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The usual stuff, the characters of Xena, Argo, Gabrielle and Cyrene all belong to MCA/Universal, no copyright infringement is intended.
Disclaimer: There is violence in this story (but not much so it shouldn't offend).
As all bardies do PLEASE let me know what you thought of my story even if it's a list of insults (I can take it, mushy AND strong - that's me:)) even if you just wanna chat - I'm friendly y'see (mushy, strong and...yeah you get the picture) EMAIL me at: Vansen@thefree.net
By Jessica Short
"I'm as good as you Xena, and why not? You made me."
Callisto's haunting high pitched echoed through the tall warrior's mind as she travelled down the path. The warrior queen had turned both Xena and her travelling companion Gabrielle's lives upside down, shaping their lives, killing their families, and now she was back, as a God.
"Dinar for your thoughts." The bard nudged Xena.
"They're not worth a dinar Gabrielle." The warrior sighed.
"Callisto." Gabrielle guessed.
The warrior was dressed in a dark leather-clad covered in fancy carvings of brass, her raven hair blew slightly in the wind and her eyes matched the sky above them, a deep blue breathtaking colour. Her weapons included a large sword, hung over her back in it's scabbard, a whip tied at her side and her chakram, a lethal round metal object similar to a frisbee with the middle cut out, only a thousand times more lethal. But none of these weapons could match the warrior's mortal combat skills, weapons or not, she could pound respect into anyone she wanted.
Her companion, though smaller, was also skilled in the combat section, only by code, she did not carry a sword, but a fighting staff, something that she had trained with for the past three years whilst travelling with Xena. She wore a deep reddish-brown wrap-around skirt with a small leaf green top, laced at the front that matched her eyes, her hair was reddish-blonde.
"How did she get out from the temple you trapped her in?" Gabrielle asked.
With the help of a god who would do anything for death and destruction."
"Ares." Gabrielle muttered jabbing her staff angrily into the dirt they walked on. "So how are we going to stop her?"
The warrior thought for a while, she stopped dead in her tracks stopping Gabrielle by slapping a hand into her torso, they stood in silence, even Argo, the paeblino mare stood still.
"Nyah." Xena cried as she unsheated her sword and quickly turned to the forest to the right of her, pushing Gabrielle out of the way.
"Oh Xena, you're good." Yelled the voice.
"Callisto." Mummured the warrior as Callisto stepped from a densely leaved bush, the warrior queen was dressed in a black leather-clad revealing her small torso, her thick blonde straggly hair fell below her shoulders and her face wore an evil smile as she approached Xena with her sword drawn.
"You were talking about me, how sweet to be remembered." She smiled sardonically.
"What're you doing here Callisto, why did Ares help you out of the temple?" The warrior asked.
"Oh yes! The temple, the one *you* entombed me in - for life, well, almost, yes Xena it seems I owe you one for that, how can I ever repay you for trying to kill me?!" Her voice had turned high pitched, sarcasm evident in her voice, she almost danced as the words jumped out of her mouth.
"Answer the question Callisto." The bard spat in a mixture of hatred, pain and fear.
"Oh I see you still have a tail Xena." Callisto smiled looking towards Gabrielle.
"Gabrielle get back." Xena warned her.
"Better do as Xena says, she might do something nasty to you, like kill your family or throw you into a lava pit, hey Xena." Callisto's jokes began to unnerve the warrior.
"Tell me Xena, how have you been since Gabrielle's daughter killed your son, Solan wasn't it?" The warrior queen's hand moved confidently around her neck, stroking it calmly as she tormented the warrior.
Gabrielle looked over to Xena to see how she would react to the heart wrenching comment, but all she saw was the stioc face of a cold Xena.
"Don't push me Callisto." The warrior muttered.
"Or else what Xena? Or else you'll hurt me? I mean, I am immortal, not to mention being a God. Though you could try and ruin my life by killing everyone I love, oh wait! You've already done that, forgive me, I'm very forgetful these days, must be the God hood." She tutted rolling her eyes.
"But that's another thing I owe you for, and now...it's my turn to kill everything you've ever depended on Xena." A cold glare directed at Gabrielle, came from the blonde.
"What? Again Callisto? I mean you did promise that before, or did you forget that too?" The warrior began to play her own game.
"Oh no Xena, I would have, but you let me sink in the sand remember? You let me die." Callisto whispered the last part as if to be a cruel reminder of what had happened.
"How could I forget." The warrior muttered.
"Look Xena, I didn't come here to catch up on the chit-chat, I came here for a reason."
"What's that Callisto?" The warrior asked growing concerned.
"But of course, to kill the little parasite whom you call a friend." Again her glare was directed at Gabrielle who glared back holding her staff tighter in front of her.
"Well Xena, you can't of taught her very well, she thinks she stands a chance against me with that little stick!"
Xena began sub-consconciously moving towards Gabrielle, it all happened quickly, Callisto snatched the dagger from her belt and threw it towards the bard's neck, Xena managed to grab it from the air inches from Gabrielle's face, Gabrielle peered at the point of the dagger frozen by fear.
"Tut tut! Oh Xena, you got in the way, me and Gabrielle were playing a little game, I was having fun!"
Xena placed the dagger onto Argo and turned back to Callisto.
"Alright Callisto, if you wanna pay a personal vendetta, do it on me." Xena snarled.
"As you wish." Callisto shrugged pointing her finger towards the warrior and letting out a small fire ball, Xena took it in the torso, not stepping out of the way in fear of it hitting Argo.
The warrior was thrown back into her horse and slid down onto the ground grabbing her stomach in pain, her sword flung from her hand.
"Xena!" The bard cried as she knelt beside her friend.
"Gabrielle get out of here." The warrior muttered.
"Xena, you could've dodged that!" Callisto laughed. "Obviously Argo here is more precious than I thought, so I'm going to let you make a choice." Callisto nodded with her hands on her hips.
Gabrielle helped Xena up, a small cut beneath her ribs bled prefusably and the warrior was forced to lean on Argo for support.
"I'll let one of them live, who will it be Xena? The annoying little brat, or the precious horse. What will you do?" Callisto smiled. "Personally I'd choose the horse, they're good food and well, I don't think Gabrielle would taste very nice." Callisto shrugged sarcastically scratching her head.
Xena was restraining from charging at Callisto by the shooting pain in her gut.
"What's it gonna be Xena, I'd don't have all day and I'd like to kill someone before it gets dark." Callisto sighed.
Xena shook her head. "I won't choose Callisto."
"Oh, won't you, then I'll just have to kill all three of you, won't be as much fun, but it'll do." The Goddess sighed shrugging her shoulder and pointing her finger towards the three of them.
"Wait." Xena ordered, Callisto's face lit up.
"You've made a choice?" She asked hopefully.
"Yeah, I've made a choice." The wariro muttered. "You can choose. You can choose to kill Gabrielle and Argo. Or you can choose to kill me, the one who, for the whole of your life you've tried to."
"Okay." Callisto shrugged pointing her finger towards Xena, Gabrielle looked over to her friend in a desperate panic.
Callisto closed her eyes then sighed. "This is pathetic, I wanna kill you in battle Xena, one on one, sword to sword, and I will." Callisto nodded.
"Guess that leaves me out of the choice!" Xena smiled stepping away from Gabrielle and Argo having to readjust her pain as she moved away from them.
"I mean, you killed my son wiht your powers, vunerable, defenseless, why not take the rest, I don't think it'll make you feel better, but what's a kill?" The warrior shrugged with a lump in hre throat as she mentioned her son.
"Oh, Xena, you're good, you think that by letting me kill the brat, I won't do it, and you're right, I won't, not yet anyway, maybe when...hmmm...when you're least expecting it, when I can take her from you when you need her the most so you have nothing to rely on Xena so that your world falls apart. Because I certainly know that feels like Tartarus!" Her comments had turned into shouts and she quickly disappeared into a cloud of dust.
Xena let out a breath she had been helding for what seemed liek forever, Gabrielle approached hr slightly shocked at what had just happened.
"I'm so sorry Gabrielle, that I did that, I didn't know what else to do except use her pain against her." The warrior closed her eyes and shook her head.
"It's okay Xena, I understood what you were doing." The bard whispered rubbing the warrior's forearm.
Xena quickly gathered the bard into an embrace pushing the thought of losing the bard out of her head. "I'm sorry, I hate myself for doing that." The warrior muttered.
"Don't hate yourself Xena, please." The bard whispered enjoying the embarce before she felt the wetness from Xena's injury leaking onto her bare skin.
"Xena! Your wound!" She cried pressing her hand against the wound.
"It's okay Gabrielle, it's not serious, it'll need stitching."
"Let's get you settled in the forest, I can clean it there." The bard suggested as she helped the warrior walk.
"I love you, don't forget that."
"I love you too."
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