~ Switched Up ~
by Red Hope


Violence: Yes, there definitely will be some violent scenes.

Subtext: Oh, always a yes!

Copyright: We know that Universal owns Xena, Gabrielle, Janice, Melinda, and Argo. However, I own Schiller (or better known as Shit-ller) along with the story line.

Time Frame: Sixth season Xena and Gabrielle. Can you tell I'm hooked to this season?

Note: Yup, yup I am back at it again. I've begun yet another crossover. Oh the places my imagination will go huh? Please let me know if you enjoy this new crossover.

Dedication: This story is dedicated to the most divine of women, Mom Bard. She absolutely loves Janice and Melinda so she couldn't stop begging for this story.

Mom, I hope you immensely enjoy this story. Its all for you, hun. Thank you for becoming my mother. I love you dearly!

Feedback can be sent to me at... redhope@redhope.net

Started: December 8th 2000, Friday

Switched Up by Michelle
Michelle worked her magic once more with another amazing cover. Keep up the beautiful artistry, Michelle. Always love your artwork! Michelle's web site for other work is at MickyXenaFor a large view of this cover please go Here.

"Sleep well," whispered the warrior.

Gabrielle held back her yawn. She glanced at the low fire in the middle of the camp. She was exhausted from traveling all day. But it made her smile and she lifted her head. Leaning in, she kissed her soulmate gently on the lips. "Night Xen."

The Warrior Princess smiled warmly at the end of the kiss. She peered over Gabrielle to see her sais near the bed. Smart warrior, mused the Xena. She closed her eyes and pulled Gabrielle in close.

The warrior-bard soon faded into her dreamscape. The dream was wild and something Gabrielle thought only her imagination could have created. It was about herself being some kind of person that researched history. Xena was even in it and she could translate Greek. Even weirder, Xena in the dream had a funny accent and didn't quite act like... well Xena.

Part One- Waking Up Anew

Gabrielle shifted out of her dream. She kept her eyes closed and sighed deeply. She felt her lover beside her; it left her smiling.

Her eyebrows furrowed together at realizing something. She wasn't wearing her velvet, red warrior attire. Instead she was wearing pants or something that covered her entire body. Slowly, she opened her eyes and stared up.

Her heart stopped and she studied her new surroundings, she wasn't outdoors anymore. It was a tent: a very large brown tent. "Oh god... where am I?" Turning her head to the left, she found Xena beside her. She sighed in relief at seeing her lover.

The Amazon Queen shifted and leaned down, she gently kissed her soulmate on the lips.

Xena awoke but didn't respond to the kiss, she actually tried to refuse it. Yet, she gave in and returned the kiss with a little fear.

Gabrielle ended the kiss, worried about how Xena responded. She lifted her head with a confused, worried expression. "Xena, are you alright?"

The dark haired woman furrowed her eyebrows. "Janice?" Her face was turning red, probably from the kiss.

The warrior-bard just became more confused. "Janice?" she whispered. That was the name from her dream. Her long strawberry blond hair fell forward more. Gabrielle brushed it back and her eyes widened at realizing she had long hair. "By the gods!" She leaped out of the bed and lifted a bit of her long hair. Her breathing was becoming labored. "What... what's going on?"

The tall woman sat up in the bed. "Are you okay, Janice?"

Gabrielle took a step back. "Xena, why are you calling me Janice?" She held up her hands. After shaking her head, she looked at her body and noticed she had on pants and a button up shirt. Button, what's a button? Gabrielle was thinking.

"Janice, its okay." The older woman got out of the bed. "Remember me? You're partner? Melinda Pappas?"

The Amazon Queen shook her head. "This is a dream," she whispered.

"My lord, naw it ain't, Janice." Melinda grasped the smaller woman's shoulders. "Ya jus' had uh weird dream. You'll be fine once we start digging again."

Gabrielle said nothing then whispered, "Mmmmel, this is hard to explain but... I'm not Janice." She paused. "My name is Gabrielle."

The southerner pressed the palm of her right hand against the smaller woman's forehead. "You feel fine."

The small warrior pulled the large hand away from her forehead. "I'm serious," she growled.

Melinda blinked and stared into green eyes. She noticed that Janice wasn't quite... Janice. The brassy, rough, and tough archeologist she'd come to love. "You ain't Janice," she whispered in fear. She stepped back, closer to the bed.

"That's what I was saying." Gabrielle sighed and ran her fingers through her long hair. That was an odd feeling, to have her hair long again. "Look... Mel, I don't know how I got here... wherever here is but I'm not Janice."

"Okay." The southerner breathed calmly and asked, "You're saying you're Gabrielle... the bard from Potidaea?"

The Amazon Queen nodded. "Yes, I travel with this warrior named-"

"Xena," finished the belle. "Oh my..." Melinda half sat, half fell onto the bed. She put her right hand over her chest and repeated, "Oh my." She was stunned so she considered on being a proper bell and fainting. But she didn't let herself faint because this was too interesting. "How... how..." She stumbled with her words.

Gabrielle shook her head. "I don't know." She crossed her arms against her chest. "I just know I was dreaming about myself being some woman that dug up my own scrolls and I found Ares... you were in it."

It dawned on Melinda. "That happened jus' yesterday... Gabrielle." She tilted her head. "You're Janice's ancestor."

The pieces were coming together for Gabrielle. Somehow, somehow space and time mixed up Janice and Gabrielle. That meant Janice had to be in Gabrielle's body. Now the only question left was, how is Janice doing with Xena?


Xena glanced over at her partner sleeping in the furs still. She creased her lips with a grin. "Somethings never change over five years," she whispered to her new mare. "You ready, girl?"

The mare whined and nodded.

"Me too." The warrior turned to Gabrielle and strolled over to her. She knelt down beside the smaller warrior. Reaching forward, she combed her hand gently through short blond hair. "Time to wake up." Xena caressed her lover's cheek.

"Not yet," stated Gabrielle.

The Warrior Princess grinned and leaned down. Her lips captured Gabrielle's in a warm, delicate kiss. At first, she found her partner refusing the kiss but gave in and returned with passion. She grinned when the kiss was over.

Gabrielle opened her eyes, they were harder than normal. They also were very confused. "What the Hell was that, Mel?"

Xena did a double-take. "Gggabrielle?" Her eyes narrowed with suspicion. Anything was possible that was one thing she learned in these five years.

The warrior-bard shook her head. "Mel, why the Hell are you calling me Gabrielle and kissing me?" She sat up before her expression suddenly dropped once she saw what Xena was wearing. "Jesus Christ, wh-wh…" She leaped out of the bedroll and stumbled back with her hands up. "Who the Hell are you?"

The warrior stood up slowly and she shifted herself into a stoic attitude. "The name is Xena." She corked an eyebrow. "And you are?"

"Janice... Janice Covington." The younger woman tilted her head. "You're... Xena, the Warrior Princess?"

The Warrior Princess folded her arms. "The same." She took a step closer. "So, why are you in my partner's body?"

Janice shook her head. She lifted her arms and saw the silver bracelets. She gazed down. She was wearing a red, velvet skirt and small top. Her horror filled eyes rose back up to Xena. "You thought I was... Gabrielle the Bard of Potidaea?"

"Yesss," answered the warrior.

"Holy shit," muttered Janice. "I'm in my ancestor's body."

"Who are you?" growled Xena.

Janice looked up and smiled. "Like I said, I'm Janice Covington and I'm... I'm from the future."

Xena stared at her, she didn't know how to respond to this. "And you're Gabrielle's descendent?"

"Yes," answered Janice. "I'm friends with your descendent too. Her name is-"

"Mel," Xena cut in.

Janice nodded. "Yes, and we had just finished salvaging some of Gabrielle's lost scrolls and stopped Ares."

"Ares?" whispered the older woman. She made a mental note of that for future reference. "Then Gabrielle must be in your body in your time."

Janice nodded in agreement. "Look about earlier, sorry." She grinned. "Was a little freaky."

The warrior corked an eyebrow but turned and went towards Argo. "Get the bedroll, we're leaving."

The archeologist stared at Xena. "You're serious?"

"Yes," called the dark woman. "We'll figure this out later."

"Great," mumbled the small woman. "I'm stuck in this stupid bard's body and I'm getting a 'please wait' sign." She rolled her eyes and knelt down to get the bedroll. Beside the bedroll, she noticed a pair of sais. She concluded they were Gabrielle's and took them. For a moment, she tried figuring out where they belonged.

"On the sides of your boots," helped the warrior. She smirked.

Janice peered up with a semi-glare. She inserted them onto the sides of her boots and stood up. "You're a real smartass, aren't you?"

Xena took the bedrolls. "Just like you," she retorted and put the bedroll away in the saddlebags. "Let's travel. Oh, you're horse is over there, tacked up." She mounted her mare. "Take care of him."

The archeologist came around the mare and spotted the smaller bay. "Wonderful," she muttered. She walked over, took the reins, and led the horse. Janice just followed Xena. What other choices did she have right now? But one thing she did wonder, was how Melinda was doing with Gabrielle?

Part Two- Acting 101

Gabrielle sat down in the chair and crossed one ankle over the other. "Explain to me again what happened?" Her attention focused on the southerner, who sat on the bed.

Melinda sighed and folded her hands in her lap while keeping her back straight. "Janice and I were in the tomb. A couple of men tried to stop us while we were searching for Gab… your scrolls."

The warrior nodded. "What about Ares?"

"He was there too." The southerner shrugged. "He just wanted tuh get out of the tomb."

"How'd you stop him?" Gabrielle felt like she was in an interrogation.

"That's the interesting part." Melinda paused and sighed. "It's hard to explain, but Xena's soul or essence… she took my body over."

The warrior was silent and tried to think. "There has to be some kind of connection with that."

"Or Ares has uh hand in this," suggested the belle.

Gabrielle huffed. "That wouldn't surprise me either." She sighed and considered her options, there were few.

"You're stuck here," stated Melinda.

The small woman peered up at the belle. "Never say never." She grinned.

The aristocrat chuckled and smiled but lost it. "I reckon you're gonna have tuh play Janice for awhile, Gabrielle."

"Oh no," grumbled the warrior. "You're right."

"It ain't that hard."

Gabrielle raised an eyebrow. "This going to be bad, I can tell already."

Melinda laughed quietly. "Well all ya gotta do is be in a bad mood all the time."

The warrior's face dropped. "You're telling me my descendent is a grouch?"

"I wouldn't say uh grouch but she's not nice." The southerner grinned faintly. "She's just tough."

"Alright, brief me on how she acts." The warrior smirked to herself. "Probably the same way she did in my dream," she mumbled under her breath.

"Well first, let's get ya dressed right." The belle stood up and strolled over to a broken, beaten trunk. On top rested a leather jacket, whip, gun, and half-smoked cigar. Melinda crinkled her nose when she saw the cigar, she just tossed it aside. Taking the other items, she came over to the short strawberry-blond. "Stand up."

Gabrielle rose up and waited.

"First this." The belle handed the jacket.

The warrior-bard slipped into it and adjusted the jacket. She quickly picked up on a funny scent with the jacket. "What is that?"

"Cigar smoke." Melinda held out the gun. "Get use to that, she fancies them quite a bit."

The small woman took the revolver and turned it up and down. "What is this?"

"Uh gun… weapon." Pappas tucked the whip under her arm and snatched the gun. "Here's how ya use it." She pulled back the hammer and held it up. "Then you jus' pull this little thing."

"That?" Gabrielle pointed at the tiny trigger.

"Yes." Melinda demonstrated and pulled the trigger.

Suddenly there was boom, and the smoke lingered up from the barrel.

The warrior-bard cringed. She looked across the tent and saw a tiny hole. "That's all it does?"

"Yes, well actually." Melinda quickly handed the gun back with a shaky hand. "Its rather dangerous," she said hastily. "I shouldn't had done that," she mumbled.

Gabrielle turned the gun every which way again. She lifted it up, cocked the hammer, and pulled the trigger. She jumped when the bullet went reeling from the barrel. "For Eli's sakes," she whispered.

"Holy shit!" yelled a high-pitched man's voice. "Dog gone, who's shooting around here?"

Melinda's eyes widened.

The warrior peered up at her friend. "Whoops." She laughed.

"Put it away," whispered the southerner when the man came rushing in.

"What you two janes tryen to do, blow me away?"

Gabrielle and Melinda turned to the man in the tent flap.

The aristocrat quickly responded, "Sorry Jack… Janice didn't know." She smiled shyly. "Why are ya back here?"

The warrior-bard tried to not let her expression go into shock at seeing this guy that looked exactly like Joxer. This is getting ridicules, thought Gabrielle with amusement.

"Well, sweetheart… I figured out I took the wrong pack last night from you dames." Jack came over with his pack on his back. He swung it off, trying to be cool, but failed and almost stumbled.

Gabrielle sprung forward and helped him.

"Thanks, Janice."

"You're welcome."

Jack did a double-take at the politeness that came from the gruff archeologist.

The small woman saw the confusion so she switched her attitude in seconds. "Why don't you be more careful, next time?" she growled. She sighed in annoyance and stepped back next to Melinda.

"Well you know, I didn't have to come back." Jack straightened up with pride.

"Can we just have the damn bag back?" snarled Gabrielle.

Jack sighed and dropped his shoulders. "As long as you still have my pack," he accused.

Melinda cut in quickly, "We still have it, Jack. Wait here and I'll go get it." She handed Gabrielle the whip, left the tent and went to the truck.

"So…" Jack pressed his lips together, thinking. "Planning any good digs, Janice?"

Gabrielle rolled her eyes. "Not yet," she stated. She looked at her side and figured out how to attach the whip. She tied it on. "Why?" She peered back up. "Planning to come bust into the middle of my damn dig again, Jox… Jack?"

"No," said the man proudly. "I have better plans."

Gabrielle rolled her eyes. She pulled out the revolver and she tried to recall from her dream how to open the barrel. She figured it out and opened the barrel chamber.

Jack took a step back. "Well, I think I'll be heading back to New York, myself."

"That's nice," said Gabrielle nonchalantly. She noticed there were only two round things left inside. She thought and reached inside of the leather pocket. She extracted a few more round things and slipped them into the empty sockets. "Just don't show up on my digs again," she warned while slamming the barrel closed. "Without an invite." Gabrielle spun the barrel and heard it click. Oh, this could be fun.

Jack nodded briskly.

The small warrior lifted the gun and pointed it at Joxer's descendent. "Is that clear?"

Jack held up his hands. "I swear, Jan… I won't touch your blinken digs." He smiled fakely.

Gabrielle smiled evilly. "Wonderful." She lowered the gun and slipped it roughly into the holster on her side. She glanced to the tent when Melinda came in. "Find it, sweetheart?"

Melinda almost stumbled at how much Gabrielle sounded like Janice. "Uh… yes." She was starting to think that it was Janice by the way Gabrielle was carrying herself. With a smile, she faced Jack. "Here's your pack, Mr. Kleinman."

"Thanks." The man took his pack and handed over the other one. "Well, I have to rush off, ya dig?"

The southerner sighed. "Oh, I dig." She stepped aside.

"So soon?" asked Gabrielle with a smirk. "Don't wanna hang around, Jack?"

"No, can't miss the flight back to the big apple." The man left the tent quickly.

The warrior-bard chuckled to herself and smiled.

"You did something," accused the belle.

Gabrielle grinned. "Nah." She rubbed the back of her neck while watching Melinda go to that trunk again. "So, what now?"

"You become Janice," declared the aristocrat as she turned around holding a brown hat.


"What the Hell? I am not acting like Gabrielle," growled Janice.

The Warrior Princess stepped closer to the small woman. "Yes you are," stated the warrior. She narrowed her eyes. "You are in her body, people will think and say you are Gabrielle." She paused and let her voice go deeper. "I can't have my seeming partner going around acting like a drunken sailor."

"Oh that's real rich," jabbed the archeologist. She was walking down the road, beside Xena with Gabrielle's horse trailing behind.

Xena breathed deeply and attempted relaxing. Her grip on her horse's reins was strong. She tried another approach. "Have you ever tried acting?"

Janice glared. "That's the dumbest thing-"

The Warrior Princess instantly covered the woman's mouth. "Sssh." She stopped walking and felt her body tense up.

"Bhat?" mumbled the small woman through the hand.

Xena removed her hand and pointed ahead to the forest. "Over there."

Janice looked that way and spotted three men coming through the forest. "So?"

"We're about to have trouble." The warrior laughed deeply and placed her mare's reins on the saddle. "Get ready."

"Get ready? What the Hell am I suppose to do?"

"Fight," stated Xena. She stepped ahead while unsheathing her sword. "Morning boys." She propped the sword against her shoulder.

Janice couldn't believe this but she placed the reins of the horse on the saddle. She joined Xena and folded her arms.

The boys came out of the woods with sly grins. They unsheathed their swords or pulled out their maces.

"Can we help you?" taunted the warrior.

The male warriors laughed and didn't say anything, they did by their actions. They all raced forward and took on Xena and Janice.

"Holy shit," yelled Janice. She jumped right as a mace swiped past her stomach. "Come on, you stupid asshole." She held up her hands, grinned, and bent her knees. "You couldn't hit the broad side of a barn, you dumbass."

The warrior growled and attacked Janice.

The archeologist laughed then leaped up. She performed a roundhouse kick in midair.

The enemy went flying onto his back and coughing.

"Ha." Janice grinned and held up her hands. How'd I do that? The fighting must be natural to Gabrielle's body. Once she realized that, her grin only broadened and her eyes sparkled. With that knowledge, she bent down and extracted the sais. "This going to be fun." Her opponent was getting on his feet so she attacked.

Xena punched one of her opponents hard and knocked him out. She parried her other enemy's sword blow. She easily fought him.

The archeologist, however, was having more fun with her opponent. As she was fighting him, she was laughing. Eventually, she knocked him out cold. Janice lifted her hands up with the sais and stared at them. "Not bad for a bard," she mumbled under her breath.

Xena cut her last enemy down and turned to Janice. She corked an eyebrow. "Nice to see you still alive."

"You knew," stated Janice. "You knew I could use Gabrielle's body to fight."

The Warrior Princess grinned and whistled.

Argo trotted over to her mistresses.

"I'd just like to know how." The small woman grinned and bent down, sheathing the sais.

"Its happen to me before," told Xena.

Janice got Gabrielle's horse and joined the other woman. "Care to share the tale?"

"I had an enemy several years ago named, Callisto."

"Wait." The archeologist held up her hand. "Blond, annoying screechy voice, and really skinny? She lived in…"

"Cirra," finished the warrior.

"Right, what happened?" asked Janice. She was becoming intrigued by the warrior's life.

The older woman chuckled and began the brief tale.


"Sounds about right." Gabrielle adjusted the hat on her head. "Janice acted the same way in my dream." She grinned and faced Melinda. "I am a bard… I'll just become my character."

The southerner smiled and reached up, readjusting the hat. "I reckon you'll do fine with it, honey." She lowered her hands to her side. Melinda still wore her outfit from yesterday, she hadn't expected to stay in Greece this long. "I jus' wish I knew how to send ya home."

Gabrielle shrugged. "There's a reason for everything." She paused while considering. "I'm here to do something, gods only know what." She glanced around in the tent. "What were you and Janice planning to do next?"

"Translate the scrolls to figure out where Amphipolis and Potidaea are."

The warrior-bard chuckled deeply. "You won't find them in my scrolls, I never placed directions in my scrolls." She grinned evilly. "Since most people in my time knew where the towns were located." She walked over to the bed and opened the pack. She reached in and slipped out one of her scrolls. Her heart skipped a beat at seeing them after so long.

Melinda bit her lower lip. "Well then." She came up beside the smaller woman. "Then ya wouldn't mind… showing me where the towns are?"

Gabrielle unrolled the old scroll and recognized her handwriting. Oh gods, this is The Quest. She closed her eyes at the memory when her and Xena first came together. "Why?" she whispered. Her piercing green eyes opened again and locked on Melinda. "So they can be dug up for research?"

The southerner's eyes dropped. "Yes… and no." She grasped Gabrielle's arm. "Please Gabrielle, ya don't understand how much it would mean tuh Janice." She shook her head. "Her daddy did this all his life and now she is. She's lost so much just so she can find the Xena Scrolls." She paused and tried to come up with another reason. "Please… she needs to find her ancestry."

The warrior-bard stared down at her scroll. Melinda's words hit home for her and brought more turmoil inside. "But from what I recall from the dream, Mel…" She looked up with pain in her eyes. "Janice hates being my descendent." She paused. "Why would I bother to help her when she doesn't accept her own blood?"

The aristocrat smiled warmly and squeezed the small arm. She whispered, "'Cause ya are Gabrielle."

Gabrielle nodded and rolled up the scroll, she placed it back into the bag. "Alright." She heard Melinda sigh. "I'll take you to Amphipolis first."

Without warning, there was a loud explosion.

"What was that?" asked Gabrielle. She raced to the tent flap.

Pappas followed behind and looked out. "Oh my… the Nazes." She put her right hand against her chest and in hopes to calm down.

"The Nazes?" Gabrielle peered up then it came to her. "The Nazis, oh gods." She pushed Melinda back into the tent. "We gotta get out of here and now." She raced over to the leather pack and closed it up frantically.

Melinda stood in the middle of the tent in fear. "Janice," she whispered fleetingly as her eyes rolled up into her head.

Gabrielle spun around with the bag on her back. She heard how the southerner said Janice in complete fear. Her eyes widened at seeing Melinda getting ready to faint. "Oh no." She raced over and caught the larger woman while she was falling. "Mel?" she yelled. "Oh great, just what I need."

The tent flap flew open and a bunch of Nazi soldiers stormed in with large tomahawk guns.

The small warrior looked up while holding the aristocrat in her arms. "Even better," she grumbled.

Simultaneously, there was a round of gun's clicking from the soldiers and they aimed at the two women on the ground.

Another larger man in an officer's suit came in with a proud stance. He stood tall and peered down at the women. "Doctor Covington, how wonderful it is to finally meet you." The man clicked his boot heels and bowed his head. Looking back up with cold eyes, he said, "I am Friedrich von Schiller." His face was bland, German accent noticeable, and his eyes emotionless like any other stereotype Nazi. "I do believe you met my second hand man, a Mr. John Smythe."

"Ah yes." Gabrielle settled Melinda carefully on the ground. She rose up with cold eyes and took on her character. "I did meet… Smit."

"Smythe," corrected the German officer.

"Whatever," retorted Gabrielle. She crossed her arms. "So, how can I help you… Mr. Shit-ller?" She smirked.

Friedrich von Schiller narrowed his eyes. "Its Schiller."

"Schiller… Shit-ller… whatever." The warrior-bard reached into her pocket.

The men with the tomahawks all flinched and prepared to shoot.

Gabrielle pulled her hand back out and held up the cigar. "Don't mind if I smoke?" She corked an eyebrow.

"Go ahead." The German officer waved a hand.

The warrior-bard slipped the cigar between her mouth. "So, what can I help you with?" she repeated through the small stogie. She reached into her jacket and extracted pack of matches. She struck a light and bent forward. Soon, she was taking a long drag on the cigar.

"We would like to collect the scrolls that Mr. Smythe was after."

Gabrielle nodded and pulled the cigar away. She let the smoke rise from her lips, she still nodded. "No," stated coldly. "I've claimed rights to them." She grinned. "If you don't like it then you can kiss my ass, Mr. Shit-ller."

Friedrich von Schiller snapped his fingers.

The men with the guns raised them at Gabrielle.

"Let me put it another way, Doctor Covington." He smiled mockingly. "Either hand over the scrolls… or die." He paused with a grin. "It's a simple choice."

"Hmmm." Gabrielle removed the cigar and studied it. "You know this is a damn good cigar." She was stalling for time, hoping Melinda would revive any moment. "But you know, Mr. Shit-ller, the best kind of cigar you can get is a Cuban." She grinned. "Have you ever had one, Mr. Shit-ller?" She slipped the stogie back into her mouth and took a puff of it.

"Afraid not, Doctor Covington," growled the German officer. His patients were running short.

The warrior nodded and shifted her weight to her right foot. "Well, if the stupid Nazis ever take over Cuba maybe you'll be in luck." She laughed and grinned. "But then again, Cuba is a little to close to the States."

"And what are you insinuating, Doctor Covington?"

Gabrielle shot a smug look. "That America will kick your Nazis's stupid asses back to Hell where you came from." Her left hand slipped into her jacket pocket and felt something metallic.

Friedrich von Schiller snapped his fingers again. "Take her now."

The small woman laughed and reached back. She swung the pack around and held it up with her right hand. "Tsk tsk, I wouldn't if I were you." Her left hand came out of her pocket. She flipped the top of the lighter, flicked it, and the flame came to life. "Come any closer and these scrolls will go up in smoke," growled the small woman.

The German officer shook his head with a smirk. "You wouldn't, Doctor Covington. After you spent all your life on them."

If only he knew how true that statement was. "It's either me or the scrolls." Gabrielle grinned. "I'd pick the scrolls."

"Well, since we are at a stand still, what do you suggest, Doctor Covington?"

"I suggest nothing." The warrior let the flame die out. "I will demand." Her eyes lowered to Melinda. "Mel, get up, sweetheart."

The aristocrat moaned softly.

"Come on, Mel." Gabrielle glimpsed up, making sure nobody was closing in on her.

Melinda opened her eyes and recalled what was going on. She slowly stood up beside the smaller woman. "Oh my." She gasped at seeing the men with guns. "What's going on, Gab-Janice?" she corrected quickly.

"We're getting out of here, sweetheart." The small warrior lowered her arms with the lighter and bag. "Right Mr. Shit-ller?" She still talked through her cigar.

Friedrich von Schiller teeth were grinding over each other. "Yes, Doctor Covington," he said hotly.

Gabrielle chuckled. "Let's go, Mel." She stepped forward.

The men with guns stepped forward.

"No," ordered the officer. "We will let them go. Step aside." Friedrich von Schiller held his hand to the tent flap and stood aside. "Doctor Covington and Miss Pappas."

The two women walked past with tension shooting through their bodies. Gabrielle had slung the scroll bag over her shoulder.

Gabrielle turned around and walked backwards out of the tent. She spotted a lit lamp on a small table near the bed. She whipped out her gun, aimed, and shot. She completely missed. "Oh Hades." She shot again and hit the lamp.

The lamp was pinged on the side and fell onto the bed with a crash. The bed exploded in flames.

Gabrielle threw the cigar into the tent. "Run!" she yelled. She shoved Melinda.

The southerner could barely run in her heels, more like waddled.

The men in the tent were screaming and hollering from the tent catching on fire.

"Come on, Mel." The warrior grabbed her friend's hand and dragged her. "Ditch the shoes."

Melinda kicked them off and began sprinting. "Ya know, I am a proper bell… we ain't made for running."

"Run or die," stated Gabrielle. "Where are there horses or some kind of mode of transportation?"

"This way." The aristocrat now led the small woman to the western side of camp.

The Nazis all came rushing out the burning tent.

Friedrich von Schiller searched the camp with his eyes. "Find them!" he ordered. "Bring me those scrolls intact and that tall woman."

The German soldiers coughed and broke off running in search of the women.

Gabrielle and the southerner arrived by a beat up old truck.

"You got to be kidding me?" asked Gabrielle, "Not this thing?"

The belle nodded. "It’s the only way, Gabrielle."

"Not good."

There was a gunshot.

The warrior ducked and gazed in the direction from the gunshot. She saw five soldiers coming. "Oh wonderful." She took the pack off and pushed it into Melinda's arms. "Get in the car, and get ready to drive."

"I can't drive," whispered the aristocrat. "I'm a bad driver."

Gabrielle looked up with surprise. "Could this get any worse?" she growled. "Just get in the damn truck and start it. Can you do that?"

"Yes." Melinda cringed from another gunshot.

"Go!" yelled the warrior.

The southerner scrambled to the truck, opened the door, and hopped in.

The warrior-bard whipped out her gun and cocked the hammer. "Alright let's see what this can do." She aimed at one of the coming soldiers. She pulled the trigger.

The soldier screamed in pain and crashed to the ground holding his leg.

"Ha, not bad." Gabrielle grinned. "Better than Xena's chakram." She laughed and aimed at another soldier while cocking the hammer. Pulling the trigger, she heard the bullet scream out.

A German soldier stopped coming and held up his tomahawk. Three other soldiers joined him and aimed at Gabrielle.

"Oh no," whispered Gabrielle. "I'm screwed."

They all fired at once.

The short warrior jumped backwards, went high into the air, did a flip in midair, and twisted her body to land in the bed of the truck. Her head spun since the body wasn't use to such physical abilities. "Janice try working out," mumbled the small woman. She glanced over at the Nazis.

They were stunned by what just happened but they quickly recovered.

Gabrielle recovered faster and shot again. She hit another Nazi in his side. "Three left."

The Nazis had begun firing again.

The warrior-bard dropped to the bed of the truck as the bullets reflected off the truck. "I wonder how long it takes for those big guns to run out of bullets?" Deciding her own gun needed reloading, she reached down and pulled out a few bullets. She opened the barrel of her gun and slipped the bullets into the empty sockets. She closed up the barrel and spun it with natural instinct. Now she heard the shooting stop and the reloading of guns. "Bingo." She grinned and jumped up with her gun pointed.

The three Nazis left, all fell in seconds from the wounds in their bodies.

Gabrielle grinned and nodded. "Definitely better than a pair of sais." She jumped out of the truck and for the first time she noticed it was running. She stopped at hearing another sound. She turned her head sidelong.

The Nazi wobbled up onto one foot and lifted his gun with a growl. "Bitch," he spat.

The warrior-bard spun around while cocking the gun.

The Nazi pulled his trigger. Gabrielle pulled her trigger.

Bullets flew towards Gabrielle while one single bullet went towards the Nazi. Simultaneously, they both screamed in pain.

Gabrielle fell against the truck and slumped. She felt the pain screaming up and down her left arm. She covered the bleeding wound with her right hand. "Oh damn that hurts."

The Nazi was lying on the ground, his eyes opened, and blood trickling out of his mouth.

The small warrior lifted herself off the truck and went to the driver's door. She slipped the gun away and opened the door with her right hand after releasing the wounded arm. Before she climbed into the truck, she moaned in agony.

"Gabrielle, are you okay?" Melinda helped the small woman in. She saw the blood trickling down on the left side of the jacket.

"Peachy keen." The warrior-bard grunted and dropped her head against the seat. "Let's get out of here, huh?"

"I would recommend the idea right now." Melinda's voice held fear.

Gabrielle glimpsed out the southerner's window.

Friedrich von Schiller coming after them with five more soldiers.

"Hell." Gabrielle straightened up then looked at the steering wheel. "Oh double-Hell."

Gunshots went off again.

"Duck!" The small woman pushed Melinda down and covered her head with her hands. She felt the glass shatter in on them. She tried to breathe but she felt trapped. Looking down, she spotted some kind of pedal. She took a lucky guess, and just twisted her body. She slammed on the right one.

The truck roared before having spun its wheels. It rolled off at a fast speed.

Gabrielle sat up and grabbed the wheel as the truck flew past the Nazis. She kept her right hand on Melinda signaling her to stay down.

The gunshots kept coming at them as they drove out of the camp.

The warrior-bard felt the driving come natural to her. She peered up in the rear-view mirror and saw the Nazis gave up and stopped the pursuit. She sighed in relief. "It's alright, Mel."

The belle sat up and looked out the back window. She felt herself jounce from the bumpy ride. She watched Friedrich von Schiller cussing up a storm and throwing his arms up while punching some of his men. "Oh my lord." She shook her head. "He ain't happy."

"Good," stated Gabrielle. "He was jerk." She turned the wheel to the left down another road. She hissed at the pain in her left arm.

The tall woman looked at the wounded arm. "Let me look at that." She scooted closer.

"Not now, Mel." Gabrielle sighed sadly. "I need to drive." She smiled at the other woman. "You can look at it later, promise."

Pappas raised an eyebrow. "Are you sure?"

"I'll be okay." The short warrior sighed.

The southerner nodded plus scooted back to her spot from earlier. "You sure were amazing."

Gabrielle chuckled and asked, "Why do you say that?"

"Ya managed to pull off Janice perfectly." The aristocrat shrugged. "Not tuh mention, ya saved us."

"It's all in the cocky attitude, sweetheart," teased the warrior-bard in a deeper voice.

Melinda laughed quietly but sighed and rested in her seat.

The small woman sensed a hint of despair in the other woman. "What's wrong?" she whispered.

The southerner glanced at her friend then out the window. She sighed again but more sadly and whispered, "I miss Janice."

Part Three- Coming to an Understanding

Ah Christ, I can't believe this… I miss Mel. Janice shook her head. What the Hell is my damn problem? I've only known the woman for a day and I have feelings for her? Real stupid, Covington. She shoved the thoughts away and tried focusing on where she was now and what she was doing now. "So, what are we going to do about switching things back to normal?"

The warrior shrugged. "Don't know."

Janice stopped walking. "You're joking me?" She grabbed the Warrior Princess's arm. "I've got to get back to my time. I have things to do. I can't be screwing around in Gabrielle's body."

"Listen to me." Xena leaned towards the other woman. "You need to respect Gabrielle." She narrowed her eyes and deepened her voice. "I'm sick of hearing your crock about Gabrielle." She paused. "Try being a solution to the problem instead of pain in the ass," she growled. She pulled her arm free and continued walking with Argo.

"This is not my fault," stated the archeologist.

The warrior stopped and turned around. "You make it hard to believe you're Gabrielle's descendent." Sighing and shaking her head, she walked on.

Janice licked her lips, and stared at the gravel. She ran a free hand through her short hair.

Gabrielle's horse came up, and nudged the small woman's back.

The archeologist glanced back at the horse. She reached up and petted the horse. "Xena is pretty tough huh?"

The horse whined.

Janice gazed down the road at the warrior. "Nor does she care for my shitty attitude." She grinned a little.

The horse whined with more laughter.

"Alright, strike one on my part." The archeologist began to walk quickly with the horse. "Xena, wait up!" she called.

Xena stopped and waited without looking back.

Janice caught up and stopped. "Look, sorry… I just have a little prejudice against Gabrielle."

"I've noticed," stated the warrior coldly. She peered down at the archeologist. "Let me guess, you preferred me in Gabrielle's scrolls?"

"Yes," answered the small woman.

Xena stood tall and stoically. "Well somebody like me shouldn't be caught dead with somebody rare and special as Gabrielle." She corked her lips with a small smile. "Trust me, Janice, you do not realize who you are related to." She grasped the shoulder of her lover's body. "I'd choose to be Gabrielle any day than myself." She squeezed the smaller shoulder before releasing it and walking onward.

"Huh." Janice glanced at Xena's back. "Even if she was throwing up if you were her?" she teased.

"Especially if she was throwing up," joked back the Warrior Princess.

"Interesting." The archeologist joined the taller woman. "Where are we headed?"

"To a town for the night." Xena grinned. "I need time to think."

Janice corked an eyebrow. "And you're telling me walking endless on this road today hasn't given you time to think?"

"Not with you rambling."

The archeologist shot a glare up at the dark woman. "I know how to shut up."

"Let's see it," taunted the older woman. "Starting now till the village."

"Fine," growled the smaller woman. She went silent.

Xena slowly formed an evil grin on her lips. "Ah, the peace and quiet." She sighed contently.

Janice bit her lower lip from saying anything.

The Warrior Princess held up her freehand. "Isn't this nice?" She leaned towards the archeologist. "The silence… of your voice?"

"Jesus Christ," roared the small woman. "I think your voice is more obnoxious than mine," she snarled. Stopping, she poked a finger at Xena's chest. "I can shut up fine but the Hell if you can." She leaned towards the warrior. "And you know why? Because your chatty bard rubbed off on you."

"Are you finished?" asked the warrior.

"No!" yelled Janice. "You think I've got the shitty attitude, it just don't compare to your damn smartass attitude." She stood on her tiptoes. "Gabrielle didn't do your damn attitude justice in her scrolls." She smirked. "I'm done now."

Xena smiled amusingly. "May we continue our journey to the village?"

"Yes, let's." The archeologist started walking. "I feel better."

"I'm so happy," muttered the warrior. She signaled her mare to follow.

Janice glanced at the older woman. "How about this, you be quiet and I'll be quiet? Deal?"

"Deal," agreed the warrior. She held out an arm. "Shake on it, Janice."

The small woman grabbed the larger arm. She cringed when pain shot up her arm from the extent of Xena's grip.

The dark woman grinned evilly.

"Okay, okay." Janice jerked her arm free and shook it. "You take your iron pills," she grumbled.

"Be quiet," growled Xena.

"Did I mention too that you're really grouchy?"

The Warrior Princess narrowed her eyes.

The archeologist grinned. "Wasn't gonna lie." She shrugged and went silent. She studied the area around her, trying to keep her mind busy. But the only thing her mind went to was Melinda. She sighed because she knew she missed the tall, dark, southern bell. Which she couldn't help but consider odd due to the fact she hardly knew the woman. Yet, she felt like she'd known Melinda for ages. She laughed at that inwardly.

Xena, in quick seconds, would take a glance at Janice. She was still having a hard time getting use to this gruff person in her soulmate's body. Part of her really wanted to wake up from this like a bad dream. However, she knew that wasn't going to happen and she would have to work with Gabrielle's descendent. One thing she knew for sure, it was going to be pure torture to have her soulmate physically here but not mentally or spiritual.

Within a candlemark, the pair arrived at a small town. They went in and searched out a stable for the horses.

"Hey Xena, how you get this stuff off the horse?" Janice poked her head out of the stall.

The warrior groaned and came into Janice's stall. She took the tack off the horse. "Get the saddlebag and get mine." She grinned over at the archeologist. "If you know what a saddlebag is," she teased.

Janice glared. She took off the saddlebag from Gabrielle's horse then walked out of the stall. She grabbed Xena's as well as well as waited for the warrior.

The Warrior Princess came out and smiled. "All done, doesn't take long."

The archeologist shoved a saddlebag into the warrior. "Thanks." She walked off.

The warrior sighed before having followed the younger female. She entered the inn after Janice. "Go up to the bar," whispered Xena.

Janice nodded and neared the bar. She saw a large man reappear. "How stereotypical of a bartender," she muttered under her breath.

Xena jabbed the small woman in the side for the comment. She smiled at the innkeeper. "Can we get a room for the night?"

"Sure, six dinars."

The small archeologist furrowed her eyebrows at the money. Dinars… huh need to remember that. She watched Xena pay him then she asked, "Where is the room?"

The man pointed down a hall. "Seventh door on the left. And the tub is already filled."

"Thanks," said Xena then she signaled Janice to move.

Janice sighed and headed for the hallway. She counted doors and found their room. She swung open the door, she stood there peering into the room. She whistled. "Pretty classy."

Xena pushed the archeologist in the room. "Gods, you're difficult," she growled. She slammed the door shut with her boot after coming in.

Janice dropped the saddlebag on a table. She examined the room again while her head bobbed up and down. "Yup…. BC… before cleanliness." She snickered.

The Warrior Princess rolled her eyes then placed her saddlebag with Janice's. "Well, we have a little before dinner." She walked over to the bathroom, glanced in and saw the bathtub already filled with hot water. "I'm going to take a bath."

The archeologist came over and peeked in. "Oh, does it have jet streams of water too?"

"Let's try a new rule," stated Xena. "If you don't have anything interesting to say, then don't say anything at all. Got me?"

Janice smirked. "Just depends on who's definition we're going by." She walked away. "I know I don't go by anybody's definition but my own."

"I was afraid of that," grumbled Xena. She strolled over to the table, she began taking her armor off. Slowly, she grinned evilly. "Care to join me?"

The archeologist was sitting on the bed. "At the sametime?"

"Sure, Gabrielle and I do all the time."

"Wait." Janice held up a hand. "Did you understand what you just said?" She lowered her hand. "No you did not, let me enlighten you." She took a deep breath. "You said 'Gabrielle and I' and the last time I checked… I'm not Gabrielle."

Xena knelt down and took her boots off. "Hey, never say I didn't offer you anything."

"Oh, I definitely won't deny that you never gave me an invite for bath." She snickered.

"Well." The warrior shrugged. "Your lost."

Janice narrowed her eyes. "You make it sound like I wouldn't survive the bath."

The dark woman shaped a cat grin on lips. "You wouldn't," she stated. She neared the other woman, bent forward, and pressed her large hands down on Janice's knees. "Don't want to scare you off." She rose back up to her tall height.

"You know, this is called flirting." The archeologist peered up. "My guess is, Gabrielle would get angry about it." She corked an eyebrow.

Xena crossed her arms. "Depends on whose definition we're going by." She sauntered towards the bathroom.

"How about Gabrielle's definition?"

"She would call it teasing," called the warrior. She pulled down the straps of her leathers.

Janice hopped off the bed and went to the bathroom. "Teasing, flirting… it's the same thing," she responded. She had the worst timing when she came into the doorway.

Xena stood nude and slipped into the bathtub of hot water.

The archeologist saw the incredible, perfect body and went deep red. She coughed, pounded her chest, and glanced away.

"Problem?" asked Xena.

"Yeah… hair ball." Janice cleared her throat and smiled shyly. "Think I'm going to go relax."

The Warrior Princess nodded and watched the small woman leave. She sighed sadly and leaned against the tub. "How are you doing, love?" she whispered to thin air. She closed her eyes and tried to relax. Gradually, images of her soulmate's smile came into mind and it reflected on Xena's lips. She could just hear Gabrielle's voice now and sweet words. Her heart ached.

Janice sifted through the saddlebags. She found a scroll and she pulled it out. While unrolling it, she sat down. She could actually read the Greek clearly than she could ever. She tilted her head, noticing it was a love poem from Gabrielle to Xena. "I'll be damned." She grinned. "I knew they loved each… but this much?" She lost her grin as she kept reading. All the emotions in the poem became so real and Janice realized just how much Gabrielle needed Xena and Xena needed Gabrielle. "They're… soulmates."

Rolling the scroll up carefully, she placed it in the saddlebag she found it in. The poem was incomplete too, that was another thing she noted. "Hey Xena?" she yelled.

"Yeah?" called back the warrior.

"Does Gabrielle still write?"

The Warrior Princess opened her eyes. "Sometimes." Her eyes filled with sorrow at her own response.

Janice reappeared at the doorway. She leaned against the frame. "Why only sometimes?"

"A lot of things have happened." Xena lifted her eyes.

The archeologist dropped her head against the doorframe. "But she's good," she whispered. She stared ahead.

"Oh?" asked the warrior.

Janice's eyes flickered back to Xena. "Yes." She paused. "Even I can see that." She breathed deeply. "Doesn't she miss it?"

"I don't know, honestly." The older woman lifted her arms up onto the rim of the tub.

"Ask her," whispered Janice. She shrugged. "Maybe she stopped believing in herself as a writer."

Xena brushed back her wet bangs.

"There's more to it huh?"

The warrior faintly nodded.

Janice licked her lips and sighed. "You know… even though I don't truly know her… I think I'd risk my life for her to see her happy." She smiled at Xena.

The Warrior Princess smiled slowly at the words. She looked up. "Thank you… that's what Gabrielle would say." She sighed. "Gabrielle is a warrior, not a bard." She dropped her eye contact.

"So?" Janice shrugged. "She can do both at once… if she wanted too." She lifted herself off the door. "Maybe if a certain somebody reminded her, she would give it a shot." She left Xena to think.

"Maybe… maybe," whispered Xena. She grabbed the soap and began cleaning her body.

Janice stood in the middle of the room. She went to the window, and glimpsed out.

The sunset was beginning and people in the village were still shuffling about while the market was closing down.

The archeologist turned away from the scene. Straight ahead of her, was a mirror. Going around the bed, she stood in front of it. She blinked and stared at Gabrielle's lean, sculpted body, which was well built compared to hers. Reaching out, she touched the mirror briefly then dropped her hand.

Xena came out in her leathers, she saw Janice staring at the reflection. She came up behind the short woman. She grasped the small shoulders. "She's beautiful, isn't she?" she whispered.

"She's incredible," uttered the archeologist. What the Hell am I saying? But she knew it was the truth.

"Gabrielle is an amazing woman, Janice." Xena studied the image in the mirror. "An amazing woman you should be proud of like I am."

Janice swallowed and said nothing else. Normally, she would joke something like this off with a smartass comment. But she didn't want too.

The Warrior Princess peered down at the archeologist. "Are you okay?"

"Yeah, sure." The small woman shrugged it off and stepped away.

Xena turned then watched the woman go across the room with her back to her.

Janice combed a hand through her hair. She blinked back the stinging in her eyes.

The warrior knew something was going to happen but not quite sure what.

The archeologist turned around and breathed deeply before saying, "Have I ever mentioned my father?"

Xena shook her head but waited for more.

Covington laughed cynically. "You see, my father is dead but he was known as a grave-robber." She crossed arms against her stomach. "After he died I took on his occupation, so to speak, and I even acquired the title, the grave-robber." She paused. "The name Covington is like a disease in my time. Even a joke." She locked eyes with Xena. "My father couldn't prove the existence of you, I can't, and well my father couldn't even keep his wife." She laughed lowly. "It's pretty fucking funny." She shook her head. "Its rough when you're at the bottom of everything."

"You're jealous," stated Xena. She held no anger in her tone just pure honesty. "Jealous of Gabrielle."

"Yeah," whispered Janice. "She's amazing and I'm the screw up in her bloodline." She laughed at her own joke. "I can't stand it, how damn good her scrolls are or how amazing she is. And I can't fucken compare." She looked up. "I cannot be amazing like Gabrielle." She began crying. "I can't," she growled and pulled back her hair while closing her eyes.

Xena closed in the distance and pulled the small woman in.

Janice wanted to pull away but then she couldn't refuse protection from her past. She wrapped her arms around Xena, dropped her head against the warrior's chest, and attempted to calm down.

The warrior held onto the archeologist. She lowered her head onto Janice's. She felt how good it was to hold Gabrielle's body despite Gabrielle wasn't inside. "Janice, your self worth is only low as you make it."

Janice closed her eyes and willed the agony to leave. Eventually she gained control again. "No, you don't understand."

"Trust me, I do." Xena pulled back and knelt down. She smiled softly. "You can change your reputation as long as you want too." She corked an eyebrow. "You're looking at a perfect example, Janice."

The archeologist huffed because she knew the warrior was right. "If I could just prove your existence… then none of my work nor my father's would have been in vain."

"And you have Gabrielle's scrolls?"

Janice sighed. "That's not enough to go on… I need more hard proof." She shrugged. "As far as some historians are concerned they'll say they're some kid's fairy tales." She paused while having thought. "If I can find hard evidence and related it to the scrolls then I can prove your existence."

The Warrior Princess shrugged. "So you would need something like my chakram."

"Exactly." The archeologist laughed. "The thing is… I had your chakram but it's lost in the tomb."

Xena tilted her head. "Which chakram?"

Janice's eyes widened. "W-what you mean which chakram?"

The older woman grinned, rose up, and went over to the table. She picked up her chakram and turned around. "Was it this one you found?"

The archeologist stared then shook her head. "I've never heard about that chakram." It was the first time she noticed the chakram. She walked over and took it. She turned it every which way, examining it. "What happened to your other one?" Her green eyes lifted up. "When Mel and I found it, it was broken in half."

Xena shrugged. "Long story."

Janice huffed and handed back the weapon. "Also, if I can find evidence of your hometown and Gabrielle's that'll help prove things."

"Really?" The warrior sat down and grabbed her boots. "Let's visit Amphipolis." She grinned. "Otherwise, you'll never be able to figure out where the towns are in your time."

"Mel and I were hoping Gabrielle's scrolls would hold directions."

Xena shook her head. "No, Gabrielle never wrote directions to any places." She smirked. "Waste of ink." After putting her boots on, she stood up with her armor and slipped into it.

Janice crossed her arms and watched. "Xena, I need to return to my time… I can't go gallivanting across the country with you… no offense." She shook her head. "We have to figure out how I can get home."

"That's not my problem," stated the warrior. She grinned plus put her weapons into place. "Its yours." She faced her friend. "This is personal."

Covington was thoroughly confused. "What… are you saying?"

"That there's real no solution around here." Xena arched an eyebrow. "Its has to come from within yourself."

Janice thought over the words then related it to when Xena's spirit took Mel's body. She blinked and continued rationalizing. "I have to have an epiphany then I can switch with Gabrielle again."

"Basically." Xena strolled towards the door. "I think this is love talking to you, Janice." She opened the door and held it open.

The archeologist came over and asked, "Love?"

"Love for your family." The warrior went out of the door. She heard Janice silently pursue.

Together, they went into the tavern section and sought a table in a lone spot. Within seconds, a barmaid came up and took orders from them both.

Janice had become rather quiet

Xena sighed and pushed her seat back. She propped the back against the wall. Folding her hands in her lap, she gazed at Janice. "So, tell me about Melinda." She grinned. "Wouldn't mind knowing a little about my own descendent."

The archeologist chuckled and relaxed in her seat. "She looks exactly like you, that's it."

The warrior raised an eyebrow. "That's it as in…?"

"As in she doesn't have any other qualities like you." Covington grinned. "She's the complete opposite mentally."

"Go on," insisted Xena.

Janice sighed, acting as if she didn't want to continue the conversation about Melinda yet she went on. "She can be outgoing but shy too." Her ivy green eyes glosses over, as she became lost in this description. "Mel is very caring and proper." She shifted in her seat. "Quite rich but doesn't act like a spoiled brat. She can act a little dizzy." She stopped to chuckle. "But she's actually really bright, knows how to translate Greek damn good." She peered over at Xena. "She's southern so she has a funny accent."

"Really?" Xena had noticed how her friend was falling into this conversation of Melinda. "Demonstrate."

Janice laughed and sat up a little. "Alright, let me think of an example." Slowly, she creased her lips with a grin. "Y'all ain't gonna go up yonder there? Oh my, but it ain't safe for ya." She stopped and chuckled. "Mel has a higher pitched voice than you."

The warrior laughed quietly. "That's her accent?"

"Yup, the southern drawl." The archeologist grinned. "She's just the average southern bell."

"Average huh?"

Covington laughed. "Well, she has a few difference than most southerners."

"Oooh, I see," teased Xena with a smug look. She sat up in her seat and grinned. "Now, I reckon, honey, ya have uh few fancying emotions for this Melinda Pappas."

Janice's expression went into shock. "You… you sounded just like her."

The Warrior Princess laughed deeply and rested back in her chair.

Then the small woman realized what Xena had said. "And Jesus Christ, what did you say? I don't… fancy Mel," she growled

Xena arched an eyebrow.

"Xena, I've know her a day… a day."

"And your point is?" asked the warrior. She shrugged. "I fell in-love with Gabrielle the second my eyes rested on her." She grinned evilly. "If not before," she whispered.

"What are you saying?"

The dark woman waited for a moment before having responded, "That maybe Gabrielle and I were together in a past life."

Janice chuckled at that idea. "That doesn't make sense."

"Soulmates," whispered Xena, she didn't need to say anything else.

The archeologist huffed.

The barmaid came over and served the food. Afterwards, she strolled off.

The pair ate relatively silent and then left for the night. They went back to the room and prepared for bed.

Janice simply took her boots off then crawled into the bed. Christ, I'm sleeping in the same bed with Xena. What the Hell is that? She then chuckled inwardly. I slept in the same bed with Mel. What's the difference? Yeah, one's dark and dangerous while the other is dark and sweet. She closed her eyes and listened to Xena taking her armor off.

Xena placed her chakram on the bed stand after blowing the candles out then she got into the bed beside Janice.

The archeologist was quick about falling sleep.

The warrior, on the other hand, stared up at the ceiling, thinking. She sighed deeply as her thoughts of Gabrielle center in her mind and heart.

Janice moaned softly in her sleep. She rolled to her right and half her body came on top of Xena's. Her left arm came across the warrior's stomach while the side of her face rested on Xena's warm chest.

Xena's breathing was hesitant at first but she relaxed. "Janice?" she whispered softly.

"Mel?" mumbled the small woman.

The older woman closed her eyes briefly then opened them again. "Janice?" She didn't want to refuse her lover's body against her own but this wasn't Gabrielle inside. "Come on," she said soothingly.

The archeologist shifted out of her sleepy state and peered up. "Christ, sorry Xena." She started lifting herself up. "It was natural," she mumbled. And damn comfortable, she added mentally.

"Let's humor me." The Warrior Princess pressed Janice's back for her to lay back down.

Janice captured Xena's eyes. She's missing Gabrielle pretty bad. She sighed sadly and lowered the body she was trapped in back down on Xena. I wonder if Mel feels like this?

The warrior wrapped her arms around Janice and closed her eyes, feeling more content. "Thank you," she whispered.

"I won't tell anybody you're this soft… pun intended."

Xena chuckled and growled, "Go to sleep."

"But I will tell them how damn grouchy you are."

The Warrior Princess sighed but let it go.

Janice chuckled quietly at the lack of response, she soon went to sleep followed by Xena.

Part Four- The Plans

Gabrielle hissed as the pain shot through her arm.

"Sorry," whispered Melinda. She lowered her hand and said, "You're gonna have to take yo jacket off."

The warrior stood up and stared at the campfire while having took her jacket off.

The southerner noticed how quiet her friend had become. She was still trying to figure out the cause. "Um, Gabrielle ya might want to remove your shirt too." Her face flushed at her own words. "It'll just get in the way," she whispered.

Gabrielle sighed and began unbuttoning the shirt. "Is there a medical kit in the truck?"

"Let me go take a gander." Melinda stood up from the log and walked over to the truck on the side of the road. Nightfall had begun an hour ago and they'd stopped for the evening, not even quite sure where they were driving.

Gabrielle sat back down on the log. She took off her hat and placed it on top of the leather jacket and shirt. She only wore boots, pants, and her bra… well and her gun and whip hung off her side.

The aristocrat came back over with a small bag, she settled it on the ground, then sat down, straddling the log. "We're in luck." She opened the small pack before gazing back at the wound on the side of Gabrielle's arm.

The warrior-bard peered down and studied the wound. "Looks like it didn't go through." She touched it and felt the sharp pain jolt through her arm. "Its just not happy," she grumbled.

Melinda reached into the bag and pulled out white moist clothes. "This gonna sting."

Gabrielle nodded and closed her eyes when the stinging began. She sighed in attempt to relax.

The southerner began cleaning the wound. She couldn't believe she was cleaning a wound. She should have been the ever proper southern bell, and fainted at the sign of blood. But she knew Gabrielle needed her help and wasn't going to deny that. "How do ya feel?"

"Okay," answered the small woman. "You?"

"Fine," responded Melinda. "Was a long a day."

Gabrielle simply nodded.

The aristocrat was getting worried because she knew this woman was normally talkative. She pushed her glasses back up on her nose, continued cleaning the wound, but said quietly, "You're quiet."

"Just exhausted." The warrior-bard opened her eyes once more and stared at the fire. "Tiring trying to figure out a new body."

"Is it all that different than yours?" Melinda stopped cleaning and peered up.

"Yes." Gabrielle felt the stinging begin again on her arm. "Janice's body isn't quite as muscular as mine." She rolled her head and cracked her neck. "Funny too, her body frame seems smaller."

"Maybe that's 'cause her body isn't as well built as yours."

"Yeah." The warrior-bard sighed and noted that Melinda was beginning to wrap the wound. "Its funny how much you two look like Xena and I."

Pappas stopped bandaging the wound. "Janice and I look exactly like you both?" She went back to bandaging.

"Yes, exact mirror images."

The southerner finished bandaging the wound and put the supplies back in the bag.

Gabrielle turned her head to Melinda. She reached forward and removed the southerner's glasses. She grinned. "Exactly alike."

Melinda chuckled, took back the glasses, and stood up while putting them back on. "Should I be flattered?" She walked back to the truck.

The short warrior grinned to herself and grabbed her shirt. She put it on and buttoned it up. "Sure," she said with arrogance.

"Was that uh little pride I heard?" The belle chuckled and came back with another pack. She knelt down next to the fire and pulled out food items with a cooking pot.

"Of course." Gabrielle stood up and slipped into her leather jacket. "I am the bard of Potidaea that traveled with the legendary Xena," she teased.

"Travels," corrected the southerner. She peeked up at the small woman through her glasses. "We're gonna get ya back."

The warrior corked an eyebrow. "Whatever you say, sweetheart." She grinned before grabbing her hat.

Melinda laughed lowly and shook her head. She watched Gabrielle gradually put on the hat and almost transformed into Janice Covington. She blinked and looked back at the food.

Gabrielle saw the expression on Melinda's face. It was an expression of hidden love. She grinned. It runs in the bloodline. After she came over, she knelt down beside the taller woman. "So, what we have to eat?"

"I have no idea." Melinda laughed faintly. "Who knows what Janice was thinken when she packed this."

"Looks like she was thinking smart." The warrior-bard reached in a popped out a glass container of sage spice. "Good choice, Janice." She grinned. Grasping something else, she extracted something that looked like meat. "Okay." She tilted her head.

"Dried meat." Melinda took it. "How 'bout I cook dinner."

Gabrielle did a double-take. "Say that again."

"I'll cook dinner," the southerner drew out in her deep accent.

The warrior blinked. "You'll cook?" She giggled and sat on the ground.

"Is that funny?"

"I'm sorry." Gabrielle shook her head. "Xena doesn't know the first thing about cooking. She only knows how to burn food." She corked a grin. "Its just funny to hear somebody that looks like her, say they'll cook."

Melinda sighed at her friend's amusement. "Xena must be quite the warrior." She turned back to the pack and pulled out her supplies she needed.

"She really is." The small woman sighed sadly. "An amazing woman."

The southerner glanced at the other female. "May I ask ya something?"

Gabrielle nodded and waited for the question.

The belle looked away while a flush crept up her neck. "Uh… well…" She cleared her throat because memories of this morning filtered back to her of when Gabrielle kissed her. "Are you and Xena…" she trailed off.

The warrior grinned before patting the southerner's knee. "Yes, is the answer." She stood up. "For quite awhile now." She went to the fire then stoked it with wood. "Why?" She glanced over.

Melinda chuckled in hopes to calm herself. "Would place a whole new perspective on Janice's research… history even."

"Oh? How is that?" The warrior-bard brushed her hands clean of the wood and sat down on the log.

The aristocrat brought her attention to the food and filled the pot with water and other items. "Well, its assumed…" She stopped then pushed her glasses up on the bridge of her nose. She glanced at Gabrielle. "Its assumed that there were same sex relationships during yo time period."


Melinda sighed while having gone back to her cooking, preparing the soup. "These days people don't talk about same sex relationships let alone have them." Her voice was even small in explaining this to Gabrielle. "It's actually looked down on."

Gabrielle huffed. She rested her arms on her knees. "Why?"

"Tradition," stated Melinda. "Even I have uh hard time talking 'bout it 'cause its so improper." She stopped while considering her next words. "However, I do 'cause in my line of work, its talked 'bout now and again." She then mumbled, "But only in whispers."

"What do you think of it, personally?"

The aristocrat sighed and stood up. She settled the pot over the fire, she neared Gabrielle. "Personally." She sat on the log beside the smaller woman. "Love is love." She smiled but lost it. "But its still uh hard topic."

Gabrielle slowly nodded in understanding. "Sounds like society has really set themselves up." She chuckled and shook her head. "A shame."

"I agree," stated Melinda. "That's another thing that would be important if Janice finds out in yo scrolls." She shrugged. "I don't know if that's what she's after." She grinned slightly at Gabrielle. "If it's proven that the two greatest heroes in time were lovers then that'll start uh lot of talk."

"Or it's liable to destroy Janice's research."

"How is that?"

The small woman licked her lips before she had said, "Think about it. If society doesn't accept same sex relationships then how would you expect them to accept my scrolls? To accept my scrolls means they'd have to accept the relationship between Xena and I. From the sounds of things, society wouldn't accept the truth, which means they'd have to deny my scrolls." She paused. "Deny Xena and I's existence."

Melinda's eyes lowered to the forest floor. "Then its hopeless," she whispered.

"Not… totally." Gabrielle grinned. "My first year and half worth of scrolls are based around Xena and me being friends." She shrugged. "If Janice tries focusing her research around those then she will be fine. But if she pulls out the others it could get sketchy."

Melinda made a mental note of that for later. "Are same sex relationships… common in yo time?" she asked quietly.

The warrior-bard nodded. "Just depends on where you're talking about." She grinned. "If you're talking Rome it was more-"

"Men?" asked Melinda.

Gabrielle nodded. "It was normal for two men to be together in Rome."

"There was research done saying that uh few Caesars had younger boys for lovers," stated the aristocrat.

"I've heard that too." The small woman shrugged. "Don't know first hand." She grinned. "I think it was a way for the husbands to cheat and not get caught with a pregnant woman in the end."

The southerner's eyes widened in utter surprise.

Gabrielle chuckled and patted the southerner's knee. "I was kidding, Mel." She grinned at the woman's look.

Melinda sighed in relief. "Ya had me going for uh moment."

The warrior chuckled. "We need to figure out our plans," she stated.

"We do," agreed the southerner. She stood up and walked over to the fire. "Do we know how we are gonna get ya back to yo time?"

The warrior-bard stared at the fire while having considered. "I don't know," she whispered sadly.

The aristocrat turned after she had stirred the soup. "Ya already miss home huh?"

Gabrielle peered up and nodded. "Yeah," she whispered sadly. She took her hat off and placed it in her lap. "Well, considering the way Janice and I switched bodies, there has to be away to fix it."

"I'm sure there is," agreed the belle. "But wwwhat is it?"

The small warrior ran her fingers through her strawberry-blond hair. "I have no idea." She huffed. "I could be home this second or in a year."

"Naw, it won't take that long," reassured the southerner. She came over and knelt down in front of the small woman. "Gabrielle, we'll get ya back home… promise." She smiled warmly.

Gabrielle smiled back but it faltered. "Thanks, Mel." She sighed. "Let's hope it won't be that hard."

"I have uh sneaky suspicion it ain't gonna be that hard."

"Time will tell." The small woman peered up with a more stoic expression. "Do you have a map or anything?"

Melinda stood up. "It'd be in one of those packs Janice put in duh truck."

"Alright, I'll go take a look." The warrior-bard stood up and asked, "You'll be okay with the cooking?"

"I reckon so, not uh thing to worry 'bout."

Gabrielle nodded and strolled over to the truck. She went to the rear and began fishing through the packs.

The aristocrat was back at the soup, she checked on it.

The warrior huffed at not finding a map. She opened another pack and found odd items in it. She then found a folded up piece of paper. She grinned and pulled it out. She unfolded it.

It looked to be a map.

Gabrielle shrugged, folded it back up, and neared the fire. She unfolded beside the fire. She knelt down, placed the map on the ground, and studied the map.

Melinda came over and knelt down. "We're here." Her finger came to a northern part of Greece.

"Hmmm, which way did we head?" inquired the small woman. She looked up to the road. "Let's see… the sun set over there."

"Dat's west." Melinda pointed in the opposite direction. "Dat's east."

"So, we've been traveling south… perfect." Gabrielle glanced back at the map and her eyes lowered to southwest Greece. Her express dropped. "Mel, Amphipolis is on this map." She peered up with a corked eyebrow.

Pappas sheepishly smiled and bushed up her glasses. "Well ya see, Gabrielle, its uh modern day version of Amphipolis." She paused. "The one that Xena grew up in is gone."

"What you mean, its gone?" Gabrielle pointed on the map. "Its right here."

"Yes but ya see, where the modern one ain't where the old Amphipolis was."

The warrior glanced back down and realized Melinda was right. "Ha, I'll be damned to Hades." She grinned. She then noted that there was a modern Potidaea but just south of where her hometown would have been. "The same thing with Potidaea." She shook her head and looked up at Melinda again. "So, why hasn't Janice just going to the modern day one's and dug around the areas?"

"It ain't that simple." The aristocrat sighed. "Ya have to have permission to dig anywhere plus proof that there is uh reason to dig there."

Gabrielle considered that explanation. "So… Janice needs accurate location of where Potidaea and Amphipolis once existed?"

"Yesum." Melinda got up and check on the soup. "Once she has dat then she can dig… I reckon." She took the pot from over the fire then placed it on the ground. "Well, its what I know from my daddy… what he's taught me."

The small warrior pulled out two bowls from the food pack along with spoons. "It makes sense." She held out the bowls while Melinda had filled them. "So, I'll just show you where they are then you and Janice can dig there later." She shrugged. "It'll be simple as that." She peered up. "Right?"

The aristocrat finished pouring the soup in. She settled the pot on the ground. "I reckon so… I ain't sure how this archeology stuff works. But I reckon if Janice has the right evidence and location then she would be given permission tuh dig."

Gabrielle nodded and handed a bowl out with a spoon in it. "So, that's what we'll do." She smiled. "We travel to Amphipolis first and find her then we'll head to Potidaea and locate the old ruins." She shrugged. "Simple enough." She strolled over to the log and sat. "Sound like a plan?"

The southerner chuckled quietly and sat down beside her friend. "I reckon so… not many other options."

"They're other options… they just wouldn't make much sense." Gabrielle grinned but had begun eating.

The belle nodded in agreement and started eating.

Within half an hour the pair finished dinner. Cleaned up things then they settled down two sleeping bags near the fire.

Gabrielle placed more wood into the fire before having sat back down on the log. She slid off the log and leaned against it. She closed her eyes and took her hat off. Her mind drifted to her lover in another time.

Melinda came over, she sat down beside her small friend. "Are ya okay?" she whispered.

"Fine," whispered the warrior. "Just tired." She turned her head to her friend.

The belle smiled softly.

The smaller woman's eyes locked with serene water blue eyes.

Melinda didn't shifted and studied the rich forest green eyes flickering in the firelight.

Gabrielle reached up, cautiously, and removed the tall woman's glasses. "You look exactly like Xena," she whispered in sorrow.

The southerner's soft lips eased into a sad smile. "I'm sorry," she uttered.

The warrior-bard gently brushed her fingertips over the belle's lips.

Melinda was stiff and could not breathe from the warm fingers touching her lips. She looked at the face and saw Janice and inside the eyes she saw Gabrielle. She closed her eyes from the torment.

Gabrielle lowered her hand and leaned towards the southerner. She simply lowered her head onto Melinda's chest and closed her eyes.

The belle relaxed a little and was able to bring her arm around her friend's back. She pulled the small woman in, in hope to comfort her.

The warrior snuggled in and closed her eyes tightly, having tried to hold tears back.

The aristocrat lowered her chin onto the strawberry-blond head. She really misses Xena. She shut her eyes and ended her thoughts with, And I really miss Janice.

The pair stayed silent for an hour. They relaxed in their embrace together, both imagining the other as the person they wanted to be with. It was blissful torture.

~*Continue to Section Two*~

The Athenaeum's Scroll Archive