Come Back To Me
By Pink Rabbit Productions

I wanted to tell a tale about what happened between Gabrielle, and Callisto, while Calli was in Xena's body, and this was my first attempt (the second was The Heart Knows, which I prefer, and which is actually a prequel to this in some respects) 
Disclaimer: Xena and Gabrielle belong to other folks, and yes, I'm still thieving scum for using them. This story is of an adult nature, so you'd better bug out now if you're A) too young to be voting (and if you're old enough and still aren't voting, fifty lashes with a fairly dry noodle)

It was her passion that drew me from the first. Her eyes, when she fought Draco's men in Poteidaia, were bright with it, and she smiled as she beat them. I think I fell in love in that very moment. I've seen that same wildness so many times since, and every time I think I fall a little more in love. We make an unlikely pair, don't we? A bard who won't kill, and a warrior who's killed so many.

Somehow, it works though.

Sitting by the fire, the slow stroke of her sharpening stone rasping along the edge of her sword blade, she is nearly perfection. Her hair falls in dark waves of fire, and powerful muscles ripple with every draw of the stone. She knows I'm watching her. I can tell by the tension in her shoulders. Her eyes lift to meet mine, and for a brief second I can see that wild passion glowing in the pale depths, before it's shielded behind a protective wall.

She's afraid.

Not of me, but of herself. She's unbelievably controlled whenever we make love. She knows how to use every trick to drive me insane, but somewhere along the way I noticed she wasn't there with me. She's been holding a part of herself back, leashing that passion I fell in love with.

I hate that.

I want all of her, instead of these half measures.

Her eyes drop again to the surface of her sword, and the slow stroke of the oilstone continues.

Damn Callisto.

In Xena's body, she took what Xena would not.

Me.

Then, in Callisto's body, Xena accepted the truth. I love her. She loves me. She made love to me that night. Her touch was sweet, beautiful, and amazingly gentle. At first, it was strange touching Callisto's body, but in my heart it was always Xena. Then she retrieved Ares sword, and he returned her body.

She's been afraid since then. Afraid I'll look at her and remember the invader. It wasn't a pleasant event, but I've accepted it and moved on.

It still gnaws at her though. She watches me when she thinks I won't notice, watches me and worries. We make love, but she's so controlled. She doesn't let me see, or feel, that passion anymore.

When I look at her, I can see the fear.

No more.

Her eyes lift when I rise, following me as I round the fire. I rest my hand on the hilt of her sword, and irritation seeps into her expression. "I want you." To my own ears, my voice sounds low and sensual. I can tell by the temptation that flickers across her expression that it sounds that way to her too, but she shakes her head, refocusing on her weapon.

"Maybe later," she mutters, muscles tight with barely leashed need. The sound of the stone skidding along the edge of her blade seems even louder than before.

"Now," I whisper and slip a hand over her hair, fingers trailing through the dark, silk threads.

A sharp shake of her head dislodges my fingers. "I said, not now," she repeats, something that almost approaches anger vibrating through her voice.

Blast it, can't she feel how much I need her? I see my own hands lift as though they were someone else's, see pale fingers brush high cheekbones as I slowly kneel before her. "Don't make me beg." I can barely force the words past the tightness in my throat.

In the first instant of irritation, her fingers latch onto my wrist, her grip punishing, then my words sink in. I can see the instant she decodes their meaning in her flinch and the way powerful shoulders suddenly slump. In these moments, I'm the one with the power in this relationship, my softness breaking down her walls the way no hammer can. She shakes her head slowly, mouth working in unspoken words, fighting herself, struggling to maintain that iron control of hers.

She's not going to let go. I can see it in her eyes, and it spurs me forward. Her eyes glint with a second's surprise as I curve my free hand to the back of her head, dragging her into a hungry kiss. Mouths meld and blend, and she resists for no more than a heartbeat before I feel that wildfire passion start to burn. A moment later, the grass is soft against my back, her body warm against my front. Firm lips ravish my own, then move on, trailing over my throat and upper chest while silky hair spreads over my skin in soft, teasing strokes.

"Gabrielle," that low, sensual voice vibrates through me. I can feel her shuddering, the wetness of her tears on my skin. "I'm afraid."

I know what the admission costs her. To admit to fearing anything is almost more than my tender warrior can handle. She's so brave in so many ways, and such a child in others.

Her chin comes up, pale eyes glittering with tears as she meets my gaze. "I've never done one thing right�in my entire life�when it mattered�" Her voice is thick, barely audible.

For a moment, I'm struck dumb, amazed by the admission. "I�I don't understand."

Xena, always so silent, protecting herself, and me. "I got Lyceus and Borius killed�the only decent thing I ever did for my son was give him away�and now you�I failed you, in the worst way possible�I let Callisto-"

"No!" I can't bear that self-lacerating accusation in her voice. Suddenly, it's her body beneath mine, and my lips slaking themselves at the well of her mouth. "You didn't do anything�not one damn thing," I hiss between kisses. I need her�desperately, and I feel her struggle then surrender as she lets go, losing control. Skin and sweat blend together, voices rising, and falling in erotic tempos. For the first time since it happened, she loses control, showing me that awesome, almost frightening passion that drives her. We struggle to the same ends, muscles rippling, sometimes drawing bodies closer, sometimes holding them distant.

At this rate, we'll both be stiff in the morning, but I don't care.

I have my Xena again. Wild, passionate, a little frightening, and mine�

THE END

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