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By ViolaDiva (Muse of Music)INTERIOR, EARLY 19TH CENTURY NEW Z......ENGLISH COUNTRY COTTAGE, MIDDAY
Mrs. Dashwood and her three daughters are seated in the drawing room awaiting the arrival of a visitor.
MRS. DASHWOOD: Now Marianne.....I mean Gabrielle, I want you to be nice to the Colonel when he arrives as he is So very fond of you.
GABRIELLE: (to Xena, embroidering beside her) How in the heck did we get here? And where on earth did we get these frumpy clothes?
XENA: Relax Gabrielle... We don't appear to be in any immediate danger. For some reason this woman thinks that we're her daughters. Just smile and play along until I can figure this thing out.
MRS. D: Oh Gabrielle, be a dear girl and read to us. There is a lovely volume of Shakespeare's Sonnets on the table beside you.
GABRIELLE: (struggling to be polite) Well, I've really tried reading that book but his rhyme scheme gets seriously on my nerves. Like, how about, too many metric feet per square inch?
MARGARET: I've tried listening to those stories YOU tell and they all sound like Greek to me!
GABRIELLE: (raising her voice) It's because THEY ARE GREEK you pre-Victorian little pip-squeak!
MARGARET: I AM NOT!
GABRIELLE: YOU ARE SO!
XENA: Gabrielle.....This isn't helping!
MRS D: Girls! I pray...Don't excite yourselves! The Colonel is due at any moment.
And at that very moment Colonel Pickering is seen walking towards the cottage accompanied by several servants who are carrying a large wooden object.
MRS D: (hurrying to the doorway) Colonel Pickering! We are ever so honoured to have the pleasure of your company again. My word....What's this?
SERVANT: Where do you want the piano ladies?
MARGARET: Hooray! A Piano! Now Gabrielle can play for us again.
MRS D: Girls! You are forgetting your manners!
(The four ladies curtsy in unison)
GABRIELLE: (puzzled) Uh, Xena......What's a Piano?
XENA: (shrugging her shoulders) You're asking me?
MRS D: Oh, Colonel, what a marvelous instrument. Where on earth did you get it?
MARGARET: It must have cost a fortune!
COLONEL PICKERING: Actually, I got it for next to nothing from an austere looking mute woman standing on the beach. Curious she was, all dressed in black like that, and she was missing part of her right index finger. Her young daughter would only accept a few pounds from me.....said that they were planning to dump the thing into the sea.
GABRIELLE: (to Xena) How much is that in Dinars?
(Xena shoots Gabrielle "the look" as thunder is heard in the distance)
MRS D: The least we can do to thank the Colonel is offer him a musical selection....Gabrielle?
XENA: (teasing) Oh Yes Gabrielle, I'M just dying to hear you play!
GABRIELLE: Excuse me folks, but I'm going for a walk! (whispers to Xena) Maybe I can find Emma Thompson to see if she can write us out of this screenplay.
XENA: Looks like rain Gabrielle.
GABRIELLE: Oh, you always say that!
XENA: (smiling) And then it always rains.
(Gabrielle mindlessly grabs a bonnet off the coat rack while hurrying out the front door. More thunder booms in the distance and a concerned Xena draws slowly to the window, her keen eyes following the figure of a young woman disappearing into the distance)
MRS D: Oh Colonel, I do apologise for Gabrielle. She has been ever so temperamental lately.
COLONEL P: That is quite all right Mrs. Dashwood. Perhaps another time. (sighing) However, I do find Gabrielle a most Heavenly Creature!
XENA: Forgive me Colonel, but I'm afraid you've got her confused with Kate Winslet.
MRS D: We do ever so thank you for the pleasure of your call. Perhaps you could bring that nice Professor Higgins with you on your next visit.
The three remaining ladies curtsy as Colonel Pickering steps outside onto the lawn. The first few drops of rain begin to fall and a flash of lightning rips across the summer sky. Xena, ignoring their departing guest for a moment, glances up....and then....stares off into the distance...........
EXTERIOR, ENGLISH COUNTRYSIDE, MID-AFTERNOON...RAINSTORM
(Gabrielle is seen strolling through a meadow during a heavy downpour. She is vainly attempting to remain cheerful by playing her pan flute.)
GABRIELLE: TOOT-TU-TOOT.....GURGLE, GURGLE....TOOT-TU...GURGLE... Well that's the last time I try to play this thing under water. I guess Xena was right about the rain after all.
(The sound of muddy horses hooves approaches from behind and an exceptionally handsome rider whizzes past the soaked young woman)
GABRIELLE: HEY WAIT!
(Gabrielle slips her pan flute into the her skirt waistband and begins to run down the hill after the stranger)
GABRIELLE: (gaining speed) Hey! Excuse me Sir! You wouldn't happen to know where I might find Emma Thompson would you?
(Suddenly, Gabrielle trips on a rock and goes careening down the hill as she is not used to running in clunky early 19th century ladies' footwear. The stranger hard reigns his horse upward as he turns in the direction of the young damsel. Gallantly, he leaps to the ground and kneels at Gabrielle's feet.)
STRANGER: Madam, I pray, are you all right?
GABRIELLE: (rubbing her hip) You try rolling down a hill and landing on a pan flute and see how you feel!
STRANGER: Gentlewoman, I insist upon checking your ankle for broken bones.
GABRIELLE: (wiggling her foot) My ankle's fine.....not even sprained.
STRANGER: (rolling her foot from side to side) All right. Now I insist upon checking that delicate, soft fleshy part behind your right knee. (slowly moving his hand up her skirt)
(Gabrielle raises up on both elbows and gives the "interloper" a good swift kick in the chest sending him sprawling backwards in the mud)
STRANGER: Madam, I assure you that I certainly meant you no indiscretion. The nature of my concern was solely as to your well being. At least allow me to escort you home.
(Gabrielle stands and begins picking shattered word shards out of her skirt)
GABRIELLE: Okay...You can walk me home, but only if you keep your hands to yourself.
(As the stranger rises to his feet, Gabrielle notices a flash of shiny metal beneath his cloak)
GABRIELLE: (laughing) Hey, is that a sword under your coat or are you just glad to see me?
STRANGER: (buttoning his cloak) I dare say that you have the most charming, yet curious way of expressing yourself. Do you like to read?
MRS. DASHWOOD: Oh Elinor, I mean Xena, I am so very worried about your sister being away for so long in such inclement weather.
XENA: (under her breath) She's...not...my...SISTER! (aloud) Now I'm sure she's managed to find shelter somewhere. Besides, the thunder and lightning have stopped and the rain appears to be letting up. (Xena tosses her sewing project on the couch and stands) On second thought, maybe I ought to go look for her.
MRS. D: Yes perhaps, but I implore you to be careful.
(Xena heads quickly for the front door but upon stepping outside notices two soggy people and one horse walking toward the cottage)
GABRIELLE: (waving cheerfully) XENA!
XENA: Gabrielle, are you all right? You look a mess!
STRANGER: (interrupting) Forgive me madam, but the young lady had quite a fall. However, she does seem quite capable of taking care of herself.
GABRIELLE: Xena, this nice man stopped to help me and can you believe he knows some stories by Homer? Homer is really famous now!
XENA: (protectively) Gabrielle, you might be hurt. I think I'd better carry you inside.
(The stranger's eyes widen as Xena easily lifts Gabrielle and carries her through the front door)
MRS. D: Oh heavens child! Are you all right?
GABRIELLE: (annoyed) I'm fine....Really!....But nobody listens to me!
(Xena lowers her onto the couch)
XENA: See....You are hurt!
(Gabrielle rolls to one side to reveal Xena's sewing stuck to her bottom)
XENA: Ooooops........Sorry about that!
MRS. D: Please Sir, do come in and let us offer you some tea.
STRANGER: Excuse me madam but I do not wish to intrude upon you any longer. My purpose was to see the lady home safely.
(Xena glances suspiciously at the man)
MRS. D: However then may we repay you for your kindness?
STRANGER: By affording me the honour of calling upon you tomorrow afternoon so that I may inquire as to the progress of the patient.
GABRIELLE: (excited) Hey, don't forget to bring those two volumes of epics that you were telling me about!
STRANGER: (tipping his hat) Good Day, Ladies!
(Xena quietly begins to suck air through her clenched teeth)
GABRIELLE: (whispering loudly) His Name!.....Ask his Name!
MRS. D: Oh Sir! Would you do us the honour of telling us the name of one to whom we owe so much gratitude?
STRANGER: (turning) The name's McCloud......DUNCAN McCLOUD....
ViolaDiva (Muse of Music)
*****DISCLAIMER*****Adrian Paul was not injured during the production of this spoof, however Gabrielle's pan flute was smashed to smithereens, much to the delight of many cast members and crew.
EXTERIOR, ENGLISH COUNTRYSIDE, MID-MORNING
(Painfully lovely music is heard in the background as Xena and Gabrielle are seen walking through a meadow gate leading to a country road. The music comes to an abrupt halt.)
GABRIELLE: (walking a few steps ahead) Look Xena, all I'm asking you to do is trust me. I am an adult, remember?
XENA: Gabrielle, we don't really know anything about this guy or why he hides a sword under his coat.
GABRIELLE: (turning to face Xena) SWORD?...SWORD?...Uh, excuse me Miss Walking Arsenal. Are you trying to tell me that I shouldn't make friends with people who carry swords?
XENA: (confused) Well No! That's not exactly what I meant.
GABRIELLE: Hey, he's a nice man, he's funny and he's way cuter than that twerp Edward Ferrars who's after you. The way That guy reads poetry could turn the Titans back into stone!
XENA: I don't think Mr. Ferrars will be bothering me anymore.
GABRIELLE: (puzzled) Why's that? What happened?
XENA: The cops picked him up late last night. It seems they caught him in his carriage with a Lady-of-the-Evening.
GABRIELLE: Wow! And he seemed so sedate!
XENA: Gabrielle, just be careful with McCloud. The glances, the looks....I've seen that line of seduction before.
GABRIELLE: Don't overreact! Just because you used to hang out with some "insalubrious" company doesn't mean that I will too.
XENA: Those days are in the past.
(A rider approaches at full gallop)
COLONEL PICKERING: (shouting) MORNING!
XENA: Colonel! Good Morning!
COL. P.: (smiling whilst dismounting) Miss Xena! Miss Gabrielle! I've come to issue an invitation. (removing his hat) A picnic at Professor Higgins estate!
XENA: (offering a curtsy) We'd be delighted Colonel! (to herself) What am I doing? I'm starting to talk like these people. (Hits the side of her head with the palm of her hand)
(Gabrielle looks distractedly off into the distance)
COL. P: (loudly) We will of course be including Mr. McCloud in the party!
GABRIELLE: (turning her head back) Did someone mention food? What are we having? Cheese? Nutbread?
COL P: (puzzled) Nutbread?
XENA: Gabrielle, Calm Down!
(At that very moment, an exceptionally fine buggy approaches drawn by two perfectly matched black horses)
DUNCAN McCLOUD: (waving his hat) Good Morning Gabrielle! Good Morning Colonel!
(Gabrielle runs down to the buggy and hops in)
GABRIELLE: (excited) Hey, the Colonel has invited us to a picnic and I'm starving!
McCLOUD: Excellent! I understand that you and Professor Higgins have a splendid collection of antique weapons.
(Xena raises one eyebrow and smiles)
XENA: (softly) Weapons?......Hmmmm...
GABRIELLE: (waving from the departing buggy) Bye! See you at the picnic!
COL P: (turning to Xena) You're friend seems very happy.
XENA: Yes, I'm afraid she is. My friend? How did you know? Everyone here thinks we're sisters.
COL P: My dear, it's obvious to me that the two of you are not sisters just as it is plain to me that you are possibly not of this time and place. Do not forget that I am a scholar of languages. However, I must confess that you both have me quite puzzled with reguards to your origins. You, in particular, seem to be attempting to disguse an Antipodal foundation with an American accent. I also notice a marked tendency to force a contralto timbre upon your natural light lyric soprano register.
XENA: I've gotta hand it to you Colonel, this is the first time anyone's undressed me with their ears!
COL P: Now as to your friend's voice...
XENA: (interrupting) That's enough, Colonel! What do you know about McCloud?
COL P: As far as horses go, there's no finer rider anywhere. His accent dates I believe from the 17th Century highlands of......
XENA: COLONEL! PLEASE! I want to know about his character and why he carries a sword.
COL P: (soberly) Miss Xena? Would you allow me to relate some circumstances with nothing but an earnest desire of being useful? (pauses) I find it necessary to apprise you of certain things in Mr. McCloud's past. It is said that he arrived in the area some 30 years ago yet hasn't shown any signs of aging. I have also heard reports in town that, due to his dalliances, many innocent women have suffered cruelly.
XENA: (eyes widening) Suffered how?
COL P: Let's just say that he's left a legacy of illegitimate children and "fallen" young women in his path over the past decades. That he may endeavor to deserve the attention of your young friend is highly unlikely.
XENA: Why hasn't anyone tried to stop him?
COL P: Oh dear, I would not have burdened you at this time but I sincerely fear for Miss Gabrielle's "reputation". Many have tried, but they say he cannot be stopped...unless....of course....
XENA: (desperately) Unless what? TELL ME!
COL P: Rumor has it that the only way to extinguish an Immortal is to sever the head from the body.
XENA: That can be arranged Language-Man. Come on! Don't we have a picnic to attend? (smiling) I'm just DYIN' to see that weapons collection of yours!
*****DISCLAIMER***** Hugh Grant's reputation was not damaged in the
production of this spoof but he was pretty bummed-out about having his character
eliminated from the
plot so quickly.
EXTERIOR, HIGGINS ESTATE, MIDDAY
(Mrs. Dashwood, Xena and Colonel Pickering are seated at one of several tables set up on the lawn. Margaret is seen lawn bowling with some of the other guests.)
MRS. DASHWOOD: I wonder what could be keeping Gabrielle and that charming Mr. McCloud? I should think thay would have arrived by now.
XENA: Yeah, she's not one to miss an opportunity to eat.
COLONEL PICKERING: Indeed. Professor Higgins even went to the trouble of acquiring these Chinese gooseberries for this occasion after learning of Gabrielle's fondness for them (pointing at the fruit bowl on the table).
(Xena picks up a piece of the fuzzy brown fruit and heartily bites into it, squirting pale green juice all over her chin)
MRS. D: Good Heavens Xena! Where are your manners! (Handing her a napkin) Use your Fork!
XENA: (softly to herself) Furking Forks!
COL P: Mrs Dashwood. I had no idea that Miss Xena had such extraordinary skills as a rider which I had the supreme pleasure to witness on the way here this morning. I must honestly confess that I have never in my life seen a woman straddle a side saddle with her skirt pulled up around her thighs. Ah, those beautiful long, bare legs dangling out of the stirrups in the open air. Oh forgive me! (Wiping the visible perspiration from his forehead)
(Mrs. Dashwood buries her head in her hands whilst dying of embarassment)
XENA: (smiling) Why Thank You Colonel! On that saddle though I learned a new meaning of the word "pain" when we slowed to a trot. (gently rubs her "bum" through her dress)
(At that moment, Professor Higgins approaches, smartly attired in a smoking jacket)
COL P: (loudly) Ah Higgins! There you are old chap! (standing) Mrs. Dashwood, ........Xena,....... May I present Professor Henry Higgins, the world's leading authority on the study of phonetics!
(The ladies bow their heads in unison)
MRS. D: Oh Professor! I am so delighted to finally make your aquaintance. Thank you so much for the gracious invitation today.
PROFESSOR HIGGINS: No trouble at all Mithes Dashwood. I'm tho pleathed that you and your lovely daughters could attend!
MRS. D: Forgive me Professor, but I don't know what on earth could be keeping Gabrielle. I'm sure she'll be along at any moment.
(Xena and the Colonel give each other simultaneous worried looks)
XENA: (standing) Colonel! Didn't you promise to give me a tour of the Study?
HIGGINS: (enraged) PICKERING! A Woman in our Thtudy?
COL P: Relax Higgins! I think as far as Miss Xena is concerned we should make an exception.
XENA: (coyly to Higgins) I'm a good girl, I am.
HIGGINS: Oh very well, Come On! Pleath excuth us Mithes Dashwood.
(Higgins and Pickering are seated on a large leather sofa as Xena peruses the assortment of books and armaments that line the wood-paneled walls. She notices a sword not unlike her own and lightly runs her soft fingertips over the hilt then down the blade.)
HIGGINS: (opening a humidor laying next to a copy of "Hooked on Phonics") Thigar Pickering?
XENA: (reaches over) Don't mind if I do.
(The gentlemen stare with mouths agape as Xena bites off the tip of the cigar and spits it into the fireplace. She then plops in a chair and plants both feet on the coffee table.)
XENA: Well? What does a gal have to do to get a light around here?
COL P: (Taking a cigar for himself) See Higgins! I told you she was no "ordinary" woman.
HIGGINS: (offering Xena a light) Amazing! I've never heard a dialect like yours in my life. You theem to be attempting to cover an Antipodal foundation with an American acthent.
COL P: (loudly) HIGGINS! We already covered all that in the last scene!
HIGGINS: Oh!.......Well, how on earth did you and your friend get here Thena?
XENA: I honestly don't know. One day, Gabrielle and I were on the road to AOHNA ......(to herself) Darned Sub-Titles! (aloud) Sorry about that! Where was I?
COL P: You and Gabrielle were on the road to AOHNA......Good Lord! Now I'm doing it!
XENA: Oh yes, now I remember! Gabrielle and I were on the road to Athens when we stopped at an inn for some food. After "persuading" a couple of people to offer us their table, we sat down and ordered. While waiting for our food, I noticed a strange group of dwarves sitting in a darkly lit corner. There were two "averaged sized" individuals with them but they wore hoods and I couldn't tell who or what they were. The dwarves smiled and waved at us and then sent over a round of drinks. The last thing I remember is passing out at the table. Then the two of us woke up here and in these clothes.
COL P: Hasn't Mrs. Dashwood noticed that you're not her real daughters?
XENA: (taking a puff) Apparently not! (begins eyeing the walls once again) Impressive collection guys!
HIGGINS: The thtudy of language and phonetics hath taken uth all over the world and in that time we were able to amath the rare collection you thee before you.
COL P: (standing) I was able to obtain some particularly interesting objects during my India service Miss Xena. Would you like to see them?
XENA: Of course!
(Colonel Pickering walks over to a panel by the fireplace an touches a hidden switch. The panel slides back to reveal several jewel encrusted daggers. Xena's eyes widen as she slowly begins to sit up in her chair. A smile crosses her lips as if she has seen an old friend for hanging among the daggers is a glistening,.....round,......razor-sharp weapon)
No dwarves or speech impaired persons were harmed during the production of this spoof. However, Margaret had to be rushed to the E-Room after hitting herself in the head with a lawn bowling ball.
EXTERIOR, COUNTRY ROAD, EARLY AFTERNOON
(Gabrielle and McCloud are seen travelling at a slow trot down a road surrounded by trees)
GABRIELLE: ........and Hercules lifted the huge rock over his head, deflecting the sword that the Warrior Princess had thrown from the sky and so Prometheus' chains were broken and the powers of fire and healing were restored to all the people of the earth.
DUNCAN McCLOUD: Does this Warrior Princess have a name?
GABRIELLE: (hesitating) .....A name?......Uh, No I don't think so. I think she's just, well you know, like, your average Warrior Princess of Greek Legend.
McCLOUD: It's remarkable how well you tell it. It almost sounds as if you were there. (pauses) Forgive me dear Gabrielle, if I may be so bold, but do you...Ever...stop talking?
GABRIELLE: Stop Talking? Me? Hmmm.....Let's see......Well, when I'm asleep of course....or.....usually if someone's holding a knife to my throat...........Hey! Aren't we there yet? I'm Starving!
McCLOUD: The estate is just up ahead, less than a mile. (stops the buggy and turns to her) You know you're very beautiful Gabrielle, and very perceptive.
(He gazes purposefully into her eyes as he slips his hand behind her neck, slowly tilting her head back. Their lips meet softly at first, and in that moment, time seems to stand still as if the world exists for these two people alone. Gabrielle tosses her head to the side and then back, allowing her bonnet to fall. The colour of her cheeks has deepened and her eyes reveal a trace of amorous intoxication. He gently turns her face back to his as she laces her fingers behind his neck, and they resume kissing more intensely than before. He drops the reins and runs his hand along her body up to the top buttons of her blouse. Impatiently, he rips off the top two....)
GABRIELLE: (coming up for air) Wait! Could you just slow down here for a moment?
McCLOUD: (tightening the embrace) Gabrielle! Darling! Life is so short, you must enjoy it while you can! (kisses her neck forcefully)
(Gabrielle spies the loose reins. She is able to swing her arms enough to slam McCloud in the chest with an elbow blow. She then grabs the reins and produces her best "Argo Whistle." The horses rear back, whinny, and take off at full gallop sending the Scotsman somersaulting, head first, into the back of the buggy.)
GABRIELLE: (loudly) Hey! We've cleared the trees and I see the house just up ahead. I hope there's some food left!
McCLOUD: (dazed and frustrated) Whaaaaat?.........Oh Great. This is Just Great!
EXTERIOR, HIGGINS ESTATE
(Colonel Pickering, Professor Higgins, Mrs. Dashwood, Margaret and the other guests are gathered on the front lawn awaiting a demonstration from Xena. Margaret is sporting a large bandage as a result of her unfortunate lawn bowling accident)
COLONEL PICKERING: That's remarkable Miss Xena! I've seen a Chakram thrown before but I've never seen anyone make it return to their own hand! Please, show us again!
XENA: (smiling, as if pleased with herself) Okay! Here Goes!
(Xena flings the weapon with her usual artistry. It whizzes just over the heads of the crowd, bounces off two trees, and beheads one of the statues flanking the front door before returning safely to her hand)
COL P: BRAVA! BRAVA!
(The entire party bursts into thunderous applause with the execption of Professor Higgins who is not amused at the damage done to his property)
MARGARET: (tugging on Xena's skirt) Xena, you promised to play sword fighting with me!
XENA: (kneeling down to the girl) Swords are not toys Margaret. If you promise to be careful I'll show you a couple of tricks.
MARGARET: I want to use this sword. (tries unsuccessfully to lift a metal sword at Xena's feet)
XENA: No, I think you'd better start with this...(handing her a stick)
MRS. DASHWOOD: Look! Look Everyone!......It's Gabrielle!!!
(A buggy is seen barreling up the driveway)
COL P: Why Yes! It is Gabrielle! And she's driving? How extraordinary!
XENA: (smiling proudly) It sure is!
PROFESSOR HIGGINS: (squinting) I thay old chap! What happened to McCloud? (Gabrielle stands and pulls the reins back with all her weight as the buggy turns the corner, bringing the vehicle to a sudden halt)
GABRIELLE: (hops down and runs over to Xena) HEY! Did you see that?....The way I stopped those horses!!
XENA: Pretty Impressive!
GABRIELLE: (smiling) Well Hey! I learned from the Best!
XENA: Uh.....Gabrielle?..........What happened to your dress?.......And.....your hair?
MRS. D: (running over) Heavens Child! Must you always appear looking so disheveled?
GABRIELLE: It's a long story as usual but I'm fine really! My escort there was just trying to convince me that, "Man does not live by Nutbread alone."
XENA: (raising an eyebrow)............Oh?
GABRIELLE: Speaking of food............
(A groan is heard from the rear of the buggy)
HIGGINS: Ah! There you are McCloud! (helping him out) What in the devil happened to you?
McCLOUD: (rubbing his head) Don't Ask!
COL P: Come inside "old" man and have a brandy. We'll take care of you. (glances over at Xena and nods)
(The three men walk towards the house)
XENA: (putting her arm around Gabrielle) Hey! I saved you a place at our table. Come on, let's get you something to eat!
Due to the explicit sexual nature of this scene, the Southern Baptist Convention has elected to boycott this, and all subsequent Jane Austen parodies by this author.
EXTERIOR, HIGGINS ESTATE, MID-AFTERNOON
(On the lawn, Xena is seen demonstrating different sword poses to Margaret. Mrs. Dashwood is seated at a picnic table with Gabrielle who is foraging for left-overs off several abandoned plates)
MRS. DASHWOOD: (to Gabrielle) Good Heavens Child! Where are your manners? Use your fork!
GABRIELLE: Fork? I never noticed a fork?
MRS. D: Oh the embarrasment of it all! Honestly, the way you behave sometimes, as if you were some sort of Amazon!
(Xena and Gabrielle look at each other and simultaneously burst out laughing)
GABRIELLE: (to Mrs. D) Sorry, That's kind of an inside joke with us.
MRS. D: And the way you treated that poor Mr. McCloud. What a spectacle you have made of yourself!
GABRIELLE: Poor Mr. McCloud!? ....Excuse me, but that guy's slimier than the inside of a Sea Monster!
MRS. D: (puzzled) Oh, whatever. I do wish you would go and make some kind of effort to redeem yourself with him. At least go inquire about his condition. I believe that they are in the Study at the present. It's just across the hall from the Gaming Room.
GABRIELLE: (wiping her mouth on the tablecloth) Well, Okay. (to Xena) Hey! If I'm not back in ten minutes come and check on me.
(Xena glances at the sundial and then looks up slowly. French Horns then play an ominous theme in the background because Gabrielle has eaten all the refreshments)
(Professor Higgins, Colonel Pickering and Duncan McCloud are seated in the study. They are actively working their way through a bottle of brandy)
COLONEL PICKERING: More brandy McCloud?
McCLOUD: (slightly tipsy) Aye! Don't mind if I do! (leans forward and offers his glass)
HIGGINS: Feeling any better old chap?
HIGGINS: Tell me, how was it that you ended up in the back seat like that?
McCLOUD: Well you see, it was like this. We stopped for a moment on the road so the lady could finish telling the rest of her story. All of a sudden the little tart was all over me. She was kissing me and groping and she even tried to tear her own clothes off. Can you imagine?
COL P: No actually, I can't.
McCLOUD: I was trying to behave like a gentleman and resist her advances when something must have startled the horses. All I remember is being thrown backwards. Thank goodness the horses managed to find the way here on their own!
(Higgins and Pickering turn and look at each other with raised eyebrows)
COL P: Well at least you're not seriously injured and Miss Gabrielle seems fine.
HIGGINS: (rising out of his chair) Well gentlemen, I think it's time we return to our other guests.
(The three men exit into the hallway where they encounter Gabrielle)
GABRIELLE: Hi Guys! Hey, this is a great house! I love that room with the green table over there. (to McCloud) I just came in to check on you and make sure you're Okay.
McCLOUD: I'm fine Gabrielle, just a bit shaken. Say, might I speak with you for a moment? (whispering) I merely wish to apologize.
GABRIELLE: (hesitating at first) Well.....Okay.......but promise me you'll keep your distance?
McCLOUD: Oh naturally, in light of all the circumstances. (turning) Would you excuse us gentlemen?
COL P: (concerned) Are you sure Miss Gabrielle?
GABRIELLE: It's fine Colonel. I'll scream if I need anything.
McCLOUD: (nervously laughing) Ah, what a delightful sense of humor she has!
(Higgins and Pickering go outside to join the others. Gabrielle turns and enters the Billiards Room)
GABRIELLE: Look at this cool room! (runs her fingers along the soft felt of the table while glancing up at the walls)
McCLOUD: (following her) Gabrielle, it is imperative that I speak with you.
GABRIELLE: Look at that! (pointing at a wall) I knew these guys had some weapons but I didn't know they had Warstaffs? (puzzled) Funny, I wonder why they all look exactly alike? They're sorta flimsy looking, too.
GABRIELLE: (turns) What! Oh sorry, your apology.
McCLOUD: (closing the doors to the room ) Actually,......I'm rather cross with you. (slowly pacing towards her)
(Gabrielle begins to back away around the table)
McCLOUD: First.........You lead me on like a little tease.........Then.....You resist my advances.....(moving closer)......and finally,....you attempt to destroy me by making me appear as a complete fool in front of All of these people!
(He grabs her and violently slaps her face with the back of his hand. A trickle of blood begins to appear out of the corner of her mouth)
GABRIELLE: Aaaaaaaaah! (reeling backwards)
(A feeling of tumultuous anger erupts in Gabrielle. As he lunges for her again, she dives under the table and rolls to the other side of the room.)
GABRIELLE: (now standing and staring him down, feet firmly planted) OKAY! THAT'S IT! (grabbing a billiard cuestick off the wall) I"VE HAD IT WITH YOU BUSTER!
EXTERIOR, LAWN, LATE AFTERNOON
(Colonel Pickering, Professor Higgins and Mrs. Dashwood are seated at a picnic table full of empty plates. Xena and Margaret are near by involved in a mock sword fight.)
MRS. DASHWOOD: (loudly to the girls) Xena! Please stop this display at once! You're corrupting the child!
XENA: (busy playing) I'm just teaching her how to take care of herself!
MRS. D: Oh Gracious! (begins sobbing) I think that I shall not live to see my daughters married.
PROFESSOR HIGGINS: There, There Mithes Dashwood. You have three thplendid girls! Why they're charming and intelligent.....
COLONEL PICKERING: (chimes in) ....strong and resourceful and assertive....
HIGGINS: ...extremely independent.....
(At that moment Mrs. Dashwood begins weeping uncontrollably)
COL P: (comforting her) Come, come dear lady! They are also exceptionally beautiful!
HIGGINS: Why Yeth! Even I find them quite good company and I for one uthually don't like women at all.
COL P: Higgins, Quiet! (whispering to him) I don't think it's such a good idea to say things like that in public, you know, about not liking women.
HIGGINS: Oh! Right Pickering. (loudly to all the guests) Well I think it's time we all had some tea and thandwiches.
XENA: (still involved in the game) Sorry Professsor! I think Gabrielle ate everything except for that jar of Vegemite.
(A large commotion is heard coming from inside the house)
HIGGINS: (stands) Pickering! Did you hear that?
(An alarmed Xena stops playing and turns immediately towards the house as French Horns play an ominous theme, but this time something more serious is afoot than a lack of refreshments)
COL P: (also standing) What On Earth!
(At that moment, Duncan McCloud is seen crashing through a large picture window. He careens backward onto the grass as an enraged Gabrielle leaps into the empty window frame, broken billiard cue in hand)
GABRIELLE: I'M NOT FINISHED WITH YOU YET, CREEP!
(Xena, sword in hand, hikes up her dress and runs full speed towards the house, somersaulting airborne over the table)
HIGGINS: (to Pickering) What a peculiar vocal utterance!
COL P: You know, her yell reminds me of that case we studied a few years ago. What was the name of that chap? Lord Greystoke wasn't it?
HIGGINS: Ah Indeed! However I believe hith yell wath a bit more primitive in nature.
COL P: Actually it was the word, "Primate" that came to my mind.
HIGGINS: (chuckling) Good one Pickering! (slaps his friend on the back)
(Meanwhile, a dangerous confrontation is erupting on the lawn. McCloud leaps to his feet and draws his sword)
XENA: (to herself) I never can figure out where he keeps that thing. (loudly) STAY BACK GABRIELLE!
(McCloud circles around the Warrior Princess whilst waving his sword over his head. Xena stands fast, locking her eyes on her opponent and calmly twirls a sword in her right hand. He swings at her but his blow is instantly deflected by Xena's swift blade. Mrs. Dashwood characteristically faints at the resonant sound of clashing metal.)
XENA: (smiling) You'll have to do better than that!
(McCloud spins around to deliver another blow but before he can land it, Xena grabs his hair and lops off his ponytail.)
McCLOUD: MY HAIR! LOOK WHAT YOU'VE DONE TO MY HAIR!!!
(The enraged Scotsman lunges once again at Xena who trips and falls backwards on the grass.)
McCLOUD: (holding his blade to her throat) Madam, I don't know who you are but at this moment I don't care.........THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE!!!!!
(The Highlander begins to pull his sword up and back like a golf swing)
(The alert Gabrielle runs over to the picnic table and grabs the chakram. In an adrenaline charged burst of strength, she flings the weapon wildly into the air.)
(The whirling disk bounces off one tree and then another before reaching it's intended target. Gabrielle stares down at her empty hands in disbelief as the headless body of Duncan McCloud drops its' sword and collapses backwards)
XENA: (uncharacteristically perspiring) That was TOO close! (rubs her neck)
(The sky darkens and Gabrielle drops to her knees as lightning rips across the sky. Flashes of electricity encircle her body.)
GABRIELLE: Ahhhhh!.....Ooooooooooh!.........Ahhhh!.....Oh Yes!........The Gods be Praised!.....Yes!.........Ahhhhhhhh!.......Oooooh!....Oh Yes!..Yes!..Yes!.........YES!!!!!!
(The lightning dissipates and Gabrielle slumps back limply on the grass)
XENA: (running to her friend) Gabrielle! Are you all right?
GABRIELLE: (holding her own head with one hand) I......I think so. But I'm not so sure I'm still a virgin.
(Xena kneels next to Gabrielle and gently places both hands on her shoulders)
XENA: (looking softly into her eyes) You saved my life.
GABRIELLE: (looking down) I didn't want to kill him.
XENA: I know. You did what you had to do.
GABRIELLE: Why can't I meet a guy who kisses great but isn't a Jerk?
XENA: You will.
(At that moment, out of nowhere, a large rectangular black door appears on the lawn. A scraggly group of dwarves run out of the void followed by the real Elinor and Marianne who are dressed in Xena's and Gabrielle's clothes. Elinor is sporting a beautiful black eye along with many cuts and bruises. Marianne's arm is in a sling)
GABRIELLE: (standing and staring) Hey Xena! Those are the little guys from the Inn, remember?
XENA: (standing) I sure do!
GABRIELLE: Who are those two women and why are they wearing our clothes?
XENA: (sword in hand) I think it's about time we found out.
ELINOR: Please Madam, I beg you.....No more fighting!
XENA: Calm Down! Just tell us who you are.
MARIANNE: (curtsies) I'm Marianne Dashwood and this is my sister Elinor. (looks over at the table) Mother!!.....What have you done to Mother?!!
XENA: She's fine. She just passed out a few minutes ago. (to Elinor) Okay, so how did we get here?
ELINOR: Well you see, it all started during the first 30 minutes of the script. Marianne and I were walking outside the cottage when this door appeared. Out popped this group of diminuative gentlemen.
MARIANNE: One of them was holding a map which enables them to travel through certain doors in time.
ELINOR: Anyway, we, that is Marianne and I, were becoming quite bored with being excruciatingly proper English ladies so we decided to follow these fellows. We had no idea that we would end up in an Inn in Ancient Greece.
XENA: Go on.
ELINOR: Since our lives here are so painfully dull and because you two looked so exotic, we decided to trade places with you for a while.
GABRIELLE: (visibly annoyed) By drugging us and sending us here? Thanks!
MARIANNE: (to Gabrielle) My Dress! What have you done to my Dress! It's Ruined!
GABRIELLE: Just wait 'til you see what I did to your boyfriend!
ELINOR: (to Xena) We had no idea what your lives were actually like. People kept beating us up......
MARIANNE:.....and shooting arrows at us.....
ELINOR:.......and your horse even kicked me once. I must confess, we did feel most unwelcome there.
XENA: Argo? Where's Argo? What have you done with her?
ELINOR: Oh she's perfectly fine. Some chap called Salmoneus is taking care of her. (looking down) I believe these fellows can take you back there.
TIME BANDITS: (to Xena and Gabrielle) Sure we can take you back but this hole only stays open for so long.
GABRIELLE: Please tell us that we have time to change clothes at least.
TIME BANDITS: You do. Just meet us back here in about 15 minutes.
(The four women are seen finishing up their transformation back to their original characters. Xena is pulling on her boots.)
ELINOR: (sniffing her dress collar) That's odd. My dress smells like cigars.
(Xena innocently looks off in the other direction)
MARIANNE: (smoothing the front of her tattered dress) And I'm missing some buttons! By the way, Who is that corpse lying on the front lawn? Where's Willoughby?
GABRIELLE: (puzzled) Willoughby?
ELINOR: Yes, and who are those two men sitting outside with Mother? What's happened to Colonel Brandon?
XENA: Colonel Brandon?
(Gabrielle stares at Elinor for a moment)
GABRIELLE: Hey! Wait a Minute! I know you, You're Emma Thompson! You wrote this script!
ELINOR/EMMA: Hold on young lady. I only wrote it up until the moment we left here which is the point at which I shall have to begin again. Someone else must have continued writing for you after the we left.
GABRIELLE: You mean someone just made all of this stuff up and stuck us in here until you got back?
GABRIELLE: What kind of Nutball would do such a thing?
ELINOR/EMMA: Who knows? It could be an aspiring Bard like youself Gabrielle or even some bored musician with nothing better to do.
XENA: (to Emma) So what you're saying is that as far as your script is concerned, the one you started writing, none of this stuff that happened to us really happened?
GABRIELLE: So that means that McCloud isn't really a jerk and that I didn't actually kill him.......and I must still be a virgin because I never had that Orgas-.............
XENA: GABRIELLE!!!!!!! Let's Go Home!
(The four ladies curtsy to each other)
ELINOR/EMMA: (smiling) Excellent! You two do that quite well.
XENA: Goodbye Ladies and don't EVER let us catch you in Greece again during our lifetimes.
(Xena and Gabrielle begin walking towards the door of the study. Xena pauses suddenly and turns back to the humidor where she grabs a few cigars and stuffs them down the
front of her costume. Gabrielle places both hands on her own hips and frowns at Xena) XENA: (slapping Gabrielle lightly on the arm) Hey! It's just a little souvenir.
GABRIELLE: Come On!
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