Fire and Ice--Gabrielle's Scroll

I’m always glad when Xena and I get the chance to help someone in trouble, but it would be nice if Xena and I could spend a whole day just traveling together and enjoying each other’s company. It was early afternoon, and Xena told me we should make Lamins before nightfall. I was trying to get her to tell me whether or not she preferred chicken or roast beef for supper when all of a sudden, I saw her head lift and she was up on Argo’s back before I even had time to think. “Someone’s in trouble,” she called as she took off, urging Argo to a full gallop.

We had been through this routine enough for me to know that Xena would be expecting me to follow her as quickly as I could. It wasn’t hard to follow her, as the countryside was almost all flat, and I was there in just a few minutes. There was a sobbing woman who kept saying something about her son, and I could see the hole in the ice from where I was. I felt my heart skip a beat when I realized Xena had to be down under the surface of the ice. I was able to piece together what the woman was crying, and knew Xena was on a rescue mission. The ice was shattered all around the hole, and I knew what I had to do to help Xena get out safely.

There was a grove of trees not too far away, and I ran to it, looking for the longest, strongest branch I could find. When I had located it, I dragged it behind me back to the edge of the ice, and then pushed it outward so it laid across the hole. I threw my body weight on it, hoping to be able to hold it when Xena surfaced, clutching a blonde haired child to her. She was thrashing when she first came up, but once she was bobbing above the water, I heard her whistle for Argo. Immediately, I felt the branch stabilize more as Argo lent her weight to hold the branch in place.

I have seen Xena do all kinds of miraculous feats, but watching her pull the boy from the pond and across the ice was one of the most exciting moments I had shared with her. Once the boy was on firm ground, I grabbed one of our furs from Argo’s back and wrapped it around the boy. When Xena moved, I could feel the icy water they were soaked in splashing me, and it took my breath away.

I grabbed another fur and wrapped it around Xena’s shaking shoulders as she went to work on the boy, breathing her breath into his lungs. I rubbed his arms and legs, knowing it was important for him to get his circulation back, and the sound of the woman sobbing behind us suddenly faded in the distance. Xena had a frighteningly bleak look on her face.

She was never one to give up though, and after a couple more breaths, we heard a gasp and the boy began to cough. The mother was on her knees beside him in an instant, and I learned his name was Landon. He began to cry too, probably more distressed at his mother’s condition than anything, but I could see from Xena’s expression that she thought he would be just fine. That is, if he was gotten warm as soon as possible.

I asked the woman if she lived close by, and she assured us she did. She nodded at Xena’s instructions to get the boy into some dry clothes right away, and then invited us to go with her. I was just opening my mouth to accept, when Xena shocked me by saying, “That’s okay. Just get out of here.” She had pushed the fur from her shoulders and was gathering her weapons she had discarded before diving into the water.

The woman tried again to invite us home with her, but Xena was firm. “Just take good care of Landon,” she said, and I was taken aback as she touched the boy’s face.” That’ll be thanks enough. Now get out of here…We’ve got trouble heading our way.”

The woman thanked us one more time, and then was rushing off toward her and Landon’s cabin. I wrapped the blanket around Xena’s shoulders again when as she stood and watched the pair make it to safety, but she was still shivering violently.

“Xena, we’ve got to get you warm,” I told her, trying to warm her with the motions of my hands. “What kind of trouble are you talking about?”

She didn’t answer me, but instead hopped back up into Argo’s saddle. She bent down with her hand outstretched, and I didn’t question her anymore, only let her pull me up into the saddle behind her.

“Hang on,” she told me, before directing Argo to take off in a gallop. “I’ll show you trouble.”

She directed Argo quite a distance, and I held onto her waist as we rode. The icy wetness soaked through the fur and I could feel it penetrating my fingers and my thighs where they were wrapped around Xena, and I released one of my hands from her waist long enough to pull the fur up around her ears. I couldn’t even begin to imagine how cold she was feeling, and knew there was a serious situation about to occur.

We were still in the middle of nowhere when she finally stopped Argo. I glanced around, and didn’t see any trouble. “What are you doing, Xena?” I asked her, after I had dismounted. “We need to get you warmed up.” I had spoken too soon. I heard a noise and turned to see what Xena had already spotted.

It was a group of men, closing the distance between us rapidly. Xena told me they’d been following us for most of the day, and she didn’t want to endanger the woman and her son any further. That’s why she had led them so far away from the pond.

I could see now that there would be no way I’d be able to get Xena warm until we had death with these men. I grabbed my staff from Argo’s saddle, watching as the men came nearer.

A man with long stringy blonde hair and a straggly moustache spoke. “I thought you were running from us, Xena” he said. “Why’d you stop?

Gods, I loved the confidence that poured from her in times like this. “I was afraid I was going to lose you,” she answered easily. “Your horses were looking tired. Now what can I do for you?”

The man grinned at us, and if possible, it made him look even uglier. “Not a thing, if you come along quietly.”

“Come along where?” I asked.

“Come along with us to see Emericus,” the man answered, his eyes still on Xena. “He’s got a debt to collect, and the debt is Xena.”

“Emericus…that one eyed son of a Bacchae?” Xena sounded surprised. I had the feeling that she had something to do with Emericus being one eyed, but didn’t have much time to reflect on it. Xena had drawn her sword. I recognized the crouching stance she was using, and mentally prepared myself. “Tell Emericus my dance card is filled,” she snapped, and then she was attacking.

The fight was on. I kind of thought Xena might actually be able to warm up during the fight, but as time went on, and more and more of the men dropped or retreated, I sensed something was very wrong. Xena’s movements were becoming more and more sluggish and she seemed to be having a great deal of trouble focusing on her target. Thankfully, the few men had already received too much of a pummeling to notice, and they finally retreated, crying out future vengeance. I turned to Xena immediately.


She was a few feet away from me, and she seemed to be staggering, swaying unsteadily on her feet. I called her name again, and finally, she turned her head to look in my direction. It was although she was looking right through me, though…I don’t think she could see me. I watched in horror as she began to pitch forward, and I caught her just before she tumbled headfirst to the ground.

I whistled for Argo, as I struggled to keep her halfway propped up against me. She had totally lost consciousness, and I was scared to death, but I knew my first priority would be to get some distance between us and Emericus’s men. If they turned back and saw our situation, we would be in real trouble. Argo was at my side in an instant, and after a long struggle, I was able to get Xena draped over her saddle. I climbed up behind her, and held on to her as tightly with one hand as I could as I took the reins in the other.

Emericus’s men had ridden off in one direction, so I led Argo off in tbe other. I was afraid to go too fast, as I didn’t want Xena to slide from her precarious perch, but at the same time, I knew I had to get her warm immediately. “Find us someplace safe, Argo,” I finally directed out of desperation, and Argo whinnied, as if to tell me she understood. Within moments, she was standing outside a small cave cut into a shallow river bank.

“Good girl, Argo,” I praised, and I quickly realized that getting Xena down from Argo’s back was even harder than getting her up there. I finally succeeded though, and half dragged, half carried her to the back of the cave. I took the rest of the furs from Argos’s saddle, and wrapped her up like she was in a cocoon. I smoothed the fringe of her bangs back from her forehead, and looked down into her peaceful face. “I’m going to go get some firewood, My Love,” I whispered to her, although I knew she couldn’t hear me.

It didn’t take long for me to find enough kindling to start a decent fire, and I hurried it back to the cave. I glanced down at Xena to make sure she was all right, and noticed her face looked flushed in the dwindling daylight. I pressed my hand against her forehead, and it was very hot. I realized then that a fire wasn’t what she needed right now.

I checked our waterskins, but they were each only about a quarter full. I decided to fill them with some of the cool water from the river, and hurried off to do that task. I was almost back to the cave when I heard her hoarsely calling out my name.

I entered the cave, and just stopped for a moment. She had been unconscious just a couple of minutes ago, and now she was sitting up, looking as if she were trying to get to her feet at any time. “By the gods, Xena, what in Tartarus do you think you’re doing?” I demanded, before I could stop myself.

I actually saw the corners of her mouth turn up in a weak grin. “I was coming to find you…Where were you?”

“I went to get you some cold water,” I answered, carrying the waterskins over to her. “You have a bad fever.”

I pulled the stopper from one of the waterskins, and helped her get a drink. She thanked me gratefully, and then I helped her lay back down on the furs. I pressed my hand to her forehead again, and her fever was still raging. I knew I had to do something to get the fever to go down, and I made a cold compress to press against her face. She made a sound deep in her chest in appreciation.

She looked exhausted and miserable. “Poor Baby,” I whispered to her, knowing there weren’t many times when she would allow me to look after her like this. “You’ve had a rough day.”

Xena seemed surprised by that. “How long did I sleep?” she asked me.

I told her the truth. “You didn’t sleep at all. You passed out cold after the fight with Emericus’s men.”

Her expression of disbelief is one I welcomed with a laugh. “I have never ‘passed out cold’ in my life,” she told me.

“Until today,” I insisted. “You passed out cold. Took me forever to get you loaded on Argo. Why can’t you ever admit it when you are sick?”

She shook her head slightly, then seemed to think better of it. “I didn’t start feeling bad until right before the fight,” she said. “And by then, it was too late.”

I wondered for a moment or two if that was really true, but let it go. “How are you feeling now?” I asked her.

She surprised me by answering, “Like I was dragged through Tartarus on my face.” Usually, even when she was feeling lousy, she would never let me know to what extent.

I had the feeling that this was just the eye of the storm, and I had better take advantage of her awake time while I could. “What are you sick with?” I asked her. “Did you pick up a bug somewhere?”

She told me that it came on so fast, she found it hard to believe it was a virus that she picked up somewhere. I thought I had misunderstood her when she asked me how I was feeling.

“What?” I said, confused.

“I said ‘how do you feel’?” I HAD heard her correctly the first time.

“I feel fine,” I told her.

“Hard to believe it’s a bug I picked up then,” she replied. “Cause you’ve been exposed to everything I have, one way or the other.”

She raised both her eyebrows at me when she said that, and it made me grin, for I knew immediately what she was saying. “I wouldn’t be too surprised if I come down with it later,” I told her. “But let’s get you well first.”

I noticed her eyelids were growing heavy again, and her head dropped a bit. “Gabrielle…I’m going back to sleep now.”

“Okay, Xena.” I leaned forward and gently pressed my lips against her, and by the time I lifted my head, she was out again.

The sun was almost totally below the horizon now, and I tried to figure out a way to light the cave without making it any hotter than it was. Finally I made a small fire just outside the entranceway of the cave…it cast some light against the darkness of the shade, but the cool breeze outside kept its heat from entering the cave.

I was alarmed by how still Xena was while she slept. I was used to her moving around restlessly when she slumbered, and she hadn’t moved once since she had closed her eyes the last time. I checked her forehead every fifteen minutes or so, and it seemed to be maintaining, but as the stars made their presence known, I heard a soft noise groan come from her.

I was at her side at an instance, and I could see that her face had grown even darker with an infuse of blood. Fearing the worst, I reached down and touched her forehead and then her cheek. Her skin was so hot I jerked my hand back, thinking I had been burned.

“Oh gods, Xena,” I whispered, desperately wishing she was awake. She was a skilled healer and could tell me what I needed to do to break the fever. I was on my own. One thing was for sure…no one…not even Xena could maintain a temperature that high for long without burning up from the inside out.

Ice…it had taken its toll on her earlier today, and I realized now that it might just be the thing that could save her. There was ice in some of the puddles that were scattered along the edge of the riverbank. “I’ll be right back, Xena,” I whispered, and I grabbed one of our food bags to collect what I needed.

I would have sworn I heard her calling out my name when I reproached the cave, but she was still unconscious when I entered. I sat on my knees beside her, and spoke softly to her. “That shift has got to go.”

It had been enough of a struggle to get her leathers off of her earlier, and if I had to wrestle her around again to get the shift off, I was just going to make her hotter. I reached for the dagger I had removed from her boot, and used it to split the front of her shift open, from top to bottom.

“I’m going to cool you down, Xena,” I told her, taking some of the ice out of the bag. I started at her forehead, and slowly rubbed the slick ice over her flesh, shocked at how quickly it melted. “You can’t keep going with your fever the way it is.”

I continued to talk to her as I rubbed the ice over every inch of her skin. I honestly don’t know if she could hear me or not, but I felt better thinking she could.

“I know it’s cold, Darling, but I’ve got to get you cooled off.” She was shaking sporadically as I continued to rub her down, and occasionally, she would act as though she were trying to lift a body part to stop me from touching it. Her face went from the placid expression of someone unconscious to someone who was struggling…although I had no idea what she was struggling for.

“Take it easy, Xena,” I whispered in as soothing voice as I could muster. “Your fever is playing tricks on your mind.” I pressed my lips to her forehead, and felt relief rush over me when I realized it was already cooler to the touch. The ice bath had helped considerably with her temperature, but I was becoming increasingly alarmed with her thrashing movements. She seemed to be trying to raise her arms and legs, but they would only twitch, as if she didn’t have the strength to lift them.

I noticed another thing too. Having her lie her naked had its own effect on me, especially watching various body parts reacting to the ice in various ways. But she was quite sick, and I didn’t let her gorgeous curves distract me from the task at hand.

Now however, her body was sending some signals that were hard to ignore. She was whimpering little pleading sounds, and they were in tones I had never heard her use before. They were very erotic, to say the least.

And now, there was the scent of her arousal, wafting up to my nose. It hadn’t been there when I started, of that I was sure of. But now it was becoming more and more evident that she was feeling a different kind of fever between her legs. I had no idea what had brought that on, and I was tempted to help her allieve the situation, especially when she let her legs part and I could see her moisture pearled on the lips of her cunt. But I let my cooler instincts prevail, and after checking her fever one last time, and realizing it was even lower, I pulled one of the furs up lightly over her. It helped mask her fragrance, and I also noticed she settled back down instantly.

Xena’s fever continued to go down as the night went on, thank the gods. By the middle of the night, she felt cool and normal to the touch. She was resting comfortably, and I curled up beside her to try to get a couple of hours sleep.

I’m not sure how long I was asleep, when I was awakened suddenly. It took me a moment to realize what was happening, and I groaned when I figured it out. Xena’s fever had more than broken, now she was suffering from the opposite problem and long shudders were wracking her body. I could even hear her teeth chattering in the darkness.

The fire outside the cave had long since gone out, leaving me no way of getting warm myself, but I wasn’t concerned about that. I climbed to my knees. “I’ll get you warmed up, My Love,” I whispered down to her, before I went about making a fire in the corner of the cave.

It would take a few minutes for the heat of the fire to permeate the cave, so I spent the time, trying to tuck the furs around her, as I had when we had first arrived in the cave. But once again, she was fighting me, her arms and legs offering only slight movements, but those combined with her voice were enough to tell me she was very much against my help.

“You’re sick, Xena…” I tried to tell her. “You’re sick and you’re hallucinating. It’s me, Gabrielle.”

Suddenly, out of all the moans and growls, I heard her plainly ask ”Are you sure?” The three simple words took me aback, puzzling me. If she didn’t think I was Gabrielle, who did she think I was? And what did she think I was trying to do?

She continued to shiver and shake, but every time I approached her and tried something to help her warm up, she pushed me away, usually with a moan. “Xena, why won’t you let me put my arms around you?” I half begged at one point, and her incoherent answer came out as a long loud howl of pain. It was very uncharacteristic of her, and chilled me right to the bone.

On the plus side, her strength seemed to be returning to her. She was able to lift her arms now, and although they still felt weak, she was able to push at me when I tired to touch her. I suppose I should be glad that she was recovering her power, but it was hard for me to feel that way when it was being directed against me.

By morning, she was talking out of her head, saying fragments of words that didn’t make any sense to me. I had some herbs that I know would help calm her overactive brain, but she wouldn’t let me get close enough to give them to her, and she wasn’t able to take them on their own. I was deathly afraid that whatever she had was going to ravage her body, but with her not letting me get close to her, there’s no way I could check my condition. I sat on the far side of the cave, and tried to fight back the tears.

“No!” I suddenly heard her cry out, and she was on her feet before I was. I wrapped my arms around her stomach, pleading with her not to be afraid, but she turned unfocused eyes on me, and pushed me aside like I was an insect. I continued to call her name as I followed her out of the cave.

She wasn’t very steady on her feet and she stumbled and fell. I was so bent on watching her, that I didn’t even see she had fallen at the feet of an old woman, who now bent down and talked to her in a low voice. I grabbed my staff which was propped up outside the cave entrance, and continued to stare.

The woman had been holding the reins of a horse, but she dropped them now as she slipped her arms around Xena who had quietenedI immediately. I watched in amazement as the woman led Xena straight back into the cave. She reemerged from the cave a moment later.. She was quite old, and she had a pleasant smile, but still, Xena had taught me that you can never be too careful.

The woman stopped while she was still several paces from me. “Are you Gabrielle?” she asked me.

That took me by surprise. “Yes,” I answered, without thinking better of it. “Who are you?”

Her smile broadened. “My name is Ramina. I am an old friend of Xena’s. I’ve been following you the last couple of days trying to catch up with you. I’m here to help Xena.”

I wanted to believe her, but I had never heard Xena mention a Ramina before. I narrowed my eyes at her. “Do you have proof you are who you say you are?” I asked.

She seemed to be thinking it over, and then she said, “Xena loves hazelnuts, but every time she eats them, they make her break out in hives.”

That was a true fact, and not common knowledge, so I approached her carefully. “How did you find us?” I asked her.

I felt better after Ramina explained to me that Xena had been given a drug that was playing tricks with her mind. She couldn’t help the way she had begun to react toward me, but allowed Ramina to take care of her. The old woman promised she would be all right in a day or two. I continuously prayed she was right.

“She’s coming around, Gabrielle…”

I heard Ramina’s voice call to me from the cave, and I gave Argo an apologetic pat. “I’ll finish brushing you later,” I told her, before hurrying into the cave.

My heart melted when I saw the love of my life’s eyes lock into mine, and a slow smile slide across her features. “Hey,” she said in a scratchy voice.

“Thank the gods!” I cried out, before falling to my knees beside her and giving her a kiss and a warm hug. I just clung to her, grateful that she finally knew who I was.

Xena was thrilled to see Ramina there, and was full of questions as to what had happened. Ramina and I filled her in for a while, and then Ramina left us alone so she could go get some water. I spoon-fed Xena some chicken broth in between snippets of her telling me the circumstances under which she and Ramina had become friends, and I told her about Ramina finding out about the drug she had been given, and how the old woman came all this way to take care of her.

Ramina returned and I watched the exchange between Xena and Ramina, as the old woman told Xena she had always felt in debt to her. As always, Xena acted as if Ramina didn’t owe her a thing, and I know she really felt that way, but I also found that people who felt they owed us a favor have often come through for us.

I watched the friendship between the two women as they continued to talk about Ramina’s trip here and what kind of poison had been used on Xena. Eventually, Xena signaled she couldn’t hold any more soup, so I set the bowl aside. I had missed Xena so much that I didn’t want to leave her side.

At one point, I kissed the back of her hand, and finding that wasn’t enough, I leaned forward and placed a soft kiss on her lips. When I pulled back my head, she beamed at me, and I turned to see a similar expression on Ramina’s face. My heart swelled with love.

I shouldn’t have been surprised when Xena announced the next morning that she was going to get out of bed that day. I looked to Ramina, hoping she’d try to talk Xena out of it, but she just shrugged, as if letting me know it wouldn’t do any good. I watched Xena get out of bed and stretch cautiously, and she seemed to be feeling just fine. I told her I’d pack our belongings so she could spend a little time with Ramina.

While Xena and I packed our things on Argo’s back, Ramina was doing the same with her horse. “Take care of her, Gabrielle,” she said finally, giving me a warm smile.

“I will,” I answered, and it was a promise I vowed never to break. I gave her a hug. “And thank you for all you’ve done.”

After giving me a nod, Ramina held her arms out for Xena to embrace her. I was touched by the emotion both of them showed as the said their farewells.

I heard Xena tell Ramina “We’re even now,” but Ramina shook her head.

“I don’t want to be even, Xena,” she replied, before mounting her horse. “I’ll always feel like I could never repay you for being my friend when no one else would be.”

We watched Ramina ride off, and then I felt Xena press a kiss to my knuckles. “Are you ready to go?” she asked me.

“Ready,” I answered.

“Then let’s get out of here.”

We both rode on Argo’s back as we made our way back toward Lamins. I tried everything I could to get Xena to tell me what was happening to her while she was unconscious, and it took some prying, but eventually, she began to tell me.

She had vivid memories, and as she told me what she had hallucinated I was doing with the ice, I could remember the smell of her arousal at that time. It sounded intense, and at the same time, intriguing, and I found myself touching her where I could reach her bare flesh. I was getting excited just hearing about it. By the time she got to the candle wax and the candle itself, my body was demanding more than just further talk.

“No wonder you were wiggling around like crazy,” I whispered to her.

“Oh yeah?” I heard her ask as she pulled Argo off the path we had been on.. “You like that idea? Tying me up and making me squirm at your mercy?”

Oh yes, I liked that idea very much, but I wasn’t going to tip my hand yet. “It sounded like you were trying very hard not to enjoy yourself,” I said in an effort to not directly answer the question.

She looked back at me. “It’s pointless to try to lie to you,” she told me. “But I was so helpless in my mind, that I think I feared your touch more than reveling in it.”

I thought about that as she helped me hop down from Argo.

We made camp, and after eating supper, I could see Xena was exhausted, so I told her to lay her head in my lap, knowing she wouldn’t refuse. She didn’t.

I was dying of curiosity to ask her, so I finally did. “Have you done that before?” I asked slowly. “Tied someone else, and…done those things to them?”

She paused for a minute, then answered me. “Yeah, I’ve been known to do it in my past. I guess that’s why it was lurking in the back of my mind.”

I was rubbing my head over her hair, reveling in the silky thickness of it, and suddenly, I felt her fingers stroking over my leg. Gods, wherever she chose to touch me always became my new favorite spot!

She advised me not to let my imagination make me too crazy, as it would probably be a while before she was up to leading me into the discovery of pleasure and pain.

I was willing to accept that, and instead, sought out more pressure from her lips on my calf. Xena continued to lave it with her tongue, and eventually she slipped my boots off, and giving both feet a brief massage. “I’ve missed you,” I heard her say, and then she turned so she could meet my mouth in a kiss. I eagerly accepted the entrance of her tongue into my mouth.

“I think you’ve been feeling neglected,” she told me, after a while. I suppose it was true, and when she pulled me to lay down on my back, I quickly moved to do her bidding.

She gave me a searing look as she began to kiss and lick over my neck and upper chest, and I wrapped my fingers in her hair, knowing she loved that as much as I did. I was expecting her to take off my shirt, but instead, she tickled over my stomach and approached my breasts from beneath.

Her hands slid up under my shirt, and I moaned out her name as I felt her hands press into my breasts, massaging and arousing. I moved in a way that I hoped would entice her, and sure enough, it wasn’t long before she was unfastening my shirt.

“Yes, I’ve neglected this way too long,” I heard her, before I was put in ecstasy as she pressed my breasts together so she could lick over both nipples at once. Gods, but did I love that!

Gods, my pussy was drenched, and her mouth working over my breasts was making it pour out even more juices into my underwear. She shifted positions, and I took advantage, gripping her thigh between mine so I could seek out a little relief on her hardened thigh. When her hand eventually found its way between my legs, I gripped a hold of it too, desperate for my climax.

When I felt two of her fingers suddenly spear inside me, I cried out my gratitude and one of my legs instinctively straightened to rest against her shoulder, giving her a widespread area to work in. I was so ready to come, and thank the gods she didn’t seem bent on teasing me. She added a third finger, and I felt her thumb beginning to brush my clitoris.

She bent over and began to suckle at my nipples again, even as her hand continued to work its magic on my cunt. I wanted to tell Xena how fantastic she was making me feel, and tried to express it, but I’m not sure if I was able to or not. I was too wrapped up in my climax which gripped my entire body, the pleasure sweeping over it like waves crashing onto a beach.

Finally, my breath returned to me, and I was back on earth. I could smell her own juices and knew she was in need of a little loving her self, and I tried to wiggle from her grasp so I could lick her pussy. She shook her head at me, and told me she wasn’t done with me.

My stomach sucked in pleasure when she began to slide down, and I knew she was gong to use her mouth on me this time. She lifted my legs so they rested on her shoulders, and urged me to make myself comfortable on the bedroll. “I’m going to show you how much I’ve missed you,” she promised me, before lowering her lips to my lower ones.

She spent half the night showing me, and I spent the other night thanking her.

COMING NEXT WEEK: Xena and Gabrielle meet up with Eli in India, and after a rough night, Xena begins to suspect Gabrielle isn't quite herself.

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