AresJoxerCupidStrife - Werewindle


Part 1 - 10 Part 11 - 20 Part 21 - 30 Part 31 - 40 Part 41 - 50 Part 51 - 60 Part 61 - 70 Part 71 - 80 Part 81 - 90 part 91-100 part 101-106


Title: Who?
Author: Werewindle
Rating: pg
Disclaimer: If they were mine it wouldn't be called *fan*fiction would it?
Series: 'What now?'

Summery: I guy wakes up in the woods. fanfic100 #076 - Who.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The young man woke with a start. Several horses thundered past near by. He
sat up and looked around not knowing how he got here. Surely he wouldn't
sleep on the bare ground in a clearing? He remembered a bed, charcoal and
blue, but he couldn't remember where it was.

Maybe he'd hit his head.

Maybe he didn't have a home.

That was a sad thought. Well if he traveled around then he should have stuff
- a pack? - somewhere. The dark haired man got up brushing the leaves and
dirt off his backside. His clothes at least looked well made; black pants
with heavy gray laces up the sides and fly, black boots and a dark blue
shirt. Better then you'd expect to find a simple traveler wearing.

The man searched the clearing, looking behind, around and in the trees but
couldn't find a pack. Didn't find anything. Maybe he'd dropped his pack
closer to the road? He turned toward where he heard the horses go past and
soon found a much used path. He searched both sides of the road but still
couldn't find anything.

He kicked a tree in frustration.

There was a clank fallowed by whistling drawing closer. He turned to face
the noise and soon a man came into view. He had on worn dark clothes and was
carrying armor, or metal of some kind that clinked occasionally as he
walked. But the man looked friendly, smiling widely as he came near.

"Hi! You look a little lost. I'm Joxer, by the way, Joxer the Mighty." The
man offered his hand.

"Nice to meet you. I'm-" The blue eyed man stopped and blinked in confusion.
"I'm..."





Title: Who? - Part B
Author: Werewindle
Rating: pg
Disclaimer: If they were mine it wouldn't be called *fan*fiction would it?
Series: 'What now?'

Summery: Continues from part A fanfic100 #076 - Who.
~~~~~~~~~~

Joxer just smiled and tilted his head waiting for him to answer. "I'm..." He
shakes his head "I don't know, I can't remember."

"Oh," Joxer's brow crinkled. "Did you get hurt?" Seeing no obvious wounds or
bandages, "Maybe it's a spell. The Gods do that some times. There was this
time with Aphrodite and a little bell," Joxer shuddered. "And the whole
Hercules understanding pigs thing. Poor guy still can't eat pork."

"Erm. If you can't remember who you are - do you remember where you
live?" The blue eyed man shook his head no. "Hmm. Well you could come with
me. I'm heading to Corinth, I know a healer there that might be able to
help. Besides it's the closest town, maybe someone there knows you. At the
very least you should be able to find work until you do get your
memories back, right?"

Joxer's gaze turned to the ground around them. "Got a pack? No? On ward
then!" Joxer made a grand flourish at the road in the direction he'd been
heading. They started off down the trail Joxer rambling on about the best
inns to stay at and where to get the best ale.

"Hey! You need a name. Can't go around calling you 'hey you', it could be a
while until your memory comes back. So! What would you like to be called?
I've always like the name Virgil - but you don't really look like a Virgil.
How about Tiro?" The man looked skeptical. "Ok hmm, Aster?" This caused the
man's nose to crinkle in dislike.

They walked on for a few moments as Joxer pondered a suitable name. His
companion was content to let him. He certainly hadn't had any luck thinking
of one. "Oh! What about Scythas?" Joxer bounced on his heels.

The blue eyed man tested the name, sounding it out. "Scythas. Scy-thas. Got
a ring to it. Thanks Joxer."
~~~~~~~




Title: And the healer says -
Author: Werewindle
Rating: pg-13
Disclaimer: If they were mine it wouldn't be called *fan*fiction would it?
Series: 'What now?'

Summery: Joxer and Scythas see a healer. (fanfic100 prompt #071 Broken)
~~~~~~~~~

"He's broken."

"What!"

"Broken. B-r-o-k-e-n. Busted. Jammed-up. His do-hicky doesn't spin all the
way arou-"

"Broken. We get it. But what does that *mean*?" Scythas interrupted the
healer.

Issa rolled her eyes, "It MEANS you're cracked. There is something wrong.
You are not as you are supposed to be. Other then that I can't tell you
much." She shrugged, "Physically you're fine. The only thing I've ever seen
turn anyone *this* ass-backwards was a GOD. I don't know who you pissed off
but it wasn't a mortal."

Joxer looked bewildered and Scythas was opened his mouth - probably to say
something scathing, by the look on his face. Issa held up her hand stopping
the tirade before it could start.

"Ok. There is this *stuff* that runs through every thing - plant's have it;
people have it; animals have it, the fucking *water* has it, the gods have a
*mega* dose of it. Different colors and textures for different things. With
me?" Here Issa paused, making sure here audience hadn't drifted. "Healthy
humans usually have this white *glow* around them. When they're sick it gets
dingy and gray. If it's an injury then it's red and jagged, if it's foggy
and yellow tinged then it's a mental problem."

"But you are purple and dense like rain clouds. If I push in past the
surface I start to get numb; past that sparks start shooting up my spine and
I have to pull back." Issa looked at the two men regretfully. "I don't know
how to fix you - more then likely couldn't if I did. So...Broken. And
probably going to stay broken. Unless you can find the god that did this and
persuade them to fix you."

"Well fuck."
~~~~~~~~




Title: Drinks at the Sleeping Lion
Author: Werewindle
Fandom: Xena
Rating: pg
Disclaimer: If they were mine it wouldn't be called *fan*fiction would it?

Summery: Joxer and Scythas get lunch at the Sleeping Lion Inn. Third in the
'WhatNow?' Series ( http://www.livejournal.com/users/werewindle/44015.html)
~~~~~~~~


Scythas and Joxer stepped out of the healer's home and looked at one another
before stating off down the road into town. Joxer sighed heavily, kicking
aside a stray rock.

"I need a drink." Scythas declared.

Joxer nodded, "Hey! It's early enough to beat the lunch crowed at the
Sleeping Lion - and the rooms don't usually fill up until dinner time."
Joxer bounced a little, "Stew and honey mead sounds *really* good."
~~~~~~~~~~~~

Joxer and Scythas got a table at the back of the inn with bowels of thick
stew and a tankards of cool mead. They talked idly about the up coming
festival - Joxer's brother Jayce was coming to perform - both shying away
from any mention of the earlier trip to the healers, Scythas' memory and the
Gods in general.

By the time they'd finished their meal, and three tankards of mead, the inn
was filled. The bar maid refilled their cups and bustled away with the dirty
bowels. Scythas and Joxer watched her sway away sighing appreciatively. A
brawny man made a pass at her but was deftly side-stepped, unfortunately he
was none too steady on his feet and momentum had him tumbling into a near by
table.

The table upended sending drinks and dinners flying. The splashed patrons
stood up angrily going for the tipsy man. One of their chairs caught a
passing girl in the back of the knees knocking her down - only to be caught
by a gangly boy. The girl's father caught sight of the boy with his arms
about his daughter and roared in rage. The father tried to make his way
across the room elbowing people out of his way. One of those people was a
Corinthian soldier who took offence to the elbow in the gut and grabbed the
father by his shirt hauling him back to 'have words' with him.

Joxer and Scythas just watched, tucked away in their corner, giggling
drunkenly at the chaos around them.
~~~~~~~



Title: Early Morning Thoughts
Author: Werewindle
Fandom: Xena
Rating: g
Disclaimer: If they were mine it wouldn't be called *fan*fiction would it?

Summery: Scythas does some thinking. Fourth in the 'What Now?' Series
(fanfic100 prompt #025 - Strangers)
~~~~~~~~~~

Scythas drifted awake, mind still fuzzy from last night's mead. He curled
deeper into the blankets enjoying their warmth. A murmur came from beside
him followed by a tug on the blankets. Scythas cracked an eye open in
confusion. After a moment Joxer's face came into focus.

Oh, yeah. A hefty merchant offered to pay their tab if they let him have
their second room. At the time sharing had seemed like a *great* idea.

Scythas studied Joxer as he slept. Strangers. They were strangers, but this
man had helped him. Had treated him like a friend. And Scythas had a feeling
that Joxer thought of him that way - that he wasn't just pretending. He
couldn't remember his past but Scythas had a feeling that true friends were
something he didn't have a whole lot of.

Scythas wanted to keep by Joxer. Go off on adventures with him - cause he'd
bet Joxer's life was seldom dull. But...

Strangers.

So the questions was: Would Joxer want to travel with him? And maybe,
eventually, help him find out what or who had had effected his memories?

Scythas giggled. He had this sudden picture of Joxer babbling away at some
God until they just gave him whatever he wanted, if only to make him go
away.

The blue eyed man closed his eyes floating between sleep and awake. Well, if
they were friends then they couldn't be strangers for long. And everything
else could wait until later.
~~~~~~~~



Title: 1, 2, 3 Joxers?
Author: Werewindle
Fandom: Xena
Rating: G
Disclaimer: If they were mine it wouldn't be called *fan*fiction would it?
Series: What Now?

Summery: Scythas and Joxer get woken up by a visitor. fanfic100 prompt #024
Family
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Later arrived sooner then Scythas could have predicted.

In the form of a flamboyantly dressed Joxer. Scythas turned his head at the
squeak from next to him. Er, not Joxer? The doppelganger pounced on the bed.

"Joxie!" The man glomped Joxer. "It's been too long brother. Is this your
new sweetie, Joxie? He's cute. I'm Jayce, by the way." He added turning to
face Scythas arm still slung around the not quite awake Joxer.

"I'm Scythas." He got out of bed and found his boots, hopping on one foot
then the other to put them on. "I'll be back." He told them and headed down
and out. Morning necessity taken care of Scythas was headed up the stairs
when someone bumped into him.

Someone who from the back looked very much like Joxer or, he assumed, Jayce.

He needed more sleep.

Scythas meandered down the hall to their room wanting to give the brothers
some time to them selves. Giving a brief knock he opened the door and
stepped in. He blinked at the sight that greeted him.

There were three men sitting on the bed now, identical except for their
clothes.

Scythas raised an eyebrow, glancing at the men on either side of Joxer.

"Jett, this is Scythas. Scythas, Jett. My other brother." Joxer introduced.
"Jett just finished his last job so he came to see us." Jett was studying
Scythas, eyes narrowed.

"So your Joxer's new 'sweetie' huh?" Jett asked using Jayce's word for him.

"No! I told you he's not my swee- We're not together, he's just my friend."
Joxer blushed.

Jayce and Jett shared a look. "Well, who's up for breakfast? I'm starving."
Jayce asked bouncing off the bed and pulling Joxer up after him. He herded
them out the door, discussing breakfast foods with Joxer.

Scythas trailed behind them, still vaguely shocked. Never dull had been
right.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Title: 3rd Degree
Author: Werewindle
Fandom: Xena
Rating: G
Disclaimer: If they were mine it wouldn't be called *fan*fiction would it?
Series: What Now? (http://www.livejournal.com/users/werewindle/44015.html)

Summery: Jett and Scythas have a talk. (fanfic100 prompt 056 breakfast)
~~~~~~~~~~~~

Jayce had bounced off to talk to a few of the performers from his troop and
Joxer went to order them breakfast leaving Jett and Scythas alone at the
table.

"Jox told us you pissed off some god and lost your memory." Jett started
bluntly. "How did you meet up with my brother?"

"We met on the road here and he was kind enough to take me to a healer."
Scythas answered, a bit wary of this third brother. Something about his eyes
caused warning tingles at the base of his spine.

"I didn't notice another pack in Joxer's room, you're carrying neither a
weapon or a money pouch. So what do you plan on doing now - or were you
thinking you'd just leach off Joxer?" Jett demanded, teeth bared in an
almost-smile.

"No. I wouldn't leech off Joxer. He's been a friend, the only one I have,
and that's not how you treat your friends." Scythas replied with a sneer of
his own. "I'm planning on finding a job, I just don't know what I'm good at
yet."

"Oh! If you are looking for work my troop could use an extra hand while
we're here!" Jayce declared, having returned in time to hear the end of
Scythas statement. "Actually I could use all of your help. Yes, even you
Jett! Don't make that face, it'll give you wrinkles." Jayce pushed at the
frown lines on Jett's forehead, smoothing them out. Jett rolled his eyes but
didn't protest.

By then Joxer had joined them, setting down a tray of meat, fruit, bread and
a pitcher of cold water. "So what kind of help do you need Jay?"

"A bit of this and that." Jayce gestured vaguely.
~~~~~~~~~~~



tle: Work
Author: Werewindle
Fandom: Xena
Rating: G
Disclaimer: If they were mine it wouldn't be called *fan*fiction would it?
Series: What Now? (http://www.livejournal.com/users/werewindle/44015.html)

Summery: Jayce talks Scythas into working for his troop. (fanfic100 #089
work)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"I can't believe I let him talk me into this."

Joxer patted his arm sympathetically as he finished lacing up Scythas'
armor.

*This* was a staged fight with Jett for Jayce's troop 'The Bent River
Performers' opening show. Plus four more shows over the next three days.

"Jayce is kind of hard to say no to. And even if you do he does this pouting
thing," Joxer moved around Scythas checking that everything was on straight.
"Nobody can resist the pout, not even Jett."

Scythas could believe that after all they were both being strapped into
armor that left more of their skin on display then would be wise in a real
fight. In fact Scythas' consisted mostly of crisscrossing leather straps.

But work was work. Or at least that's what Scythas kept telling himself.
~~~~~~~~~



Title: Joxer in White
Author: Werewindle
Website: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/twin_swords/
Fandom: Xena
Rating: pg
Series: What Now? (http://www.livejournal.com/users/werewindle/44015.html)
Disclaimer: If they were mine it wouldn't be called *fan*fiction would it?
Summery: Joxer makes his stage debut. fanfic100 prompt 019 White.

Joxer had been fine helping out with Jayce's troop. Getting people into
their costumes, holding bits of the sets while they got put together, not a
hard job and kind of fun. But this was not fun and Joxer was feeling
anything but fine.

It was the second night of performances and one of the players got sick
leaving them short. So guess whom Jayce tricked into helping? Joxer. And now
the brat had him wearing a dress! A white flowy thing with a veil - he
looked like a Hessian Virgin or a bride!

All right so he was supposed to be playing a virgin bride. Or rather a boy
sold off by his greedy father as his 'virgin daughter'. Yeah, he was
confused too. Luckily his part didn't actually include dialogue. Joxer just
had to 'Stand around and look pretty' according to Jayce.

Joxer fidgeted with the gauzy veil, the thing was driving him nuts. And
really, what was Jay thinking putting him in *white*? It made him look
washed out and sickly.

Joxer turned intending on finding Jayce and telling him to find someone else
only to be shoved out on to the stage.
~~~~~~~~~~~~




Title: A Birthday Celebration
Author: Werewindle
Fandom: Xena
Rating: pg
Disclaimer: If they were mine it wouldn't be called *fan*fiction would it?
Summery: What Now? #9. fanfic100 prompt 091 birthday.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"It's a festival! A gala! A birthday Celebration! Come join the citizens of
Corinth in commemorating our beloved King's thirty second-"

"Thirty third."

"Hmm?"

"It's his thirty third year."

"His thirty third birthday." The announcer gestured grandly before turning
to his assistant puzzled. "You're sure?"

"It was his thirty second *last* year."

"Huh. How bout that." He shook his head. Raising his voice he started again.
"Three more days of theater, music and street performances, as well as open
markets with venders from lands near and far. Culminating in a city wide
masked revelry! An event you won't want to miss!"

The other man took over here, "The city of Corinth is glad to host the
Painted Trollop Band, the Widow Twanky's dancers, Abandon Reef Chorus and
many more including Corinth's own Bent River Performers!"

Travelers hurried past excited to join the festivities held in the city
proper.

"Wow. They sure are going all out this year." an perky blond remarked to his
companion.

"Hmm." the taller man grunted in reply.

"What's the matter big guy?"

"Nothing... That last group mentioned - did their name seem," he made a
vague gesture, "Salacious, to you?"

"Um no? They're named after a river. How could a river be salacious?"

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~




Title: Takin in a Show
Author: Werewindle
Website: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/twin_swords/
Fandom: Xena
Rating: pg
Disclaimer: If they were mine it wouldn't be called *fan*fiction would it?

Summery: Someone sees Joxer's debut. fanfic100 prompt #037 Sound. 10th in
the What Now? Series
(http://www.livejournal.com/users/werewindle/44015.html)
~~~~~~~~~

Noise spilled out into the streets from full taverns where performers were
fighting for time almost as much as people fought for a view. It seemed the
whole city of Corinth was in high spirits. The two travelers weaved their
way through the foot traffic heading for a favorite inn in hopes there would
be an open room.

The proprietor's daughter waved them off to wait for his return. Most of the
were out side behind the building and they went out to what was going on.
They found a spot along the wall - the shorter resorting to standing on an
upturned crate to see over the crowd.

They got caught up in the play about a greedy old selling off his daughters
as brides. They were quite shocked when a the boy-turned-bride's veil lifted
to reveal a familiar face.

"Joxer?!"



~~~~~~~~~~~~
Title: What?
Author: Werewindle
Website: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/twin_swords/
Fandom: Xena
Rating: pg
Disclaimer: If they were mine it wouldn't be called *fan*fiction would it?
Summery: Confusion reigns. fanfic100 prompt #077 What? 11th in the What Now?
Series (http://www.livejournal.com/users/werewindle/44015.html)
~~~~~~~~~~~~

"Oh. My. Gods! Did you hear? Hercules is here! He watched our play!" one of
the younger Bent performers exclaimed, practically bouncing out of his
costume in excitement. Jett growled in annoyance as Joxer stiffened in
surprise. Jayce pulled them over to the side where Scythas was checking over
his amour for any tears from his earlier bout.

"What is that goody-goody doing here? Can't his brother put him up at the
palace?" you could practically feel the loathing in Jett's voice.

"I'm sure they're just here to enjoy the show." Jayce tried to reason.

"I still don't like it."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"Herc? Hey big guy, snap out of it." Iolaus shook Hercules' shoulder.

"What? Erm, was that Joxer in a dress? That had to be Jayce, right? Didn't
Xena say his brother was a performer?"

"I think so. Maybe we should hang around and see if Joxer is here too."

"No!" Hercules flushed, "I think I'm going to head to bed. Want to get up
early in the morning and head to the palace." The demi-god hurried off to
find the proprietor.

"What is up with him?"



Title:Drags on...
Fandom: Xena
Rating: pg
Disclaimer: If they were mine it wouldn't be called *fan*fiction would it?
Series:What Now? Series
(http://www.livejournal.com/users/werewindle/44015.html)

Summery: Trapped in a meeting...
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Ares stifled another yawn. His father had been droning on an on for hours
now. Ranting about his lack of respect, whining about something or other and
just generally wasting everyone's time. Zeus got like this sometimes,
petulant - like his favorite son.

That thought brought a grimace to his face. Hercules. How Ares hated him.
The demi-god would not leave him *alone*. Why couldn't the man be more like
his mortal bother? Iphicles showed the proper respect, never tore up his
temples. Which reminded him, Iphicles' birthday was soon.

Maybe he'd pop down to Corinth and see what kind of festivities they had
going on. There had to something entertaining going on. Ares jerked in
surprise as Zeus' voice rose suddenly, spittle flying as he went off on
another tangent.

That was of course, if this meeting ended sometime in the next few hours.
*sigh*




Title: Him
Author: Werewindle
Fandom: Xena
Rating: pg
Disclaimer: If they were mine it wouldn't be called *fan*fiction would it?
Series: What Now? 13
(http://www.livejournal.com/users/werewindle/44015.html)

Summery: Ares makes it to Corinth
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Ares drifted through Corinth unseen. Stopping here and there to listen to a
compelling bard, a bawdy story or a captivating dance. He was enjoying his
time away from Olympus and his duties. The last months had been hard the
festival was a good distraction.

Ares wandered out of a packed tavern in time to catch a most unwelcomed
sight.

Hercules.

His bane and the little sidekick.

What were the duo doing here instead of the palace. Ares scowled at the
Hercules - he hoped the brat wasn't trying to cause trouble.

Ares relaxed mood had evaporated. Somehow he knew the little cretin would
cause a ruckus.

Without realizing he'd followed Hercules and Iolaus into a inn.



Title: Life
Author: Werewindle
Website: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/twin_swords/
Fandom: Xena
Rating: G
Disclaimer: If they were mine it wouldn't be called *fan*fiction would it?
Series: What Now?

Summery: Ares sits in thought. fanfic100 prompt 087 - Life

Ares watched as his half brother and his blond companion wandered out back
to watch whatever performance was going on. He sighed and faded into view,
disguised just in case, and found a table in the corner. Ares materialized a
cup of ale, swishing the liquid around but not drinking.

He was getting paranoid and edgy. Too much work, too much stress and too
little enjoyment.

Strife's death had really disturbed him. He knew his nephew would be
resurrected, that he would have him back soon but he still missed the brat.
Sighing Ares took a swig of ale and watched the people passing through.
Perhaps he'd have to peek in on Strife later. He'd promised Ace he'd quit
checking on the reforming god so obsessively (Ares could admit that once an
hour might have been excessive). He'd managed to stayed away for a long week
- Strife was due a visit.

A sudden cheer drew Ares attention to the crowd beyond the back doors.




=========================================


Title: Unexpected Sight
Author: Werewindle
Website: http://www.squidge.org/werewindle
Fandom: Xena
Rating: pg
Category: Humor
Disclaimer: If they were mine it wouldn't be called *fan*fiction would it?

Summery: Ares watches the play. fanfic100 prompt #040 - Sight. 15th in the
What Now? Series
~~~~~~~~~

Wondering what was going on Ares followed the traffic out the back door of
the in. He saw his half brother's hulking form not to far away so Ares kept
to the wall. The War god watched the play taking place on the obviously
temporary stage. He was intrigued by one player in particular. He was
obviously male though costumed in a wedding gown befitting a young virginal
maiden. Ares soon caught the plot of the play, a slight smirk gracing his
lips at the absurdity.

When time came to unveil the beauty Ares found himself holding his breath
along with most of the audience. A fission of lust swept over him swiftly
followed by recognition. Ares was aware that his mouth was probably hang
open. He was knocked out of his state of shock by the sight of his half
brother barreling toward the inn's doors. Ares stepped further back into the
shadows as he past before turning his attention back to the end of the play.

Joxer in a dress was not a sight Ares ever expected to see, not that War had
thought much about this particular worshiper. Still Ares had to admit there
was something oddly graceful about the man with out his customary 'armor'.




Title: Sleeping Beauty ... er, Strife
Author: Werewindle
Website: http://www.squidge.org/werewindle
Fandom: Xena
Rating: pg
Disclaimer: If they were mine it wouldn't be called *fan*fiction would it?

Summery: Ares visits Strife. fanfic100 prompt #038 Touch 16th in the What
Now? Series (http://www.livejournal.com/users/werewindle/44015.html)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

After the play some local band clambered on to the stage, something about
their singing set Ares teeth on edge. The crowed seemed to enjoy it but to
his godly ears it was less then pleasing. Ares started to flash out but
paused, wavering on his destination. He had planed on see Iphicles tonight
but after thinking about Strife earlier the need to see him was great.

Ares shimmered out of view reappearing in the Halls of War - he could always
see Iphicles after checking on Strife.

Ares placed his hand on the richly carved door waiting for the shielding
spell to recognize him so he could enter. War closed the door behind him and
moved across the outer sitting area of Strife's rooms to the sleeping
chamber beyond.

Unlike the rest of the Temple, done in Ares preferred black and reds,
Strife's rooms were decorated in shades of gray and blue. The effect was
oddly soothing and not at all what most would expect from the often manic
younger god. But Ares hadn't been surprised by the choice. He knew there was
more to his nephew then his public persona.

Ares entered the Strife's bedroom eyes drawn to the figure on the high bed.
His anxiety eased as it always did at the sight of the regenerating god
laying safely tucked in his bed.

Ares brushed a stray lock of hair from the pale face - different then it
used to be but no less loved. The older god sat on the side of the bed and
took Strife's hand in his own. His thumb brushed over delicate bones tracing
the vivid blue veins beneath the pale skin.

Ares brow furrowed in puzzlement. There was something... not... right, about
the hand he was holding.




Title: Colorless
Author: Werewindle
Website: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/twin_swords/
Fandom: Xena
Rating: pg
Disclaimer: If they were mine it wouldn't be called *fan*fiction would it?

Summery: Apollo checks Strife. fanfic100 prompt #020 Colourless 17th in the
What Now? Series
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Ares called for Apollo practically screaming when the other god brushed off
his first summons. Apollo appeared with a disgruntled look on his face.

"What?" the Sun God asked petulantly, he'd been in the middle of a delicate
seduction and didn't appreciate the interruption.

"There is something wrong with Strife. He feels less substantial then he
should." Ares explained giving the other god a look that warned against his
attitude. Apollo stepped closer hand going to rest on Strife's forehead.

"Hmm." Apollo's demeanor changed as he examined the regenerating god. Strife
did indeed feel odd. Apollo let his healer's sight come forth and looked at
the power structure of the younger god. "That can't be." Apollo muttered.

"What is wrong? What do you see?" Ares demanded as dread settled like ice
around his bones.

"Nothing." Apollo replied absently as he studied the form on the bed. A hand
squeezed his wrist drawing him out of his reverie. He turned to face Ares.
"I don't think this is Strife. It's like a shell, a Strife shaped place
holder, but not Strife himself. Where his god-spark should be there is
nothing."

"Someone reversed his regeneration? I thought Hades said that once his soul
was here the regeneration couldn't be stopped - short of killing him again."
Ares held back a snarl.

"No. If his soul had popped back up in the Underworld Hades would have
alerted us immediately. This is something else. His core should be black -
like the void we came from, instead it's just... Colorless."





Title: The Wrong Color
Author: Werewindle
Fandom: Xena
Rating: pg
Disclaimer: If they were mine it wouldn't be called *fan*fiction would it?

Summery: Not Strife? fanfic100 #018 Black
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"How can that be? If this is not Strife then where is he? And what in Hades'
name is this!?" Ares roared.

"It is a Shade - something like a living doll. If you didn't look closely
then it could pass for Strife. The only flaw is that it seems to be fading.
Well that and the fact the creator couldn't replicate the power center of a
true god. It flows the same, gives the same impression but as I said it's
colorless instead of black."

"So someone made this and stuck it here. But what did they do with Strife?
He won't be fully regenerated for another month - would he have been stable
enough to move?"
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Title: What's in a Shade
Author: Werewindle
Fandom: Xena
Rating: pg
Disclaimer: If they were mine it wouldn't be called *fan*fiction would it?

Summery: Shade holds answers? fanfic100 #075 Shade
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"He was past the unstable mark, but he would still need to be kept under the
quarantine shield." Apollo reassured Ares. He leaned closer to the Shade
trying to identify the power signature of its creator. "If we can figure out
who created this then we can find Strife." Apollo scanned through layers of
the Shade's construct growing more frustrated with each.

"They were tricky though. The creator hide their tracks well." The Sun god
pinched the bridge of his nose eyes strained from searching.

"Let's send it back." Ares stood moving around to the opposite side of the
bed from Apollo.

"Send it back how?"

"Wake it up. It's a living doll, right? Wake it up and command it to return
to it's creator."




Title: Bringing the Shade to Life.
Author: Werewindle
Fandom: Xena
Series: What Now? (http://www.livejournal.com/users/werewindle/44015.html)
Rating: pg
Disclaimer: If they were mine it wouldn't be called *fan*fiction would it?

Summery: Apollo and Ares bring the shade to life. fanfic100 #081 how?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"How are we going to do this?" Apollo asked, pulling power to him for a
major working.

"The base work is already there, we'll just push the sentience to the next
level. Enough to understand and follow orders but not enough to have free
will. Like those imps you made for the muses." Ares was pulling power to
himself as well. "You do the working and I'll feed you power; it'll be
faster and leave us both charged for when we find who took Strife."

Apollo nodded his consent and placed his right hand over the Shade's brow.
Ares laid his hand over Apollo's waiting for the other god to start before
feeding him a thread of his power. The work took long minutes because of the
complexity. Finished they stepped back from the bed .

The shade opened it's eyes, "Up," commanded Apollo. It stood staring
straight ahead at the wall.

Ares came to stand in front of the Shade. "You know your creator?" The Shade
nodded. "Who is it?" The shade opened it's mouth but couldn't speak. "Well I
suppose that would have been too easy," Ares remarked. The War god masked
the Shade, making him invisible to everyone but he and Apollo. With an other
wave of his hand he slapped a tracer on the Strife look-alike, just in case.

"You will lead us to your creator. Stray no farther then a meter from us.
Understand?" The Shade nodded. "Go." Ares barked the command quickly
following, Apollo by his side.




Title: Follow the Leader
Author: Werewindle
Website: http://www.squidge.org/werewindle
Fandom: Xena
Rating: pg
Series: What Now?
Disclaimer: If they were mine it wouldn't be called *fan*fiction would it?

Summery: Ares and Apollo follow the Shade as it tracks it's creator.
fanfic100 #078 Where?
~~~~~~~~~~~

Ares and Apollo trailed the doppelganger across Olympus passing temple after
temple. He seemed to be heading toward Zeus' blue monstrosity but suddenly
stopped and cocked his head to the side. A moment later the Shade back
tracked and head another direction.

Finally the were walking up the steps of a rather austere temple. Apollo and
Ares shared a look, both ready for the confrontation ahead. They followed
the Shade through the main hall and to the private chambers. They entered a
study and the Shade went to stand behind the rooms only other occupant.

"Ares, Apollo - what are you two doing here?"
~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Title: Confrontation
Author: Werewindle
Website: http://www.squidge.org/werewindle
Fandom: Xena
Rating: pg-13
Series: What Now?
Disclaimer: If they were mine it wouldn't be called *fan*fiction would it?

Summery: Ares and Apollo confront the culprit. fanfic100 #096 Writer's
Choice - Confrontation.
~~~~~~~~~~~

"We came to see you Sister dear." Apollo answered false sweetly, Ares just
glowered.

"What ever for? Is there something I can help with?"

"We just need you to answer a few questions for us." Apollo moved to stand
next the desk where she sat leaving Ares to guard the door.

"Oh?"

"Starting with what you've done with Strife." Ares voice was menacing.

Their Sister tried to flash away but couldn't. Apollo grabbed her arm
dragging her around the desk. "Did we forget to mention we sealed off your
temple?"

"Were. Is. Strife?" Ares asked again. Apollo gave her a shake when she
clamped her lips tight refusing to answer. "You had better start talking
Bitch."



Title: Interrogation
Author: Werewindle
Website: http://www.squidge.org/werewindle
Fandom: Xena
Rating: pg-13
Series: What Now?
Disclaimer: If they were mine it wouldn't be called *fan*fiction would it?

Summery: Ares and Apollo interrogate the culprit. fanfic100 #022 Enemies
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"We will be getting our answers one way or another." Ares leaned close, "Do
you think daddy dearest will protect you, hmm? Not from this - you've broken
the rules Athena. Nothing can stop me from taking retribution."

"Answer us now, answer us truthfully and we'll spare you - let the tribunal
decide your fate." Apollo told her.

Athena struggled but could not break free of their hold on her. "Fine. But
you won't find the brat here. I dropped his ass in the Mortal realm." Athena
smirked at Ares.

War slammed his palm into Athena's chest sending a power blast through her.
The goddess went flying across the study and hit a marble wall, cracking it.
Ares pulled the moaning Athena up by her hair. "Start from the beginning,
leave nothing out."

"I forced the regeneration process-"

"How?" Ares gave her head a shake.

"Ung. I made a slave: essence of golden apple and liquid ambrosia. I rubbed
it into Strife's skin to speed the regeneration-"

"Bitch!" Apollo slapped Athena. "That process is extremely painful, not to
mention risky! You could have overloaded Strife's body, he'd have been in
agony for weeks healing the damage!"

Ares gave Athena another shake, "Then what did you do?"

"I put a power inhibitor on him, dressed him and dropped him some where in
Greece."

"Where?" Ares ground out.

"I don't know! I just sent him away."

"So Strife is wandering the Mortal plane - in agony, probably nearly insane
from his memories returning while his mind was still fragile?" Apollo raised
his hand to slap her again.

"No! I blocked his memories! They won't return until the power inhibitor is
taken off! I swear."

"You had better not be lying and pray we find Strife before something
happens too him or there won't be enough of you left to bring back." Ares
warned Athena.




Title: Oops
Author: Werewindle
Website: http://www.squidge.org/werewindle
Fandom: Xena
Rating: pg
Disclaimer: If they were mine it wouldn't be called *fan*fiction would it?
Series: What Now? (http://www.livejournal.com/users/werewindle/44015.html)

Summery: The triplets and Scythas run into Hercules and Iolaus the next
morning. fanfic100 #036 Smell
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Unfortunately Hercules and Io didn't leave the next morning early enough to
avoid running into the triplets and Scythas. A fact that Jett was distinctly
unhappy with. Iolaus on his own wouldn't have been too bad Jett couldn't
stand the demi-god. Before anyone could protest Joxer and Iolaus were
chatting and heading off to find a table big enough for the whole group to
eat breakfast at.

The six sat down at a corner table near the kitchen. Scythas could feel the
tension and wished for a distraction. He didn't like his friends being upset
and the hulking Hercules just plain grated on his nerves.

Conversation came from Iolaus and Joxer mostly, Jayce chiming in frequently
as they wait for their meal. Jett and Scythas said little while Hercules
stared at the far wall. He really probably should have been paying better
attention.

One of the server girls came out of the kitchen carrying a huge tray at
least half her height. She couldn't actually see anything to her left around
the filled tray but she knew Hercules was sitting in her way. So she asked
him to move out of the way. She heard the chair scrap across the floor and
assumed he wasn't in her path. Unfortunately for the withdrawn demi-god he'd
moved in the wrong direction.

The tray and Hercules' head had an abrupt meeting. Goats milk, leftover stew
and a bowl of pickled onions (meant for one very pregnant woman) ended up on
Hercules. Not just his lap but down his back, in his hair and colleting in
the bottom of his shirt where it was tucked into his pants.

He looked like he'd been playing in the slop bucket and smelled just as bad.

Scythas couldn't hold in a snicker. The sound broke everyone out of their
shocked silence, soon the room was filled with laughing patrons. Even the
barmaid was giggling at the dripping hero. Hercules just sat there stunned.

As the room quieted Io nudged Hercules and suggested the demi-god might want
to go wash off, the smell of the goats milk and pickled onions was getting
stronger and less pleasant by the second. The embarrassed hero hurried from
the room like his tail was on fire.

The other five had a leisurely meal the tension now non-existent. Hercules
did not return.

~~~~~~~~~~~



Title: Calling the Twelve
Author: Werewindle
Fandom: Xena
Rating: pg
Series: What Now?
Disclaimer: If they were mine it wouldn't be called *fan*fiction would it?

Summery: Ares and Apollo call for the council. fanfic100 #044 Circle.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Athena moaned as she hit the floor of the meeting hall. Her hands had been
bound behind her with Hephaestian chains leaving her no way to cushion her
fall. The impact jarred already bruised muscles and possibly broken ribs.

Above her stood Apollo watching to make sure she didn't try to escape while
Ares made his way to the front of the temple. The War god struck the
gleaming bell resting on the alter there and a clear sweetly pitched ring
echoed across Olympus calling the council of twelve together. Ares strode
back to stand on the other side of the prone Athena.

One by one the others flashed in, soon the other nine circled them. The nine
stood silent, even the usually boisterous Zeus, as they waited for Ares and
Apollo to speak. The use of the bell had signaled a dire situation and none
wanted to waste time.

"Let the circle of nine bare witness: The houses of War and Intellect
declare a vendetta against Athena, Goddess of Wisdom for her heinous actions
against Strife, God of Mischief. We demand justice in his name." Ares' voice
boomed through the hall.

"So witnessed." Circle responded.

"We also demand help in searching the Mortal realm for Strife is lost
there."

"So pledged." The nine swore, many with dawning looks of horror at the
chained Athena.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~




Title: Binding of Five
Author: Werewindle
Fandom: Xena
Rating: pg
Series: What Now?
Disclaimer: If they were mine it wouldn't be called *fan*fiction would it?

Summery: Athena is locked up. fanfic100 #046 Star
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The council heard the actions of Athena against Strife. All wanted a fitting
retribution but they did not have the time to deal with the goddess now.
Finding Strife was infinitely more important.

Instead they would bind Athena and leave her to be dealt with later. She was
drug to a side chamber. In the center of the floor there was a star carved
into the marble. They placed Athena at it's center.

Hera, Ares, Apollo, Hephaestus and Hestia stood at the points of the star.
They raised their arms, power connecting them creating a ring. They spoke a
long disused barrier spell, a wall of power formed circling the carved star
and it's occupant.

The binding of five could not be broken and has been used to hold titans and
the worst of wayward gods and monsters. The only way Athena would ever leave
this prison is if the five who summoned it join again and dispelled it.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Title: Search Party
Author: Werewindle
Website: http://www.squidge.org/werewindle
Fandom: Xena
Rating: pg
Series: What Now?
Disclaimer: If they were mine it wouldn't be called *fan*fiction would it?

Summery: Orginizing the search. fanfic100 #026 Teammates.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Twelve didn't want to cause chaos in Greece by having every god and
goddess running around, flashing in and out. And Ares was worried that
certain lower gods might take the chance to cause harm to Strife if they
found him first. So the Twelve decided to call just a couple others for
their search. They broke Greece into seven parts and each team of two would
search one section.

They would be systematic and thorough. All determined to find Strife before
the sun could set on again on Olympus.

Ares and Apollo flashed out of the Meeting Hall together. They would start
at the far corner of their section, leaving the city of Corinth for last. It
would be easier to search there after most of the revilers were abed.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Title: Come Sunrise
Author: Werewindle
Fandom: Xena
Rating: pg
Series: What Now?
Disclaimer: If they were mine it wouldn't be called *fan*fiction would it?

Summery: Apollo has to take care of the sunrise and Ares goes to break the
news to Eris.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Ares and Apollo covered a good portion of their section before dawn. Apollo
had to leave to make arrangements to take care of the Sun Chariot. Helios
could drive it this morning but Apollo hadn't taken the time to ask him the
night before. Partly because he had hope to find Strife before then and
partly because waking Helios in the middle of the night would have made him
curious and Helios was a terrible gossip. All of Olympus would have know
that something was wrong by Sunrise.

Ares went to dropped in on Eris. She had been causing some discord along
Greece's northern border. Discouraging an upstart warlord from crossing into
Greece to raid. Eris would have returned to the Halls of War by now. They
hadn't told her what had happened yet - Hera had been worried she would go
on a rampage.

He knocked on her door catching her before she could even change out of her
dirty clothes. Ares sat Eris down and explained to her what Athena had done
and what they were doing to find Strife. Ares had to restrain her part way
through, holding her on his lap and trapping her arms between them.

When he was finished with the telling Ares coaxed Eris into taking a
sleeping draught. Once she was deeply asleep Ares carried his sister to her
bed. He tucked his twin in, changing her stiff leather for a soft night
shirt. Eris would sleep until sunset and Ares hoped that they found Strife
by then because nothing was going to clam Eris down if they hadn't.

She was trying so much harder to make sure Strife had a good life this time
around and she wouldn't stand for him being hurt or lost. Strife might not
be her son by blood anymore but a part of her would always think of him as
her baby.

Ares and Apollo met up to start their search again as the first rays of sun
peeked over the horizion.

In Corinth Scythas snuggled into Joxer's warm back and hoping for a few more
minutes of sleep before Jayce decided it was time to get them up.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Title: Daylight Come
Author: Werewindle
Fandom: Xena
Rating: pg
Series: What Now?
Disclaimer: If they were mine it wouldn't be called *fan*fiction would it?

Summery: Ares and Apollo in Corinth. fanfic100 #073 Light.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It was full daylight by the time Apollo and Ares started searching Corinth.
They knew the city would be the most time consuming area of their section
since the city was full to bursting with people joining in the celebrations
for the King's birthday. They searched outside the city walls then the
palace itself since it was basically the city center. They worked their way
around spiraling out from the palace.

Ares had a growing sense of anticipation, he felt that they were getting
closer. He wanted to speed up but was afraid they would miss something so
held himself back. They would find Strife, he just had to patient.
~~~~~~~~~~~~



Title: Orange Wall
Author: Werewindle
Fandom: Xena
Rating: pg
Series: What Now?
Disclaimer: If they were mine it wouldn't be called *fan*fiction would it?

Summery: Two snippets from two POVs fanfic100 #012 Orange.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

He couldn't get in at first and that had confused him. He tried finding
other doors but they were all barred as well. So he had waited. At last he
was given entrance, he moved inside quickly lest he be barred again.

The main room was vast and empty but he was not deterred. It took him a few
moments to find the concealed door but he did.

There in the center of the room behind a glowing orange wall was his target.

He stepped close to the orange barrier and placed his hands on it as he
looked inside. He felt a sharp tingle in his palms but he ignored it. He
pressed his forehead to the obscuring orange with a tiny contented sigh.

"Creator."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Athena didn't bother trying to get out of her prison. She knew the spell and
that it couldn't be broken. Instead she turned her mind to trying to find a
way out of her punishment. She knew they wouldn't leave her in this
orange-walled cage forever and hobbled as she was with Hephaestian chains
she couldn't escape. So her only alternative was to try and talk her way out
of it.

A few words to Zeus and her punishment would be minimal. Athena was after
all, Zeus' favorite. Surely 'Daddy' wouldn't let them do anything drastic.
It's not as if Zeus even liked Strife anyway.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Title: Foreshadowing
Author: Werewindle
Website: http://www.squidge.org/werewindle
Fandom: Xena
Rating: pg
Series: What Now?
Disclaimer: If they were mine it wouldn't be called *fan*fiction would it?

Summery: fanfic100 #035 Sixth Sense.




Scythas was helping to get things ready for that night’s performances when he started to feel little spiders of forewarning crawling up and down his spine. Scythas put down his paint brush and went to find the triplets. He didn’t know what was going to happen but he’d feel better with his friends near.

Walking into the Sleeping Lion the feeling got stronger. Scythas snagged Jett from where he was chatting up a barmaid. Pulling him up the stairs to at a time Scythas explained his sudden feeling of apprehension. Jett nodded his understanding, in his business you learned to trust your instincts.

They found Joxer and Jayce in Scythas’ and Jox’s room. Jayce was trying to talk Joxer into doing another performance as the ’boy bride’. As soon as the door shut behind Jett, Jayce and Joxer stopped talking and turned toward their brother. “What?” They asked in unison.

“I’ve got this odd feeling. Like something is coming. Whatever it is I think we should stick together.”

“Ok. But the show must go on as they say. Jox and I can continue our discussion downstairs. Jett?”

“I got to grab something, then we’ll head down.” Jett slipped put the door returning after just a moment. “Here. If something’s going down then we should all be armed.” Jett handed Scythas a wicked looking double edged knife.

“Thanks.”



Title: Closer
Author: Werewindle
Website: http://www.squidge.org/werewindle
Fandom:Xena
Rating: pg
Series: What Now?
Disclaimer: If they were mine it wouldn't be called *fan*fiction would it?

Summery: Ares and Apollo are close to finding Strife. fanfic100 #004
Insides.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Ares stopped in front of the Sleeping Lion Inn his eyes closed in
concentration. Inside. Strife was inside. He could feel him. Ares hurried
through the doors, Apollo on his heels. War looked around trying to spot the
familiar face but there was too much traffic. People were heading in and
out, upstairs and down, back and forth to the kitchen. Fuck! They'd loose
Strife in all this chaos. Ares growled in frustration. Apollo caught his
brother's arm, he had a plan.

They sealed the doors, anyone wanting to enter would suddenly remember a
pressing task and pass on by. Those in side the Inn they froze. The two
gods split up taking opposite sides of the room, working their way toward
the back entrance.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Scythas almost ran into Joxer's back when the other man suddenly stopped on
the stairs. Puzzled Scythas started to ask what was wrong when sparks of
warning rose to a new intensity. Scythas looked to his right to see Jett
unmoving, still as a statue. Moving slowly he looked at the room below.
Frozen, all of them. Scythas swore under his breath.

Along the far wall he could see a man moving around. He was looking at the
face of each person, obviously searching for someone. Waiting until the man
had his back turned to the stairs Scythas crouched down. He moved up a stair
and then around Jett and down, stopping just behind Jayce. It wasn't a
perfect defensive position but it was the best he could do. Scythas tracked
the moving man, letting out a slow breath when it seem that his maneuver had
gone unnoticed.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~




Title: Found
Author: Werewindle
Website: http://www.squidge.org/werewindle
Fandom: Xena
Rating: pg
Series: What Now?
Disclaimer: If they were mine it wouldn't be called *fan*fiction would it?

Summery: Ares and Apollo find Strife. fanfic100 #003 Ends.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Apollo might have missed the movement on the stairs but Ares had not. He
sent a thought to Apollo, telling the other god about the person on the
stairs and his plan. The Sun god continued around the room until he reached
the stairs. He checked the couple standing at the bottom and moved up the
steps.

Ares waited until Apollo was close the group of people where the movement
had come from before flashing in behind the moved figure. He grabbed the man
by the arms just as he lunged at Apollo. They struggled the man catching the
Sun god across the stomach with his knife tearing the god's shirt but not
leaving a mark on him.

Ares wrapped his arms securely around him, "Strife! Strife, stop. Stop.
We're not going to hurt you. Calm down."

Scythas-Strife ceased trying to lash out but still glared at the god before
him. "How do I know that? Who are you? What do you want with me?"

"I'm Apollo, the man holding you is Ares. We're your uncles. You were hurt
recently, a goddess stole you from your sickbed and left you here to fend
for yourself."

"Why?" Strife interrupted.

"I don't know, yet."

"Prove it. Prove your half ass story and I'll believe you."

Ares loosened his hold on Strife, "Come with us to Olympus, Apollo can make
sure you're alright and we'll explain everything."

"No."

"What?" Apollo asked confused by the reply.

"No. I'm not leaving my friends. I don't know if you're telling the truth, I
don't anything really - but I do know that they have been kind to me and
that they will watch my back. I'm not leaving them."

"Fine. They can come with us. Agreed?" Strife nodded and slipped his knife
back into his boot.

The six flashed out and the people in the Inn continued on unaware of their
time spent frozen.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~




Title: Strange Temples
Author: Werewindle
Website: http://www.squidge.org/werewindle
Fandom: Xena
Rating: pg
Series: What Now?
Disclaimer: If they were mine it wouldn't be called *fan*fiction would it?

Summery: Scythas in the halls of war. fanfic100 #090 Home.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Scythas - he still couldn't think of himself as Strife - looked around the
temple Ares claimed he lived in. Nothing so far was familiar. Scythas was
starting to get edge, he wanted answers and he wanted his friends unfrozen.
The gods had left them standing in a room full of scrolls, safely tucked
away supposedly, while they tried to prove he was this Strife person.

He was still skeptical, he looked nothing like the painting in the grand
hall. Scythas might not remember his past but he did know his own face and
that was not it. Scythas turned to Ares and stated quite plainly that he
wanted his friends and then his questions answered.

The War god agreed and turned to lead them back to his friends. They passed
a room Scythas had not been in and he turned his head to look into the open
door. He hesitated the barest moment at the threshold before hurrying to
catch up with Ares.

That room was done in the same shades as the errant flash of memory he'd had
of his bedroom upon first waking in the woods that day. A tiny sliver of
hope took root. Perhaps they weren't lying, maybe he was home.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Title: No More Waiting
Author: Werewindle
Website: http://www.squidge.org/werewindle
Fandom: Xena
Rating: pg
Series: What Now?
Disclaimer: If they were mine it wouldn't be called *fan*fiction would it?

Summery: Scythas is about to get his questions answered. fanfic100 #082 If.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Scythas touched Joxer's shoulder as he was unfrozen. He wanted to reassure
his friend incase he was disoriented. Joxer blink and looked around puzzled
at their surroundings. "What happened?"

"I'll explain after the others are woken, okay?" Scythas waited for Joxer's
nod before turning him to face his still frozen brothers. Jett and Jayce
were woken together. They took the news of their relocation well. Jayce
recognized Apollo, who was one of his patron Gods. Joxer squeaked at the
sight of Ares but quickly gathered his composer - at least enough to talk
coherently. Jett nodded once at Ares in recognition but was otherwise
silent.

Ares took them to a room that looked like it's only purpose was for lounging
about. The triplets and Scythas fit quite comfortably on one couch while
Ares and Apollo took adjacent chairs. Scythas had been firmly pulled to sit
between Jayce and Joxer so they could lend him support while Jett sat on the
other side of Joxer eyes wary.

"Strife-" Ares started only to be interrupted.

"You keep calling me that but I look nothing like the painting of him."

Joxer looked back and forth between the gods and Scythas, eyes wide and
unsure. "I thought that Strife had died." Joxer gripped his friends hand
tightly. "How can he be Strife if Strife is gone."

"Explain." Scythas demanded of Ares, voice hard.

"Alright, but it's complicated, just give us a chance to finish before you
interrupt." Ares had an earnest expression on his face, this was obviously
important to him. Ares wait for their consent before starting.

"A few months ago..."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Title: Parents
Author: Werewindle
Website: http://www.squidge.org/werewindle
Fandom: Xena
Rating: pg
Series:
href="http://www.livejournal.com/users/werewindle/44015.html">What Now?
Disclaimer: If they were mine it wouldn't be called *fan*fiction would it?

Summery: The answers you've been waiting for - or at least some of them. user=fanfic100> #027 Parents.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"Strife was killed. That event and those leading up to it are best left for
another time. The important part is that he was missed. He was my nephew and
I loved him like a son. Eris - his mother, Cupid, Aphrodite, Hephaestus and
I as well as a few others demanded his return.

Hades granted our petition and agreed to release his soul. The only problem
was that Strife's body had been poisoned by Hinds blood and totally
destroyed. In order get a new body Strife would have to either have to be
placed and carried to term as a godly baby - something his mother can not do
- or another body had to be created for him."

Ares paused and Apollo picked up the thread, since this was his area of
expertise.

"Neither is easy but with Eris unable to carry another child it was decided
to create Strife a new body. That body would essentially be grown from blood
and power donated by his parents. Eris and Strife had rough relationship,
one that Eris has come to regret.

She declined to give blood to regenerate Strife, instead she asked Ares -
her twin - to do so in her stead. She hoped that his life would be better
this time around as Ares' son then it had been as hers.

Ares agreed and Hephaestus offered to donate his blood as the second parent.
He had no blood children of his own but had always had a soft spot for
Strife. The reason you look different then the painting is because of Ares
and Hephaestus. You get your looks from them just as you would had they
created you the normal way."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Title: More Questions
Author: Werewindle
Fandom: Xena
Rating: pg
Series: What Now?
Disclaimer: If they were mine it wouldn't be called *fan*fiction would it?

Summery: More questions are answered. fanfic100 #080 Why?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"Fine. If you care about me so much why the hell did I wake up in the middle
of the woods with no weapons, no memory and no money?" Scythas still held
Joxer's hand glad for the support.

"We didn't know. You were regenerating under a quarantine shield in your
room. You weren't supposed to wake up for weeks. I went to check on you and
noticed something was wrong." Ares jaw twitched. "You'd been taken and there
was a shade in your place - a living doll." He clarified.

"We found out that Athena had forced you to regenerate early and sent you
away. She'd planned on the shade fooling us until you were meant to awaken.
As soon as we knew you were in the Mortal realm we started looking for you."

"Why would Athena do that? Did I do something to her? And why if I'm...
regenerated can't I remember? I mean I should, right? Or did I misunderstand
that." Strife asked rapidly, looking back and forth between Apollo and Ares.

Apollo took a turn answering. "We're not sure why Athena did it. She
wouldn't tell us. She will go before the council tonight we'll find out then
and her punishment will be decided. As for your memories they are blocked as
are your powers. Which is a good thing actually."

"How can that be a good thing?" Joxer piped up.

"Athena could force your body to regenerate but you can't force the mind. A
god's mind has to be able to manipulate their powers and store millennia of
memories, skills, knowledge. If your memories had been allowed to return as
they should have once the regeneration was complete your mind couldn't have
handled it. It would have driven you insane."

"Fuck." Scythas-Strife swore, he looked shell shocked.

"Yeah. Which is why we can't return you memories to you now."

"But I will get them back."

"Yes, soon." Ares reassured him. "Until then you'll stay here where it's
safe."

"What about tonight's performances? If we don't return the rest of the
troupe will be worried." Jayce spoke up.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Title: Lunch Break
Author: Werewindle
Website: http://www.squidge.org/werewindle
Fandom: Xena
Rating: pg
Category: Humor, Drama
Series: What Now?
Disclaimer: If they were mine it wouldn't be called *fan*fiction would it?

Summery: The Bent River Performers have lunch. fanfic100 #057 Lunch
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The lunch crowed was buzzing at the Sleeping Lion. The Bent River Performers
had taken over two tables in the back by the stairs. They had placed their
orders and conversation had turned to speculation on where the triplets and
their gorgeous friend had gotten to.

Some remembered seeing Scythas working on scenery for that nights showcase
performance - the one long play that changed night to night. But nobody had
seen them for a couple of hours now. Bets and gossip were flying back and
forth. Two things were constant: they hoped the four hadn't found trouble
and they had better get their collective asses back for the night's
performance.

Just as the group was tucking into their meals who should stroll in but the
missing men accompanied by two others. Someone let out a shrill whistle as a
few others waved their arms to draw the men's attention. The six threaded
through the heavy crowd to the rest of the troupe.

Jayce declined the invitation to join them for lunch since they had already
eaten. He did however introduce the men with them and promise to work them
hard to make up for the lost time while they had gone to greet their
recently arrived friends.

The taller of the two had a deep tan, strawberry-blond hair and a lean body
on display under his short blue toga. Jayce introduced him as Ilios and he
graced them with a blinding smile. One of the younger performers nearly
swooned.

The other was shorter, more heavily muscled and stood with air of danger
around him. He was attired more conservatively in an embroidered red silk
vest and brown leather pants. The front half of his long brown hair was
pulled back from his face displaying heavy silver hoops in his ears. The
brunet was introduced as Sever and did not smile. This did little to deter
his admirers.

~~~~~~~~~~
A/N
ilios is greek for sun.



Title: Sunset
Author: Werewindle
Website: http://www.squidge.org/werewindle
Fandom: Xena
Rating: pg
Category: drama
Series: What Now?
Disclaimer: If they were mine it wouldn't be called *fan*fiction would it?

Summery: fanfic100 #032 Sunset
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Sunset was fast approaching and the Bent River Performers were in moving in
coordinated chaos as the got ready for the night's show. Ilios and Sever had
indeed been put to work that afternoon helping prepare. Ilios had been left
in the hands of the costumers and Sever helped with the scenery. There had
been one tense moment when Sever looked liked he was going to refuse to
help. Scythas informed him that he was welcome to leave.

He stayed and gossip level rose. There was something about the dynamics
between the two that had many puzzled. Sever had an attitude but had backed
down, they wanted to know what kind of hold over him Scythas had.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Title: Day's End
Author: Werewindle
Website: http://www.squidge.org/werewindle
Fandom: Xena
Rating: pg
Category: Drama
Series: What Now?
Disclaimer: If they were mine it wouldn't be called *fan*fiction would it?

Summery: The day's end. fanfic100 #074 Dark.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It was full night and the last group was on the stage. They were doing the
'boy bride' play and Joxer was once again in the white dress. Ares and
Apollo were watching from the sidelines still in disguise as Ilios and
Sever. Apollo was enjoying the attention but Ares was too alert to relax. He
still worried about letting Strife come back to the Mortal realm.

He was trying not to dwell on the coming council meeting. It was set to
start at when the moon reached it's apex. Ares was anxious to find out
Athena's reasons for harming Strife. He was looking forward to her
punishment the most. He didn't want to kill her - he just wanted her to be
in pain for a long, long time.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Title: Midnight Trial
Author: Werewindle
Website: http://www.squidge.org/werewindle
Fandom: Xena
Rating: pg
Category: Drama
Series: What Now?
Disclaimer: If they were mine it wouldn't be called *fan*fiction would it?

Summery: Athena on trial. fanfic100 #045 Moon
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The moon was high in the sky and the twelve were once again gathered in the
meeting hall. Ares brought Strife, who still insisted on being called
Scythas and the three brothers with him. While a meeting of the twelve
wasn't the place for mortals Ares was willing to over look it for Strife's
sake.

Zeus tried to take charge of the gathering but was firmly set aside. His
reputation for favoring Athena was well know and well deserved. Hades took
control of the inquisition with Hera as his second. Hades called the five to
undo the binding from Athena and had her brought forth to face the council.

Ares was surprised to see the shade leaning against the orange barrier, he
commanded it to stand aside. They brought down the cage and Hephaestus and
Artemis hefted Athena to her feet. With firm grips around her upper arms
they lead the goddess into the main chamber. The shade followed hurriedly
behind.

It was a credit to Hades foresight that the meeting hall had been placed in
a time bubble. Days could pass here and mere moments would pass outside.
There would be no interruptions, no reprieves until the truth was laid bare
and a punishment decided.

Athena was chained to a chair before the council. They sat in a semi-circle
all facing her. Athena tried to sweet talk her way out of the chains but
Zeus merely shook his head, knowing he was out numbered. Her flippant
replies to Hades' questions were not tolerated for long. There are ways,
though most don't know it, to make a god talk.

Soon they had the whole petty tale.

Athena endangered Strife because she felt slighted. Ares had refused to deal
with raiders that had plagued Athens. The War god simply did not have the
time or energy and felt that Athena was more then capable of taking care of
her own city. Athens was nearly ravaged by the time Athena stepped in and
took care of the raiders.

She blamed Ares for the damages and plotted a way to get back at him. She
hadn't wanted to kill Strife but she did feel that the danger to him, or the
pain she caused him to be relevant either.

The council was appalled. Such disregard for one of their own was
unthinkable. All the gods fought but seldom did they do real harm to each
other. Athena's actions and her lack of remorse was telling. The goddess had
let her pride convince her of her superiority. She was drug back into the
holding chamber and the five once again raised the binding.

She would remain safely caged until the council decided her punishment.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Title: Waiting
Author: Werewindle
Website: http://www.squidge.org/werewindle
Fandom: Xena
Rating: pg-13 - for swearing
Category: Drama
Series: What Now?
Disclaimer: If they were mine it wouldn't be called *fan*fiction would it?

Summery: Eris is waiting for the interrogation to end. fanfic100 #058 She
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Eris paced the confines of the antechamber waiting for the council to finish
interrogating Athena and move on to the punishment phase. Then she would
have her say.

Eris might not have been the best Mom but nobody messed with her baby.
Athena was lucky that Eris hadn't gotten to her first. Ares went easy on the
bitch.

How could Athena have done that to Strife? It was a cowardly act to attack
the regenerating Strife. Little miss perfect had fucked up so badly and she
wouldn't be able to talk her way out of it this time. Her twin would see to
that.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Title: Sentencing
Author: Werewindle
Website: http://www.squidge.org/werewindle
Fandom: Xena
Rating: pg
Category: Drama
Series: What Now?
Disclaimer: If they were mine it wouldn't be called *fan*fiction would it?

Summery: Athena's punishment is decided. fanfic100 #086 Choices
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Voices rose and fell, comments moved between ever changing groups. The topic
was Athena's punishment. The goddess had dishonored her self and her House.
No two people had the same idea of fitting punishment. The ideas were both
inventive and frightening. None were quick and all were painful.

Eventually Hades called them to order. He let each take a turn outlining
their choice of punishment. Eris was brought out and allowed to make
suggestions. She wanted to flay Athena alive, until she had no skin left and
leave her in a salt pit to heal. But she confessed that as punishments went
is was too short. Eris didn't have the patients to draw it out.

Only Zeus spoke in Athena's favor. Thought he wasn't foolish enough to
suggest that she be let off, he did ask that she be shown lenience since
Strife had been found unharmed. Ares informed Zeus that the only way Athena
would get leniency was if Zeus took some of her punishment. Hades and Hera
supported Ares statement. Zeus backed down.

Eventually they settled on a punishment that satisfied them all - except for
Zeus who was sulking.

Athena would be stripped of her status as one of the Twelve. She would in
fact have no more status then an unacknowledged demi-god for the span of
five hundred years. At which point she would be given the a status lower
then the youngest godling. She would have to earn her rank - unlike the
first time. And Athena would never again be one of the Twelve.

As for her physical chastisement Athena would be marched through Olympus
naked. Stopping at every temple to invite every Olympian resident to witness
her punishment. Before going to the central pavilion where first Ares
followed by Eris then Apollo would whip or cane her.

Athena would then have to heal without the aid of her godly powers. During
that time she would clean and vacate her temple as she had shown a distinct
lack of maturity. She would move into a set of rooms in Zeus' Temple. All
her movements would be monitored, she would have a curfew and a chaperone
for no less then one hundred years.

She would not be allowed to move back into her temple until she earned the
status of adult. Until that time Athena would also be banned from any
calibrations held on Olympus. She would also only be welcome at festivals
held in the Mortal realm by other gods in an official capacity.

After Athena was healed she would spend a week performing the duties of the
lowest accolade in the chosen temple of each of the twelve. Her powers would
be bound, she would be disguised and no one there would know her true
identity. If she did not perform her duties to the fullest or misbehaved
then the high priest or priestess would punish her. If at the end of the
week the god or goddess was not pleased with her work she would be whipped
or caned again in the central pavilion.

If at any point while she was under Zeus' roof she broke the rules then she
would be beaten or sent to work in a temple again, depending on the
infraction. She would learn there were consequences to her action and that
she had to be held accountable for them.

When Strife regained his memories Athena would owe him a year of service,
not just in a temple but where ever and whatever he chose. Even if he
decided to lend her to Eris to play in her dungeon. It seemed only fitting.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Title: After the Sentencing - Four Drabbles
Author: Werewindle
Website: http://www.squidge.org/werewindle
Fandom: Xena
Rating: pg-13
Category: Drama
Series: What Now?
Disclaimer: If they were mine it wouldn't be called *fan*fiction would it?

Summery: Four moments after Athena's punishment is decided. fanfic100 #007
Days, #021 Friends, #016 Purple, #059 Food.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

1 - Days

Days had passed since they locked her in this orange cage, and her brief
trip outside had not resulted in her release. That fool Zeus hadn't even
tried to help her. Bastard. Athena's head still throb from the force of her
confession. She'd only found hints that such an action could taken against a
god. She seethed with envy - as the Goddess of Wisdom all knowledge should
be hers and her father and his bitch wife had dared to keep it from her.

Athena shifted to lay on her side facing the door way. That stupid shade was
leaning against the barrier again blocking her fucking view. At least the
stupid thing would be disintegrating soon. A wicked thought popped into her
mind. No one else had taken much notice of the shade. Athena could take it
back to her temple after they let her out and 'play' with it in Strife's
stead. It would be almost as good as torturing the real thing.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

2 - Friends

"Well at least the bitch is getting punished, she didn't look very
remorseful though." Jett grumped.

"A caning can do wonders for a persons disposition. At least father always
seemed to think so." Jayce commented.

Scythas was quiet. Joxer put his arm around him and squeezed his friend
close. Scythas lips curled in a tiny smile and he laid his head on Joxer's
shoulder.

"Thank you guys for coming with me. This is a lot to take in, I feel better
with you here." Scythas admitted.

"Hey, that's what friends are for. We protect each other." Joxer assured
him. Jayce and Jett nodded in agreement.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

3 - Purple

Apollo wandered away from where the details of when Athena's punishment
should happen was being discussed. He made his way to the corner where
Strife and the triplets where seated.

"How are you doing Strife?" Apollo asked, conjuring a chair to sit in across
form his nephew.

"Fine. I believe you know. This is too elaborate for a mere hoax. I do have
a few questions though, some things that have been floating around in my
head since Jox and I went to see that healer." Strife looked hopeful.

"I can answer them if you like."

Strife nodded, "The healer talked about colors - auras or something. If she
could see them how come she couldn't tell I was I god?"

"What color did she see?" Apollo looked at Strife with his own Healer's
Sight.

"Purple."

"Hmmm Well you're more blue now, just a hint of violet around the edges.
That does make sense. With your power blocked and your mind/memories not
online yet your body is basically that of an immortal or a demi-god.
Demi-gods and immortals have a blue glow where humans have a white glow and
gods auras are black. The purple color is from being in pain.

Forced regeneration is extremely painful. It seems that enough of you
connection to your powers remained that it instinctive tried to heal you.
Mischief is easy enough to accomplish that even with the lightest control
your powers could have caused events to feed you power - filtered down
though it may have been.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

4 - Food

Eris and Ares crossed the hall to where Apollo, Strife and the human
triplets had gathered. Athena's punishment was set for tomorrow afternoon,
she would stay in the binding until then.

"Come on guys, we're going to head back to the Halls of War." They stood up
and Joxer's stomach took the opportunity to growl. Ares grinned, "We'll have
something to eat when we get home. Can't have Strife's friends keeling
over."

"Good! Cause my stomach thinks my throat's been cut," Jayce quipped. The
performer moved forward and looped his arm through Apollo's. "You will be
joining us won't you?"
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Title: Repast
Author: Werewindle
Website: http://www.squidge.org/werewindle
Fandom: Xena
Rating: pg
Category: Drama
Series: What Now?
Disclaimer: If they were mine it wouldn't be called *fan*fiction would it?

Summery: Eris feeds the boys up. fanfic100 #039 Taste.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The group gathered around the table in Ares games room. The torches seemed
to cast a brighter glow then any on earth. The light gave the room a cozy
feel, blunting corners and softening the bold tapestries. Joxer felt at ease
here which was surprising considering he was sitting in the Halls of War,
Ares' Olympian temple.

A few weeks ago he'd have fainted or resorted to mumbling gibberish if he'd
have found himself here in the presents of not his chosen god but two others
as well. But an afternoon spent working along side Ares and Apollo while
they were disguised as Ilios and Sever cured him of his aw. Not that he
wasn't pleased to be asked to stay he no longer felt the fool around them.

While Ares showed Joxer, Jett and Jayce guest rooms, Apollo tagging along
since Jayce seemed disinclined to release him, and Strife his room Eris got
together a light snack for them all. She milk and watered wine to drink and
plates of cheese, grapes, strawberries and sliced apples.

Eris clucked her tongue in disapproval when they returned apparently un
happy with their state of dress. She waved her hand garbing the humans in
loose light weight pants and shirts and leaving their feet bare. Eris made
sure her son and his friends each got a bit of everything to eat and their
glasses filled before she sat down.

Joxer barely kept himself from staring. Eris acted so far out of character
from what he'd come to expect Joxer was struck dumb. He took a sip of his
milk and watched as Eris made a threatening gesture at her twin with her
knife. She must really be trying like Ares said. Joxer could blame her, he'd
have been acting like a mother hen too if one of his brothers or even
Scythas er, Strife had been hurt.

Eris raised an eyebrow when she caught him look and pointed at his plate.
Joxer turned his attention to his food. He picked up a wedge of apple and
popped it in his mouth. The apple was tart and crisp, sweet and juicy. He
reached for another slice, this had to be the best apple he ever had.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Title: Seeing Red
Author: Werewindle
Website: http://www.squidge.org/werewindle
Fandom: Xena
Rating: pg-13
Category: Drama
Series: What Now?
Disclaimer: If they were mine it wouldn't be called *fan*fiction would it?

Summery: Hera informs Athena of her punishment. fanfic100 #011 Red.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hera stalked into the room where Athena was caged. The bitch was curled on
her side with a smug plotting look on her face. Hera couldn't wait to wipe
it off. Athena sat up at her approach.

"Come to let me out?"

"No, just thought you might like to know your sentence." Hera came to stand
next to the shade, giving it the one over before turning back to Athena.

"Why, not. Do I have to apologies or something? Are they going to ban me
form Strife's welcome back party? Oh, drat."

Hera's grin displayed sharp teeth. "Something like that." She went on to
explain, in detail, Athena's punishment. All the while her smile getting
bigger as Athena became pale only to redden in anger. The caged goddess
jumped to her feet and started screaming.

"No! No! You fucking bitch! Zeus! Daddy! Daddy! No! I don't fucking believe
you! You can't do that!" Athena banged on the orange barrier. They had no
impact other then to wear the hysterical goddess out.

Hera laughed at Athena taking hold of the shades arm and dragging it with
her as she left the room. "Come on poppet, let's leave the little brat
alone, hmmm? Now what are we going to do with you?" Hera pondered as they
walked out into the Olympus night.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Title: Snug as a Bug
Author: Werewindle
Fandom: Xena
Rating: pg
Series: What Now?
Disclaimer: If they were mine it wouldn't be called *fan*fiction would it?

Summery: Bed time. fanfic100 #002 Middles.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Strife settled into his bed. The room was familiar to him, it felt like home
even though he couldn't remember it. The sheets were cool and clean and
settled around him just right. Strife tried to sleep but ended up tossing
and turning. After nearly a week sharing a bed Strife had gotten used to
Joxer's warm presence. Strife pouted, he had been told he was an only child
so he should be used to sleeping alone. Still he missed having his friend to
snuggle with.

A soft knock on his bedroom door interrupted Strife's brooding. "Come in."
He called, glad for the excuse to be awake.

Joxer poked his head in before padding through the door, closing it behind
him. "You awake too? I'm having the worst trouble sleeping. You'd think my
body would take advantage of being able to sleep in a nice comfy bed, but
no." Joxer fidgeted with the hem of his shirt.

"Me too, this overwhelming hospitality is kinda unsettling." Strife shifted
to one side of the bed and held up the covers. "You can stay here if you
want. Maybe it'd be easier to sleep knowing someone's watching your back."

Joxer smiled and scrambled into the bed. He pulled the sheets over up under
his chin and wriggled down into the pillows. He yawned and turned on his
side facing away from Strife. "Thanks, Scy. G'night." Joxer was soon
sleeping soundly.

Strife grinned and shifted to lay on his side as well, sliding closer to
Joxer until their backs were pressed together lightly. Strife was just
starting to drift off when he heard his door open slightly and gently close
again. He slit open an eye to see who had entered his room.

Jett was slinking toward the bed. He stood at the foot of the bed looking
down at the two laying there. Jett moved as if to set in the chair in the
corner. Strife lifted the covers again in invitation. Jett hesitated for
just a moment before sliding in on Strife's other side. Strife rolled to
face Joxer scooting down to tuck his forehead against Jox's shoulder. The
bed moved as Jett settled him self, his foot dragging across Strife's as he
got comfortable.

Strife drifted to sleep feeling warm and content surrounded by his friends.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Title: Old Mommy - New Mommy
Author: Werewindle
Website: http://www.squidge.org/werewindle
Fandom: Xena
Rating: pg
Series: What Now?
Disclaimer: If they were mine it wouldn't be called *fan*fiction would it?

Summary: Eris and Hephaestus - Old Mommy, New Mommy. fanfic100 #028 Children
and #050 Spade
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Old Mommy

Eris hummed to herself as looked for just the right whip to use on Athena.
She felt a little smug, she knew this time she'd get this 'mother' thing
right. She was after all off to a good start.

Eris had seen how close her Strife was to those triplets. They'd looked like
a pile of war pups all curled together sleeping when she'd gone to check on
Strife earlier. If her baby was going to get attached to mortals he was
going to get hurt - cause mortals die.

But she'd taken care of that. Like the saying goes an apple a day keeps the
healer away. And Olympian apples are ever so better for you then mortal
ones.

Eris picked up a thin black whip and tested it out, she ginned at the sharp
snap. This would do nicely.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

New Mommy

Hephaestus stuck the metal he was working on back into the forge fire,
heating the metal red hot again. He worked steadily - heating and pounding,
folding and cooling, heating and pounding, folding and cooling - over and
over again, totally focused on his work.

This was the most important thing he'd ever created, save perhaps Dite's
bonding ring. A gift for his son. Strife's emblem, the symbol of his godhood
had shattered when he died. Hephaestus was making him a new one - beautiful
and wicked, just like Strife.

The design was light and strong, edged only on one side of the gently
curving blade. The handle would be wrapped in black leather and raw gray
silk with the deepest, clearest blue sapphire he'd ever seen inset so it
could be seen from either side.

It would be a true warriors blade. A weapon befitting his son. Strong enough
to protect him forever.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Title: Sunlit Pavilion
Author: Werewindle
Website: http://www.squidge.org/werewindle
Fandom: Xena
Rating: pg-13
Category: Drama
Series: What Now?
Disclaimer: If they were mine it wouldn't be called *fan*fiction would it?

Summary: The afternoon of Athena's punishment. fanfic100 #013 Yellow, #043
Square.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The sun was just starting it's decent as the Twelve gathered again. The
Binding of Five was released and Athena escorted out. When she refused to
disrobe Hera cut them from her. The action of running the knife over
Athena's limbs more humiliating then if Hera had just unmade them. The
Wisdom goddess was fitted with a power binding cuff before the chains were
removed.

Apollo, Hephaestus, Hera and Artemis flanked Athena as she started across
Olympus. If she tried to skip a temple she was roughly prodded to it. At
each temple Athena knocked and waited for the occupant to answer. Stiffly
she asked them to witness her punishment at the pavilion in the central
gardens. Assured by the presents of the scowling, serious faces on her
guards all agreed.

News travels fast and you could see in the distance gods and goddesses
slipping into their temples to await their turn. Athena fumed, the setting
sun lit up the gleaming marble temples making their mocking expressions
unmistakable. Those that had been slighted or hurt by Athena in the past
didn't bother to hide their glee.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The pavilion was a huge square. The pillars, at corners and two on each side
a soft dove gray marble almost competently concealed by climbing ivy. The
roof was high over head with linen panels that could be dropped to the floor
offering welcome shade for gatherings.

Today the tables and pleasant loungers had been removed and no effort had
been taken to shade those milling in and around the pavilion. Hephaestus had
been there earlier and attached eyebolts, cuffs and chains between two of
the pillars to hold Athena.

Finally the naked goddess made her way to the central garden. Hephaestus and
Ares clamped the cuffs on her and tightened the slack until she had no room
to move.

It was time for her punishment and every resident of Olympus was watching.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Title: Just the Beginning
Author: Werewindle
Website: http://www.squidge.org/werewindle
Fandom: Xena
Rating: R
Category: Drama
Series: What Now?
Warning: Descriptive Violence - Caning/Whipping
Disclaimer: If they were mine it wouldn't be called *fan*fiction would it?

Summary: Athena's corporal punishment. fanfic100 #001 Beginnings
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Athena whimpered as she was lowered to the pavilion floor. She had endured
hours of punishment at the hands of her accusers.

Her silence at the beginning turned into cursing. Ares first swats did
little damage, just annoying flicks of the cane against her back. Athena
still clung to the belief that her father would halt her beating at the
sight of her tears and calculated pout. The first time Ares cane smacked her
for real that hope evaporated. Ares didn't break Athena's skin, he laid down
an even ladder of welts from shoulders to knees.

Eris took her turn. The wicked whip she'd chosen snapped out again and
again, not so precise as her brother. Thin lines of red began to appear
webbing across her back and sides beaded with blood.

The gathered gods looked on their humor having faded. Most had not realized
the severity of Athena's crime. The extent of her punishment served to
chastise many of the lower level gods that had looked upon Athena's actions
as admirable or expected.

Apollo went after the unmarked parts of Athena. He scored her calves, the
souls of her feet, palms, front and inner thighs and stomach. Every movement
she made tomorrow would hurt. A lasting reminder of her punishment and a
warning against further misbehavior.

Athena was carted off to be cleaned up and settled into the cot in her room
at Zeus' temple. While her corporal punishment had ended this was only the
beginning of her sentence. Tomorrow the lessons would really begin.
Hopefully Athena would take them to heart.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Title: Blue + Brown
Author: Werewindle
Website: http://www.squidge.org/werewindle
Fandom: Xena
Rating: pg
Category: Drama
Series: What Now?
Disclaimer: If they were mine it wouldn't be called *fan*fiction would it?

Summary: Hera thinks about the Shade fanfic100 #015 Blue
Summary: Athena fumes. fanfic100 #017 Brown

Blue


Hera looked in on her charge. The Shade lay as she’d left him the night before peacefully sleeping as she’d commanded. Something had to be done about it. The Shade seemed to have some attachment to Athena. Hera could well imagine what would happen to the it in her care. If he was going to fade away would it be kinder to banish him now, or let him live out it’s last days?

Hera frowned at the thought. After loosing Strife the first time she could not bare the destroying even this doppelganger. But it would be equally sad to see the Shade fade away, she was already starting to become attached to it.

So then there must be a third option. Ares mentioned that it had been given intelligence like the Muses’ imps, perhaps the Shade’s structure could be change to something more permanent? Hera would talk to Apollo about it.

Hera stepped into the room and made her way to the bed. She reached down and shook the Shade’s shoulder lightly. “Come on Blue, it’s time to get up.”



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Brown


Athena tugged at the hem of her dun brown garment. The short slip dress was made of a rough woven cloth that irritated her welts from yesterday. It was nothing at all like the clothes she usually wore. Her preference was for crisp white finely woven linen and richly colored silks. Regal and elegant as befitted her station.

But this brown peasant’s cast off is what they’d given her to wear. And now she was being forced to clean and pack her temple - or at least the things she would most need as she’d been forbidden - FORBIDDEN! - from bring anything non-essential. All by hand.

Never in her long existence had Athena cleaned by hand. She was a goddess! That’s what her acolytes were for, and if she HAD to do something herself then she’d just will it. It was humiliating! Athena looked over her smirking guardian. They’d left Aphrodite to watch her. Athena knew she’d get no sympathy form that quarter so she kept her complaints to her self. They would only amuse Aphrodite more.



Title: And? + Breathe
Author: Werewindle
Website: http://www.squidge.org/werewindle
Fandom: Xena
Rating: pg
Category: Humor
Series: What Now?
Disclaimer: If they were mine it wouldn't be called *fan*fiction would it?

Title: And?
Summary: Jayce shows up for breakfast late. fanfic100 #083 And.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"And where have you been?" Strife asked when Jayce strolled out on the patio
where the other three friends were eating breakfast.

"Sleeping?" Jayce replied coyly.

Jett snorted. "And who's bed were you sleeping IN, since it wasn't yours."
Jayce wiggled his eyebrows and took a sip of juice.

"Uh-huh. Bet it was a certain blond god." Joxer speculated, "For the second
morning in a row."

"Maaaybe."

"You getting serious about him?" Jett cut to the chase.

"I don't know. I like him. I have fun with him" Jayce smacked the faintly
blushing Joxer on the arm. "Not just in bed - although that's great too. For
now it's just that. He's got quite the reputation from what I've heard. Time
will tell weather it's a temporary distraction or something else."

"To something else." Strife raised his glass in a toast. "Something else."
The triplets echoed, their glasses clinking together.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Title: Breathe
Summary: Joxer is feeling fine. fanfic100 #054 Air.
~~~~~~~~~~

Joxer took a deep breath filling his lungs with perfumed air. He was
sprawled on a lounge under a blooming citrus tree. The blossoms scented the
gently stirring air. Joxer was unbelievably relaxed.

It had to something about the air on Olympus. It was lighter, not thin like
when you climb a mountain but like it has been whipped up like you would an
egg. Incorporating something mellow and living, as if you looked at it just
right it would sparkle and flash.

The longer Joxer was here, the more he breathed the air of Olympus, the
better he felt. Leaving him renewed. Clean. Like he was being made stronger.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~




Title: Zeus Plots
Author: Werewindle
Website: http://www.squidge.org/werewindle
Fandom: Xena
Rating: pg
Category: Drama, Humor
Series: What Now? (http://werewindle.livejournal.com/44015.html)
Disclaimer: If they were mine it wouldn't be called *fan*fiction would it?

Summary: Zeus plots to help his darling Athena. fanfic100 #069 Thunder
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Zeus watched his beloved Athena packing scrolls in her office. His
daughter's usually elegant dresses replaced by a shapeless brown shift.
Unable to watch any longer Zeus banished the mirror with an angry gesture.

This was unacceptable. His darling girl should not be forced to bare this
after yesterdays brutal punishment. Surely her crime didn't warrant such
mistreatment? And removing her from the ruling twelve! Zeus snorted. It was
a ridiculous reaction to a bit of mischief. He sat in thought frown creasing
his brow, stroking his beard absently.

Maybe he could go and talk to Strife. If he could convince the younger god
that Athena had meant him harm Strife would get the other's to lighten up on
Athena. This incarnation of Strife seemed much nicer then the last.
Certainly he wouldn't hold a grudge. Besides without his memories Strife
would be easily manipulated - er, persuaded.

Zeus flashed out of his temple into the main room of the Halls of War. Not
seeing Strife or his recent companions he went in search of them. He didn't
bother looking in the study or records room fairly sure that Ares wouldn't
allow them access there. Finding no one in the privet rooms or bathing
chamber Zeus ventured outside.

As the Sky god stepped out on the patio he was shocked to see a thriving
garden. Becoming impatient to find Strife Zeus sent his awareness out
searching for Strife's signature. Puzzled when he felt not one but four
immortal presences he started off down the correct path, trying to think of
who Ares might have brought to visit his son. He couldn't remember Ares
having any earthly children - well there was that warrior girl - hmm, maybe
the son was more like the father then Zeus had thought.

When Zeus reached the area where Strife and his companions were sitting he
was surprised to see only Strife's mortal hangers-on. "Hello boys." he
greeted. "Was there someone else here with you before?" They shook their
heads giving him odd looks. Zeus reached out with his powers to the group
before him.

"What is going on!" Zeus bellowed. A sudden clap of thunder rolled across
Olympus. "Ares! Eris! Come!" Zeus commanded his voice louder then the
rumbling thunder. Ares and Eris flashed in with twin glares on their faces.
"Explain THIS." Zeus demanded pointing at the triplets.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Title: Temper-Tantrum
Author: Werewindle
Website: http://www.squidge.org/werewindle
Fandom: Xena
Rating: pg
Category: Drama, Humor
Series: What Now?
Warning:
Disclaimer: If they were mine it wouldn't be called *fan*fiction would it?

Summary: Zeus throws a fit. fanfic100 #068 Lightening.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"Explain what? I really don't think it any of your business if I have guests
at my temple." Ares glowered at his father.

Zeus gritted his teeth, Hera's children were always so obstinate. "I don't
care who you have in your temple. I want to know WHY you made them immortal
and WHY you didn't seek MY permission FIRST! You can't go willy-nilly making
immortals - there are rules!" Zeus had curled his right hand into a fist,
little sparks snapped as lightening began to form between his clenched
fingers.

Ares turned his head to look at the triplets, seeing for the first time
himself the change. His gaze darted over to his twin. Eris had a smug look
on her face. "I don't need your permission, none of them are your followers
so you have no say-"

"I am the KING of the Gods!" Zeus interrupted, as if they could forget that
fact..

"Yeah but the APPLES are Hera's." Eris challenged.

Zeus sputtered, "But you still have to have permission to use them. Stealing
is wrong after all." He was certain Hera wouldn't have given up THREE of her
precious apples to Eris, she wouldn't even let him have ONE.

Eris snorted at her father's comment. "I have Hera's permission. She was
more then happy to give them to me when I told her who they were for."

Ares stepped in front of the seated men blocking them from Zeus' gaze. "Is
there something else you wanted? It's almost time for... Strife's nap."

Eris moved to stand next to her brother. "Yeah, he's still recuperating and
all." Zeus opened his mouth, probably to protest. "Apollo's orders." The
twins stated in stereo voices firm.

The Sky god huffed in anger unable to push with out causing a scene. He
flashed away in a twist of lightening leaving a scorched ring on the
flagstones where he had stood.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Title: Got Some Explaining To Do - 3 drabbles
Author: Werewindle
Website: http://www.squidge.org/werewindle
Fandom: Xena
Rating: pg
Category: Humor, Drama
Series: What Now? (http://werewindle.livejournal.com/44015.html)
Disclaimer: If they were mine it wouldn't be called *fan*fiction would it?

Summary: Eris has some explaining to do. fanfic100 #079 When?, #030 Death,
#058 Dinner.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

When?

Ares rolled his eyes at his Father's juvenile behavior, still acting like
the whole of Greece and Olympus revolves around him. 'All bow before the
might God of Hot Air' Like he even does anything anymore besides knock up
strange women - half the time he's not even in human form. Ares shuddered at
the thought of a woman that would be attracted to a animal, or a shower of
gold. Demented.

"Excuse me?" A voice questions from behind the twins. Eris and Ares turned
around to face the four immortals.

"WHEN, exactly did you turn us into immortals?" Asked Jayce quickly followed
by Jett's more demanding, "And WHEN were you planning on telling us?" Joxer
was just blinking down at his hands trying to see if there was a difference,
he certainly didn't feel any different. But he did look up at the godly pair
and nod in agreement with his brothers' questions.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Death

Eris looked at the triplets. Joxer was gazing at her bewilderedly, Jett was
all gruff and confused and Jayce was pouting at her. Eris sighed and sat
down next to Jett, Ares took the last chair at the round table between her
and Joxer.

"I talked Hera into giving me three golden apples before the twelve gathered
for Athena's trial. Ares asked me to wait to come and see you," She gestured
at Strife, "Until I'd come down some. But I couldn't NOT check on you so I
tuned a scrying mirror to look in on you. I was surprised to see you three
with him. It soon became apparent that you all were friends. At first I was
happy, I knew who the triplets were and that they'd stick by you.

But then I got to thinking that well... the boys are mortal. Even if you all
were friends for life it'd only be for the span of THEIR lives. Which is a
distressingly short amount of time to a God. I was going to be damned if my
baby had to see his friends die." Eris shrugged. "So I fed them golden
apples. Problem solved."

Strife was biting his lip. When Eris finished her explanation he reached out
and grabbed her closest hand. "Thanks Mom."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Dinner

Eris sniffed and squeezed Strife's hand. No one spoke, Joxer's stomach took
the opportunity to rumble it's displeasure at being empty. Jayce snickered
and Strife chuckled. Ares grinned at the sheepish Joxer and patted the
immortal on the back. "Guess we'd better take care of that then, before it
starts gnawing on your back bone." Ares bumped his shoulder against his
sister's. "Wouldn't want Eris to came after me for not taking care of 'her
boys'."

Eris smacked the War god lightly laughing at Ares mock cower. He smiled at
her and flicked his fingers at the table. A platter of warm roasted chicken
appeared, as well as one of bread and cheese and another of fruits and
veggies. Goblets of clear cool spring water set next to each plate. Everyone
dug in taking bits of this and that and generally enjoying each other's
company.

Jett finished chewing a bite of melon and leaned slightly closer to Eris.
"When were you going to tell us?" He asked his voice pitched just loud
enough for her to hear. "Later. I was hoping to... ease into it. I didn't
want to give anybody a chance to protest - look what happened when Zeus
found out - that's why I didn't ask first."

Jett nodded. "We would have said yes anyway. We've become rather attached to
Scythas." He assured her. She smiled the slump gone from her shoulders. Jett
was pleased, it wouldn't do to let the Goddess Discord fret over such a
trivial thing.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Title: Saving Blue
Author: Werewindle
Website: http://www.squidge.org/werewindle
Fandom: Xena
Rating: pg
Category: Drama
Series: What Now? (http://werewindle.livejournal.com/44015.html)
Disclaimer: If they were mine it wouldn't be called *fan*fiction would it?

Summary: Hera goes to Apollo for help saving her Blue. fanfic100 #041 Shapes
& #055 Spirit.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

1 - Body

Hera walked into Apollo's work room leading Blue by the hand. The shade had
been quiet all morning passively following Hera's directions. The Sun god
looked up from the lyre he was tuning. He smiled at Hera and pulled out a
chair for her to sit in. He watched bemused as she gestured for the Shade to
sit on a near by stool.

"What brings you here Hera?" Apollo inquired as he put away his tools, he
had a feeling that he wouldn't be getting back to this project today.

"I need your help with Blue. I know that his current structure will
eventually breakdown but I was thinking that it might be changed. Something
like you did with the Muses imps perhaps?"

"It would be a lot of work. We'd have to remove the false power flows and
change his internal structure. Right now he doesn't have a way to convert
energy - he's basically feeding on himself to live. He'd have to be reshaped
completely to allow that - weather consuming raw fuels or... sunlight - like
a plant base maybe.

Hera laughed delighted at the idea. Her favorite pastime was tending her
garden after all.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2 - Spirit

Hera and Apollo worked steadily to change Blue from a shade to a more imp
like creature. They disassembled Blue rearranging his molecules to suite
their new purpose. They converted the fake godly power flow conduits into a
working solar power structure. Now Blue would use the sun for fuel, much
like the plants Hera so adored.

After they were sure that Blue was stable and physically working as he
should Apollo brought up the subject of the new imp's spirit. Left unchanged
he would still be blindly obedient and that paired with his adoration of his
'creator' would undoubtedly lead to problems.

Hera liked Blue's gentle nature and didn't want to see that changed. She was
not willing however to chance his safety with Athena. So Apollo tempered the
imp's devotion to his creator and strengthened his bond to Hera.

Satisfied with the changes Apollo with drew from Blue. He stretched twisting
muscles stiff from sitting in one position to long. He picked the slumber
form up and tilted his head toward the balcony doors waiting for Hera to
open them and following the goddess outside. Apollo laid Blue down a padded
lounge where he could comfortably soak up the sun. He joined Hera at the
table near by sipping tall glasses of fruit juice while they wait for Blue
to wake.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Title: Waking to the Sun
Author: Werewindle
Website: http://www.squidge.org/werewindle
Fandom: Xena
Rating: pg-13
Category: Drama, Humor
Series: What Now?
Disclaimer: If they were mine it wouldn't be called *fan*fiction would it?

Summary: Blue wakes, for a bit. fanfic100 #005 Outsides.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Blue drifted out of sleep. He could feel the sun pouring down warm on his
back. His body ached a little, like he'd overworked seldom used muscles. He
was laying outside with no memory of how he got there. Blue could hear the
clink of glass to his right. Gingerly turning his head he cracked open one
eye. Hera and Apollo were seated at a table watching him.

"How do you feel Blue?" Hera asked her voice pitched low encase he wasn't
quite awake.

"Sore." Blue sat up and rubbed at his eyes. "How did I get out here?"

"Apollo brought you out after we finished... healing you."

"Oh. Is that- Is that why I feel so different?" Blue rub his hands up and
down his torso. "Was I very ill?"

"Yes, but you're all better now." Hera reassured him.

"There are a few things you are going to have to be mindful of from now on."
Apollo cautioned. "You need to spend a lot of time in the sun for the next
couple of weeks - all day if you can. After that you'll need to spend at
least two outside. It'd be better to spend three or four in the sun so you
don't get sick if you missed a day. You'll also need to stay hydrated -
water is best but juice or wines are fine."

Blue nodded, "Okay." He yawned and covered his mouth in embarrassment. "I
guess I'm still tired."

"That's alright, go ahead and sleep more if you want."

Blue nodded and flipped over to lay on his stomach. He yawned again, tongue
curling like a cat, before snuffling into the fluffy lounger. He was soon
sleeping once more.

Hera watched Blue drift off again with a fond smile.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Title: Unfriendly Skies 1
Author: Werewindle
Website: http://www.squidge.org/werewindle
Fandom: Xena
Rating: pg-13
Category: Drama, Humor
Series: What Now?
Disclaimer: If they were mine it wouldn't be called *fan*fiction would it?

Summary: Hephaestus visits Strife. fanfic100 #070 Storm.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hephaestus arrived on Olympus to the sounds of thunder clashing over head.
The usually perpetual summer sky looked dark and angry as if it would open
up and pour torrents of rain any moment. He could feel Zeus' rage in the
very air. Something had upset the elder god and Heph was instantly wary.

Instead of leisurely walking to the Halls of War as he'd planned Hephaestus
flashed right into the temple. He called for Strife but got no answer.
Knowing his son was here somewhere the Forge god headed for the door to the
garden. He stepped out side as the skies cleared, the thunder now a distant
rumble and the forbidding clouds rolling swiftly away.

Hephaestus limped down the paths, he searched by the pond and the poison
herb garden. Finally he heard laughing and headed to where he knew a table
was tucked away shaded by trees. The sight of his son sitting between his
friends and dining with Ares and Eris eased the rising panic he felt upon
his arrival.

They greeted him warmly and Ares waved him up a chair, scooting them around
to make room for Heph to join them. He sank in to the offered chair
gratefully. Hephaestus draped his arm over Strife's shoulder and gave him a
hug. He listened to the others tale of Zeus' visit absently eating a few
bits of meat. His mind though was not on the meal. Hephaestus has a bad
feeling that Zeus wasn't going to let this go.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Title:
Author: Werewindle
Website: http://www.squidge.org/werewindle
Fandom: Xena
Rating: pg-13
Category: Drama, Humor
Series: What Now?
Disclaimer: If they were mine it wouldn't be called *fan*fiction would it?

Summary: Hephaestus accompanies the boys to the Mortal Realm. fanfic100 #066
Rain.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Hephaestus watched interestedly as the boys helped dismantle the sets and
stage behind the Sleeping Lion. All the Bent River Performers worked as a
team. Everyone had a task and worked efficiently to get it accomplished. But
they still had time to stop and help one another.

The Forge god had been delighted when Strife had invited him along on their
trip to the Mortal Realm. He wanted to get to know Strife's friends and had
been sad to find he'd missed the adventure when Ares and Apollo had gone
with the boys before.

Joxer had pulled him over to a chair as soon as they stepped outside the
inn. When he'd protested that he'd wanted to help Joxer had brought him a
pile of props that needed to be checked over and repaired if need be before
they could be stored.

Hephaestus grinned at the immortal's fussing, the young man was obviously a
worrier. He turned part of his attention to the pile in front of him. He
looked at each piece using a bit of godly power to fix nicks in the prop
blades and strengthen leather straps and what not. He made quick work of it
and soon had them packed away.

A drop of rain fell on Hephaestus' cheek. The god looked up ward having
missed how quickly the sky had clouded over. He was thankful to see that the
group was packing away the last of the items and would not have to work in
the rain. That single drop turned into a heavy down pour as they hurried
inside.

They stayed to share a glass of ale with the other performers, all of which
were looking forward to the break they were getting while Jayce 'took care
of some family business'. Heph didn't drink, turning his ale into water. He
didn't say anything to the boys not wanting to interrupt their fun but he
was alert for trouble. Though there was a lack of thunder the rain had felt
cold and cruel tainted with Zeus' furry. The Forge god hoped that Zeus'
would wear out his anger before they returned to Olympus.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Title: Mine Eyes
Author: Werewindle
Website: http://www.squidge.org/werewindle
Fandom: Xena
Rating: pg-13
Category: Drama, Humor
Series: What Now? (http://werewindle.livejournal.com/44015.html)
Disclaimer: If they were mine it wouldn't be called *fan*fiction would it?

Summary: Strife asks Apollo a question. fanfic100 #029 Birth.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Strife was sitting on the examination table in Apollo's temple. The Sun god
had just given him a check-up making sure his body was adjusting as it
should have in preparation for the return of his memories in a couple of
weeks. Apollo seemed pleased with the results, grinning at Strife and making
some notations on a scroll.

"I've been wondering about something." Strife mentioned, waiting for Apollo
to finish his notes.

"What's that?"

"If my fathers are Heph and Ares, and I get my looks from them how do I have
blue eyes instead of brown?"

Apollo scratched the back of his neck and looked rather sheepish. "Well,
um... Blue eyes is a recessive gene in Hera's line - both Ares and Heph have
it. So I uh, did a bit of tweaking during the ceremony. I didn't want you
to be totally unrecognizable to your self when you looked in the mirror. And
well, one of my fondest memories of you pulling this prank on some of the
Muses. You peeked over the back of this chair, all I could see was a curl of
dark hair and huge blue eyes.

I always associated them with you, my 'blue eyed nephew'," Apollo shrugged.
"I guess it was kind of selfish on my part."

"Oh." Strife looked stunned. His cheeks pinked shyly pleased. "I'm sure I'll
be grateful when my memory returns to still have a familiar piece of
myself."



Title: What Now? parts 71-80
Author: Werewindle
Website: http://www.squidge.org/werewindle
Fandom: Xena
Rating: R
Category: Humor, Drama, Romance
Series: What Now? (http://werewindle.livejournal.com/44015.html)
Archive: AJCS, otherwise - No
Disclaimer: If they were mine it wouldn't be called *fan*fiction would it?
~~~~~~~~~~~


Title: Talk
Summary: Right after Strife’s check-up. Written for fanfic100 #034 Not Enough
---------------------------------

Apollo led Strife out to the waiting area where the triplets where milling around. They were most glad to hear that Strife got a clean bill of health.
Hephaestus arrived soon after to take his son and Joxer down to see his forge. They had been excited to see some of the god’s latest projects.

Jett declined to go with them; he was having lunch with Eris this afternoon and wanted to clean up first. His brothers teased him - earning them

pinches, which they laughed off, used to their brother‘s physical retorts.

Jayce also stayed behind, just shrugging when they asked again. Left alone Jayce turned to Apollo; he bit his lip not quite sure how to bring up the

topic he wanted to discuss. Jayce and Apollo had spent a lot of time together and with the revelation of his new immortal status ... Jayce need to

know where they were going.

He was quickly starting to feel things for the Sun god but if Apollo didn’t want more then a fuck-buddy then they need to call it off. Before Jayce let

himself get too involved. It looked like he and his brothers were going to spend a long, long time on Olympus and a messy break would linger on and

cause tension.

Apollo gave Jayce a questioning look. The immortal sighed, “We have to talk.” Apollo swallowed hard at those words and sat down abruptly.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Title: A Day in the Forge
Summary: Strife and Joxer spend the day with Heph. Written for fanfic100
#052 Fire
----------------------------

Strife was in awe of his father’s forge. The huge lava fed fire was
fascinating to watch, even if the heat had him and Joxer stripping off their
shirts. On the other side of a massive worktable Hephaestus had bins of
materials. These were filled with pretty stones, reams of leather, bones -
all sorts of odds and ends that the forge god used.

Idly digging through the collection Strife’s eye caught stone glittering
from a box of obsidian. Picking it up he was surprised to see blues, greens
and reds shifting across the surface. He turned it this way and that
admiring the play of light.

Heph stepped up beside him clasping his shoulder in a friendly grip. “Well
look at that, I didn’t know I had any more black opal around here.” The
older god exclaimed. “A smith left a small bag of them as an offering a few
decades back. The man had gone to help his brother set up a forge somewhere
east of Greece. Fell in love with a local girl there that did fine
metalworking. He figured I’d had Dite arrange their meeting.”

“Did you?” Joxer asked, peering at the stone Strife held.

“I might have mentioned him.” Hephaestus shrugged. Sensing Strife was rather
reluctant to put the stone back he patted his son’s hand. “Hold on to that.
Did you find anything that drew your attention Joxer?” The immortal shyly
showed the god a chunk of marble he had found. It was a soft white with
veins ranging in color from cherry to a deep almost black red. “Excellent!”
Heph praised and motioned for the boys to follow him.

He waved up stools for them and the three spent the rest of the afternoon
turning the rough stones into pretty jewelry.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Title: Uncertainty
Summary: Jayce relaxes after his talk with Apollo fanfic100 #051 Water
---------------------------------

Jayce lowered himself into the gently steaming pool until the water was
lapping at his chin. This was one of the better perks to staying in the
Halls of War. The bathing chamber held rooms within rooms each offering a
different way to relax or wash away the day’s dirt.

There were intriguing alcoves where water poured from the walls or ceiling
mimicking waterfalls and soothing rains. One room held a lush growth of
plants obscuring a sandy bottomed pond perfect for swimming with
outcroppings of oddly soft rocks to sit on or dive from. His brothers,
Strife and he had spent an enjoyable hour there frolicking like kids.

He sighed as the hot water eased his tight muscles. He was tense from his
talk with Apollo. Jayce had laid it out for the god, giving him what
amounted to an ultimatum - they were together, exclusive, and for the long
haul or they were through. Jayce had watched Apollo closely hoping that he
wouldn’t be disappointed. The blond had looked dumbfounded; it may very well
have been the first time someone had made that demand of him.

When the Sun god did not speak after several long minutes Jayce rose to
leave taking his silence for rejection. He was almost to the door when a
hand on his arm stopped him. Apollo looked so adorably confused that it had
been hard for Jayce not to give in a kiss him.

Apollo begged for time to think. He had never before been monogamous, nor
had any of his partners ever demanded to be exclusive. He wanted to make
sure deep down that he could. Jayce had nodded and leaned into Apollo’s
kiss, relishing the feel of the blonde's arms around him for what might be
the last time.

Jayce closed his refusing to give into the tears that threatened to fall.
Apollo had not denied him and until he did there was still hope.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Title: A Quiet Moment
Summary: Heph and Dite relax together. fanfic100 093 Thanksgiving
----------------------------------

Hephaestus rubbed his cheek over Aphrodite’s blonde curls and breathed their
scent. He and Dite were snuggled together in a hammock hung on the balcony
off their bedroom. They had enjoyed dinner with Cupid and Bliss but were
glad to be alone again. The slight breeze ruffled the edges of the nearly
transparent linen they had wrapped themselves in after their bath. The cool
wind chased a few missed beads of water across legs and bare backs.

“I really liked spending time with Strife and Joxer today. They were getting
into everything and asking questions.” Hephaestus sighed and pulled Dite
closer. “As nice as it was I’ll be glad when Strife gets his memories back.
’Scythas’ has some of the same mannerisms but ... I wanted to tease him
about things that he doesn’t remember and I’d have to bite my tongue. I
didn’t want him to take it the wrong way.”

Aphrodite “hmm” in agreement and kissed his collarbone. They swayed gently
in the hammock and basked in the quite. The stars were just starting to
light the sky and the moonflowers had bloomed lending a pleasant scent to
the air. It was a few minutes before Heph picked up the thread of
conversation again.

“I am so, SO thankful that Strife was found by Joxer. I hate to think what
could have happened to him otherwise.”

“Yeah, Joxie is a good guy.” Aphrodite giggled. “And his brothers are
stirring things up. I think Jett is going to make a move on Eris.”

“I’m glad my son has such nice friends.” Heph squeezed Dite and let out a
choked laugh. “I have a son. I never thought I would after... I hate that he
was hurt but now he’s mine, my son. I want him to have a room here. Do you
think Strife would like that?”

“Oh, Hephy I’m sure he would. You know what’s funny?”

“Hn?”

“Ares fathered all our kids. Cupid, the twins and now you have Strife with
him. It’s like cosmic or something.”

“Yes it is.” Hephaestus agreed rolling them out of the hammock and swinging
Dite over his shoulder to carry her to their bed. The Love goddess laughed
when she hit the mattress, bouncing a little. Heph leaned over her and
pressed their foreheads together. “But don’t think your having any more with
him wife-mine.” He kissed her soundly pulling a way with a nip to her pouty
bottom lip. “At least not for a while.”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Title: Observations
Summary: Ares observes Joxer. fanfic100 #097 Writer‘s Choice. - Observations
--------------------------------------

Ares watched as Joxer wandered around his study. The immortal ran his
fingers over the ends of scrolls and picked up the various odds and ends
that the War God had collected over the years. The youngest triplet was
fascinating to Ares. When he’d been mortal he had been one of his most
faithful followers, leaving him regular offerings and praying daily. More
then that he truly believed in his chosen god. Not always true in the
seemingly postulant.

Now Joxer had met Ares, lived in his home, ate at his table and still the
younger man continued to pray to him. In his experience familiarity breeds
contempt and disillusionment. Look at Xena, she had once been very close to
him but she lost her belief in him. She saw that he wasn’t perfect - no god
is - and that at heart they want the same basic things that mortals do, have
the same drives. But instead of humanizing Ares in her eyes the revelation
caused Xena to cast him into the roll of villain. She forgot truths she once
knew and followed Hercules' in his defamation of the gods.

Joxer hadn’t lost his faith yet and Ares didn’t think he would. Every new
sight, each new person he met delighted him. He threw himself into every
experience and thanked Ares for the opportunity. Joxer’s habit of praying
when ever it struck his fancy and evolved into a nearly constant stream of
chatter. Full of observations of the day and things he wanted to try or see.

Olympus was good for the immortal. Joxer’s armor had been stowed away and
Apollo had provided the triplets with a huge wardrobe of new clothing. All
of them were dressing in a more relaxed manor. Jett had shed his reinforced
leather for lightweight suede and linen. Jayce’s usual eye-catching brights
had been traded for jewel colors paired with neutrals - much more pleasing
in Ares opinion. Joxer though had tried something a little different each
day. Like he hadn’t found a style that suited him just right yet.

Ares found himself watching Joxer almost obsessively noting the other
changes in him. Just a month ago the War god would have shuddered at the
thought of leaving the clumsy mortal to roam freely in his rooms, let alone
touch the often delicate mementos. But Joxer had found his center here.
Perhaps it was the influence of Eris’ golden apples, maybe it was something
else, but Joxer was calmer, steadier and more confident now.

Ares liked these changes and was making an effort to spend time with Joxer
alone - hence his presence in the War god’s study. He hopes they could be
friends. Ares didn’t have nearly enough of those.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Title: Not Happy
Summary: Athena is not happy about her situation. Written for fanfic100 #033
Too Much.
----------------------------------------

Athena sat on her bed in her new room. Zeus had locked her in an hour ago.
Apparently Daddy was entertaining a guest and her presence was unwelcome.

Not that she wanted to be there but she loathed spending time in her room.
Zeus had decorated it lavishly for her, a gesture to ease his guilt no
doubt. But other then the furniture and few things she had been allowed to
bring the room was barren.

She got up and wandered over to her desk. The shelves above held no scrolls
and the drawers only a few scraps of paper. She sat on the stool and drew
the accounting tray closer. Tick, click, tick. The little stones sounded as
Athena shifted and sorted them. But her mind was not on the task. Her mind
was turning over her current situation.

This punishment, these INDIGNITIES, were too much for her to bare. There had
to be some way of getting out of it. Of course with her sentence common
knowledge on Olympus it would take more then a few memory spells, or bribes
to set things right. Perhaps she could take a small trip through time...

No. That oaf, Hercules destroyed the Chronos Stone.

The same oaf that destroyed the last of the Hind’s blood. A pity that. If
nothing else she could have used it to threaten, or bribe Daddy into
overturning the decree that she must be always supervised. Out of the
careful eyes of her family she could set things in motion to return to her
former station.

Athena growled in frustration and swept her hand across the desktop sending
her stones skittering across the floor. Hera’s bastards had painted her into
a corner. Every avenue was blocked, every flicker of an idea anticipated.

But she was the Goddess of Wisdom. There was nothing her intellect could not
create. She would find a way out, a way to perpetrate her revenge.

Athena smirked and stood up, she took a step toward her bed and almost
slipped. The counting stones littered the floor. She gestured at them but
the highly polished stones didn’t even twitch. Her eyes narrowed. The first
thing she needed to do was to get this damned power inhibitor off.
Preferably without anyone knowing. Then she could play at still being
captive while causing havoc to her enemies.

She kicked aside the stones in her path, she wasn’t going to crawl around
after them. Zeus could clean them up for her in the morning.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Title: The Chair
Summary: Joxer lounges about. Written for fanfic100 #049 Club
-------------------------------

Joxer curled up in his chair and rubbed his cheek against the fabric of the
backrest, looking for all the world like a big cat. This was HIS chair. Ares
had made it JUST for him. It had a rounded back, deep seat, wide arms and
sat low to the ground. It was covered by the softest plum fabric. The chair
didn’t match anything in Ares study, but strangely didn’t seem out of place
either. It was perfect and squashy and sat right next to Ares’ own. In fact
there were only the two chairs here in Ares’ private study - if you didn‘t
count his wooden desk chair, and Joxer didn‘t.

The immortal rolled onto his back and flopped his feet onto the footstool
(ottoman, he thought Ares had called it). The War god hadn’t just replicated
his own high-backed, black leather loung-y thing but made something unique,
because he thought ’it would be more to his liking’.

Joxer yawned and wiggled his fingers and toes. He was relaxing here after
lunch while Jett and Jayce were off - where ever, and Strife took the nap
Apollo insisted he needed. Ares would return in an hour or two and they
would talk for a bit, then Ares would deal with his hated paperwork and
Joxer would track down his brothers.

All in all a pretty good day, filled with events that were quickly become a
routine. That was a nice thought, to be settled in one place long enough to
have a routine beyond setting up and dismantling a campsite.

Thinking about traveling reminded him of Xena and Gabby. They’d been on
Olympus for a couple weeks now and eventually his sometimes friends would
start to wonder where he’d gotten off to. Especially since he’d made such a
big deal about saying he’d meet up with them in Poteidaea for Gabby’s
birthday.

He’d have to find a way down there. Joxer was pretty sure Hephaestus or
Aphrodite would take him, Ares surely would but any time Ares and Xena got
too near each other a fight broke out. He would tell Xena and Gabby he was
spending time with Jayce and they wouldn’t even miss him for a few months.

Joxer knew he’d have to eventually tell them everything but he wasn’t quite
sure how to go about it and he was pretty certain he wouldn’t have it
figured out in the next three days.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Title: A Bid For Freedom
Summary: Athena makes an attempt at removing her power inhibitors. fanfic100
#094 Independence.
------------------------------------------

Athena plotted for two weeks before she had an opportunity to slip away.
Zeus was irritatingly vigilant even when presented with the lure of a new
conquest. But fortunately for her Daddy soon grew tired of his
responsibility and Athena was able to talk him into leaving her to work with
only a Muse to watch over her.

A few days of playing nice for the flighty Trips-, Typsa- Athena hadn’t
really bothered learning the Muse’s name, and the girl paid her less and
less attention. She didn’t even think twice about drinking the juice Athena
poured her at lunch, making inane comments about how well Athena was
’rehabilitating’.

After making sure the potion had knocked the Muse out Athena drug the girl
over to a couch and made it look like she had fallen asleep while reading a
scroll. Athena had to hurry. Hephaestus had come to take that annoying Joxer
to the Mortal Realm and would be spending the day in some of his temples
there.

It would be her best chance to slip into the Forge god’s temple here and use
the portal to reach his underground forge. Athena was sure that she could
use the tools kept there to remove the power inhibitors. After all
Hephaestus had made them.

After that all she had to do was make replicas from plain bronze and flash
back to the work room in Zeus’ temple before the Muse woke up. As long as
she was busily toiling away when the dumb girl came to there wouldn’t be
anyone the wiser to her little trip.

Athena scurried down the path to Hephaestus’ Olympian temple glad that few
traveled this way. Sticking close to the wall Athena made sure there wasn’t
anyone wandering around before slipping into the antechamber where the
portal was. Moving quickly she crossed the room and stepped through the
swirling mists of the portal.

Athena immediately crouched low and ducked to the side behind a storage bin.
Cautiously she poked her head up checking that the forge was empty. Finding
no one Athena stood up and hurried to the wall of tools. Her freedom was
finally at hand, she just had to find the right tool.

Her gaze wander over saws (take too long), hammers (no), and finally landed
on a set of chisels. Perfect. Athena ran her fingers over the edges of the
blades and picked a small sharp chisel and went back to grab a hefty hammer.
She practically ran to the anvil.

Carefully Athena wedged the corner edge of the chisel between her wrist and
the bracelet. With a smug smirk she swung the hammer high over head and
slammed it down on the chisel.

She didn’t even have a chance to react before her world went suddenly black.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Title: Consequences
Summary: Athena’s actions have far reaching consequences. fanfic100 #010
Years
-----------------------------------------

Apollo was making his way to the Halls of War to talk to Jayce when he felt
a sudden heat around his wrist. It took him a moment to connect the glowing
charm to the wards set on Athena’s power inhibitors. Apollo immediately
flashed away letting the tracking marker guide him. He found himself in
Hephaestus’ forge standing over a prone Athena.

Apollo had just knelt to check her when to Ares and Heph flashed in. The
Forge god stepped over Athena’s legs to his anvil. There were a few drops of
blood smeared across the center. A quick look at the floor and he found a
chisel with a speck of blood on the blade, and a hammer. “She tried to
remove them.” Hephaestus held up the items for his brothers to see.

Ares smirked and shook his head. “I can’t believe she was dumb enough to
try. I mean surely she knew we would have anticipated that?”

“Arrogance, brothers, her biggest fault.” Apollo commented as he stood. Ares
snorted and used his toe to flip her hand over. Both bracelets had turned
from a shining bronze to dull scorched black - absolute proof of her intent.
“Well let’s get her top-side. We’ll let Hera deal with her until a new
guardian is chosen.”

“Can’t leave her with Zeus, that’s certain. It’s not even been two and a
half weeks yet and the old goat already let her wander off.” Ares grumbled.
He and Hephaestus lifted the unconscious goddess and the group flashed out
to Hera’s temple.

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

“So, let me get this straight- When Hephaestus made Athena’s power
inhibitors you two and Hera did what exactly to them?” Strife asked. The
four immortals, Ares, Eris, Heph, Dite and Apollo were all sitting around a
table in the Halls of War eating dinner. They had been sharing their days
when Apollo mentioned the incident with Athena earlier that afternoon.

“We knew Athena wouldn’t just meekly go along with her punishment so we
added some precautions to the bracelets. A tracking marker so we could find
her if she disappeared, and a warning alarm set to go off if she tried to
tamper with the inhibitors. But Hera came up with a consequence for
tampering.” Ares paused for a sip of water and Eris took over the
explanation.

“We decided that the bitch was either going to behave or that was it, no
more second chances. Hera and I imbedded a spell in the metal. If Athena
tried to remove them then her own power would attack her.”

“How?” Jett asked.

“Wipes her mind. It’s like she starts from scratch. No inherent knowledge,
no memory of her past life, she’ll wake up with the mind of an infant.”

“That’s... harsh.” Joxer looked torn between being relief that Athena
couldn’t hurt Strife anymore and pity for her.

Eris shrugged. “She was warned. Hera told her flat out that there would be
dire consequences for tampering. Guess she didn’t believe her.”

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

“This meeting of the twelve has been called to decide Athena’s new guardian.
As some of you know there were protective spells woven into the power
inhibitors she wore as part of her punishment. When she tried to remove them
the spells activated and wiped her mind reverting it to that of a new born.”

“I can’t believe you did this woman! You’ve gone to far!” Zeus blustered,
thumping his hands on the arms of his chair in anger.

“She was warned Zeus. All she had to do was leave them alone and serve out
her punishment. Then no harm would have come to her. Instead she snuck away,
after drugging the muse that was watching her, and broke into Hephaestus’
forge to remove the bracelets. It’s her own fault.”

Zeus still looked like he wanted to argue. “Think of it this way, husband -
it’s a fresh start. When she‘ll not have the shame of her past actions
following her. Now, we need to decide who will raise her. The houses of War
and Intellect are out, for obvious reasons, myself as well. Who does that
leave?”

“She is MY daughter I’ll-”

“Persephone turned out well.” Zeus was cut off by Ares.

“So?”

“I’m just saying that Demeter is relatively neutral concerning Athena. She
is not part of the aggrieved houses and had little contact with her
otherwise. Her daughter turned out well. Why not let her raise Athena?”

Demeter was stunned, she opened her mouth as if to speak but no sound came
out.

“Besides,” Aphrodite spoke up. “Weren’t you just complaining that your home
felt empty now that Persephone is married and spends most of the year with
Hades?”

Demeter nodded hesitantly, “It would be nice to have a baby running around
the temple again.”

“Good! That’s settled then.” Hera clapped her hands. “Apollo and I will
revert her physical form to that of a baby in the morning and you can take
her home. I wish you luck with her.”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Title: Lies
Summary: Joxer thinks about his life. fanfic100 #098 Writer’s Choice: Lies
-----------------------------------

Joxer was fidgeting with the hem of his old shirt waiting for Hephaestus to
come pick him up. The Forge god was taking him to the Mortal Realm for
Gabby’s birthday. A thread came unraveled and Joxer wrinkled his nose in
disgust. After wearing the clothes Apollo had made for them for the past
weeks it felt odd to be wearing his worn and patched clothes again.

It felt like a lie.

But as much as Joxer would have like to come clean to the girls Xena and
Gabby wouldn’t take the news that he was not only immortal but living on
Olympus with Ares. The women had been his friends at times but they didn’t
really trust him. He knew that, they left him to behind enough to make it
apparent. But it had been hard for him to see before.

He had lied to himself.

Hephaestus arrived and Joxer put his ruminations aside. He picked up his
pack with Gabby’s gift in it and they flashed away.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~




Title: What Now? parts 81-90
Author: Werewindle
Website: http://www.squidge.org/werewindle
Fandom: Xena
Rating: R
Category: Humor, Drama, Romance
Series: What Now? (http://werewindle.livejournal.com/44015.html)
Archive: AJCS, otherwise - No
Disclaimer: If they were mine it wouldn't be called *fan*fiction would it?
~~~~~~~~~~~


Title: Earth Bound
Summary: Joxer is back on Terra Firma. fanfic100 #053 Earth.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

He was ready. He could do this. Joxer took a deep breath and slowly let it out. He hitched his pack higher and gamely knocked on the door of

Gabby’s childhood home. Joxer plastered on a smile when a dark haired girl answered the door.

“Who’re you?” She asked eyes narrowed in suspicion.

“I’m Joxer, a friend of Gabby’s. I’m here for her birthday - she said she was celebrating here.” Joxer looked puzzled when the girl only snorted and

started to shut the door. “Wait, please!” Joxer pushed on the door to keep it from closing. “I’m sorry to have bothered you, I must have

misunderstood the directions. Could you please point me in the right direction?”

The girl sighed, “You have the right place but Gabby hasn’t celebrated her birthday here in years. She had a party by the river yesterday.” A little

boy ran up behind her and clutched at her legs. “Try, the inn on the just north of the village well. She and her companion didn’t want to stay here

with the kids and all.”

“Thank you!” Joxer said to the closing door. He turned around and headed toward the center of the tiny village.

He sighed and kicked a rock from his path. Joxer couldn’t believe he’d gotten the days mixed up. He counted twice to make sure. Joxer shook his

head. No, today was Gabby’s birthday. But that meant that she’d had her party early. She knew he was coming just for that reason, so why would

she have it early? It didn’t make a lot of sense. And that girl (her sister?) hadn’t sounded like she’d attended either. Wasn’t that the whole reason

for coming here - so Gabby could celebrate with her family?

Sheesh. Joxer left the Mortal Realm for a few weeks and everything went pair shaped. He was just going to have to find the girls and see what the

heck was going on. Even if he had to cheat and have Hephaestus track them down and take him there.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Title: At Work
Summary: Apollo at work. fanfic100 #042 triangle ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Apollo finished giving the newest litter of zephyrs their check-up and shooed them and their mother out the door as fast as he could without seeming

nasty, a strained smile on his face. He had come to a conclusion and wanted to talk to Jayce right now if not sooner but he unfortunately had things

to do. The tension was starting to frazzle him.

Apollo pinched the bridge of his nose willing himself to calm down. He only had one more patient to see and then the rest of the day was his. By his

chariot he’d be glad when Ace got back from his trip to Chin. His son had better come back with crates of scrolls full of notes on healing. Who’d ever

heard of a ’healers gathering’ anyway? Sounded like an excuse for a party to him.

Apollo packed up his bag and flashed away to deal with his most bothersome patient.

“Finally! What took you so long?” Hermes drug Apollo through his temple to the shaded sitting room.

“I’m early!” Apollo huffed and shook his arm trying to dislodge the god’s hold on his arm.

Hermes rolled his eyes. “Whatever.” They made it to the dim room and Apollo was almost knocked over by a pacing Demos.

“Finally!” Demos grabbed Apollo’s other arm and started herding him toward the reclining Phobos. Apollo pushed down his urge to smack the blond

god.

“If you two would release me and go sit OVER THERE,” Apollo stressed, pushing Demos bodily from the chase-lounge and pointed at a pair of chairs

across the room. “I can get to my examination.” Hermes and Demos grumbled but didn’t want to aggravate the usually sunny god more then he

already was.

Phobos just shook his head at the pair’s antics and untied the robe he was wearing. They weren’t his usual style, and in fact this one belonged to

Hermes, but it and a pair of sleep pants were much easier to deal with during his check-ups.

Apollo placed his hands over Phobos’ slightly rounded tummy and opened his ’healer’s sight’. He was pleased to see that the baby within was doing

wonderful. “Everything’s fine. Growing as it should and looks perfectly formed so far and healthy. I think I should even be able to tell you the gender

next time.” Apollo smiled at Phobos ignoring the whoops of joy from across the room.

“Now it’s time to check ’mommy’.” He teased, earning a slight glare from the pregnant god. But the look just wouldn’t stick, Phobos was too pleased.
“Hmmm. You’re looking a little run down. Nothing major yet but I want you to be cautious.” Apollo blinked his eyes a few times, his regular sight

returning and stepped back from Phobos. He gestured for the other two, knowing that they were barely containing their need to be in contact with

their lover.

Apollo waved up a chair and pulled his bag in to his lap. He pulled out a jar of glowing coral colored pills. He handed them to Hermes, who’d perched

himself on the chase behind Phobos. “These are supplements. Basically concentrated ambrosia, take them with a full glass of juice or milk. One each

morning and one each night before bed. I know you don’t really like ambrosia so this is the alternative to eating four cups a day.”

Phobos grimaced at the thought and nodded his assent. “I also want you to lighten up your work load, cut back to half days for now. And there is

nothing wrong with taking naps in the afternoon. Your body is using up a lot of energy right now and you need the added rest. Even if you don’t

sleep try to get off your feet for a few hours and relax. Aright?”

All three nodded. “Now, have you been having any problems? Swelling, soreness or the like?”

“No, I feel fine” Phobos replied hands curled over his growing belly.

“He has been eating pickles and peanut butter for breakfast though.” said Demos.

Apollo shrugged. “Cravings are usual. As long as he doesn’t start eating dirt he should be fine.”

“Dirt! Does that really happen?” Hermes looked worried.

“Mortal women sometimes do. We thought Aphrodite was once. Hephaestus found her scrabbling around a forest floor shoving clumps in her pockets.

It turned out she was after truffles though. And they ‘had to be‘ straight from the ground. She said they tasted funny otherwise.”

Demos giggled and Phobos smacked him. Apollo smiled and stood up. “If there is nothing else, I have somewhere to be.” The said their goodbyes and

Hermes walked him to the door.

Apollo shook his head those three had to be the weirdest lovers triangle he’d ever seen. But somehow the triad worked. The twins forced Hermes to

slow down and live a little and the older god tamed a bit of Demos and Phobos’ wilder inclinations.

Apollo was just glad it was Phobos who was pregnant and not one of the other two. Both were horrible patients and would undoubtedly have him

tearing out his hair by now.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Title: Inn and Gone
Summary: Joxer reaches the Inn. fanfic100 #048 Diamond ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Joxer made it to the Inn after a not too long walk. The place wasn’t stunning but for a village this size it didn’t have to be. The hanging sign over

the door proclaimed the place ’Diamond in the Rough‘. Joxer snorted, some had a sense of humor. Rough was a good description of the building, the

door itself was made of course hewn planks, jagged and splintery except around the handle where it was worn smooth from use.

He stepped in side moving just out of the door way and waited for his eyes to adjust the dimmer light. There were a few travelers eating a midday

meal and a pair drunks recovering at the end of the bar. The room would have felt empty except for it’s rather small size. Not seeing either Xena or

Gabby Joxer made his way to where an older woman was cleaning up a table. He hoped that someone who worked there would know if his friends

were there or not.

“Excuse ma’am,” The woman raised an eyebrow but kept washing down the table top. “I’m looking for some friends of mine, Xena and Gabriel. One’s

taller with dark hair, the other shorter and blond.”

“They were here, you just missed them. They were heading for the stables, behind the blacksmith’s place.” She gathered the few dishes off a near

by table into a crate as she talked.

“Um, wher-” Joxer began.

“Just a bit up the road, on the right.” She gestured her head in the opposite the way he’d come. Which would explain why he hadn’t seen them on

the walk there.

“Thank you.” He got a grunt in reply and Joxer hurried out again hoping to catch the women before they left the stables.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Title: Actions and Words
Summary: Joxer finally catches up with Xena and Gabby. fanfic100 047 Heart.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Joxer had missed the girls but only by a couple of minutes at the stables.
Leaving at a run Joxer soon caught sight of them. “Xena! Gabby! Wait up!” He
called to his friends. The women turned to see who was shouting, they
waited for Joxer to catch up. “Hi guys!” Joxer slowed to a jog as he got
close. “I have been looking all over for you this afternoon.” He took in the
packed saddlebags eyes narrowing a little. “Leaving town already?”

Gabby glanced at Xena before answering. “Yes, Joxer. Had the party, visited
my family... besides we wanted to meet up with Hercules and Iolaus before
they leave Corinth.”

“Oh. Is that why you had your party early? I’m sure I asked you when you
were celebrating and you never mentioned changing the date.”

Gabby huffed, hand tightening around her staff. “Why else.”

Xena shifted in her saddle and added, “We didn’t think you’d make it anyway
Joxer. You have a knack for getting... sidetracked.”

“Lost you mean.” Gabby muttered.

Joxer wanted to say something to her but resisted. Instead he slid his bag
around to reach the opening. “I guess it doesn’t really matter. Only, your
sister acted kind of upset, did she not get to go?” Joxer was busy digging
for his gift and missed the exasperated look Gabby gave him.

“No. She had to watch her heathen kids.”

“Gabriel.” Xena chided.

“Well they are. I swear the baby hates me. It threw-up all over my best top!
Anyway, the party was in the evening the kids couldn’t have come.”

Joxer raised an eyebrow at the excuse. He shook his head; it wasn’t really
his business. “Ok. Um, I made you something. Happy Birthday, Gabby.” He
handed her a red cloth satchel with a bright grin.

Gabby looked tense but she untied the top and tipped the contents into her
hand. A sturdy leather cord fell out attached to it by a bronze cap was a
square-ish sliver of red veined white marble the width and length of her
pinky, edges blunted by delicate looking chisel marks.

“It’s pretty Joxer.” Xena commented from where she was looking over Gabby’s
shoulder from her perch on Argo.

“Expensive. I can’t believe you! This is not the kind of gift you get a
FRIEND, Joxer. It implies things, things that are never going to happen. I
don’t like you that way Joxer, I’ve told you that. And you can’t change my
mind by buying me expensive gifts!”

“It wasn’t! I made it, it cost me nothing.” Joxer protested. Where was this
coming from? He knew Gabby didn’t like him like that, he wasn’t stupid. Why
did she keep harping on about it?

“You’re lying! You- Aurrrg!” Gabby threw up her hands. “There is no way you
made this Joxer, you can’t sharpen your own sword let alone make something
this delicate.”

“I’m not lying!”

Gabby shook her head a disappointed look on her face. “You lie all the time,
Joxer. And I am sick of it. Just go, away from us. Take your stupid necklace
with you.” She slapped the hand holding the jewelry against his chest and
shoved.

The blonde turned around and marched off down the road at a brisk pace. Xena
turned her horse back around; she looked at Joxer a moment before speaking.
“Just give her some time to cool off before you try to apologize, Joxer.”
She squeezed his shoulder before signaling Argo into a walk.

Joxer watched them for a couple of minutes. That had gone all wrong and he
wasn’t sure why. He hadn’t done anything.

Apologize? Why in Ares name would HE apologize when Gabby was the one that
went off and yelled at him?

Joxer shook his head. Something had changed with them, or maybe with him. It
made him sad to think that a short time ago he would have done just that and
apologized the next time he saw them. Joxer took a shuddery breath, his
heart ached.

He needed to go home, to think. Joxer closed his eyes and said a prayer to
Aphrodite asking her to take him away. The goddess of love flashed in her
usual sparkling display muted. Dite gathered him close in a hug and murmured
soothingly in his ear as they flashed away back to Olympus.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Title: The Big Talk
Summary: In which Jayce is AdoraSexy and Apollo gets his babble on.
fanfic100 #023 lovers.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Apollo tracked Jayce down in Ares garden. The young immortal was curled up
on a wide lounge sleeping. He had taken his shirt off and one leg of his
loose pants was rucked up over his knee. The sight stilled Apollo in his
tracks. How could anyone be so adorable and sexy at the same time? He wanted
to kick off his sandals and wrap himself around Jayce. Not as a prelude to
sex, just to sleep.

To hold him, to feel how the sun had warmed his skin, breath in that scent
that was uniquely Jayce. A scant few weeks they had been together and a bare
few days apart. But they had fit so well and Apollo had missed Jayce so
much. He had no doubts he’d made the right choice.

As much as Apollo would have liked to let lay down and nap with Jayce they
needed to talk first. He sat beside the slumbering immortal and gently shook
his shoulder.

“Mnnn.” Jayce curled into himself a little more but didn’t wake. Apollo
tried again, this time pulling on Jayce’s shoulder to roll him on his back.
“Sleepin’. G’way.” Jayce batted at Apollo eyes still closed. The Sun god
laughed at the response.

The sound must have woke Jayce because the immortal slit open one eye.
“Apollo?” Jayce asked just to be sure. The god had been absent from the
Halls of War since Jayce had made his ultimatum.

“Yes. Wake up a little, I want to talk to you.” Apollo smiled down at him.

Jayce pushed himself up and rubbed at his eyes with the heals of his hands.
Looking more aware Jayce smiled shyly in return. “Hi.”

“Hi. Awake?”

“Mmmhmm”

“Good.” Apollo cleared his throat, he was suddenly nervous. “I - I’ve been
thinking, bout what you said - asked. And... I want to be with you. You’re
all I think about; when I can see you again, if you‘ve had a good day,
things I‘d like to show you or do with you, or share with you from my day.
I’ve never wanted to that before with anyone.”

During this Jayce picked up Apollo’s hand and twined their fingers together.
He wanted to throw himself at the other man but the Sun god was still
talking and Jayce could wait to glomp him.

“Ace aside there has never been anyone in my life that I could see there
always until I met you. I’ve found myself making plans for the future, our
future, not just for like a weekend getaway but for a couple of years from
now when Ace fully takes over the Healing gig and Helios settles down enough
that we can slip away for a few months - just the two of us.

And I lie awake thinking about whether you might want to change the bedroom
wall color, or if you want to remodel one of the temple’s rooms for your own
studio space, if you’d want to turn our attached sitting room into a
nursery. I think about what are kids would look like. I never thought I’d
want more kids but I can see us as Daddies.

Just please, please tell me you haven’t changed your mind about - about me,
us, about wanting more.”

Jayce tackled Apollo back leaving them hanging awkwardly partway off the
lounger but he didn’t care. He was too busy ravaging Apollo’s mouth. He had
been worried that the Sun god wouldn’t be able to commit to him.

Worries that were totally unfounded it seemed. Gods! Apollo wanted kids!
Babies with him. Wanted to live together and, and... Jayce was so happy he
could kiss him - so he did, again. He started tugging at Apollo’s toga
trying to get it off while grinding his hips into the god’s.

He wanted, needed to have Apollo right then. They’d been apart too long and
Jayce couldn’t wait to reclaim his lover.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Title: Imp in the Garden
Summary: In Hera’s garden with Blue. fanfic100 #014 Green
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hera looked up from where she was cutting blooms to make fresh arrangements
for the bedrooms. Blue was diligently plucking weeds from a newly planted
garden bed. The nine by seven area was Blue’s first attempt at gardening.

Her little poppet showed such enthusiasm when helping her that she helped
him clear the patch of grass and let the imp choose everything that was
planted there. The area he’d picked was in the cooler section of her gardens
and the plants reflected that, all being suited for such a climate.

A neatly spaced row of vibrant pink and red sweet peas lined the back length
already starting their climb up the swirling trellis. Tiny yellow prim roses
filled the center, flanked by white turtlehead plants. The near length was
dotted with creeping phlox leaving lots of room for blue-violet flowers
spill over into.

The out come would surely be more patchwork quilt then careful design but
Blue was happy with it so it didn’t matter. His garden lay right on the edge
of Hera’s yard between two cherry trees. The trees provided a nice shade for
the goddess to relax in while Blue drank in the sunlight.

The imp spent all day outside lounging about, swimming, and puttering around
the gardens. Sometimes Hera was there sometimes she was off working. The
Queen of the Gods was surprised at how much she enjoyed having someone to
share her home with.

Zeus and she had only lived in the same temple for a short time. Hera had
loathed the experience. But life with Blue was much better. He let her fuss
after him - something Zeus hadn’t let her do with their own children, they
ate meals together and he listened to her talk about everything. Blue was
intelligent but there was so much he didn’t know that every topic was fresh
and exciting.

Hera sighed to herself. There were things that Blue needed to learn and she
had never had patients for teaching. The imp needed to learn to read, and
perhaps cooking - he’d shown an interest in it, and probably other things
that she was forgetting. Hera would have to see about finding him tutors.
She let the problem turn over in her mind as she went back to her cuttings.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Title: Weeks Gone By
Summary: Strife thinks about his family and friends. fanfic100 #008 Weeks
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Strife woke curled up in the middle of a pile of sleeping bodies. He
stretched a little but didn’t get up. Instead he snuggled closer the large
warm body behind him.

Today was the day. He was finally going to get his memories back. Strife
felt giddy and nervous and not quite believing. He wasn’t going to let
himself get worked up though. He was just going to relax and wait for
everybody else to awaken. There was no sense in rushing anyway since they
couldn’t remove the inhibitor until after sunset.

Last night his friends and family had gathered in the Halls of War. It
wasn’t a party but they had all stayed close lending support. They had
refused to leave even though they were all starting to yawn and drift off
mid sentence.

Eris and Aphrodite rounded everyone up and had them bringing in the matrices
from the bedrooms to form a huge pallet in the dining room after banishing
the table and chairs. Blankets and pillows were passed out and everyone
piled in together. It was silly but comforting.

Joxer rolled over and nearly hit Strife with his elbow, the immortal tossed
his arm over Ares with a sigh. Strife grinned at the sight. A lot had
happened since the four first came to Olympus - since he had met Joxer that
day in the woods.

He’d found out that by some goddly workings he had two fathers and a sort of
mother. He’d found three friends better then any you could wish for.

Jayce had pretty much moved in with Apollo, and it was easy to see that the
two were very much in love. Strife expected an invite to a bonding ceremony
very soon from the pair.

Jett, loner that he professed to be, had fallen hard under the spell of a
certain goddess. The assassin was sneaking his way into Eris affections by
waging a full-out courting. Dinners, trinkets even flowers for her hair
every morning. The whole thing was impossibly romantic.

And Joxer... well unless Strife was mistaken, and he didn’t think he was,
Joxer had a serious crush on Ares. Strife wasn’t even sure if he realized it
yet. Not surprising really, Joxer had been dealing with the revelation that
two women he’d thought of as dear friends not only didn’t return the
sentiment but thought him a worthless liar. Ares had been furious, ranting
about the pair and their treatment of his Joxer. Strife would lay money on
Joxer and Ares getting together within the next lunar cycle.

Strife was glad his friends were fitting in so well on Olympus. But at the
same time Strife felt that there was something missing from his life. Not
his memories - which he’d sort of gotten used to not having, but a curious
ache in his chest. Sometimes he found himself searching faces he passed on
the paths. He didn’t know for who. Maybe it was just jealousy that his
friends had all found a mate and he hadn’t.

Strife hoped that the return of he memories and his powers would give him an
answer.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Title: Passed
Summary: Cupid’s thoughts. fanfic100 #065 Passing
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Cupid bathed Bliss, the godling had had quite the morning and bits of grape
jelly were still clinging to his hair. Cupid bundled Bliss into a big fluffy
towel and carried the toddler to his room. He pinned a nappy on him and laid
the little whirlwind down for his nap.

Bliss was trained enough not to need the diapers while he was up but Cupid
made sure to always put one on him before putting him down to sleep. The
Love god was so glad his baby didn’t look like he wanted to hold on to his
toddler-hood unlike his daddy. Cupid had a whole new appreciation for his
Mom for putting up with decades of tantrums, thrown food and peeing in
potted plants.

Cupid kissed Bliss’ forehead and left him to sleep. He wandered out to the
open den and flopped on to the couch. Cupid’s stomach was starting to roil
with anxiety. Strife: his favorite cousin, his best friend, his first lover
- not sex partner but true lover, his Strife was waking up today.

Strife’s death had torn him apart and his grief over loosing him had torn
his marriage apart. Or rather exposed the rotten core. Instead of supporting
him Psyche had became sullen, claiming that Cupid had been having an affair
with Strife while they were married. Nothing he said could persuade her
otherwise.

Then Daddy Heph told him they were going to bring Strife back and Cupid
literally floated with joy. He’d taken Bliss with him to the rebirth
ceremony knowing that Bliss had missed Strife just as much as he had. They’d
come home to a wrecked temple. Psyche couldn’t stand that his attention
wasn’t focused on her and showed her rage by destroying their home.

Cupid had been hurt, not because he knew that was the end of their marriage
but because Psyche had not contained her destruction to his things or even
dishes and such but she had burned Bliss’ blocks and tore apart his stuffed
toys. That had hurt the most - her total disregard for her own son.

Hera had given Psyche a choice remain immortal and help raise Bliss or be
sent back to the Mortal Realm. Psyche made the mistake of plotting to ’get
rid of’ Bliss and pay Cupid back by seducing Ares. Her little monolog to her
pet dog was over heard and Hera decided that Psyche could better serve the
world as a cow. Psyche now provided milk for an orphanage outside of Sparta.

Cupid had taken Bliss away after that. Just the two of them at a little
house on an island. Dite and Heph had come for dinner a few times but other
then that they’d been alone. It had been great to spend so much time with
Bliss and not have to worry about work or anything else.

They were heading back today to greet Strife when he wakes. Cupid couldn’t
wait to see those stunning blue eyes again.

But Cupid was also worried. The last time Mom and Daddy Heph had come to
visit they had seem a bit off. He hoped that nothing had happened to his
Strife, surely they would have told him if it had?

Cupid rolled off the couch and went to take his own bath. He’d know either
way soon. Cupid relaxed into the pool of water and closed his eyes. He felt
like a chapter of his life had ended, that all the angst and stress had
passed and now he could enjoy what was to come.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Title: Months Since I Saw Your Face
Summary: Strife and Cupid’s first sight of each other. fanfic100 # 009
Months
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The great-room was full of milling people and the chatter was starting to
wear on Strife’s nerves. Twilight started her journey across the sky and he
knew Apollo would soon becoming through the door. There was a commotion
behind him and Strife turned to see what had happened.

All he could see was people’s backs and the tips of two white wings. There
was another flurry of raised voices and then the crowd suddenly parted.
Strife felt like his breath had been stolen. An absolutely gorgeous tanned
blond was striding toward him.

The winged man had to be a god - no mere human could be so perfect. He was
shirtless except for crisscrossing straps over his chest. The lines of his
abbes begged to be licked. The rich brown leather pants stretched enticingly
over the god’s thighs and were cut just right to hint at what lay at their
apex while still leaving a bit of mystery.

Strife couldn’t look away, couldn’t blink. He was a breath away from falling
to his knees in supplication.

---oOo---

Cupid couldn’t believe his Mom hadn’t told him! His Strife had been hurt!
Athena was damn lucky she’d been baby-fied or Cupid would have torn her up.
He was going to see his Strife right now and he’d blast anybody who got in
his way. Cupid growled when people didn’t move quick enough and the crowed
jumped out of his way.

There was Strife standing by the window. Cupid didn’t run over and pounce
him, but it was a close thing. It was almost too much after not seeing him
for months to suddenly have him standing there. Strife wasn’t wearing his
normal black leather outfit, Cupid thought he was totally drool-worthy in
his loose gray pants and tight blue vest. The deep color made his eyes pop
even more. Cupid had always adored Strife’s eyes.

Cupid stopped in front of Strife and gently touched his cheek, his cousin
just blinked at him. Cupid crushed Strife to him in a big hug. He hooked his
chin over the thin shoulder and closed his eyes to better relish the feel of
the man in his arms.

Strife’s arms came up around him hesitantly. “Who are you?”

The winged god‘s hold tightened and he sniffed audibly before answering.
“Cupid.”

“Oh.” Strife let himself be held until Apollo demanded they part.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Title: Fixed
Summary: Strife gets back his memories. fanfic100 #072 fixed
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Apollo guided Strife over to a chaise lounge that had been elevated. He had
him lay down and then motioned for Hephaestus. The massive god gently picked
up Strife’s left wrist and snapped the inhibitor bracelet.

Strife gasped, he could suddenly feel the full scope of his powers. Control
of them was just out of his reach but they were there. Hephaestus picked up
his right arm and waited until Strife nodded his consent before snapping the
bracelet.

Strife twitched and arched as his powers coursed through him. By the stars
he’d missed them. Then his memories were there, overwhelming him as he tried
to realign the two images of himself. Hands reached out petting his head,
holding his hands, gripping his ankles and shoulders.

When his eyes cleared he saw his family, old and new, gathered around him.
Strife giggled and disappeared from the chair only to reappear behind Ares.
He jumped on the older god’s back. “Daddy!” He chortled and laid a smacking
kiss on his scruffy cheek.

Ares pretended to growl at the young god but he was smiling as Strife jumped
Heph as well. He got the air squeezed out of him by Dite, he saw Eris
standing back a little from the group. Strife slipped around Dite and over
to the dark haired goddess.

Eris eyes were teary when Strife hugged her. “Thanks, Mom.” He whispered
just loud enough for her to hear.

“For what?” Eris had one arm around her baby’s back and the other carding
through his hair. He was whole again and already causing mischief and she
was happy to see it.

“For taking care of my friends, for taking care of me.”

Eris kissed his cheek and then shoved him away lightly. “Yeah, well, don’t
let it go to your head Brat.” Her voice was gruff but her lips were curling
up at the ends.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Title: What Now? parts 91-100
Author: Werewindle
Website: http://www.squidge.org/werewindle
Fandom: Xena
Rating: pg-13
Category: Drama
Series: What Now?
Archive: AJCS, otherwise - No
Disclaimer: If they were mine it wouldn't be called *fan*fiction would it?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Title: New Me
Summary: Strife and his split personality. fanfic100 # 095 New Year


Strife flexed his hand open and closed, creating and reabsorbing flames of power. It was early morning and he’d yet to go to sleep. The celebration last night had only ended a short while ago and most of the revilers were past out in the common rooms. Strife felt jumbled. He was glad to have his powers back, his memories on the other hand...

As a god he had never really gotten involved with mortals on an everyday level. The only ones he had major dealings with were demi-gods themselves - like Herc the Jerk or Xena. But now he had three mortal friends (alright so formerly mortal thanks to Eris).

To be perfectly honest before this whole rebirth-no-memories thing he wouldn’t have given a second thought to the triplets. Oh, he would have USED them - but he wouldn’t have taken the time to KNOW them.

So now Strife had to merge the two notions of self: Strife, God of Mischief and Scythas, mortal with no past.

One would have hated being forced to sleep on the ground and never would have gotten along with the easy-going Joxer.

The other couldn’t imagine not being friends with Joxer and his brothers and might have even (though he’d deny it) enjoyed performing with the Bent River crew.

The ONLY thing the two parts seemed to have in common is their attraction to Cupid. The winged god was seriously hot, and recently single again. Strife got up from the window seat and rolled onto his bed. Cupid wasn’t going to spend time with a cracked god so Strife HAD to get over this dual-personality thing. He settled on his stomach and propped his chin on his hand.

So...

Three new friends, did he care that they were mortal? -- No.

Was he going to go make friends with the rest of Greece and be all touchy-feely-lets all get along? -- Not a chance. But he would send a little extra ‘good mischief’ vibes the BRP boys’ way.

Was he going to go back to being Scythas? -- Maybe for a visit now and again.

Did he want to live in the Mortal Realm? -- NO. Give up living in luxury for tepid baths and outhouses? Not this millennia.

Could he go back to using mortals for his own gain? -- Yeah, he really could. Hello? Still a god.

Did he want to fuck Cupid? -- YES, and YES.

Huh. That seemed to be all the big points. Strife could work out everything else later. The Mischief god swung his feet a little. A new him, a new look, a new year... Things were definitely looking shiny.

--------------------------------------------------------------------


Title: Teachers Three
Summary: Hera takes Blue to meet the Muses. fanfic100 #088 school


Blue sat nervously on the delicate looking chair hands folded in his lap. Apollo had spoken to him and then Hera and now they were waiting, for what he was not quite sure. Blue glanced out the window and wished he were outside. The room was sunny and having no wall at the far end the breeze swirled in keeping it pleasantly cool and bringing with it the scent of orange blossoms. But Blue preferred to be outside under the sun itself.

After a few minutes three women entered and Hera rose to greet them. Blue stood as well, nodding in greeting at each as they were introduced. Calliope the muse of Epic Poetry, Clio the muse of History, and Urania the muse of Astronomy. They had dark hair and startling violet eyes and wore wispy flowing dresses. Blue blushed as the three gave him appraising looks.

Hera wrapped her hand around his wrist and explained that he would be spending part of each day with them. He was to learn reading and writing, basic math and history. Blue looked wide eyed at the Muses. “Everyday? But what about my garden? And you said- you said I was going to learn to cook.” He bit his lip to stop himself from rambling on.

Hera laughed, not her scary laugh but a light sweet laugh, and pulled Blue into a hug. “Oh, Popet, you’ll only be spending an hour or so here a day. Your garden will do just fine with out fussing over it, mine does after all. And Hestia will be giving you cooking lessons twice a week in the evening. We’ll go and see here after we leave here, ok?”

Blue nodded enthusiastically. He wasn’t all together sure he’d enjoy his lessons with the Muses but Hera seemed to think they were important and as long as he still got to learn to cook and didn’t have to abandon his garden then he supposed they couldn’t hurt.

--------------------------------------------------------------


Title: Greece in the Fall
Summary: Joxer in thought. fanfic100 #064 fall


It might have been a perpetual summer on Olympus but it was definitely fall in Greece. The air was turning crisper and all over people were busy with the last harvests of the year. Joxer tilted his face toward the sky enjoying the rain. It was refreshing when you didn’t have to worry about sleeping in it.

Jayce was once again gathering the Bent River Performers. The fall equinox brought a lot of festivals and they need to gear up for another tour before winter hit. The Bent River boys didn’t mind traveling but it wasn’t worth the effort to travel far in the winter. They’d come back to Corinth and most would hire out as ’in house entertainment’ at the local inns and taverns.

Apollo, disguised as Ilios, went with Jayce into the Sleeping Lion to get him a room. Then Apollo would be taking Joxer up north to where Xena and Gabby were camping. The women were making their way to an old friend’s homestead. The older man was having trouble with raiders, from the sounds of it barbarians at that, and they were going to winter there with him.

Joxer would have felt better about the coming conversation if Ares had been there rather than Apollo - not that Apollo wasn’t great but... His presents wasn’t as encouraging. Joxer just would have liked to know Ares was backing him up.

Of course Ares would probably have come if Joxer had ASKED. But Joxer had heard Ares and Strife discussing the virtues of Death of a Thousand Cuts verses scrambling a certain blonde bard’s mind so she couldn’t speak, read or write ever again. Joxer was positive that the ‘nagging, self-righteous bitch’ they referred to was Gabby.

Joxer shivered and pulled his cloak tighter around himself. He winced as a passing rider splashed mud and rain water, leaving him speckled with it. Oh yeah. Now he remembered why he didn’t like the rain. Joxer looked around the gray city and thought about how autumn had always seemed to shine before.

The way everything turned from green to flaming yellows and reds. Like one last fling before settling down. Joxer winkled his nose and hoped Apollo would be back soon. Reminiscing was fine but Joxer desperately wanted to get this over with so he could go back home.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------


Title: Snow
Summary: Joxer and Apollo arrive at Xena and Gabby’s camp. fanfic100 #067
Snow


Joxer pulled his cloak tighter as he and Apollo materialized on a wooded path. It was colder here than it had been in Corinth and the damp patches on his clothing were already frosting stiff. Apollo noticed the immortal’s shiver and dried him with a snap of his fingers. It left Joxer’s clothes and skin warmer as well. The pale man nodded his head in thanks.

Apollo gestured down the rough road. “Xena and her companion are around the next bend, about a ten minute walk. They are setting up camp for the night. A snow storm is gathering. Not a bad one, but not good for traveling either.” The Sun god started off down the road and Joxer fell into step beside him. “I would have brought us closer but it’s better not to startle Xena. That woman has an exaggerated fight or flight response - emphasis on fight.” Apollo gave a fake shudder and Joxer couldn’t help but to chuckle.

Their pace was brisk but they didn’t beat the snow. Fat flakes were falling by the time they made it to the Xena and Gabby’s camp. The women had taken shelter in a clearing where the trees were dense enough to one side to shelter Argo from the snow. They had a lean-to built and Gabby was fiddling with the fire.

Xena had sensed their approach and had her sword drawn and stood ready to fight as Joxer and Apollo stepped into the clearing. The warrior woman narrowed her gaze when she saw them, her stance relaxed fractionally but she didn’t sheath her sword or move from her defensive position in front of Gabby.

“Joxer, Apollo, what are you doing here?” Xena asked.

“I came to talk to you guys.” Joxer shifted from foot to foot. “Apollo was kind enough to bring me.”

“And why would Apollo do that?” The dark hair woman asked, Gabby glared at the pair from behind Xena.

“Well that’s part of what I wanted to talk to you about.” Joxer hedged. He hadn’t figured out how to start this conversation, to late now to try so he was just going to wing it. Joxer bit his lip. He was so screwed.

----------------------------------------------------------------


Title: Truths
Summary: Joxer finally has that talk with Xena and Gabby. fanfic100 #099 WC - Truth


“Some stuff has happened in the last couple of months that I wanted tell you guys. And to let you know I won’t be traveling with you guys anymore.” Joxer shifted his weight from foot to foot and took a bit of courage at Apollo’s presence beside him.

Xena shifted her gaze from Joxer to Apollo and back. “Fine.” She sheathed her sword and stepped back to the fire and Gabby. Her hand, however, hovered over her chakram.

“Well see, I met this man on the way to Corinth to meet up with my brothers. He was lost and had no memory - and well he turned out to be an injured god.”

“Apollo?” Gabby cut in.

“No. His nephew actually.” Joxer cleared his throat, he was just going to side step the whole ’who’ issue. The women would only go off on a tangent and he’d never finish what he came to say. “Anyway when they found him Jett, Jayce and I ended up on Olympus.” Xena snorted softly either in disbelief of the story or the situation.

Apollo glared at the dark haired warrior and touched Joxer’s back gently, to urge him to continue. “So we had dinner and mixed in with the fruit was some... Golden Apple slices.”

“What?!” Gabby screeched, almost drowning out Xena’s hard voiced, “How much?”

“Um, well...” Joxer shrugged. “Enough.”

“All of you?” Gabby sneered.

“Yes. That’s why- That’s why I won’t be traveling with you. We’re living on Olympus now.” Joxer spoke the last with more conviction then he’d voiced so far. “They like me there, and they treat me well, and I’m staying.”

“Yeah right Joxer! I can’t believe you get yourself into these messes. It’s obvious they’re using you!” She smirked at the pale man. “Well don’t come crawling back to us when they get tired of you-”

“Gabriel.” Xena put her hand over the bard’s mouth. “Let me handle this.” Gabby scowled but didn’t speak again. Xena stepped over to Joxer and grabbed him by the collar and drug him away from Apollo. “That’s how it really happened - some big cosmic accident?”

“I had no idea! Honestly.” Joxer pleaded with his eyes to be believed.

“You never do.” She muttered. Xena stared into Joxer’s eyes searchingly. After a moment she asked, “You’re happy then?”

“Very.” Joxer nodded his head vigorously. “All of us.” This wasn’t exactly the response he’d pictured Xena making.

“Alright. I don’t like the gods, don’t trust them but...” She huffed out a breath. “Just be careful, okay?” She turned her head to look at where Gabby was angrily poking at the fire. “You’d better get going. Have a good life, Joxer.” Xena clasped his shoulder briefly before making her way back to Gabby.

Joxer’s eyes stung a bit. He watched the women for a moment. He realized this was probably the last time he’d see them. Kind of sad but there was no way he could go back - wouldn’t if he could - so the only thing left was to move forward.

“Home?” Apollo asked as he wrapped an arm around Joxer. The immortal nodded and they disappeared in a small shower of golden sparks.

----------------------------------------------------------------


Title: Run Ragged
Summary: Strife is getting adjusted again.


Strife was feeling a little ragged. He’d taken his duties up again and had spent the whole last week trying to get caught up. Not that his family had let everything go but he was woefully behind on all kinds of gossip and news. The Mischief god had to visit each of his priests and priestess at his lone temple and those at Ares‘ main temple. He had to check in on his special projects and the newly devoted.

He had finally got back on track but he was worn out between the backlog, daily things and trying to adjust to his powers once again. It was like going through puberty all over again, only he wasn’t dealing with being gangly and shy as well. Strife was however, horny. Teenage hormonal overload horny.

And that was all Cupid’s fault. Stupid pretty winged bastard.

The damn shirtless Love god always around taunting him with all that bare skin. Strife could remember the taste and feel of that glorious skin. How was he supposed to even think with such a distraction? If Cupid had ever been alone then Strife would have just jumped him. But Bliss was always in toe.

Strife couldn’t really complain about that though, since he enjoyed spending time with Bliss almost as much as with Cupid. The little munchie was all cute and evil and giggly, always hanging on him and smiling. So Strife didn’t foist the kid off on Joxer so he could molest his Cupid properly. Even if it was tempting.

Strife added a few drops of aphrodisiac potion to the wine goblet of a politician's wife. The resulting chaos would give him a nice power boost and disgrace the politician; leaving the way open for one of his followers. Strife vanished back to Olympus without even a glimmer to mark his passing. Tired he decided that he’d just crash early.

He tucked the bottle of potion into a chest on his desk, perching on the edge to kick off his shoes. He walked into his bedroom and pulled his shirt off when a noise caught his attention. Cupid was standing beside a table that hadn’t been there that morning. The Love god was stretching the seams of a pair of deep red leather pants. There were heaping dishes crowding the table and candles glowing around the room. Strife stood there in shock, shirt hanging off one arm.

“What’s all this?” Strife asked dropping his top.

“Dinner. I figured that you’d be hungry. Mom’s watching Bliss so I thought... we could do something special, just the two of us.”

Strife ginned at the blond and pulled him into a kiss. “That sounds great. But I need a bath first.” Strife started backing away toward his door to the bathing chamber. Cupid nodded, trying to hide his disappointment. “Join me?” Strife asked coyly, toying with the ties of his pants.

Cupid loped after the dark haired god catching him for another kiss. They walked to the large tub; Cupid draped over Strife not letting him get more then a few inches away.

Amazingly, Strife was feeling a lot less ragged.

----------------------------------------------------------------


Title: Winter Fun
Summary: Strife has a bit of fun with Xena and Gabby. fanfic100 #061 Winter


Strife lay out along a bare branch waiting for his prey. He was high enough and far enough away that the travelers would just barely been able see him - had he been visible. He’d been planning for MONTHS, waiting to lull them into complacency.

Oh, but now, NOW he was going to have his fun. Strife felt his lips curl at the thought of all the pleasantly evil things he was going to do to them.

A moment later the snap of a twig sounded from down the path. Strife watched gleefully as the blonde woman screeched and tried to jump back out of the half frozen mud puddle she’d stepped into. Her jump only succeeded in braking the skin of ice behind her. Chilled and wet her voice turned shrill as she demanded her companion let her ride her horse as well.

After struggling out of her wet pants and into a dry pair the dark hair woman wrapped a blanket around the now sniffling blonde and they set off - both on the pale golden horse. Strife chortled softly to himself and flashed ahead to the next trap.

Ten minutes later the doubly burdened horse came into view. He almost felt sorry for poor Argo, but not enough to stop it. The golden horse trotted down the trail when his right fore-hoof collapsed a rabbit burrow. Down he went, his riders flung over head, horribly twisting his leg. Strife reached out with his hearing to eaves drop on the women.

“What in Tartarus happened?” The blonde moaned.

“You alright, Gabriel?”

“I flew off your stupid horse, Xena! Do I look alright?”

Xena huffed and stood up gingerly. She’d skinned her hands and smacked her head against Gabby’s in the fall. Once standing she made her way to Argo shushing the hurt horse and reached out to run a calming hand over his head.

“That’s just great! Check the horse before me.” Gabby whined and crossed her arms.

“Gabriel, you’re not unconscious or spraying blood and your arms obviously work the way you’ve been flailing them about - you’re fine.” Xena sent her a withering glance. “Argo on the other hand might not be. I need to see how bad he’s hurt; if we need to find a place for the night or can continue on.” She turned back to her horse ignoring the woman on the ground.

Strife knew the answer to that one. Poor Argo wouldn’t be carrying them anytime soon and the women would never make it to town by dark walking. He subtly brought the near-by cabin into sharper focus for the blonde. Strife would never have tried such a trick on Xena, the warrior woman would have been far to wary and much more likely to detected his manipulation.

“Hey, Xena. Look over there. I bet we could stay there for tonight, it looks abandoned.” Gabby pointed toward a slightly rundown cabin. Xena nodded and started to lead the limping horse to the building, she stopped to give Gabby a hand up.

Strife smirked, the twit had done just what he wanted. Now the fun could really begin. He would watch the rest from the comfort of home, the house would take care of the clean up without his presence. He might even save the events on a scrying mirror so he could watch it again and share the joy with his family. The Mischief god flashed away to the Halls of War, humming a jaunty tune.


Xena ducked inside first to make sure the house was indeed empty and not booby-trapped. Gabby took their bags inside the two room cabin and Xena led Argo around back. She tied the horse to the rail of the awning - pleased to see there was some hay bundled in the corner that was not too old or mildewed. She took a few moments to rub down Argo before she left him with a final fond pat.

Meanwhile inside Gabby had been nosing around. The cabin was dusty and had cobwebs along the ceiling and shelves. But everything looked fine otherwise. The table and chairs were sturdy; the bed lacked animal nests and there was a catch of firewood and kindling by the hearth.

Maybe she could talk Xena into staying here a few days. They could dry out, sleep in a real bed for a change and give Argo a chance to heal up. Besides as thick as the dust was who ever built the place had obviously abandoned it so no harm in staying. Gabby turned around surveying the room hands on her hips. A glint in the corner caught her eye. She wandered over and there under all the cobwebs was a metal box.

She dusted of the top and pulled it from the shelf. Behind her Xena came in latching the door tight against the wind. “Hey, Xena, come look at this.” Gabby turned the box over in her hands admiring the engraved swirling pattern. “Isn’t it pretty?”

Xena light the lantern on the table so they could see better and reached out a finger to feel the dull gray metal. She peered over Gabby’s shoulder as the blonde opened the lid.


Strife set forward in his chair, toes wiggling in anticipation, as he watched the two women handle the metal box. He pulled the scrying mirror closer. Any moment now...


The hinges of the lid groaned in protest as the lid lifted. Gabby gasped as a glowing gently pulsing orb was reveled nestled inside the metal box. Xena shot her hand up to close the lid but it was too late. Rays of white light spilled forth freezing Xena and Gabby where they stood. The light rebounded off the walls like sun off new snow. The light tinted blue and collapsed back in on itself, taking the women with it.

The box fell to the floor, rocked slightly from the impact and the lid snapped shut.

Strife laughed maniacally head thrown back, nearly vibrating from the high of success. When he had came down a little he snapped the triggering crystal and the box thumped to the floor in front of him. In Sparta at Ares main temple an injured pale gold horse appeared in the stables. The stable boy - a young acolyte started in surprise before moving to care for the animal.

Strife gingerly picked up the box, he ran a careful finger around the lid seam. It melted away leaving the box solid. Now he just had to find a good place to hide it.

--------------------------------------------------------------


Title: Punishment
Summary: Xena and Gabby wake up lost. fanfic100 #100 Writer’s Choice - Punishment

Xena woke to the sound of banging. Her whole body ached from laying in the awkward position she’d landed in. The last thing she remembered was Gabby opening that box. Taking a look around she realized she wasn’t in the cabin any longer. Where in Tartarus was she?

Xena rolled to her feet, there was her saddle bag and bed roll but no sign of Argo or Gabby. She picked up her things and made her way cautiously toward the light to her right. Finally she stood at the mouth of the cave. It was a long way down but off in the distance she could make out a village.

Hopefully Gabby was also making her way there. Xena whistled for Argo but the horse didn’t come. Just as well, Argo would have had a harder time getting down then scraggly mountain side the she would.

*******

Gabby woke face down in the mud. Thick, gritty, smelly mud. She managed to stand up but not before slipping and covering her backside in muck as well. Her bedroll was off to the side but there was no sign of her staff. “Xena! Xena!” Gabby yelled. There was no response, the brunet must be to far away. Resignedly she started walking down the road.

Not to far along she found a sturdy stick, not as good as her staff but better then nothing. She had been walking for half an hour before boredom set in. Mental she started going over her best works trying to smooth out the flow. It wasn’t long before she started reciting them out loud, as they should be appreciated.

*******

It took Xena the whole day to make it to the village. Going down the mountain had been time consuming and painful; she’d fallen twice aggravating the scrapes she’d gotten falling off Argo. There was something... odd about the villagers. They kept giving her strange looks and gave her a wide berth. Xena surreptitiously sniffed herself. She didn’t smell strongly, a little sweaty but not foul.

Maybe they had problems with raiders and were just wary of outsiders. Xena decided that the best place to ask after Gabby would be an inn. If the village even had one.

*******

Gabby screamed in frustration as she found herself once again at the mud puddle she’d woken up in. The first time hadn’t been too bad, she’d found her satchel a short distance off in on the other side. But this was ridiculous. She’d been so careful to watch the sun making sure it stayed to her right. But now night was falling and she’d some how gotten all turned around!

This was just not fair! And where in the world was Xena! Had they really gotten so separated that the brunet had failed to find her? Gabby scowled at the trees around her. She was going to make camp here tonight, she couldn’t possibly go any further.

---------------------------------------------------------------


Title: Punishment 2
Summary: Xena and Gabby - still in the box.

Xena wasn’t sure how things had gone so wrong. Not only did she fail to find Gabby but she didn’t even know the name of the village. Hardly surprising considering the residents had run her off. She had spent the night in the stables behind the what passed for an inn - that had been the last sane thing to happen.

After waking up she had gotten food at the tavern, the inn didn’t serve any, and tried to ask if anyone had seen Gabriel. Time and again she was ignored. At first Xena took this as unfriendliness on the proprietor's part. But not even the other patrons would speak to her.

Frustrated she left. Outside there was a lot of commotion in the town center, preparations for some festival from what she could gather. Again she tried questioning people and again she was ignored. Finally she had given up on getting anything from the villagers.

Xena turned around to leave and was almost hit in the face with a pole meant for a cart awning. Startled she stepped back. Right into a man pushing a load of melons. The wagon tipped sending the fruit rolling across the ground. The green balls had a rider’s horse high-stepping to avoid them. The horse knocked into a rickety stand collapsing it. Which lead to it’s neighbor's demise, thus startling another horse - this time attached to a wagon, the basket of fish inside fell out sliming people and taking out an old lady.

The whole square was in chaos. There was an argument, yelling, some threatening and Xena might have hit some... or a couple of someones.

That’s when they’d chased her. With pitchforks. Feeling less then her best, Xena had run rather then try to fight off what must have been the whole village. Now she was trudging along an unfamiliar road that was more like a horse trail, heading south through a large bramble patch.

Her day just couldn’t get any worse.

As soon as she finished the thought a fat rain drop hit her shoulder. The slightly overcast day had turned suddenly dark and wet. There was no where to go to get out of the rain. If she left the path it would take her ten minutes just to cross the bramble patch and her legs would be torn up. The rain was cold and falling fast, Xena was soon soaked through. She kept moving forward.

******

Gabby spent the first half the night tossing and turning, sure that she could hear a wolf howling in the distance. The fire she started almost died twice and she was afraid she wouldn’t be able to get it going again so she stayed awake.

Daylight greeted an exhausted wretched figure huddled next to a barely flickering fire. Gabby sniffed feeling miserable for her self. As soon as it was light enough to see she hastily packed her things and trotted off moving as fast as she could to get away from that thrice damned mud pit.

The god’s were surely laughing at her. There was no other explanation for her currant situation. Well she’d put a stop to that. Aphrodite still owed her a favor, all she had to do was find a temple and yell until the blonde goddess showed up.

Plan now firm in her mind she set off stubbornly across an open field. Gabby was already doing better then yesterday, she never made it this far with out getting turned around. Such a trial having the gods meddle in one’s life. She’d have to compose a verse about this. Busy writing in her head Gabby failed to notice the ground was becoming pock marked with deep holes.

She narrowly missed a few before stepping to close to the edge of one. The rim crumpled, her ankle rolled and down she went. When she came to Gabby found herself at the bottom of a pit, the opening feet out of her reach.

She screamed and cursed and kicked the walls. By the time she wore out her rage it had started to rain. Startled by the sudden cold her mind blanked. The she remembered a trick she’d heard of. She pressed her shoulders to one side and lifted her feet to the other. It was almost too much of a stretch.

Gabby started to ascend slowly. It was hard work made harder by the rain. It pelted her stinging her flesh and slicking the walls. Finally. Finally she made it almost to the top, just a little more and she would be out!

Gabby wiggled her shoulders higher and lifted her foot...

And fell all the way back down.

----------------------------------------------------


Title: Solstice Time Again
Summary: Joxer, Ares and the approach of a winter holiday. fanfic100 #092 Christmas

Joxer sat idly playing with a scrap of shiny wrapping paper. Aphrodite had been kind enough to conger him up a roll to wrap his gifts in after he complemented her own sparkly red packages. He’d had a little trouble figuring out the tape stuff but worked it out with only a few mishaps. Joxer sighed and slumped forward on the table, chin resting on his crossed arms. His pile of gifts did look festive wrapped in the silver paper with it’s glittery blue snowflakes.

Now if only he knew what to get Ares for Solstice.

***********

Ares closed his eyes and braced himself for the usual visual assault of Dite’s Solstice decorating. He stepped into his study and... was pleasantly surprised. Ares eyebrows rose as he took in the understated decorations. There was no way Dite did this, the rest of his temple showed signs of her exuberant meddling so it wasn’t as if she had a change of style.

There were holly and evergreen swags over the fireplace and along the tops of his bookshelves dotted with plush red bows. There were silver bud-vases holding springs of mistletoe and thick red candles scattered around the room in little groups. But that was it. No weird red flowers crowed around the walls, no ivy creeping up the fireplace, no jangling stars and moons... Ares kind of liked the effect.

The War god sat down at his desk and found a note from Joxer. So the immortal was the one to decorate in here. Ares grinned and tucked the note away in a drawer before starting his paperwork.

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

Jett was absolutely no help at all! Joxer didn’t know why he even bothered asking.

“Weren’t you working on something with Dionysus? Just give him some of the wine. Quit acting like a simmering virgin with her first crush! It’s not like he’s going to kick you out if he doesn’t like the gift.”

Stupid brother. Joxer flopped down on his bed. It might not have been a bad suggestion if Joxer had in fact been making wine with Nysus. The boisterous god had actually been teaching him how to belly dance. He’d wandered too far one day and came upon the sandy haired man practicing. Somewhere between apologies and questions Nysus had ended up talking him into learning.

Joxer blushed at the idea of dancing for Ares. He felt a curl of heat low in his belly the more he thought about it. Maybe... if it was JUST for Ares, no other audience. Joxer didn’t think he was quiet ready to dance like that in front of anybody else.

He tried not to think about WHY that was too closely.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Title: What Now? parts 101-106
Author: Werewindle
Website: http://www.squidge.org/werewindle
Fandom: Xena
Rating: pg-13
Category: Humor, Romance
Series: What Now?(http://werewindle.livejournal.com/44015.html)
Archive: AJCS, otherwise - No
Disclaimer: If they were mine it wouldn't be called *fan*fiction would it?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Title: Party Plans
Summary: Shaking up the Solstice tradition on Olympus.


Solstice, the Long Night, a time of revelry and family. Greece was dotted with bonfires and people gathered together. On Olympus they didn’t have many bonfires but there were a few parties. Zeus of course held his annual bash which most people made a perfunctory showing at before slipping off to better events. The Sky god never seemed to notice; mostly due to Dionysus’ spiking his drink.

After an hour Zeus was off in his own little world, with anyone else foolish enough to stick around, usually just Poseidon. The two got rip roaring drunk, told lies about their conquest and passed out under the tables. Someone, mostly Strife, would come in and move them somewhere... unexpected. One year they woke up in matching stone coffins under a lake, both covered in honey and feathers and wearing Hephaestian metal cock rings.

Apollo and the Muses threw a sprawling party, featuring three or four bands and weird foods. The House of Love used to throw massive orgies but with Dite’s brood around they’d switched focus to something a little more family oriented - at least until the rug-rats sacked out. War and the Underworld Houses usually did something involving huge quantities of food, drinking and scary games.

But things were much different this year. Zeus was still in a sulk over Athena’s babyhood, he’d had to pick up slack after years of letting her handle things. It really cut into his free time. So to show his displeasure he was not hosting a party and was instead visiting Poseidon in his realm. Hera and Hestia could barely hold their laughter when he had announced this; the sparks from his departure hadn’t even hit the ground before the snickering started.

This year there was going to be one rather massive party on Olympus. The goddesses were taking over everything and practically every where, spiraling out from the center pavilion where Athena had been punished. Hestia was taking care of the food with help from two of the Muses. Eris, Dite and Persephone were taking care of the entertainment, though they had let Jayce help. The rest of the Muses, Hera and a few minor goddess were decorating.

They took over Apollo’s open air hall for dancing; Ares garden for games, Strife was pushing for Dark Tag but the Muses weren‘t easily convinced; there was to be story telling at Hestia’s for the little ones; the Halls of Adoration, as Dite called the House of Love’s connected temples, were stocked with face-painting and coronet supplies. The pavilion would hold the main feast and the gifts.

It was shaping up to be the biggest blowout Olympus had seen in decades.

__________________________________________________________


Title: Solstice Prep Drabbles
Summary: Scenes leading up to the big Solstice bash.


Joxer fidgeted with the waist of his pants were it rested across his hips. The immortal looked at his reflection in the mirror. Joxer had to remind himself not to bite his already bruised bottom lip anymore. How could he have forgotten that Dionysus was the god of Debauchery and not just Wine when he’d asked for help with his costume?

The pants were so sheer they served only to highlight his nakedness underneath. The top was masquerading as a vest. It was cropped very short and didn’t even come close to closing in the front.

He looked like a tart.

Too late to fix it now, Joxer bit his lip still worried but resigned to wearing it. A crash in the hallway startled him. Almost sunset already, he was running late. Joxer hurried to change for the party not willing to face a pouting Jayce and Aphrodite.

******

Cupid was about ready to scream. Bliss would not get dressed; he just fluttered off and refused to wear clothing of any kind. Gaia save him. Cupid stomped into the den where Bliss had taken off to. He brandished the clothes clutched in his fist and opened his mouth to demand Bliss put them on or the only place he was going for Solstice was bed.

He didn’t get the chance.

Sitting cross-legged on the floor with an already half dress Bliss was Strife. The Mischief god was patiently crafting a dark blue shirt for the toddler to match his own. The only difference of course was the openings in the back for Bliss’ wings.

Strife was telling Bliss all about the things the three of them were going to do just as soon as the godling was dressed. Cupid tossed the clothes he had on to a chair and sat on the floor next to Strife and Bliss. The dark haired god smiled at him.

Cupid smiled back and reached out to twist a lock of Bliss’ hair up, he did a few more giving his son a look similar to Strife messy do. The Love god’s heart swelled with joy from having Strife back in his life, completing his family in a way that Psyche never had.

******

Hera watched bemused as Blue flitted around the pavilion setting out the center pieces he’d helped make. The Imp was enjoying the holiday, trying to do and see a bit of everything. He had practically vibrated with anticipation while he waited for Hera to finish getting ready. At the rate he was going Blue would wear himself out before the festivities were in full swing.

******

Jett shifted his weight, the only sign he was nervous. Anyone else would be pacing but the assassin had long trained himself not to telegraph his emotions with his body language. He had a gift to give Eris but he wasn’t sure about giving it to her.

Granted it had been months since they’d started courting but it was still weeks before he could give her such a gift by the rules of a traditional courting. Then again Jett wasn’t one to follow rules. But would Eris feel cheated if he skipped ahead?

Jett growled at his own foolishness. He was going to give her the gift tradition be damned.

____________________________________________________


Title: Solstice Party Drabbles
Summary: Scenes from the Solstice party, from different POVs.


Zeus watched the goddesses swarming over Olympus from the highest tower in his temple. He chuckled to himself; they couldn’t even pick ONE location. Their festivities would be so disorganized no one would be able to enjoy themselves.

His decision to go visit Poseidon was a true genius. After the disaster that would be this year’s Solstice they would be BEGGING him to host next year. Zeus flashed away to Poseidon’s keep still laughing.

******

Jayce chased after Apollo in the dark. The only light came from the moon and the hidden mirrors used to reflect it. Ares garden had been turned into nooks and guarded ways all the better to play Dark Tag. There was a group of kids playing together and a few adults playing in pairs. Laughter rang out from all across the lawn as people were found or ran into each other trying to hide.

Jayce couldn’t remember having this much fun running in the dark before. A flash of white ahead caught his attention and he swerved around a low hedge. Jayce sighted Apollo and made a running tackle at his lover. He chuckled and rolled the god over on to his back trapping the blond beneath him.

Jayce leaned down to steal a quick kiss from Apollo, the Sun god strained upward deepening it. Out of no where a body tripped over them. Seconds later a second person came crashing down squishing Apollo and Jayce. Apollo groaned and they pushed the teen boys off of them.

Jayce suddenly bit Apollo’s shoulder, “You’re it.” He laughed as he jumped up and took off back into the night.

******

Bliss was enjoying his Solstice very much. Daddy and Strife had taken him to see all the decorations and watch the dancing. Then they went to G’nma’s and made crowns! From leafs and flowers and berries! Bliss never knew you could do that! The only crowns he’d ever seen were made from metal and sparklies.

They’d had Aunty Hes’a’s hot apple... something to drink it was sooo good. Then they’d goned to G’npa Res’ and played - even the grown-ups! Bliss bounced in his high chair between Strife and Daddy. They were going to have dinner all together and then presents!

Bliss could hardly wait but his tummy was rumbling and wouldn’t let him skip the food.

******

Hestia watched everybody gathered around the tables enjoying Solstice together. It was nice to see so much of the family in attendance. She couldn’t remember the last time they had. Oh! It was so wonderful, even the family members that usually fought were making an effort to be nice.

Hestia passed a basket of bread to her right and laughed at the sight of Demeter being served to by Mania who was telling the elder goddess some outlandish tale. All around the pavilion the torches seemed to glow brighter in response to Hestia’s internal happiness.

******

Hephaestus watched people dancing, he was drinking a goblet of punch waiting for Aphrodite to return from putting Bliss down for the night. The little cherub had played hard but crashed soon after presents were given out. He could see his Son dancing with Cupid, they looked so sweet together.

A ruckus rose from across the room and Heph waded through the crowed to see what was going on. He groaned at the sight. He should have know. The twins, Demos and Phobos were stirring up trouble. Again. The teens were first rate pranksters, or little terrors depending on who you asked on any given day. Heph would have liked to blame it on Ares’ blood but Dite had been known to pull a prank now and again, though she seldom got caught. Innocent, dumb, blonde routine was good for something after all.

Hephaestus grabbed the boys by their ears and escorted them from Apollo’s Hall. Spiking the punch to give people cats ears was funny but they wouldn’t be able to sit for a week if Artemis got a hold of them.

*******


A/N:
Dark Tag is a game we played in gym in HS. We put set up mats like screens all around then turned out the lights so only the exit door light was on. Then we played tag where the ‘It’ person would hunt everyone else. The whole one wall was mirrors and you would sometimes catch movement in it totally confusing you.

______________________________________________________


Title: Gifts - Jett and Eris
Summary: Jett and Eris exchange gifts.


Jett danced with Eris for hours selfishly monopolizing her attention, even going so far as to glare at Artemis to keep the Huntress away. He knew Eris had seen him but she seemed more amused then angry at the presumption. Early in the morning the party was winding down and Jett walked Eris back to the Halls of War.

The went into the goddess’ parlor, Eris sat on a wide couch and looked puzzled when Jett didn’t join her. The immortal walked over to the window and looked out for a moment before turning back to her. Jett pulled an ottoman over and sat in front of Eris.

“I have something for you.” He handed her a black velvet pouch, “I hope you like it.” Eris opened the bag and tipped out a wide silver cuff. It was polished to a high shine and had gently curved edges. It had a blood red ruby set off-center with the words ’Love Eternal’ engraved around it. “I thought about getting you a ring but you don’t wear them...” Jett waited for Eris to say something.

She just looked at him with wide eyes and started giggling. Eris snapped her fingers and a familiar black velvet pouch appeared in her hand. She offered it to Jett. The immortal opened it to find an identical silver cuff. “Hephaestus must have been laughing him self sick making those.”

“Eris...”

“Bond with me.” The goddess demanded.

“As you wish.” Jett kissed Eris until they were panting. He picked up her left hand and brushed his lips over the pulse in her wrist before sliding her cuff on. Eris smiled, picked up his hand and slipped his cuff onto his wrist, nipping the base of his thumb before letting go.

Jett moved to sit with Eris on the couch, pulling the goddess into his arms. “So, are we bonded now? Or do we need to perform some ritual.”

“Good enough for me, but Ares will insist you go through the ceremony. Otherwise he’ll think you aren’t serious. He’s protective like that.”

“I can do that.” Jett promised pressing a kiss into her hair. “We should go to bed.”

“Mmhmm.” Eris agreed snuggling further on to Jett’s chest. They fell asleep, curling around each other as the sun rose.

________________________________________________________


Title: Gifts - Apollo and Jayce
Summary: Apollo’s gift to Jayce.


Apollo and Jayce slipped away from the party while the parents were putting their little ones to bed. The Sun god conjured up a blindfold and tied it around the immortal’s head. He took Jayce by the hand and led him through his temple away from the noisy hall. After a few minutes he guided his lover into a room and removed the blindfold.

Jayce looked around the room in awe. The far wall curved outward at least six feet at the crest. The upper third was studded with stain-glass circles in blues and greens, around the bottom was a wide bench seat that looked like a perfect place to read. In between alternated wide panes of clear glass with circles embossed in them and slim levered windows to let in the breeze.

The walls were a warm cream and the floor was a smooth honey colored stone. There was a workbench along one wall; heavy clay pots one end held reams of fabric. There were mirrors in the corner, a doublewide lounge with a side table and shelf full of scrolls.

“What is this place?” Jayce asked, as he stepped further into the room, turning to take in everything.

“It’s yours. Your studio, workshop... quiet space... what ever you want. What ever you need.” Apollo came up behind Jayce and wrapped his arms around the immortal’s waist. “Do you like it?”

“Jayce?”

“It’s wonderful.” Jayce breathed. He spun in Apollo’s arms and kissed him, fingers buried in the god‘s golden locks.

“You want to skip-out on the party?” Apollo asked, hands settled firmly on his lover’s butt.

“Oh, yeah.”

_______________________________________________


Title: Gifts - Joxer/Ares
Summery: Joxer and Ares exchange gifts.


Ares really enjoyed the Solstice party. Bliss went zooming around dragging Cupid and Strife behind; the Twins were acting up - you’d think Phobos would be taking it easy being pregnant but the occasion was too much temptation apparently; Eris was being escorted by a possessive Jett. It was nice. But nicest of all was spending time with Joxer.

The immortal was delighted by the festivities and blithely pulled the War god along with him to experience everything. Ares liked that Joxer treated him as a friend, not changing his behavior in difference to their stations. Every now and again though he would catch Joxer looking at him and blushing. It made Ares wonder a bit.

After dinner gifts were exchanged. Joxer’s gift was something he was too shy to give him in front of everyone. He couldn’t help but try to guess what Joxer might have gotten him. Ares’ gift to Joxer was a torc style necklace the War god had made himself. The main part was three strands of silver braided together, the ends held rounded aquamarines in heavy settings.

It looked particularly stunning settled around the base of the immortal’s neck. Joxer kept reaching up to touch it absently through out the night, a soft smile on his face coming to his face when ever he did so.

A couple more hours past with the dynamics of the party changing as the younger family members went to bed. Ares and Joxer stayed for a while but left soon after the dancing started to heat up. Once home Joxer sent Ares off to his study to wait for him.

Ares settled himself in his big black leather chair and flicked his fingers at the fireplace causing it to blaze to life. It wasn’t really cold but the fire was cheery and just seemed fitting. He heard the door open behind him and started to turn.

“No! Um, don’t look yet. Let me explain first. Please.” Joxer pleaded.

Ares was puzzled, even more curious about the gift now, “Alright.”

“See I was having trouble finding you a gift - I mean what do you get your friend, that happens to be your god and capable of making anything he desires?” Joxer’s voice drew nearer. “Anyway, Dionysus has been teaching me this so I thought...”

“All this secrecy over a wine, Jox?” Ares asked, resisting the urge to turn around.

“Not- Not wine, a performance. Nysus has been teaching me to dance. I- well, it’s not something you could get yourself. You could get people to dance for you but it wouldn’t be me... probably, and it wouldn’t be this kind of dancing. I don’t think.” Joxer stepped around Ares chair and resisted the urge to fidget. “Surprise.”

“Oh.” Ares eyes widened at the sight of Joxer. His friend was dressed in a deep ocean green. The top was tiny and the pants translucent serving to put the immortal more on display then mere nakedness would have. “That is certainly an unusual outfit.” The War god remarked his voice rough. “I’m sure your dancing will be as equally pleasing.” Ares smiled what he hoped was a reassuring smile but he had a feeling it was a bit wolfish.

Joxer seemed to relax at Ares’ response, no doubt the immortal had been worried his costume would have garnered laughter. Jox still had moments of self-doubt; a consequence of having his self-esteem routinely crushed by his companions for so many years.

Joxer turned to place a small glass sphere on the mantel, providing Ares a tempting view of the shadowed cleft of his rather shapely ass. Ares stifled a groan. Joxer tapped the sphere three times and little golden sparks started to move inside it spinning out an exotic tune.

Joxer turned back to face Ares and rolled his torso, the muscles of his abdomen flexing with the movement. His feet shifted and his arms twined around themselves and a part. Joxer undulated, body keeping time with the music. He was sinuous and sensuous, sleek and sexy... and other s words that were escaping Ares at that moment but which all boiled down to CARNAL.

It wasn’t as if Joxer was being blatant, though the dance was seductive. It was the look in Joxer’s eyes. Heat, and affection and a flicker of need that made his eyes almost glow. Ares couldn’t have imagined such a gift as this.

The dance it self was captivating but it represented, if Ares wasn’t misreading the situation, a change in their future. The War god felt his smile widen, his fingers twitched along with the music as Joxer continued to mesmerize him. It was a shift in their relationship that Ares would most welcome. Now he only had keep himself from pouncing on the other man and frightening him.

Joxer had never had a male lover and Ares had to be prepared to ease into that new territory. No matter what his admittedly hyper libido tried to argue otherwise. Joxer was a prize to be savored, a jewel to be cherished...

He watched as Joxer rolled his hips again and almost growled. Ares reigned himself in. This might be harder then he thought.

_________________________________________

A/N:
Ok, so my description of belly dancing isn’t very detailed - it’s been over four years since the last time I saw a belly dancing performance. Still, I think I got close enough. Hope you enjoyed it.





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

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