Disclaimer: “Xena: Warrior Princess” and its characters based in the series are
copyrighted to Studios USA and Renaissance Pictures. This is for entertainment only
and cannot be sold. I retain the copyright to the story plot only. Please do not
upload this story or link to it without the written permission of the author.
Author’s Note: This is my take on how they are going to bring them back from the land of the dead.
Rating: PG-13 for violence.
Subtext: If there is subtext, it’s coincidental.
Violence: Nothing more than what is in the show itself, maybe a little harsher.
Synopsis: Xena and Gabrielle get a second chance at life, but they first must defeat Callisto.
Author: J.L. Zellers
Date Written: May 1999
Story Disclaimer: While Xena and Gabrielle’s lives were restored, Xena’s chakram couldn’t be saved.
Author’s Note: This is my take on how they are going to bring them back from the land of the dead.
It was an ominous scene. This was their destined fate. It was fore told to them. They should have known they couldn’t change their destiny. It wasn’t their time. It wasn’t supposed to happen.
Their spirits arose from their battered bodies. Their bodies were all that remained on the earth this day. They arose together. Their spirits joined together and then disappeared into a spiritual abyss of light.
Together, they walked down a corridor filled with past and future lives. Though they maybe separated, they would always be forever connected. It was a bright place, filled with many colors. It was to be place of comfort, no one need be afraid of this place.
“Ah, we meet again,” a voice said from behind. The woman was dressed in a white clothe. She was an angel.
One of the figures turned around.
“Xena. It was expected that you would try to beat your destiny. You could have succeeded at this attempt, if weren’t for the ‘agent of light’,” Alti smirked.
“Alti . . . ,” Xena said. She was surprised to find Alti here, in this place. Even she thought she wouldn’t end help here. People like her, don’t end up in the places like this. This was a serene land where everyone was at peace with them. Xena didn’t feel at peace. There was something left undone.
“Agent of Light?” Gabrielle asked.
“She means Callisto,” Xena said looking at Gabrielle. She turned to look directly at Alti. She stared with her ice-cold blue eyes into Alti’s own eyes. Two persons, destined to battle each other for eternity.
“Callisto . . . sent by the Lord of Hell to complete a mission. Should she have succeeded in her mission, she would have been able to return to the land of the living and become a powerful force for her Lord.”
“I’m surprised you weren’t with her. You like power so much or was the offer not given to you,” Xena quirked.
“She failed her mission. Her mission was to make you an agent of her lord and to make Caesar an agent as well. She wasn’t supposed to harm you. She broke your back and Caesar died at the hand of his loyal friend, Brutus,” Alti proclaimed.
“It means nothing now,” Xena said. It was too late.
“It means everything Xena,” Alti said. “You can have a second chance. The Lord has spoken. Callisto’s thirst for revenge has made it possible.”
“Why are you so willing to help us?” Xena asked. She was unsure of this sudden change in Alti. Or maybe it was a vile attempt to lure her into some sort of battle so that Alti may gain her powers back. Xena was uncertain of this. She didn’t know what to make of it. She decided not to listen to Alti’s spiel anymore.
“Because it wasn’t your time,” Alti said. She disappeared through a cloud.
“You don’t really believe her. Do you?” Gabrielle asked.
“What do you think?” Xena asked her young friend. Xena was being her normal untrusting self. This was a typical characteristic of the Warrior Princess. If she had too much trust in people, she would be dead. Many of her friends and comrades have betrayed her. Some lived to tell about it, while others didn’t.
Their spirits disappeared.
“We have to go back,” Amarice said. She looked back toward the prison, wanting to go back for her friends.
“If they aren’t behind us, then they were captured. If we go back, we’ll suffer the same as they did,” Eli warned. He continued on ahead, but he never looked back.
“You can’t be certain they were captured,” Amarice said.
“You can’t be certain that they weren’t,” argued Eli.
Amarice left the group and headed back to the prison. She was going to find out for sure what happened to her friends. If she had too, she would risk her life to save them. She owed them that much. Gabrielle saved her life twice and Xena has done the same thing.
“Where are we?” Gabrielle asked. “This place reminds me of Illusia.”
“I don’t think this is Illusia,” Xena said. “I don’t hear music.” Xena was looking around, and everything about this place was serene.
“The Elysian Fields then,” Gabrielle said.
“This place is different,” Xena said.
The bright colored walls of the corridors reminded a soul of the fruits of life. This place was to make one feel protected from the spoils and temptations of life. Each color represented a different aspect of life. From certain ribbons of color, one could see his or her own life span. It was to serve as a reminder of what good they did while they were living. This place was to make them not want to miss their lives as they existed on Earth. Even in this place, the dead could hear the living thoughts of mortals.
“Different is right,” Alti said.
“I find it hard to believe that you would end up here,” Xena said. “Are you here to help or to just torment?”
“The same could be said for you Xena. You can change the fate of yesterday. It wasn’t your time,” Alti proclaimed.
“Ain’t nothing like being in the wrong place at the wrong time, huh?” Xena commented. She continued to walk ahead. She wanted nothing of Alti. For the first time, she actually seemed at peace with herself. She doesn’t feel totally cleansed of her misdeeds as a warlord, but is more at peace with herself. Something of which was never there before. She didn’t want to give up that feeling she had.
Gabrielle stayed behind. For some reason, she felt she could trust Alti. Perhaps, she it was because she wanted to find out why she was willing to go off her path to protect Xena. She was contemplating her ‘way’.
“Don’t you want to you know?” Alti asked. She appeared in front of Xena.
Xena stopped. “Know what?”
“How to change your fate. It wasn’t written,” Alti said. She moved her hand to open a window that looks down onto the Earth. They can see what it is going on. “This lets you view the world as you used to know it. Everyone you know, everyone you don’t know. Guardians of the ‘light’ you are. Your friends are heading for trouble soon.”
“What’s still unwritten . . . ,” Xena said.
“You can erase,” Gabrielle said.
“If you stay here, your friends will suffer,” Alti said. She opened another portal. “You can change it. However, if you go through this portal, there is no telling where you’ll end up. You could end up as a soldier, yourself, Gabrielle, or one of the prisoners . . . That is the price for the ‘Gateway to the Past’. It is yours for the taking.”
“What do you think you are doing?” Eli asked Amarice. He had followed her, perhaps he wanted to help the two women that have saved his life on a number of occasions. He felt he owed it to them.
“I’m going to get them,” Amarice said. She headed for the prison yard with great determination. She knew she had a job to do, and she was going to do it.
Eli took a deep breath and shrugged his shoulders. He wasn’t going to allow her to do this alone. He owed Xena and Gabrielle at least that much. “It’s going to be guarded.”
“I can handle it,” Amarice said. “I’m an amazon you know.”
“Maybe so,” Eli said. “Are you willing to risk your life for them?”
“Wouldn’t you?” Amarice asked. She glared at Eli. She was waiting for him to suddenly back down like the wimp he was. She didn’t have a whole faith in his way. She didn’t buy the mumbo jumbo about love being an all-powerful source.
Eli gave no response, for it wasn’t his ‘way’.
Amarice and Eli arrived at the prison. It was guarded. It was obvious that the Romans were looking for them. Amarice and Eli snuck into the prison and found what they had hoped they wouldn’t. They found Xena and Gabrielle, hanging from the crosses. The Romans were on guard to thwart any rescue attempt.
“It is no use,” Eli said.
“They couldn’t have died that quickly. There is still a chance,” Amarice said. She was about over a wall when she stopped in her tracks. Eli was close behind her. He nearly walked into her. Amarice saw a figure standing before her. She recognized the person.
“We have to go,” Eli said. He saw the figure too. “Now.” He sensed an evil presence. He knew this person as well. He knew what this person was and wanted no part of it.
“I think you are right,” Amarice said. She hasn’t seen this figure in quite sometime. It brought back painful memories of her past.
The figure turned to look at Amarice and Eli. The figure glared at them. Amarice and Eli quickly turned and left the prison.
“We can change it,” Gabrielle said. “All of it.”
“All of it?” Xena asked. “Maybe it’s not meant to be changed.”
“Alti said it herself. Callisto changed it when she threw the chakram and hit you.”
“But if I or you or both of us go back, there is no telling where we’ll end up.” Xena began to pace.
“We don’t have much of a choice. Eli and Amarice will suffer if we don’t go back,” Gabrielle said. She was sure they could change it.
“And how . . . ,” Xena paused. She made up her mind. She decided if they were given the chance to change their fates, she would. She would change all of it.
She pushed Gabrielle aside.
“What are you doing?” Gabrielle asked.
“Going back,” Xena said. This was something she had to do alone.
“Without me?” Gabrielle asked. She didn’t like this. “We are supposed to do this together.”
“If I succeed, then you will disappear from here. No sense in both of us risking it. That way if I fail, you can come back and . . . ” Xena stopped herself short of completing her sentence. She wasn’t going to allow Gabrielle to repeat what she did. She didn’t want Gabrielle to kill again. “Promise me you won’t follow.” She looked at Gabrielle. That was that needed be said from the Warrior Princess.
“I can’t promise. I’d still do it again,” Gabrielle said. “I would still choose the way of friendship. I wouldn’t change that for anything,” Gabrielle said. “Be careful.” Gabrielle knew that Xena was going to save them. She also knew her friend well enough to know that Xena won’t let take the lives of the soldiers again. Xena was again, protecting her from the monster that results in all of us. That animal that made people tremble at the mere mention of Xena. She remembered something that Xena had said once. “Don’t let the light go out . . . I couldn’t stand the darkness that would follow.” Perhaps Xena was right. Maybe she’s trying to protect me from that darkness, Gabrielle thought to herself
The two friends gave each other one last look before Xena jumped through the Gateway to the Past.
It was a rush of mystical magic and light. It provided a glimpse of what was and what was to become. The colors that Xena saw on her journey were all represented in this tunnel. Everything about them was there. All things were joined in a matter of seconds and the journey began. The final sequence ended with a view of their deaths. It was still part of their fate. Maybe not today or tomorrow, but it would be someday.
Foot of Mt. Amaro
“...I can arrange it for you and Gabrielle and all her peaceful little friends to just walk out here and no one gets hurt. And you and Gabrielle can live happily ever after,” Callisto said.
“What’s the catch?”
“Well, there is one little thing. You have to drop your sword and join Gabrielle in fulfilling a life of love and kindness.”
“Not interested . . . ,” Xena said. She continued to walk on by. She ignored Callisto. She wasn’t going to let her taunt her any longer. She blocked Callisto out of her mind totally.
Callisto knew it was a lost cause. Xena was determined to rescue Gabrielle. “You can’t just walk away from me and get away with it.” Callisto did a Xena type yell. She enjoyed herself. She was sadistically smiling all the way through the yell. She wanted the Romans to learn of their escape.
“It’s Xena! Find her!” A Roman soldier commanded.
The Prison Cell
Xena bursted into the prison. She smashed Roman guards to the right of her, to the left of her. She grabbed a key from one of the soldiers. Gabrielle approached the prison cell door. She was relieved that her friend had arrived. She knew that they weren’t going to die on crosses.
“Xena!” Gabrielle exclaimed. “I’m so glad to see you.”
After a brief hug, “That vision isn’t going to come true.” She freed Gabrielle and tossed the keys to another prisoner.
“Come on Eli, get up!” Xena smashed her sword against the chains that held Eli and Amarice to a post. Eli and Amarice got up. Amarice retrieved a sword from one of the unconscious Roman soldiers. Everyone ran out the prison, hoping to find their way out. It wasn’t going to be easy task. The Romans were already alerted to their escape thanks to Callisto.
The Courtyard in the Prison
“They’re escaping! Stop them!” A Roman soldier shouted.
Roman soldiers came from all directions.
Amarice and Xena cleared a path for Gabrielle, Eli and the others to get out of the prison. Gabrielle made sure Eli and everyone was safe. Amarice followed. Xena and Gabrielle were the only ones that remained in the courtyard. More Roman soldiers entered the courtyard. Xena continued to fight her way through the Roman soldiers. Not sparring any of them.
Callisto stood on the steps watching Xena defeating her fate. She was angered. Not by Xena’s presence or her eagerness to defeat her fate, but something more personal. Something that not even Xena expected.
Gabrielle went to tell Xena that everyone was out, but stopped when she Callisto standing on the steps that over looked the courtyard. She was in shock. She couldn’t believe that Callisto was there. She was motionless.
Callisto yelled and threw the chakram directly at Xena.
Xena quickly turned around and caught the chakram. But the force of the throw knocked her to the ground. As she struggled to get up, a Roman guard came from behind and knocked her to the ground again.
“No!” Gabrielle screamed. She jumped through the Gateway.
She was faced with the same images of the past and the future. They molded into one and created the crucifixion scene. That didn’t matter anymore.
The Prison Courtyard
Gabrielle grabbed a spear and threw it at an oncoming Roman soldier. It went into his chest and he fell the ground like a bag of rocks.
Xena struggled to get up. She couldn’t get focused. Her eyes couldn’t find the ground nor the sky. Her legs and arms weren’t acting to the commands she was giving them. Nothing was working.
After having realized what was about to happen, Gabrielle picked up Xena’s sword and rushed forward. She impaled a Roman soldier without thinking twice about it. It came as naturally to her as it would with her staff. She would make Ares proud.
“Get up!” Gabrielle shouted to Xena.
Xena moaned. She continued to struggle to get focused. She knew she wasn’t seriously injured. She just found it difficult to get up. “Gabrielle, go!”
“Go! Get up!” Gabrielle shouted at Xena. Gabrielle continued with her fight of fury. “We have to get out of here!”
Xena continued to struggle to gain her focus. Her body was starting to react to the commands she was giving it. It was a slow process, but she was regaining her focus. “Gabrielle get out!” She wanted Gabrielle out of harms way.
Callisto looked down on to Gabrielle, “Interesting.” She’d never seen Gabrielle react this way before. It was a change of events she wasn’t inspecting.
Gabrielle continued to fight. Something had overcome her. She was doing something she never thought she’d be able to do. She was angry. She felt hatred. She was killing not of out self defense, but out of hatred. She continued to fight.
“Gabrielle . . . NO!” Xena shouted. She pleaded with her friend to stop fighting, the killing. She didn’t want Gabrielle to kill to protect her, not again. This was wrong she thought. She wanted to stop it, but it was useless. As much as she wanted to prevent Gabrielle from killing like this, she couldn’t.
“We aren’t going to let this happen,” Gabrielle said. She continued to fight.
Xena continued to struggle to gain her focus. “Gabrielle STOP!”
Gabrielle continued to kill, hoping to give Xena enough time to regain her focus.
A Roman soldier knocked Gabrielle down. She tackled him. She jumped on top of him, head butting him several times before grabbing a knife. She repeatedly stabbed him in the chest. She only stopped after she realized what she had done. She spied the knife as if was foreign to her. The blood dripped from the knife. She then dropped the knife. She stared into the open space. Everything that she had just done, caught up with her within a few moments.
“We aren’t going to let this happen,” Xena said. She grabbed Gabrielle from behind and pulled her up. Xena grabbed her sword and the fractured chakram. Roman soldiers just missed them.
The two friends ran out of the prison and headed for the forest where the others were already at.
“NO!” Callisto screamed. “You aren’t going to get away from this Xena. Not this time.”
“You failed your mission,” the crazy guy said. “You weren’t supposed to physically harm Xena.”
“I didn’t harm her.”
“You threatened. Not only that, Caesar didn’t become Emperor. You practically told her the plans what our Lord had in store Caesar. You gave her enough information to find someone willing to take Caesar out power.”
“Xena could have figured it out on her own,” Callisto said. “It’s this warrior’s thing. She has too much pride. And she’s far to smart for your Lord.”
“He has faith in you. He’s willing to give you another chance,” the crazy guy said.
“Because he likes you.”
“I’m all ears.”
“You are to make sure that the next in line is a servant our Lord. His name is Octavian.”
“What about Xena?”
“Her faith in her ‘way’ is too strong. She can’t be turned. Leave her alone. Should you interfere with her again, you’ll be turned into a mortal. That’s the consequence of your action.” The crazy guy left.
“I’m afraid that can’t be done. She has something of mine.”
“Bout time you guys show up,” Amarice said.
“You two alright?” Eli asked.
“Yeah. We’re fine,” Xena said. She looked around. “We can’t stay here. They’ll be looking for us.”
“Let’s go,” Amarice said.
Eli and Amarice and the rest of the group start ahead.
“You alright?” Gabrielle asked.
“I’m fine.” Xena looked back towards the prison. We’ve made it this far, maybe we can make it all the way, Xena thought to herself.
Xena and Gabrielle joined the others.
“Like I said Xena, you aren’t going to get away with this,” Callisto said. She appeared in her old form. She meant business this time. “Your vision will still come true Xena.”
Callisto knocked trees down across the path, hoping it will slow the group down.
“Try to get past this.”
“The path is blocked,” Amarice said.
“Odd. It wasn’t earlier,” Xena said. She looked up into the trees. “Go around.”
“Something is wrong, isn’t it?” Gabrielle asked.
“Someone deliberately did this. To slow us down,” Xena said.
“Who?” Amarice asked.
Xena looked and Gabrielle. Gabrielle nodded in agreement.
“A god,” Xena said.
“They hate you too?” Amarice asked.
“Not all of them. Just one has a particular hatred for me,” Xena said.
“What can we do about it?” Amarice asked.
Xena and Gabrielle walked around the downed trees.
“Nothing right now.”
“That’s right Xena. Nothing can be done about me,” Callisto smirked. She watched them from a copse of trees. “How did you end up with them?”
“We aren’t that far from Amphipolis,” Gabrielle said.
“That will be the first place they’ll look. It will be too dangerous. I don’t to risk bringing harm to people who don’t deserve it.”
“And we do?” Gabrielle asked. She let out a slight sigh, “Maybe Brutus will stop the search.”
“We can only hope that. Until then, we keep moving.”
“I thought once we got out of there, our troubles will end,” Gabrielle said. She peered into the fire. “I guess not.”
“It was too easy. They let us escape,” Xena said. “Something else too. Why would she attack me?”
“You have to ask that question?” Gabrielle said. She looked at Amarice. “Amarice is asleep.”
“Think about it. Her deal was to not harm me. Why would she suddenly do that? It would mean more torment for her if she did. It was as if she did it for some other reason.”
“What other reason could it be?” Gabrielle asked.
“I can’t place it.” Xena said. “It’s been bothering me ever since we got out of the prison.”
“We shouldn’t dwell on it any longer,” Gabrielle said. “Get some sleep.”
Xena nodded in compliance, but it would be awhile before she could sleep. Something was still bothering her. Xena walked into the woods.
“You can’t seem to kill her can you?” Ares asked.
“What do you want?” Xena asked. “I thought I’d never hear from you again.”
“That was a cool trick, beating your fate like that,” Ares said.
“It wasn’t a trick Ares. A matter of necessity,” Xena glared.
“Call it what you want. You have to defeat Callisto.”
“Because she’s still out to get you. Especially now,” Ares said.
“Quit the cryptic talk Ares. What is it that I have that she wants?”
“Power. The fact that you’ll continue in a spiritual haven and she won’t. Who could blame her for being jealous. But you also have something very dear to her,” Ares said. “Remember when Callisto went back to try to stop the death of family?”
“Iolaus told me about it. She ended up murdering her parents anyhow,” Xena said.
“Her sister saw her do it.”
“Her sister?” It was beginning to make sense.
“That’s why she threw the chakram at you,” Ares said. “She couldn’t stand the thought of her sister being with you.”
Xena looked back at the campsite. “Amarice.”
“Your instinct serves you well. She’s knows who you are. And she wants to kill whose responsible for the death of her parents,” Ares said.
“Callisto,” Xena said.
“If you put Callisto back where she belongs your troubles will be over,” Ares said.
“How do you know so much about this?” Xena asked.
“We Gods know other Gods,” Ares said. He disappeared.
“Xena?” Gabrielle asked. “What is it?”
“Amarice. She’s Callisto’s sister.”
“She’s what?” Gabrielle asked. She was surprised.
“It would explain why she through the chakram at me,” Xena said.
“Are you sure?” Gabrielle asked. “I mean it could be anybody.”
“It could be. Remember when Amarice and Eli went back? They saw Callisto. The look on Callisto’s face was unmistakable. Callisto recognized her and Amarice the same thing. Even Eli. Only Eli sensed evil.”
“How does Eli figure into all of this?” Gabrielle asked.
“He’s a patron of goodness,” Xena said.
“Patron of goodness?”
“Like you said. We shouldn’t dwell on it.”
“Are you sure that’s a good idea sir?” Triton asked.
“We don’t have to fear them anymore,” Brutus said.
“Caesar wouldn’t approve,” Triton said.
“You have your orders Triton. Now make sure every Roman legion knows about the removal of the bounty Xena’s head and that her friends are no longer wanted by Rome.”
“Do you think Brutus will lift the bounty?” Amarice said. She still hated Brutus. Her hatred for him would never end.
“Brutus won’t be in charge. It will be either Marc Antony or Octavian. Brutus is a man of honor, he’ll do the right thing.”
“I sure hope you’re right. I hate Romans.” Amarice continued on ahead.
“Where did you put Argo?” Gabrielle asked.
“In a pasture near here.”
“Xena . . . ”
“I just noticed something.”
“You don’t have your chakram.”
“Where is it?”
“What do you mean gone?”
“You can’t change fate entirely.”
Xena nodded. She continued on ahead.
Gabrielle looked around. She felt a cold breeze. She sensed a foreign presences. Since Xena didn’t notice it, she made nothing out of it.
The Forest – Night Time
Xena was off scouting. Amarice was asleep. Eli and Gabrielle were sitting by the fire.
“I did something back in that prison that I thought I would never do,” Gabrielle said. “I gave into the hate. I’ve let her down in someway.”
“What you did, doesn’t matter. What matters is that you did it out of love,” Eli said. “You were faced with a situation that is one of the toughest to be in. And I’m sure she doesn’t feel you let her down.”
“When I picked her sword, it was like second nature to me,” Gabrielle said. “I knew what to do. And I wanted to do it.”
“For your and Xena’s sake, I’m glad you did know what to do,” Eli said. “You’ll be tested. You’ll fail many times.”
“But I still killed,” Gabrielle said.
Xena had returned from her rounds, but stayed hidden. She listened in on Gabrielle and Eli’s conversation.
“Yes. But when you chose to give in to the violence, you did it because you were protecting someone,” Eli said.
“That doesn’t make any better the reason. She was pleading with me the whole time to stop. I couldn’t,” Gabrielle said. She was hurting and it was obvious.
Eli moved into to comfort her.
Xena quietly moved away from the campsite and head back out into the woods. She had her own reflecting to do. Gabrielle’s was best left to Eli.
The Next Morning
“Where did you get the horse?” Gabrielle asked Xena.
Xena made no attempt to answer the question. “I’m riding ahead to the village. Just to make sure no Romans are there and that it is safe. Stay here.” Xena rode off.
“That was odd.”
Gabrielle watched in concern. “She stole the horse.”
“The poster girl for truth and justice stole a horse?” Amarice quirked. It was more of a giggle. She found it funny. “I hate to be the poor person she took it from.”
“Amarice . . . ,” Gabrielle started to say.
“What? She wants to make sure it’s safe. She can get there a lot quicker with a horse than she can on foot.”
“We aren’t that from a village that I know is safe,” Gabrielle said.
“Xena said to stay here,” Amarice said.
“I don’t always do what Xena says. Besides, she’ll know where to look. The same place she got the horse.”
“You mean we are going to the place where she stole the horse from?” Amarice asked.
“Yes and No. Yes we are going to place where she got the horse. No, she didn’t steal the horse. Her brother just wouldn’t let her pay for it,” Gabrielle smirked. “It’s this way.”
“Then why? Never mind,” Amarice said. She followed Gabrielle.
“Are you sure about that?” Xena asked.
“The Roman said that Brutus ordered the bounty off and the search off for the escape prisoners,” the innkeeper said.
“Thanks,” Xena said. She was about to pay for the food.
“On the house. You saved us from that Callisto. We owe you a lot more than free food,” the innkeeper said. “Here.” He handed her a pouch. “It’s some food.” The innkeeper was more than grateful to the Warrior Princess.
“Gabrielle?” Xena asked. She looked around for her friends. They were no where to be found. “Why can’t you just listen to me for a change.”
“That will never happen,” Callisto said.
Xena turned around. Callisto yanked the Warrior Princess off her horse.
“It’s time for us to settle this once and for all,” Callisto said.
“I have something you want,” Xena said. “Oh yes. I know about your . . . sister.”
“How she ended up with you, I’ll never know,” Callisto said. “I can’t believe she chose to join up with you. You did cook my family after all.”
“That’s where you are wrong Callisto. I didn’t cook your family. They were already dead. And Amarice saw what you did,” Xena said. She drew sword. She walked around Callisto.
“Oh please,” Callisto said. She shot a jolt of electricity that sent Xena reeling backwards onto the ground. “Why do you always do this.”
“Old habit,” Xena said. She jumped back to her feet.
“Oh well. If you insist,” Callisto said. She drew her sword and charged Xena.
Xena deflected her blow. “You’re a bit rusty.”
“Forgive for I’ve been living in Hell for the past year,” Callisto said. She kicked Xena in the stomach. Then hit her in the back with her sword hilt. Xena fell to the ground.
Xena somersaulted over Callisto. “That’s supposes to win you a free shot? I think not.”
“Will you get off this goodness kick already. Gabrielle’s ‘way’ brought you to this point,” Callisto said.
“She’s no more to blame than I am,” Xena said. She moved back away from Callisto.
“What? You don’t want to fight me? What a shame. Too bad I can’t let it happen,” Callisto said. She made a swipe with sword at Xena.
Xena deflected the swipe and returned the favor.
“You can’t kill me you know,” Callisto said. “Why you keep trying, doesn’t make sense anymore.”
“It’s not about making sense anymore. Why would want to have your sister back after what you’ve done . . . ”
“What I’ve done? Xena, my dear, you are the one that made me, remember? If you hadn’t attacked Cirra then I wouldn’t have become this person bent on revenge. My family would still be alive and my sister wouldn’t be who she is today . . . ”
“That was your doing, not mine,” Xena said. She started to walk away from Callisto.
“Why don’t you want to fight me Xena?” Callisto asked. “Afraid of defeat?”
“Afraid I might get hurt,” Xena said.
“I can’t just let you walk away,” Callisto said. Callisto made another swipe at Xena, this time she succeeded. But wasn’t a serious wound. It wasn’t enough to bring Xena down.
“You shouldn’t have done that Callisto,” Xena said.
“This is why.” Xena whistled for the horse to return. She hopped onto the horse and rode off.
“You can’t hide from for very long,” Callisto said. “Oh well, I guess I’ll take care of my plan now. Run Xena. Play with your little friends until I come back.”
Xena rode off to Amphipolis. She wasn’t happy about Gabrielle leaving the area, but at least they would get a good meal. Her mother was good about that.
“It’s so good to see you again,” Cyrene said. She greeted Gabrielle with open arms. Cyrene gave Gabrielle a hug.
“Cyrene, this is Eli and Amarice,” she pointed to her friends.
“Nice to meet you,” Eli said. He held out his hand to Cyrene.
“Where’s Xena?” Cyrene asked. She looked around for daughter. Xena was usually never far behind, this time she was.
“She’ll be along shortly,” Gabrielle said. At least she hoped she’d be along. With Xena you never know. And when Callisto was concerned, it was a different matter all together. But Xena could take care of herself, and Gabrielle had to believe that everything was okay. If she didn’t believe in this, she couldn’t go on without having concern for Xena. Gabrielle knew that Xena was the same way.
Cyrene sensed Gabrielle’s concern all over her face. “You must be hungry. Come sit down.” It was a mother’s intuition. She knew that Xena and Gabrielle were best friends. And when it came to something being wrong with either of them, it was written all over their faces. Gabrielle looked sad.
The trio followed Cyrene into the Inn.
“You’ll need help,” Ares said.
“What is you interest in all of this Ares?” Xena asked.
“Pay back for her killing Strife. Just ordinary revenge. She doesn’t deserve to live,” Ares said.
“You got that right,” Xena said. She continued on ahead. She wasn’t concerned with Ares at this point. His being here didn’t bother her. She had no interest in what he had to offer her or what he had to say to her.
“I can arrange it so you can defeat her,” Ares said.
Xena stopped and turned to face Ares. Her stoic manner brought a smile to the War God’s face. He loved this warrior. He still hoped that she would come back to him. She wanted nothing to do with him.
“How can you possibly arrange it?” Xena asked. “Don’t answer that. I’ll take care of this my way. The last thing I need to do is to owe the God of War favor. Much less have to worry about some other scheme you have worked up.”
“You can’t defeat her.”
“I beat you didn’t I?”
Ares gave a little smirk. “Yeah. You beat me because I let you beat me. That’s all in the past.”
“I can help.” He was insistent on his willingness to help his favorite warrior. He thought he could this problem to his advantage.
“No deal.” She didn’t want nor did she need Ares’ help. Xena was to smart for the War God. She knew him too well, maybe too well.
“It’s your funeral. That vision of yours can and probably will still come true,” Ares said. He disappeared.
“Probably. I have to live with it.”
“I was beginning to worry about you,” Gabrielle greeted her friend with a hug. “You’re hurt.” She eyed Xena’s injury on her side. She tried to look at it. Xena move away from her touch.
“I’m fine,” Xena softly said. She moved away from her friend. She didn’t Gabrielle to concern herself with her right now.
“You saw her didn’t you?”
Xena ignored her question. “They’ve stopped looking for us.” She didn’t look at Gabrielle.
“That’s good. You saw her didn’t you?” Gabrielle sensed that her friend had encountered Callisto on the path.
Xena didn’t ignore Gabrielle’s question any longer. Gabrielle would pry on this matter. “She’s up to something. She’s only after me. There is no reason for you or for anyone else to get involved.” She wanted to keep Gabrielle safe.
“Why is she back?”
“She’s up to something,” Xena said. She took the saddle off the horse.
“Are you alright?” Gabrielle was concerned.
“Why wouldn’t I be?” She didn’t bother looking up. She continued on ahead with bedding the horse. The torment of Callisto was evident in her voice.
Gabrielle found it hard to leave, but decided that Xena obviously needed some more time to herself. “Goodnight.” Gabrielle left the stable. Xena’s acting strange bothered her a great deal. Getting Xena to talk about how she felt was often a task better left not attempted. Xena wasn’t one for giving out her true feelings.
Xena didn’t look up. She started to brush the horse. She was lost in her thoughts. Xena finished up a few moments. She bedded the horse and then she herself retreated for the night. She didn’t bother saying hello to her mother. Like with Gabrielle, she knew when something was wrong. There was nothing either of the two could do for her at this point. This was a matter for Xena. She maybe finally able to close the book on Callisto after all.
“Something is wrong, isn’t?” Cyrene asked.
Gabrielle sat down at a table. “Something wrong is right. Yeah, she’s usually not one for talk but this unusual for her. She couldn’t even look at me.” Gabrielle knew Xena wasn’t being truthful with, at least partly not truthful. Xena was sometimes brutally honest with Gabrielle. Sometimes she would leave parts out, because they were unimportant. Other times, Xena would out right lie to Gabrielle to protect, or what Xena thought was protecting her. Gabrielle didn’t like it when Xena got this way. It usually led to trouble for her friend. And it sometimes led to some very painful events.
“Is it this thing with the Romans?” Cyrene knew about what happened at the prison. She had a conversation with Eli and told her of how Xena and Gabrielle saved his life on a couple of occasions. He told Cyrene that her daughter was a truly a good person. She should be honored to have a daughter like Xena.
“I think it is a part of it. But they aren’t looking for us anymore. There is something she isn’t telling me,” Gabrielle said. She was concerned. Cyrene comforted her. Gabrielle was hurting on the inside. She knew that the monster that lives so close to Xena’s heart is often at risk to come out. Gabrielle has been a first hand witness to Xena’s ‘dark side’. It may scare her, but she knew that without it, neither of them would be here. Gabrielle knew that when Xena got like this, that monster was coming out. She couldn’t stop it, but she knew how to deal with it. She knew how to control it.
“You have to put the bounty back on Xena’s head,” Callisto said to Octavian.
“I don’t have to do anything. With Caesar out of the way, she won’t be a problem anymore.”
“Don’t be so sure of that. Xena has a tendency to make herself a problem. It’s these sentimental missions she goes on. This goodness and the ‘way of the warrior’ just really isn’t her,” Callisto said.
“Who are you?” Octavian had no trust for this beautiful woman. He wasn’t going to be dupe like his uncle. He was far to smart for that. He didn’t need help in fulfilling his destiny.
“I’m a friend that can insure that Xena doesn’t make herself a problem for you and that you get what your Uncle Caesar didn’t. I’m a servant of a person who can promise a great many things,” Callisto snared. “Xena was responsible for Caesar’s death. She convinced Brutus that Caesar was a tyrant bent on becoming an all-powerful being. Which he would have if it hadn’t been for Xena. Xena, she is always messing with my plans. She’s really good at it too. Gets my nerves a lot.”
“If Xena becomes a problem, I’ll deal with it myself. I will get what is best for Rome. Unlike Caesar, I won’t let my weaknesses get in the way of my mission. Leave before I have the guards arrest you,” Octavian ordered. “Don’t come back.”
Callisto left. She was most displeased with this turn of events. She knew she couldn’t succeed with Xena. Xena’s will was far to far to powerful to break.
“Damn!” Callisto shouted. “Xena has my sister and she is casual about it. Octavian doesn’t care about Xena, or that she could become a threat to him. Oh well, back to basics I suppose. Time for a rematch Xena. This time, I’ll win. I know how to win. Your precious Gabrielle.”
The Next Morning
Xena had already left Amphipolis. She only told her mother, who was already up. Xena had apologized for coming and seeing her, but that she would make up for when she returns from her newest mission. She only told her mother was important and left out where she was going. Xena didn’t want Gabrielle to follow her. Xena had to confront Callisto without any extra baggage.
“Where’s Xena?” Gabrielle asked.
“She said you knew,” Cyrene said.
“Knew what?” Gabrielle asked with concern.
“She left early this morning,” Cyrene said. She judged Gabrielle’s reaction and it wasn’t good. Xena was heading for trouble.
“She didn’t say,” Cyrene said. “Is something wrong?” She knew she should have made Xena stay for breakfast.
“She went to Rome,” a voice said.
Both Cyrene and Gabrielle turned to look at the stranger sitting in the corner.
“Rome? Why?” Gabrielle asked.
The person got up and left the inn.
“Who are you?” Gabrielle asked.
“Rome? Why would she go to Rome?” Cyrene asked.
“That’s what I’m going to find out,” Gabrielle said.
“Go get ready, I’ll prepare some food for you,” Cyrene said.
Gabrielle retreated back to Xena’s room where she kept a chest of clothes. She pulled some clothes she’d never thought she ever wear again. It was her Amazon war outfit. She knew that when she put it on, she was making a conscious decision to take up arms if she had too. She also retrieved the staff Ephiny had given her. She may not have felt completely right about her decision, but it is what she had to do. And she was going to do it alone.
“Where are you going?” Amarice asked Gabrielle. Amarice followed Gabrielle into the stables. She was perplexed by this sudden change of costume in Gabrielle. And the fact that she was carrying a staff and sword, made things much more complicated.
“Going to Rome.” She was packing her things on the horse.
“I’m coming with you,” Amarice stated.
“Amarice stay here.” Gabrielle was saying more out of concern for Amarice than she was for herself. She didn’t want the extra baggage.
“Xena said to be your friend. I’m going with you. Besides that, I want to kick some Roman ass. And since you seemed to join the real world . . . ”
Gabrielle went against her better judgement and agreed to take Amarice with her. Eli stayed behind, it wasn’t his place.
“Why would she go to Rome?” Amarice asked.
“I don’t know. And that is what has me concerned,” Gabrielle said.
The former Amazon Queen and the amazon headed off towards the direction of Rome.
“Xena, just what do you think are doing,” Callisto said. “Oh well, at least you’ll fall right into my trap.”
“Think again,” Xena said.
Callisto turned around, startled. “Well, we meet again.”
“What is it you want?”
“My sister of course. You, well no one cares about you anymore. Gabrielle well, her momentary loss of control back at that prison raised some eyebrows. Seems Gabrielle might have place where you could have,” Callisto said. She walked around Xena.
“Whether or not your sister goes with you is none of my concern, at least not yet. As for Gabrielle, she had a reason for what she did. She wouldn’t have done anything if you hadn’t interfered. So in a way, you caused it,” Xena said. She drew sword from the scabbard. She looked at Callisto with ice-cold blue eyes.
“Here we go again. Always wanting to fight,” Callisto said. She took her sword out. “You know, this is getting quite old. You can’t kill me. You can’t hurt me . . . You know, it’s a been there, done that, tried that, didn’t work thing that you always seem to forget.”
“I like a good fight,” Xena said.
“Oh I know you do,” Callisto said. Callisto made the first move. She took a jab at Xena who deflected the blow with ease and grace.
“Can’t you do better?” Xena asked.
“You trying to egg me into a fight? So unlike you. And here I thought you were on this goodness kick. Guess that didn’t last long,” Callisto said. “Oh well, if you insist on a fight, then so be it.”
Callisto charged at Xena. Xena deflected the blow.
“Come on Callisto. Fight!”
“Are you angry at me because I broke your chakram?”
“That ain’t the half of it!”
This time, Xena charged Callisto. Not taken by surprise, Callisto deflected the thrust and got in a kick to the stomach. Xena fell to the ground, the wind knocked out of her, she struggled to get up. Callisto thwacked Xena on the head, keeping her on the ground. “You’ll forgive me, I haven’t much of a chance to work out recently. Been busy you know,” Callisto said. “Not much to do there except the torments.” She managed to keep Xena on the ground by continuing to stomp her on the back.
“Tell me how you really feel Callisto?” Ares asked.
“Ares. I never thought I’d see you again,” Callisto smirked. She turned her attention away from Xena for the time being.
Xena got up and turned to face to the Gods about ready to square off with each other. Xena regain her normal rhythm of breathing and was able to regain some strength. She had to be ready just in case Callisto might try something.
“Same could be said about you,” Ares said. “You know, I never did get the chance to get even for you killing Strife.”
“Bring it on Ares,” Callisto said. “I’ve been wanting a good fight.”
“Not with me you don’t,” Ares commanded. “I promised not to interfere with your little scam, which will fail of course. You’ll always let your feelings cloud your judgement. Just like Xena.”
“Are you just here to torment me?”
“You could say that,” Ares said. He turned to Xena. “My offer still stands.”
“Deal?” Callisto asked. “Xena: Warrior Princess making a deal with Ares, God of War? How so unlike you Xena. Going to the person that has tried to kill you . . . ”
“No deal Ares,” Xena said. “This is my fight.” She was willing and ready to fight Callisto again. She was willing to die too. She had a job to do, put Callisto back where she belonged.
“Then I guess we fight,” Callisto said.
“Not here we don’t,” Xena said. She whistled for Argo. The golden mare came out from the trees.
“Heading to Rome Xena?” Callisto asked.
Xena stopped and turned around to face Callisto.
“Why are you going to Rome?” Callisto waited for Xena’s response.
“If you know I’m going to Rome, then you know why I’m going there.”
“Oh Xena, I don’t think you know what you are doing. If you go to Rome, your friends will suffer. You have my sister you know.”
“I don’t have your sister Callisto. She joined us on her own free will.”
“Does she even know who you are?” Callisto asked. “Of course not, you try to avoid talking about Cirrah. Painful isn’t?”
“Go away Callisto
“Just remember Xena, my Lord still has a conquest to be won. And it is your dear friend Gabrielle that he’ll win it with.”
“Gabrielle wouldn’t even give you the time to talk,” Xena said. “Remember Perdicus?”
“If you think about that hard enough dear, it might come true. See, Gabrielle’s little outburst shows a weakness for control. My lord likes weaknesses. It’s His way to win over people.” Callisto disappeared.
Xena continued onto Rome.
“What could there possibly be in Rome,” Amarice asked. She rode beside Gabrielle. Amarice found it hard to look her new friend. Gabrielle was a different person now, especially when it concerned Xena.
“I don’t know.” Gabrielle was in full Amazon war regalia. She never thought she’d be wearing it. She had also taken up the use of an Amazon War Staff. She liked the feel of it in her hands. It felt right. She felt right. She made the conscious decision to protect her friends. If it meant using violence, then so be it. She was at peace with her decision.
“Something doesn’t feel right,” Amarice said. She jumped off her horse and looked around.
Gabrielle followed. The two Amazons stood side by side. They heard the rustling of leaves and quickly turned to the direction the sound came from. The two women stood in shock.
“You,” Amarice said. She drew her sword. She had longed the day she could finally meet this person in battle. It was for revenge for the death of family. Her parents, her sister . . . She remembered what Xena told her about not finding her answers at the end of a sword. That didn’t matter anymore. She finally was able to take revenge for her family’s death.
Gabrielle couldn’t speak. She knew there was trouble. She remembered what happened at the prison courtyard. She knew Callisto was responsible. She knew what Callisto wanted.
“Amarice don’t!” Gabrielle shouted. She grabbed a hold of Amarice’s arm.
“Yes, Amarice don’t. You wouldn’t want to hurt me,” Callisto smirked.
Amarice broke free of Gabrielle’s grasp. “You killed my family!”
“Oh no, that was Xena,” Callisto warned.
“It wasn’t Xena anymore than it was me!” Amarice charged Callisto. Amarice did not know this person. She only knew the hatred she had for her. She didn’t know the real identity of this person either.
Gabrielle tried to stop her, but it was hopeless. Gabrielle could only stand by and watch what was unfolding in front of her. She couldn’t believe her eyes. She tried to prevent Amarice from making a terrible mistake, but it wasn’t going to work. She didn’t want Amarice to make the mistake that she made, that Xena made, that even Callisto made — giving into the anger. “This is not the way Amarice!”
Amarice continued her charge on Callisto when Xena dropped down from a tree. “No!” Xena dropped down in between Amarice and Callisto. She moved in closer to Callisto.
“Why do you that? You are always getting in the middle of everyone’s business.” Callisto grabbed a hold of Xena.
“It’s a part of who I am,” Xena said. She grabbed a hold of Callisto as well and threw her to the ground. She didn’t want to fight, but if it had to come to that, she was ready. She knew beating Callisto would be difficult enough.
“Let me do this,” Amarice said.
“No Amarice,” Xena said. She gave Amarice a very stern look. Amarice slyly moved backwards towards Gabrielle. “Don’t do it,” Xena warned her friend. “It’s not worth it. She’s not worth it. She’s paying for her mistakes, just I like have.”
“I won’t kill her. Stay with her and you’ll get killed.” Callisto said looking Amarice. She held out a hand to Gabrielle. “Come with me Gabrielle.” She was going to take Gabrielle with her. Her Lord needed a servant, Gabrielle was going to be the person.
Gabrielle looked at Callisto. Gabrielle was under some sort of trance. Something was pulling her towards Callisto, some sort of hidden force. She couldn’t resist it. She didn’t want to resist it.
Xena knew what was going on. Callisto was going to use Gabrielle against her. Gabrielle was going to be the chosen one.
Gabrielle started to approach Callisto.
“No Gabrielle!” Xena shouted to her friend. Xena leaped in between the two women.
“Will you go away,” Callisto said. She tried to force Xena out of the way, but it was no use. Xena was too powerful. “What is happening?” Callisto was turning into a mortal.
Xena threw Gabrielle out of the way.
Gabrielle was in shock at what just happened. Gabrielle took a brief moment to regain herself, then realized that Xena just saved her life.
“This time is for real Callisto,” Xena said.
“Oh please,” Callisto said. Callisto threw the first punch. Callisto’s fist went through empty air. “I’m not interfering!” She yelled into the afternoon sky. “She started it first. I was just defending myself!” She knew what was going to happen to her. She thought she had an advantage over Xena.
“Behind you,” Xena said. Xena quickly moved to the other side of Callisto.
Callisto swung yet again, hitting only empty air. Callisto stopped momentarily. She realized that Xena was just toying with her, trying to wear her down. “Will you stop with these silly games,” Callisto said. She hated this moving around, play with your enemy Xena sometimes did.
Amarice helped Gabrielle up and moved back to let the two sworn enemies fight.
“Time for a battle of the fates Callisto,” Xena said. She planted a jump kick into Callisto’s back, sending Callisto hurling forward.
“Oooh . . . ” Callisto howled. “That’s going to leave a mark!”
“So will this.. Yiii-Haa.” Xena planted another jump kick, directly into Callisto’s chest, sending her backwards to the ground.
“This will too!” Callisto jumped to her feet and drew her sword. “Let’s see how much damaged we can do this time.” She kicked Xena in the stomach.
Xena felt the blow. Xena drew her sword. She twirled it around and making constant eye contact with deadly foe, reading her opponent for the first move. She was eagerly anticipating Callisto’s first move.
“Trying to read my move aren’t you Xena?” Callisto lunged for Xena. Xena deflected the sword attack.
Xena made a swift move and managed to cut Callisto.
“You can’t hurt me ... ,” Callisto said in disbelief as she looked at the blood coming from her left arm. “You can’t . . . ” Callisto was shocked. She was mortal again. She realized that she now had no choice, she had to kill Xena.
“Apparently, you aren’t immortal anymore . . . ”
“Then so be it,” Callisto said. She made a swipe, Xena jumped back. Callisto had an advantage over Xena, it was Gabrielle. Put Gabrielle in harm’s way and Xena becomes prime for defeat. Callisto kicked Xena in the chest, then thwacked her on the head with her sword hilt, making Xena fall to the ground. Callisto continued to pound on Xena.
Xena managed to free herself return a few of the punches to Callisto.
Xena and Callisto traded blows with both their swords, hands, arms and legs. Each one of them getting lucky with a kick or two. Callisto managed to get a cut on Xena’s left arm and left leg. Xena managed to do more damage to Callisto. The fight was going to go to a stand still. Each fighter was of equal strength and skill. Callisto saw her chance, she did a forward flip and planted herself in front of Gabrielle. She shoved Amarice aside and grabbed a hold of Gabrielle.
“Trying to use her against me? It won’t work Callisto, not anymore.” Xena said. Xena moved in for an attack. She blocked out Gabrielle. It was the only chance she had.
Gabrielle took a free arm and jabbed it into Callisto’s side. Gabrielle scurried away, taking Amarice with her. She and Amarice went to a safe distance.
“Will you just die already,” Callisto said to Xena. She got lucky with last parry. Xena was caught off guard. Her sword plunged into Xena’s right side. The pain was quick, the loss of blood was quick. Xena didn’t even mutter a sound. Xena looked directly into Callisto’s eyes. Callisto did the same. Callisto felt the warmness of Xena’s blood rushing down her sword and on to her hand. She liked the feel of it. But she didn’t feel any different after killing her opponent. It didn’t feel like it was supposed too. She didn’t care if she interfered. She didn’t care if she was to be forever tormented in Hell. It made no difference to her. She couldn’t stand the thought of her sister being with Xena. Callisto noticed Gabrielle moving towards her.
Gabrielle took her sword from her scabbard and raced towards Callisto with every intent to kill her. It was for Xena, for Perdicus for all those other people who lost their lives to Callisto.
“Xena’s out of the way, Gabrielle is mine, and I get my sister back . . . it is a good day,” quirked Callisto. She may have interfered, but getting sweet Gabrielle would be a definite plus. Who would suspect someone as innocent as Gabrielle to be an instrument of evil. With Xena gone, the task would much easier.
“You are going to die,” Gabrielle yelled. She charged Callisto.
Callisto held out her hand and stopped Gabrielle. “Oh please. Little warrior girl, lets talk before we fight, shall we? This whole, violence thing, killing out of hatred I knew it was in you. Come with me . . . You and Xena can live happily ever after.”
“You are going to die,” Gabrielle said. Her eyes reeked of killing determination. She knew what she had to do. She moved closer, the sword was ready to impale Callisto. She never was frightened. She was making the decision to protect her fallen friend. She momentarily blocked Xena out.
“You don’t have the guts to kill me. You can’t kill me because of Perdicus. You’ve forgiven me for that. Hmm . . . Ah Xena . . . Of course, you’d do anything to protect your precious Xena. I saw you in that prison courtyard, impressive.”
“Yeah . . . Xena,” Xena said, slowly rising behind Callisto.
Callisto slowly turned around. She and Xena locked eyes. Callisto knew Xena should be dead. The two warriors stood, staring into each other’s eyes. Reading them. Judging them. Predicting the opponent’s next move. Neither one of them gave their move away. Callisto suddenly saw her fate. Her fate resided in what she fear most, Hell. Xena saw her fate too. It was her and Gabrielle’s death. The crosses, the Romans, the nails . . . all where there. Xena took her sword from behind her back. Callisto was never expecting this move. Xena plunged into Callisto’s chest. Xena kept plunging it in. It went in so far that it came out the back. Callisto looked into Xena’s eyes. Xena did the same. Xena removed her sword from Callisto. Callisto slowly fell the ground and her body disappeared.
Xena slowly started to fall to her knees. Gabrielle and Amarice grabbed a hold of Xena’s arms to prevent her from collapsing any further to the ground. Gabrielle knew from look on Xena’s face what was the wrong. Gabrielle breathed a sigh of relief that Callisto was gone and that Xena was alive. She was also happy with herself that she didn’t have to give into the hate again.
“What’s wrong?” Amarice asked.
“She knows her fate,” Gabrielle said.
“Is she going to be okay?” Amarice asked.
Gabrielle was knelling beside her fallen friend. “The wound wasn’t that serious. She’ll be okay. Sore, but okay.”
“Who was that person?” Amarice asked. “She acted as if she knew me.”
Gabrielle decided this would be a task better suited for Xena. Xena should be the one to Amarice about Cirrah and Callisto. She should be the one to tell Amarice who Callisto really was. Gabrielle looked at Amarice, “I don’t know.” Gabrielle looked up into the star filled sky. There were many times when Gabrielle starred up into the stars, thinking. Xena began to stir.
She moaned ever so quietly. “Hey,” Xena weakly said. She was slowly regaining consciousness. She was out for what seem like days, but in reality it was only hours.
“You’re going to be okay,” Gabrielle said. “A little sore, but okay.”
“How are you?” Xena asked her young friend.
Gabrielle looked as if she hadn’t slept in days. Or even eaten a decent meal for that matter. “I’m fine. Get some rest. We are heading out in the morning.” Gabrielle was now the protector.
Several Days Later, In Amphipolis
On a Hilltop
Xena and Gabrielle stood together on a hilltop over looking the horizon. The sun was setting in front of them. The mixture of colors brought out a peacefulness in the horizon. Everything seemed calm. It even felt that way.
“You were never were going to Rome were you?” Gabrielle asked. “You knew Callisto would try to stop you.”
“You weren’t supposed to follow me,” Xena said. She looked at Gabrielle. “What happens in Rome now, as long as it doesn’t concern me, I won’t concern myself with it. Caesar is gone, that’s all that matters now.”
“Xena, I think you should know by now, that you shouldn’t leave me behind,” Gabrielle said. She put her hand in Xena’s hand.
Xena let out a small laugh. She grimaced at the pain. “Don’t do that.”
“You saw the vision again didn’t you?” Gabrielle asked. She had to know.
“Yes. And Callisto saw hers. I saw it in her eyes.” Xena continued to look out on the setting sun.
“So it’s true,” Gabrielle somberly said. She stared out into the setting sun with her friend.
The sounds of the river could be heard beneath them. It was a serene sound. It made everything seem right. Maybe they were finally at peace with themselves. At peace with the decisions they made.
Xena took a deep breath. “We can’t run from it. We already know that. We can’t hide from it, ” Xena said. She tried to comfort Gabrielle. But it was of little or no use. This vision would be forever returning. It was their fate together, they had to accept it. It was how it was going to end.
“I know that now. Was it supposed to happen? Back at the prison . . . was it supposed to happen?” Gabrielle needed to know.
“Maybe it was, but maybe not in the way it happened,” Xena said.
The two watched the sunset from the hilltop.
Ye, though the won the battle, the couldn’t change their fate. Fate is something you can’t change. Xena had always tried to protect Gabrielle from danger, from death. This is the one time of which neither one of them can do anything to prevent it. They could try to change it, but it would always fail. Their deaths together were written. And what is written you can’t erase.
“Amarice are you coming with us?” Gabrielle asked.
“If it’s okay with Xena. I know about what happened, in my village,” Amarice somberly said. “I saw this woman kill my parents. I ran out of the barn. I kept running. I didn’t know what else to do. That’s when the Amazons took me in. They treated me as if I was one of their own. They talked of Xena. They think of her as a true Amazon. They treat her as if she were Goddess or something.”
“Don’t tell Xena that,” Gabrielle laughed. “I don’t think Xena will object to having you travel with us. She’s different now. More different than she thinks she is. More different than she knows.”
“Are we ready?” Xena asked. “You coming with us Amarice?”
“You sure it’s okay?” Amarice asked.
“Why wouldn’t it be?” Xena asked.
“Nothing.” Amarice walked ahead of Xena and Gabrielle.
“You should tell her,” Gabrielle said looking at Xena.
“I know. I will. I have too,” Xena said. “Eli is going back to his travels?”
Gabrielle nodded. “It’s funny, I missed having this around.” She looked at her staff. She observed the object as it were foreign in her hands, but it wasn’t. It was meant to be in her hands. The comforting feel it gave her, the safeness it gave her, the knowledge of knowing she would be able to defend herself, Xena or anyone else that couldn’t defend themselves. This is what made it right. Her path was the ‘way of friendship’. She finally realized what it was she’d been looking for. It’s too bad that it has taken this long for her to realize her true path. It came at a great cost. She wasn’t the only one either.
“It becomes you,” Xena said with a smile. “It’s a part who you are.”
“Speaking of which, what are you going to do about your chakram?” Gabrielle asked.
“Well, I was thinking about that,” remarked Xena.
“You did say you can get a new one. You’ve never told me where you got it. How you got it, anything about it for that matter.”
“I never told you? Hmm, must of slipped my mind,” Xena said.
“Are you two coming?” Amarice yelled. She was ready for their next adventure together.
“Time for me tell you story,” Xena said.
Gabrielle and Xena caught up with Amarice. The new trio headed off on their next adventure.
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Disclaimer: While Xena and Gabrielle’s lives were restored, Xena’s chakram couldn’t be saved.