"Immortal Understanding"

By Aurora

Copyright Disclaimer: All characters that have appeared in the syndicated series Xena: Warrior Princess belongs to MCA/Universal and Renaissance Pictures. No copyright infringement was intended in the writing for this fan fiction.

Subtext: None--what, are you kidding me?

Violence: A little--yep, not this time. What a bummer.

Sex: None--just 'cause there's no sex, doesn't mean there can't be kissing.

Rated G

Date Written: June 5, 2001

E-mail: axbfeaurora@hotmail.com

Authorís Note/Summery: This is a sort of 'what if' story, an alternate ending to "You Are There." You should know right now that I wrote this story because when I watched "You Are There," Gabrielle got me so mad when she kept telling Xena not to eat the apple (as if she thinks she should control Xena, or something.) Anyway, Xena puts Gabrielle down pretty hard at the beginning of this story so if you really like Gabrielle, then this may not be a story you want to read. Now, I like Gabrielle, it's just in that episode, she really got me annoyed. Okay, enough talk, now for the summery. When Xena decides to eat the golden apple and become immortal with Ares, it makes Gabrielle very angry and then when Odin captures her, Xena has to decide what is more important to her--immortality with Ares or Gabrielle's life.



Ares had just eaten one of the golden apples, restoring his godhood. Xena was standing in front of him with a smile on her face, holding the half eaten apple in her hand.

"I knew it." Nigel said angrily, standing off to the side. "You were in this for yourself all along."

"Oh course she was, you moron. Who wouldn't want to be a god?" Odin spoke up.

Xena looked at him and then back at Ares. He grinned. "That's right. Who WOULDN'T want to be a god?" He raised his hand and placed it on the apple in Xena's hand, pushing it closer to her mouth. "Go ahead. Take a bit. It's good."

Xena looked at it, trying to decide what she should do while Ares watched in anticipation.

"Don't!" Gabrielle shouted.

Ares raised his hand toward her as a way to tell her to be quiet. "Hey, there's nothing for you here." He looked at Xena again. "You know, the weasel had a good idea--become a goddess, we could have some kicks."

"Wouldn't want you to be alone on Olympus." Xena replied.

Xena raised the apple to her lips, smelling it's sweet scent. She closed her eyes, thinking of the possibilities with Ares. He loved her, she knew that and after all that he had done for her, it was time she gave something back. But Xena's moment lost in thought was interrupted by Gabrielle's voice.

"Xena, don't." The bard said calmly, trying to show Xena that what she was about to do was wrong. Xena glanced briefly at Gabrielle and then back at the apple. Ares was impatient for her to make a choice but said nothing. Xena grabbed another apple from the branch and tossed it to Aphrodite.

Her eyes widened and she caught it. "Oh, thank you, Xena." The Goddess of Love giggled, taking a bit and then disappeared. The love that had been gone from the world now returned because she had been restored to godhood.

Gabrielle breathed a sigh of relief when she saw Xena give the apple to Aphrodite, knowing that she had made the decision not to become a god.

Ares smiled at Xena, walking closer to her. "Aphrodite gave you back the power to love. Think about it, Xena. Think...of the possibilities."

Xena continued to stare at the fruit, thinking about what she should do, what she had to do. At that moment, Xena bit into the juicy fruit. Gabrielle was amazed and stunned that Xena had chosen immortality. A blue glow illuminated from her body and then faded.

Ares' face glowed with happiness at what she had done. "You made the right choice."

But Gabrielle was far from happy. "Xena!" She shouted, stomping over to her in a rage. "How could you do this?! He's ARES!"

Xena glared at her friend. She hated it when Gabrielle tried to second-guess her decisions. It was her life; she could do what she wanted. "Shut up, Gabrielle. This is none of your business." She was thoroughly annoyed with her friend. Xena then leaned into Ares and kissed him briefly on the lips, a kiss with much lust that lay behind it. "Why don't we go somewhere where we WON'T be bothered." She beamed, biting his ear.

"Just what I was thinking. And I know just the place." He took her hand and kissed it.

"But Xena--" Gabrielle protested.

"Gabrielle, just be quiet. It's my life and I can do what I want with it. I wish you'd stop getting in the way." Xena snapped.

"But--" Gabrielle couldn't just let her friend go.

Ares shifted his eyes to Gabrielle and gave her a steely stare. "You heard her. Now...if you don't want ME to deal with you had better remember what she said. Otherwise, you won't like the consequences."

With a troubling look from Gabrielle, Ares took Xena's hand and together, they disappeared.

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They appeared in a large open room on a cliff overlooking the Adriatic Sea. The walls were made of stone blocks and there were no windows.

It was a three-walled building with the front of the building completely open.

But this room wasn't like any place she had ever been. It was dedicated to her and her experiences with Ares throughout the years that she'd known him. Murals were on the walls that depicted memorable moments in their lives: Ares teaching Xena how to use the chakram, their first kiss, their first battle together and more recent experiences with him: the time when they got real close during the siege of Amphipolis, the time he told her he loved her in the storm, and their sensitive moment together after Ares had pulled her from the icy waters.

The room was also filled with candles and there was a long elegant table covered with black silk in the center of the room. On it there were two silver goblets of wine and a black rose lay next to one of them.

Xena was in awe. "Oh, Ares. This is the first place we spent a night together and it looks exactly the same as it did years ago. I can't believe it."

Ares smiled. "I've kept it clean, hoping that you would one day come back to see it." He walked over to the table to retrieve both wine glasses and the black rose.

He handed the black rose to her and she smelled it and then took the goblet from his hand. She smiled at him and took a sip. He too took a sip and stared into her eyes. "You know, I still can't believe that you chose me over Gabrielle."

Xena made the goblet of wine and black rose disappear, reappearing back on the table where Ares had got it. "I spend every day and night with her and she should know by now that I need some time to myself, so to speak. She's not my mother, she's my friend and she needs to learn that she can't tell me what to do. "Xena put her arms around his neck. "I shouldn't be afraid to admit my feelings for you just because of what SHE thinks."

"Your feelings?" He asked.

"Yes." She whispered, capturing his lips.

The goblet of wine in his hand instantly disappeared and he put his hand on her waist, pulling her closer so that she was firmly against his body. Their lustful desires for each other grew more and more as they kissed passionately. When they parted, Ares moved to her neck, placing kisses everywhere he could.

Xena sighed contently as he did so. "Do you remember when Nigel asked if I were in love with you while we were on the farm?"

"Yeah." He replied, still kissing her neck.

"I should have answered." She said, stepping away from him.

"And?"

"I would have said yes. I do love you. I always have. I've just been afraid to admit it...until now." She said, searching his eyes.

"Why? Why were you afraid to admit it if you always knew?"

"Because of what Gabrielle would say. Because I knew that I SHOULDN'T love you because we are on different sides. Lots of reasons."

Ares put a hand around her neck. "Well, it doesn't matter what Gabrielle thinks as long as we're together." Ares went to kiss her again but she pulled away before he could. "What?"

Xena looked down. "I shouldn't have gotten angry with her like that. It's just she can really get on my nerves sometimes, you know. I hope she forgives me."

"I'm sure she will. Now...why don't we stop talking about the irritating blonde and move onto more...pleasurable things?"

Ares kissed her again and she forgot all her problems. They kissed for a long time until there was a rumbling sound and a flash of light behind them. They backed away from each other's grasp and found Odin standing behind them.

"Xena, I want to speak to you...alone."

Xena looked at Ares. "Just give me a minute."

Ares shook his head in response and disappeared. When he was gone, Xena looked at Odin. "What do you want, Odin? I thought we had an understanding."

"You were wrong. I can't let you stay a god. You must give up your immortality if you want to see Gabrielle again."

"What have you done with her?" She asked angrily.

"Oh, nothing...for the moment. But you have to give up your immortality if you don't want to loose her for good. Come to Valhalla when you are ready." Odin disappeared.

Xena stood there for a few moments until Ares appeared next to her. He could see that she looked troubled. "What's wrong?"

Xena sighed. "I have to give up my immortality. Otherwise, he will kill Gabrielle."

"Are you sure you have to do that? I mean, it could be great--being immortal and all."

"Gabrielle does mean a lot to me no matter how annoying she may get." Xena kissed him tenderly. "But being mortal won't change how I feel about you. I will still love you and Gabrielle will just have to get used to that."

Xena squeezed his hand gently and then disappeared."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Xena appeared on Valhalla where she found Odin sitting on his thrown and Gabrielle standing next to him, her hands tied together by a rope.

"I'm ready, Odin."

He stood up from his thrown. "Good. I knew you'd make the right decision. Immortality wouldn't have worked with you anyway."

"Just do it." She commanded.

Odin raised his hands and a gust of wind and light surrounded her. She could feel the power draining from her body. When the wind and light ceased, she stood there, once again a mortal. Gabrielle was released and ran over to Xena as Ares appeared.

"So, I guess it's no more 'Xena, the God,' is it?"

"Nope. Just plain, old me." She said with a slight touch of humor. She then turned to a more serious tone. "Ares, you will still be an important person in my life. I wasn't immortal for very long, but it was one of the greatest times of my life. It brought me to understand my feelings for you."

"I love you, Xena." She said kissing her on the cheek.

"Me too." She said watching him disappear. When he was gone, she looked at Gabrielle next to her. "Gabrielle, I'm sorry for snapping at you earlier. I was just mad. It's just sometimes you really get me annoyed. You need to learn when to back out of my life."

"You're right." Gabrielle grinned, looking at Xena awkwardly. "You love Ares? How can you? He's the God of War?"

"Hey, I would call that butting into my life. And yes, I do love Ares. That's just something you'll have to get used to." Xena said, smiling at Gabrielle as they left Valhalla.

THE END

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