"What do you mean you lost it?" Xena demanded.
"I didn't lose it," Gabrielle disagreed. "I had to hide it quickly. In case you haven't noticed, I didn't really have anyplace to hide it from the guards."
"You managed to get my whip and chakram into prison that time."
"Yes, by making them look like a hat, and a belt. Do you see anything that would need a belt to hold it up...and frankly, I think just a hat would look a little silly at the moment, don't you?"
"You have a point," Xena allowed, then flashed a glance down the long hallway leading away from the king's personal bathing chambers. "And so do the swords belonging to King Polonius' personal guard...which are likely to be pointed at us in a few minutes."
"Just this once, couldn't you have been a little less creative?" Gabrielle complained.
"You know it gets my juices going," Xena responded, though for once, even she had the good graces to sound embarrassed by that fact.
Gabrielle's expression twisted into a smirk. "Yeah, well, unless I miss my guess, that's what the king is hoping for...juices, I mean"
Somewhere in the distance, the sound of creaking hinges, then booted feet marching on unforgiving stone, echoed through the halls.
Gabrielle looked up, and chewed nervously on her lower lip. "That'd be the king."
"And his men," Xena added.
The marching was definitely drawing closer, leaving little doubt that Polonius meant it when he said he liked an audience.
"Damn," the warrior exhaled. It had never occured to her that someone that unendowed by the Gods would want to brag about it.
"So what are we gonna go?"
Xena leaned forward, her nose a scant inch from her lover's. "Obviously, I'm going to have to get creative...again." She waited a beat, already reaching, her fingers brushing a smooth inner thigh. "So, where's the soap?"
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