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Xena: Warrior Princess, Gabrielle, Argo and all other characters who have appeared in the syndicated series Xena: Warrior Princess, 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. All other characters, the story idea and the story itself are the sole property of the author. This story cannot be sold or used for profit in any way. Copies of this story may be made for private use only and must include all disclaimers and copyright notices.

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

The Evil Within

by Rachel Belloma

Gabrielle and Xena walked in silence down a beaten road. The two exchanged a glance only to be interrupted by a voice.

Xena looked up to a see an armored twelve year-old girl standing with her hands on her hips. "My, my, my if it isn't Xena, the warrior princess!" the small thing exclaimed.

Gabrielle stepped forth and said with a suspicious look, "And whom are you?"

The girl replied, "My name is Jaya, but what shall strike your interest more is that I am the daughter of the late, but great Callisto."

Xena and Gabrielle shared a surprised expression.

"Oh no, don't worry, I don't hate you, I only envy you Xena! After killing my father, beating me and selling me as a slave to a warlord you could say I would like nothing more than to shake the hand that killed my mother!"

Xena took quick action and with a glare asked, "Then what is your business here?"

Jaya hesitated then replied, "I wish to join you Xena." Gabrielle was quick to mention that Jaya WAS only a child and that it was getting awful crowded having Joxer around. But Jaya's offer seemed to interest Xena, she stuck her chin in the air and simply said, "Whaddya got to offer?"

Jaya turned around and with clear confidence replied, "Oh, protection for dear unarmed Gabrielle and also...700 dinars"

Gabrielle was sure Xena would accept, but to her surprise, Xena answered a "Fine, here, ride Argo"

Gabrielle seemed to have a hate for little Jaya. But she obviously had some skill, she had almost taken down Xena. And had taken down Joxer several times since they met. Though she was a meal ticket and also a good source of protection, Gabrielle couldn't stand her.

"There is something wrong with her, I can't put my finger on it though." She said to a disbelieving Xena.

"Okay Gabrielle, sit down and talk to her if she bothers you so much then!"

Gabrielle made a "humph" noise then went back to sit to Jaya. Jaya was busy whittling a staff when Gabrielle nervously said, "Hey, uh, Jaya, where were you born?"

Jaya hesitated then said, "Athens."

Gabrielle suspiciously got up and backed away. She ran up to Xena and pleaded quietly for her to do her a favor. Finally Xena asked her what she wanted so badly and Gabrielle asked her to throw her Chakram at her.

"No way! Your going a little too far Gab"

But Gabrielle wouldn't give up, she kept pleading until Xena removed her Chakram and scream Jaya's name then threw it.

To her surprise, Jaya caught the Chakram without the blink of an eye. She then stood up and said, "My dear Gabrielle, I believe you know who I am."

Xena then said very roughly, "Callisto, whose body is that?"

Callisto answered, "My daughter Jaya's of course, I'll return when I'm done!"

"Done with what?" Asked Gabrielle.

"Done fighting Xena once more!" She then charged at Xena.

Xena blocked her and they continued, flipping, kicking, Yiyiyiyiyi, and on they went until Xena had Callisto down. She hog tied her and dragged her with Joxer's help. She told him to dump her body in the nearest lake, wait ten minutes, then call for me.

He did so and Xena dived into the water and raced down to the bottom to grab Jaya's body. She carried it back up and when on shore, continued pumping air and slapping her cheeks. Soon enough, Jaya was awake not knowing where she was. Xena told her she was taking her home.

"I don't have a home" said Jaya with a bit of attitude.

"We'll find you one" said Xena.

Jaya found herself a loving home with the help of Xena. Jaya went on to live as innocent as she had begun.

At the end of the journey, Gabrielle told Xena that Jaya reminded herself of her childhood.

And Xena said, "Then you must have had a great childhood, because that's what Jaya's going to get."

The End.

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