Disclaimer: I do not own Xena or any characters on the show.
Sex: Mentions sex for political reasons.
Violence: There's always violence in Xena.
Note: Solan has been renamed Janardan. You'll see why. Takes place after that whole little thing with Lao Ma except different.
A New Beginning
"Lao Ma, you've given so much to me," Xena said as they had their afternoon tea in the garden before she departed four months after the battle with Ming Tzu. It was unfortunate, but he had killed Lao Ma's son when she attempted to take him back from him.
" No, you have given yourself so much. You were lucky to find your way back to the path of good you will now walk." Xena nodded and sighed as she tapped her teacup with her hand and looked in it.
"I think I will just let myself fade until I am but a distant memory for awhile," Xena answered. Lao Ma turned to her.
"Something troubles you now, what is it?" Lao Ma asked. Xena paced the stone walkway they sat on shielded from the son.
"I don't know if I should keep the child I am sure I carry. Before it was different, my life had no room for a child and now that I'm on this path of good different feelings have been released, you know?" She turned to face her mentor.
"Did you tell Borias?" Lao Ma asked. Xena shook her head.
"No, I had to let him go, I knew that if we stayed together we'd end up back in the same place. I love him, but my love for him is not the same as his love for me."
"He would want to know," Lao Ma replied. Xena nodded.
"Maybe one day I'll tell him, but right now I need to figure out if I want this child or not. I need to know if I can even keep this child."
"Of course you can keep the child, the child is being created within you. Motherhood is the greatest gift of nature and we as women should not throw it away like some bad shirt we got for New Year's." Xena nodded as she listened to her.
"I suppose, but…"
"Xena, if you choose to remain here all your days I will not willingly sit by and watch you give your child away. Do not end up separated from you child like I was from my son. Don't make my mistake."
"And if I choose to leave?" Xena asked.
"Then there is nothing I can do after you leave to prevent you from doing what you will with the child. Leave the child here if you like and go about your life. Or be in the child's life. Be the mother you've always wanted to be."
"Who to say, I've always wanted to be a mother?" Xena asked.
"The look in your eyes and your body language. You've got it bad and everything about you says it except your mind." Xena stared at Lao Ma contemplating her words before turning around. "Do me this one favor Xena."
"What's that?" Xena asked.
"Keep the baby at least a year, give him a chance at life before you make your final decision." Xena nodded. So five months later she gave birth to a baby boy and Lao Ma dressed him in soft silk and cotton. During that five months she sent her mother a letter to tell her how much she still loved her, about her grandson, and that she was in Chin only to have the messenger come back and tell her, her mother had returned to their homeland.
"Where is the homeland?" Lao Ma asked.
"India," Xena answered. Lao Ma nodded as she watched Xena.
"You've been thinking of returning there haven't you." Xena nodded.
" I love it here in Chin, but I have faith that you can rule Chin without the need for a warrior princess, I've trained your soldiers the warrior I've trained as my apprentice is very loyal to you."
"You've accomplished so much even while pregnant, you're truly the ultimate warrior."
"Please I don't deserve your praise."
"When will you set out?" Lao Ma asked.
"When Janardan is a year old. I made a promise to not make a decision until then, but my need to see my mother again has made it clear I must leave."
"And Janardan when he is a year, what will you do with him?" Lao Ma asked. Xena looked down at Janardan who was nursing well for once in the last week.
"Must you even ask?" Xena asked. "You once told me that everything about me except my mind screamed for me to be a mother. You were right they did and when he entered this world only a month ago my heart screamed it so loud and clear that my mind knew at once. My mind no longer ignored the messages the rest of my body was trying to send it. I love him more than any man could ever know. He's not leaving my side until he must travel his own rode in life without me." Lao Ma smiled. She knew if Xena only spent time with her child that she would see the wrong in giving him away.
"Xena I've been doing a lot of thinking and I want Janardan to be the heir to the throne and I will bestow on you the powers of Regent should Janardan become Emperor in my untimely demise."
"You will live a long time I do not need that title," Xena said.
"I like to think so too, but there are men still in Chin who do not want a woman to rule them. They will make a fuss over Janardan and I. You will stop it, but I'd like to ensure that my Godson is not corrupted by anyone while you're out keeping things in order if you must return." Xena nodded as she thought about it all. Janardan could easily become Emperor in India and there would definitely be people to corrupt him. She decided to make steps now to prevent corruption.
"All right, I will step up as Regent only for my son and for you whenever I reside in the land of Chin." Lao Ma smiled and nodded. In Janardan's third month she named him heir in a big festival. Xena spent lots of time putting down uprisings and making loyal men out of Lao Ma's army. Everyone feared, but they respected her as well. She was merciful only to those who deserved something so precious as mercy and she never ever abused her power as regent. Lao Ma trusted her with her life and saved her many times from assassinations when Lao Ma was not quick enough. Janardan was guarded just as fiercely if not even more as he came to be excepted by the people. He was two years old when everything was in order and they loved him.
Everyone was sad to see them go, but she knew there was always those few. But she had taught the warriors everything they knew and they had all studied the martial arts together. Lao Ma was secure as Empress of Chin. She promised to be back as frequently as possible.