An attempt to answer the oft posed question, "Could she be any cuter?"
Gabrielle, in the kitten's body, looked apprehensively at the bamboo cage fashioned by Xena. She looked at Xena, and shook the kitten's tiny head.
"Gabrielle, it's just for protection. I don't like any of this either, but we can't let anything happen to the kitten's body while you two are still swapped."
Gabrielle, looking as exasperated as a kitten can look, crawled into the cage and sat on the floor.
Xena closed the door of the cage and locked it. She gave the key and the cage to Autolycus, along with the oversized diamond that had started the whole mess.
Xena said, "I don't know why Aphrodite can't retrieve her own damn jewelry."
"Xena, whatever happens, please don't ever tell anyone that you trusted the King of Thieves to deliver a diamond back to Aphrodite. Or if you do, don't ever tell them I actually went through with it."
"I won't. Now, get going. If you don't make it to the temple by nightfall, Gabrielle's stuck as she is."
"Do I have to take the kitten? No offense, Gabrielle."
"Yes. Aphrodite needs the kitten to do the mindswap."
"Are you sure you won't come with me?"
"I won't leave Gabrielle's body unprotected."
Gabrielle's body with the mind of a kitten was curled up under a tree, sleeping peacefully.
"Get going, Autolycus."
"Alright, I'm going! You two owe me big-time for this."
Xena watched him leave, then sat down on a log. The sound of departing hoofbeats woke up the kitten within Gabrielle.
The kitten in Gabrielle's body stretched her muscles and arched her back, closing her eyes in pleasure. Xena did her best to look away, but she couldn't help glancing a few times out of the corner of one eye as Gabrielle's adorable little butt arched into the air.
The kitten in Gabrielle slowly crawled to where Xena was sitting. She rubbed Gabrielle's long, lustrous reddish-golden hair against Xena's leg.
"Go away, now. Play with someone else."
Gabrielle's throat made that noise that cats make, which sounds like "rrrraillllll".
"Come on, now, kitty. Xena doesn't want to play, now."
The kitten in Gabrielle touched Xena's knee lightly. She flipped over onto her back, looking at Xena pleadingly, lightly pawing at the air in Xena's direction.
Xena could no longer keep from smiling.
The kitten flipped back over onto all fours, and started rubbing Gabrielle's face and hair against Xena's leg, looking up at Xena. Xena took Gabrielle's perfect, adorable face in one hand.
"Gabrielle," she said, "wherever you are, please forgive me for any loss of dignity that happens to either one of us in the next few minutes. All I can say is, Gabrielle?.I'm only human."
She smiled and stroked Gabrielle's jaw, as the kitten made contented little sounds in Gabrielle's voice, and then the kitten started to rub Gabrielle's face and then her whole body against Xena's thigh.
She then flipped over onto her back again, wanting Xena to rub her belly. Xena fell to her knees, rubbing Gabrielle's tummy and stroking Gabrielle's jaw and tickling under Gabrielle's chin.
The kitten pawed at Xena's face tenderly with Gabrielle's hand. Xena moved her face closer to Gabrielle, and the kitten nuzzled Xena with Gabrielle's cute little nose.
Gabrielle's eyes were closed tight in pleasure. Xena's smile was so wide her face could hardly contain it.
Then Gabby's eyes opened wide, and she said, "Xena, WHAT are you doing?"
Xena jumped back quickly. She sat down on the log.
Gabrielle got up and sat on the log, but not close to Xena.
"Xena, for crying out loud! You were taking advantage of me!"
"No! Well, alright, sort of. I'm sorry, OK? I swear I'm sorry! I'll never do it again."
"You were laughing at me, weren't you?"
"Just smiling. Gabrielle, I would never laugh at you. I would never do anything to hurt your feelings. It's just?you were?and then you came over, and then?"
Xena was terribly embarrassed, and couldn't look at Gabby.
"I'm sorry. Look, you weren't supposed to be back for hours, yet."
"Aphrodite met us on the road. She got impatient."
"I'm sorry. Please don't hate me, Gabrielle. I know how important your dignity is to you. It's the same with me."
"Is that so? Well, I guess there's only one way you can make it up to me, then."
Gabrielle patted her thigh.
"Here, kitty kitty kitty."
Xena shook her head.
"No, Gabrielle, please."
"Here, kitty kitty kitty. Come here, kitty."
Xena swallowed hard, then got down on all fours and crawled to Gabrielle's side.
"If anyone sees me I'm going to kill myself."
"What do you know about that? A talking kitten. Here, kitty kitty kitty."