DISCLAIMER: This FANFIC uses characters from X:WP and H:TLJ, which are, of course, the sole property of MCA Universal and Renaissance Pictures. But the story, such as it is, is all mine.
Hey, if "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" can have "A Buffy Christmas" Xena can have "A Xena Thanksgiving." :)
This includes spoilers for many, many episodes.
Oh, and it's rated the same as the television show: PG14 for suggestive language.
A XENA THANKSGIVING
THE SCENE: A large room in one of Athens' better taverns. There is a large table laden with all sorts of food, including a variety of soups, salads, sides, and condiments. Any sort of main dish is conspicuously absent. The room itself is filled with people familiar to anyone who regularly watches X:WP, most of whom are standing around waiting for dinner to begin.
GABRIELLE [Looking questioningly at the table]: Where's the turkey?
XENA [Keeping a wary eye on several of the "guests"]: Joxer's over there, trying to crack those walnuts...
GABRIELLE: I didn't order any walnuts.
XENA: Oh, my mistake...they're rocks.
GABRIELLE: Anyway, I wasn't asking about Joxer. I meant the bird we're going to eat.
XENA: Don't worry, Salmoneus said he'd bring it. He'll be here.
GABRIELLE: I just hope he gets here soon...like before these people kill each other...or us!
XENA: Now, don't worry, we've called a truce to celebrate this special day...besides, I've drugged the wine to make it even more potent. None of them will be in any condition to pose a threat.
GABRIELLE: Um, Xena...about this "special day"...we're in Greece-
CALLISTO [Wandering up]: We're in New Zealand, pissant.
GABRIELLE: We're supposed to be in Greece.
CALLISTO: Yeah, [holding up a metal fork] and this is supposed to be a plant. What's your point?
GABRIELLE: It just seems a bit odd to be celebrating the holiday of a country which won't exist for over a thousand years.
CALLISTO: Oh, no! Not more of those damn time-related logical inconsistencies! I've had more than my fill of those pesky things! By the way, have you guys seen my sister?
XENA: No one has. How's your father?
CALLISTO: Who knows. Let me know when the turkey's ready-
XENA and GABRIELLE [Rolling their eyes]: We know...You can't wait to carve it.
Callisto giggles and wanders off as Meleager the Mighty (no relation to Joxer) wanders, er, staggers up.
MELEAGER: Great party! hic Thanks for inviting me.
GABRIELLE: I thought you gave up drinking?
XENA [Whispering]: Again...
MELEAGER: I did. hic But, this is such hic a special occasion, I couldn't hic resist.
GABRIELLE: I'm very disappointed in you.
MELEAGER: Bite me, hic blondie. [Then, looking more closely at the Bard] Please? Or maybe you and your hic friend could...
XENA [Roughly pushing him away]: A pleasure as always, Meleager. Don't be a stranger.
Meleager staggers over to where Ephiny and several Amazons are talking.
GABRIELLE [Scowling]: Nice wine. Good idea, Xena.
XENA: Like my spiking the wine would have made a difference in his case.
WHACK! Xena and Gabrielle duck as Meleager goes flying over their heads and crashes into the wall. He slowly gets up, brushes himself off, and staggers over to the bar.
CAESAR [Walking up with his customary sneer looking a bit lopsided]: Marvelous party, Xena. Not as lavish as one of mine, of course, but nice, in a pedestrian sort of way.
XENA: Such flattery will turn my head. [Caesar smiles seductively] No, on second thought, make that my stomach.
GABRIELLE: I hear Brutus is planning a party of his own for you.
CAESAR: Brutus is a good man and a loyal friend, but, sometimes I worry that he'll never make the cut into the big time and that history will ignore all that he's done.
XENA: Oh, I wouldn't worry about him...he'll make the cut.
A sudden commotion causes them to look over to where Pompey has apparently tried to impress Cleopatra by hoisting his toga over his head. The Queen of Egypt, clearly unimpressed, has pulled a dagger from her belt.
CAESAR [Walking off to rescue his rival/friend]: Excuse me, I need to see to Pompey before he loses his head to that Egyptian.
GABRIELLE: It's her brother he needs to be careful of.
XENA: You're wasting your time, Gabrielle, most of the readers won't get half of these historical references.
GABRIELLE: Too obscure?
XENA: No, too dumb.
GABRIELLE: Which? The references or the readers?
Xena just smiles that smile.
AUTOLYCUS [Making a conspicuous jingling sound as he walks up]: Readers?
GABRIELLE: Forget it.
XENA: Hand over the goods, Autolycus.
AUTOLYCUS: Right here? In front of everyone? Oh, Xena, you animal! [He reaches for his belt and begins to loosen it]
XENA [Cuffing him]: Not that, you pervert! I'm talking about the goods you've stashed. Hand them over. Now.
Autolycus sighs and then pulls several pieces of silverware out of his shirt and hands them to her.
XENA: And the rest.
The King of Thieves removes a wine decanter and a dozen glasses and gives them to her.
XENA: All of it, Autolycus.
He produces a full-length mirror, framed in solid gold, and reluctantly hands it over.
XENA: And the towels and little soaps.
AUTOLYCUS: Hey! Those are provided to guests for their use. It just so happens I won't be using them here is all.
XENA: You're not even staying at this tavern!
AUTOLYCUS: Details, details... [But, seeing Xena's determined expression, he pulls a large number of towels and little soaps from his pants and gives them to her] Satisfied?
GABRIELLE: Anything else in there?
AUTOLYCUS: I'd be more than happy to show you that I've saved the best for last. Where's your room?
XENA [Shoving him hard and sending him stumbling to the far side of the room]: Right next to mine, so don't get any ideas.
NAJARA [Walking up and smiling beatifically at Gabrielle, and then frowning at Xena]: I could say the same thing to you, Xena.
XENA: What are you talking about?
NAJARA: Didn't Gabrielle tell you that I'm staying in the room on the other side of hers?
XENA [Looking at Gabrielle suspiciously; the Bard suddenly finds the ceiling fascinating]: No, she didn't mention that. Is there anything else you forgot to mention, Gabrielle?
GABRIELLE [Suddenly defensive]: I don't think so...just like I'm sure there's nothing you've forgotten to tell me, right, Xena?
XENA [Looking very guilty]: Um, right.
Najara laughs and walks off humming "Kumbaya" just as Alti glides over.
ALTI [Looking Gabrielle over and shaking her head]: She looked better as a spider.
XENA: And you looked better as a shish kebab.
GABRIELLE: Who are you?
ALTI: Just an old friend of Xena's.
LAO MA [Walking up and glaring at Alti and then smiling at Xena]: Hardly. You are too consumed with the conquest of power and desire. Xena has grown far beyond those petty wants, haven't you, Xena?
XENA [Looking even more guilty]: Well, I've tried, Lao Ma, but, you know, I'm not perfect. I'm still struggling with the whole desire thing.
GABRIELLE and ALTI: Tell me about it. [They look suspiciously at each other]
LAO MA: You don't have to remind me about that, Xena.
Gabrielle and Alti look even more suspiciously at Lao Ma.
THALASSA [Walking up and smiling at Gabrielle]: Gabrielle's no slouch in that department, either.
Lao Ma, Alti, and Xena all turn to look at the Bard, whose face is bright red. She just shrugs and smiles sheepishly.
HOPE [With the Destroyer trailing after her like an overgrown puppy]: Oh, mother has plenty of desire; it's love she's a bit short on. Isn't that right, Mommy?
GABRIELLE: But, I do love you, Hope. Just because I abandoned you, poisoned you, pulled you into a lava pit, and tricked your child into killing you doesn't mean I don't love you.
HOPE: Then what does it mean?
GABRIELLE: I'm having some maternity related issues dealing with a daughter bent on destruction--Not to mention the murder of everyone I love and the subjugation of the world--that's all. I still love you, but that doesn't prevent me from doing whatever it takes to stop you.
HOPE: Is anyone else buying this load of crap? Why can't you just hate me?
GABRIELLE: I don't hate anyone.
ARES [Flashing into existence next to her]: Liar.
GABRIELLE: I don't hate you, either.
ARES: Oh, I wasn't talking about me. I was talking about them.
Kraftstar, Velasca, Dahak (as a pillar of fire), and a very confused Ulysses appear.
ULYSSES: Why do you hate me, Gabrielle? Oh, hi, Xena. How've you been?
Gabrielle and Xena look very uncomfortable.
GABRIELLE: All right, I do hate. Now, make them go away.
ARES: Told ya. [He snaps his fingers and all four disappear]
APHRODITE [Walking up and looking disgusted]: Hey, if I'd known this gig was gonna be a pity party I'd have begged it off. What this place needs is some tunes and some L-O-V-E! [She gestures and the dining hall is suddenly filled with some serious dance music as a shower of brightly colored flowers falls from nowhere, bathing the entire room with warm feelings] Much better, huh, bro?
ARES [Starting to groove]: Surprisingly...yes.
DISCORD [Flashing into existence next to him]: I liked it the way it was.
ARES [Grabbing her]: Shut up and dance, you little spitfire!
As the two Gods dance off into the crowd, Salmoneus pokes his head out from the kitchen.
SALMONEUS: Psst! Xena, Gabrielle, I need to talk to you...now!
Xena and Gabrielle hurry over.
GABRIELLE: It's about time! Where have you been? And, more importantly, where's the turkey?
SALMONEUS: Joxer's over there, having some sort of epileptic seizure.
GABRIELLE: He's dancing...I think.
SALMONEUS: He's almost as bad as you are.
GABRIELLE: Shut up. And I wasn't talking about Joxer in the first place. I was talking about the bird you promised to provide for this dinner.
SALMONEUS: Um, about that...
XENA and GABRIELLE: Yes...?
SALMONEUS [Pulling them into the kitchen and showing them a large roast... thing...with four legs]: This is the best I could do. See, my friend had some trouble-
XENA: I may not be the sharpest spear on the rack, but even I know birds don't have four legs. What is it?
GABRIELLE: A deer?
SALMONEUS: Not exactly.
XENA: A calf?
GABRIELLE [Looking horrified]: It isn't a pony, is it?
SALMONEUS: Of course not! Do you have any idea how much good horse meat costs?
XENA: Well, what is it?
SALMONEUS: A Patagonian cavy.
XENA: Which is...?
SALMONEUS: A very large guinea pig.
GABRIELLE: So, it's some kind of pig?
SALMONEUS: Kind of...
XENA [Arching one eyebrow menacingly]: What kind?
SALMONEUS: Actually, it's a rodent from across the great ocean.
XENA: A RAT??! You actually expect me to serve a big rat to our guests?!
SALMONEUS: Just don't tell them and no one will care.
GABRIELLE [Licking her fingers]: You know, it's not bad. Tastes like pork.
SALMONEUS: There! You see, it'll be fine.
XENA: Gabrielle isn't exactly what I'd call a "discriminating gourmet."
GABRIELLE [Tearing at a piece with her teeth]: What are you saying? That I'm a pig who'll eat anything that's placed in front of me? Is that what you're saying?
XENA: Yep, that pretty much sums it up.
GABRIELLE: Well, at least I can cook my own food...unlike some people!
SALMONEUS: Ladies, please, this meat is getting cold. We should serve it while it's hot, so the pain of their burning mouths will distract them from realizing they're eating a big rat.
XENA: I told you...I am not serving a rat to our guests.
GABRIELLE: Well, Miss Mighty Hunter, why don't you run out and kill us something else to serve as the main course, huh?
XENA: Because there's no time. These folks are hungry and their mood is just going to get uglier the longer they go without eating.
GABRIELLE: Not if they drink enough.
EPHINY [Poking her head into the kitchen]: I thought you should know... We're out of wine. Meleager went through it like...oh, is that the turkey? It smells wonderful. I'll tell the others that dinner is served.
But Ephiny has already gone back in and announced dinner.
GABRIELLE [Chewing on a piece of cavy]: Rat it is.
She picks up the tray with the roast rodent on it and is about to enter the dining hall when the back door to the kitchen opens and Hercules and Iolaus walk in...carrying the biggest roast boar the trio had ever seen.
XENA: I was wondering if you two were going to show up or not...
IOLAUS: Are we late? We brought this for us...in case all the food was gone.
HERCULES: Actually, we kind of figured the whole turkey thing would backfire--No offense, Salmoneus--so we brought this to be on the safe side.
IOLAUS [Looking at the roast cavy]: What is that?
XENA: Don't ask. Gabrielle, throw that thing in the trash and let's get this party started. Gentlemen...
Xena, Hercules, Iolaus, and Salmoneus exit the kitchen and Gabrielle steals over to the cooler and places the cavy inside before joining the others in the dining hall.
XENA [Standing at the head of the table]: From what I understand, it's a tradition on this day to begin the meal by stating what you're thankful for. So, in that spirit, I would just like to say that I am grateful for the people in my life who give it meaning, especially Gabrielle, without whom I would be lost. Here's to you, Gabrielle. [Xena raises her glass and then drinks as Gabrielle does likewise]
GABRIELLE [Rising as Xena sits down]: Thank you, Xena. Of course it goes without saying that I am thankful that Xena is part of my life, so I shall instead enunciate the other things I am thankful for...The song of the birds in the early morning, the laughter of children at play, the gentle whisper of the wind as it whistles through my hair, the sun reflecting off the clear surface of a mountain lake, the first snow of the season, the last of the Spring rains, the love of my family and friends, the shade of a sheltering oak on a Summer day, the smell of freshly baked bread...
Half an hour later: Everyone is practically comatose as Gabrielle's voice drones on and on and on and on and on and on...
GABRIELLE: And, finally, I am thankful for this opportunity to tell each and every one of you how much you mean to me.
IOLAUS [Standing]: I just-
GABRIELLE [Never missing a beat; Iolaus sits back down]: Hercules, your friendship through the years has meant so much to me, it's difficult to put into words.
HERCULES: Please, don't bother on my account.
GABRIELLE [Never missing a beat]: But I'll do my best. You're like the big brother I never had growing up; caring, thoughtful, playful, heroic-
HERCULES: I get the picture, Gabrielle.
GABRIELLE [Never missing a beat]: ...witty, handsome, generous-
XENA [Suddenly yanking Gabrielle to her seat]: Thank you for that moving speech, Gabrielle. Iolaus, I believe you're next.
GABRIELLE [Whispering to Xena]: But I wasn't finished.
XENA [Whispering back]: Maybe not, but, if I hadn't stopped you, you would have been.
IOLAUS: I'm sure I speak for everyone...everyone who's still awake anyway ...when I say that I'm grateful Gabrielle is done. [Everyone who's still awake laughs] So, in the interests of eating before we all starve to death, I say that we leave it at that and dig in. [Everyone perks up at that and applauds]
XENA [Nudging Gabrielle in the side]: Cheer up. We can have everyone else say what they're thankful for after we eat if it means that much to you.
GABRIELLE: And I can finish my statement, too?
XENA: Not on your friggin' life. Now, stop pouting and enjoy this fantastic meal.
The screen fades to black as everyone begins passing the various dishes around the table and the chattering among the guests ceases as they eagerly begin eating.