Disclaimer: Story mine. Characters sorta.
Written: November 28, 2008
“Why me?” groaned Gabrielle. The table surface ‘thunked’ loudly as her head hit it for the third time that afternoon. “Why did she leave me?” She was barely holding her tears at bay. “I know I said I needed some time to process her being pregnant, but I didn’t want her to leave.”
When they’d left Spumona, Gabrielle had still been in shock over Xena’s announcement. How in Hades could Xena be pregnant? There was only one way to conceive a child as far as Gabrielle knew and she wasn’t equipped to do that. Gabrielle wanted to believe that Xena hadn’t been unfaithful… but there was that tiny kernel of doubt. Who was the father? If it wasn’t a human male could Ares have finally stooped so low as to somehow take advantage of Xena? Gabrielle just didn’t know.
All she did know was that her heart was breaking. Had broken when Xena said she was leaving. She had no idea how she would go on without Xena in her life.
Gathering herself together she decided to go for a walk to clear her head. She blinked in the bright sunlight for a few seconds until her eyes adjusted.
Gabrielle wandered aimlessly, finally finding herself near a small pond. She leaned against a tree trunk.
Hearing childish laugher Gabrielle turned and saw two girls building a snowman. She reminisced about the many times that she and Lila had done just that. Laughing the girls ran over to their mother to grab a knitted scarf and old hat to adorn the snowman. Gabrielle’s eyes lingered on the mother who was helping a dark haired infant to stand on wobbly legs.
Gabrielle was transfixed by the site of the mother and her child. Suddenly she realized just how much she wanted to see Xena raise a child of her own. What did it matter who the father was… or if there was even a father. Gabrielle loved children, and she loved Xena with all of her heart. She would love Xena’s child as if it were her own. With a determined stride she headed back to the village, intent on tracking down her beloved.
Back in the village, Gabrielle headed for the stable. She swung the outer door open and took one step inside before freezing in her tracks. There, in a stall with Argo stood Xena, her back to the door. Xena was crooning to the horse as she groomed her.
Hesitantly Gabrielle walked up to the raven-haired woman. “Xe…” she started, but couldn’t go on.
Xena turned around. Gabrielle couldn’t help but see the love shining from her soulmate’s blue eyes. Sobbing, Gabrielle fell into her partner’s arms, saying, “Xena, I’m sorry. I don’t know what came over me. I love you, and I love your baby. It doesn’t matter who… or how… I just want us to be a family.” Tears streaming from her green eyes, she looked up at the love of her life. “Just don’t leave me, please,” she begged.
“Leave you, Gabrielle… what…?” Xena sputtered, confused. “I love you Gabrielle, I’ll never leave you. What gave you that idea?”
“But… you said… When I said I needed time to process your pregnancy. You said you were leaving.”
“Oh, Gabrielle,” Xena chuckled. “I’m sorry, love. I just meant that I was heading out to find your Solstice present.”
“You… what?” the petite blonde cried. “You went shopping? Voluntarily???”
“Stop that,” Xena said nudging Gabrielle’s shoulder. “I’m sorry that you thought I was leaving you. I’ll never leave you Gabrielle. I love you with all my heart. And we already are a family… a growing family.” She smiled gently down at her partner.
A bright glow emanated from a corner where a familiar form took shape. As the two soulmates watched, the angel Callisto stepped forward. “Good,” she said, “Now that you’ve got that settled, I can give you both your Solstice gift.”
Blue and green eyes gazed at each other in confusion before both asked, “What?”
Turning to Gabrielle, Callisto said, “You had to accept the child regardless of its parentage before I was allowed to tell you both how this child came to be.”
“Callisto,” Xena rumbled, narrowing her eyes. “What have you done?”
Callisto smiled beatifically. “You’re right Xena, I did do something.” She paused. “When I saw you in Heaven, Gabrielle, and learned of the struggles that you and Xena had gone through not only on Earth, but in both Heaven and Hell… all because of me, I asked for a favor.”
She turned to Xena. “Because of me you lost your child. I can never do anything to make amends for that, but I asked for you to be blessed with another child.”
Turning to Gabrielle she said, “Because of me you lost your innocence and because of my twisted plans you also lost your child.”
Holding her arms out toward both women she went on, “Eli couldn’t return your spirits to your bodies alone. I was sent to help and while I was assisting him, I took some of your essence Gabrielle and combined it with your essence Xena to bring this child into being. She is a gift to both of you. She is a part of both of you. Love her always, no matter what happens.” Then, with a flash, Callisto was gone.
Two startled sets of eyes looked at each other. Gabrielle tentatively reached out a hand and held it on Xena’s belly. “She’s mine?” the petite blonde asked in wonder.
“Yes, love, she is,” Xena answered, then laughed.
“What’s so funny, Xe?” Gabrielle asked.
“I’m sorry; I was just imagining the look on Ares face when I tell him that you’re the father.” Both women burst into laughter.
Story by: Akiela Xal
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