One Fine Day
By Rohan the Thunder Chick
Disclaimers: All characters that are from Xena: Warrior Princess are copyrighted by PacRenPic and no copyright infringement is intended. This is a non-profit story.
Spoilers: Spoilers for all six seasons of X: WP
Subtext: Slight subtext.
Silliness rules ahead. Special thanks to Auntie Beth and Seljane.
"Is this on? Mike, can you hear me? AIY CARUMBA!"
I tear off the earphone, my ears ringing with feedback and white noise.
Rubbing the offended area, I re-clip the small device back onto my right ear glad to hear Mike's apology in much softer tones. My name is Kendall Day and this is my second field assignment for the public access show "You Should Have Been There", Channel 98 on your TV dial. My first interview with Joan De Arc went up in smoke but it wasn't my fault. Really. It was a hot exclusive and the conversation between us going like wildfire till that pesky church guy came in and decided it was time for an Arc B Que. My eyebrows are just now growing back. But I don't like to talk about that time so I will explain about the two women that I get the privilege of interviewing now.
Xena, Warrior Princess and Gabrielle, Battling Bard of Potadeia are not mentioned in the official history books but in two obscure scrolls found tucked away in an old movie studio in Topeka. So my producer, Mike L. Angelo, (who also is the creator, camera man, sound engineer and window washer of Channel 98 located in desert section of Eastern Oregon in a small house behind Burns Mortuary and who felt bad that that Joan piece going up in smoke), decided to get an exclusive on these two soon to be famous women. However, sniveling Nigel from Access TV Channel 85 found them first but his interview almost cost him his eyeteeth for he is persona non grata with the American Dental Association right now. It seems that the "Golden Apples" were fodder for all the snake oil peddlers and thousands of people broke their front teeth trying to bit into gilded fruit. Lawsuits are still pending. However, the Norwegian Commerce of Tourists made him an honorary member.
Anyway, Mike and I decided not to make the same mistake as Rival Nigel and made arrangements to meet Xena and Gabrielle at an Amazon village in Greece. Since Mike was male and not allowed on hallowed Amazon land, he was hiding out with the Centaurs and I am very afraid of what he will learn there. He promised to find out where all the female centaurs are though. Sorry, I get derailed easily. It has something to do with the train wreck I was in when I was a little girl but hey, you are not hear to listen to my life story, so here is the scoop.
Xena and Gabrielle will be interviewed one by one and have agreed to answer ALL my questions. Since Nigel, however, they are technophiles. So I have to hide the miniature microphone in the wooden mug which I will pretend is for my parched throat; the miniature telecam in the fruit bowl on the table looking surprisingly as a banana and Mike will supply information and direction via the earphone. That is if my hearing returns. Mike demands a sound check.
"Yes, much better." I say to the air as I arrange my notes in front of me.
"What is much better?" the air replies.
"Ghost in the Machine, what the heck?" I yell from my position now under the table.
A pair of bewitching green eyes the color of a summer meadow in, well, summer, peer down at me. Feeling idiotic, I get to my feet and stand face to face with Gabrielle, the Battling Bard of Potadeia.
One of the first things I notice, besides her incredible eyes, is that her short, honey gold shining hair is in dire need of combing. It is all I can do not to run my fingers through her hair. But I resist since I like my hand attached to the rest of my body, thank you.
"Say something" my ear hissed.
"Something." I said just for spite, take a deep breath and smiled at the bard then hold out my hand.
"Hi there, Gabrielle. My name is Kendall Day. I really appreciate your taking the time from your busy schedule Queening and all to sit down and give this interview with me cause our folks at home will love to hear all about you and all your adventures and I have lots of questions and I am sure we will get along famously and..."
"You are rambling." Mike squeaked.
"You are rambling" Gabrielle said.
Pre-mycerian Stereo. Great.
She shakes my hand and as she goes to sit at the table across from me, I notice that she is much shorter than I thought; more buff than I thought, dressed in a brief red velvet halter and skirt that show off lots of smooth tanned skin, and, George Reeves on steroids, those ABS! I wonder if she grates cheese for dinner with that stomach. Hmm. A good question. She is waiting patiently for me to start the interview, several locks of unruly hair over her forehead giving her an 'aw shucks, I am just a country girl' appearance.
"Gabrielle, Thank you for being here. Oh, sorry. Do you wish to be called Queen Gabrielle? Or just plain Gabrielle. Not that you are plain in any way." I try to remove the foot from my mouth.
The bard giggles quite charmingly.
"Gabrielle believes that it behooves you to call her by her given name, Gabrielle."
I blink. Mike did not say that. It was Gabrielle.
"Uh, okay, Gabrielle. My first question for you is one that everyone really wants to know the answer to, and please be honest. This concerns your relationship with Xena." I lean forward just a tad. Tension fills the room.
"How do you lick the tip of your quill without getting any ink on your tongue."
Always catch them off guard for the best answers my junior high school English teacher always said..right before giving the class a pop quiz on math.
Gabrielle frowns slightly.
"Gabrielle does not know how that question refers to her intense relationship with the warrior princess, Xena, but she will endeavor to answer with utmost sincerity. It is all in the .."
The sound of hoof beats outside catch her attention.
"Gabrielle shall return."
She gracefully leaves the scent of her shampoo lingering in the air. VO5 with proteins for dry, color treated hair. Excellent. A question I can check off my list.
Mike demands attention.
"Clams on the half shell, I am not moving that banana any closer to the edge of the table for you!"
"Why not?" a voice so husky it could pull a dog sled growls in my left ear.
"Cable San Lucas!" I cry as I jump on top of the table, my heart pounding furiously in my chest.
I am staring into eyes so icy blue I think that I am the Titanic and those eyes are the ice burg.
"No, my name is not Cable san Lucas, it is Xena. May I help you down?"
Xena is sitting across from me. After helping me down, she took my pulse, asked about my diet, took down my medical history and declared me fit for duty. Mike kept squawking about asking for a physical and noticing my furious blushing, the warrior princess gave me a prescription to help with menopause. Xena's appearance is immaculate; eye shadow, mascara, lipstick and nails perfect her leather outfit shiny and clean the brass armor polished and nylons with out a single run in them.
"Xena, I have a question for you about your time in Chin that our viewers would love to have the answer to concerning Lao Ma. Here it is: how long can you hold your breath?"
Xena draws in a deep breath and sits there. And sits there.
Give me a scuba tank and call me Sylvia Earle, that woman can hold her breath! At one minute, I squirm in my chair since the silence is deafening. Two minutes, I am sweating. At three minutes, I am panting, my chest burning in empathy for her. She, of course, remains perfectly calm and cool. Her color not even changing. Sunlight reflecting off those glacier eyes flickers over toward the door as shouting is heard outside. She exhales slowly.
"Excuse me for a moment. And when I get back, we can discuss your asthma." She leaves.
Mike is howling.
"I cannot help it if three minutes of dead air is not television worthy, Mike. She was holding her breath. You really cannot keep up a conversation with someone who is holding their breath. What? No! I am not going to ask if I can see her stethoscope! Mike..Mike.wait, someone is coming in."
The door opens and Gabrielle returns, her hair tousled in that just got out of bed look, which is really quite endearing though my hand itches for a hairbrush and bottle of gel.
"Gabrielle is here to inform you that a minor armed engagement is in progress. However, the need for a strategic retreat is not necessary. We may continue."
Give me helmet and call me Private Ryan, the knowledge that there is a war going on right outside the door is a bit daunting, but Gabrielle's assurance is quite, well, assuring.
"Ah, okay. Here is my next question." I stare at my notes realizing that I have lost my place so I ask the first thing that pops into my head.
"Are you in love wi·"
Just then the door burst open and two forms come tumbling in yelling and screaming and pulling at each other's hair.
Give me a wig and call me Florence Henderson, it is Eve and Varia!
The two girls suddenly stop their fight and stare up at me.
"I thought you said this cabin was empty." Snarled Eve, who slapped Varia's naked thigh.
"It is supposed to be!" the Amazon Queen growls, shooting daggers with her eyes which is quite an accomplishment since her hands are tangled in Eve's long rich brown hair.
Gabrielle plucks the two daggers from the air just inches from my face and shakes her head, a motherly grin on her face.
"You two go play elsewhere. Eve, your mother, Xena, is attending to a slight skirmish outside and Gabrielle is having a pleasant experience being interviewed by this youthful and intelligent reporter from Channel 98."
Grab a paddle and row a canoe, those two jump up so quickly and adjust their hair and clothing that I blink thinking I must have blacked out or something. Hm. I shall have to ask Xena for a CAT scan when she gets back.
"Channel 98? Why didn't you say so earlier?" Eve preens smiling ever so innocently seductive at me. The sound of Mike falling of his chair thuds in my ear. He has a thing for bad girls gone good then relapse then turn good then bad then good again.
Varia adjusts her feathers, giggling like a schoolgirl with a fetish for leather and holds out her hand. Gingerly, and Mary Annly, I reach out to shake her hand when she pulls me forward and I am the center of an Eve and Varia cookie. Just call me Oreo and dunk me in milk shouts a drooling Mike over the airwaves.
"I really enjoy watching your channel."
"It would be so cool to take a tour of the station."
"Do many people work there?"
"Some people say I am a natural for the camera."
"Would you like to interview me? I am very eager to answer any questions.."
Give me an electric storm and call me Dr. Frankenstein, Eve and Varia are shooting questions at me in tandem, finishing each others sentences and it is all I can do to keep two pairs of hands, which are very insistent in searching for the camera, from making me short out.
"Er, uh. I..Uh." I can only mumble when a throat is cleared and I am suddenly standing all by myself in the middle of the room as Varia and Eve are leaving with Gabrielle's dulcet tones following them.
"While your extensive thirst for information is quite heartfelt, you both should enjoy a feast in the Amazon archives till such a time that you are both satisfied with the level of knowledge you share."
"Uh, bye?" I wave at their retreating forms. Something odd just happened here but for the life of me I cannot figure it out. Gabrielle shuts the door and smiles at me, my brain screeches to a halt.
Watch John Madden and Pat Summerall and show me an instant replay, did Gabrielle say what I thought she said?
That I was youthful and intelligent? Wow.
Blushing now and Mike buzzing like a bee in my ear, I make my way back to my chair. Gabrielle then sighs.
"Please forgive this upcoming interlude for Gabrielle realizes that her negotiation skills are required in the spatial equivalent of areas outside of this cabin." And she slips out the door.
I slap at the earphone as it continues to buzz.
"Give me a rainbow sticker and call me Ken, I am not going after Eve and Varia so you just shut up! Yes, I know it would be a scoop but. No. No. There is such a thing as privacy. Hey. HEY."
"Hey." A voice so smooth and low it could be a roller skating rink makes my jump straight up.
"Holy accounting for contractors, IRS man!" I scream.
Strong, masculine arms catch me on the way down and I am staring into the gorgeous face of Ares, the god of War. And he not wearing a shirt.
"He ain't that great." Mike mumbles in my ear.
"Oh yeah, he is." I mumble back.
Ares rises his eyebrow just like Spock on muscle builders and sits down in the chair with me still in his lap.
"Heard you were doing interviews so I thought I would show up. After all, I am the god of Photography."
"What? I thought you were the god of war?" I manage to say trying not to braid his chest hair. Bad fingers. Bad fingers.
Atlas shrugged somewhere in Greece for the world tipped upside down then I realized that Ares had spotted the Banana-rama cam and was flexing his pecs more than a body builder in front of mirrors, dropping me onto the floor like a wet potato. Rubbing my bottom, I stood up wondering where all the cowboys had gone and plucked the banana out of his reach.
Ares sat back down non-chalant and picked up the microphone mug, swigging down on my water. MY microphone mug water.
"Hey, not god of war, answer my question." I was peeved. "What do you mean god of photography. I thought that was Kodak."
"Naw. Kodak is the god of bears."
"That is Kodiak!"
"No, Kodiak is what happens when you're developing a heart palpitation."
"That is HEART ATTACK."
"Which you are giving me for not asking to interview me."
Turn on Children's Television Workshop and watch Electric Company, this man was twisting logic and twisting my knickers..literaly. I jumped back out of the range of his pinching fingers, swatting at him with the banana. He gave a peel of laughter.
The door opened and Xena stormed in like a hurricane in the tropics and flung a coconut at Ares.
"Be gone, Ares. Or I will F-stop your right here in sixty minutes or less, you negative art show of pickled pecs."
"Ouch." He cried when the coconut bounced off his head, split open and fresh coconut juice made his chest hair stick together. "You are just no fun. See if I give you a discount on family photos next time!" Ares, god of ..something, pouted and disappeared in flash powder, and flaked baked coconut settled to the cabin's floor.
"Holy mother of Macaroons." I breathe, then in an undertone say to Mike "I wonder if Joan de Arc has recovered yet. At least, she stayed in one place. Well, tied to stake will do that to you. Yes. What? What? What do you mean our visa's are up? Didn't you pay the bill? Well, pull out the mastercard!"
I realize then that Gabrielle and Xena are both in the room gazing at me as if I had sprouted two heads and was reading the German telephone directory in the voice of Meryl Streep doing an Australian accent.
"Uh, a dingo aht mine noggin, ya?" I say trying to lighten the mood despite the fact that I am more frazzled than a customer service rep at Wal-Mart the day after a holiday.
Everything is quiet, then great bursts of laughter echo through out the room and my aching ear.
"SURPRISE!" They shout as people rush into the cabin, blowing paper whistles, throwing tinsel confetti and start slapping me on the back as if I were a running back who made the winning touchdown during the Super Bowl. People who I now recognize as Mike, my family and the rest of the crew at the station as well as Eve, Varia, Ares and several other scantily clad Amazons. A slightly singed Joan de Arc also comes in, her armor a bit carbonized but still functional. And surprise of all surprises, Nigel comes in with his cameraman shoving that stupid mic in my face.
"Wha..what is going on?" I manage to sputter, more stunned than a high school freshman giving a speech to the entire student body about personal hygiene.
"You have won the No Bell prize for Distinction in Public Access Channel Reporting for the Year as well as starring on the new show 'Practical Jokes that Will Drive You Crazy'!" Nigel cries, stepping on my foot while smiling at everyone else. "Congratulations!"
It was then that I realize that everyone at the Amazon village had been putting me on like a well used boot that you just cannot throw away but has so many holes in it that you don't want to wear it.
As Nigel begins to interview me while digging his heel harder into my arch, I catch a glimpse of Gabrielle and Xena as they wink at me and when no one is looking, they·.
Nope. Not going to report on that moment till the sweeps are on.
This is Kendall Day reporting for Channel 98, good night and thank heavens this is over and my eyebrows remained in tact.
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