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.
Violence: None. Yet<G>
Other: Part ten in the series "Legends Legacy". Takes place right after "Stalemate"
The Deal of a Lifetime
After putting Bri under the influence of the herbs, Mel and I work quickly to take the baby. Its best for Bri and the child. I know Ive got to get back out there and deal with my aunt as well. Now how in the world am I going to convince her not to take this child?
When the final cut is made and I can grasp the child, removing it from its mothers womb. I notice briefly that I have a granddaughter. I also notice that she is not breathing and I fear that Celesta may have already won. No.
I take the child aside, while Mel deals with taking care of Bri. I clean her tiny face, then empty her mouth and nose as best I can. I take in a breath and gently blow to begin breathing into my granddaughters mouth and nose. "Come on, little one. Fight!" I whisper to her. Another breath. "Come on! Breath!" After a moment she finally hiccups and lets out a cry worthy of, well, me. "Thats it sweetheart! You cry. You cry all you want." Im overjoyed at the noise as I clean and wrap her up.
I take the little bundle back to her mothers. Mel already has Bri tended to and is bringing her around from the herbs. "Come on sweetheart. Come see our baby."
"Baby?" Bri mutters, opening her eyes slowly.
"My granddaughter." I announce proudly, placing her in Mels arms so she can be with her wife and baby.
I watch Mel settle down next to Bri with the baby. Helping her wailing daughter find its mothers breast for the first time. Bri is still too weak and tired to hold their little girl but this is a perfect time for them to become a family. Now I just need to keep it that way.
I begin to wash my hands and clean up when Ri enters. "I heard the baby cry "
"Ri? Celesta "
She throws her hand up to stall my words. "She left Xe. She mumbled something about Ares and disappeared."
Im actually relieved that Ares chose this time to start a fight somewhere. Once I dry my hand I take Gabrielle to the side. "You stay here with them and dont let Celesta near that child. Im going to see what Ares is up to."
She nods, actually looking past me to the bed. Shes anxious to see our granddaughter. I lean in and whisper in her ear. "Shes beautiful and perfect and I intend to make sure she stays that way."
She returns to me and caresses my face. "You be careful."
I grin and wink. "Im a God, what can they do to me?"
"I dont want to think about it."
"Then dont. Go be with our family. Go meet your granddaughter." I lean in and give her a little kiss. "Ill be back soon."
I shake my head as I look at the battlefield. Once again Im surrounded by death. It occurs to me that these next few seasons as the God of the Underworld, must certainly be some kind of pay back for my warlord days.
I hear the rumble and know the sound of my own chariot. I remove my helmet to see it coming through the mist. The one upside to this god hood thing is the silly special effects. Totally unneeded, but fun.
My aide stops the chariot and steps down with a smile. "Xena, I didnt expect to see you here. I thought you were with your daughter and her family."
"I was Galen, but something came up."
"Ah, that might explain this." He hands me a scroll. "It was delivered for you right after this battle."
I take it and unroll it. Taking a deep breath, I take in the short note
You owe me.
Come see me.
I turn to my assistant. "You can handle this?"
"Of course. The list will be ready for you when you return to the Underworld."
I watch him walk through the field making notes at each fallen form. Hes deciding on the Fields or Tartarus. Im glad I dont have to do this today. I glance back at the note. I have something far more annoying to deal with now Im sure.
Theres nothing worse than a cocky God of War.
He's in his throne, one leg thrown casually over the arm of it. He's sipping from a goblet of wine and smirking at me even before I take off my helmet.
"Ares." I remove it and tuck it under my arm.
"Thank me Xena." He swirls the goblet and grins at me as he sips from it again.
"Thank me Xena." Hes almost singing it.
I quirk a bow, silently repeating my question of for.
"For saving the life of Mels child. Brilliant dont you think? Starting that little skirmish to lure Celesta away while you delivered the baby. But it did cost me something to get her to agree to leave Mels baby alone, so you owe me." He points at me with the hand holding the goblet.
"Thank you. Now what?"
"Well," He smirks and swirls the goblet, looking into it as if hes giving serious thought to his request. "It cost me ten of my best warriors to save the life of the brats brat. Celesta took them as even trade. Sooooo whats that worth to you?" He leans forward in his throne and grins at me. "Whats that worth to you Xena? The life of your firstborns firstborn."
"Cut the crap Ares. What do you want from me?"
He leans back and stares at the ceiling of the chamber. "Hmm, what do I want from the God of the Underworld?" A smile breaks across his face as he lowers his head to look at me. "Your god hood Xena. I want your god hood."
"You want me to give up being God of the Underworld?"
"Noooo that little deal you made is," He pauses, sipping from his goblet again. "Insignificant in the long run. Itll only be thirty seasons or so until Solan comes to take over. Thats merely a flash in our lifetime. I can deal with you being a God for that long. Itll be fun."
He stands then moves to a table heavily laden with food and begins picking through various plates. "Hungry?"
"No, actually Im feeling a little nauseous at the moment. Get on with it."
"After you leave the Underworld I want you to give up your powers. I want you to be merely immortal, like the annoying blonde."
I give my head a little shake and snort. "Fine. Ill agree to that."
He seems shocked when he turns to face me. "Really? Youre getting soft Xena. I expected more of an argument."
"Ares it doesnt matter to me. You know why?"
"Oh do tell."
"Because there will come a time when the masses will no longer believe in us anyhow and then we will be powerless. And while you try to deal with that, Gabrielle and I will be living our life together."
He laughs out loud, pouring another goblet of wine. "Itll never happen Xena. The people need us."
"No they dont. They just think they do. One of these days theyll know what Gabrielle and I have always known. You make your own destiny. When that happens youll be scraping and clawing, trying to save your miserable existence and Ill be on a sunny, sandy beach somewhere, being fed fresh fruit from Gabrielles lips and making love to her."
"Well," His grin widens. "Thanks so much for that mental image. Ill cherish it always."
"You do that. Because a mental image is all youre ever gonna get."
I turn to leave his chamber, but before I can, he calls to me. "Yes?" I inquire without turning around.
"Make sure to tell Gabrielle I said hello." I hear him laugh. Then his laughter fades away.
I put on my helmet and prepare to return to my family.
Stepping quietly into the room. I see Mel sitting on the floor next to the bed. Bri is asleep, the baby cradled in her arms. Gods, history is repeating itself. Ri moves from her spot in the corner and immediately wraps her arms around me.
"Is everything okay?"
"Everything is very okay." I tell her after placing a kiss to the top of her head. "How are they doing?"
"Theyre fine. The baby is strong and eating well. Bri has taken in a little water and Mel has finally calmed down." She smiles at me, running her thumb across my bottom lip. "They named her Xena. She has the darkest hair. Its so dark it shines blue black." She replaces her head on my shoulder. "I havent mentioned "
"Good, dont. They dont need to know. Its all over. Celesta wont be coming for her."
"I made a deal with Ares."
"Ares? She pulls back from me, looking up at me with concern cut deeply into her features. "What kind of deal?"
I smile at my little namesake. Then look to my soul mate. "The deal of a life time."
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