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 refers 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: 3. Plan D #29.
Note: I do not personally recommend racing grocery carts in the frozen foods section of your favorite grocery store.
Please send any comments to email@example.com
Enjoy, I hope.
Written by FlyBigD
Xena and Gabrielle lay side by side in their bed staring up at the ceiling. Wide awake, though the sun hadnt come up yet, they were silently formulating individual plans for the death and destruction of the Ungaran construction crew building the addition to their home. Or to put it more simply, they were dreaming up ways to kill the noisy people with noisy tools doing noisy things to their house and the reason they were silently formulating their plans was because it was too noisy to talk to each other.
Having had enough at about the same time, the girls sat up, with Gabrielle getting some help from Xena and they got out of bed to carry out their plans when the noise stopped. Exchanging as confused expression in the darkness, they donned their robes anyway and downstairs with curious intentions instead of lethal ones. Walking into the light of a dozen or so work lights, they shielded their eyes the closer they got to the French doors. Two sleepy faces stared out the windows, another confused glance was exchanged when it appeared that the work had not been halted and that they had gone deaf simultaneously.
"Xena?" Gabrielle whispered to test her eardrums.
"Hold on." Growling under her breath, the warrior opened the door and the noise came back in full force. Closing it again, she rolled her eyes and turned around when a chuckle sounded from behind her. "I should have known." Glaring at T, who was sitting on the couch, she put her hands on her hips. "Why didnt you do that before we got up?"
"I wanted to kill the mood before I brought my impressionable children into the house." Smiling, T pointed to the other two people in the room who had been passed by unnoticed.
A smile breaking her scowl immediately, Xena spotted Gabriel and Bud on a quilt in front of the fireplace. "Hey, you."
The bard turned around as well and smiled. "Its my boys." Clapping her hands, she squatted down and opened her arms. "Come here, Bud."
Hopping up, Bud walked over into a huge hug from his favorite blonde.
"Gabrielle, look." Tapping her wife on the shoulder, the warrior squatted down and held out her arms as Gabriel tried to crawl over. "Come here, big boy."
"Hes crawling." She said quietly and watched with a growing smile. "Sort of."
Showing off his dimples, Gabriel made more backward progression than forward, then he flopped down on his tummy and held out his arms.
Bud came to his little brothers aide and walked back. Picking Gabriel up by the straps of his little overalls with his teeth, he carried him over to Xenas waiting arms.
"Hi, there." Enveloping the baby in a hug, the warrior put kisses all over his neck. "Ummm. Mine. Mine. Mine."
T watched all this from the couch and shook her head. "I could get away with burning your house down as long as I brought them with me."
"Pretty much." Gabrielle agreed and gave her namesake a kiss on the head. Standing, she walked over to the couch, plopping down beside the god and scratched Buds head when he laid it in her lap.
Right behind her wife, Xena sat down on the other side of T with Gabriel. "So, are you going to stay all day or are we getting Ares later?"
"Ares is already here." The bard spoke up. "Hes outside with the crew."
"Rats." Groaning, the warrior sat the baby in her lap. "Just when you thought it was safe to get out of bed."
"Sorry, Xena. Its a package deal." T said sympathetically. "You get one of my guys, you get them all."
Xena rolled her eyes, then looked down at Gabriel. "Hey. I know a good surgeon. I can have him removed." She offered the baby, who pouted at her. "Or not." She said quickly to get the smile back.
"He likes his Daddy, huh?" Gabrielle chuckled.
"Oh, yea." Smiling at her son, the god tickled him under the chin, getting a giggle for her effort.
"To each his own." Grumbling under her breath, the warrior sighed. "So, you want to tell me why the crew is here on Saturday? Dont you give those people days off?"
"They volunteered. I think it has something to do with your cookies." The god said knowingly and watched Xenas face fall.
"Pardon?" Arching an eyebrow, the bard leaned forward to give her wife a curious stare.
"Blabber mouth." Xena mumbled, elbowing T in the ribs.
"Xena gave them cookies the other day." T explained with a chuckle. "I think the crew is smitten."
"Oh, really? Those wouldnt have been the cookies I baked for my classes, would they?" Leaning forward a little more, she tried to catch her wifes eye.
Xena winced and turned her head to look away. "It was raining and cold. I felt sorry for them out there." She said in her own defense and gave T another jab to the ribs. "She made the hot chocolate."
Eyes wide when a green glare turned her way, the god smiled innocently. "It was instant. All I did was pour the hot water. She opened the packets."
"I see." Gabrielle narrowed her eyes to slits. "So, you two are going to bake some more cookies to replace the ones you gave away, right?"
Two brunettes slumped their shoulders in unison.
"Cant I just pop some in?" T asked hopefully.
"Yea." Xena perked up, then slumped again when she saw Gabrielle shake her head. "No?"
"Oh, no. I spent hours in that kitchen baking and you two are going to do the same." Smiling wickedly, the bard waggled a finger at the two guilty parties. "As a matter of fact. As soon as the grocery store opens, youre going to get started. Ill give you the list of ingredients and you can make double the batches, so the crew can have some, too."
"Isnt that going to be too much to carry on motorcycles?" The warrior asked, grasping at straws. "It might be dangerous."
"You can take the truck. T can drive." Sitting back, Gabrielle propped her feet up on the coffee table. "End of discussion."
Snarling, T turned to the warrior. "I told you to let me pop some in for them."
"Shut up. You ate more than anybody else."
"Why do we need three kinds of sugar?" T asked picking two boxes of dark brown sugar, then two boxes of powered sugar.
"Who do I look like, Julia Child?" Shrugging, Xena picked up two five pound bags of granulated white. "I dont know. Just put them in the buggy." Dropping her own load, she checked the list. "Oh, look. Three kinds of chocolate chips. What is this? Three for the price of one recipe, or something?"
"Gods. Where are they?" Looking around, the god took hold of the buggy and started down the aisle. "There they are." Spying bags of chocolate chips, she stopped when she got to them. "What kind and how many?"
"Milk chocolate. Semi-sweet and white." Groaning, Xena glanced at the bags. "How many are there in each bag?"
Bending over, T poked one of the bags with her finger. "A lot."
"Ounces, T. Not chips." Rolling her eyes, the warrior smacked her friend in the back of the head with the note pad. "We need three twelve ounce bags of each."
"Okay, okay." With a sigh, the god began picking up bags of varying types of chocolate chips and handing them back to Xena. "Three milk chocolate. Three semi-sweet and three white chocolate." Straightening with another sigh, she cracked her neck. "Now what?"
"Coconut." As Xena marked off the chocolate chips, the pen scratched across the paper when she got smacked in the back of the head. "Hey. What was that for?"
"We passed the coconut two aisles ago." Holding her arms out, T gave Xena a where were you look. "Where were you?"
"We hadnt gotten that far down the list." Hands on hips, Xena scowled.
"Youre reading it item by item?" The god asked astounded. "I thought you were calling them off in the order they were in the store. Good night, Xena. You do that and well be circling this place all day!"
"I dont know where stuff is in this store. Ive never been here before." Waving the list in Ts face, the warrior poked her in the forehead with the other. "Youre supposed to be the omnipotent one, not me."
Slapping the warriors hand away, T poked her back between the eyes. "Fine. Give me the list and Ill pop everything into the cart."
Xena stepped back, holding the list protectively. "You cant. You promised Gabrielle not to use your powers to make the cookies."
"I never promised to not use my powers to buy the groceries, now give me the list." Holding out her hand, she wiggled her fingers. "Give it and lets get out of here."
"No." Shaking her head, she took another step back. "You pick up the items and I hold the list."
Her patience waning, T took a step forward. "Xena, give me the list. Im tired and I want to get this over with."
"Nope." She said with a smile and tore the list out of the pad, balling it up in her fist.
"Thats it." Growling, the god lunged for the warrior, grabbing Xena in a head lock. "Give me the list."
"No! Get off me." Xena yelled, kicking Ts well muscled calf and they both went down when Ts leg went out from under her. Grappling on the floor, Xena waved the hand with the list around madly to keep it out of Ts reach. "The list is mine."
"Give it here!" T growled louder and used her heavier body weight to keep the warrior pinned to the ground, but still couldnt get her hands on the list. "Xena! Give it here!"
"No!" Laughing wickedly, the warrior shoved the list down the front of her pants and wiggled out from under the god. "Ha!"
Getting slowly to her feet, T eyed her friend. "What did you do with the list."
Xena patted the front of her crotch, smiling smugly, then folded her arms across her chest. "Now what ya gonna do?"
Tiger eyes narrowing to slits, the god took two steps forward to stand directly in front of Xena. "What makes you think I wont go in there after it?"
"Ha!" She said again. "You wouldnt dare because thats not your turf, so to speak. You dont do women."
A mischievous smile on their face, T nodded. "True, Xena, but putting my preference for the male gender aside, just exactly how popular in the lesbian community do you think Id be with these?" Holding up her hand as she asked, she spread her fingers, claws extended.
Staring dead eye at long slender fingers and one inch sharp pointy claws, Xena imagined them going into sensitive places and gulped as she crossed her legs unconsciously. "Ummm. Not very."
"Precisely." Nodding again, the god kept her hand up for the warrior to see. "Now, unless you give me that list, youre going to be putting some Band-aids in some very uncomfortable places and I just cant wait to hear how you explain them to Gabrielle."
Xena screwed up her mouth, twisting it from side to side for a moment, then she slid her hand down in her pants and produced the list. "Here."
"Thank you." T said somewhat graciously and retracted her claws, changing them back to human finger nails as she took the list. "Now, where were we?"
"Grace?" Jim called out from the other end of the aisle.
"Whaaaat?" Xena snapped and whipped around. "What do you two want?"
"Gee, here I thought you might be nice outside the hospital." Chuckling he rolled his cart to where she was.
"Ummm. Our mistake." Mary said sadly, walking beside him.
"Gods." Rolling her eyes, the warrior sighed. "Hi. How are you? Im fine. Go away."
Spying the woman with her boss, Mary gave Jim a curious look and whispered. "Is that her sister?"
"Oh, dont even go there." Xena grumbled, shaking her head. "If she were my sister, Id shoot my parents then myself."
T looked up from the list at the couple and smiled. "Im a friend."
"A friend?" Nodding, Mary smiled, extending her hand to the friend. "Im Mary and I didnt know Grace had any friends."
"Right now, I wish I didnt." Folding her arms across her chest with a huff, the warrior grudgingly made the introductions. "T, this is Mary and you already met Jim. Mary, this is T, the brat."
Taking the hand offered, the god shook it then shook Jims hand. "Its nice seeing you again."
"Same here." Jim smiled back.
Now Mary gave T more interest and the once over. "You already met?" She asked innocently.
"At the hospital about a year ago, I think." He nodded. "I cant remember the day, but Ill never forget those biceps."
Leaning back, Xena whispered in Ts ear. "Watch out. Shes the jealous type and a gossip monger."
Ts smile broadened and she stepped a little closer to Xena, putting her hand on the warriors butt and leaving it there.
The warrior closed her eyes, dropping her head. "Gabrielle is gonna kill you, T."
Ignoring the hushed comment, the god sighed. "So, I guess it would be pretty obvious what brought you two out. Were baking cookies."
"Cookies." Truly surprised, Jim nodded, then shook his head. "Cookies?"
"Its a new fad Im trying to get Grace into." T nodded and gave Xenas butt a pat. "You know. Soften up those rough edges."
"Really?" Nodding like everybody else, Mary turned to stare wide eyed at Jim. "How . . . how . . . energetic of you? Thats some job youve set for yourself."
"I know Ive got my work cut out for me, but I think its worth it." Another pat and T caught Xena biting her lip out of the corner of her eye. "Maybe Ill rub her. Oh, I mean rub off on her."
Xena had her eyes squeezed shut with the effort of not breaking into hysterical laughter.
"Well, it was nice meeting you, Mary and nice seeing you again, Jim. Maybe Ill catch you around the hospital sometime." Batting her eyelashes, T put on her most sultry smile for Marys sake.
"Maybe." On to the display, Jim was having a hard time not laughing as well.
"Come along, Grace. We have to finish with the groceries so I can get you into that cute apron." One hand still on the warriors butt, T waved with the other, then pushed the buggy past the gawking Mary.
Once they were around the corner and out of sight, Xena finally broke down and had to hang onto T to keep from collapsing to the floor. "Oh, my gods. Oh, my gods. Shes a great surgeon, but shes so gullible. That was great."
"All in a days work." Dusting off her hands, the god chuckled and helped the warrior down the next aisle. "Flour. Where is the flour."
Standing in the living room with his son in his arms, Ares jaw dropped open and he stammered out a few meaningless syllables before he said anything intelligible. "You what?" He asked staring at the bard as if she had seven heads with a whole brain among them.
"I sent them to the grocery store to get ingredients for baking cookies." Gabrielle repeated and stared back at him. "Whats the problem?"
"Whats the problem, she asks? Gods above." Getting weak in the knees, the God of War sat down on the arm of a chair, clutching Gabriel. "You sent them out alone, Gabrielle. A-l-o-n-e. Without adult supervision. You know what theyre like when theyre together. How could you do that?"
"Ares, calm down." The bard rolled her eyes. Smiling she sat down on the coffee table. "They just went to the grocery store. How much trouble can they get into there?"
"Has pregnancy sucked every memory out of your head? These are the two women who nearly burned Athens to the ground with a food fight. Need I say more?" Eyes very wide, he tried to emphasize his point.
"Youre over reacting and that was a long time ago." She waved away his worries. "They dont need adult supervision every minute of the day. Theyre two grown women. They arent that bad anymore."
"Oh, oh, I see." Nodding he stood, handing his son to the bard so he could put his hands on his hips. "So, what youre trying to tell me is that the exact same two women who two thousand years ago you wouldnt have left alone for five minutes together without expecting to find mayhem when you got back are now the pillars of mature behavior? And in the last say . . . year and a half, youve never had to tell them to leave each other alone? Youve never threatened them with dont make me come in there? And, of course, my personal favorite. If you two dont stop it, Im going to beat your brains in." Clasping his hands over his chest, he looked at her sadly. "That wasnt you?"
"Okay. Okay." Sighing heavily, she shook her head. "I admit it. Sometimes I do have to play referee to Xena and T, but they dont pick on each other when theyre on a mission. Now, theyre on a mission and theyll play nice." She said with a confident smile.
Ares slapped his forehead, then ran his hand down his face. "You have gone brain dead, havent you? They were on a mission in Athens, Gabrielle." Groaning, he hung his head. "Never mind. Ill go find them and maybe if I hurry, I wont need any bail money."
"Ares, wait." Standing quickly, Gabrielle grabbed his wrist when he waved it to pop out.
A woeful expression on his face, the God of War looked at her hand, then at her face. "Gabrielle, Id like to get there before the mother of my child ends up with a police record."
"I know, but Im better at talking them out of trouble." She said, releasing his wrist. "If youre that worried, send me. I sent them off in the first place and besides, theyd just ignore you."
His eyes shifted back and forth a couple of times while he decided if he should be insulted or not, then he shrugged. "You going to take him?" He asked, pointing to his son.
"No." She said, handing Gabriel back to Ares. "Let me put on some shoes and Ill be ready."
"Hurry. I think I hear sirens."
Xena growled as she rode her careening buggy down the frozen foods aisle. Half a length behind T, she kicked with one foot, trying to pick up speed so she could ram her opponents cart. "Come here, you weenie."
A maniacal laugh echoing off the glass door whizzing by, T swerved around a pie display to get to the other side of the aisle. "Cheaters never prosper." She said and stuck out her tongue.
"Snot nosed brat! Come here and say that." Kicking faster, she caught the god as they approached the end of the aisle and threw a bag of milk chocolate chips at her friend.
T caught it in mid air, throwing it back as she came to a screeching halt and spun the buggy around for the return trip. Taking off at a run, she jumped on the cart with another laugh.
Scowling, the warrior made her turn wider to get on the same side of the aisle, pushing her buggy at top speed she didnt jump on, but kept running until she rammed T in the back of the legs. "Ha! Gotcha!"
The god growled and kicked back with her foot. "Get off me, you heathen."
Another ram and Xena fell head first into her buggy when T kicked it backwards with her foot, stopping it cold. "Whoa!" Legs kicking in the air, she nearly tipped the cart over as she tried to get out. "Interference! No pushing!" Wiggling her way out, she straightened her hair.
"You pushed me first, you little weenie!" T shouted back. Stopping her cart, she spun it around and headed back down the aisle. "You rammed me."
When the buggy came within range, the warrior shoved hers into it. "Who you calling a weenie, brat and what was that changing sides thing?"
"Same aisle, same race." Giving a shove back, the god poked the air with her finger. "You didnt say I couldnt change sides."
Their buggies nose to nose, Xena pulled hers back. "Two laps and no changing sides." Spinning her cart around, the warrior headed for the end of the aisle and the starting line.
"Youre on and no ramming." A few more pokes of the air and T followed.
Slapping and shoving each other as they went, the two brunettes turned around when they got to the end and lined up, staring brown and blue daggers.
"You ready?" Xena asked, gripping the handle of her cart.
"Ready, weenie." T answered back, eyes turning to focus on the aisle.
"Brat. Ready. Set. Go!" Off like a shot, the warrior let out a battle cry. "Ayiayiayiayiayi."
Right beside her friend, the god was at a full run in a matter of strides. "That wont help you now." Another laugh and she took an inch lead.
"Oh, no you dont." Rules quickly forgotten, Xena swerved her cart into Ts and laughed. "How do you like them apples?"
Never one to pass up a good shove, T used her body instead of her buggy, jamming Xena into the glass doors. "Caramel coated and thanks for asking."
Stuck for only an instant, the warrior was off again. "Im gonna caramel coat your butt when I catch you."
Ares popped Gabrielle into the womens restroom and when the bard came out, she didnt have to search to find the pair. The unmistakable war cry coming from the far side of the store, she strolled casually towards frozen foods, grumbling under her breath.
Down the aisle in a flash, Xena and T made the wide turn for the second half of the first lap, and were half way back to the starting line when the god pulled up short.
"Xena, stop!" She shouted a whisper.
"What?" Slowing down, the warrior turned around to find out what the hold up was.
"Come on, we gotta get out of here." Waving her friend to follow, T turned her buggy around and began pushing it in the other direction.
"What is it? The manager?" Looking around, Xena jogged to catch up with her friend.
"Worse." She said and glanced over her shoulder. "Gabrielle."
"Oh, shit." Doing the same, the warrior stared down the aisle, but didnt see her wife yet, though she intended to take no chances. "Hurry up. Dump your stuff in my buggy."
T popped the items over with a snap, then began whistling as she casually walked beside Xena out of the frozen foods. "Head for aisle six."
"Gotcha." Nodding, Xena looked around like she was interested in the display they were passing. "What did you do with the list?"
One aisle over from the frozen foods, Gabrielle spotted the pair trying to make their get away and doubled back. "Oh, no you dont." Paralleling their progress, she watched them closely and ran into somebody. "Oh, sorry." Trying to stay up with the cohorts, she was held back by a hand on her arm. Looking up, she glared, then smiled. "Jim."
"Hi, Faith. Fancy meeting you here." Smiling back, he let go of her arm.
"What an unexpected surprise." Mary said and cleared her throat. Glancing at her boyfriend, she smiled. "We were just talking about you."
"Really?" Surprised herself, the bard cocked her head to the side. "And what brought me up?"
Jim ignored the look he was getting from Mary. "The baby. We were wondering how you were doing?"
Mary rolled her eyes.
"Were doing fine." Gabrielle smiled and rubbed her tummy. "Im thinking about buying one of the floor mirrors like they have in shoe stores so I dont forget what my feet look like."
"Oh, youre not that big." Shaking her head, Mary chuckled. "And you look radiant."
"Yes," Jim agreed, "I think motherhood is definitely agreeing with you, Faith."
"Thanks." A little blushed, the bard winked at him.
"Speaking of new additions." Mary smiled. "How is the house coming along? Grace tells us the workers start at ungodly hours, but I think shes using it as an excuse to be grumpy."
Jim rolled his eyes, turning to look at her. "Since when does Grace need an excuse to be grumpy? If she came in nice, we would all keel over from heart attacks."
"True." Mary admitted with a sigh.
Gabrielle laughed. "Well, shes not lying about that one. They do start at ungodly hours and unfortunately, they work on weekends, too. They woke us up before the sun came up this morning."
"Is that why youre out so early on a Saturday?" Mary asked as her smile became a smirk.
Jim bit his lip and lower his head in an attempt to keep a straight face.
Gabrielle noticed his reaction to the question and the bard gave the couple an odd shifting glance before answering. "Sort of and whats wrong with you?"
"Nothing." Scratching the back of his head, Jim refused to meet her gaze.
Getting nothing from one, the bard turned to the other. "Whats going on?" She asked Mary.
Despite her burning desire to spill the beans, Mary stayed silent, merely shrugging in answer.
Jim, on the other hand, couldnt stand it anymore. "We ran into Grace earlier and Mary thinks shes having an affair with your friend, T. Im pleading the fifth."
Gabrielle didnt know if she should burst out laughing, or check his temperature for fever. "What?"
Having not been the first to break the news, Mary picked up where her boyfriend left off. "Grace and T were in the store and we saw your friend fondling your wife, and Grace didnt seem to be objecting. They had some story about baking cookies."
Now the bard did burst into laughter. "Im going to kill those two."
Confused, Mary looked between Faith and Jim. "You arent upset? Grace is running around on you, Faith."
Holding her stomach with one hand, the bard put her other one on Marys shoulder as she tried to stop laughing. "Mary, they are going to be baking cookies. At our house and Grace isnt having an affair with T. T isnt gay. Trust me on this one."
Covering his eyes, Jims head hung again and he shook it slowly. "I tried to tell her that."
"I know what I saw." Sounding very indignant, Mary shook her head. "She had her hand on Graces butt."
"I dont doubt that, Mary, but she still isnt gay." Turning the woman around, Gabrielle gave her a gentle shove. "Come on. Lets go get this straightened out."
Jim recovered enough to follow them as they walked away, then he went back for the buggy.
By this time, Xena and T had all the items on the list and were ready to try for a clean get away, or at least make it to the check out line before Gabrielle caught up with them. Still walking very casually, they were on aisle six and made an abrupt u-turn when the bard rounded the corner with Mary, and Jim right behind her.
"Hold it right there." Gabrielle growled in English.
"Were dead." Xena whispered and began to push the buggy faster.
"Ditch the buggy around the corner and Ill pop us out of here." T said with a quick glance over her shoulder.
"You two heathens take another step and Ill have Bud bury your swords where Ungara cant even find them." Using Greek this time, the bard got the results she wanted.
Making another quick dramatic u-turn, the brunette pair had innocent smiles on their faces when they stopped to wait.
Jim and Mary exchanged a confused look at the change of language, but then they shrugged it off.
"Hi, honey." The warrior piped up. "We got the stuff."
"Do you have enough cookie sheets?" T inquired with genuine concern, or something that was supposed to pass for genuine concern. "Theres a lot of stuff here. Maybe Grace and I should go pick up a few more?"
"Wrong answer." Back to English, Gabrielle shook her head, pointing at the god. "You. Youre in big trouble. What were you doing with your hand on my wifes butt?"
Glancing at the warriors butt, the god side stepped away from her, shoving her hand in the pocket of her jacket. "Ummm, checking for change. I wanted some bubble gum."
"Bubble gum?" Hanging her head, Xena sighed. "You are such a bad liar."
"Lying isnt in my job description." T hissed back at her. "Lets see you do better."
"Yes, Grace." Nodding, Gabrielle folded her arms across her chest. "Lets hear your version. Why exactly were you up to letting T put her hand on your butt?"
The warrior stood up straight, cleared her throat and pointed directly at T. "It was all her idea."
T growled. "You better move that finger out of my face, before you lose it, you little weasel."
"Make me." Wiggling her finger, Xena sneered at her friend.
Stepping forward, the bard rapped the warriors hand down, then tweaked Ts ear. "Nice try."
"Ow." Shaking her hand, the warrior scowled. "That hurt."
"Owowowowowowow." T grimaced, leaning in the direction her ear was being ripped off her head. "I need that."
Gabrielle let go of the ear and folded her arms again. Standing between the two brunettes, she faced Jim and Mary. "Now, tell them the truth. Tell them you are not having an affair and that you put on your little show for their benefit."
Her wounded hand tucked under the other arm, Xena nodded. "We arent having an affair. T isnt even gay. She just did that to get a rise out of you."
"What did you say?" Rubbing the offended ear.
"Say youre sorry and shut up." The warrior grumbled.
T looked at the couple. "Sorry."
Jim chuckled. "Its okay. It was worth the look on Marys face when you two walked away. Priceless."
"What?" Glaring at him, Mary put her hands on her hips. "What is that supposed to mean?"
"They had you hook, line and sinker." Rolling his eyes, he turned the buggy around.
One step behind him, she continued to glare as they walked away. "You knew it was a show? Why didnt you tell me?"
"I tried to tell you, but you wouldnt believe me." Shaking his head, Jim pulled their grocery list out of his pocket. "What aisle is the cereal on?"
Once the couple were out of sight, Gabrielle turned around to face her wife and the god. "Now, let us get these groceries paid for and then we can discuss that buggy race in frozen foods on the way home, with me driving." Taking charge of the buggy, she pushed it towards the check out line.
T and Xena slumped, then schleped behind the bard in dejection. Their fun over, they were now looking at having to spend all day baking cookies and listening to a lecture on acting their ages, or the age they looked anyway.
Ares was sitting on the front porch steps when the truck pulled up in front of the house. Gabriel securely held between his feet and Bud beside him, he watched the trio get out. Seeing two baleful brunettes and one smiling blonde, he laughed. "How much was their bail?"
"200 cookies, as yet to be paid." Gabrielle chuckled. Closing the door behind her as she got out, she turned, pointing to the bags of groceries in the back of the truck. "Go directly to jail. Do not pass go and do not go anywhere else till I get there."
T groaned and snapped her fingers, sending the groceries into the kitchen.
Xena groaned, walking around the truck to glare at Ares. "Spoil sport." Giving his rump a short kick, she went inside.
The god did the same and added a smack to the top of his head, but didnt say anything.
Rubbing his head, the God of War shook it. "You ratted me out?"
"Not really, but I think when I mentioned the food fight at Athens, they put the pieces together." She said and squatted down to pick up her namesake. "I wasnt there, remember? You were."
"I should have picked a different example." He sighed, getting to his feet. "Gods know there are enough to choose from."
"Yes and for your participation in that event, you get to help them bake." Flicking her eyebrows, the bard had a very smug smile on her face.
"What!" Waving his hand in protest, Ares stopped short. "That was a long time ago and I didnt start that fight."
"Did you try to stop it?" Gabrielle asked, pausing in the open doorway.
"Well . . . um . . . they told you, didnt they?" He asked as a grumble. "I was trying to help, Gabrielle and it was only one little fireball."
"I thought so." Satisfied shed nabbed all the culprits, past and present, in one swoop, the bard went inside to make sure the punishment was carried out. "Grab an apron, Ares. Its going to be a long day."
"I dont know how to cook!" Ares whined as he stomped across the porch. "This isnt fair."
"If you cant cook, you can put those muscles to good use. You can stir the batter." Gabrielle smiled, already at work forming her little chain gang.
Gabriel, who was the only innocent brunette in the house, giggled at all the fuss.
"I heard that." Daddy yelled. "Bud, get in the house."
Bud, innocent in this venture only and guilty in many others, got up and walked inside, hoping he could be the taste tester.
"It was only one little fireball." Xena snickered as Ares joined her and T in their culinary prison. "And you missed."
"Who fights with a god in front of barrels of flammable olive oil, Xena." He growled back at her, throwing his hands in the air.
T put an apron in one of his hands as it came down, chuckling softly. "I appreciated the help, sweetheart. It was the thought that counted."
"T, put this in front of the opening to the kitchen and dont scrape the floor." In the living room, judge, jury and warden was pointing at one of the large comfy chairs.
Sticking her head out of the cell, the god looked at the chair, then wiggled her finger.
Gabrielle followed the floating piece of furniture and sat down in it with her namesake in her lap, when T had put it where she wanted it. With a full, unobstructed comfortable view of the kitchen, she began dishing out orders. "Ares, get two large bowls out from the cabinet over the stove. Xena unload the grocery bags and T start unwrapping the sticks of butter. And remember there is a baby present, so watch your language." Adding the last as the nasty grumbles began.
And so the sentence was carried out under adult supervision, with only minor territorial skirmishes on the assembly line, and with as little mess as possible, under the circumstances. Proving themselves both capable and proficient bakers under duress with explicit instructions, Xena, T and Ares produced a batch of Gabrielles secret recipe cookies, to her satisfaction. Then they made up non-instant hot cocoa for the construction crew, serving the beverage and cookies with notable relief at getting time in the yard and then it was back to the kitchen for the other 200 cookies. Most of these were put in boxes for convenient carrying purposes for Gabrielle to take them to school on Monday and then the convicts got to eat one cookie each, while Gabriel and Gabrielle consumed several between them and Bud was covertly given four, because hed been a good tiger, and kept his striped butt out of the way.
After this, the mess was cleaned up and dinner was started with the same three cell mates putting the meal together, but without Gabrielles guidance, because the pregnant warden and her assistants needed a nap. So, minus the blonde overseer, the trio of brunettes were given relative free reign to come up with a suitable evening meal and told that the cookies would be counted upon the wardens return from her nap, and the stipulation that if they broke anything, theyd die slow painful deaths. Disappointed, but not discouraged, the brunettes got to jab, pick, aggravate, argue, threaten, annoy and use sharp utensils to their hearts content in the meantime, with Gabrielle having to open the bedroom door and yelling dont make me have to come down there three times, when the shouting became unbearably loud.
Awaking from her nap, Gabrielle sat up, stretching her arms and legs. Rested and ready to face the fallout, she carefully picked up a still sleeping Gabriel as she swung her legs over the edge of the bed, nestling the baby on her shoulder. "Come on, Bud. Lets see if they burned the house down." She said softly to the tiger and rubbed her eyes on the way to the door. With the door open, she was a little surprised not to hear the smoke detector going off and was more surprised to smell a pleasant spicy aroma instead of smoke. "Hmmm?" Somewhat curious at the smell and suspicious of the quiet, she went down the stairs to see if her wife and her friends had been abducted by Italian aliens, which is what the aroma was hinting at. But the abduction theory proved false when Gabrielle found the three sitting at the dining table eating out of large thin cardboard boxes with a well known pizza delivery service logo on the lid. This, for some unknown reason, didnt really come as a shock and before she joined them, the bard made sure the kitchen was still intact. That done, she gave Gabriel to his mother, then took her place at one end of the dining table, where there was an empty plate waiting for her. Reaching for a box, she pulled it to her and gave the trio a roll of the eyes as she selected a piece of pizza. "I guess I dont want to know what you were doing this whole time, do I?"
Mouth full of pepperoni pizza, Xena smiled. "We didnt eat any cookies." She offered as an alternative explanation.
"And we didnt break anything." Ares smiled, his mouth full of sausage and ham pizza.
Gabrielle glanced at T. "And?"
"Xenas butt was not fondled and no one was permanently injured during the production of this meal." T smiled and kissed the top of her sons head.
"Gods." The bard groaned, leaning forward to rest her head in her hand. "I should have never asked."
"Ignorance is bliss." The warrior touted and picked up another piece of pizza. "Dont ya think?"
Epilogue: Gabrielle never did find out what happened when she was napping, even after interrogating the construction crew and despite their normal tendency to tell on each other, the trio of brunettes kept their mouths shut, because there were far worse tortures in life besides baking cookies.
Thanks for reading.
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