DISCLAIMER/NOTE: Xena and Gabrielle belong to MCA/Universal. My fantasies belong to me! No horseshoes, real or imaginary, were harmed during the writing of this story. One did, however, get as close to the goddess' flesh as any of us can ever hope to be! For mature readers…oh, and I guess you're okay to Ivanova… :D
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Forced Vacation
By Patricia L. Givens



Xena looked back in time to see Gabrielle slide from Argo's back, her rear hitting the ground quite hard. "What did you do?" She tried not to smile.

"Don't even start, Xena!" She climbed to her feet, brushing off her derriere. "I didn't do anything."

"Oh, so you normally just fall off horses?"

Gabrielle frowned. "Argo bucked! I wasn't doing anything. I was sleeping! How could I have done anything! She just bucked. I told you, this horse doesn't like me!"

Xena looked her horse in the eye and saw a hint of pain. "What's wrong, girl?" She ran her hand along Argo's side and then down one of her back legs. When she grabbed the hoof, Argo whinnied in pain. "Sorry." She studied the horse and then looked behind them. "Nice timing."

"What?" Gabrielle came closer, looking down at the hoof in Xena's hand.

"Argo threw a shoe somewhere. She's got a nasty crack in her hoof. We're going to need a smith."

"See?" She smiled smugly. "I told you I didn't do anything."

Xena smiled. "I'm sorry to have impugned your honor."

"No problem." She grinned again and looked in every direction. "Where are we going to find a smith?"

"Excuse me, ladies."

The both turned to see an elderly man. He was leading two horses and trying to get past them on the road.

"Where are you taking these horses?" Xena asked.

"To my farm," he said cordially. "I freelance as a smith."

"How convenient." The warrior frowned. Convenient things made her uneasy.

"Not for me," He joked. "You're still in my way."

Gabrielle frowned at her and turned on the charm. "Sir, if we could beseech your help. Our horse has thrown a shoe and we are in a great hurry."

The man studied them, trying to weigh the possibilities of a thief looking so innocent. He finally decided it was impossible. "All right. Get your gear off and hand him over."

"Her." Xena's voice was low.

"It'll cost you ten dinars."

"WHAT?" Xena stepped towards him only to be blocked by Gabrielle.

"That sounds very fair, sir." She grabbed the packs and pulled the reins from the warrior's hands, tucking them into his palm.

"He'll be ready in the morning."

"SHE!" Xena raised herself to her full six feet, shocked when the man's demeanor did not change.

"She, he…since I ain't a horse I don't see how it makes a difference. But SHE'LL be ready in the morning."

"Are you sure it can't be sooner-"

He cut Xena off with the wave of a hand. "In case you ain't noticed, girl, I'm an old man. My boy's out sick. In the morning or not at all."

Xena nodded, getting his name and directions to his place before allowing him to pass. "Well, that was fun." She muttered when he was out of earshot.

Gabrielle smiled. "Do you know what this means?"

"Yeah, it means we BOTH get to walk."

"No, it means we get a vacation!"

Xena scowled. "A vacation?"

"Yes!" Gabrielle took her hand and Xena wished she wouldn't. The hold she had on herself when the bard came near was precarious at best. "We haven't had a vacation in…well…never."

"And there's a reason for it!" But Gabrielle wasn't paying attention, she was looking behind them intently. "What's going on in that head of yours, Gabrielle?"

"I was just thinking…"

Xena rolled her eyes. "About?"

"I've heard horseshoes bring good luck…"

"NO!" Xena pulled her hand away. "No, Gabrielle. I will not spend the rest of the day looking for some horseshoe Argo had the good sense to kick away!"

Gabrielle turned pleading eyes to her and Xena felt herself melt…almost. "No, Gabrielle!"

"But Xena," She smiled. "There's a stream about a half mile back. Cool water, fresh fish. We can camp out under the stars."

"I hate to tell you this Gabrielle, but we do that every night."

The bard made a face. "It'll be wonderful….no hurry, no place to go…a nice quiet countryside."

"I'd rather have a nice quiet room. I'm sure that smith has one to let."

Gabrielle looked at her, a mischievous gleam in her eye. "And what, my dear Warrior Princess, do you plan to use for payment?"

Xena turned slowly, one eyebrow raised. "Gabrielle…."

The bard laughed and began to back up. "Come one, Xena. Catch me if you can!" She turned and took off at full pace, leaving an astonished Xena to follow suit.

She could have caught her easily, but Gabrielle had left her the saddlebags and she had to hoist them from one shoulder to the other as she ran. Besides…Gabrielle had to win sometime.

When she finally grabbed her, they were beside the stream, a small river really, cutting through three fields. They had passed it earlier that morning and she should have know by the way the bard had stared, that she had wanted to stop.

The water was clear, clear enough to see large trout swimming just below the surface, and a path had been cut through the reeds, wide enough to hold them…and a campfire. The surrounding countryside was beautiful, Xena begrudged. But she'd be damned if she'd let Gabrielle know she thought that!

"Caught you!" She grinned.

"I stopped running!" Gabrielle complained. "You can't catch someone who's stopped running!"

"I did." Xena tightened her grip, crushing the bard in a tight bear hug. "Give?"

"Okay, okay!" Gabrielle wheezed. "I give!"

Xena loosened her grip but did not let go and Gabrielle turned in her arms, pulling them tight around her stomach. "Nice," she murmured, oblivious to the look of hunger on Xena's face. When she finally broke free and turned around, she only caught the end of it. "You're hungry." She smiled. "I'm going to catch us some fish!"

Xena watched with something close to pain as the bard stripped off her clothing.

"Hurry up!" Gabrielle reached a hand to her armor, unbuckling and pulling it away.

"Hey! I thought YOU were going to fish."

"I am," Her hands didn't stop undressing her as she wrinkled her nose. "But you could use a bath."

"What?!?" Xena grabbed for her, laughing when her hands closed on empty air. She shrugged out of the tunic Gabrielle had loosened and chased her, naked, around the clearing. "Come back here!"

"Why?" Gabrielle taunted. "What are you gonna do to me? Cut off the flow of blood to my brain?"

"I think the gods did that already." She quipped, ducking a clump of mud that Gabrielle had thrown. With lightening speed, she jumped low, grabbing the bard around her thighs. The both fell into the mud and Xena picked up a handful, holding it threateningly over the bard's mouth. "I wonder…"

Gabrielle's eyes widened. "No!" She shrieked. "I'll talk even MORE if you do that!"

Xena settled for rubbing it in her face, gently spreading the soft mud across her lips and cheeks. "That's a good look for you. Maybe you should try getting a tan!"

Gabrielle laughed and bucked her off, smearing mud all over her as well. "Whew…this stuff smells…oh, wait…that's you!" She saw the warrior's eyes widen and ran laughing for the stream, she jumped in and found her stroke a second before Xena hit the water behind her. "Come on, Xena! I thought you had many skills? Guess swimming isn't one of them!"

"Come back here!" Xena laughed, before giving up and diving below the surface.

Gabrielle stopped. She grinned nervously and twisted her body around in circles, trying to see below the ripples she was making. "Uhm, Xena? Uh…I didn't mean it… I think you smell very nice.." She smirked. "Most of the time, anyway. There was that one occasion with the pigs…AUGH!"

Xena shot up from beneath her, grabbing her waist as she surfaced, and vaulted her backwards into the air. She smiled at the wave her descent made.

Gabrielle came up sputtering. "Oh…that was not fair." She started towards the warrior, a dangerous look in her eyes.

Xena backpedaled, her heart thumping as she gazed at the determined bard. "Be nice…"

"What's the matter, Xena? You're not scared of me are you?" Gabrielle smiled, sliding her body up against Xena's. Before the warrior could answer, she slipped her hand, and the wiggling fish within it, down across her buttocks.

"Ack!" Xena pushed her away and began to slam her hand into the water, sending spray after spray into the bard's face and receiving the same back in kind.

An hour later, they dragged themselves out of the water, collapsing on the ground before they had gone more than five feet. Gabrielle threw two fish over by their packs.

"And where were you hiding those?" Xena smirked.

"Ow, ow, ow." Gabrielle held her side. "Don't make me laugh anymore. It's starting to hurt."

"I'm sorry." Xena said seriously, rolling over to touch the bard's stomach gently. "Are you okay?"

Her voice held something more than concern and Gabrielle finally noticed. She looked up into sky blue eyes and wondered at the love she saw there. She reached out one trembling hand and brushed the hair out of Xena's eyes. "I'm okay." She whispered. "Just hurts a little."

"Where?" Xena went into field medic mode, moving in close to examine the bard's body. She let her fingers dance across hard abs and sucked her breath in quickly to keep from moaning.

"Right here." Gabrielle pointed to a spot on her tummy, just below where her ugly green top would end, if she had it on.

Xena raised herself up on one elbow to look at the spot more closely. "I don't see anything…" She trailed her fingers along the line to the bard's navel, stopping when she saw how quickly Gabrielle's chest was rising and falling. She looked up into pale blue eyes and caught her breath.

"Then you're blind, Xena." Gabrielle caught her chin and pulled her face down to meet her lips, soft and slightly open, her tongue reaching out shyly to taste the warrior's mouth.

Xena settle her length atop the girl's body, parting her thighs with a knee to lower her legs between them. With one hard twist, she rolled over, bring Gabrielle down to straddle her hips.

Their kiss finally ended and Gabrielle looked down at her. "Play the bard." She whispered.

"What?" Xena smiled, confused.

"Play the bard." Gabrielle knelt, her hands rubbing up Xena's stomach. "I don't know what I'm doing, but I've always been more of a 'hands on' kind of learner." She let her fingers run across a nipple and smiled when Xena shuddered. "So, play the bard, and tell me what you're feeling. Talk to me."

The warrior started to protest but Gabrielle's mouth stopped her as it closed on one nipple, her teeth gently brushing across the sensitive flesh. "Th…That's good." She swallowed. "Bring your hand up…" She grabbed the bard's other hand and placed her palm against her other nipple, sliding it in a circle across the swollen nub. "That's nice. Move your hips…oh.." Her head slammed back as a damp warmth covered the cleft between her legs. "Rub...there…"

Gabrielle began to grind herself against Xena's sex, feeling the small hardness amidst all the soft. She focused on that as her mouth changed position, going to the spot just below Xena's ear. "Bite…" She heard the whisper and obeyed, her teethed nipping lightly into pale, smooth skin. She was rewarded when the body beneath her trembled fiercely, and she smiled at the red mark she had left on Xena's throat.

"Your fingers…"

Gabrielle nodded, moving slightly away so that her hand could slide down the warriors side and into the warm wetness between her legs. The bard's eyes closed as her fingers were enveloped in velvet softness. She hesitated for a moment, finding the hardness she had felt earlier, pressing against it lightly as she had done countless times to herself.

"Oh…" Xena breathed. "God's…Gabrielle, yes…inside….please…."

Two small, quick fingers slid into her and Xena dug her fingers into the earth, Gabrielle's name repeating on her lips. "Yes…she whispered…Gabrielle…could you…I mean…would you…"

"Anything." Gabrielle said fiercely, her tongue possessing Xena's mouth. "Anything for you…but you have to tell me what…I…..don't know…"

Xena nodded and placed her hand on top of beautiful red-golden hair. She pushed gently, sliding Gabrielle's questing lips down the length of her body until the bard's eyes widened and she knew she understood. "Will you?"

"Anything. I told you."

The world turned to pure colors when she felt that timid mouth on her labia, Gabrielle's tongue touching hesitantly at first, then with greater abandon when she found it to her liking. "Gods, Gabrielle….oh…"

"Mmmm." The bard's eyes were shut tight, willing this not to be some kind of dream. Nothing she had ever known came close to what was on her lips, no essence sweeter, no substance more like wine…She pulled her fingers from within and wrapped her arms around Xena's legs as they began to shake violently. The warrior's muscles went rigid as release swept through her, her voice calling Gabrielle's name to the god's and skies above. When it was over, she had to pull the bard away, so intent was she on what she was doing.

"Gabrielle." She swallowed. "Stop. Stop…stop."

The bard let herself be pulled up, a look of intense wanting on her face. "You are so sweet….you taste so sweet…let me go back."

Xena laughed. "Soon, okay? Let me breathe! If I lose anymore bodily fluids, I may pass out. Besides…there is something…hard under here…" She reached her hand under her butt and came up with…a horseshoe! "Well I'll be a horse's backside." Gabrielle laughed when she threw the shoe over her head towards the packs. "I guess they do bring good luck!"

Gabrielle smiled. "I did good then?"

The warrior looked up at her beautiful face, glistening with it's wetness. "You were perfect. You are perfect. And I love you." She started. She hadn't meant to say that, but it had been so natural…

Gabrielle smiled. "I love you too." She kissed her gently and Xena smiled at the taste on her lips. "Took you long enough to come to your senses."

Xena rolled over, pinning the bard beneath her. "Still looking for a fight, eh?"

"I can take anything you can dish out!"

"Really?" Xena smiled. "Play the warrior."

Gabrielle's eyes widened and Xena laughed as she lowered her head to her lover's breast.

The End

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