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Xena: Warrior Princess, Gabrielle, Argo and all other characters who have appeared in the syndicated series Xena: Warrior Princess, together with the names, titles and backstory are the sole copyright property of MCA/Universal and Renaissance Pictures. No copyright infringement was intended in the writing of this fan fiction. All other characters, the story idea and the story itself are the sole property of the author. This story cannot be sold or used for profit in any way. Copies of this story may be made for private use only and must include all disclaimers and copyright notices.

I would like to give most of my thanks to XeniteSupreme and Tom the Editor. Please realize that this is my first ever story and I would love to here from you the people who like it.

This story is based on nothing but imangination hic who knows it might even be true. Thanks. Here is my e-mail:

Deal With Danger
by Coolchristina

"Gabrielle, no!"

The warrior thrashed about in her bed, terrified--her face was evident of that.

Nearby, Gabrielle woke with a start. "Xena?" She moved to her friendís side, and began to shake her. "Xena, wake up!"

The warriorís ice-blue eyes snapped open. "Ga...what happened, Gabrielle?"

"You had a nightmare." Gabrielle did what she could to comfort her friend, but she was not used to seeing Xena like this. "You had a bad dream, thatís all. It was a nightmare, but youíre fine now. Everythingís just fine."

Xena shook her head. "No. No itís not, Gabrielle. It was no dream, it was a vision." She got up, took a deep breath, then put on her armor and weapons. Abruptly the warrior then turned and hugged her friend. "Iíve got to go somewhere Gabrielle. Alone. Will you wait for me?"

Gabrielle nodded. "Of course. But..."

"Trust me." Xena mounted Argo, and said her good-byes to Gabrielle.

Xena rode Argo nonstop, all the way to Aresí temple.

She stormed into the gloomy place and, for a moment, just stood there glaring at all the statues and paintings dedicated to the God of War. Finally, she raised her head. "Ares! I know youíre behind this! Get down here you jerk!"

Almost instantly, a tall, muscular and dark man, clad in leather, materialized in front of her. "Xena, Xena, Xena you flatter me with words." Ares arrogantly said. "Did you have pleasant dreams last night?"

Xena gritted her teeth. "Cut the crap, Ares!" She gave him a look--the one that made all men tremble, and the God of War was no exception.

"What do you want, Xena?" Ares asked. He had a sly grin on his face, as if he knew the answer to his question already.

"I want Gabrielle safe from harm. I want her protected!" Xena couldnít believe she was really considering what she was considering, but the visions had terrified her, and she did not want anything to happen to Gabrielle. Besides, she already knew what Ares was going to say next.

"Easily done, Xena. But protection, as you well know, comes with a price. What are you willing to trade me for the little pestís safety?" Ares asked, laying a hand on the warriorís shoulder. "Oh and just in case youíre having second thoughts, I would like to add that my little sister is out of the picture. Artemis will not raise a hand to save Gabrielle this time, I made sure of it." The God of War squeezed Xenaís shoulder playfully, smiling at how she jerked away, and brushed off his touch. ďSo? Whatís it going to be?Ē

Xena closed her eyes for a moment. ĎIím so sorry, Gabrielle. But Iím doing this for your own good.í She looked Ares right in the eye. "I give you me. The way you always wanted me, as your warrior," she said with a great sigh.

Inside, Ares was cheering. ĎSheís mine!í The God of War gestured. "Done. Gabrielle is now protected." He gave her a look, as if to say ĎThereís no turning back now Xenaí. The smirking god then clapped his hands together. "Come, Xena. Thereís so much to do, and so little time to do it."

Ares soon introduced Xena to her new army.

Meanwhile, Gabrielle awoke to an empty bedroll beside her--again.

"Oh Xena, where are you? Iím so worried about you."

Something was wrong, very wrong.

Xena never got visions, so it had to be the work of one of the gods. And Gabrielle knew of only one god who would bother.

Gabrielle checked her maps, and found there was a temple to Ares nearby.

"That must be where she went!"

Knowing Xena might need her help, Gabrielle went to the temple herself. She walked in and looked around. "Ares! Show yourself !"

All of the sudden, the God of War materialized right in front of her.

Gabrielle took a deep breath. "Ares, what have you done with Xena?!"

Ares tried to look as innocent as possible. "Me? I didnít do anything to Xena. She came to me, and bargained herself for your safety." He smiled, knowing such a revelation would cause her much pain.

Gabrielle wiped away hot tears. "Ares, why canít you just leave her alone?" The bardís face turned red as her anger mixed with grief.

Ares shrugged his shoulders. As easily as he had appeared, he vanished.

"I promise Xena, Iíll find you. Somehow! Someway!" Gabrielle started to leave, only to hear a voice in her head.

ĎIf you want to find her, look to the north.í

It was Ares, Gabrielle was sure of it. The God of War was playing with her, daring her to try and interfere in whatever he was doing with Xena.

More determined than ever, Gabrielle headed north, in search of Xena.

For hours she looked from clearing to clearing, and just when it grew almost too dark to see, she caught sight of a tent. Xena was inside, and her heart swelled, but it just as soon leaped into her throat when she realized Ares was there as well.

"I canít beat the God of War! But I have to try, for Xenaís sake!í

Gabrielle charged into the tent, and swung her staff at Aresí head.

The god only casually blocked her attack with one arm, he seemed bored really. Xenaís eyes grew wide as she saw this.

"Ares! Remember your promise to me!"

"Of course." The God of War shoved Gabrielle away. "Leave! Sheís mine now. Youíve got no place here, little bard!"

Gabrielle shook her head. "No! Iím not leaving without Xena!"

Xena could see the hurt in her friendís eyes, the longing, and couldnít believe she had so easily left her friend. "Iíve changed my mind, Ares! Stop this. Release me!" She shook her head. "I donít belong here. I belong with Gabrielle."

The bard smiled. "Xena..."

Aresí eyes darkened. "Youíre not leaving me again without a fight, Xena! A fight that, I promise, you will lose!"

"Shut up!" Xena drew her sword. "And fight!"

Warrior and god traded blows for some time, one gaining the edge only to lose it to the other and then get it back later. Until finally, she got in a blow that took the god down. He began to recharge almost immediately, but in that moment Xena was able to grab Gabrielle and rush out of the tent.

"Xena, youíre mine!" the god roared behind her. "Break your promise if you want, but I will get you back! This isnít over!!"

A distance away from the tent, they stopped, and embraced.

"Are you all right?" Gabrielle asked through her tears.

Xena nodded. I am now.

"Think again!" Gabrielle was suddenly torn away from Xena, and the warrior looked up to see Ares with his arm around the bardís neck.

"Gabrielle!!!" Xena screamed.

Ares smirked. "Xena, Iíve got your friend now, and thereís not a thing you can do about it. And as I said, Artemis canít interfere either."

Xena shook her head. "Ares, you said you would protect her!"

"That was before you walked out and broke the promise, my dear." He said with an evil smile on his face.

Ares, this is between you and me, Xena snarled. "Leave her out of this!"

The God of War smiled. "Done!" Gabrielle disappeared.

Xenaís eyes grew as wide as saucers. "What have you done?!"

"Nothing. I just chained her up in my temple. If you want her back all you have is pledge yourself to me, forever!" Ares twirled his sword. "Or..."

Xena nodded, and drew her own sword.

The battle started all over again.

Xena fought even more fiercely than before. She was desperate to save Gabrielle, and if defeating Ares was what it took to free her, then she would.

They fought for some time, hours probably, and eventually even the God of War could see that he wasnít going to win this battle.

Ares finally gave up.

Xena returned to the temple and unchained Gabrielle. They came outside, to find Ares in their way. The God of War looked very upset.

"Weíre leaving, Ares. Donít try to stop us this time."

He didnít.

Xena and Gabrielle mounted Argo and rode off.

Behind them, Ares glowered. This isnít over, Xena! Not by a long shot!

The End

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