saga/title/fandom: Love and Mischief Saga: Diety By Day chapter 2 (Hercules/Xena)
rating/genre:(PG-13 (for now)) - Comedy/Romance/Drama
warnings: slash, sexual content, language, male pregnancy
summary: Accord's day of birth, and the family is resting, and bonding. Sequel to Seeking Balance, in the Love and Mischief Series. An offshoot of the Love and Mischief Series. (Ares/Joxer)
comments/disclaimers: All recognizable media characters were created by, and belong to the television company that produced them (I THINK it's Rennaissance). Original characters (Accord, Impetua, and possibly others) are the copyrighted property of the author. Archive? Yes. Begins immediately after the end of Seeking Balance, on the day of Accord's birth. It will consist of a section for each day of his first year. Warning: AU. Anachronisms ahead. This is for Nanowrimo 2004 and will consist of 365 (at least) drabbles, snippets, and vignettes, chronicleing the first year in the life of Accord, son of Joxer and Ares, God of Mediation. http://www.angelfire.com/grrl/scribescribbles and http://www.angelfire.com/grrl/foxluver
Ares stared down at the naked baby. Accord was lying on his back, legs and arms drawn up close to his body. He was gazing up, eyes unfocused. Ares knew logically that if the baby saw him at all, it was as a blurred mass, but knowing that didn't mean that he KNEW it. "I can't do it, Joxer. He's looking at me."
"Tartarus, Ares," sighed Joxer. "I know for a fact that you half-crammed your hand into my wound when the hydra got me."
"This is different."
Joxer studied the worried look on his husband's face, and softened. "Yeah, it is. Hand it over." Ares handed over the wine soaked cloth. "You know we have to do this to avoid infection. Sure, Accord could probably fight it off, being a god, and all that, but we don't want him to have to."
"Of course not. But what if he cries?"
"He's GOING to cry sometimes, and not just because he's hungry or wet. We're going to have to deal with it." Joxer squared his shoulders and turned back to the baby. Accord chose that moment to twitch, little arms and legs straightening briefly. "I don't think I can do it, either."
"Ace said we have to keep the umbilical stump clean."
Joxer nodded, then got a gleam in his eye. "Let's call him and let HIM do it."
Ares was cuddling Accord. "Shouldn't he have pooped by now?"
Joxer, sprawled tiredly beside him, grunted. "He's on all liquids." He rubbed his chest, wincing slightly. "Lots of it, so he's going to pee more than poop. And what poop he has is going to be... Well, you remember what happened the first time I made you prune whip? Don't worry. If it doesn't happen by tomorrow, we'll take him to Ace and...
Ares had hooked a finger in the back of Accord's diaper and peered inside. "That won't be necessary." He offered the baby to Joxer.
Joxer stared at him, then took the baby. "You DO know that when you're here, you get the lion's share of diaper duty, since I have it ALL when I'm alone with the baby?"
Ares smiled at him. "I just thought you'd like to take care of this first one--for your memories."
"No, Ares, I don't think he's lost any hair."
"Ar, it looks just as thick today as it did yesterday."
"I swear, Ares. If Psyche wasn't such a bitch, I'd ask her to have a look at you. You're developing a complex about Accord's hair."
"Um... okay. I have to admit that his forehead DOES look a good bit higher than it did."
Strife looked at Joxer, who was gently bouncing a fussy Accord. "A surprise party fah Unc?"
"Well, it IS his birthday on the 15th," said Joxer. He bumped little fingers against Accord's lips, and the baby started to suck it. "You're not going to get anything out of that--you know that, right?"
"He ain't learned ta be disappointed yet, Joxie. Look, ain't ya still kinda tired? I mean, it's only been a week since Apollo sorta slit yer belly open and reached inside."
Joxer made a face. "Thank you so much for reminding me."
"Yes, I'm still tired. Cord doesn't do much more than sleep and eat, but he usually wants to eat when I need to sleep. That's why I'm asking you to help with this."
Strife raised an eyebrow. "Help?"
"Okay, so I'm asking you to do it all. I just don't know how I can do it and still keep Ares from finding out. You know how he hovers these days."
Strife cackled. "It's like ya went from havin a baby attached ta ya ta havin Ares attached. Sure, I'll be happy ta set it up, but I got a coupla questions. Numbah one, why tha fuss? We don't usually make much of grownup birthdays here on Olympus. I mean, tha mortal worshipahs like ta pitch shindigs an' lay on tha presents, but a lotta that is along tha lines of wantin ta be sure we're propahly buttahed up."
"Look, no one ever made much of my birthday when I was mortal, and that's not going to be the case for anyone I care about now. In fact, I'm going to get a calendar and start noting down birth dates, so that I don't forget anyone, and yes, you're going on it."
Strife smiled sheepishly. "Kay. An' numbah two, why'd ya ask ME?"
"You mean besides the fact that you're my best friend?" Strife's eyes went wide, but he didn't give any other indication that Joxer's simple declaration had touched him--he simply nodded. "You're good at planning things. Heck, everyone knows that you can set up mischief weeks, if not months, or years, ahead of time."
"That I can," said Strife complacently. "But ya gotta admit that I'm not well known fah my party plannin skills. I woulda thought that Dite would be first choice there. Why not her?"
Joxer smiled softly as Accord worked an arm free of his blanket and waved it, minute fingers flexing. "Strife, do you have any idea of how many pink baby clothes I have stored away? Even after we KNEW Cord was a boy. She just can't help herself."
Strife giggled. "Yah. I guess tha whole point of havin Unc relax an' enjoy himself would kinda be defeated if he was surrounded by pink. Too much pastel kinda sets his teeth on edge. Sure, I'll be glad ta do it."
"Thank you so much. Oh," he seemed to recall something, "I should have asked. Are you sure Cupid won't mind? You two ARE still on your honeymoon."
"Ya kiddin? Ya think Feathahs would miss tha chance to do somethin like this fah his dad? Not likely." Strife stood up. "I gotta go. I hafta be at Iphicles' palace in ten minutes, or I'll miss my chance ta have tha head chef send in roast pork at tha state dinner." Strife giggled. "This guy cut off diplomatic relations with a government that presented 'im with a pair of pigskin gloves." He disappeared, but with no light display. Joxer had noticed that the Mischief God's goings and comings were a lot less showy around Accord.
Joxer made a face at the baby. "You've got some really terrific relatives, little guy. Of course, some of them are kind of flaky. Let me tell you about your Uncle Jayce. First off, no--we are not from Spain..."
Ares braced himself. "I can do this." He dabbed the wine soaked cloth against Accord's tummy. Accord's legs jerked, but he didn't cry out. Ares felt a wash of relief. "It's scabbed really good now, so I guess it isn't stinging any more. Maybe he was just startled because the wine was too cool." Ares picked up the baby and held him tenderly. "I'm sorry, Cord. I'll remember to warm it a little bit next time. You've been such a brave boy, letting Daddy fix your belly boo-boo. Yes, you has. Whoozza big, bwave boy? Whoozza...?"
Joxer had come to the door, but now he silently turned and sneaked away, grinning, leaving his big, bad, God of War husband talking baby talk to their son.
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