PLEASE NOTE: This script has been formatted for optimum viewing at a screen setting of 800x600.

Please click here to read part one of "THE DEBIT"


by Joanna

1997 Nov 13



Xena, stunned, is staring at Gabrielle who is dressed as a librarian.

XENA Gabrielle...? GABRIELLE Hi Xena. You here to check out a scroll or just browsing? XENA How... how did you get here before me. GABRIELLE I have no idea.

Suddenly the evil despot from the library board enters.

DESPOT Seize her! XENA (shocked) Is Caesar here too? Geez, when my past comes to haunt me it really does a job of it! DESPOT No, no, I meant grab her! You know, detain her, uh...

Quickly, the despot grabs a thesaurus.

DESPOT (cont'd) Capture, apprehend, subdue, snag, nab, take, catch, arrest, overpower.

A bunch of scroll wielding thugs grab Xena and lock a large bookcase around her neck. Her chin rests on Crime and Punishment which is misfiled near books on ornithology.

XENA (to herself) The Librarian has been here... and recently. Crime and Punishment hasn't even been written yet, so I assume it's a new acquisition. DESPOT Throw her in the children's section!

Xena is manhandled into a large room filled with too-bright tiny furniture in primary colors and books with a maximum of 73 words.

XENA Aaaaaah!

Sneering at the toddlers reading picture books, Xena snags a bright yellow stool. One child wanders over, staring at her.

XENA (cont'd) (evil warlord voice) Pull my finger.

The child runs away screaming. Several of the kids silently file past, giving her matching Grranimal(r) clothing.

XENA (cont'd) Why are they doing this?

A kid with glasses, sitting on a fluorescent green stool, stops reading.

CHILD This episode will be rated TV14 if you do not don clothing soon. They knew this had to be dealt with, otherwise they would not be able to watch and brag to their classmates about appearing in a Xena episode. XENA Oh, they like that, huh? CHILD What do you expect? It's not like they're on international TV all that often.

She puts on the clothes, though nothing fits very well. Suddenly she remembers a time in her past.



The Librarian shows Xena some long division.

XENA Teach me how to do that! THE LIBRARIAN Try it.

Xena attempts it but it doesn't come out right. The librarian laughs.

THE LIBRARIAN (cont'd) You forgot to carry the two! XENA I suck at math! THE LIBRARIAN Most girls think they suck at math. But it doesn't have to be that way. Here.

The Librarian hands her a bracer.

THE LIBRARIAN (cont'd) Wear this and it will help you remember that you can always count silently on your fingers.

Xena dons the bracer and her face is suffused with joy as she counts silently to ten.



Xena, still wearing her bookcase, kneels before Gabrielle, the despot stands behind the counter. Gabrielle slugs Xena.


A tear slips from Xena's eye.

GABRIELLE (cont'd) I said say it! XENA It.

Gabrielle slugs her again.

XENA Maybe I'm misunderstanding something here, but isn't it a general rule that when one of us is hurt the other is supposed to comfort? GABRIELLE That's fanfic, not the series. XENA Damn.

Gabrielle punches her again.

XENA (cont'd) What was that for? GABRIELLE No naughty words. XENA Golly.

Gabrielle leans down and caresses Xena's cheek.

GABRIELLE (cont'd) Now please, why won't you just say it? They'll let you go if you tell them you won't do your warcry in the library again. It's policy. Surely you understand the need for silence?

Xena just stares, the tears falling.

GABRIELLE (cont'd) You... you're crying. Did I hit you that hard? XENA No, one of those brats in the children's library poked me in the eye with a Hercules bookmark.



The kids are gathered around Xena.

XENA Well, when two people love each other, and they're both adults they like to show it in special ways. One of those ways involves touching each other and doing certain things-- CHILD Even if they're both women? XENA In ancient Greece? Especially if they're both women. Let me finish my story.

The kids adlib excited agreement.

XENA (cont'd) The Librarian and I spun around the stacks for awhile, floating, filing, reading new releases and wrapping each other in mysteriously appearing draperies. Then Dewey came in and I lost it. Started haranguing him with math questions. Really tough ones, like fractions and percentages. I couldn't help it. I was angry. The Librarian told me to let go of my hatred for all things numerical and just let it be. This was my chance to get past my childhood programming that girls weren't good at math, but I was blinded by Dewey's insistence on assigning numbers to literature and continued to wail on him. CHILD Even though this is an eminently practical method of categorization? XENA I told you, I was evil. Leave it at that, okay? Anyway, The Librarian finally made me apologize to Dewey and to the Despot's father. Then we played rock, paper, scissors. I won so I killed the guy from the library board. I had to. I picked ROC.

Gabrielle comes in and the children scootch away, leaving her alone with Xena.

GABRIELLE I'm so sorry, Xena. I realize now what I've done. I betrayed you. XENA You can say that again. GABRIELLE And now they're going to-- XENA I mean it. Say that again. GABRIELLE That again. XENA Damn.

Gabrielle slugs Xena.

XENA (cont'd) Golly. GABRIELLE Anyway, I know you hate me and won't ever be able to forgive me. (long pause) You do hate me, right? (longer pause, Xena is silent) You really must, am I right? Hate me? That would pretty much sum up your feelings, wouldn't it? The word 'hate?'

After yet another looooooong pause, Xena finally looks at Gabrielle.

XENA Close my left nostril, wouldja?

Gabrielle, weeping, complies. Xena blows, clearing her nasal passage.

XENA (cont'd) Thanks. Been driving me nuts after all this crying.

Gabrielle wipes her hand on a passing kid, then tries to kiss Xena, but the bookcase gets in the way.

GABRIELLE Oh Xena... XENA I don't hate you, Gabrielle. I abhor, despise, curse, detest and dislike you, but not hate. Never hate.

Gabrielle quickly takes the thesaurus out of Xena's bookcase and hides it. A guard walks into the children's library.

GUARD It's time.



The bookcase removed, Xena is stuffed into a study cubicle.

DESPOT And now I shall pass sentence. We cannot allow thugs like you to get away with the kind of crime you committed. GABRIELLE Gods, no! DESPOT Yes. Xena will have to pay her overdue scroll fine. And not just the original amount, but with ten winters' worth of interest! However, it shall be Xena herself who must determine what the total should be -- compounded daily!

There is general gasping. Intercut scenes of accountants parading past, with Xena's memory of the librarian.

THE LIBRARIAN You must let go of your fear of numbers, Xena.

An accountant flourishes an abacus.

THE LIBRARIAN (cont'd) Girls really can handle numbers if only they can get past their parents' low expectations.

The despot sneers.

THE LIBRARIAN (cont'd) To do percentages, multiply them as fractions.

Gabrielle tries to whisper the answer but a guard claps his hand over her mouth.

THE LIBRARIAN (cont'd) By wearing the bracer, you'll remember that you can use your fingers to count...

Xena looks at her fingers, wiggles them a bit then suddenly bursts out of the cubicle.

XENA (shouting) 10 dinars!

The accountants look at her with awe as the bookshelves start to collapse at the loudest shout ever heard in the library. Gabrielle starts herding the people out of the building while the despot struggles to keep from being buried under scrolls. Xena is about to leave when the despot finally pushes away the stacks and faces her.

DESPOT I'll take away your library card for this! XENA Only The Librarian can do that. And I don't see her here. By the way, where is she? DESPOT (sneering) Don't you know? She left. Got an offer to do some editing in Moscow and quit this two bit burg.

Xena is rocked by this news.

XENA But... but her free and easy way of life! Editing requires discipline and an anal attention to the rules of grammar, syntax and spelling!

The despot purposefully picks up a scroll and files it alphabetically in the proper Dewey decimal place.

DESPOT In the end, her ideals fell apart. She became an editor because she ran off with Dewey, who was finally getting his decimal system published! XENA Noooo!

Gabrielle returns and sees the despot lying dead on the floor.

GABRIELLE You killed him? XENA Yeah. Does that bother you? GABRIELLE Hell no.

Xena slugs her.

GABRIELLE (cont'd) Golly no. I'm used to you killing people.

Gabrielle looks at a couple of scrolls.

GABRIELLE (cont'd) You didn't... refile, did you? XENA Never. GABRIELLE Thank the gods. I love you, Xena. XENA And I despise you less, Gabrielle.

As they exit we pan over to a bookcase with scrolls completely misfiled without any regard to the Dewey decimal system...


the end