Disclaimers at end of story.

Summary: Hades is in need of a pick-me-up.

Rating PG - Humour





Xena and Gabrielle stood guard.

"It's supposed to have special powers ... Someone's bound to steal it," the Warrior Princess scrutinised every passer-by.

Gabrielle nodded, her grip tightening a little on her staff.

"It is beautiful, isn't it?" the Bard said in awe.

Xena looked. "It's pretty, though hardly worth -"

"The money goes to the orphans of the Trojan War, Xena."

"That's the only reason I'm here."

Gabrielle smiled and kept lookout, eyes on the entire marketplace, her focus on Orelia's stall.


* * *


The Lord of the Underworld sat in his castle, sulking.

"Uh oh ... I know that look..." Charon peered at his Master, pulling a face, shaking his dreadlocks, trying to cheer him up.

Hades managed a tiny smile.

"Come on, you c'n do better than that ..."

"Try me."

"So what's up, or should I say down?"

Hades sighed, not in the mood for company, though appreciated the Boatman's attempts.

"You know she'll be back soon. It's almost Autumn."

"I know..." Hades absent mindedly traced his fingers on his thick, dark wooden desk. "That's only part of it... I feel so... so lonely..."

Charon looked hurt.

"Not that I'd get by without you," the Lord of the Dead

said, another small smile peeping through.

Charon wiped his brow. "That's a relief. Not many jobs going for mad Ferryman."

Hades managed a small chuckle.

Charon pointed at him. "See."

The Lord of the Underworld sighed again, a pout replacing the struggling smile. "I just feel so ..."


Hades snapped his fingers. "That's the one." He sank back down.

Charon looked sympathetic, then perked up. "Oo!"

Hades looked a tad interested. "What is it?"

"I've some of that ale stashed - you know the green one you really like..."

"Uhh ... the stash you hid under that huge grey rock in Asphodel?"

"Uh huh ... Don't tell me you..."

Hades looked guilty. "Three nights ago. I promise, I'll get you some more."

"No wonder you're so depressed. There was enough in that stash to put out Morpheus."

"Couldn't help it ... Shoulda seen me afterwards. Spent the entire night in Tartarus, thinkin' it was a great place to take Persephone for a honeymoon and then-"

"You up chucked like there was no tomorrow?"

"Uh huh."

"Maybe I should be glad I didn't see that."

"I was butt naked too."

"As Gaia intended...Then again, that woulda been somethin'."

Hades' smile endeavoured to poke through again. "Yeah, it was something all right ... Lord of the Dead, starkers, pissed out of his mind ... Bellowing, 'There were twenty thousand bottles of ale on the wall' ..."

"Did you finish the song?"


"Hoo boy."


* * *


Unconscious forms lay before Xena and Gabrielle, their Quarry

unharmed, though a little rumpled.

"Anyone else wanna try?" Xena challenged, clutching her Chakram, giving the Death stare.

"She *really,* means it," Gabrielle emphasised, as she straightened the prize.

The unconscious either stayed that way or groaned and staggered off.

Gabrielle turned to her friend. "It's a lot of money ... What if no one buys it? They really *need* that money, Xena."

"Let's just hope someone does buy it. I would if I had the money. You think it'd look good on me?"

Gabrielle smiled. "Stick to brown leather and gold breastplates."

* * *

Hades almost bounded to Charon. Seeing his Boss' excited look, Charon almost groaned. "Oh no, you didn't find the stash in the Elysian Fields, did you?"

Hades burst into laughter and covered his mouth. "No ... no... no, no, no ... Something better."

"Better than green ale. This *must* be good."

"But I ... need ... that is i...if you can ..."

"Uh oh. What do you want?"

Hades smiled. "I never ask much of you, Charon ..."

"Uh huh. What do you want?"

Hades smiled again. "You know me better than anyone, you know that?" He walked around his desk.

"What do you want?"

Hades laughed nervously. "Well ... huhh ... I need, ehh ... that is ... I need ... I *really* need... d..nar ... " The last words were mumbled.


"Fif thoand dnar..."

Charon gave him a look. "Hades..."

"Fifty seven thousand dinars," Hades stated matter-of- factly.


"Please, Charon. I *really, really* need it."

"What under Earth for? Are you plannin' to coat the entire realm of Asphodel in platinum?"

"Please, Charon ... I promise I'll make it up to you."

"Why don't you sue your own stash, of precious gems and metals? You're the God of wealth for crying out loud."

"It's cash only."

"Uh huh. And where do you suppose I would get fifty seven thou-"

"Come on... every person that dies gives you a coin. You've got to be rolling."

"But fifty seven thousand?!

"And how many people have died since the dawn of time?"

Charon grunted.

"I wouldn't ask you if it wasn't important."

"And what may I ask is so important?"

Hades whispered in Charon's ear.

The boatman hollered. "I may be mad, but I'm not *that* mad!"

"Please ... The money goes to a good cause..." Hades said, perky.

"Hades ... " Charon looked firm.

"They only accept cash..."

The Lord of the Dead looked at the Boatman.

Charon shut his eyes. "Oh no ... Not the puppy eyes ... *please* not the puppy eyes."

Hades whimpered. "Please..."

Charon gave in. "Ohh ... all right! But you *owe* me."

Hades face brightened and he gasped. "Ohh thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you! I promise you won't regret this!"

"I don't know about that..."

Hades thrust his arms around Charon. The Ferryman shook his dreadlocks and smiled.

* * *

Nearing the end of the day, Gabrielle stood, depressed. Xena gently placed her arm around her friend.

"I'm as disappointed as you are, Gabrielle. The least we can do is stay and help Orelia look after the children."

The Bard nodded sadly. "I even prayed to the Gods that-"

In a flash of silver light Hades appeared before Orelia.

Xena's head snapped around as she grabbed her Chakram.

"Looks like the Gods answered your prayer..."

As she advanced on Hades, she stopped dead in her tracks as Orelia threw her arms around the Lord of the Dead.

"Ohh ... the Gods did answer my prayers..." The elderly woman almost cried.

Xena stared at the rather large sac of credits.

Orelia took the crushed velvet rainbow cloak from the model and flung it with glee over Hades' dark attire.

"It looks much better on you ... Thank you ... You have saved our children."

The Lord of the Dead smiled. "I'm glad ... Thank *you.*"

Orelia paused for a moment before she spoke. "Hades ... I ... I have a favour to ask ... My son ... passed to your world not so long-"

Hades looked sympathetic and took her hand. "I'm sorry, I can't release Josepa-"

Orelia shook her head. "You misunderstand, that is not what I ask. It was his time, but can you please, please give him my love?"

Hades smiled warmly. "Of course ... Josepa loves you just as much."

"Ohh thank you ... I didn't think you'd know my son."

"I make the effort to know all those in my realm."

A tear meandered down the old woman's cheek. Hades gently wiped it away. "He has never forgotten your love, but I will tell him."

"Ohh ... I never knew a God could be so ... so ... kind."

Hades smiled again, then he turned.

Xena looked at him expectantly. "So you didn't steal it, though I'm a tad curious as to where-"

"Not really your business," Hades said, a tad defensive, "I may be the God of the Dead, but I'm also the God of Wealth. Does that answer your question, mother?"

Xena smiled and backed down. "Well Orelia's right, it does look rather good on you."

Hades smiled. "Thanks."

A tiny child tugged on his thick velvet cloak. Hades looked down and smiled, then knelt to the little boy.

"Thank you." The child hugged him, without another word. Hades returned the embrace. "My pleasure."

Gabrielle wiped a tear from her cheek. Xena gave her a look, then bit her lip, when she realised she felt the same.

More children gathered around Hades, thanking him, cuddling him.

Hades stood.

"You know, that cape really does look stunning on you, Hades. You'll be the envy of all the Gods."

The Lord of the Dead smiled. "Thanks, Xena."

"You are a God you know, you could've just taken it."

Hades shook his head. "I know, but it wouldn't've been right."

"The Gods make right and wrong, or so they say."

"Letting children starve is wrong no matter what way you look at it. I am the God of Justice after all."

"You impress me, Hades."

The Lord of the Underworld smiled again. "Mortals impress *me* sometimes. Who could have thought a coloured cloak ... "He stopped, then smiled, realising. "...A bunch of poor starving children could make could a make God feel loved..."

A tear brimmed, threatened to run down Xena's cheek, and she was grateful when it didn't, though Hades was touched none the less.

"I best be off, Warrior Princess."

"Thank you, Hades."

He blew the Princess and the Bard a kiss before disappearing in a brighter flash than he arrived.

Gabrielle sat, immediately, pulled out a scroll, her quill and began to write, a tear smearing her first letter.

Xena smiled and read the title. "'Hades and the Amazing Technicolour DreamCloak' ... I can't wait to read this."

* * *

A rainbow silver flash, Hades appeared in his castle.

"Whoo boy!" You weren't kiddin'!" Charon exclaimed. "That thing could blind Apollo!"

Hades smiled and twirled, the cape, rippling, shimmering and taking on a life of its own.

The Lord of the Underworld took a breath. "Oh, Charon, I've never felt so ... *alive!*"

The Boatman wiped a tear from his pale cheek and sniffed.

"Boss, I'm glad you bought the thing ... Cost a bloody fortune, but I don't think I've ever seen you so happy!"

Hades hugged him. Charon smiled.

"They were so happy ..." The colourful God wiped a tear from his own cheek. "The children ... It was like a dream ... A beautiful dream ..."

"Heh ... You do realise it's not the cloak...."

"I know, but it looks damned cool."

They both laughed. Hades whipped out a long, wide gossamer scarf, the colours of the rainbow.

"This is for you. Got it with the change."

Charon stared at it, mouth open. "Thanks, Boss ... you really shouldn't have... It's ... it's beautiful," the Ferryman blinked, quite chuffed indeed, the delicate garment floating on the air as Hades placed it around Charon's shoulders and smiled. "This calls for ... green ale. What's that stuff called anyway?"

Charon shrugged. "It's green."

Hades smiled. "Green it is ... Now, where exactly is this stash you've hidden in the Elysian Fields?..."

Charon grinned. "Now that *would* be telling ..."






Hades Charisma was not harmed during the writing of

this story...




Boring Disclaimers: The Xenaverse is owned by Renaissance/ Universal.

'Joseph and the Technicolour DreamCloak' written by Andrew Lloyd Webber.

No profit is being made from this writing. It is written for the enjoyment of those who wish to share it.




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