VIII: Spring Chicken

Mid-afternoon. Xena’s and Gabrielle’s campsite. Xena and Gabrielle are lying in each other’s arms on their bedroll. Xena seems to be nodding off. Gabrielle’s brows are knit in thought.


XENA: <snort> Huh?

GABRIELLE: Sorry, were you asleep?

XENA: No, no. Wide awake.

GABRIELLE: I’m not wearing you out am I?

XENA: Never! Not at all! No way! Unh uh!

GABRIELLE: How’s your jaw?

XENA: It’s fine. Do you need it for anything?

GABRIELLE: No, no… Just checking.

Several minutes pass quietly. Xena seems to be drifting off to sleep again. Gabrielle is wide awake and clearly thinking about something.


XENA: <snore>


XENA: <snork> Huh?

GABRIELLE: How old are you?

XENA: I lost count.

GABRIELLE: No, really.

XENA: Old enough to know better.

GABRIELLE: OK, OK. Go back to sleep.

XENA: I was just resting my eyes.

Several more minutes pass. Xena is trying to stay awake. Gabrielle is still thinking about something.

GABRIELLE: How many women altogether, do you think?

XENA: How many women altogether what?

GABRIELLE: Have you, uh, you know, been with?

XENA: How many have you been with?

GABRIELLE: Well, I used to sleep with my sister, but I don’t think that counts…

XENA: Not unless you had that special sisterly bond they keep talking about in that Xenaverse magazine…


XENA: You didn’t, did you?


XENA: Have that special sisterly bond?

GABRIELLE: Of course not! We’re not that Greek.

XENA: Good.

GABRIELLE: Would you be jealous?

XENA: A little, I guess.

GABRIELLE: How come?

XENA: I’m just glad I was your first.

GABRIELLE: First woman, anyway…

XENA: Ouch!


Several minutes pass…

GABRIELLE: So how many?

XENA: What?


XENA: I don’t know. Does it matter?

GABRIELLE: You don’t know or you’re not telling?

XENA: I don’t know offhand. I’d have to figure it out.

GABRIELLE: That many?

XENA: It didn’t mean anything, Gabrielle.

GABRIELLE: <hurt> What about me?

XENA: Huh?

GABRIELLE: Do I mean anything?

XENA: Of course you do. I meant the others didn’t mean anything.

GABRIELLE: So how many others?

XENA: Is it important?

GABRIELLE: I’m just a little curious about them…

XENA: What exactly are you curious about?

GABRIELLE: Well, how old were they?

XENA: How old?

GABRIELLE: You said M’Lila was just a teenager when she died.

XENA: <pained look> Yeah. Way too young to die.

GABRIELLE: And that Black Wolf girl…

XENA: Flora.

GABRIELLE: You knew her when you were just kids.

XENA: Yeah.

GABRIELLE: And you knew Helen of Troy before she married.

XENA: Uh huh.

GABRIELLE: And me of course.


GABRIELLE: It just seems that all of them were really young.

XENA: I was pretty young myself then.

GABRIELLE: But what about now?

XENA: What about now?

GABRIELLE: You’re probably thirty-something and you’re still dating teenagers.

XENA: Hey!!!

GABRIELLE: Doesn’t it strike you as odd?

XENA: Are you saying I should date somebody else?


XENA: What then?

GABRIELLE: I just wonder why you’re attracted to me.

XENA: It’s not just that, Gabrielle. I love you.

GABRIELLE: <blushes> Oh, Xena.

Several minutes pass. Xena is wide awake and looking a bit worried. Gabrielle looks like she might be drifting off to sleep.

XENA: Gabrielle?

GABRIELLE: <snork> Huh?

XENA: Does it bother you that I’m older?


XENA: Do you think there’s something wrong with me?


XENA: It’s OK. I can take it.

GABRIELLE: Xena, you’re an ex-warlord subject to nightmares, who occasionally succumbs to the influence of Ares and hollers things like “Kill them all!” I’d say you might be a few beans short of a burrito.

XENA: <crestfallen> Am I that bad?

GABRIELLE: Oh, honey, I was just teasing.

XENA: Oh. <kisses Gabrielle’s forehead> Go back to sleep.

Several minutes pass. Gabrielle is sound asleep and snoring. Xena extricates herself from Gabrielle’s embrace and looks down at her for a minute, then gets up and leads Argo quietly away from the campsite.


Later. In town. Xena approaches a building that has a sign over the door that says “Dr. Fealguhd.” She ties Argo up outside and goes into the building.

[Dr. Fealguhd’s appearance courtesy of Joanna, aka WordWarrior.]

Dr. Fealguhd’s waiting room.

NURSE: Do you have an appointment?

XENA: This is an emergency.

NURSE: I’ll see if the doctor is in.

XENA: Thanks.

NURSE: <into the intercom> Doctor, are you free?

DR. FEALGUHD: Sure, why not?

NURSE: <to Xena> That’ll be two dinars.

Xena reaches into her cleavage, causing the nurse to gasp, pulls out a coin purse, takes out two dinars, and gives them to the nurse.

NURSE: Thank you. <fans herself> You may go in now.

Xena goes into the doctor’s office.

DR. FEALGUHD: What can I do for you?

XENA: I have a problem.

DR. FEALGUHD: Problems ’R’ us! <heh heh> What seems to be the matter?

XENA: Well, I always seem to get involved with really young girls.

DR. FEALGUHD: Girls?!?!

XENA: Is that a problem?

DR. FEALGUHD: Let’s see.

Dr. Fealguhd picks up the latest copy of the Handbook of the American Psychiatric Association and leafs through it.

DR. FEALGUHD: What year is this?

XENA: Anywhere between 1200 BC and 50 AD.

DR. FEALGUHD: Too bad. After 1973 AD, doing it with girls wouldn’t be a problem.

XENA: I don’t have a problem with doing it with girls.


XENA: No. It’s that the girls I do it with are never over 19 years old.

DR. FEALGUHD: And you are…

XENA: Older than that.

DR. FEALGUHD: Aha!!! <scribbles on her notepad>

XENA: What?

DR. FEALGUHD: Nothing. Go on.

XENA: That’s it.

DR. FEALGUHD: Uh, so why are you only attracted to teenagers?

XENA: I was hoping you could tell me.

DR. FEALGUHD: I see. <scribbles on her notepad> Xena grabs the notepad from Dr. Fealguhd and looks at it.

XENA: <reads> Diagnosis: LAD. Shouldn’t that be LASS?

DR. FEALGUHD: That’s L-A-D. It stands for Libidinal Affective Disorder.

XENA: What’s that?

DR. FEALGUHD: You’re a chickenhawk.

XENA: Oh, dear.

DR. FEALGUHD: Not a big deal. Just stay away from anyone under 16 and you’ll be fine.

XENA: Under 16?

DR. FEALGUHD: Yep. It’s a no-no. Jail bait. Bad news.

The sound of someone entering the waiting room is heard. Then the door of Dr. Fealguhd’s office opens and Gabrielle enters.

GABRIELLE: Xena! I was so worried about you! I woke up and you were gone!

Dr. Fealguhd scribbles something on her notepad.

XENA: I’m sorry.

Gabrielle plops down on the floor next to Xena and lays her head in Xena’s lap.

GABRIELLE: Oh, Xena. I missed you so much.

XENA: <strokes Gabrielle’s hair> I missed you too.

GABRIELLE: Don’t ever leave me like that again.

XENA: I won’t. <pat, pat> There, there.

Dr. Fealguhd scribbles furiously on her notepad.

GABRIELLE: <to Xena, pointing at Dr. Fealguhd> Who’s that?

XENA: Dr. Fealguhd.

GABRIELLE: <worried> A doctor? Oh, no! Are you sick?

XENA: Not that kind of doctor, Gabrielle. She’s a shrink.

DR. FEALGUHD: Psychiatric social worker.

XENA: Whatever.

DR. FEALGUHD: We’re having a two-for-the-price-of-one special today. Maybe your little friend would like some help.

GABRIELLE: <sarcastic> Her “little friend”?

XENA: Chill, Gabrielle. <to Dr. Fealguhd> Does she need help?

DR. FEALGUHD: She appears to be suffering from a bad case of co-dependency.

GABRIELLE: Hey! I took all twelve steps!

XENA: You did?

GABRIELLE: Just once… Anyway, I’m only XV. Co-dependency comes with the territory.



DR. FEALGUHD: <to Xena> Is this one of them?

XENA: Yeah.

DR. FEALGUHD: And she’s only XV?

XENA: <to Gabrielle> I thought you said you were XVI.

GABRIELLE: XV, XVI, what’s the difference?

DR. FEALGUHD: A jail term.

GABRIELLE: You can’t put me in jail! I’m an emancipated minor! I’ve been married and everything!

DR. FEALGUHD: Oh, well, that’s all right then.

XENA: Are you sure?

DR. FEALGUHD: An emancipated minor is OK.

XENA: That was a bit too close for comfort. <chuckle>

GABRIELLE: What’s so funny?

XENA: I was just thinking, after all the things I’ve done, I could end up going to jail for loving somebody.

GABRIELLE: If you go to jail, I’m going with you!

XENA: Really?

GABRIELLE: Where you go I go.

XENA: Gee, Gabrielle. That’s really sweet… <to Dr. Fealguhd> But what are we going to do about all our problems…

DR. FEALGUHD: Oh, puh-leeze. You think you have problems? Believe me, you have nothing to worry about.

GABRIELLE: <to Xena> Did you pay in advance?

XENA: Yeah.

GABRIELLE: Well the least you could do is give us a diagnosis.

DR. FEALGUHD: OK. <ahem> It is my professional opinion that the coincidental conjunction of the elder partner’s L.A.D. and the younger partner’s adolescent insecurities, coupled with rampant co-dependency, could provide a therapeutic environment of mutual need that will foster the growth of both partners.

XENA: And that means…?

DR. FEALGUHD: You’re perfect for each other.

GABRIELLE: <brightly> Really?


Gabrielle jumps up and skips around the room, knocking over a trophy that was prominently displayed on Dr. Fealguhd’s desk. She picks it up, checks to make sure it’s not broken, then replaces it on the desk.


DR. FEALGUHD: No harm done. <picks up the trophy and gazes at it fondly> It’s the Shrink Of The Year award. NAMBLA gave it to me last year.

XENA: Congratulations.

DR. FEALGUHD: Thank you.

Xena and Gabrielle leave the doctor’s office and start walking home, Xena leading Argo. Gabrielle pulls out her pan flute and starts to play a tune.

XENA: <sings> “Sisters, sisters, there were never such devoted sisters…”

Xena and Gabrielle do the Wizard-Of-Oz step down the yellow dirt road…


Sisters, sisters, there were never such devoted sisters