Chapter Four

"You have met several ladies and only a few lords of my council who can keep their mouths shut when you have ventured outside of the section of the castle I have closed off for you. But tomorrow, everyone will be there, the revealing of my sister is of great importance to the people."

"Naturally."

"So let's see I have over the course of the year taught you all royal etiquette and diplomacy, the finer points of the church Catholic and Protestant, and you Anne have developed your skills in the weapons you weren't familiar with."

"Believe when I say I think you covered everything the only thing I didn't need to learn was Latin and Greek, I grew up speaking it." Queen Elizabeth chuckled.

"Yes, I suppose and I even got you use to Anne."

"Yes well, I would hope in private you can go back to Xena."

"Soon enough." Xena nodded. "I think you've all adjusted quite well actually. The children are careful in how they say things that might sound like they're from another dimension." Xena nodded.

"My children are very smart indeed." Queen Elizabeth nodded her agreement. "I'm curious about your history books or more what they say about me more than anything, though it appears I've missed a lot."

"Yes, you have, but what about you?"

"It states that I ran away from home at thirteen." Queen Elizabeth nodded. "And ever since that point I've been training and such. I've been painted to be a complete and utter whore."

"In our world that's what you did." Xena shook her head.

"No, see if there's a thing or two I've learned in my time in Ancient Greece is that within each dimension there's only a difference in choices made, which means a difference in your history, however there a key things that are true throughout."

"And what are those key things."

"For one I left home when I was seventeen."

"Why?"

"There was a raid on my village as you know. I know the choice here is to run or fight. In my world I chose to fight, but I failed. Cortese the man in charge raped me and my brother walked in. Cortese killed him and when his back was turned I slit his throat in my rage and anger."

"I knew the God of war was just a myth."

"Ares is no myth, the Gods are real and so is the one true God, you actually caught me when I was very knowledgeable in my life. I've met angels and demons all in the same year." Queen Elizabeth's eyes were a light.

"Continue with your life story, please." Xena smiled at her.

"Only if we lay down." Both women lay down on Queen Elizabeth's bed side by side in their night clothing so Xena could go straight to bed when their meeting had ended, but both found that they shared a lot of sleepless nights.

"So what happen after you took a man's life?" Xena could hear it in Queen Elizabeth's voice that she did not judge her.

"I dragged my brother's body home even though I was bleeding. When my mother saw my blood she thought perhaps my brother had caught me whoring myself and gotten killed in the process. She hadn't realized he'd run back to fight too. He wanted too as much as I did. We couldn't just see our home destroyed."

"I would die for England."

"And I suppose I will now too if it must come to that."

"England will forever be grateful." Xena nodded. "She kicked you out?"

"No, I had my own pain to deal with now aside from the one of my brother's death, I don't think she'll ever forget the look in my eyes with all the rage gone if only for those few days. I healed and for awhile the bloodlust that would late seize me disappeared. My elder brother ran off and I stayed in my mother's tavern all the time away from the villagers who now cursed me for the deaths of their sons."

"When did you leave?"

"I left the day I noticed a huge change in my body."

"You were pregnant."

"Yes, I cried for days on end, refusing any food or to even see my mother. Finally one night I left her a note saying I was going to kill myself because of the pregnancy. I left in the middle of the night and I walked for days eating and drinking nothing. I only stopped walking when I felt pain. And than I just lay in the forest until it finally went away."

"The baby was dead."

"Yes, I passed out and when I woke up I was in a village. With the baby gone there just seemed to be all this empty space, and than it happened."

"What happened?"

"The village was attacked by another army, and they were heading for Amphipolis next. The thought of my home being attacked again filled me with rage and worst of all, my mother could be the next casualty. I gathered all the men I could and slaughtered most of the army and the leader. I made them join mine and slaughtered the next army en route for Thrace. After that I took the surrounding villages around Amphipolis making them loyal to it."

"So you did to the villages what you had just saved them from."

"No, I was filled with rage, but I wasn't cruel. No I merely threatened and extracted a fee for my protection, however I never went back to Amphipolis except once. My mother was happy to see me, she thought I was dead, but when she found out I was heading the army and had threatened the other villages she became distant. I asked her how could she shun her own daughter and she told me her daughter was dead. Looking back I would say she was right, but I wasn't gone yet, I still had good intentions. It was after I met Caesar that I died."

"It must be a painful thing to die, I wonder how will die."

"Death isn't painful, it's peaceful. Sometimes we suffer before, but trust when that moment comes it'll be the most peace you'll ever feel. However it is a painful thing to die as I did during that time. I was twenty-seven when I just seemed to be reborn. From there I met Gabrielle, and she anchored me to this world. That's also how I know your histories are wrong, there's no Gabrielle. Gabrielle and I are soul mates no matter the dimension sooner or later we'll meet. And in the afterlife we'll be together."

"If only I could know such friendship, but I cannot trust people so deeply in my line of work."

"You can trust me, I don't betray my friends."

"Nor do I." They fell silent. "How did you end up with seven children?"

"Well as it happens Gabrielle and I were crucified, we died, and ended up in heaven, the heaven you think of with archangels and guardian angels and than there was hell full of its demons. I fought for God and than I switched places with a condemned and fought for the devil himself."

"How did you get back?"

"A prophet, I noticed that he did not exist in the bible."

"No, what happen when you two came back?"

"We battled the Gods, I was pregnant for the third time, my son had died two years earlier, a tale for another sleepless night. To make a long story short, I got pregnant like the virgin mary, the only difference was I wasn't a virgin. The war we fought left us all ragged, I was grateful in the end that I did not have to kill to fulfill God's plan. It left us all exhausted and lost with no answers. However my daughter was still a threat to them."

"The Gods killed her?" Xena nodded.

"It was the first time I had spilled a God's blood, Zeus was no longer needed. Gabrielle blamed herself and I blamed myself, eventually I convinced her to go rule the Amazons as their Queen." Tears ran down Xena's eyes as she remembered Eve's beautiful smile.

"How long after your daughter's death?"

"Not long, we had just gone to Egypt on vacation when Cleopatra, yes the Cleopatra sent us a scroll. Either Brutus or Marc Anthony had murdered her; Rome wanted control of Egypt. So therefore I pretended to be her and seduced Marc Anthony. I could not do the same for Brutus for he recognized us on sight. When it was all said and down Gabrielle had taken Brutus' life and I had been forced to take Anthony's. After that we traveled a few more weeks together lost and finally we just parted as if we were still completely happy before God made us apart of his little plan. I was pregnant with Chastity than. Ares, Hercules, and Autolycus helped me to build my new home away from the world aside from a village."

"And the others?"

"When Chastity was two I wanted more children, so I picked the best possible traveler who I knew would never settle down and was of course good looking and convinced him to sleep with me. Just turned out he was a good lay and came back twice over the next two years. He knew about the girls, but I told him that I had wanted them on purpose after that he never came back. Than I married Eric, who I thought was a good person, but he just wanted to keep me in the house, you know that mind set, that's not me, I'm a free spirit and my girls are free spirits. We had Henry, Edward, and Elizabeth. I had just ended it with him weeks before Elizabeth's birth, before the storm."

"Did you ever travel again?"

"Not in the sense I did before God. I swore to Chastity before she was born that she would have a proper home with a room, farm animals, and all that. She was going to grow up a village girl, and I know eventually I will teach her to fight, already now she knows skeletal movements of the staff as does Lexie. But all in good time I say."

"Perhaps you could begin teaching me, I need new things to do with my time."

"Sure thing." They were silent again as they were finally getting tired.

"Is this what its like to have a real sister, I understand what its like to have a brother, but is this what real sisters do."

"This is what close sisters do, they stay up late talking about anything, sometimes there is giggling, and other times there's just comfortable silence. But it is also what best friends do."

"Than you are both my sister and best friend."

"Your people will not think so, the servants talk, I've been kind to them yes, but they talk."

"People always talk, just show them that you are like me and listen. Show them that you truly do care and that you are a devout protestant."

"Naturally." There was knock on the door. Queen Elizabeth sat up.

"Enter." Kat Ashley walked in.

"Forgive me my Queen, Princess, but the young Princess Elizabeth wishes for her mother and she won't stop crying."

"Good night Elizabeth."

"Good night Xena." Xena smiled at her before Kat Ashley helped her with her robe on before walking out with her with the lamp. Poor Elizabeth was crying in her bed and her nanny could do nothing. The nanny however was only around if Xena were doing something where the youngest of the children might find injury otherwise she saw plenty of her mother and Xena in fact would punish her if she didn't call for her when she wanted her. She would not have her dependent on the nanny.

"Its all right, I'm here." They watched them as Xena climbed into bed with her. "Leave us." The nanny and Kat Ashley left to their own beds as Elizabeth calmed down. Elizabeth snuggled up next to her mother in a little ball pushing her little feet closer to Xena. Xena never understood how the girl had such cold feet. She rubbed her feet to get some warmth into them. Xena hummed softly Elizabeth's lullaby as she put her arms around her until they were both fast asleep.

"I'm sorry to wake you Princesses, but the Queen bids I must do so, we have a very busy day." Xena nodded as she yawned and pulled Elizabeth out of bed with her. She took her morning bath with her before seeing to the other children before she finally let the nannies do their jobs.

"Mother," Chastity greeted coming into her room while she was a lone for a minute.

"What did you call me?"

"Mother."

"No, Chastity you're not allowed to say anything other than mommy or momma understood?"

"Yes ma'am," Chastity said. She didn't like to be scolded and she knew Xena meant what she said because she didn't scold them often not even when they got dirty.

"It's all right, I love you." Chastity smiled.

"I love you too Momma."

"See now that is music to my ears." Chastity giggled and wished her mother could pick her up but their dresses made that impossible, however she would make up for it when she was dressed for bed and than she would get her chance. "And I'll be waiting." Chastity grinned.

"When this is all over can we wear trousers and go horse back riding or hunting?"

"You bet."

"And can you start teaching me the staff."

"I guess its time we worked it into your life."

"Me too Momma?" Lexie asked excitedly.

"You're only six Lexie, you have to wait until your eight." Lexie frowned.

"But Chastity gets to do it."

"Chastity is eight years old darling." Lexie frowned but accepted her fate to wait another two years.

"Don't worry I'll teach you secretly, Lex," Chastity told her in her loud child whisper. Lexie grinned happily.

"Hey guys it's not a secret if I know about it," Xena told them in just a loud of a whisper. They giggled and she chased them around the room. Aurelia happily joined the chase along with the others when they entered. Today was going to be a long day Xena knew, but at least they were all going to start it off happy.