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#V809 - Episode 09
EXT. A QUIET, ROCK LINED POOL DEEP IN THE FOREST - EVENING
The air is thick and hot, despite the fact that it is almost sundown. Insects buzz around, but the animals are lying low in the forest, waiting for nighttime to start moving around.
The pool is surrounded by trees, and thick underbrush. It is difficult to see, in fact, how Xena and Gabrielle have gotten to where they currently are.
Xena and Gabrielle sit in the pool, very much enjoying the cold water. Next to Xena is a dip in the rock, filled with water. A bottle sits inside it, and there are two cups on the ledge next to it.
Gabrielle extends her arms along the rock, letting her head rest back against it as well.
Boy, this feels great.
Xena is sunk almost up to her nose, only her blue eyes are visible. She turns her head and looks at Gabrielle with a quite serious expression, then very slowly raises up a little and squirts a mouthful of water at Gabrielle, hitting her in the face.
Gabrielle swipes her hand through the water and returns the favor, but Xena's head has already disappeared under the surface. After a moment, Xena pops up. Gabrielle has been waiting and splashes her. Xena reaches over and does something under the water that causes Gabrielle to squeak, and submerge.
She never learns.
Gabrielle surfaces, and shakes the water out of her eyes. She is smiling, however, and seems to be enjoying the horseplay.
You never let me get the
last swipe in, do you?
Never. Good leaders
always get the last shot.
Gabrielle ducks under the water again and after a second, Xena's eyes nearly pop out of her head and she scrambles to grab Gabrielle, who slides out of the water and snickers at her expression.
All's fair in love and water fights,
Xena. You taught me that.
Xena laughs, and shakes her head.
True. Remind me not to give
you so many pointers next time.
Gabrielle finds a new spot to relax in... seated between Xena's legs and using her as a backrest. Xena reaches over and uncorks the bottle, pouring some of its contents into the two cups, then handing Gabrielle one.
Besides, leadership isn't always
that simple, Xena. I should know.
You make it complicated. It's a lot easier
if you just tell people what to do, and
when they don't listen, bash 'em.
Gabrielle takes a sip of her now chilled wine and sighs in contentment.
Sure, if you're *you*.
She looks over shoulder at Xena.
But I'm not you, and it's not that
easy sometimes. You have to work
with people, and get them to do
what you want them to do willingly.
Force isn't always the answer.
Leadership by the masses isn't the
way either, Gabrielle. Look at the
Amazons... everything's a deal with them.
And? You don't mean to say
Velaska was right, do you?
Xena takes a drink, giving herself a moment to consider.
Damn right. No one has all the right
answers. I always found that listening
to people... getting their ideas was
the best way to make a decision
that everyone would be happy with.
Leaders aren't supposed to make
people happy, Gabrielle. They're
supposed to keep them alive.
My way does it better.
Gabrielle gives Xena a look. Xena grins and shrugs. Gabrielle also shrugs, but she looks a little thoughtful.
Well, it's a moot point. The Amazons
are across the sea, and I doubt I'll
get the chance to put my theory to the
test with anyone else any time soon.
Xena puts her arm around Gabrielle.
You could try it on me.
Oh, yeah, right. The original
Xena, Warrior Princess.
She elbows Xena in the ribs.
Not in this lifetime.
Maybe the next?
Xena tickles Gabrielle on the side. Gabrielle is caught in the midst of taking a sip of wine. She turns and ends up spitting the wine all over Xena as she laughs, and they both toss their cups and start wrestling in the water.
I'll chicken you....
The water becomes almost obscured by wild splashing and lots of fast moving limbs. Gabrielle is holding her own until Xena grabs hold of her and jumps half across the spring, ending up taking them both under the water.
It is quiet in the spring. A few bubbles erupt. The insects buzz. A frog croaks.
Xena and Gabrielle erupt from the water together and fall back, sending a huge wave splashing over the edges of the rocks with a significant roar.
Chicken this, you....
Xena realizes they are not alone, and she claps her hand over Gabrielle's mouth as she treads water. Gabrielle looks around, only to find a dozen men and women standing around the spring watching them. They are dressed in plain, white garments. Xena removes her hand.
(under her breath)
Oh... Gods... I hope
they're not virgins again.
Hm... we could fix that,
Gabrielle puts her hand over Xena's mouth swiftly, and gives the watching men and women a smile.
Hi. Something we
can do for you?
Ya have to ask for
One of the men steps forward. He is middle aged, and has a kindly face. He rubs his hands and looks at Xena and Gabrielle as though he has found a treasure before him. Given that they are naked, Gabrielle appears unsure if she should be outraged or flattered.
My name is Escobar. I am from
the village of Delios, and my
fellow citizens and I are on a quest.
Oh, a quest? How interesting.
What kind of....
Escobar does not appear to be put off by Xena's gruff attitude. He positively beams at her.
We are on our yearly quest to find
a stranger... a wise and noble
stranger who will serve as
our town's queen for a day.
Gabrielle's eyebrows shoot up, and she looks intrigued.
Good luck. Now if
you'll excuse us....
Xena, wait a minute....
Thank you, but our luck has
been excellent! We have only
been searching for a few days,
and now our quest is at an end. We
have found our perfect candidate.
Escobar takes out a scroll. It is much tattered, and he unrolls it carefully, studying its contents. One of the others also reads it over his shoulder, and nods in satisfaction.
Yes, it's all here. Eyes like
stars, hair as dark as the night....
Xena can see where this is all going. She stands up in the pool, letting the water sheet off her body. She puts her hands on her hips.
Don't you even think about it.
Escobar and the rest look at her, look at the scroll, and smile. Escobar lets the scroll roll up again.
And beauty incomparable.
Please, will you be our queen?
Gabrielle covers her mouth and starts to sink under the water, laughing hysterically at the expression on Xena's face.
We would be greatly honored.
Xena looks at Gabrielle, who is submerged to her eyes. Ripples of water shake around her shoulders as she laughs.
*We* are not amused.
END OF TEASER