AresJoxerCupidStrife - Ares Desciple - Lady Frisselle - Kerensa


1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Family Reunions: A Quartet Story
By Ares Disciple, Lady Frisselle & Kerensa


Rating: R (not all chapters will meet this rating but the story overall is)
Fandom: Xena
Pairing: A/J, C/S, Iolaus/Iphicles, Xena/Auto OC/OC
Disclaimer: Strife says that decorating a piece of paper doesn't make the guys mine...Oh well. I don't make money from them either
Warning: sex, implied mpreg, OC's
Summary: In this chapter a king is embarassed and the new Academy is dedicated.

Status: Complete.
Series: Quartet
Archive: Here, Joxerotica, and BeyondCanon



Chapter 1 - by Ares Disciple

After spending what seemed like a never ending day answering petitions on Cyprus, Iyolas appeared back in the Royal Palace in a subdued flash of light. He was looking forward to a quiet evening wrapped in the arms of Ipecles.

Whilst Iyolas adored his son with all his heart, he still enjoyed a quiet night in the arms of his lover, without their son mocking them about all the moaning. It never ceased to make Iyolas laugh that the mighty, powerful King of Corinth was a screamer. Iyolas walked towards their private chambers, greeting the bowing guards as he went.

As soon as he arrived in the private chambers he began to search for Ipecles. Iyolas was getting intrigued; he knew nothing bad had happened as the guards were not panicking. He reached the private bed chamber and slowly pushed the door open; the sight that greeted him had an instant reaction on his nether regions.

There, lying on the plush purple bed covers was the naked, tanned body of his lover; who had a bright red bow tied around his engorged member. Iyolas chuckled at the sight. With a low growl in his voice, Ipecles replied, “Hurry the fuck up, its freezing laying here.”

With a predatory look on his face, Iyolas slowly stalked forward. With a wave of his hand his clothes disappeared. He gently grasped the hard, muscled leg, running his hands over the soft hairs as he licked and kissed his way along the calves, gently nipping the sensitive area on the inside of Iphecles’ toned thighs.

Ipecles’s head dropped back and he gave out a deep groan as Iyolas slowly licked up the pulsing length, savouring the leaking pre-cum, before enveloping the head in his warm mouth, unhurriedly taking more and move into his throat. As he was sucking Ipecles, Iyolas slowly and gently prepared his lover, first with one finger then another.

As he was reaching closer and closer to the precipice, Ipecles began to thrust up, pushing his hardness into his lover’s mouth, erupting in a tidal wave of pleasure.

Not wanting to miss a single drop of the nectar, Iyolas swallowed torrent after torrent. Once he was sure he wasn’t going to miss a drop, Iyolas slowly pulled away, kissing the tip of Ipecles’ penis before be lifted the strong firm legs up, allowing him access to his lover, as he kissed and licked down, making Ipecles wild. He lifted a pillow and covered his mouth as he cried out when Iyolas’ gifted tongue entered him.

Iyolas lifted his lover’s legs onto his shoulders as he slowly sheathed his weeping cock into the tight confirms of his lover. “By the Gods Ipecles, you’re still as tight as a virgin," Iyolas cried out.

Ipecles pulled Iyolas down and devoured his lips as Iyolas’ hips sped up his powerful thrusts. As Iyolas was getting closer and closer a golden glow began to envelope the two lovers as they passionately made love, until Iyolas collapsed on top of his panting soulmate.

Iyolas slowly rolled over onto his side and rested his hand on Ipecles’ sweaty, heaving chest. Once Ipecles started to get his breath back he panted, “By….the gods…..what happened there….?”

Iyolas stopped his kissing and replied, “It’s a trick Cupid told me about, it’s a god thing where you can merge the feelings during passion, so you feel what each other is feeling.”

Ipecles kissed his lover’s forehead. “Well, feel free to try other god things,” Ipecles said with a chuckle. “Anyway, what else did you do in Cyprus apart from getting sex tips from my nephew?”

Iyolas told Ipecles of the time he had had. “You know, it’s a beautiful island, we should go for a visit and take Heron. I’m sure Xena would look after things for her Favourite Uncle.”

Ipecles chuckled. “Speaking of the family, Apollo was here yesterday, we had lunch together. The poor guy is still getting used to knowing what it’s like having the real Ares as a brother. I told him I felt the same and how it felt having gods as relatives. He said that it was a testament to my heart that I hadn’t let the power go to my head, all those years that bastard Hercules turned his back on a loving family and treated me like an imbecile, now I have the God of War as a big brother, who treats me as an equal………you know I was thinking….”

Iyolas interrupted with a smirk, “So, that was what that noise was.”

Ipecles swatted the pert butt cheek. “You know that they are close to finishing the new academy? Well, the council hasn’t chosen a name. I think we should call it Apollo’s Academy……What do you think?”

Iyolas looked into Ipecles’ eyes. “I think you are a great brother. I think he would love it, …… I couldn’t even dream of what Apollo has had to go through, not being able to have his son. I couldn’t cope without Heron.”

Ipecles shuddered at the thought of being without his beloved son, even when he was having one of his teenage tantrums. “Iyolas, I will need you to do your god thing. I want you to shield the academy, as I want a large statute of Apollo in the main courtyard and I don’t want him to see the inscription.”

Iyolas laughed. “You can tell you’re related to Ares, you’re as devious as he is. I am sure Strife would help, he loves subterfuge.”

The following day, Strife jumped at the chance to help at the prospect of the energy buzz he would get. “It’s great being related to those two, get them together and they are like the terrors condensed into two.” The very image caused the two gods to erupt into laughter.

Iyolas began to tell Strife of the events of that morning at breakfast. “The servants had brought in the food; Heron was sleeping in, as the terrors were out late last night. Ares came into the room, looking completely dishevelled. I think he forgot he was a god, but Joxer had such a grin on his face. Ipecles looked up and said, ‘What’s up old timer, Joxer tiring you out, maybe Ace can give you an energy spell.’ The next thing I know, Ipecles is hit in the face by a honey cake, the Mighty God of War and King of Corinth then had a food fight, so Joxer and I just left the room.”

Strife had tears streaming down his face at the thought of his two uncles. He had always loved his Uncle Ares, even as a young godling, and knew exactly how caring he was, but since they did away with the old goat everyone got to see the Ares that Strife loved and looked up to.

“So that’s why I got a buzz this morning. I shagged poor Cupid into the mattress. If he wasn’t a god he wouldn’t be sitting down for weeks.

Back in Corinth, Ipecles had taken Ares to the Military Academy to see the new soldiers training. “You know Iph; I haven’t laughed so much in ages. I can’t believe we had a food fight like a pair of young godlings. I think the servants were happy when Heron cleaned the room. I can’t believe he dumped that ice cold water on us. I have never been lectured by a twelve year old……What do you have planned for his birthday, it’s a major milestone when a boy reaches thirteen?”

Ipecles turned to his brother. “Yes, I have something planned, but I am parched, do your god thing and get us some spring water,” Ipecles said with a mischievous smirk. Ares tried to glare at his brother but failed. “You cheeky……”

“Leave my cheeks out of it, they belong to Iyolas. Now I ain’t getting any younger, where’s my water?”

Ares held out his hand as a goblet of cool, flavoured spring water appeared. Ipecles took a large gulp. “Well the city has a week of celebrations planned, … Now you can’t say anything about what I am going to tell you, you swear?”

Ares looked at his brother. “Ok I won’t say a word, now tell.”

Ipecles laughed at his impatient brother. “Well, you know the City Council has been funding public building throughout the city. Well the biggest is a City Academy. You might have noticed there is a shield over the building? That is due to Strife and Iyolas. Can you take us there?”

Ares took Ipecles’ arm and flashed them to the City Academy. “Ares, welcome to Apollo’s Academy. The other shield is hiding a large marble statue. Want to have a look inside?”

As they entered the main hall, Ares saw that the walls were adorned by tapestries showing the Gods of Olympus, or more precisely Ipecles’ family. There were tapestries of the terrors, Cupid and Strife, Dite and Heph in the main hall. There was a huge tapestry showing Ipecles surrounded by his family and all his nephews, a single tear trickled down Ares’ face. “Iph, it’s perfect, now maybe you will see that you are part of the family, you have really caught Deimos and Phobos well.”

Ipecles turned to Ares. “Ares you don’t know this, but I owe those two.

Not long after we first got to know each other, they found me wrapped in a ball in one of the rooms. I had had a terrible nightmare, it was about Hercules. He had found the hind’s blood dagger and killed Heron and Iyolas. I was all alone. Deimos twisted my pain some way, so that whenever I remember the pain of being alone when I was younger, I remember the family I now have. Phobos did the same. I still have the fear of being alone, but now I strive to control that and do all that I can for my family. Ares you have raised great kids.”

Ares spent the rest of the day following Ipecles on one of his walks around Corinth. As they walked Ares took the time to look at his brother. Despite being married to a god, and who his brothers and sisters were, Ipecles had not changed; he had not let the power get to him. He loved his city and his people as much as he did when he first became king and his city loved him more for it.

***

Heron woke up with a start. He loved his dads, but he did not want to start the day with the sounds of the King of Corinth begging to be fucked into the bed. It was a good thing there were no servants in the Royal Apartments. As there was no chance of his getting back to sleep, Heron got dressed and went for his morning run along the battlements.

By the time he was finished, his dads were finished and waiting for him to start breakfast.

Heron turned to the God of Truth. “Dad, you know you’re a god, right?”

Iyolas raised an eyebrow in confusion. “Yes, last time I checked. Why?”

Without turning away from his meal, Heron replied, “Well for Tartarus’ sake, put up a damn silencing shield when you and dad go at it, I don’t want to wake up hearing Dad Iph begging to be fucked into the bed.”

Heron tried his best not to burst out laughing at the mortified look on the king’s face, Ipecles knew he could be loud at times, but it was all Iyolas’ fault with his tongue.

After Iyolas had stopped choking on the water he was about to drink, he replied to his unrepentant son, “Sorry, Heron, we will remember for next time.”

Heron looked up. “As long as you do. Anyway, what’s the big secret about the new Academy?”

Joxer and Ares were under strict instructions to make sure Apollo came to the dedication of the new Academy.

Thanks to Ganymede there was a beautiful clear sky with a warm breeze sweeping across Corinth, making the bunting flutter in the breeze.

As soon as Ares and Joxer arrived with Apollo, Hephaestus and Aphrodite arrived.

Ipecles stood tall on the platform at the top of the large marble steps of the Academy, holding up his arms to silence the crowed he began. “People of Corinth, today is a great day, for any city to prosper there must be brave warriors to defend it and great thinkers to develop her. Thanks to the City Academy we have the bravest and most skilled warriors in Greece.” Ipecles glanced over to his blond brother and continued, “Citizens of Corinth, I dedicate this New Academy to someone who means a great deal to me and my family. Citizens I present to you APOLLO’S ACADEMY”. With a wave of his hand the shields surrounding the Academy disappeared, standing tall above the tops of the building a large white marble statute of the God of Intellect.

Apollo could not believe what was happening. For years he hated Ares and went out of his way to stay away from his brother, as his father would spend hours telling him how evil and uncaring Ares was and how little he thought of the God of Intellect.

Ipecles walked nervously over to his brothers, he could see a tear trickling down Apollo’s cheek. “Happy birthday, big brother. Another year older, now let’s go and have a look around.”

Ipecles started to lead his family into the main entry hall. Apollo took one last look at the happy crowd when a small dirty face caught his eye; the bearer was looking up at Apollo with admiration in his eyes. The small boy had a remarkable resemblance to Apollo’s son.

Whilst the people of Corinth were slowly getting used to having gods in their city, it was still a shock when one approached you. Apollo knelt down in front of the young boy, “Hello, little one.”

The young child looked petrified at the young god talking to him. Apollo smiled. “Do not worry, little one, my name’s Apollo. What is yours?”

The young boy stammered, “Soc…..Socrates.” Apollo held out his hand, “Well Socrates, do you want to have a look at the new Academy with me?”

The little boy reached up, his hand grasped several fingers of the large hand. Apollo led the young boy up the steps. As soon as Apollo saw the large statute the tears began again. By the time he walked into the hall he was met with the sight of the walk taken up with a large, life-size tapestry of Ipecles, surrounded by gods and goddesses. Ipecles walked up to Apollo and put his hand on his shoulder. “I hope you like it big brother, the most important thing to me is my family and you are part of it.” By now the tears were freely flowing down Apollo’s face, he felt Ipecles wrap his arms around him in a warm embrace.

“So, who is your guest then, Pol?”

Apollo slowly recovered. “The first student.” Ipecles knelt down. “Hello, what’s your name? Mine’s Ipecles.”

The young child looked even more petrified. “Socc…..Socrates, majesty.”

Ipecles ruffled his hair. “Don’t worry about majesty, just call me Ipecles. Now, let’s have a look around. Do you want to study here?”

“I don’t have the money, majesty, I have no family.” Ipecles smiled kindly. “That does not matter in Corinth, schooling is free for all, you do not need money.”

Apollo was overcome with emotion at the effort Ipecles had put into the new school. As soon as Xena saw the young boy following Apollo around she readily agreed to take the young boy in and would give him a home and family.

Apollo then flashed back to Olympus to spend time with his living son.

Heron was slowly drifting off to sleep. After the Academy dedication he had gone with Cyrus and Bliss and Draco to the wrestling rings around the city.

“HAAAARRRDDDEEERRR”

Heron sat up angrily. “I wish dad would use a fucking gag!” Heron waved his hands in the air shortly after loud shouts could be heard from the Royal apartments, “AAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHH”

Hearing the loud cries, the palace guards began to spring to the Royal Apartments, their weapons drawn, ready to defend their king and his family with their very lives.

It was no surprise to anyone that the first through the door was Akakios. He skidded to a halt, seeing his King and Patron God sitting on a soaking wet bed with water dripping from their hair. Heron walked up and made his way through the group of soldiers. He made his way to the front. “I warned you both. Either use a gag or put up a shield. Next time it won’t be ice water I dump on you.”

The guards began to snigger; they did not need any further explanation as to what the young Prince was talking about.

Up on Olympus, Strife’s eyes shot open and gave a deep throaty groan sending a jolt to his lover’s groin. He looked lecherously at his lover. “I hope you’re not planning to get much sleep.


Chapter 2 - by Kerensa

Cyrus leaned his head on his hand, elbow firmly on the table—just like Joxer had been teaching him all his life not to do—and gave a wide, jaw cracking yawn. The young man was the epitome of someone asleep on their feet.

“Cyrus, son, you need to get more sleep,” Apollo said sympathetically. “Having to get up so early every morning has taught me to go to bed early, that way I’m not sleepy in the mornings. You, as a teenager, need even more sleep than I do.” Since medicine was one of the god’s duties, he knew what he was talking about.

“Oh, I go to bed in plenty of time,” Cyrus said with a wave of his hand. “And most mornings, I don’t have a problem. It’s just when (mumble mumble)…” he yawned again, making his words garbled.

“When what?” Apollo tried to decipher his nephew’s words, but couldn’t, so, he asked for clarification.

“It’s only when I get woken up by dad screaming, ‘Harder Joxer, harder. Fuck me into the mattress.’ at the top of his lungs—that’s when I have a tough time sleeping.”

Apollo snorted and glanced around the table. Ares and Joxer were mortified. Joxer’s face was as red as a pomegranate and Ares had his jaw clenched, obviously trying not to sink through the floor. Everyone else, except Heron was about to roll under the table in laughter.

Heron looked over at his parents and frowned at how hard they were laughing. “I don’t know why you’re laughing so much, dads. The whole palace shakes when you start screaming.”

Iolaus and Iphicles didn’t see the humour as much after that.

“Come on,” Bliss urged. “I’ve got something wild to show you.”

Cyrus followed behind his cousin, eager to see what the winged god was up to. Draco and Heron weren’t with the pair, because they were spending the day with their respective dads, learning more about their powers—how to control and use them effectively.

Those were Apollo’s words, not Cyrus’.

“You know how Dad Strife has some really great stuff?” Bliss questioned.

“Sure,” Cyrus agreed. “Things from the future. Although I have to question who thought making a rock into a pet was a good idea.”

“Yeah, well, take a look at this.” Bliss held out a thick sheaf of papers.

Cyrus took the bundle in his hand. His nose wrinkled up at the slick feel of the paper—he’d never felt anything like this before. He was rubbing his hands over it, trying to figure out what it was, when he happened to look at the picture on the front.

“Oh. My. Gosh!” he shrieked.

Bliss snickered. He could feel superior and temporarily forget his own reaction to finding 'Naughty Boys Bare All'. The picture on the front, of one man bending over, with his bare butt being spanked, gave a pretty good indication of what was inside.

“What is this?!” Cyrus asked, his voice cracking on the last word.

Grinning, Bliss scooted closer on the bed and looked over his cousin’s shoulder. “It’s a porn magazine,” he explained.

The God of Destiny opened the glossy cover and gasped. His eyes almost popped out of their head at the pictures, and more importantly, the things people were doing in the pictures.

Bliss smiled at the blush on the other boy’s face—the one that was growing redder and redder and creeping further down his neck. Cyrus was beginning to look like a boiled lobster, he was so red, but that didn’t stop him from looking.

“I-I…” he sputtered.

“That’s nothing. Take a look at this.”

Wide-eyed, Cyrus took the mirror that Bliss had pulled out from under his pillow. For a few moments, he didn’t understand what he was seeing—there was just a blur of black and white. And then…the image began to make sense. The black was Strife’s jet-black hair and the white was from Cupid’s snow-white feathers.

“Bliss!” Cyrus shrieked when he realized what the mirror showed. “Where did you get this?” he asked.

“I found it at Grandma Hera’s. They were in a pile of junk that used to be Zeus’.” The former god’s name was spat out, like it was something foul.

“They?” Cyrus asked, glancing up.

“Yeah,” Bliss admitted with a grin. He arched one eyebrow, and with a devilish grin—one that his father Strife would have been proud of—he asked, “Do you wanna see who else they show?”

Cyrus’ eyes lit up for a moment and then he frowned, his sense of morality raging against curiosity. “No, not at all,” he lied. “We shouldn’t even be looking at this.”

Bliss shrugged. Considering the house he lived in and his dad’s and grandmother’s godhoods, there wasn’t much that Bliss hadn’t seen.

Almost against his will, Cyrus kept watching the action on the mirror. He even angled the reflecting surface to get a better look sometimes.

“Fuck,” he said breathlessly. “I didn’t know a person could bend that way.”

Bliss took a quick look and blushed. “Yeah. Well, you know, Dad Strife is really flexible,” he added.

“No kidding,” Cyrus muttered. “Anybody else’s spine would have broken with that last move.”

The winged god nodded his head and leaned forward to get a better look. He waved his hand and a bowl of white, fluffy bits of food appeared in his lap. Apparently, Strife had brought popcorn back from the future as well.

The two teenagers watched as Cupid and Strife went on and on and on. Judging by their interest, seeing the two men having sex was a lot better than hearing it first thing in the morning.


Chapter 3 - by Ares Desciple

Cyrus appeared on Mount Olympus in a flash of golden sparks. First on his list of things to do was to say ‘hi’ to Daddy Heph.

Cyrus turned round when he heard his name called. “HEY CYRUS.” Ace caught up, with his young cousin. “Hey Ace, how’s it hanging?” Cyrus replied.

Ace looked at his cousin with a confused look on his face. “What are you on about?” Cyrus chuckled. “Don’t worry; it’s one of Strife’s greetings from the future.”

The two gods walked over to Aphrodite’s temple; Ace decided to join his cousin on his visit.

After an enjoyable couple of hours the two young gods left. As they were walking along the footpath they heard explosions coming from the Halls of War. “Looks like you dad is off on one. I thought he was dealing with some skirmish on the western border?”

“Will catch ya later, Ace, have to see what’s up with the Old Man,” Cyrus replied. Whilst Ace joined in with the jokes about his Uncle Ares, it was still funny to hear Cyrus refer to one of the most powerful gods as the old man or one of the other names he would use. “You want me to wait around; singed feathers are a bitch to heal.”

Cyrus wasn’t sure if Ace was joking or was serious. “Don’t worry Ace, Dad won’t do anything, even when I have been a real bastard he has never once lifted a finger against me, he just gives me the look. Besides Pops would crucify him if he ever did.”

Having not been raised an idiot, Cyrus slowly entered the Halls of War; the explosions had stopped, Ares was sitting amongst the rubble looking into a small mirror.

“Dad, what’s up?” Cyrus asked concerned as he walked over, placing his hand on his dad’s shoulder. Cyrus leant forward to look at the mirror and laughed at the sight of himself and Hypatia when they were little.

“Don’t worry about it,” Ares replied, not wanting to concern his son. Not being convinced Cyrus replied. “Dad you can either tell me or I will give you a wedgie.”

Ares raised an eyebrow. “What are you on about, what’s a wedgie?”

Not wanting to pass up the opportunity, Cyrus concentrated his powers into his right hand as he slowly reached down to grasp the back of his dad’s trousers and with a mighty pull, yanked his dad up; who made a very undignified and un-God of War like scream. “That, Dad, is a wedgie,” Cyrus said as he struggled to control his laughter at the sight of the God of War hopping around tried to adjust his trousers.

Ares looked at his son with a look that Strife would have been proud of. “You are so going to get it now boy,” Ares said as he approached his son.

Knowing better than to stay on the ground, Cyrus extended his wings and rose up into the air and out into the garden being chased by his laughing dad. As they reached the cool stream, Cyrus swooped down grabbing his father lifting him off of the ground and dropping him in the middle of the stream.

Once the shock had worn off Ares looked at his son and erupted into a deep belly laugh, laughing so hard he had tears streaming down his checks.

Standing up in the stream, Ares walked to the bank, and with a wave of his hand dried himself. Cyrus held up his hands in defeat as he walked forward. Ares held out his arms as Cyrus walked into them. “Dad what was wrong?”

Knowing that his son wouldn’t give up, Ares gave in. “One of my warlords, who has been worshiping me, the power got to his head and he decided to start a war with Thebes. He tried to wipe out the city. When I get really angry, I just come up here and look at scrying mirrors of my family and you two when you were younger to show me what I treasure the most.”

Cyrus lent forward kissing his dad on the forehead as he pulled his dad into a tight hug. “Dad, never shut yourself off, remember what Pop’s said, ‘Family stick together and help each other’, now cheer up before I set Pops on you.”

Happy with his success at cheering his dad up Cyrus went for his last errand, the main reason for coming to Olympus. It was only a short walk from the Halls of War to the House of Intellect.

Apollo looked up in shock at the sound of knocking on his study door; the residents of Olympus don’t knock. Apollo called out, “Come in,” Seeing his young nephew Apollo smiled.

Cyrus greeted Apollo with a warm smiled. “Hi Unc, are you busy?” Apollo dropped the petitions he was working on, on his desk. Since becoming closer to his brother, and spending time with his young son in the fields, Apollo had come to treasure his family, or at least the loving ones. “Sure Cyrus, what can I do for you? Need a sleeping potion or has your dad stop screaming the palace down?” Apollo replied with a chuckle, they both laughed at the memory of the conversation over breakfast.

Cyrus started to look at the floor and mumbled “Couldyouteachmehowtoplaythelyre?” he rushed out.

Apollo raised an eyebrow. “Don’t be shy, I won’t say anything,”

Cyrus lifted his eyes to look at his Blond Uncle. “I said could you teach me how to play the lyre, please?”

Shocked at the request, Apollo reached forward resting his hand on his nephew’s shoulder. “If that is what you want, I would happily teach you, but what is your dad going to say?”

The look his nephew gave him left him in no doubt who his dad was as Cyrus replied, “If dad gets his head up his ass again I will set Pops on him, if that fails Bliss has a stash of Wilting arrows hidden just in case you old folks get out of hand.”

Apollo laughed at the determined look on Cyrus’ face and laughed. “Who am I to argue with that logic?” Apollo materialised two lyres to begin.

***

Xena looked out into her garden at her adopted son, Socrates, and the twins. Bion had taken to his new big brother with open arms. Xena chuckled at the thought of how Bion would follow his big brother; not wanting to be out done by her brothers Eirene always seemed to appear in the middle of whatever mischief her brothers were getting into.

Xena felt familiar lean arms wrap around her waist as her husband began to kiss the sensitive area behind her ear, making her shiver. “Auto behave yourself, the children are only outside and Dad will be here soon.” Xena could feel Auto’s arms tense up at the mention of her father.

Xena turned around and looked into his eyes. “You have nothing to fear, he would never do anything to upset me and definitely nothing to upset the twins, you know how he worships them, and he has never done or said anything bad to you since we have been together. Trust me; he likes you, especially as you are the twin’s father.”

Auto just mumbled. “Mmmmmm….we’ll see.”

Having had the ringing in his ears after disturbing Xena the last time he flashed into her house, Ares appeared just outside the cottage in time to hear what Xena had told her husband. Truth be known, he was particularly fond of Autolocus. At first, he had been apprehensive about the relationship, thinking that the King of Thieves would hurt his daughter, but Autolocus had stuck by Xena and had give him two wonderful grandchildren. The last thing Ares wanted was for there to be an unhappy atmosphere when he came to visit. He knocked on the door and grinned when he heard the sound of pans being knocked over, he smiled over the embarrassed faces he was about to be met with. He wasn’t disappointed. “You ok Xena, you look rather flush, want me to call Apollo or Ace?” Ares asked with a wicked gleam in his eye.

“Come in father, the children are outside,” Xena greeted as he hugged her father, the room was filled with the young shout of, “GWAN PA RES”

There was a loud thump as a chair was knocked over in the haste of the two young children who came running forward with their arms outstretched as they were lifted up into the mighty arms; both twins giggling when their Grandpa’s beard tickled their cheeks. This was Ares’ first visit since Xena had agreed to take in Socrates who he saw standing shyly at the back.

Ares put the twins down and knelt so he could look at Socrates. “Hello, you must be Socrates.”

Socrates had heard things when he was living on the streets about the God of War and what he would do to boys like him. Ares could see the fear in the young boy’s face and gently probed his mind. Ares could feel his anger growing. He turned to Xena. “I will be back shortly; there is something I have to do. I will be back before the lamb is cold.” In a flash Ares was gone. Xena saw the look in her father’s eyes and knew something was very, very wrong, she turned to Socrates. “Darling, do you know who that was?”

Socrates nodded his head. “That’s the God of War………. I heard things 'bout him when I lived on the streets.”

Xena wrapped her adopted son in her arms. “He will never harm you, first and foremost he is your grandfather, the same as he is to Bion and Eirene, to us he is just Ares. Now we won’t get angry but tell me what you heard about him?”

Socrates tearfully began to explain.

Ares appeared with a loud, thunderous bang into the encampment of the people he saw in Socrates’ mind. “You vile piece of waste, you dare spread lies about me and harm children! Say goodbye to your excuse of a life.” It didn’t take long for the carnage to spread through the scorched camp.

Hades wasn’t aware of any upcoming battles so was surprised when the names of all the dead bandits appeared on the scroll of the damned. He reached for his helmet and flashed up to the World. He was greeted with a blood covered, furious God of War. After hearing the reason for Ares’ anger he promised that he would find the most evil place in Tartarus for each bandit. With a wave of his hand Ares cleared all the blood and flashed to Xena’s house.

Xena could feel the presence of her father. “Bion, go and let your Granpa in.” Her son ran over quickly. “Yaaaaaahhhhhhhh Ganpa back”

Socrates looked worriedly at the door as Xena held him protectively. “Don’t worry, he won’t hurt you.”

As much as it hurt, Ares would not spend time alone with the young boy unless Auto or Xena was with him. He was shocked when he felt a small hand on his shoulder as he sat with Bion on his lap. Ares turned to see the young boy look up into his eyes. “Don’t worry I could never hurt you, it’s my job, along with your dad, to protect you and your brother and sister, the bad men will never hurt you again I promise.” Bion and his sister wrapped their big brother and strong Grandpa in a warm hug.

*****

It had been several months since Cyrus had told Draco how he felt, after the walk in which the two young gods had talked to each other. Cyrus had been throwing every spare minute of his day into practicing with his Uncle Apollo.

This afternoon he would put his skills to the test. Cyrus remembered back to his dad finding out what he was doing when he caught him practicing in the Palace in Corinth. To Cyrus’ complete shock Ares asked him to continue as his playing was so peaceful, his dad’s words still rang in his ears, “You and your sister are my life, I may not agree with all of your decisions, but I will support you in making them. Did I shock you then?”

In the Elysium Palace, Persephone was sitting, talking to Draco in his room. “Draco, you have made your father and I so proud of you. Your father has asked me about my thoughts of you helping him with his duties. I know you have wanted to help before, but we wanted you to live as normal a life as possible, we wanted you to feel the joy of life and we didn’t want you to feel pressured by Godhood…….”

The Queen of the Underworld was disturbed by the peaceful sounds of a lyre playing from below the balcony. She knew her husband had as much musical skill as Ares, which is to say almost none, so she knew it wasn’t him. She got up off her seat and walked out and smiled at the young winged god who had come to serenade her son. She turned to Draco.

“I think you have a visitor my son. I will tell you father you might be late for dinner.” As she left Draco ran over to the window.

With a kiss on her husband’s cheek Persephone led him to the balcony overlooking the gardens. Not being very subtle, Hades nearly got caught looking. With a clip on the back of his head, Persephone pulled him back so they could see Cyrus. Of all the people Draco could have fallen in love with they could not have not picked someone better than Cyrus. They both smiled when they saw Cyrus extend his wings and lifted himself up onto the balcony into the arms of their son. As soon as Cyrus landed, Draco pulled him into the privacy of his room as they began to kiss passionately.

Whilst their relationship had been growing for the past several months, they had still not progressed to fully making love, both were nervous, however that had not stopped them from using their mouths and hands from exploring each other.

In the dining room, Hades had a thoughtful look on his face. “Sephei, do you think Joxer would help out as God of Judgment? Then we could go away for a small break, we have never had one.”

Persephone didn’t have to give it much thought. “I am sure Joxer would, it would be wonderful if we could. We should invite Ares and Joxer to dinner and ask them.”


Chapter 4 - by Lady Frisselle

While Hades and Persephone were on their long delayed honeymoon Joxer was staying in the Underworld. This way he could keep an eye on Cyrus and Draco without them being able to complain about it. Everything in his world was great. The only downside was that his brother Jett couldn’t seem to settle down. Admittedly he had this on again off again thing going on with Iyolas and Ipecles but no one he could truly call his own. He walked out of the throne room towards the family apartments when he heard someone calling to him.

“Uncle Joxer,” came a voice from behind him. “Great, I’m not interrupting the judgments.” Heron came to a stop next to his uncle and grinned. “I think I know who to set Uncle Jett up with but I’ll need some help coming up with a plan. Do you think you could call everyone here? It’s the one place I can think of that Uncle Jett can’t sneak up on us somehow.”

“Yes, he does tend to do that doesn’t he? Jett just wants to make sure we can protect ourselves. Now what do you need me to do for you Heron?”

“Could you call my dads and the others down here? Jayce and Ganymede too. I have a rough idea but I need help with the details.”

Joxer smiled at his nephew and put out the call.

************************************************

Meanwhile in a dark and dank cave on the other side of Olympus… Well, it was actually a rather comfy cheery looking cave with soft music playing in the background but Cyrus had been sworn to secrecy about it as the Fates didn’t want to ruin their whole mysterious image to the others…Lachecis looked down and said, “Well finally….Cyrus dear…Someone finally clued in about Jett and Akakios. Go and give them a hand in the planning and remember…”

“No giving away what the cave looks like or the fact that Jett and Akakios have always been meant to be together.”

“Such a nice boy,” said Atropos as Cyrus, God of Destiny, flashed out of the room.

************************************************

Cyrus appeared in the sitting room of the palace in Asphodel and looked around the room at all of the others gathered there. Draco smiled and started over to greet his boyfriend when Cyrus took a deep breath and closed his eyes. When he opened them they were a solid blue and glowing slightly. “Cyrus? What’s going on?” Draco questioned.

This brought the attention of the rest of the room to Cyrus. When he spoke his voice had an odd echo to it. “For any plan made about this to succeed Eris, Goddess of Discord needs to be here. One of the two in question is a part of her clergy and as such she has a say when his life is concerned. It is destined that she be involved when one of her priests is concerned. Jayce and Ganymede need to be involved somehow as well.”

The others just blinked at him as the glow in his eyes faded and they returned to normal. A small flagon appeared floating in front of him and he grabbed it and downed it. “Sorry about that,” the young god said sheepishly. “It gets away from me sometimes.”

“That’s alright, Cyrus. What was the flagon?” Joxer asked his son.

“Well, when the Fates realised I got headaches after an episode like that they set a spell that delivered a pain relief potion to me just after it happened.”

There were nods all around at that. Ares called for Eris to come join them and Joxer called Ganymede and Jayce. The three appeared in the room and everyone got comfortable.

“Not that I mind seeing everyone, but why am I here?” Eris asked the room at large.

“Well it’s about Jett,” Joxer said.

“Did you finally figure out how to make him happy?” Jayce asked.

“We think so but we were informed that he was one of Eris’ priests and that she needed to be here to make plans about it,” said Ares.

“Yeah. Jett is my High Priest in charge of assassins and assassinations. I’ve noticed that he’s been a bit depressed recently but I wasn’t sure how to help him. I’m not really good at the whole making people happy thing. Not without help anyway,” said Eris. “By the way Heph, thanks for making him immortal. He’s the best priest I have ever had and I wasn’t looking forward to having to replace him. He deserves some happiness after all the years of faithful service he has given me.”

Heph grinned at her from his seat next to Aphrodite. The Goddess of Love sighed contentedly and turned to Heron. “So what do you have for us Heron?” she said. “Joxer said you had an idea about how to make Jett happy.”

“I saw him running some of the Royal Bodyguards through their paces and I noticed he was paying extra attention to Akakios.”

“Maybe he thought he had to work harder,” put in Ares.

“I don’t think that was it Uncle,” Heron said. “I got a good look at his eyes. The look he was giving Akakios was the same as the look you give Uncle Joxer or my dads give each other.”

Strife got a brief buzz and looked casually around the room. He saw Cyrus looking smug and raised an eyebrow at him when Cyrus looked his way.

//I can’t give you any details Strife. I promised the Fates.//

Strife grinned at him and said aloud, “We’re going to have to be careful with how we do this. Jett’s a bit paranoid.”

“You’ve got that right,” said Eris. “That’s one of the reasons he became one of my High Priests and what makes him so good at his job otherwise. Settling down in Corinth has actually been good for him. He gets more sleep now and he’s been able to take on more of his duties instead of delegating them.”

“That means no spells or potions then,” said Aphrodite.

“Arrows either,” added Cupid. “We’ll have to do this completely naturally.”

***********************************

Up in Corinth, Jett sneezed. “Are you alright sir?” asked Akakios. He handed him a handkerchief to wipe his nose with. Akakios sighed inwardly when their fingers brushed together during the exchange. He wasn’t going to wash that hand for a week if he could help it.

“I’m fine. Just some dust or something.” The young guard nodded and went back to the drills he had been set to. Jett took the opportunity to admire the way he looked from behind. He wondered who was talking about him since he never sneezed normally.

******************************

“So, Jett has a thing for Akakios?” asked Cyrus. He knew they were destined to be together and always had been but he couldn’t say anything about it.

“Yeah,” said Heron. “I pointed it out to him, that he looked at Akakios like the dads look at each other, and he glared at me and stalked off. I think I heard one of the generals that had been trying to skim funds was found dead later.”

“Jett always buries himself in work when he’s upset about something.” Surprisingly it was Jayce who said this and not Eris. “Jox, we have to help him somehow. He deserves to be happy. Let me know if there is anything that I can do to help.”

“I’ll go talk to Jett. He never lies to me and he tells me things that only his brothers would be told otherwise. Not that he doesn’t love you two,” Eris made sure to add with a look at the brothers, “but sometimes he needs to talk to someone and neither of you are there. Besides it would look less suspicious coming from me. Not even Jett would suspect me of trying to set him up with someone.”

“True,” said Ares thoughtfully. “Not many people know of this secret matchmaker streak you have. I remember finding you and ‘Dite giggling about how you had helped her with a couple of matches once.”

Eris grinned at her brother and gave her son a wink when he gaped at her. Aphrodite nodded and smiled. “That would be perfect; Eris and I haven’t had a chance to work together in decades. This will be so much fun.”

“Akakios won’t hurt him will he?” Jayce said with concern. “He’s very fragile emotionally sometimes.”

“Yeah,” Joxer agreed. “That’s all Dad’s fault. Hey do you think Jett would enjoy coming down here to have a chat with Dad. I’m sure he’s learned many wonderful things from Eris that he’d love to show the old man.” Joxer said this with a smirk that was mirrored by Jayce. The others in the room could tell that although Jett was technically the dangerous one his brothers weren’t that far behind him when it came to protection of the one they loved.

Aphrodite looked over at Cupid who reached over and took her hand. A soft pink glow enveloped the two love gods momentarily and when it had faded they were both grinning. “They’re soulmates dudes,” Cupid said with a grin.

“Akakios would never hurt him without a VERY good reason. Jett will be absolutely devastated when he dies though,” Aphrodite added.

“I have an idea for a situation that you could use,” said the quiet voice of Ganymede. “I’m going to have Jayce move into my temple on Olympus with me. Don’t I have to ask his oldest living relative for permission for that? That would be Jett if I’m not mistaken. I could have everyone over to my temple for dinner and you guys could somehow get Jett together with Akakios. Neither one of them would be able to leave without offending someone and Jett wouldn’t want to abandon his brother at such a special occasion.”

“Good idea Ganymede,” Joxer said. “We can work out the rest of the details later but that gives us something to work with.”

*******************************************

That was exactly what they did. Ganymede invited Jett, Joxer and everyone to his temple for dinner. He told them they could bring Ipecles, Iolaus and any guests that they might wish as it was going to be a happy occasion, hopefully for more than one couple. Jett couldn’t say no to Ganymede because he felt like he would be kicking a puppy and besides Jayce loved him.

****************************************

“I don’t see why you need to bring any guards,” Jett said to Ipecles. “Your husband is a god, your brothers are gods and we’re going to dinner in a god’s temple.”

“I know but the council insists that I need more protection than just you and Akakios could use a good meal and a rest,” Ipecles replied.

“Akakios,” Jett said with exaggerated casualness. “Well, he has been working awfully hard lately and the food there is good. He does deserve some reward; besides this way there aren’t an uneven number of dinner guests.”

Just then Iolaus entered the room with Akakios. Jett blinked. That wasn’t the way that Royal Guards usually dressed. “But Lord Iolaus,” Akakios was saying, “Why do I have to dress this way? Admittedly I can hide more weapons this way but if I’m going to be your guard I should be in uniform.”

Looking at his husband and Jett out of the corner of his eye Iolaus replied, “Well, we’re only taking a guard because the council insisted and we figured you deserved a break. Besides I think you look good that way…Don’t you think so Jett?”

Jett just grunted and said, “If we’re ready I don’t want to be late. Ganymede said he had something to talk to me about.”

Iolaus smiled and flashed them all to Ganymede’s Olympian temple.

Ganymede greeted them all and led them to his study. He looked at Jett, coughed nervously and looked like he was going to excuse himself to go for more refreshments when Jayce came up to him and poked him in the side. Jayce looked him in the eye and gave him a little push towards Jett.

“Jett,” Ganymede said. “I love your brother Jayce and I was wondering if it would be alright with you if he moved in with me. I figured I should ask you considering that you are his oldest relative.” Ganymede smiled when Jayce beamed at him and he turned his gaze back to Jett.

“Promise not to hurt him.” At Ganymede’s nod Jett smiled and said, “So what’s for dinner then. I’m told that god’s give really good celebratory dinners.” He started for the door after grabbing Akakios’s hand and dragging him along behind. “You can sit with me and we can tease all of the overly cute couples.”

The people that he had left behind him grinned at the expression on Akakios’ face. “We may not have to push as hard as we thought,” said Aphrodite thoughtfully.

“You know what just occurred to me,” said Joxer. “What if Jett was waiting to be sure that the two of us were safe and happy before settling down himself.”

“That sure would explain a lot,” said Cupid. He suddenly stopped and looked at his mother. She had a stunned look on her face but she nodded. Cupid turned to the others and said, “We won’t have to push at all. Jett just realized that he loves Akakios and is trying to work out if Akakios feels the same way.”

Eris’ voice said, “He better feel the same way,” just before she popped into the room with Hermes in tow. “Now why don’t we all go have dinner and watch the clueless ones to see if they figure it out. Are we all staying overnight?” She said to Ganymede.

“Sure,” he replied. “I’ve got plenty of room now that I’ve finally gotten all of Zeus’ old stuff cleared out. Besides I had an inkling that the rooms might be needed if those two figured it out and couldn’t wait to get somewhere else.”

The group chuckled at that as they entered the dining room. Once there they found that Jett had seated Akakios next to him and was trying to get him to taste some of the foods he didn’t recognize. No one was sure if the two men realized that they were still holding hands.

As they ate, the two love gods noticed that Akakios looked content yet disbelieving. It was as if he thought that Jett could never have feelings for someone like him and was just enjoying the sensations while it lasted. //Joxer// sent Aphrodite. //Why don’t you take Jett and Jayce aside for some brotherly bonding after dinner. I think Cupid and I need to have a word with Akakios.//

Cyrus watched all this with a careful eye. This trying to manipulate people without them realizing it thing was tiring. He just needed to close his eyes for a moment. Gee, Draco’s shoulder looked soft and comfy….

“Umm…Ganymede,” Draco said softly. “Do you have a room we could put Cyrus in? He fell asleep on me.”

“I know just the place,” said Jayce with a grin. “Joxer would you give me a hand with him?”

“Sure,” said Joxer as he went to try and get his son to his feet. He really had to have a talk with the Fates. They were working the boy too hard if he was falling asleep at dinner.

“I’ll help,” Jett said. “I’d like to talk to you and Jayce anyway.” Between them the triplets got Cyrus on his feet and moving, even though he was still asleep. Draco trailed along behind them and, once Cyrus was settled on the bed, curled up next to him and fell asleep as well.

Jayce led his brothers to a room that was comfortable and just screamed that the person the room was decorated for was well loved. At his brothers inquiring looks he said, “This room was a gift from Gan when he asked me to move in with him. I told him he had to have your approval first.”

“Well, he has mine,” said Joxer. Jett just nodded his agreement.

“Thanks. So what did you want to talk about Jett?”

“Well…How do you know when you love someone and that they love you back?”

“The knowing you love someone part is easy to tell. Do you think about them a lot?”

After his oldest brother’s nod Joxer picked up the line of questioning, “Are you thinking about what they are doing right now?”

Jett nodded again. “So, I guess that means I am in love with him. I thought that was the case. But how do I know that he loves me…I’m not a very lovable person and before you two say a word I know you two love me but you don’t count as far as romance goes.”

“Well you could always ask him?” Jayce said.

“That wouldn’t be too forward?”

“Jett,” Joxer said in exasperation. “You are the King of Assassins and head of the Royal Bodyguards of Corinth. You can’t tell me that you are afraid of asking someone if they love you.”

The look on Jett’s face hardened and he turned and walked out of the room heading back the way he came. When he got there he saw Akakios backing away from Aphrodite, Cupid and Eris. He ran over and took Akakios into his arms. “You three leave him alone. I’m sorry my lady but I will not let you hurt this one. He is mine.”

“Really?”

Jett looked at Akakios after he had asked that question. “Yes. That is, if you want to be.”

Jett’s answer was Akakios grabbing both sides of his face and pulling him down for a very enthusiastic kiss. Jett’s hands slid down Akakios’ back and grabbed the butt he had been admiring for months. Aphrodite grinned and sent them to an empty room in Ganymede’s temple while Cupid made sure that there were plenty of pillows, cloths to clean themselves and oil. Lots and lots of oil.

The love gods looked at each other and grinned. “Excuse me,” said Cupid then he grabbed Strife, threw him over his shoulder and flashed away.

“They may not come out for a day or so from the vibes I’m getting so someone will need to make sure that they get fed. Later guys.” She then grabbed her husband and flashed out of the room.

*********************************

Cyrus smiled in his sleep as his godhood informed him that Destiny was once again on track. He snuggled into Draco and drifted into a deeper sleep.


Chapter 5 - by Lady Frisselle

Ipecles looked at the people lounging around his private sitting room, noting a few key absences and said, “I take it that Jett and Akakios haven’t come out of their room yet.”

“No. We’ve been leaving food outside their door and the servants say that they knock to let them know it’s there. Apparently one of the newer servants tried to insist that they had to come in to clean and Jett offered to show Akakios how many cuts it takes to kill someone. Needless to say they disturb that pair as little as possible,” his husband said.

“Can’t say I blame them,” said Ares. “If I had thought Joxer was dead and then he was given back I’d still be in bed with him too.” He looked up as the door opened and Cupid came into the room with a rather sated grin on his face.

“Hey Pops, everyone. I’d say the deadly duo will be at breakfast tomorrow. I think their energy finally gave out. Strife will be here in a bit. He went to drop off the apple pie that mom and grandma made for Jett and Akakios.”

Just then Heron and Bliss came into the room. Bliss was still moving a little stiffly and Cupid got up and let Bliss have his seat. “Thanks Dad,” he said. “The healers said I could be up and around but my side’s still a little tender. Uncle ‘Pol said that should fade soon when I saw him a little while ago. He said to tell everyone that he would be by later. Grandma needed his help with one of her priestesses who was having a problem giving birth.”

Iyolas looked at his son and saw how tired he still seemed. He just wasn’t getting the rest he needed here in the palace with all of the fallout from the battle with Athens going on. “Heron, why don’t you and the other children go on a camping trip? I think that you’re all old enough to be trusted on your own. You could even see if Bomani could come with you.”

“It would certainly be a lot more restful than here,” Heron said thoughtfully. “What do you guys think?” There was a general assent to the idea and Cyrus and Hypatia contacted Draco and Bomani to see if they could come.

Everyone was able to go, so the next day the young gods flashed to the mountains around the foot of Mount Olympus. They may be old enough to be on their own but none of them wanted to chance Bliss or Heron getting sick and not be able to get help. The seven young gods were looking on this as an opportunity to reconnect to each other, rest after the battle, celebrate their victory and to get to know Bomani better.

Bomani was looking around in interest. He had never really seen much of Greece and it was all new to him. “What’s over that way?” he said pointing to a narrow gully.

“I’m not sure,” said Bliss. “I’ve never gone down that way before. Let’s go check it out and we can stay there for our first night.”

They started down that way and Cyrus, as the only winged god in the group who was allowed to fly at the moment (Apollo had told both Heron and Bliss that there was to be no flying until there was no pain from their barely healed wounds) went on ahead to scout out a good spot to set up camp. What he found just on the other side of the narrow gully sent him winging back to the others at top speed.

“Guys, there’s someone chained to the cliff face on the other side of the gully. I’m not sure if he’s dead or not but it looks like the birds have been picking at him,” Cyrus said in a rush as he came in to land.

They all rushed down the gully to find a man who appeared to be about Gaia’s age chained to the cliff face. There were bloody gouges along his side and they could see part of his innards; as they watched a vulture swooped down and ripped a chunk out of his liver. As the figure screamed they realized that he wasn’t dead as they had assumed.

“Guys,” said Draco. “That’s not a normal vulture. It’s only eating his liver and leaving the rest of him alone. Also, he has to be a god of some kind or he would be dead.”

“You’re sure, Draco?” Anthousa asked.

“Yeah. I grew up in the Underworld and I’m heir to the throne of Asphodel. I know what sort of wounds those are and in a mortal they are universally fatal. I’ll see what I can do about the vulture but there’s something about it that makes me doubt that I’ll be able to do much.”

Cyrus moved to stand behind Draco who had closed his eyes. When he opened them they were a stark black with slit pupils that were constantly changing colour. //See if you can get him free. I’ve got the vulture under control for now but I don’t think I’ll be able to hold him for more than two hours tops. It’s under a compulsion from another god that I don’t have the power to break. //

The vulture had flown off and was perched on the cliff across from where the unknown god was chained. Bliss climbed up to try and release the shackles around his ankles when it struck him who this was. He stepped back and looked up at the god’s face. “Excuse me sir. But are you Prometheus?”

The chained figure groaned softly and said, “Yes. Who are you, young one, and is it you that I have to thank for this small reprieve from my punishment?”

“I’m Bliss, God of Joy, son of Cupid, God of Love. My cousin Draco, God of Unnatural Creatures, son of Hades, King of Asphodel and his Queen, Persephone, is holding the vulture back. We’re going to try and get you free.”

“I appreciate the effort but you won’t be able to release the shackles. I was sentenced to have my liver eaten by this vulture every day until such time as I am released by order of the king. I heal every night.”

“I can’t release him either guys,” said Heron. “My power base isn’t large enough yet to break the binding.” He looked over at Prometheus and said, “I’m Heron, God of Redemption, son of Iolaus, God of Truth and Ipecles, King of Corinth. Standing behind Draco is Cyrus, God of Destiny, son of Ares, God of War and Joxer, God of Judgment. Next to Cyrus is Hypatia, Goddess of Hope, daughter of Joxer, God of Judgement and Ares, God of War. The girl next to me is Anthousa, Goddess of Impish Delight, daughter of Cupid, God of Love and Strife, God of Mischief. The quiet guy behind Hypatia is Bomani, Egyptian God of Strategy, son of Mentu, Egyptian God of War.”

Hypatia looked to the horizon judging the time. “Draco, the sunset isn’t far off. Do you think you could hold the vulture till then?”

//I’m not sure but I’ll try. //

“Thank you all. It is pleasant to have company for a change. The last person I talked to was Zeus when he came to taunt me again. I haven’t seen him in almost seventeen years though. That’s unusual as he used to come by at least once every six months.”

“We’re going to get you free,” Hypatia said firmly. “I’ll get Daddy Joxer to do something about it and he’ll go to King Hephaestus.”

Bomani, who had been silent up until this point said, “I will stay here to keep Prometheus company while you go to talk to your families on his behalf. I will do my best to explain what has been going on for the last sixteen years.”

Hypatia beamed at him and gave him a kiss on the cheek. Cyrus saw that Draco was looking a little wobbly so he made him a chair and sat him in it while the others set about making camp. They had all silently agreed that they would do their best to keep the vulture away from Prometheus as much as possible. Draco couldn’t do it on his own so they would be there to pick up the slack while Draco was resting. The sun was setting by the time they were done, which was proven by Draco suddenly slumping in his chair as he finally was able to relax his powers.

“Give me a moment to catch my breath before we go,” he said while putting his head between his knees. Cyrus knelt next to him and materialized a goblet of Ambrosia for him to drink to get some of his energy back.

“I’ll transport Draco home and then back here. He shouldn’t be using any of his powers for a while until he recovers.” The others nodded at this and Draco would have objected to being treated as a baby, if he had had the energy.

As he watched this, Prometheus was in shock. Olympians were helping him. Olympians and a god from another pantheon were helping him. None of the Olympians had ever been to see him and now their children were trying to free him. Maybe he was asleep and this was all a really weird dream. He had always got on rather well with Morpheus before…though he hadn’t had any dreams since he had been chained to this rock. Unbeknownst to Prometheus, Zeus had blocked the gully he was in from the perception of the Greek Gods. Most of them wouldn’t even see the entrance to the gully and if Bomani hadn’t been with them they never would have found Prometheus. The downfall of Zeus’s shield was that once it was broken for a god, it was open to all of them.

********************************

Ares and Joxer were cuddling on a sofa in the sitting room of the royal apartments in Corinth. They were just about to kiss when the flash of the children arriving stopped them. Ares was surprised at the look of absolute anger on all of their faces; even Anthousa who was more of the ‘don’t get mad get even’ type.

“What is the matter, kids?” Ares asked as Joxer moved to sit up next to him.

“Do you remember Prometheus?” Anthousa asked.

“Yeah. I haven’t seen him since Zeus punished him for giving fire to mankind. I wonder what he’s been doing.”

“Getting his liver eaten by a vulture,’ Hypatia said flatly.

“He’s still chained to the cliff?” Ares asked incredulously. At the nods from the younger gods he continued, “I was sure Zeus had freed him centuries ago.”

“He didn’t,” Heron said. “In fact, he used to visit him every six months and taunt him.”

“Daddy Joxer,” Hypatia started, “We would like you to see what you can do about getting him free as God of Judgment.”

“Since you were obviously so surprised to hear that he was still being punished,” said Bliss, “we’ll forgive you for leaving him there this long but we thought you should know something.”

“Until you get him freed we will not come home. The six of us, along with Bomani, are going to keep that vulture from eating his liver as much as possible. It would be in your own best interests to fix this,” Cyrus said, and with a flash they disappeared from the room.

Joxer turned to his husband. “I’m going to go talk to Hephaestus. We need to call together the council for this. I have a feeling this is one of those King of the Gods things.”

“Alright. I’m going to tell Iolaus and Ipecles what’s going on and then I’ll join you at the Council Chamber on Olympus.”

A short time later the Council of Twelve had gathered. It was the first time that they had been called together since Zeus had been overthrown. The whole fiasco with Dahok had happened so fast that there hadn’t been time to call one.

Hephaestus cleared his throat and everyone took their seats as he began to speak. “Sorry for the short notice everyone, but Joxer has brought an important matter to my attention. Prometheus is still chained to the cliff having his liver consumed by the vulture. The children found him and have said that until he is freed they are going to take up residence there to prevent the vulture from hurting Prometheus as much as possible. I don’t know about anyone else but I had thought he was freed centuries ago. In my opinion he has already been punished too long for this but we need a quorum of the Twelve in order to release him. Everyone must vote and give their reason for how they voted.” He looked around at the others and said, “I vote to free him. He was always kind to me as a child, despite my accident, and without him I would have no worshippers at all.”

Aphrodite spoke next. “I vote to free him. He was only trying to help the mortals; which is only right as they are the ones who give us power.”

Next was Artemis. “I vote to leave him bound. He is a Titan and he could feel he has to revenge himself on those responsible for them losing power.”

Poseidon said, “Artemis is right. He could come after us so I vote that he should stay where he is.”

Joxer spoke out after that, “But giving fire to humanity does not warrant being chained to a cliff for eons with a vulture eating his liver, besides Heron feels he has redeeming qualities or he never would have gone along with the other children wanting to free him so I vote that he be freed.”

“There is no place for the Titans in this world,” Demeter said hotly. Under her breath she said, “That will show you. Why should you get to have your children home when you have denied me my daughter?” Unbeknownst to Demeter Aphrodite heard her and told Hephaestus what she had said.

Hades, who had also heard what Demeter had said, replied, “Well, he was always nice to me and if my son,” he paused for a moment as Demeter’s head snapped around to look at him, “if my son is willing to work to free him so am I. I vote he goes free.” Hades smirked inwardly as he looked at Demeter. ‘Ah ha,’ he thought. ‘It never occurred to her that Draco wouldn’t be coming home either if Prometheus remained chained to the cliff.’

“If we have other incursions like the fight with Dahok he could be a major asset,” said Ares. “I vote that he goes free.”

“Prometheus is the father of healing. Just think of all the knowledge he could have to pass on to us. I vote that we free him,” Apollo stated.

Hermes said, “I vote that we leave him there. He’ll cause more chaos than we could handle at the moment, besides he would have nowhere to live.”

“He has been punished more than enough,” Hera said. “Besides he was always fun to talk to.”

Everyone then turned to look at Ganymede. “I don’t know how to vote. Until now I knew next to nothing about the Titans. The only one I know is Gaia and she’s always been nice to me.”

Hephaestus stood and looked around at the rest of the Twelve. “The majority rules in this case. Prometheus shall be freed. Demeter, since you only voted no because you wanted to deny the others their children because we wouldn’t force Persephone to remain on Olympus with you, it will be your job to release the chains. Hermes, you thrive on chaos. Since you are the God of Liars I will not punish you for it in this case, however you must help Demeter release Prometheus from the chains and let him stay with you until more permanent arrangements can be made.”

Demeter opened her mouth to argue when Hephaestus spoke up, “I will strip you of your status and godhood and confer them upon your daughter if you complain.” She glared at him but nodded. Hermes stood as well and the two gods locked on to where the children were and transported there.

The young gods looked up as Demeter and Hermes flashed in. “Draco are you alright sweetie?” The Nature goddess tried to go to her grandson, who glared at her and moved so that Cyrus was between them.

“I am fine, Grandmother,” he said coolly. Draco disliked his grandmother and hadn’t visited her since his parents decided he was old enough to decide things like that for himself.

Seeing that Demeter would do nothing, Hermes straightened his tunic and walked to stand directly in front of Prometheus. As long as he had to do this he was going to do it right. “Prometheus, Titan of Healing and Bringer of Fire to Man, in accordance to the quorum of the Council of Twelve and by Order of Hephaestus, God of the Forge and King of the Gods you are to be given your freedom.” He gave a small bow and stepped back. Looking over at Demeter he said in a low voice, “Look you old biddy you either get over here and release the chains on that side or I tell Heph that you didn’t help and you lose your godhood. If you’re very lucky he may give you Persephone’s godhood since in that case she’ll be getting yours.”

Demeter gave him a startled look but she did release the chains about Prometheus’s ankles. Draco and Anthousa moved to help Prometheus down as Hermes released the chains on his arms. “I would like to go to Olympus now, if that is alright. I should thank those who freed me and my new friends for helping it to happen.” As he said this he flexed his long unused powers and healed himself and cleaned up his clothes.

“Sure dude,” said Hermes. “I voted against you but I hope there are no hard feelings. In fact, you are going to be staying with me until you find somewhere that you wish to settle.”

“I don’t blame you,” Prometheus told him. “The one who should be blamed is Zeus and I’m told he is no longer in power.”

The rest of the group nodded and as one they flashed to the meeting hall outside of the Council Chamber on Mount Olympus.

“Everyone, I wish to thank you for my freedom. I vow that I will never rise against you. The conflict between you and my fellow Titans was not all as Zeus told you, but I can go into that at a later time as I’m told it is now a moot point. Once again, thank you all.” As he finished speaking the gods moved to welcome him back into the family. He looked around for Apollo. He was very much looking forward to seeing the other healer and talk shop; he hadn’t been able to do that for eons.

Hades came over then and asked him what was wrong. When Prometheus told him, he said, “He has gone to visit his dead son. It would have been his birthday today. I would bring him back but Zeus has made it so that I can’t. I just don’t have the power to do that and continue to do my job at the same time.”

Prometheus thought about that. He had all this power that he hadn’t used that had been building up for eons... maybe….Spotting Gaia on the other side of the room he moved to talk to her. “Dear Gaia, it is good to see you. I have an idea I need your opinion on….”


Chapter 6 - by Kerensa

The relatively small group of gods that were conferring at one end of the chambers were a powerful and frightening bunch. Hades was feared for his apparent power over life and death. Hephaestus was now the king of the gods and had control over the gods themselves. Prometheus was the last of the Titans—another scary group—and Gaia was everybody's mother…literally.

"...add all those years of unused energy..." Prometheus trailed off, letting the others mentally finish his statement.

"Yes, that might work," Gaia agreed with a nod.

"That *might* be enough power, but it would still be close," Hades added with a worried frown. "We need to be sure though. I don't want to get the little guy partly back and then have my energy fail. There's no telling what that would do to him."

Hephaestus nodded, a thoughtful look on his handsome, but scarred, face. "What about some of the other gods? There are *lesser gods* who receive godly energy from their various followers, but they don't really have any..." The king of the gods paused, trying to think of a *polite* way to phrase it.

"They don't have any duties, and therefore, don't expend much of their collected energy," Gaia added.

Hades and Hephaestus nodded. Prometheus looked from one god to another. "Why aren't they given regular duties?" he asked in confusion. "Wouldn't that make more sense than loading down some of the other gods with so many duties. Apollo, for instance, has a dozen or more tasks."

"My son wanted to make sure that his favourite gods and goddesses were given lighter loads, while the ones he wasn't fond of, or outright disliked, were either ignored or overwhelmed," Gaia informed them. Her face darkened as she thought about her son, Zeus, and all the havoc he created over the millennium he was in charge.

******************************************

Strife yawned and leaned his head on his husband's shoulder. Cupid's strong, muscular shoulder was a soft perch for Strife's angular cheekbone.

The God of Mischief looked over at the children. All of the young people who had found the lost Prometheus were still hanging around the recently freed Titan, almost as if they were afraid to leave him alone.

"What are they doing here?" he heard Artemis ask petulantly.

The pale god glanced over, this time there was a bright, double flash as two more gods appeared in the room. It was Deimos and Phobos. From the looks on their faces, the two younger gods had no idea why Hephy had summoned them either.

"Dad," Anthousa sat down and leaned against Strife's shoulder, imitating her father. "Why are Phobos and Deimos treated so badly?" The young god scowled at people like Demeter, who was looking down her nose at the Strife look-alikes.

"They're underdogs," Strife said with a loud sigh. He waved a hand dismissively. "It's a futah reference," he explained. "Basically, it means that they are like Joxah and I used ta be. Nobody liked us and dismissed us as unimportant."

Anthousa hugged her father close, squeezing him tight. "I think you and Uncle Joxer are important," she said loyally.

"Thanks, kiddo. I have a feelin' that they," he nodded to the *important gods*, "are gonna realize that De and Pho are too."

************************************

"Why sure, no problem," Phobos said with a shrug.

"Yeah, we've got loads of energy," Deimos added with a nonchalance that surprised Hephaestus.

The king of the gods looked deep into the gods in front of him and their auras fairly crackled with energy. He was amazed to realize that they had almost as much untapped energy as the Titan had built up when he was chained to that rock.

“So…whatda we do?” Phobos drawled.

“Take my hand,” Hades said with a smile.

Deimos and Phobos stood on either side of the sexy God of the Underworld and clasped a free hand. Things were about to get interesting.

*****************************

Apollo leaned back against the tree and watched as Anatolius played with the toys that he’d been given for his birthday. Today was what should have been the young man’s 125th birthday. Even though it had been so many years since he’d died, Anatolius still looked like the 11 year old that he’d been when he died.

The blond god leaned his head back against the rough bark and closed his eyes, just for a moment. The stresses of this anniversary always took a lot out of him, because not only was this Anatolius’ birthday, but also the anniversary of his death.

‘It’s getting brighter,’ Apollo thought to himself. ‘Like a solar flare, but I haven’t scheduled anything like that lately.’

He opened his eyes and glanced around the grove in worry. In the Elysian Fields the weather was always temperate, so there shouldn’t be a problem. But it wasn’t all of the Fields that were getting brighter. Just…around Anatolius.

All of the sudden, the light flared brighter and then disappeared. Along with his son.

On the ground where Anatolius had been sitting lay the games that Apollo had brought to amuse the boy. Seeing them there sent Apollo straight into a panic.

“Toli!” he shrieked.

‘Pol was terrified. He wasn’t the most liked of the gods and was afraid that someone was using his dead child to get revenge on him. The problem was that he had no way of knowing who had kidnapped Anatolius or where they’d taken him.

“What do I do? What do I do?” he said frantically.

There had to be someone he could trust. Someone. Anyone…Hades!

With a flash Apollo disappeared from the Elysian Fields, leaving only a few scattered toys behind to show that anyone had ever been there.

****************************

Apollo arrived in Asphodel less than a second later. He was ready to beg Hades for help, if need be. But the death god’s castle was mostly empty.

The blond god checked Hades’ throne room. He looked in the meeting hall. Apollo was desperate enough that he even looked in Hades and Persephone’s bedroom. Apollo would have thought that it would be either black, because that was Hades’ favourite colour, or decorated in flowers, because of Persephone’s background. Amazingly enough, it was done up in varying shades of pale orange.

Drifting around the hallways, all Apollo found were a couple of shades wandering around. He tried to ask them where Hades was, but didn’t get a coherent answer. The healing god guessed that they had died in a particularly traumatic way and hadn’t accepted their deaths yet. Because of that, they couldn’t be sent on to their eternity, at least not yet.

He concentrated and came to a startling realization; most of the gods were at the Meeting Hall on Mount Olympus. That didn’t bode well. A mass gathering like that usually indicated an attack on Olympus or another revolution. And since Hephaestus was well liked…

He flashed there and saw Prometheus, Deimos, Phobos and about 5 other *minor* gods standing around in a circle, sending wave after wave of energy into Hades. The God of the Underworld was glowing. He had energy literally pouring off of him.

Apollo inched closer, trying to see what was happening. No one else was paying attention to him, all their concentration was on the unusual group and what they were doing. The blond god got close enough that he could see that Hades was taking all that excess godly energy and, in turn, funnelling all that power into a small figure that was lying on a marble platform.

Apollo was both scared and elated to realize that it was his long dead son, Anatolius.

“Apollo? Are you alright?”

The soft voice at his shoulder startled the god. He glanced away from the tableau he’d been watching, just for a moment, and acknowledged Aphrodite’s enquiry.

“I-I guess so. What’s going on?” he asked. It didn’t seem like anything bad was happening to his son, but where the other gods were concerned he’d learned very painfully a long time ago that you couldn’t be too careful.

Dite told him about the idea that Prometheus had and the plan that they’d come up with. Apollo listened in stunned disbelief.

“You’re doing this…for me?!” he squeaked out.

“Yes, sweetie, for you.” Aphrodite smiled and linked her arm through his. "Why wouldn't we? After all, you are family."

Family. That was a concept that Apollo was going to be a long time accepting.

Together, they watched as Anatolius was reborn.

*************************

“Da-ad!” Anthousa whined. “When are they going to get here?”

Cupid winced at the loud, complaining voice and gave Strife a nasty glare. He knew that his husband was the one who had taught their daughter that ‘are we there yet?’ complaint. Strife just shrugged his leather clad shoulders and gave Cupid a contrite look, followed by a smile that promised lots of repentant sex that night…on his knees, of course.

“I don’t know,” Cupid admitted. “They’ll be here when they arrive.”

Across the room, Bliss heard his sister and also heard the exasperation in his father’s voice. Knowing Anthousa, Bliss doubted that she’d give up that easily. So, in order to save his father’s sanity, and the festivities, he hurried over and wrapped an arm around her shoulders.

“Come on, sis. Heron wants to show you something.”

Mentioning his lover, and their good friend, always got her curiosity going, so it didn’t take much to tug her away. “What’s he got to show me?” she asked eagerly.

“Nothing,” Bliss admitted. “But bring your behind over here anyway.”

“Bl-i-isss.”

The God of Joy realized he didn’t appreciate the whining in his ear any more than his father had. He looked over at his sister in irritation, only to see a grin on her face.

“Imp,” he said good naturedly. No one could stay mad at the Goddess of Impish Delights for very long.

“What’s up?” Heron asked.

“We’re waiting for Apollo and Anatolius to arrive,” Bliss admitted.

“Ah,” Hypatia said, coming up to stand with her friends.

“This should be interesting,” Draco admitted, as he and Bomani flashed in.

It had been two months since Anatolius had been resurrected. Two long months with no contact between Apollo and his son, and the rest of Mount Olympus. Everyone was dying of curiosity to see the young man. This family *picnic* had been organized so that Apollo could show off his son.

************

Over by one of the food tables was Apollo's other son, Asclepius. The healing god seemed to be unaffected by the uproar, until you looked into his eyes, that is. They were blue, the same color as his father's, and right now they were sparkling with mischief, more in keeping with his pale cousin. He glanced around at the waiting crowd and bit back a smirk.

'I can't wait to see the looks on their faces,' he thought.

Ace quickly hid the smile that wanted to break out. He had always loved his little brother and missed him when he was gone. But now he was back, and Hephaestus was giving off noises about making 'Toli a god, so Apollo would never have to lose him again.

***********

"I've heard a rumor," Heron began. All of his friends turned towards him eagerly. The younger god hesitated and then grinned at the impatient looks he was getting. "I've heard tell that Anatolius has been growing up really fast."

"How fast?" Anthousa asked, her interest obvious. That was to be expected. After all, new, potential guys to date--who weren't best friends already--weren't exactly thick on the ground.

"I'm not sure," Heron admitted. "But..."

He trailed off when a very bright flash of light erupted in the middle of the dining hall and Apollo and his son appeared. And what an appearance it was.

Anatolius had grown up--way up. Instead of being a rather small 11 year old, Anatolius now appeared to be in his early 20's. All of the excess energy that had been left over after the resurrection had brought his physical form into maturity.

The young demi-god was tall and blond. His build wasn't rippling with muscles, like Ares, but more of a runner’s build, with long, lean muscles. He had his father's hair, but instead of being a shorter hairdo, like Apollo's, Anatolius' blond mane hung to the middle of his back in long, wavy tresses. He turned to look around the room in wide eyed wonderment and his vivid green eyes practically glowed.

"Ungh," Anthousa grunted out, not able to actually speak at that moment.

************************************************

Across the room, both Aphrodite and Cupid jerked in surprise at the feelings of overwhelming lust that washed over them, from all sides of the room. More than one god or goddess appreciated the *new* look that Apollo's son was sporting. Both son and mother were in turn giddy and embarrassed to realize that Anthousa was sending out the biggest amount of energy of them all.

Strife giggled at the look on his husband's face. The mischief god had a pretty good idea what had happened and a quick glance over at their daughter confirmed it. It was easy to see that Cupid wasn't prepared for the inevitable time when his daughter would *really* be interested in someone. The winged god's face began to darken in rage. Strife stepped in before his husband's temper could get him into trouble.

"Calm down, feathahs." Strife leaned against Cupid's side. "It had ta happen sooner or later."

"Yeah, but I was counting on later. A *lot* later," he admitted drolly.

Strife giggled.

***************************

"Wow, dad, this is amazing," Anatolius said quietly.

"Yes, it is," Apollo said, looking at his son, not the decor.

The past two months had been a happy time for father and son. They had reconnected and grown even closer than they had been when Anatolius had been alive before. To the young man it was as if his years in the Elysian Fields had been a dream. Luckily, he barely remembered the accident that caused his death.

Apollo wasn't so lucky. He had stayed awake for days after the rebirth, afraid that if he went to sleep it would have all been a dream. Even now, he was still tense, worried that something would go wrong and he'd lose his beloved son once again.

"Well, well, well!"

Anatolius jumped at the booming voice. Apollo put a calming hand on his son's arm and smiled over at the speaker.

"So, this is my nephew," Ares grinned broadly at the younger man. "And a handsome fellow he is." The war god gave Apollo a nod of approval and the blond god puffed up like a peacock whose feathers had been complimented.

"I am pleased to meet you, sir," Anatolius replied meekly, holding out a hand, like one would to a fellow warrior.

Ares looked at the outstretched hand and frowned. He grabbed the younger man by the shoulders and gave him a hearty, and bone crushing, hug.

"You're family. Family *doesn't* clasp hands."

"Uh. Okay," Anatolius gasped out.

"It's nice to meet you," Joxer's smile was a lot less intimidating than his husband's and the young man smiled back. Joxer patted Anatolius on the back gently and added in a whisper, "Don't let him scare you. He loves family."

"Okay," the newly resurrected young man agreed. He glanced up and gave an apprehensive look over Joxer's shoulder. The former warrior looked to see what was worrying Anatolius.

"And don't worry about them," he reassured. "They are our younger gods; most of them are about your age."

Anatolius nodded, just as the younger gods and goddesses walked up. Joxer wandered off to stand by Apollo and Ares, who had also moved off a little ways, to give the younger people a chance to get to know one another.

**********

"....and my name's Bliss."

The winged god finished introducing his friends. Anatolius seemed a bit overwhelmed by the sheer number of new people that he'd met today. Heron saw this, and being the helpful god he was, tried to help out the new guy.

"Don't worry, if you forget somebody," he said with a grin. "Just poke one of us and we'll tell you their name."

"Assuming we know who they are ourselves," Draco said with a laugh. "There are so many of us!" The now totally healed god gave a little laugh.

Anatolius gave the group of friends an uncertain smile. Their humor helped calm his nerves somewhat, but he was still jittery. He shifted uncomfortably. The young man wished that his father hadn't wanted him to be presented in the traditional Olympian robes, because he felt so exposed.

***********

Anthousa tried to stop staring at the new, what was it Daddy Strife always called them?, oh yes, a hunk. Anatolius was gorgeous and looking at him made the goddess feel things that she hadn't felt before in her life. She wanted to grab him by the front of his toga, drag him off and see if she couldn't make him scream just as loudly as the dads did.

She unconsciously licked her lips at the prospect and, sensing something different, Anatolius carefully edged away.

Joxer watched the by-play with a practiced eye. He was used to being watched just as hungrily by his husband. But it was easy to see that Anatolius was uncomfortable being under such close scrutiny. Considering that he was a pre-teenager when he died and had subsequently spent over a hundred years in the underworld, it wasn't surprising that the young man didn't know how to deal with unbridled lust.

As the God of Judgment, Joxer decided to intervene before things got too out of hand.

"Anthousa, can I talk to you for a minute?" Joxer asked politely.

The Goddess of Impish Delights jumped, startled by the other god's close proximity. She had been so focused on Anatolius that she hadn't noticed the former warrior come up beside her.

"Okay."

She followed behind Joxer as he led her outside to one of the side gardens. Once there, the god motioned her to sit down beside him on a stone bench.

"I know you are attracted to Anatolius," he began bluntly. Anthousa blushed a bright red when she realized her feelings had been obvious to all of her friends and family. "Hey, it's nothing to be ashamed of. He's a very attractive young man and I'm sure he'll have quite a following."

Joxer ducked his head to hide his smile when she looked at turns devastated and ticked off at that idea. He almost expected her eyes to turn green, like Cupid's had done when he was jealous, but she didn't. Thank the gods! A repeat of that curse was the last thing they needed.

The god continued. "But honey, you might want to back off for a little while. He might look like a grown up man, but inside Anatolius is still very young. It will take his psyche a little longer to catch up with his physical form. Until then, he's just going to be confused by any signs of sexual attraction. If you give him a little time for the rest of him to become as mature as the outside of him, I'll bet you that 'Toli will be as interested in you as you are in him."

'What's the world coming to?' Joxer wondered. 'When I, Joxer, the formerly socially inept, am giving advice to the lovelorn.'

"Do you really think so?" The goddess looked young and uncertain.

"Yes, I do," Joxer reiterated.

"Then that's what I'll do," she said with determination.

Joxer knew that her passionate nature, one that came to her naturally from her parents, wouldn't keep her in check for long. However impatiently she waited, she would give the newly reborn young man the time he needed. From the look on Anthousa's face, she would wait for however long it took.

*************

"Now, Cupe, ya gotta calm down."

Bliss stuck his head around doorframe and saw that Dad Strife had his arms wrapped around Cupid's waist, holding on to him. Not in a 'gotta get me some, now!' type of way, but more in a 'hold me back' way. The young god frowned and decided to listen a few minutes before going in.

"Strife, I..." The blond god let out a frustrated breath, but finally relaxed in his husband's arms. He sighed. "Okay, you can let go now."

"Do I hafta?" Strife quipped.

He gave Cupid's neck a quick, lascivious lick with his talented tongue. Cupid snorted, although he tilted his head to one side so Strife wouldn't stop. So, he didn't. He also didn't let go of his husband, although now his grip wasn't just to restrain the love god.

"I'm just worried is all," Cupid said a little while later.

"I know. But evahthing'll be alright," Strife reassured him. He rested his chin on Cupid's shoulder; his face seemed to be peeking through the white feathers.

"How can you be sure?"

"Cause I trust our daughter."

Cupid turned to face his husband. "Well, I do..."

He never got to finish his sentence, because at that moment, the listening Bliss came bursting into the room. His wings were fluttering in agitation and the young god's normally kind countenance was anything but happy.

"I can't believe it!" he yelled. "You don't trust Anthousa! She would never do anything wrong and you know it. Just because she likes Anatolius is no reason to treat her any different."

Bliss was so caught up in his tirade that he failed to notice the way his father's eyes were flashing in anger or the disappointed look on Strife's face.

"...and if you try to keep them apart...well, I know where those wilting arrows are kept."

The younger god finished his rant with that threat and actually looked his father in the face for the first time. The anger that was there made him gulp. He'd never seen his dad so mad and he belatedly remembered that Cupid might the God of Love, but his father was the God of War!

"Uh oh. We bettah be careful, Cupe baby, cause I ain't sleepin by myself fah tha foreseeable futah," Strife joked, trying in vain to ease the tension.

It didn't work.

"Are you through?" Cupid asked in a deadly quiet tone. Bliss nodded, his eyes wide. "Good. Now, if you *ever* threaten me again, you will discover how having the God of Love pissed off at you will seriously screw up your love life!" Cupid blasted. This time, Bliss *did* take a step back.

"How dare you talk to me that way," Cupid continued. "For your information, it wasn't Anthousa that I was talking about, it was Anatolius. And that," he continued on in a louder voice when Bliss opened his mouth to object again, "is because he is still young inside and I am afraid that she will be hurt if he *doesn't* care for her back."

Bliss looked at his father and then down at the floor. He couldn't believe what he'd just done.

"Oh."

"Yes, oh. You might want to get your facts straight before you jump to conclusions next time." Cupid stomped over to the door. "I'm going to check on that couple in Thrace," he informed Strife.

"Okay."

"Oh, and Bliss," the chastised god looked up, "don't ever threaten me or your dad again. All of you young people got away with that once, but I wouldn't count on it working again." Cupid was, of course, referring to the way the younger gods had threatened to not come back to Olympus until Prometheus was released.

Bliss nodded and watched as his still mad father stomped out of the room.

"Ya know, eavesdroppers rarely hear what they want and usually get things wrong in tha process," Strife stated.

Bliss turned back and noticed the sad, disappointed look this time. It made him feel even worse.

"And ya know your dad bettah than ta think he wouldn't trust onna his kids." Strife shook his head. Glints of light flashed as his shiny, spiky hair sparkling in the sunlight streaming in the window. "And ya know, God of Mischief heah, I know when someone's sneakin' around."

With that last statement Strife too walked out of the room. Bliss was left standing there, wondering where he'd gone wrong.


Chapter 7 - by Ares Desciple

Bliss was disgusted at his recent behavior, he knew that both his dads trusted him and his sister and loved them dearly. Neither of them would ever have done what Bliss had accused them of doing; he had hurt his dad and disappoint Dad Strife.

He just sat in his room with knees tucked in his arms; he had never felt this way. He hadn’t seen his dad for three days, by the time Bliss would get to the dining room to have breakfast Dad Strife would explain that his dad had already left.

Strife could see the pain in his son’s eyes and knew he had to do something, there was no doubt that Cupid got his stubborn streak from his father, but it was now risking the well being of his family. Yes, he knew Bliss had been wrong, and he had been told so, but the rift had been going on far too long, and it was having an effect on Bliss’s godly duties both on Olympus and down with the mortals. Strife decided it was time to call in the big guns…….Joxer.

After spending time with Bliss, trying to lighten his mood, Strife flashed down to Corinth to see Joxer. Joxer looked up as Strife appeared. “Hey Strife, how’s things?” Joxer became concerned when he saw the pained look on his friend’s face.

“Not good Jox, Bliss overheard me and Cupid talking about Toli and Anthousa. He misheard and thought Cupid didn’t trust Anthy, cue argument, lots of shouting, now the two of them are not talking. Cupid is doing an Ares.” Joxer smirked at the description, he loved Ares dearly but when he got in one of his tantrums…… Strife continued, “Bliss was wrong and now knows he was wrong, but Cupid won’t listen.” Joxer put a supportive arm around his friend’s shoulder.

Back in the Halls of Love, Bliss had reached a decision. He had betrayed his father’s love and now his dad couldn’t even bear to be around him. Bliss collected his most treasured possessions, a picture taken with something from the future that Dad Strife had brought, showing his two dads with Bliss and Anthousa, and his crown his Uncle Iph had given him all those years ago. His family would be better off without him.

As soon as Joxer materialized he saw how upset Cupid was. Cupid turned to see his step dad and a single tear ran down his cheek. “Jox, how could he think that? I love the two of them…….I know I went all Ares over the thought of Anthy getting the hots, but that was going to happen no matter what…..”

Joxer pulled his step son into a hug, “Cupid, it seems to be a family trait to say things before thinking. Ring any bells?”

Joxer looked into the tearful eyes of Cupid, “Jox, why do you have to be right all the time, it is soooooooooooooo annoying,” Cupid replied with a tearful smile.

“Cupid you know how protective the terrors are of each other, they know the pain the rest of their supposed family caused each other and don’t want that to happen to each other, now step back a bit and see things from Bliss’s side. They found a relative they never knew existed being eaten and tortured for helping the mortals. From their prospective Olympus had done it and no one had done anything to stop it, to be honest I would have agreed with them. Now what’s this I hear about you avoiding your family, do I have to get all step-dad on your ass?” Joxer asked with a smile.

***

Heron was not happy, he knew Bliss had had an argument with his dad, but so did he sometimes. “Bliss, running away won’t help. Think about this, you know I love you and will support you, but think about this,” Heron pleaded.

Bliss sniffled into Heron’s neck. “Heron I have done nothing but think about it. I need to get away from everything. I need to go somewhere where no one can find me. You know where we found Prometheus, well it is still shielded. I love you Heron, don’t ever forget that.”

Cupid returned to his temple to have a long overdue heart to heart with his son. Joxer had given him a lot to think about. Cupid realized that Bliss had grown up more than Cupid gave him credit for.

Cupid searched the temple. Not finding his son he knocked on his door, hearing no answer Cupid slowly opened the door and peered in, the sight he was met with froze his heart. He pushed the door open and stepped in, he could see things were missing from the bright room, and on the bed was a sheet of parchment.

Dad’s

I am so very sorry for what I sad. You have never done anything but love Anthy and I unconditionally, my repayment of that was betrayal. Whilst nothing can excuse my actions in listening in on you, I saw Dad Strife holding you back Dad. I knew you weren’t happy about Anthy having the hot’s for Toli, but I should have taken the time to talk to you. Seems I inherited Granpa’s temper.

I could not have hoped for a better family, now all I have done is wreck it, you all deserve better, someone who will show you the trust you show them.

I am sorry.

Your loving Son?

Bliss

Cupid’s tears mixed with the tear stained ink. “DADS, STRIFE,” Cupid bellowed. As the anxious gods appeared Cupid handed over the letter. Ares bellowed, “I am going to smack your heads together. You do know a mouth is for talking with?” He reached and pulled his son into a tight embrace rubbing the back of his wings as he did when he was a young godling. They all flashed to Hephaestus’s temple to ask for help finding Bliss. Without passing any comment Hephaestus called the members of his family he knew would help. Once everyone had arrived he sent them to the far reaches of Greece to search for Bliss.

By sunset the gods began to return to Olympus with disappointed looks on their faces. No one could explain why they couldn’t find Bliss; he was not powerful enough to shield his signature.

A thought suddenly occurred to Ares who snapped his fingers. “What about where they found Prometheus? Unless someone has been there before you can’t find it. Prometheus, can you show us?”

Joxer and Ares went along with Prometheus, as he took Cupid and Strife down to the glen that was his home. “I am sorry Cupid I cannot go further, just follow the path.”

Cupid looked up with tear filled eyes. “Thanks everyone, let me go on alone.” Ares walked over to Strife and hugged him. “Don’t worry, they will sort it out, otherwise I will introduce their backsides to my hand.” Strife could see the jest in his uncle’s words.

It had only been a day since Bliss had left, but Cupid could see what was once bright white, gleaming wings were now dull and dirt covered. He could see by the movements of Bliss’s shoulders that his son was crying.

Cupid walked slowly towards his son. No matter what he was going to remain calm and not raise his voice. “Your Granpa Res said you would probably be here. I think we need a long overdue talk, but first, something I should have done a long time ago.” Cupid reached forward and tightly wrapped his son in his arms. “I love you Bliss, nothing will ever change that.” He could hear his son sobbing into his shoulder.

Once Bliss had cried himself out, Cupid looked at his son. “Now I want you to listen to me, then I will listen to you. Ok?”

Bliss nodded his head as his dad began. “I know you and the other terrors were angry over what happened to Prometheus and that no one on Olympus did anything. The thought of the two you not coming back hurt so much…..now don’t interrupt….If I was in your place I would have done the same thing. I just didn’t realize how much you had grown up; sometimes we get so caught up in our work that we miss the important things. Now, what you didn’t hear when you listened in was that I was concerned about Toli. Your uncle Pol said that whilst his body had grown, his emotions hadn’t and I didn’t want either Toli or your sister getting hurt. Your Dad knows I can be as subtle as your Granpa Res sometimes so that is why he was holding me back. Now, I was upset that you listened to us, what hurt more was the thought that you would think I don’t trust you two. I may not agree with some things you do, but I trust you to make the right choices for you. We both said things that hurt, but I cannot live without our family being whole and you are an important part of that.” Cupid lent forward and kissed the top of a shocked Bliss’s head.

Bliss kept opening and shutting his mouth, hearing his dad’s words had thrown him a loop.

“Dad, I know what I did was wrong and I am really sorry, it doesn’t change what I did but I let my temper get the better of me. I saw how you reacted at the picnic and thought you were going to say something to Anthy.”

Having not let go of his son, Cupid replied, “Bliss I am a dad, nothing is going to change that, I was just as worried about you before you got with Heron, I won’t tell you what your Granpa threatened to do if I messed up.” Bliss smiled slightly at the image as his dad continued. “Zeus ruled his family with threats, I don’t want them to have any part in our family, so how about we start from the beginning, otherwise your Granpa Ares has threatened to put us over his knee. I don’t know about you, but I am too old to get a spanking.”

Bliss looked at his dad. “That wasn’t what I heard last week.” Cupid blushed brightly and grabbed his son’s head and messed up his hair. “Now, let’s get back.”

Strife was pacing impatiently; the sight that greeted him released a great weight from his shoulders as he saw Bliss and Cupid walk towards him with an arm around each other’s shoulders. Cupid looked at his husband. “How about we go home, today has been too long.” As he walked past Joxer, Cupid lent forward. “Thanks Jox.” Joxer replied, “Any time Cupid. It’s time to get back to Ares; he starts to get cranky if you keep him waiting too long.” Strife got a buzz of energy as Ares cried out, “HEY, I do NOT get cranky.”

Joxer just turned back to Cupid. “See what I mean.” The family walked out of the glen laughing and returned to Olympus.

END



Update  | Fiction  | Challenge  | Round Robin  | Joint Effort Fiction  | Links  | Gallery  ]

Broken links or other errors can be sent to the Archivist. Suggestions are also welcome.