saga/title/fandom: Love and Mischief Saga: Diety By Day chapter 3 (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
(10) April 11
Ares and Joxer lay side by side. Both were looking down at the baby, who was lying between them. Accord was on his tummy, which Ares took as a favorable sign that the umbilical cord should ready to drop off any time now. Accord's head was turned to the side, to keep his face from pressing into the mattress. Eyes closed, the baby smacked his lips.
Ares looked over him, at Joxer, and whispered, "What do you think?"
Joxer whispered back. "It's worth a shot. Go for it."
Ares picked Accord up, moving very carefully. He moved so gradually that, had he seen him, Strife would have made some comment about 'going to slo-mo' (a concept that only he was familiar with. He said it was going to cause a lot of mischief in the future). Ares swung his legs over the side of the bed, bent, and lowered Accord into the beautifully carved cradle that sat beside their bed. He settled the baby on the thin pad that Dite had embroidered, and drew the snowy, fleece blanket that Demeter had sent up around his shoulders.
For a moment he held his breath. The baby wiggled slightly, but his eyes didn't open, and he made no sound. Just as carefully, Ares laid back down, and pulled Joxer into his arms. He sighed heavily.
"Oh, Cerberus," Ares groaned. He started to sit up.
Joxer held onto him. "Wait."
"But he's crying," said Ares reasonably.
"He's not hungry, and I doubt that he's wet. That doesn't sound like a painful cry. I think he's just fussy."
"How can you tell?"
"I just can. You'll be able to, after awhile."
"Joxer, can't we bring him back into the bed just for tonight?"
"Ares, you were there when Ace found out that we'd been letting him sleep with us, weren't you?"
Ares grimaced. "Yes." There weren't too many people who dared scold the God of War. Gaia was one, and Hera was another, and they did it by mother's right.
"Well, he was right, wasn't he?"
"Yes," Ares admitted. "Having a new baby sleep with two adults IS dangerous. If either of them sleep too soundly, the child could be smothered. I'd never thought about it, but now that I do, it seems obvious."
Joxer was nodding. "Some circumstances it can be practical--like when you need to share body heat to keep the baby warm, but we don't have that problem. So he's going to have to learn to sleep in his cradle if we're asleep."
*waaaaaaaaaa-ee* There was a pathetic squeak at the end of the last wail.
Joxer and Ares exchanged looks. Joxer said, "I don't have to go to sleep just yet." Ares reached for the baby.
"Joxer, I haven't seen anyone lose their hair so fast except when they got scalped during battle."
"Well, LOOK at him. He had a decent crop of hair when you popped him out, but now... Now you couldn't pluck a hair with tweezers."
"Don't mention tweezers and my son in the same breath. I've had enough of that with Jayce. Almost all babies lose hair. Didn't Cupid?"
"Not like this."
"Well, all babies are different." Joxer let Accord wrap his fist around one of his fingers. "We know he's a genius, so maybe lots of brain activity makes the hair fall out?"
"Are you saying that Cupid is an airhead?"
"You're so easy. I guess it's just as well he doesn't have a lot of hair. I can easily imagine Dite sneaking over here, and us finding him wearing a pink bow."
"I don't think even Dite would go that far." Joxer thought. "Now Strife..."
"Quiet! You don't want him catching any random thoughts. He doesn't need any help." Ares rubbed a hand gently over the baby's head. "You know, he isn't slick. It's sort of like... suede."
"Trust you to find a resemblance to a form of leather."
"Ares, why do you look so stunned?"
"I think I just got groped by Hestia."
"That's what I thought. She dropped by to see Accord while you were napping. By the way, she promised to start working on a special hard cookie for him to gnaw on when he starts teething. Anyway, when she got ready to leave, she insisted on giving me a hug. That was odd enough, but... Maybe groped wasn't the right term. Stroked might be more accurate. She ran her hands all over my back and sides. The really weird part is that she walked away muttering numbers. What's gotten into her?"
"I have no idea."
"Something is going on. I just hope that Eris and Strife aren't plotting to overthrow me."
Joxer stared at Ares. "I can understand you being paranoid about Athena--she's made it pretty clear that she wants your job--but not Strife and Eris. They enjoy what they do too much--they wouldn't want the added responsibility."
"I guess you're right. But they ARE up to something, and it's driving me nuts trying to figure out what it is. The last couple of days they've been whispering and giggling together."
"Strife has been giggling, but Eris has been smirking more than usual."
"You worry too much. Here." Joxer handed Accord to Ares. "Take your mind off it."
Ares felt Accord's bottom, then made a face. "Yes, there are few things in the world that can distract you more than changing a dirty diaper."
*chorus*: "HAPPY NATAL DAY, ARES!"
"You scared the baby, you idiots!
Joxer was changing Accord's shirt. "You had us worried there for a minute, Ares."
"Look, I know everyone meant well, but you just don't go yelling like that around a new baby."
Joxer held up his hand, as if taking an oath. "I swear that wasn't my idea. And it wasn't Strife's, either. He was lobbying for 'Boo'. But Accord settled down quickly."
"And how much did you have to do with that?"
"A little, but what's the point of being the God of Peace if you can't occasionally soothe your own child? I'm going to try to not do it too often, though." He frowned. "If I did it every time he was upset it would be sort of like drugging him."
"It was a nice party after that. Thanks, Jox."
"You're welcome. I knew I was doing the right thing in getting Strife to organize--he does sneaky so well."
"I was glad to get Hestia's present. It sure took a load off my mind to learn that she wasn't fondling me, but was measuring me for that new vest. How does she DO that?"
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