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.
Other: Part ONE HUNDRED in the series "Raising Melosa". Takes place about six months after "As One Journey Ends ". Part one of "Legends Legacy".
Another Begins By T.Novan
I watch as the village is decorated for the ceremony. I cant believe this day has come. Mel is getting married.
My baby. Our baby. Our beautiful and wonderful gift.
Gods it just doesnt seem possible. I swear it was only yesterday that I was sitting next to Ris bedside watching them sleep. Watching her eat for the first time, feeling her wrap her tiny little hand around my finger for the first time. Its just not possible.
Closing my eyes, I see her growing up.
The first time she smiled at me as I held her tiny body close to mine. Kissing little fingers and taking in the scent of her after a bath.
Lying with her under the big tree by the river. Feeling her fuss in her sleep as she lay on my chest. Rubbing her back and feeling her settle into me for a peaceful nap.
How Ri grumbled at me. Telling me that I would spoil her by holding her so much and my standard answer of, "Shes my daughter, Ill spoil her if I want to."
Ri finally gave up. She realized it was almost as useless as trying to keep a blanket on Mel when she was a baby.
The way she used to squirm around in my arms to see everything and anything. She paid attention to everything.
The first time she tasted something she didnt like and the face she made at me as she spit it out all over me. I have to laugh. Those carrots were the first in a long line of things my daughter would cover me with.
Her first word, which was "Ma!", as she reached to Ri. I knew she was gonna be a little traitor from that moment forward.
Her first steps. Gods I was so blessed that day. Returned from the dead to my family with a son I thought long lost.
The day we tried to explain to her that Ri couldnt pick her up anymore because there was a new baby on the way. She was not a happy little girl and pouted for two days, refusing to let either of us hold her. Then she got tired of doing all her own walking and I became a good second mode of transport.
She was always into something or the other, I remember the season I had to put a tether on her because the moment I set her down she was off and running. Then shed get to the end of the tether, get pulled down to her little backside and Id reel her in. We went through three tethers that season.
The first time she touched a fish or rode a horse with me. The squeals and the clapping, along with uncontrollable giggling. I feel the tears forming in my tears and I wipe them away. Yeah, my little girl is all grown up now.
"What you doing Warrior?" Ris voice is soft. She joins me at the table, wrapping her arms around my neck, giving me a little kiss.
"Thinking about Mel."
"You too huh?"
I nod. Kissing her hand, then rubbing it against my cheek. "Umm-hmm. Just cant seem to help it today."
"And you should. Three days from now shell take that final step that will ."
"Ri, please just dont. Dont say it."
"Oh Xe, honey please its not that bad and you know it. Mels in love and by the Gods Bri worships the ground she walks on."
"Its mutual, Mel feels the same way."
"Its the second best match Ive ever seen." She smiles at me as her hand comes to rest on my cheek. "We did good Warrior."
"We certainly did Ri. We most certainly did."
"And its not as if well be done anytime soon either." She grins and lifts a knowing brow as she taps the circlet on my head.
"This is very true. Speaking of which, you and I need to start doing some serious training together again."
"I know Ive been thinking about that too."
"So what do you say toooo," I stand and pull her into my arms, "that after the wedding, you and I go see if we can find a little trouble to get into."
"Are you suggesting that we go back out on the road?"
"Yes maam, I most certainly am."
"What about the village?"
"Ri, Im not suggesting that we leave forever, just for a month or so. Eph can handle everything and itll be good for the girls to take over, without you looking over their shoulders."
She nods, considering my words. "And what kind of trouble would you like to try to get into."
"Oh I dont know" I grin, as I begin walking away from her. "We could go to Rome and see what old Caesar is up to."
I hear her groan, then I feel her at my side. "You really know how to hold a grudge you know that?"
"Thats another of my many skills. You should know that by now. The only thing that has kept me from putting a price on his head, is the fact that I know Im going to have the last laugh."
"Yes you will. So why dont we just sit back and enjoy it?"
"I intend to." She slides her hand into mine and we continue our walk. I know we have a destination and she knows it too. Its just time for a visit to our special place.
"Just like we need to relax and enjoy our daughters wedding."
"Im really happy for her Ri and I know when the time comes Ill be fine. Until then, let be grumpy and irritable."
"Like I could stop you." She gives me a friendly nudge. "Being irritable and grumpy are among your many skills too."
"Okay now youve done it!" I sweep her off her feet and hold her close to me. "Now youre gonna pay!"
"Gladly." Her lips are soft on my neck as I carry her a spot that weve kept hidden from the world for the last twenty or so seasons.
This is our private place. No one except us even knows it exists. Im very careful to keep it well hidden, especially now. Ri and I need our time alone to make our plans and prepare for the inevitable.
I place my hand in the indentation in the rock to have the wall slide back. Ri has attached herself very firmly to my neck and Im hoping to make it to our sleeping chamber, but Im not holding out much hope. If she hits the spot, we arent going to make it.
The rock slides back and with a wave of my hand the torches light.
"Show off." She mumbles against my neck, just before she goes for the spot.
I watch her sleep, brushing back the hair from her face. Its happening so gradually that no one can even see it. I know though. Every time we make love in this place she is restored a little more. There are times when I just want to stay in here in bed with her for days.
"Time to wake up." I whisper with a kiss to her ear.
"Oh yeah. We have to get back so you can do the Queen thing."
She opens one eye and looks at me without ever lifting her head. "The Queen thing? You make it sound like a part time job."
"Well it is. Part of the time youre the Queen, part of the time youre the mother of our children, part of the time youre my wife, part of the time youre a lazy bag of bones I cant get out of bed." I give her backside a smack as I stand up and look for my boots. Seems like I spend a lot of time looking for my boots.
"If someone," she rolls over and stretches, "didnt bring me here and wear me out. You wouldnt have these problems."
"Did I say it was a problem?" I grin at her, tossing her a robe.
"True you didnt." She sighs, eyeing the robe and knowing she has to get up. "I wish we didnt have to go back. Cant you do something about that? Talk to Artemis or something?"
"Ri you know better."
"Yeah, yeah I guess I do." She finally gets up and moves across the room to me. "I love you Warrior." She wraps her arms around my waist and just holds on to me, laying her head against my shoulder
"Something wrong Ri?" I wrap her up, running my hands up and down her back slowly.
"No. I guess its all just starting to sink in."
"Oh no! Dont you ever think that! Ill never regret the decisions that we have made."
I pull back and take her face in my hands. "Are you sure Ri?" I swallow hard before I let the next words leave my lips. "This is my destiny, not yours. I can still let you pass. When your time comes you can still go to the ."
She places her hand over my mouth, shaking her head emphatically. "No. We are in this together. Now and always." She removes her hand then leans in and kisses me quite thoroughly. "I will never leave you."
"Stuck with you huh?"
"You know it." She grins. "You married me. You get to keep me."
"Good. I cant imagine my life without you. I can let everything else change. I can learn to live with the kids growing up and I can even learn to live with the changes that we face, but I just cant imagine being without you."
"You never will be. I promise you."
I watch Mel tug on her robes. I cant help but smile. Gods I remember that feeling.
"Oh " She moans, as she swallows hard and wipes the back of her hand over her mouth. "I really just wish I would throw up and get it over with."
"Youre not going to do that. You just think you are."
"Thats not fair."
"Youre getting married runt. From now on things wont be fair." I grin as I move forward and help her adjust her robes.
"Thank you." She says quietly as I smooth out the back of the robe.
She turns to face me. "Everything."
There are tears in her eyes as she looks at me. I smile and wipe one away as it slides down her cheek. "I love you Melosa." Holding her face in the palm of my hand I continue to look into the eyes that mirror my own. "Seeing you here, today, like this is one of the best things that has ever happened in my life. I am so proud of you."
"There is no way I can ever tell you ."
"Shhh, dont even try. You dont have to tell me. Youve shown me Mel. Everyday that I see you healthy and happy, you continue to show me."
As she puts her arms around me, I return her hug, holding my little girl for the last time. When I let go of her she will be a grown woman who is about begin her own life. Some part of me doesnt want to let her go, but I know I have to.
The door opens and the big, bad warriors are busted by the Queen. We both wipe our eyes and give her a smile.
"You two look great." She lets us off the hook and doesnt mention it. She just nods approvingly at our robes. "Two peas in a pod."
Mel chuckles just a bit as she tugs at the collar of her robe. "A very odd pod Mom."
"True." Now its Ris turn to take stock of our eldest daughter. "Brianna loves you Mel. Be good to her."
"You know I will. I love her too."
"I know you do baby, I know you do." I watch as she caresses Mels cheek. "My how youve grown up on me. When did that happen?"
"It was a gradual process over the last eighteen seasons or so." Mel grins, kissing her Moms hand. "I love you."
"I love you too."
I watch as they embrace. Mel is so protective and tender with Ri I understand how and why she fell in love with Brianna. For all of Bris bluster and arrogance shes a lot like the mother who gave birth to Mel. Its a natural match.
Just like Ri and I.
We gather at the temple. Mel is with me, pacing nervously as the temple fills with our family and friends who have gathered for this wedding. Ri has gone to see how Brianna is doing and to offer some support there.
I turn and smile when he enters. I never thought myself the type to be glad to see a God but Im always glad to see him and it still amazes me.
"Xena." He smiles, removing his gloves and slapping them into my chest as he walks right by me to Mel, taking her into a hug.
"Hi Dad nice to see you too." I offer, tossing his gloves down to a small table.
"Grandfather." Mel returns his embrace and they hold each other for a long time. "What are you doing here?" She asks as she pulls back from him.
"I am here to see my granddaughter get married. Congratulations Melosa."
"All the Gods send their best to you and your lovely wife to be. Artemis and Athena should be arriving soon to bless you both."
She nods, giving him another hug.
"Its about time to go Mel." I tell her as I see the priestess take her place.
"Ill go find a seat." Hades turns to me with a grin. "If thats okay with you."
"By all means. I dont think anyone will object. You can keep Ri company until I get there."
"That in itself is a good reason to take a seat. Ive missed her."
I roll my eyes as he scoops up his gloves, giving me a hug on the way out. "The circlet suits you my daughter." He lifts his brows at me then turns away.
My family. I just shake my head.
I wrap my arm around Ris shoulders as we watch Mel and Brianna kneel before the priestess. I feel her shiver and look down to her. "You okay?"
She nods, brushing a tear away. I give her a kiss on the top of the head, pulling her close to me. "I love you."
"Love you too Warrior."
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