Third in the Melosa Series
Disclaimers: Been here, done this. However it is only fitting to give credit where credit is due. Xena and all the characters mentioned here belong to MCA/Universal. This is a work of fan fiction, no copyright infringement is intended.
Subtext: Yes. They are in love with each other.
This is a continuation of a series which now has a name. It's called "Raising Melosa". It's the third in the series. The first part is called "Wrapped". The second part is called "In A Queen's Eyes". You don't need to read the first parts to understand what's happening, but you might like to just to get a feel for what I'm doing here.
I half walk, half limp back to our quarters. As I approach the new building I stop and take it in. This building is more than our quarters, it is our home. The home we have made here, together. The home I had just finished building for us not more than a week ago. The home where we would raise our family. With Melosa growing bigger each day, the one room hut we had been in before had just gotten too cramped. This new four room home provides us with the space that we need. I heard from Ephiny that our new residence is the envy of the village. By amazon standards it's huge and the two fire places I built into it are by all means extravagant. The things I was afraid Gabrielle would never have if she stayed with me don't seem so out of reach for us anymore. I smile as I continue to half walk, half limp back.
It had been a long hard day. I was up at dawn and out on the training grounds with Solari and Epinon training the younger warriors. For some reason towards the end of the training session they all decided it would be fun to gang up on me. They're a tough little bunch, I'll give 'em that. Of course my two allies stood off to the side laughing hysterically as thirty young amazons wrestled me to the ground. I made a mental note to about exactly what my revenge would be. It wasn't going to be pretty.
Later in the day Argo had gone into labor with her first foal. I've been at the stables for the rest of the day. She delivered a fine young foal that looks exactly like her. That was where I got the limp. Argo kicked me while delivering. She didn't mean too, I just got in the way.
I step up on the porch and open the door. As I go inside and close the door behind me, I find a new reason to smile. Gabrielle is laying on the floor in front of the fire place with Melosa. Our daughter, true to her defiant little nature is sitting up and reaching for a toy that Gabrielle has in her hand. As I enter and walk towards them Gabrielle turns her head to me.
"Stop right there warrior." She commands as she sits up and hands the toy to Melosa. Our daughter giggles madly as she brings the toy to her mouth and begins chewing on it. She seems to be watching this exchange between her mothers with great interest.
"What!?" I ask as I stop dead in my tracks. "I just wanted to come give my two favorite girls a kiss."
"Not until you've had a bath. You've got every kind of dirt know to man and the Gods on that body."
"But..." I start to protest.
"Ba,ba,ba,ba..." Melosa offers in my defense with another giggle.
"Go take a bath. It's ready." Gabrielle says as she points towards our sleeping chamber.
I turn, defeated by my little queen and head for the bath that had been drawn for me. To get to the bathing chamber I have to go through our sleeping chamber. I find fresh clothes and a towel laid out on the bed for me. "Thank you!" I call into the other room.
"You're welcome." Comes the reply from the other room.
I pick up the fresh clothing and head into the bathing chamber. True to her word there was a steaming bath ready for me. I strip off my dirty clothes and toss them in a corner. I slip into the bath and every muscle begins to relax. "Ohhh Gods this feels good." I didn't even realize I had spoken aloud until I heard the snicker behind me. I turn to see my wife and daughter. It was the wife that snickered. The daughter was far too busy chewing on that toy. Gabrielle, with Melosa in her arms comes over and sits on the edge of the tub.
"How's Argo?" She asks as she gets comfortable.
"She fine and we have a beautiful little foal now. She looks exactly like Argo. After I get cleaned up we'll go down so you can see them."
"Okay. I hear you had a rough day on the training grounds." She says with a smile as I begin washing.
I just look at her out of the corner of my eye, ignoring the comment and continue bathing. Suddenly there's a splash. Melosa's toy has found it's way into my bath. My six month old daughter giggles furiously as I pull the dripping toy out of the water. This is her version of 'I drop it, you pick it up'. It's become a favorite of hers lately.
"Oh you think that's funny do ya'?" I ask her as she squirms in her mother's arms. Reaching up I tickle her tummy sending her into another fit.
"Ba,ba,ba,ba..." She says as she turns and buries her head into Gabrielle's shoulder, now finding it to be the perfect chew toy. I have to agree with her.
"Her teeth are really starting to bother her." Gabrielle says as she pulls back and offers her hand to the baby.
"Did you put that lineament on her gums that I mixed up last night?" I ask as I reach for Melosa and put my own finger in her mouth and feel the hard little gums with teeth that are trying to get through.
"Yeah it seemed to help for a little while, but it wore off very quickly."
"I'll mix some more later, make it a little stronger. It won't be much longer now will it?" I continue to massage her gums with my finger.
"No I don't think so. Has the water cooled enough that you can give her a bath too?"
"Yeah it's fine." I reach up and take her. I hold her as Gabrielle undresses her. I love this part. She looks into my eyes as her fists go to her mouth and she starts to shiver even before she touches the water. She knows what's going to happen. Slowly I lower her into the water. She kicks as her feet hit the water. She sucks in a lung full of air as her eyes grow wide and the shivering increases.
I bend my knees up and let her stand on my stomach with her back against my legs. The shivering has stopped. Now the splashing begins. It's hard to bath her as she squirms around, but I have to admit I've gotten pretty good at it. She reaches out and grabs my chin. I tuck my head and capture her hand in my mouth, giving it little kisses that sends her into another fit of giggles.
Gabrielle lays a towel by the fire place to warm it for the little princess. Then she just sits back and watches us play. I don't even have to turn around to see the smile on her face, I can feel it.
"You know I have to admit Xena. The design of this house is very clever. I love the way you managed to design it so that one fire place could heat three different rooms."
"Thank you." I reply before blowing bubbles on Melosa's stomach. This is always a mistake and I know it. Every time I do this she manages to grab two handfuls of my hair. Gabrielle always has to get me out of it.
"All right you two. That's enough." She says as she brings the towel and extracts our daughter from the top of my head and our bath. She wraps the baby in the towel and takes her to the nursery. I finish bathing and quickly wash my hair as the waters begin to cool.
Cleaned and properly dressed, I am now allowed to get close to my wife. As I pull her into my arms I whisper in her ear. "Better?"
"Much." She says as she returns my embrace. "You smell better too."
"Are you saying that after training your warrior's all morning, then being pounced on by them and delivering a new foal I smelled bad?"
"Warrior you were ripe." She says with a laugh.
I look over her shoulder at Melosa who is reaching forward for another toy that is in front of her, just slightly out of her reach. I turned Gabrielle in my arms and continue to hold her as we watch our beautiful little girl.
"She's going to be the spitting image of you." Gabrielle says with a content sigh. "She's already got your personality. Defiant and stubborn to the ends of the Earth."
"This is a bad thing?" I ask as I move to Melosa. She looks up and reaches for me. I'm more than happy to scoop her up in my arms and hold her tightly against me.
"Only when I'm trying to get her to eat. She hates vegetables."
"Yeah well so do I." I say as I put my arm around my wife and guide her out of the nursery. "Let's go visit Argo."
As we walk through the village I am amazed at the looks we still get. We've been here for almost five seasons now. You would think that these women would have found something new to be fascinated with by now. Ephiny say it's because they never thought I would be happy here. Why wouldn't I be? I have everything I need right here in my arms. Gabrielle wrapped in one and the other wrapped around Melosa.
I'm every bit the proud warrior I always was I've just learned that there are far more important things in life. So I just return their smiles with a nod of my head and a little smile of my own.
At the stables Argo proudly shows off her new baby. The foal is strong and was standing just a few moments after its birth. As we approach the stall I hand Melosa to Gabrielle and enter the stall. I give Argo a good scratch on the nose. "Isn't motherhood great girl?" She nods her head and lowers it to look at her baby. I guide the foal over so Gabrielle can have a better look at her. "So what do you think my love?"
"Xena she's beautiful. She really is. Good job Argo."
My mare whickers her agreement and gives me a nudge. "What?" I ask her. She nudges me again and her lips begin searching the pocket of my tunic. "Oh you think I've got something for you huh?" She nudges me again. I reach into my pocket and give her a carrot.
"Well at least someone in the family like vegetables." Gabrielle giggles. "What are you going to name her?"
"Oh I don't know. I'll have to get to know her personality first. I just hope she's as smart as her mother."
Argo nods her head as she continues to munch her carrot. I give the foal one last scratch on the neck and leave the stall. Melosa reaches for me again and I take her back into my arms.
"I tried to tell you that you were spoiling her by holding her so much." Gabrielle says as we make the transfer.
"And I've always told you that I'll spoil her if I want too. Isn't that right princess?" I say as I give her a quick kiss on the cheek. Gabrielle just shakes her head as we leave the stables.
We move through the village to the hut where the communal meals are served. As Queen, Gabrielle may take her meals where ever she chooses, but we tend to eat with everyone else. It gives us a chance to catch up on village business and gossip. It also is good for Melosa. She loves the interaction of the people as she is happily passed from person to person. As we enter I see my two allies from this morning. Epinon isn't quite sure of herself with children yet, so here's my chance. I walk over and lean forward, Melosa knows this means she's going to someone else and she reaches out.
"Here you go Ep. Watch her while Gabrielle and I get our food."
Epinon reaches out and takes the baby under the arms and holds her at arms length. "What in the name of Artemis am I suppose to do with this?"
"Careful warrior. That's your princess you're talking about." I tease as I walk away.
"Xena, c'mon don't do this to me..." I hear her plead as I walk over to Gabrielle.
"You enjoyed that didn't you?" She whispers as we get our food.
"Un-huh. Teach her to let her warrior's ambush me." I chuckle as I look back over my shoulder and watch as Ep tries to get someone else to take Melosa.
"No way! The queen's consort told you to watch her." Says Solari as she winks at me.
"Aw c'mon guys. Somebody help me out here..." Her pleas are fruitless. I chuckle again.
Once we're seated, I go retrieve Melosa from the sweating warrior.
After the evening meal, we return to our home. Gabrielle puts Melosa down for the evening as I make sure the fire place will burn through the night. We can't keep a blanket on that child. I go to her cradle and watch her as she finds a peaceful sleep. I never tire of watching her. I lean over and give her a kiss on the forehead. Then I feel Gabrielle's gentle tug on my hand.
"C'mon warrior let her sleep."
We return to the main room of our home and I build the fire up there as well. Gabrielle opens a cabinet across the room and retrieves a decanter of wine and two cups. I settle down in front of the fire and wait for her. She joins me and settles down between my legs and leans back against me. She pours two glasses of wine and hands one to me.
"Tell me a story my bard." I ask as I sip my wine.
"There once was a fierce warrior..."
"Who gave herself to the beat of a tiny heart..."
The Raising Melosa Series Continues with A Visit To Mother's
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