Disclaimer: Xena: Warrior Princess, Gabrielle, and all other characters who have appeared in the syndicated series Xena: Warrior Princess, together with the names, titles and backstory are the sole copyright property of MCA/Universal and Renaissance Pictures. This story cannot be sold or used for profit in any way. Copies of this story may be made for private use only and must include all disclaimers and copyright notices.

This story depicts an explicit sexual relationship between two consenting adult women. If you are under 18 years of age or if this type of story is illegal in the state or country in which you live, please do not read it. If depictions of this nature disturb you, you may wish to read something other than this story.

This is my first attempt at fan fiction. (Polite) feedback is very welcome. E-mail me: purplepen@hotmail.com.

Author's note: This story is tentatively set sometime during the good old days of Season two, and was written long before I'd ever seen BETWEEN THE LINES. Therefore, Gabrielle was introduced to mendhi by the Amazons, and is unaware of the art's magical properties. That's fan fiction for you. <g>

Also, for those of you unfamiliar with how henna tattoos are applied, and who thus may be confused by a few of my descriptions, here's a quick overview: first you take dried powdered henna leaves, mix them with herbs and hot water to make a green paste, and let it age. When the paste is ready you can apply it to the skin in any pattern you desire. The paste will dry to a crumbly black in about an hour. You brush away the dried paste, revealing a pale orange stain, which will develop over the next few days into a deep rich brown, provided that it doesn't get wet within the first twenty-four hours. The completed tattoos are very beautiful and last from one to three weeks, depending on your skin. Several books and easy to use kits are now available in the US for anyone who's interested. Okay? Now onto Xena and Gabrielle...)

Painting the Princess

by Purple Pen


"Xee-na!" Gabrielle's voice was shrill. "I told you, hold still!"

The Warrior Princess sighed gustily. "Just how long is this going to take?"

Above her, red-gold hair glowing in the summer light, Gabrielle made a face, disappointed at her warrior's impatience. "As long as it takes," she said firmly. "Trust me, you really don't want me to rush. It'll be better if I take my time." She poked Xena in the ribs. "Now hold still!"

Xena let out another gusty sigh and settled back into the grass, very carefully avoiding moving her left arm. It was a beautiful summer day, she reflected, the kind of day in which a Warrior Princess could do so many things -- defend a village, bring down a warlord, or at the very least do some fishing in that stream over yonder. Instead she was condemned to lying motionless, watching the clouds go by, while Gabrielle... decorated.... her left forearm with an odd smelling paste made from henna and hot tea. Gabrielle had discovered this particular form of bodily adornment a few weeks ago, during her week-long stay in an Amazon village. Xena had gone to settle a land dispute elsewhere, and when she'd come back Gabrielle was covered with the dark brown tattoos.

Those particular designs had long since faded, but not Gabrielle's enthusiasm for them. Now that they'd been invited to a wedding held in the same village, she'd insisted on decorating her favorite warrior. Xena shifted a little -- she hated this kind of forced inactivity -- which prompted still another scolding from the bard. "Honestly!" Gabrielle said, sounding exasperated. "You'd think you don't like being pampered."

"This is being pampered?"

"Xena! Lots of people would think so. Most women would sell their souls to have their own personal bards at their beck and call, ready to spend an afternoon doing nothing but make them look beautiful."

"At my beck and call, hmm? I can think of better ways to pamper me than covering my skin in green goop..." She smiled up at her bard, blue eyes locking with green. Maybe Gabrielle would agree, and they could start exploring those other ways...

But the bard saw right through her. "Nuh-uh," she said, shaking her head with a smirk. "That's not going to work this time, princess. You're just going to have to wait until I'm finished."

"Oh, all right." Xena decided to give into the inevitable, relaxing back into the grass with just enough of a pout to make sure Gabrielle knew it was under protest. She did have to admit that she'd liked Gabrielle's tattoos, particularly the large mandala that had highlighted her midriff. It had been fascinating watching it play over Gabrielle's muscles as the bard worked her staff...

"You know, it's odd that you don't have any other tattoos, permanent ones I mean," Gabrielle said suddenly, calling Xena's mind back to reality. "Most of the warlords we run into seem to have them. They think it makes them look scarier."

Xena though back to her warlord days -- in particular, to her warlord fashions, and some of the hairdos she had sported. She shuddered slightly; Gabrielle sometimes failed to appreciate just how lucky she was to get the reformed Xena. "I was scary enough on my own," she said. "Besides, I've never been the cosmetic type."

"Oh yeah? Who was that I saw rubbing berry juice on her cheekbones just last week?"

"Hey! That was for a reason, you know. We were heading into that treaty negotiation; all the leaders were men." She shrugged a beautiful shoulder, careful not to disturb the arm Gabrielle was working on. "Swords and whips aren't the only weapons, you know."

"Oh, believe me, I do." Gabrielle smirked, then leaned away from Xena's arm. "Okay. Now you can look."

Xena took a long appraising look. Her arm was encircled by two artistic bands, one a simple rectangular pattern, the other slightly more complex with its row of raised teeth. "Huh," she said grudgingly. "Nice. Not bad." Gabrielle suddenly got the expression of someone who was trying very hard not to laugh. Xena looked at her suspiciously. "What is it, Gabrielle?"

Gabrielle chuckled. "I though you might like it," she said pleasantly. "It's the pattern from your chakram."

"What!" Xena would have sat up, but Gabrielle raised a warning finger. "Ah ah ah. I just finished drawing the design. Now you've got to wait for the paste to dry, or it will smear. Tell you what, Xena: why don't you close your eyes and get a nap? I'll wake you up the second you can move again."

"Well... okay." Xena decided to let Gabrielle's joke pass, leaned back and closed her eyes. Sleep was probably the quickest way to get this over with.

She failed to notice the twinkle in Gabby's eyes before she drifted off.

Xena woke up in the late afternoon, warm and comfy and drowsily content. She started to roll over, then remembered there was some reason she wasn't supposed to move. Wha?... oh yes, Gabrielle's pet art project. Xena yawned, and just as full consciousness started returning. so did the consciousness that she was not nearly as warm as she'd thought. She opened her eyes, took a good look down at her body, then glanced over at Gabrielle, who was sitting cross-legged nearby. "Okay, Gabrielle," she said tiredly. "How did you get my clothes off without my noticing?"

The green eyes danced. "Don't you remember?"

"If I did, I wouldn't be asking you, now would I?"

"I guess not." Gabrielle slowly unfolded her legs, taking a maddening amount of time, then stood and sauntered to the warrior princess's side. "Well! You weren't asleep for more than ten minutes before you started making some verrrry interesting noises. First just a gasp, then a tiny moan, than a murmur, then a murmur, gasp, and moan. I could only conclude that you were having some very erotic dreams."

"Uh huh." Xena closed her eyes again. She knew where this was going.

Gabrielle's voice sounded very self-satisfied as she continued. "I listened for quite some time... you were most entertaining. Then, as I was about to go gather some firewood, I was very surprised to hear you mention my name. 'Gabrielle!' you shouted, 'get these damn clothes off me!' Well, naturally I couldn't disobey a direct order like that..."

Xena's teeth gritted. "Oh, naturally."

"So I started taking them off. It was hard work; I couldn't roll you over or move your arm, but eventually I managed." The bard's soft warm breath tickled Xena's cheek. "You're sure you don't remember any of this? I would be most interested to hear about what you were dreaming."

Yeah, so would I, Xena thought to herself. She opened her eyes to find Gabrielle hovering over her, face less than six inches away. "Gabrielle, would you just answer one question?"

"Anything, Xena."

"Once you'd satisfied my... er, demands, why was it necessary to cover me with green gook?"

It was true. Xena's view was currently blocked by creamy skin and strawberry blond hair, but if she could have looked down she would have seen that her entire body was covered with henna tattoos. Or almost. Gabrielle seemed to have confined herself to areas normally covered by leathers or boots. Nevertheless, Xena's breasts, midriff, hips, upper thighs, calves, and feet were covered with drying paste. Gabrielle seemed to have been expecting the question; her lascivious smiled intensified. "Well, I couldn't resist the chance to decorate such a perfect canvas," she said, pulling away and flipping her hair back over her shoulders. "Besides, you didn't object at the time."

"I didn't?"

"No." The smile became absolutely blinding. "In fact you even offered some advice. 'There!' you kept saying, whenever I was wondering which part to decorate next. 'There, Gabrielle, there...'"

"I see. Well, Gabrielle, I'm glad to know I'm such an unconscious patron of the arts. And I'm equally glad to have provided you with an afternoon of fun, but if you'll excuse me I'm going to go wash this off."

For about the thousandth time that afternoon, Xena tried to stand up, and for the thousandth time Gabrielle stopped her, shoving her shoulders roughly into the grass. The aggressiveness of this move made Xena look at her sharply; the bard's eyes were filled with a strange light, and her smile was almost evil. (As evil as Gabrielle ever got, that was.) "Ah, ah, ah, princess," she said. "The dye's already starting to set-- the most you can do is smudge it. I know you can't see it, but you've even got patterns on the soles of your feet, and you can't move without ruining them. You're not going anywhere."


"No." Gabrielle moved languorously closer. She practically purred the next words. "You're all mine."

Xena's pulse quickened. For a moment her warrior instincts rose up, the ones that told her never to let herself be made vulnerable, the ones that said to dominate instead of be dominated. But one look at Gabrielle's sweet face and she knew she had to give in. "Yes, I'm all yours," she repeated, voice full of surrender. "What are you going to do with me?"

The bard's answer came at once. "Pamper you," she said. And got to work.

Ten minutes later Xena though wryly back to their earlier conversation, when she'd suggested this course of action. Pampering, huh, she thought. This is more like torture. Every sensation, every touch, was magnified by that she couldn't move-- not without ruining Gabrielle's artwork, not without spoiling the little bard's game. Oh, of course she could get up, go to the river, wash herself off and come back, and with some judicious "consolation" she might even get Gabrielle to forgive her. But Gabrielle was obviously enjoying this, and Xena couldn't deny her anything. Her love for the bard bound her more tightly than chains.

And Gabrielle was taking full advantage of it. She started by leaning back on her heels and slowly unlacing her top, sensuously exposing her breasts inch by lovely inch. Xena watched without moving a muscle, eyes never blinking. Gabrielle noticed her bulging neck cords; she smiled happily, then went and got a pillow, propping up Xena's head so she could see better. As she slipped the pillow beneath Xena's dark head, Gabrielle's breasts swayed above the warrior, tantalizingly out of reach. Xena made a futile attempt to catch a rosy nipple in her lips, touch the creamy skin with her tongue; Gabrielle shook her head and pulled away. "Not yet, beloved. Not yet."

She slipped her green top off of her shoulders, causing the magnificent muscles of her shoulder and arms to dance under her skin, then rubbed the cloth between her breasts so it picked up the perfume of the sweat there. She laid it gently over Xena's mouth and nose. Xena gasped; she inhaled deeply, the bard's scent overwhelming her senses. After a moment Gabrielle lifted the top away and replaced it with her lips-- first just the lightest of feather touches, then more pressure, then finally opened lips and the sweetness of her tongue. It was a wonderful kiss, filled with tenderness and love. They held it for a long time.

At last Gabrielle pulled away. She looked into Xena's eyes tenderly. "Okay?"

Xena nodded. Gabrielle nodded and leaned over, taking her weight on her hands as she touched her breasts to her beloved's face. Xena almost went mad as the bard swayed her ribcage, causing the beautiful mounds to brush lightly over Xena's face. She had to clench her fists hard to keep herself from moving-- oh, how she wanted to reach up and capture the bard, hold her still while she devoured her! Finally, finally, Gabrielle gave her what she wanted-- she pressed her breast to Xena's lips, allowing the warrior to cannibalize her nipple and take as much of her as she could in her mouth. Gabrielle's scent was even more overwhelming than it had been on the cloth; her skin tasted sweet and warm and wonderful. Xena sucked first one nipple and than the other, and heard the bard cry out with pleasure.

But Gabrielle wasn't there for her own satisfaction. Just as Xena's need grew greatest she pulled away, smiled at the look in Xena's eyes, and kissed her way down the warrior's neck. She ended up under her collarbone, a few inches away from Xena's new decorations, and began to caress her in between the lines of her artwork. Her fingers moved in languorous snakes over Xena's breasts, causing Xena to wonder whether Gabrielle had placed the designs that way on purpose. A moment later the fingers were replaced by Gabby's tongue, licking daintily to avoid tasting any henna. Somehow the very restraint of those touches made them all the more exciting, especially when the restraint vanished and Gabrielle bathed her (un-hennad) nipples in long, liquid strokes. Xena's eyes squelched shut; she could feel her mind slipping away, going to that nameless place where nothing is real besides the pleasure. In another moment she'd be beyond coherent thought altogether.

But Gabrielle wasn't ready to let her go just yet. "Do you know what I love about making love to you?"

Xena shook her head spasmodically, too far gone to exercise her normal control over her muscles. She could hold still, but that was about it. "Nno."

Gabrielle left her breasts behind and planted a kiss on an unadorned inch of her belly. "It's the way your body becomes everything to me. The whole world fades away, and there's nothing left but you..." She kissed Xena's shoulder. "Your skin..." Her elbow. "Your touch..." The inner thigh. "Your smell..."

"Uhhh." Xena may have been agreeing, but there was no clear way to tell. Gabrielle allowed herself a smile of self-congratulation before she bent her attention to Xena's sex.

The strong supple thighs parted easily to her touch. Gabrielle spread her legs apart with great care and knelt on the grass in between the intricately painted calves. Xena's labia parted easily too, but Gabrielle wanted to move slowly, not give Xena too much stimulation too soon. She caressed the dark curly hairs and cupped Xena's whole vagina, lips closed and the heel of her hand pressed hard against her mons. Xena moaned and tossed her head.

Gabby massaged her for a moment, then stretched out so she could reach the area with her mouth. She pulled Xena's labia apart with her hands and eagerly tasted her lover's juices. Knowing how close Xena was to orgasm, she stayed away from her clitoris, instead confining her kisses to the area beside and below her flooding opening. Xena's legs began to tremble. Gabrielle suddenly decided she'd tormented her love long enough; she slipped her fingers deep inside and began to move them in and out. Xena yelped and started jerking her hips in time to the rhythm, unable to stay motionless any longer. Gabrielle waited until her lover's cries built to a peak, then reached out with her thumb and trapped her clitoris, hard, underneath it. Xena screamed and went over the edge.

The orgasm was incredible. Xena felt it in every muscle of her body; the whole length of her stiffened and convulsed as she endured wave after wave. Finally it began to subside. "Gabrielle?" she cried out.

"I'm here."

"I love you," she said, and slipped into dreamless sleep.

Gabrielle watched over her warrior until Xena's breathing stabilized, then began to tenderly brush the dry and crumbling henna paste from Xena's skin. In truth the tattoos had been set long ago, the danger of smudging passed long before Xena had awakened. But there had been no reason to tell her that.

She curled up beside her beloved and went to sleep.

Taiko's Scrolls Of The Xenaverse