Characters and backstory from Xena: Warrior Princess are property of MCA/Universal/Renaissance. No copyright infringement is intended.
This is an original (I hope) work of alternative fan fiction. No profit will be gained from its production. This piece of fiction is copyright of the author.
There are depictions of love/sex between consenting adult persons of the same gender. If this is illegal where you live, you are underage, or this isn't your preference, then stop reading here and find something more appropriate to your tastes and/or laws.
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All You Need Is Love
Copyright June 18, 1998
"Tell me again, why did I do this?"
Aphrodite rolled her eyes and sighed with exasperation. "You can be sooo slow sometimes, Hephie." The goddess shook her head at her husband and then studied the petite woman cradled in his powerful arms. "There is no way that I'm going to let Ares get away with that stunt he pulled. This little babe didn't have to die. That big jerk thought that with her out of the way that he could just seduce Xena back to him, but it won't happen. The warrior babe is made of sterner stuff." The goddess' brow puckered in thought. "But it wouldn't hurt to return the little Amazon to her."
"But I thought that you were angry with them," Hephaestus asked as he walked alongside the love goddess, a slight limp making his gait awkward compared to her liquid grace.
Waving a hand through the air as if to ward off a pesky fly, the goddess smiled. "What's a little plan busted here and there? Besides, I'm a lover, not a fighter," she smirked, winking suggestively to the smith god, "most of the time."
The chuckle reverberated up through the powerful god's barrel-like chest. With a grunt of surprise, Hephaestus stared at the golden woman who was beginning to stir. "Uh, 'Dite, honey, I think she's waking up."
Seeing the bard's eyelids begin to flutter, Aphrodite smoothed a gentle hand over the young bard's brow. "So beautiful," she murmured.
"She IS part of the family," her husband reminded her.
"Hmm," the love goddess replied absently. "Daughter of the sun. Chosen of the moon."
"And blessed by love."
Aphrodite snorted delicately. "Yeah, as if. I work my fingers to the bone trying to pair those two, and what does it get me? A few hot looks and a lot of wet dreams."
Hephaestus tried to console his wife, to assure her that the mortals were just too blind to see the truth in each other's eyes, but an uttered curse silenced his words.
"Son of a bacchae, what in Tartarus happened to me?" Gabrielle opened her eyes and squinted them, trying to make out the large fuzzy form that loomed over her. She began to struggle when the rugged face of a strange man came into focus.
"Whoa, there, little one," Hephaestus crooned low, as if he were soothing a skittish horse, "we mean you no harm."
The deep resonance of the stranger's voice reached deep within her, and she calmed enough to study her surroundings. She was in a forge of some sort, its heat reminded her of...with a gasp, she slipped from the man's arms. "Where am I?"
"Chill, babe." Before the love goddess could utter another sound, the bard turned to her.
The goddess shrugged and grinned sensually. "Do you know anyone else that could wear this gown as well as I do?"
Gabrielle's eyes widened even further in surprise. "But the lava...Hope...."
"Fry baby," the goddess replied without mirth. "She was strong, but Hephie made sure that she won't be bothering you or anyone else."
Aphrodite rolled her eyes and winked at her husband. "For a bard, you sure do have a problem talking, doll."
Huffing with indignation, the petite woman took a deep breath and willed her heart to slow. "How did I escape the lava?"
"Oh, that." Aphrodite grinned mischievously and waved her hands in mock surprise. She crossed the short distance to Hephaestus and wrapped an appreciating hand around a bulging arm. "I knew I could trust him. He caught me the first time I fell," she answered as circled behind her husband and rubbed her breasts against the smith god's back. "So strong," she whispered.
Hephaestus cleared his throat and resisted the urge to lean back into his wife's sultry touch. Grateful that his blush was hidden under his swarthy skin, he caught his wife around the shoulders as she ended the caress at his left side. When he caught her eyes with his, he cocked his head in the young woman's direction.
Aphrodite stretched and nuzzled her husband's ear with her moist lips. "Think she'd like to watch?" The goddess smiled in wicked glee at the power she held over the man as she pulled away abruptly and crossed to Gabrielle.
Raising a brow, the bard considered her savior and gave him a bright smile of gratitude. "Thank you, Hephaestus," she said as she lowered her eyes in thought. "But I still don't understand. Why did you do it?"
Waving her hands to dismiss the bard's question, the goddess sighed. "Hon, there were so many reasons. Love, passion, love, sex...you have great potential if you'd ever get with that warrior babe of yours. Really, I would think that someone of your blood would be just a bit more lusty. I thought you were a total square until that romp with Bacchus. Now that was one way hot bite you gave there," she growled with mock ferocity as she bared her teeth.
Gabrielle cocked her head as she tried to interpret the quirky goddess' speech, blushing with the memory of her short time as a bacchae. "What do you mean, my blood?"
"Get with it, Gabs. I'm surprised you haven't figured it out by now. Blessed with the gifts of Apollo, chosen by Artemis. Babe, you're one of us."
She shook her head in fierce denial. "No way. Uh-uh. I don't think so."
"You bet your toned abs you are. Straight from the loins of Apollo himself. Why do ya think you never fit in back in Potatoeville?"
The implications of the goddesses words were reverberating through her mind. "What's a potatoe? Is it something like a tomatoe?"
"Hmm...yeah, whatever." Aphrodite laid a comforting arm across the small woman's shoulders. "Look, Gab, Goddess of Golden Skin and Changing Hair Color, you gotta follow me here for a moment."
The bard quirked a brow in amusement and then consternation at the titled bestowed upon her. Needing to hear the rest of the story, however, she held her objections silent and nodded for Aphrodite to continue.
"I'm not going to give you the gory, sweaty details of it all, but you are Apollo's. You'll have to drag the story out of him. But since you are half-god, you are immortal. And as such, you would have suffered in that lava for eternity. Now, I'm sure you remember the company that you'd have been keeping...don't you?" When Gabrielle winced with fear at the last memory of Velaska, the goddess continued. "Yeah, exactamundo. So, anyway, I thought that maybe, like, I'd do a good deed. Actually, I'm trying to work my magic here, but if it keeps you out of trouble, then, hey, I'm in."
Realizing that she now owed the love goddess a favor, Gabrielle narrowed her eyes in suspicion. "What do you want from me?"
The goddess grinned with anticipation. "All right, now were gettin' down to the nitty gritty." With a wave of her arm, she and the bard disappeared.
Gabrielle only felt a moment's queasiness before she opened her eyes and found that they were now in a small cave that looked like it had once been a temple of some sort. A large alter dominated the small room, and candles burned on ledges along the walls. Incense filled the air with a heady, seductive aroma. "Aren't you being a little confident here, thinking that I'll agree?"
"OH, PULLEEASE," the goddess drawled dramatically. "Trust me on this one, you're gonna love it."
"So, what do I have to do?"
The goddess shrugged as she waved her arm and the altar was covered with a luxuriant pelt of soft black fur. "Just lie right there."
The bard nibbled on her bottom lip in thought, trying to find the hidden angles and traps. "Just lie there? What's going to happen to me?"
Aphrodite's eyes took on a glow of passion. "I'll just make it so that your Xena stumbles on this little love nest, and when she sees you, she'll fall to her knees and declare her undying love for you."
"Simple as that, huh?"
Sighing in exasperation, the goddess narrowed her eyes. "She's right, you know. You can be such a cynic."
Gabrielle took her own stubborn stance and quirked her brow. "Aphrodite, I've traveled with her for three years. She is not one to share her feelings. And she certainly does not love me like that."
The goddess snorted. "Uh, hell-lllo! She nearly fell all over you, ga-ga and hot when the two of you were spoiling my little plans for the North Star. You were just so stuck on yourself, you wouldn't have seen it if she popped you over the head with her drooling tongue."
"And whose fault was that," the bard nearly shouted as she took a step forward.
Raising her hands in surrender, Aphrodite sighed. "Ok, all right. We can forget about the past, can't we? I mean, let bygones be bygones, and all? Besides, you feel the same way about her, admit it."
Gabrielle spun on her heel and began to pace in the tiny cavern, her hands cradling her head. "I guess you would know. You are the Goddess of Love."
Aphrodite smiled and then laughed. "And we ain't talkin' agape or philos here."
A blush spread over Gabrielle's face as she remembered some of the graphic dreams she had regarding the warrior that was her companion.
"Yep, definitely not," the goddess repeated. "So, you in or what?"
"What'll you do with me if I refuse," Gabrielle asked, unsure that she wanted to hear the answer.
The goddess' jaw hardened. "Look, Gab, I know you want to hear it. You're one of those people that has to share their feelings. And it's been killing you holding this doozy in, hasn't it?" Aphrodite allowed no time for the bard to reply. "You want it, she needs it, I mean, she REALLY needs it, if you know what I mean," she hinted with a lewd wink. "Do you have any idea of how long it's been for her?"
"Please, I don't want to hear this," the young woman groaned as her face flamed even hotter. "I promised her that I wouldn't betray her or use her anymore. I...I can't do it."
"Aw, come on, hon. You aren't going to do a thing. She's the one that has to do all the work. And I promise, the end result is going to be abso-freakin'-lutely incredible," the goddess replied with a giddy bounce. "Please say you'll do it, please?"
"What's in it for you?"
The goddess shrugged and folded her arms. "I finally get to stick it to Ar? With you in the warrior babe's heart and soul, there's no way she'll ever go back to him."
Gabrielle stopped pacing and went pale in shock. "She'll hate me," she cried in a strained whisper. "She doesn't like the gods...and I'm...well, part god."
Aphrodite grabbed her niece by the shoulders and spun her around. "Hey, babe, I got some news for you. She's got it, too."
"Ares," the bard said as a question was finally answered.
"She hit the nail on the head during her trial with the Furies," the goddess confirmed. "But in that light, makes him the big pervert, doesn't it?" The goddess squeezed Gabrielle's shoulders in comfort. "But hey, none of that'll matter once you two profess your love."
"We have to tell each other," the bard mumbled to herself.
"Uh-huh. And show each other."
The bard gasped in embarrassment. "But I...I've...never...."
"Yeah, in practice, maybe. Doll, you've had dreams that made me wet, so go with it. Do what feels good." When Gabrielle eyes misted with uncertainty, the goddess chucked her under the chin. "Buck up, little pardner, she's had a few wild ones herself. I'd love to stick around and watch, but I don't think either of you are into the voyeur scene just yet."
"Aphrodite, please, I'm about to bust a vein here," the bard implored as she covered her crimson face with her trembling hands.
"Please do it. Do it for Xena and the love you have for her."
Gabrielle raised her face to catch the goddess pouting. She heaved a sigh of resignation. "Well, you did save me...and I guess it can't hurt anything."
The goddess winked and smiled. "It only hurts if you're rough on the little clamshell, but then, who knows...leather, whips, you might just be into that thing. Hmm...kinky. I like that picture. I can always tie you to the altar if you'd like," she offered with all seriousness.
Gabrielle choked on a retort at the picture the goddess' words conjured. "Heh, I don't think I'm ready for that one, myself. How about just some straight, good old-fashioned passion, huh?"
Smiling brightly, Aphrodite gave the bard a nudge towards the altar. "You're really getting into this now, huh? Just think, all that scroll reading you did on your last visit to the Amazons is gonna pay off real soon."
Her whole body flushed at the thought of consummating her love for Xena. "I guess being a hero has its perks," she muttered as she felt the warm fur tickle the backs of her legs.
The goddess eyed her bait with a contemplative eye. "Speaking of perky...."
Gabrielle's hands reached up to cover her breasts instinctively. "What the...why'd you?"
"Purely gratuitous on my part," Aphrodite explained as she dropped the bard's clothes in a corner. "Now, be a good little girl, and lay down for me. Trust me, this won't hurt."
"Wait," Gabrielle ordered with a raised hand. "I'm doing a lot of trusting here. How do I know that you aren't going to double-cross me here?"
The goddess smirked. "Like, that's Ares' stage, not mine. So chill, will you? You're blocking all the lusty vibes of this place."
"Where are we anyway," Gabrielle asked as she laid down and got comfortable.
"Oh, this place is ancient. They used to sacrifice virgins here before Zeus came to power."
"Virgins?" Gabrielle gulped audibly and the goddess laid a firm hand on her chest. "I'm not a virgin."
Aphrodite's sculpted brows wrinkled in thought. "I could make you a virgin, if that's what you want."
The thought fluttered quickly in and out of Gabrielle's mind. "No, I don't think I want you messing with my body."
"Yeah, right. We want to save that for Xena." Aphrodite adjusted a few candles and cocked her head as if listening to something. "Well, you're up, babe. You trust me?"
"Do it," the bard ground out through a clenched jaw before her world went black.
The sudden storm was not unusual for the time of year, but Xena felt a sliver of suspicion crawl up her back as she focused her attention on her surroundings. Her concentration was broken when Argo began to shy and chew at her bit. "All right, girl, we'll find some shelter," she soothed as the horse pranced with the thunder that rumbled overhead.
Dismounting, the warrior hurried through the sparse trees to a rock-face that would surely have some sort of crevice or cave that would shelter the both of them. She would rather have gone on, to never stop until she dropped from exhaustion where a dreamless sleep would take her into the next day, but Argo was spooked, and she couldn't afford to lose another friend.
Her shoulders slumped and tears began to mix with the drops of rain that were falling heedlessly down her face. She was so lost and lonely without her bard, and all attempts get her back were proving fruitless. She was on her way to find Hercules to see if he could help when the storm had urged them off the road. With a silent vow, she promised herself that as soon as the skies let up, she would be on the road again. Corinth was only two-days travel to the east, and she was determined to make it in a day and a half.
"Here we go, girl," Xena crooned as she found an overhand big enough to keep her warhorse out of the brunt of the storm's fury. Let me get these bags off of you, and we'll take a break. Spying a small crevice to their right, Xena gathered the saddlebags and Gabrielle's staff and stepped once more out into the rain.
Her gasp of surprise was barely audible over a charge of thunder that shook the very ground. She looked quickly to Argo to see that the mare seemed almost at peace out of the downpour. Sure that the horse would be fine now, Xena sucked in her chest and squeezed between the sheer rock that opened into a small cavern.
She dropped the bags quietly and searched the deepest corners of the room before her eyes found the woman on the altar. "Gabrielle?" With halting steps, the warrior crossed to the naked woman and fell to her knees, as if worshipping a divinity. "Gabrielle?" Tears that had begun to fall rapidly were wiped away hastily as Xena stood and unsheathed her sword.
Aphrodite backed up and held her breath as the two and half feet of menacing steel pressed against her breast. "Chill, babe."
"Did you do this to her?"
"Relax, Xena. I kept her from becoming charbroiled. Show some gratitude, huh?"
Xena lowered her sword, but her predatory stance remained as rigid as ever. "If you saved her, why is she like that," the warrior asked with a toss of her head towards the unconscious woman.
"She's fine. Nothing you can't fix."
"What do you mean?"
"It's like this," the goddess sighed, tired of talking when she could just draw a picture and get it over with, "love took her out of the world, so love has to bring her back into it. Got it?"
Xena pondered over the words, unraveling the enigmatic clues the goddess had given her. "Love?"
Aphrodite smile when she saw the understanding in the warrior's blue eyes. "You got it, all right. Be honest with her and with yourself, and let things happen as they will. She'll be all yours, then."
Having forgotten that the goddess was even there, Xena spun and returned to the sleeping bard's side. She had never been good with words or feelings, but three years with a chatty and nosy bard had taught her how to open up, if just a little. Still, however, she tripped over the words in her mind, willing them to find their own way out of her mouth. She lowered herself to her knees by Gabrielle's head and buried her face in the young woman's fragrant hair. Her hand trembled as it wrapped around her shoulders to tangle in the golden strands.
"Gabrielle, please, come back to me. I can't lose you, not after I saw how much I mean to you, how much you love me." Tears began to fall freely once more, and the warrior's words were muffled for the tightness that constricted her throat. "I've...I've needed you for so long, Gabrielle. You are my source, my light. You are my heart and soul, and without you, I am dead any way. I can't live without you. I can't love without you. You are the one that has captured my heart, my bard."
The warrior started when she felt the tentative caress on her arm. She sniffled and wiped her eyes as she raised her head. Sparkling green eyes captured hers in an embrace that told more than any words could. But the sound of the bard's voice was sweet nonetheless.
"I love you, too, Xena."
Arms reached around to clasp her head and the warrior was pulled down into a kiss that smoldered with awakened passion and need. Her hands wandered and stilled. With a low moan, she pulled away and realized that the bard was without clothes. Her loins flooded and her heart beat out a thunderous rhythm. She watched bewildered when a small hand captured one of hers and guided it low to a secret haven of golden love soaked with desire. Her gasp was cut short by the bard's tender lips finding her own once again for a quick kiss.
"Xena, I don't want to wait any longer for this," she whispered seductively as her hand urged the warrior's to motion. "Take me, Xena. Make my love yours," she hissed when the warrior complied by finding a sensitive bundle of nerves.
"Oh, yes, Gabrielle, my love, my heart," Xena groaned as her free hand began to undo buckles and clasps.
Unseen by the two women, Aphrodite took one last look and raised a fist in victory. "Bitchin'!" Blowing a kiss to the immortal couple, she left to find her husband so that he could get some of her juices flowing.
Against her most clever debate, Gabrielle ended up atop Argo as she and Xena headed for Amazon territory. The only, and biggest, consolation, was that she was riding in front and the warrior's loving heat was wrapped around her, holding her secure in place. She closed her eyes and considered their reasons for returning to Amazonia. First, they wanted to try and beat any rumors of her demise that might reach the village, and second, they wanted to make their relationship official. A soft tickle of lips against her throat pulled her out of her thoughts.
"Why don't you tell me a story to pass the time?"
Gabrielle craned her head around and studied her partner. With a quirked brow, she considered and sent a silent prayer to Aphrodite. "Have I got one for you," she warned with an unreadable look on her face.
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