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DISCLAIMER: Story is mine; some of the characters aren't mine.

Solstice Show Auditions



"No! No! No more!" Gabrielle yelled. "Get her out of here!"

"Are you deaf?!" the latest singer, Velasca, yelled back. "Just listen to that sweet singing!"

Gabrielle flashed a sign to Xena. Xena then looked at the contestant. "You can walk out by yourself or you can take the faster way out." Her blue eyes glinted dangerously and Velasca chose to leave by herself.

"At this rate, we're never gonna have a Solstice show, Xena." Gabrielle sighed and dropped her head onto her arms which were on the table.

Xena addressed Gabrielle and the band in back of her. "Take five!"

"There aren't many who are good enough!" Gabrielle grabbed the decanter of wine off the table and shook it. "There's not enough wine to make them sound good, either."

Xena suddenly smiled. "Alti's singing was only good for calling dogs."

Gabrielle giggled. "Uh-huh. Solari was pretty good, though, and Amarice and Ephiny. And you. You almost sound like an angel."

"Yeah. An angel who could rip your face off." Xena smiled fiercely. "Who would've thought singing is Joxer's best talent?"

"Okay. Let's get back at it," Gabrielle declared more cheerfully.

* * *

There were slim pickings in the last sixty singers and Gabrielle ended up choosing only thirty-five people from both the morning and the afternoon sessions.

There were even more people lined up for the auditions, but the final singer, Emeria, was the last straw for Gabrielle.

Emeria looked pointedly at the band. "No accompaniment, if you please. You'd just ruin the beauty of my voice."

"Start whenever you're ready," Gabrielle instructed and in seconds, she was sorry she did. Emeria's sang so badly that Gabrielle had to turn to the band and stomp on her own foot to keep from laughing. "Thank you!"

Emeria, however, didn't stop.

Gabrielle, almost in physical pain from hearing that voice, turned around. "I said that's enough, thank you."

"Am I in the show?" Emeria asked point blank.

"Nnnnnnnoooooo. You're not quite what we're looking for, but thank you very much for coming in."

Emeria exploded. "You're just jealous!"

Xena was smiling and enjoying the embarrassing confrontation until Emeria said, "You think you're all that just because you hang out with the singing ape over there." Emeria jerked her thumb in Xena's direction. "If she wasn't here, I'd show you a thing or two."

Xena's smile disappeared and so did Emeria, through the window.

Gabrielle chuckled and lightly elbowed Xena in the ribs. "Thanks, my 'singing ape.'"

Xena chuckled, too. "Anytime. Now, how 'bout we finish that wine and make sure the ones you chose sound really good."

"I'll drink to that!"


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