After the Doctor had shuffled them out of the TARDIS and into the sunshine, Aphrodite turned to the Doctor.
"How do you do that 'bigger on the inside' thing anyway?" she asked, pointing at the TARDIS.
"Trade secret of the timelords, I'm afraid," the Doctor said.
"Ooh! Very mysterious," Aphrodite smiled, "I'll bet that drives the ladies crazy."
The Doctor blushed slightly. Xena and Gabrielle chuckled to themselves.
"Well, I'm outta here," Aphrodite said, "Bye, Doc!"
"Goodbye," the Doctor said with chagrin as Aphrodite disappeared. He didn't like it when people insisted on calling him 'Doc.'
"Well, I guess this is goodbye again, Doctor," Xena said.
"It is, indeed," he said, shaking Xena's hand.
"Goodbye, Doctor," Gabrielle said, "and thank you."
"What for?" he asked.
"What you said to Aphrodite before. 'Thank heavens Xena and Gabrielle found it otherwise history would've been ruined'. Thanks for having faith in us," Gabrielle said.
"You're welcome," he said.
"Can I talk to you alone for a second," Gabrielle asked.
She looked at Xena. Xena smiled.
"It's alright, I'll get Argo packed up and ready to go," Xena said, as she walked away.
Gabrielle grabbed the Doctor's arm and led him back into the TARDIS and closed the door.
"You've seen the future right? You know what happens?" Gabrielle asked.
The Doctor sighed. He'd been down this road before. People wanting to know their own futures. 'What happens to me?' 'Do I become successful?' They all want to know, but at the same time they don't want to know.
He of course knew about their last adventure to Japan. He doubted Gabrielle would want to know about that. In fact, he was convinced there was more to the story than that. He braced himself for her question.
"What happened to my daughter?" she asked.
Oh dear, thought the Doctor. Hope. Daughter of Dahak. Murderer of Solan, Xena's estranged son.
His reports on the conflict between Gabrielle and Xena are sketchy to say the least. Xena turned against Gabrielle because she lied about killing Hope. Gabrielle turned against Xena because she took her to Britain, which led her to Dahak.
However, even after this great and terrible struggle between these two women, they stayed close friends. In fact, they became closer than ever. This was a great mystery to the Doctor. And, if his watch was right, this was all set to happen in the next few weeks.
Gabrielle saw the concern on his face. "Tell me."
"I don't know," he lied.
"I don't believe you," she said, forcefully.
"Gabrielle, you mustn't ask me that," he said.
"Tell me, I need to know what happened to her!" Gabrielle cried in desperation
The Doctor was adamant. Any information he gave to her could disrupt the timeline. He didn't like it, but there was no choice. Even warning her about what was to come could be disastrous.
"I'm afraid I'll have to ask you to leave," the Doctor said, solemnly.
Gabrielle stepped back, wiping tears from her eyes. His silence said more about Hope than he had intended. She fixed herself up to make sure Xena wouldn't know she'd been crying, then stepped out side and closed the door.
The Doctor locked the door then walked over to the TARDIS console. He pulled on a lever and the TARDIS began to dematerialise.
"I'm so sorry, Gabrielle," he whispered to himself.
Outside, Xena and Gabrielle watched the TARDIS slowly disappear.
Xena turned to Gabrielle. "What did you want to ask him?"
"Oh, it doesn't matter," Gabrielle said.