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Title and Chapter Number: Through The Looking Glass (or A Bird in the Hand)1/?
Fandom: Hercules/Xena/Ares
Rating: PG13
Disclaimer: Xena, Ares, and other Herc/Xenaverse Characters are owned by their respective creators and they retain all rights. Priestesses own themselves. Fireheart and other OC's are owned by me.
Special Warning: None
Beta: None
Cast: Ares, Strife, Cupid, Herc, Xena, OC Females
Timeline: AU. And AU AU. You'll see.
Spoiler: Not really, since this never happened
Summary: Ares (and others) meet their better halves.
Notes: Prepare to be confused.

Raven awoke with a jerk. ;) It was barely dawn.

Ares rolled over, away from his favorite priestess. "Another bad dream?" He yawned irritably over his shoulder.

Raven pulled on his shoulder, rolled Ares onto has back, jumped on to his chest, and unfurled her jet-black wings. She grabbed the collar of his silk sleep shirt, lifting his shoulders off the bed. "These aren't just bad dreams," she growled, "they're visions."

Ares just glared up at her. Calmly but wryly, "Anyone but you my dear Raven, and I'd have you punished, but then, you just might enjoy it."

"Any other time Ares, and I might hold you to it." She slid off of him, folding her wings. Her energy spent, she sat cross-legged next to the God of War. The nights had been long of late.

"What is it now?" he felt obliged to ask.

"The 'me' in my dreams is somehow real, and as if being blonde wasn't bad enough, she's going to be sacrificed...by Cupid."

Ares, the God of Love paced his chamber.

Strife, the God of Peace watched him and chewed his perfectly manicured nails. "What are we going to do?" he whined. "We can't just charge in there!"

"I don't know. Now shush while I think." He waved Strife down and continued to pace.

"The Sovereign doesn't have the Hind's blood anymore, why don't we do something?"

Exasperated, "He may not, but he does have that maniac Cupid behind him. We can't just swoop on there and take her back, Cupid would fry us!"

"But she's delicate," Strife insisted, "and you know what the Sovereign would like to do to her."

Ares stopped in his tracks to glare at strife. "I am fully aware of that the Sovereign has in mind, and him having his way with her is the least of my worries. It's what Cupid has in mind that worries me. We need help." A sly look crossed his face, perhaps the first of his life.

"But there is no one stupid enough to oppose the 2 of them!" Strife wailed.

“Perhaps not in this world,” Ares looked pleased with himself.

"You mean the Hercules?" Strife's eyes were wide in comprehension.

"Perhaps, but I had someone much badder in mind." Ares drawled.

"Who?" the God of Peace inquired, perplexed.

Ares stretched his arms wide, "Me."

A blonde haired, white winged girl crawled back against her white silk pillows in a tower room, windows barred to prevent her escape.

The Sovereign laid across her legs, pinned her to the bed. Stroking her calves, he worked his way towards her knees... "Dove. My sweet, sweet Dove...where do you hide the key for this nasty thing? If you tell me, I'll make sure you'll be safe from Cupid," the Sovereign said in a dangerous half whisper, tapping her chastity belt.

Cringing at his touch, "I told you, my Lord Ares keeps it well hidden," she said haughtily.

"Sovereign," Cupid entered the room. "I should have known I'd find you up here. If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a thousand times: she is no use to us unless she’s a virgin. Now, go find someone else to harass, just being near you might sully her reputation," he chided.

The Sovereign rose slowly, arrogantly staring Cupid down. Cupid dismissed him completely, focusing his complete attention on Dove. As the Sovereign left the room he caressed Dove with his eyes one last time. "Until latter, M'lady," he bowed out of the room. Closing the door, he shot The God of War an evil glance.

The Sovereign gone, Cupid settled his wings and sat on the bed. "Don't you worry darling Dove," he patted her knee, "I won't let him hurt your virtue," he purred. Cupid cupped her chin in his hand, leaned in close to her, his lips mere inches from hers. "You have my word, you'll be a virgin until the day you die."

Thunder, lightning, and the 2 ivory clad gods tumbled out of a vortex onto the dirt road outside a large town.

Picking himself up, "Is this the place?" Strife whined. "Ugh, disgusting," he said as he lifted a boot and observed the substance stuck to the bottom of it.

"I dearly hope so." The God of Love said, equally dismayed.

"Perhaps we should inquire with a local as to the location of Ares' Temple?" Strife suggested.

The gates of the walled town were open, and quite a bustle could be seen inside. An old woman leading an older donkey hobbled towards the misplaced gods.

"And here comes one now. Excuse me, madam--" Ares began.

"Who are you supposed to be? Elvisicus? HAhahahahahahaaaa..." She entered the gates still quite amused with her own joke.

"The manners of these people are atrocious!" Strife gasped.

"Maybe inside we'll have more luck." Ares wished aloud. The slightly dusty Gods sauntered into the town.

"Excuse me, sir? May we ask you a question?" The God of Love asked sweetly.

The barkeep silently placed tankards of ale on the board. "One question answered per round," he growled.

"You expect us to drink?" Strife asked, indignant. "I'm afraid not," he said haughtily. The gods stuck their noses in the air.

"I should have known, dandys," the barkeep huffed, disgusted.

Aghast, "Sir! Do you have any idea whom you're addressing? I am---"

Ares pushed the furious and indignant God of Peace away from the bar. "SHHHHH!!! We're incognito, remember?" he shook one finger at the young god, the other fist on his hip, tapped a toe. "Maybe we'd do better with disguises."

Strife looked at him with a worried face. "Just what do you have in mind?"

"Well...we're looking for the God of War, right?"

“Yessss,” he answered, uncertain.

"Perhaps we should get some amour." Ares declared, quite proud of his plan.

Strife sighed, dismayed and resigned, placed his hand on his chest. "My poor heart can't take this."

White silk peaked out from under mismatched, tarnished and dented amour.

The Gods of Love and Peace, Ares and Strife, looked dubiously at each other. "How do I look?" Strife asked.

"Well, at least I make this look good." Ares admired himself in the warped reflection in his shield. "I'm getting helmet hair though."

"Now what?"

He hadn't thought this far ahead. Ares looked momentarily dumbstruck.

He happened to look over strife's shoulder and see a regiment marching through the streets. "Let's follow them, they'll return to the temple eventually."

"Sooner rather than latter I hope, this armor is chafing!"

The pair snuck rather loudly into the end of the line. The soldiers’ strict training kept them from looking to either side as they marched through the town, so amazingly they weren’t noticed. By the soldiers anyway. However, the towns’ people got a good laugh at their expense.

Luckily for Strife, it was sooner and disguised the gods ducked into the bushes just outside the temple walls. Divesting themselves of their amour, Ares and Strife peaked our over the bushes and into the compound.

"I knew it, I have a rash! Hey, it's Dove! Boy has she changed!"

"Silly boy, everyone has a mirror in this world, and not surprisingly this Dove is also this Ares priestess. This should actually make things easier, he has a stake in this as well! Now, let's make an entrance!" Ares flicked his wrist and in a flurry of petals, the gods disappeared.

Raven stood on the steps of the temple giving Ares' orders to the captain of the guard. Ares materialized behind her as she dismissed the captain. She felt his breath on her neck. He put his hands on her shoulders.

"Raven...perhaps you should take some time, a little vacation. I can't have you distracted or falling asleep in the field now can I?"

Raven turned around into Ares' arms. "You know me better than that Ares. I won't let you down."

"Let's at least go inside, and get some...rest?" he raised an eyebrow suggestively.

"Yes, lets." They entered the Temple, Ares arm around her waist.

Rap rap rap

When someone had the nerve to disturb the God of War in his bedchamber, it had better be damn important.

"My Lord, there is someone here to see you," one of the guards said to the other side of the door.

A long pause.


This time harder. "Lord Ares! There are some - people - here demanding to see you!"

Another pause.

The guard raised his fist to knock again as Ares opened the door. He froze mid-knock, arm in the air, mouth hanging open. A very unhappy god stood in the port glaring at him, fire in his eyes.

The guard snapped to salute. "M-m-my lord, there are v-v-visitors here to see you, they demand an audience."

"And I care because...?" Ares said from between clenched teeth.

"Th-th-they're y-y-y-" the guard stammered.

Ares placed one hand on his shoulder with a dangerous smile. "Spit it out man! I haven't yet killed anyone before I'm fully dressed."

The vocally challenged guard looked down to see Ares only wearing his bed sheet and blushed deep fuchisa. "My Lord, they're You."