AresJoxerCupidStrife - Annuette

Ficlet: Break even
Author: Ann
Fandom: Hercules/Xena ‘verse
Pairing/character: Cupid/Psyche, Cupid/Strife
Warnings: Angst, mentions of slash and het
Rating (This chapter): PG

Summary: It had started with a kiss; a light brush over those perfect lips that met his own in a tentative kiss. A kiss that Cupid had dreamed of and obsessed over

Thanks to ravenlullaby for the great beta and prompting!

It had started with a kiss; a light brush over those perfect lips that met his own in a tentative kiss. A kiss that Cupid had dreamed of and obsessed over. A kiss that had brought them together as man and wife under the smiling, watchful gaze of his mother.

Psyche was everything he’d thought she’d be: beauty, intelligence and passion. The women that he’d wanted, felt soul burning jealousy for and wanted to keep for his own for all eternity. Someone that had, in an instant, displaced the building affection he’d felt for another.

It ended with a kiss too.

Cupid nuzzled against Psyche as he slowly woke; his eyes were still closed, mouth in a smile as she pressed her lips to his. He felt moist, overly-eager and inexperienced lips pressing against his own, almost making him choke with too much tongue when he opened his mouth to speak and it slipped inside. There was no dizzying rush of heat and love, no raw need and desire, not even affection. Cupid felt…nothing?

He opened his eyes, his hands pushing Psyche back, a cough coming from his throat before he wiped his mouth with the back of his hand.


He had to look at her, watched confusion sweep over her face, her hands moving instinctively to curl around her belly. She was as beautiful as ever and yet he felt nothing. He searched himself, his godhood, trying to pinpoint where it had gone; the love, the passion, the obsession…


The mental curse came as the memory returned. He could see it so clearly now; the way he’d fumbled with his arrows, bored with doing his mother’s dirty work and all too eager to get back to the naked and waiting mischief god in his bed. He’d been clumsy, too distracted as he listened to Strife mentally tease him; the younger god had been stroking his own cock as he waited for Cupid, using words to describe everything he was doing and planned to do. Their relationship was so new and exciting that Cupid had made a mistake. He’d let it distract him; he’d shot himself with the arrow meant for Psyche and then looked straight at her.

Obsession, passion, love-at-first-sight: it had taken hold of him, of his godhood, it had pushed him to seek out Psyche, to possess her and keep her with him forever. It wouldn’t have mattered if she had said no, his godhood had twisted around her and drawn them both in. It had gained power from the love they felt, twisted and manipulating what they felt.


There was a tremor to Psyche’s voice now as she leant forward, her hand stopped shy from actually touching him.

“Have I done something wrong?”

There was genuine confusion in Psyche’s voice, her worry and uncertainty obvious. There was no sign of the fiery and stubborn woman that he had fallen in love with. The women who had insisted on reaching for more than being someone’s wife and being stuck in her home town, fawned over until she was married off. Who had felt the first stirrings of romance for Cupid’s own uncle, Hercules, rather than Cupid himself. That was until Cupid’s mistake, until his godhood had taken it upon itself to feed the arrow and give him just what he wanted.

What he’d been thinking about.

Love, passion and eternity. The arrow had given him all of that and his own power had reached out subconsciously to entice Psyche into the rest, it had even convinced his own mother that he and Psyche belonged together. It had had the right intention, the result that part of Cupid had been hoping for, but the wrong direction entirely.

Oh Zeus…Strife!

His heart ached at the thought of the mischief god, the once strong link between them had broken along with the bond Cupid had once felt building. He’d been so sure that he and Strife would fall in love in time, had been filled with thoughts of the other god when he’d loaded his arrow.

Cupid wasn’t sure what he felt anymore. What was the truth and what was the lie? But he knew what he had to do. He swallowed back the words that every part of him want to scream out- I don’t love you, Psyche’- every part of him protesting his own silence. His head, his heart and his godhood. Cupid hadn’t been aware that his fists were clenched but now he forced them open. He couldn’t rid himself of the tension or the wrongness that built inside him from not saying it. He wanted nothing more than to feel relief, feel the burden he’d brought upon himself gone; the woman he’d pushed a godhood, and so much more on to, was no longer a lover, wife or soul mate. Instead she had become a burden.

But he couldn’t.

Not yet.

He took her hand pressing it to her rounded belly, unwilling to feel the mother of his child-to-be’s heart break even though his own was. Even when he could feel Strife’s had. He couldn’t deny his responsibility to Psyche, much as he loathed not too. But he couldn’t stay with her when all he wanted was to find Strife and beg his forgiveness.

“No, you didn’t do anything wrong, Psyche.” Which was the worst part of this. Cupid half-wished Psyche had been the one to feel this first; to want her bonds with him cut but it was too late now. “I have to go, babe.”

“You don’t seem yourself.” She was frowning now, hand clutching at his in a way he remembered as once being adorable. He wished he could love or hate her, instead of feeling nothing.

Cupid felt the baby moving under his hand, bumping against Psyche’s belly as if to remind him that it was too late for that. Too late for everything. He forced a smile, “Just felt heartbreak, you know how that gets to me.”

“I guess,” Psyche still looked uncertain; worrying her lip and Cupid pressed his thumb to it, not wanting her to hurt herself.

“Chill, I just need to go look into this, okay?” Cupid was already standing, not waiting for a response, hating himself to see her unease only grow at his blasé answer. It was only as he flashed out that he thought on the irony that their child, a child whose very existence proved the broken bond between himself and Strife, would be the god or goddess of Joy.


Continue to Break True

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