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: Just a little.
Other: Part four in the series "Legends Legacy". Takes place about a week "Big Trouble, Little Packages"
Its all in the Presentation
"Put it back!" Mel growls, grabbing John by the scruff of the neck.
"Gods do you people have eyes in the back of your head?" He grumbles at her as we continue through the market. Xe is keeping a close eye on him and then letting Mel deal with him when he steals something.
"Yes! And if you dont behave Ill show you where I keep my claws and fangs too."
"Aww save it for the wife." John argues, trying to pull away from her.
Oh I knew that was a mistake the moment he said it. Xe, Bri and I stop and wait for Mel to stop dunking him in the barrel of water.
"Mel dont drown him." Xe calls, leaning on a fruit cart. She looks to her left, picking up a pair of very nice, ripe apples. After paying the vendor, she tosses me one.
"Thanks. You know Ive been thinking. You know what Johns biggest problem is?"
"Hes stupid." Mel offers as she sends him back into the water for about the fourth time.
Xe signals Bri who manages to coax Mel into letting him up.
"What?" My Consort cocks her brow at me, biting into the apple.
"Hes not a very good thief."
"Oh no, Mom, do tell." Bri grins, handing the half drown young man a cloth to dry off with.
I can only smile at my daughter. She is a handful. Shes going to keep Mel on her toes for quite sometime to come. "Well seems to me that if he wants to be a thief. He needs to be a good thief."
"True," Xe takes another bite of her apple, chewing slowly, then a smile spreads across her face. "Oh I know what youre thinking. We need to ship him off to someone who can make him a good thief."
"Well, it would make sense."
"Wonder if Autolycus is up to the challenge?"
I cant help but laugh. "Autolycus has always been up to the challenge to hear him tell it."
"True, very true."
I take her hand and lead her into a small alcove where we can have a mostly private conversation. Getting my entire body as closer to her as possible, I run my hand up the front of her shirt and offer a suggestion. "So, future Lord of the Underworld, I would like to further suggest that you, ummm, use your considerable powers to deliver him back to Autolycus so that we dont have to give up our vacation just yet."
"Oh is that so?" She grins down at me.
"Un-huh. I hate to say it, but I know all is going well in the village. Theres no need for us to rush back there and Im just not ready to go home yet. So if you would just get that fancy cloak of yours and "
"Okay I get it. Lets go back to the inn.
Traveling like that still makes me nauseous. Hades says Ill get over it eventually, but it cant be soon enough for me.
I open my cloak. John steps out looking a little dazed and confused. "Where where are we? How did you do that?"
"We are at the home of one of my oldest friends and you really dont want to know."
"Right." He swallows hard, trying to get his balance. I know how he feels.
I take a deep breath, putting my arm around the boy, walking toward Autolycus place. "Ever hear of The King of Thieves?"
"Autolycus, of course."
"Prepare to be amazed." I tell him as we climb the steps to the porch. It doesnt take long to get an answer to my knock.
"Gods on Olympus, is it necessary to knock the door from the Oh, hi Xena." Autolycus grins when he finally looks at us.
"Hello my friend."
"Oh boy what do you want?" He crosses his arms, giving me a look as he leans against the doorframe
"Now how can you "
"Because the only time you open with Hello my friend, you want something."
"Okay I cant argue with that." I present John to my friend. "Autolycus this is John. John is a thief, a very bad thief."
"Got caught did he?"
"Lemme guess. You want me to make him a good thief."
"If its not to much trouble." I grin at my friend.
"Xena, Xena, Xena, you know that there is more to being a thief than ."
"Tell you what Autolycus. Save the lecture for him. I need to get back to Ri." I make a rather hasty retreat from the porch.
"COWARD!" I hear him call after me as I head into the woods. I knew hed take the boy on, but hell make me pay for it later.
Theres a certain shiver that runs down my spine now. It always did before, but now its more intense. I turn to find her, wearing a very silly little grin as she becomes more solid.
"Johns all settled?"
"I hope so." She tosses the cloak to a nearby chair. "Im in big trouble when we get home though."
"Like thats anything new. Youre generally in big trouble with someone. Its been that way since the first day I met you."
"Seem to recall it being you that was in big trouble then."
"So youre going to stand over there and pick nits?" I laugh, opening my arms to her.
"Oh no, now that you put it that way."
Now Im happy, wrapped in my Warriors arms, beginning lifted from my feet, kissed senseless and carried to the bed. Im definitely finding all the advantages to this immortality thing. An eternity in these arms, I can most definitely enjoy this. No matter what our future holds.
There is, however, one major disadvantage to this whole thing, which comes in the form of a knocking on our door. I just groan when I feel Xena push up to answer the door.
"Kill whoever that is." I tell her, rolling over on my side to see who the victim will be.
She laughs pulling the door open. Mel is just about to knock again when the door is pulled open.
"Oh hi." She seems a bit surprised. "Youre back. Hmm, well I was going to see if Mom want to join Bri and I for the evening meal. But you know what," she grins, looking back and forth between us. "Ill just take the look on your faces as a great big old no and be on my way."
"Good choice runt."
"Hey, how was I suppose to know? Not like I have any special powers here. Remember me, the mere mortal?"
"You, brat, are no mere mortal. No matter how you cut it." Xe gives her a wink. "At least that not what your wife says."
"Oh Gods!" Mel groans. "Ive got to talk to her, about being more careful with what she says to you."
I cant help but laugh from my spot on the bed. Ill never get tired of watching these two together.
"Oh sure!" Mel gestures to me. "Encourage her, go ahead. Thanks Mom. I love you too."
"My pleasure." I offer with another laugh.
"And speaking of her pleasure," Xe turns Mel to the door. "Get out!"
"Im leaving, Im leaving! No need to shove." Mel stops just before leaving, turning to Xe with a wicked little smirk. "So you think youll be up to sparring in the morning?"
"I hope not." Xe gives her one last shove, closing the door in her face. She turns back to me clapping her hands together. "Now where was I Your Majesty?"
I point to a spot at the base of my neck. "Right about here."
Returning to my own room I find Bri tucking a small throwing knife in her boot. "Wheres Mom?"
"Otherwise engaged. Were on our own for the evening meal."
She nods, understanding completely. "Well, then, I think you should take me some place very expensive and show me a really good time."
"Oh you do huh?"
"Why dont you take me out?"
"Not in my job description."
"Is that a fact?"
"It is Ego. Lets go, Im starved." She moves to me, wrapping her arms around my waist, placing a little kiss to the base of my throat. "I worked up quite an appetite while we were otherwise engaged."
"Speaking of that. What in the name of Tartarus are you telling my parents?"
"Only the absolutely truth." She smirks, turning me to the door.
"Yeah, well, stop it." I laugh wrapping my arm around her waist.
"Ill consider it."
I just shake my head, taking my wife from our room and heading out to find something to eat.
"No matter how many times I deny it, you just arent going to believe me are you?" I ask as I sip my wine.
"No way Ego. I know you set me up and one of these days Ill get my revenge." Bri smiles at me from across the table. "I know you had your class ambush us."
"I swear to you, I did not." I defend again knowing all to well, it is simply falling on deaf ears.
Just as I am about to respond a tall and very large man about my own age comes to our table. He looks us both over, then he lays a hand on Bris shoulder. She must see it in my eyes, because she immediately shakes her head.
"Can I help you?" She turns slightly, to look up at him.
"In more ways than one, I would imagine." He leers at her.
"Sorry, not interested. Now why dont you go be a good little drunk and go pass out somewhere?"
"Look woman," His grip tightens on her shoulder, and the grip tightens on one of the small daggers in the small of my back. "I want company for the night and youre it."
"Really? Well, Im sure I should be honored, but Id have to lower my standards to nearly nothing before Id even consider spending more than a moment with you."
I can tell hes getting ready to pull her from the chair by the way the muscles in his arms are flexing. I know my better half is more than capable, but the fact that this scum has his hands on my wife at all is really starting to piss me off.
Bri reaches for the hand on her shoulder, taking three of his fingers in her hand she gives them a twist, which snaps them all. Before he can respond to that, Im on my feet, driving the dagger through his other hand, which was resting flat on the table.
He crumples to his knees, his hand still pinned to the table by my blade. I move to him, grabbing him by the shirt, pulling him to his feet. "Mistake number one, touching my wife. Mistake, number two, hurting my wife. Mistake, number three, pissing me off. My Mother taught me never to let there be a four. So, do I kill you now or do you leave the way you came?"
"Leave." He croaks, looking at the dagger sticking through his hand into the table.
"Thought so. Bri, you want to get my knife?"
"Sure." She pulls the knife from the table, very slowly. Our friend grimaces with each excruciating moment. Once its free of the table she pulls it from his flesh, wipes it on his sleeve, then she hands it back to me.
I place it at his throat. "The next time a lady says no. She means no. Got it?"
"Good." I release him, letting him crawl away to nurse his two busted hands.
"Think itll be awhile before he does that again?" My wife asks, retaking her seat, straightening the table.
"I hope so." I put my knife away, retaking my place at the table. "Now what were you saying about taking revenge on me?"
She gives me a sweet smile from behind her own cup of wine. "I wouldnt think of it darling."
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