A Trip in Time
See Part 1 for disclaimers.
Xena was in her Mother's barn as she slowly began her katras. She was still angry as hell at Ares. So she slowly went through each motion of her Tai Chi routine trying to focus her mind on each movement instead of ringing Ares neck. She was going to focus so she could be calm when she went back in to her loved ones and her guests, there were decisions to be made.
She slowly went though each practiced motion slowly her mind focused and her heart calmed. She was almost ready to deal with the problems that faced her.
"You do know you look beautiful when you do that?"Ares asked leaning against the stall that Argo was in.
Xena spun around and there was fire in her eyes, "Ares, I could knock you on your God damned ass!!!"
"My, my, We are a bit miffed aren't we? You know your beautiful when your angry."
"Miffed, I'll show you miffed! How dare you interrupt a private..."
"Hey, You were just cuddling..."
"I don't care! My private time with Gabrielle is sacred and I..."
"Sacred....Um, Wrong terminology. Come On, Xena you were just talking. After all I didn't interrupt anything more...Uh, active...."
"If you had even Gabrielle wouldn't have kept me from kicking your ass into the next Galaxy!"
"Ah, Just the subject I want to chat with you about..."
"Forget it Ares, I'm not inflicting you on the future. Your just going to have to adjust to being mortal."
"Fine, I'll just talk to Picard directly then!" An angry flash in the God's eyes was followed by an angry flash of light as the God of War disappeared.
"Good." Xena said and then stormed over to her horse deciding maybe a ride on her beloved palomino would ease the new tension that Ares just blithely heaped on her.
** ** ** **
Gabrielle was helping Cyrene with breakfast when Xena bursts into the kitchen. Xena's mood appeared to be worse then before she left the inn.
"Gabrielle, Are you still in the middle of helping Mom with breakfast?"
"Yes, I'm still helping, Um...Cyrene, Do you need me anymore?"
"No Dear...Xena, Whats wrong?"
"I can't talk about it yet, Mom. Can you be patient till I calm down? I'll tell you then, Ok?"
"Of course, Darling. I'll wait till your ready."
Xena smiled gratefully at her Mom, "Thanks Mom. Come on Gabrielle, Were going for a little ride. Mom, We'll be back in a couple of hours can you handle both the baby and our guests till we get back? I'll be back in time for Eve's next feeding." Xena said in a one breath as she grabbed Gabrielle's arm and headed back toward the door she was in such a hurry to get out of there.
Cyrene smiled sweetly and nodded at her daughter, she was concerned but she trusted Xena's judgment, "Its no problem. Besides it will give me a chance to be alone with my Granddaughter. I would never turn that down."
Xena chuckled lightly and nodded, "Come on." She said to Gabrielle as she tugged her out the door and toward some temporary freedom.
** ** ** **
Xena brought Argo to a stop at a crest of hill , It was the entrance to one of her favorite private spots. The glade had a small stream and when her younger brother was alive they use to practice their fishing skills there for hours. After he was killed this was the place she came to plan out her revenge. It was here that the Warrior Princess was born in a way, at least the path was begun here at the time. Now she chose this spot to ease her frayed nerves with the person she loved most in the world.
"Its beautiful, Xena."
Xena nodded her head and gently put her arm around Gabrielle's shoulders, "Yes, this is one of my favorite private places."
Gabrielle's smile brightened, "I'm so honored, Thank you."
Xena looked at the bard confused, "Honored?"
"You are such a private person, Xena. You bringing me to one of your treasured spots is very special. Thank you."
Xena embraced the bard and kissed her cheek. "I would never of thought of it in that way. Your very welcome. To me you are such an essential part of my life there is nothing in it thats off limits to you. I love you." She replied sincerely.
Sparkling Green met luminous blue and Gabrielle said quietly, "I love you too." She kissed Xena deeply and Xena picked the bard up and carried her to the stream still kissing her love. When they separated she smiled and said, "Come on, lets soak our feet and relax for awhile.
They settled down and took their boots off putting their feet in the cool stream. Xena sat with a tall tree against her back and Gabrielle between her legs. The bard was secure in the embrace of her warrior and they were at peace, finally.
After a couple of minutes Xena's voice floated into Gabrielle's ear. "This is nice."
"I wish it could be this way all the time. Why can't we just take Eve out of Greece?"
"I don't thing that would do a thing, Love."
"Then what are we going to do?"
"I wish I had a clue. I want to keep us safe. I think we will have to leave the village as soon our guests leave. I don't want to endanger them further, You know that the Gods will be back."
Gabrielle nodded and leaned against a strong shoulder as she said quietly, "Aphrodite will warn us."
Xena nodded and kissed the top of the blonde head beneath her chin, "Yea, Despite our differences She is a good friend."
"Xena, You just said that a God was our freind."Gabrielle said with a pleased smile on her face.
Xena smiled and snuggled even closer, "Well of late she is the only God I would say that about."
"Thanks, Warrior babe," said a very familiar voice on the embankment next to them.
Neither Xena or Gabrielle were surprised by the voice of the Goddess. They kind of expected it.
"Your welcome," Xena replied quietly.
"Well I have good news and bad news, " Said the Goddess as she put her own feet delicately in the stream beside the warrior and the bard. "This is nice. You human's do know how to live."
"Mmm" mumbled Xena, she gently placed her head at the crook of her beloved's neck to gather comfort from the close contact, "What's the bad news?"
"My brothers and sisters are getting all heated up about this twilight thing. And my dear sister is getting them all organized they will probably attack in about a week."
Gabrielle nestled her beloved and stroked her arm comfortingly, "Aphrodite, What could possibly be the good news?"
"Ares is in as much trouble as you guys and he's shunned by the whole crowd up there."
Xena and Gabrielle pulled back and locked eyes and then Xena glanced at the Goddess, "Thats not good news. Now he is trying to travel into the future with his powers in tact by traveling in time with our guests from the future." Replied Xena quietly.
"Thats my Bro! Always a plan, Hey you two want me to run interference for you?"
"Won't you get yourself into trouble too? "Asked Gabrielle concerned. The Goddess was sticking her neck out.
"Nah, They never take me seriously up there. So they never pay any attention of me . I'm as free a bird to move as I see fit, I like you guys... actually I love you pains in the ass, and your cute little muchinkin. I'm going to do my best for you. "There were tears in her eyes as she dropped her head and looked out toward the stream.
The two woman were stunned, Gabrielle knew that the Goddess cared a bit more then Xena did but she never suspected it was at this level. Xena cleared her throat and looked at the Goddess as she said, "Well you heard me before, I think of you as a friend, Your ok."
Aphrodite's head came up and she locked eyes with the warrior and there was a slight smile on her face as she replied quietly, " Wow, From you that's declaration of undying devotion."
Xena smiled back and rolled her eyes.
"Well I better get, If I am going to keep an eye on little Bro. See ya." And the Goddess was gone in flash of sparkles.
They were both quiet for a few minutes and then Xena quietly said, "We underestimate her too."
"I won't anymore."
"Um...putting up with me. Loving me. Despite all my problems and flaws. And most important, not leaving me. I want you to hear the words. I am so grateful to you. I am. You know that I usually just let my actions speak for me but this time its not good enough. Thank you." She pulled Gabrielle to her and kissed her passionately.
When they pulled back for air Gabrielle caressed her cheek "You know that I don't need you to say that, But I appreciate it so much. I know that was very hard for you. Just that you made this effort makes all that we have gone through worth it, I love you so much." She brought there lips together to seal their love with a salty and passionate kiss.
** ** ** **
Cyrene had her Grandchild in her arms and she was cooing to the beautiful child on the porch of the Tavern.
Picard approached her and said "Good Morning, Ma'am."
Cyrene smiled and said, "Good Morning, Captain."
"Call me Jean Luc."
"Thank you, Jean Luc."
Picard nodded his head beside the owner of the Tavern and the beautiful child in her arms. Cyrene smiled warmly and nodded.
Picard sat down and asked, "May I ask what "Warrior Princess" means?"
Cyrenes smile disappeared and she put her head against Eve's cheek. "Xena, went through a very dark period. I lost her for a long time. It wasn't till Gabrielle came into my Little One's life that I got her back. It is very difficult to talk about."
Picard began to get up, "No please, Jean Luc, sit. Xena lost her baby brother during a battle to protect our home. When she lost my son she lost a piece of her own soul. She took the blame for his death. She decided no one would ever threaten her home and family again. She targeted any town that opposed us which led her to becoming a pirate...and...then Caesar got to my baby and she was lost , gone... lets just say he buried any goodness that was left in her deep deep inside."
"Yes, Horrible man. I'm so glad he's dead for what he's done to my Little One...anyway, she became Ares favorite warrior. She was beautiful and ruthless and he found himself intrigued to hear Gabrielle tell it. He won't let her go since his brother turned her path back to the right one..."
"Who is his brother?"
"The legendary Hercules?"
"How...How did he change her?"
"He pointed me in the right direction and the rest was taken up by my best friend. " Said the Warrior Princess herself from behind them.
She and Gabrielle had just come back and Xena had her arms crossed and she was tapping her foot with true agitation. Not a good sign. Her glare was not directed toward Picard though, No those piercing blue eyes were connected with similar gray blue eyes in the older woman's face.
"Don't be mad, Little One. I'm so proud of you and all you have accomplished since you overcame your horrible past. Its inspirational.
Xena shook her head reaching her arms out for her beloved child. Cyrene gently put Eve in her Mother's arms.
"Come on, Eve, Before she starts telling you about the birds and bees." Said Xena stomping into the tavern with her child softly nestled in her arms.
Cyrene turned toward Gabrielle, "How mad is she?"
"Pretty mad, Mom."
"Should I let her cool off before I try and talk to her?"
"Yep. Eve will help calm her of course. Wait till she's been with the baby for a while and then go up to her." Gabrielle smiled sweetly at her Mother in Law and offered a hug which she got from the grateful older woman.
"Thank you, Sweetheart."
"No problem. Uh, Captain, come take a walk with me. I'll tell you the tale of Ares and Xena. You'll need to know about him he is going to target you and with this God knowledge is protection." She held out her hand and gently guided the older man toward the fields spinning the tale of the Warrior Princess and the God of War.
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