Page last updated: January 1, 2005
The Silent Muse
Last updated: March 17, 2000
Genre: Xena fanfic, Romance, Erotica
Warnings: This story will contain graphic sex, but doesn't right now.
Synopsis: Exploring the second, and unmentioned, muse from the episode A Tale of Two Muses.
Author's Notes: The first time I saw A Tale of Two Muses, I was totally caught off guard when Lucy Lawless sang the song that Tara dances to in the middle of the episode. As I listened to the words (and pretty much tuned out what was happening on the screen), I could see Xena singing to Gabrielle. All the words fit.
I started thinking about the subtextual connotations of the title itself. I realize they're referencing A Tale of Two Cities (never read it, don't even know what it's about, but I know the title), but in the episode itself, the only muse that is named is Calliope.
However, I think the second muse may be my personal favorite, Erato. I mean, you have Tara and Andros getting together and then there's the whole "who exactly is Xena singing to?" question that's kept all us subtext fans happy.
So, since the episode focused mostly on Calliope, I've decided to focus on the other muse that never got mentioned. (Calliope, by the way, was actually the muse of epic, heroic poetry; Terpsichore (used in Lyre, Lyre, Hearts on Fire as the muse of music) was the muse of dancing; Polyhymnia was the muse of song, the lyre, and any form of musical entertainment, but I guess "Polyhymnia's lyre" doesn't have quite the same ring to it, nor does "praise Terpsichore!")
Listening to the song as it's being sung in the episode is good for ambience, but I wasn't able to time the writing so that it matched. I read a similarly styled story (Let Your Spirit Move Me... by T. Novan) based on Xena singing the song to Gabrielle with their relationship as lovers already established in that author's viewpoint. Even though I liked it, I saw it happening differently and this is what I finally came up with when I wrote it down.
Here's a refresher course for the scenes before and after Tara's dance scene in A Tale of Two Muses:
(All name spellings come from the closed-captioning on my TV.)
The last scene with both Gabrielle and Xena in it is of Autolycus, masquerading as Philipan, enthralling the crowd. The next scene is of Xena talking to Telamon about kids being pitted against their parents and Telamon says Andros is his life and then Istafan, et al, arrive and talk about the painting Telamon drew on his wall.
After the dancing scene, we see Gabrielle jumping around like a maniac in her new steel-patched boots and Xena chastises her, telling her "Settle down. You're calling attention to us." Gabrielle replies "I can't help it." If you'll notice, Gabrielle is nearly ecstatic in all her scenes after Tara's dance scene (I suppose you could attribute it to the shoes :)).
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