The show opens with Xena astride Argo, Gabrielle walking. They are on their way to the Fates' temple to honor Xena's brother, Lyceus. They reach the temple, and Xena goes in and lights candles to the three Fates. Xena tells Gabrielle how she feels responsible for Lyceus' death. Then there is shouting -- the temple is being attacked. Xena and Gabrielle rush outside; a fight ensues. Gabrielle shouts for Xena to look behind her and Xena turns, and sticks a sword into a guy's stomach. His helmet falls off, revealing him to be a very very young man, if not quite still a child. Xena looks at the blood-stained sword and throws it to the ground in disgust. She goes inside the temple and leans against the wall, weary.
Then the three Fates appear. They tell Xena they are in her debt because she defended their temple. What does she want in return? Xena says she wants that young boy to be alive; she wishes she'd never become a warrior, she spouts. And then her wish is granted. The Fates tell her all will be as if she never lived, so long as she spills no blood in anger. Xena goes outside the temple; there are no bodies, and no Gabrielle. There's a breeze ... and Xena is dressed in "normal" clothes, and suddenly from the clearing emerges ... Lyceus. Alive, for when Cortese struck in this alternate timeline,Xena and Lyceus fled, and Lyceus did not die. Xena is thrilled.
Xena goes back to Amphipolis- Lyceus is looking after the Inn- and Xena finds that she's engaged, and has been for the last 11 years (she keeps putting the wedding off). And then Xena learns that her mother is dead; she died of a broken heart because Amphipolis was taken and she lost her spirit. But, "at least in this time I did not shame you," Xena tells her mother's tomb. And then Lyceus comes.
But... trouble looms in the horizon. Several of Xena's former foes- guys she killed in the other "timeline"- are now banding together to take over all, including Amphipolis. Mezentius, the guy who ran the arms place when Xena first reunited with Marcus ("The Path Not Taken"), Krykus, the Warlord from the Amazons ("Hooves And Harlots"), and Caputius (new to this episode), are together. The Amazons and Centaurs have fought, and lost, and the Amazons are all slaves. Several slave leaders go into Amphipolis to "obtain" goods, and Xena sees one of them attack a merchant; she pulls the rug out from under him (literally). But his slave is Gabrielle! He goes to strike Gabrielle and Xena stops him; then her fiance steps in and stops Xena, telling her she has to play by the rules. Xena and Lyceus do not like the rules.
Xena sneaks into the place where Gabrielle is being held and gets her out, even though Gabrielle has no idea who this woman is. Xena takes Gabrielle back to her "home" and gives her some of her mother's clothing; Lyceus and Gabrielle exchange some looks and signals that make Xena smile. Xena tells Gabrielle that she reminds her of her best friend, and then describes the Gabrielle she knew in the other "timeline"- this Gabrielle isn't like that, though. She has no trust. However, Gabrielle has told Xena of the plan to attack, and so forces are being gathered, supposedly, for a defense. But Xena's fiance sells them out, telling them all they want is the slave girl back. They come to get Gabrielle, but Lyceus draws his sword, and then Xena, Lyceus and Gabrielle are captured. The fiance is conked on the head.
Lyceus is mad at Xena,since she won't pick up a sword. She can't (or won't) tell Lyceus why she doesn't fight to kill, and he's not a happy camper. The warlords have put the three in separate cages, and hung them above a pit. Lyceus tells Xena he'd rather be dead than living under the rule of a warlord. Gabrielle begins to cry. Xena calls to her and offers comfort. Gabrielle says, yes, it's you're fault I'm here, and it's even worse. I knew where I stood in life before (as a slave) and then you came along and gave me hope. And that is worse. I don't know whether to thank you or hate you. "Hate me?" Xena says. And her eyes fill with tears. "Oh Gabrielle, I'm so sorry."
The man who was Gabrielle's slave driver comes in, followed by another bad-looking guy, but he turns out to be Xena's fiance, who's realized he's screwed up. Lyceus goes to get the warlords; Xena follows. A fight ensues. Lots of good fighting, but Xena won't pick up a sword. And then Gabrielle picks up a sword, and she kills Mezentius. And Xena sees. And Xena says, "goodbye again, Lyceus" and stabs the man attacking her.
Quick cut back to realtimeline: Gabrielle shouts to Xena that someone's behind her. This time, Xena doesn't just stick a sword in the person; she throws him down, and gives him a second chance.
Gabrielle moves to stand beside Xena, and then Xena hugs her, and leaves her arm around her. Gabrielle looks surprised. "What's that for?" "For being you," Xena replies. "Are you all right? You don't seem like yourself." Gabrielle looks quizzingly at Xena, and the two start to walk off, but Xena doesn't return to the temple.