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author or the electronic source. This story features F/F spanking, F/f spanking, and references to a same sex relationships. If that's not you're thing consider yourself warned.
Xena, Gabrielle, Cyrene, Argo, Amphipolis, Ephiny, Eponin, the Amazon Nation, Salmoneous, and Illusia are owned by Universal Studios.
If you are under legal age in your state, go watch Xena on DVD!
The campfire crackled and popped as Xena threw a few more dried leaves on it to keep it going. Gabrielle was working on a scroll nearby and Argo was contentedly grazing near the tree line of the camp. Xena brought her blade to her and began the meticulous job of sharpening it with her whetstone.
The day had been long. Far too many bandits on the road and one crazed warrior wanna-be that kept challenging Xena until she finally tied him to a tree.
Xena and Gabrielle had been traveling for a week. They were on their way towards Amphipolis, having decided to visit Cyrene and take a break for a moon. It had seemed that they'd not been able to relax in almost 3 moons, and Xena was actually looking forward to seeing her mother again. Gabrielle was also looking forward to the visit and especially learning more of Cyrene's recipes.
The last time they were in Amphipolis they had told Cyrene of their relationship and had still been welcomed with open arms. Gabrielle had been instructed rather sternly to now call Cyrene 'Mom,' and the young woman smiled, remembering how nice it was to feel so loved.
Suddenly a commotion was heard down the road. Xena sighed as she sheathed her sword and reattached her chakram to her side. Gabrielle put down her scrolls and grabbed her staff as Xena calmly walked toward the road exiting from their small hiding place behind a hedge.
A wagon was racing in the middle of the road closely followed by three men on horseback. Xena's presence was noted by the driver of the wagon and he smiled in relief slowing the wagon as he passed her and yelled, "Help!"
Xena sighed and waited as the men on horseback stopped too. "What's going on?" Her voice was bored as Gabrielle joined her on the road, staff ready in her hands.
"That, that merchant brought a curse to our village. He must pay!" an older man with a tired face answered her.
"A curse, what kind of curse?" the bard asked.
"Ask him!" The middle rider pointed as the merchant walked towards Xena and Gabrielle.
Xena didn't bother turning around, now expecting trouble as the merchant came closer to the villagers, she unsheathed her sword "Salmoneus what did you do this time?"
Hearing the name Gabrielle whirled around to find the man grinning, his hands up in an appeasing gesture. "You know, I just tried to bring a little art, a little culture to their village and they think I'm trying to curse them!"
"What did you do?" Xena's voice was tired and she was ready to let the villagers have the man.
"He turned our elder's wife into a virgin again!" The youngest member of the trio spoke and ran his hands through his blond hair.
"My grandmother looks like a new bride," the middle rider spoke up. "And she swears she didn't do anything. My grandfather said he was near the merchant and his wares when he started thinking about how he'd love to be young and have a new bride again. The next morning he woke up to my grandmother looking as she had when they were first married."
Xena turned to eye Salmoneus as he grinned at her nervously. "Now Xena, you know that even I can't do that."
"True." Xena turned to look at the men on horseback again. "That sounds like something the gods would do. Why do you think Salmoneus did it?"
"The story he told that's why!" The middle rider spoke again as his black eyes blazed.
"What story?" Gabrielle's excitedly asked.
"The story of the artifact he brought with him."
Xena sighed again. "Go home. Take care of your grandparents and if we can figure out what was done and how to fix it we'll be back. Okay?"
"Who are you to tell us what to do woman?" the oldest rider spoke again rubbing his beard.
"My name is Xena," she answered in an even tone waiting for the look her name usually brought. She smiled. "Well?"
The men looked at each other and nodded. "Alright, we will do as you say, but keep that man out of our village!" they warned as they turned their horses and raced back toward their village.
Xena sheathed her sword and turned to Salmoneus. "Come on, let's sit down and talk."
As she walked toward the camp and Salmoneus and Gabrielle slowely followed her. Gabrielle looked at the man, bursting to ask him about the story, but thought she'd better wait and let Xena question him first. The warrior usually liked to have first crack on these types of problems.
Entering the camp, the bard and warrior sat next to each other as Salmoneus sat on the other side of the campfire. Xena stoked the fire once again, and waited for the man to talk.
"Xena, really…" He wiped his face with his hands. "Look, I didn't do anything. I bought this statue in a little village near Corinth about a fortnight ago. I was told that it had the power to give people a chance at what they desired..." he trailed off.
"And?" Xena's eyebrow arched as she looked at him and began to sharpen her sword again.
"I acquired some other merchandise and decided to try and sell it. Nothing ever happened with the statue. Most people didn't even take the time to look at it until the old guy in that last village." He stopped and licked his lips before continuing. "One minute he was holding it talking about being young with a young bride and how he'd love to see his wife that way again. Next thing I know I'm being chased from the village by those three."
"Where's the statue?" Gabrielle's voice was curious as she looked at the man.
"I'll be right back." He rose and disappeared toward his wagon before returning. "Here it is."
He handed Gabrielle a small statue made of multi-colored smooth stone. It resembled a woman holding a heart in her hands. "How interesting. Do you know where it came from?" the bard asked.
"No. The story I was told said it came from the north, from a Bulger woman. She was said to be a seer."
Xena took the small statue from Gabrielle and turned it over in her palms. Finding no markings on it she wondered about its origins. She then looked at Gabrielle and sighed again. "You can stay with us tonight, but we'll go our separate ways in the morning. I don't think this statue caused anything. It's more likely a god playing a joke on that man."
"Thank you, Xena." Salmoneus replied knowing he wouldn't have to worry about protection, that night at least.
Handing the statue back, she watched as he left camp once again to replace the statue and release his horses for the evening.
"Is that what you think really happened Xena?" Gabrielle asked.
"I'm not sure, but right now, it's the only answer I have."
Gabrielle nodded and turned back to her scrolls. This had been an interesting day for sure.
The next morning the women woke alone. Salmoneus had already left, leaving no visible signs that he had even spent the night around the campfire.
Xena grinned. "I am so happy I don't have to listen to him whine this morning about last night's accommodations." Stoking up the fire, Xena stirred the pot left hanging there. "This stew should be a good enough breakfast."
Rolling onto her back Gabrielle sat up and stretched. "Hmmm, it seems pretty convenient that Sal just managed to sneak away with us hearing him."
Xena smirked. "Yup. He must be getting so much better at sneaking around."
Gabrielle sat up and snuggled close to Xena. "That, or you just decided to let him leave rather than have to see him again this morning."
Xena hugged Gabrielle and placed a gentle kiss on her before responding. "Or it could be that."
Once Xena and Gabrielle had eaten, they cleaned up camp in record time, and were now back on the road, heading toward Amphipolis. They decided to walk for a bit and ride when the sun was higher in the sky.
"So tell me Xena, what were you like as a kid?" she asked her green eyes sparkling up into blue.
"What do you mean?"
"I mean you were always the Warrior Princess. What were you like when you were little? Like six or seven?"
Xena looked at Gabrielle and shook her head. "I don't know. Like any other kid I guess. I played, drove my mother nuts, fought with Toris, and protected Lyceus. Why?"
"Oh I just wondered."
"So what were you like as a little kid?" Xena asked as she gently took the bard's hand into her own.
"A daydreamer," Gabrielle shrugged and squeezed Xena's hand. "I was always in trouble for neglecting some chore or another. There wasn't a lot of free time on the farm, but sometimes I would risk being in trouble just to be able to go off somewhere alone and think."
Xena squeezed Gabrielle's hand tighter at hearing the melancholy quality in the woman's voice. Quickly deciding to change the subject she asked the bard to tell her the newest story she was working on.
Gabrielle smiled and allowed the conversation to turn as she launched into her newest story.
The women had unpacked for the night and set up camp about half a day's journey from Amphipolis. They'd eaten and were settling into their evening routine, when Gabrielle decided to revisit the topic of Xena's childhood. She sat, rummaging through her satchel as she called to Xena from across the fire, "I still say I'd like to know what you were like when you were six." The bard grimaced still not finding what she wanted in the bag.
"I don't think a normal six year old would hold your attention for long." The warrior answered unwrapping the whetstone from its cloth.
"No, I don't mean that way." Gabrielle's hand once again dug deep into her bag. "I mean you as a six year old, but still the Warrior Princess." As she said it, Gabrielle felt something warm in her bag and realized that she really did desire to see Xena in this way. She often wondered what Xena had been like as a child and thought it might be fun to see her that way- yet not lose her friend in the process.
"Yeah, well I don't see that happening." The warrior started to sharpen her sword as Gabrielle finally found what she had been looking for in her bag. Tossing the bag to the ground, she laid down on her bedroll looking at the stars. "Don't take too long Xena. I'd like to go to bed early tonight."
Xena smiled as Gabrielle tucked her hands behind her head and waited for her lover to join her.
The shout woke the bard. She jumped up; grabbing her staff on instinct, and thinking the camp was under attack. Instead, she was greeted by the sight of a young girl who was sitting on the bedroll, and swimming in Xena's night shift.
"Xena?" Gabrielle asked, sitting down and crossing her legs next to the child.
"Yeah, it' me," the child responded, crossing her arm across her chest in annoyance.
"Gods, Xena. What happened?" Gabrielle asked as she tucked a blanket around the girl's shoulders.
"Salmoneus happened," Xena's voice was quiet. "What was it you were saying last night when you were digging around in your bag?"
Gabrielle's eyes went wide. "Oh gods. That I would have liked to have known you as a little girl, but having you still being you."
A small dark eyebrow rose. "Notice anything strange when you said it?"
"Well, it felt warm in my bag." Gabrielle broke off and grabbed her satchel and emptied it onto the bedrolls in front of them. There wrapped in a cloth was the statue Salmoneus had showed them the day before. Picking it up, Gabrielle grimaced.
"It must have been the statue." Xena took it from the bard and studied it again. "I'm going to kill him." She stated as her stomach rumbled loudly.
Giggling, Gabrielle took the statue back and repacked it into her satchel. "Maybe we should eat first?
Xena gave a rueful grin. "I suppose so only how am I going to hunt like this?" She stood up and watched as the shift fell from her body leaving her completely bare. "I can't go around naked, Gabrielle."
"Too true." Gabrielle reached for her bag again and pulled out a piece of fabric. "I was going to have this made into a new top, but I think you need it more right now." With a little work, she managed to get the fawn colored fabric around Xena into a type of dress. "There, all done."
Xena looked down and decided it was better than being naked. "I don't have any shoes."
"Looks like we'll be riding Argo today, huh?" Gabrielle's stomach started rumbling too. Grinning she checked their provisions and portioned out enough cheese, bread, and cured meat for a nice breakfast." You probably can't hunt anyway," she shrugged seeing Xena's glare. "At least not in the usual way. You didn't set any snares last night and we don't know if it's safe for you to use your chakram."
Xena grumbled as she ate. "I guess if we head south we can probably catch Salmoneus in a day or two…" she began.
"Oh no Xena, we are still going to Amphipolis." Green eyes locked onto blue. "Salmoneus doesn't know any more about this statue than he already told us and we need to get you someplace relatively safe where we can think of a plan."
"No," the little warrior's voice was stubborn. "I'm not going home."
Gabrielle grinned seeing the pout forming on Xena's face. "Yes, you are. I'm heading there and you're coming with me."
Eyes blazing Xena stared at Gabrielle. "I said I'm not going home. Just because I look like a child doesn't mean I am one and I will not have you treating me that way."
Gabrielle sighed as she finished her breakfast. "Xena, we don't know what the effects of this are yet. You might be more a child than you think. We have to be somewhere safe to figure it all out and on the road isn't it. "Think about it. Can you really hunt or fight right now?"
"Probably not. I imagine I can't even hold my sword right now. I do want to try out the chakram though."
"Oh no," the blonde insisted. "No weapons right now. You're just too little."
The warrior's body stiffened in anger. "I'll use weapons if I want to, Gabrielle. I've been using them for half my life."
"In the body of a six-year old?"
"No, but I did start young. I am going to try it, Gabrielle." She started reaching for the weapon only to have the bard reach it first.
"No." giving the warrior her version of "the look" Gabrielle put the chakram into her bag. "I don't want you losing a finger or take the chance of it going out of control."
"Gabrielle," the warrior's child-like voice dropped deeper. "I want my chakram."
"I said no."
"You aren't my mother Gabrielle." The girl stated as she reached for the woman's bag.
"Nope. I'm your best friend and I am not letting you have the chakram."
"Yes you are." Xena stood and flipped grabbing Gabrielle's bag from behind her. Running into the trees she grabbed the chakram out of the bag and tossed it back to the bard. "I told you I wanted my chakram."
Grabbing her staff Gabrielle raced after Xena stopping only when she saw the girl in the middle of an empty clearing.
Noticing the warrior strike a familiar pose she yelled, "Xena no!"
Smiling back at her friend Xena gave her war cry and let loose, only to witness the chakram fly a few feet before dropping to the ground. "Damn," she muttered realizing she no longer had the power to make the flying disk do as she commanded.
Hearing Gabrielle come up behind her Xena was surprised to feel the tug at her ear. "What in the blazes were you thinking?" the woman shouted. "You could have been hurt!"
"Well, I wasn't." Tugging herself loose Xena retrieved the chakram and handed it to Gabrielle. "I can't make it work anymore; you might as well keep it."
Bending on one knee Gabrielle looked into Xena's face. "You scared me, Xena. Please don't take any more chances like that until we figure this out."
Xena looked into Gabrielle's worried eyes. "Okay, I promise I'll try not to do that again."
"I can't quite explain it yet Gabrielle." Xena moved off toward camp. "I guess we'd better pack up and get back on the road."
End of Chapter 1
Chapter 2 will be posted soon