GABRIELLE'S HOPE?

By: BladeMstrs

DISCLAIMERS: The characters of Xena and Gabrielle, the title of this story (minus the strategically placed question mark which is all mine, mine do you hear?) and the basic premise belong to Universal, MCA and which ever other PTB wishes to claim 'em. I'm not making any money off this effort.

GENRE: This is a parody of the X:WP episode (ok, think real real hard now, you can do it) Gabrielle's Hope.

SUBTEXT: Ayup, it's there. Nothing too graphic, though.

COMMENTS: Can be addressed to BladeMstrs@aol.com. Idiotic comments will be nuked.


Xena and the bard were in a passionate bruising clinch. Things were just starting to get interesting, what with Gabrielle's hand travelling steadily lower over hot, leathered warrior flesh. Things came to an abrupt standstill, however, when the little blonde turned her head and heaved her breakfast all over the rocky ground.

Sliding off Xena's lap, the bard got on all fours, her blonde hair swinging in front of her face, strings of saliva hanging from her lips.

"You ok?" Xena asked, patting her back.

"What does it look like?" Gabrielle replied from between clenched teeth.

"Sor-RY," Xena replied, removing her hand.

"Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrhuuuuuuuuuuuuuuunnnnnnnnnhhhhhhhhhhh," Gabrielle stated emphatically.

Sitting back against a convenient log, the warrior cupped a hand over her mouth and exhaled, then tested the air. Nope, that wasn't it. Though she vaguely wondered why, if toothbrushes and Crest with Flouristat hadn't been invented yet, her breath retained its' minty freshness day after day. Of course, those hundreds who had chared such intimate clinches with the ravishing Warrior Princess knew that for her to have teeth that brilliantly white and straight, Xena had to be on a first name basis with Dentistius, god of teeth, and his older brother Orthodontistius.

"Any better?" the warrior asked her heaving companion.

"Arrrrrrrrrrrrrhuuuuuuuuuuuunnnnnnnnnhhhhhhhhhhhh," Gabrielle stated emphatically.

'Well, isn't this just grand,' Xena thought archly. She had spent the past two days cutting a bloody swath through the minions of their latest arch villain-of-the-week and her battle lust was at a fever pitch. Just when she was finally gonna get some, this had to happen. She drummed long fingers on the ever conveniant log.

"Stop it," Gabrielle hissed, shooting her a look as she gripped her heaving stomach.

Xena raised a loaded eyebrow.

"Stop that Tartarus blasted drumming, Xena. I mean it."

"What, this?" her companion asked, continuing to drum on the log.

"I'm warning you," the bard replied nastily. "If you don't stop it right now, I swear I'll turn you into the Warrior Prince! Aaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrnnnnnnnnggggggggghhhhhhhhh."

"Isn't that supposed to be the other way around, my love?" Xena asked, still drumming.

Gabrielle gave a significant look from Xena's sword to Xena's armor covered chest. "Don't bet on it," she grumbled before heaving again.

"We're a bit testy this morning, aren't we," Xena noted sagely.

"Yes," the bard mumbled. "We are." She collapsed against Xena, her head resting on the warrior's chest. "I'm sorry," she sighed, bathing Xena in eau de puke breath, perfume of the gods. "I don't know what's wrong with me."

"I dunno either," Xena replied. "Maybe it was the fuzzy baby bunny stew with oozing leech sauce we just ate?"

"Arrrrrrrrrrrrruuuuuuuuuuuunnnnnnnnnnnhhhhhhhhh," Gabrielle stated, right down the bodice of Xena's battle dress.

"Oh ick," her companion replied. "Gabrielle!"

"Sor-RY. Sheesh, Xena. You're supposed to love me." The bard pouted.

Sigh. "You know I do." Trademark quirky grin inserted here. "What's a little puke between friends?"

The warrior stood and pressed the soaked leather to her chest in a futile attempt to keep this morning's breakfast from pooling between her breasts. "Will you be ok for a minute while I go was this off?" she asked.

"Arrrrrrrrruuuuuuuuuuuuuunnnnnnnnnhhhhhhhhh."

"I'll take that as a 'yes'."


Walking quickly to the convenient body of water, Xena stripped naked and squatted on the bank, cupping water into her large hands and washing her chest. "HEY!" she shouted, whirling quickly as she felt a hard pinch to her naked posterior.

Her eyes found nothing. "Gabrielle?"

No answer.

"Gabrielle, if you're playing a joke, I'm not laughing." She scanned the forest edge, giving the space her LOOK. Four huge trees yellowed and imploded.

"HEY! CUT THAT OUT!" Another pinch to her butt.

"Listen, whoever you are. I'm not in a very good mood. So show yourself. Or else."

A giggle.

A pinch.

A bellowing roar from an affronted Warrior Princess. A naked affronted Warrior Princess.

A sigh.

A muffled giggle.

A woozy, wavy, sparkly type light. Three . . .uh . . .men appeared. All three were dressed like rejects from last moon's Bacchae Bunch party. One wore a spangly outfit, dangly earrings hung to his narrow shoulders and long black dragon nails tipped the hands resting coyly on his hips. The second was dressed in a hot red vinyl number with matching red FMP's. The third was clad entirely in black liquid latex, hands cuffed behind him, a large ball-gag stuffed in his mouth.

"Who are you and what do you want?" an enraged, naked Xena asked.

"We're the Queeries," Red answered, giggling.

"The who?"

"The Queeries," Red repeated. "You know, sashay, flambe. Work it grrl. Snap snap?"

Cocking an eyebrow, Xena shook her head.

"You've got a bod to die for, toots," Dangly earrings said with a look of pure green envy. "But that leather, doll." A shudder. "It's sooooo Old Testament!"

"Mmmmmmmmmph," Ball gag commented.

"You would," Dangly earrings hissed at him.

"Mmmmmph?" Ball gag shrugged.

"What . . .do . . .you . . .want . . .from . . .me?" Xena ground out.

"Speech problem, hon?" Red asked with a look of pity.

"ARRRRRRRRGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHH!" A front flip, a back kick, a whirling chop . . .all into thin air. "Wha-?"

Another giggle from Red. "You can't hurt us, blue eyes. We're Queeries."

"Mmmmmph." From ball gag.

Dangly earrings sighed, shooting him a look. "Spoilsport." He looked over at the seething woman. "Listen, babycakes. We're not here to hurt you. In fact, we're here to congratulate you!"

"Congratulate me? For what?"

"You know," Red said, eyebrows waggling. "Food cravings. Puking."

THE LOOK.

"Mmmmmmmmmmmmmppppppphhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!"

"There, there, Ball gag. That latex'll harden up again in a jiffy." To Xena. "Can ya tone it down a little, please?"

"Gabby's pregnant," Dangly informed.

"She's WHAT?"

"Pregnant. Knocked up. Bun in the oven. With child?"

"But how? I've been with her every second. She couldn't . . .I mean she wouldn't . . .I mean she didn't . . . ."

Dangly earrings eyed Xena up and down, an evil grin on his heavily rouged face.

"The warrior stepped back a pace. "Oh no. Not me."

"You do have many skills," Red remarked.

"That isn't one of them."

"Uh hun," Dangly earrings smirked.

"Listen you . . . ."

"Temper, temper. We're here to protect you and the child Gabrielle carries. Since this is a one hour plot, she's probably into her fifth month by now. That BGSB, fashion don't that it is, is probably gonna be pretty useless by now." His dragon nails cupped, forming the outline of gigantic knockers. "If ya know what I mean, sweetcheeks." Lewd wink.

Another spinning back kicks, a battle yell, slash, punch, whirl, punch, kick, groan. "I'm just a smidgen off. But when I get my timing down, I'm gonna take your earrings and shove em up his . . . ."

"XENA!"

"Coming, Gabrielle!"


As Xena skidded back into their campsite (fully dressed by the miracle of the great god Tappertius), the sight which greeted her made her eyes widen with shock.

Gabrielle, her dear sweet Gabrielle looked like she had swallowed a watermelon. A huge watermelon. Seeds and all. Xena groaned at the impending loss of Gab's Fab Abs and the stretch marks which were sure to spoil the view from here on out. The BGSB had split in two and the creamy mounds of the bard's now huge breasts were exposed. 'Oh my, my, my,' Xena thought to herself, 'maybe this being pregnant thing isn't so bad after all.' A feral, lustful grin overspread her face.

"What's happening to me, Xena?" Gabrielle asked miserably.

"Um . . .you're pregnant."

"I'm what?"

"Pregnant. You know. Knocked up? With kid? Confined?"

"But . . .but . . .but . . . ."

"Hey! Don't look at me!"

"But . . .but . . .but . . ."

Xena squatted down beside the bard. "Gabrielle, think. Was there any time in the recent past that we were separated and you felt like . . .you know . . .with someone else?"

"Of course not! The only . . .you know . . .that I haven't had with you I did with Perdickless. And believe me, Xena, his arrows left the bow before they reached the target, if you get my meaning."

"So how did this happen?"

"I dunno, Xena. Maybe it's one of your many skills?"

"Not you too," the warrior growled.

"Me too what?"

Xena groaned, but she was saved from telling her lover about the Queeries by the fact that they chose that exact moment to pop in for a visit.

"Hello, Gabrielle," Red said, giggling. "Hello, Daddy."

"Shut up!" Xena roared.

Dangly earrings laid a hand on Gabrielle's arm, bending down to whisper, sotto voce, into her ear. "Personally, doll, I think you're a saind, putting up with her day in and day out. EEEP!"

Dangly crumpled as Xena released his tucken and hidden (to everyone but her) manhood.

"Gotcha!" the Warrior Princess cried out triumphantly. She turned to the other two. "Have anything else you'd like to add? Either of you?"

"Mmmmph," Ball gag intoned, white and trembling under his newly rehardened latex.

"Good," Xena remarked, nodding.

"Why are they here?" Gabrielle asked. "And who are they?"

"We're the Queeries, dol . . .I mean Gabrielle," Dangly said in a very high-pitched voice. "And we're here to protect you."

"From whom?" Xena asked.

"Um . . .thanks . . .Queeries," Gabrielle replied, "but I've got Xena to protect me. I really don't need anyone else."

"You don't understand," Red said, stepping closer, but still remaining a healthy distance from Xena. "Listen, Xena, while you were out battling for good and all that stuff, an evil warlord became king around these parts. His name's Rushercules Limbaugheles and his right hand man's name is Gamma Gordon Liddius. And, well, they've heard about Gabrielle's baby, see, and they sorta wanna, err, kill it."

"Kill my baby?" Gabrielle shrieked, grabbing her now six month swollen abdomen. "Why?"

"Mmmmmmghhh."

"Ain't that the truth," Dangly earrings agreed.

Red swallowed. "Well, it's like this. See, Rushercules and Gamma formed this world alliance called Moralus Majoritus and, well, the child Gabrielle carries is a threat to that organization."

"A threat?" Xena asked. "The kid's not even born yet! The only threat this kis is is to my bard's wonderful abs!"

"Not exactly," Dangly stated. "It's like this. You and Gabrielle are lovers, right?"

"Right," Xena confirmed. (Duck and watch for the scissors. Edit time.)

"The Moralus Majoritus is against same sex couples, see. And if this gets out, well, sponsors are gonna start pulling their commercials off your show and before you know it, Gabby's starring in a Lifetime's Feel-Good-Chick-Flick-of the week and you're out hawking contact lenses with your mother." Dangly shrugged. "The baby makes it worse, cause the fact that same sex couples can actually have babies blows the whole 'queers are unnatural and should be driven off the edges of this flat earth' theory. See what I'm driving at?"

"Not really," Xena said.

Dangly made a circling motion around his temple and sotto voce'd to Gabrielle, "Really is a big, dumb warrior, isn't she. EEEP!"

"A big, dumb warrior with supernatural hearing," Gabrielle grinned as he pitched to the ground face first. She looked over at the other two men who were cupping their hands around their privates and staring at Xena, trembling. "Listen, guys," the bard said, "I really appreciate your offer and all, but I think we'll do just fine on our own. Besides, at this rate, I should be delivering before the commercial brake, and by the time the credits roll, the kid'll be married."

"Fine," Red remarked snittily. "We can take the hint. But we'll be around if you change your mind." With a wink and a three-snaps-in-a-circle, the three disappeared.

"Kinda makes you miss Joxer a little, doesn't it?" Gabrielle asked.

"Uh huh," Xena growled.

"Ah well, look on the bright side, Xena. At least I'm not puking anymore."


"Ok, Xena," Gabrielle said when they were finally alone, "what now?"

"Well, you know how castles and towns just seem to pop up around here?" Xena asked, sheathing her sword and hooking her chakrum onto her leathers.

"Yeah."

"Well, there's one now," the warrior stated, gesturing with her head to a point off to their left.

"How do you do that?" her hugely pregnant companion asked in awe. "No, wait. It's another 'many skills' thing, right?"

Xena said nothing, but managed to look smug just the same. "Helps to be married to the . . ." she muttered under her breath.

"What???"

"Oh, nothing." Innocent look.

The bard gave the warrior a strange look as Xena helped her to heave herself to her feet. "Thank the gods that castle's close. I'm gonna have a hard enough time waddling in there as it is."

"Never fear, my tumescent love," the warrior said, easily lifting Gabrielle into her arms and trotting off to the castle.


They were at the castle in a flash and Xena let Gabrielle down, plowing through the door for her.

"What is this place?" she asked her companion, waddling into the castle, her hands planted into her lower back.

"It's called the Castle of the Warriors With Pierced Nipples."

"The what?"

Xena shrugged. "Don't ask me. They're a strange lot. We should be safe here."

"Are you sure?"

"Am I ever?"

"Good point."

The pair walked down the stone lined corridors of the run-down castle, stopping before a large door. Xena pounded on said door, almost knocking it off its hinges.

"Who is it?" a falsetto voice came from behind the battered and abused door.

"Scroll Digest," Xena said, pitching her voice very low. "You may have just won MCMXLIV dinars."

The weeping door was opened and Xena put the very surprised soldier in a nose-hold, forcing him back into the room. Gabrielle followed, doing her impression of a penguin on henbane.

"Who are you and what do you want?" an elderly man asked from his seat at a very strangely shaped table.

"I could ask the same of you," Xena asked in a confusing non sequitor.

"Glad you asked," the man replied. "We're the Mornings of the Triangular Table."

"The what?"

"Yeah, I know. It sucks. But it was the best we could come up with on short notice. So give us a break, huh?"

"Whatever," Xena replied, shaking her head.

"So . . . .?"

"Yeah. Well, my . . .friend . . .here is obviously pregnant and we need a safe place for her to birth the brat . . .err . . .child."

"Sorry, no room at the Inn."

"Excuse me?"

"Listen, lady. All we've got is a stable back there. And if we let your . . .friend . . . have the kid there, well, the next thing ya know, three wise guys'll be showin up with their buddies, Goldy, Frankie and Myrtle. Can't have it. Just can't have it."

Xena shot him THE LOOK, liquefying his armor on the spot.

"On second thought . . . ."


Xena settled Gabrielle on the straw, picking dried pieces of goat dung from her lover's hair as she did so. "This is the best you can offer me?" a grumpy Gabrielle asked.

"Hey, little Missy, I'm not the one who got herself knocked up. Cheaters can't be choosers, ya know."

"I didn't cheat!"

"Whatever." The warrior leaned back against the stable wall, pulling Gabrielle back to lean against her chest. She dug strong fingers into her love's back, massaging the tension.

"OW!" Gabrielle yelled.

"Sorry," Xena replied, loosening her grip.

"No. I meant OW as in I'm having contraptions."

"That's contraCtions, bardly one."

"Whatever. They hurt!"

"I'll bet I can take your mind off of 'em," Xena said, waggling her eyebrows.

"That's what got me into this mess to begin with!" Gabrielle complained.

"Don't start," the warrior warned.

"OW! OW OW OW!!!"

"Listen, Gabrielle. I don't think you're ready to deliver just yet. So why don't you just lie down here and try to sleep. That way, I get to leave you alone and fulfill the 'Xena rescues Gabrielle' portion of my contract, ok?"

"Sounds good," the bard mumbled, already drifting off.


"So, how's your . . .friend . . .?" the head of the Mornings asked.

"She's sleeping."

"Where's her husband at a time like this?"

"He's . . .well . . .he's dead, actually."

"Hmmmph. Likely excuse. You know, Rushecules hates unwed mothers almost as much as he hates Qu . . .HEY!" Light dawned in his eyes. Two women. One blonde and cute. The other, six feet tall, lots of leather, drawing her sword with a really butch look on her face. "You're . . .you're . . . ."

Xena sighed. "Between you and Caesar, those sentences just keep getting stuck, don't they." The warrior kicked the old guy from behind, impaling him on the point of the Triangular Table. Four of the remaining seven men fled from the room, using one of those oh so convenient secret passages.

"What about you three?" Xena asked menacingly.

"Oh, no problem. No problem at all. What problem? I don't see any problem."

"Good," she replied, resheathing her sword. "You and you, guard the door. If one of you so much lays a hand on my sweet Gabrielle's golden hand, I'll shove my chakrum so far up your . . . ."

"XEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEENA!"

"Coming, Gabrielle!"


Skidding to a stop on the straw-laden floor, Xena noted her screaming companion. Gabrielle's stomach heaved and flexed. "It's commmmming!" she shouted.

"Isn't that supposed to be 'I'm' coming?" Xena asked, eyebrow quirked.

"I'm having my guts ripped out here, Xena, in case you hadn't noticed."

"Sorry," the warrior responded, stepping over to the grunting bard and kneeling in between her legs. "You're right, Gabrielle. The baby's coming. You're gonna have to push."

"You push, you dumb stupid excuse for a lover!"

"Now Gabrielle, I know that's the transition phase talking."

"Don't bet on it you @%&&*#$."

The three remaining soldiers, having neglected their castle-protecting duties and instead gaped at the scene, blushed to the roots of their hair.

"Come on, Gabrielle, push. That's it, push."

Grunt.

Baaaaaa.

Whinny.

Moooooo.

"Hubba hubba."

"Shut up."

SCREAM!

Whinny.

Oink.

Bleat.

"Hot mama!"

"Shut up! Push harder, Gabrielle! That's it. That's it. Easy now. One more time, PUUUUSSSSHHHHH!"

"GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRAAAAAGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHH."

"Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!"

"It's a girl!"

"Ooooooooo." Thud. Morning number one.

"Oh gods." Thud. Morning number two.

"Unggggggggggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhh." Thud. Morning number three.

Xena wiped off the child as the umbilical cord and placenta mysteriously dissolved and handed the infant to her mother. "There ya go, Mom," she said.

"Are you sure this isn't your child, Xena?" Gabrielle asked, assessing her daughter.

"Of course it isn't."

"But she has blue eyes."

"Gabrielle, all babies have blue eyes."

"Maybe. But are all babies big as three month olds when they're born?" The bard gazed at the six feet of warrior flesh standing in front of her, eyebrow raised.

"Hmmmm. You may have a point there."

"So, get down here and kiss your daughter, Xena."

The warrior paled. "Uh, no. There's . . .someone I have to . . .um . . .kill. Yeah, that's it."

"If you say so," Gabrielle replied, putting the baby to her breast.

Xena's eyes widened. "Hmmm. On second thought . . . ."

The bard made a shooing motion with her hand. "You had your chance, Missy."

"Oh alright," Xena grumped as she turned away. "Come on you three panty-waists," she said, lugging the woozy soldiers to their feet.


Twours later, Xena, Gabrielle and the three still woozy soldiers watched in astonishment as the newborn practiced front flips and spinning back kicks. Xena looked over at Gabrielle, eyes fixed on her bard's voluptuous breasts. "Hey, darlin," she grinned wolfishly, cocking her eyebrow in invitation.

"Xe-na," Gabrielle said. "Not in front of the B. A. B. Y."

"That's ok, Mother," the baby growled, kicking a leg of the Triangular Table and snapping it in two. "I know how to spell. I even know what S. E. X. is."

Gabrielle and the three soldiers fainted as Xena rolled her eyes.


Two hours after that, Xena stood against a wall of the castle, arms folded, sleeping on duty. One of the formerly passed out soldiers jumped to his feet and escaped through the secret passage.

Waking, Xena followed him, after pulling a wrong lever twice and surviving a ton of rocks falling on her head. She spied the soldier at the castle's back door, talking to someone who's face was pressed against the barred window. Rubbing her lumpy head, the warrior settled into the shadows to listen to the whispered conversation.

"So, if I let you Queeries in here, you promise you'll let me have Rushocules' job, right?"

"We promise," dangly earrings purred.

"And you promise you won't let that Xena pull my testicles out through my throat once you steal the brat, right?"

Dangly blanched. "Can't promise that."

"Good thing, too," Xena stated, reaching into the soldier's throat and coming out with two round objects.

As the now deceased man crumpled to the floor, Xena hummed her Burial Song (available at fine record stores everywhere), stuffing the testicles into Dangly's throat. "Now go away!" she shouted, sliding the window shut on the choking sounds.


Returning to the Table room, Xena caught the last of the story the remaining two Mornings of the (now destroyed) Triangular Table were telling to Gabrielle and the baby. " . . .and so whoever can pull this sword out of this rock gets to give us a real name."

The warrior walked past the crew and up to the sword. "Nice blade," she said, easily pulling the large sword from the rock.

And sliding it back in.

And pulling it back out.

And sliding it in.

Back out.

Back in.

Out.

In.

Groan.

Pant.

Xena looked up from her reverie to see the two soldiers with their hands prudently over their laps, their eyes glazed, their breathing heavy. She looked over at Gabrielle who was fanning herself. She looked over at the baby who was . . .well . . .doing something not suitable for a family show.

Xena cocked her eyebrow at Gabrielle in an invitation again.

"Gods yes," the bard moaned.


Four hours later, Xena returned to the room, beaming, wiping a line of something suspiciously milk-like from her chin. Gabrielle followed behind, waddling and groaning. Her beaming smile turned upside down at the scene before them. The baby sat on the floor, cooing innocently, gnawing gummily on a femur. The two Morning guys were sprawled out on the floor, faces blue, mouthes and various bodily orifaces stuffed with bits of the remaining Triangular Table. Xena's sword whispered out of its sheath.

"What in Tartarus are you doing?" Gabrielle yelled, interposing herself between the warrior and the grinning baby.

"I'm gonna kill that . . .thing."

"Like Hades you are! This is my child!"

"That's not a child, Gabrielle. That's a living, breathing killing machine!"

"Look who's talking, Miss Warrior Princess, ex-Scourge of Nations, look-at-me-wrong-and-I'll-eat-your-eyeballs-for-breakfast!"

"You've got a point there," Xena stated, slowly lowering her sword.

"I know I do," Gabrielle replied primly, removing the femur and latching the child onto her breast. "It's ok baby," she cooed. "Daddy's just in a baaaad mood."

"Quit calling me that!"

"Whatever you say . . .Daddy."

Xena growled.

"So, what do we do now?"

"Well, I guess it's time we split this one pig castle. I don't know how many more of those 'Mornings' are out there, and my guess is, they're not gonna be too happy to find their Table split into kindling."

"So let's go already!" Gabrielle said, switching sides.

Racing through the castle's secret passages, they arrived at the back door, which Xena, being Xena, just burst through without bothering to open the poor thing.

"Sssso there you are!" Red purred, kneeling. "Our Queen!"

"There's only one Queen here, brother," Xena stated. "And the baby ain't it."

"Hey! I'm Queen of the Amazons, don't forget."

"Oh ok. Two Queens then."

"Ya know," Gabrielle said, twirling her hair. "That would make a good title of a scroll. 'Two Queens, One Princess and a baby. (And some gagged guy who only goes Mmmmpppphhhh.)"

"Enough already," Xena grumbled. "Am I gonna have to teach you the same lesson I taught to dangly earrings over there?" she asked the kneeling men.

The two Queeries looked over at dangly, dead by testosterone overload, and shuddered. "You don't understand, Xena," Red wailed. "This child is our Hope! The Hope of a new generation of Queeries everywhere! We need to take her from you!"

"Ha!" Xena snorted. "The day I can't stand up to two Queens is the day I swallow my chakrum. Gabrielle, take the kid and run up this strategically placed mountain. I'll follow as soon as I take care of these two." Battle yell, back flip, sword twirl, thrust, parry, thrust, thrust, pant, thrust, pant pant, punch, kick, dust off hands. "Nice playin' with ya, boys."


Xena started up the mountain, stopping when she heard Gabrielle scream. "Gabrielle! Are you ok?"

"Fine, just fine," the bard replied in a sing songy voice.

"Why did you scream?"

"Oh, no reason. OW..that's my NIPPLE you're biting you . . . ."

"Gabrielle, hang on, I'm coming!"

"Promises, promises," Gabrielle muttered.

As Xena bounded up the rocks, one large boulder seemed determined to get in her way. She went left, it rolled left, she went right, it rolled right. Finally she front flipped over it, then turned back. "If you ever do that again, you stupid mountain dropping, I'll shove my fist up your . . . ."

"XENA!"

"It's ok, Gabrielle. It was just a rock. Rocks don't have . . . ."

"XENA!"

"Coming, Gabrielle!"

As Xena reached the top of the mountain, Gabrielle started screaming again.

"What is it?"

"I DROPPED THE BABY!!"

"You what?" Xena asked, plugging her ringing ears.

"I DROPPED THE BABY!!!!"

Both women looked over the edge of the mountaintop and down into the rushing river below. Xena looked at Gabrielle. Gabrielle looked at Xena. They both looked at the water. Xena shrugged. "Oh well," she said, standing and dusting her hands off again. "The kid was gettin' to be a handful anyway."

"Yes, that's true," Gabrielle agreed, allowing herself to be pulled up into a hug.

"Besides," Xena said, grinning down at the bard's breasts. "It means more for me."

"Xe-na."

"Ok, ok," the warrior grumped. "I have a feeling we'll be seeing her in the very near future anyway."

"You think?"

"I know."

The two women shared a hug for a long moment. "Hey, Gabrielle?"

"Hmmmm?"

"With all the killing and birthing and running around, I forgot to ask you . . .did you ever name the kid?"

The bard grinned. "Yup."

"Well?" Arched eyebrow.

"What do you think of 'Bitter Suite'?"


THE END

Disclaimer: No bards, warriors, precocious babies or Mornings of the Triangular Table were injured during the scribing of this epic. However, several doors filed grievances with their union. The suit is still pending.