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.
Other: Part twelve in the series "Raising Melosa".
"Please Xe, just for a few moments. I want to talk to her before she leaves."
She looked down at me, arms crossed firmly against her chest and sighed. "You know Ill never understand you. Youve waited so patiently for nearly two seasons for her to leave and now that shes going you want to talk with her."
"Un-huh." I picked at the blanket and cast my eyes down hoping that the pitiful puppy dog face would get me what I wanted. "Youve said yourself Im not allowed to get up and I want to talk with her before she goes."
"You should be resting."
"And I will I promise, after. Please?"
She groused all the way out of the room. Theran came into the room slowly and approached the bed.
"Have a seat." I said as I patted the bed.
She took a seat and looked at me with eyes that could no longer see. "Yes Your Majesty?"
"Ive figured you out you know."
She smiled. "You have?"
"Un-huh. I know your purpose for being mixed up in Xenas life, but what I cant figure out is exactly how Solan fits into the whole thing."
"Care to enlighten me about how you think I fit into Xenas life? If youre right Ill explain Solan."
I drew a deep breath and smiled. "Youre Xenas judge. You decide if she goes to Tartarus or the Fields."
She cocked her head in a slight nod and smiled. "Very good. When did you figure it out?"
"At Solans wedding. When Hades showed up. You two were inseparable. Discussing Xena no doubt."
"Hades cant judge his own daughter. He had to get someone else to do it. That would be you. Now about Solan "
"Its quite simple. Solan has powers, which his mother should have had. However, seeing where she was headed we stripped her of most of them very quickly. She would have been completely unstoppable with those powers. Even your love wouldnt have been enough. She would have destroyed everything and recreated it in her evil image. So when he was returned, Solan was given those powers. He will some day take his grandfathers place as Lord of the Underworld."
"I see." I swallowed hard with that and decided to press my luck. "Have you decided Xenas fate?"
"You know I cant tell you that."
I sighed. "Is there anything you can tell me?"
"I can tell you that you took a very great chance. Dont do it again."
"I wont. I cant. You and Xena have seen to that." I said quietly as I looked over at my twin daughters, lying in their cradle. "Is that why you gave Xena back her sight? Did you know that she would have to take them the same way she took Xenan?"
"Partly. She had also earned it. She is a changed person. Gabrielle, nothing that we have discussed should leave this room. Do you understand?"
"Good. Now Your Majesty, if you will allow me, I shall take my leave of your family."
"Of course. Theran?"
"Thank you. For everything, I mean that."
"I know. Youre welcome Gabrielle."
She stood and walked out of my room. Out of our lives and some small part of me was actually going to miss her. I rolled onto my side and let my hand drop into the cradle of our daughters. Just a few days old, they were beautiful and they were perfect. I did so want a house full of children and now we had it.
I felt guilty for what I had done to Xena at Solans reception, but it was the only way if I wanted more children. Xenas resolve had just been so strong against it. Getting her good and drunk was the only way I could get her to drop her guard. Oh she had been so mad when she found out what I had done. She even threatened to take up residence in another sleeping chamber. Instead she had Theran remove that particular skill.
Now that they were here and I was recovering all right she seemed to be relaxing. She just sat with me for two days after they were born. Holding my hand and watching them. She never spoke a word. She loved them and she couldnt deny it. She would sit and stroke their little heads just as she had done with Melosa and Kai. She loved our new additions with every ounce of her soul, no matter what I had done and no matter how mad she had been at me for taking the risk.
The door opened and I rolled over to find her standing there with a tray. "Hungry?" She asked as she came into the room.
"Always." I said as I slowly sat up. The stitches were pulling a little. I refused to show any discomfort, shed just rub my nose in it. She gave me that look that said, I know it hurts. Why dont you just admit it? I just wrinkled my nose at her and she smiled and placed the tray very gently across my lap. She sat down on the edge of the bed and took her mug of tea from the tray.
"You know we have to come up with another name?" She said as she sipped her tea.
"Do you have something in mind?" I took a bite of warm nut bread.
"I dont know Ri. Since theyre twins, something that sounds good with Kessa I guess.
"You still really awfully mad at me?"
She sighed. "For wanting more children, no. For doing it, just a little. For doing it the way you did, yes."
I lowered my eyes as I felt a tear slip down my cheek. She reached over and wiped it away, then she leaned over and kissed my forehead. "But everyday that you get stronger, it gets weaker. I was just afraid of losing you Ri. How would I manage without you? Weve worked so hard to make a home and a family, without you it wouldnt be complete. Without you I wouldnt be complete. Two halves of one soul remember?"
"I know." I watched as she slipped off the bed and down on to the floor next to the cradle to gently stroke our heads of our daughters. "Theyre beautiful arent they?" I asked as I moved the tray so I could lie down. I took her hand and kissed it.
"They take after you, of course theyre beautiful." She stroked my cheek and looked so deeply into my eyes I was sure she could see to my very soul. If she could, she would see herself and our children. They were my reason for living. "So about that name. How about Rosa?"
"Kessa and Rosa. I like them. Sounds good with their sister and brother too."
"Its quite a brood weve got going here Ri. Five children, we are going to be two very busy women for a long time to come."
"Just the way I wanted it warrior. I just cant wait until Im back on my feet." I sat back up and reached for the warm bread.
"Yeah you and me both. With Solan off on his own now, all of the chores have fallen back to me and chasing Kai around now that he has gotten control of those little legs of his. He may look like you, but hes got my long legs. And Melosa is just a hand full on her own. She has a wicked sense of timing for one so young."
"She is so much like you." I chuckled as I popped a piece of bread into my mouth.
"Un-huh." She replied dryly as she smiled at me. "Thats reminds me I have a something I want you to do for me."
"What? Like four children arent enough?" I grinned.
"Oh har har. The last two were your idea remember? No, Ive got Marin coming over later shes going to do a sketch of you for me."
"Xena Im a disaster. You cant do this to me right now."
"Right now is the perfect time. Youre a captive subject. You have no choice but to submit."
"Hey Im still the queen here remember?"
"Only over in the village. Here I give the orders."
"Oh you do huh?" I arched my eyebrow.
"On this particular subject yes. Now wife, be good and let her do her work when she gets here."
She raised her hand and gave me that tight-lipped little smile of hers. "No arguments Ri. Youre going to do this for me. You owe me, remember." She nodded toward the cradle. I smiled and agreed.
I liked Marin and she was good company. She was a very talented artist and was very patient with me while I had to tend to Kessa and Rosa. Xena had left us to our own devices because she had to keep and eye on Melosa and Kai. Occasionally from somewhere in the distance I could hear my exasperated warrior calling out to one or the other which was then generally followed by the hysterical giggles from the child in question. I could almost picture her scooping up the little troublemaker and tossing them over her shoulder to carry them back where she wanted them.
It was true, that since Kai had started walking he and Melosa had seemed to devise a game, which they liked to play that involved running in opposite directions to see which one of them Xena would chase first. I think they did it only to makes her do those incredible acrobatics. Which seemed to be required in order to catch them both and haul them back to the house, one under each arm screaming and laughing with every step, knowing full well that they were just going to do it again as soon as she turned her back. Sometimes she turned her back on purpose.
From the front room I could hear her announcing naptime had arrived. Probably more for her own peace of mind rather than the exhaustion of the children. However, this was the one thing they knew to accept and not fuss about. The door opened and our two eldest came romping into the room. Xena stood leaning against the doorframe, looking tired but very content. Melosa very gently climbed up onto the bed and kissed me on the cheek. She held her brother at bay with her foot until she was ready to turn and help him up. "Careful," She told him as she helped him into the bed. "Mommys sore." She held onto his shirt to make sure his approach was to her liking. I could barely contain the laughter as I watched her protect me from her younger brothers enthusiasm. So much like Xe.
"Have you two been good today?" I asked as I looked to my warrior while wrapping my arms tightly around my son.
"Yes." Melosa answered firmly.
"Un-huh." Xe offered as she rolled her eyes.
"Not giving Momma any trouble?" I asked with a smile.
"None." She answered again throwing a little look of her own at Xe. She hadnt learned to arch her eyebrow yet, but she sure could draw them together in the center of her face as she squinted at the warrior with her own determination.
"You little fibber." Xena muttered from the door as she pushed off with her shoulder and made her way into the room.
Just as she was nearing the bed, Melosas arms stretched out, palms up and she said, "Stop!" Xe stopped dead in her tracks and lifted an eyebrow at our oldest. "Mommys sore."
Well that was the final straw. I was lost to the laughter and so was Marin who had been watching the whole exchange from across the room without a word.
"Well then," Xena said as she reached over and grabbed Melosa by the ankles. "Its a good thing that Im not going to do this to her." She hoisted Melosa upside down and held her there by her ankles. "Now give Mommy a kiss so you can go take your nap you little fibber."
Between the giggles and the squeals Melosa managed to give me a somewhat sloppy kiss on the cheek. She stopped wiggling long enough to look me in the eye and whisper, "Help." I could only laugh and wipe the tears from my eyes.
My daughter was just too bright for her own good. Just slightly over four seasons old now she was just beginning to show the depth of her intelligence. She seemed to have a natural talent for many things, including languages. She was not only speaking very well for her age, but she had even managed to pick up some of the language from Chin that Xena had taught her. She was also as agile as Xena and that showed as she curled her torso and grabbed Xes arm and pulled herself almost upright, kissing Xena on the nose one her way up.
"Eeewww " Xena teased as she wiped the tip of her nose and threw Melosa over her shoulder. "Kai give Mommy a kiss so you can go take your nap."
Kai leaned up and gave me a kiss and turned around to reach out for Xena. She scooped him up and he turned around and waved at me. "Night Mommy." He said as he leaned against Xenas shoulder. He really was tired and ready for his nap. Melosa on the other hand was still squirming furiously against Xes shoulder.
"Hold still you little fibber." Xena gave her a soft smack on the backside.
"Am not." She argued.
"Are too." Xena said as she turned to leave the room.
The argument continued into the next room. Im not sure who exactly won that one considering that the warrior had been reduced to arguing in two words sentences.
"Is it like that around here all the time?" Marin asked as she wiped the tears from her eyes and began sketching again.
"Pretty much. Melosa is cut from the same cloth as Xena. Its going to be a real battle of wills when she gets older."
"Seems like its getting there now."
"Yeah, but Melosas still small enough that Xena still has the upper hand. I dont know what shes going to do as she gets bigger."
"You have my sympathy Your Majesty." She said with a grin.
"I wouldnt have it any other way and neither would Xena. She just likes to grouch around a lot."
"I heard that!" Came a reply from the other room.
"Good! Because you know its true!" I called back.
She reappeared in the doorway. "Yeah I guess it is." She had her medical kit in her hands and I knew what was coming.
"Oh do you have to do that right now?"
"Yup." She sat down next to me and opened my robe just enough to look at the stitches.
"Well how does it look?"
"Its okay." She said as she applied some salve to the cut.
"Is there going to be a big scar?"
She cocked that damned brow at me again. "A little late to worry about that dontcha think?"
"Well I was just curious. Do you mind? I just wondered if it was going to show thats all."
"Depends on what youre wearing, yeah youre going to have a small scar. The one scar that you should be proud of." She gave me a smile as she covered the cut with a bandage. "Its still bleeding just a little. I want you to lay down and rest now. Youve had far more activity today than you should have."
"What? I havent done anything."
"Dont argue with me." She said firmly and she closed up her kit and reached across and placed it on the chest near the wall. She turned and placed her arms under me and lowered me down into the bed, giving me a long soft kiss as she did. "Rest." She moved back and brushed the hair back from my face. "I love you wife." She whispered.
"I love you too." I could feel my eyes falling shut. How did she do that? How did she know?
"I have many skills." Was the last thing I heard before falling into a deep slumber.
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