saga/title/fandom: Love and Mischief Saga: Seeking Balance chapter 9 (Hercules/Xena)

author: Scribe

rating/genre:(NC-17) - Comedy/Romance/Drama

warnings: slash, sexual content, language, male pregnancy

summary: This story begins before the events of Cupid's Little Helper. An offshoot of the Love and Mischief Series. (Ares/Joxer)

comments/disclaimers: I did not create the characters here, I don't own them. I derive no profit from this effort. I mean nothing but respect for the creators, owners, and the actors and actresses who portray them. Archive? Yes, but tell me where.Notes: I love writing Cupid/Strife. I do a lot of it. I've only done Ares/Joxer as peripheral to the Love and Mischief Series, and one song fic. I feel like I'm neglecting the boys, and thought that since I had made it clear in Cupid's Little Helper and Tha Birds, an' Tha Bees, an' All That Othah Good Shit that Ares and Joxer were a couple, and had a child, that it would be only logical to tell THEIR story, too. So here goes. This story begins before the events of Cupid's Little Helper, and will most likely cover some of that ground from a different perspective. F'rinstance, what was it like when Cupid gave Ares a glimpse of the agony that Strife had gone through? We'll see. Ares and Joxer are together in my Love and Mischief series, and a few readers expressed curiosity in their back-story, so here it is. I'm not up on the finer points of hydras, so here's my personal take on them. They are large creatures, usually larger than an elephant when fully grown, and they resemble a legless, three-headed dragon. Their body scales are incredibly thick and tough, thinning and becoming a little more fragile up the necks. If one head is cut off, two will grow in its place. The only way to kill them is by destroying the brains, WITHOUT cutting off the heads. Also the blood is like poisonous acid. and

Chapter 9

The Next Morning

"Yer in a good mood t'day, Unc."

"What makes you say that?"

"Well, when that sentry questioned ya, ya just hung 'im up in that tree."

"I put him at the TOP, and it's a TALL tree, Strife."

"Yah, but ya hung 'im by his belt insteada his intestines."

"You're right. Well, shit, I don't want to look like I'm changing my mind, but I don't want to look soft, either. Send him something to make it interesting."

"Bees, or loose boweled birds?"

"Mmm... both."

"I take that first remark back--yer a combination of good mood an' pissed off."

"I didn't sleep much last night."

Strife grinned at Ares. "How is he?"

"Pre-occupied with planning the garden, and..." Strife was giggling. Ares scowled, realizing the innuendo had gone right over his head. "I wouldn't know."


"Just DROP IT."

"Well, if ya weren't knockin boots, what kept ya up? Does he snore? Kick? Drool?"


"Most mortals do, Unc. I mean, now that he's immortal, he could prob'ly hold his breath a LONG ass time, but it's pretty uncomfortable, an' ya hafta CONCENTRATE. If he's too loud, just flip him on his side, an' that should quiet 'im down."

"He's not loud--he's just... THERE." Ares was staring off into the middle distance. "He sort of pulsates."

"Now yer bein weird."

Ares shook his head, as if to clear it. "I just mean that he's so close that I can feel his body heat, and if he accidentally touches me, I can feel his pulse beating, just under his skin."

Strife stared at Ares, knowing that the War God didn't realize what he was saying. *Son of a bitch. I knew Unc had tha hots fah Joxer, but he's got it BAD. Has Cupie been messin around in his Dad's love life? Much as Ares loves him, he'd pluck Cupe an' stuff a pillah if he thought Blondie was messin in his love life.*

"I have to go. Hephastus is working up a bunch of garden tools for him. I'm having him spell them so that they won't cut skin--just in case."

"Smaht move."

Hephastus was honing the blade of a hoe when Ares arrived. "Ares. I'll have this done in a moment. Are you sure you don't want me to put a self-sharpening spell on them? It'll save a lot of time."

"No. Joxer seems pretty set on doing things the mortal way."

Hephastus chuckles, running his thumb along the edge critically. "Imagine that--a human willing to do things the hard way. You won't find many of those."

"I get the feeling he's pretty unique."

"Really?" Hephastus began to bundle tools into a small, three- wheeled cart. "I made this for him, too--my compliments. I thought that he was one of three?"

"He's a triplet, but it's sort of like it is with Apollo and Artemis, or Eris and I--different similarities. Or is that similar differences?"

Hephastus was staring at him. "When did you stop making sense?"

"I have no idea. Is that all? I'm still not entirely comfortable with leaving him alone in my temple."

"I don't think he could really HURT it, Ares."

"I'm not worried about that--I'm worried about what might wander in. I gave him my mark..." he didn't notice Hephastus' surprised, speculative look, "but you know how quick some of the Olympians are. They might do something--THEN check. The Bacchae are particularly bad about that."

Ares took the tools and flashed away. Hephastus went home earlier than he had planned, and located his wife, who was carefully painting her toenails coral pink. He took over the job. "My dear, what is this about Ares and that human he's taken into his home?"

Dite's eyes narrowed. "Who told you about that?"

"I'm not sure. I think you did."

"Did I?" She relaxed. "That's all right, then. Poo, this is becoming one of the most open secrets on Olympus. Let's see, who do we REALLY need to keep it from? Zeus, of course. I'm not sure about Hera. She might keep the secret, just because she'd know that it would piss Zeus off. Then again, she might TELL him for exactly the same reason, so we'd better keep her out of the loop. Athena had better not know--she'll do anything she can to undermine Ares with Zeus. We probably don't have to worry about Bacchus, since Zeus doesn't give that vino veratis stuff much credit. Janus doesn't meddle, and Hecate is a witch, so she'll ENJOY having a secret..."

"Dear, if you're going to list every godling on Olympus, we'll be here till the Twilight. Do you want another coat on these?"

She kissed him. "No, that will do." *sigh* "This has to work out, Heph. I've been worried about Ares--he's been too wrapped up in his work."

"He IS War."

"Yes, but he's himself, too--aside from his godhood. I think he's been forgetting that. He NEEDS something else in his life, and Joxer is just perfect for that. If I can just get Ares to REALIZE that, he'll be so much more stable, and it'll be good for everyone." She giggled. "Except Zeus, of course. I can almost see the veins in his neck swelling now."

Ares hauled a dripping, choking Joxer up out of the pond. "Joxer, how in the name of Asphodel did you manage to do THIS?" He began untangling the slimey mass of dark green vines that were twined around just about every visible portion of Joxer's body.

"I don't know. I just waded in to start thinning out the water plants, and I slipped. Are you SURE that these things don't move on their own? I'd swear I could feel them wrapping around me on purpose. I don't see how I could have gotten this snared just by rolling around a few times."

"No, these are plain old earthly plants. Hecate's the only one who really favors the sentient greenery. Word of advise--NEVER go walking in her greenhouse unless she's just gotten through feeding the carnivorous plants. You couldn't have waited for me to bring the tools?"

"Ares? Me, swinging something sharp, underwater, around my feet?"


"I'll be more careful, though. I won't go out past my knees till I get it thinned out some. Whoops!" He suddenly jumped and began to wiggle in a very distracting manner. "That is the WEIRDEST..." He stuck his hand down the front of his pants.

"Joxer..." *Oh, PLEASE don't grope yourself right in front of me! I won't be able to stand it, and outdoor sex is great, but if I just jump you now...*

Now he was reaching down the back of his pants. "ZEUS, this tickles!"

Ares closed his eyes. *If he doesn't stop...*

"THERE you are!" Ares' eyes popped open. Joxer was dangling a tiny fish, no longer than his pinky, between his thumb and forefinger. He grinned at Ares. "I didn't think there were any fish left alive in there. I caught him just in time. He was *ahem* heading for parts unknown. I guess that after he'd been swimming around in that muck that it wouldn't seem so smelly in my..." He turned scarlet, and flipped the fish quickly into the water, where it darted away with a flick of its tail. "He was just panic stricken. Wow, what a great load of tools!"

Ares dragged himself back from some mental images. "I got what you asked for, and I think Hephastus threw in a few he thought you might need. You can try them out tomorrow. Come on, you're all mucky. Time to get cleaned up."

As they entered the temple, Joxer said, "That bathing chamber is really fantastic. I've had to freeze my butt so many times, bathing in a river, that I can really appreciate it. You know what would be a good idea? If they could arrage to have something like that in inns. They could give it a special name, and use it as a selling point. I'm not sure how--Salmoneous is better at things like that. Maybe... a hot tub. Yeah, that covers the facts. It's a sort of a tub to bathe in, and it's HOT--you don't have to have someone dragging in buckets of hot water to pour over you again and again." They'd reached the bathing chamber and Joxer began stripping, dropping his clothes beside the pool. "That can be really embarrassing. You can never really relax, because someone might come in, and... You're taking your clothes off."

"I always do when I bathe. I went in after you, Joxer, and in case you didn't notice, I'm just as slimed as you are. Go on and get in the pool, before that shit starts to form a crust." He pushed his pants down.

Joxer jerked off his own pants while Ares was bent over, and then dived head-first into the pool before the god could straighten back up. He figured that he'd better hide his incipient erection as quickly as possible.

"Don't do that again, or you might crack your skull," warned Ares, wading into the water.

Joxer back pedalled toward the other side of the pool. "You ought to stay there. You don't need to get your bandage wet."

"Joxer, I just got through being doused in pond water, remember? Besides," Ares unwound the bandages, and all that was left of the gash was a pink line across his chest, parting the dark hair. "Divine healing, remember? In a couple of days this will be shrunk and faded. You'll hardly notice it." He tossed the bandages up on the side of the pool, then waded toward Joxer.

Joxer started working his way along the side of the pool, babbling brightly. "Wow! Look at this tileing over here. Is that a mosaic? It is. What detail. It's men and women, and they're... uh... Oh, boy. And here it's just guys, and they're... they're... Wow."

"Aphrodite decorated. I drew the line at pink marble, but the orgy mosaic seemed like a good idea. You can't get clean if you just keep floating around." They were right by the area where the soap was stored, within easy reach. Ares reached out and scooped some soft paste out of a dish, and began to scrub it over his torso. It foamed immediately, creating a lather. "Go on."

Joxer dipped up a dab of the soft soap and started to wash his hands with it. *I have to stall. He'll finish and get out, and then I can get rid of this boner without him finding out and maybe drowning me. Can I drown now? Well, he could certainly try...*

"Zeus, Joxer! You'll be here all night." Ares dug out another handful of soap, and grabbed Joxer's shoulder with his other hand. Joxer squeaked as Ares splatted the soap right in the middle of his chest and began to rub it in vigorously. "I haven't had to actually bathe anyone since Bliss was little, but I'm sure I can remember." Ares' hand passed over Joxer's nipples in a combination of slightly rough fingers and slippery soap. Ares paused, eyebrows climbing, as he felt the stiff points poking against his palm. He rubbed more slowly, watching Joxer's face. The redness creeping into his cheeks wasn't just from the heat of the bath.

Ares' grip on Joxer slid along his shoulder, to cup the back of his neck. "But then, this isn't anything like bathing my son, thank Olympus."

"Ares... I..." Ares hand slid down Joxer's torso, under the water, and bumped his erection. He closed his eyes. "Peoplegethardinthebathallthetimenothingpersonal." Joxer twitched as he felt the tickle of Ares beard on his neck. *Oo, damn, he's gonna BITE me.*

Then there was the brush of lips against his ear. "You mean that isn't because of me? I must be losing my touch, then."

He squeezed lightly and, before he could stop himself, Joxer gasped, "Your touch is just fine!"

He bit his lip in dismay, but Ares was chuckling. "Good. I was wondering if I was going to have to keep chasing you around this pool all evening. I don't mind pursuing what I want, but it wastes so much time that could be spent in more pleasant activities."

He turned them so that Joxer had his back against the side of the pool, then moved up till their bodies were pressed together. Joxer's eyes got big when he felt the hard length of Ares' erection slide along his groin, and he looked quickly into his god's face. Ares nodded. "That ISN'T just a bathtub erection, it's because of you." Ares humped against Joxer slowly, and the mortal grabbed his shoulders as his knees went weak. "That's better." He DID bite Joxer, but very lightly, nipping at the side of his neck, then licking the slight sting. "You DO understand that the sleeping on opposite sides of the bed, pretending to ignore each other shit is OVER?" Joxer wrapped his arms around Ares' neck, and his legs around his waist. "Good. Just so we're clear. But we're not making it to the bedroom this time."

Ares reached down and cupped Joxer's ass, then carried him over to the shallow end of the pool, and sat down. He ended up waist deep in water, with Joxer sitting on his lap. He held Joxer's head, cupping either side of his face, and kissed him, slowly and deeply. He was pleased when Joxer sucked his tongue, making tiny, pleased noises in the back of his throat. Ares skimmed some of the lather off Joxer's shoulders, and pulled his head back far enough to whisper, "Raise up a little." Joxer obeyed, and Ares slid his hand back under him, along the crease of his ass. He quickly located the little hole he sought, and sank a finger in up to the second knuckle. Joxer gasped, letting his forehead drop down on Ares' shoulder. "How much of this have you done?" *I don't really want to know his history, but I need to know how experienced he is.*

"I've sort of played around some," Joxer's voice was breathy. "Mostly just my own fingers. My friend Meg has this thing she calls a Spinster's Comfort, and she swears it's safe, but I only used it once. I kept worrying about splinters."

"Mm, there's something to keep in mind for later. But I meant with other men, Joxer."

"Oh. Nothing." He rolled his head and peeked up at Ares. "I'm not exactly sought after. There was this one mercenary who got me drunk and was going to try something, but throwing up on him sort of spoiled his mood."

Ares frowned. "Can you remember his name?"


*I can't very well kill everone that name would fit. I'd depopulate Greece.* Joxer was pushing back, and Ares' finger slid in deeper. *It can wait.* Ares slid a second finger in beside the first, reveling in the little cooing noise that Joxer made. He worked patiently as they kissed again, stretching his fingers apart gradually. He knew that the first penetration would hurt some, and he wanted to make it as good for Joxer as he could. Finally he mumbled against Joxer's mouth. "Are you ready?"

In response, Joxer raised up, pulling free of the probing fingers, reached down, and gripped Ares' rigid cock. He quickly smeared a thick coat of soap on the turgid flesh, then stared into Ares' face and slowly began to sink down. Ares grabbed at Joxer's waist to help steady him. He felt Joxer spread, then his cockhead was encased in moist heat, and his head fell back as he groaned.

Joxer froze, a slightly dazed, surprised look on his face as he adjusted to the feeling. The reality of what was happening had finally struck him. He was having sex with his god. He was taking into his body the flesh of the man he'd worshipped... *no, loved. I love him* for as long as he could remember. And judging from the look on Ares' face and the sounds he was making, he wasn't doing a bad job of it, either.

"You're going to have to move." Ares voice was hoarse.

"Sorry." Joxer began to lower himself slowly, wincing a little. It burned as his back channel was forced open--but it felt good, too.

"Stop apologizing, damm it." Ares was now fully embedded. He could feel Joxer's balls nestling just above where their bodies joined. "Damn, you're TIGHT."

"I need to wait a minute. Can I wait a minute?"

Ares wrapped his arms around Joxer, pulling him even closer, till their chests were pressed together, and Joxer's own hard-on was trapped between their bellies. Ares kissed him, probing forcefully with his tongue, then said, "Just tell me when you're ready."

Ares contined kissing him, and not just on the mouth. Joxer quickly discovered that, where Ares was concerned, his entire body seemed to be an erogenous zone. The ache was fading, replaced by a delicious sense of fullness--COMPLETENESS. "Please."


"Please, yes, please."

The water helped. Ares was able to lift Joxer easily, sliding him a few inches up, before dropping him back down. Joxer whimpered with pleasure from the friction. He shifted a little on one of the downward slides, and his eyes flew wide in surprise as a hot burst of intense pleasure rode through him. "Uh! What did you DO?"

"What is it?"

"That was so GOOD! Is it a god thing?"

Ares laughed. "Apollo has a particular name for it, but it's just your special spot, Joxer. All men have it--the smart or lucky ones figure out how to use it. You've never had it touched before?"

Joxer shook his head emphatically, damp hair flying. "Believe me, THIS I would have remembered." He tipped his chin down, then looked up at Ares almost shyly. "Could you do it again?"

"I can damn sure try."

It took another couple of minutes of experimenting with different angles (all of which was enjoyed by both), but Ares finally found the exact right angle that would cause his cockhead to rub over Joxer's prostate on almost every thrust. They moved together, faster and harder. The water around them churned, splashing out onto the surrounding tiles as their coupling grew more active.

Joxer yelped, clinging to Ares as his first orgasm with a man ripped through him. Ares grinned in fierce satisfaction as he felt the warm sperm splash his chest, and felt the squeezing ripples that passed through Joxer's ass. It was like being stroked by Joxer's internal muscles. Another few thrusts, jamming the now pliant body down firmly on his spearing prick, and Ares came, too. As he felt the hot gush of Ares' seed fill him, Joxer felt a sense of warmth over his heart, where Ares had placed his mark. *No, not over it--IN it. If I wasn't his before, I am now. He's marked me in every way, inside and out. No matter what happens, even if he sends me away--I'll always be his.*

"What was that, Joxer?"

*Did I SAY that? Oh, Zeus. No pressure, Ares. I just love you.*


"I said is this what they mean by good, clean fun?" There was a moment of silence, then Joxer both heard and felt Ares rumble of laughter, and he relaxed. *Maybe I can tell him--some day. But if I HAVE to tell him--maybe I shouldn't.* Joxer once again rested his head on Ares' shoulder, and wondered when his life had gotten so complicated.

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