GENERAL COPYRIGHT/DISCLAIMER: Xena: Warrior Princess, Callisto, Joxer and all other characters who have appeared in the syndicated series Xena: Warrior Princess, together with the names, titles and backstory are the sole copyright property of MCA/Universal and Renaissance Pictures. No copyright infringement was intended in the writing of this fan fiction. All other characters, the story idea and the story itself are the sole property of the author. This story cannot be sold or used for profit in any way. Copies of this story may be made for private use only and must include all disclaimers and copyright notices. NOTE: All works remain the © copyright of the original author. These may not be republished without the author's consent.
Xena walked out to the stable to check on Argo, planning to get her settled for the night. After giving her a healthy helping of hay and grain, she found a brush and started brushing her long silky mane.
As she tended to the mare she was thinking about the events of the day. The ride to Thebes with Joxer had been very enjoyable and they'd talked about everything they could think of. She smiled as she remembered the kiss she had given him before Talmadaus had shown up. The fight with him was tense, but once again Joxer amazed her with his new skills.
New? Or skills he had been hiding. After meeting his father, she found it hard to believe he had never been taught the art of war. Yes, Joxer was a mystery to her. What other skills was he capable of that he had hidden from her? Her thoughts then drifted back to the kiss. Why had she done that? She hoped that she had not ruined their friendship by being so bold. Well, at least he seemed to have gotten his mind off of Gabrielle for now. Maybe she had helped him to feel better after all...
The barn door creaked. Xena spun around and saw it open. Just as she was about to draw her sword, Joxer walked in through it.
"There you are! I had a feeling I would find you out here. Is Argo bedded down ok? If you need any more hay for her I can get some." Joxer was already reaching for the pitchfork and the hay in the corner.
"She's fine, thanks. I believe she will have plenty for the night." As Xena continued brushing Argo, she felt Joxer watching her from behind. "Your parents are wonderful people, I 'm glad you invited me to come along. It has been a good trip, for sure!"
"Yes, they like you very much. My father is honored to have you in his home." Joxer shuffled uneasily as he tried to decide what to say next.
They laughed as they both spoke at the same time. Xena spoke first. "Joxer, about this afternoon in the field before the fight. I don't know what came over me. I hope I didn't do anything to upset you."
"Upset me? Xena, you don't know how much I have been wanting to do that! It has been torture being near you these last few days. I've discovered feelings for you that I never dreamed were possible." Joxer stopped talking when he realized what he was saying and turned around headed for the door.
"Wait! Don't go! Xena urged him as he walked to the door. "Please, come here..."
Joxer stood there as she walked to him. As he reached out to her, he took her face into his hands and traced her lips with his fingertips. Leaning toward her, he kissed her, his eyes widened as he realized she was returning the kiss. As it grew from tender to passionant, he could feel the hunger in her lips and her embrace. He suddenly broke away, leaving her breathless.
"Whats wrong?'" Xena looked confused, and hurt.
"Are you sure about this? I mean if we do this it will change things for us forever. Not just us, but our friendship with Gabrielle, too. I don't want to tear our friendship apart, the way it did for me and her. That is why I must know if you are sure that this is right."
Xena smiled and caressed his face in her hands. "I have never been more sure of anything in my life." The look in her eyes told him all he needed to know.
As they kissed, she melted into his arms. They lay back into the straw, their hands exploring each other's body. The feelings of love and passion grew until there was no one left in the world except them. Xena smiled as she discovered yet another hidden skill that Joxer possessed! The way he made her feel was like no other man had ever done. Was this what making love was? This was much more than lust and desire. Yes, this was much more... Soon they were lost in ecstasy. As she lay close to him she whispered, breathlessly,"I Love You."
Joxer lay beside her trembling from the overwhelming feelings. He had never been with a woman that made him feel this way before! Was this real? Did he really hear her right? Yes! It was real! He held her closer and whispered in her ear, "I love you, too, Xena!" After another long tender kiss they both fell into a peaceful, happy sleep.
Over the next three days, Joxer and Xena fell more in love with each other. Life seemed so bright and new to both of them. They visited family members and heard stories of times long past. Xena even told a few stories of her own. And their nights together were filled with passion. Neither of them could believe what was happening between them, but it felt so right and that is all that mattered.
"I have had such a great visit, Joxer!"
"You made it great, Xena. Not to mention all the support you gave me in relation to my parents."
"I hope it never ends, but we must start thinking about leaving. It's a long walk to the Amazon village." She thought for a minute, then said, "Joxer, what about Gabrielle?"
"I am stronger than I have ever been before, thanks to you, Xena. Gabrielle will always be a friend to me, but I realize now, it will be nothing more than that. I'll take care of it. I'll talk to her when we get back"
"I really like your folks. Do you think they liked me?"
"What do you think? My father was overjoyed at the prospect of a warrior daughter-in-law!"
As they walked back to the house to say their farewells, Joxer hugged Xena one more time and said, "I love you."
Xena smiled and kissed him tenderly. Then suddenly she stopped and looked at him with a questioning look in her blue eyes.
"What did you mean, by 'daughter-in- law'? Are you suggesting marriage?
" I don't know, Xena, what do you think? Is that possible for us? I mean with the way we live, could it work?"
Xena, thought for a minute. The idea was one she had never considered for herself, with anyone. She knew she could not change the way she lived her life. Fighting for the Greater Good was her way, and she could never abandon it. But she liked the idea of love and a family too. She had almost given up hope of ever having that after Solon's death. Now, maybe, she could have a second chance. Was there a way that she could have both?
"I don't know, if there is a way for it to work, we'll know..." Xena smiled to herself and held Joxer's hand as they walked...