United States, a technician turns on the lights in a tv studio somewhere

in LA. The crowd starts applauding and a young, blonde woman steps

in and greets everyone.

"Ladies and gentlemen, I'm Judy Ross and I'm here to WELCOME the

first episode of, we hope, a great and famous-to-be show, STARS!" The

crowd cheers, and the woman waits a few seconds before going on, smiling

charmingly, "We had thought about offering you a fantastic cast of

world famous guests... but we spent every single penny of our budget

on the opening credits..." The crowd laughs, and the woman goes on,

"But don't panic! We've got stars like... uhm... (cough)pears and... uhm... more. And we are also going to offer you a great live interview with a warrior bard"

Judy turns slightly and a thin man dressed in black leather appears on

the huge screen by her side. He looks pretty bored, and is watching his

reflexion in a mirror as another man is busily applying the last touches

of make up.

"Ehm, you're on air, Robin!" The make up man scrambles away as the man

in leather regains his composure and introduces himself nervously,

"Ah, uhm... hi Judy, here we are, in the amazon village of... well, I have no idea, since they blindfolded me on the way, anyway I'm here

surrounded by amazons and various other guests whom we will catch up


later and..." Some amazons start beating rythmically on drums, Robin

almost yells in order to be heard over the noise "we'll meet Xena and Gabrielle!!"

Back in the studio, the crowd is wild with excitement. "Whoo--ho! Thank you Robin!. I'm so excited... oh my! Aren't you all?"

The crowd explodes in a roaring yes, and, laughing, Judy goes on,

"Anyway... wow!! You know what? I think I saw this cute amazon that I

thought dead in Endgame... I'm so glad she's still alive, I love her and

maybe later... ahem... where was I? Oh yes, let's see: I need a question... yes... a question that later we can ask to our amazing guest... Who's going to help me? Yes... you! The one with the shocking

orange shirt...

go with the question!"

"Oh my... yes... oh wow, oh boy... well... I'm... I'm Isolde from the `Harder than the HCNBs' fan club... I... I just wanted to say to Xena...

that I love her!!! She rocks!!!"

"Ah. Uhm... thanks but first, this is not a question... and second, you

can't ask any question to Xena...nor to anybody but Gabrielle actually...

our budget for the first episode of the show is barely sufficient to afford an interview with her... anyway, that's enough talking! Let's go back to Robin!"

The camera is back on the interwiewer, who is standing in a large hut. A

dozen Amazon warriors of the queen's royal guard stand along the walls,


alert, and some other Amazons stand beside the hut's entrance. "Thanks

Judy, this is the royal hut, and in a minute queen Gabrielle will step

from that door over there for our interwiew. I must admit that I fee--

But... wait, the door is opening, here she comes!"

The door opens and a smiling Gabrielle, in full Amazon regalia, enters and approaches the interwiewer, as the amazons simultaneously


on their knees. A few moments later a bored looking Xena enters too, dressed in her brown leathers and armor, and quietly sits on

a couch in the darkest part of the hut.

The interwiewer bows and gallantly kisses Gabrielle's hand, "Queen

Gabrielle, first of all let me thank you for accepting this interwiew, it was most kind of you."

At Gabrielle's nod, the Amazons stand, "Thank you very much, it's a

pleasure. Please, sit with me."

Xena rolls her eyes, wondering if she'll manage not to puke before the

interwiew is over. She has met every possible interwiewer along the

years, has learnt how to smile to make them feel comfortable and how to

glare to make them flinch, but most of all she has memorized each of


questions, especially *the* question they keep asking every time, over

and over: are you, aren't you, are you, aren't you... The same is true

for Gabrielle. "How she can stand this p.r. bullshit is beyond me..."


thinks. "We could answer the questions even before they start asking...

This idiot is just like the others, yet Gabrielle thinks he might be different. I hate to see her disappointed." Hearing the interwiewer asking his first question, Xena sighs and starts sharpening her sword,

trying not to make too much noise.

"Queen Gabrielle, since you rule on so many women you might help us with


question that haunts every man: what is the most important thing that

one should look after in a woman?"

An Amazon voice from the back of the hut shouts, "What they're willing

to give you" and everybody starts laughing.

Good start, Xena thinks, as Gabrielle directs a disapproving glare at

the Amazon who spoke. Embarrassed and trying to stay serious, the blonde

queen gives her own answer, "Well... I think that every woman has

several good qualities, each of them important, and I believe that the

physical aspect isn't the most important at all. The most important

thing... uhm... the most important thing is the peace she gives you

because of the trust you can put in her, the feeling of safety given by

the fact that you know that there's always someone by your side, someone

willing to protect you no matter what, because she cares..."

Seeing the dreamy look on Gabrielle's face Robin smiles, "I bet you

speak from your experience, my queen."

Blushing, Gabrielle stammers, "Ah... uhm.. maybe... yes. Please, go on."

"Your life looks like a fairy tale, from daughter of a farmer to queen...

do you feel more like Snowhite or like Cinderella?"

Xena archs an eyebrow. "I want to hear this", she thinks.

"Well... sometimes I feel I'm living in a fairy tale actually, but I don't

think that knowing which one makes any difference... I think I'm living my own fairy tale. And anyway in either tale the young girl finds

her soulmate and they both have the same happy ending with the prince

and all."

"And now he'll ask who her prince is" Xena thinks shaking her head.

But the question doesn't come.

"What does the night mean to you?" Robin asks instead.

Xena smirks. "It seems this isn't the interwiew I had expected."

Gabrielle blushes "The night... Well it's a very romantic moment of the

day." Some of the Amazons can't avoid laughter and Gabrielle has to use

her most intimidating glare to silence them, then continues, "but the

night can also be frightening... very dark. It's important not to spend

it alone...being with someone else also helps one to sleep better."

Under her breath, Xena murmurs, "Or not to sleep at all." Unfortunately

for her, in the silent hut her words are loud enough to be heard, and

everyone turns her way, stunned, while Gabrielle levels a killing stare

on her.

"Uh-oh." Xena clears her throat, "What? You snore when you sleep!"

"I don't!"

"Do too. And you talk while you dream."

Gabrielle's eyes widen in indignation, but before she can reply Robin

asks his next question, "Speaking of which, your highness, is life a

dream, or do dreams help living a better life?"

Gabrielle hesitates a moment, frowning, then a beatific smile lights up

her face, "When dreams become true," turning to face Xena, "life becomes



"What is the meaning of love?", moves on the interviewer.

"Uh... are you sure you don't want to know the answer to 'are they, aren't they'?"

"No, I think I already know the answer to that question, it's been asked


thousand times already."

Gabrielle sighs and frowns, "Well then, the meaning of love... I think

it means to lose yourself and the life you know and find a new one...

happier and more painful at the same time, but always worth it."

"That is very true. What did you think when Xena told you she had gone


the Amazon land of the dead to bring you back after that accident in

Dahak's temple?"

The amazons look at each other, shocked. Xena stops her sharpening, and

Gabrielle turns to face her warrior. "You did what?"

Xena blushes and lowers her eyes shrugging shyly.

Gabrielle slowly stands as she asks, softly, "Xena, you went to the

other side for me?"

"I wanted you back."

The blonde queen approaches the raven haired woman, and takes her hand,

"Why didn't you tell me?" But Xena stays silent. "Was it bad, Xena?"

"No, I mean, I don't know... I found a tribe of Amazons that couldn't

enter the land of the dead because of me, of what I had done in the


and came back to set them free."

"You were willing to give up the possibility to bring me back so that you could help other souls?"

Xena, barely finds the voice to whisper, "Well... I..."

Gabrielle lifts Xena's chin with a finger, smiling "I'm so proud of you,


Xena's eyes widen, "Are you?"

"Of course I am, beacuse you never gave up your fight for the greater good." Then she kneels before the warrior, runs her hand

through Xena's silky hair and slowly brings her lips close to the warrior's, sealing them with her own, in a breathtaking kiss.

As the kiss goes on, Robin smiles and faces the camera, "Well, I think

this means the interwiew is over... as you see there was no need to ask

that question! Thanks for tuning in, and see you next week, same time,

same channel, for STARS!"

Fade out.

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