AresJoxerCupidStrife - Aylmera LaConstance<

Title: Return of War
Author: Aylmera LaConstance
Rating: FRT/PG-13
Pairing: n/a
Disclaimer: I don't own anything Xena or Hercules. Wish I did.
Warning: uh...maybe one curse word I think...
Summary: Ares regains his sword and a new destiny is set
Status: Complete
Series: Changes in Time
Archive: AJCS, my livejournal, my website. Want it, just let me know where it's going
Notes: Sequel to "The Stand"


Eris and Aphrodite froze as they entered Ares's throne room to see him lying on the floor, staring at the ceiling. Debris and broken cutlery covered the floor, along with the remnants of the various statues, paintings, and tapestries that had lined the walls. The only intact item in the whole room was Ares's throne, a sedate wooden chair shined and glossed with a green paint.

"Who started this shit fit?" asked Eris dryly as she leaned against the doorjamb, hips cocked to one side, an amused look on her face. Ares looked over at the two goddesses before standing, eyes firmly attached to the sword and scabbard in Aphrodite's arms.

"Is that?" asked Ares, eyes gleaming as he reached out to take the sword. As he got within three feet of it, the sword began to glow, its light muted somewhat by the scabbard.

"It is," replied Aphrodite with a sweet smile, holding out the sword and delighting in the near childlike glee that appeared in the war god's eyes. He took the sword, buckling it quickly around his hips and visibly relaxing as his godhood reattached itself to him. A small flex of his powers and the throne room was restored to it's original glory.

"Better," said Eris running her eyes over the room. "Still as subtle as Apollo, but better."

"Did I ask for your opinion?" drawled Ares, amusement subtly lacing his tone.

"No but I think you got it anyway," said Aphrodite with a laugh as she leaned against the wall. "Now what caused Zeus to take your godhood this time and why couldn't you stop it?"

"Zeus drew on Olympus's power for that one," said Ares leaning against a newly restored pillar. No need to worry about physics...they didn't exist on Olympus. "Even I can't take on the power dormant in Olympus. Most of it is raw chaos energy that hasn't had time to settle and evolve."

"Eww," said Aphrodite with a shudder. Love was the closest thing to chaos energy besides war and what she and Ares channeled was very tame compared to raw, unevolved chaos energy.

"But why?" asked Eris, her eyes narrowing as she thought. "We haven't done anything to piss him off, have we?"

"I wouldn't allow a war to be started just because a woman turned him down," said Ares as he scratched at his neck. "The war would've decimated the villages in the area and ruined the ground. I don't need Demeter ranting at me."

"He won't be doing anything like that now," said Aphrodite, an amused gleam in her eyes.

"What did you do?" asked Ares, his eyes narrowing. As much as he loved Aphrodite, he really didn't need one of her plans backfiring onto him as they had the tendency to do.

"She grounded Zeus," cackled Eris.

"I made him impotent," said Aphrodite when Ares just looked at her. "He won't be able to do anything sexually until I lift my curse and he will have to do much to make me even think of it."

"I thought the Fates needed him to conceive some hero farther in the future," said Ares, slightly confused.

"As long as I allow the child to be conceived, I can leave the curse on him for as long as I want," said Aphrodite. "Also, I need your help."

"For what?" asked Eris.

"If we allow that child to stay in Greece, he will eventually bring about the Twilight of the Gods. I want us, when the child is born, to take him and raise him in our temples," said Aphrodite. "While he is destined to be a champion of mortals, we should also make sure he doesn't automatically believe gods are evil."

"I take it he does if we allow his mortal mother to care for him?" asked Eris dryly, unsurprised.

"No, he will if we allow Zeus to cloud his judgement," said Aphrodite.

"We'll deal with Zeus and the child when the child is born," said Ares ending the conversation. "Right now, I've got three wars to stop that Zeus, in his so-called wisdom, started."

"I've got mayhem to start," said Eris before blinking. "Ares, explain something to me."

"What?' asked Ares as Aphrodite froze in the middle of her transporting.

"Why is Strife missing his front two teeth?" asked Eris annoyed. "He had them less than two days ago!"

"He ran into Cerberus's hind legs," said Ares with a laugh. "Apparently he was playing chase with some children down in Elysian and wasn't paying attention to where he was going."

"Ewww..." said Aphrodite with a wince. "That must have hurt."

"Ace says they'll grow back," said Ares when Eris glared at him.

"Cerberus...why was Cerberus in Elysian anyway?" wondered Eris before sighing. "Don't answer that, I bet Strife pleaded with Hades."

"Yes," said Ares with a laugh.

"Not to interrupt," said Aphrodite with a smile. "But we better go before it gets any later."

"Right," said Ares before he transported, leaving Aphrodite and Eris behind.

"He's hiding it," said Eris quietly.

"Yes, he is," said Aphrodite just as quietly. "He's not as accepting as he appears to be." She sighed. "We'll just have to watch and make sure when he breaks, we're there. Zeus's stupidity has taken its toll on him."

"And for the last time," said Eris. Aphrodite nodded and they both transported away, leaving the temple empty.

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