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The Day Callisto Made Xena's Dream Come True
The sun went down late in the evening, leaving the whole sky a bright shade of light pink and blue.
"Lets make camp here, Gabrielle. The bushes will conceal us from Callisto and any of her men. There is an open spot for a fire, would you find some wood before the dark completely settles please?"
A uneasy feeling ran through Gabrielle. Xena never acted in this manner, she usually just ordered her to do it or did it herself. What was with this please crap?
"I better keep an eye on her", muttered Gabrielle as she searched for dry wood.
As soon as Gabrielle was out of sight, Xena unrolled the piece of paper she had kept in her pouch. It was a letter from Marcus. It read:
I thank the god's for all you gave to me. You showed me compasion when everyone thought it wasn't there. I now know the sweet side that not too many people have seen. It was not my choice to leave, and I know that you understood that. I will always be in your heart, that I know. Remember that I will watch you, and I will hear all your thoughts. Always ALWAYS remember that I love you more than life.
Xena's eyes watered, something that she does not do. A small tear ran down her cheek, and she did not bother to wipe it. Gabrielle's footsteps startled her and she jumped, ready and willing to fight.
"Geez Xena, it is just me, get a grip!" Gabrielle spoke harshly.
"Sorry, I guess I wasn't quite with it."
"I have noticed that for days, Xena. What is going on? You are surely not with it at all!"
Xena's eyes narrowed. "Nothing is a mattter, Gabrielle, everything is just fine. Don't you think that I would tell you if something was wrong? You only spend every moment with me."
"Well, actually, no you wouldn't Xena. You keep everything inside until it explodes. Is it something with me? Callisto? What Xena, tell me! I have tried and tried to understand you, but you get more confusing each day. Everytime I think I have found the answer to what is inside you, you change. What do you expect from me Xena? What? Tell me." Gabrielle was screaming and crying.
"Gabrielle, I am sorry. I don't expect anything from you. It is not you or anything you did. I AM a little worried about Callisto, but I am ok with it. I received this letter in Athens." ::::A long pause as Gabrielle glances at it:::: "I didn't want to read it, in fear of what it said. Today was the day, I knew it. There was something peaceful in the air today that just made me want to open it."
"Maybe it was because you didn't fight anyone today" said Gabrielle.
"Thanks, but your attempt to cheer me up isn't working. I think I did the right thing, but now I am sad. Does Marcus have a reason for making me sad? IS there a reason? Is he trying to send a message to me?"
"Xena, even a bard such as I can't answer those questions, only time can."
Gabrielle slowly placed her arm around Xena's shoulders, as if asking permission. Xena didn't object so she continued.
"It will be ok, I promise. It really is ok. If you ever want to talk about it, that is what I do best."
"Thanks Gabrielle, but for now I just want some silence. I think I am just going to go to sleep now."
Xena rolled into her usually sleeping position, the letter from Marcus at her heart. Gabrielle's heart ached to see her friend like this.
"I wish there was something I could do. Let me sleep on this, and I will think about it."
Gabrielle layed down and drifted off. She was awakened in the middle of the night. The fire had almost completly burned down. On the other side, Xena was having a terrible dream. She quivered and shook, and she was crying. Gabrielle crawled over to Xena and took her in her arms. Xena awoke with a start. She was covered in a cold sweat. Gabrielle placed Xena's head against her chest and slowly rocked her back and forth until she calmed.
Gabrielle had started the fire again. Xena was sitting next to Gabrielle, her mind in a blank stare.
"Xena, want to talk about it? If not, I understand."
"Gabrielle, this may be hard for you, but if you are willing to listen, I am willing to talk."
"Sure Xena, anything. I am here for you"
"Ok. My dream started off as a pleasant one. Marcus was here and all was as before he left. It was a joyous time, one of feast. You were there, and we were all smiling and laughing. All of a sudden, Callisto came into the picture. I wasn't expecting unwelcomed company, so I wasn't prepared to fight. She took my by force and........" Xena's voice began to waiver.
"Xena, it is over now. If you don't want to continue, I unerstand."
"No, I need to continue. She took my by force and placed a knife in my hand. She ordered me to kill you and Marcus. I told her I would rather die than complete her demand. Her only response was that she wouldn't give me that satisfaction. She took my hand and forced me to stab Marcus in the stomach and the neck. He........ he died a painful death. She stalked you down, and dragged you back by your beautiful hair."
Xena took a piece of Gabrielle's hair and slid it away from her face as she said that. "She did the same as Marcus, only I had to watch you suffer by my own hand. After that she made me her slave. I had to wear YOUR clothes. It was so cruel!"
"Xena, it was all a dream, nothing will come of it. It is all over now." Gabrielle spoke softly, wipeing the tears off of Xena's face. They embraced in a long hug, neither saying a word.
From behind the bushes, Callisto snickered. So that is how she is going to torment Xena, with one of her dreams. ::::Sigh:::: Life was just getting too easy. She would have to do something about that when she had the time. For now, her stomach was growling. Some berries she saw a half mile back would be sufficient. As she ate she wondered how to take Xena. Should she do it by night? No, that would be too easy. Should she have Xena come to her? No, still too easy. She will just go.
Meanwhile, Xena and Gabrielle were searching for food.
"Gab, there is something wrong. I can feel it."
"Oh, Xena, you are just being paranoid. Everything is ok. Relax!"
"No, Gabrielle, this is real. There is something wrong. I think we need to head back to camp. Lets go."
"Well, ok. If you really feel this strongly about it, lets go. I have some berries for supper."
Xena and Gabrielle made their way back to camp. They were eating their berriers when Xena became unsettled and shifty.
"Xena, what is it? You are obviously upset! What?"
"Someone is near, and I think it is Callisto. Finish eating, hurry!"
Just as Xena stood, Callisto walked through the bush.
"Well, Xena, here I am. Oh, did I disrupt your supper? I am SO sorry! Wouldn't want you to go hungry!" Callisto lets out an evil laugh.
"Callisto, why are you here? If you are here to fight me, I won't."
"Oh, great Xena, that will REALLY help what I have in store for you. And don't feel left out, Blondie, you are included too!" An evil grin crept across Callisto's face.
"Callisto, you can take me, I will not fight anymore. I am through with the death and the anger" Xena said as she dropped all of her weapons. "You wouldn't fight another unarmed."
"You are right, Xena, I wouldn't. But I WILL take advantage of the situation!"
"Xena, what are you doing? Have you gone mad? This is Callisto you are talking to!" Screamed Gabrielle.
"Shut it, blondie. This is between your HEROIC friend and I!" Said Callisto, the sarcasm dripping from her voice.
"Gabrielle, leave this to me. Callisto, it is I you want, not her. Let her go."
"Not a chance, Xena. This is what I have been waiting for. What is a girl to do when she has all she wants?"
Callisto tied Xena and Gabrielle together, and sat them on Argo. She held their ropes and the reins and took them to her palace. They rode for what seemed days, but it was only hours. Callisto gloated and boasted, and Xena and Gab replied with grunts.
As they reached Callisto's palace, they were greeted by cheers and applause. Callisto's army praised Callisto for all she had done. For she had captured the Warrior Princess! They were led to a small room where they had food and water, and then were locked in.
"There is no hope now, Gabrielle. I can't get out of here without my weapons. I am sorry I dragged you into this. I had no right. I am dying because I don't want to fight. I am dragging an innocent, sweet, pure, young woman with me because I was careless. You only had one love of your life, I am taking away the chance for you to love again...... I can't ask for your forgivness, but I will ask for your love in the afterlife. If we are both deemed as pure, we can spend eternity together. I know that you will be, but as for me and all the sins I have committed, I might be sent to Purgetory."
"Xena, I forgive you for everything. There is always a way to get out of this. You are Xena, you will FIND a way. We aren't going to die, but I will give you my love in the afterlife. All your sins will be forgiven. Remember, you are the good Xena now? Plus, you proved yourself with Marcus. Xena, just don't give up hope. I know you better than that. Xena, I love you.
Tears were filling both of their eyes. They hugged for a very long time, both sobbing.
"Oh, how sweet. Gag! Keep your mushy stuff away from me you two!" Callisto yelled through the bars. "Just wait until the morning. It will be all over by then." Callisto's evil laugh echoed throughout the whole room, even after she left.
Darkness seemed to take forever to come. Throughout that whole afternoon, Xena and Gabrielle talked and talked. They learned more about eachother in one afternoon than in the two and a half years prior.
"Xena, how old were you when you had your first love?" Gabrielle asked, looking straight into Xena's eyes.
"Gabrielle, I am of 29 years now, and I have never told anyone about this. I was 14 when I had my first love. He was my whole world, and he enjoyed fighting just like me. We had plans to get married, even in my young age. The only problem was that he was 19. We loved each other so much, age wasn't our concern. On the other hand, it was his parents. They didn't approve of me, so we escaped. We.......... we married the next day. He was the first man I had ever been with, so I accepted his ways as right. He was the one I gave my virginity to, the one I thought I would love for eternity. Then, one night I found out that he had a secret connection to the Centaurs. He said that he couldn't trust me not to tell anyone, because dealing with the Centaurs was forbidden in our community. He came after me, and I........ I killed him in self defense. I wasn't put on trial, I was set free. That is when I became a true warrior. I left and made an army. I became known as destructive. After everything is when I met you. Then Marcus came, and when he was taken away from me, I vowed never to have anything to do with love again. Then I experienced a different kind of love. The kind I have for you. It was so different and wonderful, I kept it. I feel it each time I see you, and it grows everytime we talk. Xena and Gabrielle kiss, not a romantic, more of a friendship kiss.
Both were tired, and the morning will come soon enough, so they both decide it is time to sleep.
Morning comes, and Callisto wakes them. She can't do it in a traditional way, that would be to boring for Callisto. She throws chains at them. Xena and Gab wake instantly.
"C'mon, get up. It is time to go."
She leads them to their special place at the palace, in front of everybody.
"Well, Xena. It is time to learn that dreams do come true. Lets see what you are made of!"
A knot inside of Xena's stomach tightens.
"Take this knife and kill your little blonde friend, Xena. C'mon, I know you want to. KILL HER!"
"But, huh?....... how did you know?"
"Oh, Xena, I know everything. I know what you think and what you do. I know what really makes you go. Now DO IT!"
By this time, Gabrielle is so scared she is shaking.
"I can't. Kill me first. She has nothing to do with this."
"Oh, Xena, tsk tsk. After everything we have been through, you still don't understand me, do you? I would rather see you suffering than dead."
A great commotion from the back causes everyone's attention to turn towards that direction.
"Oh, geez, what is going on now? I finally get what I want, and someone wants some attention."
As if it had been reheased, all of Callisto's army stepped aside to let this stranger walk through. It was still to dark to make out his face. As he stepped closer, Xena's face lit up. It was Marcus!
"Let her go Callisto. It is time for you to stop playing, and return to exile."
"Geez, the guy always saves the girl, just to ruin my plans." Callisto mutters in a pouty voice.
Marcus frees Xena and Gabrielle. First Xena and Gabrielle embrace for a strong hug, then Xena turns to Marcus. They look deep into eachother's eyes, and without saying a word, they lunge into a long, passionate kiss.
"It has been so long, Marcus. I have missed you so much."
"I know, honey, I know. Remember, I can hear your thoughts. I know you read my letter, and every word of it is true. Thank you for showing me the side of Xena that everyone can learn to love."
"Marcus, how are you back? Are you back for good? How long are you here for?"
"Lets just say I am here on good behavior. I could see that you were in grave danger and you had no way of defending yourself. I am allowed to be back for one full day, I must return tomorrow night. I think we need to get some sleep" Marcus and Xena walked hand in hand towards Callisto.
"Callisto, you must go back now. You haven't a choice."
"Fine, if you insist."
Within a flash, Callisto was gone, and her army was dispensing.
Gabrielle walked up to Xena and Marcus. "Are Argo and I allowed along?"
"Well Argo is, how else would we be able to ride? You................. I dunno, Marcus what do you think?" "I dunno Xena, it should be your decision."
"Of course you can come Gab, why wouldn't you be able to?"
"Thanks, Xena. Thanks, Marcus."
They reached their enclosed camp by mid-morning.
"Gab, Marcus and I are uh........ we are going to bed. Will you feed Argo?"
"Sure, Xena. Don't be embarrassed! I am going to have to write a story about this!
Xena and Marcus made love the whole time Marcus was there. It was a sad goodbye, but Xena knew in her heart it was the right thing. They kissed and hugged and kissed some more.
"Gabrielle, I hope you will take care of Xena for me. I trust you will. <whispering> keep her in line for me, won't you? Ouch Xena, you bruised me!
"Just a little something for you to remember me by. Plus you deserved it!"
Marcus gives Gabrielle a big hug, then turns back to Xena.
"Take care Xena, and I will see you again soon!"
Xena and Marcus kiss one last time, and Marcus disappears.
"Well, that was sure an interesting couple of days."
"Oh, Gabrielle, everything with us is a couple interesting days!"
They both laugh, their arms locked around eachothers backs, as they walk towards Athens.
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