All or Nothing

She doesn't have to imagine all the love in this dying heart. Aphrodite can see into every soul, pushing past layer after layer of lies, uncovering each desire and each sadness.
But she never had to wonder about this mortal. This mortal, constantly throwing herself into the line of fire.
This mortal, always treating enemies as friends... or at the very least, forgiving if not forgetting.

This mortal, this Gabrielle, is so good at breaking someone down. Gabrielle is so damned good at sneaking around the barriers, at making you like her, at making you... kind of.... love her.

Even now, with life seeping into the ground, Gabrielle is dictating Aphrodite's actions.
Gabrielle is making the goddess of all things lovely leave her family. Gabrielle is causing these pale immortal hands to caress blood-soaked locks of hair.

And Aphrodite does not have to figure out how Gabrielle gives of her love.
She can see it all along the cut on this mortals head and in the threat from shattered blue eyes so near.
This mortal cradled in Aphrodite's lap gives it all. Or nothing.
Gabrielle walks in and offers up the world in her smile. You can take it or leave it... but it is forever yours if she chooses you. If she deems you worthy... if you don't shove her too far away.

And, not for the first time, Aphrodite thinks what a fool Xena must be. How can the warrior not see what is so clearly hers?
And, right now with the universe changing, Aphrodite knows how lucky Xena is. 

You get it all. And the rest of us... we get nothing.


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