A/n: All right so I think I did a little better this time for the simple fact, that it's only been a little over a month since I updated last so enjoy! Thank you to all my readers/reviewers for sticking around. As always compliments and constructive criticism welcome.
"Eve, Zoe, Sam, and Zek!" Xena yelled. She had gotten a good six months of them as infants before they grew to the age of three and stopped. She was once again assured the aging process would now take decades. She came out of the kitchen wiping her hands.
Solan was working on his lessons in the forge and Daniel was out with the animals and Tabbai.
"Solan where did they hide?" Solan shrugged with a grin. She shook her head at him. She listened for a moment and heard one of them giggling. She knew her giggler would be Zoe. She also heard whimpering and that would be Zek for sure. He was a bit of a cry baby more than any of her other children. She easily plucked Zek out from behind a barrel and Zoe from behind a sack of corn.
"Two down, two to go." Zek was full on crying now to Xena's annoyance. She found Samantha hiding in the forge and Eve outside the gate which was going to get her in even more trouble with Xena.
"Mommy," Zek cried.
"Little girl what did I tell you about going outside of the gate!" Xena scolded. Eve gave her the puppy eyes and looked down with her lip poked out.
"Not to do it," She told her quietly.
"Exactly, now you get back in the house and help clean up the mess you made young lady." She got her four small children back into the house and they cleaned up the sack of flour they had all been playing in. Once it was all cleaned up she put them over her knee.
"Mommy," Zek cried two hours later. Xena sighed. None of her other children cried like Zek, Kaliepus had told her enough stories about Solan to know he was also fairly cooperative as well.
"Yes honey?" Xena asked. She had built an extra room when the boys were younger for their reading lessons. Now they were in it for their reading lesson.
"I don't know," Zek cried. She put Zek down for a nap and read with the others a little longer, she always allowed them to stay up a little longer if they were reading. If they goofed it was straight to bed for their nap. While they were down she trained with Solan and Daniel. When they woke up she spent time in the forge with Solan.
"So young," Cyrene commented as she instructed the children in their kung fu lesson.
"Just Kung Fu mother and hopefully this thing with Ares will be completely done soon and they'll only know the staff." Cyrene nodded as Eve started to goof off. "Evie you want mommy angry?" Eve looked at her wide eyed and innocent.
"Than what do you need to do?" Eve kicked the dirt as she reluctantly admitted what she needed to do.
"Practice." She got back on task, but not for long and the second time she got Zoe off task. While Eve sported brown hair and her eyes, Zoe was rocking hazel brown with such warmth that they in no way remotely reminded her of Ares. And her little Samantha was like a replica of herself. Zek took after Daniel in the best possible way except he cried a lot.
"Eve Mesi, Zoe Anemone, Samantha Willow, and Zek!" Zek was so scared the earth began to shake and little mounds of dirt raised to protect him from her vexation.
"Mama," Zek cried as his knees shook and he scrunched his body up in fear.
"I think we know what he does now," Solan commented.
"Azibo is earth in Egyptian," Daniel put in laughingly. Xena gave him a look and he shut up.
"You four had better fall in and give me twenty push ups now for your disobedience!" They quickly fell in although Zek tripped over the mound he had made. Eve and Zoe laughed at him as Xena helped him up and dusted him off. She glared at the girls.
"Just for that you girls have added on an extra ten now get to it." They frowned. She stopped Samantha at twenty as she had not laughed and Zek barely made it to twenty without a long struggle as Eve and Zoe finished their thirty. If she could even really call it a push up.
"Mama," Zek cried lying in the dirt. Xena watched him for a moment wondering how well Zek would fare around Ares, he whined constantly and was by his standards weak.
"Daniel Solan take the girls for a run." They nodded and did so. She sat down next to Zek, who slowly got up and climbed into her lap.
"Mama," Zek cried. She put her arms around him.
"Zek honey stop crying, you don't need to cry okay." Zek nodded and sniffed. "You gotta gain some confidence honey."
"I'm sorry Mama," He hiccupped. Xena kissed his forehead.
"You don't have to be sorry, mommy just wants you to believe in yourself and do your lessons better." Zek nodded.
"I get a middle name now?" He hiccupped. Xena smiled at him.
"Yeah I guess you can have the middle name Daniel gave you. You and I are going to have to start working on your control now." He nodded.
"I no weak no more mama?" He asked her wiping his eyes.
"Who said you were weak honey?" Xena asked him.
"Zoe and Eve cause I no have powers." She kissed his head.
"Well they're wrong, you were never weak, and you most definitely have power it just took a little while to get here cause mommy was very sick when she had you."
"Zoe say I still weak."
"Well you and I will show them how wrong they are okay. You are going to be so big and strong that they won't even recognize you."
"Really?" He asked. Xena nodded.
"Aren't you my son?" Zek nodded.
"And aren't your brothers big and strong." He nodded again.
"Than why wouldn't you be big and strong honey?" He shrugged not having an answer. "All right than so you know what you have to do, to be big and strong one day?" He shook his head. "You have to eat all your vegetables." He made a face.
"Mama no vegetables are yucky," He told her. She smiled at him.
"Yucky?" She asked him. "I think you're misguided on that. Besides Mama only got big and strong cause she ate her vegetables when she was your age." Zek shook his head.
"Nana say you give her lots of trouble." Xena chuckled as he looked at her with innocence.
"Okay maybe I gave Nana a little trouble, but still because she made me eat them I got big and strong."
"Really?" Zek asked. Xena nodded. "You make me eat them too so I grow big and strong."
"Of course little one I wouldn't think of not doing so." He nodded. "But that's not all you gotta do."
"It not?" Zek asked. Xena nodded.
"Nope see Mama designed all your lessons to help you," She pointed to him," grow big and strong when you're older."
"You did?" Zek asked. Xena nodded. "Even reading."
"Even reading, actually it is one of the lessons that contribute the most next to vegetables and exercise."
"Whoa," Zek said as if Xena had told him something mind blowing.
"Now what say you and I go running, and we're going to keep up with everybody huh." He nodded.
"Yeah, I keep up Mama, I grow big and strong." He was practically bouncing with anticipation now. He ran off ahead of her.
"You ate all your vegetables no trouble huh?" Cyrene asked. Xena grinned at her and shrugged her shoulders.
"Come on Mama!" Zek called.
"I'm needed mother." Xena ran off with Zek and they joined the others in their run.