A Journey of Love and Life
As they both watched Xena climb up the stairs to their room, Gabrielle smiled feeling a contentment she knew would be a part of her life as long as Xena was a part of her life. She looked at the woman who had brought her soulmate into the world and knew the talk they were about to have was going to be a tough one. She knew Xena was leaving the details of what had happened with Eli in her hands to tell, and sighed knowing it was going to be hard to talk about that again. Although she'd accepted that she would never bear a child it still hurt to know that the only child she had ever given birth to was evil and it had been a nightmare of a birth, she'd been so afraid but Xena was so calm and had made it that much easier for her. She was always doing that, making things easier for Gabrielle without even knowing it. She thought again of how much Xena was willing to change for her and was overwhelmed by the love of the warrior princess. Gods just don't let her lose this one please, I don't know what that would do to her, I know we could have another child but she loves this baby so much already, please let it be safe Gabrielle quietly prayed to whoever was listening. She knew Xena was strong but didn't know if her love could take losing another child.
“So Gabrielle, I can see we have much to discuss, I'm sure Xena will sleep for a few candlemarks at least, how bout we take a couple of mugs of mead and sit down and talk?” Cyrene asked having seen the thinly disguised look of pain on her daughter in laws face and wondered what else had happened to them, it worried her they had already been through so much and now with the baby coming, she wanted Xena to not have to face any more pain if possible.
“That sounds like a great idea, we do have a lot to talk about” Gabrielle said as they walked over to a table and Cyrene poured them a mug of mead each. She waited till Cyrene was sitting and preceded to tell Xena's mother about their conversation with Eli and how she was never going to bare Xena's child, and that they had been given the ability to have children that were from both of them but Xena would have to be the one to bare them. She looked into Cyrene's eyes and saw compassion mixed with grief and was surprised when she was engulfed into a hug by Cyrene and the tears finally came, tears for herself for what she'd lost and tears for what would never be.
“I'm so sorry that happened to you Gabrielle, and I know it probably tears Xena up inside that she probably caused this by taking you to Britannia and not taking good enough care of you, I'm sure she blames herself in some way, I'm just glad to see my stoic daughter coming out of her shell, I can already see how much she has changed and its because of you Gabrielle, don't ever doubt how much she loves you Gabrielle, it would break not only her heart but her soul to lose you” Cyrene told this woman who obviously loved her daughter and marvelled at how strong their relationship was despite all they'd been through. She knew that Gabrielle was the one who had saved her daughter's soul and she would be eternally grateful to this beautiful woman for bringing back even a part of the Xena Cyrene had raised.
“And it would break my heart and soul to lose her, I love her more than my own life Cyrene, I truly believed that Xena would have a hard time accepting that she would have to be the one to bear our children, but I was glad that I was wrong, what she is doing for us is unbelievable and the changes I've seen in her in the last few moons are more than I could have ever hoped for” Gabrielle replied thinking of her warrior princess and wanting to be up with her right now watching her sleep, resting her hand on the soft hardness of Xena's bump, feeling their child move within her beautiful warrior. Their connection was growing daily and she was finding she could sense when Xena was awake, even when she wasn't in the same room and knew Xena was beginning to be able to sense her emotions, awaking from a deep sleep at times to Gabrielle's tears or other strong emotions.
“You are both lucky to have found what you have, I hope no one ever separates you, because I know it would destroy you both, now why the rush to get to the Amazons?” Cyrene asked seeing the wistful look on Gabrielle's face and decided she wanted to get this conversation over with because Gabrielle obviously wanted to be where Xena was and she knew Gabrielle needed to be with Xena, their connection was visible even to her.
“Well we want to go to Poetaedia first and Xena and I were hoping you'd come both to Poetaedia and to the Amazons, Xena asked me to marry her” Gabrielle told Cyrene seeing the wide grin that matched her loves and knew without Cyrene telling her that she was happy for them, ecstatic from the beaming smile on Cyrene's face. She didn't want to think about her parents reaction to their news and tried to push that train of thought out of her mind and focus on the joyous reaction from Xena's mum.
“Oh Gabrielle that's wonderful news, I assume it will be an Amazon joining ceremony since you are headed for the Amazon's?” Cyrene asked wondering if Gabrielle and Xena had thought of the implications of an Amazon joining ceremony, Gabrielle was the Amazon Queen and she thought it very likely that they would place a tough challenge on Xena to prove herself worthy of Gabrielle in the Amazon's eyes.
“Yeah it will be, we haven't worked out the details, I'm not sure what the laws are in Amphipolis in regards to women marrying each other but I intend to find out, nothing would make me happier than legally being Xena's wife and that's something I don't want her to have to worry about, I know things are going to get harder for her in the next four moons, she is so excited about the baby, she really did cry when she felt the baby's first movements it was such a beautiful moment” Gabrielle told Cyrene remembering the tears shimmering in her loves ice blue eyes, making them seem even brighter than they were, the awestruck look on Xena's face and the beauty of her warrior princess. Never in a million seasons did she think she'd ever see her Xena looking so radiant, so womanly, so unlike the stoic warrior she normally was. She didn't know if this was a permanent change but something told her that while it may not always be this pronounced, the changes in her warrior princess were here to stay. She could feel Xena's acceptance of herself, could feel how different Xena was seeing the world now and her role in it. She knew Xena would always fight for the just causes, but a part of her knew she didn't always need to, that she could live again and think of the future.
“Well I think there is a black haired blue eyed woman up there who needs your presence to sleep as deeply as possible, and I have a lot of things to organise if I'm going to accompany you both on your journey to Poetaedia and the Amazons, go on she needs you” Cyrene said gently taking the woman who held her daughter's heart and soul in her hands into her arms and then pushing her towards the stairs and to the woman she loved.
Gabrielle walked up the stairs to their room thinking of her conversation with Xena's mother and of what Cyrene had said about Xena blaming herself for Gabrielle's inability and wondered if that was part of why she was so accepting of her new role in their lives, and how big a part it was. She hoped it was only a small part and had a feeling it was but still wanted to talk to Xena about it, she knew they had no choice, that if they wanted more children that Xena was they only way they'd have them, but she wanted Xena to want this as much as her without any guilt factoring into it. The way she saw it neither of them were to blame for what happened with Dahok, they'd both acted the only way they could and she was just happy to have Xena in her life, everything that happened in the past didn't matter any more to her, only that they were together and they'd stay that way forever. She walked quietly into their room not wanting to disturb Xena and smiled at the peaceful look on her love's face. She sat on their bed for a candlemark or so thinking about them and what had happened in the last few years and decided she wouldn't change a bit of it, if she did she would have no way of knowing how it would change them and if it would end up separating them. As she sat there she felt another presence in the room and looked over at Aphrodite looking at Xena's sleeping form a happy smile on her face. Aphrodite looked up at her and she found herself smiling back at the goddess of love knowing she saw what Gabrielle saw when she watched Xena sleeping.
“I just wanted to come and give you my blessing, I know neither of you need it, but I'm so happy for her and for you Gabrielle, there is no love purer than yours and Xena's” Aphrodite whispered not wanting to wake Xena, knowing that she would need all the rest she could get in the coming months. In her own way Aphrodite loved and respected Xena, she didn't have the same awe for her that the other Gods seemed to have but she knew that this one was special, and she also knew of Xena's secret one even the Warrior princess wasn't aware of. She knew that Xena needed to be told sometime but now wasn't the right time, she had a lot on her plate at the moment and finding out about this would only make things harder for her. She looked at the warrior again amazed at how beautiful and peaceful she looked when asleep and knew of the depth of love this mortal was capable of and that it was slowly being revealed to both Gabrielle and Xena how special their bond was. She knew the only person who could make Gabrielle happy was Xena and vice versa and that it would be that way throughout all time.
“Thank you Aphrodite, we do appreciate it, we both consider you a friend even though Xena doesn't always show it and just that you are happy for us is enough” Gabrielle told Aphrodite happy that her friend was happy for them but wanting her to leave so she could curl up with Xena for a while and connect with their child.
“She is a very special mortal Gabrielle, I know she would never believe this but I admire her so much, I love her and you and I wish you happiness in your union” Aphrodite told Gabrielle smiling at the shock on Gabrielle's face and then disappeared knowing both of them would be fine as long as they were together.
Gabrielle slowly shook her head wondering how it was one of the Gods who was considered the weakest managed to see what the other Gods couldn't, that Xena was special, you only had to look at her to know that she was stronger than most men and that she was one of the best fighters in the known world, but the most special thing about Xena was her astonishing capacity for love and how capable she was of feeling and sensing deep emotions. It was her vulnerability which Gabrielle could see more and more these days and it made Gabrielle want to hold her and protect her. With that thought in her mind she laid down on the bed with Xena, placing her head against Xena's stomach waiting for the slight movements of their child. So engrossed with what she was doing she didn't notice the sparkling blue eyes open and mist with tears at the sight of her bard kissing her stomach and whispering softly to their child. She closed her eyes feeling a contentment and safeness she had only felt in Gabrielle's arms. Within seconds she was asleep again a peaceful smile spreading across her face.
Continued in Part 12
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