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Cage Match: Or How Lucy Lawless and Rachel Maddow Saved Television (at least for now)

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It was dark. It was a darkness darker than the darkest night. It was a pitch black morass the color of tar or crude oil or something else that was a really dark, impenetrable blackness. From this blackness, a hand appeared, a shining beacon in depths of...

"I think they get the point." A lilting New Zealand accent pierced the gloom. "And my accent doesn't lilt. You know what, I think I'm just going to take over. Just... go sit over there or something." At her words, a chair formed from the darkness and the narrator, intimated by Lucy Lawless' piercing blue eyes, impressive biceps, and penchant for playing badasses, sat down.

Lucy Lawless (for like Chuck Norris, you must always use her full name), meanwhile, was conjuring other things from the darkness, things that looked vaguely like a boxing ring surrounded by chick... "Wait a minute. This was supposed to a meeting, a civilized discussion. When did it turn into a cage match?" The narrator was outraged, outraged I tell you, at the way that Lucy Lawless was hijacking her story of a GLAAD sponsored round table surrounding the representation of lesbians in media. It was supposed to be a measured response to the alleged homophobia in an upcoming episode of SVU. There were going to be footnotes! You're running away with my footnotes!

"Yeah, I'm changing the rules a little. And nobody wants to read your footnotes. This isn't a dissertation. My way's more fun." Lucy Lawless flashed her canines and the narrator humbly cowered in her chair.

With the cage for her cage match completed, Lucy started rooting around in the darkness again, pulling out lumps and bumps and getting slightly covered in the slimy goo of creation...

"Slimey goo?" Lucy Lawless glared at the narrator and the narrator quickly retracted her statement.1Anyway, from the depths of the blackness that wasn't so black anymore, Lucy Lawless pulled two forms, one with long flowing hair (that didn't really suit her), an irritating perkiness that seemed to leak from her pores, and a shining halo, the other with thick, black rimmed glasses, a keen intelligence, and a cocktail shaker (of doom!).

Mariska looked around, either confused or simply trying to make sure that her halo was still there. Once she saw that it was, she calmed down slightly and took in her surroundings. She flinched slightly when she caught sight of Rachel, not knowing who she was, but clearly being able to tell that she was gay. Being around gay people made Mariska nervous because she thought that it might be catching or rub off on her somehow. Unable to break out of her own, self written narrative, she was unable to see the narrator (who was distracted by Rachel Maddow anyhow), so she turned to the only other person in the room.

"Hi, I'm Mariska Hargitay. You might have heard of me. I've been nominated for a couple of Emmys and I'm kind of a well known actress." She held her hand out to Lucy Lawless, at a loss now that she wasn't surrounded by assistants to do her bidding and make sure that everyone in the room knew who she was. Lucy Lawless looked distinctly unimpressed but she shook her hand nonetheless. She sneered disdainfully at Mariska's limp handshake.

Rachel Maddow, meanwhile, kept looking between the two actresses and the narrator, who by this point had forgotten all about the story and wrapped herself around Rachel. She was stroking Rachel's cocktail shaker in a surprisingly lewd manner and reaching for her glasses, hoping to keep them as some sort of souvenir. The narrator recoiled as Rachel slapped her hands away and extracted herself. "I thought that this was supposed to be a round table. I really don't think Susan would be okay with this."

"See, someone was interested in the round table!" The narrator turned to Lucy Lawless, gloating and wondering when she had started needing quotation marks to speak.

Lucy Lawless rolled her eyes. "That's because both of you are dorks. Cage matches get better ratings." Before anyone else could object, Lucy Lawless ushered Mariska and Rachel into the cage and slammed the gate shut behind them.

"Wait!" Mariska turned back to Lucy Lawless. "You can't lock me in here with her. I might get cooties! I might break a nail! I have a baby at home! My halo might get tarnished." The anguish in her voice was almost visable, quivering in the air like a flight of fairies that had only just been clapped into existence and didn't quite know how to fly yet.

On the other side of the ring, Rachel snickered. "Sorry. That metaphor..." Rachel just shook her head. "Are you sure Kent isn't feeding you lines?"

The narrator pursed her lips and crossed her arms over her chest while Mariska looked around, trying to figure out just who everyone else was talking to. The entire situation was incredibly confusing for her, though she was trying not to show it. She didn't want to risk getting wrinkles from furrowing her brow.

"Ladies! Focus!" Lucy Lawless snapped and everyone else stood up straighter and stopped talking. The narrator may have even saluted, but she isn't admitting to anything. Lucy Lawless nodded. "Right. We're here to 'discuss' an upcoming episode of SVU and its possible homophobic implications." Lucy Lawless dug into the darkness and pulled out a Youtube window, running a clip of Olivia Benson being kissed by a character played by Kathy Griffin and her subsequent warning to another officer that she might not want to be in the same room as a lesbian.

Mariska watched the clip impassively while Rachel frowned. The narrator, in case anyone wasn't clear, fumed.

"Well, there you have it," Lucy Lawless nodded. "Now fight!" She hit the bell hanging on the side of the cage as hard as she could, making everyone, even her, jump.

The narrator, still attached to the idea of a round table, and not entirely sure how to write a cage match, wandered away in protest and got herself a red velvet cupcake. Sadly, the cupcake was stale and therefore not as fulfilling as she wanted it to be. And she couldn't even pawn part of it off on her girlfriend, who was anxiously awaiting her LSAT scores, because she had given up sweets for Lent, which was actually proving to be much less annoying than that time she gave up coffee...2

"Hey! Focus! No one cares about your cupcake." Lucy Lawless grabbed the narrator and dragged her back to the story, not exactly kicking and screaming.

Once there, she was surprised to see Rachel in bright red boxing shorts and a white tee shirt. And as appealing as that image was, it was ruined when Mariska reached out and grabbed Rachel's hair. Mariska was proving to be impervious to Rachel's smart and witty retorts. The more creative and intelligent she got, the further they flew over Mariska's head, making dramatic whooshing sounds as they passed.

Rachel looked like she was in trouble, and the narrator, clearly biased against Mariska, whom she had once loved but who had forsaken her when she started doing everything humanly possible to prove to the world that neither she, nor her character, were lesbians, ending in this most recent offense, pulled out a red herring!

A tear started to form in the fabric of the universe (it was already pretty fragile) and from it emerged Kathy Griffin.

"You know, if you're going to have a cage match over me, I think I should be here." The shrillness of her voice was enough to startle Mariska into letting Rachel go. The narrator, happy that her ploy had worked, cheered silently.

Lucy Lawless, annoyed that her cage match was once again interrupted, frowned the frown that killed a thousand puppies.3 Kathy Griffin was oblivious. "So, who's winning? What side am I rooting for?" She looked between Rachel, Mariska, and Lucy Lawless.

"Guys, can we just wrap this up? I'm sitting by a window while I'm writing this and it's cold here." The narrator pleaded with her runaway characters.

"Right." Rachel nodded, business like again and pulled out her secret weapon: Chomper the No Bite Dog! As soon as he saw Mariska, the Law & Order theme started playing and Chomper started howling in delight. The combination of loud noises and irresistible cuteness was too much for Mariska and she crumpled in her corner of the cage.

It was only then, with Mariska huddled in a ball, that the awful truth became clear to the rest of the assembled characters. A series of strings, now visible in their limpness, were connected to Mariska's joints. There was even one keeping her halo aloft. They disappeared into the darkness, giving off a vaguely unclean feeling as they did so, leaving a sense of wrongness lingering in the air.

Fearing for her career, Kathy Griffin slowly started backing away. "Well, you ladies have fun. I'm sure Levi is wondering where I am and I wouldn't want him to stay up past his bedtime." And with that, Kathy disappeared, leaving only Xena, er... Lucy Lawless, Rachel Maddow, and your intrepid narrator to investigate the odd phenomenon.

"Do those go where I think they go?" Rachel raised an eyebrow in skeptical curiosity.

Xe... Lucy Lawless nodded gravely. "Straight to Neal Baer and Dick, 'is this because I'm a lesbian,' Wolf."

Rachel and the narrator shuddered in unison.

"I think we might need that round table after all."

Before the narrator could get excited that Lucy Lawless finally admitted that she was right, she looked at her. There was a murderous glint in Lucy Lawless' eyes.

"You want to use the round table as a weapon, don't you?" The narrator squeaked.

Lucy Lawless only nodded, her outline starting to blur as she disappeared from the fic and possibly into the nightmares of tv executives everywhere.

Left alone with Rachel Maddow, the narrator could only smile. Maybe this whole thing had turned out alright after all, even if Rachel did look a little nervous.

1There was no slimy goo, and even if there was, Lucy Lawless was never covered in it because slimy goo does not stick to Lucy Lawless, Lucy Lawless sticks to slimy goo

2A tradition that the narrator doesn't entirely understand as she was raised in the Baptist church and we didn't do that traditional, symbolic shit.

3No puppies were harmed in the making of this fic. One airhead actress was left slightly bruised, but she recovered thanks to the love and affection of her husband and baby. Gabrielle died somewhere off stage, but she was subsequently brought back to life a few months later. Argo is just happy that he escaped the indignity of having to appear in this fic.