Disclaimers: I’m illegally ripping off RenPic, people. Don’t tell them, okay?

And as usual, there are women in love. With each other. Oh my!

Timeline? Third season, or the Missyverse.

This is not really a sequel, but if anyone’s interested, the original Sensitive Chats is at: http://www.academyofbards.org/fanfic/k/kam_chats.html

My grateful thanks to Cath, Claudia, and the Bardic Circle

Sensitive Chats II, or Fanfic 101

by Kamouraskan


Scene One: An Example of A Spare, Descriptive Narrative


An intruder to this Amazon Village would easily distinguish the Queen’s hut. Hidden in the shade, the addition of a private bathing room makes it easily distinguishable from the rest of the thatched structures. It also allows for a perfect access point for an unseen entry.


The figure stood in the shadowed side of the bed, amazed that the famed Warrior Princess had not reacted to her presence so far. The intruder’s eyes looked to a spot just above the sleeping figure and quietly lifted the weighted objects. Could she take the risk? Had what the warrior drunk made it safe enough to take the gamble? There was only one way to find out...


The warrior was snared in a whirling cloud of nausea. Pounding headache. Parched mouth. But one fact pierced her shrouded senses

Someone was moving furtively about the room.

Somehow the person had managed to get above her, carrying some sort of chain! Despite the terrible hangover, Xena surged into sudden motion. Twisting out from under the covers, she swung one rigid arm around to chop the intruder down. As they fell like a tree to the ground, she had already anticipated the angle of descent, and had the heel of her foot deliver a stunning blow to the skull. Pulling out a short knife, she leapt out to stand over her unconscious foe, trying to ignore the drums pounding in her head.

The slight figure lay unconscious on the ground. Strawberry blonde hair in disarray.


Clutched in her right hand was the remains of a chain banner reading "HAPPY CUPID’S DAY, MY LOVE!" that she had been suspending above their bed as a surprise.

Xena closed her eyes.

‘Oh boy’.

Scene Two:

Two Examples of Dialogue between Primary Characters.

Example A.


"Is she mad?" Eponin looked across the table at the sullen warrior toying with her breakfast.

"Oh yeah." Xena grunted.


The warrior’s glare across the table was eloquent. <No, Pony. The concussion and the limp have cheered her up big time. All she does is thank me, again and again.’ > Xena threw her spoon down on the table in disgust, and glowered at the weapon’s master, meaning: <‘I can’t believe I didn’t know it was her. And why did it have to be then?’>

Eponin shrugged, silently expressing: <‘Not even you can out-drink a whole tribe of Amazons and wake up spring time fresh.’> She waved a curled hand as if to ask: <‘Why, in Artemis’ name, did you have to get plastered the night before your first Cupid’s Day, anyway?’>

Xena’s shoulder’s sagged, clearly admitting :<’Because... it was the night before our first Cupid’s Day, alright?’>

"Oh." A word finally managed to escape Eponin’s lips. There was a long silence with each willing the other to break it. Finally, the Amazon spoke. "Xena.. I know you two...haven’t been ..." she continued with her eyes again.<... screwing your brains out for very long...>, "but...?" <‘you don’t regret that you’re together...?’>

The warrior continued to stare at her bowl, her silence speaking more volumes.

The Amazon’s eyes widened. "Oh... She continued silently.< ‘...crap, really? WHY? Does Gabrielle know?’>

The warrior spoke slowly. "For a long time..." In pain, she looked away.< ‘I just...took...whatever I wanted. ‘> She returned her eyes to the Weapon Master’s "Gabrielle and I not, well, that we weren’t... you know. Maybe it became something I could, sort of... point at and say ‘I’ve changed.’ That I could be... trusted."

Without thinking, Eponin blurted, "You didn’t..." <‘force her?’>

The blue eyes came into play and Xena was suddenly standing over the now frozen in place Amazon. "No. I never thought, I..." The Amazon mumbled.

The warrior muttered, "That’s what people think. It’s okay."

"No." The Weapon’s Master said firmly. <‘I know better.’>

"But ..." <I’m changing her...and now I hurt her...’>

Eponin shook her head with certainty. <‘I know our Queen, she doesn’t regret anything.’>

A shrug. <‘ She forgives me. She’s always forgiven me.> "We’re so different... and it’s what’s going to get her..."

Eponin was amazed at how easily Xena and she were talking. It looked as if Ephiny was right. She did have talent for this sensitive stuff. "Maybe if you did something..." she gave a waggle of her eyebrows <’...romantic?’>

That only earned another cold stare. <‘Eponin. I kill people. I don’t send them chocolates.>

Eponin gave a skeptical glance. <‘You’ve changed...’>

The warrior paced around for a moment, her left arm and hand twitching slightly in unaccustomed nervousness. Then she looked up. "What do they call those pastries? That’s traditional, isn’t it? That’s what women give on Cupid’s Day, right?"

The Amazon was shaken from her self congratulations. "Un huh. But..." and here she swallowed before continuing. "They have to be cooked. In an oven?"

The warrior crossed her arms. "Look, I survived on my own cooking for a long time before Gabrielle ever came in to my life. I’m getting a little tired of this big joke that I’m just as deadly in a kitchen."

Eponin tried to look supportive even as she tried to change where she saw this was headed. "It’s just that it’s filo, it’s very... delicate...and it takes..."

The warrior leaned forward. "You coming with me or not?."



Example B.

"Look, Ephiny. I don’t want to talk about it because whenever I talk about it I just get depressed and then I can’t eat...DON’T give me that look, it happens. It’s just that we keep doing this one step forward, one step back dance, and it’s getting to me. So don’t try to make me talk about it, okay?"

The Regent watched, amused, as Gabrielle somehow seemed to be pacing even as the young Queen of the Amazons stayed in the chair. "Gabrielle?" Ephiny asked quietly. "If you’re not mad at her, why won’t you see her?"

Head bandaged and leg strapped, the Queen bristled with frustration. "Because the minute she looks at these bruises, I’m going to see that same guilt in her eyes, and no matter how much I try to tell her it’s my fault, she’ll only feel worse. I can’t do that."

"Carries the world on her shoulders already, right?"

"Yes. She does. It’s part of who she is, and though she’s so different from me, it’s what makes ‘us’ work."

Ephiny tried another tack. "Gabrielle, there’s another consideration. If people see you two separated, and the Queen is going around with a black eye, it may confirm what a lot of people are already thinking..."


Ephiny cleared her throat before beginning. "Well, that Xena is,... that she likes it rough..."

"What kind of ROUGH?" The Queen ignored the pain in her ankle to stand, suddenly seeming surprisingly imposing to the seated Regent.

Ephiny swallowed. "You know I never thought..."

Gabrielle reached for her staff. "But that’s what everyone thinks, right? Then I guess I better straighten everyone out."

Ephiny sat stunned at the sudden change, then smacked one fist on her forehead. She jumped up to race after the woman who was stomping her crutch/staff towards the cook tent. "Gabrielle! You can’t just go into the mess like this...Gabrielle?"



Scene Three: Example of an Unnecessary Scene.


There is No Scene Three;


Scene Four:

No Narrative Description; A Dialogue Exercise



"Eph..., ummm, they didn’t, really. Remember Gabrielle was still in the middle of that lecture and was just so surprised to see Xena, and when Xena tried to hide what she was doing, well, then the fires sort of started.... and I know Gabrielle was actually trying to put it out, when the horses stampeded..."

"That old stove dated back to when the village was founded. MY MOTHER was a cook in that same tent, I was RAISED in that Gods be damned COOK TENT, Pony!"

"I know."

"Alright.<pause> Where are they now?"

"We had them put at opposite ends of the healer’s hut."

"Go tell Saras to push their beds side by side"

"Why? I thought they were too dangerous to be together."

"That’s together. The God’s only know what they would do to this place if they were separated."


Scene Five:

Mixing Comedic and Romantic Dialogue with Spare Narrative



The blue eyes floated about inside of the sockets for a moment, before settling dreamily upon the worried figure propped up beside her. "Hiiiiiiii!" smiled the Destroyer of Nations.

Gabrielle turned around to face the head healer. "Saras. What... Is.... THIS???" she demanded, pointing at her partner.

Unflustered by the careful enunciation, the healer replied coolly: "Your Majesty, Xena received several burns while holding up the supports in the doorway. For some reason, after everyone had gotten out, she went back in to retrieve that rock she’s holding. There are several burns on that hand, and she refuses to release it. I thought if she was more relaxed..."

"Did it work?" Gabrielle interrupted.

"No." Saras admitted.

"How did you get her to take this amount of the drug?"

The healer glanced to the floor. "I told her... I told her you had ordered it."

Though the Queen was bandaged and bruised, Saras found herself taking a step back as the green eyes hardened and something behind them went almost audibly click, before Gabrielle returned her attention to the patient.

Ephiny took advantage of the diversion and hauled the healer aside. She spoke as though to a small child. "You suddenly wish to visit the far northern outposts to see how the expanded healer’s training program is doing, don’t you?"

Saras nodded and looked down to the blissful ex-warlord "I do have until Xena is up and around, right?"

"No," Ephiny smiled thinly. "You have until the Queen is up and around and upside your head."

Saras returned the smile until she realized who the joke was on, and stared at the back of the young woman whose attention was fortunately focused elsewhere.

Gabrielle asked softly. "Xena? Can you give me your hand?"

"Suurrre, sweetie." The Happy Warrior raised them both, and offered them. "I have two," she confided.

"Honey?" Gabrielle was managing to control her anxiety, enough to ask sweetly, "Could you let me have the nice rock?"

The full lips pursed into a pout. "Not a rock."

Gabrielle carefully unfurled the fingers and pried the object from the clenched hand, grimacing as the some of the scorched skin clung to it. "What is it, then?" she asked, at the same time directing Ephiny by nodding towards the salve on a shelf.

Xena just continued to smile. "It’s my present, for you."

Gabrielle scrutinized the shapeless, heavy black rock. "How... lovely."

The warrior’s smile dimmed a little. "It’s a little burnt." She raised her head and whispered into Gabrielle’s ear conspiratorially. "I don’t think the oven was working quite right."

Despite her worry, Gabrielle’s lips twisted near the ends. "Umm... Xena?"

The blue eyes rolled about for a while, before the dazed mind behind them caught the question. Disappointed, the warrior said, "It’s a pastry. For Cupid’s Day. It’s in the shape of a heart. My heart. I’m giving it to you."

Gabrielle closed her eyes, as a wave of contentment passed over her, releasing much of the tension she’d endured since awakening in the infirmary that morning. "You baked this for me?"

"Never had anyone I wanted to do things for like that. Me." A strange noise slipped from the warrior’s lips, and it took a moment before Gabrielle identified it as the unfamiliar sound of Xena giggling. The warrior sighed happily. "Cupid’s Day. Huh. But you know, I’m glad. ‘Cause now I really feel wonnnnnnderfullll!"

Gabrielle examined the solid stone in her hands and could see that what she had thought were strata of sedimentation were actually layers of once delicate pastry. But she said earnestly "Thank you, Xena."

The warrior smiled her thanks and blinked as a thought careening about in her head hit a synapse. "Now you have to eat it."

Gabrielle blanched. "Maybe later."

"It’ll go bad. Don’t you like it?"

"It’s lovely." Surreptitiously Gabrielle rapped it on the bed, and it produced a clear bell-like tone.

"Pony helped. It was her idea!" Xena enthused, "Thank you, Pony..."

The Regent and Queen both simultaneously turned to glower at the Weapon’s Master. "Really?" they said. "Thank you, Pony. "

Eponin’s eyes widened in fear, pointed to her best friend and lover and the normally stoic warrior began to babble. "HEY! Don’t look at me like that! I never wanted to get involved. It was ALL Ephiny’s Idea. She started it. It was all her idea. She said that you two needed a sensitive chat, and that I had to take Xena, and she’d take care of...."

Ephiny nearly fell backwards when struck by the malevolent power radiating from the verdant orbs, and only started breathing once they swiveled back to the relaxed figure on the cot, as Xena asked plaintively "So? Aren’t you going to tell me how it tastes?"

Stroking the crown of her lover’s head, Gabrielle said quietly. "No, it’s sooo special that you did this, and because this is our first Cupid’s Day, I think I can find some way to preserve it..." There was a snort from both of the Amazons, which she ignored, "...and it’ll be an extra special keepsake. Okay?"

The warrior enjoyed the light caress for a moment, and then grumpily replied "Okay. Just don’t keep it with all the rest of your rocks."

Gabrielle opened the warrior’s palm again and began to delicately work the warmed salve into the wound. "Now this could hurt a bit, It’s just a bit of oil..."

"Ahhhhhhhh..." Xena said fervently. "I love getting all oily with you..."

Gabrielle looked to the suddenly stone-faced pair of Amazons and frowned. "Could we have a little privacy...?"


Closing Scene: Tying up Loose Ends, While Showing Love for the Characters

A short while later, still in the infirmary....

"Considering the shape you’re in, Do you think we should be doing this sort of thing?"

"You mean, this sort of thing?" Xena grinned as her hands encouraged Gabrielle’s to explore her body stealthily under the covers. "I think whatever it was she gave me is wearing off now, because I ... " She paused and reached up to touch Gabrielle’s cheek, turning her head to examine the bruising. A glint of moisture appeared in those shadowed eyes. "I hurt you. I’m so sorry..."

Gabrielle took the hand in hers. "Apology accepted on one condition. That you forgive me."

"Forgive you?"

"Xena, who knows better than me not to play silly games around you? I knew that you were drunk. I stupidly thought that it would make it possible to sneak up on you. Instead it just slowed you down so that you didn’t have time to recognize me. I put us here, I made you feel this way."


"It doesn’t matter if I was reaching for the soap or doing something romantic. It was a dumb move at the wrong time. If I’d have jumped off a cliff, would you blame the rocks at the bottom? You’re a force of nature, you dumb warrior, and I love you for that."

Xena allowed a moment to think. She shook her head. "You shouldn’t have to..."

"I knew the risks. I take them willingly every day."

"The Amazon’s thought..."

"They don’t anymore."

Xena smiled. "I guess standing on a table waving your staff helped?"


"And threatening them with being knocked on their asses if they ever even thought that again?"

"More emphasis."

Xena looked away from her partner. "Gabrielle, you know there are people who...",

Gabrielle’s voice was firm. "Not us. Hurting me hurts you too much."

"I can’t be trusted."

"Yes. You can. Lack of trust was our only problem. And even then you still beat yourself up over it. I trust you, and you have to learn to trust my judgment and yourself."

There was a clearing of the warrior’s throat. "The thing is,,, This being in love thing...I’m not very good at it."

"I don’t know..." Gabrielle blushed at the sudden flash of memories. "Anyway, you never have to do anything extra for me."

"I want to do things for you."

"Shush. You do things for me everytime I see you, or touch you, or I even think about..."

"Shhh. I want to do things. Romantic things. I just don’t know how..."

Gabrielle smiled. "It wasn’t in the Warlord’s Handbook? So? We both have to learn." She tilted her head and thought outloud. "I have to stop hoping that there will be a time when everything will be settled and stable, and realize that I like the unknown more. That I like exploring with you. That it’s my life now."

"Gabrielle...there’s exploring, and there’s... Oh,... yeah, Exploring. I like exploring with you, too...ooo... okay, there..."

Gabrielle turned slightly and called back to the lurking Amazons.

"Is there any reason this patient couldn’t be in her own hut? Like NOW?"


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