DISCLAIMERS: All the usual stuff. I don't own the characters. Actually I don't think anyone can "own" them anymore. They are bigger than that. I will however concede that someone else owns the RIGHTS to them. I am only borrowing them and my gain is intangible.

NOTE: Naturally, I know that this will never appear on television. Ha, such is life. But I was thinking about the way TPTB have written the show from the start - in reference to the relationship between our ladies, I mean. They don't mind if we think X and G are lovers, soulmates in every way. Heck, they even throw in teasers/subtext sometimes to encourage us. However, they also want to keep the viewers who prefer to keep their narrow-minded heads up their metaphoric butts. More's the pity...the attitude-not the viewers.

NOW HEAR THIS: In this story they are LOVERS. Nothing graphic but if this bothers you move along. If it is not legal where you are or you are underage, keep looking.

FEEDBACK can be sent to me at: samanthaeruskin@gmail.com

.....Anyway. I was thinking about the things we just don't get to see and a scene began to form in my mind's eye. Okay. Okay. Relax. It didn't form. The muse put it there. All right? It warmed my heart so I thought I'd...all RIGHT...we'd take you there. Hope you enjoy the trip.

*The scene is a familiar one. You know it well. One of those wonderful campfire scenes. You know the ones. The quiet, chatting, stargazing ones.

Stargazing Soulmates

by Sam Ruskin


The bedrolls were laid out side by side. This had been the routine for some time and it was done without question or hesitation. The fire's embers were low now but still warm enough as there was only the slightest chill in the air. Argo was resting by the stream only a few quick flips away. Eve was probably bedding down somewhere near a campfire of her own, having joined Virgil in his newfound quest to chronicle and protect the followers of Eli. Recalling that little scene made Xena laugh out loud.

Gabrielle turned. "What's so funny?"

Xena shook her head slightly and smiled. "Just remembering the look of Virgil's face when Eve asked if she could go with him."

"Mmmmm. I'd seen that look once before. Seems like a lifetime ago."

Xena wrinkled her brow. "You did? When...Oh no, my little bard. I did not..."

"I am NOT little! And you most certainly did. The look on your face when I asked to go with you was as close to that as you will ever find."

The Warrior pondered this as she brought the scene with Eve and Virgil once again to mind. "Hmmmm. Well, he let her go. He wasn't too happy but he let her go. That's gotta say something. Right?"

Gabrielle patted Xena's leg. "I think Eve telling him: 'fine then. I'll just go on my own. On the same trail, at the same time' might have had something to do with that. Besides, did you catch his eyes when he saw her with that little boy in the village?"

"Mmmm. Think?"

"I'd say he's been had. Poor fellow just doesn't know it yet."

"Been there. Done that."

A smack from the bard. "Hey. Smile when you say that!"

Xena quickly swoops Gabrielle up into her arms and looks into those emerald eyes. "I am. Oh, I am."

A little while later, Xena laid her sword and chakram carefully by the bedroll . Gabrielle watched with a smile tugging at the corners of her mouth.

"Tired?" she asked the Warrior.

"A little," Xena admitted. "You?"

"Yeah, kinda." Gabrielle joined her travelling companion and lay down on her bedroll.

Xena stretched out and put her hands behind her head. "I miss Eve." The sigh was almost inaudible. Gabrielle more felt than heard it. She scooted over, putting her blonde head in the space beneath Xena's left shoulder.

"She's fine. You know that. Right?" She gently rested her hand on Xena's abs.

Xena removed her own hands from behind her head, neatly tucking Gabrielle closer . Quietly she took the bard's small hand into her larger one. Gabrielle looked up and over into those crystal blue eyes. "I miss her too."



"Do you remember the day we met?"

A snicker. "You're kidding. Right? Weren't we just.."

The smile battled the stars for attention. "OK. I guess I knew you remembered. Rhetorical question, all right?"

"Rhe...Xena, you been sneaking off to Athens?"

A tiny slap to Gabrielle's thigh. "You wanna talk or not?"

The offending hand was gently caressed. "Sorry. Yes, I remember that day. It changed my life forever. "

"Mine too. In fact, it saved my life."

Gabrielle lifted to look into her friend's eyes. "Saved YOUR life? Xena. YOU saved me, remember?"

A gentle shaking of the warrior's head and she continued. "That was a fluke, Gabrielle. A miracle of timing. Being in the right place at the right time. Or so I thought for a long time."


"Gabrielle? You mean you never realized why I was there that day? Why I wasn't wearing my armour and had buried my weapons? I'm a warrior Gabrielle. Why did you THINK I had done that?"

"I guess I never thought about it. The only time I'd ever heard of a warrior doing that was when.....Gods of Olympus, Xena! You were going to take your own life?!" Gabrielle began to tremble, finally realizing just how close she came to losing her soulmate before they even found each other.

Warm blue eyes caught teary green ones. "C'mon now. It's all right."

Ragged breathing could be heard above the crackling campfire. "Xena, I could have lost you....before I even met you." Now her soulmate was openly weeping.

The Warrior pulled the Bard into her arms. "No, that wasn't going to happen. I figured that out a long time ago. Someone made certain of that. Someone we didn't really even know at the time. Someone I will always regret hurting."

Moist green eyes peered into smiling blue. "Don't tell me. A god, right?"

A crooked, half-hearted smile."mmhmm."

"You are going to tell me who?"


A tiny slap. "Xena!"

The offending appendage was captured and kissed gently. "Aphrodite. Gabrielle, Aphrodite slowed me down that day. Not even a candlemark, really. But it put me in that clearing just when you needed me."

"Xena. You're not going to tell me after all this time that you believe our relationship is just some....spell. You are NOT going to tell me that! Are you?" Xena could almost see the green eyes sharpen in the moonlight.

Shaking her dark tresses in the flickering camplight. She refreshed her hold on the bard. "Of course not. Aphrodite put no spell on us, Gabrielle. She promised and she has never lied to me. She is a god I could always trust and I killed the one person who held her heart the way you hold mine. I deeply regret that."

"I know." The bard touched the warrior's cheek and removed a tear. "What did Aphrodite tell you Xena?"

"It was after we thawed out. You know? But before the ...well, she came to me that afternoon you were visiting with Joxer and Meg. She was crying and said her family wouldn't stop. Told me she had pleaded with Athena. She was very upset Gabrielle. She didn't want them to do that. Still, they were her family. I know what happened hurt her, but she stood firm and refused to turn on us." She squeezed Gabrielle's small hand.

"I know, Xena. I mean, I kind of always knew that Aphrodite liked us."

"Yeah. Only it was more than that."


"Mmmm. She told me that way back when I was doing Ares' bidding, Zeus had called her aside and told her I was serving the wrong god. He told her that I had a soulmate who was waiting for me. Who needed me and that if we didn't find each other the whole world would be changed forever."


"Yeah. That's what Aphrodite said too. She said Zeus showed you to her and she said she loved you from the instant she saw you. Just remembering you that day made her laugh.. She had a wonderful laugh, Gabrielle. She admitted to me that she had caused Argo to throw her shoe that day, causing me to get to that clearing at the right time."

"But how could she know..."

"I would save you? I wondered that, too."


"She said there was never a doubt in her mind that I would save you. Or that I would love you."

"Xena? She didn't?"

The tall warrior looked deeply into the bard's eyes. "No. She said she never had to do anything else. And so she never did...well, except the obsession thing and the scroll thing but she insisted that was different. Only temporary."

A chuckle shook them both.

Gabrielle spoke softly. "Let me see if I've got this. Zeus told Aphrodite you were not destined to be with Ares... We were soulmates... If someone didn't intervene we would never find each other and somehow that would change the world. Xena, Zeus must have known you were about to kill yourself..."

"Well, Gabrielle. Whatever else he was, he WAS the King of the gods."

"Oh yeah. So... Aphrodite didn't zap us or anything. She just put us in the right place at the right time and hoped everything would work out?"

"Yeah. Except the way she told it there was never any doubt."

"But Xena. Don't get upset here... but we have done a lot over the years to...well, ...screw things up. I mean, we have both made terrible mistakes. Hurt each other. Nearly lost each other. More than once, my love."

"Yes. But we didn't lose each other, love. And we never will. Aphrodite knew that."

"Think so?"

"Yeah, I do. Gabrielle, even at the very end, Aphrodite stood by us. You were unconscious. So, you don't remember this, but it was Aphrodite who moved you out of danger's way. She took us to Olympus. She even stood up to Athena - more than once; told her you were her friend. She told me that herself. Aphrodite loved you. Never forget that. The goddess of love, Gabrielle. The damned goddess of LOVE held you to her heart and called you "friend"." Tears slipped down Xena's tanned face. "I wish she were here now. I never meant to hurt her."

"I know that Xena and, from what I know of Dite, I have to believe she knows that too."

Xena wiped her eyes and put her strong arms behind her head and looked skyward. Stars blinked at them. Gabrielle lay back, her head firmly resting on the warrior's chest.

"They're very beautiful tonight, aren't they?" Gabrielle pointed toward the heavens. That's not where Xena's baby blues were, though. Not at all.

"Beautiful....Yes, very beautiful."



"I always liked Aphrodite. Now I'll always be grateful, too."

"I love you, Gabrielle. I always have. I always will."

"I love you, Xena. Together forever I guess then."

"You guess?"

Tiny snicker."I know."


"Yes, Xena?"

A slight movement is heard and the stars seem to brighten. There is a soft, rustling sound and a fluttering of leaves as blankets are readjusted.

A husky voice. "Uh....um.... Ga....Gabriellllle?"

A quietly crackling campfire is heard for a long moment. Gentle movement is heard mingled with soft sighs. Slightly labored breathing. The seductive smile was almost audible. "Yes, Xena?...Oohhhhh.. Sweet Aphrodite!...mmm...yeeessss. Xennaaa."

Believing herself to be unoticed by the two very preoccupied soulmates, pink and gold sparkling hovers over the surrounding trees. Aphrodite smiles.

"Smoothe move, Sweet Cheeks! Nice hands, Warrior Babe! Together forever? Well, I hope to shout!" Aphrodite brushed away a glittering tear. "Who'd a guessed it? That one tiny selfless act...putting your friendship above my own life...saved me. Seems you can kill all the gods of Olympus but you can't kill Love. How'd I miss that? Helllooooo? Michael knows, you two are living proof of it. Maybe I'll tell you that someday. Oops. Someone's calling me. Later.....".

"Xena? Did you hear something?" Gabrielle, much to Xena's chagrin, had stopped all movement.

Strenuously encouraging her soulmate to return to the task at hand, Xena spoke a tad breathlessly: "Only the sound of our beating hearts, my love."

Giggling. "Xena. I know I heard something."

Seeing that the bard's distraction would have to be dealt with, the warrior decided the shortest distance between two points was a straight line. In this case: the truth.

"Sweetheart. It's Aphrodite. She was admiring our technique." A gasp followed by a glow from the bard's heated face. Xena tried to reassure her lover. "It's okay. She's gone now."

"Gods! How embarrassing!"

A rumbling chuckle. "Oh, I don't know. She seemed quite impressed."

Small hands reached for the warrior's throat. "That is NOT funny, Warrior Princess. Just for that....". Gabrielle started to unstraddle her lover.

"I'm sorry, love. Don't go...please?"

Talk about crystal blue persuasion. Sea green eyes twinkled, putting Orion to shame. The embers were stone cold long before the soulmates fell asleep. Two bodies so entertwined they formed but one sillouette.

.....The earth itself may fall away,

The gods may die

And the mountains sway...

But when the rumbling and churning's done -

Warrior and Bard will stand, as one.

Somewhere, in the invisible spans of the universe, Aphrodite smiled.

SPECIAL NOTE: This thing took on a life of it's own once I put my fingers on the keyboard. I had only intended a few paragraphs and originally had no thought about Aphrodite. Oh well, my muse had other ideas and I have learned to "never mess with the muse". <VBG>

ABOUT THE POEM: It is mine and it is called When Soulmates Met. If you want to read the whole thing, it is posted at Xenaeyes.

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