by Cat

Disclaimers - Xena, Gabrielle, and everyone else here belongs to MCA/Universal and Ren Pics.  No copyright infringement is intended, and this story is solely fan-based and not for profit or anything.  Please don't sue, I'm quite broke.

Spoilers - After watching the episode "Lyre, Lyre", I came up with my own explanations for a few things.  In my deranged little mind, this is what happened back stage during the contest.


 “Where’s Gabrielle?” Xena demanded, frantic with worry.  One moment her friend was trying to calm down the crowd and get everyone in their places, and the next she was gone.  Something was wrong.

 “She was with that guy who kept hanging around her.  You know, the one with the attitude,” one of the performers commented as she ducked behind one of the racks of costumes.  “He was going on about some performance that was just to die for,” she called from behind the fabrics.

 “But where is she now?” Xena shouted out over the music now coming from the stage.

 No one seemed to have an answer.  Xena was losing it.  Something was not right about this, Gabrielle wouldn’t just disappear.  Finally, someone looked like they had an answer for her.  It was one of her suitors, though she had no idea what his name was.

 “That friend of yours, the one you’re looking for, she’s on the stage right now,” he told her.  “Looks like she’s part of the act.  Love the costume.”

 Act?  Costume?  This she had to see for herself.  A quick peek from the side of the stage was all she needed.  “Draco...” she growled.  His obsession had gone too far.  He had Gabrielle locked in a cage on stage, where she was trying desperately to escape.

 What to do though?  She needed a distraction.  There was no way she could get to her friend without Draco or one of his men hurting her, which is something she refused to let happen.  One of the Amazon performers walked by her, giving her an idea.  “Hey!” she called out, catching the other woman’s attention.  “I need your help with something.”

 “Yeah?  What do you need?” the woman asked, obviously curious.  It wasn’t their leader, Amoria, but it would have to do for now.

 “You know the woman I travel with, right?” Xena began, hoping this would work.

 “I think so.  Small, blonde, but I forget her name.”

 “Her name is Gabrielle,” the warrior supplied.

 “As in Gabrielle of the woodland Amazons?” the woman asked incredulously.

 “Yup, the one and the same,” Xena nodded, knowing she now had the other woman’s full attention.  “Draco’s got her locked in a cage on stage, but I don’t think he plans on keeping her there, if you know what I mean.”

 The Amazon’s features turned serious.  “What do you need us to do?  Our weapons are in our rooms, but...”

 “There’s no time for that now,” Xena cut her off, casting a glance towards the stage.  It appeared that Draco had somehow set his lyre on fire, and was taunting Gabrielle with it.  So much for love.  “Just get your band members together and get ready to play.  I don’t care what, but we’re going to run Draco and his men off that stage, and we’re going to do it now.”

 “Understood.”  The Amazon turned towards where she knew her sisters would be, and called out, “Amazons!  Gather around, one of our queens is in trouble!”

 Xena didn’t bother listening to the rest of it as she ran over to Jace, who was holding the Golden Lyre just off to the side of the stage.

 “You know, I don’t think I like their music so much,” he said when he saw her.  “Much too harsh.  It is hurting my ears.”

 “That’s nice, Jace.  Give me the lyre.”  She grabbed it from his hands and stepped out onto the stage, knowing the Amazons were right behind her.  Draco was going down...

“Are you alright?” Amoria asked, carefully looking Gabrielle over for any injuries.  She knew Xena had already done that, but she couldn’t help herself, it was her duty as a fellow Amazon to look after the well being of the queen, any queen.  She wouldn’t have believed the young woman really was an Amazon had she not seen her fight with her own eyes.  Of course, Xena’s statement and the stories she had heard of the woodland queen helped with that matter.  “Why didn’t you tell me you were one of our queens?” she demanded.

 “It didn’t matter,” Gabrielle answered honestly with a shrug.  Seeing the look she got in return, she decided to explain.  “I gave up my right to be queen so I could travel around and do what I want to.  I see no need to announce myself everywhere I go.  I don’t want or need any special treatment.”

 “Well, I guess that means you wouldn’t want an honor guard, huh?” Amoria asked with a smile.  She leaned back against the wall and crossed her arms in front of her.  “Though, with Xena as a friend, I’m thinking you don’t exactly need the security, even in her condition” she mused.

 “That’s for sure,” Gabrielle laughed.  “Though lately we’ve both taken our turns looking out for one another,” she added.

 “And Joxer, does he travel with you a lot?”  A small smile crossed Amoria’s face as she mentioned the man’s name.

 Too much, Gabrielle thought silently, but answered, “Joxer’s just a friend, a good friend.  When we’re together, we all watch out and take care of each other.”  Usually us taking care of him, but...  She cut herself off, knowing the other woman’s feelings towards her clumsy but good-hearted friend.

 “I see,” Amoria said, looking over to where the man was handing Xena pieces of rope.  She had the feeling the woman beside her felt rather protective of her friend, and there was no way she was going to risk crossing an Amazon queen.  True, all she wanted was a bit of fun and some good times with Joxer, but if the man took it too seriously, and his feelings were hurt, she certainly did not want to have to face Gabrielle over it.

 Looking past Joxer, she saw one of the men from Draco’s band.  He was cute enough, and she had her eye on him since the standoff in the desert.  Besides, he could play the lyre like nobody’s business.  It would be a great way to let Joxer go, and not let things get too far or too serious...

 “Well,” she began, looking to the queen beside her as she straightened up.  “Joxer’s sweet and all, but I guess he’s not really my type.  He’s just too... nice.”  She winked at Gabrielle, knowing she would get the message.

 Both women looked over to where Xena was tying up Draco and his would-be band and each sighed, though it was for different reasons.  Amoria started to walk towards the group, then paused and turned back to her fellow Amazon.  “Please, let us treat you to a meal before you go.  It would give us all a real chance to chat with you.  If nothing else, consider it a way to strengthen relationships between our tribes.”

 “Works for me,” Gabrielle agreed with a smile.  She watched as the other woman sauntered over towards Draco’s men, like a panther stalking its prey.  She knew Joxer would be hurt, but she also knew he would get over it and soon things would be back to normal.  Watching the pregnant Xena bind and gag the lovestruck Draco while leather-clad Amazons hit on various men and she played with the white fringe on the bikini she now wore, she decided to amend that:  Soon things would be back to as normal as they ever got in this life she led.



Yup, it was just a short piece of fluff.  If you would like to email me about it for any reason, please do.  Email Cat.


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