Chapter 7

I sat between Xena and Gabrielle near the huge bonfire. We listened as Queen Varia spoke about better times being ahead for the tribe. About rebuilding the village and taking back their lands.

I was fascinated with the drummers and moved a little to their beat. The dancers were amazing to watch too. Who knew warriors could dance?! There was so much food but I didn't eat much since I wasn't sure how long it had been since I last ate and didn't want to throw it back up.

"Do ya like the music, Sofi?"

I smiled and nodded, "Yeah! I really do."

"We can see about getting you one, if you'd like?"

"Gabrielle…" I heard Xena grumble.

I giggled as Gabrielle merely ignored her. "You can do that?"

She leaned down to whisper in my ear, "I am a Queen, I can do what I want."

"That's what she thinks," Xena whispered in my other ear, I looked up her at but there was only amusement on her face.

A few moments later, a hush fell over the crowd of gathered Amazons as the drummers and dancers ended their movements. It was then that Gabrielle called the children closer and began telling stories. I yawned, suddenly feeling sleepy. Xena scooped me up and put me in her lap. For a brief moment I felt like I was being babied again but I didn't protest.

I turned to look up, "I didn't know warriors cuddled."

She gave me that glare again but then she grinned as she quickly put her hand over my mouth, "Hush you."

I giggled and was tempted to lick the hand still covering my face but didn't want to push my luck. Instead, I settled down and listened to Gabrielle's story of Prometheus.

xgsxgs

After a time Xena noticed that Sofi had dozed off and signaled to the bard. Gabrielle wrapped up her third story of the evening and the trio made their way across the encampment to their tent. Once there they were pleasantly surprised to find that someone had thought to place another cot in the tent for Sofi.

"Well that was nice of whoever did it." Gabrielle spoke quietly as Xena laid the girl down and removed her footwear.

"I think it was Greta." The warrior mumbled. "Pretty sure I saw her leave the fire and come back a short time later."

Gabrielle nodded, tucking away the information for a later date. Right now, she was beyond tired and fairly certain that Xena was too. Without being asked, she silently slipped into their usual routine and began to unbuckle Xena's armor. One of the buckles refused to budge and she would have ended up in the dirt on her backside if it wasn't for Xena's reflexes.

"Nice catch Warrior."

"No problem Bard." She grinned as she pulled Gabrielle up, closer than necessary, and landed a quick kiss on her lips. "Now quit your foolin' around."

"Ha!" Gabrielle laughed, "I'll show you foolin' around!"

"Not tonight, ya won't Bri." Xena laughed quietly.

The bard huffed but acquiesced, removing her boots instead before crawling into bed. Once Xena was finished removing the rest of her armour and her boots, she joined Gabrielle. It wasn't long until the bard rolled over onto her stomach, placing her head upon Xena's chest. It had always been an easy way to fall asleep, listening to her Warrior's heartbeat. Suddenly her head popped up, effectively startling said warrior. "Xena!"

"Yes, Bri?"

"She's the one...Sofi! The one Aphrodite was talking about!"

It amazed Xena that, even after all the years that had gone by, Gabrielle sometimes still had the reactions of a young girl. "Yes Bri, she is."

"But that means-"

"What it means is that if you wake her up with your loud mouth, I'm gonna toss you in the lake!" The threat was empty, they both knew it. "Now lay back down and go to sleep. We will talk in the morning."

"But!"

"Gabrielle, I swear...utter one more word..." Again, an empty threat.

"Xe…" She jumped when Xena's hand lightly smacked the back of her leg. "Ow."

Kissing the bard's forehead, she whispered. "Love you. Now go to sleep. I mean it."

"Brat." Gabrielle huffed but settled down once more. "Love you too."