YAXI; or Once More, With FeelingDISCLAIMER 1: Xena, Gabrielle, Autolycus, et al, are owned and copyrighted by Renaissance Pictures and Studios USA. I'm not trying to make money off this lil fict, I'm just having some fun. The rest is mine, copyright 2000 Kimyoo Films.
DISCLAIMER 2: I do not know Renee O'Connor, Lucy Lawless, Rob Tapert or any of the other fine individuals that make XWP what it is. Nor do they endorse either this fanfict or the one it continues, "Xena Lawless." THIS IS FICTION!!
TIMELINE / SPOILER DISCLAIMER: It takes place during the filming of "Tsunami" (ep #65). There are references to "Fins, Femmes and Gems" (ep #64). There may be slight spoilers.
LANGUAGE DISCLAIMER: Hey, we're human and so are they, so there're some naughty words in here. Being cosmically punished for my potty mouth is the LEAST of my concerns, believe me... ;)
SUBTEXT DISCLAIMER: I believe that Xena and Gabrielle are lovers; either you dig it or you don't. If you don't or it's illegal where you live or whatever bogus excuse you have, then don't read it. I don't need to have the possible corruption of youth, young or old, on my conscience.
SUGGESTION DISCLAIMER: I highly suggest that you read "Xena Lawless" before you read this one...I plan on making references and if you don't have the slightest idea what I'm talking about and can't seem to fake it, you're gonna be confused, m'kay?
EVENTS DISCLAIMER: Apparently, during the filming of "Tsunami", the tank next door to where the cast and crew were filming some dry scenes broke, spilling 5 million gallons of water. According to the Whoosh.org entry under "Tsunami," the director, John Laing, ended up in the branches of a tree while everyone's favourite bard and her illustrious sidekick were mushed against a chain link fence. I'm using this event, outrageous rumour or truth or outrageous truth-whatever, as a catalyst. The rest is fictional.
And I quote their disclaimer: "No cast or crew were singing 'Tanks for the Memories' during the production of this motion picture. However, the phrase "Strike the Set" was given new meaning."
DISCLAIMER DISCLAIMER: No disclaimers were harmed during the composition of this fan fiction, but amnesia seems to be going 'round so cover my mouth if you cough.
"YAXI; or Once More, With Feeling" by Magenta (Lori Bowen) (the_AURYN@angelfire.com)
story copyright 2000 Kimyoo Films.
Thanks go to Barry and Bill for answering my episode questions and to my mom's computer in conjunction with Whoosh! for the info.
This is dedicated to Evy, who didn't like the way "Xena Lawless" ended...
"Umm...Rob?" the plucky blonde piped in, peeking into the editing bay from a hallway of Pacific Renaissance Pictures.
"Not now, Renee," dismissed the producer. He really didn't want to talk to the woman, afraid of what he might say, so he kept his attention glued to the monitor in front of him as he and Josh Becker went over the episode "Fins, Femmes and Gems."
Josh could feel the tension. "Aren't you supposed to be on set right now?" he asked, curiously. He was on Renee O'Connor's side in this more-or-less silent feud, but knew Rob Tapert well enough - since the "Within the Woods" and The Evil Dead days - to know that his anger, deserved or not, was not easily dissolved.
"No, we're on break." Renee's patience with the producer was wearing thin. He had been weird since that whole amnesia thing with Lucy. *But I admit, so have I...* she added to herself.
The "Fins, Femmes and Gems" situation was a great example. The original script called for Gabrielle to be infatuated with Xena. The crew wasn't dumb, especially not Adam Armus and Nora Kay Foster. They could see what was going on, the surreptitious glances between Lucy and Renee, the physical contact between the two stars, all of it.
Rob was not happy that Nora Kay and Adam had written the Xena version of "The Puppy Episode," as Ellen DeGeneres' coming out episode was named. He instantly put a stop to that idea and had them rewrite it but with Gabrielle obsessed with herself. *You missed with that cheap shot, Rob.*
Renee stood in the doorway, the unscheduled break wasting away as she waited to talk to Rob. However, she wasn't there to talk to him about "Fins...", no that wasn't the pressing matter.
"Rob. I need to talk to you. Now. Please," she tried to control her mounting irritation with the producer as he stood up and walked out of the editing room without a sound.
"What is it, Renee? I'm a busy man." His tone was impatient and his eyes belied the anger bubbling just beneath the surface.
"I need to talk to you about the direction you're heading Gabrielle in next season."
"Renee, we've been over this before. It's a growth process-"
"I've been talking to the writers and they've told me that you've got Gabrielle all kinds of flipped upside down and inside out, eventually the goal is throwing away the staff?
"Rob, Gabrielle would not, in good conscience, run away from a fight, leaving Xena to fight alone, whether she can handle it or not. It's not in her personality to let other people defend her or die because she refused to defend herself."
Rob exhaled sharply after letting her say her piece, then put his arm around Renee's shoulders and lead her out of the building. "Leave Gabrielle to me, Ren. I made her, I know what's best for her, okay?" he said, trying not to be patronizing and failing miserably.
When they got to the door, Renee turned towards him and saw the anger in his eyes. She was tired of playing the game.
"Look, Rob, you have to separate your personal feelings about me from our professional business. It's affecting our work. All I did with Lucy was be there when she needed me. You worried about your loss of shooting time." With that, the blonde woman turned and walked out.
"I know what I'm doing, Renee," said Rob, all the possible meanings reverberating around in his head. *And I know what I saw and believe me, you'll pay for it.*
Renee stepped out into the cool Kiwi air, the sunlight reminding her that they were already well into the afternoon. A light breeze flitted across the compound as she walked back towards the soundstages that held the sets for "Tsunami".
*That's it, Rob...go ahead and give me crap scripts. I'll turn out the best performance I can every time,* she thought, hardening her resolve to make Rob Tapert feel like the ass he made himself into.
As she walked into the dark soundstage, Renee noticed Lucy sitting off by herself, brow furrowed in thought as she stared at a spot on the floor in front of her. She and Renee hadn't any time to talk about what happened, or almost happened, in the cave that night.
The blonde woman walked over to Lucy and sat down next to her. She gently elbowed her co-star in the ribs. "Hey...is something wrong, Lucy?" asked Renee at the weak smile offered to her as she sat.
Lucy looked deep into the green eyes before her. Renee lost herself for a moment, a blush gently creeping into her cheeks as it did often when she was in Lucy's presence. She, shyly, looked away.
"Y'know, Renee," started Lucy, her voice as soft as her eyes, leaning into the blonde to be heard well, "you and I have to sit down sometime and have a real conversation...about what happened in the cave."
Renee's heart fluttered and she felt the blush getting darker. "I...uhh...thought we concluded it was just that we had gotten too far into our characters."
Lucy licked her lips, her mouth having suddenly become dry, and sat as she did before. "I think it's a little more than that," she whispered, her voice having failed her.
Renee looked at her, not quite believing the words coming out of her friend's mouth. They sat in silence for a few minutes, the close proximity of the other distracting each from the world around them.
"Lucy? Renee?" The two women looked in the direction of the voice. "I'm sorry things are going so slow today. I just need to check on the tank then we'll start filming again, okay?"
"Yeah, okay," replied Lucy. "Take your time." Director John Laing smiled knowingly and left for the set that housed the five million gallon watertank.
When he was outside to go next door, the unnaturally raven-haired woman inched almost imperceptively closer to the pretty blonde by her side.
"Rob won't talk to me, Lucy," Renee said. "I think he thinks something happened...between us."
"Something did happen, Renee." Lucy rested her thigh against her co-star's leg, making a breath catch in her throat. "Can't you feel it?"
"Yes..." was the breathless response. Renee turned her sea green eyes to look into the cerulean ones mere inches away.
Meanwhile, in the soundstage next door...
"How's everything going?" John asked the carpenter.
"Just fine, John."
"Good. No problems?"
As the two men chatted amiably, John thought he heard a noise coming from the tank near him.
"Hey...d'ya hear that?" asked the director as he turned towards the water tank and noticed that an angry pressure crack had started forming and was definately not going to stop any time soon.
"Uhoh..." murmured the carpenter as he ran.
"SHIT!" screamed John as he started to bolt for the door.
A tingly sensation moved up and down Renee's spine as she gazed into those blue eyes. She recognised it right away, having felt it in the cave when she was in Lucy's arms, even before that, though she put them aside, ignored them, not knowing what to make of them.
She would have leaned in for the kiss she knew would come if it werenąt or the unnerving shout of "SHIT!" that came from next door. Next thing she knew, both she and her co-star had jumped to their feet and ran outside just in time to see John Laing bolt out of the soundstage door.
Obeying the frightened pitch in his voice without questions, Renee O'Connor and Lucy Lawless started running as fast as their booted feet could carry them. It wasn't fast enough, however, as they all were picked up by the relative tsunami that poured out of the soundstage and carried them away.
John, having run to the left after exiting the soundstage, was swept up by the water and slammed into the lower branches of a tree, various props and pieces of equipment swimming around below him as the landlocked wave spent itself.
At the same time, Lucy and Renee were carried forward, the direction they were blindly running in, and were slammed into a chain link fence.
"RENEE!" screamed the black haired woman as she saw her costar's head soundly connect with one of the poles that held the fence in place and sink to the ground, unconscious, the rest of the water running past her, through the fence.
Lucy paced frantically outside the doctor's trailer as she awaited news of her co-star's condition, the day slipping quickly into night. She fitfully rubbed her hair dry with the large white towel she was wrapped in. Her "Xena" leathers were wet and needed to be cleaned and treated, but while it was cold, she couldn't feel it. She only wanted to know that Renee was okay.
Her husband's presense was irritating her, but he did have to keep up appearances. Besides, how would it look if he were watching the rugby match instead of checking on one of his two stars?
Waiting behind them in the idling car was Bruce Campbell, his attention fixed to the rearview mirror as he removed the rest of the spirit gum that held the moustache part of his Autolycus costume to his face.
"C'mon, hon...why don't you come home with me?" asked her husband as he tried to wrap his arms around her shoulders and guide her to the waiting car.
Lucy looked into his eyes and stepped away from him. "Not a chance," she said, quietly. "I need to make sure Renee's okay."
"She'll be fine, Lucy. If you want, I'll have the doctor call when she wakes up."
The raven-haired woman was about to tell Rob just exactly what he could do with the phone when the doctor peeked outside and motioned them to come in.
Lucy bolted up the steps to the trailer as Rob sighed and slowly followed his wife, signaling to Bruce that they'd only be five more minutes.
Inside he found the blonde sitting up on the examination table, her hand already being held by his wife and her head cradled against Lucy's shoulder.
"Is she okay?" Lucy asked.
"Well...uhh...it's the damnedest thing." The doctor cleared his throat and briefly glanced at Rob. "Gabrielle had a bad knock."
When the doctor said the name "Gabrielle" in stead of "Renee," Rob's face went as white as a sheet. "What?!"
"But she, luckily, didn't need any stitches. Xena, will you help Gabrielle to the cot?" he continued, walking towards the producer.
"Rob, can I talk to you, outside, please?"
Unable to do anything except be lead by the doctor, Tapert wordlessly complied. Once they were outside, Lucy looked down at Gabrielle.
"How ya doin', Ren-er...Gabrielle?" her local accent replaced quickly by Xena's midwestern US one.
"I'm fine, Xena," she said as she got off the table. A rush of dizzying nausea swept through the blonde and she leaned against her counterpart.
"Yeah...right. Hold on." Letting her instincts take over, Lucy got into character to help her friend just has she had done the same for her. She wrapped her arms around Gabrielle's waist and held her close as she walked her backwards towards the cot that was set up near the chairs and the lightswitch.
Getting the distinct feeling she was going to fall, the room swimming around her, Gabrielle grabbed onto Xena's breastplate as she started to lower herself to the cot and unbalanced the warrior, pulling her on top of her.
The women looked into each other's eyes and a feeling of comfort crept up their spines, inspite of what would happen if Rob found them as they were right then. The blonde woman's hand stayed where it was on Xena's armour, making a breath catch in her throat.
"You've got to be shitting me, George," ranted the producer. "You mean to tell me that Renee has that amnesia thing Lucy had? I thought you said it was a freak accident."
"It is," replied the doctor calmly. *Just breathe,* he told himself.
"I hope you don't expect Lucy to stay with her."
George nodded, sending Rob into a stomping rage. Bruce bolted out of the car and to his friend's side. "Lucy's got to do it, Rob. Gabrielle won't trust you, me, Bruce here or anyone else.
"I believe that the key to Lucy's quick recovery is that Xena trusts Gabrielle, the true is same in reverse so for Renee to heal quickly, and to continue production, Lucy's GOT to stay with her." The doctor hoped that bringing the production aspect to the forefront that Rob would agree to it.
"Dammit!" shouted the producer, realizing that the doctor had a point. He angrily nodded and waved him away to tell Lucy what she needed to do.
"You okay?" asked the Warrior Princess softly. All of a sudden, she realised that she was tantalizingly close to the blonde's beckoning lips.
"Sorry," Gabrielle whispered, sheepishly taking her hand away from the breastplate.
Xena cleared her throat, desperate to put a little air between herself and the body of the bard so she could regain some sort of control over her hormones. She was sure her face was a deep crimson.
Just as she stepped away and helped Gabrielle sit up, the doctor walked in and made eye contact with Lucy, affirming for her what she already knew, that she had to stay with Renee as Xena until her memory came back.
"How're you feeling, Gabrielle?" asked the doctor.
"Okay..." Xena looked at Gabrielle, silently telling her to talk to the doctor.
"Well...dizzy and kinda sick to my stomach."
"That's to be expected. Now then, I want you to stay still, don't walk around for a while. You may stay here for the time being-" Lucy caught George's eye and glanced towards the door, indicating that she was concerned about Rob. The doctor smiled reassuringly and continued. "When you're well enough to walk around I don't want you swinging that staff or attempting any jumps or flips for a while, okay?"
Gabrielle smiled and nodded. "Okay."
George turned to the raven haired warrior. "Xena, may I speak to you alone for a moment, please?" He noticed the alarmed look on the bard's face, her imagination running away with her.
"Don't be alarmed, Gabrielle, I just want to talk to Xena without disturbing you. I need you to lie down and relax, okay? Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth if you start to feel a little sick." With those words of comfort, George took Xena outside.
As soon as he saw his wife, Rob Tapert jumped right into her. "Lucy, you canNOT stay with Renee all night. I forbid it."
Lucy stared at him incredulouly. "'Forbid?'" She then turned her attention away from the irate producer and spoke to the doctor. "Okay, we know this amnesia thing wears off, but we don't know how long it takes.
"I want to keep Renee here tonight, but we might need to leave in the morning."
Rob walked towards his wife. "Leave?! Are you insane, Lucy?"
The tall woman held out her hand, palm towards him, to Rob, effectively stopping him and shutting him up, never once looking at him. "I want a bag of supplies prepared for tonight and Tilly ready to ride tomorrow-"
Rob stopped his protest when Lucy directed her penetrating blue eyes at him, the deadly seriousness in them apparent - the subject was no longer up for discussion. He rans his fingers through his hair and sighed.
She directed most of her next request to her husband. "I do not want to be followed. I'm not Xena, I don't have her extra keen senses, but Renee's are very good. She'd know if we were being followed."
Lucy breathed deeply. "Right now, I want a few supplies: bread, apples, cheese and a couple of prop blankets, both bed rolls."
Rob found himself relaxing when Lucy mentioned that she wanted BOTH blankets. *Maybe I am over reacting to what I saw in that cave,* he reflected. *They didn't have any way of keeping themselves warm other than each other...and they do truly care for one another as friends...*
"Okay, Lucy, you've got it," Rob stated, feeling a surge of happiness at discovering his own idiotic, ill-aimed jealousy. "Bruce, let's go back to the office and get them what they need."
Lucy smiled, taken off guard, and hugged her husband. "Thank you, Rob." She then ran back up the steps and slipped into character as she walked through the door.
"You okay with this, Rob?" asked Bruce as they went to the office building to arrange for the props.
The producer looked at him, smiling, and smuggly replied, "Yeah...I'm good, Bruce. No worries."