DISCLAIMER: Xena Warrior Princess and its characters are the property of Renaissance Pictures and MCA. No infringement intended.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
SPOILERS: Season Five.

The Rescue
By Elfcat255


The bard paced back and forth, occasionally muttering a few choice curse words; mainly directed towards a certain warrior princess, who was now late; several hours past the appointed time for their meeting actually. The warrior was supposed to have dropped Eve off by her mother's and then meet the bard at one of Aphrodite's temples not far from Amphipolis. A whole two days to themselves planned…no baby interrupting them, no warlords to stop, just the two of them spending some time alone. Her pacing intensified as anger turned to worry, Xena usually was the most punctual person in Greece, there had to be a good reason for her tardiness. Stopping for a moment the bard called out, "Aphrodite!" She did this several more times, failing to get a response from their friend.

Grumbling loudly, Gabrielle kicked a nearby urn sending it flying across the room to crash into the far wall. Two seconds after the urn exploded, a woman appeared upon the altar in a flash of pink heart shaped sparkles not far from the bard; Aphrodite reclined on a pile of pillows, dressed in her usual pink bikini and sheer robes.

"Whoa…sweet cheeks…easy on the furnishings; you know how hard it is to find good knick knacks these day?" her melodious voice sounded out, stopping the bard in her tracks.

Whirling around, the bard faced the goddess. "Well I had to do something, you weren't answering my calls," she told the Olympian.

"Sorry about that, I was overseeing the oiling of the athletes at the games in Sparta," she replied, tilting her head and grinning. "But then that's not your thing is it?"

Gabrielle rolled her eyes at the goddess. "Yeah yeah whatever; can you tell me where Xena is?" she asked walking up to stand before her friend.

"Ooo…has Miss big bad gone missing?" Dite asked with a worried note to her voice.

"Not missing…yet, just late and she's never late," replied the bard.

"Well then…let's see what's keeping her," the goddess said and disappeared in a pink cloud to reappear a little further away next to a small pool of water.

Gabrielle rushed to her side and watched as the goddess waved a hand over the pool, the water shimmered then Xena appeared; a light shown on her face and they saw she was blindfolded along with being chained.

"Oh Gab this does not look good," mused Aphrodite.

"Son of a…it looks like she's moving; can you see what's happening around her?" Gabrielle asked.

With another wave of her hand, Dite changed the image from one of the warrior princess to the area surrounding her; she was definitely moving, in fact, she was in a large covered wagon, surrounded by a cohort of Roman cavalry.

Groaning the bard ran her hands over her face. "This is just great…we just wanted to spend sometime alone and she gets captured by Romans."

Gabrielle walked away from the pool to begin pacing again; the goddess watched the bard grumble and gesture wildly with her hands. Clearing her throat Dite spoke up, "So what are we going to do?"

Stopping to turn around and face the goddess Gabrielle gave her a confused look. "We…what do you mean by we?" she asked.

"You and me sweet pea…who else," Dite said with a grin.

"No…no…absolutely not," the bard said, "remember what happened the last time you tried to help us?"

Aphrodite thought for a moment and then replied, "I was having an off day but the whole switching bodies thing worked in the end; I'm up for the challenge now," she said and snapped her fingers, emitting a shower of pink sparkles.

"I still say no and besides Xena would hate owing a god a favor in return; I'll think of something to rescue her," Gabrielle told her and began to pace again, trying to come up with a plan.

Her pacing stopped abruptly as the goddess appeared in front of her. "Aw…come on Gabby, I won't be helping her; I'll be helping you help her...it's different," she said with a small smile and a twinkle in her eye.

Gabrielle cocked her head to the side, chewing on her lip. "Well…I guess you could look at it that way and I'm not Xena, there's no way I can take on an entire regiment of cavalry by myself but we do this my way," she said to the goddess.

Aphrodite clapped her hands and squealed with glee, "Oh goodie!"

The bard shook her head at the goddess's outburst. "Now calm down…we have a plan to come up with; we can't just pop in and rescue her."

Dite pouted and said, "Yes we could."

Shaking her head Gabrielle replied, "No then she'd know you were helping and she'd never let me forget it; so no using your powers unless there's no other choice."

"But…" a raised hand from the bard, "Need I remind you she is probably not in a good mood right now," she said stopping the goddess's protest.

This statement made Aphrodite grow quiet as she thought it over; finally, she sighed and with a little pout said, "Fine…we do it your way," and then she grinned, "So…what's the plan?"

The bard pulled the excited Olympian over to a nearby bench and began going over an idea.

Meanwhile in the back of the traveling wagon the warrior princess slowly became aware of her surroundings. Groaning she tried to move and discovered the chains securing her to the side of the wall.

Shaking her head, trying to clear the fuzziness, she reached a hand up; feeling the bump and pulled the blindfold down, surveying the interior of her moving prison. "Well this is just wonderful," she muttered, "the last thing I remember is being chased and Argo stumbled then fell ….Argo!"

Pursing her lips Xena let out two short sharp whistles and was relieved to hear a faint answering neigh from her steed. "Well that's good, she's okay," she sighed.

Focusing back on her own situation she tried yanking on the chains, but they where secured tight and there was nothing nearby she could use to pick the locks. "They got smart and took my armor…dammit!" she cursed.

"Well Xena this is quite the predicament you've gotten yourself into…oh crap… Gabrielle…she's gonna strangle me, all her plans have been ruined," she muttered, leaning against the side of the wagon.

The warrior had very few options what with being chained, she could only wait and see what her captors planned to do with her, maybe they would get sloppy then she could make her escape. Sitting quietly she mused, "Although facing a cohort of Romans would probably be easier than dealing with an angry bard."

Sighing she closed her eyes, hoping the pounding in her head would disappear before she had to make an attempt at escape.

Some time later her eyes popped open, the wagon had stopped moving and she heard the sound of a key inserted in the door then it opened. Raising a hand to block the light flaring off the polished bronze breastplate she saw a man standing in the doorway. "You want to unchain me?' she asked holding up her chained arms.

The man laughed. "I don't think that would be a wise idea," he stated.

Xena shrugged. "It was worth a shot," she replied wryly.

"Your reputation precedes you…Xena, I would not make the mistake of letting you have the upper hand," he said, climbing into the wagon and sitting in the doorway, far from her reach.

"So…you want to tell me what this is all about," she asked rattling the chains.

"There is still quite a large bounty on your head Xena; imagine my surprise when we stumbled across you traveling the same road we were. Lady Fortuna smiled upon us today, my men and I will be well rewarded for your capture," he told her.

"Well you're going to be cursing your fortunes when I get out of these chains," she replied with a wolfish grin. "Do you have a name to go on your headstone after I get through with you?"

The man showed no reaction to her remark but he did answer her question, "I am Strategos Ahndros Maximus and you are a prisoner of the fourth cohort of the Tarentinos toutagmatos hippikon of the Roman army."

"Legionary light cavalry, you're a long way from home Ahndros Maximus; why are you in Greece?" she asked, eyeing the general.

"Ah Xena," he said shaking a finger at her. "I can not tell you that, it would be an unwise move on my part to discuss orders with an enemy of Rome."

"Well since you were being chatty, I thought I'd give it a try," she said shrugging.

Ahndros chuckled. "I think the trip back to Rome will be very interesting; after camp is set up you will be brought food and water, I look forward to talking with you again warrior princess," he said and then stood up, stepping from the wagon, the door was shut and locked once more.

"Wonderful…now I have two things to do, get loose and find out why they are in Greece," she muttered and began the waiting game.

After a suitable plan of action was figured out Gabrielle gathered her gear together, as she hefted her saddle over one shoulder she found Aphrodite staring at her. "What?" she asked the goddess.

"You know I can just pop us over to where they are camped," she told the bard.

"No…you agreed to do this my way, so we ride; what's the matter afraid of horses?" the bard asked a small grin on her face.

Dite waved her hands and shook her head. "What me…afraid of a horse? Not in the least bit…it's just they are so smelly," she said wrinkling her nose and making a face.

Gabrielle rolled her eyes and walked towards the doorway. "Just get ready…we need to get moving," she threw over her shoulder as she walked out the entrance of the temple. Dite watched her walk away and then a small grin appeared on her face, with a flourish of her hand she disappeared in a pink cloud.

Meanwhile, outside Gabrielle was saddling her horse, the bay gelding sidestepped as she threw the saddle on his back. "Hey…easy now Hector; I know I promised you a rest but we have to go save a certain warrior's butt," she told him, rubbing his neck.

Tightening the girth, she poked the gelding in the belly. "Let it out…I don't have time for your games tonight," she ordered.

Hector released the breath he was holding in a loud snort and she tightened the girth the rest of the way, he then let out a soft nicker, his ears popping forward in the direction of the temple. Gabrielle turned around to find Aphrodite seated on a white horse, its mane teased into little ringlets, she still wore her usual outfit. Shaking her head the bard finished checking Hector's tack and then walked over to her.

The closer she came she could smell the light scent of perfume, realizing it came from the horse she sighed. "We're supposed to be practicing stealth here…I don't think this will work," she said gesturing a hand at the horse and Dite's appearance.

Aphrodite pouted. "Well okay then…but dark colors are just so dreary," she said waving her hand and the horse's color changed to a dark bay along with her normal clothing changing to dark form fitting leathers, which still showed a fair amount of skin. Her midriff was bare and the pants had a wide slit up the leg, held together by leather thongs, she held a bow in one hand as she looked down at the bard. "Better?" she asked with a smile.

"Much better," Gabrielle said nodding; "Can you use that?" she asked pointing at the bow.

"Of course…who do you think taught Cupid; pick a target," she said snapping her fingers an arrow appeared in her hand and she nocked it in the bow.

Gabrielle looked around the clearing, the light was beginning to fade but she spotted an apple hanging from a nearby tree. "That apple, " she said pointing.

"Done," Dite said smugly and drew back the bow, sighting the target she let the arrow fly, it whizzed through the air and hit the apple dead center. "Told ya," Dite remarked grinning at the bard.

"Nice shot…okay let's get moving; I recognized the landmarks near their camp, we should be able to get there by the time the moon rises," she told the goddess.

"Lead on fair bard," Dite replied with a smile.

Mounting up, Gabrielle turned Hector and they disappeared into the forest followed by the goddess and her horse, off to save the warrior princess.

While waiting on her food to arrive, Xena searched the wagon for anything she could use to pick the locks on the cuffs circling her wrists and ankles. However, she found nothing; everything in the wagon was made of cloth, leather or wood.

"Damn…these guys are smart," she grumbled. Not only had they stripped her of her armor but they also removed her leather outfit, gauntlets and boots, leaving her barefoot and in her cloth undergarment; they even took the hairpin holding her long tresses back from her face.

Sighing in defeat, she leaned back against the side of the wagon, stretching her long legs out; before too long she heard the key in the door again and it opened then a young soldier tossed a bundle wrapped in cloth towards her along with a water skin, she caught it and said rather sarcastically, "Gee thanks."

The door slammed shut and locked again, unwrapping the cloth she discovered a small loaf of hard bread, a piece of cheese and some salted meat. Nibbling on the cheese, she listened carefully, hearing talking outside her prison.

"Do you think by capturing this woman they will really let us come back to Rome and not be punished?" a man's voice asked.

"I hope so…I still can't believe the general ignored the summons from Rome after Caesar died," another voice answered him.

That was all she could make out as the men moved away from the wagon. "Interesting, I've been captured by deserters…no wonder they were so thorough with my imprisonment. They need me to get back in the good graces of the new leaders in Rome," she mused, "one mystery solved…now I just have to get out of here; I bet Gabrielle is worried sick by now."

Xena continued eating the food, biding her time for when the soldiers would make a mistake and allow her to make her move.

The night deepened as Gabrielle and the goddess approached the Roman campsite, stopping a good ways away they tethered the horses and took to the trees. Making their way along the moonlit branches, they moved closer to the camp, stopping not far from it.

Gabrielle glanced over at the goddess crouched beside her on the large limb. "You're pretty good at this, " she remarked in a low voice.

"I don't spend all my time lying around being pampered, Gabby," she replied keeping her voice low also.

Gabrielle raised an eyebrow at her friend; "I do have a sister who's patron goddess of the Amazons after all; who do you think taught me to shoot a bow," Dite said wryly when she saw the eyebrow arched her way.

"I knew you weren't as ditzy as you acted," the bard told her, giving the goddess a smile.

"Yeah, well the act helps me get my way with the other Olympians…now what are we doing next?" she asked motioning with a hand towards the camp.

From the height advantage afforded by their perch, Gabrielle made out the wagon and then spotted the sentries posted near their hiding place; "I can only see one guard next to the wagon so I'll take care of him while you cause a distraction, luring the sentries away. Does that sound good to you?" she said looking at the goddess.

"Can I use a little magic," Dite asked grinning, as she rubbed her fingers together, casting pink sparkles from them.

"Yes…just don't get carried away," Gabrielle replied, "give me a few minutes to move closer before you start though." With that said the bard moved from the limb, making her way closer to the wagon until she finally had to leave the trees.

The goddess saw Gabrielle drop from the tree, to kneel in the low bushes on the edge of the clearing; she waited until the bard darted out, running in a low crouch towards the back of the wagon. Snapping her fingers softly, an arrow appeared in her hand; this arrow was different from the one she used to shoot the apple, it glowed with a faint pink light. Her bow appeared in her other hand and she nocked the arrow, sighting in on a nearby sentry she let the arrow fly and blinked another arrow into existence already nocked in the bow, this one she loosed at the other sentry she could see. Watching as the arrows struck their targets, with a shower of pink hearts floating in the air after each hit; she giggled as the two sentries made eye contact and slowly moved towards one another.

"Have fun boys," she said chuckling softly and then with a flash of pink she disappeared from the tree limb.

Gabrielle reached the wagon and found Argo tethered to the back, the mare nickered softly, greeting her mistress's partner. The bard moved closer placing a hand over the palomino's muzzle. "Shhh…girl," she whispered and untied the mare. "Go on…we'll be close behind," she told the horse and Argo moved away into the forest.

Once that was taken care of, the bard crept closer to the soldier watching the wagon. Coming up behind him, she slipped a sai from her boot and brought the butt of it down on the back of his head, he dropped like a stone and she caught him before he could crash on the ground; removing the keys from his belt, she moved towards the door.

Inside the wagon Xena heard the key inserted in the lock, she rose to a crouch, getting prepared to make a grab at whoever opened the door. When it opened and a small figure moved into the doorway she sprang forward, wrapping the chains around the figure.

"Hey! Let me go!" the bard exclaimed but kept her voice low.

"Dammit, Gabrielle…you could have said something before you opened the door…I almost broke your neck," Xena snapped, as she unwound the chain from around her partner's neck.

Gabrielle rubbed her neck. "Well hello to you too," she said wryly.

Xena pulled her into hug. "I'm sorry," she said placing a kiss on her partner's temple. "I guess you got tired of waiting on me huh?"

"Yes…now hurry up and get those chains off," she said handing Xena the keys. "I don't know how long we have to get away; Dite didn't tell me what she was going to do."

"What! You asked Aphrodite for help?" Xena said, her voice growing loud.

"No…she offered...now hurry up," Gabrielle replied as she stood in the open door, watching for movement.

Grumbling to herself the warrior unlocked the chains and moved to stand behind the bard, "I need to find my leathers and weapons; they're probably in the general's tent," she whispered.

"Well I think we have plenty of time to go look," Gabrielle said pointing towards the main campfire.

Xena peered over the bard's head in the direction she was pointing and chuckled, "Oh yeah plenty of time."

There standing in the light from the fire stood Aphrodite, she had changed back to her normal pink outfit and the entire regiment of Roman soldiers, each one trying to get past the other to fawn over the goddess, currently surrounded her.

The couple heard her laugh loudly and remark, "Now boys…no need for shoving there's plenty of little ole me to go around," as she pulled a young soldier to her and kissed him; the poor man fell back from the kiss with a complete look of bliss on his face and wandered away into the darkness.

"Come on…let's go find my things," Xena said poking the bard in the ribs.

The bard jumped down from the wagon, followed by her taller partner; they made their way through the camp to a tent, apparent by its large size that it belonged to the general. They entered and pulled up short when they saw Ahndros locked in a rather heated embrace with a younger soldier. "Okay then," Xena said whistling softly as she slipped past them and found her things, piled on a nearby cot.

"Let's get out of here before they start humping like rabbits," she said to the bard, turning around and tugging Gabrielle out of the tent.

Making their way back towards the fire, the couple caught the goddess's attention and she waved a hand, freezing all the soldiers in place; she gave Xena a little wave and grinned. "Hello Xena…so are you mad I helped Gabby?" she asked shyly.

The warrior thought for a moment. "No…I'm not mad…in fact thank you for helping her out; but there is something you can do for me," she said to the goddess.

Gabrielle looked up at her partner. "You're asking an Olympian for a favor?" she asked her brow furrowed in confusion.

"Well…this way we can call it even between us," replied Xena in a low voice.

"Ah…gotcha," Gabrielle said nodding her head.

Aphrodite disappeared and then reappeared standing before them. "Ask away tall, dark and deadly," she said with a grin.

"Can you send these guys back to Rome? It would make me sleep easier knowing they weren't roaming the Greek countryside," she told the goddess.

"No problem warrior babe," Dite remarked and with a wave of her hand, the entire camp and all the soldiers disappeared in a flash of pink sparkles, except for three rather handsome soldiers.

"Umm…you forgot a few," Gabrielle said pointing at the frozen men.

"Nah…they're cute…thought I'd take them with me and play a little," Dite told her with a wink and a grin.

The couple laughed at the goddess and then Xena asked, "Where did you send them?"

"Main floor of the Senate should be a rather interesting experience actually," remarked the goddess.

Xena burst out laughing and the other two soon joined her, after a few minutes of laughing the warrior wiped the tears from her eyes and said, "Thanks Aphrodite…for helping Gabrielle and getting rid of those soldiers."

"No problem…I had fun helping my little sweet pea," she replied, walking up to give the bard a hug. "If you ever need my help again just call; I'll expect no favors in return…okay?"

Returning the hug, the bard answered, "I'll remember that…now go have fun with your new boy toys."

"I will," Dite replied with a grin. "You two have a good time too," she added, nudging the bard's shoulder and winking.

The goddess waved at the couple and in a flash of pink sparkles disappeared along with the Roman soldiers. Xena turned to say something to her partner but before she could, they found themselves inside the temple where they were to have originally met. There was a large pile of furs and pillows nearby along with a table covered in food and drink; hearing two separate neighs from outside the door, they turned and smiled at each other.

"Well there are advantages to having the goddess of love as a friend," remarked Gabrielle as she tugged Xena towards the furs.

The warrior dropped her gear on the floor and followed her partner. "Oh yeah…advantages," she commented with a grin.

The End

Return to Xena and Gabrielle Fiction

Return to Main Page