AresJoxerCupidStrife - Kerensa


Part 1 Part 2 Part 3



Fic: Overheard Conversations-Missing Scenes

Author: Kerensa

Rating: FRT

Pairing: Ares/ Joxer, Cupid/Strife

Warnings and spoilers: none

Disclaimers: I don’t own these characters or the series’ in which they originated.



Note: This story arc is for Scribe who needed cheering up. This chapter has the hurt part.



It takes place just after when Joxer gives birth in Chapter 19, but before the presentation of Tempra in Chapter 20. Also, please remember that no

one knows that Strife is having twins yet and no one, but Ares, Joxer, Cupid and Strife know what Tempra’s name is yet.



Ares was becoming concerned. It had been three days since Joxer had given birth to their daughter and he was still worn out. As a god, he should

have recovered by now.



He could remember when Dite had their children. She was up, bouncing around, within a day and flashing around doing her godly duties within a

week. Even Xena’s mother hadn’t needed more than a few days to recuperate. Then there was…



He decided it wasn’t a good idea to be thinking of his other paramours and their resultant offspring, not while lying beside his husband. Besides, they

had only been flings, he and Joxer were for eternity.



The God of War looked on as his husband slept. He noted the lines of pain that were on the younger god’s forehead. Ares reached out a large hand

and soothed them out. Joxer sighed happily.



*****



Joxer opened his eyes and jumped a little at how close Ares’ face was to him. It wasn’t often that they got to wake up together. The war god had

many duties and was usually up long before Joxer, especially since Joxer had become pregnant and couldn’t attend to his own duties.



“Good morning.” Ares’ voice was subdued.



“Morning.” Joxer smiled and arched his back, stretching a little. He winced as the muscles in his abdomen protested.



“Joxer?” Ares had sat up at the first sign of Joxer’s pain.



“I’m okay.” Joxer curled up a little, scrunching up his stomach muscles seemed to help ease the discomfort. “I’m still sore from giving birth. Imagine

that.” Joxer’s bright smile wasn’t as convincing as it typically was.



“Hmmm, maybe I can help that.” Ares laid a gentle hand on Joxer’s tummy.



A fiery hot spike of pain stabbed through Joxer’s stomach. Ares gasped and jumped off the bed when his husband cried out in pain. Joxer’s half

scream, half yell, startled Tempra, who began to cry in a tiny, wavering noise.



Ares yelled for Apollo and Asclepius with his mind.



*****



Strife was feeling bad, more than bad, he was feeling horrible. Early this morning he had been awakened with the lovely feeling of not being able to

breathe.



‘Everyone should try it, at least once.’ Strife thought to himself sarcastically. ‘It gives ya a whole new appreciation fah just bein able ta breathe on a

regular basis.’



Cupid had recognized the symptoms and helped him to sit up before hastily calling Ace, who had put the oxygen mask back on Strife’s face as soon

as he arrived. It hadn’t helped very much. So, now Strife was leaning against Cupid, being upright helped his straining lungs but wasn’t very

comfortable. Cupid’s buff body just wasn’t padded enough.



Panting slightly, in spite of the oxygen, Strife closed his eyes and listened to the other gods talking. Cupid’s hand was rubbing up and down his spine

and it felt so sweet that Strife was finally able to relax. Cupid’s hand slid down a little farther and rubbed over one butt cheek slowly. Strife giggled.



“Stop that you two!” Ace pretended to scold them. “Save it. For pity’s sake, don’t start another one until we get this baby out.”



“Ace!”



Asclepius snorted at Cupid’s scandalized tone. “Oh please. Don’t give me that attitude young man. I’ve been around dad long enough to recognize a

quick grope when I see one.”



Cupid huffed, apparently not very happy at being compared to Apollo. Who could blame him? Apollo wasn’t exactly the most discrete lover around.

Sailors in a whorehouse were subtler.



So now, Strife had the image of Apollo, dressed as a rough and tumble sailor, leaning against the wall of a whorehouse, trying to get a lady for the

night. Strife snickered at that and desperately hoped that portrait wouldn’t stay permanently etched in his mind.



“Okay, let’s try this.”



Strife opened his eyes and saw another pile of pillows that were leaning against the wall at the top of the bed. Cupid eased him over on to the

pillows and Strife tried to get comfy. It still wasn’t very comfortable though and the other two gods tried to help.



Cupid pulled out some pillows at Strife’s waist and stuck them in at a different angle. Asclepius was busy fluffing the pillows under Strife’s head and

adjusting the oxygen mask.



The pregnant man closed his eyes and endured the *helping*. He hadn’t been *that* uncomfortable before and now he just wanted them to leave

him alone.



Flash.



Strife saw the bright light through his closed eye lids and looked to see who had appeared. It was Aphrodite. She frowned at the two gods and rolled

her eyes.



“What are you doing, Cupie?”



Cupid flinched. He really, really hated that nickname. “We’re trying to get Strife comfortable. He needs to sit up to breathe better.”



“Oh. Hey! I’ve got an idea. Sit him back up.” Dite gestured extravagantly with both hands.



Strife took a breath to brace himself. With a flash the pillows were gone and in their place was a…



“What is that?” Asclepius managed to sound curious, instead of horrified.



“It’s a headboard, a padded one that Strifey can lay against.”



“Good…grief…” Cupid did sound horrified.



Strife was the only one who could hear what Cupid said though. He prepared himself and looked over. Strife decided that he should have kept his

eyes closed.



The new headboard went halfway up the wall and was thickly padded. It sloped down onto the bed at an angle, so Strife could lay against it with

ease. That was great and would have been really nice. The only problem was…it was covered with downy feathers, *pink* downy feathers.



Just looking at it made Strife nauseous.



He exchanged a quick look with Cupid, who grimaced. They couldn’t refuse the gift, Aphrodite would be very hurt. Strife hadn’t been married very

long, but he knew better than to upset his mother-in-law. Especially one who could curse you with impotence!



“Uh, it’s real nice, Dite.” Strife finally said, when it was evident that no one else was going to comment.



“Try it out.” Dite bounced happily.



“Okay.” Cupid leaned him over and Strife sank into the soft covering. Then he kept on sinking. Strife opened his eyes and all he could see was fluffy

pink. It was really fortunate that Strife was wearing an oxygen mask, otherwise he would have been smothered by the stuffing.



“Oh darn, that won’t do at all.” Aphrodite put her hands on her hips and tapped one sandaled foot. “I know, lean him forward again.”



Strife almost threw up when he was moved again. ‘I feel like I’m on a boat.’ He thought bemusedly.



This time when he leaned against the support, Strife didn’t sink in nearly as much. He moaned happily and snuggled into the fuzz, as everywhere

that needed support, got it.



“Thanks mom.” Strife nodded in agreement.



“No problem boys. Later.” She waved airily before disappearing in a cloud of rosy fragrance.



*****



A little while later.



Strife was dozing while Cupid and Ace fussed around him. He would have been asleep already if they would just calm down. Sighing, Strife looked

over in time to see Asclepius stumble.



“Are ya alright theah, Ace?” Strife asked the God of Healing.



Cupid grabbed Ace’s arm to keep him from falling on Strife. “What’s wrong?”



“I felt somebody…uhm…” It looked like Asclepius was trying to protect Strife again. The mischief maker knew he wasn’t supposed to get excited, but

this was ridiculous.



“If somebody needs ya, go on. I’m okay.”



Ace and Cupid rolled their eyes and looked at each other. Strife’s utterances of ‘I’m okay’ were truly frightening because they usually preceded an

horrific amount of pain for the young god.



Cupid frowned and concentrated. Strife could see that he was doing a summoning search. If a god listened hard enough to the vibrations in the air,

they could tell who was or had been calling another god. Most gods didn’t because it wasn’t considered polite, but it was easy to tell that Asclepius

was worried about saying anything in front of a very ill Strife.



The horrified look on Cupid’s face worried Strife more than anything else. “What’s tha matttah?” Cupid tried to put on a mask of indifference but

Strife could see right through it. The young god tried to sit up.



“Is it Bliss?” Strife’s voice had a semi-hysterical ring to it. Across Strife’s mind, images of Bliss falling while flying or getting crushed under a collapsing

temple or…just all sorts of pictures, each worse than the last, flashed one after another.



“Baby!”



Strife jumped and looked over at Cupid. “Bliss is fine.”



“I’m…that was silly ah me. Ya wouldn’t be standin theah, mostly calm if Little Feathahs was hurt.” Strife took a deep breath and calmed himself. “Sa,

it’s eithah Joxah or tha baby.”



Ace bit his lip and looked from Strife to where another scene was playing out inside his mind.



“Go!” Strife urged, frowning at the other god. “Neithah Unc nor Joxah would be callin if it wasn’t urgent.”



Asclepius nodded once and flashed out. Cupid sat down facing his husband. Both gods were scared for Joxer, the baby and Ares. Because Ares

would go insane if anything were to happen to the other two.



*****



Ace flashed into Ares and Joxer’s bedroom. The scene was utter chaos. Apollo was examining Joxer who was curled up in a ball and rocking back and

forth. Ares was pacing worriedly at the foot of the bed and the new baby was crying her little heart out.



The scene with Strife and Cupid had only taken a minute. There was no way that Ace would neglect a cry for help for longer than that. It just

seemed longer to the gods and goddess in the room.



“What’s wrong?” Ace hurried forward to stand on the opposite side of the bed from his father.



“I’m not sure yet.” Apollo was frowning, little frown lines marred his forehead. A sure sign of how disturbed he was, because the vain god took great

pains not to let himself show age.



Apollo took hold of Joxer, putting one hand on his hip and the other on his shoulder. No, it’s not what you think. Apollo was being completely

professional.



(Alright, you can get up off the floor now, it wasn’t *that* funny. Apollo has been known to be professional, and no, not *that* kind of profession,

on occasion. Errr…sometimes…oh, alright, once in a blue moon. Satisfied now? Sheesh, try to help a guy’s reputation…)



Apollo was being completely professional, mostly because Ares was glowering and growling behind him. Ares wasn’t exactly sane where his loved

ones were concerned.



And then there was Aphrodite! The things she could and would do in retaliation for her favorite ex-mortal were frightening to contemplate.



Asclepius patted Joxer on the leg and pushed Joxer’s sweaty hair out of his eyes. “Shhhhh, we’ll make it better. Come on, Joxer, you need to calm

down. Being this upset will only make it worse.” Ace was a voice of calm in among the chaos.



Joxer stopped thrashing around. He took a deep breath and consciously made himself relax. “The baby…” He twisted his head, trying to look behind

himself where his daughter was crying.



Ares raced over and picked up the little godling. Her father’s soothing presence reduced the wailing to soft snuffles. Ares rocked her back and forth

in his arms as he paced at the foot of the bed.



“I’ve got her Angel.” Ares reassured Joxer.



Joxer relaxed and the pain lessened even more. “Let-let me see her a minute.”



Asclepius moved to one side so that Ares could lay the baby on the bed beside Joxer. “I’m sorry sweetheart. Did daddy scare you?” Joxer cuddled his

daughter. The bright green eyes of the baby blinked up at her father.



“Now you know how your poppy and I feel when you start crying in the middle of the night.” Joxer kissed the baby, who cooed happily. “It’s okay

now.”



Ares took his daughter back from Joxer and smiled tremulously. Joxer tried to reassure him. “It’s really better, I’m not hurting so much now.”



“We need you to roll over on your back. Okay?” Apollo and Asclepius carefully maneuvered Joxer onto his back. Luckily moving him around didn’t

appear to cause any additional pain.



Ares opened the door and called for a helper. One appeared almost immediately. The war god handed the baby off to the person who appeared, one

of Joxer’s priestesses. The young woman was wearing a traditional floor length, off the shoulder, white toga that represented the purity of her spirit.

The trustworthy priestess took the baby into another room until the healers were finished with Joxer.



Apollo eased down on the bed, careful not to jostle his patient. “I’m going to examine you now…” He extended his left hand over Joxer’s abdomen.



“Don’t touch!” Joxer tensed up and his faced scrunched up in pain.



“Relax! Relax. I’m not going to touch you. See…”



Apollo’s hand hovered a couple of inches over Joxer’s tummy. He wasn’t close to touching him, not even when Joxer exhaled. Joxer nodded his

assent. Apollo closed his eyes and concentrated.



“You have a bad urinary tract infection.” Apollo moved his hand up and down, still not touching Joxer. “It goes from your kidneys all the way down to

your urethra.” Apollo opened his eyes and smiled. “Nasty and hurts like Tartarus, but we can fix it. It’s just going to take time.”



“Are you sure?” Ares was squatting beside the bed, absently rubbing Joxer’s blanket covered foot.



“Yes, brother, I’m sure. It’s really rare for a god to get an infection, but when they do it’s always a whopper.”



Asclepius smiled and nodded. He knew all about nasty infections, having cured Strife of them for decades.



“So, what do we do?”



Apollo frowned for a minute, trying to decide on the best medicine to give the former mortal. Asclepius waved his hand and a small stoppered bottle

appeared in his hand.



“Add 5 drops of this to a goblet of water, four times a day. That should clear the infection up, eventually.”



“Okay.” Ares took the bottle and magicked up some water. He tilted the bottle and watched as the thick substance slowly trickled out. He added the

drops of bright red liquid to the water and swirled it around until the medicine was dissolved.



“Eventually?” Ares looked up sharply. “What do you mean, eventually?”



Ace sighed unhappily. “As dad said, godly infections are hard to get rid of. It will take at least several weeks, possibly more.”



Ares helped Joxer up and watched as he drank the liquid. Joxer licked his lips and smiled. “At least it doesn’t taste bad. Not like some of the medicine

I took when I was a kid.” He flinched and hunched over a moment.



“What about the pain? Can’t you do something for that?” Ares rubbed Joxer’s back sympathetically.



“As a matter of fact…” Another bottle appeared, this time in Apollo’s hand. He handed it, along with a small spoon, to Ares. “Give him one spoonful

whenever he’s in pain, but not more than 3 spoonfuls a day.”



Joxer put up a shaking hand to stop Ares from giving the drug. “Will I still be able to breast feed the baby?”



Apollo patted Joxer on the shoulder. He hastily removed his hand when Ares stared pointedly at it. “Uhm, yes, it won’t affect the baby.”



“Okay.” Joxer gladly took the syrupy liquid.



Almost immediately, the God of Peace felt, well, peaceful. Ares helped him lay back down and it was easy to see that Joxer wasn’t hurting as much

any more.



“Great. I’ll be going now.” Apollo waved a hand, cleaning up the mess he had made. Of course, the mess consisted of two or three drops of spilt

water, but where Ares was concerned it was better to be safe than sorry.



“I need to go as well. I have to get back to…uhm, where I was when Ares called.” Ace’s eyes shifted around the room, not looking at Joxer’s

enquiring gaze.



“Were you with Strife?” Joxer grabbed Asclepius’ arm when it seemed like Ace wasn’t going to answer him. “Well, were you?”



“Yes, but…”



“But nothing! Get back there and let Strife know everything’s okay.”



Ares, Apollo and Asclepius looked incredulously at Joxer’s ‘okay’. Joxer blushed. “You know what I mean. If he gets too upset he could lose the

baby.”



Ace smiled and patted Joxer’s hand where it rested on his arm. He shook his head over the two gods, each more worried about their friend than

themselves.



“Don’t worry. I’ll make sure that Strife is okay.” With that Ace flashed away. Apollo quickly followed suit, leaving Ares watching over an already

sleeping Joxer.



Joxer giggled tiredly as Ares growled at his father. Even after all the years that he and Ares had been together, it was still a nice surprise to realize that someone cared about him that much. The young god glanced around the room and saw the glares that other people were sending Zeus as well. That was a *big* accomplishment considering how drunk many of them were.



Zeus still didn’t realize how many people were ticked off at him for being so late to Tempra’s dedication ceremony. Joxer rocked Tempra slowly, glad for the canopy that Ares had put up over his chair. The day was so hot and airless, it had aggravated Joxer’s already elevated temperature.



A muted flash heralded the return of Cupid and Strife, who had been gone a couple of hours. Joxer waved at his best friend who waved back halfheartedly. Neither god was up to the ceremony that had gone on earlier, but it had to be done. Now the party was almost over, thank Hades; or at least the portion that Joxer, Ares and Tempra needed to stay for.



Joxer needed to lay down again *really* soon or he was going to start screaming. His clothes were sticking to his body in damp spots, his hair kept drooping in his eyes and no matter where he stood, uhm, sat, the sun glared off of something and blinded him.



“That’s it.” Ares pronounced when he looked at his miserable husband. The older god placed an arm around Joxer’s waist and pulled him up. “We’re going home. You people party as long as you want to.”



Cupid nodded. “Us too. Are you okay with that?” Cupid looked over at Strife enquiringly.



Strife nodded. “Yeah, we’ve put in anothah appearance, I’m ready ta go now.”



“Me too.” Joxer admitted. “I’ll see you tomorrow Strife.”



The God of Mischief’s eyebrows shot up at that. He looked Joxer up and down, frowning. “Ya will huh? How come?”



“Uh, for a visit.” Joxer was astonished, Strife admitted that he really looked forward to Joxer’s visits.



“Well, as much as I would like ta have ya visit, I do believe that ya need ta rest more.”



Joxer shrugged. “Yeah, I guess, but…”



“But nothin.” Strife leaned forward and whispered in Joxer’s ear. “Eithah ya stay home and be good or…I’ll spank yar butt and call ya Fanny.”



All four gods laughed at the joke, even Tempra gurgled happily.



“I agree.” Ares was very serious.



“Okay, I promise to wait a few days before I come for a visit.”



Strife patted Joxer’s arm and smiled.



“Good.” Ares nodded sharply, not that he would have been deterred anyway. “Bye.” Ares gathered his husband and child close and flashed them away.



*****



Ares held Joxer tightly as the young god threw up into a basin. The infection and the medicine to cure it were harsh on his stomach. Add to that, the heat of the day and the pain medicine and Joxer’s tummy was very upset.



“I’m sorry, Angel.” Ares sent the contents of the basin away and magicked up a wet cloth to wash Joxer’s face.



“It’s not your fault, Arry.” Joxer smiled.



“I know, but…” Ares sighed. “…I shouldn’t have flashed so fast.”



That statement wasn’t as strange as it sounded. Gods had control over most of the elements, air included, so they could thicken the air slightly and slow down how fast they traveled from one place to the other. On the opposite of the spectrum, they could thin the air out and flash even faster. Hermes used that little trick all the time to make the mortals think he was faster than the other gods.



Joxer laid down on the bed and stroked a hand over Ares’ side. “I don’t think it would have mattered how fast or slow you flashed us home.” He put a hand over his mouth as his stomach rolled a little.



Ares held up the basin questioningly. After a few moments, Joxer shook his head no and Ares put it back down. Joxer kept petting Ares’ side, his hand going from the war god’s ribs down to his knee. Ares’ leather pants began to tighten in appreciation of his husband’s efforts.



‘This isn’t good.’ Ares thought. ‘Or rather, it’s *too* good.’



Eyeing Joxer’s flushed face, flushed, regrettably from fever and not passion, Ares decided he better distract his husband, before it was too late. Ares wanted to tackle his husband and make love to him all night long, unfortunately Joxer was in no shape to reciprocate.



Ares picked up Joxer’s questing hand and kissed the palm of it. His hand was hot, as was his forehead. More so than it had been that morning. Ares moved to the foot of the bed and took hold of Joxer’s boot with one hand and under his knee with the other. He slowly slid the footgear off and then kissed the top of Joxer’s slender foot. He repeated the action to the other foot.



Joxer’s boots were removed among shivers and whimpers. Ares realized that this might not be the best way to calm and cool his lover down. So, he reluctantly let go of Joxer’s tempting and *extremely* sensitive feet.



With a wave of his hand, a pitcher of cool water and a bowl appeared on the table beside the bed. The pitcher rose up in the air and poured a stream of water into the bowl and onto the cloth lying there. The wash cloth wrung itself out and floated over to Ares’ hand.



“Close your eyes, Angel.”



Joxer obliged his husband and sighed as the damp cloth soothed his aching head. Tempra cooed happily, sensing the calm from her daddy and her poppy. Ares covered his daughter with a glance. The little girl looked so sweet sleeping under her seaweed blanket.



The God of Peace shifted uncomfortably on the bed. Ares could see that the sheets were damp from where Joxer was sweating. Ares realized that his efforts weren’t doing enough. He slid one finger down the center of Joxer’s chest and his shirt and vest melted off. Shifting slightly, Ares did the same to his husband’s pants and loincloth. Now Joxer was only covered with a thin sheet that was pulled down to his waist.



The wet cloth was now run over a glistening, but pale, chest. Ares washed his lover, until the front of his body was cool to the touch. He rolled Joxer onto his side, being careful not to wake him from the light doze the sick man had fallen into. The pale back was cooled in the same manner.



Every once in a while, Ares would let go of the cloth, which would float back over the bowl and be remoistened. In this way, he didn’t have to move away from his lover and Ares kept a soothing hand on Joxer at all times.



Ares smiled at how much better he had made Joxer feel. The young god was so relaxed that even when Ares washed the tempting bottom, he wasn’t disturbed. Ares was not so lucky. After more than an hour of petting his husband’s body, he was very hot and very aroused.



Leaving Joxer on his side, so that the first thing he would see on waking was Tempra, Ares went to their bathing chamber. He vanished his clothes with a thought and clambered into the waiting pool. The warm water felt good on his body. Again, too good.



The water swirled around his genitalia in a much more arousing manner than it ever had before. Ares tried to ignore the sensations, it didn’t seem fair to him that he could get pleasure and Joxer couldn’t. The God of War deliberately made the water colder. He gritted his teeth as the water became frigid, but it worked.



Going back to the bedroom, a no longer aroused, but cold, Ares, stopped in the doorway and stared. The sheet covering Joxer had slid down and one pale cheek was partially showing. Ares groaned at his immediate erection and hoped that this medicine didn’t take as long as Ace thought it would to make Joxer better. He wasn’t sure if he’d survive.



Climbing into bed, Ares covered Joxer up with the sheet and threw a separate cover over himself. There was no way he would make it through the night otherwise. Staring up at the ceiling, Ares tried to get rid of his rampant erection by thinking unsexy thoughts.



Ares thought about Xena and how much he missed her working for him. Nope, not enough of a distraction and thinking about his daughter instead of sex, yuck!



He thought of Falafel’s latest culinary disaster. Yeeesh. Nauseating, but he was still tenting the sheets.



He thought about Hercules, naked. Shudder. He imagined Gabrielle naked and grimaced. He had it…!



Hercules and Gabrielle, naked, having sex. That did it. In fact, Ares wasn’t sure if he would ever be able to have sex again after that.



Rolling over, Ares spooned up behind Joxer. He laid one arm carefully on Joxer’s slender hip and kissed the back of Joxer’s neck, just at the nape.



Joxer shivered at the fleeting touch and the two men drifted off to sleep.



Fic: Overheard Conversations, Missing Scenes, 3/3
Author: Kerensa
feedback: vkevans@yahoo.com
Rating: FRO
Pairing: Ares/Joxer, Cupid/Strife, Hercules/Iolaus
Fandom: Hercules
Warnings and Spoilers: MPREG and spoilers for my story Overheard Conversations
Disclaimers: I don't own these characters, I'm just borrowing them for a little while.

Long, *long*, cold baths weren’t cutting it anymore. Neither was fighting in every battle he could find. ‘Tartarus, even the image of Hercules and Gabrielle has lost it’s unappeal,’ Ares realized.

That thought alone was enough to scare the war god. He looked at the doorway desperately, waiting impatiently for Asclepius to come out and give him the news; good or otherwise.

It had been two months, *two months!* since Joxer had given birth to Tempra. Joxer had been ill for most of that time. Not desperately ill, at least not all of the time, but sick enough that sex was out of the question. Even before the birth, sex hadn’t been an issue for a couple of months; it just wasn’t very logistically possible.

That didn’t mean that Ares and Joxer hadn’t kissed and touched and loved on each other. It just meant that they hadn’t been able to be fully, sexually a couple in quite a while and it was telling on both men. Ares had been even more short tempered than ever before and Joxer had been a bundle of nervous energy, despite how calm he seemed when he was around Strife.

Ares had to admit that punishing Tryst for what he had done to Strife had occupied a lot of his time; that and trying to keep Cupid at least marginally sane. The war god sighed and leaned against the temple wall as he thought about his son; sons, actually.

Strife’s extremely hard pregnancy and ever increasing pain had taken a heavy toll on everybody. Ares couldn’t count the number of times that Cupid had needed to go blast something in frustration; it was either that or start screaming and never stop.

Ares had watched helplessly as one son cried from the pain and the other one cried from not being able to help his husband. Don’t be confused about the two sons comment though, Cupid was Ares’ son and Strife was technically Ares’ nephew, but the God of War thought of Strife as his son. He had raised the mischief god from when he was a small godling, after all. Ares hadn’t even been able to be around Cupid *that* much, not with the blond god living with his mother in the House of Love.

But things were better now. Tryst was still being punished, in some truly inventive ways, and was finally paying for his crimes. Strife had been *helped* by the people that cared for him and he wasn’t suffering *quite* as badly. Cupid was…well, still very tense and had to blast things quite a bit.

Ares winced as a sharp stab of pain shot from one side of his ribs to the other. ‘Damn. I hope Strife’s okay,’ Ares thought. He concentrated for a moment, but didn’t hear any panicked cries for help from Cupid, so he figured it was just more of the same old, same old; more of Strife’s ever present pain.

The door opened and Asclepius stuck his head out. “You can come on in…” Ace paused as Ares raced by him, “…now.” Ares ignored the grin on his nephew’s face and focused instead on Joxer, who was standing by the bed, smoothing his shirt down. The bed was slightly rumpled where the younger god had been lying while Ace examined him.

“Well?” The war god asked impatiently. Not that he was ever Lord Patience, but now with his cock about to punch its way out of his leathers, the war god had the self control of a rampaging hydra.

“I’m okay now, Ari.” Joxer smiled brightly, his brown eyes twinkling mischievously. “Allllll better.” The younger god ran one hand down the front of his shirt, down the front of his pants and left it there, in an uncharacteristically wanton display.

Ares swallowed hard and let his eyes roam up and down his husband’s lean body. He jerked in surprise when Asclepius cleared his throat; Ares had been concentrating so intensely on his lover that he had forgotten that the healing god was still there.

“There is no sign of infection. Joxer is healthy as a god can be.” Ace smiled at the twitching God of War. “Have fun now.” He waved goodbye and left in an interesting orange flash.

Ares turned back to his husband. “Are you sure you’re okay?” He wanted to be doubly certain. Ares was about to explode with sexual frustration, but he wouldn’t risk hurting his beloved for anything.

“I’m sure Ares.” Joxer ducked his head and blushed slightly, his earlier seductive moves forgotten as his natural shyness took over. He played with the corner of the covering on their bed nervously. “I don’t hurt anywhere or even ache. I…” Joxer stilled as Ares started forward. He swallowed hard and continued, “I’m great now.”

Ares walked over to his husband and reached down to cup a pale cheek. The war god’s large, tanned hand all but covered that side of Joxer’s face. “Yes, you are, Angel, yes you are.” Ares’ voice was low and hoarse with barely suppressed emotion.

“Come with me.” Ares took hold of his husband’s hand and pulled him towards the door.

“Ares?” Joxer blinked in astonishment and looked longingly back at their rumpled bed.

“Trust me, Angel.” Ares kissed Joxer tenderly.

“Always.” Joxer smiled trustingly at Ares and the war god felt his heart clench at the sweet expression.

Ares led Joxer down the hallway to one of the many other bedrooms that littered the temple. It was one that the God of War had prepared ahead of time, just in case that Ace said Joxer was okay.

“Close your eyes.” Joxer frowned a little, but obediently closed his eyes, just like Ares knew he would. The god led his husband into the room and shut the door. “You can open them now.”

The look on Joxer’s face when he saw the decorations made the waiting all worthwhile. The room was softly lit from the glow of the fireplace; reflections of the flames danced along the walls in interesting patterns. A large bed was covered in soft, thick blankets…and rose petals. There were several bowls and plates covered with food in case they got hungry.

Joxer turned to look at Ares and the bigger god saw tears of gratitude and love in his eyes. Ares pulled his husband close and reached out with one hand to caress Joxer’s soft cheek, fighting down the need that was making his pants so tight.

“Ares,” Joxer breathed out softly, rubbing his face against his husband’s open palm, his eyes closed. Joxer’s eyes popped open and Ares could see how aroused the younger god was. “Ares!” Joxer cried out as he grabbed a double handful of Ares’ vest and yanked him close.

The war god was astonished when his normally shy lover became so aggressive. Joxer let go of Ares’ vest and wrapped his long arms around his husband. Slender fingers grabbed at Ares’ back desperately, pulling him even closer.

Ares frowned at the desperation in Joxer’s kisses and clutches; Joxer was normally a tentative lover, letting Ares take the lead. ‘I guess he’s even needier than I am.’ Joxer whimpered and rubbed himself against Ares’ hip. The hardness inside Joxer’s loose clothes had already made a damp patch against the thin cotton pants.

Joxer’s obvious need helped settle Ares down a little. He would take care of his husband’s desires first. Ares ran a soothing hand down Joxer’s back. “Calm down Angel, we have all night. One of your acolytes is watching Tempra for us, so we can take as long as we need.”

“I know, I know. I’ve just fed Tempra, so we have several hours yet.” Joxer licked and kissed along Ares’ jaw frantically. “I just need you so much.”

Ares realized that Joxer’s want was due as much to the fear and worry about what was happening with Strife, as it did with lust. Fear about his friend and the two babies he was carrying wore on the sensitive young god.

Pushing Joxer gently back onto the bed caused a moment of panic to appear in Joxer’s eyes, because there had been so many times lately that Joxer had started feeling bad and they had to quit. Ares eased down beside his husband on the bed, showing that their lovemaking wouldn’t be stopped tonight.

Joxer kept kissing him wildly. Ares began to untie the front of Joxer’s shirt, doing it the mortal way to prolong the moment. He realized that Joxer wasn’t interested in slow right now though when his husband whimpered against Ares’ mouth.

Ares unlaced the front of Joxer’s pants one handed, the other hand was wound in Joxer’s soft brown hair, holding him tight. A nice bulge greeted his questing hand and Joxer arched up at the contact. Joxer gasped and cried out when Ares pulled his member from the confining pants.

“Please, oh please, Ares.” There were tears in the corners of Joxer’s eyes as begged.

Ares began to stroke the beautiful length up and down, looking his husband in the eye the whole time. Joxer didn’t look away, even as his hips jerked and sought more contact with the tight, warm grip.

It was all over in a matter of minutes. Joxer yelled out Ares’ name as he came all over his and Ares’ clothes. Lying there limply, satisfied for the moment, Joxer closed his eyes tightly. Ares ran a now clean finger across the wet eyelashes.

“I’m sorry,” Joxer said quietly.

“Don’t be, that was beautiful.”

“B-but,” Joxer’s lips trembled as he tried not to cry. “But it’s over now.”

Ares licked a long, wet swipe up the side of Joxer’s face, flicking off a few rose petals that had gotten stuck to Joxer’s damp skin. He grinned when Joxer’s eyes flew open with a gasp. “Angel,” Ares growled out the endearment, making Joxer shiver. “We’ve only begun.” He slid a hand inside Joxer’s partially open shirt and ran the rough edge of his thumb over a temptingly soft nipple. It tightened in appreciation and Ares was rewarded with another, deeper groan from his husband.

Joxer arched his back as Ares’ hand roamed around his stomach, making his skin tingle. He reached out to remove Ares’ leather vest, but the older god caught his wrists and kissed the palms of either hand, stopping his actions. “No, Angel, not yet. This time is to make you happy.”

He frowned slightly. “Seeing you naked *will* make me happy.”

Ares smiled as flashed his clothes away. “Whatever you want.”

Joxer reached out with his freed hands and cupped his husband’s face. “Touching you is something that I want to do too.”

“Whatever you want,” Ares repeated with a grin. Joxer smiled back and happily began to explore his big husband with his hands.

Ares decided to forget taking off Joxer’s clothes the mortal way; he wanted to see more of Joxer…right Now! The rest of Joxer’s clothes melted away like they had never been there and Ares groaned at the sight of his husband’s slender body.

Pale skin was stretched across bones and slight, but well-defined, muscles. Buff colored nipples were meeting his gaze proudly. They were slightly bigger than before he had the baby, because Joxer was producing milk to feed their daughter, but just enough bigger to tantalize. Ares gave a cautious lick to one enticing numb. Joxer arched off the bed and gave a whimper. The war god grinned, that was a happy whimper, not one of pain. So…he did it again.

“Oh gods, Ares!”

“You like that, Angel?”

The tugging on Ares’ head was his answer. Joxer pulled on the dark, curly hair, aiming it for the neglected side of his chest. Ares went willingly, even as his mind tried to think of a way to make this night special.

He reached over to one of the bowls on the table. Joxer shivered and watched as Ares picked up a plump strawberry and ran it across his own lips. The former mortal moaned as Ares ran the ripe, red fruit across his lips, staining them with its juices. Ares leaned down and let Joxer lick the juice off his lips. Then the war god ran the fruit over Joxer’s lips, before pushing the fruit into his mouth. Ares captured his husband’s mouth in a lingering kiss, one that shared the taste of the sweet fruit.

A goblet appeared on the table by the bed. The sparkles accompanying it caught Joxer’s attention when he saw them out of the corner of his eye. “Are you thirsty?” Joxer asked in a breathless voice.

“Yes.” Ares picked up the golden cup. “…and I know just how I want to drink.” Ares tilted the goblet and let a little of the red wine dribble onto Joxer’s chest. The younger god gasped at the cool, but not cold, drink.

“It’s going to be hard to drink it that way.”

Ares’ eyes flashed darkly as he let go of the goblet; it floated back to the table with a minimum of magical force. “Do you think so? Well, I’ll just have to get my drink another way.” Ares stayed leaning against one elbow and slowly licked the wine off of Joxer’s body.

Joxer moaned and whimpered as Ares made sure every bit of the wine was lapped up. He even turned his husband onto his side to follow the thin line of drink that had run along the edge of his ribs.

The wine goblet floated back and Ares poured another splash of the fruity drink on Joxer’s stomach. Joxer gasped and arched his back at the raspy feeling of Ares’ tongue on his belly button. The younger deity automatically tried to spread his legs wider. Ares raised up to let his husband rearrange himself and them settled down more firmly in between the widespread legs and onto the quivering flesh between them.

Ares poured a small amount of wine directly into Joxer’s navel and then used the tip of his tongue to lick out a tiny amount at a time. Joxer was practically hyperventilating by the time Ares was finished.

The older god didn’t want Joxer to come a second time, at least, not until they had been able to *completely* make love. A vial of oil appeared on the table, displacing one of the platters.

Ares slid back up Joxer’s body, taking care to rub provocatively along his husband’s arousal. Pulling Joxer’s head into position for a kiss, Ares slid another between their bodies and began to prepare his lover.

Joxer hissed at the intrusion into his body. Ares knew he needed to go slow; it had been so long that Joxer would be very tight inside. The war god could tell when it was no longer uncomfortable for his husband and he added more oil to his fingers and replaced the one with two.

Joxer arched his back and cried out when Ares rubbed against the small bump inside his body. Ares took advantage of the offering and kissed along the exposed neck. He licked and then sucked on Joxer’s Adams apple. Three fingers soon replaced the two and Joxer was desperately rocking against the invading digits.

“Ares…please.”

Ares didn’t need any more convincing. He quickly coated himself and raised Joxer’s legs up, hooking his slender knees over Ares’ shoulders. The God of War looked into his husband’s widely dilated eyes and slid himself inside.

“Unghhhh,” Joxer cried out. Ares couldn’t have agreed more. He began to rock against Joxer and the younger god pushed back as best he could considering the awkward position he was in.

“Oh! Oh, Ares.”

Ares smiled happily as Joxer’s slender form writhed underneath him. Joxer’s long fingers were digging into the rose petals. The combination of the scent from the flowers and Joxer’s own arousal was a heady permutation. Ares pounded into his husband’s body and took hold of the leaking member and began to pump.

Joxer quickly climaxed, screaming, “I love you, Ari.”

Ares immediately followed, overcome by the sight of his love climaxing and his body clenching around Ares’ own body. The two men collapsed in exhaustion. Ares managed to stay up long enough to carefully pull out of Joxer and lower his husband’s legs back onto the bed.

With a thought, Ares cleaned them up. He pulled Joxer into a warm embrace and covered them with one of the colorful blankets that he had placed on the bed. Ares smiled when he saw that Joxer was already asleep.

‘Joxer may be better, but he’ll still be tired for a little while,’ Ares thought to himself. ‘I’ll be sure and do as much of the taking care of Tempra as I can.’ Ares grinned at his sleeping husband. ‘As much as Joxer will let me that is.’

Joxer twitched a little in the bed and frowned slightly. ‘He may be sore tomorrow, after all, it has been quite a while since that *area* has been exercised.’ Ares ran a hand down Joxer’s back and rubbed against the pale behind. ‘I’ll just have to give him a good massage in the morning.’

With that thought in mind, Ares slid into sleep. The two lovers slept, content and happy, until it was time to feed Tempra again.



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