I blame my other story on this one. First it got me interested in watching Herc and Xena again and then my muse decided to 'get inspired' LOL. For the purposes of this story please ignore any and all episodes set in modern times. I'm going to be changing a few things around. As evidenced by this opening chapter.
For those of you following my Buffy Summers Goddess story, chapter three is almost finished and should be up next week. Also I did promise a final chapter for Freaky Friday, I really am going to work on that so I can at least list something as complete in the short term. All other WIPs will be worked on when I can find inspiration and time not to mention interest in resuming them. Which is about every third month, give or take a day, funny thing is I never seem to get anything started for new chapter material. *SIGH*Disclaimer: All characters belong to their respective owners. The author of this piece makes no claims to any of those found in the Buffyverse, which belong to Joss. Or the Xenaverse, which belong to a heck of people over at Universal studios including Sam Raimi and Robert Tabert.
For those who enjoy Slash pairings in these universe, I don't write that kind of fic, so forget it. No Joxer/Ares or Strife/Ares or other wierdo pairings that make absolutely no sense in the context of the universes at large being worked upon here. I mean seriously at what point, EVER, during the whole of Xena or Hercules did Joxer ever evidence bi or gay tendencies? If anything it should be Jace/Ares... I mean at least Jace was falmboyantly possibly gay. Rant Over
Somewhere in Greece or just to the left of that country Xander Harris was digging in the Earth. Several times he’d tried to quantify exactly what it was that he was searching for, but in all honesty he just couldn’t figure it out.
It had started a month ago. While on the verge of departing from Africa for good in order to re-connect with his friends and true family – Xander suddenly felt a calling. An urgency he hadn’t felt before drove him to change his plans at the last possible second. He left Africa for the Grecian Isles; more specifically he arrived on Crete.
The strange almost harmonic pull took him from every one of the major islands – including those uninhabited by human life – his trip brought him to many wondrous sights. Both of man made and natural beauty. In the end however he still wasn’t sure what exactly he’d been looking for, but he did locate a few things that seemed to be connected.
A small golden statue of Athena. An ancient and miraculously well-preserved sword that could slice through just about anything – including some pretty tough demons’ hides – with an ease that seemed to indicate the metal had unearthly connections. Some very delicate looking scrolls written in a variation of the common Grecian tongue that he could not translate. And the shattered remains of a vase apparently from Thrace.
All of these things combined told Xander that he was destined to find something here. Wherever here was. The sight of an active volcano in the past, much of the land had changed and shifted until the molten lava had cooled. Becoming as hard as rock.
And still Xander dug. With a smirk he recalled the shovel speech from so long ago – it really was an impractical weapon, but it was the principal of the thing.
Wiping away the sweat built up due to the laborious undertaking – Xander was startled to discover that he had in fact dug himself into quite the hole. “How on Earth am I supposed to get out of this?” he asked himself before – with a shrug – he jammed the blade of the shovel into the ground for what unknowingly would be its final time.
The Earth began to shake and tremble. Dust and dirt fell from the top of the shaft which Xander had been digging. Stumbling under the sudden tremor Xander couldn’t help, but to wonder if he’d somehow stumbled upon an actual demonic species that might resemble a Graboid from the movies.
He really didn’t need to worry about fictional creatures. He hadn’t unearthed anything so mundane. With a burst of electrical energy and a shriek of insane rage Xander was graced with the presence of two beautiful women.
Now of course normally this would be a cause for a celebration – perhaps even a little happy dance – considering what these women were dressed in. Skimpy leather outfits that did nothing to hide their voluptuous curves and stunning beauty. However since Xander knew he was awake this could turn out to be a very real threat.
“You!” the woman with the headband spat literally shooting a lightning bolt at the other woman. “You cost me everything!”
“My, my, my, someone wakes up awfully cranky,” the blonde remarked with a curl of her lip that might have been a smirk. “In case you didn’t notice, Velasca, this was all Xena’s fault,” she reminded almost in a reprimanding tone. “I did try and warn you, but you just had to let your rage and power go to your head.” The woman laughed sardonically and removed a sword from the scabbard on her back. “If you want to resume our little dance I’m more than willing to accommodate,” she added twirling the blade in her hand.
“No,” the woman – Velasca – declared. “We’ve wasted enough time trapped in this cursed pit. I’d much rather find out what happened to Xena and Gabrielle.”
Xander – privy to this entire exchange due to the fact that he was trapped in the self same pit he’d dug to free these possibly two, very bad demony creatures – decided that now was probably not the best time to alert them to his presence. Unfortunately the drive urging him on forced him to clear his throat.
Both women turned to him. Xander put on what he perceived to be a very pleasant smile, but actually resembled more of a grimace. “Excuse me, I don’t mean to sound rude or totally clueless here, but could one of you possibly tell me who you are? And why I just spent an entire month roaming all of Greece and the Grecian Isles to… Well, dig you up?”
“An interesting question,” the blonde woman remarked with a twisted smirk.
“Pathetic mortal!” Velasca shouted her eyes glowing with electricity. “Don’t you realize when you are in the presence of a Goddess!?”
Xander couldn’t help himself. He actually laughed rather rudely and disbelievingly at that comment. “Oh no, just no… see we’ve already met a Goddess. Killed her too. I think I’d remember if she looked like either of you or even exhibited a fraction of the abilities I’ve seen so far.”
“Impudent young man!” Velasca declared raising a hand to blast the mortal with her fingers.
“Wait!” the other woman exclaimed holding up her hand. “He killed a Goddess,” she pointed out. “That could come in useful,” she added. “Besides I could use a minion now that I’m a God and he is… reasonably attractive, for a mortal anyway,” she added.
Eyeing the other woman in disgust Velasca lowered her hand. “Suit yourself, Callisto, personally I fail to see what possible use he could have in our quest.”
“Oh, but don’t you?” Callisto wondered. “He just admitted to freeing us from our enforced imprisonment. Not to mention he was brought here by some unknown call… Call me crazy, I wouldn’t mind it anyway since it’s true, but I don’t recall sending out any calls. Do you?”
“Zeus perhaps,” Velasca observed.
With a snort the other woman shook her head. “Hardly, I doubt the king of the Gods could be bothered to free two forgotten mortals turned God,” Callisto stated. Suddenly she was right next to Xander her tongue licking her lips hungrily and her hands roaming all over his chest. “No, if anything I’d say Ares was the one involved. If he’s still around and kicking that is.”
Velasca rolled her eyes and examined the large pit the mortal had dug. Apparently it had been at an almost feverish pace to have come so far down in such a short amount of time. It also didn’t offer much in the way of handholds. Fortunately for a God that wasn’t an issue.
“If you’re going to take that mortal with us, you’ll have to teleport with him to the rim of this pit,” she informed in a bored sounding tone. “Or you could just leave him here to rot.”
“Oh no, no, no, Velasca, this mortal is definitely coming along with us,” Callisto stated encircling Xander’s arm with hers. “You’d better hold on tight,” she warned in a teasing tone her eyes flashing briefly.
Xander found himself standing back on the surface fifty yards away from the crater he’d dug. His belongings almost forgotten at the time. Blinking back the disorienting effect he began to suspect that this wasn’t the best idea he’d ever had.
“Uh, I think I’m going to go find… something that I forgot to find,” he babbled slowly removing his arm from Callisto’s grasp.
“You’re not going anywhere, pretty boy,” she hissed pulling Xander close to her body and staring with a dangerous gleam in her eyes into his singular chocolate brown orb. “Not without me,” she added jabbing his rib cage with the palm of her hand for emphasis.
“Everything feels so different,” Velasca stated slowly circling the area. “I don’t sense any other Gods.”
“Could it be that we’re the only ones left?” Callisto wondered. “What a scary thought,” she added shooting a pointed glare at the former Amazon. “Not that it would matter anyway, forcing these puny mortals to worship us wouldn’t be that hard I’d suspect,” she added licking her lips again as she slowly brought her face closer to Xander so she could sniff at his hair. “It’s been too, too long since I’ve met a man… Not that I ever really used them the way they wanted to be used,” she remarked in a casual tone.
“Quit toying with him. We should head for Mount Olympus and discover what other Gods may be around,” Velasca said vanishing in a puff of smoke.
Smirking Callisto squeezed Xander’s bicep so hard that it bruised him. “Normally Mortals aren’t allowed on Mount Olympus, but if Zeus and the others are gone like I suspect then that rule probably doesn’t matter anymore,” she stated. And with that they instantly teleported together again. Leaving behind most of the materials Xander had discovered in his travels – the only thing still in his possession was the curiously powerful sword that he’d forgotten about. And the golden statue of Athena tucked into his pants pocket.
This was a story about a time long ago. A time of myth and legend. When the ancient Gods were petty and cruel and they plagued mankind with suffering.But then one mortal dared to challenge their power. She was Xena, a Warrior forged in the heat of battle. Gifted with the ability to slay the Gods she was attacked and her daughter was threatened with death by Zeus himself.Only one man dared to aid her quest in saving her daughter’s life. Ares. The God of War sacrificed his divinity to spare Xena’s child as well as her closest and dearest friend. Thus the Twilight of the Gods came to pass, just as the Fates predicted.But times change. Myth becomes Legend and Legend falls into Obscurity. Now a new evil is preparing to rise once again. The First defeated, the opportunity has returned to allow another to once more attempt returning from the realm from which he was banished. And so once again the Gods are needed. As well as the heroes of the past reborn in new lives.This is the Dawn of the Gods.
Mount Olympus remained as pristine and beautiful as it had been during the reign of Zeus and Hera. Many of the Gods had been slain by Xena when they attempted to stop the Twilight of the Gods. Hades, Athena, Hephaestus, Deimos, Discord, Poseidon, Zeus himself even. But there were a few that still remained. Secretly they continued their dutiful task amongst humanity, but eventually even the mortals began to realize that they were not needed.
So they faded for a time. Deciding to remain in hiding and allow others to assume the duties of governing the mortal affairs. Thus it was a considerable shock for Cupid – who was currently waiting for his wife to return from her trip to Asgard and more importantly a discussion with the Valkyrie – when two women thought banished long ago suddenly arrived in his midst.
“It’s still here,” Velasca stated slowly circling the Godly realm with a triumphant smile.
“Huh, I guess all the Gods aren’t gone after all,” Callisto remarked noticing Cupid. “A pity.”
“How did you two get out?” Cupid demanded knowing that they couldn’t exactly hurt him. With the Hind’s blood dagger lost and the whereabouts of Cronos’ ribs known only to a select few. Namely those that had perished by Xena’s hand. He wasn’t exactly in any danger of being attacked and killed.
“Blame him,” Callisto said revealing a one-eyed mortal clutched in her arms.
The mortal appeared to be sick at first, but then his eye suddenly widened and he broke free from her grip slowly circling the area with clear awe in his expression. “Holy God-Like Realms Batman,” he blurted.
Callisto smirked. “Like what you see?” she asked.
The mortal nodded. “Definitely not what I was expecting… I guess you aren’t Hell-Gods like I thought,” he admitted.
“Hell-Gods?” Cupid repeated attracting the mortal’s attention. “You’ve met one of those inferior creatures worshiped by demons?” he asked with a hint of curiosity in his tone.
The mortal shrugged. “Kind of. She was banished to Earth in the guise of a mortal, wanted one of my friends to unlock the gateway to her dimension so she could get back there. It was a major thing,” he explained as though it weren’t really that important.
“So you didn’t really kill a God!” Callisto stated her tone angry and hostile.
“Well if what I’m seeing is any indication… Then no, definitely not, but I did smash a Hell-Goddess with a wrecking ball and sent her through a wall.” The mortal took a nervous step back from Callisto.
Smirking she slowly circled him as though circling prey. “Well you did still fight a God… So you could still be useful to me, besides I suppose I owe you something for freeing us,” she remarked casually.
“By the way,” Cupid interrupted. “Didn’t Dahak’s daughter free you centuries ago?” he wondered curiously.
Callisto shook her head. “She didn’t free me, Dahak used me to create an inferior copy, he was more powerful than Zeus after all,” she pointed out with an edge in her tone. “Dahak used me as a pawn. I was aware of my copy’s actions, but I was still trapped in that infernal pit,” she stated.
“Dahak?” the mortal repeated his tone suddenly very dangerous. “I read up on him. He was a powerful demon God worshipped by some, tried to leave his dimension and come into ours. The Watcher’s weren’t sure about how he was stopped.” The mortal’s demeanor changed. His gaze took on a rocky appearance and he slowly stalked up to Callisto heedless of the danger she posed. “You’re an agent of his?” he demanded.
Callisto laughed. “Weren’t you paying attention? He used me!” she screeched.
“Being used doesn’t mean you can’t choose to follow in his footsteps,” the mortal stated and suddenly he was brandishing a sword. “If you so much as think about unleashing Dahak on this world a second time… I don’t care if you are a Goddess, I’ll take your head off,” he vowed a hint of darkness entering his expression and tone.
Callisto stared at him in utter shock. Slowly she began to smile and then she laughed yet again this time with genuine mirth. “I knew I had a reason for choosing you as my personal pet,” she said. “You’ve got a fire in you.” Callisto suddenly noticed that the sword he was holding looked familiar.
Cupid also recognized it. “That’s Hephaestus’ work,” he stated. “No wonder you got onto Mount Olympus, if you were carrying that it would have helped you in transitioning between the mortal realm and ours.”
“Huh?” The mortal eyed the sword. “So that’s why it can cut through some really tough stuff, I had a feeling it was important.”
“More than you know little man,” Callisto stated slowly approaching him.
“Enough with the names already!” he commanded. “The name is Xander, alright?”
“Xander?” Callisto repeated and then she laughed even more insanely this time. “Oh this is too, too rich, Xander the mortal finds Xena’s sword.”
Cupid shot Callisto a confused look. “Xena’s sword was never forged by Hephaestus.”
“Oh but wasn’t it?” Callisto wondered. “Ares had a thing for her, and she could do a lot with that sword of hers that many others never could have dreamed of accomplishing. I suspect Ares slipped it to Xena without her being aware of it,” she remarked casually.
Velasca chose that moment to interrupt the trio with an impatient glare. “Cupid, how many other Gods survived?” she demanded.
“Why should I tell you that?” he asked. “You’re just going to take over.”
Velasca laughed tonelessly. “If you think I want to have the threat of every usurper hanging over my head then you must really not know me very well,” she stated. “True I craved power and rightfully so for I deserved this gift that I received thanks in some small part to Xena. However I am no more interested in ruling over Mount Olympus and the other Gods than Hercules was,” she informed her tone fringed with an icy chill.
Cupid shrugged. “Fair enough I suppose, since the big Z was killed by good old Uncle Herc not many have wanted to take his place either,” he revealed. “Pretty much the big three are gone, Xena killed Hades and Poseidon, Herc took out Zeus and Hera vanished shortly after that. We were never sure if Zeus took her with him in death or if she simply chose to hide herself away somewhere in mourning.” Cupid offered another shrug.
“Hades is dead?” Callisto interrupted. “A pity, I wouldn’t have minded killing him myself for all that time spent in Tartarus,” she remarked.
“Anyway,” Cupid said getting back to the main point of the conversation. “The Gods that survived were the ones that had no vested interest in preventing the Twilight because they knew that they weren’t in any danger. Proteus, Fortune, the Muses, Persephone, Demeter, my son and wife, Hermes, Phobos might have survived it’s hard to tell since he’s never around. Morpheus wasn’t killed either, plus mom and dad of course.”
Callisto’s eyes sparkled with hunger. “Oh really, so where’s Ares now?”
“Probably overseeing some mortal war, or police action,” Cupid replied with a dismissive tone. “Persephone’s in charge of the Underworld these days,” he added almost as an afterthought. “She kind of took Hades’ death hard, went a little Goth, kind of like Discord… If she weren’t my Aunt…” Cupid trailed off as though realizing that perhaps now wasn’t the best time to lose himself in odd fantasies.
“Athena, Artemis both dead,” Velasca observed. “I suppose one of their former positions will suit me. Being the Goddess of Chaos doesn’t interest me any longer,” she admitted.
“I noticed something, Cupid, in that long bit of exposition you gave us,” Callisto remarked grinning like the cat that swallowed the canary as she sashayed up to the winged God. “Where’s Hercules?” she demanded roughly grabbing Cupid by the straps of his quiver. “Surely he survived, being so noble and goody-goody.”
Cupid glanced around nervously. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“Spill it, Cupid, or I’ll be having a little fun playing toss the birdie,” Callisto snapped irritatedly.
Xander sighed. “Hercules is probably that guy I met in Africa,” he revealed. “We were going up against a really tough demon without any backup… Lost a couple of Slayers, until this big muscley guy showed up and proceeded to beat the ever loving crap out of the demon with his bare hands. He didn’t stick around long enough for introductions, but after learning about all this…” Xander trailed off with a quiet smile. “I know how to put two and two together.”
“Slayers?” Velasca repeated. “Is that what has befallen the Amazon nation?”
“Huh?” Xander shot Velasca a confused look.
“The Amazons, the Centaurs, hell just about anything we created died out a long time ago,” Cupid revealed.
Velasca’s expression darkened. “The Amazon nation perished!” she shrieked lightning dancing across her fingertips.
Cupid shrunk back. “Technically they were absorbed into the greater society of humanity. The One God of the Israelites changed a lot of things.”
Howling in fury Velasca unleashed a bolt of lightning at the winged God, it missed him by bare inches and struck one of the columns supporting the roof causing it to explode into shrapnel and tumble to the ground.
“I promise you all that will change, if necessary I will resurrect the Amazon nation. There must be many women who could easily be trained in the arts and rituals of the Amazons, we will take back our rightful lands and I will be their Goddess.” Velasca whirled on the balls of her feet intent on marching off.
Xander however had a sudden thought. “If you Gods have been around all this time does that make you the Powers that Be?” he wondered suspiciously.
With a shimmering of fiery red and soft pink sparkles a woman dressed decidedly on the non-conservative side appeared amongst them. “Not on your life,” she said. “Those Powers things are royally bad news, they claim that they work for God. Problem is they’re all worshiped by some demons in other dimensions as their Gods. I’d say their more like Hell-Gods than power brokers for the Israelite dude.”
“Hi, mom,” Cupid greeted in a morose tone.
Xander just stared at the woman’s cleavage barely registering what she’d said. He was having one of those really messed up dreams again. Either that or someone up there really liked him.
“Hey, sweet cheeks, the face is up here,” the woman reminded with a bell like laugh.
“He’s mine, Aphrodite,” Callisto claimed placing a hand on Xander’s shoulder. “And don’t either of you forget it,” she added shooting Xander a dangerous look.
“Time out!” Xander blurted. “The Powers that Be are Hell-Gods?”
Aphrodite nodded. “Pretty much.”
“Well that explains a lot,” he grumbled. “Although it doesn’t explain who sent me to dig up Velasca and Callisto, or to find those relics you made me leave behind,” he added turning to glare at Callisto. “Good thing I had her in my pocket,” he said reaching into his pants and removing the tiny golden statue of Athena.
As soon as it came into contact with the air of Mount Olympus the golden statue awoke. It tumbled out of Xander’s hands and landed in a half crouch on the floor until it grew and grew into the size of a real woman. A golden woman, but a woman nevertheless.
Staring at it in stunned disbelief Xander almost fainted. But that wouldn’t have been very tough or manly of him so he resisted the urge as best as he could.
“Sister,” the statue said whirling on Aphrodite. “I bring bad news, one even more powerful than Dahak is planning to return to the Earth.”
Aphrodite took a step back in shock. “This isn’t possible,” she blurted. “Xena axed you, like literally took your head and everything,” she said.
Athena’s statue form frowned. “I know, I was misguided and fell into the trap which led us to the fate we had been given. Hades and the rest are here with me, we have been placed within a realm beyond time and space. A dimension where all dead Gods wind up eventually.”
“So you’re like alright then?” Aphrodite wondered a hint of pain and longing in her tone. “Even Hephy?”
Athena smiled. “Of course we are. We’ve been watching over the rest of you for a long time… That isn’t important now, I only have a few short minutes. You must gather as many heroes to your side as possible. Xander can help you in that department,” Athena informed turning to face the mortal briefly. “You will need the help of Velasca and Callisto as well, which is why I had him free them. This entity is truly powerful, and without The First evil to keep it at bay now it intends to reclaim the Earth as its home… Already it is beginning to slowly corrupt those currently in power. Join forces with the Norse Gods if you must, but you need to stop him from returning,” she stated.
“Who is it?” Cupid asked nervously.
“Ba’al,” Athena replied. And then her statue form shrunk back to normal size leaving the others behind.
Xander took a step back and decided to voice what the Gods were probably thinking. “Why do I get the feeling we are all screwed?”
Aphrodite glanced in his direction. “Maybe later, stud,” she said. “For right now I think we’d better start rounding up some heroes and a few Gods too.”
Callisto shook her head. “What’s so bad about this Ba’al character? He sounds like a really nice guy,” she remarked.
Xander shook his head. “And if he kills you? What then?”
“Hadn’t thought of that,” Callisto muttered. “Well, guess we’d better get this stupid recruitment thing over with.” She put her hand on Xander’s shoulder. “We’ll be back,” she added just before they teleported away.
Cupid shared a look with Aphrodite. “Do you think she’s going to be of any use?” he wondered.
“Who cares, just so long as she doesn’t mess with my guy,” she declared.
“Wait a minute? Xander is one of yours?” Cupid wondered.
Aphrodite giggled. “Yep. One of my little pet projects, who knew he’d try and use a love spell. That so totally backfired on him, guess I should have explained it to him back then… But he was so busy with that Slayer and her friends.” Aphrodite noticed Cupid staring at her disapprovingly. “What?” she demanded.
“We aren’t supposed to be messing with Mortals anymore,” he reminded.
“Hey anyone reincarnated from the past is fair game,” Aphrodite defended. “Besides you saw that sword he was carrying.”
Cupid couldn’t believe what his mother was implying. “Are you saying that’s Xena?” he demanded.
Shaking her head disappointedly Aphrodite started walking away. “I wish,” she said. “Ares has dibs on her descendant… No, think blonder and more danger prone,” she added.
“Iolaus?” Cupid blurted in surprise. “Oh Uncle Herc is not going to like that,” he said before taking wing and going off to find Hermes so the Messenger God could help alert the others.To Be ContinuedDisclaimer: No Xander-Shaped Friends were harmed during the production of this episode. However they were claimed by two Goddesses and possibly a third might develop interest in him later on, also it is entirely possible that his future sleeping arrangements could lead to wild and unhealthy orgy like escapades once the Muses show up.