"Allied With the Enemy"

By Aurora

Copyright Disclaimer: All characters that have appeared in the syndicated series Xena: Warrior Princess belongs to MCA/Universal and Renaissance Pictures. No copyright infringement was intended in the writing for this fan fiction.

Subtext: None--what, are you kidding me?

Violence: A little--what do you expect? This is XENA.

Sex: None---just ‘cause there’s no sex, doesn’t mean there can’t be kissing.

Rated G

Date Written: July-November 2000

E-mail: axbfeaurora@hotmail.com

Author’s Note/Summery: When the Olympians are captured and Hope is found alive, having given birth to all six Destroyers intent on making the world ready for Dahak’s rein, Xena is force to ally with Ares along with Gabrielle and Hercules in order to stop her from completing her goal. This is the first story of a trilogy: Allied With The Enemy, Trapped By Evil, and Together Forever and it takes place directly after “Sacrifice Part II.”



*~* Prologue *~*

“Xenaaaaaaaaa!!” Gabrielle screamed as she fell into the pit of Dahak.

Xena could not believe what had happened. She had been with Gabrielle just moments before and now; she was looking down into the fiery pit where she had last seen her friend. Tears filled Xena’s eyes as she looked on, wishing that she were dreaming. It all happened so fast, she didn’t even have a chance to say goodbye and now Xena was alone, left only with the memories.

Xena just sat there with her head in her hands, trying to take in everything that had happened.

“Xena…”

Xena looked up and seeing no one around, she knew she had imagined it.

“Snap out of it. Gabrielle is dead and there’s nothing you can do!” Xena told herself.

“Xena?”

Xena looked around and was positive that she wasn’t dreaming. Maybe Gabrielle was alive, Xena thought and with that she looked over the edge of the pit and found Gabrielle hanging onto a niche in the wall.

“Gabrielle!!” Xena exclaimed, her voice filled with joy.

Xena grabbed her bullwhip and threw it towards her friend. Gabrielle quickly grabbed hold of it and Xena pulled her to safety. Once she had made it safely to the top, Xena turned to her friend.

“I-I thought I had lost you for good.” Xena said with tears streaming down her face.

“You almost did.” Gabrielle said with tears in her eyes as she hugged the Warrior Princess lovingly.

*~* Chapter 1 *~*

A week had past since the day the two friends were reunited. Xena and Gabrielle sat down by the campfire, the night air settling on them like a cool blanket. The light from the moon cast eerie shadows within the forest. Xena was sharpening her sword when she felt an all to familiar tingle run up her spine.

“Gabrielle, I’m going for a walk.” Xena told her, walking off into the forest.

Once away from camp, Xena turned around and pointed her sword toward a tree.

“Ares…I know you’re here. Show yourself.” She growled.

Ares materialized in a flash of blue light at the tip of her sword.

“Hello, Xena.”

“What do you want NOW?

“I’m not here to fight with you, Xena. I just came to talk.”

“Why would I be interested in anything you have to say?” The Warrior Princess snapped.

Ares had been hurt by that remark but he made sure not to make it known to her.

“I’ve come to ask for your help.”

“My help?! Why should I help YOU? After your little hook up with Dahak, I want NOTHING to do with you.”

With that, Xena turned away from him and started back towards the camp. Ares cringed at the sound of Dahak and grabbed her shoulder, forcing her to face him.

“Joining Dahak was one of the worst mistakes of my life, okay? I wish I had never even known him, but now I’m trying to make things right.”

“Why should I believe you? You’ve tricked me before you could trick me again. You’re trying to get me to come back to you. Well, it won’t work, Ares. I know you to well and after all the pain you’ve caused, there is no reason why I should trust you.”

“Xena… please. If you’d just listen for once, you would see that I’m not trying to manipulate you this time.” Ares sighed. “I wish I had never hurt you in the past. I regret everything I’ve ever done to you, Xena and I am sorry.”

Xena just stood there, listening while Ares continued.

“After I’d sided with Dahak, the other gods banished me from Olympus and now they’re in trouble. Just as Gabrielle survived Dahak’s pit, so did Hope. But now she’s more dangerous and more powerful than ever. In only a week, she’s given birth to all six Destroyers and they’re planning to destroy the Olympians and all who oppose Dahak’s rein.”

“How do you know this?”

“Well, I was the one who gave Hope the ability to have the Destroyers and right now, she still believes that I’m on her side. But that won’t last long. She’s smart and soon she’ll figure out that I’ve changed sides.”

“Ares, why did you decide to go against Dahak? I mean, before…you were so eager to ally with Dahak so that YOU could become the only Greek god on earth and become all-powerful. What changed your mind?”

Xena glared at him, still not completely trusting everything that he was saying. She knew there must be a hidden reason behind his words.

Ares was not sure how to respond to her question because he didn’t quiet know the answer. He wasn’t sure exactly why he realized Dahak was evil, it just kind of happened.

“Xena, I finally realized that if Dahak were to enter the world, you would be the first he would destroy and I couldn’t stand the thought of loosing you.”

“Why, because you want me to rule the world with you?!” Xena snapped, becoming irritated with the god before her.

“No. It’s because--” Ares stopped in mid sentence. “Oh, what does it matter? I can see now that nothing I say will change your mind about me.”

He crossed his arms and disappeared in a flash of angry blue light.

Xena stood there in silence, feeling somewhat guilty for making him so angry. All he was trying to do was ask for her help and still she couldn’t see the truth behind his words. She was tempted to call to him and apologize but immediately she mentally slapped herself for thinking that she had done something wrong to him.

“He is the GOD OF WAR for crying out loud! I don’t need him.” Xena said to herself.

“What was that, Xena?” Gabrielle asked, walking up to her.

Xena jumped when she heard the voice of her friend and quickly turned around.

“It was nothing, Gabrielle.”

“Are you okay?”

“Yes.” Xena replied as they both walked back into camp.

*~* Chapter 2 *~*

Later that night, Xena slept restlessly. Images of Ares kept playing in her mind. Finally she drifted off into a deep sleep…

---------------------

“What do you want now, Ares?”

“I’m not here to fight with you Xena, I’ve just come here to tell you one thing.”

“And what would that be?!”

“That I care for you and I can’t imagine living a day without you.”

“As a warrior, you mean.”

“No. I mean I care for you…as a person.”

“You do? It’s hard for me to admit, but I have feelings for you as well.”

Their lips joined passionately, neither of them realizing exactly what they were doing, only that they shared one thing--love. They fell to the forest floor, completely intertwined forever…

---------------------

Xena jumped up in a cold sweet. She cringed at the thought of the dream she’d just had.

“Oh, what is wrong with me? I am NOT falling for Ares. I’m not! He is WAR, something that I despise. That dream must have come from him. Yeah. It was his doing.” Xena told herself.

She looked over at Gabrielle who was still fast asleep.

“I’ll take to her about it in the morning.” Xena whispered to herself, falling fast asleep.

*~* Chapter 3 *~*

Xena awoke to the sound of Gabrielle’s voice.

“Xena…Xena wake up.”

“What, Gabrielle?” Xena asked groggily.

“Xena, it’s almost noon.” Gabrielle chuckled. “You’re usually the first to rise, you’ve never slept in this long before. Are you okay?”

“Yeah, Gabrielle, I’m fine. Although, I do need to talk to you about something.”

“What do you want to talk about?”

Xena stood up and put her armor on and then walked over to a rock, sitting down. Gabrielle sat next to her.

“I know you may find this question a little crazy but…I need to know, in your honest opinion, if you believe that it is possible for Ares to change his ways.”

“Xena, Ares is the embodiment of war, nothing can change that. It’s his nature to be cruel and heartless. But I’ve always believed that there is goodness within everyone, even someone like Ares. Although, if there is goodness within him, it is buried so deep that it would probably take a miracle for it to surface. But Xena, I do believe that under the right circumstances, he could change.”

“Thanks, Gabrielle. That’s all I wanted to know.”

“Anytime, although, I am curious as to why you would want to know. You’ve never thought much of Ares, why start now?”

“Because…he came to me last night asking for my help and I didn’t believe him.”

“That’s who you were talking about when I asked you, wasn’t it?”

“Yeah.” Xena gave Gabrielle a smile. “Why don’t we get off of the subject of Ares and get some breakfast?”

“That sounds great to me.” Gabrielle replied, putting her arm around Xena.

After they’d had breakfast, they packed up their things and headed for Thessaly.

*~* Chapter 4 *~*

When they arrived in Thessaly a few hours later, what they saw shocked them. The city was virtually wiped out expect for a few buildings here and there that were still intact. Much of the city was on fire; the smell of burning wood lingered in the air. Xena looked around with wide eyes, wondering what had happened. There was not a soul in sight; everyone had either died or fled.

“Lets look for anyone who can tell us what happened here.” Xena told Gabrielle as they walked into the city.

They looked everywhere for any evidence of survivors.

“Help!” A young woman cried out from behind a fallen beam.

Xena and Gabrielle rushed over to her. She was lying next to a large wooden beam that had pined her down.

“Are you all right?” Xena asked as she moved the beam.

“I-I think my leg is broken. It hurts a lot.”

Xena examined the woman’s leg.

“It’s broken. Gabrielle, find something we can use for a splint. Could you also get some twine out of Argo’s saddlebag?”

“Sure, Xena.”

Gabrielle picked up a long stick and went over to Argo and retrieved the twine. She walked back to Xena and handed them to her. Xena set the bone and then looked at the woman.

“What happened here?”

“It was all so sudden. Everything was fine early this morning but then the ground began to shake and then it began to rain. It was like no storm I’d ever seen before. The clouds were thick but instead of being black like smoke, they glowed of many colors like gold and green and orange. The lightning destroyed most of our homes and when we tried to flee, the entrance to the city was blocked by hideous creatures.”

“What did they look like?” Xena asked.

“Oh, they were huge, with long spikes all over their bodies.”

“How many of them were there?”

“I think there were probably about…six, I believe.”

Xena’s eyes widened.

“Ares was right. I should have listened to him.” Xena whispered to herself.

“What?” Gabrielle asked.

“Nothing, Gabrielle. Why don’t you stay with--” Xena stopped in mid sentence and looked at the woman. “What is your name?”

“Kora.” She replied.

Xena looked back at Gabrielle.

“Why don’t you stay with Kora and see if you can find out anything else. I’m going to look for anymore survivors.”

“Okay.”

Xena walked behind a building and stopped, closing her eyes. She took a deep breath.

“Ares…Ares I need to talk to you.”

She got no response.

“Ares. Ares, please, it’s important. I’m sorry for how I treated you last night.”

There was a flash of light and Ares appeared.

“What?”

Xena walked closer to him.

“I’m sorry that I didn’t trust you before.”

“You SHOULD be sorry. I was trying to do something right and yet you still saw me as evil.” Ares replied, in an angry tone.

“I know. I believe you now, Ares. We need your help.”

Ares glared at her.

“Please? Ares, I’m sorry. Don’t you believe me?”

Ares sighted, lifting a gentle hand to caress her cheek.

“I can’t seem to stay mad at you, Xena. After the pain I caused, I should’ve known that was the reaction you would’ve given me.”

“Ares, I still don’t completely trust you but you’re the only hope we have against Dahak.”

Ares just nodded his head before Xena continued.

“I’ll give you the word when we’re ready for your help. I have to tell Gabrielle first, knowing how she feels about you.”

Ares placed a tender kiss on her cheek.

“Thank you, Xena. Maybe you’ll finally realize that I’m trying to change because I care about you that much.”

Before the feel of his lips on her cheek could fade, he was gone. Xena faintly smiled and then started back to Gabrielle. Suddenly, Gabrielle came running toward her.

“Xena! We have a big problem! Kora told me that the person who was leading the monsters who attacked her village looked just like…me! Xena, Hope is alive.”

“I know, Gabrielle.”

“How do you know?”

Xena took a few steps back.

“Ares!” She called out.

He appeared next to her.

Gabrielle looked at him with surprise.

“He’s going to help us? Xena, he sided with Dahak.”

“I know Gabrielle, but now I believe that he is trying to make up for what he had done. I think he’s trying to change.”

“I don’t know if I can trust him, Xena. He’s ARES.”

Xena sighed. “I don’t know if I can trust him either, but I have to at least give him a chance. Besides, he’s our only hope we have against Dahak.”

“I’m still going to keep an eye on him.” Gabrielle replied, looking at Ares.

Xena turned to Ares.

“I don’t suppose you have any idea what happened in Thessaly this morning, do you?”

“All I know is that the Olympians have now been taken prisoner by Hope, but she still can’t gain control of Olympus until every god has been captured. She knows that I’m the only one left and she’ll be after me very soon.”

Xena gasped. “That’s why there was an unusual storm this morning. It was the direct fall out from the war between the gods and Dahak.”

“Once Hope gets control of Olympus, she will have gained enough power to bring Dahak into this world and then no one will be safe.” Ares said.

“What are we going to do then?” Gabrielle asked.

“Well, I suggest that we head for Mt. Olympus immediately, but first, I know someone else who may be able to help us.”

“Who?”

“Hercules…and I know just where to find him. Come on, let’s go.”

Xena and Gabrielle started back towards Argo when they were stopped by Ares’ voice. He quickly appeared in front of them.

“What’s the point of walking when you’ve got me around? I can transport you anywhere you’d like to go, after all, I am a god.”

“You’re right, Ares. We are in sort of a hurry and it would take less time if we didn’t walk.” Xena mounted Argo and helped Gabrielle up. “Very well, Ares. Take us to Thebes.”

Ares smiled and with a wave of his hand they disappeared.

*~* Chapter 5 *~*

Xena and Gabrielle appeared in Thebes in a matter of seconds. Ares appeared next to them and looked up at Xena.

“How do know that Hercules will be here?”

“He visits his friend Jason around this time every year. He SHOULD be here.”

“Okay, Xena, but I’m not sure if it’s a good idea to get him involved. You know how he feels about the God of War.”

“Well, we’re just going to have to work through that. We need all the help we can get.”

Gabrielle dismounted and took Argo’s reigns.

“Xena, I’ll take Argo to a stable while you find Hercules.”

Xena nodded an okay as Gabrielle walked off. Xena turned to Ares.

“I think it would be best if you stayed here. Hercules, after all, doesn’t think very highly of you and if he sees you with me, he will be none too pleased. When I think he’s ready for the truth, I’ll call you.”

Ares looked at her curiously and grinned evilly.

“What truth? You mean about you and I?”

Xena glared at him.

“No, I mean about you teaming up with us against Hope. There is no US.”

Ares looked a little disappointed after the answer she gave him, hoping that there was an US. Ares smiled at Xena and then disappeared. When he’d left, Xena headed for Jason’s house.

*~* Chapter 6 *~*

When she reached the house, she found Hercules working on a stone wall.

“Hey, stranger.” She said cheerfully.

Hercules turned around to see the blue-eyed warrior smiling back at him.

“Xena…it’s good to see you again.”

Hercules walked over to Xena and embraced her in a friendly hug.

“It’s good to see you too. It’s been far to long.” Xena replied, looking at the demigod. “Hercules, I need your help.”

Hercules could see the worry in her eyes. “With what?”

“Have you ever heard of Dahak?”

“Yeah. I’ve heard that he’s an evil force that is not allowed to enter the world.”

“Well, we have a big problem. Dahak’s daughter Hope is planning to take over Olympus and prepare the way for Dahak’s rule. She’s using her children, the Destroyers, to imprison the Olympians.”

“What are the Destroyers?”

“There insidious creatures with no souls who eat of the living and the righteous and lay waste to all gods.” Ares replied, appearing next to Xena.

“What are YOU doing here?” Hercules asked angrily.

“He’s here to help us against Hope.” Xena replied.

“Why should we trust him? I heard that he was allied with Dahak at one time. How do you know that this isn’t a way to get you captured by Hope and then he would be the only god left on earth?”

“This isn’t a trick, Hercules. At one time I was allied with Dahak, yes and now I regret it. I’m trying to make up for what I had done.”

“No, no, you don’t get off that easily. You have caused some of the most painful sorrows of my life! You’ve tried to destroy me ever since I was born and you killed my wife. I don’t believe that you could ever change.” Hercules snapped.

“Hercules, in the past he’s hurt me too but I feel that I have to give a chance. We NEED his help.” Xena replied.

Ares looked at Hercules.

“I’m sorry that I killed your wife and that I’ve tried to kill you from the time that you were born but believe me when I say that I just want to help. I realize now that if Dahak takes over, no one, god or man, will be safe.”

Hercules glared at him.

“Please, just give him a chance. For me.” Xena said to Hercules.

Hercules was reluctant to answer.

“Fine. I’ll give him ONE chance but only because I trust you, Xena.” Hercules looked again at Ares. “I’ll be keeping an eye on you, Ares. Just because we’ll be working together, doesn’t mean that I trust you.”

“If we want to stop Hope, we’d better get going.” Xena told them.

“Well then lets go.” Hercules replied as he walked passed Xena, giving Ares one last angry look.

When Hercules had left, Ares put his hand on Xena’s shoulder.

“Thanks for standing up for me like that.”

“This doesn’t mean I feel any different about you but I want to give you a chance.”

They smiled at each other before following Hercules.

*~* Chapter 7 *~*

The three of them found Gabrielle waiting in a tavern.

“Gabrielle, are you ready to go?” Xena asked her.

“Yeah, Xena.” Gabrielle looked at Hercules standing next to Xena. “It’s good to see you again, Hercules.”

“You too.” He replied.

The four of them walked outside.

“Xena, do you have any idea how we are going to beat Hope? She’s very powerful.” Ares asked.

“I don’t really know, yet.”

“What about the Hind’s Blood Dagger?” Gabrielle suggested.

“You’re right! It should still be in the Halls of War next to the fire pit where I left it after I killed Callisto.” Xena exclaimed.

Xena turned to Ares.

“Can you go get it and then meet me back here?”

“Sure thing, Xena.” Ares replied disappearing in an instant.

“And how do you plan to get close enough to Hope to actually kill her?” Hercules asked.

“Hercules, I haven’t really thought that far ahead. We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.” Xena replied.

Ares appeared seconds later, but the expression on his face began to worry Xena.

“What? What’s wrong?”

Ares sighed. “The dagger isn’t there. I looked everywhere and I didn’t see it anywhere.”

“Hope must have it and if she does, that will completely change our plans.”

“So how are we going to stop her?” Gabrielle asked.

“Our only change is to get the dagger from Hope and then use it against her. The only problem is that Hope knows all of us and we would have no chance of getting close to her without being captured or killed.” Xena said.

“Not all of us.” Hercules said.

“What?” She asked him.

“Xena, Hope has no idea who I am. I can us that to my advantage. I can find a way to get the dagger from her.”

“So, what will you do?” Ares asked him.

“Well, if I can trick her into thinking that I agree with Dahak’s rule and that I want to destroy the gods, I may be able to steal the dagger from her without her knowing it.”

“Hercules, that’s a good plan. Ares can transport us there and we will wait outside Olympus while you go in and talk to Hope. When you get the dagger we’ll decide what to do after that.”

“How will he know where to find the dagger?” Gabrielle asked.

“I can create a window so that we can see where to find it.” Ares replied.

Ares raised his hand and turned it as light began to glow from the tips of his fingers. A window appeared and they saw the dagger. It was sitting on the table in the main room of Olympus. He turned his hand again and the window disappeared.

“Now that we know where to look for it, we’d better get going.” Xena told them, walking up to Ares.

She looked into his eyes.

“Thanks for being so helpful. We wouldn’t be able to do any of this without you.”

“Xena, this is just my way of repaying you for joining up with Dahak.”

He lifted her hand to his lips and kissed it before continuing.

“But I should be the one thanking YOU for giving me a chance.”

Xena was transfixed and she couldn’t seem to break away from him. She rubbed her fingers together with his, staring deep into his brown eyes. They just stood there motionless.

“Xena…” Hercules interrupted.

Xena was brought back to reality and looked back at Hercules.

“Are we going to go or what?” He asked.

“Yes, we are going to go.” She replied.

She turned back to Ares.

“Ready?”

“Let’s go.”

With a flip of his wrist, all four of them disappeared.

*~* Chapter 8 *~*

They soon appeared at the entrance to Olympus.

“Are you ready, Hercules? Do you have any idea what you are going to say?” Xena asked.

“Don’t worry. I’ve got it under control. After all, I am half god, don’t forget.”

Xena smiled at him.

“Just be careful.”

“I will.” He said holding her hand reassuringly.

“Oh, and Hercules. You will know who Hope is when you see someone that looks just like Gabrielle.”

“Thanks.”

Hercules slowly opened the gates to Olympus and walked in. The room was lit with candles on every wall in every nook and cranny. Columns held up the roof. Near the end of a long hallway, Hope was walking back and fourth. When she saw Hercules, she stopped and whistled. Suddenly, six very tall monsters with long spikes charged him. He quickly flew up his arms.

“Wait! I’ve just come here to join you.”

Hope signaled for the Destroyers to stop their attack immediately. She then walked up to Hercules with evil eyes.

“What?” She asked, her voice much scratchier than Gabrielle’s.

“I said I’ve come to join you and Dahak.”

“Who are you?”

“I’m Hercules.”

“Hercules? Where have I heard that name? Oh, I know. You are the son of that one god, what’s his name? Oh, yes--Zeus.” She growled at him. “Why would the son of a god want to join Dahak?”

“Because I know how the gods have treated mortals, playing with them like game pieces, and I want it to end. I want to DESTROY the Olympians and make the path clear for Dahak. I’ve heard that Dahak is going to bring a new order to the world and I want to be a part of that.”

“Yes, that is true.”

Hope walked around Hercules, surveying him.

“So is it a deal?” He asked.

“Why should I believe what you say?”

“Because…I have some information that could be very valuable to you.” Hercules paused for a second before continuing. “I know where you can find the only god that you still do no have--Ares, the God of War.”

Hope’s eyes lit up, glowing white. “He IS the only one standing in the my way. My father cannot rule until I have captured ALL of the Olympians. TELL me where he is and you will be allowed to join Dahak.”

Hercules leaned over and whispered into her ear.

“He’s at the very top of Olympus as we speak.”

“Yes!”

She whistled and the Destroyers rushed to their mother’s side.

“Come, my darlings. We have another god to capture and his name is Ares.”

Hope laughed evilly and the walked toward the stairs that led to the top part of Olympus, her children following her eagerly.

Once they had left, Hercules headed on towards the main room. When he got there, he saw it. Sitting on the large banquet table was the Hind’s Blood Dagger. He quickly walked over to it and picked it up. Hercules looked around, making sure that no one was there and then rushed to the entrance.

*~* Chapter 9 *~*

When he got outside, Xena rushed up to him.

“Did you get it?”

“Right here.”

Hercules handed her the dagger and she placed it in her belt.

“Now, how are we going to kill Hope? We can’t even get close enough to try.” Gabrielle wondered.

“I’ll deal with that but right now we had better get out of here before Hope finds out that we’re here.”

“To late!” Hope shouted from atop Olympus, about forty feet up.

“Uh-oh.” They all said in unison.

Hope went back into Olympus and headed for the front entrance. The four of them had to think of a plan and quick.

“Xena…Hercules and I will distract Hope while you go in for the kill.” Gabrielle said.

“Okay.” Xena replied.

Ares walked up to Xena and gently grabbed her arm. He turned her so that she was facing him.

“Xena, um, this may be the last time that I’ll be on this earth and there’s something…I need to tell you.”

“What?”

Xena looked at him curiously.

Ares cleared his throat. “Xena…I…I-I love you.”

Xena was shocked when he said those words and her mouth gaped wide open. She didn’t know how to respond.

“You don’t have to say anything, Xena. But I want to give you something in case this is the last time I’m with you.”

Ares took her face in his hands and slowly lowered his head to hers, joining their lips together. He started out slow but then began to deepen the kiss, letting his tongue explore her mouth.

Xena was in shock the whole time and decided to just let him lead. When he parted, he lifted her chin. She looked at him but said nothing.

Ares stepped back and walked around her. Xena lifted her hand to her lips. She could still feel Ares’ lips on hers. When she finally snapped out of the trance she had been in, she turned around to find Hope and her children standing at the entrance to Olympus.

“Hello, Xena.”

“Are you ready to die?” Xena asked, showing her the dagger.

Hope sneered and then looked at Hercules.

“You snake!” She shouted at him.

Hope lifted her fingers to her mouth and whistled. The six Destroyers came towards them but Gabrielle stepped out in front of Xena, Ares, and Hercules.

“Hope, why are you doing this? Don’t I mean any thing to you?”

“No, Mother, you don’t. You were just a vessel, a way for me to come into the world. I am DAHAK’S daughter, not yours. I’m complete evil; there is no goodness within me.”

With that, the Destroyers charged the four of them. Hercules, Ares, and Gabrielle battled them with all their might. Gabrielle swung her staff left and right while Hercules just used his incredible strength to knock them out. Ares sent charges of lighting towards them but it didn’t kill them, it only stunned them for a second. The creatures seemed unable to die; fighting them was just a diversion so that Xena could go after Hope.

Xena walked towards Hope with the dagger raised. Unfortunately, Hope used her powers to make the dagger point at Xena. Xena forced the dagger in the direction of Hope but she wasn’t having any luck. The dagger slid across Xena’s throat, beginning to break the skin.

Ares saw what was happening and he shot an electric charge into Hope. It stunned her momentarily but that’s all that Xena needed. While Hope was in shock, Xena ran up to her and plunged the dagger into her heart. Hope began to gasp and cough, her eyes became quite wide and they glowed bright red with anger.

“My…death does not mean the end…of Dahak. One day he WILL enter the world…and it will be glorious.”

Hope fell to the ground with Xena standing above her. Suddenly, the Destroyers began to die as well until all six of them were dead.

Xena looked around at Hope’s dead children.

“Hope must have been their life force. If she dies, they die.”

“Makes the job easier for us, doesn’t it?” Hercules laughed.

“I guess.” Xena replied.

Ares walked up to Xena and inspected her wound.

“Are you all right?”

“Yeah, thanks to you. You saved my life, Ares. I’m in your debt.”

“Anything for you, Xena.”

“Ares, do you have any idea where the gods would be kept?”

“Yeah, follow me.” Ares said, walking out of the room.

The four of them came to a large, poorly lit room. Thick bars made of metal enclosed it.

“Xena! Am I ever glad to see you.” Aphrodite exclaimed.

“How are we going to get them out?” Gabrielle asked.

Xena took her chakram from her side and aimed it at the bars. She threw it at such an angle that when it hit the bars, each one cracked in half. The gods and goddesses squealed and cheered with joy as they left the cell.

“Thank you, Xena.” Apollo said.

“Yeah, thanks.” Demeter said.

“If there’s ever anything you need, just ask.” Hephaestus said laying a hand on her shoulder.

Xena just smiled. Zeus walked over to Ares.

“You’ve proved yourself worthy, Son. I’m eternally grateful.”

“Thanks.” Ares replied as his father left in a crash of lighting.

Aphrodite walked over to Ares.

“Thanks, Bro. I knew you would come through. And thank you, Xena, for showing Ares how to love.”

“You know about that?” Ares asked.

“Hell-o! I am the Goddess of Love, aren’t I? I just know these things.”

Aphrodite began to giggle and then disappeared. When every god had left, Xena walked up to Ares.

“Did you truly mean what you said about loving me?”

Ares put his hands around Xena’s waist and pulled her closer to him.

“Yes. I love you with all my heart.”

“Really?”

“Yes.” He whispered as he joined their lips together.

He passionately kissed her but then she backed away.

“Ares, this is going to fast for me. We can’t be together right now. Maybe one day, but not now.”

Ares was a little disappointed but he knew that it was her decision, not his and if he ever wanted to be with her, it would have to be on her terms.

“I will wait as long as I have to so take as much time as you need to decide.”

He kissed her on the cheek.

“I’ll be waiting.” Ares said, disappearing.

Xena looked at Gabrielle and Hercules.

“Are we ready to go?” She asked.

They nodded their heads in response but then Gabrielle spoke up.

“Xena, are you all right? I can see that Ares is different now.”

“Yeah, I’ll be fine. I know that he’s changed but I need some time to think about what I’m feeling right now, that’s all.”

“But Xena, whatever you decided about him, I’ll support you no matter what. I can see now that you two belong together.”

“Yeah, I see it too. He’s not the man we used to know.” Hercules said.

Xena smiled at them and put her arms around their shoulders.

“Thanks, you guys.” She said as they walked out of Olympus.

Ares appeared and watched as they left.

“Goodbye, Xena. I know that someday we’ll be together. Until then, I will always think of you.”

He smiled and disappeared in a shower of blue sparkles that soon faded in the darkness.

CONTINUE on to Trapped by Evil

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