7.05 Bloodlust I


ACT TWO

FADE IN

Rome. A few pieces of stock footage of the city in general--the ones used in "When in Rome..." and "Livia." Cut to a jail--a fairly large room, with several cells. The cells all have wooden doors so it's impossible to tell if there is anyone in them. The door opens and Didus enters, followed by Xena who is already speaking, followed by two guards roughly pulling Eve in. Gabrielle and Virgil follow.

XENA:
     I told you, if she stays with us, she won't run away. She came willingly, didn't she? You have my word she won't walk out. And if you know her as well as you say, then you'll know she doesn't run from her problems--she faces them.

DIDUS (obviously tired of being asked this over and over):
     And I told you; it's the law that she is held in a Roman jail, watched over by Roman guards. Look, lady, I can't get you to go away, obviously, but I'm not breaking any laws for you. If you still insist on acting as her advocate, then you may speak with her alone--in the company of the guards, of course.

XENA (not happy):
     All right. (as she continues speaking, Eve is thrown in the cell. Xena follows her in and Gabrielle and Virgil stand by the door.) But she's to get anything she wants, within reason. I'm not having you feed her that mush that passes for food here.

EVE (sighing--they've had this happen several times on the way there):
     Mother, I'm a big girl. I can eat the food they give me. I survived on military food for years.

XENA:
     I know...I'm just--

GABRIELLE:
     Acting like her mother?

XENA:
     Is it that obvious?

EVE and GABRIELLE:
     Yes.

XENA:
     Damn.

DIDUS:
     All right. You and you-- (he gestures at Virgil and Gabrielle) --out. You've got twenty minutes with her. The trial will begin tomorrow.

GABRIELLE (hugs Eve):
     It'll be okay. Xena will get you out of this. I know.

EVE:
     You don't understand.

GABRIELLE:
     Maybe not but I know she loves you and she'll do all she can.

EVE (clearly worried):
     What if I'm beyond saving?

GABRIELLE (sounds certain of this fact):
     Eve, you're going to be fine. (repeating to emphasize a point) Xena will get you out.

VIRGIL (comes forward and also hugs Eve):
     I wouldn't argue with her. You'll never win. But she's right. You'll be fine. (Eve looks at him doubtfully) C'mon, with her (jerks his head towards Xena) on your side, how can you not?

DIDUS:
     I said out! (to a guard standing by the main door) Twenty minutes. Not a second longer.

Eve and Xena watch as Gabrielle and Virgil are pushed out of the jail, followed by Didus. A guard comes forward and bolts the door closed on the two women. The cell is sparsely furnished, with a bed lying against the far wall, with a small table with an empty jug and a small cup on it next to it at one end.

EVE:
     What if they're wrong? What if you can't save me?

They both sit down on the bed. Xena reaches out and lifts up the jug, putting it back in disgust as she sees it's empty.

XENA (now reassuring, she reaches and strokes Eve's hair. Eve is looking down at her feet.):
     Hey...it'll be okay. I'll make sure. I'm here for you.

EVE (now agitated):
     No, it won't, you don't know what happened!

XENA:
     So, why don't you tell me?

EVE:
     It was while you and Gabrielle were in the Norse lands. I had gone back to Rome to try and talk to Augustus--we'd left on a bad note, as you probably remember.

[FLASHBACK]

A throne room in Augustus' palace. He is reading a scroll, alone. Eve silently walks in. She is still wearing her rags from early season 6 and the wrap is over her face. She closes the door softly behind her and pulls the wrap off of her head.

Eve removing wrap from her head

EVE:
     Hello, Augustus.

AUGUSTUS (looks up and is not pleased to see Eve):
     What do you want? What happened to my guards outside?

EVE (at first timid, then speaks in a normal tone of voice):
     I came to apologize. I told them that if they didn't let me in, my mother wouldn't be happy.

Augustus looking at Eve

AUGUSTUS:
     Xena's here as well?

EVE:
     No. They didn't recognize me, but they let me in. You might wanna make them pay a little more attention to strangers.

AUGUSTUS:
     You're in no place to give me orders. You're lucky I haven't had you thrown out of the palace yet. You want something, Livia?

EVE (walking towards Augustus, stops a few feet away from him):
     I'm Eve now. Tell me, Augustus, you trust Xena's judgment, don't you?

AUGUSTUS:
     Implicitly.

EVE:
     Then, if she thinks I'm all right, why do you look so disgusted at my being in the same room as you?

AUGUSTUS (trying to think of a good answer):
     Li--Eve, I do trust her. It's just hard when someone betrays you to trust them again.

EVE:
     She didn't--

AUGUSTUS (still sitting on his thrown holding his scroll, his full attention is on Eve, though):
     No. You did.

EVE:
     If I could go back in time and stop that from happening, I would.

AUGUSTUS:
     No, it's for the best. If it hadn't happened, you'd be the Empress of the Empire and you'd still be murdering the followers of Eli.

EVE (walks closer to the throne, looking down at the ground):
     I can never forgive myself for that.

AUGUSTUS (his voice becomes more caring--it's obvious that he still has feelings for Eve):
     You shouldn't. But you should make sure that you never murder innocent people again.

EVE (becomes uncomfortable with the way the conversation is going, she abruptly changes the subject):
     Anyway, I came to apologize to you...and also to the people of Rome. I'd like to talk to them and publicly state that, (looks as though she has finished speaking but then adds) if that's all right with you.

AUGUSTUS:
     That can be arranged. I take it you want to do it as soon as possible? (Eve nods) Still don't like wasting time, hmm?

EVE (smiling a little wistfully):
     No.

AUGUSTUS:
     There's a gladiator fight tomorrow--you can talk then.

EVE:
     Okay. Thanks. (she smiles)

[END OF FLASHBACK]

XENA:
     So, you and he were getting on all right?

EVE (smiling sadly):
     Yeah...we were.

FADE OUT

END OF ACT TWO