Title: Homage to the War Dude
Archive: Yes, please. Let me know if you take it, OK?
Teaser: Bill and Ted meet Ares, the God of War!
Disclaimer: The characters are not mine. They belong to Studios USA or
Whoever owns the Rights to Xena: Warrior Princess. Bill and Ted are not mine, either. They belong to Nelson 1991 Inc., Orion Pictures and MGM. Skittles are not mine, either - they belong to M&M/MARS! No Copyright Infringement intended. This is just for fun. No $$$ is being made.
Light flashed high in the sky and a phone booth fell to the ground. It landed with a loud thud and the folding door opened. Two teenage boys hurried out, each dragging a large heavy sack. The sacks looked exactly like modern black plastic garbage bags. The first boy had short curly blonde hair and wore a white T-shirt that allowed his stomach to stick out. He also had on blue jeans with a giant hole at one knee and a light purple shirt tied around his waist. Sneakers were on his feet. His name was Bill.
The second boy had shaggy black hair and wore a black vest over a white T-shirt. The vest was open in the front and matched his knee-length black pants. Black and white sneakers completed his outfit, except for the salmon colored shirt tied around his waist. His name was Ted.
Ted stared around the busy streets of Athens and ignored the frightened looks people cast their way. "So, where does Socrates live?"
"I don't know, Ted." Bill admitted as he glanced up and down the streets. Everyone dashed away from the two as quickly as they could. His eyes landed on a large stone building across the street. "Hey, let's go ask for directions in there! That looks like some official building."
"Oh, yeah." Ted picked up his heavy garbage bag and carried it toward the building. They climbed the few wide steps and pushed open the large doors. Inside it was dark but torches and dozens of candles provided weak light. They walked down the center and gazed around. Weapons gleamed on the walls.
"I wander what kind of place is this, Ted?" Bill asked as eyed the weapons on the walls. There were swords, maces, spears, pikes and many other items.
"I don't know, Dude. Hey! Look! A metal ball thing with spikes!" Ted dropped his garbage ball and hurried over to the wall. He lifted the mace from its position on the wall and instantly fell to the floor with it. "Whoah! This thing is like totally heavy! It's heavy metal!" Ted leaped to his feet and played his air guitar.
"Dude. You better leave that alone. It could have broke your foot." Bill continued toward the front and stopped at a large table covered with stuff. He grimaced and backed slightly away. "Whoah. Look at this!"
Ted rushed to his friend's side and his dark eyes opened wide. He pointed to a bloody sword lying on the black stone table. The red blood, which was still wet, glistened among countless gold coins and priceless gems. "Look at that sword! It's totally covered in blood! Is it real?"
"That isn't no catsup." Bill agreed.
A blue flash of light appeared in front of them on the other side of the table. When they could see again, a man and woman stood there. The man had dark hair and wore black leather. The woman blonde hair and wore a green top with a short skirt.
"Whoah!" Both Bill and Ted moaned, their mouths hanging wide open.
"Who the heck are you two?" Ares asked as he glared at the oddly dressed intruders in his temple. He had just snatched Gabrielle for a little chat when these two had wandered in off the streets.
"Are...are you real?" Ted asked as he continued to stare openmouthed at Ares and Gabrielle.
"What? Of course I'm real! I'm Ares, God of War!" Ares snarled loudly. "And this is my Athens Temple."
"It's the War Dude." Bill told Ted as he leaned in close to his friend.
Ted blinked at Bill, his black hair hanging in his eyes. "Who?"
"You know, the War Dude!" Bill explained as he waved his hands around in frustration. He did NOT want this guy mad at him. He looked as if he had a bad temper. "You know, the one with the red planet, Mars? From Greek mythology? The astrology sign?"
"Oh! That dude! The one with the goat." Bill blurted out. He stared at Ares for a moment and shook his head. "I don't know, man. He doesn't look like a goat."
Ares and Gabrielle exchanged confused glances with each other. Ares placed his hands on his hips and stared right back at them. "What in the world are you talking about? I'm NOT a goat! I'm the GOD OF WAR!"
"Whoah! Don't get angry, Dude!" Bill threw his arm around Ted's shoulders and drew him close. "My good friend Ted isn't very good at history. He can't remember names at all. He thinks Caesar is a Salad Dressing Dude."
"Julius Caesar?" Asked Ares, who was even more confused now. "How do you two know Caesar?"
"What's salad dressing?" Gabrielle asked. "And what's this about a goat?"
"He meant the astrology sign, Aires." Bill tried to explain. "It's this mumble-jumble they put in newspapers to predict the future. It's drawing is of a goat."
"Maybe they mean the Golden Fleece." Gabrielle guessed as she turned to look at Ares. "Wasn't the ram named Aires?"
"Yeah. And it's MY fleece, in MY sacred grove." Ares replied. "Look, when someone enters my temple, they have to pay homage to me, worship me. That means you give me something on my altar. Something valuable."
"Uh-oh." Bill and Ted glanced at each other. "Do we have anything valuable?" Bill asked.
"You can have this!" Ted picked up the heavy garbage bag and swung it onto the table. Then he upended it. Hundreds of little red packages spilled out and tumbled onto the floor at Ares and Gabrielle's feet. Ted grinned at the surprised pair. "You'll like them! We were going to give them to our pal Socrates, but Bill has plenty more in his bag."
Gabrielle picked one up and turned it around in her hands. It was bright red and made from a smooth substance. There was a drawing of brightly colored spots on it with a rainbow. There was also some odd writing or at least Gabrielle thought it was writing. She wasn't sure. There seemed to be something inside the red object because it rattled when she shook it. "What is it?"
"See? You open it like this." Ted picked up a Skittles package and tore it open. He shook the brightly colored candies out into Ares' palm. He popped a green candy into his own mouth and grinned. "It's candy. Skittles. You eat them."
Gabrielle tore open her own single serve package and tried a red one. Ares picked a yellow candy out of his hand and stuck it into his mouth. He ate it and tried another and then a third. Gabrielle did the same from her open bag. They smiled.
"And what do you have to donate to me?" Ares asked Bill.
"Uhhh..." Bill patted himself and prayed he could find something worthy to give the War God. He nervously eyed the big sword at Ares' waist. He had no doubt the man...er, God, knew how to use the thing. He felt something in his pants pocket and pulled it out. He opened the folded papers and grinned in triumph. Each was about the size of a 3 by 5 card. "Excellent!" He handed Ares the two slips of beige paper proudly with a smug smile pasted on his face.
Ares turned the paper this way and that. There was some writing on it but he couldn't read it. "And what is this?"
"Dude! Those are tickets to Water Lo!" Bill explained with excitement. "You just have to take the babe to Water Lo. She deserves it. You want to be a cool dude, don't you?"
"Yeah! You got to go!" Ted nodded his head, his black hair flying around. "Water Lo has the most excellent water slides! Napoleon went there and he loved it! Come with us and we will take you. When we are done, we will bring you back here. Our booth is just outside."
Gabrielle smiled up at Ares. She didn't know what a slide was, but she loved water! "Can we go?"
"All right, We'll go to this Water Lo." Ares said as he gathered the red bags of Skittles. "But let me lock this in my room first. I don't want anyone eating them but me!"
After Ares had locked up all the Skittle bags, they headed out to the telephone booth. Gabrielle clung to Ares' arm as she stepped inside the strange object. They watched as Bill dialed a number and Ted closed the door. The floor dropped out from under them and they vanished into the Circuits of Time.
Gabrielle screamed and clung to Ares as the phone booth dropped through the ground. The booth swayed from side to side wildly as it passed through the big tube transparent tube. She had thought traveling on a ship was bad, this was worst! She moaned and pressed her face into Ares' chest. Ares wrapped his arms around her and hugged her tightly. She swallowed and tried to push her stomach back down where it belonged. Finally, when she thought she couldn't stand it any longer, the odd contraption landed with a hard jolt.
Bill opened the door and stepped out. "Well, here we are! Water Lo!"
Gabrielle leaned against Ares for a few moments, and then stepped outside. Her blue eyes opened wide when she saw the water park. People and children wearing odd clothing were going through some kind of gateway. Before they went it, they seemed to pay a guard in a small tower. It reminded her of the wall around some cities. And what was the hard stuff under her boots? And those strange carriages...they didn't use horses!
Ares and Gabrielle followed Bill and Ted toward the gate. They handed their tickets to the guard and passed through the turnstile. Once inside, they stopped and looked around. Gabrielle gazed in amazement at the huge things that twisted above the blue pool of water. They reminded her of giant snakes. People popped out of the snakes and splashed down into the water. Other snakes were open and the people riding them seemed to fall straight down, their arms crossed over their chests.
"See? Those are the water slides! They are the best water slides in San Dimas!" Ted told her as he grinned. He pointed to stairs on the side of the pool. "See? You climb the stair over there to get to the top. Then you slide down. It's fun!"
"And what is the point of doing that?" Ares asked as he watched someone splash into the water. He stepped backward as water landed on his boots. He glared at the person who had gotten his leather wet, but the person didn't even notice Ares.
"Dude, it's FUN! Don't you ever have any fun?" Bill asked as he searched for the changing rooms. The War Dude was way overdressed! "Look, we got to get you out of all that leather! And hide that sword before someone sees it! I think it's like illegal or something! You could end up in the slammer."
"Oh, I have fun." Ares replied as he placed a hand on his sword hilt. He stared at Bill and Ted until they began to fidget. His eyes darkened and he licked his lips. "You want to know what's fun? Having a war rage around me, blood soaking into the ground until the soil is stained red. Hacking, slashing, mayhem. Oh, and beating up that half-brother of mine is always good."
Bill paled and swallowed. "Dude, you are way too much into war! You need to learn how to relax, let loose. Think of it as a vacation! Now come to the changing room. You need to put on a swimsuit."
"A swimsuit?" Ares asked.
"Yeah, like all the other guys are wearing." Bill spread out his arms. "Besides, you must be roasting in all that black leather!"
Ares studied the other men at the water park. They were all dressed in swimming trunks of various colors and styles. Then he studied what the women were wearing. Some had one-piece outfits while others wore the more revealing bikinis. Ares glanced at Gabrielle and grinned. He waved his hand and a skimpy blue bikini replaced her Amazon clothes. The color matched her eyes.
Gabrielle glanced down at herself and gasped! She had never worn anything so revealing before, and in front of Ares! Even her boots were gone! She crossed her arms over her chest and lifted her head to glare at him. "Ares! What did you do with my clothes? And what in the world is *this* thing?"
"Well, you want to go in the water, don't you? Besides, most of the women are wearing them. Look around." Ares waved his hand again and a pair of black swimming trunks replaced his black leather. He smiled at Gabrielle. "See? I changed my clothes, too!"
Gabrielle blushed. She had never seen so much of him before. It was making her nervous for a reason she didn't quite understand. She decided to ignore his bulging muscles and hairy chest for now. She focused on his dark eyes and glared at him. In all the confusion Bill and Ted had caused, she had forgotten Ares had kidnapped her out of the camp she and Xena had set up. "Ares, why did you bring me to your temple?"
"Because I decided we needed to talk." He replied as he moved closer to her. "When I was mortal because of your enchanted scroll, we really were getting along. I said I didn't like it, but I lied. It scared me."
Gabrielle blinked her eyes in amazement. "I scared you?"
"Yeah. I never dreamed in my long immortal life that I could be attracted to someone like you." Ares told her. "You're so peace-loving and honest. You actually care about others. You're way too good for me and that's what scares me. That if I tell you you'll just turn me down. I never expected to fall in love with you, but I did. I tried to ignore it, but I can't anymore. But how can you ever like someone like me? I'm the embodiment of everything you hate: war, bloodshed, hate, anger, the killing of innocents. But I can't lie to myself any longer, Gabrielle. I love you."
"What?" Gabrielle asked, her mouth hanging open in shock. "Ares, you can't be serious! This is about Xena, right? You want her to go back to being your Warlord, right? I mean, you can't be in love with me!"
"Well, why not?" Ares demanded as he stepped even closer to her. He was just inches away from her now. Those dark eyes stared down at her and she could see an inner fire burning in them. "Why can't I love you?"
"Because you're a God!" Gabrielle trembled. Ares couldn't really be in love with her, could he? It was too much. Ares had so much power. He could do some many things like teleport and throw fireballs. Plus he was so strong. She was sure he could easily hurt her if he wanted to. What would it be like to have a God in love with her? To be held in those strong arms that could easily uproot trees? It frightened her. And what frightened her more was that she loved him, too.
Gabrielle backed away and dashed down the cement path toward the stairs that led up to the slides.
"Whoah!" Bill and Ted both said in unison. Their mouths hung open and their eyes bulged outward.
"You totally poured your heart out to her, Dude!" Ted grinned widely at Ares.
"Yeah, and she ran away." Ares frowned as he watched Gabrielle dash up the stairs. "I knew she could never love me. How could she?"
"Dude! Go after her!" Bill urged. "We risked our lives for our girls! We were almost beheaded by some Royal Ugly Dudes! You got to prove to them you care!"
"Maybe you're right. I have to prove to Gabrielle I love her." Ares popped out in a flash of bluish-white light and reappeared on the stairs. His sudden appearance frightened some kids, who turned around and screamed all the way back to their parents. Ares dashed up the stairs, taking them two and three at a time. He passed slower moving people and soon reached the top.
Gabrielle peered into the large round opening. It was dark inside. Water trickled down the bottom of the tube. She had seen the little boy in front of her jump inside and disappear. His screams had echoed in her ears. She shook her head. She didn't understand how people could feed themselves to these metal snakes. What an odd God they must worship who demanded that of his followers!
"Gabrielle!" Ares called as he hurried over to her. "Look, I do love you!"
Gabrielle glanced at him. She had come up here to get away from Ares! The only place for her to go was down inside the snake. Gabrielle crouched down and jumped inside. But before she could slide down, she felt strong arms grip her around the waist.
"Hey! I'm not going to let you feed yourself to this thing! It might be dangerous!" Ares knelt down behind her so he could get a better grip. Gabrielle's skin was wet from the running water and it was hard to hang onto her. He frowned as he felt her slipping out of his grasp. "Stop squirming so I can pull you out of there! I'm trying to rescue you, you know!"
"One at a time!" The water slide attendant yelled at Ares. "We got rules around here! You better let go of her!"
Ares glared at the fat man in the blue uniform. "You stay out of this!"
Gabrielle's heart pounded in her chest. Somehow this didn't seem like such a good idea anymore! She was lying on her stomach part way inside the snake's mouth, headfirst. Her body angled downward. She clawed at the smooth metal surface but there was nothing to grab on the wet tube. Cold water washed over her and she imagined it was the creature's saliva. It even had an odd scent. Ares' grip slipped and she screamed. Her downward plunge jerked to a stop when he gripped her legs. "Ares, get me out of here!"
"I'm trying! You're all wet! It's not easy!" Ares tightened his hold on Gabrielle's legs and attempted to pull her out. But she was too slippery!
"Buddy, you and your girlfriend are holding up the line!" The attendant complained as he stepped up behind Ares. "Other people want to use the slide too, you know."
"I thought I told you to shut up?" Ares yelled at the man. "Look, I'm trying to save my girl from your hungry snake!"
"Why do I always get the kooks?" The guard rolled his eyes and took a step backward. Then he slammed his boot onto Ares' butt. Ares was shoved forward onto Gabrielle and they both disappeared down the slide. The guard listened to them scream and laughed. He smiled at the next person in line. "Next!"
Gabrielle screamed as they twisted this way and that way down the snake's long body. Ares screamed in her ear and she worried she might go deaf. She never realized how loudly he could scream before! Or what a nice voice he had when he wasn't shrieking in her ear. Their bodies were thrown one way, then the other as they rushed downward headfirst. Ares grip tightened around her waist and she thought they'd never reach the other end. Then the tunnel lightened and daylight appeared. They tumbled upside-down out of the snake and landed in the pool with a loud splash.
Ares spitted water out of his mouth as he hauled Gabrielle upright. His wet hair hung in his eyes and he pushed it out of the way.
"You know, that was kind of fun." Gabrielle told him as she glanced around the pool in amazement. The big metal snake hadn't eaten them after all. "Shall we try it again?"
Ares led her out of the pool. He stared into her blue eyes with concern. After that wild ride, he knew why the attendant had said one at a time! "You're not hurt, are you? I mean, we were tossed around quite a bit in there."
"I'm fine, Ares. I've been through a lot tougher things with Xena than that metal snake!" Gabrielle laughed. She gazed up into his dark eyes and smiled. She had to admit she enjoyed the time she had spent with him while he was mortal. Just like she was enjoying herself now.
"So, I suppose you want to go down the snake by yourself." Ares said, his voice glum.
"Oh no, Ares! You're not getting out of it that easily!" Gabrielle grabbed his wrist and started pulling him toward the stairs. "If I have to get ate again by that snake, so do you!"
"So, there's a chance that you do like me?" Ares asked with a smile, his eyes filled with hope that she might say that she did.
Gabrielle stopped on the stairs and turned to face him. "Yes, Ares, I do love you. It frightened me, too. It's not everyday a God falls in love with you! But I enjoy spending time with you. And we're going to take advantage of this day and enjoy ourselves! And there's lots of metal snakes we didn't try yet."
"Yeah, and I got to get that guy back for kicking me in the butt!" Ares growled.
Gabrielle busted out laughing. The mere idea of someone kicking Ares in the butt was hilarious! Of course knowing Ares, he'll probably want to kill the guy in some painful mortal way! "Ares, please don't hurt the man. I'm sure he didn't mean anything."
"All right. I'll let him live his boring mortal life, but only because you asked!"
"That's so sweet of you Ares!" Gabrielle gripped his hand and they continued their way up the stairs. Her heart filled with joy. She never dreamed her and Ares would actually get together but she was glad they did!
Ares rumbled in his throat. He didn't know if he liked being "sweet".
"Bill! Ted!" A girl's voice called.
The two teens turned around and saw their girlfriends, Joanna and Elizabeth. The girls had been Princesses in England and were to be married to two awful Royal Ugly Dudes. Luckily, Rufus had rescued them just in time. Now they were part of Bill and Ted's band, the Wyld Stallyns. The girls wore their favorite bikinis and carried big fluffy beach towels. After greeting each other with a kiss, they headed towards the water slides.
The telephone booth dropped to the ground and the door opened. Ares and Gabrielle stepped out. They were both soaking wet and totally exhausted. They had spent all day riding the various slides at Water Lo, stopping only once to have lunch. Finally the sun had sunk below the horizon and the park had closed. Gabrielle blinked her tired eyes in amazement: it was still afternoon here! How could that be? Then she realized it was because of the magic time-traveling booth.
Ares dumped the heavy black garbage bag of Skittles on the ground and walked toward his temple. Just as he reached for the door, it flew open and one very angry Warrior Princess stepped out. She glared at Ares. "There you are, you rat. Gabrielle better be OK or it's your funeral. God or no God."
"Xena, I'm right here." Gabrielle leaned against the glass side of the phone booth as water dripped off her long blonde hair. Every muscle in her body ached. She never realized that relaxing and having fun could be so more work. "I'm fine."
"Uh-oh." Bill and Ted said in unison as they watched Xena march down the temple stairs towards them.
"She doesn't look very friendly." Bill whispered to Ted.
"Yeah." Ted agreed. He reached into his garbage bag and pulled out a red package of Skittles. They still had to deliver the candies to Socrates. He held the package out to Xena. "Do you want some Skittles?"
"Who are you? And what's that?" Xena stared suspiciously at the phone booth. She slapped the Skittles package out of Ted's hand and watched him jump backward. She placed her hands on her hips and waited for a reply.
"She doesn't like Skittles!" Ted whispered loudly to Bill. "Now what are we going to do?"
"Uhh....act cool. Like this." Bill straightened himself to his full height and puffed out his chest. He placed a hand over his heart. "I am Bill. This is Ted. We are from the future! That is our time machine. We have just brought our excellent friend, Ares and Gabrielle, back from Water Lo."
Xena just stared at them. Then her eyes shifted to Gabrielle. She frowned. "Where did you get all those bruises?"
"Huh? What bruises?" Gabrielle asked.
"Those bruises. They're on your arms and legs. What did that rat do to you? I'll kill him!" Xena hissed as she drew her sword.
"No! Wait!" Gabrielle said. She examined her arms and did see the first faint signs of bruises. That explained why she felt so lousy. "The bruises must be from those giant snakes at Water Lo! There were lots of snakes. They were kind of rough, you know? They tossed you from side to side."
"Well," Bill said to Gabrielle. "We told you you're supposed to go down the slides by yourself! It's not made for two people at once! And he totally outweighs you!"
Gabrielle sighed. "I know. I just didn't think I'd get all bruised! I felt just fine before."
"Snakes, huh? Where are these snakes?" Xena asked with a murderous glare in her blue eyes. "I feel like a good fight. It's been too quite around here lately."
"Ah, they're at the park." Bill told her. "You want to go there?"
"Yeah. I'm going kill them snakes." Xena replied.
"Bogus!" Bill and Ted said.
Xena stepped inside the phone booth and glared impatiently at Bill and Ted. "Well, are we going snake killing or not?"
"Xena. There's something I have to tell you." Gabrielle said as she moved away from the side of the booth to the front. "It's about me and Ares."
Ares popped in with a bluish-white flash. He stood behind Gabrielle and wrapped him arms around her. "Gabrielle and I are in love."
"WHAT?!" Xena screamed. The entire phone booth rattled and quivered. Her hands tightened into fists. "That can't be true!"
"I do love him, Xena. Me and Ares are going to start dating. We would appreciate it if you stood by us." Gabrielle leaned back against Ares and closed her eyes. She truly was exhausted! All she wanted to do was crawl into her bedroll and fall asleep. "Can we please talk about this tomorrow, Xena?"
"Fine. I want to go kill them snakes." Xena pointed a finger at Ares. "You better take good care of her until I get back!"
"Don't worry. I will." Ares replied.
Gabrielle sighed happily. Xena had accepted the news a lot better than she thought she would.
"How is she going to kill the water slides?" Ted asked Bill quietly as the two leaned their heads together. "They're not alive."
"I don't know, Ted." Bill admitted. "But I think we better cooperate. We don't want *her* mad at us!"
"Yeah, she might be like some psycho!" Ted shivered. "But what about these Skittles? We need to deliver them to Socrates!"
"I'll do that." Ares volunteered. "I'll just pop them in by him."
"Thanks, Dude!" Bill said happily as he got into the phone booth with Xena. Ted followed him in and closed the door. Bill dialed the phone and the booth disappeared into the ground.
"Let's go inside." Ares and Gabrielle popped out in a flash of bluish-white light.
In Sam Dimas it was the next day. Bill, Ted and Xena entered the water park. People whispered and stared at Xena, but she ignored them all. She instantly spotted the giant "snakes" and glared at them.
"I think there's going to be trouble." Bill whispered to Ted. "Remember when all our historical friends got arrested by your Dad?"
"Yeah." Ted said glumly. "That was totally bogus!"
Xena pulled out her sword and dashed forward. Her warcry ripped through the air and she leaped above the pool. Her body twisted in the air and she landed on top of one of the snakes. She hacked away at the metal water slide with her sword.
"BOGUS!!" Bill and Ted shouted.
"Do you think Xena is OK?" Gabrielle asked Ares as she settled down in a guest room in his temple. "After all, she can't really kill those metal things."
"I'm sure she's just fine. Xena can take care of herself." Ares reassured her. She'll be back by the time you get up tomorrow. Don't worry about her. Get some sleep."
Ares left the room and closed the door. He leaned against the stone wall and winced. He never felt so terrible before. He limped down the hallway towards his hot tub. Maybe hot water would help his sore muscles.
Xena glared at the man across the desk from her. These odd warriors in blue had grabbed her and brought her to this strange building. Now this man was asking all stupid questions. "I already told you. My name is Xena."
"No. What is your REAL name?" Officer Logan, Ted's father, asked.
"That is my name!" Xena growled.
"Why were you attacking the water slide in Water Lo?" He asked as he thumped his pencil on the form before him. This was the fifth time he asked the woman the questions.
"It was a giant snake. I was going kill it." Xena told him. "You should be grateful. It was eating people."
"That's it! I had enough of this!" Officer Logan jumped to his feet and dragged Xena down a hallway. He shoved her inside the jail cell and locked the door. "I know what you are! You're some kook that's obsessed with that TV show! You go out and buy the clothes, get a sword from somewhere and think you can run around beating up monsters! Well, you're not going to do that in MY city! A psychologist will be here to see you in the morning."
Xena watched the man's retreating back and frowned. "That darn Ares! This is all his fault!"
Ares soaked in the hot tub and laughed. He was sure by now Xena had gotten arrested by those sissy warriors in blue. "You just sit there for a while, Xena. I'll go pop you out of there tomorrow morning, but a few hours won't kill you." Ares sunk deeper into the hot water and closed his eyes. He reached into the Skittles bag and popped a few candies into his mouth. What a perfect way to end a busy day!
Gabrielle snuggled under the covers and drifted off to sleep.