Disclaimers: We all know the drill, yadda, yadda, yadda.

This is rated R for implied sexual situations; language and violence (mild.)

Thank you to my partner Lou Ann for your encouragement and guidance and for being my inspiration, sounding board and putting up with my late night rantings. My friend Kim without whose encouragement and praise this wouldn't have been possible. To the cast and crew of Xena Warrior Princess for making the show what it was and still is today. Especially Lucy and Renee.

In memory of Kevin Smith husband, father, and friend; who played Ares God of War.

Summary: Set after Truths in Paradise. Xena and Gabrielle are Goddess' of the Underworld and Healing. The Romans are invading Greece and trying to destroy the Amazons. Loki and Mars are teamed together bent on destroying everything in their path. And the Amazons are caught in the crossfire.

From Xena's personal scrolls translated by Dr. Melinda Pappas

"She's so beautiful and I don't think she realizes it. I fall in love with her more every day I'm with her. I've watched her grow from an innocent girl to a strong independent woman. Capable of leading nations and armies. Her position as Goddess of Healing only shows me again how much she's grown and changed. However, despite her changes and her independence I'm still her Warrior Princess. She still turns to me at the end of the day, like so many times before. Seeking comfort, reassurance, or my love. Those and many more things I gladly give her just like I surrender to her my very soul, because, it is hers for the taking. We've been here in the Underworld for three months since we left the Isle of Lesbos and it has been a time of challenges and changes. A time of reflection and growth. I never thought we would become Goddess' let alone be children of two of Olympus's most powerful. Her relationship with Apollo is tentative but being who she is, she is giving him a chance. Apollo gives her the space she needs and guides her with a gentle hand. In time, I think, she might accept the fact he is her father. Aphrodite has been helping me since Persephone and Celesta want nothing to do with me. I don't blame them. I took down most of the Olympian Gods including their husband and brother Hades. Like Gabrielle said though they were after the ones I love and I would take on anyone and do anything to protect my two most precious gifts.

With the Romans invading more of Greece's shores and fields, I am called to the field more often every day. When I do return here, I always find Gabrielle waiting for me in our chambers or the library. She is the balm to my soul; the air that I breathe; the light in the dark and the balance in my life. I thank whoever was responsible for bringing us together and to continue to keep her with me, beside me.

Eve and Varia are getting ready for their ceremony and I have a surprise for Gabrielle when the time comes. At first when I found out that Eve was with Varia I wanted to break Varia in two for what she put my family through, but Eve took me aside and talked to me about what happened and how things changed. I listened, and my opinion of her changed, especially considering that Ares was the one responsible for poisoning her mind much like me when I was younger. The first few months I warned her on several occasions that if she hurt either my child or my love I will make her suffer and beg for death. Gabrielle, being Gabrielle, gave her more benefit of the doubt though and often times bailing Varia out of trouble. Now though Varia and I have become rather close in many ways. I think it was shortly after the battle with the Vikings that we began to see each other more eye to eye. It was the time spent in Valhalla that we talked and came to an understanding as well. No matter though I see how much she is devoted to Eve and how much she loves her. That's all Gabrielle and I want for her."

The air stank of smoke and blood and the overcast skies only added to the sense of foreboding filling the air. The battle had raged on, now for four days and she had been here since. Being a Goddess had its advantages and its disadvantages as well. One the need for sleep was irreverent but the need for her partner was just as strong as ever, maybe stronger. She needed the calm nurturing presence of her soul mate that made Gabrielle who she was. Looking up as she heard more screams and she again cursed the Romans for their senseless act of conquering and domination. Taking a deep breath, she moved forward to send the dead to their final resting place and to hopefully go home in the next few hours.

Stephen (walking up to her): My Lord it is the Queen she is requesting your presence as quickly as possible.

Xena (shaking her head): Lucia is in charge get them out of here and keep me informed. I'll be back later on.

Stephen (bowing): My Lord with all respect Hades never stayed out here as long as you. Take some time to regroup and we'll straighten this out tonight.

Xena (nodding): Get these bodies out of here (adjusting her cloak.) Oh and Stephen (jumping in her chariot) never compare Hades to me again. It doesn't sit well with me. (Snapping the reins, she drove home wondering just what was going on.)

Eve paced back and forth not listening just trying to calm down praying that, wherever her partner was she was safe.

Gabrielle (listening; waiting for one of two God's to show up and was wondering what was taking so long; she needed to go back out to the field hospital and do what she could to help but their daughter was her first priority as she listened to the frustration and pain evident in her daughter's voice): Eve calm down. I'm sure she's fine. Besides you have four God's to help you (wrapping her arm around Eve's shoulder.)

Eve (pleading): She's just been under so much pressure lately. I just want her home safe (leaning her head on Gabrielle's shoulder.)

Xena (walking in and stopping): What's wrong?

Gabrielle (softly): Xena, Varia's missing; the Romans have destroyed two of the Amazon planting fields and rumor has it Loki has escaped his prison.

Xena (leaning against the wall): Dam. Loki I can handle and as for Varia, we'll find her. The Romans well they're a whole other problem and my only solution would be to evacuate the village. We've discussed this before as a solution to a possible problem. We'll deal with that tomorrow. Right now...

Eve (stepping toe with her mother): What do you mean we'll find her? Why aren't you doing something now (shoving her mother in anger?)

Xena (looking at Gabrielle as if to say she's venting): Honey calm down. How long has she been missing?

Eve (angrily): Why are you asking me that? Why aren't you two doing something now (pushing her mother again?) You're a Goddess now bring her home.

Xena (wrapping her in a bear hug; she understood; dam, if it was Brie she would be tearing things apart): Shh. It's all right. She's fine I'm sure (kissing the top of her head.) Wait here. I'm going to check on something (gently pushing Eve into a chair.) Just sit here Brie's going to make you some tea (brushing back Eve's hair. Satisfied she would stay put she gently pulled Gabrielle into the hallway) I'm going to assign some guards out here (wrapping her arms around her partner) make her some tea and keep her here. And don't you go anywhere. I'll be back in a bit.

Gabrielle (tugging on Xena's armor): I love you.

Xena (kissing her lips softly): I love you too. Stay put. (Walking down the hall) Kelia (yelling) Patros get in here (yelling for two of her female guards.)

Kelia (running around the corner with Patros and Jena in tow): My Lord you bellowed (not being disrespectful just trying to calm the tall dark woman.)

Xena (shaking her head): Put two guards down by my personal chambers. No one is to go in without me, got me. My daughter's intended is missing; Loki's escaped and Romans are invading Greece and I'm not in a good mood.

Kelia (bowing her head): I'll see to it personally. Do you want someone to go with you?

Xena (pointing to her chambers): No. (She strode down the hall way; her cape rustling behind her and squeezing the bridge of her nose) I can smell you so come on out.

Ares (materializing): Xena Lord of the Underworld not what I had in mind but...

Xena (taking a calming breath): Well it's been a while. What rock were you hiding under?

Ares (clutching his chest in mock pain): Xena I'm hurt. And I wasn't hiding. I've been training my protégé Mars. He's got potential let me tell you. He's leading the...

Xena (angrily): Roman bastards to conquer Greece. I know all that. I don't want any part of it but because they're attacking the Amazons, I just may make it my business. So you tell your protégé to back off.

Ares (ignoring her threat; he loved to spar with her; walking behind her): I gave up on you Xena. I know you'll never be my Warrior Queen but I'll settle for this. (Placing his hands on her shoulders) a Goddess, you, daughter of Hades I'm impressed (wrapping his arms around her; feeling her fight and struggle) I always wondered what you saw in Gabrielle but now I know. I should have figured it out but I didn't. She has it too (smirking.)

Xena (pushing away from him): Leave me alone. I want nothing to do with you and your empty promises. And it doesn't matter if Gabrielle is a Goddess or not. She is one of the few that are fit to wear that title.

Ares (softly): I cared for you Xena I still do. You may have a point (thinking.) I see now what she has that I don't.

Xena (turning her head): And what's that.

Ares (honestly): Unconditional love. I know I could never give you that. But I do need your help.

Xena (swallowing): And why should I help you. Every time we've been down this road, it's been to benefit you and your selfishness. No more Ares I'm done. The greater good no longer comes between or before the needs of my partner.

Ares (following after her): Yeah I'm sorry about what happened in Jappa I didn't know until it was to late and by then my sister had intervened (seeing her tense.) Listen to me please. There's a lot at stake besides the Romans invading Greece.

Xena (waving her hand): World's in danger yadda, yadda, yadda, don't want to hear it. My concern is my partner; my daughter; Varia and the Amazons in that order. Not saving the world and risking my life or my partner's or her happiness. I won't go there again.

Ares (shaking his head): I know where Varia is and I know how you can help the Amazons.

Xena (whirling around angrily): And what's in it for you? And why should I trust you? See there you go again deceitful as always Ares.

Ares (closing his eyes): Mars and Loki are teaming up. If that happens, they're coming after me and possibly Aphrodite. And I wasn't being deceitful. You on the other hand are being stubborn.

Xena (laughing at his remarks): And why do you care about your sister?

Ares (rolling his eyes): Because I know you do and so does your little (seeing her glare and the glow from her powers) Gabrielle. Xena listen put aside the differences for once. You've seen the signs; read the scrolls you know dam well what's happening and Loki's after the Chakram.

Xena (folding her arms across her chest): Tell me where Varia is and I'll think about it. And why is Loki after my Chakram.

Ares (pointing down the hall): She's down here. Chloe has her. She's keeping her safe because she doesn't know who she is. And Loki wants the Chakram because if he separates the Chakram in two he'll harness the dark half of the powers and bring on the end of the world.

Xena (angrily): I'm going to kill someone. This is just great.

Ares (raising an eyebrow): So will you help?

Xena (softly): I'll think about it. Right now, I've got a ton of other stuff on my mind to deal with. The Romans being one of them (turning to walk away.)

Ares (following after her; not getting the point): Oh and I heard something from Aphrodite (Xena stopped cold) you and Gabrielle are thinking of having a child.

Xena (growling and storming back to him): You harm Gabrielle or our unborn child I'll tear you apart (poking her finger into his chest for emphasis.)

Ares (grabbing her wrists): Xena calm down. I only wanted to tell you that I think you would be a great mother.

Xena (struggling out of his grasp): Bye Ares I'll think about what you said. And you better pay attention to what I said.

Ares (smirking): Does that mean yes?

Xena stomping off and yelling thanks. Ares shook his head and then opened his vest; the wound was getting larger and he was growing weaker day by day. If Xena didn't help him then there would be some serious problems.

Varia slowly opened her eyes and stretched out her body. She felt no pain or stiffness from the fall and looking around wondered where she was. Her thoughts went to Eve and she prayed that she was ok.

Chloe (walking up to her): Easy there lass.

Varia (sitting up; she couldn't make out the woman's features because of the hood and cloak but felt a warm calming presence from her): Where am I? Where's Eve?

Chloe (reaching out to calm her): Easy there child. You're in the Underworld you fell through somehow. You've been out for a bit. I would have sent for the Lord but she's been busy with the Greeks and Romans battling it out. You've been sleeping for a bit. My name's Chloe would you like some tea.

Varia (shaking her head to clear it): Yeah, you know Xena. (Chloe nodded) then take me to her she knows who I am.

Chloe (shaking her head): Not safe to do that. Few things around her that don't take kindly to the living wandering around. Just rest. I'll send for her.

Xena (pushing the door in): No need she's here. And why am I not surprised to find you here. It would be the last place I looked.

Varia (trying to get up but her body was too weak): Xena am I ever glad to see you.

Xena (arching her eyebrow): Chloe how many times do I have to tell you not to keep anything from me?

Chloe (bowing her head): I didn't know who she was my Lord. I kept her, here waiting for you to come back. You know me and lost children.

Varia (indignantly): I am not a child.

Xena (rolling her eyes): To her you are. Varia, Chloe here meets and sees to the children that make it down here without their parents. Right outside is another entrance to the Elysian Fields. Let's get you back to Eve before she goes nuts.

Varia (smiling): I'm sorry.

Chloe (smiling): She's your daughter's friend.

Xena (nodding and walking over to Varia): Actually, she's my daughter's intended.

Chloe (bowing her head): My apologies my Lord.

Xena (smirking): No need. You took good care of her. Varia you're pretty weak I'm going to carry you back ok so don't fight me.

Varia (rolling her eyes): Yes mom.

Xena (picking her up): Keep it up and you can stay here.

Varia (shaking her head and wrapping her arm around Xena's neck): No that's ok. I miss Eve.

Xena (cradling her): Thank you Chloe. Keep out of trouble you hear me (Chloe nodded) and next time send someone to tell me what's going on ok (smiling.) I'm going to get teased about this so might as well tell you, Eve misses you too Varia.

Varia (teasing): Thanks mom (feeling the growl from Xena's throat.) This is where you use your powers and get us there quicker, right. (Xena nodded) and I'm still going to get queasy, right?

Xena (softly): Close your eyes and think of something real nice (Varia turned her head and bit her lip) keep it to yourself, that's my daughter you're thinking of.

Varia (tensing as she felt the energy shift and Xena's muscles as well; burying her head in Xena's shoulder): I hate this...

Xena (materializing right outside the doors to her chamber): We're home. And it beats me carrying your feathered bum all the way back here (putting her down.)

Varia (chucking Xena on the shoulder affectionately): Thanks mom.

Xena (playfully shoving her): Go on. Go get your woman (watching as Varia bolted through the door) and let me have our room back. (Walking in she smiled as she watched Varia pick up Eve and hold her tightly. Glancing at Gabrielle she motioned with her hand and Gabrielle followed her outside) I at least made someone happy today.

Gabrielle (questioningly): What's wrong and you make me happy every day because we're together and you just made our daughter very happy. So what's wrong lover?

Xena (leaning against the wall): It's just that well you know and I saw Ares and well I don't know if this was such a good idea I mean I could be doing better for you, for us and I've got more uncooperative people on my hands then I can well I don't know and dam it Brie...

Gabrielle (understanding more than just the words, her partner was saying; she noted her body language; the slight slump in her shoulders and the pain in her eyes): Xena hold on (wrapping her arms around her) come here its ok.

Xena (nuzzling her face into Gabrielle's hair): No, it's not. I haven't been that attentive with you. We haven't spent that much time together lately and well....

Gabrielle (tightening her hold): Xena you are a very attentive partner and the time we spend together is precious to me and it's more than enough honey. You're just stressed out. You have a lot on your shoulders and you're taking a lot of flack because that's what you do. You don't see the little things you do that make my day special and make me feel loved. I know you check in on me during the day I can feel you even if I can't see you. I'm the luckiest woman in the world. How many women can say their spouse let's them do what they want or make decisions like I do. How many woman can say they still get little surprises or notes not because I washed your clothes or sharpened your weapons or drew you a bath but because you care and you love me unconditionally. How many women can say that? Not too many and I can only think of maybe a few others that can Xena and two of them are in our chambers.

Xena (relaxing): Thank you. I guess I just needed a kick in the right direction.

Gabrielle (caressing her face): I know and anytime you do baby I'll be here to remind you of that. Now what's this about Ares?

Xena explained to her their conversation and her feelings that something wasn't right with him, not that there ever was there was just something more.

Varia (kissing Eve softly): I just don't know love. One minute I was setting some traps and scouting things out the next I'm waking up on a cot with no clue on where I was. My first thought was of you and if you were all right.

Eve (pressing her body tighter and smiling as Varia tightened her hold): I'm just glad you're ok. You did look kind of cute holding on to my mother though (smirking.)

Varia (biting her lip): Yeah it's like being held in a cage and the energy rolling off her. No wonder not to many people want to piss her off or get in her way.

Eve (nodding): You can say that again. She's a calm loving individual with her family and those closest with her but you mess with that...

Varia (remembering how Xena had almost let her have it a couple of times): You'll be eating her Chakram (Eve nodded.) Come on gorgeous let's give them back their room and go find our own and (whispering several suggestions in Eve's ear.)

Eve (trying to remain calm): Good idea. You're so bad (helping her lover up.)

Varia (wrapping her arm around her): But I'm good and I've never heard you complain.

Eve (trying not to blush as they walked out into the hallway): And you never will.

Walking down the hallway, they spotted Xena and Gabrielle talking and looking at several scrolls.

Gabrielle (looking up): Hey, everything ok.

Eve (nodding): What's up?

Xena (shaking her head): New report on the battle; guard detail and a few pleas on a few soul's behalf.

Gabrielle (taking the scroll from Xena's hand): But the Lord of the Underworld is off tonight so someone else is in charge.

Varia (teasing): You go Gabrielle...

Xena (rolling her eyes): Your chambers are that way.

Eve (teasing): I thought maybe you could give us a nice tour

Varia (playing along): Yeah we only got to see half of this place...

Gabrielle (putting a few ideas together): Actually Xena why don't you go play nicely and I'll see you in a bit.

Varia (backing up): Her play nicely as if (feeling a strong hand wrap around the back of her neck) you know it's the truth (looking at Eve to help her.)

Eve (laughing): You got yourself in that one love.

Xena (playfully): I get to torture someone. This is great come on Varia let me show you the dungeon.

Varia (being dragged along playfully): See what you did.

Eve (watching them): They're so much a like.

Gabrielle (laughing as Varia managed to get out of Xena's grasp and was playfully boxing with her): You can say that again. It's good though, keeps her out of my hair for a bit.

Eve (softly): And mine. (They both laughed.) You're up to something aren't you mom.

Gabrielle (nodding): Yep (teasing) now get so I can get a few things done.

Eve (mock pouting): I see how it is.

Gabrielle (kissing her cheek): I'll see you in the morning.

Eve (walking down the hall): Maybe.

Gabrielle watched her walk away then went to put some surprises together for her partner.

Varia was enjoying watching the guy plead and beg and argue with Xena. He had it coming assuming Xena was in danger he charged only to be caught around the throat by a six foot menace. What was funnier though was watching him try to argue with her every time Xena made a point about something.

Xena (pushing him away): And get that uniform straightened out. You're boots need shining; your shirt needs cleaning and if you don't you can go sit in the Fields and do nothing, again.

Eve (walking up behind Varia and wrapping her arms around her): She's at it again.

Varia (nodding): She runs a very tight ship. Do you know under their breath they compare her to Hades and how he was with his soldiers?

Eve (arching an eyebrow): Really. Just don't tell her that.

Xena (walking over): Come on I'll show you a nice little spot where no one will bother you.

Varia (smirking): Peace and quiet that's nice.

Xena (taunting): Was I talking to you featherhead? I was talking to my daughter.

Varia (playing): Yeah well, you're daughter is my intended (straightening up.)

Xena (growling; teasing): Keep it up and she won't be for long.

Eve (laughing at their antics): Will you two knock it off so we can go see whatever it is you want to show us.

They conceded for the moment Varia wrapping her arm around her lover and kissing her cheek softly. Xena playfully pushed them to get them moving and smiled as Eve wrapped her arm around her mother's and Varia put her hand on Xena's shoulder. They walked along the path anxiously waiting to see what Xena had in stored for them.

Gabrielle had things set up perfect for her partner a nice hot scented bath candles; nice fire and some snacks for later and a skin of Xena's favorite port. Now if Xena would just come home and then the fun would begin.

Eve (leaning back into her partner): Mother this is beautiful. Has mom seen it yet?

Xena (nodding): Yep. Took her here within the first couple of days moving down here (gesturing to the beautiful view of the Elysian Fields (well part of it anyway.) She loves to come here when things aren't hectic and just sit down and write or whatever.

Varia (nuzzling her partner's throat): It's really nice. Thank you.

Xena (smiling): You're welcome. I'm going to head home. Stick to the path I showed you and there should be no problem. I'll see you in the morning. If there is a problem, get Kelia or Patros ok.

Eve (leaning up and kissing Xena on the cheek): We'll be fine. Night mother and thank you.

Varia (smiling): Thanks mom.

Xena smiled and then walked down the path then figuring it would just be to long a walk across the cavern and she was anticipating Gabrielle's surprise, using her powers she transported herself into their personal chambers.

Gabrielle looked up as the room lit up with silver light and smiled as her soul mate appeared.

Xena (looking around): This is really nice. Thank you.

Gabrielle (handing Xena a goblet of wine): You're welcome. So I take it you like it.

Xena (admiring Gabrielle's silk green robe): I like very much (reaching for the ties.)

Gabrielle (clasping Xena's hands in her own): Hold it (looking up into mischievous blue eyes) I went through all this hard work and you just want your present. Although knowing you like I do that doesn't surprise me.

Xena (wiggling her eyebrows and smirking): Can you blame me (caressing Gabrielle's cheek.) Why what did you have in mind, my little temptress?

Gabrielle (wrapping her arms around Xena's neck): I thought we could start with a hot bath then maybe a little wine then hey Xena (yelping as she was picked up and carried into the bathing chamber.)

Xena (setting Gabrielle down gently): You said bath (frantically removing her armor and weapons) so I figured you naked in a bath was a good start for my surprise (stepping into the warm bath and moaning as the tension in her muscles eased just a little.)

Gabrielle (moving to straddle Xena's lap): You're awfully tense, here relax (rubbing Xena's shoulders and watching as Xena closed her eyes in pleasure practically purring.) You're so beautiful love and I'm very lucky to have found my soul mate; my best friend and the love of my life all in one delicious package.

Xena (moaning in pleasure): Mmm.

Gabrielle (shaking her head smiling; working on a very stubborn knot): You're such a pleasure hound love (moving to press tighter against her.) I love you.

Xena (twisting her neck): Mmm.

Gabrielle (laughing, it always amazed her that Xena could let go and relax like she did): Just sit there for a moment I'll be right back (turning to retrieve the skin of port a strong hand enclosed on her arm.) Xe...

Xena (licking her lips): Pleasure hound, huh (moving closer and bracing her hands on either side of Gabrielle; effectively trapping her) teasing me (moving closer and pushing Gabrielle back) making me wait (leaning so her lips barely touched Gabrielle's ear.) You do know what's going to happen don't you little one?

Gabrielle (feeling the waves of desire coursing through her body; making her ache for the woman who was torturing her so effectively): Um I'm in trouble aren't I?

Xena (nodding): You can say that again (picking Gabrielle up effortlessly and pulling her onto her lap.) Now it's my turn (nipping Gabrielle's throat and sliding her hand between them; moaning at the silky heat that greeted her fingers) feel so good love.

Gabrielle (pushing harder against her partner's hand): Love you (letting her body go and just enjoying the sensual onslaught from her lover.)

Xena (cradling her): I've got you let go (moaning as she lowered her mouth to Gabrielle's breasts and thanking whoever was listening for that chance meeting all those years ago that brought them together.)

Eve lay curled up in Varia's arms trying to get her breathing under control after the delicious ecstasy she experienced with her partner.

Varia (softly): I wish you would stay here. That way I know your safe.

Eve (taking Varia's hand and kissing it gently): I know but my place is by your side. That hasn't changed and it never will.

Varia (pushing a lock of hair off Eve's face): Eve please just think for a minute. Down here, no one will think to bother you. Your mother's guards alone will see to that. With the Romans close to our boarders, things are going to get a little wild and I don't want you getting caught in the crossfire.

Eve (considering; leaning back and capturing her partner's lips): Varia please if something were to happen to you and I wasn't there to at least try and help you the guilt alone would tear me apart.

Varia (understanding): Love somehow, someway we'll find each other. I know that. At least until Gabrielle and I can address the council about evacuating the village and get them to see reason.

Eve (nodding; tightening her hold): First there was me; then Ares army; now the Romans...

Varia (cupping Eve's face gently and making her look up at her): Don't you go there. You were a completely different person. It's not you now. You are the woman I love; the person that makes me complete but don't ever compare yourself to the monster Ares made you. That was Livia and I hope she rots in hell. She is not you. She had maybe your body; but not your spirit; your love; your compassion.

Eve (trying not to cry): Besides you, my mother's and...

Varia (kissing the top of her head): Eve it's over. That part of you is over. Let it go. Live for the moment. Please don't do this to yourself; don't do this to us.

Eve (nodding; understanding her lover completely): I'll stay with my mother while you and Gabrielle go talk to the council tomorrow and see what you can come up with. Though with the fields salted and burned there's no choice.

Varia (looking at the beautiful scenery then the gift in her arms, no comparison she thought): We'll think of something. Come on I want to get some sleep I've got an early day tomorrow (standing up.)

Eve (getting up): Yeah I think I'll help my mother with some stuff see what she needs that type of thing.

Varia and Eve began walking down the path towards the castle when a light bright light flashed before them.

Loki (smirking and stretching): So this is where she is hiding. No matter.

Varia (drawing her sword, she recognized him from the last time): Get out of here Eve.

Loki (laughing): A mere mortal challenging me (waving his hand he sent her flying backwards into a boulder where she collapsed unconscious.)

Eve (picking up Varia's sword): Leave her alone.

Loki (sneering): You must be the bitch's daughter.

Eve (growling): No, but Xena is my mother and she's not a bitch (lunging for his head. He sidestepped then lashed out and kicked her in the ribs, she cried out yelling.)

Loki (laughing): Like I said, a mere mortal is no match for a God.

Apollo (appearing): Maybe not a mortal but how about picking on someone your own size.

Loki (moving away from Eve): Why can't you accept the fact that I hold all the cards now and your days are numbered? Join me and you will have an eternity of...

Apollo (forming a fireball in his hand): An eternity of what. Emptiness; loneliness. Last warning get out of here (feeling Aphrodite move behind him.)

Loki (pointing to Eve and Varia): You protect them; they who have caused your downfall. You're pathetic.

Aphrodite (rolling up her sleeves): You're the one who's pathetic turning against other God's in your quest for whatever. Get out of here. And when Xena's gets here, you'll be in even more trouble.

Loki (growling): Her mother killed your family. Your loved ones (dodging as a fireball whizzed by his head.)

Xena (walking into the cavern; her muscles tense): You interrupted my evening and I don't remember you being invited to my home. Now get out before you get hurt.

Loki (looking around at the God's surrounding him): You may have won this battle but not the war Xena (he disappeared in a black cloud.)

Gabrielle (materializing a few yards behind Xena): Is everyone all right? (Stepping aside as several of Xena's guards came running in.)

Apollo (kneeling next to Varia; gently laying his hands on her): She's got a few broken ribs and a gash on the side of her head. Do you want me to...?

Gabrielle (kneeling next to him as she watched Xena cradle Eve in her arms; talking to her; calming her until she could help her): I'll take care of her (gently she placed one hand on Varia's ribs and on her head) just relax (closing her eyes; she concentrated her energy into healing their daughter's partner.)

Eve (swallowing some of the water her mother gave her): What's going on?

Xena (pushing a lock of hair out of Eve's face): Trouble. Loki wants my Chakram so he can separate the two halves again. Then he'll use the dark half to destroy the world; take down anyone and everyone who opposes him.

Aphrodite (looking around): It's almost like the twilight all over again except this time he'll kill any mortal as well.

Varia (sitting up): What (rubbing her head; she felt better then she should) Eve (lunging forward and feeling strong arms wrap around her; looking up she saw light grey green eyes) nice of you to join us.

Apollo (nodding): Just rest for a minute so Gabrielle can take care of your other half.

Gabrielle (checking Eve's ribs gently): They're just bruised here (Eve grabbed her hand) what...

Eve (softly): It's ok. I've had worst.

Gabrielle (looking at her partner then at Eve): Now where have I heard that before hold still I swear...?

Xena (rolling her eyes and turned her head to see Apollo helping Varia up; Aphrodite seemed withdrawn like something was bothering her): Hey Dite come here a minute.

Aphrodite (walking up beside her): What's up?

Xena (softly): You tell me. And don't give me any garbage. You've been there for us; for my family...

Aphrodite (pointing to Eve and Varia): Get them taken care of first. Then we'll talk. I know where the throne room is. Apollo and I will meet you there, ok.

Xena (looking around): Sure and thank you (Aphrodite winked then vanished.) Ok let's get everyone home and take care of you. Apollo you coming or...

Apollo (clasping Gabrielle's shoulder): Sure (then using his powers took them back to the castle foyer.) I'll wait here.

Xena (pointing down the hallway): Throne room is that way but I'm sure you know that and thank you for them.

Apollo (reaching out and clasping her hand): You're welcome. Go on now they'll be fine with some rest.

Xena (helping Varia to her feet while Gabrielle helped Eve): It's off to bed with you both. What in the well my name (this got her a glance from her partner) happened?

Eve (taking a deep breath): We were coming back from the spot you showed us and well Loki showed up.

Varia (fighting the nausea in her stomach): He was ranting and raving about a lot of things though and dam (almost tripping but Xena easily picked her up and carried her to their quarters.) I'm sorry I didn't do such a hot job out there.

Gabrielle (shaking her head): He's a God of tricks and illusions; he escaped his prison and now he's bent on revenge and getting Xena's Chakram. You did fine. Bought us both some time to get there.

Eve (eyeing her mother's belt and thankfully seeing the Chakram): He won't get it will he?

Xena (shaking her head and waiting for Gabrielle to open the door): No (walking inside and concentrating to light a few candles and the fireplace) there you go (setting Varia down gently.) Get some rest we've got a busy day tomorrow and I only fear it's going to go down hill from there.

Eve (putting some water on to boil): First the Amazons and then Loki. I mean that's the plan, right?

Gabrielle (handing her a packet of herbs): Yep. First thing tomorrow, Varia and I will address the council then we'll go from there. In the meantime, you can keep my other half out of trouble.

Eve (grinning): As long as you keep mine out of trouble.

Xena (arching an eyebrow): Mutiny...

Varia (agreeing): Yep that it is.

Xena (leaning down and checking Varia's pulse): Get some rest you'll be all right in the morning (squeezing her shoulder.) Eve I mean rest got me. We'll see everyone for breakfast (moving to kiss her daughter on the cheek.) There'll be guards posted out your doors tonight. See you in the morning (she motioned to Gabrielle and walked out the door.)

Varia (trying to stay awake): She's doing the Warrior Princess thing (Gabrielle nodded) well I guess Loki picked on the wrong woman err um Goddess err...

Eve (laughing): It's all right. I think she has more titles than even she realizes.

Gabrielle (chuckling): I'll see you both in the morning (kissing Eve on the cheek) and you keep her out of trouble (gently kissing Varia on the forehead. She walked out the door after her soul mate hearing the soft click of the door closing then the lock being latched. She found Xena near the armory signing a piece of parchment and issuing orders.)

Xena (pointing to Kelia and Lucia): You two are in charge. Assign who you need. I need all entrances secure that means the ones to the Elysian Fields and Tartarus. Double the guard inside here; no one comes or goes without clearance. And if you don't know, them and they won't state what they're doing here send em back or send them to oblivion. Got me (two heads nodded) and make sure the throne room is kept secure. No one goes in there without me or Gabrielle got me (again a nod) good. If anything comes up come and get me.

Gabrielle (watching as guards scrambled for weapons and gear and running to report to various posts throughout the Underworld or to send messages on Xena's orders): Come on you need to get some rest and I need to finish what we started.

Xena (wrapping her arm around her shoulder): I wish I could but I have to make sure a few other details are set and I have to meet with Aphrodite and Apollo. You get some rest you have to meet with the council tomorrow (Gabrielle started laughing she arched her eyebrow) what is so funny love.

Gabrielle (leaning against Xena): As God's we don't much have the need for sleep but our bodies won't let us get used to that fact. I guess it's one of those quirky things...

Xena (softly; teasing): Or you just like to cuddle (steering her to their chambers.)

Gabrielle (leaning up to nip her earlobe): That or (whispering several suggestions in Xena's ear then kept on walking leaving a very frustrated Warrior Princess standing there with her mouth hanging open)

Xena (trying to calm her pounding heart beat): Brie so help me if I didn't (watching as Gabrielle swayed her hips even more for emphasis) just you wait.

Gabrielle (turning and blowing Xena a kiss): You go take care of your meeting. I'll be in bed where (she found herself in their bedroom pinned against the wall by six feet of very frustrated Warrior leaning over her.) Hi thought you had a meeting to go to (groaning as Xena's body pressed against hers tighter.)

Xena (kissing her lips demanding entrance with her tongue; gently she explored the sweetness that was her partner): I have something more pressing to attend to (unhooking the ties to her pants) it's a good thing I didn't put my armor on (grazing her teeth across Gabrielle's ear) less to take off.

Gabrielle (reaching under the leather vest; feeling the smooth strong muscles and soft flesh): Good thing we were done with our bath (moaning as Xena pressed her thigh between her legs and up) I thought you were frustrated love (meeting Xena's mouth for another kiss.)

Xena (pumping her hips against Gabrielle's leg): I was and since you're the cause I thought I would remedy the situation (tilting her head back as she lost herself in the pleasant sensations wishing she could just spend a few days like this with her lover.)

Gabrielle (noticing the tense muscles; reaching between them, she slid her hand inside her lover's pants; finding silky wet heat): That's it I got you.

They both lost themselves in each other and neither noticed the warm glow surrounding them.

Aphrodite (looking around the throne room): She's got some nerve but at least she's got good taste (feeling something akin to a tingling sensation course through her body) yep definitely good taste.

Apollo (walking in the throne room): I could say the same for Gabrielle. I wish this whole mess was settled and they could just do what they have to and be done with it.

Aphrodite (looking at a few paintings): Gabrielle fixed this place up pretty nice. It's not so dark and foreboding. Have you seen Ares?

Apollo (nodding): He talked with Xena earlier. He got himself in pretty deep this time. It's his own dam fault though. His selfish quest for more power and domination led to this. If he had kept his mouth shut then none of this would have happened.

Aphrodite (softly): It was bound to happen. Sooner or later, we were going to fade out of existence. There's only a few of us left.

Apollo: I'm wondering what will happen when war and love are no longer balanced.

Aphrodite (fighting tears): Venus and Mars will be around. Then there are the Norse Gods and various other ones through out. It's not like it was when he lost his powers. There'll be balance and life will continue.

Hades (walking in): Yes, life will continue and we will fade from existence. And how are my niece and nephew this evening?

Aphrodite sat down hard from shock, staring at the former God of the Underworld.

Apollo (moving to stand toe to toe with the former God of the Underworld): Hades so help me...

Hades (laughing): Apollo relax. It's not like that. I'm here to help set things right. I was wrong with siding with Athena and I don't have much time.

Apollo (backing up and grabbing a vase): How do I know it's really you?

Hades (softly; understanding): Because I know where the eye of Hephaestus is.

To be Continued

Xena's Girl

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