xippylogo.jpg (7708 bytes)

Disclaimers: Standard disclaimers apply. MCA/Universal are getting rich. I’m just having fun.

While I do have a pretty good idea how things work on a production set. I claim absolutely no working knowledge of how things are actually done on the set of XWP, therefor everything stated here is pure assumption and logical thinking.

Ever wonder what it might be like if Xena and Gabrielle were really teaching Lucy and Renee how to be Xena and Gabrielle?

Feedback to TNovan@aol.com

Hope you like it. It was just done on a whim.

The Truth and Nothing But The Truth…

By T.Novan

Xena poured a cup of coffee and picked the morning paper up from the counter. She headed for the enclosed sun porch and sat down in her customary chair in the corner. Placing her feet up on the footstool, and setting her coffee down on the small table she flipped the paper open with one hand and began reading.

It wasn’t long before the little blonde came out onto the porch as well. She leaned over and gave Xena a light kiss on the neck. “Good morning love.” She purred as she curled up on the sofa and sipped her tea.

“Good morning Gabrielle.” Xena said smiling as she looked up from her paper at the woman she had spent her lifetime with.

“What time are we due this morning?” Gabrielle asked as she looked out at the rose bushes, which desperately needed pruning.

“Nine.” Xena said as she continued to glance through the paper.

“Why so late?”

“We had a late night last night.”

“I know I waited up until about midnight.”

“I didn’t get in until a little after two.”

“Why didn’t you wake me?”

“One of us has to be able to work today and since I’ve only had about four hours of sleep it’s gonna’ be you.”

“Gee thanks. So what’s on the plate for today?”

“You’ve got to run through a scene with Renee first thing this morning. And be careful. She’s starting to get a little too good with that staff.”

“Something happen?”

“My guess would be that more than one of our boys is waking up with a real dickens of a headache this morning. Not to mention what happened to poor Lucy. It’s a good thing those two are such good friends.”

“Okay out with it. What happened?”

“Well we were choreographing a fight scene. Which I told them to run at half speed. When Renee swung around at full speed and nailed Lucy in the ribs.”

“Oh Gods! Is she okay?”

“Yeah she’s fine. She’s going to be a little sore for the next couple of days, but nothing’s broken.”

“I’ll bet Renee feels awful.”

“Oh yeah. She pretty much spent the rest of the night somewhere between tears and hysterical laughter. Those two find humor in the strangest things.”

“As I remember it you weren’t very pleased the first time I accidentally hit you with my staff.”

“No, no I wasn’t. The fact that you broke my wrist didn’t help matters either. I couldn’t lift my sword for weeks.”

“I know I was there. Not only couldn’t you lift your sword, but you managed to milk it for everything that it worth while you were healing.”

“It hurt.”

“Yes love, I know it hurt and I’ve been paying for it for a looonnnnggg time now. Could we just drop it?”

“You still feel guilty about it don’t you?” Xena asked with a chuckle.

“Yes, but I’m beginning to get over it.”

“You know when it gets cold I still get a dull ache…”

“Oh knock it off already. It’s been like what, two thousand years!”

“More like three.”

“Two. Three. What’s a millenium between immortals?”

“Well it’s never been dull that’s for sure.” Xena said as she sipped her coffee. She stood up and stretched, tossing her paper into the chair.

“Do you ever regret following me this far?” Gabrielle asked softly.

Xena turned and looked down at the bard, who was staring into her cup, refusing to make eye contact. The warrior knelt down and gently lifted her chin and looked into those beautiful green eyes. “Never for one second.” She said softly as she gently placed as kiss on the bard’s lips. “I told you it was forever.”

“I’ll bet you didn’t have this in mind though.”

“I didn’t have anything in mind except spending my life with you.”

“Why did Artemis do this to me?”

“You are her chosen. She wanted you to rule the amazons forever.”

“Surely she knew that wouldn’t be possible.”

“They didn’t think. They acted without cause or concern. That’s what eventually led to their downfall.”

“Do you think they’re still up there? On Olympus I mean.”

“I’m sure of it. I think Ares is still stirring up trouble every chance he gets.” Xena wanted to change the subject. Every time they went here the bard would get depressed for days on end. “We had better get down to the set.”

“I suppose so. I’ve got a new move I want to teach Renee.”

“You’re just asking to get hurt.”

“It’s okay I heal pretty quickly.” The bard said with a grin.

Over the span of time they had been together Xena and Gabrielle had become expert at recreating themselves. They had become experts in large variety of things, but changing identities had become a particular necessity since no one lives forever. This particular time period would remember Xena as Kelly Anderson, martial arts expert and Gabrielle as Amanda Anderson, weapons expert. The official story to people they didn’t know well, was that they were cousins, but nobody in their right mind believed a word of it. Anyone who looked at them could tell they were very much in love and shared their lives. Friends of course knew most of the truth, but some things would just have to stay buried forever. Besides no one would ever believe it.

When Xena got wind of this television show that was going into production in New Zealand, curiosity got the better of her and before Gabrielle knew what was happening or even had time to protest they were on their way.

It hadn’t taken Xena long to secure them both jobs on the show. A demonstration of her fighting skills along with a very impressive resume had done the trick. The powers that be decided that these two women were perfectly suited to teach the actor’s how to do their jobs. They just didn’t realize how right they had truly been.

After beginning production with the show, they found out that the idea had come from a series of lecture papers written by the archaeology team of Melinda Pappas and Janice Covington in the nineteen forties. Lectures which claimed to have found some of the bard’s old scrolls in a cave. It was possible Xena surmised, so she just had to go with it.

Of course television being what it is, the producers had taken some terrible liberties with the characters. More often than not Xena could be heard grumbling from the back of the set, “It didn’t happen that way.” or “Hercules would never have said that.”

They worked everyday with the actors that portrayed them. Xena worked tirelessly with Lucy, teaching her as much as the actor could handle and more than enough to keep her some getting seriously hurt, most of the time. Gabrielle taught Renee the fine points of effective battling with a staff. A skill which she picked up very quickly and had become almost as adept as the bard herself. Needless to say all four women formed a strong bond almost immediately.

The resemblance was good too. Renee’s hair was a little redder and Lucy was about an inch taller, but over all it wasn’t too bad. Xena realized early on that Gabrielle must have been very good in her descriptions and that Pappas and Covington must have included them in the papers.

When they arrived at the set there was the normal hustle of cast and crew preparing for another days work. Xena and Gabrielle went directly to the trailer that held the weapons used in production. Xena unlocked the door and went in with the bard right behind her. They pulled the weapons they would need for the scenes being filmed. As Xena pulled a chakram from the wall she played with it for a minute, spinning it and twirling it in her hands.

“You know they’ve got the weight all wrong.” She said as she put it down on the table.

“Yeah I know” The bard said as she prepared Renee’s weapons. “I’ve been listening to that complaint for the last three years now. Not to mention the hilt of your sword is wrong. The color of my top is wrong. Ares didn’t have a beard. Iolus was taller than that…”

“Okay, okay I’m sorry.” Xena said putting up her hands to ward off the verbal barrage.

“Would you please keep in mind that this is a television show. It’s meant to entertain, not be historically accurate.”

“I know, but you know how I am.”

“All to well my warrior. All to well.”

Xena walked up behind the bard and slid her arms around her waist. “Are you complaining? Because if you are, I’ll just have to find a way to change your mind.” She nuzzled the bard’s neck.

“Hey we don’t have time for that now. We’ve got work to do.”

“Yes my Queen.”

They gathered up the things they would need and headed back outside to the set. They were preparing to shoot an outdoor fight scene. Lucy and Renee stood off to the side waiting for the set to be properly prepared. Several stunt men were grouped together watching the actors from a distance. Xena stopped and began distributing weapons to the stuntmen. Gabrielle continued on towards the actors. From behind her she heard her partner’s familiar voice. “Hey!”

She turned and caught the sword that had been tossed towards her before she had even begun to turn. She caught it smoothly by the hilt, turned and continued towards Lucy and Renee. The duo greeted her with smiles.

“How do you two do that?” Renee asked, always amazed at the displays they put on.

“YEARS of practice.” She answered as she handed a staff to Renee.

“Everybody take cover, Renee’s armed.” Lucy called to anyone who cared to listen. She was rewarded with a light slap on the shoulder from her costar.

Gabrielle handed the sword to Lucy, who placed it in the sheath on her back with the same kind of ease Xena had for so many years. ‘At least they got that right’ she thought as she fingered a second staff that she had brought for herself. ‘God I’m getting as bad as Xena’, was her second thought as she took a deep breath. “How are you feeling this morning?” She asked Lucy.

“Well, other than the fact that I feel like somebody,” eyeing her costar. “Tried to break me in half last night. Not too bad.”

“You gonna’ have any problems today?”

“Nah, they’ve got me taped up pretty good.”

“Okay, but if you have any discomfort at all let me know.”

“No problem.”

Gabrielle turned to Renee. “Come with me killer. I’ve got a new move I want to show you.”

“Great!” Renee said with enthusiasm as they began to walk away.

“Yeah great.” Lucy said, “Try to remember that your supposed to be on my side will ya’.” She decided to follow and watch as Renee was coached.

It wasn’t long before Xena was standing next to Lucy. Gabrielle was doing her best to explain the move, but it just wasn’t working. She looked over and motioned for Xena to join them. She looked at Lucy and shrugged “She just loves it when she can use any excuse to knock me on my butt.”

She joined the two women and was once again amazed at the resemblance between them. She stood there, hands on hips, cocky smile on her face and waited.

“You’re gonna need a sword.” Gabrielle said.

Xena turned to Lucy. “I need your sword.”

Lucy removed the weapon and started forward with it. Xena put up a hand, “Toss it to me.”


“Toss it to me. You can do it.”

“You know I hate doing that. I’m always afraid I’m going to hurt someone.”

“You toss that thing almost as well as I do. Now stay right there and toss it to me.”

Lucy exhaled in frustration and tossed the sword into the air. Xena caught it with ease and began twirling it in her hand. She did so love it when she got the play with the toys. She continued to manipulate the weapon swinging it behind her back and from hand to hand almost faster than it could be followed with the eye.

“All right stop showing off and pay attention.” Gabrielle warned as she took a defensive stance with the staff.

“Am I warrior, a soldier or a bandit?” Xena asked with a twinkle in her eye.

“A soldier.” Gabrielle replied.

“I’ve been meaning to ask you two about that.” Renee stated as she leaned on her staff.

“What?” Xena asked as she took up another fighting stance.

“Why do you ask that question?”

“Well it tells me what level of training she’s looking for. A warrior and a soldier were always better trained than a bandit, they put up better fights.”

“They did huh?”

Gabrielle chewed on the inside of her mouth as she realized that Xena was doing it again. She was speaking from experience. This wasn’t really a bad thing, but sometimes she just sounded like a nut. “Are you ready?” She was trying to distract them from that conversation before it went any further.

“Anytime you are.” Xena said bowing slightly at the waist.

Gabrielle twirled the staff in her hands as Xena took a double handed grip on the hilt of the sword and extended it out in front of her.

“Okay,” Gabrielle started making sure Renee was paying attention. “What I want you to do is this. Take the staff and deliver a blow to the wrists. Like so.” The move was shown in slow motion. Renee nodded. “That should dislodge the sword.” On cue Xena dropped the sword. “Now turn and bring the staff around and sweep the feet.” Again the move was done in slow motion and stopped just short of Xena’s feet. “Got it?”

“I think so.”

“Wanna give it a try?”


Renee stepped forward and Xena picked up the sword. “Remember, half speed.” She warned as she pointed the sword outward.

“Yeah, yeah, yeah.” Renee said as she took up a fighting stance.

“Okay.” Gabrielle guided “Down on the wrists. That’s good. Turn. Good. Now sweep the feet. Perfect. Let’s try it a little faster shall we.”

Xena picked up the sword and resumed her position. They did the drill three times. Each time picking up the pace just another notch. On the fourth time actual contact was made with the warrior’s wrists and her feet were swept out from under her. She hit the ground with a loud thud. The wind knocked out of her, she lay there for a moment coughing. It didn’t take long for the three women to kneel down next to her. Gabrielle pulled her up and into her arms.

“Are you alright?”

“I think my wrist is broken.” She replied, laughing between coughs.

After a trip to the hospital, they returned to the set later in the day. Xena’s right hand in a cast from her fingers to the middle of her arm. They got through the remainder of the day without any further casualties. Xena locked up the weapons trailer and leaned back against the door. “I’m to old for this.” She murmured “Way too old.”

Renee walked over slowly, feeling a little more than ashamed of herself. She cleared her throat to get Xena’s attention.


“Look I feel really bad about what happened.”

“It’s okay don’t worry about it.”

“No really. In the last two days I’ve managed to injure two of my best friends. I’m really sorry. It’s just that sometimes it all seems so real to me. I can’t help myself.”

“Yeah I know. These things happen.”

“Well anyhow I’ve already talked to Lucy and Amanda, I’d like to take you all out to dinner and apologize. What do you say?”

“Never, never turn down a free meal.” She said with a smile. She put her arm around Renee’s shoulder as they headed for Lucy and Gabrielle. Renee paused and Xena turned to her. “What’s wrong?”

“Can I ask you a question?”

“You know you can?”

“This is going to sound totally ridiculous.”

“Try me.”

“You’re really her aren’t you? You’re really Xena.”

Xena didn’t say anything she just nodded.

“And that’s really…” She trailed off as the realization hit her.

“My bard. Gabrielle.”


“Artemis and Aphrodite. Artemis made Gabrielle immortal and Aphrodite did the same thing for me so that we would never be apart.”

“Oh this is too weird.”

“Hey you asked.”

“Yeah I know I did. There are so many things I want to ask you.”

“I’m sure. I’ll be glad to answer any questions you have, but you have to promise me that you won’t tell anyone else.”

“I promise.”

“Does Lucy know?”

“We both suspected, but neither of us could get up the courage to ask you.”

“Renee you have to keep it between the two of you. Whether or not you choose to truly believe it, you have to keep to yourself.”

“I know. We will.”

“Okay. You said something about buying me dinner?”

“That raises a good point…”

“No I don’t have to eat. I enjoy it and that’s why I do it.”

Dinner had been consumed and the foursome remained at the table having a few drinks. Laughing and talking for several hours. Suddenly Renee and Lucy became very quiet. The continued to smile and tried desperately to stifle giggles.

“All right you two, give. What’s going on?” Xena asked looking at them sideways.

“We’ve just got to know…” Began Lucy. Sending Renee into another fit of the giggles.

“What?” Gabrielle inquired as she looked over at the warrior. Xena had taken the time to explain to the bard that they had been found out by their friends.

“Was Joxer really that much of an idiot?” Renee asked, sending Lucy into another fit of the giggles.

“Yes.” They answered in unison.

Return to The Bard's Corner