An Affair to Remember (FF)

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<ul><li><p>7/31/2019 An Affair to Remember (FF)</p><p> 1/85</p><p>You're pregnant."</p><p>The shock hadn't worn off yet, pregnant, the word resound in her head. She couldn't figure it ocouldn't understand it. How can one be pregnant when one has not slept with anyone?The WarPrincess idly listened to Gabrielle throw out people, but she honestly didn't know.</p><p>Maybe Ares did a God thing," the blonde bard suggested sounding disgusted. Xena paled at this, hook her head no almost as a reflex but couldn't help but consider it. She had seen him right ahey'd been brought back. She'd been without her dark side, innocent, and her heart overruled </p><p>head. She could remember every detail from that time and her heart had quite a few things to egarding the God of War. When she fused the chakram she hoped that when she buried her dark she feelings would be buried to, but so far she was failing. The War God and Warrior Princess had qhe history together, most of which no one knew a thing about.A child of Aresher thoughts haltedhis. He wouldn't do that to her, not after Solan, not after</p><p>When was the last time we saw Hercules?"</p><p>I never slept with Hercules," Xena said coldly. Gabrielle shut up and than it came, the shiver down Warrior Princess spine, and before she could react, HE was standing in front of them.</p><p>That's not the version"</p><p>What. Do. YOU. Want?" Xena demanded cutting of the War God.</p><p>WE need to have a little chat."</p><p>Ares, you have done enough damage, leave Xena alone," Gabrielle commented. Xena glared at hrying to decipher what he wanted.</p><p>Xena we need to talk," he said again.</p><p>Ares we have nothing to talk about," she replied defiantly. Gabrielle smiled at this. The God of Wwas trying to control his anger at his stubborn Chosen. He didn't want to push her too much, but whe'd found out, couldn't be ignored.</p><p>Xena unless" he stopped. He couldn't do that to her, couldn't use this child as a chip, she'd nerust him again.</p><p>Unless what Ares?"</p><p>It's about your child." At this Gabrielle gasped and Xena tried to control her emotions. She had toldone but Gabrielle, Amarice, and Joxer, and none of them had breathed a word to anyone else.</p><p>How did"</p><p>Xena, I told you! He did this!" Gabrielle exclaimed coming to the most logical conclusion.</p><p>Blondie, I didn't do anything," he snapped. Ares looked to Xena hoping for some sort of sign that believed him. He saw hurt and pain and knew he'd have to explain himself. "Xena I'm a God, anknow you. Now we can do this the easy way or"</p><p>Shut up Ares, don't you threaten her," Gabrielle warned. Xena stood up to her full height. He been looking at her with a gaze she had not seen in nearly ten years, it frightened her that he knabout this child, frightened her that he might know how it came about.</p><p>You have two seconds to give me one reason to trust you," She bit back. He wanted to hold her, he knew she'd run him through in this mood. There wasn't a single reason she should trust him, one, and they had both sworn never to speak of it.</p><p>You don't want my reason," he said flippantly.</p><p>Than we have nothing to talk about," she answered bitterly and turned away. He gabbed her arm.</p><p>Don't make me break a vow sworn on Styx," he whispered. Gabrielle had not heard what he said he notice her friend's anger waver slightly and the slight nod she gave, than the War God vanished</p></li><li><p>7/31/2019 An Affair to Remember (FF)</p><p> 2/85</p><p>Are you alright?'</p><p>Fine Gabrielle. I need to go for a walk," the Warrior Princess responded flatly. Gabrielle nodded; considered following but knew her friend need space. Xena walked into the darkness, she had felt presence in this direction. As she came closer she saw him leaning against a tree.</p><p>Did Blondie tag along?"</p><p>No, and don't call her that."</p><p>How long did you think you could hide it?" At this Xena snapped her head towards him.Ares, this child is none of your business, you are not taking it from me."</p><p>Gabrielle seems to think I had something to do with it," he said.</p><p>Did you? Because if you"</p><p>Xena I don't go back on my word. Youyou uhcame back this way," he answered hesitantly.</p><p>What?" She gasped staring at him in shock. He's gone insane, he must have.</p><p>Look, I wasn't sure and I didn't want to say anything the last time I saw you, but whoever brouyou back made sure you came back pregnant."</p><p>HowI can't deal with this," Xena breathed starting to walk away.</p><p>You NEED to deal with this," he stated cupping her shoulders. Finally deciding he had no other chohe told her, "We need to go on a little trip, there's something you need to see."</p><p>I am NOT" her voice was cut off as she felt the whirl of the ether around her. When it cleared was standing in a large with black marble and in the corner a bed with black satin sheets. No! here! Anywhere but here! Xena recognized the room as the Ares' bedchamber in the Halls of WarOlympus. She glared at him, not needing words to convey her rage. Doesn't he knowhe obvioudoesn't care.</p><p>I know you're pissed, but I don't have a choice."</p><p>If you weren't a God, I'd kill you," she spat. He turned his head from her at this.</p><p>Yea, I know." Was that sadness in his voice?She shook her head to rid herself of the thought; was a path she couldn't travel. He let go of her and walked towards the corner of the room. Slowly ollowed. Along the wall was a panel that showed moments in her life, another piece was uncoveonce every few months or after something important happened. All the Gods received one for tchosen. He pointed to the newest image, she was tossing her chakram, it had happened in the Temight after she'd regained her dark side, along the bottom it read 'Xena and her unborn child not be</p><p>of man.' As the words sank in Xena suddenly became aware of Ares standing close to her.</p><p>When?"</p><p>I saw it after the whole thing with Kal. Look, it's a good thing only you and I can see this or yohave some serious issues, but I can't hide this forever. Athena, as the overseer of childbirth, is go</p><p>o know soon and when she can't find a father, things are going to get ugly."What would Athena care?" She asked. Rather than respond Ares took her hand and placed it on </p><p>covered piece of panel, the image that might be revealed next. Images immediately flew through mind but two phrases stuck out.</p><p>"This child is the bringer of Twilight."</p><p>"Xena's child not begot of man must die."</p><p>At this Xena jerked her hand away. Ares wrapped an arm around her to steady her as she slowed breathing. No! Not another child!</p><p>Xena?" Ares called bringing her out of the trance. She pulled her breast dagger out pressed it intohand. I can't do this, but he can.</p></li><li><p>7/31/2019 An Affair to Remember (FF)</p><p> 3/85</p><p>Do it, do it right now," she demanded. She'd looked him in straight in the eye pleading with himend the unborn child's life. She was breaking, just as she had nearly a decade before. I am not goo do this to her again, Ares thought. He tossed the dagger out of her reach and with a thought </p><p>other weapons vanished.</p><p>No Xena, I won't do"</p><p>Ares do it! Do it before I can feel anything, do it Aresor I will," she threatened. His grip tightenedher.</p><p>You will do no such thing! You're always going on and on about how you shape your own fate, soTHAT."</p><p>I can't fight all of Olympus," Xena replied trying to be practical, knowing she would at least try.</p><p>You won't fight them all," he answered. "Now you listen, this child hasn't been detected yet, but will and you need to be ready. I don't know how long I can distract them," he explained. She looked</p><p>up at him in surprise. She couldn't believe what she was hearing; he would go up against his famfor me?</p><p>What?" She gasped. "You're going to betray your family?"</p><p>I won't let you lose another child because of meor them." She'd barley heard his quiet response her heart leapt. She knew what he was talking about and suddenly things became quite clear. Thwhat he meant by the vow, all this timeno! It wasn't his fault! Emotions that she had tried to khidden suddenly broke free and she knew what had to be done. His guilt would be taken away and would have a second chance. Xena grabbed his arm and forced him to turn to her.</p><p>You can't hold Olympus off, and I can't defeat them, so we need a new plan," she said in commanding voice. In that moment all the faades and defenses went away, all the barriers and Apulled her close to him and held her.</p><p>We?" he questioned, he was giving her the option to leave, but before she decided, he need to be she understood what he would do. "I will take on Olympus if I have to, I am not letting this happ</p><p>not to someone II love." She stepped back in surprised and eyed him warily. He hadn't ever said to her, even when they'd been together, not out loud.</p><p>A Warrior Queen? I am not that person anymore," she said sternly. "You can't"</p><p>Can't love you or shouldn't? I told you before I loved you, I told you long before you were Destroyer of Nations, and I thought you knew that," he confessed. She shook her head.</p><p>I did know, I thought you meant it."</p><p>I still do, I tried to get that into you when you didn't have your dark side." Ares watched her carefuhe stepped back into his arms and he held her. She believed him and that was enough for </p><p>moment.</p><p>So were back at the beginning, what are we going to do?" repeating her first question. He took hand away from her and in it materialized a golden apple. "How is a golden apple going to help?"</p><p>The prophecy says a child not begot of man, but it's a self-fulfilling prophecy. If we attack the chour worshipers turn from us, ending our reign, the child is temptation. Athena can't seem to grasp tconcept. If the Fates say the child is the bringer of Twilight, she will try to kill it; she can't see other options. So we make sure the child has a father, one night stand, an accident, whatever, claim a father and no one will know."</p><p>That still doesn't explain the apple, unless" she faded off and he remained quiet. Why would he gme the apple, unless he means to claim paternity, damnit! "Oh you're good, I should have known o believe you." Her words came filled with malice but there was a hurt element in there and he coee the pain in her eyes.</p><p>I haven't lied Xena, this is not a scheme. I know you don't trust me, but this is the only option I </p><p>hink of. Your child is a target, if I were to claim paternity it will make people think twice and</p></li><li><p>7/31/2019 An Affair to Remember (FF)</p><p> 4/85</p><p>protects you from Athena finding out you just made up a claim. A God's blood cannot be traced, ots essence. If I give you the apple I can transfer some of my essence into the child," he explainXena snorted, it was too perfect.</p><p>I can't help but think you planned this all from the beginning," she said. Ares frowned, sure it wohave been a great plan, but that was just it, it wasn't. He was serious about this, and he wished would believe that, he knew his next piece of information might help.</p><p>There is a catch, Gabrielle or someone else would have to another apple." Surprised at the use of </p><p>riend's name and the very idea that he would consider making her immortal prompted the quesrom her lips.</p><p>Why?"</p><p>The Apple will give you a presence, the child's will be felt with yours unless a stronger one aegisters. I could convince Athena that I persuaded you into eating the apple when you were with</p><p>your dark side and the deal was Gabrielle had to become immortal as well, than I delayed the effect</p><p>You have one tiny problem, I would have to sleep with you. I wouldn't do that, no one would beliyou," she grinned. There was a way out for her to win this.</p><p>True, you wouldn't not after all the schemes, but you were not exactly yourself than. You didn't hme than," he countered. Memories of her bath and him came rushing back to her.</p><p>Gabrielle interrupted that."</p><p>Whose to say you didn't call me back? It would be a very good reason not to tell Blondie who ather is, everything would be accounted for and on top of that the child would be protected and I ho brag but no one is going to mess with a child I claim."</p><p>So that's the angle," she ground out. "Another warrior. No. I won't let you take this child and" placed his hand over her mouth.</p><p>Sweet, in case you haven't noticed your child is peace incarnate. I wouldn't be able to train her evewanted to, which I don't. It's actually amusing, a child of pure peace from the Warrior Princess,"</p><p>emarked cockily. Xena turned away from, she couldn't do this. He was acting like he had years a</p><p>and she couldn't do it again. This is too much; we've been down this road before. It ended becauseme, and I can't do that again, not toSomewhere her own voice told her to consider the child, Awouldprovide protection, but he'd get bored and I can't take that pain ofOh gods! Her thougpanicked and she tried to halt them, tried to stop her heart from reaching its conclusion, but it canonetheless, I'm still in love with him.</p><p>Ares I can't do this. Not again," she said softly. He knew what memories were floating through mind without even bothering to read them. He could feel the emotional pain she was in, she may hclosed herself off to him but some things still slipped through and this was pain he caused, pain could have been avoided. Ares had finally discovered his own weakness, it was Xena, and Xena in pwas something he couldn't handle anymore, so he would use his powers to fix it.</p><p>Xena, sit. Let me bring Gabrielle here, I'll send her to Aphrodite, she'll be safe," he said knowing t</p><p>would soothe her temporarily. He mentally called his sister and sent Gabrielle to her. Aphrodite hehim and he heard her promise to keep an eye on the bard. "I can't keep doing this," he muttered. ake the pain away."</p><p>Ares you can't take my pain away," she hollowly answered.</p><p>I can take away what causes it. I have told you so many times," he paused, knowing this waubject they'd sworn not to discuss, but he continued, "it wasn't your fault. You won't listen, so</p><p>erase it."</p><p>No!" Xena shouted pushing him away. "You're not taking that away, I have to live with it!"</p><p>I wasn't" She placed her hand over his mouth finally meeting his eyes, begging him to see what believed.</p></li><li><p>7/31/2019 An Affair to Remember (FF)</p><p> 5/85</p><p>It wasn't yours," she said and she pressed her lips to his. "Ares, it wasn't your fault. I" He gently her down on the bed.</p><p>Sleep, my princess, please," he interrupted. He knew in sleep they couldn't say things they'd regThe Warrior Princess nodded and rested her head on the pillow. With a thought he dressed her inightgown and she smiled in response. Ares got up to leave when he heard her call him.</p><p>Ares."</p><p>Yes Princess?"</p><p>Stay." He changed with a thought and went back to her, she'd moved over to leave space for him.ay on his back not attempting to touch her, as he so badly wanted to, but closing his eyes. She washer side facing him and she kissed his cheek and whispered, "I still love you too." At this his eyes fopen and he turned searching her blue orbs, he found what he'd seen so long ago, love and sadneHe moved his arm and wrapped it around her holding her close and tight as if she might vanish.</p><p>I've always loved you." He pressed his cheek in her hair, he felt her smile against him and th...</p></li></ul>