© Copyright July 2001 by Joanna Sandsmark. All right reserved. This is parody, and therefore is recognized as fair use of the characters and storylines found in "Xena, Warrior Princess".

Warning: There are spoilers for the episode "Friend in Need" part 2.



by Joanna



Xena holds Gabrielle lovingly, watching the sun. There are still a few minutes left before sundown, as Xena's fight with Yodoshi skimmed a few hundred feet off the mountain to the west. These things happen.

Gabrielle, tears still clinging to her cheeks, sets Xena's ashes on the rim of the fountain.

GABRIELLE You can still change your mind, y'know. XENA'S GHOST I can't. 40,000 souls seeking a state of grace is on my shoulders. GABRIELLE I remember when your head was on those shoulders, but things change. Maybe the souls aren't all that big on grace. Or maybe they said "Greece" and you misunderstood! We could bring them with us -- show them the sights, go dancing, eat some soul food... XENA'S GHOST No, Gabrielle. They were really clear. They said "grace" with a Kiwi accent. You can't get any clearer than that. GABRIELLE (mumbles) Maybe to you.

Gabrielle shifts her hips, jostling the urn. It teeters for a moment, then remains on the lip of the fountain. She bumps it again, harder, and it topples into the fountain.

GABRIELLE (cont'd) Oops! Clumsy me.

Suddenly, Xena is surrounded by a glowing aura, then becomes corporeal.

XENA Well. that's just great. Now look what you've done. SOUL VOICE Cheater! We saw that. You deliberately pushed it in! GABRIELLE Did not! SOUL VOICE Did so! XENA That's enough.

With a sigh, Xena takes out her sword and stabs herself in the heart. She dies. Her spirit form rises, frowning.

XENA'S GHOST (cont'd) That hurt!

Not wasting any time, Gabrielle douses the body with lighter fluid, sets it on fire, and watches it burn, with one eye on the horizon. Luckily, Jappa is the land of the RISING sun, so it's much better at that. Setting is hard, and it takes its time.

GABRIELLE Out of the way, Xena.

Xena's ghost (wearing a trainee badge) is standing in front of the fire, waving her arms, trying to keep Gabrielle from getting to the ashes.

XENA'S GHOST Booga booga! GABRIELLE (sarcastic) Oh, that's frightening. XENA'S GHOST Give me a break, I'm new. SOUL VOICE #2 Look, I can see grace! And boy is she hot! SOUL VOICE That's not grace, that's Xena. Look over there. See the place where the fat guy in the spangly jumpsuit is singing? That's the land of grace. SOUL VOICE #2 Don't be cruel. XENA'S GHOST Do something, you idiots! She's almost got the ashes!

Gabrielle has indeed been working hard, shoving the still hot ashes into the urn.

SOUL VOICE #2 We're good at sparkling. Would that help?

Xena withdraws her sword.

XENA'S GHOST I have a sudden hunger for filet of soul. SOUL VOICE Eep!

Immediately, the souls surround Gabrielle. She doesn't pay any attention because they're special effects and will be added later, in post. She continues to fill the pot with the smoldering ash.

GABRIELLE Ooh! Ah! Hot-hot-hot! Damn, I wish you'd stop smoking. XENA'S GHOST I'm just going to kill myself again, Gabrielle, so c'mon. Give it up. Sit with me here on this rocky fountain ledge and let's share a subtexty moment suitable for screengrabs.

Ignoring Xena, Gabrielle continues to gather the ashes.

GABRIELLE (in her best southern accent) Oh, Ashley, forget Melanie. I love you!

Gabrielle shakes the urn to settle the contents.

GABRIELLE (cont'd) Settle down, Xena (laughs) My, you're looking pale. Almost ashen, I'd say. (laughs again at her own joke) I'm here all week, folks!

Several of the souls are laughing, and a smattering of applause breaks out. Xena isn't happy.

XENA'S GHOST Give me that urn. GABRIELLE No way.

Before she can be stopped, Gabrielle tosses it into the fountain. Once again Xena is bathed in light and comes back to life. Unfortunately, she's missing her right leg. She falls on her face.


Gabrielle quickly gathers up a small pile of ashes she missed, tosses them in and watches as Xena's leg shimmers into sight.

GABRIELLE (cont'd) There. I didn't notice because the camera adds ten pounds.

Xena scrambles to her feet.

XENA (starting to panic) The sun is about to dip behind that mountain. I can still make it, if I die instantly. SOUL VOICE #2 For instant Xena dip, just add sour cream and a dash of dill. SOUL VOICE Not funny. Our state of grace depends on her death, ya moron. SOUL VOICE #2 (petulantly) Gabrielle got to try out some new material. I thought maybe I could...

The voice is suddenly muffled as if a hand was placed over its mouth. That is, if souls have mouths and hands and things.

SOUL VOICE #3 Heh! Ow! I feel goo-ood. SOUL VOICE #2 Yo, is that you, James? What's the godfather of soul doing here? You're not dead. SOUL VOICE #3 I'm not even born, baby. But I have a message for Xena from Oprah. XENA Oprah? SOUL VOICE #3 Yeah. Powerful goddess of the future. She says, "Stick around because Oxygen is picking up your option, grrlfriend."

Xena, sword against her throat pauses. Meanwhile, Gabrielle is drinking from the fountain.

XENA No kidding? SOUL VOICE #3 Not only that, she's going to do a 'Remembering Your Spirit' on the 40,000 souls, and that's enough to bring them to grace. It's in the fine print. SOUL VOICE #2 I'm going to talk about my abusive childhood in the eta village, and how I overcame it to become a downtrodden peasant.

Xena suddenly notices the gulping Gabrielle.

XENA Stop that! You don't know what effect that will have on a living person! GABRIELLE I feel dizzy. SOUL VOICE Well, that wraps up our storyline. Thanks for all the dying, Xena, but we'd rather be on Oprah.

The souls shimmy off into the setting sun. As the last rays disappear, Xena holds Gabrielle in her arms. Gabrielle, however, looks a bit pale.

XENA Looks like it all worked out for the best. GABRIELLE My stomach aches. XENA Love conquers all, with the help of a multi-millionaire talk show hostess and the godfather of soul. Are you going to write up this adventure in one of your scrolls?

Gabrielle crushes the urn in her hand, not realizing her own strength.

GABRIELLE Huh. XENA Gabrielle? I asked if you were going to write-- GABRIELLE No, I don't think so.

She picks up the katana lying nearby and bends it with her bare hands.

GABRIELLE (cont'd) I do believe I'll have you write the scrolls from now on. XENA Uh... Gabrielle, you're scaring me.

Gabrielle crushes a piece of coal into a diamond with her bare hand.

GABRIELLE A lot more frightening than 'booga booga', huh?

Quickly, Xena dives for the fountain, but Gabrielle plucks her away with two fingers.

GABRIELLE (cont'd) No, no. I don't think so. XENA Just one little sip? GABRIELLE I've got the chakram, I've got the power, why should I? XENA I'll let you kiss it into me. GABRIELLE Wait right here.

Gabrielle takes a huge mouthful of water and kisses it into Xena's mouth. She repeats this several times, often forgetting to get more water.



Xena and Gabrielle are standing at the rail, looking out at the water. The souls, fresh from their appearance on Oprah, are rowing. But you can't see them. Or the oars. In fact, it really doesn't have any effect on the boat, but it's a good cardiovascular workout, so they keep doing it.

XENA So what made you change your mind about the fountain? GABRIELLE You 'urned' it?

She waits for laughter, but Xena hates puns and the souls are too tired.

GABRIELLE (cont'd) I guess my act is a soul-o now. (no response) They laughed at Oprah's jokes. XENA Seriously, Gabrielle. GABRIELLE (her attention fully on Xena) It wasn't the fountain, Xena. It was you. You have always been my strength.

With a final kiss, Xena whispers:

XENA As you are mine...




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