Gabrielle woke tangled in the covers with a note and a rose lying on her pillow. Smiling she pulled Xena's pillow closer and closed her eyes.
Aphrodite (materializing with two cups of tea and wearing a long white robe): Well good morning. I see the Warrior Babe really tangled with you last night. Here (handing her a cup of tea) I made it myself.
Gabrielle (sitting up and wrapping the sheet around her more securely): Thanks. Not that I mind but what are you doing here?
Aphrodite (smiling): Well it's like this. I promised tall dark and gorgeous I would keep an eye on you and help Eve get ready for her ceremony. So come on the days' wasting. We have some shopping to do.
Gabrielle (moaning): It's too early.
Aphrodite (rolling her eyes): Come on you're supposed to be a Goddess. You're not supposed to need sleep. In fact (smirking wickedly...)
Gabrielle (shaking her head): Don't go there. I was supposed to wear her out last night. Instead (gesturing to her neck and shoulders...)
Aphrodite (laughing): She had you for dinner didn't she? (Gabrielle
blushed) oh come on little one. I'm the Goddess of Love and you
two are my ultimate example of love. Come on up and at them.
Gabrielle (groaning): Aphrodite let me get dressed and ready to go and then I promise we'll go shopping, ok. I've got to get Eve up too. Although knowing her she's probably already up and doing whatever she's doing.
Aphrodite (excitedly): I'll go find her (and was gone before Gabrielle could say another word.)
Eve was walking down the corridor thinking of her partner and hoping she would be back before the ceremony so they could spend some time together. She calmed herself immediately at that thought because it did no good. Her parent's would make sure she would stick to tradition but (smirking) neither of them could see each other before the ceremony either.
Eve (stopping as a bright light flashed in front of her): Aphrodite. Good morning.
Aphrodite (noticing she had similar marks): What is it with your family? You
could get rid of those marks in a hurry and...
Eve (placing her hand on the Goddess' arm): I love these marks. They show the love Varia and I have for each other. Now what's up? Don't tell me those two got into trouble already.
Aphrodite (laughing): No. I came to take you and Gabrielle shopping. So let's go.
Eve (holding up her hand): Wait up. I have to get breakfast and so does she. Give us a bit.
Aphrodite (muttering): Demi Gods and new Goddess'. Duh hello. You
can have whatever you want with a snap of your fingers.
Gabrielle (walking up to them): We could. But, I prefer to use my powers when I really need them. Like maybe, tonight going over to see Xena while the rest of the village is asleep (licking her lips.)
Eve (hurriedly): You can't (seeing Gabrielle arch her eyebrow) well you could but you don't want to raise suspicions. I mean if you pop in there and well you know someone will find out and then like um uh huh I...
Gabrielle (looking at Eve who was acting suspicious but): Yeah you have a point. I just miss her already.
Eve (understanding and squeezing her arm): Believe me I know. I would
love to go and visit Varia just um (dreamily.)
Aphrodite (looking at her nails): You two are so cute. Seriously, after I get through making plans you won't have time to miss them (seeing their worried faces) well you know what I mean.
Xena folded her arms across her chest and listened to several Amazons rant and rave and argue. Varia stood beside her shifting from foot to foot looking like she was ready to cork someone.
Rhea (pointedly): You are both betrayers to the Amazons. First, you (looking at Varia) take in a sworn mortal enemy (looking at Xena) and then you lay with our Queen when you're not even an Amazon.
Xena (growling feeling someone's hand on her arm): You show Gabrielle and Eve the proper respect or I'll show you respect.
Cleis (raising her hand to quell the yelling): Sisters please quiet. I understand the discern among you but they are both here to help. We need to rebuild and they are our best chance. Xena has led armies and has helped the Amazons before and Varia was given right of caste by Marga...
Someone yelled from the back "till she fucked the Roman whore Livia."
Varia was off the stage in less than a heartbeat and grabbing the woman by the throat.
Varia (snarling): Odessa I don't care what you say about me but you
talk about my intended (tightening her grip hearing the woman choke) and I'll
kill you. (Bodily slamming her into the ground and feeling strong arms
restrain her gently.) Back off Xena...
Xena (gently): No. Eve wouldn't want this and what are you accomplishing. Make it more interesting (sneering.) You talk so big tell me what have you accomplished since obviously there hasn't been much done.
Rhea (spitting at her feet): To Hades with you Xena. I don't have
to listen to you, you're a murderer; a rapist; pure evil and your little
bitch is nothing but a whore (a boot was pushed into her throat and she struggled.)
Varia (feeling several Amazons surround them): Shut up. If you know what's good for you, then shut up. Cause I'll kill you without thought.
Cleis (pleading): Stop this. Marga wouldn't want this. They're here to help.
Rayne (walking up to them): She's right. Our nation needs to be rebuilt. If we outcast them then our chances of survival grow slimmer with each passing day. So swallow your pride.
Kara (nodding in agreement): Thank you both of you. Not everyone feels that way about you.
Varia (backing up; she felt Xena's hand on her back and tried to relax): I know but it just makes me so dam mad. I'm going to see about those trenches and offer them a hand.
Xena (shaking her head): You two look good. How is everything here? I
mean aside from the obvious watching a few other Amazons help Odessa to her
Kara (taking a deep breath): Just trying to get on our feet and everything. We're glad you're both here. Some of us have missed you both and not all of us feel that way.
Jinx (running): Hey Xena (punching her playfully in the shoulder) knew you would show up sometime. You've always come through for us.
Xena (smiling): Come on I want to look at those plans and see were to start. Then you three are going to tell me everything that's been going on these past two months.
Eve (trying on another dress): Why do I have to wear white? Black looks
Gabrielle (shaking her head, Eve sure had her mother's taste when it came to clothes): Because that's what a bride is supposed to wear.
Eve (grumbling): Isn't that the color of a virgin bride (chuckling.) I mean mom come on now. I'm far from a...
Gabrielle (laughing): Don't go there. Varia will be going through the same thing. Now hush up and let me see how that one looks.
Eve (grumbling): Why am I doing this again?
Gabrielle (trying not to laugh): Because you love Varia sweetie...
Eve (rolling her eyes): Not the ceremony the whole dressing up thing (opening the door to the dressing room.) Varia would think I looked good in a potato sack. And besides it would be much easier (Gabrielle's hand clamped over her mouth.)
Gabrielle (looking at her daughter, she looked well she couldn't come up with the right word but beautiful came pretty close): Eve that looks, looks...
Eve (taking a deep breath): So not me.
Gabrielle (brushing back a dark lock of hair): No, it's you. You look beautiful; radiant. I feel bad for Varia. She's going to go nuts when she sees you.
Eve (looking at herself in the mirror): I guess.
Gabrielle (placing her hands on her shoulders): Don't be nervous. She loves you and like you said she could care less if you were wearing a potato sack.
Eve (smirking): Now that I can do (moving to go and change.)
Gabrielle (smiling proudly): Oh no you don't. Now we have to get the rest of your stuff then we're going to lunch.
Eve (taking a deep breath): All right if I have to. But your getting a dress too. You're standing up there with me.
Gabrielle (proudly): I'm honored Eve. More than honored. Come on. We have to get a few more things and yes I'll look at the dress although (thinking that Xena too could care less what she was wearing. In fact had often times professed that she preferred her (ooh bad Warrior/Bard don't go there, because there's nothing she could do about it but dam she (blushing.) What sorry I just....
Eve (understanding and laughing): I know. Although (seeing a dress that she thought would look perfect on Gabrielle and knowing her mother's plan) here try this on. After all mother is dressing up (under her breath), I hope.
Gabrielle (taking the dress): Ok. But no running off.
Eve (mock pouting): Would I do that?
Gabrielle (teasing): Yes. (Tugging on her arm) let me try this on then we'll finish you up.
Xena (growling): Move that beam a little more to the left and brace it under
here. I can't hold this all day (tensing her thigh muscles to ease
some of the weight. They had been working on raising the walls and roof
supports all day and talk about a disaster. She was ready to strangle
Rayne (heaving a rope around the section Xena was holding to help and lashing it to a tree): Here that should help. Come on put your backs into it. (Helping them pour the mixture to stabilize the posts.) Ok let it go Warrior Princess.
Xena (taking a deep breath and leaning against the tree; she was sweating
and tired and she just wanted to use her powers and get the dam things up but
she knew she couldn't): Thanks. Ok let's get the next one
up and then go have some dinner.
Kara (patting Xena on the back): Thanks again. You're a lifesaver. Hey, Tessa's coming this way. She's got something for you.
Xena (grumbling; the lanky blonde teenager had obvious feelings for her and didn't quite grasp the concept that she wasn't available but she was harmless and helpful): Hey Tessa. What's up?
Tessa (handing her a small bundle): These are apple tarts. I made them especially for you.
Xena (taking the bundle and opening it; well they smelled like apple tarts and looked like them but taking a bite she smiled they were good; not as good as Gabrielle's but good all the same): Thank you.
Tessa (enthusiastically): Are you going to teach class tomorrow (batting light
Xena (nearly choking at the very obvious flirtation; then offering some to Rayne and Kara): I don't know. Depends on how much we get done today. But I promise before we leave I'll train one class, how's that
Tessa (slightly disappointed but): Ok. I'll see you for dinner.
Rayne (warningly; watching the younger Amazon): She's smitten for you.
Xena (softly): I know. I wish Gabrielle were here. She could handle this much better than I can.
Kara (teasing): Why can't do the sensitive chat thing? (Backing up as she was playfully lunged at) hey, I'm kidding.
Jinx (running up): Hey, we got the area laid out for the planting. Now
all we need to do is dig up the soil and get that started.
Xena (pinching the bridge of her nose; there was not enough time in one day to do all that needed to be done): Hold it. We have to get these buildings up first. Then we do the planting...
Jinx (shaking her head): No, we're dividing up the work force and some of the children will help with the planting and the older folks too. Then we have to send some scouts out to see about game. We got plenty of fish for now but variety is the key here.
Rayne (rolling her eyes): You eat the same thing every night no matter what's on the menu.
Kara (agreeing): Yep. Lots of vegetables and rice and very little fish.
Xena (stretching): All right. You can debate eating habits after. Let's
get the rest of these walls up and then move onto the next building.
Varia (throwing a rock aside): Ok that should do it now dig there and there (grabbing a shovel herself.)
Mel (using a pickaxe to break the soil): So where is your intended?
Varia (realizing the girl meant no ill intent): With her mom. Separation before the ceremony (thinking and thanking whoever that they only had five and a half more days to go.)
Alyssa (looking up at some arguing down the trench): Here we go. Rhea can bark orders but can't give them. And Odessa I aint seen her swing a shovel or an axe yet.
Varia (shoveling dirt aside): Yeah some people are like that. As long as she keeps quiet about Eve, she can mumble all she wants.
Mel (thinking): Her mom, you mean Gabrielle (Varia nodded.) I thought...
Varia (stopping and holding up her hand): Just like us Mel. Just like a lot of us. When you have a life partner even though one has the child the other partner automatically become it's other mother. Same thing with Xena and Gabrielle.
Alyssa (waiting to Mel broke the rocks): Yeah you're right. But did Xena and Gabrielle have a ceremony or...
Varia (stopping and wiping her face with the back of her hand): You don't need a ceremony or a piece of paper to declare your love and that's how they both feel. And I don't know a happier couple (smirking) besides Eve and I that is.
Alyssa (pointing out): But you're doing the ceremony.
Varia (nodding): Yep. It's because I want to make Eve happy and this is what she wants. You tend to do those things when your in love (smiling.)
Lana (carrying a couple pitchers of water and some small bundles): Hey. Here
brought you something to chew on. How's things coming (wishing
she could help but her leg had been injured during the battle and she was getting
around slowly but still had to take it easy.)
Mel (helping her): Once we get this section done then we'll set the traps up and fill it with water. How are the buildings coming?
Lana (gesturing in that direction): They got the infirmary enlarged; got the kitchen enlarged and added the dining hall. Two council huts and part of the library up. Tomorrow I think they'll finish up the main buildings and start working on individual huts. Although we may be all bunking in long houses for a bit to keep out of the elements but Xena's working on some design plans and things are coming along smoothly.
Varia (dusting her hands off): I'm going to talk to her about a few things. Finish up here and we'll meet for dinner.
Eve (sipping her wine): So Amazon tradition states that a blood bonding is
to be performed at all ceremonies regardless if one wants to or not. Wonder
Aphrodite (thinking): Because it truly shows the couple as united together. Also power; responsibility that sort of thing all gets tied together. And it also binds your spirits.
Eve (questioning): So when I join with Varia then technically I'm an Amazon Queen, right.
Gabrielle (nodding): Exactly. Although because you received my rite of caste you're an Amazon Princess, so you would still be an Amazon Queen either way.
Aphrodite (rolling her eyes): This gets confusing. How do you mortals keep track of things?
Gabrielle (holding up a parchment): I wrote it down (laughing.)
Eve (taking the parchment): This is Eternal Bonds and Life Blood. You wrote this when I was a baby. Before (thinking but not voicing her thoughts.)
Gabrielle (scooting closer to her and wrapping her arm around her shoulders):
You were inducted into the Amazon Nation. Your mother and I were having
some difficulties deciding what to do. But I was never more proud; more
happy then the day I held you up in front of the tribe then watching your mother
do the same.
Aphrodite (watching them both): That was before you two were frozen as well, right?
Gabrielle (nodding): Yeah. We've been through a lot in 34 years. But I don't regret a single moment because it's made us who we are.
Eve (nodding and finishing her wine): I'm going to take a walk down
by the gardens. I didn't get a chance to enjoy them the last time
we were here.
Aphrodite (pointing): Go that way then take a left near the rose bushes; there's another pond with all sorts of different fish.
Eve (smiling and kissing Gabrielle on the cheek): Thank you.
Aphrodite (watching her walk down the path): She's a beautiful young woman. Very much, like you and Xena.
Gabrielle (proudly): She's come though so much and changed and I couldn't
be more proud. I'm so happy she's joining with Varia.
Aphrodite (thinking): Xena's walking her in and your standing beside her for the ceremony (Gabrielle nodded.) That is so sweet. You must be so proud.
Gabrielle (finishing her wine): I am.
Varia (sitting down to eat): We've gotten a lot done in three days.
Xena (nodding pushing her food around her plate): Yeah. Most of the
main structures are up; half of the living quarters are done and the stables
have been started.
Varia (finishing): And we got some good defenses up and they're already posting watch. There's going to be a party tomorrow night.
Xena (taking a bite of her food; not liking it): You Amazons love to party (snickering.)
Varia (playfully elbowing her in the ribs): Funny Warrior Princess. This from the woman who passed out the first night hey ouch (as she felt Xena's hand grab the back of her neck) shutting up, now.
Xena (teasing): That's because your Queen wore me out.
Varia (laughing): See the little ones always pack a mean punch (sobering as
Rayne and Alexandra walked up to the table.)
Rayne (setting her tray down) You don't mind do you?
Xena (shaking her head): Not at all. Alexandra good to see you.
Alexandra (smiling): And you. I've been doing some fishing and teaching the younger ones to do the same. The fishing is really good and the weather is better then it was back in Greece.
Xena (remembering): Yeah much warmer. You are going to be fine. And
you know that if you need help we'll be here.
Rayne (teasing): So Varia two more nights of freedom then you're going to be chained.
Varia (throwing a piece bread at her mouth, which Rayne caught easily): Not chained just settled down with the love of my life.
Jinx (walking up and sitting down): Chained; settled same difference (making
whipping noises under her breath.)
Xena (laughing): I'm going to take a run. See what's going on that sort of thing. You behave yourself.
Varia (cuffing Jinx on the back of the head): Tell them that. I've been sitting her minding my own business and they (pointing to the rest of the table) have been misbehaving.
Eve (listening for her visitor to come closer): Come on. You've
been behind that tree for at least an hour. I can't even have breakfast
Hades (walking up to her): I just as watching you. You look so much like Xena when she was younger.
Eve (defensively): She's not exactly old.
Hades (holding up his hand): No. I wanted to talk to you about your Demi God (getting a glare in return before he even finished the sentence.)
Eve (shaking her head): I'm not going to talk about it. At least not with you that is between my mother's and I and my partner. So why did you abandon my mother then try to kill Gabrielle and I and then claim to that you're her father. Doesn't make sense. Seems pretty selfish. Now that's she's a Goddess you somehow pop back into the picture.
Hades (biting his lip): You know the stories about Hercules. I didn't want her to go through that. And Hera was on a rampage. Didn't want Xena getting unwanted attention. Little did I know my nephew had her in his sights.
Eve (remembering Ares empty promises; line of seduction and other things that made her skin crawl now that she thought about it): I know. But you could still have done something.
Hades (understanding): I could have but I didn't. I had some threats and I had just started courting Persephone and Celesta was threatened. My hands were tied.
Eve (thinking): Eli's message is about peace and love and forgiveness. I
don't understand but you have no quarrel with me.
Hades (looking up at the sky): But with Xena, I do.
Eve (softly): Talk to her. She's an amazing listener.
Hades (standing): To you and Gabrielle. To me no. I just want
to move on not have this hanging over my head the rest of my days. Thank
Eve (watching him walk down the footpath): You should have tried to talk to her (softly.)
Apollo (walking up behind her): He's really bothered by all of this.
Eve (taking a deep breath): What is it today? I'm must be the local therapist.
Apollo (shaking his head): I just came to enjoy the scenery. It's one of my favorite places. Are you nervous?
Eve (biting her lip): A little. I love her, she's the other half of my heart and soul but I'm still nervous.
Apollo (sitting across from her): It's to be expected and I'm
sure she's just as nervous. It's not everyday that someone
gains two of the toughest Warriors in Greece as mother in laws (smirking.)
Eve (laughing): You have a point. But Varia has already taken to calling Xena mom (seeing Apollo's amusement.) Funny I know.
Apollo (shaking his head): And how does Xena take it.
Eve (snickering): With amusement and affection. She pretends it bothers
her but I see a lot more between those two then they try to let on. Warriors
Apollo (eyeing her sword): And you're...
Eve (softly): A defender. I won't fight if I don't have to. But I will protect my loved ones at all costs. Like when Gabrielle was captured or when they were, both hurt and couldn't get up. Or when Varia was in danger. That's the difference.
Apollo (thinking): And Gabrielle?
Eve (wishing she didn't have to go into this): She's a Bard; Warrior and Amazon Queen. She's a tough woman and can take down almost any opponent but she still will choose to talk her way out of it, if she can.
Apollo (absorbing her words): But if you or Xena is in danger then it's no holds barred, right?
Eve (nodding): And Varia as well. She can be worst then Xena at times. Much worst.
Apollo (grinning): That's not to hard to believe. It's always the little ones that pack the meanest punches, but then you would know. Defending both of them several times over I've seen you send a man on his bum without even really trying.
Eve (blushing): Well it was only because he said some things that really got to me.
Apollo (nodding): Lyssa was like that. Gabrielle is like that and you inherited that from her.
Eve (nodding): There's a lot that I don't know about my birth
and my conception. Maybe you can shed a little light on the subject. After
all, technically you are my grandfather (smirking much like Gabrielle.)
Apollo (ruefully): All right. But if your mother gets wind of this then I'm toast. She's not exactly into owing up that either of them are daughters of two of Olympus' most powerful. Since you inherited Gabrielle's more charming characteristics then I'll tell you. You know the story of Callisto (Eve nodded) well it's like this...
Gabrielle (hanging a few streamers; true she could use her powers and zap
them into place but she wanted to make this as special as possible for Eve):
There how's that.
Hectate (leaning against the temple door): Perfect (pointing her finger) although (zapping a few more into place) there. Looks nice.
Gabrielle (climbing down from the ladder): Thanks. How's Xena and Varia? Did they get the village set up? When are they coming back?
Hectate (holding up her hand): Hold it. Give me a chance to answer one question at a time (smiling.) They're both good, they miss you two but they're good. Most of the village is set up only a little more to go. Tomorrow night they're having a party so mid day they're going to go and get some stuff done. Then they're coming back here while you two go to Olympus.
Gabrielle (upset): What? Xena and I have been apart for four days going
on five and you want me to wait another day. No. The minute she
gets back here ooh is she in trouble.
Hectate (thinking quick): Well she's going to be pretty busy catching up on stuff and helping Varia.
Gabrielle (arguing): Don't care. I want to wrap myself around
her and just hold her. She has the most amazing body (licking her lips.)
Hectate (holding out her hand): Don't go there. I don't need to know what you two do let alone think.
Gabrielle (wiggling her eyebrows): I thought the Gods were into voyeurism.
Hectate (stuttering): Not all of us. Some of us um what are you doing?
Gabrielle (thinking of her partner): Going to go find my woman and convince her not to leave me.
Hectate (pleading): Actually you can't. There's some things
you and I need to do that well I would like to get them out of the way. (Seeing
Gabrielle glare) please.
Gabrielle (thinking it over): I could swear you're up to something and when I find out what well but all right. As soon as you and are done then I'm off to see her and I don't care.
Aphrodite (walking up behind Eve): You ok.
Eve (nodding): Dam I'm more confused over my birth then I was before.
Aphrodite (sitting down): Your mother's mortal enemy is your reincarnated soul. But did he mention that when they were morphing in and out of each other's body's that well I'm sure you could guess that it was only a matter of a few second then Gabrielle would have had you.
Eve (surprised): No. But how did...
Aphrodite (softly): Ok then let me tell you this story. So you can get all the pieces in place. No one could do more for you though then Gabrielle even when you still inside Xena. Sure they had their problems at that time but the love that they had and still have for you is amazing. So anyway...
Xena (tapping the keg with her dagger): Quiet down. Everyone please be quiet.
Tessa (standing on a bench and yelling loudly): Shut up. (Everyone quieted
down) there that's better. Xena the floor is yours.
Varia (smiling): She's got a set of lungs on her let me tell you.
Xena (cuffing her on the back of the head lightly): Hush. Ok now that I have everyone's attention. I want to wish you the best of luck in your new home. As Amazons you have faced adversity and many trials and as Amazons you have over come them with the strength of your sister hood . This is a mere stepping-stone and you will overcome it (smiling as claps and whistles encouraged her.) Next on the agenda Varia will be joining with my daughter in two days (murmurs and yells went through the crowd) take care of her and love her Varia (claps and whistles met her statement this time.) Thank you. (The music picked up and the drinking and partying began.) Let's party.
The partying went on well into the night many Amazons had a change of heart
and greeted Varia wishing her luck and offering "advice." She
accepted each with grace and gratitude.
Rayne (sitting next to Xena): She's come a long way from the impetuous; reckless woman I've known.
Xena (nodding): Love tempers many a storm.
Jinx (trying to walk): Yeah it does. So when you going to tie the knot
with Gabrielle (hiccupping.)
Xena (smirking): Soon. Real soon.
Rayne (thinking): You dirty dog. It's a double ceremony.
Xena (clamping her hand over her mouth): And it's a surprise. So hush.
Tessa (sitting down across from Xena): What's a surprise? (Xena shook her head) hey thanks by the way for the training and for all your help.
Xena (finishing her wine and reaching for the skin): You're welcome. Come on I've got a certain Amazon to keep an eye on.
Gabrielle (walking next to Eve): calm down. How did this happen again?
Eve (shaking her head and looking at her hands): One minute I was meditating the next I was shooting fireballs (motioning to the two-burnt trees): I didn't do it intentionally.
Gabrielle (calmly): It's ok. Just relax. I just need to figure out how and why then we can go from there. In fact, Hectate (yelling loudly and smiling as Eve covered her ears.) Sorry.
Eve (trying not to fidget): It's ok. I'm just well I don't
Gabrielle (wrapping her arm around her waist): Hey calm down. We'll work this out.
Hectate (materializing): Working off some frustration I see. (Seeing twin glares directed at her) geez can't anyone take a joke.
Eve (waving her hands frantically): This is not a joke. One minute I'm minding my own business and the next I'm torching trees. And my ceremony is tomorrow morning. This isn't good.
Hectate (taking Eve's hands in her own): Well there's a plausible
explanation for sure. Here sit down. What were you thinking about
before you decided to take it out on some poor defenseless tree?
Gabrielle (sitting next to Eve): Hectate please. The poor thing is a nervous wreck. Why can't we just get to the bottom of all this. And how did she end up with the telekinesis in the first place.
Hectate (thinking): Cosmic upset. Unbalance. Shift of energy, pick one. The point is I have to figure out why and how then we can deal with how to control it.
Eve (rolling her eyes): Great. The more excited I get the more things
tend to happen and I don't want...
Gabrielle (thinking): Hold it. Back up. You said the more excited you get the more it happens. Well that's got to be it then.
Hectate (agreeing): Emotional turmoil...
Eve (defensively): Nothing about me is in turmoil.
Hectate (laughing): Yes you are. You're nervous; excited; probably missing your partner like crazy and you have very little methods of channeling your energy levels. Much like a certain some one else we know (glancing at Gabrielle.) Give me a bit and I'll be back, hopefully with some answers (and was gone.)
Eve (teasing): You have a little problem dealing with your...
Gabrielle (laughing): Yeah but not as much as you. When Xena and I first learned to use our powers it was interesting to say the least. And your mother has no patience for anything.
Eve (agreeing): I'll say. So how did you deal with it. I mean your energy and...
Gabrielle (biting her lip): Let's just say your mother can be quite religious at times Eve.
Xena (holding a very drunk and tired Varia over her shoulder): Just stay still. I've
Varia (slurring): Xena why am I moving when my feets aren't even on the ground.
Xena (trying not to laugh): Cause I'm carrying you. Relax. I've got you.
Varia (stammering): You know Eve and Gabrielle are lucky to have you (hiccupping)
and so am I.
Xena (patting her on the back): It's what I do. I'm lucky to have them and you (moving up the path to their lean too.)
Varia (happily): I love Eve. She's absolutely gorgeous. Did I tell you thank you for letting me marry her?
Xena (snickering): Several times. Twice in the past few minutes (leaning down to enter their lean too.)
Varia (clutching Xena's shoulders tighter): Do you remember your first kiss with Gabrielle (hiccupping some more.) I remember mine with Eve. I've never...
Xena (laying her gently on one of the cot's): Don't go there (smiling and brushing back her hair.) Here let me make you something so you won't feel so bad in the morning (getting up and moving to her medicine pack.)
Varia (closing her eyes): I'm sorry for all the trouble I caused and how much I hurt you and Gabrielle and especially Eve. I was just...
Xena (handing her a mug of some potion or other): It's over. Just drink this. Varia we've talked about this and as far as I'm concerned it's in the past. Now close your eyes and go to sleep.
Varia (softly): Will you stay with me? The nightmares aren't so bad when Eve's there and I know they won't show up with you around.
Xena (patting her hand): Sure. Let me change. I'll be right
here (wondering what dark demons haunted Varia so much. But she understood
and knew sometimes having someone beside you was the best thing in the world.) Rest,
I'm here (softly humming a lullaby she used on Gabrielle and Eve to help
them both sleep and changing into her nightshirt before dousing the candles. Then
gathering her own blankets and stretching out on the floor near Varia's
cot just in case she needed her during the night.)
Eve (listening): So if I get upset or my emotions are off then I have stronger powers (groaning.) I bet this never happened to Hercules or any other half God.
Gabrielle (sympathetically): Probably not. But we know what the problem is and how to correct it. You just need to channel your energy...
Hectate (folding her arms across her chest): And sparring isn't always the answer and neither are intimate relations with your partner (teasing.)
Eve (worried): Why? Could she get hurt?
Hectate (reassuringly): No. But I do suggest other things until we can figure out exactly the nature of the triggers and responses. But I'm sure Varia is perfectly safe.
Gabrielle (arching her eyebrow): Well tomorrow is her ceremony so let's
get you calm and relaxed. You want to come with?
Hectate (smiling and brushing back a lock of blond hair): Maybe later. Go enjoy yourselves. I have to check on your other halves.
Eve (shaking her head): I'm in trouble (groaning.)
Gabrielle (patting her on the back): Nothing a good soak in the hot tub won't cure and some wine and some chocolate. Besides we just have to find something for you to do.
Varia (sitting up and rubbing her head; she didn't feel as bad she thought
she would; considering she couldn't remember much of last night): Morning
(looking up into bright blue eyes) we leaving.
Xena (throwing some stuff in her pack): As soon as I settle a few things. We did good Varia. And we can always come back before winter sets in if they need more help. Tomorrow is your big day so we're going to take it easy and relax.
Varia (nervously): And yours too.
Xena (smirking): I know. I'm calm unlike you (teasing) here drink some of this tea. It'll help with whatever symptoms you might have left over.
Varia (smelling the foul mixture): How much did I drink last night? And did I do anything inappropriate?
Xena (fastening her scabbard to her back): No. But you did drink about
ten or so mugs of ale. And your singing was way off key (teasing.)
Varia (groaning and sitting up): Thanks for being here (looking around for her boots.)
Xena (adjusting her vest): Your welcome. Get yourself together I'll meet you in the dining hut.
Hectate (materializing and smiling): Well after I'm done talking to
you both you will. Morning.
Xena (rolling her eyes): We're fine. Partied last night, no trouble and no fights. Yes we miss them and no we didn't miss you (wicked grin.)
Hectate (mischievously): And I didn't miss you either you overgrown
pain in the ass. How does Gabrielle put up with you at times (teasing?)
Xena (wiggling her eyebrows): I have many skills (turning and facing Varia) and not a word out of you either.
Varia (laughing): I wasn't going to say anything Goddess.
Xena (folding her arms across her chest): So what do you want? Couldn't
you wait until at least had breakfast (smirking?)
Hectate (laughing and patting Xena on the arm): I figured Gabrielle wasn't here so you didn't need to eat (implying.)
Varia (shaking with laughter): That was good.
Xena (pointing to the door): Out...
Hectate (shaking her head): Actually I need to talk with the both of you. Eve has somehow developed some more of her powers. She's ok (forestalling Varia's line of questioning.) Both of them are great. Just came to warn you. I'll be taking you home later on today. Gabrielle and Eve are staying on Mt. Olympus with Aphrodite. And you two will be staying in the Underworld until the ceremony tomorrow.
Xena (thinking): Brie's going to want to see me as soon as I get back. How am I supposed to avoid that (murmuring) not that I want to.
Varia (nodding; thinking of Eve and how much she missed her): I hear ya. Why
can't we see them? I mean it's not like we haven't before
well you know.
Hectate (teasing): Two tough warriors and they miss their women. How cute? (Getting a growl from both Xena and Varia) we'll think of something. I'll see you in a few hours (and vanished.)
Xena (shaking her head): Come on let's go get breakfast.
Gabrielle (laying on a table getting a massage and listening to Aphrodite
give Eve directions for her ceremony): You know technically you're supposed
to also inherit your mask. That is if you want.
Eve (mumbling as she felt a few knots ease): In your eyes and Varia's and mothers I have your Rite of Caste. In the Amazons eyes I'm nothing to them.
Aphrodite (setting down the scroll): Bull shit. You're their future Queen. Gabrielle's heir. That's not nothing.
Gabrielle (forestalling Eve's argument): Eve don't go there (seeing Eve tense.) She's right.
Eve (sighing): I just wish people would stop and think for one moment before they judge someone. Before they hurt someone else's feelings (groaning as another knot was released.
Aphrodite (wrapping a towel around herself): I know. I'm going to soak in the hot tub. You two coming? (Gabrielle and Eve nodded) ok later.
Gabrielle (sitting up): Actually I wonder where Xena is. It's
not like her and I have to be separated until tomorrow or something.
Eve (thinking): Um mom. Her and Varia are probably doing the Warrior thing and I bet mother is having a serious talk with Varia (hoping that wasn't the case.) You know those two probably off doing something or other.
Gabrielle (warning): Eve is there something going on I should know about (arching
Eve (biting her lip): No. Nothing at all.
Gabrielle (unbelieving): Eve is there something you want to tell me.
Eve (shaking her head and tying her robe): No (seeing her mom's look of disbelief) seriously.
Gabrielle (cocking her head; considering): Is there something Xena is up to
that you're not supposed to tell me (wondering what it could be.)
Eve (softly): Um uh that is I uh...
Gabrielle (relenting): Ok. I'll just have to wait and see what
it is. Your secret is safe for now. (Eve swallowed) but if she
does something I'm not going to like then you're going to be the
first to know about it. Got me (warning.)
Eve (nodding): Come on I hear those hot tubs calling and I could use a good long soak after that workout (walking down the hall quickly.)
Gabrielle (shaking her head and looking upward): Wherever you are, Xena I just hope whatever it is your up to isn't nothing that's going to get you into trouble with someone (trusting in her partner more than anything, she let it go.)
To Be Continued
Return to the Academy