Episode Guide Teaser Act 1 Act 2 Act 3 Act 4

ACT FOUR

 

FADE IN:

 

EXT. AUTOLYCUSí HOUSE - DAY

 

Three horses clop down the road slowly.  The foursome is only a few hundred yards from Autolycusí home, which looms large in the distance. Darius is riding in front of Xena, who has a firm arm around his midsection.

 

DARIUS

Wait.

 

Xena pulls Argo to a stop and Talia and Gabrielle draw even with them. Darius turns pleading eyes on his sister.  Talia shakes her head slowly.

 

TALIA

I donít know, Darius. Why should I
do you any favors after you tried
to escape again this morning?

 

DARIUS

Please, Talia.  He doesnít have to know
I was behind my kidnapping. IÖ
I was just scared this morning.

(bites his lip)

I kept thinking about what he was
going to say when he found out.

(quickly)

Iím going to try to make things
better between us. I swear.

 

Talia exhales loudly and eyes her brother skeptically.  Sheís surprised to find that she actually believes him.  She looks to Xena and Gabrielle for advice but both women remain silent.  This is something that needs to be worked out between the siblings.

 

TALIA

(shifting in her saddle)

Swear to me youíll never again do
anything even remotely this devious.

 

Her stern face begins to fade and is replaced by a small grin.

 

TALIA

(Contíd)

Unless of course Ö it involves going
into the family business. Then
deviousness is generally a plus.

 

Xena and Gabrielle roll their eyes at Taliaís persistence.  But Darius nods enthusiastically, instantly promising.  As Gabrielle and Talia dismount in front of the stables, Xena leans over and whispers into Dariusí ear.

 

XENA

Now listen and listen good.
Donít blow this chance, Darius.
You never know when your second
chances are going to run out.

 

DARIUS

I wonít.

 

XENA

(squeezing his shoulder gently)

I knew you were smart a kid.

 

CUT TO:

 

INT. AUTOLYCUSí BEDROOM - DAY

 

Autolycus is in bed, leaning back against the wall, eyes closed, but not asleep. The worry and concern over his son is clearly written in the lines on his face.  Azel is sitting in a chair next to the bed, quietly sewing a shirt.  Sheís doing a terrible job and holds up her work, wincing at the crooked line of stitches.  She glances over to Autolycus from time to time with her own worried expression, but remains quiet.

 

The door slowly opens, Xena peaks around it to see Autolycus.

 

XENA

Weíre back.

 

 

Autolycusí red-rimmed eyes open snap open. Itís clear he hasnít known a momentís peace since this all this happened. He looks for Darius, his heart sinking when he doesnít see him with Xena.  Autolycus tries to muster a smile at his friend, knowing she would have tried her best to get him back, but he just canít.  He stroked his mustache nervously.

 

AUTOLYCUS

What happened?

 

Xena pushes the door open further to reveal the boy standing beside her.  Autolycusí face lights up and he opens his arms in welcome to his son home.

 

AUTOLYCUS

(Contíd)

Darius!

(emotionally whispering)

My son.

 

Xena gives him a little shove and the boy moves to the bed where he is immediately engulfed in a bear hug.

 

AUTOLYCUS

Iíve been so worried.
Gods, youíre all right?

 

DARIUS

(nodding against his
fatherís shoulder)

Iím fine.
Thanks to Talia and your friends.

 

From the door Xena, Gabrielle and Talia watch the pair. Talia breathes a sigh of relief, seeing the tension and stress leave her father as he holds Darius.

 

Azel stands and puts her hand on Dariusí shoulder.

 

AZEL

Itís good to have you home, Darius.
Youíre father and... well, your
father has been sick with worry.

 

Autolycus turns adoring eyes on Azel and Darius looks between them, realizing for the first time that his father really cares about this woman.  Darius sniffs, doing his best to hold back his tears.

 

DARIUS

Itís good to be home.

 

Xena joins Gabrielle and Talia as they exit the room, quietly closing the door and allowing Autolycus and his son the reunion they deserve.

 

CUT TO:

 

EXT. AUTOLYCUSí HOUSE - DAY

 

Talia and Gabrielle are in the yard sparring with staffs, the cracking sound of wood meeting wood ringing out loudly in the quiet afternoon air.  Xena is on the porch watching them and smiling fondly at the alternating looks of concentration and wild happiness on her partnerís face. She glances back down at a parchment in her lap as she chews on the tip of the quill sheís using.  She nods a little and finishes the letter with a bold ĎXí, waving the parchment out in front of her to dry the ink.

 

Darius steps out of the house and takes a seat on the porch next to Xena.  Neither of them speak for a moment, instead focusing on Talia and Gabrielle. He gestures to Gabrielle with his prominent chin.

 

DARIUS

Gabrielle is very good.

 

XENA

Yes, she is.

 

DARIUS

Talia used to love to practice. But I
havenít seen her do it in a long time.

 

XENA

(thoughtfully)

Mm.

 

DARIUS

(taking a deep breath)

Thank you.

 

XENA

Youíre welcome.

 

DARIUS

He really loves me.

 

XENA

(matter of factly)

Of course he does.

 

DARIUS

I never knew.  Well, I did, but I guess
I didnít care. I was too busy being
embarrassed by him and Talia to see it.

 

XENA

What changed?

 

DARIUS

Me, I guess. The look on his face when I
came home... what you said.  I dunno.
Maybe I finally just woke up or somethiní.

 

Xenaís eyes stay fixed on Gabrielle as the sounds of clashing staves fill the air.

 

XENA

Sometimes itís hard to see whatís right in
front of you. But if youíre very lucky the
people who love you most will always be
there for you and never give up on you.
Even when you give up on yourself.

 

 

DARIUS

I am very lucky.

 

XENA

Yup.

 

DARIUS

Theyíre getting married, you
know, Father and Azel.

 

XENA

I know.  He told me last night
after you went to bed.

(beat)

He also told me what it is you want to
do with your life.  And now I know what
you were going to do with the ransom
money. It can cost a lot of money
nowadays to be trained as a healer.

 

Embarrassed, Darius drops his head.

 

DARIUS

Pretty stupid, huh?

 

XENA

The kidnapping? Absolutely
Wanting to be a healer? Not at all.
As a matter of fact, I have a friend
who can probably help you.

 

Xena hands Darius the parchment, but doesnít look at him. She keeps watching Talia and Gabrielle.

 

XENA

(Contíd)

His name is Hippocrates. I hear he runs
a school in Athens. Iím wagering that
letter will be enough to get you in.
But you have to promise me something.

 

DARIUS

(warily)

What?

 

XENA

Donít ever be ashamed of who you
are or where you come from. It wonít
bring you anything but pain.

 

DARIUS

I... Iíll do my best, Xena

 

XENA

(turning towards Darius)

Good answer.

 

CUT TO:

 

EXT. COUNTRY ROAD - DAY

 

Xena and Gabrielle are walking along leading Argo by the reins. a look of intense concentration graces Xenaís face.

 

XENA

It felt strange watching you spare
today, while I was on the porch writing.

 

 

GABRIELLE

Strange bad or strange good?

 

XENA

(nodding)

Good.

 

GABRIELLE

(thoughtfully)

Things change, Xena.  Me drillingÖ you
doing the sensitive chats. These days I
think weíre a little more like each other.

(nodding firmly)

And I think I like that.

 

 

XENA

(purring)

Have I mentioned how much I
enjoyed watching you spar today?

 

The bard scrunches up her nose as she smiles.

 

GABRIELLE

Then again, itís very comforting to know
that some things donít change at all.
ou just like to see me sweat.

 

XENA

That goes without saying... But....

(pausing awkwardly)

 

GABRIELLE

(Curiously)

Xena?

 

XENA

Watching you today... for the millionth time
I wished that Iíd tried to stop you when
you threw your staff away... in India.

(frowning)

You seemed so sure about your
decision. But it was a part of you.

 

 

GABRIELLE

Mm. Like your Chakram is a part of you?

 

 

Xena unconsciously lays her hand on the weapon.

 

XENA

All those weeks when you had it
and we were apart... it was just one
more part of me that wasÖ missing.

 

 

 

GABRIELLE

(smiling wistfully)

You donít know how many times Iíve wished
I wished I hadnít thrown my staff away.

 

XENA

(surprised)

You never said....

 

GABRIELLE

I know I didnít. You couldnít have
stopped me, Xena. It was the choice
I needed to make at the time.

(beat)

I know now that you donít have to throw
your past away to grow beyond it.
Sort of like what you told Darius today.

 

 

XENA

You heard that?

 

GABRIELLE

(feigning insult)

I had a good teacher. Listen behind
the sounds. Sound familiar?

 

XENA

(chuckling)

Oh, right.  I forgot.

 

Xena reaches out and takes Gabrielleís hand as they walk.

 

XENA

(Contíd)

Taliaís gonna miss you, my bard.

 

GABRIELLE

Sheíll get over it.

 

The warrior is clearly smitten and clearly embarrassed by it.

 

XENA

She wouldnít if she knew you better.

 

 

GABRIELLE

(beaming)

That was all mushy and romantic!

 

She stops and peers at Xenaís face.

 

GABRIELLE

(Contíd)

Gods.  Is that a blush I see too?

 

 

XENA

(with mock gruffness)

Well, donít get used to it.

 

In a lightning quick move, Xena drops Argoís reins, sweeps Gabrielle into her arms, dipping her way back for a passionate, soul-searing kiss. She only releases Gabrielle when the need for air becomes too great to ignore.

 

GABRIELLE

(whispering dazedly)

Oooo, too late, Warrior Princess.

 

Xena sets Gabrielle back on her feet and continues to walk down the road as though nothing happened.  She tries, but isnít quite able to hide her happy smirk.  Gabrielle stares at Xenaís retreating form, still too stunned to move. After a moment, she blinks.

 

GABRIELLE

(Contíd)

Wow.

 

Gabrielle is tempted to run after her partner but doesnít give into the urge.  Instead she begins a happy stroll, her step a little bit spryer than it was a few moments ago.

 

Xena isnít going anywhere.

 

FADE OUT.

 

 

DISCLAIMER
Dariusí head didn't explode during the making of this episode. Which is a
good thing, since Woolite wouldnít be invented for several thousand years.

 

NEXT WEEK ON XENA

 

AND