Thirtieth 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.
Sex: Nothing graphic
Other: Part thirty 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 "Aftermath." Also, were dealing with the rediscovery of memories here. After much debated with myself I realized that there is no way I can do this issue the true justice it deserves. So Im doing the best I can to be fair to the character of Gabrielle and how she would deal with this issue.
Im not sure if it was the effects of the herbs that hadnt worn of completely or the fact I was wrapped up with the kids is the reason I didnt feel him arrive. Maybe because he never made my skin crawl the way the others did. Or maybe it was because he was my father, I stood there looking at Hades as he pulled his gloves off.
"May I come in?" He asked as he tucked them in his helmet.
"Yes of course. Im sorry." I stepped back and allowed him into our home.
As he came in Ri stood and joined me Hades I heard her say under her breath as she laid her hand on my back. The children gathered near the couch. Mel and Kai did a very good job of taking their sisters in hand and keeping them quiet as they stared at the tall, dark man who had just come into the house. They knew who their grandfather was, but they had never laid eyes on him until this moment.
He smiled at Ri. "Hello Gabrielle. Its good to see you again. I havent seen you since Solan got married. Do you remember that?"
Oh so this was his game. "You know she doesnt Hades. If youre here to " I was beginning to get angry and he could see it.
"Xena calm down. Im not here to upset anyone. Im here to help Gabrielle."
"Help me?" Ri stepped forward and drew him to the table offering him a place at our dining table. "Help me how?"
"Well that in part is up to you my dear." He said, as he sat his helmet on the table and undid the clasp of his cloak and allowed it to fall from his shoulders to the back of his chair.
As I closed the door, I turned to Mel and motioned for her to take her brother and sisters into her room and occupy them there.
"Xena actually could they stay? Id like to meet them and spend a little time with them. We can talk after they go to bed."
I was amazed. He was taking an interest in his grandchildren. This was not something I expected. "Well yes of course you can I mean they can." He was here acting like this was a social visit, something he did all the time.
He actually chuckled at me. "Its okay Xena I know this is a surprise to you. I dont blame you for being a little thrown."
"A little thrown? Hades my barn burning down would throw me a little. You showing up unannounced on my door step is a something entirely different." I crossed the room to the children and sat with them. I took Kessa into the crook of my arm and sat her on the couch next to me. Rosa climbed up on my lap and rested her head on my good shoulder. Kai looked up at me as Mel slid off the couch and started across the room toward him.
"Ah, you must be Melosa." He said as he extended his hand to her. Ri poured tea for all of us and even placed a mug in front of him. He smiled and nodded his thanks to her as Mel took his hand. "Its okay I wont hurt you."
"Youre my grandfather?" She asked as she drew closer to him.
"Yes. Im very proud of you Melosa. You acted with great bravery last night. You saved your Mothers life."
Mel just shrugged.
"Shes not quite up to talking about it yet." Ri said softly as she took a seat at the table close to Mel and ran her hand through our daughters hair.
"Ah I see. Well in good time." He said as he patted her hand. "Youre doing well with your lessons and your training?"
I sat there on the couch and watched as he talked to all the children. He took great delight in Kai and the twins. Kai seemed so shy with him it was almost funny to watch this mammoth man interact with his small grandson. Kessa and Rosa adored him. He had lots of shiny things on his armor, which required inspection. Pulling and tugging at the buckles. There was something humanizing about this. Watching the God of the Underworld covered in grandchildren and loving every moment of it.
I looked to my wife who sat at the table with a smile on her face as she too watched Hades with the children. I caught her eye and motioned for her to join me on the couch. She brought her tea and curled up next to me in the crook of my arm. I rested my chin on the top of her head as we watched him with the children.
"Its amazing Xe." She whispered.
"Yeah it is, but I dont know theres just something about it. I cant quite put my finger on it."
"He looks happy. You know that Perpesphone isnt with him right now and he always gets depressed when she gone. Maybe thats why hes here."
"No he said he was here to help you."
"I wonder what he meant by that."
"Im sure well find out soon enough, but let him enjoy the kids a bit longer."
"Besides," I whispered in her ear with a light laugh. "I needed a break."
She turned in my arms and gave me a soft kiss. "Ill bet you did. They were giving you a real work out tonight."
"The best." I hugged her close. My arm ached and my head even hurt a little bit but it was almost a delicious pain. I hadnt had a fight in a while and I had gotten hurt. It shouldnt have happened, but it did and I wont try to excuse it away. I will simply enjoy the pain as a reminder not to let it happen again. I must have been lost in thought because it was the feel of Ris hand gently squeezing my thigh that brought me back.
"Tired?" She asked softly.
"No Im okay, just thinking."
Kai tugged on Hades hand and pulled him down to whisper something to him. Hades in turn looked at me and grinned as his grandson continued to whisper in his ear. "Well," He said as he sat back up in his chair. "I guess that would be up to your mothers now wouldnt it?"
Kai turned around and gave us a big smile as he practically bounced across the room. He had lost a tooth the day before and really looked pretty silly. I couldnt help, but laugh a little as he came to the back of the couch and made his request known.
"Of course he can if he wants." Ri told him.
Kai wanted Hades to spend the night. He wanted his grandfather to stay with him in his room. "Welcome aboard." I grinned at Hades as I gave Kai a pat on the head. "Ive got to warn you. Mornings can be a little hectic around here."
"Couldnt be any worse than what I go through on a daily basis." He said.
"Wanna bet?" I said as I got to my feet and announced it was bedtime for anyone under the age of thirty.
"Whew I just made it." Ri teased from her spot on the couch as she got up the fetch the twins from Hades.
"Oh yeah how can you be so sure?" I grinned as I tossed Kai over my good shoulder.
"There are some things you just dont forget Warrior." She said as she poked me in the chest. I knew full well she didnt have a clue, but she played along and seemed to have a good time with it.
Hades got to his feet and took Kai from me. "May I?" He asked as he held the boy.
"Of course. His room is the one in the middle there." I pointed at the door and turned to help Ri with Kessa and Rosa. I started to take her when I noticed Mel at the table, tracing small circles with her finger across the grain of the wood. "Ri can you " I pointed at Mel.
"Yeah." She said softly as she took the girls to their room.
I joined Mel at the table. Sitting next to her I gave her room and still tried to be close to her. "Whats up pal?"
"I dont want to go to bed." She said softly.
"Umm-hmm " She picked at the table.
"Well Ill tell you what, your mom and I need to talk with you grandfather, but if youre real quiet and promise to try and sleep Ill let you stay on the couch. Well make you a bed there. Okay?"
She nodded her head and we went to get her blanket and pillow from her room. I sent her back out to the outer room and help Ri get the twins down.
"Whats going on?" She asked as she tucked Kessa in.
"Bad dreams. Shes scared Ri. Im going to let her drift off on the couch and then Ill bring her in here." I put Rosa down and covered her up. She curled up in her blanket and tossed it over her head. A quick game of peek-a-boo, with her and she was content to settle down and go to sleep. I gave them both a kiss and watched as Ri did the same. I grabbed a sleeping gown for Mel and left the room.
She was putting her blanket and pillow on the couch when I came back in. I offered her my hand and led her to our room. I sat down on the bed and began helping her undress for bed. "Its okay you know?" I said as I unfastened her tunic.
"To be afraid."
"Have you ever been afraid?"
"Oh yeah lots."
"The day you were born."
"Why did that scare you?"
"Because I knew someday this day would come and I was afraid I either wouldnt be able to help you through it or I wouldnt be here to help you through it."
She lifted her arms and I slipped her gown over her head. After it settled on her shoulders she wrapped her arms around me. "I love you."
I stroked her hair and kissed the top of her head. "I love you too."
"Thanks pal." She said as she pushed off my legs. "I think youre doing a pretty decent job of the whole thing." She grinned at me.
"Glad to hear it. Finish getting ready and come on out okay."
"Will they go away? The dreams I mean."
"Yeah yeah they will. It may take time, but theyll go away."
I kissed her again and joined Ri and Hades in to outer room.
"Is she okay?" They asked almost in unison.
"For now. Well get her through it."
I took a seat at the table with them and could tell that Ri was ready to find out exactly why Hades had come. He waited a few moments until he had said goodnight to Mel and tucked her safely onto the couch. She was thrilled that her grandfather took the time to tuck her in and even popped up over the back to give us a big smile. Then he returned to us.
Ri nervously took my hand and gave it a little squeeze. I ran my thumb over her hand to reassure her than everything would be all right.
"First I have a confession to make." He said as he settled down at the end of the table with us. He turned and caressed Gabrielles cheek. "That accident that took your memory was my fault and I am so sorry that you were hurt."
"How?" She asked as he withdrew his hand.
"The wind that knocked that tower over was not a wind at all. It was an escaped soul. One of my worst from Tartarus lower level. It never should have happened, but it did and you got hurt and Im am so sorry."
"Why didnt you come sooner?" I asked, remembering that Mel was in the room and that loosing my temper with him now wouldnt be good for her.
"I had to recapture the monster Xena, before it could do further harm. Now that it has been done Ive come to try and make thing right again."
He took his time and explained that there were two ways for Ri to recover her memories. He could take her to Olympus and show her, her past. He also pointed out that with this method he really wasnt giving her back her memories he was only showing her what had happened to her in her life time. None of the feelings associated with memories would be returned.
The second choice he gave her was for Dionysus to come and return her memories to her. Our life together had been such a mixture of light and dark, pleasure and pain, love and hate, that only Dionysus could restore all of her memories in the proper order with the proper emotion attached to them.
"Of course he has conditions. First the children mustnt be here and Xena you have to stay."
"Theres no way I would leave." I said quietly. "As for the children we can make arrangements for them. Ri which do you want to do?"
"Im not sure." She looked to Hades. "Can we have the night to consider it?"
"Of course. Im not going anywhere tonight." He said with a grin as he got up and headed into Kais room.
We checked on Mel, who was sound asleep on the couch. I started to move her to her room when Ri stopped me. "Leave her. Shes okay. Lets go to bed."
We lay there together, her head resting on my good shoulder. My hand brushed thoughtlessly through her hair as we talked. "Scared?" I asked.
"A little. I mean I want them back, but I expected to get them back bit by bit not all at once, you know."
"Yeah." I kissed her forehead. "I wish there was more I could do."
"Just stay with me."
"Im not going anywhere."
"So does your shoulder hurt a lot?" She asked as she ran her hand over my stomach. I recognized this signal.
"Oh its not too bad."
"Really." I answered as I brought her lips to mine.
A knocking in the very early hours of the morning did nothing for the start of the day. The news that followed really set the tone for what was to come.
"What do you mean Kai has your helmet!" I practically yelled at him as I tied off my robe. I remembered at the last moment that Mel was asleep just a short distance away.
"I got up early to exercise my team. Kai woke and asked if he could go. I said yes. While I was getting dressed he found my helmet and put it on."
"So what youre trying to tell me is we have an invisible five year old boy running around here somewhere."
"That pretty much sums it up." He grinned as he rocked on his heals just a little.
"Hades this is not funny."
From behind me I heard my wife toss in her two dinars through the yawns. "Oh I dont know I can see a certain amount of humor here. Come on Xena you know Kai. Hes not the trouble type. Hes probably standing right next to you trying not to giggle."
With that she went into the kitchen. I couldnt help it I had to sweep the area next to me with my hands to see if she was right. "I swear Hades Im going to have Hephaestus make a damn chain for that thing and Im going to lock it to your wrist." I growled at him. "Lemme go get dressed."
I came back into the room with my boots in my hand expecting this to be a long drawn out search. I sat down at the table when I heard the click of dog type toenails coming into the room. "Auto find Kai." Gabrielle smirked at me as she sipped her tea from her spot leaning in the doorway of the kitchen.
I pulled on my boots as I watched the dog wander around the room. He finally pounced right on top of a sleeping Mel who woke with one of the loudest yells I have ever heard in my life.
"GET OFF ME YOU STUPID DOG!!" She shoved him to the floor and I watched as he settled right by the couch.
"All right Kai youre found give the helmet back to you grandfather and whatever you had planned for your sister can just be forgotten."
I heard the little murmur as he took the helmet off and reappeared.
"Bring it here." He crossed the room and handed me the helmet. "Apologize to your grandfather and your sister."
"Yes maam." He took his sorry little backside, which he now knew was about to be in my hand and leaned over the back of the couch. "Im sorry Mel really I am. I was just having a little fun." She just growled a "SAll right." and rolled over and pulled the blankets back over her head. Then he turned and stood before his grandfather. Looking up at the man who towered over him. He took a deep breath. "Im sorry grandpa." Then he came over and stood before me. "Im sorry Momma."
"Umm-hmm " I stood up and pointed to the front door.
He dropped his head and went to the door. Auto followed and as they headed out I heard him talking to the dog. "Traitor "
I handed Hades his helmet. "This is the second time weve had to get this back for you "
"Xena what are you going to do?" Hades asked as he took the helmet. "The boy was just playing."
"He took something that didnt belong to him Hades and hes going to be punished."
I took a deep breath and looked to Ri. I didnt have to do this very often, but when I did I was serious. Mel and Kai had both gotten their share of swats over the seasons. She knew I hated to do it, but also knew it had to be done and she nodded to me. I turned and left the house.
When we came back in after a long talk and what turned out to be a far more painful experience for me that my son I sat him down with his sisters for their morning meal and I went into our sleeping chamber and pulled my boot off. A small piece of broken tack from a bridle had punctured my boot and my foot. Ri came in and saw that I was bleeding all over the floor.
"What did you do?" She asked as she gathered up my kit and started tending to the cut in my foot."
"Stepped in something I shouldnt have." I grinned as she pulled the piece from my foot.
"Thanks so much for that mental image. Oh this couldnt have felt good." She held up the piece for me to look at as she continued to clean the wound and dress it.
"I need new boots."
"I guess you do."
"Ri have you decided?" I asked as I put my finger through the hole in my boot.
TBC Okay this is where the bard begs for your patience. Im just getting ready to start RM31 and I know its going to be long and involved. Its going to be a real nightmare to write (no pun intended) so be diligent I assure you I will get it just as soon as its done. I have it started in my head all ready so if my muse is kind the wait should not be a long one. TN
The Raising Melosa Series Continues with The Soul Of The Bard
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