For Disclaimers see part 1.
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Part 10

When we last left our story the moms had just arrived at the tavern.

Lyceus: I was just telling Xena that I learned from the best. She thought I was talking about her.
Xena: I did not!
Lyceus: Yea, right!
{Xena ignoring Lyceus begins to talk to her mom and Hercuba.}
Xena: So it looks like you two were busy.
{Cyrene and Hercuba both had several bags in their hand.}
Cyrene: Yes we were.
Lyceus: Do you need some help with those?
Cyrene: Sure honey could you take these to my room?
Lyceus: No problem.
Cyrene: Thanks honey.
Lyceus: You're welcome.
{Lyceus took the bags from them and began to walk toward Cyrene's room.}
Gabrielle: So what did you two buy?
Hercuba: Oh we found some lovely things at Alti and Callisto's store.
Cyrene: Yes, who knew that Alti had such fashion sense?
Xena: Yes, and who knew Callisto and Alti would join together and start a business?
Cyrene: Business makes for some strange bedfellows sometimes.
Xena: That’s very true especially with those two!
Cyrene: Xena we even found a few things you two would like.
Xena: You didn't?
Cyrene: You're right I didn't.
Xena Mother!
Cyrene: What? If a mother can't tease her children, who can she tease?
Xena: Your girlfriend?
Cyrene: I'll be doing that later but that is a different type of teasing altogether.
Xena: Ok, that's too much information.
Cyrene: Well, you did bring it up dear.
Xena: You got me there.
{Lyceus came back from putting the bags away.}
Lyceus: Are you two joining us for dinner this evening?
Cyrene: No honey. Hercuba and I have dinner reservations at Lao Ma's. By the way Xena she asked about you and Gabrielle. She said she expects to see the both of you in there sometime soon.
Xena: How about we go tonight with you?
Cyrene: That would be a little difficult since you are going to be here working.
Xena: Oh I'm sure we could get Eli and Joxer to help out this evening.
Cyrene: Sure, but I think Lao Ma's is already booked up for this evening. You know how popular her restaurant is. We made reservations days ago.
Xena: She told me there was always a table available for us whenever we showed up.
Cyrene: Oh, she did?
Xena: Actually, no. Although I thought you would have realized that I wasn't serious when I mentioned Joxer helping out.
Cyrene: True but it's still not nice to tease your mother that way.
Xena: Didn't you just say if you can't tease your family then who can you tease?
Cyrene: You're right. Are we even now?
Xena: Yes. I hope the two of you enjoy your evening. I wouldn't intrude on that.
Cyrene: Thank you. We're going to rest a bit and then get ready for dinner.
{Cyrene and Hercuba join hands and begin to walk toward their rooms.}
Xena: C'mon my bard we've got some work to do to get ready for the dinner crowd.
{They all walk from the dining room into the kitchen where Lila is cutting up carrots and Eli is peeling potatoes.}
Gabrielle: What’s on the menu tonight Lyceus?
Lyceus: Venison stew and if Gabrielle will do the honors after she eats; venison steaks on the grill.
Gabrielle: You know that’s one thing I like about helping out here I get first dibs on the food.
Lyceus: Now Gabrielle I’d give you first dibs on the food even if you weren’t helping out.
Gabrielle: Aw thanks Lyceus.
Lyceus: Yes, Lila warned me not to get between you and a meal.
Gabrielle: She did did she?
Lyceus: Yes she did.
Gabrielle: I’m not that bad.
Lyceus: That’s not what she said.
Gabrielle: Lila!
Lila: What?
Gabrielle: What stories are you telling Lyceus?
Lila: Just the one where you went for the chicken so fast at dinner that you broke my wrist.
Xena: You’re kidding?
Lila: I kid you not.
Gabrielle: It was an accident.
Eli: That was an abrupt end to dinner!
Lila: It sure was and I made sure never to get in the way of Gabrielle and food again.
Xena: I find Gabrielle’s enthusiasm for food and eating endearing.
Gabrielle: Thank you Xena.
{Gabrielle sticks her tongue out at Lila. Lila just laughs.}
Eli: It must have been fun growing up with brothers and sisters. I missed out on that. I really enjoy hearing your stories about it.
Xena: I’ve got some really good stories about Lyceus.
Lyceus: Oh no you don't!
Xena: Why? I'm sure Eli would love to hear some of them. Isn't that right Eli?
Eli: Yes, I would but only if he wants them to be told.
Lyceus: Thank you. I have one condition for you Xena if you do tell him some.
Xena: What would that be?
Lyceus: If you tell them please don't do it with me in the room.
Xena: Ok and that goes two ways.
Lyceus: Deal!
{Xena and Lyceus shake hands to seal the deal.}
Lyceus: Xena will you get me some venison from the cellar?
Xena: Are you kidding? You're just trying to get me out of here so you can tell a story about me.
Lyceus: No, I'll just wait until you go outside to get the grill ready for Gabrielle to cook the steaks.
Xena: Thanks for warning me. I'll make sure to let you know when I'm coming in so I don't have to hear any of it.
Lyceus: That's a good idea. I hate to be interrupted in the middle of telling a good story.
Gabrielle: Me too.
Xena: But you told me you didn't mind me interrupting you.
Gabrielle: I don't.
Xena: But you just said...
Gabrielle: Everything has an exception and you're mine. You have exclusive rights to interrupt me whenever you want.
Xena: I do?
Gabrielle: Yes you do.
{Lila begins to laugh.}
Gabrielle: What?
Lila: I'm just thinking of the time that you stuck a towel in Perdicus's mouth because he kept interrupting you while you were trying to tell a story.
Gabrielle: Well, he was really annoying me.
Eli: Did he stop after that?
Gabrielle: Not right away.
Lila: He didn't stop until Gabrielle got so mad she threatened to hit his manhood.
Eli: Ouch!
Gabrielle: That's what he said.
Eli: Just the thought of that is enough to make most men cringe.
Gabrielle: It did the trick that's for sure.
{Lyceus begins to laugh.}
Xena: What's so funny little brother?
Lyceus: I can't say because you're here.
Xena: I'm glad you're honoring our agreement.
Lyceus: I know better than to get on your bad side. I saw what happened when Toris did that.
Xena: Toris was on my bad side all of the time.
Lyceus: It's because you both were so competitive and it made Toris so mad when you would beat him at everything. If he wasn't so stubborn he could have learned from you like I did.
Xena: I think he wished he would have after you started beating him too.
Lyceus: That's when he stopped challenging either one of us. He was smart enough to know he wouldn't win.
Xena: That was the smartest thing he's ever done!
Lyceus: It sure was.
Xena: Let me go get that venison for you Lyceus.
{Xena proceeds to go down to the cellar. She returns quickly with the venison for the stew. She hands it to Lyceus who gets a knife and begins cutting it up into pieces.}
Lila: Xena can you cut up these carrots I've washed?
Xena: Sure!
{Xena takes the knife and quickly cuts the carrots into thin even slices.}
Lila: You know Xena you can't cook worth a darn but you sure are good at everything else. I'm really surprised you aren't good at that as well.
Lyceus: Every time Mother wanted to show her how to cook she made such a mess of things that Mother finally stopped asking her to help.
Xena: I wanted to leave Lyceus with one thing that he was better at than me.
Lyceus: I beg to differ. There is something else I'm better at than you.
Xena: You can't count that!
Lyceus: Yes, I can. It's not my fault you don't have the anatomy to beat me.
Xena: If I did you can be sure I would be able to pee farther than you!
{Aphrodite suddenly pops in.}
Aphrodite: I can temporarily change that if you want it Warrior Babe.

Coming up next: Xena decides whether to take up Aphrodite on her offer.

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