Twenty-Fourth in the Melosa Series
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.
Spoilers: Altared States, Blind Faith
Other: Part twenty-four in the series "Raising Melosa". Most of the Melosa stories have a gap of about six months between them, but this one takes up right after "New Beginnings". Also, youll be getting these next several parts from Xenas POV.
When I returned to the house Ri was ready to go back inside, but far to tired to walk. I picked her up and carried her back to our room and prepared to put her to bed. Mel followed silently behind us, scroll in hand. By the time I reached the bed she was already asleep in my arms. I sat down in the chair and just held her there. I needed this contact with her. Mel sat down across from me.
"How did it go?" I whispered.
"Well weve got one big snag." My daughter replied as she laid the scroll aside and leaned back on her arms. "She doesnt remember to how to read."
"I expected as much." I said softly as I brushed my lips across her forehead.
"Well you coulda warned me."
"So now what?
"We teach her to read. Mel were going to have to teach her a lot of things."
"Its never going to be like it was is it?"
"Probably not sweetheart."
"She doesnt remember you." Mel said, as she lowered her eyes and gave a little kick of her foot.
"I know." I said softly. "Thats why Im hoping to get her to read the scrolls. Im hoping shell remember me."
"Why dont you just tell her. You told her about all of us. She hasnt had any problems with that?"
"Well little one, its kind of different with us. I dont want to scare her. Youre her children "
"Yeah well were your children too." She cut me off starting to let her temper flair a little. "I like having both my moms around. If you dont tell her the truth then its hard telling what could happen."
"Listen to me. No matter what happens between us Mel we will always be here for you. Ill never leave you. It nearly killed me when you didnt understand how you were born and you didnt want me in your life. But the truth is there are some decisions that your mom will have to be allowed to make on her own when shes well enough and whether or not to accept me is one of those decisions."
"Its not fair."
"No its not Princess."
"Cant Grandfather help?"
"No. We have to do this on our own Mel. You cant count on the Gods to help you, even when youre related to them. You have to be able to do things for yourself. Youre going to learn a lot by helping your mom get her memories back with those scrolls. Every word in them is true."
"Awe cmon. Ive already read some of those stories. Youre trying to tell me that you guys actually did those things?"
"Absolutely. We got ourselves into some real messes when we were younger." I heard myself laugh softly at the thought. I kissed my wife on the forehead. "Im going to make you remember henbane laced nut bread. I swear I am." I whispered. My eyes closed to hold back the tears that wanted to fall.
I heard the front door open and close and I knew the family had descended. I gave her a last kiss and stood up. Mel helped me put her to bed and I laid the covers over her. "Well, lets go get your brother and sisters resettled huh kiddo." I said as I turned to Mel.
"Oh if we must. Ive kind of enjoyed being the only child."
"Yeah Ill just bet you have." I ran my hands through her hair and tousled it just a little. "But reality calls Princess."
"Yeah well reality stinks."
I looked back at the form of my sleeping wife. "Yeah it sure does."
As I closed the door behind me, Kessa and Rosa broke free of Karra and came at me a fast as their little legs could carry them. I dropped to my knees and scooped them up in my arms.
"Momma!" They each squealed as they planted kisses on either cheek.
I stood up and returned the kisses. "Well hello my little Princesses. Did you miss me?"
"Miss you." They said basically together as they hugged me around the neck.
I glanced over at Karra who had a wide grin on her face. "Were they any trouble?" I asked as I lowered them back to the floor. They wrapped themselves around my legs.
"Theyre twins and theyre three seasons old. We had our moments, but for the most part they were fine." She said as she put their things off to the side and came over to capture Rosa from my leg. "You were just a little harpy werent you Your Highness?" She asked with a laugh as she took Rosas hand. The baby giggled and went with Karra.
As was her sisters nature Kessa followed. They were twins, bonded together in a very unusual way I imagined. They seemed so close. Almost as if they could read each others thoughts.
Just as Alana came through the door I heard Ri call my name. "Ill be right back." I said to my daughter as I turned to go back into our room. Mel started to follow I shook my head, she paused and nodded, staying behind.
Went I went in she was trying to get up. She was upset. I sat down and stroked her arms to bring her attention to me. "Ri? Come on look at me." She turned her head and focused on me.
"Dreams so many dreams." She said as she shook.
"Dreams may be good love." I said as I moved and settled into the bed and pulled her into my arms. She seemed to relax and settled into my arms with her head resting on my shoulder. I wondered if the feeling of this brought anything back to her. "Tell me about them Ri. Tell me about your dreams."
"You you "
"What about me Ri?"
"You couldnt see I was in a box. You got me out."
Ah she had dreamt of our dealings with Palaemon and King Solas. Well not the one I would have chosen for her, but it was a start. "Yes yes I got you out."
"You " She mumbled as she fell back to sleep there safe and sound in my arms. I made no move to get up. She seemed so content now and slept soundly. I didnt want to disturb her.
I closed my eyes and kissed the top of her head. "Its a start wife." When I didnt return there was a soft knock on the door and Alana stuck her head in.
"Umm yeah. Bad dream I think. Come on in."
She came over and took the chair next to the bed. "Maybe bad dreams are good. That didnt come out right. You know what I meant."
"Yeah I know. At this point any memory is a good one. I just hope that if she has to start having them she has a few of the good ones as well. I hate to think that all the memories that are going to come back are going to be bad ones."
"Not possible. There are far more good memories caught in there than bad ones." She paused, then smiled. "I got a message from Solan today. Seems theyre going to be a few days longer than thought. Apparently your mother has a lot of things to either dispose of or pack up."
I had to chuckle, Ri grumbled a bit but continued to sleep. "Yeah that would be my mother the pack rat."
"Well Solan says there are three large crates there with your name on them too. Which your mother insists be brought back to you."
"Good Gods what has that woman managed to drag up that could possibly have belonged to me?"
"He didnt say."
"Terrific. I can hardly wait."
"Oh I can just hear the excitement oozing in your voice." She grinned as she stood. "Im going to go back out and help Karra get everyone settled. I think you should just relax and stay here. You both look pretty comfortable at the moment."
I let my eyes drop down to the bard who was now firmly snuggled up next to me. Just like the old days. "Yeah were both pretty happy right now I think. Thanks. Ill be out in a bit."
"Take your time." She gave me a reassuring smile with a wink and left us there together.
The door opened a moment later and Mel poked her head in. "Can I talk to you for just a moment?" She asked before coming in. I motioned for her to come in. She came in and sat on the edge of the bed. "Well you look cozy."
"I am thanks." I grinned. "Whatcha need?"
"Well Im thinking "
"I knew I smelled smoke."
"Oh har, har. You think we could be serious here for a moment?" She was obviously in a mood to be serious. I tried not to smile.
"Sorry. What were you thinking?"
"I think the scrolls might be a little hard for her at first. So I want to go over the village and get some of the scrolls that the younger kids use during studies. Easier stuff. Can I ride over and get some?"
"Sure. You want me to saddle you up?"
"No you stay there. Alana said shed do it."
"Be back in time for the evening meal and stay away from Reena."
"Ill stay away from her, but if she finds me "
"Hey, just so you know this is a good idea. Youre quite the teacher there kiddo."
"Yeah well I got lucky in this deal. I got your looks and her brains." She wiggled her eyebrows at me.
"Yeah and who does that smart mouth belong to?"
"Oh thats all you too." She said as she skittered off the bed and made for the door. "I love you. Ill be back later."
"Love you too brat. Be careful."
Ri continued to sleep most of the day. I stayed with her until my own restless body just wouldnt allow it any longer. I slipped out of bed and headed out into the common room where my two youngest and my granddaughter where playing. Karra and Alana were preparing vegetables for the evening meal. I went over and snatched a carrot only to get my hand slapped for the effort. "Please?" I asked Karra with a wide grin and was rewarded with the carrot in question. "Where is my son?"
"Outside with that puppy." Karra growled.
"Oh boy what did they do now? I couldnt contain my amusement as I looked outside to find my son and his dog looking totally dejected on the front porch.
"That dog got in the chicken coop and startled all the hens. We probably wont have eggs for two days."
"Okay Ill go take care of it." I went out and dropped down next to him. "Whats up buddy?"
"Were in it again." He mumbled as he stroked the dogs head. Autos tail thumped the porch.
"The dog house. Am I gonna have to sleep in the barn again?"
"Only if you want to." I grinned. "You know Ive been thinking about this."
"Yeah and I think that he needs to be trained. I think you and I should train him so hell behave himself."
"What kind of things can we teach him?"
"Oh well what do you want to teach him?"
"I want to teach him to stay out of trouble."
I laughed out loud, fell back on the porch and continued to laugh. My son crawled up on top of me and looked down at me. "Whats so funny?"
"Nothing buddy. Sometimes things just seem so simple and its nice to hear it once in awhile. You just gave Mom here a badly needed laugh."
"Thats good then." He gave me a hug and I settled my arms around him.
"I love you buddy."
"Love you too Mom."
After the evening meal was served and the smaller children were tucked in for the night. Mel sat down with Ri near the fire and they began working on her reading skills. Mel was very proud of the fact that I was simply sitting back and letting her handle this. I sharpened and polished weapons. I watched them and listened as they actually giggled while looking over the scrolls. She seemed so innocent again.
As much as I wanted her to remember everything some part of me wished that she didnt have to. So much had passed between us. I didnt plan on hiding anything from her. She would learn the good and the bad because it was all of that which had brought us here and made us who and what we were. I just wished I didnt have to cause her all that pain again. That might push her away from me.
"Damn!" I growled as I nicked my hand on my sword. They both looked up at the same time as I wrapped my hand. "Mel could you get me a bandage?"
"Sure." She scrambled to her feet and went off to find me a clean bandage.
Ri got to her feet and slowly made her way to me and knelt down. "Let me see."
"Let me see." This was a firm command as she took my hand and began to unwrap it. Mel brought a clean bandage. I was amazed when Ri just took over. "Mel water please."
"Su sure " She looked at me wide eyed as she went to get water. When she returned, Ri proceeded to clean, dress and wrap the wound. "How did you know to do that?" Mel asked as her mother finished taking care of my wound.
She studied my hand and the bandage and then looked to me. "You taught me."
"Yeah I did a long time ago."
"Okay then." She said as she started removing the bandage on my arm. "More cloth please."
Mel looked to me for permission. "Shes going to need my medical kit for this one Mel. Its in our room in the trunk."
"Okay." Mel retrieved the kit and brought it in and sat it down for her mother.
I watched in shear amazement as she un-wrapped my upper arm. She looked at me with a soft smile and proceeded to clean, reapply salve and rewrap the wound I had received while sparring. "Want to tell me how?" She said as she pointed at my arm.
"I was sparring over in the village."
"Later. You just had a very important memory Ri. You did the dressing all on your own because you remembered how to do it. This is good very good." I said as I caressed her cheek with my knuckles.
Our eyes met and I could see something coming back to life in there.
The Raising Melosa Series Continues with Sweet Rediscoveries
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