That Damned Kiss
The characters of Xena: Warrior Princess are owned by MCA Pictures and used here without permission. No copyright infringement was intended in the writing of this story.
This story contains adult themes of a sexual nature.
The idea for this story came to me after reading a post by Jacqueline Carey on the Chakram mailing list.
L.N. Jamess fan fiction story "Breaking Bread" is referred to and may be found at http://www.eve.net/~timwellman/lnjames1.txt. Also, "The Tweak Factor" is
Catherine M. Wilsons (gods, what will she come up with next?!).
FADE IN - BACKGROUND MUSIC: JOE LO DUCA MIX FEATURING THE SONG "KISS" BY THE ARTIST FORMERLY KNOWN AS PRINCE
EXT. - MIDDAY, BUSY DOWNTOWN AUCKLAN... er... ATHENS
INT. - WAITING ROOM OF A PSYCHOLOGISTS OFFICE
Xena and Gabrielle sit on a sofa. Xena sharpens her sword. Gabrielle fidgets.
GABRIELLE: (touches Xenas arm) Xena?
GABRIELLE: Tell me again... Were here because...??
XENA: Because Tyldus said we need to come to terms with some difficult emotional issues... said he thinks were a little confused.
GABRIELLE: (nervously) Difficult emotional issues? Confused?
XENA: Yeah. He was talking some rubbish about ambiguity and subtext... kept mentioning a Tweak Factor thing. It was all Greek to me. Can you make sense out of it?
Gabrielle doesnt answer. Gets up; wanders over to a fish tank in the corner of the room. Leans down; taps the glass at a goldfish. The goldfish backs up; scared look in its eye. A bigger, black fish suddenly swims protectively in front of the goldfish; narrows its eyes at Gabrielle.
GABRIELLE: (offended) Hey!! (starts to stick her hand into the tank)
XENA: Dont even think about it...
GABRIELLE: (withdraws her hand) I was just going to practice.
XENA: You can practice with me later.
GABRIELLE: (excitedly) Alright! (walks to a painting of a peach hanging on the wall; admires it)
Xena, cant you think of ANY emotional issues we havent resolved?
XENA: (put her sword back in its sheath) Well, lets see... Theres still that little matter of you trading my whip.
GABRIELLE: (rolls her eyes) Oh, for Zeuss sake, Xena! I got your dagburn whip back, didnt I?
XENA: Yeah, but do you really expect me to use it now, knowing what Hower and Minya did with it?!
Gabrielle notices a bowl of red gummy bears on the table; picks up a handful. Goes to Xena; puts one between her lips.
Gabrielle pops one into her own mouth; tucks the rest inside her bilious green sports bra. Xena gives her a puzzled look.
GABRIELLE: (giggles) Im saving them for later.
Gabrielle plops down on the sofa. Xena starts polishing her chakram.
GABRIELLE: So, you cant think of ANYTHING else that could be an issue between us?
XENA: No, Gabrielle, I cant.
Gabrielle frowns at her; picks up a magazine from the table; flips through it. Comes across a hot tub advertisement.
GABRIELLE: (touches Xenas arm; holds the magazine open toward her) Xena, look at this!
XENA: (eyes widen) A hot tub would be much more fun than what were doing right now.
GABRIELLE: Thats for sure! (impatiently looks at the door to the doctors office) How much longer do we have to sit out here?! Is she trying to drive us insane?!
XENA: Calm down, Gabrielle! This is a DOCTORS office. What did you expect?
Gabrielle continues to peruse the magazine. Turns to an advertisement for "Bound."
GABRIELLE: (holds the magazine up again) Xena, THIS looks like a good play. Its being performed at the Disney Theater on Friday. Maybe we could go.
XENA: (looks intently at the ad) That DOES look interesting, Gabrielle. But, dont you remember?... We have tickets to see "Grease" on Friday.
GABRIELLE: Oh... yeah. (tosses the magazine back on the table) Xena, what do you think the doctor is going to talk to us about?
XENA: Dunno. Sure hope she doesnt ask any sensitive questions.
GABRIELLE: (touches Xenas arm) Dont worry, Xena. Ill handle the sensitive ones.
XENA: Yeah, right. We all know how YOU handle sensitive questions!
XENA: Gabrielle!... Really.
GABRIELLE: Xena, what else COULD I do?!
XENA: You could have answered, Gabrielle!
GABRIELLE: Gosh dang, Xena! If Id answered that question, next thing you know theyd be asking me about that damned kiss!
XENA: What are you saying? Thats old news. We dealt with that a long time ago.
GABRIELLE: No, we didnt Xena! Avicus keeps cutting the "Excuse me, but what just happened between us?" conversation out of every episode.
XENA: You mean we STILL havent talked about that kiss?!
GABRIELLE: No! Not a mention of it! Not a word! Not a syllable! Not even in the subtext!! WE HAVE LEAP-FROGGED RIGHT OVER THAT KISS!!
XENA: (hangs her head) So THATS why they changed the hot tub scene at the last minute!! I never did believe that excuse about my hands... (mockingly) "Oh, but, Xena, your hands will get all pruney if theyre under the water the ENTIRE scene!"
GABRIELLE: And, remember how the scene was supposed to end?! Who says you cant hold your breath THAT long?! I think they should have at least let you try!
XENA: (winks) Yeah, Ill just bet you do!
GABRIELLE: Xena.... (tears start to form in her eyes) I dont know whats going on anymore. Im so confused. One week Im sucking on your neck, the next week Im sucking on Perdicuss... uh... neck.
Xena arches an eyebrow.
GABRIELLE: (quickly continues) Then, one week, Im kissing you under the stars, the next week youre dumping me to run off and eat fruit with Meg. The next week, Ive got my fingertips all over your face, were looking deeply into one anothers eyes... were embracing! Before I know it, youre kissing Ulysses! (says more calmly) ...Not a very convincing kiss, by the way.
XENA: Give me a break! You try kissing plastic man!
GABRIELLE: Whats up with this season?!! I cant take much more of this hideous tweaking thing!! We cant go on like this!!
XENA: Youre right, Gabrielle.
GABRIELLE: What are we gonna do??
XENA: I dont know. Dont panic.
GABRIELLE: Xena, please stop saying that.
XENA: When did I say that?!
GABRIELLE: Duh! You say that every week. In fact, you say that almost as much as you say "Do it!"
XENA: Gabrielle, stick to the show.
GABRIELLE: (smiles demurely) Sorry. Xena?
GABRIELLE: What are we gonna do??!
XENA: (under her breath) Talk about recycled lines! (suppresses a grin) Calm down, Gabrielle.
GABRIELLE: Xena! Cut it out!
XENA: (playfully) Now what?
GABRIELLE: Dont do that!
XENA: Dont do what? I have many skills.
GABRIELLE: I mean it, Xena!
XENA: Hold on, Gabrielle.
GABRIELLE: Im warning you.
XENA: (mischievously) What are you saying?
GABRIELLE: STOP IT XENA!!!
XENA: I thought you liked this banter. You said "A Day In The Life" was your favorite episode!
GABRIELLE: (miffed) I shouldnt have answered that question either.
XENA: (rolls her eyes; hugs Gabrielle) Okay, okay... everythings gonna work out.
GABRIELLE: Xena, what ARE we gonna do?? If weve never talked about that damned kiss, how do we know?
XENA: Know what?
GABRIELLE: (rolls her eyes) Did we or didnt we?! Will we or wont we? Are we or arent we?!
XENA: (flips a dinar in the air) Heads, we are... tails, we are.
Salmoneus enters; catches the coin before it comes down; pockets it.
SALMONEUS: Ladies! How nice to see you!
XENA: Salmoneus! What are you doing here?!
SALMONEUS: Im here with Herc. Hes next door with Salena in the Veterinarians office.
Xena and Gabrielle exchange looks.
SALMONEUS: Xena! Your fans loved you on "Something So Right!" Have you ever thought about doing a musical? Tickets would sell like fishcakes! And, Id be happy to offer my services as your manager.
XENA: Hmm... thats an interesting idea.
Gabrielle gives her a dangerous look.
SALMONEUS: Well, you let me know. See ya later! (rushes off)
GABRIELLE: Xena, you promise me you arent going to become some character in another show until we get things settled between us! Were tweaked enough as it is!
XENA: Maybe youre right, Janice.
GABRIELLE: Xena! You just called me Janice!
XENA: I did?! (southern accent) Oh, my!!
GABRIELLE: Oh, please! My hair has NEVER been that blonde!
GABRIELLE: Yes, love?
GABRIELLE: Thats what I call you on the alternate fan fiction pages. I kinda like it. You should read how Im REWARDED for calling you that!! Actually, you should read how Im... well... you should read!! In fact, I just read something that we could try tonight... You see, first weve gotta find an inn, and then....
XENA: What are we gonna do about that damned kiss?!
GABRIELLE: Lets sleep on it, Xena.
GABRIELLE: Hey! Wait! Thats it!! Lets sleep through it!
XENA: What are you saying???!
GABRIELLE: God dang, Xena!!! STOP WITH THAT, once and for all!!!
XENA: Furk!! Im so sorry! Im not doing it intentionally, you know. Its the writers.
GABRIELLE: (takes a deep breath) Okay, picture it... New Xelan... er... Greece... next season... first episode... its morning... same campsite as always... I wake up and...
XENA: (perplexed) I thought you said were going to sleep through it?
GABRIELLE: Let me finish. I wake up and look around. Youre no where to be seen. I get up and walk over the bank to the stream. Youre bathing.
XENA: I know whats coming... Gabrielle, we dont want to wear out the bathing together thing.
GABRIELLE: No, no. I dont get in with you. And, no, not yet.
XENA: (blankly) What not yet?
GABRIELLE: (seductively) Me. You know... coming.
XENA: Gabrielle, dont get me started. Were in a doctors office!
GABRIELLE: The Xena in fanfic wouldnt care about that. One author has us... literally... in a tavern full of people!
LUCY: Good Lord!
GABRIELLE: I kinda like the idea... You see, it starts out when this woman asks Gabrielle to pass the butter...
XENA: Gabrielle! Finish telling me about what were going to do next season!
GABRIELLE: I am! Then, the waitress comes up and pretends she doesnt notice that Ive got my hand between your legs...
GABREILLE: You gotta lighten up, Xena... You know stop and smell the fish... er... flowers once in a while.
XENA: (restraining herself) GABRIELLE... TELL ME ABOUT THE EPISODE!
GABRIELLE: Okay, okay... Where was I? Oh, yeah... so, youre bathing, and I say, "Xena, I think we should talk about that kiss." And you say, "What kiss?" Then, I say, "THE kiss." And you say, "Gabrielle, every time you sleep on a rock you have these strange dreams." I say, "Huh?" You say, "It was just a DREAM, Gabrielle. Now, come and help me catch some fish for breakfast."
Xena stares at Gabrielle.
GABRIELLE: Well?? What do you think??
XENA: Gabrielle, Tyldus will never buy it. What producer would just wipe out an entire season by calling it all a dream?!!
Suddenly, the door to the doctors office opens. Patrick Duffy steps out. Xena and Gabrielle exchange looks.
GABRIELLE: (smugly) You were saying??
Xena smirks at her.
PATRICK DUFFY: (over his shoulder to the doctor) Thankya kindly, doc. See yall next week. (Nods at Xena; smiles broadly at Gabrielle) Hey, Renee!
RENEE: Hey, Patrick!
PATRICK DUFFY: Mighty nice tsee ya, Darlin. Hows your Momma?!
RENEE: Shes good, Patrick. Thank yall for askin!
PATRICK DUFFY: Yall come up with a cliff-hanger for next season yet?
RENEE: No!... thats way down yonder. Wese still tryin to reckon whats goin on right now.
PATRICK DUFFY: Well, take it from me... Theyse nothin like a good ole cliff-hanger to brang them fans round gin next season!
RENEE: Much obliged. Well remember that there lil piece of advice.
Patrick Duffy waves and hurries out.
Oprah Winfrey sticks her head out of the doctors office.
OPRAH: (motioning for them to come inside) Alright, ladies... Come on in. How can I help you OUT?
XENA & GABRIELLE: (look at each other with raised eyebrows; they both look back to Oprah; then back to each other. They shake their heads) Nah!
As they follow Oprah into her office, Gabrielle seems to reconsider and starts to say something to Xena.
XENA: (silences her with a raised hand) Gabrielle! Tyldus would NEVER buy it!
FADE OUT - "DALLAS" BACKGROUND MUSIC PLAYS