Disclaimers: The characters of Xena: Warrior Princess and all other associated with the television series of the same name are owned by MCA/ Universal Pictures. This is a work of fan fiction and no copyright infringement is intended.

Subtext: I guess with my writing so far we'll just quit calling it subtext and call it maintext. Yes they are in love with each other.

Sex: Nope, none, nada…

Violence: None

Language: Mild

Spoilers: The Bitter Suite

Other: Part Forty-four in the series "Raising Melosa". Takes place right after "Ares Revenge"



A Conversation with Ares

By T.Novan



A small window allowed light to enter the cell. I looked around rubbing my wrists as the door slammed behind me. I’ve been in worse. At least I’m alone and it’s fairly clean. No rats. Thank the Gods there are no rats. Well if you’ve got to get arrested, get arrested in Athens.

I lay down on the cot and placed my hands behind my head, crossing my legs at the ankles. "Well bard it’s all up to you."

I could hear the city moving around outside. How in Tartarus do these things happen to us? A simple trip to sign a treaty turned into this. Here I am lying in a cell…unable to protect my family. I sat up quickly and moved to the window. A short distance away I could see his temple. He was standing on the steps looking over at me laughing. I gripped the bars as he continued to throw his head back and laugh. Then he simply disappeared.

"It was all a set up. To get me out of the way." I turned and moved to the door. "Guard! Guard!"

One of the guards that had come to the palace to arrest me came to the front of the cell standing some distance from the door. "What do you what?"

"I need to get a message to the Queen!"

"Well that won’t be possible until the magistrate sees you in two days."

"Two days? You’ve got to be kidding. I need to see my wife and I need to see her now."

"There’s nothing I can do." He turned and walked away.

I began pacing the cell. "Think Xena, think." I stopped in the middle of the room and lifted my head toward the ceiling and closed my eyes. "Hades! Hades I need to see you and I need to see you now!" I shouted at the very top of my lungs. When I lowered my head and opened my eyes I wasn’t surprised to find myself alone. "Thanks a lot…dad." I growled as I continued to pace.

"You want out Xena?" His voice filtered into the cell.

"Ares! You bastard! Show yourself."

"Umm no." His disembodied voice laughed at me. "It’s a real shame isn’t it Xena? Here you sit in a lonely cell, while your precious wife and children are out there all alone and unprotected."

"Damn it Ares what do you want?"

"Melosa. Oh she has great potential Xena."

"NEVER! Do you hear me Ares you will never get to Melosa."

"Oh I don’t know about that. She’s got quite the temper that one. You should see her right now. She’s absolutely furious. So much like you. Storming around trying to think of painful deaths for the men who came and took you this morning. Her anger and her hatred are refreshing."

"You used me against her!"

"Well not really. I just did the one thing I knew would get her attention. Brilliant don’t you think?"

"Sick is more like it."

"Oh Xena I’m hurt. Can’t you at least give me a little credit for a truly unique idea? Don’t you remember what you learned in Illusia?"

I heard the voice in my head, the words that had been ripped into our souls so long ago.

It begins very small
Seems like nothing much at all
Just a germ, just a speck, just a grain
But the seed has been sown
And before you know it’s grown
It has spread through your life like a stain
And its power will strangle your love and joy
And its hunger consumes for it lives to destroy
Hate is the star; it becomes who you are
Not the hated, but the hater
Has a torment that’s greater
It will eat you alive, consume you and spit you out
Hate’s gonna win that there’s no doubt about
Hate doesn’t care who you are – Hate is the star
Learning hate is an art, even people who are smart
Can be caught, can be crushed, can be creamed
Hate has swallowed you whole
Did you think you’re in control
Hate you thought, hate you spoke
Hate you dreamed
All your hate gave me substance
Your lives are undone
It’s your eve of destruction, your hatred has won



"Oh and Xena let me tell you she is just so full of it right now. She almost can’t control herself. I’m gonna have to help her with that."

"Stay away from her! Damn you!"

"You know I wasn’t sure about her. I wasn’t sure she had it in her until today. She’s got some of the irritating little blonde in her too."

"She’s got a lot of Gabrielle in her and that’s why you’ll never be able to get to her."

"Nah…she’s a lot more like you. Regardless of what you and the queen want to believe Xena, she does have a touch of your dark side in her and I’ll be able to use that to my advantage. So you think if I go to her and offer her a way to get you out she’ll take me up on it?"

"Damn it Ares leave her alone. What do I have to do to make you leave her alone?"

The form slowly took shape in front of me. He smiled at me as he crossed his arms. "Are you offering me something in trade Xena?"

I swallowed hard. "What do you want Ares? Me? Will you leave Mel alone if I agree to join you?"

"Hmm you know I might have taken you up on that a few seasons ago Xena, but look at you." He walked around me looking me up and down. "It’s true you’re still beautiful and I know very dangerous, but really Xena you’re past your prime my dear. You’re what? Nearly forty-five. There’s actually gray in your hair." I jerked my head away from his hand as he traced the streaks of gray at my temples. "Besides I know you. You’re a tricky one you are. You’ll agree to join me and then when I’m least expecting it…" He brought his fist into his palm. "WHAMMO!"

I could barely hide the smile. It was true I couldn’t very well stand there and deny it. Gabrielle and I had defeated him more times than I cared to remember, generally by using his own tactics against him.

"But I’ve really got you this time don’t I Xena? You’d do anything to keep me away from Melosa wouldn’t you?


"Weak. This whole thing has made you weak. Being married, having children…turned you into a ‘run-of-the-mill’ mortal…"

"I made that decision of my own accord so that I might be able to live a normal life with Gabrielle."

"Oh yes," He scowled and rolled his eyes. "Gabrielle. You know if there were a bane to my existence, it would have to be Gabrielle."

"My life with her has been good for me."

"Not from where I’m standing. You were suppose to rule the world Xena, but noooo you had go off and get married. You know I could almost live with that. You still stayed on the road and there was still hope. Then, oh then, she decided she wanted children and you agreed to that too. Settled down with the amazons and started changing diapers. No life for a warrior."

"That’s your opinion."

"Yes it is. My opinion and Melosa’s as well. You know that she’s not planning on staying in the stuffy little village. She wants to travel and see the world Xena. She wants to experience life, taste adventure. Just like you…" He hissed the last three words and I felt my stomach churn with his hidden meaning.

"Ares don’t…leave her alone…"

"And now my dear Xena I have a pupil to recruit." He disappeared in a blinding flash.



I turned when I heard the door to my cell open. Gabrielle stepped in with two amazon guards behind her. The guards carried a few of my personal items. They sat them on the bed and left quietly as I enfolded my wife in my arms. We stood like that for a long moment, neither of us speaking. We just held each other.

"Gabrielle, this is Ares’ doing. He has arranged all of this to keep me out of the way while he tries to get to Mel."

"I know. I’m working on getting you out of here. It’s going to take sometime though. Ares’ influence runs deep and I’m having trouble convincing certain people they’ve been tricked."

"Don’t worry about me Ri. You’ve got to get back to Mel…"

She placed her fingers over my lips. "Shh…Mel is safe." She grinned at me. "Stashed in the last place Ares would think to look for her."

"Ah wife you’re being devious…" I smiled at her as she nodded.

"Un-huh. We’ve got Mel…"

"Nope don’t tell me. I don’t want to know. As long as you say she’s safe that’s all that matters to me."

"She’s safe. Now I’m concerned about getting you out of here. I’ve dispatched two of the guards for home to inform Eph that we might be delayed getting back."

I sighed and nodded my agreement. "Hey how did you get in here? They told me I couldn’t see you for two days."

"Yeah well you’re their prisoner. I’m still a Queen…"

"Pulling rank huh?"

"You betcha. I brought you some things too. I thought you might want to change out of your leathers."

"Speaking of which, they took my armor…"

"I’ve already reclaimed it. Ep took it back to the palace."

"Thanks." I moved away from her and began stripping out of my leathers. "How are the kids?"

She sat on the edge of the cot, handing me my shirt. "Scared. Confused. Mel’s madder than Tartarus. Kai is really confused. Kessa and Rosa are afraid you’re not coming home. It really hurt them to watch you being led out of there like that."

"I know. If I ever get the chance I’m gonna give that captain something to remember me by." I slipped into loose fitting trousers and tucked in my shirt."

Ri folded my leathers and set them to the side. "I’ll take them back with me. What about your boots?"

"Oh I’m keeping those. Ri when you see Mel try to get her to calm down. Ares is going to use her anger against her."

"Have you seen Ares?"

"Umm-hmm. He didn’t waste any time in showing up to irritate me."

Her head dropped and she stared at the floor. "We were right weren’t we? He wants Mel doesn’t he?"

I sat down next to her and pulled her into my arms, kissing the top of her head. "Yes, yes he does."

"I won’t let him Xena. I swear I’ll die before I’ll let that bastard have our daughter."

"Gabrielle listen to me. I’ll handle Ares." I pulled back and tilted her chin to make her look at me. "You just take care of the children. If that means you have to leave me here and go back to the village to do it…"


"Don’t argue with me Gabrielle. We may have to split up to do this…"

"No. I won’t leave you here and I’m not going to let Ares win this time either."

"Of course he’s not going to win. We’ve always beaten him before. We’ll beat him this time too."

She nodded and rested her head on my shoulder. "Well at least you won’t be alone here." She sighed after a few moments of silence.


"More of my pulling rank. I told them that since you are my consort they have technically arrested a member of the amazon royal family and I made them agree to let me post one of our own guards outside the cell door. I didn’t want you here alone." She smiled at me. "And since they won’t let me stay…I figured it was the next best thing."

"Ooo you can be cagey when you want to, can’t you?"

"You know it. Actually I’m hoping to use the whole diplomatic immunity thing against them. I’m having the records brought from the village that show you were made a part of the tribe before we got married. If it works they will have no choice but to release you and drop the charges."

"Clever, but if Ares is influencing the Governor and his advisors…"

She waved her hand at me. "Oh I’ve already thought of that and I brought in some help…"

"Do I want to know?"

"Probably not. As a matter of fact this whole thing just might work out better if you don’t know."

"You have a plan don’t you?"



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