To Our Family

Part 3

Xena awoke alone in the bed and looked outside seeing it was well past the sun being up. She seemed to have no control over when she awoke anymore and waking up three or four times in the night to go to the toilet didn't help. She groaned still feeling tired but knew she needed to get up and eat. She was about to rise from the bed when she saw Gabrielle walk in the room carrying a tray laden with food.

"Don't you dare get up my warrior princess, today you are going to let me pamper you, we're going to start of with breakfast, then a full body massage and then we'll do something you want to do, it can be anything you want" Gabrielle told Xena as she placed the tray on the bed and then looked into tear filled blue eyes. She beckoned to Xena with her arms and smiled as Xena allowed herself to be wrapped up into a big hug. After yesterday she wanted nothing more than to just make Xena feel good and loved.

"Thank you my love, that made me feel so good I couldn't help the tears from welling up, my handle on my emotions is not very strong at the moment, makes me feel so out of control" Xena told Gabrielle as she brushed away the tears she'd come so close to shedding, it was going to take a little while for her to get used to her emotions being so all over the place but they only had three moons possibly less before the babies were born and then she could get back to her normal more controlled self.

"I know it does sweetheart, and we will have to tread a little more carefully with you, but we will get through this, although I have a feeling you wont be as stoic as you used to be you've changed a lot baby" Gabrielle told Xena as she reached over to the tray she'd brought in with her, it was filled with fruit, and some of those pastries Xena liked and a pot of tea. She picked out some grapes and a pear and began feeding Xena, and smiled when Xena lay there accepting food, looking very content and happy. She continued to feed Xena, taking small bites herself here and there until they'd finished every morsel on the tray.

"That was perfect baby, I'm so full I think I could go back to sleep" Xena sighed and then grunted as one of the babies shifted inside her and she rubbed her stomach hoping they would be nice to her today. She didn't want to tell Gabrielle but she had a feeling the babies were going to come early, she wasn't sure why she felt that except that the babies were already so big, and she didn't know how her body was going to stretch as much as it was going to have to, to accommodate them.

"Babies moving? Maybe now would be a good time for that massage, then you can think about what you want to do today" Gabrielle told Xena, she could feel her partners anxiety and wondered what that was about, she wanted the day to be about relaxing and pampering, so that her wife could forget about things for a bit hoping the respite would help restore some balance in her wife.

"Hmmm yeah except that I'm so full I don't think I could move much less anything else" Xena chuckled brushing aside the worries she had been feeling and concentrating on the beautiful woman before who was trying her best to help her feel better. She'd always known how loving a partner Gabrielle would be, and wanted more than anything to be able to do the same for her, so she decided that what ever they did today it would be something they would both enjoy, not just something for her.
"Okay then how bout we just lay here for a while, feel the babies move, and just be with each other, that's what I'd like, my idea of a perfect day would be to just be with you, doesn't matter what we are doing so long as we are together" Xena told Gabrielle and smiled as tears welled up in Gabrielle's eyes at the love in her warrior's eyes. When Xena talked like that she kept having to remind herself that she was once a stoic person almost incapable of revealing her feelings to anyone especially Gabrielle. She had fallen in love with the stoic Xena and the changes that were happening only made her soulmate even more beautiful to her.

"That sounds perfect sweetheart, I thought we could go for a little ride on Argo find a nice waterfall and have a nice leisurely lunch how does that sound?" Gabrielle asked rubbing her partners belly and feeling the babies move beneath her touch, she loved moments like this when they could just relax together and no worry about fighting or helping save people, she'd come to appreciate the quiet moments when they were still on the road, and was looking forward to some really good down time. She knew that Xena would never really settle, it was against her nature and she found that she didn't want to settle either, they were meant to wander, although she also knew they would settle while their children were little.

"What are you thinking about that's got you so serious?" Xena asked as she looked at the woman she loved, she took in the furrowed brow and the way she was absently rubbing her stomach and knew that something was going through her lover's mind. She wanted more than anything to just kiss away whatever it was, and continue their leisurely day.

"Just us settling down, do you really think we'll be able to" Gabrielle asked not wanting Xena to think she doubted her resolve, she didn't really, she doubted hers, people may see her as the one more likely to want to settle down, but in truth she was just as much a wanderer as Xena was, and she knew her journey was far from over.

"I'm going to try my hardest to at least for the time the babies are young, and for as long as we have young children, I don't want to uproot them anymore than we have too, I know we travelled while Eve was a baby but I wasn't ready to stay in one place for an extended period of time then, I'm ready now" Xena told Gabrielle honestly she wasn't sure if they would ever truly be able to settle down but she was going to try to as long as she could. She wanted to give everything she could to her children and be the best partner she could be. She leaned over and kissed Gabrielle gently not wanting to start anything but simply to convey how much she loved her through the kiss.

"Mmmm that was nice, so shall we get ready for our little ride, I'll go to Lila and get some food to take with us and a blanket and stuff how bout you take a relaxing bath while I do that and we'll head out after that" Gabrielle suggested and then laughed at the scowl on Xena's face.

"Are you implying that I smell?" Xena asked playfully as she noticed that Gabrielle's sides were uncovered and she reached out her long fingers and began tickling her. Gabrielle's laughter rang out through the house as she continued tickling her and finally they ended up tangled together in a heap exhausted.

"Okay get your but into that bath, we need to get cracking if we are going to find a suitable water hole before lunchtime" Gabrielle told Xena smiling as the warrior padded out of the room and down the hall to Lila's bathroom. She knew that Gabrielle would follow her, one thing they both loved was taking baths together, and she knew Gabrielle really loved washing her hair. It was something Gabrielle had confessed to her long before they had revealed their love to each other and it had always pleased her that Gabrielle loved doing that for her.

"I think this bath has enough room for the two of us sweetheart" She called out before Gabrielle reached the door to the bathroom and laughed at Gabrielle's shocked look. She took one look at her beautiful bard and wondered what she could do to convince Gabrielle that making love to her would be very relaxing.

"What are you thinking about that has you looking like that at me?" Gabrielle asked feeling a little warm at the scrutiny she'd just received from her warrior, her very pregnant warrior and knew exactly what that look meant and knew she was up for whatever Xena had planned, but knew it was going against what she had planned for the day. She watched Xena approach her and all thoughts of resisting Xena went out of the window, the look in her warrior's eyes was a hungry one, that she couldn't, wouldn't deny.

"How much I want you, how beautiful you look standing there, I know you can see how much I want you and how much I know you want me, I love you Gabrielle" Xena told Gabrielle as she took her into a passionate kiss and gently led her to the bath which was mercifully still hot, the bath was the only place she wasn't too heavy to be on top now and she relished every chance she got to be this way with Gabrielle.

"I love you too sweetheart" Gabrielle told Xena before getting her in the bath and then kissing her again, her hands grazing Xena's breasts gently. She felt more than heard Xena's intake of breath and knew the balance had just shifted, Xena's intent had been to make love to Gabrielle, but Gabrielle had other plans and she smiled wickedly as she put her plans to good use bringing Xena to ecstasy before Xena could catch her breath and suddenly she was soaring in the place only Gabrielle could take her too and tears began running down her face at the exquisite pleasure she was receiving from her bard. She felt Gabrielle take her into her arms and wondered just how the tables had turned on her, one moment she was intent on making love to Gabrielle and the next thing she knew she was well on her way to climaxing.

"How'd you do that?" Xena asked kissing the side of Gabrielle's face still trying to control the tears that were threatening to turn into sobs. She felt Gabrielle's arms tighten around her and just let herself breathe in the smell of Gabrielle's hair, the feel of her body molded as tightly to hers as the babies would allow, she felt one of them kick at Gabrielle's stomach pressed against and almost laughed when Gabrielle jumped from the sensation.

"Do what, boy are they getting feisty in there, that one nearly kicked a hole in my stomach" Gabrielle laughed as she was kicked again. She loved to feel them move and now that their movements were getting more pronounced she often woke up in the middle of the night to the babies kicking at her back if Xena was lying pressed against her back, or if she was lying wrapped around Xena they would kick at her ribs, not happy with having her pressed so firmly against their mum.

"You turned the tables on me, I was so intent making love to you and then bam you had me in the palm of your hand" Xena asked chuckling at the look of concentration on Gabrielle's face and knew she was anything but completely involved in their conversation. She watched as Gabrielle tentatively pressed against her stomach waiting for a reaction, it always amused her to watch Gabrielle try to feel the babies move, she was always afraid to press too hard and it was both sweet and funny to watch.

"You're not going to hurt them sweetheart, there's a lot of muscle and stuff between my skin and my womb, they are well protected baby" Xena told Gabrielle taking her hand and pressing it harder on her stomach watching Gabrielle's face the whole time, and then smiled as one of the babies pressed up against Gabrielle's hand and marvelled at the fact that even though she'd felt it many times, Gabrielle always looked in awe of what she was feeling. She tried hard not to grimace when one of the babies kicked out rather hard and was glad when Gabrielle didn't see her face.

"I don't think I'll ever get over how incredible it feels when I feel them move inside you, I can't wait for them to be born" Gabrielle told Xena taking her hand and kissing it gently, knowing it was time to get out of the bath before they both caught a cold. She wanted to make sure she brought all of Xena's favourite things to eat, in fact she'd been sure Xena would suggest a picnic somewhere so she'd gotten up last night and made some of the dumplings with the red stuff inside that Xena was always nagging her to make.

"We should get out of the bath, you don't want to get a cold, and we need to get going to get to our waterhole before lunch turns into dinner" Gabrielle told Xena smiling as Xena kissed her neck and had to stop herself from responding or they'd never get out of that bath.

"Sweetheart towel now" Gabrielle gasped involuntarily as Xena nibbled on her earlobe and then heard the low rumble of a chuckle come from Xena's chest and smiled up at her. She knew that they were going to have a very interesting afternoon and wanted nothing more than to spend it doing things they would normally do when they stopped at a watering hole. Do some swimming, make love, play together and hoped that nothing would stop her plans from coming to fruition.

They made their way to their room and Gabrielle gave Xena the massage she'd promised, almost putting Xena to sleep in the process and then she gently nudged her awake and helped her get dress. Xena couldn't remember feeling more relaxed than she did at that moment and sighed in contentment, she had everything she had always wanted but never realised until she met Gabrielle. Before Gabrielle the only stirring she ever felt to want to have children was when she considered keeping Solan before giving him up to the Centaurs.

"You okay sweetheart, you're very quiet" Gabrielle asked looking at her warrior princess wondering what was going through her mind at the moment. She could see that Xena was very relaxed and wanted to keep her that way for the remainder of the day.

"Nothing just really relaxed, you almost put me to sleep back there" Xena said before letting out a small yawn. She hoped she wouldn't end up sleeping through their picnic cause she was really looking forward to spending some time with Gabrielle, alone and she had plans of getting a certain bard back for turning the tables on her earlier.

"Well I had planned on you being relaxed, I know all these mood swings have been confusing you and I thought some time alone would do us both some good" Gabrielle told Xena as they walked hand in hand out of their room to the kitchen to go pick up their supplies.

"Hey you two, about ready to go?" Lila called out before they reached the kitchen. Xena had been pleased to find out that Lila had almost as good hearing as she did and would often startle them by calling out before most people would realise they were there.

"Yeah just came to grab the food and then we'll head out" Gabrielle told Lila smiling as she grabbed to two baskets she'd prepared earlier, knowing that with Xena's growing appetite the two baskets would barely be enough. But she hoped to tempt Xena away from the food with other more pleasurable activities.

"I've said it once and I'll say it again you keep thinking like that Gabrielle and Xena will end up having triplets instead of twins" Lila said as straight faced as she could manage, at the look of Xena and Gabrielle's faces it wasn't long before she cracked up her laughter ringing through the house.

"Well it's true, you guys are always either at it or thinking about it, now I know how the twins happened" Lila laughed happy to see both Gabrielle and Xena join in, she enjoyed teasing her sister and loved seeing her so happy. She had always known her sister was never going to settle down in this town. She knew Gabrielle was not made for it, and wondered if both she and Xena would really be able to settle down after all these years. She knew their's was a love that knew no end and no matter what they would be together and it truly made her happy to see her sister in love with someone who was so good to her.

"Yes well I do agree that the twins were the result of some overzealousness on someone's part but I couldn't be happier and if I ended up having triplets I say the more the merrier" Xena said laughing at the looks on both Gabrielle's and Lila's faces. To say they were shocked was an understatement both were standing with their mouths wide open eyes wide neither knowing what to say to Xena's comment.

"How bout we get going to our picnic" Gabrielle managed finally still not sure what to say, to here her love pronounce that she'd be happy to carry triplets was overwhelming and coupled in with her teasing over her zealousness when she was making love to Xena just had her stunned.

"Sounds like the best idea you've had all day I'm starving" Xena said as she walked out of the door grabbing one of the basket of goodies on her way out to the barn to saddle up Argo. She looked back mischievously as she crossed the threshold of the front door and saw Gabrielle's eyes go wide again and then took off as quick as her growing stomach could handle.

"Ah see you Lila I have to stop my wife from saddling our horse!" Gabrielle shouted as she took off after Xena all the while wondering where this mischievousness had come from. She reached the barn just as Xena did and stood in front of her panting wondering how woman who was six moons pregnant could move so fast.

"You are not going anywhere near that saddle missy, you hear me, stay here I'll saddle Argo and then we will head off" Gabrielle warned with a tone that brokered no nonsense from her lover. Xena looked like she was going to argue for a second and then thought better of it knowing it wouldn't be a good idea to try and saddle Argo, but it was sure funny to see Gabrielle take off like that she thought knowing she was in a playful mood and since these moods were rare for her she intended on playing as much as she could.

"Okay do you need some help getting up?" Gabrielle asked and then looked at Xena's face and then backed out of the way as Xena hopped onto Argo. She looked a little upset at the question and Gabrielle's mind was so consumed with how to make that look go away that she didn't notice the hand stretched out in front of her.

"I think it's you that needs the leg up short stuff" Xena joked and then laughed at the scowl that formed on Gabrielle's face. She loved it when Gabrielle scowled at her, her eyes were always even more green when she was scowling and she looked adorable, especially when it wasn't a serious scowl.

"Watch out missy or I'll hide the dumplings with the red stuff inside that I made you" Gabrielle smiled in triumph as she saw the laughter in Xena's eyes dampen a little, she wasn't annoyed by the mention of her height problem, but she knew when Xena was in this kind of mood she tended to get a little over the top with her teasing and it didn't hurt to knock her down a peg or two sometimes.

"I'll behave I promise, now you want some help or not?" Xena asked smiling as Gabrielle grabbed her hand thinking of the first time she'd done that, who knew that such a simple thing would lead to the happiness she was experiencing now. One tiny decision had brought the most precious person in her life to her and she would never regret the decision to help Gabrielle onto that horse. She felt Gabrielle settle in behind her and then gently started Argo forward, she didn't want to travel too fast, as the jolting would only put more pressure on her bladder.
They rode on in silence for a while, Xena basically allowing Argo to lead the way to the water hole, as she basked in the feeling of Gabrielle nestled in behind her. She always felt very secure knowing Gabrielle was behind her and the feeling of Gabrielle's arms wrapped around her had always provided her with a contentment she didn't know she needed till she met Gabrielle. She felt the babies begin to move in response to being on Argo and hoped they wouldn't begin to dance on her bladder, as she really didn't want to have to get on and off Argo too much. She briefly considered getting off and walking but then Gabrielle wrapped her arms around her even tighter and she didn't want to give up that feeling for all the bushes in the world.

Too soon they arrived at the watering hole and were astounded by the beauty of it, they quickly set everything up so they could eat and then relax. Xena's mouth watered when she saw all the things that Gabrielle had packed and looked up at Gabrielle gratefully as she handed her a plate of the dumplings. She dug into the food with relish and didn't stop till she was fuller than she thought possible. Groaning she stretched out on the ground and closed her eyes trying to allow her food to digest.

"Scoot over here sweetheart and I'll give you a head massage, I think someone is in need of a nap after all that food" Gabrielle smiled as Xena slowly moved over to her. She patted her lap and smiled as Xena laid her head down on it and then began to slowly massage Xena's head gently pressing against her temples and then running her hands all over the silken black head in a soothing motion. Within minutes Xena was asleep and she sat there just relishing the feel of Xena's hair and the closeness of her soulmate. She curled herself around Xena so she could feel the babies move as Xena slept and spent the next candlemark just feeling them move and talking to them, telling them stories and just generally connecting with her children.

Xena awoke a candlemark later with an agenda. She took one look at the woman she loved and knew exactly what she wanted. Propping herself up on her elbow she traced a line around Gabrielle's face and then moved in to kiss her loving the feel of those soft lips pressed against hers. One kiss wasn't enough she she motioned for Gabrielle to lay next to her and then continued her assault on those lips. Her hands began to wander over Gabrielle's body and within minutes she'd removed all of Gabrielle's clothing and was tracing her hands over a warm firm breast. She looked at that look of desire in Gabrielle's eyes and knew without a doubt that she wanted nothing more than to make love to her beautiful bard all afternoon.

"Just lay back and enjoy sweetheart" Xena whispered softly in Gabrielle's ear as she took that ear into her mouth and playfully nipped it. Hearing Gabrielle's sharp intake of breath she increased the pressure and began trailing her tongue around the ear, her hands still tracing patterns around Gabrielle's breasts. She smiled as Gabrielle's breathing quickened and moved her attentions down her neck, biting and kissing her way till her mouth was near where her hands were still tracing patterns over her bard's breasts. She looked into hooded green eyes and then took one of those firm breasts into her mouth groaning herself at the moan that escaped Gabrielle's lips. She lavished attention on those breasts drawing moan after moan from Gabrielle's lips, moving her leg in between Gabrielle's legs and placing some pressure on her hot wet centre. Seeing the readiness in Gabrielle's eyes she snaked a hand down in between them and began stroking Gabrielle softly keeping her eyes locked onto her partner seeing the arousal in those green eyes as she fought to keep her eyes open.

"Keep them open sweetheart, I want to see you''re eyes" Xena softly commanded in a tone she knew Gabrielle would not argue against as she entered her love with two of her fingers, and began slowly thrusting them inside her, she couldn't believe how wet Gabrielle was and would never get over the feeling of being inside the woman she loved, it felt so right. Gently she added another finger and began thrusting harder into Gabrielle as she brought her mouth down to suckle on another breast, her eyes still locked with Gabrielle's as she could see her lover getting closer to her climax.
"Xena" Gabrielle gasped out as she felt Xena begin thrusting faster and harder into her, and she could tell by the look on her love's face that she was as close as she was so she moved her knee in between Xena's and pressed against her centre wanting Xena to climax with her, she was rewarded with a groan from Xena as their movements became one and they thrust against each other, each thrust of Xena's hand inside Gabrielle taking her higher and higher, and then it rushed up on them both and they cried out together both of them calling the others name as they climaxed. Xena took one final look into Gabrielle's eyes and then brought her to her wrapping her arms around her both of them relishing the secureness of the embrace. Xena felt Gabrielle drift off to sleep in her arms and smiled thinking life was pretty damned perfect. She looked around and smiled at the peacefulness of the place they'd chosen. It was beautiful and she decided she wanted to take a look around and see what else she could find while Gabrielle was asleep.

She was gone a candlemark before Gabrielle woke up expecting Xena to still be in bed with her and slightly alarmed that she wasn't. She looked around the picnic site and couldn't see a trace of her lover near the site, so she got up and started trying to find her. She finally found her love standing staring at an open space near the waterfall. It was very flat with a lot of grass and greenery and was beautiful to look at.

"I think I've found where I want to build our cabin my love" Xena said without turning around, instinctively knowing Gabrielle was behind her and smiled as arms surrounded her and she could feel Gabrielle's warm breath on her back. She looked at the place she'd been staring at for the last half a candlemark and knew she'd found their home.

"Seems a shame to waste our few days away, how bout we don't tell anyone and we camp here for the days we are away, that way we can start making some plans and getting used to the area" Gabrielle suggested seeing the gleam in those baby blues and took another look around. The area was absolutely gorgeous and she knew there would be plenty of things around to occupy them, it was close enough to town but far enough away that there was peace and quiet surrounding them and they would be left alone if they needed to be.

"Sounds good to me sweetheart, this feels right I went for a little walk after you fell asleep, the babies got restless and lying down was making me uncomfortable so I got up once you were in a deep sleep and I came upon this, this is where I want to raise our children Gabrielle, I want to teach them to fish in that watering hole, I want to be able to go down there and bathe in the water every night with you, it's perfect" Xena told Gabrielle her eyes misting with unshed tears as she thought of how much she wanted this now, she wanted to be able to watch her children grow up to teach them all about life and some of her skills, to see Gabrielle telling their children stories, and the fact that she'd almost missed out on this hit her hard. She looked at Gabrielle as her face crumpled and she fell to her knees thinking that she had almost chosen to die and never experience what she was experiencing now. She felt strong arms surround her and heard murmured words of love and encouragement as she finally let out the pain she'd felt when she'd been told what she'd nearly done.

"It's okay baby, truly it is, I know you're thinking that you could have missed out on all this, but the truth is I would never have given up on you, I would've died trying to get you back" Gabrielle whispered as she pressed a kiss on Xena's forehead knowing the best thing she could do right now was hold on and be there for when the crying stopped. Within a few candledrops the tears had slowed and she felt Xena's breathing even out and knew they needed to get her back to their picnic site so she could have a brief nap to ward off the headache crying was going to cause.

"Okay lets get you back to our watering hole, you're going to need a nap after all that crying" Gabrielle whispered slowly helping Xena to her feet and then they just stood there for a few minutes holding each other needing to feel close to the other. Xena looked down at the woman she loved and knew she would never make that choice again, greater good be damned there was no way she would give up living this life with the woman she loved more than anything in the world. She breathed in Gabrielle's scent and felt a wave of tiredness hit her. Sighing she allowed Gabrielle to lead her back to their picnic spot and within minutes she was lying in Gabrielle's arms feeling safe and secure again.

"Sleep my love, everything will seem a lot better once you've had a nap" Gabrielle whispered as she gently rubbing Xena's stomach in a circling motion, knowing the action would put her lover out within minutes. Sure enough she heard Xena's breathing even out and deepen and those troubled baby blues close and smiled knowing everything would seem better after her nap. Feeling a little tired herself she allowed Xena's soft snoring to lull her to sleep as well hoping that the sleep would ward of the possible migraine Xena could experience from the emotional upheaval she'd just experienced.

Within moments both of them were asleep their thoughts turning to their children and the home in which they intended to raise their children. Gabrielle continued stroking Xena's stomach until she fell into a deep sleep, her hand cradling their babies as they both dreamt of the children they would be welcoming into the world in a couple of moons.

Continued in Part 4

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