Disclaimer: I do not own these characters and Xena Warrior Princess remains the respective copyright of MCA/Universal and Renaissance Pictures. No copyright infringement is intended.
Content: Blink and you'll miss the violence. It also contains suggestive but not explicit situations between two adult women.
Spoilers: This story is set during “Looking Death in the Eye” and explores what happened to Gabrielle after she was captured by Athena but before being traded to Xena in exchange for the release of Death. Aphrodite inadvertently gets to know the bard a little better.
This tale was inspired by the Gabrielle/Aphrodite shipper thread on the Xena Online Community.
Feedback is always welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org
“Details to follow, I'm sure,” Athena had said .
Gabrielle's eyes struggled to focus; that last little slap had really smarted. Had Xena known this would happen? Athena had been far too canny not to suspect duplicity of some kind. She had given up Xena's general location as planned but Hades had been all for leaving her in tiny mortal pieces instead of trading her for Celesta. They had vanished in argument whilst Athena's archers had dragged her to the nearest temple for a little more privacy whilst they beat the truth out of her.
Hephaestus leant his scarred face into hers, contempt clear in his features.
“You dare to humiliate me in my own forge?! Steal my chains to bind Death?”
Gabrielle backed up as he stalked her, wrists bound behind her back. This was not in the script. Athena's archers were clearly enjoying the prospect of some payback against Xena's partner. Hephaestus didn't disappoint. That hit rattled her jaw and landed her face down across an altar overflowing with offerings.
Hephaestus yanked at her wrists and Gabrielle saw the cushions lining the temple floors. Pink. This was Aphrodite's temple. She hadn't paid much attention on the way in as she had struggled with her guards. A flicker of hope kindled in her heart. Aphrodite didn't approve of fighting in her temples and they had a friendship of sorts. At least Gabrielle thought they did. She was hard to figure out sometimes; her mercurial mind easily distracted.
Hephaestus rammed her headfirst into the flagstones, and she lay there panting hard, eyes streaming with tears and blood whilst he stood up, suddenly distracted. Another God shimmered into her view.
“Enough already,” Aphrodite exclaimed angrily, “You are so not doing this in my temple. Way uncool.”
She glowered at the archers who had taken a few threatening steps forward.
“Back off mortals and take your little toy arrows with you,” she ordered them, eyes blazing with a fury they had never witnessed and turned back to her Hephaestus “You too.”
He wilted under the penetrating gaze of her disappointment in him and he flashed away to nurse his pride. Once they were alone Aphrodite then turned her attention to the only mortal she called friend, consternation in her eyes.
“You should so not be involved in all this,” she said, kneeling and gently lifting the bloodied bard upright into a sitting position. Gabrielle rested her head against the Goddess' chest.
“No choice,” Gabrielle replied, “Xena and Eve – they're my family.”
“This isn't fair,” Aphrodite said sadly, releasing the ropes with a thought and extending her healing arms around the bard. A yellow glow engulfed them both. An odd stutter of deja vu passed through Gabrielle as the Love Goddess healing power poured its warmth and light into every fibre of her being. Her body responded in welcome and recognition. She was certain she had felt this before but couldn't remember when. Before she could process the thought Aphrodite had risen to her feet, her unyieldingly strong immortal embrace taking her up too. Gabrielle sensed the change in her demeanour. The embrace was now a prison and her friend had vanished beneath another mask as she covered the bard's mouth with her hand.
“Athena,” Aphrodite whispered.
Her sister flashed into view, expression calculating.
“Aphrodite. You've upset your beloved. Am I interrupting?”
“As if,” Aphrodite replied sounding insulted and then glanced at Gabrielle. “No offence,” she added. “I just take exception to anyone redecorating my temple in Amazon blood. No fighting in my temples. Ever.”
Athena tilted her head to the side and studied Aphrodite closely. She knew her sister was not the airhead she allowed some to believe.
“You know a better way,” Athena observed.
“You want this little bard to sing for you about Xena's plans? Breaking her jaw so she can't talk isn't the way to go. You leave it to me and I'll have her begging to tell me everything she knows,” Aphrodite said darkly, her arm draped possessively around the bard's torso.
An arrogant smile found Athena's lips.
Aphrodite turned Gabrielle in her vice like grip; the hardness of the motion not tarrying with the apology in her eyes but Gabrielle was whip smart and understood what was being asked of her. The Goddess backed the smaller woman up to the high altar just like Hephaestus had done, her strength unyielding; every inch of her the sexual predator.
“I've told you everything,” Gabrielle protested to Athena, playing her part and battling the very real fear that if the Goddess of Love so chose she would be easily undone.
“You will do,” Aphrodite agreed drawing the bard's attention back to her face. “Trust me.”
It had to be real or Athena would call her on it and Gabrielle would be delivered back to Xena in pieces. Aphrodite's hands framed her face, her pupils dilated and Gabrielle felt the full force of divine pheromones assaulting her senses as the Goddess leant down and kissed her. Super charged desire raged like a boiling river through the bard as immortal hands stripped the leathers from her torso. The guttural groan of wanton need that rose unbidden from Gabrielle's throat disabused Athena of any notions of deception and kicked the Goddess of Love's sex drive into frenzy. The kiss deepened and hands began to slide across skin. Pulse racing, Gabrielle's body flooded with need as her body responded immediately to Aphrodite's touch.
“Aphrodite? Aphrodite? Aphrodite!” Athena interrupted, “All the details. Remember?”
Aphrodite broke the kiss; still holding the half naked bard pressed tightly to her chest and stared at Athena.
“Yadda yadda yadda. You're not gonna' watch are you – cause' that's just icky.”
Athena glowered at her and then blinked out. Aphrodite turned her attention back to Gabrielle whose face she still cradled in one hand.
Almost breathless Gabrielle managed a strange squeaking sound and tilted her head down between them to indicate the resting place of Aphrodite's other hand. The Goddess followed Gabrielle's part pained eyes down to the source of the difficulty.
“Oops, wonder how it got down there,” Aphrodite teased. She took in the bard's racing heart and flushed expression and understanding of another kind entered her eyes. Gabrielle really was at her mercy.
“Been a little frustrated lately huh? Love life always takes a big hit when the rug rats come along. I can totally take care of that for you,” Aphrodite said, a huge delighted smile breaking out on her face. “Won't take me thirty seconds or so unless of course you want it to...?”
“What's the deal,” Ares demanded as Athena flashed back to Olympus . “Why did you let her heal Blondie? Oh. I get it, you already knew. You and Sis hatched this out.”
“Aphrodite's getting the details from Gabrielle as we speak,” Athena confirmed. “She can't help herself when it comes to mortals - she's so much like Zeus in that way. We'll know everything very soon.”
Ares expression darkened. Xena would never have sent Gabrielle into peril. There was an angle she was working. Aphrodite had a thing for the bard. Xena knew this too – more likely she was counting on it to protect her partner and Athena thought she was pulling the strings. A grin broke out on his face. She is so good .
She is so good Gabrielle thought idly; incredibly sated and barely able to lift her head out of the water. If all interrogations were like that she would have to let herself get captured more often.
Aphrodite sprawled languidly in the hot tub next to her playing with the bubbles.
“Well that was different,” Gabrielle murmured raising herself upright and shyly ducking her eyes away from the Goddess.
“My little hedonist,” Aphrodite said flashing her amused thousand watt smile. “I'm so proud of you.” Creative types were all the same she mused. Imagination was a very good thing. She glanced upwards as if listening to something Gabrielle couldn't hear and a more serious expression settled her face.
“Time to go little one,” Aphrodite advised her and with a snap Gabrielle found herself dry and dressed and on her knees as Athena flashed back to the temple.
The bard wisely kept her head down to avoid Athena's penetrating gaze.
“She's told you everything,” Aphrodite confirmed. “Believe me, I was very thorough.”
“All the details?” Athena challenged.
“Oh yeah,” Aphrodite agreed with a smile curving the edge of her lips. “Every last one.”
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