Elana's Legacy Part 1

by Pat winterburn

tapsxena@yahoo.com

The standard disclaimer. To whoever owns Xena, I apologize. But this is for fun.

No disrespect is intended.

No violence.

Subtext: Of course, but nothing graphic.

It all happened so fast, even Xena wasn't prepared. Gabrielle had gone into labour early. They were still two days ride from the Amazon village. A small abandoned Amazon scout hut served as shelter and a river close by provided good drinking water for both women and Argo. Gabrielle's intense pain was soothed by Xena's soft voice and a mixture of herbs. The jab of a pressure point helped, when the pain became to much. As a tiny dark haired Amazon princess was born into this world, two smiling goddess' looked on. Artemis and Aphrodite had both chosen Gabrielle as their favourite. This child was their gift to both women.

Gabrielle was Queen of the Amazon nation. It was her duty to provide an heir to her throne. Many an argument had put the Queen and the elders at odds with each other. She would not give herself to anyone but Xena. Gabrielle had prayed to Artemis for guidance and asked her friend, the Goddess of Love, Aphrodite for a romantic night with Xena. She wanted to have a child with Xena and considering her mate was female, the gods would have to help. It was a warm night, Gabrielle recalled. They had both rode on Argo all day. She rested her head on Xena's back, both arms wrapped around her warrior. She had teased her into a sweat, playing with Xena's hair, breasts and legs. A game of skinny dipping in the lake that night provided more then foreplay. In an intense love making session that night, a strange light shone down on them. They felt different somehow. Strange, what visions each was imagining.

It had been quite a shock for Xena to discover Gabrielle with child. She was in fact, a person of many skills, this however, could not be one of them. A knowing thought soon made her smile. The gods.

Xena carefully wrapped the baby in a small blanket they had purchased for this purpose. A small tear fell from Xena's eye. A brief prayer for Solan, her deceased

son, was murmured. Carefully she placed the child at Gabrielle's breast. Xena laughed at Gabrielle's shocked expression. The baby was quite demanding of her first meal.

********************************************************************

A very impatient Ephiny sent out several scouts to find her friends. Her heart could feel there was something wrong, as usual. Nothing was ever simple, when it came to those two.

Within a day the scouts had returned with their mission accomplished. Ephiny stood in shock. The Queen and her consort arrived with a small surprise. Solari, head of the royal guard, smiled warmly as she presented the Queen, Xena and their new princess. Ephiny, eyes wide, sat quickly on the ground, before she fell.

It was a difficult decision for both Xena and Gabrielle to give up life on the road.

They had decided to stay with the Amazons. Gabrielle resumed her role as Queen. Xena took the job as defence leader. She was determined no harm would ever come to her family. Princess Elana. Both mothers had agreed to name their baby after a much remembered Amazon Queen from many years before. A legacy that would be continued.

 

Part 2

High up in a tree she sat, waiting. Waiting for her unsuspecting prey to come walking past. A sinister grin washed across her face. The soft movements of Amazon boots could be heard. Silently she gave thanks to the Gods above for having her mothers keen hearing. The prey was nearing.


A lone Amazon warrior arrived and stood by a tree. She seemed tense. Searching for the danger she felt close at hand, she drew her sword.

The shrill cry hurt her ears as the hunter was upon her. Down from the tree top the enemy came at her with a brightly shone sword that nearly blinded her. She blocked one blow. Felt the wind of another as the hunters sword was a blur across her face. Bravely she fought against this creature. Her sword flew out of her hands. Her feet taken out from underneath her. As she lay helpless on her back, her enemies sword moved towards her throat.

"Give up?" Came the soft purr of the hunters voice.

"Elana, I don't know why I let you talk me into these damn games?" Cursed the young victim.

"Because you love me, Ta'Kai. That, and we both have to pass our tests next week." Spoke Princess Elana.

"What would my mothers say if their Princess and her lover failed to graduate into their heir to the throne status?" Elana questioned, as she helped her lover off the ground.

"The future Queen of the Amazons and her future consort have an image to maintain." Elana laughed as she and Ta'Kai walked back to the village.

Princess Elana was born to Queen Gabrielle and her consort Xena. The baby had been a gift from Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love and Artemis, Goddess of the Amazons.

Elana stood 5 feet 11 inches tall with long black hair and sparkling green eyes.

She had been gifted with Xena's strength and "many skills", but her ability to be a great leader came from Gabrielle.

Even now, the other tribe members respected their Princess as a leader.

As the tribe had grown and prospered under Gabrielle's rule, the need for more food was an important reality.

Even the warriors had taken on responsibilities to help with growing crops, fishing and hunting. Some had even helped with cooking and the feeding of the elderly.

Elana had led a group of the tribes hunters for the monthly deer hunt.

It was on Elana's hunt that their group had been attacked.

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"Something's not right, Ta'Kai." Elana whispered .

"The birds are quiet." Noted Ta'Kai.

"I have a bad feeling about this." Elana put her hands to her mouth and called out a warning in "bird chirps" to the other Amazons.

Elana and Ta'Kai skilfully jumped into the tree branches above their heads. Climbing to higher branches, Elana's heart sank as she witnessed the death of one of the other hunters. Selvia had been trailing behind the hunters and hadn't heard the calls. A small band of warriors attacked and killed her before she could escape into the trees.

Ta'Kai, motioned to her.

"Elana, look!" "At least three hundred of a well armed enemy are heading towards the village."

Chirps from the other hunters sounded out a warning and let Elana know they were safe.

"Ta'Kai, please! Your the swiftest runner of all of us!" Pleaded Elana.

"Run back to the village!"

"I know it's a day away, but hurry!"

"Let them know of the attack!"

"Our Queen will need to ready the village and Xena will have to summon help from the Centaurs!"

"I love you, but the rest of us will have to try and slow them down!"

Ta'Kai gathered Elana into her arms.

"I will see you back at the village, Elana."

"Don't make me come hunting for you."

With that Ta'Kai kissed her, jumped down from the tree and ran with all her strength back to the village.

The other Amazons walked along the tree branches and joined with Elana. Together the young hunters devised a plan to slow down the approaching army.

The army was headed to a passageway that led to the north entrance of the village. This is where Elana chose to fight. The Amazons swiftly made their away across branches , down trees and up the side of the hill. Gathering stones and tree limbs, the hunters used all of their combined skills to hold off the advancing army.

"On my mark!" Called Elana. "Arrows first." "Sling shots next." "Stay low." "No one else dies today, except them."

Soldiers scattered as the hunters attacked. Each arrow claimed a victim. Stones flung from sling shots, as they found their way to the temples of the enemy. There was no way through the passage without being attacked and each time the enemy tried to climb the cliff, they were shot down.

The small band of Amazon hunters held the attackers off until the sound of a rams horn could be heard from close by.

Each hunter's face smiled in knowing, Xena was minutes away with the Amazon and Centaur armies.

Xena lead the armies upon her faithful war horse Argo.

Argo charged into that passage with her mistress never fearing of wounds or death. Xena protected her horse as she protected herself and every Amazon around her. Swords clanged, soldiers died, blood spilled. Xena's chakram flew taking the head of an enemy ready to slaughter a centaur friend.

"No one is going to die here today, except them." Said Xena to Argo.

The battle took lives of the enemy and wounded many. They finally retreated, running away like cowards. A few of the Amazons and Centaurs had cuts and bruises but only one Amazon had died that day. Selvia.

****************************************************************************

Elana sat with her arms around Ta'Kai looking over the lake. It was sunny and warm and a soft gentle breeze brushed their hair.

They were both remembering that morning when they said their final goodbyes to their friend. Wishing her safe passage into the Amazon Land Of The Dead.

"What did your mother say to you when Xena brought you home?"

"Well, mom was very upset with me."

"She was crying and yelling all at the same time."

"Something about if I ever did anything like that again, she'd kill me herself."

"What did Xena say?" Ta'Kai asked.

"On our way home, she told me how proud she was of me and that to watch out because Gabrielle was furious."

"Our Queen has quite the temper doesn't she?" Giggled Ta'Kai as Elana's hands found some sensitive spots on her lover.

"Yes, mother does." Laughed Elana. "I've seen Xena duck and run with mom chasing her."

"I think it's a game for them."

"They always come back with a smile on their face."

The pounding of the drums could be heard throughout the village. The celebration had begun and every Amazon young and old would be in attendance.

This was Elana's big night. She had passed her tests with flying colours and when the time was needed, she would be the next Queen of the Amazons.

The Amazons danced in a circle, their bodies swaying to the beat of the drums. The pounding in Ta'Kai's ears matched her heart beat as she watched her lover's half naked body move and sway with the other dancers. Every muscle in Elana's body rippled with a strength that didn't go un-noticed by Ta'Kai's watchful eyes. She wanted her young lover. Now! Ta'Kai made her move and joined in the dance with Elana. The body language and hand movements left no doubt in Elana's mind, what her lover wanted. The two young warriors soon made their escape from the party and headed into Elana's hut.

What clothes they did have on soon came off and were tossed on the ground. Lips, hands and arms fought for domination in their struggle for each others bodies.

"Please, Elana!" That was all Elana needed to hear and as she entered Ta'Kai's wet warmth. She heard her name screamed to the Gods above and knew soon she would be singing their praises as well.

Many a God was thanked that night, as each lover explored, touched, kissed and nipped. After each of them could take no more, Elana covered her and Ta'Kai's bodies in a warm blanket. Arms and legs wrapped around each other, they slept in peace until the mornings light. There was no need for Xena and Gabrielle to check on their daughter that night. They could hear she was doing quite well.

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"Come on Ta'Kai, you've done this before!" Elana called out.

"Not like this, I haven't! Ta'Kai stood shaking in the cool breeze.

"Come on, please!" "It's nice and warm." Elana purred.

"No, I'm scared." Ta'Kai stood pacing back and forth.

"For the last time Ta'Kai, your naked, I'm naked, do it!" Elana started to laugh as she spotted a certain blonde figure walking up towards her lover.

Gabrielle walked quietly up behind Ta'Kai's naked body.

"Good morning Ta'Kai." The Queen spoke with a hint of drama in her voice.

"Do you always stand naked on cliffs to yell at my daughter?"

"Yo-yo-your Majesty!" Ta'Kai turned a beautiful shade of red as she faced her Queen.

"No, we're jumping into the pond, for practice and I'm naked." Ta'Kai just stood there and looked at the Queen's smirk.

"I'm naked!" Ta'Kai looked down at herself as Gabrielle started to laugh.

Below she could her Elana laughing so hard, she choked on a mouthful of water.

With that, Ta'Kai took off running and jumped through the air landing in the water beside a still laughing Elana.

A tall dark haired warrior walked softly towards the Queen and while wrapping her strong arms around her gently, reminded her of a young bards first jump.

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Xena let out her battle cry "yiyiyiyiyi" as she jumped off the cliff and into the water below.

"Come on Gabrielle, the waters warm." Xena yelled as she floated on her back enjoying the warm sun.

"No way Xena!" "It's to high!" "I'll hurt something!" Gabrielle was getting angry.

Gabrielle stood there naked getting angrier by the minute that she had agreed to do this silly stunt.

"Only crazy Amazons and Warrior Princess' are nuts enough to jump off cliffs into ponds." Gabrielle spoke to a small butterfly sitting beside her.

"Did I hear someone say crazy Amazons ?" A voice said from behind a boulder.

Ephiny and Epinon were already half undressed as they came running towards Gabrielle.

"Last one in is a Centaur dropping!" Yelled Epinon.

They both stopped and stood there admiring their friends nakedness.

"Need some help Gabrielle?" Ephiny asked.

The two Amazons started coming closer to the small bard with a devious grin on their faces.

Gabrielle realized her friends were out for fun at her expense and it was either jump now or they would toss her to a waiting Xena.

Gabrielle ran for her life and cursed every word she knew at her friends as she jumped over the cliff and into the warm water below.

As she rose to the top, Xena was there waiting for her and gathered her into strong loving arms.

"See, was that so bad?" An light hearted look of laughter danced on Xena's face.

They had barely managed to move closer to shore when two Amazons let out their battle cry and jumped into the water as well, spraying both their Queen and her consort.

****************************************************************************

Elana and Ta'Kai spent the rest of the afternoon swimming and catching fish for dinner.

"I promised mom and Xena I'd cook the fish if they went berry picking for desert." Elana laugh as she cleaned the four large trout.

"I just hope I don't burn these beauties." Elana spoke as she started a fire. "Our Queen hates to have her food ruined."

The four women sat around a roaring fire enjoying their dinner and talking about the latest news around the village.

Life was good and Elana took a moment to thank the Gods for all the love she felt here tonight.

But not all the Gods smiled back with love........

Part 3

Celeste rose to the top of Mt. Olympus in a slow and graceful manner, ever careful to hold on to the lit candlestick that gave her immortality. The Goddess of Death was on a mission today. She needed to meet with her two sisters Aphrodite and Artemis. Her heart was troubled and death would have to wait for those who required her services.

Her brother would have to be patient until she got back. This was far too important. Today she would save a life, rather then take a soul on it's journey to be judged by Hades.

Besides, she thought, it is not the young warriors time. Her wisdom and leadership will be needed in the future or Death herself will indeed be very busy.

A set of cold eyes followed, as Celeste made her way to Mt. Olympus and watched as the three Goddess' sat and talked.

A voice whispering through the winds was heard by the three Goddess' and one older warrior on the earth's surface.

"You can't stop me, she will die."

The three Goddess' stood and looked at each other.

"No mother, I won't allow you to take her life." Celeste spoke fearing her mothers wrath.

"Neither will we." Aphrodite stood behind Artemis shaking as she spoke.

"She was our gift to Xena and Gabrielle, Mother! I am the Goddess of the Amazons and you will not harm this child." Artemis stated firmly even though she held Aphrodite's hand for support.

On the earth's surface below, Xena drew her sword, sensing the danger around her. The hairs on her arm stood up and Xena knew the voice she heard was that of someone she hoped never to encounter again in this lifetime.

"Hera! Xena sneered. Touch my daughter and I will see to it that your Godhood is short lived."

Hera laughed and appeared before Xena.

"Bow before me human! Hera pointed her finger at Xena. Or feel my wrath!"

Xena kept her sword raised at Hera as she grabbed her chakram and flung it at the

cruel woman that stood before her.

The vain wife of Zeus ducked as the chakram just missed her head by inches.

Knowing Xena's chakram had indeed the power to harm, but not kill Gods, she used her powers and sent a funnel cloud of wind to trap Xena. The winds force threw Xena against a tree, knocking the air from her lungs.

"How dare you try and harm me human! Hera screamed. I could kill you in an instant!"

Xena laughed and looked up at Hera. "I just wanted to tell you where you could put that pointing finger."

Xena slowly stood up. Her body ached and she knew Gabrielle would flip when she would see the bruises tomorrow, but she was determined to find out what Hera's interest was in her daughter and why she would want her dead.

Hera just stood there, a twisted smirk came over her lips.

"I believe time is on my side Xena, for I am immortal and eventually you will die."

Hera disappeared in a glitter of light, leaving a very angry warrior and mother with a feeling of dread.

***************

Queen Gabrielle knelt before the Amazon alter. Her offering of prayer was not un-noticed by Artemis the patron Goddess of the Amazons.

Xena stood by her side, trying to control her temper. Gabrielle reached up taking Xena's hand, bringing the warrior to kneel beside her.

"Perhaps if you call to Aphrodite. She whispered. One of them will hear us and clear up this mess."

Their prayers were soon answered by the two Goddess'. What they weren't expecting was Celeste.

As both Queen and consort jumped up ready to defend the life of their daughter against Celeste, Artemis quickly spoke.

"Gabrielle, we are not here to hurt Elana. She is our legacy to you, we would never hurt her. Celeste has come here to help."

Xena's expression darkened. "I want answers NOW!"

The three Goddess' sat and explained about Hera's jealous rage.

"We not only gave her beauty of the body and soul, but we gave her the gift of insight. When she becomes Queen she will be able to foresee into the future."

"This is what Hera wants, Elana's gift of sight."

A young warrior stood at the entrance of the temple and watched as her mothers and the Goddess' talked.

"Perhaps you should explain this to me first!" Elana's eyes darkened with anger as she looked at each of the women.

"Tell me how I was conceived!" Elana drew in a breathe and straightened to her full height. Her eyes still shifting back and forth.

Celeste rose and said her farewell's to the small group.

"My work here is done, Hades requires me."

Aphrodite ran to Elana throwing her arms around her and gave her a kiss on the cheek.

"Sweet Pea! Aphrodite squealed. What a beauty you have grown into."

Artemis approached Elana and gave her a hug. She then cupped her hands around Elana's face and gently kissed her lips.

"You are indeed everything I'd hoped for." Artemis stepped back and admired her Princess.

Elana blushed at the affection that the two Goddess' bestowed upon her.

Giving a pleading look at her mothers, she again asked her question.

"I need to know what's going on? Why would Hera want anything that I have?"

Artemis looked at Aphrodite who nodded her head in approval.

"It's time we told you the truth." The Goddess lowered her head and gathered her thoughts.

"The night you were conceived we not only gave you, your mothers' strength, beauty and skills, we also took a piece of their souls and gave it to you."

Xena and Gabrielle stood there not knowing what to say.

"A part of our souls?" Gabrielle questioned.

"Yes."

"Plus we did something else." Artemis looked at Aphrodite who quickly found something interesting to look at on the wall.

"Elana, we gave you a piece of our souls, our Godhood."

"We weren't going to tell you until you became Queen."

Gabrielle wrapped her arms around Xena as she seen the anger start to ignite in her lover.

"Why didn't you tell us?" Xena was trying to control her anger, but was quickly losing this particular war.

Artemis looked at Gabrielle. She beckoned her Queen over and embraced her in a hug.

"You were never meant to know."

"Elana only becomes Queen, once your spirit has left this life and only then would her Godlike powers surface."

Aphrodite nudged Artemis.

"Tell them the rest."

"The rest?" Elana who had been staring in bewilderment, finally spoke up.

Aphrodite looked around deciding maybe she should take over the conversation.

"It was my idea sweetie."

"The inner vision that you will possess, gives you the ability to look into a persons eyes and see the truth as well as being able to see into the future."

"Something that we can't do and Hera wants desperately."

"Then how , why? " Elana couldn't quite decide how to ask the question.

"It was the combination of all four souls, Elana."

Aphrodite felt Xena's eyes glaring at her.

"Well, on that note. She giggled. Gotta run!"

A cloud of pink smoke left Artemis standing alone with her human companions.

"Don't worry, We'll figure something out."

With that last comment, Artemis disappeared , leaving two angry mothers and one very confused daughter behind.

Elana looked at her mothers and whispered, "I love you, but I need Ta'Kai right now."

Ta'Kai laid wrapped up in Elana's arms. The evening had been very upsetting as both mothers tried to explain how much they loved their daughter and were sorry they hadn't explained everything to her.

Elana whispered softly into Ta'Kai's ear. "Now what do we do? Where do things go from her?"

Ta'Kai turned and looked at her lover. "We will get through this somehow. I know we've never had to fight a God before and of all Gods Hera, but maybe with all the help from the other Goddess' someone will be able to stop Hera." A soft reassuring smile from Ta"Kai and the gentle stroking on her back, left the young warrior content and soon sleep claimed her.

Ta'Kai laid awake and watched over her lover. She could feel these precious moments slipping away from her reach and wanted to hold on to them for as long as possible.

Many mornings passed and true to her word, it appeared that Hera was content to wait out Xena's mortal passing.

Life carried on in the Amazon village. Artemis and Aphrodite kept watch over their young warrior ever fearful that their mother would do the unspeakable and take Elana before her time. But such was not the case. Hera had eternity and sat back and waited.

**********

It was during the Summer Solstice that Elana had taken Ta'Kai out for a walk and ended up going for a swim in the lake. The two lovers played and laughed in the warm summer sun while splashing each other with cool clear water. It was then in a moment of laughter that Elana looked deeply into Ta'Kai's eyes and saw what Aphrodite meant by love and the gift of insight. Holding her close, Elana whispered three words into her lovers ear. "Join with me."

Ta'Kai stared with a blank expression on her face. Words, although screaming in her mind, could not find an opening to express them. Finally she whispered the only word that would come out of her mouth. "Yes."

Elana took Ta'Kai's hand and went over to sun bathe on the rocks. A smile crossed her face as Ta'Kai lay beside her. I wonder how long it will take her to realize what I just asked her? She thought and enjoyed the warmth surrounding her.

Ta'Kai awoke with a start and leaned over Elana.

"Did you just ask me to join with you?" The small voice asked.

"Yes. Came the reply. I love you and want to spend the rest of my life with you."

"That would make me your consort." Ta'Kai whispered softly.

"Yes." Came the reply again.

Ta'Kai laid there in silence while her poor mind absorbed all this information.

The smaller warrior looked at her lover and smiled.

"Your mothers will be pleased. I can just imagine our Queen and Ephiny planning the wedding. Do you think we'll get a say in it?" Ta'Kai asked with a small smirk upon her lips.

"Not likely." As Elana leaned over and kissed her soon to be wife.

The sun continued to warm their bodies and two Goddess' could be heard laughing in agreement.

That evening the two young lovers arranged for Ta'Kai's mother, Xena and Gabrielle to join them for the evening meal in Elana's hut. The two girls had decided to announce their joining plans to all three mothers in a quiet environment.

Queen Gabrielle squealed with delight at the thought of Ta'Kai joining into their family. She had loved the young warrior even as a child and had always known that one day Elana would take her as her wife. It was just a question of when the stubborn, just like Xena, child of hers would see the light and finally ask her. Xena shared in the happiness and hugged both her daughter and Ta'Kai. It was Ta'Kai's own mother who sat there quietly not pleased at this turn of events.

"What of Hera's wrath?" The coldest of Samoia's voice was felt and made Xena's blood rise in temperature.

Elana spoke up quickly sensing her mothers anger. "I have and will always protect Ta'Kai, Samoia. She is my life and my light and no one, not even Hera will ever take her away from me."

Samoia sat quietly and then nodded her approval. "I guess we have a wedding to plan." Was her only further comment.

Xena rose and shook Samoia's hand. "We will soon be family my friend, and we'll all protect our children, until our last breath."

Gabrielle wrapped her arms around Xena and hugged her. She looked at the other women and spoke. "Until our last breath."

Part 4

Gabrielle stood beside Xena with tears running down her face in pure happiness. Since their return to the Amazon village twenty years ago with a small baby wrapped in her arms, life had been one gift after another. She silently whispered a prayer of thanks to Artemis and Aphrodite for her daughter and Xena. She felt a tingle on her left ear and knew it was Artemis who had kissed her. A rose petal appeared in her hand and smiled as Aphrodite had acknowledged her as well. Today Elana and Ta'Kai were to be joined. Ephiny would preside over the ceremony as the Queen, Xena and Ta'Kai's mother Samoia would stand beside their daughters. The entire Amazon nation would give their blessings to their Princess and her new consort and would swear to the Goddess Artemis to protect the new family.

Hera of course stood on Mt. Olympus and sneered. "Soon dear Princess, soon."

As the ceremony was about to begin, Xena looked at her daughter and realized this was no longer the little girl who was always getting into mischief and constantly hiding from the Royal Guards. She had grown into a beautiful woman and will make the Amazon nation a proud leader some day. She possessed Gabrielle's oral skills of negotiation, but also possessed Xena's lethal combat skills if words would not be listened to. Xena noticed something wet on her face and realized she was crying. Today she was not the Warrior Princess, but a mother who's child was to be joined with her lover.

Elana stood at the alter dressed in her finest Amazon leathers. Her pants and top were a light brown colour made of deer skin. Her arm bands were strips of hide adorned with feathers and beads. She stood beside both of her mothers, but paid no attention to them as the woman that she loved with all of her heart was approaching towards the alter followed by the Royal Guard.

Ta'Kai wore a skirt and top made from deer skin as well as arm bands adorned with feathers and beads. In her hair was a wreath of flowers as well, she carried a bouquet of flowers in her hands and a small sword at her side. Before her stood Elana, Amazon Princess, her lover, friend and soon to be wife. If it weren't for a gentle poke by her mother, Ta'Kai was sure she would have missed the entire ceremony, for she only had eyes for Elana.

Ephiny stood before the tribe and performed the ceremony to join the two young warriors. She was sure no one except the guests listened to a word she was saying as Elana and Ta'Kai only looked at each other with love and contentment. Some how Gabrielle had managed to draw Elana's attention to the fact it was time for her to recite her vows to Ta'Kai.

Elana took Ta'Kai's hands and spoke her vows.

Today my love I join with you before this nation and our Goddess Artemis to become one.

I will love and cherish your heart and soul throughout all of our life.

I will protect you against all that would try to harm you until I breathe no more.

Here is my ring as a gift to you to honour our joining.

Ta'Kai smiles and takes Elana's hand in hers and repeats her vows.

Today my love I will join with you in front our tribe and Artemis as your consort.

I pledge you my undying love and devotion, protecting you from all of those who would try to do you harm. I not only pledge you my heart and soul, but lay down my sword at your feet as you are heir to the throne of the Amazon Nation.

I also give you my gift of this ring, to seal our joining until I breathe no more.

Ephiny stood before her Princess and family and proudly announced to the nation.

"You may now seal your joining in a kiss."

As the couple kissed for the first time joined, a cheer of congratulations was heard throughout the crowd. The young couple walked down from the alter to join in the celebration feast that was to follow. Hugs, kisses, feasting and celebrating went on throughout the evening. Gifts were bestowed to the young couple and the tribe rejoiced in this celebration. Artemis and Aphrodite looked down from Mt. Olympus with pride and love for the young couple. Tears ran down Aphrodite's eyes as she realized time was running short for Elana's fate. Soon enough she would be Queen and Hera would try and destroy her. But tonight the two Goddess' would be sending their own gift to the couple. A child to be born to Ta'Kai. Aphrodite hoped that Xena wouldn't be too mad. As the Centaur dung was sure to hit the palm trees over this one. But it was fate and it couldn't be helped. The future depended on it.

"I love you, you crazy nut. Come back to bed, I'm not done with you yet." Ta'Kai laid naked in their bed as the sun's morning rays filtered through the window of the hut. She had woken up to Elana sitting on their bed with a ball and chain wrapped around her ankle.

"I think someone was in our hut last night, before we left the celebration. I'm almost afraid to search around and see what other gifts our friends left us as a joke." Elana went to jump off the bed, but two very quick hands belonging to her lover grabbed at the chain and hauled her back.

"While I have you at a disadvantage, your mine!" TaKai let out a war cry and the battle for top was on.

"I surrender to your supreme rule, my consort. You may have the top." Elana looked up into Ta'Kai's beautiful eyes and could see nothing but love and desire for her. It threw her emotions into a spin and left her with tears running down her face. Ta'Kai stopped her assault on Elana's right breast and saw the tears.

"Elana, I'm sorry, did I hurt you?" The young princess dried her face and gathered her new wife into her arms. "No honey, you didn't hurt me, I'm just so overwhelmed by these feelings, it's so incredible."

Ta'Kai smiled at her lover and proceeded to move further down on Elana's body. "How about I show you incredible instead?"

The two lovers spent the rest of the morning showing each other just what incredible could be.

**********************

Xena could be heard screaming at Artemis and Aphrodite through the thick temple walls. Even Gabrielle was angered at the situation.

"You should have asked them first! Damn it you two! Maybe they don't want children yet.? They've just been joined. Couldn't you have waited a few months?"

Artemis was patient with her Queen and Consort. She let them have their say and then rose to speak.

"Gabrielle, you know better then anyone, that the Amazon must survive and to do that, it needs a Queen who will guide the nation for a next generation after Elana. We couldn't allow Elana to carry the child, she would be at a Hera's mercy and it's not what the Fates have in mind."

Xena started screaming again. "Now the Fates are invovled in this as well! It's bad enough you two have interfered in our lives over the years, but the Fates!"

Aphrodite held out her hand palm up and blew a potion in Xena's face. "Chill babe. Your making my hair go frizzy."

Xena quietly moved over and put her arm around Gabrielle. Small kisses turned into more demanding ones and the Queen was having a difficult time getting Xena to control her wandering hands.

"Aphrodite, what did you do to her?" The frustrated Queen didn't know whether to be angry at Aphrodite or thank her as Xena became more amorous. "Why don't we talk about this later? Gabrielle asked still fending off Xena. I'll take her home before she starts worshiping me on the alter instead of you." With that, the two smiling Goddess' disappeared in laughter.

Within weeks the morning sickness greeted Ta'Kai faithfully. "How did this happen, Elana? I can't be pregnant."

"Blame it on Artemis and Aphrodite and yes you are pregnant. Elana wet a piece of cloth to wipe her consort's face. Mother said to eat these biscuits, it helped her when she was pregnant with me." Ta'Kai took one look at the biscuits and promptly wretched again. Elana looked up to Mt. Olympus and said a few choice words that did not include worshipping the two Goddess' in question.

It was a warm night in June when the newest member of Royal family was born. A baby girl who came into this world kicking and screaming, letting the world know she was not happy about this situation. She looked around at this fuzzy world and although she couldn't focus on her mothers, she could plainly see two Goddess' smiling down at her. She smiled back as both Artemis and Aphrodite blessed her and welcomed her into this new and strange world. It didn't take long for the hunger pains to kick in and soon her tiny lips were surrounding the warm breast of Ta'Kai with Elana gently stroking her cheek. Maybe this place isn't so bad after all she thought and fell asleep while feeding.

**************************

The lookout guard came running back to the Amazon village. She had ran so fast, she almost collapsed from the stitch that ripped her side. "My Queen, an army, southwest corner, they're crossing through the plains." She had gasped as another Amazon brought her some water. Gabrielle quickly thanked the Amazon and yelled to the guard in the tower. "Sound the warning bell! Gather the children and the elderly. Make sure they are safe."

"Xena, where are Elana and Ta'Kai!" Gabrielle frantically searched for her lover, children and granddaughter, Arville. Two warm arms wrapped themselves around her in a gentle reminder that Xena would never allow anything to happen to their family. "They're down by the river and have heard the bell." At that two heads came running with Arville in Elana's arms. The argument could be heard over the tribe preparing for the advancing army. "Ta'Kai, please stay with the children and help guard them. If they break through our forces get out with Arville and the others." Ta'Kai stood her ground with the princess. "She is your child as well, you are the princess and heir, you should stay with her. I am just as good a warrior as you, remember?" Gabrielle was in no mood for this. "Both of you, swords and armour, now! Somia take Arville with the others." Somia took her granddaughter from Elana's arms, kissed both of the two warriors, touching Ta'Kai's face. "I will guard her with my life, Ta'Kai. Just make sure both of you return to take her home." With that she was gone.

Each and every Amazon warrior was stationed perfectly in position. Xena had trained Gabrielle's tribe members well and had no intentions of loosing anyone of them today. They had become friends and family. Each a valuable member in the scheme of village life. Even one person would be sorely missed.

Xena, Ephiny and six other Amazons rode out and approached the leader of the army. He was a young dark haired man. Brown eyes and a charming smile that had wooed many a bar maid. The approaching women made him feel cocky, not realizing just who the lead rider was.

Xena spoke first. "Greetings, you are trespassing on Amazon land. Perhaps you missed the signage?"

The young man sat back on his horse and grinned. "Greetings to you fair lady. My name is Tomas and I mean to pass through here. My army seems to out number you and your friends."

Xena smiled back drawing her sword. "Then perhaps you should look closer, Tomas." At the moment Xena drew her sword two hundred Amazon warriors appeared from their positions, weapons in hand, arrows cocked ready.

The smile left the young man's face. He had misjudged these Amazons. Perhaps one hundred men were not enough. But surely, his men could take these women. They were after all, just women. Pausing for a moment he looked Xena in the eye. "You will let us pass Amazon or we will slaughter you like sheep."

The smile never left Xena's face as she motioned the Amazons to be ready. "Sheep, you say. I can just imagine what a man like you could do with sheep. But it's not happening today. Turn around or we will show you how sheep fight."

With that, Tomas drew his sword and yelled the attack.

As the first round of arrows sailed through the air, Tomas' army held up their shields to block the approaching weapons. As half the arrows bounced off the shields, the other half found their way into legs and feet. Tomas' army quickly formed their position as the Amazon swordswomen attacked from the ground.

Elana's warriors were the first out to attack. Fifty of the tribes strongest warriors led the charge, followed by Ta'Kai and her fifty warriors. The battle had been evenly matched, if not for the sharpness of the archers from their posts in the trees.

In the history books of the Amazon tribe this battle would be recorded as a massacre. One in which Gabrielle sat and wondered why these men had attacked the tribe. Half of Tomas' army died, the other half captured and sentenced to death. As Gabrielle pronounced the death sentence, she immediately turned and threw up. Xena and the Royal Guard carried out the sentence. It was Xena's sword that executed Tomas. The talk of blood and war would be a hot topic around the campfire and dinner table for many days. A number of the Amazons had been injured in the fight and some had died. Their sacrifice to save their tribe would be honoured in the journals and their pyre shown brightly into the night, giving their souls back to Artemis and the Amazon land of the Dead.

Hera screamed at her minions and promised them eternity in Tartarus if someone wasn't found to kill Xena and Gabrielle. She wasn't about to risk her own children's wrath against her, but there was always some low life human looking for an easier way of life or a few pieces of silver. Tomas had failed her. What strength did those two Amazons possess that kept them from death? She could only think of Artemis and Aphrodite, but their powers were limited. No, she thought, there is someone else. Someone who's watching over and protecting them.

From elsewhere on Mt. Olympus, Hades and Celeste chatted quietly.

"Hera will not stop until she gets what she wants, my brother. What shall we do next?"

Hades looked uncomfortable sitting beside his sister. He hated Mt. Olympus. He much preferred his own kingdom of Tartarus. There he ruled and never had to hold conversation with anyone. Except for his sister, the other Gods meant nothing to him.

" I realize we both owe them favours Celeste, but how much longer can we protect them until Mother finds out? They are only mortals, what do we care?"

Celeste took her brothers hand and gently smiled. "You know why brother. They are the answer to the future. Mankind's future and ours."

Hades bowed his head and laughed. To think life and love would depend on the souls of a ex-warlord and an Amazon Queen.

The day started out with Xena, Elana and the newest Amazon Princess Arville, finding some quiet and solitude down by the river doing some fishing and talking. As the baby fell asleep, Elana spoke to her mother about the future.

"Those visions that Aphrodite said I would have, Elana stumbled over the words, when I 'd become Queen. I've been having them for awhile now."

Xena cast her fishing pole into the water and looked up towards the sky. "I know, you have been. She spoke as a tear ran down her face. Your mother is not well and there is nothing the healers or I can do to stop it."

Elana felt the tug on her fishing line, but did nothing to retrieve her prize. "I am not ready to become Queen, mother. I have Ta'Kai and a baby to worry about."

Xena looked at her daughter and smiled. "You will be a great Queen, my child. Gabrielle was Queen and pregnant with you and she had me to deal with." A laugh was heard between the two women.

Hera looked down from the luxury of her home on Mt. Olympus. "So, she sneered. It has begun." The cold laughter that could be heard sickened every God that day. Even Ares. "Blondie always was a pain in the ass, he said to no one in particular, but I'm going to miss her."

The two women fished into the late morning, bringing home enough fish for lunch and one hungry baby.

Part 5

by Patricia Winterburn tapsxena@yahoo.com & Debbie Dee destinie@oregontrail.net

"Gabrielle here, drink this." Xena told Gabrielle as she helped her to sit up in bed to drink down the medicine Xena had just fixed for her.

Gabrielle had been getting worse the last few days and Xena knew her time was getting close. Xena also knew there was nothing she could do about it.

She very carefully laid Gabrielle back down on the bed so she could sleep. Taking the covers she gently, pulled them up over Gabrielle and tucked them in around her.

Xena stood and looked down upon the person that had been apart of her for so many years, as she repeated to herself, what she had just thought. "There is nothing I can do about it." Xena took a deep breath as she turned to walk away. She stopped and turned back to take another look at the woman that was the world to her. " Like tartarus there is nothing I can do about it." Xena said as she turned and stormed out of the Queens Hut. "No one comes in." she said to the Royal Guards at the door as she passed.

"ARTEMIS, APHRODITE!" Xena yelled as she slammed through the temple doors. "SHOW YOURSELVES NOW!"

"You do realize you're yelling at Gods right?" Aphrodite appeared in a flash of pink sparkles. "Like we could zap you into nothing." Aphrodite giggled spoiling the mean god affect. "What do you need warrior babe?"

"Gabrielle, thatís what I need. You canít tell me you can't do anything." Xena was angry, there had to be something they were missing. There had to be.

"What do you need, tell me and I will do it. Do you want me on my knees before you and beg? Fine have me, just spare Gabrielle." Xena told Aphrodite as she dropped to her knee in front of her.

"Xena get up." Artemis said as she appeared in front of her. "You know that is the last thing we would ask of a proud warrior like yourself."

Artemis walked up to Xena and placed her hand on her shoulder. "Aphrodite and I were just on our way here when you called. We have some news about Gabrielleís illness."

"What?" Xena looked at them both. "What did you find out?" Xena shook her head no at them when Artemis waved towards the bench to have them sit down. Enough time was wasted, she wanted answers now.

Aphrodite walked over to them. "Like we were up on Mt. Olympus and over heard Mother and Ares talking. Gabrielleís sickness is the work of dear old mom."

"WHAT! Iíll kill her!" Xena yelled.

"Wait Xena, that will do no good." Artemis told her fast to try and get her to cool down. "If you go after Hera it will tip her off that we know her plan."

Xena looked at them as she let out a deep breath. "Elana, she wants Elana to be queen so she can have her gift of vision. She is willing to kill Gabrielle to make her plans come true."

"You're right in tune there warrior babe." Aphrodite told her.

"Xena, there is nothing Aphrodite or myself can do to take away the sickness Hera gave Gabrielle." Artemis held her hand up as Xena started to say something. "But we did find a way to get around it." She smiled at Xena.

"What? How?" A puzzled Xena asked them. Didnít they just tell her there was no way to get rid of the sickness?

Artemis told everyone to sit down as she explained to Xena what they found out and what plans her and Aphrodite came up with.

"Ok, what we found out is Hera wants Elana to become queen so she can get the gift of visions, Aphrodite and myself gave Elana. But the only way Elana can get the vision is when she becomes Queen of the Amazons. And usually that is on the death of the old queen right?" Artemis looked at Xena to make sure she was following her.

"Get to the point Artemis, we know all of this already. Gabrielle has to die for Elana to be queen." Xena said.

"No she doesnít." Aphrodite smiled. "Artie and me figured it out."

Artemis smiled at her sister. "Aphroditeís right Xena, we did figure it out. Hera wants Elana to be queen, so she throws a spell onto Gabrielle. Gabrielle starts getting sicker. No one can help her right? Hera's whole plan is to have Elana be queen."

"Yes we all know, but how does that help Gabrielle?" Xena asked them.

"What if we like make Gabby not the Queen anymore? Then she would not be in the way." Aphrodite giggled.

Xena was starting to lose her cool again with the Gods. "Will you just get to the point!"

"Just take it easy Xena." Artemis told her. "It is easy. Heraís spell is only working to make Elana queen. So what we do is have Elana challenge Gabrielle for her queen ship. Elana wins, she is made queen and Heraís spell is broken because Gabrielle will no longer be queen."

"That sounds great Artemis but there is no way Gabrielle is in shape to fight Elana." Xena told them.

"No, but you are warrior babe. Remember youíre her champion." Aphrodite waved at her.

"Okay letís say this works out, what is to stop Hera from coming after Gabrielle again?" Xena asked.

"I will." Artemis told her. "I wasnít watching my Amazons or friends closely enough before. I didnít think Hera would try something like this again. But now that I do. Artemis snaps her fingers. The second her spell is broken, Aphrodite and I will put a spell on the village and you and all your loved ones Xena will be protected from any of Heraís spells again."

______________________________________________

Xena explained everything to Elana and Gabrielle on what Artemis and Aphrodite told her. Neither Gabrielle nor Elana were happy with the fact that Elana was going to have to challenge her mother for the Queen's title, but they understood.

Ephiny, Solari and Epinon made sure everyone in the village knew why Elana was challenging Gabrielle so no one would get upset and start trouble.

As the Amazon village was getting ready for the fight. Hera was up on Mt. Olympus making more plans of her own. She had heard that Elana was going to fight Xena for the Queen's title. Hera had found out that much. But with luck she did not know that Artemis and Aphrodite had found out about her plan.

So Hera had no idea that the minute Elana was made queen the spell on Gabrielle would be broken, or that a spell would be placed on the Amazon village and all of Gabrielleís friends and family. With any luck Hera would not be able to use her powers against them again.

But Hera did have one more spell she could still cast on Xena and Elana before they would be out of her reach. Hera walked over to her glass ball that she had been looking at to see what was happening in the Amazon village.

"So Elana is going to fight her mother Xena, who is also Gabrielleís champion for the title of Queen. Fine, lets have it be a fight to remember." Hera started laughing. "A fight to the death." She said as she waved her hands over the glass ball.

Artemis and Aphrodite looked at each other and cringed.

"Damnit Artie. She knows. Aphrodite looked at her sister in fear. What are we going to do now?"

Aphrodite hung her head and prayed that mother and daughter would see through Hera's charade.

Artemis had other ideas and made ready her bow and arrow.

********************************************************

The Amazons soon lined up and waited for the battle to begin. Gabrielle was brought out on a makeshift bed, tears running down her eyes.

"Please Xena, I don't like this idea. She is your daughter and what if something goes wrong? What if Hera has seen through this and is plotting something?"

"Don't worry, my love. Elana and I are both equally matched in our skills. We will put on a show for our audience and then I will let her win."

Xena hung her head. "It's the only way. I can't loose you and Artemis and Aphrodite have assured me that Hera doesn't know."

Gabrielle took Xena's hand into hers. "Xena, we are talking about the Gods."

Xena stood and looked towards Mt. Olympus. Her eyes narrowed. "I know."

At that moment Elana, Ta'Kai and Arville arrived to the cheers of the tribe.

As she approached her mothers, both women noticed how red and puffy Elana's eyes were. She had been crying.

"I don't like this idea. Can't you just stand up and say I quit?"

Xena moved to one side and aloud Elana to take her mother's hand.

"I'm sorry honey, but you know Amazon law states that the reigning queen cannot just quit. I am Queen until I die or am beaten in a challenge. You can do it, have faith in yourself. We do."

Elana turned to face the crowd before her.

"I Elana, Princess of the Amazon nation, hereby challenge the Queen to a fair fight for the throne. She turns to her mother. "Do you accept this challenge Queen Gabrielle?"

Gabrielle rises as best she can from the pallet. "My consort Xena and I accept."

Xena and Elana enter the circle in which the Amazons have formed. Ephiny takes her place beside Gabrielle along with Eponin.

Ta'Kai hands the baby over to her mother. She is crying and fears this day. She has been holding Elana for hours, as her wife cried all morning.

She recalls Elana's words from earlier. "What if something goes wrong? What if I kill my own mother? How will I ever live with that?"

The drums sound. Elana and Xena raise their swords.

Elana looks helplessly at her mother. "I love you Mother."

Xena blinks back her tears. "I love you too, but for your mothers life, fight me."

Sparks fly from the two swords as the two women battle each other.

Hera is pleased with the show. Each time those swords hit, the spell becomes stronger. "Soon." She says to one of her minions. "They will not recognize each other. They will only see an enemy and will think they are actually fighting to the death."

Down below on earth mother and daughter battle it out. Each stroke of the sword becomes a death blow. They do not recognize each other. They only see an enemy and hatred.

The battle rages on until Elana drives the hilt of her sword into Xena's face. The older warrior falls down. Elana raises her sword and quickly releases a killing blow aimed at Xena's chest.

But Artemis was ready and quickly her arrow speeds along it's way, knocking the sword out of Elana's hands.

The spell is broken. Elana drops to her knees and gathers Xena into her arms. "I'm so sorry Mother. I'm so sorry."

Xena hugs Elana, realizing what has just happened. "Damn you Hera."

Xena yells to the Amazons.

"I concede!"

Queen Elana rises up from her mother's embrace.

All to quickly she is bomb-barded with visions.

She grasps her hands to her head and screams in pain.

"No. She cries. It's too much. I can't see it all at once."

A searing jolt of pain smashes into her mind and Elana collapses from the intensity.

Ta'Kai races over and gathers her up into her arms.

She feels for a pulse.

"She's alive. Get her to the healers."

It was dream. No, it isn't. Elana reached out and touched this new world around her. The buildings were tall and solid. People, lots of people. They were dressed differently then Elana. Their language was different. She didn't understand. She heard the sound of a roar above her and looked up to see a large bird in the sky. But it wasn't a bird. I do not understand this she thought. What does all of this mean? Familiar laughter was heard from behind her. She turned and saw the two women holding hands coming towards her. They smiled at Elana as they passed her by. The hair style was different on the blonde, but she'd know the dark haired one anywhere. "Mother's." She called out to them, but they could not hear her. In her heart she knew this was the future. They had survived.

Ta'Kai sat and watched as her lover twitched and jerked in her sleep.

"Please Elana, come back to me. God's what is going on?" She asked.

The walls did not reply.

________________________________________

 

For two days Elana laid there in bed having vision after vision run through her head as she learned how to use her gift.

It didnít matter how many times Artemis or Aphrodite told TaíKai that Elana was going to be fine. She still worried for her soulmate and would not leave her side.

Xena and Gabrielle walked into the hut after knocking and waiting for TaíKaiís welcome to enter. TaíKai looked at them with tired worried eyes. She could see that Gabrielle's health was returning and she was happy for that.

Just as Xena was going to ask how her daughter was Elana opened her eyes.

"Motherís." Elana said as she sat up as if nothing had been happening to her for the last few days. "The Centaurs, they're in trouble. Hera has sent a army out to destroy them. We must help them."

Xena didnít stop to ask any questions. She knew what her daughter said would be the truth because of her power to see visions. She ran out the door to find Ephiny. They had a battle to prepare for.

"Elana!" TaíKai cried as she threw herself into her partners arms. "I was so scared."

"God's I am so sorry you were frightened TaíKai." Elana said as she rocked her in her arms. "I wanted to say something to you to let you know I was ok, but I couldnít wake myself up."

Gabrielle had seen for herself that her daughter looked well enough, and knew it was time to leave. "Well if you two would excuse me, I am going to go make sure Xena is not also in the planning, of storming Mt. Olympus."

"Mother." Elana called as Gabrielle turned to leave. "Thank you, even though you were sick I knew it was not easy for you to give up being Queen."

Gabrielle took a deep breath as she looked at her daughter. "No honey giving up the Queen's title was not easy. Not after all of these years. But I know it is in good hands. Thanks to you all I am not going anywhere soon, so if you ever need help, I will be here for you." Gabrielle smiled.

"Thanks mother, I am sure I will be taking you up on that offer. A lot." Elana laughed.

Gabrielle gave Elana and TaíKai a wink. Then went to go find out what trouble Xena was getting into.

_______________________________________

With the help of Artemis and Aphrodite, they were able to surround themselves in a cloak so that Hera had no idea they knew about her attack of the Centaurs or what the battle plans were going to be.

Off in the distance Xena could see the army of Hera's marching into the mouth of the valley the Centaurs village was in. Because of the gift of vision that Elana had, they had enough time to clear the village and make plans for a counter attack.

On both sides of the valley Amazons and Centaurs were hiding and ready to attack at Xenaís signal. Elana and TaíKai were with one group, Ephiny and Epinon were with the other group. Xena, Gabrielle and Solari were with the last group that were waiting in the trees just behind the village.

Hades and Celeste were up on one of the high hills watching the action.

"You know Hades, trying to keep Xena and Gabrielle safe is starting to become a full time job with Hera's interference. It is getting hard just to do our jobs."

"I agree with you Celeste." Hades replied as he watched Heraís army ride into the ambush. "I think it is time for Artemis, Aphrodite and us to get together and put this to an end. I am getting very tired of all of Heraís little tricks."

Celeste and Hades stood there for hours as they watched the battle in the valley below.

In the mean time Hera was throwing her own fit up on Mt. Olympus as she watched her army lose the battle. "This is not happening. What do I have to do to get to them? Ares where are you when I need you? Appear before me, NOW!" Hera screamed as she watched the leader of her army die by Xenaís sword.

"Yo, Mom, what's the problem?" Ares appeared before his mother in a non-chalant manner.

"What's the problem! She screamed. Those humans down there. That's the problem. Everytime I try to destroy them, someone is helping them."

"So, what do you want me to do about it Mother dear?" Ares was smug and pushing his mothers buttons.

"I want you to find out who is behind this. I know it's more then just Artemis and Aphrodite. There has to be someone else." Hera was pacing up and down her fists balled up at her side.

"I already know." Ares sat down and helped himself to a glass of wine.

"Well, tell me!" Hera ranted.

"Everyone is behind them. Ares took another sip of wine. Everyone is beholding to Xena and Gabrielle in some small way. They have done them certain favour's over the years and owe them. Plus, Mother, Elana is not only Xena and Gabrielle's daughter, she is Artemis' and Aphrodite's. Do you really think that the rest of the Gods were going to let you hurt family?" Ares sat down his glass of wine and rose.

"Her powers of visions are her gift Mother, not yours. Only Zeus can take that away from her, the same as he can take yours. If I were you Mother I'd think twice about this quest of yours. I have felt Zeus' wrath before and it's not pleasant." With those final words, Ares left.

Hera considered her son's words and slumped down into her chair.

"Damn him. He's right. Maybe I have been going about this wrong?" Hera spoke outloud to no one in particular. "Maybe." A cruel smile formed on her lips as she rose and summoned one of her minions. "I am her grandmother after all. Perhaps I should show her how much I care and am sorry for the confusion? Get ready my chariot minion and pick out some gifts for my dear granddaughter. I shall visit her today."

In the blink of an eye, Hera arrived in the Amazon village. She could feel the protection spell that Artemis had cast and knew she had to play the loving grandmother well. It was the only way left to get those powers of Elana's.

The reception she got was one that amused her.

Elana had already felt Hera coming and the village was well prepared. Swords, spears and knives were all aimed at Hera when she arrived.

Hera laughed. As if these mortal weapons could harm her. Normally she would have waved her hand and cast them flying, but she chose to ignore them instead.

Xena and Gabrielle approached Hera. Xena withdrew her sword and placed it at Hera's throat. "I am somehow going to find a way to kill you. How dare you show yourself in this village after all the harm you have caused."

Hera gently moved Xena's sword aside. "Dear Xena, I have come here to apologize. I was unaware that Elana was in fact my granddaughter. I only wish to change my behaviour and meet with her and her family."

Xena re-sheathed her sword. "Who told you this story?"

"Why Ares told me, he's such a good son. Hera replied calmly. Those two daughters of mine tell their mother nothing."

Xena laughed. "There's a reason for everything Hera. Maybe you should think about it?"

Just then Elana approached from behind Gabrielle. Her mother tried to stop her, but Elana would have no part of hiding. She smiled warmly at Gabrielle and walked out to meet Hera.

"If in fact Hera, you are my grandmother, you have a funny way of showing it."

"Elana, dear I am so sorry for the confusion. Please except my apology. I didn't know you were a part of me. Here, I have brought you some gifts for you and your family." The smile on Hera's face would have melted ice, but Elana could see into Hera's heart. It was a cold dark cruel place and one which Elana didn't stay too long and visit.

"Thank you Hera, but a few trinket's are hardly going to undo the damage that you have cause here. But thank you for your thoughts." Elana nodded at Hera and smirked.

Hera knew that Elana could see right through her plans.

"Perhaps time will change your mind, dear granddaughter?" With that Hera left.

Elana turned to Xena. "Perhaps in time I will grow wings and fly." Both women turned and walked back to the eating hut to join Ta'Kai and the baby.

The visit had left some unsettled feelings in Elana's mind. She felt an uneasy wave of panic over her and had to stop and steady her nerves for a moment. Ta'Kai had noticed the panic look in her lovers face and gently reached over and squeezed her hand. "It will be alright, Elana. Have faith."

Elana smiled and kissed Ta'Kai. She then took Arville into her arms and kissed her as well.

Faith, hope and love she thought. Three powerful weapons that she was surrounded by. The warmth that spread through her body put the panic to rest. Today was going to be a day of blessings.

____________________________________

"Just who does she think she is?" Hera stormed back on Mt. Olympus. "She could see right through me because of that vision."

Hera sat down upon her throne. "I have got to get the powers of that vision. But because of my daughters I canít touch them. THERE HAS TO BE A WAY!" Hera screamed across the empty room. She got back up and looked out the window in thought to the clouds that surrounded Mt. Olympus.

Hera walked from window to window mumbling to herself. Suddenly she screamed and grabbed a hold of the window pane.

"Thatís it. Oh why didnít I see it before. Oh you thought you were so clever my daughters but you forgot one little thing. I am the Goddess of all that there is. I will not be out smarted. Oh this is going to be good, so good. If I canít get the vision then no one will have it." Hera walked out of the room laughing a chilling laugh.

Two days had gone by since Hera made her appearance in the village. Even though things were getting back to normal, Elana still had the royal guards doubled around her family and the Amazonís all on alert. She was not taking any chances.

Elana was laying beside TaíKai sound asleep when the visions started. Everything was black, there were no lights anywhere for Elana to see by. Suddenly she could hear her family screaming. Elana tried her best to run towards the screams of her family, but she felt as if her feet were made of clay.

Again she heard her family screaming and suddenly flames shot up all around her. The sky was filled with dark clouds and lightening, as no one has ever seen before. The thunder was so loud it was deafening.

The vision then flashed to the village that was engulfed in flames. Everywhere she turned the huts were burning. She turned to the Queens hut as the door opened and her mothers came out with TaíKai and their baby Arville. Elana started running towards them yelling for them to run when a powerful bolt of lightening came streaking across the sky.

Elana watched as one minute her family was there, but when the next lightening bolt hit, there was nothing but a ball of flames. Her family was gone.

Elana woke up screaming.

_____________________________

"Artie." Aphrodite appeared before Artemis. "Something is wrong. I feel something is wrong with Elana. Like how could that be, we fixed it so Mom canít touch her, didnít we?"

Artemis had felt the same thing Aphrodite had felt. "I donít know Dite. We must of missed something, but what? We cast a spell over the village to protect all of Elanaís family and my Amazons."

"Like yeah, so dear Mom canít put a spell on them again." Aphrodite agreed with her sister."

Artemis looked at Aphrodite as she finished talking. With Elana being part of the two Gods they could see what visions she had seen after she had them.

Suddenly a look of fear crossed Artemis face as she could see the vision Elana had just seen. "Oh dear Zeus Dite we put a spell on them."

"Yeah, so like what is wrong with that?" Aphrodite asked.

"Donít you see, we put a spell on them to keep Hera away from them, but we forgot something else. Oh how stupid could I get. Dite we forgot the weather." Artemis told her as she watched some dark clouds gathering in the distance.

Aphrodite and Artemis were standing just outside the Temple in the Amazon village. Aphrodite turned to see what Artemis was looking at. "Oh Artie what are we going to do?"

"Go as fast as you can and find Celeste, Hades and any other God you can get and bring them here! We have got to stop Hera once and for all." Artemis told her.

"What are you going to do?" Aphrodite asked Artemis.

"Iím going to stand between Hera and the village till you get back so hurry!" Artemis told her as she took off to find Elana and Xena.

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When Artemis arrived in Elana and Ta'Kai's hut she found a most pitiful sight. Ta'kai lay holding a sobbing, out of control Elana in her arms. Arville was crying in her crib next to them. Elana's grip on her lover was tight and painful. Ta'Kai motioned for Artemis is get the baby. The Goddess of the Hunt and the Amazons gently picked up Arville and cradled her in her arms. It had been a long time since she had held the infant and a smile crossed her face. She gently kissed her and went to lay the baby back down, but Arville had other ideas. She clung on to the Goddess with all of her baby strength and refused to let go. In that moment of time Artemis felt for the first time what it meant to feel love. What a gift this small child had just given her. For a moment she felt envious of her sister Aphrodite and wondered if Dite felt this way all the time? The baby looked at her and smiled. She then turned her head and looked at her mother's. In her own baby way, she looked back up at Artemis and pleaded with her to help Elana. Artemis, with baby in her arms walked over to Elana and Ta"kai. She gently placed her hand on Elana's head and lovingly stroked her hair. Within moments Elana's body relaxed and the horror of the dream faded.

"What happened?" Elana asked.

"You had a nightmare, my love. It's alright now." Ta'Kai gently kissed Elana's tear stained cheek and released her lover to sit up.

"Artemis, I'm sorry, I didn't see you. Elana rose and kissed Artemis on the cheek. Is Arville alright?"

"She's beautiful and perfect. Cooed the Goddess. Just like her mothers."

Two sets of shocked eyebrows raised as they heard the words come out from Artemis' mouth. They were used to hearing these things from Aphrodite, but Artemis?

While Artemis had a fist full of baby fingers playing with her nose, she asked Ta'Kai to go and get Xena and Gabrielle. There was a slight problem and her name was Hera.

Meanwhile Aphrodite was still on Mt. Olympus talking with Celeste and Hades.

"This has got to stop once and for all. We can't allow Mother to get her hands on Elana's gift. It could mean doom for us all." Aphrodite was pacing up and down. And look I'm so upset I even broke a nail. This is disastrous!"

Hades rolled his eyes and Celeste tried to hide a smirk. "Yes Aphrodite we agree with you, but talking with Mother isn't going to help, she's obsessed." Hades gently put his hand on Aphrodite's shoulder. "Sit down sister and lets try to figure this out."

At that moment Ares appeared before his siblings. "Can anyone join this party or is it invitation only?"

"Hello Ares, thought you were on Mother's side?" Celeste warmly greeted him.

"I'm on my side. He grinned. "But I have an idea if you care to listen to it?"

Hades, Celeste and Aphrodite motioned for Ares to sit down and join them. They didn't trust the God of War, but they had run out of options and were forced to listen.

"Even if all of us joined forces and tried to stop her, we couldn't. She has ultimate power, except for one other God. Zeus."

The other Gods sat quiet with stunned looks upon their faces. "We can't ask Father, he forbids interference." Aphrodite shook her head.

Ares held out his trump card. "Not if he sees into the future and is shown what Hera will do with that power."

Aphrodite returned to the Amazon village and can just envision Xena's temper when she hears the God's plan.

"What! Not for one moment! I am not letting my daughter go before Zeus and have him touch her mind." Xena was furious. Her face was red and her fists were ready to kill the first person that invaded her personal space.

Except for one short blonde haired woman who was holding a small child in her arms.

"Xena, please." Gabrielle spoke softly as she placed Arville in the warrior's arms. "This whole mess has to stop. We can't keep looking over our shoulder every minute and wondering what Hera is going to do next." Gabrielle wrapped her arms around Xena and Arville. The warrior was helpless. Xena nodded in defeat. Once again Gabrielle 's logic was mightier then Xena's sword.

The next morning Elana stood before her Amazons. She was surrounded by her family and friends and announced her intentions to go before Zeus to try and stop Hera. "I do this for the love and protection of my family and friends. As your Queen I trust you will give me your blessing. Should I not return. I am entrusting you to give back Gabrielle the Queen's duties."

Gabrielle's eyes shot up in surprise. "That won't happen, my daughter. You will be in good hands with Artemis and Aphrodite."

With that the two Goddess' and Elana left in a puff of sparkles and headed for Mt Olympus.

Back in the Amazon village, Ephiny and Epinon returned to their hut. Ephiny started to make tea, while Epinon took out her sword and started sharpening it. Ephiny smiled at her long time friend and lover. "A little old to be worrying about using that sword?"

Epinon passed on the comment and continued sharpening her weapon. "I'm not old." She replied. "I'm well experienced. Besides if Elana can't stop Hera, everyone is going to have to help defend the village."

Ephiny reached over and kissed Epinion. "You're right." She said. "You are very experienced."

Epinon turned a very attractive shade of red, but continued on sharpening her sword.

Elana arrived on Mt. Olympus. The beauty and vastness was beyond anything she had ever seen before in her life. Music was playing from a magic harp. People were dancing and laughing. Food and drink were everywhere as Elana looked at the splendor of it all. Gold hung from the clouds and the sunlight was warm and soothing. The air was sweet and for a moment her head felt dizzy. She realized, that part of her that was from Aphrodite and Artemis was coming to life. Here she was a demi God. The richness that warmed her body. She looked at the two Goddess'. "So is this what it feels like to be a God?"

The two women grinned and laughed. "You only feel a small portion of what we do. It feels incredible the sensations that we have."

The harp stopped playing and everyone went silent. A truly magnificent figure appeared and everyone bowed their heads in respect.

Elana stood motionless. Never before had she witnessed the force that generated from this being. He was truly amazing. She bowed her head in respect and awe of this God. Zeus.

Zeus approached Artemis, Aphrodite and Elana.

"Daddy." Aphrodite squealed and threw her arms around him. "Oh thank you daddy for doing this."

"Father." Artemis was more stiffer around her father. "I thank you as well for your time and help. It is an honour."

Zeus laughed at the difference between his two daughters. One so carefree and loving. One more guarded and aware. He had chosen the gift of their powers well.

"So." His voice boomed out. "This is Elana. Seems you have something my wife wants little girl."

Elana tried to swallow and couldn't. She had never known fear until now.

"I am sorry sir." She managed to choke out. "But Hera can't have it."

Zeus laughed. "Defiant and stubborn. Seems you have a lot of Xena's traits as well. What of Gabrielle's?" He asked. "How are you at being Queen of Artemis' Amazons?"

Elana thought about that question and answered as honestly as she could. " I am here on behalf of my people and family, sir. I would give my life for their safety, but I come before you humble and ask for your help. I would gladly give you a look into the future and show you what will happen should Hera be allowed to take my gift.

With shaking hands, Elana reached out and took Zeus' hands into her own. She then gently placed them on either side of her head.

"Please grandfather, I need your help." Elana looked into the eyes of the almighty Zeus and a tear fell from her eye.

The Mighty Zeus, King of all the Gods lowered his hands and brought his granddaughter closer to him and hugged her.

"You are your mother's daughter, Elana, a great Queen. Gabrielle has taught you well." Zeus gently kissed the top of her head and released her. "Go home to your family Elana, I will deal with Hera. From now on you and yours are under my protection, for eternity."

Elana stood on tip toes and kissed her grandfather on the cheek. "Thank you." Was all she could say.

As Elana returned to the Amazon village, she realized what a great gift she had just received from Zeus. The future she thought. Thinking back to her earlier dream of meeting her mother's in that strange new world. That had given her the insight that had led to Zeus' promise. For indeed Zeus had kept his word, they had survived.

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Zeus found Hera lounging under a palm tree, eating figs and drinking wine. A servant was fanning her with a large palm leaf. Hera was not pleased to see Zeus.

"Youíre not going to interfere Zeus." Hera told him as she stood up. "My plans are already in the making and this is not your business."

"Not my business Hera? How can it not be my business when it is my own grandchild you're wanting to harm?" Zeus thundered at her. "I have given them all my protection Hera. This is done with. You will not bring harm to them again."

"YOU WHAT!" Hera screamed at him. "How dare you interfere with me! You know better than that! I want that power and I will have it. You will not stop me!"

Zeus shook his head at her. "I not only can stop you Hera, I did. You have gone too far this time. I will not have you bring harm to my family."

Hera screamed as she lost control of herself and threw a fire ball at Zeus. "NO ONE TELLS THE QUEEN OF THE GODS WHAT TO DO!"

Zeus easy deflected the fire ball. "Hera, be careful of what you do. Remember who you are talking to."

But Hera was not listening. All she knew was that the power of the visions that Elana had, was slipping through her fingers and she was not going to let that happen. No matter who she had to fight.

Hera ran at Zeus attacking him. Zeus grabbed Heraís wrists as the winds and thunder of two Gods coming together in battle could be heard.

They went spinning as the wind circled around them until they were in a funnel of wind. Bolts of lightening shot all around them.

Hera broke loose and threw more fire balls at Zeus. All around him they hit with explosions.

"Hera enough! Stop now or you will feel my wrath!" Zeus tried to warn her.

But Hera was beyond listening. "You want to stop me Zeus then you're going to have to kill me! Because that is the only way I will stop! I want that power! It should have been mine, I am the Queen of the Gods! It is my right to claim it!"

Zeus could see by the look on Hera's face, she had gone mad with the wanting of the power of visions Elana had. He knew he was going to have a very hard choice to make. But if he was to protect Elana, it might be the only choice he had.

"Hera." Zeus tried again to talk to her.

Hera was beyond talking to. "Just try and stop me Zeus, just try!" Hera screamed again as she disappeared in a flash of light.

"HERA DONíT YOU DARE!" Zeus roared as he too followed her in a flash of light.

Elana, her family, Artemis, Aphrodite and the other Gods were all standing around talking in front of the Queens hut when Hera appeared in front of them.

"DIE, ALL OF YOU DIE!" Hera yelled as Zeus appeared behind her. "I want that power!"

Before anyone, Gods or mortal alike could move to stop Hera, Elana step forward to stand in front of her family. She lifted her hand as a bolt of light so blinding that even the Gods had to cover their eyes came flying out towards Hera.

They all heard the scream from Hera as the bolt of light hit her square in the chest.

As soon as the light cleared Zeus went over to Hera and bent down to check her.

"Is she dead?" A shocked Aphrodite asked.

"No." Zeus told them. "Whatever that bolt was, it knocked her out."

Everyone looked over to Elana for answers.

"I donít know what happened." She looked over to the Gods. When Hera appeared to attack my family, I just felt this over whelming force of power. I just canít explain it."

Zeus walked up to them all and put a hand on Elanaís shoulder. "No one knew what would happen when Artemis and Aphrodite mixed their souls with Xena and Gabrielleís. It had never been done before. Because of that Elana, I think you have some very special powers. It is up to you to use them wisely." Zeus leaned down and gave her a kiss on the cheek. "I know from the part of Gabrielle you have in you, that you will choose well."

Elana smiled at Zeus. "What is going to happen to Hera now that she wonít stop coming back?" She asked.

"Let me take care of Hera my dear. I think a little cooling off period for a few hundred years is just the answer. Anyone object?" Zeus looked to his children. When no one objected to this, Zeus smiled and disappeared with Hera.

The yelling of joy was heard through out the Amazon village.

Elana, her family and the Gods all hugged one another. The threat to their lives and peace was gone. They and their children will be able to live out their lives in peace, without Hera.

"You all know what this means donít you?" Ephiny asked them all.

Xena groaned and lowered her head. She knew what Ephiny was going to say.

"PARTY TIME!" Ephiny and Epinon yelled together.

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The evening couldn't have been more perfect. The moon cast it's light down upon the Amazon village in all it's splendor. Torches had been set up, drink flowed and food was plenty. The music and the pounding of the drums beat into the hearts and souls of each Amazon there. The dancers moved and danced their erotic motions with sensual swaying. Elana took Ta'Kai's hand and led her to the dance floor. Her hands started to caress Ta'Kai's face and moved down the length of her torso and firmly placed her finger tips on her lovers hips. They began their dance of love. Their swaying movements and eye contact made even Xena blush at her daughter's aggression. Xena thought and wondered if this was how Elana had visualized the love between herself and Gabrielle. Was their love as powerful and erotic? Xena glanced over at her lover and smiled. Of course she thought. I feel the same excitement for her as I did all those years ago. She rose up and took Gabrielle's hand. "It's been too long since I have shown my love for you." Gabrielle smiled knowing the meaning behind those words. She rose up, taking Xena's other hand. They headed back to their hut, to shut out the world and give to each other the love that had been theirs forever.

After their dance was over, Elana gently took Ta'Kai into her arms and motioned for their own hut. The Queen of the Amazons led her lover and the mother of her child back to the quiet world that belonged only to them. They stood and kissed. Each demanding more from the other. Clothes were soon shed as the two grappled for position on the bed. Both of them so consumed with passion, that neither one would give up the lead role. Finally in an all out assault on her lover's body, Elana used her strength and flipped Ta'Kai on her back. Taking Ta'Kai's hands she placed them over her head and held them down. She looked into Ta'Kai's desire crazed eyes and spoke to her in a voice that was filled with her own desire.

"Let me give you my all." Were the words that she spoke.

With that Elana let go of the trapped hands and proceeded to kiss the sweet lips, neck and finally breasts of the only woman in this world who made her feel everything that this life had to offer.

When her fingers entered the soft, wet flesh of her mate, she knew this was her gift, a gift of love that was so strong, that even Hera herself could not take away. When she could no longer stand it, Elana's mouth took over where her fingers had began. Ta'Kai's essence filled her senses and within moments Elana could feel her lover's body arch and in one swift move brought her over the edge and listened for her own name being screamed to the Gods above.

When both lover's recovered, Ta'Kai rolled on top of Elana.

"I don't know how I could ever live with out you. I love you Elana."

With that Ta'Kai began her own dance on Elana's body. Bringing her mate to a higher plateau then even Mt. Olympus couldn't offer.

The next morning Elana rose early. She smiled as she walked through the village. She felt the sun on her face, the wind blew gently through her hair. A sense of wonderment came over her as she looked ahead into the future and saw an Amazon nation strong and full of life. For this was her legacy. Queen Elana, daughter of Xena and Gabrielle.

The end.