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Xena: Warrior Princess, Gabrielle, Argo and all other characters who have appeared in the syndicated series Xena: Warrior Princess, together with the names, titles and backstory are the sole copyright property of MCA/Universal and Renaissance Pictures. No copyright infringement was intended in the writing of this fan fiction. All other characters, the story idea and the story itself are the sole property of the author. This story cannot be sold or used for profit in any way. Copies of this story may be made for private use only and must include all disclaimers and copyright notices.
NOTE: All works remain the © copyright of the original author. These may not be republished without the author's consent.
~ THE FINAL CURTAIN CALL ~
by Melissa McMahan
|ACT ONE: TRAGEDIES IN NIGHTMARES|
The bright afternoon sky faded as Gabrielle and Xena walked across the swampland. Frogs jumping at their feet as they stepped on the large rocks along the top of the slime green water. They made it to the other side and to a small canyon with a poor excuse for a bridge. Xena took a step, it creaked as she took another step. Gabrielle stepped next. She could feel it move slightly. Taking a deep breath, she followed right behind Xena, as they slowly got to the center.
GABBY: By the gods how did Joxer make it over this thing and with Argo no less?XENA: Gabrielle this bridge has been here for years. As a matter of fact in my darker days, I took my whole army over it once. (Clears her throat) I hope he's got something cooked, it's been a long day.
GABBY: I hope he's here I'm not to good at drawing maps my scrolls are for writing stories in, not maps and getting the information from you on top of it. (Scoffs)
XENA: Something tells me he's not only here, but real close to us. (Joxer walks out of the woods) Mmm?
JOXER: Gabby?! (Pauses) Um, hi Xena, camp's that way.
Joxer points to the camp as Xena walks off the bridge. Xena pats him on the chest making a clanging sound off his armor then heads off into the woods. Joxer takes Gabrielle's hand, as he helps her off the bridge.
GABBY: Thank you.
JOXER: Sure no problem.
They start walking towards camp Joxer notices that Gabrielle's hand is still in his, he smiles. Until they make it to camp, then he notices fear in her eyes. He turns getting really close to her face. Xena sits by the campfire eating a fish and watching them.
JOXER: Gabrielle? (Sighs) What's wrong?
GABBY: Um, it's nothing. (Pouts) Just a nightmare I had for a few nights now, it wakes me up for the rest of the night and I'm not getting much sleep.
JOXER: It doesn't sound like nothing to me. (Sighs) Please tell me?
XENA: She's wouldn't tell me either, Joxer.
GABBY: Look I just need to eat something and go to sleep. (Sighs) But it's sweet of you two to care.
Gabrielle walks over and sits by Xena and starts eating a fish too. Joxer sits on a log across from them, as he watches them eating the rest of the fish. Xena and Gabrielle are soon in their bed rolls asleep. Joxer just sat by the fire watching Gabrielle sleep.
Callisto's crazy laugh fills the air as image of Gabrielle looking into Xena's dead eyes, as she lays beachside. Gabrielle tries to run away, only to see Joxer, behind her, dying. He want's to tell her something but can't. Looking down, there is blood on her hands. Looking up, Callisto is poised, ready to kill her too.
Gabrielle wakes up with a deep gasp. Joxer runs over and hugs her, ...she starts crying. Softly, Joxer wipes her tears with the back of his hand. Xena remains asleep.
JOXER: It's all right, Gabrielle. (Hugs her) Ok?
GABBY: Joxer will you sit up with me? (Sobs) I don't want to be alone right now. I don't wanna talk either, just sit by the fire. (Pouts) Please?
JOXER: Hey, that's fine, just fine. (Smiles) Come on.
Sitting on the log he had just gotten up from, Joxer is a little shocked when Gabrielle sits as close as she can to him. Even moreso when she rest her head on his shoulder, and soon falls asleep again. Carefully, Joxer puts her back down on her bedroll. Watching over her, she seems to be at peace. He holds her hand the rest of the night.
|ACT TWO: PAINTED DAISIES|
Xena's eyes opened slowly as the morning light blinded her slightly and she started to rub her eyes. Getting to her feet, she snickered a bit as the sight before her became all to clear. Joxer had fallen asleep and his head was on Gabrielle's chest, his hand in hers. Xena moved him over a bit before picking him up by his arms to take him over to his bedroll. Joxer being Joxer managed to trip over a rock even in his sleep and fell down on top of Xena.
XENA: Sorry Joxer, but your not my type. (Pushes him off her) That and I don't want you to wake up thinking I'm Meg either.
JOXER: (In his sleep) Gabrielle?
XENA: Mmm, well at least one of you are having nice dreams or maybe I should say naughty ones, eh Joxer?
Xena chuckes as she tucks Joxer in like a little boy. Then she takes off towards the river, once there she strips and jumps in. Gabrielle slowly rolls over, as she wakes up she recalls sitting with Joxer and now she's in her bedroll. 'What had happened?' She thought as she gets up and sees him asleep in his bedroll.
GABBY: Joxer? (Walking over to him) Joxer?!
JOXER: (In his sleep) Gabrielle?
GABBY: Joxer, wake up! (Kicks at him softly) Joxer?!
JOXER: (In his sleep) Oh Gabby?
GABBY: Rise and shine!
Gabrielle starts to tickle his side and Joxer wakes up laughing, then grabs her arms.
JOXER: What are you doing?
GABBY: Getting you up. (Pauses) We were sitting by the fire last night right? (Joxer nods) Then why did I wake up in my bedroll?
JOXER: You fell asleep and I took you back over there, but I'm not sure how I got in my bedroll. (Sighs) I dreamed someone was pulling me by my arms.
(Looking around) Hey where is Xena?
GABBY: Knowing Xena, she's wanting to be alone or she would of told one of us. (Raises an eyebrow) Xena can fend for herself. (Sighs) Why don't we go into town? I need some new scrolls.
JOXER: Yeah, and we can grab a bite to eat!
Xena walks into the camp and finds part of a scroll on her bedroll. A little smile comes over her face as she reads it. Then she looks over at Argo.
XENA: Well girl, looks like it's just you and me for awhile. (Snickers) I guess they want to be alone, huh?
Gabrielle looks over a few scrolls, as Joxer looks back and forth between her and a sky blue nightie on the stand next to them. The salesman comes up to him.
SALESMAN: Only sixty dinars sir.
JOXER: Zeus, sixty dinars?! (Gabrielle looks at him)
GABBY: What's sixty dinars?
JOXER: Nevermind. (Sighs) Lets go eat?
GABBY: Go on, I'll be there in a little bit. I'll take a bowl of leek soup if you don't mind, Joxer?
JOXER: No, I'll get it for you.
Joxer walks away, as the salesman crosses his arms.
GABBY: Sixty dinars for what I wonder?
Gabrielle looks at all the items on the stand and only finds one for sale for sixty dinars.
SALESMAN: I noticed him looking at you while he saw this. (Gabrielle scoffs) He does have very fine taste in fine goods and even for finer women.
GABBY: No, me and him we are just friends. (Sighing) I'm sure he had Meg or someone else in mind for this. (Puts her hand on her hip) Not me.
SALESMAN: What makes you so sure of that?
GABBY: Me?! (Gasps) That's crazy!
SALESMAN: He'd have to be crazy not to want more than just simple friendship from you. (Snickers) I bet he does and you do too, hum?
GABBY: You know if he were still here he'd laugh even harder than I am. (Sighs) If you see him again ask him about us and Cupids arrows.
Gabrielle walks away with a shake of her head and a sigh. She finds Joxer eating and sits down across from him and eats the leek soup he paid for.
JOXER: Did you want anything else?
GABBY: Like what? (Smiles knowingly at him)
JOXER: Anything you want. (Sighs) That soup isn't going to be enough is it? I'll pay for something else.
GABBY: No, this will be fine. (Pauses) Thanks, Joxer.
JOXER: Well at least have some of my chicken. (Gabrielle takes a wing) It's a little over cooked.
GABBY: Thank you.
They finish eating and head out from the Inn. Joxer passes a stand with piles of lingerie on it. Gabrielle looks out the corner of her eye at him as she picks up a mace from another stand. Quickly, he buys a cheaper rose colored nightie and hides it in his pack. Putting down the mace, Gabrielle turns towards Joxer with a raised eyebrow as he walks up to her.
JOXER: Are you ready?
GABBY: That depends on what you had in mind?
JOXER: Xena might be worried about us.GABBY: Then lets go.
Gabrielle walked just behind Joxer thinking about what the salesman had said and of the nightmares she had been having. She quickly shook her head as if she were trying to get her thoughts to fall out of her ear.
Joxer stops to sits on a nearby log and takes off his helmet. Gabrielle sits beside him and takes the helmet.
GABBY: This thing is heavy. (Snickers) If you didn't wear it so much the blood could get to your brain.
JOXER: Ha, ha. (Sighs) Can I have it back now?
GABBY: No. (Laughs) I'm sorry Joxer, but if I give this back to you. I'll have to look at it the rest of the week and I really don't wanna see it on your head.
JOXER: Ah, come on!
GABBY: Why do you wear this outfit all the time anyway? I mean whatever happened to the clothes Aphrodite gave you when she put the bell spell on you or the black leather outfit? ...something besides this thing.
JOXER: Well I don't see you changing your clothes very often either, Gabrielle.
GABBY: You never see me changing my clothes at all.
JOXER: Ha, ha. (Gabrielle giggles) Lets see there is the green top outfit and the rust number, the thing you got in India. (Pauses) A few more, but you don't have a whole lot of clothes now do you?
GABBY: No, but Xena has even less.
JOXER: Maybe you two could trade outfits back and forth with each other? (Chuckles) Could you see Xena in your green top?
GABBY: Or me in her leather outfit? (Giggles)
JOXER: With or without the bullwhip?
GABBY: Joxer?! (Slaps his arm)
JOXER: What?! (Fakes a laugh) It was a joke.
GABBY: Hum? (Gets up and starts walking off) Come on.
Joxer follows behind her, she looks back at him a few times. As they get back to camp, they find Xena drinking tea. Gabrielle puts her new scrolls in with her old ones, as hums a bit. Xena looks over at Joxer and back at Gabrielle, a smile crosses Gabrielle's face as she put Joxer's helmet behind a bush.
XENA: So did you two have a good time?
JOXER: Gabby got scrolls and I picked up a few things.
GABBY: Plus we ate, before heading back here.
XENA: Mmm? (Scoffs)
Gabrielle starts writing in one of her scrolls and Xena sharpens her sword. Joxer, feeling a bit left out, gets up and goes for a walk. He comes across a few red and pink painted daisies, with bright yellow centers.
JOXER: Gabby will love these.
He picks them and heads back to camp, he finds Xena and Gabrielle sitting by the fire. He hands Gabrielle the flowers and Xena smiles at him.
GABBY: Wow, these are so pretty!
XENA: Yes they are.
JOXER: I was just walking along and there they were.
GABBY: You know you maybe a bit of a pain sometimes, but when you do things like this it makes up for it.
XENA: What Gabrielle means by that is, thank you Joxer.
Gabrielle gives Xena a look, as Xena chuckles. Later that night they all went to sleep at the same time. Gabrielle put the flowers next to her head as they started to wilt. She was a little sad to see their petals curl up. Soon her eyes shut and her nightmares come back again.
[ Gabrielle's nightmare]
Fire circled Gabrielle and the sound of a heartbeat seemed to echo everywhere. A hand reached into the fire and pulled her out. It was Xena on Argo and she took off out of sight. Next, someone grabbed her. It was Callisto who pointed to a circus tent and then pulled her inside. Once inside, the sound of the heartbeat faded to a drumroll. Callisto tied Gabrielle to a chair and gagged her mouth.
CALLISTO: So you thought I was done with you? (Giggles) Well I got some news for you sunshine and you'll soon know what is true and all with the lies that you tell yourself - they'll die too. (Spins around Gabrielle) Yes Gabrielle, you'll know it only too well. (Laughs) Ciao!
Callisto turns into a fire bolt and leaves. Spotlights spin and then land on a man in a top hat and red tails. It's Hercules. (He bows at her.)
HERC: Good evening Gabrielle. (Chuckles) Ah, don't be worried it's just a dream after all. So with that, on with the show!
Clowns enter to perform tricks for Gabrielle...
Joxer can't sleep, so sits by the fire watching Gabrielle sleep.
|ACT THREE: ROMAN SOLDIERS SHAVE THEIR LEGS TOO|
Joxer put some more logs on the fire. He heard Gabrielle let out some stressful groans and went over to her, she was tossing around in her sleep.JOXER: Gabby?
[ Gabrielle's dream...]
Alti came up behind Gabrielle. She made her relive all the pain she ever had, until Hercules pushed Alti away. The clowns returned to drag her off.
HERC: We can do without her, can't we?
Lila, Gabrielle's sister, walks out of the shadows, looks to Hercules and smiles.
LILA: Hey Gab, is he taken? (Giggles)
HERC: This is her dream not yours, Lila.
Lila turns into Xena. Xena sings.
XENA: We are sisters of the soul. We don't always see eye to eye. You bring out my good side and that's why I need you in my life. You keep me from doing the wrong thing most of the time. Thank you, Gabrielle.
A cage falls over Xena and Ares fades in next to it, he laughs then sings.
ARES: No matter how she fights it. Xena will always be a warrior and never like you. So why don't you just give it up, Gabrielle?
Aphrodite fades in with Joxer on the other side of Hercules. Aphrodite giggles and then sings.
APHR: Love always wins over everything, Gabrielle. Ares should know that by now, but he's a bit pig headed. Xena has seen him for the fool he is and Joxer didn't follow the family code of warlords. (Ares fades away) Xena stay her with Hercules, you'll be just fine. As for you Gabrielle come with Joxer and me.
Suddenly Gabrielle is laying on a heart shaped bed with Joxer. He's passed out, she gets up and finds red velvet covered bars instead of walls. Feeling a chill she notices she's wearing next to nothing. A rose colored nightie, she gasps and gets back in bed under the covers. Joxer wakes up, he smiles when he sees her next to him. They look at each other.
GABBY: See if you can find away outta here?!
JOXER: Hey this is your dream remember?
GABBY: Then you have to do what I say! (Scoffs) Get us out of here, now!
JOXER: I can't only you can help you, Gabrielle. I'm just here in your head because you want me to be.
GABBY: Excuse me?! Aphrodite put us in here!
JOXER: Yes, but you are the one who's running the show and all we can do is what you want us to do.
GABBY: So you're telling me I want to be here with you, Joxer?! (Laughs) I don't think so!
JOXER: Deny it if you feel you need to, but I'm only a what you have in your head. The real me isn't here and you know deep down inside that this is true.
Gabrielle knocks him off the bed. She looks over the side and finds he's not there. She sits up, turns to find him behind her. She pins him down on the bed.
GABBY: Anything you'd like to say before I have to hurt you? (Growls)
JOXER: You can't keep treating me this way because if you do one of these days Gabby, you'll look for me and I maybe gone. (Pauses) Just like him.
Joxer fades out and Perdicus fades in next to her, she gasps. She reaches for him, but he turns into dust and blows away. She crys out and pants. Joxer fades back in and she shoves him down on the floor.
She wakes up to find Joxer sitting next to her.
GABBY: Joxer get away from me!
JOXER: What did I do?!
GABBY: I've gotta get out of here! (Gets up) Xena?!
JOXER: She's down by the river.
GABBY: Tell her I'll be back in a little while, there's someone I have to have a long talk with!
Joxer watched as Gabrielle storms out of camp, he heads towards Xena. He finds her shaving her legs with a staight razor. He sits on the ground facing her.
JOXER: Gabby took off.
XENA: Where?! (Raises an eyebrow)
JOXER: I don't know but she's mad at me again.
XENA: What did you do?
JOXER: I don't know that either. (Scoffs) Xena, what are you doing anyway?
XENA: Roman soldiers shave their legs too.
JOXER: Huh, I was not aware of that?
XENA: Not too many people are.(Chuckles)
JOXER: Think one of us should go look for Gabby?
XENA: Go on, make both of us happy.
JOXER: All right. (Gets up and leaves)
XENA: It was just a joke! (Mumbles) Neither one of you ever look back. (Yells) Friends?!
Joxer stops to grab the rose nightie out of his bag. Then takes off after Gabrielle. He looks around the town. He spots her far away and follows her out of town down a path. When she stops to rest, he hides behind the trees.
She starts crying.
|ACT FOUR: ALL PATHS LEAD TO APHRODITE'S TEMPLE|
Joxer unsure what to do about Gabrielle's tears, just stood there until she got up and walked on down the path. He followed her to Aphrodite's temple. He was perplexed by it and even more so when she went inside. Gabrielle sat near the altar as Joxer slowly crawled inside along the floor behind her and into a cluster of potted plants. His clanging armor had not made enough noise to get her attention and he could keep an eye on her without her knowing it. He was slightly amused when she got up and started to pace the floor, similar to what he has done on many of his visits.
GABBY: Look I know I'm not your favorite person. (Smirks) I'm not even sure why I am here. I didn't even bring a tribute, but if you can help me out I'll bring two nice ones next time?! (Pauses and sighs) Please?! (Growls) Nothing!
In a shower of gold light Joxer sees the love goddess herself, but Gabrielle cannot see her. She waved at Joxer and yawns at Gabrielle.
APHR: Want to know why she's here, Joxer? (Giggles) Oh sure you do. (Mocks Gabrielle) She can't see me, yet.
GABBY: Why do the gods do this to us?! (Growls again)
APHR: Hair like fire and a temper to match.
GABBY: These dreams are making me so mad! (Sighs)
APHR: I'm sure they are, sugar.
GABBY: Hello?! (Kicks the alter and leaves)
APHR: Oh she'll pay for that.
JOXER: No please?! (Stands up) Don't hurt Gabby!
APHR: Oh I won't hurt anything but her pride.
JOXER: Whatever it is, do it to me not Gabby?!
APHR: Gabby, Gabby, Gabby? (Scoffs) Oh boy, do you have a one track mind or what? (Points a finger at him) I'll use your feelings for the blonde Bard to get her back. (Notices the nightie in his hand) You'd like to see Gabrielle in this thin thing wouldn't you, honey? (Joxer nods) Naughty boy. (Giggles) Go back to camp.
Joxer, under a spell, walks back to camp and finds Xena laying in the shade. She gets up and looks behind Joxer she looks back at Joxer.
XENA: Well I guess it's my turn to try and find her.
Xena gets on Argo and rides off. Gabrielle goes back into the temple, she has a bunch of pink and red roses that she lays them on the alter. Aphrodite looks up from the scuff mark that she had made on it earlier.
APHR: Nice try, but after this and dejecting Joxer for so long. . . I think not.
GABBY: What do you want from me? (Sighs)
APHR: To pay for everything you've ever done to me and my temples, plus being so persnickety about every little thing Joxer does. (Laughs) My boredom is gone for the day, to say the least.
Aphrodite makes herself known to Gabrielle.
APHR: So what's with the dreams, dear?
Gabrielle told her all about her dreams.
GABBY: Me and Joxer?! (Scoffs) Can you believe it?
APHR: Why do you find that so amusing?
GABBY: Well he does too, remember Bliss and Cupid's arrows? (Pauses) So what do you think is making me dream about all this?
APHR: Perhaps it's guilt, you mortals blame us gods for everything. (Sighs) As the goddess of love. (Pauses) It sounds like a certain awkward, yet kinda cute in his own odd little way rogue (Giggles) has gotten into a certain blonde bards heart.
GABBY: You kidding right?! (Scoffs) As the godess of love you should know I only loved Perdicus.
APHR: Loved?! He's dead and you sound as if your old feelings for him are too. (Sighs) That's why I say perhaps it's guilt, sweetie. (Giggles) Maybe that's why your so bitter and cold to poor Joxer.
Before Gabrielle can say anything Aphrodite leaves. Xena comes in and sees Gabrielle almost as white as Joxer. They walk out together and stand by the door.
GABBY: Xena I have to be alone for awhile. (Crying) I'm going to stay at the inn in town, go back to camp and stay with Joxer. (Sighs) I'll be back in a day or so.
XENA: Sure, it might help you rest to be in a bed instead of a bedroll. (Hugs her) I hope so.
GABBY: Me too.
Xena got on Argo and took off, leaving Gabrielle alone. Joxer put the nightie next to Gabbrielle's things.
JOXER: Ok tonight I'll just tell her. (Sighs) And she'll laugh in my face. (Sits on the bedroll) Gabby, I love you. (Pauses) Gabrielle, I'm in love with you.
Xena rides past him and he looks at her as she gets off Argo. She tells him Gabrielle is staying at the inn tonight. He is not a happy camper about it, but excepts it anyway. Gabrielle goes in her room she strips naked and lays down in the bed. Soon she is fast asleep and dreaming.
[ Gabrielle's nightmare]
Villagers bow to her as she walks between them. Iolaus bows before her too, then she turns and Autolycus stands and crosses his arms.
IOLAUS: All hail the Amazon queen! (Fanfare sounds)
AUTO: She mourns her jester. (Laughs)
IOLAUS: But which one? (Laughs)
GABBY: What?! (Scoffs) Iolaus, Auto? What's going on?
AUTO: Gabrielle you of all people should know.
IOLAUS: You hide everything deep down inside.
AUTO: You only have to ask yourself...
IOLAUS: Is it Perdicus you still love?
AUTO: ...Or the moron Joxer?
IOLAUS: Perdicus is dead and won't ever be back. So do you give up on love all together.
AUTO: Joxer is dead from the neck up, he's funny.
IOLAUS: And he takes your abuse.
GABBY: Yes, but. . .
IOLAUS & AUTO: That's more than we would do!
IOLAUS: You can't hold it in any longer.
AUTO: What's it going to be?
Gabrielle falls down a hole that opens up. She lands at the camp site. Joxer is reading a scroll, Xena walks between them and sings.
XENA: Gabrielle what is it with you and holes, Joxer with scolls?
JOXER: Xena? Gabby?
XENA: Enough of this.
Gabrielle wakes up and has a screaming fit.
|ACT FIVE: UNREASONABLE DOUBT|
Gabrielle got up out of bed and tosses a pillow at the wall with a grunt. She fell back on the bed and could not help looking at the full moon which shined in her eyes. Letting out a long sigh, she looked out the window and thought about how romantic it was. She grabbed a sheet from the bed and wrapped up in it. Opening the window, a light breeze blew through her hair. She smiled at the night sky, then she heard a clang and another and she looked down into the center of town. Her eyes grow bigger as she saw Joxer walking in the street. He first stubbed his toe, then fell down, and when he got up he fell backward into a cart of hay. His yelling and armour clanks filled the air, so did Gabrielle's chuckles. He then looked around to see who was laughing at him, but saw nobody. When he got up he had hay all over himself. He started picking it off and stubbed his toe again. Falling back into the hay, Gabrielle busted out with a loud laugh. This time, on his back, Joxer saw the window where she was. He got up and walked right under her, she was still laughing. He pointed at her.
JOXER: Are you going to stop laughing at me?!
GABBY: I don't know, are you gonna stop landing in the hay? (Giggles) Joxer, what are you doing here anyway?
JOXER: I couldn't sleep so I went for a walk and I ended up here. (Crosses his arms) What are you doing with your head out the window laughing at me?
GABBY: I couldn't sleep, so I was looking at the moon and the stars. (Her sheet starts to fall off)
JOXER: Gabby, are you na. . . (Shocked) Naked?!
GABBY: Except for this sheet. (Nods her head) Yeah.
Joxer gulps and starts to say something, but falls down in the hay again with a deep scream. As Gabrielle giggles, he gets up only to step on the carts pull and falls down again. (Dogs bark in the background.)
GABBY: Joxer? (Looks at him laying in the hay) Why don't you just come up here before you wake up the whole town? (Motions with her finger) Come on up.
Joxer can't believe what she had just said and done, but he wasn't about to let this opportunity pass him by. He got up slowly and looked up at her, she smiled. Then she backed up from the window, he let out a loud gasp before bolting inside and up the stairs. Panting as he got to the door, he knocked and waited. Then Gabrielle yelled from the other side of the door.
GABBY: It's unlocked, Joxer!
Joxer opened the door, stepped in and looked around the room. The last place he looked was the bed where Gabrielle was sitting under the covers. She hadn't put any clothes on, they were on the nightstand. He gave her a poker face or tried to, as he felt a little smile come to his lips and a blush. He sat in a chair that was right inside the door. She looked puzzled at him and giggled. He wasn't too sure how to take that.
GABBY: You can sit closer to me ya' know? (Giggles) I won't bite you, unless that's what you want?
JOXER: Huh?! (Pauses) Um?!
GABBY: That was a joke you can laugh. (Pats the bed with her hand) Come over here, I can't see you in that dark area. (Clears her throat) Now Joxer?!
Joxer lets out an uneasy laugh and drags himself to the foot of the bed and sits facing away from his beloved Gabrielle. She giggles and rubs the bottom of her foot on his back, it sent shivers all over him.
JOXER: What are you doing?! (Snickers)
GABBY: Trying to get you to turn around. (Sighs) Why won't you look at me, Joxer?!
JOXER: Gabby I. . . I respect you and your not dr. . . Dressed. (Sighs) I mean your under the covers and all but your na. . . Naked under there. (Lets out a pant)
GABBY: Look. (Pauses) It's not like you can see anything, so why does it bother you so much?
JOXER: Uh, um?! (Pants) Because I. . . Oh my gods!
GABBY: Are you feeling ok?! (Sighs) Why don't you go slash some water on your face?
Joxer's breathing got heavier as Gabrielle rubbed her foot on his back again, he closed his eyes for a moment then got up and shot to the bathroom. He found a jug full of water and slashed his face with it. There was a mirror on the wall he look in it. Gabrielle got up and sat on the edge of the bed. Joxer scoffed and started talking to himself in the mirror.
JOXER: You gotta calm down and keep from blowing it with Gabrielle. (Pauses) She just wants to talk and that's all that's gonna happen. (Chuckles and sighs) Gotta get anything else right outta your head. If she touches you? (Points to his reflection) Um, it means nothing. Just let it go, understand? (Looks down) Um?!
Gabrielle leans back on her side as Joxer opens the door, he gasps at how sexy she looks in that sheet that hugs every inch of her body and her little pout.
JOXER: Um, I'll be just a few more minutes.
GABBY: Ok. (Smiles)Joxer slams the door and presses himself against it.
JOXER: She isn't trying to drive you mad with desire, she just is. (Takes a deep breath) Or is she? Because she is. (Sighs) No, no, no, she can't be doing this to on purpose. Thats cold, thats crule, thats, thats? (Sighs) Thats Gabby! (Paces) Yeah, this is some kind of test she's trying to make me jump through hoops for her own ego. (Laughs) Well two can play this game my little blonde Bard. (Opens the door and stands there)
GABBY: Feeling better? (Raises her eyebrow)
JOXER: Um, hmm. (Walks over to her) How do you feel?
GABBY: Better now that I have someone to talk to.
JOXER: And what do you want to talk about, Gabrielle?
GABBY: Um, I donno?! (Pauses) Anything I guess?
Gabrielle smiles as Joxer looks down at her, he sits next to her legs. He looks right at her face.
JOXER: Can I ask you why you've been laying around here like this and why you didn't put anything on before I came up here?
GABBY: I was alone you know?! (Sighs) And you did not give me enough time to get dressed before you were knocking at my door. I had to dive in the bed before you walked in. (Rest her leg on his back)
JOXER: Oh? (Snickers) You know Gabby, isn't it funny that we just happened to see each other this late at night?
Joxer bites his bottom lip and raises his eyebrows. As Gabrielle makes a few faces trying to figure out what to say to him. She rolls her eyes around, then sighs.
GABBY: It is, isn't it?! (Giggles)
JOXER: Yeah, it is. (Grins)
GABBY: So what do you wanna do about it?
Joxer sat there with only one answer on his mind as Gabrielle's question echoed in his ear. He tightened his jaw so he wouldn't say it, she didn't help when she laid on her back and let out a deep breath.
GABBY: Well? (Nudged him with her knee)
JOXER: Um?! (Feeling her knee resting on his back) Ah, we could do whatever it is you wanna do about it?!
GABBY: I'm not too sure I know what that is, Joxer.
Gabrielle puts her hands on her forehead as Joxer looks at her. He takes a chance and grabs her arm.
JOXER: Gabby? (Pulls her arms off her face) Do you really want me here, because I can go if you want?
GABBY: No don't go. (Hugs him)
JOXER: Ok. (Mouthes the word yes and grins)
Aphrodite pops her head in the window at them, then climbs in and sits on the other side of the bed. Joxer and Gabrielle can't see her.
APHR: Hum and I put the spell on the nightie. (Giggles)
GABBY: Aren't you going to hug me back, Joxer?
Joxer puts his arms around Gabrielle and finds the palms of his hands on her bare back. He trembled, then pats her back making a small slapping sound off her flesh. Gabrielle pats him back which makes a few soft clanks off his armor, she laughs and kisses his chin. Aphrodite rolled her eyes, then giggled too.
APHR: Come on you two?! You're alone together on this bed and she's naked! (Sighs) And she has to ask you to hug her back?! Hint, hint! She even kissed you on the chin?! Kiss her back on the lips! (Joxer looks down at his boots) Joxer, you are so dense! (Sighs)
GABBY: Why don't you take your boots off if they are bothering you? (Lays back)
APHR: Why don't you take your pants off and show her what is really bothering you? (Giggles) I am sure that's what she means, sweetie.
JOXER: Um, ok. (Kicks his boots off)
APHR: Your gonna have to jump him at this rate.
GABBY: That's right. (Smirks) Now put your feet up on the bed and lay back.
Joxer does what he's told and Gabrielle puts her feet on his legs. Joxer was hoping he could hide his pride by leaning forward. He grabbed her feet and gave her a gentle massage, as Gabrielle let out a few light moans, as she rolled her eyes back. Joxer couldn't help but think naughty thoughts about her. He hit one place on her feet that made her squeal. He smiled as he looked down and hit that spot again. She pulled her legs up away from him and let out a deep breath.
JOXER: Did I hurt you? I'm sorry I didn't mean to!
GABBY: No you didn't hurt me. (Sighs) I'm fine, just fine. (Clears her throat) Just give me a minute.
APHR: Turned on, but she doesn't want you to know it.
JOXER: What is it then? (Crawls next to Gabrielle)
GABBY: Just need to relax after that.
Gabrielle rolls over and looks into Joxer's eyes, he raises his eyebrows. She rubs the back of her hand on his face, he takes her hand in his and kisses it.
APHR: Well don't stop there, stud-muffin. (Giggles)
GABBY: Joxer? (Sits up) It's good of you to stay with me like this. (Sighs) Sometimes I wonder why you put up with me.
JOXER: Well you put up with me, that's more than most people in my life do. (Pats her hand)
APHR: Enough talk, how about some action?!
Gabrielle takes his hand and rest her face on top of it, as she looks up at him. She fights to keep her eyes open but fails and Joxer tries to move his hand, she grabs it pulling him closer to her.
JOXER: If you weren't asleep I'd. . .
APHR: Well you're on your own, lover. (Leaves)
JOXER: Ok, now what?
Joxer just stayed on his knees until Gabrielle cuddled against him and nuzzled his knee. He let out a small whimper, as he looked down and saw the sheet wasn't covering her as good as it was before, but still covering her pretty good. She had a good hold on his thigh now with both arms. He panted and felt weak.
JOXER: Ah, um?! (Voice breaking) Mommy.
Joxer knew he couldn't stay like this all night, so he slowly started to lay down. Gabrielle had his leg so tightly it was hard not to fall over and land on top of her. He was very frustrated by the whole thing by now, he sighed. This wasn't his fault so she couldn't be mad at him in the morning.
JOXER: Yeah, but she will be.
Gabrielle moved her hand up to Joxer's hip and laid her head up on top of his thigh. Her sheet was only covering the bottom half of her body. He could kind of make out one of her breast that was up against his leg. This was pure torture for Joxer, he laid there wondering how he could get out of bed without waking her up and go take care of something. He moved his leg slightly only to have her roll her her body up to his. She made little contented noises then slid one of her legs over his chest. He froze, trying desperately not to look at her naked body which was snuggled as firm as it could get to his dressed one. He looked over at the bathroom door, trying in vain to think about something else. It didn't help that she wriggled her hips closer to his waist and he could feel her warm body parts, as she did so. He shut his eyes but that didn't help either, he couldn't sleep like this. He grabbed hold of her leg and moved it off of his body. He opened his eyes and wondered how far up her leg he had just touched. He smiled as he looked past her legs to the sheet and covered her the best he could without looking. Once done he was only going to take a quick peek to see just how covered she was, but when he looked at her she rolled over putting her head on his chest. Joxer was surprised when he realized he was free to get out of this compromising position. He was just moving to get up when he felt her arms drag him back down. He gasps, then sighed and rolled his eyes.
JOXER: Oh gods! (Groans) Why are you doing this to me?
Gabrielle put her head on the fur of his armour as she moved her leg up his legs. Her knee stroked over his private area and he let out a squeal. Her knee stopped at his navel, her arm was resting on his chest and he knew he'd be dead when she woke up.
JOXER: Maybe she'll be happy if she knows I didn't do anything to her? (Sighs) Nah, she'll still kill me.
Joxer was aching for her and there she was sleeping next to him naked. He couldn't do anything about it, not without her hating him more. She then buried her face in his neck, her soft lips planted delicate kisses there as she breathed in and out. Joxer groaned with a mix of frustration and pleasure. He knew it was going to be a very long night.
|ACT SIX: NOTORIOUS REACTIONS|
As a sleeping Xena lightly snores a leaf from one of the trees lands in her face, she rolls over. Mumbling something about killing Callisto and the snores again. Meanwhile back at the inn Joxer's shoulder had fallen asleep under Gabrielle's chest, he only wished at this moment something else would too. He moved his arm to see if that would help, it did in a way because she moved and draped herself on top of him totally. Her head was right under his chin, he had some of her hair in his mouth which he removed the best he could. He stared up at the ceiling trying to behave himself.
JOXER: Why? (Whispers) Oh gods, why me?
Gabrielle put her arms around his neck, her head moved next to his and she let out a small moan. This had a huge effect on Joxer he gulped as his heart thudded faster. He pondered if it would start beating so fast it would sound like drums and his armor a cymbal. He took both his arms and rested his hands on her bare back on each side of her spine. She let out another little moan before planting a small kiss on his cheek, he moved his head to look at her when her lips met his in a few more small kisses. His nervousness then intensified on the verge of panic, he was worried about what she'd do to him if her eyes were to open right now. Then Gabrielle grabbed the back of his head and pushed him into a huge long wet kiss.
GABBY: Mmmm! (Muffled giggle)
Joxer's arms fell as his whole body gave into passion from the kiss he was getting from Gabrielle. It was foreboding. It was forbidden. It was just plain wrong. It was worth any amount of pain he'd suffer later. Besides she seemed to hunger for his lips and she had started it, not him. He had just gone for a walk and she's the one who did the rest. However his lips were feeling pretty numb at this point, then he had an idea. When she did wake up, he'd act like he was asleep. He knew he had been very lucky to think of it, because just then he heard the sound of protest in her voice. He felt her back off him, as she let out a loud gasp. She grabbed the sheet and covered herself.
GABBY: Oh my gods! (Snaps her fingers) Joxer?! (Sighs) Good he slept through it, at least he won't tease me about it. I gotta get outta here before he wakes up.
Joxer opened his eyes and Gabrielle gasped, then she gave him a forced smile. He blushed and rolled his eyes, before looking at her once more. Gabrielle bit her bottom lip, wondering if he knew something of what she had done while he was asleep. He let out a grin.
JOXER: Seems I fell asleep, sorry?
GABBY: Not a problem. (Sighs) I did it myself.
JOXER: What did you do? (Raised both eyebrows)
GABBY: Nothing! (Pauses) Um, went to sleep. I went to sleep too. I woke up, you woke up just now. (Giggles)
JOXER: Uh, huh?! (Chuckles) What are you hiding from me? (Gabrielle gasps) Huh, Gabby? I know your nothing is always something.
GABBY: It is nothing Joxer, forget it.
JOXER: Oh no, no, no, no! (Points at her) You have to tell me now, so spill it?!
Gabrielle snatched her clothes from the nightstand and ran to the bathroom, as her sheet fell to the floor just before she could slam the door behind her. Joxer got a quick flash, but it wasn't not long enough for him to make anything out. A smile washed over his face anyway, he got up and picked up the sheet before knocking on the door. Gabrielle's eyes shut tightly.
GABBY: What?! (Whispers) Oh gods, what do I do now?
JOXER: Oh Gabby?! (Chuckles) I have your sheet.
GABBY: You know what you can do with it?! (Dressing)
JOXER: Oh is that so?! (Clears his throat) Well I'll be waiting for an answer when you come out of there. (Whispers) Maybe another kiss as well? He, he.
Gabrielle looks at herself in the mirror, she can't believe she's blushing and her jaw drops.
GABBY: He can't know the truth. (Sighs) I can't let him know, he'd never let me hear the end of it and neither would Xena. (Grunts) What can I do? What can I tell him? I don't want to lie to him, but I have to.
Then Gabrielle looks closer to herself in the mirror. Joxer knocks on the door again, she sighs.
JOXER: Gabby, I have something I need to take care of myself you know?!
GABBY: Yeah?! (Whispers) I'll just bet you do.
Gabrielle opens the door, avoids looking at Joxer and sits on the bed. Joxer goes in and shuts the door he takes off his armor. Gabrielle looks at the door, the clangs form it come from behind the door. She giggles, as she hears it hit the floor and hears Joxer falling down too. He moans in pain, she stops laughing.
GABBY: Joxer, are you alright?!
JOXER: I'm fine!
Gabrielle hears him as he mumbles, she looks down and grabs his boots. She picks off some hay on them.
GABBY: What's keeping you so long?!
JOXER: Ah, um?! (Whispers) You're all over me naked half the night and you ask me that? (Scoffs) Women?!
Gabrielle hears slashing and Joxer picking up his armor a few moments later. Then the door opens, he's got his armor in his hand and a small cut on his cheek, she gets up to tend to it.
GABBY: I knew you hurt yourself when you fell down in there. (Sighs) You've got to look out for yourself.
JOXER: It's not that bad.
GABBY: No. (Slaps his back) But I worry about you.
JOXER: You do?!
GABBY: Sure me and Xena that is.
JOXER: So what's the big mystery you're keeping from me about last night? (Gabrielle gasps) Well Gabby?
Just then there was a knock on the door. Gabrielle got up and put her head just outside the door, to her horror it was Xena standing there. She took a step out, shut the door and looked at her friend.
XENA: Gabrielle, you haven't seen Joxer have you?
GABBY: Um, why would I? (Forces a laugh)
XENA: I'm worried about 'em, woke up and he was gone.
GABBY: Well Joxer's a big boy, he can take care of himself you know? (Smiles) So just go back to camp and I'm sure he'll be back there before you know it.
XENA: Why don't you wanna come help me find him?
GABBY: Um?! Well I. . . (Xena smiles knowingly)
XENA: Is there some reason you don't want to look for Joxer? (Raises an eyebrow) Perhaps the reason you're trying so hard to hide from me behind this door?
Gabrielle's jaw drops as Xena rushes past her and into the room, she turns to see Xena looking around. Joxer was in the bathroom hidding in the tub. Xena casually turned to Gabrielle and they both laughed, then Xena took a few steps. Much to Gabrielle shock Xena knocked on the bathroom door, then went inside. She picked up the water jug walked over and dumped it in the middle of Joxers back. He screamed when she grabbed his ear on top of it and pulled him out of the small room. He dropped his armor on the floor, it made a few clangs and she let go of him. Gabrielle blushed, as her hand went over her mouth.
XENA: Joxer I was worried about you. Mmm, but I see Gabrielle has had everything well in hand, hasn't she? (Sighs) Look if you to wanna be alone, not that I want to know about it mind you. Ahem, but all I ask is that you don't make me worry about ya. Ok? (Walking out) I will be waiting back at camp, Joxer, Gabrielle.
Xena walks out the open door and marches down the stairs, she walks out of the inn. Joxer and Gabrielle come down the stairs and sit at table across from one another. They order breakfast and eat it without a word, each wondering how they would explain all this to their best friend Xena.
|ACT SEVEN: ALL THE LOOSE ENDS|
Aphrodite popped in on Joxer and Gabrielle as they started out of the inn. Gabrielle eyed a fruit stand and decided to get some for later. Joxer looked on as she bent over to pick up an orange she had dropped, before she rejoined him. Slowly they made their way back to camp with the goddess of love watching over them as close as she could. Xena looked up from Argo's saddle bags when they walked out of the forest.
XENA: It's about time you two got here.
JOXER: It's my fault Xena.
GABBY: No it's both our faults, we're very sorry about all this and we got some fruit for all of us.
XENA: Got any apples for Argo? (Gabrielle nods) No matter what I can't stay mad at either of you.
Xena hugs both Joxer and Gabrielle at the same time. Joxer puts his arm around both women. Aphrodite sighs. They all sit around the fire, as Joxer and Gabrielle tell Xena almost everything. Aphrodite tisks them for not telling Xena everything. Xena knows both of them are hiding something and she raises her eyebrow.
XENA: And?! (Silence) Mmm?!
GABBY: There is no and.
JOXER: No and, not one and.
APHR: No and, they want to tell you.
XENA: Sure. (Takes a plum) Didn't Joxer tell you?
Joxer gulped in fear of Xena's next words. He was very aware of Gabrielle's eyes as they focused on him.
GABBY: What is it, Joxer?
APHR: Tell her, studmuffin.
XENA: No, huh? (Chuckles) He'll tell you later I'm sure of that. You both tell me nothing happened with you two, right?
JOXER & GABBY: Nothing.
XENA: Uh,huh? Then why was Joxer hiding from me in the bathroom tub and you Gabrielle? Why did you not want me to know he was there with you?
GABBY: We didn't want you to get the wrong idea.
JOXER: Yeah, the wrong idea. (Looks away)
GABBY: But you got that anyway. (Turning red)
APHR: Oh she got the right idea, sweetie. (Giggles)
Gabrielle picks up a banana. Xena looking at Joxer who's nervousness she noticed at once. Aphrodite sat next Xena and giggled. Gabrielle started to peel the banana which caught his eye as he turned to look at her. She slowly puts it in her mouth, as Joxers thinks a dirty thought about it. She quickly finishes it off.
GABBY: What in Tartarus makes you think he wants me?!
Xena smiles at Joxer them looks back at Gabrielle who is getting very up set and talks to Xena like Joxer is not even there with them.
GABBY: I mean he likes that two bit tramp Meg! (Joxer looks down at his feet) Though gods only knows why?! (Huffs) I sure don't understand it! (Pauses) Not that I care of course! He can do what he wants to do with any tramps he wants to! (Sighs) Which I'm sure he will!
APHR: Yeah and you don't care at all do you, sugar?
XENA: Gabrielle? (Looks shocked)
GABBY: Xena, all he cares about is his libido! It's just really sad, he's never has felt real love like what Perdicus and I had. I don't think. . .
XENA: No you don't think, Gabrielle! How would you know whats Joxer's heart, huh?! (Sighs) Maybe if you'd let your guard down around him you'd find out!
APHR: You go, Xena! (Giggles) Tell her good!
Joxer having enough of Gabrielle's viciousness got up and drug himself saddly away from both her and Xena.
GABBY: Joxer?! (Sighs) Come back I'm sorry, I rea. . .
XENA: Gabrielle! (Standing up) Lemme go talk to 'em, I think he's heard more than enough from you right now and so have I. (Walking off)
GABBY: But I. . .
Xena coldly walks away without looking back, as Gabrielle sighs. Aphrodite stands up.
APHR: Oooh! She got you where you live, didn't she?
Xena finds Joxer at the old bridge looking down from it. He turns to look at her with a face full of tears. Rain started to fall on them all of the sudden.
JOXER: Don't come any closer to me Xena. (Sobs) I'm gonna jump and nothing you can say will stop me.
XENA: No, but something I can do will stop you.
JOXER: Xena I. . . (A thunder clap stops him) Xena?
Xena grabs Joxer's arm and pulls him into her with a hug. Gabrielle walks onto the bridge with Aphrodite behind her. Xena gives Gabrielle a look.
GABBY: What's really going on with, Joxer?!
XENA: Might I ask you the same thing, Gabrielle? Tell me and him both what's really on your mind!
APHR: Yeah, tell them so we can get out of this weather! (Whimpers) I wanna be dry!
GABBY: What are you talking about?!
XENA: I just kept him from killing himself over you!
JOXER: Xena, no, don't! (Thunder clap)
GABBY: What?! Joxer has feelings for me?
XENA: Yes! So tell 'em about Meg, how jealous you are!
GABBY: Me?! (Scoffs) Jealous?!
APHR: That's right! (Thunder claps) You're Jealous!
XENA: That's the real reason you hurt him so much! (Thunder claps) He really does love you!
Before anything else could be said lightning hit the bridge taking a big chuck out of it. Gabrielle and Joxer screamed. Xena tried to shoe them off of it but it was too late the bridge fell apart sending all four of them plummeting into the darkness below.
To be continued in... THE OPEN SPOT LIGHT.
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