All disclaimers remain in effect.
"I am so glad you're home Gabrielle."
"Me too. I missed you so much. But, now we're back together, and soon we will have a little one running around." Gabrielle's hand unconsciously caressed her distended belly.
Diana smiled, and both Xena and Questra watched the two younger women sitting on the grass, talking like schoolgirls who were just enjoying the day with each other. Diana would throw little pebbles into the lake, and watch the rippling effect of the water, while Gabrielle went between caressing her belly, and pulling blades of grass and flicking them.
Gabrielle tried not to talk a lot about her pregnancy, knowing how Diana had felt at one time, although Diana never told Gabrielle she didn't want her to have children, but she knew Diana wanted to have one of her own.
"How are you feeling these days Gabrielle?"
"Huge!" Came the serious yet contented voice.
"You're not that big Gabrielle." Diana teased.
"I have only been pregnant for a month, and yet I look like I am half way due to deliver." Gabrielle said gesturing towards her unusually large belly.
Diana sat thoughtfully looking at her, wondering whether or not she should go into discussion with Gabrielle about the usual rapidness of her development. Just as she thought about it, Xena heard it in her own mind, and she knew that if Diana got into such a discussion about Gabrielle's development, then it would only lead to more of a depression that Xena was already shielding
from Questra and Gabrielle. Averting her eyes in frustration, she happenedto see Lady Xena and Noor both coming towards them. Again Xena's eyes rolled, as she shook her head discreetly.
"Diana, come here please?" Xena asked, calling Diana over to her to distract Diana from her musing, and also to have her near her so that she could distract her more, since Xena and Noor were on their way over to join the four of them by the lake.
Diana stood up and helped Gabrielle up so that she could return to Questra's arms, as she went to see what Xena wanted.
"Sit here with me."
"Okay." Diana said as she sank to her knees and then turned and sat between Xena's open legs. Xena wrapped her arms around Diana's waist and pulled her closer. Diana then crossed her long legs out in front of her, as she watched Lady Xena and Noor come into the area they were all sitting.
"Hello everyone. I hope we're not interrupting?" Lady Xena said in greeting to everyone.
"Hello to both of you." Xena said as she watched Lady Xena help Noor down onto the grass.
"Wow Noor, you look like you're due anytime now??" Gabrielle stated in true surprise at the size Noor was, considering she was only a couple of months more pregnant than herself.
"Well, there are three of them, and I am due rather soon." Noor answered as Lady Xena sat down behind her and leaned Noor back onto her chest, wrapping her arms around Noor and held her.
" Triples? You know already?" Gabrielle asked, in amazement still.
"Yes, My Lady told me, two girls and one boy."
"That's wonderful!!!" Gabrielle shrieked.
"Yes, we think so also, so...what about yourselves, do you know?"
"No, Questra hasn't told me anything...yet? Gabrielle said with a glance back at Questra, who simply smiled and asked in an innocent voice.
"I didn't think you wanted to know, I thought you wanted to be surprised?"
"You mean you know??"
"Of Course, I've known since the conception Blossom."
" AND YOU DIDN'T TELL ME??!! What, what is it, boy or girl?? Gabrielle asked incredulously.
"It's them, and there is a boy and a girl."
"TWINS?!! We're having TWINS?!! By The Gods, Twins!! Oh....thank you, thank you!" Gabrielle said as she kissed all over Questra's face, and then dissolved into tears in Questra's arms.
"Aww...my poor overwhelmed Blossom, I'm glad you're happy." Questra saidwith an amused look on her face as she held Gabrielle.
Meanwhile, with Gabrielle and the others all distracted by Noor's and Gabrielle's news about things, Diana stood up. Her own heart was happy for them, but at the same time, she felt like if she didn't leave now, she would end up upsetting Xena, and spoiling the day for everyone else.
"Xena, do you mind if I return to the palace for a while, I'm a little tired and I want to lay down for a little bit?" Diana's voice was quiet and at a whispered tone.
Xena looked at Diana, and she saw the pain in Diana's eyes, despite her trying to hide it. Xena also felt Diana's mood, and so with a warm smile she gave Diana a sweet kiss to her cheek and then snapped her fingers for the bearers to come and take Diana back to the palace. Kalissa had been sent back to the palace a while ago to help the matron deal with some of the Harem women who were having difficulty with some of the training they had been undergoing.
The bearers headed over and while they were setting up, Diana spoke toeveryone through a feigned yawn.
"Well ladies, I am feeling a little fatigued, and I think I will return to our chambers and rest for a while. Noor, you do look like you are about to deliver any time now, well whenever it is, I will continue to pray that all goes well. Gabrielle, within the next month or so, you're going to look a lot
like Noor, only you will not be as large. I love you both, and I am so very happy for all of you, I will soon have many nieces and nephews running around, too wonderful. Well, I am going to go on back, but I will see all of you later. Diana then climbed on the litter after Xena took a kiss from her,
and the bearers lifted her and carried her back towards the palace.
The others waved and called their loving comments to Diana as she waved back. Diana then lay down and just let her tears roll down her face.
Xena returned to their chambers a few candlemarks later to check on Diana, before she joined the others for evening meal. Xena went into the bedchamber and saw Kalissa straightening the blankets over Diana, and then she turned and saw her Lord watching her.
"My Lord, I didn't hear you come in, forgive me?"
"It's alright Kalissa. How long has my Consort been asleep?"
"She was almost asleep when she arrived back to the chamber from the lake. It appears My Lord, that she had been crying, and I was able to confirm that when she changed and climbed into bed and proceeded to cry herself to sleep."
"Hmmm, I see. Leave us Kalissa." Xena commanded, not wanted to let Kalissa see the pain that she felt as a result of hearing Kalissa's observations.
Kalissa bowed, offering the standard respect to her Lord, before she turned and left the chamber. Xena then moved to the side of the bed and sat down on it next to the sleeping young woman. Xena saw the glistening on Diana's long lashes, which told her that Diana had indeed cried herself to sleep.
Xena's mind began working overtime, mostly about how sad she felt about that not being able to allow Diana the children she so longed for.
"I'm sorry kitten, I know you want children, and I want nothing more than to give you them, but I won't risk losing my kitten. I'm so sorry." Xena thought to herself, as she caressed Diana's ebony hair, ever so lightly so as not to wake her. Xena then leaned down and placed a light kiss on Diana's cheek and Diana moved a bit but did not wake up.
Xena then leaned back, and moving stray strands of hair from Diana's face. She stood up and with a final glance at Diana, she turned and headed to the bath chamber where she bathed and then was assisted with her dressing by Dancea. After Xena was changed, she glanced at Diana and to her surprise she saw fresh tears rolling out of the bottom of the long lashes that were fanned
against Diana's caramel toned cheeks.
Xena was concerned to see Diana crying in her sleep, so much so that she sent Dancea to inform the others that she would be arriving later, and not to wait on her. Meanwhile, Xena sat on the bed and closing her eyes for a moment to clear her mind, she let her mind merge with Diana's so as to see what Diana's dreams were of. The moment Xena's mind merged with Diana, she saw what was causing the new tears. Diana was playing a game with four children, two girls and two boys. They looked to be the age of 7, They all had features from both Diana and Xena. Diana was whispering to the giggling group, as they all huddled together to listen to their mother tell them the plan she had.
Xena watched the dream, a smile and tears in her own eyes, as her heart filled with joy and broke at the same time. She watched the group stack their hands one on top of the other and she heard Diana say in a determined voice, "She's ours!"
The group then broke and the next thing Xena saw was how they all split up and appeared to go in different directions, but Xena noticed that none of the kids were ever out of sight. Kalissa, Ludmilla, and Dancea, and Chirine, the black panther, all watched one of the kids at all times. But it was only Diana and the kids who were playing the game, at least that's what Xena figured, but then she heard one of the kids thoughts invade her mind as it echoed past and went to Diana.
"Mother, over here, I think I found her!"
Diana and the others all quickly went to where the little girl had called to them, and Diana closed her eyes and allowed her body to sense for the woman.
"Yes, she is around here, but the question is, where?? Remember you not only have to find her, but you also have to tell her you found her and then make it back to the tree back over on the other side, before she does."
"But we can't beat her back to the tree?"
" If you're creative in your thinking, you can."
" What do you mean?"
" I can't tell you how to do it, but I can give you a hint. There are four of you, yet you all were born as ONE."
Xena smirked at Diana's not too subtle clue, and filed it away in her mind for when the day came in their real lives, she would know the trick already. It took the kids a bit longer to figure out what their mother had meant, but then after a brief discussion between themselves the kids all whooped and the four of them then split up. Three of them headed back towards the home base,
the one stayed where she was and waited for them to get to their places. Once they all were in place, Xena again smirked her approval of what she was seeing and how ingenious it really was, especially for children so young, their logic seem to be impeccable. Diana smiled and nodded her head in approval also with the plan the kids had come up with.
Then the young girl who stayed behind winked at her mother and headed to where she thought the woman was hiding. She came to another tree, and walked around the base of it. She looked up to see if she could see anyone in it, but the leaves were too thick, so she stepped back and then
with a thought, to the others to get ready, she then asked her to lift her up into the tree. Diana used her mind to levitate the girl up into the leafy area of the tree, and then she heard the girl squeal in delight at locating her quarry. Diana immediately began lowering the excited girl back down to
the ground, as suddenly, Xena jumped out of the tree in one bound and was racing back to the home tree on the other side of the palace.
Once the girl was down, she immediately sent the thought to her brother who was closer to the home tree. Just as Xena passed him, he sent the thought to his brother who was closer to the tree. Then just as Xena passed him, the thought was sent to the little girl who stood right next to the tree as Xena rounded the corner. There was some confusion expressed on her brows as to why none of the kids followed her, but shrugged her shoulders and walked towards the little girl and home base.
"Hi mother." The little girl said casually as she watched her mother, The Conqueror approach her.
"Hi...what's going on?" Xena asked suspiciously, brow raising as she came closer.
"Nothing mother, but...."
"But what?" Xena asked coming to a halt right in front of the little one.
"But....YOU'RE IT!!!" The girl squealed, tagged her mother and then tagged the tree.
Xena was caught so off guard by it, that it took her sometime to register what had just happened. Just as she did, all of the others all came around the corner in time to see the event, and they fell down laughing hysterically, including Diana, who had tears rolling down her face. The other
three kids were all around her also laughing until tears rolled.
Xena then crossed her arms over her chest with an irritated smirk on her face at having been outsmarted by her own kids, at the prompting of their mother. She was not mad, just not used to losing.
"So...you think that is funny do you? Well..." Xena said as she uncrossed her arms and headed slowly for Diana who suddenly stopped laughing, but continued chuckling. She saw the twinkling in Xena's eyes and knew Xena had something planned for her.
"Xena....Xena My Lord...I didn't do anything, I just gave them a small clue, they figured it out for themselves." Diana said as she began scooting back away from the approaching bad loser.
Diana saw that Xena had no intention of stopping, so she suddenly jumped to her feet and went flying in the opposite directions, all the while pleading with Xena that it wasn't her fault. Xena took only a moment to say something to the giggling kids.
"You want to see something else funny? " The kids all nodded their heads frantically in agreement, and then Xena said, "Then follow me." She then took off in a rapid stride, but not so fast that her children, who were also unusually fast, could not follow.
Diana had disappeared and was hiding somewhere, and now it was Xena and the kids turn to find the unintentional hider. Xena's eyes scanned the field of flowers, as they walked through them, then her body automatically picked up Diana's, but she did not see her. Xena gestured to the children to separate and surround a certain area of the field where Xena sensed Diana was. They all closed in on the hidden woman, and just as Xena would have walked right past Diana, she stopped right in front and above her. Diana had made herself invisible and was just lying in the middle of the field on her back, with her hands behind her head relaxing and not expecting to be found.
Xena gestured to the others to come close, and when they did, Xena straddled Diana's hips as she stood. Just as Diana opened her eyes, Xena came downon her and when Diana's hands started to come forward, Xena caught them and put both in one hand. She then thought Diana's invisibility away, and there Diana laid, her arms over her head and Xena holding her, suddenly Xena
leaned forward and whispered quickly in Diana's ear.
"You're it Kitten!! And she began to tickle Diana mercilessly. The kids fell to the ground rolling as their mother pleaded with their Lord to stop. "Now this is funny, don't you think kids?"
"YES!! YES!!YES!!YES!! Came all four squealing and gasping kid's voices as they all tried at different times to catch a breath between the hilarity of watching their two mothers playing. Diana, with tears rolling continuouslyas she had lost her ability to beg with her mouth for Xena to stop, was nowrelegated to begging with her mind.
"Admit you cheated and I will stop." Xena taunted, as she intensified her torturous assault on Diana's sides.
"Ok, ok, I cheated, please stop?! Pleaseeee...???"
Xena suddenly stopped and Diana began trying to catch her breath as she continued to laugh and cry at the same time. Xena leaned down and got within inches of Diana's gasping, open mouth. She then covered Diana's mouth suddenly with her own and kissed her until Diana was dizzy and
completely weak. When Xena broke the kiss, the kids were snickering as Kalissa and Dancea and Ludmilla and Chirine all stood, gathering the children together and leading them back towards the Palace.
Xena meanwhile, looked deep into her love's eyes and smiled a bright warm smile that made Diana smile despite her weakness.
"I love you kitten."
"I love you."
Xena smirked, laid another kiss on Diana's lips and then lifted Diana upinto her arms and began carrying her back towards the palace. As they were going, Xena and Diana watched the children talking to the guardians, as they were just a few feet away from them. Suddenly, when the children and the guardians were passing one of the walls of trimmed 8ft tall bushes, a robed figured stepped out of the bushes. The figure grabbed one of the boys and without warning snapped the child's neck and just as quickly as the figure had appeared it was gone along with the limp body of the child.
Just then Xena, who had been watching Diana's dream, separated from Diana's mind just in time to put the touch on Diana to keep her from startling awake. She was shaken by the image, and it only made her more resolved to prevent it from happening. She only put the touch on Diana enough to make her remain asleep, but not unconscious; she wanted Diana to see how the dream went, and
she would sit and watch Diana's reactions to it. Then when Xena thought Diana had seen enough of it to realize why she had been refusing all of this time, she would release the touch and allow Diana to wake however way she was going to after seeing such a dream.
Xena sat in the chair at the table after pouring herself something to drink, and she watched the jeweled tears roll from Diana's eyes. First diamond, which Xena recognized as Diana's heartbreaking, then a dark sapphire after the shock of having seen what happened wore off. Again, Xena recognized their meaning as melancholy. She knew Diana was feeling despair and depression, but she didn't move to release Diana from the torturous images in her dreams,
she continued to let Diana feel all of the emotions.
Diana's tears then turned black as the darkness was setting in. Xena knew that Diana's dream must have her making her way over to where her child once stood, and that she was allowing herself to feel the fear and terror her child felt as she stood in the exact spot he was in. Then when the
sensations ended, that is when Xena saw blood tears start to roll down Diana's cheeks. That is when she quickly released Diana and within seconds, when the imaged Diana stopped feeling her child's life, the sleeping Diana woke with a bloodcurdling scream, that rang throughout the Palace and thesurrounding land.
"XENA!!!!!" Diana's eyes were wide open and wild looking as she screamed again for Xena, who at that moment appeared at the bed next to Diana, as if she had not known what was coming.
"Diana, Diana, it's alright, I'm here, I'm here kitten." Xena whispered, trying to comfort the confused and scared young woman.
Diana's arms wrapped tightly around Xena's neck and she held on as if her very life depended on it, and in a way, it did. Suddenly there were guards and Lord Questra and Lady Xena and their mates all standing in the doorway of the bedchamber.
" Lord Xena?! Is everything alright?!! We heard Diana??" Lord Questra stated as she and Lady Xena and their mates walked further into the chamber and came to stand near the bed where Xena was holding a shaking and obviously distraught Diana.
"It's fine." Xena stated as she motioned for everyone else to leave, except Questra and the rest of the family.
The guards and people all filed out, whispering their concerns to each other, and then the doors closed behind them. Gabrielle started to move towards Diana but was stopped by Questra, when Questra noticed the blood stains on the pillow. Lady Xena also saw evidence that something terrible was going on with Diana, from all of the different colored jewels scattered on the far
side of the bed where only she could see.
"You know Noor, I think you and Gabrielle should go and eat, and we'll be down in a little while, okay?"
"Okay." Noor said, understanding what was being asked of her. She turned to Gabrielle and although Gabrielle had mixed feelings about leaving Diana in such a state, Questra's encouragement for her to go was enough for her to leave the chamber with Noor.
Once they were gone, Xena sent a thought to the other two, which sent them out of the chamber into the sitting area. Xena then focused her attention back on Diana and continued to soothe her. Soon Diana was eased back on a fresh pillow that Xena had thought in place of the other.
"Are you okay kitten?"
"Yes, I think so." Diana said shakily, as regular tears ran down her cheeks onto her ears as a result of how she was laying.
" What were you dreaming about that scared you like that?" Xena asked, feigning innocence.
"Uh...um..." Diana stuttered as she debated whether to tell Xena what had scared her so badly or not tell her and feign forgetfulness. "I...I was dreaming something." Diana stated finally.
Diana looked up into Xena's steady gaze and she realized she could not say it.
"I don't remember."
"None of it?"
"Hmm...okay, but if you remember, I want you to tell me alright?"
Xena then stood up and walked over to the dresser. She opened a drawer and searching in it for a brief moment, she pulled out a little vial and walked back over to the bed. She poured Diana a small glass of water, and then openedvial and let a drop of the clear green liquid drop into the water. Swirling it once, she handed it to Diana and told her to drink it.
"What is it?" Diana asked as Xena settled back down on the bed next to her.
"It's just something that will help you sleep, that's all." Xena said, purposely leaving out the part that it would prevent Diana from dreaming anything.
Diana took the offered drink and with a final gaze up at Xena's loving eyes, she drank the drink down and then laid back down at Xena's insistence.
"I'll stay here with you until you fall asleep, okay?"
"Okay, thank you Xena. I love you." Diana said emotionally as she was touched by Xena's thoughtfulness to stay with her.
"I love you too kitten."
After 15 minutes or so of Xena caressing Diana's ebony hair as she held her head in her lap, Diana finally drifted off. Xena knew Diana would be asleep for the rest of the night and part of the next day without dreaming. Xena then eased out of the bed and left the bedchamber going into the sitting chamber, where Lady Xena and Questra were still waiting.
"Is she okay?" Questra asked as she followed Xena with her eyes. Xena went and poured herself a goblet of wine.
"She'll be fine, she just had a bad dream."
"Oh, I see. Any particular type of dream?" Lady Xena asked with a knowing brow raised.
Xena simply raised a brow in response, but never answered, she knew they both knew what Diana's dream was most likely about, at least to the extent that it was about children. Their only confusion was what did she see in her dream that would cause her to scream in such a way.
"Xena do you think it would be better if I take Gabrielle back to my palace until after she gives birth?"
"No, I don't think that will be necessary, but I'll keep it in mind. Meanwhile, I will just watch her and see how things go." A thoughtful gaze entered Xena's eyes as she thought about how Diana might behave after seeing such a dream.
"Well, just let us know what you want us to do."
For the next few candlemarks Xena and the other two sat and talked about Diana and also how both of the other two young women were doing with their pregnancies, and what they felt about Diana's earlier departure from the lake. By the time the three women departed from each other's presence, it was well past full moon.
When Lady Xena went into the guess chambers she and Noor were in, she found Noor still up and sitting in the chair.
"Noor? What are you still doing up? Are you okay?" Lady Xena's concern was obvious in her voice.
"I'm fine, I was just real uncomfortable lying down for some reason. I think it is because the little ones are real active right now. I have like this sensation that comes and goes. At first it was infrequent and intermittent the last 2 candlemarks or so, but then it seemed to become more
frequent over the last candlemark, and I just could not find a comfortable position." Noor flinched at that moment, her breath catching as she let the sensation run it's course and then subside. She then took a moment and caught her breath, and then continued. "Anyway, that was one of those
sensations, and why are you looking at me like that?" Noor was obviously perplexed as to why all of a sudden the fact that she couldn't get comfortable, was amusing to Lady Xena.
"How often are you feeling these...Sensations?"
"Now they are about every 10 minutes or so. I don't understand why the little ones are so active. I haven't eaten anything that would cause them to be like this." Noor flinched at one of the sensations once again, and then taking a moment to catch her breath she went on to tell Xena other things
about what she was feeling.
"I'll be right back My Light." Lady Xena then turned and headed for the door to call the servant that was assigned to the two of them whenever they were in the Palace.
" Yes My Lady, did you need something?"
"Xena's voice was low, but full of meaning, and the servant knew she had better waste no time in carrying out what was told of her. She immediately bowed and turned and raced out of the chamber to go and do what was expected.
Lady Xena then went over to the bed and pulled back the blankets. She positioned the pillows on the bed the way she wanted them to be. Then she went and lifted the confused Noor up in her arms ever so gently as if she weighed nothing, despite having three others on board.
"Xena...I told you I can't get comfortable laying down. And what did you tell the servant?" Noor asked as she was being set down in between the positioned pillows. Wow, this is real comfortable! Maybe I will be able to go to sleep after all?" Noor cooed as she yawned and then the sensation caught her at the same time and her yawn was cut short as a result.
Lady Xena smirked for many reasons, but mostly because of Noor's unfamiliarity with what was going on with her body at that moment.
"I'm sorry to say My Light, but you won't be getting any sleep anytime soon."
"What? What do you...." Noor was unable to finish the sentence when Lord Xena and Lord Questra and Gabrielle all came into the chamber.
"So where are we?" Xena asked as she came to stand near the bed looking down at Noor and then at Xena.
"She's about 2 minutes apart." Lady Xena answered nonchalantly, which made Xena's and Questra's brows both raise in question.
"Okay..." was the only reaction Xena gave to Lady Xena, and then she turned her attention to Noor. "And how are you doing? Are you ready for this?"
"Ready?? Ready for what?? What are you talking about Lord Xena?" Noor asked, concern now sounding in her own voice." What's going on? Arrghh!!"
"You're about to give birth My Light." Xena said with a bright warm smile, and then she moved up to the head of the bed and positioned herself behind Noor. Lord Xena positioned herself in the receiving position. Gabrielle was sent to help the servant with some things, for the infants when they were out. The healer arrived just before Noor screamed from a very hard contraction.
Lady Xena knew it was time, and she whispered in Noor's ear as she told her how much she loved her and then told her what she needed to do to get through what was about to take place, especially with three infants inside. If it had been any normal woman she would have to have a c-section performed, butas it was Noor, identical to Diana in almost all ways so her body would be ableto deliver in the normal fashion without having to be cut.
Xena placed her hand on Noor's belly, and waited a moment for one of the contractions to occur. When it did, she felt all of the infants kicking, and knew they were competing for position. She needed to subdue two of them while one made it's way out. Feeling along Noor's contracting belly, she found that one of them had position, so it was at that moment she put a deep touch on Noor's belly, one that would calm the other two. Lady Xena thenput the touch to Noor's back, just enough to take the pain away, but not the sensation of feeling pressure.
The healer was now positioned where Lord Xena had been sitting and she began to talk to Noor, telling her what she was going to do first and then what would take place during. All three of the older women felt Noor's fear, and it was her Xena that began talking to her in loving tones as the Healer pushed inside of Noor's body to feel for the dilation of the cervix. When she felt it was dilated and ready for delivery, she then told Noor to push with the next contraction, which came almost immediately.
Noor grunted as she pushed and her Lady encouraged her as she did. Lord Xena kept her hand on Noor's belly, assessing the other two infants, making sure that they were still under. It took Noor three tries to push out one, and she wanted to rest, but none of them would allow her. The healer tied off the cord and then cut it. Xena undid the touch she had put on one of the other infants, and it immediately rotated itself into position, as if it knew.The first infant was handed off to Lord Questra who immediately went to cleaning the little one up.
The first was a little girl. After she had cleaned the first child up, she handed it to Gabrielle, who went to cooing at her, as tears ran down her face. Questra leaned over and whispered in Gabrielle's ear.
"Soon Blossom, you'll be holding our children." She placed a tender kiss of affection on Gabrielle's smiling lips. Then she had to turn her attention back to what was going on behind her.
The second child was born a little boy. It took Noor 6 tries to push him out, and if it had not been for the block Lady Xena had placed on Noor, she would have been in real pain, but as it was, she just felt a pressure, but no pain. She was just tired from all of the effort. Again Noor tried to lay back against Xena to rest, but she still had one to go and there was just no time to rest. At that moment a contraction hit her and she was once again being encouraged to push and to push hard, and after each contraction she was allowed to catch her breath until the next contraction.
When the next one came, she pushed and pushed until finally the little girl cameout. The healer tied off the cord, then cut it, and handed the crying child to Lord Questra as she had all of the others. After she had cleaned the little one up she handed her to Gabrielle who had emptied her hands of the other two with the help of the servant who had brought in three polished wooden cribs that Diana had designed and had made for Lady Xena and Noor's little ones. She had planned to give it to them herself, but seeing how she was asleep, and needed to sleep, Xena had ordered the servant to go and get them. Diana also had two made for Gabrielle, but Xena didn't let on to that fact, she instead let everyone enjoy the three that were now being used.
After helping Noor get cleaned up, and the bed remade, Noor was laid back on the fresh bed and with pillows positioned just so on each side of her, even though she was now asleep from exhaustion. Lady Xena lifted one of the little one's out of the crib and opened up Noor's night blouse to expose one of her breasts. One of the little girls was placed on her nipple to feed. She
then lifted the little boy and did the same thing to Noor's other breast. The third she lifted up and held for a few moments as she turned to speak to the other women in the chamber.
"Thank you all for your help, Noor and I will never forget it."
"That's what family is for." Xena said as she gave a squeeze to Lady Xena's shoulder, and then caressed the back of the little girl's head that Lady Xena held in her arms.
Questra followed and then Gabrielle, who Lady Xena gave a hug too, and she whispered in Gabrielle's ear.
"I hope we are here when you give birth."
Lady Xena gave a kiss to Gabrielle's forehead and another hug, and then she let her go and turned to go and check on Noor and the two little one's who were still feeding. While Xena and the others eased out and talked for a few minutes in the corridor before Xena bid both of them goodnight and
turned and headed for her chambers. Gabrielle and Questra turned and for their own as well, only Gabrielle was wide-awake and animated. Xenaheard Questra chuckle a few times as they walked in opposite directions.
Meanwhile, Lady Xena had changed her clothes and had sat down on the bed next to Noor and the two other infants. She opened her own top and positionedthe bady girl in her arms. She placed her to her nipple, and the little one immediately latched on and began feeding. While she fed, Lady Xena caressed her other two children's heads. After a few minutes more of feeding on Noor's breast, the two fell asleep and Lady Xena removed one at a time from Noor's breast. After burping the one, she placed her back in her crib, and then she removed the little boy, and doing the same thing, she then placed him in his crib. She covered Noor's breast and made her comfortable once again, and then continued to feed the little one she was nursing. After a bit the little one finally stopped and Lady Xena burped her and then placed her in her crib. She then called to the servant
and told her what she was to do, when the little ones were hungry. After giving the directions, she climbed in bed next to Noor and wrapping her arms around Noor she closed her eyes and drifted off.
The next morning the palace was buzzing with news of the birth of Lady Xena's and Noor's children. Xena had spoken to the Royal party planner the night the three were born, and by the time morning dawn came, flyers and Royal callers all went out far and wide announcing the birth. A great feast was planned for the new parents, and by the time Diana roused from the sleeping medicine, that Xena had given her, she was at a loss as to what all the noise was about.
Diana yawned once more and then with a slightly weak voice she called for Ludmilla, her personal servant.
"Yes My Lady?"
"What's going on out there, I hear all of this noise, like there is some sort of celebration going on."
"Oh, yes My lady, there is! Lady Xena and Lady Noor had triples last night!"
"Wh...what? Last night??"
"Yes My Lady."
"And no one woke me to tell me this?!!" Diana asked, her voice rising in volume.
"I'm sorry Your Highness, Our Lord gave me strict orders that you were not to be disturbed."
"Really?? Well where is our Lord?" Diana said with obvious agitation in her tone.
"She is with Lord Questra and her Highness Gabrielle, down in the guest nursery with Lady Xena and Lady Noor."
"Fine, get my clothes Ludmilla, I think I will go and join everyone." Diana's voice carrying a tone of something more.
Ludmilla helped her Mistress dress, and called for Kalissa, who called for the litter bearers.
"Where are we going My Lady?" Kalissa asked as she walked along side the litter that held Diana.
"To see my nieces or nephews, or both. Damnit, I don't even know what they are!" Diana hissed through her teeth under her breath. So that Kalissa didn't pickup on her anger. But it was too late, Kalissa had already picked up on Diana's mood when they were in the chamber.
"Diana, My Lady, may I make a suggestion to you?"
"Seeing that this is a happy occasion, your mood does not match."
"I'm fine, but I see what you're saying. "
"I'm happy to hear that My Lady." Kalissa smiled and gave a slight bow as she then turned and they continued on their way to the nursery.
"Diana? I'm happy to see you are awake. Put her here." Xena ordered of the bearers, as they lowered Diana and the litter. Diana had swung her feet around before she had actually touched the floor, so she was in a sitting position with Xena standing over her.
Xena reached down her hand and helped Diana up off of the litter, and pulled her to her body.
"I missed you last night Kitten." Xena whispered in Diana's ear, despite sensing Diana's anger, which Xena noticed Diana was trying to hide from her. It would not and could not work, Xena knew everything that Diana was feeling, but she said nothing, she would just watch and see how Diana behaved herself.
Diana looked at Xena without returning the sentiment, although she knew she loved Xena, right now she wanted to be mad at her.
"Well at least that's all you missed My Lord. It appears that I missed a lot." Diana then eased out of Xena's arms and turned and headed over to where everyone was cooing over the three newborns.
"Diana! Hi!" Gabrielle shrieked and then went and gave her a big hug, despite the distance between them because of her distended belly.
" How are you feeling?"
"Fine, thanks for asking."
"Great, come over here and see them, they are just sooo....cute."
"Three, one boy and two girls."
"Really?" Diana asked, even more interested than she already was when she first headed to the nursery.
"Hello Diana, would you like to hold your nieces and nephew?" Noor asked of Diana as she lifted one on the girls out of the crib she was in. Still cradling her, she handed her off to Diana, who immediately cradled the precious bundle. She carried the infant over to one of the rocking chairs and sat down. She immediately began rocking and talking to the little one.
"You're just so precious. You and your brother and sister are the luckiest babies. You have a wonderful family that you all were born into, from your mothers to your aunts. You will never want for anything, I promise you that." As Diana spoke to the little one the baby seem to be listening to herbecause when Diana first started talking to her, she had stopped all cooingnoises, and movements, and just watched Diana's face as tears rolled down her cheeks.
Diana sat and talked to the little one for quite a while, and then she sat and talked to the other two, one at a time. Lady Xena walked over and pulled up a chair to sit and talk to Diana while she held the little boy. The others sort of made themselves scarce along with the other two infants, including
"He's beautiful Xena, just like his sisters." Diana said quietly, as she lifted her eyes to look at the compassionate eyes of Lady Xena.
"Yes, they are. Diana would you like me to take him and put him down for a while?"
"No, I would like to hold him if that is alright? I mean I feel so badly that I missed their births. Why didn't someone wake me??" Diana said more sharply than she meant for it to come out. Lady Xena's brows knitted for a brief moment, but then when she looked into Diana's eyes and saw she did not mean for it to sound so disrespectful, she let it go.
"Because you needed to rest, everything was perfectly handled."
"So you didn't even miss my presence?" Diana asked looking into Lady Xena's eyes, searching.
"You know better than that, of course we did, but we also knew you needed to rest, and that was more important to all of us than your being present for the birth. Besides, you have plenty of time to see and spend time with them. They will be over here so much, you'll get tired of them."
"Never." Diana quietly interjected.
Lady Xena then gave a warm smile to Diana before placing her hand on Diana's shoulder and leaning in close to her, so that Diana would be forced to look at her eyes. Xena then said in an understanding voice.
"I know it hurts Diana, But I know in my heart that Xena will eventually allow you to bear her children, she justs wants to protect the one person who means everything to her. Diana I can tell you I would do the same thing if you and I were together."
"Yes. You mean the world to all of us, but you know there is and always will be that special place in my heart where only you exist. Don't get me wrong, Noor is my life, but I still have a very strong connection to you. "
Diana smiled up at Lady Xena, and the smile was returned as only Xena, in this case, Lady Xena could.
"Now don't you dare tell Lord Xena I said that, she would lock you up in this place and exile me." Both Lady Xena and Diana chuckled, then focusedon the bundle of joy that Diana was still holding.
The next few days Diana spent most of the day with the infants and with Noor and Lady Xena. Diana also would take the infants with her to the lake and she'd lay out a large blanket and put the three children on it and she would sit or lay in the middle of them playing and talking to them. All the while the infants would be cooing as they listened to Diana either tell a story, or sing a song to them.
Diana 's full attention was on the infants, so much so that she had barely spent anytime with anyone other than them. One morning while Diana was taking the infants out for their morning walk, she heard Gabrielle cry out.
She immediately had Kalissa watch the three infants, as she told Ludmilla to go and find Their Lord and send her to the library. Diana had a sneaking suspicious as to why Gabrielle was crying out. She then took off for the Library. Kalissa arrived a bit later with the three infants and went into the
library to find Diana laying Gabrielle down upon the litter and sending the bearers out of the library to prevent anyone other than Xena and the others from coming in.
"Okay Gabrielle, I'm here, it's going to be alright, okay?"
"Okay, I'm just scared." Gabrielle said between bouts of clenching her teeth whenever she felt the pain of contractions.
"I know, but no need to be, you know I'm not going to let anything happen to you or these precious little ones."
" I know. I'm glad you're here sis."
"Me too, I couldn't imagine being anywhere else. Okay, it seems as though it's time for your little ones to see this world, you ready?"
"I don't think I have a choice?"
"No, you don't, but I thought I would let you think you did." Diana's face showing nothing but relaxed humor and complete joy for her sister.
Gabrielle had to chuckle at the joke, but a major contraction hit her and her breath caught and held as it waved over her. Diana then began throwing orders over her shoulder at Kalissa. Kalissa ran to the door and opened it just wide enough to tell one of the litter/soldiers to go and get
the needed list of items she had just rattled off to him. He was off and running to gather everything, including the healer.
Meanwhile, Diana called Kalissa back over to her, and told her to check Lady Xena's little ones to make sure they were alright and then to come and help her with Gabrielle. Kalissa did as she had been told and looking over at the three quiet and completely content little ones, she then reasoned that they knew something important was happening, and therefore did not want to interrupt. The thought made Kalissa smile as she then turned and went to help Diana.
"Okay Kalissa, you help her push when I say so, okay?"
"Yes My Lady."
"Okay, Gabrielle, your breathing is excellent, I have to remember to tell Lord Questra how superb a job she did with teaching and preparing you for this. Okay, now I am going to numb you from your waist down Gabrielle, that way you won't feel pain, but just the pressure of the delivery."
"Okay, are you going to deliver them now, before Ques gets here?"
" Gabrielle, I know you would like to wait, but I have no control over these two, they are ready to come out and meet their mothers."
"I know, it's just that I really want her here!" Gabrielle nearly shrieked when a contraction waved through her at that moment.
"Diana sat Gabrielle up and Kalissa positioned herself behind her to help her push, when needed, right after Diana put a pain preventing touch to Gabrielle's back, just at the spot where an epidural needle would be inserted if they were present in that time.
Gabrielle instantly felt the difference, and she became more relaxed as a result of it. Diana kissed Gabrielle on the forehead, and then moved down between Gabrielle's open knees. Diana went into her medical mode, and as she talked to Gabrielle, she felt inside of Gabrielle to see how dilated
she was. She did not have to go far, because just a little ways in, she felt the crown of one of the baby's head. Diana brought her assessing fingers out and again put another touch to Gabrielle's belly, just after feeling over it. Gabrielle realized Diana was doing the same thing Xena had
done to Noor, and a smile came to her face despite all that was going on. She filed the thought away so that she could tell Diana about it later, and therefore maybe Diana would not feel so much like she missed out.
"That'll keep the other one from trying to come out at the same time. Okay now it's time to really push. Just as Diana had said it, and Gabrielle felt the contraction, and positioned herself to push, Lord Questra and everyone else came flying through the doors. Diana did not flinch, her focus was
purely on Gabrielle and she and Kalissa were both telling her to push, encouraging her, and despite what Gabrielle was in the middle of, she found the voice to speak to her Lord and love.
"Ques!! Gods I'm glad you made it!!" Gabrielle saying all of it at once as her attention was soon diverted again to attend to delivering their children.
Questra immediately gestured for Kalissa to move and she instantly sat down, only she straddled the litter and sitting right up behind Gabrielle, basically keeping her in the position for pushing, she whispered in her ear.
"I would be nowhere else Blossom, I love you."
Gabrielle laid her head back for only a moment, enjoying the feel of Questra's strong arms supporting her.
"I love you too..but can we talk about it in a bit? I'm a little busy at the moment!!" Gabrielle screeched as she was once again drawn back to the moment.
After a time, Diana had delivered both of Gabrielle's children, with Xena standing right by her side helping with the infants when they arrived. After the healer cleaned them up, she handed both to Gabrielle, filling both of her arms, one with a girl, and the other with a boy.
Both Diana and Gabrielle had tears rolling down their faces, for the same and yet different reasons as well. After everyone had cooed over the two, and Diana was the last to hold them before they had to be given to Gabrielle so that they could be fed, Xena called for the litter bearers, and told them to take Lord Questra and Gabrielle back to their chamber. Lucky for Diana, Xena
always made sure there was room for at least two. Diana had given Gabrielle a final kiss on the forehead and whispered to her how proud she was of her, and Gabrielle had wrapped her arms around Diana's neck and held her for long moments as she cried into her sister's shoulder.
Diana understood what Gabrielle was feeling, but she was hoping Xena was shielding her feelings at least those that hurt because of not being allowed to have any children. Diana immediately put the thought out of her head and thought she was going to be the best damn aunt to all five of the
When Gabrielle and eventually everyone else had left, Diana sat looking at the door of the now empty and quiet library. Tears once again rolled silently down her cheeks as she sighed and wrapped her own arms around herself to hold herself. Xena moved to where Diana now sat on one of the sofa's in the library, and turned so that she was halfway facing Diana with one knee bent
and resting on the sofa while the other foot remained on the floor. Xena rested her elbow on the back of the sofa as she then rested her head on her hand, just gazing at Diana, feeling all of Diana's turmoil.
Xena didn't say a word, she just watched Diana as Diana looked longingly at the empty doorway. Then, feeling Xena's eyes on her, she didn't want to look into those sapphires that she knew were focused on her, but she didn't feel as though she had any control over it. It was as if Xena's eyes were commanding her. So, lowering her eyes from the door she slowly let them travel over the floor, up Xena's long legs and up to her chest. Then after a few seconds of calming her breathing down, she brought her eyes up, and their eyes met and locked, and Xena had her.
"Kitten, I am so proud of you, I know you were upset with me earlier for not waking you up to be there for the birth of Noor's children, but I had and have my reasons for everything I do regarding you. Your behavior today with the infants and with Noor and Lady Xena, was exemplary, and now here with Gabrielle. My little kitten delivering her own sister's babies; I am just sooo
overwhelmed with just how very proud I am of you. I know you have conflicts going on inside of you regarding all of this, but Diana, one could not tell. You were once again the most loving and attentive and proficient person that I have known, at least today you were. It's been a while since you have been soft, I miss it and I will tell you now, I want it back. I know you don't feel soft because of being upset with me about this baby issue, but, I am telling you now Kitten, I expect for you to find that again, that is why Kalissa is there for you. I will have a talk with her as well about things, but right now, I just wanted you to know how proud I am of you. I know you have made all of them so happy."
Diana tear streaked face was once again feeling tears rolling down it. She was feeling so many things, and nothing at the same time, she actually just felt exhausted. She leaned over and laid her head gently on Xena's lap, as her tears rolled down her cheek towards her ear only to fall upon Xena's thigh. She closed her eyes and, Xena cocking her head at Diana's odd response to her comments, realized that Diana was touched , but with everything going on, she was tired. Xena brought her hand up and caressed Diana's thick ebony locks of hair.
Diana was soon asleep and being carried to their bedchamber, her head nestled in the crook of Xena's neck, her breathing soft and regular, warm against Xena's neck. Each soft exhaled breath that touched on Xena's neck, sent shivers down Xena's spine, her need for Diana was beginning to make it's presence known and Xena did not think that she would be able to allow Diana to
get the rest she needed.
"Tartarus! Why now? Hmmm....Kitten I have got to put you down, otherwise I'll take you right here in the middle of this corridor." Xena gasped through her teeth as she suddenly increased her pace to their bedchamber. She was quickly losing her resolve to let Diana sleep.
Xena made it to the chamber and quickly laid Diana down upon the bed. She started to rapidly undress her, but as she removed one piece of clothing, exposing Diana's breast, her rapid resolve to undress Diana, was slowly fading. She removed Diana's light skirt, her eyes never leaving Diana's soft breast, the nipples in such a relaxed state that Xena actually found herself
gritting her teeth at the thought of taking one of them in her mouth and sucking it into a rock hard peak within her mouth. The thought made Xena visually shiver. Her eyes slowly broke from Diana breasts as she let her gaze roam over and down Diana's nearly nude body. Her fingers laced under the rim of Diana's panties, she slowly slid them down. Her breath increasing at every bit of soft curly hairs that was exposed. Xena slid the panties off and Diana sighed and stretched out on the bed, her unintentionally sensual movements did nothing to help Xena in her resolve to let her rest.
Xena removed the panties, and then her hand rose back up to lightly caress the soft hairs. Xena closed her eyes as she saw Diana's skin develop gooseflesh as a result of the light, ticklish touch. Xena lowered her mouth down slowly her eyes once again fixed on the undisturbed nipples, her mouth slowly opening, she licked her lips in anticipation of tasting the peak within her mouth.
The thought sent another shiver up Xena's spine. Finally when she was within inches of the peak, she let her tongue peek out, and she used the very tip of her tongue upon the very top of the soft peak. Diana stretched again, as a cute sigh escaped her now parted lips.
"G.o.d.s......Kitten, I'm sorry, but I need you. Xena whispered huskily. She then seized the peak in her mouth and ravaged it. Diana startled awake as a result of the sudden stimulation.
She went to sit up but Xena was holding her down, as if she had anticipated the reaction.
"X.en.a....??!! Diana was gasping as Xena ravaged the one peak with her mouth and used the converted palm of her other hand to do the same thing to Diana's other now rock hard peak.
Diana was squirming underneath Xena's ravaging, and this only increased Xena's desire and need of her Consort.
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