Alternative Warning: This story depicts a loving relationship between two women. This story is not for those under the age of eighteen.
Timeline: Somewhere in the third season.
Authors Notes: This story takes place immediately after Careful What You Wish For... All POSITIVE comments are welcome. Negatives I will simply ignore. Send your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org .
Careful What You Wish For....
She hasnt said a word to me since this morning. She has a right to be preoccupied. Gabrielle is carrying my child. I assured her that a late cycle doesnt confirm that she is pregnant, neither does her being sick. She still is. How will we ever tell Mother? Mother, I was made a man for one night. Gabrielle got horny and now your going to be a grandmother. Ohhhhh gods. I roll my eyes at the thought of saying that. I will however tell her somehow. "Xena, can we stop for a minute?" She presses her face between my shoulder blades.
"Sure." I say softly. She lets go of my waist and I jump down from the saddle. Without thought, I reach up and help her down. I run my hand over an arm. "Still feeling bad?"
"Not as much, but my stomach is churning." She drops her gaze.
"Whats wrong, Love?"
"Im scared, Xena."
"Gabrielle, we dont know..."
"Its not just that." she cuts me off. "If a god was involved, what kind of baby will I have?
Yours or theirs?" I shrugged, not having the answers she wants.
"I dont know. I will tell you this: I love you and I am NOT going anywhere. Mine or otherwise." I saw relief in her eyes. Trying to change the subject to ease her mind, I asked, "Are you hungry?"
"No." I was surprised by that.
"Gabrielle, you need to eat something."
"I can wait till we get to Cyrenes."
"Are you sure?"
"Im sure, Xena." After a quick trip to the woods, Gabrielle and I moved towards my home village.
"XENA!! GABRIELLE!!" I smiled sheepishly as I watched my mother tear through the kitchen to reach us. "Theres my little one." She enveloped me in a firm hug. Then she turned to Gabrielle, giving her the same. "You didnt tell me you were coming, I would have cooked something you liked."
"Well. It was sort of last minute, Mother. We dont want to be any trouble."
"Oh nonsense." she waved and took our hands, leading us to the back of the inn where I lived as a child. Closing the door to the kitchen, she walked into our common room. Just being here, makes me smile. So many good memories are locked in these walls, and some not so good too. "You two can stay in Xenas old room." We moved in and watched Cyrene fuss over the sheets and opened the window. "Kinda stuffy in here." she smiles. "Gabrielle, honey are you feeling okay? Your pale child."
"Ive been better." she yawned.
"Well Ill bring you todays soup. You two stay and rest up. Ill be back." Before I could protest, she was out the door. I helped Gabrielle settle into my bed. She closed her eyes and yawned.
"Mmmm." I said as I layed down beside her.
"What are you going to tell your mother?"
"The truth." She turned her exhausted eyes to me.
"All of it?" I sighed deeply and nodded my head.
"I just have to think of a way to say it."
"Ill do it, Xena." She snuggled into my side.
"Well do it." I said, rubbing her back as she started to doze off.
Whatever Mother put in her soup must have done the trick. Gabrielle was up and about in no time. We both sat at one of the tables in the almost empty inn. It was between the lunch and supper rush. Gabrielles feet were propped up in the chair next to me and mine in the chair next to her. We quietly exchanged conversation until Mother decided to join us. Gabrielle cleared her throat, stood up and moved to sit next to me. It was her way of saying, Tell her.
My rational mind said to wait until we know for sure from a healer, but I feel it. Deep within me I sense the life within her, just as strongly as I felt it with Solan. "Mother, Gabrielle and I have something to tell you..." She smiled widely and raised her eyebrows.
"Yes?" We looked at each other, but Gabrielle beat me to it.
"Im pregnant." Her smile faded. My heart stopped.
"Your okay with this, Xena?" she gestured to me.
"Yes." I said.
"Was this planned?" She was in her all mother mode.
"Uhhh...no it wasnt." Gabrielle said quietly.
I could see the anger building in her eyes. "Whos the father?" she said, obviously upset.
"Me." I say quietly.
"Thats very noble of you, Daughter." she smiled and then turned to Gabrielle. "Whos the father?" she repeated.
"You think that she...No mother. No. Gabrielle did not be unfaithful to me."
"Now Im confused. You said shes pregnant, but it wasnt planned....."
"Im the one who got her pregnant, Mother."
"The last time I checked Xena, you were my daughter."
"I know this is very hard to understand, but something happened to Xena. We dont know who caused it, but Xena was changed..." Gabrielle coughed. "into...and we...you know." Thank the gods that was over. Gabrielle actually told her. We watched my mothers expression go from stone to one of amusement. She chuckled and then burst into a loud laughing spell. We exchanged looks of worry as my mother rolled in laughter.
"You mean to tell me that.." Laughter. "Xena is the father." She pounded the table with her fist. A few men at a neighboring table glanced over. I bolted from my seat and was almost up when I felt her hand on my arm.
"Love, their not worth it." she whispered
"Hey." I said coldly. Ever since my return to my village to help them with Draco, I never raised my voice in anger at my mother. So when she heard it, she stopped cold.
"Xena..its.." I held up my hand.
"No its not alright, Sweetheart." I say softly. I stood, pulling her with me. "Mother, Gabrielles condition is not the least bit funny to me. You might find amusement, but I dont. This child is a product of our love and I dont find it settling that my own mother would laugh in my face." I pulled Gabrielle towards the back of inn before I said anything more.
"Xena. Calm down." I was fuming. "She wasnt laughing at us, she was laughing about the situation thats all."
"Gabrielle, I am responsible for why you are like this. It was MY body that caused you to be with child. Youll never know what kind of feeling that is."
"Xena," she sighed. "Most fathers are happy about that, not...."
"Mine wasnt." I spat without thought. "I was an accident to him. He never loved me. He wanted another son, not me. I was a mistake. Thats why he had Lyceus." She moved to me.
"Do you love me?"
"Yes of course I do."
"Do you love your baby?"
"Yes." I whisper.
"Then you are not your father. So dont base this experience off of his." She was right as she usually is. "I need you."
I reached for her and wrapped my arms around her. A soft knock on our open door caused us to turn and see my mother. "Xena, can I talk to you?" she says softly, closing the door behind her. Gabrielle moves and sits on the bed. Mother moves and sits next to her. I feel a bit ackward standing, so I moved the chair from beside the bed. Turning it to face them, I sat. "Im sorry." she began. "I dont know what came over me. Xena, Gabrielle...." She smiled. "Im so happy that Im going to have a grandchild. I dont care what brought this into our lives. Im just glad Im here to share it with you." She looks back and forth between us. "Are you going to stay until the babys born?" For some reason they both looked at me.
"Its up to Gabrielle, Mother. Whatever she says, thats what Ill do." Mother grinned. I knew what she was thinking. Of course thats what youll do, you love her...and your whipped.
"If its okay Cyrene, Id like to stay here permanently during the final stages. For now, I want to continue to travel. Besides, we dont know for sure that Im pregnant."
"Your pregnant, Sweatheart." I say softly.
"Sure of yourself are we?" Mother quipped. My smile faded.
"Mother!" I whined. They just chuckled at my expression.
Eight months later.....
Gabrielle reached her limit in traveling. We returned to my village just as I promised her we would. When Gabrielle was five months we went to tell her family. I just wish things had gone better in Poteidaia.
Here I was standing here fidgeting like a child. Gabrielles stomach was very noticeable now. They knew she was pregnant the minute they laid eyes on her. Her fathers eyes bore holes into me. I had no idea what Gabrielle told them while I was outside. From the look on Lilas face, they knew something. I allowed her father to drag me out of the house by my shoulder armor, only because Gabrielle is ill and didnt want to upset her by striking her father. The family quickly followed behind us. Now here I was standing outside looking at her father. "Get away from here! My daughter is staying here with me!"
"Xena!" Gabrielle tried to move to me, but her father stepped in her path. "Go into the house, Gabrielle."
"No!" Gabrielle shoved Heroditus out of her way and continued towards me. He reached forward and grabbed her around the waist." I saw red.
"HEY!" I moved to them in three strides. "Let her go!" Gabrielle whimpered as she squirmed in the arms that kept her from me. I grabbed his arm and twisted. I heard the pop as his shoulder dislocated.
"Ahhhhhhh! You harlot!" he screamed. Gabrielle pulled herself away. Then began to pull on my arm.
"Come on, Xena." She was crying. "Please. I want to get out of here." With a quick thrust, I put his shoulder back into place. I smiled as he grunted in pain.
"Youll never be good enough for her!" he screamed as we walked away towards the barn to get Argo.
I was having issues about being a good parent that was for sure, especially since it was getting ever closer to the time. The last few months have been rough on my love. She averaged a sick spell every two weeks. It would appear out of nowhere and several days later, it would be gone just as quickly. I thought she was going to give birth last week, but it turned out to be a false alarm.
I cant stop thinking about her, especially when Im away from the inn. Im helping Garon with the building of his home. His wife is expecting also and his son is too small to be any help to him. I gladly volunteered. I have a lot of frustration, anxiety, and just plain raw energy pinned up within me. Anyway to get rid of it, Ill do. He laughs when he catches me staring off, which I do when Im thinking of Gabrielle.
I sat and rubbed Gabrielles aching feet after she told the Dragon and Slayer story to the patrons. Her protruding belly is becoming more and more noticeable. I glance over to see Mother knitting again. She has already made a blanket for the baby. "Xena, do you want a boy or a girl?" Mother asks.
"Doesnt matter." I sigh.
"Ohhh come on." she grins.
"I would love to have a daughter," I say sincerely. "but I would love a son just as much."
"Good answer." Gabrielle smiled. "I go with a boy. Id like to watch Xena teach him everything she knows."
"I can do that with a daughter too ya know."
"No doubt especially, since its yours." she chuckles.
"Hey Xena!" I looked down from my perch on the roof to see one of my mothers helpers riding up.
"Yeah?" I say causally as I start back to my work.
"Gabrielles having the baby!" he shouted up.
"WHAT!" I just barely caught myself before I started to slide towards the ground. "Tell her Ill be right there." He nodded and heeled his horse at full speed back to the village. I executed a perfect back flip, landing on my feet. I turned and looked for Garon, but didnt see him. I ran around the corner of the house towards where Argo was grazing. Garon had put on her bridle for me. I smiled as I took the reins and swung myself onto her back.
"Ill bring your saddle to the inn." he said quickly.
"Your welcome. Now go."
Argo ran full speed all the way back to the inn. She knew she had to get me there. I jumped off her back before she even stopped. Pushed and shoved my way, apologizing to the people I knew as I made my way back. Just as I opened the door to the back, I heard Gabrielle make a very painful whimper. I moved into the common room. Mother had her ready to deliver. "Xena." Gabrielle cried softly.
"Im right here. Is Allana coming?" She was the best midwife in Amphipolis.
"Shes not going to make it, Honey. Gabrielle....Listen to me okay?" She nodded her head meekly. "Dont push until I tell you okay? Squeeze Xenas hands, but do not push." My heart was beating wildly. I had placed myself directly behind her. She grasped both my hands with hers and she was squeezing! Gods, Im not going to able to move my fingers ever again.
"Oookay. Gabrielle, I want you to give me a push. Ready?....Push......Good girl." I was glad my mother was keeping calm because I know I couldnt. "Again."
It was two pushes later that Mother announced she could see the head. Once again Gabrielle bared down. "Come on, Honey. One more come on." she gritted her teeth and put the last bit of strength she had left into it. She gasped and collapsed against me as the baby was freed. I heard the cries of my baby as Mother cleaned it off.
"You did it, Sweetheart." I whispered, kissing her sweating forehead. "I love you."
"Love you." Gabrielle breathed. She was exhausted, deservedly so.
"Its a girl." Mother smiled. "She has your eyes, Little One." Mother smiled at me. I watched with great delight as Mother placed the baby in Gabrielles arms. She had Gabrielles hair and my eyes.
"Shes beautiful." I said, trying to hold onto my emotions, but failing.
"So, what you naming my granddaughter?"
"Havent really thought about it." Gabrielle admitted.
I couldnt sleep tonight. Didnt want too really. I sat up in bed and stared at our daughter in her bed next to Gabrielle. Both are sleeping peacefully. I watch those tiny hands move in her sleep. I have to smile. "Xena, whats wrong?"
"Nothing." I whisper. "Go back to sleep, Love." I settle back down and kiss her softly on the lips.
"Alexa." she yawns.
"Alexa. The babys name. What do you think?"
"Alexa." I rolled the name off my tongue. "How did you come up with that?"
"Combination. Theres a A in your name, an L in mine. An E in your mothers, an X in yours and an A in mine." I chucked.
"You really thought that out didnt you?"
"Yes, so what you do think?"
"Sounds good to me."
I carefully exited our room after Gabrielle was asleep again. I saw my saddle in the common room next to my mothers chair. It was still very early, too early to get up. I found my mother preparing for breakfast. "Can I help?" I ask softly.
"Xena, Honey what are doing up?"
"Baby wake you?"
"No. She hasnt woken up since Gabrielle fed her last night."
"Your lucky. I was up with you every three hours for a month." I smile. "Here. You can help me with this dough." I walk over and start helping her mead. "Have you thought of a name yet?"
"Alexa. It was Gabrielles idea."
"Ohhh, That is wonderful." We worked in silence for several minutes. "You havent helped me since you were small." Mother said softly.
"Mmmm." I comment.
"Im very proud of you, Little One." I turn to her. "I mean it. You have turned your life completely around. It takes a real woman to admit she was wrong and change it."
"Thank you.....If it werent for Gabrielle...."
"Xena, I know Gabrielle is everything to you, but you had the courage in your heart to make that change."
"Yes I did, Mother. Gabrielle believed in me and kept me on the right side, even when I thought I didnt deserve to be."
"You have a person who loves you very much and now a daughter. If you dont deserve to be happy now, no one does." She sighed heavily. "When you were born, I was so happy." I couldnt help but grin. "I had a little girl. It was true that your father wanted another son, but I prayed to anyone who would listen to make me a daughter."
"Well I had my taste raising a boy. I wanted a daughter who I could teach to cook." she laughed, emphasizing the word cook. "To teach how to run this inn."
"I guess I failed you." My head went down on its own accord.
"No." she said sternly. "You did not fail me. You followed your own path. That of a warrior. Thats what any parent wishes for their child, for them to be happy. Xena youd die cooped up here. I know you would." My gaze lifted.
"I am happy." I say sincerely.
"Good." she smiles. "Because Im a grandmother now, which makes me happy."
Our talk was interrupted by faint crying. "Get used to that sound, Little One." I smile and head off back to my room. By the time I returned, Gabrielle is feeding our daughter.
"Everything okay?" she asks.
"Yeah. I was just helping Mother." I say softly as I carefully placed myself on the bed beside her. Alexa continues to cry slightly while latched onto Gabrielles breast. "Shhh." I coo and rub her soft blond hair. As soon as she is done eating, I tickle her foot and get the tiniest, little giggle out of her.
"Here Mom. Hold her while I go and...." she gestures. I reach out and take her. I remember thinking yesterday that I was going to break her because shes so small. Now I hold her with confidence. Her little hands move in front of her face as she makes little noises at me. I lean forward and place a tiny kiss on her forehead. As I look at this tiny, new being, I think back to how I was and what I did. I remember times where I lost hope in ever being a good person, never loving or never being loved. This is definitely worth living for.
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