Episode Guide Teaser Act 1 Act 2 Act 3 Act 4

ACT FOUR

 

FADE IN:

 

INT. LIRAíS DRESSING ROOM - MORNING

 

Lira is looking doubtfully down at her body, now clad in an attractive, though slightly worn, dress.

 

LIRA

I donít know about this, Afar.

 

APHRODITE

Well I do. You look absolutely

scrumptious in this dress.

When the guys see you,

theyíre gonna be picking

their eyeballs up off the floor.

 

Lira giggles at the image.  Then she sobers.

 

LIRA

Iím still not sure.

 

Aphrodite lays a hand on her shoulder.

 

APHRODITE

Sweet pea, how can anyone

appreciate your beauty if you

hide it all the time?  Those black

rags you were wearing could

scare anybody away.  Trust me,

you look fabulous.  I wouldnít

lie to you.  I promise.

 

After a moment, Lira nods.

 

LIRA

Ok. Iím ready.

 

APHRODITE

Great!  Now remember, eyes

bright, chin up, shoulders back,

chest out.  Youíre a beautiful,

confident woman.  Let everyone

else see that for a change, ok?

 

 

LIRA

Okay.

 

Smiling, Aphrodite opens the dressing room door and ushers Lira from the room.

 

CUT TO:

 

INT. TAVERN - MORNING

 

Xena and Gabrielle, having spent most of the pre-dawn hours fortifying the perimeters and drilling the soon-to-be combatants, are about to walk out once again into the breech when the door opens and Aphrodite ushers Lira in.  Gabrielleís eyes widen in shock and appreciation.  Even Xena looks impressed. 

 

True to Aphroditeís promise, the men in the room cast their own admiring and appreciative looks at the young woman, causing her smile to broaden and her confidence to grow. 

 

Spotting Xena and Gabrielle, Aphrodite beams and makes her way over to the pair.

 

GABRIELLE

Aphrodite!  She looks wonderful!

 

APHRODITE

(proudly)

She does, doesnít she?

 

GABRIELLE

What did you do?

 

APHRODITE

(offhandedly)

Oh, a little of this, a little of

that.  You know, girl talk.

 

She looks over at Xena.

 

APHRODITE

(contíd)

Or maybe you wouldnít.

 

Xena smirks and Gabrielle laughs softly.  All watch as Lira carries out her duties with the confidence and poise she used to possess in spades before the attack that took her brother.

 

GABRIELLE

I canít believe it. She hardly

seems like the same woman.

 

 

Aphrodite smiles and gives Gabrielle a significant look

 

APHRODITE

Sometimes you just need a

friend to help you get your

groove back, you know?

 

Gabrielle grins, then sobers as the outside door opens and Falin enters with a group of his friends.  The trio watches as the men first stare in amazement at Lira, then, one by one, turn away and sit at their customary table without comment. 

 

To her credit, Lira takes the blatant rejection in stride, continuing to carry herself proudly and with confidence.

 

Aphrodite, on the other hand, looks devastated.

 

APHRODITE

I donít get it! What happened?

 

XENA

Idiotís got rocks in his head.

 

 

With a shake of her head, Xena turns and walks out of the tavern. Gabrielle wraps a brief arm around Aphroditeís waist in a conciliatory hug.

 

APHRODITE

What a loser!  Makeover

courtesy of the Goddess

of Love, and he ignores it.

 

GABRIELLE

Maybe, but look.

 

Following the direction indicated, Aphrodite looks on as Lira continues with her tasks, trading friendly, laughing and confident banter with her customers.  Sensing Aphroditeís attention, Lira looks up, tucks a strand of hair behind her ear, and smiles, eyes sparkling with a happiness that hasnít been seen in years.

 

GABRIELLE

(contíd)

You did good, Aphrodite.

 

Beaming, Aphrodite crosses her arms over her chest and gazes on.

 

CUT TO:

 

EXT. TOWN - JUST BEFORE NOON

 

With the sun nearly directly overhead, the town is silent and waiting.  Swordsmen and staff wielders hunker down behind bales of straw while the bowmen, hidden behind the overturned wagons, awaiting the signal from Xena.  Xena and Gabrielle have separated.  Xena is to the left of the gate, Gabrielle to the right.  Peering over the barricade, Xena can see the dust as it rises up from the hooves of thundering horses.

 

Xena lifts an arm.  Gabrielle copies her motion.

 

XENA

(softly)

Steady... steady....

 

The horses can be heard now, and as the raiders come into view, Xena notices that the group is closer to fifty strong than twenty.  She shoots a look to Gabrielle, who nods.

 

XENA

(contíd)

Steady... hold steady....

 

The raiders spread out, and begin to funnel toward the gate.

 

XENA

(contíd)

NOW!

 

 

On both sides of the gate, bowmen rise up from their hiding places and let fly their arrows.  The screams of men and horses are heard.  Xena launches her chakram, and it slices through the ranks, taking out five men before returning to her hand.

 

GABRIELLE

NOW!

 

The second rank of bowmen rise up and release their arrows as well.  More men and horses go down.  The rest of the group, still almost forty strong, surges forward.  Horses scream as their fragile legs come in contact with the sharpened spikes. Rearing up, they toss their riders, and a logjam forms at the mouth of the gate.

 

XENA

Swordsmen, forward!

 

As the first raider climbs out of the jumble, the swordsmen converge upon him, cutting him quickly down.  More men begin to stream through the gate, and their superior skills soon turn the battle to their favor.

 

GABRIELLE

Staff wielders, forward!

 

With her own staff, Gabrielle jumps into the fray, cutting down her attackers with ease.  Seeing her example, the other women wade in with confidence, pummeling the men streaming through the gate.

 

CUT TO:

 

EXT. BATTLEGROUND - DAY - XENAíS POV

 

Her back to an overturned wagon, Xena attacks six men in the semicircle around her.  She easily deflects their somewhat clumsy thrusts, then deliberately opens herself for a killing shot by the man directly before her.  As he takes the bait, she sweeps his sword aside and plunges her own deep into his belly.  The others fall on her, bearing her to the ground.  She throws them off, disabling a second and third with vicious swipes to the belly and legs.

 

CUT TO:

 

EXT. BATTLEGROUND - DAY - GABRIELLEíS POV

 

In the very thick of the battle, Gabrielle uses her staff with finesse, twirling it so quickly that she succeeds in making one of the raiders dizzy, which gives her an easy opening for a one-two shot to the chin.  He drops like a stone and stays down.  Swiping the feet out of a second man, she watches as he falls back into a third, taking them both out for the moment. 

 

Spinning, she looks for another opponent, and heads over to where two women are trying to fend off five men.

 

CUT TO:

 

INT. INFIRMARY - DAY

 

The first several casualties are being brought in, bruised, battered and bleeding.  An elderly healer uses her hands to direct the placement of her patients.  Lira goes right to work.  Aphrodite, eyes wide, stands off to the side staring.

 

LIRA

Afar?

 

Aphrodite continues to stare as a man screams in agony, his leg broken in several places and blood spurting from a hole in his side.

 

LIRA

Afar!  Snap out of it!

We need help!

 

APHRODITE

I....

 

LIRA

Hurry!

 

Blinking, Aphrodite shakes her head slightly and biting her lip, steps hesitantly forward.

 

APHRODITE

W-what can I do?

 

LIRA
Hold this cloth over his wound.

Press hard. We need to stop the

bleeding, and I canít with this hand.

 

Wincing, Aphrodite slowly reaches out a hand, touches the already blood-covered cloth, pulls away, then touches it again.

 

LIRA
(encouragingly)

Good. Thatís good.  Push

a little harder.  Thatís it.

 

APHRODITE

(sotto voce)

Blood.  Gross.

 

LIRA

Excuse me?

 

APHRODITE

Nothing.  Iím fine... I think.

 

Lira smiles.

 

LIRA

Youíre doing fine.

 

CUT TO:

 

EXT. BATTLEFIELD - DAY

 

Xena and Gabrielle are fighting back to back.

 

XENA

Having fun yet?

 

She smashes the pommel of her sword in her attackerís face, rearranging his dental work for him, then punches another away with a swift uppercut to the jaw.

 

GABRIELLE

A blast!

 

 

She gives a swipe across the face of one man, the butt of her staff into the gut of a second, and an over-the-shoulder clonk on the head of a third.

 

CUT TO:

 

INT. INFIRMARY - DAY

 

Falin is brought in by two litter-bearers.  He is conscious, but bleeding badly from a cut to his thigh.  The healer beckons and Lira rushes over, already holding several cloth rags against her chest.  Aphrodite looks a bit worse for wear, and watches with interest from her position near the next bed over, dabbing a cool cloth on the head of a feverish woman.

 

HEALER

Wash as much of his blood

away as you can.  I need to

see how bad the wound is.

 

LIRA

Yes, Hester.

 

Opening his eyes, Falin looks down at the woman tenderly washing the blood away from his thigh.  Their eyes lock.  Lira smiles.  Falin deliberately turns away.

 

Aphroditeís heart clenches at the blatant rejection, but swells at the quiet dignity Lira displays when caring for the man. 

 

A moment later, Lira steps away, allowing the Healer to take over.  Aphrodite rises from her spot on the floor and walks over to Lira, putting a hand on her shoulder.

 

APHRODITE

(softly)

You are one classy lady.

 

Lira laughs quietly so as not to disturb the patients.

 

LIRA

Thank you.

(beat)

You helped me see things in

myself that I thought were gone

forever.  I donít know how Iíll

ever be able to thank you.

 

APHRODITE

(grinning)

Forget about it.  Thatís what

friends do for each other, right?

 

 

Liraís smile broadens.

 

LIRA

Right, friend.

 

They share a brief hug.

 

APHRODITE

Now, if you donít mind, Iím

gonna go see how things

are looking outside.

 

LIRA

Please, be careful.

 

APHRODITE

Count on it.  Later, gator!

 

CUT TO:

 

EXT. BATTLEGROUND - DAY

 

The battle is close to ending.  Many of the raiders lie dead or disabled across the bloody ground.  Still others have turned tail and run.  Xena is dealing with a group of five men in her usual style, belting them with sword, feet and fists.

 

Gabrielle, on the other hand, isnít doing quite as well.  Crouched over a fallen woman, she is trying to staunch the blood coming from the womanís midsection with one hand while trying to fight off two goons in leather with the other, which holds a lone sai.

 

Distressed, Aphrodite looks around for a way to help her friend.  Spying a rock laying nearby, she picks it up and heaves it at the soldier.  Being Aphrodite, itís pretty much of a girly throw, and the soldier notices only long enough to pin her with a glare that promises sheíll be next before going back to attacking Gabrielle.

 

As Gabrielleís remaining sai gets wrenched from her hand, Aphrodite becomes desperate.  Looking around to make sure she is unobserved, she does the only thing she can think of.  Unobtrusively waggling the fingers of both hands, she shoots pink and silver sparkles toward the two raiders. 

 

Dropping their swords, they straighten, stare at one another, and begin kissing passionately as Gabrielle stares at them, completely dumbfounded.

 

After a moment, she looks over her shoulder and shoots Aphrodite an incredulous look, which Aphrodite returns with an abashed smile.

 

APHRODITE

It doesnít hurt if I use

my love whammy on

the bad guys, right?

 

Gabrielle canít help but laugh as she jumps back to her feet and easily lifts the fallen woman to her own.  Aphrodite rushes over and helps Gabrielle steady the woman whose wound looks worse than it really is.

 

GABRIELLE

Youíre amazing.  You

saved both our lives.

You know that, right?

 

APHRODITE

Yeah, yeah, Iím, like,

a total hero.  Now,

lets get her inside.

 

Before they can move, a mighty cheer goes up as Xena chases the last of the raiders from the town... except for the two who are still kissing.

 

GABRIELLE

(softly)

UmÖ maybe youíd better

take that off them now?

 

APHRODITE

Sure thing!

 

Another waggle of her fingers and the men immediately pull apart, stare at one another, and take a careful step back.  Then, remembering they are supposed to be in a battle, they bend to retrieve their swords.  The one who Aphrodite pegged with a rock spies her and growls, stepping forward.

 

Until Xena steps in front of him, brandishing her own sword and a smile cold enough to give him frostbite.

 

Hard on her heels, the rest of the town closes in.

 

The men gulp and drop their swords again.

 

XENA

Smart boys.

(beat)

If you wanna be Ďbreathingí

boys, youíll do something for me.

 

 

Both men nod.

 

XENA

(contíd)

I want you to go back to

your Master like the good

little puppies you are and

deliver a message for me.

Am I clear so far?

 

Both men nod again.

 

XENA

(contíd)

Good.  Tell him that Xena sends

her regards, and that if he wants

to see so much as an olive pit

in tribute, heíll get his ass back

here before the sun sets tonight.

Otherwise, Iím coming to get

him, and it wonít be pretty.

Understood?

 

Another nod.

 

XENA

Then get outta here before

I change my mind.

 

Only dust is seen as the men run out of the town and back to the camp as fast as their legs can carry them.

 

CUT TO:

 

INT. INFIRMARY - EARLY EVENING

 

The infirmary is quiet, and nearly empty.  Most of the wounded have gone home to convalesce in their own beds.  Only the most seriously injured remain behind.  They are clean, comfortable, and obviously well cared for.

 

GABRIELLE

You did a fantastic

job here, Lira.

 

Lira smiles.

 

LIRA

Thanks, but I wouldnít have

been able to do anything if it

wasnít for the Healer and Afar.

 

HEALER

(agreeing)

A godsend that one was.

 

Xena and Gabrielle share looks over the unintentional pun.

 

 

HEALER

(contíd)

She cleaned out the wounds,

helped me with my stitching,

even comforted the men so

they didnít even cry out when

I was tending to them.  We

might have lost a lot more lives

without her here, and thatís a fact.

 

Grinning, Gabrielle looks over at Aphrodite.

 

GABRIELLE

So, howís it feel to be

the hero of the day?

 

Instead of answering, Aphrodite merely smiles with a quiet pride that is a huge departure from her usual vanity.  Gabrielle canít help but smile back, proud of her friend and how much sheís grown.  Even covered in blood and dirt, with her hair drooping in sweaty rings, sheís never looked more beautiful.

 

The moment of peace is shattered by the door opening.

 

SAMOS

Xena!  He comes!

Katos comes!

 

XENA

All right then.  You guys

stay here.  Gabrielle, letís go.

 

CUT TO:

 

EXT. COURTYARD - EVENING

 

His army stopped behind him, Katos approaches the gate with a giant of a man riding beside him.  Katos himself is bald, fat, and dressed in an alarming variety of colorful silks, none of which match.

 

At the gate, he lumbers off his horse followed by his second, who appears to be nearly seven feet tall and broad as a tree trunk.  The warlord approaches the gate, laughing.

 

KATOS

Well, well, well, if it isnít

the great Xena.  It appears

that my lackeys werenít lying.

(beat)

Too bad I killed them.

 

He laughs again, holding his protuberant belly which jiggles like jelly beneath the thin silk covering it.

 

XENA

Do I have the dubious honor

of addressing Katos the Crud?

 

 

KATOS

Cruel.  Thatís ĎCruelí, Xena.

 

Xena shrugs.

 

XENA

Same difference.

 

Katos laughs.

 

KATOS

You are a saucy wench, arenít you?

Iíll have great fun beating that out

of you before I cut you into small

pieces and feed you to my dogs.

 

XENA

Iím sure you will.  Youíll have

to beat me in battle first.

 

KATOS

Beat you?  In battle?  Apparently

you have very outdated notions

of how we do things, Xena.  No,

Iím not going to fight you.  Youíre

not going to fight me.  Your

second, whatever unlucky

devil he might be, will fight....

 

He waves an extravagant arm toward the giant.

 

KATOS

(contíd)

... mine.

 

XENA

Is that so?

 

KATOS

Oh yes!  Yes. Indeed it is.

(beat)

So, where is the man

unfortunate enough to

call himself your second?

 

Before Xena can say anything, Gabrielle steps forward.

 

GABRIELLE

That would be me.

 

 

KATOS

YOU?!?!?

 

The warlord laughs so hard his face begins to purple and veins stand out on his bald head like live wires.

 

Gabrielle patiently waits for the fit to pass, a look of polite interest on her face.

 

KATOS

(contíd)

Oh, Iím sorry, Iím sorry.

I never knew you were

such a prankster, Xena!

 

XENA

Iím not.

 

KATOS

But... her?!?

 

XENA

Her.

 

KATOS

Surely youíre....

youíre not kidding.

 

Gabrielle smiles sweetly.

 

GABRIELLE

No, sheís not. Now if we

could get on with this?

 

After a moment, Katos shrugs.

 

KATOS

Your funeral.  When I win,

I will possess this town

and you with it, Xena.

 

XENA

And when Gabrielle wins....

 

Katos snorts laughter.

 

XENA

(contíd)

Not only will you leave this

town alone in the future, you

will also protect it from any

other warlord who wants to

raid it for as long as

you have an army.

 

 

Katos looks at her, eyes wide.

 

XENA

(contíd, offhandedly)

Unless you donít think

your man is good

enough, of course.

 

Katos looks at his man, then back at Xena.  He carelessly flaps a hand dripping with jeweled rings.

 

KATOS

Fine, fine.

 

XENA

We have a deal, then?

 

KATOS

Fine.  Letís just get this

over with.  I have a raping

and pillaging to plan.

 

Xena nods to Gabrielle, who returns the nod with a quick, confident grin.

 

The man draws his sword, but before it is completely away from its scabbard, Gabrielle is armed with both sais.  He swings at her with his huge weapon.  Using her much smaller size, she ducks beneath the swing, stepping forward and punching him in the belly with the butts of her sais.

 

 

He seems not to feel it as he reverses the grip on his sword and tries a downward thrust.  Gabrielle blocks the thrust, catching the blade in her sais and twisting it away.  He comes at her again; she blocks him again and again and again, quickly on the defensive as his superior strength pushes her back and back again.

 

Reversing his blade, he tries a pommel shot to the head.  She jerks away enough so the blow impacts with her shoulder, sending her to the ground. With a neat backward roll, sheís up again, managing to gain the upper hand in an impressive series of punches and kicks that has him wheeling back several steps until his back hits against an overturned wagon and he starts forward again, swinging his sword with agile skill.

 

Gabrielle brings her sais up in a perfect block, catching his sword snugly.  With a growl, he wrenches his sword away, taking Gabrielleís own weapons with it.  Smiling slightly, he moves in for the kill.

 

Without blinking, Gabrielle stomps the ground, and a discarded staff pops into her hands just in time for her to block his blow and send the momentum of it back his way, which causes him to stumble just slightly.  Gabrielle takes advantage by moving in quickly, hitting him with blow after blow to his arms, chest and belly.  A lash of her foot causes his knee to buckle and he only keeps himself from falling by grabbing onto her in a giant bear hug.

 

 

Grunting, she pushes him away, and he gathers up his strength for one final, killing blow.

 

Just before the decapitating strike impacts, Gabrielle goes down in a perfect split, and rams the butt of her makeshift staff squarely between his legs.

 

With an almost womanly squeal, he drops to his knees, hands cupping his groin.  Jumping to her feet, Gabrielle presses her staff into his chest, urging him to his back and keeping him there.

 

KATOS

Finish him!  Finish him!!

 

Gabrielle looks up.

 

GABRIELLE

I donít kill unless I

have a reason to.

 

 

KATOS

Fine! Then Iíll....

 

His words and his sword stroke are interrupted by a much larger blade that first disarms him, and then positions itself neatly under his chin.

 

XENA

Me?  I donít need a reason.

(beat)

Do we understand

one another?

 

 

 

Gulping, Katos nods gingerly.

 

XENA

Good.  Gabrielle won.

Are you going to keep up

your end of the bargain?

 

Though he looks like he wants to renege, the sharp sword point forces him to change his mind. Swallowing convulsively, he nods again.

 

XENA

(contíd)

Just make sure you do.

Because if I find out

you backed out....

 

She pushes the tip just hard enough to cause a trickle of blood to flow.

 

XENA

(contíd)

... Iíll be back.  And

Iíll be very angry.

 

KATOS

I... I wonít.  I swear!

 

After a long moment, Xena removes her sword and Katos gasps for air, rubbing the area on his neck.

 

XENA

Now get outta here before I

change my mind and cut

you to ribbons just because.

 

With alacrity, the warlord turns and is ready to mount his horse and be gone, but not before kicking at his former second.

 

KATOS

Donít show your face

to me again, or youíll

be a dead man.

 

Then hopping aboard his horse, he storms away, the rest of his army following.

 

The cheering of the townspeople is almost deafening and with a little grin, Gabrielle rises to her feet and helps the man she has just defeated do the same.

 

MAN

(eyes downward)

I am your prisoner.

 

GABRIELLE

I... donít think thatíll

be necessary.

 

MAN

(shocked)

But... but... I would have

killed you if I could!

 

GABRIELLE

Do you want to

 kill me now?

 

 

Dropping her staff, she opens her arms wide.

 

GABRIELLE

You can if you want to.

 

The man shakes his head.

 

MAN

No. I cannot.  But...

I am your enemy.

 

GABRIELLE

Whatís your name?

 

MAN

Mikos.

 

GABRIELLE

Hello, Mikos. 

Iím Gabrielle.

 

They shake hands.

 

GABRIELLE

Weíre not enemies anymore.

 

Mikos looks dumbfounded.  Gabrielle laughs and pats him on the back.

 

GABRIELLE

(contíd)

Donít worry.

Youíll get used to it.

 

CUT TO:

 

EXT. COURTYARD - EVENING - APHRODITEíS POV

 

Hearing the cheering, Lira and Aphrodite, who are clean and dressed in fresh clothes, step outside of the infirmary to witness the celebration. 

 

APHRODITE

We did it, huh?

Pretty cool.

 

When she notices sheís not receiving a response, she turns to look at Lira.  The young woman is frozen to the ground as if rooted there, staring forward.  Following the line of the young womanís gaze, Aphrodite notices a tall, giant of a man being aided by Gabrielle.  A knowing smile crosses her face.

 

APHRODITE

Lira?  Yo, earth to Lira.

 

Lira blinks.

 

LIRA

Sorry. What?

 

APHRODITE

Donít you think you should

go over there and help him?

 

LIRA

What?

 

APHRODITE

You know, injured,

bleeding.  Help?

 

LIRA

Oh.  OH.  Help!

 

Grabbing a clean rag from Aphroditeís hand, Lira walks through the milling, cheering crowd toward Mikos, who freezes the moment he lays eyes on her.

 

LIRA

Youíre hurt. Let me

tend to your wounds.

 

MIKOS

(softly)

You are the most beautiful

woman I have ever seen.

 

He gathers himself.

 

MIKOS

(contíd)

Oh. Iím sorry.  That was

presumptuous of me to say.

 

Lira smiles shyly.

 

LIRA

Thatís all right. I donít mind.

May I tend your wounds?

 

MIKOS

Oh no, my lady.  I can

tend to them myself.

 

 

LIRA

Please.  Iíd like to

help.  Iíd....

 

Lifting her mangled hand, she begins to drop it, but before she can, Mikos takes hold of her wrist and brings it to his lips, bestowing a tender kiss on the mangled flesh.

 

MIKOS

I would be honored,

my lady.

 

The two walk toward the infirmary arm in arm, brushing past a beaming Aphrodite.

 

The crowd then closes in bearing Gabrielle up on their shoulders, and heads for the tavern and a much-deserved celebration.

 

FADE OUT.

 

END OF ACT FOUR

 

TAG

 

FADE IN:

 

EXT. TOWN OUTSKIRTS - SUNSET

 

It is the day after the victorious battle, and the party is still in full swing.  On the outskirts of town, Aphrodite stands in a quiet nook watching the sun set low in the sky.  In an irony she recognizes, she is actually enjoying the peace, quiet and solitude of the moment.

 

A soft tread and Xena appears next to her.  They exchange a quiet look, then both turn their heads back to the sky, watching as the sun leaves its last trails of color.

 

Aphrodite turns to Xena, examining her profile.

 

APHRODITE

It hurts to look at you

sometimes, you know?

 

Xena turns to her, eyebrow raised.

 

APHRODITE

(contíd)

Thereís so much of him

in there.  His fire, his temper,

even his looks.  I miss that.

(beat)

I miss him.

 

XENA

(somberly)

Part of me misses him, too.

 

 

Aphrodite nods.

 

APHRODITE

I know.

 

Silence falls between them again.  Aphrodite appears to gather her courage.

 

APHRODITE

(contíd)

You know, I was really angry

at you Xena.  Majorly angry.

I mean, you had everything;

your soulmate, your daughter,

everything.  And you took away

the one thing I had left.  Just...

took it away, threw it away like

it didnít mean anything to you.

 

XENA

Aphrodite, I....

 

APHRODITE

(over Xena)

I didnít get it, ya know?  I didnít

get how you could be like that.

It just didnít, like, make any

sense to me at all.

(beat)

But now, I think it does.  Sorta.

 

Xenaís eyebrow raises again.  Aphrodite laughs.

 

APHRODITE

(contíd)

Ar used to do that a lot, too.

 

XENA

Mm.

 

APHRODITE

Anyway, what Iím trying to

say is that maybe I learned

some stuff.  Maybe I learned

that we gods can be pretty full

of ourselves most of the time.

 

Xena gives her a look.

 

APHRODITE

(contíd)

Yeah, like duh, right?

But I really didnít know!

Itís, like, what I do, ya know?

 

XENA

One of Aresí favorite sayings.

 

Aphrodite laughs.

 

APHRODITE

Yeah, well, like brother, like sister.

But I never realized that what I do

can hurt you guys.  I never really

thought about it.  I was just doing

my thing, cause thatís who I am.

 

XENA

(thoughtfully)

I think Ares realized that, once.

 

APHRODITE

Yeah, wasnít that cool the way

he rescued Gabs and your kid?

He did a rockiní thing, didnít he?

 

XENA

Yes, he did.

 

 

Aphroditeís smile slowly fades.

 

APHRODITE

But then you gave him back

his godhood, and he forgot

most of what he learned.

(beat)

I wonít forget, though.  I mean

what if I had just totally blown

Gab off and shot that Falin loser

with my love dust?  Lira might

never have been able to be with,

like, her true love.  I wonít ever forget

something like that.  Not ever.

 

Silence falls again, until Xena begins to speak.

 

XENA

Aphrodite, I want you to know that

if there had been any other way,

Gabrielle and I would have taken it.

 

Aphrodite smiles and nudges Xena with her shoulder.

 

APHRODITE
I know, Xena.  I might not have known

it then, but I do now.  It might take me

a little more time to be cool with it

and all, but... I know Iíll be all right.

I am the Love Goddess, after all.

 

Gabrielle enters the clearing and gives them both a smile.

 

APHRODITE

(contíd)

Hi, sweet pea!  How are

things back at the party?

 

GABRIELLE

Loud.  How Ďbout over here?

 

Aphrodite gives Xena a smile, which Xena returns in full measure.

 

APHRODITE
Oh, I think we got things

pretty under control here,

right warrior-babe?

 

XENA

Riiight.

 

APHRODITE

So, how about you guys?

Ready to move on?

 

GABRIELLE

I think so.  You?

 

 

APHRODITE

I think Iíll stick around awhile.  I

mean, Lira is gonna probably  need

a few love tips from the master.

Besides, Iím kinda digging

this walking with the mortals gig.

 

GABRIELLE

Will you ever tell them

who you really are?

 

APHRODITE

Mm, probably.  But not for

awhile though.  Itís cool to

be treated like one of the gang.

Almost like I have a family again.

 

GABRIELLE

You always have one with

us if you want it, Aphrodite.

And I mean that.

 

Reaching over, Aphrodite gives Gabrielle a warm hug.

 

APHRODITE

I know you do, sweet pea.

I love you guys. You

know that, right?

 

GABRIELLE

We love you too, Aphrodite.

 

 

After a moment, they pull away.

 

APHRODITE

So, Iíll be seeing

you guys, huh?

 

XENA

Count on it.

 

APHRODITE

Grooviní!

 

After a final goodbye, Xena and Gabrielle turn and begin to walk down the road out of town.  Aphrodite looks after them with an almost wistful expression before making her way back to town and the adventures that await her there.

 

 

FADE OUT.

 

DISCLAIMER

No "pretty women" were harmed during

the making of this motion picture.