DATELINE- The countryside just outside Amphipolis, in a time of ancient gods, warlords and kings.

TV reporter: <whispering> Good evening, and welcome to this week’s edition of "It’s None of Your Business". I’m Clymidia Moss and I’m here, outside the home of Xena: Warrior Princess and Gabrielle: The Battling Bard of Potedia, looking for clues that might give us some insight into their world. As you all know, they retired about ten years ago, and we’ve come here to find out what they’ve been up to.

This <points to large wooden barrel> is their trash barrel. Let’s see what secrets it holds, shall we?

<camera follows Clymidia’s hands as she digs through the rotten food and scraps of leather inside>

Well, well, well. What do we have here? <holds up a ripped, soiled piece of parchment> It appears to be a portion of a scroll. And, look, it’s got some writing on it! Butch, can you get a tight shot of this? Tighter, tighter, tighter. Ouch! You’re standing on my foot. Back up a little, will ya?

It’s some sort of letter, but will you look at that penmanship? It’s atrocious. Let’s try to read around the tomato stains and see if we can make out what it says.

<Holds up scroll and the camera is positioned so viewers can read over her shoulder>

I watch the fire flicker as you sleep, recalling a lifetime of moments and minutes and days.

I touch your face; you stir and sigh. Your smile….

Reporter- <cooing> "Ahh. It appears to be the beginning of a love poem, but it ends here where the parchment is torn. Now the question is, where’s the rest of it, and who’s the author? Let’s do some more digging, shall we?"

<As Clymidia moves toward the trash barrel again, a strong hand grabs her by the scruff off the neck and nearly pulls her off her feet>

Reporter-"Hey, what the? Can’t you see we’re trying to do an expose here?" <She turns her head to see a pair of piercing blue eyes cutting through her>

"Oh, you must be Xena."

Xena- "Yeess. And who might YOU be?"

Reporter- "I’m Clymidia Moss, and you’re on "It’s None of Your Business"!"

Xena- "What do you mean it’s none of my business? You bet it’s my business. You show up at my house like a thief in the night and start going through my garbage. I just made it my business. Now who sent you?"

Reporter- "It’s none of your business".

Xena- "Listen missy, I’ll give you one last chance to tell me what I want to know, or it’s going to get really ugly out here."

Reporter- "I TOLD you twice now. "It’s none of your business"."

Xena- "Don’t say I didn’t warn you." <she puts the pinch on the reporter>

<Clymidia repeats her earlier assertion that "It’s none of your business", and passes out. In a mild panic, Xena reverses the pinch>

<Camera pans from Clymidia, now lying on the ground in some flowers, to a disgruntled looking Xena>

Xena- "What are you looking at? I was just trying to get some information. She’ll be fine once she wakes up. Just a little groggy."

<The warrior princess starts walking toward the cameraman>

Xena- "Maybe YOU can tell me who sent you."

Butch- "Um. I just work the camera. <TV picture starts to shake a bit> Clymidia tells me what to do, maybe once she wakes…"

Gabrielle- <running out of the house> "Xena! What’s going on?"

Xena- "These people were going through our garbage, and that woman with the big hair wouldn’t tell me where they’re from, so I put the pinch on her and.."

Gabrielle- "You what? Do either of them look like a threat to you?"

Xena- "Well, no. Not really, but.."

Gabrielle- "But what? The woman is unconscious in our flowerbed! Help me get her into the house."

Xena- "What? Are you crazy? We don’t know where these people are from. Someone could have sent them to kill us, for all you know."

Gabrielle- "Somehow I don’t think a woman who passes out after only a few seconds of the pinch, and makes no effort to fight back, is a killer. And look at the shoes she’s wearing… pointy toes, high heels. And how about that costume- a skirt and form-fitting button up jacket with some sort of tight second skin binding her legs? It looks like she may have been a torture victim. Then there’s that poor guy with the big black Cyclops thing on his shoulder. He’s shaking like a leaf, and appears to have wet himself. I know you haven’t had a good fight for a while, but you can’t just go around scaring people like that. Now, grab her arms and help me get her inside."

Xena- <grumbles unintelligibly to herself, but does what Gabrielle asks>

<The camera follows the trio into the cozy house and through a door to a small bedroom.

Xena and Gabrielle hoist Clymidia onto the bed and Xena takes off the woman’s shoes>

Xena- "You know, these things would make pretty good weapons. If you throw ‘em right, they could put out an eye, <snaps fingers> just like that."

Gabrielle- "Gimme that!" <snatches the shoe away from Xena and puts it on the floor next to the bed> "I swear Xena, you really need to get out more. The local Amazons put on war games every year. Why don’t you participate?"

<The camera catches Clymidia opening one eye and watching the warrior and the bard with great interest.>

Clymidia- <mouthing the words to the photog> Are you getting this?

<The camera moves up and down in the affirmative>

Xena- "I don’t know. The problem with the war games is that they’re just that… games. The weapons are wooden, and I have to hold back. Last week I heard about a raiding party that’s been preying on the farming villages around Thrace, maybe I could just head over…"

Gabrielle- "Xeenaaa. We’ve discussed this a million times already. We’re lucky to have lived this long, especially you. Let’s just relax and enjoy our golden years with a little peace and quiet, all right?

<Xena notices the camera moving alternately from her face to Gabrielle’s>.

Xena- "Wha… What are you doing?"

<The camera moves back to Clymidia, who quickly closes her eye>

Butch- "I’m trying to document the conversation you’re having, to get and idea how you live. If I miss anything she’ll kill me." <The camera moves again to Clymidia, then back to Xena>

Xena- "And if you don’t shut that thing off, she’ll be the least of your worries."

<Xena’s hand comes toward the lens and suddenly the reporter lying on the bed launches into a dramatic coughing fit. Gabrielle rushes to her side and Xena turns her attention to the uninvited guest>

Clymidia- "Mother! Are you there Mother? Help me, I think I’m dying."

Gabrielle- <stroking the reporter’s forehead> "Hey, it’s okay.

Clymidia- "Mother?"

Gabrielle- "No. Your mother’s not here. I’m Gabrielle and that’s Xena over there in the corner." <the reporter gasps in exaggerated fear and grabs her own throat>

Gabrielle- "It’s okay. You’re safe. That pinch thing was a misunderstanding. We get some strange visitors around here sometimes, and you can never be too careful. Xena’s sorry she scared you. Aren’t you Xena?

<The camera catches Xena shifting from foot to foot like a child who’s been scolded>

Gabrielle- "AREN’T you Xena?"

Xena- "Yes, I’m sorry already."

Gabrielle- "Could you please get our guest some water?"

<The warrior princess lets out a long breath and sulks out of the room>

Gabrielle- "Don’t worry about her. She’s just not used to entertaining. Is there anything else I can do for you?"

Clymidia- "Well…. The reason I came here was to do a biographical story about you and Xena. My name’s Clymidia Moss and I’m the host of a television show called "It’s None of Your Business".

<She looks into the camera as she stresses the name of the show>

Gabrielle- "Television?"

Clymidia- "Yeah. Television. You know, TV?"

<By the confused look on Gab’s face, it’s obvious that she has no idea what the reporter is talking about>

Clymidia- "Gosh, you have been out of commission for a while. Television was one of the gifts given to us by the gods in the flying ships. In their infinite wisdom, they also brought us the concept of sliced bread."

Gabrielle- "Gods in flying ships?"

Clymidia- "Shortly after Xena killed the Olympian gods, Rome was visited by advanced beings in flying ships, who showed us how to send sound and pictures through the air. That thing on Butch’s shoulder is called a camera. In it, is a carbon-based tape that can record your sounds and movements. When we’re done here, we’ll take the tape back to our studio in Athens, edit out the parts we don’t like, throw in some special effects, and eventually broadcast the story to thousands of viewers who will watch it in magic boxes called television sets."

<Xena returns with the reporter’s water>

Xena- "Here."

Clymidia- "Thanks. I was just telling Gabrielle, I’m a reporter. I came here in the hopes that you’d tell me your story."

Xena- "That’s nice." <To Gabrielle> "Can I see you for a moment?"

<The camera zooms in on the duo as Xena pulls Gab into a corner of the room>

Xena- <whispering> "How soon can we get her out of here? I don’t like the idea of a reporter poking around in our lives. You know, the woman was actually going through our garbage?"

Gabrielle- <also whispering> "Xena, we can’t just kick her out after your little pinch display. I feel like we at least owe her a few minutes of our time. Don’t you?"

Xena- "No, not really. But I can see you’ve already made up your mind, so I’ll go add some more logs to the fire. <sigh> Bring her out when you’re ready."

Gabrielle- <Walks back over to the bed> "We’d be happy to answer a few of your questions. Are you able to get up and join us in the living room?"

Clymidia- "Sure! I wouldn’t miss this opportunity for all the tea in Chin. <Looks into the camera, which zooms in for a tight shot of her face> Coming up in just a minute, an exclusive, in-depth interview with Xena: Warrior Princess and Gabrielle: The Battling Bard of Potedia. That’s right after these words from Pantamos Fish Market."

<When we return from the commercial break Xena and Gabrielle are seated on large, wooden bench near the fire. Clymidia is on a chair facing them>

Clymidia- "Welcome back everyone. For those just joining us this evening, I’m very happy to report that Xena: Warrior Princess and Gabrielle: The Battling Bard of Potedia, have graciously invited "It’s None of Your Business" into their home, and agreed to answer some questions about their very interesting lives."

<camera gets a two-shot of Gabrielle who nods and smiles, and Xena who looks into the camera with an expression of mild disgust. Gab elbows her in the side and she manages to work up a crooked smirk>

Clymidia- "Since the publication of your scrolls a few years ago, Gabrielle, most of the known world has enjoyed the stories of your adventures with Xena. I’m interested in filling in some of the gaps; getting the story behind the story."

Gabrielle- "Well, as you know Clymidia, when Xena and I settled down, I sold copies of most of my scrolls, to finance our retirement. But there are still a few that we haven’t released. They should be coming out in a few weeks."

Clymidia- "That’s fantastic news! And remember folks, you heard it first, right here on "It’s None of Your Business". Alright, let’s get down to the nitty gritty. Starting with you, Gabrielle, since you seem a bit more willing to… participate. How does it feel to be known as Xena’s "sidekick"?"

Gabrielle- <prickles a bit> "It may have started out that way, but over the years I think I’ve show I can hold my own, and…"

Xena- <interrupts> "Gabrielle is nobody’s sidekick. She’s my partner, my equal, and I would never have been able to do the things I did without her help."

Clymidia- "But surely, you’re the superior fighter, Xena."

Xena- "I don’t know, we haven’t sparred for awhile. I think Gabrielle could hold her own. She is an Amazon Queen, you know."

Clymidia- "Care to demonstrate?"

Gabrielle- "Um. I don’t know if that’s such a good idea. It’s late and I…"

Xena- "Sure. Gabrielle, choose your weapon and meet me outside."

Gabrielle- <stands up and addresses the reporter> "You had to encourage her, didn’t you? She’s been itching for a good fight for weeks and this gives her a nice excuse."

<She removes a staff that’s hanging on the stone wall above the fireplace> Well, don’t just sit there. C’mon. Let’s go get this over with." <She leads Butch and Clymidia out the back door. Xena is outside stretching>

Xena- "Oh, I see you’ve gone back to your staff. I haven’t seen that in action for a few years. What happened to your trusty sais?"

Gabrielle- "I haven’t fought for awhile and I was afraid I might accidentally skewer you with them."

Xena- "Don’t worry. It’s like riding a centaur. Once you’ve mastered the art, you never forget."

Much striking, dodging and flipping ensues. Then something goes wrong. While trying to take off for a back flip, Xena’s foot slips and she lands flat on her back. Within seconds, Gabrielle is sitting on her chest, her staff at the warrior’s neck.

Clymidia- "Put the pinch on her! Put the pinch on her!" <Xena and Gab both stop what they’re doing and look at the reporter with raised eyebrows> "Eh hem. Sorry, I guess I got a little too into the action. <looks into the camera> That fine display of lightning quick warrior skills, certainly should leave no doubt that Gabrielle is no longer anybody’s sidekick."

<off camera>

Gabrielle- <whispering to Xena> "Are you okay?"

Xena- "Yeah, I just slipped."

Gabrielle –"You never slip. You let me win."

Xena- "No, really. I must be off tonight. I slipped."

<With a flick of the wrist, Gabrielle tries to swat Xena in the face with her staff. The warrior catches it between her palms>

Gabrielle –"Oh yeah. You’re really off tonight. <pause> Xena?"

Xena- "Hmmm?"

Gabrielle- "Thank you."

<Xena stands up> "Okay, Clymidia. Are you and your viewers satisfied?

Clymidia- "We’ve got the fighting angle covered. Now, if you’d just be kind enough to go back inside and answer a few more questions…<to camera> Stay tuned folks, we’ll be back with more from the Warrior Princess and her Amazon Queen in just a minute."

<Commercial break>

Clymidia- <back inside beside the fire> "Welcome back to "It’s None of Your Business" a few minutes ago we saw Gabrielle show her stuff in hand to hand combat against Xena, the ultimate warrior. Can we see the final moments of the fight again?"

<tape rolls showing Xena slipping and Gab landing on her chest)

Clymidia- "Ouch! That’s gotta hurt."

<camera pans to Xena just as she bites off a chunk of fingernail and spits it into the fire>

Clymidia- "Xena?"

Xena- "Huh? Oh yeah. <wry smile> Ouch."

Clymidia- "Well. <a beat then she turns to the bard> Gabrielle, I thought I could ask you ladies about some of your adventures and how they’ve ultimately affected your lives. I’ll say a word and you tell me what it makes you feel. Okay?"

Gabrielle- "Okay. You’re not going to ask me if I were a tree, what kind of tree would I be, are you?"

Clymidia- "No. But that’s a great question! I’ll have to write that down before I leave. Thanks for the idea."

Gabrielle- "Uh, yeah. <casts a sideways glance at Xena, who’s now picking her teeth with a splinter from the floor> Don’t mention it."

Clymidia- "Okay. Here we go…. Potedia."

Gabrielle- <smiling> "Mmmm. Home. I have wonderful memories of my childhood there with my sister, Lila and my parents. It’s funny, because when I lived there, all I could think about was leaving… seeing the world. Now that I’ve done that, sometimes I long for that old innocence. I’ve…we’ve <touches Xena’s arm> gotten to see and do some pretty wonderful things over the years, but I think each adventure has either given or taken away a little part of ourselves. I know I’m certainly not the girl I was when I left Potedia."

Clymidia- "How would you say you changed?"

Gabrielle- "Well, I can take care of myself a little bit better than I could then. After a number of really bad judgment calls on my part, and if you’ve read the scrolls, you know what I’m talking about…Chin immediately comes to mind… I’ve grown to rely nearly as much on my head as on my heart. I still try to see the good in people, but now also accept the fact that some good people are capable of terrible betrayals and sometimes even unspeakable evil. I guess you could say the naïveté has been shaken out of me."

<At Gab’s last statement a sardonic sneer curls Xena’s upper lip>

Clymidia- "Xena, you’ve been awfully quiet. Do you have anything to add to what Gabrielle is saying?"

Xena- "No."

Clymidia- "Okay… Gabrielle, what have you gotten from your relationship with Xena over the years?"

Gabrielle- "Oh. What haven’t I gotten? I’ve learned so much. When I met Xena I was a bold little girl with some big dreams of adventures alongside the great Warrior Princess. I had no idea who I was, or who she was for that matter. I just knew I had to be with her. I think it really hit me when Xena saved me and my village from Draco’s soldiers. There we were in the forest…she was fighting, and I was fighting. Okay, I was hanging over some guy’s shoulders, but I was kicking and yelling with all my might. Despite that, I felt like Xena and I were fighting together for a common goal; like we were connected somehow. After that, I basically stalked and hounded her until she gave in and let me tag along. Over the years, she’s helped me find a strength I didn’t know I had. Initially, I wanted to BE Xena, or at least be like her, and she helped me realize that wasn’t what I needed. I simply needed to find myself. I also learned about trust and forgiveness and sacrifice. In some cases the willingness to make the supreme sacrifice for someone else’s well being."

Clymidia- "How has Xena changed in the time you’ve been with her?"

Gabrielle- "Maybe she should answer that herself."

<Clymidia looks at Xena and waits>

Xena- "That’s okay. Gabrielle is doing just fine."

<The camera moves back to Gab>

Gabrielle- <looks at Xena> "Well, when we first met, she was full of guilt and rage and pain. Lots of pain. So much so that she was ready to let herself be stoned to death by the people of her village, just to escape it. It still breaks my heart to imagine what would have happened if…."

Xena- "If Gabrielle hadn’t come along and saved me." <She says it with little emotion>

Gabrielle – "Xena has a really tough exterior, but it conceals a sensitive soul. <Gab takes Xena’s hand> When she stopped and realized all the pain and suffering she’d caused, it was terrible for her. She’s never been one to talk about it much, but the sense of purpose with which she fights for the weak and persecuted speaks louder than any words could. Her guilt and anguish have driven her to a lifetime of making amends, for wrongs that she can never make right. It’s a terrible burden to carry."

Xena- "Fortunately, I haven’t had to carry it alone. Gabrielle doesn’t give herself enough credit. She helped me remember that there is good in the world, and that I carry some of it within myself. Is that enough to erase the terrible things I’ve done in my lifetime? Of course not. No sacrifice is enough to do that, not even my own life. Gabrielle helped me see that and frankly, I don’t think I could have survived without her."

Gabrielle- "Sometimes it’s amazing that you survived despite me."

<they both chuckle>

Xena- "That’s true too."

Clymidia- "Now that you’re participating, Xena. I have to ask about Ares. What’s the deal with your relationship?"

Xena- "He’s the thorn in my paw that reminds me it’s there with every step I take."

Clymidia- "I guess I should rephrase my question. What I mean is, are you two an item?"

Xena- "Ares?"

<Ares appears in a flash of flame behind the gals. The camera zooms in and then out, and Clymidia’s mouth drops open>

Ares- "Did I just hear my favorite warrior princess call my name?"

<camera gets a shot of a slightly annoyed Gabrielle rolling her eyes>

Xena- "No, you didn’t. Now go away, we’re busy."

Ares- "Too busy for the visit with the god of war?"

Xena- "YES. Now go away!"

Ares- "There’s that hot temper that I so love." <he starts massaging Xena’s shoulders>

Clymidia- "Ares! I mean, Mr. War, er, Mr. God. Now that you’re here, maybe you could answer a few questions."

Ares- "Who is this woman?"

Clymidia- "I’m Clymidia Moss, and I’m interviewing Xena and Gabrielle for It’s None of Your Business."

Ares- "What do you mean it’s none of my business? You DO know, I could fry you with a flick of my finger."

Xena- <sighs> "It’s a TV show Ares, just get over it."

Ares- "Oh yeah. The little magic boxes. Okay, what do you want to know? I’ve got all the dirt on these two."

Clymidia- "You can start by characterizing your relationship with them."

Ares- "Well, you know, I have a thing for the brunette… always have, always will. Unfortunately, I haven’t had much success in getting her to return my feelings. I don’t know why; I’ve done everything I can think of to get her attention. I even gave her that chakram, the ultimate weapon. It’s made of the metal of Hephaestus you know? And it responds to the will of its owner. What more could a warrior want? <scoffs> And what kind of thanks do I get? I’ll tell ya… Nothing. Nada. Zilch!" <he yells the last word in Xena’s ear. She doesn’t flinch and looks generally bored with the theatrics>

Clymidia- "You, gave Xena her chakram?"

Ares- "Of course. You don’t think some mortal would have been able to get his hands on a weapon like that do you? I stole it from the temple of that war-god-wanna-be, Kal. Of course even that wasn’t good enough for the warrior princess. She had to go back and get the chakram of light to modify my gift; make it her own. That’s what she does with everything. <frustrated pause> I could have fulfilled her wildest dreams, but she can’t see that."

Clymidia- "What about Gabrielle?"

Ares- "What about her?"

Clymidia- "Well, she and Xena seem to have a nice setup here. Why would you want to break that up if you know it makes Xena happy?"

Gabrielle- "He doesn’t care about what makes Xena happy, the only thinks of himself."

Ares- "Oh, and little miss perfect here cares about Xena. She could have been my queen, and instead she ends up living in this hovel."

Xena- "Knock it off you two! Ares, I’m perfectly happy where I am."

Ares- "Clymidia, she wants to be with me, but ignores her feelings because she thinks I’m bad for her."

Clymidia- "Aren’t you?"

Ares- "Well..."

Clymidia- "Didn’t you lead her down a path of murder and brutality and turn her into a ruthless warlord? A life she’s spent years atoning for? Memories of which give her no peace to this day?"

Ares- "Well, yes. I mean, no. That’s what she wanted at the time. I just… <swallows hard> Is that a war I hear a war erupting somewhere? I’ve gotta go." <he vanishes in a puff of smoke>

Gabrielle- "See, the minute you hit him with the truth, he runs away. <scoffs> Typical macho bullshi.."

Clymidia- "SO! It’s obvious the three of you don’t socialize just for fun. What about the fact that Ares saved not only your life, Gabrielle, but Eve’s as well?"

Gabrielle- "I’m grateful for that, but he only did it because..."

Xena- "He only did it to get to me. Don’t give him too much credit for his humanitarian acts. They’re few and far between and he always has an ulterior motive."

Clymidia- "Xena I see in your bio here, that Cyrene was your mother, but next to Father- the space is blank. There have been rampant rumors that Ares impregnated your mother and is therefore your real father."

Xena- "That’s ridiculous."

Clymidia- "Well, not really. Because according to accounts I’ve read about the circumstances surrounding your birth, your father wasn’t anyway near your home the night you were conceived. It would explain your superior skills."

Xena- "Listen, honey. I got my superior skills through years of blood, sweat and tears. That paternity rumor is just that….a rumor, started by Artemis because she was jealous that her brother paid so much attention to me. Apparently she and Ares had a little romance of their own, and when I came along he dropped her like a hot potato."

Clymidia- "His OWN sister?"

Xena- "You have to remember these are gods we’re talking about here. They live forever, so if they want to have a long-term relationship it has to be with one of their own. It’s an unfortunate twist of fate that they all happen to be related."

Clymidia- "Okay, what say we move on to some other friends and foes from your past? Callisto. What do you feel when you hear that name?"

Gabrielle- "She’s a tough one. I have so many mixed emotions about Callisto. She killed my husband, you know. For a long time I hated her for that. But she was motivated to commit her crimes by such a terrible and profound pain that I almost had to pity her. Then, of course, she made it to Heaven and was healed by the light, and reborn in Eve’s body."

Clymidia- "Does that bother you at all? Do you ever see Callisto in Eve?"

Gabrielle- "It’s interesting that you should ask that question. Sometimes I do, or maybe I should say…did. When we were first reunited with Eve as Livia, I saw a lot of Callisto. She acted just like her, right down to her contempt for Xena. There were times when I really had to work hard to push away that familiar feeling of hatred. <Xena looks at Gabrielle with interest> <Gab pauses> Then I was a little jealous that Xena was willing to work so hard to save the soul of her murderous daughter, but never wanted to give my daughter, Hope a chance. She was just a child when I sent her down that river. Maybe if I had just been there as she was growing up…" <Gabrielle’s voice cracks and tears start to well in her eyes>

Xena- <Sympathetically to Gab> "You never told me you felt like that."

Gabrielle- "I know. It’s stupid to still get upset about it after all these years. Especially after all the terrible things she did… Solan. <Gabrielle shakes her head to erase the image and Xena looks away> I guess I’ll always just wonder "what if?" What if I had been there for her when she was little? Would I have been able to help her find the good in herself and deny Dahok’s influence? I killed my own daughter… twice. And it’s a terrible guilt to carry."

Clymidia- "But surely it had to be done. Her father was out to take over the world."

Gabrielle- "Somehow that didn’t make it any easier."

<Xena puts her arm around Gab’s shoulder>

Clymidia- "Xena. What about you? What does the name Callisto mean to you?"

Xena- "Callisto. You know, despite all the trouble she caused us, I kind of miss her. She kept me on my toes. She was the ultimate adversary, because her entire life was spent plotting ways to exact her revenge on me for killing her family. She represented the consequences of everything I had ever done wrong. She punished me and I craved it, because I felt like that’s what I deserved. We seemed forever bonded by a cause and effect kind of relationship. She was a constant reminder of where I’d come from and what I had to do to try to make things right."

Clymidia- "Has any of that guilt gone away since you were able to carry her soul inside you and give her a new life?"

Xena- "Not really. While she now has a chance to walk down the path of peace, her last life was spent walking in an inescapable agony caused by my actions. I can never take away those years of pain. Don’t you get it? That’s the point of it all. I can’t take any of it back. But I suppose that’s neither here nor there, anymore. This life’s almost over. I just have to live with it. Maybe next time around my karma won’t be quite so out of kilter."

Clymidia- "Other than actions from your warlord days, is there anything about your life that you’d change?"

Xena- "Of course. When you look back, you always see things that you wish you’d have handled differently. I think early on in my relationship with Gabrielle, I should have been a little… a lot… more open with her. I think by not telling her things, she had to write her own stories about what I was thinking and feeling, and that wasn’t fair to her. I would have never gone back to Britannia to take revenge on Caesar. My plan didn’t work anyway, and my partner ended up pregnant with the spawn of the devil. That was one of my bigger errors in judgment. As a result, not only did Gabrielle lose a daughter, but I also lost my son, and Gabrielle for a short time. While our trip to Illusia turned out to be a healing experience, given the chance to do it over, I don’t think I would have dragged Gabrielle behind my horse and thrown her over a waterfall. <Gab punches Xena in the arm>

Gabrielle- "Yeah! That really hurt." <They both chuckle>

Clymidia- "It’s nice that you’ve both gotten to a place where you can laugh about that. Back to the initial line of questioning… Given the chance to do it all again, would you still have allowed Gabrielle to leave Potedia and travel with you?"

Xena- <a long reflective pause> "Probably not."

Gabrielle- "Xena!"

Xena- "It’s just that, she’s been through so much pain as a direct result of the things that have happened while she’s been with me. I don’t think anybody should have to experience that, certainly not somebody I care about."

Clymidia- "So you blame yourself for Gabrielle’s heartaches too?"

Xena- "If it weren’t for my influence, she’d probably be living happily ever after right now on some farm with Perdicus and a gang of grandchildren playing at her feet."

Gabrielle- "Xena. That’s not what I want. I sought you out, not the other way around. If you had told me I couldn’t ride with you, I would have simply kept following you until you either gave in, or some bad guy killed me in the process. Don’t you see? This was my destiny. All those things were meant to happen to me. They made me the person I am today; the person I’ve always wanted to be. I’m finally content with my life. That wouldn’t have happened if I had stayed in Potedia. I would have always been searching for something more."

Clymidia- "Well, you certainly seem to have found it."

Gabrielle- "I have. I couldn’t live without her. I wouldn’t want to. We’ve been through so much together. She’s a huge part of me."

Clymidia- "Xena, do you feel the same way?"

<The camera zooms in as Xena shrugs and tries to look tough>

Clymidia- "Well?"

Xena- "No. I couldn’t live without her. Okay? <nearly whispering and looking at the fire> She’s everything to me- the love of my life, the yin to my yang. She keeps me balanced; offers an emotional strength that I’m at a loss to find within myself. So, no, I still wouldn’t take her with me from Potedia again, but now that she’s here, I sure as hell don’t want to lose her."

Clymidia- "You both spent twenty-five years asleep in a cave. During that period you lost your parents to murderers, Eve became a brutal killer, Joxer married Meg and actually reproduced, and you missed it all. How do you feel about that?"

Gabrielle- "Obviously we wish we could have been around to stop all that from happening. Those were terrible tragedies."

Clymidia- "Even Joxer’s reproducing?"

Gabrielle- "Oh, sorry, I forgot you threw that in there. No, that wasn’t tragic. Just very surprising. I think we both blame ourselves for not being there to save our parents and raise Eve, but unfortunately there was nothing we could do about it. It was a case of a great plan gone terribly wrong. Ares actually thought he was doing something honorable for a change, and ended up ruining everything. I must say, though, it’s an incredibly strange sensation to wake up after twenty-five years and see how the world has changed. You really get a sense of your own mortality. When Joxer died… <sighs and takes a moment to remember> When he died…It was just very difficult for me. He was such a gentle soul under all the bravado and sometimes I don’t think I gave him the credit he deserved."

Clymidia- "He was in love with you."

Gabrielle- "Yes. And I probably should have handled his heart a little more gently than I did sometimes."

Clymidia- "Were you jealous to find out that he’d settled down with someone else after he thought you’d died?"

Gabrielle- "Jealous? Are you kidding? <nervous grin> Why would I be jealous? It’s not like I wanted him."

Clymidia- "But… wasn’t it nice having him around wanting you? Kind of a little ego boost as you stood in the shadow of the warrior princess?"

Gabrielle- "Heh. Okay. As long as we’re being completely honest here, maybe I was a little jealous. Especially after meeting Virgil. He’s the kind of son I always thought I’d have. <Xena looks at Gabrielle with a raised eyebrow> No! It’s not like I wanted to have Joxer’s baby, it’s just… I don’t know what it is. I just really miss having him around sometimes."

Clymidia- "I don’t know if you’ve heard this or not, but some producers are thinking about making the stories in your scrolls into a television series. They’ve found two unknown actresses from opposite sides of the known world to play you guys. Doesn’t that sound great?"

Xena- "Opposite sides of the known world? They’ll never get past the accent differences. Besides, nobody’d be up to the fight scenes."

Gabrielle- "Hey, you never know. I’d kind of like to see my stories played out in the little magic box. Imagine how many people would get to witness the adventures of Xena: Warrior Princess first hand! She’d become even more of a legend than she already is."

Xena- "Yeah. Great! <mock excitement> Then maybe we’ll get even more reporters trampling our flowers and digging in the garbage!"

Clymidia- "Oh, speaking of that. I know Cupid’s birthday is coming up, and, well, I wasn’t going to ask you about this but I just have to know… <offering torn parchment from the trash barrel> Where’s the rest of your poem, Gabrielle?"

Gabrielle- <takes parchment> "Huh? What are you talking about? This isn’t mine."

<Xena grabs the verse out of Gab’s hand>

Xena- "Give me that! You know, you’ve got some nerve, Clymidia! This is private."

Gabrielle- "Xena? Did you write that?"

Xena- "Well, I was just…uh…you know, kind of watching you sleep one night and started writing down my thoughts. It’s stupid. I was thinking about giving it to you for Cupid’s birthday, but I couldn’t get the words in the order I wanted them, so I ended up tearing up, I don’t know how many copies of it."

Gabrielle- "Do you have the rest of this somewhere?"

Xena- "I was working on it in the stable. It’s in Argo’s old saddle bag."

<Gabrielle stands up and heads to the door>

Gabrielle- "Excuse me, Clymidia. I’ll be right back. Don’t go away."

Clymidia- "Oh. Don’t worry about that. I can’t wait to see this." <Xena scowls at the reporter> Uh. Now might be a good time for another break. We’ll be back right after these words for the Little Sisters of the Hestian Virgins.

<Commercial Break>

Clymidia- "We’re back. In case you missed it, Gabrielle has just returned from retrieving a poem Xena wrote for her for Cupid’s birthday. We’ve already seen that there are two warriors in this family… I guess we’re about to find out if there are two bards as well. Maybe you really have rubbed off on each other."

<Gabrielle has obviously read the note to herself on the way into the house. She’s looking lovingly at Xena>

Clymidia- "Please, Gabrielle, share it with us."

Gabrielle- "I, uh. <She hesitates> Xena?"

<The warrior’s face flushes and she sighs>

Xena- "Go ahead."

Gabrielle- "Okay, here it goes…

"I watch the fire flicker as you sleep, recalling a lifetime of moments and minutes and days.

I touch your face; you stir and sigh. Your smile warms my soul.

Loving you makes the world lighter; no problem is too big, no mountain too high.

You fill me, and I overflow.

I see the ring on your finger reflect the firelight.

Hold it close when you need comfort and high in victory. It represents my eternal love for you. Keep it safe.

The pillars of Olympus crumble and fall and still we stand, side-by-side, wounded and imperfect, but together. Now and forever."

<Fade to black>

<The next shot is Clymidia standing outside, some distance from the small house>

Clymidia- "I think that just about says it all. There you have it. It’s a story of hopes and triumph, disappointment, love and loss…"

Xena- <shouting out the front door of the house> "Goodnight Clymidia. Go home!"

Clymidia- "Don’t you just love the authoritative way she says that? Go home. Wow!"

Xena- "NOW!"

<The reporter hears a whooshing sound rapidly approaching and gets a little nervous>

Clymidia- "That’s it folks. For this edition of "It’s None of Your Business", I’m Clymidia Moss saying… <the chakram slices through the mic cord and viewers see, but don’t hear the reporter say the words> …good night."

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