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Welcome to the Official XWPVS Virtual Season 8.  We will present you with 22 episodes that I am sure you will enjoy.  We would also like to hear from you. You can write us at: theofficialxwpvs@hotmail.com

Now... On with the show.


The following episode written for the Xena Warrior Princess Virtual Season is a work of fiction based upon the television series Xena: Warrior Princess. The original characters are used strictly for fan purposes and NOT for profit. There is no intent to infringe upon or violate any copyrights held by Studio USA, Renaissance Pictures, Universal Television or any other organization that owns the rights to this series.

The script, story ideas, and any characters created by the authors that are not part of the original series are copyrighted and remain the sole property of those authors. Also, any original artworks are copyrighted and remain the sole property of those artists. Permission to use any of the written or drawn works herein must be submitted to the original author(s) and artist(s).

 

 




Xena Warrior Princess Virtual Season Episode

810: The Winter's Tale

 Written by: Hamutal

Illustrated by: Kathy Austin, Trish, Gina, MaryCat and Amber

Beta Read by: Penny 

Teaser ad by: Blitzgal

 


TEASER

 

TWENTY EIGHT YEARS AGO

FADE IN:

1. EXT. OUTSIDE OF SYRACUSE - DAY -

It is a cold and cloudy winter day. A very light rain is falling. A very pregnant Xena and season 5 Gabrielle are walking side by side up a hill, wearing their long coats.

Gabrielle glances at Xena.

 

GABRIELLE

So let me get it straight. He's been gone for how long?

 

XENA

Nine months.

 

GABRIELLE

Nine months for a visit?

 

XENA
(smiling)

Oh, but it's not just any visit. Leontes and he have been friends since they were small children. They love each other like brothers.

 

GABRIELLE

Still, nine months is a long time to be away from your kingdom.

 

XENA

Yes, and his absence is going to take its toll on Bohemia sooner or later. That's exactly why I wanted to come here.

 

GABRIELLE

That, and so you could see Hermione.

 

XENA
(smiling)

That and so I could see Hermione.

 

GABRIELLE

Do you have any idea how far along she is?

 

XENA
(patting her belly)

I think she's almost due.

Gabrielle looks at Xena's belly and smiles.

The rain intensifies.

Xena and Gabrielle huddle together and hurry their step until they pass through the gates of Syracuse.

CUT TO:

2. EXT. GARDEN OF KING LEONTES'S PALACE - DAY

Leontes, King of Sicilia, a dignified looking man in his early thirties, strolls in the garden.

On Leontes's one side is Hermione, Queen of Sicilia, a fair-haired, fair-skinned woman. She is very beautiful, and a great part of her beauty is the sense of serenity that radiates from her face. She is in the final stage of her pregnancy.

On Leontes's other side is Polixenes, King of Bohemia, a thin, bearded man.

A few lords are strolling behind them, speaking amongst themselves.

Mamillius, prince of Sicilia, a fair-haired 5-year-old boy, is running around the garden, not very far from his parents, pretending to be riding a horse.

Upon noticing Xena and Gabrielle, he stops.

 

MAMILLIUS

Who are you?

 

XENA

I am Xena and this is Gabrielle. And you must be Mamillius. You look just like your father.

 

Mamillius contemplates Xena's words for a minute, then runs back to his mother and throws his arms around her.

 

HERMIONE
(laughing)

What is it, Mamillius?

 

Mamillius points in the direction of Xena and Gabrielle.

 

HERMIONE

Xena!

 

Hermione rushes to Xena. Leontes and Polixenes, who are engaged in what seems to be a fascinating conversation, look up and notice Xena and Gabrielle.

Hermione and Xena try to embrace, but their big bellies make it a difficult task. They step back and examine each other.

 

HERMIONE

Xena! Why didn't you write and say you were coming?

 

XENA
(glancing at Gabrielle)

It was kind of a last moment thing.

 

Hermione greets Gabrielle as Xena starts walking toward Leontes and Polixenes.

She first clasps Leontes's arm, then Polixenes's.

 

LEONTES

Xena, what a surprise. What brings you here?

 

XENA

Actually, I've come to talk to Polixenes.

(turning to look at Polixenes)

I come from your kingdom.

 

Polixenes looks at Xena worriedly.

 

POLIXENES

Is something the matter? It isn't Florizel, is it?

 

XENA

No. Your son is just fine. It's nothing like that.

 

POLIXENES

So what is it then?

 

Xena glances at Leontes, then back at Polixenes.

 

XENA

I spoke to Archidamus. He fears that if you stay away much longer, Bohemia might become unstable. Already there seems to be some disquiet in the army.

 

POLIXENES

What do you mean?

 

XENA

It's nothing serious, for now. But perhaps you should be getting back.

 

POLIXENES
(mumbling)

I see.

(to Leontes)

Xena is right. Perhaps it would be best if I returned home. It's not good for a kingdom to be without its ruler for such a long time. Besides, you must have grown tired of me by now.

 

LEONTES

You know that's impossible. We are always happy to have you here.

 

Leontes glances at Xena, then turns back to Polixenes and takes his hand.

 

LEONTES

Whatever it is, it will keep. Please stay with us for a few more days.

 

Polixenes looks at Xena, then takes his hand out of Leontes's hand and places it on Leontes's shoulder.

 

POLIXENES

I'd better not.

 

LEONTES

Nonsense.

 

Leontes turns to Hermione, who is just approaching, accompanied by Gabrielle and Mamillius.

 

LEONTES

Hermione, did you hear that?

 

HERMIONE

Hear what?

 

LEONTES

Polixenes is planning on leaving us.

 

HERMIONE

I'm sure if he is, it must be for a good reason.

 

Polixenes smiles courteously.

 

LEONTES

You must convince him to stay. He won't listen to me.

 

Hermione shrugs and shakes her head.

 

LEONTES

Come on, Hermione. Put that sharp tongue of yours to good use.

 

Flattered, Hermione turns to Polixenes.

 

HERMIONE

Can't you stay just a little while longer? We really enjoy your company. Even Mamillius has grown quite attached to you.

 

Polixenes pats Mamillius's head. Mamillius looks up at him.

 

HERMIONE

Or is it your son you're in a hurry to get back to? That I can certainly understand, and yet, a few more days won't change much, will they?

 

Polixenes bows his head a little, as he keeps looking intently at Hermione.

 

POLIXENES

You are making it awfully hard to refuse you, my lady.

 

HERMIONE

Then don't. Stay with us.

 

POLIXENES

I wish I could, but I can't.

 

HERMIONE

Can't? What nonsense. You are a king - you can do as you like.

(playfully)

Don't force me to keep you here as a prisoner. It would be much nicer for all of us if you stayed here as our guest.

 

Polixenes seems hesitant. Hermione notices it. She smiles victoriously as she quickly puts her arm through his and leads him away.

 

HERMIONE

Now come and tell me some more about your and my husband's wild boyhood days.

 

Hermione and Polixenes start strolling down the garden.

Leontes watches their distancing figures. His expression has changed radically. Instead of being amiable and smiling as before, he is now nervous and melancholy.

His jaw is clenched and the look in his eyes is fierce and dark. He is mumbling something to himself.

Xena and Gabrielle are standing a few steps away from him. They watch him worriedly.

 

GABRIELLE

Xena? What's wrong with the king?

 

XENA

I don't know, but I sure don't like the look of him.

 

FADE OUT:

 

END TEASER

ACT I


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