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: Definitely implied

Violence: No

Language: Mild


Other: Part Sixty in the series "Raising Melosa". Takes place about a week after "The Family Curse".



Lessons Learned

By T.Novan



I used the cloth to wipe my face, neck and arms. "Damn it’s hot." Even in the cover of the grove of trees where I was clearing land for our new house it was just damned hot. I took a drink from a water skin hanging on a nearby branch. Then I stripped off my tunic. "Too damn hot for that." Taking the water skin I proceeded to dump most of it over my head letting it run down my body to cool my over-heated skin. Then I picked up the ax and turned to begin working on another tree.

"Ooooo consort I don’t think that’s a very good idea." I heard Ri laugh from behind me.

I landed the ax in the tree then turned to her. "What?"

"Hmmm." She purred as she moved toward me. "Working without your shirt." She dropped the basket she was carrying as she opened her arms and wrapped me up in them. "You aren’t gonna get a lot of work done like this."

I chuckled as I returned her embrace, kissing her on the top of the head. "Is that so?"

"Oh yeah." She murmured as she kissed my collarbone.

"Ah Ri come on now honey, I smell bad. I’ve been sweating like a horse all day."

"Don’t care…." She massaged my back as she attached herself firmly to my neck. "I’ve missed you today."

"So that’s what brings you over here huh?"

"Ummhmm. That and I figured you were hungry." She reluctantly released one hand from my back gesturing to the basket.

"Smells like chicken."

"Hope it tastes like chicken too because that’s what it is." She smiled as she stepped back from me and picked up the basket. "So, you hungry?"

"Yeah I think you could persuade me."

She spread the small blanket from the top of the basket next to a tree then proceeded to sit down and unpack our meal. I stretched and twisted at the waist to loosen the muscles in my lower back. "Oh Warrior if you plan on eating anytime soon, don’t do that…." She grinned up at me.

"Yeah?" I grinned back.

She took my hand, tugging me down. I dropped to my knees in front of her. So much for the chicken.


She rested on my shoulder as I leaned against the tree. We sat there blissfully intertwined still considering the idea of eating.

"Niiiice…." She purred as she kissed my shoulder.

"Oh yeah very nice." I tightened my hold on her as my eyes opened. "It’s umm been awhile huh?"

"Yeah, but what a nice ending to the wait."

"I’m sorry if I haven’t been as attentive as I should be Ri…."

She placed her fingers over my lips. "Don’t." She turned my head, ever so slowly as she stroked my cheek gave me a kiss that left the chicken forgotten again.


"You should get dressed." She said as she rubbed small circles on my stomach.

"I will if you will." I laughed as she moved over me to straddle my stomach.

"But maybe I don’t want to…." She leaned over and kissed me.

"Well maybe I don’t want to either."

"We’re never going to get to the food of we keep it up."

"You on a tight schedule?" I grinned as my hands ran up and down her thighs.

"No, but the chicken will get cold."

"Cold chicken is good."

"Then maybe we should give it a chance to cool a little more."

"Maybe we should." I pulled her down for another kiss.


I tossed my tunic on over my shoulders as Ri finished getting dressed. It was still too warm to fasten it up. She grinned at me as she began unpacking the food. "What?"

"You know the older you get the sexier you get." She fixed a plate, handing it to me as I settled back against the tree.

"Hmm is that so?" I picked a piece of chicken from the bone and sucked it into my mouth with a leer.

"Xena be good. We can’t spend the entire day making love."

"Why not?" I wiggled my brows at her as I took another bite.

"Because eventually someone is going to come down here looking for us." She joined me next to the tree with her own plate and two cups of tea.

"Ah afraid of getting caught my bard?"

"Nah I’d just hate to be making love and have Mel come charging through here trying to get away from Tera. Could put a damper in the mood…."

I couldn’t help but laugh as I thought of poor Mel. "Oh that girl does have it bad for our daughter."

"Xe I feel so sorry for Mel. Tera is very insistent…."

"Tera is in loooovvee…." I laughed again only to get a slap on the arm from my queen.

"Be nice. Mel is half crazy from this. She told me she spends most of her time walking in the trees cause the ground is too dangerous."

"It is!" We heard her grumble as she dropped from the trees.

I had to be impressed, even in all that armor she walked in total silence in the upper branches of the trees. She landed in a crouch right in front of us. I laughed as she stood up. "Hiya Mel."

"Mother this is not funny."

"Yes it is." I sipped my tea. "You have your first admirer and let me tell you my darling daughter. It’s going to be the first in a long line."

She settled down against another tree, taking a plate of food that Ri offered. "Thank you. This is the first quiet meal I’ve had in a week." She looked over at me. "Or it will be if you’ll behave."

I nodded as I continued to sip my tea. "I promise."

"So Mel," Ri leaned back next to me as she looked to our daughter. "Do you want me to talk to Delia about Tera?"

Mel dropped her head and sighed. "No. I just wish she would relax a little. Do you know she gets up an extra candle mark early just so she can be ready to watch me walk from the house to the village."

I snorted, I just couldn’t help it.

"Mother please…." She whined as her head dropped back against the tree.

"Mel it’s just a crush. She’ll get over it. Especially if you keep ignoring her."

She opened an eye at me, quirking a brow. "Really?"

"Yeah just keep dodging her, she’ll give up eventually."

"Xe," Ri turned and gave me a really dirty look. "That has to be the stupidest advice I have ever heard."

"I don’t know, sounds good to me." Mel grinned as she ate some of the chicken.

"Mel," Ri turned back to our daughter as she placed her elbow firmly in my ribs, giving me a silent warning. "You need to talk to her. You need to tell her that you’re not interested in her."

"But she doesn’t listen…."

"Try again. Take her for a walk and talk to her…."

"Umm Ri…." I felt the poke.

"You need to explain how you feel."

"Ri…." Another poke.

"She deserves to be let down easy. Be nice. Ignoring her is only going to hurt her feelings." She shot me a look.

I just lifted my eyes and looked up into the trees. I saw Rilex up there, bouncing up and down eyeing my chicken. I held up a leg with a little meat. He swooped out of the tree grabbing the offering in his talons before returning to the tree.

"You really think that will work?"

"Yes." Ri said as she leaned back.

"No." I said as I watched Rilex clean the bone.

"You disagree?" Ri leaned into me.

"Oh yeah. Taking her for a walk would be a big mistake. It’s going to send the wrong message."

"Great now I’m really confused." Mel growled as she poked at her food.

"Well you can try it your Mom’s way and if it doesn’t work then you can go with plan beta."

"Well at this point what do I have to lose?"

Famous last words.



I cleared my throat as we walked near the river. Tera walked next to me watching her feet looking at me occasionally and smiling. I stopped and turned to the river pitching in a stone or two as I tried to figure out what to say. "Tera?"

"Yes Mel…."

"Ummm there’s something I need to tell you…."


I looked over to her she was looking at me now with a smile. Aww Tartarus I had a feeling this was going to be bad. "I umm…well…." Before I realized what had happened she moved to me and kissed me on the lips. I pulled back, putting my hands on her arms.

"I love you Mel." She tried to put her arms around me, but I held her back.

"Tera please. I brought you here to talk to you. You don’t love me."

"Yes I do." She nodded and tried to kiss me again.

"No, now come on listen to me."

She dropped her head. "Yes Mel…."

"Tera I don’t want to hurt your feelings, really I don’t, but I’m not interested in you."

"Oh…." She said softly as she turned away from me. "Boy I’ve been making a real fool out of myself then huh."

"No not at all. I should have said something sooner." I put a hand on her shoulder and turned her to face me. She had tears running down her cheeks. "Hey please don’t cry."

"I’m sorry if I caused you any problems…." She turned away from my, running toward the village. I was left by the bank of the river feeling like a total ass.



"How’d it go?" I asked as Mel came into the house. She looked like she had just been kicked in the gut.

"She cried."

"Oh I hate it when they do that." I brushed my hand over the plans for the house smoothing them out.

"I feel really bad now." She sat down across from me as she began unbuckling her armor. "Why did she have to cry?" She lifted the breastplate off, laying it on the floor.

"Well Mel this is one part of life that never gets any easier."

"Sure it does. It has to get easier after you get married."

I knew the look of surprise on my face was evident. "You think so huh?"

"Oh yeah I mean once you’re with the person you love most it’s got to get easier right?"

"You just go on believing that." I grinned as I made a slight change to the plans for the house. "You’re young yet. You’ll figure it out eventually."

"Gee thanks. What are you doing?"

"Making a change to the plans for the house."

"What kind of change?"

"I’m moving our sleeping chamber."


"Cause the person I love most in the world wants to make my life easier." I said with a smile as I looked up. Mel just picked at the table. "Hey kiddo. It will be okay. She’ll get over it."

"Yeah, but I wasn’t interested in her. Why do I feel so bad?"

"Because you care about people."

"Man I’m going to have to give that up."

"There’s no way you could do that. Too much of your Mom in you." I stood up and moved to her giving her shoulders a little rub I could feel the tension easing a bit. "Mel I’m not joking when I say that it doesn’t get easier. You will have your share of people who want to be near you and want to make you happy. Some will be because you’re a warrior and they don’t want to make you angry. Some will be because you’re going to be a beautiful young woman and they want to please you. You may even run into a few who want to keep you amused because you’re my daughter. Over time you will learn the difference and you’ll know who to feel bad over and who just needs their butts kicked."

She turned around and looked at me with a grin. "Thanks."

"You’re welcome." I took a good look at her then grinned. "Was is a nice kiss?"

She blushed. "How did you know?"

"Well rule number one after a woman kisses you, wipe your lips. It’ll wipe away most of the evidence."

"Ah geeze…." She wiped her hand over her lips. "I’m glad I didn’t run into Kai or Bailus on the way home."

"So did you like it?" I patted her shoulder. "This was your first kiss right? Even if it wasn’t please tell me yes."

"Well yes it was my first kiss but I’m not counting it. She kissed me, I didn’t kiss her."

"It counts." I retook my seat.

"Does not."

"Does too."

"No way."


Ri stuck her head in from the kitchen. "Does too…."

Mel groaned. I smiled.