Back With The Warrior Princess ~
Disclaimer: The characters of Xena and Gabrielle belong to MCA/Universal and Renaissance Pictures. This story was originally released under the title of Opening Up With the Warrior Princess.
Violence: Just the usual, and, well, maybe the subtle imparting of a threat or two or three or...oh, yes, and the definite use of alcohol by one very drunk warrior princess. There are a few 'colorful' phrases so no virgin ears allowed.
Thanks to Kamouraskan for the encouragement.
Comments are always welcomed and can be addressed to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
"Hey, buddy, you an' tha wife, come on over. 'Sno place else ta sit so plant 'em here." I pointed to the three empty chairs at my table. They came, eyes open wide, looking like they were sitting with The Devil himself. I was just trying to be helpful. SHE's always telling me to try to be more helpful. I stood to be polite, but only made it to a stooped position. I did wave invitingly to the chairs. That couple looked liked they were facing a squad of centaur archers. You'd have thought they could have been a little more appreciative.
"I'm Xena," I said extending my hand to the husband.
He stood there looking at me for the longest time. Finally, he grasped my arm. "Kallus," he stuttered pointing to himself, "and my wife, Denesius."
"Pleaze, sid down," I said falling back into my chair, and signaling the waitress. "Three mur ales, and fast."
Now there is a definite advantage to being THE Warrior Princess. Service is always good. Of course, I only do that when SHE's not around. SHE hates special attention.
So the girl was back, cleared away my empty mugs, and set the three fresh ones on the table in no time at all.
"So, you here for the fez...*belch*...festifal? 'scuse me," I said.
"Yep. Uz, too. Oh," I waved my finger from side to side, "I'm not 'lone. My friend'll be here eny minute."
"Good," Kallus offered, breathing a sigh of relief. He was a little frightened of me I believe.
"I hope her friend is sober," Denesius whispered to her husband. I guess she didn't realize how good my hearing is.
"I heard that," I said. "Ya gonna drink that ale?" She hadn't touched the mug.
"I'm sorry." Fear glinted in her eye. "I don't....I mean....I appreciate..."
"See! You're 'fraid of me. Evres one 'fraid of me. Doun be 'fraid." I signaled the waitress again. "Two more ales, 'n keep 'em filled, and tea for the lady."
I grabbed the full mug and gulped the ingredients down. I had stopped appreciating the flavor a long time ago and simply wanted to keep the buzz going in my head. Now, listener, as I tell my story I can only guarantee an approximation of what happened. I mean, I think this is what was said and what happened; and I think it's in the proper order, but I was very...ah...inebriated. Hades!! I was stinking drunk.
"I gots reesons to drinek," I complained. " 'smy friend. The one coming lader."
They nodded attentively. Mind you, I don't know if they were really listening or if they were too scared to do anything else. That's the bad part of being THE Warrior Princess. You don't know how sincere people REALLY are. But they seemed to be listening.
Do you think I STRESS too many words when I try to tell a story? SHE says I do. But then SHE'S the bard. But being THE Warrior Princess can be really STRESSFUL. Ya know? Well, as SHE would say, I digress.
I put my hand around my mug and swigged a good half of it. "I knew it wuzn't a gud i...i..idear, but SHE aluz knoze best. Ya can't tell 'er nuthin'. Well, sheez gets this notion I need to see a pasiket....mmmmmm, nope, a psssicatris.....a sssshrink. Ya folloin me so far?"
Their heads bobbed in unison.
"Sheez thinks I'm too vilent. Vilent!!! By the gods, I'm a friggin' WARYAH." They trembled a little here. I think I made my point. "Sheez luks at me wid them big gren eyes. What kin I do? So I go. Off to the paskiatris. Now, I ask ya, if I ned a sssshrink, whadayathnk 'bout her? Sheez hangin' oud wid me for Juice sshakes! Sluice sakes...oh, the head god."
I think I tried to say that last sentence with haughty indignation, but I doubt that I succeeded. However, they nodded in agreement. Come to think of it, that's about all they ever did. I think they were too afraid to do anything else. By this time, I had put down quite a few mugs of ale, and I'm not sure they could even understand what I was saying. But I continued my story.
"The digs wuz pretty nize. The room had a few chairs. Soft ones with cujions. And plants. Luked like a friggin' gardin. I didn't wait lung, and he came out and brot me to anudder room. Pruddy much like the ferz un. But he had this lounger thing he wanted me to lie on. Course, I got spicious right away. Told him where his balls would be if he tried any...anything. Wait. Rooms gotta stop spinnin'."
So I held onto the table. Closing my eyes didn't help. I could feel them circling round their sockets trying to find something to hold on to. I forced them open, and eventually, the room settled down again. I thought about where I had stopped my story.
"He did hve a 'ploma on the wall. From sum academy in Troy. I shudda checked the date. Made sure it was BEFORE Troy was sacked. Oops. Startin' to stress agen. Anyways, so's I'm lyin' on this couch lukin' at the ceiling. And I'm lyin' on this couch lukin' at the ceiling. I wanned to say somethin', but nothin' 'ud come out. Cundden make the sounds. 'Bout half a candlemark passes, and no onez says anythin', and I'm fixin' to doze off when he says, 'It's a hundred dinars a candlemark whether or not you say anythin', Miss Xena, so I sujjest you uz your time.' I popped right up, grabbed his shurt, and pulled him ta me. 'A hundred dinars. And SHE thnks I'm crazy. You shud wear a mask and carry a sord,' I growled."
I chuckled when I said the words. In fact, I still laugh when I think of it. I'm not sure because he wore a robe over his tunic, but I think he peed on himself.
" 'And,' I continued, "iz just Xena.'
'Ah, yez,' he sputtered, 'Xena. Perhaps I shud axe a few quezshions. Why err you here?'
I said, 'Cuz my friend thnks I'm too vilent. Sheez says I ned to control my has....my hosti....my anger.'
He luks at me. I razed my eyebrow at him. 'Wadda you thnk,' he axed me."
I paused here to refresh my dry throat. I'm not used to telling stories, and it was a great deal of effort on my part. My audience sat immobile, thoroughly engrossed in my tale. In fact, hanging on my every word. They dared do no less.
" 'Well, I died and ben brought back to life three times I kin thnk of, hve enamamies so's I allus hve to be 'lert, allus on tha road, allus fightin' fer tha greter gud. I'm in a VILENT JOB.' I luked 'em in the eye. 'I thnk,' I replyd, 'how many waryahs ya know that ain't hesi...hosit....angry and's still live.'
'Sa gud point,' he said, clozin' his notebuk. 'Times sup.' And that wuz that. Tha dor clozed behind me, and I knew I'd failed. Jes one lit...little thng SHE axed me ta do, and I failed. 'Sonly one thng left I cuddo...get drunk."
I paused here because SHE walked in. In a few steps her form was by my table, foot tapping, hands on hips.
It was all SHE had to say. I felt thoroughly chastised.
"I hope my friend hasn't been annoying you," SHE told the couple. They both shook their heads. "Uh, you can go now."
Taking their cue, they rose so fast their chairs fell to the floor; and they practically ran to the door. SHE picked up a chair and sat next to me.
"Xena, was it really that bad?"
"No. Yes." I tried to focus on that lovely face, but my vision wouldn't cooperate. "But yuz spend all that money. I tried. Honust. Cudden talk. Yuz worked so hard for thoze dinars."
"I love to tell my stories, Xena. And you earned some of that money, too. What did he say?"
"He says I'm normal for a waryah princess."
"He said that, did he?" Gabrielle sighed. "I don't suppose he could say much of anything else."
I grinned a big, drunken grin. "Sats right."
Showing impeccable timing, five heavily armed men walked into the tavern.
"Look who it is, boys. Xena." The leader had a scar down his face, still red and healing. "Doesn't Varus still have a reward on her?"
They laughed and brought their bodies within smelling distance. I stood, and promptly sat down. Too drunk to stand. It could have been a problem, but SHE placed her hand on my shoulder.
"Stay here," SHE ordered.
Now, a bard writes poetry on paper, but a warrior...A warrior is poetry in motion. And SHE was. SHE wielded those sais with efficiency only another soldier could appreciate, and a grace only an artist could understand. I sat, a foolish smile plastered on my face, totally enamored of the dance before me. One of the men landed at my feet, and I did manage to put him out by breaking a mug over his head. The others ran. With that task taken care of, my bard helped me up.
"Luk whooz vilent now, Waryah Bard," I said poking her in the chest with my finger.
I leaned heavily on her as we made our way to our room.
"Ya know, Gabrelle, Waryah Princess," I said, pointing to myself, and then pointing to her, "Amzon Queen. We're a pruddy good team."
She smiled one of those take-your-breath-away smiles. "Yes, we are."
"Becuz ya know, if I coudden be a waryah, I cud be lottsa thngs but one."
"And what's that, Xena?"