GENERAL DISCLAIMER: I am not now, nor have I ever been a communist, therefore I do not own or pretend to own the rights to Xena, Gabrielle, Argo, Ares, and any other XENA character. They are, in fact, owned by Renaissance Pictures and Studios USA. I don't wanna make money off this story unless Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert wanna hire me to write for the show. *hint, hint, hint*
GENERAL DISCLAIMER PART DEUX: I do not know Reneé O'Connor, Lucy Lawless, Rob Tapert, Sam Raimi or any of the other XENA actors and crew. This is a conjecture piece stuck between clowns on the left and jokers on the right. Please don't e-mail me asking me to tell Reneé to be on Rosie O'Donnell's show or to tell Lucy that the name "Julius" will get her kid beaten up.
I know Rob Tapert wouldn't act like I have written him, but I've worked with a lot of producers...
I'm sure that Steve Muir would of course let Renee O'Connor watch a movie with more substance than some Van Damme film if that¹s what she wanted...(I personally would rather watch paint dry than watch Van Damme, but that¹s just me.)
SUBTEXT DISCLAIMER: Well...hmmm...think of it this way...I believe Xena and Gabrielle are lovers...if that ain't yer cup o' tea or WHATever, please go to another coffee house. There¹s no text like subtext...
VIOLENCE DISCLAIMER:Like, uh, DUH much? This is XENA not Barbie...well, there isn't too much violence, but it's still Xena, not Barbie.
LANGUAGE DISCLAIMER: She said a dirty word!! Yes, there are a few dirty words. The XENA crew are human after all...any of us who've seen Claire Stansfield at the conventions can attest to that. heeheehee
TIMELINE DISCLAIMER:I wrote the original treatment as I was catching up on the early episodes and watching the third season ones. As I write this version, I put it around the time of "One Against an Army" and "King Con."
DISCLAIMER DISCLAIMER: the moose who wrote all these disclaimers has been sacked....and now "Buckle your seat belts...it's gonna be a bumpy ride."
"Xena Lawless" by Magenta (Lori Bowen) (the_AURYN@angelfire.com), first authored as a treatment for a script August 1998. Written in Fan Fict format December 1999/January 2000. story copyright 1999 Kimyoo Films.
The dark warrior and her polar opposite travelling companion found themselves surrounded by twenty mercenaries in the dense forest near Ainos. It was well into the afternoon and by the looks of it, a nice warm day as the two women were half naked in their usual clothes of leather and armour for the Warrior Princess and a small green shirt and brown wrap around miniskirt for the Bard of Poteidaia.
Back-to-back, Xena and Gabrielle fought off the attackers; a sword thrust here, a swing of the staff there. They threw off the bloodthirsty warmongers like a lion throws off the hungry hyena who are aching for a chunk of flesh as victory.
Gabrielle lost control of her staff, it having come apart in the fray, and hit Xena, knocking her ass out.
Suddenly, and for no particular reason, all the action stopped. The formerly vicious mercenaries backed away, concerned for their enemy.
The blonde woman tossed aside the broken staff and knelt over Xena as other people, in odd clothing branded Levi's or jackets with "XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS CREW" emblazoned across the back rushed to her aid. A few of the more level-headed crew members ran to the doctor's trailer for practical help.
"Lucy? Are you alright? Can you hear me?" The blonde delicately brushed the dark woman's cheek, trying to bring her back to consciousness, yet afraid to try anything more forceful.
Another man, gangly and with an air of importance, broke through the crowd surrounding the two actors. "Reneé? What happened?" he asked as he slid his sunglasses to the top of his head and knelt to the downed woman's other side.
"I lost control of that damned staff, Rob, and hit her upside the head... It came apart again," she said, lifting the pieces to illustrate her point to the producer. Reneé turned her attention to the dark woman laying on the floor of the forest.
Rob silently held his wife's hand, praying she was okay, as the doctor thrust his way through the ring of people and looked at Reneé. "What happened?"
"The staff broke again, like I said it would, and I accidentally hit Lucy." Rob could hear the even more obvious I-told-you-so in the woman's voice as she addressed the doctor, but knew that her concern lay more with his wife than with trying to prove anything.
The doctor felt along the woman's neck to see if anything might potentially be broken. "I want to move her into my trailer."
No asking was necessary as two of the bigger members of the crew approached and helped Rob Tapert, Reneé O'Connor and the doctor gingerly carry Lucy Lawless into the trailer.
"Will she be okay, doc?" asked Rob, worried about the loss of time and daylight for that day's shoot...and his wife, of course.
The doctor turned on an overhead light and opened the unconscious woman's eyes one at a time. Reneé looked on, holding Lucy's hand, inwardly seething at Rob's typical producer reaction. *Forget your wife, we¹re losing the light...Jesus, Rob.*
The doctor then carefully examined Lucy's head and found a big lump where the staff made contact. "She got a pretty good knock, didn't she, Ren?"
The blonde woman nodded and clenched her jaw, not wanting to say anything at the moment should a derisive remark escape her lips. The doctor stepped away from the examination table and retrieved some smelling salts from a cabinet over the handsink. He broke the container and wafted it near Lucy's nose. Suddenly, the woman bolted upright, coughing, her right hand still wrapped around her co-star's. Her other hand immediately went to her head to survey the damage while her eyes darted around the unfamiliar room and people in it.
"Whoa, Lucy...it's okay. You're all right," soothed the doctor as he threw out the smelling salts and turned on the lights in the room. Rob stepped forward to wrap his arms around his wife as Reneé let go of her hand. "You okay, hon?" he cooed, waiting for the opportune time to ask his wife to go back to the set.
The dark haired woman pushed him away and leapt off the table, grabbing wildly at the sword that was usually on her back, then grabbing at the chakram and finding it an odd, rubbery material.
"Lucy? Come on...this is no time for jokes..." Rob moved forward, but stopped himself short as the woman he called Lucy drew herself up to full height and looked him dead in the eyes.
"Who's Lucy?" she asked.
Reneé stepped forward and reached out towards her friend. "Lucy, are you okay?"
"Gabrielle? What's happening? Why are you calling me 'Lucy'?"
Now, it was the doctor's turn to step forward. "What's your name?" he asked, considering what happened.
She sized him up, but found no visible threat in him. "My name's Xena." The raven haired woman turned her gaze on Reneé and softened. "Gabrielle, what's going on here?"
Reneé, concerned yet amused by this turn of events, lead her co-star to a chair. "You'd better sit down, Lu-...er Xena."
The three spoke in hushed voices four paces from where Reneé sat Xena. Curious and suspicious of the odd materials the chair was made out of, the dark woman sat cross-legged on the floor and studied it from every angle.
Reneé looked over her shoulder to Xena, then turned back to the doctor. "Okay, doctor. What's going on here? Why is she calling me 'Gabrielle'?"
"Well...the force of the hit knocked her out and put her brain into a form of temporary amnesia...right now, she's locked into the Xena timespace. You're Gabrielle, we're strangers. For all she knows or remembers, that chair is a monster that eats people's bottoms."
"How long will she be like this?" asked Rob, nervously.
The doctor shrugged at the producer. "It's temporary, but how temporary, I don't know." He looked over to Xena, who had moved on to more interesting things in the trailer. She found the cords to control the window's shutters and experimented with them, opening and closing the shutters, rolling them up, letting them fall back down.
"Is there any way to reverse it?" Reneé's green eyes sparkled with concern, very familiar with how Xena acts and reacts, afraid Lucy might inadvertantly hurt herself or someone else.
"Again, I don't know."
Impatient, Rob asked, "What if Reneé were to hit her with the staff again?"
The blonde woman stood up straight and narrowed her eyes at the smarmy producer. "Well, if we had gotten a new staff, like I had suggested the last time the damn thing broke, none of this would have happened...Rob."
The doctor looked at them both. "A petty argument will not help Lucy." He looked at Rob and shook his head. "It was a freak accident, Rob. To try and reproduce it could be harmful, perhaps deadly."
Reneé glanced over her shoulder and found Lucy's...Xena's penetrating blue eyes focused on her before she turned her attention to the swinging light that was over the table where she woke up. The blonde cleared her throat. "Doctor, you said that Lucy's stuck in the Xena timespace...does that mean that everything she's perceived Xena to feel she feels now as if it were her own emotion?"
The doctor nodded, puzzled at first, then looked behind Reneé to find the actor/warrior again studying her blonde counterpart. He chuckled. "Everything, Reneé." He watched, amused, as the blonde's cheeks coloured at the implication, then noticed that Rob had no idea what they were talking about.
All of a sudden the lights started to flicker on and off. "Hey, Gabrielle!! Check this OUT!" Reneé spun around to the lightswitch, finding Xena flicking the light amazed by it's effects, then, exasperated, stalked up a breathe away from the warrior, and pointed to the chair.
The woman complied with the issued command and sat in the indicated chair, right in front of the striking blonde, surprised by the blonde¹s forcfulness, leaving the lights off. Reneé reached past Xena's head and turned the lights back on. "Just sit there, Lu-XENA. Don't touch anything, okay?"
Xena spread a hand across her chest, her eyebrows arched feigning innocence. Reneé pursed her lips and arched an eyebrow of her own as she turned around and went back to the doctor and Rob. "Okay...what do we do until she gets her memory back?"
The doctor sighed. "Well, you're going to have to keep playing Gabrielle. All improv. Sleep on the ground, etc. Rob, go out and get Gabrielle's staff. Fix it, do whatever."
Reneé pulled Rob over to her as he started to walk out of the trailer. "Hide the sword and the metal chakram...get the rubbery sword. Start moving things away like cars and trucks, the camera, lighting, and crew members. Do not bring any of the horses around."
Rob tersely nodded his head and tried to walk out again, but Reneé pulled his arm and turned him back around as she realised something.
"Hudson and Kevin were supposed to come by the set today, weren't they?"
Rob shrugged. "Yeah, so? Bruce and Ted are supposed to be here, too."
"Rob...think for a minute, will ya? If Lucy's stuck in the Xena timespace, that means to her, Kevin is Ares and Hudson is Callisto. They pose a threat.
"Bruce and Ted don't pose a threat, per se...but they aren't like Autolycus and Joxer...do you grasp what I'm saying?
Rob looked at Reneé blankly. The doctor spoke up. "What Reneé is saying is that Lucy sees everything as Xena sees it, all her emotions and memories right now are those of Xena as she's been written not of the actress Lucy Lawless."
"Ohh...okay. I'll go tell them to not come then."
"Don't forget about the weapons, Rob," reminded Reneé as he left the trailer. Then she and the doctor walked over to to the injured woman.
"Hello Xena. My name's George. I'm a healer. You got a pretty bad bump there, ya know."
She smiled at the doctor. "Yeah. Where are we, Gabrielle?"
Reneé briefly looked at the doctor, then sat down next to Xena, looking deep into the blue eyes. "We're in a healer's hut, Xena, in a land called 'New Zealand.'"
The doctor cocked his head at how Reneé chose to handle the situation and crossed his arms over his chest, but kept quiet.
"Things here are a little different than in Greece. There's a thing called 'gravity' that makes all those jumps and kicks you do impossible."
Xena looked as though she was catching on. "Does it effect weapons too?" She held up her chakram for effect, the round weapon wobbling about. Reneé smiled.
"Yes, it does. It makes your weapons pretty useless. Even my staff is effected."
Reneé waited to let Xena take in all this information. "Where's Argo? Is she okay?"
"Argo's fine. She's back in Greece with...uh...Joxer." Reneé pulled a face at her choice of horse-sitters, knowing Xena would not approve, but it's the first thing that came to mind.
"J-J-JOXER?! I agreed to leave Argo with JOXER?!" gasped Xena as she bolted up from the chair.
"We were in a hurry, Xena. Besides, she's stabled in Amphipolis. Please sit down." Reneé relaxed a bit when Xena sat down, relieved to hear that at least her horse was in Amphipolis, near her mother.
"Okay...answer me this, Gabrielle: why are we here?"
Reneé quietly began to panic as Rob came back into the trailer with the rubbery sword and the hastily repaired staff. Xena narrowed her eyes at the producer and snatched their weapons from him. She, frowning, handed the staff to the blonde and sheathed her sword, then stood.
"Uh...is everything all straightened out?" he asked, a little nervously, hoping that maybe Lucy had come back while he was gone.
Reneé looked at him and stood up next to Xena. "Not really. George, would you mind filling him in? Xena and I have to start on our journey."
Rob stuttered as Reneé lead Xena out of the trailer and into the bright Auckland sunshine. The producer wheeled around to face the doctor. "Okay, what happened?"
"Ren decided to stick it out with Lucy as Gabrielle until she got her memory back. She's trying to explain why the weapons are rubbery, why she can't do those aerial movements and why there are a lot of weird things...you guys should ask her to write an episode or two..."
The doctor turned away from the stunned producer to tidy up the trailer. Rob followed, asking, "What did you guys mean when you and Reneé talked about Lucy feeling everything Xena feels?"
The doctor knew that Rob was finally assembling the pieces of the big picture, so he decided to be blunt. "You know how your wonder staff of writers had written in all those lines of 'subtext'?"
"Doc, all that's a hallucination..."
The doctor held up a hand to stop him. "Bullshit, Rob, and you know it. You don't have to see it to believe it. Xena and Gabrielle are lovers. So, do you know what that means?" Upon the blank stare, the doctor continued. "That means Lucy, as Xena right now, is in love with Reneé as Gabrielle. Lucy's stuck in the Xenaverse, Rob..."
Rob, disbelieving that his wife could be in love with her co-star, waved him off. "YOU got hit in the head or something...reading one too many of those stories the fans write, those 'Uber' things." The doctor gave the producer an Are-You-Stupid-? kind of look, then continued to tidy up the trailer.
"If it's true," Rob continued, "why are we letting them go off together?"
Not turning from his chores, the doctor replied, "It's the only way to do things right now, Rob. Lucy's Xena, Reneé's gotta be Gabrielle. We have to let the amnesia run it's course.
"Just sit, relax, and wait..."
Rob sat down in the chair that his wife had just gotten up from and put his head in his hands with his elbows on his knees.