Disclaimer: The characters of Xena and Gabrielle et al belong exclusively to MCA/Universal and Renaissance Pictures. No copyright infringement was intended through the writing of this piece.
Subtext Warning: Ah, kinda, so if the subtextual display of affection between two consenting adult women is illegal in the state/country in which you live, you are under 18, or you are offended, read no further.
Acknowledgments: This one is thanks to Willowluvyr and Shuana, cheers for the conversations. I'm not going to say any more, I know you have a rep to take care of Willow and you'll probably slaughter me for this anyway. Also to Kamouraskan and her gag reflex. An additional thanks to Teddiebear, for inspiring me when I lost it, you Oregonians are not that bad, disgusting, but not that bad.
Gagrielle and the Worrier Princess
There was no stopping it. Gagrielle swallowed convulsively in a desperate effort to halt her rising gorge. It didn't work. She bent over and hurled onto the grass beside the road, emptying the contents of her stomach. Finally she straightened, finding her companion, Xena, The Worrier Princess by her side.
"Are you sure youre okay?" the worrier asked. Her brow found its perpetual frown.
"Yeah," Gagrielle replied in a slightly shaky voice, "you know that always happens." She wiped a bit of spittle from the corner of her mouth with the back of her hand. So much for the rabbit stew she had for breakfast.
"But Gag, you could give me a little bit of warning." The worrier complained.
"Honestly, Xena, it's nothing to worry about. Consider it one of my less charming traits."
Xena chewed on her lower lip, "So, you're sure you're okay?"
"Abso-" retch, "lutley."
Xena rubbed a hand over the sickly bard's back in more of an effort to calm her own fears, than assuage Gagrielle's gag reflex.
"Good, because we have to get to Amphipolis."
Gagrielle rolled her eyes, "Xena, we've got the whole day to get there, and we're only four candle marks away. We are not going to be late."
"Positive." Gagrielle said, grimacing as her bile threatened to rise again. "Let's go." She said before her stomach decided to fully rebel. She pushed away from the worrier to walk down the road to Amphipolis. Xena followed with careful steps, pulling Argo behind her.
"Why are we going to Amphipolis again?" Xena asked as she came up along side the bard.
"We have to give your mother the scroll." The bard paused, "What are you, forgetful as well?"
"No, just confirming." Xena said, "My last Will and Testament, right?"
"Yeah, you wouldnt trust it to a messenger."
"Good." The worrier nodded, "You packed it?"
"It's in your saddle bag."
"Right." Xena shut up for the moment, "Do you think my hair's too long?" she asked quizzically, fingering her dark locks.
"Xena, it's fine." Gagrielle said flatly.
"Gods!" the worrier breathed, grasping a bunch of hair.
"What!" Gagrielle almost screamed, unfortunately also catching her gag reflex. She swallowed.
"A grey hair!" the worrier whined.
"Oh for Elysia's sake, how old are you?"
"Old enough to get a grey hair." The worrier snapped back, waggling the handful of hair at the bard.
"Fine, stare at it and it'll turn black."
"I know." Gagrielle said.
Xena gave the grey her best 'I'm gonna rip your balls out through your throat' stare, and sure enough, the offending hair turned black. Unfortunately, it also fell out.
"Oh great, now I'm going bald." she wailed.
"Buy a wig." Was the response.
The worrier gave the bard a baleful glare.
Gagrielle sighed, "Xena, you are not going bald, people lose hair all the time, it's natural."
"Natural? That's what they all say, but Gagrielle, I've lost a hair!"
"I wouldn't worry about it."
Gagrielle stopped in her tracks, turned to the worrier and grasped one of her own blonde locks. She ripped it from her head.
"Satisfied." she asked, brandishing the wisp.
Xena frowned, "You'll go bald as well, and then how threatening will we seem?"
The bard had had just about enough, "Xena, if you don't shut up and start moving, we'll be here until the Centaurs come home."
The worrier blinked, "Let's go."
"Well, you people are early." Cyrene said cheerfully as Gagrielle and Xena stumbled through the door. Gagrielle had a hand clamped over her mouth and held up the other to Cyrene, motioning her frantically out of the way. The bard bolted towards the back of the tavern and spewed down the back steps. Awful, gut wrenching noises were heard. Cyrene had never experienced anything like it. She wrinkled her nose in distaste and turned to her daughter, "That girl never could stand the smell of my boiled fish and cabbage."
Xena felt her own stomach churn at the thought, "Youre serving boiled fish and cabbage?"
The boiling slurry could be heard roiling and bubbling in the kitchen. Xena walked toward the rear of the tavern with trepidation. She cast a jaundiced eye upon the boiling mass and gave a slight retch herself. She used this as an excuse to check on Gagrielle, who was casually mopping the bilious substance from the back steps.
"Shes doing the fish and cabbage." Xena said, stepping over the mess.
"Like I hadnt noticed, Xena" Gagrielle said in an exasperated tone.
"What are we going to do?" Xena whispered in a panicked voice.
Gagrielle stopped mopping and stared at the worrier, "Eat it, I presume." She leaned casually on the mop.
"I cant eat that!" Xena hissed.
"Xena, its your mothers cooking, you have to eat it."
A loud hiss and splatter was heard coming from the kitchen as some of the gruesome concoction bubbled over the side of the pot.
"Im not gonna eat it." Xena said with determination, trying to ignore the krautish, fishy smell that wafted towards them.
"Sure you will, youll hurt her feelings if you dont. Now, you dont want to do that, do you?" Gagrielle asked. The stench really was getting to her and she wondered if she could plead illness, or perhaps insanity to get out of eating the stuff herself. She belched loudly.
"Well thats a fine welcome." Cyrene said, coming up to the two women. She carried a large wooden spoon. Small fragments of fish could be seen mixed with roughly chopped chunks of anaemic cabbage. "Taste?" she asked, shoving the spoon in Xenas face.
Xena eyed the bard over her mothers shoulder. Gagrielle had turned a shade of green similar to her eye colour. The worrier grinned and met her mothers eyes.
"Better not, I might spoil my appetite." She nodded, that sounded like a decent excuse.
"Oh, never fear Xena, I know Gagrielle has hollow legs, but you do a pretty good impersonation." She paused, lifting the spoon to Xenas lips, "Open up."
Xena sighed, she really had no choice. She opened her mouth a touch and Cyrene rammed the boiled fish and cabbage home. The worriers eyes went wide. She chewed a couple of times and swallowed. She gave a weak smile, bits of cabbage were stuck in her teeth.
Meanwhile, Gagrielle was hanging onto the mop for support, hoping every retch was her last. So much for the clean up job shed just completed.
"Uh, Gag?" Xena asked, stumbling down the steps, reaching Gagrielle just as the third gasping gargle left the bards throat. She immediately hurled up the sample of boiled fish and cabbage on Gagrielles back. "Sorry." she mumbled.
"Just what is wrong with you two?" Cyrene asked, "I know Gagrielle cant help it, but Xena, honestly...youre not getting sick are you?" Cyrene moved to place a hand on Xenas brow.
"Sick?" the worrier echoed. A faint tingling of panic jabbed her in the guts. "Well, I have had this twinge in my elbow." Xena said, flexing the joint.
"Hmm, you seem okay." Cyrene mumbled.
"Could be arthritis." Gagrielle muttered, sufficiently recovered from her last vomiting spree to start cleaning herself up.
"A..a..rthritiss" the worrier stammered, swallowing hard, "Its my sword arm...Ill be defenceless." she burbled.
"I hardly think defenceless is the word to describe you Xena." Cyrene said, waggling the wooden spoon at her daughter.
"Maybe its repetitive strain, you know you lean on that elbow when we..." she trailed off as Xena shot her a look. The bard shrugged and seemed very interested in her feet.
The worrier turned back to her mother, "But mom, Im falling apart!" The worrier paused, "Today I found a grey hair, Gag said to stare at it to make it turn black, it did, but then it fell out!" she whined.
"There, there." Cyrene soothed, taking her worrisome daughter into her arms and patting her soothingly on the back, whilst shooting Gagrielle a look almost as fearful as her daughters.
Gabrielle packed up the mop and stood in the doorway watching the scene. She rolled her eyes.
"Yeah, shes worried about getting old and feeble. Soon her titsll be down around her knees." The bard grinned.
Xena pulled sharply away from her mother and pierced the bard with a deathly glare. If Gagrielle had anything left in her stomach at that point, it would have been on her boots.
"Ill fall on my sword first." the worrier growled.
"Yeah, but by that time, youll be so arthritic you wont be able to manage it." the bard shot back.
The worriers face fell, "Never thought of that." she said, a desperate glint in her eye, "Gagrielle, youll have to do it for me."
The bard snorted and concentrated on her uncontrollable gag reflex before she replied, "Yeah, like Im really going to run you through. I need to do that like I need a hole in the head Xena."
"But what if Im helpless? Toothless and bald, my leathers hanging off me and I cant walk?" the worrier whined.
Gagrielle sighed and glanced at Cyrene, "Did you raise her like this?"
"Dont look at me." Cyrene defended.
"What am I going to do?" Xena wailed. He bottom lip trembled.
"Fine, youre going to die, thats why we came here anyway wasnt it? Your Will?" Gagrielle snapped, bringing the point home.
"Oh, so it wasnt for my boiled fish and cabbage..."
"NO!" Xena and Gagrielle shouted in unison, the bards ending in a short, sharp retch.
Later that evening, Xena, Gagrielle and Cyrene sat at a table in the tavern. The boiled fish and cabbage had well and truly gone to waste, and sat in a congealed, claggy mass at the bottom of the pot. Xena sipped at her port and watched as Gagrielle hurled up a chunk of something into a bucket. She shook her head.
"That really is disgusting you know." She told the bard. Cyrene nodded agreement.
"Its hereditary okay? I cant help it. You should see Spiller, shes not called that for nothing you know." She picked a small speck of some regurgitated substance from between her front teeth.
"Can we get on with this?" Cyrene asked, not at all happy at the prospect of becoming the executor to her daughters supposed estate.
"Fine." Gagrielle said, putting the document scroll on the table. She made a flourish with her quill and stared at the worrier, who was biting at her quicks.
"How should it begin?" Xena asked.
Gagrielle rolled her eyes for the umpteenth time that day, "Generally with an I, followed by the persons name."
"Right," Xena cleared her throat, "I, Xena, Worrier Princess..." She trailed off.
"Residing, retch, "at..." Gagrielle prompted.
"Residing at? What Tartarus type of question is that? Where do I live?" Xena wailed, suddenly feeling very uncomfortable. She looked at her mother, who merely shrugged.
"Greece." Gagrielle stated, scrawling on the parchment.
"Right, whats next?"
Gagrielle laughed and grabbed for the bucket. A moment later she was back in control, "Being of sound mind, but in this case, I think its debateable."
Cyrene had to smother a smirk with the back of her hand.
"Are you suggesting I'm insane?" the worrier questioned with
"Not at all," Gagrielle tried to back-pedal, "So, being of sound mind and in the contemplation of the certainty of deathÉ" the bard paused and nodded, "Yeah, death would be pretty certain." she mumbled, scrawling away.
"Get on with it." Xena barked.
"Do hereby declare this instrument to be my last will and testament." Gagrielle looked up and glanced between the two women.
"Do you have to say instrument?" the worrier asked, spitting a fragment of nail somewhere in the vicinity of Gagrielle's bucket.
"That's the terminology, Xena." the bard said.
"Sounds like I'm going to be playing it."
"Okay, I'll change it 'document'."
The worrier nodded her consent.
"Right, how about the disposition of your remains?" Gagrielle continued, looking up at the worrier.
Xena stared at her a moment as if she was the one of questionable sanity, "Dead, I hope." she said with a frown.
"No, I mean how do you want your remains disposed of?" Gagrielle sighed.
"Oh, with Lyceus, you know that."
"Uh-huh, just checking. Now," the bard sat back, "the bequests."
"The what?" Xena asked, sounding slightly confused.
"The bequestsÉin your will you bequeath your property to people." Still nothing from the worrier. Gagrielle tried again, "Who gets what, Xena?"
"Oh," the worrier paused in thought, "Argo gets my sword and chakram." she said with a smile.
Gagrielle retched violently and dropped her quill on the table. Cyrene stared agog at her daughter.
"What's she gonna do with them Xena? Have them melted down and used as shoes?" Gagrielle said after regaining control of her volatile muscles.
"Now dear," Cyrene began, "I don't think that's a very wise decision."
"You don't?" Xena asked, turning her eyes on her mother.
"No, Agrgo is a horse, dear, generally you bequest your property to humans."
"But they'll all be dead."
The bard rolled her eyesÉagain, "How so?"
"Well," the worrier began, "if I die, it will most likely be in battle, yes?"
"So, Gag, you'll be with me, no offence, but if I'm gone, you most certainly will be."
Gagrielle could feel the bile oozing it's way up from her stomach.
"And Herc and Iolaus, they'd be gone too, and well, mom, you're no spring chicken."
Gagrielle shook her head, "Hang on, you're mother is executor, she can't be dead."
A panic look washed across Xena's face.
"Don't worry dear, I think I'll manage to hang on." Cyrene said dryly, patting Xena's forearm.
Xena sighed, "So, the only possibility that leaves, is Argo." She paused a moment. Her eyes lit up. "Joxer." she said with a briliant smile, "He's too stupid to die." She motioned with a finger to Gagrielle to start writing, "Write that down, that I leave all the rest and residue of my estate to Joxer."
"You can't be serious."
The bard sighed and wrote down the words. "But what if he does die?"
"He can do that?"
"I'd be more than happy to give you an illustration." Gagrielle grated.
The bard continued, "If there's no-one left to bequeath your stuff to, it goes to charity. Pick a charity, any charityÉ"
Xena thought a moment, "The Athens City Academy of Barfing Bards."
Gabrielle looked up. A tear was in her eye, "You'd do that for me?" she asked.
"Well, yeah, there have to be other bards out there with yourÉproblem Gagrielle."
"I think it's sweet." said Cyrene. She shot her daughter a look, "Now, sign the damn thing." she spat.
Xena actually cowered, but took the quill that Gagrielle offered her and marked the parchment with a large X.
"Ah Xena?" Gagrielle asked.
The worrier looked at her.
"Your gonna have to write you full name, people will think you are illiterate."
The worrier's eyes went wide and she quickly scrawled the rest of her name on the parchment before sitting back with a smug look on her face.
The three women sat in silence for a moment.
"So, who's for leftovers?" Cyrene asked, placing her hands on the table and making to rise.
A grand gurgling retch made it's way up from the very depths of Gagrielle's guts. The worrier began to hyperventilate.
Well, I was feeling kind of wretched, you knowÉ
Until next time,
Return to The Bard's Corner