Brigid blazed down the highway going much faster than the speed limit. It grated on her nerves to slow down when she was so close. Halfway to Missouri. She was reluctant to stop at all but knew it probably would be better for her to pull into a motel and rest, even if it meant standing up to sleep. She halted her efforts at Louisville when she reached the point where she couldn't breathe or ground anymore. She flickered into Bernie and limped into the nearest motel.
Xena broke the door with one swift kick. She was way beyond outraged. This woman, this Brigid, this person they were stuck with forever, obviously: A. Lacked common sense, B. Lacked compassion, and C. Needed to be taught a lesson she wouldn't forget.
This would have been well and good if she had been home. The house was roaringly silent.
Gabrielle stated the obvious. "Looks like she's not here." Xena sneered angrily and stomped into the home. Gabrielle set about repairing the door. She turned around quickly at Xena's gasp.
Xena's furor driven exploration halted abruptly when she came to Brigid's practice room. Yellow light filled the room from the windows, warming the wooden floor. There were various weapons placed respectfully on the wall, at a height that even Gabrielle could easily reach. There was a deep serenity that permeated the room. In a far corner, there was a curving statue of two female lovers. She recognized herself.
But that wasn't what made her gasp.
It was the bloody footprints on the floor. Like a ghastly piece of artwork. The footprints fell in an easy to follow pattern, as if they had been danced into the wood. Some were smudged from being filled over and over again. There was a bloody robe near a small stool.
The rage left Xena's body as if it had never been.
Xena put her hand out. "Where's the number?"
Gabrielle slipped the piece of paper into Xena's palm.
She almost couldn't wake up. She really didn't want to, because it was the first comfortable position she had found in a long time. Her eyelids seemed too heavy to move.
But she could hear the cellular buzzing.
There were only four people with that number: Joni, Clarisse, Mom, and Dad. It was still dark. There was a chance that it was an emergency or a big sale.
Brigid forced herself up. The covers were damp and clung to her available skin.
She ignored the sweat and stood up. A shower would take care of the problem. She staggered carefully to her purse and opened it. Each movement was delicate and deliberate. She breathed her way through the notion of blacking out. Answer the phone first, blackout later. . .
Her voice was shaky, whether she wanted it to be or not.
The voice on the other side was both gentle and demanding. "Brigid, where are you?"
It was a matter of seconds and they were there. A few more seconds and the key to the room and some cash clattered on the counter of a surprised manager. Another few seconds and Xena, her face grim, was carrying a not in any shape to protest Brigid to their bed.
Gabrielle stripped the soaked dress from Brigid's body. She also disappeared the clothes from Xena and herself. Then she crawled onto the bed, wincing at Brigid's cry of discomfort. Xena climbed in the bed on the other side. Gabrielle spooned herself into Brigid, her legs gently forcing Brigid's apart. Xena simply positioned herself so that she could touch Brigid easily. Her heart ached for the woman, but she was still pissed. She pulled Brigid close to her and Brigid flowed into her as if Xena were bread and she was the starving peasant. Xena said, in that gentle, rough voice, "If You Ever Do This Again. . ." She didn't even have to finish the sentence. Brigid was whimpering and nodding her head.
She needed skin on skin. To absorb and be absorbed. There had been an almost immediate relief when Gabrielle smoothed herself against Brigid. Her whole back had sung for joy. And where Xena caressed, scales of pain fell off her psyche. Xena kissed Brigid thoroughly. The ache in her teeth, her tongue, her mouth, disappeared into the bright. Gabrielle's hand found Brigid's furry patch and began to caress Brigid from her belly to her nether regions. Brigid felt small howls of pleasure at the back of her throat. They poured out of her mouth.
Brigid's hands finally felt able to do exploring of their own. Her passivity seeped away from her, as her body remembered to whom it belonged. Her mouth found Xena's breast and she began to suckle, to nip and to kiss the bronze woman anywhere she could reach. Brigid opened her legs to Gabrielle's ministrations, purring with pleasure when Gabrielle dipped into her wetness. She finally gave voice to the words she didn't know she needed to say. "I was soooo dumb." There was a *you got that right* from behind. Xena just kissed her.
Xena's hand joined Gabrielle's for a moment, then moved past, until her long fingers found Brigid's opening. Brigid moaned with pleasure as she began to thrust her hips. The tightness in her belly deepened. Xena placed her mouth on Brigid's, her blue eyes blazing into brown. She issued a command that brooked no argument and Brigid came so intensely that she saw stars.
The handy thing about having a goddess as your lover is that you do not need a U-Haul.
After a few loving discussions, and a few loving sessions, people (namely Xena and Brigid, though Gabrielle had been deeply affected by all of this too) were in their right minds again (so to speak). They decided to keep the house near Brigid's college town because Brigid did need to finish, and they still wanted to keep track of Joni, but for the summer Brigid was going to stay home in Missouri. When it was time for the fall semester, Xena would go live with Brigid and Gabrielle would "bop" (her choice of words) back and forth as needed (or wanted for that matter.) There was going to be no repeat of this experience, except for the good bits.
Clarisse was still going to sell Brigid's artwork but would have to wait for shipment across the states. Gabrielle wanted things to work as normally as possible.
It was four days later and they still hadn't checked the answering machine.