The sun was setting on the summer day as a soft warm breeze blew in from the west. By a creek you could see a light colored horse as it settled in for the night. The smell of wood burning from a campfire drifted on the breeze. The sound of two women could be heard in the still of the evening as they finished setting up camp for the night.
"Gabrielle?come on please talk to me" begged Xena " Just how long are you going to stay mad at me and not talk?"
Days drifted into weeks and Gabrielle hadn't talked much to Xena as they traveled. She had been very quite sense leaving the Land of the Rising Sun. Only speaking when asked a question.
Instead of heading east like they had first planned to do. Xena talked Gabrielle into going back home. To rest and to think about what they will do next.
But now Xena started to worry about the way Gabrielle was acting. This was not like her. She knew Gabrielle was mad and hurting and she was to blame. She also knew that Gabrielle was getting close to the breaking point.
Gabrielle looked over her shoulder at Xena with a sad look on her face. " Oh I don't know Xena just how long are you planing to stay dead?" She asked as she turned to see the shock look on Xena's face. "And stop looking so hurt by my answer Xena. I have a right to be mad."
"You act as if it is my fault that I'm dead. That I wanted this to happen" Xena sadly shook her head. " Gabrielle I had no choice in the matter."
"We all have choices Xena you just choose the wrong one."
Xena sighed as she walked over and placed her hand on Gabrielle's shoulder. " Gabrielle when Akm.."
"NO! DON'T YOU DARE SAY HER NAME TO ME." Yelled Gabrielle as she hit Xena's hand off her shoulder at the same time moving forward to come face to face with the Warrior Princess. She was so mad you could see the veins in her neck sticking out.
"My Gods Xena. Look at you, you're dead. I can hardly feel you when you touch me. I hug you now, and there is no warmth or heartbeat. You use to have the smell of leather about you. But now there is nothing. I can't even talk to you around people without someone thinking I'm crazy. Because they can't see you. To them you're not there."
"Don't you understand she tricked you. She did this to you and you were too stupid to see it." Gabrielle held up her hands and took a deep breath to try to get herself to settle down. As she looked at the hurt in Xena's eyes. She shook her head and turned to walk a little bit away then turned back to face Xena again.
"Ok maybe it is not all your fault, but you could have said something to me about what you were planing." Gabrielle told her as she went to finish fixing her supper.
"What good would that of done Gabrielle?" Not knowing what else to say Xena asked.
Gabrielle grabbed the frying pan as she stood up, starting to get upset again. "How the hell should I know." She almost yelled. Then a little more quieter "You should have told me what you had planed. What you were doing. We're partner's Xena we're suppose to trust each other."
Xena give a sigh as she looked at Gabrielle
"You're right I should have told you what I had planed. What was going to happen instead of trying to protect you. I'm sorry."
"Sorry, your sorry so that is suppose to made everything ok? Xena if you had just told me we might have been able to find another way." Gabrielle sadly told her
"Ok?your right we might of..but it's too late now. We can't go back and change it. So can we just drop it? It's a beautiful night out can we just enjoy that?" Xena gave her a hopeful look.
Xena walked up behind Gabrielle and give her shoulders a little rub trying to get the bard to
relax. "Come on Gabrielle finish fixing yourself something to eat. Than lets do some star watching like we use too."
But Gabrielle wasn't listening. She felt so mad and helpless over the whole thing. She knew she was acting like a child but she just could not seem to help herself. She watched Xena as she went back over and sat down on a log.
"I don't know Xena maybe I'm just not in the mood to eat, watch the stars or play stupid games. Maybe I'm just in the mood to keep yelling at you for being so much into yourself. And not thinking of anyone else. What would you say to that oh great and mighty Warrior Princess?"
Gabrielle asked showing all the hurt she was feeling inside. Not knowing herself why she kept pushing Xena away. Standing up Xena walked over to Gabrielle. Bending down a little so she could look her right in the eye.
"I know you're hurting Gabrielle and I will take the blame for that. I know it is my entire fault. And I have tried to be patient about this whole thing. But after weeks of this I have had enough".
"Oh really and what are you going to do about it?" Gabrielle glared back
"What am I going to do about it. I will tell you what I am going to do. I am going to take you and turn you over my knee. Then smack the living daylights out of your little bottom if you don't start changing your attitude RIGHT NOW!"
With each word Xena's voice got louder and louder. Till the last words were at a yell.
"Oh,"Gabrielle backed up a little "Umm?ok..right?attitude changing"
There was no way Gabrielle was going to call Xena on that one. Ghost or not she knew Xena would find away to do what she said.
Gabrielle turned and walked away as Xena went to sit back down.
"What in the world am I doing. All I have done sense this has happened is blame Xena for everything. I wouldn't blame her if she just got tired of it and left."
Gabrielle stopped and thought about what she just said. To lose Xena for good. Just the thought of it made her want to double over in pain. No that is something she would not, could not do. It was bad enough to lose Xena in the flesh. But to lose her in spirit too. That was to painfully to think about.
"Your right Xena". Gabrielle turned back around lifting her hands as she talked. " What is done is done. We can't change it now. So we might as well move on".
Xena went over and gave Gabrielle a hug. "Thanks, that means a lot to me. Come on back over by the fire and get something to eat. You haven't been eating much lately. And I know you have been having trouble sleeping. I'm worried about you."
"Don't worry Xena I'm fine..now." Gabrielle smiled at her
But Xena was right she was tired. Tired from everything that has happened. After she ate she laid down with Xena and watched the stars till she fall asleep in the loving embrace of Xena's arms.
Gabrielle had only been asleep for a little while when she started tossing and turning as her dreams started turning into nightmares again.
It was dark, wet and cold. Once more she was back in the Land of the Rising Sun looking for Xena. Having the light from a flash of lightening show her the body of Xena hanging there. And the sick feeling of helpless and dread hanging over her, but also of betrayal.
Just as Gabrielle started to scream Xena was there. Holding her and giving her comfort. Telling her everything will be alright. But Gabrielle knew nothing would ever be alright again.
Xena sat there with tears in her eyes rocking and singing Gabrielle back to sleep. Xena carefully put Gabrielle back down on their blankets. Making sure she had gone back to sleep. "I am so sorry Gabrielle. It seems like no matter what I do I always end up hurting you. I love you so much."
She got up and walked a little way's away as to not wake up the bard.
"I just hope this works." Xena looking around. "Aphrodite," She called out to the night, "Aphrodite. Come on where are you?"
"Just hold your horses, I'm here." The Goddess of Love said as she appeared in a flash of light and glitter.
"What took so long?"
"Come on Xena these things take time. How is sweet pea doing?" Aphrodite asks Xena as she walked over to the sleeping bard and took a look for herself.
"How do you think she's doing. She's hurting. I thought I was doing the right thing. But all I did was end up hurting the one person that means more to me than life itself." Xena went over to Gabrielle and pulled the covers up around her better. Making sure she was all right. "I really did it this time didn't I, did you find anything? Is there anyway to help me?" Xena asked as she walked back over to the Goddess.
"Not for me, but for Gabrielle." She added. "I can't stand to see her like this anymore. She deserves better."
"Well I talked to Ares about it. And told him what I found." Aphrodite stopped and thought for a minute. " Oh and by the way he is very upset with you. He really wanted to go over to that place and show them what happens to anyone that fools around with his chosen one."
"Great that's all we need."
"Don't worry I talked him out of it, but he is still mad at you for getting yourself killed."
"Yea, well tell him to stand in line. Gabrielle has first crack at me."
Aphrodite smiled at her "Well anyhow this is what we came up with. So come on over here sit down and I will tell you." The Goddess of Love said as she sat down on the log Xena had been sitting on earlier that evening. Patting the place next to her.
A little while later Xena just sat there shaking her head. " Do you think this will work? And Ares agreed to this without any deals to be made."
"Yep not one deal no hidden plans nothing I made sure. I owe you guys, you're my friends and I want to help." Aphrodite truthfully told Xena
She had a soft spot in her heart for the little bard. And if she could do something about the hurt she could feel coming from her. She would.
"Now" Aphrodite stood up "I think it is time to wake up the little sleeper over there and tell her what is going on."
With a nod Xena walked over to Gabrielle. Bending down very carefully as to not scare her. "Gabrielle come on honey wake up. There's some one here to see you." She said as she carefully rubbed Gabrielle on the shoulder.
Gabrielle slowly opened her eyes looking up at Xena trying to figure out who would be here to see her. Catching a movement out of the corner of her eye she turned her head and seen Aphrodite standing there.
"Aphrodite" Gabrielle cried as she jumped up and run into her arms for a big hug.
"Hey there sweet pea how are you doing." Aphrodite asked while she gave the bard a big hug back.
"Oh Aphrodite it's been awful. Did Xena tell you what happened?"
"Yep that is why I'm here to help out" Aphrodite stated "Ok Xena like?lets get this show on the road. Tell her what we are planing to do."
"Plan, what plan?" Gabrielle turned to look at Xena "What is Aphrodite talking about?"
"Well honey it is like this" Xena walked over to Gabrielle ready to explain, but just as she opened her mouth to let the words come out. Ares appeared. "Ok, ok let's get this thing done and over with I don't have all day."
Ares folded his arms and looked at Xena. "Oh and you I am very disappointed in. How in the world could you let them kill you? I thought I taught you better than that."
But Xena didn't get a chance to answer before Gabrielle walked in front of her to stand between her and Ares.
"What is he doing here?.ok what is going on?" Gabrielle wanted to know as she stood there looking from Xena to Aphrodite.
"What?don't tell me you didn't let Blondie in on the plan." Ares decided to have a little bit of fun with Xena. To pay her back for letting him down and letting herself get killed. "What's the matter Xena don't think the girlfriend will want you anymore and want to move on."
Xena just stood there looking at Ares knowing there was nothing she could say to that. She was worried herself that Gabrielle might want to move on too. After all the pain she had put her though lately.
"NO!" Gabrielle yelled taking a step towards Ares. "Shut-up Ares?just shut the hell up." She yelled pointing her finger at him. " You don't know what you're talking about."
Ares stood there a little in shock not excepting the reaction he was getting from the bard.
"Gabrielle." Xena started to say
"No Xena?Ares doesn't know what he is saying." Gabrielle walked over to Xena "I love you, you are a part of me. No matter what happens you will always be a part of me. I can't live without you Xena. Not anymore you are my soul."
"Oh Gabby I love you too." Xena said as they hugged each other.
"You know as touching as this is I do have things to do." Ares interrupted them. "So can we please get on with it?"
"Yea?Ok Xena" Aphrodite went over and took her hand. "You stand here and you little one you need to stand over there so we have room to work."
Gabrielle started to walk over to where Aphrodite pointed. Then stopped and turned around. "Wait no one told me what is going on." She turned to Xena waiting for an answer.
"Right. Just give me a minute." Xena told Ares and Aphrodite
"Just hurry up." "Take all the time you need sweetie." Aphrodite and Ares said at the same time.
"Wait," Gabrielle held up her hand after Xena told her what was happening. "They're going to bring you back to life?" Gabrielle grabbed Xena and started hugging her. " Xena that's great."
"Gabrielle, wait they are not even sure if the spell will work."
"What?Aphrodite" Gabrielle turned to her. "What is Xena talking about?"
Aphrodite walked over to the log and sat down beside the bard. "This is a spell that I found in my fathers books." Aphrodite reached over and took Gabrielle's hand. "I remember my father talking about it once. I don't know it he ever tried it or not. So I don't know if it will even work. I'm sorry little one I wish I knew."
"Gabrielle," Xena said as she turned Gabrielle back around to face her. "I asked Aphrodite for her help. This is the only thing she could fine. It's worth a try."
"Aphrodite, it won't hurt Xena will it?" Gabrielle asked with concern.
"Umm?just in case you don't remember..but Xena is already dead. How in the world can this hurt her?" Ares pointed out.
Gabrielle stood up and walked over to Ares. "She may be dead Ares but she still has feeling" she told him. "I just want to make sure that something doesn't go wrong and she is gone for good."
Gabrielle turned back to Aphrodite, "Because if something does go wrong and if Xena doesn't come back. Would you please do something for me Aphrodite?"
"You know I would do anything for you little one" Aphrodite smiled at her
Gabrielle looked deep into the Goddess eyes so that she would knew she spoke from the heart.
"If something happens and your can't bring Xena back then end my life."
"Gabrielle," Xena reached for her as if in pain but stopped at the look Gabrielle gave her.
"Xena," Gabrielle looked at her, " I'm sorry but I can't live like this anymore." Then softly in a whisper " I can't live without you anymore." She turned back to Aphrodite " Well?"
You could tell by the look on Aphrodite's face and the trace of tears in her eyes that the answer she was going to give the bard was going to hurt the Goddess very deeply. But she gave the bard the answer she needed to hear. "Ok."
"Can we get on with this now?" Ares asked wanting to get back on track.
"Ok sure," Aphrodite agreed letting go of Gabrielle's hands and wiping at the tear in her eye as she turned.
"Xena we need you right here and you little one," Aphrodite grabbed Gabrielle's hand again and lead her over to the edge of the camp. "Need to stay over here out of the way. I don't want any of this spell to hit you."
Aphrodite started to walk back towards Ares and Xena " Oh I almost forgot."
Turning back to Gabrielle Aphrodite handed her a small jar. "Here sweet pea drink this just in case some of this spell does hit you. This will keep you from harm."
Gabrielle took the small jar and looked inside at what looked and smelled like some kind of fruit juice. Looking back at the Goddess she drank it knowing that Aphrodite would never give her anything to harm her. As she drank it, it felt like a tickling going through her body.
Aphrodite waved her hand and made the empty jar disappear. She smiled at the bard then went back to the others.
Xena and Gabrielle each looked at one another across the campsite with all the love they had for each other showing in their eyes. Hoping with all their hearts that this would work.
Ares and Aphrodite stood on each side of Xena. Then took the other's hands leaving Xena in the middle.
Both of the Gods started to mumble words to the spell.
First a bright light started to shine from the Gods and Xena.
And you could hear the sound of thunder and see flashes of lightening in the distance.
Brighter and brighter it got. Till Gabrielle had to cover her eyes for it hurt to try to look at them.
Suddenly the wind started picking up and lightening hit a near by tree.
But still the Gods kept mumbling the words as if they were not aware of the goings on's around them.
The wind got stronger and harder and the sound of the roaring thunder grew louder.
Gabrielle had to cover her ears while trying to stay on her feet because the wind had gotten so strong and the thunder so loud.
Suddenly there was such a huge flash of bright light that the force of it knocked the bard off her feet.
Then everything went quite. Not a sound was heard.
Slowly Gabrielle opened her eyes. She gently stood up and looked around her feeling a little out of place. As everything started coming back into focus she turned to look back at where the others had been. Her heart skipped a beat at seeing them lying there not moving.
"Xena," she screamed as she ran as fast as she could over to her soulmate. Falling to her knees she carefully lifted Xena's head onto her lap. Gabrielle softly ran her fingers over Xena's face pushing the hair that had fallen into her eyes out of the way.
"Honey," Gabrielle called softly as she touched Xena's face trying to wake her up. "Sweet heart come on Xena open your eyes for me."
Slowly Xena's eyes opened and she looked at Gabrielle. " What a beautiful sight for sore eyes." She Smiled
"Oh Gods Xena," Gabrielle cried as she hugged Xena. "I thought I lost you."
"If anyone cares Aphrodite and I are all right too." Ares groaned as he helped Aphrodite up.
Both Xena and Gabrielle turned to look at the Gods.
"I'm sorry," Gabrielle told them. " I was just so worried about Xena. Are you both aright?"
"Oh yea, we're great." Aphrodite smiled at her. "Remember little one we're Gods. You can't hurt a God with a bright lights and a little wind."
"Yea will speak for yourself sis." Ares groaned some more acting like he was having a hard time moving. " I think I got a little bruised here."
"Get off it Ares." Gabrielle told him, " I thank you for your help. But you are not going to get a kiss from Xena to make it feel better."
"Ok kids let play nice." Aphrodite told them. Then looked over to Xena. " How do you feel?"
Xena smiled back at her. " Like I have been dead and brought back to life."
"Xena are you sure?" Gabrielle couldn't help but ask as she ran her hands up and down Xena's arms. " I know I can feel you better. But are you sure? "
"Well there is only one way to find out." She told Gabrielle as she bent down and took one of Gabrielle's scythes out of her boot. "Here goes nothing," Xena said as she held up her other hand and as everyone held their breath ran the sharp end of the scythe down the palm of her hand.
Suddenly little small drops of blood started dropping onto the ground from the wound on her hand.
"Oh Xena," Both Gabrielle and Aphrodite said as they started to cry.
Ares turned his back on them trying to keep his emotions under control.
As they were hugging Xena looked over Gabrielle's shoulder to once again look at her hand. While she was seeing how bad the wound was it suddenly started to heal itself up.
"What the?wait..Ares?.what is going on?" Xena asked as she turned to him and showed him her hand. Gabrielle grab her hand to have a look at it too. Then turn to Ares waiting for his answer.
"Ah?sorry Xena..but what can I say..couldn't have you dying on me again. It was part of the spell." He smiled as he disappeared in a bright flash.
"Aphrodite," Gabrielle turned to face the Goddess, " what does this mean?"
Aphrodite stood there and started ringing her hands together as she told them. " Well it's like this sweet pea. With all the trouble you guys get into all the time. I knew sooner or later tall dark and deadly here would start taking all the risks again. And there was a chance of her getting hurt or killed again."
"So what you are saying is I am immortal?" A socked Xena asked.
"Well it is a little more than that." Aphrodite answered as she started backing up when Xena started walking towards her.
"Just what do you mean by it is a little more than that?"
"Ok?ok..just everybody settle down now. It is not that bad. It was the spell ok.. it has just a little side affect." Aphrodite said holding up a finger and thumb a little bit apart on one hand. " You'll have the powers of a God kind of."
"WHAT THE HELL DO YOU MEAN THE POWERS OF A GOD?" Xena yelled
"Oh Aphrodite what did you do?" Gabrielle asked
"Ok..maybe God was not the right word to use, but come on guys its not that bad." Aphrodite told them as she held up her hands trying to settle them down.
"What I mean is you can still do things like when you was a ghost. You can come and go as you please by just thinking of the place you want to be at. And you can make yourself invisible whenever you want." Aphrodite stopped and put a finger on her chin as if to think. " I'm not to sure if you can fly or not. I couldn't really read that part. But you'll do pretty good for yourself in that part anyway."
Gabrielle and Xena both just stood there looking at her with shock looks on their faces.
"Just think how handy that would be for you." Aphrodite tried to plead with them. " The only things you can't do is bring people back to life, shoot lightening blots, grow old or die. Bye." She said as fast as she could then disappeared.
"Aphrodite come back here." Xena yelled
"Xena," Gabrielle hugged her, " this is great isn't it? I won't have to worry about you leaving me ever again."
"Gabrielle," Xena started to say as she turned a looked at her.
But Gabrielle was not listening as she continued to talk. " We won't have to worry about you getting hurt or dying again."
"Or growing old with you," Xena looked at her sadly
Gabrielle stopped talking and just looked at her. " But Xena I? Oh Gods" She cried as tears started rolling down her face.
Gabrielle felt like her heart was breaking. For she knew that Xena felt the same way about her as she felt about Xena.
They were soulmates one could not go on without the other. Gabrielle had found that out the hard way. She knew what it would do to Xena to be without her.
" Xena?I," before Gabrielle could finish what she was about to say there was a bright flash the Goddess of Love was back.
"Hold it." She held up her hand. "Before either of you say anything. I forgot to tell sweet pea. Not to worry about the dangerous one here being left alone. Because I know how you feel about her. You will be with her." Aphrodite smiled as she told them. " No? don't thank me I was happy to do it."
"Aphrodite what are you talking about?" Xena asked
"The Bard here," the Goddess pointed at Gabrielle. "Well I see I will have to spell it out for you. She is like immoral too..ok."
Gabrielle looked from the Goddess to Xena back to the Goddess again in shock. "But Aphrodite how you didn't put a spell on me?"
"The drink?like Duhh??." Aphrodite just looked at them and sighed "It was apple juice?get it?" Aphrodite asked them. " Besides I like you guys you're my friends and I don't want to ever come close to losing you again." She said as she waved and disappeared.
"Xena," Gabrielle turned to her. " Does she mean what I think she means?"
Xena just laughed and hugged Gabrielle as close to her as she could. " Oh yeah the same apples that I used to turn them back into Gods."
"Xena that doesn't mean I have God powers too does it?"
"No honey." Xena reassured her. "Remember they were Gods already. They had the blood of Gods running though them. So it affected them different. Your just immortal."
"That means we can live forever, never get hurt, never die and leave the other one alone." Gabrielle cried. " Oh Xena it is like a dream come true."
"Yes it is," Xena laughed again as she took Gabrielle in her arms. And started to bend her head down towards her. " We will be together forever."
"No Xena," Gabrielle said as their lips came together. " We will be together for Forever and a Day"
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