The characters belong to Studios USA and Renaissance Pictures and were used without permission. No copyright infringement was intended and no money was made.
This story contains m/m non-consensual sex, violence and sexual violence. There is also a character death.
You can find more stories by Oshun Anat at Ksmithares.
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Tale of Two Caesars
by Oshun Anat
Julius Caesar sat in his tent and brooded. He was bored. Nothing challenged him anymore. Hercules and Eire had proved to be a challenge, but he had to leave before he lost all of his forces, so he was bored again. His lovers weren't of much help. Ares was a great lay - no one could deny that, but it wasn't long before the newness wore off. It was always the same. Suck, fuck, fuck, suck, with maybe a whip or some chains thrown in for some diversity, but in the end, it didn't matter. Ares lacked the finesse needed to really hold his attention. He was about to return to what seemed to be the never ending pile of paperwork, when he heard a commotion outside of his tent. He stood up to go outside and yell at the men, when one of the guards came rushing in.
"Emperor. Please forgive my hasty entrance, but there is something you should see. What can only be described as a brilliant blue hole opened up into the sky, and well, something came out that you should see."
Caesar knew that the guard would not have been so rude without reason, so he went along. If the man had been exaggerating the problem, he would have him killed.
"All right, then. Take me to him."
The guard took him to where a group of men had formed a circle about the unconscious man. Caesar pushed aside a few of the men, and looked down to see what all the fuss was about.
Lying on the ground was a man almost completely identical to him, except his hair was longer, pulled back into a small pony tail, and he wore black leather pants and a white shirt.
"Well, this ought to prove interesting."
He motioned for someone to send for the healers. Then he had his personal guards bring the injured man into his tent. Minutes later the healer came and tended to the man's wounds. He sent the man out and gave the guards explicit instructions to not be interrupted unless it was important.
He sat and waited for the man to come to.
He began to wake up. His had a splitting headache, like nothing before, and was wondering why Cupid hadn't healed it. Was Cupid punishing him for something? He couldn't remember. He remembered arguing with the War God over some matter about whether to invade Corinth or not, and then getting punched for overstepping his bounds...and then he woke up here. But where is here?
"Ah, so my guest is awake," said Caesar.
"Who are you and where am I?" said the stranger.
"Oh. A temper. Then again, I can hardly blame you. If you are similar to me in more than just looks, then it is not a surprise....I am Julius Caesar. I am Rome. You may call me Emperor. You are in my tent in my camp. Who are you?"
"Cupid calls me "Jewel" but I prefer Julius. I unfortunately, can not claim a title as illustrious as yours. I am the War God's favorite 'playmate'. I've been trying to get him to listen to me about some of the wars he has been trying, but he won't listen to me. The fool."
Caesar looked at his counterpart with interest. A bed slave, but one with ambition. Maybe this could be used to his advantage.
"Maybe you are simply being to overt. You would be surprised what a little subtlety will get you. I know that it works with Ares."
"Ares? The God of Love?"
Caesar snickered. "That's a riot. I don't know if he is even capable of feeling Love. On this world, he is the God of War."
"Interesting." remarked Julius.
"Tell me, Julius, you are an intelligent man. How come you haven't become a general or a war lord."
"Because the conditions on my world won't allow for it. A man named the Sovereign rules there, and he kills anyone he suspects will try to over throw him. Needless to say, I do not relish the thought of being killed. So, I became a priest at one of Cupid's Temples in hopes of influencing the God to do something about that mad-man. Cupid took a liking to me and brought me into my bed. I had to learn to be submissive," he spit out that word as if it left a nasty taste in his mouth, "and slowly I've been gaining his ear. But not nearly enough for my taste. I've been trying to figure out what I can do to prove myself, but it isn't easy."
Caesar took it all in. From Ares description of the alternate universe, he had thought that his counterpart would have been weak, but to his surprise, Julius showed potential. It would be quite a coup for Caesar to rule more than one world, even if it was not him exactly.
"I can help you in your quest. I happen to be quite...adept...shall we say at this sort of game. After all, I do rule a good portion of the world, with more being added every day. But it will cost you."
Julius looked at Caesar and sighed. "We really are similar, aren't we? Okay, what is your price."
"I want your complete obedience. If I say kill, you kill. If I say fuck, then you fuck. Is that fair?"
"If I can kill the Sovereign, or at incapacitate him enough to take control, than it will be worth it. We have a deal. And if you ever get tired of me, you can't kill me. We both know that if you do that, then you'll die too."
"Don't worry. I won't. I'm too smart, handsome, and important to die now, especially at my own hand."
Julius smirked. "I'm so glad to hear that. I'm just curious. When you are done teaching me, how am I going to get back to my world? You aren't a god, you know."
Caesar replied, "Unfortunately not, but Ares happens to owe me a favor, so I'll get him to do it."
Julius raised his eyebrow. "Are you sleeping with him?"
"Of course I am. Oh sure, there are plenty of people willing for me to fuck them, but for a long term lover, I want the best, and for all intents and purposes, Ares *is* the best. Besides, when you sleep with the War God, you learn things that you could never have otherwise."
"You don't need to tell me that. I've been sleeping with Cupid for years now."
"So you have. Tell me, what is your War God like?"
"Temperamental doesn't even begin to describe him. You have to tread very carefully. The wrong wording can end up getting you killed."
"So how come you haven't died yet?"
"I learned to be submissive *very* quickly, what to say, how to act, that sort of thing. I've only recently started to try and offer my advice. Cupid is a little more tolerant around me. Not that I don't have my share of scars from his ministrations."
"I've noticed. The healer was wondering how you got some of those scars. Some of them looked like they could have been fatal."
"They almost were. Cupid always heals me, though he likes to leave scars as reminders of why I should be obedient at all times."
A guard rapped on the flap of the tent, seeking admission.
Caesar raised his eyebrow. "Enter."
"Please forgive me for intruding, Emperor, but there are servants here with food for you and your guest. Do you wish to eat now, or shall I send them away and tell them to come back later?"
"I didn't realize we had been talking so long." Then, turning towards the guard, he said, "Yes, that will be fine."
The guard saluted Caesar, left the tent, and sent in the serving girls.
Julius and Caesar ate, just making small talk about their respective lives.
After Caesar had the plates cleared, he said to Julius. "Well start with your lessons tomorrow. For now, I want you to prove your willingness to serve me."
"As you wish, Emperor."
The War God appeared with a flash. "What is it?"
"Ares, met Julius, Julius, this is Ares, God of War."
"So nice to meet you." Ares said snidely. "Make it quick Caesar, I'm supposed to meet Iphicles."
Julius snickered. "That whore?"
Ares turned to him with a look that spelled death if the mortal said another word.
Caesar slapped Julius hard across the face. "Julius! How dare you talk about the War God's lover like that! You will pay for that remark. You will not speak another word, until I say you may. Understand?"
Caesar continued. "That changes things. Ares, have you given Iphicles the proper chance to vent his anger lately?"
"What do you mean?"
"We both know how tense, and stressed out he gets when trying to deal with his council, and how when his temper snaps, it can get quite ugly....Quite similar to you, actually....And that he needs to release it."
"Well, he hasn't snapped lately."
"Perfect. Bring him here, and he can do to Julius as he pleases."
Julius sat there mute. He wanted to say something. He knew that he agreed to obey Caesar, but he didn't think that would do something like this. Even Cupid didn't share him. But he knew better then to do anything when his owner was in an angry mood. It just wasn't healthy. He would heal from whatever abuse in time, and life would move on. That's how life worked.
Ares arched his brow. "Iphicles should enjoy this. He's still pissed off about what you've done to him in the past."
"Well, "Jewel" here looks just like me, Iphicles will have a field day, so bring him here."
Ares snapped his finger, and in an instant Iphicles was with them.
Iphicles immediately went for Ares.
"How *dare* you do that to me! I was in a meeting with my council! How am I supposed to explain my disappearance?"
"Calm down, Iphicles. I think that what I have to offer you will more than make up for my *offense,*" replied Ares
Iphicles crossed his arms and said, "I'm listening."
"Look behind you. Tell me what you see."
Iphicles turned around and gasped.
"I see *two* Caesars. Is this some sort of joke?"
"Not at all. One of them, is from the alternate universe where our do-gooder brother is the Sovereign."
"Seems like the two Caesars have struck some sort of deal. Caesar here is in control of his twin, Julius, and he has decided to give you control of him."
Iphicles' grin made Julius shiver.
"Finally. I get to pay him back for all the things he has done to me."
Caesar said in a very firm voice. "One rule Iphicles. Since killing him would kill me, if I feel that too much damage is being done, you *will* stop on my command."
Iphicles looked up defiantly at Caesar. "And if I don't?"
Caesar stepped forward until he was inches from Iphicles. "Once I knock you unconscious, the first thing I will do is send troops to sack your kingdom. You will become my slave and my property and Ares cannot protect from what I would do to you. Is that clear enough, Iphicles?"
"Um. You say stop, I stop."
"Excellent. Ares, if you please?"
Ares waved his hand. Instantly the desk was removed. A pile of pillows appeared where Ares and Caesar were. An altar with chains attached to the four corners appeared in the center. Julius noticed that the God and the Emperor were naked, while he and Iphicles were still fully clothed.
Caesar leaned back next to Ares and said, "What's with the altar?"
Ares shrugged. "That's what Iphicles wants."
"Interesting." Turning to Iphicles, Caesar said, "He's all yours."
Iphicles turned to Julius. "Strip."
Julius started a slow strip tease, making the most as each bit of bronzed flesh appeared. His pants would have come off even slower, except that Iphicles was impatient and barked out, "Faster. I don't want a show."
The pants quickly came off and the pony-tail holder came out of his hair, and joined the shirt on the floor.
Eyeing Julius' body, he studied it in approval.
"Nice....Now strip me...without using your hands."
Caesar looked surprise at the level of domination that he knew Iphicles was leading to.
"Don't be so surprised, Caesar," Ares said as he stroked his cock absentmindedly "He's been wanting a chance like this for eons. He's still pissed over that scar you gave him."
As he watched Julius struggle with undoing the leather pants, he said, "You could have healed the marks."
"I liked them. A nice reminder that he's mine, and that I can use him however I like."
"Well, that night was fun." A moan from Iphicles as Julius began to lightly suck the King's balls. "I'm just glad that it's not me with him."
Ares shrugged, and they both turned their attention back to the main show.
Julius began to concentrate on licking the wetness from the slit, and Iphicles began to moan continuously. Soon after, Ares moans of pleasure also filled the room as Caesar did the same to the dark god.
As if by some psychic signal, the two Caesars deep-throated their respective partners at the same time.
Ares and Iphicles moaned simultaneously, and began thrusting harder and harder into the warm, wet mouths. Julius than inserted a finger into the king's tight ass sending Iphicles over the edge, causing him to fill Julius' mouth with his cum. Ares followed seconds later.
"By Zeus, Caesar, watching you and your twin in action is so damn hot!" Ares told the emperor, who was once again reclining against the pillows.
Iphicles then added, "And you haven't seen anything yet Ares." Turning to Julius he said, "On the altar. Now."
Julius walked over to the obsidian altar, hiding his fear. He had seen the hatred in Iphicles' eyes, and knew that he was in trouble. He prayed to the Gods that Iphicles wouldn't lose too much control. He took small comfort in knowing that Caesar wouldn't allowed him to be killed.
Iphicles watched as Julius got up on the altar, and admired the fit, lean body. He walked over to where Julius lay. He fastened the chains to Julius, making sure that Julius couldn't move more than an inch. He yelled to Ares.
Caesar raised an eyebrow, but remained silent. Ares was a little surprised by the aggressiveness, but was more amused than anything else. The requested dagger appeared in Iphicles hand.
Dropping his voice to a dangerous whisper, he said, " Julius, I am going to have so much fun with this....Now lets see. Where did Caesar start when I was in your place? Ah yes, I remember..."
A quick cut against Julius' right nipple. A hiss of discomfort from the chained man.
"No scream? How disappointing."
Caesar spoke up. "He is the other War God's favorite fuck. He can take a lot."
Julius shot a look of pure anger at Caesar. Caesar just smiled in return.
"Really? I'll just have to try harder..."
A harder slash against the other nipple.
A slight scream.
An even harder cut down Julius' torso.
Julius screamed even louder as the blood began run down his torso, covering him in the red liquid.
Ares and Caesar began to stroke their cocks even faster, the scent of blood exciting them further.
A slash across the previous one.
Iphicles could see the formation of tears in Julius' eyes.
He took satisfaction in seeing Julius cry. For that one second, he could pretend that it was the Emperor crying. A very gratifying feeling. One he intended to make last as long as possible.
As Iphicles climbed up onto the altar, Julius closed his eyes to brace himself against the pain. When Cupid was in one of his moods, he would fuck him raw, but those were far and few between. No matter what the War God said, he did care for Julius, if not quite Love, and he always healed him later....He had the feeling that this time, he would not be so lucky. He looked over on last time at Caesar, but saw that he was too engrossed with his own pleasure to worry about Julius.
Iphicles slapped Julius. "Eyes on me!"
Julius reluctantly returned his gaze to the king. Iphicles had thrown Julius' legs over his shoulders, pinning him in place. With all of his strength, Iphicles sheathed himself into Julius' tight hole.
Julius screamed with pain, but Iphicles ignored it, pounding him harder and harder, making sure that he ripped his prisoner open more and more each time. Iphicles' fingers left even more marks and drew even more blood on the cut body of the slave. The sounds of Caesar and Ares cry out in climax was all he needed to make him cum.
Iphicles withdrew from Julius, and in a moment of mercy, took the slave's hard cock in his hand and stroked him to a quick climax. Julius shuddered in release and he lay there breathing. In too much pain to do anything else.
"Ares." Caesar said.
Ares understood the unspoken command. With a wave of his hand, Iphicles disappeared, and Julius ended up on a soft bed.
Caesar continued. "Rest now, Julius. I will start my end of the bargain in the morning."
"Sleep" commanded Ares, his powers instantly causing him to fall asleep, as they began to heal the injured body.
Cupid was worried. Jewel was never gone this long. He checked Jewel's favorite haunts, but found nothing. Before he was ready to start tearing the place apart, he decided to go ask the one person who could possible be stupid enough to harm him.
"SOVEREIGN! What have you done with my Jewel?"
The Sovereign signaled the Executioner to commence with the execution, before turning around to face his guest.
"Oh shut up, Cupid. I don't have your little play-boy. Why would I need him, when I have Iphicles?"
"Your hatred of me isn't exactly a secret."
"Well, that may be true, but I have no need from him. Besides. If I did steal your boy-toy, then it would make it virtually impossible to call upon you for a favor in the future."
"Like I would grant it even if you didn't take him."
"If what I needed provided you with enough of a gain, then you would help. We both know it. I may know what happened to your little pal though."
"Don't order me around, Brother. Remember who has the hind's blood?"
Cupid knew that the Sovereign could kill him, but wouldn't, he owed Cupid too much, still he stayed silent.
"I'm not sure of the details, but that sniveling wimp, Ares, was mentioning some sort of weird activity near one of Temples. Go talk to him."
Cupid didn't say anything, he only flashed out.
"Ungrateful coward." The Sovereign returned to his thrones to watch the almost-never ending parade of executions, forgetting Cupid in a matter of minutes.
Caesar struck his twin with a whip.
"Would you wake up already? Or do I have use more force?"
Julius sat up quickly, wanting to avoid another blow. "Sorry, Emperor. I'm not used to waking early. Cupid doesn't want nor does he expect to wake up early. He wants to make sure I have enough energy for that night."
"Well you aren't with Cupid now, are you?"
"Then you will wake up at the same time as the rest of us."
"I will let this indiscretion slide for now. I had thought you would have known to wake up early. But next time, I will not be so kind."
"I understand, Emperor."
"Excellent. Come on, Julius. We have much to discuss."
Cupid materialized in the God of Love's Temple. He always tried to avoid going there if possible. The sight of all the flowers and other trinkets of "Love" always made him want to vomit. That, and the fact that his brother was such an air head that it seemed impossible to have an intelligent conversation with him.
"Don't yell, Brother. It so ruins the whole Love Thing." His voice and shower of hearts preceded the Love God's appearance.
"What Love Thing? I'm not here to interfere with your Love Thing. I'm just looking for my toy. I seem to have lost him."
"Oh, you mean Julius?"
"Who else would I be talking about?"
"Oh, I don't know. Iolaus, Sovereign, Iphicles…"
"I would never sleep with that jester.....All right, so I did sleep with Iphicles, but he drove me crazy. And I have *never* slept with that psycho that calls himself the Sovereign."
"Why are you lying to me, Cupid. I'm the God of Love. Part of my job description is knowing who sleeps with whom."
"No, it isn't."
Ares shrugs. "Well, it ought to be."
"And since you have been spying on me," a hard glance towards his brother. "You know that the only long time lover I've had in ages is Julius."
"I just wanted to make sure. After all, I would simply cry if Love was misplaced."
"Oh, shut up. I don't Love Julius."
"Sure you don't. That's why you're looking for him."
"I DO NOT LOVE HIM!!!" Realizing he sounded defensive, in a normal tone he continued, "I just don't want someone to have what doesn't belong to him."
"You just keep telling yourself that, brother. You'll just be so much happier when you admit your Love for him. Love makes anybody's life, God or Man, so much better…" Ares trailed of with a dreamy look on his face, thinking of his many Loves.
"Yoo-hoo! Ares! Snap-out of it!"
"Who? What? Cupid, why did you spoil my dream?"
"Because the Sovereign said you might know what have happened to my Jewel. He mentioned that you were muttering about some sort of weird activity outside one of your Temples."
"Oh that? It was perfect. A shade of blue unlike anything I've ever seen, I'll have to try to find some jewelry that color....If only it wasn't so destructive."
"What do you mean 'destructive'?"
"Well, it was some sort of vortex that sucked everything around it into it....Come to think of it, I remember that Julius was in the area…"
"What was he doing at one of your Temples?"
"I'm not sure. I'd have to research that prayer…"
Cupid decided to worry about that *after* he got his Jewel back.
"Do you know where this...vortex...leads to?"
"No idea. Brother. I had to spend so much time cleaning up to worry about it much."
//Apollo help me if he knows anything.// "Do you know what caused it?"
Ares was studying his reflection in the mirror.
"Does this make my butt look big? And to answer your question, I'm not sure, but the lightening bolt that Apollo threw might have had something to do with it."
Cupid thought he would have a heart attack. Ares had paid a millisecond of attention! "Thanks Ares, and no, those pants don't make you butt look big, they make it look huge."
Ares yelped in terror and vanished from the room, not wanting to be seen with a big butt.
Cupid gave a self-satisfied smirk and flashed out.
For all his twin's flaws, Caesar had to be impressed with Julius. His twin was an impressive fighter, obviously taught by Cupid himself. He had knocked out three of his best men within minutes. He knew all of his world's military history, and seemed to be a more than a competent strategist. The problem seemed to lie with his abilities to manipulate others, namely Cupid. As the two sat down to lunch, he said as much.
"The way I see it, you have all the right tools to get the job done, save one. You are incapable of manipulation. You have spent so much time with your God of War, that you have become too complacent. It is always the same with you. 'Yes Emperor, No Emperor, I understand' etc. While I demand obedience from you, I expected more fight out of you. More defiance. You'll never get anywhere if you can't work others' will to get them to do your own. Especially with any War God. They have had too much experience....We'll have to start smaller and work your way up, build up your confidence until you are ready to take him on." Caesar stopped talking, stood up, turned around and began to think of a plan.
Julius watched his twin think, and realized that as much as he hated to admit it, Caesar was right. He *had* lost his edge. It had taken skill to get into Cupid's bed, but he had underestimated how much he would have to give up to keep his position there. He should have known better, but didn't. And now look where he was: servant to his twin who was using him to advance his own glory. He hated calling his twin Master. He looked forward to the day that he could get Caesar to call *him* Master, but that would come later. First, he had to take over his own world.
"I've got it. You are going to practice on one of the only people that can match me in intelligence and cunning. She's known me for years, how I think, how I act. As much as I had to admit it, she has gotten me to do exactly what she wanted. You my friend are going to pull the wool over her eyes. You are going to convince her that you are in danger from me, that you are running for you life. She probably knows about Hercules' experience in the alternate universe, and the fact that if I killed you, I would kill myself in the process, so you will have to convince her I don't want to kill you, only that I want you in my service as a bed mate, and that you escaped from your world to escape from that kind of bondage. You'll have to work out the details, but it should work. You are in my bed-service now, and the best lies are based off the truth. And now that she has turned good, she won't turn down some one in need of help. This will be perfect. You'll practice your skills, and I'll be able to get my hands on her and never again will she interfere with my destiny."
Julius smiled. He *did* want out of Caesar's employ, although he did do this of his own will. He could do this.
"And this woman's name?"
Caesar turned around and looked his twin right in the eye.
Apollo appeared in a flash of bright light. "Why is it that no one has any respect for the King of the Gods. You never used to yell like that to get Zeus' attention."
"Well you aren't Zeus, are you, Apollo?"
"No, I'm not, but I *am* King of the Gods, and considering that you summoned me, you probably need some help. Now, if I am going to help you, I suggest you ditch the attitude."
//Well, the good thing is that he hasn't gotten any more self-absorbed since Zeus retired.//
"I need your help."
"Oh, this is interesting. You need *my* help. If I remember correctly, you tried to kill me when Zeus named me his heir."
"Come on, Apollo. The God of War is so much more qualified for the job of King of the Gods than the Lord of the Underworld."
"I didn't think so and neither did Zeus. I had much more experience at ruling than you, and we all knew that. But I know you didn't come here to bitch about my promotion. So why did you come here?"
"Do you know anything about that vortex you created the other day outside of Ares' Temple?"
"Let's see. I think I was punishing a blasphemer by the name of Salmoneus. He was claiming to be me, and striking a sheet of metal to show that he could produce thunder. So I gave him a taste of the real thing. The vortex was incidental."
"Do you think you could create it again?"
"Why would I want to? Last time I had to listen to Ares whine about how the dust made his pristine white Temples all dirty."
"Because I need to find somebody."
"Which one? You have a million of them."
"Interesting. You must really care about him if you are actively trying to ensure his safety."
"Why does everything think I love him? I don't! He's just an amusing diversion!"
"An amusing diversion? That's a laugh. You are notorious for taking a new lover every three days. For you to keep a lover a week, let alone months, or years in the case of Julius, is completely unheard of."
"Okay, so he is a good fuck. Big deal. Now are you going to help me find him or what?"
"You know, for someone you care for, you really should listen to his suggestions. Not that you have to follow through on them, but he is a pretty intelligent mortal."
"Since when do *you* listen to mortals?"
"Touché, but then I'm not in love with one."
"I am *not* in love with him!! Now are you going to help me or not?"
"Do you realize that this is the first time you have ever been so touchy on the subject of one of your lovers?"
"That doesn't answer my question, Apollo."
"You are so in love. I owe it to Ares, he really can call them.."
"Oh calm down, Cupid. I'll help you. I'm just having a little fun. It's not often I get to tease you about Love."
"If I didn't need your help…"
"Temper, temper, Cupid. Threats won't get you anywhere."
"I'm sorry, all right? Can we go now?"
"You really are a spoil sport, aren't you?" Apollo sighed. "All right. Follow me."
The two gods re-materialized at a point a small distance away from Ares' Temple.
"Are you sure you know what you are doing? This is very dangerous." Apollo looked concerned.
"I'm sure, I'm sure."
"Just checking. Okay, I need your full cooperation, Cupid. Follow my lead."
Cupid mimicked Apollo gesture for gesture. Soon a bright bolt of lightening hit the sky followed by the opening of another vortex.
Cupid yelled "Thanks!" And then he ran into the vortex.
Apollo watched the vortex close behind him. "Good luck."
"I don't like this, Gabrielle."
"What is there not to like? The sky is blue, the sun is shining, and Joxer won't be back for a month."
"That's not it. Can't you feel it? Something isn't right, like someone or something is knocking things off balances. Listen. What do you hear?"
"That's my point. We should be hearing bugs or birds, *anything* but nothing."
Just then they heard a man scream.
"They are after me! Please help me! Anybody!"
"Come one, Gabrielle. Let's go."
Xena mounted Argo and started to canter, Gabrielle followed as fast as she could, following behind.
They quickly reached the area from where the screams were emanating. She flipped off Argo's back and immediately knocked out one of the four men attacking the victim. Gabrielle quickly followed suit, tapping another on the back before knocking him square in the head.
The fight lasted a few minutes but was quickly won. After checking the area for any other soldiers, she went over to the wounded man. Taking one look at him, she drew his sword and pointed it at his chest.
Cupid's body felt like it was being ripped to shreds as it passed through the vortex, but it was over quickly as he stumbled out on the other side.
"That was pleasant," he remarked sarcastically. "Now where am I?"
He looked out to see a whole camp of men. //An army. As good as place as any to begin my search…//
"Emperor! I don't know quite how to say this, but, Cupid has gone crazy. He's dyed his wings black and is threatening his men, looking for what we can only assume to be you, yet when we try to offer to bring him to you, he refuses, demanding that you go to him, that, "I will not go to any servant of mine. He will come to me like all good slaves do."
Caesar leaned back in his chair, muttering under his breath. "No wonder why Julius is the way he is."
"Take me to him."
Caesar followed the guard to what appeared to be a major brawl.
"CUPID! Unhand my men now!"
Cupid turned at the voice.
"Jewel! Since when did you become so rude?"
"Since I'm not who you think I am. Let's go into my tent. We have a lot to discuss."
Cupid thought about actually following an order from his servant, but decided that if these men followed him, there had to be more than meets the eye.
"Fine." He threw the man that he was holding half-way across the camp, then followed Caesar to find out exactly what was going on.
"I am *not* Caesar."
"You don't really expect me to believe you, Caesar, do you?" asked an increasingly annoyed Xena.
"When was the last time you saw Caesar with long hair?"
"Never, but it could be a trick."
"If I was the Caesar who you think I am, would I try such a cheap trick?"
"That's true. Caesar's plans are always so much more intricate than that…"
"You can't possibly believe him, Xena," said Gabrielle.
"Whoever this man is, he has a point. Something isn't right." Turning back towards Julius, she said. "If you are not the Caesar I know, than who are you?"
"Do you know about the parallel worlds? Where everything is switched? Ares is the God of Love, Cupid the God of War, and Apollo, the Lord of the Dead took over Zeus' throne after the Aphrodite made him retire due to his madness."
"I've heard of it."
"That is where I'm from."
"Then how did you get here? How do you know about the Gods holding different positions? And why were those men chasing you?"
"On my world, the Sovereign still rules. I haven't had the opportunity to gain power there, like your Caesar has here. So I did the next best thing. I joined Cupid's temple in hopes that I could gain his favor, and hopefully advance my position by getting him to listen to me, and maybe be put in charge of one of his armies. But I was very naïve, and I seriously underestimated him, and his personality. Cupid is, how shall I put this? Not very stable, and has been known to kill lovers after he gets bored....Something I learned *after* I entered his service, and in order to survive, I had to become very subservient. Know what to say, and when to say it, how to keep him amused. I've been successful. I've been with him for five years, although I'm not any more powerful than I was. But by now, I have earned enough of his trust to be allowed to go off on my own for a few days at a time while he takes care of major wars. On one of those days, I was taking a sojourn to one of Ares' Temples, when out of nowhere, a bolt of lighting struck a merchant by the name of Salmoneus....The fool had probably impersonated Apollo one too many times....Anyways, as Salmoneus died, a vortex opened up and I ended up on your world. In the middle of Caesar's camp, to be precise. The reason why I know your Gods are different from mine is that while Caesar was questioning me, he told me about his world."
"If you are the God of War's lover, what were you doing at one of the God of Love's Temples?" asked Gabrielle.
"Wouldn't you and Cupid like to know." He grinned.
"The more things change.." muttered Xena. "You said that you were at Caesar's camp, but it isn't anywhere around here." She then said aloud.
"I stole a horse and ran away."
"Which would explain why you were being chased, but what did Caesar do to you to make you run? If anything, I would think his twin would he person the safest from his wrath. He knows that he can't kill you, and considering how arrogant he is, he wouldn't do it even if he could."
"That's exactly what he said," Julius replied.
"So what did he do to you?"
"He made me *his* bed slave. I can tolerate serving Cupid. For all his temper, he is a good God to know, but have to be the servant of myself is too much. What's worse, is that he is more arrogant than Cupid is!"
"Why am I not surprised?" Xena commented.
"So what can we do to help?"
"If you know about the parallel worlds, then there must be someone who has gone to it themselves. What I need to know is where this portal is, and how I can open it again. The sooner I am away from my twin, the better it is for me."
"How do we know that you aren't really helping Caesar?" Xena asked him.
Julius pulled down his shirt to reveal barely-healed wounds left from Iphicles that Caesar had Ares make reappear.
"Why would I want to help the person that did *this* to me?"
"Xena, we have to help him. He's innocent. A victim of Caesar's own brutality. Please Xena?"
Xena looked askance at Gabrielle. Minutes before she didn't trust him, but now she wanted to help him. //I had thought I had taught her better than that. She's still soft. A good thing, I suppose, if dangerous.// "All right, fine. I'll help you. But if you do anything suspicious…"
"If it makes you more comfortable, tie me up. I won't try to escape those helping me. Unlike my twin, I am a man of my word."
Xena eyed Julius up and down. "All right then. Gabrielle, hand me the rope."
"XENA! You can't tie him up." Gabrielle protested.
"Gabrielle, we are doing this for everyone's own good. And he has agreed to it. Of all people, I thought you would understand."
"I'm sorry Xena…after what he has been through, it just seems cruel to tie him up."
"It is all right, I've dealt with worse in my time with Cupid."
Gabrielle just half smiled at him.
Xena finished tying him up, and helped him mount Argo.
"So where are we going?"
"To the portal."
"Where is it at?"
"The Temple of Ares."
The two woman started walking, with Xena leading Argo. When he was certain that the two woman were engrossed in conversation, he smiled to himself. All was going as planned.
"Where is my Jewel, and what have you done with him?" Cupid demanded.
"Relax. He is safe. He is working on a mission for me."
"Who are you that he would obey you?"
"Only the most powerful mortal in this world. Rome has conquered half the world. And I am Rome."
"If you so much as harm a hair on his head…"
"You can't kill me, Cupid, for you would kill your own lover. You wouldn't want that to happen, now would you? Besides, Ares wouldn't be too happy about my death."
"Why would I be afraid of the God of Love?"
"Because on this world, he is the God of War, and according to Ares I am 'One of my biggest achievements. No mortal has conquered as many as you. Inspired as much fear as you have with as much finesse as you. You are the mortal epitome of War.' Ares would be devastated if he lost me. As much as if you lost Julius."
"How did you get him to obey you?"
"Have you noticed how he has been trying to giving you advice about Wars and other matters of your business?"
"Yes, but I never take advice from my lovers."
"Well, maybe you should reconsider. He really is quite brilliant. Just like me. Like me he aspires to fulfill his destiny. To become great. I am teaching him skills that, with your willing aid, will help unseat the Sovereign and place him as the head of his world. That is why he obeys me."
Cupid looked at him harshly.
"Why are you telling me this story? Julius knows that I will never help him so long as the Sovereign has the Hind's Blood."
"But I am teaching what he needs to get close to the Sovereign. Once he gains the ear of the Sovereign, it will only be a matter of time before he can use the Sovereign's weaknesses against him and get the Hind's Blood. Just think Cupid, once you get a hold of the Hind's Blood, then you can unseat the Sovereign-the other Gods won't help him, and you will be one step closer to becoming King of the Gods.
"Apollo will never give up the throne, and he has too many supporters on Olympus for me to force him off or kill him. And how would you know the Sovereign's weaknesses?"
"The Sovereign, for all his brutality is still similar to Hercules. Therefore weaknesses that he has , so will the Sovereign, and we can exploit them. As for the problem with Apollo you will be still be able to gain his ear. If you have the hind's blood, you can at least make him listen to you. You can become the power behind the throne."
Caesar watched Cupid's eye's light up at the prospect of becoming ruler in fact, if not in name. //Pity really. These War Gods are so easy to manipulate.// Caesar grinned at Cupid. Soon enough he would rule the other world, and because of his hold on Julius, he would have the other Olympians in his pocket. Soon enough, he would fulfill his destiny.
Xena felt uneasy about the whole situation. For the most part Julius had kept to himself, quiet, but when she spoke to him, he always answered in a nice friendly tone. She knew that there was more than meets the eye, but she didn't know what was bothering her about the whole thing, aside from the fact that she was helping Caesar, even if it was his twin.
Gabrielle on the other hand, had seemed to accept him as good and free of Caesar's control, so she had started to tell him all sorts of stories about Xena in a good natured attempt to pass the time.
Julius could have sworn that her story telling was a new form of torture.//Does she never shut up?? I swear, if she is still alive at the end of this thing, I am bringing her back with me and making her the chief torturer. If this doesn't drive people crazy, I don't know what will.// He just smiled, and nodded his head at her, and returned to his thoughts.
//I've got to hand it to my twin. He does know how to plan. If Xena figures this out—and it should only be a matter of time, all I have to do is call for Ares, and he, Caesar and Caesar's guard will be there. I wonder why he is so obsessed with this woman anyways? She seems smarter than the Xena I know, but still, she can't be that much of a threat, but there has to be a real good reason. I would never do something like this casually, and neither would he.//
"What? Oh, sorry, Xena. I was just day-dreaming about Cupid."
"I said that we are going to stop for the night. If you want you can walk with me down to the lake while I fish."
"I would like this. I haven't ridden this long in ages."
"Excellent. Gabrielle, start a fire and take care of Argo. We should be back soon."
As the two started the walk towards the pond, Xena said, "You miss Cupid, why? I can't imagine the God of War treats his lovers all that well."
"I've been with him for so long now that I can't help *but* miss him…he is different than you might think. Sure he has a temper that you don't want to cross, but give him enough time, and he shows you another side. He takes care of me. I'm never in want for food or shelter, he lets me go out whenever he is away, which is often. I just have to be there when he is."
"What about your freedom? The ability to come and go as you please. Don't you miss that?"
"Not really. One of the best things about being with Cupid is that none of the Sovereign's men mess with me. Sure I could fight them off, but none of them are stupid enough to try to touch me. Even the Sovereign doesn't mess with me. No one wants Cupid pissed off at them. And the other people for the most part leave me alone. I like that. I like having time to myself to do as I please. There are so many people out there , that while they may be nice, but they are also so stupid, and one of my biggest pet-peeves are people who are ignorant or naïve."
//This man and Caesar are definitely alike. Neither one can stand those beneath them// "Weren't you naïve at one time?"
"Maybe about how Cupid really acted, but never about the true state of affairs, the things that people deny really happen."
"Those people are just trying to make their life more bearable. Why can't you accept it."
"What good is knowing the truth if you refuse to face it? It doesn't do anybody any good to deny it."
Xena decided not to press the issue, and instead concentrated on fishing, while keeping an eye on Julius.
Julius used the time to study his enemy. Unlike the Xena back home, this one was very serious, and seemed to be very intelligent. The look on her face, told of dark times in the past. He decided it was the eyes. Even when smiling he could see the hint of darkness there. He could see why Caesar would consider her a worthy enemy. She didn't decide things lightly, and obviously still didn't trust him at all. He mused that the real reason that she was helping him was because that blond sidekick of hers wanted her to. That was a big weakness. He knew that she would do anything for that bard. Something to remember if all didn't go according to plan. Not that he was worrying. He knew Caesar wouldn't fail. Too much was at stake. If Caesar had a weakness, his single-minded determination to take over the world. Not that Julius could blame him. He fancied himself taking over Sovereign's throne when he took over the world. A smile drifted onto his face as he thought of what he would do as Emperor...
"JULIUS! Snap out of it!" Xena stood over him, fish in hand.
"Oh, sorry. Slipped into a day-dream there."
"Some day-dream. I've been trying to get your attention for that past three minutes. What was it you were dreaming about?"
"Oh, nothing important."
Xena shrugged and led the way back to camp.
Dinner was uneventful, and the three people turned in for the night. Just as Julius was about to fall asleep, he heard a soft whisper in his ear.
"My, Jewel. Wake up."
"Yes, it is. Follow me."
Julius didn't know for the life of him why Cupid was there, but he wasn't about to argue with him.
They walked to the edge of the clearing, making sure not to wake the girls. Cupid erected a field around them so that they could not be heard.
Grabbing him close "My Jewel. I was so worried about you. I've missed you."
"Me too, Cupid."
The two pulled back and looked each other in the eye. Julius felt like he was in Elysia. Cupid loved him! There could be no other explanation! But how to tell him. He knew that Cupid wasn't exactly comfortable with the concept of Love. He would definitely have to visit Ares' Temple when he got home..
"How goes the plan?"
"It is going well. We are well on our way to Ares' Temple. We should be there in the next few days. The Bard trusts me, just as Caesar said he would. I must admit though she irritates the Tartarus out of me, she certainly is better looking than the Executioner. Xena still has her doubts, but seems willing to help so long as I don't do anything suspicious. Too bad the Xena on our world doesn't have half a brain. She really would have been fun to play with. This one...she's dangerous. I can understand why Caesar wants her out of the way."
Cupid analyzed Julius' response. Maybe Caesar was right. Maybe he should listen to Julius. He certainly seemed intelligent. That decided it. The next minor skirmish that started he would put into Julius' control. If he produced the desired results than he could give him more and more responsibility. It would be nice to have a lover to share the work with.
"All right then. Remember what to do if things go wrong."
"I yell out Ares' name, and Caesar and his guard will show up."
"Excellent. I won't be able to help because that would be interfering, but I will watch."
Cupid spoke up again. "Go back to bed." Cupid disappeared.
"Cupid. Why can't you admit it? You love me."
Just then he felt a sword poking his back. He swore softly before hearing.
"All right Julius. Who were you speaking to? It had better be good or else I will shove this sword down your throat."
Julius turned around.
"Xena!!! Do you greet all the guys this way?"
"Only the ones I don't trust."
"I'm hurt. I thought you trusted me." Julius smirked.
"You know better than that."
Julius shrugged. "Yeah, well..."
"Who were you talking to?"
"Oh him? That's the Cupid from my world."
"What is he doing here?"
"He was worried about me. I think it proves Ares' right: he does love me."
"What were you discussing?"
"It was just a reunion type of thing. We hugged, he said he missed me. That he'll keep an eye on me. That sort of thing."
"Why don't I believe you? You were talking too long."
"How long were you watching us?"
"I followed you when you got up, though I couldn't hear anything. What were you really talking about, Julius?"
::sigh:: "Why is it that no one believes me? Well, if you insist. We were talking about ARES!!!!"
A half second later a bright flash filled the clearing. In it's aftermath was Caesar and a full regiment of guards.
"Well well, Xena. You figured it out, didn't you? I'm rather surprised actually. I thought that I would have had to appear sooner than this."
"How did you get here?!!"
"Thanks to Ares."
"Why would Ares help you?"
"We had a deal. But now Xena it is time for you to die. You have out-lived your usefulness."
"Guards! Attack. Remember. I want the blond alive!"
Xena and Gabrielle immediately went into battle mode. Guards attacked them from all angles, and archers made sure that they didn't try to run. It seemed as if there were thousands of them, they just kept coming at the woman, not wanting to fail their Emperor.
Xena did everything she could. She took out twelve of them with her chakram, and Gabrielle took out a good number of them with her staff, but in the end there were just too many of them. Nearly an hour into the battle Xena became exhausted, she slipped and a soldier managed to stab her in the stomach. Meanwhile the guards had grabbed Gabrielle and had pulled her over to the side and were tying her up.
"ENOUGH!!" Walking over to the fatally wounded Xena he leaned over and said, "I know this isn't the way I had imagined your death. I personally would have liked something more intimate...lasting over hours...hearing your screams of mercy...but my destiny is at hand. I can not risk you stopping me. Good-bye Xena."
Xena struggled to spit out one last word. "Coward." She collapsed and died.
He walked away from the body. "Get rid of it."
"What about the blond?"
"You know what to do."
They saluted him and began to work on their given task. Caesar walked over to Julius. "You did a good job. I honestly didn't expect you to last this long."
"It was the blond. She was Xena's downfall. She would do anything for that girl, and she did. If she hadn't, this might have happened a lot sooner." He paused for a moment, then added "Tell me Emperor, why didn't you have them kill Gabrielle as well?"
"Xena was too dangerous to not kill her straight out. Last time I crucified her, she escaped. I could not let that happen again. How ever, her blond sidekick isn't that lucky. She'll send a message to all those that pass through her that Caesar is everywhere.
"Is it effective?"
"Yes. Very much so. You may consider it when you get home."
The pair had walked over to where the cross that Gabrielle was on was being lifted into the air. Caesar studied it, and the look of hatred on Gabrielle's face.
"Excellent. Break her legs."
The Bard's screams of pain and love for Xena filled the air.
The two Caesars walked away. It was time for them to meet their Destiny.