A Blue and Green Life
This is ALT Fan Fiction no offense intended - no copyright infringement intended
If you think this will be too descriptive : Dont read it
Time frame after the The Ring series and before "The God You Know"
No Spoilers No Violence
This time I will accept comments at firstname.lastname@example.org
Tap Tap Tap
Startled green eyes looked into slightly humored blue eyes, "Wha ?"
"I tried three times to get your attention but you werent listening to me."
"So you tapped on my forehead??"
"I could "tap" something else if youd prefer." Innuendo.
Gabrielle turned away, "I was just thinking."
"Thinking about what?", said with concern, "Things that make you turn away from me make me nervous."
"Its nothing. Lets keep going." Gabrielle started walking again.
They had been traveling at a fast pace, both wanting to leave their misadventures with the RING behind.
Xena caught up to the Bard and casually slipped her hand into the smaller one. Gabrielle immediately entwined their fingers which reassured Xena greatly.
Many hours later they had found a town to spend the night in. The rooms were quite spacious for a seemingly small inn and the food was delicious. Xena had kept a close watch on Gabrielle all day. She seemed so distracted.
"Gabrielle. Eat more. Now."
"Im fine. I guess Im just not very hungry?"
"I could feed it to you", Xena flirted and reached toward the Blondes plate.
Finally Gabrielle smiled.
"Ahhhh theres my beautiful smile. Where have you been?", asked Xena.
But before the Bard could become somber again Xena pushed a bite of meat between her lips then some warm bread a sip of cider more meat some of the Warriors finger tips
And before Gabrielle realized it she had cleaned her plate.
Xena was extremely relieved when Gabrielle accepted her advances and the food. Gabrielle had been under that spell for so long she seemed to have lost all interest in food. Irrationally Xena wondered if maybe Gabrielle had lost interest in her as well.
Xena got up and wandered over to the bar. She spoke briefly with the barmaid then returned to the table.
"Shall we go upstairs?" she held her hand out to Gabrielle.
They had barely closed the door when someone knocked on it.
Gabrielle opened it to find the barmaid carrying a tray full of pastries and a jug of wine.
"I thought we could have dessert up here" said Xena as she took the tray and thanked the girl.
After the door had been closed again Gabrielle said "Xena, you treat me so well."
"Why dont we change into something more comfortable?"
They both felt relieved as they climbed out of their traveling clothes and boots and into their shifts.
They cuddled up on the bed and fed each other pastries until they were extremely full.
Xena had her arms wrapped around Gabrielle, she whispered into the girls ear "I know something is bothering you. Please tell me what youre thinking."
"Oh Xena Im so tired can we discuss it in the morning? I just want you to hold me now."
"I love you Gabrielle."
"I love you too."
The next morning both Xena and Gabrielle slept in. Gabrielle slowly woke up to the warm strength of her Warrior holding her.
She very slowly eased her way out of bed without waking Xena threw on her clothes and left the room.
The tavern was only half full with people finishing up their breakfast. Gabrielle stopped at the bar and placed her order promising to return for it in a few minutes. She then wandered out into the street to see what shops were available. As she wandered she worried over what she needed to discuss with Xena.
Meanwhile back in their room Xena woke up to an empty room and panicked. She leapt from the bed and into her leathers. "Calm down dont panic she is just downstairs dont go running down there looking like an idiot " with that the Warrior ran from the room and careened down the stairs.
She scanned the faces not seeing her soulmate she ran out the door and right into Gabrielle.
"Whoa! What is happening? Whats wrong??", Gabrielle asked as she regained her balance and looked around for the danger. Seeing none she turned back toward Xena and read the whole situation in the guilty, embarrassed blue eyes.
"Xena sit down. Finish lacing up your boots. Ill be right back."
Xena plopped down on the stoop and let her head drop into her hands, "Handled THAT well, Warrior."
She heard Gabrielles return and immediately started lacing her boots, "Gabrielle I "
"Come on. Lets go."
"Um where?" She belatedly noticed that the Bard was struggling with a large basket and a blanket.
"Here carry this." Gabrielle thrust the basket into Xenas hands and started off down the street.
"Bossy bossy." Xena mumbled as she followed.
"I heard that."
As they walked out of town and up a slight hill they both took time to gather their wits and calm down.
By the time they arrived at Gabrielles destination both were thinking mostly rational thoughts. It was a quiet meadow overlooking a pass through the mountains that a merchant had recommended. Gabrielle spread the blanket and settled in the middle of it.
Xena set the basket down at one edge of the blanket and said, "Im sorry Gabrielle. I woke up and you werent there and I and I wasnt ready to be without you quite yet and I made a fool of myself."
"I still cant believe I I mean when you werent there I was afraid "
Gabrielle waited patiently.
"I cant believe I forgot you. How could I do that?? How??"
"Its OK. Xena sit down. Cmere."
All muscles tensing Xena felt like screaming or smashing something or running away or or or .
"But Gabrielle after ALL that we have survived together how could I just forget??"
Xena paced. Gabrielle held very still.
Xena dropped down in front of Gabrielle, "Im so sorry. Please forgive me. Please dont leave me give me another chance please."
Gabrielle reached forward and held Xena as she cried.
Gabrielle didnt say anything; she just held Xena and slowly rubbed her back.
A while later they both lay in each others arms on the blanket.
"Im kinda hungry. Can we eat?"
"What do you have to offer?"
Gabrielle shifted without letting go of Xena and pulled the basket within reach.
"I have " She pushed something in Xenas mouth, "fruit." They both nibbled on that for a while.
"I have " She pushed more in Xenas mouth, "cheese." They both nibbled on that for a while.
"I have " She pushed more in Xenas mouth, "bread." They both nibbled on that for a while.
"Is that all?"
"Well yeah what else did you want?"
"Oh gods You ARE leaving me!!"
"Xena! Wait! We have to talk about something."
Practically despondent Xena pulled away from Gabrielle and lay on her side facing away from her love.
"Xena its not what you think. I dont blame you for forgetting me. It was a god thing. It was NOT your fault. And you DID save me in the end as always."
"Then why are you leaving me???"
"I didnt SAY I was leaving you "
"But I feel it I feel like Ive lost you."
"Its just that I think I want something that you wont and while I love you forever I also NEED I need something you .. cant give me."
Painful silence. The Warrior lay on the blanket wrapped up in her pain and insecurities and the Bard sat terrified of a future without her soulmate.
Gabrielle whispered, "Xena we have been through so much. How many times have we come back to life? I just feel that something was taken from us. Something that I only got a glimpse of and I want to go back and take a better look? are you listening?"
Gabrielle continued, "I have loved you for a long time but you were the most beautiful to me when you were holding a baby ... you had a glow ... when you said "Im her mother." The joy in your face made me fall in love again. We didnt get to share that. It was taken from us."
"Xena, I want to have a baby. I want to raise a family. I want to settle down. I dont want to travel the world anymore."
Silence. Neither partner could think of anything to say. They remained apart trying to make sense of their thoughts and feelings.
"I knew this day would come. But I expected it years ago. I stopped bracing myself for your next departure a while ago." Pause. "What if I wanted to "settle down" with you??"
"But Xena we BOTH know that you DONT want that I tried to force it on you once and all we did was fight you have always said you could never stay in one spot I will never be happy knowing that I forced you into a lifestyle you hate."
With that quiet statement Xena stood up and walked away from the Bard. She didnt run. She just walked back toward the town.
Gabrielles head dropped forward in defeat. She knew this was a no win situation. If she forced Xena to settle down Xena would hate it and begin to resent Gabrielle. If she left Xena and tried to have a family she would be miserable without her soulmate. If she stayed with Xena as is she would never be truly happy. She had known this for a while but losing 25 years had forced her hand.
Gabrielle stayed in the meadow for a couple of hours. She would never harbor any bad feeling toward Xena. She would only remember their love. She needed to prepare herself for traveling and living alone. Finally she headed back to town so as not to be out in the woods after dark.
She returned the borrowed basket at the tavern and headed up the stairs. She dreaded seeing the Warriors belongings gone but she couldnt avoid that much longer.
Gabrielle entered the room and closed the door without lighting any candles another delay tactic.
"I was about to come looking for you I was getting worried", Xenas voice rumbled in the darkness.
Gabrielle jumped and reached for a candle.
"No. Dont light it." This was spoken right into her ear as arms wrapped around her and guided her to the bed.
Gabrielle was speechless. Xena sat her down and gently removed her boots.
After the boots were off Xena handed Gabrielle her sleeping shift after a quick change she nudged Gabrielle back onto the bed and settled next to her. They lay in silence for a moment.
"The thing is I cant live without you. It is just that simple."
"Even if you tell me I cant be a part of your life anymore the only way I could live is to lurk around watching you from the shadows."
"And the truth is I was all show that time at the Amazon village I had NOTHING to back it up with I would NEVER have left you behind If you hadnt relented I would have made a fool of myself begging for your forgiveness."
"We have really never discussed the 25 year sleep. I didnt know how to. It was so shocking. I lost my baby I lost my mother. I can NOT lose you."
"Gabrielle please tell me that you love me please say we can make this work."
Gabrielle threw herself into Xenas arms, "Please find a compromise. I dont want to live without you either."
They held tightly to each other through the entire night.
Sunlight streaming through the window woke Xena. She rolled over and stretched out then realized she could do that because she was alone in the bed and alone in the room.
"Was it only a dream?? Is Gabrielle really gone?"
"Dont panic dont panic deep breath "
Just then the door was pushed open and Gabrielle entered the room backside first. She maneuvered a giant tray laden with every breakfast food imaginable onto the table and turned around.
"Xena! Youre awake!"
"Just woke up," Xena released her death grip on the sheets.
"I wanted to surprise you with breakfast in bed. I am so hungry!"
And with that statement Xena felt her world click back into focus. Gabrielles appetite was in direct correspondence with her happiness.
Gabrielle set the tray on the table and quickly changed back into her shift.
"I was just thinking if you want to have children shouldnt you get married?"
"WHAT?!!" Gabrielle turned around shocked.
"Well you dont want to have illegitimate children do you?"
"I uh I "
"I think someone should make an honest women out of you."
"You wha?" Gabrielle sat down hard in the chair. Apparently she had misunderstood Xena last night.
"So how bout it??"
"Gabrielle, will you marry me?" Xena moved to kneel before the Blonde.
Gabrielle just stared at her.
"Xena that was mean."
"I thought it was cute."
"No. It was mean."
"It will give you a good story to tell our Grandchildren."
Green eyed silence.
"Um do I get an answer?"
"Maybe after breakfast." smirked the Bard as she reached for the tray.
"What! You cant leave me hanging like this!!"
"Oooo try these eggs they are delicious!"
"Wow never mess with a Bard youd think I would have learned THAT lesson", thought Xena as she got up off the floor.
The two partners ate most everything on the tray. They really hadnt consumed much food since the Bard had woken up in that ring of fire. With extremely full stomachs and no pressing schedule they both glanced toward the bed. They moved as one and climbed back into their warm nest of blankets.
"I cant remember the last time I felt so full," said Gabrielle as she claimed her spot along the Warriors body.
"Me either. It really was delicious." Xena yawned and dropped her head down on Gabrielles.
And they both slipped off to sleep.
This time Xena managed to wake up first. "She never answered my proposal she was sposed to be overjoyed and say "Yes!" right away I wonder what that means?" thought Xena.
She glanced down at Gabrielle. "She is so beautiful Ill just have to convince her to say yes."
Very gently she stroked the Bards face. Then she followed with soft butterfly kisses. Next she moved to Gabrielles ear "This ought to get a reaction" she thought. A soft lick followed by sucking on the earlobe caused a shiver of delight throughout Gabrielles body. "Yup, shes awake now."
Gabrielle was awake. Who wouldnt be with that kind of attention from possibly THE most attractive Warrior in all of Greece. She kept her eyes closed but could not suppress the moan caused by Xena moving down her neck.
Now that Xena knew the Bard was conscious she allowed her hands to roam all over Gabrielles body mostly under the shift.
Never one to sit on the sidelines, Gabrielles hands began reeking havoc on Xenas senses. She stroked up and down Xenas legs when Xena made contact with her breasts she made contact with the Warriors ass and pulled her in close.
Both hearts were racing both sets of lungs were struggling for air and both bodies were thrilling with electricity.
Soon they were both calling out each others names. "Yes Xena Yes" They exploded together and collapsed on each other.
"Yes Xena." Panted Gabrielle.
"Im glad you enjoyed it" mumbled Xena from Gabrielles cleavage.
"No " She reached down and lifted Xenas chin so she could make eye contact, "YES."
Xena was immediately up on all fours looking directly into Gabrielles face, "You mean YES youll marry me??!!!"
"Yeah but you have to make me feel that again and again." Twinkled sexy eyes.
"Ill do better!!!"
And Xena launched another attack.
After many hours and many orgasms passed Gabrielle lay on top of Xena too weak to move, "No more I cant take any more" she said to Xenas feet. In response her toes were sucked on.
The sound of rain woke Xena up the next morning. "Oh good rain we cant travel in rain well have to stay here another day maybe I can get a repeat performance out of Gabrielle!"
As Xena started to reach for Gabrielle a muffled voice said "You better be thinking that its YOUR turn to go find us breakfast "
"Right! Sure. Right breakfast thats what I was thinking." And Xena dragged herself out of bed.
Gabrielle heard the door close and fell back asleep.
The smell of food woke her up the next time and she opened one bleary eye. There sat the Warrior in a steaming tub smiling at her.
The other eye popped open, "Howd you get THAT in here without my hearing it?"
"Gabrielle you have slept through battles before this was nothing come on you only get breakfast if you are IN the tub."
She shook the sleep out of her eyes and jumped in the tub. They spent quite a while eating and washing. "Xena, thank you I really needed this."
"Anything for my wife."
"Wow that sounds good I like that."
"Me too. Now when can we make it official?"
"I would like to wait I would like Lila, Sarah and Eve to be there is that OK?"
"I was hoping youd say that."
"How much money do we have left?" Xena changed the subject.
"Quite a lot." Gabrielle was quite embarrassed at the amount of money Beowulf had insisted they take with them.
"Beowulf is a good man. He knew we would need a little help. We will return it to him as soon as possible."
"Gabrielle, you looked around some of the shops can you go buy some supplies for us? And do you think you can find us a horse or two??"
"Shopping I can do."
"Great! Shall we plan to leave tomorrow? All of a sudden Im in a hurry to get home. I have a new life to start."
Gabrielle was quite generous with all her purchases. She didnt bother to haggle over prices. She felt Beowulfs money should stay in his homeland. She was able to find two horses and directions for the quickest way home though it would involve a boat which she was less than happy with.
She burst back into the room overloaded with packages to find Xena sitting and staring out the window.
"Is everything OK, Xena?"
"Sure, I was just trying to figure some things out. How did the shopping go?"
"I got it all and more. We are going to be traveling in style!"
As she set down her load she noticed that the Warrior looked back out the window lost in thought again.
"Xena. There is something we have to discuss I was kind of nervous to bring it up but its important."
Xena turned away from the window and focused her attention on Gabrielle. "Im listening."
Gabrielle paced. "Well I know you said we could find a compromise and everything but "
"Well, Im just worried about how "
"Gabrielle faster would be better."
The Bard dropped on to the bed. In a small voice she hurriedly said, "having children means that I have to get pregnant and getting pregnant means there has to be a man I WILL NOT have ANY Gods or Angels involved this time I want a plain old regular human but Im afraid of how you will react to that event."
"OK she got me with that one Im gonna freak out at the thought of anyone being intimate with my wife", thought Xena.
"Come on Warrior rise to the occasion WE are compromising here" Xenas mind was trying to help.
"You are right. That will be extremely difficult for me. I dont know how we will handle it."
"Do you still want to get married?"
Xena moved from the window to the bed and wrapped her arms around the Bard "We have some things to work through. But it will be worth it in the end. Of course I want to marry you. You are my soul."
Gabrielles face lit up in a smile so beautiful that Xena would have promised her anything just to get another smile.
The next few days were filled with travel. They both had horses so they covered a lot of ground. They had brand new blankets and cooking utensils and lots of food so they were quite well taken care of when they camped. Xenas mind was racing trying to figure out how to make this new life work. Gabrielle noticed the Warriors distraction but didnt mention it. They traveled by land as much as possible but it was necessary to take a couple ships.
Finally they were on Greek soil again. Both felt relieved to be home and slightly nervous as to what the future held.
They had made camp for the night. Gabrielle was trying to write in her scrolls and Xena had mumbled something about checking the perimeter.
All of a sudden Gabrielle realized that Xena had been gone for too long, "Xena?" she called out.
Gabrielle headed out into the forest in full stealth mode to find Xena. She heard voices in the dark clearing ahead and approached ready to attack.
"Aphrodite! Please! Think about it. It would be good for both of us. I know you care for Gabrielle. Please help us."
"Xena so much has changed I dont know that I CAN do what you want anymore."
"What is going on here!!??" Gabrielle moved through the trees to confront Xena.
"Gabrielle!" A quick shocked look at the Goddess of Love prompted her disappearance.
"Xena! YOU called on a God?? What were you asking her for??"
"It was just Aphrodite", a weak argument Xena knew but she wasnt prepared to explain herself quite yet.
"I knew it! You didnt listen to me at all!" Gabrielle stormed back toward their camp.
"What? I listen to you." Xena had no choice but to follow along behind.
"Xena this isnt going to work is it? you were going behind my back you were trying to find a way to get me pregnant without me sleeping with someone else werent you!!
"No I wasnt Gabrielle calm down "
"Dont tell me to calm down a marriage should be based on trust obviously I cant trust you!!"
The Bard never saw the Warrior move. She just found herself pinned against a tree with a large hand covering her mouth.
"Do NOT say another word."
They were both totally surprised to be in this position.
"Gabrielle. I swear to you that is NOT what Aphrodite and I were discussing. You said WE would have to compromise to have a relationship a compromise goes BOTH ways I am not the only one who has to sacrifice ... unless the word you really meant to use was ultimatum." With that she released Gabrielle and stepped to the other side of the fire and then disappeared back into the forest.
Gabrielles legs were no longer able to hold her up and she slid down the tree.
As soon as Xena exited the light of the campfire she began to run. Physical exercise always helped her think better and she also needed to get rid of some of this anger before she accidentally hurt Gabrielle. She really didnt mean to push her up against that tree she just knew she had to stop Gabrielle from saying something neither of them could take back. So she ran and considered her options.
Still sitting at the bottom of the tree Gabrielle couldnt believe how wrong the evening had gone. Her heart ached as she finally realized how this whole situation must appear to Xena. "Shes right I did give her an ultimatum do it my way or I leave you but thats not what I MEANT to do how do I fix this?"
A while later Xena approached the camp. She didnt want to scare Gabrielle so she made noise as she moved through the trees. She entered the camp to find Gabrielle sitting calmly waiting for her.
Gabrielle said nothing she figured it was only right to let Xena have the first say.
Xena understood but wasnt really sure how to start.
"Xena, we can fix this go ahead tell me how you feel I am listening and I wont interrupt til you are done."
Well this made Xena extremely nervous obviously the Bard was nowhere near as upset by their fight as she was. She sat down on the opposite side of the fire.
"Okay First Im sorry that I slammed you up against the tree I had no right getting physical with you."
"Second I am painfully aware that I have done little to win your trust every time I have it I leave you behind or go against your wishes for your own good."
"Third <long pause> third I love you but I dont think I can be a part of a one-sided relationship I would be better off lurking in those shadows."
Gabrielle showed no reaction to any of Xenas words she just listened intently.
"Its your turn."
"Are you sure? You certainly have every right to say a lot more than that."
"I dont want to argue."
"I dont want to argue either but I do want to hear what you are thinking its the only way we can come to that compromise."
Xena felt a little bit of relief at those words but didnt feel petty complaints would be productive, "Im ready to listen."
"Okay Ill start by responding to you "
"First you didnt hurt me at all and I was getting a little hysterical."
"Second I agree trust is a weak spot but I think we can work on it."
"Third most importantly I love you I DID give you an ultimatum but I didnt mean to I want an equal partnership."
"Oh Xena I was so scared that you would just send me away when I told you what I wanted. But you didnt. You were strong and supportive. I am taking my fears and insecurities and projecting them onto you. But I have a possible solution if youre still interested?"
"What do you have in mind?"
"Will you come a little closer so we can discuss it?"
"Of course "
"Now I know you laugh at me because I like to write everything down but I thought maybe we could negotiate a marriage contract?"
Blue eyes blinked.
"I just thought it would allow us to discuss some basic issues hypothetically and that way we wouldnt have to hurt each others feelings?? then in the future if someone gets out of line we can just remember the contract and work it out ?? and ", she was losing confidence in her idea, " This way it would truly be a compromise because it would be right there in writing we could make sure it was equal you dont like the idea do you? thats OK we dont have to do it "
Xena leaned past Gabrielle and picked up the quill and a fresh scroll.
She wrote at the top of the scroll "Marriage Contract"
She continued writing and Gabrielle resisted the impulse to read over her shoulder. When Xena finished she passed the scroll to Gabrielle.
"Item one : Xena will love Gabrielle forever and never intentionally cause her emotional or physical harm."
Gabrielle smiled took the quill and wrote her own line adding to item one : "Gabrielle will love Xena forever and never intentionally cause her emotional or physical harm."
"If we agree on Item One I think we should seal it", she leaned forward and kissed Gabrielle. As she pulled back she noticed the tear rolling down the Bards cheek and kissed that away, "No tears, we have some business to attend to."
"Trust it should be a promise to trust each other and keep NO secrets", said Gabrielle.
Hesitation. "Absolutely NO secrets??", asked Xena.
"Well if there are no secrets there will be no reason not to trust each other", theorized Gabrielle.
"But some secrets are good I know a certain Bard who gets all excited over Solstice gifts and surprise picnics and that sort of thing.
"Oooo good point! Then how do we word this?"
And they were off. As the night progressed they discussed and debated many issues. There were some tears but more laughter as they felt their relationship take the spotlight. They ended up practically sitting in each others laps and sometimes wrestling over the quill and who would write next. Each item was sealed with a kiss. As the sun rose they discovered they had never felt closer to each other than they did at that moment.
"When shall we sign this? And should we show it to our family or keep it private between us?"
"I think we should sign it just before we get married. But I dont think anyone should see it but us I mean it is our promise to each other it isnt anyone elses business."
"Xena <yawn> can you believe we stayed up all night?! I think I need a nap."
"Wait! One more thing Gabrielle I dont want to tell you what I was doing with Aphrodite right now but I do promise that you will know no matter the outcome by the time we are married hopefully this will be a good secret?"
"Xena, I really am going to work at trusting you more maybe we could arrange a signal so I can know that you just need a minute or two to yourself then my imagination wont carry me away??"
"Right now what I need is my pillow, blanket and favorite Bard."
"That better be me Warrior."
The next day found a very happy couple traveling the last leg of their journey. "Xena how much further? I think Im starting to recognize things."
"Well, if we really push it we can be in Potedia late this evening."
"I think Id rather camp out one more night just the two of us after that we will be busy making plans."
"I have PLANS for you all right I want to enact Item Twenty Three."
"Twenty Three? There was no item Twenty Three."
"Sure there is. Remember? It stated that YOU would be MY love slave at least twice a month!"
And with a devilish smile and wink the Warrior kicked her horse and galloped off.
"Didnt see THAT one coming but its not the worst idea shes ever had", thought Gabrielle as she prompted her horse to pick up the chase.
Lila and Sarah had spent the year reacquainting themselves. They had made room for Eve who traveled around preaching Elis message. Virgil passed through quite often making sure the women were safe and helping them with repairs. They were all concerned about Xena and Gabrielles disappearance but felt quite sure they would turn up soon. Potedia was doing quite well and even Amphipolis was starting to be prosperous again.
The return of her daughter had restored Lilas spirit and she was quite happy. Sarah in turn was happy because of the attention she was receiving from one of the local farmers. In fact Sarah had taken a picnic lunch out to Zachary and they were enjoying it in one of his fields when they saw the two horses come over the hill.
"Who is that?", asked Zachary.
"It almost looks like Gabrielle and Xena", said Sarah distractedly.
She looked again and jumped up, "It IS them!! They have come home! Im sorry I have to go I have to tell Mother. Come tonight for dinner and meet them?" She kissed him quick and ran for home.
Gabrielle felt a warmth inside as she recognize her hometown. While it hadnt felt like it to her it HAD been a whole year since she had been here. She was quite anxious to find out how Lila and Sarah were doing. She spurred her horse faster. As they approached her homestead they saw both Lila and Sarah waving at them from the gate.
Gabrielle jumped down from the horse and hugged Lila tightly, "Ive missed you!"
Xena arrived a bit more stately. She greeted Sarah, "How have you adjusted to life in a small town?"
"I love it! I cant thank you enough for bringing me home."
"Glad to hear it. Lila, you are looking well."
"You too Xena", she hugged the Warrior, "even though you kept my sister away for so long."
"Let us get settled and cleaned up then I have an EPIC tale to tell you after dinner!", said Gabrielle.
Since Eve was away at the moment Xena and Gabrielle took her room. They all gathered in the kitchen and helped make dinner as they chatted away. Of course Xena was not much of a "chatter" so she stayed off to the side performing whatever tasks Gabrielle set in front of her. Soon Zachary arrived and after quick introductions they sat down to dinner.
Finally there was a slight lull in the conversation and after a subtle glance at Xena, Gabrielle said "We have an announcement to make."
All eyes turned her way.
"Xena has asked me to marry her. And I said yes. We would like you all to be there."
"Thats GREAT!" said Sarah.
"Congratulations" said Zachary
Gabrielle looked hopefully toward her sister.
"You two have always belonged together. Its about time you made it legal." The two sisters locked eyes and smiled.
"Thank you all", said Xena "family support is very important to us."
"We get to plan a wedding!!" said Lila
"Uh oh", thought Xena.
The next morning Xena was up early. She had already been in town sending messages out trying to call Eve home. Now she was pacing trying to figure out how to follow through with her plan without upsetting Gabrielle again.
As she passed through the barn for the third time a body leapt out from a dark corner and pinned her to the wall. Her captor grabbed a couple handfuls of breast and whispered in her ear "Warrior I want you and Im going to take you."
"Arent you engaged to be married?"
"Yes, but my intended left my bed this morning before satisfying me."
"Well, if your fiancee isnt going to take better care of you I certainly will but can we take this up to loft?"
No answer but she was pushed in the direction of the ladder as she climbed her assailant took the opportunity to thoroughly examine her ass and legs she reached the top and turned around only to be knocked off her feet by one incredibly HOT Bard. Gabrielle definitely took the lead and anything else she wanted from Xena. By the time she was sated Xena could barely remember her own name.
"Wow." She whispered as her voice was quite hoarse now, "You sure you want to get married?"
"Yeah but you and I can still meet on the side like this my wife doesnt need to know."
Xena watched from the barn as one very smug Bard walked back to the house. "Shes gonna kill me. Im not sure I can keep up with THAT very often. But WOW!"
The door opened and Lila came out as Gabrielle was going in. She headed toward the barn. Suddenly Xena found the solution to her problem.
"Lila, can I talk to you for a moment?"
"Sure but from the look on my sisters face you better sit down and conserve your energy", this was said with a familiar smirk.
Xena dropped down on a bale of hay, "Youve definitely got that right."
"What can I help you with?"
"Well, Im sure Gabrielle has told you that she and I have been struggling in our relationship. Insecurities and misunderstandings keep getting in our way. I want to TRY to do something for Gabrielle I would like to surprise her with it if it works but I dont want her to think Im doing something underhanded or going behind her back."
"Where do I fit in to this?" asked Lila.
"Well, I thought if I told YOU my plan you would know that I wasnt doing anything that Gabrielle wouldnt approve of and you could keep the secret but reassure Gabrielle."
"So you would tell her that you had a secret but that I had approved it??"
"Yes. I dont want to put you in the middle. I just need someone that Gabrielle can trust."
Lila thought for a moment then sat down on the hay "Okay I promise that I will keep your secret as long as it wont hurt Gabrielle."
Xena smiled, "I was actually hoping it could be my wedding present to her."
And the two soon-to-be sisters sat and talked for quite a while.
Gabrielle was in the kitchen enjoying breakfast with Sarah and hearing all about Zachary when Xena and Lila walked in.
"Gabrielle, I need go take care of some business I need to check in with Aphrodite again I may be gone for a day no more than two."
"Its OK, Gabrielle, Xena told me what she has in mind and I think it is terrific. Let her go. It will be fine." Said Lila.
That surprised Gabrielle. "YOU know what she is doing?"
"Yes. And you can trust her."
Gabrielle got up and whispered in Xenas ear, "Okay Item One Hurry back."
Xena smiled at Gabrielle, "Item one."
It was two days before Xena returned but it coincided with Eves return. Eve got the news of the impending nuptials from an excited Sarah. Unfortunately, having only known Xena and Gabrielle for a very short time, she was quite shocked by the news.
"Eve!" cried Xena as she rode into the yard and jumped off her horse.
But Eve stepped away, "You are MARRYING Gabrielle??!"
Xena stopped but her blue eyes couldnt conceal her hurt, "Yes, I was hoping you would be happy for us."
"I dont know what to think. I didnt know "
"Eve, Elis way was that of love. I love Gabrielle. This is a good thing. I was hoping you would stand with me during the ceremony."
"Ill have to think about it", and Eve retreated into the house.
Xena followed. She entered the house threw a pained look at Gabrielle and retired to their room. Within a heartbeat Gabrielle was there with her arms around Xena, "What wrong? What happened?"
Xena leaned into the embrace, "Eve doesnt support our marriage."
"Yes. I know. Do you want to postpone it?"
"NO!! I want her blessing but I NEED you and I NEED our relationship besides I need to marry you before you start having affairs with whatever farmhand you meet in the barn."
Gabrielle smiled at Xena and held her tightly, "I missed you."
Another week passed quickly filled with planning. Sarah had been put in charge of Xena. Since the brides were not supposed to see each other the day of the wedding it was Sarahs job to get Xena to the right place at the right time. The Warrior was basically a nervous wreck so Sarah had her hands full. But they managed to enter the church at the appointed time.
Sarah pushed Xena down the aisle. The Warrior made it to the altar then turned to look for Gabrielle. Instead she found Eve standing at her side "Eve? What changed your mind?"
"Have YOU ever won an argument with a Bard??", it was said with a smile.
"Im glad youre here."
"So am I."
Then Gabrielle appeared. She was Gorgeous no Beautiful no Stunning no Magnificent Xenas mind went on standby and she just stared.
The ceremony was over quickly and they headed out to the tavern where a brief reception was held. Xena kept glancing down at the beautiful ring her love had presented her. It was a quill turning into a sword as it wrapped around her finger. And the Bard no her WIFE wore a matching ring. They spent an hour or two at the reception and then with great relief the Warrior whistled for her horse, claimed her bride and rode out of town.
Gabrielle was content to hold Xena as they rode her normally inquisitive mind silent.
Xena stopped the horse and helped her wife down in a meadow facing a sharp rock wall cut in the side of a mountain.
"Gabrielle, this is my gift to you, with Aphrodites help."
Gabrielle looked around, "Xena , I dont see anything but the side of a mountain."
"Xena, I dont understand."
At that Xena grabbed Gabrielles hand and walked them right toward the rock. She didnt slow her pace as she approached.
"Gabrielle, trust me."
And in the blink of an eye they walked right through the rock face.
"Gabrielle its OK open your eyes."
She did as she was instructed to see a beautiful valley with a river fed from a waterfall running through it laid out before her. Along one side there were a couple of small buildings and a fenced in area.
"Xena! Did we just walk through the mountain??"
"No. It was just an illusion. No one can come here but us. It is our home. It is our safe haven."
The Bard was speechless.
"We will be close to our families but safe from our enemies. The illusion is courtesy of Aphrodite. She will also live here with us. She has lost most of her family and I have asked her to become a part of ours."
The Bard was speechless.
"I have a couple of job options. I have spoken with the town leaders in Potedia and two other villages close by and they would like me to be a defense consultant helping them organize and coming to fight when there is trouble. As you can see there are two barns and I would like to try raising and training horses."
The Bard was speechless.
Xena looked expectantly at Gabrielle. She couldnt think of anything else to say. She had hit all the highlights and Gabrielle didnt comment on any of it.
"Who are you and what have you done with my warrior?"
"Gabrielle? Do you like it?"
"I I dont know where to start?"
Gabrielle turned around a saw the same rock face they had just passed through. "It looks the same from the inside? How do we get out?" "Those building are both barns? Where do we live? Where does Aphrodite live?"
Xena stopped the questions with a kiss. "But do you like it?"
"I love you. I love that you planned all this out. I love our new home you better start explaining how all this works."
"Okay first no one can walk through that rock wall unless you, Aphrodite or I bring them through. Same from the inside."
"Both buildings are barns that I would like to turn into stables. You cant see the living quarters from here. This is one of those places I had when I was a Warlord I thought it was time to put it to better use. Let me get the horse and we will go down and explore."
Gabrielle was still in shock. She couldnt believe this amazing area was her new home. And that it was magically sealed to protect them. She hadnt noticed Xena exiting and then returning with the horse.
"Come on Wife, lets get closer."
They hopped up on the horse and galloped across the valley.
"Um Xena? Is Aphrodite here now?"
"No I thought we might prefer a little privacy for our honeymoon and she is the Goddess of Love after all she certainly understood shell come in a couple of weeks."
"So we are all alone?"
"Yes my love."
"Good." They both slid off the horse. "Will you do something for me?"
"Sit on my face."
Xena turned around in surprise to find a mostly naked Bard eyeing her lustily.
"Shouldnt we go shouldnt um " That was the last attempt at coherent thought Xena made for quite a while.
Xena still couldnt move. The Bard had wrung every ounce of strength out of her body. Xena felt VERY well loved. She was laying on her back with her wife passed out on top of her. She looked up at the beautiful blue sky and realized she had never been happier. Everything had worked out so well and Gabrielle hadnt even seen their actual home yet. Maybe she would get a similar reward for that. Her libido smirked but her body groaned.
After a quick nap both newlyweds regained control. Xena started to reach for her clothes but Gabrielle stopped her. "Its really just a waste of time for you to put those back on."
"Then I had better hurry and finish the tour."
"Where did we leave off? oh yeah two barns is our house invisible or something?"
"No, the only magic is gaining entrance to this valley."
"OK where do I live?"
"Follow me." Xena led her love toward the mountain. As they approached a cave entrance became visible.
"I live in a cave?"
"Yes. You do. But remember I said I created this as a Warlord. It has all the amenities you could ever want."
"There are many different rooms and YOU will have to decide what each is used for the bedroom is already set up but you can change anything else we will need a dinning area nursery storage guest rooms Aphrodite has rooms down the first tunnel to the right there are 3 rooms down there and she will have all the privacy she needs."
"I get to decorate and design everything??"
"Of course. I wasnt gonna do it. The only things you really cant change are the bathing chamber and OUR bedroom."
They walked through the mouth of the cave down a narrow passage into large chamber. "This should be a perfect common room."
"Do we have any food?"
"Of course! I wouldnt let my brand new wife starve."
"Then the rest of the tour is gonna hafta wait. I need to feed you. You are going to need to keep your strength up. Then you need to show me the bedroom."
Xena felt her knees go weak, "Gabrielle, try not to kill me the first day of our new life together."
" Sorry Cant promise that Its not MY fault you are irresistible!"
Xena and Gabrielle had a wonderful honeymoon. They christened just about every inch of their new home. Until one day a little more than two weeks later Aphrodite showed up.
"Heeellllloooo?" Aphrodite called out as she entered the common room.
"Aphrodite its so good to see you. Im sure you have a lot to catch up with Gabrielle. Ill see you both later.", and Xena practically ran out the door.
Bemused Aphrodite watched Xena jog to the barn, saddle up the horse and ride off.
"Gabrielle have you been tormenting the Warrior?"
"Good! Thats just what the Goddess of Love likes to hear!"
"I was just about to make some tea do you DO tea??"
"Well, I never did before but this Goddess thing has changed a lot since the Twilight Ill try it."
They both sat comfortably drinking tea in the common room.
"Aphrodite, I owe you an apology. I was upset and confused the night I found Xena with you. Im sorry I reacted the way I did."
"Thats OK. I understand."
"So exactly how did the Twighlight effect you?"
"I lost a lot of my powers. But people always need to believe in LOVE. I am not really a Goddess anymore. I really need to conserve energy now. I can "save" up power. But all my whims are no longer an option oh well it was fun while it lasted." Aphrodites face sobered.
"So you still have power but you have to decide what to use it on? And you are using it for OUR benefit??"
"Gabrielle, you are one of the few mortals who treated me like a person. More importantly we are friends."
"Yes. We are."
"When Xena called me, I was still hurt and mad at the loss of my family. But after a little thought I realized this was an opportunity to belong to a new family. I dont like being alone. "
"Im glad you are here."
Gabrielle and Aphrodite talked all afternoon long getting reacquainted and discussing the future.
"Well, I have some moving in to do. I enjoyed our chat." said Aphrodite as she moved toward her quarters.
"Will you be joining us for dinner? I made bread this morning and there is stew simmering right now", said Gabrielle.
Aphrodite stopped short. She didnt really know how to respond. No one had ever invited her to dinner before.
"Yes. Id like that. Ill probably have to actually eat more often now and maybe you could teach me how to cook?"
"Id love to! That would be fun. See you in a couple hours."
Gabrielle went down the passage to her bedroom. Both she and Aphrodite had sensed Xenas return. Now that the "honeymoon" was apparently over Gabrielle wasnt quite sure what to expect.
Dark shadows shifted and Xena appeared.
"Xena, you dont have to sneak into your own bedroom. You can walk down the corridor without hiding in the shadows."
"Yeah but you know I like to stalk my prey before I go in for the kill."
"Im you prey??"
"Well if youre not interested in the role I could always go hunting down Aphrodites hallway."
"Get over here."
"Did you have a nice ride?"
"It was great! I took the horse out for a long run. We both needed it. Then I did some drills. Then a little hunting."
"And now I need to do a little cuddling.", said Xena to Gabrielles surprise.
"JUST cuddling. We are sposed to have dinner with Aphrodite soon right?"
"Its not nice to eavesdrop."
"I was stalking."
Xena moved toward Gabrielle grabbed her spun her around and deposited them both on the bed so that Gabrielle was on the bottom.
"Ooooo I like this", said Gabrielle.
"Me too", Xena kissed Gabrielle a long slow kiss followed by a long slow kiss after which Xena sucked on Gabrielles bottom lip then looked deeply into green eyes.
"I love you."
"Wow!", Gabrielle said dreamily.
Xena filled the next hour with more kisses, loving gazes and whispers of love.
Aphrodite wandered into the kitchen to find Xena setting the table and putting the food out while a dreamy Bard just stared lovingly at her.
A month passed with everyone getting used to the new living arrangements. Lila had visited a few times. Xena had brought in some more horses. Gabrielle had created a home in the caves. Aphrodite was learning how to "live". And Xena and Gabrielle were still madly in love.
One night after dinner Xena and Aphrodite had engaged in a lively debate. Gabrielle had wandered outside to avoid taking sides. She walked along gazing at the stars and letting her mind wander. She realized it was time to discuss having children again with Xena. There were so many details to figure out.
She began to worry anew at how Xena would react to the necessary sperm donor. She was also quite scared about being pregnant and giving birth. She was well aware that the last time had been extremely far from the norm. There were so many things to worry about and be scared by.
Suddenly Xena was there, "Whats wrong?! Youre upset! I can feel it."
"I was just thinking Im OK."
"Thinking about what?"
Gabrielle wrapped herself up in Xenas arms, "I was thinking about having a baby."
"Oh", Xena held her wife tightly. "What were you thinking?"
"Worrying whether Id be a good mother worrying about giving birth worrying about getting pregnant."
"Oh, Gabrielle you will be the BEST mother and I will be there when you give birth it will be fine um as for the other can we discuss it in the morning? It is a serious topic and I dont want to discuss it at the end of the day when we are both tired."
"How bout if I make us a picnic lunch. We can ride up to the waterfall. We can discuss these issues then?"
"Sounds good. As for now . take me to bed."
The next morning Xena was up early. She wanted to get some chores done quickly so that she would be ready for lunch with Gabrielle. And truth be told she needed to get her thoughts in order as well. She worked in the stables for a couple of hours tending to the horses. She had been taking one each day on a good long ride. She selected a large black stallion for this mornings run. He was new and still a bit wild but he was starting to yield to Xena.
Aphrodite had spent a lot of time trying to figure out how she could make herself useful. Gabrielle had started to teach her to cook and that gave her an appreciation for vegetables and herbs. She decided to try planting a garden. There were many herbs that they needed for cooking and for healing. Her first attempts were not all that successful. Imagine the Goddess of Love digging in the dirt!! But then she realized THAT was how she was approaching it. She was no longer a GODDESS and if she didnt change her mindset fitting into a new family was going to be tough.
So Aphrodite was also up early that morning. She was quite determined to be successful with her garden. She saw Xena ride off on the giant black horse and waved to her.
Gabrielle had put together an intriguing lunch. She made all the Warriors favorites right down to those dumplings with the red stuff in the middle. She was extremely worried about their impending discussion. But kept reminding herself of their marriage contract. Being open and honest was the most important thing. Still she was very nervous. She had known for a while who she wanted to ask to be the father but she wasnt at all sure of Xenas response.
After she had everything all set she stepped outside to look for Xena. After wandering through the barns she passed by the garden.
"Aphrodite, have you seen Xena?"
"I saw her leave to exercise the horse but I never saw her come back."
"We are supposed to have lunch and discuss having a family."
"Wow thats a BIG conversation."
"Yeah I wonder where she is?"
"Well since you are here could you give me a hand for a moment?"
So Gabrielle settled in with Aphrodite in the garden. She was quite impressed the Goddess progress and wanted to help and encourage her all she could.
They both were so intent on their project that neither realized how much time had passed until Gabrielles stomach growled. "I am so hungry it is WAY past lunchtime! why didnt Xena come back??"
After Xena and the Black had passed through the stone illusion she let him have free reign. He needed to run out some of his energy before he would properly respond to her. She let her mind wander to the subject at hand. How to get Gabrielle pregnant? The concept of anyone else being with the Bard made her nauseous. Should it be a stranger in a tavern? Or someone they know? Should she send Gabrielle off on her own with a man? Or stay with her?
Stay with her?! Now the concept of a threesome entered her mind. She NEVER thought of her love in any tawdry sexual situation. But was THAT the answer??
Suddenly Xena found herself being thrown from the horse. She flew through the air and straight into a tree.
Gabrielle was pacing through the common room getting angrier and angrier while Aphrodite did her best to diffuse the situation.
"She intentionally did this! She is avoiding me! I cant believe it."
"Gabrielle calm down. Xena wouldnt do that. Not anymore. She has really changed. Maybe you just havent noticed."
The angry Bard stopped and turned, "No, I have noticed you are right." She remembered their contract. "Well the only other answer is that she was unable to come home!!"
And with that Gabrielle flew out the door and toward the stable.
"Gabrielle where are you going??"
"I have to find her! What if she needs help?"
"Im coming too."
They both selected already trained horses and headed out of the valley.
Xena had woken up to a splitting headache and a pain in her ribs. She moved slowly trying to figure out what had happened. The large black horse lay on the ground a couple feet from her. He was badly injured. Apparently he had run right into a sinkhole and broken two legs as he fell. If Xena had been paying attention she would have seen it in time to save them both.
"I am so sorry boy. This is all my fault. I got distracted. Warriors cant afford to get distracted. I am so sorry."
As Gabrielle and Aphrodite cleared the stone illusion they both wondered which way to start their search.
"Do you have any idea where she exercises the horses??"
"No. I never asked her" replied Gabrielle.
The Bard paused and closed her eyes. She tried to "feel" Xena. Somehow she just knew her wife had headed south down the hill.
"Lets try this way."
It was getting quite dark and riding quickly was really not safe. Gabrielle was getting extremely upset the farther they traveled.
"We must have gone the wrong way. Though we could ride right past her in this darkness. What are we going to do??"
"Hang on Gabrielle. Trust you instincts. We will find her."
They continued on calling out Xenas name.
Suddenly Aphrodite pulled up her horse and said "Shhhh what was that??" She took a deep breath and concentrated. A pink flare-like explosion lit up the night and they were able to see the Warrior lying on the ground tapping her sword against the tree trying to get their attention.
Gabrielle rushed to Xena and pulled her into her arms. Her wife was covered in blood. "Where are you hurt!!?"
"Blood not mine" Xena panted. "Head and ribs been walking couldnt go any farther."
"Im here now. Ill get you home." Gabrielle turned to ask Aphrodite for help only to find the Goddess sitting on the ground.
"Aphrodite? Are you OK?"
"Fine fine just need a moment to catch my breath always happens when I use up what little power I have left."
Gabrielle turned back to Xena, "Do you have any injuries I need to take care of before we move you?"
"No just too tired to walk anymore sorry."
"Shhhh save your breath we will get you home and cleaned up."
After a couple moments passed Aphrodite regained her strength and they both struggled to lift the Warrior onto a horse. Not wanting to jar any of Xenas injuries they walked the horses back home.
They moved Xena into the bathing chamber and together removed her leathers. They put her in the shallow end of the hot spring and cleaned the blood and dirt off her.
Xena opened her eyes as they put her to bed "Im sorry it was my fault."
Aphrodite looked at Gabrielle "If you need anything else just yell. Ill leave you two alone."
"What was your fault?"
"I was not paying attention horse stumbled"
"What happened to the horse Xena?"
"He was hurt too badly had to "
"Is that where the blood came from?"
"Didnt have the strength to do it right poor horse"
"You did the best you could. Everything will be OK. You are home now."
"Home" and Xena passed out.
Late the next morning Xena jerked awake then grunted in pain.
"Easy take it easy" Gabrielle was right there to support the Warrior and soothe her.
"Hi. How do you feel?"
"Ill be fine need to wrap ribs hurts to breathe."
"Okay. I have the things we need right here. But I thought maybe I could convince you to eat some breakfast first."
"Anything for you."
"Correct answer!" And Xena was rewarded with a gentle kiss.
They spent the morning having breakfast then wrapping the Warriors midsection tightly. After another nap Xena woke up again. She could breathe a little better which made talking easier.
"Gabrielle, Im sorry. I messed up. I missed lunch. It was important. And I missed it."
"Xena you had an accident."
"I let my focus slip. I should have been paying attention."
"What were you thinking of?"
"You. Always you."
"Then you are forgiven." This was said with a dazzling smile that made Xena forget what she was saying.
"Can you eat some stew?"
"Depends on whats in it."
"No drugs. I am fine I dont want anything."
Gabrielle sat back and gave the Warrior a stern look causing Xena to cringe, "First of all I have played your nursemaid for long enough to know better than to give someone with a head injury any drugs second I know YOU well enough to know you are too stubborn to take anything to ease the pain and third of all if I want you to take something I will just TELL you to and YOU WILL understand??"
"Im sorr " A spoonful of stew landed in her open mouth.
Gabrielle didnt need her apology, "If I was gonna give you any special herbs it would not be pain killers <another spoonful> have you paid any attention to what Aphrodite is growing out there?? <another spoonful> something she says she invented <another spoonful> shes gonna name them after herself a love potion thats sposed to increase sexual desire and pleasure <another spoonful> so if you are going to worry about me slipping anything to you in your soup thats the thing to be concerned about."
Xenas eyes were wide as saucers. Gabrielle thrust the bowl with the remaining stew into her hands, "Finish eating and dont even THINK about getting out of that bed for another couple hours. REST."
"Yes Maam", was weakly said to her back as she left the room chuckling to herself.
Gabrielle wandered into the common room where Aphrodite was working on some new clothes.
"How is Tall Dark and Deadly doing?"
Gabrielle laughed, "You know that love potion you were telling me about the other day? Well, I told Xena that you were actually growing the herbs."
"You didnt!!" Aphrodite laughed.
"I had to distract her somehow and it just came out besides it got her to behave."
"Wow! Never mess with a Bard."
Later that afternoon Gabrielle was alone in the common room working on a scroll when she noticed a very meek Xena slowly walking down the hall.
"I want to go outside and get some air."
"How do you feel?"
"Fine! Im fine."
"Do you need help?"
"No! I can do it myself."
"Aphrodite is out there working in the garden. If I come out there she better know where you are."
"Sure sure I wont go far I promise."
Xena took as deep a breath as she could. One day stuck inside and she was going nuts. She was actually quite surprised she got past her wife. She glanced around and noticed Aphrodite sitting and staring off into the distance.
Xena sat down next to the Goddess, "Hey Dite. What are you doing?"
"Hey Warrior. I was just thinking."
"Is everything all right you look kinda depressed?"
"Im not very good at being human."
"None of us are. I think youre doing great."
This came as a surprise and Aphrodite turned to look at Xena, "You do??"
"Yes. I really do. You have totally changed from a self-centered individual to a caring, giving member of our family. Thanks for finding me last night there was no way I could yell to get your attention if you hadnt made that light it would have been a very cold night for me."
"Your welcome. Everything is so hard. I used to just snap my fingers and now I have to actually DO things."
"Yeah. But NOW you can take pride in your accomplishments because you know that you have EARNED them."
"Dont give up, Dite, keep trying its worth it."
"Thanks. So what happened yesterday?? Horses do NOT throw the Warrior Princess."
"I got distracted."
Xena couldnt help the blush working its way up her face, "I um well "
"Come on just say it if you run it past me maybe it will be easier to tell Gabrielle."
"I was worrying about her getting pregnant. When I was a Warlord, I used many people in many sexually immoral ways. But I do NOT think of Gabrielle that way. I do not WANT that with her. But it occurred to me that one option might be a threesome."
"Yup. That imagery would be distracting."
"But I dont think I could ever do that. Our relationship is well its sacred to me and I will not cheapen it with any sex act."
Two small hands gently squeezed Xenas shoulders from behind, "Its dinnertime" Gabrielle said softly.
Xenas entire body stiffened in shock realizing the Bard had overheard everything. She gasped in pain as her ribs objected to the strain.
Aphrodite looked just as surprised and glanced apologetically at Xena.
"Come on you two. Foods getting cold." Gabrielle went back inside.
Xena felt like she could never look Gabrielle in the eye again.
"Come on Warrior. What you just said was very sweet."
"Sweet!! I was talking about! I said! " Xena was in a full blown panic.
Aphrodite grabbed Xena "You said you loved her too much to treat her in any demeaning way. Trust me you didnt say anything wrong. You said all the right things. Lets go."
Aphrodite practically dragged the Warrior into the kitchen and pushed her into her chair. "Anything I can help with?" she asked.
Gabrielle had begun to worry that Xena wasnt coming in for dinner. She felt guilty for listening in on a private conversation but she really hadnt meant to.
"No everything is set just sit down." And she took her seat as well.
They passed the food around and filled their plates more for something to do than out of hunger.
"Im sorry. I didnt mean to listen to your conversation. I think its great that we all feel comfortable enough to confide in each other. But we should all have privacy when we need it. I will try to keep that in mind and announce my presence better." Gabrielle hoped this would clear the air and everyone would relax.
"Thats fine. I dont think we need to have any secrets from each other. I mean we ARE a family arent we??" Aphrodite commented.
Xenas head popped up at that. No secrets. Family. "Yeah we are." She glanced shyly at Gabrielle to see her beautiful smile.
They filled the rest of the meal with idle conversation then all helped clean up.
Gabrielle pulled out bottle of port. "Okay I say we resume the conversation you two were having I say we all cuddle up in the common room share this port and figure out how to handle our problem."
Two sets of surprised eyes staring at her was her only response.
"Its good port. Grab a mug and lets go." Gabrielle grabbed her mug and the port and led the way. The common room had many blankets and furs in front of the fireplace that was built into the cave wall. The Bard pulled a bunch of blankets into a nest and settled in looking up at the other two expectantly.
Neither Xena or Aphrodite had any idea how to handle this situation.
"Xena. We have put it off too long. We just need to talk it through. Open this bottle for me."
"Aphrodite. You just finished saying we were a family and besides the Goddess of Love ought to have some good suggestions on this topic. Sit down."
"Wow", mumbled Aphrodite to Xena "Shes bossy."
"Dont I know it."
"I heard that." said Gabrielle with a smile.
Once they were all comfortably ensconced in front of the fire sipping their drinks Gabrielle started again.
"OK. I want children. I want to raise children with Xena. I think Aphrodite would make a wonderful Aunt, as will Lila. I am not interested in a father being part of the scenery but if it is the only way I can work with it."
"No offense, but Gabrielle you could get any man you wanted. A one night stand with a stranger would not be hard to come by" said Aphrodite.
"But would it be safe?" asked an uncomfortable Xena.
"That would be a problem." agreed Aphrodite.
Gabrielle took a big sip of port, "I um thought maybe we could ask Virgil."
Xena took a bigger sip of port then refilled her mug.
The Goddess could feel the tension and knew they needed to keep talking, "It would certainly be safer with someone you trust. What do you think Xena?"
"I cant stand the thought of anyone "
"Thats fair" said Aphrodite "But do you have any specific objections to asking Virgil?"
Xenas head dropped "I guess I would wonder I mean the two of you DID put on quite a show when we were battling Lucifer and I would worry that Gods this is hard."
"You are worried that Gabrielle is attracted to Virgil and might have feelings for him." clarified Aphrodite. "But Xena, it wont work if Gabrielle isnt somewhat attracted to whatever man is chosen. Her body needs to respond to him or it will NOT be a positive experience."
Well, that was like a slap in the face. Xena had never thought of it that way. If Gabrielle didnt get relatively involved with the man it might as well be a rape.
Xena was on her feet and heading for the door "Cant talk bout this anymore." And she was gone.
"Gabrielle dont panic yet. These are hard issues. She needs time to get used to them. Shell be back. Lets keep discussing this. I think it is just as hard for you."
Xena moved as quickly as she could away from the cave. She headed for the barn planning to saddle up and get out of here. But once she entered the barn most of her common sense returned. She had always thought any man Gabrielle was attracted to was NOT an option. She had never gotten to the actual details. Gabrielle HAD to like the potential father otherwise she could be quite traumatized by the whole thing. Xena was just going to have to find a way past her jealousy and insecurities.
Besides she didnt even have to do anything. Her wife was taking all the risks. All she had to do was be supportive and trusting. Why was that so hard?? She turned around and practically ran back home.
The two blondes were still on the floor discussing the situation when Xena burst back in. Gabrielle looked up at her with fear in her eyes. "Oh great now Im scaring her could I make a bigger mess of all this??" thought Xena as she took a deep breath and moved toward Gabrielle.
"My love I am so sorry" Xena started as she dropped down in front of Gabrielle "I never realized how hard this would be but it is hardest for you you have to worry about being intimate with some man at the same time your idiot wife is running around unable to control her jealousy. Ill do better I promise. If you want Virgil. We will get Virgil."
"WHAT???!!" both women said at the same time as they stared at Aphrodite.
"I havent had a party in a long long time. Lets have a party invite all your friends and family it will be an excuse for Virgil to be here then if it feels right you can take him aside and quietly make your request. If you change your mind he never needs to know."
Blue and green eyes continued to stare at Aphrodite.
"Dite. Sometimes you amaze me."
"Yeah me too."
"Whaaaat?? Isnt it a good idea?"
"It is brilliant" said Gabrielle.
"Brilliant" agreed Xena.
A couple weeks later the party took place. There was a band of musicians and a feast of food. The area between the barns and cave was lit up with many torches. Lila, Sarah and Zachary were there. Lila whispered to Gabrielle that she expected Sarah to be engaged soon. Eve arrived with some fellow Eli followers. Eve seemed quite happy and relaxed for once which warmed Xenas heart. There were various people from the surrounding towns. And Virgil had also come to enjoy the party.
When he had arrived he had swept Gabrielle up in a big hug, "Gabrielle I heard the news! Congratulations! I wish I could have been here for the wedding."
"It was a small wedding that took place quite quickly. We really didnt have time to invite anyone. But Im glad you came tonight. How is your writing going?"
Xena tried not to hover. Gabrielle and Virgil were standing in the middle of a multitude of people having an innocent conversation but she still felt jealous twinges.
Xena turned around to find Eve and one of her friends. "Eve, are you enjoying the party?"
"Mother I need to tell you something."
All of a sudden the Warrior felt worried, "What? Whats going on?" She moved them off to the side.
"I needed to apologize to you for how I reacted when you married Gabrielle I should have known but somehow I was blind to your relationship."
"Its OK, Eve, I didnt take the time to make it clear to you."
"Well the thing is once I accepted your relationship I realized that I wanted the same thing."
Xena finally realized what was going on and took a good look at Eves friend. She was quite pretty though maybe a year or two older than Eve.
"This is Alexandra. I met her while traveling with Elis followers. We have become quite close."
"Alexandra, it is a pleasure to meet you. You are welcome here any time."
"Thank you. Its nice to meet you too."
They spent a little time chatting and getting to know each other and Xena almost forgot about the real reason for the party. Suddenly the Warrior felt hands travel across her back and then wind around her waist. A warm body leaned against her back and kissed the back of her neck, "Come dance with me."
"Excuse me duty calls." Xena turned in Gabrielles embrace and moved them toward the dance area. "You know I dont like to dance in public."
"This isnt public. These are our friends. Besides I needed to touch you but if you are uncomfortable." Gabrielle started to pull away.
"Oh no you dont get back here you started this youre gonna finish it." Xena tightened her hold on the small blonde. She began to move their bodies in a sensual dance.
They lost themselves in the music and each other.
When the song had ended Gabrielle grabbed Xenas hand and pulled her toward the food table. She loaded up a plate then found a quiet place for them to eat.
She pushed a bite of meat in Xenas mouth and said, "I want to ask Virgil. But Im nervous."
"Its OK well do it together" Xena put some cheese on a piece of bread and fed it to Gabrielle.
They finished the food slowly enjoying every bite. Then Xena turned and scanned the crowd. "You go inside. Ill find Virgil."
Gabrielle was pacing in the kitchen when Xena and Virgil walked in. "Gabrielle whats going on?" he asked.
"Virgil we need some help." That was as far as Gabrielle could get. She looked at Xena.
"Gabrielle and I love each other very much. But we want to have a family. And we can not do that alone."
Virgil sat down suddenly, "Are you saying what I think you are saying???"
"Gabrielle would like to get pregnant. And she would like your help. We both trust you. Your father was a part of our family and it only seems fitting to ask you to help extend that family. Will you help us?"
Of course Virgil was completely unprepared for this question. He had always been physically drawn to Gabrielle but realized that she was truly in love with Xena. "You dont mean NOW??"
"No no of course not."
"What what would happen if well if it didnt work??"
"Virgil please relax we are asking for your help not threatening you" said Xena as she sat down too.
"Virgil I dont know how any of this would work we would need to discuss it you do need to know that I am scared too" Gabrielle spoke soothingly.
"IF if you were willing to help there wouldnt be any rush when the time was right it would happen."
"And what happens after? Would I be a father??"
"What would you want? I want to raise a child with Xena. If you wanted to participate in that it would be your right."
"I dont think Im ready to be a father" He got up and paced "Could I be an Uncle??" He turned to see two of the most beautiful smiles aimed at him.
The party was a big success. Everyone had a wonderful time and Xena and Gabrielle were going to have a baby with Virgils help. Aphrodite had a wonderful time. She introduced every single man she could find to Lila keeping her out on the dance floor for most of the evening.
Finally it was time for the guests to depart and the three residents took turns escorting people through the illusion. As they walked back home arm in arm in arm Aphrodite asked, "So what did Virgil say?"
"Congratulations thats great now what?"
"Now he gets to make love to MY wife."
"Im sorry but I have to get used to the idea saying it out loud might help."
"Well it will work out fine dont worry" said Aphrodite, "I had a wonderful time at the party I have a new project!"
"Whats that?" asked Gabrielle.
Both Xena and Gabrielle came to a halt causing the Goddess to lurch backwards.
"Well, I found LOTS of single men and Lila is in her prime she shouldnt be alone and besides if Tall Dark and Deadly here can find someone to love her anyone can!!" With a taunting laugh Aphrodite was running down the hill with an irate Warrior right on her tail.
"I dont need children I already HAVE children what was I thinking??" Gabrielle shook her head as she wandered down the hill watching Xena and Aphrodite chase each other all over the yard.
A few weeks had past since the party and the discussion with Virgil. Xena had woken up before Gabrielle but could not stand to leave her side. She snuggled in closer and held the Bard tightly.
"If you dont loosen your hold a little you might break me" whispered her wife directly in her ear.
Xena relaxed immediately "Im sorry."
"Dont apologize Xena, just improve."
Outraged blue eyes looked into amused green eyes.
Gabrielle pulled her wifes head down again so she could whisper in her ear "I love you. Do you know what the best part of our honeymoon was? The sexiest thing? That made me fall in love with you again for the hundredth time?"
Xena couldnt speak Gabrielles voice had her mesmerized she shook her head "no".
"That day you held me down and just kissed me and told me you loved me and kissed me a lot more remember? we didnt even make love we just kissed "
In response a HOT mouth covered hers. They spent many heartbeats reliving that moment. Finally they pulled apart, "Its getting late you need to go."
Gabrielle reluctantly got out of bed, cleaned up quickly and got dressed. She walked back to the bed and kissed Xena once more "Ill see you soon." And she walked out.
Aphrodite walked down the corridor, "Xena? Are you still in here?"
Xena lay in the bed with her arm covering her eyes she wasnt quite sure what to do with herself.
"Xena! Get out of that bed! Dont make me come in there after you!"
"Please, Dite, I just want to be alone."
"Well, that is not going to happen you get to spend the day with me so get up and get dressed."
"Look I promised the little blonde when she left that I would keep you occupied I am NOT going to face her wrath if I fail so GET UP!"
"Okay okay what do you want to do??"
Big sigh. "Well how bout you take me fishing."
Xena brightened up immediately "Fishing!! Youll go fishing with me??!!"
"Once. And this is gonna be it. And only if you are outside and ready to go in the next couple minutes." Aphrodite turned and left.
Xena was humming as she quickly rummaged through her supplies. She practically ran outside "I know just where we can go! This will be great!"
"Great" mumbled Aphrodite.
Gabrielle and Virgil had agreed that a neutral place for their encounter would be best. They had both agreed to meet at Lilas house (which would be empty for the day). They had also agreed that they would relax and spend time together first and if they felt comfortable enough they would move on.
Xena and Aphrodite spent an enjoyable day together. They had a mixture of serious conversations, playful bantering and one water fight. Late in the afternoon Aphrodite was standing in the water at the edge of the small lake. All of a sudden she called out to Xena then passed out. She fell face first into the water to the Warriors complete shock.
Xena dove through the water trying frantically to reach Aphrodite before she drown. She grabbed the goddess and pulled her face out of the water.
"Dite!! Wake up!! What happened??"
Xena pulled Aphrodite into her arms and carried her to shore. She immediately began mouth to mouth until the Goddess began to breath again. Though she was breathing again she did not wake up.
"What happened I was looking right at you you just collapsed did something bite you?" Xena was talking out loud even though no one was listening. She reached down and examined Aphrodites feet and legs but there were no bites. "It was like all of a sudden you had no strength left no energy OH NO Dite!!?? What did you do???"
Gabrielle kissed Virgil quickly on the lips, "Thank you."
Virgil smiled at Gabrielle "Let me know if it worked. Do you want me to escort you home?"
"No it is just starting to get dark Ill get home fine." She gave him another smile then climbed on her horse and rode toward home.
All in all things had gone quite well. They had worked into it very slowly both being overly attentive to each other. It had been a little awkward but not as traumatic as she had feared. Gabrielle now hurried home. She needed to see Xena and reassure her wife that nothing had changed between them. As she came over a slight rise she stared in surprise the stone wall was gone! she could see right into the valley!
She kicked her horse into a full gallop as fear welled up in her stomach. As she passed the barn she realized that the torches were lit outside the cave entrance so someone was home. She leapt from the horse and ran inside.
"Xena!! Aphrodite!! Where are you??"
"Gabrielle! We are in Aphrodites room."
Gabrielle ran down the corridor "Whats going on? Do you know that the stone wall is gone??" She careened into the room and stopped short at the sight of Xena tending to Aphrodite.
"Xena? Is she OK?"
"I think so. We went fishing up in the lake above the waterfall and all of a sudden she just passed out I brought her home I dont really know what happened." Actually Xena had a strong suspicion but didnt want to voice it until she spoke with Aphrodite.
"What can I do to help?"
"I dont know of anything to do but let her rest lets go into another room and talk for a minute."
They walked back down the hall in silence.
"Xena have you had anything to eat?" She pulled her love into the kitchen.
"Um we had lunch at the lake I caught some fish but couldnt take the time to bring them back "
"Sit. Ill make you some dinner."
Xena felt so tired. She let her head drop into her hands. All of a sudden she remembered WHERE Gabrielle had been. "Are you OK? Did everything go OK??"
Gabrielle came to the table and put both hands on either side of Xenas face. She made eye to eye contact. "I am fine. Ill tell you about it after we know Aphrodite is OK. Item one."
"Okay ... Item one." Gabrielle went back to what she was doing and Xena leaned forward to rest her head and arms on the table.
"Xena." A far away voice was calling her. "Xena wake up." Soft hands rubbed her back.
The Warrior sat up quickly trying to figure out where she was. She had fallen asleep on the table. And the Bard had let her sleep. Gabrielle had been regularly checking on Aphrodite and she finally showed signs of waking.
"I didnt mean to fall asleep!"
"Its OK you have had a rough day. Aphrodite is waking up. Come on." Gabrielle tugged on Xenas hand.
Aphrodite struggled her way up to consciousness. She opened her eyes to find an extremely worried Warrior at her side along with Gabrielle.
"Are you OK?? You just passed out on me."
"Do you think you can eat something? I have a broth warming up in the kitchen." asked Gabrielle.
"Yeah. Id like to try that."
"Great." Gabrielle left the room to retrieve the food.
"Dite what did you do??" Xena whispered urgently "You did something with your powers didnt you??!!"
"Please dont be mad I was only trying to help."
"WHAT did you do??"
"I didnt know exactly when it would happen I shouldnt have been in the water thanks for saving me."
"Dont tell Gabrielle. Well discuss this later."
Moments later the Bard returned with a tray. She pushed Xena out of the way and sat on the edge of the bed. She picked up the bowl of broth and a spoon and moved to feed Aphrodite.
"Gabrielle I am OK I can certainly feed myself!"
"You know this reminds me of the time " Gabrielle launched one of her longer stories and pushed the spoon in Aphrodites mouth. She continued to tell the story not allowing the Goddess to protest her ministrations.
Xena just smirked in the corner as Gabrielle told her story and spoon fed the Goddess of Love.
When the bowl was empty and Aphrodites eyes were drooping again Gabrielle said "Aphrodite, do you want us to stay with you tonight?"
"No no Im fine if I need you Ill call "
"OK." Gabrielle tucked Aphrodite in and kissed her, "You had us worried today. Get your rest and feel better tomorrow."
Xena and Gabrielle wandered down the hall from Aphrodites room, "You leave my bed this morning to go kiss some man then you return to kiss a Goddess should I be worried????" teased Xena.
Gabrielle launched herself at her wife and pinned her against the wall. She kissed Xena quite thoroughly pulled back took a breath enjoyed the dazed look on Xenas face then went back for more as she pushed her thigh in between the Warriors legs.
Long moments passed. Finally Gabrielle pulled away and walked the rest of the way to their bedroom. Of course she was alone because Xena was still leaning against the wall in the hallway trying to figure out what happened.
Gabrielle smiled as she undressed. Soon she heard running footsteps as the Warriors brain caught up and moved her body in pursuit of her love. Xena came running into the room only to stop dead at the sight of the Bard completely naked lying on the bed. Again Xenas brain stalled.
As Xena moved toward the bed she was unconsciously stripping out of her clothes and boots "Beautiful I have THE MOST beautiful wife with an incredibly SEXY body I will do ANYTHING to please that body! .. tell me what you want "
Xena was babbling. She knew it. Gabrielle knew it. And they both were going to enjoy it.
The next morning a very tired and sore Bard stumbled into the kitchen.
"Gabrielle good morning did you have a rough night?" asked Aphrodite knowingly.
"Um rough isnt the right word active? we had an active night?"
"Oooo that sounds good."
Suddenly a disheveled Xena ran into the kitchen and skidded to a halt "Gabrielle!! Are you OK? We shouldnt have so soon after what if? "
"Yup it must have been an active night", said Aphrodite "Shes babbling;"
"Aphrodite!" Two voices said sternly.
"What?? Im not the one who got the Bard pregnant yesterday and it wasnt MY libido that kept her up ALL night either. Ill be in the garden if anyone needs me." And with that she left the room.
Green stared into blue. Blue stared into green.
"Did she just say "
They turned and ran outside to find the Goddess happily gardening.
"Aphrodite! Did you say ?"
"Pregnant I said pregnant "
Gabrielle sat down "Can you really tell?? Did it really happen?? The first time?"
"I was going to say no" replied Aphrodite without looking up from her gardening.
"What?" asked Gabrielle.
"When Xena made her request months ago I was going to say I wasnt interested in her offer."
"Why are you saying this now?" Xena sat down next to Gabrielle.
"I spied on you that night what I saw changed my mind I witnessed you debating your marriage contract."
She received two stunned looks but no comment.
"I know you thought that was private but I was still in selfish Goddess mode."
"I saw two people who realized their love for each other was more important than anything else who were willing to do anything to stay together and I decided I wanted to be a part of that."
"You are a part of that but why are you telling us this?" asked Gabrielle.
"Because I know one of the most difficult issues for you two is trust and secrets Xena knows something that she feels she should tell you but I asked her not to and now she is torn between her loyalty to both of us."
"She doesnt really know anything she just suspects but I dont want to cause trouble between you."
"So how do we handle this?" asked Xena.
"Why dont you want me to know, Aphrodite?" asked Gabrielle.
"Because you will get mad at me and what I did was really not that big of a deal but you will be upset by it."
Gabrielle stood up and paced. This was turning out to be a very difficult week. Emotionally she had her hands full with trying to conceive a child. Then to return and have a member of her family suddenly sick. Now this news.
"Im going for a walk."
"Do you want me to come with you?" asked Xena.
"No I need to think." Gabrielle wandered off toward the river.
"Dite what did you do??"
"Im not going to tell you right now all you know is that I used my powers I did not mean for you to even know that. Why dont you go tend to the horses while we wait for Gabrielle."
Gabrielle returned around lunchtime. She didnt speak to anyone she just went inside. Xena resisted her impulse to rush to her wifes side. A few moments passed and Gabrielle reappeared with a tray of food and a blanket which she laid out in the middle of the yard.
"Well? you two arent going to make me eat alone are you?" she called out.
Both her companions were quite relieved at the invitation and hurried to join her.
As they ate she said "I noticed the stone wall is back I assume that is because you are feeling better Aphrodite."
The Goddess nodded.
"Xena, do you know what Aphrodite is hiding?"
"No, I really dont."
"Aphrodite, you obviously used your powers "
"I would NEVER hurt either of you I think I did a good thing."
Silence they continued eating.
"If the situation ever arises that I NEED to know what you did you must tell me immediately until that time I will trust you and we wont discuss it again no one will discuss it."
The Goddess face lit up "Great! I promise."
Xena let out a relieved sigh. She was quite proud of how her wife had handled the situation.
"I think we need a table out here. We spend a lot of time outdoors. We should have some basic furniture out here." Gabrielle changed the subject.
"I told you both that this cave was one I used as a Warlord well there are some other things you should both know."
"Such as?" Gabrielle lay on her side and looked at Xena curiously.
"There are some passageways that we arent using yet. There is an escape route a backdoor in case of emergencies."
"That makes sense. We should all be aware of that." Aphrodite said.
"And there is um maybe I should just show you."
They all stood up each helping clean up the remnants of their lunch and went inside. After quickly returning things to the kitchen the Goddess and Bard looked at Xena expectantly.
"OK if we go down toward the bathing chamber " She led the way. "There is actually another hallway right over here." Xena pushed hard on a wall and it opened.
"Now THAT definitely counts as a secret!" Aphrodite teased as she squeezed past Xena "Lets go explore!!"
Gabrielle took the opportunity to hug Xena just to reestablish their connection then hurried to follow Aphrodite.
"Wait you two!! You need torches!" Xena quickly lit two torches and followed.
She caught up to them at the an intersection. "Here Dite take a torch I was planning on telling you about this right away its not something I am proud of it is all courtesy of the Warlord but I think I have atoned for a lot of this and hope you will both keep an open mind."
"Xena? Where are you taking us?"
"There are many more rooms to the left we can make use of in the future if you go straight you eventually come out on the other side of the mountain that is the escape to the right " She moved to the lead again.
The passage was quite curvy it turned left and right suddenly Xena stopped "Will you both wait here for one moment?" And she moved ahead around the next curve.
"Wow! This place is more amazing than I thought? Where do you think she is taking us?" asked Aphrodite.
"I have no idea. But she seems a little bit nervous."
Xena returned "Around this last corner is a large chamber I wanted to light the torches so that you can see the whole room at once ready?" She looked into green eyes.
Gabrielle smiled "Show us your secret."
Xena let her companions go in front so they could get the whole effect.
As they rounded the corner and entered the room both Gabrielle and Aphrodite gasped. Neither one said anything as their eyes moved around the large room.
"Ill let you two look around Ill wait down the hall", Xena made a hasty exit.
"Are we standing in a room filled with gold, silver and jewels??"
The room was glowing as the light bounced off the treasure. Every imaginable form of gold and every color of jewel was present. In absolute amazement they wandered among the items marveling at the beauty.
Finally Gabrielle said, "We cant keep this! It was all dishonest profit made by the Destroyer of Nations. It has to be returned! There are poor people who need this wealth!"
"We cant return it Gabrielle", Aphrodite said quietly.
"Why? Why not?!"
"What are you going to do? March into Potedia and start passing out gold thrones or diamond necklaces? Every petty thief and gang would descend on the town and destroy it trying to steal their fortune. And if word got out all this was here we would never be able to defend it. If Xena ever tried to return this treasure it would only fall into the wrong hands."
"Normal people have no use for this kind of wealth it only endangers them." Aphrodite moved around the room extinguishing the torches.
Xena sat on the floor at the juncture of the hallways. She knew Gabrielle was not going to react well to the treasure. Part of her felt guilty but the other part felt glad that her family would always be well taken care of. She was bouncing a small stone off the wall when she heard her companions return.
Both Bard and Goddess were still quite shocked at what had just been revealed to them. They didnt know what to say quite yet so they filed past Xena silently. They all sat down in the common room.
"I wanted you to know that we can afford what ever furniture you want. Our family will never want for anything."
"How do you plan to use any of that?" asked Aphrodite.
"I will take one or two pieces to Athens and sell them for plain old dinars. I will have to be extremely careful. Then Ill buy the items we need at various towns on the way home to spread out the money and not leave a trail."
"You wont buy anything extravagant we will live normal lives and you will give away as much as you can safely" stated Gabrielle.
Gabrielle moved closer to Xena and cuddled up in her lap. Xena immediately put her arms around her wife and slowly stroked her hair.
Xena and Aphrodite continued to discuss how the money should be spent and what items they needed for their home. Gabrielle dozed off in Xenas arms for some much needed rest.
They had all decided that if Xena was going to make a trip to Athens it should be soon. The Bard was now three months pregnant and Xena would not travel as the birth approached. Gabrielle was having some serious trouble with morning sickness. She was quite miserable and not having her favorite pillow to cuddle up with was not helping. Aphrodite did everything she could but she was no replacement for the Bards wife.
One day Aphrodite looked all throughout the cave and could not find Gabrielle anywhere. She wandered outside and still did not see her. Starting to get worried she hurried towards the barns.
"Gabrielle! Where are you?"
"Back <sniff> here."
The Goddess ran to the last stall to find Gabrielle in tears. "Whats wrong?? Are you hurt??"
"Im OK <sniff> do you think Ill be a good mother??"
"What? Of course you will."
"Maybe this was a bad idea I dont know <sniff> anything about babies." More tears.
Aphrodite realized that the Bards hormones were reeking havoc on her emotions. "Gabrielle you will do fine and you will have plenty of help."
"Do you think Im attractive?"
"What???" said Aphrodite while thinking "Oh gods she is a mess."
"Im FAT!!" With that Gabrielle burst into tears.
All Aphrodite could do was hold the pregnant women and let her cry it out. "Warrior you owe me big time for this" she thought.
Finally about one month later Xena returned. She was quite exhausted having traveled hard. She had a wagon full of supplies and six new horses tethered together. She felt immensely relieved to be home. All she wanted to do was hold her wife. As she rode up to the barns and secured the horses she saw Aphrodite moving toward her.
Xena looked around for Gabrielle "Hey Dite! How is everything? Where is my beautiful wife??"
"Next time Im risking the trip to Athens and YOU stay home with the pregnant lady!!"
"Is she OK??!!"
"She is fine. But she is pregnant. Her hormones are messed up and she is still sick a lot. Whatever you do do NOT mention that she has gained weight!!"
"Thanks for the warning. Im so tired. Ill unpack and show you what I bought tomorrow. Right now I just need a soft bed and a soft wife."
Xena hurried into the cave calling out for Gabrielle. She moved quickly down the passage to their bedroom.
There stood her wife looking uncertain and shy.
"Gabrielle!" Xena caught her up in her arms and swung her around. "I missed you so much! You are all I thought about. I hated being away from you." She set her back down and kissed her.
"Oh Xena I missed you too."
Xena sat down on the bed and just stared at her wife "You are so beautiful. Will you hold me for a while. I need your arms around me."
Gabrielle hesitated. She was self-conscious of the weight she had gained. Irrationally she was sure Xena would no longer find her attractive.
Xena remembered all too well how pregnancy interfered with common sense. She began to undress.
"My love I am so tired I didnt have one decent nights sleep without you."
"Have you eaten anything? I could make you some dinner." Gabrielle stalled. She was torn between her longing to be in Xenas arms and her fear.
"Im too tired to eat. Go ahead and get something for yourself. Ill just take a nap. We can talk later." Xena did her best not to show her hurt feelings. She did not want to upset Gabrielle by pressuring her. She laid back on the bed and closed her eyes.
Silence. And then the bed moved as Gabrielle slowly joined her wife. She snuggled up close to Xenas side and rested her head on the available shoulder.
Xena slid her arm under and around Gabrielle, sighed and said "I love you."
The next morning Xena woke up alone. She dressed quickly and went in search of Gabrielle.
Aphrodite was in the kitchen. "I made you some breakfast."
"Thanks. Where is Gabrielle?"
"Morning sickness. The only thing that helps is fresh air."
Xena grabbed her plate and started out.
"Wait!! Eat the food here. Do not let her see or smell it."
After hurrying through breakfast both Xena and Aphrodite went outside. There they found a pacing Gabrielle.
Without missing a beat Xena walked up grabbed her hand and pulled her towards the barn. "Come see what I brought home!"
Xena started rummaging through the wagon unloading things.
"Dite this is for you" she handed a large bundle to the Goddess.
Aphrodite was taken aback. She couldnt remember anyone ever giving her a gift. Tribute in exchange for godly duties yes but never a true gift. She sat down and just looked at it.
"Dite its even better if you open it" Xena prompted.
"Right!" She tore into the paper to find a beautiful dress and many different fabrics."
"I thought The Goddess of Love should have something fitting her beauty. And I know you are learning to make your own clothes. I hope you like that material. At the bottom there are some soft cottons I thought maybe you could make some baby clothes?"
A tear rolled down Aphrodites cheek and she beamed at Xena, "Thank you."
"These are also for you there are some garden tools, seeds and bulbs."
Xena started unloading some larger items.
"Gabrielle, here is a table and benches for the yard. And something every Mother needs a rocking chair."
Xena set a large beautifully crafted chair in front of the Bard.
Gabrielles eyes grew wide as she ran her hand over the fine carvings decorating the chair swords and quills matching their wedding rings. Before she could express her delight Xena presented another gift.
"And of course you will be needing this "
She set a matching cradle at her wifes feet. Gabrielle was overwhelmed.
"Are they OK? Gabrielle? do you like them?" Xena asked.
Still unable to speak Gabrielle grabbed the front of Xenas tunic and pulled her in for a very loving kiss.
"Ill take that as a yes" a breathless Xena said a moment later. "I have lots of other supplies. Ill get everything unloaded."
Aphrodite helped carry things into the cave and Gabrielle released the new horses into the paddock. After they had most things in their proper place Aphrodite said "Im going to head into Potedia. Ill be back tomorrow."
"Will you take Lilas supplies to her?"
Gabrielle had retired to the cave for a nap and Xena was exercising the horses. After a few hours Xena completed her chores and headed into the bathing chamber to clean up. She was tired and sore and looking forward to a good soak in the hot spring.
Sitting in the hot water Xena let her mind wander. Suddenly she realized she was no longer alone. She opened her eyes to find Gabrielle looking right at her. Blue met green in a warm glance. Gabrielle slowly began to remove her clothes. Inside she was scared at Xenas response to the changes in her body.
Blue eyes turned carnal "Are you coming in? or should I get out? because there is far too much distance between us."
"I thought I would come in."
Gabrielle slid into the water and approached Xena who was staring at her with unbridled lust.
"Gabrielle, talk to me. I need to know what you are thinking."
"Im scared that you enjoyed traveling again and wont be happy here. Im scared that you wont find me attractive now that Im pregnant."
Xena smiled. "Well that is easy I hated every moment spent away from you. Do you remember when I was pregnant with Eve? I felt like a slug. Did you find me attractive then?"
Gabrielle hesitated a little more than arms reach away. "You were glowing you were more beautiful to me."
"Then you understand how I feel about you now."
Gabrielle closed the gap and fell into Xenas arms. She put her arms around her Warrior and held her tightly.
"Oh Xena Im sorry I have been an absolute wreck I am not handling this pregnancy thing well."
"Then its a good thing Im home to help." Xena kissed the top of the blonde head.
Gabrielle responded with a long lick up Xenas neck, "Actually I do need your help."
"Could you move us to slightly shallower water? I need to suck on your breasts and I dont want to drown."
A bolt of lightening traveled through Xenas body and took up residence in her clit. "Oh gods "
Gabrielle didnt wait for Xena to move as she dove to her target.
"Focus Warrior move ooooo yeah move your feet dont ungh drown your wife" Xenas thoughts were very scattered but she did manage to move them mostly out of the water.
"Xena I have been wondering " Gabrielle said as she moved to the other breast and sucked hard.
Coherent speech was not an option for the Warrior all she could do was moan and writhe.
"If I could " A long hot lick between Xenas breasts up to her throat and a sharp bite to her pulse point.
"Make you come just by loving your breasts." And Gabrielle bit Xenas nipple.
"Gonna die Im gonna die" thought Xena but she said, "More!! More my ungh love!"
It was a long and arduous experiment but Gabrielle DID get the results she wanted. They both lay on the floor of the bathing chamber panting.
"Another thing I have been wondering " Gabrielle rolled on top and whispered in Xenas ear.
"Xena wake up."
"Wha?" Xena tried to roll over to go back to sleep but that was a little difficult with her wife sitting on top of her.
"Xena, No morning sickness!! I think we have found the cure!!"
"Thas nice." Xena mumbled not really conscious.
"It was obviously the sex but WHICH time? We will have to try that all over again." Gabrielle thought out loud.
"WHAT??!!! NO NO NO You are going to kill me!! I need some rest!"
"You dont want me to be sick again do you?" Gabrielle said slyly.
"Well no but Gabrielle you made me come 4 times I cant take anymore!!!"
"Hhhmmm only 4?? I thought it was 5 were you faking!!" Gabrielle just barely held in her laughter as the Warriors eyes almost popped out of her head.
"FAKING!!! You think I was faking!!! Ill show you faking!!" With that Xena flipped the Bard over and did her best to replay most of the previous evening.
Late in the evening Aphrodite returned home. She had had a very nice visit in Potedia. There was a single merchant that she enjoyed spending time with and she was still working on Lila. She took a few moments to spoil her horse in the barn. Then headed into the cave.
She entered the common room to find Xena sprawled all over the couch. "Xena? Are you OK?"
"No more Gabrielle need rest "
Aphrodite couldnt help but laugh out loud. "Big strong scary Warrior reduced to a puddle by a little blonde Bard."
Xena didnt respond she just rolled over and pulled the blanket over her head.
The Goddess kept laughing as she continued through the cave "Gabrielle? Where are you and what did you do to this poor Warrior??"
As the days passed Xena realized that she was truly enjoying settling down. She was working hard with her horses and already had one offer from a farmer. It was an active pursuit that required much stamina but was completely NON-violent. She was also testing her hand at a variety of other projects. Surprisingly she disliked the days she worked with the new militias because those were the days she had to be away from home.
She rode home after one such day in a town to the west. She was frustrated at the farmers lack of noticeable improvement. As anxious as she was to put her arms around her wife she still made sure to properly tend to her horse in the barn.
She finished by filling the feed trough in the stall. Just as she was exiting the barn a familiar voice called to her.
"Xena. You ARE looking good."
She turned in surprise, "Ares? What are you doing here??!"
"I KNEW you missed me." He advanced on her and pinned her to the wall.
"How did you get in?"
"Aphrodite IS my sister. I just came for a quick visit." He moved closer to her.
"Um good then you are leaving? "
"Well, theres no rush."
Unfortunately Ares would ALWAYS have a certain power over the Warrior Princess. She was having trouble concentrating although she knew this wasnt right.
He leaned in for a kiss.
The spell was broken. But Xena was left in a compromised position. She pushed Ares away and moved toward her wife.
"Gabrielle I just "
"I saw what you were just doing! And if THAT is what you want THAT is what you should have!" Gabrielle stormed back into the house almost running over Aphrodite.
"What is going on? Ares? I thought you left?"
Dite!! YOU let HIM in???!!" yelled Xena
"Hes my brother." she weakly responded.
"Get him OUT of here!"
Aphrodite moved toward Ares and grabbed his arm. She dragged him out of the barn and they started walking toward the stone wall.
"Ares? What did you do? They are my family now you cant keep hurting them."
"I gave up my Godhood for her. She owes me!!"
"Ares. I love you. But you need to accept it. The days of Olympus are gone. You have to find your way in this world. And Xena is very spoken for."
Aphrodite escorted Ares through the wall then watched him as she stepped back through. She hurried back down the path toward her home hoping that Gabrielle wasnt as upset as she had sounded.
"Get out! Dont talk to me."
"Gabrielle it was NOT what it seemed!"
"NO we are done you obviously still WANT him!!" Gabrielle ran down the hall to their bedroom.
Xena felt as if the wind had been knocked out of her and she dropped to her knees.
Unobserved Aphrodite witnessed this outburst. She felt cold inside and backed away. She slowly walked to the barn and saddled her horse. Numbly she rode out of the valley. It was all her fault and she knew it. She had no idea what to do or where to go. Somehow she found herself at Lilas house.
"Whos there?" called Lila into the darkness.
"Lila? Its me." Aphrodite was sitting on the horse still even though he stood still in the yard.
"Aphrodite!! Is Gabrielle OK?? Whats wrong??"
Tears streaming down the Goddess face she slid off the horse and stammered "Oh Lila, Ive ruined everything."
"ITEM ONE!!!" It was yelled at the top of Xenas voice. She took a deep breath and willed strength into her legs. She walked down the hallway and said again quieter "Item one."
Gabrielle was lying on the bed with her head buried amongst the pillows. She peered out to look at Xena.
"My love I promise you I have done nothing wrong."
Gabrielle took a couple of deep breaths. She had been verbally accosted by Ares earlier in the day when Aphrodite had stepped out of the room. He had said terrible things and in her hormonal state she had reacted poorly.
"You <sniff> didnt?"
"No. He caught me off guard. I never expected to see him here. I was hurrying home to YOU."
Gabrielle sat up and held out her hand to Xena, "Im sorry Im so confused he said that he could take you away from me anytime he wanted that HE was in control of you."
"If anyone has CONTROL over me its my wife no one else."
"Aphrodite? Dont you think youve had enough to drink?"
"This is the second family Ive lossst ya know I think it mussst be me."
"You havent lost anything. Xena and Gabrielle are soulmates they will find their way back to each other."
"I really did love my husband he was my soulmate things were different as a God. But I will always miss him." Aphrodite took another large drink of wine. The wine had actually been Lilas idea. She was trying to calm the upset Goddess down.
"Will you ever marry again?"
"Oh no. Absssolutely not. I dont want to replace Heph."
"Then why do you think that I should get married again?" asked Lila pointedly.
"Wow I never saw it THAT way before." said Aphrodite as she took another long drink. "Ya know the real problem with this mortal thing is that everything has more meaning and it hurts more I dont think I like it." A tear rolled down the Goddess cheek.
"Ahhh heres our runaway. You had us both quite worried you know." A low voice said in Aphrodites ear.
On the other side the tears were wiped away with a gentle hand "Its OK now that were together again." Said another voice.
"Thissssis really good wine. Now Im hearing voices."
Gabrielle moved to speak quietly with Lila. "Thanks for watching out for Aphrodite. We had a fight about Ares. It is all straightened out now."
"Come on Dite lets go to bed." said Xena
"What about your wife?? What if she catchessss usss?"
"Oh shell probably just join in!" said Gabrielle as she moved to the other side of Aphrodite to steady her.
The next morning found Xena, Gabrielle and Aphrodite all packed into one bed in Lilas guest room. Since the Goddess had not ever gotten drunk before Xena was quite hesitant to leave her alone.
Xena and Gabrielle woke up at a reasonable hour and were helping Lila with some chores. Finally Aphrodite stumbled out of the house.
"What happened to me?? Why do I feel like Im dying??"
Gabrielle moved to her side "This is a hangover. You drank too much wine last night."
"A hangover? Why? Why? Would anyone ever do this more than one time?? I will never drink again!"
"Sure you will Aphrodite, you just wont drink TOO much again."
Gabrielle led the Goddess back in the house and tended to her hangover.
"For helping me keep my family together."
"It is my family too."
"Yes it is. Can I ask you for help with another more delicate issue?"
"Sure what is the problem?"
"Can you help me convince Gabrielle to see the healer?"
"Is something wrong?"
"She seems healthy but " Xena looked around to make sure Gabrielle hadnt returned. "She has gained a lot of weight. I just want to make sure nothing is wrong. She wants ME to be her midwife but I cant keep a clear head about this Im so worried about her."
"Then we will all make a trip to the healer."
Since Gabrielle was outnumbered two to one she had little choice but to go visit the healer. Xena paced constantly getting more nervous as the exam proceeded. Finally Gabrielle demanded that she go pace outside.
"A simple exam has me a nervous wreck I cant possibly be the midwife." She continued pacing in the street.
"Xena." Lila had been sent to retrieve the Warrior. She had a slightly stunned look on her face.
"What is wrong!?" Xena ran past Lila and into the exam room. Gabrielle had a look of fear on her face. "Tell me!"
Gabrielle couldnt speak she just looked at Xena helplessly.
The healer said one word and Xenas legs turned to rubber. "Twins." Lila had followed close behind Xena and was there to catch her.
The stunned trio returned to Lilas house. The reality was slowly sinking in. Both Gabrielle and Xena were scared to begin with. Now they were starting to feel a little excited. They relaxed and enjoyed the time with Lila. Suddenly the door burst open and in ran Sarah dragging Zachary behind her. They had gotten engaged. They celebrated over dinner and discussed plans for the wedding. Sarah was obviously in love and couldnt take her eyes off her betrothed.
Later that evening Xena noticed Aphrodite was missing and went outside to look for her. The Goddess was leaning against a fence looking at the moon.
"Hey Dite Hows your head?"
"Will you be ready to go home tomorrow?"
"Im sorry about Ares. I guess I shouldnt have let him in but he IS my brother "
"You have every right to bring your brother into your home. But next time could you at least warn us so that we can keep up our defenses?"
The Goddess nodded.
"Xena, I dont understand " Aphrodite was confused she felt strange inside.
Xena stepped closer but didnt touch the Goddess, "Yes?"
"Did you notice how Sarah couldnt take her eyes off Zachary? She was practically entranced by him?"
The Warrior laughed, "Yeah young love."
"Thats how Gabrielle looks at you."
Blue eyes blinked surprised.
"I dont understand how two people who love each other so completely can come so close to losing each other and I also dont understand why it makes me feel so sick inside "
"Shoulda sent Gabrielle if I had only know this was going to be a sensitive chat" thought Xena.
"OK Dite you are now experiencing human emotions unfortunately when we get upset or scared we tend to react with our emotions rather than our brains it takes some time for common sense to kick back in maybe that sick feeling is a little bit of guilt for allowing Ares to cause trouble everyone makes mistakes its OK as long we talk to each other honestly."
"I dont want to feel this way again ever."
Now Xena took Aphrodites hand "Dont say that good and bad feelings go together if you never experience bad then you never feel good it is just LIFE dont give up on us yet my kids are going to need an Aunt."
Aphrodite let her head fall on Xenas shoulder and they both watched the moon for a moment longer.
"Shall we go back inside?" asked Xena.
They both turned around to find Gabrielle standing behind them smiling. She had obviously heard the whole conversation.
"Come on you two lets go."
"I was just telling Xena that I think Im depressed because you will no longer double date with me."
"WHAT?!" Blue eyes widened.
"APHRODITE! You said you wouldnt tell!" Green eyes narrowed.
"No Secrets!" And the three women made their way inside the house playfully teasing and giggling.
A week or two passed. Life had settled in quite nicely. Xena spent a couple days a week training farmers to be militia and worked with her horses. Aphrodite was a master in the garden and was also making clothes. Gabrielle had been put on light duty but she was allowed to cook and do some light drills with her sais.
It was quite dark out when Xena finally entered the cave. She was very tired and wanted to get something to eat then clean up and go to bed. Gabrielle was in the common room writing in her scrolls.
"Hi my love what are you writing?" She kissed the top of the Bards head then wandered down into the kitchen.
Her dinner was waiting for her on a rapidly cooling stove. She put the stew in a bowl, grabbed some bread and returned to the common room. She couldnt help but sigh as she sat down.
"I was trying to write a play. You are exhausted again. What have you been working on that keeps you out late every night?"
"Comedy or tragedy? I have some extra projects I have been trying to finish. Im sorry Im late."
"Comedy but its not going well. Im beginning to wonder if you are avoiding me."
Xena stopped in mid-spoonful "NO! No theres just not enough hours in the day have I neglected you?? Im sorry."
Gabrielle got up and put her scroll away. "Finish eating. We can discuss it in the bath." And she headed down the hall toward the bathing chamber.
Xena swallowed the rest of her dinner in a few mouthfuls and set out after her wife.
Gabrielle was sitting in the hot water relaxing when Xena entered, "Are you mad at me?"
"No, Xena, get in here and let me wash your back."
Xenas aching muscles thanked her as she slid into the water "Ill stay home tomorrow. We can do whatever you want."
Gabrielle turned her wife around and started a soapy massage "Relax. How about you work in the morning and spend time with me in the afternoon?"
"Whatever you want."
After a few moments a now clean Warrior stepped out of the hot spring and reached down to help her wife. She grabbed a towel and dried the pregnant Bard off then wrapped her up. She took a quick moment to dry herself off then scooped up her wife and carried her down the hall.
"Xena! I can walk you dont need to carry me."
"Yeah but I want to." She gently deposited the Bard in their bed and removed the damp towel. She slid into the bed and pulled the blankets over them both.
"Ahhh pure bliss" As warm naked skin melted into warm naked skin.
Gabrielle woke up to a sweet smell. Her wife was long gone but had left a single rose on her pillow. Gabrielle got up and sorted through her clothes looking for something nice to wear for her afternoon with the Warrior. Unfortunately she had gained so much weight that nothing fit anymore. She threw on an old tunic of Xenas and went to the kitchen.
On the way she ran into Aphrodite. "Why the long face?"
"I wanted to look nice for Xena today but Im so big nothing fits me anymore"
The Goddess gave her a huge smile then grabbed her hand and dragged her down the hall to her room.
"I have been waiting for this day!"
"Aphrodite? Where are we going?"
"You have been so sensitive about your weight that I didnt know how to give these to you without upsetting you." Aphrodite pulled out 4 new dresses maternity dresses they were low cut on top big in the middle with a medium length skirt.
"You made these for me? they are great help me try them on."
"Oooo that looks good on you! Wait til Tall Dark and Deadly sees you she wont know what hit her."
"Thank you so much Aphrodite."
Xena had gotten up early to work as much as she could on one of her projects. Obviously Gabrielle was upset that she had been neglecting her so she would have to present her gift before it was complete. She was using the back of the second barn as a workshop. It was almost lunchtime so Xena walked over to the river and cleaned up. She then headed inside with the intent to make amends with her wife.
Gabrielle wasnt in the common room so she wandered down to their bedroom which was also empty she looked in the bathing chamber as she passed by no one there. Next she headed into the kitchen.
"Gabrielle!? Where are WOW!"
There in the kitchen was her very pregnant wife wearing a beautiful new dress. She was radiant. Xena just stared.
"Do you like it?"
"Are you ready for lunch?"
"Shall we go to the waterfall?"
"Are you going to talk to me?" smiled Gabrielle very pleased with Xenas reaction.
"Uh un just stare." She was rewarded with a quick kiss then a basket was put in her arms.
"Come on Warrior."
Still staring Xena followed Gabrielle "Looks just as good from the back " That got her a much longer kiss.
As they stepped out into the sunshine some of Xenas senses returned "Wait I need to show you something." She took Gabrielles hand and led her to the barn.
"You were worried about what has kept me away from you well ... I was trying to " She pulled a tarp off an object "make another cradle with twins we need one more but I am not a carpenter so it isnt anywhere near as good as the other "
Gabrielle was surprised. She knelt down to examine the cradle. It was a rougher version of the one in their bedroom but it was very good and her wife had made it. She reached a hand back for Xena to help her back up. Once she was standing again she kept the hand and started walking out of the barn.
"Gabrielle is it OK? I can have a real carpenter make a better one "
The Bard gave Xenas hand a squeeze "Shhh well talk about it over lunch." And they continued their journey to the base of the waterfall. As they came closer Gabrielle noticed that there was now a small fire pit and someone had moved a couple of logs around it to serve as benches.
"Xena? When did you do this?"
"Um another project we all enjoy coming here so I thought a few amenities were necessary."
The Bard just smiled at her and they set out their picnic. They spread a blanket on the ground in front of one log so they could lean up against it. It had a perfect view of the waterfall.
Gabrielle started to sit but Xena stopped her "Wait me first." Xena sat down and put her back against the log then reached up a hand to help her wife. "You lean against me. I dont want you to be uncomfortable."
From this position it only made sense to feed each other.
As they ate Gabrielle said "That cradle is wonderful the other one has beautiful craftsmanship but yours is made from love you take your time and finish it properly."
"Ill try not to spend so much time away from you I didnt realize."
"Thats OK its the messed up hormones I know that."
They moved on to dessert. "Oooo my favorite!" said Xena as she attacked a pastry.
"Xena? Do you like my dress?" Gabrielle turned sideways so she could see Xenas face.
"OH YEAH!" The Warriors eyes glazed.
"Well I was wondering because we havent been intimate in weeks do you not want me anymore? Are we going to abstain until after the birth?"
Blue eyes cleared, became serious and arms tightened possessively "I want you. But I am worried about hurting you. I cant risk it. I have too much at stake."
"The healer said it wouldnt hurt the babies."
"But we tend to get out of control "
"Then that is what we need to work on because I dont think I can stand it I need to be with you."
Xena didnt respond she just nuzzled her wifes neck.
"I dont know my love, our lovemaking has always been vigorous are you sure you will enjoy a tamer ride?"
"As long as its with you."
"Prove it." They gazed into each others eyes then slowly kissed.
They made slow passionate love. They took all afternoon. Cuddling kissing stroking whispering words of love nothing urgent everything gentle with one long release. After which Xena buried herself in Gabrielles arms.
Suddenly Gabrielle realized that Xena was crying. "Whats wrong!? Xena?"
Xena couldnt speak yet she just tightened her hold. The Bard was scared but she rubbed Xenas back waiting for an answer.
"Xena? You didnt like it?"
Wet blue eyes looked at her adoringly "I LOVED it. I have NEVER ever felt anything like that before."
"You but I thought " Gabrielle was confused. "I thought a Warrior with as much experience as you would need sex to be as exciting as possible all this time I have been trying so hard "
"My love the Warlord had far too much rough meaningless sex I DO NOT WANT THAT especially not from you I love you too much I want to FEEL your love for me."
"So all this time you havent enjoyed "
A sweet kiss, "Dont be ridiculous. Im not dead. Of course Ive enjoyed every time with you. But THIS was something Ive never had before."
"Okay so no more aggressiveness "
"Variety is the spice of life. After you have safely delivered two beautiful babies then we can discuss aggressiveness again "
They looked each other directly in the eye and smiled.
A few more moments passed then Xena said "Oh by the way I invited Dite to join us for dinner here."
Gabrielle swatted Xena on the shoulder "Then you had better help me get dressed!"
Aphrodite arrive a while later in the wagon. She had brought supplies for dinner and a couple of extra blankets. Xena had wanted the wagon to be there so she could get Gabrielle to ride back home in the evening.
As Xena got a fire going Aphrodite unloaded the wagon. "Did you two have a nice afternoon?"
"Yeah, we got a couple things straightened out." Gabrielle said "So whats for dinner? Im starving!"
"Well the Warrior Fisher attacked the lake early this morning and provided us with more than enough fish. And I thought maybe you could use some of these vegetables to make some salad to go with it."
And they all moved in concert as if they had been together all their lives. The laughed and teased each other as they created a feast. When it was all ready they sat down again. Xena made sure Gabrielle was wrapped up in one of the extra blankets to keep her from catching a chill.
As they ate they talked about the babies.
"How much longer before they are due?" asked the Goddess.
"About 4 months but they will be early twins run out of room." Xena stated.
"I hope you dont expect me to be present for that event. Yuck! Ill go stay at Lilas someone can tell me when its safe to come home."
"Yeah me too."
Two pairs of surprised eyes looked at Gabrielle then burst out laughing.
"Whaaat?? If its gonna be that bad I dont wanna be there either." said Gabrielle.
"Seriously Gabrielle who do you want to help you give birth? Did you like the healer from Potedia? We can have him stay here as the time approaches." Xena asked.
"He cant just stay with us and ignore his other patients."
"Ill arrange it." said the fierce Warrior.
"Gabrielle, how do you want to handle it?" asked the Goddess.
"Well I had kind of imagined Xena being the midwife and both Aunts being there to welcome the babies."
Silence as the other two realized their part in the Bards vision.
"You want me to what??" Said in unison.
"Xena, I want you to deliver the babies. You are the best healer I know."
"Aphrodite, I want you, and Lila, to be there to hold the babies. They need attention immediately."
Silence fell over the trio as they considered the impending births. They were all leaning back against the logs gazing at the stars.
"Did you see that?!"
"A shooting star!"
"It must be a good omen." Gabrielle decided.
A few hours later the fire was burning down. Xena and Aphrodite had just finished loading up the wagon. They had made a little bed for the pregnant Bard to ride in. Gabrielle had fallen asleep. She was wrapped up in a couple of blankets and Xena picked up the whole bundle and moved her to the wagon.
"Dite, please ride back there with her just to make sure everything is OK."
Xena gently prodded the horse into a slow walk and drove them back down the valley to their home.
"SON OF A BACCHAE!!!"
"Gabrielle its OK breathe."
"Dont tell me gods! to oh breeeathe!! I know!!"
Xena was shaking. The mighty warlord had totally met her match. She was scared to death.
It seemed like hours ago that Aphrodite had made a quick run to Potedia for Lila and the healer.
Xena was sitting behind Gabrielle trying to help ease her pain as the contractions got stronger and stronger.
"I love you. And I love our babies." Xena didnt have any idea what to say that wouldnt infuriate the Bard.
"YOU DAMN WELL BETTER!!!"
Another contraction hit and Xena knew it was almost time.
Aphrodite came running into the room followed by Lila and the healer. They all immediately took their places around the mother-to-be.
Xena felt some of her sanity return with the additional family members but she still wasnt sure she would survive the night.
The healer took charge of the situation and started giving orders. Lila and Aphrodite responded.
Then it was TIME.
Gabrielle screamed and the first baby made its appearance. Lila was right there to scoop it up and take it away.
A few moments and gasped breaths then the second baby was on its way. This time Aphrodite was there.
Time seemed to stop as Xena looked to Gabrielle. Both babies were born but was Gabrielle OK??
"My love??" She seemed so limp.
"Gabrielle??" Eyes struggled to open.
"Are the babies OK??"
"Yeah hear them crying? How about you?? Are you OK??"
"The pregnancy is over??"
"Can we talk about aggressiveness yet??"
Xena smiled, cried, and kissed her wife all at the same time.