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 Ninety-three in the series "Raising Melosa". Takes place right after "Hoping for the Best".
Expecting the Worst
I feel Xe get out of our bed, but it takes me a moment to understand why. Its far too early to be up. Then I hear the knocking on our door. I see her reach for her robe and I make sure to straighten the blankets on our bed and pull the covers up. Hard telling who is on the other side of that door. No need to set my Consort off, being pulled out of bed this early might do it anyhow.
She runs her hands through her hair before glancing back to me. She happy Im suitably covered as she pulls the door open. Shadoan is there, looking a little worse for wear. Shes sober, but its obvious shes been in a fight. The blood trickling down her face is a real give away.
"Your Majesty," She nods to me, then looks to Xena. "Your Highness. Its Mel."
"Where is she?" Xe asks as she waves the girl into our room.
I get out of bed and toss on a robe, lighting a lamp as Xe leads the girl to a chair.
"Shes in jail Your Highness. There was a fight at the tavern ."
"Ri, get me some water and a rag." Xe examines the girls face as she draws a deep breath. "Lemme guess she got hammered and picked a fight."
"Well, she didnt actually pick the fight. She did, however, finish it."
I see a slight smile cross my Consorts face. If it werent such a rough time for Mel right now I know shed be proud of her. However, with everything thats going on she really cant afford to be proud.
I move and kneel down next to her and begin tending to Shadoan. "You get dressed. Ill take care of her."
Xe gets to her feet and growls a little as she begins dressing.
"Really, Im fine Your Majesty. I just wished I could have kept Mel out of jail. I tried."
I clean the cut above her eyes and gave her another for her lip. "Im sure you did your best. That cut on your head needs stitches. Let me get the kit."
"You know how to stitch wounds Your Majesty?"
"Oh yes." I sigh as I touch Xes arm on my way to get the kit. "Many, many seasons of experience in these hands. Who do you think kept putting her back together." I nod toward Xe who is now seated and pulling her boots on.
I retrieve the kit and return to my daughters friend. Xe grabs her cloak and throws it over her shoulders. "Ill be back as soon as I can. Shadoan, where is the jail?"
"Six doors down Your Highness."
Standing at the bars I look in at her. Passed out cold on the cot with her arm flung over her eyes.
"Melosa!" I growl as the guard opens the door for me and I step in. Theres no response from her. "Mel!" I give the cot a little kick. Her arm falls away from her face, but she only groans. "Get up Mel!"
"What!?" She growls as she opens her eyes and focuses on me. "Oh boy. Im in trouble now." She grumbles as she manages to sit up. "Will it help my argument if I tell you I won the fight?"
"Didnt think so. Dont know why youre so upset. Like Mother, like daughter."
"Oh lets not even go there Mel. Its too early and Im not in the mood." I cross my arms against my chest as I lean against the bars
"So sorry to have ruined your morning Mother."
"Yeah. Right. Lets go."
"Oh so you bailed me out huh?"
"Of course I did. Paid for the damage at the tavern too. So you wouldnt have to come back for a hearing."
"Thanks so much." The comment is a snide one as she stands and stretches.
She pushing me now. Take a deep breath Xena. "Mel, lets go back to the inn and get you cleaned up."
"She came and got me."
"Is she hurt?"
"Shes being stitched up by your Mom. Shes going to be left with a momento of your night out."
She looks a little disappointed at the statement then she shrugs her shoulders. "I told her to stay behind me."
"Shes a warrior too Mel. She wouldnt let you fight alone."
"Yeah well ." She mumbles as she heads for the door.
Its all I can do to keep from smacking her in the back of the head as she walks by me.
Im just finishing up the stitches when the door opens and Xe gives Mel a little shove into the room.
"Not another damn word Melosa! Im warning you." Xe growls as Mel stumbles to a halt looking down at me and wavering just a little. Its obvious that, my daughter, is quite drunk.
Xe comes in and hangs her cloak on the hook as she closes the door. She turns to me waving her hand at Mel who is now leaning against the wall. My guess would be in an effort to keep from falling down. "Your daughter, is an idiot."
"Really?" I give Mel a look as I get up and move to her to look for wounds. "How so?"
"She tried to pick a fight with the jailer when her wouldnt return her weapons. Nearly got us both thrown in jail."
"Theyre mine." She grumbles as I wipe a smear of blood off her face. Shes not seriously hurt, but the odor of the ale could knock you off your feet.
"Yes, and he said they would be returned to you when you were ready to leave town." Xe says as she waves a hand at our child.
"Like youd stand for that." Mel straightens up and challenges Xe. "Why should I?"
"Because youre young and stupid." Xe growls as she makes her way across the room.
"Better than being old and arrogant."
"Melosa! Thats enough! You will not speak to your Mother like that."
"Its true. Shed break the arm of the first man who tired to take her weapons from her. But Im suppose to let them keep mine?"
"I was not drunk and in a fight in the tavern last night." Xe turns and heads back for us.
I lay a hand on her chest to keep her back before we have another fight on our hands. "Xe please."
"No Mom its okay. Shes just dying to take a swing at me."
"Mel stop it!" I growl as I turn on my daughter. "Youre still drunk and youre not thinking straight. Why dont you go to your room and sleep it off?"
"Gladly!" I just shake my head as she jerks open the door and leaves the room.
"Ill go with her to make sure she goes back to bed." Shadoan says as she scoots out past me. "Mel wait up!" I hear her call as she retreats down the hall.
I wait to hear their door open and close before I close ours. I turn and lean against the door, looking to Xe who is getting undress. "What do you think?"
"I think Im gonna kick her ass if she keeps it up."
"Honey you know what shes going through."
"Yeah, but shes pushing it." She growls as she tosses her clothes over the back of a chair.
"You said yourself shes pushing you because youre a safe fight."
"I know, I know." She lies back down and holds the blankets open for me. "Come back to bed."
Thats not a request I need to hear twice. I drop my robe and climb back under the covers. Finding my spot, I settle quickly in her arms. "Promise me you wont hurt her."
"I promise you I wont kill her."
"No. Now Im serious here Ri. I may have to make her feel a little something, in order to make her feel a little something. Does that make sense?"
"Yes," I sigh as I nod. "Unfortunately it does. Shes shutting down isnt she?"
"Un-huh. Shes closing off that loving part of herself and letting her anger get the best of her."
"Gods Xe. They were together such a short time."
"That doesnt make the pain any less. How long had you and I been together before you would have felt this kind of pain had something happened to me?"
"Mels problem is, she doesnt know how to focus her rage and her anger. Shes unleashing it on whatever or whoever is available at the time."
"Well you know what?"
"For the next two marks or so ."
"You arent available." I grin as I find that spot on her neck.
I love that spot.
I stretch as I wake slowly. A very happy woman, until I realize that Xe is gone from the bed. I hate it when she does that and she knows it. It had better have been important to pull her away from me. Im getting up as she comes back into the room. She doesnt look upset.
"Everything all right?"
She nods as she closes the door. "Just checking on Mel."
"Out cold. Im guessing she will be for most of the day. Which is good shes going to need her strength tonight."
"Because Im going to take her out tonight."
"Oh that doesnt not bode well for her health."
"Her health will be just fine my love. I just dont intend to let her sleep it off tomorrow. Im going to take her out and get her hammered then get her up at dawn for sword drills. I also found out there is a lovely swamp not far from here for a nice run before that. Best to drill in really dirty clothes you know, more of a battle feel ."
I laugh as I tie off my robe and wrap my arms around my wife. "You are a truly evil woman."
"This will be of course after a large meal of oatmeal and runny eggs."
"Oh Xe please. Youre making me sick and I havent had anything to drink."
"Hmm any preference as to what kind of tattoo she should wake up with?"
"Xe! Dont you dare."
"A stuffed bear I think." Xe chuckles as she kisses my forehead.
"Youre not really going to do all of that to her are you?"
"Most of it. I may bypass the eggs."
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