[ 1998C. ]


Xena, Gabby and the rest of the gang belong to MCA, yadda, yadda, yadda....
No dinars (or money of other wordly currencies) are made so no infringements of
copyright intended. I'm just an aspiring broke writer in a world faced with the
economic reccesion so please be kind!

This is a twisted story of the Season 3 dancing ep with Tara in it. Sorta.
Just that instead of dancing, it's cooking. Yep, cooking. There may be hints of
subtext in here, not too many, just a few so take precaution and zoom outta here now
if this sort of thing has a tragic effect on you. I'm writing this on Christmas Eve,
couldn't help it really so here's to all loyal Xenites who wish Lucy would renew her
contract by 2000 or something!...Would a petition help, BTW?

Alrightee then, I shall cut the crapping and let you on to this new story
before you nick me on the head with that mean old bat you're holding. (Everyone
just wants to be Gabrielle, sheesh...) So sit back and enjoy. And as they always
say on radio, pleasant viewing...

Have a Xenatized X'mas!
Amazon Moon Dec 1998C.

In a small Greek village called Rawmeal, a harsh law was executed on the
people for as long as they could remember. It had been there since the first
group of settlers came to the place which was surrounded by wood and river. It
was an important rule that should never be broken. If it was, the accused would
have to be whipped publically in the town square infront of the rest of his
people to ensure no one else dared to defy the ancient commandant. The commandment?
"THOU SHALT NOT EAT ANYTHING COOKED." Hence the village Rawmeal got its name.

The loyal villages mainly worked as farmers for a living and none dared
defy the golden rule. No one had broken it for nearly twelve years. The last man
was a reckless young youth. He left the place after the whipping, never to be seen

A stoic man, the head village chief Spanos, saw that his people observed
the golden rule always. It was a pity they had no connections with Japan than, for
the Rawmealians would have enjoyed Japanese sushi and sashimi. Spanos would
constantly make rounds around the small village, to the homes of the people to
make sure they never used fire on their food.

The people thus, ate raw things as their staple food diet. Meat was washed,
dried and eaten. The more adventurous would attempt downing their raw meal instantly
but often with fatal results, most of the time leading to serious attacks of nueasa,
vomit attacks or bad diahorrea. They would come running to Spanos the headman for
help. For Spanos was also, very conviniently, the only village doctor.


"Xena, I've never been to this part of the country," a staff wielding bard
looked over at her companion on horseback. "I see a small village up ahead. What's
it called?"

The warrior princess shifted her stunning blues from the village up ahead
to her partner Gabrielle beside her. The bard's BGSB was drenched with pesperation
from walking in the heat of the boiling evening sun. It was a few more hours to
sundown. Xena smiled into Gabrielle's green jems. "I don't know, let's find out."

Extending a strong hand towards the sunny blonde, Xena hulled her friend
up behind her, on trusty 'ol Argo. Then with a flourish, the warrior princess
guided her horse towards the village before the sun dipped further down the misty


They rode into the village, startling the quiet villagers who were so
unused to recieving strangers. Almost everybody in town knew everyone. It was
too dark at that time to make out the name of the place which had been scrawled
on a piece of wood outside so Xena hopped down Argo and approached the nearest
villager, who was innocently chomping on a carrot.

"You," Xena came up to him, tapping the man on the shoulder. "What's the
name of this village?"

The man widened his eyes in surprise at the newly arrived visitor. "W-why,
Rawmeal of course! Didn't you see the sign outside?" He had lived there all his
life. He eyed the horse behind Xena warily, it looked beefy.

"Rawmeal?" Xena threw a disgusted face. "What kind of name is that?" She
realised the man was eyeing Argo funny. She didn't like it. She cleared her
throat aburptly. "Which way to the tavern?"

The villager pointed directions, his gaze still fixed on an unassuming
Argo. Xena didn't bother to thank him and left. Leaping up back unto her trusty
battle horse, she frowned. "Wierdo."


They reached the town's only tavern. It was a small tidy place which
could have used more customers. Business was pretty bad. The keeper and his wife
sat dejectectedly by the counter, reading the The Greek Times and doing sewing
respectively. Gabrielle could imagine cobwebs growing in the corner.

Xena strided over and cleared her throat. The old couple looked up,
surprised to see her. The small man stood up slowly, putting his paper away. He
peered through his thick glasses and wheezed. "Yes girl, what can I do for you?"

"My horse's outside. And we'd like something to eat," Xena replied after
the initial shock of anyone ever calling her "girl". Not even her mother did that

The keeper's wife smiled and put away her sewing. She showed the two to
a table (even though it wouldn't have mattered where they sat. All tables were
available). Old man Breeks went out to put Argo into his tidy stables and gave
her some hay. Mrs Breeks meanwhile, offered the two friends the house menu and
walked to the kitchen to get some water.

"Oh boy am I hungry," Gabrielle grinned at her friend opposite her as her
deft hands opened the thin menu. "I could almost eat a horse!"

Xena flinched. She didn't like that. "Well, definately not *my* horse."

The bard giggled before stopping short. The look on her face was blank
than incredulous before becoming hysterical. She started making strange noises
and her face turned tomato red.

"What's wrong Gabrielle?" Xena demanded, wondering if her friend suddenly
had some sort of seizure or had accidently burst a blood vessel. She raised an
eyebrow. "Gabrielle?"

"Look at the menu, Xena," the Poteidaian bard burst out passionately.
"Look at it!" She looked horrified. Her face turned from red, then blue and
finally green.

The stoic warrior flipped open the tavern's miserable menu and raised and
eyebrow. She scanned the pages, reread its contents and realised what had caused
the Amazon bard's violent reaction. "They only serve raw food, Gabrielle."

"Only?" Gabrielle nearly yelled, her hands tearing at her hair. "Only?!
Xena, they eat their vegi raw! They eat their meat raw! They eat *everything*
raw, for Tartarus' sake! EVERYTHING!!!"

"Okay, Gabrielle, okay," Xena tried soothing her friend before Mrs Breeks
the inn keeper's wife came scurrying back to find out what was wrong. Xena realised
Gabby was still sick over the incident where she had chomped rather happily on raw
squid/octopus/cuttlefish when they were sailing sometime back. Bards are passionate,
sensitive beings, Xena drilled herself to remember.

Gabrielle tossed her blonde hair and inhaled deeply, trying to calm herself
from the outburst. "You know what Xena, this place needs a new menu and I'll have
to change it. I'll do the cooking tonight."


Old man Breeks came back into the tavern after stuffing Argo into his
stable and Xena stopped him before he disappeared into the kitchen. "Say, Breeks,
what do you say if my friend here changes the menu? She doesn't like the food
on it."

The old hoot stood still for a minute, studying Gabrielle's earnest face.
Then, deciding it was safe since Mrs Breeks was no where around, he whispered
secretively. "Well I don't like the damn food either!"

Gabrielle grinned at the man's humour, poking at his wife's cooking. How
typical. She raised her eyebrows. "So, may I use your kitchen tonight, Mr Breeks?"

Old man Breeks considered a moment than swaddled over next door, which was
the tavern's spacious kitchen. He had to discuss with Mrs Breeks first, he told
them. Outside, Xena and Gabby heard him attempting to get his wife to understand
but Mrs Breeks went into a passionate outburst, more energetic than the bard's and
screamed that she had no point in living anymore since he hated her cooking, yadda,
yadda, yadda.

Mr Breeks came out of the kitchen later, with his wife pouting furiously
beside him. He had a weary look on his face and a red hand smack on his cheek but
he managed to give the girls a cheery thumbs-up sign before his wife stormed upstairs.

"All right then," Gabrielle smiled, stretched her hands and headed for
Breek's kitchen. "Watch me do the cooking."

"W-wait now," Breeks blocked her way. "You're not going to use fire on the
food, are you? You can't do that-- it's not allowed!"

"What?" Xena rose to her impressive frame and the old man involuntarily
stepped back. "Why isn't it allowed?"

"It's our sacred rule here at Rawmeal. If Spanos the headman catches you,
you'll be sent for a whipping," Breeks trembled, his thick glasses rattling on
the bridge of his crooked nose. "Here, we can only eat your food raw and I thought
you meant-"

Xena waved him off, her face stern but a tiny sparkle in her eye. "Tonight
Gabrielle will you the cooking. Call all your unfortuneate townsmen over to your
place, Sir, and we'll show them what *real* cooking is about."

Gabby raised her eyebrows and Breeks looked at her pleadingly, like 'ol
Xena here had went of her rocker (no Furies business here!). The bard cleared her
throat then forced a smile at him. "Go, get them here. I'll... show them what
*real* cooking is all about."

Old Breeks muttered that they were insane but went off anyway to convey
the duo's message and come to his tavern for a "professional cooking show". He
just prayed that Spanos wouldn't come over.


"Do we really have to do this, Xena?" Gabrielle asked as Xena took her by
the arm into Breek's roomy kitchen. "What if we get found out?"

"All the better," the warrior muttered as she helped take out the pans
and utensils from the cabinets. "The people should live like people and not animals."
Besides, the rule was pretty dumb.

People soon came streaming in and sat down by the benches Xena had neatly
arranged at the front of kitchen. The townspeople talked in hushed hushed whispers
as they nudged each other, waiting for Gabby's very first public cookshow to start.
In minutes, nearly everyone had settled and the show was ready to roll.

"All right everyone," Xena hollered as the crowd quietened down. Gabrielle,
in a floppy white chef hat over her head stood with a wooden spoon beside her. The
warrior princess smiled warmly as she placed her arm over her shoulder. "Presenting
you, Poteidaia's most famous chef... and bard, Gabrielle!"

The crowd went balistic and started cheering and clapping. Even old man Breeks
and his wife were there. He had reserved front row seats. He clapped the loudest,
smiling encouragingly. Gabby was a tad nervous with all the people around.

"Now, Gabrielle," Xena turned talkshow hostess as she looked at her friend.
"What will you show the people tonight? They've got a lot to learn!"

"Well firstly," Gabrielle adjusted the ill fitting chef hat. "We've got to
start with the appetizers. We can't start any meal without appetizers, can we?"
The crowd cheered in agreement, eager to learn the skill.

"So," the kitchen bard gestured to the ingredients lined up on the wide
wooden table. "I'll be sharing with you the secret of making Dolmathes Avgolemono
(stuffed grape leaves with avgolemono sauce), Tzatziki (cucumber and yogurt dip),
Spanakopetaki (Phyllo triangle stuffed with spinach), Calamarakia (Fried Calamari)
and of course, the wonderful Saganaki (grilled cheese)."

Beside her, Xena the Gabby's Very First Public Cookshow's host, felt her
stomach give a heavy grumble. She licked her lips, willing the bard to begin.

Gabby took the cue. She patiently went through all the procedures to the
eager crowd, telling them handy tips along the way. Xena could see she was enjoying
herself. The crowd was too. They were soon done with the appetizers, which was
passed around for sampling in the audience and Gabrielle decided to do the soups.

"Next I shall show you how to create succulent soups to go with the rest
of the dishes," Gabrielle grinned, a wooden spoon in one hand while Xena wiped the
pesperation off her forehead. "Like for example; Fasoulada (bean soup), Faki (Lentil
soup) and Soupa Avogolemono (egg and lemon soup).

The kitchen became steamy for the next half hour, with the soups boiling
crazily over the stove. Xena smiled at the bard's many skills. She had tasted every
one of her creations and really, she could just go into full time catering.

Gabrielle grinned proudly as she showd the cheering crowd the next item.
"You can't miss the main course, can you?" The audience shouted a united "NO!".
Gabby readjusted the hat. "Well then, unto the meat!" The crowd appluaded.

The sunny blonde then proceeded to show them how to turn raw meat into
fine crusine. She retold the recipies for Stefado (beef onion stew), Chicken
Avgolemono soup, Lamb Kleftiko (slow cooked lamb with it's own juices), Arni
exohiko (roasted lamb in phyllo) and Moussaka (layered casserole with chopped
meat and vegetables). Everyone in the room jotted down notes as the bard spoke.
They had to try it out themselves. Nice smells filled the tavern, the rest of the
village empty.

They had been there for hours and everyone urged the bard for more. Gabby
decided to show them some dessert. "All right, now we'll go unto desserts. We'll
make nut cake (Karidopeta) and Galaktoboureko, which is cool custard covered with
phyllo... uh-oh."

Gabrielle let her sentence trail, a splinter of fear in her emerald eyes.
She clutched her friend's arm. "Xena, we've got company."

Spanos stood at the enterence with his gruff men behind him. He had his
hands on his hips, his feet apart and a very unhappy look on his lined face. He
stepped forward and a dreadful silence hung in the air. As he walked towards the
bard, the townspeople made way for the man, like Moses parting the Red Sea.

"Do you know what you have done?" Spanos boomed, his followers behind.
He glared at the two women. He looked very upset, even a bit angry. His right
fist was balled up and he shook a severe finger at the bard.

"Look Sir, I know we've broken the rule but these people..." Gabrielle
spread her hands but Spanos cut her off. The headman stomped on the floor, like
a small child, raving. "You didn't invite me for this party!"

Xena raised an eyebrow then understood. She whipped a plate of steaming
good lamb kleftiko and brought it infront of the furious man's face. "Well, we
left some for you."

The famished headman started salivialating and accepted the dish, his
eyes greedy but happy. With the dish in hand, Spanos turned to face the rest
of the townsmen. "Well, what are you waiting for? Dig in!"

Everyone started the feast, chattering excitiedly amongst them as they
shared every dish the Poteidaian bard had cooked up. The silly rule was banished,
very much like chewing gum in Singapore. The food was happily consumed and all
was happy.

"You make a good cook, Gabrielle," Xena whispered in her ear in their
quiet corner. They were sharing a grape pudding the bard had whipped up for
themselves earlier. "Mmmmm."

The amazon bard chuckled as she licked the sticky sauce off the warrior's
strong fingers. She raised her eyebrows and replied cheekily. "Well, I've got
many skills."

They shared a lingering glance at each other before Spanos suddenly
tapped his spoon against his mug and stood on his chair. He had a happy grin
on his face. His cheeks had sauce all over and food was caught in his beard.
He bellowed. "Let's make a toast to Xena and Gabrielle, for it is because of
them, on this day, we the citizens of the newly named Fullmeal, have rediscovered
the joy of cooking! Xena and Gabrielle!"

"Xena and Gabrielle!" everyone cheered, standing up and raising their mugs
together in unison. The duo graciously stood up amidst the people. Old man Breeks
came up to them, his happy wife on his arm. "If there's anything we could offer you,
please say it."

"Well, it would be nice if you could provide us some supplies before we
move off tomorrow," Xena told him, her arm over the bard's shoulders. "And a
room with a huge bed for tonight."

"Not a problem," Breeks grinned, a knowing twinkle in his grey eyes. "You
can get the biggest room. I owe you, business around here will never be the same

As the elderly couple left them, Gabrielle looked at Xena, a cheeky smile
playing on the corners of her lips. She cocked her head and raised her eyebrows.

Xena grinned and got the message. Swooping the kitchen bard into her mighty
arms, she bounded up the stairs into the room Breeks had promised them. She stared
into green pools, her own twinkling. "I'd like to discover what are the *other*
many skills you have Gabrielle."

"All will be shown," the bard promised softly as they closed the door behind


They woke up refreshed the next day, happy grins on their faces as they came
down the stairs. They had to get moving and were delighted to see the promised
surprise nicely laid out on the table. Breeks came in smiling, looking happier than
before. "Well kids, had a nice rest?"

"We earned it," Gabrielle grinned as she took the bag off the table. Xena
just grinned silently.

"Well, your horse is ready," Breeks informed them. "I just brushed her."

"Thank you," Xena headed for the door, Gabrielle behind her. "We'll be
going off now." Breeks tipped his hat and watched them leave, thankful for their

As they rode out of the village, Xena noticed something and stopped Argo.
"Look," she pointed. The old signboard had been removed and now, a painted wooden
board with Xena and Gabby (with a floppy chef hat on her head) had the bold words

"Wow," Gabrielle laughed. "We're the co-founders."

"Maybe we should set up a catering store back in Athens," Xena joked as
she guided Argo away from the village. "It'll be a hit."

The two friends started discussing plans about the matter with a light heart
as they made their way to another land, with more adventures ahead.

*** THE END ***


Argo was not harmed or eaten raw during this production. No one suffered from
food poisoning or constipation after eating Gabby the kitchen bard's creations.
(They just died-- j/king!)


Okay, this is the end. Might as well be the last fanfic I'll be writing for
this year. You guys enjoy the season and everyone, here's wishing you guys a Merry
Christmas and a fantastic '99! Amazon Moon 1998C. (

alt fic index <> homepage