Challenge Description

I've written the first part of a fic, and if anyone's interested
please take it and run with it.

Xena cursed beneath her breath, and Joxer realised why when he saw
Ares sitting by the river. For some reason the god refused to look
up, studying the ground at his feet, and nothing else.

"What are you doing here Ares?" Gabrielle sounded totally hostile to,
and contemptuous of the god.

"Obeying one of the Fates' decrees." Ares stood and walked over to
Joxer, taking his left hand in his own he slid a gold ring onto the
third finger and knelt, kissing the palm of his hand before bowing
his head. "I await your will, my lord husband." Joxer was too stunned
to take it in for a moment, and the other two were equally stunned by
their indrawn breaths. The God of War just stayed on his knees, eyes
cast down in submission, wrists crossed behind his back, virtually
trembling in front of a mere mortal fool. Finally Joxer realised that
Ares wasn't about to do anything until he told the god to.

"Get up, and explain that in more detail." Ares still kept his head
bowed as he stood and his eyes lowered as he began to speak.

"The Fates decreed that some unmarried gods and goddesses must marry
a mortal, by giving that mortal a ring like that, as soon as that
ring is on our spouse's finger we cannot do anything without his, or
her permission. Zeus and Hera were divorced by the same decree, and
Zeus must marry Gabrielle. And they brought back Strife as a mortal,
to marry Cupid, he and Psyche also were divorced. I didn't really pay
attention to who the other gods had to marry, forgive my ignorance,
my lord husband, please."

"You haven't done anything to apologise for Ares. Why are you being
so submissive?" Joxer surprised himself by reaching out to tip Ares'
head up, so he could see the god's eyes.

"Two reasons, my lord husband, perhaps three. The Fates' decree means
that you own me, if you tell me to do something I have no choice but
to do it, and at least for me the decree compels submissive
behaviour. And I hope that if I am sufficiently submissive, and . . .
pleasing," Ares actually blushed as he said this, giving Joxer the
impression that he wanted to look away from him, but didn't quite
dare to, "you will allow me more freedom than if I threw a fit or was
awkward about this. And perhaps . . . because I know I am helpless
against you should you choose to hurt me."

"So you act submissive to ward off violence from me?" Joxer mused
aloud, somehow he knew that every word Ares spoke was the truth, but
there was something he was leaving out. "Is that all of your

"The other thing isn't exactly reasoning…" Ares trailed off, and
Joxer took pity on him.

"You don't have to tell me about it now then." Joxer frowned,
thinking about how Ares had been behaving. "Is there anything else I
need to know about this?"

"Yes, I am supposed to give you this message from the Fates when I
believe you have accepted what has happened. Have you?" Ares was
holding out a scroll hopefully. Joxer took it and opened it.

"Yes, I've accepted the fact that we're now married and I almost
literally own you. I give you permission to use your powers in
whatever way is necessary for you to perform your duties as God of
War." That was what was on the scroll, an instruction for Joxer to
give that permission. "And you can also use them to move wherever you
want outside of your duties as well." And that was a piece of
generosity, something Joxer thought Ares should have, but hadn't been
told to give him. Ares seemed to think it was generous too from the
grateful smile he gave Joxer.

"Thank you, my lord husband. If I might presume to make a
suggestion?" Ares waited for permission to continue speaking.

"Go ahead, what is it?"

"Perhaps we should continue this conversation on Olympus, in my, no,
your home temple"

"Yes, that's a good idea. Take us there, and don't refer to it as my
temple unless we're on Olympus. Try to keep this as quiet as you can."

"Thank you, my lord husband."

- Jay,

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