AN: In the episode, Xena actually says, ""It's not the Fates; it's not Ares; it's not something that I ate. No, I have no poison dart marks. I have no Bacchae bites." However, I've edited the quote to suite the story accordingly.

A Bacchae Bite

by Bone Structure

"It's not the Fates; it's not Ares; it's not something that I ate. No, I have no poison dart marks." She lifted her hair to show the absence of dart marks. Joxer titled his head, looking at something on Xena's revealed neck.

"Is that a hickey?"

Xena's eyebrow's lifted in shock. Damn it, I can't believe I forgot about that.

"No, Joxer, it's a bruise," Gabrielle replied quickly, "A regular old bruise. Not uncommon in Xena's line of work." She nervously dug into the ground with her staff.

"Looks like a hickey," Joxer said simply. "And I've never heard of anyone getting a bruise on their neck."

"Actually, it's a Bacchae Bite," Xena said casually, as though it was as common a thing to get as a mosquito bite.

"Still looks more like a hickey to me."

"Well, it's not," Xena growled but Joxer, lacking in observational skill, missed her threatening tone.

"You can't fool Joxer the Mighty. That's hickey."

"Maybe I can't fool Joxer the Mighty, but I damn sure know I can kick his ass."

Joxer, being no stranger to Xena's fighting ability and willingness to display it, gulped. "You know, I'm kinda hungry. I'm gonna go get some lunch, see you two later!" He ran off as quickly as he could.

"Xena?" Gabrielle looked up at her companion.

"Yes?"

"Since when am I a Bacchae?"