Shipmates

part 9

By Azurenon & Savanna Mac

Please see part one for all disclaimers.


Chapter 9

"Good morniní," Xena said, her voice gravely from sleep.

"Umm. good morning to you, too," the bard responded. "Um, Xena, Iím... ravenous."

"Oh well, I think I can take care of that," the warrior commented, her left hand roaming over the bardís naked backside.

"Uh... I meant for food, this time," Gabrielle corrected.

"Oh... well, Iím pretty hungry myself. And is it any wonder, we didnít have any supper last night."

"Oh, thatís right," the bard commented. "Well, I should go get it this time, donít ya think?"

"Well, if you insis.... oh no," the warrior said, remembering the incident with the crewman the previous day. "No, youíre not going anywhere alone. Iíll go get something. Even though... I really do hate leaving this... nice warm bed..."

"Iíll go then," the bard suggested again.

"Nope, you lay right here. Iíll be back soon," the warrior said, as she planted a kiss on her loverís lips.

"What is this?" Gabrielle asked, tasting the warm stew.

"Squid," Xena replied. "I had asked the cook to fry us some fish, but... they were eaten last night. And he didnít fix anything else this morning."

"Not too bad," the bard commented, taking another sip.

"Um... he... he said squid was... an aphrodisiac," Xena said, as she attempted to peel an orange.

"Aphrodisiac? Umph," the bard grunted. "Iím not sure we need to be eating this, then."

Xena chuckled. "Well, we only have another day and half left. Seems the storm pushed us along on our course, a bit. Past the port the captain was going to stop at today, actually. Heís got enough provisions, thanks to the school of snappa, so that cuts our trip a day short. We should be off the ship by midafternoon tomorrow."

"Thank the gods for that," Gabrielle muttered.

"You go ahead and enjoy the stew, Iíll just... refrain. Maybe that way..."

"Iíll be the one wanting hopping your bones, every chance I get, for a change, hmm?"

"I could always stay up on deck, if it gets too bad," Xena teased.

"You better not!" Gabrielle warned. "I want you right here with me, aphrodisiac or not."

"Hmm, then maybe I should have some of that myself."

"Oh, uh-uh," Gabrielle said, holding the bowl out of reach. "Believe me, you donít need it." Xena smiled slyly and Gabrielle chuckled. "Just, eat your oranges, Warrior Princess. Leave the stew to me."

Just then there was a knock at the door. "Xena," a male voice called out. "Captain would like to see you on deck."

"Blast," the warrior muttered. "Be there when I finish my breakfast," she answered back.

"What does he keep wanting you for?" the bard queried.

"Ah-h, I told him I know how to sail," the warrior responded disgustedly, peeling the last part of rind from her orange.

"Whyíd you tell him that?"

"Because... he was reluctant to give us passage. Said he already had a passenger."

"Thereís another passenger on board?"

"I havenít seen one. It was probably just a ruse to get more money outta me. But, of course, I didnít have anymore to give him, so... I offered my services as a seafarer, if he needed them."

"Ah, I see. So, I guess you need to... go earn our keep?"

"Yeah," the warrior muttered, popping a piece of orange in her mouth. "Uíll be glud whun weíre uff this síip," she mumbled around a mouthful.

****

Xena felt Gabrielle rather than saw her. She turned from repairing the sail and caught sight of her lover standing by the railing near the lower deck. Noticing that the bard was soon hanging her head over the railing, she dropped what she was doing and rushed over to her.

"Gabrielle, whatís... wrong?" she asked, concern evident in her voice.

"Umph," the bard grunted and wiped her mouth with the back of her hand. "If I didnít know better, Iíd think I was pregnant," the bard muttered, trying to smile.

"Uh... well, I donít think thatís possible," Xena said, with a slight chuckle. "At least,... not this soon," she added, "Or.. is it? I mean... you havenít been with anyone else, but....
"Oh Xena, please,... I was... only teasing," the bard muttered. "I was just... referring to how hungry I was this morning, enough to eat squid stew and now..." Gabrielle turned away and hung her head over the railing.

"Was it the squid?" Xena asked, rubbing her friendís back, while she heaved. There goes the aphrodisiac, she thought.

"Youíre... not sick," the bard responded.

"Hmm. Did that herb stop working?"

"Uh-oh," Gabrielle commented, after wiping her mouth. "I... forgot to take some last night."

"Uh-huh," Xena said, feeling better now that she thought she knew the cause of the bardís distress. "Well, Iíll go get the herb, you stay right here I wonít be...."

"Xena!" one of the crewman called. "We need that sail."

"Damn and blast!" Xena muttered. "Iíll be there in a moment, Iíve got a sick friend here."

"Xena, please," Gabrielle said, turning away, "go back to what you were doing. Iíll get the herb and... Iíll be fine."

"I wanna take care of you," the warrior said, putting both hands on her loverís shoulders and turning her around to face her.

"Iíll be fine, really," the bard assured her. "I shouldnít have come up here, I guess. But, I just wanted to see you and... I took one look at the water and... the next thing I know.... Iím hanging over the rail."

"Screw the sail," Xena said, "Iím going with you."

"No, Xena Iíd feel guilty. You stay here, because they need you now. Iím not gonna be good company for a while, I expect."

"Good company? Gabrielle, I wanna take care of you, not... "

"Xena? Whatíd you do with the twine?" a crewman called.

"Xena, please, go on," Gabrielle urged.

"Alright," the warrior grumbled, "but listen up. You bolt that door behind you and donít you let anyone in, but me, understood?"

"Have you seen him this morning?" the bard asked, referring to the man who had accosted them the previous day.

"Heís keeping his distance. But, Iíve tried to keep my eye on him. You bolt that door, just in case I get preoccupied or something."

"Xena, you donít really believe heíd..."

"Gabrielle, just do as I say," the warrior cautioned, holding up her index finger, which usually signified that she would listen to no more argument. "Iíll be down as soon as we get this sail up."

The bard walked away, Xena watching her, her concern for her lover overriding her passion right now. And yet, the bard had inadvertently planted a seed in the back of her mind, concerning being pregnant, that would soon take root.

It wasnít fair that you were impregnated by an evil God, Xena thought, remembering Dahak and the child Gabrielle had borne, which sheíd named Hope. You would have made a wonderful mother. I could see that in your eyes, the very first time you laid eyes on that little baby. Damn and blast, why did that have to happen to you?

Anger flared up in the warriorís chest, as she turned to go back to her previous task. She had wanted the pleasure of exacting sweet revenge on Dahak, yet that had not been possible. For, how did you seek revenge against a God, after all?

"Hereís the blasted twine," she muttered, to herself, picking the spool up from beside the sail sheíd been mending. "If youíd at least look before asking, you might find it. Men, I swear. Sometimes I donít think they could find their butt with both hands."

"I know where mine is," a cocky male voice said behind her, with a giggle. "And... I know where yours is too. And it looks re-eal nice to me."

Xena cocked her elbow, as if she were going to hit him. "You wanna keep those rotten teeth?" she asked.

The little manís smile immediately vanished.

"Then Iíd advice you to back off and I do mean wa-ay back!" she growled.

"Just... trying to.. help," the little man stammered.

"Thanks, but no thanks. I got it covered here."

"Men!" she grumbled, as he hurried away. Which reminds me whereís that asshole? Oh... there he is. Um-hm, you better believe Iím keeping a close eye on you buddy, she thought. Hope Gabrielleís okay. Owch! Blasted awl needs sharpening, she added, having to push so hard to get the awl through the material of the sail that sheíd stabbed her finger in the process.

If I didnít know better Iíd say I was pregnant, she heard Gabrielleís voice say again, in her mind.

Pregnant, Xena thought. Yeah right, she chuckled at the memory of her thinking Gabrielle was talking about herself getting the bard pregnant. Thatís not possible, she thought.

Oh really. You know that for a fact, do you? that argumentative voice in her head spoke up.

Oh buzz off, she thought, Everyone knows... that canít happen.

Yeah, and you thought that what happened last night between the two of you, couldnít possibly happen to you, didnícha?

This thought stopped Xena in her tracks, mentally. She had thought that wasnít possible. So what about this? Was it? Could it be? Nawh, if that were so, Iíd have planted several babies myself by now. And this thought did make her laugh.

Yeah, but you said yourself, youíd never done that particular thing before, didnícha? And you hadnít... had you? Not until now, that is. Think that might be able to do the trick?

Ha! No! If so, Lao Ma would have told me.

Would she now? And what all might the great Lao Ma not have told you, hmm? Didnít quite give her enough time to tell you everything, now did you?

Xena grunted and had to ease down on the deck to think about this. Wonder if I could actually....? Hmm, wouldnít be a bad thing if I could. I mean... well, yeah... I wouldnít mind having another child. Solan would have a little brother or a sister. Hmm... I think Iíd like Gabrielle having my child. Yeah... her blonde hair and my blue eyes... the warrior paused, as she pulled out her breast dagger to cut the twine. Her cute little nose and... tall like me... Hmph, heíd be a pretty handsome lad...

Oh for the love of Zeus, what am I thinking? Iíve went from being a mother to wanting to be... a father. Oh, this is just too weird!

Isnít it? she added, a moment later, her eyes moving towards the direction of their cabin. "Ouch!" she yelped, poking her finger with the awl again. Thank the gods this is the last stitch, she thought.

"Sailís ready!" she called out for the whole ship to hear. "Letís getíer up!"

So I can get back to my mate, she thought, glancing back in the direction of their cabin.

****

Gabrielle was asleep in her arms. Her mate was still feeling puny. Xena called herself taking care of her lover, by holding her like this. But, actually she knew she was being selfish. She just wanted to hold her. Hold her and... look at her; watch her sleeping, while her mind sorted through the events of the past few days.

Theyíd come a long way in just these few days. And Xena regretted not one step along their route. You truly are a part of me now, Gabrielle, she thought, admiring her loverís beautiful face, the best part of me.

You would make beautiful babies together, her mind suggested.

Yeah, she agreed, I think we would at that.

Thinking about settling down are we, Warrior Princess?

Hmph, she grunted. Gabrielle would like that, I think.
And you?

Never really considered it before now, she answered, brushing an errant strand of hair back from her loverís face. Such a lovely face, she thought. You deserve far better than me, Gabrielle. But, Iím sure glad youíve chosen to share your life with me.

Think you can give her the life she deserves?
I donít know about the kind she deserves, but... Iíll give her the best I can.

Does that include a family... children?

Donít know it the children part is possible.

But, if it was?

Then yeah, Iíd love for Gabrielle to have my child. "Umph!" she grunted aloud, as this idea sent a lightning bolt of desire straight to her groin. And sheís the one that ate the squid, she thought.

****

"Feeling better?" the warrior asked, seeing her lover sitting up in bed, as she closed the door behind herself.

"Um, some, I guess."

"Hungry?" Xena further queried, holding out the plate in her hand.

"What have you got?"

"Fish, rice and bread," the warrior replied, as if pleased with herself.

"Howíd you manage all that?"

"Had a... little chat with the cook this afternoon before coming back here," Xena explained, moving towards the bed.

"Looks good," Gabrielle commented, staring at the plate.

"Want me to feed you?" the warrior asked, one dark eyebrow arching up and down suggestively.

"Um, I might like that. Here... hand me the plate, while you take off your boots."

Xena handed her lover the plate, then sat down on the side of the bed and removed her boots rather quickly. She was soon propped up beside her lover, the plate on Gabrielleís lap.

"I got a better idea," the bard commented. "Let me feed you, hmm? Youíve watched over me all afternoon, now itís my turn to take care of you."

"If youíre sure youíre up to it," the warrior teased.

"Up to feeding you food, yes," the bard replied. "Here..." she added, offering a piece of fish to her lover.

"Youíre colorís back," Xena commented, gazing at her loverís face, while chewing on the fish.

"I feel better," the bard responded, taking a bite of fish, herself. "Hmph," she grunted, looking at Xenaís neck.

"What is it?"

"Looks like... I gave you another.. hickey last night."

"Oh no.... Iím a marked woman," Xena teased.
"My woman," the bard corrected.

"Hmm, I like... the sound... of that," the warrior commented, moving closer.

"Iím not up to that yet, I donít think," Gabrielle said, seeing the look in her loverís eyes. "Maybe later. For now, here... occupy yourself with food, hmm?"

"You realize this is the longest weíve been without since... that second night?" Xena asked, with a sly smile.

"Oh and youíre so horny youíd pressure a sick woman?" the bard queried, teasingly.

"No, I just... thought about that, is all. No, Iím not pressuring you for anything, love. Iím quite satisfied to be lying here next to you."

"Um-hm, but your eyes say something different," the bard retorted.

"Canít help that," the warrior responded. "I mean... look at you... youíre beautiful. Why wouldnít I want you?"

"Iím not beautiful, Xena."

"You are to me," the warrior retorted, running her hand over the bardís arm. "You know.... what you said this morning about... being pregnant...."

"I was just teasing, Xena," the bard replied, putting another piece of fish in her mouth. "I huvenít ben wiví anyone elfs, Ďou know vat," she mumbled around a mouthful of fish.

"No, I didnít mean that, I meant..." the warrior paused, not sure she really wanted to pursue this conversation sheíd so easily embarked upon.

"Vhat?" the bard mumbled, her curiosity aroused now.

"I was... just thinking about it... later and wondering... if... well, say it were possible for... me and you to... make a baby...."

Gabrielle nearly choked on her food. She coughed, then swallowed hard. "Make... a baby?" she finally asked.

"Uh, yeah, I know itís not possible, but... I.." the warrior paused and tugged on her nose. "I... well, would you want to.... to have my baby?" she finally asked, a slight frown on her face, as she thought how terribly stupid it all sounded now. "Oh never mind, donít answer that, itís a stupid question."

"No, Xena, Iíll... answer it," the bard said, as she reached out and lifted her loverís chin with her index finger. "If it were possible... most definitely. Iíd love to have your baby," Gabrielle said with a sweet smile. "If only it were... you donít think....do you think itís possible?"

The warrior shook her head. "Nawh, I.... donít think so. I just... I donít know, I.... kinda like the idea though," she added, in that oh so soft, intimate voice.

"Guess it couldnít hurt to... try," the bard said, with a sly smile.

Xena arched her eyebrows up and down. "Guess not," she said, with a lascivious smile.

"After we eat, perhaps," her lover added, shoving a piece a fish in her open mouth.

continue to part 10

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