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
Spoilers: The Bitter Suite
Other: Part Forty-four in the series "Raising Melosa". Takes place right after "Ares Revenge"
A Conversation with Ares
A small window allowed light to enter the cell. I looked around rubbing my wrists as the door slammed behind me. Ive been in worse. At least Im alone and its fairly clean. No rats. Thank the Gods there are no rats. Well if youve 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 its 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 wont be possible until the magistrate sees you in two days."
"Two days? Youve got to be kidding. I need to see my wife and I need to see her now."
"Theres 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 wasnt 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. "Its a real shame isnt 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 dont know about that. Shes got quite the temper that one. You should see her right now. Shes 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 dont you think?"
"Sick is more like it."
"Oh Xena Im hurt. Cant you at least give me a little credit for a truly unique idea? Dont 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 its 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 thats greater
It will eat you alive, consume you and spit you out
Hates gonna win that theres no doubt about
Hate doesnt 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 youre in control
Hate you thought, hate you spoke
Hate you dreamed
All your hate gave me substance
Your lives are undone
Its 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 cant control herself. Im gonna have to help her with that."
"Stay away from her! Damn you!"
"You know I wasnt sure about her. I wasnt sure she had it in her until today. Shes got some of the irritating little blonde in her too."
"Shes got a lot of Gabrielle in her and thats why youll never be able to get to her."
"Nah shes 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 Ill 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 shell 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. "Its true youre still beautiful and I know very dangerous, but really Xena youre past your prime my dear. Youre what? Nearly forty-five. Theres 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. Youre a tricky one you are. Youll agree to join me and then when Im least expecting it " He brought his fist into his palm. "WHAMMO!"
I could barely hide the smile. It was true I couldnt 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 Ive really got you this time dont I Xena? Youd do anything to keep me away from Melosa wouldnt 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 Im 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."
"Thats your opinion."
"Yes it is. My opinion and Melosas as well. You know that shes 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 dont 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. Im working on getting you out of here. Its going to take sometime though. Ares influence runs deep and Im having trouble convincing certain people theyve been tricked."
"Dont worry about me Ri. Youve 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 youre being devious " I smiled at her as she nodded.
"Un-huh. Weve got Mel "
"Nope dont tell me. I dont want to know. As long as you say shes safe thats all that matters to me."
"Shes safe. Now Im concerned about getting you out of here. Ive 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 couldnt see you for two days."
"Yeah well youre their prisoner. Im 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 "
"Ive 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. Mels madder than Tartarus. Kai is really confused. Kessa and Rosa are afraid youre 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 Im 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. "Ill take them back with me. What about your boots?"
"Oh Im 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 didnt waste any time in showing up to irritate me."
Her head dropped and she stared at the floor. "We were right werent we? He wants Mel doesnt he?"
I sat down next to her and pulled her into my arms, kissing the top of her head. "Yes, yes he does."
"I wont let him Xena. I swear Ill die before Ill let that bastard have our daughter."
"Gabrielle listen to me. Ill 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 "
"Dont argue with me Gabrielle. We may have to split up to do this "
"No. I wont leave you here and Im not going to let Ares win this time either."
"Of course hes not going to win. Weve always beaten him before. Well beat him this time too."
She nodded and rested her head on my shoulder. "Well at least you wont 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 didnt want you here alone." She smiled at me. "And since they wont let me stay I figured it was the next best thing."
"Ooo you can be cagey when you want to, cant you?"
"You know it. Actually Im hoping to use the whole diplomatic immunity thing against them. Im 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 Ive 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 dont know."
"You have a plan dont you?"
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