A Usual Morning ...
Disclaimer: I own neither the Dark Hunter Series and it's characters nor Xena and it's characters; they belong to Sherrilyn Kenyon and John Schulian & Robert G. Tapert. I don't own any of it (well except for two SK books I got for a graduation prezzie last year. Yay!) and do not make any profit from the books or the show. This story is just what happens when one is bored enough and the plot bunnies compels one to write :-). Hope you like it.
Of course it is AU, but it is somewhere season 2 in the Xena 'verse, nothing particular but just in that general time period. As for the DH 'verse, nothing from it except how Ares acquired a certain demon is the same way a certain other uber hot god got her in the canon
" ... I was thinking that we could find a way to harness the flying parchment to the wagon and the wheel so that we would automatically eliminate the need for horses and merchants wouldn't have to worry about sick animals or things like the wheel being stuck because they'd be covered by strong and soft material." The young blonde finished happily, a small grin on her face.
"Uh-huh." Was all the warrior princess could say as she wiped her sword of monster entrails and shot her companion an amused look.
"You think it's a bad idea, don't you?"
The blonde frowned, crestfallen.
"I'm not saying that Gabrielle ..." She couldn't quite keep the smirk from her face at the Look the younger woman was giving her. It said that she knew better. Xena was enjoying saying just that. She enjoyed teasing Gabrielle and besides the other woman had gotten a bit too cocky when she'd actually bested her in fighting a warlord. And when Gabrielle got cocky she went on and on and on, the dark princess would be lucky to get a quick nap let alone a nights sleep. "I'm just thinking about what could happen if the parchment went to flames, what would happen to the carriage then? And that's assuming if there is enough current in the air."
Gabrielle wanted to pout, and maybe a few years ago she would have, but now she was grinning.
"Wow, Xena impressive. Since when did you get all scholarly?"
"Jealous to know that you're not only one who can read?"
She smiled back, her tone joking.
"Oh yeah. I wonder how you had time to do that between all the pillaging and drinking and sex."
"Well, it wasn't that hard. Can always carry a big text around while you're fighting, you know." She said giving a friend a pointed look, actually grinning over the fact that she made Gabrielle blush. It had been a while since her friend acted all innocent and starry-eyed, good to know she could still bring out that trait.
"Oh, shut up." Yelling immediately put a stop to what the older woman was going to say. Xena and Gabrielle were already up and moving towards the running boy with their weapons in hand; newly cleaned sword for the former and a fighting staff for the latter.
The small boy fell to his knees when he reached them-he had ran all the way from his village, up a hill, and through the woods to find them-his mouth taking in heaving and gasping amount of air trying to get the breath back into his body. "Demon ... you ... meet." He managed to choke out.
Kneeling beside him Gabrielle passed a soothing hand over his back, trying to get him to slow down to better get air into his lungs. "There, don't worry about that now. Slow down ... that's it."
The child pushed back so that he was sitting on his calves, the redness on his face fading out into a more natural color. Turning his head he smiled gratefully at Gabrielle and turned his head towards Xena. His little eyes widened. Maybe ... maybe this wouldn't be such a good idea.
"What?" Xena frowned at the wide-eyed gaping look he was giving her.
Gabrielle looked from Xena to the boy and back again. You would think from the frightful look he was giving her that he'd seen her before. Before as in when Xena reveled in her darker side. But that couldn't be. He was too young to have witness any of that.
"You're wearing leather!"
Xena turned to give Gabrielle a look and the blonde woman just shrugged.
She didn't know what that had to do with anything.
"So, I am."
Came the wry reply.
"The demon. She only eats people with leather!"
Xena turned to give Gabrielle yet another look.
A demon that only ate people with leather?
"She only eats the warlords and ladies. And you're wearing leather ... and ... and .. don't kill me!
I'm only nine summers old!" Came the slight whimper.
Now this time it was Gabrielle who gave Xena a look, and a laughing one at that. She didn't blame the boy. Xena's breastplates were intimidating enough without the association of warlords and leather. "It's okay." Gabrielle soothed. "Not all people who wear leather are evil."
"They're not?" He sniffled, looking at her dubiously. Why should he trust her, she was friends with the leather wearing fiend! He should have believed his older brother when he said their eldest sister wanted to get rid of him.
Why else would she send him to fetch Xena for the demoness and her father?
"No. Ummm ..." Gabrielle's thoughts scrambled to think of who the boy would know.
"Hercules wears leather."
The boy brightened at that.
"The demoness as wonderful stories about him."
A demoness who ate warlords (and ladies) and knew Hercules, Xena lowered her sword since it apparently seemed that there was no immediate danger. Just a truly strange situation.
"So, you're not evil?" The little boy turned innocent and questing wide eyes towards Xena who in turn didn't know if she should frown deeper or laugh. She smirked.
Not at the moment, Xena thought but answered differently,
"No, not evil."
"Good. Then, the demoness would like to see you.
Well her father would like to see you. He wants you to meet his daughter."
The little boy said like he was talking about the beloved village elder.
Xena just barely bit back a curse while Gabrielle's eyes widened to the size of the wheels she had been arguing about not too long ago.
Since when did Ares have a daughter?!