Episode Guide Teaser Act 1 Act 2 Act 3 Act 4

ACT THREE

 

FADE IN:

 

EXT. CAMPSITE - NIGHT

 

Xena, Gabrielle, and Talia are seated around a campfire.  Xena is replacing a lace on one of her boots. Gabrielle is watching as Talia picks through the food she prepared for supper.  Talia is seated against a tree.

 

GABRIELLE

Too much pepper on the rabbit?

 

 

Talia looks up, startled by Gabrielleís voice in the quiet campsite.

 

TALIA

No. Yes.

(rubbing her temples)

I mean... Iím just not hungry.

 

Gabrielle shoots Xena a meaningful look.  Xena glances at her uncertainly before a mental light bulb pops on and she quickly shoves the last of her dinner into her mouth.  She snatches up Gabrielleís empty and Taliaís mostly full plate.

 

XENA

Iím uhÖ IímÖ Iím going to the creek
to wash these so you two can....

 

 

GABRIELLE

(warmly)

Thanks, Xena.

 

Xena nods and disappears into the darkness leaving Talia and Gabrielle in an uncomfortable silence.

 

GABRIELLE

We will get him back, you know.

 

TALIA

(frustratedly)

We donít even know if heís still alive.

 

Her jaw works silently for several seconds.

 

TALIA

(Contíd)

Mother is already gone.
It would kill Father to lose him.

 

GABRIELLE

(quietly)

I know.  And believe me, Talia, so
does Xena. Weíll move heaven
and Earth. You need to trust us.

 

TALIA

How do you know you can do this?

 

GABRIELLE

Autolycus has never let either of us
down. We wonít let him down either.

(smiling gently)

But thatís not the main reason.

 

TALIA

The main reason?

 

GABRIELLE

Xena.

 

 

A little of Gabrielleís confidence appears to wear off on Talia and she relaxes.  She tries to scoot closer to Gabrielle but the bard begins to move as she tidies up around the campsite.  Giving up on being able to sit next to Gabrielle, Talia holds out her arms out like an expectant child.

 

TALIA

(wriggling her eyebrows)

How about a hug in my hour of need?

 

GABRIELLE

(shaking her head)

Gods, you really are a chip off the old block.

 

TALIA

(hopefully)

Is that a yes?

 

Gabrielle hasnít had a chance to reply when Xenaís CHAKRAM flies out of the darkness and impales itself in the tree behind Talia, about an inch above her head.  A chunk of dark hair is hacked off in the process.  Talia gasps and fearfully reaches up, making a face when her fingers find the loose tuft and strands of hair sprinkle down onto her face.

 

TALIA

(disgustedly)

Ugh!

 

The expression on Gabrielleís face tells the young woman she had it coming.

 

GABRIELLE

(wryly)

If I were you, Iíd take that as a definite Ďnoí.

 

 

 

FADE TO:

 

EXT. FORK IN THE ROAD - EVENING

 

Xena, Gabrielle, and Talia wait anxiously atop their horses.

 

TALIA

Where are they? Itís almost sunset.

 

Gabrielleís gaze drifts towards the bushes.

 

GABRIELLE

Theyíre already here.

 

 

XENA

(nodding approvingly at Gabrielle)

Theyíre just waiting to come out.

Making us sweat.

 

TALIA

(mumbling)

Itís working, too.

 

A loud MALE VOICE suddenly booms from the bushes.

 

MALE VOICE

Leave the money under the big tree in front
of you and ride away. Donít make me tell you
twice or Darius gets it! If there are no tricks,
weíll bring him back to his tutors unharmed.

 

TALIA

Wait just a damn minute!

 

GABRIELLE

(under her breath)

Itíll be okay, Talia.  Relax.

 

Wordlessly, Xena dismounts Argo, pulls the bags of dinars from the saddlebags and pads over the large tree on the edge of the fork in the road.  She sets the bags down, goes back to Argo and all three riders turn around and disappear around the bend in the road.  Several moments pass before a dark-haired BOY, age 12-14, peeks out from the bushes and carefully makes his way to the bags of dinars.  He lifts the first bag, and peers inside.  Xena sneaks up behind him and silently peers over his shoulder and into the bag.

 

XENA

All there?

 

 

BOY

I think... AHHH!

 

The boy turns and sees Xena. Wide-eyed, he stumbles backwards and right into Gabrielleís waiting arms, where she keeps hold of him by the scruff of the neck.

 

BOY

AHHH!

 

GABRIELLE

Gotcha.

 

Talia appears on the road holding the reins of all three horses.  She rushes over to her brother.

 

TALIA

Darius?

(looking around)

Where are the kidnappers?

 

XENA

(glaring menacingly at Darius)

There aren't any kidnappers, are there?

 

 

DARIUS

(croaking)

No.

 

Gabrielle winces.  Talia drops the reins and yanks her brother from Gabrielleís grasp.

 

TALIA

No kidnappers!  YOU did this?

 

GABRIELLE

(warningly)

Talia.

 

 

Xena takes Talia by the arms.

 

XENA

Easy, Taila. We'll figure out what's
going on, but you don't want to hurt him.

 

TALIA

Youíre right, Xena.
I donít want to hurt him.

 

Xena, Gabrielle and Darius all let out relieved breaths.

 

TALIA
(Contíd)

I want to KILL him!

 

GABRIELLE

(quickly pulls Darius away from Talia)

I think...

(another pull)

...we need

(grunts as spins around to
put Darius behind her)

...to cool off.

(to Xena)

Iíll talk to him.  You get Talia.

 

 

Gabrielle and Darius walk several paces into the woods and out of sight.  Xena pries the bag of dinars out of Dariusí hand as he passes her.  She waits several moments to speak, allowing Talia some time to get a grip on her temper.

 

XENA

Talia, I know youíre mad, but if he went to
all the trouble to set this up,  then something
is wrong. We need to find out what it is.

 

TALIA

(gesturing wildly)

Doesn't he know how worried we've been?

 

XENA

Probably not. Didn't you see him?
He was scared to death.  Your
brother needs our help, Talia.

 

Her brow furrows as sheís reminded of the doe eyes Taliaís been turning on her partner the entire trip.

 

XENA

(Contíd)

Though killing someone you find annoying
can be a very appealing prospect.

 

 

TALIA

Donít tell me you fell for that scared....

 

Gabrielle bursts out of woods alone. Panting, she wildly looks around.

 

GABRIELLE

Is he...?

(throwing hands in the air)

Gods, of all the rotten tricks!

(beat)

He started to cry, Xena. Cry! Big, fat,
crocodile tears.  I sat him on a log and
lanced away to look for something to
wipe his pitiful face with and
when I looked back he was gone.

 

 

XENA

Oh, for Zeusí sake!

(disgustedly)

Fan out.  Let's find him.

 

CUT TO:

 

EXT. WOODS - EVENING

 

Darius is securely tied to a tree. Xena checks the ropes to make sure he canít go anywhere.

 

XENA

That should hold you.

 

Darius doesnít say anything. He just glares at Xena.

 

XENA

Youíre going to have to do better than that
if you want to scare me.  Are you hungry?

 

The boy remains quiet.

 

XENA

(Contíd)

Have it your way. You donít know
what youíre missing. Gabrielle has
a real knack when it comes to fish.

 

Xena walks over and joins Talia and Gabrielle at the fire, careful to keep one eye on Darius.

 

GABRIELLE

Heís still not talking?

 

XENA

Nope.

 

 

TALIA

(poking the ground
viscously with a stick)

I canít believe he did this.
I love my brother.
But I donít know....

 

Talia looks away as she tosses her stick into the woods.

 

TALIA

(Contíd)

I donít know if I can forgive this.

(beat)

Heís never really gotten on with Father.
For some reason I canít fathom, he has
an ďissueĒ with Father being a thief.

 

GABRIELLE

(pushing herself to her feet)

Okay.  I can do this.  Let me go talk to him.

 

 

XENA

(fixing a plate of fish)

Thatís your specialty. Sensitive chats.

 

 

Gabrielle retrieves an apple from their saddlebags and shoulders by Argo, whose head swings around for the treat.  She whispers to Argo, patting her affectionately.

 

GABRIELLE

Not this time, girl. Later, I promise.

 

She approaches Darius casually, tossing the apple as she walks.

 

GABRIELLE

(Contíd)

Hi. Hungry?

 

Darius refuses to acknowledge Gabrielleís presence.

 

GABRIELLE

Okaaaay. Well, lucky for you I can
hold up two sides of a conversation
without any problem at all.

 

She sniffs the air and inclines her head toward the fire.

 

GABRIELLE

(Contíd)

Mmm... wow, you can smell that flaky
steamed trout all the way over here.
Xena caught four really nice ones.

 

Despite himself, Darius licks his lips. A tiny smile etches its way across Gabrielleís face.

 

GABRIELLE

My name is Gabrielle.

 

DARIUS

(his head snapping around)

Liar!

 

Gabrielle jumps, startled by the volume of Dariusí voice.  Xena sits up straight and calls from across the camp.

 

XENA

Problem, Gabrielle?

 

 

Darius blanches.

 

GABRIELLE

Nope. Weíre fine.

 

She holds the apple to Dariusí lips.

 

GABRIELLE

(Contíd)

Wanna bite?

 

He reluctantly takes a bite.

 

DARIUS

(mumbling)

Thanks.

 

GABRIELLE

Youíre welcome. Now, why
do you think Iím lying?

 

DARIUS

Iím not stupid. Youíre not
old enough to be her.

 

Gabrielle quickly looks back at Xena hoping she heard the comment.  She frowns when she sees that Xena is engrossed in her dinner and didnít hear Darius.

 

GABRIELLE

Rats.

 

 

DARIUS

Huh?

 

GABRIELLE

Never mind. I am Gabrielle and that
intimidating-looking warrior across
the campfire is my partner, Xena.

(sincerely)

Sheís really quite lovable once you get
to know her, Darius.  She wonít hurt you.

 

DARIUS

Well, then I guess itís true then.

 

GABRIELLE

Whatís true?

 

DARIUS

What Father said about you two.

 

He looks back and forth between Gabrielle and begins to make obnoxious kissing sounds.

 

GABRIELLE

(rolling her eyes)

What exactly did your
father tell you about us?

 

Darius continues with the kissing noise, only louder.

 

GABRIELLE

Very funny.

(beat)

But itís old news. Instead, why donít
we talk about why you did all this?

 

DARIUS

Arenít you going to yell at me?
Tell me how much I worried Father
and how I should be ashamed?

 

Gabrielle purses her lips for a moment then shakes her head.

 

GABRIELLE

Nope. You seem to be doing okay on your own.

 

 

DARIUS

Right!

(confusedly)

I think.

 

Gabrielle absently buffs the apple in her hand against her skirt.

 

GABRIELLE

But I would still like to know why.

 

DARIUS

(lifting his jaw)

None of your business.

 

GABRIELLE

Wrong. We were sent to find you by
your father. That makes it our business.

 

DARIUS

Would you buy that I'm a brilliant
beyond my years and was bored?

 

GABRIELLE

This isn't a joke, Darius.

 

DARIUS

(quietly)

My whole life is a joke.

 

GABRIELLE

(her concern growing)

Why would you say that?

 

DARIUS

I repeat. None of your business.

 

GABRIELLE

If youíd just....

 

DARIUS

I donít want to talk!

 

GABRIELLE

But....

 

 

Darius lowers his voice so that Gabrielle has to lean very close to him in order to hear what heís saying.

 

DARIUS

You know, youíre cute... for an older woman
and all. If youíd could stop talking so much,
you could use that pretty mouth of yours to....

 

CUT TO:

 

EXT. CAMPSITE - NIGHT

 

Gabrielle marches off into the woods and the sound of her muffled cursing floats over the campsite.  Xena and Talia look over at Darius, who has the apple shoved in his mouth so that he canít talk.  Rivulets of drool are running down his chin and heís shaking his head in an attempt dislodge the piece of fruit.  But he canít.  Xena cocks her head to the side and regards Darius speculatively.

 

XENA

I think that probably went well, donít you?

 

 

Talia claps her hands together.

 

TALIA

Iíd say so.

(beat)

Well, Iíll just go and see if
Gabrielle needs... anything.

 

Xena casually unhooks her chakram holding up the razor-sharp blade and allowing it to glisten in the firelight.

 

TALIA

(squeaking)

Or not.

 

CUT TO:

 

EXT. CAMPFIRE - NIGHT

 

Xena rolls over to face the fire and look across the campsite at Talia and Darius. She glances back briefly when Gabrielle groans and rolls over.  Xena smiles fondly at her and pulls her blankets up around her shoulders, patting Gabrielleís back gently.  Looking back across the campfire, she watches as Darius slips out of the ropes around his wrists that tether him to his sister.

 

Xena sighs heavily as the boy slips into the woods.  As she begins to rise, Gabrielle sleepily lifts her head and mumbles something unintelligible. 

 

XENA

(whispering)

Síokay. Iíll be right back.

 

GABRIELLE

Promise, Xena?

 

Xena trails her fingers through Gabrielleís hair.

 

XENA

No. I swear.
Go back to sleep, now.

 

Eyes already closing again, Gabrielle smiles.

 

GABRIELLE

íKay.

 

Xena gets up and moves to the spot where the boy disappeared into the woods.  She cocks her head and listens, waiting patiently for Darius to finish his business.  After several seconds, sheís still waiting, so she takes a seat on a large rock. She crosses her legs and rests her arms over them.

 

XENA

Gods, how much did
Gabrielle give him to drink?

 

She glances as Darius comes emerges from the bushes.

 

XENA

Everything come out all right? I was
a little worried  there for a minute.

 

 

DARIUS

Is everything a joke to you?

 

XENA

No. As a matter of fact some things
are deadly serious.  Like for instance....

 

DARIUS

(interrupting)

Like what I tried to do.

 

XENA

See, I knew you were a smart one.

 

Xena slides over and pats the rock.  Darius takes a seat next to her.

 

XENA

So?

 

DARIUS

So?

 

XENA

Want to tell me about it?

 

DARIUS

If I didnít want to talk to Gabrielle,
what makes you think Iíll talk to you?

 

XENA

(shrugging)

Call it a hunch.

(beat)

It might help, Darius.

 

DARIUS

Why should I bother? You
probably wouldnít understand.

 

XENA

You, know, Iíve done some things
Well, Iím... Iím far from perfect myself.
Youíd be surprised at the things I understand.

 

DARIUS

(blurting out)

Have you ever felt ashamed?

 

XENA

Shame? Oh, yeah.
Thatís one I know real well.

 

DARIUS

(licking his lips nervously)

Really?

 

XENA

MmHmm. But you donít want to talk
about me. What are you ashamed of?

 

 

DARIUS

Do you have any idea what itís like
being the son of the most notorious
known thief in the world?

 

XENA

(muffling an amused snort)

The world?

(turning serious)

Ummm... No, canít say I do.
Do you have any idea what itís like to be
responsible for the countless deaths?

 

Dariusí eyes grow wide as though heís giving serious consideration to bolting.

 

DARIUS

Father... he... umm... sort of
forgot to mentioned that.

 

XENA

Iím not surprised. Darius, your
father is a good man.

 

DARIUS

Good? Do you know how he hurt himself?

 

XENA

(shrugging one shoulder)

Talia told us.

 

DARIUS

Do you have any idea how embarrassed
I was when that came out?

 

 

XENA

Came out?

 

DARIUS

Iíd been pestering Father about his illness.
Finally, he broke down and told me what
really happened in a letter. Some boys at
school found the parchment and read
it out loud to everyone in the dorm.

 

XENA

(wincing)

Ouch.

 

Darius kicks at a stone near his foot.

 

DARIUS

Yeah.  I thought if I staged the kidnapping that
Iíd never have to rely on him again. I could pay
for my own way. Be what I want to be.

(sighing)

It was stupid.

 

Xena sigh answers Dariusí and she looks longingly towards their bedroll and Gabrielle.  But one look at Darius, and she firms her resolve to muddle through.

 

XENA

He didnít mean to hurt you,
Darius. I know that for a fact.

 

DARIUS

He never means to, but it always
seems to happen, doesnít it?

 

XENA

And so heís responsible for everything in
your life thatís not the way you want it?

 

DARIUS

(defensively)

Well....

 

XENA

Thatís not how it works, Darius.

 

 

DARIUS

But he...

 

XENA

... loves you and has made mistakes in his
life just like the rest of us.  Just like you will.

 

DARIUS

(whispering)

Like I have, you mean.

 

XENA

(closing her eyes briefly in relief)

He can be forgiven and so can you.

 

DARIUS

I donít think anyone can forgive me this.

 

Xena spoke, her voice tinged with wonder.

 

XENA

When somebody really loves you, they
can forgive just about anything. Trust me
on this one, kid.  I would know.

 

 

Xena hears the beginning of sniffles but looks straight ahead, allowing Darius his dignity.

 

XENA

(Contíd)

It seems to me that you can spend the rest
of your life letting your fatherís reputation
embarrass you, or you can embrace
it and make it work for you.

 

Darius wipes his eyes with the back of his hand.

 

DARIUS

And how can I do that?

 

XENA

By taking responsibility for your own actions
and being a strongerÖ a better person because
of it. Stop trying to make other people responsible
for you happiness and your unhappiness.

(beat)

The only person who can make you feel
responsible for something, is you, Darius.

 

DARIUS

You make it soundÖ

(sniffing)

...easy.  Itís not easy.

 

Xenaís eyes soften and she puts her arm around his shoulder, giving him a little tug until his head is resting on her shoulder.

 

XENA

Nothing any good ever is.
But you can do it. I believe in you.
And so does your family.

 

She searches for something more she can say to help.

 

XENA

(Contíd)

Youíre all going to be okay.  I know it.

 

Darius nods against her shoulder and continues to cry, while she rubs his arms slowly, her own eyes glistening.

 

CUT TO:

 

Xena watches as Darius slides back down in his bedroll next to his sister, who is still sound asleep.

 

DARIUS

Thanks, Xena.

 

XENA

Donít mention it.

 

DARIUS

(smiling)

I wonít.

 

XENA

(smiling back)

I know.

 

Xena moves back to her own side of the fire and slides under the blankets, spooning tightly against Gabrielleís back.

 

GABRIELLE

(softly)

Good job.

 

XENA

Thanks. It wasnít as good
as youíd have been.

 

GABRIELLE

(whispering)

Nuh uh, Warrior Princess. It was perfect.

(sleepily)

I am so keeping you.

 

Xenaís body shakes with silent chuckles.

 

XENA

What a relief.

 

Gabrielle grabs Xenaís hand and brings it to rest against her chest.

 

GABRIELLE

Mmm... I love you, Xena.

 

Xena brushes her lips against Gabrielleís neck and sighs as she looks up into a sky full of brilliant stars.

 

XENA

I love you too, Gabrielle.

 

DISSOLVE TO:

 

EXT. CAMPSITE - SUNRISE

 

Xena and Gabrielle are ripped out of a sound sleep by loud arguing between Darius and Talia.  Xena is up immediately, Gabrielle follows, still not quite awake, but drawing her sais in defense.

 

GABRIELLE

Where are the bad guys?

 

 

Xena moves between the siblings and pushes them apart.

 

XENA

What is going on?

 

Talia is so preoccupied by Gabrielle and the most horrendous case of bed-head sheís ever laid eyes on that for a moment she can only gape in wonder.  Xena looks back at Gabrielle and snickers fondly.

 

GABRIELLE

What?

 

She uses a sais to self-consciously comb through her hair.

 

 

XENA

(to Talia)

Forget about Gabrielle.

 

Her voice deepens.

 

XENA

(Contíd)

Permanently.
Now, I repeat, what is going on?

 

TALIA

Nothing. Darius is just being is
typical self. Trying to escape.

 

DARIUS

(lamely)

I had to use the bushes.

 

XENA

(hands on hips)

I was there last night, Darius. Youíre going
to have to do a lot better than that.

 

TALIA

Exactly.

 

DARIUS

(to Talia)

And how would you know what I was going
to do? Do you often have to keep people
tied to you in order for them to stay near you?

 

XENA

Darius, Iíve had just about
enough of your little escapes.

 

CUT TO:

 

EXT. CAMP - DAY

 

Xena, Gabrielle, and Talia are eating breakfast around their camp.  Darius has been strung up by his feet and is hanging upside down from a branch of a tree.  His head is dangling a few feet from Xena.

 

GABRIELLE

(in a stage whisper to Xena)

You canít leave him like that too long, Xena.
You know what could happen.

(wrinkling her nose)

And what a mess it makes.

 

 

XENA

Iím telling you, Gabrielle, that guyís head
exploding was a fluke.  A once in a lifetime thing.

 

Darius whimpers and Xena and Gabrielle share conspiratorial smiles.

 

XENA

(in a mock-aggrieved tone)

Oh, all right.  Think you can stay
put from now on, Darius?

 

DARIUS

W-w-without a doubt, maíam.

 

Xena gives Gabrielle and Talia a self-satisfied smirk.

 

XENA

Now thatís more like it.

 

 

FADE OUT.

 

END OF ACT THREE

 

ACT FOUR