That Damned Kiss
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.
This story contains adult themes of a sexual nature.
The idea for this story came to me after reading a post by Jacqueline Carey on the Chakram mailing list.
L.N. Jamesís fan fiction story "Breaking Bread" is referred to and may be found at http://www.eve.net/~timwellman/lnjames1.txt. Also, "The Tweak Factor" is
Catherine M. Wilsonís (gods, what will she come up with next?!).
FADE IN - BACKGROUND MUSIC: JOE LO DUCA MIX FEATURING THE SONG "KISS" BY THE ARTIST FORMERLY KNOWN AS PRINCE
EXT. - MIDDAY, BUSY DOWNTOWN AUCKLAN... er... ATHENS
INT. - WAITING ROOM OF A PSYCHOLOGISTíS OFFICE
Xena and Gabrielle sit on a sofa. Xena sharpens her sword. Gabrielle fidgets.
GABRIELLE: (touches Xenaís arm) Xena?
GABRIELLE: Tell me again... Weíre here because...??
XENA: Because Tyldus said we need to come to terms with some difficult emotional issues... said he thinks weíre a little confused.
GABRIELLE: (nervously) Difficult emotional issues? Confused?
XENA: Yeah. He was talking some rubbish about ambiguity and subtext... kept mentioning a Tweak Factor thing. It was all Greek to me. Can you make sense out of it?
Gabrielle doesnít answer. Gets up; wanders over to a fish tank in the corner of the room. Leans down; taps the glass at a goldfish. The goldfish backs up; scared look in its eye. A bigger, black fish suddenly swims protectively in front of the goldfish; narrows its eyes at Gabrielle.
GABRIELLE: (offended) Hey!! (starts to stick her hand into the tank)
XENA: Donít even think about it...
GABRIELLE: (withdraws her hand) I was just going to practice.
XENA: You can practice with me later.
GABRIELLE: (excitedly) Alright! (walks to a painting of a peach hanging on the wall; admires it)
Xena, canít you think of ANY emotional issues we havenít resolved?
XENA: (put her sword back in its sheath) Well, letís see... Thereís still that little matter of you trading my whip.
GABRIELLE: (rolls her eyes) Oh, for Zeusís sake, Xena! I got your dagburn whip back, didnít I?
XENA: Yeah, but do you really expect me to use it now, knowing what Hower and Minya did with it?!
Gabrielle notices a bowl of red gummy bears on the table; picks up a handful. Goes to Xena; puts one between her lips.
Gabrielle pops one into her own mouth; tucks the rest inside her bilious green sports bra. Xena gives her a puzzled look.
GABRIELLE: (giggles) Iím saving them for later.
Gabrielle plops down on the sofa. Xena starts polishing her chakram.
GABRIELLE: So, you canít think of ANYTHING else that could be an issue between us?
XENA: No, Gabrielle, I canít.
Gabrielle frowns at her; picks up a magazine from the table; flips through it. Comes across a hot tub advertisement.
GABRIELLE: (touches Xenaís arm; holds the magazine open toward her) Xena, look at this!
XENA: (eyes widen) A hot tub would be much more fun than what weíre doing right now.
GABRIELLE: Thatís for sure! (impatiently looks at the door to the doctorís office) How much longer do we have to sit out here?! Is she trying to drive us insane?!
XENA: Calm down, Gabrielle! This is a DOCTORíS office. What did you expect?
Gabrielle continues to peruse the magazine. Turns to an advertisement for "Bound."
GABRIELLE: (holds the magazine up again) Xena, THIS looks like a good play. Itís being performed at the Disney Theater on Friday. Maybe we could go.
XENA: (looks intently at the ad) That DOES look interesting, Gabrielle. But, donít you remember?... We have tickets to see "Grease" on Friday.
GABRIELLE: Oh... yeah. (tosses the magazine back on the table) Xena, what do you think the doctor is going to talk to us about?
XENA: Dunno. Sure hope she doesnít ask any sensitive questions.
GABRIELLE: (touches Xenaís arm) Donít worry, Xena. Iíll handle the sensitive ones.
XENA: Yeah, right. We all know how YOU handle sensitive questions!
XENA: Gabrielle!... Really.
GABRIELLE: Xena, what else COULD I do?!
XENA: You could have answered, Gabrielle!
GABRIELLE: Gosh dang, Xena! If Iíd answered that question, next thing you know theyíd be asking me about that damned kiss!
XENA: What are you saying? Thatís old news. We dealt with that a long time ago.
GABRIELLE: No, we didnít Xena! Avicus keeps cutting the "Excuse me, but what just happened between us?" conversation out of every episode.
XENA: You mean we STILL havenít talked about that kiss?!
GABRIELLE: No! Not a mention of it! Not a word! Not a syllable! Not even in the subtext!! WE HAVE LEAP-FROGGED RIGHT OVER THAT KISS!!
XENA: (hangs her head) So THATíS why they changed the hot tub scene at the last minute!! I never did believe that excuse about my hands... (mockingly) "Oh, but, Xena, your hands will get all pruney if theyíre under the water the ENTIRE scene!"
GABRIELLE: And, remember how the scene was supposed to end?! Who says you canít hold your breath THAT long?! I think they should have at least let you try!
XENA: (winks) Yeah, Iíll just bet you do!
GABRIELLE: Xena.... (tears start to form in her eyes) I donít know whatís going on anymore. Iím so confused. One week Iím sucking on your neck, the next week Iím sucking on Perdicusís... uh... neck.
Xena arches an eyebrow.
GABRIELLE: (quickly continues) Then, one week, Iím kissing you under the stars, the next week youíre dumping me to run off and eat fruit with Meg. The next week, Iíve got my fingertips all over your face, weíre looking deeply into one anotherís eyes... weíre embracing! Before I know it, youíre kissing Ulysses! (says more calmly) ...Not a very convincing kiss, by the way.
XENA: Give me a break! You try kissing plastic man!
GABRIELLE: Whatís up with this season?!! I canít take much more of this hideous tweaking thing!! We canít go on like this!!
XENA: Youíre right, Gabrielle.
GABRIELLE: What are we gonna do??
XENA: I donít know. Donít panic.
GABRIELLE: Xena, please stop saying that.
XENA: When did I say that?!
GABRIELLE: Duh! You say that every week. In fact, you say that almost as much as you say "Do it!"
XENA: Gabrielle, stick to the show.
GABRIELLE: (smiles demurely) Sorry. Xena?
GABRIELLE: What are we gonna do??!
XENA: (under her breath) Talk about recycled lines! (suppresses a grin) Calm down, Gabrielle.
GABRIELLE: Xena! Cut it out!
XENA: (playfully) Now what?
GABRIELLE: Donít do that!
XENA: Donít do what? I have many skills.
GABRIELLE: I mean it, Xena!
XENA: Hold on, Gabrielle.
GABRIELLE: Iím warning you.
XENA: (mischievously) What are you saying?
GABRIELLE: STOP IT XENA!!!
XENA: I thought you liked this banter. You said "A Day In The Life" was your favorite episode!
GABRIELLE: (miffed) I shouldnít have answered that question either.
XENA: (rolls her eyes; hugs Gabrielle) Okay, okay... everythingís gonna work out.
GABRIELLE: Xena, what ARE we gonna do?? If weíve never talked about that damned kiss, how do we know?
XENA: Know what?
GABRIELLE: (rolls her eyes) Did we or didnít we?! Will we or wonít we? Are we or arenít we?!
XENA: (flips a dinar in the air) Heads, we are... tails, we are.
Salmoneus enters; catches the coin before it comes down; pockets it.
SALMONEUS: Ladies! How nice to see you!
XENA: Salmoneus! What are you doing here?!
SALMONEUS: Iím here with Herc. Heís next door with Salena in the Veterinarianís office.
Xena and Gabrielle exchange looks.
SALMONEUS: Xena! Your fans loved you on "Something So Right!" Have you ever thought about doing a musical? Tickets would sell like fishcakes! And, Iíd be happy to offer my services as your manager.
XENA: Hmm... thatís an interesting idea.
Gabrielle gives her a dangerous look.
SALMONEUS: Well, you let me know. See ya later! (rushes off)
GABRIELLE: Xena, you promise me you arenít going to become some character in another show until we get things settled between us! Weíre tweaked enough as it is!
XENA: Maybe youíre right, Janice.
GABRIELLE: Xena! You just called me Janice!
XENA: I did?! (southern accent) Oh, my!!
GABRIELLE: Oh, please! My hair has NEVER been that blonde!
GABRIELLE: Yes, love?
GABRIELLE: Thatís what I call you on the alternate fan fiction pages. I kinda like it. You should read how Iím REWARDED for calling you that!! Actually, you should read how Iím... well... you should read!! In fact, I just read something that we could try tonight... You see, first weíve gotta find an inn, and then....
XENA: What are we gonna do about that damned kiss?!
GABRIELLE: Letís sleep on it, Xena.
GABRIELLE: Hey! Wait! Thatís it!! Letís sleep through it!
XENA: What are you saying???!
GABRIELLE: God dang, Xena!!! STOP WITH THAT, once and for all!!!
XENA: Furk!! Iím so sorry! Iím not doing it intentionally, you know. Itís the writers.
GABRIELLE: (takes a deep breath) Okay, picture it... New Xelan... er... Greece... next season... first episode... itís morning... same campsite as always... I wake up and...
XENA: (perplexed) I thought you said weíre going to sleep through it?
GABRIELLE: Let me finish. I wake up and look around. Youíre no where to be seen. I get up and walk over the bank to the stream. Youíre bathing.
XENA: I know whatís coming... Gabrielle, we donít want to wear out the bathing together thing.
GABRIELLE: No, no. I donít get in with you. And, no, not yet.
XENA: (blankly) What not yet?
GABRIELLE: (seductively) Me. You know... coming.
XENA: Gabrielle, donít get me started. Weíre in a doctorís office!
GABRIELLE: The Xena in fanfic wouldnít care about that. One author has us... literally... in a tavern full of people!
LUCY: Good Lord!
GABRIELLE: I kinda like the idea... You see, it starts out when this woman asks Gabrielle to pass the butter...
XENA: Gabrielle! Finish telling me about what weíre going to do next season!
GABRIELLE: I am! Then, the waitress comes up and pretends she doesnít notice that Iíve got my hand between your legs...
GABREILLE: You gotta lighten up, Xena... You know stop and smell the fish... er... flowers once in a while.
XENA: (restraining herself) GABRIELLE... TELL ME ABOUT THE EPISODE!
GABRIELLE: Okay, okay... Where was I? Oh, yeah... so, youíre bathing, and I say, "Xena, I think we should talk about that kiss." And you say, "What kiss?" Then, I say, "THE kiss." And you say, "Gabrielle, every time you sleep on a rock you have these strange dreams." I say, "Huh?" You say, "It was just a DREAM, Gabrielle. Now, come and help me catch some fish for breakfast."
Xena stares at Gabrielle.
GABRIELLE: Well?? What do you think??
XENA: Gabrielle, Tyldus will never buy it. What producer would just wipe out an entire season by calling it all a dream?!!
Suddenly, the door to the doctorís office opens. Patrick Duffy steps out. Xena and Gabrielle exchange looks.
GABRIELLE: (smugly) You were saying??
Xena smirks at her.
PATRICK DUFFY: (over his shoulder to the doctor) Thankíya kindly, doc. See yíall next week. (Nods at Xena; smiles broadly at Gabrielle) Hey, Renee!
RENEE: Hey, Patrick!
PATRICK DUFFY: Mighty nice tísee ya, Darlin. Howís your Momma?!
RENEE: Sheís good, Patrick. Thank yíall for askin!
PATRICK DUFFY: Yaíll come up with a cliff-hanger for next season yet?
RENEE: No!... thatís way down yonder. Weíse still tryin to reckon whatís goin on right now.
PATRICK DUFFY: Well, take it from me... Theyíse nothin like a good ole cliff-hanger to brang them fans round Ďgin next season!
RENEE: Much obliged. Weíll remember that there lil piece of advice.
Patrick Duffy waves and hurries out.
Oprah Winfrey sticks her head out of the doctorís office.
OPRAH: (motioning for them to come inside) Alright, ladies... Come on in. How can I help you OUT?
XENA & GABRIELLE: (look at each other with raised eyebrows; they both look back to Oprah; then back to each other. They shake their heads) Nah!
As they follow Oprah into her office, Gabrielle seems to reconsider and starts to say something to Xena.
XENA: (silences her with a raised hand) Gabrielle! Tyldus would NEVER buy it!
FADE OUT - "DALLAS" BACKGROUND MUSIC PLAYS