SIMILAR FEATURES XXIII
Blaise left Xena to ponder her thoughts and headed to Joxers house. She knocked on the door and waited for him to answer; growing more impatient the longer she waited. "Joxer! Hey, open up!" She shouted impatiently and pounded on the door. "What took you ?" Blaise asked in an agitated tone, when the door opened and paused when it wasnt Joxer who opened the door, "Oh, Meg sorry. Can I speak with Joxer please?" She queried and got the feeling she was interrupting something as she watched Meg run her fingers through her mussed hair.
"Joxer! Your boss is here to see you!" She shouted with a silly grin and turned back to Blaise who had winced from her loud shrieking tone of voice. There was an awkward silence and Blaise chuckled when she looked at Meg who was scantily dressed then looked past her hoping Joxer would walk up. "So, you got a dangerous mission to send my man on?" She asked in a hushed tone, leaning towards Blaise. She looked to each side before looking back to Blaise as if the conversation was a secret.
"Huh?" Blaise asked, unsure of what Meg was implying and was unnerved by how much she looked like her sister, but knew they couldnt be any different.
"Let me handle this!" Joxer announced sanctimoniously and stepped in front of Meg, facing Blaise. "Hey, boss whats up?" He asked with a toothy grin and smoothed out his ruffled clothing.
"Could I talk to you for a minute alone?" She asked hopeful and glanced over Joxers shoulder at Meg.
"Oh, man I never get to hear the juicy stuff!" Meg whined and walked away after Joxer looked over his shoulder and nodded for her to leave.
Blaise stared at her briefly and shook her head, trying to collect her thoughts. Wow, she looks like Xena. Man, could she be related to us? She wondered with a shiver and returned her thoughts to the present. She stepped out of the doorway followed by Joxer. "Dude, sorry I interrupted, but I need you to do me a favor." She asked with a sheepish grin for the intrusion.
"Anything, you know that." He answered eagerly and smiled when Blaise patted him on the shoulder, then began to discuss the task at hand with him.
"Argo, how am I going to tell Gabrielle?" She asked, hoping her faithful horse would give her an answer. She smiled when Argo whinnied and reared up, then down. "Yeah, shes not going to be happy. Shell be mad at first, but Im sure shell understand right?" She questioned as she paced back and forth, hoping Gabrielle would understand. She chuckled when Argo nodded her head up and down in a yes motion. "Thanks girl, I knew I could count on you for the truth." She snorted sarcastically and headed towards the house. It will only be for one or two days. She wont get that mad at me, its for a good cause and will help the Amazon village too. She reasoned, trying to think of what she was going to tell her. She stopped and looked up when she heard Blaise.
"If you have to think that hard about it, you probably shouldnt go." She advised, standing before Xena.
"Look, this is what I do best. I need more of a challenge Blaise." Xena told her, growing more irritated. "Ive got to talk to Joxer." She smirked and walked away. Blaise watched her sister and shook her head in disbelief.
Once Xena disappeared from sight Blaise headed into her house to join the rest of the party. "Hey! The life of the party has returned!" She announced conceitedly when she entered.
"Yeah, yeah." Ephiny casually threw over her shoulder pretending not to be impressed by Blaises entrance.
"Aphie, what in tartarus do you have on Jordyn? Ephiny! How could you allow her to put that pink frilly thing on her?" Blaise asked irritated and dismayed by the choice of clothing the Goddess of Love put on her daughter.
"She looks adorable Blaise!" Aphrodite whined in protest as she bounced Jordyn up and down on her knee. "Would you like to be my little protégé?" She sweetly asked and giggled while looking into the smiling face of her granddaughter.
"Oh, no. No, no. Im not going to have her walking around in all of those little pink outfits." Blaise protested vehemently and walked towards Aphrodite as everyone laughed. "Whats so funny?" She asked incredulously while looking at Ephiny. "Do you like that outfit on her?" She inquired in disbelief, pointing at Jordyn and looked at Ephiny for her answer.
"I think she looks like a little angel in the outfit." Ephiny answered with a proud smile and looked at Gabrielle for some help in the matter.
"Oh, I agree she looks so cute." Gabrielle stammered when Blaise looked at her and smiled in agreement, trying to help her sister. She inwardly laughed knowing how much the outfit was irritating Blaise.
Blaise stood with her hands on her hips flabbergasted and looked at Hades. "I suppose these women have talked you into agreeing that she looks good in that outfit too huh?"
"I have no comment other than, my grandson looks great in black!" He answered with a snicker and looked back at Chayce who was playing with his stuffed animal.
"Eph! Come on!" Blaise whined in complaint, growing more agitated as she looked at her and hoped she would change the outfit.
"Oh, Blaise it was a joke to get your gander up. Dont get so upset!" Ephiny stated aggravated with her partner and ended the ruse after seeing how mad she was getting.
"Whew, I was getting worried." She sighed relieved and chuckled, wiping the sweat off her brow.
"Well, look here dear. We have a daughter and it wont kill her or YOU if she wears some nice girlish clothes from time to time. Agreed?" Ephiny implied sternly and glared at Blaise with an arched brow to emphasize her point.
"Yeah, I guess." Blaise reluctantly agreed, knowing she was going to have to compromise considering the look Ephiny was giving her.
"Aah, thats my big, goofy and sweet God of War." Ephiny answered teasingly, pinching Blaise on the cheek and hugging her.
"Yeah, yeah." Blaise answered mockingly and kissed the top of Ephinys head. "Ive got a few things to take care of, Ill be back in a little while." She advised and leaned down, kissing her.
"Dont be long." Ephiny warned with a smile and patted her on the backside.
"Yes, dear." Blaise replied condescendingly and disappeared before Ephiny could retaliate for the smart remark.
"I hate it when she does that." Ephiny fumed briefly and laughed.
"Youll learn to do it soon enough. Then you can get revenge." Aphrodite commented and laughed, as did Hades who glanced up at her then back to Ephiny.
"Ooh, very true." Ephiny agreed with a chuckle.
"Well, we can help you two learn your godly powers once the stipulation Hera put on the two of you disappears." Aphrodite explained awkwardly, looking down at Jordyn. She looked up at Ephiny remembering what she had previously said of not accepting her as her mother. She hoped Ephiny was warming up to the fact that she is her mother and would truly accept her as such.
"Listen, I aah was wrong with the way I acted, but you have to understand that I was totally thrown for a loop with the information that came out about my parents. I had a very good relationship with them as a child so, it was hard for me to accept someone else as my parents." Ephiny explained regretfully and saw the hurt in her mothers eyes, knowing that she was the reason for that pain with her biting words previously. She moved towards Aphrodite and squatted next to her grasping her hand. "Im really sorry for what I said, its not every day that a gal finds out that her mother is the Goddess of Love." She answered apologetically and smiled warmly, hoping she would forgive her.
"I was deeply hurt by what you said to me before. I lost out on so many moments in both of your lives." She tearfully explained and looked up at Gabrielle, then back down to Ephiny. "I just wanted to hold you and try to make up for the fact that you were taken from us. " Aphrodite answered and looked at Hades, then back to Ephiny.
"I know and Im sorry. I want to get to know you both much better and I would like to make up for the time that we missed together too. I sincerely do. I want us all to be one big happy family." She wholeheartedly admitted with a warm smile and rubbed her mothers arm.
"Oh, me too!" Aphrodite said whiningly and hugged her daughter.
"You two are making me cry!" Gabrielle exclaimed and wiped the tears from her eyes.
"Sorry!" Ephiny grimaced with a chuckle and broke the hug. She stood up and placed her arm over Aphrodites shoulder, then looked at Gabrielle.
"Alright, there is too much mushy stuff going on for this God of the Underworld." Hades said with a snicker as he rose from the chair. "Ive got things to do. So, ladies give me a shout when you are ready for your first lesson." He offered with a smile and winked before disappearing.
They all laughed harder after Chayce giggled his delight when his grandfather disappeared. "You like that trick huh?" Ephiny asked playfully and picked him up, kissing his cheek.
"Well, I guess Ill get going. I wonder where my Warrior Princess disappeared too?" Gabrielle asked with wonder and rose from the table with Jade in her arms.
"You dont have to go do you?" Ephiny asked, hopeful they wouldnt leave and placed Chayce back down to play with his toys.
"I should get her back and put her down for a nap. Shes had a long day." Gabrielle informed her and walked towards them. "Ill talk to you both later." She smiled and walked towards the door as Ephiny and Aphrodite followed her.
"Let me walk you back Gabrielle." Ephiny offered with a smile, reluctant to allow her niece and queen to be unprotected.
"Thats not necessary. I can make it by myself." Gabrielle answered with an appreciative smile.
"No, I will escort you home. You never know who might be lurking in the woods from our house to the village and they would love nothing more than to grab the Queen. Not to mention, her heir apparent." Ephiny insisted as she smoothed at her nieces hair and wasnt going to take no for an answer.
"Okay, girls. Stop this bickering. Ill take them home." Aphrodite intervened and laughed stepping closer to the two women. "You have a sleeping child to put to bed and the other one is about to do the same." She informed her pointing to Jade who was barely able to keep her eyes open and handed Ephiny Jordyn who had fallen asleep in her arms.
"Well, thanks mom." Ephiny stammered nervously and smiled when she looked up at Aphrodite whose eyes welled with tears from her daughters comment.
"Oh, sweetheart Ive been waiting to hear that from you." She tearfully told her and kissed her on the cheek, then held her tightly. She smiled proudly and broke the hug. She kissed Jordyn on the forehead, reluctant to leave. "Ill be right back." She whispered and softly patted Ephinys shoulder before disappearing with Gabrielle and Jade.
Mom. Hmmm, that sounds good to say again. Ephiny thought with a wondrous smile and felt a warm comfort knowing she had a mother in her life once again. She cradled Jordyn in her arms and sat on the couch next to the fireplace, thinking of how dramatically her life had changed for the better. She chuckled when she heard the soft giggle of her son who sat on the floor playing with his toys before her. She looked down at her peacefully sleeping daughter and smiled proudly, then leaned down to kiss her forehead. My life couldnt be any better. She thought wistfully and leaned her head back with an irremovable smile.
Xena slowly made her way from Joxers house towards the Amazon village as darkness fell, going over her reasons for leaving and desperately tried to justify them within. It will only be for a couple of days. She reasoned inwardly and stood before the door of their hut hoping Gabrielle wouldnt be too mad with her. She opened the door and stepped inside, then closed the door behind her. She stood silently and lovingly watched as Gabrielle lay on the bed nursing their daughter. Her heart quickened at the tender sight and smiled when Gabrielle looked up at her.
"Hi, honey." Gabrielle greeted enthusiastically and smiled when she saw her partner.
"Hey." Xena replied nervously and looked away. She walked towards the table and turned her back to Gabrielle unable to look at her as she poured a glass of water. Maybe Blaise is right and I shouldnt go. This is freaking torture. No, wait. This is ridiculous just tell her that youre going and be done with it. She inwardly fought her subconscious. She resolved to stop being weak and tell Gabrielle what her plans were.
"Xena is everything okay?" Gabrielle asked, sensing that something was wrong with her wife.
"No, aah well, I just need to talk with you about something." Xena stammered nervously and slowly approached the bed.
"Whats going on? Youre making me nervous by the way youre acting." Gabrielle asked apprehensively and held Jade against her chest, lightly patting her back to burp her. She intently watched as her tall warrior strode towards her and sat next to her on the bed. She stared at Xena growing more nervous by the distressed look on her face.
Xena reached up and stroked her daughters hair, then smiled proudly. She decided to just be upfront with her. "Gabrielle, Im going to be gone for a few days." She began and looked into Gabrielles eyes then looked down.
"What for? Is something wrong with your mother?" She asked nervously and shifted, sitting upright while waiting for her answer.
"No, mothers fine. I was asked to mediate in a dispute with some warlords and Ill be gone for a few days." She explained softly and glanced up at Gabrielle then looked at her daughter.
"What? Who asked you to do this?" Gabrielle asked with a twinge of anger. She was incensed that Xena was going out on the road again and didnt talk with her about it before making that decision.
"Well, it was offered to me by Blaise." She answered and stared at her bard waiting for her response.
"Blaise offered you this opportunity out of the blue?" Gabrielle questioned, trying to get to the root of what was going on. She knew Xena was holding something back from her.
"No, I mentioned that I was bored with all the training I do with the Amazons and needed more of a challenge. Blaise asked me if I would be interested in helping her out on a limited basis and I agreed. So, Im leaving for a few days." Xena explained plainly and rubbed her daughters arm.
"A few days huh? Then what is a few days going to turn into, a few weeks? Then a few months?" Gabrielle asked sardonically and moved away from her lover.
"No, Gabrielle. It will only be for a few days, then Ill be back home." Xena answered, trying to reassure her and could see by the look in her eye that she wasnt doing a very good job.
"How long will you be helping Blaise out?" Gabrielle questioned angrily.
"For whenever she needs me I suppose." She answered and shrugged her shoulders unsure.
"I really dont get it Xena. I mean, you said you were happy living here with us and training the Amazons. I thought you and I shared an equal relationship, but you have made your decision without consulting with me about it. Whats new though?" She quipped sarcastically. "Did you ever stop to think how I would feel about it?" She asked, growing more irritated with her partner and fought to keep her tears in check.
"Yes, I knew you would be upset, but I thought you would eventually understand and not take it so hard."
"Well, you thought wrong Xena! It hurts knowing that you didnt respect me enough to make a decision as a couple. Instead, you made one on your own that affects OUR family." Gabrielle tearfully told her and rocked Jade who began to whimper.
"Ssh, sweet baby. Your mommies are just having a disagreement. Its okay." Xena explained softly and lightly rubbed her daughters back to calm her.
"A disagreement? No, Xena its more than that." Gabrielle answered growing angrier with her.
"Look babe, I need more excitement than what Im doing in my everyday life here."
"More excitement huh? I take it your daughter and I arent enough to captivate and excite you anymore huh?" Gabrielle snapped and glared at her lover.
"No, thats not what Im saying Gabrielle." Xena interjected and placed her hand on Gabrielles arm.
Gabrielle pushed her arm away, "Thats what I hear Xena so just go and get your excitement on the road," she furiously told her with fire in her eyes. She lay on her side with her back to Xena and cuddled with her daughter, effectively ending the conversation, or so she thought.
"Gabrielle." Xena replied softly, trying to explain, but was stopped.
Gabrielle looked back at her crossly and told her adamantly, "just go!" then looked away. She cuddled against Jade and placed soft kisses on her head, quietly crying out of Xenas sight, then wiped her tears away
Damn. Xena thought regretfully and leaned down placing her hand on Gabrielle. "Babe " She began and was halted by Gabrielle slapping her hand away.
"Just leave," She pleaded angrily and narrowed her eyes to emphasize her demand.
Xena stared at her partner momentarily; annoyed with the way Gabrielle asked her to leave and by how she slapped away her hand. She stood next to the bed and looked back at Gabrielle, then quickly headed for the door. She looked back once more before exiting their hut.
Gabrielle held Jade closer and cried harder, hurt that her partner would discard them so easily.
Xena stepped out of the hut and drew in a deep breath, then exhaled. Why did I say that to her? She questioned and shook her head in disbelief of her inconsideration. Gabrielles words rang louder in her head and the hurt she heard in her voice upset her deeper. She turned to the door and reached for the handle, then dropped her hand. She asked for me to leave, so I will to let her calm down. Then Ill ask, no beg for forgiveness. Beg? Hmmm, now that is something Im not used to doing. She thought with a slight chuckle and headed towards the tavern. She opened the door and felt uneasy from the way everyone was staring at her as if they had heard the fight. Nah, they couldnt have heard it. She smirked and nodded her head as she entered. A group of Amazons smiled, raised their mugs to acknowledge her and continued their animated conversations with one another.
Xena casually strode to the bar and sat in the available seat. She motioned to the bar keep for a drink and she promptly poured one for her. "Thanks." She smiled grateful and reached to her leathers, quickly realizing she had nothing to pay for the drink. She turned when she saw a bag of dinars drop on the bar before her and grinned when she saw who was standing next to her.
"Let me pay, its the least I can do. By the look on your face, Im the one who got you into trouble." Blaise offered with a smirk and sat on the stool next to her. She motioned to the bar keep for a drink and turned to Xena.
"I think I did that one all by myself little sister." She retorted and sipped her port.
"So, she didnt take it as you hoped huh?" Blaise asked and took a sip of her beverage.
"To say the least. She kicked me out!" She snapped incredulously, bowled over by Gabrielles reaction and took another drink.
"I know the feeling." Blaise snickered.
"Ephiny kicked you out?" She asked surprised and turned towards her sister.
"Oh, yeah." Blaise answered with a sly grin.
"Whyd she kick you out?"
"Because Im the one that proposed the offer to you. You know, we are going to be in deep trouble when those two learn their powers." Blaise chuckled and finished her drink, motioning for another.
Xena laughed and took a long sip of her drink. She lowered her mug and looked at Blaise regretfully. "I hurt her so much." She replied softly and felt an overwhelming amount of guilt consume her.
"How?" Blaise asked, growing more concerned and felt just as guilty as her sister looked for causing so much trouble. It was the last thing she intended to do.
"Because I excluded her from the decision and I said I didnt get enough excitement here. She was hurt that I didnt feel like her and Jade excited my life enough. Stupid, I was being so stupid and selfish." She admitted angry at her actions and felt worse as she spoke of them.
"Ouch, yeah I could see where shed get pissed off at you." Blaise answered and grimaced, thinking about how badly Gabrielle took her comment.
"Thanks, I thought you were trying to cheer me up." She retorted sarcastically and drank her beverage.
"Im trying to Xena, but man what were you thinking saying that to her? Dont you have any social skills in dealing with women and their feelings?" She asked, surprised by her sisters blatant comments to Gabrielle.
"Well of course I do you idiot." Xena snapped and lowered her voice when she realized how loud she was. She looked around the tavern and hoped no one heard what she said before looking at Blaise again.
Blaise growled contemptuously in response and motioned for the bottle the bar keep was holding. She nodded to Xena and grabbed their mugs before walking towards the door. Xena followed her out of the tavern and both walked towards the lake for privacy. They sat down and Blaise filled their mugs with the beverage, and then looked at her sister. "Okay, so can you explain to this idiot how knowledgeable you are in dealing with women and their feelings, yet managed to infuriate your wife?" She asked mockingly with a sly grin.
"Look I apologize for calling you an idiot. I really didnt mean to, I was just irritated by this whole situation. Im used to being in charge and making all the decisions for me us." She explained and changed her choice of words, flicking her eyes up at her sister. "I should included Gabrielle in my decision, but I didnt. I wanted something more challenging than what Im doing now and I impulsively jumped at the offer you made me. I didnt mean for her to think that her and Jade were not important to me. They are the most important people in my life and it upsets me knowing how much I hurt her. I didnt handle the situation well and thats difficult for me to admit." She explained and looked away from her sister embarrassed by her admission, then tossed a stone in the lake out of frustration.
"I understand Xena. We are both stubborn and hate to admit that we are wrong, but sometimes you have to. You need to express to Gabrielle that her and Jade are the most important things in your life, and then prove it with your actions. Why dont you sit down with Gabrielle and see if there are more challenging tasks here at the village that she could assign you, that will keep you happy? She may warm up to the idea of you helping me out once you include her in the decision. She would appreciate that and it would be a step in the right direction. Oh, I wouldnt mention the word excitement to her. You might want to use something else considering its probably a touchy word for her." Blaise suggested with a smirk and winked when her sister looked at her knowingly.
"Do you know whats even worse than admitting that I was wrong?" Xena asked staring at her sister.
"Yes, knowing that Im right." Blaise answered and grinned wickedly.
"You got it!" Xena agreed with a laugh and shoved her sister who laughed.
"I suppose mom rubbed of on me." Blaise answered and chuckled as she sat upright.
"As much as I hate to admit it, youre right and I need to let Gabrielle know how I feel about her and Jade. I just need to get out of my old ways of having to be in control. I made a promise to her and Jade that I would always be there. I promised to be more involved in Jades life than I was with Solan and I dont want to break it." She explained regretfully and sipped her drink.
"Yeah, well you can make up for it and see to it that you dont do it again." Blaise encouraged and smiled. "Come on, lets get you home. You have some groveling to do." She teased and held her hand out for her sister to help her up.
"Groveling. What has become of the Warrior Princess I used to be?" She wondered sarcastically and stood next to her sister.
"She fell in love and realized what really mattered to her." Blaise answered with a wink and began to walk away followed by her sister.
"Thanks I appreciate it." Xena replied wholeheartedly. "Im glad I changed my mind and Im sorry about not being able to help settle the disagreement." She added and walked beside Blaise.
"Its not biggie. Besides, Im going to do what I should have done in the first place and handle it myself. Im sorry I caused so much friction between you two, it was not my intention." She answered regretful for the trouble she caused.
"I know what your intentions were and Im the one who caused all the trouble. Now, its time for me to fix the situation." Xena admitted sheepishly.
"Gabrielle is a very reasonable woman and I think she just needs to feel important enough to be included in your decisions with your family." She explained with a soothing smile.
Xena stopped and looked at her sister who also stopped, unsure of what her sister was doing. "What is up with the God of War giving out love advice? I think you became the wrong god." She asked with a chuckle and an arched brow, staring at her skeptically.
"Hey, I have to be a multi-tasked God right? Besides, growing up with Aphie and Cupid kind of influences you in that aspect and Ive heard rumors that in the alternative universe, I am the God of Love. Im not ashamed to admit that this God of War is sensitive and romantic." She answered sarcastically and pretended to be teary eyed from her comment, then laughed when her sister did.
"Well, those qualities are what makes you a good God of War, unlike our father who just loved to manipulate people, especially me." She complimented and rolled her eyes at her last statement, remembering how many times he tried.
"Aah, you think Im a good God of War. Im astonished that you think that way." Blaise answered excited and smiled proudly.
"Dont let it go to your head or tell anyone else, because Ill deny it." Xena warned with a smirk and continued walking as did Blaise.
"Our secret is safe with me." Blaise grinned and winked. "Okay, so how are you going to handle the situation with Gabrielle?"
"Well, just walk in there and talk with her." Xena answered simply and shrugged her shoulders.
"No, no, no. You need to romance her a bit and soften her up." Blaise suggested while scratching her chin and thinking of options. "Ah-ha, you need some flowers and maybe some candy."
"Where in tartarus am I going to get those things at this time?" Xena asked incredulously and rolled her eyes at the notion.
"Ask no more." Blaise grinned slyly and held her hands out, then looked down seeing a bouquet of flowers and a box of candy. She held them out and offered them to Xena. "The perks of being a god." She answered with a chuckle.
"Very nice, but Id like to pay you for this stuff." Xena offered and took the items from her.
"You dont pay me for these things." Blaise refused with a smirk, surprised her sister would suggest such a thing.
"Well, I would like to " Xena answered, stopping mid-sentence when she saw the look of hurt in her sisters mirrored blue eyes and listened as Blaise interjected.
"Xena, Im not my father and if I give you something its out of love for you, not to manipulate you." She explained, stunned that Xena would imply that.
"I know that Blaise. I didnt mean to insinuate that you were like our father. Its just that whenever a good deed is done to me, I feel like I need to pass another one on. It goes back to my days of taking and not giving." She explained, hoping her sister would understand.
"I understand and I shouldnt have taken it the wrong way considering you just complimented me about not being like our father. If you feel you need to pass along the good deed then hand out some dinars to the kids in the village or the next time you encounter a needy family, give it to them." Blaise suggested and smiled.
"You got it. Thanks for the advice and for all of these gifts." She answered appreciative and held up the items in her hand. "Now comes the tough part, facing Gabrielle. Lets hope she allows me inside." She grinned and both headed towards her hut.
"What in Tartarus is going on?" Xena asked nervously and picked up her pace when she saw a group of Amazons standing outside of her hut. "I hope nothing is wrong with Gabrielle or Jade." She worried anxiously and walked faster as did Blaise.
"Hold it right there Xena." The Amazons warned and stood defiantly before her when she stopped.
"Whats going on? Wheres Gabrielle and Jade? Are they okay?" She asked anxiously and moved forward, stopping at the wall of Amazons who were not allowing her to pass.
"They are fine. Weve been given orders to keep you away from the Queens hut." Chala, the lead Amazon that was standing in front of her explained, staring at the Warrior Princess defiantly.
"Who gave those orders?" Blaise asked authoritatively and crossed her arms over her chest.
"I did." The voice answered, which could be faintly heard from behind the Amazons. The Amazons parted when she walked through and stood before them.
"Ephiny?" Xena asked in disbelief.
"Yeah, whats going on Eph?" Blaise asked sardonically and moved her hands to her hips, wondering what her wife was up to.
Ephiny moved closer to the two siblings and glanced back at her Amazons. She waved her hand and they all stepped back closer to the hut, relaxing their stance as Ephiny stood before them. "Well, after YOU told me what happened," she explained and looked at Blaise to emphasize her point then continued, "I came over to see how Gabrielle was doing and shes very upset with YOU." Ephiny answered pointing and glaring at Xena with a sarcastic grimace, then added, "So, she doesnt want to see you this evening and asked that I pass along the information." She explained and leaned closer to Xena. "I would highly suggest that you find a way to make all of this up to her. Maybe like taking her out for a nice dinner, a picnic, a romantic rendezvous or something like my wife is going to do to make her feel better." She suggested in a whisper and looked at Blaise with an arched brow to emphasize her comment then back to Xena, flashing a wicked grin.
"Well, I have these to give her." Xena offered simply and showed her the gifts.
Ephiny looked down at them and nodded her head in approval. "They are a good start, but youre going to have to do better. Go to Olympus with your sister and sleep on it tonight." She suggested with a sly grin and continued, "Maybe the two of you can come up with something special to make it up to us. Now, you two have some work to do so go on, get to it." She ordered and shooed them away with her hands.
"Are you serious? Blaise, is she serious?" Xena asked in disbelief of what Ephiny was telling her and looked at her sister for an answer.
Blaise looked at her wife who glared up at her and turned to Xena. "I believe so."
"Oh, come on. This is ridiculous Im the Warrior Princess here and I can move all of you." Xena told her angrily and boastfully. She glanced up at the Amazons who were staring at the group, then looked back at Ephiny.
"Well, the Warrior Princess title and a bag of dinars are going to get you nowhere this evening with your wife. So, be on your way ladies." Ephiny told them firmly and planted her hands on her hips, then glared at her wife to get her point across.
"Come one, lets go." Blaise suggested and placed her hand on Xenas shoulder knowing they were at a dead end with their wives this evening.
"No, no this is just not right. Gabrielle is going to see me." Xena demanded angrily and was cut off by Blaise.
"Remember what I told you about romance?" She asked before both of them disappeared.
Ephiny chuckled and turned back around, heading towards the group of Amazons.
"Blaise, take me back. This is stupid!" Xena demanded when the pair appeared at Olympus.
"Calm down Xena. That ego is going to get you nowhere with Gabrielle. Give her the space she needs for this evening and in the mean time well give you a crash course on romance after a fight. Those days of giving Gabrielle a bunch of fish to make things better are over my dear sister. Come on." She explained with a chuckle and led her sister down the hallway.
Xena walked alongside Blaise fuming from what just transpired and her thoughts trailed off to the valiant Amazons. "Blaise, what is up with the Amazons standing up to the two of us that way?" Xena asked, surprised by their bravery. "We could have torn them limb from limb if we wanted."
"It seems that your work with them has paid off." She laughed and patted her sister on the back as they walked the long hallway.
"Ooh, thats right. My girls did pretty good didnt they?" She asked as her angry demeanor changed and grinned proudly.
"Definitely." Blaise agreed with a smile.
Her grin left her as her thoughts turned back to the situation with her partner. "Gabrielle is even more mad than I thought." She realized and looked at her sister. "How is it that you just back down from Ephiny like that?"
"The same way you do with Gabrielle." Blaise answered with a sly grin.
"What are you talking about? No, I dont." Xena answered with a nervous laugh.
"Think about it. Youre Xena the Warrior Princess, the fiercest woman around, the Destroyer of Nations and no one messes with a badass chick like you. Well, besides me." She jokingly chuckled and continued, "No one is able to playfully grab your ear or pinch your butt, or get away with things that Gabrielle does and no one is allowed to lay a hand on your precious Gabrielle without fear of dying if they do so. Its called love my dear dense sister. Havent you ever realized that Gabrielle has you wrapped around her finger? You would do anything and have done anything to make Gabrielle happy, all for love."
"I never realized how whipped I am until you just pointed it out." She realized, shocked by her epiphany.
"Its because you love her so much and thats a beautiful thing." Blaise answered, smiling.
"True, what can I say other than I have a weakness for that sexy little green-eyed blonde that captured my heart the moment I first saw her. I cant believe it took me so long to admit my feelings for her and act upon them, but I am so glad I did. She has made such a wonderful impact on my life and has given me more than I ever deserved. I am truly lucky to have her and you know, I would be lost without her. I adore her and never meant to hurt her with my stupidity by not including her in my decisions. Her and Jade are the most important people in the world to me. She has given me a stable and happy life, a beautiful daughter and more joy than I could ever have wished for. I love them both so much." She explained wholeheartedly and looked at Blaise who warmly smiled when she saw tears form in her sisters eyes as she spoke of the love of her life. "I hope she knows that, actually I need to tell her." She added with a smile, thinking of Gabrielle and how much she means to her.
Blaise smiled and pushed the door open the rest of the way and stepped back. "You just did." Gabrielle answered tearfully and stepped before her tall partner.
"Gabrielle, what ?" She asked surprised that she was there. She placed the gifts on the table next to her and hugged Gabrielle tightly. She broke the hug and attempted to speak, but was stopped when Gabrielle placed her finger over her mouth.
"Thats the most beautiful thing you have ever said to me Xena and I love you so much more for it." Gabrielle admitted tearfully and removed her hand, then passionately kissed her.
Xena sank into the kiss and deepened it when Gabrielle wrapped her arms around her neck. She slid her arm around Gabrielles waist and casually pushed her sister away with the other hand who stood staring at them.
Blaise chuckled when she was snapped out of the moment and stepped into the room, closing the door behind her to give them privacy.
"What are you two doing here?" She asked seeing Ephiny standing next to Aphrodite.
"Well, doing a little match making." Ephiny answered with a smirk, rocking back and forth on her feet, satisfied with the outcome of their work.
"Oh, really?" Blaise asked sarcastically. "How so? You told Xena to wait until tomorrow."
"Yeah, well that was just a ruse between us. Gabrielle asked Aphrodite mom," she explained and changed her choice of names then continued, "to bring her here as she didnt want to stay there in case Xena came back. Well, she was getting nowhere in her attempt to get Gabrielle to speak with Xena and work things out. So, she took me back to the village after Gabrielle refused to go home and attempt to get the two of you to come here. Once I accomplished that, she brought me back here." She explained as she approached her partner.
"We knew you would talk to Xena and get her to admit her feelings. We just needed Gabrielle to hear her say them." Aphrodite explained with a smile.
"Youre so predictable darling. You know, you should be the God of Romance or the God of Match Making maybe." Ephiny playfully suggested and laughed, as did Aphrodite.
"Very funny. Predictable huh?" Blaise asked condescendingly.
"Definitely." Ephiny flirtatiously added and snuggled against her lover who wrapped her arms around her.
"Well, Im glad I didnt disappoint anyone." Blaise chuckled feeling slightly embarrassed about not being privy to the ruse.
"Me too. Now take me home and make mad passionate love to me." Ephiny provocatively demanded and kissed Blaise deeply.
Blaise reciprocated the kiss and wrapped her wife in a tight embrace. She sent a small wave towards Aphrodite before they disappeared. Aphrodite giggled exuberantly that the couples were together and happy once again.
Xena broke the kiss and stared deep into Gabrielles greens, momentarily losing herself in them. Gabrielle smiled hesitantly and stared back, wondering what Xena was thinking. Xena pushed an errant strand of blonde hair behind Gabrielles ear and rested her hand on her shoulder, lightly stroking the soft skin with her thumb. "You are so beautiful." She replied softly and smiled adoringly, lightly kissing Gabrielles lips. She leaned back and looked at her wife, "I hope you can forgive me for being such an ignorant fool. I never meant to hurt you and I promise to never do that again. We are a family and equal partners in this relationship and Im sorry it took this for me to realize that fact. So, all the decisions are made as a family from now on. I was being insensitive for what I said about there not being enough excitement here for me. I meant it as in the work Ive been doing. I wasnt insinuating that you and Jade dont fill my life with joy and excitement every day. Im sorry." She professed wholeheartedly.
Gabrielle was shocked and gasped when she heard Xenas admission. She knew how hard it was for her lover to admit she was wrong. "I forgive you honey and it means everything to me to hear that all the decisions will be made as a family from now on." Gabrielle tearfully answered and smiled, holding her hand against her chest. She inhaled deeply and exhaled to calm her emotions. "Well make a decision tomorrow on you working with Blaise and what you have been doing here at the village. I want you to be happy and I have no qualms about you helping Blaise as long as you arent constantly away from Jade and I." Gabrielle explained with a smile.
"You are too good to me. I dont want to ever hurt you again." Xena smiled and kissed her shorter bride. She held her tightly and deepened the kiss, much to Gabrielles delight. She broke the kiss and rested her forehead against Gabrielles. "I promise that my work with Blaise will be limited so I wont be away from you and Jade for long. What do you say about going home?" Xena suggested with a smile and lightly kissed the supple lips before her.
"I say, take me now!" Gabrielle answered with a flirtatious giggle.
"Ooh, Gabrielle. I love it when you demand that." Xena answered teasingly and looked around the room. "Well need to get Blaise or Aphrodite to take us back." She replied and saw the gifts on the table next to her. "Oh, I forgot. Here these are for you." She smiled and handed Gabrielle the gifts.
"Aah, the flowers are beautiful. Oh, and candy. They are my favorite!" She exuberantly replied looking at the gifts and as Xena stood behind her, then wrapped her arms around her.
Xena kissed her on the cheek and sensually whispered, "I love you."
Gabrielle giggled and shivered from the wondrous sensation Xenas voice sent throughout her. She turned within her lovers arms and smiled when their eyes met. "I love you." She reciprocated and kissed her wife. "Now, take me home." She demanded with a provocative smile.
"Hey, youre the god here why dont you pop us home." Xena teased and laughed. "By the way, where is our daughter?"
"Ive got her right here." Aphrodite answered after stepping through the door, holding her Granddaughter proudly. "Ill take you both home and Jade can stay here with Grammy." She suggested, looking down at the adorable face before her and cooed.
"Okay Grammy. Sounds like a plan." Xena quipped sarcastically.
"Look here warrior babe, that Grammy thing gets out and I tell everyone what a mush you are for Gabrielle." Aphrodite playfully warned.
"Thats nothing, everyone already knows that." Xena casually answered and chuckled shrugging off the comment as if it didnt bother her.
"Yeah, but they dont know how your eyes got all teary when you were talking about your beloved Gabrielle." She threatened tauntingly and sneered.
"Your eyes got teary when you were talking about me?" Gabrielle asked hopeful and excitedly.
Xena growled at Aphrodite and smiled when she turned to Gabrielle. "What can I say other than I have this deep weakness for you." She admitted and laughed, as did the other women. "Lets go." She suggested and looked at Aphrodite, then back to Gabrielle.
"Aah, you got teary eyed for me." Gabrielle replied happily and giggled, hugging her tall lover tighter as they disappeared.
To Be Continued
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