Disclaimers: The characters of Xena: Warrior Princess and all other associated with the television series of the same name are owned by MCA/ Universal Pictures. This is a work of fan fiction and no copyright infringement is intended.
Subtext: I guess with my writing so far we'll just quit calling it subtext and call it maintext. Yes they are in love with each other.
Sex: None. Just the product.
Violence: Hey a woman in labor is capable of anything.
Other: Part eight in the series "Raising Melosa".
"Just relax Ri. Just relax " I heard her whisper.
The pain was fierce, not as bad as with Melosa, but close. It felt searing hot white, through my stomach and into my legs, making them feel weak and useless. My back ached and I hated Xena more at this moment than I ever had before. Sure it was easy for her to tell me to relax. She wasnt the one in labor. As the contraction eased I nodded. Xe was behind me supporting me; Adrin our healer was checking the position of the baby.
"It wont be much longer now Your Majesty. Your labor is progressing well."
"Cant be soon enough for me " I growled. I didnt mean to, it just sort of happened. I felt Xes chuckle against my back. "Oh Ill get you later." I growled at her as I gripped her hand and twisted as another contraction started.
"Dont push Your Majesty. We have some time yet. Youre not quite ready."
"Oh Im ready. Im more than ready! The babys ready too."
The warrior chuckled again. Oh boy was she gonna pay later. I took a deep breath as the contraction passed and I relaxed into Xena. She put her arms around me and I felt her kiss the top of my head. "I love you." She whispered.
"Gods Xe I love you too." Another contraction. I know I had to be leaving bruises on Xenas forearms from gripping them to keep from pushing. I felt her tighten her hold on me.
"Just relax." She whispered again.
"Oh you relax!" It just slipped out. This time it was Adrin who laughed. "Im glad you two find this so funny."
"Okay Your Majesty. Lets see about having this baby." Adrin said with a grin.
"Oh yes lets." Even I heard the sarcasm in my voice there was no way they could have missed it.
"I want you to give a good strong push with the next contraction."
"No problem. Trust me." I could feel another one coming on. Xena straightened up a little to be more help now. I reached back and caressed the side of her face.
She placed a soft kiss on the palm of my hand. "Ready?" She asked softly.
"Un-huh " I groaned and began to push. I could feel Xe helping me by gently pushing me forward. "Oh Gods " I could feel the baby start to move. I gripped her arms harder as I tensed into the pain and then relaxed as it passed.
"Good Your Majesty, very good."
"Oh Im so glad youre pleased." Again I felt that annoying tremor of laughter coming from my supposed soul mate. "This is all your fault you know!" I growled at her as I drew a deep breath. I felt a cool cloth on my face. She was wiping the perspiration from my forehead. How she could be so kind to me at a moment in my life when I simply wanted to choke her. As I was about to formulate my revenge, another contraction, once again she was helping me through the pain. Whispering in my ear, telling me she loved me and everything would be all right.
"I can see the head Your Majesty. Easy now "
This one passed too. I fell back and once again was safe in her arms. "Im getting tired " I managed to say as she stroked my arms.
"I know love, I know. It wont be much longer."
"I cant Xe I cant " I shook my head against her chest.
"Oh yes you can. Come on."
The pain came again, harder now. "Oh Gods Xe!" I realized I must have screamed this. I felt her tremble as she tried to comfort me with the strength of her arms and her gentle words. The pain was just so intense now. I felt as if I would die before the baby came.
She pushed me forward to help me. "Come on sweetheart. Its okay, come on."
"Thats it Your Majesty. Keep it up. The head is out." I barely heard her as I once again slipped into Xenas arms. "One more push should do it."
"I cant " I whimpered.
"Yes you can Ri. Come on one more. Thats all one more."
I nodded silently as another pain took hold and we leaned into it. "There we go." Adrin said. "The shoulders are out, thats it."
I felt the baby pass and I fell back into Xena. She wrapped me up in her arms and kissed the top of my head. "You did it." She whispered.
"Congratulations Your Majesty a fine baby boy."
As Adrin cleaned the baby I heard him cry for the first time. I felt the tears begin to stream down my face. She wrapped him up and laid him in my arms. I could feel Xe lay her chin on my shoulder to get a look at our son. "Solan was right." I said as I pulled the blanket back from his face so she could see him better.
"So he was. Well what are we going to name him?"
"Well Solan wants us to name him Kai."
"Kai it is." She was running her thumb over the top of his little head. "I should move so you can rest "
"No stay. Just stay and hold us." Her arms held us both, so safe and sound.
"Your Majesty I need one more little push so I can finish here and be out of your way." She smiled at us as I nodded.
Very soon we were alone. Just the three of us. I unwrapped our son and took inventory. Xena chuckled again. "What?" I asked as I ran my finger over a tiny little foot.
"You. Counting everything. Is he all there?"
"Yup hes a finished product." I continued to examine him. He hadnt opened his eyes yet and he seemed to be concentrating very hard. His little brows were furrowed together. "I wonder what hes thinking about."
"Hes probably wondering what in Tartarus just happed to him. Hes got your hair." She brushed the top of his head with her fingertips. "Hes going to look like you."
"Its only fair. Melosa is the spitting image of you."
There was a light knock on the door. It opened slowly, Ephiny, Solan and Melosa in that order poked their heads in. They looked like they were stacked on top of each other.
"Can we come in?" Eph asked softly.
"Yes come in and see my son." The warrior said proudly.
"Your son? Excuse me there. I seem to remember being slightly involved in all of this." I teased as they came over to the bed.
"Yeah, but you said it was all my fault." She teased back.
"Yeah um Im sorry about all that."
"Its okay. Dont worry about it." She hugged me.
Solan sat down on the edge of the bed and pulled Melosa onto his lap. "The baby!" Melosa squealed and clapped her hands.
I lifted him so they could get a better look. "Was I right?" Solan inquired as he looked at the baby.
"Yes, yes you were. This is Kai. Your brother." I patted his arm and gave it a squeeze. He smiled at me.
His smile always melted my heart. We were so lucky to have him back with us and I loved him so much.
Melosa looked at the baby and down at my stomach and back to the baby again. She was obviously confused. She leaned over and touched my stomach. "Baby?"
"Heres the baby sweetie." I moved the blanket back hoping to give her a better view.
"Hes adorable Gabrielle." Eph said as she leaned over for a better look.
"Yeah we think so. I guess well keep him."
"Well I dont want to intrude. I just wanted to make sure everything was okay before I went back. You know theres going to be a party right?" Eph asked this as she raised an eyebrow at Xe who merely groaned. I felt her drop back a bit and heard her head thump against the wall. I giggled. Amazon parties always managed to get a reaction from her. "You bet. Just as soon as our Queen and the new little prince are ready for a public appearance."
"Great." She mumbled from behind me.
Eph winked at me and gave a little wave good bye. She had accomplished her mission here. To see the new baby and torture my warrior. She would sleep well tonight and I knew it.
Melosa squirmed out of her brothers arm and got a little closer to the baby. He fascinated her. It was the next thing that took me quite by surprise. Mothers tend to feel this surprise when their children say something they never would expect. This was my exact reaction when the word "Damn." tumbled from my daughters mouth as she looked at her brother.
"Oh I wonder where she picked that up hmmm?" I accused the warrior.
"Um " Xena said quietly as she cleared her throat.
"Un-huh. Fix this and fast warrior."
"Ah yeah." She said as she gently extracted herself from behind me and scooped Melosa up into her arms. "Sweetie we need to talk " She said as she carried our daughter out of the room.
Solan leaned over for a better look at Kai. "Do you want to hold him?"
"Uh no Id better not. I dont know how."
"No time like the present to learn. Bend your arm in front of you." I laid the baby in his arm and brought his other arm under for more support. "There you go. See its easy."
"Yeah I guess it is." He watched his baby brother who flailed a little fist out from under the blanket. "Im glad youre both all right." He said quietly. I could tell something was wrong.
"Solan? Honey whats wrong?"
He looked at me with tears in his eyes. "I knew and I didnt say anything."
"What? Sweetheart what are you talking about?"
"When we were at the ocean and the raiders came. I knew. I knew you were going to get hurt " He began crying now. "I was afraid. I was afraid to say anything. I had never felt anything like it before and it scared me. If I had just said something "
I put my hand on his face and wiped away his tears. "Shh its okay. Were both fine."
"I should have told you. Told mother. Its my fault you nearly lost Kai too "
"No. No Solan its not your fault. Kai and I are both fine."
"Mothers going to be mad at me when she finds out. She may even send me away "
"No, no " I sat up and pulled him into my arms. "No shes not. Shed never send you away. We love you Solan. What happened is not your fault. It was an accident. Thats all just an accident. Do you understand?"
He nodded his head against my shoulder as his tears subsided. Kai chose that moment to get quite vocal about his apparent discomfort in between us. At least it caused Solan to smile and laugh a little. I leaned back at wiped Solans face. "Do you want me to tell her?"
"No. I have to do it. I just wanted to tell you first and apologize."
"Theres nothing to apologize for. Solan youve been given a very special gift. I know its frightening sometimes, but you have to learn to deal with it. And you must always tell when you have a feeling or a vision. No matter how much it frightens you. Okay?"
"I promise. Ill never hide anything again." He looked down at his brother and then gave him a soft kiss on the head before handing him back to me. "I should go talk to mother."
I nodded as I lay back with Kai. I was very proud of my eldest son. I watched him leave the room, closing the door behind him as he went. I looked down to Kai. "Youre one lucky little guy. Youve got quite a big brother there. Youre going to learn a lot from him."
I had no idea how long she had been sitting there, watching us. I had shifted to my side to feed Kai and dozed off. When I opened my eyes, she was there sitting on the floor next to the bed. Memories of the night Melosa was born came flooding into my mind. She smiled at me as she fingered our sons little hand.
"Did you talk to Solan?" I asked quietly.
"Mm-Hmm." She continued to play with Kais hand, staring at his little fingers.
"How did it go?"
"I nearly blew it. My first reaction was anger." She said as she sighed and looked to me
"Oh Xe you didnt "
"No I didnt, but I nearly did. I just remembered what you taught me about taking a deep breath first when dealing with the amazons. It works with the kids too." She grinned at me.
"So what happened?"
"We talked about it. He promised to tell us everything from now on and I promised to try and find him a teacher. Someone who can help him understand and develop his gift."
"Sounds like you did a fine job. Why so solemn?"
"Not solemn Ri, just reflective." She continued to rub Kais hand, his little fingers wrapped around her finger. She smiled. " Ive been here watching you sleep. Watching Kai sleep." She paused and took a deep breath. "So much has happened to us Ri. Gods, the things that have happened to us, weve come so close to destroying each other. To being destroyed by men and Gods. How did we get here? My whole life Ive known how Ive gotten from one point to another. Ive always been so totally focused on the how, why and when of my life, but now it doesnt seem as important anymore. All I want is to grow old with you and watch our children grow. Am I losing my focus?"
"No my love. Its just changed. Youre finally done paying. Do you realize thats its been almost ten seasons since we met? That its been almost six since everything that nearly cost us each other? Melosa is nearly two and that Solan has been back with us for over a year now. We found each other, we loved each other, we nearly lost each other, but we came back together again. We came back because we cant live without each other. We share one soul Xe. We belong together."
"Always there to believe in us arent ya?"
"You better believe it. Do you remember telling me once that people in our line of work didnt live to be old and gray?"
"Um-Hmm" She stroked Kais cheek and looked up at me, waiting.
I reached out and caressed her cheek. "Were gonna make it."
"You know, I think we just might after all."
"As long as were together. Weve proven that."
TBC? Probably .
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