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 five in the series "Legends Legacy". Takes place about a month after "Its all in the Presentation"
Home Again By T.Novan TNOVAN@aol.com
I stretch, slowly waking and gaining very grumpy protests from my queen. While we were on the road she had fallen back into the old routine of using me as a mattress. Now that were home she is still doing it. Not that Im complaining, she always has made a great blanket.
I rub my hands up and down her back to soothe her into wakefulness. "No." She protests, shaking her head. "Too early."
She groans, snuggling into me. "You go. Just put the pinch on them and then come back to bed."
"Doesnt work that way."
"It can work any way I like." She buries her face in my neck. "As a matter of fact, I quit."
"You cant quit.
"Then tell them I died."
I laugh softly, hugging her close. "Ri, sweetheart, were home and we have things to do."
"Well, lets see you have council to attend and I have a hunting party to organize."
"I hate you." She groans, rolling off of me. Now Im cold. Dumb warrior, very dumb. I would pull up a blanket, but if the truth were known Id just go back to sleep too.
"Where are you going hunting?" She asks, rolling over the face me, propping herself up on her elbow.
"I was thinking wed send hunting parties out in four or five places this season. I have a feeling we are in for a very hard winter. Hades mentioned to me the other day that he and Persephones mother had another argument."
"Oh wonderful. Maybe we should "
"I suggested that Gabrielle, but hes so mad at her right now hes refusing to leave the underworld this season."
"The stubborn streak in your family is a league wide, you know that?"
"Un-huh, and you still married me."
"I like a challenge."
"Imagine that." I roll over to face her, brushing my hand through her hair. "Love you."
She tilts her head slightly, smiling at me. "What brought that on?"
"I need a reason? Other than the obvious one, which is simply, I love you. You know youre getting picky in your old age."
"Watch it!" She warns, moving closer to me. "I can make you pay for that you know."
"Yeah, but you have a council meeting to get to."
She falls back to the bed, tossing her arm over her eyes, whimpering a bit. "I repeat, I quit!"
Standing at the steps of the council hall, she just stares at the doors. "I got spoiled on our trip Xe."
"Yup." I agree with a nod. This gets me an elbow to the ribs. "Hey! I was just agreeing with you."
"Stop it." She turns to me with a smile, patting my chest. "Go plan your hunting party. Ill go be a good queen now. I just needed to whine."
Leaning in and kissing her, I whisper. "Ill give you a back rub tonight."
"Oh yeah something to look forward to."
"You better believe it."
"I knew there was a reason I kept you."
"There are many reasons you keep me my love." I wink, giving her one last kiss before she sighs, then heads up the steps. I wait until the door closes behind her then I head off to meet with my hunting parties.
Mel is taking inventory when I arrive, actually shes suppose to be taking inventory. However, when I arrive shes merely standing in the storage hut staring up at the very top shelf.
"Whats," I pause, stifling a chuckle. "Up?"
"We noticed theres a hole in the roof. Bri went up to have a look."
"Well, well need to get that fixed."
"Nothing like stating the obvious."
"What is it with the women in my life today? Did someone put something in the water around here?"
"Hey!" Bris face pops up in the hold in the roof. "The rest of it," She smiles at me. "Hi."
"Hello daughter dear. How did you get stuck crawling up there?"
"What? Let old clumsy down there, do it? Dont think so. She would have fallen through."
"Oh har, har. So you were saying about the roof?" Mel gets us back on track.
"Oh yeah. Umm it seems solid enough. Looks like maybe some birds picked away the thatch for nesting materials."
"How long will it take to fix?" I ask, making my way up one of the shelves to get closer to the hole.
"Half a day at the most."
"Then we need to get a work detail on it so that it will be ready when we get back from hunting." I run my hand around the edge of the hole. "Can you take care of it Bri?"
"Consider it done."
"Thanks." I drop back down next to Mel who is still staring at the hole. "Whats with you today?"
"Is it possible to be more in love everyday?"
"Oh you had better believe it. Ive had that very problem for more than twenty seasons."
"Hope I have the same problems."
"You will runt. Come on we have work to do."
There are perks to being queen. There are even bigger perks to being queen with two very competent heirs. Ive been sitting here very quietly watching my daughters handle just about everything. Very soon I will be able to step aside if I choose to do so.
"Thats not the point!" Kessa leaves her seat next to mine and begins pacing the council hall floor. "We have had a long standing treaty with the centaurs that our Queen and her champion worked out many seasons ago and just because the centaurs are experiencing difficulties because of Tyldus retirement that is no reason for us to try and take advantage of them."
"I beg to differ Princess Kessa." A younger woman stands from her position to face my daughter. "Now is the perfect time to do it. It could mean great expansion for our nation."
"It would mean," Rosa offers from her place on my other side. "That we would be barbaric scavengers with no honor."
"My sister is right. We should be helping the centaurs, not trying to determine if we can take advantage of their situation. How large does our nation have to be before we are satisfied? It is already united from many tribes into one, under one Queen."
"Three queens." The young woman, who had been standing, mumbles this before retaking her seat.
"Excuse me?" Kess is quick across the room. When I see her move like that she reminds me of Xe. Same motions, same short fuse.
"This nation is ruled by three Queens." The young councilwoman is firm in her opinion.
"This nation," Kess stops and leans in on the table, staring the young woman down. "Is ruled by one Queen."
"All right! Thats enough." I stand, taking a deep breath. "Its time to take a break. Tempers are flaring and it wont help this debate. Council is adjourned for one mark."
I watch as the room empties. Rosa stands next to me, Kessa turns to us both and shrugs. "Sorry. What was I suppose to do?"
"Tact sister dear."
"Tact is for diplomats."
"You are a diplomat." I remind her.
She gives her neck a little scratch. "Good thing Ive got Rosa to keep us balanced. Everyone knows shes the real diplomat."
"Well, well just have to work on you approach." Rosa says quietly.
"Ive always rather enjoyed Mel and Mothers methods of break bones now, ask questions later."
I just roll my eyes as my daughters and I make our way out of the hall. "Un-huh."
"Its very effective, their method."
"Right." Now Rosa is patronizing her sister as we cross the village to the food hut.
Inside, I find the other three women in my life, seated and enjoying the mid day meal. They are laughing and talking about the upcoming hunt.
"Is this a private party or can anyone join?" I ask as we approach.
Xe looks up at us. "Well I guess they can." She gestures to Kess and Rosa. "But you look like trouble. Maybe you should go eat somewhere else."
"Maybe, Ill just have the Royal Guard come in here and clear the royal table Warrior." I cross my arms, staring down at her. The girls just laugh as they take their seats.
"They could try." Mel smirks.
"Be good Ego." Bri growls, giving Mel a little nudge.
"Yes dear." Mel nods, sipping from her mug.
Xe laughs giving Mel a tap to the back of the head. "You are so whipped."
I take a quick look around until I find what Im looking for. After retrieving it from the hip of one of my guards I returning to the table and lay it down directly in front of my warrior. "Speaking of whipped " I let the comment linger as her eyes drop to the coiled leather on the table.
She grins, standing up and pulling out my chair for me. "Should I fetch your food Your Majesty?"
"No." I grin up at her. "Youve done more than enough. Mel can get it."
"Gods." Mel groans, pushing back from the table.
"Care to make it three?" I gesture to her sisters."
"Oh sure why not." She grumbles. "Im supposed to be a warrior not a waitress."
"If the shoe fits." Bri grins. "Come on Ego Ill give you a hand."
I watch them leave, then I look to the table. I watch Xe with Kess and Rosa as they debate diplomacy over breaking bones.
I am a very lucky woman.