Disclaimer: Characters from Xena: Warrior Princess are the property of MCA/Universal, Studios USA, and Renaissance Pictures. The story is mine.
Warning: This story has some frank lesbian sexual content and is intended for ADULT readers.
Thanks and Gratitude: To Katelin B. and Lady Adrell for their kind encouragement in the writing of this story.
Author's Note: This story was inspired by Katelin B.'s wonderful story "What If". My story is based on my own 'what if' premise: In the XWP episode "The Debt", the story of Xena's adventures in the Land of Chin (China) during her evil warlord days was recounted in a long flashback story. During this time, long before she met Gabrielle, she acquired a mentor, a Chinese woman by the name of Lao Ma, who began to bring out the inner goodness in Xena. At the end of the flashback story, however, everything fell apart, and Xena reverted to her evil ways. My 'what if' premise: What if everything had not fallen apart between Xena and Lao Ma, and Xena had reformed at that time in her past?
Xena: Warrior Princess: Circle Part 1 (FF,rom)
by Brian Davis
In the clearing in the forest, two untethered horses, a black stallion and a white mare, grazed lazily at the wet grass. Their manes still glistened with the moisture of the recently fallen late spring rain. Above the treetops, the pale yellow moon formed a perfect circle, illuminating the clearing with a soft, subdued light.
In the center of the clearing stood a yellow silk tent, and from within, the soft moans of a woman's pleasure drifted towards the forest.
Inside the tent, a small, beautiful Oriental woman lay on her back on a green silk-covered bedroll. Her lover, a large, powerful, and equally beautiful Greek woman, attended to the moist recesses between the Oriental woman's legs with her mouth and tongue, expertly bringing the smaller woman closer and closer to the peak of ecstasy.
As the smaller woman cried out with the pleasure of orgasm, her lover tasted the sweet, sharp juices of her vagina, and experienced something else as well. The large Greek woman felt the life energy, the chi, of her lover, flow into her mouth, through her body, and out her hands, back into the smaller woman's body, completing a circular flow.
Later, the Greek woman lay on her own back, as her petite beloved returned the favor. As the Oriental woman worked her way down, eventually reaching the Greek woman's vaginal area, the Greek woman felt a familiar sphere of energy start to surround her genital area, the tingles expanding up her abdomen and down her legs. As her smaller lover continued her expert manipulations with her tongue and lips, bringing the Greek woman towards the brink of climax, the Oriental woman also did expert work with her hands as well, placing them on her larger lover's abdomen, carefully manipulating the flow of chi. A loud moan leading into a scream of ecstasy escaped the Greek woman's lips, as the sphere of energy expanded to encompass both women, enveloping them completely and shutting out all awareness of the world beyond...
Later, the two women stood arm-in-arm just outside the tent, looking up at the sky. The smaller, Oriental woman wore a red silk Chinese robe, and her Greek lover wore a similar robe in shimmering blue. Both women had similar hair, silky and jet-black, though the Greek woman wore hers longer.
After awhile, the smaller woman spoke. "Ugetsu," said Lao Ma, gently.
"What?" Xena replied softly.
"To the east of Chin, in the Islands of the Rising Sun," said Lao Ma, "they have a word which means 'pale yellow moon after the rain.' Ugetsu."
"What a beautiful word," Xena said, turning to gaze into the eyes of her lover, her mentor, her savior...
Xena took Lao Ma's head in her hands, and the two women kissed fiercely, under the pale yellow moon...
* * *
The next day, with the tent and supplies secured to the back of the horses, Xena and Lao Ma continued their trek through the Greek mainland. Back in the Land of Chin, far to the east, the administrators and generals of the House of Lao had insisted that Lao Ma travel with an entourage of soldiers for protection, but Lao Ma had been adamant: She would arrive in Greece as a teacher, not as a military leader. And once she'd made up her mind, no man had dared to go against her will; Lao Ma was powerful in ways that even her most skilled military men couldn't match.
Lao Ma had been issued a formal invitation, by the Academy in Athens, to lecture on the topic of the teachings of her late husband, Lao Tzu. The secret fact, that all of Lao Tzu's Taoist teachings, including his famous written work, the "I Ching," had actually been the work of Lao Ma, was of no consequence to her. Lao Ma had kept her comatose husband alive for years using acupuncture and other chi energy techniques, all the while using his name to disseminate her teachings, and to consolidate her power in the Land of Chin.
Now, with Lao Tzu gone, Lao Ma had come to be recognized as the foremost sage to pass on "his" teachings. The Land of Chin had seen relative peace and stability for almost ten years now, ruled by an alliance of Lao Ma, her son Ming T'ien, and the warlord Borias, Xena's lover at the time she'd first met Lao Ma. And so, Lao Ma had decided to make the journey to Athens, accompanied only by her lover Xena.
Once, Lao Ma had doubted the ability of her son Ming T'ien to put aside his dark side and become a fit ruler. After killing Ming T'ien's real father, Ming Tzu-a former lover of Lao Ma's who'd become an enemy-Xena had taken young Ming T'ien under her wing, and as Xena learned about love and the Way of the Tao from Lao Ma, so did Ming T'ien learn from Xena to put aside his sadistic impulses. There was no regret in Lao Ma's realization that Xena had become more of a mother to Ming T'ien than Lao Ma. Lao Ma realized that it was the fact that Xena had once been a sadistic warlord herself, and the pivotal moment when Xena had refrained from killing Ming T'ien after killing his warlord father, that made it possible for Ming T'ien to bond with Xena and learn from her.
As for Borias, Xena's warlord ex-lover, he'd settled quite comfortably into the roll of pampered administrator as time went on.
And as for Xena, while she'd still fought occasionally to defend the Land of Chin and the House of Lao from outside invaders, she'd learned to live without hate, to embrace the way of the Tao, and had lived in selfless union with Lao Ma for over a decade now.
The two lovers, Xena and Lao Ma, walked on foot, leading the horses. Each wore their attire and hair in more or less the traditional Chinese manner, except that their footwear was more practical for journeying-sandals instead of tiny shoes-and Xena wore a short, curved sword at her side. As they had the night before, Xena wore blue, and Lao Ma, red. Both women had long-toothed metal combs in their hair, potentially deadly protection as well as feminine decoration.
As they continued through the forest, Xena felt her thoughts start to darken. Her mind flashed back to images from her past, images associated with the part of the world they were now in. Images of Xena the mighty warlord, leading her army in brutal acts of slaughter, conquest, and acquisition. Images of blood, of severed limbs and twisted bodies, of entire villages burning to the ground.
Images too, of past lovers, of sexual encounters with men and women Xena could not have properly even called "friend". Sexual pleasures as shallow as the pleasures to be had from a huge excess of wine, and perhaps mainly, sex as power, as a way of gaining control over men and women, of getting them to do her bidding.
Lao Ma sensed the change that had come over Xena, and took Xena's hand as they walked. "Lessons," Lao Ma said softly. "The lessons of experience, which you had to live through before you could regain your innate goodness. Ghosts of the past, the ghost of the beast of ignorance, which you have slain with the sword of your wisdom, love, and selflessness. Specters which can never again touch the supreme beauty in your soul."
"The soul joined to yours, my love," Xena replied, her darkness ebbing like a receding tide, dissipating as a wisp of smoke in the wind. She once again felt the connection of the subtle-body energy that bound her in willing joy to Lao Ma, her eternal soulmate...
Suddenly, Xena became aware of something else, her warrior instinct becoming alive to a sense of imminent danger. Seconds later, Xena and Lao Ma found themselves surrounded by a formidable presence of warrior women, who seemed to drop from the sky, and to emerge from nowhere out of the surrounding trees. All were armed, with either swords drawn, bows cocked, or fighting staffs at the ready.
"Amazons," said Xena aloud, breaking physical contact with Lao Ma but not yet drawing her sword. Lao Ma did not even flinch, and showed not the least sign of alarm.
Xena knew that her lover could easily disable at least a half dozen of the warriors without so much as making physical contact, and that she herself could do much damage if needed, both with her sword and her own ability to project chi energy to repel attack.
There were at least fifty Amazons, though-that could be seen-and Xena knew that they were the most formidable warriors in all Greece. In her warlord days, Xena had always had the sense to leave Amazon territory alone, and she knew now that the chances of her and Lao Ma being able to prevail against the whole tribe were just about non-existent.
Besides, something about the two Amazons directly in front of them, no more than ten feet away, told Xena they were not among enemies.
One of them, the obvious leader of the tribe, was a medium-sized but formidable and authoritative looking woman, with long blond, curly hair that reached past her shoulders. At the side of this woman was a small, beautiful, blond warrior with long straight hair, whose green eyes burned with an intensity that reminded Xena of her own days as a bloodthirsty fighter....though there was something else too in those eyes, a hint of an inner goodness underneath the fierce passion. The small blond woman's hair reached almost down the full length of her back, and she wielded a large sword that seemed out of proportion to her small size.
"I'm Ephiny," the authoritative curly-haired woman said. "Queen of the Amazon Nation. Identify yourselves, and state why you have trespassed onto Amazon lands."
Xena knew something of Amazon customs, and was about to suggest to Lao Ma that they kneel down before the Queen, when she noticed Lao Ma was already doing so. Xena followed her lead, then carefully removed her still-sheathed short sword and laid it on the ground in front of her.
"We beg your forgiveness for trespassing," Lao Ma addressed Queen Ephiny. "We are travelers from the Land of Chin, far to the east, on our way to Athens. I am Lao Ma, and this is my consort Xena."
Then Xena spoke. "I am originally from Greece, but I was not aware that your territory had expanded to the area we're now passing through. We humbly request permission to pass through Amazon land."
"Xena," said Ephiny. "I'm well aware of you by reputation. 'Xena the Warrior Princess', 'Xena the Conqueror', 'Xena the Ruthless Warlord'."
"She's changed since those times," Lao Ma said. "Those are the sins of her past, not the good, wise woman she is now."
"I have an instinct that you are a woman of honor, Lao Ma," replied Ephiny. "What you say may be true....or it may not. In any event, Xena always respected the sovereignty of Amazon lands. Permission to pass unharmed is granted on one condition." Ephiny smiled. "That you join us for tonight's feast. By the way, I'd like to introduce you to my wife, Gabrielle." Ephiny smiled at the small blond warrior by her side.
"We welcome you to the hospitality of the Amazon Nation," Gabrielle said, sheathing her sword. "Lao Ma and Xena!"
* * *
That night Xena and Lao Ma were treated to an enormous feast, for which an ox and three pigs were sacrificed, and generous quantities of wine in animal skins was passed around. The frenzied campfire dancing that followed caused Lao Ma to remark to Xena that she was reminded of the Dervish dancers she'd once seen in the mideast.
Lao Ma was invited to give a talk on the teachings of the Tao, but she kept it short, knowing there was no way she was going to turn a village of Amazons into Taoists overnight. She gave particular emphasis to the honor of following one's true, spontaneous inner nature, whether one was a poet inside, a farmer, or, of course, a warrior.
The surprise highlight of the evening for Xena, though, was the beautiful Gabrielle's recounting of true stories. Gabrielle told the story of a young farm woman, rescued by the Amazons after a warlord and his army destroyed her village, who'd gone on to become a fierce Amazon warrior herself. Gabrielle's face brightened as she related how the former farm girl had fallen in love with the Amazon Queen, and of how the Queen had taken her as her wife, in the biggest wedding celebration the village had seen in over a generation.
As Gabrielle's story turned to the Amazons' battles to drive out the Romans only five moons ago, her face darkened into a mesmerizing intensity, and she riveted all present-most of whom, except for Xena and Lao Ma, had lived through it-with her account of the final definitive battle, in which fourteen Amazons had given their lives, but in which the Romans had lost hundreds before retreating. And she became almost frightening as she recalled how she herself had slashed open the abdomen of the Roman leader Pompey, and how his intestines had spilled onto the ground as he died screaming.
Gabrielle wrapped up her story with an emotional account of the mass Amazon funeral following the battle, with the honored Amazon dead set ablaze on pyres, as the able-bodied survivors had danced and wailed their grief into the night. Gabrielle wiped away tears as she concluded, then thanked everyone for letting her share of herself.
Xena found herself crying, and found that through most of Gabrielle's performance, she could not stop looking at he fierce little blond's mesmerizing green eyes. Xena noticed too, that there were times when Gabrielle seemed to be looking right into her soul, just as Lao Ma had done on many occasions.
Xena grasped the hand of Lao Ma, who sat cross-legged next to her, and Xena saw her otherwise still-composed lover smile ever so slightly.
* * *
Three days had passed since Lao Ma and Xena had left the Amazon camp, and they walked side-by-side again, leading their horses on the continued trek toward Athens. Lao Ma noticed that Xena seemed to be somewhere far away, and spoke softly to her. "You're thinking about the little blond warrior. You're wondering why you can't get her out of your mind, and why she seemed so familiar to you."
"Yes," Xena replied, stopping to turn and look into Lao Ma's eyes. Lao Ma had also stopped walking, and now touched Xena's face with her right hand.
"Gabrielle is familiar to you, and has touched your heart, because you have known and loved her many times in past incarnations, and you will be with her again in many future lives. It is not I who am your eternal soulmate, Xena. I am just your lover and teacher in THIS life."
"I love you Lao Ma," said Xena, and the two women met in a kiss.
* * *
Later that night, a yellow silk tent stood in the center of a clearing. Inside, Xena and Lao Ma intertwined in love and passion, Xena on her back with her knee between Lao Ma's legs, and Lao Ma's hand deep inside Xena. As both women headed simultaneously towards orgasm, Lao Ma brought her mouth down on Xena's, and their kiss became more and more passionate, the interplay of the tongues faster and stronger, and the movement of their bodies faster and harder. Xena felt the familiar spread of chi energy encompass both their bodies. Then all was rapture as the circle was completed, the chi flowing into Xena's mouth, through her entire body, and back into Lao Ma where Lao Ma's hand was held inside Xena's folds, and where Lao Ma's moistness rode on Xena's knee.
From outside the tent, where the horses stood lazily at the edge of the forest, the moans of two women could be heard softly, over the sound of the just begun gently falling rain...