"Trapped By Evil"

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: November 22-December 1 2000

E-mail: axbfeaurora@hotmail.com

Author’s Note/Summery: After Xena and Ares team up to destroy Hope, Xena finally realizes how she feels about Ares but when she discovers that Dahak has Ares’ body, stopping him may cost Xena her life. This is the second story in the trilogy. It is the sequel to Allied With The Enemy.



*~* Chapter 1 *~*

Ares sat alone in his temple in Thebes, thinking about Xena, his love. It had been only a few days since he had gone up against Dahak but to him it seemed like only yesterday. He had gotten closer to Xena in that one day than he had in almost five years. Even though Xena had left him because she said that she needed time to sort out her feelings, he knew, in his heart, that she would not be gone long and that eventually, she would come around.

So, here he was, sitting on his thrown with his eyes closed. Suddenly, he heard footsteps come toward him. He quickly opened his eyes.

“Xena?” He gasped.

“Uh, no, my lord.” Said the woman in front of him.

Ares was somewhat embarrassed for thinking it was Xena and slowly, sank back into his thrown. The woman walked up to the alter in front of the thrown and knelt down. She placed a basket of fruit on it and began to speak.

“Oh, Great Ares. In your name, I present you with this offering so that you may help my people become victorious in the battle with our enemy.”

Ares just looked at the woman as she stood up to see Ares looking at her. He sighed when he saw her eyes. They were crystal blue, reminding him of Xena. A single tear fell from the corner of his eye.

“My, lord?” She asked.

Ares quickly wiped away the tear.

“Your offering has been excepted and you will get your wish.” He said, gesturing for her to leave.

“Thank you, lord Ares. I am most grateful.” She replied, bowing her head before leaving the temple.

When she had gone, Ares rested his head on his hand and exhaled deeply.

“Xena…Xena please come to me. I want to be with you.” He whispered.

Ares closed his eyes once more but before he had time to sink deep into thought, he heard a growling noise coming from within the temple. Ares looked around but didn’t see anyone there. Then, an orange light began to glow from around the thrown. Ares’ eyes grew wide as flames began to rise all around him.

The flames engulfed him and a demotic voice began speaking to him in a satanic tongue. Fear surged through Ares until the flames started to enter his body. His fear soon diminished and an evil grin appeared on his face. The fire disappeared and he was left there, alone once more. He smiled evilly before disappearing.

*~* Chapter 2 *~*

Xena and Gabrielle walked along the road back to Thebes. Hercules had gone back to his friend Iolaus because he had heard that there was trouble in Sumeria and they went to check it out. Xena led Argo with Gabrielle by her side. Gabrielle was swinging her staff, improving her technique.

But Xena paid no attention to her friend, for she had much more on her mind. Ares’ words kept replaying in her mind--I love you. She longed for his gentle touch and his soft lips. She lifted her hand to her mouth, being able to almost feel him there.

She was so deep in thought that she didn’t even see the log in front of her before tripping over it and hitting the ground. Gabrielle stopped walking and extended a hand to her friend.

“You all right?”

“Yeah.” Xena replied as Gabrielle helped her to her feet.

Gabrielle looked at the Warrior Princess and in her eyes she saw something she’d never seen before--sadness and longing.

“Is something wrong, Xena?”

Xena took a moment to respond. “Gabrielle, do you think that I shouldn’t have walked out on Ares? Did I make the right decision?”

“You were following your heart, Xena. Your heart told you that you weren’t ready to be with Ares and you trusted that. He understands. I know he does.”

“You know what the problem is, though? The problem is that I didn’t do what my heart told me. I was denying my true feelings. I wanted to be with him.”

“Then why did you deny that?”

“That’s just the problem. I DON’T know why. Maybe it was just out of habit. It’s hard for me to accept that he has REALLY changed.”

Xena sighed deeply and put a hand on Gabrielle’s shoulder.

“I need him, Gabrielle. He knows it and I know it. I HAVE to see him again, but I feel I have to do this alone. Is that okay with you?”

“I understand, Xena. You’re following your heart and that is really the only thing worth following in this world. I’ll make camp and wait for you here.”

“Thanks. I’m going to Thebes, which is only about half a day’s journey form here. I’ll be there if you need me.”

Gabrielle nodded her head in response.

“Bye.” Xena said as she walked down the road with Argo.

Gabrielle waved goodbye as Xena disappeared into the forest.

*~* Chapter 3 *~*

A gentle breeze blew through the forest as she headed for Thebes. She wondered what Ares would say when he saw her. It was then that she felt an all too familiar presence around her.

“Ares.”

She looked around but saw no one.

“Ares…” She repeated. “…I know you’re here.”

There was no answer only dead silence. Xena stood there looking around when a bolt of lighting shot out from the forest depths and headed straight for her. Xena hit the ground as the bolt passed right over her. Xena raised her head and slowly rose to her feet. She took out her chakram and watched for any sign of movement from within the forest.

The leaves began to rustle in front of her and Ares stepped out into the clearing. But he looked different. Xena could see a spark of evil shinning in his eyes. It was like they were glazed with white, making them look very eerie.

“Ares?”

“Xena.”

Xena walked up to him, still cautious of what he might do.

“Ares…what are you doing? Why did you try to kill me?”

He gave no answer but instead shot a bolt of lighting at her. This time she raised her chakram and it bounced off, flying in the other direction.

“Ares, I thought you loved me! Why are you doing this?!”

Ares grinned evilly. “I lied about loving you.”

“Wh-What’s gotten into you?”

“You killed Hope and unless you want to be dead, you’d BETTER stay out of my way.”

“Ares. Ares, why would you care about Hope? You wanted her dead.”

“I lied about that too.”

“Ares…” Xena said, very confused.

But Ares didn’t reply and instead disappeared. Xena couldn’t understand why Ares was acting like that. Something was wrong; she knew it; and his eyes, what was wrong with his eyes? It was like…like he was possessed or something.

“Dahak.” Xena whispered under her breath. “Hope said that Dahak would return one day. He must be using Ares to get what he wants. But what would that be?”

Xena mounted Argo and headed back to camp where Gabrielle was waiting for her.

*~* Chapter 4 *~*

“Gabrielle!!” Xena shouted, galloping into camp.

Gabrielle stood up quickly and looked at the frightened Xena.

“What?”

Xena took a moment to catch her breath and then began to speak.

“Ares is in trouble. I fear that Dahak’s spirit has taken over his body.”

“How do you know?”

“He…he tried to kill me because I killed Hope. The only thing I can think of is that Dahak is in him. I KNOW that he wouldn’t do anything to hurt me in his right mind.”

“What are we going to do?”

Xena dismounted.

“I don’t know. I don’t know how to get Dahak out of him. The only think I can think of is…is if we kill him. But I can’t bring myself to do that. I CAN’T.”

“You won’t have to. There has to be another way. What about Hercules? Maybe he can help.”

“I was thinking of that but he’s in Sumeria. We don’t have time to get him. We’ll have to deal with this ourselves.”

“Well, we can’t do anything about it now, Xena. It’s getting dark. Lets camp here for the night and head into town in the morning, okay?”

“Yeah, you’re right, Gabrielle.”

Xena tied her horse to a tree and walked over to a patch of grass, lying down. She sighed with frustration.

“It’s not fair.”

“What?” Gabrielle asked lying next to Xena.

“I know how I feel about Ares now and there’s a chance that I could lose him.” Her voice began to break. “Gabrielle, I don’t want to loose him because…I-I think I love him.”

Tears began to form in her eyes and Gabrielle leaned against her, reassuringly.

“Everything will turn out all right. Just believe. Even if Dahak is in Ares, Ares’ soul isn’t gone. He would still be in there. Maybe if your love is strong enough, you could help Ares defeat Dahak. After all, love IS the most powerful force on earth.”

Xena wiped her eyes.

“We can only hope.” She sniffed.

They glanced at each other and then fell asleep.

*~* Chapter 5 *~*

After breakfast the next morning, the two of them headed for Thebes. When they arrived, Xena and Gabrielle dismounted Argo.

“I have to go talk to Ares.” Xena told Gabrielle.

“What if he kills you?” Gabrielle asked, a little worried.

“I don’t believe he would be able to kill me. Dahak may have his body but there’s no way he has his soul. Trust me.”

“I do. Just be safe.”

“I will.” Xena said before heading for Ares’ temple.

When she got to the temple, she opened the doors and walked in. She walked up to the alter, pulled out her sword and chakram, and began to speak.

“Ares!”

Ares appeared on his thrown.

“You do realize that I could kill you at any moment, don’t you?”

“No…I don’t. I don’t believe that you could kill me.” She said, her voice firm and confident.

“And how do you know that?” He challenged.

“Because I know you love me.”

“I TOLD you I lied about that.”

“It wasn’t you, Ares. It was Dahak. I know Dahak is in you.”

Ares laughed. “So, you figured it out. I wondered how long it would take.”

Xena slowly walked up to the thrown.

“Ares…Ares I know you’re in there. I know you can fight him. Just think of me.”

“Sorry to break it to you, Xena but Ares isn’t home right now. I control him, body and soul, and nothing you say will change that.”

“Ares…believe.”

“STAY out of my way, Xena. This is your last warning. After this, if I see you again, I’ll kill you.”

Ares disappeared. Xena knew that it was going to be tough to get through to Ares. Xena left the temple and went back to Gabrielle.

Xena walked up to Gabrielle.

“Any luck?”

“Nope. I wasn’t able to get through to him.”

“Xena, I’m sorry.”

“Don’t be. I am going to try again because I know that he IS in there. But we’d better watch our backs. If we get in Dahak’s way again, he will kill us.”

“So, what are we going to do?”

“All I know is that we won’t be able to get through to Ares while he is able to roam free. We will have to contain him first.”

“What do you mean? You mean like restraining him or something?”

“Exactly.”

“But, Xena, he is a god. No mortal chains will be able to hold him.”

“We can’t use just any old chains. We will have to get something much stronger.”

“Like what?” Gabrielle asked, a little skeptical about what Xena was getting at.

“The only thing strong enough to hold a god is something made by the master metal worker himself--Hephaestus. Come on.” She told Gabrielle, mounting Argo.

“Where are we going?” Asked Gabrielle as she mounted.

“To Vulcan Mountain. Hopefully, Hephaestus will be there.”

*~* Chapter 6 *~*

When they arrived at Vulcan Mountain, Xena and Gabrielle walked into the deep cavern at the base of the mountain. Xena knew right where she was going, having been there when she retrieved the sword of Hephaestus to free Prometheus. They walked along a narrow path until they reached a large, well-lit room.

Hephaestus was working in the far corner of the forge.

“Hephaestus.” Xena said.

He didn’t here her because of his hammering on the helmet he was crafting.

“Hephaestus!”

He turned around to see Xena and Gabrielle standing behind him. He stopped what he was doing.

“Xena. What can I do for you?”

Xena stepped forward. “We need some of your chains. Dahak has taken over Ares’ body and the only way we can capture him is if we have the chains that you make. They’re the only things that will hold a god.”

“Dahak. Not him again. Sure, Xena. I’ll give you what you want. After all, you did save my life and the lives of the other Olympians.”

“Thank you.”

Hephaestus walked over to the wall and retrieved the chains. He walked back to Xena, handing them to her. She took them and then looked at him before leaving.

“Hephaestus, warn the Olympians about Dahak’s return and be prepared if he tries anything. I’ll do everything I can to send Dahak back into his realm but be ready for anything. You know how powerful Dahak is.”

“Good luck.” He said as Xena and Gabrielle left the cavern.

Once outside, Gabrielle turned to Xena.

“How are you going to lure Ares into a trap? He’s very smart.”

“I’ll deal with that. Let’s just get there first.” Xena mounted. “Come on, Gabrielle.”

“Where are we going?” She asked as she too mounted.

Xena was silent for a moment before answering.

“To Ares’ Temple.”

*~* Chapter 7 *~*

When they arrived at Ares’ temple, they dismounted and Xena tied Argo to a nearby tree.

“Gabrielle, I need you to stay here where it is safe. I’m not trying to exclude you; I just don’t want you getting killed if Ares does something crazy. You understand right?”

“Yes. You do what you have to. I’ll wait here. Just be careful. He isn’t Ares anymore.”

Xena put a comforting hand on Gabrielle’s shoulder before going into the temple. When she entered, she laid the chains on the floor where he wouldn’t see them and then she called for Ares.

“Ares!! I demand you show yourself!” She cried out in a commanding voice.

He appeared in front of her. She removed her sword and pointed it at him.

“I thought I told you to leave me alone.”

“You know I never listen. Besides, I can’t walk out on you even if Dahak has your body.”

“I’m through trying to talk to you. You had your chance. Now it’s time to die.”

Ares lunged at Xena pushing her backwards. She hit the ground but quickly stood up just as Ares through half a dozen fireballs at her. They ricocheted off the tip of her sword and came flying back toward Ares, hitting him in the chest. It stunned him momentarily but that’s all the time Xena needed. She grabbed the chains that lay beside her and ran up to Ares, pushing him back so that he fell into his thrown.

Xena wrapped the chains around him, securing him to his own thrown. He thrust back and fourth but it was no use, the chains held him from head to toe. There was no chance of escape. As Ares became angrier, his voice deepened into the demonic voice of Dahak.

It pained Xena to see Ares like this. She knew that he was fighting an internal battle, one of which she could not help him with. Xena walked up to Ares who was still struggling violently, his eyes glowing white. Xena looked into his eyes even though now, they were that of a demon.

“Ares…if you’re in there, fight him. I know you can beat Dahak. I have faith in you. “

His violent thrashing began to cease but she knew it would take much more to beat Dahak. His eyes still glowing, she lifted her hand and rubbed his cheek.

“You’re in there, Ares. I know you are. I’m sorry that I walked out on you when we went up against Hope, but at the time, I thought it was the right thing to do. I know now that it wasn’t the right decision because I care about you, Ares. You mean more to me than any man ever has in my entire life and I don’t want to let you go, not again. I want to be with you.”

Her voice was tender and sweet. Ares growled and Xena leaned in so that she was nose-to-nose with him.

“I love you, Ares.” She whispered before joining their lips together.

When she kissed him, she could feel Dahak’s hold on Ares weakening. She could feel that Ares was coming back. When she parted, she looked at him. His eyes had returned to normal.

“Xena?” He said weakly.

“It’s me.” She replied.

“Leave. I can’t hold him back for long.” He said.

Xena could see the pain building in his eyes. He was not powerful enough to hold him back.

“I won’t leave you.”

“And I…don’t want to leave you. But Dahak is too powerful for either of us to handle. With Dahak back…the world…isn’t safe for anyone. Xena, you have to kill me. It’s the only way.”

“No. I won’t do that. You can fight him, Ares. Believe in our love.”

Ares couldn’t hold Dahak back much longer. He was able to free one of his hands and when Xena stepped back from the thrown, he shot a bolt of lighting into her. She flew backwards, hitting the far wall of the temple. Her head began to bleed from the blow and she lay there, motionless.

Gabrielle had heard her scream and ran into the temple to see what had happened. She found Ares chained to the thrown, looking as if he was fighting a battle with himself and then she saw Xena lying next to the wall. Gabrielle rushed to her side.

“Xena!”

She checked for any sign that she was alive but there weren’t any. She had died. Gabrielle looked over at Ares.

“Ares…you killed her. You killed Xena.”

It was then that something happened that not even Gabrielle could explain. Ares’ battle with Dahak suddenly stopped and she saw Dahak’s spirit rise from Ares’ body and disappear into the ground.

“I WILL be back.” Dahak cackled as he left.

Ares was left bewildered. He looked around and saw Xena lying on the floor. His heart sank deep in his throat knowing that it was he who killed her. Gabrielle stood up and ran over to Ares, unchaining him from the thrown. When he was free, he rushed to Xena’s side. Gabrielle followed.

He knelt beside her and lifted her head, tears beginning to fill his eyes.

“What have I done? Xena, I’m sorry for all the times I didn’t treat you right. I’m so sorry. You are the most important thing in my life. I love you, Xena.”

A single tear fell from his eye and landed on Xena’s lips. She moaned slightly. Ares could not believe that she was alive. Xena opened her eyes to see Ares staring down at her. Ares grasped her hand, squeezing it tenderly.

He smiled. “I thought I had lost you.”

“You did for a moment.”

Ares picked Xena up and carried her over to the thrown. When he set Xena down, Gabrielle turned to Ares.

“How were you able to defeat Dahak? He had control of you for a while and then he just left. What happened?”

“His love for me when he realized that he had killed me sent Dahak out. It was love that Dahak couldn’t handle so he was forced to leave. And it was his powerful love for me that brought me back to life.” Xena replied

“So, love is more powerful than evil.” Gabrielle said, looking at them both.

Xena and Ares smiled at each other. He took her hand and helped her to stand.

“I love you.” He said.

“I love you, too. With all my heart.” Xena said, kissing lovingly.

CONTINUE on to Together Forever

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