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The Rift

by Danae

The characters of Xena: Warrior Princess are owned by MCA Pictures and used here without permission.

No copyright infringement was intended in the writing of this story.



Xena and Gabrielle stroll along.

GABRIELLE: (watching the waves rushing to shore; touches Xena's arm) Xena! Look at that! It's beautiful!

XENA: To me, it's the most ordniry place on earth.

GABRIELLE: (cocks her head) What do you mean?

XENA: (rolls her eyes) Gabrielle! It's not like you haven't seen this place before. That's the SAME beach where all our adventures take place... that is, when we're not in that SAME cave, or on that SAME path, or approaching that SAME village, or that SAME fortress... that SAME castle...

A recycled extra runs into the scene. Xena gives him 'the look.'

RECYLCED EXTRA: (embarrassed) Oh, sorry, love... Thought that was my cue. (runs off)

GABRIELLE: That's... yeah, that's strange, isn't it? You know, it reminds me of a story. Would you like to hear it?

XENA: I'd love to.

GABRIELLE: (spreads her palms in front of her) It's about this guy who wakes up every morning to the SAME song playing from a musical time-telling thing. And, he walks through the SAME scenery each day. See, he...

XENA: ...recognizes the power of being given a second chance and transforms himself into a loving human being who makes up for his past.

GABRIELLE: (grips Xena's arm) That's right! How did you know that?!

XENA: Just a lucky guess. (rolls her eyes again)

GABRIELLE: Xena, do you ever wonder about the future?

XENA: Have you been into the nutbread again, Gabrielle? You know all I ever think about is my past!

Marcus runs up to Xena. Funeral dirge background music plays.

MARCUS: Keep thinking of me. (kisses her)

Gabrielle clears her throat; gives them both a perturbed stare.

MARCUS: Oh, sorry... I thought that was my cue.

GABRIELLE: (insistently) Xena, isn't it about time you told him?

MARUCS: Told me what?

XENA: (sighs) Marcus, I'll always love you, but things are different now.

MARCUS: Different? (looks around) What's different? Everything is exactly the SAME!

XENA: Marcus, I used to think your ways were all there was for me. Now... well...

MARCUS: I think I know what you're trying to say, Xena.

XENA: You do?! Tell me, quick! I don't want to end up on Bloopers again!

MARCUS: Xena, the rumor in the Elysium Fields is that you have a thing going with Miss Artiphys.

Xena and Gabrielle exchange surprised glances.

XENA: Well, something like that...

MARCUS: I'm happy for you, Xena... As long as you're really having more fun these days.

GABRIELLE: (leans over and whispers to Marcus) You have NO idea!

Marcus runs off.

Suddenly, a low rumbling is heard.

GABRIELLE: Xena! Did you skip breakfast again? How many times have I told you?... Breakfast is the most important meal of the...

Xena silences her with an upheld hand. She listens intently. The ground begins to shake.

GABRIELLE: (grabs Xena's arm) Xena, what's happening?!

XENA: (eyes wide) Don't know yet. Stay calm. Don't panic.

More thundering noise; the earth rocks violently.

GABRIELLE: Is it a giant? A titan?

XENA: (narrows her eyes; steps protectively in front of Gabrielle) Don't think so. Even the biggest, meanest giant who ever walked the earth couldn't do this.

The sound of breaking rocks is heard as the quake continues.

GABRIELLE: Xena, did you do something to defy the gods?!

XENA: (sharply) No! ...Well, unless you count defying gravity and coming back to life, but I've been doing that for a year and a half now... Never seemed to bother them...

Xena's eyes are drawn to a crack forming in the ground at their feet. Before she has time to react, the earth splits open, creating a wide chasm between them which extends to each horizon. Xena falls down hard; her face hangs over the edge of the divide.

XENA: (bored expression as she looks into the gully; says to herself) ...that SAME gorge...

As the cleft continues to widen, Gabrielle, on the other side, is jolted almost over the edge. She holds on by her fingertips to keep from falling into the abyss.

XENA: (struggles to her feet; screams at the top of her lungs) GABRIELLE!!!

GABRIELLE: (grunting and gasping) Xena! I can't hold on!

XENA: Hold on, Gabrielle! (peers into the ravine, looks around, can't figure out what to do)

GABRIELLE: (one hand loses its grip momentarily) I CAN'T hold on!

XENA: (backs up a pace) Gabrielle, don't take your eyes off me!

GABRIELLE: (looks at Xena over her shoulder) Xena! No!! Don't do it!!

XENA: Why not?!

GABRIELLE: You don't have a rope!

XENA: (looks down at her waist and frowns) Oh... yeah.

Petracles runs up to the ridge; stretches his hand down. Gabrielle does a double-take.

PETRACLES: Come on, Gabrielle!

GABRIELLE: (strains to grip his arm) I gotcha!

Petracles pulls her up to stand next to him.

GABRIELLE: (clutches his arm) Petracles! You're alive!

PETRACLES: You're very perceptive, Gabrielle.

GABRIELLE: (hugs him, then starts pummeling him) You made us think you were dead!

PETRACLES: Gabrielle, it was the funniest thing... When Xena lifted the ambrosia out of that bowl, a little piece happened to fall right in my mouth... And... here I am!

XENA: (yells across the gap) Gabrielle! You alright?!

GABRIELLE: (yells back) Yeah, I'm good!

XENA: What are you two doing over there?!

PETRACLES: (looks across the gorge, waves at Xena; whispers to Gabrielle) It's that trust problem of hers again, isn't it?

GABRIELLE: (smiles demurely, puts a hand on his armor) It's probably more of a jealousy problem now... Our relationship has changed a lot since we last saw you.

PETRACLES: Well, then, THAT'S too bad. (points a finger into the crevasse) I guess the rumors are true.

GABRIELLE: Rumors?... Oh, no, you see, Miss Artiphys is really...

PETRACLES: Not THAT rumor, Gabrielle. ...The one about the rift forming between you and Xena.

GABRIELLE: (gazes at the chasm; mouths the words) A rift??

PETRACLES: Well, glad I could help, but I gotta run.

GABRIELLE: (puts her hand on his arm) Wait! Where are you going?!

PETRACLES: I've got a couple million dinars' worth of treasure to sort through. See ya! (he runs off)

XENA: (yells) Hey! Isn't he going to help us?!

Gabrielle doesn't hear her; keeps staring into the gap.

XENA: That figures! (mutters) The ambitious, ruthless, dominating, conniving liar...

GABRIELLE: (yells across the gorge) Xena! Do you know anything about a rift?!

XENA: (yells back) A rift?! What are you saying?!

GABRIELLE: Petracles said he heard a rumor about a rift developing between us!

XENA: (eyes become very wide; head snaps down toward the canyon in front of her) Oh, no.

GABRIELLE: I haven't heard anything, have you?!

XENA: (innocently) HEARD anything?! No!

GABRIELLE: (puts hands on her hips) Well, this certainly looks like a rift to me! And, we all know what can happen when a rumor gets started! ...Remember that story I told about the days when you traveled by ship?! ...Next thing I know, the entire known world thinks you used to be pirate. ...As if your reputation wasn't bad enough already!

XENA: (still staring into the bottomless pit; says to herself) Damn! ...It must have been that interview I gave to the town crier.

GABRIELLE: Xena, what are we gonna do?!

XENA: (under her breath, looking into the darkness below) What have I done?

GABRIELLE: Come on, problem-solver, what are we gonna do?!

XENA: (still under her breath, gazing into the cavity) It's all my fault.

GABRIELLE: Xena?!! What, am I talkin to myself here?!

Xena looks up at her.

GABRIELLE: You know, Xena, this is serious! The adventure season is only half-over, and just look!! (points to the ravine) That might as well be the Tasman... er... Mediterranean Sea between us! How are you gonna get back?!

XENA: (dejected) Maybe you'll have to handle the remainder of the season on your own until I find a way over there!

GABRIELLE: Oh no... that's what you said when you took that spill with Argo and had to spend two months recuperating on the isle of Lesbos! I understood that... after all, you were hurt! But, I'm not going to work by myself the rest of the year!

Faint voices come from the bottom of the chasm. Callisto background music plays.

FIRST FAINT VOICE: You need more time off, Xeeena??! ...I'd be delighted to work with your little friend again, Dear!

SECOND FAINT VOICE: Nu-uh, Callisto! Gabrielle has a special place in MY heart... she's MINE! But, first, YOU have got to go! WAHAHAHA!!

Ephiny runs up to Xena. Amazon background music plays.

EPHINY: Xena! Was that... HER?!

XENA: (puts a hand on her shoulder) Don't worry, Ephiny. She's still busy fighting Callisto. (glares over the side of the ridge)

EPHINY: (relieved) Good! Fighting Velasca wasn't high on my list of things to do today.

GABRIELLE: (waves enthusiastically) Hi, Ephiny!!

EPHINY: (waves back) Hi, Gabrielle!! (notices Xena has dislocated her shoulder) Xena, that shoulder's dislocated. Let me help you. (punches Xena in the arm with all her might)

XENA: Merci, Madame!

EPHINY: Oh, please!! Don't remind me! I couldn't wait to get back into my Amazon costume! (runs off)

GABRIELLE: As I was saying, Xena, I refuse to work alone again!

Xena gives her a sly grin; starts to say something. "Joxer the Mighty" background music plays.

GABRIELLE: No!! ...I'm not going to work with Joxer!! What are you thinking?! I'd go completely insane! ...And, all because some idiot started a rumor!!

Xena narrows her eyes angrily; Gabrielle notices.

GABRIELLE: Xena! YOU didn't start the rumor about this rift, did you?!!

Xena looks away, whistling.

GABRIELLE: Xena!! You didn't!!!

XENA: Now, take it easy...!

GABRIELLE: (fuming) First, you mess with my scrolls, then you practically erase my ear off my head... You refuse to take me with you to help King Lias... and now this?!!

XENA: Relax, Gabrielle, it's not what you think!

GABRIELLE: (screaming) HOW COULD YOU?!!!

XENA: Gabrielle, yell at me later! You'll ruin your voice screaming across this gorge! (under her breath) We've got to work on those hand signals.

GABRIELLE: (turns away from Xena; waves fresh air on her face) Patience, Gabrielle, have patience. (turns back around) Okay, Meg... er... Xena! You tell me what happened!!

XENA: (grimacing) It must have been that interview!

GABRIELLE: Interview?! Xena, you promised you weren't going to do those anymore... You promised you'd stop... you said you always get into trouble when you do that!

XENA: I wasn't going to... but, well, they sent this woman to talk me into it... she said she'd given interviews to this particular crier many times... said it was nothing to worry about...!

GABRIELLE: A woman?!

DS9 background music plays.

XENA: Yeah!... called herself 'Dax'!... I figured any woman with an 'x' in her name had to know what she was talking about!

GABRIELLE: (grits her teeth) Xena! What exactly did you say during this interview?!

XENA: Nothing much, Gabrielle... perfectly harmless!

GABRIELLE: HARMLESS?!! (gestures at the gully between them)

XENA: Well, how was I supposed to know they'd take everything so literally?! Haven't the nitwits figured out I like to be dramatic?! You know... throw in a little authenticity for effect! I just used the word 'rift' to get their juices going!

GABRIELLE: Xena! It's MY juices you're supposed to get going!!

XENA: Oh... yeah!

GABRIELLE: I know talking isn't one of your many skills, but did you have to say 'RIFT?!' Why do you do that?!! You do have a reasonable vocabulary, don't you?! 'Rift' suggests a major split, a break-up, a... well... THIS!! (jabs her finger at the ravine again) Why couldn't you have said 'spat' or 'tiff'... 'tiff' is good... or you could've said that we 'argue'... even 'wrestle!'

Xena cocks an eyebrow at her.

GABRIELLE: Okay, okay... 'wrestle' would've been almost as dangerous as 'rift!' But, Xena, you gotta be more careful! You could've gotten us into some REAL hot water!

XENA: Hey!... A hot tub sounds good, Gabrielle!... Just let me get back over there... (looks around for a way across) Do you want to play 'hide the soap' again?! Or, maybe we could play 'go fish' this time!

GABRIELLE: Not THAT kind of hot water, Xena! I mean, this could've been much worse! What if you'd said a 'storm was brewing' between us?!... A cyclone could have picked me up and carried me into a completely different parody!

Cathbad appears.

CATHBAD: Oh, sorry, guys... thought that was my cue. (disappears)

GABRIELLE: Or, Xena, what if you'd said we needed some 'time apart?!' I could have been transported to another century!

XENA: Don't be ridiculous, Gabrielle! People can't just travel around in time!

Janice Covington and Melinda Pappas appear on Gabrielle's side of the gorge. "Xena Scrolls" background music plays.

MELINDA: (steps back a little from the crater, grips Janice's arm) Oh, my gudness!

JANICE: (to Gabrielle) How ya doin, Sweetheart? (scans the rift, shakes her head, looks disapprovingly at Xena) That's no way to treat a lady!

Janice and Melinda disappear. Xena and Gabrielle exchange raised eyebrows.

GABRIELLE: Whatever. Okay, Xena, what ARE we gonna do?!! I can't lose you again!!

Autolycus runs up to Gabrielle, sweeps her into his arms, and lays a passionate kiss on her lips.

XENA: (nostrils flaring) Autolycus!! So help me! Take your hand off her butt!!

AUTOLYCUS: (naughty look in his eye) Oh, sorry, Xena! I thought that was my cue! (twirls his mustache, winks at Gabrielle, and runs off)

Xena begins to study their situation in earnest. She looks behind her; whistles for Argo. She licks a finger; holds it into the wind.

GABRIELLE: (starting to panic) Xena! This isn't going to be another one of your creative ideas, is it?! Now, I admit... you were right about the flying parchment! But, Argo is NOT Pegasus, and you are NOT Perseus!

Harry Hamlin appears; runs up to Gabrielle. "Clash of the Titans" background music plays.

HARRY HAMLIN: Finally! I was wondering how long it was going to take you guys to include me in your irreverent traverse across the timelines. 1981 wasn't all THAT long ago! You know, we had some awesome mythological stuff you could borrow... the Cracken, Medusa, the Stigian Witches, Boobo...

Gabrielle melts into his eyes, steps closer to him, lays a hand on his bicep.

XENA: (desperately) Gabrielle!! This is the SECOND season!! 'The Quest!' Remember 'The Quest!!'

GABRIELLE: (tears her gaze from Harry's full lips) Oh... yeah!

A brunette bacchae appears and saunters up to Harry. "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" background music plays.


HARRY HAMLIN: Now, this is more like it! Say, do you know where we can find some breakfast? (puts his arm around the bacchae as they walk away)

Xena remembers her idea to save the day. She grabs a blanket from Argo's saddle, unrolls it, pulls some rope from a pouch, attaches it to the corners of the blanket, folds the blanket up, and holds it in front of her. She backs up several paces; eyes the edge of the cliff.

GABRIELLE: (almost hysterical) Xena!! NO! Even YOU can't leap that far!!

XENA: (narrows her eyes) Gabrielle, it's my fault this rift came between us! And, I'm...

Ares runs up to Xena.

ARES: Yes, my sweet! It's all your fault! You're GUILTY!

XENA: Ares, what do you want?

ARES: Want? I want you back, of course... My Warrior Princess living as my Warrior Queen.

Miss Artiphys runs in. "Miss Amphipolis" background music plays. Ares sizes her up; he's speechless.

MISS ARTIPHYS: (winks at Xena) Oh, sorry, Girlfriend, I thought that was my cue. (runs off)

Ares returns his attention to Xena; gives her an evil grin.

XENA: Now what?!

ARES: We were talking about your GUILT. Come to think of it, we're ALWAYS talking about your guilt. (walks slowly in circles around Xena; looks over at Gabrielle, back to Xena; another evil grin)

You started that rumor on purpose, didn't you Xena? Personally, I always prefer an up front, face-to-face admission of what's going on between you and your... irritating, little blonde. Simply allowing the crier to broadcast your fears, without confronting them yourself, doesn't soften it. You're afraid of losing her, aren't you?!

Xena sneers at him.

ARES: You created this 'rift' to mask your own insecurity, didn't you?!!

XENA: Alright, I admit it!! I am guilty of starting the rumor!!! There is no rift!!!

ARES: Heh-Heh-Heh-Heh-Heh!!! It's about time you admitted it to yourself!! (Ares disappears, wondering what he just accomplished)

GABRIELLE: Xena! It's NOT your fault!! Don't listen to Ares!!

XENA: It's alright, Gabrielle! I started this, and now I'm going to finish it!!

Xena laughs darkly; focuses on the edge of the ravine again.

GABRIELLE: Xena! If you kill yourself, I'll never talk to you again!!

XENA: Gabrielle, if I die, you'd better talk to me! Remember, your voice brought me back from the underworld the last time!

GABRIELLE: (proudly) Oh... yeah!

M'Lila materializes; runs up to Gabrielle. "Destiny" background music plays.

M'LILA: Actually, it was ME who convinced her to come back to you.

GABRIELLE: (lays a hand on her arm) Oh... Thank you. I mean that.

Autolycus rushes up again; eyes Gabrielle expectantly. She and M'Lila both give him an annoyed look.

AUTOLYCUS: (embarrassed) Sorry... um... I was just... er... looking for Ellen... yeah, that's it... you haven't seen her OUT this way, have you?

Gabrielle and M'Lila give him a blank stare. Autolycus twists his mustache again and runs off.

M'LILA: Gabrielle, do you feel anger toward Xena... about the rift?

Gabrielle starts to answer but stops when she hears Xena's familiar war cry. M'Lila disappears.


Xena runs to the edge of the cliff and jumps as high as she can into the air. She unfurls the blanket and holds onto the ropes. The wind catches the blanket; she parachutes safely down onto the other side.

GABRIELLE: (runs to her) XENA!!

XENA: (takes her in her arms) Glad to see you!

GABRIELLE: Thank the gods! Xena, that was amazing! ...almost as amazing as when you jumped a hundred feet up into that tree to save Meleager from that guy with the crossbow!

XENA: (blushes) It was nothing! I'm just glad that rift is behind us! (kisses Gabrielle; leads her away from the ravine)

GABRIELLE: (squeezes Xena's arm) Xena?!

XENA: Yeah?!

GABRIELLE: From now on, I do the sensitive chats AND the interviews!

XENA: Agreed... unless the interview is with Oprah!


XENA: Yeah! I love that part when she knocks the mayor on his ass, not to mention the shiner she gives Harpo!

GABRIELLE: You know, Xena, a rift could never keep me away from you!

XENA: You're right, Gabrielle! (holds up her hand, thumb and index fingertip touching) You'll always be THIS close! (under her breath) But, only because I LET you get this close!

GABRIELLE: I heard that!

DANAE: You two can stop shouting now.

XENA & GABRIELLE: Oh... yeah.


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