I’ve been rewatching Xena: Ambiguously Bi-Sexual Psychopath recently, and something occurred to me. It’s pretty clear that (during the first few seasons at least), Gabrielle may or may not be having sex with Xena, but she’s definitely afraid of her. Gabrielle comes right out and says in at least one episode.
Gabrielle’s fear is entirely rational. Xena is the mightiest mortal warrior of her generation, is a walking arsenal, and has a wicked temper; she strikes Gabrielle at least once while in a rage, and flat-out tries to murder her (admittedly with reason) on another. It’s understandable, in context, why Gabrielle stays with Xena, but not being slightly wary of her would be willfully blind. And at the time the series aired, it was clear that not all the creators were easy with this dichotomy; the Xena-Gabrielle relationship was sometimes compared to an abusive marriage.
All of which brings me to the thread question, or rather questions. Can you think of other adventure/action fiction in which the hero’s love interest is somewhat afraid of him? (Or her, but male heroes are a lot more common.) Do stories like this bother you on any level?