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.
Other: Part seven in the series "Legends Legacy". Takes place about three months after "The News"
Back from School
"So," I hold the parchment up again. "What do you think it is?"
I watch as Xe stretches out in front of the fire. She apparently dozed off on me over there, the rat. "Hmm?"
"This letter from Kai. What do you think the surprise is?"
"Oh that." She rolls over, away from me to face the fire and mumbles something.
"Oh you didnt say what I thought you said?" I get up from my desk and go over to her. Lying down with her, I roll her on her back. "Repeat yourself Warrior."
She grins at me. "He got married."
"You dont really think thats what it is do you?"
"Ill bet good dinars on it."
"Why wouldnt he have sent word before this?"
She shrugs at me. "Maybe it was spur of the moment."
"Xe, he certainly wouldnt have gotten married without telling us would he?"
"Hes been on his own for over two full seasons now Ri. I dont see why not."
"Ill kill him." I grumble, trying to get back up.
I feel myself being pulled back. "No you wont."
She pulls me into her arms, forcing me to relax with her on the floor next to the fire. As usual, the feel of her fingers combing through my hair is very calming. "Okay, I wont kill him, but Ill be very upset with him."
She chuckles at me. "No you wont."
"Why isnt this bothering you?"
"Because, my love, if thats what it is, there isnt anything I can do about it. And there isnt anything you can do about it either."
"Itll be good to have the boys back." She hugs me close.
"Even if one of them brings a wife were not expecting?"
"Especially if. And Bailus leading a legion of Athenian soldiers for a post here makes me very happy. Solves a lot our problems between the amazons and the centaurs."
"This is a very good point."
"Hmm. I thought so." She stretches, yawning a bit. "Guess well find out in a couple of days."
"All right! Enough! Everyone just stop moving!" To my great surprise they do. Xe is even in mid step.
She slowly lowers her foot to the floor and smiles at me. "Yes dear?"
I look at my family. All of them have gathered to meet Kai when he gets home. This house is huge, but so is my family and when they all come in at once things get a little hectic.
"Kessa, Rosa. Please go into the kitchen and make sure that everything is going all right there for the evening meal."
They nod and quietly leave the room.
"Mel would you please bring in more wood for all the fireplaces please?"
I watch her retreat as well. "Bri we need to make sure the scouts know Kai is due today. Can you double check on that for me so they dont put an arrow through my son?"
"Of course. Back soon." She makes a quick exit.
Taking a deep breath, Im finally feeling in control again. "Solan, did you bring up the wine cask liked I asked?
My eldest son shuffles a bit, grinning at his own wife. "No, but Alana and I will do that now if it will make you happy."
"It will make me very happy." I agree.
They head for the cellar. Looking to my eldest two grandchildren, I cant help but smile, theyre waiting for their orders too. Xe is now leaning against the back of the couch, studying her nails, waiting for my tirade to come to an end.
"Would you please make sure Kais room is ready?"
"Will you make sure the stall is ready for his horse?"
Xe just continues to study her nails, licking her lips and making that little clicking noise with her tongue that irritates me to no end.
She looks up at me with amused blue eyes, pointing innocently to herself. She looks around quickly then back to me. "Who me?"
"Whaddid I do?"
"Nothing. Thanks so much for all your help."
"My pleasure." She smirks a bit.
"You are going to get a beating if you dont straighten up."
"Promises, promises." She holds out her arms to me. A silent offer I can never refuse. Once safely wrapped up there, she kisses the top on my head.
"Just relax honey. Its Kai coming home. Its not as if hes bringing the governor of Athens with him."
"You never know. That could be what the surprise is."
"Better not be or Ill have to kill him."
Xe is settling Mother Cyrene into her place near the fire. The elderly woman still has very sharp senses even if moving around is difficult for her. Xe is so sweet and tender with her its a pleasure to watch.
"Are you comfortable Mother?"
"Very, Daughter, now stop fussing over an old woman and get ready for my grandson to come home."
"Yes maam." She gives our mother a kiss on the temple, taking the chance to tuck just a bit more of the blanket around her shoulders.
My warrior plans to escort her mother personally to the fields in a few short months when we make our transition as well. Its going to be a difficult time for our family. Im glad Kai will be home to help Mel, even if he doesnt know the details like she does.
Looking around the house I am pleased that everything has come together so well. Now as long as my son is on time
"I asked of youre all right?" Shes standing in front of me now, stroking her hands up and down my arms in a soothing fashion.
"Yeah Im fine. There was just so much to do today."
"And as always, you managed it with your usual grace and charm."
"Un-huh." I know I sound sarcastic and skeptical, but I also know shes lying to me like the old warrior she is.
She laughs a bit, knowing shes been caught too. "Okay then, you handled just like this family expected you to."
The door opens with a bang. We look to see our son in the doorway. He stands there for a moment with a grin on his face. "Hi Mom Im home!"
I step past Xe and take in my son. "You certainly are. Still banging doors like a two-year-old. Wipe your feet."
He does as hes told then steps inside, still grinning.
"So you ready?" He asks, jerking his head toward the door.
I nod. I feel Xe move in behind me, placing her hands on my shoulders.
He turns around, offering his hand. He escorts in a young woman. Xe was right. He seems to have brought home a wife and, I cant believe my eyes, a baby.
They step inside, closing the door. I seem to have grown roots. Its only a little nudge from Xe that moves us from the spot.
I was prepared for a wife. I was not prepared for the small bundle in her arms. We move across the room, Im still trying to find the right words to greet them as they hang up their cloaks. Kai draws a deep breath, offering us a broad smile.
"Mom. Mother. This is Maya and this," He pulls the blanket back from the babys face. "Is your grandson, Drake."
Xe clears her throat as she peers down at the baby lying in his mothers arms. "You, ah, certainly did learn the, ah, proper meaning of the word surprise while you were away at school."
He shuffles a bit. "Yeah I know. Im sorry, but "
She waves him off. "Dont worry about it. Welcome to the family Maya."
The girl just smiles at Xe and nods, offering her the baby with a sweet smile.
"Ah guys. Maya cant hear. Shes deaf, but she reads lips very well and we have a system of hand signals we use so I can speak to her for you."
More surprises. Great. I look to the girl with a smile. "Welcome."
Once again, she nods and smiles as Xe takes the baby.
I look to my Warrior and my new grandson. Hes beautiful. "How old is he?" I ask, rescuing him from Xe. She just smirks at me and hands him over.
"Two weeks. We left Athens almost as soon as he was born."
"You traveled with my grandson " Xe places her hands on her hips.
"Un-huh and a legion of Athenian soldiers led by one very proud uncle. We were in no danger. Balius sends his love by the way, and says hell be over as soon as he gets his men settled."
Xe points to Mother Cyrene and herds us in that direction. "Go say hello to you grandmother."
Kai takes Mayas hand leading her over. I continue to look at my grandson, sleeping so peacefully in my arms. Oh I swear. It was only yesterday that I held his father like this for the first time.
Very soon the rest of the family starts to come in and the reunion is about to begin.
"A grandson." I know Ive said it over and over again, but somehow its not sinking in.
Xe looks back at me, removing her tunic, tossing it to a chair. "Yes, dear, a grandson."
"I just cant believe it. He brings home a wife and a baby."
"Hmm, yes he did."
"And to top it all off they had to get married."
"Hey, he did the right thing. And he loves that girl." She shrugs into a shift thats too small then stretches out next to me.
"Why do you wear this?" I tug on the shift.
"I like it."
"Its too short."
"Thats your opinion. I think its very comfortable thanks. Youre trying to change the subject. We were talking about our son and his family."
"I dont want to talk about it anymore. I have a headache from even thinking about it."
"Drake is wonderful."
"Yes he is."
"And Maya is a very sweet, intelligent woman who adores your son."
I sigh. "Yeah, she seems to be."
"So the problem is? What?" She pulls me into her arms.
"My baby boy is married. Hes a grown man now."
"Yeah. Isnt is wonderful?" She hugs me close. "Another generation has started. Our line continues to grow. Ri we should be very proud."
"I am. I just couldnt believe I was holding Kais son in my arms. Do you remember how we nearly lost him?"
"Only in my worst nightmares. In my dreams hes always that strong, rambunctious little blonde kid who followed you around all the time. I hope our grandson is the same way."
I snuggle close to her. "So do I. I hope he drives him nuts."
"Now youre getting it." She laughs as we settle in for the night. "Now make sure to tell him tomorrow that you hope his son grows up to be just like him and you practically seal it."
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