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Missing: Have You Seen Me?

A Hercules-Xena Crossover with Surprise Guests from Previous Episodes ... Depending on Whether or Not You Choose the Path that Will Lead to a "Happy Ending" ...

by Allison

©1997 Allison. All works remain the © copyright of the original author. These may not be republished without the author's consent.

Chapter 29: Helping Xena

(Herc Soundtrack 5 then 26, or Xena Soundtrack 27)

"I'll bring you to the cave, Xena, and I'll nurse you back to health," Gabrielle assured Xena.

"No ... no ..." Xena whispered.

Gabrielle ignored her and dragged the wagon and Argo to a nearby cave, not even half a mile from the temple.

Gabrielle looked through Xena's weapons and food in Argo's pouch for any medicines. She couldn't find anything.

"Xena, where are the medicines?" Gabrielle knelt near Xena.

"Nicklio ... satchel ... on rock ..." Xena muttered, delirious.

"We aren't going to Nicklio's. Where is your medicine?"

"Satchel ... on rock ... near river ..."

"Near the river by the Fates' temple?"

"Yes ..."

"You're too weak to come with me, so I'm going to leave you here and go get the satchel myself,"

"No ..."

"Xena, I have to," Gabrielle's eyes welled up with tears. "You'll be able to defend yourself if worst comes to worse. I've seen you. I'll leave the weapons right here by your hand."

Xena either fell asleep or drifted into unconsciousness. Gabrielle couldn't tell.

Outside near the lake, she looked around for the satchel.

"Where is it?" she asked herself.

"Where is what?" a familiar voice asked.

Gabrielle whirled around to find herself face to face with Callisto.

"Callisto, move," Gabrielle felt herself burning with anger.

"What if I don't? Will you kill me?" Callisto laughed.

Gabrielle pushed Callisto out of the way and walked over to a tree stump where a small leather bag lay.

"What's that? Where's Xena?" Callisto asked.

"None of your business," Gabrielle said angrily.

Callisto grabbed Gabrielle's arm. "If you don't tell me, I'll just follow you," Callisto hissed.

"She's sleeping in the cave, and I came out here to look for my soup starter," Gabrielle looked Callisto straight in her eyes. She could hear a roll of thunder in the distance.



"Why is she sleeping? Is she sick?"

"No. She's sleeping because she's tired. She never gets to sleep because she's too busy riding the world of scum bags like you," Gabrielle pulled away from Callisto.

"Why are you suddenly not scared of me? I'm a goddess now," Callisto was surprised.

"Because I realize that even if you killed me, I would be with Perdicus. If you didn't kill me, I would be with Xena. This time, either way, I'm the one who 'wins'."

"What if something were to ... happen to Xena?"

"It won't."

"We'll see, we'll see," Callisto laughed uncontrollably as Gabrielle sprinted out of the woods. When she got back to the cave, her heart was beating fast. Not because of her running, but because she was afraid to come in and find that Xena was dead.

"Xena?" Gabrielle asked as she stepped into view of Xena.

Xena didn't answer. Gabrielle rushed over to her campfire, started boiling water, and looked through the medicine bag. She tried to remember what she had seen Xena give others in pain. After she picked out the right medicine, she stirred the soup. As she sat stirring, she wondered what happened to Xena outside of the Fates' temple.

Then she heard a sound. Gabrielle stood up with her staff.

"Who's there?" she tried to make it sound like she was confident. In reality, she wasn't sure if she could protect Xena and herself.

"It's just me, Gabrielle," a tall, muscular man walked in with a woman who was holding his arm.

As he stepped closer to the campfire, Gabrielle could tell who it was.

"Hercules!" Gabrielle cried. She gave Hercules a big hug.

Hercules smiled until he saw Xena. He rushed over to her.

"What happened?" he asked, stunned.

"I don't know, she was actually beaten in a fight defending the Fates' temple," Gabrielle stood, staring at Xena.

"We just came from there. We must have just missed you. There were bodies everywhere. We came here looking for shelter because there's about to be a downpour. Oh, let me introduce my mother. Mother, this is Gabrielle; Gabrielle, this is my mother, Alcmene."

Gabrielle and Alcmene nodded and gave small smiles to each other.

"Gabrielle, get me some more bandages, these need to be changed already. Mother, get me that satchel," Hercules instructed.

"The medicine Xena uses on other people is right here," Gabrielle picked up what she took out and handed it to Hercules.

Hercules looked at it and smelled it, then poured a small amount of the powder in the soup.

"Xena, try to swallow this," he spoon-fed the soup to Xena.

That night, none of them slept comfortably.

The next morning, Xena woke up.

"Gabrielle? Hercules?" she asked.

"You're awake!" Gabrielle stood up from her writing place nearby.

Hercules changed her bandages.

"Looks like they're healing nicely. You'll be up and running within two weeks," Hercules said, smiling.

"I don't think we have that long," Gabrielle blurted out.


"I saw Callisto in the woods yesterday. I think she knows what happened to Xena, and she's planning to use that to her advantage," Gabrielle looked at Xena, who had her eyes closed again.

If you want Xena to sneak out in the middle of the night and go find Callisto, go to chapter 53

If you want Hercules and Gabrielle to go find Callisto, go to chapter 54

If you want to start the story over again, go back to the beginning

Chapter 30: The Help

(Herc Soundtrack 23, or Xena Soundtrack 24)

It took two days for Gabrielle to drag Xena to Nicklio's -- even with Argo.

"We're here, Xena, it's going to be okay," Gabrielle's voice shook as she knocked on the door. A young girl answered it.

"Is Nicklio here? We need him," Gabrielle asked frantically.

"No. Nicklio was my grandfather. He died last month," the young girl answered sadly. She looked at Xena and her eyes opened wide. "Bring her in, he taught me medicine. I can help."

The girl opened the door wider and prepared a bed.

They laid Xena on the bed. In a hurry, the girl asked Gabrielle to go get some water. When she returned with a bucket of it, the girl got out needles and horse hair, and started to thread the horse hair.

"What are you doing?" Gabrielle asked in horror.

"I'm stitching her up," the girl answered calmly.


"Nicklio used to say that this is the only way to get wounds like this to stop bleeding, and for them to heal right."

The girl took the water and cleaned up the dried blood and pus on Xena's face, legs, and left arm.

Gabrielle watched in horror as the girl stitched Xena's skin. There was a deep cut about four inches long on Xena's left arm, and one about an inch long on her cheek, right below her right eye. There were many cuts on her legs, but not as deep as the one on her arm.

After Xena was stitched up, the girl wrapped her arm in cloth, and then wrapped her legs in bandages.

"Blot her face when it starts to pus," the girl instructed Gabrielle, handing her the bucket of water and the cloth.

"What's your name?" Gabrielle asked after she calmed down.

"My mother named me Athena. I hate the name. I have nothing in common with the goddess."

"Yes, you do. I wouldn't have had that much knowledge about medicines and healing," Gabrielle insisted. Athena shrugged.

They stared at Xena silently.

Xena stirred in her sleep. Athena looked at Gabrielle. "She'll make it," she assured her. Gabrielle nodded slowly.

A week later, Xena was on her feet again.

"I appreciate you doing this for me. You remind me so much of Nicklio, and so much of someone who ... wait a minute -- you're the girl who jumped in front of the log!" Xena realized as she packed up her belongings that Gabrielle had brought in from Argo.

The girl backed up. "I was hoping you wouldn't recognize me. I'm sorry. I was young ... I didn't know what was going on ... I'm really sorry," she repeated.

"Was your mother M'Lila?" Xena asked.


Xena smiled. "You resemble her. She was a brave woman."

"Thank you," Athena said, blushing.

"I ... missed something," Gabrielle raised her eyebrows.

Xena put her arm around Gabrielle's shoulders. "Well, then, do I have a story for you."

The End

If you want to start the story over again, go back to the beginning

Chapter 31: Ares vs. Xena

(Herc Soundtrack 25 then 26, or Xena Soundtrack 8 then 28)

"I want to fight it out ... I changed my mind," Xena said slowly.

"What?" Ares was shocked.

"I'll fight you and I'll win. I will make it so that you'll plead to give Gabrielle back."

"No, you won't."


Xena drew her sword. "Yiyiyiyiyiyi!" she yipped, flipping over Ares' head.

"Xena, you can't defeat me! You've tried and failed!" Ares laughed, dodging a swing of Xena's sword.

"I've never failed -- just postponed the fight," Xena retorted, kicking him in the chest. Ares flew backwards, hitting the altar.

"Ohhh ... I hate it when she does that," he murmured, shaking his head. "Xena, you defended me once against Callisto. Why the change of heart?" he asked her.

"What would you care? You don't seem to have one," Xena said, grabbing Gabrielle's staff and twirling around it, kicking Ares the second time around.

She flipped off the staff and landed on the altar. Ares looked at Gabrielle.

"Gabrielle! Here's your chance! Kill Xena! She can be practice for your big battle!" he screamed.

Gabrielle looked at Xena. After thinking about it for five seconds, she lunged at Xena. Xena, being caught off guard, looked at Gabrielle, then looked at Ares and flipped off the altar, landing in the doorway.

"Gabrielle! Come on! It's a trick! Ares is using you as he did me! Let's go!" Xena cried from the doorway.

"No!" Gabrielle screamed back.

"See that, Xena? She wants to stay and fight! She does have potential. She hasn't ... killed yet, has she?" Ares laughed.

"Gabrielle!" Xena screamed over Ares laughing.

Then, Ares and Gabrielle vanished.

Xena whirled around and expected them to be outside. Nothing.

She jumped on Argo.

"Yah!" she screamed, holding onto Argo's mane tight.

They eventually got to the lake that led to the Underworld. Xena didn't even hesitate. She took off her armor and dove in.

When she arrived the River Styx, she took one look at Charon and pressed herself against the wall. She didn't want to sit there and argue with him about owing him money.

A man with a cloak passed her. She grabbed it off him quickly. He turned around and looked right through her. She wrapped the hood around her head and crowded into the boat with five other people.

"Whoa, whoa, whoa! Sit down, you're rocking the boat! Hades might drag you under!" Charon yelled.

Xena was able to cross the river on the boat without Charon seeing her. She climbed off and stood in front of the doorway to the Underworld itself. Outlined in skulls, the doorway was not the happiest site that you would want to see just after you died.

She walked through the doorway, took off the cloak, and drew her sword. The man whose cloak she took walked right by her. She tossed him back his cloak. It went right through him.

"Your invisible here, Xena, and so is anything you touch," Xena whirled around to find herself face to face with Persephone.

"Why are you here?" Persephone asked Xena.

"I'm here to bring Gabrielle back where she belongs," Xena replied.

"Don't let Hades know, he's busy enough as it is. Inventory is coming up, you know."

"No, I didn't know. That doesn't matter -- I'm bringing back Gabrielle. She's not even dead."

"Yes, she is."


"Callisto killed her, I watched it. When she came to the Underworld, I heard Ares show up at the Fates' temple and bribe you. He brought Gabrielle back, but he didn't plan to keep her there."

"Why didn't you do something?"

"What could I do?"

Xena was quiet.

"So where is Gabrielle now?" Xena asked.

"She's in the Elysian Fields," Persephone answered.

"Then I'm going," Xena put up her sword.

"No! You can't! If Hades finds out --"

"I doubt he'll get mad at you," Xena said, walking off to another doorway. She thought it was funny how she knew this place so well, and she wasn't even dead.

Persephone watched as she was zapped away to the Elysian Fields.

Xena looked around. At first, she thought she was in Tartarus. Everyone was crying. Gabrielle was sitting over in a corner, writing on some scrolls.

"Gabrielle?" Xena ran up and hugged her.

Gabrielle didn't hug back.

"Gabrielle? What's wrong with everyone?" Xena looked around.

"Perdicus doesn't remember me," Gabrielle stared straight ahead.

"Why doesn't he -- wait a minute -- you heard me?" Xena asked, remembering her earlier conversation with Persephone.

"Xena, I don't want to be here. Where am I? Am I dead?" Gabrielle's eyes filled up with tears.

"Gabrielle, we're leaving," Xena said, helping Gabrielle up off the ground.

"No, Xena," Hades appeared in front of her.

"Please, Hades, of all the help I've given to you, you can't give me Gabrielle back?" Xena narrowed her eyes.

"I brought her back when she died in the healing temple," Hades said.

"No, Gabrielle did that."

Hades lowered his eyes.

"Please, Hades, just this once," Persephone appeared in front of them. "Gabrielle doesn't belong here. Just make a deal with Xena."

"Like what?" Hades asked.

"Callisto is really making it difficult for inventory, right?" Persephone asked.


"Just make a deal that if she can convince Callisto to stop what she's doing, at least for a while, then Gabrielle can leave and have her real life back."

"To do that, I'd have to lock up Callisto," Xena said.

"Then it's done," Hades made eye contact with Xena.

"You don't think I can do it," Xena chuckled.

"I think you can. The question is, how long will Callisto stay locked up," Hades retorted.

"Please, Hades -- let them go now," Persephone pleaded.

"All right. Xena, trap Callisto for two weeks, and you can have Gabrielle back for good, and the Elysian Fields will return to normal," Hades lifted his pointer finger and pointed it towards Xena and Gabrielle.

Persephone hugged Hades. "Thank you," she said. Before Xena could say anything else, they were back near the lake, next to Argo.

Xena and Gabrielle looked at each other.

"You okay?" Xena asked.

"Yeah, fine. What happened to me, Xena?" Gabrielle held her head.

"I'll tell you on the way."

"On the way where?"

"To Callisto's camp." Xena put her arm around Gabrielle. "Glad to have you back," Xena smiled.

"Glad to be back," Gabrielle smiled back as they left the bank with Argo, heading towards the woods.

The End

If you want to start the story over again, go back to the beginning

Chapter 32: The Wars

(Herc Soundtrack 21, or Xena Soundtrack 9)

Xena dropped her sword. She knew doing that didn't mean defeat.

Xena and Gabrielle spent weeks in battles, traveling from land to land, Ares practically over their shoulder, making and watching every move.

Xena found herself close to killing innocent people when Ares was nearby. Everytime she knew Ares was watching, she would pretend to kill a villager or two. It was all for Gabrielle, who hadn't killed anyone -- yet.

Xena knew just how to injure someone without killing them.

Gabrielle didn't. Then again, Gabrielle didn't care.

One day, Ares' army wandered into a huge battle, bigger than the ones fought earlier.

Xena stood at the top of a hill, watching the fight go on, wondering what it was about.

That was the problem with each battle they had fought -- they never knew what they were fighting about. That just made the wars worse.

That afternoon, they fought in the battle. The first look gave Xena a shock.


Xena looked around. She was surprised that she hadn't noticed that this was Amazon country. The Centaurs were fighting some other village. Why so close to Amazon country, though, Xena had no idea.

Xena came up to a couple of Centaurs beating up on one man, whose sword was many yards away.

"Ya!" Xena screamed, kicking the Centaurs out of the way.

"Thank you," the man nodded, picked up his sword and started to run away. Xena held out her foot and tripped him. He looked up at her.

"Leave, and don't fight anymore," she said quietly.

The man nodded and ran off into the woods.

The battle went on all night and into the next day. The following evening, Xena snuck into Gabrielle's tent.

"Gabrielle," Xena crept into her tent.

"What?" Gabrielle snapped.

"We're leaving."

"Why? Did Ares say?"


"Then why are we leaving?"

"Because I said."

"That's not good enough, I have wars to fight," Gabrielle tied a dagger to one end of her staff. Xena stared at it in horror. "Xena, Callisto once tied a dagger onto my staff. I knocked it off, not wanting to kill anyone with it. Now I wonder why I knocked it off."

"Gabrielle --"

"Leave, Xena. I have to get ready for the next battle."

Xena backed out of the tent and bumped into Ares.

"Xena, leaving so soon?" he chuckled.

Xena didn't say anything. She gave him a disgusted look and walked away, as Ares sauntered to his tent, smirking.

From that day on, Xena and Gabrielle worked for Ares, battling many wars.

Each evening, Xena came into Gabrielle's tent and tried to convince her to leave, and each time, Gabrielle refused. That's Xena's hardest war -- trying to convince her best friend not to become what she was.

It was a war that never seemed to end.

The End

{Author's Note: Okay, okay, you picked a surprise ending. Hopefully, that'll never happen in a real episode.}

If you want to start the story over again, go back to the beginning

Chapter 33: The Tradeback

(Herc Soundtrack 3, then 5, then 26, then 18, or Xena Soundtrack 23, then 27, then 25)

Joxer jogged to catch up. After one minute, he stopped.

"What do I need this for? Kill Xena -- ha! Yeah, right!" he chuckled, throwing the branch into a lake.

"Do I have to repeat myself? Wait up!" Joxer yelled to Xena and Iolaus.

That evening, they came to the Fates' temple.

"Iolaus!" a voice called out from behind them.

"Hercules!" Iolaus said, grinning. "I Haven't seen you in a month. I'm glad you sent word on your mother." Seeing the stressed look on his face, Iolaus added, "Don't worry, we'll find her."

"Xena, what are you doing here?" Hercules turned to Xena and smiled.

"Gabrielle's missing, and I've come to the Fates' temple for the same reason you have," she shook hands with Hercules.

"I'm coming! I'm coming!" Joxer ran up, out of breath.

"Well, look who's here. I thought we lost you a mile back there," Iolaus grinned.

"You wish," Joxer whined. "We've met, right Hercules?"

"Right," Hercules nodded slowly, raising his eyebrows as they entered the Fates' temple.

Xena held out her arm, stopping all three men in the doorway. "Sh ..." she whispered quietly. She thought she heard something, and felt being watched.

"What is it?" Joxer whispered loudly, causing about twenty men rose from their hiding places, chuckling.

"Great," Hercules said sarcastically.

"Why are we standing here? Let's get them!" Iolaus yelled happily, kicking a tall, gangly soldier out of the way, heading toward a group of three.

In no time, each one of them were fighting soldiers that looked vaguely familiar.

Even Joxer was fighting -- successfully. When Xena looked over at Joxer, she almost got tackled by three other men because she was so surprised.

Joxer was beating up five men at one time, having no problem.

"I have powers greater than Xena's!" he said out loud.

Xena was stunned. What was happening?

Five more men approached Joxer. Again, Joxer considered them flies, brushing them away, making them fly backwards, crashing into the wall.

Xena finished off her group of soldiers and ran to help Iolaus. Two men had him by his arms while one punched him over and over.

Xena tapped the one who was punching on the shoulder.

"My turn," she said, throwing one of her fists in his nose before he saw what was coming.

Eventually, there were ten soldiers left.

Then there were none.

Joxer brushed his hands off.

"So, where to next?" he sauntered out the door.

Xena, Hercules, and Iolaus stood there, gaping.

Joxer backed into the temple again.

"Uhh ... Xena ... someone's here to see you," Joxer stuttered.

"Who?" Xena snapped out of her stunned state.

"What? Xena, don't you remember me?" Callisto stepped in. "I'm surprised you don't think one of my troops isn't familiar. I brought them all back."

"I'll take her," Joxer rolled up his sleeves.

"No! Joxer!" Xena screamed.

Callisto laughed. "You? Okay -- go ahead."

Joxer felt a surge go through his body, like the one he had when he picked up the branch of thorns.

"Callisto -- don't make me kill you," he hissed. Callisto just laughed again.

Joxer threw himself at Callisto. Callisto stepped to the side, Joxer running into the opposite wall. He sunk to the ground, holding his head.

When Callisto looked over at him, Xena flipped over her to stand in her sight.

"Xena! Good! This is more like it! Yah!" Callisto shrieked.

"Why are you here?" Xena asked, kicking Callisto's sword out of her hands.

"I know you came for Gabrielle, and I won't let you have her," Callisto answered.

"Why not? What if I had your family? Wouldn't you want them back?"

Callisto stopped and thought about it for all of three seconds.

"Are you asking?" she replied.

"Answer my question before I answer yours," Xena raised an eyebrow.

"No, I wouldn't," Callisto kicked Xena in the arm. Xena cringed and sunk to the ground.

"Why not, Callisto?" a translucent figure appeared on the altar.

Callisto dropped her sword. "Mother?" she said softly.

"Callisto, please stop what you are trying to do," the woman on the altar pleaded. "I don't want you to kill anyone else."

"I don't care what you want -- I have to kill Xena!" Callisto's eyes flashed, picking her sword back up.

"You don't care what I want? What if I want your happiness?"

"I'll be happy when Xena is dead!"

"What if she doesn't die by your hands? When will this end?"

Callisto's eyes welled up with tears. "I wouldn't be this way if she hadn't killed you!" she cried.

"Callisto ... I only have another minute to talk. I'll say it again and again -- I love you, and will always love you. I forgive Xena, shouldn't you?"

Callisto stood there, quavering.

"Yes," she whispered. "I should but I won't."

"Please, Callisto, give Gabrielle back," the woman begged.

"What do you care?" Callisto hissed.

"A lot. The Elysian Fields are in such confusion -- all because of one person. You. If you give Gabrielle back, some of the confusion will disappear. People shouldn't die unless they were meant to, and Gabrielle's time is not here yet."

"Neither was yours!" Callisto screamed, dropping her sword for the second time.

"Please ..." Callisto's mother pleaded as she vanished.

Callisto slowly walked out of the temple, as if in a trance. When she got to the door, she looked back at Xena.

"I always will love my mother. But I will never agree with her," she said in an emotionless voice.

Everything was quiet when she left. A man groaned from the corner of the room.

Xena stood up. It was useless. If Gabrielle was gone, then it obviously meant forever. A bright light suddenly shone from the altar.

"Xena ..." three woman said in unison as they held thread in their hands.

Each one of them had a part in what they were about to tell Xena. The youngest started off.

"We ..."

"Saw ..."

"What ..."

"Happened ..."

"And ..."

"We ..."

"Will ..."

"Give ..."

"Gabrielle ..."

"Back ..."

"Along ..."

"With ..."

"Her ..."

"Normal ..."

"Life ..."

Xena's eyes opened wide as Gabrielle stood in front of her.

"Xena?" she asked.

"Gabrielle!" Xena hugged Gabrielle. "Are you all right?" she asked.

"I'm ... fine ... I think," Gabrielle said.

Hercules spoke up. "Where is my mother?" he asked the Fates'.

"You want her back, too?" the oldest Fate asked.

"Please ... the Elysian Fields are so confused and depressing right now ... would you please bring back everyone Callisto has killed? It would allow the Underworld return to normal," Gabrielle explained.

"Whatever that is," Iolaus muttered as he smiled at Gabrielle. Gabrielle smiled back.

"Done," the youngest Fate's voice echoed as all three women disappeared.

Nothing happened.

"Oh, well. My next stop is Hades, then," Hercules' eyes said sadly.

They opened the temple doors to find hundreds of people outside, looking a little confused. A woman ran up to Hercules and hugged him.

"Mother?" he asked.

"Hercules!" the woman who looked to be his mother cried, her voice muffled from the hug.

There were many other people outside. Men, women, and children.

Gabrielle and Xena got Argo ready to leave. Joxer came up to Hercules and his mother, Iolaus, Xena, and Gabrielle and explained his confrontation with Ares.

"Goodbye everyone," Xena shook hands with Hercules, Iolaus, and Joxer and smiled at Alcmene, Hercules' mother. "Joxer -- don't have any conversations with any gods anytime soon," Xena joked. Everyone laughed.

As Xena and Gabrielle walked away, Gabrielle stopped.

"Xena, do you think the people who came back to life included Perdicus?"

"I don't know," Xena answered truthfully. They looked around at the people reuniting themselves with family and friends. There was no sign of Perdicus.

"Oh, well," Gabrielle forced a small smile.

They started to walk off when someone called Gabrielle.

"Gabrielle! Wait up! Didn't you here me call you back there?" Gabrielle whirled around to the familiar voice.

"Perdicus!" Gabrielle shrieked happily. "You're back!"

Perdicus picked up Gabrielle and swung her around in a circle, laughing happily.

They were grinning so much and were so involved talking, Xena smiled and walked on without being noticed by either if them. She would come back soon to visit Gabrielle, Perdicus, and hopefully the rest of the family.

The End

If you want to start the story over again, go back to the beginning

Chapter 34: Zeus Steps In

(Herc Soundtrack 8 then 9, or Xena Soundtrack 3 then 30)

"Hurry up, then!" Iolaus shouted back.

Joxer caught up with them quickly.

Xena looked at him, and then the thorn branch.

"What's that?" she asked.

"I'm going to kill you," Joxer replied, a strange look in his eyes.

Xena rolled her eyes.

"I'm starved, can we stop to get something to eat?" Iolaus said after a while.

"Yeah, sure. Joxer, go find some wood. Iolaus, if you can cook the soup, I'll hunt for quail," Xena instructed.

"Sure," Iolaus said.

"That's all right with you, right Joxer?" Xena asked.

"Whatever," Joxer walked off the path and into the woods. Xena got out her sword and walked towards the opposite end of the woods Joxer was in. Iolaus went to the lake and brought back water.

"Timber!" a voice in the distance called.

"Wha --" Iolaus looked up to see a tree fall in the woods. He ran in and found Joxer.

"What do you think you're doing?" he asked, horrified. "Xena said to find wood for a fire! We're not building a house!"

"Oops," Joxer smirked. "I guess I need to be careful of my newfound powers."

Iolaus rolled his eyes. "Yeah, okay, hurry up with that wood," he laughed.

Sitting around the fire, finishing up quail, Xena looked at Joxer.

"How did you get the wood? They're big logs," she remarked.

"I cut down a tree," Joxer answered.

"No, seriously, Joxer, answer the question. You didn't take an ax -- it was here all along."

"My teeth."

Iolaus looked at Xena. "Don't ask anymore. I can't get a straight answer out of him, either."

A few minutes later, they packed up and continued towards the temple.

They came to the gates and tried to open the gates. Both Iolaus and Xena tried unsuccessfully.

"Let me open them, you weaklings," Joxer pushed Xena and Iolaus out of the way.

Joxer couldn't open the gates, either.

"Not so cocky anymore, huh?" Iolaus smirked.

"It was Ares!" Joxer whined, explaining the situation, embarrassed, stepping on and breaking the thorn branch.

"You? You were going to kill Xena?" Iolaus laughed.

"It's true," Ares appeared in front of the three.

"Ares ..." Xena warned.

"I was so close, and then the screw up came near the temple! What a moron! That messes up his powers! So, I had to take them away," Ares frowned.

"Why, Ares? I thought you wanted me on your side! Why are you trying to kill me now? Looking for another challenge?" Xena asked, it was her turn to frown.

"I figured if I could get you to be close to death, you'd beg for me to save you. I'd do so, of course, and then you'd owe me one."

"If it came to that, I'd rather die."

"We'll see."

"No, we won't," another voice spoke up.

"Zeus!" Iolaus backed up.

"Ares, that will be enough. I'm tired of you torturing people that have nothing to do with your field of work. If Xena doesn't want to join you, leave well enough alone," Zeus demanded.

"Ohhh ... my entire family drives me crazy!" Ares complained.

"Give Gabrielle and Alcmene back right now!" Zeus yelled.

"I was just getting started!" Ares whined.

"Now!" Zeus' voice echoed throughout the mountains.

Ares disappeared, and in his place were Alcmene and Gabrielle.

"Gabrielle!" Xena and Gabrielle hugged each other.

"Alcmene!" Iolaus ran up to Alcmene, hugging her.

"Where's Hercules?" Alcmene asked after talking for a while.

"I was supposed to meet him here --" Iolaus was interrupted.

"I knew someone would miss me!" Hercules came up behind his mother.

"Hercules!" Alcmene threw her arms around him. "That place was terrible! Even the Elysian Fields! Everyone was confused!" she told the rest all about her time in the Underworld.

Gabrielle and Xena headed back to Argo.

"I'm so sorry, Xena," Gabrielle apologized.

"About what?" Xena asked.

"Acting like I did. I saw Perdicus, and he didn't even know who I was, because he couldn't see me -- I wasn't dead. I have to realize that I can't be selfish. I'll see him when my time comes. I have to enjoy life while I can," Gabrielle said.

"Spoken like a true Gabrielle!" Xena smiled.

"I'm hungry, can we go back to your house, Herc?" Iolaus asked.

Everyone laughed.

The End

If you want to start the story over again, go back to the beginning

Chapter 35: The Army

(Herc Soundtrack 3, or Xena Soundtrack 29)

When Xena got to the surface of the lake, she first gasped for air, and then gasped in horror.

About fifty people stood on the banks of the lake.

A centaur stood near Argo, making Argo nervous. Xena knew it was Nessus.

Along the same side stood Mezentius with a bow and arrow, Theodorus with Xena's sword, minotaurs, Krykus, and many soldiers and warlords.

Xena slowly climbed out of the water to stand face to face with Theodorus.

"Where's Callisto?" Xena asked.

"I'm not telling," he answered, standing very still.

"All right," she said, turning around about to leave. She spun back around just in time to catch an arrow. She grabbed her sword out of Theodorus' hands.

"Mezentius -- you know me much better than that," she smiled, her eyes dancing, ready for a fight.

Mezentius loaded another arrow. Xena pulled out her breast dagger and flung it at Nessus who stood near Argo. The dagger landed at his throat. Argo kicked him out of the way.

"How many times does it take to realize for people not to go near my horse?" she muttered, spinning around to dodge another arrow.

She flipped over Argo, landing in front of Krykus, who hadn't moved.

"So, what do you think of this?" Xena asked.

"I think Callisto will win," he still stared straight ahead.

"So now you're on her side? I thought you worked for you and only you," Xena said. "I guess not," she shrugged.

"What do you mean 'only me'?" he now stared at Xena.

"Why work for Callisto when you could probably beat me by yourself?" Xena grinned.

Krykus didn't answer.

Xena sauntered over to Mezentius. She ran her fingers along the bow and arrow.

"I'm not going to tell you what the minotaurs think about you. I won't tell you what Callisto told me, either," Xena lied.

"They didn't say anything," Mezentius retorted.

"Think what you want to think," Xena warned. She approached the three minotaurs.

"I'll tell you that that man over there thinks that you are dumb, worthless creatures that can't fight," Xena said, pointing to Mezentius, who was talking to Krykus.

The minotaurs looked at one another and charged towards Mezentius, who fired his bow when he saw three hairy monsters running towards him. He loaded another arrow and killed the second minotaur, but the third one killed Mezentius before he could load a third arrow.

"Hey!" Xena yelled at the minotaur. "Those soldiers think the same of you," she pointed towards the forty or so soldiers.

Twenty minutes later, it was just her, Krykus, and the minotaur.

"Xena, very smart of you," Callisto came out of the woods, smiling evilly.

"Callisto, give me Gabrielle back and set the Underworld straight," Xena demanded.

"No," Callisto said quickly.

"Krykus, now is your chance -- only you can kill Callisto. Wouldn't it be great to be known as the man who killed Callisto?" Xena insisted.

Krykus looked at Xena and then Callisto.

"Yes, it would," he lunged at Callisto, who was caught off guard.

She took out a dagger and stabbed him in the heart, laughing.

"Xena, Xena, Xena, good idea! You've killed every one of my soldiers except for the minotaur. I would have to take credit for Krykus, though. I'm glad you did what you did, Xena. Now I have an excuse to finish you off myself," Callisto threw herself at Xena.

Xena flipped out of the way, and onto Argo.

Callisto pulled out her sword. Xena flipped back off, landing directly in front of Callisto.

"I won't let you kill the minotaur, Xena," Callisto stood in front of the minotaur.

"If I do, everything returns to normal. The people who you killed are back alive, and the people you brought back to life are back in Tartarus. The Underworld will be normal again, because you will be back in the lava," Xena said.

"No!" Callisto screamed, flipping onto Argo. "Move and I kill her!" she shrieked. She held her sword directly about Argo's head.

Xena dropped her sword. "There, Callisto, I'm not a threat anymore," she said slowly. In all of two seconds, she pretended to sit down, but instead, she pulled out a knife hidden in her boot and threw it at the minotaur. It hit it right in the heart, making him fall to the ground. Callisto shrieked and brought down her sword, straight at Argo's neck.

There was a flash of light and an explosion, and Xena found herself in Hades' castle.

"Thank you, Xena, you have freed the Underworld," Hades stepped out into the foyer, Gabrielle and Persephone following him.

"Gabrielle!" Xena ran up and hugged her.

"Leave now, you will find everything back to normal above ground," Hades said, his arm around Persephone.

"Thank you," Xena smiled.

"Not much for talking," Gabrielle joked. "Kind of like you, Xena."

With another flash and blast, Xena and Gabrielle were sitting next to Argo. So was Perdicus.

Argo neighed.

"Perdicus!" Gabrielle shrieked. They hugged and talked about how great it was to be back.

"Xena! I'm so happy to be back! Is Callisto really gone now?" Gabrielle asked.

"As far as I know," Xena answered.


"Glad to have you back."

"Glad to be back."

The End

If you want to start the story over again, go back to the beginning

Chapter 36: The Mix-Up

(Herc Soundtrack 25 then 26, or Xena Soundtrack 2 then 18)

"Then go, you don't have much time," Hades said as he disappeared.

Xena looked around. She wondered where she should start. She figured that the Elysian Fields was as good a place as any.

She crossed a bridge and passed a room in Tartarus where all of the war generals stood and talked about battles and wars. They talked and talked, but no one ever listened to each other.

She passed the torture room. People who did terrible things in their life were here. She saw familiar warlords being tortured here. Everything from stretching out their limbs, to burning hair. It was a terrible place. Since you were already dead, the pain never stopped.

Then she came upon the Elysian Fields. Her first impression was that someone was hurt. As soon as she walked under the arched doorway, someone sat right in front of her and started to cry. Xena knelt next to the man.

"What's wrong?" she said, putting her hand on his shoulder. Her hand went right through him. She forgot that anything she touched would seem invisible, but she was the one who no one could see, since she was alive.

The man kept on crying, and when he looked up, Xena saw it was her brother.

"Lyceus?" she whispered. "Lyceus, it's me, Xena! Try to hear me, Lyceus!" Lyceus didn't react at all.

Xena backed up slowly and bumped into something. She whirled around and faced a tree. She wondered how she didn't walk right through the tree.

She walked up to a small boat on the tiny pond near the tree. In the boat was a man she knew and loved.

"Marcus!" she yelled, running up to the boat. "Marcus!" she stopped trying to yell to him after that. It was useless. She stood and watched him. He was looking in the sky, which had dark clouds, threatening to create a downpour any minute.

She walked on, prepared for the worst. It was so frustrating, not being able to talk to people she wished she could say something to. What came up next shocked her.

A girl with dark hair and dark eyes sat beneath a tree, smelling a flower, crying. She started to sing, and that's when Xena's eyes welled up with tears.

"M'Lila, I wish you could hear me," Xena whispered.

Xena walked up to her and watched M'Lila pick another flower and smell it, still singing.

She then walked up to the village. The village was where everyone in the Elysian Fields lived. She would look for Gabrielle there. With any luck, she would have found Perdicus.

Hades blocked her way.

"What's going on?" Xena asked.

"I didn't want to tell you before, but I realize I have to now," Hades said. "Callisto found a way to communicate with the dead. All of them. She told them and convinced them that they were all dead."

Xena shook her head slowly. "I thought she was after me, not these people," she said.

"Anything to get you to come to her," Hades explained.

"So, they found out that they are dead, and they are sad about it, right?"

"Sad is an understatement," Hades said matter-of-factly.

"So, people in the Underworld didn't know that they were dead until Callisto told them, right?" Xena asked.

"Right," Hades confirmed.

"Great," Xena said sarcastically.

"Also, a reminder -- they can't hear you or see you."

"Perdicus answered a question of mine earlier. What does that mean?"

"Freak accident," Hades said as he disappeared.

"You sure are one for big entrances and exits," Xena muttered. "Let's just hope we have another 'freak accident'."

She walked along the dirt path that wove straight through the village. When she came to a certain house, she stopped. A staff leaned against the wall of a house on Xena's left. She walked up the stone pathway and knocked on the door. She hoped that Gabrielle was here.

Perdicus answered the door.

"Hello?" he asked, leaning out the door, looking straight through Xena.

"Right here!" Xena shouted.

Gabrielle came to the door. Her eyes were red and puffy, and she looked like she had been crying.

"Who is it, Perdicus?" Gabrielle asked, sniffling.

"I don't know. I guess it was the wind. It looks like it's going to storm pretty soon," Perdicus looked up at the sky.

Xena walked right through Perdicus and into the house. It was small, with flowers put in each window. There were three rooms. A kitchen and table were in one, a sitting room in the second, and a bedroom with a beautiful canopy bed in the third.

Xena sat at the kitchen table. Gabrielle and Perdicus walked back in.

"I don't believe that we're dead," Gabrielle whispered sadly, unbelieving.

"I know. I don't even understand why she killed us. What did we do?" Perdicus asked.

"We were friends with Xena."

"So we should be punished for it?"

"No, we shouldn't, but we were. It's over and done with. It's not me or you I'm worried about. It's Xena. We have each other, and technically not a care in the world now, but Xena has to live up there, still fighting and ... and ... I don't know. I still don't understand why Callisto told us we were dead. It's like living in a dream. No, not a dream -- a nightmare. I'm begging to be woken up. For once, I wouldn't mind Xena snoring loud enough to wake me up," Gabrielle forced a tight-lip smile, remembering her adventures with Xena.

"Let's go for a walk before it rains," Perdicus suggested.

"Okay," Gabrielle agreed.

Xena followed. As soon as they stepped out, a man bumped into them.

"Come with me. Are your names Xena and Marcus?" the soldier asked. "Callisto wants you right away if you are."

"No, we're --" Perdicus started. Gabrielle elbowed him.

"Yes, we are. What does she want?" Gabrielle asked in a menacing tone of voice.

"Come with me," the guard repeated, leading them in the direction of the exit. Xena followed closely.

When the guard was up a little ways, Perdicus looked at Gabrielle.

"Are you crazy?" he hissed.

"Maybe it's a way to get Xena's help," she said quietly. Xena smiled. That was the Gabrielle she knew. In no time, the guard, Gabrielle, Perdicus, and Xena were above ground at the river bank. Gabrielle looked around for Xena. She saw Argo in the distance. She nudged Perdicus and pointed to the horse. They smiled at each other hopefully.

"Wait here," the guard instructed. He disappeared into the woods.

Xena ran up from the bank.

"Psst! Gabrielle!" she whispered from behind a tree.

"Xena!" she yelled happily.

"The guard doesn't have to travel far to get to Callisto's. Callisto knew I was in the Underworld looking for you two, and she figured I was getting Marcus' help. I don't know how she knows him, though," Xena shrugged. "I know that Callisto still wants to kill me, so let's go and try to avoid her."

Gabrielle and Perdicus nodded and started towards the horse. When they got there, Perdicus asked a question that was hanging over everyone's heads:

"Will we have to run from her for the rest of our lives?"

No one answered. They arranged Argo so that she could walk a while without stopping, and walked down the well-traveled dirt path.

From that day forward, the three traveled together, for fear that Callisto would find them.

No one wanted to know what would happen then.

The End

If you want to start the story over again, go back to the beginning

Chapter 37: The Shortcut

(Herc Soundtrack 10 then 11, or Xena Soundtrack 7 then 6)

A few hours later, on the shortcut path to the woods, they came upon an old fort. Xena saw movement out of the corner of her eye. A tent was in the distance, just over the fort wall closest to Xena and Gabrielle.

"Wait here," Xena said to Gabrielle. Gabrielle held her staff and stood in front of Argo, looking around for signs of trouble.

Xena climbed the broken, low wall of the fort and looked around.

Sleeping in cages was a hydra, blood surrounded its mouths. It looked like they had just eaten.

Xena heard voices. She opened a tiny flap in the tent. To her surprise, she saw four people she never wanted to see together. Nessus, a centaur; Mezentius, a warlord; Krykus, another warlord; and Callisto.

"We attack Amphipolis first! If we don't, Xena will have time to protect her home village!" Callisto demanded, slamming her fist on the table where a map lay.

"No! Chandlis first! We just want to scare Xena! I already claimed killing her!" Krykus shouted back.

Callisto kicked him in the neck. He flew backwards into a table with wine and food on it.

"I already claimed being Xena's murderer. Anyone else even tries and they die!" Callisto threatened.

"So, when do we attack Amphipolis?" Krykus stood up.

Mezentius and Nessus laughed. Callisto threw them a dirty look and everyone was quiet.

"Please! Just let me go! I'll probably get lost on the way to my house! I won't tell anyone where you are! Please!" a voice pleaded in the back of the tent. Xena looked over to see Alcmene, Hercules' mother, in the corner throw in a tiny cage.

"No! Your son almost killed me! You'll pay for what he did to me!" Callisto screamed.

Xena stepped back, planning to go talk to Gabrielle about what she saw. She slipped on a wet rock and fell. She made a little too much noise. Before Xena knew what was happening, Callisto had her at knife point.

"No, no, no, my pretty!" Callisto laughed.

"What is she doing here?" Mezentius whined.

"Go get some rope," Callisto instructed.

Xena stood up quickly.

"Move and she dies!" Nessus brought out Alcmene, holding a knife at her neck.

Xena was quiet. Mezentius brought out some rope, and Callisto tied Xena up.

"Good work, Nessus. You're smarter than you look," Callisto said.

Xena looked over where she left Argo behind some trees. She was gone, and so was Gabrielle.

Xena hoped that was a good sign.

Later that evening, there was a tap at the tent's flap.

Callisto drew her sword.

"Xena, ask who it is," Callisto said quietly.

"Who is it?" Xena asked loudly.

The person on the other side of the flap didn't answer. Callisto walked cautiously over to the flap on the tent and opened it, sword in hand. She was immediately knocked out.

"Well, that was easy," Hercules stepped in and saw Mezentius, Krykus, and Nessus.

"Uh ... I spoke too soon," Hercules muttered. Nessus charged at him, and Hercules stepped out of the way, causing Nessus to run into the side of the tent.

Hercules ran out. Mezentius, Krykus, and Nessus followed.

Callisto sat up slowly and held her head. "No one gets away with that," she hissed, chasing after Hercules and forgetting about her hostages.

Xena defied the law of gravity by making her breast dagger fly out from her breast plate. She caught the handle in her teeth. Slowly, she worked off the rope that tied her hands together. Next, she cut off the rope that bound her ankles. She jogged over to the cage where Alcmene was thrown into. Xena freed her easily with the tip of the dagger.

"Thank you," Alcmene said quietly. Xena nodded as she started to run outside. She turned around to Alcmene. "Stay here," she instructed. Alcmene nodded.

She opened the flap to the tent, and saw Mezentius on the ground a few yards away, lifeless, and Krykus right next to him, the same way. Callisto was behind the fort holding her sword, and it looked like Hercules didn't see her. He was busy battling Nessus. The centaur kicked the stick Hercules had in his hands. It flew in the air and into the woods. Xena saw Gabrielle come over the hill.

"Xena! Catch!" Gabrielle yelled. Xena was prepared when the chakrum came flying at her face.

"Not bad," Xena said as she raised an eyebrow. She threw the chakrum at Nessus, immediately making him fall to the ground as it cut his neck. Hercules and Xena stood back to back, alert.

"Thanks," he said.

"No problem. Callisto's behind the fort," Xena whispered.

"I know," Hercules smiled.

"Why are you smiling?" Xena glanced at Hercules and kept her sword ready.

"Because Gabrielle released the hydras back there."

With that sentence, Xena heard a blood-curling scream. Callisto's scream. Then she saw a hideous orange head poke out from behind the fort wall.

"Hercules, duck!" Xena said, throwing her chakrum. It ricocheted off the fort wall, back to the woods, hit a tree, cut right through the tent, and then headed to the hydra, cutting off all three of the monster's heads.

"How did you know to do that?" Hercules asked as Xena caught the chakrum.

"Hearing stories about your feats, how else?" Xena grinned.

Alcmene and Gabrielle ran up to Hercules and Xena.

"Is she gone for good?" Gabrielle asked, looking in the direction of the fort wall.

"I don't know," Xena said truthfully.

"If she's not, she will be when I get a hold of her," Alcmene chuckled.

Everyone laughed.

They laughed nervously.

The End

If you want to start the story over again, go back to the beginning

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