Disclaimers 1: All characters who appear (Xena, Gabrielle and Ephiny) and those who are mentioned (Solari, Eponin, Lao Ma, Cyane, Perdicus and Autolycus) belong to Renaissance Pictures and MCA/Universal. No infringement is intended and no profit will be made.
Disclaimers 2: The story belongs to me (I came up with this one during a college lecture when I couldn’t keep my mind off of all the fan fiction I’d been reading. You try concentrating on Marxism when all you can think about is a brunette warrior and a blonde amazon rolling around in bed together).
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, or is illegal where you live, or you are under age then the exit is the way you came in.

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

Xena: Warrior Princess
Take A Chance - Part 1
By Masque

Gabrielle’s Thoughts

I can’t help watching her. Right now she’s stood in the central meeting place in the Amazon village talking to Ephiny. It amazes me what a pile of contradictions she is; on the outside she is all hardened warrior, but to the lucky few, like myself, who have seen beneath the surface she is a sensitive and caring woman. Even as she stands in the village she still contradicts; despite the fact that she is a female warrior amongst a tribe of female warriors she is still set apart from them, as she should feel at ease she stays alert for an attack. All warrior, all woman, all Xena.

She knows I’m watching her, I can see those piercing blue eyes glancing sideways at me, and smiling that special smile that she only uses for me. It’s at times like these that I get those feelings....

I don’t know when I fell in love with her, maybe I always was. I knew there was an attraction right from the start, but back then I put it down to admiration, a strong case of hero worship of a naive village girl to the fearless warrior; she had been to places and done things that I had only dreamed about. I begged her to take me with her but she refused of course, she said she didn’t need anyone but I knew better.

Then somewhere along the line it hit me, I don’t even think it was one of Cupid’s arrows, it just happened. I think it was when I thought I’d lost her, when she died. It was then that I realised how empty my life was without her, and deeper than that I felt that I had lost the other half of my soul. That’s what she is, the other half of me, you only have to look at the two of us together to know it. On first sight we look so different but look closer and you see that we fit so perfectly together. Anyway, while she was gone she came to me, told me what I had to do to bring her back. And then she kissed me - that was it, that was the moment that I was sure that I was in love with her, had always been in love with her.

To my dismay and frustration she has never mentioned that kiss since she came back from the dead, not once. I would give anything to know who it was who put Autolycus’s hands on my butt; he looked too surprised, which makes me think, and hope, that it was Xena.

Xena’s body has started to twitch nervously as she feels my eyes boring into her. She is trying to concentrate on what Ephiny is saying but I can tell that she’s finding it difficult. Am I doing that to her? Does she go through what I go through every time I look at her, every time I’m near her, every time that I touch her?

Sometimes I find myself staring at her body through the twilight as she strips to go swimming or to bathe; praying that she won’t catch me and praying that she will. I don’t know what would affect me more, her not knowing how I feel about her or her finding out that I think this way about her. She must know, how could she not? How could she not know that I spend the long hours walking along the road wishing that I was sitting behind her on Argo, running my hands over her armour, her leather, her body. That I spend the evenings around the camp fire telling her stories with words when I wish I was telling them with my body. That at night when I wake to find her still sleeping beside me and I long to reach out and touch her, I have a few times, she doesn’t know.

What would I give to have just one kiss from those lips? To know that she means it, to know that I mean it. No tricks. No interruptions. Just me and Xena doing whatever we want to because I know I couldn’t settle for just one kiss.

Not that I know what comes next, I’m not very experienced when it comes to sex but I’ve got a good imagination - it’s served me well while I’ve had my fantasy’s of Xena. Still when it comes down to the actual act I’ve only been with one person - my husband Perdicus. I’ve never even come close to being with a woman, not that I didn’t know it existed. It wasn’t totally unheard of in Poteidaia, just unseen.

It was only when we came to the Amazon village that first time that I saw it for myself. I immediately noticed the way the women were completely at ease with one another, how intimate they were being. I remember the early stages of my Amazon training; the way Eponin had stood behind me, her arms around my upper body as she helped me grip and swing the staff. There was a feeling of .... of something that surged through me at the close contact and something that wished this muscular, brunette warrior was my Xena.

After that I thought she might treat me a little differently but I was still just Gabrielle, her sidekick, her adopted little sister, but I was happy to be by her side.

The second time we came to the village I knew what to look for, the glances, the words, the body language. Still nothing prepared me when I saw it. I was talking to Ephiny during the harvest celebration, I don’t remember what we were speaking about. The celebration continued around us, Xena was drinking ale with some of the other Amazons - a contest I think - when a slightly merry Solari sauntered over. She grasped Ephiny’s face in her hands and tilted to blonde woman’s head up, a moment later their lips were locked in the most searing kiss I had ever seen. Ephiny pulled Solari down onto her lap and they continued oblivious to everyone, even me as I watched them enchanted by the act and wishing....

Ever since then I have not been able to stop thinking about that kiss, but in my mind the two Amazons are replaced by me and Xena. But it doesn’t stop with that kiss it never does.

I know she’s been with other women, Lao Ma and Cyane, they’re the ones she’s told me about, but I can fill in the blanks. I’m not jealous, they were from her past, a past I have no part in. But I’m here in the present and I love her every bit as much as any of them did - maybe even more.

Maybe she doesn’t see me that way. She still sees me as that naive village girl that she needs to protect. I need to prove to her that I’ve become a woman, that I can take care of myself and her if she ever needed it. But how can I prove myself?

I wonder what she would do if I made the first move? If I did something to move our relationship further? What could I do? This voice keeps saying to me Take a chance, take a chance. But what do I do?

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Xena’s Thoughts

She’s watching me again, I can feel it and in the corner of my vision I can see it. I hate it when she does that. No I don’t, I love it and I know it. I can tell when she’s watching me with those eyes, you know the eyes that are.... loving me, I guess you’d call it, it’s at those times that she is completely silent.

It’s hardest when we’re in the Amazon village. When we’re here she is expected to wear royal attire, and she looks beautiful in it. The brown suede top covers even less of her well muscled torso than the green one does, and the skirt leaves nothing to the imagination on the defined thighs. She even carries herself differently, every move is positively regal. Every bit their Queen, every bit a woman and every bit my Gabrielle.

Is it right of me to think of her as mine? She’s my friend, my travelling companion, my bard and yet I would let her walk away if it meant her happiness hoping that she wouldn’t hear my heart breaking. I guess that says it all. I let the little girl into my heart, let her behind the walls, the barriers that I’d built around myself; but it was the woman who took possession of that wounded heart.

It was her voice that called to me while I was beyond the grave, her voice that pulled me back from death. I didn’t come back for my destiny, I came back for her. I couldn’t stop that kiss, I wanted it so much, so I took advantage of the unique opportunity. After that I didn’t know what to do, I was afraid. Yeah me, the mighty Warrior Princess who can make armies, kings and gods quake in fear, quakes herself the moment the Bard of Poteidaia touches, comes near or even looks at her. And I know I’m doing it now, when that happens I don’t know whether to kiss her or kill her.

But Gods do I want to kiss her. So many times I’ve come close and so many times I’ve stopped myself. I can’t do that to her, I can’t let her into my darkness. But maybe she’s the light that I need.

There have been so many, so many who have tried to conquer my darkness with love. I could’ve lost myself in Lao Ma, surrendering my will to her, I messed that one up pretty good. Then there was Cyane, she was my equal but she represented all the light and goodness that I was not and so I destroyed her. There have been others, too many to count, others from who I took want I wanted, those actions only fuelled my darkness.

Then came Gabrielle.

She was goodness, light, innocence, everything that I needed. She gave these gifts to me and offered me her friendship. I excepted them and never asked for anything more, when so often I’ve wanted to.

I’ve watched her when we’re among the Amazons, her reactions to the strong bonds that some of them develop with one another. The first time she seemed a bit stunned but curious none the less, but I wasn’t around for much of the time so I don’t know how she handled it. The second time, during the harvest celebration, I challenged the Amazons to a contest, said I could drink any one of them under the table, and I did. Solari put up the best fight, but even she couldn’t keep up and staggered towards where Ephiny sat talking to Gabrielle and proceeded to kiss Ephiny quite thoroughly. It was out of control, even for the Amazons, but it was worth it just for the look on Gabrielle’s face. She sat mesmerised by what she saw, I kept expecting her to ask what it tasted like. To this day I still don’t think she knows that I put Solari up to it; I mean Ephiny and Solari are a couple, but Solari had to pay a forfeit for losing the drinking competition and I did want to see how Gabrielle would react....

From then on she looked at me differently, that was when I noticed that she watched me with lovers eyes. I’d like nothing more than to take her as my lover, I’m sure half the Amazons, half of our friends, half of the known world think that we already are. Sure we play up to it, but these days I don’t know where the playing stops.

Everyday I think about saying something to her and everyday I talk myself out of it. I’m no good with words, me, I’m all action. What if I did that? What if  I made a move? What if she said no? Could I live with myself for jeopardising, possibly ending, our friendship? and could I live with her knowing that she didn’t return my love? That’s me being selfish. I should honour and respect our friendship, it’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me and I know I’d rather die than lose it.

Still those feelings, those sensations, those images are waiting for me every time I close my eyes. All I can see is me and Gabrielle wrapped in each others arms - me teaching physical love and her teaching emotional love. That’s what tells me we’d be perfect for one another and I think she sees it too.

Ephiny has finished speaking, she’s waiting for my reaction, I have none to give because truthfully I haven’t  heard a word of the conversation. The Amazon laughs, mutters something about me having better things on my mind when she glances off to where Gabrielle is stood watching and then lightly slaps my arm as she backs away from me.

Once she is gone I turn to where she had glanced and my vision falls fully on Gabrielle. She’s striding, no stalking, in my direction and I can’t help noticing how powerful she looks, the power that she has over me. There is a look of determination on her face and it unnerves me and excites me at the same time.

*          *            *

Taking The Chance

Xena did not have any time to form a coherent thought, let alone voice it before Gabrielle reached her. The feisty young Amazon Queen’s blue green eyes flared dangerously, yet she did not say a word. It might have occurred to the Warrior Princess to be afraid had she not been so aroused by the lust and desire that flashed in her friends eyes.

Gabrielle watched as Xena’s sapphire orbs blazed with a myriad of undisguised emotions; panic and confusion were two emotions that Gabrielle was not used to seeing in that usually stoic face. Then there was the love that was always so evident, but this time it seemed to surpass their friendship and bordered on passion.

An eternity seemed to pass as they stood in the centre of the village gazing at one another. So many questions passed through each of their minds: What is she going to do? Why is she stopping? What is she waiting for? Will she make the first move or do I?

Just as Gabrielle thought she had lost her nerve and Xena began to turn away from her, the Queen’s hand reached out and caught the warrior’s face and brought their eyes together once more. The hand that rested on Xena’s right cheek snaked its way though the black mane of hair and gripped at the back of the warrior’s neck. Slowly she pulled Xena’s face closer to her own, so close that their foreheads were almost touching. Once again their eyes were locked, Xena’s blues now soft with love as she reacted to the mischievous sparkle in Gabrielle’s gaze. A moment later the Amazon Queen captured the Warrior Princess’s lips with her own.

As shy, but determined lips pressed against her mouth, all of the tension that had built up over the last few minutes left Xena’s body; she raised her hands to Gabrielle’s face, her finger tips caressing soft cheeks, the jaw line and lightly grazing the bards neck all helping to deepen the kiss.

Any nerves or fears that Gabrielle had initially felt at making such a bold move were quickly dissipating as Xena eagerly responded to her. Her confidence building she lifted her other hand and tangled it in the raven softness. Wondering how much further she could actually push her luck Gabrielle answered to the urging finger tips. As their lips continued to move together she traced along Xena’s upper lip with her tongue and then flicked against it.

A little surprised by the action, maybe she even yelped slightly - though she would never admit to it, Xena pushed both of their mouths open allowing both of them to explore freely. Every time they had kissed, every time they had touched, every time they had looked into each others eyes it should have been like this - and now it could be.

Gently Gabrielle tried to draw her lips away from Xena, afraid that she would not be able to stop if she did not. Urgently Xena sought to reclaim those soft lips, but finally Gabrielle was out of her reach and clutching at Xena’s hands.

She held Xena’s hands in her own, against her chest, both feeling Gabrielle’s reaction by the rapidly beating heart they found there. A small smile tugged at the warrior’s lips at what she could feel, knowing that her own heart, hidden by armour and leather rivalled the bards. Gabrielle’s eyes caught Xena’s as a moment of panic rose in them - that she had done the wrong thing; that was replaced by disappointment - that they had had to stop.

For a moment each of them tried to calm their ragged breathing. The Amazon Queen managed to wet her lips with her tongue, but could not manage to pull her gaze from Xena’s lips that were just begging to be kissed again. Her gaze climbed the beautifully sculpted features until they rested back with the stunning blue eyes.

“Well I guess that answers that question.” Gabrielle said breathlessly. And it did answer every question. They wanted each other in every way possible and there was no way to deny it anymore. She dropped their hands, breaking the last shred of physical contact; her chest heaved as she tried to force oxygen back into her aching lungs.

She turned and walked away, leaving a very stunned and equally breathless warrior in her wake. Xena stared after the retreating form, not sure what she should do now. Entranced by the way Gabrielle moved, the way her hair glowed in the slowly setting sun, Xena did not think that she could do anything. Somewhere in the last few minutes her brain had stopped sending messages to her legs.

Smiling internally at the fact that she had shocked the warrior to the degree where she could no longer move Gabrielle looked over her shoulder at the motionless warrior. She grinned at what she saw and when she was sure that Xena was watching her she jerked her head suggestively in the direction of her hut.

Eyes widening at the implication Xena’s legs recovered from their temporary paralysis. The last thing any of the Amazons saw was the Warrior Princess entering the Amazon Queens hut, a self-satisfied smile spreading across her face.

To be concluded....Part 2

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There you have it. Hope you enjoyed it. Now reply to it.