Chapter Eight

N/A: I realize that most of this is from Ginevra's point of view, most of my stories are from the OC's, Point of view, but there will be more Xena/Gabrielle once, When in Rome is over. They'll have a while winter to get through at the Amazon camp. Then Xena, Gabrielle, and Ginevra will continue with Season 4, minus the Hope stuff, but with some extra twists and turns. Also if I owned Xena there'd be more Hercules and Iolous Crossovers.

We left Delphi the next day, soon after breakfast. "So, what happened?"

"Well, we got there before Joxer could be beaten, we tried the heads on approach." Gabrielle said. "Instead of undercover, but it worked out in the end."

"Well, what happened?"

"Well, Xena had a talk with the Casino Owner's son, Leo and his friends, and then she spoke to the Casino owner Titus, to make a long story short, the casino is under new management the Casino Owner's brother Phillipos."

"You never make long stories short, Gabrielle, you're bard you live to tell stories…are you making this age appropriate…"

Xena spoke. "We told you we would treat you as a child, Ginevra and it's not as if you don't know the basics of what happened."

"I suppose." I grumbled.

Xena smiled. "I know we're horrible, for protecting you…."

"Not really, my mother tried to do the same but we always watched the violent TV shows and movies."

Gabrielle said. "Like our show."

"Yeah, well your show was more of a comedy/action. It was violent but they played a lot of the moments in between the violence off for laughs, or they sexed it up. They definitely tried to play up the relationship between the two of you"

Xena laughed. "Of course they did, no matter the time or universe, Sex, and violence sells. It's why Gabrielle's stories are so popular, and because she gets slightly aroused when really gets into telling a story, and all the men in the audience can tell."

"You'll tell me that, but you won't tell me what you did to Titus and Leo."

"You're 12 years old, Ginevra, puberty will weigh in on things before long if it hasn't already." Xena said. "There is a difference between protecting you from violence and letting you know the facts of life."

"If things run true to course it won't start until around Solstice this year." I said.

"And you know about such things, you were a solider, a lawman, you were married…"

"Yes."

"Then there is a difference." Xena said.

"I know about violence too." I said.

"Not, while I'm there to protect you, Ginevra and that's final." Xena said. I decided to sing the Song that doesn't end in Greek. Apparently it's more annoying in Greek. Xena yelled at me to be quiet. Then I made a clacking noise with my tongue every three minutes. That lasted about 45 minutes, until she growled at me, Then I asked her if we were there yet? I asked fifteen minutes later. Then she Xena cracked up.

"Ginevra are you trying to be annoying to get one of us to yell at you?" She asked.

"You both have the power to spank me. I need to know how far I can push you. This is safer than doing something stupid and dangerous."

"Well, nice to try but we wouldn't spank you for being annoying. We deal with Joxer and Salmoneus, and the Gods on a regular basis we're used to it." Xena said a smile in her voice.

"You could just ask." Gabrielle said.

"This seemed like a better idea."

"Your child is showing." Gabrielle said.

I blushed, though neither could see me. "Yeah, Sorry."

"Look, as long as you don't Lie, cheat, steal, put yourself in danger that couldn't be helped, defending yourself or others don't count, you were a solider protecting innocents is too engrained in you, but if you can see we got it under control you're too leave stay out of it. We wouldn't spank you for that, unless it became something you did on a regular basis, and this we'd have to revisit the consequences. The only hard and fast rule, is disobedience, No direct-disobedience, we know they'll be circumstances where you might have to bend the other rules if not break the other rules and we won't punish you for it. But we expect when we tell you do something or not do something, you obey, life on the road isn't safe it's to protect you, it could save your life. You don't know the dangers here, and it you're still a child, even if you have the memories of a solider, and lawman." Xena said.

"I feel like we've had this conversation." I said.

"Just making sure you understand." Xena said.

"You don't have to treat me like a child.'

"You are a child, Ginevra." Gabrielle pointed out.

"I suppose so. How about I tell the story today."

Gabrielle smiled from behind her looking at me. "If you want."

"Well, you weren't the only hour long series, and there were lots of other media, books those are like scrolls, and movies those are longer plays you go to a type of theatre to watch, so what kind of story do you want to hear?"

"I'd love to hear one of our adventures we haven't had yet." Xena said.

Ginevra smirked. This was going to be fun.

"And turns out Argo is the one that killed the bounty hunter and it was Self-defense Ravenica was going to kill her as a way to bring Xena in, so Discord leaves in a huff…and everyone managed to surprise Gabrielle, she didn't know it was a Birthday Party, and everyone involved celebrates her birth and has a good time eating Cyrene's wonderful food and having a good evening of laughter and stories with the friends and family gathered."

Gabrielle laughed. "Very good, I'll make a bard out of you yet."

Xena is thoughtful. "Do You know how long we have to wait until Ravenica comes after us?"

"After the Battle between the Amazons and Rome, when Brutus kills Ephiny, please keep that from happening, I always liked Ephiny, and Xenon goes a little off his rocker after his mother dies, even if he does find love with Borias granddaughter."

"We'll do everything in our power, to protect Ephiny and Xenon." Gabrielle said.

Xena nodded. "Of course we will."

"Unfortunately I don't know how much time passes between episode, I know my world it was about a year, on television season, but it could have been six months, it could have been two years, there's reason no way to know, and since all the episodes save one or two take places in Spring or summer, or early fall before the winter sets in, you're either hibernating like a bear, or they simply don't show those adventures. It may be longer. Especially since they don't tend to mention the Greek Months since the people in my time wouldn't know what they were, nor would the writers for that matter."

"And You know them?' Gabrielle asked.

"Yes, the Solstice is soon and my Birthday, and it's Skirophorian the last month of the year, and the last month of spring. I learned from my tutors in Delphi."

"Good, I think we should review the months." Gabrielle said.

"Alright. Gabrielle you really think I could meet Iolous I mean he was my first crush and I would like to meet him."

Xena smiled fondly and said. "I'm sure we can, Now the months."

"Well the first month of the year is Hekatombaion. It's the first month of Summer, and begins on the New Moon. Next Summer Month is Metageitnion, and then Bodromion, at the end of Bodromion is the Autumnal Equinox, After Bodromion, is the first month of Autumn, followed by Maimakterion, and Poseidon, then the Winter Solstice, and then the first day of Winter, Gamelion, Anthestrerion, Elaphebolion, then the Vernal Equinox and then Spring, Mounichion, then Thargelion and then Shirophorian again."

"Very good."

We were soon bedding down for the night. It took about 12 days before I was sick, of traveling by horseback across the Greece, we had camped a day's ride from the village. We managed to get to the outer border by 11. Then we got off and walked. By the time we were surrounded by Amazons including Ephiny, I made sure to make the Amazon symbol from peace that Gabrielle showed me even though I already knew it.

"My Queen, Welcome back. Who's the girl?"

"Ginevra. We're responsible for her, until she is old enough to be on her own, We'll discuss the rest in public." Gabrielle answered.

"My husband and I were soldiers and Lawmen we both died and we reborn children, we are meant to remarry and become great champions." I said with a shrug. Xena gave me a mighty swat. I refused to cry out but I rubbed my sore butt.

"What did Gabrielle just say? Do we need to have a discussion and listening and paying attention, Ginevra?" Xena said.

"No, Xena."

Ephiny laughed. "Being a mother looks good on you Xena. I already knew about Ginevra I met Alexander. If he'd managed to start puberty he'd be a good man, let's get into the village we hand off your horses and gather in the Queen's official hut. It's Noon we send out for some food."

Before I knew it we were in the Queen's hut, and I was sitting in a hard wooden chair, lunch had yet to be delivered. Xena and Gabrielle were filling in Ephiny. And Gabrielle told her I was to be her heir until another came along, and she and Gabrielle were going through a bonding ceremony.

"I don't want to be Princess." I said.

"It's been decided, you'll be adopted as our heir, and then when Eve, or any other children come you won't necessarily be the heir freeing you to marry Alexander and go on your adventures." Gabrielle said.

"Does that mean I stay here and train, instead of going on adventures with you?"

"During the winter, and during several weeks of in the summer spring and fall, yes, but you'll still be going on adventures with us." Xena answered.

"Okay."

The food trays came and we ate, it was some kind of stew. Then Eponin was called. She was told to test me.

"What are you trained in?"

"Well, before I was deaged, I was a solider. We were trained in hand to hand combat I can fight in what you would call Bare knuckle, or even Pankration." I spoke of the ancient Greek martial art. "And Both knife throwing and knife fighting, tracking, basic survival skills, Xena and Gabrielle filled in the survival skills and hunting skills, taught me how to hunt, and track better, and taught me to fight with a staff."

"Then we'll need to test them." We tested my Bare Knuckle, and Pankration first, and then my knife fighting and Knife throwing and then my staff fighting, and my tracking skills, and then my hunting skills. I bagged several rabbits, and birds with my bow and arrows, and butchered then properly.

"Can You set a snare?"

"Not well, Xena showed me but didn't give me instructions."

"Let me show you."

She taught me. then she returned me back to the Queen's official hut. Ephiny asked. "Well?"

"She'll find in fine with her peers she's at or above age range in all subjects, now she needs to be tested by Helen."

"Helen?"

"the teacher for the girls 7 to 15."

"That's going to be a little harder, I'm behind in current era subjects." I said. "My tutors at Delphi, and Gabrielle have been trying to catch me up. I was an adult, fully educated in my time, and a solider, who focused on things very similar to blacksmith but not a blacksmith because we don't use horses in the army anymore."

Ephiny nodded. "You still have this knowledge."

I nodded. "Yes. It's just translating it into Greek, or into something workable using current materials."

Xena snorted. "Ginevra create later."

"When can I see Alexander?"

Xena snorted again. "We'll see if we can arrange that, but you can see him before we leave."

Ephiny stood. "We should introduce you, to Helen so you can be tested."

I followed her out she pointed out the different huts, the healer's hut, the carpenter's hut, the blacksmith hut, the dining hut, the training huts, Alpha, Beta, and and Gamma, the tailor hut, the bathing huts, alpha and Beta, the parchment maker's hut, she pointed to the Amazon Mill, close down by the creek, the seer hut, the Archives, the training fields. "And this is the Amazon Nursery, the little girl school, and the Big girl school." Pointing out each building in succession. "The big girls school, is separated into two sessions the 10-12 year olds and 13-14 have the morning session, and then go to their after lessons, and the 7-9 year olds get taught in the afternoon, there's a lot less of them but they have more to learn. Ephiny knocks on the door. Helen is in the room in front of six students.

"Hello, Regent Ephiny, Queen Gabrielle to what do I owe this visit?" her voice was pleasant and polite.

"This is Ginevra, She's my and Xena's ward, she recently turned 12 we were wondering if you had the time to test her." Gabrielle asked.

"Of course, if the Queen will tell my Students some stories while I'm occupied."

Gabrielle smiled. "Of course, Regent Ephiny if you could stay. children, come and I will tell you how a young bard became an Amazon Princess. Regent

"Yay" they yelled and ran after her.

"Ginevra do you know to read and write?"

"Yes, Greek isn't my first language but Gabrielle has taught it to me, and so did my tutors when She and Xena left me at Delphi for a week or so."

Helen nodded. "What about Mathematics."

"I am proficient, I learned it first with different numbers, but I've been since been taught to use Greek Numbers, and I'm probably more advanced than your students, just not very fast in my calculations if I have to do them on Parchment because I have to translate them to Greek numbers before actually working them out."

"Sounds fair, what about Mythology."

"Gabrielle took care of that."

Helen's lips twitched. "Of course."

"Now, I'm from far into the future, somewhere between 2-3 thousand years, so I know some events that happen but not all and not necessarily in what order. History if written by the victors after all."

Helen nodded. "Of course, and that would be true of Amazon history true….."

"Until I met Gabrielle, I thought Amazons weren't real, just a story…"

"I see…..Well, then you'll probably need to be brought up to your year mates in history then."

"Mostly likely, and I won't even try to defend my handwriting, I've only recently begin writing with a quill, we used different writing implements when I come from they're easier to use. and some are voice activated you don't' need to write at all."

Both Women stared at her. Helen spoke first. "DO you have parchment ink and quills."

"Yes, Ma'am."

"Get them out please, we'll begin our test."

Outside Gabrielle, had enthralled the children with her story telling. "And the Centaurs and Amazons signed a treaty."

Next she told the story of the first Cyane as told her by Ginevra and then Ephiny, and Ginevra exited with Helena who called her students back into the school house.

"How did you do?" Gabrielle asked.

"I was prepared well for everything but Amazon and Greek History."

"We need to get you settled, since you'll be living with Ephiny and we're leaving in a week, you should unpack at Ephiny's hut."

'Ephiny can I ask you a question?"

"Of course."

"Are you and Eponin in a relationship?"

"Yes, she lives with me she was really there for me after Phantes died."

They retrieved both my satchels, the smaller one and the bigger one which contained clothes. As we were unpacking, Athena, Artemis, and Aphrodite appeared. Ephiny, Xena and Gabrielle stilled. I looked around.

"Hello, ladies. Welcome to my room."

Ephiny gave me a very hard swat I couldn't help myself from crying out. "Watch your tone, young lady."

"It's quite alright, Ephiny." Artemis said. "Now, we're going to gift some things to Ginevra."

Aphrodite stepped forward She produced a Satchel. "It has several pockets and each one, will hold an unlimited amount of items, no matter the size, so will the larger compartment of the satchel, and it will keep food fresh for months if need be." She handed it to me.

Artemis stepped forward "Next Weapons. You already have your Boot daggers, you'll have to learn a sword, even though when you're older you'll rarely use it." She produced a Xiphos, and two stilettos knives in their sheaves and handed them to Ephiny. "She must train with them, they will be her weapons when she becoming an adult."

Ephiny nods. "Of course."

"And I bring you a special Parchment." Athena said. Holding four scrolls. "One for Xena and Gabrielle, one for Ephiny, one for Alexander, and one for you, that you may communication to each other, write a letter to whom you wish and it will automatically appear on their parchment when they've finished reading it. And it entered into their mind, the parchment will blank.

"Lady Athena, Lady Artemis, Lady Aphrodite." I bowed my head. "I, Thank you all."

"That was a little much, Chicklet." Aphrodite said.

"Chicklet?" Artemis asks her.

"Theni tells me her family name means Raven but she's just a girl, not a grown Raven yet, Arte." Aphrodite said with a blinding smile.

"I suppose so."

Athena spoke. "We have one final gift. but it's not for Ginevra, it's for Gabrielle."

Artemis spoke. "We know how much of a disappointment Hope's nature, and paternity turned out to be for you, despite what the conception was like we know you were hoping for a normal child, to love, and pass your wisdom and training onto, and raise with Xena, or as normal as a child raised by you and Xena could be."

"But when she was just evil, it destroyed the hope you had for that." Aphrodite spoke. "So, we're going to give you a normal child. Well, as normal as a baby born to the warrior babe and my Sweet pea could be." Aphrodite laughs.

Artemis smiled. "We haven't done all the work, we've just allowed you to get pregnant when in the throws of passion with each other, You'll actually have to make the baby."

The look on Xena and Gabrielle's faces were priceless. Aphrodite laughed. "My Little Sweet pea will carry of course, but the rest is up to the fates….and the two of you."

Gabrielle's cheeks colored slightly, and Xena looked away. The next day, Ephiny woke me up, by banging a wooden spoon on an iron pot. Some instincts are engrained and when that happens followed by. Get up and dressed. In an officer tone of voice. My solider instincts react to follow the order. I was up and dressed and ready for school in 6 minutes. I was standing in the main area of the hut, at near attention.

"Come on." Eponin said. "We need to get to the dining hut."

I nodded. "Yes, Ma'am."

I met Xena and Gabrielle at the dining hut. Everyone had breakfast. Which was mostly bread, meat and chest, all freshly made. They even had butter. It was nice, except the milk I was forced to drink. Milk is even worse Warm and it was lumpy for some reason. I shrugged I'd eaten and drunk worse. I was listening to conversations the Solstice Festival was tonight so there was no school. I didn't know that. After breakfast. All four of the adults in my life and I told me we were going to see Alexander, but only for a few hours, as we had to get back to the festival. I ran to get packed, and then We saddled the horses, and I got on Midnight behind Gabrielle. It took half an hour to get to the Centaur village. Alexander was waiting for me. I jumped from the horse gracefully, and ran to him, we embraced and were hugging when I felt a hard enough swat on my backside to make me jump and yelp, it took a lot to do that. I looked behind me it. It was Gabrielle.

"Don't ever jump from a horse like that when it's in motion you understand me?" She asked.

"Yes, Ma'am."

"Do you really? Because you do it again and we're not in a life or death situation where it might be necessary you're getting a paddling you understand?" She said firmly.

"Yes, Ma'am."

"Wow, Gin she reminds me of your Mom." Alexander said.

"I know right, even though out of all them, My Mom looked the most like Ephiny."

"I can see it, it's the blonde curls, and the leather."

I nodded. "Yeah, My Mom when the weather called for she always had a leather jacket on, skipped it when it got to hot, of course."

"Now that you mention it Gin, she looks a lot like Ephiny." Alexander said.

"It's superficial a lot of kick ass women are have blond curls and light eyes." That got me a warning swat. "Sorry."

"Ephiny maybe you should go visit Xenon, We'd like to speak to Alexander and his guardian." Gabrielle said.

Ephiny nodded. "Sure, Ep."

"I need to stay with the Queen, give my regards."

"Come to the kitchens." Alexander said. He brought us around to the kitchens all the buildings and huts in the centaur village were taller and wider. It was question as to why. "Wait here."

He went in and brought out a Well-Worn Dean Cain, apparently Dean Cain played this character but they gave him a bit of a makeover to make him look as if he had a harder life. "Ginevra, Xena, Gabrielle, Eponin, My guardian, Licas."

"It's nice to meet you Licas." Gabrielle said.

"You as Well. Eponin how is Selene, Ada, and Mara?"

"They're fine Licas, I'll be happy to bring a letter if you want to take the time to write one." Eponin said.

"My thanks."

The adults started talking, and Alexander and My eyes, met and we slipped away, and sat under a large oak tree.

"How long has it been for you?" He asked.

"Three years ago, of course we'd lived together We lived together for two years, and dated for three before that."

He nodded. "So we're 13, and 12, and we've known each other five years, that's almost half our lives."

"Well, if you could the time you were dead, it's 8 years, its more than half."

"That's true." I was now leaning into him and his arms were around me. but we made no moved to do anything else, we just wanted to be together we sat nice that in silence for a while. When the adults came looking for us. We must have been gone longer than I thought because Ephiny was with them.

"Ginevra! What are you doing?" Ephiny said.

"Nothing! He's just holding me. If it was you what would you do?" I knew she lost her husband.

"Alright, alright you're not in trouble, but no more wandering off or sitting is going to be a distant memory for you."

"Yes, Ma'am."

"Give Alexander his parchment and explain how to use it we have a festival to get to."

I did and then we went back to the festival which was really something meat, and dancing and wine and cider, the kids were sent off the bed. And the next day, Xena and Gabrielle spent recovering the day after that they left at first light.