Many Happy Returns


TEASER

Xena, Gabrielle and Argo the Second walk along. Xena is carrying a bright, purple bag.

GABRIELLE
How big is it?

XENA
It's huge!

GABRIELLE
Is it so big that I can't carry it?

XENA
Nah, you can slip it in your pocket.

GABRIELLE
Tell me!

XENA
No.

GABRIELLE
Ah!

XENA
No, because then it won't be your birthday surprise,
will it? You'll find out tomorrow.

GABRIELLE
Yeah, another year older, but wiser? No.

XENA
Well, anyway you can't find out what it is until after
you-know-what.

GABRIELLE
Not the pranks.

XENA
It's tradition.

GABRIELLE
Xena, tradition or not, no practical jokes this year,
all right?!

She pokes her in the breastplate.

GABRIELLE
Not at all. Please? Please?

XENA
Oh, you're gonna have to do better than that.

GABRIELLE
Please? Please?

XENA
All right. No practical jokes.

Xena has her fingers crossed behind her back.

GABRIELLE
Good.

XENA
Hold this for a moment, wouldja?

Xena hands her the bag.

GABRIELLE
Yeah. Ow-w-w-w. You'd think the helmet of Hermes
would be a little lighter.

Xena pulls a telescope out of Argo the Second's saddle bag.

XENA
I promised King Thoez we'd drop it off to him for
his coronation, since we're going that way anyway.

GABRIELLE
Does that mean my present is in Thebes?

Xena looks out into the woods.

XENA
What is that?

Xena holds the telescope the wrong way.

GABRIELLE
Xena, give me that.

Gabrielle tosses the bag back at her and puts the telescope to her eye the right way.

GABRIELLE
Huh. I don't see anything.

Gabrielle has a big, black ring of soot around her eye from where the telescope was.

XENA
Huh, my mistake.

Zarat can be heard from far off.

ZARAT
Oh, Lord! Hear me now!

They move off.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Zarat and a group of zealots are at a cliff by the ocean.

ZARAT
Oh-h-h-h-h-h-h-h-h-h-h Lord! We beseech thee!
Protect us from Ferragus!

EXTRAS
Protect us from Ferragus!

ZARAT
And lest you find ungrateful Lord, we offer you a
soul of unmatched purity.

Some priests carry in Genia.

ZARAT
We ask that you grant us sanctuary from the warlord.

Genia is wrapped in clothes. She is placed on a stone altar with a metal groove in it. A zealot starts to turn the wheel and the metal groove begins to move out from the stone, which would dump Genia from the cliff, into the ocean, a fall that would surely kill her. The wheel is tied with a rope.

ZARAT
Almighty master save us from disaster!

He holds a dagger up high, ready to cut the rope and drop Genia.

EXTRAS
Save us from disaster.

The chakram breaks the dagger in two. Xena catches the chakram.

XENA
Put the girl down!

ZARAT
You're interrupting a religious ceremony!

XENA
Forgive me, Father.

ZARAT
Stop her!

The zealots draw swords and attack. Xena fights them with the helmet in the bag and Gabrielle battles with her sais.

ZARAT
(to Lagot) Help me!

The battle continues. Zarat and Lagot try to pull the rope loose.

ZARAT
Pull it loose!

They pull the rope loose, but the Lagot's hand gets caught. He is the only thing holding Genia up. Xena defeats two zealots and then sees what is happening with Genia. She pulls the helmet from the bag and tosses it aside. She runs to the altar. Gabrielle has defeated the other zealots. She picks up the bag. Lagot gets his hand free and the metal groove falls, dropping Genia, who yells as she falls.

ZARAT
I commend you to the almighty!

XENA
A-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-she-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-yah!

Xena jumps off of the cliff. She puts on the helmet as she falls.

XENA
A-a-a-a-ah! A-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-ah!

Xena catches Genia.

XENA
It's all right. I've gotcha.

They fly up.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Xena lands with Genia.

XENA
All right.

Xena takes the cloths off Genia's face.

XENA
You all right?

GENIA
Oh, divine presence as you have made yourself
manifest, take thy humble servant, Genia, to thy bosom.

Genia hugs her, her face in Xena's chest. Xena pushes her back.

XENA
Whoa. These are spoken for.

Genia bows.

XENA
Now, what are you doing?

GENIA
Praying to you, oh, flying one.

XENA
Oh, no, no, no. It's just the hat.

Xena takes off the helmet.

XENA
Look, I'm not a god. My name is Xena.

GENIA
You mean I'm still alive?

XENA
You're still alive.

GENIA
I don't believe it!

XENA
Think nothin' of it.

GENIA
You ruined my sacrifice!

Xena looks at her in surprise.

END OF TEASER



ACT ONE

Gabrielle comes running over to join Xena and Genia.

GENIA
You can't just go around ruining other people's
sacrifices like that!

XENA
Why would you wanna sacrifice yourself to any god?

GENIA
It's my sacred duty to give my life to the all-knowing
almighty to show my...

Genia looks at Gabrielle.

GENIA
What is on your eye?

XENA
Oh, uh-

GABRIELLE
Huh?

XENA
-it's a birthmark. We don't talk about it. Sh-h-h-h.

Gabrielle feels around her eye and feels the soot there.

GENIA
Are you sure you're not a god?

GABRIELLE
Ha. Ha-ha. There's nothing divine about Xena.
If she were a god, then I couldn't do this!

Gabrielle pulls on Xena's nose.

XENA
Ow.

Gabrielle pinches Xena' behind.

GABRIELLE
Or that. Or this.

Gabrielle moves to punch her, but Xena catches her hand.

GABRIELLE
Ow.

XENA
All right. You made your point.

GABRIELLE
Okay.

Xena lets her go.

XENA
Now, look Genia, if your god was all-powerful and
all-knowing, then maybe he sent me to save you.

GENIA
Or maybe he sent you to test my faith. I'm going
to hold my breath and sacrifice myself.

She holds her breath.

XENA
Yeah, good one.

Xena and Gabrielle step away from her. Frankus watches them from behind a tree.

XENA
Now, listen Gabrielle, this kid needs our help.

GABRIELLE
Mm-m-m.

XENA
She's so blindly devoted to that god of hers, she's
willing to kill herself.

GABRIELLE
Well, why don't we introduce her to the gods that
we know? Then she wouldn't wanna throw herself
over a cliff for them.

XENA
Now, that is not a bad idea.

Genia faints. She opens her eyes and gasps.

XENA
Come on, Genia. Quit goofin' around. I got someone
we want you to meet.

They move off.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
A cliff side.

LAGOT
They've, uh...taken the virgin, your holiness.

Zarat looks at him and Lagot gasps.

ZARAT
Curses me. We must find the girl!

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ferragus' lair. He's looking in a plate.

FERRAGUS
Oh, yeah. You're the biggest, baddest, warlord
this side of Athens! Yeah-ha-hah-h-h-h-h!

He kisses the plate and laughs. He tosses the plate. Frankus enters.

FRANKUS
Father! News from the zealot camp!

FERRAGUS
What?! Them numbskulls still think their god's
gonna stop me from raiding them whenever I like?!
Hah! Waste of a perfectly good virgin.

He chews on a piece of meat.

FRANKUS
Not this time, Pop. A woman swooped in-

Ferragus tosses the chicken leg.

EXTRA
Ow!

FRANKUS
-dark-

EXTRA
My eye!

FRANKUS
-beautiful, dressed in leather. She jumped off
the cliff and saved the girl.

FERRAGUS
A-a-a-a-a-ah! A-a-a-a-a-a-a-ah!

He picks up a club and starts to hit the table. He stops.

FERRAGUS
Xena, the warrior pain in my ass! But wait! Not
even Xena could survive falling from the cliff.

FRANKUS
She didn't fall. She flew. She put on this helmet
nd flew.

FERRAGUS
Ah-h-h-h-h-h-h...must be the helmet of Hermes.
Son, I have a job for you. Ha-ha.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Xena, Gabrielle, Genia and Argo the Second walk along. They stop in front of a waterfall with a lake under it. Gabrielle still has the ring around her eye.

GENIA
Oh-h-h-h-h, what a beautiful spot!

XENA
Yeah, it's nice.

GABRIELLE
Nothing like sleeping under the stars, huh, Xena?

XENA
Mm-hm-m.

GENIA
In the convent, they locked me in my room from
sunset to sunrise.

GABRIELLE
Were you raised to be a priestess?

GENIA
Oh, no, no - I was raised to be a virgin sacrifice.

XENA
Here.

Gabrielle shakes her head. Xena tosses Genia a fur.

GENIA
O-oh!

XENA
Make up your bedroll.

Genia starts to lay out her bedroll. Gabrielle and Xena chuckle. Genia sighs.

GENIA
There we go. Now, is there anything else that I c-

She turns to see Xena and Gabrielle have set up the entire camp and unsaddled Argo the Second.

GABRIELLE
Last one in is a centaur dropping!

XENA
She-e-e-e-e-e-e-yah!

Xena and Gabrielle jump, naked, into the lake.

GABRIELLE
Oh-h-h-h-h-h! Yahoo! It's cold!

They splash each other. Genia turns her back to them, then turns back, but holds her hand in front of her eyes.

GABRIELLE
Hey!

Gabrielle dives under the water and then surfaces.

XENA
Get off! I can't believe you did that!

GABRIELLE
Come on in!

GENIA
No.

GABRIELLE
The water's great!

GENIA
No, thank you. It's okay. I'll just stay here and look
at...the bushes!

Xena giggles.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Moon . Wolf howls.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Genia drops the bones of a fish onto a plate that's already full of them.

GENIA
I have never experienced such pleasure.

XENA
And so quickly, too.

GENIA
Oh, my! I've eaten one of the Almighty's creatures! As
penance, I'm going to sleep on the cold, hard ground.

She moves away.

GABRIELLE
You know a better penance would be to clean the
frying pan.

Genia lies on the grass.

GABRIELLE
Oh, virgin one.

Gabrielle tosses a blanket beside her. She doesn't move.

GABRIELLE
It gets cold out here.

XENA
You know, if the gods didn't want us to eat fish,
then how come they made it taste so good?
(to Gabrielle) Hmm?

Xena and Gabrielle share a look. Genia doesn't look at them, but pulls the blanket over herself. Xena turns to look at Gabrielle.

XENA
You know, you should get some rest, Gabrielle.
It's a big day tomorrow.

Xena closes her eyes. Gabrielle looks away. Xena opens her eyes and looks at Gabrielle, a devious look in them.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Later. Gabrielle is laughing in her bedroll next to Xena. Xena is turned away from her and not moving.

GABRIELLE
Stop, Xena.

She laughs.

GABRIELLE
Would you get your cold, clammy feet off me?!

XENA
Gabrielle, I don't know what you're talking about.

Gabrielle sits up.

GABRIELLE
Hmm?

Gabrielle looks at her bedroll. There's something wiggling under the blanket. Gabrielle pulls back the blanket and an eel wiggles out.

GABRIELLE
Uh! No! No! Ugh! Ah! Ah! Oh! Ah!

Gabrielle hits Xena with her blanket. Xena covers her head with her hands.

GABRIELLE
You're not going to give up, are you?!

The eel wiggles back into the lake.

GABRIELLE
I hope you know, Xena, this means war!

Gabrielle moves off.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sun rises.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Xena hums the "Xena: Warrior Princess" theme as she bathes in the lake under the waterfall. Genia wakes up.

GENIA
What a beautiful morning. Did you sleep well?

GABRIELLE
Not particularly. You know if you wanna travel
with us, a few things I should tell you. Never, under
any circumstances interrupt Xena when she's
having a morning bath.

Xena steps out of the lake.

XENA
Gabrielle!

GABRIELLE
Yes, Xena.

XENA
My clothes are missing! Any idea where they are?!

GABRIELLE
Um...I think they're right under your nose.

Xena looks around and sees them.

XENA
Oh, it's all right! Here they are!

Xena picks up her clothes and sets off a trap Gabrielle has set. A bucket of fish guts land on Xena's head from a bucket in a tree. Gabrielle laughs. Xena glares at her, guts all over her. Gabrielle stands.

GABRIELLE
I, uh-h-h-h...I thought...I mean Xena, you can catch
arrows. I thought for sure you could catch a--a
bucket of fish guts.

XENA
Happy birthday, Gabrielle.

GABRIELLE
This means that we're even, now, right?

XENA
All even? No, I--I think we're just getting started.

Xena pulls the guts out her hair and jumps back into the lake.

GABRIELLE
Okay. Right.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Temple.

GENIA (voice-over)
So, this is one of your gods' temples.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Inside Aphrodite's temple.

XENA
Yep.

GENIA
A pure and holy place.

She kneels.

GENIA
Perfect be God and all God's places. Perfect be
God in all God's graces.

XENA
Boy is she in for a surprise. Aphrodite.

Aphrodite appears, lounging in the arms of two men. She giggles.

APHRODITE
Well, if it isn't my favourite girl group.

She giggles.

XENA
Genia, meet Aphrodite.

APHRODITE
Yeah. O-oh.

XENA
Goddess of Love.

Aphrodite giggles.

END OF ACT ONE



ACT TWO

Aphrodite moves over to them (the men are gone).

XENA
Aphrodite? Meet Genia - a virgin.

Aphrodite gasps.

GENIA
I don't believe it.

APHRODITE
I don't either! I thought you guys were extinct!

GENIA
But the Goddess of Love is an evil myth, told to
rob women of their virtue and strip men of their pride.

Aphrodite laughs.

APHRODITE
Well, you got the stripping men part right, Honey?
Um, ladies, am I mistaken or, is it someone's
birthday today?

She squeals as she hugs Gabrielle.

APHRODITE
Happy birthday, Gabby.

GABRIELLE
Thank you.

APHRODITE
What is that awful smell?

Xena looks at Gabrielle.

XENA
Listen...we're going to Thebes for Gabrielle's
birthday. Care to join us?

APHRODITE
Thebes? You got Sappho tickets?

Gabrielle looks at Xena while Xena looks at Aphrodite and mouths, "No." (as in "Thank you for ruining the surprise.")

APHRODITE
What row?

GABRIELLE
Xena, Sappho tickets. I love her poetry.

XENA
Surprise.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Xena takes a skin from Argo the Second's saddle and moves over to Gabrielle.

XENA
Here. Want some water?

Gabrielle holds up her fists as Xena moves over to her.

GABRIELLE
Oh no, no, no. Uh-uh.

XENA
Suit yourself.

Xena takes a drink then hands it to Genia.

GENIA
Thanks.

Genia drinks. Genia hands the skin to Aphrodite.

APHRODITE
Goddesses don't drink.

GENIA
Like you're really a goddess.

APHRODITE
Watch this. I like that bag.

Xena looks at the bag she has. A second bag which looks the same appears in Aphrodite's hand.

APHRODITE
I have that bag.

Aphrodite giggles and slings the bag over her shoulder.

GENIA
Some sort of illusion, I'm sure.

APHRODITE
Okay, watch this.

A rose appears in her hand. Genia takes it.

GENIA
If you were really a god you'd use your powers
to reward the faithful and punish sinners, not do
party tricks.

Aphrodite laughs.

APHRODITE
Well, I'm really more of a material girl. Xena...can
I just pop us to Thebes?

XENA
Nope. I want Genia to spend time with an
honest-to-goodness immortal. That's you. Come
on, Gabrielle. The sooner we get going, the sooner
you'll get your present.

Xena starts to walk off.

GABRIELLE
Uh-huh. (to Aphrodite) She's planning my doom.
I know it. I can feel it.

Gabrielle moves off.

APHRODITE
This is gonna be a fun trip. (to Genia) Come on,
you unfaithful.

Aphrodite moves off and Genia follows.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Thebes.

EXTRA
Can I have a pin?

GENIA
Wow! So, this is what the world's like.

APHRODITE
Virgin in the city. That is so cute. You come with me.

They move off. Xena and Gabrielle are at a stand. Xena holds out a piece of fruit.

XENA
Here, Gabrielle. Care for a bite?

GABRIELLE
Xena - that's that forbidden fruit gag, huh? No, you
probably laced it with chili powder, or arsenic, or...

Xena eats it.

GABRIELLE
Or not.

Genia looks at some shoes. Frankus is watching her. They see each other.

XENA
Come on, girls - we got a show to catch.

Xena chuckles as she moves off. Genia and Frankus stare at each other and then each move off. Gabrielle takes a piece of fruit from the stand. Aphrodite and Genia follow Xena and Gabrielle.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Tavern.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Gabrielle has her head on a table and moans.

XENA
Gabrielle, look I'm sorry. I don't know how I could'a
gotten the times wrong.

GABRIELLE
Xena, I cannot believe we came all this way and
we missed Sappho.

XENA
Just relax. Here, have a drink.

Xena hands her a mug with ale. Gabrielle laughs.

GABRIELLE
No, no, Xena. No dribble cups today. Ha-ha-ha-ha.

XENA
Suit yourself. Tell you what - you look after this
and I'll go rustle us up some food.

She leaves the bag with the helmet on the table and leaves.

GABRIELLE
Xena could have taken her bag with her. Why would
she want me to hold the helmet of Hermes, huh?

APHRODITE
Oh, it's not.

She holds up the second bag.

APHRODITE
This is the helmet of Hermes.

GENIA
Xena switched bags with us back at the marketplace.

GABRIELLE
Did she say why?

APHRODITE
Nope. Just told us to hold it.

GABRIELLE
Oh, really?

Gabrielle pulls the bag closer to her.

GABRIELLE
Hm-m.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Later. Xena joins Gabrielle. Gabrielle is holding the bag. Aphrodite and Genia are gone.

GABRIELLE
Hi, Xena. I'm still sitting here, just watching your bag.

XENA
Yeah, thanks.

GABRIELLE
Hm-m.

XENA
Where are the other two?

GABRIELLE
They went to freshen up.

XENA
We gotta keep an eye on Genia. Someone was
following us back at the marketplace.

GABRIELLE
The zealots?

XENA
Possibly. They'll be desperate to get her back.

Ferragus enters with his men. A soldier bumps into him and he growls.

FERRAGUS
Xena!

Xena stands and faces him.

XENA
Ferragus.

FERRAGUS
So, you remember me. Must have made quite
an impression.

XENA
It's on your belt buckle.

FERRAGUS
Oh. Huh? I want that bag.

XENA
It's not for sale.

FERRAGUS
Who said anything about paying for it?

XENA
Oh, you'll pay.

Xena and Gabrielle fight Ferragus and his men. Aphrodite and Genia cower behind a table.

EXTRA
Give me that! Give it!

GABRIELLE
Get your hands off my bag!

Gabrielle knocks him back. The fight continues.

XENA
Aphrodite! Get Genia out of here! And take the
bag with ya!

APHRODITE
Duh, like I'd leave behind a new handbag.

Aphrodite and Genia disappear.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Aphrodite and Genia appear outside.

GENIA
You--you are a goddess!

Aphrodite giggles.

APHRODITE
Well, welcome to the party, Miss Fashionably Late.
What took you so long?

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Xena and Gabrielle fight Ferragus and his men. Xena flips.

XENA
Sheee-yah!

The fight continues. A warrior takes the bag from Gabrielle.

GABRIELLE
Give it back!

EXTRA
Gotcha!

GABRIELLE
Get off my bag.

The bag flies into the air. Xena swings on a chandelier and kicks several warriors and Ferragus. The bag falls on a bench. Xena and Gabrielle keep fighting. A warrior is flipped onto the bench and it sends the bag up into the air and it lands on a table right in front of Ferragus. Gabrielle sees where the bag is.

GABRIELLE
A-h-h-h-h-h!

Ferragus laughs. He grabs it and runs out. A warrior attacks Xena.

EXTRA
Yah!

She punches him and he holds out a bottle of ale.

EXTRA
Here.

Xena takes it and he falls.

XENA
Thanks.

Xena takes a drink.

GABRIELLE
Xena, we have to go after Ferragus. He has the helmet.

XENA
No, Aphrodite's got it. We switched bags in the
marketplace.

Xena takes another swig.

GABRIELLE
I switched them back.

Xena spits out the ale.

XENA
What?

GABRIELLE
I thought you were trying to get something over
on me, Xena.

XENA
I asked for that.

Xena burps.

END OF ACT TWO



ACT THREE

Xena and Gabrielle walk through the streets of Thebes.

GABRIELLE
U--unless you knew that I would be suspicious
and so you switched the bags. I'm not close
at all, huh?

XENA
Aphrodite!

Aphrodite and Genia appear. Genia is now dressed like Aphrodite. They each have drinks in their hands. Aphrodite and Genia giggle.

APHRODITE
For future reference, I'm now 'Mighty Aphrodite.'
My new disciple thought it up.

Genia giggles.

GABRIELLE
Your new what?

GENIA
You were right, Xena, it was foolish of me to devote
my life to some unknown god. From now on, I'm
dedicating my life to Aphrodite.

GABRIELLE
That's not exactly what we had in mind.

XENA
But we'll fix that later. Right now we've got some
baggage to claim. Come on.

Xena and Gabrielle leave.

GENIA
So, how can I worship the Goddess of Love if
I've never even experienced it?

APHRODITE
You're right, that does make you kind of a poser.
All right pick a guy - any guy.

She looks at a young man who bends over. His pants slide down and you can see his butt crack.

GENIA
Mm-m-m.

She turns away and sighs. She looks over at muscled man who smells his armpits. She looks around again and sees Frankus who is watching her.

GENIA
I'll take him.

APHRODITE
Good girl, bad boy - oh, love a classic.

Aphrodite puts a spell on both of them. They run to each other and Frankus takes her in his arms and spins her. Genia giggles.

FRANKUS
I love you.

GENIA
And I love you.

APHRODITE
Oh! Love at first sight - my specialty!

Aphrodite disappears.

FRANKUS
Marry me?

GENIA
I thought you'd never ask.

Frankus and Genia run off. They run right by Lagot and another zealot. Lagot stops and looks after them.

LAGOT
That man's got our virgin!

They run after them.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ferragus' cave. Voice over of him laughing.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Inside. Ferragus is wearing the helmet and flying around, laughing. Xena and Gabrielle enter and watch from a ledge above them. Ferragus flies around the cave, hitting his warriors with a club as he flies by them.

XENA
What goes up...must come down.

Xena gets ready to throw the chakram when a bell rings.

GABRIELLE
Since when do warlords get company?

Ferragus lands. Frankus enters with Genia.

FRANKUS
Father! I want you to meet the most wonderful
girl in the world!

Genia giggles. Everyone is quiet. Frankus doesn't know Genia's name.

GENIA
Genia.

FRANKUS
Genia!

GENIA
Oh, we're in love.

FERRAGUS
Really?

FRANKUS
We're engaged.

Ferragus coughs. Aphrodite is behind Xena and Gabrielle, unknown to them.

XENA and GABRIELLE
(whispering) Aphrodite.

APHRODITE
Down if front. I can't see anything!

Gabrielle pulls her down so they aren't seen.

XENA
(whispers) What's the matter with you?

GABRIELLE
(whispers) You put a love spell on Genia.

APHRODITE
That I did. And even as we speak, our sweet little
virgin is falling madly in love with the cutest little
son of a-

She gasps when she sees Ferragus.

FERRAGUS
Oh, well, then-

APHRODITE
Warlord?!

FERRAGUS
-welcome, young lady to my humble abode.
(to warriors) What are you all standing around for?!

APHRODITE
Okay, okay. Just relax, you guys. Calm down. I
can, uh, I can take the spell off.

XENA
No. No, you'll throw Genia for a loop. Just follow
my lead.

Xena moves off and they follow.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
The bell rings.

FERRAGUS
Frankus!

He gestures with his head to the door. Xena and Aphrodite enter. Xena is dressed as a man with a beer belly, and an Autolycus mustache and beard. Aphrodite is wearing peasant clothing, but it is styled like her regular pink wear (short and tight). Xena speaks with a deeper voice.

XENA
Hi. Easy action there, fella, we're about to be family.
Well, you must be Frankus! My boy, good to know
ya. I'm Anthrax and this is my wife, Spittooonia.
We just wanted to know what kind of a family our
little girl was marrying herself into.

FRANKUS
Genia, your parents are here.

GENIA
My parents? But my parents are de-

Aphrodite puts her arm around Genia's shoulders. Aphrodite speaks with a Southern accent.

APHRODITE
Dedicated to makin' sure that you have the best
weddin' ever, Pookie.

XENA
That's right.

APHRODITE
Oh, look at these two. Like son, like father. Am
I right?

Aphrodite sits in Ferragus' lap.

APHRODITE
Aren't weddin's just the biggest drag to organize?

He nods, staring at her chest.

XENA
Which is why we brought along a little help.

Gabrielle enters, dressed in fine clothes. She also speaks with a Southern accent.

GABRIELLE
Belle-

FERRAGUS
Huh?

Ferragus stares at Gabrielle.

GABRIELLE
-of Belle's Bridal Barn. 'Cause I put the 'ding'
in 'wedding.'

XENA
Yes, you do, Sister.

GABRIELLE
Now, we should start by selecting the cover scheme.

She gasps as she pulls out a white cloth.

GABRIELLE
Corinthian white!

She sits on Ferragus' lap with Aphrodite.

GABRIELLE
Oh, exquisite selection. And now, about the outfits.

GENIA
Shouldn't I decide that?

Aphrodite moves over to Genia.

APHRODITE
Oh, Honey, let's leave that up to the experts, shall
we, Pookie?

XENA
Belle, why don't you fix up these two fine fellas
with some new duds while we go and have that
long overdue talk with Genia about her conjugals?

Xena and Aphrodite move away with Genia.

GABRIELLE
Now, I see before my eyes...harem pants.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Aphrodite moves behind a dressing robe with Genia and takes off the love spell. Aphrodite no longer speaks with the accent.

GENIA
Aphrodite!

APHRODITE
Sh-h-h-h-h-h!

Xena joins them and no longer speaks with the deeper voice.

GENIA
Where am I?

XENA
You're in Ferragus' lair.

GENIA
Xena?

XENA
Yeah.

GENIA
What am I doing here?

APHRODITE
Remember? I put a spell on you to make you
fall in love with his son?

GENIA
Oh-h-h, that's right. I wanted to fully experience
my goddess' power.

XENA
Just like you wanted to kill yourself for a bloodthirsty
god. Genia, you can't give up your life for every
deity that comes along.

APHRODITE
It's true, Sweet Pea. We're not all we're cracked
up to be.

GENIA
Well, how am I supposed to live my life with no
one to lead me?

XENA
You gotta stop following. Maybe you can be your
own guide. Genia, haven't you ever felt happy just
to be yourself?

GENIA
Yes - these past few days with you and Gabrielle.

XENA
Well, that's a start. Now, we're gonna get you outta here.

Xena leaves.

APHRODITE
Stay.

Aphrodite follows Xena.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Gabrielle has dressed up Ferragus with clothes similar to what she is wearing. It drapes from his neck, leaving his shoulders bare. Gabrielle still speaks with the southern accent.

FERRAGUS
I don't know. It's a bit...girlie.

GABRIELLE
Oh, no, Honey - not with those shoulders. Now,
for the final touch.

She moves to take off the helmet, but he stops her.

FERRAGUS
Huh! The helmet stays.

Gabrielle sighs. She looks over to Xena who was watching with Aphrodite. Xena and Aphrodite speak with their accents again.

XENA
So, I hear from Genia that, uh, you're in the
warlord business.

FERRAGUS
Uh-huh.

XENA
That as dangerous as they say?

FERRAGUS
And then some.

XENA
Yeah? You got any scars?

FERRAGUS
Here - this scar?

He pulls aside the clothes to reveal a scar on his stomach.

FERRAGUS
Guy took out my spleen!

XENA
Well, who needs a spleen?

FERRAGUS
There.

He points to a small cut on his neck.

FERRAGUS
Guy got me with a short sword.

XENA
Lucky it wasn't a long one.

FERRAGUS
You want scars. Well, I'll give you scars.

He takes off the helmet and puts it in the purple bag.

FERRAGUS
Got this scar given to me by Xena, the Warrior
Princess herself!

He parts his hair to show a scar.

XENA
Let me take a look at that.

Xena moves over and takes him in a head lock. She mutters to Gabrielle and Aphrodite.

XENA
I don't remember.

While Xena looks at Ferragus' head, Aphrodite switches the bags.

XENA
Have to come to the light. Ooooh, yeah. Why, that
Xena really is somethin'. She nearly split ya open
like a coconut.

She knocks on his head. She pulls him up, her arm still around his shoulder.

XENA
You know what? I think I better take my little girl
outta here. It doesn't do for the bride to be exposed
before the big day. Plenty of time for that afterwards.
Know what I mean?

She slaps his chest and leaves.

FERRAGUS
Oh.

Ferragus laughs and Gabrielle chuckles.

GABRIELLE
Now, about my bill...

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Aphrodite moves over to Genia and hands her the bag. Aphrodite sighs.

APHRODITE
Okay, I'm gonna put some distance between you
and that warlord.

She makes Genia disappear and sighs.

APHRODITE
That oughtta keep her out of trouble.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Genia appears in the streets of Thebes. She turns a corner and runs right into the zealots.

EXTRA
That's her!

Two Zealots grab her and cover her mouth.

GENIA
Help! Please! Let me go! No-o-o-o-o!

Genia is dragged away. One of her shoes fall off.

ZARAT
Thy will be done.

END OF ACT THREE



ACT FOUR

Xena and Gabrielle walk over to Aphrodite in the woods. Aphrodite and Gabrielle are out of their disguises, and Xena is pulling hers off and tossing it aside. She still has the mustache on.

XENA
Okay, where's the bag.

APHRODITE
Genia has it.

XENA
Where's Genia?

APHRODITE
Oh, I popped her back to the marketplace. She
might as well shop while she's waiting.

XENA
What?

Xena pulls off the mustache.

APHRODITE
Oh, don't thank me. Just doin' the god thing.

XENA
Aphrodite, the zealots are looking for her there!

APHRODITE
Huh?

GABRIELLE
Robe, altar, human sacrifice.

APHRODITE
That was a true story?

Xena holds up her hands like she's going to strangle Aphrodite and shakes her hands.

XENA
Ah-h-h-h-h-h-h-h-h-h-h!

Xena moves off.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ferragus' cave. He starts to open the bag.

FERRAGUS
Dumpty-dumpty-dumpty-do.

He laughs.

FERRAGUS
Wait a minute.

He pulls out Aphrodite's clothing and knick-knacks.

FERRAGUS
Huh? Wha-huh? No! Oh! Oh! No-o-o-o-o! I knew
that Anthrax looked familiar. Xena-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a!
Worming her way into my lair! Stealing my helmet!
I'll kill he-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-er!

He tosses a ball that was in the bag and it hits Frankus in the head.

FRANKUS
Ooh!

Zarat enters.

ZARAT
Perhaps, I could be of some assistance.

He holds out the bag and Ferragus growls. He grabs the bag and looks in it.

FERRAGUS
Where's the helmet?

ZARAT
Oh, you can have it back, if we can make a deal.

FERRAGUS
I'm listening.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Thebes. Aphrodite and Gabrielle.

APHRODITE
There's no sign of Genia anywhere.

GABRIELLE
This is my fault.

APHRODITE
No! It's my fault! I cast a spell on her.

GABRIELLE
Yeah, but I switched the bags. If I hadn't been so
suspicious at the tavern, this wouldn't have happened.

XENA
Gabrielle!

Xena runs over to them, holding Genia's shoe.

GABRIELLE
What'd you find?

Xena holds up the shoe and Aphrodite gasps.

APHRODITE
She's been sacrificed!

XENA
Maybe not yet. There's a zealot temple two miles
down the road. I'm guessing they'd wanna do
it there.

APHRODITE
Okay, so what I can do to help? I can cast a spell.

Xena holds up her hand.

XENA
Uh.

GABRIELLE
Uh.

APHRODITE
Or maybe not.

XENA
Actually, Aphrodite, there is something you can do.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Temple.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Inside. Genia is wrapped in cloths again. She is lying on an altar, but this time she is struggling. Above her is a board full of spikes. A rope holds it over her.

ZARAT
Almighty master, we ask you one more time, take
this virgin sacrifice and protect us from our enemies!

Xena and Gabrielle run in.

XENA
Zarat!

ZARAT
Xena!

EXTRA
Can't she stop meddling?

ZARAT
Haven't you ever heard of religious freedom?

XENA
Freedom has nothing to do with sacrificing Genia,
or anyone else and neither has religion. This
ends here.

ZARAT
We'll see.

Zarat gestures with his head. Lagot sets the rope holding the spikes in place on fire. Ferragus enters with his warriors. He is wearing the helmet.

XENA
Stay out of this, Ferragus! I'll deal with you later.

FERRAGUS
I don't think so. You see? In exchange for the
helmet, I promised Zarat here I'd take you out
of the picture.

GABRIELLE
Well, since when do warlords keep their promises?

FERRAGUS
Since I wanted to kick your butt anyway!

Ferragus and Xena fight. The zealots attack Gabrielle. Ferragus flies at Xena. She spin-jumps away from him, onto a ladder, higher up.

XENA
A-la-la-la-la-la-la!

Gabrielle fights some zealots. Ferragus and Xena fight (Xena still on the ladder). Xena knocks Ferragus back. She flips back off of the ladder onto a ledge and lifts the ladder, hitting some zealots. Xena flips.

XENA
She-e-e-yah!

Xena fights the warriors. She defeats them, draws her sword and fights Ferragus when he flies at her. Gabrielle fights the zealots. Xena and Ferragus battle. Zarat watches with a smile. Ferragus laughs.

FERRAGUS
What's the matter, Xena - losing your touch?

Xena sheathes her sword and grabs a ladder behind her.

XENA
Touch this!

Xena picks up the ladder and hits Ferragus with it. She then captures him in between the steps and knocks him about. She tosses the ladder and he spins around the temple and then falls onto one of the ledges. Gabrielle battles the zealots. Ferragus takes off the ladder. Lagot keeps burning the rope. Ferragus stands and growls. He jumps into the air and at Xena. Xena comes out to meet him on a ladder.

XENA
She-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-
e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-yah!

Xena hits him in the head. She keeps going to the other side of the temple. She takes out two warriors and then pushes the ladder back the other way.

XENA
Thank you!

Xena takes the helmet off of Ferragus, who falls to the ground. Xena lands on the ledge. Ferragus passes out.

XENA
Gabrielle, catch!

Xena tosses her the helmet and Gabrielle catches it. Zarat looks around and runs off. Xena sees that the rope is about to break.

XENA
N-o-o-o-o-o.

Xena flips.

XENA
She-e-e-yah!

The rope breaks and the spikes fall. Xena grabs the rope and her weight holds it up. Xena lowers herself down to the ground and the spikes go up. She secures the spikes and frees Genia.

XENA
(whispering) Okay. (shouting) Gabrielle!

ZARAT
Up here.

Zarat is on one of the ledges. He holds Gabrielle around the throat with an arm and holds the helmet in his other hand.

ZARAT
You may have stopped this sacrifice, Xena, but
that's all! I will find other followers. Perhaps my
next tribe-

He he puts on the helmet.

ZARAT
-will offer their sacrifices...to me.

He steps off of the ledge and falls.

ZARAT
No-no-o-o-o-o-o-o-o!

Zarat hits the ground.

XENA
Or not.

LAGOT
Oo-o-o-o-oh.

GENIA
What happened? He was wearing the helmet.

XENA
He was wearing a helmet.

GABRIELLE
Xena had me switch the helmets...just in case.

GENIA
So where's the helmet of Hermes?

Aphrodite appears, holding the purple bag.

APHRODITE
Right here, Sweet Pea.

She giggles.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
The zealots leave, carrying Zarat. The warriors leave as well.

GENIA
I can't believe I was gonna give my life away to them.

Frankus enters.

FRANKUS
Genia. Genia! I was afraid I'd be too late.

GENIA
Frankus, I'm sorry, but...we can't be together.

FRANKUS
It's 'cause of the old man, isn't it?

GENIA
No. Xena's shown me that I can't live my life following
others. I have to be my own person and chase
my own dreams. We can still be friends.

Xena pats his shoulder.

GENIA
Xena, you and Gabrielle are gonna have to go
along without me.

XENA
Oh, you're sure?

GENIA
Before we met, I thought the best thing I could do
with my life was throw it away. But now I found
something worth living for.

XENA
What?

GENIA
I'm turning the convent into a shelter for those
in need.

XENA
Well, that is great.

Xena hugs her.

GABRIELLE
Good for you.

Gabrielle hugs her.

GENIA
Oh, I almost forgot.

Genia takes a flower from Aphrodite and hands it to Gabrielle.

GENIA
Happy birthday.

XENA
Speaking of which, we have got a show to catch. Bye-bye.

Xena and Gabrielle leave.

APHRODITE
Have fun, you two. So, friends? I can work with
that. Some of my best friends are friends. But
we need to rethink the whole retro-sacrificial thing.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Xena and Gabrielle sit at a cliff edge at sunset.

XENA
I'm really sorry, Gabrielle. I didn't realize Sappho
was only here for one performance.

GABRIELLE
It's the thought that counts, Xena - although I
would like to hear her read her poetry one day.

Xena hands her a cup.

GABRIELLE
You know, how did you fall for my fish-guts gag?

XENA
I don't know.

Xena takes a drink from her cup.

GABRIELLE
You knew that I would go crazy waiting for you
to get even. Xena...didn't see it coming.

Gabrielle takes a drink out of her cup, but it dribbles down her chin.

XENA
Nor that - now, we're even.

Gabrielle laughs.

XENA
Here, give me that. I want you to close your eyes.

GABRIELLE
No.

XENA
(laughing) Trust me, please.

GABRIELLE
(laughing) No.

XENA
Close your eyes.

Gabrielle closes her eyes and Xena sets a scroll on her legs. Gabrielle opens her eyes.

GABRIELLE
What is this?

Xena shrugs.

XENA
Open it.

Gabrielle starts to open it, smiling as she looks at Xena.

XENA
I had Sappho jot somethin' down for ya.

GABRIELLE
A poem? Sappho wrote a poem for me. I don't
believe it. Xena...you had this planned all along,
didn't you?
(reading) "There's a moment when I look at you
And no speech is left in me.
My tongue breaks.
Then fire races under my skin and I tremble.
And grow pale for I am dying of such love
Or so it seems to me."

Xena shakes her head and Gabrielle laughs.

GABRIELLE
It's beautiful.

Gabrielle hits her playfully on the leg with the scroll.

GABRIELLE
This is the best birthday present I have ever had.

Gabrielle stands and holds out her arms. Xena hugs her.

XENA
Aw-w-w-w. 'Course, it ain't over yet.

Xena puts on the helmet.

XENA
Sheeee-yah!

Xena jumps up with Gabrielle. Xena laughs.

XENA
Happy birthday, Gabrielle!

GABRIELLE
Yeah right!

Xena and Gabrielle fly into the sunset.

END OF ACT FOUR

STARRING
Lucy Lawless as Xena
Renee O'Connor as Gabrielle

GUEST CAST
Alexandra Tydings as Aphrodite
Katie Stuart as Genia
Hori Ahipenex as Ferragus
Latham Gaines as Zarat
Taungaroa Emile as Frankus
Ross Duncan as Lagot

Written by: Liz Friedman and Vanessa Place
Directed by: Mark Beesley

Disclaimer: No fish guts were harmed during the making of this motion picture.