Please read the Disclaimer in Part One!
Warning: This story is rated NC-17. Do not read it if you are under 17 years of age, or if the idea of two women (or two men) in love turns you off. This story (and this chapter!) contains explicit sexual content, as well as probably some four-letter words.
Small Spoiler Warning: This chapter refers obliquely to certain events in the H:TLJ episode "Unchained Heart." I don't consider it a real spoiler (and anyway if you've been reading this story you already know that Xena and Herc have been horizontal), but I thought I'd warn you anyway. Beware.
Xenite Disclaimer for Part Five: Hercules's manly self-image was not harmed in the production of this fanfic. However, when he gets his body back he may have a few choice words to say about the hickeys.
...in my arms till break of day Let the living creature lie, Mortal, guilty, but to me The entirely beautiful. --W.H. Auden
"I don't know about this, Gabrielle," Xena said uncertainly as she knelt on the bedroll beside the body of her former lover. Hercules's hands moved, under Gabrielle's will, to the buckles of Xena's armor.
"Trust me, Xena," Gabrielle said. "You just need to relax."
"That's easy for you to say." Xena jumped slightly as the clasp at one shoulder popped open.
"Well, maybe it would help if you closed your eyes."
"I doubt it," said Xena, but she gave it a try. Forcing her tense body to relax, she tried to concentrate on the sensation of Gabrielle -- yes, Gabrielle, her beloved bard, no one else -- undressing her. But it was still Hercules's scent that filled her sensitive nostrils, flooding her perception with visceral memories. She could almost feel the leaves crackling underneath her, the dry musty smell of the damp earth that autumn day, the surprising softness of Hercules's warm mouth on her chilled but eager skin. Unexpected desire prickled the tiny hairs along her arms, and she gave an involuntary sigh of pleasure.
"Yes," Gabrielle sighed, misunderstanding the reason but not the reaction. She slid Herc's broad hands across Xena's shoulders and the armor fell away, exposing the miles of dark smooth skin that Gabrielle loved so much. It was all so strange -- for one thing, she wasn't used to looking down at Xena -- but really the sensations of arousal were not all that different. She felt it flushing her borrowed body as she bent to Xena's luscious breasts, flicking one tense nipple with a hot tongue before switching to a fierce suckling.
"Hmmm...." Xena moaned, her head spinning as much with confusion as lust, as she wrapped her strong arms around broad muscled shoulders and moved her long bare legs sensuously against slender hips. She was sinking more and more deeply into the erotic depths of the moment, almost ready to lose herself in the strange double-seduction of her past and present lovers.
But Xena's descent into passion was abruptly halted when, with a muffled cry of surprise, her lover pulled away. Confused, blinking, the warrior woman sat up.
"Umm...." Herc's chiseled features flushed rosy red as his eyes looked with deep distrust at his groin. "I felt ... something ... move!"
Xena gave it a gallant try, working her face muscles around, clamping her lips shut, but it didn't work. Glorious in her nakedness under the midmorning sky, she shook her head and giggled uncontrollably.
"Xena.... Xena!" Trying not to pout, Gabrielle grabbed her love by the shoulders and shook her lightly. Unfortunately, a light shake with Gabrielle's hands was a teeth-rattler with Herc's, but it had the desired effect: as soon as Xena's vision cleared, she managed to stop laughing.
"Oh, Gabrielle, I'm sorry," she apologized fervently. "It's just, this whole situation ... you know, it's just so ... silly."
"Well, I'm glad you find it amusing," Gabrielle muttered.
"Come on, don't pout," Xena encouraged. "Look, I'm sorry I was reluctant at first. You don't know how weird it is...." She trailed off.
"I guess not," Gabrielle admitted. "I mean, it's weird enough for me, just being ... in here ... but it must be doubly so for you. It's not like this is just any man's body." A brief frown clouded Herc's face. "What on earth was Aphrodite thinking?" But then the wrinkles cleared. "Um ... forget I asked that."
"I don't even want to know," Xena said. "Look, let's try this another way, okay? You just relax and let me ... ahh ... take over."
"I suppose that makes sense," Gabrielle agreed. "You probably know more about the male body than me, anyway. Hey! ...Maybe you should be-"
"Forget it," Xena growled, and to quell that line of thought before it got any further, she slid her hand across Herc's abdomen and downward, wrapping her fingers confidently around his penis, stroking it. Gabrielle gasped loudly, shock crossing Herc's features as the erection began to grow. Xena, emboldened by her reclamation of the position of power, all reticence discarded, pushed Gabrielle/Hercules down on the bedroll and slid across him ... her ... slowly, slowly, giving Gabrielle time to savor each exquisite sensation, familiar and yet completely unknown, as the erection continued to swell and both lovers began to pant with excitement, sweat sheening their entwined bodies.
"Xena," Gabrielle moaned, writhing eagerly on the warm earth. She felt fully exposed, the borrowed penis sending intense signals to every corner of her being. The feel of Xena's so-familiar skin moving over her, the heady scent of the warrior woman's arousal, even the feel of Xena's breasts in her hands, all were familiar yet different, like making love through a curtain that enhanced rather than muffled sensation. Secretly, Gabrielle was glad Xena had taken the lead. Although in the weeks since they became lovers Gabrielle had frequently experimented with being the more dominant partner -- with Xena's total acquiescence of course -- she still felt somewhat clumsy and awkward when taking the lead with the strong, confident, glorious Warrior Princess. Now, although she was in what she thought of as the more dominant role, Gabrielle yet felt more comfortable being more passive, and the dichotomy only seemed to fuel her passion.
Xena, too, sensed the shift in the power dynamic and was intensely aroused by it. Her knowing tongue hungered to rediscover the hidden flavors of Hercules's body, but the throbbing burn in her loins could wait no longer. Straddling the strong long body, she opened her thighs and guided the tip of Herc's ... Gabrielle's ... erection into her dripping depths.
Gabrielle cried out as Xena's silky folds enclosed her. The physical sensation itself was unlike anything in her experience, but the smell of Xena's various secretions, the sound of Xena's voice, the closeness of Xena in body and spirit were just as she had always known them. Instinctively, her borrowed hips knew what to do, moving against Xena with increasing urgency as their shared pleasure neared its peak.
"Someday I'm going to get you for this," Hercules said conversationally as he and Iolaus sat in the shade of a tree, keeping an eye on Argo and unofficially standing guard.
Iolaus looked over at his friend, but Herc's emotions on Gabrielle's face were too difficult for him to read. "What do you mean? I didn't create this situation."
"You certainly encouraged it."
"Look," Hercules said, tossing aside the piece of grass he had been idly chewing. "I don't know what you said to Gabrielle while the two of you were waiting, but I'm betting it was something more than 'So, you're in Hercules's body, how's the weather up there?' I know you better than that."
"You do?" Iolaus shifted uncomfortably on the ground. As if the entire experience weren't strange enough already ... he just wasn't used to looking down at Hercules. He hoped his face wasn't as red as it felt.
"Yeah. You probably told Gabrielle all kinds of ... mushy ... stuff about me and Xena -- which by the way you know nothing about anyway -- to convince her that having ... you know ... making love ... in my body ... would be just great."
"Oh." Iolaus tried to hide his relief. "Well, actually...." Now or never, he told himself anxiously, "...no, that's not what we were talking about at all."
"Really." Herc gave his friend a questioning look. It looked impossibly endearing on Gabrielle's face. Iolaus gave a shaky sigh.
"Yeah, really." He steeled himself and turned to look Herc directly in the eye. "Actually, I was asking her what ... what she thought might happen with her body ... while she was ... using yours."
There was silence for a moment while Hercules tried to figure out what that meant. When the realization came, it hit harder than the wrath of Hera. "WHAT?!"
"Hey, Herc, calm down," Iolaus exclaimed hastily. "It was just, you know, speculation ... I mean-"
"I know what you mean!"
"Herc," Iolaus said beseechingly. "In all time we've been together, can you really tell me there's never been a moment when you thought...."
"No," said Hercules incredulously as Iolaus paused to seek for words. "I mean ... yes...." His confident tone faltered, a troubled frown clouding Gabrielle's face. "I mean...."
"Honestly," Iolaus said, leaning forward, emboldened by his mighty friend's hesitation. He put a hand carefully on Gabrielle's knee. "Come on, seriously, Hercules." His voice dropped half an octave, becoming almost seductive. "Tell me."
Hercules looked uncertainly into the eyes of his best friend. He recognized the intensity of Iolaus's emotions, and was even able to identify the other man's desire although he had never seen it smoldering like this before ... but he was at a loss for a response. He felt unbearably vulnerable after the experiences of the day, and his defenses were down. He tried to tell himself that it was Gabrielle's body making Iolaus's eyes bright with passion, but at heart Herc knew he was lying to himself.
"Iolaus," he said haltingly, "I honestly don't know. We've been friends for so long. I mean-"
"Hey, come on," Iolaus said encouragingly. "If Xena was willing to try it, why not you?"
As Hercules was trying to work out a response to that, Iolaus took the initiative, leaning forward and lightly brushing his lips across Gabrielle's. Her body responded immediately, tensing with sudden arousal, as Hercules screwed Gabrielle's eyes shut and tried to figure out what he was feeling. In another moment Herc was leaning forward, seeking blindly with Gabrielle's mouth, keeping her eyes tightly shut as he put her hands tentatively on Iolaus's thick upper arms and leaned into a second, more passionate kiss.
Hercules yelped in startlement an instant later, pulling back like lightning from the touch of Iolaus's hands on Gabrielle's breasts. Panting, Iolaus stared in confusion at his friend, who stood up and backed away.
"This is just too weird," Hercules declared shakily, peering under the loose tunic at Gabrielle's small but well-defined breasts. He brought her hands up and cupped them, observing how the nipples had tightened, somewhat dazed by the degree of sensitivity they provided.
Watching Hercules-as-Gabrielle fondle herself ... himself ... whatever ... was too much for poor Iolaus. He got up and stumbled away into the trees. Hercules looked up and started after him, then paused, biting Gabrielle's lip with a troubled expression.
Argo flicked her tail idly, wondering if there were any stallions in the area.
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