AresJoxerCupidStrife - Hergerbabe


Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7 Part 8 Part 9 Part 10

Title: I Don’t Love You!
Author: Hergerbabe
Fandom: Xena
Pairing: A/J, C/S
Rating: NC-17
Category: drama, romance
Archive: AJCSfic, RCOS, JLA, Joxerotica, CKoS
Warnings: some angst, some slight weirdness
Disclaimer: All things Xena are only borrowed to relieve some boredom, they’re not mine, and I have no money :(
Summary: Cupid’s in denial and Ares gets a surprise
As always for the very lovely Christine, without whom, my fic would be so cruddy!

I Don’t Love You!

Prologue

“Off you go then, dear.”

Aphrodite jumped as her father slapped her ass on the way out of his study. As the door closed behind her, her normally beautiful and serene countenance transformed into a snarl that Ares would have been proud of.

“That’s it!” she screamed, and vanished.

“Hmmm?” Zeus poked his head out of the door, staring in confusion at the empty corridor. Then he shrugged and went back into his study.

Part 1

Aphrodite reappeared in her temple, eyes sparking with anger. She took a look around, at the pink chintz with accents of white and gold, and snarled again. She’d had it up to her eyeballs! No more sweetness, no more lovey-dovey, no more Mrs. Nice Goddess!

She was fed up with being treated like a brainless idiot, some blonde bimbo. Even the damned mortals did it. Fury exploded inside her and she spun round destroying her glass throne with a blast of fire.

She continued round the hall; statues, pillars, tables, all reduced to rubble and splinters. Drapes and curtains burnt to cinders.

With a sigh of satisfaction, she collapsed into the mess and lay back contemplating the now blank canvas of her temple’s main hall. Then she began to wave her hand over her head. When she’d finished, the hall was clean and refurnished, but unrecognisable. As was Aphrodite herself.

The walls were painted black and silver in thick, horizontal stripes. All the drapes and curtains were a deep, blood red, while the furniture was all black leather and chrome.

Aphrodite stood up and walked over to the mirror which covered one wall from floor to ceiling. “That’s more like it,” she smiled unpleasantly.

She was dressed in skin-tight red leather, tucked into thigh high black leather boots, with a heel *so* high mortals wouldn’t have been able to stay upright, let alone walk. Her blonde hair was pulled back into a braid, high on her head. Instead of her usual pinks and peaches, her make up consisted of grey and black on the eyes, and vivid, blood red on her still snarling lips.

Satisfied with her new look, she redecorated the rest of her temple in a similar theme, with a flick of her wrist.

“Right! Time to get to work,” she muttered, chuckling in anticipation.


“What is with your Mom?!” Strife exclaimed, as he watched the scene in front of him in utter awe.

“I don’t know,” Cupid watched the newlywed, young girl beating the crap out of her Warlord husband, equally stunned, “I thought she was just going for a new look, but wow!”

“Yeah,” agreed Strife.

“It’s making me really horny,” Cupid whispered, rubbing up against Strife, “Wanna go fuck?”

Strife swallowed, “Oh yeah,” he nodded enthusiastically and grabbed Cupid, transporting them to his room, straight onto his bed.

“Good aim,” grunted Cupid when Strife dropped on top of him.

“Uh huh,” Strife mumbled, tearing at Cupid’s pants.

“Oh. Yes!” Cupid screamed as Strife practically inhaled his cock. He reached down and grasped Strife’s head, weaving his fingers through spiky hair. Strife swallowed and licked as Cupid fucked his mouth with abandon.

“You’re so good, Strife,” Cupid panted, “So hot.”

“ Mmm,” moaned Strife, happy with his mouthful. The vibrations round his cock, drove Cupid over the edge and he came with a scream. Strife swallowed noisily, still humming happily.

“Cupe, baby, you taste *so* good,” he sighed, raising his head.

“Come show me,” Cupid gasped. Strife grinned and crawled over the prone Love God to kiss him hard. Cupid’s tongue flickered into his mouth and he moaned, sucking and sliding his own tongue into Cupid’s mouth. Cupid gripped his hair again and pulled him closer for a brief second, before pulling him away.

“Fuck me,” Cupid whispered.

“You don’t have to ask *me* twice!” Strife exclaimed. He sat back and let Cupid roll onto his stomach. Strife ran his hand down Cupid’s back, stroking lightly between his wings. He could feel the shudder pass through Cupid, felt the vibration of his moan through his skin.

He grasped Cupid’s hips and pulled him up, onto his knees before he continued stroking smooth skin, moving down to Cupid’s firm ass.

“So beautiful,” he murmured. He felt Cupid tense under him, and knew he’d made a mistake. Quickly he pushed two oiled fingers deep inside Cupid.

“Oh yes,” Cupid groaned. Strife breathed out quietly in relief and started to pump his fingers lightly, reaching deeper and deeper. “Mmm, Strife, fuck me, now!”

Strife stared at him for a split second, face unreadable, then he leaned forward and slid his cock into Cupid smoothly.

Cupid had felt Strife’s stare, but he refused to think about it. Pushing his emotions aside, he concentrated on the feeling of Strife deep inside him. “Yeah, Strife, so good, give it to me,” he demanded.

Strife pulled back and plunged hard into his lover. Cupid screamed as Strife’s cock hit his pleasure spot. Strife reached forward and grasped the base of Cupid’s wings, using them as leverage as he pounded into him. He dug his fingers into the sensitive skin, gasping when powerful muscles clenched round his shaft.

He screamed and let go of Cupid’s wings to grab his hips, plunging in deep as he came. Cupid’s back arched and he cried out as he came for a second time.

Strife stayed inside Cupid for as long as he could, he wanted to feel some connection with his lover. But at last he softened and slipped out. He lay next to Cupid, who rolled onto his back, and put his head on his cousin’s chest.

“Damn you’re good, Strife!” Cupid muttered sleepily.

“Thanks,” Strife replied quietly.

“Well, I’d better go,” Cupid pushed Strife away and sat up. “Thanks babe,” he touched Strife’s face briefly, then flashed out of the room.

Tears sprang to Strife’s eyes and he touched his cheek where he could still feel Cupid’s fingers burning into his skin.

He should have stopped it a long time ago, before his heart had got involved. Strife sighed, who was he kidding, his heart had always been involved. The problem was he knew Cupid loved him, he *knew* it. He’d just hoped that once Cupid trusted him, they’d progress, be a proper couple. But apparently Cupid refused to trust anyone, with his heart anyway.

It was starting to eat away at him, not being able to say ‘I love you’, never hearing it. And he craved touch, he wanted to stroke, caress, hold, hug, he wanted more than just sex. But he loved Cupid so much, he couldn’t help going back again and again.

He curled up on his bed, burying his face in the pillow to smell Cupid, and gave into the tears.


Cupid reappeared in his room. He stared at his bed and sighed. Ruthlessly he squashed his guilt. It was just sex, Strife knew that, damn good sex too. He forced himself not to think of how happy he’d been when Strife had snuggled up to him.

“It’s just sex!” he snapped at himself.

“Riiiight, ‘course it is.”

“Mom?” Cupid jumped.

“Got it in one, son,” Aphrodite stepped out of the shadows, “Now what’s all this balls about it being just sex? I can feel your heart suffering from here!”

“It’s not! I’m fine. Strife and I have a very pleasant arrangement and that’s all there is to it,” Cupid said insistently.

“Uh huh, and just who are you trying to convince here?” Cupid frowned at his mother. “You’re going to lose him you know,” Aphrodite said softly.

Cupid ignored the sudden painful tightness in his chest. “What are you talking about? We have an arrangement, that’s all,” Cupid folded his arms across his chest.

“Fine, whatever. Anyway, I wanted to talk to you,” Aphrodite changed the subject.

“What about?” Cupid asked in relief.

“I’ve got a new spell, I want to put on one of your spare arrows,” Aphrodite grinned evilly.

Cupid raised an eyebrow at her expression, “What kind of spell and who’s it for?”

“Ultimate confidence with a side order of aggression, and it’s for Joxer.”

“What? Why? You know who he’s in love with, don’t you?!” Cupid shook his head in shock.

“Oh yes, that’s the whole point. Besides, I happen to know the feeling’s mutual, the great lummox just won’t admit it!” Aphrodite smirked.

“But why are you doing it?” Cupid asked.

“Well, your father set me a challenge, oh he didn’t realise it, but he did…”

*** Earlier that day

“Aphrodite!” Ares roared.

“Why, big bro, hello,” Aphrodite appeared in a flash of black sparks to rival Ares’ own.

Ares scowled, “Don’t big bro me, woman! What in *Hades* do you think you’re doing?” he thundered.

“You’re going to have to be a little more specific, *Ares*!”

“Do you realise how many of my Warlords you’ve affected with this, this rubbish you’ve been doing recently?! Some of them are almost more scared of their wives than me!” Ares roared angrily. “Take off whatever damned spells you’ve been using!”

“I’m sorry Arry, I haven’t bespelled *any* men recently. All I’ve done is give the women confidence. Your Warlords obviously like being dominated.” She stopped and looked him up and down appraisingly, “Maybe you should try it.”

Ares snorted, “You won’t find a woman *anywhere* who’ll dominate me!” Then he flashed out with a loud bang.

Aphrodite smirked, “Who said anything about a woman, big bro?”  ***


Cupid had to laugh, ”He didn’t word that very well, did he?” Aphrodite chuckled and shook her head, “Okay, I’ll do it, it’ll be worth any trouble I get into for it!”

“Great!” Aphrodite grinned at her son. After she’d transported herself back to her room, Aphrodite allowed the frown to cover her face. She really had to do something before Cupid broke Strife’s heart irreparably. She resolved to speak to Strife very soon.

@*>~

Cupid hid himself behind a bush outside Xena’s camp. He couldn’t help laughing, poor Joxer had already fallen on his face twice and set fire to his sleeve. He shook his head and sighed, what a pair. Ares and Joxer. He shrugged, opposites attract after all, and Joxer would be perfect for tempering his father.

And his father wouldn’t treat Joxer like Gabrielle did, like he was some sort of idiot. He wasn’t, he was just too good, too nice, and too clumsy. Well, not long now. He couldn’t wait to see his father’s reaction!

Sure enough, Xena’s head shot up and she almost sniffed the air.

“Come out, Ares,” she growled.

Cupid took aim and shot Joxer, while he was still sitting, just as Ares appeared.

“Good shot!” Cupid jumped.

“Fuck, Strife! Give a guy a little warning.”

“Sorry,” Strife smirked, completely unrepentant.

“What are you doing here anyway?” Cupid asked.

“Puh-lease! Unc and Jox? This I had to see!” Strife snickered. Cupid grinned at him and had to stop himself from leaning over to kiss his lover. He turned away abruptly to watch his father, missing the flash of hurt in Strife’s eyes.

“What do you want, Ares?” Xena demanded. All three mortals were on their feet. Xena and Gabrielle had their weapons ready, but Joxer was rather blatantly undressing Ares with his eyes.

“I,” Ares started, then he saw Joxer staring at him intently, “What?!” he shouted, almost defensively. He expected Joxer to jump or cower. He didn’t expect the slow, sexy smile that suddenly made his chest and groin tighten.

Joxer walked slowly up to him, “You look edible today, Ares,” he murmured, trailing a finger across Ares’ chest.

Ares was stunned, “I,I… what?”

“I think it’s time we stopped denying what’s between us, Ares,” Joxer whispered huskily, lingering over his God’s name.

Ares swallowed hard and stepped back when Joxer stepped forward. Xena and Gabrielle watched in stunned silence, unable to quite comprehend what was happening.

Joxer stepped forward again and reached out. Ares did something he’d never done before, he panicked. But just as he flashed away, Joxer grabbed his vest and vanished with him.

“What just happened?” Gabrielle whispered. Xena could only shrug.


Cupid turned to find Strife had vanished, but he refused to acknowledge the pain that fact brought. Nothing could hurt him, his heart *wasn’t* involved. He just had to keep telling himself that.

@*>~

Strife was crying on his bed, when he found himself wrapped in a fragrant cloud and a soft embrace.

“It’s okay, little one.”

“Aunt Dite?” Strife looked up and wiped his face. “What happened to you?” Aphrodite had returned almost completely to her old look.

She smiled softly, “It was nice to have a little change, but it really wasn’t me. Anyway, I’m here for you.”

“Why?”

“I’m sorry my son’s being such an idiot, Strife,” she squeezed his arm gently when he flinched.

“He just needs a little push.”

Strife frowned at her, “What do you mean?”

“He loves you, but he won’t let himself acknowledge it. He’s so scared of having his heart broken again, after Psyche. He thinks if he doesn’t allow himself to feel, it won’t break his heart if he loses you,” she started.

“I know, but he won’t lose me, I love him,” Strife whispered.

“I know that, but Cupid won’t allow himself to believe that. That’s why we’ve got to give him a push,” Aphrodite smiled sadly.

“How?” Strife asked.

“Break up with him.”

@*>~

Ares continued trying to back away, but Joxer kept a hold of him and moved with him. It wasn’t until the back of his legs hit the bed, that Ares realised he’d transported them to his bedroom.

With the enforced stop, Joxer leaned forward and kissed him. Ares froze. Then as Joxer’s lips moved against his, and his warm, wet tongue demanded entry, Ares relaxed into it, opening his mouth to deepen the kiss.

Without warning, Joxer pulled away and pushed Ares onto the bed. He smiled down at his God who was blinking in confusion and shock.

Joxer didn’t know why he was so supremely confident that his God loved him, he just was. He’d never been so sure of something in his whole life. He crawled onto the bed over Ares.

Ares was still in shock, but hitting the bed, he came to himself. He was just about to explode in fury that Joxer, of all people, had acted in such a way with him, and had caused such a reaction, when Joxer kissed him again.

All sorts of emotions he’d never felt before, or at least never all at the same time, happiness, love, lust, tenderness, safety, made him do something else he’d never done before. Ares whimpered.

Even in his state of enhanced confidence, Joxer was shocked. But before he could move back to see if Ares was okay, a strong hand wove through his hair and pulled him closer. His God’s other hand slipped down to his ass and pulled him down. Both men gasped when their cocks crushed together.

Joxer ground his pelvis against Ares and his Godly lover groaned and thrust up against him.

Joxer lifted his head, “Get rid of the clothes,” he growled. Ares complied without hesitation, so desperate was his sudden need to feel Joxer naked against him. Joxer thrust hard, his cock sliding over Ares’ belly.

Ares shifted further up the bed, dragging Joxer with him. Joxer kissed him again, plunging his tongue aggressively into his mouth. Ares sucked happily, sliding his own tongue over and around the invader.

Joxer’s hands wandered over his body, exploring. Touching him in a way he’d never been touched before, thoroughly, lovingly, reverently. When fingers appeared between the cheeks of his ass, he didn’t even wait for the question, he coated them in oil, a silent pleading and permission.

Joxer smiled at the willing submission. He explored the quivering pucker of Ares’ opening gently, enjoying the frantic keening and squirming it produced in his God. Then he slid one finger into Ares’ body.

“Fuhuhuck!” Ares exclaimed, as Joxer’s finger brushed over a spot inside him which reduced him to a trembling, ecstatic mass.

“Good?” Joxer whispered.

Ares nodded, “More… please,” he added at Joxer’s raised eyebrow. Joxer added two more fingers in quick succession, stretching and preparing his lover. Then he pushed Ares’ legs back and lay between them, slipping his cock between firm ass cheeks.

“Ready?” he whispered. Ares oiled Joxer’s cock and his ass with a thought and nodded.

“Please,” Ares whispered back.

Joxer pushed into him, slowly but smoothly, to the hilt. “Oh Ares, you feel so good,” he groaned.

Ares could only moan as he tried to breathe. He’d never felt anything so amazing before. Then Joxer gripped his hips and started to move, and Ares howled, almost in shock, at the pleasure that coursed through him and he pushed back urgently against each thrust.

“Please, Joxer, more, harder,” Ares gasped.

“Oh yeah, baby,” Joxer sighed happily. Ares was so amazing, he loved him so much. So he said so, “Baby, love you so much.”

Ares jerked and came with the words, splattering their chests. Joxer’s eyes widened in surprise. “Oh!” he exclaimed and he shot his seed deep inside Ares’ clenching passage, then he promptly collapsed.

“Love you, Ares,” he whispered, as he fell asleep. Ares held Joxer in his arms, listening to him breathe, trying to work out what had just happened.


Cupid flashed into his temple to find Strife waiting for him.

“Hey, there you are,” he smiled at his cousin. Strife didn’t look up. “Strife?” Cupid frowned.

“We need to talk,” Strife sighed.

Cupid froze, ‘We need to talk’? That only meant one thing. He steeled himself. “What about?”

Strife looked up, his expression radiating hurt, “Us,” he whispered.

“There is no ‘us’!” Cupid snapped, trying to sound angry.

“So you keep saying,” Strife snapped back, he really was angry. “But I lo…”

“Don’t say it, don’t you dare!” screamed Cupid, suddenly terrified.

Strife glared at him defiantly, “Why not?! I. Love. You!”

“Well, I *don’t* love you!” Cupid shouted.

Strife snarled and leapt at him, he grabbed Cupid’s harness and shook him. “Yes, you do!” he yelled into Cupid’s face. “Yes, you do,” his voice broke and he let Cupid go. Cupid backed away in stunned silence.

“I can’t do this anymore,” Strife whispered brokenly, “It’s over. I love you, I’ll always love you, but it’s too hard.”

“Strife,” Cupid whispered, reaching out his hand.

“Don’t touch me,” Strife shook his head, “It’s over.” He flashed out of the room before Cupid could stop him.

Cupid sank to the ground, rocked to his foundations. He’d thought it was bad when Psyche had left him, but this… he hadn’t realised it was possible for a heart to shatter.

“No, no, NO! I don’t love him, I don’t!” he screamed, even as he wrapped his arms round his knees and started to rock, trembling with suppressed tears.

@>*~

Ares was still stunned. He looked down at Joxer and gently stroked his hair from his face. He stared at the slim man, he hadn’t realised he loved. Yes, okay, he admitted it, he loved Joxer, but what had possessed the mortal? And what had possessed him to let the man tell him what to do, to let him take him?

Something niggled in the back of his mind, why did this remind him of something? Then, suddenly, it all snapped into focus. Aphrodite!

His expression changed from dreamy, if confused, happiness to fury in a split second. He dressed himself and Joxer with a thought and very quietly, he transported them back to Xena’s camp. Gently he lay Joxer down on his bed roll. He stared regretfully at Joxer and leaned down to place a gentle kiss on the mortal’s lips.

“I love you,” he whispered and vanished before he could wake Xena.

He reappeared in Aphrodite’s temple, noting briefly the return to pink.

“Dite!” he yelled.

“Arry?” Aphrodite appeared in a flash of pink. “What are you doing here?”

“Why shouldn’t I be?” he frowned.

“Oh, oh no reason,” Aphrodite said hurriedly.

Ares raised an eyebrow, “This wouldn’t have anything to with Joxer, would it?”

Aphrodite flushed, “Um, why would it?”

“Well, I was just with him and…”

“Oh, how wonderful! I knew it would work,” Aphrodite interrupted him.

Ares frowned, “Knew *what* would work?” He strode up to her and poked her in the chest, “You used a spell on him, didn’t you?!” Aphrodite nodded mutely. “Well. Congratulations, it worked, I fell for it. You got me, I hope you’re happy!” Ares snarled, then he flashed out.

“But… it wasn’t a love spell,” Aphrodite whispered into the empty room. “Oh dear,” she sighed.



Joxer sat up and looked round in confusion. Then he paled as he remembered the previous night.

“Oh no,” he whispered, tears springing to his eyes. “No, I’ve ruined everything.” He put his head on his knees, shaking.

“Joxer?” He looked up. “Oh Gods, Joxer, are you okay? What did he do to you?” Gabrielle exclaimed, seeing his reddened eyes.

“Nothing, he didn’t do anything to me,” he whispered in surprise. Why wasn’t he dead?

“What happened last night?” Xena asked.

“I, we, I…” Joxer stuttered to a halt. “Oh shit… I told him.” His breath hitched. The previous night had obviously meant nothing to Ares, but now he knew how Joxer felt.

“Told him what, Joxer?”

“That, I love him,” Joxer whispered.

“You what?!” Gabrielle exclaimed in disgust, “Hello! This is Ares we’re talking about!”

“It doesn’t change how I feel,” Joxer said quietly.

“And you let him use you?” Xena’s tone was full of disappointment.

Joxer flinched, “But, that’s just it, he didn’t, it wasn’t like that.”

“I’m so sorry, Joxer. But he did use you, otherwise, why aren’t you still with him?” Xena asked softly.

“I don’t know,” Joxer started crying quietly.

@>*~

One Week Later

“Aphro-fucking-dite!!!”

“Eris?” Aphrodite approached her sister cautiously.

“What have you done to my son?!” Eris yelled.

“What? Nothing.” Aphrodite frowned. “Why?”

“Why?! Have you seen him recently?” Eris demanded. Aphrodite shook her head. “He’s fucking fading away! The only thing he’ll say is it’s your plan!”

Aphrodite paled, “Oh no. Oh Eris, I’m so sorry. I thought Cupid would have done something by now.”

“Cupid? What’s he got to do with anything?” Eris frowned in confusion.

“Strife loves him. We were trying to force Cupid to admit he loves Strife too, that was the plan,” Aphrodite explained.

“How?”

“By Strife breaking up with him.”

“Oh right, so you were expecting Cupid to suddenly realise how much he really loves Strife and declare himself?” Eris asked slightly sarcastically. Aphrodite nodded. “Where is Cupid anyway? I haven’t seen him all week.”

Aphrodite frowned, “I don’t know, I’ve been so busy this week, Zeus made me reverse all the stuff I did during my ‘phase’ as he calls it! I haven’t seen anyone except Hephy.”

“Maybe we should find your son, and kick, uh, *talk* some sense into him!” Eris suggested.

“I think you might be right. But you are not touching my son, got it?!” Aphrodite said sternly.

Eris raised her hands defensively, “If I hurt him, it would hurt Strife,” she said quietly. Aphrodite smiled at her softly. They nodded to each other and flashed to Cupid’s temple.

“Oh my Gods!” whispered Aphrodite in stunned amazement. The main hall was a tip, empty bottles littered the floor.

Sprawled, semi-conscious on his throne, highly unshaven, dirty and drunk, was Cupid.

“’Lo Mom,” he drawled when he saw them, “’Ris”

“What the fuck is this?” Eris exclaimed. When Cupid started laughing, she strode forward and slapped him hard. He stopped and stared at her in shock. Then his chin trembled and large tears welled up in his eyes, spilling silently down his cheeks.

“Oh, my sweet boy,” Aphrodite, pulled her son into her arms. She stroked his back, between his wings and rocked him gently. “Shh, shh my little baby,” she crooned.

Eris rolled her eyes and went to sit down at the table, digging out a bottle Cupid hadn’t finished.

Aphrodite pulled back and lifted Cupid’s head, “What are you doing you silly boy?” she whispered.

“Nothing, absolutely nothing,” he sobbed, “I’m fine, I’m okay.”

“Yeah, well Strife isn’t!” Eris snapped. Cupid stared at her, eyes widening in distress.

“Mom, why does it hurt so bad?” Cupid whispered.

“Cupid, why are you being so dense?” Aphrodite shook her head. “Either you love him or you don’t, not saying ‘I love you’ won’t stop your heart from breaking if you lose him.”

“But I have lost him, Mom.”

“Oh enough with the pity party!” Eris snapped. She materialised some water in the air, and let it drop onto Cupid’s head. “Snap out of it!” She waved her hand, leaving Cupid clean and shaved. “Now, you go make it up to my boy. And it had better be good, or I’ll kick your ass!”

Cupid blinked at her, then, suddenly filled with fierce determination, he nodded, “I will.” Then he vanished.

Eris sniffed and put her hands on her hips, raising an eyebrow at Aphrodite, who was grinning at her. “What?” Aphrodite just laughed.

Eris pouted, “Anyway, I’ve got to go, I can’t find Ares, the bastard keeps disappearing on me.”

“Shit!” Aphrodite clapped her hands over her mouth. “Oh no, oh NO! I forgot!”


“Forgot what?” Eris frowned.

“No time to explain, c’mon, we’ve got to find Ares.” She grabbed Eris and transported them to the War Temple.

“What the fuck are you doing?” Eris asked, pulling out of her grasp.

“Mending another pair of broken hearts,” Aphrodite sighed.

“Ah, c’mon, what’re you trying to do to my rep here?” Eris protested.

“I won’t tell anyone, just help me. Between the two of us, we should be able to find him.”

Eris sighed, “Okay, okay!”

They both concentrated and homed in on his energy, flashing into one of his hidden bedrooms. They found him fast asleep, still coated in blood from battle.

Eris sat on the edge of the bed and reached out to flick his nose. Ares’ hand shot out and caught her wrist. “What are you doing here?” he growled, opening his eyes to glare at his sisters.

“What have you been doing all week?” Aphrodite asked.

Ares’ face was set like stone, “Killing and fucking, what I do best.” Actually, he was lying, he’d spent the week immersed in battle.

Aphrodite sat down next to Eris, “Have you seen Joxer?” she asked quietly.

Ares tensed, “Why would I?” he snarled.

“Because, oh just look.” She materialised a scrying mirror and showed it to Ares. “Look!” she snapped when he looked away. He glared at her again and looked at the mirror.

(( Joxer trailed behind Xena and Gabrielle, barely able to keep up. He was pale, paler than usual, and even skinnier. His armour hung off him. His eyes were red and glazed and he stared into space, not talking or singing like he normally would. ))

“What are you trying to do to me?” Ares’ voice was brittle.

“It wasn’t a love spell, Ares,” said Aphrodite quietly.

“What?”

“It wasn’t a love spell. You are my dearest brother, I love you, so do you really think I could be that cruel?” she sighed, “I promise you, he’s loved you for years.”

Ares frowned, “So then, what *did* you do?”

“I just gave him supreme confidence and some aggression,” Aphrodite flinched at the look in his eyes.

“Why didn’t you fucking tell me?!” he surged to his feet.

“You didn’t give me a chance, and then, well, I’m sorry Ares, but I forgot when Father made me undo all my work.”

Ares snarled at her again and flashed out of the room.

@>*~

Cupid stood outside Strife’s room, staring at the floor in terror. He opened his hand and looked at the small object he held. Hopefully it would be enough. He took a deep breath and knocked. There was no answer, so he knocked again.

“Go away!” Strife yelled. Cupid sighed and pushed open the door.

“I said, go away!” Strife spun round, “Oh, it’s you.” He wrapped his arms protectively round his chest, “What do you want?”

Cupid blinked away tears at Strife’s dishevelled appearance. His face was gaunt, cheeks hollow, dark circles under his eyes. His hair lay flat and limp. His pale, thin body looked almost fragile in the tatty vest and shorts he was wearing. “Oh baby, I’m so sorry,” he whispered.

Strife’s eyes narrowed, “What, you run out of fucktoys already?” he sneered.

Cupid flinched and looked down, “You were never a fucktoy, Strife,” he whispered.

“What then? Huh? A way to pass the time? A diversion?” Strife’s voice died and he sat down heavily.

“You’re the other half of my soul,” Cupid whispered.

Strife’s head snapped up and he stared wide eyed at Cupid. Then his chest started to heave and he shook his head. “Oh no, no, no, no. Don’t, don’t, don’t do this to me, please.”

Cupid ran across the room and dropped to his knees in front of Strife.

“Strife, please, believe me,” Cupid whispered.

“How can I?” Strife sniffed. Cupid lifted Strife’s hand and dropped something onto it. Strife stared blankly at the ring in the palm of his hand.

“It’s inscribed,” Cupid said quietly.

Strife looked up at him, eyes shining with tears. He lifted the ring up and read the inscription.

“’ I will love you for all eternity’?” Strife read quietly. “Cupid?” he looked up.

“Marry me, Strife.”

“I don’t know, Cupid, I…” Strife looked away. “I need to think.” He looked up and stared at Cupid, “You hurt me, Cupid.”

“I know, and I’m so sorry,” Cupid whispered.

“I need to be on my own for a while,” Strife said firmly.

Cupid nodded. “I’ll be waiting. I, I love you, Strife,” he whispered, then he flashed out of the room.

Strife sniffed and took an unsteady breath, before he looked at the ring again. He stared at it for a long time, wondering if he could really believe Cupid. Then just to see how it looked, he slipped the ring onto his finger.

A burst of energy shot through him and he gasped. He stared at his finger in shock, tears filling his eyes. “Cupid,” he whispered. Then he too, flashed out of the room.


Ares watched Joxer walking slowly along behind Xena and Gabrielle and fell into step next to him. He saw Xena start to look around and sighed.

Then suddenly Joxer stopped and collapsed. Ares caught him and lifted him up into his arms.

“Wha…? Ares?” Joxer gasped. Ares made himself visible.

“Yes,” he whispered.

“Ares! Put him down,” said Xena menacingly.

“Why? So he can collapse again?” Ares snarled. “You call this being friends? When was the last time he ate?”

The two women had the grace to look guilty.

“Why do you care anyway?!” Gabrielle snapped, “Mess with your plans to use him?”

Ares growled at her, “It was a misunderstanding. Wait, why am I explaining to you?” With that he transported the semi-conscious Joxer to his room and lay him gently on the bed.

“Sleep,” he whispered, waving his hand over Joxer’s eyes. Then he put his hand over Joxer’s heart and healed him, filling him with energy.

He lay down and pulled Joxer into his arms, so he’d wake up where he should have woken the previous week.

@>*~

“Cupid?”

Cupid sucked in a breath and looked up at Strife. “Yes, Strife.”

“Yes.”

“Yes?”

“Yes, I’ll marry you.”

“Oh Strife!” Cupid dragged Strife into his arms, holding him tightly.

“Cupid?”

“Yeah.”

“Why a ring of belonging?” Strife asked quietly. A ring of belonging was a very rare thing. It actually gave the wearer a part of the giver’s energy, a part of their being, and could only be made with the full, willing consent of the giver.

Cupid smiled, “I already belong to you, heart, body and soul. I wanted you to know, really know, how much I love you.”

“I know,” Strife whispered, he leaned forward and kissed him.

Cupid whimpered and surged up, kissing him back, desperately, happily. He clutched at Strife, hauling him into his lap. Strife shifted round and straddled him, wrapping his legs round Cupid’s hips.

He broke away, panting and rested his forehead against Cupid’s, staring into his lover’s eyes. The glazed expression made him smile and he shifted forward.

“Oh,” Cupid groaned at the feel of Strife’s erection pushing against his. In a flash, he found himself in his bed, with Strife on all fours above him. “Strife?”

“Shh, baby. I want to make love to you,” Strife said softly.

“Oh, please,” Cupid begged.

Strife ran his hands over Cupid’s body, clothes melting away at his touch. He took his time to really explore Cupid’s body the way he’d never been able to before. He skimmed his hands over the smooth, golden skin, following each caress with his tongue, tasting every inch.

“Oh Strife,” Cupid moaned, as he writhed under the soft touches. “Please Strife, your clothes.”

Strife paused just long enough to get rid of his clothes and he allowed Cupid to pull him down, pressing bare skin against bare skin. He groaned as Cupid bucked under him and long fingers ran down his back to grasp his ass.

“So beautiful, Strife,” Cupid gasped.

Strife sat up, staring down at Cupid in surprise, “You’re beautiful,” he whispered. He traced the outline of Cupid’s muscles lightly with his finger, not taking his eyes from his lover’s face.

Cupid tried to meet his eyes, but in the end his own fluttered closed and his head dropped back with pleasure. He didn’t see Strife reach round and quickly prepare himself.

Strife lifted up and grasped Cupid’s cock, pumping gently before he lined himself up. Cupid’s eyes snapped open in shock.

“Wha…? Oooh Gods!” he exclaimed, as his shaft was slowly encased in tight, slick heat. He’d never taken Strife before, hadn’t realised how amazing it would feel to be buried inside him.

He’d always been in the passive role with Strife, another of his ways to avoid intimacy. But now he wanted to give all he could to Strife. Without warning, he rolled them over, and smiled down at Strife’s startled expression.

“Cupid?”

“I want to make love to *you*,” Cupid whispered, leaning down to kiss Strife softly.

“Mmm,” Strife moaned into his mouth, clutching tightly at his shoulders. Cupid pulled out almost completely, then slowly sank back into Strife. “Oh Cupe,” Strife sighed, wrapping his legs tightly round Cupid’s hips.

Cupid took it as slowly as he could for as long as he could, until Strife was whimpering with pleasure.

“Please, Cupe, more,” Strife begged, groaning happily when Cupid, at last, increased his pace and started to plunge into him. “Oh yes!”

“Strife, so good,” Cupid gasped at the tight muscles clenching around his cock. He thrust deeper and harder with every stroke.

Strife reached round and ran his hands over the top of Cupid’s wings.

“Strife!” Cupid shouted and he jerked convulsively with the force of his orgasm. Strife felt the heat deep inside and his head dropped back as he screamed his own completion.

He lay limply, recovering his breath, holding onto Cupid tightly. It took him a moment to realise what the hot liquid dropping onto his shoulder was. He gently rolled them sideways and lifted Cupid’s head, wiping away the tears he found.

“Baby, what is it?” he whispered.

“Please, Strife, don’t ever leave me again, I don’t think I could stand it,” Cupid sobbed.

“I won’t leave you Cupid. I love you, I’ve always loved you and I will continue to love you.” Strife pulled Cupid into his arms and held him close. “For all eternity, remember?”

Cupid sniffed, and smiled through his tears, “For all eternity.”


Joxer woke slowly, feeling confused that he was so warm and comfortable. All his physical pain was gone, but the mental and emotional pain came back just as strongly and he sighed, breath hitching.

Strong arms he hadn’t realised were holding him, tightened and he froze. He had a vague memory of Ares appearing, but surely it couldn’t be?

“You’re awake, how do you feel?” said a deep, unmistakable voice in his ear.

Joxer jumped and scrambled out of Ares’ arms to the end of the bed. Ares sat up and sighed at the look of abject terror and pain on Joxer’s face.

“Please, don’t…”

“I’m not going to hurt you, Joxer. I’m not going to make you do anything you don’t want to do.” He paused and looked down, “I’ll take you back to Xena if you want, but I hope you’ll let me explain,” he said quietly.

Joxer stared at his God, “Explain what? It was my own fault, I don’t know what I was thinking.” His breath hitched, “I mean why would… how could you love *me*?” His voice got quieter as he spoke until Ares could barely hear him.

“I thought you didn’t love *me*,” Ares whispered.

Joxer frowned, “But, I told you I did.”

Ares nodded, “I know. I thought Aphrodite had put a love spell on you to get back at me for something I said. I thought it wasn’t real.”

“Why would putting a love spell on *me*, get back at you?” Joxer asked in confusion.

Ares leaned forward quickly and dragged Joxer into his lap, before he could move. He grasped Joxer’s chin and pulled him closer, till their faces were just inches apart. “Because, I’m in love with you,” he said, looking Joxer straight in the eye.

“You, you are?” Joxer whispered. Ares nodded. “But, but you left me.”

“Like I said, I thought it was a spell. I went to Aphrodite, she admitted putting a spell on you, but neglected to tell me it wasn’t a love spell,” Ares grimaced in annoyance.

“What was it then?” Joxer asked quietly, finding it hard to breathe so close to his God.

Ares smiled, “She gave you a confidence boost.”

“Is that why I, oh,” Joxer flushed, remembering what he’d done the previous week. “But why did you…?”

Ares grinned and flushed as well, “Because I liked it, I wanted it.” His voice dropped to a husky whisper, “I wanted you.”

“Wanted?” Joxer asked breathily.

Ares shivered, “Want… need.” Ares leaned closer, brushing his lips over Joxer’s mouth. “Love,” he whispered.

Their lips met again gently. Joxer’s hands slipped up to Ares’ face, then through his hair to knead the back of his neck. Ares moaned softly and pulled Joxer closer, sucking his lover’s questing tongue into his mouth.

He wrapped his arms round Joxer and lay down, rolling so Joxer was beneath him. He slid a hand down Joxer’s back, pausing to squeeze his ass, before continuing down, pulling Joxer’s leg round so it wrapped around his waist. Joxer thrust up, aching with need.

“Clothes,” he panted, “Please, Ares.” Ares made their clothes, disappear as he kissed Joxer again. Joxer reached between them, palming Ares’ erection.

“Oh yes,” Ares groaned, pushing against his lover’s hand. Joxer wrapped his fingers around the silky, hard length and stroked quickly, “Joxer!” Ares exclaimed. “Are you… in a… hurry?” he panted.

“Uh huh,” Joxer gasped, “Got a whole… whole week… to catch up on!”

“Oh Gods,” Ares groaned. Suddenly Joxer pushed him away. “W-what?” Ares stammered at the sudden lack of fingers on his cock. Joxer slipped out from under him and put a pillow in the centre of the bed.

“Lie down on your stomach,” Joxer said quietly. Ares felt his groin tighten and his cock jump at the quiet authority in Joxer’s voice and he hurriedly lay down, adjusting himself so his erection was pressed into the pillow. Joxer trailed a finger down his spine and he shivered in anticipation.

“Perfect,” Joxer whispered. He lay on top of Ares, rubbing himself against smooth skin, his cock sliding between firm asscheeks. Lightly, he nibbled Ares’ neck, running his hands up and down strong, muscular arms. He felt strangely euphoric at the acquiescence of his powerful lover.

Ares whimpered and bucked under him, thrusting his hips back to try and get Joxer’s cock deeper between his buttocks and get some friction against his own.

“Remind me… not to use… silk sheets in future!” he groaned in frustration as he slid too fast to get any real relief.

Joxer laughed and kissed Ares’ neck. “You could just change it,” he suggested.

Ares blinked. Of course he could, where was his brain? Joxer thrust against him and he gasped. Of course! His brain was otherwise occupied. As Joxer pushed himself up to kneel between his legs, Ares used the momentary lack of stimulation to concentrate enough to change the pillow case to soft cotton. Then his brain ceased to function completely, when Joxer slipped his fingers into the crease of his ass.

Joxer pressed firmly, stroking the entrance to Ares’ body, keeping his lover preoccupied as he shifted surreptitiously further down the bed. He parted Ares’ asscheeks and licked up the crease.

“Oh. My. God!” Ares squealed.

Joxer looked up, “Ares, you just *squealed*!” he exclaimed in shock.

“I don’t… care. Just. Don’t. Stop!” Ares panted.

Joxer grinned and settled himself comfortably between Ares’ legs. He gently bit one firm cheek, his smile growing wider at Ares’ yelp of surprise. Then he dived back between Ares’ buttocks, swiping his tongue across the puckered opening.

“Oooh, fuck!” Ares groaned. Joxer’s tongue was cool and wet against the burning heat of his asshole. Joxer breathed gently on the wet skin, making Ares writhe under him. “Jox, please,” Ares begged urgently.

Joxer plunged his tongue deep inside his lover. Ares gasped, pushing back to try and feel more. Joxer gently fucked Ares with his tongue, until his God was whimpering continuously.

“Joxer, feels so good,” Ares panted, “Need more, please.” Joxer pressed a kiss against his hole softly, then slid up the length of his body.

“Need you so much,” Joxer whispered into Ares’ ear.

Ares shivered as Joxer’s breath caressed his skin. “Take me,” he begged.

“Oh Ares!” Joxer quickly pushed into Ares’ slick passage, whimpering himself at the strong muscles that gripped his shaft. “Baby, so good,” he gasped. He couldn’t stop himself from pounding into Ares, hard and fast.

Ares met every thrust urgently, rubbing his cock against the pillow, gasping each time Joxer hit his pleasure spot.

“Joxer, Joxer, please,” Ares moaned. Joxer slipped his hand under Ares’ body to grasp his cock, stroking roughly. At last getting the stimulation he needed, Ares came with a sated groan.

Joxer pulled his hand out from under him and brought it to Ares’ mouth. “Suck,” he whispered. “Oh Gods,” he groaned as Ares sucked his fingers enthusiastically and he thrust deeply, convulsing as he filled Ares with wet heat.

He pulled out gently and collapsed onto the bed next to Ares. Ares lifted himself up and crawled over his lover, moving down between his legs. He carefully licked Joxer clean.

Joxer stroked his hair, sighing happily. “Love you,” he whispered.

Ares lay his head on Joxer’s stomach, “Love you too.”

@>*~

Aphrodite and Eris watched their sons sleeping, curled up in each other’s arms, and smiled at each other. Aphrodite waved her hand and the picture changed to Ares and Joxer.

Ares was propped up on one arm, staring dreamily at Joxer, gently stroking his face.

“This love gig, isn’t all that bad,” Eris said with a sigh of satisfaction. Then she stared at her sister. “Tell *anyone* I said that, and you’ll be wearing your entrails as jewellery!”

Aphrodite grinned at her. “Don’t worry, your secret’s safe with me. Just remind me not to try changing again, I don’t want to have to clear up so much mess ever again!”

“Riiight!” Eris laughed.

“Now, about *your* love life,” Aphrodite started.

“Oh no!” Don’t even *think* about it, ‘Dite!” Eris backed away from her sister.

Aphrodite just chuckled.

the end


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