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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 38: Amphipolis

(Herc Soundtrack 2 then 26, or Xena Soundtrack 25 then 12)

Xena and Gabrielle walked quickly. The main road was busy with travelers and merchants.

"I know you are hungry! Try a taco!" one man yelled from the side of the road.

"Oh! They look good!" Gabrielle walked over, her stomach rumbling.

"No, Gabrielle," Xena pulled her friend away from the stand.

"You are the lady who wanted directions to the Cave of Hephaestus!" the man said in a thick accent, pointing to Xena. "Hey! I still have that piece of Aphrodite's shell if you would like to buy it! Ten dinars, hmm?" the man said quickly to Gabrielle.

"Ten?" Gabrielle raised her eyebrows.

"Okay, okay, eight!" the man said.

"No thanks, I know where I can get it cheaper."

"Where? I will beat their price!"

"I don't know if you can."

"Gabrielle, either buy some food or let's go!" Xena hissed, in a hurry to get home.

"Okay, I'm coming," Gabrielle hissed back. "Well, sorry, but eight dinars isn't low enough. I've lost my appetite arguing over this," Gabrielle lied, her stomach still making loud sounds.

The man threw his hands up in the air. "I thought this was a customer!" he whined.

Xena and Gabrielle took one last look at the stand that had a sign that said "Falafel" and walked on.

When they came to Amphipolis, Xena pulled Argo to a stop and took a look around while Gabrielle caught up.

Women in the fields gathered the wheat, and she could see her mother's inn from a distance.

"Well?" Gabrielle asked out of breath as she ran up beside Argo.

"Let's go," Xena said quietly, bringing Argo to a trot, passing the people gathering wheat.

She brought Argo to a stop at the village inn and waited for Gabrielle.

"Good! I'm starved!" she held her stomach.

"Leave your staff here, I'm going to leave my sword here," Xena said.


"I don't want anyone getting anymore wrong ideas."

They stepped into the inn. Everyone stopped their conversations and stared at the warrior as she stepped behind the counter. A woman with wavy dark hair and a blue dress on stepped out from the back room.

They both stopped and stared at each other.

"Xena, it's been a while," her mother said.

Xena nodded.

"Go back to eating everyone. I don't know why you're staring," Xena's mother shouted.

Xena hugged her mother.

"How long will you stay?" Xena's mother asked.

"Not long," Xena answered.

Xena was relieved that her mother accepted her back into her home village.

Now the question was whether or not Callisto was going to attack them.

The End

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

Chapter 39: Back in the Lava

(Herc Soundtrack 3, or Xena Soundtrack 29)

"Hades!" Xena stomped into Hades' castle.

"Yes?" Hades appeared from his kitchen.

"I thought you said that Callisto was dead."

"I did and she technically is."

"Then how did she get this?" Xena asked, holding out the dart.

"I'm not sure. Usually, when the dead are in the room deciding which area to be put in, all belongings are taken from them," Hades said.

"That's just it -- Callisto was already decided on where she was going to be put, so she didn't have to go to that room," Xena realized.

"Well, that's not my problem right now, is it?" Hades walked off.

"Xena, Xena, Xena," Callisto came up from behind her. "The dead can hear you when you talk about them, and I heard you. What do you want?"

"Give me Gabrielle," Xena said menacingly.

"Ha! You'd have to kill me first, or at least put me back in that lava, and let me tell you -- neither of that is going to happen. So don't try anything stupid."

"I wouldn't dream of it."

Then, Xena suddenly screamed: "Hades! Send us near the lava pit, on the bridge!" she grabbed Callisto's arm and tackled her to the ground. Callisto shrieked.

With a bright light and an explosion, Callisto and Xena found themselves on the bridge above the familiar lava bridge.

"No! Xena, I won fair and square!" Callisto screamed.

"No, you didn't win at all," Xena lunged at Callisto, throwing her off the bridge.

Or so she thought. When Xena looked over the side, Callisto grabbed Xena's neck.

"If I go, you go, too!" Callisto screamed. Xena struggled to be released from Callisto's grip. She fumbled for her chakrum, and held it up, throwing it towards the rope bridge. As the bridge collapsed, Callisto held onto Xena's neck, and Xena held onto a rope from the bridge.

This looks familiar, Xena thought.

"Xena! Bad idea! You'll lose your grip soon, and we'll go down together!" Callisto warned.

"Xena!" a voice called out from above the cliff. Xena looked up to see Gabrielle leaning over, stretching out a rope she had picked up from the bridge.

Xena reached out and grabbed the rope, struggling for air. She kicked Callisto. Callisto flew backwards, laughing and then screaming as she hit the hot lava.

Xena climbed up the rope bridge.

"Is it over?" Gabrielle asked.

"I think so," Xena croaked breathlessly, rubbing her neck. "How did you find me?"

"I grabbed Callisto's other arm as I saw you both disappearing."

"I'm glad you did."

"I just hid near the bush until I thought you needed me. A secret weapon, sort of," Gabrielle smiled.

"Glad to have you back," Xena grinned.

"I'm glad to be back. Can we get something to eat now?"

The End

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

Chapter 40: Callisto's Fight

(Herc Soundtrack 7, or Xena Soundtrack 11)

Xena tucked the dart in her arm guard and mounted Argo.

Xena galloped Argo through the woods and stopped at a worn down fort.

"Yah!" Xena whirled around to see that Callisto had jumped on a horse and was very close to trampling Xena and Argo.

"Yah!" Xena shouted, galloping towards the all too familiar bridge.

The lava was in sight in seconds, and Callisto was close enough to jump up on the saddle behind Xena.

Xena came to a stop a few yards away from the cliff that dropped straight down to the lava pit.

Callisto flipped off her horse, and Xena did the same.

After kicking and punching for a few minutes, Callisto spoke up breathlessly, "Looks like we are at another stand still. Let's fight on the bridge."

Callisto didn't wait for Xena to answer, she just flipped over Xena's head and landed in the middle of the long and fragile bridge. Xena flipped onto the bridge a few feet away from Callisto and immediately kicked her in the shoulder. Callisto cringed.

"You caught me off guard. Don't worry -- it won't happen again," she laughed.

"Xena!" a male voice yelled. They both turned around to see Hercules racing towards them. Xena noticed Callisto wasn't paying attention again, so she kicked her in the back, making her fall off the bridge. Callisto grabbed onto the side of the bridge.

"No!" she shrieked as Xena brought down her sword on Callisto's arms. Callisto let go before Xena could hit her.

Hercules looked over the cliff and watched Callisto fall. Xena watched, too, but with more regret. She really didn't know where Gabrielle was, and probably never would, since Callisto was dead now.

"Xena! Are you all right?" Hercules asked, walking up to her as she got off the bridge.

Xena nodded, her mind wandering. She jumped on Argo and was about to thank Hercules when an explosion almost threw her off.

"Xena!" Gabrielle raced up to her.

"Gabrielle?" Xena asked unbelieving.

Their adventure days returned to normal, and they went to Amphipolis, which is a totally different story.

The End

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

Chapter 41: Following Hercules

(Herc Soundtrack 9, or Xena Soundtrack 25)

As soon as Hercules was out of sight from the bottom of the hill, Xena packed up Argo and said good-bye to the girl.

"Thank you for letting me stay and for use of your medicines, but I have to leave now and follow Hercules," Xena explained.

"Your welcome. Sorry I wasn't much of a help," the girl apologized.

"You were fine, don't worry about it."

"He told you he was going alone. Why are you following him?" the girl asked.

"Because he's my friend," Xena answered.

"Thank you!" Xena called as she rode up the hill on Argo.

The girl waved good-bye.

Xena followed Hercules for a week. It took him a week to travel two miles. Xena wanted to come out and help, offering to carry him home on Argo, but she knew he would get upset about Xena following him.

The week that it took Hercules to travel home, he didn't eat anything except fruit that he could easily reach from trees, and he drank river water.

When Hercules finally reached his home, another man answered the door. He looked old and worried, and hugged Hercules as the shut the door behind them. They talked before doing so, but Xena couldn't hear them from the distance she was at.

Eventually, Xena worked up the courage to go to the door.

She knocked, and held herself at the door, very nervous.

The worried-looking man answered the door, and gasped in horror. Hercules limped to the door.

"Xena! What are you doing here?" Hercules asked.

"I wanted to make sure that you were okay," she said slowly, eyeing the other man.

Hercules sighed. "Xena, meet my mother's husband, Jason. Jason, meet Xena; my friend." Hercules stared at Xena. Xena looked back and shrugged helplessly.

"Come sit down," Jason said quickly, never making eye contact with Xena. Xena sat at the kitchen table.

"How could you do this?" Jason screamed, pulling out his sword.

"It was an accident, I'm sorry," Xena said quietly, making no move to defend herself, feeling more guilty than ever. "I didn't mean it ... I didn't know he was. I know my apologies won't make up for it. Kill me, go ahead." Xena lifted her head.

Jason put his sword closer to her chin.

"No, Jason!" Hercules called from the opposite end of the room, coming in to the kitchen.

"Leave her alone!" a voice echoed as a man appeared in the middle of the room.

"Zeus!" Jason said softly. He backed up, dropping his sword.

"Leave Xena alone. She saved Hercules' life. For that, I am grateful," Zeus said. Xena stared at the tall man, who had gray hair and long purple and red robes.

"How? I didn't save him -- I almost killed him!" Xena argued.

"No -- you prevented him from going out and searching for Alcmene. The future of that course would have been death. Callisto had Alcmene and planned to kill Hercules. Through the Fates' eyes, I saw that she would have been successful. She was a god -- but not anymore. That's the first god I have ever had to kill."

"She had Alcmene? Who has her now?"

"Me. I plan to return her on one condition."

"What's that?"

"I have to return Gabrielle, too," Zeus smiled. Xena's eyes went wide.

"Yes!" she agreed. Hercules stood, gaping at his father. Since when did he start favoring Hercules?

Zeus stretched out his hand and a lightning bolt zapped out of his fingertips.

"There you go," he said as two figures appeared on the floor next to Xena.

"Gabrielle!" Xena ran up to the first.

"Xena!" Gabrielle yelled, running up and hugging her.

"Hercules! Jason!" Alcmene ran up to her son and husband. The woman whom Hercules resembled so much looked at Zeus.

"Thank you. Why did you do this?" she asked.

"It was the right thing to do. Callisto was planning on destroying everyone and everything. I had to put her in her place," Zeus answered.

"And where's that?" Xena spoke up, still smiling.

"Look," Zeus held out his hands and traced a circle in the air. It showed a window to the Underworld, Callisto on one side of a prison, and all of the people she killed on the other side. They were screaming obscenities to her, and she was crunched up in a corner, all of her godly powers taken from her. She was actually crying.

"Don't you think that's a little harsh?" Alcmene cringed.

"After what she did, she deserves it," Hercules hugged his mother. "Thank you," he looked up at Zeus, his father.

Zeus nodded and vanished.

"If only he could bring back your family," Alcmene said out loud.

"No," Hercules said, not giving a reason why he disagreed. No one pushed the topic.

"What happened to you?" Alcmene shouted to Hercules as he cringed from an embrace. She looked at his leg that he was dragging across the kitchen.

He was about to explain as he screamed and fell to the ground. Everyone raced over to him.

Everyone was quiet. He sat up and looked around after the shock that had just raced through his body.

"Hercules!" his mother cried.

Hercules slowly stood up. He smiled.

"Thanks, Zeus," he said as he ran to the opposite side of the room to the window, ready to go back out, looking for villages that needed saving.

The End

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

Chapter 42: Ahead of You

(Herc Soundtrack 17, or Xena Soundtrack 2)

Xena watched Hercules limp over the hill. She jogged back to the house. Two days later, she was ready to leave.

"Thank you for letting me stay, I have to go now," Xena said, gathering her things.

"Why are you in such a hurry?" the girl asked, watching Xena.

"I have to follow Hercules."

"I get the impression that he doesn't want to be followed."

"He doesn't."

Xena walked quickly out of the room. Packing up Argo, she headed up the hill and back down the other side. She went through the woods and passed an abandoned fort. She thought nothing of it.

When she got to Hercules' house, a worried-looking man answered the door.

"My name is Xena, I've come to see Hercules," Xena said slowly, eyeing the man.

The man looked surprised at first, but then gathered himself.

"I'm Jason, Alcmene's husband. Hercules hasn't come home yet, neither has Alcmene," the man explained. "You're Xena? Someone left something here for you -- I don't know why it has your name on it if it was delivered here, but here it is. It was given to me yesterday by some messenger," Jason said, reaching into the house from the doorway, grabbing an envelope on a small table, and then handing Xena an envelope.

Meanwhile, Callisto's soldiers dragged Hercules' body and then threw it in a pile with about twenty other bodies.

"Oh, and Theodorus, find Alcmene in that pile and deliver her to her husband. She deserves to be dragged home to him. Too bad Hercules didn't get to watch," Callisto said.

"Why do I have to do that?" Theodorus asked, looking around at the old fort hidden in the woods where they had thrown the bodies.

"Because I brought you back to life to serve me, not to ask questions. Oh, and do the same with Gabrielle," Callisto grinned.

Xena tore open the note. It was written in blood. It read:

Xena, Xena, Xena,

You're so predictable.
I knew you'd come here.
Just wanted to let you know that Hercules says 'goodbye'.

The End

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

Chapter 43: Begging Zeus

(Herc Soundtrack 11 then 25, or Xena Soundtrack 12 then 27, then 30)

Xena took one more look at where she had put her mother's ashes and rode away on Argo, not looking back at Lyceus', and now her Mother's, tomb.

She rode quickly straight through the forest. She came up to a cliff and looked around. Mount Olympus was nearby, she could see it. Now, she just had to figure out a way to get to the top. No mortal had ever returned after going to talk to Zeus.

Xena figured she had nothing to lose.

She traveled for days over rough terrain, losing track of when the last time she ate was. When she finally got to the huge mountain, the stopped her horse and just stared.

The mountain was huge, intimidating, and powerful, like Zeus himself. She had second thoughts. Eventually, though, she went on, ignoring Argo's hooves echoing in the cave.

When they walked as far as a mile into the cave, Xena tied Argo to a rock and walked up the rest of the mountain alone.

"Xena, come no farther," a voice boomed as she stepped onto the top of the mountain.

Xena backed up.

"Zeus, I've come to ask a favor," she said slowly.

"I know exactly what it is," he said, appearing from out of nowhere. "You'll have to pass one test before getting Gabrielle, Alcmene, Hercules, and your own mother back to normal and alive, though."

Xena's eyebrows went up. At least there was a chance. A tiny sliver of hope.

"You are now officially on trial for all of the crimes you have committed," Zeus said, waving his arm. The three Furies appeared, along with Ares, Hades, and Callisto.

Xena's hope plummeted.

"All rise for Zeus, our judge!" Hermes shouted from the side of the amphitheater-like area. Everyone stood up and then sat back down when Zeus motioned.

"I call upon our first witness -- Callisto," Ares stood, smirking. Zeus nodded as Callisto rose and walked to the witness stand.

"I'm on your side," Hades whispered to Xena.

"Thanks," Xena forced a smile.

"Tell me, Callisto. Who or what has driven you to kill hundreds of people?" Ares asked, his hands folded casually behind his back, pacing.

"Her -- Xena, the Warrior Princess," Callisto pointed to Xena.

Ares nodded as the Furies stared at Xena. Xena knew what to think. She knew that the three Furies carried out Zeus' work -- bringing "justice" to the world.

"Why?" Ares asked Callisto.

"Because she killed my family, thinking nothing of it!" Callisto's eyes welled up with tears.

Ares looked at Zeus. "That's all," he said to the judge. The Furies whispered to one another as Ares walked back to his seat.

"Cross-examine?" Zeus asked Hades. Hades nodded and stood.

"What would you have done with your life if Xena wouldn't have killed your family?" he asked Callisto.

Callisto stopped sobbing and seriously thought for a moment. "I don't know."

The Furies looked at one another.

The trial went on, with Ares calling witnesses such as dead warlords and innocent villagers that Xena had killed. Finally, he was done. Hades called on one and only one witness.

"I call Xena to the stand," he said.

"Can he do that so soon?" Ares hissed to Zeus.

"Proceed," Zeus ordered. Xena looked at Hades quizzically and walked to the witness stand.

"Xena -- how do you see yourself?" Hades asked slowly.

Xena paused before answering.

"I was a murdering, merciless, evil person, and I'm not sure that I'm not today. Today, though, I'd take my own life before killing a bystander," Xena looked over at the sobbing Callisto, not knowing if she was faking her sadness or not. "I'd do anything for time to rewind, me not burning her village, and Callisto to have a normal life," Xena looked at the ground.

"The jury will come to a verdict in a moment," Zeus instructed.

The Furies whispered. Ares ran up to Zeus.

"Why couldn't I get a chance to ask Xena questions?" Ares whined.

"Ares, go sit down," Zeus said.

"Answer my question! Why?" Ares screamed.

"Do I have to automatically give Xena the win? Go sit down!" Zeus declared. Ares stomped back to his seat.

Hours passed. Finally, the Furies stood.

They handed Zeus an envelope. He opened it and cleared his throat.

"The jury has come to their decision!" he announced. Everyone was quiet.

"The jury has decided that Xena, Warrior Princess, has already served her time, suffering with her own guilt and shame. This trial is over," Zeus stood up after reading the verdict.

Xena's eyes went wide, then slammed shut as a soon as a bright white light shone from the sky and shot down to the earth.

Four figures came into view.

"Gabrielle!" Xena shouted as she hugged her best friend.

"Mother!" she said as her mother ran up and embraced Xena.

Hercules and his mother appeared, and Hercules realized that his injuries were gone. He smiled at Xena and hugged his mother. Xena smiled back.

She would have thanked Zeus, but all four of them were sent back down to the ground in no time.

"Xena! I don't believe it! I'm back!" Gabrielle went on and on about where she was and what happened.

Xena's mother said nothing. She just hugged Xena and didn't let go.

The End

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

Chapter 44: Fighting for Everyone

(Herc Soundtrack 22, or Xena Soundtrack 29)

{Author's Note: Read this slowly if listening to the Xena Soundtrack.}

Xena paid Denniscles and rode off on Argo, heading towards the woods.

"Callisto!" she screamed as she could make out a figure near an abandoned fort, riding on a horse.

The woman laughed evilly.

"Callisto!" Xena repeated, not recognizing her own voice. She gained on her, and stood up in Argo's stirrups, still cantering.

She flung herself in the air, flipping in the air and onto Callisto's saddle, directly behind her. Xena hit Callisto in the neck, and then stunning her more than hurting her, she fell off her horse, taking Xena with her. They fought for a few minutes, but then realized that they were at another standstill. They flipped back onto their horses and raced out of the woods.

They had no idea they were so close to the lava pit.

Callisto and Xena fought each other on their horses until they came near the pit, on the edge of the cliff.

"Your turn, Xena," Callisto giggled, cornering Xena back to the edge of the cliff.

Xena balanced on the edge of the cliff. Callisto tried pushing her off, but Xena held onto a branch that reached over the side. Callisto kicked Xena, knocking the wind out of her. Xena was losing her grip. She held on tight, thinking of Gabrielle.

"Why don't you just let go?" Callisto screamed.

"Think about it," Xena muttered.

Xena swung on the branch, kicking Callisto's arm. Callisto fell backwards.

Xena looked over the edge of the cliff. She was really losing her grip this time. When Xena flipped back onto the ground, Callisto came charging at her. Xena flipped over the branch, watching Callisto fall into the pit. Xena flipped back onto the ground. She looked down at the lava.

"Why so glum?" Xena whirled around to see Hercules, injuries gone, racing towards her.

"You're okay!" Xena smiled and hugged Hercules.

"What about me?" Gabrielle appeared in front of Xena. Then Xena's mother and Hercules' mother appeared.

The hugs weren't over for another hour.

The End

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

Chapter 45: Be Back Soon

(Herc Soundtrack 2, or Xena Soundtrack 1)

Xena ran over to Hercules, using a dagger to cut off his ropes.

"Thanks," he muttered.

Xena nodded.

Hercules ran over to Gabrielle, using the same dagger to cut her ropes. At that moment, Xena flung her chakrum at Ares and Callisto. Both not expecting, were blasted into tiny bits, disappearing.

Everything was quiet.

Alcmene suddenly appeared.

"Mother!" Hercules called, racing over to the woman standing where Ares and Callisto were.

"Hercules!" she shouted.

They hugged for a long time.

Gabrielle ran up to Xena.

"They won't be gone forever, you know," Gabrielle pointed out.

"I know," Xena nodded.

"Why aren't you doing anything else?"

"What can I do? Besides, if we didn't have them, you'd have to take up fiction as a bard," Xena grinned.

Gabrielle laughed.

Xena put her arms around her friend's shoulders.

"Let's go," Xena said, leaving the temple. Hercules and Alcmene followed.

Off in the distance, they heard Xena's name being called.

"Xena, I'll be back."

The End

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

Chapter 46: Aphrodite

(Herc Soundtrack 18, or Xena Soundtrack 16)

Xena threw her chakrum and it cut Gabrielle free from the ropes. Gabrielle reached over to start untying Hercules.

"No! Stop her! Throw the torches!" Callisto ordered as she looked up at Gabrielle. A group of soldiers that had been knocked out in the fight sat up and shook their heads, not quite remembering where they were. They came to grips with what was happening, and reached over to the few torches that were placed on the wall.

"Gabrielle, get back!" Xena screamed.

The soldiers threw all of the torches at once near the hay right next to Hercules and Gabrielle. Hercules and Gabrielle rolled across the room. Suddenly, there was a rumble as a wall in the temple burst. A wave rolled through the room and miraculously rolled back out. A beautiful blond woman stood grinning with her hands on her hips.

"Hey, Herc! You wouldn't believe how far I traveled to see you! There's not an ocean for miles around here! Totally bogus!" the woman laughed.

"Aphrodite, I never thought I'd say this, but you came at just the right time," Hercules gave a small smile.

Remembering what was going on, Xena whirled around to see Callisto. She was now ashes on the ground near the altar, and Ares was gone. Xena was surprised gods could be burnt to death. She made a mental note of that. Speaking of which, she was not surprised that Ares disappeared at the first sign of defeat.

"So, big brother, what was with that blond chick?" Aphrodite still stood with her hands on her hips, looking around. She stepped over a soldier's body to stand next to Hercules.

"She was planning on killing us; so, thanks," Hercules said.

"You're not one for talking," Aphrodite looked at Xena.

Xena just raised an eyebrow.

"Oh, Herc, the other reason I came to see ya was because someone else wanted to see you," Aphrodite lifted the shell she had surfed in on. Alcmene stepped out.

"Oh! It's so hot in there!" Alcmene exclaimed.

"Sorry, sweet cheeks," Aphrodite apologized, chuckling as Aphrodite ran to Hercules.

"Hercules!" his mother hugged him.

"Thanks, Xena; thanks, Aphrodite," Hercules said as Alcmene and him walked out of the temple. Aphrodite waved good-bye.

"Think she'll stay away for long?" Gabrielle came up to Xena once back inside the temple.

"I don't know," Xena said as her mind wandered.

"I'd love to chat, and I'm sure you would too, but I gotta go convince Poseidon to let me have a big party. I'd invite you, but it's really only for party animals," Aphrodite giggled.

"That's all right," Xena smiled.

"She speaks!" Aphrodite held up her hands to show how surprised she was.

Xena and Gabrielle waved good-bye as they walked out of the temple, watching a huge wave roll in, pick up the gigantic shell with Aphrodite on it, and roll back over the hill.

"So, Gabrielle, I've missed your stories. I bet you have a good one for me now, huh?" Xena smiled, happy to have her best friend back.

"Do I? Wow, are you going to be amazed ..." Gabrielle started her story as they packed up Argo and headed over the hill.

The End

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

Chapter 47: The Weakness

(Herc Soundtrack 24, or Xena Soundtrack 27)

"Okay, you asked for it," Xena murmured, holding up the branch, swinging it above her head. Callisto ducked. Xena swung again.

"Yi!" Callisto shrieked as she flipped over Xena. Xena didn't have enough time to react when Callisto kept moving and kicked Xena underneath her chin.

Xena flipped backwards, the branch flying out of her hands. She watched it start to come back down to the ground, nearer to Callisto than to Xena.

"This looks familiar," a voice called out as hands reached up and snagged the branch. "Hello, Xena," he said. He threw the branch as hard as he could towards Callisto.

"Hey, Callisto!" Xena called, trying to distract the goddess. Callisto looked at Xena, not paying attention to the deadly branch flying at her arm.

The branch hit her arm.

Callisto fell to the ground, screaming in pain. Xena covered her ears.

In no time flat, the goddess was all shriveled up. A few seconds later, her body suddenly rose, taking form into a shorter figure. Xena and Hercules backed up. The woman slowly rose, holding her head.

It was Gabrielle.

She stared at Xena.

"Gabrielle!" Xena ran up to her best friend. "Gabrielle, is that you?" Xena asked after Gabrielle just stared straight ahead.

"Yes," the girl answered, still staring.

Xena cocked her head to one side.

"What, don't you believe me?" Gabrielle asked.

"I believe you," Xena said skeptically.

She said she believed her.

Did she?

The End

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

Chapter 48: A Temporary Help

(Herc Soundtrack 18, or Xena Soundtrack 25)

"Xena! Don't!" Artemis ran up to Xena as she was about to swing the deadly branch.

"Why not?" Xena asked.

Seeing that this was her chance, Callisto did a front handspring to land in front of Xena, kicking her in the face, making her fall into Artemis sideways.

Artemis was knocked down.

"Nobody does that to me!" Artemis got red in the face, angry as a god could get. She pulled out her bow and arrow.

"You can't kill me! I'm a goddess!" Callisto laughed.

"Ha -- you obviously don't know that I am as well," Artemis muttered, loading the arrow. She aimed and released.

The arrow was so fast, Callisto had no time to react. She tried to catch it, but once she realized she didn't know where it was going, she ran. The arrow followed her.

The silver arrow hit her directly in the neck.

Callisto's screams echoed throughout the valley.

Xena looked up as she saw feet approach her. She noticed that the blast was so loud that she had been knocked to the ground.

"Xena! It's me! Are you all right?" Gabrielle knelt down next to Xena.

Xena sat up. "Gabrielle?" Xena whispered, slowly smiling.

They hugged each other without another word.

"Thank you, Artemis," Xena looked at Artemis.

"No problem. I sent Alcmene directly to her house -- god-mail. She's already home. I'm sure my brother missed her," Artemis said.

Xena nodded.

"I would have given Gabrielle and Alcmene back earlier, but rules are rules," Artemis apologized.

Xena looked at her quizzically.

"It's a long story. Zeus basically messed it up so that Gabrielle could not come back until Callisto was 'gone', whatever that means," Artemis rolled her eyes.

"Thank you," Xena repeated.

Gabrielle and Xena walked over to Argo.

"Are you okay?" Xena asked Gabrielle.

"Yeah, just a little shaken up. The Underworld is scary, especially when you feel like you don't belong there," Gabrielle explained. Xena nodded.

Gabrielle and Xena waved to Artemis as they left the forest. Artemis waved back and then disappeared.

"So ... tell me about your week," Xena said to Gabrielle.

"Okay ... got a few hours?" Gabrielle chuckled.

Xena smiled.

Everything was okay now.

The End

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

Chapter 49: The Old Xena

(Herc Soundtrack 22, or Xena Soundtrack 29)

"Yah!" Xena cantered on Argo down to where the soldiers surrounded to village. Xena frantically looked around for her mother. Several villagers were tied up, while others ran around, screaming to be saved while being chased by soldiers.

Once Xena got to the village, the soldiers stopped her by holding up staffs, blocking her way.

"Let me pass," Xena said wryly.

"No. Callisto's strict orders are to keep outsiders out of Amphipolis," the soldier argued.

"I was born here -- let me pass," Xena clenched her teeth.

"I'm sorry, but --" the guard didn't say another word when Xena pulled out her sword. She calmly got off her horse and plunged the sword into the man's gut. The man fell to the ground without a sound. She looked at the second guard.

"If anything has happened to my mother, the same will happen to each of you," she warned, kicking the other man in the knee. He toppled backwards, groaning.

Xena smiled. But it wasn't a happy smile -- it was an evil smile. A smile she had once seen on Callisto many times before. She ran into the village. Her eyes darted back and forth, looking for her mother and Callisto -- hopefully not in the same place together.

She ran into the familiar inn, which her mother ran. There were people she recognized from her childhood lying everywhere, and soldiers standing guard inside of the inn.

Xena kicked one on the back when he wasn't looking. She punched another in the nose. She reached over to one sitting down and twisted his elbow. She loved the screams of mercy they cried. Xena started to scare herself.

All of this took less than thirty seconds.

"Xena, I knew you'd come," Callisto stepped out of the back room, with Xena's mother.

"Let her go," Xena said, preparing her sword to throw at Callisto. She didn't care if she was a goddess or not. She touched her mother, and that was enough to get Xena to kill Callisto. Gabrielle's disappearance was enough -- and Xena was going to let Callisto know.

"Oh, her?" Callisto nudged Xena's mother, who was sobbing. She was gagged, her wrists and ankles were tied with rope, and she wasn't more than ten yards away from Xena. Xena didn't answer.

"Well, okay. But only if I can have you instead," Callisto grinned.

"Fine. Kill me. Let her go," Xena said slowly.

Callisto untied Xena's mother's gag.

"Xena! No! Run away from here! She's terrible!" Xena's mother cried.

"Shut up! Do you want me to put that gag back on you?" Callisto shrieked, her eyes wild.

Xena's mother was quiet.

"Untie her," Callisto instructed one of the guards still standing. He nodded. Xena dropped her sword and walked slowly towards Callisto.

"Let her leave the village, and then I'll let you have me," Xena said.

"All right, go. I'll follow you -- so don't try anything stupid," Callisto frowned. They stepped outside.

"Guards! Get ready with the bows and arrows!" Callisto screamed outside. Xena followed, picking up her sword on the way.

"Run away from here now! There's a cave about half a mile from here. It's covered up mostly by vines. I'll meet you there soon," Xena whispered to her mother.

Her mother nodded, shaking violently. Callisto narrowed her eyes as Xena's mother ran past the guards and into the open field. Xena turned to face Callisto. She took out her sword and flung it at Callisto's heart. Callisto's dodged it, but it still hit her in the arm. If she were mortal, she would have been dead.

"Xena!" Callisto croaked, sinking to the ground. "I am wounded for eternity. How could you do this to me? I thought you turned good!" Callisto closed her eyes. Her arm was so severed that the bone was visible from where Xena was standing -- which wasn't far away. Xena stood there, shocked. She tied up Callisto's feet and dragged her back in the inn.

"Anyone who tries to stop me will be sorry," Xena looked at the guards who were staring at Xena, debating on whether or not to defend their leader. They backed away.

"Help every villager that can be saved! If you don't, I would hesitate about doing the same to you!" Xena referred to Callisto. "I am your leader now!" she ordered. Most of the guards nodded and went to work right away. Xena stared at the remaining. They nodded quickly and ran off. Once Xena got into the inn, she threw Callisto onto one of the tables and bandaged her arm. Any other time, Xena would have just left her alone, but Xena didn't know where Gabrielle was, and Callisto did know.

Days passed, and Callisto drifted in and out of consciousness. She was never really coherent, though.

Xena's hopes sunk. Would it be like this forever? Would she ever be able to meet up with her mother. Would she ever find Gabrielle?

The End

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

Chapter 50: Tricked

(Herc Soundtrack 8, or Xena Soundtrack 3)

Xena rode up on Argo approaching who looked like a head soldier.

"Who is your leader?" Xena asked.

"Callisto," the mom answered, making eye contact with Xena.

"Let me speak to her," Xena requested.

The guard whispered something to a second guard, and the second guard nodded and walked into the village.

"He has gone to check, Xena," the guard informed Xena.

Xena raised an eyebrow.

"Yes -- I know who you are. You killed me at the Battle at Corinth. I'm glad Callisto brought me back. You should be terrified of her," he scowled.

Xena kept her eyebrow raised. "Very," she chuckled.

The second guard approached the two.

"Callisto has accepted the request. She says to meet her at the village inn," he said.

Xena's eyes went wide.

She whispered to Argo, and she trotted away into the woods.

She gave the guards a Look and walked into the village, sword in hand.

She entered the inn.

"Where's my mother?" Xena asked Callisto, who sat calmly at a table, drinking a mug of water.

"Somewhere around here. I lost track, you know -- with all of the killing going on and everything," Callisto grinned. Xena narrowed her eyes and pursed her lips.

"That's too bad, because my army is coming here right now, on my command," Xena lied.

"You have no army," Callisto continued smiling.

"Yes, she does," a voice corrected. Ares appeared before them. Xena was worried -- would Callisto and Ares side together, or would they fight?

"Xena agreed to join me, Callisto. Her army is about to attack this village. I have her mother safe with me -- nothing's stopping her," Ares explained.

Xena stared at him.

"That's right," she caught on quickly. "Ares, go on ahead and give me my mother, Gabrielle, and Alcmene; just to be safe, I'd like them to leave the village," Xena said.

Ares stared at Xena.

"Uhhh ... okay," he pointed his finger towards the inn door and Xena's mother, Gabrielle, and Alcmene appeared.

"Xena!" Gabrielle yelled, running up to her best friend.

"Gabrielle, go with my mother and Alcmene to that cave I always tell you about. I'll be there soon," Xena said, eyeing Callisto.

"No! We're staying here!" Xena's mother argued, shaking.

"Then stay out of the way," Xena warned.

Ares looked at Callisto. "So, willing to stay and fight?" he asked her.

Callisto smiled and disappeared, "I'll be back, Xena, I'll be back," she repeated.

"What happened?" Xena asked Ares, looking at the bench Callisto sat at a few seconds ago.

"She was scared. She knows what you and I are capable of," Ares said softly, holding Xena's hand.

"Thank you, Ares, but no," Xena smiled, pulling her hand away.

"No? But you owed me from saving your friends and mother!" Ares whined.

"You owed me from the time I got your godhood back."

"I thought we were even on that one!"

Xena chuckled.

"Someday soon, Xena," Ares vanished.

"Oh, Xena!" Xena's mother cried. She ran up to Xena.

They hugged for a long time, and then Alcmene, Gabrielle, and Xena said good-bye to Xena's mother and headed to Hercules' house.

The soldiers had disappeared, and life had suddenly gone back to normal for everyone in her home town.

Xena felt like she had a heavy burden lifted from her shoulders.

The End

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

Chapter 51: Chandlis

(Herc Soundtrack 27, or Xena Soundtrack 28)

Gabrielle raced alongside Argo and Xena as they headed to Chandlis, having no idea what they were doing.

Right outside the village, they could see many villagers and soldiers dead.

"Gabrielle," Xena brought Argo to a stop. "Do what your gut tells you to do when it comes to fighting, okay?"

Gabrielle nodded and ran ahead into the village.

Xena forced a tight-lip smile.

Xena watched Gabrielle for a minute. If only she knew what she was getting herself into.

Xena got off Argo and ran towards the busier part of the village. She kicked one man from behind who was about to kill a villager and his wife. They nodded a thank you to Xena and ran off.

Xena killed at least twenty soldiers within a hour.

She lost track of Gabrielle, but still remembered that she was fighting for her. Even though she knew she practically had permission to, and knew these people were already dead, Xena still felt incredibly guilty.

After that hour passed, only about twenty soldiers remained. Many soldiers had been either knocked out by Gabrielle or killed by the village last-minute-make-up army.

Xena looked around as Gabrielle slammed two soldiers' heads together, and watched them fall to the ground. She ran up to Xena, out of breath.

"What next? The others ran away," she said.

"Really? Well, they weren't that great, anyway," Callisto came out of the inn.

Xena narrowed her eyes.

"Xena, Gabrielle, how are you? Wondering where your mother is, Xena? Well, I'll tell you --" Callisto started.

"I know and I am disgusted," Xena hissed.

Callisto laughed and turned around, her back to Xena. Then she surprised Xena by turning back around to face her and kicking her in the chest.

Xena recovered quickly and stared at Callisto, curling her lip.

She flipped towards Callisto, kicking her in the face. Callisto toppled back onto a man's sword sticking up from someone's hands.

It went right through her stomach. She gagged, then laughed.

"I'm going to Mount Olympus, and staying there for a while. I'll come back when you least expect it!" Callisto laughed as she disappeared, still gagging.

Xena looked around her. So many people dead. So many people she killed.

Only for Gabrielle.

The End

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

Chapter 52: An Eye for an Eye

(Herc Soundtrack 12, or Xena Soundtrack 23)

"Gabrielle, let's go round up as many as villagers as we can from the village Chandlis. We'll bring them back to that cave my army once used. There's food, water, and safety there," Xena explained. Gabrielle nodded anxiously.

"We'll leave tonight, when the guards are asleep," Xena said.

That night, they crept towards the village. Xena went one way, Gabrielle went another. Xena knocked on one person's back window. A guard stood right next to her, sleeping.

The window opened a crack to see a pair of nervous eyes.

"Don't be afraid -- I'm a friend. Come outside with your family, near the woods that lead to the lake. My friend and I are bringing the village to safety," Xena whispered.

"Okay," was the hushed reply.

Xena went to every house on the left side of the village, and Gabrielle went to every house on the right side of the village.

Xena was finished before Gabrielle, and saw her just around the corner.

"Okay, done," Gabrielle said to Xena as they walked over to the wheat field, meeting up with each other.

They walked to the woods, where they saw about seventy people who were whispering amongst themselves. They fell silent as Xena and Gabrielle approached

"Gabrielle, you lead the way to the cave, I'll stay back here," Xena instructed quietly. Gabrielle nodded.

Moving through the woods, a few people starting talking and a few people came up to thank Xena. Xena said that they were welcome.

Then, she noticed movement in the corner of her eye. She whirled and elbowed a soldier who was hiding behind a tree.

"Trying to be sneaky, huh? Well, try harder. Tell Callisto that I've had enough," she pushed him away, and he grabbed his limp right arm, running through the forest as fast as he could, terrified.

Once the villagers got to the cave, they knew they were "home free", safe, and -- almost -- happy.

Xena knew she never would be totally any of those.

The End

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

Chapter 53: Impatient

(Herc Soundtrack 32, or Xena Soundtrack 8)

Xena opened her eyes and looked around the cave. Gabrielle was sleeping a few feet away from her, her head on a rock. Hercules was sleeping sitting up, leaning against a boulder that was near the mouth of the cave.

Xena sat up quietly. Her whole body ached.

She stood up slowly, cringing when Gabrielle stirred. She tiptoed quietly out of the cave, picking up the medicine satchel on the way out.

She limped across the field. She walked all night looking for Callisto. Somehow or another, she lost her sense of direction. She didn't know which way she had come from.

Xena felt dizzy. She sat down right in front of the opening to the forest. She looked at her bandages. They needed changing, but she didn't have any clean bandages with her. She knew she should have brought some extras, considering the circumstances, but now she knew it was too late.

She was getting more and more dizzy. She still didn't get up after half hour.

Knowing that Callisto was nearby and would find her soon, she laid down in the wheat. Xena knew that the wheat would cover her if they were looking from a distance, but it would also corner her if Callisto came up behind her from the woods.

She lay there as she felt herself fading.

This was one of those times she was scared.

Immediately, she regretted leaving the cave to look for Callisto. She should have trusted Gabrielle and Hercules to deal with her.

Xena felt sick to her stomach now.

She waited for Hercules and Gabrielle to show up, searching for her.

And waited.

And waited.

And waited.

The End

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

Chapter 54: Thank You, Hercules

(Herc Soundtrack 5 then 3, Xena Soundtrack 29)

The next day, Gabrielle and Hercules woke up at dawn. Then, quickly, they packed up all of their belongings.

"Gabrielle, you put the stuff with the horse, and I'll get Xena and put her on the cart," Hercules instructed. Gabrielle nodded.

Hercules hoisted Xena onto the cart and dragged it out of the cave.

Xena didn't move.

It wasn't long before they approached a bridge. Underneath was lava from a recent and continuous volcano eruption. Gabrielle knew this place -- too well.

"Uh ... Hercules ..." Gabrielle stuttered, shaking her head. "This isn't such a good idea."

"Sure, it is, Gabrielle!" a voice laughed behind them.

Hercules and Gabrielle turned around to face Callisto.

Callisto looked at Xena on the cart, who was still not moving. Callisto stared at her for a moment. Gabrielle and Hercules to worried to move.

"Wow, and I never even got to really try!" Callisto grinned, thinking Xena was dead. She walked up to Hercules.

"Let me take her body. She's already dead," Callisto laughed.

"No, she's not!" Gabrielle screamed.

Callisto didn't even look in Gabrielle's direction. Callisto kicked Hercules in the face, and he toppled to the ground and onto the bridge. He stood up and glared at Callisto.

"What do I have to do to get rid of you?" Hercules muttered. Callisto just laughed and tried to kick him again, but this time, Hercules dodged her foot.

Callisto flipped onto the bridge behind Hercules, and beckoned for him to follow her. He carefully walked to the middle of the bridge, holding the ropes, which were ready to break.

As soon as he got a few steps closer, Callisto started to shake the bridge. She stumbled and plunged downward.

Hercules expected to hear a scream, and he leaned over the edge to see where she was. Callisto, who was hanging on the edge of the bridge, grabbed his foot. He kicked her other hand off. She lost her balance and let go of the bridge. Hercules walked off carefully as he heard the scream.

Hercules made the last step that led him to solid ground. Gabrielle smiled and hugged him.

"That's the end of that," Gabrielle sighed, relieved.

"No, it's not!" Callisto climbed up the corner of the cliff.

"How did --" Gabrielle started.

"There's an overhang down there. If I were mortal, the impact would have killed me," Callisto laughed.

"Well, I'll have to make sure that you stay down there!" Hercules clenched his teeth.

He tackled Callisto to the ground, dangerously close to the edge. They fought, rolling in the dirt.

Callisto dragged Hercules over the cliff. He hung on tight to the side.

"And this little piggy went off the cliff!" Callisto laughed gleefully, pulling Hercules' fingers of the cliff edge.

"No!" Gabrielle smacked her staff on Callisto's head. Callisto flipped forwards, over Hercules' head. She screamed, and they heard her fall in the lava.

Gabrielle helped Hercules back up to the ground.

"Thanks," Hercules grunted.

Suddenly, a light shone, and Alcmene appeared. Hercules ran up to his mother.

"Hercules!" Alcmene cried, hugging her son.

Xena sat up slowly, and forced a smile.

"Thanks," she whispered to Gabrielle.

The End

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

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