Xena walks carefully back from the lil warrior's room...
G: You okay, honey? *just give us a sec, will ya?*
WL: Yeah sure, I have kids...*nods sagely* l know what it's like.
X grimaces in the warlord's direction then grumbles.
X: Oh sure....YOU would know what I'm going thru....ha! The water retention, the bloated ankles, the morning spewing, the gas....not to mention...
G: <cough> Erm...Xena? I think he gets the drift.
X: I feel fat, Gabrielle. Am I fat? I am, aren't I? Oh gods, why did I even think I could get these old leathers altered? I must look like a huge cow! *bursts into hormonal tears*
G: No, honey...no, you look....fine...really. *glares at wl who wears a smirk*
WL: What! Whad I say? *swallows more wine and then belches* So, we gonna do this or what? Let's get a moooove on, shall we?
G: Oh, what you said!! C'mon, Xena...I'll knock him senseless and you sit on him.
X: I can do that....
Xena was right...Cally, the old Cally, was in no position to preach morality to her. And therein lies the rub. I don't think it would be an easy thing to just forgive and forget that easily. As this child grows, she will display (IMO) some of the characteristics, etc, of the person she used to be. I don't think we change that much from one incarnation to another (sounds like cross pollination). Can't you just see this new Cally as a teenager...whoooo boy. X and G are in for some trouble, me thinks.
X: <eyeing the constable at the door warily> What's it this time?
Con: We caught her setting fire again
G: <shaking her head> Cal....um...sweety, sweety, sweety...we talked about this, remember? It's not nice to torch other people's property.
X: (mumbling) not to mention the raping and pillaging aspect of things
C: Oh bother. No one got hurt....badly. Besides <said in sing song voice> It's not as if they didn't deserve my wrath.
X: Oh, fer crying out loud...Ok, constable...thanks, we'll handle it from here.
Con: <sigh> Well, we *are* thinking of implementing the strike three clause on her if this keeps up
Con: Well, it means that if she has one more violent incident, we get to throw her in jail and toss away the key
X: <mouth agape with deja vu> How could this happen?
G: <giving her mate a dirty look> You musta done something this time, too!
X: Hey, don't you go blaming this on me! No way!
G: <boy, does this sound familiar> Yeah, I'm sorry, dear. I'm just...well, we can't just let them do that to Cal...to our daughter. I mean, we've been given a chance to make things right...get over our past...the death of our children...the...death of...the only man....<sniff>
X: Daughter! Upstairs. You are grounded! Until further notice!
C: Oh fiddle dee dee...you two are so...ancient. You can't stop me from being who I am by trying to make me into something you want.
X: Er...yeah. We're workin on it, babe.
G: Maybe we should send her to stay with Joxer.
X: Oh, as if! He and Auto have their hands full raising their own kids...this would kill their relationship...<I know it's given ours a few dings>
G: <sniffle> What'll we do?
X: Well...remember that chair thing? We might have to employ that...
G: But what about...<blushing>
X: Er...we'll find another special way to make you scream, dearest, I promise
G: <batting eyes and flexing her still incredibly toned yet older and more settled body> Back to Cally...er...our daughter. Geez, ya know I can't even remember what we named her?
X: Funny. Me neither. Eveil? Revangela?
G: I guess we werent the best parents, Xe.
X: Ya, but it's been so hard...she reminds me so much of Solon...and Callisto...and that cute demon she used...er...
X: Nothing...<smiling woodenly> Now, about Cally...maybe we could let Herk have a go with her.
G: Well, do you think the circus could make a spot for her? Herk might not like sharing the limelight...
G: Well, we have to do something...she's just 15 now...if this keeps up, we'll be old and decrepit...unable to lead our currently active lifestyle...
X: Or get another chair...might even lose our imagination...<gulp>
G: Oh, the horrors! I know! We'll just hide all the flints, the torches, the...
C: <screaming from upstairs> Warrior and Bard, fly away from home, your house is on fire and your daughter is gone!
X: <running/stomping around trying madly to put the upstairs fires out> C'mon baby, spite her fire!
G: <grabbing a bucket> Splash! smolder...fizzle... Phew...light your fire, yes...hey, I'd forgotten just how good you look wet, babycakes...<wink>
X: Heh...<smiling largely> It has been a while, huh? <flexing her still leather clad buff but wrinkled body>
A cackle is heard and they watch with a mixture of sadness and relief as their daughter makes her way out of town and out of their lives...
X: you do know what this means?
G: <snapping the buckles on Xe's armour> Yeah, I do. <We have to postpone our hot tub...grumble>
X: No more Mrs. Nice Mom. <there's always an inn, babe>
G: Where did I put my saddle bag?
X: We'd better buy a horse...and some weapons...
G: ...and my quills...
X: And a few bedrolls...<smooch> Er...make that one large bedroll. It's like old times, huh?
G: Waggle, waggle...
X: Why...Gabrielle...l didn't know you had independantly articulating eyebrows?
G: I'm a good learner and you, my love, are a good teacher...
X: yeah, I am, huh? Not a particularly good mother...
G: Oh pishaw! Yes you are. You did your best...not your fault she has pyromaniac tendancies...despite her mostly angelic and loving ways...and the love of two doting parents who loved her the best they could...
X: Yeah, 'loving ways'...I meant to tell you...we got another call from the neighbours...Cally's been teaching the boys how to play Post Office again...
It's dark in the Amazon village...the air still and humid. Murmured voices are heard as the night watch changes over. Ear plugs are exchanged and knowing glances look pointedly at the Queen's hut.
X: Gabrielle? Honey?
G: <groaning> Not again so soon...gotta sleep....losing too much fluids..
X: <poking a shoulder> No, silly.....later...I need...
G: Gods, l know....you just can't get enough....l know......<sighing and pushing the sheets down>....gimmme a sec...just need a gallon of water....<muttering> maybe a little protein<shaking head vigorously in an attempt to gird her loins>
X: <arching an eyebrow and speaking in a rather sultry voice> ...whips and chains
G: We did whipped cream last night...it's all gone
G: <popping one eye open> What...what did you just say?
X: Now that l have your attention...I need to go to the healer...it's time. You're gonna be a..
G: Time? <said weakly>
X: Yes. <smiling broadly>
G: N....n...now? <faints dead away>::thud::
X: Why did l know this would happen? Ephiny!!
A dark form is seen sneaking out of camp and the warrior is instantly alert. Stifling the groans that accompany her moves now, the Warrior Princess makes a mental note to pick up some more horse linament.
She watches as her horse is saddled and some provisions are packed away. Quietly sneaking up behind the figure, she taps one shoulder and then grins evily as Eve jumps.
Xena arches an eyebrow at her daughter, trying her best force #2 intimidation glare.
X: so, what have you gotta say for yourself?
E: something in your eye or are you just trying that glare thing again? I didn't mean to wake you..I thought I was being very quiet. I'm not a baby anymore, ya know.
X: <sighing dramatically> I know that. You were very good, I must admit, but...I'm waiting. <trying to look fierce..teeth clenched, eyes now narrowed>
E: Oh, and like, you look so scary, Mom...tell me the truth: did anyone ever fall for that bs or just MommyG?
X: <running tongue along inside of cheek> Oh, you are SO grounded, young lady.
E: <eyes rolling> and like you never snuck out with Granny's horse before?
X: That's not the point and you know it.
E: What's the point? That I snarfed some of MommyG's private stock of henbane?
X: Well...yes. You know how your mother gets when her stash is fricked with...I'm the one that gets to deal with that, not you..no, never you. You, the perfect daughter who does nothing wrong....while I, the mean old ex warlord...shit. She just never lets me forget that, ya know? <wanders over to a stump and grabs a seat, her warrior facade falling away>
E: Aw, Mom...
X: I try, ya know? I mean, I really do..but she's so demanding...I swear, why I'm not worn down to a nub...
E: Ah, Mom? Can we not go there?
X: ...not to mention the fact that she automatically blames me for everything. I mean, why would I hide her scrolls? Sure, I used one or two, once...in an emergency...but sheesh...does that have to follow me around...forever!?
E: Jeez, Mom...<retreives a small packet from the saddle bags. Argo shakes her head morosely...'oh, how the mighty have fallen'
X: ...and, and is it my fault I was so popular with the ladies? Jeez...everytime we go into an inn...you'd think she'd be used to it by now...
E: <Eve sits beside her mother and begins to toke up> <deeeeeep breath> (gasping) You...should ....relax more...ya know? Here.
X: <absent mindedly takes the roach> i dunno, Eve...it's like she's trying to change me now...like...maybe she was never happy with me in the first place, just putting up with my evil ways til she could reform me into ...I dunno...something I'm not.
E: <motions her mother to take the weed> C'mon, Mom...you know you need it.
X: Ah, you know I don't like to do that stuff...it's your mother's hang up, not mine. Now, port...that's my substance of choice...heheh
E: <tokes up again, dreamy smile on her face>
X: <bites her lip>
E: <exhales mightily> Oh, yeah
X: That good, huh?
E: <nods enthusiastically> You....bet.
X: Oh...<looks around> all right...but just a puff
E: You DO have to inhale, Mom...c'mere...let me show you
X: <is forced to suck wind as Eve holds her nose> Ack!
E: Hold it....hold it! Now...slowly...let it out...just real slow, Mom
X: <blinking slowly> Whoa
E: heh...yeah, mellows you right out, babe
X: I'll have you know...I'm your mother...and should be treated with...
E: Want another?
X: ya. What was I saying?
E: MommyG is sexually demanding, she doesn't understand you, trying to change you...
X: Oh ya! Right! Well, she does...is...so demanding. Even in my days as a fierce warlord...well, I met my share of the wild chicks, ya know? heh...but she...well, your Mom...is...so...imaginative...so...
E: Ah, mom? Another need to know basis...I really don't need to know, you know?
X: What happened to the sweet little woman I bonded with? Where's that little blonde bombshell of a wide eyed bard that followed me all over Greece?
E: <finishing off the last of the roach> Hey, people change...
X: It got so I didn't know her anymore. She changed<sniff>, and so did you...what happened to that little sweet baby girl I used to tote around on my hip? You were so sweet, Eve...such a joy....now all ya wanna do is sneak out at night and smoke up...where did I go wrong? <pulling at her salt and pepper coloured hair>
E: Aw, Mom....don't be like that...I had to grow up, ya know? It was damned hard to do with you away so often...you and MommyG...why couldn't I come with ya? <starting to sniffle> I always wanted to be just like you,
Mom...out prowling the countryside, doing good deeds...
X: getting into fights, barroom brawls...the good old days..<hugging her daughter tightly> I love you, Eve! I'm sorry I was away so often...I didn't wantcha to get hurt...the blood on my hands...shouldn't ever touch you...<sniff> I was a terrible mother... Bwwaaaaa!
E: No, ya weren't...you tried...did your best...you left me with people you trusted...really...I turned out ok...
X: <jumps up> Yeah! It was the people I left ya with that screwed up! Joxer! It was HIS fault...
J and G walk into the campsite, all bleary eyed from sleep. Gabrielle has let herself go the past few years but Joxer is the same old Joxer, though bald as a cucumber
J: Say, did I hear my name?
G: <groan> Oh, Xena...what are you doing up so late? You know you need your sleep these days
G: Come to bed this instant
X: Don't wanna
G: Oh? And where have you been all evening? Xena? <Xena mutters some more, her hair falling into her eyes>
G: and why are you wearing those damned leathers again? You know how I feel about them
X: My leathers...I'll wear em...if I wanna...
G: <sighing deeply> What am I gonna do with you? I try...I work my fingers to the bone trying to change your image...make people forget your horrible, bloodthirsty, killing ways...
J: <rubbing his eyes> Say, is that Eve? Whatcha doin outta bed, pumpkin? E: Heh...hi, Unca Joxman...just..couldn't sleep is all. I'm a big girl now.
J: Well, you get yer little heinie into that bedroll, Evie girl...a growing child like you needs lotsa sleep...besides, I signed us up for flagpole sitting again. You know how much fun that is...
E: don't wanna
J: but I've signed us up, sweetie. And then there's the slow pitch...
E: Um...I thought we could never go back there after you killed that batter
J: Hey! Is it my fault I don't know my own strength? He shouda ducked when I threw the ball.
E: Wasn't a ball, Jox...it was a rock
J: It...was? Oh. Oh well! No harm done...say, let's visit Auntie Meg. She can tell ya some more stories of when she was...
G: I swear, if it's not one thing, Xena, it's another. Always getting into trouble...what is it this time? Did you raise an army of cutthroats and they've turned on you? Oh, I know...you miss playing with your friends and wanna visit Rome again, right?
Xena looks at Eve.
X: See? She wants me to change but never lets me forget it.
E: He never changes and doesn't see I've grown up.
E: <cringes as Joxer advances on her, ready to pinch her cheeks again> Ah....
X: <cringes as Gabrielle advances on her, ready to take her by the ear> Ah....
Both women exchange glances...look over at Argo who is still saddled and ready to go
E: <arches eyebrows up>
X: <big smile breaks out> Ya wanna?
E: Oh, do I!
X: Let's go!
G: I'm getting a sick headache...where's my stash...XENA! Pulling her daughter up behind her, the WP, older and a little worse for wear, hits the road once more with her trusty new side kick
X: Heh...like old times. Oh, this is gonna be so much fun! But ya gotta do what I say, tho
E: Ya, ya...who made you boss?
X: Hey, that's how it's done, ok? I'm the fighter, you're the talker
E: That's not what MommyG used to do...
X: Mmmm...yeah, I think that's what the problem was...she got so good with those sais
X: heh...well, those too...
I must say, I'd love to have the opportunity to just...interrupt them:
X: No honey...you have to have upward momentum which exceeds speed and thrust and....yeah...just....there..ya...
X: Someone at the door...? Nah...who'd be stupid enough to..
ArdentTly: Hidy ho, neighbourly kinky type people...I'm here to ask if you'll do a survey for me. Good...thought you would.
X: <narrowing eyes and pushing G's head back down> We're kinda busy, ya know? Take a hike.
G: <nodding head as eyes roll back from lack of O2>
A: Er...is she supposed to be blue like that?
X: Ha? Oh, shit...Gabby? Baby, you okay?
X: Geez, woman...I thought you were practising at holding your breath..skip breathing...stuff like that...
G: <Gasp...> I'm....I'm trying...Xe...Xena...<gasp>
X: Oh, honey...I know...
G: ...doing my best...<hiccup>
A: So...here's the first question...
X: Fuck off <patting the blonde's shoulder> All ya need is more practice, honey
A: Later, first...how long have you two been muff divers?
G: <shocked gasp> Wha...?
X: <pushing lips out, shock glare #1 fails to scorch woman's hair> Look honey...you just keep practising and I'll take care of this loud mouthed...
A: Yeah practice Gab...see...even I know you're doing it wrong, you have to get your hands up under...
G: Why, I never!
A: Well, duh! Obviously.
X: You! Knock it off.
G; But I thought you said more practice...
A: hey, just cos SHE doesn't know how to blow a dead bear...
G: I do, too! I've been practising!
X: Heh? Is there..something you wanna tell me, Gabrielle?
A: Well, at least THEY don't complain...don't get much instructional value, I'm sure...only one pointer, after all.
X: Er...next question
X: <never mind...we'll talk about this later>
A: So, do you like back to front or front to back and are you always on top or do you let her ride you and if you do does she own her own strap on or does she borrow yours and is yours plastic or wood or ivory, for that matter?
G & X: <stunned silence>
A: So, like...c'mon...I have other houses...I hear Cally is just down the street. I'm sure she and Velaska are just champing at the bit to be the first ones on the block to complete this survey...might even win prizes.
X: <pushes head back down> Study hard, grasshopper...harder...
A: So...are you gonna ans...
X: <sigh> yes, yes both ways, always, no, all three and anyone touches my stuff dies.
G: But you said...mrphhh
X: Never you mind...I said MAYBE
A: <jotting down answers> Okay, so like, you never answered whether you are full time lezzies or partake of the pork every now and again...
X: pork..poke...dick...you know...
G: I don't...
X: <rolling eyes> she's an innocent
X: She was with one guy...once...he died
A: Ohh...that bad, huh?
X: Hehehe...that's a good one.
A: Heh...I did think about being a comedienne, ya know...briefly.
X: Yeah, now see, I could never bare my soul like that...in front of strangers...
A: Whatcha mean? You, timid?
X: Did. I. Say. That?
X: Grasshopper! Continue the lesson...digital manipulation 101
X: Ouch! Jeez...trim yer nails, woman! Then come back. And make it snappy.
G: <grumble> Bet you never treated Lao Ma like this..
X: <waiting til blondie leaves> Never had to...simple common DF, after all.
A: <nodding wisely> I getcha.
X: So...you knew she was doin it wrong, huh?
A: Hell yes! Jeez...even a man on a galloping horse could see that.
X: So...you finished your survey?
A: Why...yes, yes I am.
G: <yells from front porch> Where's the clippers, Xena?
X: Er...I think I loaned em to...to...Velaska! yeah....! Go see those two...
G: Oh. Okay...well, I'll be back in a few, ok? you sure you'll be okay...?
X: Go..go...we'll..er...I'll be fine...grasshopper.
A: Grasshopper, huh? What, those stubby short legs of hers are good for jumping or what?
X: Hehehe...no...she's a pupil, ya know? A novice.
A: Ah....oh great learned one...you are a Teacher?
X: I learned from the best...
A: You were a pupil of the great Alti?
X: <spewing forth Pepsi> What!? That...that...low life scum sucking noodle nursing dyke wanna be...
A: Touched a nerve, I see...
X: Don't tell me you...YOU...went to her school?
A: Nah...actually, they threw me out.
X: Ha! Couldn't make the grade, huh?
A: Well, actually...she wanted me to teach but without pay
X: Ah...yeah, she was pretty much of a cheap screw
A: Took a look at my credentials and well...I was a shoe in...
X: Yeah? Who'd ya learn from?
A: Heh...well...the great Ares
X: <gulp> Ye...yeah?
A: yeah, his oral dexterity was...uncommonly expertise in many...many...many fields.
A: some very indepth sessions, you understand...
A: Oh, yeah...he'd have two of us students begin with the art of seduction...
X: I'll bet he was good at that...
A: Oh baby...and then we'd get to foreplay...
X: <gulp> yeah?
A: Yeah, skipping past the usual 5.7 version and get right into 6.4
X: Six...point...four? Really!? I've...only...
A: Really? Well, you look so...practiced...so..natural.
X: I try to keep up on things...I'm on so many lists for updates, ya know?
A: Hmm mmm...
X: So...just what was Gab doing that you could tell right off..
A: Ahh...well, see she had her chin angled the wrong way...and her hands...
X: Just a sec...<moving down the bed> So, if I was in this position...
A: Oh, that's easy...you have to place her hands under...and then push the legs up very high..
A: And then you
G: I'm back, honey...they said you never...Xena! What are you....
X: <panting> Re...re....re....search, honey!
G: hey, what does she mean by calling you 'grasshopper'?
Okay, okay...so I'm a legend in my own twisted mind...heheh.