Disclaimer: I do not own the characters of Xena: Warrior princess. They belong to MCA Universal.
Sexual Content warning!
For a year now Xena had been trying to live in peace without her soul mate. It was hard without him, but he had left her a son and he kept things bright just as his father had. She finished clearing around the small blue urn that held his ashes. She stopped her movements and thought back to when they had first confessed their love for each other.
Xena fanned herself in the growing heat as she and Gabrielle walked through the many orchards in the area. A small river that looked to be about waist deep flowed through the orchard heading off into many little bamboo pipes buried underground. Gabrielle chattered on and on about her relationship with the guy in the last town. Xena scoffed and rolled her eyes, thankfully Gabrielle didn't hear her.
'Oh my Gods she is such a child. That guy wanted nothing to do with her.'
Xena's mind drifted back to last night when they had arrived in the small tavern when it had drizzled until the ground was soaked and than some. There had been only room for one in the only room left so she had decided to let Gabrielle take it while she slept in the barn. A cute guy had been smiling at them all night. The twinkle in his blue eyes let her know he was not who he seemed to be. Gabrielle had a crush on him almost immediately. She was so naïve, every guy that smiled at her or told her she was sweet she fell for until they met the next guy.
The truth of the matter is he was looking at her the whole time and every so often she'd shoot him a look as if studying him. There was something about him that reminded her of someone. She watched Gabrielle skip off to bed waving at the guy who waved back politely, but kept his eyes on Xena as she departed the tavern for the barn. She was hanging her leathers and shift to dry as she stood in her bra in panties as he walked in.
"Hmm…black panties were you waiting for me?" He asked in a very familiar voice. Xena grinned and looked down as she shook out her shift and hung it over the stall door.
"I don't know, but is that a dagger you've got hidden there or are you just happy to see me?" Xena asked turning around slowly. This was not the same guy who'd been making eyes at her all night. His eyes drank in her cleavage and made their way down her voluptuous curves and flat stomach where the outline of her abs were just beginning to show. Still his eyes went further down to examine her shapely legs.
"It's a dagger," He said pulling it out. Xena recognized the symbol immediately.
"Hmm…so you're working for one of Hera's armies now?" Xena asked. He shrugged.
"From time to time, but that's not who sent me after you," He replied. Xena nodded respecting his honesty. He always was an honest boy.
"You know your mother would not approve of this."
"My mother doesn't care for me."
"You're wrong about her you know, she always asking after you whenever I pass through, she misses you a great deal."
"Yeah, right if anything the bitch just wants to add to this scar on my face." Xena once again took note of the burn scars that covered his face and the left half of his body from a childhood accident.
"That wasn't your mother's fought."
"Of course it is, all she ever wanted to do was keep me chained and locked up forever. She's the reason why no woman will have me, so I've made it my life's work to eliminate beautiful women like you and I've been waiting thirteen years to get back at you."
"So because you were unfortunate to be in an accident as a child and because I refused to date you."
"You refused to go to the Festival of Aphrodite with me instead you went with that jerk!" Xena sighed and noticed the barn door opening behind him, but he didn't turn obviously unaware.
"You're right, I was wrong to go off with that ass when you were such a nice boy." She walked up slowly and rubbed the side of his face. She made to kiss him than stopped just as his arm was lowering and he was leaning in for the kiss.
"What, what is it?" He asked.
"I like nice boys now, but you're bad, and you know what I do to naughty boys?" Xena asked in a husky tone that he didn't take it as a warning, but rather something that turned her on.
"What?" He asked in a weak voice. Xena almost laughed.
"I make them pay for all their crimes," She said. She kneed him in the stomach and disarmed him at the same time. She knocked him out. The guy who had actually been making eyes at her clapped.
"Bravo, for a minute there I thought he had you." Xena laughed.
"As if." Xena stared at him. He looked strangely familiar, but she couldn't pinpoint where she knew him. "Where have I met you before?"
"Oh!" He stopped leaning on the wall and snapped his fingers. Suddenly he was dressed in only a dark silk lion cloth and thin black arm bands.
"Oh!" Xena exclaimed and slapped her forehead. "Of course you're one of Aphrodite's priests."
"No, not yet, but I will be," He said suggestively. " Right now I'm merely the messenger boy."
"So Aphrodite has a message for me?" Xena asked.
"No, someone else, who Aphrodite kindly let use me." He walked up to her and pulled her close. She just barely had time to think before his hot lips crushed hers in a searing kiss. He pulled back waiting to see if she gave a signal to continue or back off even though that was the message.
"You wanna try that without the magic?" Xena asked.
"Nope, sorry that was the message and it was from Hercules."
"I thought that you kissed strangely alike, anything else?" Xena asked hopeful. Any excuse to get the hot messenger boy to kiss her again before her mind could fully register why Hercules was sending her a message like this so early in the year. Usually he just wrote so fake letter just in case Gabrielle intercepted it.
"Yeah, but this one is from me." He kissed her again and it was definitely different and lacked Hercules passion. Before Xena could finish one thought he was holding her up against the stall door and filling her almost as well as Hercules, but it felt just as good.
"Are you sure that was all you?" Xena asked as lay in the hay feeling to weak to stand on her feet in a good way as she breathed hard.
"No, that was part of his message, but he wanted me to just do the rest out of nowhere and it worked."
"Yeah, thank God, so any verbal message from him?" Xena asked hoping their wasn't and that there was a more physical nature to it.
"Yes, he says he hoped you enjoyed the first half of his message."
"Definitely did," Xena replied. He grinned.
"Secondly He's really sorry, but he can't meet you in Syros, but he'll catch you again later."
"What!" Xena exclaimed. "But I've gotten rid of Gabrielle for a whole two weeks. What the hell am I suppose to occupy my time with?" The man shrugged.
"I do not know and I'm terribly sorry." Xena sighed.
"No, no don't be sorry its not your fought he had me clear my schedule just for the sake of his being friends with benefits."
"Do you have a message back?" He asked.
"Yeah, tell him there won't be a next time." He nodded and disappeared. Xena hit the ground as she dressed and took her old friend to the town jail. He could stand crime here for all she cared. She went back to the barn and could not sleep.
"XENA!" Gabrielle exclaimed. Xena snapped her head to look at her.
"Yes?" Xena asked.
"Stop daydreaming and listen to me, Gods its hot can't we rest."
"Yeah sure whatever." They stopped and Xena sat under a peach tree after settling Argo under a tree large enough to provide shade of her. She hit the tree and two peaches came down. She tossed one to Gabrielle.
"Thanks, now I was saying I think you should visit home with me, I think the longer you're willing to stay in my family's company the more they'll grow to like you." Xena sighed.
"I told you I only care if your sister doesn't like me and your mom isn't pleasant towards me." Gabrielle made a noise like a whine. "No, Gabrielle besides Lila likes me and your mother is pleasant to me so long as I make sure that you get back home more often. That's what I'm doing, so don't argue with me, I told you I'd meet up there with you to stay at least another week and than we were going to Amphipolis. So we can all have a nice solstice."
"Oh Solstice can't wait just you, me, your mother, my family."
"Your family?" Xena asked.
"Yes, I haven't had a solstice with them in ages."
"I knew there was a reason it was so hot today when it was so close to winter," Xena said. "I'm in hell!"
"Xena!" Gabrielle scolded. "Your mother won't nag you that bad." Xena looked at her in disbelief and rolled her eyes.
"You're right, she won't," Xena said shaking her head as she cut open her peach and ate it. It was perfect. Gabrielle decided to bath in the river. She was pour water over her upper half when she disappeared in a flash of golden light and Aphrodite stood in front of her.
"What did you do to Gabrielle?" Xena asked coming to the conclusion that it was Aphrodite who took her away.
"Don't worry she's in one of my temples in Potedia, anyway you have to hurry into Syros there's a band of centaurs terrorizing the village."
"Centaurs, but they aren't evil, maybe its minotaurs."
"Whatever like I know the difference, my point is its terrorizing the town and they desperately need your help. I mean so much for a peaceful couple of weeks with Hercules."
"Hercules canceled on me Dite."
"What!" She exclaimed.
"Yeah, just last night."
"That bastard I'll kill him, anyway hurry into town already, if you want I can return Gabs since…" Xena held up her hand.
"No, no leave her there, and spare me."
"Okay Warrior babe, but when you get done we're going to get manicures those nails are looking horrible." Xena looked at her nails as she stood up and untied Argo.
"I know, I had an appointment for midday just after I got Gabrielle on the rode to Potedia, but looks like I'm going to have to reschedule.
"Warrior babe what is wrong with you, pretty girls like us don't wait."
"Who said I was going to wait?" Xena asked. "That's just when I wanted to do it." They laughed as Xena mounted Argo.
"Good luck!" Aphrodite disappeared. Xena led Argo to the rode going through the orchard and set off for Syros at a gallop. She took out her whip when she saw the Minotaur about to destroy a pregnant woman who had just been to slow. She used her whip and was soon choking him. He let go of the woman and was dragged until he pulled back. Xena back flipped off her horse with the whip still in hand and onto its back. She used pressure points on its arms and neck before she took out her sword and plunged it into the beast's heart. There was cheering as she had defeated the Minotaur in record time.
"The record now belongs to the warrior princess!" Xena looked confused as they explained about the Minotaur fights. Many a young warrior had been sent to their deaths. She now held the record for the fastest kill of a Minotaur. The pregnant woman was not impressed by the games and thanked her for saving her from that monster. She alone seemed to recognize that Xena had not done it for the title.
"Please come stay in my home, there's no room at the tavern because of the games." Xena nodded. The woman had a nice comfortable place in the middle of town. She lived upstairs above the main who owned the home.
"So where's your husband?" Xena asked.
"I don't have one," She said. Xena nodded.
"Is he even around?" Xena asked.
"No, he ran off months ago, don't trouble yourself. My father comes into town from his farm when he can. When I give birth and the baby has lived a few months we'll take him out to the farm where I'll raise him. You see it's a long way to the farm and the healer is here so I stay here." Xena nodded her understanding.
"I understand." Xena rested a little before proceed with her plans to get her nails done at Aphrodite's insistence.
"My nails look so much better," Xena said looking at them. She went to the tavern and used the bathing house there. Once her hair dried it had more shine and volume that ever.
"So should we go to a club?" Aphrodite asked.
"I've got two weeks to myself of course we should go to a club, this two weeks is about nothing but relaxing." They went to the club and Xena found herself bored with every guy all she could do was compare them to Hercules.
"You're doing it again," Aphrodite said as she sipped her drink. Xena looked up from her huge colorful ice drink.
"Doing what?" Xena asked.
"You're thinking about Hercules again."
"No, I'm not, I told you we're just friends with benefits and now there are no more benefits."
"Please benefits were just an excuse for you two to be together because you can't admit you love each other."
"I don't love him in the way you're suggesting."
"Yeah you do, you got it bad, you're angry at him for canceling because it's the only time you two have to be together. If you ask me you told him it was over because you want something more and you're done settling even if you won't admit it."
"I am not."
"What do you dream about?"
"I always dream about this nice house in a valley full of laughter lately, why?" Xena asked. Aphrodite and her had two very different personalities, but she could say more to Aphrodite than she could Gabrielle, and Aphrodite loved to gossip.
"When you look at children, you think?"
"I think about Solan and than sometimes I think about having more, but that'll never happen, why?"
"And when you think of Hercules?" Xena sighed.
"I think he's the sweetest most caring guy in the world and I wonder how I make it from day to day without him." Xena sighed again and groaned. She was in love with him.
"I have it bad don't I?" Xena asked.
"Yeah, and best part is its natural love, no potion from me or arrow from Cupid, its all you." Xena groaned even more.
"Do you know where he is?" Xena asked. Aphrodite nodded.
"He's in Cornith fighting off some Spartans."
"Do you mind?" Xena asked.
"No, not at all." She snapped her fingers and put Xena right in the middle of the battle in all her armor and weapons to her relief as she began fighting.
"Xena!" Hercules exclaimed. She turned as she wounded a Spartan. He fought his way over. "When, how, what are you doing here?"
"I just got here, I have to tell you something," Xena said as she slashed another opponent.
"So you fought your way here to the center to tell me?" He asked. She shook her head and through her chakram and caught it again before she turned.
"No, Aphrodite!" She yelled. He nodded as he started to get pushed in another direction.
"What is it than?" He asked thinking it must be really important. If the Spartans hadn't attacked he would have ran to her immediately just so she would not be angry with him. He hated to see her upset in any way.
"I love you," She said.
"What?" He asked loudly. He couldn't hear her over the war cries, swords, and armor.
"I love you!"
"What!" He yelled back.
"I love you!!" Xena yelled really loud. He still couldn't hear her.
"She loves you!" Five people shouted even from the Spartans.
"Oh," He said shocked. To Xena he seemed surprised and his face seemed to say he didn't hold the same feelings for her. A tear dropped from her eye as she continued fighting as they got separated.
"Aphrodite!" Xena shouted. Aphrodite appeared.
"Can you give me a lift to Amphipolis?" Xena asked she had a thigh wound that wasn't deep, but just deep enough and a shoulder wound. They had been fighting for a week straight non-stop but the Spartans had finally backed off. On any other day it would have been a beautiful night, but the red color the moon seemed to have surrounding it was a reflection on the devastation below her.
"Sure thing sweet pea," Aphrodite said frowning. Xena looked exhausted and tired. Worst of all Aphrodite sensed a broken heart.
"Xena!" Hercules yelled running towards her. Xena took Aphrodite's hand and they disappeared. When she appeared in Amphipolis.
"Thanks Dite, I'll call you and we can go to the Spa you were trying to get me too last year." Aphrodite squealed in delight, but she was very upset with Hercules.
"I'll set everything up, you just relax and heal as much as you can." Xena nodded and Aphrodite disappeared.
"Argo is in the stable," She said as she picked up her saddlebags off the ground beside her.
"Thank you." She limped to her mother's home and not the tavern on the side of it. Nobody ever realized that her mother actually had a house. She knocked on the door when her key didn't work. She had forgotten her mother changed the lock often because they always seemed to rust. After about ten minutes her mother finally opened the door.
"Xena?" She asked holding up the candle.
"Yes," Xena said. Cyrene let her in and she sat down in the first chair she spotted as she dropped her bags. Cyrene lit more candles so the room was well lit. When she saw her daughter covered in blood and holding her arm she became worried.
"Xena, what happened, did someone attack you?" Cyrene asked.
"No, I was helping to fight off the Spartans down in Cornith," Xena groaned. Her wounds were a bit infected. She hadn't had time to stop and clean the wounds, they hadn't let her off the battle field.
"Oh no, how long have you had the wounds?" Cyrene asked.
"I don't two maybe three days," Xena answered. "I've been fighting for a week straight non-stop." Cyrene shook her head as she thought about how days from now someone could have come carrying her daughter's ashes to her if they didn't bury her there. The thought sickened Cyrene. She didn't want to lose another child to war. She got clean cloth, bandages, water, and herbs before she put a pot of tea on in the kitchen where she helped a weak Xena. She felt her forehead and noticed a slight fever forming that would only get worse if left untreated. She noticed that her daughter was only wearing her leathers and not her armor.
"Where's your armor?" Cyrene asked.
"Had to discard it when it became useless," Xena replied taking deep breaths. Cyrene made Xena sit in a tub as she rinsed the blood off her with cold water in front of the fire. While Xena sat in a chair in front of the fire drinking her tea she slowly cleaned each wound. The infection was so bad she would have to burn it out as she had feared. It was amazing that Xena was just getting a fever.
"How bad is it?" Xena asked. She couldn't focus on a single thing in the room. She kept looking around but things were getting blurry and spinning around her. Her stomach was starting to do flips, but she hadn't eaten in a week. All the same something was coming up.
"Mom," She uttered before she turned side ways and threw up stomach fluids and bile.
"When was the last time you ate?" Cyrene asked inspecting it for blood or worms. When she saw it contained no food she became even more worried. Xena shrugged. Cyrene decided to do her leg first.
"Xena, I have to burn out the infection in your leg and arm before I can put a poultice on it and sew it back up, okay," Cyrene said soothingly. She kissed her forehead as Xena braced herself for the intense pain. Cyrene did so quickly. Xena kept quiet but she fainted. Cyrene did the other wound and resolved to finish patching up her daughter when she was in bed.
Cyrene was a strong woman and easily carried her daughter upstairs. She was lighter than she looked. Once Xena was in bed she retrieved her supplies and sewed up her wound before applying a poultice on it. She wrapped them both securely. She went to a drawer full of clean shifts for her daughter as well as her old winter night tunic. The temperatures dropped every night and she couldn't have her daughter freezing.
The next day, Cyrene put someone else in charge of the tavern as she nursed her daughter back to health. It was like that for a week before Xena was well enough to even remember how she had gotten to Amphipolis so fast. The infection had come back sick times before the wounds began to heal properly.
"I still can't believe my room hasn't changed," Xena said. She had been in her room several times before, but she never expected her mother not to move anything in her room.
"I like it this way, it reminds me of you, and if it changes I want you to be the one to change it." Xena smiled a little and leaned against her mother as she stroked her head.
"Xena can I ask you something?" Cyrene asked.
"Yeah sure I guess." Xena wondered if she might regret saying yes when she heard whatever her mother had to ask.
"Who were you talking too when you said why don't you love me, I love you." Xena's body stiffened as she remembered the look on Hercules face when she had told him how she felt. She had never felt so hurt in her eye life.
"Don't cry, I love you," Cyrene said wiping her eyes. Xena blinked as more tears spilled out.
"No, no its not you I know you love me."
"Than who Gabrielle is that why she's not here?" Cyrene asked. Xena shook her head.
"No, I sent her to visit her family over a week ago."
"Than tell me what happened you never know it might make you feel better." Xena sighed.
"Well I was club hopping with Aphrodite when she pointed out that I kept turning down guys because I was thinking of Hercules among other things and the fact of the matter is I love him." Cyrene felt for her daughter.
"Well sweetie you can't lay here stressing and crying if you don't even tell him. Don't assume rejection." Xena smiled at her mother.
"I did tell him mother."
"He rejected you?" Cyrene asked.
"He didn't have too, I saw the look on his face when I told him."
"Oh Xena, I'm sorry, but if he doesn't feel that way about you than he is the biggest idiot in the known world. You're a great woman and you can do much better than him anyway with someone who will love you." Xena nodded.
"I'm worried though I think my biological clock is ticking."
"Awe," Cyrene said.
"Not awe I'm going to become desperate over this."
"No, you won't you're only twenty-five you've got plenty of child bearing years left and just as many to find the right guy for you," Cyrene comforted. "You're going to be just fine."
"I hope so." Soon Xena was up and about and decided that she would personally retrieve Gabrielle instead of sending her a letter after a rejuvenating spa day with her mother and Aphrodite.
"Be careful your wounds are still healing and the first snow just fell so keep warm and I've cooked all the food you'll need until you get to Potedia and make sure her mother does not send you guys on your way without cooked food I do not want you hunting."
"Okay god mother why don't you just come with me." Xena finished putting the food in the bag when her mother became strangely silent. She looked at her and saw the look on her face. "Now mother let's not get any crazy ideas I'm just going to…"
"Don't say another word, I am coming," Cyrene said. They both set out for Potedia. Cyrene refused to let her do anything to she just lazed in her saddle only keeping alert as she thought about Hercules. Cyrene could see her daughter was smitten with Hercules, she obviously really loved him. She hated to see her suffering from a broken heart and if she weren't around she'd be crying her eyes out. They went to Potedia to get Gabrielle and Xena returned to Amphipolis with her mother and Gabrielle's entire family thinking she was a spoiled woman who had her mother wait on her like a servant. Which wasn't true, her mother did it because she wanted too while Xena protested against it.
"Mother, do you really have to bath me?" Xena asked.
"Xena you have a shoulder wound in your right arm so yes, I do." She continued to wash her.
"Can I at least dress myself mommy, I'm a big girl I can do it," Xena said in a mocking tone. Cyrene sighed and shot her a look, but nodded.
"Yes, I guess you can be a big girl today," Cyrene teased pinching her cheeks. Xena growled.
"Xena!" Hercules shouted when they reached Amphipolis. "I've been looking everywhere for you." Everyone went inside as she took the two horses to the stable at Cyrene's command. Hedotus had already gone in to stable his horse that pulled the wagon.
"What do you want?" Xena asked. Her face was emotionless and rigid.
"I wanted to tell you I'm sorry if I did anything to hurt you, I love you, and I hate to see you upset." Xena shook her head at him.
"Look Hercules I don't have time for you to waste my life yanking my heart around on a chain. I saw the look on your face when I told you how I felt, you don't love me."
"I do love you I swear on my dead children's grave, that I love you more than life itself."
"I want to believe you, but I won't let you snap my heart in two you've already broken it."
"Than I have sinned," He replied as they walked into the barn. Hedotus left out not paying them any attention just assuming he was trying to pay her less than what she asked for services.
"If you love me than prove it, purge your sin."
"Then move not, while my prayer's effect I take. Thus from my lips, by yours, my sin is purged." He kissed her passionately so passionately in fact that she knew only a man who loved her could kiss her that way.
"Sin from thy lips? O trespass sweetly urged! Give me my sin again," Xena whispered. He kissed her again and again as he professed his love for her.
"Mommy," She heard the voice of her son say. She turned around. He was so short for a two-year-old, but Xena figured he'd have growth spurt once he got older and if not so be it. He smashed a tomato into his brown hair and smiled. He reminded her so much of his father.
"Jason Gabriel!" Xena cried in a scolding tone, but he just continued to laugh. Xena sighed, how could she get mad at him for being a toddler. She turned back to the urn.
"I wish you could see your son," She muttered before picking up Jason and took him into the kitchen to wash his hair.