The Return of Unity
The next day they decided to set off back to Greece and visit with the Amazons. It took them a few days to get to the harbour and find a ship willing to take them back to Greece, and Xena knew it would take a week or two depending on the weather to reach Greece. They spent the days on the boat making love and sleeping till late, feeling their love bring them closer and closer to each other. They both thought of Eli’s words and wondered if their lovemaking the night Eli left them had resulted in Xena becoming pregnant, and both felt relaxed and loved when they finally reached Greece.
"Feels good to be home hey Xena?" Gabrielle asked as they stepped off the boat that had brought them to Greece. She looked up at the woman she loved and smiled at the look of peace and happiness on her warrior’s face. The trip to Greece had been good for both of them, helping them get past the events of their stay in Japa and look forward to what was awaiting them in Greece. She knew Xena would want to visit Amphipolis to see her mother and brother’s graves and she would want to go to Poetaedia so she could see Lila and Sarah and see how things were going there, but she was still surprised by the fact that Xena wanted to visit with the Amazons. Her warrior princess was being very tight lipped about her reasons for wanting to visit the Amazons and she knew she it would take all of her talents to get it out of her warrior.
"It sure does Gabrielle, but home is wherever you are my love" Xena told Gabrielle enjoying the smile that lit up Gabrielle’s face at her words. Ever since Eli had visited them she knew she’d changed, she no longer felt the need to fight for her redemption and it had left her feeling much more relaxed and she was looking forward to spending some time in the one place, and decided she wanted to find somewhere she could make a home with Gabrielle, somewhere between the Amazons and Poetaedia, where they could live and make a life together. She knew they would still respond to requests for help from people, but she wanted to have a base, somewhere they could call home and raise their children. The thought that she could already be pregnant was always on her mind and she smiled at the fact that she was looking forward to being able to have a child and have a chance to be a mother again.
"So where to first my bard? Amphipolis or Poetaedia?" Xena asked knowing that her bard would want to visit her sister and niece, and hoped that she would be able to find Eve around somewhere. Family meant a lot to her right now and so did eventually getting to the Amazons, Xena wanted to talk to the Amazons about a joining ceremony, now more than ever she wanted to make the commitment to Gabrielle, to tell everyone they loved that she would love Gabrielle forever. The thought made her smile and she decided that when they got to Poetaedia she would need to do a little shopping, she had a special gift she needed to buy for her bard; she’d been saving for this gift ever since they had admitted their love for each other.
"Well Amphipolis comes before Poetaedia, how about we head that way first, maybe we will find some of Eve’s people around and we can find her on the way, especially if" Gabrielle trailed off not wanting to get her hopes up that they had conceived, that Xena was pregnant, it had only been a couple of weeks since that night that had changed everything for them. She looked over at her love and knew that Xena had been different since that night, more at peace if it was possible and felt like Xena had finally accepted that she had atoned for her past, and it brought a smile to her face, thinking of her beautiful warrior princess pregnant with her child.
"Yeah I’d like to see her, I’ve missed our little girl, and I would like to visit Mum and Lyceus’ graves, tell them our good news" Xena said looking at her beautiful bard knowing in her heart that they were going to be together forever and she wanted to share that with her Mum and brother, it still saddened her that they were both gone and that she’d not been able to be there for her Mum when she’d died, it was still a little unbelievable that she was dead but knew her Mum was at peace and would be even happier that the two people she loved more than anything were together and in love.
"I would to sweetheart especially if we, if it worked and you are pregnant" Gabrielle told Xena smiling at the love she saw shining in her loves face. Xena being pregnant was constantly on their minds and she was surprised at how at ease Xena seemed to be about this possible pregnancy. She knew that Xena would never have chosen herself to be the first of them to have a child and she wondered if Eli hadn’t told them his news would she had ever had a child with her. It saddened her to know that part of the reason for Xena being reluctant to be a mother again was because she felt she had failed both of her children, and that even though she’d been able to spend some time with Solan before Eve had been born, Gabrielle knew that her warrior princess would always feel she failed her son, and the situation with Eve had almost destroyed Xena.
"Gabrielle, nothing would make me happier than to be pregnant with your child, I’m still a little reserved about being a mother again, and well I just hope this is a case of third time lucky, because I don’t think I could survive losing another child" Xena told Gabrielle wanting her to understand what she was thinking and that nothing was more important in her life than Gabrielle and their children.
"I know sweetheart and I’ll always feel a little responsible for Solan’s death but I feel so lucky to be given this chance, to be able to have children with the woman I love more than life, and I am really happy Eli chose you, I want our first child to be birthed by you my love, I can’t wait till I can see you radiant and pregnant with our child" Gabrielle told Xena knowing her love needed to hear that she was as excited about this development in their relationship as Xena was, and that she wanted nothing more than for Xena to give birth to their first child. That Eli had made the right choice. She lifted her hands to stroke Xena’s face wanting nothing more than to kiss away all the pain they had experienced in their lives. She took Xena into a sweet kiss reaffirming her love for the stoic warrior that was so ingrained in her heart that she knew losing her would cause her death.
"I love you so much, and I want to spend the rest of my life loving you, Gabrielle when we get to the Amazons would you join with me, I’d be so honoured if you’d become my wife" Xena told Gabrielle knowing in her heart the answer, and smiled at the tears in her loves eyes. She hadn’t planned to ask this question yet but the moment felt so right, she had decided to just go with it, and then when they reached Poetaedia they could pick out rings.
"Of course I will, you have no idea how happy you just made me sweetheart, so that was the reason you wanted to go to the Amazons?" Gabrielle laughed as she saw the sheepish face on her beloved Xena; this woman had changed so much in the almost 40 winters since they’d first met. If you had told her when she’d met Xena that she would fall in love with her and find her true soul mate in the dark haired, blue eyed tall warrior, she probably would have believed you. She knew that there had been a moment in that first meeting where their eyes had locked together and she had known that her future, her very soul lay in this woman’s hands.
"I had planned on asking you once I had bought your ring, but this moment felt so right, I couldn’t stop myself from asking, and I’m so happy you said yes, I know you would though, no one can resist my charm" Xena laughed teasing Gabrielle loving the blush that came to her face when Xena teased her.
"Oh you’re sounding pretty full of yourself warrior princess" Gabrielle smiled loving the slightly cocky way her warrior princess was teasing her, it always made her feel good, because she knew her warrior princess was feeling pretty relaxed when she did. It had been a while since she’d seen Xena this at ease with herself. She finally looked as though she had accepted the fact that she was redeemed, that she had atoned for her past, an acceptance she had thought Xena would have gained after they had been crucified and raised from the dead. It didn’t matter to her when this acceptance came only that it did, she knew Xena would never forget her past but she had always hoped it wouldn’t have such a hold on her and now it looked like she had gotten her wish.
"Only because I know you love me, lets get started on our journey, I know you must be dying to see Lila and Sarah, it’s going to take us a few days to reach Amphipolis, and then another few days till we get to Poetaedia, if its okay with you sweetheart I’d like to spend a few weeks with Lila and Sarah, I’ve always liked your sister and I’ve missed her" Xena told Gabrielle laughing at the shock on her bard’s face. Of all of Gabrielle’s relatives Lila was the one she had always liked the most, especially after what she had done to try to protect her from that bounty hunter, Lila had a lot of spunk and though she was older now, and it looked like Gabrielle was the younger sister, she still had that spunk and she knew that Gabrielle would enjoy being around her sister for a few weeks.
"Are you sure, you’ve never really liked Poetaedia" Gabrielle asked still not sure she had heard those words come from her warrior’s mouth, but the grin on Xena’s face lighting up her baby blues told her she had indeed heard those words and her concerns were unfounded. It would be good to spend time with Lila and Sarah, getting to know her niece a bit more would be great and spending some time in her home town would give her time to think about her parents deaths and give her a chance to tell Lila about their good news. Two lots of good news actually and then she and Sarah can come to our Joining ceremony, and hell we might even find out whether Xena’s pregnant while we are here Gabrielle thought, she knew the only way they would be able to tell was when Xena began having symptoms, Xena’s never been the most regular person with her cycles so that isn’t going to tell us a lot, even though when she does we are normally in sync I should be getting mine very soon so if she doesn’t she could be, Gods how am I going to survive the wait? Gabrielle thought knowing it was going to be torture to have to wait until Xena was experiencing morning nausea to tell if she was pregnant.
"Earth to Gabby, what are you thinking about my bard, you haven’t hear a word I said" Xena asked not really concerned, she knew the bard’s thoughts were probably on the same subject as hers and how agonizing the wait was going to be to find out if she was pregnant. If she had conceived the night Eli left them she would be almost a moon gone by the time they reached Amphipolis, and she may have skipped a cycle, but that wasn’t very rare for her, she had always been irregular with her moon bleeds, probably due to the stress of the life she led, so that meant the only way they would be able to tell would be if she got morning nausea, which she probably would since she had experienced morning nausea in both of her pregnancies. Ugh the only part of this pregnancy I’m not enthused about, I was so sick the last time, I hope its not so bad this time she thought grimly not wanting to think about how sick she had been when she was pregnant with Eve.
"How hard it is going to be to wait to find out if you are pregnant, part of me just wants to pluck Eli from the sky and make him tell us" Gabrielle laughed knowing the impossibilities of such a wish. Part of her felt like she already knew the answer, but she didn’t want to get her hopes up, and although she normally trusted her intuition, she was afraid it might be wishful thinking in this case.
"I know a part of me feels like I already know, but I don’t want to acknowledge that for fear I might be wrong, if it’s okay with you though I’d like to travel like I was, even if I’m not, I don’t want to take the chance that I am and we’ve traveled to hard and I lose the baby because of it" Xena told Gabrielle feeling a little foolish taking such precautions when she wasn’t even sure if she was, but something told her they should take it easy and she always listened to her gut.
"Okay then we’ll take it easy, we’ll stop at every tavern we can and I’ll make sure you keep eating and drinking and stuff like that, do you think we should hire a horse?" Gabrielle asked knowing the travel to Amphipolis and Poetaedia would be easier on horseback and they could take it easier that way.
"Good idea, how bout we go see a man about a horse and then set off, I truly want to believe I’m pregnant sweetheart and I know it might sound silly taking all these precautions when I may not be, but something in my gut tells me we should" Xena explained knowing Gabrielle would see to it that she was well fed and never went thirsty, she remembered how protective Gabrielle had been when she was pregnant with Eve and relished that kind of attention from her bard again. Most people would laugh if they knew that Xena the Warrior Princess craved having her bard look after and loved the secure feeling she had when her bard wrapped her arms around her. She knew her soul was safe in her bard’s hands and knew that together they kept each other safe, and always wanted to be able to have that feeling.
They reached Amphipolis a few days later than Xena had predicted, due to the relaxed attitude between both of them, on a few occasions they’d spent more than one night in a tavern, especially when the food was good and they’d been sleeping later than normal. Gabrielle had been surprised to wake before Xena a few times since they’d set off for Amphipolis and tried not to think that it could mean Xena was indeed pregnant.
Once they were in Amphipolis Xena began to get restless and decided to cut their stay short by a few days, only wanting to see her mother and brother’s graves and then get moving. So they stayed there for a couple of days and were able to get word out to Eve letting her know where they were headed, before moving on to Poetaedia. Once again it took them a bit longer than they had expected to reach Poetaedia and they both felt relaxed and extremely happy to finally reach Poetaedia. Xena had never felt more exhausted in her life by the time they reached Poetaedia and everyone including Gabrielle was shocked when she asked to have a nap after saying hello to Lila and Sarah. Sleep she did sleeping for at least 4 candlemarks after they had settled in to the room Gabrielle had occupied as a child.
Gabrielle not being tired had lay there and watched her warrior princess sleep, wondering what was going on in that body that was making her so tired and was it that her warrior princess was pregnant and the tiredness was being caused by that. She seemed to recall Xena falling asleep on her horse a few times before they found out she was pregnant with Eve, even though she had been a moon or so further along at the time the possibility that Xena was pregnant kept her from being able to fall asleep with her love, so she quietly got up and went to see her sister.
"Hey Gabby is everything alright with Xena? I’ve never seen her look so exhausted except after she thought you had died, is she okay?" Lila asked still her vibrant self even though she was now a good 38 years older than she had been when Xena had first met her. At first Gabrielle was sure her sister would never like Xena but after that time when she had returned home to help protect their village from that warlord and she had seen the changes in her sister, she realised that Lila was only jealous of the fact that Xena got to see her sister more than her, and once she’d had a chance to talk to her, Lila had realised that Xena was good for Gabrielle and they’d become friends.
"She’s just a little tired, it’s been a tough few weeks" Gabrielle commented not knowing how much to tell her sister, and whether to tell her that she suspected Xena’s tiredness was being caused by her being pregnant. So she elected to tell Lila of their plans to be joined in an Amazon ceremony and that she loved Xena more than she had ever loved anyone. Lila had been ecstatic to hear of their news and had congratulated Gabrielle thoroughly saying that when Xena woke from her nap they should go to the tavern up the road to celebrate. Gabrielle had accepted knowing Xena would need a good meal after their journey, and hoped that Xena’s growing appetite wouldn’t make her possible condition obvious to anyone, the more Gabrielle thought of the changes occurring in Xena the more her heart told her Xena was pregnant, and she wanted nothing more than to drag Xena down to a healers hut and get them to tell them, but she wasn’t sure if they would be able to tell when she was only a moon or so along, so she squashed that thought and decided to go up and check on Xena.
Her warrior was still sleeping peacefully, snuggled into the covers with only her almost black hair peaking through. She looked so content that Gabrielle decided to get in with her warrior and she decided she would try to grab a quick nap before she would have to wake her princess for dinner. Her last conscious thought before she fell asleep was of her warrior beautiful and radiantly pregnant with her child.
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