Life's Twists

by EpTalk and Gypsy

Disclaimer: Any resemblance to the characters belonging to Renaissance and MCA/USA was calculated with no copyright infringement intended in this collaborative story composed solely to entertain. Any resemblance to the real life people who are characters or TPTB of Renaissance and MCA/USA is pure luck! Other characters are the creation of two writers learning the struggles of collaboration via email.

Chapter One:

"Bob! Bob!" echoed down the long hallway just before Lacy stormed into her very large and luxurious master bedroom. She threw her tightly packed bag onto the bed along with a huge diaper bag filled with all the items Janus, her 8 month old baby son would need on any given day.

"Lacy?" Bob replied as he just stepped out of the whirlpool bath and began fumbling with his large terry cloth towel, wrapping it around his slender waist.

"You don't have to scream. These walls aren't castle thick you know." Bob said as he began looking around for the clothes he had laid out to wear just before his whirlpool bath.

" I am really mad today Bob and I might just do something even your Xena wouldn't think of," Lacy snapped as she began to unbutton her dark blue silk blouse and slip off a long tan skirt. She kicked her sandals half way across the room and began grabbing more comfortable clothes from her dresser.

Bob walked toward Lacy while shaking his head and having his thinning hair spray water droplets all around and landing small droplets of water on Lacy's shoulder.

"Calm down honey. I asked Peoria to make us a nice simple dinner because I hoped we might get in a movie tonight. You know how a good movie, maybe a big fight scene will cheer us both up. We could go after Danielle and Janus are to bed," Rob rambled as Lacy was still fumbling with her slacks.

As Lacy threw her hair off her shoulder and brushed her bangs back from her forehead with a stroke of her hand, she threw the pair of Bob's jeans from the bed, directly into his stomach, hitting with enough force, Bob changed his grin to a squint.

"Of course your drawer's aren't twisted. It wasn't you out there today in the pouring, freezing rain trying to figure out what purpose does this scene have," Lacy growled.

Bob took the flying pair of jeans in both hands and slipped them on while still walking closer to Lacy as she stood to adjust herself.

"I know honey. I thought of you when the storm warnings indicated it was a perfect day to film that scene outside of Meg's tavern. Great timing for Mother Nature, don't you think? Saves all the cost of artificial rain, " Bob said with a childlike giggle in his voice.

Lacy stepped right up to Bob, eye to eye as she grabbed tightly the waist of his jeans. She suspiciously snapped the top of the pants while her other hand reached to slowly move the zipper upward.

"Wet Xena look, huh. I know you Bob! " Lacy said in a teasing tone. "You like the kill 'em all look, do ya? I know you like to try wild and crazy things but c'mon Bob, these things aren't working. You may have out done yourself this season. You are almost about to cook my goose and …well, it is MY goose!"

"Oh sweetheart, are you worrying about your career, again?" Bob said in a patronizing tone. "You'll never have to want for anything, I take care of my family."

"Bob! We discussed this before we got married! I want my own career, I don't just want to be someone's wifey all my life! I have goals & dreams too," said Lacy with conviction in her voice.

"Do you have any idea what has happened to the ratings since those new writers have taken over? We were riding high, the show had an edge, a quality of genuine character charm. But when we lost Ted Roebuck to his own show and my character has become erratic and egotistical. It's apparent they couldn't handle my pregnancy," Lacy stated in a serious tone.

"Lacy," Bob interrupts, "I am quite torn with keeping up three shows in case you haven't noticed. Okay so it didn't work to keep those Hercules writer's around. Talk about pressure with sales and getting syndicated guru's to let me keep that time slot left little time to hire staff on a speculative budget."

Bob quickly gave a brush through of his hair as he smiled at himself in the mirror and suddenly interrupted the topic of conversation with a "let's eat! I'm starved."

Lacy went to the nursery to find Danielle had already lifted Janus from his crib and had him smiling. Danielle enjoyed his funny little faces and the extra fun Janus added to her weekends at her Mom's home. "Janus, there's Mummy. You want to play piggy back ride?" Danielle said.

"No piggy back rides just yet, Danielle" Lacy told her older child as she took the baby in her arms and escorted both her children downstairs for dinner.  

Lacy and the children joined Bob already seated in the small family dining room. She placed Janus in his highchair, handed him a teething ring and gave him a quick peck on the cheek before taking her seat beside Bob.

"Okay troops, let's dig in" Bob stated as he was already filling his plate with a heaping of the lamb casserole. "Hey buddy, you'll be chowing down in no time," Bob told his little boy as he gave him a quick little pat on his head.

Troops? Danielle thought, as she rolled her eyes, took her seat quietly and then expressed a help me look at her mother. Danielle had asked her mother earlier on her cell phone at work if she could sleep over at a friend's house but Bob had said no to this idea.

"Danielle don't you want to stay home with us and visit?" asked her mother a little hurt. "We only see each other on weekends, since I work such long hours during the week".

"Well aren't you and Bob going to out to a movie, Mummy?" asked Danielle in a whiney voice. "How can I visit with you if you're NOT here?"

"No sweetie, I'm too tired from WORK and WEATHER to go out and see a film," said Lacy while looking at Bob. "You can go to your friend's house another night, I'd like to stay home, talk & relax tonight."

Danielle hung her head down starring at her dinner, forcing a bite of lamb in her mouth as she stuck out her bottom lip to pout.

Bob was looking at Lacy as he chewed his lamb and again mentioned wanting to go to a movie. He interrupted Lacy and Danielle to say, "the movie theatre is relaxing. My week hasn't been so great really. I might get some fresh ideas off the screen, you know how that always inspires me."

Janus interrupted Bob by beginning to cry loudly just as Lacy was about to finally enjoy a warm bite of her lamb."ALRIGHT! I'm too tired for all this!" yells Lacy as she jumps from her chair and pulls Janus up from his high chair.

"BOB! Can't you get any of your own ideas without ripping off someone else's movie!" strikes out Lacy as she quickly started walking out of the dining room to go upstairs with the baby. "Since everyone wants out of the house tonight, yes! Danielle, call you friend's mother and tell her you can come over after you finish your dinner!" Danielle leaped off her seat with glee, running to the phone to call. Her protruding lip already set back to natural form.

Chapter Two

Bob finished what was left of his meal and went upstairs to his wife and son. He walked into the nursery to see his little red headed son suckling from his mother's breast as Lacy rocked back and forth in the same chair she used to feed and calm Danielle, so many years before. Bob started to speak, but Lacy put up her hand signaling Janus was asleep as she gently placed him in his crib and checked the baby monitor to be sure it was on.

Together Bob and Lacy then walked downstairs, quietly.

"Peoria is about to go home for the night. I guess she could give Danielle a ride to her little friend's house," noted Bob as he continued teasing Lacy about the movie and asked "what do you have in mind for us tonight my pretty warrior mom?"

Lacy turns to face Bob, her blue eyes blazing, "I didn't have an argument in mind, but since you insist on NOT listening, it's what you're going to get! Sometimes I DON'T understand what you're trying to depict to the audience. For instance what was the purpose of my character standing in the cold rain for that long today? Just to show that the Gods don't get wet? "

"You know, Bob this time next year I hope to be working on a film. A good film with good actors and directors. Time isn't standing still for me and it would be nice to have our show end decently.

"I want a movie career where I can choose between a number of scripts I think suite me. I don't want to end up replaying "The Warrior" time after time. I have more than that in me, I dream of winning Oscars and I'm not going to get that opportunity with the pack of writers working for us now."

"Also today I here the only woman we had writing for us is leaving the company? Those scripts Ann Mannix wrote were most always from a human perspective, a woman's point of view. Her words had meaning, she had no need of explosives and blood."

"Bob, you have got to do something to get this show back on track, take tighter control of the reins. For me?" pleaded Lacy nearly in tears.

Bob was reminded of the range of emotions his wife could exert and the reason she was chosen for this role he created. The role she made her own and brought to the forefront to become a character now loved all over the world.

"Okay Lacy, keep yourself calm, honey. If you will ask Peoria to take Danielle, I have something I think you should see in my office. I was gonna tell you about Ann another time and you're right that we are in a bad crunch with writing, that's all correct. I forget you know the show and feel of the audience better than I. I've been buried with problems with those darn half hour shows and perhaps I need to get one out of three right, huh? "

Bob changed his expression to the look of the Executive that Lacy needed from him. He headed through a doorway just off the foyer leaving Lacy to deal with Danielle's visit to her friend's house.  

Lacy walked toward her daughter that was waiting for a ride to her friend's house. She wrapped her arms around the twelve year olds' shoulder, hugging her as close as she could and said, " You know how much I miss you during the week?" Danielle joined in the hug and glowed at her mother's expression of affection.

Just then the housekeeper came from the kitchen with her bag in hand and coat on.

"Peoria, would you mind taking Danielle to her friend's house?" asked Lacy.

"Yes, I don't mind, I go right by" answered Peoria.

"Thank you", responded Lacy.

Remembering what her husband said Lacy walked back to his office, curious what he had for her.

Lacy stood in the doorway watching Bob as he went looking through his phone directory, finally locating the number he wanted.

"Ok I'm back what is it I should see?" inquired Lacy.

"I have just what you need, honey. It came to me earlier today. You have just the right way to get my attention as always. This is it! this is it ! " Bob shouted as he found the phone number and quickly dialed.

After only a few moments with the phone to his ear, Bob began speaking loudly.

"Hi there, this is Bob over hear in New Zealand. Renaissance, yeah that's right, that's us. Listen," Bob continued, "I need you to get on the horn and see if you can get Katie Langley over here. This isn't just one of those hope you can situations. I've got just the right part for her on Xena, Warrior Princess and we have to have her."

Bob listened intently looking upward to Lacy with a grin as if he had something exciting up his sleeve. Suddenly he resumed his phone call saying, "get back to me pronto on this. I'm not going far from the phone and you've got my number. Thank you."

Bob returned the phone to its base and began waving some papers in the air. "Lacy, you are going to like this one. I'll get the writer's together first of the week and see what they can do with Katie. I have just the plot to get the show back on the charts. Gabrielle and her own female love interest. You betcha that will raise attention again and of course you my fiery eyed wife will save them all."

"Well gee Bob. Getting Katie Langley would be great. It would bring in quite a number of viewers since she has such a huge following. But Gabrielle already has a love interest. My character! Unless she'll be a villain and I see through it…Hey we already did this episode! I hope your writers come up with something better than that, " said Lacy as she stormed out of the study.

Bob gasped with surprise at Lacy's quick reaction and his confidence fell lower than his shoes. He didn't even have a chance to tell Lacy the script in hand was his own and he had written Gabrielle to think of leaving Xena. Gabrielle would admit to villains that her love was not returned. Bob began to question why Lacy would not like a re-hash episode with a villain like Tajara. She had worked really well, Bob concluded.

The phone rang to interrupt Bob's thoughts as his first hope to have Katie available was answered with a yes pending timing and contract price. Timing would have to match up with Katie's latest album tour.

Bob hung up the phone feeling pleased he had such a good chance for this guest star yet his mood was less than happy because he knew THIS writing staff could not do the stars justice.

Bob remained disappointed about the movie and became absorbed thinking about some budget numbers and spread sheets he had left at the studio office. The door closing echoed in the foyer as Bob went to the garage and decided to do some work at the studio only a few miles away from his and Lacy's Auckland home.

Lacy knew she would have to somehow take the bull by the horns herself.

Remembering back to the beginning of the show, she smiled at the thought of having such a diverse group of people with the company. And how each had their own special touch that went into each episode. Lizzie Freeman was one such person and a good friend of Lacy's.

Lacy went immediately to the phone to set up a brunch meeting with Lizzie at her home.

Just after that Lacy called her co-star, that has also grown disgusted with the show, Gigi O'Hara.

Lacy looked at the clock, reminding herself Danielle was staying the night at her friend's, but wondered about Bob.

Just then she heard Janus cry, and went to the nursery. Lacy nursed Janus, changed his diaper and sang a lovely lullaby to put him back to sleep.

Feeling exhausted from the events of the long and grueling day, Lacy headed for bed herself.

Only wondering of Bob's whereabouts, she slid under the covers and quickly fell asleep.  

Chapter Three

This buck stops here position sucks about now, thought Bob after he had struggled with budget numbers, considered the pressure of having only a few months to create a show to fill the open thirty-minute slot. Suddenly, Bob realized the time was early morning already. After growling out loud, he left to go home. After he climbed the long stairs, he slipped quietly into bed, careful not to awaken Lacy.

Bob slept late and soundly as Lacy rose early as always. Spending time with Janus and putting him down for his short morning nap, Lacy quickly dressed without stirring Bob at all and headed downstairs to ready for her guest who were due any moment.

"Ding Dong"

Lacy answers her front door to find her good friend Lizzie Freeman standing at the door as Gigi walked right up the sidewalk at just that exact moment. Both entered the doorway into the large foyer as Lacy greeted them with a large smile and welcome.

"Oh thanks for coming Liz, it's good to see you, it's been a while. I was so glad you're here at your second home in Auckland." Lacy said as she greeted her guests giving a quick hug to her friend and co-star, Gigi.

"It's good to see you Lacy, how's the new baby?" asked Liz.

"He's growing like a weed, I'll bring him down later, he's napping now" said the proud mom.

"He's a huge cutie Daddy's boy is what he is Liz," noted Gigi with a large smile.

"Let's sit in the sunroom and have some tea" Lacy offered she and Gigi hugged as always and led Lizzie to Lacy's lovely sunroom.

Lacy and Gigi talked openly and explained to Liz that since she had left, a new group of writers had taken over the show, totally botching up the core of the characters and something had to be done quick to save the final season.

"Yes Lacy, I have tuned in once or twice to see how the show was doing. I have to admit the relationship between your characters has gone down the toilet almost. Gigi you have been extremely impressive. Your fighting change looks good but you get lost in the story, to put it mildly" said Liz nearly laughing.

"Thanks Liz, some days I feel my character has developed a split personality," Gigi commented with a grin.

"Liz, the big, big reason I called you is it's pretty obvious we seriously need your help. How about you writing a script for us, you can free lance?" pleaded Lacy.

"We need a grand start for our next and final season, one that the other writers can follow. What do ya say?" begged Gigi.

Liz looked excited saying, "There were some things I've always wanted your characters to say and do, it sounds great. I'd love to write for the show again. But why didn't Bob call me himself?" asked Liz.

"Bob doesn't seem to get it Gigi and I have tried repeatedly to make him understand. Only the falling of our ratings have awakened him slightly. But he doesn't seem to know how or he is too busy with the other shows to fix it," explained Lacy.

"I'm not giving Bob choice here. He knows my motivation and this is just not the time to question me on this," Lacy stated emphatically. I do have some good news for you both. Bob is trying his best to get Katie Langley to make a guest appearance if that helps to inspire you on this script, Liz.

Lacy seemed to gush with that proud announcement, giving credit to Bob for one right move.

"Oh ya that helps a whole lot not to mention it's good to hear he's still making those deals," Liz said shaking her fist and laughing out loud.

"Now when do we get to see that new baby?" inquired Liz and Gigi.

Sounds stirred Bob slightly as he heard Janus' baby laughter echo up the stairs. Lacy must be entertaining the real King of the Castle with someone, Bob thought as he elected to take a few more quick Z's before facing the day.

"Bob, Bob? How about getting up it's nearly noon." Lacy quietly demanded.

"Huh, it is? Already?" mumbled Bob.

Lacy told Bob about Lizzie Freeman's visit and she and Gigi both loved the chance to see Janus. Bob was very pleased to hear his son had given the guest one of his cute expressions as he thought himself the little fellow was certainly entertaining.

"I've got Scarlet watching him this afternoon so I can have some time before Danielle gets back" Lacy rambled to the semi-awake Bob as he gathered himself and prepared to take a shower.

Lacy continued to talk and roam around the bedroom changing her clothes and slipping into her sweats. She usually did an early morning workout routine but with her company, she now just wanted to get in at least the treadmill before too late of the day.

"Oh ya Bob, Lizzie, Gigi and I got to talking about the show and how the popularity of the show had declined. After all was said and done, Lizzie would be excited to free lance a script for us. Something special for the season opener, an arc the less familiar writers could build on," Lacy advised.

Seeming surprised, Bob blurted out, "who's been talking? You ladies are working the deals now? Lacy did you cook up this little idea honey? Who did you say asked Lizzie to write a script for us? You think I need my wife to take over here or what?" Bob said as he developed a displeased expression on his face looking squarely at Lacy who was sitting on the bed.

"To be honest. Yes, I did plan all of this. You try hard but the fact is you and those writers have lost the feel of the characters completely. Your scripts have great stories in concept maybe but they have NO clue what Xena or Gabrielle are really all about. They are loosing the fans with each line they write and I told you, I can't have that this last season. Gigi was equally disgusted if you had taken time to notice. I hope you don't feel it too much of a betrayal?" Lacy asked as she turned to look at Bob.

Bob grabbed some clothes from the closet, tossing them across the bed and began walking toward the shower room giving some growling sounds as if he was angry.

"Ah c'mon Bob. You need to listen. It's time to take drastic measures. If we don't, this final season will just fall flat and that's not what I want and it surely isn't going to help your production future. No doubt in my mind that we owe Gigi better. After all the hard work she and I have put into this show, we owe ourselves a grandeur of an ending to these 6 years" Lacy rattled out without taking any breaths while she spoke.

"I told you before I'll not play the warrior forever and that will be all that is sent to me," Lacy sternly continued while poking her index finger into the mattress. Bob saw his wife's expression as proof her mind was made up."Look honey," Bob interrupted. "I worked on some numbers last night and I've got this thing in control. I will get the writer's back on track if I have to edit every word myself. You have Lizzie give me a buzz and I would be glad to talk to her about free lancing."

"Well you know I'm really sorry to take action without talking to you first. After a day like yesterday I really felt like you needed some shaking up. Bob, you just weren't listening with so many other things going on in your head. I know that you worked all night last night, but Bob you just don't get it through your head. I'm serious and it's not negotiable!" Lacy scowled at as she headed downstairs and Bob stepped into the shower.  
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