Disclaimers: These characters aren’t mine but Ren Pics. There’s a little bit of lovin’ going on because it’s set after "Many Happy Returns". Let’s be honest. If YOU got a Sappho poem from your soulmate, you should know you're gonna give something in return (VBG). Email the author at firstname.lastname@example.org
"Happy Birthday Gabrielle!"
The warrior kept a firm grasp on the bard’s hand as they flew through the air.
"Don’t drop me Xena!" Gabrielle laughed.
Xena smiled and tightened her grip for a moment. "I won’t drop you. I promise," she grinned. She pointed out over the horizon. "Right there. What do you think?"
The bard didn’t answer. She simply grinned and excitedly nodded her approval. Xena pulled the bard close to her so she could gather the smaller woman in her arms as they came to their landing. With one foot cocked and one foot flat, they touch downed softly. The warrior gently brought the bard to her feet.
"What do you think?" Xena asked.
"I don’t know what to say," Gabrielle said looking around her, taking it all in. "It’s absolutely beautiful. And this…did you do this?"
"Told you it wasn’t over yet," Xena grinned as she took off the helmet.
The warrior looked quite proud of herself as Gabrielle pointed to the blanket and wicker basket that contained their evening meal. Never to be someone who got the meaning of ‘romance’ she did try her best this year. A little wine, a little Sappho…She thought the bard would enjoy both but still it wasn’t enough. That’s when she decided to scout out a location for some festivities later in the evening. So far everything had gone according to plan and it was obvious that the bard admired her efforts by the grin that played on her face.
Gabrielle chuckled. "I know one warrior princess who’s gonna get lucky tonight."
Xena smiled and pulled Gabrielle’s hands up to her lips. She kissed the back of each one gently before meeting Gabrielle’s eyes.
"I had no expectations," she answered. "Nothing aside from making you happy. You’ve brought me so much joy Gabrielle. It’s only right I celebrate the day you came into this world."
"And the jokes? What’s the purpose of that?" Gabrielle quipped with a raised eyebrow.
Damn. She’s started to do that better than me.
"Well the jokes…What’s life if you can’t laugh now and then?"
"Uh huh," Gabrielle retorted. "Well just remember that what goes around comes around warrior princess. So this winter you better be on your toes." She started to kick off her boots. Next came her top and finally her skirt. Xena lost her voice for a moment as she watched her bard, mesmerized by Gabrielle’s naked form. She managed to get her senses back for a moment and cleared her throat.
"Is that a threat Gabrielle?"
The bard reached up and pulled the warrior’s head down so her lips could meet Xena’s ear.
"No…it’s a promise."
Gabrielle planted the most delicate of kisses on Xena’s earlobe before darting away and jumping into the crystal water pool behind them. Xena walked to the edge and watched as Gabrielle resurfaced, her short blonde locks, darkened by the water and slicked back.
"Coming in?" the bard called to her on the shore.
"Thought you’d never ask," Xena replied, stripping herself as well before jumping in headfirst.
Gabrielle looked around but Xena still hadn’t surfaced yet. She did however feel a pair of hands grab her ankles. Instinctively she held her breath because she knew what was coming next. Not more than a second later her body was tugged under the water with such force the splash reached their clothes on the shore. She twisted around under the water’s surface until she felt Xena’s shoulders. With her arms getting tangled around Xena’s neck and her legs around the warrior’s waist they both broke the surface together.
Gabrielle smiled at her warrior. "You’re wicked," she answered. "But very predictable."
Without a notice Xena tipped Gabrielle back so quickly the bard got a mouthful of water for her trouble. Knowing she startled the bard, Xena pulled her up quickly. Gabrielle began to cough and gasp for air.
"Predictable huh? Didn’t see that coming did ya?"
Gabrielle couldn’t speak yet but she splashed the warrior as hard as she could, which only made Xena all the more amused.
"You’re not funny," Gabrielle croaked with a scowl planted firmly on her face.
"I’m sorry," Xena answered her bottom lip sticking out more than necessary, hoping it would lighten Gabrielle’s mood.
"Don’t give me the pout because it’s not gonna work," Gabrielle answered as she pulled away.
"Hey Gabrielle," Xena said, taking a single stroke to catch up to her. "Look I promise, no more jokes, okay?"
Gabrielle’s leg slid under the water to hook the back of Xena’s legs. The bard tugged with all her might and the warrior fell. Gabrielle closed her eyes against the splash and began to laugh but she realized quickly she better move like Hermes. She got about half way to shore when she felt Xena closing in on her from under the water. She tried her best to tread through it. And she almost made it but suddenly the warrior popped up in front of her.
Gabrielle tried to hide her laugh behind her fingers but she wasn’t succeeding. Xena looked far from amused.
"I have to admit," Xena replied with a stone face before cracking a grin. "I didn’t see THAT coming."
"Threw you for a loop huh?" Gabrielle replied, relieved that Xena wasn’t upset.
"Everyday my bard. Everyday since we met it seems there’s always something you do or say that throws me off balance," Xena grinned as she picked the bard up into her arms. She gave her light kiss on the lips as she carried her to the waiting picnic blanket. "Thank you for keeping me on my toes."
"And off them from time to time it seems," Gabrielle jabbed.
"Well I can think of much better ways to keep me off my feet than dunking me under water," Xena retorted as she laid the bard down, proceeding to blanket her with her body. "Hmm, like this. This is nice. Wouldn’t you agree?" she added.
The water from Xena’s hair dripped down tickling the bard’s neck as she rested on her forearms above her.
"Who am I to argue," Gabrielle replied, rising just slightly to capture the warriors lips.
Xena took the opportunity to cup the back of the bard’s head, pulling her closer as she deepened the kiss. She felt rather than heard herself groan as the bard’s hands slid down her wet back to cup her bottom. The feel of the bard’s nails across her backside fueled her kisses even more and soon she felt her hips beginning to keep pace with Gabrielle’s prodding fingertips.
Gabrielle pulled back and rested her head on the blanket, just soaking in the rhythmic motions Xena engaged in above her.
Gods above she’s beautiful the bard considered but not vocalizing the thought. She knew, as Xena looked into her eyes, she didn’t have to say it. Xena could read her thoughts especially when they made love. She rarely had to make a request of faster or slower, harder or softer. Xena just knew. They just fit together perfectly.
Gabrielle gave a small whimper as Xena started to pull away.
"I’m too close," the warrior confessed. "I want you reach the pinnacle first….After all, it’s your birthday."
Gabrielle smiled. She was going to offer some kind of smart aleck retort since that’s pretty much how they had spent their whole weekend so far. But any thought she had fell silent when Xena’s lips immediately claimed her center. She felt her lower body leave the blanket in an instant straining to get closer to the warrior’s mouth. She loved it and she wanted it so much but even her delight at the moment wasn’t enough. She wanted more. She wanted Xena. She wanted to feel her and smell her and taste her.
"Come this way," Gabrielle called down to her, gesturing that the warrior swing her body the other way.
Xena smiled. "Whatever birthday girl wants, birthday girl gets."
Xena didn’t waste any time lingering or drawing it out. She promptly straddled the bard allowing her any access she wanted to her body at all. If Xena was willing to give it, Gabrielle was more than happy to take it. With the echo in the small valley Gabrielle was sure their noises were probably heard for miles in every directions. The thought drove her desire even higher and when she heard Xena approaching closer – a series of grunts and whimpers – it was all she could stand. She let go and she felt every nerve ending explode against her skin. She cried out the warrior’s name as she shook beneath her. The sight of Gabrielle in utmost release soon freed Xena and she too joined in calling out the name of her lover. Her best friend. Her soul mate.
Spent, the two lay side by side but on opposite ends of each other until Xena had the strength to rise up to snuggle into the bard’s shoulder. Gabrielle gave a light chuckle.
"What?" Xena asked softly.
"You big, bad, cuddly warrior," she chuckled as she stroked Xena’s hair. "Were you always a cuddler?"
"No. Sex was a weapon or just a release. I’d never felt secure enough to let myself be held like this. Not until you."
Xena let out a sigh and moved up to give the bard a tender kiss. "Never."
"Well thank you for letting me in."
"Thank YOU," Xena replied. She got a distracted look on her face and rolled over to the basket.
"What are you doing?" Gabrielle chuckled watching the warrior take the basket toward some nearby bushes.
"You’ll see," Xena called out over her shoulder.
When she reappeared she had a small loaf of nutbread and a small burning candle as she began to sing ‘For she’s another year older’. As she finished she knelt down to the bard.
"Make a wish Gabrielle," Xena said, holding out the treat.
Gabrielle grinned and felt her eyes tear up. The warrior always did have a way of surprising her. She inhaled deeply and blew out the candle with ease.
"I have no more unfulfilled wishes. You’ve made them all come true," Gabrielle answered honestly.