Fandom: Xena: Warrior Princess
Pairing: Ares/Joxer, Cupid/Strife
Disclaimer: Still poor, Still don't own them and I still wish I could own them :)
Notes: Thank Joey R once again for answering my title question and to my ever beloved Beta, Carrie who is the best beta ever.
Cronos/Kronos are the same Titan but for the purpose of this story I split them apart and made Kronos a new Olympian but kept his Godhood the same. Now there is no God of Years so I created one ;)So a brief background on the God of Years is that He is a Titan brother to Mnemosyne and Moira. Ahhhh The Power of the writer. *bg*
Warnings: Zeus bashing, Gabby bashing, Psyche bashing and do I really need to warn you folks about the steamy sex scenes between A/J and C/S *eg* and oh yeah there is Mpreg in here somewhere, and please remember that no one really dies in my fics.
Summary: for every wish there is a sacrifice
Challenge: the January 2002 Spread Your Wings Challenge, to write in a new fandom.
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Rod Serling once said in an episode of "The Twilight Zone," '...that for every wish there is a sacrifice, whether the wish be good or bad, there will always be a sacrifice.'* * *
Joxer lay sleeping on the cold, hard ground when the dream came to him. He dreamt that he was walking in a field, but then he fell into a hole. When he fell, there was a trap and he realized that it felt like an animal trap. As he struggled, he saw that his foot had gotten caught in it. He called out to Xena and Gabby, but they didn't hear him. Joxer knew that something was very wrong when Xena stepped on the hole and didn't fall in. It was like she was standing on air. To Xena's eyes, she was standing in a field of grass. Joxer wondered why this had happened to him. Was this the trick of a god or something else. Then, a bright flash appeared. It was so intense that it caused him to wake up.
Joxer sat up and sleepily looked around their camp site. He noticed that Xena was still up, keeping watch over them while she cleaned her sword. Gabby was asleep nearby her. Xena had noticed how Joxer had suddenly sat up and looked over at him.
"Joxer," she softly asked. "Are you all right?"
"Yeah, Xena," he said as he gave her a shy smile. "Just a strange dream that I had was all."
She nodded her head and went back to working on her sword. Joxer watched her for a moment before he finally laid back down to go back to sleep.
It was later on in the afternoon when Joxer realized he was seeing the beginning of last night's dream come true.
Unfortunately, he realized it just before he fell down the hole.
He looked down at the trap and it did indeed feel like an animal trap. Four long, pointed rocks surrounded his ankle. As he struggled, he knew that his foot was caught in it, just like in his dream. He started to call out to Xena and Gabby, but they couldn't hear him. Joxer knew that something was very wrong when he saw Xena once again step on the hole and not fall in. It was like she was standing on air. However, to Xena's eyes she was standing in a field of grass as solders suddenly swarmed from everywhere to attack. Joxer lowered his head as he began to wonder why this stuff always happened to him.
Suddenly there came a bright light that flashed in front of him. The light was so bright that he had to close his eyes for fear that he would be blinded.
When he thought the light had faded, Joxer slowly opened his eyes and saw three women standing before him.
They wore beautiful, flowing white robes as they made their way towards him and then formed a small circle around him.
"Who are you?" they asked in unison.
Joxer bravely stood up straight as he proudly exclaimed, "I am Joxer the Mighty."
The three women looked at each other and then back at him as they again asked, "Who are you?"
Joxer paused as he realized that these women were probably goddesses and already knew who he was.
He let out a soft sigh as he answered, "I am Joxer of Athens."
The three ladies solemnly nodded their heads as they looked at him and asked, "What do you seek, young Joxer of Athens?"
Joxer then realized that they thought he was down here looking for something. He quickly shook his head as he began to explain to them that he had fallen down the hole and that his foot was trapped.
They looked at each other, then turned back to him as they asked again, "What do you seek, young Joxer of Athens?"
"Do you seek love?" asked the first woman.
"Do you seek wealth?" asked the second woman.
"Or, do you seek happiness?" asked the last woman.
Joxer shook his head at the women as he answered their questions. "No, I don't seek love." He said as he blushed at the thought of Gabby. "You see, there's this Amazon Warrior who is also a bard, and I am in love with her. I hope that one day she will feel the same about me."
"As for wealth," he said as he continued. "Why do I need wealth when I already have everything that I could ever want. I have some great friends, I can travel wherever I want to, and I am able to help people out whenever I can.
"And as for happiness, I am happy traveling with Xena and helping people who need it."
They looked at him, then back to each other, and then turned to him once more as they spoke.
"We have found you worthy young Joxer, and in turn, grant you one wish and one wish only."
Joxer instantly thought of wishing for Xena to find her redemption or wishing for Gabby to become famous, which would make her happy, and then she might return his feelings.
"This wish, Joxer of Athens, cannot be used for your friends. This wish is meant for you and you only," spoke the first woman.
"What do you wish for, Joxer?" They asked in unison.
Joxer closed his eyes as he thought of the one thing he would like to have. "I wish to have my feelings of love returned to me," he said softly as he thought of Gabby.
The three women looked at each other and the man standing before them.
"Your wish then," one woman spoke, "is to find true love."
"You wish for that someone will love you for who you are and not for what people think you are," came one cryptic reply.
"Most of all, though, you wish to feel your love returned to you." came another response spoken softly into his ear.
Joxer surprisingly looked up at the women, for they had turned his one simple wish into three.
"Very well, young Joxer. We will grant you your one wish, but remember this, Joxer of Athens: for every wish that is granted, whether the wish be good or bad, there is a sacrifice to be made. What will you sacrifice?" They again asked in unison as a sudden bright light flashed before them and Joxer found himself standing once more in the battlefield and looking at a very angry Gabby.
She began yelling at him for not listening and not staying put when he was supposed to.
Meanwhile, back in a room, sat a beautiful woman watching the ongoing weaving move back and forth, making up the fabric of life.
She didn't turn when her three daughters appeared before her. She just continued to watch the tapestry as she asked. "Is it done?"
"Yes Mother," came their reply.
The woman smiled sweetly as she spoke, "Good. Now for the next stage. Let's just hope he is ready to face his greatest test."
The three women nodded their heads as they flashed off to complete the next step of their mother's plan.
'For Peace will come to Olympus,' thought Moira as she watched the moving threads of life. 'The greatest sacrifice will be made to bring Peace to Olympus, and War will find Peace and bring forth Faith, Hope and Destiny. They will save us from the coming of the twilight.'
Ares sat in the darkened throne room of his temple on Olympus, brooding, when a bright light flashed before his eyes.
There standing in front of him were the three fates.
Lachesis tried to hide her smile as she witnessed the surprised look from the God of War and she began to speak.
"God of War," Clotho said as she moved closer to her sister.
"Son of Zeus," Atropos followed close behind.
"We have come here to tell you that it is time for you to face your true destiny. What will it be?" Lachesis asked.
"Ares, God of War and Son of Zeus," they spoke in unison.
"Will it be happiness?" Clotho asked as she moved closer to the confused god.
"Will it be love?" Atropos asked as she moved to the other side of his throne.
"Or will it be power?" Lachesis asked as she stood in front of him.
"Choose wisely, Ares, God of War, Son of Zeus. For the choice you make will change the future of Olympus," they said in unison.
Ares sat back on his black throne in shock.
For years, the other gods and goddesses had ostracized him because he was War. War that had never known peace because of his father's hatred for his son and the lack of love from his mother.
'Hades,' he thought with a rueful smile. Even his own daughter, Xena, hated him for what he represented and that was being war.
Even his own son, Cupid, didn't like what his job represented.
'The Son of Zeus, heir to the throne of Olympus,' he snidely thought, 'had known no love from his father for it was all given to my half brother Hercules. The favorite son of Zeus.'
Rumors had spread far and wide over Olympus, all saying the same thing. Zeus was going to practically ignore his first born and give the throne to the favored son. So there went his birth right, right out the temple, and Ares could care less.
Someone might ask why Ares, The God of War and the first born son of Zeus, did not care about the loss of being the new King of the Gods?
Well, for two reasons, really. One being that he was a survivor, and in case Zeus did give the throne to his idiot half-brother, then he had a nice and comfy back up plan ready to go when it happened.
The other reason was that if and when it happened, Ares knew it would be the down fall of Olympus and the end of the Greek gods. So, with his back up plan in working order, he, his sister Eris, and their nephew Strife, had set up a nice little cottage in a country called Italy. The cottage came with a large mirror on the wall so they all could have front row seats to watch the downfall of Olympus and laugh to their hearts' content.
So what more could an unloved and unwelcomed God of War ask for? He paused in thought. 'Someone to love him and welcome him with open arms.'
"Love," he roughly whispered.
Atropos smiled as she gave a knowing wink in her sisters' direction. Lachesis ignored her as she looked at Ares.
"You wish for someone to love you," Lachesis replied as she looked at her sister Clotho.
"You wish for some one to understand you," Clotho said as she looked back at Atropos.
Atropos looked up at him and stated softly, "And most of all you wish for someone to love you for who you are."
"Very well, Ares, God of War and the true Son of Zeus, we will grant you your one wish," they said in unison, and in a blinding flash, they all disappeared and then reappeared standing on a dirt road.
Lachesis pointed down the dirt road as she spoke, "For your wish, Ares, we have taken your godhood away from you for one week's time. Don't worry, we will keep your sword safe from harm. We give you this one week to find your heart's desire. At the end of the appointed time, if you have not found your true love, then we will restore your powers and you can continue on as you were. Remember this, Ares, that for every wish that is granted, no matter if it be good or bad, there will be a sacrifice. What will you sacrifice, Ares, God of War and the true Son of Zeus?" With out waiting for his answer, they flashed back to Olympus.
Ares let out a sigh and wondered what the Fates had gotten him into. He ran a hand through his black hair and looked down at the plain clothes that he was currently wearing. He let out another sigh as he started walking down the dusty road. As he walked, he began to idly wonder who the fates had put in his place while he was looking for his heart's desire.
Suddenly there was a bright flash as The Fates reappeared in the Temple of War.
Lachesis snapped her fingers as a dark blue flash appeared before their eyes. She snapped them again as a pink flash appeared in the Halls of War.
"Hey!" Strife angrily exclaimed as he looked around. "What's tha deal, Aunt Lachesis? I was in tha middle of tha most wonderful mischief when -poof- I am back here."
"Yes Dudes,I totally would like to know the reason for pulling me away from a very important love match," the angry God of Love stated as he tapped his foot impatiently on the black marble floor.
"Love match," Strife snorted as he tried to ignore how turned on he became when Cupid was angry. "I'll have ya know that tha mischief I was causing down there was way more important than your stupid love match."
"I'll have you know that," Cupid started as he angrily strode over to his cousin, "that love match was very important."
"BOYS!" Lachesis yelled as she pinched the side of her nose and tried to ignore the giggles coming from her younger sisters standing behind her. 'Sometimes,' she thought, 'being the oldest by three minutes has its drawbacks.'
Cupid let out an angry sigh as he stopped in mid-stride, while Strife's insane laughter slowly began to quiet down.
"Cupid, your father will be gone for a week and while he is gone we entrust you and Strife to take over his role as the God of War."
"What?" they asked in unison.
"Why me?" Cupid asked.
"Even though Ares has made Strife his second-in-command, being the God of War can be a difficult position for a young god to fill, so we have decided that with the combined powers of Love and Mischief that you two will be able to handle the power shift quite nicely."
"But what about our duties?" Cupid asked his aunt as he looked at the man standing beside him; the man he had hidden his true feelings from for so long now.
"You will be able to carry out your duties, along with Ares's, just fine, Cupid." Lachesis tiredly said as she kept thinking that their mother owed them a nice vacation after this.
Strife softly spoke the most important question in his mind, "What kind of an assignment is Unc on that he needs to be gone for a week?"
Lachesis turned piercing blue eyes on her cousin as she and her sisters spoke as one, "Ares, God of War and Son of Zeus, is seeking Peace. You are forbidden to tell anyone where the God of War has gone. No one must know that he is seeking Peace. Not even the King of the Gods."
"All right already. Gee, ya ask a simple question and ya get forbidden to talk about it," Strife said with a shake of his head.
Lachesis softly smiled down at her cousin as she once more snapped her fingers. A small black flash filled the room and then disappeared in place of the Sword of War floating above their heads.
"Sword of War, come forward," The Fates called out in unison.
"Do you know what is going on?" Lachesis calmly asked the floating sword.
A deep humming came forth as its reply.
"Good. Will you then willingly come with us for protection while your Master is gone?"
Silence rang for a long moment while the sword hung in mid-air.
Lachesis let out a sigh of relief when the sword finally gave its affirmative reply, because they all knew they would not survive if they took the sword against its will.
She raised her hand and waited for the sword to go to it. However, the Sword of War had other ideas and remained floating in the air.
Mumbling under her breath about stubborn swords and their owners, Lachesis let out a frustrated sigh, "Very well, Sword of War. Come with us to meet your Master's destiny." As she spoke, a bright flash appeared and then it was gone, leaving the God of Love and the God of Mischief alone in the Halls of War.
Cupid looked over at his handsome cousin as he ran a nervous hand through his blond hair. "So...Dude,What do we do now?"
Strife shrugged his shoulders as spoke, "Unc usually keeps a list for me ta go over in case he is away at a long war. He usually keeps it in his study." Cupid nodded and motioned for Strife to lead the way.
As they headed towards the study, a dark shadow hidden behind the throne silently moved forward.
She evilly smiled as she thought, 'What to do, what to do. Why, I guess I better be the one to tell Zeus that his God of War is missing." With that thought in her warped mind, a purple flash appeared behind the throne and then was gone.
Moira was quietly watching the fast moving weave of the fabric when a bright light suddenly flashed into the room.
"Well?" She asked as she continued to watch the moving thread.
"It is done, Mother," they answered in unison.
"Good," she calmly replied. "Was she there?"
"Good," she softly spoke as she turned to look at her beautiful daughters. "As we all know, there are two possible futures going on at this moment. Your job is to make sure that the right one comes to pass."
"Yes Mother," they answered in unison. Suddenly behind them came an impatient humming.
Moira looked up at the Sword of War and smiled. 'Just like its owner,' she thought as she pointed to another room behind her.
The sword hummed its reply as it floated over to the room where its destiny was held.
There, floating in mid-air, was the golden Sword of Peace.
An angry, dark purple flash appeared in the chambers of Zeus.
She frowned at the passionate sounds coming from Zeus's bedroom and his latest conquest.
She rolled her eyes as she wondered if the old fart ever ran out of justice. No wonder Hera was so grumpy all of the time.
'Hades,' she thought, 'he would do a goat if it showed him any interest...Wait a minute, he's done the goat thing already.'
"Zeus," she called out.
When no reply came back, except an increase in the volume of the moaning, she called out once more.
"Zeus, you damn bloody, horny old dog! Get your ugly cock out here. You've got work to do."
Suddenly, a bright and angry flash appeared before her eyes as a barely dressed Zeus now stood before her.
"Psyche!" he angrily bellowed. "This had better be important. I was in the midst of some important negotiations."
Psyche rolled her eyes at the lying bastard and angrily pointed her finger at him.
"You stupid fool, while you are seducing one of your wife's pretty priestesses, The Fates have started the Prophecy."
Zeus gasped, "No, they couldn't. I would know about it if they did."
Psyche rolled her eyes once more as she showed Zeus a scene in his mirror.
"Look you blithering fool."
The mirror showed the Halls of War. The image then changed to the study where they looked in and watched as Strife explained to Cupid the different kinds of battles that were currently going on. The image changed again to a man with black wavy hair who wore no beard and was dressed in peasant clothes, but it was the eyes that gave his true being away. They were the eyes of War, desperately seeking his destiny, his other half...his peace.
Zeus angrily growled and threw the mirror against the wall, shattering it.
"Years of planning gone," Psyche angrily screeched at him.
"Years of planting suggestions into your stupid son's head so he can take your place. Years of planning the death of your wife. And most of all, years of planning the death of War and the destruction of the House of War and Love, are all gone now because of you." She angrily pointed her finger at Zeus. "Just had to turn your back on The Fates. The keepers of the Sword of Peace. Just so you could have a one night stand with one of your wife's priestesses."
"Silence!!" Zeus bellowed as he raised his hand, ready to strike.
"Silence, you sniveling and whiny woman," he paused as he waited for Psyche to hold her tongue. "We still have time. Ares is still looking for Peace and if you are good, he may never find it."
Zeus snapped his fingers as a black box appeared before Psyche's eyes. "In this box lies the last of the hine blood daggers. Use it wisely, Psyche, and we will never hear of Peace again. We will control the universe, and I will be more powerful then Gaea and Uranus combined. For I will control the universe, and you my dark beauty, will be the new Queen of Olympus and will control all of the gods through the throne of my favored son, Hercules."
Psyche evilly smiled as she flashed out of the room in search of War.
A moment later, Zeus flashed out to keep an eye on Mischief and Love, and make sure that their destiny was in his hands.
Zeus silently flashed into the study of War's temple and carefully watched as Strife and Cupid made plans on which battles were important and which ones they could put off until Ares came back.
'Yes,' he thought as he gleefully, rubbing his white beard with his hand. 'I need more power, I crave it.The only way to become more powerful then Gaea and Uranus is to destroy the houses of War and Love, leave the throne to my idiot son, Hercules, and let that sniveling bitch think that she can control Olympus, when it is really I, Zeus,who not only controls Olympus, but the entire universe. It all hinges on the death of Cupid, and to then lay the blame in Strife's hands, leaving the way open for Hercules to take over the throne. Oh, it doesn't matter that Hercules doesn't know he is going to take over the throne, just that he will. And all I have to do is place the suggestion in his head, which I have been doing since he was born.'
Suddenly, dark and pink flashes caught Zeus's eye as Strife and Cupid disappeared from the temple. Zeus growled dangerously low and zapped out after them.
Meanwhile, down on what was thought of as a deserted road, walked a tall man dressed in peasant clothes, with his dark head bent down and his hands behind his back.
Ares let out a soft sigh as he began to think. How was he supposed to know his hearts desire? Hades, he and his heart have never been on good speaking terms since he didn't know when. Sure, he loved Aphrodite, but more as a brother would love a sister than the true love of his life. When it came time for them to marry, it was more of an expected thing than for the feeling of true love. When her eyes fell on Hephaestus and she fell maddeningly in love with him, Ares was very happy for her. Their marriage ended well and he could honestly say that he and his ex-wife got along wonderfully. Unlike his father and mother.
"OOF!" Ares exclaimed as he felt something hit him square in the chest.
"Ouch!" came a soft reply from below, followed by the sound of a pile of metal hitting the ground.
Ares unknowingly rubbed his chest as he looked down at the man sprawled on the dirt road. His eyes slowly crept up a strong pair of legs to a rusty, metal covered chest, then to an odd, sort of metal pointed hat covering the face.
The strange man let out a groan as he pulled off his ugly pointed hat and looked up into the most beautiful dark eyes he had ever seen. Eyes that were filled with pain and loneliness. He looked as if he was seeking something that was very important to him. Joxer felt his heart go out to this handsome and lonely man. He felt compelled to help him.
Ares stared down into the most beautiful brown eyes he had ever seen. Eyes that were filled with a past pain, but happiness, joy and peace overflowed the hidden pain and made him shine with serenity.
When he smiled up at him, Ares felt his heart tighten and it was hard to breathe.
He watched as Joxer slowly stood up and automatically took his arm as he began pulling him along the road.
"Hi, I'm Joxer. And if you don't mind me saying so, you look like you're lost. Listen, my friends and I have a camp just up the road from here. Why don't you come along with me and we will see if we can help you find what you're looking for?"
Joxer paused as he looked at the confused expression on the stranger's face and realized that he must have hit him harder than he had previously thought.
Ares took a deep breath and slowly let it out. He was going to do the one thing he had never done before...put his trust in a man he didn't know. In a man he had ignored most of his life because he was clumsy; in a man that held his destiny. So Ares did the only thing he could do, and that was nod his head and let Joxer take care of him. It was something that he had let no one ever do before.
Joxer returned his smile as he took Ares's hand in his smaller one and led him towards camp.
Xena looked up from the fire that she was starting when she heard the sound of Joxer's voice coming from behind the trees.
"Our camp is this way," there was a slight pause,. "At least, I think it's this way. I get lost easily."
There was another slight pause as if Joxer was waiting for a reply, but there was none that Xena could hear.
"I think you will like them," another pause, "Xena and I are great warriors and Gabby is an Amazon and a bard. Gabby is writing up our adventures," Joxer happily finished as he came through the trees into their camp.
Xena cautiously watched the man Joxer was leading behind him come into view. He was taller than Joxer, with dark wavy hair to the shoulder, and he wore clothes that had seen better days. However, it was his eyes that held her attention most. They made her feel as if she should know this man who was looking at Joxer as if he held all the answers in the world.
Joxer smiled at Xena as he noticed Gabby coming back from the stream, carrying fish.
Before he could even greet and introduce his new friend, Gabby angrily stalked over to him and began to yell, totally ignoring the fact that they had a guest.
"Joxer, where were you? You were supposed to do the fishing for our supper, and now because you weren't here, I had to do the fishing myself. Now supper is late all because of your stupidity!"
Joxer could feel the anger slowly rising from the stranger standing next to him and quickly stepped between the two before the situation got worse.
"You're right, Gabby, I'm sorry. I got lost, and while trying to find my way back, I accidentally bumped into him," he finished with a soft blush on his face as he looked at the handsome man standing behind him.
It was then that Gabby noticed the handsome stranger.
'She had the gall to yell at him,' Ares angrily thought as she shoved the fish into Joxer's arms and tried to pull Ares away from his mate... 'Wait a minute, I am already thinking of Joxer as my mate?'
Ares growled low in his throat as he angrily pushed her away from him, causing Xena to rise in her defense. Suddenly, Joxer dropped the fish in his hands as he placed a gentle hand on Ares's chest while he looked at Xena, "It's all right, Xena. He meant no harm to her, did you?" Joxer turned his pleading eyes to look at Ares, and without knowing why, Ares let out a soft sigh, "Sorry Princess, I meant no harm to her... She just took me by surprise."
Xena nodded her head as she slowly lowered her sword back down to her side. "Who are you?" she asked as she bent to pick up a slightly bruised Gabrielle.
"Res," he quickly answered. "I got lost from my unit. We were heading to Sparta."
Xena nodded her head, "Yes, we are headed that way, too."
Ares raised his head up sharply to look at his daughter, "Why are you headed that way?"
"Xena wants to stop the coming battle," his future love said as he looked up at Ares with a smile.
Ares let out a tired sigh, 'I should have known. Well, at least I planned for some extra surprises for her just in case she showed up. Why, it wouldn't be a battle without her,' he thought with a rueful smile.
Xena nodded her head in agreement with Joxer as she looked the bruised Gabby over. "Joxer, why don't you go and clean those fish for us while I make sure that Gabrielle is okay?" she said as she tried to ignore the dirty look Gabrielle was giving Res.
Joxer gave Xena a relieved smile and gladly picked up the fish and headed back to the stream to clean them off, giving Res a slight smile as he left. Ares returned his smile and without knowing why, silently followed Joxer to the stream.
Joxer sat down and began to clean the fish while Ares nonchalantly leaned against a tree to watch him. As he watched the gentle hands of the man who unknowingly held his heart and the future of Olympus,perform the task. He idly wondered how he was going to tell the gentle soul of the man he was so quickly falling in love with, that his life was going to change, drastically? It was then, that out of the corner of Ares's eye, he saw a glint of silver flash right before the blade flew through the air.
"JOXER!" Ares screamed.
Cupid and Strife appeared on an empty battlefield outside of Sparta.
Strife unrolled the list while Cupid looked across the field.
"So, Dude, what do we do now?" Cupid said as he watched the sun shine on Strife's pale, white skin and shining, black hair, causing Cupid to hold his breath at the sheer beauty of his cousin.
Strife frowned in thought as he looked over the items that were listed on the scroll.
"Unc says," Cupid turned and watched in concern as Strife paused. He watched as Strife slowly began to close his eyes and his body began to shake.
"Strife?" Cupid called out as he ran back to his cousin. He started to lay a hand on him when the shaking suddenly stopped and Strife opened his eyes. His once beautiful blue eyes were now violet as a wicked smile crossed his pale features.
Strife wrapped his arms tightly around his body and let out an insane cackle.
"Melody, just now, dropped," he paused as he fell back down on the ground laughing harder, "manure all over Jason's clean white togas."
Strife paused in his laughter to see a look of confusion come over Cupid's face.
"Don't ya remember?" Cupid shook his head as he watched in fascination,a warm amethyst glow of mischief spark to life in Strife's eyes.
Strife let out a sigh as he sat up and explained. "Melody is the only sister of Harmony. Ya know, the sister whose mother went through a music phase when they where born." Strife paused and watched the recollection come to Cupid and smiled when he nodded his head.
"Yeah, Dude, now I remember them. Mom had me set her sister, Harmony, up with this dick of a guy to teach her a lesson, that looks are not everything and it was what was on the inside that counted."
"Well, apparently it worked, because Jason just dumped Harmony for one of the popular girls in town. Anyway, Harmony was all upset about it, right," he paused, watching Cupid nod in agreement. "Well, Melody is Harmony's only sister, and her brother is away, so Melody decided that she should at least avenge her sister in her brother's place. I mean after all, what else is a little sister supposed to do?" Strife said as Cupid reached down to pick him up.
Cupid gently smiled down at him as he watched Strife explain excitedly how he helped her find the really smelly manure in town, because you really need the smelliest manure in order to pull something like this off. Strife again paused as his eyes that had been slowly turning back to normal once again changed. This time they were a deep, angry shade of purple.
Strife suddenly began looking around, and then he violently pushed Cupid to the ground as he fell on top of him. Strife looked up in time to see a whizzing dagger fly past their heads and then disappeared with a purple flash which was soon followed by a golden flash.
Cupid let out a painful cry as his wings and body fell down on the hard ground. He slowly opened his eyes and looked up into a face that would have almost scared him if it wasn't for the fact that he had been slowly falling in love with his cousin.
For the face he looked up into was full of bloodlust as Strife's now angry red eyes looked around their surroundings, searching for something.
Strife could feel the hatred and deadly mischief filling the air around them and knew in a instant that someone was trying to kill Cupid. His Cupid. Sure, he knew he had deep feelings for the guy currently lying underneath him. If he had the guts, he would admit to himself at least that he was hopelessly falling for the God of Love. But,now, someone was trying to kill the man he was secretly in love with, and as Strife looked down into Cupid's worried green eyes, he knew in an instant that he loved Cupid above all else and that he would die to protect him.
Joxer looked up into angry black eyes as they scanned their surroundings, looking for whatever had frightened Res enough to push Joxer down on the hard ground.
It was then that Joxer noticed that Res's arm was bleeding.
Worried at seeing Res bleeding, he quickly began pushing hard against Ares's chest to get him off so he could take a look at it.
Feeling something pushing hard against his chest brought Ares back from scanning the area around them for their assassin. It was then that the copper scent of blood filled his nose and caused him to quickly check his beloved who was lying underneath him.
"Joxer, are you all right?" Ares asked as he concernedly ran his hands up and down Joxer's body.
Seeing Ares's concern caused Joxer to smile as he placed a gentle hand on his arm. "I'm fine, Res. It's you that I am worried about," he said as he pointedly looked at Ares's bleeding arm.
Ares looked down at his arm and grimly smiled at the nasty cut as he, without thought, tried to make the cut disappear. It was then that he remembered that the Fates had taken his godhood away from him, and in so doing, had also made him mortal.
Joxer gently pushed against Ares's chest once more to get his attention. "Come on, Res. Let's go back to camp so Xena can look at your arm. Okay?"
Res smiled down at the man, feeling happy for the first time since he could remember because he was now cared for, and that made him feel special and loved for the very first time in his life. So, with a great reluctance, because laying on top of Joxer was starting to feel very good, Ares moved off of him and helped him up.
Still holding Joxer's hand, Ares made a mental note to find out who would want to kill Joxer and why. Once he found the who and the why, then he will decide which way he would like to watch them die. The slow and painful way, which is always enjoyable, or the quick way with less the joy but the satisfation that you killed them off? Decisions, decisions, decisions, Ares thought with a smile as he held his lover's hand as they made their way back to the camp.
Cupid felt Strife place a gentle finger on his lips while Strife's blood red eyes sought out where the deadly mischief had gone.
Cupid could feel the gentle ridges of Strife's fingerprint against his soft lips and could not help but let out a soft moan as he felt a slight pain emanating from his back because of his crushed wings.
His soft moan caused Strife's finger to slip into his warm wet mouth, and as he closed his lips around it, a glint of mischief entered Cupid's green eyes, but quickly disappeared before Strife could pick up on it. Slowly, Cupid began to suck on Strife's pale finger and watched as the blood red eyes turned to a passionate sapphire blue.
Strife let out a low moan as he watched Cupid's soft lucious lips begin a gentle sucking motion, causing a certain part of his body to become very hard.
Strife removed his finger, and without thinking, lowered his head and kissed Cupid with all of the love that he had been hiding and let it flow into the man underneath him.
Cupid slowly wrapped his arms around his body and turned them over as he returned the kiss with equal passion, causing Strife to moan in pleasure.
Strife moved his hands teasingly over the soft feathers of Cupid's wings, causing Cupid to break their passionate kiss and shiver in pleasure at the feel of Strife's fingers moving gently over one of his most erogenous zones.
As Cupid looked down at his lover, he said the first words that came to his mind. "I love you, Strife."
Shocked, Strife looked up at the handsome man lying above him and asked, "What about Psyche?"
Cupid let out a soft sigh as he reluctantly got up off of Strife and sat down next to him. He wrapped his arms around his knees as he sat, curled into a ball. He unconsciously stretched out his creamy white wings as he sat with his head leaning on top of his knees.
"Mistake," he replied quietly without looking at Strife, who was now sitting even closer to him. "Big Mistake, Dude! I did love her, Strife. Or at least I thought I did, but the two years that I thought we were happy were all a lie. You know, she told me that she hated being pregnant, and that Bliss wasn't mine but was the son of some unknown god that she had slept with. That was the last straw for me, and Bliss and I got out of there as fast as we could, and moved into Mom's place.
"Two weeks ago I went to Hera and asked her to annul the marriage. Hera wouldn't listen, though. She said that I needed proof for her to even consider the marriage over, and Psyche is very good at looking innocent when she is not. So, I am still looking for proof while she torments our son by telling him everyday how much she hated giving birth to him and that I am not his real father." Cupid paused as he swallowed the lump in his throat to continue. "She has gone as far as telling him that I don't love him. Mom is protecting him as best as she can, and she even has Deimos and Phobos guarding him, but somehow Psyche manages to always get to him."
Strife couldn't help but put his arms around Cupid and hold him tight. Cupid then wrapped his arms around Strife and let go of his pent up tears. "The biggest mistake she could make is to hurt Bliss, but I am unable to protect him because I lack the proof that I need to end this sham of a marriage."
Strife held him close while he mentally plotted different ways to find the proof that Cupid needed to get rid of that bitch so he could have some fun with her himself. How dare she hurt Bliss. Why, Bliss was one of his favorite mischief makers on Olympus. Yep, he thought, this definitely called for revenge in all of its sweetest forms, and who to do it but the God of Mischief himself.
He looked down at the man he held in his arms, placed a finger under his chin and lifted his face up. Strife looked into the tear streaked face and bent down to kiss each one away as he spoke softly, "You are a great father, Cupid. Never doubt that. Bliss is your child and he knows the truth. He believes in ya and will love ya no matter what. I have and always will love ya 'til the end of time." He then placed a gentle kiss on Cupid's lips, one filled with both love and promise.
Slowly, he pulled away from the man and smiled at the relenting groan coming from his lover's yummy lips. Strife rose up and pulled Cupid with him and as he wrapped a protective arm around him. "I think it would be a good idea for us to pop in on Unc and see what's happening. Besides, I want to see if he is having the same problem that we are."
"You mean, besides someone trying to kill me?" Cupid softly asked as he ran a finger across Strife's surprised face. "I saw the dagger pass over us when you knocked me down," he said in answer to Strife's questioning glance.
Strife nodded his head as he grabbed Cupid's hand and placed a gentle kiss in the middle of his palm. "I think the same thing is happening to Unc and that is why he is not here. We need to find him and see what's going on. Any idea on how to find him?" Strife asked as he stroked a hand down one of Cupid's wings.
Cupid let out a soft moan as he tried to think. "When Bliss was first learning his powers, sometimes he would go missing for hours and I would be frantic at trying to find him." Strife nodded his head as he remembered those early mischievous moments during that first year. "Dad came up with the idea for me to take one of my feathers and pin it to Bliss, and he would also take a feather to wear around his neck so he could help with finding him. I think it would work the same way in trying to find Ares." Strife nodded as he watched Cupid lift one of his beautiful wings and pluck a feather from it. Cupid then raised the feather in the air and said, "I Cupid, God Of Love, command you to find Ares, God of War."
Silence rang around them as they waited for something to happen, but nothing did. Cupid looked at Strife who shrugged his shoulders. "Try saying Dad instead of God of War," he suggested.
Cupid nodded his head as he raised the feather once more. "I Cupid, God of Love, command you to find my dad."
Silence again ruled for a few minutes, then suddenly, the feather flew out of Cupid's hand as a pink flash surrounded it. Soon, a pink and blue flash appeared and disappeared just as quickly, as Cupid and Strife followed the feather of love.
Zeus and Psyche flashed back into his temple. Zeus angrily wrapped his strong hands around Psyche's throat and slowly began to squeeze the life out of her.
"You idiot! You stupid, greedy, sniveling bitch!" Zeus yelled as he shook her body like a broken rag doll.
"How dare you try to kill Cupid when he is with Strife!" he shouted once more at her as he threw her body hard against a stone wall.
"Did you, in your haste to kill your husband, forget that Strife is the God of Mischief? That he can feel both good and evil mischief in the air? Dammit, you inept bitch!" He cursed at her again as he threw a lightning bolt at the cowering woman.
"Because of your blasted stupidity, they now know that something is up. They will know that we are after Cupid, and this will put Strife on guard, and he will in turn, warn Ares. Thus, ruining my plan to have the ultimate power; to be able to control the universe and be the supreme being."
"But Ares is dead," came Psyche's soft, whimpering response.
"What?" Zeus asked with deadly calm as he came near her.
"I...I killed him, " she said with smug pride. "He was standing at a river guarding some sniveling human when I took up the dagger and slashed his arm. Even as we speak," she continued with an insane smile crossing her pale features and her dark eyes shining with madness, "the poison of the Hind's blood is running through his veins and he is taking his last breath."
An unholy gleam entered Zeus's blue eyes when he waved his hand and he viewing mirror appeared before him. "Show me Ares, God of War," he commanded the mirror. The mirror was silent and showed him nothing. Zeus smiled down at Psyche as she returned a smile of victory. Zeus turned to the mirror once more and commanded, "Show me the dead body of my son, Ares."
The viewing mirror shimmered and glowed as a picture came into view, but instead of triumphing over the sight of his dead son, he became furious, and with a snap of his fingers, ended the immortal life of Psyche and turned her into a horse fly.
Ares, the thorn that had been in his side since his birth, still lived because someone had taken his godhood away and made him mortal.
With a deadly glare, Zeus turned his eyes to the only one who could do this. The only woman who was charged with the protection of the Sword of Peace when he lay dying.
"MOIRA!" Zeus angrily called for the Goddess of Prophecy and the mother of the Fates.
A fine mist filled Zeus's room as a red haired goddess with dazzling blue eyes appeared before Zeus.
"You bellowed?" she said with a sneer of disgust as she looked him up and down.
Zeus narrowed his blue eyes as he looked at his sister, "You've gone too far, Moira. In your protection of the Sword of Peace, you have made War vulnerable. You have made him mortal." He paused in thought as an evil smile crossed his face. "It is far too easy for me to kill my son now."
Zeus felt a shiver run up his spine as he watched her blue eyes turn a deadly black and her voice grew cold with emotion as she prophesied, "Try to kill him if you must, Zeus, but Peace has found War and will give the greater sacrifice in order to protect him and bring forth Faith, Hope and Destiny. Then, Peace and War will unite and dethrone the sky king, and they will bring forth a new age that will survive the Twilight and outlast even the age of One God."
She smiled coolly at Zeus, her eyes still deadly black as she spoke once more, "Farewell, dear brother, for I fear this will be the last time that I will ever see you again. Say hello to Hades for me." With a wave of her hand she was gone from the room, leaving behind only a trail of mist behind her.
Zeus frowned at his disappearing sister and then glared at his viewing mirror, "Show me Peace," he commanded. When nothing happened He angrily growled at it as he threw a thunder bolt at it, causing it to break once more.
With an angry growl he flashed out in search of his son, knowing Peace would be near by.
Xena let out a tired sigh as she began to wipe the blood from Res's arm.
As she looked up, she gave a worried Joxer a comforting smile and told him to help Gabrielle look for the healing herbs she needed.
She paused in cleaning Res's wound as she watched Joxer head back out to the woods.
Then she turned her cool blue eyes to the man that was sitting in front of her. "So, Ares, what are you doing here?" She calmly asked in an ice cold voice as she ignored his surprised look.
"How did you know?" He winced as she touched his wound.
She smiled slightly as she continued to clean it. "A daughter always knows when her father is around, and a former warrior always knows when her former war god is around, too. So, what's going on, Ares?" She asked again.
Ares let out a tired sigh as he ran his fingers through his curly hair, "To be honest, Xena, I don't know." He laughed softly at the look of surprise that crossed his daughter's face.
"Xena, all I know is that yesterday the Fates appeared in my temple and gave me a choice between power, happiness and love," he paused as he wondered if he should tell his daughter how vulnerable he really was.
"What did you choose, Ares?" She asked as her cool blue glaze held his dark one.
He sighed and he looked away from her as he roughly whispered, "Love."
"What did you say?" She asked as she tied the bandage tighter on his arm, making him wince again at the pain.
"Love," he angrily barked at her. "The Great God of War wants to be loved. Does that surprise you?" He asked as he glared at her.
"No, Ares," came her soft reply, "It doesn't. Everyone wants, needs or deserves to be loved. I'm just surprised that it took you this long," she replied with a teasing look in her blue eyes, "to find that out for yourself."
Ares shook his head at his daughter. She watched as his once hardened features softened, and he smiled as he watched Joxer come back from the forest.
She frowned at the way Ares was looking at Joxer, like he was his only lifeline to this world. Xena squeezed Ares's sore arm to get his attention.
"Is Joxer the one you love?" she asked.
Ares looked away from his daughter, back towards the happy man headed their way, and without thinking he said, "With all my heart. I love him as I have never loved before."
Suddenly, a dagger appeared under his throat as Xena leaned in close, and with a deadly whisper in his ear, she hissed, "Love him if you must, Ares. But if I find out that you have hurt him in any way, then whether or not you are a mortal, or God, or my father, I will not think twice about slowly cutting your heart out and watching you bleed to death. Joxer's been hurt enough. He deserves to be happy for once."
Ares smiled at his daughter, feeling proud of her, "Now that's a threat that I can understand, and agree with."
"Threat?" She quietly asked as she swiftly put her dagger back.
Ares frowned and then quickly informed Xena on what had happened at the river.
Xena grew serious in thought, "So, you think that someone is trying to kill Joxer. But why?"
Ares shrugged his shoulders as he watched Joxer and Gabrielle enter the camp. "The only thing I can think of is that either whoever is after him thinks that he is his brother Jett, or," he paused as he swallowed the lump that had suddenly formed in his throat, "it's because he was with me, and I'm the one that the dagger was meant for. Then, he is still in danger, because like a fool, I have fallen in love and have put him in harm's way. And for that reason, I must stay away from him. Find a way for him to hate me so he will be protected from my enemies."
"Ares, are you sure that's the right choice?" Xena softly asked, "Don't you think that Joxer should be included in your decision?"
Ares looked thoughtfully at his daughter, but before he could speak, a pink and blue flash appeared near the campsite.
The sudden flash caused Xena and Ares to be on the defensive, standing protectively in front of Joxer and Gabrielle.
Ares let out a sigh of relief when he saw Strife and Cupid standing before them.
"Hey Unc," Strife called out as he and Cupid walked forward.
Ares smiled at seeing his son and nephew together and lowered his sword.
"What are you doing here?" Xena asked with her sword still raised.
Cupid looked toward Strife and shrugged his shoulders while Strife just raised his eyebrow up and gave her a 'duh' look. "Unc was missing, so we thought we would go find him."
"What's going on,Strife?" Ares asked as he bent down and picked up Cupid's glowing feather. As he handed the glowing feather back to his son, he noticed the sudden closeness between Cupid and Strife, while Xena finally lowered her sword. He ignored the anger he could see growing in Gabrielle.
"That's what we would like to know, Unc. One moment, Cupie and I were minding our business and the next, the Fates bring us to your temple and tell us that we are to take over until you're back. Then they leave with the Sword of War following behind them."
"The Sword of War willingly left with the Fates!" He exclaimed.
Cupid and Strife nodded their heads. "What's going on, Dad?" Cupid asked as he elbowed Strife and nodded his head towards Ares's bandaged arm. He also noticed the look of surprise and shock that came across Joxer's face.
"To be honest, Cupid, I don't rightly know. All I do know, is that the Fates also appeared to me, and gave me an offer that I couldn't refuse." He wasn't about to tell them what that offer was; admitting his so human-like feelings in front of his daughter was enough for him to deal with in one day.
"It sounds like the Fates are behind what is going on," Xena thoughtfully spoke as she turned back towards the camp.
"Aren't they always, Xena," Gabrielle stated bitterly as she glared at the three Gods standing before her.
It was then that Gabrielle noticed Joxer was missing.
"I hope you know that this is all your fault, Ares," Gabrielle angerly hissed at him as she stomped back into the camp.
'Res was Ares,' was the only thing the stunned man could think when he saw Cupid and Strife appear in their camp.
His Res. The man he found himself falling in love with was none other than the God he had worshipped all his life. The God he had loved since he had first met him. The God who was so high above him, he had no hope of returned affection. That was the man he had found. The man who called himself Res.
'WHY!' Joxer screamed inside his head as he, without thought, turned and did the only thing he knew to do -- run and hide. Lick his wounds and come back stronger than ever, but once more he would have to hide his true self, so no one would know how much he was hurting inside.
'It was a joke,' he finally realized as he leaned against a tree to catch his breath.
He sighed and sat down. It had to be all one, big blasted joke. As far as he could remember, no one had ever really loved him. His father hated him because he was clumsy. His father had always loved Jett more than he did the rest of his sons. That was the one thing he and Jace had in common, the hatred of their father. He hated Jace for never wanting to be a warrior, and Joxer for wanting to be something that he never could be. A warrior. A man under Ares's favor, and leader of one of his vast armies. But that was a lie, just like everything else.
Joxer knew he was the most unwanted warrior in Ares's service. It only proved that the reason why Res, Ares, would even think about visiting him. To play a joke.
'A joke on his most unwanted warrior. To make him laugh. That was all,' Joxer thought as he watched a leaf fall from the tree he was sitting under. 'Why, being the butt of people's jokes is the only thing I'm really good at. That, and making really good honey cakes, but that's beside the point.'
'The point is that the only reason why my God would even think about seeing me was that he wanted a good joke,' Joxer thought as he wiped his nose along his sleeve and tried to dry his wet eyes.
'Who would want to love such a clumsy oaf? No one,' he thought as watched a bird fly across the darkening sky. 'Not even the great Joxer the Mighty would love a man that couldn't set one foot in front of the other without falling,' Joxer ridiculed himself as he thought of his made up persona.
He let out another tired sigh as he banged the back of his head against the base of the hard tree.
'No one will ever love me,' he sleepily thought as he closed his tired eyes and cried himself to sleep.
Fear gripped Ares's heart as he realized that the bimbo was right. It was his fault for not telling Joxer the truth about himself, and when he noticed that Joxer was missing, without thinking, he stormed around their camp and began tearing everything apart in hopes of finding Joxer safe and sound. So he could tell him how sorry he was for his blunder.
It was then that he heard a painful groan coming from Cupid.
"Awww!" Cupid exclaimed as he felt the sharp stab of pain from a broken heart. He clutched his chest at the force of the pain and fell into the comforting arms of his love.
With painful green eyes, he pleadingly looked up at his beloved Strife. "Hurts, Gods! Strife, I've never felt a broken heart so much," he said through gritted teeth as he continued to feel the person's agonizing suffering.
"A broken heart," Ares softly spoke as if he already knew whose heart had been broken. "Where is it coming from?"
Cupid clung to the comforting embrace of Strife as he felt his love hold him tight. He closed his eyes and concentrated on where it was coming from, and with a shaking finger, pointed towards the woods.
Ares silently nodded his head, and without saying a word, headed towards the woods and the only person he knew that could have a broken heart because of him.
Cupid turned his head against Strife's chest as he fought the pain.
"What do you want me to do, Cupie?" Strife asked, feeling helpless for the first time since he had told Cupid how much he loved him.
Cupid clung tightly against Strife's lean body as he tried to ignore the pain and concentrate on Strife's soft voice. "Remind," he paused as he fought against another blast of pain. "Remind me how much you love me. It's the only thing that will end the pain of a broken heart."
Strife smiled at his love and held him tight as bent down to nibble on Cupid's neck. "Do you know when the first time was that I fell in love with you?" He softly asked as he worked his way up Cupid's neck and began kissing his face. Cupid softly moaned as he felt Strife's warm, loving kisses.
"It was a day like any other, so long ago. I had just gotten back from doing some excellent mischief, when suddenly, I saw this huge bird-like shadow flowing across one of Olympus's hills. It was slowly gliding closer toward where I stood. I looked up, seeing what was causing the shadow, and there you were. The sun was glinting across your beautiful blond curly hair," he paused as he ran his pale fingers through the soft wavy hair, causing Cupid to moan at the feel of them. He gently moved his fingers over one of Cupid's pearl white wings.
"When the sunlight," he continued, "hit upon your wings, it took my breath away at the gorgeous sight flying above me. As you flew over me, I knew in that moment that you had taken my heart away."
"Oh, Strife," Cupid moaned and pulled his lover down and proceeded to show him how much he loved him with a kiss filled with passion.
Strife was slightly surprised by his passionate lover, but returned the kiss with fervor. He was overwhelmed with the sweet taste of his lover. He found himself wanting to taste more, so he plunged his tongue deeper into Cupid's warm mouth.
"EWWWWW!" Came a piercing, whining cry from what seemed far away, yet it brought them both out of their passionate embrace only to look into Gabrielle's disgusted blue eyes.
"That's so gross," she said as she pointed toward them like a little child. She ran to Xena, telling her that they should stop what they were doing.
Strife chuckled softly as he looked down at the still passionate, burning green gaze of his love, and softly asked, "So, do you want to stop what we were doing?"
"Nope," Cupid laughed softly and shook his head. "You?" He shyly asked as he ran his fingers through Strife's black hair.
Concern entered Strife's worried eyes as he looked down at his love. "Are you okay now?" he softly asked.
Cupid smiled cockily up at his love and roughly asked, "Why don't you come closer and find out," he said with a thrust of his hips, causing Strife to groan.
Strife smiled as he asked, "Well, before we were so rudely interrupted, where were we? Ah, yes," he teasingly said as he bent down to finish tasting his love.
"Xena!" Gabrielle yelled as she stomped into the camp.
"What?" Xena asked as she worriedly looked towards the woods where she had seen Ares enter.
"They're... They're," Gabrielle stuttered as she pointed her finger towards the passionate lovers. "Kissing!" she exclaimed.
Xena followed Gabby's finger towards the two Gods in question and smiled at her friend's discomfort.
When Xena had first met Cupid's wife, Psyche, she knew then that there was something wrong with her brother's relationship with her. But Xena lived on the theory of live and let live. Her brother was in a relationship that she didn't like, so she didn't say anything other than, 'If you need someone to talk to, all you have to do is drop by and I will listen.' Two years later, that was exactly what he did: he dropped by and she listened. She didn't pass judgment, didn't say 'I told you so.' She simply gave him her support when he needed it. In return for her kindness, he left her out of his love matches, which she was eternally grateful for.
So, when he and Strife appeared together, and she noticed how much they both loved each other, she was happy for him. When they finally got a chance to be alone together, she would tell him how happy she was for him and would once more offer her ear in case he needed to talk, but as she looked at the two new lovers, she knew that he wouldn't be dropping by much.
Which then left her with her father and his new love interest, Joxer. Xena tuned out Gabby's caterwauling about her brother's new love interest and concentrated once more on the darkening night sky and the woods where her father had disappeared into to search for the broken heart of her friend, Joxer.
She hoped that her father would find the right words to tell Joxer the truth.
She let out a tired sigh as Gabby's voice finally pierced her thoughts. Why was it that she let Gabby travel with her again? She asked herself as she noticed her brother and Strife starting to get a little more physical with each other.
With a teasing smile, she spoke up, "Cupid, as much as I am pleased with your new love, I have to agree with Gabby that some of us don't want to have a front row seat to it."
She laughed softly as she watched her brother reluctantly pull away from Strife. "Sorry, Xena," he softly said with a blushed tint to his face.
She nodded and once more turned her worried gaze towards the woods, looking for any signs of her missing father and Joxer.
Ares followed Joxer's hasty trail easily enough and he soon came upon the sleeping man.
Without thought Ares sat down next to the man he had fallen in love with. He gently picked up the slumbering form and placed him on his lap as he wrapped his arms around his dozing lover.
'Warm,' was Joxer first thought as he began to slowly wake up. He suddenly felt so warm and safe and ... loved?'
He stiffened as he slowly looked up into the face of the man who had caused his heart to break. He tried to struggle out of Ares hold but Ares held him tight against this chest and waited for Joxer to still.
"Why?" Joxer softly asked the only word he was able to get out once he stilled in Ares's lap.
'Why?' Ares thought as he realized that this was his chance, his chance to make Joxer hate him in order to protect him.
This was his chance to lie and make Joxer learn to hate him. He paused as he remembered Xena's words. 'Don't you think that Joxer should be included in this decision?'
He remembered and as he looked down into those deep brown eyes of his love, he new at that moment he could never lie to Joxer.
So, Ares did the one thing he had never done before. He told Joxer the truth and readied himself for Joxer to hate him more, "When I was a boy I must have been no older then 5 or 6 when I learned my very first and only lesson from my own father. It was a hard lesson and one that stuck with me since I accepted the sword of War. He told me that I was never wanted, never loved and that as the God of War I will have to learn to live with the fact that no one will ever love me and welcome me in their arms."
"It is a lesson that I have always remembered. Since that lesson I have never felt wanted in my family. Yes, I did love Aphrodite, but more as a brother would love a sister then the true love of my life. When it came time for us to marry it was more of an expected thing then for the feeling of true love. When her eyes fell on Hephaestus and she fell maddeningly in love with him I was very happy for her. Our marriage ended well and I can honestly say that my ex-wife and I get a long wonderfully. Years passed and I had become used to the idea of no one ever wanting me or welcoming me with open arms. Soon, though, rumors began to spread far and wide over Olympus, all saying the same thing. Zeus was going to practically ignore me, his first born son and give the throne to his favored son. But I could care less about my birth right. I had a back up plan for when my 'beloved' brother," he said snidely, "took over the throne. There was one thing missing from my perfect backup plan . The Fates came to me and offered me the one chance to get what was missing from my life."
He paused as he looked down into the now drying eyes of his love and offered Joxer the one thing he had never given to anyone... his heart. "You, Joxer. Are that one thing that was missing from my life. My chance at finding true love. When I first laid eyes on you on that deserted road I knew in that moment that you were the one meant for me."
Joxer sat there stunned as he looked into Ares' dark eyes filled with hope and love.
He took a deep breath and wrapped his arms around Ares's neck as he looked deep into Ares's eyes as he tried to swallow the lump that suddenly formed in his throat, "When Xena asked who you were, why did you lie?"
Ares swallowed as he looked at the only person he knew he would never lie to, "Because I was afraid of losing you."
Joxer sat up straight at hearing this,"Losing me, why?"
"Because, Joxer, you're the only person that I have ever felt the need to risk my heart with. The only person that I have ever truly loved and wanted to share my life with, to be my consort," Ares paused to swallow the lump that suddenly formed in his throat as he roughly asked, "Will you, Joxer of Athens, be my heart, my soul, my peace, my every lasting love, my Consort?"
Joxer felt his eyes start to get wet and with a weak smile as he nervously swallowed, "I, Joxer of Athens, will accept your heart, for you have become my soul, my peace, my every lasting love. I will accept being your consort because I love you," With that he leaned down for their first of many kisses.
Ares moaned at the sensations that went through him at the feel of Joxer warm mouth touching his, and like a starving man he pulled Joxer closer to deepen the kiss.
Without thought, Joxer let out a soft moan as he plunged his tongue into Ares' warm mouth. He felt Ares' tongue exploring and tasting. He let out a disappointed moan when Ares suddenly pulled back.
"Are you sure, Joxer?" He asked his panting lover. "That you love me, because if I remember right you were in love with Gabrielle."
Joxer rolled his eyes as he let out a frustrated sigh as he leaned up and pulled Ares back down near his waiting lips as he threateningly whispered, "I love you, Ares. I may have thought I was in love with Gabby, but I never really knew what true love was ... until I meant you. I love you, Ares," With that he pulled Ares down for a kiss that was filled with love.
Ares let out a passionate groan as he felt the love of Joxer coming through their kiss. Their kisses where filled with passion.
Ares let out a soft moan as he slid an arm around Joxer's waist and pushed him to the ground.
"Clothes," Joxer roughly whispered as his hands started working pulling Ares's shirt out of his paints.
In his haste to get them out of their clothes, Ares forgot that he didn't have any powers. He remembered this when he tried to think their clothes away, "Hades, I forgot I don't have any powers," he said as he started to take off Joxer's shirt.
"What do you mean you don't have any powers," Joxer exclaimed as he stopped his frantic lover.
Ares let out a frustrated sigh as looked down at his concerned lover, "The Fates took my Godhood away when they offered me my chance at finding my true love," He said as he lovingly brushed some of Joxer's hair away from his lover's eyes.
"Oh," Joxer softly exclaimed as he brushed his finger across Ares's face. "Are you all right with this?"
Ares thought over Joxer's question and then he smiled down at his lover, "Yes, because I have found you. I love you, Joxer."
Joxer smiled up at his lover as he roughly whispered, "Then make love to me."
Ares let out a passionate groan as they finished getting out of their clothes.
Then Ares slipped his hands under Joxer, pulling him close to his now naked body. While his other hand slowly moved down Joxer soft naked body.
Joxer groaned at the feel of Ares strong hands moving across his body. The feel of Ares' fingers moving slowly down to his butt.
Ares let out a frustrated groan as he remembered that he didn't have any oil with him, "Oil, Joxer. Do you have any oil with you?"
Joxer thought for a minute as he wondered what Ares needed the oil for, "In my pouch. When I left camp I still had it with me."
Ares smiled down at his love as he quickly looked around for Joxer's pouch. He let out a triumphant yell when he finally spotted it. He quickly grabbed it and found the oil.
He quickly slicked his fingers and then bent down to resume kissing his now panting lover.
Joxer let out a surprised moan as he realized what Ares wanted the oil for. He moaned louder as he felt the slick fingers of love run down his butt. They began to gently cares his opening, causing Joxer to groan and shift slightly as he unconsciously gave better access to his lover.
Ares gently pushed two fingers slowly inside him, causing Joxer to suck his breath in as they grazed the small nub inside him. Ares separated his fingers making scissoring motions inside Joxer, stretching him.
The motions cause Joxer to pull back and passionately demand, "Need you inside of me now!"
Ares grunted as he pulled his fingers out of his love and grasped Joxer's hips as he slowly pushed his aching erection inside his warm and tight lover. He let out a groan as he was enveloped into Joxer's tight heat, causing him to bury his face into Joxer's neck. He almost cried out at the pleasure he felt as Joxer's hands clasped his back and held him tightly.
They stilled for a moment simply feeling the love of each other before Joxer rolled his head back and whispered roughly, "Move, Ares, I need to feel you."
Ares looked down at his love and kissed him with all of his love as he started to move, slowly pulling out and then slowly pushed back in, causing Joxer to groan in pleasure as he wrapped his arms and legs tightly around Ares. Pulling his lover closer to him as they kissed again.
Ares let out a groan as he began to lose himself in the feel of his lover as they moved together, rocking slowly back and forth 'til neither of them knew where the first one began or ended.
Soon their rocking turned from a slow burning passion quickly turned to a roaring flame as Joxer's contractions of his passage became too much for Ares and he started to speed up his movements Thrusting harder and faster as he continually hit Joxer's nub. Causing Joxer to scream Ares' name in pleasure. Ares let out a groan as his quickening movement became rougher as he began losing control. Then Joxer froze as he screamed out Ares' name once more. Ares felt the hot liquid between their bodies causing him to lose his control.
"JOXER!" He screamed as began to filled his lover with his seed. Ares let out a tired groan as he kissed his tired love's face and wrapped his arms around Joxer as he, for the first time in his life, had a peaceful nights sleep because he felt loved for the first time.
A white flash appeared near by as they slept peacefully. Quietly, the Fates stepped closer to the sleeping lovers.
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