Another morning at another campfire. Xena was awoken by Gabrielle tapping her quill on a freshly unwound scroll. Gabrielle had been known to write many stories about their adventures together, but for the last few days she'd been struggling to write about another person they met not so long ago.
He was called the Doctor. He said that his vessel, the TARDIS, could take him anywhere in time and space. That idea opened up a whole universe of possibilities to Gabrielle. So many other worlds amongst the stars. So many possible stories it was hard to know which one to write about.
"You should give that a rest, Gabrielle," Xena said, "The right story will come to you."
"That's the problem!" Gabrielle cried in frustration. "There are so many right stories. Listen," she said, picking up a scroll covered with notes. "Imagine if he went to another world where there are these hideously malformed creatures encased in metal, that fire lightning at people who disobey them?"
"Hm, and what would these creatures be called?" asked Xena.
Gabrielle's shoulders slumped. "I haven't got that far yet."
She put her scroll down and started to cook breakfast for her and Xena.
Xena sat watching Gabrielle, deep in thought. Gabrielle used to be content with writing about their adventures together, and now she was obsessing over the Doctor. They had only met him and spoke with him for five minutes, but it was enough for Gabrielle to be completely enthralled. Xena wasn't exactly jealous about this turn in the tide, but it did raise a serious question.
Finally, she asked the question that had been bothering her.
"Do you ever wish that you could have gone travelling with the Doctor?" she asked.
"Gods, yes!" Gabrielle gushed, "A chance to see new flora and fauna? Meet people from the other side of the stars? Who wouldn't?"
Gabrielle turned to look at Xena. She was staring into the fire, smiling faintly. To Gabrielle, it looked like Xena was a little hurt by what she had said.
She continued, "But Xena, the only way I'd have gone with the Doctor is if you came with me." She said, "I know you've got unfinished business here and I understand that. Besides, what would you do without me, huh?"
Xena smiled as Gabrielle handed her breakfast. As they ate they watched their campfire burn it itself out, and the subject was not raised again.
Whenever Aphrodite descended from Mount Olympus, it usually meant trouble. It had been a hoot when she turned that idiot Joxer into a swashbuckling hero every time a bell rang.
However, there were times when she used her power responsibly. The last time was when she made the same day repeat over and over for a pair of star-crossed lovers until a hero came to save them. That hero turned out to be Xena, and she did a really good job too. Aphrodite had to give kudos for that.
She'd been watching as the hero, her girlfriend and their hanger-on left town and ran into that weird doctor. A guy who can travel through time and space. Not a god, just some crazy old man. She might have had the power to control time, but travelling wherever she liked inside it was strictly off limits to any god. It caused too many problems, changing the past.
So who in Tartarus was this guy, to think he could travel across time to anywhere and anywhen he wanted? Personally, if given the chance, she would like to meet him too.
She had been listening to Xena and Gabrielle's little heart-to-heart over the Doctor. She walked over to their campsite, invisible to both of them, as they were eating breakfast.
"Oh, this is going to be fun!" she said mischievously to herself.
She touched the scroll that Gabrielle had been working on. It glowed pink for a moment then returned to its normal form. From now on, anything that Gabrielle wrote would come true. Hopefully she would bring the Doctor back so they could be introduced.
"Enjoy!" she said as she disappeared.
Gabrielle had resumed her scroll tapping. Xena had just about had enough of it.
"For Zeus' sake, just write something," Xena snapped, "even if you don't think it'll work, write the first thing that comes into your head."
"Okay fine," Gabrielle said, then speaking as she wrote said, "All of a sudden, the Doctor's TARDIS appeared in front of Xena and Gabrielle, full stop. Happy?"
She didn't get her answer because all of a sudden, the Doctor's TARDIS appeared in front of Xena and Gabrielle. The sound of the wheezing engines filled their ears. The birds in the trees flew away in panic as the TARDIS materialized a few feet away from their campsite. The engines' noise ended with a 'thump' then all around was silent.
Xena and Gabrielle were so shocked neither could say a word.