AresJoxerCupidStrife - angelaask

Part 1 Part 2 3

Title: Ares's Secret Obsession
Author: angelaask
Rating: R
Disclaimer: I do not own anything. The characters belong to their
respective owners and not me.
Fandom: Xena/Herc.
Pairing: A/J
Status: WIP
Series: Not sure if this will be a series yet.
Archive: At my website and hopefully at AJCS.
Notes: Hi Newbie here. I've been lurking in this fandom for a while
now but this is my first attempt at writing a Xena/Jerc fic.
and suggestions will be greatly appreciated. Warning this story is
Summary: Ares struggles to make sense of his feelings for a certain
wanna-be warrior.

When Ares first saw Joxer he didn't thought much of him. There was
nothing particularly special about the mortal. The boy was just one
among thousands of children dedicated to him and to add insult to
injury the middle child of a set of identical triplets. The poor sod
didn't even have a chance in Ares's humble opinion, but his father
one of his most loyal warlords so Ares out of mere habit gave each
of the man's sons his token blessing.

It was some years before he seen the boy again at the tender age of
thirteen. Joxer had grew into a clumsy and awkward adolescent with
long lanky limbs that sprung over night. It was during the triplet's
coming of age ceremony in which they were to pledge their allegiance
to their chosen God. At first Ares was a bit surprise to see Joxer in
his temple and to be honest he was kind of surprise that he even
remembered the mortal. If it wasn't for the God's ability to listen
to his worshipers' prayers, the boy's constant dedications and
tiresome prayers full of preteen angst and mind-numbing babbling
Joxer's mere existence would have faded from his memory long ago.
so earnest was the boy's prayers that Joxer's grating voice had
a constant drone in the God's head like white noise but more

Even though Joxer's devotion could not be questioned his simple and
gentle manner was much more suited to that of a simple farmer than a
warrior. While his brother Jett on other hand was already a skilled
warrior and who also had a cruel streak a mile long like his father
was by far a much better candidate for one of Ares's folds. So yet
again Ares ignored Joxer's insistent desperate entreats of dedication
for his bother's who seemed to possess greater potential.

The boy eventually grew up into a young man but Joxer still yearned
be warrior. But the very idea of Joxer as a warrior was completely
laughable. The wanna-be warrior was a complete buffoon in Ares's
Joxer had never quite grown out of the awkwardness of his adolescent
years and the man couldn't even walk five feet without tripping over
himself. But the God of War had to grudgingly admit the man had
tenacity. Despite all the taunts, the insults and the bruises Joxer
had never once in all these years strayed from his dream. He was made
into a fool, laughed and ridiculed by his peers but never once did he
give up. But determination could only take a man so far. To become a
warrior one also needed skill and sadly Joxer had none. His
clumsiness was a liability and Joxer would never become a warrior.
Ares doubt the man-child would even last six months before he met the
wrong side of a sword.

But somehow despite the odds Joxer continued to survive. Ares was
baffled. He just couldn't understand how the man managed to defy
death on a regularly bases. If Ares didn't know better he would have
suspected divine intervention but he knew that was impossible. Sure
his sister slash one time lover, Aphrodite, had some unexplainable
fondness for the buffoon but even she wouldn't dare place Joxer under
her protection. Ares absolutely forbid it because after all Joxer
one of his, even if he chosen to let the man fend for himself. Ares
down right refused to coddle his worshipers like some of the other
gods. The God of War was a firm believer in survival of the fittest.
The strong shall weed out the weak and in Ares's opinion if his
worshippers weren't strong or clever enough to take care of
then they weren't worthy to serve him.

And that was the crust of the problem. How in the Hades did Joxer
`the mighty', that imbecile, that clumsy buffoon, that sorry excuse
for warrior managed to survive this long? The mortal had a
mind-boggling gift for stumbling into trouble and subsequently
stumbling out of it. By Ares's calculation Joxer should had died
approximately fifty-six times. The man had more lives than half a
dozen cats combined. It just didn't make any sense and now by some
miracle of Zeus he managed to fall into Xena's crowd. It was
infuriating as Tartus and it was slowly driving him insane. Ares was
determined to figure out how the mortal did it even if he had to ring
in out of his scrawny little neck.

Title: Ares's Secret Obsession
Author: angelaask
Rating: R
Disclaimer: I do not own anything. The characters belong to their
respective owners and not me.
Fandom: Xena/Herc.
Pairing: A/J
Status: WIP
Series: Not sure if this will be a series yet.
Archive: At my website and hopefully at AJCS.
Notes: Hi Newbie here. I've been lurking in this fandom for a while
now but this is my first attempt at writing Xena/Herc fic. Comments
and suggestions will be greatly appreciated. Warning this story is
Summary: Ares struggles to make sense of his feelings for a certain
wanna-be warrior.

Chapter 2

The God of War had been called many things: the bane on mankind, a
monster, even the devil himself and every vulgar slur that ever
existed in the human language. But above all The God of War was a
strategist with a keen intellect of godly portions. Most mortals only
saw the God of War as the very embodiment of chaos, the physical
manifestation of all the dark emotions associated with war such as
violence, hatred, rage and revenge. But very few ever saw or even
tried to understand the other side of War. Not even the other gods
truly comprehended what it meant to be war. As the very embodiment of
war Ares understood that there was a time for fighting and there was a
time for planning. Ares enjoyed the physical aspect of battle; nothing
was more intoxicating that the smell of blood, sweat, leather and the
sound of steel clashing against steel, but above all Ares enjoyed the
challenge and he loved to win.

So Ares treated his new pet project the same way he did with every
thing else, with the tenacity and virtuosity of a war general
preparing for battle. He studied Joxer as he would study an opponent,
learning both his strengths and weakness. In Joxer's case there was
many weakness and very few strengths, but Ares had underestimated the
wanna-be warrior before. This time he wasn't going to be fooled by
that ridiculous armor and innocent face. There was a lot more to the
mortal than meets the eye. Something was missing, something just
underneath the surface of that buffoon like exterior that Joxer so
readily portrayed to the outside world.

With a wave of his hand a small oval mirror popped into existence.
Ares leaned forward in his large dark mahogany polished throne and
absently rubbed his beard as is liquid onyx eyes peered thoughtfully
into its dark depths. The cloudy surface cleared to show the image of
Xena and her blond sidekick working their way through a dense forest
while Joxer trailed several meters behind with his head down,
struggling to keep up as he stumbled clumsily through the under bush.


"I can't believe he got us kicked out of the village. I was looking
forward to sleeping in a soft warm bed tonight," fumed Gabrielle quietly.

"It wasn't his fault Gabrielle. Joxer was just trying to help,"
whispered Xena calmly.

Gabrielle dropped her voice even lower so that Joxer couldn't hear
what she was saying. "I know he means well but the guy is a walking
disaster. It's embarrassing. I mean we were there for less than an
hour and he managed to turn the whole village against us. I just don't
understand why you let him follow us around."

Xena shrugged. "I feel sorry for him."

"I do too, but he needs to know his limits or he going to get himself
killed. He's not a warrior like you or me."

The warrior princess smiled nostalgically at the young barb as
memories of a worrisome young girl nipping at her heels came to her
mind. "Neither were you. You were just some big eyed girl looking
for adventure when we first met."

Gabrielle folded her arms across her chest and frowned indignantly at
the tall brunette. "But I got better didn't I."

Xena smiled indulgently as the corner of her mouth twitched slightly
in amusement. "Eventually."

The blonde gave the brunette one last icy glare before she continued
to whisper feverously. "He's hopeless. You can't help everyone Xena."

The smile fell from Xena's face and she nodded sadly. "I know."


With a single thought Ares changed the mirror's perspective so that it
focused solely on Joxer. The man looked like he had been in a fist
fight and lost. His dented armor hung loose and askew about his
drooping thin shoulders, his clothes was rumpled and torn and his
unruly hair fell wildly about his ears in short dark locks. His skin
was flushed and a large purple bruise was just beginning to form on
his right cheek.

Out of shear curiosity Ares gently brushed the mortal's mind and he
was almost overwhelmed by the depth of emotions Joxer was feeling.

Joxer knew. He couldn't hear what they were saying but he could tell
that they were talking about him and he could even guess what they
were saying too. Xena and Gabrielle were just too nice to say it out
loud, but it didn't matter. Joxer had heard it a hundred times before
in the same mocking tone from a countless number of nameless faces.
Their taunts and ridicules had been burned into his memory a long time
ago. "Joxer you're such an idiot, a stupid bumbling fool. You will
never be a warrior. You will never be anything but a burden, a
nuisance, a complete waste of time and space. I wish that you would
just go away."

Feelings of hurt, anger and shame rose, then shattered into a million
of pieces like shards of glass: doubt, sadness, disappointment,
bitterness, rage, justification, pride, loneliness and a dozen more
that Ares couldn't quite identify.

In all of his existence Ares had never felt anything like it. By
Zeus, The man's mind was shear chaos, a swirling pool of emotions,
thoughts and feelings. He felt like he was drowning as wave after wave
of emotions crashed against his senses. No wonder Joxer was clumsy.
If this was the normal state of the man's mind Ares wouldn't be
surprised if Joxer found it difficult if not impossible to concentrate.

The God of War slowly withdrew form the mortal's mind until the
onslaught of Joxer's emotions were reduce to a dull roar. Ares sat
back in his throne with his heavy brow creased in thought. He needed
time to mull over this new revelation. It was just another piece of
the puzzle, which was proving to be more complicated than he first
thought. Joxer was turning into a real challenge and at some level
Ares was beginning enjoy himself.

Chapter 3

Sensing that he was no longer welcome Joxer parted company with Xena and Gabriel and now he was making his way towards Corinth alone. To put it mildly the would be warrior did not do well on his own and Ares was beginning to understand why Joxer preferred to travel with Xena. Joxer's clumsiness did not make him a good hunter and when he tried to sneak up on his prey he would inevitably trip or make a noise that would scare off his dinner. In result Joxer would go for days without eating anything more substantial that nuts and berries, which explained his scrawny almost lithe like frame. Eventually hunger would drive him to steal food from a nearby village and for the same reason that Joxer wasn't a good hunter made him a terrible thief and Joxer would find himself chased out of the village by some angry farmer. But no matter how dire things became Joxer maintained his nauseating upbeat attitude until eventually someone showed pity on the poor soul and threw him a few scraps that would sustain Joxer for a day or two days if he was careful.

Over all Joxer was a poor miserable creature and there was nothing exceptional about the mortal that would warrant the god's attention. In fact everything about the man predisposed him to be overlooked by others. But now in some twist of fate Joxer had unknowingly garnered the full attention of the God of War and what was most ironic was that Ares found the mortal fascinating. From the outside Joxer appeared to be a babbling delusional fool with no real talent or skill but on the inside there was a great desire to do good and his fantasy were grand and wondrous starring him as the hero. The man lived in a fantasy world that was a complete contradiction to reality that he actually lived, but Ares couldn't really blame poor fool for reality had not been too kind to Joxer. It was kind of charming in a sad tragic kind of way and the mortal slowly wormed his way into Ares's cold black heart. The god spent hours peering into the mirror with a small smile on his face and eventually the other gods on Olympus began to notice the slight change in Ares`s behavior. The God of War never smiled unless he was plotting something sinister and when War plotted everyone, god or mortal, became nervous.

The air grew thick with energy, which announced the presence of a God, and Ares quickly vanished the mirror before anyone could see it. For some reason he didn't want anyone to know about Joxer and he decided to keep his pet project a secret from the other gods. He didn't like the idea of anyone but him peeping into the mortal's private thoughts. It seemed wrong some how, which didn't mean he was developing a conscious or anything as sappy as that, he was War after all. Ares was merely being cautious and it wasn't anyone business if he chose to obsess, no, study Joxer in the interest of scientific interest. Joxer was an anomaly and nothing more.

A moment later Strife popped into existence in a billow of swamp green fog that crept along temple floor with an ominous glow. "Hey Unc."

Ares waved the fog from his face and scrunched his nose up in disgust. "Trying something new?"

Strife smiled manically as his pale white skin turned an eerie shade of green under the fluorescent light, "Yeah, I decided to liven up my entrance a bit with a B movie horror film kind of theme. What do ya think?"

By now the fog had spread throughout the throne room covering the floor with sickly green mist. "It stinks," replied Ares flatly.

Strife frowned. "Well I know it needs a little mo' work but I didn't think it was that bad."

"No, I mean it smells like you were wallowing in a swamp all day."

"Really! Cool," exclaimed the leather clad god ecstatically as lifted his arm to smell under his armpit.

Ares shook his head in resignation. He had long given up trying to understand his nephew and accepted the fact Strife was just weird. With a snap of his fingers the fog dissipated as a slight breeze swept through the temple leaving scent of fresh flowers behind.

"What do you want Strife?" asked Ares impatiently.

"Oh yeah I almost forgot to tell ya. I was walking by Cupe's temple when I accidentally over heard an interesting tidbit of information."

"You mean that you were eavesdropping."

"Oh course not! It's not my fault that they didn`t notice me."

Ares rolled his eyes at his nephew's over zealous profession of his innocence. Anyone that knew the God of Mischief knew that Strife was anything but innocent. "Were you even visible?"

The pale god immediately dropped the act and gave Ares a mischievous smile. "Nope," answered the neurotic god as he dissolved into a fit of giggles.

Ares grew impatient with Strife`s antics and formed a fireball in the palm of his hand and threw it at the giggling god missing his head by mere inches.

The smell of burning hair immediate sobered the young god and the laughter died on his thin cracked lips. "Okay, okay no need to get all violent. The eldest daughter of the King of Corinth is in love but she's been promised to the Orestes, the Prince of Mycenae."

"And why should I care about some silly little mortal's crush?" asked Ares in boredom.

"Funny that you should say that considering that she is in love with the King of Crete, King Agamemnon's sworn enemy."

"Hmm interesting," murmured Ares as he rubbed his goatee thoughtful.

"I thought ya would say that," smiled Strife knowingly.

"Get Out. I need to think."

"No prob boss," cried Strife cheerfully as he winked out of existence, but not before dumping billows of foul smelling swamp gas into the Ares's throne room in his wake.

After cursing Strife's existence and casting several freshening charms on his throne room Ares settled in his chair to think. Crete and Mycenae have been on the brink of war for years. But somehow they had avoided conflict despite rising tensions and subtle cajoling by him. This could be just what he needed to pushed the two kingdoms over the edge if he played his cards right. Perhaps he could use Joxer's `special' talents, plus it would give him the perfect opportunity to study the mortal more closely. Yes this would do nicely thought Ares cheerfully now that he had a plan and he once again conjured the looking mirror to check on his currently most favorite mortal.

But unknown to the God of War he was being watched. Strife stood invisible at the edge of Ares's awareness watching the God of War with keen interest. The young god had seen that mirror before. Ares would spend hours peering into mirror's surface when he thought no one was looking and somehow he doubted that the God of War was that vain about his appearance. Something had caught Ares's interest and as War's second-maybe third, okay fourth definitely fourth-in command Strife felt that maybe he should be interested to.


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