Disclaimers: Xena, Gab and whoever else might appear in this story are all the property off Universal and co. Nothing much to do at Universal though Basically, Xena was bored, I was bored, so we cut a deal. I could write a story about her, she got to cut of some heads in the story.
Subtext: Yup, just a tiny little bit of it.... Just a couple of slight hints, nothing to worry about really...
Violence: Xena didn't want to be in this one without a couple
of head rolling around, so yes, there'd be violence
And admit it, a Xena story is so
much better with a couple of severed heads in it, isn't it?
Insanity: All right, as I'm writing this story I'm sitting in an email café, where I've been sitting for the last 5 hours staring at the same computer screen.
At these moments in life (and many others, I must admit) my brain starts twisting into strange curves, making my stories how shall I put this . Weird...
And in spite of this (or maybe because of it, I dunno) the story got me a Xippy Award! I can't take full credit for this however, so I'd like to dedicate this award to all my beta readers at the Elysian Bards mailinglist. Thanks for being able to stand my presence, guys.
Me, myself and I
The suns casted it's rays over the trees, the leaves filtering the sunlight so only a few strong beams got through. One of those beams hit the head of a blonde, slumbering form, lying rolled up in her bedroll. Some
grunts escaped the woman as she turned to face away from the strong sunlight.
"Come on Gabrielle. Another wonderful day has begun" A low voice rumbled from
nearby. Another grunt sounded from under the covers. "Just a
couple more seconds" Gabrielle muttered, keeping her eyes firmly closed. "Ugh I had the most horrible nightmare last night "
"Yeah Gabrielle, tell us.."
Under the cover of her sheet, Gabrielle's eyes widened in shock. Slowly she peeked out into the daylight to see three identical forms sitting around the campfire, beaming big smiles at her. Gabrielle slumped back onto
her bedroll and closed her eyes in despair. "Oh my gods, it wasn't a nightmare."
Yesterday had started out as a pretty normal day.
Bounty hunters in the morning. But after Xena had cut the leader up into 4 pieces the rest decided to leave quickly enough. Then there was the minotaur in the afternoon. The animal had given up a tough fight, but finally the warrior princess had come out victorious, with only a few scratches to remember the fight by. And now the bard and warrior were walking down the road to Ephisus, looking for a nice camping spot.
Gabrielle had decided to fish up one of her old games again. This was 'the question game' which she'd made up in the beginning of her travels to get some stories out of her reluctant travel companion. Xena had really hated the game at first, but was now starting to see the fun in it.
"If you could choose between being the bread or the cheese, what would you be?"
Gabrielle rolled her eyes at her friend. "What kind of a question is that?":
"Hey, don't you start complaining about my questions now This is a very meaningful one..."
"Since when are questions about cheese meaningful?"
Xena lifted an eyebrow. "You want me to answer it for you?"
The bard waved her hand at the warrior in an allowing gesture. "By all means "
"All right You would want to be the cheese."
"Because bread is very plain and boring by itself, but cheese gives it the flavor "
Gabrielle thought about that.. O K " She drawled. "So if you had the choice, you'd be cheese as well?"
"What would you be then?"
Xena shrugged. "I'd be me."
The bard gave her a shove "Ow, come on Xena, you can't just be you "
Xena took on a thoughtful look for a moment. "OK, Then I'd be three me's."
"You got to be kidding." Gabrielle sighed.
"No, no, it'd be great. I'd love to talk to me, cause I understand me so well, Me and me could have great sparring matches and me, myself and I would be an undefeatable team."
"My gods, you do have an ego the size of Mount Olympus, don't you?"
Hardly did the bard and warrior know they had an uninvited listener, in the form of a very bored goddess of Love. Aphrodite scratched her jaw in
thought. "Three Xena's that'd be wicked!" She snapped her fingers and in a flash of pink dust the goddess disappeared.
As Xena was just about to discuss how easing the hunting would if she was three Xena's, a group of raiders decided to block their path. Xena immediately spotted the leader. "Well, well, well, if it isn't Tidus."
Tidus head shot up in fear. "O, no no no no no." The leader muttered in pain. "Please gods, not her, anybody but her."
The two of them had met. Until a short time ago, Tidus had had a large army and had been a successful warlord until Xena and Gabrielle showed
up, that was.
"And how's the war going, Tidus? Any good battles lately?" The warrior asked, conversationally, leaning on her sword nonchalantly.
"You, you " Tidus grumbled at her. "I should've I could've ."
Xena had gotten tired of the raiders mumbling and had started juggling her sword. She then tossed it up, the pulled herself into a flip, making the sword fall into place behind her in the scabbard before she landed.
"Show off." Gabrielle mumbled softly, making the warrior grin.
"And you you bard!" Tidus had now directed his iritic mumbling at Gabrielle, who now turned to him, leaning on her staff.
"Yes?" The bard asked politely
"You keep on saying it's for the greater good and stuff. What's so good about cutting off a guys job. I'm unemployed thanks to you You're nothing but a
lying double-crossing harlot!"
"Now you can't just say that to my friend." A low dark voice grumbled behind the bard. And then a sword unsheathed and another sword unsheathed . and another sword unsheathed.
Tidus shifted his focus from Gabrielle to the warrior standing behind her. His eyes widened in reflex. He closed his eyelids, then looked up again. Then turned and bolted, yelling uncontrollably.
"Aaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhh! It's 3 of them!!!!"
Gabrielle was wondering what the guy could possibly mean until she turned around to face her friend or better said, friends. Three dark haired leather clad, identical forms stood behind her, looking at each other.
"Xe.. Xena?" Gabrielle managed to get out.
Three heads turned. "Yes?" They asked in chorus.
Then everything before Gabrielle's eyes turned black.
"So what are we gonna do now?" Gabrielle asked. The four of them were now
sitting around the campfire one of the Xenas had made. Xena one was sharpening her sword
with rhythmic strokes while Xena two was
juggling her chakram. Xena three was just staring into the fire.
"I guess we should find out two did this " Xena number three mumbled, not taking her eyes away from the fire.
Gabrielle raised an eyebrow. "You don't sound very concerned."
Xena number one shrugged. "We talked about it while you were out cold It's not that much of a problem really "
The bard's eyes widened in shock. "Xena! It's not like there aren't enough clones of yours around anyway! Diana, Meg, Leah "
"Hey," Xena number two interrupted. "At least my clones are fully dressed."
Gabrielle narrowed her eyes dangerously. "That was not my fault, now was it?"
"Aw come on," Xena three joined in. "You handed the quill to Joxer You should've been able to see this was gonna happen. The guy has had a crush on you since I don't know when."
Fiery green eyes shot sparks at her "He does NOT have a crush on me!"
"Now Gabrielle, denial is no going to help your situation."
"No Gabrielle, you should just face facts about how the guy feels."
"AAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!" Gabrielle yelled out, jumping to her feet and walking around in frustration. "I'm stuck with three warrior marriage counselors! I can't take this!!" Angrily she slammed her fist against a nearby
tree. She heard the tree chuckle softly Chuckle?
Gabrielle glanced up to see a slip of bright pink dangling from the tree
A soft "Oh oh" sounded from the tree, then the goddess let herself float down and landed on the ground gently "Hi toots"
"You you did this????"
The goddess smiled. "Yeah, cool huh?!"
"Cool? You think this is cool!!!??"
"Whow, hey bardygirl, calm down. I don't see your problem here You're sitting around the campfire with not one, not two but three gorgeous warrior babes, and you're complaining?"
Gabrielle's eyes shot daggers at the goddess. "Do you know what it's like to travel with Xena? Do you?"
"Well no, but..."
"Aphrodite, I can deal with one Xena" The bard started in a calm tone. "BUT NOT THREE!!!!"
"All right, all right!" The goddess waved her arms at the woman, stopping her yelling "I'll reverse the spell, don't worry doll." The goddess of love walked
over to the campfire where the three Xenas were sitting quietly, gazing at the spectacle in amusement. "Sorry babes." The goddess apologized to
"It's OK" The three said in unison
Aphrodite nodded. Then she snapped her fingers
Nothing happened She snapped her fingers again "What the "
She turned around to face the bard, who was standing there, arms crossed, brows frowning. "It's not working " Aphrodite mumbled.
"What was that?" Gabrielle asked, her voice dropping dangerously
"I uhm I did the finger snapping thing and it's not working "
The bard threw up her hands and started pacing around furiously. "How can that be You made the spell, so you should be able to change it ."
One of the Xenas got up and walked over to the pacing bard, grabbing her by the shoulders. "Would you please stop all this walking around, it's making us nervous."
She said, soft blue eyes looking into green ones. A second Xena wrapped an arm around her. "Come on Gabrielle, it's not that bad we can fix this"
A third voice joined in "You know we always do."
"Group hug!" Xena one burst out and three leather clad warrior bodies wrapped
themselves around the bard.
After a long hug a frazzled looking bard stumbled out of the circle of warriors. Aphrodite smiled wickedly, then walked over to the bard and poked her in the side. "You sure you want to reverse this spell It does have some " The goddess wiggled her brows suggestively. " advantages huh?"
The bard glanced up at her. "Yeah Uhm, I mean, yeah, I want to reverse the spell."
Aphrodite chuckled. "Sure ya did."
Gabrielle brows frowned at the goddess, but the bard then simply changed subject. "Why can't you undo the spell?"
"Hades, wish I knew." Aphrodite shrugged. "Nothing can stop me from doing or undoing a spell " A thoughtful look appeared in the goddess' eyes.. "Unless "
"Unless what?" Gabrielle insisted.
"Unless another god is mixing up things" Aphrodite replied.
The bard started pacing again. "Another god another god " One of the Xena's sighed and walked over, holding the bard down by the shoulders. The other two then walked over as well.
"Hmmm who could it be Zeus?"
"Nah, why would Zeus do a thing like that Maybe it's Artemis Maybe she liked the idea of some extra protection for her Amazon Queen or something."
Both other Xena's shook their head. "Nah Not her "
Then one of the Xenas' head suddenly shot up.. "Ares
"Ding ding ding! And the answer is correct!" A low voice burred, then in a flash the god of war appeared. "You have won the warhorse, do you want to continue for the catapult?"
"Ares" Three voices grumbled back.
"Oeh!" Ares shivered "Don't you just love that!" Then the god walked over to Aphrodite. "Thanks sis, this was the best present ever! Three Xenas! I mean, wow! Why didn't I think of that myself?"
"Cause you're a moron?" The goddess of love suggested
Ares chuckled and slapped his sister on the shoulders, making her stumble forward, then walked over to Gabrielle, who was staring at him with vicious green eyes. "Now Gabrielle, let's cut a deal OK. I'm a sharing person and all, so you can pick your Xena." He wrapped an arm around her shoulder. "So, Gabrielle, will it be Xena number one Xena number two, or Xena
You pile of horse dung! Gabrielle screamed out, jumping for the god and wrapping her hands around his neck. Im gonna kill you!
But Ares just chuckled, grabbing the young womans hands and stopping them with ease.. Thats gonna be hard considering Im immortal, dont ya think?
Xena one looked at the spectacle, then motioned to her companions. One Xena grabbed hold of Gabrielles left arm, Xena two took the other and the last wrapped her arms around the bards waist and together they pulled
the raging Gabrielle away from the laughing war god. Let go of me!
Come on, Gabrielle, Xena one tried to calm her.
Dont let him get to you like this. You know wed never go back to him.
Speak for yourself. One of the Xenas straightened and walked away from the trio. Actually. She said in a seductive voice as she approached Ares, Im very interested in your proposal
A wicked grin spread across the war god's face. You are?
Xena smiled. I guess I got the more evil of the three.
Xena! No! Gabrielle yelled out and struggled to escape the grasps of the other two Xenas.
Xena ignored the bard and moved even closer to the god of war, until they were breathing the same air. So what do you have planned for me? An army?
Brown eyes locked with blue. Among other things. He purred.
Where? Xena whispered.
Just outside Ephisus.
Xena smiled wickedly, patted the war god's cheek and turned around. Thank you,
thats all I needed to know.
Huh But Xena? Ares mumbled, then grabbed the warrior princess by the shoulder, spinning her around. Where are you going?
Xena grinned. WE are going to make your eternity a living nightmare. She smiled at him sweetly, then walked back to her three companions. Lets go girls. And the four of them walked off.
Hey! Ares yelled after them. Ill have a thousand men out there waiting for you!
Gabrielle turned around and looked at the war god. And Ive got three Xenas. She replied with a smirk. Wanna bet who wins?
Ares stared after the four, then let out a wild yell and slammed his fist into a nearby tree in rage.
Aphrodite chuckled and walked over to him. You. She whispered in his ear, Are such a loser. Before the god could do anything she disappeared filling the air with fading chuckles.
You are brilliant. Gabrielle said, while bouncing around her three companions. And I mean that in the multiple sense of the word."
One of the Xenas chuckled. Well, you seem a lot happier with the whole situation.
Now that I know its gonna be resolved, sure.
Are we really that bad? Xena two asked quietly. Gabrielle looked up at her, hearing the hint of disappointment in her voice, then wrapped an arm
around the warrior. No, not THAT bad. Its just Well, just imagine I turned into three Gabrielles...
A moment of silence, then the three warriors shivered simultaneously. OK, OK, I get your point. Xena three mumbled.
Good Gabrielle smiled. So whats the plan for this army thing?
Uhm Kick their butts? Xena one suggested. The other Xenas nodded and muttered approving words, complimenting Xena on her great plan.
Gabrielle sighed to herself. This is gonna be a long day.
Then, in a flash of pink, Aphrodite appeared before them. Mind if I help with that plan?
What would you know about fighting? One of the Xenas said
Hey! The goddess said in a hurt voice. I do have a half brother named Hercules you know. He taught me a thing or two.
Four eyebrows lifted..
OK, just watch this. Aphrodite moved her hands into a defense position and placed her left foot forward.
Unfortunately, she forget she was wearing a long dress and stepped on the front of it. The goddess stumbled, then fell flat on her butt. Another four eyebrows lifted.
OK, so it needs some work. Aphrodite said, throwing her hands up in defeat. But the point is, I am still a goddess and I do have some cool powers you might be able to use.
Gabrielle looked at her companions. She does have a point there, you know.
AND The goddess continued with a smirk. I took care of a little leather clad problem of yours.
Ares? One of the Xena asked.
The goddess smiled wickedly. Lets just say I introduced him to a little invention of mine
Aphrodite!! A low voice rumbled through the empty hall of war. No answer. A sigh. Damn it. The god muttered to himself, pulling a fleck of the pink stuff Aphrodite had called Dite floss. I cant show myself to my troops like this Another sigh. In his mind the god could already hear the jokes. Hey Darius, the God of drag queens is here to see you. Ha ha
The god pulled a bit more of the sticky substance out of his hair. Aphrodite! Get your pink butt over here! He roared. A soft chuckle could barely be heard in the distance, but there was no further response.
Darius stood on of the wooden towers of his army base and stared out across the
buildings in front of him. His army was growing rapidly and was now almost big enough to
start an attack on the city of Ephisus.
Almost He chuckled softly. Soon he would obey the commands of his lord Ares and hed be wealthier and more powerful then any warlord before him. He smiled contently. Yeah, things were finally starting to look up.
He turned his head to see one of his scouts running towards him. What? He yelled down from his place on the tower.
Its Xena! Shes destroyed or western outpost!
His eyes widened in reflex, then he started to run down the stairs. No, not now. He muttered softly to himself. Please not now.
As he reached the bottom of the stairs the gate had opened and the young scout made his way inside. My liege. He said, dropping to a knee before his
general. We tried so hard, but there was nothing to do. She was
Darius watched another scout make his way inside the compound. What is it? He asked annoyed by the disturbance.
Xena destroyed our eastern look out tower, my lord.
Darius eyes widened. He looked from one messenger to the other. But how How could she
My lord!! A new voice shouted Darius glanced up again.
The warrior princess just destroyed the southern look out post!
The warlord stumbled back South, west, east she couldnt she cant...
Genrl! A young man stopped before his leader. Genrl, its
No, dont tell me. Xena just destroyed our northern out post
Uhm No sir The scout said, looking a bit surprised. It was this blond woman and some girl with a stick.
Darius threw up his hands. And youre warning me about that?
Hey, I resent that remark.
The warlord glanced up to see an angry young woman leaning on her staff. She was surrounded by one woman dressed in pink and three Xenas Three Xenas????
But but He managed to get out. Then there was a bright flash and a wet looking god of war appeared beside him. Sorry, wanted to tell you about this, but I was detained.
Darius looked and him, then pulled a small pink thready substance from the gods hair. He held it up between thumb and forefinger and lifted an eyebrow.
The god angrily slapped it out of his hand. Never mind that. Get ready to fight!
You have to be kidding.
Dark brown eyes peered at him. What?
Three Xenas? I encountered one Xena once and she thrashed my army, you know what three will do??
THIS Ares thundered indicating the men around him. Is an army of almost a thousand men. Are you saying you cant handle 5 women?!?
Come on man. The god whispered leaning a bit closer. Think of your reputation. If you kill three Xenas, no one will stand in your way ever again.
Darius thought about that for a moment. Then he straightened and yelled to one of the soldiers standing near the gate. Close the gates! Everyone,
get ready for combat! The men obeyed him without comment.
Xena one looked as the soldiers came into action. "Hmm, I was hoping hed just surrender.
Xena two cracked her fingers. Lets party! Then the three stormed towards the gates and at the same time pulled themselves into a flip, flying over the wooden palisade with ease.
Aphrodite put a hand on Gabrielles shoulder, then the two of them disappeared and reappeared inside the camp.
Gabrielle took a firm grip on her staff and in a flowing movement swung it to her left, hitting the first oncoming soldier in the head. She then turned
her body to the right, dropped to a knee and took the legs out of under two more.
Nice Aphrodite muttered approvingly, then felt a slight sting in her right
shoulder. She looked over to see an arrow sticking out of her flesh. Well au!
She took hold of the shaft and pulled the arrowhead out without obvious effort, then
looked up. Who did that? That is so way uncool, you know
She snapped her
fingers and a pink bow appeared, she strung it and
then fired the arrow back at the archer that had shot it and was looking at her in shock. It aimed right for his heart, but as the arrow hit him, it faded and
turned into softly flickering pink dust. He blinked, then his eyes focused on the goddess He stood, dropped his weapons and came running for her, dropping to his knees in the dust. You are beautiful. He whispered in complete adoration.
Aphrodite waved him off. I know, I know.
Meanwhile, Xena one, two and three were thoroughly enjoying themselves. They were fighting back to back and a circle of onrushing bodies kept storming towards them without end. Xena one was swaying her sword
around in vicious arcs. A strong looking soldier holding a spear came storming towards her. She quickly changed her grip on her sword and with one slash cut of the top of the spear, then, continuing the motion,
moved her sword up and sideways, neatly severing the man's head off. She turned the movement into a quick turn, then lashed her foot out and send the head, that was still balancing on the slowly collapsing corpse, flying into more oncoming attackers. One of the men caught it and let out a wild yell, then dropped down unconsciously. Xena grinned viciously and let out
a wild battle cry. Xena two launched her chakram into the air, catching it after it had slid some throats and cut off a guy's hand. Then she heard a whistle from
Xena three. She looked to see an extended hand and reaching out for her, then took it and let her clone spin her around faster and faster as she kicked out wherever she could. As she landed she quickly recovered her
balance and unsheathed her sword in a smooth motion, waiting for more attackers to race towards them. Soon hard thuds of wood hitting bone were heard as Gabrielle made her way inside the circle. Hi. She cheerfully greeted her friends as she joined their circle.
Hi yourself. The three responded in unison.
What did you do with Aphrodite? Xena three asked conversationally, as she neatly slashed open a mans guts.
Oh, shes handling herself quite well, thought you three might need a hand more then she did. Gabrielle responded, lashing out with her staff and hitting one man in the side and then turning and smacking him in
the head. But they were rushing towards her faster then she had expected and soon she felt quite crowded in by the onrushing bodies.
Xena one sensed her friend's discomfort. She took a quick look back. Hey Gab, switch!
Gabrielle lifted her staff quickly and Xena took it backhandedly, pulling hard as Gabrielle jumped up and flipping the bard over her head to the other side. She turned and slashed out, sending two men flying to her right.
Thanks She heard Gabrielle yell from behind her No problem She muttered back, focusing on her attackers.
And suddenly, there was a low voice bellowing from on top of the palisade. The men halted in their tracks and looked up to see the god of war standing towering over them, a very annoyed look on his face.
Xena three looked up frustrated No more? Thats all?
Ares ground his teeth. You win. He muttered angrily.
Sorry? Xena number one asked innocently. I didnt quite catch
Ares stared at her viscously. Back off! He ordered the troops who humbly followed his command. Then he snapped his fingers and transported himself down, appearing beside the Xenas. He took one last look at the trio It was nice though... He muttered softly.
Then he let out a low chuckle. Even if I lost, it was a pleasure to see you work Xena. He directed at the three of them with a huge grin on his face. Are you really sure ?
Yes shes sure Gabrielle interrupted. Now do the snapping thing and et outta here.
Well Gabrielle The god said in an indignant voice. Didnt your mommy teach you any manners?
Gabrielle narrowed her eyes dangerously at the war god. He waved a hand at her. All right, all right
A snap of the fingers. There ya go. And with another snap the god disappeared into thin air. Gabrielle looked up and saw a pair of blue eyes smiling back at her. ONE pair of blue eyes, thank the gods.
She let out a held breath then tossed herself into waiting arms and hugged the warrior close.
Aaaaawwww Aphrodites voice interrupted the scene. You two are just so cute, you know.
Xena slowly unwrapped herself from Gabrielles hold, then looked at the goddess who was walking towards them, followed by about a hundred soldiers that were crawling after her like puppy dogs.
Xena raised an eyebrow at her. What did you do to them?
Aphrodite shrugged. No stronger power than the power of love, they say She said, smiling deviously.
Xena chuckled softly Well, thanks for your help
The goddess waved her off, I got ya into this mess, I had to get you out. She let out a sigh. Well, gotta go. She snapped her fingers and in a blaze of pink
dust she disappeared. The men let out grunts of disapproval and some sagged down on the ground in defeat. Then there was another flash of pink,
Aphrodite reappeared, grabbed one of the younger, strong looking soldiers by the arm. You can come She said, smiling sweetly, then the two of them
Gabrielle silently shook her head, then pulled Xena along and together they walked out of the camp.
Because they were so close to Ephisus Xena thought it was a good idea to et a room in town for the night and Gabrielle couldnt agree more. When Argo was placed in the stables and the room was booked, Xena and Gabrielle found themselves a table in a busy inn and sat down. When Xena got up to order some food, she bumped into a small form.
The warrior let out a soft sigh. Hi Salmoneus.
The merchant immediately wrapped a conspiritual arm around her shoulders as the warrior walked towards the counter. Im so glad to see you. I have this really lucrative business set up at the moment, but some of my customers werent too happy about what I sold them so
Gabrielle silently shook her head as she heard the voice rattle off in the distance. Now three of his kind. Gabrielle muttered to herself. Thatd be
Hardly did she know, she had an uninvited listener .
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