DISCLAIMER: Xena and Gabrielle are the sole property MCA. I am just going to borrow them for a while. I'll put them back when I am through with them. I swear.

THE STORY: This is a comedy.

THE SETTING: The story takes place in Greece, just after the episode Return of the Valkyries.

Do You Know Any New Xena Stories?

By History 321

It was your typical tavern, in your typical Greek village. The tables in the tavern were filled with the usual customers. The tavern owner pounded an empty cup on the bar top for quiet.

" Okay! Ladies and Gentlemen! To night I have a special treat for you all. We are fortuned enough, to have with us tonight a traveling Bard. So everybody make the Bard welcome."

The Bard walked to the back of the tavern room, and sitting down on a chair, pulled out a scroll from a bag at the Bards feet. Opening the scroll, the Bard began to read the story of Hercules and his Twelve Labors.

"Excuse me!" The Bard stopped reading, and looked up to see a short squat man sitting alone at a table, with his hand up. "I'm sorry to interrupt you. But we have all heard these stories before." "Why don't you let the Bard finish the story! Talpen!" Talpen put his hand down and turned to look at the man who was sitting a few tables away.

"Why don't you just mind your own business! Plinas! We all know the story of Hercules. All I want to know is that maybe the Bard knows some Xena stories?" Talpen turned back to the Bard, and asked if the Bard knew some Xena stories. The Bard said yes.

The Bard reached in to the bag and pulled out another scroll. Opening the scroll, the Bard began to read again. 'Gabrielle was hanging high over some sharp objects, as Xena was battling Callisto, trying desperately to reach Gabrielle in time, before the torch burned through the rope that was holding her.....'

"Heard it!" Talpen said. "What I want to know is this. Do you know some new Xena stories? And besides Callisto never existed. It was all a plot, so that the king could raise the taxes."

"What do you mean that Callisto never existed?" Plinas asked. "And it was all a plot by the king to raise the tax." Talpen looked over at Plinas and gave him a smug smile.

"I was just a kid back then, but I remember my father talking about it. He said that the higher taxes were to increase the size of the army. Have any of you seen any increase in the size of the army in the last thirty years. What I have seen is that the king has managed to find enough money to add an extra wing to the palace." Talpen looked at Plinas, the expression on his face that said. (Ah! Told you didn't I.) Plinas, looked back at Talpen, and just shook his head sadly.

"The reason that the army hasn't increased is because Callisto was killed by Xena, you moron." Talpen shot Plinas a dirty look.

"Now then!" Talpen said to the Bard. "I as was saying. Do you know any new Xena stories?" The Bard told him yes.

Pulling out yet another scroll, the Bard began to read.

The Bard read about the time that Xena received a visit from Beowulf and gave her a broken lock. Xena realized that Grindl, had escape from the prison that Xena had put her in thirty-five years ago. Knowing that she would face almost certain death, and also knowing that if she took Gabrielle along with her, Gabrielle might die as well. Not willing to take that chance, Xena left that night alone to go and try to make up for her past mistake.

The crowd in the tavern, hearing this story for the first time, quieted down and listened in silence. They sat there mesmerized as the Bard read from the scroll. When the Bard finished the story, and told how Xena found Gabrielle surrounded by a circle of fire, and leaped through the flames to give Gabrielle a kiss to awaken her from her long sleep, the crowd when ahhhh.

There was a thoughtful silence in the room, as the Bard stopped reading, and put the scroll back in to the bag. Several of the customers were wiping their eyes, and others were nodding their heads in thought.

"Hey! I've got a couple of questions!" Talpen said. So much for the good mood!

"What are they?" The Bard asked.

How was it that Xena could jump through the circle of fire, when everybody else who tried it was burned to a crisp?" There were several loud groans from the crowd.

"Xena could jump through the flames because she and Gabrielle were soul mates." Plinas said to him as if he was not a particularly bright child.

"I still don't get." Talpen said. Plinas just shook his head.

"Xena and Gabrielle are in love with each other. What do I have to do? Draw you a picture?" Plinas told him. "The trouble with you is that you just don't have a romantic bone in your body."

"I do to!" Exclaimed Talpen.

"Oh! You really think so?" Plinas asked. Talpen nodded his head firmly. "Then how come it took your five-year-old son, to remind you what day your wife's birthday was?"

"You know, for half a dinar. I would come over there and pound you silly. Plinas."

"Why settle for just half a dinar." Plinas reached in to his money pouch and pulled out a coin. He tossed it over to Talpen. "Here's a whole dinar. Give it your best shot."

"There will be none of that!" The tavern owner said. "If you two want to fight so much, take it outside." Talpen and Plinas glared at each other, until the Bard, forgotten until now spoke up.

"You said that you had two questions." The Bard said to Talpen. "What is your second question?" Talpen slowly turned his head away from glaring at Plinas, and looked at the Bard.

"After Xena had awoken Gabrielle from her sleep. Xena now had the ring again, that had the power of the Gods. I don't understand why she did not put the ring on, and then use the ring's power to destroy Grindl. Instead of trying to ask for forgiveness. I mean it was pretty stupid of Xena to put herself in the hands of someone who has waited for thirty-five years to tear her from limb to limb.

"You've missed the whole point of the story." The Bard told Talpen. "Xena didn't go back to destroy Grindl, she went instead, to right a wrong, that she had made thirty-five years ago."

"I don't know." Talpen said with a shake of his head. "You're making Xena sound like a big wuss!" Talpen paused for a moment, and then asked of the Bard."I'm curious. Do you Bards get together once a year, say in Athens or Thebes, to sit down, and make these stories up?"

"What do you mean! Make these stories up." The Bard asked in a low, icy voice.

"All I'm saying is that some of these stories are pretty fantastic. Take the story that you just read, are you sure that you didn't embellish parts of the story?" The Bard's mouth and eyes were wide open. The Bards mouth closed with a snap, and anger flashed in the Bard's eyes.

"I can assure you that every word I have read is the truth! Because I was there." Talpen looked at the Bard and barked out a short laugh.

"Sure you were! And I suppose that next you will be telling us that you are Gabrielle, the battling Bard of Poteidaia." Gabrielle nodded her head.

"Yes! I'm Gabrielle!"

"Bah!" Talpen said with a wave of his hand. "Everyone knows that Gabrielle was a tall woman, with flaming red hair, that carried a staff made out of gold."

"It wasn't made of gold! It was just a staff that was made out of wood. As for the hair, there was a time..." Talpen picked up his empty cup, from the table.

"This is what I think of you and your lies." Talpen then threw the cup sidearm at Gabrielle, intending to miss her head. What he did was to hit her square in the forehead.

 

"YiYiYiYi." Every eye in the tavern, looked up to see a flash of legs, and a flash of black leather, as a dark haired woman somersaulted over their heads. The woman landed in front of Gabrielle, and spun around to face the crowd, in the room. "Alright! I want to know, who threw that cup?" Everybody in the room put two and two together, and came up with Xena!

As one person, every body in the tavern turned and pointed at Talpen. Xena saw the person that they were all pointing at. She slowly began to stalk towards him.

"Did you throw that cup at Gabrielle?" Xena asked Talpen in a very low, and cold voice.

"Humma...Humma...Humma..." Talpen's mouth was moving, but that was all he could get out.

"I want to know!" Xena said as she continued to stalk forward. "Did you throw that cup?"

"Humma...Humma...Humma..."

"Hey! Talpen!" Plinas called out. "Here's your big chance to tell her what a wuss you think she is!" Xena was now almost at his table, when Talpen jumped up from his chair, and took off running for the tavern door. As Talpen was running past Plinas table, Plinas stuck out his foot and tripped him.

Talpen picked himself off the floor, and then leaped at Plinas. The force of Talpen slamming into Plinas, caused the table that he was sitting at to shoot sideways. The table hit another table, causing a man sitting there, to spill his drink into the lap of another man. Outraged, the man stood up and with a solid right, sent the man who had spilled his drink, crashing into another table, which started another fight. Within a few seconds, the tavern erupted into an old fashion barroom brawl.

Xena had retreated back to stand in front of Gabrielle as soon as the fight had started. They both watched in amazement, as everybody in the room, pounded on one another, in joyful abandon. Soon tired of just using their fist, on each other. They started to use empty bottles.

"You know, it's getting way too violent around here for me." Gabrielle said to Xena. Gabrielle was going to say something else but she had to duck as an empty bottle whizzed past her head. She had just straighten up, when Xena reached out, and caught a bottle, that would have hit her right in the head. "Yes! Way too violent!"

Xena hefted the heavy bottle in her hand. Pulling the cork out with her teeth, she took a sniff of the contents. Mmmm! the good stuff! Xena turned to Gabrielle and gave her the bottle.

"Here! Hold this." Xena waited for a few seconds, and then jumped up, and snagged a cup out of the air. Holding the cup, she took the bottle from Gabrielle, and then poured some of it into the cup, and then gave it to Gabrielle. "Here's to you!" Xena said as she raised the bottle.

"Back at you!" Gabrielle said smiling, as she took a drink from the cup. Xena took a drink as well. They both dropped the cup, and the bottle on to the floor. Xena looked at Gabrielle and said.

"Come on! It's time that we should be going." Xena started to walk towards the door of the tavern with Gabrielle right behind her. They didn't get very far, when a man, who was either too drunk to know better, or was just tired of life, grabbed Gabrielle's shoulder from behind, spun her around, and took a swing at her.

(The town healer, has told all those who asked, that he is hopefully optimistic about the man's possible recovery. With plenty of rest, he should be able to feed himself in about six months. That is as soon as he wakes up.)

"I don't believe this!" Exclaimed Gabrielle as she stood in the middle of the empty, but now totally wrecked tavern. "It's bad enough that, we were roosted out of our warm beds in the middle of the night, by some armed guards, now you tell us, that we have to pay the damages to the tavern for a fight that we didn't even start. I ask you, where the justice in that!"

"Somebody has to pay for the damages." Replied the Captain of the town guards, as he stood there, with a black eye and a bloody nose. Gabrielle looked at him with a smug look on her face and asked.

"So tell me, how are the rest of your men doing?" The Captain of the town's guards just glared at her.

"They're fine. They should all recover eventually."

"Well! Let that be a lesson to you. Next time, just stop at the edge of our camp, and yell out that you are coming in. Instead of trying to be cute about it and sneaking up on us!"

Xena, who had been quiet all this time, turned to the tavern owner, who was sporting two black eyes, and asked.

"How much are the damages?"

"Thirty dinars."

"Thirty dinars!" Yelled Gabrielle, as she really went through the roof.

"Gabrielle."

"No! Xena! This is really outrageous! I can buy this dump for twenty, dinars and still have enough money left over to buy some tables and chairs."

"You two will pay the thirty dinars." The Captain of the guard said, in a harsh voice. "And then once you two have paid it, I want you two to leave. We don't want your kind around here!"

"What do you mean? Our kind?" Gabrielle asked in a cold voice.

"Gabrielle!"

"Why! I ought to..."

"GABRIELLE!"

"WHAT!"

"He's not talking about that!" Xena told her. Gabrielle paused for a moment to think about and then grinned sheepishly.

"Sorry! Never mind!"

(Authors note: If some of you out there don't know what Xena is referring to, I am not going to draw you a picture. But if you sit down and think about it long, and hard enough, I am sure that the answer will come to you. Now back to the story.)

Xena counted out the thirty dinars from their money pouch, and gave them to the tavern owner. Gabrielle stood there, and silently fumed. Xena looked into the now, almost empty pouch, and thought that they will be camping out under the stars, for the next few days.

Five days later, Xena and Gabrielle came to the first village, that they had come across since they had left the tavern. They were both tired and cranky. Gabrielle was tired of walking, tired of sleeping on the cold ground, and tired of eating fish and rabbits. Xena was cranky, because she had spent the last five days listening to Gabrielle complain about how tired she was of walking, how tired she was of sleeping on the cold ground, and how tired she was of eating fish and rabbits.

"Xena." Gabrielle said as she came to a stop in the middle of the village main street."We have to find a way to make some money. I can't take another night sleeping on the ground."

"And just how are we going to get this money?" Xena asked. Gabrielle pointed to a tavern that was off to her left.

"Let's go over to that tavern, and ask if they need some help in the kitchen. I'm sure that they could use me to wash their dishes for them, and maybe we could make a deal, for washing the dishes, we could get a room free for the night." Gabrielle had said that she, would wash the dishes. Because she knew, that there was no way, that Xena would ever touch a dirty dish. Gabrielle couldn't even get her to wash a single fry pan, so why even try.

Xena and Gabrielle walked into the tavern. They saw a middle aged man standing by the bar.

"We're closed right now." He told them. "Come back later."

"We are not here for drinks." Gabrielle said smiling. "I'm hopping that I could find some work here."

"My name is Rijack." The man said as stepped away from the bar. "Just what can you do?" Xena and Gabrielle looked at each other, and then turned to Rijack, and said in unison.

"We have many skills."

"Nice outfits!" He said. Walking over to Gabrielle he started at her feet, and then, getting to her legs, he lingered there for awhile, and made his way up to her chest, and just stared. The entire time, that Rijack was looking Gabrielle over, a low, but increasing in volume, growl was coming from Xena. Gabrielle, with visions of sleeping in a nice warm bed for the night, was not about to let some idiot that was staring at her, get in her way.

"Perhaps I can help with the dishes?" Rijack still looking at her chest area, shook his head.

"No. I'm sorry. I have enough help in the kitchen. What I need is some kind of entertainment for tonight." Rijack, then had a brilliant idea. he leaned forward and whispered to Gabrielle. "I don't suppose that you know any sexy dances?" Because he had been looking at Gabrielle all this time. It was fortunate that he never looked at Xena. Had he done so, the look that was on her face, would have killed him on the spot.

"I can tell stories." Gabrielle said with a smile. "I'm a Bard." Rijack stepped back and had a big smile on his face.

"A Bard! That's wonderful. We haven't had a Bard in this village for months. You are hired." Rijack turned, and started to walk back to the bar, when he stopped, turned around, and looked back at Gabrielle. "I don't suppose that you know any new Xena stories?"

Gabrielle had her mouth open to tell him that she did know some new Xena stories, when she heard Xena loudly clear her throat. Gabrielle looked over at Xena, and saw her shake her head.

"I'm sorry. What did you say?"

"I said. Do you know any new Xena stories?" Gabrielle shook her head.

"Never heard of her!"

THE END

The only thing that injuried in the writing of this story was the keyboard, after I hit it a couple of times with my fist. The keyboard is doing fine, and would like to thank all of you for the get well cards you have sent it.

If you like my story you can E-mail me at history321@msn.com

 

March 08 2002

Taiko's Scrolls of the Xenaverse