Twenty-Second 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.
Other: Part twenty-two 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 "Youre Still the One". Also, youll be getting these next several parts from Xenas POV.
"Gabrielle?" I said softly to get her attention, it had wondered away from me while I contemplated my next course of action. She turned her head back to me. "Does anything here look familiar to you?" She just cocked her head at my question. I sighed. "Do you want to get up?"
She looked as if she was considering this question. "Up." She said slowly as she started to sit up.
"Okay, okay wait just a moment." I stilled any further movement from her. "Let me help you. You were hurt in an accident." I said as I help her sit on the edge of the bed. "You may think youre ready for this, but Ill bet five dinars your body isnt."
"Dinars?" She asked as she gripped my arm. I could see pain flashing across her face and I could hear it reflected in her words.
"Never mind. Its not important. Does this hurt? Hurt?" I repeated the word as I waved my hand over her body, trying to make her understand.
She looked at me utterly defeated. "Rest." She said breathlessly as she slid back toward the bed. I helped her lay back down.
"Gabrielle what your feeling is called pain and it hurts. You have to tell me when you feel this way." I could only hope that the meaning of my words were actually getting through to her.
I nodded as I covered her back up. "Yes rest." I sat on the edge of the bed and just watched her watching me. I ran a thumb over her eyebrows and smoothed them out.
She reached out and traced my jaw line. "Xena rest."
I captured her hand and gave it a kiss. "No Im fine." Somehow, from somewhere she still managed to find that, I know youre lying to me Warrior look she had always given me when she knew I had pushed myself too long and too hard and wasnt willing to admit it. "Really Im fine." I dont know why I felt the need to reassure her, but I did. Habit maybe. I swear I heard her harrumph at me just like always.
"Gabrielle. I dont know what you understand and what you dont. I dont know what you remember. I hope you know that I love you and Im going to do what ever it takes to make you well."
"Tea? You want some tea? Okay Ill be right back. Stay put."
I couldnt help but smile as I prepared her tea. She understood some things well enough to ask for them. This wasnt going to be easy, but then again I learned along time ago that nothing worth having ever was.
As I started for our room there was a knock at the door. I detoured to answer it. Ephiny stood there, eyebrows raised, with a silly little smile. "I hear theres some good news." She said as she came in. I looked past her waiting for Mel. "I made her stay for her lessons." She said without even asking. "I hope that was alright."
"Yeah it was a good idea Eph thanks."
"Shes not very happy with me Im afraid."
"Shell get over it."
"So tell me." Eph said as we went back into the kitchen so I could make her some tea.
"Well shes awake, but I dont know what she understands or what she remembers. She seems to understand or at least be able to put things together rather quickly and she just asked for a cup of tea or at least I think she did."
"Can I see her?" Eph asked as she took her tea.
"Sure you can, but I gotta warn you Eph. Its not the Gabrielle you know in that room."
"Okay. Do me a favor. Lets not get into the village or anything yet. First things first, the kids come first. I dont care if she remembers me or anything else, but I hope against hope that I can help her remember the kids."
"No problem. I understand completely."
We made went back into the room and I peeked in first to make sure she was still awake. "Hey you have company." I said as Eph and I entered. I sat down next to her and Eph took a seat on the other side of the bed. I offered her the tea. She reached a tentative hand and tried to grasp the mug. She held it, but it was shaky so I just gave her a little assist. At least I was right, she did want tea. "Gabrielle this is Ephiny. She came over to she how youre doing."
She glanced over to Eph. It was painful for me to watch the two friends watch each other. I could see all the things Eph wanted to say and I could see Ri struggling to recall her friend. Ri reached out and took Ephs hand.
"Hey you." Eph said as cheerfully as she could. "I thought Id come in and see how you were doing. Looks like youre okay." She smiled "I know if I had someone that good looking taking care of my every whim, Id be okay too." She said with a slight nod of her head in my direction.
Ri turned back to me and smiled. It became clearer to me that she did indeed understand a lot of what was being said. Thank the Gods. She turned back to Eph and raised a shaky hand to point at me. "Xena rest."
By the Gods she ratted me out to the Regent. Eph looked at me and bit down on her lip to keep from laughing. "You think so huh?" Eph turned back to Gabrielle. "Well I tell you what. Why dont I spend some time with you today and well make her get a little rest. Is that good?"
Gabrielle closed her eyes and struggled with the word. "Good."
"But " I protested only to have Eph wave her hand at me and motion me outside. I got to my feet and followed her out of the room.
"Before you start complaining," Eph began before she even gave me a chance to talk. "The first thing I noticed is how tired you looked. Gabrielle can see that too. Now you dont want to upset her do you?"
"No of course not but "
"Good, so Ill tell you what," She took my hand and led me to the couch. "You just lay down here for say a candle mark and get a little rest. Ill stay with Gabrielle."
She gave me a shove and I hit the couch. I sat there looking up at her in total disbelief. At that point she grabbed my feet and turned me until I was lying down, then she stood over me. "Humor us." She said finally.
"Okay, okay." I said as I stretched and re-adjust to be a little more comfortable. "But I wont sleep so if you need me come get me."
"Absolutely." She smiled as she turned and walked away.
I opened my eyes. Gods I had dozed off. How long had I been asleep? Long enough for someone to throw a blanket over me. I tossed it to the side and got to my feet, stretching and trying to get a handle on how late it was. I headed for our room. I entered to find Eph sitting at Gabrielles desk reading over some parchments. Gabrielle was sound asleep.
"Well hello sleepyhead." Eph grinned as she turned to me.
"How long?" I asked as I went to the bed to check Ri.
"Just a couple of candle marks. She fell asleep right after you did."
"Im sorry." I ran my fingers through her hair that wasnt covered by the bandage. She looked more restful now than she had since the accident.
"Dont be. You both needed the rest. Im glad I could help."
"You want a decent cup of tea now?"
"Sure. Thatd be great."
We returned to the kitchen and I made fresh tea. Eph leaned against the counter and watched me with her arms crossed. "Whaat?!" I asked as I poured the tea.
"So how are you doing during all of this?" She accepted the mug.
"It doesnt matter how Im doing. What matters is how Gabrielles doing." I sipped my tea and raised my eyebrow at her.
"Thats not true and you know it. Youve been awfully stressed for the past couple of weeks. First the trouble with Mel and then all this. It cant be easy on you my friend."
"Well to tell you the truth there is some part of me that would just love to go pick a nice bar fight."
"I figured as much. You must be under a great deal of pressure Xena. Dont get me wrong. I know you and I know that youre taking excellent care of your family, just like you always have, but this has got to be taking its toll on you too. If theres anything we can do to help "
"I know Eph thanks. I guess Im feeling a little guilty because she got hurt to begin with. I was out in the stables sulking for the love of Zeus."
"You were not sulking you were thinking about your daughter. And you had no way of knowing that this was going to happen. What are you suppose to do? You cant be everywhere. Havent you learned that yet?"
I sighed. I hated it when other people were right.
"Look I just want you to know that were all here for you, the both of you. So if you need anything just let us know."
"I will thanks. So how goes everything over in the village?"
"Well everyone is worried of course, but theres nothing pressing at the moment. Xena do you think shes ever going to be able to return to her duties as Queen?"
"I dont Eph. Its too early to think about that anyhow. She needs time to get better. You can handle it until then right?"
"Sure. I handled it while she followed you around the known world. I think I can hold it together for a few more weeks." She grinned.
"Im going to fix up something to eat and see if I can get her to eat something. You want to stick around?"
"No Im going to get back. Ill fill everyone in. If you need anything you can send your little messenger. Ive got to tell you, she was so proud that you sent her by herself."
"I knew she could handle it." I smiled at the thought of my little messenger.
After Eph left I took in a light meal and we ate together. She was getting better control over her muscles and that encouraged me, but I still fed her to make sure she got the food I thought she should have.
"Feel better now that you got to tell on me and make me take a nap?" I teased as she sipped from a cup of milk.
"Yes." She said as I took the cup away and brushed her mouth gently with a cloth.
"Listen Gabrielle there are some things you need to know. Very soon youre going to have another little visitor. Her name is Melosa. Shes our daughter." I watched her trying to gage her reaction. She was processing the information and trying to recall something, anything. "Its okay if you dont remember her. She understands, but she wants to see you. Is that okay with you?"
"Yeah umm well basically shes a little me." She smiled at the joke, I didnt know if she remembered or if the image made her smile, but it didnt matter. "So its okay if she comes to see you?"
"Then in a few days well introduce you to the rest of the family."
"Yeah you and I have quite the little brood Gabrielle. We have a total of five children, a daughter by marriage and a granddaughter." She cocked her head to the side just a little slight smile played on her lips. I heard the front door open and close. "Speaking of which. I think number one daughter may be home now. Ill be right back."
I left our room. Outside I found Mel storming around the room walking in little circles. I recognized this as her attempt to get her temper under control.
"Whats wrong Mel?" I asked as I pulled the door shut.
"How long do I have to take her crap before Im allowed to knock her silly without getting in trouble for it?!" She almost yelled, her blue eyes blazing at me. Oh I knew that look, I had seen it in my reflection many times.
"Who do you think?!" She threw her arms up into the air and continued to walk around in circles.
"Reena? Good Gods! Im going to have to go over there and have a talk with those people."
She stopped walking in circles and came up and grabbed me by the tunic. "Thats a great idea! Well go together you take the big ones and Ill take the little one and well pummel them senseless.
I couldnt help but laugh out loud at the thought. Tempting, very tempting, but then wed have to answer to Ri once she was better. "Tell you what why dont we try talking to them first?"
"Because they dont listen! They just cant seem to grasp the fact that theyre really starting to piss me "
"MEL!" I stopped her right there.
She stopped and clamped her hands over her mouth. "Im sorry." She said as she removed her hands. "I didnt mean it."
"Yeah you did, but its okay. I understand, but we just cant go storming over there "
"Sure we can. You storm very well. Ive seen you do it!" She grabbed my tunic again and tried to shake me. "PUUULEEAAZZEEEE?"
I actually had tears in my eyes as I tried to choke back the humor I was finding in this situation. Instead I put my hands on her shoulders to calm her down. "I have a better idea."
"Does it in any way involve the slow torture of those idiots?"
"Then its really not a better idea Mom."
"How bout you go in and see your Mother? Shes awake." I said this with a soft smile hoping to get her to calm down.
See looked up at me a little unsure. "Does she want to see me?"
"Sure she does. Do you want to see her?"
"More than anything."
"Then lets go."
We entered our room. Mel approached the bed very slowly, very carefully. "Momma?" She said softly.
Ri opened her eyes and smiled at our daughter. She raised both of her arms and invited Mel in for a hug. Mel climbed onto the bed and very gently lowered herself down next to Ri as she wrapped her arms around her and rested her cheek on Mels head. Mels eyes closed, Ris eyes closed and very soon they were asleep in each others arms.
The Raising Melosa Series Continues with New Beginnings
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