When Love Finds You

by Xena's Girl

Thoughts of both of her mothers crossed her mind and that she never got to say goodbye or thank you to either of them. The pain her body was enduring was nothing compared to the one in her heart for failing her path in life. Her attackers were Roman soldiers out for her blood, because they felt she had betrayed them when she turned her back and walked away from that life for good. Landing hard on her side, seeing the guards surrounding her, she closed her eyes and said a silent prayer for forgiveness.

Varia tilted her head back tasting drops of rain. Taking a deep breath she began walking again, looking for signs of trespassers on the Nation's territory. Leaning against a tree and closing her eyes to fight off the exhaustion in her body, and in her mind she fought the images that kept haunting her dreams. The first one wasn't so bad. The first one, in fact was welcome, even though it would never come to fruition and even though she knew it was wrong she couldn't help it. Visions of the Warrior Princess naked and writhing under her body demanding more, begging her to ease the ache between those strong thighs. Or holding the dark haired warrior in her arms basking in the afterglow of their lovemaking. She sighed knowing it would never be. Shaking her head, she veered to the left wishing she could find the one that completed her heart and soul. Like all the stories said. Like the love, Xena and Gabrielle shared.

Cursing as she rounded a rock and decided to rest under a canopy of leaves as the rain that started as a light drizzle turned into a downpour. Other images that she tried to get out of her head flittered across her brain. Her, Eve, the one that caused her to question her own loyalties; the one who had stabbed her sister; the daughter of the Warrior Princess and her Battling Bard. She spit at the ground remembering the last time she was in the village. She had forgiven Eve and had wanted to spend time with her but Eve had left. Bound for distant lands. And, that left Varia feeling empty and alone and she couldn't understand why. She felt things with Eve she had never felt before with anyone. The thoughts of Xena were nothing compared to the thoughts of Eve that touched something so deep inside her.

Thoughts of touching Eve and holding her brought warmth to her body she was unaccustomed to, something she had never felt with any of her previous partners… Shaking her head she groaned as she felt her breeches tighten uncomfortably and wetness coat her inner thighs. She shook her head to clear it, she didn't need those thoughts. Not now, not ever. But she knew something had passed between her and Eve. She wished she could get thoughts of Eve out of her head. That was the problem she needed a good fight, get laid, get rip roaring drunk, or do all three until she got whatever she was feeling out of her system.

Eve (groaning as she felt a blow to her head): You'll pay for this. Especially when my mother finds out. (The guards laughed at her then another kick to her ribs, she felt them crack, and she fell to the floor.)

Sentry (laughing): The Warrior Princess. She's an old has been warrior that's washed up. Besides, she's dead. Heard about it a couple of months ago. Makes my job easier.

Eve (angrily): She's alive and she'll kick your ass.

Another Sentry (picking up her sword): She's dead, beheaded in battle, that's why you picked up the sword again. To carry on her mantle. You're a sniveling coward a betrayer and a liar. (Undoing his pants) won't matter when we get done with you. Cause you'll be dead.

Eve closed her eyes; relaxing her mind. This wasn't the first time this had happened but it had been along time ago and a part of the old way of life. She waited; keeping her breathing calm and her muscles relaxed. But nothing happened and then she heard shouts and stamping feet and weapons clashing.

Varia (stabbing a Roman through the gut): Bastards get away from her. She's an emissary for the Amazon Nation.

Guard (laughing and motioning to other soldiers): She's a whore and her dead body will pay our way back to Rome.

Varia (growling): Over my dead body (enunciating every word.)

Sentry (pointing with his sword): So be it. Kill her then the former bitch of Rome.

Eve tried to get up; tried to help Varia but with her injuries and being, held captive for the past few days with little water and no food had taken its toll on her. She prayed that Varia would take care of them and get her out of here. Suddenly two strong hands gripped her shoulders and she struggled, fighting once again for her life.

Varia (trying to calm her): Easy. I'm not going to hurt you. You're safe. Easy. (Looking at the woman lying at her feet) by the Gods what did they do to you (untying Eve's bonds?)

Eve (sitting up): Are they (Varia nodded) ok give me a moment and we're getting out of here.

Varia (looking around the campsite): Easy (soothing her) it's ok. We could stay here. No one's left.

Eve (shaking her head): No. Please just get my sword ok. Take what supplies we can and get out of here. (Standing on weak legs and almost falling, gasping for breath.)

Varia (wrapping her arm around her shoulder and keeping her upright): Slow, Eve, nice and slow. I've got you. No one's going to hurt you. Here (leading her over to a rock and making her sit down.) Listen, you're too weak to move tonight. I'll look around for some supplies and make you as comfortable as possible. I'll take watch tonight so you can rest.

Eve (shaking her head): No…

Varia (reaching out and brushing Eve's hair out of her eyes): Hey, it's ok. (She figured Eve was in shock and in the event oh Gods) Eve did they um did they…?

Eve (fighting tears): No.

Varia (softly so as not to startle her): Listen you have your sword, stay alert. I'm going to look around. Yell if you need me ok. (Moving off to look for medical supplies and something to eat.)

Eve leaned her head on her hands and knees willing the nausea down. She thanked Eli for sending Varia to save her. Shaking herself off she tried standing again and almost made it until she fell back with a thud.

Varia (running over): Here relax. I found a tent in tact and it hasn't been used. Come on (reaching her arm around Eve to help her stand up.) Let's get you comfortable and then I want to look at your injuries.

Eve (feeling wetness coating her back through the thin cloth she wore): I think you need to be looked at too (clamping her mouth shut at how that sounded.)

Varia (biting her lip at the image invoked): Yeah I think so too. (Pulling the tent flap aside) here you go (helping her lie down.) Relax for a minute let me get some hot water (ducking out of the tent.)

Eve (sighing): Eli I don't know what's going on but thank you for sending her.

Varia (taking several deep breaths): I need to do something before I make a complete ass out of myself. (Leaning her head against her arm) why am I feeling this way around her (thinking of how tight her breeches felt; how much her body ached to hold and possess the woman in the tent. Taking several deep breaths) come on get a grip (realizing where her hands were drifting) on what counts. (Grabbing the supplies she needed she headed back into the tent and set the stuff down) ok let's see what we got (dipping a rag into the hot water and nearly falling into the pot as Eve pulled off the thin rags she wore. She gulped for air and tried to say something but nothing came out. As to what she was thinking, oh shit very nice; admiring the thin sleek body with nice muscle tone and tan skin.)

Eve (smiling nervously): Varia are you ok? Come on its not that bad. I think it's there blood and filth more than my own.

Varia (shaking her head; no she was not ok far from it): Um yeah sure. Here um just don't move (and with more tenderness then she imagined began treating the wounds on the woman who was fueling her lustful desires like a forest fire.)

Eve (turning around after Varia had finished taking care of her): Thank you. Now lie down and let me help you. (Varia did as she was told and Eve began helping her savior.)

Both women's thoughts were not on the task at hand but on what the other woman was doing to their body and both realized no one had ever made them feel this way. When Eve had finished Varia sat up and pulled her clothes back on wincing a little at the stiffness in her body.

Varia (grabbing her sword): I'm going to check around make sure no one else comes through here. Get some sleep. I'll be back in a bit.

Eve (softly): Thank you. For everything.

Varia went to answer and their eyes met. They both felt a pulling sensation to each other but turned their heads and Varia walked out of the tent. She only went as far as needed in case their were more problems but she had her privacy now and leaned against a tree. Reaching under her breeches, she moaned at the wetness coating the top of her thighs and moaned at the feel of swollen flesh. Leaning her head back, she closed her eyes and concentrated on the woman in the tent and what she made her feel.

Eve lay against the pile of blankets wondering what had come over her with Varia. No one had ever made her feel like she did now. And she was vaguely wondering if this was some sort of test or if it was the real thing. She wished her mom was here now as she would be able to advise her on what to do. Gabrielle was good at that, getting to the heart of the matter after all, she had gotten through her mother's defenses and walls.

Aphrodite (watching the two women with a smile on her face. She shook her head and began formulating a plan): Just like two other mortals, I know. You're meant to be just like them and just like them; I'll make you see that. That is if Xena doesn't lose her temper over this (laughing remembering how Xena and Gabrielle had danced around their obvious feelings for over two years.) But love is stronger than anything else in the world (picking up a piece of parchment and smiling.)

The next morning dawned bright with not a cloud in the sky and the air warm.

Eve (smelling something cooking and sitting up): Varia…

Varia (walking in the tent with two bowls of something hot): Oatmeal with honey and apples. We're about a half a day's walk from the village. That's going slow.

Eve (taking the bowl from her): Thanks. I should be ok.

Varia (swallowing her breakfast): I managed to find some clothes that should cover you a little better then the ones you wearing (or I'll be making a fool of myself she thought.) There's nothing left here I burned what I could and buried what I couldn't (finishing her breakfast.) Take your time. I'll be outside.

Eve (grabbing her arm gently): Thank you for everything. Saving me and taking good care of me.

Varia (trying not to blush): Your welcome. I owe you after almost killing you…

Eve (softly; moving closer to the Amazon): Varia it's…

Varia (finding it hard to breathe in this woman's presence): In the past, I know but it doesn't change the fact that I treated you so rotten. I should have listened to Xena or Gabrielle or both of them. I'm sorry if I hurt you Eve.

Eve (moving closer to her): It's ok. You went on what you knew about me not what had happened and how I had changed. Even Gabrielle had a little difficulty with that at first…

Varia (smiling; and turning to face her): But she's your mom. She loves you.

Eve (lowering her eyes): Not at first. At first, I'm not even sure my own mother loved me after what I had become. I sometimes wonder after all I had done to people if I deserved to die. (Varia tried to interrupt and she pressed two fingers to Varia's lips; feeling how soft they were and wondered what they would fell like pressed against her... Whoa stop right there. How could anyone love someone like you?) So please let me finish. I need to get this off my chest so you understand why I can forgive you (Varia nodded.) I hurt everyone that tried to help me after I had seen Xena for the first time. I didn't know who she was then but she made me angry, so dam angry for trying to take away everything from me. Ares; Octavian my Army; my life, everything. That's when I found out who she was and who she was to me. She wanted me to come home saying she would help me. I was so angry. I hated her. I hated everything she stood for. Later on, I went in search for her, doing some reconnaissance. I found them both taking a bath in a lake. I saw the love between them; I saw what they shared and I vowed in my own stupidity and self righteousness that I would destroy one or the both of them for Xena making a fool out of me (pausing) I'm sorry let's get going.

Varia (tightening her hold): No. I want to try and help you. Sometimes our own wounds heal if we help someone else's wounds heal.

Eve (smiling): My mom taught you that. (Thinking of the woman who had such a gentle heart and so much compassion despite everything, she had seen and been through.) Mother told me that is one of the many things that she loves about her. That her kindness towards others is amazing. She's not jaded like mother or myself…

Varia (gulping): Or me…

Eve (looking at her): You're not…

Varia (tilting her head back fighting her own tears): I am. (Taking a deep breath) go on. Please. I want to try and help you…

Eve (softly): Why? Do you feel you owe me something? I won't take your pity Varia. I won't take anyone's (wondering why she was getting so defensive.)

Varia (swallowing hard): Listen I'm not offering you pity just a shoulder to lean on. We have a lot in common and maybe I'm tired of a lot of things. Besides your parent's would kick my ass if I let anything happen to you.

Eve (wide eyed): Is that why (struggling to get up.)

Varia (pulling her down): No. That's not why. Oh, dammit I'm no good with words. Here you are telling me about things and I'm thinking of my things and shit…

Eve (relaxing): I'm sorry it's just that…

Varia (looking up into light bluish green eyes): I know. Please finish. I want to help (wondering where all this stuff was coming from.)

They both spent the day talking about their darkest moments; their mistakes in life and the second chance given by two incredible women. The next morning Varia woke up to Eve holding her arm in her sleep and she smiled. Sitting up she brushed back the long light brown hair and realized Eve felt a little warm. Even in warm temperatures like this Eve was still to warm for her liking.

Varia (shaking her gently): Eve wake up. I need to get you back to the Amazon village. Your burning up.

Eve (moaning): Just let me sleep.

Varia (thinking): I'm going to get a litter and take you back to the village. You need medical attention. (She ran outside remembering the lessons Xena taught her about a litter and a patient who wasn't totally conscious. She put the littler together checking and double-checking it twice to make sure Eve would be comfortable. Then lined it with as many furs or blankets or pieces of clothing she could find from the things she didn't destroy. One way or another she would get her to safety and get her treated.)

The guards in the outposts sent signals down the line that their former Queen was back and she was dragging a litter behind her.

Lin Chi (standing at the gate to the village): What did you find out?

Varia (tensing): I'll tell you later. Right now, I have an injured friend that needs to be seen.

Claris (looking at Eve on the litter): Then I suggest you get going (winking.)

Varia (sighing): I'll meet you in the council hut later on. I want to make sure she's going to be ok.

Rhea (loudly): She isn't an Amazon. She can't stay here.

Varia (yelling and picking Eve up off the litter and cradling her in her arms): She is an emissary for the Amazons. She will be treated as my guest or you will answer to me. (Carrying Eve to the Healer's Hut wondering if it would be better if she just got Eve fixed up and headed to her parent's home.)

Varia walked into the council chambers after making sure Kip (Diana and Thrasso's daughter) would watch over Eve. After a hot bath and something to eat, she decided to face the council and shut the elders up about Eve's presence in the village.

Lin Ch (acknowledging her with a nod of her head): You've brought a complex issue to the village.

Varia (sitting down): There's isn't anything complex about it. Eve is the daughter to Queen Gabrielle and Xena Warrior Princess both of whom are allies to this Nation. Disregarding Eve would mean a disaster would surely ensue.

Tasha (egging her on): The woman who killed your sister.

Marquesa (nodding): It would seem…

Varia (jumping up): Shut up. Just shut up. I sentenced Livia to death so that Eve could live. And live she has. She was being held by Roman soldiers. She needed our help. My help and I gave it to her.

Lin Chi (shaking her head): So we are to extend our hospitality to her based on events that were not solely her fault. The God of War's influence so to speak. That's preposterous

Varia (growling): No it isn't. She isn't the same woman. We have all come from different backgrounds and situations. Yet we are sisters under one banner.

Regara (thinking): Varia is right. The past is in the past. They have settled their differences between them and I'm sure once Eve is fit to travel she will be returning to Queen Gabrielle and Xena (trying to diffuse the situation.)

Varia (nodding, she at least had one ally): Yes. And I will be escorting her.

Lin Chi (throwing her hands up): Your position as Queen…

Marquesa (glancing at a piece of parchment): Is in question? You do realize that don't you.

Varia (throwing her hands up): I don't care. I'm trying to do my best as a Queen a position I did not seek or request but was granted by Queen Marga. Helping others is part of our history or none of us would be here.

Tasha (standing): You could be dethroned and returned to your former position as Tribal Weapons Master.

Varia (heading for the door): I'll think about it (stepping outside) oh (turning around and glaring at everyone) Eve is my guest. If any harm comes to her while she is here, I'll kill the person myself (slamming the door shut.)

Claris (sadly): Perhaps we jumped to conclusions to soon. I'll check on the stats of our patient. She's in my charge and Varia's.

There were women in the village that didn't mind having Eve in the village and there were those few who wanted her out as soon as possible, sick and injured or not.

Kip (handing Eve a mug of tea): My mother's spoke very highly of them both.

Eve (sipping the tea): Thrasso and Diana those were I'm sorry…

Kip (wiping Eve's face with a damp cloth): Don't be. My mother, Diana fought on her knees to protect this village and when the tide of battle shifted, she fought to protect my mom, Thrasso to te very end. They died in each other's arms, not alone. I know they're together. I've never known a greater love beside Xena and Gabrielle's.

Eve (smiling): Neither have I. Even when they're having a disagreement, you could still see so much between them. Their love for each other is very strong.

Kip (tucking the blanket around her): I know. That's why I'm helping you and will help you. You were two different people I know that, deep in my heart. Something my mother taught me. But be careful not too many people see it like that. Try not to be caught alone anywhere in the village. Here your safe. Usually I'm here or one of my assistants is. Their code is much like mine. So rest ok.

Eve (tired): So what's wrong with me, exactly?

Kip (softly): Exhaustion, dehydration, various wounds, a few broken bones. A week of rest and good food and you should be right back to your old self.

Eve (biting her lip): Can you get me some quill and parchment? I'd like to send a note to my mother's.

Kip (smiling): I'll bring it by later. Right now, get some rest. We'll send a messenger out in the morning. They're further north than us right. (Eve nodded) ok see you in a bit.

Varia (yelling): You've got to hit harder then that. (Holding her hand up and stepping back. These new recruits were raw and were rubbing her last nerve. Shaking her head, she took several deep breaths to calm down when she heard someone clearing their throat.)

Rayne (smiling): Glad your back. Heard about what happened.

Varia (moving closer): When did you get back?

Rayne (stretching her legs): Little while ago. Come on let's show these puppies how to do this.

Varia (clapping her friend on the shoulder): You're on.

The training session lasted for several hours both women holding their own. Towards the end of the afternoon Varia signaled an end to the training and told everyone to meet back tomorrow for some more.

Varia (sheathing her sword): I'm going to check on her. I'll meet you later.

Rayne (nodding): Don't make it to late. I've got some plans tonight.

Varia (smirking): Going to get you some finally.

Rayne (biting her lip): I don't kiss and tell Varia.

Varia (waving over her shoulder): No but I'm sure you'll be screaming it later.

Eve (finishing her bath and walking weakly back to her cot, she saw Varia standing there watching her): Hi.

Varia (scratching the back of her neck): I came to see if you wanted to join me and some of my friends for dinner that is um…

Eve (laughing): I'd love to, uh join you for dinner but it seems as though I have nothing to wear.

Varia (thinking I wouldn't mind but I would mind someone looking at you): I'm sure I can find you something to wear. I'll be back in a bit don't go anywhere (nearly tripping over her own feet to get out; and she ran into the doorjamb as Eve grabbed her arm.)

Eve (trying to look at Varia's face): Sorry just didn't want you to run into that…

Varia (feeling really warm all of a sudden): Here just let me (turning and running right into the healer then in trying to move tripped over the leg of a chair and fell smacking her head on the chair on the way down): Dam (getting up and running out.)

Kip (laughing): She's got trouble.

Eve (curious): Really who or what?

Kip (shaking her head; the two of them, Eve and Varia were falling for each other and neither one had a clue): Never you mind. You sit down and wait till she comes back or you won't get to go with her.

Aphrodite (laughing): Oh but you have no idea how much trouble you're both in for. I remember doing this to a certain Warrior Princess and talk about funny. She had several mud baths and bruises to show for it too. Now about those pesky self-righteous idiots. Hmm I got just the thing.

Rayne (standing up as Varia helped Eve walk in; yep just as she figured they were falling for each other and hard; laughing she remembered seeing Xena and Gabrielle act the very same way the last time they were here and they have been together 32 years if she did her math right): Eve it's good to see you again.

Eve (shocked): Really.

Rayne (nodding): Really. Oh not everyone's mad at you. Certainly not me nor anyone else who sits at this table.

Varia (helping Eve get comfortable realizing where her hands were going): Um sorry I'm going to um (pointing to the line.) Yeah something like that…

Rayne (laughing): I'd say you've made quite an impression Eve. (At Eve's questioning glance) look at her. She's tripping over her own two feet; can't get a single sentence out and oh, that's going to hurt (wincing as Varia hit a pole with her elbow then slammed into the corner of the table.) She's become extremely coordinated.

Eve (shaking her head): I'll say. Wonder what's going on.

Kestra (sliding in next to her partner): Hi Eve. Good to see you again under much better circumstances. So where's Varia (stealing a piece of chicken from her partner's dish.)

Rayne (watching with amusement): Getting dinner and trying to avoid a trip to the healer's.

Kestra (confused): What are you talking about?

Rayne (leaning over and whispering in her ear): I think a certain someone has fallen for someone else.

Kestra (laughing): Oh. Ok. I get it. Wait a minute who?

Rayne (standing; nodding her head towards Varia): I'll go get your dinner. I'll try and get Varia back over here in one piece (winking.)

Eve (shrugging): What's been going on? I've noticed scouts and troops coming and going a lot more than the last time I was here.

Jade (walking in with her sister in tow): Hey Eve.

Jinx (looking at the injuries on Eve; she was a bit squeamish around blood and seeing Eve hurt like that made her shiver): Roman bastards. All they know how to do.

Eve cringed inside remembering when she had been Livia and remembered what she had done to prisoners that had been sent to her. She looked up as Varia came up to the table carrying two trays loaded with food.

Varia (setting a tray in front of her): How was the scouting?

Jinx (shaking her head): It doesn't look good more Roman troops coming nearer our borders.

Eve (softly): Maybe I can help…

Varia (choking): What? How? No way. You're not going to put yourself in front of the line of fire…

Eve (pressing her hand over her mouth): Maybe I can make a treaty negotiation. Between Rome and the Amazons.

Rayne (sitting down and sliding the tray over to her partner): What's going on now?

The rest of the table sat and listened to Eve's idea and Varia's plans. She figured she had just a little over a week to help them and maybe help heal some of the wounds she had caused.

The week went by slowly with Eve resting and working out the proposed treaty negotiations.

As the sun began setting Varia called a halt to the training telling everyone to meet back tomorrow mid morning.

Vandel (smiling): That was great. Nice moves. Xena sure trained you good.

Trin (sheathing her sword): Best workout I've had in a while.

Varia (agreeing): Yeah it did. Listen I'm going for a swim.

Jinx (wiping her face with the back of her hand): Hey tonight let's get a couple wine skins make a fire and tell some stories. It's going to a nice night out.

Rayne (shrugging): Sounds good. Kestra's got duty anyway.

Eve walked out into the cooler night air looking for Varia. She wanted to thank her and talk to her about going to see her parent's. Asking a few Amazons that didn't hold a grudge they told her to try the river or the lake below it.

Varia took a few deep breaths and dove into the cool water swimming from one edge of the river then back.

Eve (walking out of the dense shrubbery): Varia…

Varia (looking up): Hey hold on (swimming over and moving to get out but as she looked up and put one foot on the edge of the river bank she saw Eve. The sun was hitting her in a beautiful light and that smile and splash. Right back in the river.)

Eve (shaking her head): Here let me give you a hand (reaching for Varia.)

Varia (spluttering): No that's ok. Listen why don't you go back and um what are you doing?

Eve (removing her thin robe): Going for a swim. Kip said it would be good to stretch my muscles a little.

Varia (trying not to stare at the beauty in front of her clad only in panties and something that barely covered her breasts; groaning): Um what about your uh stitches. Or if you get hurt. Besides the water's on the cool side.

Eve (sliding into the water): I know it feels good and I'm used to it. (Moving closer; noticing Varia's rapid breathing and flushed skin) maybe your coming down with something.

Varia (shaking her head): No, I'm fine. Um here why don't you relax and just float in the water.

Eve (smiling): No go on and enjoy your swim. I'll be fine.

Varia (insisting and reaching out for her): I'm done. Just relax (grabbing Eve gently under the arms) here just kick your feet a little. There ya go. I've got you.

Eve (relaxing): Thank you. This feels good.

Varia (licking her lips at the view afforded her): Yeah it does, doesn't it.

Lin Chi (shaking her head): Eve has to be escorted out of the village. She's not wanted her.

Claris (shouting): By who? You and your little friends. The Amazon Nation was built on woman who were escaping from abusive situations. Eve has done no harm here and she's been helping Varia train. She's a productive woman. I see no harm in letting her stay a few more days.

Tasha (rolling her eyes): She has a point. Several in fact. Let's see what the healer has to say.

Marquesa (nodding): Then she'll be on her way to Xena and Gabrielle.

Eve (drying off her hair): Thank you.

Varia (grabbing her sword): Your welcome. Hey tonight why don't you meet me by the central fire. We're going to have a few drinks tell a few tales and…

Eve (shaking her head): No, it's all right. Besides, I don't want to get you in any more trouble then you already are.

Varia (protesting): But I'm not…

Eve (softly): Yes, you are. I have a few scrolls and things to do. And what few belongings I have, I have to pack. So maybe breakfast ok (turning to go.)

Varia (pleading): Eve please just…

Eve (turning around): Varia it's ok. I'm used to it. And I've developed a thick skin. I'll see you tomorrow (turning and walking away.)

Varia (closing her eyes): This can't go on. You're a different person and you've changed. I don't know what I'm feeling but whatever it is, I hurt when you're not near me (to herself.)

Aphrodite (all but crying): Dammit. Self-righteous asses. When I get my hands on my brother, him and I are going to have a serious talking to. Well it's time I take matters into my own hands. First Eve then Varia.

Eve (writing down a few things when the room lit up in a soft white light): What the…

Aphrodite (smiling): Easy there cutie. I've just come to talk…

Eve (worry): My mother's…

Aphrodite (smiling): Are fine? Great in fact (thinking) although Xena might have trouble talking for a few days but uh never mind that. It's you I came to help.

Eve (confused): Me? Why? What?

Aphrodite (shaking her head): Definitely the little one's. Ok here's the thing. Varia's having feelings for you.

Eve (arching her eyebrow): Me whatever for. I'm…

Aphrodite (cupping her face): That wasn't you and she knows that deep in her heart. She's falling for you…

Eve (shouting): She's what…

Aphrodite (laughing): You mortals overreact. Something I try and tell your pain in the ass mother. Your mom on the other hand is a lot calmer. Thought she would have rubbed off on her by now but oh well anyway. Varia's falling in love with you.

Eve (shaking her head): It can't be. Her position here; her life. I can't ask her to give that up for me.

Aphrodite (rolling her eyes, stubbornness definitely ran in this family): Why, people do it everyday. Your mom's did. And look at them.

Eve (resting her head in her hands): I know, I know. But it's different with us. We're from two separate worlds. Totally apart. We have nothing in common…

Aphrodite (feeling sorry for her and seeing the pain she was in): There's a lot you have in common. Listen trust me. Ok. I'm going to help after all I got tall dark and deadly and short sweet and sexy together didn't I.

Eve (nodding): Yeah but…

Aphrodite (smiling): No buts. Just be ready to go when she comes in. Oh and here (waving her hand over Eve's body) just to help you along. I'll see you later (and was gone in a flash.)

Eve (looking up at the ceiling): Mother, mom I wish you were here right now. Because I have no idea what to do.

Varia (polishing her sword): Jut maybe if I ask her or…

Aphrodite (appearing in front of her): Or you could take her for a nice walk. A picnic by the lake or something sweet. She'd really like that.

Varia (jumping up): Who? How?

Aphrodite (holding her hands up): Aphrodite, Goddess of Love and well I'm sure you can guess the rest.

Varia (wondering): Ok. You probably know who I am but what do you want.

Aphrodite (sensing the sensuality of this Amazon; much like two other women she knew): You're falling in love with someone I care about so I came to help.

Varia (folding her arms across her chest): What's the cost?

Aphrodite (holding up her hand): No cost.

Varia (tapping her sword): Don't play games with me. I know Gods don't give out help without wanting something first. I know from experience nothing in life is ever free or easy. So what do you want?

Aphrodite (shrugging): Ok (thinking quickly) you help two other people get together and we'll call it even.

Varia (biting her lip): That's it. That's all you want.

Aphrodite (nodding): Yep, now here's what you're going to do.

Eve (looking up as someone knocked and then the door opened; she smiled at the sheepish look on Varia's face): Hey. I thought you had plans.

Varia (leaning against the doorframe): I did but um I um wanted to show you something. It's a nice night and it's not too far…

Eve (realizing Aphrodite might have a hand in this): Just give me moment to get myself together.

Varia (backing out of the door and nearly tripping): Sure, I'll be uh outside (tripping again.)

Eve (tying her hair back and pulling the light cloak Kip had given her on): Sure (trying not to laugh at Varia's sudden in coordination.)

Varia waited and when Eve came out she nearly swallowed her tongue. Eve was beautiful and she fully realized the situation at hand. She was dating the Warrior Princess and Battling Bard's daughter. Dam what had she gotten herself into.

Eve (noticing how Varia's armor and weapons show brilliantly in the candlelight): Are you ready?

Varia (shaking her head to clear it): Yes It's just a short walk not much further then where we were today.

Eve (taking her arm remembering Aphrodite's advice): It's a nice night and I have you to look out for me.

Varia nodded and shortened her steps to accommodate Eve's slow walk. Several Amazons glanced at them although Varia paid no attention. Gently she guided Eve through the thick underbrush and lush forest. Her stomach churning and her heart sitting in her throat.

Eve (looking up at the taller Amazon): Its beautiful out here. And with the moon and the stars and…

Varia (putting her hand up): Shh. This is part of what I want you to see. There's not many left but the few there are (pointing to a white albino deer. She knew Aphrodite had a hand in this and knew the deer was probably way out of its territory.)

Eve (smiling): Oh my. She's beautiful. I had heard they were extinct. And she's living here.

Varia (nodding): This is the second time I've seen her but not so close to the village. I've seen one up by the caves. Here come this way so you can sit down.

Eve following Varia to a small meadow and smiling as she noticed the picnic basket and blanket set up and a small fire already going): That's so sweet how did you, when did you..

Varia (fidgeting): I just wanted to make this special as you won't be here much longer and I um…

Eve (understanding): Thank you. But you didn't have to go through all this. Just having you spend some time with me is special enough (sitting down.)

Varia (reaching for a skin of wine): I know but I wanted to thank you and I wanted to ask you something (pouring them both a mug of wine.)

Eve (taking hers and raising it): So go ahead.

Varia (softly): To new beginnings (touching her mug to Eve and taking a few swallows.) I'm not good with words. And I know I have no right to ask you this but it's like this. I'vefallenforyouandwaswonderingifyouwouldconsiderdatingmeeventhougyourmotherwouldprobablykillmenottomentionyourmom.I'mgoingtogocheckonsomethingberightback.

Eve (stunned; pondering over Varia's words and smiling): If you would sit still for a moment then yes I would.

Varia (leaning against the tree): Dam. That has to be the dumbest thing I've ever said. I can't believe I blew it like that. Stupid, stupid, I should have just used one of Gabrielle's scrolls.

Aphrodite (materializing and chewing on a chicken wing): You didn't blow it. You just need to get you bum back there and talk to her.

Varia (gulping): But…

Aphrodite (smiling): No buts. Just get back there. Spend some time with her and go slow. Ok. Now I have to get back to a real grooving party. So later.

Varia (shaking her head): I'm in trouble.

Eve (looking up as Varia came back): Hey. Come here and sit down. (Seeing Varia hesitate) I won't bite unless you ask me too.

Varia (sweating and shaking): Listen I'm um (as soft lips pressed against hers silencing her.)

Eve (caressing Varia's face): You don't have to say a word. I understand. I've fallen for you. I don't know why but I want this, want you.

Varia (taking Eve's smaller hand in her own and squeezing it gently): I want you too. This won't be easy.

Eve (sliding closer): Nothing worth having ever is.

Varia (leaning down): May I.

Eve (seriously): If you don't I just may have to hurt you.

Varia (smiling and pressing her lips gently to Eve's; tying to control her passions but as their lips touched and Eve's tongue sought entrance all thoughts of control went out the window; she had never been kissed like this; never felt this much before): If I do something you don't want tell me.

Eve (wrapping her arms around her neck and moving to straddle her lap): Just be easy with me. I'm still a little sore.

Varia (looking around): Maybe we should go back to my hut and…

Eve (leaning up; feeling the pull on her ribs but it wasn't enough to stop her): No right here. Right now. With no, one listening. No interruptions. Just you and I and the night sounds and the beautiful sky. That's what I want.

Varia (softly): I want this to be special for you.

Eve (understanding): I want this to be special for you too. But we're together and that makes it special. We've both been through a lot. But we're together that's what's important.

Varia (laying Eve back): If your uncomfortable or (feeling soft hands grab her hair and pull her down for a soft kiss.) Do you mind if I do this (leaning down and kissing up and down Eve's throat) or this palming her breasts and hearing Eve moan?)

Eve (pushing her breasts into her soon to be lover's hands): You had better or I'll have to hurt you.

Varia (removing Eve's clothes slowly; admiring the beauty before her): Really (teasing her lips with her thumb.) By the Gods, you're beautiful.

Eve (smiling): So are you. Take your clothes off. I want to see you.

Varia (teasing): Only if you take off yours.

Slowly, watching each other both women removed their clothes and because Varia had more things to remove (armor), Eve decided to help which wasn't really much help considering where her hands were teasing.

Eve (kissing her soundly): Make love to me Warrior.

Varia (gently lowering her mouth to Eve's breasts): Gladly.

Two souls were brought together and connected again. Just like in their lives before and just like in their lives to come. The only question that remains is how they are going to tell Xena and Gabrielle?

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