Inside and Out



Picture - #12

DISCLAIMER: Story mine, Characters not.

Xena and Gabrielle sat in a small clearing in the woods.  They had just finished eating their dinner, and were ready to head to their bedrolls, intending on a good nights sleep.

“So…Xena, what do you want for Solstice?”

“Gabrielle, I already told you, I don’t like getting gifts.  Plus Solstice is tomorrow, how could you possibly get me a gift by then?”

Gabrielle’s nose crinkled as her lips curved into a smirk.

“Xena, you’re not the only one around here with ‘many skills’”

“Right, I forgot who I was talking to for a minute” Xena replied mirroring the smile of her companion.  “By the way, what would you want for Solstice?”

Gabrielle began to object, but complied when one delicate dark eyebrow rose.

“Oh I don’t know…maybe a new scroll.”

“Come on Gabrielle, there has to be something more!  Something bigger.”

Entertaining the idea, Gabrielle crept closer to the warrior, and laid her head on the leather clad shoulder.

“You know what I really want.  I want to know you inside and out…”

“Why?  You already know basically everything about me…even things I don’t know myself.”

“I’m sure I don’t know everything.”

“Well I am” touching the reddish blonde hair, she lifted her self from the log she was sitting and made her way to the edge of the clearing.

“I’m gonna check the perimeters.  Be back soon.”

Gabrielle giggled when Xena emerged into the forest.  “You never were on for the sensitive chats.”

Picking up a scroll, she started jotting down a few things that transgressed that day, when she was interrupted by a bright light followed by shimmering sprinkles, fading away to show a blonde woman dressed in pink mesh and frills.

“Aphrodite?  What are you doing here?”

“Chill Gabrielle.  I’m here to grant your Solstice wish”

“What wish?”

“Well it’s not really a wish…but whatever.  You said what you wanted for Solstice was to know Xena inside and out.  And well, tah-dah, here I am!”

“I was only kidding Aphrodite”

“Sure you were.  I can tell by the way you ogle the warrior babe that you have a crush, and you want to see if she feels the same way.”

“What are you talking about…I never…” a rose colored blush crept up Gabrielle’s face.

“Okay, okay…that’s my wish.”

“Awesome!  Alright, here we go” Aphrodite spread her hands out slowly waving them just above Gabrielle’s hand, and chanted a song to go along with the movements.  After a few moments, the chanting stopped, followed by the hand gestures.

“Is that all?” Gabrielle asked, confused.

“Mhmm, the rest is up to you…” she said as she slowly disappeared. 

Gabrielle thought about what Aphrodite could have possibly done, but soon her eyes started to close, and she fell into Morpheous’ realm.

*        *         *

*        *

The sunshine leaked through the treetops, painting the two sleeping women in an array of yellows and oranges.  Bleary eyes looked up to the sun, moving into a sitting position; she began poking at the sleeping form covered by the thick furs.

“Gabrielle.  Wake up…”


“Gabrielle.  It’s Solstice!”

The body underneath the material moved, then jerked up.  Xena’s eyes bulged, and her mouth dropped open.

“You…you.  Gabrielle, you’re me!”

“Xena what are you…”

Gabrielle looked over to her companion.  Instead of seeing a tall frame clad in leather, with long ebony hair and blue eyes, she saw a short muscular, blonde, green eyed bard!  She saw herself.

“By the Gods, Xena!  What in Tarturus is going on here?”

“You tell me, Gabrielle.”

Blue eyes shone with shock and curiosity, when it hit her.

“Aphrodite…” she whispered

“What did you say?”

“I said it was Aphrodite.”

“What does she have to do with anything?” Xena asked, genuinely confused.

“Only everything” Gabrielle breathed, “I need to tell you a little story.  You might want to sit down for this…”

Xena tried to give Gabrielle “the look” but she couldn’t manage with the different face, succumbing to Gabrielle’s plea, she sat down on a log, and listened to the story.

Gabrielle told Xena everything about the night before, starting with right after she left to check the surroundings, to this morning when they woke up.

“Are you mad?”

Silence filled the air; Gabrielle looked over at the blonde, once known as her.  Small hands played with the hem of the brown skirt, and then green eyes looked up at her.

“No…but why didn’t you tell me.”

“Well I thought you’d get mad…”

“Not about Aphrodite…about your feelings, towards me?”

“It was just hard, I mean I am a bard, I suppose to be good with words, but when it comes to you, and my feelings, I get stuck”

“I know what you mean”

“You don’t mean…”

“Of course I feel the same way.  How could I not?  You’re the most amazing person I have met in my entire life, and one of the only people who put my past aside and concentrate on the person I’m now.  Gabrielle, I have loved you for a very long time.”

“Oh Xena” Gabrielle cried, jumping into the awaiting arms.

“My magic worked!  Aphrodite chimed from behind the hugging women.

“Aphrodite…” Xena started

“Whoa.  Calm down warrior babe.  It’s only temporary.  Your bodies will be restored with the rising of the next sun.  Jeez, the thanks I get for a little help.”

“Thanks.  For everything!”

“See Xena, now that’s a thank you.  Later” and with that Aphrodite faded away into the air.

A rustling in the bushed roused them from their thoughts with their encounter with the Goddess of Love.

“Hey guys!” Joker piped out, exiting the bushes, “how’s your Solstice going so far?”

The two women looked at each other and laughed, “Joker, you don’t even want to know” they both said in unison.

Sure, it wasn’t what either woman expected for their Solstice, it was far better!  Filled with laughs, friends, and most of all LOVE!


Story by: CXW
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