Disclaimer: The characters of Xena and Gabrielle and others resembling those from the
TV show, belong to Studio USA and Renaissance Pictures. No infringement on their rights is
intended. All other characters are of my own creation and belong to me.
Subtext Disclaimer: This story contains references to a loving relationship between two consenting adults, who happen to be of the same sex. If this offends you, or you are under 18 years of age, or you reside in an area where this type of material is illegal, read no more. There is plenty of general fanfic out there for you. Go find it.
Shock Factor: 5. Plan D #24.
Note: Medical procedures. Im not a doctor and I dont play one on TV, so go with it.
Please send any comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
Enjoy, I hope.
A SHOT WONT CURE THIS
Written by FlyBigD
"Did you do something different to the eggs?" Xena asked and poked the
scrambled yellow mass on her plate with her fork. Staring at what was supposed to be her
favorite breakfast of eggs, toast, ham and hash browns, she frowned at the combination
with a feeling of complete revulsion.
"No." Leaning way back in her chair, Gabrielle stared down at the same meal with the exact same sentiment and pushed the plate away because the smell was making her sick. "Maybe the eggs were bad."
"You said that yesterday." Covering her mouth, the warrior covered her plate with her napkin.
"Did I? I forgot." Sighing, she shoved the plate across the table. "Ill get another dozen after work, just get those things away from me."
Xena had no problem with that order and stacked her plate on top of the bards. Picking both up with one hand, she pinched her nose, holding her breath as she got up to take the food away. Heading for the kitchen, she held the plates at arms length and turned her head, watching where she was going with one eye.
Gabrielle closed her eyes and laid her head back on the chair. "Maybe were coming down with something, Xena. One of my students has been out since last Friday with some kind of stomach virus. Maybe weve got the stomach flu."
Dumping the food into the garbage can, she closed the lid on the container and released her nose. "Whew." Making sure the lid was secure, she took a deep breath and walked over to the sink. "Maybe, or it could be something I picked up at the hospital, but either way, I cant afford to stay home. Ive got a case load that would break Atlas back and Ive got to get caught up before we go back to the Palace. Jims already bitching because he had to take my cases while we were gone that week."
"I cant stay home either. Ive got to get my classes caught up or they will never be ready for finals." Regretting the fact, the bard rolled her eyes inside the lids then opened them to stare up at the ceiling.
Rinsing off the plates, the warrior groaned for both of them. "Working for T is starting to look pretty good, right about now."
"I heard that." Lifting her head, she stared in the general direction of the kitchen. "We agreed to wait a year, Xena."
"I know. I know. Wait and see. We might be jumping the gun." Grumbling under her breath, she put the plates and utensils in the dish washer, then washed her hands. "Whatever this is, better be curable, or you can start packing, missy."
"Mess with me and Ill call my mother and tell her youre sick, sweetheart." Smiling, she chuckled when a brunette head popped out of the kitchen and glared at her.
"Thats not eeeeeven funny." Wiping her hands on a dish towel, she balled it up and threw it at her wife.
Pulling the towel off her face, Gabrielle laughed. "My, what a remarkable recovery you just made. Its a miracle!"
Xena came out of the kitchen with her eyes narrowed into slits and growling. "You call your mother and Ill call mine, honey buns." Flicking her eyebrows, she leaned over the table when she got to it and smiled wickedly. "And mines closer."
As her eyes went wide, the bard whipped the towel into the air and waved it over her head. "I surrender. I surrender."
"I thought so." Snatching the towel out of the air, the warrior snapped it and stood up straight. "Never underestimate the power of a nosy mother-in-law."
"True. Nothing like the threat of having your house tidied by snooping hands to snap you out of any illness." Shaking her head, the bard stretched and got up. "I feel much better." No sooner did she get the words out of her mouth than it was covered by her hand and she bolted from the dining table.
Flipping the towel over her shoulder, she sighed. "I was fun while it lasted." Executing a sharp pivot, Xena headed for the same path her wife had taken and heard retching by the time she reached the bottom of the stairs. "Im sure my Mom will bring Dad along as back up!" Shouting as she climbed, she heard another loud gag and shrugged. "It was worth a shot."
Sitting at the desk in her classroom, Gabrielle watched her students mull over a test and scanned the room looking for someone who might prefer their neighbors answers to their own. Finding no such cheaters, she smiled and leaned back in her chair. The nausea shed had this morning was gone and she was feeling much better because the half a box of saltine crackers Dr. Morgan had prescribed had done the trick, although the good doctor had found herself in need of the other half of the box before shed left the house, which was the other reason the bard was feeling better. Apparently the old adage of misery loving company was true, because as soon as Xena had worked her magic on Gabrielle, shed decided to offer up what was left of last nights dinner to the porcelain god. At the rate they were going, if they didnt get over the flu soon, theyd end up spending their life savings to corner the market on crackers.
Sighing at the thought, she rolled her head around, working out some of the kinks in her neck from hanging her head over the toilet for a good portion of the morning. Hearing a couple of pops, she sighed again, puffing her cheeks then relaxed.
Itd been a long two weeks since theyd gotten back from the Palace and with their scheduled vacation looming on the near horizon, she was looking forward to it, even though it meant going back to the Palace to get physical with the reconstruction. At least that would be a good tired, instead of the just plain tired she was feeling now. Along with the nausea had come some aches and pains that were becoming annoying. She wasnt used to feeling bad and if shed been the type to admit such things, she wouldve said that she made just as bad a patient as her wife did when she got sick. Gabrielle hated being sick and that was all there was to it, because there was always too much to do and things that couldnt be put off, and of course the fear of having them done by a certain brunette, which usually cut down her down time to nil. Not that Xena wasnt great the few times shed had to stay in bed due to illness. The warrior was a very good doctor and very attentive, but the problem was that their specific personal duties were set in stone after being married for centuries and when the bard had to stay in bed, her stuff had to be done by Xena, or didnt get done because her wife refused to leave her side. She preferred the latter, although being hovered over by a worry wart was as bad as being sick, but it was much better than getting out of bed to find that every item in the house had been rearranged in alphabetical order, in Greek.
This thought brought a smile to her face and Gabrielle chuckled softly. My wife, she thought, ever the warlord with her need for organization. If she touches my library, Im gonna kill her.
"Have I told you lately that you look like shit?" Jim asked from behind the safety of the nurses station.
"When I walked in the door and have I told you lately that you can be replaced?" Looking up from the chart in her hands, Xena smiled insincerely.
"Thats why I like working with you, Grace. Youre all soft and warm inside." Sticking out his tongue, the young doctor stepped back from the desk when his elder stepped toward it, but held his smile despite the threat of physical harm.
Growling, the warrior closed the chart and handed it to him. "For that remark, you get to play lab assistant again."
The smile turned upside down and Jim frowned in confusion. "Come again?"
"Thats right. Because youre such a great guy, Im gonna let you do the blood work on me and Faith today. We are apparently suffering from the flu and you get to be the one who tells us we have to stay at home and then you get to take all my cases. Aint life grand?" Dropping the untaken chart on the counter, she smiled smugly and turned away, while her assistant turned pale. "Have a nice day."
"Hey, hey, hey! Thats not fair." Picking up the chart, he scooted around the counter and jogged up to her. "You cant do that to me. Mary and Manny will kill me for sending you home."
"Is that so? Hmmm?" Pretending to be concerned, her brow knitted in false contemplation. "Tuff and tag, youre it."
"Come on, Grace. They already wanna kill me because I had to split your cases when you were gone. Cant you do it yourself and then they wont hang me from the nearest x-ray machine?" Looking rather pitiful, he tugged on the sleeve of her smock. "Please?"
"Your compassion for my illness overwhelms me, Jim." Rolling her eyes, she snatched her arm out of his grasp. "Fine. Ill do it myself as long as you dont bitch when I go on vacation and you have to lance Mrs. Snyders boils."
"Oh, you strike a hard bargain, Grace, but its a deal." Nodding heartily, he stuck out his hand and got it shaken then squeezed until his eyes watered. "Ow. I need that."
"Do tell?" Smiling, the warrior gave the hand another squeeze then released it.
A grimace etched deeply into his face, he shook his hand behind his back and pretended not to be wondering if it was broken. "Did you and Faith enjoy your pre-vacation vacation?"
"Yea, we had a blast." Slapping her descendant on the shoulder, she turned away to stroll down the hall toward the bank of elevators. "And in case youre wondering? Your hand isnt broken." Sending a diagnosis over her shoulder, she also sent a smile to her assistant, then continued on. When she turned away from him, she lost the edge of her smile and sighed. "Gods, I hope I dont look as bad as I feel." Wearing her doctor mask for most of the day was starting to get old and as she pushed the down button, she tried to covertly take a glance at her reflection in the stainless steel plate, but gave it up when bending over sent a throbbing through her head. Groaning, she straightened and waited for the doors to open, then stepped inside the empty compartment. Pushing the door closed button for her floor, she enjoyed the sanctuary, leaning heavily against the wall as the elevator went down. By the time the doors opened again, she had her doctor mask back on and kept it in place until she reached her office, where it was discarded as soon as she closed the door behind her and plopped down on the couch. Sliding sideways, she swung her legs up and stretched out, laying her head on the arm. "Five minutes and then its back to the trenches." She said softly and closed her eyes. "Five minutes. Thats all I need."
Having been asleep for one minute, fifty-five seconds of the two it took for the phone to ring, she opened her eyes and sighed. "Or, maybe not." Turning her head, she stared at the phone on her desk, then frowned and looked down at her waist, which is where her sleepy mind figured out the ringing was coming from. Pulling the cell phone off her waistband, she turned it on and closed her eyes again. "Dr. Morgan."
"How are you feeling?" Sitting in the corner of the teachers lounge, Gabrielle asked her question while she was trying to ignore all the smells coming from various microwaved lunches and the sandwich sitting in front of her.
"Like shit." Telling the truth, she knew that lying would be a waste of breath. "How about you?"
"Is it possible for peanut butter and jelly to go bad?" Frowning at her lunch, the bard closed her eyes and turned toward the wall.
Xena chuckled and smiled. "Not the last time I checked. Are you going to make it all day?"
"If I live through lunch, yes." Smiling herself, she sighed. "This really sucks, Xena."
"I know, but once the blood work is done, Ill find the little rat germ bastard and kill it." Speaking with confidence and some slight vengeance in her tone. "Did whats his face come back to class?"
"Fletcher? No and he doesnt have the flu. I found out today that hes in the hospital because his appendix burst during a football game." Opening one eye, she pushed her sandwich away because the smell of peanut butter was making her crackers want to come up.
Frowning, the warrior opened her eyes. "Does he have blonde curly hair?"
"Strawberry blonde. Why?" Shutting her eyes again, she propped her head on her hand.
"Hes here. Jim did the operation before we got back and I checked him today. Hes gonna be fine." Letting a little pride creep into her overall crummy condition, she smiled. "Your boy did good. Saved the kids life."
"I think he takes after you in that genre, Xena. If hed just won a Pulitzer, Id be happy to take the credit." Smiling anyway, the bard felt a twinge of pride in her great, great, great, great grandson.
"Either way, he did good and thats all that matters." Taking the compliment in stride, the warrior glanced at her watch. "What time do you think youll get here?"
"As soon as school lets out. Probably around three oclock, depending on traffic." She said with some reservation at the idea of being poked and prodded.
Hearing that tone, Xena chuckled. "All Im going to do is take blood. Ill save the pelvic for when we get home."
"Dont get your hopes up, Doc. When I leave there, its a trip to pick up some more crackers and sleep time for me. So unless you plan on flying solo, youre out of luck." A groan came across the line and she shook her head. "Just stick that bottom lip back where it belongs, because that pout isnt gonna work tonight."
"Phhhttttt." Giving the phone a raspberry, the warrior sighed and stopped pouting. "They better have a miracle cure for this flu, or else Im going to go into withdrawals."
Gabrielle covered her eyes and laughed. "Oh, stop it."
"Its true. Im a doctor. I know these things." Lowering her voice an octave, she tried to sound professional and held back the urge to chuckle. "Being sexually deprived can lead to all sorts of ugly side effects. I could start growing nose hairs, or something."
"Youre not sexually deprived. Youre sexually depraved." Still laughing, the bard dropped her hand to see if anybody was staring at her. Nobody was, but she left her hand down to keep an eye out.
"Being deprived leads to depravity. Its in one of my medical journals. I can prove it." Holding up a finger to emphasize her point, even though nobody was there to see it.
"Save it for the interns, Xena and I dont think there is anything in your journals saying that not having sex for a couple of days constitutes being deprived. Youre just spoiled." Rolling her eyes, she wound down the laugh to a chuckle.
"Im spoiled?" Looking rather astonished, she sat up. "Well if thats not the pot calling the kettle black, Ill pay for lying. It takes two to tango, sister, so watch who youre calling spoiled, or else Ill start listing off all the times Ive been told naked now, Xena."
"Oops." Having one of her personal mottos thrown up in her face, she winced. "Oh, my. Look at the time. Gotta go back to class now." Staring at her watch, she still had fifteen minutes left on her lunch break, but clicked the phone off with her thumb anyway.
"You just wait until the next time you wanna get naked, missy and Ill show you whos spoiled around here." Glaring at the phone, she turned it off and slid it back onto her waist band. Sliding sideways, she resumed her former position and closed her eyes. "Spoiled my ass." Leaning toward the miffed side, it took Xena longer than two seconds to fall asleep this time and she did it grumbling all the way.
After the five minute nap turned into a two hour lunch break, Xena was awakened by her assistant, who seemed to take pleasure in pointing out her abnormal tardiness, that he deemed as a sign that she might hold some resemblance to being human and there by fulfilled his daily need for living on the edge. But Jim survived the ramifications of his actions long enough to accompany the grumpy doctor on her rounds and only told people who cared that the mighty Dr. Grace Morgan wasnt superwoman and his continued survival was attributed to the warriors illness with the stipulation that paybacks are a bitch. Seeing his life flash before his eyes, Jim finally called it a day when the shift ended and he left with the security that his payback would be delayed until his boss felt better, which meant he had time to make out his will.
With the annoyance gone, the warrior finished up the required paperwork and then went down to the lab, leaving word at the nurses station to inform her wife of her whereabouts. Setting up the necessary items to do the blood work, she was still feeling crummy when a blonde head popped in the door to brighten her day. "Youre late."
Holding out a peace offering of saltine crackers, Gabrielle smiled. "Still mad at me for calling you spoiled?"
Xena rolled her eyes and nodded her in. "Get in here."
Peeking around the door, she didnt see any booby traps, so she slipped inside and closed the door. "Id ask you how your day went, but I heard all about it at the nurses station." Smiling bigger, she tossed the crackers on the counter.
"Hell get his." Dishing out a sideways glare, the warrior growled.
"Speaking of Jim, I thought you were going to get him to do the blood work?" Closing the distance between them, Gabrielle folded her arms across her chest.
"He begged his way out of it. Went on about Mary and Manny hanging him if he was the one who gave me bed rest and they had to take my cases." Sighing, she picked up a tray full of the things shed collected. "Have a seat."
Imaging what Jims face mustve looked like to talk Xena out of what she wanted, she saw a very pitiful looking doctor in her mind and walked to the end of the long room chuckling. Taking a seat, she rested her arms on the chair and looked up at her wife, who didnt look at all well. "Xena, maybe you should have Manny, or Mary look at you. I think youve got more than the flu wrong with you."
"I know. I look like shit, but I feel better than I look. Honest." Smiling, she set the tray on the table beside the chair. "Gimme your arm."
Extending her right arm, the bard took the warrior at her word and watched what she was doing. "Hows Fletcher?"
"Hell go home pretty soon. Weve got to make sure he doesnt have any infection first." Pulling up a stool, she sat down in front of the bard and picked up a rubber syringe. Wrapping it around Gabrielles upper arm, she tightened it and tied it off. "Hes lucky they got him to the hospital in time."
"Ummm." Nodding, Gabrielle rolled her right shoulder in anticipation of getting stuck and made a fist. Closing her eyes, she laid her head back. "Jims a good doctor."
"Jims a great doctor, but dont tell him I said so, or else he wont be able to get his head through the door." Holding the needle just above the vein, Xena slid it in slowly and untied the rubber syringe.
Wincing, she smiled through it. "Sounds like somebody I know."
"Youre a real thrill seeker, arent ya?" Keeping her eyes on the task at hand, Xena chuckled and reached for the test tube.
"I live with you, dont I?" Turning her head away, she scrunched up one side of her face.
"Wanna bullet?" Xena asked as the tube filled up with blood.
"Want me to smack you?" Fighting the urge to kick the warriors chair, she brought one foot up and winced when the needle was taken out.
"All done." Smiling, the warrior put a cotton ball over the hole and grabbed the bards hand to take the place of hers. "Hold that."
Opening her eyes, Gabrielle looked down at the cotton ball and relaxed her arm. "Youd think Id get used to this after being married to you for so long."
"Its not you, Gabrielle. Its the needle. You were fine until they were invented." Chuckling, she picked up a bandage and opened it. "And then they invented smiley faced Band-aids just for people like you. Remember these?" Showing off the little yellow faces, she smiled herself and put the bandage in place.
"Oooo. Just what I needed. Another reminder of how old I am." Unamused, she rolled her eyes. "Move and gimme that stool."
"Your wish is my command." Bowing dramatically, the warrior rolled the stool out of the way then got up. Side stepping her wife, she sat down in the chair and picked up the sample shed just drawn, plus a white label. "Can you check the oil too? I think Im running a quart low." Marking the label with a big G, she put the sample back on the tray and held out her arm.
"Youre gonna be running a lot more than a quart low, if you keep messing with me, Xena and you better hope I dont puke all over your arm." Scooting the stool up, the bard picked up the rubber syringe and snapped it.
Xena turned her head and flicked her eyebrows suggestively. "Youre so sexy when you do that."
Pulling the syringe taut, she threatened Xenas thigh with a good pop.
"Ill be good. Ill be good." Cringing, she crossed her legs.
"Ill believe it when I see it." Smiling suspiciously, she brought the rubber strip back to its normal size and wrapped it around the warriors arm. Pulling it tight again, she tied it off. "Now, refresh my memory. Which one of these goes in the arm and which one doesnt?" Picking up a needle and a tongue depressor, she gave both a worried stare.
"Do you think you could draw the blood before my arm drops? Its kind of hard being a surgeon with only one arm, ya know." Her turn to be unamused, the warrior leaned sideways and propped her head on her hand.
"Its easier than being a one armed paper hanger." Smiling she put the wooden stick back on the tray and pulled the cover off the syringe. Placing the tube in a more convenient spot, she got serious and got to work. "This is gonna sting."
"Just make sure you dont stick it through my arm." Smiling, she saw two green eyes look up at her. "Okay, Ill shut up." Sighing, she rolled her eyes up at the ceiling began counting the holes in the tile while she waited for the pinch.
Moving like someone who had far too much battlefield experience for her own good, Gabrielle had the tube filled before the warrior had time to wonder what happened. "Done." Picking up a cotton ball, she put it on Xenas arm and smiled smugly.
"What?" Frowning, Xena looked down at her arm and then at the second tube of blood on the tray. "I didnt feel a thing." Curling her arm around the cotton ball, she arched an eyebrow. "Damn, youre good. Wanna job?"
Shaking her head, Gabrielle rolled the stool back. "No, thanks. Ill stick to torturing teenagers with Greek history, if you dont mind. Theres an entertainment factor to it."
Chuckling, she stood and nodded. "Fair enough." Uncurling her arm, she checked the hole and tossed the cotton ball onto the tray. "You wanna stick around, or are you heading for your second favorite bed?"
"Do you think youll get anything done if I stick around?" Smiling confidently, she folded her arms across her chest, which is where someones baby blues went as soon as the question was asked. "Never mind."
"Rats. Foiled again." Snapping her fingers, the warrior grimaced at her missed opportunity then picked up the tray. "I guess its just me and the vermin."
"Ill be in your office." Getting up, she switched the confident smile to a sultry one. "Dont be too long."
Flicking her eyebrows she sauntered over to the blonde and leaned sideways, sliding the tray on the counter. "Wanna swap koodies?"
"I love it when you use that medical lingo." Flicking her own eyebrows, Gabrielle went up on her toes and kissed smiling lips.
"Ummm. Peanut butter koodies." Licking her lips, Xena tasted something else. "Cheese?"
"Cheese and peanut butter crackers." Chuckling, she leaned in for another kiss. "I ate a pack on the way over. I never got up the nerve to try my sandwich."
"PB and J bit the dust, huh? Imagine what happened to my tuna salad on rye." Feeling a tad less amorous and more like puking, she shook her head. "Go, before we kiss ourselves into another round with the porcelain god."
Gabrielle rubbed her stomach and nodded. "What a way to kill the mood." Sighing she looked up at the warrior and put a finger to the taller womans chest. "Find a cure and fix this."
Bringing her hand up for a salute, Xena stood straight. "Aye, aye, oh captain of my heart and who said I was spoiled?"
"I did, now get to work." Pushing with her finger, the bard extended her arm as her wife backed up. "Chop, chop."
"Such is the life of a doctor. Cure me, chop chop." Looking very pitiful, she turned around and was about to pick up the tray when her butt got grabbed. "Hey! You little hussy! Come here to me!"
"Hehehehe." Wiggling out of clinging hands, Gabrielle ran for the door, chuckling all the way outside.
"Snot nosed brat." Xena smiled and rubbed her behind. Turning back to the tray, she picked it up and gave the two tubes of blood a steely gaze. "Okay, you vermin. Youre ass is mine. Im gonna find ya, then Im gonna kill ya because nooooobody messes around with my lovelife and lives."
Out of harms way, the bard slowed down to a walk when she got outside and took a deep breath. Letting it out as a sigh, the excitement of the mad dash wore off as quickly as it had started and she stood for a long moment feeling more like someone with the flu, than someone with the hots for a tall supple brunette. Looking around, she was on familiar turf, though it seemed like she hadnt been there in centuries and decided to kill some time reacquainting herself with the locals, and possibly pick up some juicy gossip along the way. Turning right, she smiled at this new prospect and headed for the elevators.
While Gabrielle was making the rounds, Xena put on her Sherlock Holmes hat and went to work. Placing a portion of her blood in one machines, she turned on the monitor and punched up the menu. Typing in the personal information, she left the last name blank and put an x for the first name, then she filled in the rest of the information. Once that was done, the screen for selecting the tests availble came up and she bypassed the enourmous list to select all, then hit enter and away it went. While that was going on, she prepared a slide to see if she could find the vermin under the microscope. Tired, but determined, she looked through the twin eye pieces for anything out of the ordinary while her blood was electronically analyzed. Finding something suspicious, she used the camera on the scope to take a mug shot of the suspect and tore the results off the printer. Putting the paper on the counter unread, she set up Gabrielles sample, naming it G and went through the same proceedure of selecting every test availble then started the machine and left the lab, picture in hand to see if she could find the suspect in the medical library. Passing the bard like a ship in the night, she was in the library for a long time until she identified a rare virus that unsurprisingly came from a pollen indigenous to a certain part of Greece where a certain Palace just happened to be and only bloomed every twenty years.
"Typical." Finding irony in the situation, but very little amusement, she began looking up remedies to rid her and her partner of the nauseating mood killer. When that was done, she smiled at the simplicity of the cure and put the books back, then went back to the lab a much happier camper. Opening the door, she found a very territorial night technician glaring at her. "Oops. I thought your shift didnt start until seven oclock."
"Its 7:14 Grace." Not surprised at the identity of the culprit, Mitch folded his arms across his chest. "This is not a self serve lab, ya know. You got a number for all the stuff you used?"
"Bill it to my department." Rolling her eyes, she walked over to the printer and found it empty. "You got my printouts?"
Pointing to the counter, he indicated the small heap of supplies hed put together. "And next time you use the lab without permission, try to follow procedure. Leaving incorrectly labeled samples laying around my lab is against hospital policy."
Xenas eyes went for another spin and she sighed, but didnt argue. "I found what I was looking for, so Ill just get my things and get out of your way." Smiling at him, she turned her back to the irritation and picked through the pile. Separating the printouts, she left them on the counter while she made a dramatic show of discarding the samples properly, along with the used supplies and openly stole a couple of folders. "Have a nice night, Mitch."
"Bite me, Grace." Holding the door open for her, he slammed it when she was outside. "Bitch."
"Asshole." Snarling at the closed door, she made a mental note to check the bill when she got it and turned to leave. As the distance from the lab increased, so did happiness and she bypassed the elevators for the stairs, feeling almost giddy with the thought of being vermin free. Bouncing her way upward, she pulled the printouts from under her arm and began going through the top one, looking to see if the rare virus showed up as an anomaly of any kind, for future reference. Scanning the reports, she pulled a pen out of her smock pocket and stuck it in her mouth. Pulling on it, she shifted the cap to the side of her mouth and started circling all the red lettering, which indicated an abnormal reading, or a positive test result. Digesting the information with a doctors eyes, she was so absorbed in the report, that by the time she looked up to see what floor she was on, she had to go back down two flights of stairs to get to the one she wanted. Coming through the door, she tucked the first report in one of the folders and started all over again with the second. Finding very little to circle on that one, she frowned and flipped to the next page, and then the next which finally had some red ink on it. Stopping dead in her tracks, she brought the paper close to her face and stared at the positive test results in disbelief. For a brief second, she considered the possibility that Mitch had tampered with the sample to piss her off, then remembered hed rather cut off his hands than break a rule and found a wall to lean against. Dropping her hands, she looked around the empty corridor, then lowered her head to stare at the page from arms length. Even from that distance, she had no problem reading the printout and she shook her head while her mind began to fill with questions, the main one being whos results she was looking at. Closing her eyes, she raised the report, blindly flipping back to the first page and took a deep breath, willing up the nerve to look. Opening one eye, she found the single letter at the top of the page and closed the eye again. "Gods."
Opening the door quietly, Xena peeked her head inside her office and saw the bard on the couch all curled up underneath a blanket. Stepping in silently, she closed the door behind her and walked to her desk. Dropping the folders on the oak surface, she sighed and pulled off her smock, hanging it on a hat rack in the corner. Holding onto the material, she stared at the wall without seeing it for a minute, then heard some rustling behind her and turned around to see two sleepy green eyes open. Leaving the corner, she came back around the desk and knelt down in front of the couch. "Hey." Speaking softly, she reached out to stroke some of the mussed blonde hair, then leaned down, placing a kiss on Gabrielles cheek. "How ya feeling?" Tilting her head, she smiled at the unhappy expression on her wifes face.
Gabrielle frowned and rubbed her nose. Sniffing the itch away, she yawned and closed her eyes. "Fine." Taking her time coming back to the land of the conscious, she sighed and opened her eyes. "So what do we have? Asian flu? Typhoid? Malaria? Yellow fever? Anything that can be cured with a shot?"
"A shot isnt gonna cure this." Shaking her head, the warrior got up and retrieved one of the folders off the desk. Handing it over, she sat back on the floor in front of the desk and pulled her knees to her chest. "Read."
Confused and half asleep, the bard took the folder and sat up. Opening the cover, she rubbed her bleary eyes and blinked a couple of times to focus on the printout. Going over the results, her brow knitted and she frowned. "These are all normal."
"Keep going." Bringing her hand to her mouth, she chewed on her thumbnail as she watched.
Sighing heavily, Gabrielle blinked a couple more times and flipped the page over. Finding the same thing, she flipped over to the third page and scanned downward until her eyes came across the word positive in red letters. Arching an eyebrow, she moved her eyes to the left and found the test accompanying the result. Slowly her eyes opened wide and all the cobwebs went up in flames. "What . . . how . . . no. Theres no way. This isnt possible. This is a mistake." Searching the page for who the result belonged to, she flipped back to the front and found the answer. "Oh, no. There is no way this is right." Looking up, she shook her head. "This isnt right, Xena. That machine screwed up somewhere. It has to be wrong. I never . . . I wouldnt do that to you, Xena. Never. I love you, you know that."
"I know you love me, Gabrielle and thats why I had Mitch run the test again. In case I screwed it up somehow and in fact I had him run it three more times, and all the results came out the same." Sighing, she shrugged and held out her hands. "Youre definitely pregnant, Gabrielle."
Groaning, she slumped back on the couch and stared at her wife. "Xena, how could this happen? I havent been unfaithful to you and you know it. These results cant be right." Closing the folder, she tossed it aside.
Lowering her gaze, Xena chewed her nail again. "Ive been thinking about that and there is a possibility, but youre not going to like it."
"What?" Pulling the blanket over her, the bard curled up underneath it.
"Dahok." Lifting her eyes, she stared at the bard intently. "He did it before."
"No, Xena." Clenching her jaw, she shook her head. "Ive been down that road before and Id know if hed touched me. If Im pregnant, this is not his baby."
Rubbing her bottom lip with her thumb, the warrior nodded. "Okay." Whispering, she took a deep breath and sighed. "Then whos baby is it?" Lifting her eyebrows, her eyes shifted when T popped into the room and then frowned at her presence. "What are you doing here?"
Leaning against the door, T had her arms folded across her chest and a smile on her face. "I came to shed some light on the parentage of the baby."
Turning her head, Gabrielles eyes opened wide. "You knew I was pregnant and didnt say anything?"
Holding up a hand, the god pushed off the door. "Before you fly off the handle, let me explain."
"T, what did you do and tell me Ares wasnt involved in anyway." Growling, Xena got to her feet quickly.
"Ares?" The bards jaw dropped open and she looked ready to faint. "Oh, gods. Im having Ares baby. I didnt want one that bad, I swear I didnt."
Flipping her hand over a couple of times, T stared at it and sighed at its ineffectiveness to stop the onslaught of speculation. Then she threw it up in the air and sighed again. "Ares is not the father of your child, Gabrielle and I didnt know which one of you was pregnant until Xena got the test results. Now can we whoa here, so I can have the chance to explain?"
"Ares isnt the father?" Giving her friend a suspicious glare, the warrior stepped over to the couch.
"No, you nincompoop. You are!" Throwing both hands in the air this time, the god gritted her teeth. "Now sit down, before I have to gag you. Geez Louise!"
"I am?" Xena asked and stayed upright until a firm shove sent her backwards, at which time she plopped down next to her wife and shared the same stunned expression as the bard.
"Yes. This baby belongs to you and Gabrielle and nobody else. It is not the product of an evil liaison, or a midnight assignation with Ares disguised as Xena. Okay?" Putting her hands on her hips, T waited for another interruption, but didnt get one, so she stepped back to the desk and leaned up against it. "Thank you." Taking a deep breath, she folded her arms across her chest and sighed. "This baby is yours alone, although its conception did have a little help from yours truly."
"You got me pregnant?" Still wandering around in the dark, Gabrielle frowned.
"Dont you get off that couch." Pointing a warning finger at the warrior, who was halfway off the couch, she growled. "Sit." Waiting for her friend to retake her seat. "I did have a hand in your getting pregnant, but it all revolved around getting your souls to merge and had nothing to do with any physical contact, so you can just stop looking at me with those jealous eyeballs Xena, and you should know better than that."
Grumbling under her breath, the warrior softened her glare, but didnt take her eyes off of T.
Rolling her eyes, T shook her head. "Why I thought this would be easy, is beyond me."
"Moving right along." Xena urged in a not to friendly tone.
"Alright. This really isnt that complicated." Taking a deep breath, she folded her arms again. "You and Gabrielle both came to me and asked what I thought about you two having a baby, and after I thought about it, I did a little soul searching. Yours of course and what I saw was nothing but a deep seated love and a desire to share that love, so I gave you a little help in making your wish come true."
"What did you do?" Frowning out of curiosity, Gabrielle asked the question calmly.
"First off, let me explain something. When two people share a love like yours, when they express that love physically, their souls touch at the height of passion." Lifting her hands, she brought them together, making the tips of her fingers meet. "Now, if you were male and female, this would help create a life in the normal way, but since youre not, your souls stay separated and nobody gets pregnant." Pulling her hands apart, she spaced them out, as she did that night and continued. "What happened a couple of weeks ago, was when your souls touched, I simply pushed them together, breaking the boundary of creation."
"You made the baby." Sounding disappointed, the warrior watched Ts hands get closer together.
"No, Xena. I didnt." Smiling, T lowered her hands. "This baby is all yours and all I did was hold your souls together long enough for a new one to create itself. Then I let it go and told it to go to Mom. I had no hand in who got pregnant and the only thing I can tell you about your baby is that he, or she will have the most beautiful eyes, and may give Gabriels dimples a run for their money."
"Its all ours? Really? Just mine and Gabrielles?" Smiling, Xena sat forward. "Were having our baby?"
"Would TPTB be sending me nastygrams if it werent?" Chuckling, the god nodded.
"Our baby." Her voice a hushed whisper, the bard had tears rolling down her cheeks and a smile on her face.
"Yes, Gabrielle." Smiling brighter, T pushed off the desk and walked over. "Congratulations." Leaning down, she kissed the bards forehead, then put a finger under a wet chin, lifting green eyes to meet hers. "May your wish bring you nothing but joy."
Dropping the blanket, Gabrielle wrapped her arms around Ts neck and hugged her tight. "Thank you."
Wrapping her arms around the shoulders of her friend, the god stood up, bringing the smaller woman with her and hugged her back. "You two have earned this one."
Jumping to her feet, Xena began hopping around the room. "Were gonna have a baby! Were gonna have a baby! Were gonna have a baby!"
T released the bard, turning in the embrace to laugh at the court jester. "Xena, dont you think you should be hugging your wife, instead of me?"
"Oh! Yea! Gimme, gimme, gimme." Nodding, the warrior stepped up to take Ts place then covered her mouth and stepped back. "I cant kiss you. Ive got koodies. It might hurt the baby." Mumbling through her fingers with her eyes open wide, she shook her head.
Sighing, Gabrielle dropped her open arms. "T, would it be too much to ask?"
"My pleasure and if you need anything before you come back, call me." Giving Gabrielle another kiss on the forehead, she turned and slapped the warriors head then popped out.
"OW. What the hell was that for?" Holding her stinging head, she looked around for the assailant, then back at her wife. "Why did she hit me?"
Gabrielle chuckled and stepped to the warrior. Wrapping one hand around a tanned neck, she pulled a pair of frowning lips toward her smile. "So I could do this." Closing her eyes, she pressed their lips together and felt some resistance, but held on until two arms took her into their embrace.
Ignoring her developing headache, Xena forgot everything that remotely resembled anything unhappy and slid into a state of blissful warmth that started from her soul, and worked its way out to encompass her entire being. Wrapped up in the arms of the woman she loved, who was carrying their child, the warrior melted into the love she was being given and returned it ten times over.
Stretched out on the bed, Gabrielle had one hand tucked behind her head and the other stroking long dark hair. Smiling, she watched Xena stare at her stomach with a look of wonder. "How long do you think we have before were gonna have to explain this to our parents?"
Resting her chin on her hands, the warrior smiled and tilted her head, watching the bards middle go up and down as she breathed. "You dont blow up like I do, so Id say weve got at least a month, maybe two." Turning her head, she smiled at her wife. "Are you worried about how theyll take it?"
"Its not that." Closing her eyes, she sighed. "Xena, I dont want them thinking this baby doesnt belong to you."
Raising up on her elbows, she crawled up to lay on her side beside the bard. "Gabrielle, all that matters is that we know who it belongs to." Rubbing the back of her hand against a warm cheek, she smiled when two green eyes opened. "And if this baby is anything like its Mom, our parents will lose their hearts the second they set eyes on it, just like I lost mine the second I saw you." Flicking her eyebrows, she bent her head, placing a soft kiss on Gabrielles lips.
Enjoying the kiss, Gabrielle had a smirk on her face when it was over. "Nice try. You did not fall in love with me the second you saw me, Xena. You spent the first month we were together trying to send me home."
Xena rolled her eyes slowly and bit her lip. "I was in love with you, I just didnt want you to be in any danger."
"Liar. I talked too much and annoyed the hell out of you, didnt I?" As a tanned face turned to hide her smile, the bard cupped the warriors chin and the blue eyes turned back. "Xena?"
"Weeeeellllll. Okay." Nodding, she closed her eyes and sighed. "Maybe I thought you talked too much back then and maybe I did find you a little annoying at times, but I was still in my dark phase, Gabrielle. Everything annoyed me back then." Opening her eyes, she saw the same smirk and sighed again. "Im being honest here. Why are you looking at me like that?"
"Because after more than two thousand years, you still cant look at me when youre confessing. Its cute." Flicking her eyebrows, she lifted her head to kiss her wife before the pout set in.
Instead of pouting, the warrior arched an eyebrow. "Cute? I dont do cute, Gabrielle. I do dangerous and feral," matching her expressions to her different moods, "cocky, sexy, indignant, bored, happy and pissed, but I do not do cute."
"You left out the pout. Do it again." Chuckling softly, she pushed her head into the pillow so she could get a better view.
"Okay, here we go. Dangerous, feral, cocky, sexy, indignant, bored, happy, pissed and unhappy." Ending with her bottom lip stuck out in a serious pout, it didnt last long and the laughter from the bard became infectious.
"Do it again." Eyes sparkling, Gabrielle poked her in the chest. "Do it again."
Running the gambit of expressions one more time, Xena halted any more encores, by silencing the audience with a long kiss.
"Ummmm. That was nice." Getting a strange look, the bard tilted her head. "Whats that face?"
"Contented and happy beyond my wildest dreams." Giving her wife a crooked smile, the warrior was truly happy and contented to stare into a sea of green she loved so much. Then she broke the spell with a soft sigh.
"Whats the matter?" Caught up in the mesmerizing gaze, Gabrielle came out of the warmth of it slowly.
"I was just thinking. We cant name the baby after us. T used them on Gabriel." Sighing again, she changed the crooked smile into a sad one.
"Hmmmm. Gabriel Xenos Ares Tiger Emperor Born of Love." Thinking about it, the bard had to agree. "That kind of sucks, unless we get a girl. Then we could still name her Xena and the world would get another daring duo to deal with."
Losing what little smile she had left, Xena shook her head. "It cant handle the one its got now and think about what youre saying. Do you want to tempt fate and name a daughter after me? Have you forgotten all those horror stories Cyrene told you?"
"Ooooo." Cringing, she nodded. "I did forget. Sorry, honey. No little Xena for us."
"I thought so." Chuckling, she smiled smugly. "And were not tempting fate with getting a little chatter box with wander lust, either, sweetheart."
On the verge of being insulted, Gabrielle relaxed. "Touche. So what are we going to do? Pray for a boy and name him George?"
"We could repay the favor and name it Tiger. That would drive T nuts." Flicking her eyebrows, she snickered. "Little T?"
"Heeeeey. Thats not a bad idea." Nodding slowly, her body jerked when a bolt of lightning crashed outside the window. "Were kidding!"
"And stop spying on us!" Turning her head, Xena glared out the window and heard a deep chuckle echo around the room. "I heard that!"
As the chuckle faded, it was replaced by the bards and she closed her eyes. "What did I do to deserve you two?"
"Snot nosed brat." Grumbling, the warrior gave the room a visual sweep, then settled down somewhat.
Rolling her eyes inside the lids, Gabrielle sighed, then opened her eyes to shake her head at her paranoid wife. "She is the only person who can get to you like that. Not even Ares gets under your skin like T does. Why is it that you two would gladly die for the other, but you cant go five minutes without trying to drive each other crazy? Is it a brunette thing, or a hormonal imbalance?"
"Whats your point here, Gabrielle?" Giving indignant another whirl, she stared down at twinkling green eyes with unamused blue and an arched eyebrow to boot.
"If I didnt know better, Id say that you two were twins separated at birth, destined to drive each other insane and drag me along with you." Making her point quite clear, she stared back just as indignantly.
"Oh, dont you give that Im the only adult in the room look." Waggling a finger at it, Gabrielle shook her head. "Im not the one who used to beat the crap out of T and yelling gimmie gimmie everytime she pretended to have something in her hand she didnt want you to see. That was all you." Shes turned you into a blonde hornets nest more than once."
"But Im not paranoid." Coming right back.
"Nooooo, youre not paranoid. Youre ticklish." Ending the conversation abruptly, Xena began wiggling her fingers over Gabrielles ribs.
"No!" Kicking her feet, the bard was laughing uncontrollably and trying to fight off the warrior, and breathe all at the same time. "Stop it! Stopitstopitstopit! Xena! Im going to pee my pants! Xena!"
"Ha!" Sitting up, she smiled down at the ball of human suffering. "Take them apples."
Catching her breath, Gabrielle panted and then lunged for the end of the bed and a pair of tanned bare feet. "Gotcha!" Wrapping an arm around Xenas ankle like a head lock, she trapped one foot and began running her fingers lightly over the bottom.
"Noooooo. Get off me! Hahahahaha. That tickles! Hahahahahahaha. Stop it!" Grabbing her wife around the waist, she pulled her back in hopes of making her let go, but ended up on her back with the bard on top of her and her foot still twitching. Seeing no end to her torture, Xena acted quickly and began tickling back. Holding Gabrielle in place with one arm, she found exposed skin and went after it with a vengeance, laughing her head off all the while.
Both struggling in the battle of nimble fingers, they rolled around the bed, each trying to get away from the other and still maintain the hold. Laughing and yelling, the eternal couple got tangled like a game of twister gone terribly wrong and still wouldnt let go without a clear cut victor, but eventually they had to cease and desist when their mortal bodies gave way to exhaustion and a desperate need for oxygen. Falling apart, they both lay stretched out and panting heavily.
"What were we talking about again?" Staring up at the ceiling, Xenas eyes were glazed from the exertion.
"I . . . think . . . we . . . were trying to pick out a name for the baby. I think." Flat on her stomach, Gabrielle was staring at Xenas foot.
"Oh. How about Horatio?" Suffering from oxygen deprivation, the warrior thought that was a reasonable suggestion.
"Montague. Monty Morgan." Suffering the same fate, she in turn giggled at her creation.
Lifting her head, she frowned at blonde head by her foot. "Greg."
"Too many of those already. Joseph." Tilting her head, she looked down a long body to see the eyes looking at her.
Laying her head back, Xena shook it. "Got one of those. Stewart."
"Second cousin on my mothers side. Hes an idiot. Drake."
"Too British. Collin."
"Collin Morgan sounds like a drink. Charles."
"No Chucks. Steven."
"Too international. Paul."
"Too plain. Nicholas."
Xena hesitated then lifted her head again. "Santa Claus?"
"The Great? Putz. Timothy."
"Sounds like Jim. Trent."
"Too preppy. Fergus."
"Sounds like fungus. Kyle."
"My bully cousin? Wrong answer." Shaking her head, Gabrielle tried something else. "Patrick."
"The Saint? You are stretching it. Francis."
"La Gree. Peter."
"Im not going there. Hercules. Ow. Harold"
"Harry Morgan? Wasnt he on M*A*S*H?"
"Larry, Harry. Same thing. Louis."
"Huey, Louie and Dewy. Heath."
"Candy bar. Jake."
"The Snake. Justin."
"Cajun chef. Isaac."
"An apple fell on his head. Nelson."
"No last names. Wayne."
"Howdy partner. Thomas."
"Doubting, or peeping? Zeus."
"Gods. We have to have a girl."
Epilogue: What could top a boy named Zeus, except a boy named Sue and I wont even go there.
Thanks for reading.