As soon as Callisto was out of sight, Gabrielle collasped to the ground in sobs, letting Joxer's sword fall from her hands. Xena stood there, baffled by what she had just witnessed. For a second there, even if it was only for a very short moment, Xena knew Callisto felt some sort of regret from what she'd done.
"Really Xena, bringing Callisto back here after what she did to Gabrielle, that was pretty low," Joxer said, glaring at her from the ground. Xena didn't even have a response. Everything had happened so quickly.
"Is that what you were doing Xena? When you were out 'scouting' you were taking care of Callisto?" Gabrielle looked up from the ground, tears still streaming down her face. "Don't you see what she's done to me? Do you even care?!"
"I don't know what I was thinking," Xena admitted. She had been wrong, she realized, to save Callisto, to be helping Callisto, it was all wrong. Xena had just had a tiny spark of hope that maybe, somehow, Callisto would find the path that Xena had of redemption.
"Well you were wrong to do that," Joxer yelled at the warrior princess. "Come on Gabby." Xena was aware that Joxer had a thing for Gabrielle, which was his reasoning for siding with her so easily. However, Xena knew she had been wrong to bring Callisto to their camp, but there wasn't anything she could do about it now.
As Joxer led Gabrielle away, still sobbing, Xena was left alone. Now her friends were mad at her, and Callisto was long gone. This time, Xena had really messed up.
Callisto had no destination, no safe place to go. She had no friends, no family, not a soul who would help her. She was really and truly alone this time, and the way things were going, her chances of survival weren't very high.
She had been attacked by several warlords who had taken advantage of her injuries and tried to kill her. Fortunately, she had been able to kill them before they had killed her, but she had received several blows from each of them that had either cut, bruised, or sprained something.
At first, she could handle the pain in her body, since the confusion that clouded her mind was much more distracting. But as time wore on and the longer she rode the horse, the pain was becoming too much to bear.
Stopping along the rode, Callisto fell to the ground off the horse, leaning against a tree and pulling her knees up to her chest. The dark clouds that rolled over the sky didn't look promising, and Callisto's only cloak had been nearly destroyed in her battles with the warlords. On top of all her pain, something else plagued her mind. Callisto had never been one to feel anything, not since Cirra, but when she saw what she had done to Gabrielle, something inside hurt, and she wasn't used to that feeling.
Callisto felt tears in her eyes and quickly pushed them back. She had never cried, she would never cry, not for Xena. If she cried, Xena won, but if she continued to kill everything she loved... well, somehow Xena still won. It was as if Xena had won from the very beginning. Everything she had done to Xena had practically unfazed the warrior princess, and instead caused her more and more pain inside. What did she have to do to win?
The pain on the outside, the pain on the inside, it was all too much for Callisto. She wished Xena had let her die, it would've ended her pain. Instead, she was going to suffer and die anyway. There was only one end to the pain, and Callisto would welcome it when it came.
A single raindrop fell on the hood of her cloak, and she knew this was the end. She was too weak to fight, too in pain to think straight, and if she didn't die from the injuries, she'd die from the sickness she'd recieve being out in the storm. She sat with her knees pulled up to her chest, waiting for the darkness to take over.
"And what is the brave warrior Callisto doing here like this? It's not like you at all." At first Callisto thought she had imagined the voice, but then a figure stepped in front of her, and she realized it was all real. Maybe this was the warrior that would put her out of her misery.
"Kill me, please, I want oblivion," Callisto begged the woman who stood before her, a basket tucked neatly under her arm. She had curly blonde hair and lovely brown eyes, wearing a longer and thicker cloak of her own. She didn't look like a warrior.
"What has become of you Callisto?" The woman asked, still standing over her. "You were always so strong."
"If you know who I am, then you know everything I've done. Please, just end all the pain and torture, I beg of you." Callisto pleaded with the woman, wishing she would just pull out a sword, knife, anything. Just something that would end her pain for good.
"There's a storm on the way, and you don't look well enough to survive on your own. Why don't you come on back to my place where it's safe." The woman gave Callisto a welcoming smile, almost like a mother would do to a small child.
Callisto was in so much pain that she blindly agreed. "I- I can't get up," she mumbled, as the winds grew stronger. The woman wasted no time, she carefully slipped her arm under Callisto's body and lifted her off the ground.
"Don't worry, I'm not going to hurt you, I'm Leanna by the way," she spoke calmly to the injured warrior in her arms as she gently carried her toward her home.
Callisto was surprised by Leanna's warm embrace as she approached a small hut in a more secluded part of the outskirts of a village. The hut was small but looked to be built strong. Without dropping Callisto, Leanna expertly opened the door and closed it, before gently setting Callisto down on a blanket next to the fireplace. She then secured the door with a piece of wood.
"There, that should keep us safe from the storm." Leanna sat down in front of the fireplace, using some of the dry wood to get a fire going. Callisto cowered in the corner, the pain taking over her body once again. It hurt, everything hurt, from the inside and outside. She wanted it all to end forever.
Once Leanna had a fire going, she turned to Callisto, who was shaking from the pain, the cold, she wasn't quite sure which. Leanna sat on the floor in front of her, but at a comfortable distance so as not to intimidate her, as she seemed not to be in a very controlled state.
"You know it's okay to cry sometimes Callisto," Leanna said quietly, carefully watching the blonde warrior as she tried to fight back tears. "We all have fo cry sometimes."
"No." Her voice came out shaky and powerless. "I promised myself I'd never cry, not for her, if I cried, she won."
"But Callisto, it seems to me she already has won," Leanna said calmly, moving ever so slightly closer to Callisto.
"How would you know? How do you know about Xena, about me, Cirra, my past, how do you know?!" Callisto all but screamed, as tears fought to escape her eyes.
"Because Callisto," Leanna began. "I am a survivor of Cirra."