Xena, Gabrielle, Callisto, Joxer, Eli, Amarice and all other characters who have appeared in the syndicated series Xena: Warrior Princess &/or Hercules: the Legendary Journeys together with the names, titles and backstory are the sole copyright property of MCA/Universal and Renaissance Pictures. No copyright infringement was intended in the writing of this fan fiction. However, the story idea and the story itself are the sole property of myself.
The following story takes place directly after the season 4 Xena: Warrior Princess episode 'The Ides of March'. The following story is the equivalent of an Alternate season 5 opener, and should be read as if 'Fallen Angel' and the rest of season 5 never took place.
Comments are welcome, flaming is not.
Author's E-Mail: Sockoemail@example.com
High in the mountains, the gray skies of the Ides of March continued to produce a light but steady snow well through the night and into the next day. As a light wind put a chill in the air, a group of crosses eerily stood in the white landscape where several prisoners had been crucified. Whether they were guilty or not was not the point, for the real reason for the crucifixion had not been justice, but Julius Caesar's hate for Xena, The Warrior Princess. The guards had mysteriously gone, but the lifeless bodies of Xena and Gabrielle still hung on the crosses.
The wind and blowing snow quickly covered up a fresh set of footprints that lead to the base of Xena's cross. As the maker of the footprints stopped at Xena's cross, a faint clanging sound could be heard. As the person stepped back, a part of Xena's weapon, the Chakram could be seen sticking out from under the snow. The maker of the footprints slowly knelt down and with his hand brushed away the snow that covered the Chakram. As the Chakram was uncovered, it was revealed that the Chakram was broken in half. As the person picked up one half of the Chakram and raised it towards him to examine the broken weapon, an angry but sorrowful voice rang out. "The god of war will not let this go unpunished."
Ares, the god of war, then stood up with the one half of the Chakram in his right hand. As Ares gazed up at Xena's lifeless body he whispered, "I promise you Xena, this is far from over."
As Ares gazed downward at the other half of the Chakram that still laid in the snow, voices from high on the ridge behind him could be heard. Ares quickly turned and saw a horse approaching. Ares looked back up at Xena's body. "I'll be back Xena."
Ares then waved his left hand in an attempt to disappear, but instead, the half of the Chakram he held in his right hand became charged with electricity and glowed blue for a few seconds, then appeared normal again. Ares looked at the half of the Chakram both confused, and angrily. Ares waved his hand again to disappear, but once again the Chakram became charged with electricity. Ares then looked over his shoulder and saw a horse on the ridge. Ares then dropped the Chakram waved his hand and successfully disappeared.
From high on the ridge looking down at the crosses, Amarice who was on horseback, quickly turned to Eli who was on foot. "Did you see that Eli?"
Eli sadly looked up at Amarice. "See what?"
"There was someone down there."
Eli looked up at Amarice and shook his head. "No I didn't see anyone!"
"Yeah there was someone there and then he disappeared."
Amarice took a deep breath, and slowly nodded. "yeah . . . I know! It sounds crazy . . . Just, just forget it. Let's just get down there and get Xena's and Gabrielle's bodies down."
Amarice began to ride down the hillside when Eli yelled, "Wait! What if there are still guards down there?"
Amarice pulled on the reins to stop the horse. She looked back towards Eli as if to say 'What are you talking about' as Eli stuttered, "Maybe we should wait and make sure the guards are really gone."
"No!" Amarice shouted. "I'm not going to leave them on those crosses for one more minute . . . Your either their friend, or your not."
Eli nodded as if to say 'all right'.
"Good," said Amarice, "then let's go." Amarice then rode off down the hillside to her friends, as Eli followed behind.
The snow continued to fall as Amarice and Eli got Xena and Gabrielle's bodies down from the crosses. As they stood over their departed friends, out of the silence, Amarice heard a crunch in the snow behind her. Thinking that a Roman soldier may still be around Amarice drew her sword and began scouting. As she approached an empty supply wagon, she slowly peaked around the corner. Then someone from behind grabbed her sword with one hand, twisted her arm behind her back with the other and slammed her up against the wagon. Then in a determined voice Amarice's attacker said, "I don't know who you are or what you plan on doing with Xena and Gabrielle but they are my friends, and I'm taking them home."
Amarice still pinned up against the side of the wagon, muttered, "Your Xena's friend?"
"Yes! My name is Joxer! And I'm taking Xena home."
Eli seeing the scuffle quickly approached. "Who are you, and what are you doing with Amarice?"
Joxer became more nervous with the presence of another person. "Who are you two?"
"My name is Eli and this is Amarice."
Joxer eased up a bit. "Eli? As in the peace loving Eli?" Eli smiled. "Well, yes, but . . . ."
Joxer had eased up on holding Amarice which gave her some room for escape. She quickly threw a reverse elbow to Joxer's head which sent him stumbling backwards a few steps and caused him to drop Amarce's sword. She quickly picked up the sword and pointed it at Joxer. "Hands in the air!" she shouted.
Joxer put his hands in the air as Eli said, "Amarice wait, i think this really is Joxer."
Americe looked at Eli and said, "Oh yeah, Xena always said he was . . .kind of a klutz"
Joxer rolled his eyes. "Oh Yeah! I'm Joxer the Mighty. And I didn't seem to klutzy a minute ago. Did I little girl?"
Eli rolled his eyes and smiled. "Now that does sound like the Joxer Xena described."
Amarice still untrustful asked, "Yeah but can he prove it? And how did he know Xena would be here?"
Joxer looked at Eli, and then at Amarice as he said, "Do either you know where Xena wanted to be buried?"
Amarice shook her head no, but Eli nodded. "yes, she mentioned it once." Joxer slowly put his arms down as he said, "She wanted to be buried with her brother."
Amarice looked at Eli for confirmation. "That's right! Amarice you can put your sword down."
Amarice lowered her sword as Eli approached Joxer with his hand outstretched. "I'm Eli, and that is Amarice."
As Joxer shook Eli's hand he looked towards Xena's & Gabrielle's bodies. "yeah, Gabrielle told me all about you. but she never mentioned Amarice."
Eli turned his head back towards where Xena's & Gabrielle's bodies laid. "Would you like to see Xena & Gabrielle now?"
Joxer bit his lip as slowly walked towards where Xena & Gabrielle laid. When Joxer got with in a few feet of his best friends bodies, he collapsed to his knees.
Joxer first set eyes on Xena. Immediately his eyes welled up with tears. "Oh Xena!" whispered Joxer as he shook his head. Joxer then gazed upon the lifeless body of Gabrielle, realizing he never got the chance to tell her how he really felt about her. Joxer closed his eyes for a moment, perhaps to pray or perhaps to relive the past, but it was clear he didn't want to be here and see Xena & Gabrielle like this.
Joxer slowly brushed his hand against Gabrielle's cheek. "I'm sorry. I'm sorry I wasn't here for you."
Joxer took a deep breath to try and calm his nerves as Eli put his hand on Joxer's shoulder. "Joxer! We should get them inside."
Joxer silently nodded in agreement as tears began to roll down his face.
A determined Ares reappeared in the halls of Tartarus. "Hades," shouted the god of war.
"Hades where are you?"
Ares angrily drew his sword as he screamed once again for Hades to appear. "Hades, I demand your presence here right now."
After a few more silent moments a voice echoed. "Ares, what do you want?"
Ares turned around and quickly approached Hades who was standing next to a large boulder. "Hades I want an explanation."
Hades shook his head as Ares continued. "I want to know why you let Callisto out, and I want to know why you let her kill Xena?"
Hades shook his head as he tried to explain. "Ares, I didn't let Callisto out" Ares raised his eyebrow curiously. "What?
"Do you mean you let her escape?"
Hades began to pace as he continued. "She didn't escape either . . . I haven't had Callisto in years."
Ares sheathed his sword and looked at Hades as if he were nuts."Wait a minute. She was killed with the hind's blood dagger. She died! So . . . If she didn't come back here then. where did she . . . ."
Ares paused for a moment and swallowed as Hades silently nodded.
Ares stepped back from Hades and shook his head. "No!"
"I want to see Xena!"
Hades shook his. "Xena's not here either."
Ares glared at Hades for a moment, then turned and began to walk away.
"Ares," Hades shouted, "other than Poseidon, Zeus and I, you are the only god who knows the truth . . . Let's keep it that way!"
Ares gazed back at Hades, and gave him a cold stare. Ares then took a few more steps, waved his hand and disappeared.
As screams of torment echoed throughout the flame filled caverns, a beaten and bruised Callisto sat in a corner rocking back and forth as she screamed, "Where are you?!?"
"Why Callisto I'm right here!" An image of a laughing Gabrielle then appeared before her. Callisto got up and in a fierce rage, charged Gabrielle. Callisto lunged for her but the image quickly vanished as Callisto crashed head first into a wall.
Callisto slowly got up as Xena appeared before her. Callisto's hatred intensified as she stared at Xena. "You bitch!" Callisto growled like a wild animal and with every ounce of rage and anger she could muster, charged Xena. But instead of disappearing, Xena side stepped Callisto and caught her by the throat.
Xena squeezed as she lifted Callisto off the ground. "Callisto. You have failed me."
She then let go of Callisto's throat and Callisto fell the scorched rocks beneath her.
As Callisto coughed and gaged trying to catch her breath she arose to her knees "You!"
Xena began to pace back and forth and with a grin on her face said, "I hope you like the form I chose to appear to you in?" Callisto didn't say a word nor did she try to get up as Xena continued. "I gave you the simple task of bringing back Xena's soul. And what did you do? . . . You broke the only rule you were given.
"You were told to not physically interfere! That you victory must be a spiritual one. Why do you think I gave you that rule?" Callisto swallowed in fear as she shook her head.
Xena shrugged her shoulders in disgust. "Now that you have killed Xena you have done the one thing that should never have happened," Xena gazed upwards for a moment, then looked back down at Callisto, "you've brought Him into all this."
Callisto looked up at Xena with a confused look on her face and asked, "Him?"
Xena approached Callisto, knelt down next to her and began to stroke Callisto's hair. "Now, now Callisto. All is not lost. You see . . . He, always seems to follow his own rules. You can still make it up to me."
Callisto pushed Xena's hand away, stood up and took a few steps backwards. "No," Callisto nervously said while shaking her head, "I did what you asked. Xena wouldn't lay down her sword let alone give me give me her soul. There's was nothing I could do. I did everything you said. its not my fault Xena has a conscience. "I won't help you any more. Beat me, crucify me, slit my wrists. it doesn't matter, I'm all ready dead. I've lost everything thanks to Xena. She's beaten me! . . . She's won! . . . I give up.!"
Callisto then fell to her hands and knees as she whispered under her breath. "I give up!"
Xena approached and patted Callisto on the back. "Fine. I understand Callisto. You don't have to do anything you don't want to."
Xena then turned her back to Callisto and began to walk away. Xena then stopped and grinned a grin only someone with a devious idea could. "I'm sure your sister will be much more willing to cooperate."
Callisto looked up at Xena and in a ragged voice said, "No . . . my sister wouldn't be here. She never did anything that would cause her to be here. She was only a child when she died."
Xena knowing she hit Callisto's one soft spot, smiled. "I never said your sister was dead."
Callisto's breathing became heavier. "What? Of coarse she's dead!"
Xena turned around and faced Callisto. "No Callisto, she's not!"
Xena approached Callisto, knelt down beside her and with a wave of Xena's hand an image appeared before Callisto. "Is that not your sister? Oh sure she's a little older and dressed differently, but . . . that's her."
Callisto stared at the image as her eyes welled up with tears. "No!" Callisto screamed, "No! She's . . . she's alive!?!"
Callisto began to shake uncontrollably, her breathing became more erratic as she watched this image of her sister. "She's so, beautiful."
Xena smiled, as she stood back up. "Like I said, I'm sure your sister will be much more cooperative."
Xena then turned and began to quickly walk away. Callisto shook her head as she screamed, "No!. Wait!!"
Xena stopped as Callisto yelled at the top of her lungs. "You leave her alone! You hear me?"
Callisto gazed upon the image once more as her voice softened. "I'll do whatever you want. Just leave my sister alone. Don't make her suffer as I have. I'll do anything"
Xena smiled and nodded, "Good.!"
As Xena turned around to face Callisto once again, she morphed into Hercules' lost love Serena. "Oh, one more thing. You'll be getting your orders from someone else for the time being."
Callisto, looked up at Serena, her eyes still filled with tears and in a soft beaten sounding voice said, "How will I know who it is?"
Serena smiled and said, "You'll know!" Callisto then asked, "Where are you going?"
Serena smiled. "Why, I have an appointment with the mighty Hercules."
Serena then turned, took a few steps, then with a gust of wind, she disappeared.
Callisto quickly turned to where the image of her sister was, but the image was gone.
Still kneeling on the hot rocky ground, Callisto thought how all those years she wasted on avenging her families death now seemed unimportant. As tears began streaming down her cheeks, thoughts of her little sister ran through her mind and not even the scorching heat could overpower the chill she now felt inside of her.
As the afternoon wore on Eli, Joxer and Amarice carefully brought Xena & Gabrielle's bodies inside the now empty prison and placed them on a wooden table, As Joxer stood silently next lo his departed friends, Eli motioned for Amarice to follow him outside. "Amarice," he whispered, "come on. Let's give him a few minutes."
Amarice shook her head as she whispered. "No Eli. I was their friend too."
Amarice took a deep breath to compose herself. "I," Amarice bit her lip to keep herself from breaking down as she continued. " I miss them too."
Eli nodded as he placed his hand on Amarice's shoulder. "I know. But remember you saw them just yesterday. Joxer hasn't seen them for long time. And besides he was their dearest friend. Let's just give him a few minutes alone."
Amarice reluctantly nodded as Eli put his arm around her shoulders. Amarice and Eli then exited the room leaving Joxer alone with Xena and Gabrielle.
"Xena," Joxer said under his breath as he shook his head, "I should have been here with you."
Joxer paused for a moment then took a deep breath. "I will carry out your last wish Xena. I will take you home to be buried with your brother. I promise."
Joxer looked at Gabrielle as he wiped the tears from his eyes. "Gabrielle, I know you didn't think much of me. I know I was just an annoyance to you, but . . . I would have died for you."
Joxer removed his coat and slowly draped it over the heads of Xena and Gabrielle as tears rolled down his face. Joxer then turned and slowly began to leave the room to find Eli and Amarice.
As he walked away from the table Xena and Gabrielle's bodies began to glow. Joxer stopped for a moment. As the glow from Xena and Gabrielle faded Joxer gazed back towards Xena and Gabrielle and shook his head as he spoke to himself. "Joxer, you losing it." He then continued on his way to leave the room.
As Joxer approached the doorway he heard a loud gasp for air. He quickly turned around too see Xena sitting up trying to remove the fur from her face.
Joxer rubbed his eyes in disbelief, looked again and still saw Xena sitting up. He screamed, "Xena!" as he rushed over to her side. He quickly threw the coat aside and saw that Xena was indeed alive. "Xena, your alive!?!"
Joxer nervously looked at Xena and then shouted, "Eli, Amarice, get in here!!"
Xena was shivering uncontrollably as she looked at Joxer and said, "Gabrielle?"
Joxer then looked at Gabrielle who was still laying on the table but seemed to be shivering as well.
Amarice rushed into the room with her sword drawn ready for battle. When she saw Xena sitting up, she dropped her sword at her feet. Eli slowly walked in with his eyes to the ground. "What's happening Amar . . . ."
Eli paused in mid sentence as he looked up and saw Xena sitting up. Eli just stood silently in shock as Joxer waved Amarice over. "Amarice, your coat!"
Amarice quickly took off her coat and walked towards the table. Joxer switched sides, picked up his coat and covered Gabrielle. Amarice covered Xena with her coat as Eli still stood silently in shock at the whole situation.
As Gabrielle sat up she pulled the coat tightly around her. "Xena," Gabrielle said in between shivers, "are you all right?"
Xena nodded as Eli finally approached the table with a goofy look on his face and put his hand on Xena's shoulder. "Your alive? Your all right! I . . . I don't believe it."
Xena then looked at Gabrielle and smiled. "Looks like we made it huh?"
Gabrielle grinned. "Yeah, I guess we did."
As Xena rubbed her hands together for warmth she turned to Eli and said, "How did you guys get passed the guards?"
Amarice looked at Eli then looked at Xena and said, "We didn't. They've been gone since last night."
Xena looked at Amarice with a stunned look on her face. "Last night? What are you talking about.?"
Amarice's eyes widened in confusion. "Huh?"
Xena looked at Gabrielle and Joxer then said, "Last night? What are you talking about Amarice?"
Amarice took a deep breath, looked at Eli and nodded in the direction of Xena. Eli folded his arms in confusion. "Xena maybe you shouldn't talk right now."
Xena still shivering shook her head. "No. What do you mean last night. Didn't you guys just now came back and get us down from the crosses?"
Gabrielle then in a fearful voice whispered, "Xena, Xena!"
Xena looked back at Gabrielle as if she were annoyed by the interruption. "What is it?"
"Look at your hands Xena."
Xena grimaced in annoyance. "My hands?"
Xena then pulled her hands out from under the coat and saw what Gabrielle must have seen, nothing. No blood, no hole from the spikes, only a scare that appeared to be years old remained on the palms of her hands.
Xena more confused now than before shook her head. "What is going on here? How long have we been here?"
Eli put his hand on Xena's shoulder as he softly spoke. "You were crucified yesterday Xena"
"What?" Xena said under her breath, "how could we survive on the crosses for that long?"
Eli shrugged his shoulders unknowingly as he continued. "Me and Amarice came back this morning, and got you down, no I should say got your bodies down from the crosses."
Gabrielle's breathing became more rapid. "Our bodies?"
Amarice then shouted, "Oh just tell them! . . . You two were dead!"
Xena's pulse began to race as her trembling from the cold turned into trembling from fear. "No. If we were dead then, what are are we doing here!?!"
Gabrielle closed her eyes as she took a deep breath. "Joxer," she said still shivering, "I could use something to drink."
Joxer nodded. "Yeah, me too.
"Oh you mean something to help warm you? . . . I'll go over to to the guards kitchen and get you something."
Joxer then began to leave as Amarice quickly followed. "I'm leaving too,"
Amarice smiled in embarrassment as she continued, "I mean I'll get Xena something."
Eli smiled as Amarice and Joxer exited. "Are you guys sure your all right? Do you need anything else?"
Xena nodded. "well, some clothes would be nice."
Eli nodded. "I'll se what I can find." Eli then took a few steps closer to the table and hugged Xena. Xena smiled as he stepped back and then approached Gabrielle.
Gabrielle looked at Eli, then hung her head in a regretful manner. "Eli. I . . . I departed from my way."
Eli placed his hands on Gabrielle's shoulders as he grinned. "it's all right Gabrielle. We'll talk about it later. The important thing is you and Xena are OK.
Gabrielle smiled as her and Eli hugged. Eli slowly stepped away from Gabrielle. "I won't be gone long."
As Eli left the room Gabrielle got up from the table; still wrapped in Joxer's coat, she began to slowly pace the room. "If we were dead, then how come we don't remember anything?
"I don't remember being in Tartarus or the Elysian Fields."
Gabrielle looked at Xena who just stared into space for a moment before breaking the silence. "Gabrielle. I remember something."
Gabrielle rushed back to Xena's side. "What? What do you remember?"
Xena smirked as she looked at Gabrielle. "A light. A very bright light."
Gabrielle smiled. "I remember a light too." "You do?"
Gabrielle nodded. "Yeah. It was like when you look into the sun, but it didn't really blind me. it was just sorta there, almost . . . ."
Xena cut off Gabrielle's sentence as she whispered, "Like a glow."
Gabrielle shook her head in disbelief. "Where were we Xena?"
Xena shrugged her shoulders as a male voice rang out. "Where indeed?"
Xena quickly looked around the room and in the far corner next to the jail cell saw the god of war casually leaning up against the wall. Xena gave Ares an unwelcomed stare as she whispered, "Ares!"
Xena glared at the god of war and said, "Ares, what are you doing here?"
Ares still leaning against the wall chuckled sarcastically. "So nice to see you too Xena."
Ares began to walk towards Xena and Gabrielle as he continued. "In fact, it's especially nice to see you, since just this morning you two were dead."
Gabrielle sat down on the edge of the table as she made sure she was covered by the fur. Ares grinned as he looked at Gabrielle. "Gabrielle," Ares smiled and in an excited voice shouted, "Your alive!"
Ares then quickly approached Gabrielle and gave her a big hug as Xena looked on shocked and Gabrielle's eyes widened with surprise. Ares then pushed himself away and shook his head.
Now that Ares was closer, Xena could see that he looked as if he had a hang over or had just been in a battle. As Ares ran his hands through his hair in frustration he said, "Xena, we have to talk."
Ares grabbed Xena by the wrist for her to follow "We have to talk right now, in . . . ."
After several seconds of silence Xena asked, "In?"
Ares let go of Xena as he clinched his teeth. "I was going to say in private, but I have this overwhelming urge to let Gabrielle stay."
Gabrielle's eyes widened in confusion. "Huh?"
Ares inhaled then exhaled to calm his seemingly frazzled nerves. "Xena we have a problem!
"Let me, no!
"Do you remember the day you found the Chakram?"
Xena looked at Gabrielle then turned her head and stared into space. She remembered the screams of the last virgin priestess as Xena's second in command Dagnin plunged his sword into the young woman's chest.
"Xena!" Dagnin shouted, "what should we do with their bodies?."
Xena shuddered at what she ordered her men to do. But her thoughts quickly turned to the power that awaited inside the temple. "Leave 'em there to rot!"
Xena remembered the day she found the Chakram, she remembered all to well.
As Xena shook off her gaze into time, she stared at the god of war then answered. "I remember Ares. Although I wish I didn't."
Ares smirked. "Yeah, yeah, yeah!. Xena, do you remember the moment you found the Chakram. Do you remember what happened?"
Xena once again gazed into time. She remembered going down a long corridor lit only by a few flickering torches on the walls. As Xena rounded the last corner she saw a faint bluish glow at the end of the tunnel. Xena with sword drawn was ready for an attack that would never come. As she approached the the end of the corridor she hesitated for a moment. While she knew that the mysterious old man that promised her this power was no shyster, she also knew that Alti would not approve of her doing this on her own. But the promise of this power was too much to deny. Xena took a deep breath then stepped through the doorway.
The bright blue light faded into a small glow that was emitted from a circular altar in the middle of the large circular room. Encircling the outer edge of the room were bronze statues of the gods of Olympus, each holding a dimly lit torch. As Xena reluctantly approached the waist high circular altar, she could see the glow didn't actually come from the altar but from the Chakram, which was suspended horizontally in the middle. As Xena examined the Chakram she heard an elderly man's voice. "Xena, this is it."
Xena quickly looked up and on the opposite side of the altar stood the same old man dressed in a black robe who told her about the Chakram. "This is the weapon that will give you the power of the gods. And all you have to do take it."
Xena grinned as she reached for the Chakram but the old man waved his hand which sent a electrical charge through Xena's hand to stop her. "Ahh! What did you do that for?"
"Oh Xena, it's not that easy," the old man chuckled,. "it takes two people to remove this weapon."
Xena looked at the old man and smiled. "That's where you come in, isn't it?"
The old man smiled. "Very good Xena . . . It takes to souls to remove the weapon. Two souls who are willing to be bound by the weapon."
Xena smirked at the old man in contempt. "What do you mean bound?"
The old man's tone became a bit more serious as he explained. "I mean part of you will be bound to me and part of me will be bound to you. The bond will be unbreakable.
"Unlike a sword, knife, mace, or any other weapon that has a point or an end, the Chakram is a circle. It is seamless, No beginning and no end. Thus shall our destinies be."
Xena raised her eyebrow suspiciously. "Why do you want to give this power to me? And what stops you from taking the Chakram for yourself old man?"
The old man shrugged his shoulders "Let's just say that I know talent when I see it and I think you and this weapon are destined for each other.
"As far as trusting me, well you just have to ask yourself if you want the Chakram bad enough to take the risk?"
Xena thought for a moment then nodded. "I'll take the risk."
The old man smiled as Xena gazed down at the Chakram. "What do we do?"
The old man placed his hand next to the Chakram ready to grab it. "On the count of 3 we must grab the Chakram at exactly the same time. Oh, and no matter what happens don't let go."
Xena nodded as she placed her hand opposite the old man's. "1, 2, 3"
As Xena and the old man grabbed the Chakram simultaneously, a bright flash of light came from the Chakram which forced Xena to turn her head and close her eyes. The Chakram glowed an intense blue on the half nearest to Xena and glowed red nearest the old man, with a sharp division of the two colors in the middle. After a few brief moments the blue and red glow began to slowly revolve around the Chakram. After a few seconds the speed began to pick up. The two colors revolved faster and faster around the Chakram. The two colors blended together and eventually faded into oblivion as the light faded and the room darkened.
Xena slowly opened her eyes and looked at the Chakram. She then looked at the old man who was just grinning. "That's it Xena," he said as he let go of the Chakram.
Xena quickly pulled the Chakram towards her to closely examine the weapon by the light of the flickering torches. "That's it?"
But no answer came forth. She raised her head and looked around the room, but the old man was no where to be seen. Xena grinned and said, "All for the better. I was going to kill you anyway old man."
Xena quickly shook off her gaze into the past. She realized that even though these memories were vivid, they were just that, memories.
"Do you remember the day you found the Chakram?" Ares asked again.
"I remember Ares.!"
Are grinned. "Good, then I'm sure you remember what the old man told you?"
Xena glared at Ares. "How did you know about the . . . You were the old man."
Ares grinned and nodded, but Xena was not amused. "Ares, you son of a . . . ."
Ares raised his hand. "Now, now Xena . . . No your right! She is a bitch."
Xena just sat on the edge of the table as she shook her head in disbelief. "Ares, I don't believe this."
Ares shrugged his shoulder. "Well Xena, believe it. I know this is all quite a shock to you but . . . . "
"Quite a shock!?!" Xena shouted.
"All these years I've felt this bond with you, I always just thought it was my dark past haunting me. Now I find out I don't have a choice in the matter."
Ares nodded with a bit of regret on his face. "Xena, do remember what I told you about the Chakram? It has no beginning and no end. One can not be without the other. We are one, yada, yada, yada."
Xena looked at the frazzled looking Ares as she smiled. "You've lost you powers? haven't you?"
"Of coarse not!" Ares snapped back.
"Only . . . only some of them!"
Xena looked at Gabrielle who just sat silently with her jaw wide open. Ares then gazed over at Gabrielle once again. "Gabrielle are you sure your all right?"
Gabrielle looked up at Ares who stood with his fists clinched. Ares took a deep breath then looked at Xena once more. "Xena, that's not the only thing."
Ares paused for a moment, then continued in an annoyed voice. "I seem to . . . have your compassion for Gabrielle."
Gabrielle's eyes widened. "Huh?"
Ares began to nervously pace back and forth as he tried to explain the situation. "You see. The bond is forever. Once we are bonded, that's it."
Ares ran his hands through his hair once again. "But the catch to al this is that Callisto somehow managed to break an unbreakable weapon. Which instead of breaking our bond, it just seems to have separated it unevenly."
Gabrielle looked at Xena and nodded. "Sort of like, a salt covenant?"
Xena's breathing became heavier as Gabrielle continued. "You gave Ares a pinch of your salt and he gave you a pinch of his. You both mixed up the other's salt in with your own. Then when the Chakram was broken, it was like trying to get back every single grain of your salt from his bag. Am I right?"
Xena just smirked at Gabrielle. "Where do you come up with this stuff?"
Ares just smiled as he approached and gave Gabrielle another hug. "Your a genius Gabrielle."
Ares quickly pushed himself away from Gabrielle once again. "Xena we have to do something."
Xena gazed up at Ares. "What? So I can give you your powers back? Maybe it will do you some good to see Gabrielle the way I do."
Ares, a bit shocked at Xena's response asked, "What?"
"Your still the god of war, right? . . . So you've lost some of your powers, so what? In case you haven't noticed, we just came back from the dead and we have no idea how we did it or even where we were.
"We've got bigger problems than to worry about you."
Ares' nostrils flared in anger as a familiar female voice echoed throughout the room.
"Oh Xena, your so right. You do have bigger problems to deal with."
Xena, Gabrielle and Ares quickly looked around the room and saw Callisto standing in the far corner. Callisto grinned and said, "You have me to worry about."
Xena, Gabrielle and Ares all glared at Callisto as she slowly approached with her hands innocently behind her back and a grin on her face. "Oh Xena. You're so right. You do have much bigger problems to worry about than to help the washed up god of war regain his powers."
Ares stared at Callisto as his lips curled in anger. "Callisto, your responsible for all this. And believe me I am going to make you pay just as soon as . . . ."
"As what?" Callisto chuckled. "As soon as you get the Chakram?"
Callisto then pulled the broken Chakram from behind her back and smiled. "Too late!."
Callisto began laughing as Ares drew his sword and took several wild swings at Callisto, each of which was blocked by a force field that appeared around her.
"Oh Ares," Callisto said with a smile on her face. "You don't possibly stand a chance against me in your weakened state."
Ares glared at Callisto as Xena finally spoke. "What is it that you want Callisto? Do you want my soul? I wouldn't give that to you to save our lives, do you really think I'd give up my soul, or whatever it you and your lord wanted, for the Chakram?"
Callisto began to confidently pace back and forth. "Oh No Xena. I know you won't give up your soul just for the Chakram, believe me, I know."
Xena smirked at Callisto. "Then what do you want? To kill us? That didn't seem to work either."
Callisto grinned. "Oh yeah, killing you . . . Well see, I wasn't supposed to harm you physically Xena. It's sort of a rule that we have to follow. No physical interference."
Gabrielle shook her head. "But you did physically interfere."
Callisto looked at Gabrielle and smiled. "Oops."
Callisto began laughing again. "Yeah but as you can see it didn't take."
Callisto's tone then changed from confident to angry. "And believe me, I've payed for killing you Xena. I won't make the same mistake again."
Callisto took a deep breath, looked at the broken Chakram and began to stroke it. She then gazed back up at Xena and as her tone turned confident once again said, "Anyway Xena, I'm here for another reason. You see, Ares didn't tell you everything about the Chakram."
Callisto gazed up at Ares then snickered, "Or maybe he just doesn't know? You know how men are about reading directions?"
Ares just continued to stare at Callisto as she continued. "You see Xena, Ares is right about your bond being unbreakable. But what he didn't tell you is that if the Chakram is placed back on the altar, not only will the Chakram be repaired but it can then bond two new people."
Xena just sat quietly as she stared at Callisto with her piercing blue eyes. Callisto knew she was getting under Xena's skin and just smiled as she became more confident with every word she spoke. "Of coarse, since I'm all ready dead it wouldn't do me any good to bond myself with another person"
Callisto smiled as she looked a the Chakram then looked back at Xena. "Or would it?"
Ares took a deep breath as he took a step towards Callisto. "What are you talking about?"
Callisto looked at Ares. "Oh I think you know, if you just think about it."
Ares shifted his eyes over towards Xena then quickly shifted them back towards the still grinning Callisto who nodded. "That's right Ares. I can use the Chakram's bonding power as a doorway, a doorway into the person I'm bonding to."
Xena stood up and in a disgusted voice said, "So what does this have to do with me?"
Callisto smiled as she began pacing the floor again. "Oh nothing. But it does have something to do with . . . Eric, no Leon,"
Callisto turned around and smiled, "No, Eli! . . . That's right Xena. Your peaceful little friend will be my gateway back into this life."
Callisto looked at Gabrielle and smiled. "Although I would have preferred to enter into Gabrielle's body. After all, I've all ready been Xena. It would have been a lot fo fun to become Gabrielle, but Eli was much easier to capture."
Callisto gazed back at Xena once more and said, "The next time you see Eli, he'll be me!"
Callisto began laughing as she held up the two peaces of the broken Chakram for Xena to see, then with a gust of wind Callisto disappeared.
Ares shrugged his shoulders. "I don't know . . . But she is telling the truth about placing the Chakram back on the altar. If she does not only will it be free to bond two different people but our bond will remain incomplete. I'll have your compassion for Gabrielle and you'll have half of my powers as well as anything else we may have of each other's."
Xena turned to Gabrielle. "Gabrielle, go find Joxer and Amarice and tell them we leave immediately."
Gabrielle shook her head. "But . . . ."
"Just do it!"
As Gabrielle left the room still wrapped in Joxer's coat, Xena gazed up at Ares. "All right Ares. First tell me everything about the Chakram, everything."
Ares reluctantly nodded. "And?"
"And, I want to know where me and Gabrielle where the time we were dead. I have a feeling wherever we were has something to do with all this."
Ares looked at Xena for a moment then said, "You were In the Elysian Fields."
Xena shook her head and smiled. "No, we weren't. Now I know that you know where we were. By telling me that we were in the Elysian Fields, I know your hiding something.
"Now I want to know where we were"
Ares took a deep breath and nodded in agreement. "Xena . . . ."
After a few seconds of silence Ares shook his head. "No, I can't tell you Xena.
"I can't tell you because I don't know."
Xena silently looked into Ares eyes. "OK," she nodded, "If that's how you want to play then fine. Let's just go get Eli and the Chakram before it's too late."
As Xena turned to walk away Ares grabbed her by the arm. "Xena wait. We have to talk."
Xena gazed up at Ares curiously. "Ok! What do we have to talk about?"
Ares let go of Xena's arm and took a deep breath. "Xena, I have to ask you a question."
Ares began to pace nervously. "Xena how do you plan on getting to the temple of Zeus? It will take days to get there and by then Callisto will have reformed the Chakram."
Xena shrugged her shoulders and looked at Ares. "What do you mean how do I plan on getting there. You'll just teleport us there . . . wait. Don't tell me?"
Ares nodded. "I've lost some of my powers remember?"
Xena confused looked at Ares and said, "I know, but you just appeared in here . . . ."
Ares cut off Xena's question. "Well yeah, I can come and go as I please. But I can't seem to take anything with me."
Ares then remembered when he tried to take the Chakram with him earlier that day but couldn't. Ares then shook off the silence. "Believe me Xena, if I could we wouldn't even be in this mess."
Xena stood silently for a moment then in a soft regretful voice said, "Ares! We don't have days. I could care less about Callisto or the Chakram, but Eli is in danger. We have to do something.
"Wait a minute. If you've lost the power, that means I have it."
Ares shook his head. "It won't work Xena. it takes time to be able to control your powers . . . ."
Xena cut off Ares once again as she shouted, "It will work!!
"For Eli's sake it has to work . . . I'm going to go find the others so we can get into the nearest town and find some clothes and weapons and then save Eli."
As Xena turned and left the room Ares nodded and spoke to himself. "If Callisto's master is who I think he is, saving Eli is the least of our problems."
By first light the next morning Xena, Gabrielle, Joxer and Amarice had reached the nearest town at the foot of the mountain range. Before leaving the prison compound they searched for clothes and weapons but all that were found were a few rags and a knife. Xena knew those would be of no use, so first on the agenda was to find new armor and weapons, then rescue Eli.
As soon as the town's marketplace opened Xena and Gabrielle began their search for their clothes while Joxer and Amarice patiently waited for Xena and Gabrielle's return. Xena was the first to emerge from the morning rush of the market place. "Well," Xena said adjusting her outfit, "what do you think?"
Joxer snickered as he shook his head. "It looks almost exactly like your old outfit."
Xena nodded. "Well yeah, that's the point."
Gabrielle soon followed wearing a burnt orange warrior outfit. As she approached, Joxer's eyes almost popped out of his head as he stuttered. "Uh, nice legs, uh skirt, uh . . . ."
Amarice rolled her eyes at Joxer's gushing over Gabrielle. "Figures, all men are all the same. Even the ones who aren't very manly."
Xena began to quickly walk out of town as she waved for the others too follow.
Xena quickly gained a large head start leaving Gabrielle and the others well behind her. After Xena got about a half mile outside of town she spotted Ares at the top the next hill. Xena quickly walked up the hill and her and Ares waited for the others to catch up.
Gabrielle was the first to catch up to Xena. "Xena," Gabrielle said in between attempts to catch her breath, "what is the hurry? And I thought we were gonna try and find some horses?"
"I was just going over the plan with Ares, and we won't need the horses Gabrielle."
As Joxer and Amarice reached the top of the hill Ares said, "OK. Now that everyone is here can we do this?"
Gabrielle shook her head. "Do what? Xena? I thought you said that Ares couldn't help get us there?"
Ares looked at Gabrielle and grinned. "That's true. But what powers I've lost, Xena's gained. With a little team work this should work. believe me, this is not my idea."
Gabrielle approached Xena and grabbed her wrist. "What are you going to do?" Xena smirked at Gabrielle. "Just stand back."
Gabrielle let go of Xena and took a few steps back as Ares and Xena turned and faced each other. Xena put out both her hands and Ares grabbed them. "Just do exactly what I told you to Xena."
Xena nodded and closed her eyes. After a few moments of deep concentration a bright flash lit up the hillside as a vortex appeared. Xena and Ares let go of each other's hands. Xena approached the vortex and waved for the others. "Come on Gabrielle. This is how we're going to get to the temple.
"Hurry, we don't have much time."
Gabrielle looked at Xena, then took a deep breath. "OK," Gabrielle with a running start, jumped into the vortex and disappeared.
At Xena's order, Joxer and Amarice reluctantly jumped in next and Xena jumped in last just.
Ares stood motionless on top of the hill. As the vortex vanished Ares shook his head. "I hope this worked." Ares then waved his hand and disappeared.
A countryside away another vortex appeared as Xena, Gabrielle, Joxer and Amarice flew out of it and fell to the ground. The second vortex disappeared as Xena got up.
As Gabrielle began to slowly get up Ares offered to help her up with his outstretched hand.
Gabrielle rolled her eyes as she got up on her own. "Thanks any way Ares," Gabrielle said sarcastically.
As Gabrielle brushed the dirt from her, she looked up at an enormous temple. "Did it work? Is this the place?"
Ares nodded. "This is the place."
Joxer and Amarice slowly got up and approached the foot of the stairway that lead inside the temple. Joxer looked up in awe at the sheer size of the temple.
Gabrielle made sure her boots were laced and Amarice drew her sword. But Xena just stood silently and stared into space as she once again remembered the screams of the virgin priestess and the last virgin's final words.
As Dagnin pointed his sword at the virgin, Xena approached the young woman and softly whispered. "Tell me where the Chakram is."
The virgin shook her head as tears rolled down her face."No. Zeus gave us specific orders to never reveal where the Chakram is. I won't tell you."
Xena smirked at the virgin. "Even if it means dying?"
The virgin swallowed in fear, then nodded. "Yes, even if it means dying."
Xena shook her head in disgust. "You pathetic fool. Placing your faith in the gods?"
Xena then looked at Dagnin. "Kill her!"
Xena turned her back and began to walk away as the haunting scream of the virgin's last breath pierced Xena's soul. And that moment haunted Xena to this very day. Xena shook off her gaze into time and looked at Ares."What, what did you say?"
Ares a bit worried, looked at Xena. "Are you ready?"
Ares and Xena slowly walked up the stairs to the temple doors. Ares slowly pushed the door open and slowly entered. Xena waved for the others follow. Xena and Ares took the lead, with Gabrielle and Amarice close behind, and Joxer following last.
They slowly went through the well lighted main hall of the temple, past the sleeping quarters and towards the back of the temple where the long corridor that Xena had walked down years ago was.
As Xena entered the long corridor, she noticed it looked exactly the same as it did years earlier. Darkness filled the hall, illuminated only by a few flickering torches. Ares followed Xena as he waved for the others to follow.
Gabrielle reluctantly drew her new sword, Amarice drew her sword as well, but unlike Gabrielle's nervousness, Amarice grew more alert, almost excited as they rounded the last corner of the hall. As Xena saw the same blue glow at the end of the tunnel she saw years before, she raised her hand motioning for the others too stop.
Xena turned around and whispered, "Remember the plan. If we get in trouble just stall her until we can get Ell freed and retrieve the Chakram."
Xena clinched her teeth as her and Ares began to take the last few strides to the altar room.
Inside the same circular altar room where Xena had first found the Chakram, Eli was tied to the altar with his hands only inches away from the Chakram. Callisto who was standing in between the altar and the entrance to the room looked back at Eli. "It won't be long now Eli. Xena's coming to rescue you."
Callisto then turned her head back to the entrance just in time to see Ares and Xena enter the room. "Oh Hello Xena," Callisto said with a bit of sarcasm. "Welcome to Eli's death, and my rebirth."
Ares and Xena split up. Ares followed the left wall and Xena followed the right wall. Ares drew his sword and said, "Rebirth huh? Don't count on it."
Callisto smiled as she took several steps backwards to the altar. "Oh Ares. Are you going to fight me. I have more power than you can even imagine."
Xena drew her sword as Callisto slowly approached the Chakram. "I think maybe your over estimating how much power your master would have given you Callisto."
Callisto smiled. "Oh, I don't think so."
Eli gazed up at Callisto as she stood directly across the altar from him. Eli nervously looked at Xena who said, "Eli just remain calm."
Callisto grabbed Eli's hand to try and force Eli to grab the Chakram with her. Xena screamed, "Now!"
Callisto looked back at Xena as an arrow shot Callisto right in the arm. Callisto turned around and as she pulled out the arrow and began laughing. "Xena did you actually think that was going to work?"
Xena grinned. "No, but it did."
Callisto confused at Xena's comment, turned around just in time to see Ares cutting Eli free from the altar. Callisto screamed, "No!."
As Ares ordered Eli to leave the room Callisto turned around once again and smiled. "Oh clever Xena. No matter, I'll just use someone else."
At that moment Gabrielle ran in the room and attacked Callisto. Gabrielle took several wild swings each of which was blocked by a force field. Callisto then waved her hand which sent Gabrielle flying through the air and into the wall.
Joxer ran in next and threw his cross bow at Callisto. Callisto's force field shattered his cross bow into a million pieces. Joxer yelled, "My Crossbow," as he drew his sword and attacked Callisto.
Callisto side stepped Joxer's charge and he fell face first into the ground. Callisto grinned. "pathetic idiot."
She then looked back at the altar just as Xena and Ares grabbed the Chakram simultaneously. Callisto growled. "No!!!!"
A bright flash of light lit up the room as the Chakram glowed blue nearest Xena, and red nearest Ares. The two colors quickly reversed directions, and then began to spin. Faster and faster until they faded into oblivion. The light faded and Ares let go of the Chakram and stumbled backwards.
Callisto picked up the sword that Gabrielle dropped and screamed. "Ahh! You two. I may not be able to kill Xena, but I am going to kill you Ares."
Callisto quickly approached Ares and raised her sword ready to strike. "Aren't you going to at least fight back?"
Ares grinned. "Fight back? Why Callisto, when I can get the god of war to do it for me."
Callisto cocked her head in confusion. "What?"
At that moment, from the left, a lightning bolt knocked the sword from Callisto's hands. Callisto turned around and saw Xena approaching. "What the," Callisto whispered.
Callisto's eyes then focused on Xena's sword, and saw that it was not Xena's, but it was Ares' sword.
"Ares sword." Callisto whispered.
Callisto snarled and screamed. "No! . . . What have you done?"
"What have you done Xena?" Callisto screamed once again.
Xena glared at Callisto. "Callisto you said before, that in Ares' weakened state he didn't stand a chance against you. You just basically told us that had he been at full strength he could have defeated you.
"But this is between me and you Callisto, not you and Ares. This little war between us is going to end once and for all."
Xena then shot a lightning bolt from her hand at Callisto which caused Callisto to fall to her knees. Callisto grimaced as Xena held Callisto at bay with the lightning.. After several moments Xena felt her strength leave her.
As Xena stopped shooting the lightning bolt, Callisto smiled and picked up the sword she had dropped moments earlier. "Oh Xena, the new god of war!?! I think you may have made a mistake. Your not used to using your powers. That gives me an advantage."
Callisto screamed as she charged Xena and took several swings with her sword, each of which were parried by Xena with Ares' sword.
Callisto's attack, forced the weakened Xena to fight defensively. As Callisto ducked a wild swing, Xena was thrown off balance. Callisto quickly threw a round-house kick to the wobbly Xena which sent Xena crashing to the ground.
Callisto grinned and gave her famous battle cry as she tossed her sword behind her and back flipped her way to the statue of Aphrodite. Callisto grabbed the torch from the statue and threw it at Joxer and Gabrielle who were watching the battle tucked behind the statue of Poseidon.
Xena rose to her feet and began to feel her new godly strength return. Xena then gave her battle cry as she took a running start, performed a forward flip and landed only feet from Callisto. Callisto quickly picked up her sword and took several more swings at Xena, each of which continued to be parried.
As Xena's strength continued to return she gained the upper hand once again. With each swing and thrust of Ares' sword Callisto took a step back. As Callisto blocked Xena's every strike, she began to laugh. "Just like old times hey Xena?"
Callisto then blocked one of Xena's forward thrusts by interlocking their respective swords. As Xena tried to regain control of her sword she said, "I'm glad you're enjoying this Callisto."
Callisto laughed hysterically and screamed once again at the top of her lungs. She then threw a knee to Xena's gut, stepped back, kicked Ares's sword from Xena's hand and quickly threw a round house kick to the back of Xena's legs which sent Xena crashing to the ground.
Callisto smiled as she pointed her sword at Xena's throat. "Oh Xena. It's been fun, but I told you you'd made a mistake."
At that moment Amarice ran in at full speed and took a swing at Callisto with her sword as Gabrielle screamed, "Amarice No!"
The blow had little affect on Callisto who just growled, quickly turned around and took a swing at Amarice. Amarice blocked Callisto's blow but was forced to one knee by Callisto's strength. Amarice then looked into Callisto's eyes and dropped her sword to the ground. Callisto raised her sword high in the air ready to strike but hesitated.
Callisto gazed down at Amarice for several moments then said, "Amarice, stay out of this."
As Callisto turned around, Amarice breathed a sigh of relief, quickly got up and rushed over to Gabrielle and Joxer. Callisto once again pointed her sword at the still down Xena.
Callisto's breathing became heavier as Xena stared up at Callisto. "Xena, you have killed my mother and father, destroyed my life and damned me to eternity in Hell. I will dedicate every moment of eternity to destroying you."
Callisto then raised her sword to strike but Xena waved her index finger. "ah, ah, ah Callisto. Rule number one. You're not allowed to kill me, remember?"
Callisto paused as Xena rolled out of the way and grabbed Ares' sword. Callisto ground her teeth, screamed and charged Xena in a blind rage. As Xena side stepped Callisto's charge she plunged Ares' sword into Callisto.
Callisto fell to the ground, smiled and looked up at Xena. "ah, ah, ah Xena. I'm all ready dead remember?"
Xena grinned. "I remember? But then again, I am a god."
Xena pulled the Chakram from her belt and threw it at the statue of Zeus. it ricocheted off Zeus' head, hit the archway over the entrance to the altar room, speed towards Callisto and crashed into Callisto's back. The force of the collision broke the Chakram in half as it, as well as Callisto fell to the ground. The moment she hit the ground a wall of flames engulfed Callisto. Xena shielded her eyes from the flames as she heard Callisto scream one last time. "No!!"
The flames then disappeared leaving only Ares' sword and the broken Chakram behind.
Xena still breathing heavy from the battle cautiously took a few steps, bent down and picked up Ares' sword. Gabrielle was the first to rush over towards Xena. "Is it over? Is she gone?"
Xena grinned and nodded. "it looks like it."
Eli then slowly peaked around the statue where he had been hiding and said, "Is everything safe?"
Xena chuckled as she waved over Eli. "it's safe Eli. Are you OK?"
Eli nodded as he approached Xena. "Yeah, I think so."
Eli took a deep breath and with a bit of regret in his voice said, "Xena, I'm sorry I got you into all this. I mean, you could have died trying to save me."
Xena shook her head. "No Eli. That's what friends are for."
Eli smiled and nodded. "Thank you Xena, Gabrielle, all of you . . . Thank you!"
Eli then hugged Xena and Gabrielle.
As Eli stepped back, Gabrielle smiled and shook her head. "what happened? I mean, you had the powers of a god."
As Ares slowly approached he said, "She still does."
Gabrielle confused, looked at Ares then back at Xena. "What do you mean?"
Xena placed her hand on Gabrielle's shoulder and grinned. "While you guys were distracting Callisto, Ares gave me his sword, so when we grabbed the Chakram his godhood would be transfered over too me."
Gabrielle shook her head. "But why? And why didn't say anything to me about this?
Xena gazed over at Ares then back and Gabrielle. "Remember when Callisto said that in Ares' weakened condition he didn't stand a chance against her?"
Gabrielle nodded as Xena continued. "Well we figured that if he was at full strength he could have defeated her? But I also knew that Callisto was after me, or my soul, or whatever. And she said that she made a mistake by physically interfering. She said that it was some rule she broke."
Gabrielle nodded, gazed down at the broken Chakram, picked it up and handed it to Xena. "But, how did you know that this would work.?"
Ares chuckled. "We didn't."
Gabrielle's eyes widened as Xena looked at Ares. Xena shook her head and smiled. "I knew it would."
Xena placed her hand on Gabrielle's shoulder once again and explained. "Gabrielle, I never had a chance to tell you this, but from the moment we woke up I've had this overwhelming feeling that I was sent back to set something right. Something that once went wrong.
"I even had this vision . . . ."
Gabrielle rolled her eyes as she cut off Xena in mid sentence. "Oh no, not another vision."
Xena laughed. "No, not that kind of vision. I saw the moment the Chakram hit Callisto. it repeated in my mind over and over. I think . . . I think it was a sign telling me how to finally settle this whole thing with Callisto."
Ares grinned as he shook his head. "The first rule in any act of retribution is to let the punishment fit the crime."
Gabrielle nodded and smiled. "Oh, that's why you hit her with the Chakram. You were setting right what once went wrong. That's what she did to you."
Xena nodded and rolled her eyes."Well, unfortunately I can't take all the credit, Ares did give me his godhood so this would work."
Joxer slowly approached and put his arm around Xena's shoulder. "So, does this mean you're now the god of war?"
Xena gazed over at Ares. "No, he's still the best man for the job."
Xena then gazed over at Amarice who was leaning silently against the wall. "Amarice, are you all right. your not hurt or anything?"
Amarice shook her head. "No . . . no I'm, I'm fine."
Ares rolled his eyes. "Xena please. I'm all for this lovey-dovey stuff but can I please have my godhood back. We did have a deal.
"Although," Ares chuckled, "you do make an excellent goddess of war. You wouldn't consider . . . .?"
Xena turned and gave one half of the Chakram to Ares. "No Thanks! I'd rather be mortal, and human."
Ares rolled his eyes in disgust then quickly approached the altar and placed his half of the Chakram on top. Xena followed and as she placed her half of the Chakram on top of the altar, the Chakram glowed for a few seconds, then repaired itself.
Ares looked at Xena impatiently. "My sword?" Xena silently nodded and handed Ares his sword. Ares then counted, "1, 2, 3!'
They both grabbed the Chakram, and just as before, a bright flash of light lit up the room as the Chakram glowed blue nearest Xena and red nearest Ares. The two colors began to spin, slow at first, then faster and faster until they faded into oblivion. As the light faded Ares let go of the Chakram. Xena pulled the Chakram towards her and looked at Ares. "Is everything back to normal?"
Ares stepped away from the altar and approached Gabrielle. "Gabrielle, I lov, I lo . . . Gabrielle you are an irritating little blonde and I hate what you've done to Xena!"
Ares grinned and looked back at Xena. "Yeah everything's back to normal."
Xena stepped away from the altar as Ares pointed his hand at it. "I'm going to make sure this never happens again."
Ares then shot a bolt of lightning at the altar causing it shatter into thousands of pieces.
Gabrielle regretfully shook her head. "Xena that means your still bonded to Ares. And now you'll never be able to change that."
Xena smiled as she approached Gabrielle. "Gabrielle it's all right. I couldn't take the chance of something like this happening again," Xena then gazed over at Ares, "besides, we had a deal."
Xena then faced Ares and placed her right hand out in friendship. Ares smirked as he reluctantly shook Xena's hand. "You know Xena, this doesn't change anything. I still bonded you to me for my own selfish reasons."
Xena nodded. " I know, and after this you'll go back to being you old nasty self."
Ares grinned as he pulled his hand back from Xena's. Xena then looked up at Ares. "Now, what about our little deal? Your promised to keep your half of the deal too."
Ares nodded. I know I did," he then grinned as he looked at Xena. "But I lied."
Ares sarcastically saluted Xena and chuckled, "Later Xena," He then disappeared.
Eli held his hand to his forehead as if he were checking to see if he had a fever. "Xena, you'll have to explain all this to, because I have no idea what or who that was."
Xena grinned. "it's a long story Eli."
Gabrielle then curiously looked at Xena and said, "What promise?"
Xena looked at Gabrielle with a disappointed look on her face. "While I waited for you guys on that hilltop, and me and Ares came up with this plan, he said he'd tell me where we were the time we were dead as long as i gave him his godhood back.
"I shouldn't have expected him to keep his word, but for some reason I did."
Xena shrugged her shoulders and threw her left arm around Eli's shoulders and her right arm around Gabrielle's."Well it's OK. Let's just get out of here."
As they began to leave, Xena gazed back over at Amarice who was still quietly standing alone. "Are you sure you're all right Amarice?"
Amarice looked up at Xena and smiled. "Yeah. I'm OK."
As Callisto watched this through an image projected on a large boulder, she felt a gust of wind, then heard a familiar voice. "Oh Callisto!"
Callisto gazed up and saw the same phony image of Xena that had tormented her before. Xena glared at Callisto and said, "They think that your gone for good?"
Callisto nodded and with a hint of disgust in her voice said, "Yeah it looked like it. And I guess that vision of the Chakram hitting me worked too"
Xena smiled and nodded. "Good! . . . My plan is working perfectly."
Callisto just glared at Xena who chuckled, "Oh Callisto, you don't like me very much do you?"
Callisto smirked at Xena. "Well it might help if you didn't always appear as Xena, then again . . . .?"
Xena chuckled. "How about Joxer? Or maybe Gabrielle? Or how about . . .," Xena grinned an evil grin and morphed into Amarice, " your sister?"
Amarice began laughing as she walked past Callisto. Callisto snarled at this phony image of Amarice and in a sarcastic tone said, "So, How did it go with Hercules?"
Amarice stopped and nodded. "Oh Hercules will be mine eventually. But Xena, she's top priority on my list."
Amarice took a few more steps then gazed back at Callisto, "You'll get your revenge on Xena, and I'll get her soul."
Then with a gust of wind Amarice disappeared.
Callisto gazed back down at the image of Xena and the others exiting the tomb. As Joxer waved over Gabrielle,and Eli and Amarice began talking, Xena stopped and took one last long look back. "It's finally over."
Callisto chuckled at Xena's comment. "Don't count on it Xena."
Callisto then turned and began to walk away from the image. Callisto paused and took a deep breath, looked back at the image and saw Xena throw her arm around Amarice's shoulders. Callisto closed her eyes and whispered, "Take care of my little sister Xena."
Callisto then turned and walked away just as the image disappeared.
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