Author: Mary
Story Title: Discovery and Loss
Characters: Xena & Ares
Rating: PG-13
Summary: Ever wondered how Xena and Ares met? Ares' POV. First part of the Warrior Princess of Sparta series.

In this fan fiction, I have taken some of the actual facts of Greek Mythology and the series—both Xena: Warrior Princess and Hercules: The Legendary Journeys—and some of the information, I have made up. Some of the events and facts from both series have been changed in this story. This tale is not written to offend any one and I do not hold any claims on any of the character and or anything in both of the series: they are the property of the companies such as Renaissance Pictures and others whose names I am not certain of. I have used names from the information that I have learned by reading books regarding Greek Mythology such as Edith Hamilton's, Mythology. Sooo, in another words, they're not mine so just don't sue me, okay?

Before I even begin, please realize that this is a Xena/Ares story. If such offends you, just remember that you have been warned.

Sex: There are hints plus kissing

Language: Just a little

Subtext: No! Can anyone help me find the I Hate Gabrielle Club?

Violence: Please! You cannot have a Xena story without bashing people! If you are sternly offended by violence, then how did you end up watching the show anyway?

Author's Note: I never really knew that there were people out there who thought that Ares and Xena were quite the couple, too, until I somehow ended up reading Katrina's In The Hands of Fate. Since then, I have read practically all the Ares/Xena fan fiction there is out there, and I have not yet found one that I don't like. They are all awesome stories and so do not think that, 'well, I don't like my first story, so I'm never going to write again,' or, "oh I don't know, I have never written one before and I'm afraid of what others might think about my writing.' Just realize that we all have to start somewhere, and if we decide to never begin, there will not be any stories out there. You know, I'm lazy too, but have you realized how many fanfics are actually coming out lately…not much comparing to before. So try your best and be cognizant of the fact that there is always someone out there who enjoys reading your tales—I'm one of them! Oh and one more thing, there are certain events from both of the series that I am either changing or cutting off, like the episode in which Hera was thrown into Tartarus in Hercules. Just watch for that.

Dedication: Oh there are so many people that I like to dedicate this story to! Delenn, you are just one kick-ass shipper and I will always love your stories and sites! Skky Blue, you wrote the most realistic fanfiction (Dark Revelations) that I will always remember. Eris, I don't think that I will ever laugh as hard as I did when I read Happy Solstice. LadyKate, your story Second Chances was the most moving story I ever read and it never fails to draw tears from my eyes. Illyandria, I will always remember Karsutha for its originality and beautiful descriptions…Let me take a deep breath…let me just list names now, okay? Jane, Catherine E. Grant, Kat, Jade, Cat, Aurora, Erica, Electra, Katrina, Larissa, Lexxie, Carly, Alicia, Princess Destiny, Prue, Liz, Lasca, Goddess Anex, Claudia-Janet, Tareena, Tango, Vickey…hew! There is more but I can't remember all the names, sorry! So, I dedicate this story to practically all of the A/X SHIPPERS!

Eris, hehehe, I think that I just broke your longest disclaimer record! Now, lets get to my first story ever! Hope you LOVE it! Hehehehehehe…

Please send feedback to Oh you know it! I would love to hear about what you think!

_____ *** _____

Discovery and Loss
by Mary


My mother, the youngest daughter of Rhea and Cronus, was raped by her brother—my father Zeus. She said that he had been intrigued by her and had wanted her as a wife—she, on the other hand, wanted to be free. But after the event, when she realized that she was pregnant with me, she married Zeus out of shame—or so she says.

She used to tell me she despised Zeus, but I think that my beloved mother, Hera, ironically, came to love my father, and Zeus' intrigue for my mother became to be more of love as well. She never admits to the fact without twisting her words, even though as a child I had heard her call me the symbol of their love. Then I'm reminded of how they came to get married and fall in love and I realize how complex love is…

I do not know of what happened to my father that he decided to sleep with other women and betray my beloved mother, but I know that ever since his "adventures," my family became as dark as the depth of Tartarus and I, the child of strategies of warfare and a symbol of love, began to strive for battle and blood.

After my mother was thrown to the depth of Tartarus by my half-brother Hercules, I became more distant and violent. When I heard of my mother's whereabouts, I did not know what to be surprised at. Was it that my mother had gone far enough to turn my father into a mortal, or was it how my father had gotten Hercules to help him regain his powers and throw my mother to depth of the underworld, or how my father had actually left my mother in Tartarus? The list went on, but either way, I did not have the power to free my mother, so I waited until I had the chance and the power.

Even though later on Zeus released my mother, even though they fell in love again and left the past where it belonged, I could not do the same. I had forever changed, for once the lust of battle enters your blood, nothing can entirely remove it.

I favored the quiet of my temples to the parties of Apollo; I thirsted for blood instead of masterminding tactics; the love for which I was a symbol of, I ignored; and never did I allowed any emotion other than the passion and lust for battle to enter the mayhem in which I dwelled. Thus many thought that I was simply a bloodthirsty war god, a monster of rancor and chaos. I have never wanted to argue.

And thus it was that every time the clashing of war echoed throughout the mortal lands, I found myself there, watching with an unimaginable hunger and my spirit always fed upon the passion with which the crimson liquid that would water the earth was shed—it empowered me like nothing I had ever known. Often times—when none of the armies in a battle fought for me or a great conquest was not to be gained for me by the battle—I had no deference on whether who the conqueror was or who was killed; I simply craved to satisfy my thirst for battle. But it was never the blood of war that attracted me—though it was, and still is, evocative—but its flow. Oh yes, there is a difference.

Blood can be shed when a farmer would cut himself with his sickle or when a village child would fall upon the earth, but it can also be shed when warriors clash their swords of fury for dominance, giving into the battle lust that grows within their soul! So you see, it was never really the chaos of battle that I yearned for, but the palpable atmosphere it created, and the intoxicating liquid the air would turn into—much like Dionysus' intoxicant. The atmosphere of the battle is the fury of the soldiers and their quarreling swords and the way they dance the fatal moves with a passion, slicing through the ones who dare to defy them—now that is what I yearn for!

I still feel the same way about most of that.

My thirst for battle was probably what the other Gods believed to be a taboo, but I think that they simply feared me—they still do, maybe it is less now. My family, controlled by many feuds after my father's "adventures," ironically favored civilization and thought my job to be its destruction. I would often reveal that Athena, too, has possession over the domain of war, but they reasoned that her techniques were "civilized ones."

But that issue could simply be answered by the meaning of civilization, and in that definition, the word 'war' is not often seen.

I believe that before every civilization, there has been a great war to shape it and thus, is not war the basis for every civilization? Do I not create what later becomes a civilized life?

But I guess my thirst for blood did drag my techniques to the "uncivilized" section of warfare. I have never wanted to argue this either.

War—how were my techniques ever different from the ones of Athena. Athena—I have always respected her for her intelligence and strategies—which often made me furious for they were successful—though I never revealed it. We have no hatred for each other; competition is what our relationship is based upon. I try to forget, but when we were children, we got along very well. It all changed when I did, and even now, it will never be the same.

Athena has always been more of a politician for she has always favored the strategies of war more than the battle itself—much like the old me. I, on the other hand, anticipate for the battle as Artemis does a good hunt. I guess that I just have a passion for the clashing of swords more than the clashing of words.

And so it was, day after day, year after year, century after century…time passed and I grew to know and feel every aspect of warfare: every motivation, emotion, movement, what ever you name. I grew darker and my kindness, even to Aphrodite, was never seen again. I became war.

However, there was one emotion that I had never considered to be a piece of the darkness of battle, the emotion that most wars are fought for—this love.

In the past, I could never understand this emotion. It's so complicated to comprehend you know. But I had learned, by watching, that it was a weakness and so I despised it; I repelled it. But the Fates had other plans for me and brought it into my world, veiled by her.

Even now, I am not sure whether the Fates meddled with my destiny or whether it was something else, but the moment that I laid my eyes on this beauty, the seed of the most complicated emotion was planted within the depth of me…

Chapter One
~ Six Years Ago ~

I look upon them: such imbeciles! Drunk they are of Dionysus' potion as they drift desultorily from the arms of one to the legs of another; expelling the features of the old "lover" from their memory when finding comfort in the arms of a new—there is of course the question of whether they have a mind composed of a place for recollection.

In their state, they believe that I cannot smell their hideous breaths when they sneer and laugh at me. They laugh for I do not posses a chosen mortal, a special mortal to accompany me to these parties or do my bidding or offer hundreds of sacrifices to my temples every day. This proves my argument: they are fools.

A Chosen must be special, not some mortal who does the norms of worships. Sacrificing for instance: what will the death of a hundred lambs do for me? I would rather have a victory at some war!

Each one of those Gods, more like buffoons, has had a hundred chosens; none of which hold a small place in their memory. No, when it is time for me to select a Chosen, he shall be the best of the finest…he shall be…a pink flash of light suddenly blows away my dream Chosen.

"Oh Ar…don't like just sit there and like be sad! Come on bro, if you're stuck here, why not have some fun?"

I know that voice so well—Aphrodite. She shared my bed and passion for centuries before finding love with Hephaestus, God of Forge. I don't understand it—this love—it's pathetic really. I blinds you and thus you turn into a fool—a fool whom if you were to say that his or her lover was in the pits of Tartarus, they would jump to their deaths in the name of love. How pathetic can one be to fall in the web of this trap? I don't understand love and I intend to keep it that way—keep this thing out of my realm is all I want.

Raising my eyes, I see her pale blue ones staring sadly and yet curiously through me. She is scared. I can see it in her eyes and I know that she is still not used to my distant attitude towards her—even though it's been five centuries since I completely broke away.

Before she has a moment to speak, I see the Messenger of the Gods ambling towards me. His lips have curled into a silly smile, indicating that he, too, is a buffoon. With every step his knees almost give up, as he tries to balance his drunken form.

As silly as he looks, I know that he is one of the most intelligent gods on Mt. Olympus and thus, when I lost the bet with him, I agreed to suffer the consequence of my loss instead of threatening him—with an "agreement" of course: no one was to know about my defeat, except Aphrodite who had been there when I had lost. I have a reputation to maintain…

"Heeey Woooor Goddd…heheheheehehehehe. Whaaat's up yo?"

Oh he reeks…I guess intelligent people sometimes don't act as though they have any brains.

I frown, trying to dismiss his gruesome breaths. I hear the Goddess' nervous giggles from behind and I try to ignore those as well. At these times, ignorance is bliss…

"Apollo's chariot dazzled over the earth when I came here Hermes and now Artemis' silver orb has taken over. I've had enough of this…place! I am getting out."

Though he is stoned, fear is suddenly apparent on his features as his light-brown eyes scream of concern for dear life. I cannot help but smile inwardly; how I love to frighten others!

Covering his sudden panic, Hermes gives me another idiotic smile.

"Learned your lesson hu brother? Never bet on mud-wrestlers with me again, Ares, for I have mastered the art of winning bets over'em. Hahahahahahahehhehehehehehehe…"

He falls into another fit of laughter. I fall into the ether to exit the horrible place.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Sparta ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The black marble walls are the same, though some new paintings have been hung: portraits of unforgettable battles. There are some new tables against the walls; few carry plates swarming with fruits, some carry a bottle of wine and some goblets; others carry numerous scrolls.

The room has a dark, mysterious aura to it—just the way I like it—for there are many candles, placed all over, creating dancing shadows about the room, even on the towering ceiling. Nine small steps lead from my throne towards the marble altar, which is covered with offerings ranging from fruits and wine to swords and daggers.

The door, oh by the Gods it is exquisite! It reaches the high ceiling and is decorated with carved figures of warriors and their glorious battles—it was a gift from Hephaestus. My Spartan temple is truly one of my favorites…when was the last time that I actually paid any attention to my temples? What is wrong with me today? The Spartan Temple is…

Sparta! She is amidst chaos. After its king, Atrius, was killed by the hands of his army's general, there has not been a moment of quiet within the city walls or its surrounding areas. I had not really cared who wins this civil war—because either way I will be worshipped in Sparta—but then I realized how good the general—Labdacus—is. He is so brutal and does have some brains. One cannot find such good merchandise in the market street these days.

He plans to conquer Greece and farther on…I don't plan to stop him. There is one small obstacle in his way right now though, well two people to be exact: Toris and Lyceus. They are the sons of the late Atrius and, having reached manhood, they are both old enough to rule.

Ever since the war started, I wondered why the two brothers have never tried to claim the throne for themselves. They had seemed to want to share it and they still do, something quite the opposite of what mankind would do today—fall in the pits of ambition.

Labdacus is a power-hungry man and quite good at winning, but then again, the brothers are quite strong as well. Labdacus is the side that I have chosen, but who knows, maybe I'll change my mind—like I always have.

I open a portal to the battlefields and watch as my thirst is once again satisfied. The two armies have clashed like the ocean and the shore do. I can almost taste the blood on my lips and feel the warmth of the crimson blood on my hands…how delicious war is!

There is too much happening and thus, as I close the portal, I find myself atop the hills, looking down at the quarreling men.

The brothers' army seems to be losing…the general has more followers…hmm…they must have been surprised by an ambush made by Labdacus' men…how thoughtful of him!

A sword is thrust into the warmth of flesh, blood is everywhere…oh how satisfying!

I see them—both Labdacus and Lyceus—fighting for what one calls conquest and the other refers to as honor. I call it war.

They are both skills, but Labdacus' experience cannot be matched by the young prince…Labdacus has fought many wars and I bet this is the prince's first.

And so Lyceus falls unconscious on his back, lying upon the bloody earth as the scorching sun blazes its summer heat. I knew he would lose…

Breathing heavily, Labdacus runs his tongue over his lips—tasting the success…oh so can I! Raising his mighty sword, he smiles and says, "Tis truly a pity to kill you, Lyceus. Oh and don't worry, your brother shall be joining you soon!"

From atop the hill, I feel drunken by Labdacus' rage and I relish the satisfaction that Lyceus' blood will bring me…hmm…come one…come on, get it over with! He brings his sword down and I feel a sudden surge of power as Labdacus whispers 'To you Ares, oh mighty God of War!'

Oh how bewitching it is when they kill in my name…

"Nooooooooooo!" It drags me out of my blissful state. And then I see a young girl, dressed like an Amazon with a leather, silver-decorated armor that is soaked with warm blood, standing there, her chest heaving from…anger? Passion for battle? Yes…oh gods she is a beauty. Her ebony, long hair flutters with the harshly blowing wind around her shoulders, and her young blue eyes have such a mixture of battle emotions that I feel myself sinking within the depth of Morpheus' realm.

Who is she? Where did she come from? As my mind is filled with thousands of questions, Labdacus turns towards the girl, surprised to see her within the battlefield.

So he knows her.

She attacks, like a mother protecting her young. Sword in hand, she stands before the fallen prince, shielding his corpse with hers. He looks at her with a mixture of admiration and curiosity, as their swords collide.

"The Princess of Sparta…isn't this a surprise!" Labdacus says to the young woman.

'Princess of Sparta.' Well, I guess I should have known who she was, considering Sparta is my city, but then again, when have I paid any attention to other things and people outside the realm of war?

She keeps silent, though her soul howls with rage. Though no one else can distinguish it from the sweat on her flushed face, I see a silent tear and I hear her heart desperately craving to embrace the fallen prince, yet she does not even spare a glance at her brother and her face shows nothing other than a thirst for revenge.

How strange she is. She is filled with love and hate at the same time and she has the power to control them. How wondrous…

She strikes again. Her raven hair flies with the sweat of battle and oh by the Gods it has been centuries since I've seen that level of fury and bloodlust within the eyes of a being. She is weaker than Labdacus…after all, he is a man and she is a girl barely escaping her teens, yet she acts as though she is superior in their fight and blocks and strikes with an unimaginable vigor.

The thirst for revenge does that to people…I should know.

Their swords clash and a battle of pure strength is on as they both try to push the other away.

After moments, she still holds the combat of might and oh in the name of Rhea how my chest aches for this unique creature.

"It was a day like this, Xena, when this very sword sent Atrius to the pits of Tartarus. And it was in his blood that your mother took her life!" He declares, grinning wickedly. "I do believe that you saw me as I covered the same sword with the blood of your brother!" His voice is dripping with mirth.

I smile too. This rage, this hatred, this craving for revenge—it's what I live for and oh this girl's darkness satisfies me like no other!

She suddenly draws back from his sword and he stumbles forward a bit from the lack of the pressure of her blade. Her eyes are cold and her body shows no life within its boundaries.

Everything is just moving too quickly, but then suddenly I feel the time as it halts from fear—fear of her!

I look at her, only to see her features transform dramatically: her faces blushes a deep shade of red, her icy-blue eyes are fire, as her lungs blow her war cry from the depths of Tartarus. Oh truly, time did have a reason to stop.

The dark clouds come to plant their angry tears on the earth crimson face, and as I watch her fight, I feel as though the nature is feeling her emotions as well; it feels her pain and fury and it, too, is hurt and angry.

I see her, flashing her sword at Labdacus and screaming a heart-rending outcry as though the greatest of all pains has fallen upon her, as she releases her fatal wrath. It begins to rain.

In their new fight, she is more powerful than he and oh by the gods how drunken I am from the air that hovers around her. She moves too fast for mortal eyes to even realize where her sword had been last…it is not long before her sword decapitates the startled Warlord and the place is quite, and neither of us can hear anything but the rumbling of the clouds.

Her breathing is hard…her heart pumps through her every vein…something echoes through her and me too…the air is palpable from the tension…how I relish this!

Then she closes her eyes and it is all gone—all the passion and lust for battle is pushed away. She slumps into the blood-covered earth, crawling to where her brother lies.

"Xena?" His voice is a whisper and I appear there, standing three or four steps from them.

"I'm here! I'm here!" She tries to hide it, but I can see her pain as she muffles those little sobs of hers. Her body shakes and her bloody fingers suddenly find the hole that has already arranged Lyceus' meeting with Charon.

"I love you Xe…ah," Lyceus hoarsely whispers and then he is gone; a blissful smile is upon his lips after seeing her before Celesta takes him.

Chapter Two

"Father…you can rest in peace now, for I avenged you…all three of you," she whispers, sparing a glance from her father's tomb to her mother's and then Lyceus'.

I've been following her since her kill—her first, it seems. She wouldn't move from Lyceus' side until I moved closer to her…as strange as it sounds, her head had suddenly jumped and her eyes had found my invisible ones.

I had looked around only to see men fighting behind me and so I had thought that it was they she had paid attention to.

Then, Labdacus' men had realized that their leader was dead and so they had ran—cowards! How I abhor cowards!

Then the Spartan Army had cheered for their victory, but had fallen silent when seeing their own leader dead in her arms.

Her cold features had turned soft—only for a moment—and then she watched as Lyceus' corpse was taken away. It took the army a couple of days, but when they reached Sparta, their victory was rejoiced by the towns people and the survivals from the war; the prisoners were taken to the dungeon, awaiting their horrible fates.

Her brother, Toris…he cannot be king. I realized this when he cried in her embrace in front of so many others. To be weak can be handled, but to show weakness before others is foolish and the person who commits this action is not strong enough to be king—especially the king of my city! It had seemed to me the he should have been holding her, and there again, I saw her extraordinary strength.

Now, in the mausoleum of the royal family, she stands before the tomb of her father, as he lies there, on a higher-level ground, after the lying corpse of his wife and son. I do not know why I'm still here. This is all strange to me and yet a veiled familiarity is shed upon all of this.

"After you fought Athens, father, and won the first war after one-hundred years, the rest of the great cities sat back, for they were afraid of your power. Toris does not listen to me father, but with your death, they will think that we are weaker than they and most vulnerable now that we have suffered so many casualties in this war. Oh Gods father! I fear that they are right and before we know it, I am certain that they will launch thousands of attacks on Sparta…"

How wonderfully cognizant she is…I think…no, no, I know that even my greatest general would have never thought of something like that. How remarkable she is.

"Father, as much as I know I have to stand strong, as much as I remember your lessons of bravery, though I know to never allow the victorious enemy to see that they have beaten me…oh father… Sparta is in need of help and Toris, as much as I love him, cannot provide any protection or support. He is a good man, but he is not a wise soldier nor king; he will shatter when another war is shed upon Sparta…what shall I do father?"

Her voice had been strong, but her last words were nothing but a faint vibration and I am sure that if I were not a God, I would not have heard her.

This is my chance. I have never known her before this, but I know that she is strong willed and my help would be denied if I ever offered it to her; but now Sparta needs it and she cares too much for this city…cares too much about its people…she cares too much to deny me now.

Before I can materialize and answer her cry for help, there is a flash of golden light behind me and feminine hands halt me in the ether.

"What do you want Athena? I'm busy." I tell her angrily, I don't have time for her!

"Xena's the reason that I'm here, Ares. We need to talk."

Before I can deny her the privilege, I hear footsteps leaving the mausoleum. 'Damn it!'


I am boiling with rage and frustrations—she had been so vulnerable! "You better have something good to talk about Athena, or I swear…"

We disappear, with me following her.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Athena's Temple ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

"What now?" I ask her bitterly. She sits on her throne and offers me a luxurious seat, but I refuse. I despise being here and I am not hesitant to show it to her.

She leans forward, her eyes boring through mine. She's serious now…I can feel it by the way the air freezes for her to speak. She is raging as I and oh how rich fury is!

"I have watched her since she was but a child, Ares. She is the essence of an honorable warrior, brother, and I…Will…Not…Let You…Corrupt…Her!

She wants Xena on her side. Fighting for her.

I want to scream and let her feel my wrath. I want to scorch every bit of her precious temple. I want her to burn in my vehemence, to let every inch of her realize that not she, nor any one else, can force the god of war to do anything; but all I can do, all I allow myself to do, is to throw my head back and laugh as I have never done before!

"Ohhh Athena, I often wonder how you can be the Goddess of Wisdom when your sight is as blind as Tartarus is dark."

I have offended her, I know and I relish the fact. The one way to hurt the Goddess is to hit her ego. I just did that.

I close our distance and I unleash my fury through my features and words.

"Do you really think, dear sister, that after the warmth of war consumed her three days ago, after she allowed the lust to run through her every fiber, that she will simply forget the passion of war and side herself with the Goddess who forbids it? The Goddess of Warfare who does everything in her power to prevent what she relishes the most?"

I take a couple of steps back and allow the seed of doubt and fury to be planted within her.

Before I disappear, I add, "And do you really think that you can make the Heir of Olympus, the GOD OF WAR, do anything simply because you wished it?"

And I'm gone, letting her see who I truly am and what an enormous fault it is to mess with me.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Training Area ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Dancing through the hot air that engulfs her, she conquers her imaginary foes, just as she has conquered my mind. It's strange how this mortal girl has captured my attention within her cage of Hephaestus, and no matter what I do—even though I hold the key in my grasp—I cannot escape her.

She is danger, I know, for she awakens within me something I do not know of. Yet, like a cobra, those blue eyes of hers, keep me by her side, watching her until she decides to do…what? What can a mortal girl do to me? I'm definitely losing it!

A couple of hours ago, a message reached Sparta, bringing the news that Corinth and Athens have joined together to fight Sparta. Her brother had ignored her warnings and wish to help and had told her to leave war to men, and so had his advisors. She was furious and had marched out of the meeting room, swearing that they would destroy Sparta by their irrationality.

She thrusts her sword and it vents its wrath upon a lifeless tree. She struggles to release her blade but her strength has left her. She slumps by the tree, a hand still holding the hilt of her sword.

It's my chance. When she is by my side, nothing will stop us. Nothing will stand in our way. I can feel it now. It has been our destiny to join together…it is our destiny to be as one!

Continue on with the sequel Changing the Stars

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