This is my first time to post a fic here in the list and i hope you're kind. Please be gentle with me. I hope you like it.
Retribution and Reparation
Disclaimer: I don't own them. It's all fiction.
Pairing: A/J, C/S (implied)
Author's Notes: This is my answer to Christine's challenge.
Retribution and Reparation
"Why do I have a sudden craving for pig's knuckles?" mumbled someone from another room as Ares, God of War, heard it as he was passing by and froze on his tracks.
When Ares heard that, he started to panic. The first time he heard those words was when Aphrodite wasn't married yet to Hephaestus. The next to say that was Eris, his twin sister, just after the war with the Titans. Recently, Nemesis, the former Goddess of Revenge who is now mortal, said it before a big fiasco with Hercules. Now, it was his new consort, Joxer, the new God of Retribution and Reparation who said it. It would always start with that question.
He walked away and started to pace on the rug facing the doorway of his home temple, trying to formulate a plan. "Okay, first things first. Calm down. Next, call Apollo and Mom. After that, if it's true, go start a war or something to relieve the stress. Okay, that's a good plan," thought Ares as his mind started to jumble. "Now to calm down. Breathe in. Breathe out. Breathe in. Breathe out. Don't let it bother you. Nothing's happened yet." He still didn't feel calm. "When all else fails, scream!" And so he screamed.
Joxer was riffling through the vast amount of food that could be found in the kitchen of the Hall of War. He smiled when he found a plate of spicy meatballs in the cupboards. Now all he needed were something to accompany it and maybe, just maybe, he could forget his craving for pig's knuckles. He accidentally dropped the meatballs in shock when he heard Ares' scream.
"Someone's screaming? Ares?" thought Joxer. He stood up from his bent position in the pantry and rushed to the temple that he now shared with Ares. There, he found his husband, with his hands on his ears and wailing like a siren on grog. As he was trying to quiet him down, several people started to flash into the temple. Nothing seemed to work until one thought came to him. It was about how Xena handled Gabrielle during that time at that fish market in Athens.
"I hope you forgive me for this, Love," winced Joxer before he punched Ares' lights out with all his strength, knocking him unconscious.
Aphrodite was sitting on her boudoir, dressed in nothing but pink lace panties and a pink silk dressing gown. Hephaestus had just left for Lemnos to finish some swords, leaving the Love Goddess to her own devices until later. She was brushing her hair with a crystal hairbrush when she heard one very loud yell. In surprise, she dropped the brush, breaking it into a million pieces. She pouted at the sight but returned to find the source of the screaming.
"Arry?" she said with curiosity and quickly changed into her usual attire. After a fast check of appearance, she flashed out with pink sparks and Rose petals. She arrived in the Temple of War to witness Joxer trying to shake Ares back to reality. She looked to her right and left, noticing that other gods flashed in, their curiosity getting the better of them. They all gaped as Joxer punched Ares to unconsciousness.
Eris was in another room in the Hall of War, just kicking back and relaxing before the next conflict that had to be done. Since it was scheduled for next week, she was now curled up in a good scroll and feeding herself some Gaulish bon-bons.
Discord was startled out of a hundred years when she heard her twin shrilled like nobody's business. She ran into the main hall and arrived just about the same time as Joxer. His consort took charge and tried to snap her brother out of it. This commotion seemed to attract the attention of some Gods who gathered to see what was happening. When Joxer punched Ares to shut him up, Eris had only one thing to say.
"Oh my God!"
Strife finally convinced Cupid that he would look good with an earring. Cupid didn't know how it happened but Strife managed to persuade Asclepius, Morpheus, and Ganymede that it would be good idea also. So now, the five of them, under glamour, were in some establishment of ill repute in Thrace, waiting their turn for the mortal who was going to pierce their earlobes to come back from a break. The place was owned by some weird cousin of Falafel from Persia who loves to do body piercing and body art.
"So Strife, are you getting another ear piercing?" asked Morpheus, who was watching the show of some belly dancer with a leather choker. Watching her perform was giving him ideas on some interesting ideas for dreams later for some lucky individuals.
"Nah, I'm getting a tongue piercing," he replied. All four of his godly friends looked at him as if he were crazy. "Hey, don't look at me like that. I've wanted one ever since that delegation from the Egyptian Pantheon came over. One of them had one and she told me all about it. Mom didn't allow me to have one until I turned 250 years old." He turned to Love God cousin and leered at him, whispering to his ear. "That Egyptian goddess also told me what I could do with it. Wanna find out later, Cupie?"
Cupid blushed and felt his cock grow. He was thankful that his glamour hid more than just his wings for now. And Strife's stroking of his thigh didn't help matters either. "Strife!" admonished the Love God, but kept his gaze down to his boots.
"Hey, the mortal's back. So who's first?" questioned Ganymede with much enthusiasm.
Later, Cupid came out with a new diamond stud in his earlobe. Strife seemed to want to lick at that ear at that moment to make Cupid moan. All of them, except Strife had their piercing done but when Strife was about to enter the room, they all heard one Tartarus of a scream.
"Shit! What was that?" asked Asclepius as he gently used his power to heal the swelling and infection the procedure made on his ear.
Both Cupid and Strife looked at each other with wide eyes. As Cupid said `Dad', Strife said `Unc', and both of them flashed out of sight. The three remaining gods shrugged together, and followed the other two to Ares' temple. When the three of them arrived, they saw Joxer holding Ares' in a faint with Cupid and Strife on the side. They saw that they weren't the only ones here. It seems half of Olympus wanted to know what was going on.
Strife sighed as he and Cupid carried Ares to a leather couch by the hearth. "I guess I'll have to wait for that tongue ring for another time." Cupid whimpered slightly from the lost prospect.
Apollo, the golden God of Light and Music, was very frustrated at his task at hand. There were just days when he could simply kill Artemis, the Goddess of the Hunt. Forget the fact that she was his twin sister.
But no matter, he was a determined God. He defeated the Python when he was but four days old. He saved his mother from the wrath of Hera. He rides his sun chariot every morning without fail, even if he did hate waking up that early. He killed entire armies for the slightest insult against his being. And he gets laid practically everyday. He was also a multi-talented God. Music, art, prophecy, healing, intellectualism, and much more. There was no challenge that ever conquered him. Well, maybe except this one.
"Are you done yet?" asked the Amazon, breathing heavily, with spread out legs and a Sun God between them.
Apollo looked up from his obstacle, namely the lock of the chastity belt that she was wearing. He cursed his sister's requirement that all of her dedicated female worshippers had to be virgins and had to wear these accursed belts. He gave her a winning smile and continued on with picking the damned lock. With the precision of Autolycus, he carefully used the pins that he was maneuvering to open the lock. Too bad it was made of Hephaestan metal or he would have blasted it away by now.
"Almost got it," he said with his tongue between his teeth. "Almost there……"
"APOLLO!!!!" someone bellowed.
The God of Light dropped the pins in surprise and almost cried at the now lost cause. He swore loudly at the gods who were mentally summoning him. Growling with irritation, he raised his hands and gave up. The Amazon pouted, while he sighed with a groan. He gave her an apologetic smile and disappeared in a golden flash.
"WHAT!" he snarled as he got to the temple.
"Oh for the love of Gaia! Please cover yourself, Dad," cried out Asclepius as the majority of those present covered their eyes, a few gave appreciative, leering looks.
Apollo looked down and saw that all he was wearing was the leather thong that Eris gave to him at his last birthday. The Sun God turned red and quickly covered himself with a thought. When he got over his embarrassment, he looked at the scene before him. It seemed that both Ares and Joxer were out cold. He raised an eyebrow at his son who was leaning over Joxer while using his power.
"Okay, now that you're decent, Dad. Can you use your power and confirm what I'm reading here?" said Asclepius, giving way to his father.
He took stock of the situation, momentarily forgetting the tragedy that just happened to him, and asked someone to tell him what's happening. Aphrodite complied.
"Pol, Joxie found Arry screaming his guts out. He was trying to calm him down when all of us came in. When all else failed to shut him up, Joxie clocked him. We brought Arry to the couch and revived him. He told us his suspicions and asked Ace to check out Joxie. Ace confirmed his readings and both of them fainted. You're here basically to give us a second opinion."
Apollo frowned. His readings were the same as Ace's. "Guys, I think we need to inform Mother Hera about this." With a sigh, he called mentally for the Queen of the Gods, knowing the Ares won't have a moment's peace if Hera's final words confirmed this.
Hera was in her rose garden, pruning some new blooms when Apollo's summons came to her. She heard Ares' screams earlier, and assumed that it has something to do with that. Gaia knows, that Hades himself heard the screaming all the way down in the Underworld.
She flashed into the Hall of War and witnessed the normally spacious hall being filled with Gods and Goddesses, all interested in what was taking place. As she got closer to her eldest son, she noticed that his consort of two months was also in a dead faint. Apollo asked her to search out Joxer's body and she did as requested. She smiled ruefully. Her son may not like it when she tells him that he was going to be the father of triplets.
"Let me get this straight," said Gabrielle who was a little shocked but was writing away on her scrolls. "Hera said that you are pregnant. With triplets. And that Ares is afraid of you now."
Hercules and Iolaus were astounded. Picturing the War God being afraid of Joxer, a man they knew that wouldn't harm anyone intentionally, was too mind-boggling. Xena, on the other hand, was bouncing on her seat with joy. She recently made up with her father and was too caught up with the thought of being a sister again to think of her father's plight. Autolycus just stared at Joxer with an open mouth. King Iphicles simply couldn't make heads or tails of Joxer's announcement so he just said nothing.
Since all of them just coincidentally were in Corinth for Aphrodite's Festival, he decided to tell them at one go. He asked Strife and Cupid to bring everyone to the castle, so all of them got the shock of their lives when Joxer flashed in with a slight bulge on his tummy. All in all, they took the new very well.
"Now wait a minute," said Hercules as he recovered from the shock. "How can Ares be afraid of you? No offense Joxer, but you hardly have a very mean bone in your body."
Joxer sighed. "Take note that Apollo told me this, okay. Apparently, Ares is traumatized by pregnant gods. It all started with Aphrodite and Eris being pregnant with Cupid and Strife respectively. Their hormones were so out of whack they were literally out of control. Nobody really wanted to deal with them so Zeus ordered Ares to take care of them since he is so close to both of them. It took Ares 15 years to recover from the ordeal. Now, he's so afraid of me that he locked himself in his own temple in Thrace, blocking out everyone."
"It can't be that bad," said Xena. All of the men gave her a weird look. "Look, most experienced fathers know how women get when they are pregnant. Ares is probably a father many times over so I really don't see why this is such a problem for him. Don't you think he's overreacting?"
Another sigh came out of Joxer's mouth. "I don't think he is. Both `Dite and Eris confirmed that they were mega bitches during their pregnancies. Apollo said that since godly pregnancies take about half the time that a normal woman's so the hormonal attacks are worse twice, sometimes thrice over. It doesn't help either the Ares somehow ends up with the most impossible Goddesses to begin with."
Hercules and Autolycus thought about it and shuddered at the image of Aphrodite in a hormonal rip. They shared a look and shuddered again. Both being fairly acquainted with the Gods, they, at times, see them as wacky relatives that happen to literally pop up ever now and then.
"I have a question," said Iphicles who was still confused about the whole situation. "How did Ares get stuck with Eris? Is he the father of Strife?"
Xena looked at Iphicles with patient eyes, and grinned. "No, he isn't. In fact, Strife doesn't really have a father. Ares was the closest thing to a father figure that Strife ever got to know." Iphicles waited for further explanation. "Gods can become spontaneously pregnant if there is an excess of energy being produced. Such was the case when the Olympians beat the Titans. Discord got the brunt of it because of all the discordant energy being produced. As a result, Strife was born. As a close male god equivalent that I can think of was Zeus when he gave birth to Athena from his head." Every single one of them winced at the picture of Zeus giving birth to Athena.
"It's no wonder she's a pain half the time," thought Hercules about his dour half sister. Up above in Olympus, it seems like an entire contingency of Gods were eavesdropping on Joxer's meeting and had to resoundly agreed to Hercules' sentiment, despite some of their own problems with the demigod.
`He got that right!' `Oh, yeah!' `Uh-huh' `Yeah, you betcha!' `She can be a bitch at times.' All six of the mortals looked around for the source of those voices. Joxer just covered his face with his hands in exasperation. With a wave of his hand, he erected a privacy shield, much to the chagrin of the Peanut Gallery, er, Gods in Olympus.
"Anyway, enough distraction," said Joxer, looking upwards with annoyance and hearing some grumbles. "I need to ask a favor, Hercules. Also from you guys, if you want to." All perked up in interest. "Ares locked himself in his main earthly temple in Thrace, scared to show his face to me. He left Olympus in fear for his life when Hera told him about the triplets. It's been two weeks already and I miss my husband. If he wouldn't listen to me then he gives me no choice but to use force. His temple has been shielded against any gods that want to enter. Mortals, it seems, can enter so I'm hoping that you guys can drag Ares out so I can talk to him." The smiles in most of them worried him for some reason.
"Is that all?" questioned Iolaus, speaking for all of them. "It will be our pleasure to help you out, Jox. What do you plan to do when you get your hands on the `Big, Bad God of War'?"
"Just talk with him and tell him that Aphrodite and Apollo developed a hormonal balancing potion to handle my mood swings. Apollo said that it will work for the most part of my pregnancy so Ares won't have to run for cover when I go on a rip."
"Joxer, out of curiosity and all. What did Aphrodite and Eris do to Ares back then?" asked Gabrielle who didn't look up from writing on her scroll.
"Dite went on a decorating spree and tried to turn Olympus into her own personal bedroom. If anyone tried to stop her, she would blast them pink." Hercules shuddered again. "Eris was unstoppable on her quest to satisfy her food cravings and to tried to control her very chaotic mood swings that nearly destroyed a group of islands in southern Greece. She also tried to blast every woman that came to her view because she thought that all of them were thinner than her and that she was fat." Gabrielle and Xena sympathized with the Goddess of Discord, while the men blanched in horror.
"When do we start?" asked Hercules, and in an instant, they were all in Joxer's new temple in Thrace.
Strife, who was spying over the locked-up temple of Ares, heard the summons of Joxer and transported himself into his temple.
"Any news, Strife?" asked the new God as he rubbed his stomach with circular motions. Strife took the seat next to Xena that was free and looked at the small assembly of mortals and demigods keeping them company.
"Unc still has that barrier up. From what the temple priests are telling me, he's so drunk that even water can make him inebriated. From what they're telling is that he's rambling all about babies and trouble brewing ahead," said the Mischief God as he twitched about.
"Okay, this may be easier than I thought," said Joxer as he began to pace. Xena and Hercules marveled at the way Joxer took charge and planned this whole thing. After a good 30 minutes of thinking, he settled down at the head of the table and gave them their instructions.
"Okay, here's the plan. Strife, can you get access to the wine that goes into the temple daily?" Strife nodded. "First, go to Ace and get a power dampening potion and spike the wine outside since you can't go inside. Next." He looks at Autolycus. "Auto here will sneak in, in disguise, and check out the situation in the temple. If he's unconscious, all the better. Step three will be Xena, Iolaus, and Herc going in there and placing these," he flashed some hephaestan manacles," on Ares. Just in case he struggles a bit." Joxer saw the look on Hercules eyes. He knew that he was going to enjoy this way too much.
"What about me?" asked Gabrielle with a raised arm.
"You'll help me out later when I talk to him," Joxer replied, grinning like a cat. He then looked at Autolycus with hard eyes. "If you steal anything in my husband's temple, I will personally make sure that you will see the error of your ways." The thief then raised his hands in a surrendering action.
When Ares woke up, he found himself bound to some bed with green sheets and sporting a hangover that would impress even Dionysus, the God of Wine. Moving proved to be at too much of a chore and decided to sit still. Outside the room, he heard some familiar voices but didn't care to place them at the moment. He just wanted to stay in bed and forget everything. That idea was thrown out the window the moment Gabrielle came through the doors with a cup full of brewing liquid and some tablets. Ares sat up and Gabrielle sat down on the bed's edge.
"Here," she said and gave him the cup and medicine. "Asclepius said that these would help cure your hangover. Cupid, Strife, and Ganymede said they could attest to their usefulness."
Ares gave her a wary look but swallowed the medicine, nonetheless. He then started to choke with revulsion after consuming the contents of the cup.
"Bleh!" he exclaimed. "That shit tastes awful!"
Gabrielle chuckled. "Hey, I didn't say that the stuff would taste good."
Ares just gave her one of his patented glares. She just ignored it and sat patiently.
"Uh, sorry for asking a stupid question and all but why are you here?"
Gabrielle decided to be indulgent and tell him. "We are just waiting for Cupid to arrive, and then we can start with our session." Ares tried to pry her thoughts but something held him back. "And don't bother trying to read my thoughts. We drugged you with a potion so you can just sit and listen."
"Curses!" said the War God with a low, growling tone. Again, the bar chose to ignore him. Cupid materialized soon there after. He brought with him a reclining couch, a desk with swiveling chair, and some scroll to write on. It took a moment for Ares to realize what his son was trying to do. "No, please! Anything but this! No!" Ares continued to struggle to no avail.
"That was pure genius, Jox," said Jett, the King of Assassins and middle brother, while laughing to his heart's content. He, Jace and Joxer were sitting in a tavern, eating, drinking, and basically chewing the fat. Jace, the eldest, who loved to wear flamboyant dresses, gave his youngest an indulging smile. Joxer just shrugged at the compliment and continued to rub his 2 month old along-the-way stomach that was hidden under a glamour. Two more months and he would be able to see his feet and be a father to three godlings.
"I guess it was," said the new God of Retribution and Reparation. "I mean, I got it from this woman in the future called `Oprah'. She would always talk about freeing your spirit and stuff, and she would always these guest speakers to help out people with their fears and weaknesses. It seemed like a good idea so I got Gabrielle to help me out. After all, she's one of the best motivational speakers I know of. Kind of like those preachers that you find in the agora. Annoying as Tartarus, but compelling as well. Plus, I got Cupid to do this thing that he calls `Marriage Counseling'. It's something that he's trying out on some of his temples to see if it works. It's working so far because me and Ares are doing good."
As it turns out, Ares' recent problems with Nemesis' pregnancy solidified his phobia. When Joxer found out what happened during that time, he was positive that it was a fate worse than Tartarus. He shook with fear as Ares told him, through emotionally draining words, about the angry, unpredictable mood swings that always had him as a target. All the marathon ambush sex one with power sapping bindings. She never let him rest and recuperate for each round; only the continuous need to satisfy herself. Since he was the father of Nemesis' child, he was charged to follow her in the course of her duties. Ares knew that killing was part of her duties as the former Goddess of Revenge and Justice, but to witness the constant killing of children as their punishment to the smallest of crimes made him nauseous and nothing he did stopped her. The final straw was when Evander was born and Ares was stripped of his rights as a father. How Nemesis managed to conveniently forget the pain that she put the War God through thoroughly perplexed him. When Hercules and Iolaus heard about this, they volunteered to go to Nemesis' house and take her back to Joxer for punishment. He told them not to bother for he had special plans.
"So what are you going to do now?" asked Jace with a concerned frown.
Joxer looked at both of his brother and gave then a reassuring smile. "I'm just going to do my job after this and then go fin my husband." The look seemed to appease them and they just continued with their meal. Joxer didn't want to reveal what he had in mind of the former Goddess.
Nemesis, the former Goddess of Revenge and Justice, checked quickly into Evander's room and smiled. When she gave up her Godhood, it was to save her sanity but most of the Gods didn't know that. They all thought that she was being spiteful to Ares for him treating her badly when actually it was the other way around. Her pregnancy with Evander made her insane. She knew it but no one else did. She decided that to become human was the only way to save herself and her son. And hopefully, Ares would forgive her someday. Seeing that her son was asleep, she closed and turned around only to see someone sitting down by the fire. Even if she was mortal, she knew that this tall, pale man was a God.
"I know what you've done, Nemesis," this new, unknown God simply said, and she paled with fright. "I know what you've done to Ares and to the children."
Nemesis sank to the floor and cried. Joxer approached her and felt her mind. From what he saw, despite his original judgment, he knew he had to change it. He then bathed the former Goddess with some healing power and cured her madness. Not much for her sake, but for Ares and Evander.
"Let me introduce myself. I'm Joxer, the newly appointed God of Retribution and Reparation. In a sense, I've taken over your old position." This scared Nemesis even further, but Joxer relieved her terror. "As you can feel in your mind, I've cured your madness. It was because of this madness that caused you to do most of your actions. If you just allowed as it was, you might have caused more harm to your son than you realized. For all the suffering you endured under the malady, this is my blessing to you." The former Goddess relaxed. "But you also did many things that could have been done even without the madness, so I will have to punish you. Do you understand?"
Nemesis simply stood up and faced the God before her, accepting of her fate, and nodded. Joxer could feel the fortitude of her conviction and smiled at the mother of Ares' current youngest son.
"For your crimes against the children that you have killed with little mercy and to their families who suffer from grief, you will have to do one massive good deed for each family to atone for each child you have killed." Nemesis nodded and waited for him to continue. "For your crimes against Ares, God of War, you will serve 1 year of service in his main temple in Thrace as punishment. You will assume the role of an instructor to the young initiates and pray every single day until your tenure ends asking for forgiveness."
Meekly, Nemesis looked up with supplication. "What about Evander? Will I be separated from him? Can I still be with him?"
The God of Retribution and Reparation just smiled and touched her cheek. "You will have joint custody with Ares, seeing that it wasn't entirely your fault, but the insanity." He flashed a scroll out of thin air and gave it her. "Here's the list of the families that you will have to make amends to. I will be up to you how to approach them. Now, I will grant you a couple of days to settle any last minute affairs and to spend some time with your son. He will be in good hands. He will be staying with family, after all. Remember, you can always ask for him when you get lonely. Good night, Nemesis." And with that, Joxer disappeared.
Apollo was telling the truth when he said that the hormonal balancing potion would work for the most part. It lost it effectiveness about two weeks before the due date. Friends and family alike were on the edge of their seats just waiting on any news on the babies. Ares was relieved that the hormonal spikes that Joxer experienced were mild compared to that of Dite, Eris, and Nemesis. The only drastic thing he did was throw things at anyone who dared to even imply that he was fat. Other than that, things were pretty okay. With the backaches, swollen feet, crying fits, and
Ares, on the other hand, was walking on air now that he was seeing his son again. It was a great joy to see the normally mean-looking God of War playing with his offspring. It was good to hear laughter again in the Halls of War.
"HOLY SHIT! Ares! WAKE UP!" shouted Joxer to his groggy husband.
"Wuh?" Ares said, incoherently, while lifting his head off the soft pillow.
"Wake up! It's time. Oh Shit!"
In a scramble, Ares transported both himself and his consort to Hera's temple and screamed for his mother. Over the pain of the contractions, Joxer held on to Ares' arm and squeezed as if it was an orange. Ares' screamed in pain. Hera arrived just in time to pry Joxer off Ares and asked his son to call Asclepius and Apollo.
"APOLLO! ASCLEPIUS!" yelled Ares and instantly both father and son appeared. Hera produced a special bed for childbirth and laid a laboring Joxer on it, with the help of an overanxious War God. As the Healing Gods and Hera worked out how they were going to deal with the birth, the couple had one of their loving conversations.
"Get away from me, you Prick! If you ever touch me again, you will regret the day I helped you get back your sword. Oww! This hurts so much!" Joxer swore so loudly that if the temple weren't sound proofed, then it would awaken the entire Mount Olympus.
"But sweetie!" reasoned Ares.
"Don't you `But Sweetie' me, you Asshole. When these babies are out of me, I will kill you and serve your ass to Cerberus. Now get out of here!"
"But. But. But."
"Now!" Joxer produced a fireball that Ares narrowly avoided. Hera looked at her idiotic son and smiled kindly.
"Son, I think you better stay outside and wait. This may take a while so I suggest you go outside for you are just causing your husband some more stress."
Ares was torn between staying and going. He made up his mind when Joxer made a very large fireball that would be very hard to avoid. As quick as lightning, he ran out as fast as he could, as the fireball missed him by inches. When he got outside and closed the temple door, first saw his children, flanked by Dite, Eris, Heph, and Zeus. Behind them, the whole host of Olympus congregated to bear witness the event. Even the Fates themselves were present, and they hardly ever left their cave.
Hours passed and Ares was now ready to climb up the wall with waiting. Everyone took a corner to wait on until the arrival of the three newest Gods. Strife took it upon himself, with help from Morpheus and Ganymede, to get the `Fab Four' and Joxer's brothers. Hermes flew off and grabbed his son, Autolycus, while he was casing some joint in Thebes. Aphrodite decided to flash out to get Meg, knowing that Joxer and Ares will need all the help they could get in raising the triplets in the early months. Meg agreed once she found out that Joxer was pregnant and needed help. Evander and Bliss were cuddled up to each other, as they hardly could stay awake while waiting the new godlings.
All fell hushed when the massive doors to Hera's temple opened and out came the Queen of the Gods herself followed by Apollo and Asclepius, each of them holding a newly born babe. Ares was first to the doors and pride literally poured out of his body as he saw each one of his beautiful children.
"It was a difficult birth, but Joxer took it like a trooper. He's resting now so why don't you go see him," Hera said as she held one babe with dark eyes and a little tuft of brown hair. Ares smiled and kissed each of his identical baby boys and then rushed in the chamber to see his tired husband. Eris and Zeus approached Hera as she gave the bundle she was holding to Xena to carry.
"You realize that the Fates presence here means that something major is coming, don't you," asked the Goddess of Discord to her parents.
Zeus nodded, tiredly. "Yes, my child. These new godlings may be the only solution against the twilight. I just had a glimpse of their Godhood and they might save us yet. Only time will tell."
"You will help your brother in raising these children, will you? It's going to be increasingly difficult in the upcoming months what with Evander now living in with them full time and now the triplets," asked Hera.
Discord smirked. "Of course, I will help out. Heck! Me and Dite will help when we can. Even Jerkules and company volunteered their services to baby-sit every now and then, if just to help Joxer and Ares have a time out to themselves. Let's just hope the peace will last while it can."
"I hope so, my daughter. I sincerely hope so," said Zeus and herded the three of them back to the crowd that was cooing over the newly-borns.
"You did good, Joxer. You did good. They're all healthy and identical. They are all handsome and perfect, just like their dad."
"That's nice," Joxer said before falling to the oblivion of sleep.
I hope you liked it.
Broken links or other errors can be sent to Carrie
. Suggestions are also welcome.