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: Much lots and lots
Other: Part Fifty-seven in the series "Raising Melosa". Takes place right after "The Battle"
By T. Novan
"Easy with her." I tell them as they lift her body onto the litter. I know it doesnt matter anymore, but she saved my family and Im going to see to it that she gets the respect she deserves, even in death.
I look around at the destruction before me. My home, our home has become a place of death. Im not sure we will be able to stay here now. Amazons and the group of men and centaurs have begun removing the bodies, but nothing can remove the blood or the memories of what has happened here this night.
Xena has Mel on the porch tending to a wound on her arm. Delia wanted to do it but Xe wouldnt let her. So now she stands in front of our oldest daughter and stitches up her first wound. I watch as they carry Therans body to the barn to clean it and prepare it for burial. Then I turn and join my wife and daughter. I lay my hand at the small of Xes back and feel her flinch a little. I start to remove it. She shakes her head and smiles at me before returning to Mels arm. My hand stays.
"You okay sweetheart?" I run a hand through Mels hair. Its dirty and matted with blood and sweat.
"Umm yeah Ill be fine. Mother says it could have been worse." She looks at her arm.
"Much worse." Xena confirms. She finishes stitching the wound as Karra comes out of the house.
"Your Majesty Ive prepared a hot bath for you ."
"Let Mel have it. Shes earned it."
"Besides," My warrior narrows in and touches her forehead to Mels. "She stinks." They both laugh a little as they caress each others faces. "Gwon brat go take a hot bath itll help the ache, but keep that arm dry."
Mel nods and leaves for her bath. I take the chance to fall into Xes arms for the first time since it all came to an end. She wraps her arms around me, but I feel the tension in them. "Tired?" I ask as I tighten my hold on her waist hoping to ease the anxiety.
"A little." She says quietly as she rubs her cheek over the top of my head. "Ri Im sorry I hurt you. Please forgive me. I know I cant take it away and I know I cant ever make up for it, but by the Gods I am sorry."
I hear the tears in her voice. As I look into her face, so drawn and tired, I see them slip down her cheeks. "Xe you have done nothing to be forgiven for. You didnt hurt me. That wasnt you ." I smooth the tears away and kiss her gently. "I love you. Its over and we survived. Now we need to get things back to normal."
"Thats gonna take some time you know."
"I know." I return my head to her shoulder and feel her arms relax and then tighten around me. "Lets get you inside." I notice that she had several small cuts peppering her body. "You need some attention too."
"Im fine ."
"No now come on." I take her hand and pull her up the steps. I feel her hesitate. Slowly I turn to her. "Its your home Xe. It always has been and it always will be."
"But I ."
"Stop it Xe, just stop it. Dont start this. We need you ."
"I need you too." She admits quietly.
"Well," I tug her hand. "Im glad that we got that settled Warrior. Come on."
As we go inside Hades is pulling on his gloves. "Xena, Gabrielle the children are all in bed. Artemis has seen to it that they will sleep without dreams for a few days. It should give you time to settle down and try to get a handle on things. Just let them sleep tonight. Theyre fine."
I watch as Xe nods then takes a step toward the tall man. They look at each other for a long moment. He opens his arms and she walks into them. I have never seen her hug her father until today. "Thank you for protecting them." She says softly as she pulls back.
"I did it for all of you Xena. My family, such as it is, has become very important to me."
"Regardless. Thank you."
He just nods as he heads for the door. He stops before me. "She told you?"
"Good. She held inside for a long time. It would have been a shame for her to die with that secret in her heart." She glanced back at Xe who was tending to a cut on her arm, which had reopened. "Will you tell her?"
"Eventually yes, but not right now. She has enough doubts. I wont add to that right now. We have a lot of healing to do here."
"Yes you do, but youre good at that and I have faith in the both of you. Be strong Gabrielle, all will be well."
"Oh Ill see to that."
He gave me a light hug. "I know you will. I should go. After tonight I have some work to do too."
"Im sure of it." I caught his hand as he started to leave. "Ah Hades a favor?"
"Yes?" He arched his brow. Ah now I know where she gets that from.
"Could you remove the blood from the ground?"
"Of course. Good night Gabrielle." He pulls open the door and exits, closing it softly behind him.
I return to Xe, take the medical supplies and lead her to the couch. I motion for her to sit then I kneel in front of her. "Would you like some wine?"
"No way. Im never touching the stuff again."
"No Ri, never again."
I sigh and nod. I take her hand and begin un-wrapping the bandages at her wrists. I cant help but suck in a sharp breath as I look at the raw red welts that circle her wrists. They are also slightly infected. "This is going to hurt."
"Okay." She looks to the rooms where are children are sleeping. "Theyre afraid of me arent they?"
I nod. "Yeah a little, but well help them through it." I treat the welts on her left wrist with salve then rewrap it.
"Gods my own kids afraid of me ." She closes her eyes and just shakes her head as I tend to the other wrist.
The door to our room opens, Mel steps out. Shes in a long robe carrying her armor in her hands. She looks exhausted as she sits on the couch placing the armor at her feet.
"Mel go on to bed," Xe says softly as she reaches out for our daughter. "Ill clean that for you."
She shakes her head. "Too wound up. I feel funny."
"Funny how sweetheart? What are you feeling inside?"
"Just so full of a pounding energy. My head is pounding but it doesnt hurt. My heart is still racing. I feel like I could run a league and back."
"Then do it."
Mel looks to her mother and smiles. "Youre joking right?"
"Umm no. If thats what you need to do to get rid of your battle lust then do it."
"Un-huh. Thats what your body is feeling. Its the energy that you always feel after surviving a fight like that. You need to feel alive to expend the energy. Some people swim, some run ."
"Howd you deal with it?"
Xe smiles as she considers the question then she looks Mel straight in the eye. "Sex."
"Well thats interesting." She grins, just a little embarrassed by the admission.
She looks down to me. I just shrug a bit and smile myself as I scratch my neck and throat, trying to keep the blush from climbing into my cheeks.
"Well, glad to hear that works for you." She glances back to Xe. "I think Ill take a run."
"Yeah why dont you do that." The warrior agrees.
Hmm well that was awkward. Not that weve ever been less than honest with the children about subjects like sex. Its just a unique feeling to be explaining parts of our sex life to one of them. I clear my throat as I get up to make some tea. Mel heads to her room to change. I hear Xe chuckling as I place the tea pot on the hook and swing it over the flames. "And what is so funny?"
"The look on your face was priceless. Almost as good as the look on Mels."
"Oh well its nice that you can be amused by our embarrassment you rat." I give her foot a little kick.
"I just needed something to ease the ache Ri ." She drops her head. "Im sorry if I really embarrassed you."
I kneel down in front of her and lift her chin. I make contact with those watery blue eyes and my stomach turns into knots. "Hey its okay." I rub her cheek as she turns her head and kisses my palm. "Xe dont do this to yourself. Dont think that every thing you say or do is wrong now, because its not. That was just you and Mel being yourselves. That wasnt any different from any other conversation that youve ever had with her." My thumb brushes away the tear that slides down her cheek. "You two have embarrassed me so many times I just dont even keep track anymore. Its who you are and what you do. I love it about both of you. Gods it what makes you you. The fact that these children can bring out the playful nature that youve always guarded so very carefully."
"I just dont want to hurt you again. In any way, shape or form."
I sigh. "Xe weve been married for more than fifteen seasons. We say and do things from time to time that embarrass or sting each other a little. It happens because we are so comfortable with each other, we know that things said at those times arent meant to be harmful on purpose. Its just two people speaking their minds, sometimes without thinking." I smile at her. "Im a good one to be sitting here telling you this. Im the one who never could keep my mouth shut when I should."
She laughs a little as her hand strokes through my hair. "I love you bard."
"I love you too Warrior. Please dont let this change you. Well get through it, but we have to face it just like we always have. Together."
She nods a little. "Ill try."
"No. Youll do. Just like always. I have faith."
"So much faith ." She whispers as she leans in and kisses me.
Ah such a sweet and gentle kiss. Ive missed these lips. I cant bring myself to break away from them. I wrap my hands in her hair and continue to kiss her. I am fully aware when Mel re-enters the room and I hold firm to my Warriors head as our daughter laughs a little and passes us by as she leaves. I am still not willing to give up this kiss.
Never again will I be without my Warrior at my side. Never again will I be separated from her no matter what the challenge. I came far to close too loosing her again. All of our happiness here had made me forget what it feels like to fear loosing her. The fear is alive once again and I wont let it go away this time.
I finally break the kiss as I feel her mumble something into my mouth that sounds like "Air". I pull back and look into the beautiful blue eyes. "If you insist Warrior." I smile.
She cocks her head slightly, gives an appreciative little cough and smiles at me. " It was necessary Your Majesty ."
"I remember a time when I thought you could breath through your ears Warrior." I move to the hearth and remove the tea from the fire. As I pour the tea I look back and see the red creeping up her neck. "Embarrassed?" She nods. "Good. Now were even." I grin as I hand her a mug of tea. "Lets get on with our lives."
"What about the kids Ri?"
"Well help them through it." I take my spot on the couch next to her and curl up with my legs tucked under me.
"If theyre really scared of me I shouldnt stay here."
"Nonsense. Well find a way to make them understand."
"Is Kai afraid of me too? I mean I know Kessa is which probably means that Rosa feels some of that fear too, but what of Kai?"
"I dont know." I hate to admit it to her but its true. "Hes old enough now that he controls his emotions pretty well."
She places her arm around my shoulder. "You know we might have to leave here dont you?"
I nod. "I know. I hope we dont have to though. Weve already lost so much. So many friends died tonight ." I lay my head on her shoulder as I consider that on top of everything else I will need to go to the village to perform my duties for the fallen amazons. Xe and I will also have to go to the centaur village to give honor to our fallen friends there as well. "So much to do ."
"Together ." I feel her lips brush against my forehead as we watch the fire.
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