Disclaimer: The characters of this story belong to MCA Universal except of course Charity and Felicity and so on, which were created by me.
Thirteen years earlier:
"Xena are you almost done with that?" Cyrene asked as they made clothes for the orphans of the village.
"Yes mommy." Xena said.
"Well I hope you did it right." Cyrene said.
"I am." Xena said annoyed. She'd been doing this for six years already. You'd think her mother would trust her to know how to sew a dress. Especially if some where her old ones. She had the neatest snitches in the village. This had been her idea in the first place. Xena had a soft spot for little kids especially orphans. She was behind her and her mother making clothes or fixing up old ones for them.
"I'll go check on your dessert." Cyrene said leaving her daughter to finish the sewing.
"No wait!" Xena exclaimed."I'll do it." She stood up and hurried into the kitchen. She didn't like anyone even her mother to touch her desserts before they were done. It was the one thing besides sewing she could do well that was commonly thought of as a woman's job. She could barely cook anything though her mother assured her she'd get better at that she doubted it seriously.
"Is it done?" Cyrene called from the other room.
"Yes." Xena said taking it from over the fire. She set her pies side by side on a wooden rack. She made sure they were safe from bugs, animals, and especially her brothers, before returning to her mother. Her brothers ran in all flushed from the wind and heat. She shook her head. She loved to get dirty and stuff too, but now was the time to help others. They were selfish in her opinion. They could sew like any girl they just hated to admit it.
"You two should be helping not playing." Xena said.
"Your right." Torres said."But we don't want too. Its women's work."
"Its men's work too if you don't want me to tell all your friends you can sew. Can't wait to see what they'll say about you than." Xena threatened.
"You wouldn't dare." Torres said.
"Oh but I would." Xena said.
"Well I'll just tell them you actually enjoy this girly work." said Torres.
"Go ahead I'm a girl they won't be so surpised." Xena said sticking her tongue out at him. Torres stomped out of the house. Lyceus started to follow him. Xena stood up and dragged him by the ear over to a chair.
"You'll sew and do it right. Now get to work baby brother." Xena said. Lyceus smartly helped out. He knew better than to fight Xena on this matter.
"I like sewing anyway." Lyceus said. Cyrene laughed a little at her daughter's determination. They continued to finish the clothing and finished earlier thanks to Lyceus' help.
"I hope you made one for us." Lyceus said. He carried the basket of clothes while Xena carried the pies. She didn't trust Lyceus not to it before they even reached the orphanage.
"Yes, and for helping me I'll give you an extra special big piece. Torres will get the smallest." Xena said. Lyceus smile widened.
"Good, because I like pie." Lyceus said."Especially yours Xena."
"Thank you." Xena said.
"I wish I could bake like you." Lyceus said. Xena smiled.
"I wish you could too." Xena said making him laugh. He would have pushed her a little, but didn't want her to accidently drop the pies because of him. He knew he'd disappoint a lot of kids. He didn't want to do that. They had so few treats during the year, and they always looked forward to them bringing clothes for all seasons, and pie. Besides he heard it was somebody's birthday. Xena hadn't time for a cake when she found out. They arrived at the orphanage to cheers. The lady who owned the place was nice and she thanked them. She put the pies in a safe place for later. Lyceus and Xena distributed two dresses, pants, and tunic to every girl. The boys got three tunics, and three pairs of pants.
"Did you see that back there?" Xena asked.
"See what?" Lyceus asked.
"Their boots were in horrible condition." Xena said."What's the use of proper clothes without proper boots or sandles?"
"Beats me." Lyceus said. He hadn't paid any attention to their foot wear. That's what he loved about his sister. She had a keen eye for detail. She practically never missed a thing. Especially when it came to someone's well being. He could see her devising some way to get them good foot wear.
"Well we'll take this weeks allowance and make extra by putting on a show in the tavern." Xena said."Also we could do the odd job around the village until we have enough. Come on let's go ask the shoe maker how much. Well I will. You go ask the guy who repairs shoes how much." Lyceus nodded and ran off to do as he was told. He was surpised he hadn't even objected to the suggestion that they give up their week's alllowance. He worked hard for five dinars. Those orphans didn't, but who trusted an orphan these days.
"What can I do for you Xena?" asked a friendly merchant.
"Thought I could help out make a few extra dinars." Xena said.
"Well of course little lady. Your help is always welcome when your not off fighting the boys." He said laughingly. He actually enjoyed her fights as much as he had enjoyed the songs she put on when she was halfway through her third year in life. He missed watching her sing cute little songs. He'd been delighted when she put on a show for them last night."I enjoyed the show last night."
"Thank you." Xena said. She was still a bit short for her age as he lifted her over the counter and onto a stool beside him. He found her to be good company. She did a song for him to pass the slow part of the day. This got a flock of buyers to come around. He sold more things in the slow part of the day than he did at other times.
"Well here's your pay for a day's work." He said.
"Ten dinars. Thanks." Xena said.
"No thank you, you did this old man some good today. Its nice to have someone out here with me." He said. She smiled.
"Your not old. Your just funny middle aged man." Xena said in the voice she used especially for people she'd known since she was a baby. It kept her charming. They loved her. She ran off after saying goodbye.
"I made ten dinars today." Xena said to Lyceus.
"I only made five at the blacksmith's." Lyceus said. They now had ten from allowances, ten from the performance, ten from the merchant, and five from the black smith. That made thirty-five dinars. They were still short fifteen dinars.
"Here." Torres said coming into Xena's room after a small knock. He put his allowance with their dinars. He got five more than they did for the extra work he put in that week.
"Well that's forty-five." said Lyceus.
"Well another night's work tonight will give us fifty-five." Xena said."We can leave the extra five dinars in this book right here to start saving up for any other thing the orphanage may need, but can't get on their own."
"Great idea." Cyrene said from the door."Now come on we have to get to the tavern if your going to work tonight. All of you." They nodded and locked the money away. They put on a show and Torres waited tables. He put five dinars in the box while they added all ten of their own. In the morning he felt selfish and added the rest. Than they just got all the orphans new boots. Each one was fitted with the correct sized boot, and were happy.