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 sparring.
Other: Part Ninety-seven in the series "Raising Melosa". Takes place about a week after "The Price of Silence". BAD OLD JOKE/PUN WARNING ON THIS ONE!!!
I watch them from the balcony. Mel and Xe back to back sparring with Athenian soldiers. They do make an incredible team. As I watch them fight, I wonder if they can hear each others thoughts, because thats what it looks like. Their movements are so fluid the soldiers theyre sparring with dont stand a chance.
Mel is amazing with that combination weapon of hers. She uses both weapons to their fullest extent. She is most certainly holding back with her sword right now, only using it to disarm the soldiers. The staff however, is making solid connection and Im sure several of these men will get a few days off to let the bruises heal.
Xe on the other hand is using both her swords not only to disarm, but to taunt and tease, and teach a few young bucks a few new tricks. She knows things that they can only imagine and they are no match for my consort.
The amazing part of this is that all of these men, numbering in the high fifties all volunteered to take this beating. Apparently, the idea of being beaten half-senseless by my wife and daughter is somehow appealing.
I watch as the sweat pours down Xes face, neck and arms. She is loving every moment of this. I can tell by the grin across her face and the occasional yell that breaks loose from her chest. Some part of me still feels a little twinge every time I hear those battle cries. I smile when I realize that Im going to benefit from all this later.
Mel signals for a break and the soldiers back off. She sheaths her sword and puts the weapon away. A young man approaches and offers her a ladle of water. She smiles as she accepts it and sips slowly. Xe sheaths her sword then turns and waves to me. She turns to Mel and takes the water, also sipping from it.
"Care to join me for the morning meal my Warriors?" I call down as Xe dismisses the soldiers.
Mel signals up that they will, and I return to our room to get ready. I know I have plenty of time because Xe will demand that they both bathe and change into fresh clothes first.
As I pull my clothes from the cabinet, a knock on our door catches my attention. The door opens slowly and Kai sticks his head in. "You up?"
"Absolutely. Come on in."
He comes in with a thick book in his hands. I smile at the look on his face. Hes been studying for his exams. "Can I ask you a question?"
"You know you can."
"I dont get this passage. Can you help me?"
He drops the book down on a table and opens it to the passage hes marked. I move to my son and try to peer over his shoulder. How is I had so many tall children? Would it be too much to ask for just one my own height?
"From here to here." He points it out to me.
Moving in next to him, I read the passage. "What do you think it means?"
He groans as he drops his head. "I knew youd ask me that."
"So do you have an answer for me?"
"Kai if you knew I was going to ask you that question, why didnt you have an answer ready?"
"Because it doesnt make any sense to me."
"But even something that doesnt make sense can have a meaning to the reader."
He growls a little as he scratches his face. Is that facial hair I see? I take my sons face in my hands and look at him. That is most definitely a beard I feel under my fingers. "When was the last time you shaved?"
"Last night. I havent had time today."
I see my own eyes as I look at him. His blonde hair falling over his forehead. "You need a haircut too."
"Yes Maam. Ill make sure to get one later today."
"You do that. Your Mother will have a fit if you go to the tests looking like this."
"I promise to be properly groomed for the exams Mom." He grins as he leans in and gives me a peck on the cheek. "I love you."
I wrap my arms around my son and hold him close to me. "I love you too." I can only whisper it in his ear as I remember holding him for the first time. "So grown up."
"Mom come on now. Please dont go getting all upset again. I already feel guilty for leaving and studying so far away from home."
"Im not upset. Im proud. Let me enjoy it."
"You sound upset."
I pull back from my son and caress his face. "Nope, proud. Sometimes they just sound a lot alike. And I dont want you to feel the least bit guilty about going away to school."
"If I had some idea what I wanted to do with my life that might help."
"Thats part of the reason for going away to school, to help you figure those things out."
My son moves away and throws his long frame into a chair. "Why does life need to be so complicated?"
"You sound like a philosopher."
"Nope. Just someone who is almost sixteen and utterly confused."
I laugh as I run my fingers through his hair remembering those very same feeling at his age. Then two seasons later, Xe came into my life and a lot of that confusion cleared right up. True, only to be replaced by another type for a time, but eventually everything cleared up.
"So, why dont you take that text back to your room, and read it again. Find an answer for me and well debate it after I have the morning meal with your Mother and your sister."
"Couldnt hurt." He grumbles as he picks himself up out of the chair. "Ive got nothing to lose."
"Maybe I should be a farmer." He grins at me as he picks up the book.
"Nothing wrong with being a farmer." I pause, then smile at my son. "For someone else. You, my boy, are destined for bigger things."
"Maybe, but I bet Id make a great farmer."
"Youll be great at whatever you do."
"Boy, you are in full Mom mode today." He grins as he takes an apple from a bowl and leaves my room.
I head for the bathing chamber and prepare a bath. Sliding down into the tub I close my eyes and relax. I not only hear her enter the room, but I smell her too. "Oh you stink."
"Thanks so much love." She laughs as she closes the door behind her. "Good thing that you have a bath ready for me."
"I dont have a bath ready for you. In case it has escaped your warrior senses Im the one using this bath." I dont even open my eyes I know what shes doing.
"Hmm and you wont share?"
"Move over." She chuckles as she slides into the tub behind me.
"Yeah, yeah, yeah." She wraps her arms around me as I settle back into her. "Im a smelly bully."
"Yeah you really are." I hand the soap back. "Why dont you do something about that?"
"You know," she takes the soap and begins lathering. "I remember a time when you used to do this for me."
"Sure, when you were sick or wounded. Not after you sparred with fifty men of your own accord. That was a silly thing to do."
"Oh there were lots of other times too." She gives my neck and shoulder little kisses. "And sparring this morning was fun. I like making Mel work up a sweat."
"Well, you certainly succeeded. Im surprised they let you two back in the palace." I move around behind her and take the soap. She leans forward giving me access to her back. "Proud of yourself Warrior?" I ask as I massage the soap into a healthy lather across her back.
"Quite. Thank you." Its her most smug thank you and I dont have to see the grin on her face to know its there. "We do have one little thing we need to consider."
"And that would be?"
"Well Mel is feeling a little, un, shall we say tense."
"She needs some companionship."
"And you propose we do what? Do you have a suggestion?"
She shifts a little bit, and I feel her tense under my hands, then she sighs. "I was hoping you had one, because youre not going to like mine."
"Umm-hmm. Didnt figure as much. Well, Ill tell you what, this is obviously a warrior thing. Sooooo Ill just pretend we never had this conversation and you can take care of it in your own way."
"You, however," I lean in and rinse her back, pulling her into my arms and giving her a little nip on the shoulder. "Had better behave yourself."
"You know I will, but when I get home Im going to ."
"Yeah, well, well worry about that when you get home."
Im reading when Xe gets back. She grins at me a little as she locks the door behind her.
"Have a good time?" I ask as I quirk my brow.
"I went purely as a tutor." She offers as she crosses and sits on the edge of the bed.
"Hmm completely an educational experience huh?"
"Absolutely." She nods as she leans over to unlace her boots.
"So," I give her a little shove with my foot. "Did you learn anything?"
She grins as she turns to me and throws herself onto the bed grabbing me in her arms. "Oh you betcha! Would you like to try two or three?"
"Only two or three?"
"Theyre a little risky."
"What are you implying? Answer carefully Warrior or you could end up sleeping on the couch."
"Im not implying anything my love. Just stating fact here." She gives me a kiss and returns to the task of getting undressed.
I pull back the covers and let her slide under them with me. I curl up next to her and rest my head on her shoulder. "So, umm, did you leave Mel there?"
"You wanted me to wait?"
"No! I just wanted to know where my daughter is."
"No you dont."
"Okay Ill take your word for it."
"Well who knows how long ."
"Oh please just dont say it. I can deal with it if I dont think about it."
She begins laughing as she holds me closer.
"Denial isnt just a river in Egypt anymore is it?"
"Oh youre just a laugh a moment." I give her a poke in the ribs.
"So," She rolls me over and growls in my ear. "Pick a number between one and three."
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