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: We got a little tiff in the Temple of Ares and a bar fight.
Other: Part Forty-seven in the series "Raising Melosa". Takes place right after "It Seemed Like a Good Idea
Warriors Will Be Warriors
I shrugged as my armor settled into place. Ri ran her fingers down my sides as she fastened the last buckle into place.
"I dont like this." She whispered. "Too much can go wrong."
"Sweetheart we have to do this. Its the only way to stop him." I pulled her into my arms. "Ill be fine."
"Youd better. You know Im not fond of using you as bait."
"Yeah, well Im the only thing that will make Ares bite."
"Just as long as he doesnt bite hard or deep." She ran her hands over my shoulders. "I just got you back and I dont intend to be separated from you again."
"Dont worry about it Ri I dont intend to go anywhere but home with you."
"Is that a promise?"
"It is." I brought her into a warm kiss. Which was nearly cut short by the arrival of my father and aunts.
"Ahem." Hades cleared his throat. I just waved my hand at him as I continued to kiss my wife. "Xena?"
I broke the kiss but continued to gaze into Gabrielles eyes. "I love you."
"Love you too Warrior."
"Okay, you come down with Athena and Artemis. That will give Hades and I enough time to get his attention."
"Always." I brought her hand up and kissed it softly. "You too bard."
"Right behind you partner."
I turned to Hades as he extended his hand. I took two steps forward. Taking his hand I turned to Gabrielle as he wrapped me in his cloak, I watched her disappear from my sight.
A moment later I was standing in the middle of Ares temple. I couldnt see Hades, but I knew he was near. I drew my sword and stepped toward the altar. "Ares show yourself." I started by decapitating a statue. "Thats one you worthless snake!"
"Ah ah ah Xena I wouldnt if I were you." I heard him snicker.
I turned to his voice. He stood by his throne with his hand wrapped firmly around Mels throat. I looked into my daughters eyes. She gave me a strong smile in return.
"Its gonna be all right sweetheart. Let her go Ares."
"Aww isnt that sweet. Such a touching reunion between mother and daughter." He jerked his hand as he pulled Mel with him I heard her whimper. As he stood by his throne he bent and whispered in her ear. "Ever wondered what it would be like to watch your mother die?" Mel said nothing. She tried to pull loose but her held her fast. "Now, now wouldnt want to upset Cousin Ares now would you?"
"Oh bite me." Mel hissed as she struggled.
"See Xena, just like you."
I heard the doors to the temple open and I recognized her steps immediately. "Mel!"
She started to move past me, but I grabbed her arm. "Ri no dont."
"Thats right Gabrielle dont. You dont want me to hurt her now do you?"
"No please "
"Well now Xena I have to admit that I do like the way wifey asks so very nicely. Whereas you just stand there and get all demanding."
"Ares " I stepped forward. "Let her go. Shes just a girl."
"Un-huh a girl with lethal combat skills. Youve taught her well Xena."
"Oh yeah she looks real combative Ares. Cant you see shes scared." Oh I just knew she was gonna make me pay for that later by the look on her face. She wasnt scared, she was mad.
"Mother just kick his ass and lets get out of here." She sniped as she tried to pull his hand from her throat.
"Hold still." He growled at her as her raised his hand to Ri. "Or I roast Mom."
"No!" Mel yelled as she struggled harder.
Ares released a blue bolt of energy at Ri. I turned and leapt past her as the bolt crashed into me. I felt myself hit the floor. That hurt and I could smell a combination of burning leather and singed hair. As I got to my feet I saw Mel pull back and deliver a hard elbow to his ribs. He flinched just enough that she pulled free. She dropped and rolled away from him.
He looked back and forth between Ri and I trying to decide his next move. Before he could make it, Hades, Athena and Artemis surrounded him on three sides. Ri and I approached from the front. He looked around him, knowing he was in BIG trouble. "Now hold on here guys " He backed up with his palms up in surrender.
"Oh, oh Ares," I couldnt help but smirk. " Boy this really looks like a jam." I sheathed my sword as I approached. "What was it you said in my cell just when you least expect it." I mimicked the fist into the palm of my hand action. "WHAMMO!" Then I drew back my fist and hit him. "That was for having me arrested." I drew back and hit him again. "That is for trying to get to my daughter." He staggered backward. Again I drew back. I felt a hand on my arm.
"Let me." Ri said softly as she stepped forward and clocked him with her staff sending him crashing into his throne. "That," She hissed at him as she leaned over him. "Is for touching my daughter. Do it again and Ill tear you apart." She straightened up and turned to me. "Think they can handle him from here?" She gestured around to our little group.
"Oh yeah I think theyve got him." I held one hand out to her and the other to Mel. They each took my hands at the same time. "Lets get out of here."
"What is going on here?" Ares growled as he sat up in his chair.
"You see nephew." Hades stepped forward. "You first mistake was messing with my granddaughter ."
"Your second," Artemis moved to him. "Was trying to interfere with the family of my chosen ."
"Your third," Athena stepped into the fray. "Was trying to corrupt the one who will be my chosen ."
I could hear him pleading with them as we left his temple. When we hit the steps outside I pulled my wife and daughter into a hug. I just closed my eyes and held them close. "Time to go home." I whispered as I gave them each a kiss on the top of the head.
I had to feel sorry for Eph as she paced around our room. She really had wanted a little fight and was disappointed when Gabrielle had sent the troops back to their villages.
"You know I never get to have any fun anymore." She pouted as she sank into a chair. "You people are just too good at these sneaky little distract the God so other Gods can handle him game."
"Sorry to put a damper in your plans Eph." I grinned as I folded my robes and placed them in the trunk.
"No youre not." She got up and moved across the room to me. She backed me up poking me in the chest as she ranted. "You enjoy out smarting Ares, makes you feel superior."
I chuckled as I continued to back away from my friend. "Yeah Im sorry youre right I do. Hes only got the one nerve and I do enjoy getting on it."
"I knew it!" She threw her hands up into the air and grinned at me.
"Listen why dont you and I sneak off and go down to the tavern. Gabrielle is going to be tied up the rest of the day with that treaty so we should be able to get away with it. Besides," I grinned. "Im buying."
"Oh you bet your sweet sword you are."
As we entered the tavern it looked like we would have a great deal of trouble finding a table so we decided to stand at the bar. I ordered us a couple of drinks and just as I was about to take my first sip I felt a hand on my shoulder. I turned to find the Captain that had arrested me.
"So you managed to beat it huh?" He sneered at me.
"I didnt beat anything. The charges were dropped for lack of evidence."
"Lack of evidence a centaurs ass. Those charges were dropped because that little amazon queen bullied the Governor into dropping them."
"Look, I already dont like you." I paused and turned to face him. Standing up to my full height I was a good head and a half taller than he was, but he was so drunk he didnt take the hint. "You humiliated me in front of my children. Now youre going to stand here and make it worse by insulting my wife?"
"Your wife?" He laughed as he teetered back just a bit. "Thats rich. How in the name of the Gods do you get that? The only thing thats for sure in this life is that your relationship in not natural. You both should be horsewh "
I drew a deep breath and held it for just a moment. Before he could finish that sentence, I hit him. In a matter of moments Eph had that fight she wanted. Most of the patrons recognized a soldiers fight and stayed out of it, but a few of the captains compatriots decided to join in.
Eph and I managed to take them down with very little effort. If this was the best Athens had to offer, the city, just like Ares, was in BIG trouble. I looked around the tavern to see the half dozen men picking themselves up off the floor. As I ran my tongue over my lip I tasted it, bringing my hand up I brushed the blood from my lip as I turned to Eph. "Oh that eyes gonna bruise up real nice." I grinned. "Nice shiner Eph."
"Thanks." She grinned back at me. "Not bad for a little work out. What in the Tartarus just happened?"
"He insulted my wife." I pointed at the Captain who was now slung over the bar.
Eph grabbed him by the hair of the head and brought his face up. "Dumb, very dumb." She told the unconscious man before letting his head thump back down to the bar. She shook her hand as she examined her knuckles. "You know I might just have broken a finger."
"Getting old Amazon?" I picked a rag up off the bar and pressed it to my lip.
"Watch it." She warned with a grin. "Besides youre what, two season older than I am?"
"Yeah but I didnt break anything."
"No but you bleed real nice."
"Thanks." I tossed the rag down on the bar along with several dinars. "Thats for the damage." I grinned at the bar keep as I picked up my drink and took my first sip. Eph looked past me and pointed. I turned around to see a half dozen guards coming through the door.
"You know," She smirked from the other side of the bars. "I shouldnt be doing this. If Mom finds, out Im grounded for life."
I stood up from the cot where Eph and I had been sitting waiting patiently for our bail money to arrive. "Mel if you dont get me out of here, Ill ground you for life."
"Now how do you suppose youd do that from here?" She tapped the bars with her staff.
"Trust me runt. Id find a way."
She laughed as the jailer unlocked the door to let us out. "Yeah I guess you would. A bar fight huh? Very original."
"Thanks a lot." The jailer handed our weapons back to us. "Wheres your Mom?"
"Still in meetings."
"Good maybe by the time she gets back tonight Ill have cooked up a really good excuse for this."
"You could tell her the truth." Eph grinned. "You were defending her honor."
"How sweet." Mel snickered again as she followed us out of the jail.
"Yeah well the first time you get arrested for the same thing dont send me a pigeon for bail." I teased as I stepped out onto the street.
She just shook her head as she looked at the three of us. "I swear. Ill be so glad to get you back to the village. Maybe, just maybe you can stay out of trouble."
"Dont say anything warrior. How do you think I felt? Just as Im about to sign the treaty a messenger comes in and tells me that our daughter had to go down to the jail to bail you two out for brawling in a tavern."
I looked over at Eph who just gave me a guilty little smile.
"Oh so you think its funny huh? Come on you guys. You could at least pretend to be ashamed of yourselves."
"We can do that." I grinned at her. "You know Eph you should be ashamed of yourself."
"So Ive been told." She chuckled. "You should be more ashamed than me, you started it."
"Oh I am. Im really feeling bad about it." I laughed.
"Oh I give up!" Ri threw her hands in the air and walked out onto the balcony. Eph and I tried to control our laughter. I looked over at Mel who was actually looking a little guilty. "Relax. You know your Mom, shes not as mad as she thinks she is."
"I hope not. Id like to see the outside of my room again before my twenties get here."
"Dont worry about it runt. Ill take care of it."
"Unt-huh." She stood up. "If you dont mind Ill handle it myself. Theres no guarantee you wont be doing extra guard duty when we get back." She followed her Mom out to the balcony.
I settled back against the headboard of the bed as I watched her get ready. "I love you, you know."
She sighed as she sat at the vanity brushing her hair. "I know. I love you too." She put her brush down and turned to me. "Did you really start that fight because he insulted me?"
"Umm-hmm." I ran my hand over the blankets, pulling them back as she crossed the room and climbed into bed next to me.
"I should be furious with you."
"Does this mean your not?"
"How can I be? After nearly twenty season your still defending my honor in bar fights." She curled up next to me draping her arm across my waist.
"My love Ill defend your honor for the rest of my days."
"I know. Thats what I get for marrying a warrior." She laughed as she curled up in my arms.
As the caravan left the palace grounds Mel pulled up next to me on her horse. "Can I ride up here with you?"
"Wouldnt want it any other way runt."
"Good. So you in trouble?"
"Yeah just a little. Im grounded for a week and I have to give the trainees three extra staff lessons a week for a month."
"Ouch. Ill help you with the staff lessons. Ill take two weeks of them. After all its my fault you got into trouble."
"Nah thats okay I dont mind. Ill do it. At least itll get me out of my room." She grinned. "Hey look at that." She pointed over at Ares temple.
I leaned forward on my horse to get a good look at the sign on the door.
"Whats it say?"
"Closed for repairs ."
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