IX: Who's On Top?

Mid-morning. Xena’s and Gabrielle’s campsite. Xena and Gabrielle are sitting by the ashes of their campfire. Xena is sharpening her sword and Gabrielle is reading a scroll.


XENA: Huh?

GABRIELLE: Did you see this interview with Liz?

XENA: I don’t think so.

GABRIELLE: She says we’re “a perfect little butch/femme couple.”

A corner of Xena’s mouth quirks up at that.

XENA: Does she?

GABRIELLE: What does that mean?

XENA: It’s about role-playing.

GABRIELLE: Is that like play-acting?

XENA: No… It’s the way two people interact with each other. Like your parents, for instance. The man behaves one way and the woman behaves another way.

GABRIELLE: That sounds really boring.

XENA: It can have its moments.

GABRIELLE: What do you mean?

Xena straightens up and takes a stunning and masterful pose.

XENA: Don’t you ever just want to be taken care of by someone who is strong and protective and whose primary purpose in life is to shield you from harm and provide you with everything you need to be safe and comfortable and happy?


Xena deflates.



XENA: <hesitates> Sometimes…


XENA: Sure. Not all the time. But I thought everybody had times when they wanted that…


XENA: Why not?

GABRIELLE: Golly, Xena, it sounds like the story of my life. You save my life at least once per episode. You protect me and take care of me. Not that I don’t appreciate it, but sometimes it gets a bit old. Just once I’d like to be the strong one.


GABRIELLE: That’s not funny, Xena.

XENA: I wasn’t being funny.

GABRIELLE: <sarcastic> Oh, sure. Like I’m qualified to take care of and protect the Warrior Princess.

XENA: Are we in danger right now?

GABRIELLE: <looks around> I don’t think so. Are we?


GABRIELLE: So the best I can hope for is to pretend that I’m the strong one?

XENA: Gabrielle, you’re strong in a lot of ways that I’m not.

GABRIELLE: Xena, don’t patronize me.

Xena pulls out the Carmen Carter Lexicon and leafs through it.

XENA: P-A-T-R-O-N-I-Z-E. Here it is. “Treat condescendingly.” <leafs through the Lexicon again> C-O-N-D-E-S-C-E-N-D. “Treat patronizingly.” <tosses the Lexicon aside> Well that was a big help.

GABRIELLE: It means that you just let me think that I’m strong and capable, and you pretend to let me take care of you, but when a real situation comes up, Xena the Warrior Princess has to take over and bail me out again.

XENA: That’s not what I meant.

GABRIELLE: <sigh> That’s OK, Xena. I’m used to being the sidekick. <stands up> We’re out of salt and flour. I think it’s my turn to go into town for supplies.

XENA: I’d be glad to go with you.

GABRIELLE: That’s OK. I need to do some thinking. I’ll be back in a little while.

Gabrielle mounts Argo and heads off toward town. Xena watches Gabrielle until she vanishes around a bend in the road. Then she looks all around her for something that she can’t see.

XENA: Hey! Kit! <listens> HEY!!! Catherine M. Wilson (aka Kit)!!!

KIT: <snork> Huh?

XENA: Sorry, were you asleep?

KIT: Just resting my eyes.

XENA: Well I’ve got a bone to pick with you.

KIT: What?

XENA: Have you noticed that in every blessed one of these parodies, I make love to Gabrielle but nobody makes love to me?

KIT: Oh, dear. What an oversight!

XENA: Well it’s starting to get on my nerves.

KIT: Sorry. I’ll try to do something about it when Gabrielle gets back.

XENA: Uh, well, actually, I was thinking you might like to handle it personally.

KIT: <stunned silence>

XENA: Kit? <a beat> You still there?

KIT: <unintelligible>

XENA: Well, what do you say?

KIT: I thought I was too much of a letdown…

XENA: Gee, Kit, I’m really sorry about that. That was incredibly rude of me.

KIT: Donna said it’s pretty bad when even your fantasies won’t sleep with you…

XENA: She’s right…

KIT: Just because you’re drop-dead gorgeous, you know, doesn’t make dogs of the rest of us, does it?

XENA: Of course not. I’m very sorry. <picks up a nearby scroll> Actually, I was reading some of your stories, and except for that Wedding Night thing they’re really lovely. I bet you know a thing or two about love.

KIT: I wouldn’t say that…

XENA: But you understand how I feel…

KIT: A little bit, I guess.

XENA: And I’d like to make it up to you for what I said when you were here the last time…

KIT: <aside> I can’t believe I’m going to say this. <to Xena> I can’t let you do that, Xena.

XENA: Why not?

KIT: It wouldn’t be right. You belong to Gabrielle.


KIT: I wish I could…

XENA: Is that one of the things you know about love that I don’t?

KIT: Oh, I think you know it too, don’t you?

XENA: Well, yeah…

KIT: Sorry. I’ll see what I can do about your problem.

XENA: Thanks. <a beat> Kit?

KIT: Huh?

XENA: Could you do something else for me?

KIT: What?

XENA: Could you let Gabrielle win a fight? Just once?

KIT: Sure.

XENA: Thanks. <a beat> Kit?

KIT: Yeah?

XENA: As long as it’s not with me…

KIT: That goes without saying.

XENA: Thanks.

Xena sits down on the bedroll and waits.

Suddenly from out of nowhere a band of ruffians leaps out of the forest. Xena leaps to her feet and reaches for her sword, but one of the ruffians kicks it out of her reach. She fights off ruffian after ruffian with her bare hands but they are beginning to wear her down. Finally only two ruffians are left. One of them swings his sword at her and she dodges the blow, but the other is about to hit her over the head from behind with a club.

A staff flies through the air and strikes the club from the ruffian’s hand. Gabrielle, mounted on Argo, enters the clearing. She dismounts with a full twist over Argo’s head.


She lands with both feet on the disarmed ruffian. She recovers her staff and takes on the other one while Xena watches. After a dozen blows are exchanged between Gabrielle and the sword-wielding ruffian, Gabrielle succeeds in knocking him out. The defeated ruffians take their wounded and unconscious pals and run away.

RUFFIANS: Run away! Run away! Run away!

XENA: <to Gabrielle> That was amazing.

GABRIELLE: <smugly> Yeah, it was, wasn’t it.

XENA: You saved my life, Gabrielle.

GABRIELLE: <even more smugly> Yeah, I did, didn’t I.

XENA: Thanks, Gabrielle.

A doubtful look comes into Gabrielle’s eyes.

GABRIELLE: Was that a set-up?

XENA: Not at all.


XENA: Really.

GABRIELLE: Wow. I really saved your life?

XENA: Yup.

GABRIELLE: <smiles> Gee, that felt good.

Xena smiles at Gabrielle with genuine admiration.

GABRIELLE: In fact, it was pretty exciting.

Xena waits for Gabrielle to realize the significance of her new discovery.

GABRIELLE: Is this how you feel after you win a fight?

XENA: Uh huh.

GABRIELLE: No wonder you’re all over me afterwards…

Xena bites her tongue.

GABRIELLE: C’mere you.

Xena goes over to Gabrielle. She stands quietly in front of her, waiting for further instructions.

GABRIELLE: <starts unfastening Xena’s armor> It’s not too early for this, is it?

XENA: Gabrielle, I’m yours whenever you want me.

GABRIELLE: Really? Er, I mean, of course you are.

Gabrielle removes Xena’s armor and her leathers. Then she leads her to their bedroll. Xena follows her obediently.

GABRIELLE: I don’t think I can sweep you up into my arms.

XENA: <smiles> That’s OK.

Xena lies down and looks seductively up at Gabrielle.


Gabrielle lies down next to Xena, leans over her and kisses her. She undoes the laces on Xena’s shift and pulls it down, then starts kissing Xena’s breasts.

XENA: <sigh> Oh, Gabrielle. You’re so romantic.


The screen remains dark, but we hear Xena’s voice.

XENA: Kit?

KIT: Yeah?

XENA: Thanks.

KIT: Don’t mention it.

Later. The screen is still dark.


GABRIELLE: I think I just went deaf in my left ear.


Sisters, sisters, there were never such devoted sisters