Disclaimer: The characters of Xena and Gabrielle and others mentioned, belong to MCA/Universal and Renaissance Pictures. No infringement on their rights are intended.

Subtext Disclaimer: Yes, the sex is back, so for anyone who is adverse to the thought of two consenting adult females having a very good time, go away. If you’re under age, go away. If it’s illegal where you live, go away. Everybody else, you’re welcome.

Timeline: Plan D #10.

Shock Factor: 4. No blood. No death. But lots of thunder and lightning and some very bad words spoken in the heat of . . . well just read.

Note: Okay, if you read Back in Black?, then you know we’re back to business as usual with Faith and Grace. So sit back, buckle you saftey belt, put your feet up and the stewardess will be around shortly with cocktails and peanuts.

Ann, get better and thanks for the corrections.

Send comments to asdease1@gte.net


Trouble With A Capital T

By FlyBigD

Ares leaned back into the darkness of the alcove and folded his arms across his chest. Listening intently, he moved his eyes from face to face and watched TPTB, as they sat around a large round table in the middle of their council chamber. Sorting out the idle chit chat, he concentrated on the hushed conversations that had caught his attention some time ago and sighed heavily. “Damn.” He whispered and continued to listen, as those hushed voices started making definite plans.

“Get away from me!” Gabrielle shrieked as she ran into the kitchen. Grabbing a large egg turner, she spun around and held it up, waving the weapon at the two greasy grimy monsters. “You touch me with those dirty hands and I’ll slap you silly.” She warned and swatted as one of the monsters came at her. “Get back!”

“Come on, honey.” Xena whined and smiled, causing her pearly whites to stand out against the grease and grime she’d accumulated after she and T had spent all day working on the bombshell and the black monster. “Don’t you want to give me a little hug?” Stepping forward again, she jumped back when the egg turner whooshed by her head.

“I think this calls for a little creative maneuvering.” T whispered to the warrior and gave her a nudge. Raising her greasy grimy hands, she wiggled grungy fingers at the bard.

“Don’t you touch me!” Swatting at filthy hands, Gabrielle backed up a little. “I mean it.”

As Xena lunged, T disappeared and popped in behind the bard. “Gotcha!” Wrapping her arm around Gabrielle, she took hold of the hand that held the weapon and lifted the bard off the ground.

“XENA!.” Gabrielle screamed and kicked her feet as the warrior grabbed her legs, wiping grease and grime over her skin.

“A little dirt never hurt anybody.” Xena laughed wickedly and rubbed her hand until you could almost see her skin in the grime. “It’s good for the soul.”

As the bard squirmed madly, T had to use both arms to hold her off the ground, which got the warrior a hearty smack on the head with an egg turner. “Oops!” Wincing, just as the warrior yelped and jumped back. “Sorry.” Smiling wickedly, she managed to avoid the same treatment by dropping Gabrielle and hot footing it out the back door.

Left with only one monster, Gabrielle concentrated all her anger on the warrior. Wielding the egg turner like a fly swatter, she proceeded to chase Xena through the house, smacking her every third try and using every language she knew to curse the love of her life.

“Gabrielle!” Xena shouted, as she jumped over a chair and made a sharp left. “It’ll wash off.”

“Look what you’ve done!” The bard made contact again, then went around the chair at top speed. “I’m filthy!”

“It’s just a little grease.” Smiling, the warrior bounded up the stairs and ran into their bedroom. There she bee lined it for the bathroom and closed the door, just as the bard reached it. Hearing her name being cursed outside, she smiled and counted to ten, then she opened the door and pulled the unsuspecting Gabrielle inside. Closing the door again, she quickly took the bard in her arms and fought off the egg turner, while she found two cursing lips with her own. “Mmmmmm.” Moaning, Xena ignored the swats she was getting and held on until she heard the weapon bounce off the tile floor.

T laughed, as she ran all the way back to her cabin and jumped up on the porch, before she ventured to look over her shoulder. “Whew. That was a close one.” Chuckling, she moved to the door and opened it, stepping inside the large living room. Smiling to herself, she snapped her fingers and was instantly clean and had on a fresh set of jeans and a t-shirt. “I wonder if Xena will find a way to wiggle her way out of this one?” Laughing again, she turned to see Ares standing in front of the fire place. “Hey!” When she got no response, her cheery mood slowly dissolved as the God of War gave her a grave look. “What’s up?” She asked and moved to him.

“You’re not going to like it.” He said and closed his eyes. Opening them again, Ares shook his head with a sigh and looked down into dark brown eyes. “You better sit down for this one.”

Closing her eyes, Gabrielle leaned her head back and let the warm water wash down her body, as the shower pulsated against her scalp. Smiling, she opened her eyes and looked down, watching the warrior as she rubbed the wash cloth against her thigh.

Looking up, Xena smiled and kissed a fresh clean spot, them moved downward, as she wiped the grime from the bard’s leg. With each inch cleaned, the warrior captured it with a kiss and when one leg was done, she started on Gabrielle’s ankle, moving slowly up her other leg. Taking in the fresh scent of the soap, her smile became a little sultry as she passed the bard’s knee. After she’d removed the last bit of grime, Xena continued upward, kissing a muscled thigh, working her way to blond curls.

Gabrielle reached up, with one hand and took hold of the shower head and braced the other one against the wall, when she felt Xena’s tongue slip between her folds. “Oh, gods.” Whispering, she closed her eyes and leaned her head back again, as strong hands parted her legs and started massaging her butt. Taking in short gasps of air, her hips began to rock slowly against the warrior’s thrusting tongue.

Moving her head in a slow rotating motion, the warrior flicked her tongue in and out of the bard’s folds, teasing her clit and eliciting low moans from Gabrielle. Feeling the water flow over her face, she brought her hands down and took a firm hold of the back of the bard’s thighs, pulling them gently apart to gain better access to the hot wetness just beyond the reach of the tip of her tongue.

Shifting her hips, Gabrielle moved her legs further apart and gasped loudly when she felt the warrior’s lips capture her nub. As Xena began to suck gently, she squeezed her eyes shut and lowered her head, moving her hips in time with the warrior’s motion and gripping the shower head tightly. “Gods!”

Xena took her time, sucking gently and flicking her tongue to the bard’s opening, circling Gabrielle’s core then sucking again. Moving one hand, she brought it around the outside of the bard’s thigh, rubbing soft skin as it traveled to the inside and slowly up to replace her lips on the nub. Easing her tongue to the source of the hot liquid that was melding with the warm water, over her body, Xena slipped it inside the opening. Sliding her tongue in and out, the warrior continued to massage the nub with her thumb and took a firmer grip of the bard’s hip when it started to move in sharp bursts against her.

“Xena!” Gabrielle groaned and shook her head, trying to control her runaway motor functions. “Gods!” Failing to regain any semblance of order, the bard felt her legs getting weak and pulled on the shower head to stay upright. “Oh gods.” Opening her eyes, she stared down into crystal blue and drew her hand off the wall to tangle her fingers in dark wet hair.

Switching again, Xena went back to sucking the nub as she eased two fingers into Gabrielle. Pushing deep inside, the warrior pulled them out slowly and then up again, starting an easy rhythm. Staring upward, she smiled and saw a smile in return, then a look of surprise, when she curled her fingers and stroked the inside of the bard’s core.

“Oh my god.” Gasping, Gabrielle bit her lip and threw her head back. “Xena!” Having just regained some control of her hips, she lost it again when they began bucking of their on accord. “Shit!” Removing her hand from Xena’s hair, Gabrielle grasped the shower head with both hands.

Increasing the rhythm by degrees, Xena turned her hand from side to side as her fingers continued to slide in and out. Watching Gabrielle closely, she gauged just how far to push the bard and started to thrust deeper, when she felt the bard’s legs shudder.

As her breath became ragged gasps, Gabrielle felt Xena’s lips leave her center and groaned in protest, until they started to slowly move up her body. Closing her eyes, her ab muscles tensed with each kiss and she was forced to let go of the shower head and ran her fingers along the neck until her back met tile. Pulling her self upward, Gabrielle wrapped her legs around Xena’s waist, when the warrior pulled one thigh up. Bracing herself between Xena’s body and the wall, the bard continued to hold onto the chromed metal neck, as her hips bucked wildly. “Xena, please.” Groaning the plea, the bard felt the warrior thrust deeper and harder. “Yes!”

Running her lips up Gabrielle’s body, Xena stopped when she reached the waiting peaks of two firm breasts. Shifting her hips, she took on more of the Gabrielle’s weight and lowered her mouth onto a hard nipple, sucking it in wide kneading strokes. Flicking her tongue over the nipple, the warrior smiled when Gabrielle arched into her and she sucked harder.

Gabrielle clenched her jaw when Xena started moving her up and down in time with the thrusts of her fingers. Leaning her head against the wall, she finally let go her hold on the shower and wrapped her hands in the warrior’s dark hair, gripping it in two handfuls. “Xena!” Unable to stand anymore, she tried to pull Xena’s head away, but couldn’t as the climax started and she moved her hands to the warrior’s shoulder, digging her fingers into the muscle. “Gods . . . gods . . . Xena.”

Feeling the muscles around her fingers starting to throb, Xena flexed her knees in rhythm with her fingers and moved her lips upward, taking them to a tense shoulder and then up the side of Gabrielle’s neck.

Her lungs filling with harsh gasps of steamy humidity, Gabrielle felt herself falling over the edge and then Xena’s lips on hers. Bringing her head down, she wrapped her arms around the warrior’s neck as she dropped over into oblivion.

T paced around the living room and ignored Ares as he watched her. Closing her eyes, she stopped and raised her fists. Clenching her fingers, T didn’t feel her claws digging into the palms of her hands, but she did hear Ares’ warning and stopped short of sending thunder rolling over the skies with her fury.

“T.” Ares said softly and pushed off the wall where he’d been watching her from. She’d taken the news just as he’d anticipated and worried that T might do something rash. “We’ve got to come up with a plan and we can’t let them know that we know.”

“Those slimy little bastards.” She growled out and opened her eyes. Turning to Ares, she glared at him. “When?”

“I don’t know, but I think they haven’t got everything together yet.” Stroking his beard, he came over to her and sighed. “We’ve still got time.”

T closed her eyes again and let her hands relax a tad. “I’ve got to go talk to Ungara.” She said softly. “It’s too late to put up a power base, to keep their little nosy asses blind, but they shouldn’t get too suspicious if I pop out for a while.” Opening her eyes, she shook her head. “Would you stay here to keep an eye on Xena and Gabrielle?”

Nodding, Ares smiled and put his hand on her shoulder. “I’ll watch them, but I don’t think they’re going to be happy that I’m here.”

“I don’t care.” T rotated her head and heard several popping noises. “Tell them I went to get groceries or something.” Shaking her head, T put her hand over his. “I’ll be back as soon as I can. Take care of Bud, too.” Whispering, she leaned into him and gave Ares a quick passionate kiss. “Be careful, they’ll be watching.” Smiling, she stroked his cheek.

“You be careful.” He whispered back and stole a kiss.

Sighing, T stepped back and closed her eyes, then popped out.

“Please be careful.” Closing his eyes, Ares waved his hand and changed out of his leathers into a pair of blue jeans and a tank top, then switched the tank top for a t-shirt. Opening his eyes, he looked down at himself and shrugged. “I really should get used to these.” Moving to the couch, he sat down and laid his head back. “Now. What am I going to tell Xena and Gabrielle?”

Ares lucked out and Xena and Gabrielle didn’t show up for the rest of that day and in fact didn’t show up until sometime Sunday night, when they became worried over the absence of T. It was then they discovered Ares and the fun began.

“Where is she?” Xena asked and poked Ares in the chest.

“She went to buy stuff.” He answered and shrugged.

“What stuff.” Gabrielle asked and poked him in the chest.

“I don’t know! Just stuff!” Stepping back, Ares rubbed his chest and frowned.

“When is she coming back?” Folding her arms across her chest, the warrior gave him a steady stare.

“When you see her.” Glaring back, he rolled his eyes.

“Why didn’t she tell us she was leaving?” Gabrielle followed Xena’s lead and put her hands on her hips and glared at him.

“How should I know, she just asked me to hang around until she got back. Maybe she went to get groceries or something.” Switching his glare to the blonde, Ares put his hands on his hips. Having had plenty of time to come up with a viable excuse for T’s absence, he’d thrown the groceries idea out the window and settled on turning on a different burner, that would distract both the girls and TPTB, if they were listening. “Geez. You two act like I’ve never been here before. ” Turning away from them, he started to walk casually around the living room and felt the reactions coming. Letting a little smile play across his lips, he thought to himself. Yep, they took the bait.

“What do you mean, you’ve been here before?” Xena was the first to pounce on the bait.

Ares stopped dead in his tracks, then turned to the pair, putting on a look like he’d just discovered a very large boot in his mouth. “Never mind that, she’ll be back soon.” Smiling innocently, he turned and headed for the kitchen at a quick pace. I should get an Oscar for this performance.

“Hold it.” Gabrielle shouted and quickly jumped over a chair to get in front of him. Putting a firm hand on his chest, she cut of his escape.

“Are you guys hungry?” Smiling down at her. “There’s left over . . .never mind.” Trying to side step the bard, he felt a hand on his arm.

Coming up behind him, Xena spun Ares around and snarled. “That little hussy. T’s had you here all the time.”

“Never been here before in my life.” He said very quickly and turned, pushing the bard aside and stepping lively.

“Hey!” Taking up the chase, Gabrielle grabbed his wrist and pulled him back into the living room. “You just hold on, mister.”

“Yea. You’ve got some answers we want to hear.” Xena said harshly and gave him a shove. “Why didn’t T tell us you were here?” Giving Ares another shove. “Have you two been shaking the rafters while Gabrielle and I’ve been at work?”

“I have no idea what you’re talking about.” Ares countered and grabbed Gabrielle, placing her in front of him as a barrier.

Being held in place, but facing him, Gabrielle took advantage of her position. “Yes, you do. She’s had a shit eating grin on her face since she got here.”

“Yea and here I thought she was glad to see us.” Xena added and narrowed her eyes.

“Even if I knew what you were talking about, I’d never lower myself to kiss and tell.” He smiled and let go of the bard, stepping back quickly.

“Is that a pubic hair?” Gabrielle asked pointing at his beard.

“Damn.” Stroking his beard, Ares’ eyes grew wide and he chuckled nervously. “Umm. Drinks! Anybody want something to drink?” Bolting for the kitchen, he was again trapped and held up his hands. “It’s not what you think, okay? It’s not like I live here.” Walking backwards, he bumped into an end table and stepped around it, then continued on. T owes me big time for this, he thought with a smile.

“You live here!” Xena let her eyes grow wide and pounced on him. “Just what I needed. The God of War boffing my best friend in my back yard, while my backs turned.”

T popped in at that instant, standing by the front door with two bags of groceries in her arms. Hearing the words that came out of Xena’s mouth, she closed her eyes for a moment then opened them again and watched the scene unfold.

“No!” Shaking his head furiously, Ares stopped and smiled. “Never said that!”

Bud took this opportunity to saunter in and yawned, then walked over to Ares and rubbed his head on the god’s leg and purred.

“Go away!” Ares growled and shoved the tiger. “I can’t play right now.”

“Ah ha!” Gabrielle shouted and pointed to Bud. “Proof!”

T closed her eyes again and leaned against the door. You couldn’t just tell them I went out for groceries, could you? She asked herself. “I guess this means I’m busted.” She whispered then opened her eyes. Sighing, she pushed off the door and smiled big. “Hi, honey. I’m home.”

“T!” Ares shouted and jumped over the couch to reach her. “I didn’t tell them anything.” He said quickly, then glanced over his shoulder as the two glared at him. “Gotta go.” Giving her a quick kiss, he popped out.

T just grinned impishly at the two faces glaring at her. “Anybody hungry?” Hefting the bags of groceries a couple of times.

Xena and Gabrielle exchanged a look, then started for T with ill intentions.


Ares did a quick scan of the cabin before he popped into T’s bedroom. “Pssst.” Kneeling beside the bed, he poked T’s shoulder.

“I’m going to kill you.” T growled and rolled over to face him. “Do you know that I spent four hours getting my ass chewed because of you?”

“What did they say?” Resting his forearms on the bed, Ares smiled at the image.

“First, they listed all of your bad qualities and your history of bouncing from bed to bed.” Rolling her eyes, she sighed. “Then they told me to have my head examined and then they got nasty.”

“Did they list any of my good qualities?” Smirking, he rested his chin on his fist.

“According to Xena and Gabrielle, you don’t have any.” Rolling on her back, T covered her face with one hand. “For awhile there, I thought Gabrielle was going to break out her scrolls as exhibit A.”

“And what did you say?” Leaning further over the edge of the bed, he smiled.

“I reminded them of the good things you’ve done, told them you’ve changed and said you had a cute butt.” Chuckling, T remembered the look on the girls faces when she’d added the last bit.

“Did they believe you?” Flicking his eyebrows a couple of times, when she glanced at him.

“Let’s just say that for now, you’re on probation.” Smiling, T scooted to the edge of the bed and ran her hand over his short hair. “As long as you play nice, you can stay.”

“Hmmm.” Leaning over, Ares gave her a long kiss. “And if I don’t play nice?”

“You’re toast.” Smiling wickedly. “Literally.”

“I love a good challenge.” Smiling back, he pulled off his t-shirt and leaned down, running his hand over her cheek. “How long is the probation period?” Standing, he pulled off his jeans.

“Eternity.” Reaching out, T grabbed a muscled thigh and pulled his naked body onto the bed. “So be nice.”

Ares smiled and crawled under the covers. “So.” Scooting next to her, he ran a hand under the covers and over her abs, moving it up slowly. “Just how nice do I have to be?”

“Very nice.” Whispering, T pulled him down for a kiss.


Sticking her hand out from under the covers, T found the annoying sound and stopped it. Bringing the receiver back under the covers, she held it to her ear. “Hello.”

“Is that piss ant there?” Xena asked as she pulled on her leather jacket.

“Good morning, Xena.” Ares chuckled. Laying behind T, he ran his hand over her waist and down her thigh.

“That would be a yes.” T closed her eyes and sighed.

Rolling her eyes, Xena snarled at the phone. “Are you going to say in bed all day?”

“Why?” Feeling a hand on the inside of her thigh, T bit her lip.

“My parents are coming over for dinner and I wanted to introduce you to them.” Almost stomping to the front door, the warrior picked up her helmet.

“I can do dinner.” Holding in a groan, T moved Ares hand away from her crotch. “Do you want me to have it ready when you get home?”

“No, Gabrielle is going to make her special pot roast.” Turning, Xena rolled her eyes at the bard and sneered.

Gabrielle smiled and picked up her brief case. “Same old T.”

“What time do you want us there?” Turning her head, she smiled when the growl came from the ear piece.

“YOU can come over anytime you want.” Holding the door open for the bard, the warrior glared at the phone. “Ares can fend for himself.”

Ares laughed and buried his head into the pillow.

“I’ll be there when you get home.” Covering the mouth piece, T laughed as well.

“Fine. See you then.” Pushing a button on the cell phone, Xena stuffed it in her pocket. “This really sucks. Now I’ve got to knock before I go in there.”

“Xena, she’ll know you’re coming.” Moving to the steps, Gabrielle turned to smile at the disgruntled warrior. “I doubt she’ll let Ares run around naked.”

“Oh, thank you for the visual.” Rolling her eyes, Xena closed the front door and shook her head. “And this used to be such a nice neighborhood.”

Gabrielle laughed and went down the steps, followed by an unhappy warrior.

T put the phone back in the cradle and let the laugh out. “She’s so pissed.”

Lifting his head, Ares raised up on his elbow and stared down at T with a smile. “Should I be offended?”

Letting go of his hand, she twisted to look up at him and tug gently on his beard. “Why start now?” Pulling his chin, she lifted her head to bring their lips together. As they kissed, T snapped her fingers and they were transported to Ares chambers in the Halls of War.

Ares snapped his head up and looked around. “Why’d you move us?” Staring at the familiar decor.

“I wanted to talk to you about TPTB.” T said and sat up. “It’s safer here.”

“There goes my fun for the day.” Sighing, he laboriously sat up and scooted beside T, as she leaned against the headboard. “Okay. What did Ungara have to say.” Running his hand through his hair, he yawned and shook his head.

“Individually, they’re no match for my power, but he’s not sure if they decide to band together.” Pulling the covers up, she tucked them under her arms and brought her knees to her chest.

“Well, you’re safe then.” Snickering, Ares scratched his leg. “They never agree on anything, let alone band together.” Turning to look at T, he smiled. “When I was spying, it was only a small group that were talking about it.”

“Still.” T thought and sighed. “Xena and Gabrielle aren’t exactly the poster girls for conformity. If TPTB get their dander up, they could rally.”

“So you’ll keep them out of trouble and everything will be fine.” Giving her a reassuring pat on the leg, Ares leaned into T. “They might talk the talk, but when it comes to walking the walk, they aren’t stupid enough to take you on.” Smirking, he raised an eyebrow. “And even if they are, they’ll never get the them out of the circle without starting a war.”

T smiled and turned to face Ares. “And that’s your department, right?”

“I may not be worshiped anymore, but I’ve still got what it takes to kick some ass.” Flicking his wrist, Ares sent a lightning bolt across the room, shattering a statue. “Damn. That was one of me.” Frowning at the little puff of smoke that billowed up from the dust.

Chuckling, T shook her head. “Like there aren’t a hundred more around this place.”

“Are you complaining about the decor, madam?” Folding his arms across his chest, Ares gave her a glare.

“No.” Shaking her head again, T smiled. “I just prefer the original.”

“Good answer.” Ares unfolded his arms and turned, wrapping his arms around her, pulling her down on top of him. “Now. Where were we?”

T smiled and pulled the covers out from in between their bodies and leaned down, bringing their lips together. “Right about here, I think.” Kissing him again, she shifted and ran her hand down his chest, over his abs to between his legs.

“Watch the claws. Watch the claws.” Ares said when he felt them graze across a very tender spot, that had started to react to being fondled.

“You’re such a wimp.” Chuckling, T stopped suddenly and sat up. Looking around, she closed her eyes.

“What?” Glancing around the room, Ares sat up. “What is it?”

“Mother fu . . .” Growling, she jumped out of the bed and snapped her fingers, putting on her blue and green King outfit, with her sword at her back. “Those bastards.”

“What!” Feeling his eyes getting bigger, Ares shook his head. “I didn’t feel anything.”

Looking down at Ares, her face held unmasked anger. “Listen. That little group is calling all TPTB in for a conference. Go get Gabrielle and Xena and take them to the Palace of the Ancients, until I can find out what’s going on.”

Crawling out of bed, Ares dressed himself in his black leathers and shook his head. “If you’re going up there, so am I.”

“Ares, I need you to do this for me.” Putting her hand on his cheek, she took a deep breath and let it out slowly. “It’s just a meeting and all I’m going to do is put my two cents in.” Smiling a little, she leaned up and kissed him. “I just want to know they’re in a safe place, in case it get’s ugly. I’ll be there as soon as I can.”

Closing his eyes, the God of War clenched his jaw. “What am I supposed to tell Xena and Gabrielle?”

Lowering her hand and her eyes, T stepped back and turned around. “Tell them the truth.” Sighing, she put her hands on her hips. “They’re not going to be happy, but it’s better than finding out the hard way.”

Ares opened his eyes and walked over to T. “Can they really take them out of the circle?”

“Only if they do it over my dead body.” Sighing, she felt his arm wrap around her waist and she turned to face him. “I won’t let this be their last lifetime without giving TPTB the fight of their lives.”

“If it comes down to that, they’ll have to take me too.” Smiling warmly, he kissed her cheek. “And I’ve got a few tricks up my sleeves.”

Smirking, T rubbed his bare arm. “You don’t have any sleeves.”

“Minor technicality.” Moving his lips to cover hers, Ares wrapped both arms around T’s waist and pulled her close.

T wrapped her arms around his neck and closed her eyes, letting the moment hold her.

Ares sighed and broke the kiss, then stepped back.

“You better change into something else.” Whispering, T smiled sadly. “I don’t think the girls will be overly friendly if you show up in that.”

“Let them suffer.” Chuckling, he nodded. “I’ll be waiting for you. Call me if you need me.”

“I will. I promise and take Bud too.” Smiling again, T shook her head. “I love you.”

“And I love you.” Ares whispered, then popped out.

When the room grew very quiet, T closed her eyes and felt the anger and fury she’d pushed aside start to build. “All right, you little bastards. Let’s see what you’ve got.” Snapping her fingers, she popped out.


Xena growled inside her helmet, when she pulled into the hospital parking lot and spotted Ares. “What now.” Gunning the throttle, she skidded to a halt inches from where he stood and flipped up the face shield. “What the hell do you want? I thought you’d be at T’s doing the horizontal mambo.”

Rolling his eyes, Ares folded his arms across his chest and sighed. “We’ve got trouble.” He said quietly and let his expression say everything else.

Suddenly, Xena’s heart dropped and she shut off the engine. “What’s going on?”

“I don’t have time to explain right now. I’ve got to pick up Gabrielle and Bud as well.” Placing his hand on her shoulder Ares saw the glare pointed at his hand.

“You’re not taking me anywhere unless you come up with an explanation, Ares.” Wiping his hand off her shoulder, Xena pulled off her helmet.

Ares closed his eyes and sighed. “Xena.” Shaking his head he took a deep breath. “Do you remember when we were in Drennan’s dungeon and I asked you to trust me?” Opening his eyes, he looked down at her.

“Dahok?” Feeling her skin crawl, the warrior almost dropped the helmet.

“No, it’s not Dahok.” Putting his hand back on her shoulder, Ares smiled. “But I really don’t have time to explain. You’re going to have to trust me.”

Xena stared up into his eyes and considered her options. “T sent you to come get us?”

“Yes.” Nodding, he let a little worry show on his face. “She’s wanted me to take you to a safe place.”

“Safe?” Closing her eyes, the warrior leaned over the tank as a lot of bad memories started churning her soul. “Where are we going?” Sighing, she sat back up and stared at the sky.

“The Palace of the Ancients.” Speaking softly he let the weight of the words sink in, before he continued. “Can I take you there?”

Snapping her head around, Xena stared at Ares. “The Palace of the Ancients?”

“Xena we’ve got to go.” Ares answered. “I’ve still got to pick up Gabrielle and Bud.”

“Gods!” She muttered and closed her eyes. “All right. Do it.” Nodding she felt her stomach rise up, but then it settled and she opened her eyes. Glancing around, she took in the courtyard of the school and put the helmet on the gas tank. “I’ll go get her.” Standing, she took a quick glance at Gabrielle’s class room and saw the bard standing in front of the desks. Sighing, Xena took a deep breath and headed up the side walk. Going through the double doors, she switched to a jog and hurried down the empty corridor. As she came to Gabrielle’s class room, she slowed and stopped, then looked in the little window in the door. Scratching her forehead, she opened the door and stuck her head in. “Gabrielle.” She whispered in Greek.

“And so the Romans . . .” Turning her head, Gabrielle saw Xena at the door and stared, then glanced out the windows and saw the bombshell. “How did you?” She whispered and turned back to the warrior, then her mind clicked that the warrior had called her Gabrielle. “Oh no.”

Xena shook her head and waved her hand, then held the door as Gabrielle came out. Closing it quietly, she gave the bard a serious look. “Something’s going on, but I don’t know what, yet.”

“How did you get here with out me hearing you?” Feeling her heart start to beat faster, she leaned against the door.

“Ares brought me.” Xena whispered and looked up and down the hall.

“Ares?” Closing her eyes, the bard lowered her head. “What’s going on?”

“I don’t know.” Xena shook her head again. “All Ares said was that T asked him to take you, me and Bud to the Palace of the Ancients.”

“The Palace of the Ancients!” Looking back at the door, the bard shook her head. “I’ve got a class full of students in there and it’s only first period. I can’t leave now.”

“He asked me to trust him, Gabrielle.” Whispering, Xena watched Gabrielle’s face. “I think it’s serious.”

“Xena, no.” Taking a deep breath, the bard pushed off the door. Walking in a small circle she rubbed her forehead. Sighing, she stopped at the door and looked up at the warrior. “”Gods. Give me a minute to get my stuff and I’ll have to stop by the office, so they can find somebody to take my classes.”

Nodding, Xena pulled her cell phone out of her pocket. “I’ll call Dad and give him some excuse.”

“Have you told the hospital?” Putting her hand on the door knob, the bard turned it and opened the door.

“I’ll do that after I talk to Dad.” Sighing, Xena smiled. “I’ll meet you outside.”

“Okay.” Taking a deep breath, Gabrielle went inside the class room and closed the door.

Ares drummed his fingers on the headlight and saw a heavy set woman come out of a building. Ignoring her for a moment, he noticed she was heading for him and he turned to give her a curious look. Knowing she couldn’t see him, he stepped aside anyway when she reached the motorcycle.

“I’ve got you now, miss thing.” Taking hold of the handlebars, Mrs. Lynch lifted the kick stand. “This will be the last time you park this thing on my side walk.” Pulling backwards, she tried to get the bike to roll, but it didn’t budge. “Oh.” Smiling, she pulled in the clutch and drew back again and frowned. Moving to a different position, she pulled back again and groaned as she fought to move the motorcycle.

Ares stared at her and held the handlebars with one hand. Turning, he saw Xena come out of the double doors and laughed, pointing to Mrs. Lynch. “Who is this woman and why is she trying to steal your motorcycle?”

Rolling her eyes, Xena shook her head. “Can you just get rid of her. I’m really not in the mood, ya know.”

“There you are!” Mrs. Lynch shouted and let go of the bike to meet Xena half way down the sidewalk. “Thought you could get past me by coasting up, huh?”

“Ares!” Xena growled walked past the grinch.

Mrs. Lynch turned around and grabbed Xena’s arm. “You can’t get away this time. I’ve already . . . “ Suddenly she stopped and stared, when her mind noticed the bike was standing upright on it’s own. “How?”

“What do you want me to do with her?” Ares chuckled and waved his hand in front of her face.

“You can drop her in the middle of New York city in a pink tutu, for all I care, just get rid of her.” The warrior growled and removed her arm from the grinch’s grasp.

“Works for me.” Waving his hand, Ares smiled when Mrs. Lynch disappeared. “Is Gabrielle coming?” Changing his mood, the God of War glanced over Xena’s shoulder at the doors.

“She’ll be here in a minute.” Turning to stare at the doors as well, the warrior smiled when the bard came out.

Waving, Gabrielle turned to the Admin building then disappeared inside. In a couple of minutes, she came out and glared. “Where’s Mrs. Lynch?” She asked as she walked up to the pair.

“In New York city with a pink tutu on.” Ares smirked and pointed to Xena.

Gabrielle closed her eyes and lowered her head to shake it slowly. “I’m gonna get fired, I just know it.”

“Hey. It was either that or I beat the shit out of her. She was trying to steal my bike.” Xena smiled and slapped Ares accusing finger.

“Are you two ready to go?” Ares asked, bringing them back to the reason he was there.

“Might as well, I certainly don’t have anything to keep me here, now.” The bard said sarcastically and lifted her head to look at Ares.

“Good.” Nodding to the motorcycle, he smiled. “If you’ll both get on, it’ll make the trip easier.”

Smiling, Xena climbed on the bike and sat down. “Do I need this?” Picking up the helmet.

“No.” Ares rolled his eyes and waited for Gabrielle to take a seat behind Xena. “Ready?”

Gabrielle wrapped her arms tightly around the warrior and nodded. Closing her eyes, she buried her head in Xena’s back.

Xena nodded and closed her eyes, taking hold of the handle bars.

Ares put his hands on their shoulders and smiled as he popped them out.


Standing outside a large set of marble doors, T cracked her neck, then took hold of the dual handles and pulled. Swinging the doors open wide, she let go and waited for them to slam open, letting the noise get everyone’s attention. When TPTB jumped in their seats, she growled and walked slowly down the hallway leading to the council chamber. Keeping her eyes on the face at the head of the table, she stared at it with a vengeance.

“This is a private meeting. You have no cause to be here.” Watching her approach, he held her eyes.

“Or, so you hoped anyway.” Reaching the large round table, T continued to stare at one face and felt her ears go back. Glancing to her right, she raised an eyebrow when Michael stepped into the room, then moved her eyes back to the glowing light that stood across the table from her.

“You are not one of us.” The light said with out humor. “You don’t belong here.”

“Well, I’ll have to remember to send Ungara a thank you note, for that one.” Folding her arms across her chest, T didn’t budge. “Now. Are we going to stand here and stare at each other for a couple hundred years, or are we going to get down to business?”

“They aren’t your business. They belong to us.” Sitting, the light smiled smugly.

“No, they don’t belong to you and that’s your problem, isn’t it?” Smiling, T tilted her head. “Because if they did belong to you, Xena would never have been able to kick your little asses, now would she?”

Michael closed his eyes and shook his head.

“That mortal is none of your affair.” Leaning forward, the light rested his arms on the table.

“Oh, but she is.” T said slowly. “And if you think I’m going to let you take them out of the circle, because you’re still brooding over her little fit? You’re wrong.” As she spoke, her voice dropped lower and took on a feral tone. “And I’m more than willing to show you what a real fit looks like unless you drop this.”

“They will not be allowed to continue to disrupt the lives of our own.” Leaning back again, the light sneered. “You can’t stop us.”

“Us? Maybe not.” T nodded. “But by the time I get done, they’ll be a whole lot of empty chairs at this table.” Moving her eyes around the table, she let all present know her intentions, then returned her stare to the light. “And guess who’ll be the first to go.”

Bolting out of the chair, the light growled. “You dare threaten me!”

“You’re not special.” T chuckled at his reaction. “Everybody’s included in the deal.”

Suddenly everybody started looking around frantically when the walls started to shake.

T just smiled and continued to stare casually. When the rumbling stopped, she yawned and inspected her claws. “So. What’s it going to be?” Smiling again, she rubbed her claws on her top and gave the light a raised eyebrow.

“Your interference won’t save your friends, this time.” Resting his hands on the table, the light leaned forward.

“I see.” T smiled and nodded. “Then do me a favor. Tell me why you want them out of the circle, other than the ass kicking you got, I mean.” Shifting her weight to one side, she put her hand on the back of the nearest chair and leaned on it. “I mean, even you guys have to have a good reason for this, right? It certainly can’t be for spite. That wouldn’t look very good, now would it?”

The light narrowed his eyes and sat back down. “They’ve lost the right to reenter the circle. They’ve done nothing in this life time to warrant reincarnation.”

“Ahhh. So all those lives Xena’s saved don’t count for anything?” Drumming her claws on the chair.

“It is nothing that any other mortal couldn’t accomplish.” The light said and smiled. “She’s done nothing for the betterment of mankind.”

T laughed out loud and moved around the table slowly. “And what have you done for the betterment of mankind? That is, other than sit up here in judgment?” Smirking her way around the table, she gave each face an amused smile.

“That is our job.” Growling, the light watched her as she passed behind his chair and continued around the table. “We are The Powers That Be.”

T stopped and glared at him. “The Powers That Be. Oh, yea. You’re supposed to be the good guys, right? Sitting on high and spreading your goodness over humanity? What a fucking crock of shit!” Moving back to stand across the table from him, T shoved two chairs apart, knocking two gods our of their seats when she put her hands on the table and leaned over it menacingly. “When was the last time you got your happy ass out of that chair and took a good look at humanity?”

The light started to reply, but was cut off when T continued.

“You sit up here and judge them on their actions and you never take into consideration that it’s your actions that need to be judged. You’re not the solution. You’re the problem; so don’t jump on Xena and Gabrielle for not contributing to the betterment of humanity when the last time you did anything constructive was so far back in history that it’s fallen into the category of myth.” Standing up straight, she put her hands on her hips. “They’ve done a hell of a lot more than you have and if you don’t believe me, use your omnipotence for a minute and take a good look down there. They’ve devoted every lifetime to standing up to evil and defending the greater good and when there weren’t anymore warlords and demented ass holes running around, they turned to healing and teaching. Now you tell me why you want to take them out of the circle, cause from where I’m standing you’re starting to look like a petty selfish moron, who can’t stand the competition from a couple of mortals.” T glared and folded her arms across her chest.

Sighing, Michael spread his wings and disappeared.

The light stood and pointed at her. “They have caused nothing but havoc, since their conception and they are going to be removed. They have used their lifetimes to curse us and bring torment to this table.”

“Torment?” Leaning on the table again, T clenched her jaw and felt her eyes changing. “Let me tell you about torment. I’ve watched them for over two thousand years and in almost every lifetime, you’ve thrown them into situations that would make Ungara cringe. You’ve put them up against every evil cretin that has come along since they were born and they beat ‘em all. And pulled every ass at this table out of the frying pan on more than one occasion, so don’t you dare come at me with the fact that they don’t like you and won’t bow at your stinking feet. You’ve given them no reason to and in fact, I’d say that their dissatisfaction was more than justified and I’d even go so far as to say that you deserved to be despised. You’ve done nothing but try to tear them apart and you just can’t stand it that every time you think you’ve got them, they turn around and flip you off.”

“With your help.” Leaning on the table, the light glared at her.

“Oh, no.” Shaking her head, T smiled. “The only thing I’ve done is kept you from pulling them so far apart. I’ve never interfered in their lives and I’ve kept my distance. You’re the one who’s continually changing the rules to suit your purposes.”

“What do you know of rules? You’ve disrupted the balance by giving them all their memories in every lifetime.” Growling, the light started to glow brighter. “And you’ve given them the power of the heirs to your throne, letting them walk around unafraid of the worlds predators and reaping benefits they haven’t earned. You’ve used your power for their amusement and you continually search out ways to interfere in the rulings of this council!”

“Then take your wrath out on me!” Shouting back at him, T eased back a bit. “If you think you’ve got what it takes, that is.”

“Your interference will be dealt with once the council has voted.” Standing up straight, the light glowed like the sun. “Now leave this place, before I throw you out.”

T cracked her neck and leaned back, letting her arms hang at her side. “You and what army?”

Everybody cringed when the floor shook violently and lightning shot around the room.


“Say what?” Xena asked as she slowly stood and walked over to Michael.

The arch angel moved back and held up his hands. “I’m not on their side, Xena. I just thought you would want to know.”

“They want to take us out of the circle? Why?” Gabrielle turned to Ares. “What did we do?”

“Apparently, they aren’t too happy with the way you don’t bow at their feet.” Scowling, the God of War glanced at Ungara. “Is that about right?”

Ungara nodded and rolled his eyes. “They’ve always been a very egotistical group and your and Xena’s behavior over the millennia isn’t exactly what they’re used to.”

“Oh give me a break!” Xena threw up her arms. “What the hell do they care if we kiss their hairy toes or not?”

“Because.” Michael interrupted. “It’s not just that. You two have also been the bane of their existence on more than one occasion.”

“Yea and we’ve pulled their butts out of the fire too, or don’t they remember that?” Scowling, Xena fumed at Michael.

“I believe T was starting to say something to that effect when I left.” Closing his eyes with the memory.

Chuckling, Ares walked over to the angel and nudged him. “What was she doing? Jumping up and down on his chest?”

Sighing, Michael opened his eyes and stared at Ares. “No, but . . . “ Snapping his head up, the angel felt the floor tremble. “Oh, shit.”

“What is that?” Gabrielle asked and moved to stand by Xena.

“And the heavens shall tremble in the face of the fury of one.” Ungara whispered and glanced around as the shaking got worse.

“What is that some ancient Ungaran prophecy?” Ares asked and grabbed Michael’s arm to steady himself.

“Actually I just made it up.” Ungara chuckled and closed his eyes. Slowly the trembling eased, but there was still a random vibration. “Xena, Gabrielle, move into the Hall of Kings.”

“What’s going on?” Xena held onto the bard and made her way over to the Ancient.

“The battle has begun.” Taking the warrior’s arm, Ungara started to lead her out of the room, but Xena refused to move.

“What battle?” Looking at all the male faces in the room, Xena searched them all.

“T’s taking on TPTB to stop them from taking you out of the circle.” Ares growled and gripped his sword.

“She’s what?” Gabrielle grabbed Xena’s arm and squeezed. “We can’t let her do that!”

“Oh, like you can stop her.” Ares rolled his eyes and shook his head. Looking at Ungara, he nodded. “Can you watch out for them?”

“They will be safe here.” Ungara nodded. “TPTB have no power inside the Palace.”

“Good.” Drawing his sword, Ares growled. “I’m outta here.” Then he popped out.

“Me, too.” Michael smiled and spread his wings, then popped out.

“Hey!” Xena shouted to the walls. “What about us? Get back here!”

“Ungara, can you take us to where they are?” Gabrielle asked him.

“No.” Shaking his head, the Ancient sighed. “I don’t have the power.”

“I can’t believe they left us here!” Stomping around, the warrior held up her fists to the ceiling. “I’m gonna kick your asses when you get back! Dammit!”

“What do we do now?” Sighing, the bard covered her face with her hands.

“We wait.” Ungara said softly and wrapped his arm around Gabrielle’s shoulders.

“I can’t just sit here.” Xena growled. “I’ve got to do something.”

“You can play with Bud.” Ungara suggested and got a very nasty glare. “Or not.”

“How come you don’t seem worried?” Lowering her hands, the bard stared up into his eyes.

Sighing, Ungara closed his eyes. “Because my time to act has passed, Gabrielle. All I can do is wait and hope that T triumphs. Otherwise the Ungara lose their King again.”

Xena picked up her helmet and threw it up against a wall. “I’ve got to get there. Think, Xena. Think.” Closing her eyes, the warrior paced blindly around the room, then she snapped her fingers and opened her eyes. “Gotcha.” Moving away from the bard and the Ancient, the warrior stood by the altar and closed her eyes. “Oh, Aphrodite!” She said sweetly and folded her arms across her chest.

“Xena, I think you’ve gone overboard on this one.” Gabrielle said and shook her head. “You never paid for her manicure and her new shoes.”

“APHRODITE! ! ! !” Xena wailed at the top of her lungs. Opening her eyes, the warrior spun around shouting for the Goddess of Love.

“Gad zooks!” Aphrodite said from the doors to the Palace. “Chill, warrior babe. I’m here, okay!”

“Aphrodite.” Whispering, the warrior ran down the long hall to the goddess. “Can you take me to where TPTB are?”

“Oh, yea right.” Shaking her head, the goddess held up her hands. “Like I’d want to be there right now. Do you know what’s going on up there? Whoosh, bang, pow.” Throwing her arms around, she rolled her eyes. “No way.”

Dragging Ungara down the hall, Gabrielle pulled him to where Xena and Aphrodite were. “Come on, Aphrodite. Our lives are at stake here.” The bard begged.

“Yea, well, you’ll live a lot longer if you stay put, sweet pea.” Folding her arms across her chest, the goddess gave the bard a sad smile. “From the vibes I’m getting, you wouldn’t last five seconds in that room.”

“Aphrodite, please.” Xena closed her eyes. “I can’t just stand here and let somebody else fight for me.”

“Nope, sorry. Not this time.” Shaking her head, Aphrodite held firm. “Besides, if I took you up there and anything happened to you two, T would have my cute butt in a sling so fast, I’d think I was at a party at Discord’s or something. Icky.”

Gabrielle threw her head back and squeezed her eyes shut. “Please.” Sighing, she opened her eyes and stared helplessly at the goddess. “We won’t tell you brought us.”

Aphrodite held up her hands. “Look guys, you know you’re my most two fav mortals and all, but I gotta turn ya down on this one. I can’t do it. Sorry.” Smiling sadly, Aphrodite popped out.

“Aaaaaaaarrrrrrrggggggg!” Xena screamed.

Thinking of something, Gabrielle grabbed Xena’s arm. “What about Artaq?”

“Good thinking Gabrielle.” Xena looked at Ungara. “Where is he?”

“Grazing in the valley.” Shrugging Ungara shook his head. “Wait!” He shouted when the warrior and bard ran out the door. “I can’t protect you out there! You don’t even have any weapons!” Sighing, Ungara watched the pair disappear into the forest. “Me and my big mouth.”


“Can’t you run faster?” Xena puffed as she glanced behind her.

“Xena, I’m a history teacher. What were you expecting, Carl Lewis?” Pumping her powerful short legs, Gabrielle followed the warrior through the forest and was grateful she’d worn jeans and tennis shoes to work, instead of her usual skirt and pumps.

“Is the ground still shaking?” The warrior shouted over her shoulder.

Gabrielle rolled her eyes and ran. “How should I know. I’m not a Richter scale!”

“I see the Palace, hurry up.” Dashing through the trees, Xena hit open ground and sped up. Running for all she was worth, she followed the promenade toward the steps to the Palace proper.

Following behind, the bard felt her lungs burning, but pushed herself onward, trying to keep up with the long legged warrior. “Now I remember the disadvantages of this body.” She grumbled and kicked it up a bit.

Seeing the pillars pass by, out of the corner of her eye, Xena kept her vision focused on the steps and pumped her arms and legs. “Gotta do it. Gotta do it.” Clenching her jaw, the warrior concentrated so hard, she never saw the flash of light as a lightning bolt stuck the ground at her feet.

“Xena!” Screaming, Gabrielle ran to where Xena fell and knelt down. “Xena?” Cradling the warrior in her arms, the bard patted a tan cheek. “Xena, wake up.” Hearing thunder roll over head, Gabrielle looked up at the sky and saw dark clouds forming quickly above her. “Dammit, Xena wake up.” Glancing down, she patted the warrior’s cheek frantically.

“Ow, ow, ow.” Shaking her head, Xena opened her eyes and stared up at Gabrielle. “Why are you always hitting me?”

“Thank you.” Letting out a long breath, the bard lifted the warrior to a sitting position. “Can you walk?” Hearing another lightning bolt hit near by, she amended the question. “Can you run?”

“Of course.” Huffing a little, Xena tried to stand and fell back on the bard. “Or, maybe not.”

“Great.” Rolling her eyes, Gabrielle wrapped her arms around the warrior’s shoulders. “Just lean on me and try to walk.”

“Okay.” Doing as she was instructed, Xena leaned against the bard and moved her feet along.

“Can you go any faster?” Looking up at the sky, Gabrielle didn’t like the look of the clouds.

Focusing, Xena gritted her teeth and picked up the pace, until they were almost at a slow jog.

Holding on, the bard steered them toward the steps and tried to watch out for anymore lightning bolts. Sighing, when they finally reached the steps, she wrapped Xena’s arm around her neck and leaned forward. “Up we go.”

“Right with ya.” Xena said cheerfully and stumbled her way up the long row of steps. “Have these steps gotten longer, or is it me?”

“Right now, I’d say it’s just way too long a trip.” Wincing, Gabrielle half pulled, half carried Xena up the steps. When the reached the promenade, she took a deep breath and let it out slowly and panted to catch her breath. “Where do you think would be the best place to hide?”

“T’s chambers.” Xena shouted as thunder rolled across the sky.

“Great, more stairs.” Gabrielle rolled her eyes and squared her shoulders against the task at hand and was given a little motivation when another lightning bolt struck a tree. Moving them forward, the bard gave Xena a raised eyebrow when they reached the staircase leading to T’s chambers. “When T asks, I’m blaming you for the fact that we’re not in the Palace with Ungara right now.”

“Sure, bail on me when I can’t defend myself.” Smiling, Xena glanced up at the staircase. “We can do this.” She said confidently.

“You know, there’s something I’ve always wanted to do and since we’re on the verge of living our last lifetime and close to being struck down any second, I’m going to do it.” Gabrielle told Xena with a smile.

“What’s that?” Raising her brow, Xena hoped it was something sexual and was stunned when Gabrielle threw her over her shoulder in a fireman’s carry and headed up the stairs. “Hey! I can walk. Put me down! Gabrielle!”

Laughing almost hysterically, Gabrielle slapped Xena’s wiggling butt and continued up the stairs. “Gods, Xena. What did you have for breakfast? Bricks?” Laughing again, she put the warrior down when the reached the top of the stairs.

Balancing herself against the railing, Xena glared icy daggers at Gabrielle. “Don’t you ever do that again.”

Covering her mouth, Gabrielle bent over and closed her eyes, as her body jiggled with muted laughter. Holding her stomach, she tried to stop laughing, but looked up at the warrior and quickly closed her eyes again. “Oh my god. They can kill me now.” She gasped and stood a little straighter. “I’ll die happy.”

Growling, Xena turned and started making her way towards their old home, moving her hands along the top of the rail, she leaned against it and gritted her teeth. As much in anger of being carried like a sack of potatoes as to the fact that her legs were sending her nasty grams, in the form of shooting pain. When she reached the doors to T’s chambers, she pushed off the railing into Gabrielle’s arms and they both went stumbling into the doors.

“I’ve got ya.” Gabrielle groaned and leaned against the door, holding Xena in her arms.

“You’re enjoying this, aren’t you?” Turning, she managed to get a sideways glare off, before Gabrielle opened the door and they fell inside.

“I was.” Gabrielle gasped and rubbed the back of her head. Rolling Xena off of her, she got to her knees and pulled the warrior all the way in the room, then closed the door. Bending over, she tried to catch her breath and rested her hands on her knees. Smiling down at the warrior, she couldn’t help but laugh. “Ya know, I’d almost forgotten what it was like to run for my life.”

“And.” Sitting up, Xena glared at Gabrielle.

“If it’s possible to miss something that is completely insane, I think I do.” Chuckling, she straightened and looked around the room. “This place never changes.” She whispered at the familiar surroundings.

“That’s supposed to be my line.” Xena muttered and grabbed Gabrielle’s hand. “Help me up.”

Grabbing Xena’s arm with both hands, the bard pulled the warrior to her feet, then wrapped one arm around Xena’s waist. “Come on, we better find a place to settle into.”

“How about T’s bedroom.” The warrior suggested.

Gabrielle glanced at another set of stairs and shook her head. “How about our bedroom.” Taking one long deep breath, she closed her eyes for a moment, then opened them to look up at the warrior. “Once more, for old times sake?”

“Lead on.” Xena smiled and let a little chuckle escape. As she was helped through the living area, the warrior stopped halfway and stood as her eyes roamed over the room. It was lit by torches, that she knew never went out and there was even a small fire going in the fireplace, which only added to the almost comforting eeriness of being there. “How long has it been?” Whispering, she let her eyes continue to take in the room.

“We’ve been back here twice, to look for T.” Wrapping both arms around Xena’s waist, Gabrielle smiled. “The last time was over fifteen hundred years ago.”

“Do you think she lives here?” Feeling a hug around her, the warrior pulled Gabrielle close.

“Not if Ares is living with her.” Smiling bigger, Gabrielle glanced at the portrait of T’s parents that still hung over the fireplace. “He doesn’t have any power here, remember?”

“Oh, yea.” Running over the recent events, Xena’s brow wrinkled and she scratched her chin. “Then how did he get us into the Palace and how did he pop out again?”

“Hmmmm.” Shaking her head, Gabrielle shrugged. “Maybe T gave him some kind of power?”

“Maybe.” Sighing, Xena took another look around and smiled.

“Come on.” Gabrielle urged, pulling Xena gently along. “We’ve gotta hide remember?”

“Right.” Nodding in agreement, the warrior hobbled beside the bard the rest of the way through the living area and into a hallway. When they reached the first door on the right, she laughed. “I hope it doesn’t stink in there.”

Gabrielle frowned and looked up at Xena. “Why did you leave a pair of dirty socks in there, the last time we were here?”

“No, but if T doesn’t live here and we don’t live here, can you imagine what it will be like in there?” Giving the bard a serious look.

“Only one way to find out.” Smiling, Gabrielle opened the door and gave it a push. Sticking her head in, she looked around the room. “No smell. Come on.” Holding on to Xena she led them both to the large bed that was against the far wall. When they got there, she used one hand to lift up the cover and gave it a sniff. “That smells fresh.” Frowning, she looked up at the warrior. “Like it just came out of the dryer.”

Turning, Xena sat on the bed and lifted the cover to her nose. “Must be an Ungara thing, or something T’s power does.” Letting the cover back down, she looked around this room with a warm smile. “Oooooo the times we had in here.”

Smirking, Gabrielle smiled and knelt down in front of Xena. Picking up one foot, she started to pull off the warrior’s cowboy boot. “I think T always regretted that our room was directly under hers.” Pulling the boot off, she started on the other one. “I think we ran her out of her room on more than one occasion.” Tugging, Gabrielle got the other boot, then set it aside and stood up.

“I know.” Laughing, Xena flicked her eyebrows. “It was the only way I could ever get her back for all the times she picked on me.”

Sighing, the bard looked at Xena. “Do you want me to check your legs?”

Xena wiggled her feet and tested her legs, running her hands over her jeans and squeezing the muscle. “I think they’ll be okay. They’re just really tight and really really sore.” Sitting up, she looked down at them with disgust and sighed. “I can’t believe I got nailed. I’m definitely loosing my touch.”

“Xena, it was a lightning bolt.” Putting her hands on her hips, Gabrielle chuckled. “You’re just lucky somebody has really bad aim, or else it would’ve probably hit you in the chest and you’d be a tater tot right now.”

“Hmmm.” Nodding, Xena reached out and took Gabrielle’s hand, pulling the bard to sit beside her. “So now what, chief?”

Gabrielle smiled and leaned away from Xena, pulling the covers back on the bed. “We wait. One way or the other, somebody will come looking for us and if not, we’ll leave when your legs are better.” Leaning back, she patted the dark blue sheet and smiled.

Staring into deep green, Xena smiled. “I can’t think of a better place to die, than in your arms.” Cupping Gabrielle’s face, the warrior smiled and leaned in for a kiss. Moving their bodies back onto the bed, the warrior wrapped her arms around the bard and continued to kiss her passionately.


The ground shook and the dark clouds blocked out the sun, as lightning lit up the sky and thunder rolled across the heavens. Amid the turmoil above, shouting could be heard and curses echoed across the heavens and somewhere in between, there was a roar.

Ungara stood in the doorway and looked at the sky. Seeing the fire and feeling the tremble, he knew the power that was being unleashed and clenched his fists at the helplessness he felt. Around him, his brothers stood on the steps of the Ancient Palace and remembered the battle they fought so long ago and wondered if the world would survive another war of the gods.

Bud, who followed after the warrior and bard, sat in front of T’s throne and waited.

Somewhere behind the clouds, the sun moved slowly across the sky, unhindered in it’s path and found it’s way to the horizon, where it set, covering that part of the world in darkness. Slowly the trembling eased, then stopped and the lightning faded in the shadows of night and the thunder rolled into silence.

Xena pulled the covers up over Gabrielle’s bare shoulder and sighed as she stroked short blond tresses. Glancing down at a face relaxed in slumber, she smiled as warm breath flowed across her neck in a slow rhythm. Lifting her head, she kissed Gabrielle and laid back again, wrapping her arms tighter around the bard and sighed. Knowing the battle was over, she closed her eyes and felt Gabrielle snuggle closer and she smiled. “I’m ready now.” Xena whispered.

Bud got up and walked to the edge of the promenade and sat down, staring up at the dark clouds.

Ungara walked slowly down the steps and stared up at the sky, then closed his eyes and lowered his head.

As the dark clouds drifted away, pushed by a gentle wind, a roar echoed across the heavens.

Ungara shook his head and felt the hearty pats on his shoulders as a smile broke out on the face of the ancient king of the Ancient gods.

Bud went back to the throne and laid down and went to sleep.


T opened the door slowly and stuck her head in. Seeing the sleeping couple, she smiled and stepped into the room, closing the door behind her. Walking quietly over to the foot of the bed, she folded her arms across her chest and just stared for a long moment, letting the quiet and the sound of their breathing give her a warm feeling. Sighing, T closed her eyes and then opened them and looked around at striped wall paper. As she chuckled a silent chuckle, she left their bedroom and went down stairs, to find Ares leaning against the kitchen doorjamb with a smug smile on his face.

Rolling her eyes, she went over to him and gave him a shove. “What good is winning, if you can’t torture your friends in the process?” As a smile sultry smile, she wrapped her arms around his waist and leaned into Ares.

“They’ll think they’ve lost their minds when the wake up.” Kissing T’s forehead, he nuzzled her neck, kissing a path over her shoulder.

T closed her eyes and cocked her head. “That’s my problem.” Laughing, she opened her eyes and unwrapped her arms, taking Ares hand and leading him through the kitchen and out the back door. “Personally, I think they had the right idea about handling the whole situation.” Turning, she walked backwards and raised an eyebrow. “I mean, it beats the hell out of getting whacked by a lightning bolt.”

“So I’ve got to learn to duck. It was a lucky shot.” Sticking his tongue out, Ares swept T up in his arms and walked happily back towards the cabin. “I’m just glad they couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn from the inside, or else it would’ve taken a lot longer.”

Smiling, T wrapped her arms around his neck and closed her eyes. “They really did have sucky aim. Maybe they can work on that while they recuperate.” Resting her head on his shoulder, she sighed.

“That’ll take ‘em a couple thousand years.” Chuckling, Ares smiled. “It’ll take ‘em that long to find enough band aids to cover up all those claw marks.” Then he winced when he felt those same claws run lightly over his neck.

“Hmmmm.” Nuzzling his neck, T sighed.

“It’s that a ‘I want your body now’ hmmmmm, or am I going to be taking a long nap’ hmmm?” Smirking as he walked, Ares felt a chuckle. “Great. I risk life and limb to save the lives of those two and all I’m gonna get out of it is a nap.”

“Well, after the nap, we can always pick up where we left off.” Smiling, T kissed his neck.

Ares started walking faster.


Xena yawned and sighed. Opening her eyes, she saw that the room was dark, but could still see the faint pattern of stripes on the walls around her. “What the hell?” Rubbing her eyes, she looked again and felt Gabrielle stir in her arms.

“Are we dead?” Gabrielle mumbled and scratched her nose.

“No, but unless I’ve lost my mind, we’re not in Greece anymore.” Xena moved her head from side to side and confirmed that they were, in fact at home. “That little hussy is trying to make me think I’m crazy.”

Lifting her head, the bard opened her eyes and looked around. Scanning the room, she frowned. “Are we home?”

“Yes.” Sounding thoroughly disgusted, the warrior rolled her eyes and sighed. “T must’ve popped us here, while we were asleep.”

Gabrielle raised up on one elbow and continued to look around, then stared down at Xena. “Did we win?”

“Well I don’t think TPTB would’ve taken the trouble to tuck us in, Gabrielle.” Smiling, the warrior ran her hand over the bard’s bare back. “I think we won.”

“Good.” Nodding, Gabrielle laid back down and snuggled into the warrior. “I’d hate to have to get out of bed to kick some ass.” Closing her eyes, she yawned and drifted back to sleep.

Xena chuckled and sighed. “Me too.” Wrapping her arms around the bard, she closed her eyes and smiled. “Thank you, T.” She whispered.

“My pleasure.”


The End.

Epilogue: Since TPTB got their asses kicked, they took a vote and decided to let the warrior and bard stay in the circle. They also forgave Michael for his rebellion and sent him to every pharmacy on the planet to buy antibiotic ointment and band aids.

T took a long nap and then spent several days reminding Ares what he was really fighting for. She also tortured Xena by feigning ignorance as to the actual location of the blonde bombshell. Then she went to Greece and got it and picked up a perturbed Bud, who’d been sitting by the throne for a week.

Gabrielle, was not fired and passed some interesting thank you notes to Xena, from the staff at school, for the extended absence of Mrs. Lynch, who eventually made her way back home, after hitch hiking from New York in her pink tutu.

Thanks for reading.


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