The characters belong to Studios USA and Renaissance Pictures and were used without permission. No copyright infringement was intended and no money was made.
Joxer gets an unexpected reward for saving Gabrielle's life. This het story is a bit of fluff inspired by my displeasure with the ending of the episode 'Married with Fishsticks.' This story does contain spoilers for the ep, and it probably won't make a whole lot of sense if you haven't seen it.
You can find more stories by MB at her site Millefiori by MB
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A Hero's Reward
Gabrielle and Xena continued to walk away from the docks, weaving through the people on the crowded street. Gabrielle was cooing at the baby in her arms, obviously recovered from her accidental fall into the water. The two women seemed oblivious of Joxer lagging farther and farther behind.
Okay, so maybe he shouldn't have kissed her, but did that mean she had to hit him? Besides, Gabrielle had started it! He'd been trying to make sure she didn't drown and she'd grabbed him and kissed him. What was he supposed to do? He had saved her life after all. Didn't he deserve a little kiss? Didn't he deserve a 'thank you'? He absently rubbed his face again, trying to soothe away the ache that lingered there from the impact of Gabrielle's fist. His pace slowed even more and he fell even farther behind.
"Joxer?" Xena called. She'd turned back, hands on her hips and a look of concern on her face.
"Go on ahead, Xena. I'll catch up later," Joxer replied, having decided he needed some time alone to deal with the injustice of it all.
Xena stared at him for a moment, then nodded and turned away, jogging a few steps to catch up with Gabrielle and Eve.
Joxer turned and plodded down a side street, taking a shortcut that would lead him out of town. He wanted to go sit among the trees where it was quiet, with no people around to disturb his thoughts.
"Oh, poor Joxie!" Aphrodite tilted her head to the side and watched as the mortal walked into the woods, his shoulders slumped dejectedly. "I think I know just what you need to make you feel better," she murmured. The goddess snapped her fingers and transported herself, re-appearing just a bit ahead of Joxer on the path. She took a couple of steps and almost stumbled over Discord, who was standing perfectly still, almost hidden by a tree.
"What are you doing here, Bimbalina?" Discord glared at her darkly.
"I'm..." Aphrodite began, then frowned. "What a minute. What are you doing here?"
Discord negligently tossed her hair over one shoulder. "I'm here to give Joxer a little TLC. Now get lost."
"Oh no you don't! If anyone is going to give him anything it's going to be me!" Aphrodite's eyes flashed. "What do you want with him anyway? What do you care about Joxie?"
"Are you kidding? He's one of my favorites. Do you have any idea how much trouble he causes just trying to be helpful?" She scowled warningly, hefting a fireball in her hand. "Now, like I said, get lost."
Aphrodite's eyes narrowed and she looked her rival up and down appraisingly. "You wanna make Joxie feel better. I wanna make Joxie feel better..." She smiled suggestively. "What's every man's fantasy?"
Discord's eyebrows shot up and she allowed the fireball to dissipate. "Both of us?" she asked slowly.
Aphrodite nodded, grinning slyly. "It's been ages since we've done that. Come on, it'll be fun."
Discord rolled her eyes, but her initial hostility was gone and she appeared willing to be convinced.
"It's surely not gonna make him feel any better to come along and find us having another fireball fight." Aphrodite said winningly. "Besides, you know he'd love it!"
Discord reluctantly nodded.
"You know, you're awfully cute when you keep your mouth shut!" Aphrodite said teasingly, stepping closer to the dark goddess and drawing a fingertip along her jaw.
"Don't push your luck, cupcake," Discord snarled, quickly turning her head and catching the finger between her teeth.
"Oohhh - kinky!" Aphrodite squealed.
They were interrupted by the unmistakable sound of clanking armor approaching and both turned to watch as the mortal came into view. Joxer was looking at his feet and seemed to be taking little notice of his surroundings. He continued to plod along, only stopping when he almost plowed into the two goddesses standing in his path.
"Oh, gosh, I'm sorry! I didn't see you standing there..." Joxer said, hastily backing up. "Uhm, I thought you ladies were going to finish your fight at 3 o'clock on Olympus." He watched them warily, half expecting them to start hurling fireballs at one another.
"Don't worry, sweetie, we've been waiting for you," Aphrodite said brightly.
"W-waiting for m-me?" Joxer stammered. He stared at her in disbelief for a moment, then looked at Discord, who nodded in confirmation.
"That's right, you," Discord said, laying her hand on Joxer's arm and looking up at him from beneath dark lashes. "You were quite the hero back there, jumping into the drink to save your ladylove. Too bad she's too much of a bitch to appreciate it."
"And don't bother defending her," Aphrodite said firmly, moving close to him and sliding her hand under the armor that covered his chest. "We both saw what happened."
Joxer, who had indeed opened his mouth to defend Gabrielle, closed it, pursing his lips and reluctantly nodding his acknowledgement of the truth of their words.
Aphrodite gave him a blinding smile of approval and Joxer couldn't help but smile back, if a little uncertainly. He was starting to feel excited, what with the undivided attention of two sexy goddesses, and he vaguely wondered if he would be blasted when they realized it. "So, uhm, wh-why exactly were you waiting for me?" he asked, trying to ignore their perfect bodies leaning against him, their hands caressing him.
"You're a hero." Discord drawled, as if that explained everything. Aphrodite giggled as the dark goddess smiled seductively and began to pluck at Joxer's unwieldy armor, each piece she touched disappearing from beneath her fingertips.
"That's right, Joxie. And since that mean old bard won't show her appreciation..." Aphrodite paused dramatically and Joxer slowly turned to look at her, breathlessly waiting for her to continue. She did, rising on tiptoe to whisper the words against his ear. "We will."
Joxer realized something was very wrong. He abruptly backed away, raising his hands as if warding off danger, and finally finding his voice. "Wait a minute, wait just a minute. What's going on here?" he asked hoarsely. "Is this some kind of spell?"
Aphrodite looked hurt, but Discord grinned, advancing on him. "No spell," she said. "We're here to give you a hero's reward." She placed the flat of her palm against his chest and pushed.
Hero's reward? Joxer found himself lying on his back, staring stunned up at the canopy of trees. It took a moment for him to register that he was lying on something soft. And that he was naked. And so were the bodies pressed close on either side of him.
He opened his mouth to speak, but was cut off by Discord, who took the opportunity to kiss him, languidly teasing his tongue with her own. Aphrodite nibbled at his earlobe and Joxer shivered at the sensation. Then he groaned as soft hands began exploring his body.
Joxer didn't know what exactly was going on here, but it felt good, really good, and he decided he was just going to relax and enjoy himself for as long as it lasted. After all, it wasn't every day that Joxer the Mighty was rewarded for his heroism by two of the most beautiful deities on Olympus.
The goddesses of love and discord reclined on either side of Joxer, regarding the mortal who had finally fallen asleep between them, his arms still around their waists, cuddling them close.
"He hung in there pretty well, didn't he?" Aphrodite giggled softly. "All things considered."
"Yeah," Discord murmured. "He did good for a mortal." She looked down at the sleeping face and her lips curved in a wicked smile. She gently ran her fingertips over the side of Joxer's face where Gabrielle's fist had connected, leaving behind even more swelling and dark bruising.
"Hey..." Aphrodite started to protest, but Discord cut her off.
"Shhh -- I just made it look a little worse, so the bitch will feel guilty. It won't hurt him at all."
Aphrodite slowly grinned. "You're bad!"
"You know it," Discord responded with an answering grin and a wink.
"Hey! It's almost 3 o'clock!" Aphrodite cried, hastily lowering her voice at Discord's frowning nod toward Joxer. "Do you still want to go to Olympus and fight it out?"
"Nah, I have a better idea," Discord said softly.
"Oh really," the love goddess drawled, her dimples deepening. She shivered deliciously as a finger slid along her collarbone and down to her nipple. "Well, in that case, your place or mine?"
"Oh please," Discord snorted. "Mine! I can't stand all that pink!"
Aphrodite giggled and the two disappeared in a blinding shower of sparks, leaving Joxer sound asleep on the ground, fully dressed in his damp clothes and armor.
Joxer groaned as a shaft of sunlight fell on him, and he lifted a hand to shade his eyes. He opened one, the other swollen shut in his bruised face. He sat up suddenly as he remembered and quickly looked around, but saw no sign of either Aphrodite or Discord. He touched a hand to his chest, then looked down in surprise to discover that he wasn't naked after all.
"Wow," he mumbled, "it must have been a dream." He slowly lay back with his arms crossed behind his head and relaxed, feeling wonderful. "A really good dream," he whispered, staring up at the trees and grinning hugely.