"The Arrows Of Love Mark Their Spot: Part II "

By Tamar

Disclaimer:
The characters all belong to Renessance Pictures. No infringment was intended.

Summery: Xena and Gabrielle head to Thebes and find their old friend Hercules, but are more shocked to here Iolaus is dead. Then Iolaus jumps out of the tree claiming he was sent back but now he is controlled by the furies. Xena, Gabrielle, Hercules, and Ares must solve the problem but what happens when the furies choose the Warrior Princess as their new victim?



Xena and her protégé walked quietly through the thick forests near Thebes.

Xena was lost in thought and didn’t notice the leaves falling even though there was no wind. She could only think of her recent encounters with her future self and Ares. She hadn’t told Gabrielle yet because she didn’t feel very good about him. Suddenly someone jumped from the trees. Xena reached for her sword put let it go when she saw a welcoming face.

“Hercules! What are you doing here?” She asked.

“Thebes is my hometown.”

“Where is Iolaus?” Gabrielle asked anxiously.

“He had an accident. A rather serious one. We were in Delos and he gotstabbed badly. He was in the hospital for a few days but he didn’t make it.”

“What?” Gabrielle exclaimed.

Xena was rather shocked too.

“Why the long faces?” Iolaus said jumping out of the trees.

Xena and Gabrielle stared at each other then at Hercules and Iolaus.

“Iolaus you’re supost to be dead!” Hercules exclaimed.

“I made it!”

Iolaus was going nuts! He was jumping around and on trees laughing none stop. Xena pulled Hercules and Gabrielle into the bushes.

“Hercules what’s going on?”

“I have no idea. Last I knew he was dead. I came straight here to get the topic out of my mind. I don’t know how he could be alive and so nuts!”

“Well let’s find out why he’s alive.” Gabrielle suggested.

Xena and Hercules agreed and they ran towards Iolaus.

“Iolaus how could you still be alive?” Hercules asked.

“I don’t know. I remember going to the Elysian Fields but got sent back for some reason.” He answered jumping to another tree.

Then an evil grin came on his face and he took out a dagger and aimed for Hercules. Hercules easily dogged it. Seeing Hercules wasn’t the best target Iolaus aimed for Gabrielle. He threw his dagger at her. Gabrielle closed her eyes tight ready to feel pain as she put her staff in front of her. When the dagger went into the staff Iolaus punched then kicked Gabrielle on the tree. There she sat motionless.

“Gabrielle!” Xena shouted as Iolaus pulled the dagger out walked towards Gabrielle.

Xena ran to him and kicked him out of the way. She sat near her friend and shook her.

“Gabrielle? Gabrielle get up.”

Xena stopped shaking her friend. She realized the kick was too much for her as she took out her sword. She walked towards Iolaus who was getting up from the attack. She kicked him back down. Iolaus raised his dagger but Xena kicked it far away. She raised her sword ready to kill him.

“Wait!” Hercules shouted and ran in front of his friend.

“Hercules move.” Xena commanded.

“Xena this isn’t Iolaus. Something is wrong. It could be the furies, it could be the gods but it’s still my friend down there and I won’t let you kill him.”

Xena’s eyes burned in rage. Hercules had never seen her so angry in her life.

“So be it.”

Xena raised her sword higher but heard a familiar moan.

“Gabrielle?” She said happily as she turned around.

She went over to her and understood she was still alive.

“I’m so sorry.” She said staring at Hercules.

“I would probably do the same. But it doesn’t explain Iolaus being the way he is.”

Xena carried Gabrielle to the town hospital as Hercules dragged crazy Iolaus along. When they were sure Gabrielle was in good hands they went outside.

“Hercules I’ll get something to eat.” Xena suggested. “Stay here with Iolaus.”

Xena marched to the market but on her way she saw Ares’s temple. She decided to ask him about it.

“Ares.” She said entering the temple.

Instantly he appeared in front of her.

“Hello Xena.”

“Ares you’ve been watching me again haven’t you?”

“You know me too well. Now what was the reason you came. Not that I don’t appreciate your company.”

“You’ve been watching me. You could guess.”

“Iolaus’s strange behaviour?”

“Yes. Do you know anything about it?”

“Hera. She hates Hercules and would do anything to make his life miserable. She set the furies on him and probably send him back to do so.”

“So that’s it. How do we stop her?”

“We?”

“Well either that or it will just have to me and Hercules without you.”

“Xena as much as I’d like to help you, you how I feel about my half brother.”

“And you know how much I care for him.”

“Xena I’m sorry. Hera is my mother.”

Xena stared down then at him.

“Well you could at least show me how to get through to Iolaus.”

Ares sighed. “When I used the furies on you I had to make an oath not to tell the cure.”

“So that’s just it. You aren’t going to help in ant way? Thanks for nothing.”

Xena barged out of the temple.

“Xena, common! I can’t, oh common!”

“Its not you Ares.” She said pausing for a moment. “Its just that I can’t waist time with Iolaus being the way he is.”

“Xena I’m sorry!”

After Xena left Ares disappeared. He reappeared in Aphrodite’s temple.

“Bad time with Xena?” She asked.

Ares nodded. “What you think I should do?”

“That’s up to you bro. You can’t tell her the cure but you can help her.”

“How?”

“I don’t think she appreciates you acting like that for someone she cares about. In any matter you can transfer the furies to some other body to body.”

“But Hera will know.”

“As long as they’re bugging someone she won’t know who it is.”

“You think?”

“I know so. Or I can get cupid to shoot a love arrow at her!”

“That won’t be necessary. How do I transfer the furies? And how do you know if I don’t?”

“Bro! If we told you, every time you could you would use it on Xena!”

“So why are you telling me?”

“I’m the goddess of Love, and obviously you’re in love. Its my duty to make sure you keep it up.”

Ares smiled at her sister. He couldn’t keep his love secrets from her.

“Besides you did just tell her the truth a few day ago!”

“How do you know about that?”

“You oughta know! Anyways, you need something to do this spell.”

“What?”

“The cliser stone of trade in the cave of Hebe.”

“Only the purest can pick that and I’m defiantly not one of them. Neither is Xena and even if Hercules were he wouldn’t trust me. Wait! The irritating blond! Thanks sis!”

“No prob!”

That night Xena and Hercules were trying to find someway to keep Iolaus under control.

“Xena you have any rope.”

“Nope. But I did see some vines across the path.”

They had decided to sleep in the forest at the risk that Iolaus escapes.

“Xena this is forest not a jungle!”

“No really I did. I’ll be right back.” Xena said travelling far into the forest.

She knew there weren’t any vines but she went because she got that creepy feeling when Ares was around.

“Ares you can come out.”

Ares showed him self and greeted her with a small kiss which in she joined.

“Xena I have a cure for Iolaus but the furies are going to affect someone else when we’re done.”

“Who?

“That’s at our command.”

“What is it?”

“The cliser stone if trade. We’ll send the furies back on Hera and she won’t know what hit her!”

“But only the purest can pick that up.”

“I figure that sidekick of yours can pick it up and hand it over.”

“There’s the problem. Iolaus hurt her and know she is in the hospital.”

“Maybe I can revive her somehow.”

“Only Athena and Apollo can do that.”

“I think I can figure something out.”

“Thanks. I sure don’t deserve it after getting mad at you the way I did. It wasn’t your fault.”

“Hey. You deserve anything.”

He lifted her chin and gave her a small but passionate kiss.

“Xena?” Hercules’s voice echoed through the woods.

“I forgot! You wouldn’t happen to have any vines would you?”

Ares conjured up some vines.“Thanks.”

Xena gave him a final kiss then ran back to Hercules with the vines.

“Xena what took you so long?”

“I couldn’t find the vines.”

They tied up Iolaus then Xena explained her plan.

“What? With Ares? You’re insane!”

“I know it sounds crazy but it was his idea.”

“Why would he care? You’d think he’d be happy.”

Xena tried to avoid telling him that Ares loved her but he started digging it out.

“He was at first. Then something happened. You can say he’s changed.”

“He will never change!”

“Love has changed him!”

“Love for who?”

Xena stood there for a while unsure how to respond.

“Me.” She said shyly.

“Xena he’s got you under some spell.”

“There’s no spell. Your probably not gonna believe this but...”

Xena told him what happened with Kara.

“Either way, I could never trust him.”

“Hercules please. Don’t you trust me?”

“Well, I… All right. But I’m keeping an eye on him.”

“Thank you.”

“I’m doing it for Iolaus. I’m not giving Ares another chance.”

That night started out smoothly. Then Xena felt a strange presence. It wasn’t Ares. Then the presence left causing her to fall asleep. Then next morning Hercules woke up to see Iolaus just waking up and Xena still sleeping.

“Hercules? Why am I tied up?” asked Iolaus.

“You’ve gone crazy, tried to kill me and Gabrielle, you know the drill.”

Iolaus suddenly started to remember.

“Why would I have done that?”

“Furies. Quit playing innocent. We’ll fix things, I promise.”

“Hercules I don’t feel like I did when the furies were inside me.”

“Iolaus? The furies are gone aren’t they? Hera wouldn’t have...then...”

Hercules looked down at Xena. She wasn’t sleeping anymore. In fact she was gone. Hercules quickly bent down and grabbed a stick. He put it behind him and blocked Xena’s attack. Xena screamed her battle cry and flipped in front of him. They battled non-stop and covered the field with their flips and kicks. Just then Ares appeared in front of Iolaus carrying Gabrielle.

“Xena I… What the?” He said putting Gabrielle to her feet.

“Why is she fighting with Hercules?”

“The furies.” Iolaus answered Gabrielle.

Gabrielle grabbed her staff from the tree at the sound of his voice then put it down seeing he was tied.

“Gabrielle I’m sorry for before. The furies had me but know they have her.

Mind untying me?”

Gabrielle quickly did so then asked.

“Xena’s battled the furies before. Why can’t she beat them now?”

“Hera.” Ares answered. “She helping the furies control her. It’s aimed at Hercules not Xena.”

Ares zapped his powers around Xena causing ropes to tie her up and drop her sword. She strangled but could break free.

“Now why did you help me?” Demanded Hercules.

“If you died the furies would go away and her realizing what she had done would have killed her.”

Ares then walked to his strangling warrior princess. He carried to her friends then said.

“Well are we going?”

They all nodded as Ares transported them the cave of Hebe was the stone was hidden. Hebe appeared in front of them.

“Another bunch trying out for the stone. Ares I’m surprised to see you here. You know very well I’m the only god who may enter this cave.”

“I know but I came anyways.”

“Two of the bunch may enter.”

“I’ll go with Gabrielle. You three stay here.”

They nodded as Hercules and Gabrielle entered the cave. Iolaus declared he was hungry and went of the get something to eat. Ares was left with Xena, which he didn’t mind at all.

“Ares untie me.”

“No. I’m sorry, I can’t.”

Xena stared at him as she continued to work her hands free. She saw a sharp stone and crawled to it.

“You know you want to. Come on Ares. We could both use a good laugh. Or a bit of passion.”

Ares thought for a moment at the word passion but then took the thought out of his mind.

“No Xena. If I cared about you at all I would keep you tied up.”

“Well it won’t make a difference.” She smiled as the final strand broke free.

Ares stared at her unsure how she escaped. He shot more ropes at her but she dodged them all.

“I’m sorry Xena.” He said as he threw a huge thunderbolt at her that she couldn’t escape from.

He reappeared behind her and caught before she hit the tree. Then he reappeared back at the entranced. He smiled as Xena shook her head. He tied her up again giggling at his trick. The bolt may have been huge but it wasn’t that strong. Xena stared at him in disgust.

“You’ll thank me for this later.” He smiled.

“I don’t think so.”

Xena thought for a moment then had an idea. The mighty god of war never could resist her.

She sat next to him and slowly snuggled closer. Ares noticed her, but pretended not to. Xena finally made a move. She jumped on him causing him to fall then joined their lips with a violent kiss. Ares couldn’t help but join in. Xena dragged herself down to his neck and started dabbing it with her tongue. Ares finally remembered what he was suppost to be doing and stopped.

“Come on Ares. You know you want me.”

Ares stood there watching her crystal blue eyes beg. He stared at the cave hoping they would come out soon.

Hercules and Gabrielle walked through the narrow path.

“This isn’t so hard.” Gabrielle smiled.

“That’s the problem. It’s too easy.”

He stared at the young bard who showed fear in her eyes. She walked quietly not saying a word of her fears. After all, she was an Amazon princess. She followed Hercules into the depts of the cave. Suddenly there was a rumble.

“Run!” Hercules shouted and pulled bard along the dusty path. At first Gabrielle wasn’t sure why but then followed Hercules’s instinct. Thank goodness too! As soon as they started running some of the cave collapsed. They were trapped with the only option to go forth.

“Now there’s no way to run if we’re in trouble.” Gabrielle observed.

“We just have to keep going.”

Soon they came to a dead end with only a narrow log to take them across the canyon. Suddenly Hebe appeared in front of them.

“You must use your mind to answer to get across. As you see the log is no thicker than a rolled up scroll.”

He disappeared leaving the two friends deep in thought.

“Well the stick is thin but strong.” Hercules said lifting it. “And the canyon isn’t too wide, but what could we do?”

He then noticed Gabrielle pushing her staff to the floor and taking step. Hercules stared at her realizing what they could do.

“That’s it! Gabrielle climb on my back.”

Gabrielle did as she was told. Hercules lifted the thin log and ran back. He stopped a few metres away and turned around. Gabrielle knew what he was going to do and held on tightly with her staff in one hand. Hercules ran towards the canyon. He placed the log strongly at the edge and jumped of. They fell at the other end. Hercules helped Gabrielle up.

“Are you alright?”

She nodded as she wiped the dust from her skirt. They walked towards the bright light. They entered a world of beauty. Hebe once again appeared.

“Enter the cave you see there. Until you reach it you must touch nothing or no one.” He said then disappeared.

“That doesn’t sound hard.” Hercules said as they walked to the cave.

Then he saw a vision.

“Rina?” He stared at his dead wife then walked towards her.

“Hercules don’t...” Gabrielle started but was then distracted by another vision. “Perdicas?”

They both walked to their love ones but did not touch them knowing Hebe’s warning. Then it got harder. Their loved ones disappeared leaving the people who killed them. Hercules saw himself as Gabrielle saw Callisto. She burst with an angry rage and charged towards her enemy. Hercules stared at his reflection which brought tears to his eyes. Hera had driven him insane but he had killed her. He knelt to his knees.

“Noooo!” He screamed.

Gabrielle snapped out of it and ran to his friend. She hadn’t touched Callisto yet.

“Hercules lets go.”

“I killed her.”

“It wasn’t your fault. Common, she wouldn’t want you to blame yourself.”

They walked towards the end of the cave knowing they had passed the test.

“Thank you Gabrielle. I would have surely attacked my image.”

“It was both of us. I would have touched Callisto if you hadn’t snapped me out of it.”

They walked towards the end of the cave.

Outside of the cave Xena still tried to get Ares to untie her.

“Ares.”

“Stop it Xena. I told you I won’t untie you.”

She sighed and walked to the near cliff and sat. Ares hated to have to imprison her like that. He loved her and couldn’t bear to be the cause of her sadness. He stared at her and shook the thought of his head. That wasn’t the Xena he had fallen in love with. Just her body with a controlled sole. He went and sat near her.

“Xena fight the furies. I know you can.”

She stood there unmoving.

“There’s nothing to fight. It’s just me. The one you claim to love.”

“I do love you. But this isn’t you anymore.”

Hercules and Gabrielle walked towards the stone in the centre of the cave.

Once again Hebe appeared.

“You have proven yourself worthy. Before you touch it I have one more riddle. What has four legs in the morning, two legs at noon, and three legs at night?”

“A man. He crawls as a child, walks as an adult and uses a cane when he is old.” Gabrielle exclaimed proudly.

“That’s right. You must have a pure man or woman to pick up the stone. If you do not have a pure sole I will take you back now. If you do, please proceed.”

Gabrielle nodded to Hercules then went to the stone. She entered the circle of magic and put her hand over the stone unsure whether she was pure enough or not. Then she took it realizing she had to do it for Xena. She grabbed it in a sigh of relief when nothing happened.

“The gods will know of this moment. Take my hand and I will take you back.”

They did as they were told and soon appeared next to Xena and Ares. They saw Iolaus returning as Hebe disappeared.

“Man! There’s no food in this forest.” He whined then saw his friends.

“Hercules, Gabrielle, you made it!”

Ares turned around and stood. They walked towards Xena who paid no attention them.

“Xena. Take the stone.” Ares said handing it to her.

“No.” She exclaimed.

“We’ll let you go.” He offered.

Xena turned around interestedly. “All right.”

They untied her and handed her the stone. A bright light shone as the furies were lifted fainted from her body. Then a voice said.

“Who do wish to send the furies to?”

“Hera, Queen of the Gods.” Ares ordered

The voice and the furies disappeared causing the warrior princess to fall in Ares’s arms. He gently lifted her.

“It must have been to much to handle Hera and the furies.” He said. “I probably would have fainted myself.”

They disappeared to where the adventure started, back at Thebes. Xena was taken well care of at Hercules’s home. She finally woke up to be surrounded by good friends. She remembered everything well. That night she crept out and ran into the forest.

“Ares.”

“Feeling better?”

“Yes. Thank you for putting up with me back there.”

“The only thing I had to put up with was a bunch of furies.”

They joined together with a passionate kiss. Soon they were rolling about on the floor. Ares snapped his fingers and they reappeared in his temple on a luxgerious bed. He nuzzled her neck. Xena rolled above him and sat on his back and took of his vest. She lied down on him. They had passionate moments all night. That morning Ares made her reappear in Hercules’s house. Xena and Gabrielle said goodbye and thanked their friends once again. They headed on to bigger and better adventures.

Back on Olympus

“What are you doing?” Zeus exclaimed to his wife.

Hera stood there not answering while she threw thunderbolts to her statues and temples as she flipped around.

THE END

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