By D.virtue

The next morning Diana was up early like Xena normally would be a few
candlemarks before first light, and she went to the upper decks to see what
she could do before breakfast. Diana saw the helmsman and went to talk with

“ Utez.... how is it going?”

“ Your Highness, very well thank you, it’s been a long night, but it’s almost
over, is there something you needed?”

“ Your welcome, and yes, but not for myself, I thought I would relieve you
for the rest of your watch so that you can go and eat and then get some rest
before your next watch?”

“ But Your Highness, I don’t know if it’s allowed for you to work?”

“ It not only is allowed, but I insist and besides Nebula agreed.”

“ Oh, I didn’t realize, well if you really want to, then that will be great?”

“ I really want to.”

“ Ok Your Highness, here you go, let me just point out a few things ok?”

“ That’s fine.”

Diana stepped in front of the helm and took hold of it and listened to Utez
explain their heading and where the installed item switch was located. Diana
nodded her head in understanding as Utez explained everything.

“ Do you have any questions your Highness?”

“ No Utez your report was fine, I do have some experience in dealing with
ships like these , but thank you for making sure, I appreciate it.”

Utez grinned from ear to ear when Diana gave him a warm smile.

“ Go now and get some food and then some rest, I’ll be ok.”

“ Yes your Highness, and again, thank you.” Utez then bowed and departed to
the galley.

Diana stood at the Helm enjoying the quietness of the hour, it was still a few
candlemarks before dawn, so the only light was just the moon reflecting off of
the water. Diana was enjoying it so much she started to sing. She song a song
from her time and it was to her heart Xena. A Song by Whitney Houston: I HAVE

Diana song as she thought about Xena. Her voice was like that of many
songbirds, the crew that was awake couldn’t help but stop and listen for a
while as Diana song to the early morning. Nebula was just waking when she
heard Diana’s voice, and she laid in her bed for a few minutes longer and
reveled in Diana’s voice as it washed over her.

Nebula knew she could not show her feelings toward Diana, especially with what
she knew would happen to her if Xena found out that she approached Diana with
them, and the scribes that were with Diana would surely write what was said as
they were ordered to write everything that happened to and about Diana. Not to
mention the Amazon guards and Xena’s personal guard Miki, no Nebula knew she
had to just enjoy times like these where Diana shared part of herself with her
and the crew.

By the time Diana finished her song Nebula had made it to the upper deck and
was now heading for the helms where Diana was singing.

“ Good Morning Your Highness.” Nebula said as she bowed.

“ Good morning Nebula, did you sleep well?”

“ Very well, and it was nice to be awaken to such a wonderful sound, it’s
obvious your enjoying yourself?”

“ Yes, I am. The predawn hours are so wonderful for meditation and
Diana said with a thoughtful look on her face.

Nebula grinned and then said in a teasing voice.....” I think if your not
careful you might enjoy it too much and then Lord Xena would be after me for
stealing her mate to the sea?”

“ Hmmm.....only with Xena would I allow myself to live the life of the sea.”
Diana stated matter-of-factly.

Nebula raised and lowered her brow and then said.... “I think you have helmed
long enough, I think it’s time for you to eat and then we can go over some of
your plans and designs if you want?”

“ Oh....alright, I guess I do need to eat, and we do need to talk about

“ Ok, Stylea! Come and take the Helm.”

Stylea took the helm and Diana and Nebula headed for the planning cabin and
Nebula ordered for her’s and Queen Diana’s food be brought to the cabin.

“ Also bring enough food for my Guards and servants, they have to eat also.”
Diana interjected.

“ Yes your Highness.” The sailor said as he ran off to fulfill the request.

“Solari you and Eponin and Miki relax, I would rather not have all of you just
standing at attention all of the time, let the other soldiers Xena sent do
that, if your going to be around me all of the time I’m sure there are other
things you can do?”

“ I don’t know, Our Lord gave us specific orders.” Miki protested.

“ Miki, I am not asking you to disobey Lord Xena, I out of all people know
what could happen, no, what I’m suggesting is that I can use you better as
scouts and things when we get to the new land.”

“ Only if we scout by your side Your Highness.” Miki stated.

“ Of course Miki, I wouldn’t have it any other way.” Diana conceded.

“ Very well then Your Highness, I will go and inform the Royal Soldiers of
their new duties.”

“ Good. Now Nebula.... now that that’s handle, let me show you some of the
designs for the towns I have made.”

Diana then pointed out the tentative plans, but they would change slightly
depending on what the land looked like. Nebula listened and was amazed at what
she was seeing, she had heard Gabrielle’s stories of Diana’s extraordinary
abilities at drawing life like images, but to actually see them she couldn’t
help but stare in awe.

“ You drew all of this by yourself? Nebula asked incredulously.

“ Yes, I thought it would be less wasted time if I drew a bunch of them before
I came and once we got there I could change only those things that needed to
be changed.”

“ These images are amazing.” Nebula gushed as she picked up one of the scrolls
and turned it in her hand to see if the images stayed the same or if they
actually did change with movement.

The images moved but not drastically just enough to see the effects of being
upside down.

“ Wow woman, these are beyond words. Nebula compliment as she returned the
scroll to the table with the rest of them. “Has Our Lord seen these?”

“ I don’t know, I don’t think so. But I hope she hasn’t, I want it to be a

“ would, I think your the only person on the planet who could
possibly make the development of towns and cities into a surprise.”

Diana smirked and then waggled her brow at Nebula, who suddenly had a
different feeling in her belly other than that of laughter. She stared at
Diana for a moment until she heard Diana’s voice.

“ Are you ok Nebula?”

“ Hm..oh, yeah, I was just thinking about your surprise for our Lord, she’s
going to love it.”

“ Thank you, I hope so.”

Diana and Nebula went over different areas of the development and as they did
they had those specialist come and speak on what they knew, and before the day
was over, Diana and Nebula and all of the builders and specialist were all
talking about the new land.

“ Your Highness your plans are wonderful, I just hope we all can do just as
superb a job on our parts?”

“ I’m sure you all will do a wonderful job.”

“ Well I guess we really don’t have a choice, if we don’t you’ll get on us and
then Our Lord will hear about it and she’ll get on us more.” One of the head
engineers said with humor in his tone, but seriousness in his eyes.

“ Hahahaha...your right I would be quite upset. “ Diana laughed as she
lightened the mood once again.

Nebula and the rest then laughed. Sometime later Nebula had stood and was
stretching her limbs as she yawned and said in a tired tone.....” I think it’s
time we call it a day, we can pick up where we left off tomorrow, I don’t
think Lord Xena would appreciate the fact that we work all day and night,
your not even suppose to work at all.” Nebula reminded Diana.

“ Well I don’t consider this work, and besides, there has been many of days
and nights that Xena and I didn’t get much sleep.” Diana winked at Nebula.

“ Well I wouldn’t consider certain things work either.” Nebula stated. But
seeing that it’s almost full moon, I think a good nights sleep is in order.”

“ Ok Nebula, we’ll call it a night, but we will start in the morning.” Diana

“ Yes your Highness.” Nebula said as she bowed as did everyone else.

“ I’ll walk back with you to your cabin, if that’s ok?” Nebula asked as
everyone departed the cabin.

“ Ok, that’s fine.” Diana said as she and Nebula and Diana’s entourage left
the one cabin to go to Diana’s. Once there Diana wished everyone a good night
and turned to go into her cabin.

“ Good night Your Highness...” Nebula called .Diana stopped and turned back

“ Nebula I thought we had settled the addressing thing?”

“ Oh, yeah, your right, I’ll remember Diana.”

“That’s better..good night. “ Diana said as she patted Nebula on the shoulder.

Nebula’s eyes followed the path of Diana’s hand and she quickly put her hand
on top of Diana’s just to steal a touch, without looking obvious. Diana smiled
at the gesture and then gave a quick tilt of her head and she turned and
headed into her cabin.

The next week became a little uncomfortable for Diana seeing that she was not
use to being away from Xena for such a long period of time.
In the meantime back at the palace Xena was keeping herself busy with her
royal duties.

“ Get in here!!” Came the demanding voice of Xena.

“ Yes My Lord?”

“ What is this?! Xena shouted as she held up a leg of meat.

“ It’s it’s pheasant My Lord.” The servant stuttered as she tried to explain
the small piece of meat.

“ This is nothing but bones...take this out of my sight and bring me some
decent food, and then take yourself over to the disciplinarians chambers and
you are to receive 10 lashes.”

“ My Lord?” Gabrielle called as she sat listening to the harsh sentence.

“ What is it Gabrielle?” Xena said with obvious irritation in her tone.

“ I know your upset about some things, but do you think it is fair to take it
out on the servants?”

Xena looked at Gabrielle and then taking a deep breath she turned back to
focus on the trembling servant.

“ Todays your lucky day, take this tray and bring me my meal.” Xena said in a
more calmer voice.

“ Yes My Lord, right away.”

The servant took the tray and practically ran out of the dining hall.

“ Thank you My Lord. Diana would be proud of you.” Gabrielle stated.

“ Hmm...well, I only let her off the hook because it was true that I’m not
angry with her, except that tray of food was offensive, I had planned on
making her eat it up off of the floor.” Xena stated matter-of-factly.

Gabrielle flinched at the sound of Xena The Conqueror’s nonchalant attitude,
and the glimpse of the old Xena’s ways of punishing.

“ This traveller is really getting to me, I know I’m close but I can’t seem
to get it to work.” Xena said frustratedly as she looked at the traveller.

“ Hmm...can I ask you a question?”

“ What?”

“ How will you know it works?”

“ Simple it will flash it’s setting, so far, I have seen over a hundred
different one’s.”

“ Well is there one that sets it to all?”

Xena looked at Gabrielle with a startled look and then she looked back at the
traveller and said with a sound of ironicness in her tone.....” I’m sure there
probably is Gabrielle. “

Gabrielle grinned and then blushed at the look Xena gave her. Xena just
smirked and went back to working on the traveller.

“ You know Gabrielle, your birthday will be here in a few days, are you

Gabrielle’s ears perked up as she heard the new subject.

“ Yes! I’m as ready as anyone can be.”

“ Hmm... really, so if I were to asked you..say..... What is the purpose of
the Coming out ceremony you would be able to answer me?” Xena said raising a
brow and looking up over them at Gabrielle, to see her grinning.”

“ Yes.”

“ Ok, so what’s the answer?”

“ Ok, the purpose of the Ceremony is to welcome young Amazon girls into
womanhood.” Gabrielle said with confidence, and a smirk.

Xena narrowed her gaze and went back to working on the traveller, then she
said in a testing tone.....” So....if I were to ask you what the age of a
girl must be before she can be brought’d say....?”

“ 17...although it is better if one wait until they were 18.”

“ Hmm...sounds like you know your stuff as far as the scrolls go...but are you
as confident about my own questions? “

“ I think so....I mean yes.” Gabrielle said, correcting herself due to the
look Xena had given her.

“ Hmmm....ok, so tell me....Ah I got it yes!!”

“ It’s set?” Gabrielle asked just as excited as Xena had sounded.

“YES!! It’s been 8 days since I’ve seen Diana, and I have such a great need
and I don’t want to wait a moment more.” Xena exclaimed as she stood up and
was about to leave.

“ Xena? I mean my Lord?”

“ Hm...what Gabrielle?” Xena asked distractly, as she tested the display as
she connected and disconnected the wires, as she listened to Gabrielle.

“ Your ....your Question?” Gabrielle asked hoping Xena would spare her a

Xena looked at Gabrielle in wonder for a moment and then when she saw
Gabrielle lower her eyes, she looked at the traveller and then back at the
bowed head of Gabrielle and sighing quietly to herself she turned back around
and sat back down putting the traveller to the side for a moment.

“ Gabrielle my question is will you be able to separate the emotion from the
act? Meaning that when this happens, will you understand that I am only doing
it as a favor to you, and that it is not about me being in love with you, or
desiring you, you are a beautiful young woman, but Diana is my life. Also what
are your expectations after the ceremony ends?” And finally if I do this will
you allow yourself to fall in love with someone else who can return your love
in equal, without wondering if there were a chance between you and I? Answer
those three questions and I will grant your request. “

“Can you give me three days?” Gabrielle asked due to her concern that she
wasn’t as sure about one of the questions.

“ Gabrielle, that would mean I would have to stay here for another three days.
I have not seen my Consort in over a week, I have needs Gabrielle.” Xena said

“ But My Lord, the actual ceremony isn’t for three days anyway, so it would
only be fair if you at least gave me that?”

“ But..?”

“ Please....?” Gabrielle pleaded as she raised innocent eyes to Xena.

Xena let out a whoosh of air from her mouth and then she said in a frustrated
tone of voice.....OK ! You have the three days, but if you can’t answer those
questions to my satisfaction, then I’m going to be in a very bad mood.” Xena

Gabrielle swallowed hard and could only nod her head in understanding. Just as
Xena was about to pick up the traveller off the table, the same servant wasted
a mug of port on the open item, thus causing it to disintegrate to ashes.

“ WHAT THE HELL DID YOU JUST DO?!!! “ Xena shouted at the servant girl.

“ My Lord forgive me? I’m sorry!” The servant pleaded.

Xena eyes were blazing, and they were leveled on one person. Gabrielle knew
the tone and easily figured what was about to follow.

“ My Lord?” Gabrielle called trying to calm the livid woman.

“ SILENCE!! Not another word, you have answers to think about, I suggest you
go and do just that Gabrielle.” Xena The Conqueror said through clenched

“ Ye...yes My Lord.” Gabrielle then stood and bowed and strided for the door
to head to Xena’s and Diana’s chambers where Xena always made Gabrielle sleep
when Diana was away.

“ As for you little girl....strip!” Xena ordered as she took a leather strap
out of one of the pouches on her weapons belt .

The servant stripped to nothing and Xena then ordered her against the wall.
The servant went and stood against the wall and Xena proceeded to give her ten
lashes with the leather strap to her behind and upper thighs, during which
Xena had to stop and allow the servant to regain her balance, and then she
would proceed until finally after getting to ten, Xena whipped the servant
around and hissed at her.

“ Pray that I am able to fix another one of those up, because if I can’t then
I will whip you daily until I see my Consort. Also next time you serve me
anything, I expect for it to be I make myself clear clumsy?”

“ L.o.r.d...h.a..” The servant managed as
Xena let her go and she fell to the floor on her punished backside. OW!!!”

“ Go and see the healer!” Xena ordered and then she turned her attention to
the destroyed traveller.

“ Damn!” She hissed as she threw the dust to the floor and strided out of the
Royal dining hall and back to her chambers. Along the way she cursed.

Xena arrived back in her chambers where Gabrielle was sitting at one of the
tables in the sitting area. Gabrielle sat wondering if she should say anything
to Xena when she came in, but for some reason she didn’t think she would be
able too, she felt responsible for what happened to the traveller and to the
servant girl, if she had not insisted on Xena asking her the questions, then
Xena would be visiting Diana.

“ Selfish, selfish, selfish!” Gabrielle berated herself .

Xena walked into the room still cursing to herself and when she saw Gabrielle
she just watched her as Gabrielle pretended she was reading from one of her
scrolls. Xena strided into the bedchamber and headed straight to Diana’s
things, she got another traveller and proceeded to go to work on it trying to
set it the way she had set the other one before it was destroyed.While she was
working on it Gabrielle came into the room, and closing the door as quietly as
she could she went and sat on the bed. Xena tracked Gabrielle’s movement with
her eyes as she continued to work on the traveller.

“ Gabrielle....I’m not upset with you, it wasn’t your fault, I was upset with
my servant for being so clumsy, I’m not use to incompetence, I have no
patiences for it, on top of the fact that I haven’t seen Diana in 8 days I’m a
little on edge.” Xena said explaining her snapping at Gabrielle earlier.

“ Thank you for telling me that, I did feel responsible, and I was sure you
were going to change your mind about ........that.”

Xena smirked and without looking up at Gabrielle she said...” No I haven’t
changed my mind, but I would like it if you gave me the answers to my
questions now rather than in three days.” Xena stated matter-of-factly.

“ I’d like to, but I want to make sure of my answers...if you don’t mind to

Xena took a slow breath in through her nose and then let it out and
smiled....” Ok, I’ll wait..Gods help me so I can last that long.”

Gabrielle smiled and then stood up and said through a yawn....” I’m tired, do
you mind if I turn in Xena?”

“ No go ahead, I’ll be along in a bit.”

Gabrielle stripped out of her clothes and Xena watched her discreetly, and
seeing Gabrielle’s full curves, only served to frustrate Xena more, she had to
get to Diana, so she went back to work on the traveller, focusing all of her
mind on it.

End of part 4
Continue to part 5
Love to hear

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