"Xena! Gabby!" Joxer exclaimed as he approached their campsite.
Gabrielle groaned quietly, more or less, and began to make herself busy breaking camp.
As she was diligently working Joxer asked, "Why don't we catch some fish and have breakfast before we break camp?"
"We're in a hurry to get to Thebes, we don't have time to wait for fishing, don't be stupid." Gabrielle said while continuing to pack up.
[That's one.] Joxer thought to himself, but stayed silent as he watched her work.
* * * * *
Camp was broken and the three, four if you count Argo, were on a path through the forest. The breakdown of camp had passed without incident, but then again, Joxer hadn't spoken to Gabrielle since the 'stupid' remark. He began thinking back through his travels with Xena and Gabrielle and noticed a pattern. He decided to test out a theory, just to see if he was right.
"It sure is a beautiful day, isn't it Gabby?" Joxer asked with as much of a smile as he could muster.
"It's too hot, there are too many bugs and don't call me Gabby." Gabrielle sneered.
[That's two.] He thought. [If my theory is right, the next one should be an insult AND a slap or nose twist.] "So what are we going to Thebes for?"
"WE'RE going to stop a war, I don't know why YOU'RE going." Gabrielle said snippily.
[I guess I was wrong.] Joxer thought to himself. *Whap!* [ * Good * * One * Gabby! * *] Joxer thought as he saw stars.
//Ares?// Joxer thought to his almost-lover.
//Done already? It hasn't been an hour yet.// Ares responded.
//I don't need to see anymore. I'm just going to say my piece and then go. I thought you'd want to hear.// Joxer thought with an underlying smile.
//Wouldn't miss it.// Ares thought back with a smile of his own.
Joxer stopped in his tracks and said forcefully, "Gabrielle."
Gabrielle turned, rolling her eyes and huffed a sigh of exasperation. She was standing in a pose with her fists balled up on her hips waiting impatiently for Joxer to continue.
"Gabrielle, I'm leaving. I'm not going to let you insult me or hit me anymore." Joxer said in an emotionless tone.
"C'mon Joxer, we have to keep moving." Gabrielle chirped out, turning to catch up with Xena, who was ahead, watching the conversation.
"I always thought you were beautiful and smart. Now I understand why. You think you're beautiful because you make other people feel ugly. You think you're smart because you call other people stupid."
This declaration made Gabrielle stop, dumbfounded. "I'm..." she tried to say but Joxer interrupted.
"You're mean, Gabrielle. That's it, that's all you are. And I'm not going to waste my time being around someone who doesn't like or respect me. The next time we meet, it won't be as friends. Bye Gabby, Bye Xena." And with that, Joxer turned and walked off in the opposite direction.
//That was good, but you didn't tell them you're a god.// Ares thought to Joxer with amusement.
//I'd rather show them, when the time is right.// Joxer thought back with a smirk.
//Ready to come home?// Ares thought.
[Home, it really is my home now, isn't it?] //Yeah, I am. Where are you? I'm going to try to do it myself.// Joxer asked.
//In the throne room.// Ares said with concern.
//Here I go... // Joxer thought back, then with a look over his shoulder to make sure he was out of sight, he vanished.
Back on the path, Gabrielle was walking with Xena saying, "I'm glad he left, he sure was grumpy this morning."
Xena was just sitting on Argo astonished, [Like water off a duck's back. Gabrielle didn't hear a word of it.]
* * * * *
Cupid entered the bedroom that he used to share with Psyche. She was still asleep, alone in the bed. "Psyche... " Cupid said, trying to wake her up somewhat peacefully.
"Wha? Cupid, what is it?" Psyche asked blearily.
"I was awake all night thinking, and I've come to some decisions." Cupid said sadly with a little apprehension.
Psyche was now fully awake. "What decisions?" she asked with her own apprehension.
"Psyche, this marriage isn't going to work out. Our entire marriage was a lie... " Cupid continued to be interrupted.
"But we could still work things out." Psyche interjected with a pleading note.
"I don't want to work it out. Psyche, I'll be here for you, to help you with things. But I just won't be your husband anymore." Cupid said, feeling like he was the lowest type of creature for not staying with her.
"B... but what am I going t... to do?" she asked through sobs.
"You're going to decide what you want to do, then you're going to do it. And do you know what?" Cupid asked with false enthusiasm.
"What?" she returned with a suspicious look.
"I'll be right there helping you, any way I can." Cupid said with an almost smile.
* * * * *
Joxer materialized in the throne room of the halls of war, in the fireplace to be exact. But with a quick step out of the firebox and across the hearth, he was in Ares' arms.
Ares and Joxer kissed like they hadn't seen each other in months. "Can we go to bed, I mean RIGHT NOW?" Joxer asked.
Ares got a disappointed look and said, "I have a war to start near Thebes this morning... "
"Can't someone else take care of it? Just this once?" Joxer asked with authentic pleading in his voice.
Ares pulled out of Joxer's arms and cleared his throat, "Eris... Enyo... " Ares called out loudly. Within a heartbeat both his sister and daughter appeared. "Eris, we have a war starting outside Thebes today. I need you to take Kraeges' side, Enyo you get Larigis. There were a lot of political maneuverings and such going on but I decided we just need an old fashioned bloodbath. The whole point of this one is to cull the excess male population of the area. So have fun, assassinations within the ranks, surprise attacks, what have you." Ares said with a bloodthirsty look in his eye.
"And where will you be?" Eris ventured to ask.
"I won't be able to attend. Something else ::blush:: came up. This is all for you two, live it up!" Ares said, walking away. Eris and Enyo were obviously dismissed.
* * * * *
They entered the bedchamber at a run. At the edge of the bed, Ares stopped and gathered Joxer into his arms for a long deep kiss. Somewhere during the kiss, their clothes dissolved. [Subtlety later, score now!] Ares thought as he turned Joxer's back toward the bed and prepared to push him down.
Joxer either didn't notice or didn't care as he began to stroke up and down the length of Ares torso from shoulders to hips and back again with featherlight touches. On the next downstroke, Ares had had enough of that and grabbed Joxer's hands and firmly placed them on his ass.
Joxer pulled his face back a little in surprise, but when he saw the carnal hunger in Ares' eyes, he took his double handful of Ares' ass, pulled firmly, and ground his turgid shaft against Ares' belly.
Ares approved of Joxer's action and responded in kind. There are times when gentility and romance are the way to go. But other times, like this time to be exact, fast and dirty was the name of the game.
Ares finished pushing Joxer onto the bed. Ares was hungrily devouring Joxer's mouth when Joxer surprised him by flipping him to his back.
Joxer slid down Ares body, and without a second thought he took Ares shaft into his mouth. Using a combination of instinct, his limited experience, and every engraving he had ever seen on the subject, Joxer began to work Ares' hot shaft with enthusiasm and passion.
Ares head snapped back from the surprise attack. The myriad of sensations overwhelmed him and within moments he achieved climax. Joxer stayed firmly with his ministrations until he had consumed every drop of Ares seed.
After a moment of gasping, Ares reached down and pulled Joxer fully onto the bed beside him. He started by giving Joxer a deep kiss, tasting himself in Joxer's mouth. Then he began to work his way down Joxer's long neck with licks and kisses, and the occasional bite.
Ares worked his way down to a nipple and began alternating sucks and nips. As Joxer seemed to get used to this, Ares moved to the other nipple and began a new assault. Once both nipples were firmly at attention, Ares moved down the hairless chest to the flat stomach. When he finally reached Joxers engorged cock, he began to nuzzle in the pubic thatch at the base of Joxer's shaft.
Joxer let out a giggle and started to writhe, "It tickles! Stop, it tickles!" Joxer gasped out between giggling breaths. Then Ares took Joxer's cock into his mouth. He was moving more slowly and deliberately than Joxer had but then again, he already got his, so he had nothing but time.
Tortuously slowly Ares moved his mouth up and down the shaft while he tenderly kneaded Joxer's ballsack with one hand. As much as Joxer was enjoying the attention, he wanted 'More', 'Faster', and 'Now'. Joxer made some barely articulated noises that might have meant that.
Joxer began to thrust himself into Ares mouth with increasing speed. He could feel the climax approaching hot and fast. Joxer's body went rigid and just as his first spasm of release spilled forth, he heard the silent summons from Hephaistos in his mind. It's difficult to say if that made the experience more intense or not, but all too soon Joxer had spent his load down Ares greedy throat.
As Joxer collapsed he began to laugh. Ares was surprised by this reaction having missed Joxer's mid-coitus message, then he received his own message from Hephaistos and understood. When they both finished laughing, Joxer asked, "Do you think we'll ever complete a sexual act without a message from Hephaistos?"
"Maybe, Like I said before, 'Some sense of timing.'" Ares replied with a smile.
"What we just did, that was just to take the edge off. It's only a taste of what's waiting for us tonight." Ares said, then pulled Joxer in for another deep kiss.
With a wave of Ares hand both he and Joxer were cleaned and clothed. Ready to meet with the king.
* * * * *
Ares and Joxer appeared in the main hall before a large group of family.
Hephaistos blushed and smiled at Joxer then stood to gain the attention of the seated group.
"We are here today to bear witness to the divorce of Cupid and Psyche. Joxer please come forward and proceed as you will." Hephaistos said regally.
Joxer came forward and gestured for Cupid and Psyche to join him. He noticed with relief that Bliss was not present. Joxer turned to face Cupid, he looked Cupid directly in the eyes and Cupid got a look of surprise on his face. Cupid glanced at his father and back at Joxer then smiled with approval. Joxer returned the smile and looked deeply into Cupid's eyes again.
After a silent moment, Joxer broke the gaze and turned to face Psyche. He look deeply into her eyes and an involuntary shudder ran through his body. Joxer broke the gaze with Psyche and turned to face the assembly.
"Be witness, those assembled that the marriage bonds that once bound Cupid and Psyche are now severed. They go into their separate lives from this point. May they each find happiness in their own way." Joxer said sadly.
"In the matter of Bliss, the product of this marriage, it is my ruling that Cupid shall be sole guardian and provider for their child. Psyche may arrange to spend time with Bliss at Cupid's convenience." Then Joxer turned to look directly at a shocked Psyche. "In matters of divorce, I am the final judge. If you wish to understand my motives, you are free to ask my reasoning."
Psyche was still too shocked to speak. So Joxer continued, "If there are any questions about dividing property, come see me privately. If there is nothing else, this matter is concluded."
Joxer, Psyche and Cupid made to leave the front of the hall as the others stood to go. "Wait!" Ares called to the group.
All eyes turned to Ares. "I have an announcement to make." he said to the group as he made his way to the front.
Joxer was walking to be seated when Ares grabbed him by the arm and lead him back to the front.
"All those assembled, bear witness to this." Ares said as he took Joxer's hands and got down on one knee before a stunned Joxer.
"Joxer, you have been my friend for the past four years. When there was no one else for me to talk to, you were there to listen and to care." Ares said looking up into Joxer's eyes.
"As in the cycles of nature, life gives way to death, death makes way for new life, in light of the divorce that we are here to witness, it seem somehow right that today be the day I ask, Joxer, will you marry me?" Ares asked with all his love showing in his eyes.
Joxer stood silent for a second then tugged Ares up to stand. Then Joxer finally said, "Ares, you have been my friend for the past four years. When no one else trusted me, you treated me with trust and respect. I would be honored to marry you."