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”Don’t you dare!” Gabrielle breathed jokingly, clasping both hands around the back of Xena’s neck.
”I think it sounds like a pretty great idea,” Xena smiled, having teased Gabrielle about hurtling her into the river. She had no intention of doing so, but Gabrielle’s reactions were … well. They were priceless.
In response, Gabrielle held on tighter, her entire body tensing with the sense of impending chill the water would give. Even though she knew Xena wouldn’t dare throw her in, she was still cold from the misty morning air. She squirmed a little in Xena’s arms, somewhat comforted when she was let back down to her feet. Xena was so delicate with her that she felt even more protected than usual. Could Xena really be any more protective than she always was? It would surely be entertaining to see.
Xena wasn’t often great with the emotional aspect of any situation, but she was there for Gabrielle in that moment. She stayed at her side and stripped off her leathers to stand next to her love, naked. She helped to undress her, too.
Gabrielle’s legs were cold up to her thighs, where she waded in the water, but her arms were hot again with Xena’s touch. She looked innocently up at her, batting her lashes quite accidentally.
”You’d better not keep up that act,” Xena teased, well aware that it wasn’t an act at all. ”Or I’ll never let you rest.”
”Doesn’t sound very threatening,” Gabrielle smiled, lifting her arms when Xena motioned for her to do so. ”What? … Why am I doing this? You already took off my top …”
”No reason,” Xena moaned, openly staring at the bard that she’d fantasized about secretly for so long.
Xena smiled when she saw that it was all right, and that Gabrielle was inviting those glances – even holding up her arms for another moment before dropping them down at to the water once more.
”You’re horrible,” Gabrielle smiled.
”You encourage me,” Xena laughed, pulling her infamous grin as she waded in deeper, slipping into the water for a swim. Gabrielle was following closely behind her, swimming lazily out to the rocks on the other side, where it was deep.
”The current’s not too bad here,” Gabrielle whispered, feeling as though she should be quiet. Nature seemed to suggest it.