Episode Guide Teaser Act 1 Act 2 Act 3 Act 4

ACT TWO

 

FADE IN:

 

EXT. MEADOW - MID MORNING

 

Twickenham looks at the two women staring back at him.

 

TWICKENHAM

Surely youíve received

the invitation, Gabrielle?

 

He looks back and forth between them.

 

TWICKENHAM

(contíd)
To the induction ceremony?  All of the

Academyís most famous graduates

will be there to show support for the new

Chancellor.  I know you were invited.

I sent the invitation out myself!

GABRIELLE
We... travel a lot.  Your messenger

probably couldnít find us.

TWICKENHAM
Well, invitation or not, you have to be there.

The Academy, itís... worse, much worse,

than it was when we entered, Gabrielle.

Itís nothing but a den of rich thieves who

accept bribes in plain sight for admittance.

Talent isnít counted.  Wealth is.  Itís... horrible.

Even the library, home to scrolls from the

best bards around the world is only

open to those with enough money.

 

GABRIELLE

(horrified)

Thatís absurd!

 

 

Twickenham looks at ĎXenaí.

 

TWICKENHAM

I didnít realize you were such

an admirer of the Fine Arts, Xena.

 

XENA

Oh yeah, she admires Ďem all right.

 

Twickenham returns his attention to ĎGabrielleí.

 

TWICKENHAM

And Iím sure youíve heard about what

happened to the last Chancellor.

 

Xena mightily resists making the comment she wants to make, and settles for a simple nod instead.

 

XENA

We heard.

 

 

TWICKENHAM

He was a bastard, if youíll pardon

my language. But he was only

part of the problem.

 

GABRIELLE

What was the rest?

 

TWICKENHAM

Well, as Iíve said, itís become nothing

but a den of thieves. When the reigning

Chancellor made his trip to Lesbos,

the vipers were left to fight among

themselves.  They never expected

him to come back, you see.

 

XENA

Mm.

 

TWICKENHAM

The students arenít all bad though. Not by

a long shot. Somehow, even in the midst

of their greed, they managed to admit

some very talented, upstanding young

men and women.  While the vultures were

arguing among themselves, the students

formed a committee, asked for help from

the distinguished alumni, and held a

secret ballot to elect their own Chancellor.

 

XENA

(knowingly)

And the vultures didnít appreciate that.

 

TWICKENHAM

(outraged)

Th-th-they tried to k-k-kill him!

 

GABRIELLE

Who?

 

Twickenham looks over at ĎXenaí as if sheís gone a bit slow.

 

TWICKENHAM

The Chancellor, of course.

 

Gabrielle takes in a deep, calming breath.

 

GABRIELLE

And the Chancellor is....

 

The same look.  Squared.

 

TWICKENHAM

The head of the Academy?

 

Xena laughs softly.

 

XENA

Uh, Twickey?  I think

she wants his name.

 

 

TWICKENHAM

Oh!  Ohhhhh!

 

He smiles broadly.

 

TWICKENHAM

(contíd)

Itís Homer!

 

GABRIELLE

Homer!

 

TWICKENHAM

Homer, yes.  I didnít realize you knew

him as well, Xena.  But then, I guess

I shouldnít be surprised. Iím sure

Gabrielle told you how close they were.

 

Xena looks at Gabrielle.

 

XENA

Close, huh?

 

TWICKENHAM

Why yes, Gabrielle. Donít you

remember the two of you were

going to be married?

 

XENA AND GABRIELLE

Married?!?!?

 

 

Twickenham looks at them both, shocked.

 

TWICKENHAM

It was all over the dorms.

We thought....

 

GABRIELLE

You thought wrong.  She did

come back to me, after all.

 

 

Twickenham scratches his chin in thought.

 

TWICKENHAM

I guess thatís right... I suppose.  Regardless,

I know heís looking forward to seeing you again,

Gabrielle.  And we really do need your help.

When their assassination attempt failed, the

Regents elected their own Chancellor.

Merikus.  A more corrupt man youíve never

met.  They insist he is the rightful Chancellor

and will be inducted into the position the day

after tomorrow. Unless we can stop them.

 

XENA

And how are you planning to do that?

 

TWICKENHAM

That was the reason for the invitations,

Gabrielle. The induction ceremony is a

very public affair.  Half of Athens will be

there.  We need to show strong public

support for our choice for Chancellor.

Weíre all planning to stand with him,

perhaps tell some of our longer epic

stories to hold the stage, and give the

public a taste of what the Academy

once was and could be again.

Please, will you stand with us?

 

Xena and Gabrielle look at one another for a long moment, communicating more in silence than most do with speech.

 

TWICKENHAM

We could also use your help, Xena.

I donít think theyíve given up trying to

take Homerís life.  You are the perfect

person to help prevent that from happening.

 

Another bit of silent communication before Xena turns to their guest.

 

XENA

Weíll help.

 

 

Twickenham beams.

 

TWICKENHAM

Thank you! Thank you!  Please, gather

up your belongings. Weíll place them on

my carriage and we can be off to Athens.

 

Another look is exchanged.

 

XENA

Thanks for the offer, but weíll

catch up with you in Athens.

 

TWICKENHAM

(shocked)

But why?

 

GABRIELLE

WeÖhave things we need to take

care of first.  We werenít expecting

to make this trip at all, remember?

 

Twickenham sighs.

 

TWICKENHAM

Youíre sure I canít talk you

into coming with me?

 

GABRIELLE

No, but thank you for your offer.

We wonít be far behind you.

 

TWICKENHAM

Will you at least take up my

offer of lodging at my villa?  Please?

 

Gabrielle nods.

 

GABRIELLE

Weíll do that. Thanks.

 

TWICKENHAM

Well... goodbye then.

See you in Athens.

 

XENA

See you there.

 

Twickenham turns, enters his carriage, and is soon gone from their sight.

 

Alone once again, Xena turns to Gabrielle, a smirk on her face.

 

XENA

Homer, huh?

 

Gabrielle shoots her a sideways look.

 

GABRIELLE

Please.  He was just a friend.

 

 

Xena grins.

 

XENA

Using my definition of the

word friend, are ya?

 

GABRIELLE

Ha. Ha.

 

XENA

Hey, donít look at me!  You

were the one getting married.

 

GABRIELLE

(primly)

Iím already married,

thank you very much.

 

Xenaís eyes soften as she smiles.

 

XENA

I know.

 

 

Gabrielleís eyes widen.  She slowly lowers herself to a log at her feet. Her face is slightly pale.

 

GABRIELLE

Dear gods!

 

Xena looks down at herself to see if perhaps sheís popped out of her top or something equally strange to engender such a reaction from her partner.

 

XENA

What?

 

GABRIELLE

Is that really how I look when

I look at you that way?

 

 

Understanding dawns, and Xena can do nothing but grin.

 

GABRIELLE

No wonder theyíve been

talking about us for years!

 

Chuckling softly, Xena crosses the distance between them and stoops in front of Gabrielle, taking her hands.

 

XENA

Let Ďem talk.

 

Leaning in, she gently brushes Gabrielleís lips with her own, then settles in for a longer kiss.  After a moment, they pull away, both women distinctly flushed.

 

 

GABRIELLE

Wow!  That was....

 

XENA

Different.

 

GABRIELLE

That it was.  I think I liked it.

 

XENA

(faux shocked)

You think?!

 

Gabrielle grins.

 

GABRIELLE

Letís just say that your body has

some... interesting responses

and leave it at that, shall we?

 

XENA

Letís.

 

GABRIELLE

So, I guess we should

try to switch back now.

 

 

XENA

I suppose youíre right.

 

Gabrielle slides off the log and to the ground, still holding Xenaís hands.  She smiles and looks around, taking in a deep, bracing breath of fresh air.

 

GABRIELLE

I want to remember this.  The time I was

in the body of the best warrior in the world.

Should make for a great story sometime, huh?

 

Xena can only smile.

 

GABRIELLE

Ok, Iím ready.

 

Both women close their eyes and begin the process of meditation.

 

DISSOLVE TO:

 

EXT. MEADOW - EARLY AFTERNOON

 

Sighing, Xena leans back, looks up at the sky, then up into similarly colored eyes.

 

XENA

Itís obvious this isnít going to fix

things, Gabrielle.  I think that if weíre

gonna head for Athens, itís probably

best that we get ready to move.

 

GABRIELLE

Maybe we should give it

a little longer to work?

 

XENA

Weíve given it half a day, Gabrielle.

Itís obvious Iím missing something,

and I donít think weíre gonna

find it just sitting here.

 

Gabrielle comes to her feet more fluidly now that sheís become accustomed to the body sheís currently inhabiting. 

 

GABRIELLE

(flexing a knee)

Do your joints always hurt this much?

 

Xena shrugs.

 

XENA

Occupational hazard.

 

 

Reaching down, Gabrielle gives Xena a hand up, then abruptly lets go at her partnerís wince.

 

GABRIELLE

What is it?  Whatís wrong?

 

Xena holds up a rather mangled looking hand.

 

XENA

You donít know my own strength.

 

GABRIELLE

(worriedly)

Is it broken?

 

Xena shakes the hand in question, then squeezes it into a fist a few times.

 

XENA

Nah.  Just donít blame this one on

me when you start wearing it again.

 

GABRIELLE

Speaking of which... I personally donít

think Iíll have a hard time catching an

assassin, especially with these new...

enhancements... but Xena, youíre

not exactly known as a bard.

 

XENA

(exaggerated dignity)

Iíll have you know that Iím

a perfectly adequate storyteller.

 

 

Gabrielle laughs.

 

GABRIELLE

Adequate for putting your

audience to sleep maybe.

 

Xena gives her a look.

 

GABRIELLE

(contíd)

Iím serious!  ďWe came, we saw,

we kicked their assesĒ is hardly

the height of bardic talent, Xena.

 

XENA

Hey!  It has a beginning and an ending!

 

GABRIELLE

(laughing)

Just no middle. Ok, if you can teach me

the sounds behind the sounds, I can

teach you how to make those sounds

sound more interesting.  Sound good?

 

Xena clasps her hands together in a deliberately overdramatic pleading posture.

 

XENA

Take me with you. Teach me

everything you know.

 

 

GABRIELLE

Oooh, thatís very good!  No wonder

you couldnít resist my charm!

 

 

XENA

(sotto voce)
If that was the only reason,

youíd still be sitting in Poteidia.

 

GABRIELLE

What?

 

XENA

Nothing. Letís just get going.

The daylightís wasting.

 

Gabrielle follows Xena to Argo.

 

GABRIELLE

Nothing my eye.  She

forgets about my hearing.

 

 

FADE OUT.

 

END OF ACT TWO

 

ACT THREE