Disclaimers - The following story uses characters owned by 
MCA/Universal and thus I’m not sure anything I write can belong to 
anyone but them but since I’m doing this for fun and no monetary 
profit, I’m not sure it matters.  This story does contain certain 
scenes of violence but nothing beyond anything you’d see on television 
.... Let’s make that beyond anything you’d see on the Xena television 
show.  Though not graphically sexual on the whole, there are same-
gender love scenes in here and if you have a problem, then it’s best 
you not go on.  Though if you got over this silly prejudice, you would 
find a heck of a lot of good fiction out there. 
Author’s Note: This story is based on the episode, Remember Nothing.  
However, in my world, the episode happened after A Necessary Evil and 
before A Day In The Life.   (I just thought it would be more 
interesting that way)  It is inspired by the Discussion that takes 
place over at Whoosh which was printed at the end of their review of 
this episode.  It raised some intriguing questions that I thought would 
be fun to address in a story.  Such as, what if the world Xena had 
found had been slightly different and the decision she makes at the 
end, even more difficult than it had been.  Suppose it hadn’t just been 
Lyceus she was destroying, but a happy and content Callisto and a 
competent and strong Gabrielle.  Could she make the same decision even 
if it meant living the life of an innkeeper married to (gulp) Maphias?  
No adventure, no Gabrielle in her life?  What would she decide then? - 
Nothing Remembered 
by G. L. Dartt 
Numbly, the statuesque dark-haired warrior looked down at the 
young face that stared unseeing at a sky that arched overhead 
uncaringly.  A sick weariness spread throughout her as she dropped the 
sword stained crimson onto the grass, her deep blue eyes dark with one 
horror too many.  It didn’t matter that he had attacked her and her 
companion, Gabrielle, moments before along with a group of outlaws.  
This was just too much.  When the bard had cried out to her, warning 
her to watch behind, she had reacted instinctively, thrusting her sword 
decisively to kill her foe. 
Except then the hood had come lose and rolled away as he hit the 
ground and she saw for the first time how very young he was.  The blond 
fair features were so much like her brother, so much like Lyceus. 
Blindly she stumbled to the temple, ignoring Gabrielle questioning 
“Xena?” as she entered and leaned weakly against the inner door.  She 
wasn’t aware of the glow right away, but when it coalesced to reveal 
three women, one old, one in full womanhood, the third young and 
virginal, she was forced to take notice.  She instantly recognized the 
three faces of fate, the Maiden, Clotho, the Mother, Lachesis, and the 
Crone, Atropos,  to whom she had been praying prior to the attack and 
to whom this temple belonged. 
“Xena,” they said as one.  “You know us?” 
“Everyone knows the faces of fate,” Xena replied without 
enthusiasm.  Gods were something she could easily do without. 
“But few glimpse them,” Clotho said quietly. 
“And fewer still incur out debt,” Lachesis added. 
“You saved out temple,” Atropos went on.  “Name your reward.  If 
it’s ours to bestow, it’s yours.” 
“Reward?  For what?  Killing a boy barely out of his childhood?” 
the warrior princess answered bitterly.  “I don’t want a reward.  I 
want that boy alive again.  By the gods, I wish I’d never followed the 
sword in the first place.” 
The Fates shared a look.  “So be it,” Atropos said.  “All shall be 
“What?” Xena asked with surprise and a dawning hope.  “You mean 
you can bring him back?” 
“All is restored,” the maternal woman said kindly, then raised a 
hand to forestall Xena’s reaction.  “Until the first time you draw 
blood in anger.” 
Xena stopped.  “I don’t understand.” 
Clotho stepped forward.  “Spill so much as a drop of blood in 
rage, and everything changes back.” 
“But I’m a warrior,” Xena said, bewildered.  “How can I obey 
“As a warrior,” Atropos said deliberately.  “You can’t.” 
She nodded to the Clotho who reached out to strum the strings that 
represented all lives in all times in all dimensions, as all three 
faded from sight. 
The other two did not notice the maiden’s slight hesitation.  
Clotho’s heart had gone out to the warrior princess and she was well 
aware that this all was just a ploy to show Xena that her original 
choices in life, though hard at times, were really the best for her and 
the rest of the world.  Xena was to be sent to a dimension where she 
would discover a world where her brother lived, true, but her mother 
died and her friend was desperately unhappy and destined for a 
miserable life.  The Maiden, in all her youth, considered that unfair.  
So when she plucked the string it was next to the one she was supposed 
to.  Why shouldn’t Xena find happiness in a world where all her loves 
were happy. 
And so, the plan was altered. 
Xena could scarce believe it.  It was more than she had dreamed 
possible.  When she left the temple, it disappeared, along with her 
armor which was replaced with a simple dress.  Outside, the bodies of 
her attackers and Gabrielle were no where to be found and then from the 
bushes, Lyceus had appeared, hale and hearty, eleven years older, a 
young man in the prime of his life.  As he walked her back to the inn 
where her mother scolded her for being out so close to dark, Xena 
had been struck almost dumb with the sheer joy of being in his presence 
It wasn’t perfect.  In this life, her and her brother had run from 
Cortese and their village had been subjugated by him but the warlord 
had gone on to bigger and better things, leaving Amphipolis under the 
more benevolent rule of a lieutenant.  The village had become somewhat 
of a important crossroads in the minor empire Cortese had created and 
it prospered from the traffic that came here for supplies. Of course, a 
lot of the traffic consisted of soldiers, much the sort that had rode 
in her army and it wasn’t safe for any young maidens to be about after 
dusk.  Slavery was accepted rather than being a crime and unscrupulous 
men made a habit of doing business here, but generally things were no 
better or no worse than a lot of other towns. 
And Xena had her brother back.  More importantly, she had never 
taken up the sword, the darkness had never consumed her and the warrior 
princess had never existed.  She was somewhat disconcerted however, to 
discover she had a fianc’ of some eleven years.  Maphias was a boy she 
had dabbled with in her youth and she barely remembered him.  
Apparently here, he had captured her heart and both he and her mother 
were constant in their pressure for her to set a wedding date.  Not to 
mention for her to start popping out grandchildren. She didn’t know how 
much longer she could hold this combined attack off.  Most of the time, 
though, she delighted with being with her family, her semi-charming if 
somewhat provincial betrothed and simply doing good honest work in 
the inn.  No warlords attacking her, no constant pressure to protect 
herself and Gabrielle.  She did miss her friend but she contented 
herself with the thought that the bard was probably married somewhere, 
with a large brood of babies and a loving husband. 
A month passed before that happy assumption was shattered. 
Xena had been sent to the market to pick up chickens for that 
nights supper.  When she entered the general store, she discovered the 
store partially trashed and a dirty, unkept man pinning the old 
storekeeper to the wall menacingly. 
“We’re here to place an order,” he was snarling.  “Two wagon loads 
of food and hay, delivered by midday tomorrow.  That a problem?” 
“No, but I’ll need some dinars in good faith,” he said, bruised 
but not bowed. 
The man drew a knife and pressed it against the throat.  “You 
wanna see some good faith?  Start praying.  And if I spare you, that’s 
as good as it gets.”  He waved his knife around for emphases. 
Then suddenly his feet were drawn out from under him, and he 
crashed to the floor.  The storekeeper rubbed his neck, looked up to 
see the innkeeper’s girl, Xena holding the edge of the carpet she’d 
just pulled out from under him.  An innocent expression was plastered 
on her face, which certainly did not fool the old storekeeper who 
suppressed a grin, as she hurried to the fallen man’s aid. 
“I’m so sorry,” she said as she helped him up, using every ounce 
of her not inconsiderable charm to dazzle him.  “I was just checking 
the price of this rug.  Are you alright?  Guess I don’t know my own 
strength.  Can you forgive me?” 
“Next time, watch what you’re doing.  Someone could get hurt,” he 
said, grudgingly.  He was embarrassed but he knew he had no authority 
to harm citizens at random so he had to let it go.  He frowned as he 
turned back to his two companions.  “Well, just don’t stand there.  
Bring the slaves in to fetch dinner,” he barked angrily. 
Xena frowned as he and his minions went outside and the 
storekeeper began to straighten up a bit.  She was startled as a woman 
dressed as a peasant girl suddenly appeared next to her. 
“Quick thinking,” the woman said approvingly. 
“Thanks,” Xena replied slowly as she recognized the youngest Fate, 
“Guess you’ll be doing quite a lot of that,” the Maiden said.  She 
turned calm eyes on the tall, dark-haired woman.  “Unless you’ve had 
enough of the quiet life.  If so, you know the remedy.” 
“I do,” Xena replied.  She frowned again as she studied the Fate.  
Clotho seemed uncomfortable, as if she were doing something she didn’t 
wish to do but was obligated to by some higher power.  Which in fact, 
she was, though Xena had no way of knowing that. The young Fate 
had gotten into a great deal of trouble by altering the plan.  Clotho 
had been sent to make sure Xena returned to her own world, her own life 
though of course, it had to be the mortal’s choice freely made.  
Clotho’s continued existence as the Maiden depended on it.  It took a 
month just to find the mortal and the other two made it very clear that 
she was living on borrowed time. They were already looking at 
replacements.  Who knew that a momentary lapse of judgement would 
cause such aggravation? 
Xena shook her head.  “I’m through with fighting,” she said.  “And 
nothing’s gonna change that. I never meant this to happen.  I only 
wanted the boy’s life back.  Instead, I’ve been given a new chance for 
life too.”  She hesitated, then grew determined.  “And I’m gonna take 
it.  The hardest part is losing Gabrielle.  I wish she was here, 
sharing this new world with me.  But it helps, knowing in this life, I 
never shamed mother, that Gabrielle never left her family to follow 
me.  That I never led Lyceus to die in battle.  It’s like Xena, Warrior 
Princess never existed.  And I know the world’s a better place without 
“Is it indeed?” Clotho said cryptically. 
The commotion at the door heralded the arrival of the slave boss 
and his slaves who were directed to gather the supplies.  Xena froze in 
horror.  Chained and dirty, one of the slaves held tightly by the Slave 
Boss was all too familiar, the long reddish-blond hair, the green eyes 
that adorned that achingly recognized face. 
Instinctively, Xena started towards her friend, unaware that 
Clotho had faded from sight but was continuing to watch with interest.  
The slave looked up to see the tall, imposing woman striding purposely 
towards her and startled, she backed up.  Directly into the Slave Boss, 
accidently stomping on his foot. 
Muttering a curse, he shoved her furiously to the floor, drawing 
out the wooden baton at his belt.  “I’ll teach you to watch where 
you’re going,” he bellowed as he raised it high to beat the woman 
cringing at his feet. 
Without thinking, Xena imposed herself between Gabrielle and the 
baton, catching the wooden stick.  “Don’t touch her,” she snapped.  “I 
won’t let you beat her.” 
“Won’t let me?” he howled, incensed.  “Then by the gods, you’ll 
take her place.” 
However, her grip was like steel and he was unable to wrench the 
baton from her.  For a long moment they remained that way, Xena fixed 
and unmoving as the Slave Boss shook with rage and effort.  Then from 
the doorway, a voice interrupted the tableau. 
“Wait...stop, I can explain.” 
Both Xena and the Slave Boss looked up to see Maphias approaching 
quickly.  Scowling, the Slave Boss wrenched free from the woman as the 
young man deftly separated the two combatants. 
“It’s all a misunderstanding.  Right, darling?” Maphias said as 
Xena stared at him, nonplused.  He turned quickly to her fuming 
opponent.  “You see, we’re getting married soon, which means we’re in 
the market for a house slave.  Isn’t that so, sweetheart?”  Without 
giving her time to answer, he continued.  “And she’s right, this girl 
would be perfect.  But if I’ve told her once, I’ve told her a thousand 
times: ask before you examine the goods.  Isn’t that true, my love?” 
Finally catching where this was going, Xena managed to nod.  
“Yes...yes it is,” she said, trying not to show her distaste.  “How 
much for this one.” 
The Slave Boss eyed her coldly, a little gleam of pleasure 
stirring his greasy features as he was able to deny her.  “Forget it.  
Mezentius just got her.  He hasn’t gotten his...use of her yet to 
sell her though you might want to take it up with him,” he said. 
“Mezentius?” Xena responded, appalled.  She recognized the name of 
the arms dealer who she had killed when she had first been reunited 
with Marcus.  But of course, in this life, she hadn’t killed him.  Or 
met Marcus for that matter. 
One of the slave herders chose that moment to interrupt, informing 
his boss that they were ready to go.  The Slave Boss nodded.  “Right, 
load everyone into the wagon,” he said.  He glared down at Gabrielle 
who was still crouched on the floor, jerking on the chain attached to 
the neck collar.  “Get up you worthless slag.” 
Xena caught a flash of green eyes darted her way as Gabrielle rose 
and fled, adroitly dodging the kick he directed at her as he followed 
her outside.  Xena started after them but Maphias restrained her, 
quickly hustling her into a storage room before she was able to shake 
him off. 
“Let go,” she said furiously.  “He’s taking her away.  What do you 
think you’re doing anyway?” 
“Saving your neck,” he snapped back, angry from the aftermath of 
the confrontation and the fear for her.  “What’s gotten into you?  
Lyceus is worried and so am I.  That’s why I’m here.” 
Xena bristled.  “Lyceus sent you?” 
“Good thing he did too,” he replied.  He took her by the arms, 
worry replacing the anger in his eyes as he looked at her.  “Xena, your 
mother’s worried too.  You’ve been acting so strangely the last month.  
I thought it had to do with us pressuring you about the wedding.  But 
this is crazy. What were you doing interfering like that?” 
Xena, disturbed that apparently she had not been putting up as 
good a facade as she thought, calmed slightly.  “I wasn’t 
‘interfering’.  I was saving a frie...a girl from being beaten.” 
“She was a slave,” he objected.  “The way you’re acting, you’d 
think it was a crime.” 
“It is,” she blurted, then amended.  “It should be.” 
“Don’t give me that argument again,” he responded, torn between 
love and frustration. 
“It’s very generous and noble, but you’ve got to learn to get along.  
That’s how the world works.” He softened and hugged her.  “Listen, I’ll 
talk to your mother, get her to lay off a little.  And I promise to be 
more patient.  Remember, it’s enough for us to find our life together.  
You can’t change the world, Xena.  No matter what you think.” 
He kissed her gently and left her to gather herself.  Xena was 
shaking in helpless anger as Clotho once more reappeared beside her. 
“Love those pre-wedding jitters,” she offered pleasantly, smiling 
at the glare Xena shot her, and added more gently.  “He’s wrong, you 
know.  One person can make a difference, can change the world.  You did 
it.  One drop of blood, and it will all be as it was.” 
Xena shook her head violently.  “No,” she replied shortly.  
“Things aren’t perfect here, but they weren’t perfect in my world 
either.  I won’t take my brother’s life away from him.  Not 
“And Gabrielle?  What about her life? 
Xena frowned but did not alter the stubborn set to her mouth.  “I 
can change that,” she stated positively.  “All I have to do is free her 
and Gabrielle will be fine.” 
“You sound very sure,” Clotho warned.  “But as you said, things 
are different here...people too.” 
Xena smiled confidently. 
“We’re talking about Gabrielle,” she said.  “How different could 
she be?” 
End of Part One 
Disclaimers - The following story uses characters owned by 
MCA/Universal and Renaissance Productions.  There is one little ol’ sex 
scene between two women (minor) and some violence. 
Nothing Remembered 
G. L. Dartt 
Part II 
The next day, clinging to the bottom of the supply wagon from the 
general store, Xena snuck into the castle, cautiously making her way to 
the kitchen.  There she found the Slave Boss and a group of slaves 
which were hard at work preparing dinner and unloading the supplies.  
She lurked in mead storage room until Gabrielle moved to drop her load 
of wood by the fireplace beside the door.  Swift as a striking snake, 
Xena reached out and grabbed her, clamping her hand over the red-head’s 
mouth as she jerked her into the room. 
Gabrielle made a brief resistance, then suddenly relaxed as she 
saw Xena who signaled her to be quiet.  The room was filled with large 
barrels of mead and the dark-haired woman drew her deeper into the 
“Don’t worry, it’s me,” Xena said, removing her hand from the 
smaller woman’s face. 
Gabrielle looked confused.  “I see that,” she said coldly.  “Boy, 
you must really want a house slave, lady.” 
Xena forced herself to remember that here, Gabrielle had no idea 
who she was.  “I’ve come to get you out,” she instructed, going over to 
check the door.  “As soon as it’s clear, we make our move.  And stick 
close, the timing is everything.” 
Gabrielle was watching her back, an incredulous expression on her 
face.  “Are you crazy?”  she said.  “The only place I’m going is back 
to work before someone notices I’m gone.” 
“No, wait,” Xena said, inserting her body between Gabrielle and 
the door. 
“Why?” the red-head said in sudden anger, pulling away abruptly.  
“You know what they do with runaway slaves.  You ever see it?” 
She pulled off the shoulder of her blouse, displaying scars of 
lashes, imbedded in her skin. To Xena’s experienced eyes, she judged 
them to be years old.  Dear gods, how long had Gabrielle been a slave?  
Horror and devastation threatened to overwhelm her.  She had believed 
that the bard had just been captured. 
“Oh, Gabrielle,” she whispered.  “I’m so sorry.” 
Gabrielle whirled, eyes narrowed as she quickly pulled up her 
blouse.  “How did you know my name,” she asked sharply.  Suddenly her 
face was no longer shaded with fear and submissiveness.  Now it was as 
stone, cold, professional.  “Who are you?  Why are you doing all 
Xena could not meet her eyes, wracked with guilt and knowing she 
had no way of explaining to her.  “My name is Xena,” she said.  “I just 
want to help you.  My brother, Lyceus and I can hide you until it’s 
“Lyceus?  The same Lyceus who stood off Cortese?” she asked 
alertly.  She frowned, looked around.  “Do you have a plan?” 
Xena, a little taken aback at the sudden shift, nodded.  “Yeah, I 
do,” she said.  “But you’ll have to do exactly as I say.” 
“Let’s hear the plan first,” Gabrielle responded. 
As plans went, it wasn’t bad and with a minimum of fuss and 
fighting, Gabrielle and Xena soon found themselves launched up a 
chimney and down into the waiting hay of a wagon leaving the castle. 
“Beats taking the stairs,” Xena smirked. 
“Right,” Gabrielle looked askant at her companion, wondering if 
this hadn’t been a mistake after all. 
Gabrielle looked out the window in Xena’s room at the inn.  The 
escape from the castle had been handled quite well, all things 
considered and she was suitable impressed by the young woman who had 
saved her.  The moves were incredible, Amazonian in their execution and 
she though that maybe things would work out after all.  The sound of 
the door opening made her turn and she saw Xena enter, followed by an 
older woman.  The family resemblance was uncanny and Gabrielle knew 
that this must be Xena’s mother. 
“Hello, Gabrielle,” the woman said kindly.  “You look to be about 
my size so I brought you these.”  She handed Gabrielle some clothes and 
exchanged a significant look with her daughter before leaving.  
Apparently she wasn’t pleased with her daughter but was going to remain 
Gabrielle held the delicate blouse and skirt gingerly, wishing it 
were armor instead and tried to look suitably grateful. 
Xena smiled.  “There’s a bath drawn in the changing room,” she 
informed her.  She turned to go but Gabrielle forestalled her. 
“Why are you doing this?” she said.  “I know what you said about 
wanting to help me, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that 
mostly everyone’s out for themselves.  So what’s in it for you?  You 
want me to join this little resistance you and your brother have 
“No,” Xena frowned, confused.  She didn’t know they had a 
‘resistance’.  At the look of skepticism on the smaller woman’s face, 
she added.  “But you’re right, there is a reason I’m doing this.  The 
truth is, you remind me of my best friend.” 
Whatever Gabrielle had been expecting, it wasn’t this.  “I do?” 
Xena nodded, looked at her with such an expression of pure 
unadulterated love that the red-head’s breath caught in her throat.  “I 
look at you, and I see the purest, kindest person I’ve ever known,” the 
tall woman said.  “Someone who’s full of wonder, and stories and never 
gives up on anything...or anyone.” 
“Are you sure you rescued the right person,” Gabrielle tried to 
inject a note of reality here.  “’Cause that sure doesn’t describe me. 
“But it could,” Xena said.  She put her hand on the red-head’s 
shoulder briefly before she exited. 
Gabrielle looked after her, dumbfounded, then shaking her head, 
she went into the other room where a tub steamed slightly.  Well, at 
least, this much she was truly grateful for and she entered the tub 
with a groan of satisfaction, washing away the grime she accumulated 
while on the slave chain.  She dressed in the clothes Xena’s mother had 
given her and went out into the main dining room of the inn.  There she 
found Xena, her brother and their mother sitting around a table. 
She frowned as she noted the absence of the other man, what was his 
name.  Maphias.  That was it. 
“Where’s your boyfriend?” she asked. 
Xena looked up in surprise, then around as if she had just now 
noticed him gone.  Real close relationship there, Gabrielle thought 
“He left a while ago,” Xena’s mother piped up.  “He said he had 
something to do.” 
Gabrielle narrowed her eyes.  She didn’t like the sound of that 
but she wasn’t sure why.  Then she noticed the goofy look on Lyceus’s 
face as he gazed at her.  He leaped to his feet and offered her a 
chair, all the while staring at her as if she had taken his heart, 
which in fact, she had the moment she walked in the room.  She shot a 
look at Xena who was regarding them both fondly and at the mother who 
was suddenly eyeing her with that look mother’s get when their son 
suddenly had another woman in his life. 
Un huh, she mused.  Been there, done that, ain’t going there 
again.  Best to nip this right in the bud. 
“Don’t even think about it, farm boy,” she hissed as he sat down 
next to her.  She favored him with a steel-eyed glance and looked back 
at the other two who clearly, she had shocked.  “So what’s the plan 
here,” she said.  “Mezentius isn’t the only warlord in town you know.  
Theodoris is also here and Krykus is on his way.  They’re planning to 
team up to attack Cortese and while I certainly got no love for him, a 
lot of people will die if we don’t stop it right here.  They’ve already 
killed the ‘mayor’ of this little burg though clearly that hasn’t 
gotten out to the general public.  So what’s your arms strength and how 
many can we count on to...”  Her voice trailed off as she realized they 
were all looking at her as if she had grown an extra head. 
“Theodoris?” Xena echoed weakly. 
“Krykus?” Lyceus queried.  “Isn’t he the guy that attacked the 
Amazons and lost his whole army to the Amazon Princess and the Queen of 
Gabrielle sat frozen.  She suddenly realized that she had quite 
possibly made a dread mistake here.  “Waitaminute,” she said, glaring 
at Xena accusingly.  “I thought you recognized me. That’s why I went 
along with your crazy escape plan.  I figured if you had recognized me 
and if Lyceus was your brother, that you knew all about the warlords, 
that you had some kind of underground movement to fight with.  Why else 
would you break my cover?” 
“Cover?”  Xena was really confused now.  This woman before her was 
no longer acting like a frightened slave, or for that matter, like her 
Gabrielle.  In fact, she was acting like....well, rather like Xena used 
A furtive knock at the door made them all start and Lyceus leaped 
to his feet.  “Don’t worry,” he said reassuringly to Gabrielle.  “It 
must be Maphias.  You met him earlier, remember?” 
He opened the door and Maphias entered.  Behind him was a troop of 
Mezentius’s guards who quickly deployed, grabbing all the people in the 
“It’s all right,” Maphias explained tersely.  “They just want the 
slave.  I made a deal: we give her back, they leave us alone, no 
problems.”  Then he noticed as they took all the people, holding them 
at sword point. “Hey, what’re you doing?  We have a deal!” 
“Deal’s changed,” the head guard said shortly as two others 
grabbed Maphias. 
Lyceus exploded, ramming his elbows into the two guards holding 
him, seizing their swords, one of which he tossed to Xena.  To his 
amazement, Xena made no move to catch it and it clattered to the floor 
harmlessly.  Shocked, he was quickly overwhelmed by the rest of the 
troops and Gabrielle watched the pained expression come over the dark-
haired woman’s face. 
The red-head was totally boggled by all of this.  This was rapidly 
becoming a comedy of errors that she would find remarkably funny if she 
hadn’t been so involved.  What was it with these people anyway?  Two 
double-crosses in the space of ten seconds.  Amazing. 
One of the windows suddenly exploded inward and a black clad 
figure flipped through, executed a mid-air somersault and landed on a 
table.  Knee high leather boots with silver decorative designs thumped 
loudly as dual swords cut intricate patterns through the air with 
deadly intent.  An imperious woman with long blond hair that flowed 
wildly about elven features grinned wickedly at all concerned as they 
gaped up at her in total shock.  Except for one who thought it 
was about time her partner showed up. 
“Hey boys, is this a private party?” Callisto, Queen of Thieves 
chortled.  “Or can anyone join?” 
Xena found herself thrust back against her mother and she had her 
hands full grabbing the older woman to prevent her from falling.  She 
hustled her to stand against the wall and stood in front of her 
protectively as she turned back to the melee that had broken out.  She 
goggled at the supposed slave who was flipping through the air to land 
behind the new woman, the two standing back to back as Callisto handed 
Gabrielle the extra sword. 
“About bloody time you got here,” Xena heard Gabrielle snort as 
she skillfully dispatched a guard who had lunged at her, slashing 
across his chest with efficient deadliness. 
“Well, excuse me, Amazon Princess,” Callisto returned mockingly.  
“But I don’t remember you explaining this part.  I hate when you change 
a plan.  You’re always doing that.  A perfectly good plan and you just 
start improvising.” 
“Hey, you got to be flexible,” Gabrielle returned and met the 
charge of two other troopers which she cut down quickly. 
“Nice outfit,” Callisto retorted feebly before flipping away to 
down a trio rushing from the other side. 
Xena felt a sick weakness overwhelm her.  No blood innocent in 
this world, Gabrielle was extremely competent with the sword and the 
feral grin the red-head wore would have been familiar if Xena had ever 
seen her own expression in a fight.  Xena found herself standing by 
helplessly as she watched the two women quickly and thoroughly 
demolished the squad though Lyceus did managed to take care of a couple 
himself.  Maphias stumbled over to her, trying to protect her 
which was not necessary as the last trooper fell, the head guard 
hitting the floor with a crash under the booted kick of Callisto. 
The silence seemed almost to ring, then Lyceus stepped forward, 
looking at the two women in something akin to awe. 
“It is you, isn’t it,” he said.  “You’re Gabrielle, Amazon 
Princess.  And her sidekick, Callisto, Queen of Thieves.” 
“Sidekick?”  The blond frowned at him warningly.  She darted a 
look at her partner. 
“What have you been telling them?” 
“Believe me,” Gabrielle snorted.  “These people are making it up 
as they go along.” 
“What are you doing here?” he said, clearly suffering from a bad 
case of hero worship. 
Gabrielle furrowed her brow.  No cringing slave, no happy-go-lucky 
bard, this woman was a competent warrior who casually wiped the blood 
from her blade with the tail of her skirt. Xena’s mother’s skirt.  She 
took the sheathe Callisto handed her and slipped it over her shoulder, 
sliding the sword into it with a metallic rasp. 
“I was here to break up Mezentius’s little party,” she said 
shortly.  “Until you people screwed it all up.”  She looked at 
Callisto.  “Krykus is coming.” 
Callisto nodded thoughtfully.  “I thought he would’ve given up on 
the warlord biz after the last time.” 
“Scum like that aren’t smart enough to,” Gabrielle said.  “He got 
away with his skin at the battle with the Amazons.  I won’t make that 
mistake again,” she added with determined coldness. 
She strode confidently out of the room, turning back at the door 
as Callisto hesitated.  The slender blond gestured to the others.  
“Hey, what about these guys?” she asked.  “Mezentius is sure to send 
out another squad when this one doesn’t come back.  I doubt that 
they’ll be treated too well.” 
Gabrielle looked at them with utter disgust which gave Xena a 
distinct chill.  She had never felt so unsure of her life.  Gabrielle 
wasn’t Gabrielle.  Callisto who was showing compassion for 
bystanders, certainly wasn’t Callisto.  And Xena herself, standing on 
the sidelines during a fight, definitely wasn’t herself. 
“All right,” Gabrielle decided.  “We’ll have to take them with us.  
Is the cave still secure?” 
Callisto nodded and the next thing Xena knew, they were being 
herded out of the inn and out into the courtyard where horses waited.  
Including a golden palomino with a snow white mane and tail which made 
her heart leap.  With a glad cry, Xena ran forward and mounted eagerly. 
Instantly she was flying through the air and thudding to the ground 
with a bone crushing whomp as Argo promptly and unexpectedly bucked her 
“Hey, that’s my horse,” Gabrielle snarled down at Xena who lay 
gasping helplessly on her back on the cobblestones, the wind knocked 
out of her.  “Take another one.”  The Amazon Princess executed a flip 
and landed in the saddle, reining Argo around with comfortable skill. 
“Well, you got a good eye for horses,” Callisto said kindly as she 
stopped to help Xena up. “But Argo doesn’t let anyone ride her but 
Xena found herself pushed towards one of the guard’s animals 
before Callisto mounted a big black gelding, the saddle bright with 
silver inlay which matched the ornate bridle. It was a striking 
complement to the black leather vest and leggings decorated with silver 
studs and metal buckles.  In this world, Callisto certainly made a 
habit of being showy. 
The group galloped out of the courtyard and took to the hills, 
Xena taking up the rear on a small bay mare as she tried to wrap her 
mind around everything that had happened in the last day.  Bruised, 
bemused and baffled, she could only try to keep up and wonder what was 
going to happen next. 
End of Part Two 
Disclaimers - The following story uses characters owned by 
MCA/Universal and Renaissance Productions.  There is one little ol’ sex 
scene between two women (minor) and some violence. 
Nothing Remembered 
G. L. Dartt 
Part III 
The cave was large and full of assorted boxes and barrels.  The 
two women warriors had been systematically raiding supply trains to 
Amphipolis in an effort to slow down the warlords. When that didn’t 
seem to work, Gabrielle had come up with the plan to disguise herself 
as a slave and had herself sold to Mezentius in the hopes of getting 
close enough to finish the warlord.  That was before she had discovered 
the accord between the three warlords and their plan to kill Cortese. 
Not to mention Xena’s ‘rescue”.  Now they had to fall back and come up 
with another plan for themselves. 
They were all seated around a large campfire, Callisto providing 
some bedding and food for the refugees.  Xena sat cross legged next to 
her mother who seemed in a state of shock at the whole thing.  “What’s 
going to happen to the inn?” she asked for the hundredth time. 
Xena put a comforting arm around her.  “It’ll be all right, mama,” 
she reassured.  “Why don’t you lie down and get some sleep.”  This time 
her mother took the advice and lay down on the bedroll laid out by the 
fire, Xena gently covering her with a thick warm blanket. 
Xena looked over at where Maphias huddled against the wall of the 
cave, as far away from the rest as he could get, wracked with guilt and 
shame.  Xena sighed, she didn’t know how to handle this.  She knew he 
had just been trying to help but she was still very angry at him.  Not 
for the first time, she wished Gabrielle was here.  Her Gabrielle, the 
bard, the loving friend who did all the ‘sensitive chats’ as the 
redhead had called them. 
Lyceus sat on the far side of the fire beside Callisto, asking the 
blond an endless stream of questions about various battles she had been 
in.  Callisto answered graciously, not showing any sign of impatience 
or annoyance at the obvious hero worship.  Xena could not help but 
marvel at this incarnation of her long-time foe.  Was this how Callisto 
was always meant to be?  The lanky, good-natured blond who clearly 
adored her warrior partner and who seized life with a happy 
enthusiasm no matter how bad the odds?  Is this what Xena destroyed 
when her army rode into Cirra? 
She shifted her gaze to Gabrielle.  The red-head had changed from 
the peasant clothes to her armor, brownish body hugging leather and 
metal making up the breastplate and loincloth clearly Amazonian in 
design.  She was sharpening her sword with skilled patience, putting a 
keen edge on the blade, looking up only occasionally to bestow a fond 
look on Callisto when she thought no one was looking.  Xena felt like a 
little kid standing outside a sweet shop with no money and no hope of 
Xena cleared her throat, breaking into the conversation between 
her brother and Callisto. “Un, is there a king of thieves?” she asked, 
wondering about her friend, Autolycus. 
She thought a shadow passed over those elegant features before 
Callisto smiled wryly. “Oh yeah, once upon a time.  He was bold as 
brass, handsome as all outdoors and smooth as a baby’s bottom,” she 
said with bittersweet remembrance.  “Autolycus rode into my little 
village and just swept me off my feet.  Taught me everything I know.”  
She added with a impish grin at her partner, and a not so subtle nudge.  
“And I do mean everything.” 
Gabrielle snorted and concentrated on her sword.  Lyceus was 
fascinated.  “What happened to him?” 
Callisto shrugged.  “Broke his number one rule,” she said, the 
smile faltering.  “He always told me, ‘Calli-girl, steal for fun, steal 
for challenge and steal ‘cos it’s there, but don’t ever steal out of 
greed’.  Then he got involved with a group of lowlifes in pursuit of 
some ambrosia and they all got themselves killed.   He wasn’t satisfied 
with being a king, he wanted to be the god of thieves.  He was right, 
there’s no profit stealing for greed.” 
“So you took over the mantle,” Xena said evenly, morning the 
charming rogue who had been so helpful in helping return her to her 
body.  At least, in that other life. 
Callisto grinned.  “Yeah, my mama’s so embarrassed,” she said. 
“We should go visit her after this,” Gabrielle offered suddenly as 
she sheathed her sword and replaced the stone in her belt pouch.  “It’s 
been awhile.” 
“Oh, you think she’s forgiven you by now?”  Callisto shot her an 
impish grin. 
Gabrielle reddened and looked uncomfortable.  “Was it my fault 
Cassiope took so well to Perdicus?” 
“You introduced them,” Callisto reminded her partner teasingly.  
“Just ‘cos you didn’t want to marry him didn’t mean you had to foist 
him off on my sister.” 
“They make a nice couple,” Gabrielle objected weakly. 
“Maybe,” Callisto allowed.  “But he sure is dull.  Cassiope’s 
gonna regret it and mama knows it.  I just hope Cassiope realizes it 
before she actually marries him.” 
“Well, you know, it could have been worse,” Gabrielle noted with a 
sudden wry grin.  “I could’ve introduced Joxer to her.” 
Callisto winced visibly.  “She’d have gone for him, too,” she said 
in a disgusted tone. “Poor mama.  Two daughters, one who has no taste 
in men and the other one can’t keep her hands off other people’s 
property.  Even though I am the absolute best at it.”  She laughed, 
turning back to Xena.  “Though apparently you did a pretty good job at 
liberating Gabrielle.” 
Xena actually blushed and felt Gabrielle’s glare burning into her. 
“Yeah, screwing up a perfectly good plan,” the Amazon Princess 
said acidly. 
Stung, Xena responded without thinking.  “I thought you were a 
slave,” she said.  “You certainly fooled me.  Were the scars fake too?” 
“No,” Gabrielle said flatly.  “They weren’t.”     Without 
expression, she got to her feet and left the comforting ring of 
The was an terse pause, then Callisto leaned over and put a 
comforting hand on Xena’s arm.  “This whole thing has been harder on 
her than she likes to let on,” she said apologetically. “You see, when 
Poteidaia was burned by Draco, Gabrielle and the few other survivors 
were sold into slavery.  It took her a few years to make a successful 
escape and the times that weren’t successful, she paid for dearly.  
That’s where the scars on her back came from.  Finally though, 
she was able to take refuge with the Amazons, became their princess and 
they helped her learn how to never be a slave again.  I didn’t think 
this plan was a good idea, but she was so sure she could handle it.  
Obviously she isn’t handling it as well as she hoped.” 
Xena looked back in utter despair.  “Her family?  All killed?” she 
Callisto nodded sadly.  “She had two sisters,” she informed her.  
“But she got Draco. That’s when I met her.  He was trying to take Cirra 
as well.  She took out his whole army.  And she got him finally.  
Hunted him down like a dog and slit him open.” 
“Good for her,” Lyceus spouted. 
Xena looked at her brother with active dislike as she got to her 
feet.  “I gotta talk to her,” she mumbled.  “Make it better.” 
Callisto stopped her with a hand on her arm, looking at her 
quizzically.  “I appreciate the gesture,” she said gently.  “But she 
doesn’t really know you and I’m her friend.  I’m who she needs right 
Xena was left by the fire, watching as Callisto disappeared into 
the darkness after her partner.  After her Gabrielle.  In all their 
encounters, Xena had never been so destroyed or devastated by anything 
Callisto had done or said as she was by the simple, kindly meant words 
just spoken to her.  They lanced her soul with bitter pain, shredding 
any light or happiness that might have been there. 
“I thought the Amazon Princess would be...I don’t know, tougher 
somehow,” Lyceus said as he looked at his sister.  He was disturbed by 
the way she had been acting, the obvious pain on her face now.  
Helplessly, he searched for something to say.  “I guess the reputation 
is bigger than the person after all.” 
“That’s what killing does to you,” she said to him coldly.  “It 
destroys your soul.  The fact she still hurts means she still has one.” 
Angry at her brother, angry at herself, angry at the whole world, 
she strode away from the warm circle of light, exiting the cave into 
the night air.  She paused, wondering which way Gabrielle and Callisto 
went and picked what she hoped was the opposite direction. 
Wrong again, but then she was getting good at that. 
She heard them before she saw them, her path leading her to a 
quiet pool in the moonlight and from her vantage across the pond in the 
bushes, she saw Callisto and Gabrielle seated on a big rock on the edge 
of the water.  Their words carried easily in the still night air and 
hating herself even as she was unable to tear herself away, she stayed 
and listened. 
“You know she’s a good kid,” Callisto was saying.  “There wasn’t 
anything meant by it.” 
Gabrielle sighed.  “I know,” she allowed in a tired voice.  “And 
she did rescue a slave just because I reminded her of her best friend.” 
“Is that why?” Callisto was surprised.  “Not because she 
recognized the great Amazon Princess?” 
“Nope,” Gabrielle replied.  She hugged her legs to her chest, 
gazing at the water.  “You know, she described her friend and I 
couldn’t help thinking, that’s not me she’s talking about, it’s 
Callisto.  I figured she got us mixed up or something.” 
“Really?” Callisto said, her curiosity piqued. 
“Yeah, she said her friend was the kindest most loving person 
she’d ever known.  Someone who never gave up on anything or anyone,” 
Gabrielle repeated.  She shot a look from the corner of her eyes, 
smiling at she saw how pleased Callisto was at the compliment and 
trying so hard not to show it.  “Who else could she be talking about, 
but you?” 
“Oh, I don’t know about that,” the blond said, blushing. 
Gabrielle laughed then, and she wrapped her arm around Callisto’s 
waist.  “You have the biggest heart I know.  You never gave up on me,” 
she reminded softly.  “And I certainly gave you enough reason to.” 
“I couldn’t give up on you,” Callisto said, staring back at her 
intently.  “You saved my village, my family from Draco.  You never gave 
up on us even when you were wounded.” 
“I had my own reasons for going after Draco,” Gabrielle reminded 
“Sure you did,” Callisto accepted readily.  “But it would have 
been easier to attack him after he destroyed the village and wasn’t 
expecting a fight.  You didn’t.  You chose to attack a whole army just 
to save some village you’d never heard of.” 
“Yeah, well...”  It was Gabrielle’s turn to be bashful. 
Callisto laughed and leaned over, kissing her partner on the 
cheek.  Gabrielle turned her face to her, reaching up to stroke a high-
boned cheek. 
“I love you, you know,” Gabrielle said, her words carrying 
clearly.  “I can’t imagine loving another.” 
“I know,” the queen of thieves answered with a smile.  “I love 
you, too.” 
With more seriousness, Callisto bent her head once more and 
captured the red-head’s mouth in a long deep kiss that could not 
possibly be mistaken for mere friendship.  Gabrielle ran her hands over 
the slender form in her arms, tugging at Callisto’s vest and working 
the laces. Slowly they slid off the rock to the grass, still embraced 
Xena swallowed hard.  Frozen, she watched as Callisto caressed 
Gabrielle just as Xena had imagined doing in her deepest, most 
secretive of dreams.  Watched as the blond undressed her Amazon with 
slow and obvious familiarity.  Watched as Gabrielle leaned back in 
joyous surrender while Callisto kissed her way down the muscular body, 
lingering over the generous breasts and hard abdomen before dipping her 
head to the place between Gabrielle’s legs.  The Amazon cried out for 
the first time at the sweet touch, arching under her lover, voice full 
of desire and delight as she buried her hands in the blond tresses. 
That was when Xena turned and ran, hands over her ears to shut out 
the rising sounds of passion, until, exhausted, she sank against the 
foot of a tree, hugging her knees against her. 
In utter misery, she wept, her heart shattering within her. 
Finally she realized just exactly what she had given up.  
Friendship.  Love.  A partnership that could survive the harshest of 
situations, the darkest of deeds. 
But Lyceus was alive.  She kept telling herself that desperately.  
Only it didn’t seem enough any more.  It didn’t stop the ocean of pain 
flooding through her.  It didn’t stop the flood of tears flowing down 
her face. 
“You know the way out of this.” 
The voice came from her left and she was not surprised to see 
Clotho sitting across from her on the pine needles and moss. 
“How can I?” Xena husked.  “Gabrielle had a hard life.  She had 
Callisto’s life. But she didn’t turn to the darkness.  She fights for 
the innocent.  And now she has love, love I never had the courage to 
show her.  My brother lives.  My mother is proud and not shamed.   And 
Callisto....Callisto and her family have the life I denied them.  How 
can I take that away?  I was right, the world was better off without 
“The world isn’t without you,” Clotho said, angry now.  “That’s 
what this is all about.  For everything there is a balance.  What 
happened then must happen now.  In this life, Gabrielle took the burden 
because you didn’t.  You cannot escape destiny.” 
“I’m really sick of that word,” Xena said bitterly. 
“So you intend to spend the rest of this life unhappy?  Married to 
Maphias and producing children by a man you don’t love,” Clotho 
responded acidly.  “You really are taking this self-sacrificing thing 
to an extreme.” 
Xena merely shook her head and buried it back in her arms crossed 
on her knees. 
Her anger drained away as Clotho gazed at the dark hair, the 
muscular body shaking in grief and she felt her immortal heart break 
once more as she suddenly realized what her choice had done, that Xena 
did not take the easy way not because she didn’t want the burden of her 
life, but because she couldn’t bear letting others suffer for her 
“Oh Xena, I never meant for this to happen,” she whispered.  “I 
wanted you to be happy. I thought this life would.  Everyone was alive 
and Gabrielle had taken over to do all the good that you hadn’t without 
doing any of the bad.  I didn’t realize how you truly felt about her.  
Why didn’t you consider that love before you asked what you did?” 
The two women remained sunk in their shared unhappiness until the 
first rays of light brightened the eastern horizon.  Then, with eyes 
still sad, Clotho faded away and Xena slowly got to her feet.  Head 
bowed, she walked back to the cave wondering how she was ever going to 
be able to survive this.  And how she was going to be able to look 
Callisto in the face and not hate her with every fibre of her being. 
End of Part Three 

Disclaimers - The following story uses characters owned by 
MCA/Universal and Renaissance Productions.  There is one little ol’ sex 
scene between two women (minor) and some violence. 
Nothing Remembered 
G. L. Dartt 
Part IV 
Gabrielle was grooming Argo when she walked in and the Amazon 
Princess frowned at her.  “Where in Hades have you been,” she snapped.  
“I was just about to send a search party for you.”  She hesitated as a 
thought struck her and she reached out, snagging Xena’s arm in a grip 
of steel.  “You weren’t thinking of pulling another double cross, were 
“I never double crossed anyone,” Xena retorted, anger flaring as 
well as hurt at the suspicion in Gabrielle’s eyes. 
“Then what was that at the inn, when your brother threw you the 
sword and you let it fall?” Gabrielle persisted. 
Xena avoided her eyes.  “I...I can’t explain but I can’t take a 
life,” she offered, realizing it sounded lame and wishing she could 
make it clearer. 
To her surprise, Gabrielle relaxed and let her go.  “Sure,” she 
said understandingly. “You’re a blood innocent.  Probably never killed 
anyone before.  I can respect that but maybe you’d better stay behind 
with your mother tonight.” 
Xena bristled at the condescending tone, then bowed her head.  
After all, wasn’t that how things were here?  Gabrielle and Callisto 
were the heros.  Xena was just a country girl who had never gone 
anywhere or done anything.  She was appalled to find herself envying 
Gabrielle who had lived a life of adventure and excitement.   With a 
sudden jolt she realized that the longer she lived this life, the more 
she began to fall into it, old reflexes and instincts fading.  It had 
happened so gradually, she hadn’t noticed.  But now she knew part of 
her body’s aches came from being saddle sore after the mad gallop to 
the cave.  Xena, who used to go for days on Argo, sleeping in the 
saddle, now had unfamiliar pain in her thighs and legs.  And her 
actions at the inn.  Yes, she thought she was protecting her mother but 
when was the last time she stood passively by during a fight?  Even her 
rescue of Gabrielle which had been the only good workout she had in 
this world had left her sore from muscles forced into a use they were 
not familiar with.  Maybe the Amazon Princess was right.  Maybe she 
should stay behind. 
“Hey,” Gabrielle interrupted.  “Are you all right?” 
Xena raised her head to meet those green eyes looking back at her 
with concern.  With just a little effort, she could pretend they were 
the same eyes, the same loving concern.  But of course, it wasn’t the 
“I’m fine,” Xena said quietly.  “I want to go tonight.  I want to 
“Well, I was impressed with your moves when you rescued me,” 
Gabrielle allowed slowly. “And even if you can’t kill anybody, another 
fighter will come in handy.  But we can’t afford to have you drop a 
sword or freeze on us like you did in the inn.  If you can’t handle 
this, don’t come.” 
“I won’t freeze,” Xena replied.  “I won’t let you down.”  She held 
the gaze intently and it was Gabrielle who finally nodded. 
“All right,” she said, eyeing the tall woman quizzically as if 
trying to figure out exactly what it was that wasn’t being said here.  
“We’ll spend the day here lying low and we’ll break into the castle 
tonight.  With any luck, we’ll be able to get to the warlords without 
being spotted and finish them off.” 
“You’re going to...assassinate them?” Xena asked delicately. 
Gabrielle shrugged.  “Not really the way I like to do things but, 
it has to be done,” she said casually and suddenly she was a stranger 
again.  “Both Mezentius and Theodoris are slavers and deserve to die.  
And obviously the Amazons have already sentenced Krykus.  It’s my duty 
to carry that sentence out.”  That it would also be her pleasure went 
without saying but Xena could see that clearly in the fierce expression 
that crossed Gabrielle’s face. 
Heart sick and soul weary, Xena turned away and stumbled into the 
interior of the cave where she found her mother talking quietly to 
Callisto.  Beside the fire pit where the ashes still smoldered, Lyceus 
and Maphias were sharpening swords and laughing.  Apparently they had 
resolved their differences and her brother was able to accept that 
Maphias was just trying to help in his own inept way.  Her fianc’ 
noticed her approach, his face lighting up as he saw her and he 
got to his feet, puzzled as she drew him off to the side.  She hated 
herself for what she was about to do but knew it was best in the long 
run.  Even if she was going to spend the rest of her life unhappy, 
there was no reason to make him miserable in the process. 
“Maphias, I can’t marry you,” she said, steeling herself at the 
bewildered pain that crossed his face. 
“Oh, Xena, if it’s what happened at the inn.... I’m so sorry.  I 
was wrong, I admit it,” he said, grasping her arms tightly. 
She shook her head.  “No Maphias, it’s not that,” she said as 
kindly as she could.  “I don’t love you.  I guess I haven’t for a 
while.  I just didn’t have the courage to tell you.  You deserve 
someone who wants to marry you, to bear your children, to give you a 
life.  That’s never going to be me.” 
“But I don’t understand,” he said, dazed.  “We’ve been together 
for years.” 
“I know, you’re like another brother to me,” she said, wincing 
internally at that one.  “I guess I mistook the sisterly love I felt 
for you to be real love.  Now I realize how unfair that was.  I 
am truly sorry.” 
She took her leave from him, trying not to see the defeated cast 
to his shoulders and the dejected way he stood as she walked away.  Now 
there was one more she had to tell, and summoning all her courage, she 
sat down next to her mother and Callisto.  Her mother was gazing 
at her with a profoundly disturbed look. 
“Xena dear, what’s going on,” she asked.  “I saw you talking to 
Maphias.  Did you have a fight?” 
Xena took a deep breath.  “I told him I wasn’t marrying him, 
momma,” she said. 
Callisto stood up abruptly.  “Un, I gotta go...un, water the 
horses or something,” she said, flustered, before making her escape. 
“What do you mean you’re not marrying him?” her mother responded 
in her ‘have you lost your mind’ tone of voice.  “You’ve been waiting 
eleven years to marry him.” 
“And you don’t find that significant,” Xena said, a flash of her 
old humor rising before she grew serious again.  “I don’t love him.  I 
haven’t for awhile.  This...crisis just helped me realize it. Momma, I 
know I’m doing the right thing.  I can’t marry a man I don’t love and 
Maphias can’t marry someone who doesn’t care about him the same way he 
cares about her.” 
Her mother looked at her closely, studying the strong features of 
her only daughter’s face. “I don’t understand this,” her mother said 
finally.  “But I guess I have to trust you know what you’re doing.” 
“Thank you, momma,” Xena said sincerely and hugged her, wishing 
she could undo this whole mess.  But of course, that was the one thing 
she couldn’t do. 
She spent a few more moments with her mother, then found herself a 
bedroll to catch up on the sleep she had lost the night before, wishing 
that when she woke up, she would discover this was all a dream. That 
she would wake up, look across the fire, and there would be her 
Gabrielle, fast asleep, the innocent face beautiful in the flame’s 
They snuck into the castle through a convenient sewage tunnel that 
Gabrielle had discovered in her tenure as a slave.  It wasn’t pleasant 
but it did get them into the cellars of the castle.  There were four of 
them, Gabrielle, Callisto, Lyceus and Xena.  Maphias had stayed behind 
with Xena’s mother much to his objections but Gabrielle absolutely 
refused to let him come along.  He had proved untrustworthy before and 
she was not prepared to give him another chance.  Xena was dismayed to 
realize that the Amazon Princess apparently wasn’t too sure of her 
either, appointing Callisto to keep an eye on her, not because she 
didn’t trust her but because she was considered the ‘weak link’ in 
their group.  Xena wondered if this was how she had treated Gabrielle 
in the ‘other’ past.  Not much wonder the bard occasionally chafed 
under her well meant but condescending direction. 
Xena promised herself that she would start treating Gabrielle more 
as a partner in the future, then felt distinctly ill when she realized, 
there was no future.  Not that sort.  She began to hope that she would 
be able to forget that other past, that other life.  If she were to 
maintain her sanity here, it was the only way.  But she knew she 
couldn’t go back to being just another peasant girl living in a small 
village.  She had to do something, just as Gabrielle and Callisto were.  
Maybe it was a need for adventure.  Maybe it was just a desire to 
contribute.  All she knew is that she could not stay in Amphipolis 
after this.  She would fight.  With a staff if need be. 
She hefted the wood with a ironic grin.  Gabrielle had given the 
Amazon staff to her, explaining that there was no shame in the 
quarterstaff and how very useful a tool it could be. Xena wondered if 
the Amazon Princess could use a sidekick since Callisto was clearly a 
full partner.  Or could she bear to be that close to her without 
telling her how she felt? 
“Here,” Gabrielle suddenly hissed in a quiet tone. 
The Amazon looked upward at a grate above her head, the torch 
flickering in the dank blackness.  Without speaking, Callisto brushed 
past Xena from her rearguard position and after a professional glance, 
set to work opening it.  Within seconds she had silenced any squeaks it 
might have made with a judicious squirt of an oil she drew from her 
belt, and pushed it up and out. They all crawled through and found 
themselves in the castle cellars. 
“Absolute silence,” Gabrielle warned, favoring the brother and 
sister with a significant look as she took the point and led the way up 
the stairs. 
Callisto was at her shoulder as Xena followed, the thief taking 
her responsibilities seriously. Xena tried not to chafe under the aegis 
and held her staff tightly as they made their way through the darkened 
main floors.  Occasionally, a patrol of two or three guards would pass 
and they would either hide or Gabrielle and Callisto would dispatch 
them with efficient silence. Unfortunately, the warlords were not in 
their chambers and they were temporarily stopped. 
“We have to ask some questions,” Gabrielle told the others grimly. 
“That could make some noise,” Callisto offered.  “Making someone 
talk, I mean.” 
“Let me,” Xena said suddenly.  Then, before the other two could 
stop her, she slipped out into the corridor and found another patrol.  
This time it was only one and she swiftly grabbed him and hustled him 
into an empty room.  Gabrielle was almost white with fury when the rest 
caught up to Xena, Lyceus looking at her as if he had never seen her 
before.  However, before the Amazon Princess could speak, Xena applied 
her pinch to the guard. 
“I’ve just cut off the flow of blood to your brain,” she told him.  
“You have thirty seconds to tell us what we want to know.” 
The guard, in incredible pain, spoke readily, and as the rest 
watched in amazement, she released the pinch, rendering him unconscious 
with a swift punch in the head. 
“Where’d you learn that?” Gabrielle asked her with grudging 
Xena shrugged.  “I have many skills,” she told her modestly. 
“So I see,” the Amazon Princess allowed before they continued onto 
the main throne room where the three warlords were still in conference 
over their plans even thought it was extremely late, an hour past 
midnight.  The guard had been quite forthcoming with his information, 
even telling them how many slaves should be in the room in addition to 
the ever-present guards. 
Without much preamble, the four burst into the throne room and lay 
about them with unrestrained abandon.  The inhabitants didn’t know what 
hit them and were slow to react though it did not take long for the 
room to become absolute bedlam.  Xena dropped her foes with ruthless 
efficiency, welding the staff with a new appreciation for the weapon.  
From the corner of her eye, she saw Gabrielle attack Krykus with a loud 
scream of anticipation and fury, the warlord falling back before the 
rain of blows.  In another corner, Callisto dispatched Theodoris 
without knowing who he was, sliding her dagger across his throat with a 
stony expression of distaste on her face. And Lyceus impaled Mezentius 
as the warlord overbalanced himself with a large swipe at the 
blond man that just missed. 
Gabrielle leaped to the throne, looking every inch the warrior 
“Halt,” she thundered and surprisingly enough, the survivors as 
well as the new guards rushing in did so.  “In the name of the Amazons, 
I claim justice here.”  She favored one of the remaining guards, the 
highest ranking member of Cortese’s occupying force with a withering 
gaze. “Send a message to Cortese.  Tell him what has transpired here 
and warn him that the bigger he gets, the bigger a target he is.  And 
be sure to let him know it was not a favor.  Krykus was wanted 
by the Amazons and we do not favor those who would shelter the enemies 
of my people.  Nor do we let slavers such as Mezentius live.  Tell him 
to clean up his act or we ride against him next. This time with the 
entire Amazon nation and her allies.” 
Under the rule of Melosa and the advice of Gabrielle, the Amazon 
nation had prospered, growing and taking on the Centaurs and Giants as 
allies who had also prospered under the Amazon Princess’s aegis.  It 
was not an idle or easily dismissed threat.  The general bent his head 
in submission and nodded at one of his subordinates who immediately 
went to dispatch the message.  He knew which side he was best served 
with and he had not been pleased to discover what the three warlords 
had planned for Cortese.  But he had been helpless to act, having only 
a minimal squad to fight the men the warlords had brought with them.  
Now, with the three dead and the rumors of the Amazons getting 
involved, the armies camped outside the village would disappear, or 
find themselves making plans to ally with Cortese’s men. 
“I appoint you as acting leader of this village until Cortese can 
send a new administrator, one who doesn’t allow slavery or pigs like 
Krykus to take refuge here,” she said, and stepped down from the 
throne.  She knew the general was already making plans to be that new 
administrator and ignored him as she joined the other three.  She 
exchanged a quick hug with Callisto and looked at Xena and her brother.  
“You did well,” she complimented them. 
Lyceus was angry.  “I though you would help us get rid of 
Cortese,” he said angrily. 
Gabrielle looked at him with a frown.  “Cortese isn’t here,” she 
pointed out coldly.  “And if you didn’t want to be a part of Cortese’s 
empire, you should have stopped him eleven years ago before he took 
over this entire area.  If eliminating him was your purpose, then I 
hate to be the one to tell you this, but you were fighting on the wrong 
side.  You should have been working with them.”  She gestured at the 
three dead warlords which were being unceremoniously being hauled 
from the castle room to be dumped.  “Cortese is slime, but he has 
become a semi-efficient administrator in his old age.  He’s no worse 
than any of the others you might have ended up with.” 
She turned away, bored with trying to explain political reality to 
a farm boy and looked at Xena.  “You know, you handled that staff as if 
you’d been trained by the Amazons,” she complimented. 
If you only knew how much I was winging it, Xena thought.  She had 
a hard time taking her eyes off the Amazon Princess.  Dare she ask if 
she could go with her?  Or should she do what Gabrielle had done to her 
in that other life and just follow her.  She knew she wanted to be with 
the redhead no matter what the roles.  As for Callisto...well, they’d 
have to work something out. Maybe the queen of thieves could accept 
Xena loving Gabrielle too.  A sudden motion caught her eye and with 
horror she realized one of the forms which she had knocked unconscious 
was not so out of it after all. 
One of Krykus’ lieutenants whom apparently had been playing possum 
until he was close to Gabrielle, brought a dagger up from his boot and 
thrust at the Amazon Princess with insane fury.  Xena moved instantly, 
quicker even than Callisto, blocking the blade with her staff and 
following up with an angry butt to his temple. She realized just as she 
struck that it was too hard, her inexperience with the staff costing 
her a death blow, but she was unable to let up in time, the spurt of 
blood from his nose, the crack of the man’s temple echoing in her ears 
to be replaced by a familiar voice crying out. 
“Xena, look out.” 
Xena whirled, no time to understand that it was now a sword she 
held and not a staff but utilizing it the same, her two handed grip 
thudding into her attacker’s chin and sending him to the ground where 
the hood fell off and rolled away to reveal the stunned features of a 
“He’s just a kid,” Gabrielle said as she ran up to join the shaken 
With a great effort, Xena gathered her scattered wits and looked 
down at the boy, reflexes having automatically put her sword at his 
throat.  “You have a second chance, boy,” she said huskily.  “Swear you 
won’t waste it by killing again.” 
“I won’t kill, I swear it,” the boy promised reverently.  “Never 
Xena stepped back, sheathing her sword.  “Get up then,” she spat.  
Then added as he hesitated.  “Go.” 
He didn’t have to be told twice, scrambling to his feet and 
running away through the meadow, disappearing into the woods. 
“Hey, he dropped something,” Gabrielle said, bending down and 
picking up an amulet which sparkled in the turf.  “It’s his virilis 
token.”  She handed it to Xena who stared down at it in her hand, 
remembering her brother, and an Amazon Princess.  And a Queen of 
Thieves who looked out at the world with humor and optimism rather than 
with hatred and rage. 
“Hey, are you alright?” Gabrielle asked then, disturbed by the 
look on her friend’s face. 
Xena finally looked at her, gazing deep into quizzical green eyes 
so full of concern and love, at the ugly green shirt that Xena usually 
could not stand and now adored, the simple skirt and lastly at the 
staff held in hands which had never taken a life. 
“Oh Gabrielle,” she whispered.  Then, to the bard’s surprise and 
no little gratification, Xena swept her up in her arms, holding her 
tightly in an embrace that she did not wish to relinquish.  Ever. 
The voice came from everywhere and nowhere at once.  Drawing back 
to look down at the young woman in her arms, Xena could tell the bard 
had not heard it.  Instead, Gabrielle was looking at her with pleased 
confusion, not knowing what had prompted this sudden embrace but 
more than willing to go along with it. 
“I’ll be right back.  I need to go into the temple for a moment,” 
she said.  She hesitated, looking down at her friend.  Her partner.  
“Will you wait for me?” she asked humbly. 
Gabrielle blinked.  “Of course,” she replied, looking at her 
Xena strode rapidly into the temple, frowning as she saw the three 
fates waiting within. 
“It is as it was,” Atropos intoned formally. 
Xena bowed her head, tears stinging her eyes.  “Lyceus,” she 
whispered.  “Callisto.” 
Lachesis sighed and nodded at Atropos. 
“It is not as it should be,” she said pointedly. 
“No,” Atropos agreed and nodded at Xena.  “But it will be.”  She 
placed her hand gently on Xena’s head.  “You shall remember nothing.” 
The memories of an Amazon Princess who united her people and 
became a hero, the young thief who was her caring and gentle lover all 
disappeared.  Replaced by differing memories of a life where Xena had 
voluntarily shed blood to save a slave from killing.  Dazed, Xena 
stumbled from the temple and found Gabrielle waiting patiently for her, 
leaning on her staff.  One thing remained the same, Xena’s new 
appreciation for her friend and as she joined her, she hugged her once 
Gabrielle was smiling as they began walking down the road.  “Not 
that I’m complaining,” she said.  “But what was that for.” 
Xena looked down and smiled.  “Just for being you,” she said. 
“Oh,” Gabrielle said.  “Are you sure you’re all right?” 
“Yes, I’m alright.” 
“Really?  I mean, you don’t seem yourself,” the bard persisted. 
Xena actually laughed out loud.  “You’re wrong,” she said, draping 
an arm around Gabrielle as they walked. 
“I’m more myself than ever.” 
“So do you think she’ll be all right?” Callisto asked as she and 
her partner rode away from Amphipolis.  Behind them, trailing a few 
horse lengths behind on a bay mare, the dark haired woman named Xena 
rode quietly, allowing the other two their privacy. 
Gabrielle raised an eyebrow in thought.  “She did seem kind of in 
a daze after killing that guy,” she admitted, then shrugged.  “Killing 
for the first time can be pretty traumatic.  I mean, she can’t even 
remember how she used those pressure points.  But, she’s big and strong 
as an ox. And she can read.  That’s a pretty rare combination in these 
Callisto shot her a look.  “And very good looking,” she added 
Gabrielle looked over, her sardonic expression showing she knew 
she was being teased. She smiled suddenly, the ice green eyes 
softening.  “She’ll do well with the Amazons,” she returned.  “I think 
Ephiny will be glad to see her.  Since Phantes’s death, she’s sort of 
been at loose ends.  I think taking on a new student will be just the 
thing she needs to get herself together, mentally.  And maybe those 
good looks will remind Ephiny just how to use her heart again. “ 
“I think Xena has a little bit of a crush on you,” Callisto 
continued her teasing.  “It must be the leather.” 
Gabrielle laughed.  “Like I don’t have my hands full already,” she 
said.  She leaned over and kissed Callisto, patting her thigh 
companionably before straightening and looking back at the figure 
“C’mon, kid,” she called.  “I want to be a long way from here come 
Argo picked up her pace and together, they cantered to the west 
and into history. 
Because every life cried out for a hero. 
Every world needed a warrior princess. 
And every warrior princess needed a companion to bring light to 
her darkness, and love to her heart. 
The End? 

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