by Joseph Anderson

Xena, Callisto, Gabrielle and all other characters from the series Xena: Warrior Princess are the property of MCA/Universal and Renaissance Pictures. No copyright infringement is intended in this fan fiction. All other characters belong to the author. It may be reproduced for personal use only and must contain all copyright notices and disclaimers.

Note: I read a brief description of You Made Me and that influenced this story.

This story contains graphic violence, references to sexual violence involving children, and language some might consider objectionable.


The stone wall came rushing at her and she managed to turn her body so her shoulder hit, not her head. Callisto fell, momentarily dazed, but scrambled out of the way in time to avoid the battle axe which buried deep in the dirt. This was her chance, and she ignored her pain and leapt directly at the lumbering warrior as he was trying to extricate the axe from the ground. Her arm was stiff, a rigid line from her shoulder to the straightened fingers, which shot through the opening in his helmet into his left eye. She felt bone give way. With a grunt he fell back and spasmodically began shaking. The blonde warrior painfully stood up, shaking the blood from her sore hand. She looked down at the moaning, shaking figure. This was even better than if she had killed the scum. She hoped he lived like this for years; he deserved it for thinking he could just follow her out of a tavern and rob her. He probably thought she was drunk, not realizing she had only been drinking water.

She bent down, taking his purse. Not bad, he must be a pretty successful thug. He was such a good fighter that the fact he was robbing people instead of fighting in an army filled her with contempt. He was still shaking in that brain damaged way. Just in case he recovers, she thought, as she took her sword out, and struck down twice, chopping his hands off.

That felt good. She began whistling as she walked out of the alley. Wonder if he has any friends around here. Oh well.

She returned to walking toward the stable but caught a slight movement out of the corner of her eye. Callisto smiled. This was fun.

She leapt to the left drawing her sword in midair. The little blonde girl made a croaking sound. Callisto just stared at her a second, then sheathed her sword.

"Why are you following me?" she asked. The little girl didn't answer. She made frightened sounds, pointing to her throat. She looked about eight years old. Her brown eyes looked like saucers. Callisto knelt down.

"Can't talk?" The little girl nodded, frightened. Callisto grabbed her face and said, "Open up." She looked. "Someone cut your tongue out." The little blonde girl nodded. "Recently?" She nodded again.

Callisto had a strange sensation starting. It was rage but not her usual rage at what had happened to her. This was because of this little girl. She looked like her sister before Xena had killed her.

"Why were you following me?" The little girl touched her stomach and mouth. Callisto saw how thin she was. She stood up and said, "Come with me," and began walking. The little girl wasn't following her. Annoyed she looked back and the starving child was just staring at her, frightened. She went back and took her hand and said a shade less commandingly, "Come with me. I'm going to get you something to eat." She walked holding her hand back in the direction of the tavern. Passing the alleyway Callisto smiled, hearing the spastic moans still emanating. She looked down and saw the child seemed upset though. Why is that? she wondered.

She reentered the tavern, still holding the girl's hand and took her to a table. "Stay here."

"No kids in here!"


"Nothing. What can I get you."

"Whatever you have cooking back there I can smell. And some bread. And some milk. For both of us." Callisto said.

"I thought you didn't have any money," the weathered, ugly tavernkeeper said carefully.

She set the purse on the counter, "I do now." He looked at the intricately patterned leather and back at the blonde warrior.

"I'll bring it over for you." Callisto left a coin on the counter and walked back to the girl. Her eyes seemed to get big at the site of the purse too, as Callisto attached it to her belt. The tavernkeeper brought their food, hesitated, then said, "Are you a relative? She shouldn't be with her father, if you don't mind me saying so."

Callisto looked coldly at him and said, "No. I just met her out on the street. She looks starving but you say she has a father?"

The tavernkeeper was confused; he wished he had kept his mouth shut. "But you've got his purse."

Callisto looked at the little girl who was busily eating as fast as she could and not paying attention to the grownups talking. When you had food you had to eat it!!!

The warrior stood and taking the man's arm went back to the counter. "Her father is a big asshole who wears a Thracian helmet and has an axe? Robber?" The frightened man nodded. "What happened to her tongue?"

"Detrius cut it out so she couldn't tell his business to people," the man said. "If I was a warrior I'd have..." he started to say but trailed off at the cold look from the woman.

"This town just stood by while she starved and her father cut her tongue out?" Callisto's voice had taken on a soft quality that made the man want to wet himself.

"He's her father! He owns her! I hope someone kills him and he rots in Tartarus!"

"What would happen to her if her father died?" she asked.

The man shrugged. "Beggar." He gasped as a dagger was at his throat.

"This is really some town!" Callisto hissed. She knicked the skin and glanced down and saw the spreading stain on his trousers. "What's her name?"

"Jilly!" he said, almost weeping.

Callisto resheathed her dagger and returned to the table, leaving the tavernkeeper leaning on the counter.

The little girl had already finished the large meal and was eyeing Callisto's food. The blonde warrior sat down and started eating. She said, "It will make you sick if you overeat. Don't worry. There will be more food. It took me a while to learn that myself. I'm Callisto." She took a drink of milk, then took her sheath and dagger off her belt and handed them to the little girl. "Take the knife out. No not like that. Hold it this way. This is a Corinthian dagger. It's not much good for throwing, though it can be done. I like it for in-fighting though. This is yours. You're too little for a sword yet. Let me think about it. Watch the door for me while I'm eating, Jilly. If anybody wearing a sword or helmet comes in, kick me under the table so no one sees." She thought a moment. "And kick me if anyone who was ever mean to you comes in." She returned to eating, studying the little girl's movements, deciding what weapons would probably suit her.

Callisto was just finishing when she felt the little kick. She looked up and saw two soldiers, talking to the tavern keeper and then looking in her direction. She put her hands under the table, taking the chakram from its thong. Jilly looked frightened. She ducked her head under the table then back up. She had a determined look on her little face. The soldiers walked over to them.

"A man was maimed and you have his money. You're coming with us," one of them said.

"You call that a man?" Callisto said, with a soft giggle. Jilly looked at her in amazement. "You dung eaters were partners with him, weren't you?"

The soldier put his hands on the table and leaned forward, "We can do this easy or we can do it hard," he said menacingly.

Callisto said, "You and hard seem like two very opposite things as far as I can see." The other soldier reached for his sword and Callisto stood and threw her chakram into his throat. Simultaneously she heard a THUNK and a cry. She looked down and saw the talking soldier's right hand pinned to the table. He awkwardly tried reaching for his sword with his left hand but stopped when Callisto's sword point was a few inches in front of his face. Jilly was cowering behind Callisto now. The tavern had erupted in pandemonium with everyone running for the door. Callisto said to the soldier, "Now we can do this easy or we can do it hard. I want my friend's dagger back; it has sentimental value. Do I have to kill you? ANSWER ME!!"

He shook his head, "No."

"Jilly, take your dagger back. DO IT!" The little girl came around, pale and scared, but she grabbed the dagger. It wouldn't just pull out. "You have to rock it back and forth," Callisto said. Her sword was at the man's throat. He tried not to make any sound but couldn't help shuddering as the little girl worked at the dagger. It finally came out and he didn't make a sound. Callisto smiled at him, raising her eyebrows. "Good girl, Jilly. Now get my chakram. It's that thing sticking in that piece of shit's throat." The little girl obeyed. "You seem like a relatively brave man, so I'm going to let you live. If you come after me, I won't be so kindhearted."

With the small girl behind her, Callisto backed out of the tavern watching the soldier. Outside she saw more soldiers at the other end of the street though they were just milling around. She began quickly walking, holding Jilly's hand to make sure she kept up. She didn't hear any pursuit. At the stable she threw her saddle on her black stallion, lifted up the little girl, then mounted and quickly rode into the night.


The craftsman looked up as his shop door opened. "Callisto!" He knew a lot of people didn't care for her. She was always nice to him, though, and it was a pleasure making weapons for a person who could appreciate them. "And who is this?" he said, cheerfully, looking at the little girl, raggedly dressed. She looked thin but healthy.

"This is Jilly, Euphemies. I want you to make a set of leathers for her. And boots. And a small sword and chakram. Use your judgment, I wouldn't insult you by suggesting anything."

The tiny grey-haired master armorer smiled. Someone like Callisto was a pleasure to deal with. He liked Xena and Draco too, unlike Cortese who was a real prick, even though he knew his weapons and insisted on paying what he would charge a king--strangest thing he ever saw. Whatever happened to him? He had heard some of them didn't get along but Euphemies didn't pay much attention to things like that. He would put the work of warlords and warriors ahead of kings because he knew they actually used what he made. If he could afford it he wouldn't do any royal commissions at all but that was his bread and butter. He charged them twenty times what he would charge a real warrior. Callisto and Draco had both come to him a couple of times and couldn't pay. He just ran a tab for them. They'd offered to kill people but he had just smiled. The only time Meleager had paid him was when he first came to him, before he started drinking, but Euphemies had been arming him for 25 years. He loved making weapons for great swordsmen. Once a king had tried to make him his personal armorer and unable to work for anyone else. He mentioned that to Cortese and never heard any more about it.

He walked over to the little girl with his odd lurching gait. He was only slightly taller than she was. A lot of people thought he was Hephaestus. Callisto said, "It's all right," when she started to pull away. "She's starting to eat better," Callisto added to the armorer. Euphemies put his hands on her shoulders and hips, then had her stretch her arms out. He made her lift some weights of different sizes and carefully watched her. This was going to be a real pleasure. He had made armor for children before, of course, but they were princes who just needed it for ceremonies. A child with Callisto; that was something else entirely. She started to say, "Euphemies, I'm a little short right now, uh, I mean ..." but he just held his hand up.

"Whenever you've got it, Callisto. And, no, I don't have any enemies you can kill." He wanted her to leave now so he could get to work. The little girl looked at him and at Callisto and back at him again. "Come back in two weeks," he said.


Callisto had been relieved to learn that Jilly could read and write; she could communicate with her. Her mother died, at her father's drunken hands, when she was a baby, but she had an aunt who had taught her to read secretly before she died of some plague or other. Detrius had been a soldier and brought them both back as slaves. They were cultivated women, a scholar's children. The more Callisto heard about Detrius the more glad she was she had left him as a handless moaning vegetable. Sometimes you were just lucky that way.

Callisto herself had traded sex to learn to read. That was before she had discovered there were more efficient ways to get people to do what you wanted. It wasn't so bad. The old man actually would have taught her anyway but she didn't want any favors and paid him with what she had. After she learned to fight one of the first things she did was go back and kill the local boss who was making the old man pay protection and had been pimping her. She wondered how the old man was, him and all his musty old scrolls. He wasn't so bad. She had just turned 12 when she knocked on his door, said she wanted to learn to read, and what she would do for it--dictating her terms just like now. He hesitated and she had closed the door behind her and convinced him. She was 12 after all; not like she was a virgin or something.

Callisto had her own code about it. She would've starved if she hadn't started whoring when she was ten years old after Xena burned her out. She almost HAD starved till some men found her and made it clear what she had to do for food. That was when the voices had started in her head. She was covered in soot and weak with hunger and thirst; the men were joking about Xena as they passed her around, or took her three and four at a time. They were deserters from Xena's army. After a day they finally fed her.

Xena disgusted her. Callisto had traded sex for food, to learn to read, to put a roof over her head. Xena traded sex to manipulate her lieutenants, to turn friends against each other, to put someone at ease so she could catch their army off guard. But of course that was the OLD Xena. Not to be confused with the noble and pure NEW Xena of the last couple hours. She glanced at the child. Maybe by some miracle she was still a virgin. She'd ask her at some point. If the answer was what she expected she and her new little friend would go hunting. Callisto was still running into those men who had gangbanged her when she was starving. There were only a few left now.

She hadn't really thought much about what she would do with the child. She was just following her instincts like she always did. Callisto could see herself or her sister in her, and she had just reacted. She supposed she would teach her to defend herself but she had been surprised she went to Euphemies. She already owed him a lot. Callisto couldn't bring herself to use any other weapons though. Threatening him was inconceivable. He was the greatest weaponmaker in Greece; aside from the fact he might very well BE Hephaestus. She had actually considered offering him sex; he kind of reminded her of the old man--more attractive though. She didn't want to insult him. He wouldn't want a murdering whore like her.


Jilly was behind Callisto on the black stallion. She was hugging the woman tightly. Callisto said in a strange voice, "Jilly, get down and run over to those trees. Hide as good as you can; like I showed you. Stay away from me for the next few hours. If I call you don't come. Do you understand? DO YOU UNDERSTAND?!"

Jilly nodded, slipped off the horse and ran to the woods, her sword bobbing in back of her and the chakram bouncing on her hip. She hid behind a tree in shadows so her black leathers blended in, and watched Callisto. The woman was weaving in her saddle but she didn't fall. she let loose a piercing terrifying scream and Jilly put her hands over her ears. She looked and saw her friend scanning the woods, smiling, looking for her. Jilly remembered what she had told her though and hid as well as she could.

"Oh Jilly baby, where are you? Where Are You?" She called sweetly. Then screamed shrilly, "WHERE ARE YOU?" Then she laughed, and said, "Smart girl," and galloped off on the horse. She was leaving her. SHE WAS LEAVING HER! Jilly sank to the ground, shaking but trying not to cry. Crying was weak. Callisto had told her that.

It was night and Jilly was asleep in the same spot. She woke when the hand shook her. She opened her eyes and there was Callisto. She had a black eye and there were slashes in her leathers that Jilly hadn't seen before.

"Come on, Jilly. Let's eat," she said, helping the little girl up.


The two men were laughing as they walked on the edge of town coming to the crossing where they split up to go to their respective houses. It was dark and they were drunk. That had been a nice little piece of ass they had got tonight at the tavern. Always good to see new girls before they were all used up. They heard something in the darkness and stopped laughing.

"Who's there?" one called.

"Fuck it, you're just hearing things," his friend said.

"No he's not," a chilling female voice said. Two figures materialized out of the moonlight. How had they done that? It was a blonde woman and small girl, dressed almost identically in black leather. The little girl looked familiar.

"Bet you boys really miss Detrius. Sometimes he didn't even charge you for his daughter. You could get her for a drink. Sweet deal. How is Detrius?"

"Uh, the same; since his brains came partly back, he's a beggar. Smells terrible, not being able to wipe his ass and all. That was awful what happened to him! What's so funny about that?"

The little girl was smiling and the woman was chuckling in a strange way. Shit, that was Detrius's little girl, Jilly! "Uh, hello, Jilly. Come to see your father?"

The woman crossed her arms and said to the little girl, "Fast or slow?" The girl made a hand sign. The woman sighed, "You're too soft, Jilly. Go ahead."

"What's going ..." the man started to say but ended in a gurgle with something circular and shiny in his throat. He fell, continuing to gurgle. His companion began to run but somehow the little girl was right in front of him, and there was an unbelievable pain in his stomach. He fell to his knees, looked down and saw a knife sticking out. The little girl was just watching him coldly as the woman came walking up liesurely.

"Not bad; that's not so fast." She reached down and twisted the knife, before pulling it out. He screamed. She wiped it off on his shoulder as he lay on the ground moaning and tossed it back to the little girl who caught it deftly. The other man was still gurgling. "Get your chakram, Jilly. We've got more visits to pay."


Gabrielle hated it when Xena just dumped her off like this in a village, telling her to wait for her. Oh well. She sat in front of the inn. Maybe she could get a crowd together and tell some stories. Blonde hair caught her eye and she practically jumped before she saw it was just a little girl. She had an oddly bulky cloak on for a child--like something Xena would wear if she didn't want to attract attention with her armor and weapons. The child was coming toward the inn and Gabrielle smiled at her. The little girl looked at her in surprise.

"Are you staying here?" the bard asked smiling. The girl watched her intently, then finally shook her head no. Okay, Gabrielle, try again. "Getting something to eat?" Again there wasn't an immediate response but the child finally nodded yes. All right! Here we go. "Want to eat together? I'm lonely, can I sit with you?" The little girl waited a long time and nodded her head yes.

The bard stood up and followed the little girl into the inn. She got a table. The girl pointed at her. "You want me to order?" the girl nodded. Gabrielle was starting to feel bad; this girl wasn't just quiet; she couldn't talk. She went to the friendly woman who was the owner and asked for two meals.

"That's a pretty little girl, is that your sister?" she asked her.

"No," Gabrielle said openly, "I just met her." She returned to the table and in a moment the woman brought their food.

The little girl gave Gabrielle the strangest sensation. She watched the door and the interior like Xena would, but that was crazy.

"My name is Gabrielle," the bard said with her mouth full of bread. The little girl pulled out a small slate and wrote, "I'm Jilly."

"Pleased to meet you, Jilly. Are you here alone? I am. I'm just waiting for a friend of mine who has to do something." The little girl smiled at her, a radiant smile. "Me too," she wrote.

Gabrielle was eating when she sensed Jilly stiffen. She looked up, "Xena, over here." The warrior princess came over and smiled, then looked puzzled as she looked at the little girl. "Xena, this is Jilly. Jilly, Xena, the warrior princess."

The little girl was pale, staring at her. Xena had a strange feeling about this child. Gabrielle stood up and took Xena's arm and they walked over to the kitchen.

"Who is that child, Gabrielle?"

"I told you, Jilly. I just met her. She can't talk, Xena. That's why she has that strange manner."

"Gabrielle, I've had plenty of people look at me that way and it wasn't because they couldn't talk. It was because they were sizing me up or they wanted to kill me, or both usually."

"Oh, Xena. She's just a little girl."

"Maybe." Xena got a plate of food and returned to the table. The little girl was no longer staring at her in that intense way, thankfully. She took a slate out and wrote on it and handed it to Xena. "You want to see my chakram?" she said incredulously. "Gabrielle, have you been telling her stories?" The bard shook her head.

"It's not a toy," Xena said. The little girl looked at her, then reached inside her cloak and came out with a chakram of her own, smaller than Xena's. Xena reached for it but she pulled it away. Xena took out her own chakram and handed it to the little girl. Gabrielle was stunned. The two of them were examining the weapons with almost identical movements. "Euphemies made this. Mine too."

"Let's go outside," the child wrote. Xena stood and they walked out of the inn, with the bard trailing. The little girl took her cloak off and Gabrielle gasped. She looked at Xena and held the warrior's chakram up. Xena nodded, and the child threw it. It ricocheted four times before returning to her. "Gods!" the bard cursed and dropped to the ground with her hands covering her head. Xena just smiled though, then threw the child's chakram, ricocheting it ten times. The child's eyes widened.

The little girl wrote something and handed her slate to Xena, who said, "I know it pulls to the left. I have to get it reground."

Gabrielle didn't hear anything but she saw both Xena and the child get an alert look on their faces. The little girl retrieved her chakram from Xena and returned hers. She put her cloak back on and waited in the street.

Xena said, "Come on, Gabrielle. We need to get out of the street"

"What's going on, Xena?"

They retreated to inside the inn and watched the little girl standing in the street. Galloping hooves could be heard. Gabrielle wanted to run out and grab Jilly but Xena held her back. A huge black horse was there and gone along with the child who had swung up behind its rider without the horse even slowing.

"Xena, was that...?"

The warrior princess nodded.


She couldn't believe she was doing this. Callisto looked at Jilly who was leading the ram. The blonde warrior was leading her stallion.

"Jilly, hurry up." She just really couldn't believe she was doing this. The temple came in view. "It's not a pet, Jilly. Now come along."

They entered the temple and Callisto looked at the statue of Ares. It didn't quite have his smirk down but was pretty good aside from that. It was naked and she noticed something else that wasn't exactly accurate. Men!

She lit the torches on either side of the altar, then took the ram from the girl and tied it to the stone ring. She couldn't believe she was doing this. She hoped Xena never heard about it.

"All right, Jilly. Sacrifice it to Ares. Your Corinthian dagger would be good. Just cut its throat."

The little girl was looking at her in horror, her brown eyes huge. She was petting the animal. Callisto saw her point. She'd kill a person before an animal any day but now wasn't the time for that.

"Jilly, this is important and I can't do it for you. That's not how it works."

The little girl wanted to say no but knew she couldn't. She drew her dagger. Callisto was watching her. "Pretend it's your father, Jilly," Callisto said levelly. Jilly quickly and expertly slit the animal's throat and it collapsed to its knees, as its life blood ran out.

"I never would have believed it." Callisto turned and instead of the statue the god himself was standing on the pedestal. He seemed to notice he was naked and instantly had clothes. He jumped down and approached them. Callisto glanced at Jilly and the little girl was transfixed looking at Ares. He looked at the child, then said to Callisto, "Detrius is a real piece of work. If he thinks he's miserable now, wait till Hades gets his hands on him."

The god walked to the altar, closed his eyes and deeply inhaled. A smile spread across his face. "Why are you sacrificing to me, Callisto? It's a little late for that, don't you think?"

Callisto answered, "I'M NOT sacrificing--SHE IS. Jilly killed the ram and it wasn't easy for her to do."

Ares looked at Callisto then back to the child. He walked over to her. Usually Jilly would shy away or, more recently, attack a man coming at her. But she just stared at the god, her mouth slightly open. He knelt down and looked in her eyes, then picked her up familiarly and turned to Callisto. The child had her arms comfortably around his neck.

"She deserves your protection, Ares. She's a natural warrior but she's still a child. I just wanted you to meet her in case something happens to me."

The god just stared at her. He had seen this developing of course, but it was still hard to accept. Callisto. Maybe Xena would become a mime next. Ares set the child down and kissed her on the lips. Her eyes had a shining expression.

"Callisto!" she cried out, and ran over to the warrior and hugged her. "Oh, Callisto!"

The warrior didn't return the hug. If she gave in to the emotions surging through her she felt her entire world would crumble. She couldn't allow herself to feel this way--it was dangerous and weak. The warrior did allow herself to pat the child attached to her waist though. She looked at the god who was smirking at her. He approached them and drew Jilly's sword from the scabbard she wore on her back. The little girl was squeezing her so tight Callisto had a hard time breathing. The god looked at the sword then drew it through his palm, leaving glowing blood on it which faded and disappeared. He replaced the sword in her scabbard.

"Don't get the wrong idea, Callisto. A commander has to be able to give orders. How else can she be my general?" The god leapt back up on the pedestal and changed back to the statue.

The blonde woman with the little blonde girl grafted to her made her way slowly out of the temple.

The End