Disclaimer: Xena, Gabrielle, and any other
characters you recognize are property of MCA/Universal and Renaissance,
and are used without permission. This story is property of the author,
namely me, and may not be reproduced, retransmitted, or posted anywhere without my express permission.
Warnings: Rated NC-17. Certain characters from the Xenaverse will appear who may not be very popular, so if you're "allergic" to them, beware. If you're in any way opposed to the idea of two women (or two men) in love and/or in bed, stop reading now. This story contains explicit sexual content, as well as probably some four-letter words.
Xenite Disclaimer for Part One: No clothing was harmed in the production of this fanfic, although the astute reader will recall that the BGSB met an untimely demise in Part Nine of "Mirth in Heaven."
...use every man after his desert, and who shall scape whipping? Use them after your own honor and dignity -- the less they deserve, the more merit is in your bounty. --Hamlet, II.ii
"Gabrielle, you've been quiet," Xena observed as she wrung the water out of her hair. "Is something wrong?"
"Hmm? Oh, no," Gabrielle replied, looking up from the lakeside where she was kneeling, filling a canteen. "Just thinking."
Xena narrowed her eyes suspiciously. She knew that look. Gabrielle was trying to hide something. "About what?"
"Oh...." Gabrielle's eyes were evasive, avoiding Xena's as she stood and put the cork in the canteen. "I was thinking about that time when Aphrodite turned me into a man. Remember?"
"How could I possibly forget?" Xena exclaimed. "If she hadn't interf-I mean helped," she corrected herself under Gabrielle's warning glare, "we might never have realized we loved each other."
"And what a tragedy that would be," Gabrielle sighed happily. The canteen hit the ground and bounced once as the smaller bard melted against the tall warrior, kissing tenderly. The glow of their recent underwater lovemaking was still tingling on their skin. In the months since they became lovers, both women had found their appetites for each other almost insatiable, and Gabrielle, after discovering just how experienced and talented Xena was, had begun to find that her own native inventiveness extended far beyond quill and parchment. It had been a very eye-opening few months, in more ways than one.
After a long heated moment, Xena pushed Gabrielle away and reached for her armor. "Don't avoid the question, Gabrielle. You can't distract me."
Gabrielle reached to help with the armor. "Oh, can't I?" she asked flirtatiously, letting her hands linger as she drew the armor across Xena's ample bosom and fastened it firmly. Xena grinned, but grabbed Gabrielle's hands and fixed her with a steely look.
"Okay," Gabrielle sighed, handing Xena her boots. "Well, I was just thinking, you know, remembering what it was like to be a man ... it wasn't for very long, but it was definitely ... interesting. And I was just wondering...."
"What?" Xena prodded, getting impatient.
"Well, what it would be like to ... make love as a man," Gabrielle said matter-of-factly.
"WHAT?!" Xena's eyebrows shot up into her hairline.
"To make love to you, Xena. As a man. I think there's a temple to Aphrodite over that next rise. I was going to ask if you minded stopping there."
Xena simply stared, her mouth hanging open. After a moment Gabrielle laughed lightly and gave her a nudge.
"Hey, come on. Think about it. It could be ... a lot of fun...."
"Well...." Slowly, Xena's eyebrows began to move down toward their normal position as her expression took on a calculating aspect. "Maybe it could. Now that I think about it."
Gabrielle looked surprised, and a little smug. "You mean, I thought of something you didn't?" she teased.
"Get over it, Gabrielle. Listen, we have to discuss this."
"Sure, okay," Gabrielle agreed. "We can discuss it on the way to the temple." She turned toward Argo. "Ready to go?"
"Um, Gabrielle, I think you're forgetting something."
The bard turned back. Xena was shaking her head slowly in amusement. "What?"
"Oh...." Gabrielle looked down sheepishly at her naked form. "Xena, we have really got to get me something new to wear. I'm getting sick of these loose tunic things."
"I think they look good on you." Xena watched appreciatively as Gabrielle selected a tunic from the saddlebags and pulled it on. "Much better than that ugly green thing."
"I liked that green thing," Gabrielle said defensively. "It's not my fault you tore it to shreds when you were ravishing me."
Xena tried valiantly, but she couldn't keep from grinning in triumph. "Of course it's not your fault. I had been planning that for months."
"Wh- Y- Bu- I-" Gabrielle was still stammering as they collected Argo and headed back to the road.
The skinny man stumbled through the forest, his makeshift armor clanking noisily. As he went, he talked to himself. "Gotta find Gabrielle. She musta done this. Or else it was Xena. Probably all her fault. Or maybe Callisto?" He stopped short. "Yeah! Callisto! I'll get that psycho bitch!" He drew his one-inch-long dagger and gave it a parody of a calculating glare. "She'll never know what hit her! I'll take care of her or I'm not the mighty J-"
Striding forward again, he never finished his sentence as instead he stepped into a trap and, seconds later, found himself floating upside-down in midair.
"Don't worry, Xena," he muttered to himself as he sawed ineffectively at the ropes with his one-inch-long dagger. "I'm coming to save you."
The temple of Aphrodite was a bit farther than Gabrielle had realized, so they rode, Gabrielle behind Xena in the saddle as usual. They did manage to discuss the idea, even though Xena had to constantly remove Gabrielle's hands from her body.
"Are you sure you want to do this?" Xena asked as the temple came into view.
"If you're okay with it, then yeah," Gabrielle replied. "I've been thinking about it a lot lately, actually."
"Really?" Xena was silent for a moment. It was amazing to her how Gabrielle was constantly able to surprise her like this. Just when Xena thought she was beginning to get her young companion ... and new lover ... figured out, along came something like this....
"Xena? You are okay with it, aren't you?"
"Oh, yes," Xena murmured softly. "The more I think about it ... the more I like it. This could be a lot of fun, Gabrielle." She could feel the bard grinning against her back. She shivered slightly as Gabrielle pressed her hot lips against the smooth skin of Xena's shoulder.
"I just hope Aphrodite goes for it," Gabrielle added, sliding her fingers between Xena's thighs. Xena pushed her hand away.
"Cut it out, Gabrielle. We're here."
Approaching the temple, they dismounted and left Argo on a convenient patch of grass. A small queue of supplicants snaked out from the door. Xena and Gabrielle took their places on the end of the line, which seemed to be moving relatively quickly.
"It doesn't look like Aphrodite is taking many callers today," Xena observed. "She might not even show up for us, Gabrielle."
"Oh, she'll show up," Gabrielle replied confidently. The twinkle in her eye made Xena slightly nervous, but she refrained from further comment. Still, the warrior was on alert.
In a few more moments, it was their turn. They entered the temple, which was mostly bare save for a small altar, a few tasteful tapestries, and of course a large statue of the goddess. Gabrielle stepped up to the altar, which was strewn with the offerings of the previous supplicants, and touched it gently with her slightly sticky fingers.
A flash of dazzling golden light filled the temple, making the priestesses and the other faithful folks gasp. When the mortals' eyesight cleared, the Goddess of Love stood before them like a vision. Several of the peasants fainted dead away.
"Bitchin'!" cried the goddess in delight. "If it isn't my totally favorite rad couple!"
"Hi, Aphrodite," Gabrielle said with a big grin. Xena nodded a greeting.
"Like, what can I do you for?" Aphrodite asked, stepping down from the altar. "By the way, Gabby," she added as an aside, "love that offering. Like, these flowers and things are soooooo last century!" She poked the pile of detritus sitting on the altar. "But the love juices ... they're like totally timeless!"
"Gabrielle...." Xena's growl was exasperated as she realized, finally, what Gabrielle had 'offered.'
"Listen, Aphrodite, there is something you can do for us," Gabrielle said quickly, drawing the goddess aside. With a wave of her hand, Aphrodite shooed the other people out of the temple. The huge iron doors clanged shut as if of their own accord.
"I, I mean we ... we want you to turn me into a man again," Gabrielle said with suppressed excitement. "Because I've been thinking about it a lot and I just can't stop wondering what it would be like ... you know...."
"Ohhh...." Aphrodite's eyes widened. Naturally, she understood immediately what Gabrielle was implying. "Most cool!" She pouted. "But, I'm afraid I can't do it, babe!"
The pale, dark-haired man had finally managed to free himself from the trap, but only because the branch from which he'd been hung had snapped, having been intended for small game rather than human clumsiness. Now, with the addition of leaves and dirt in his hair, he clapped his pointy hat back on his head and hurried on down the road.
"Or maybe not Callisto," he told himself aloud as he clanked along. "Xena has plenty of enemies." After a moment's thought he added, "Of course, most of them are dead." Another moment, and then "Of course, so was Callisto, but that sure didn't stop her from -- Hey!" A flash of inspiration hit. "Maybe this is the work of Ares! Yeah! Oops." He winced and cringed apprehensively as the air in front of him simmered, heralding the appearance of the God of War.
"Someone take my name in vain?" Ares demanded menacingly.
"What?" Gabrielle looked crestfallen. "Why not?" Xena moved a step closer and put a comforting hand on Gabrielle's shoulder.
"'Cause I promised you I wouldn't, remember?" Aphrodite prompted. Xena raised her eyebrows again.
Gabrielle frowned. "Oh yeah ... but this is different! This time I'm asking you to do it!"
Aphrodite shook her lovely head sorrowfully. "Sorry, babe. It doesn't work that way. I made a promise, I have to keep it."
"How about me?" Xena suggested. Aphrodite looked quickly from one woman to the other, and shook her head again.
"I promised I wouldn't do you either." She grinned slyly. "Well, not that kind of do you, anyway." Xena almost grinned back. Gabrielle elbowed her in the ribs.
"Well ... oh well," Gabrielle sighed in disappointment. "Sorry to have bothered you, then."
"Wait a minute ... lemme cook on this," Aphrodite said, suddenly thoughtful. "Ya know, I could pull one of those body-switch things. I made Ares show me how to do it one day, after I got bored with his ... other skills." She winked suggestively, and then narrowed her eyes as a mischievous expression stole across her face. "And I think I know the totally perfect guy for this trick!"
"Great!" Gabrielle exclaimed. "Let's do it!"
"Gabrielle, wait-" Xena began, but it was too late. Aphrodite waved her hand, and a sudden unseen gust of wind knocked Gabrielle flat. Xena bit her lip anxiously as she knelt to check on her lover.
The tall, brown-haired man and his shorter blond companion were strolling through a busy marketplace when it happened. A gust of wind seemed to come out of nowhere and tackle only the one man, knocking him flat on his rear. His friend immediately went to his knees beside the stricken man, grabbing his shoulders and calling his name.
Dazed, the well-built man lifted his head, blinked several times, and looked up in confusion at his companion. He cleared his throat and spoke in bemusement.
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