A week later they were beginning their journey to the lands between Poetaedia and Amazon territory. They had a full royal guard accompanying them much to Xena's annoyance, but Gabrielle had soothed her warrior's nerves promising her that Chilapa had talked to the Amazon's and that they would stop coddling her so much. They set off at a leisurely pace stopping every few candlemarks for a rest and food, or sometimes simply a rest. Gabrielle made sure Xena had a nap when she really needed it but Xena was much too excited to be out on the road to sleep, happy to be outside and in the open air for a while.
“You are really happy out here aren't you sweetheart?” Gabrielle asked trying to understand her warrior, she knew how much Xena loved the road and being able to sleep outside, it was what had made her wonder why Xena had been willing to give all this up to settle down with her, but she would never question the love of her warrior princess and knew just how capable her love was of adapting to situations, despite her recent restlessness Xena had settled well into the Amazon village, better than she had the last time they'd tried and she knew they would have no problems staying in the village until the babies' birth.
“Yeah, I don't know what it is about the open road but I just feel so free out here, it's like there is no one to judge me when I'm out here and I can make the decisions and be in control of what happens to me more” Xena told Gabrielle almost gasping as one of the babies placed a strong kick to her side and silently rubbed her stomach hoping to settle them a little, the babies were getting more and more active as the grew more and now that she was just under six moons gone she was definitely looking pregnant, the midwife telling her before they left that she looked about seven and a half moons gone and warning her that the babies were probably going to be big especially factoring in her height.
“You alright love?” Gabrielle asked having noticed the furrow of Xena's brow and her absently rubbing her stomach, the babies movements were getting very noticeable and making Xena quite uncomfortable at times and she knew it was only going to get worse as they got bigger. She was worried the babies would inherit Xena's height knowing the bigger the babies were the harder giving birth to them would be and she wanted to spare Xena all the pain she could.
“Yeah just one of the babies reminding me that it's in there and its beginning to get cramped” Xena grinned as Gabrielle took over the rubbing of her stomach and the babies settled immediately, she loved that they seemed to recognise Gabrielle's touch and almost hummed with contentment as the rubbing began to relax her as well.
“I better stop that before you fall asleep on me” Gabrielle laughed seeing Xena's eyes flutter close at her touch and loved how relaxed her warrior was even though they were out on the road, Xena didn't seem as on guard as she usually was, they'd spent the time when they were travelling talking, holding hands, feeling the babies move as they walked or rode slowly and Gabrielle couldn't remember a time when she'd enjoyed a trip so much.
“Yeah, as much as I love that I don't think it would be a good idea for me to fall asleep right now, we've got about 3 candlemarks of daylight left and I think if we keep going we can reach Poetaedia by nightfall” Xena told Gabrielle, when they'd decided to head out on this trip they decided to go to Poetaedia first and then they would take a three day trip by themselves to find their special place, it had caused a lot of arguments with their Royal Guard but they had finally agreed that their Queen was more than capable of fighting anyone off if they should get into trouble and Xena was no slouch with a sword either pregnant or not. They had promised to contact them as soon as they found the spot and were going to buy a messenger pigeon or two before they left Poetaedia.
“I can't wait till our trip it's been so long since we've really been alone, and in a few short moons we are going to have more on our plate than we can handle, it will be really nice to be with you just me and you for a night or two” Gabrielle told Xena leaning up to kiss her beautiful warrior, seeing tears spring to those baby blues and wondered what was going on in her stubborn warrior's mind.
“I've been close to tears more times than I can count in the last moon or two, I think I'm going to dehydrate before I have these babies, thank you sweetheart, I love you so much and just thinking that in a few moons we will get to meet our babies brings me close to tears” Xena told Gabrielle as they walked on, she could see the outskirts of Poetaedia now and knew they were close so she tried to get her emotions back under control, she knew that Lila was probably going to be shocked by how much weight she'd gained but seeing her cry would probably be a little much.
“I can't wait either sweetheart, I'm not looking forward to seeing you in pain but I am looking forward to placing our children into your arms” Gabrielle told Xena, she truly wasn't looking forward to the pain part of Xena giving birth to their children, she knew how she responded to Xena's pain and was worried she might end up too consumed by it, but she knew she needed to be there for Xena so she would do her best to be as calm as possible.
“I know you are worried about the birth love, you're going to do fine, I have complete faith in your ability to get me through it, you did with Eve during that crazy time you were the only thing that kept me sane, it was your voice, your touch, your encouragement, they got me through the pain and the fear that Zeus could get past Hercules, I never thanked you properly for that, when you walked off with Hercules, I should have told you to come back, you were my family and I was so absorbed with the moment I didn't notice you were gone until you were, I'm sorry sweetheart” Xena told Gabrielle wanting her to understand just how much she needed her and how much faith she had in her, she knew she was in great hands with Gabrielle by her side and even though there was more chance of something going wrong because she was carrying twins, she knew Gabrielle could handle it and she hoped fervently that no-one would need to interrupt their moment.
“Shhh baby, it's okay I understood, at that moment although I felt like Eve was mine I wanted you to have a moment with her alone, I was pretty sure you didn't really get that moment with Solan and I knew you were thinking of him, you'd just gone through an incredible amount sweetheart, losing Solan again and giving birth to Eve, so I let Hercules lead me out of there, I knew I'd get to be with you after and that we could revel in the fact that our daughter was finally here, you needed that moment don't apologise for it” Gabrielle told Xena taking her hand in hers and placing it on Xena's stomach allowing the memory of that day to translate to their future now, the situation almost the same except this time the babies were theirs and there were two of them.
“Thanks sweetheart I never looked at it that way, I so wanted you to feel that Eve was yours too, I know I was a little hesitant when you wanted to give Eve your right of caste, but I was sure you would have a child of your own one day and I didn't know if it was right to give such a precious gift to a child that wasn't yours” Xena told Gabrielle revealing something Gabrielle had never considered, she'd been a little annoyed that day when Xena had asked her that, and it had made her even more determined to name Eve as her heir, she had wanted Xena to understand that she felt that Eve was as much hers as Xena's a part of them both and hadn't thought she'd achieved that until after the demise of the Gods when Xena had put her hand on her shoulder and told her that they'd gotten their daughter back.
“I do feel like Eve is mine I can't explain it but when you told me you were pregnant with her, I was angry at first because I thought you'd cheated on me, and then I looked into your eyes and I knew you couldn't have, at that moment I felt a connection to your baby that I couldn't explain and I've always had it, even now Eve and I still share an unusual bond for people who've been through what we've been through” Gabrielle told her feeling the babies move against their joined hands and they both smiled, feeling the miracle that was occuring for them both, this day had been good for them, they'd talked about a lot of things and resolved a few things they didn't realise they needed to resolve.
“I feel it too, when I watch you two together, when she was a baby you were so unsure of yourself, like she might break, I knew you loved her as much as I did, as much as we are both going to love these little ones, I love you sweetheart” Xena told Gabrielle kissing her lightly to affirm their love and feeling their bond strengthen as it always did in moments like these. Both of them were too good at holding thoughts and emotions inside, something always ended up happening to push them out to the forefront and when they dealt with them they came out stronger for it.
“I love you too sweetheart, and I love our children, did you realise we've just walked into Poetaedia, completely oblivious of where we are?” Gabrielle told Xena as she looked at their surroundings and smiled seeing Lila walking over to them with Sarah and Eve following behind closely joy clearly shown on their faces at their arrival.
“As always you two are oblivious to anyone but yourselves” Lila laughed when she was finally at their side and had been wrapped in a big hug by Xena, she had expected Xena to be a little more free with affection and emotions but the hug she had gotten from Xena left little imagination to how she felt about her lover's sister and then both Eve and Sarah were engulfed in a hug by the warrior who was barely holding back tears she was so happy to see them.
“Most of the time, wouldn't you be distracted if someone this beautiful loved you sis?” Gabrielle asked seeing a look of shock pass fleetingly over her sister's face and then she it was replaced by her sister's normal expression and smiled knowing her sister was going to have to get used to a different Gabrielle, she was beginning to stop worrying about what other's thought of her, or her relationship with Xena, life was too short to worry about things like that.
“You look like you are going to explode Xena, are you sure you're carrying one baby?” Lila asked and then seeing the look on both Gabrielle's and Xena's faces she knew that she'd stumbled onto something they'd wanted to tell them later on.
“Ah well we were going to tell you this over dinner, but I guess our looks spoke for themselves, I'm carrying twins, midwife confirmed it a few weeks ago, we thought about writing to you but we both knew we'd be taking this trip so we decided to tell you in person” Xena told them seeing the stunned looks on their faces and then she was being engulfed in a hug by her daughter and Lila and the tears she'd been holding back began to flow from the obvious love she could feel from the two people holding her.
“Oh Xena, Gabby I'm so happy for you both, does this change your plans for the birth?” Lila asked wondering if they would both take more precautions and involve a midwife in the birth, twins were a bit riskier than a single birth, but knowing these two they would still want it to be just them.
“We are going to have a midwife on standby, but unless something bad starts happening its just going to be me and Xena welcoming our children into the world, I know it's risky but it's how we want it” Gabrielle explained to them hoping her sister would see why it was important to them, she'd seen it in Xena's eyes when she'd asked her, seen that it was something Xena really needed, and she knew she would do her best to always try and fulfill Xena's needs.
“Well I think we should get you and your friends inside, I've done some baking so we have fresh pie if anyone's interested and I know a certain warrior who is probably in need of a nap” Lila remarked smirking at the scowl Xena threw her at her last remark. She was tired but nowhere ready for sleep although she had no idea how she'd feel after a nice piece of pie and a hot cup of tea.
“Okay you just said the magic word for this pregnant woman, lead on Lila” Xena joked even though she was really beginning to feel hungry, and knew it would probably take a couple of pieces of pie to even touch the sides of how hungry she was beginning to feel. She felt her stomach growl and looked up at her daughter, Gabrielle and Lila trying not to laugh and gave them the look, and a growl before walking off to Lila's house praying to find the pie already out and ready to go when she got there.
“Ah I better go after her, she normally takes my jokes about her eating so well, but her moods have been a little all over the place lately” Gabrielle explained as she went off in search of Xena knowing exactly where her lover was and what she was about to do. She got to the house just as Xena reached the pie and knew she was in for it, the scowl on her partner's face was a very telling sign of how angry she was.
“Xena I'm sorry I didn't mean to laugh at you, but you're so cute when you are hungry” Gabrielle told Xena hoping to bring just a little smile to the face that was still scrunched up in a scowl. She knew that she had been a little merciless in her teasing of Xena's appetite, and realised she was going to have to tread a bit more carefully with her lover's emotions in the next few moons. It was so unusual to see Xena react like this to something, that she knew it had to be because of the pregnancy.
“Ever heard of the saying eating for two, well I'm eating for three so maybe you guys could back off a little on the teasing” Xena said feeling perilously close to tears and angry, she knew she wasn't acting rationally but her emotions were so off kilter at the moment that she didn't really care, she was angry and that was all that mattered.
“I know baby, and you are doing such a great job, I know how much it's taking your body to keep our babies in there growing, I was only really struggling not to laugh at the noise your stomach makes when it growls, come on sweetheart you always teased me about my stomach monster” Gabrielle said and then frowned as Xena burst into tears and sunk down into a chair. A little alarmed she rushed over to the chair and put her arms around Xena happy to not have her fight the affection and held on as Xena cried on her shoulder.
“I'm sorry I don't know what came over me, I just couldn't stop the emotion” Xena spoke softly when her tears had finally calmed. She'd never felt this out of control emotionally and hoped it wouldn't get worse. She knew that it was because of the pregnancy and she only hoped she wouldn't say anything to horrible when she was feeling this way.
“It's okay sweetheart, carrying twins has got to be hard, I should have been more sensitive, the midwife told me to expect this” Gabrielle said happy to see a small smile play on Xena's lips and then breathed a big sigh of relief when Xena reached those lips down to kiss hers and knew they were okay now. She had no idea what Xena was going through, could only guess with the hormones her body was probably producing because of the twins, and she mentally slapped herself for not noticing the mood swing.
“Thank you for understanding, if I said anything that hurt you or if I do say something that does in the future I'm sorry, I- when I get one of these moods I feel so out of control and I try so hard to get back in control and then it breaks, and I end up crying my eyes out, some warrior huh?” Xena told Gabrielle wanting her to understand it wasn't personal, she couldn't explain it herself why she'd taken exception to them laughing at the noise her stomach had made and she hoped these mood swings would be few and far between.
“You didn't love, let's get the others and have that pie and then I think you will be ready for a nap” Gabrielle smiled as she saw the smile on her wife's face and started realising that was the first time she'd actually thought of Xena as her wife, the thought making her look down at her ring and remember that Xena was hers, for eternity and she felt her heart lifting ans she went outside to call the others in.
“Is she okay” Lila asked quietly, feeling a little bad herself for her part in things, she'd never realised the pregnancy would effect Xena's moods so much, she'd thought Xena would be one of those lucky ones that didn't suffer many mood swings. She looked over at the warrior now and saw that she looked back to normal now and was cutting pieces of pie for everyone, it struck her how domestic the scene was and she realised she was really beginning to think of Xena less as a warrior than that of a woman just like everyone else.
“Yeah, her moods are a little all over the place at the moment, I have a feeling we are going to have some pretty big mood swings to contend with as she gets further along” Gabrielle told Lila feeling a little concerned for her wife, she knew how much Xena hated feeling out of control and the next couple of moons were seriously going to test that control if today was anything to go by.
“Pie anyone?” Xena called out feeling much better and more in control, she was also getting sleepy and knew that by the time her belly was full with pie and tea she'd be more than ready for that nap. She felt one of the babies begin moving again and sighed knowing it was going to be a long day, but the more active they were in the day the less they seemed to move in the night so it balanced out most of the time. She handed out plates of pie and then tucked into her own unable to stop the groan at the taste of the pie, it was one of the best she'd had in a long time and she savoured the taste.
“Good huh?” Gabrielle asked quietly smiling at the noise Xena had made when she started digging into the pie, she didn't want to run the risk of offending her pregnant warrior again but she couldn't help but say something, Xena looked so cute and the noise she made when she groaned in delight over the pie made Gabrielle wish Xena wasn't almost six moons pregnant with twins so she could take her to their room and ravish her.
“Hmmmm this is the best pie I've had in a long time, great job Lila” Xena told them as she yawned and began to relax into the chair she was sitting in, sipping her tea and observing her wife as she sat eating her own piece of pie, there was something sensual about the way Gabrielle ate pie, or any food, and Xena had been surprised by how much watching Gabrielle eat turned her on. Even now although she was tired and very relaxed she could feel a hunger for Gabrielle begin and knew she was not going to go to sleep without sating that hunger.
“You look very relaxed sweetheart” Gabrielle commented taking in her warrior as she sat there relaxing sipping her tea. Xena had a glow about her that came from the pregnancy, her face was a bit fuller, her whole body was more feminine than Gabrielle was used to and it was driving Gabrielle crazy, she wanted nothing more than to taste all of Xena's body, hold those full breasts in her hands. Gabrielle looked up into Xena's eyes and gasped at the hunger and desire she saw in those brilliant blue eyes. She looked down as Xena licked her lips unconsciously and knew she had to kiss her, and she had to get her out of this room and into their room so she could do what she'd been imagining or she was going to spontaneously combust.
“You, me bedroom right now” Xena whispered in her ear before taking her into a passionate kiss that left both of them breathless, Gabrielle took another look into those desire darkened baby blues and knew that Xena would not be denied this nor did she want to deny her, she knew that as Xena's pregnancy progressed they would have fewer chances for this, and she intended to take full advantage when the opportunity arose.
“Ah Lila, Xena and I are going to go and have a nap, see you in a few candlemarks” Gabrielle told Lila hastily before grabbing Xena's hands and pulling her up out of the seat and towards their room. When she reached their room she pressed Xena's back against the door and took her into another dizzying kiss pressing herself into Xena as much as she could considering Xena's stomach, she felt Xena's hands encircling her and felt Xena squeeze pressing her even harder against her and then a thigh come between her legs pressing into her, smiling knowing there was going to be a battle for dominance here, she broke off the kiss trying hard to get her breathing back under control.
“Shall we go inside before you're sister has another reason to tease you” Xena teased not really wanting to move, she was loving the feeling of Gabrielle pressed against her, and had been blown away by the passion of their kiss. She could feel Gabrielle battling her for dominance over this and wondered if she should fight Gabrielle or surrender. She looked into those smouldering green eyes and the decision was made for her, she stopped fighting and surrendered to Gabrielle's will.
In the middle of kissing the life out of Xena, Gabrielle felt the struggle end and was surprised that Xena had surrendered so quickly, her heart beaming at the love of her warrior princess who had given her so much already and was trying as hard as she could to give herself to her lover as much as possible.
Taking the opportunity she pulled Xena into their room kissing her the whole time and gently laid her on the bed. She broke away from her and looked her beautiful warrior up and down, taking in the soft blue tunic that almost matched her eyes, the full breasts she couldn't wait to expose and take into her mouth.
“You are so beautiful my love” Gabrielle breathed, as she bent down to kiss Xena again and then slowly removed her shirt revealing her lover's beautiful body, even swollen with child she was beautiful, maybe even more beautiful.
“As are you, Gods Gabrielle” Xena gasped as Gabrielle latched onto one of her newly revealed breasts and started sucking vigorously. She grabbed ahold of Gabrielle's head holding her there feeling the burn begin already in her body and then realised she was dictating and released Gabrielle's head. She moaned as Gabrielle's hand came up to cup her other breast and then was left breathless by another heart stopping kiss.
“You're trying to kill me I just know it” Xena growled feeling an urge to take control but breathed deeply to lessen the urge, she knew Gabrielle needed this, needed to dictate their lovemaking sometimes and she was going to do everything in her power to surrender her will to the woman she loved more than life.
“And I haven't even started” Gabrielle chuckled at the look on her warrior's face and then straddled her as best as she could leaning down to kiss her, and then moved onto the warrior's neck gently biting down on the muscle near her collar bone, and felt her warrior squirm beneath her. She knew Xena loved being bitten there, it was something she had admitted to Gabrielle after they'd began a physical relationship, how turned on she'd been when Gabrielle had been forced to bite her neck when they'd faced off against Bacchus.
“Gods Gabrielle!” Xena moaned as Gabrielle nibbled her way down her body stopping to feast on her full breasts again, taking each of them into her mouth, tasting, biting and sucking until Xena was groaning her name constantly. She looked into those baby blues so dark with passion and wanted to see those eyes as she brought her love to ecstasy, she knew Xena often closed her eyes when they made love and she had an urge to see all of Xena's passion.
“Keep those baby blues open sweetheart” Gabrielle whispered as they almost closed, and heard Xena groan again as she made her way down her soulmate's beautiful body. Looking down at the moist curls, glistening waiting for her she felt her mouth water at the sight, and couldn't stop herself from tasting them and running her tongue along those moist folds, both of them groaned as Gabrielle entered Xena with two fingers gently, still mindful of Xena's pregnancy, she couldn't help being cautious about being inside Xena knowing the babies were in there as well. She continued licking the moist folds while she slowly thrust into Xena not entering as deeply into Xena as she normally would.
“Gabrielle please I need you inside me all the way, it's okay” Xena pleaded knowing Gabrielle was being cautious because of the babies, but needed more than that, she needed Gabrielle's passion, she was burning but knew she would never reach the height of her passion without Gabrielle's. She looked into frightened green eyes and placed a hand on the hand inside her and her other hand caressed Gabrielle's face trying to reassure her.
“You wont hurt the babies my love, your fingers cant reach that far, I promise you it's safe” Xena spoke softly wanting to assure the woman she loved that it would be okay, she loved Gabrielle for caring and although she was still distracted by the movement of Gabrielle's hand inside her she knew that Gabrielle needed to know it was safe to unleash her passion. She saw the smile on Gabrielle's face and then she groaned as Gabrielle's fingers entered her fully and she was being kissed so passionately she couldn't breathe. She arched her back and began riding those fingers for all they were worth and when she came it was so explosive she yelled out Gabrielle's name before collapsing onto the bed gasping for air. Gabrielle climbed up the bed and took Xena into her arms, stroking her hair as she began to calm from the intense climax. Gabrielle began tracing a circle around Xena's stomach knowing her warrior needed sleep.
“Hey you are going to put me to sleep, I'm not finished here” Xena protested weakly the stroking already taking an affect on her and felt her eyes begin to droop as she began to relax even more and felt Gabrielle wrap her arm around her more firmly making her feel very warm and comfortable.
“It's okay sleep and then we'll see about round two” Gabrielle chuckled as she watched her warrior loose her battle with sleep and then sighed contentedly. She thought back over their lovemaking and smiled she'd almost stopped, as her fears about hurting Xena or the babies had taken over, but Xena had reached out to her, had made her realise it was safe and she'd felt the truth in the intensity of Xena's gaze, she knew she needed to get past these fears, and she wanted to, she needed the intimacy with Xena as much as she needed Xena by her side.
“Sleep well my warrior princess I love you” Gabrielle whispered into Xena's ear and smiled when she heard a mumbled “I love you” back, always amazed at Xena's awareness of the world around her even while asleep. She sank back further into the bed and felt a wave of tiredness come over her and decided to go with it, giving Xena's stomach one final rub and receiving a kick in return she fell asleep with a smile on her lips and dreamt of her warrior and their children.
Continued in Part 3
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