The Way She Were
Disclaimers: This parody is the sequel to "Friend in Need of Therapy" and will make even less sense if you haven't read that one. Same disclaimers apply. Thanks to Rocky, Lyraine, D.J., and Elles for the beta-reading and the advice, some of which I took.
Xena, Gabrielle, and Argo II ride up to an oddly familiar-looking temple.
X: This is it -- the temple of Mnemosyne. She'll help you forget that dreamscape thing, and then you can forgive me. You will forgive me, won't you?
G: We'll see. And I thought it was "Mnemosene."
X: That's what I said.
G: No, I mean with an "e," not a "y."
X: They sound exactly alike! How could you tell which one I said?
G (loftily): I'm a bard. I have many skills too.
X badly wants to respond but remembers that she's still in the doghouse. She settles for rolling her eyes.
G: I saw that, Xena.
X: How could you see that? You're sitting behind me!
G: One of the many sk...
X turns in the saddle and gives G an evil Look.
G: We'll discuss it later.
X: Oh, joy.
G: Less than you think if you keep talking like that. Help me down, would you?
Muttering -- but making sure to do it out of G's line of sight -- X dismounts and then helps G off the horse.
X: You can still change your mind, Gabrielle.
G: No, I want to do this.
X: I mean change your mind about letting me come with you.
G: Not a good idea.
G smirks inwardly, remembering the ritual bath she got last time. She's still hacked about the Akemi thing, and a little payback in kind would serve the Warrior Princess right. Not that the WP has to know that.
G: Argo II might get lonesome if we both go. You should stay here and keep her company.
X: That's no reason.
G: Well, then, someone has to guard the temple.
X: Someone has to guard you.
G: Xena, we've been over this. I'm all grown up now. I can do my own killing. But thank you for caring.
X (sulking): Didn't say I do.
G: I love you too, sunshine. Anything you want me to forget for you while I'm in there?
X: You could forget that you're mad at me.
G: Nice try, Xena. (Gives her a little smooch) Back soon. Be nice.
Morosely, X watches G go -- and waits about a second and a half before she follows. But instead of G, she finds a priestess inside the temple.
X: Where's Gabrielle?
PRIESTESS: She's on her journey of forgetting.
PRIESTESS: We kept her bowl from last time. We knew she'd be back if she kept hanging around with you.
X: I'm going to pretend I didn't hear that. Which way did she go?
PRIESTESS: I forget.
X sticks the sword point under her chin.
X: You're not funny. Now do you remember where she went?
PRIESTESS: That way.
X: Could you be a little more specific? River of Blood? River of Ice? River of Fire?
Exasperated, X sheathes her sword.
X: All right, fine -- I can always kill you later. You be here when I get back.
PRIESTESS: If I remember.
As X stomps off, the priestess picks up a cell phone and dials.
PRIESTESS: Mnemosyne? Me. She's on her way. Is Gabrielle ready?
MNEMOSYNE'S VOICE: She's been ready for a few seasons.
PRIESTESS: Go, girl.
Meanwhile, X has reached the River of Blood. There's no sign of G. X kneels and sticks a hand into the river to test the water; her hand comes out bloody.
X: Old news.
ARES: Oh, I don't know -- I think it looks good on you.
X jumps up and draws her sword.
X: I thought I smelled rat. What are you doing here?
ARES: I was here last time. I'm part of the package. Problem with that?
X: Knew I should have killed you when I had the chance.
ARES: Love you too, babe. So what's the occasion? You finally see the light and come here to forget the irritating blonde? Or did she come here to forget you?
X: She's not irritating. (Considers) Not all the time. And she's not here to forget me.
ARES: Bet she is.
X: She is not. She loves me.
ARES: Really? You sure about that? She was pretty mad about the eel in the bedroll. No sense of humor at all. Mind you, I laughed.
X: It was just a practical joke.
ARES: And she practically smacked you silly. Like I said, no sense of humor.
X: She thought it was funny enough the time the chickens outwitted you.
ARES (hotly): They did not outwit me! I was giving them a head start! Can we not talk about me, please?
X: Thought you'd never ask. (Sheathes her sword again) Look, I've got to find Gabrielle. So if you'll run along and play with yourself...
ARES: Still denying your feelings, Xena. You know you want me.
X: You be the last mammal on earth, and we'll see. Now get out of my way.
ARES: I just don't know what you see in her.
X flips herself over the river to the other bank. Of course her sword and chakram stay on, and her hair still looks good.
ARES: You'll be sorry! She'll make you crawl for dying on her for the rest of your life! For longer than that! She'll chase you through Tartarus with a pitchfork!
X (muttering): More old news.
X decides to cut to the chase and go straight to the River of Fire. As she enters the cave, she finds G lying on the opposite bank in a trance, wearing only a sheet.
X: Oh-oh. Toga party. (Grimly) I'm going to dust her for fingerprints but good.
X: No, it's me. Xena. Your whole life.
X: You're just seeing visions. Only your memories. Wake up now.
G: Najara? Can we do that on the horse again? Please?
X (to herself): She'd better not have. She never did that with me on a horse. Argo always told us to get a room. (To G) Hang on, Gabrielle! I'll save you!
X flips herself through the flames to the other side. Of course she's not even singed, and her hair still looks good.
X: Oh, please -- that was one episode.
X: I was in his body that time, and you know it. (Shakes G gently) Come on now. Rise and shine.
G: Chinese redshirt?
X: I mean it. Wake up.
G falls silent for a few seconds.
X: Don't insult me, Gabrielle. (Tries to pry her eyelids up) Wake up now. You can do it.
G's eyes open slowly.
X: Attagirl. You scared me for a second there. You all right?
X thinks it over. When in Rome...and G does look awfully fetching in that sheet.
X: I'm here.
G: Kiss me.
X decides not to think about the implications and bends down to obey. But just before she makes contact, G goes off again.
G: Perdicus! Perdicus! I yearn for your burning lips! For your savage loins! Take me like a beast!
Stunned, X pulls back. Then she starts shaking G hard.
X: Wake up!
G: Now, Perdicus! Right here in the town square!
X can't stand another syllable. She picks G up, slings her over a shoulder, and staggers into the temple proper, where Mnemosyne is waiting.
MNEMOSYNE: Sweet dreams?
X: I'll kill you for this later, sister. Right now, you just fix her.
MNEMOSYNE: Fix her? What do you mean?
X: She's lost her mind. She's raving about that farmboy she married for a couple of hours.
G (dreamily): Perrrrrdicus.
X sets her down on the floor and starts fanning her with the chakram frantically.
X: No, Gabrielle. It's me. You've got to snap out of it. Please?
MNEMOSYNE: You seem resentful of her memories.
X: Of course I'm resentful. The guy looks like a big chipmunk. She's throwing me over for a chipmunk.
MNEMOSYNE: Well, you did stay dead on her.
X: In the dreamscape! One time!
MNEMOSYNE: And you kept fooling around on her even after you died. It's not nice to fool around on your soulmate, Xena. Not even in the dreamscape. Especially not with lying, conniving, weasely jailbait.
Desperate, X jumps up and grabs Mnemosyne.
X: You bring her back now, or I'll carve The Iliad in you.
G: As if. You barely read comic books.
X whirls around. G is on her feet, very much awake.
X (overjoyed): Gabrielle!
G: You heard me. (Enunciates with insulting precision) Per-di-cus.
X: You mean you were awake for all that?
G: Wide awake. I was acting.
X: You were acting?
G: I was acting. They should give me an Emmy for it, too. Want to hear the part about the savage loins again?
X, positively disgusted, stomps off in a huff. Her hair still looks good.
G: Thanks. I owe you.
MNEMOSYNE: No charge -- I hated that dream too. Is she going to be all right?
G: Xena? She'll get over it. And if she doesn't, there's plenty more where this came from. Next time, I'm going to make her pay for that Snow Falling on Cedars thing.
MNEMOSYNE: You may want to make her pay for the tattoos next time, too. It's still a few centuries early for traveling carnivals.
G: Just the tattoos? What about that Akemi bitch's rotten poetry?
MNEMOSYNE: Oh, my gods, yes. And what about Xena's taste in arson shoes?
They have a pleasant spitefest at X's expense. When G finally leaves the temple, X is sitting on a rock, sulking.
G: Mad at me?
G: Going to get over it?
G: Not even at bedtime?
X: I'm sleeping on the couch, remember? (Scowls) I can't believe you went out and bought one just so you could really make me do it.
G: Only 29 more days, Xena.
X: Make it 29 hours.
G: Two weeks.
X: Sunset today, and that's my final offer.
G: You drive a hard bargain, Warrior Princess.
X: It's the savage loins. They make me irritable.
G: Are they savage?
X: Very. (Looks around to make sure they're alone) What are loins, anyway?
G whispers in X's ear. X pulls away in revulsion.
X: Gabrielle, that's gross.
G: Don't look at me -- I don't write romance scrolls.
X: And I suppose you're going to blame me for that. You're going to say I don't give you enough material.
G: Not enough to me personally. To the rest of the known world, and all the ships at sea... (Sighs) Well, I'll be nice and say you've been generous.
X: Don't you start on me about Caesar again. The Tapert made me do that, too.
G: I'm not starting. Yet.
X: Ares was right. You are going to chase me through eternity with a pitchfork, aren't you?
G: If you're lucky.
X: So am I better than Perdicus?
G (coyly): I forget.
X: Well, cupcake, it's no trouble to remind you. Sunset good for you?
G: Sunset's fine. (Beat) In 29 days.
G climbs up on Argo II and rides away, pulling the couch behind her. Her hair looks fabulous. Argo's, too.
07.25.01, K. Simpson
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