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Angeleeta Sosnowski


Xena, Gabrielle, their pals are all property of MCA/UNIVERSAL. The events which take place in this bit of fan fiction have not been officially endorsed and are intended for the enjoyment of those who chose to read on. No disrespect or copy right infringement intended.

HOWEVER, Wolf, Merlina, Erik and their pals are all property of Shapoopie Inc. Any use of these characters without my consent is way wrong, so please don't. (A special thanks to my number one gal Laura the Krusty Biscuit who helped edit this tale.)


A-Watch out for the subtext. If a same sex relationship freaks you out or is illegal where you are, please don't continue.

B-Things aren't always pretty in this story. Some of the action scenes are quite violent and graphic in nature, so if you're squeamish, watch out. Also, there are quite a few naughty words in this tale, the one's banned by the FCC, so be warned.

C-THIS STORY TAKES PLACE sometime during the what would be the fifth or six season of Xena. I'm made some decisions about what has happened to some of the characters based on third season shows and rumors. I started this story before "Maternal Instincts", "Armageddon Now", and the season finale aired. Some alterations have been made to accommodate those episodes and subsequent shows, but Dionne and I aren't buddies, so some things could turn out wrong. Oops!

D-There is a touch of Star Trek in this story which requires a little explanation. The universe is laid out in this pattern for my story: there are many dimensions (called realms) which exist next to each other. Between each dimension/realm exists an area of black space called the "void". Within each of these "realms" there is a land for the gods, mortals, and the dead. It is possible to travel between realms as well as between the lands. If I tell you any more, I'll give away too much of the story. If you're confused, drop me a line and I'll try to explain things a little more. Bachlorette (lyrics by sjon) copyright 1997 Bjork Overseas Ltd. Alarm Call (lyrics by bjork) copyright 1997 Bjork Overseas Ltd. Army of Me (lyrics by bjork) copyright 1995 Me Company

  Chapter Eight

"drink me-make me real,"
"wet your beak in the stream, the game we're playing is life"

"There it is," Gunther said, "just like Cally said it would be." The guide pointed to a small area of slightly discolored stones. Only if you knew about the secret entrance you could find it, that's how well it was hidden.

"You know this wasn't always Dahok's castle," Wolf said, joining Xena and Gunther at their hiding place. "It used to belong to one of the lesser Norse gods, one of Thor's cousins. Dahok always liked it so he took it over when he gained control of this land."

"Thanks for the history lesson," Xena said sarcastically. She had barely spoken with Wolf since Gabrielle's abduction two days ago. The Warrior Princess had lost almost all of the trust she had in Wolf, and didn't want to hear any more of her lies.

"Just keep that in mind, okay," Wolf refused to let Xena's wild emotions affect her calm. "Every bit of info helps." Wolf moved away and rejoined Merlina and Erik at the second vantage point of the castle. It would soon be time for the diversion and Xena's secret attack.

"She's as pleasant as ever," Wolf said wryly as she sat down with Merlina and Erik. "Full of distrust and hate, prime pickin's for Dad."

"It's what you wanted love," Merlina chided. "You know it's the only way."

"I know," Wolf replied, "but I didn't expect her to become so consumed with it. It's like how she was right after Caesar. I visited her once when she was heading east towards Chin. That Xena wasn't the young kid I had met in Greece. She was so full of rage I stole her chakrum from her, making it look like she lost it. She didn't get it back until after Solan's birth."

"On her way east, isn't that when Dahok began to take notice," Erik asked.

"Don't remind me."


"Xena," Gunther asked, "Are you sure you don't want to wait for the frontal assault to begin? Callisto said it would be our best chance of slipping inside the perimeter unnoticed."

"No," Xena's voice was flat and harsh, "we go now. I'm not waiting for that bitch's trap."

"Okay," Gunther replied, tightening his belt. "I hope you know what you're doing."

Xena merely grunted and began to slip out of their hiding place, 75 paces from the secret door. The pair made it about half way across the empty, flat space surrounding the castle when a guard on the wall noticed them and shouted.

"Shit!" Gunther hissed.

"Run or die," Xena replied.

The two raced towards the hidden door as arrows began to fall like rain around them.


"Damn that Xena! She's started without us" Wolf exclaimed. "This is the last time I let some kid take over my operation."

"Quit bitchin' and come on," Erik loved Wolf like a sister, but had grown tired of her complaining, "Let's see if we can help them some."

With a yell the trio began the frontal assault on the castle.


The door to Callisto's room flew open. Gabrielle spun around and dropped her scrolls.

"They're coming Gabrielle," Callisto said, slightly out of breath. "Let's get to the passage to meet Xena. You remember what you're supposed to do?"

The bard swallowed hard, "I'm ready. Let's go."


"Faster Xena! They've just rounded the corner and are heading right for us," Gunther shouted.

Xena was frantically pressing the discolored stones that marked the secret door. She realized when the pair had crossed through the sea of arrows that she didn't know how to open the door from the outside. Callisto hadn't told them.

"Calm down Gunther, just a couple of more seconds."

"In a couple of seconds we are going to be chest deep in Elite Guard! Open the fucking door!"

Suddenly the stone in Xena's right hand moved and the door swung open. Xena grabbed a surprised Gunther and rushed through the door. The pair slammed it shut just as the first of the Guard reached their position.

"Hah! Let those bastards take the long way home," Gunther said, his mood greatly improved during the past two seconds.

"Come on, let's move. We still have to find Gabrielle and make it to the main hall before Wolf does."

The pair moved father into the dimly lit heart of darkness.


"This is not, (Clang!) the kind of 'diversion' (whoomp!) I had planned on!"

"Who's the whiny one now Erik?" Wolf asked as she kicked another demon away. Where are those Elite Guard Callisto promised, Wolf thought. They're supposed to be guarding the front gate and not making it so damn hard to get in.

Wolf fought her way towards Merlina who was surrounded, but holding her own against several demons. They were soon back to back and making progress toward the castle gate. Erik was soon with them, and the trio finally made it though the maw of hell. In their wake were countless wounded and dead servants of Dahok.

"Which way to the main hall," Merlina asked as they entered the courtyard. Callisto had done part of her job at least. The Elite Guard who normally occupied the main part of the castle were no where to be seen. With the rest of Dahok's troops elsewhere, the heart of the stronghold was virtually undefended.

"Through those doors," Wolf pointed to a pair of large wood doors directly in front of them. "This place is pretty old, so the layout isn't hard. The problem is that those doors are locked from the inside."

Erik walked up to the doors. No matter how hard he pulled, they wouldn' t open. "I guess we wait until we're invited in."

"How gauche of me," Dahok's rich voice said. The threesome turned to see the master of evil hovering just above the doorway. "Please do come in, I've been expecting you."


"This is as far as I go Gabrielle," Callisto had taken the bard to the castle side entrance of the secret passage, which was just down a little ways from the main hall. "I have to make an appearance with my men at the rear of the castle so Dahok won't suspect anything. Xena should already be making her way here."

Callisto leaned forward so that her face was a hair's length from Gabrielle's, "Don't forget what I said." Suddenly the warrior gave the bard a light kiss on the lips. Before Gabrielle could respond, Callisto was gone down another hallway.

With a smirk, Gabrielle opened the secret panel and headed right into,



The Warrior Princess swept the shorter bard into her arms and gave her a fierce hug. "Are you okay? If he hurt you..."

"I'm fine Xena. Callisto made sure that Dahok only got to see me a few times. She saved me from him when I first got here."

Xena couldn't believe what she was hearing, but kept her thoughts to herself. "Where is Callisto? She's supposed to be here to lead us the main hall and Dahok."

"You didn't wait Xena, so she had to improvise. She'll be here when it counts." Gabrielle took Xena's hand, "Come on, I know where the main hall is."

Gabrielle led Xena and Gunther down the short hallway to the main hall. Luckily, they had the advantage of not being seen from the large room. The passage was somewhat hidden from view.

Suddenly the bard froze. Xena leaned forward to see what had stopped her partner cold. In the main hall sat Wolf, Merlina and Erik talking with a strange man. The three Norsemen weren't tied up, but from the look on Wolf's face, Xena could tell they were frozen in their places.

"That's Dahok," Gabrielle whispered to Xena, who nodded acknowledgment.

Callisto came running in from out of view. She quickly took off her helmet and kneeled in front of Dahok. Xena couldn't hear what Dahok was saying, but she knew it wasn't good. Callisto was lifted and tossed by an invisible force into the wall nearest Xena, then again into the wall on the opposite side of the room. Callisto tried to get up but was thrown again into Xena's wall with even a harder force. The blonde warrior didn't try to get up again.

"What are we going to do now miss 'let's go now, before everyone is ready'," Gunther asked harshly. "She what you're impatience has cost us?"

"Shut up Gunther," Xena and Gabrielle said in unison.

The trio stood in silence and watched as Dahok began to hit Wolf. After a few punches he turned his attention to Merlina. Gabrielle could guess at what he was saying because Wolf and Erik began to struggle against their bonds frantically.

"What are we going to do Xena," the bard asked.

"Stick with the plan," she nodded at Gunther. "Let's go."


With a quick glance at Callisto in a pile against the wall, Xena strode confidently into the main hall in full view of Dahok. The demon prince quickly lost interest in Merlina when he noticed Xena appear.

"Xena!" Dahok said with delight. "At last we meet face to face. And you even were able to bring my favorite wife back to me." He smiled at Gabrielle, "Soon you will feel my true flame little one."

"Over my dead body," Xena said, drawing her sword.

"Oh, my dear, sweet Xena," Dahok said mockingly. "Don't you see, I've already won. The invasion started just minutes ago and I'm already winning. Take a look for yourself..."

Dahok waved his hand at the wall opposite of Callisto's body. It shimmered for a few moments. Suddenly a moving picture formed on it, showing Dahok's men battling an army. Gabrielle gasped when she recognized Ares and Thor fighting side by side against the agents of evil.

"As you can see, you're gods are no longer a match for me," Dahok laughed and the images disappeared. "You're pathetic plan has failed Warrior Princess. Wolf, Erik and Gunther will join Donner in death. Gabrielle and Merlina will give birth to the new race of gods. The best part, and you'll really like this, is that you and your cousin Callisto will serve me as the heads of my army and vanquish the remaining realms which have yet to bow to me."

"I'll never serve you Dahok," Xena spat in return.

"Oh, but you already do Xena, you just don't realize it. As soon as you turned on Wolf you began to work for me. I admit at first I was worried that you two would make up and I'd have to kill you both, but when you charged the castle early, that's when I knew. That's when you proved your hatred for my black sheep daughter and your allegiance to me."

"I know what you're trying to do bastard, and it won't work," Xena said calmly. "You're using my hatred against me, but I don't live on hate and rage like I once did. Love, kindness, compassion--those are the things that matter most to me now."

"Perhaps you should rethink who you love then Xena. I think you'd be better off loving me." Dahok laughed wickedly, "Isn't that right, my wife?"

Gabrielle smiled warmly and walked to Dahok's side. "We are all better if we love you, my master."

Xena couldn't believe what she was seeing, Gabrielle in Dahok's arms.

"See what you've done Xena, she was captured and turned to him." Wolf's words cut the Warrior Princess like daggers. "If you would have just trusted me instead of taking the moral high ground. We could have come up with a plan that would have ensured victory."

"Shut up," Xena mumbled. She sat down on a nearby bench, "Shut up!"

"Fuck you Xena," Wolf shouted. She began to struggle with her invisible bonds, "I should have killed you when I had the chance. There were so many better warriors I could have chosen, but no, the gods wanted you. I worked so hard to take a talent less piece of crap and mold it into something and look what I get. Cracks under the first real pressure she feels. Welcome to the big leagues Xena, this is what fighting evil is all about."

Wolf stood up, having broke free from her bondage. The warrior ignored Dahok and Gabrielle and headed for the Warrior Princess. Wolf positioned herself between Xena and Dahok, effectively blocking his view of a fully awake Callisto creeping towards them on the floor.

"Get up bitch, I'm not going to kill you while you sit there in a stupor," Wolf taunted.

"Go away," Xena said flatly.

"Only if you make me scum. Look at you, destroyed because some little whore left you. She was never worthy of you Xena. I mean, at least if she was good in bed, but I know from personal experience that's not true...."

Xena looked up from the ground, eyes full of fire. "Pick on me all you want, but leave Gabrielle out of it."

"Why? No one else has," Wolf laughed harshly. "By now, even Callisto has probably rolled with her."

Xena did just what Wolf expected, she lunged at her with her sword. What no one expected was for Wolf, who could have easily dodged the blow, to take it full on. Xena's sword drove right through Wolf's stomach, coming out through her lower back, sending blood across the shocked onlookers.

"Now!" Callisto shouted.

Gabrielle shoved Dahok hard and broke away from him. The distracted dark prince let her go. Callisto stood and tossed Wolf's chakrum at Dahok, hitting him squarely in the chest. Dahok wheezed and fell to his knees, stunned, but not seriously hurt.

Xena looked down at the dying Wolf, who was smiling. Suddenly Xena realized what she had to do. The Warrior Princess quickly grabbed Wolf's sword and attacked the injured Dahok.

"Now it ends, once and for all," Xena said as she raised her sword.

"Believe that if it let's you sleep better at night," Dahok replied.

With a powerful blow, Xena decapitated the god. Only then did she feel that Dahok was dead.

Xena dropped the sword and turned to her companions. Everyone was standing by the fallen body of Wolf. Merlina clutched the body of the greatest hero of the Northmen in her arms and cried. Erik and Gunther also held tears in their eyes, as did Callisto, much to Xena's surprise.

Gabrielle put her arm around Xena's waist. "I knew you'd come through," she said.

"I can't believe that's what it took to win," Xena said in disbelief. "Wolf was my friend. She deserved better than this."

"I don't understand, I thought she couldn't be killed," Gabrielle asked.

"Where we're from, that's true. Here though, the immortals are at home. You and me Gabrielle, we're the visitors in this land."

"So we're immune to it's effects. We're like the gods from our own realm," the bard concluded. "We can't be killed by conventional means."

"Exactly," Xena agreed. "Merlina, Gunther, Erik, even Callisto, they all have some sort of immortality about them, so they were powerless to act against Dahok here. Because I don't have any special powers to begin with, I have all of the powers now. Wolf proved that to me when I killed her. It suddenly dawned on me, despite Dahok's magic tricks, he really didn't have anything I didn't, so I knew I could take him."

"I'm sorry we had to trick you like that Xena," Gabrielle gave her partner a squeeze. "Wolf had planned it like this from the start. Dahok would be so consumed with the strife between you two he would never suspect the real plan. The bonus was Callisto who was able to turn most of Dahok's Elite Guard against him and make it possible for us to enter the castle. I only wish Wolf didn't have to sacrifice her life for this."

Xena was about to speak when suddenly the hall was filled with the Elite Guard, led by Ares.

"We've won," the god of war shouted. "They don't call me the god of war for nothing."

"I'm actually glad to see you Ares," Xena said. "I need your help."

"Ah yes, Wolf's death, terrible thing," the god of war said insincerely. "One of Callisto's men here said that you had killed that insolent dog right before you offed Dahok."

"Ares, you owe her. If you won't save her, then let Thor or one of her gods do it."

"Sorry Xena, they're gone. As soon as you killed Dahok they vanished. They've got their own fate to follow. To them, none of this ever happened."

"Then it's up to you to save Wolf," Gabrielle said flatly.

Ares rolled his eyes, "Fine, fine, I'll do it." The god of war pulled something from his vest. "Take this power and mix it with water. I brought it from home so it'll bring her back to full immortality. I may not like Wolf, but we gods still need her. She has other work to do for us." Ares waved and was gone.

Xena quickly mixed the powder with some nearby water and gave the cup to Merlina, "This will bring her back."

Merlina nodded and opened Wolf's mouth so Xena could pour the mixture into it.

"Now what?" Callisto asked.

"We wait," Xena replied.

Wolf's eyes suddenly flew open and the stunned warrior looked around. "Did we win? I hope I haven't come back for nothing."

"We won, love, we won," Merlina said, hugging her partner close.

"How did you guys manage to bring me back? I'm sure you've all figured out the secret of this land."

"Xena found a way," Merlina replied warmly.

"Well," Wolf said, smiling up at the dark warrior, "and all this time I thought you just wanted to kill me. Now you have to bring me back? What kind of monster have I created?"

"One who is sorry for not trusting you and losing sight of our friendship."

Wolf clasped Xena's outstretched hand, "Just the kind I wanted."


"Today has never happened and it doesn't frighten me"

"I still can't believe that it all happened," Gabrielle said, looking up from her scrolls. After a few days spent with Wolf, Merlina, and the rest of their companions in what had once been Dahok's realm, the pair returned to their home, Greece.

"I know," Xena replied. She set down the piece of armor she was working on and moved closer to the bard. "I'm having trouble remembering exactly what happened."

"Me too. That's why I'm trying to write it down, before I forget it all." The bard looked fondly at the ring Merlina had given her just before they entered the portal which returned them home. "Merlina knew that we would forget so she gave me this. It delays the memory loss for a little while."

Xena smiled and put her arm around Gabrielle's shoulders and gazed into the fire.


"They'll be fine," Erik said as he carefully replaced the young sapling's branch. "No sign of ill effects."

"Good," Callisto repled. "Wolf will be glad that everything will return to normal."

"We should be getting back. Wolf should be about ready to go." Erik stood and dusted off his pants.

"I'm glad she was able to work out that deal with Hades for my release," Callisto smiled. "I wasn't looking forward to going back there."

"Just remember to keep your part of the bargain," Erik looked at his partner sternly. "You have to behave yourself. We aren't as easily fooled as the Greeks. If you fall back to your old ways.."

"I know," Callisto waved her hand, "the wrath of Wolf, ten times worse that Xena."

"Good," Erik replied. "You'll be a great addition to our crew. The Immolation II will benefit from your skills."

The pair headed down the path to the temporary portal back to their home. Callisto paused to look at Greece one last time.

"Where are we going again?"

"To another realm under Dahok's control. I can't believe you thought this was the only one." Erik shook his head and laughed, "Sometimes you mortals never cease to amaze me."

"Can't blame a girl for wishing," Callisto shrugged her shoulders.

"For what?"

"That this was the only place that bastard had tried to take over."

"Unfortunately, evil is eternal," Erik said thoughtfully. He shook himself, "Come on, storm's coming. Wolf and Merlina will be waiting."

Erik pulled out the iron key and unlocked the door. The hero and the reformed villain walked into the dazzling light to create a new destiny.

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