Disclaimers: Regretfully, I did not create the characters of Xena, Gabrielle, Eve, Lila, Herodotus, and Hecuba although sometimes I like to think that I did. I am not making any money off this story so Rob, Ren pics, and Universal please don't sue me.

Violence: Only of the threatening Gabrielle's family with a sword variety.

Language: I think I made it through this one without a single naughty word unless you count "son of a Bacchae."

Sex: There is definitely nudity and a very obvious loving relationship between two females but no sex.

I assume that Xena's Lullaby is written by Joe LoDuca and is used without permission.

Feedback: Please send any comments to kburnett@udel.edu

"Awakening in the Woods"

By Katie Burnett

"Father, we are never going to make it to Uncle Ketolycus' house before dark, and if there is one thing that I have learned from Gabby it is never to travel in the dark. At least not when you don't have the best warrior in the world with you," Lila argued as she, Hecuba, and Herodotus of Poteidaia journeyed along a dusty road near dusk. Hecuba and Lila rode an old nag while Herodotus ambled alongside.

"You know, she is right, dear. It is too dangerous to travel at night. What are we going to do? We haven't brought any supplies," Hecuba added worriedly.

"Oh son of a Bacchae. Alright, I suppose we'll have to tie the horse to a tree in the woods and try to find a traveler who will take us in," Herodotus decided.

"We'll have to smell for horses and fires. No traveler with half a brain would allow a fire to smoke," Lila explained knowledgably. Both her father and mother turned to stare at her in shock. "What? My sister has traveled all over the known world. We got a chance to really catch up in Amphipolis at her birthday party. I asked her about traveling because I was curious and didn't know anything about it. Is that a problem?" the young woman finished by giving a fairly good impression of the warrior princess eyebrow raise.

"Of course not, dear! Come let's get started. It's nearly dark already," Hecuba responded hurriedly.

It was now full dark and the trio was getting anxious that they wouldn't find any kind travelers to help them. They had tied off the horse some ways back and now stumbled through the forest carrying the few possessions they had brought along for the trip to Herodotus' brother's farm. The family was lucky, however, that a full moon provided decent lighting.

Just when they were about to give up hope, Lila stopped in her tracks and grabbed her parents' arms to hold them in place. "I smell a fire and can hear a horse shuffling," The younger woman whispered. Her green eyes flashed in excitement of getting to try out her newly acquired sneaking skills. "We have to move as quietly as possible so as not to disturb them. We will also have to determine whether they are friendly or not. Understand?" Both parents nodded their heads and all three commenced their stealth approach. They were still making quite a few noises despite the effort, but Lila figured they must have been doing pretty well because they were still alive.

A clearing slowly became visible through the trees. The weary travelers were now able to hear the crackling of the fire, the shuffling of hooves, a small creek babbling its way across the countryside, and soft snoring. This last sound intrigued Lila the most for the snoring sounded vaguely familiar.

Finally, the three Poteidaians were as close as they dared to the campsite and began examining its contents. One gorgeous Palomino mare, one clump of familiar looking saddlebags, one expertly built fire, one jumble of humanity on spread bedrolls, one custom-made sword sitting right next to said jumble of humanity, one round killing object placed above the sword, and two farmer's sais placed carefully on the other side of the bedrolls. On second look the family could also detect one pile of well cared for leather, one set of distinctive brass armor, one set of big brown boots, one leather halter top, one weird looking skirt, and one smaller pair of brown boots. After ascertaining the nature of these items, the three eavesdroppers turned their attention to the people cuddled on the bedroll.

One smaller person all bundled up in a fur with blonde hair sticking out of the top of the blanket and face pressed against a well formed bosom. One taller, raven haired woman, naked as the day she was born, with one long leg wrapped around said bundle and arms cradling the mystery person. One very little nest of furs with a little head peeking out finished the picture.

Lila was elated to have found her sister, but the only thing that her parents were able to think was 'get your filthy, murdering, warlord, woman hands off my daughter.' This thought manifested itself as Herodotus turning bright red and clenching his fists while his wife turned pale and nearly fainted.

Before any action could be taken, however, the little one in the nest decided to make itself known. In other words, the baby started screaming her poor little head off. These irritating noises caused the other two humans in the camp to stir.

"Hon, I think it's your turn," the raven haired woman muttered sleepily without removing herself from her sleeping partner.

"Sorry, sweetheart, that is definitely the hungry scream. I know about these things. Can't help you with this one," the blonde haired bundle responded while raising her head a bit. The family could easily see their own green eyes sparkling at the warrior.

"Ugh...it's tough being Xena Warrior Mom," the warrior dead panned as she sat up and reached for the offending parcel of flesh.

"Believe me, I know, baby. How about I sit up and tell you and Evie a story while she's feeding," Gabrielle suggested while sitting up and wiping the sleep out of her eyes.

"I think that would be lovely, Gab. Don't you think so, Eve? Of course you do," the warrior princess cooed, causing the three intruders in the bushes to do a double take.

"Well, I would try to sing but I love you both too much to make you go deaf." By this time Xena was sitting up against a tree situated behind their bedrolls with Eve suckling on her right breast and Gabrielle laying her head on her partner's left shoulder. Blankets covered them to keep away the chill and unknowingly protect their modesty from their watchers.

"Actually that's a good idea, love. I know you're exhausted and singing a song that I have ingrained in my head is a lot easier than you thinking up a story. Besides, I know how you love it when I sing," Xena suggested.

"I sure do. You have a gorgeous voice...along with everything else. Sing away, babe," Gabrielle agreed with a content sigh. The bard's family was totally unprepared for what happened next.

"Hush now my little one,

Please don't you cry.

Lay your head down,

On my shoulder and sigh.

Sun's gone away,

Mama will pray,

Silence will keep

All while you're asleep,"

And the fearsome warrior continued to hum the tune until both lover and child were sound asleep. With a tender kiss on each of their foreheads, Xena gently put them both to sleep before wrapping herself around her bard again and saying "I love you" to the air in a sleepy, happy voice.

To their horror, Hecuba and Herodotus found themselves smiling at the domestic scene along with their younger daughter. The two older on lookers gave each other an 'I was so wrong' look, and their daughter gave her parents a smug 'I told you so' smile. Just as the trio was about to turn away and camp a safe distance from the happy family, they heard a piercing battle cry far too close to their sensitive ears. The family turned to see a very naked warrior shoving a sword in their faces. 'Well, she's not all that different,' they all thought before bursting out loud with laughter.


Return to the Academy