook her head no as she started eating. Gabrielle shrugged, then applied herself to her supper. She was still wary about food and the ship, but her stomach seemed to be handling it just fine now. They ate silently, with Xena stealing glances at Gabrielle, then quickly bending back to her food. Gabrielle caught her gaze once, wondering why Xena seemed so shy and confused. They finally finished and Gabrielle gathered up the dishes, taking them back to the kitchen.
The rest of the trip was uneventful. Gabrielle did not get sick during the entire journey and Xena kept thinking about what Ares had told her. They finally made it back to land, going back to the inn where Xena had left Argo. Since it was fairly late, Gabrielle suggested that they stay the night, then take off. She was not sure that Xena would go for it, since she had been around people so much lately, but she agreed. Gabrielle was now determined to find out why Xena had been so quiet and thoughtful during the return voyage.
Xena thought about how nice it was to sleep in a bed instead of in a hammock. She claimed that she was sleepy, thus avoiding Gabrielle's determined "We have to talk" expression. She stripped off her armor and leathers, then quickly washed and pulled on a sleeping shift. She heard Gabrielle washing up as she crawled into bed, knowing that Gabrielle would turn down the lamp before she crawled in for the night.
Gabrielle dried off, wondering why Xena went to bed so quickly. She had been avoiding talking for a long time, but seemed to want Gabrielle right by her side all the time. Xena was never this unsure of herself, Gabrielle mused. She turned down the lamp, then crawled in bed beside the warrior. At least Xena was letting her sleep with her. After Xena had died and come back to life, they had started sleeping together after Gabrielle had a series of nightmares in which Xena had died again and had never come back. They could not sleep together in a hammock, so this was the first time they had slept together since they had met Ulysses. Gabrielle laid there, staring at the ceiling, thinking of everything that had happened in the last few months. It had become so natural to share a bed, to kiss Xena's cheek goodnight, to feel her arms around her as they dropped off to sleep. She knew that she loved Xena more than anyone, more than she had even loved Perdicas, but she was not sure how Xena felt now. Xena had told her one night that she came back from the dead because she could not stand either life or death without her, that she loved Gabrielle too much for that.
She was too restless, so she finally got up and turned up the lamp a bit, taking out her pen and a fresh sheet of parchment. Before she could unstop the ink, she heard Xena whisper, "Gabrielle? Where are you?" "Over here, at the table" Gabrielle replied. Xena sat up and looked at her. "Please come back to bed, Gabrielle." Xena whispered plaintively. Gabrielle sat a moment longer, replying the sentence in her head. Yes, Xena had really asked her to come back to bed. She quickly put away her writing supplies, then crawled back in bed.
As Gabrielle crawled back under the covers, Xena pulled her into her arms, burying her nose in Gabrielle's hair, sniffing deeply of the scented water she had used on it. "Oh, Gabrielle, I'm so sorry I was insensitive on the ship," she whispered in Gabrielle's ear. "Ares said that Poseidon had put a spell on us all." Gabrielle pulled back, looking quizzically at Xena. Xena sighed, then sat up and rearranged the pillows so they could lean against the wall. "Ares spoke to me in a dream, telling me that Poseidon was trying to take revenge on Ulysses for not offering proper sacrifices at the end of the Trojan War." She quickly explained the rest of the events, relating what Ares had told her. "I thought it seemed strange a time or two, but I did not think, I just acted. Since then, I have been trying to figure out how to apologize to you."
"Well," said Gabrielle, "I did think it odd that you did not care how sick I was. Even though you usually are gruff with me, you at least give me the right herbs and tell me to hurry up and get well." She grinned up at Xena, trying to lighten the mood. Xena slowly smiled back at her, then leaned down to kiss Gabrielle's cheek. She missed and kissed Gabrielle's soft lips instead.
Gabrielle was surprised by the kiss, considering how Xena had nearly thrown her over for Ulysses, but it lit a fire in her belly. Before Xena could react, Gabrielle kissed back harder, taking Xena's head in her hands and pulling them back onto the bed. When they finally broke the kiss, Gabrielle rolled so she was on top of Xena. She had been aware that her love had deepened into something else, something truer. Now, however, she felt desire washing over her as she leaned over to kiss the warrior again, running her hands down Xena's body.
Xena was taken off guard, but felt an answering desire. This is what Ares meant, she realized. Even death could not break their love, even spells by the gods could not tear them apart. She responded to Gabrielle's kiss and caresses by rolling back over so she was on top of Gabrielle. She pulled up, looking at Gabrielle's dear face, saying, "Are you sure? Do you really want this?"
Gabrielle's face shone with love and desire as she answered, "More than anything or anyone, Xena, I love you. Our time together in the cave was no fluke. Now shut up and kiss me, you fool." Xena grinned as she bent down to comply with Gabrielle's wishes.
Time passed as the women explored every inch of each other's bodies. Xena marveled at how responsive Gabrielle was, at how exciting it was to make love to a woman she loved. She lavished attention on Gabrielle's breasts until Gabrielle turned the tables and fastened her mouth on one of Xena's breasts. Back and forth they went, until they were both whipped into a frenzy. Gabrielle leaned over to fasten her hungry lips on Xena's swollen clit as she lowered her own hips over Xena's head. Thus connected, they sucked and licked each other into a screaming climax, Xena coming just after Gabrielle. Exhausted, they fell asleep.
Ares and Athena watched from Olympus. Ares finally turned to Athena, saying, "So, they finally decided on each other for real." He looked at the women tenderly for a moment, saying quietly, "I cannot stand in the way of true love. I will still test and try Xena, but I cannot take away her happiness." Athena looked at him, wondering at his turn of heart.
"Say it again." "I love you Gabrielle, more than anyone I have ever loved." "Gods, I thought I would never hear anyone say that." "Well, I do, Miss Bard. Now, would you kindly hand me the sponge so I can scrub your back?" Gabrielle handed the sponge and turned her back to Xena, feeling Xena scrubbing her back thoroughly.
Several hours later, they stepped out of their second bath of the day and dried off. Gabrielle had never seen Xena look so much at peace, so relaxed. Xena caught her gaze, laughing and saying, "Okay, we delayed once this morning, my little sex maniac. We must get going, we have adventures awaiting up the road." Gabrielle laughed, then sighed noisily. Xena let Gabrielle fasten her armor, playfully slapping her hands when they wandered over the warrior's body. "Oops!" the bard said as she grinned mischievously. Xena rolled her eyes as she moved away to efficiently pack their belongings. She glanced around the room, making sure that they were not leaving anything behind. As she looked at the bed, she felt a jolt of passion, but pushed it down quickly. They could not afford the room for another night and if they did that again...
Gabrielle started to pick up a pack when Xena grabbed her and hugged her tight. Gabrielle melted in the embrace, not even minding the armor pressed against her face. She pulled back, still in Xena's arms, saying, "What was that for?"
Xena grinned goofily, saying, "I just can't believe that I nearly let you go. I also can't believe that you stayed, or that I nearly forgot how much I love you." Impulsively, she knelt down on one knee, holding Gabrielle's hands in hers. "Gabrielle, I know I can be a pain to live with, but would you stay with me now and always? I don't ever want leave you."
Gabrielle smiled down at Xena. "Xena, I have loved you for so long. You waited for me to come to my senses, killed Callisto for me, came back from the Underworld for me, and now you want to know if I want to stay with you?" She pulled the other woman up, cupping Xena's dear face in her hands. "Xena, I love you with all my soul, now and forever." She kissed Xena tenderly to seal the vow.
"Good. Now we really have to leave." Xena said, suddenly all business again. The women shouldered their belongings, walking out the door, on to their next adventure, together...now and forever.