|Episode Guide||Teaser||Act 1||Act 2||Act 3||Act 4|
EXT. MEADOW - MORNING
Opening her eyes, Xena finds herself looking atÖherself. This, in and of itself, isnít as shocking as it might be for another, since Xena has met several of her own doubles and is more or less used to looking at someone else and seeing her own face and form.
She then looks down, and realizes that she has become somewhat smaller and somewhat fairer than she had been previously.
She looks back up into her own eyes, which are staring at her with a mixture of perplexity and concern.
Gabrielle opens her mouth to yell, but a laugh comes out instead. She shakes her head.
Only you, Xena.
Well, itís not as if Iím unfamiliar with
this kinda thing, Gabrielle. Iíve been
in other peopleís bodies before,
remember. Iíve been in your body.
Gabrielle bites the inside of her cheek.
You know, I donít think Iím
going to touch that.
Xena rolls her eyes.
So, how do we fix this?
Our ceremony with the Amazons must have
caused this to happen. It helped to open
and strengthen the bond between us. But....
Youíre not sure?
All right then. What if we just try to reverse
it? Do what we were doing before and
see if that puts us back into our own bodies?
Xena tilts her head a little.
Good. What are we waiting for?
Wait a minute.
Whatís that sound?
Xena looks around and finds nothing amiss.
Reaching out, she grabs Xenaís arm, which is really her own.
Itís my heart! I can hear my heart
beating! Well, that certainly answers
a lot of questions about your hearing.
Xena merely gives a slight nod and lifts her brows in an ĎI knowí fashion.
All right, letís see if we
can fix this. Ready?
Gabrielle takes a deep breath, releasing it slowly as she closes her eyes and nods to Xena.
Okay, same as before.
Relax and breathe.
Sitting together, they each begin to slip into a meditative trance.
Then Gabrielleís eyes pop back open.
That infernal buzzing sound.
Canít you hear it?
Since youíre currently wearing my
ears, the answer would be no.
Well I can, and itís driving me nuts!
Gods, Xena, how do you stand this?
Just tune it out, Gabrielle.
Gabrielle rolls her eyes heavenward.
Tune it out she says. By the gods,
Xena, do you know what itís like
to have an entire swarm of....
With a triumphant grin, she lashes out and swipes something from mid-air.
Opening her palm, she gazes down at a thoroughly annoyed fly that buzzes and flutters its wings at her before hightailing it out of the meadow for safer accommodations.
Long arms and lightening fast
reflexes. I could get used to this.
Xena shoots her a look.
Watch it, bard. Thatís my
body youíre wearing.
Gabrielleís grin broadens, her eyes twinkling.
Xena rolls her eyes.
Can we get back to trying to undo
this? Iím feeling a bit... cramped.
Ok, letís try again.
Xena nods and their eyes close once again. It is only a few seconds before Gabrielleís eyes snap open and she is on her feet. She stumbles a bit as the legs sheís currently using are quite a bit longer than sheís used to. Unthinking, she reaches for sais that arenít there, then straightens, frustrated.
Company, headed this way.
Xena also rises, though a bit more gracefully given that sheís had experience in inhabiting Gabrielleís body. She can hear the sounds that first attracted her partnerís attention, and turns to face them.
One carriage, one horse.
Not moving very fast.
Not the bad guys, then.
She shakes her head obviously trying to clear her thoughts, which are running rampant as her mind tries to sync with Xenaís body.
Xena places her hand on, well her own shoulder, in a calming gesture.
Donít fight it. Everything
will be all right.
I feel like every nerve is trying to
get through my... er... your skin.
How do you feel?
Remarkably relaxed, believe
it or not. But still cramped.
Xena gets an up close and personal gander at her own LOOK and finds herself suitably impressed.
Both look up as the carriage finally comes into view. It is a fine vehicle which is being pulled by a pure white horse. The driver is dressed in clean shiny leather and next to him is a guard holding a cross bow and looking very serious. Itís unclear who is riding inside, but it is clear that whoever it is is quite important.
They watch as the carriage starts to pass, then comes to an abrupt stop at a call from its passenger. A tallish man wearing the distinguished cloak of middle-age steps from the carriage, his eyes round with disbelief.
Gabrielle finds herself looking back at the man. He is familiar in a way that she canít quite place.
The stutter places him, and Gabrielle breaks out in a beaming grin.
Twickenham turns to look at the woman he thinks is Xena.
I-I donít b-b-believe weíve
e-e-ever met, X-X-Xena.
Gabrielle thinks quickly as Xena hides a smirk with her hand.
Well, no, weíve never... formally... met, no.
But Gabrielle loves to tell stories about
her time at the Academy, and you
know what a wonderful bard she is.
Xenaís smirk broadens.
She described you so perfectly
that I recognized you right off.
Twickenham smiles proudly and straightens, narrow chest puffed out like a roosterís.
She t-t-talks about me, huh?
He turns his smile to who he thinks is Gabrielle.
Iíd heard the ru-ru-rumors that you
hadnít a-a-aged. And I-I-I-can see
theyíre all t-t-t-true. Youíre as
b-b-b-b-beautiful as ever, Gabrielle.
He holds his arms open.
Gabrielle looks to Xena, gesturing with an eyebrow.
Xena shoots her a glare.
Gabrielleís smirk isnít hidden.
With a reluctance that is obvious to no one but Gabrielle, Xena crosses the distance separating herself from Twickenham and gingerly hugs him.
(through gritted teeth)
Itís so good to see you
again, old friend.
Twickenham embraces her tightly and his hands, quite of their own accord, begin to stray beyond the bounds of propriety. Xena resists the mighty urge to break those wandering hands, instead settling for shooting Gabrielle a look she hopes will be well read.
Gabrielle clears her throat and steps forward, catching Twickenhamís eye with a look of her own.
The man pales, releases Xena, and steps back.
Secretly flattered, Gabrielle smiles and steps forward, which for some reason causes Twickenham to pale even further.
Reaching out, Xena pats the man comfortingly on one bony shoulder.
Itís all right, Twickenham. Xena is just
having some fun. Right, ĎXenaí?
OhÖright! Yes! Just having
fun, Twickenham. Honest.
Th-th-th-th-th.... B-b-blast this
st-st-st-stutter! I havenít b-b-been
this bad in ye-ye-ye-forever!
I might be able to help with that.
Twickenham looks at ĎGabrielleí, eyes wide.
Yes. Itís something
Xena taught me. May I?
Before Twickenham can blink, Xena uses her borrowed fingers to jab two spots to the left and right of his voice box.
Ouch! That hurt! What did you....
Hey! My stutter! Itís gone!!
Thank you! Oh, thank you!!
There must be some way I
can repay you for your kindness.
Thatís really not necó
I know! Youíll both travel with me to Athens
in style! My coach is large enough for both
of you and your belongings. And, of course,
I insist that you stay in my villa during the
induction ceremony! All the luxuries of home
and I canít think of two people who deserve it more.
END OF ACT ONE