Episode Guide Teaser Act 1 Act 2 Act 3 Act 4 v

ACT TWO

 

FADE IN:

 

INT. BEDROOM - EVENING

 

Xena and Gabrielle have been given a guestroom in Autolycusí very spacious home. Xena is reclined back on the bed, wearing a robe made of fine silk. Gabrielle is wearing a matching blue robe and washing her face in a large copper pan that is heated by a small flame under it.  Xena runs her hand over the covers on the bed. She reaches over to the nightstand and fiddles with a small piece of decorative pottery.

 

While Xena is occupied with the piece of art, Gabrielle digs into their bags and pulls out Xenaís bottle of Oil of Aphrodite. Covertly, she opens the jar and sniffs.

 

GABRIELLE

Mmm....  Thatís why she smells so nice.

 

XENA

(still studying the pot)

Gabrielle, why are we in here relaxing when
we could be doing something to help?

 

Jumping at the sound of Xenaís voice, Gabrielle decides that Xena would recognize the smell of the oil on her and that sheís too much of wimp to endure the teasing.  She tucks the jar away in the their bags.

 

GABRIELLE

He was tired, Xena. And he already looks as
though he hasnít slept in days.  He said there
was time to talk about it more tomorrow.
We just need to be patient.

 

 

XENA

Why didnít you say so?  You know
patience isnít one of my strong suits.

 

GABRIELLE

(chuckling softly)

Youíll live.

 

Xena sets the piece of pottery back and glances around, impressed despite herself.

 

XENA

Who would have thought Autolycus
would come into his own?

 

GABRIELLE

(drying her face and arms)

Mmm... I always figured heíd finish his
life on a end of a hangmanís noose.

 

A little bored, Xena flops back in the bed wiggles her feet, eyeing the slippers a servant provided.

 

XENA

(absently)

Or at the end of a jealous husbandís sword.

 

GABRIELLE

Same result.

(beat)

Weíve got to make this right, Xena. We....

 

Gabrielle starts to say something else but stops, her brow furrowing deeply.  Xena sits back up, her full attention on Gabrielle.

 

XENA

What?

 

 

GABRIELLE

(quietly as tears fill her eyes)

We both know what it feels to lose
the person youíre in love with.

 

Gabrielle can hear Xena swallow across the room.

 

GABRIELLE

(Contíd)

(whispering thickly)

We also know what itís like to lose a child.

(swallowing)

I donít want that for Autolycus.

 

Xena closes her eyes at Gabrielleís words as a flash of pain sweeps over her and her chest tightens.

 

XENA

Gabrielle?

 

Xenaís voice is compelling and Gabrielle sniffs as she looks to her partner, her eyes glistening in the muted candlelight.

 

Xena opens her eyes to reveal a steely resolve.

 

XENA

(Contíd)

We wonít fail.

 

Gabrielle gives Xena a slightly watery smile.

 

GABRIELLE

I know.  Itís just nice to be
reminded every now and again.

 

 

Gabrielle drapes her towel over a chair and douses the flame under the copper pot before moving to the bed. She takes a long moment to put thoughts of the past out of her mind and concentrate on the here and now.  Xena smiles reassuringly at her, and the remaining tension leaves the room.  Dropping her robe, Gabrielle pulls back the covers and climbs into fresh cleans sheets.

 

GABRIELLE

(groaning)

Oh, this is nice. Donít suppose Autolycus would
want a couple of extra bodyguards, do you?

 

Xena chuckles and removes her own robe as she joins Gabrielle under the covers.  She pulls her partner into her arms so that Gabrielleís head is resting on her shoulder.

 

XENA

You would look great in the outfits these
women are parading around here in....

 

GABRIELLE

So would you.  Only I wouldnít be much
use as a bodyguard to Autolycus.

 

Gabrielle clucks softly at herself, drawing a fingertip up Xenaís belly. She pauses when she reaches Xenaís breastbone.

                                   

GABRIELLE

(Contíd)

My eyes would be occupied elsewhere.

 

Xena squeezes Gabrielle even tighter to her.

 

XENA

Thatís okay.  Youíd get tired of sleeping in a soft
bed anyway. When youíve slept on the ground
for as long as we have, it gets into your blood.

 

GABRIELLE

And bugs get into your hair.
And snakes get into your... a....

 

Gabrielle yelps loudly when Xena pinches her bottom.

 

GABRIELLE

(Contíd)

Well, maybe not THERE exactly.

 

XENA

Heh.

 

GABRIELLE

Xena, you donít like the thought
of being Ďsettled,í do you?

 

XENA

(sighing)

Itís not that, Gabrielle. I could make a home
anywhere as long as I was with you. But take
today for instance. We were just coming
to town so that you could shop.

 

GABRIELLE

So that WE could get supplies, you mean.

 

XENA

And what did we find?
What ALWAYS finds us?

 

Gabrielle nods and flattens her palm on Xenaís chest, enjoying the feeling of warm, silky skin.

 

GABRIELLE

Someone looking for help, I know.
But, Xena, Autolycus is our friend.

 

XENA

And I would help him without question.

(yawning)

But if we settled in one spot, EVERYONE
would know exactly where to find us. Weíd
never know a momentís peace.  By staying
on the road at least we have a CHANCE
for a quiet moment now and again.

 

GABRIELLE

Mmm. I never thought of it that way.

 

 

XENA

(worriedly)

I donít think weíll ever have a normal home.

 

GABRIELLE

Oh, Xena, I donít care.

 

XENA

You donít?

 

GABRIELLE

(yawning)

You heard me. Iíve never cared one
centaurís butt hair about being normal...

(yawning again)

...just happy. Happiness is you and
me together, Xena. Wherever that is.

 

Xena lies quietly for a moment, allowing Gabrielleís words to seep deep into her soul. Without letting go of Gabrielle, she reaches out and extinguishes the CANDLE next to the bed.

 

XENA

Weíve got a long day ahead of
us tomorrow. Letís get some....

 

Sheís interrupted by the light buzzing of Gabrielleís snores.  Xena grumbles contentedly at the familiar sound.

 

XENA

(Contíd)

(closing her own eyes)

Sleep.

 

FADE TO:

 

INT. DINING ROOM - MORNING

 

Xena and Gabrielle are seated at a large dining table eating the huge meal that has been placed on the table before them. Several serving girls are waiting patiently to tend to their every want. Xena smiles gratefully when one of the girls quickly refills her goblet the second itís emptied. Gabrielle watches Xena, who has a self-satisfied smirk on her face.

 

GABRIELLE

Enjoy it while it lasts.

 

XENA

(reaching out to take her hand)

Donít worry.

(beat)

I will.

 

Just then the same servant girl refills Gabrielleís drink and solicitously butters a chunk of bread for her.

 

GABRIELLE

Mmmm....

 

She smacks loudly as she ignores Xenaís hand in favor of the steaming bread.

 

GABRIELLE

(Contíd)

Me too.

 

Theyíre both smiling at each other when a NURSE brings Autolycus into the room. Heís in a WHEELCHAIR of sorts, with a BLANKET tucked securely around his legs. Xena rises to meet him, wheeling him the rest of the way to the table.

 

AUTOLYCUS

(tiredly)

Good morning, ladies.  Sleep well?

 

GABRIELLE

We did.  Thank you.  But I wonít
bother asking you the same.

 

 

AUTOLYCUS

Good. Then I wonít bother lying about it.

 

While Xena settles him at the table, Gabrielle pours him a cup of hot cider. Xena glances around the grand dining room.

 

XENA

Autolycus, how do you
stand it in this dump?

 

 

AUTOLYCUS

A man must be willing to
suffer for his craft, Xena.

 

Xena retakes her seat, laying her hand on his arm.

 

XENA

You finally gonna tell us why youíre in that chair
and not out robbing the good citizens of Greece?

 

AUTOLYCUS

Robbing?

(straightening his lapels)

I think not.  Robbery implies violence.
I prefer finesse to violence, Xena.
You know that.

 

XENA

(looking pointedly at the wheelchair)

So?

 

Autolycus beings to fidget.

 

AUTOLYCUS

So, I was... hurt in a little accident.

 

Gabrielle pushes her plate away, taking a good look at her friend.

 

GABRIELLE

Yesterday you said you were ill.

 

AUTOLYCUS

(unexpectedly blushing)

Sick, hurt, what does it matter?
I canít walk at the moment.
Isnít that enough?

 

Autolycusí knuckles whiten against the arms of his chair.

 

GABRIELLE

Hey, you donít need to get upset.
Weíre just trying to understand....

 

 

Autolycus becomes distracted by the redhead who let Xena and Gabrielle into the estate the day before.  She is now carefully sectioning an orange for him.  He gazes adoringly at the woman, causing Gabrielle to smother a smile.

 

AUTOLYCUS

(boyishly)

Thanks, Azel.

 

AZEL

(shyly)

Of course.  Anything for you, Autolycus.

 

Xena rolls her eyes.

 

XENA

Gods, I think Iím gonna be sick.

 

 

Gabrielle scolds Xena with a look and decides they canít put off getting down to business any longer.

 

GABRIELLE

Autolycus, can we see the ransom note?

 

AUTOLYCUS

I knew one of you would be asking that.

 

Reaching into the pocket of his robe he pulls out a folded piece of parchment and stares at it almost as if heís afraid to let go of it. Xena slowly reaches out and takes hold of it, looking to her friend until he looks back at her and releases it to her with a sad smile.

 

Xena unfolds the parchment and carefully reads it as Gabrielle looks on and Autolycus sips his cider.

 

XENA

Very straight forward.

 

She passes the note to Gabrielle, who begins to read.

 

AUTOLYCUS

Yes.

(tearing up)

Ten thousand dinars by sunset

day after tomorrow or my son....

 

His voice breaks on the last word and he looks away.

 

AUTOLYCUS

(Contíd)

... dies.

 

GABRIELLE

Itís going to be okay, Autolycus.

 

 

Gabrielle is tempted to promise but knows she canít.

 

GABRIELLE

(Contíd)

Youíll see.

 

AUTOLYCUS

With you two helping me,

it canít be anything else.

 

A short, fat man, AUTOLYCUSí BANKER, rushes into the room and over to Autolycus.  Heís panting and sweating and wringing his hands nervously.

 

AUTOLYCUS

AhhÖ this is my banker....

 

BANKER

(shaking his head frantically)

No time for introductions. Itís gone!

 

The color drains from Autolycusí face and his disbelief shows in his voice.

 

AUTOLYCUS

Gone?

 

Before the banker even answers, Autolycusí worry explodes into anger.  He grabs the banker by the front of his tunic and gives him a stiff shake, exposing the bankerís portly belly.

 

AUTOLYCUS

(Contíd)

What do you mean... gone?

 

Gabrielle blinks at the scene unfolding before her.

 

GABRIELLE

Whatís going on?

 

 

AUTOLYCUS

Whatís wrong is that this moron was supposed
to be escorting my money here from Athens!

 

Autolycus reaches for Gabrielleís bread knife and Xena grabs his wrist, stopping him.

 

XENA

Whoa, Autolycus.

 

Autolycus reluctantly pauses.

 

XENA

(Contíd)

(turning, sneering at Banker)

We can always kill him in a minute. Letís
hear what happened to the money first.

 

BANKER

(eyes wide)

St-st-st-Stolen!

 

The bankerís words are still hanging in the air when a CLOAKED FIGURE holding a heavy bag of dinars appears in the doorway, its identity hidden.

 

The figure holds up bag of dinars and gives it a little shake.

 

 

CLOAKED FIGURE

Somebody lose something?

 

Xena and Gabrielle both jump to their feet and draw their weapons.  Autolycusí head sags in relief and he lets go of the banker, who stumbles backwards in fear as he recognizes the moneybag.

 

BANKER

Oh, gods, itís the... the thief!

 

The bankerís eyes roll back in his head just before passes out, hitting the floor with an unceremonious thump.

 

AUTOLYCUS

(to cloaked figure)

Are you trying to kill me, Talia?
Because I have to tell you... thatís not
the way Iíve always pictured going.

 

TALIA

Please donít tell me the way you always
pictured going.  Iím sure I donít want to know.

 

Talia pulls down her hood and a young woman in her early twenties is revealed. She strolls into the room and drops the bag of dinars on table. Gabrielle sheaths her SAIS but keeps a wary eye on her even as she helps pick the banker off the floor, handing him over to a couple servants.

 

TALIA

Iím not trying to kill you.

 

She leans in and kisses his cheek tenderly.

 

TALIA

(Contíd)

But a girl has to have some fun in life.

(seriously)

I came as soon as I got your message.

 

Taliaís glances up and her gaze fixes then lingers on Gabrielle in honest appreciation, causing Xena to frown.  Gabrielle is oblivious to the attention.

 

AUTOLYCUS

(looking relieved)

I knew you would.  I could always count
on you. Anyone who says there is no honor
among thieves doesnít know my family.

(beat)

Xena, Gabrielle, allow me t
 introduce my daughter, Talia.

 

Talia nudges Autolycus, prodding him to continue. He clears his throat.

 

AUTOLYCUS

The Princess of Thieves.

(smiling proudly)

Safeguard your family jewels, ladies.
Sheís a chip off the old block.

 

CUT TO:

 

INT. AUTOLYCUSí HOUSE - DAY

 

Xena and Gabrielle are gathering their gear in preparation to retrieve Autolycusí son Darius.  Theyíre almost to the door when Gabrielle notices Azel watching them from the hallway. Gabrielle passes her bedroll to Xena.

 

GABRIELLE

You go ahead, Xena.
Iíll be out in a minute.

 

 

XENA

(nodding)

Weíll be waiting.

 

Xena silently picks up their satchel and moves past Azel as she exits the room.

 

AZEL

(wringing her hands)

You have to get him back, Gabrielle.

 

GABRIELLE

Weíll do everything we can.
I promise you that.

 

Azel moves to the open window.  Her hair is gently blown back and she watches as Xena meets Talia in front of the house and the two tall women walk towards the stables.

 

AZEL

Iíve been here since Darius was a baby.

(beat)

He can be difficult but heís really a

sweet kid at heart.  Just like Autolycus.
It would kill him to lose Darius.

 

GABRIELLE

Weíre not going to let that happen.

(smiling)

Youíre in love with him, arenít you?

 

AZEL

(whirling around aghast)

Darius?

 

GABRIELLE

No!  I meant Autolycus.

 

AZEL

(blushing)

Is it that obvious?

 

GABRIELLE

It is if you know what love looks like.

 

AZEL

And you do?

 

GABRIELLE

No question there.

(looking out the window)

Iíve got to go.

 

Gabrielle reaches out and squeezes Azelís forearm before heading for the door.

 

GABRIELLE

(Contíd)

I know youíll take care of
Autolycus until we get back.

 

AZEL

(under her breath)

Just donít come back empty handed.

 

CUT TO:

 

EXT. ROAD - DAY

 

Xena, Gabrielle and Talia are riding slowly down the road.  Xena turns and towards Talia, nudging Argo closer to her black gelding.

 

XENA

Itís not too late to turn back, Talia.
This might be dangerous.

 

 

Taliaís face is set in granite.

 

TALIA

Weíre talking about my brother here.
It doesnít matter how dangerous
it might be.  I have to go.

 

Xena nods in understanding.

 

GABRIELLE

(curiously)

Talia, how did your father get hurt?

 

TALIA

(surprised)

He didnít tell you?

 

Talia ducks under a low hanging branch.

 

XENA

If he told us, would we
be asking you now?

 

TALIA

(reluctantly)

I donít know....

 

GABRIELLE

Please, Talia. Weíre concerned.

 

TALIA

(guiding her horse a little
closer to Gabrielleís)

Really?  Thatís so sweet, Gabrielle.

 

Xena doesnít like how Talia seems to ignore her but is more than willing to talk to Gabrielle.

 

XENA

Yes, really.

 

TALIA

(ignoring Xena)

Fatherís lucky to have a good
friend like you, Gabrielle.

 

XENA

(breaking into the conversation)

Iím his friend to, ya know.

 

Talia waves her hand dismissively.

 

TALIA

Right.

 

Xena scowls at both women... a little perturbed that Gabrielle seems oblivious to Taliaís interest.

 

GABRIELLE

So whatís wrong with your father?

 

 

TALIA

Oh, that.

 

She begins to lose her train of thought as she gazes at Gabrielleís golden hair.

 

TALIA

(Contíd)

You know... I think your hair would look
great long. Iíll bet I have a jeweled clip
somewhere that would look beautiful on you.

 

GABRIELLE

No thanks.  I used to wear my hair
long, but I like it shorter. And....

 

She looks pointedly at Xena and gives her a brilliant smile.

 

GABRIELLE

(Contíd)

Iíve been told it looks nice this way.

 

Xena clears her throat a little self-consciously before pinning Talia with a serious look.

 

XENA

Your father? His illness?
Letís try to focus here.

 

TALIA

RightÖ

(sighing)

He umÖ he broke his hip....

 

XENA

(grunting)

UmmmÖ painful.

(eyes narrowing)

But why didnít he just say so?

 

 

TALIA

(wincing)

He broke his hipÖ with Azel.

 

Gabrielle looks confused.

 

TALIA

(Contíd)

WITH Azel, if you know what I mean.
She used to be a dancer in Athens before
she came to work for Father and she

is... well... amazingly flexible. And athletic.

(quickly)

She didnít mean to hurt him.

 

GABRIELLE

(covering her eyes with one hand)

Oh, Gods.

 

She can hear Xena sniggering in the background and is hard-pressed not to chuckle herself.

 

GABRIELLE

(Contíd)

Xena, thatís not funny.

 

XENA

(still laughing)

Iím sorry, Gabrielle, but the Hades itís not!

 

 

GABRIELLE

And if the same thing had happened
to you? Say, at the Amazon village and
all the other warriors heard about it?

 

The smile slides from Xenaís face and she scowls at the unthinkable scenario.

 

XENA

Donít even joke about that, Gabrielle.

 

GABRIELLE

(to Talia)

That couldnít have been easy
on your fatherís ego.

 

TALIA

(shoots Xena an evil look)

Exactly.  Thatís why he doesnít tell people what

happened. Unfortunately, some townsfolk heard
he was laid up for no apparent reason and the
rumors started to fly.  Iíve heard everything from
him escaping crucifixion to having the plague.

 

Xena and Gabrielle share twin shivers.

 

TALIA

What?

 

GABRIELLE

Donít ask.

(beat)

Autolycus never mentioned your mother....

 

 

TALIA

She died giving birth to Darius.
Itís just been Father and us ever since.

 

She suddenly smiles rakishly in a gesture very reminiscent of her father.

 

TALIA

(Contíd)

And all the servant girls, of course.

 

Gabrielle lifts both her eyebrows.

 

TALIA

(Contíd)

Even without a mother, Darius and I never
wanted for anything, including a good education.

 

Xena opens her mouth to speak, but Talia beats her to the punch.

 

TALIA

(Contíd)

Not that kind of education. Iím a self-taught thief.
Darius, on the other hand, has never had an
interest in the family vocation.  Heíd rather die
than be a thief. Heís was away at school
when somebody snatched him.

(angrily, with frustration)

He should have been safe!

 

Xena stares down the road with unseeing eyes.

 

INTERCUT:

 

Gabrielle being nailed to a snowy cross.

 

 

INTERCUT:

 

Xena and Gabrielle walking through a burning village that had been destroyed by Livia.

 

 

INTERCUT:

 

An old Joxer lying on the ground, mortally wounded.

 

 

INTERCUT:

 

Xena handing a baby Solon to Kaliepus.

 

 

INTERCUT:

 

Xena shakes herself out of her memories and sits up a little straighter on Argo.

 

XENA

There are times that no matter how badly we want
to, we canít keep the people we care about safe.

(beat)

But Talia....

 

Gabrielle and Talia both look at Xena intently.

 

XENA

(Contíd)

This isnít going to be one of those times.

 

 

FADE OUT.

 

END OF ACT TWO

ACT THREE