Disclaimer: The characters of Xena and Gabrielle and others resembling those from the
TV show, belong to Studio USA and Renaissance Pictures. No infringement on their rights is
intended. All other characters are of my own creation and belong to me.
Subtext Disclaimer: This story refers to a loving relationship between two consenting adults, who happen to be of the same sex. If this offends you, or you are under 18 years of age, or you reside in an area where this type of material is illegal, read no more. There is plenty of general fanfic out there for you. Go find it.
Shock Factor: 4. Plan D #26.
Note: The partnership of Morgan, Riley and Associates was not injured during the creation of this story, although the freezer was pillaged quite severely.
Please send any comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
Enjoy, I hope.
Written by FlyBigD
How about this one? Holding up a blue silk shirt to her chest, Xena stared down at it.
Xena, you cant distract your parents with that. Pick something brighter. Chewing her thumbnail, Gabrielle checked her watch and sighed. And hurry up. Were supposed to meet them at the restaurant in an hour.
I can wear this. Putting the silk blouse back, she pulled out the neon green flower print shirt and smiled happily.
I said distract them, not blind them. Put it back. Shaking her head, the bard checked her watch again.
Rats. Grumbling, the warrior slid several possibilities aside, then pulled out another shirt. How about this?
Gabrielle tilted her head and got up off the bed. Staring at a dark purple blouse, she smiled. Did I get you that?
Mom did. I thought it might help. Twirling the blouse around, she pulled the tag off of it.
Good idea. Nodding in appreciation. We can get her started talking with that and then break the news. What about your dark gray pants?
Hold this. Xena handed the shirt to her wife then went through her closet looking for the pants. Gotcha. Chuckling, she pulled out the item with a smile, then took the shirt back from the bard, holding the clothes together. Wadda ya think?
Perfect. Get dressed and Ill go warm up the truck. Giving the warrior a wink, she walked past her to the door, then turned around. And wear those gray pumps I bought you.
And, and, and go on. I know how to spiff up when I want to. Waving her off, the warrior tossed the clothes on the bed and pulled off her robe.
Watching the robe fall to the floor, Gabrielle thought about canceling their dinner engagement and spend the rest of the night getting up close and personal with her wife, but the little voice in the back of her mind put a stop to that with a reminder that shed already done that three times. Damn. Whispering her regret, she turned away from the luscious tanned body and went down the stairs fanning herself. Must be my hormones again. Half way through the living room, she stopped fanning and started chewing on her nail again as thoughts of breaking the news of her pregnancy to Xenas parents moved to the forefront. We can do this. They wont freak out in a public place. Theyll save it for when they follow us home. Then theyll freak. Gods dont let them follow us home. Worrying herself through the kitchen, she made a U-turn when the phone rang. Ill get it! Shouting up to the warrior, Gabrielle walked back into the living room and picked up the phone. Hello.
Gabrielle, I dont know how to break this to you, but your parents just pulled into your driveway. T said with a sigh. Im sorry. I thought they were going to a hotel first, otherwise I wouldve warned you earlier.
Oh, my god. Oh, my god. No. This cant be happening to me. Stumbling around the sofa table, she closed her eyes and fell on the couch. Xena!
What? Pulling on her pants, the warrior walked to the bedroom door.
My parents are coming down the driveway! Can you please come down here and kill me! Dropping the receiver, she groaned. Please.
Hearing the desperation in her wifes voice, Xena ran to the window and pulled back the curtain. Staring at the drive, she saw two headlights moving among the trees. Oh dear god. Its an ambush. Leaving the window, she grabbed her shoes off the bed and ran down stairs. Hopping over to the couch, she put on one shoe then the other. Who called?
Pointing at the floor, the bard opened her eyes. T.
Grabbing the phone, she went to the door and locked it. T?
Im here. Rubbing her forehead, the god was pacing in her own living room.
Make them go away. I dont care where you put them, just make them go away. We are not telling them tonight. They have to wait their turn. Peeking out the side window, she saw the car pull up in front of the house and ducked back out of sight.
Xena theyre already there! I cant just pop them out now! Gods, I shouldve known that woman would change her mind. Growling into the mouthpiece, she heard a click in her ear. Ares, put down that pizza and get dressed. Were going on a rescue mission.
Were doomed. Holding the phone to her chest, Xena closed her eyes and heard a car door open. Gabrielle?
Hearing the same thing, Gabrielle sat up slowly and rose to her feet. Walking like a woman headed for execution, she stared glassy eyed at her wife. Finish getting dressed. Ill handle this. Waving the warrior aside, she stood at the door and waited for the inevitable. I think Im gonna be sick.
Throwing the phone on the couch, the warrior finished tucking in her shirt and straightened her pants, then she moved to stand behind the bard with the same sad game face. Just make sure you puke on the porch. I can wash that off with the hose.
The bard whimpered a sad chuckle then opened the door when it got knocked on. Mom. What a surprise. Smiling as best as she could, she didnt even attempt to look surprised.
Surprise! Holding her arms out wide, Joyce stepped into the house and wrapped her arms around her daughter. How have you been, Faith? You havent called me lately, so your father and I decided to come out and make sure you two were still alive.
Alive and well. Managing a half smile, Xena waved to her father-in-law. Good to see ya. Gods I hope I dont get struck by lightning before this night is over, she thought and glanced up at the ceiling.
Grace! Releasing her daughter, Mom stepped over took the taller woman in a fierce hug.
Hi. Hugging the woman back, the warrior held her breath so she couldnt be suffocated.
Daddy. Smiling more warmly, the bard stepped out onto the porch and opened her arms.
Hello sweetheart. Taking his daughter in his arms, Sean gave her a strong hug and whispered. I tried to talk her into going to a hotel first, so I could warn you, but she changed her mind at the last minute.
Gabrielle chuckled and kissed her fathers cheek. Thanks for trying.
Keeping one arm wrapped around his daughters shoulder, Dad smiled at the tall brunette. What you dished up for, Gracie?
Xena put her hands on her hips and smiled. Well, youre in luck, Pops. Were on our way to meet Mom and Dad for dinner. Wanna see if you can arm wrestle Daddy for the check?
Dont encourage him, Grace. Scolding her, Joyce shook her head. Ive had my fill of public embarrassment on the trip.
Looking up at her father, Gabrielle arched an eyebrow. Have you been flirting with the toll booth attendants again?
Worse. Flicking his eyebrows, Sean smiled wickedly. I picked my nose at a stop sign.
Daddy! Stepping away from her father, the bard shook a finger at him.
Ha! Pushing mother and daughter aside, Xena stepped up to put her arm around Seans shoulder. I knew there was a reason I liked you Pops. Wanna compare techniques on the way to the restaurant?
Over my dead body. Gabrielle and Joyce said in unison.
Faith, get her away from him and lets go before they start a belching contest. Grabbing her spouse, Joyce shoved him toward the car. Get in that car this very instant, you heathen.
Let me call to warn Mom and Dad, and then you can follow us. Snatching up the warrior, the bard dragged her inside. Closing the door, she gave her wife a glare. You invited them to come along? Are you out of your mind?
Look, its gotta happen sometime and we might as well get it over with. Defending herself, Xena followed the bard over to the couch. If their heads explode, at least we wont have to clean up the mess.
Gabrielle picked up the phone and rolled her eyes. You better hope we dont end up like sitting ducks. Pushing the speed dial, she waited for the other end to pick up. Hi Dad. Guess whos coming to dinner.
So, Grace. Tell me all about your vacation. Smiling brightly, Joyce leaned over her plate. Did you go to the mountains again? Im sure it was lovely up there this time of year.
Xena cleared her throat before she answered, then managed a smile as her thigh was being gouged by her wife. Actually we went to Greece for our vacation and it was beautiful.
What is it with you two and Greece, anyway? Joseph asked. Youve had a fetish for that place since you were kids. Youre Irish for goodness sake. Why dont you ever want to go to Ireland? Throwing his hands in the air, Xenas father had one snatched out of the air by his wife when he threatened to knock over a passing waiter.
Joseph, leave them alone. Nobody questions why you like reading fishing magazines when the closest you get to fishing is pointing to one through the glass at the market. Slapping his shoulder, Maggie rolled her eyes.
Chuckling behind her napkin, Gabrielle considered that the night might not go so badly after all and suddenly found her plate of lasagna rather appetizing. Picking up the fork shed been ignoring, she was about to take a mouthful when she noticed her mother giving her a look. Lowering the fork, she stared back in confusion. Is there something wrong, Mom?
No. Shrugging, Joyce smiled warmly. I just noticed that you looked like you were putting on a little weight and I thought you might be eating too much junk food again.
Here it comes. The bard thought and consciously considered stuffing her mouth so full she couldnt speak. Im eating fine. Taking only the one bite, she chewed it slowly and smiled.
Its your body, Faith. Dismissing the conversation with a toss of her hand, the bards mother looked down at her plate and missed the blue-eyed glare she was getting.
Maggie didnt miss the glare and kicked her daughter under the table.
Ow. Reaching for her shin, Gabrielle looked around for the culprit.
That broke up Xenas bad mood and she nodded in her mothers direction.
Covering her eyes, Mom hung her head. Sorry.
Both Dads, who were sitting at each end of the table, chuckled quietly and found something else to look at when Maggies hand dropped from her eyes.
Shaking her head, the bard rubbed her shin, then moved her legs to either side of the chair for safe keeping.
Unaware of what shed missed, Joyce looked up and picked up where shed left off. You know, Faith, now that youre over thirty its a good idea to start watching your diet. A few pounds may not seem like much, but if youre not careful and I know how you like to eat, you could end up wishing youd passed up a dessert or two.
Gabrielle put her hand on the warriors shoulder to keep her from going across the table and throttling her mother. Mom, drop it. How much I weigh is none of your business and for your information, Im not getting fat because Im eating too much. Im pregnant, okay? Spitting out the words before she knew what she was saying, the bard covered her eyes when four parental jaws dropped simultaneously and she slumped back in the chair. Gods.
A little stunned herself, the warrior blinked a couple of times then smiled when four sets of eyes turned her way looking for an explanation. Surprise.
Thinking that her timing wouldnt suck so bad if people would stop jumping the gun, T rolled her eyes and bent down, putting her hand on Gabrielles shoulder, and her head close to the blondes. You called?
Snapping her head around, the bard almost fainted with relief when she saw Ts smiling face. Are you here to rescue me, or put me out of my misery?
Bending forward, Xena smiled at T, then felt the hair on the back of her neck stand up and turned around to find Ares standing behind her holding Gabriel. Geez, theyre everywhere.
Shut up. I gave up a perfectly good pepperoni pizza for this. Smiling insincerely, the God of War thumped her forehead.
Ow, you snot nosed brat. That hurt. Slapping her hand over the wound, the warrior glared up at him. Why dont you leave him and go away?
Which misery in particular are you talking about? Chuckling softly, T noticed that it hadnt taken long for Ares and Xena to fall into their normal love to hate you relationship.
Gabrielle rolled her eyes, then turned in her chair, holding out her arms towards Ares. Give him here before you two start rolling around on the floor.
Giving Gabrielle a sincere smile, Ares handed over his son. There ya go. Putting his hands on his hips, he turned to the warrior and stuck out his tongue.
Come here, big boy. Wrapping her hands around a wiggle worm, the bard pulled him in and kissed his forehead, then cradled the baby in her arms, smiling down at him while he continued to kick his feet and laugh. And whats so funny, huh?
Must be happy to get away from him. Pointing to the God of War, Xena leaned next to her wife so she could smile at Gabriel. Hi there, big fella. Did you miss us?
Squatting down beside the bards chair, T looked up at the warrior and whispered. So are we rescue, or reinforcements?
Unbeknownst to the two gods and the two soul mates, theyd slipped into speaking Greek at the outset of the interruption and were being stared at for that reason; also the fact that the two sets of parents hadnt quite gotten over the pregnancy announcement, yet. But with Ts question, they did become aware that they were being stared at and for the next sixty seconds, they simply stared back. Then somebody finally came to their senses and Joseph stood up.
Grace, are you going to introduce your friends? Brushing down his tie, Dad looked at his daughter, hoping shed find her manners before her mother noticed they were missing.
Oh, right. Jumping up, Xena shook out the cobwebs, then smiled. Okay, here we go. T and Ares, these are our parents. The brunettes are Joseph and Maggie Morgan. Theyre mine and the blondes are Sean and Joyce Riley. They belong to Faith. Indicating each person in turn. And this is Tiegra Empario De Na Nihate, T for short and Ares, and this little guy is their son, Gabriel. Giving the baby a wave.
Mr. Morgan. Its a pleasure to meet you. Offering her hand to Joseph, T smiled at him.
Same here. Shaking her hand, Dad smiled back. I take it youve known our girls a long time?
Seems like forever. Nodding, the god relaxed her hand , then offered it to his wife. Mrs. Morgan.
Taking a step back, Xena whispered in Ares ear. You know shes gloating because that hand shake thing caught on.
Chuckling, Ares nodded and offered his hand to Joseph. Sir.
Glancing over her shoulder, T gave the pair a glare, then offered her hand to Joyce.
Dont you have a last name? Giving the man a strange look, Dad got his butt pinched by his wife. Ow. Sorry.
As the introductions made their way around the table, Gabrielle kept a low profile, hoping that her slip of the tongue would get lost somewhere, which it did and T and Ares joined the group, taking up flanking positions with the God of War sitting next to Xena and T sitting next to her, or next to Joseph, who seemed more than happy to share his dining space. Once the godly couple was settled in, the conversation began to pick up and the bard tried to fade into the scenery by eating quietly, but unfortunately her skill at holding a baby and keeping her food out of his grabby little hands didnt go unnoticed by everyone, but thankfully the only person who seemed to notice was Maggie and she just winked.
So, I take it from your accents that you two arent from around here? Sean asked, having noticed the difference right away, although he wasnt sure why they didnt have the same accent.
Hes Greek. Xena offered, pointing at the God of War, then she pointed to T, who cut her off.
I was born in Greece, but my lineage comes from southeast Asia and I moved around a lot as a child. T said and smiled warmly.
So where do you live now? Joseph asked, taking a keen interest in T for some unknown reason that had nothing to do with her exposed cleavage, or so he hoped his wife thought, which apparently she didnt because she kicked him under the table.
We live in Greece now. Answering the question, the god saw him jump and swallowed a chuckle.
And how long have you been married? Maggie asked pointedly.
Were not. Ares responded and flicked his eyebrows at T. Yet.
You live in Greece? What a coincidence. Faith and Grace just came back from a vacation there. Feeling somewhat left out, Joyce joined in.
I know. They stayed with us. Sounding none to happy, T got her ribs jabbed by the bard and turned to smile at her. Im still trying to get somebody to come in and sand blast the bathroom.
Xena chuckled and got jabbed in the ribs by the bard.
I think were missing something here, but since I dont want to get jabbed in the ribs, I think Ill switch subjects. Chuckling himself, Joseph smiled at his daughter-in-law. So what do you two do for a living?
She runs a global empire and hes her luuuuv slave. Hehehehehe. Laughing wickedly, the warrior got another jab to the ribs, but ignored it.
Ares nodded happily at the job description. You betcha.
T leaned forward and glared at the cohorts. Dont make me have to separate you two. Leaning back, she shook her head.
Scratching his forehead, Dad smiled. Is there a safe question to ask?
How old is the baby? Maggie asked and leaned forward to smile at the boy.
Almost two months. Glancing at her son, the god brushed the top of his head with her fingers.
Holding Gabriel up so everybody could see him, the bard tickled him under the chin. Come on, hansome. Show me those dimples.
Gabriel tried to eat her finger, then showed off his dimples and giggled.
He is just adorable. Watching dark eyes sparkle, Mom shook her head. And look at those eyes. Looking down the table, she saw a matching pair smile proudly. Like father, like son?
Xena groaned and rolled her eyes. Thank god thats all he got from him.
Giving her wife a stern look, Gabrielle arched an eyebrow. Be nice.
Rolling her eyes again, the warrior put on her most angelic face, which didnt fool anyone and got a round of soft chuckles.
Well, all I can say is that I hope our next grandchild gets more from its mother, than a beautiful set of green eyes, because if the baby is anything like Grace, the world may not survive. Giving his daughter-in-law a wink, he watched her face fall and realized his mistake when it suddenly got quiet. Oops.
Seeing Joyce open her mouth, Xena beat her to the punch. Well, thank you, Daddy. I love you too and first chance I get, Im teaching my child how to ride across your grass with its tricycle. Waggling a finger at him, she glanced at her mother.
Getting her cue, Maggie jumped in. Grace, you do that and Ill teach your son, or daughter how to flatten the tires on your motorcycle.
Mom! Staring wide-eyed, the warrior dropped her jaw. He started it.
Seems our first grandchild is going to acquire some very interesting skills pretty early on. Laughing, Sean leaned toward his wife. I think hes gonna be a real pistol.
And who said anything about it being a he? Youve got two girls and a boy and weve got two boys and a girl. Joseph noted with a slight hint of annoyance. Its a fifty-fifty split.
Just hold it right there. Waving her hand in the air, Maggie shook her head. This is a baby, not a football game. Well be happy with whatever we get and I dont want you two fighting over who gets first dibs at babysitting, because Im calling shotgun right here and now.
If youre calling dibs on babysitting, then Im calling dibs on getting to hold it first. Sean broke in. Itll be my first grandchild and fairs fair. Youve got three already.
Now wait a minute. Waving his arm, Joseph had to have his say in the matter.
Xena, Gabrielle, T and Ares all sat back and watched the three parents haggle for dibs, while the fourth sat there and fumed.
Leaning sideways, the warrior turned to her wife and smiled. Does this picture look familiar?
Hush and just hope it works. Gabrielle whispered and smiled back. I love you, by the way.
I love you too and you think we should take T and Ares with us? Flicking her eyebrows, Xena glanced at her friend.
Definitely. If they sleep over, Mom and Dad cant. Nodding, the bard continued to watch the baby free-for-all.
I dont know why I thought you needed rescuing. T chuckled, as she walked through the front door while Xena held it open. I havnt seen tag teaming like that since the last time I caught that wrestling program on cable.
They did the same thing when we told them we were getting married, except Joyce didnt jump up and call us perverts this time and run out of the room. Smiling happily, the warrior waved her in.
And why was that woman glaring at me? Did I kick her or something? Carrying his son, Ares came through the door.
I think Mom is putting two and two together and getting five. Gabrielle shook her head as she followed him in.
What? Turning around, the God of War stared at the bard.
Gabrielles mother thinks youre the father of her baby. Pulling off her jacket, T walked to the closet and opened the door. She also thinks thats why we showed up so unexpectedly, so that we could be there when the girls gave them the news. Pulling out a hanger, she slipped her jacket inside then held out her hand for another one.
Xena obliged and handed hers off, then closed the front door. Well, Ill give her credit. She was half right. Turning to Ares, she held out her hands. You did show up because we were going to tell them.
A very unhappy God of War handed Gabriel to the warrior then pulled off his jacket. I dont think I like her.
The bard rolled her eyes and sighed. Im just worried about Dad. Hes got to spend the night with her in the hotel. Shrugging off her coat, she handed it to T, then turned to make her way to the couch.
Poor Pops. He always gets the short end of the stick. Xena nodded in agreement and sighed as she sat down beside her wife. Laying Gabriel in her lap, she smiled down at his sleepy face. I know somebody whos been up toooooo long. Rubbing his tummy, she got a sleepy smile.
Hes not the only one. Closing her eyes, Gabrielle slid sideways to lay her head on the warriors shoulder.
The warrior kissed the bards head, then turned to look at T . How long did they say they were staying?
A week. The god said with little enthusiasm. But that could change. Theres a storm front moving in from Canada with a blizzard on its heels.
I think the storm already hit. Still grumbling, Ares sat down in one of the large side chairs.
Walking behind the couch, T headed for the other chair, then stopped and picked up the phone before it ever rang. Morgan, Riley and associates. How may I be of assistance?
Id like to speak to Faith. Joyce said in a huffy voice.
Im sorry. Shes unavailable right now. Can I take a message and . . . Smiling, the god hung up. Guess not.
Frowning, Xena rolled her head back and looked at her friend. What was that all about?
Mom. Gabrielle sighed and opened her eyes.
Bingo. Finishing her trek, T plopped down in the empty chair and put her feet up on the coffee table. Snapping her fingers, a pink cell phone appeared in her hand and she smiled when it began chirping. Pressing the on button, she put it to her ear. Morgan Riley and associ . . . I dont think she likes my phone voice. Turning the phone completely off, she snapped her fingers, sending it back to the bards briefcase.
Chuckling, the warrior nodded in appreciation and gave her wife another kiss on the top of the head. That covers all the bases, unless she plans on trying my phone.
Sighing, the god snapped her fingers and a black cell phone appeared in her hand. Anybody else wanna give it a try? Holding up the phone, she smiled when it started chirping.
Ares jumped to his feet, then jumped over the coffee table to snatch the phone out of her hand. Turning it on, he put the phone to his ear. Listen, I dont know who taught you how to be a mother, but as far as Im concerned you suck. What the hell is wrong with you? Your daughters having a baby and all you want to do is jump down her throat? Youre supposed to be supportive and loving, not harping on her like shes done something wrong. She happens to be one of the nicest people I know and if something were to happen to T and me, Id die happy because I know my son would be raised in a loving home with people who care about him. Thats what parents are supposed to do, just in case nobody ever told you that. Parents love their children come hell or high water and trust me woman, Ive had my fill of both, so stop calling here until you change your attitude, because if you hurt Faith, youll find out who really does care about her when I come knocking on your door to kick your ass. And I am NOT, I repeat NOT the father of Faiths baby, so get that stupid idiotic thought out of your head. That baby belongs to Grace and Faith and nobody else, you hear me? Grace and Faith are the parents of the baby and the next time you see them, why dont you take some notes on how to be a good mother while youre at it, because theyre a hell of a lot better at it than you are. Hanging up the phone, he tossed it to T, then went and sat back down. I dont like her.
Really? I never wouldve guessed. Giving the phone a smirk, the god snapped her fingers and put it away.
Slipping off the couch, the bard got up and walked over to Ares. Leaning down, she wrapped her arms around his shoulders and kissed his cheek. Thank you.
Poking his chest, Ares nodded. Somebody better tell that woman that Im the God of War and she doesnt want to piss me off.
Ill be sure to mention it the next time I talk to her. Giving him another kiss on the cheek, Gabrielle went back to the couch and sat down.
Xena stared at him, until he looked her way, then she nodded once and winked.
Well, I dont know about the rest of you, but just watching him made me tired. T yawned and stretched out her arms.
Youve got two choices. This couch, or the one in the library. Leaning forward, the warrior picked up Gabriel, lifting him to her shoulder.
Ares? Handing off the decision, the god smiled at him.
Library. I like the smell of leather furniture. His mood getting a little cheerier, he smiled.
I bet. Rolling her eyes, Xena left it at that and stood. Come on, Gabriel. Lets go see if we can find some sheets.
T got up as well and shook her head, holding out her arms. I think I can handle the sheets and give him here, before he has to be surgically removed.
Slumping, the warrior growled and handed him over. Rats.
Feeling a lot better than she did when the night began, Gabrielle took Xenas hand when it became unoccupied and got up. Are you sure you dont need me to fix up the bed?
I think I can handle a hide-a-bed. Smiling, the god waved her hand around. Have snap, will travel. Come on leather boy, lets go check out our digs.
Ares took a dramatic deep breath and stretched before he got up smiling. Walking around the coffee table, he took Ts hand and turned to the girls. Id like a wake up call for 9am and I like my eggs over medium with a side of bacon, and wheat toast.
Be thankful if you get Fruit Loops and dont have to eat it with your fingers. Sneering at him, the warrior gave her wife a tug. Come on and stop smiling at him, or else well never get rid of him.
Nite you guys and thanks for showing up when you did. The bard gave the godly couple a warm smile and a wave.
Holding her son tightly to her shoulder, T bowed and smiled. The pleasure was all ours, not that you really needed us, but it was nice to finally meet your parents anyway.
Im glad you didnt do that when you met them. Daddy wouldve passed out. Chuckling, Xena pointed at Ts chest then turned and took off, with wife in tow, before the god could get a hand on her.
Jogging up the stairs, Gabrielle gave them another wave.
Sighing, T looked at Ares and nodded toward the kitchen. Wanna see if theres any ice cream in the fridge?
Good idea. Ice cream doesnt get crumbs in the sheets. Flicking his eyebrows, the God of War took the lead.
Gabrielle fell backwards onto the bed before Xena closed the door. Groaning softly, she closed her eyes. What a night.
Thats an understatement. Smiling, Xena kicked off her shoes as she closed the door, then walked over to the bed and fell on it face first. Do you think we should send T and Ares to go rescue Pops?
Groaning again, the bard shook her head. After what Ares said to her, shell be speechless for days, if she isnt having a heart attack right now.
The warrior chuckled and folded an arm underneath her head. Reaching out with her other hand, she put it on Gabrielles stomach. He does have his moments.
Letting a smile get through her doldrums, Gabrielle turned her head to share it with the warrior. Yes he does and so do you. Placing her hand over the one on her stomach, she laced their fingers together. I love you.
Smiling her half smile, she scooted over on one elbow and gave her wife a kiss. I love you. Kissing her way down the bards body, she got to a tummy that still didnt show signs of being occupied and kissed it. And I love you, too. Turning her head sideways, Xena put her ear over Gabrielles belly button.
Tucking an arm under her head, the bard stared down her body at her wife and smiled. What do you hear?
A very happy tummy monster whos stuffed on lasagna. Flicking her eyebrows, she got her head jolted when the bard started laughing. Sliding her body back up, she kissed the laughing lips and smiled herself, then propped up on one elbow to stare down at her wife. Mesmerized by the sparkle in the sea of green before her, she brought her hand up to gently stroke a soft cheek. Youre so beautiful. Her voice low, she ran her fingertips over full lips, then on to the other cheek.
Until my face starts breaking out and my feet swell. Rolling her eyes, she smiled at the compliment anyway.
I wasnt talking about the outside, Gabrielle. Tilting her head, Xena moved her eyes downward, following her finger as it traced a path to the spot over the bards heart. I was talking about here. The place your mother cant seem to see.
Gabrielle took a deep breath and sighed. Closing her eyes, she turned her head, then opened them again to stare out the window into the darkness and saw flecks of white drifting downward. As she watched the snow fall, she began remembering all the times shed fallen short in her mothers eyes and how few times shed shined.
Watching the bard closely, the warrior saw an expression shed seen too many times in this lifetime. The one that made her mad as fire and want to rip Joyces head off for being so self-centered and blind to the treasure she had right in front of her face. Everybody else could see Gabrielle for the wonderful person she was, but never her mother. Never her mother and now, when her wife needed the understanding and love she deserved, the woman whod given birth to her was running true to form and breaking her daughters heart.
Closing her eyes, Xena took a deep breath and counted to ten before she spoke, and when she did, her voice masked the loathing she had for her mother-in-law. You want some ice cream? She asked, putting a smile on her face when she opened her eyes.
Sighing again, the bard chuckled softly because she knew she was being baited and decided to put a kink in the plan. Arching an eyebrow, she turned back and smiled. I thought you used all the fudge for your chocolate milk the other day.
There are gods downstairs. Stretching out her smile, she added a couple flicks of the eyebrows for effect. How about a banana split with whipped cream?
Eying the bait carefully, the tummy monster perked up with the mention of bananas. Biting her lip, she closed her eyes and fought off the temptation for three seconds. Then she opened her eyes and nodded. And strawberries.
Ha! Let the cravings begin! Laughing, the warrior gave her wife a quick kiss then jumped off the bed. Taking one step, she pushed off with her back foot and slid toward the door with the help of her knee-highs. When she ran into the door, she turned around and smiled. Nuts?
Untucking her arm, she covered her face with her hands and mumbled into them. Oreo sprinkles.
A woman after my own heart. Opening the door, Xena let out a laugh. Anything else?
Disgusted by the thought that popped in her head, Gabrielle groaned. A big glass of grapefruit juice.
The warrior cringed and shivered all at the same time. Good gods. Rubbing her forehead, she closed her eyes and cringed again. Anything else?
Peeking from between her fingers, she shook her head. No.
Thank you, Ungara. Breathing a sigh of relief, she stepped out and closed the door before the bard could change her mind. Walking down the short hallway to the stairs, she noticed that the lights had been turned off in the house and felt for the hall light before she went down. Flipping it on, she pulled off her stockings, stuffing them in her pants pocket, then started down the stairs. As she crossed through the living room, her mind shifted back to her mother-in-law with all the ill feelings and passed through the kitchen working on a plan to fix the problem.
T knew Xena was coming and had stashed the butter pecan before she opened the door. Shed also made Ares and Gabriel hide their matching Bugs Bunny boxers under the covers. Once everybody was covered and the evidence taken care of, she wiped her mouth, then opened the door as her friend put her hand up to knock. I gave at the office.
So did I. Keeping her voice low, Xena nodded behind her and stepped back away from the door. I need to talk to you . . . in private.
Her expression changing to curious, the god stepped out into the hall, closing the door behind her. Whats up?
The warrior took a few more steps back to lead her friend further away from the library. When T followed, she turned around and went to the door that led to the garage. Opening it carefully, she stepped inside the darkness.
Moving from curious to concerned, the god followed Xena into the garage.
Xena flipped on the light before she closed the door, then stepped up to T and gave her a look that said more than her words did. I want to talk to Joyce.
Now T understood perfectly. Shaking her head, she closed her eyes. Xena, thats not a good idea.
I dont want to hurt her, T. I just want to talk to her. Holding up her hands, she stepped back. I promise.
Thats not the point. Opening her eyes, the god put her hands on her hips. I dont have a problem with taking you over there, I just dont think now is a good time. I can feel her emotions and shes not ready to listen to anybody, least of all you.
T, Ive got to do something. The way shes treating Gabrielle is tearing her up inside and I want it to stop. Xena folded her arms across her chest. Gabrielle doesnt need her crap right now.
Agreed, but give her a couple of days to calm down, then talk to her. If you go over there tonight, youll only make things worse. Trust me on this one, Xena. T smiled sadly and shook her head.
And what if she doesnt calm down in a couple of days? Unfolding her arms, she threw them in the air. T, Ive known her for over thirty years and shes always been the same.
And Ive known her since the day she was conceived, Xena. Im fully aware that Joyce Riley is not June Cleaver. Consciously keeping her voice down, the god took a step forward. Shes been a nit picker since the day she was born, but she was the only choice at the time.
Xena took a step back and stared at T incredulously. Are you telling me that you picked her to be Gabrielles mother?
No, I didnt pick her. T shot back. That choice was left up to TPTB like always. I dont have any say in what families youre born into. I convinced them it was in their best interest to give you those bodies back and to have you two be born in the same home town, thats all. And in their defense, TPTB did the best they could because they had to make sure they didnt put you into a family of all short people and Gabrielle into an Asian family. Matching those bodies up to the right looking gene pool wasnt easy in a town that size, Xena. They did the best they could and there was no malice involved in their choice. Sean and Joyce were the right couple at the right time, with the right physical features and gene pool to make sure that Gabrielle wouldnt stand out like a sore thumb. Holding out her hands, she could see that the explanation wasnt getting through and she shook her head. Sighing heavily, she softened her tone. Im sorry that Gabrielle got stuck with a mother that cant see the forest for the trees, but she really was the only choice, Xena. It was either that or have you two waste years of your life searching for each other and if Sean and Joyce hadnt moved when they did, you and Gabrielle wouldve been more than four years apart. Lowering her hands, T stepped back to lean against the truck. I did the best I could because youve earned this lifetime together and if its not perfect, its because theres no such thing and you know it. Yes, Joyce can be a bitch and right now Gabrielle is suffering because of it. If you want, Ill go talk to her, but dont let her cheat you by taking your focus off the person that really matters. Gabrielle needs you a whole lot more than she will ever need Joyce and dont under estimate your wife, Xena. That little blonde bard told Dahok he had bad breath, so I dont think telling her mother to straighten up, or piss off will be a problem.
While shed been listening, the warrior had taken a seat on the door step with a scowl on her face, but as her friend continued, shed found herself seeing things from a different perspective and by the time she finished, the scowl was giving way to a smile as she began to imagine Gabrielle reading Joyce the riot act. She can get a little testy when shes pushed, huh?
And throw in the fact that shes pregnant and you just cut the fuse in half on that blonde bombshell. Nodding in agreement, T chuckled. I wouldnt take her on and if I were you, Id be high tailing it upstairs with a banana split, right about now.
Suddenly Xenas eyes went wide and she jumped up. Oh, shit! I forgot about that. Holding out her hands, she had a pleading look in her wide eyes. And dont forget the Oreo sprinkles.
Thinking she was passing up a perfectly good opportunity to drive Xena crazy, the god merely shook her head and sighed. The things I do for love. Sighing again, she snapped her fingers, filling Gabrielles order to perfection and even brought herself to include the glass of grapefruit juice, which made her shiver. Walking to the door, she opened it for the warrior, whose hands were now full. If she has anymore cravings, just slip the order under the door.
Thanks, T. Rushing out the door, the warrior hot footed it back the way shed come, being very careful not to spill the juice.
My pleasure. Talking to a disappearing figure, she closed the garage door, then went to see if there was any butter pecan left outside Ares stomach.
It was almost midnight before the last of the banana split disappeared, along with the grapefruit juice and the girls decided to give Ts sensitive ears a break in gratitude for their dessert. So, instead of burning off the sugar high with a good romp between the sheets, they spent several hours rearranging their closets and taking a cold shower together, which pushed their gratitude to the limits. Then they got into bed, cold and coming down fast, but with an overall warm fuzzy feeling that went along with love, and lots of cuddling. As their eyes closed, they thought that they were going to stay that way until a light knock came from the door and they popped open again.
We dont have anymore butter pecan, so go away! Xena shouted and glared through the darkness at the door.
T shook her head and sighed. Im not here after ice cream. Joyce just left the hotel and guess where shes headed?
Gabrielle groaned and pulled the covers over her head.
Dear gods. Doesnt that woman ever give up? Knowing the answer, the warrior closed her eyes and threw her arms out to the side.
Wheres Dad? The bard asked through the blanket.
At the hotel. Leaning her forehead on the door, T closed her eyes. She waited until he was asleep before she left. Shes not a happy camper.
Surprise, surprise. Xena offered up sounding anything but surprised by the announcement. How long before she gets here?
Depends if she had an unexpected flat tire and has to call for a tow truck, which would mean that shed have to go back to the hotel. Giving one possible solution to the problem, T raised her head.
Sounds like a plan. Liking the idea, the warrior smiled.
No, no. Dont do that. Throwing the covers back, Gabrielle sighed and sat up. Bringing one knee up, she laid her head on it. Lets just get this over with.
Rubbing the bards back, Xena sat up beside her. Gabrielle we dont have to do this now. Let T give her a flat and give Pops another shot at her first.
Xena, this isnt going to go away and you know it. Turning her head, she gave her wife a sad smile. Im so tired of this. I just want it to be over and done with.
Feeling her heart crumble into pieces, the warrior nodded. Okay. Sighing, she looked up at the door. T.
Yea? Leaning against the wall, the god pushed off of it.
If Joyce was surprised to find the lights on when she pulled up, she didnt show it because at that moment she was fit to be tied. All the arguments her husband had used to try and turn her daughters pregnancy into a good thing had been wasted breath and she flung open the car door with the full intention of listing every reason Faith had no right to consider herself mother material. Slamming the door, she was on the porch in two steps and at the front door in another two, then she almost fell inside when the door opened without her knocking on it. Straightening herself, she blinked at the light in the room and looked around to find a wall of brunettes standing behind her daughter. Unfazed by the display, she slammed the door behind her and glared at the only other blonde in the room.
Say what you came to say, Mom. Its late, Im tired and I want to go to bed. Standing in front of Xena, Gabrielle leaned into the warrior and felt two arms wrap around her waist.
What I have to say doesnt concern these people, Faith. Waving her arm at the wall, she started to pull off her coat.
Dont get comfortable, Joyce. Youre not staying. Tightening her hold on her wife, Xena shook her head. You came to have your say, so say it. Tell your daughter why you think her having a baby is a mistake and then get out. Keeping her voice calm, she stared blankly at her mother-in-law.
Joyce narrowed her eyes and shrugged her coat back on. How dare you talk to me like that, Grace? Who do you think you are? Im her mother.
And youre not a very good one, so whats your point? Arching an eyebrow, she smiled for a second then went back to her blank expression.
Raising her hand, the bard spoke softly and never took her eyes off her mother. Its okay. Just let her talk.
Thats the first sign of good sense Ive seen in you in a long time, Faith. Too bad it didnt show up earlier before you decided to go and get yourself pregnant. And whos idea was it anyway? Did Grace talk you into it? Putting her hands on her hips, she moved her eyes from her daughter to the woman in question and took a step forward. Was this your idea? And what did you make her do to get this baby? Did you go to one of those sperm banks and flip through a catalog, or did you pay somebody to sleep with her? Is that it? Did you sell your wife to the highest bidder, Grace?
MOM! Shouting through gritted teeth, Gabrielle walked up and slapped her mother across the face. Dont you ever talk to my wife like that again! Youre my mother, not hers and you will not speak to her like that in my house, you understand me? Now, if you want to criticize me, go right ahead. Ive been listening to your crap all my life and it doesnt faze me anymore, but you will not treat Grace like you treat me. Watching her mother step back in astonishment, she took a step forward. You came here to tell me how much of a disappointment I am to you, then say it. You want to tell me Im making the biggest mistake of my life, then do it. You want to try and make me feel sorry, and ashamed for the fact that Im pregnant, give it your best shot. You want to run down the list of every time I didnt meet up with your expectations and how much this is going to make you look bad to your friends, well have at it. But if you think anything you can say will make me want to give up this baby, youre wrong. You think I dont have what it takes to be a good mother? Wrong again and you know why, Mom? Because Im not you! Im not going to criticize every little flaw this child might have and Ill be damned to hell before I let my expectations get in the way of my childs happiness. This baby can grow up to be whatever it wants to be and I may make some mistakes, but this baby will never have to worry whether or not its loved because its not perfect. Shaking her head, the bard gave her mother a look of complete ambivalence. Now, have I covered all the bases, Mom? Or have I come up short yet again?
Stunned and hurt, Joyce stared at her daughter in amazement. I always loved you, Faith. Always.
No you didnt, Mom. You loved who you wanted me to be. Sighing heavily, Gabrielle stepped back into the warriors arms. And its about time you realize that Im never going to be that person. Its not who I am and its not who I want to be. Im happy with my life and who I am and thats the bottom line. You can either accept me for who I am, faults and all and be happy for me, or you can go home, because Im not going to let you do to my child what you did to me.
Joyce lowered her eyes for a moment, then glanced back up to look into each face watching her and all the looks were the same. They all had a sad expression with a hint of something else that she thought looked almost predatory. As if they were ready to pounce if she made one wrong move and she knew that shed become something other than what shed wanted to be. Instead of being the one to protect her daughter, Faith was being protected from her. The open arms that had welcomed her earlier were now wrapped around her daughter like a protective shield and the people shed just met stood there looking at her like she was the stranger. Shed become an intruder in her daughters home and in her life. An unwanted intruder.
Looking back to Faith, she didnt see any tears in her eyes. Her daughter showed no signs of regretting what shed said to her. There was no remorse for having slapped her, or even the smallest hint of sadness. The only thing she saw in Faiths eyes was determination and indifference, which hurt more than the words, or the slap ever could. The child shed raised and loved was looking at her with borderline contempt, and it broke her heart to think that shed put it there, and suddenly all the dreams shed had for Faith seemed insignificant next to the realization that shed been the one who failed. All the time shed spent trying to mold her daughter into becoming what she thought she should be, had actually been spent trying to smother who she really was. Shed wanted the perfect daughter to have the perfect life and in doing so, shed forgotten to ask Faith what she wanted.
Lowering her eyes once more, the mother whod only wanted to see her daughter happy turned away from the one shed given nothing but unhappiness. Sighing, she opened the door with tears pooling in her eyes and walked out.
T put her hand on Gabrielles shoulder and whispered in Ungaran. She understands now.
Mom. Calling out, Gabrielle walked slowly towards the open door, then rushed forward when her mother collapsed into sobs on the porch. Her own tears falling, she wrapped her arms around her mothers shoulder and cradled the woman whod brought her so much pain. Its okay, Mom. Its gonna be okay.
Xena turned to T and shook her head. If you say I told you so, Im gonna tell her you called her a blonde bombshell. With that warning, the warrior went to join her wife in bringing Joyce back into the house.
Epilogue: Yea, Pops. Shes here and shes all right. Everythings okay. Standing in the kitchen, Xena peeked around the corner to check in on the bard and her mother, who were talking quietly on the couch. No, that wont be necessary. She can stay here tonight and Faith will come and get you once she gets some sleep. Seeing her wife smile, the warrior smiled too. What happened? Well, Pops I guess its safe to say your wife finally found out what Ive known all along. . . . . . gods work in mysterious ways and never under estimate the power of Faith.
Thanks for reading.
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