The Return of Unity
Xena awoke to see her bard curled up next to her sleeping peacefully. She smiled and kissed her bards lips gently wanting her bard to awake slowly. Slowly she trailed kisses down Gabrielle's cheek to her neck and concentrated her kisses on a spot that she knew would always get her bards notice. She felt Gabrielle begin to stretch against her and moved her ministrations downwards until her tongue was trailing around one of Gabrielle's nipples. She slowly took it into her mouth and smiled as she felt a sharp intake of breath from her bard as she drew the nipple into her mouth tasting the salty tang of Gabrielle's skin. She released the nipple and felt Gabrielle shift her weight until she was underneath her and then looked into those beautiful green eyes drowning in the desire she saw there. Suddenly the slow teasing she had been indulging in before became more urgent as she pulled Gabrielle into a passionate kiss and a fire erupted between them. She straddled Gabrielle her hands roaming the firm body of her love as they continued to kiss until neither of them could breath. She felt Gabrielle's hands move up her back and then to her front her small hands leaving a blazing trail of fire as she continued to stroke Xena's skin. Xena put a halt to Gabrielle's roaming hands and began to move down Gabrielle's body going to the place she instinctively knew Gabrielle needed her, her tongue trailing a path to the golden curls she longed to bury her head in. She roughly pushed Gabrielle's legs apart and placed her face just above Gabrielle's moist centre, taking in the sweet aroma of her love's arousal. Maddeningly slowly she parted the folds and trailed her tongue of her love's passion, in one swift movement she entered Gabrielle while continuing to move closer and closer to the swollen bud she knew was waiting for her, the key to releasing Gabrielle's passion. She could hear Gabrielle's cries of her name and her whimpers as she kept moving her fingers in and out of Gabrielle's core while her tongue got closer to the swollen bud, and then realising Gabrielle could take no more she took the swollen bud into her mouth and felt Gabrielle's hips undulate under her, pressing into her own centre and she knew it wouldn't take much for her to come with Gabrielle, so she concentrated on bringing Gabrielle to ecstasy knowing Gabrielle's unconscious movements would bring her to her peak as well. When the moment finally came both of them were blown away by the intensity of their joint climax and both of them were breathing hard as they slowly came back down to earth.
"Well my love that certainly is my favourite way to wake up" Gabrielle smiled seeing the unshed tears in her love's eyes those crystal blue orbs revealing the depth of Xena's soul and her love for her bard. She looked at Xena and saw her smiling at her, and her heart filled with love for this beautiful woman who owned her heart.
"Well I aim to please" Xena laughed looking at her beautiful bard and wondering if she knew how much she truly loved her. She had never felt this connected to someone in her life and relished in the love and completeness she felt in Gabrielle's presence. She felt safe and knew that her soul was safe in her bard's hands. It was moments like these she realised how truly lucky she was to have found her and she promised herself she would spend the rest of her life making sure Gabrielle knew that.
"You certainly did that sweetheart" Gabrielle told Xena taking her into another passionate kiss which quickly fueled their desire and it was at least another candlemark before they decided to get up and have some breakfast. Gabrielle looked up at her sister sheepishly when she saw the smirk on Lila's face knowing she knew what they'd been up to before breakfast but decided she didn't care, she loved Xena and was not going to stop loving her.
"How did you both sleep?" Lila asked seeing the blush on her sister's face and smiled, she was so happy for them, had been overjoyed when Gabrielle had written to her of her relationship with Xena. Unlike her parents she had seen beyond the warrior and knew that inside all of that muscle and control was a person capable of deep love and she knew without a doubt that Xena loved her sister and would make sure she was always safe and well loved. She looked over at the warrior princess happy to see that she didn't look as tired as she had seemed the night before. She had a feeling there was something Gabrielle wasn't telling her about, but knew when she was ready Gabrielle would tell her. She watched them quietly smiling at the slight touches, they seemed to never really be out of contact with the other, their bodies as comfortable with each other as their hearts were. She was a little surprised by the amount of food Xena had put on her plate and wondered if she did that for Gabrielle so Gabrielle would feel less self conscious about her legendary eating ability and then had to cover her shock as Xena preceded to eat all of it with an appetite almost rivaling Gabrielle's. Hmmmmm wonder what's going on there Xena has never been as big an eater as Gabrielle, I mean give her some of those honey cakes and she can down quiet a few but normal food she normally hasn't a big appetite Lila thought wondering if her sister's legendary appetite had finally rubbed off on her warrior partner.
"Well, very well thanks Lila, so how have things been with Sarah?" Xena asked a little concerned about the fact that Sarah wasn't with them. She had expected Gabrielle's niece to be with her mother, but she hadn't seen a sign of Sarah's presence in the house. It was looking good though, Gabrielle's father had obviously had a talent in building sturdy houses, and this one had been standing for well over 50 years. It had changed a little since the last time they'd stepped into the house and she was glad to see it looked more homely and Lila's personality was starting to come into the house. It felt warmer, cosier and more inviting than all the times she'd ever stepped foot into this house. It actually felt like the kind of home she would like to raise her children in and she vowed to talk to Gabrielle about building a cottage in between Poetaedia and the Amazons.
"Good she went to another village close to here to get some things we couldn't get in town, she's been fine, its been hard for her getting used to village life again and learning to put her hate and feelings of self disgust she'd felt but I think she's doing well, she has your resilience Gabby" Lila told her sister and Xena using the nickname she'd often used for her sister. She felt better than she ever had after all the misery she'd been through with Sarah, she knew her daughter had a long road ahead of her and she had a feeling that her sister had every intention of being around to see that her daughter had the chance to become herself again.
"I know how that feels, but she has to remember that she became like that because that's what she had to do to survive, it was self preservation and she can't feel guilty for wanting to live" Xena said thoughtfully, more than ever wanting to stay here for a few weeks so she could get a chance to talk with Sarah and see if she could help her in some way. She knew what it was like to live with self disgust and hate and also knew that those two emotions could be overcome by love, she was proof of that. It was important to her to see Gabrielle's family happy and more importantly see Gabrielle happy and she knew that helping her niece find peace would make Gabrielle feel very happy.
"Xena's right when is Sarah due back?" Gabrielle asked looking at Xena and feeling even more grateful for being able to be with this amazing woman, who knew where her niece had been and had overcome the self loathing and hate that had been a part of her life for so long. She looked over at the woman she loved and knew that the self loathing and hate were gone from her love's heart and that she would never be that person again. She watched as Xena talked to her sister and was once again amazed at her warrior princess' ability to empathise and the care and love she displayed towards her sister. She watched her sister's face much older than she was used to light up with smiles as she told Xena and herself about her daughter and saw true happiness that they were staying for a few weeks.
"Lila is there a healer in this village?" Xena asked quietly, she wasn't sure what she would say if Lila asked her why she needed to see a healer but she knew this waiting was agonizing for both Gabrielle and herself and she knew a technique she could show the healer to find out if she was pregnant, she didn't want to wait any more, in her heart she knew but she needed the confirmation that only this test would give her.
"Yes, her name is Ira her cottage is just down the road from us, is everything okay?" Lila asked worriedly she saw a look pass between her sister and Xena and felt even more worried, suddenly she thought of Xena's tiredness last night, and her appetite this morning, were these a sign of a sickness she didn't know about, she knew Xena was a skilled healer, Gabrielle had told her on more than one occasion but the looks on Xena and Gabrielle's face were frightening her.
"We think Xena could be pregnant" Gabrielle said matter of factly not knowing how else to go about this than just saying it. She just hoped her sister wouldn't jump to conclusions and think Xena had cheated on her, she knew that's what her father would have said if he'd known.
"I didn't know you were trying for a baby, you didn't even tell me you were thinking of settling down, this is great guys" Lila told them excited and more than a little relieved that they hadn't told her that Xena was sick. She was a little shocked that it was Xena they suspected was pregnant, she hadn't thought Xena would have been ready for that, it just didn't seem to fit, Xena had never expressed a desire to have children and she would have thought after all she'd been through with Solan and then Eve that she would be happy to leave the child bearing to Gabrielle. In fact she assumed that when they did decide to have a family that Gabrielle would be the one that would want the child, not Xena.
"It was a bit of a shock to us as well, we had a visit from the spirit of Eli, he told us that we were going to be able to have children together, and then he said that he'd chosen me to be the first of us to have a child and that Gabrielle would chose when that time would be" Xena ellaborated wanting to show Lila that she was happy about this and hadn't been forced into this. She looked at Lila and could only see happiness and a little awe in her face.
"Wow, I take it you're okay with this Xena? I'm sorry I just never thought you would be the first of you to have a child, I always assumed Gabby would talk you into letting her have a baby eventually and that she would be the one telling me that she could be pregnant" Lila told them honestly a little embarrassed by her assumptions and was reassured by the twinkle in Xena's eyes and her laughter.
"Before Japa you would have been right Lila, but Japa taught me that there is so much more to my life than fighting, I gave away Solan and then lost him, and I tried really hard to be a good mother to Eve and then she was taken from me and now we are, well I'm not sure what my relationship is with my daughter now, but when Eli told me that he wanted me to have the first child I was less than happy but I realise now that I really want this and I want more than anything to be a good parent to this baby and any other children we have" Xena told Lila knowing her instincts on this were right, she would have just let Gabrielle have the children and never experienced having another baby again if it wasn't for Eli and Japa, almost losing Gabrielle taught her that she had so much more to give than just her warrior skills and she wanted to have a family with her bard and if she was pregnant no one would be happier than her.
"Well it's great news, I'm so happy for you both, my parents were so wrong not to accept you as a part of Gabrielle's life I only have to look at her to know how happy you make her" Lila told Xena and was surprised to see those amazing blue eyes shimmer with unshed tears. She realised there was a whole lot about Xena she didn't know and knew that there was more complexity to this woman than most people thought. She tried to imagine Xena heavily pregnant and could only see her being as graceful in pregnancy as she was now. She hoped that Xena was pregnant because it was going to be an even bigger reason for the complex nature of Xena to surface and she wanted to get to know this Xena.
"Thanks Lila well I think Gabrielle and I have an appointment with a healer, and regardless if we have been successful or not would you have dinner with us tonight in the local tavern my treat?" Xena asked getting excited, this was the day they would find out if they were going to have a baby and something in her heart told her it was true that they were indeed going to have a baby in about eight moons or so.
"I would love to, and if you are pregnant Xena we will have something very good to celebrate, it's about time Gabrielle made me an Aunty" Lila laughed happy to see her sister and Xena join in. They looked very happy and she was truly happy for them no one deserved this more than them, they had given so much of themselves to ensure the safety of thousands and this was as good a reward as any. She wondered where they would live, she couldn't see Gabrielle letting Xena travel around while pregnant with her child, her sister had a little known protective streak and besides it looked like they were both ready to settle down but the question was where. Most probably with the Amazons, she could see Xena being happy there Lila thought thinking it would be nice for them to settle here but Poetaedia was a quiet town with almost no excitement and she couldn't see Xena being able to stand more than a few weeks in a town like this. She felt Amphipolis was out of the question, she'd heard of Xena's mother's death and had been saddened by it, she couldn't believe that most of Xena's family was now gone, with only her brother being alive and she knew Xena and he weren't that close. She vowed to herself to make Xena feel like she was truly a part of Gabrielle's family and that she was as much her sister as Gabrielle was.
"It was always my intention Lila" Gabrielle laughed seeing the shock on Xena's face at knowing that Gabrielle had always wanted to have her child and it made her smile thinking of her beautiful warrior princess in later stages of pregnancy and thought that what they didn't know is that she had always intended on trying to get Xena to have another child and that Eli had just made that task easier for her and she couldn't be happier, she knew Xena was as excited about this development in their relationship as she was and the thought of her warrior princess radiantly pregnant with her child made her smile.
"Okay well see you two after lunch maybe you can talk Xena into a little shopping Gabrielle" Lila laughed knowing her sister's love for shopping and Xena's dislike for it she looked over at Xena and saw that her mind was somewhere else and hoped she was thinking about her possible pregnancy, something about this made her feel that the warrior princess was pregnant and that she would be an Aunty in the near future and she couldn't wait till tonight to here if they were going to have a baby. Their relationship seemed as strong if not stronger than ever and she knew this was very much the right time for this, especially now that they were getting married. She planned to talk to the elders of the town and see if there was a legal ceremony they could perform to make them legally married. She knew Xena would want Gabrielle to be her wife in every sense of the word and if they were legally married it would mean even more to them. Poetaedia was a town that was normally pretty accepting of same sex relationships, love was love to them and she knew that there were quite a lot of couples who lived together and had families that were in same sex relationships in this area. She watched her sister walk out of the room hand in hand with the warrior princess and thought that if she didn't know Xena she would be shocked by the blatant show of affection from the warrior princess.
They walked together silently to the healers hut both lost in their own thoughts about Xena's possible pregnancy and neither of them even noticed that they were still holding hands and how good it felt, they were normally less conspicuous about displaying affection but today both of them needed the connection of their touch and neither of them wanted to give that up no matter what other people might think about it. They arrived at the healers hut and both of them were nervous when they entered the hut and were glad to see that the healer seemed to have a wide range of herbs and seemed to be progressive in her methods of healing. Xena thought it was probable that she already knew about the technique she knew of to test for early pregnancy.
"How can I help you both?" Ira asked having watched the two of them walk in hand in hand and smiled at the love easily showing between the both of them. They were an odd pair but Ira knew better than any that sometimes opposites made the best matches and these two looked as comfortable with each other as any married couple.
"I may be pregnant and we wanted to see if you could tell us if I am" Xena stated knowing the only way she would get through this was to just say it as calmly as possible and just keep it to the facts. She knew there was no way she was going to let herself get her hopes up too much even though there had been a few little signs but that could be wishful thinking on her part.
"Okay, I'm assuming you aren't far enough along for morning nausea or any noticeable symptoms?" Ira asked wondering who this woman was to know so much about healing that she knew about the relatively knew method of detecting pregnancy at a much earlier stage. This woman was an enigma, from her clothes she could tell she was a warrior and her demeanor when she walked into the room showed that, she had a presence that made everyone else in the room feel small and Ira was sure that had something to do with her height, she looked like she was at least 6 foot tall but there was something soft about this woman, something very womanly about her that you could see when she interacted with the blonde woman.
"No if I am pregnant I'd only be about a moon gone so its a little early for that but I know a new method of testing for pregnancy earlier on in the pregnancy and I was wondering if you were familiar with it?" Xena thinking her suspicions of this healer were correct, she seemed to know what she was doing and the way she'd asked that last question made Xena think she probably did know of the method.
"I am familiar with that method, I'll get my self set up while you go and collect a urine sample for me, can I get your names for my record?" Ira asked wanting to know more about this couple and wondering if they were going to settle in Poetaedia if the warrior was indeed pregnant. She was a little curious as to why the warrior would be the one having the child in this relationship, she would have thought it would make more sense for the little blonde one to be the one to carry the child, but something about these two made her think that they didn't very much go for the expected in life.
"Xena and Gabrielle" Xena said simply as she walked out of the room into the room Ira obviously had for a rest room. She didn't look at Ira to see her reaction, she was tired of seeing the fear in a person's eyes when they learned her name and so she didn't see the surprise and respect on the older woman's face.
It only took a minute or two for Xena to collect her urine sample and by that time Ira was already set up for the test. Xena looked up at Gabrielle and could see how nervous her bard was and decided to go over and sit with her, wanting them to at least be holding hands when they found out, she found she needed Gabrielle's touch a lot more than she would be comfortable in admitting and ended up opting to put her arm around Gabrielle and pull her close.
"Either way we will have a child sweetheart, whether it's this time or further down the track, that I promise you" Xena whispered in Gabrielle's ear as she held her close to her loving the softness of the woman wrapped around her and knew that there was no place she'd rather be than in Gabrielle's embrace. They both watched Ira go about her work and unconsciously both of them decided not to look at what Ira was doing with the urine sample until it was ready. They both closed their eyes until they heard Ira's voice telling them that she had the results and that they should come over to her.
"Well ladies looks like your suspicions were right, you are pregnant Xena, congratulations" Ira said happy for them both as they both turned to each other tears in their eyes as they realised they were going to be parents. Xena took Gabrielle into her arms feeling elated at the chance she was being given and knew that there was no way she was going to lose this baby, she couldn't believe the direction her life was now on but knew they would be good parents and she couldn't wait to tell Lila the news.
"We did it, you are really pregnant, Oh Gods Xena I'm so happy" Gabrielle told Xena kissing her softly letting her know in both words and actions just how happy she was about this pregnancy and just how happy she was that Xena was going to get to be mother all the way through again. She knew that both of them would do everything to make sure that this time their child would grow to be a very old person before they lost them and that hopefully it would be through their deaths not their child's.
"I am too sweetheart, thank you for giving me this child, for wanting to have a child with me, I can't wait to see you holding our child" Xena whispered into Gabrielle's ear feeling more tears well in her eyes at the gift they had been given, she hoped that this time she would get the chance to do it all right, to raise their child from childhood to adulthood, and couldn't wait to begin building the home that would be their's forever. The home their children would be raised in, the home they would grow old in, she wanted this so much more than she ever thought she would.
"Lets go and get you some lunch and I think we have a certain item to buy in the marketplace, it's time I made an honest woman of you my love" Gabrielle told her love feeling more happiness than she ever thought possible at the news that they would be having a baby in eight moons, they would be parents. She linked her hand with Xena's and kissed her again wanting more than anything to take this beautiful warrior home and make love to her, to celebrate the beginning of their life truly together.
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