Disclaimer: I own nothing of Xena: Warrior Princess or Hercules the Legendary Journeys. I also do not own the song, "You and Me." It belongs to the band Lifehouse.

Author's Note: Let me just clearly state that yes, I am a Joxer fan, with Gabrielle and Iolaus coming in second and third, and I'm a G/J shipper! Also, despite using the Lifehouse song, I did change a lyric or two to have it appropriate in the Xena timeline.

A/N 2: If any readers of new or just reading this again notice some improvement to this one-shot, that's because I made some changes to make Joxer still….well, Joxer.

Timeline: Probably an AU Season 3. It does takes sometime after FORGET ME NOT.

Warning: If you do not like Joxer or even have him paired up with Gabrielle like they SHOULD HAVE been, then this fic is not for you!

Summary: Despite the dark turns of her journey, she found comfort and so much more from his music.

A Song from the Heart

To say her life was hectic was an understatement. It was part of growing up in the world to face both the good and the bad, but the bard still felt her heart heavy and broken after all that she had done. From committing her first kill, up to betraying Xena twice now with the second time causing Xena to lose her son forever.

She had even let a man die, despite if he was a despicable human being. She had played judge, jury, and executioner, and it tore her up inside.

It all tore her up inside, so bad that she had even decided to have her memories erased, start all over again. Instead, she decided to live with all that she had done and go on.

It still hurt. Even despite Xena's best efforts to calm the storm within her heart, it still hurt.

And that was when she heard him play.

Despite that Joxer had been nothing more than an annoyance that they wished would go away, the would-be warrior had grown on both Gabrielle and the Warrior Princess. What he lacked in skills and the intellect of a warrior, he made up for with a heart as big as Hercules, courage as great as Xena's. He was the most loyal a friend could be, always there for anyone, especially Gabrielle, even though she had pushed away any attempts he made to be a crying shoulder.

He always made her laugh, rather it was intentional or not. Mostly it was not, but there were times now that Gabrielle did wonder differently. It was through her laughter that she could forget all the sorrow in her life, but it would only last for a few seconds.

And then, she heard him play.

Gabrielle knew the warrior wannabe had lessons in music, but she had no idea just how skilled Joxer was until he played a tune she hadn't heard since a tiny little farm girl.

They were all sitting around the campfire. Xena sharpening her sword like always, Argo dining nearby, and Gabrielle writing away at her scroll. Or trying to, at least. None had noticed, or cared, that Joxer let out a small sigh and pull his lute from his worn-out bag of belongings, until he leaned back against the nearby tree behind him, and softly strung the instrument in his hands.

Both women were in no mood to hear another of his dreadful "Joxer the Mighty" songs, but before any could protest, Joxer slowly played away, and both Xena and Gabrielle had become lost in the way he played the song.

He didn't sing. He just played. It was so good, that Gabrielle had even imagined a backup band playing alongside Joxer.

With a smile, Xena returned to her sword. Gabrielle, on the other hand, remained lost throughout the soft notes of the song.

It was funny. She couldn't remember the name of the song, nor how the lyrics went, and yet she felt a warmth over her heart as she watched the lanky man admiringly as he unconsciously played. His fingers gracing the strings of his lute so perfectly.

When the song was over, Gabrielle felt her heart ache for him to continue, or at least play another song, which very much surprised her.

Joxer looked up at Gabrielle. When he saw the way she was staring at him, his cheeks grew hot as he duck his head with a shy boyish smile.

Her face reddened as well. Did she really just stare at Joxer, of all people, the way she did?!

Nonetheless, her heart felt whole again and her spirits lifted. Soon enough, Gabrielle was writing away.

So every night that they camped out, Joxer would play a tune. A new one for each night, and Gabrielle could tell that its spell was working on Xena as well, giving the warrior some peace from all the fighting.

The bard did notice something about Joxer, though. She saw how it seemed that the would-be warrior became bolder, and a few nights while playing, he would be staring at her. The way he looked at her, it was like she was his inspiration for his sudden interest in playing the lute.

Like she was his muse.

At first, she shrugged it off with the thought that he was simply trying to cheer her up. It wasn't until two nights ago, that Joxer played a song in tribute to the love of Orpheus and Eurydice as he called it. It was when he caught her eye while she was playing, and for some reason, the bard couldn't look away.

For a moment, Joxer was just Joxer. Not an idiot, or a klutz, or some warrior wannabe. He was simply Joxer. And yet, there was something in his eyes. A sparkle of some sort as this time he even started singing. His voice was actually nice, and it sent chills down Gabrielle's spine.

It was the look in his eyes that took her breath away. It was that look that gave her all these feelings that scared her, much like the time Joxer had kissed her when he was under Aphrodite's sexy warrior spell.

But now, she found herself in a half-empty tavern. Xena had already hit the sack after a long day, and Joxer was about to start work as the tavern's new minstrel for the night after their last one quit when the tavern owner refused to raise his pay.

According to the tavern owner, his last minstrel wasn't any good, anyways.

A minstrel wannabe. Gabrielle could only shake her head with a soft smirk.

Gabrielle had been feeling rather tired herself, but the moment when Joxer offered to play as minstrel tonight, for a few spare dinars which was his excuse, Gabrielle's tiredness was replaced with the sudden eagerness to hear Joxer play.

Sitting alone at the closest table to the stage, her staff in eyesight in case any rugged-looking drunk decided to play grabby hands, Gabrielle waited for Joxer to arrive on the stage.

And arrive, he did. Big time.

The bard's eyes widened when she saw that Joxer had changed out of his pathetic excuse of armor, and instead he was back in a similar outfit from when he was under Aphrodite's bell spell, with the exception that he wore a new long-sleeve white shirt with the sleeves a bit loose around his arms rather than baggy like that last one.

If it wasn't his change in clothes, it was his change in attitude that shocked Gabrielle. Rather than being nervous and stammering like he usually was, Joxer looked confident and eager as he walked out to the center of the stage, taking a seat on the single stool with his lute in his lap. The way he acted, it was like he felt he belonged there.

Perhaps he did.

It was that moment that a new light flashed before Gabrielle's eyes. In the place of a lanky, and goofy, out-of-place individual was a musician who radiated confidence and was incredibly handsome…..devastatingly so.

It was when he noticed her sitting close by the stage that he smiled. There was a bit of shyness into it, but it wasn't goofy or boyish. He was smiling so sincerely at her. So……lovingly?

Playing with the strings of his lute, Joxer began to play, suddenly starting out by singing.

What day is it
And in one month
My heart never felt so alive

Gabrielle felt herself let out a small gasp at the power Joxer's voice had over her. She couldn't move, couldn't look away. She didn't even see the rest of the small crowd start to take notice of the handsome musician on the tavern's stage. Even a few villagers from outside peaked in when they heard his voice.

I can't keep up and I can't back down
I've been losing so much time

There. He was doing it again. As the lyrics escaped his lips, his eyes became suddenly locked on hers. There was no nervousness, no stammering. He was in complete control for once, and it was tearing her up inside.

'Cause it's you and me
And all other people with nothing to do
Nothing to lose
And it's you and me
And all other people
And I don't know why, I can't keep my eyes off of you

Gabrielle had become so lost, she never noticed that the sudden crowd of women start to gather by the stage.

Joxer never seemed to notice them either. His attention was solely on her.

All of things that I want to say just aren't coming out right
I'm tripping on words
You've got my head spinning
I don't know where to go from here

By now, half of the village had entered the tavern like a sailor to the voice of a Siren. Couples started cuddling together, even the grumpy ones who had suddenly forgotten their troubles or their worthless fights.

Gabrielle could hardly move an inch.

There's something about you now
I can't quite figure out
Everything you do is beautiful
Everything you do is right

"Who is he?" one girl asked dreamily.

The brunette beside her shrugged, her eyes never leaving Joxer. "He's new. They say he's just here for the night, though."

The girl grinned mischievously. "Bet I could give him a reason to stay."

The brunette smirked at the girl. Nudging her shoulder gently. "Looks like you're a little late." She pointed at Gabrielle. "He's been staring at her since the beginning of the song. The must be together."

The girl sighed, dreamily again. "I wish I could meet a guy like that. Could you imagine having someone write a song for you and just play it, especially in front of an entire village?"

"One lucky girl." the brunette sighed.

Cause it's you and me
And all other people with nothing to do
Nothing to prove
Yeah it's you and me
And all other people
And I don't know why, I can't keep my eyes off of you

As soon as Joxer finished the last lyric, he started slowing down the tune, signaling that his song was coming to an end.

The spell his voice and his eyes had Gabrielle under started to lift. Where or how in the world did Joxer come up with such a song of such beauty and….and romance?

That's when it all made sense. She connected the dots, and could see it so clearly in his eyes.

Joxer had made this song for her, but it wasn't just out of their friendship.

He was in love with her. Shockingly, unconditionally, and so purely….he was in love with her.

What day is it
And in what month
My heart never felt so alive……

With the final strung of his lute, the song was over. The crowd erupted in cheers, but the bard still couldn't move, until Joxer smiled at her. This time, he smiled like the old Joxer that she remembered an hour ago before this one took to the stage.

That's when she was able to take control of her body, and join in the applause.

She felt so alive again.

After an hour while playing an highly-requested encore for the crowd, the Tavern started to close up.

Gabrielle could only watch as Joxer enthusiastically chatted away with a couple of strangers. She couldn't make out the conversation, but she thought she heard one of them ask Joxer about joining their band, and she giggled when she did hear Joxer loudly decline, claiming that the only true profession for Joxer the Mighty was that of a warrior. So there was plenty more of the old Joxer left in him, it seemed.

She wanted to talk to the would-be warrior, but she felt the tiredness from today's activities start to return. Big time.

With a defeated sigh, she started up the steps to hers and Xena's shared room, taking one last gaze at the handsome minstrel while doing so. That night as she splayed her figure over the warm comfort of a nice, fluffy bed, there were no nightmares, no sorrow. Instead, there was only Joxer's song in her heart that brought peace to her being. To her existence.

She would talk to Joxer to confirm if her realization of his feelings was true or not…..actually, she should probably talk that over with Xena.

Yes. She should definitely talk to Xena first. First thing in the morning. When the Warrior Princess was awake. Wide awake.

Tonight, the bard had gotten to experience the most peaceful and blissful sleep she's had in days. Joxer's song from his heart never leaving her thoughts.

FIN