Disclaimers: Universal/Renaissance owns the Xenaverse, created by Rob Tapert.

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

Summary: To teach them a lesson, Zeus switches the positions of Ares and Cupid and Hades is caught in the crossfire.

Rating PG - Humour

 

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LORD, WHAT FOOLS THESE GODS BE!

 

"So gimme your best shot. Come on, I'm waitin', haven't got all decade."

Cupid glared at Ares.

"You can't, can you?" The God of war smiled. "'Cause you know I'll kick your butt form here to Tartarus. You couldn't fight if your looks depended on it."

Cupid glowered. "And you wouldn't know love if it rammed your sword where Apollo doesn't shine!"

The two glared at each other. Ares drew his sword, Cupid, his arrows.

Ares laughed. "What you gonna do? Love me to death?"

"At least I know how to love!"

"At least I grew out of diapers!"

Cupid glowered.

"Oo, don't tell me you're gonna change into that green monster thingy, I'm scaaaared.... Mummy!"

The God of Love scowled. Ares whirled his sword and took a stab at Cupid, the other leapt back, a tad afraid.

Ares laughed. "Wet yourself?"

Cupid let out a stifled cry of rage and rushed Ares. The God of War swerved. Cupid barrelled past him, toppling over a priceless statue, smashing as it hit the marble floor.

Ares laughed. "Oo, Dad's gonna be mad!"

Cupid hid a worried look. Ares grabbed his arrows and hurled them away, holding his sword to the God of Love's throat.

"So what's it gonna be, Pretty Boy?

Cupid swallowed.

Zeus appeared. "What's the meaning of this?" he boomed.

Ares turned, lowering his sword, looking as sweet as he possibly could be.

Cupid retrieved his arrows.

"Can't a God have a moment's peace?!" Zeus yelled. "Which one of you is responsible for this ruckus!?"

Ares and Cupid pointed to the other. "He is!"

Zeus glared at them both and pointed to the statue. "That was my favourite!"

Ares whispered in Cupid's ear. "I told you..." The God of War looked smug.

"Well, answer me," Zeus demanded. "What is the meaning of this?"

"He started it," Cupid scowled. "Him and his belligerent ways."

Zeus turned to the God of War. "Ares?"

"He's a useless waste of Ambrosia," Ares snorted, trying to rescue his case. "Pottering about with his pathetic arrows when there are *real* battles to be fought."

"Oh, and so Love isn't real now?"

Ares grunted and held up his sword. "Bet he couldn't use one of these if Psyche's life depended on it."

Cupid glowered. "Bet you couldn't make true love happen, if it would make Xena your eternal sex slave."

Ares glowered dangerously, gripping his sword.

"ENOUGH!!!" Zeus thundered. "Fine! You both can't see the worth in each other. Let me enlighten you."

In a flash, Cupid and Ares clothes are switched. Cupid held Ares' Sword and Ares, Cupid's arrows. Zeus disappeared.

Dreading, Ares looked down. "Oh Gods, no! NO!!!!" He looked horrified.

Cupid smiled evilly.

Ares glowered. "I AM THE GOD OF WAR!!!"

"Not any more," Zeus' voice bellowed. "Cupid has taken your place, as you have taken his. You will accept your new roles or pay Hades a permanent visit."

"You can't be serious," Ares said, incredulous.

A thunderbolt materialised in mid air. "I'm sure Strife misses you." The thunderbolt looked ready to strike.

Ares swallowed. "I'm the God of Love," he said quickly. "I'm the God of Love ..."

The thunderbolt disappeared.

Zeus' voice sounded. "I'll ask Hades to make reservations... Just in case."

Cupid squirmed uncomfortably. "How do you move in all his leather..."

"Get used to it."

"This is your fault, Ares!"

"Oh, sure. Like I wanted to play fancy dress in your nappies!"

"If you hadn't started the argument-"

"Oh, Hades..." Zeus' voice.

"I love you, Cupid," Ares said, his fake smile as real as he could make it.

He pulled up his diaper. "Gods, If Xena sees me like this ... I would rather be in Hades."

"So," Cupid said. " What do we do now?" He sat, the stiff leather squeaking.

"Well you want a tip?"

"Hardly," Cupid said, "though it's not like we have a choice."

"Well two City States are on the verge of war."

"And let me guess, you're going to make it happen?"

"Was."

Cupid rolled his eyes. "Why does that not surprise me?"

Ares glowered. "There's more to being the God of War than starting fights you know. Without a God of war, mortals would fight without clarity, reason or order."

"Like war is reasonable."

Ares held up his arrows. "And who were you planning on making fall in icky sticky love?"

The former God of love glared at the Former God of War.

"There's a couple. Adolai and Bren."

Ares rolled his eyes. "How touching."

"Well let's get going then," Cupid said. "I have a war to start and you have a couple to make fall in love."

"I can hardly wait."

"So," Cupid said. "What two City States are at it?"

"Brella and Amoria."

Cupid stared at Ares. "Oh Gods ..."

"What is it?"

"Adolai is from Brella and-"

"Let me guess, Bren is from Amoria?"

Cupid nodded. "This is bad."

"It could be worse." Ares growled.

The new God of War paced his face in his hands. "Come with me. If I have to start this war, perhaps you can help me stop it."

"Stop it, why in Hades would I want to-"

"You're the God of Love, remember?"

Ares shook his head. "This is just a bad dream. If I close my eyes tight enough then ... Damn."

Cupid pinched him.

"Ow!" Ares scowled.

"Come on," urged the new God of War.

Both Gods appeared at the battle scene, the two warring City States already at each otherís throats.

"Great," Cupid said. "They started without us."

"So how do I ... stop it?" Ares asked, obviously opposed to the notion.

"Use the fornicating arrows!" Cupid thundered. "Thatís what theyíre there for!"

"Oh, right ..." Ares took aim, missing his target.

Cupid rolled his eyes. "Thatíd be right."

"Do I look like Artemis?"

"Hardly. Aim and shoot the bloody things."

"It isnít as easy as it looks."

Cupid raised an eyebrow. "Oh, it isn't?"

Cupid looked to the battle scene. "Fight, you bastards, fight! ... Ohh I hate this ..."

Ares shook his head as he fired off a volley of arrows.

"At least most of them hit ... Maybe we can salvage this after all ..."

But much to the Godsí horror, it did not go according to plan.

Aresí arrows hit their targets, and when they laid eyes on their enemies, they fell instantly in love, as planned. Though Ares hadnít hit the others with the arrows, and thus the lovesick ones were easily slaughtered by their enemies.

Cupid slapped his hand to his forehead. "Ohh shite... What kind of a God of Love are you?!"

Ares looked guilty. "Iím doing my best ..." He snapped, defensive.

Though things didnít get very much better and soon the ground ran red with blood.

Cupid shook his head. "This is a nightmare..."

"Youíre telling me ... Even as the ex God of War ... I can say this is not right ..."

"How in Hades are we going to fix this mess ... "

As if on cue, a bright flash came out of nowhere and Hades appeared. "What is the meaning of this?!" he thundered, furious, glaring at both Ares and Cupid. "As If I donít have enough to worry about without all this senseless-"

Ares had released an arrow, seconds prior to Hadesí arrival. There was no time for the Lord of the Dead to manoeuvre out of the way, and was hit smack bang in the heart. Again he looked up, though his angry scowl instantly transformed into a lovesick gaze.

Ares stared. "Oh no ... Oh no ... Which one of us did he look at first..."

"You," Cupid said.

"How can you be sure?"

Ares backed off as Hades energetically, eagerly bounded to them.

"Iím so sorry ..." the falsely love stricken God said, contrite. "I didnít mean to be angry ..."

"Itís fine, Hades," Ares said, uncomfortable.

Cupid tried to stifle a smile.

"No, itís not ... Iím really sorry ..." Hades took Aresí hand, then hugged him. Hades looked to Cupid and sighed. "Youíre so beautiful ..."

The New God of War swallowed. "Oh no..."

The Lord of the Dead gave a puzzled look. "Are you all right?" he asked, concerned.

"Yes ... Iím fine."

"Iím not..." Ares struggled to free himself from Hadesí tight embrace.

Cupid smirked. "You two make a cute couple..."

"Iím sorry .." Hades said, as he let Ares go, only to embrace Cupid.

The Ex God of Love sighed, resigned and hugged Hades back, much to Aresí amusement.

"Hades ... let go ... Hades..."

The Lord of the Dead looked upset. "Iím sorry ... I didnít mean to offend you, My Love... I ..."

"You didnít offend me, Hades ... But as you can see, weíve got a right mess to sort out." Cupid glared at Ares.

"Donít look at me," the former God of War snapped.

"If you hadnít shot Hades ..."

Hades smiled. "Please donít fight over me."

Ares suddenly laughed. Cupid joined him.

"Donít worry, Hades, Ares said. "We werenít."

"Though it could be kinda kinky," Cupid smirked.

"What would Persephone say?" Ares mock scalded.

Hades gasped and looked contrite again. "Oh ... I hope she doesnít mind ... I ... I mean if only she knew how much I loved both of you ... Ohh why does this world have to be so unfair?!" He sat and sulked.

"Youíre no help," Ares scowled.

"And whose fault is that?" Cupid asked.

"How was I supposed to know he was gonna appear ... Ahh forget it! Letís just hope the bloody stuff doesnít last long."

"Iím afraid you used the Ďtriple espressoí on him."

"Oh Hades..."

"Yes?"

Ares shook his head. "Oh brother..."

"Iím your uncle, actually."

"I KNOW THAT!!!" Ares screamed, his patience spent.

Hades gentle blue eyes brimmed with tears, and his mouth quivered.

"Oh, Gods, Hades, donít cry ..." Ares looked somewhat contrite.. "Iím sorry... I didnít mean to yell."

Cupid tried his darndest not to smile.

"Please donít be mad with me," Hades sobbed.

"Iím not ..." Ares calmed the best he could. "Itís just that weíve this whole fornicating mess to sort out."

"Iíll help you," Hades said. "I can take the souls to the Underworld and then we can all make love."

Ares stared at him and sighed.

Cupid was almost bursting in his leather. "Best wait, Hades, youíre in no condition to be escorting souls anywhere."

"All right, Iíll do it later." He grabbed Cupid and kissed him.

The former God of Love broke free. Ares almost laughed. Cupid tried to look disgusted, but in all honesty, it wasnít all that unpleasant. And then it was Aresí turn ...

"Ares!" Cupid barked. "Enjoying yourself?"

Despite himself, he was, though he made out differently. Hades broke free and smiled taking both Godsí hands in his. We can go back to the Underworld. Itís a few months before Persephoneís due ... I really hope she understands ..."

"Hades, as much as we love you ..." Ares forced out, "we have to sort out this mess first ..."

"And whoís mess is it?" Cupid asked.

"Ours," Ares replied after a pause.

Cupid blinked. "You mean youíre actually accepting blame?"

"Some of it."

Cupid lowered his sword. "And the rest is mine ..."

"ABOUT TIME!!" thundered Zeusí voice.

All three Gods jumped. Hades grabbed onto Ares, then calmed. "Brother, you scared me."

"If only Persephone could see this ..." Zeus said, chuckling.

"Do you think she would.."

"Oh Hades, sheíd understand perfectly..." Zeus said, trying not to laugh.

Hades smiled as he happily held Cupid and Aresí hands.

* * *

Cupid and Ares stood before the King of the Gods.

"Well, what have you learned? ... Come on, speak up. I havenít got all millennium."

Cupid stepped forth. "I see now a God of War is necessary to regulate war so it does not get out of hand ... Some wars need to be fought."

Ares joined Cupid and said, a tad reluctantly, "I see now that love is needed to make sure war does not get out of hand."

"Very well," Zeus said. "I see you have learned your lessons ..."

A flash and the two Gods were back to normal.

"I was starting to get used to all that leather and that wonderful sword."

Ares smiled. "And I finally learned to shoot straight."

"Good thing they werenít Artemisí arrows." Cupid said, "then weíd be in deep fimus."

"And youíll both be in very deep fimus of you breathe a single word about what happened." Hades walked to them, his robe swirling behind him. "I mean it."

"Iím sure Persephone will understand," Ares said with a smile.

Hades glared at him. "I still have a spot reserved for your two."

"You know, I think I liked you better when you were shy and helpless."

 

"Maybe you like wearing diapers more than you know..." Hades said, raising a hand.

"Hey!" Cupid said.

Hades smiled. "No offence."

The Lord of the Dead folded his arms.

"Gotta admit, it was pretty funny ... I mean you ... both of us ..." Ares smiled.

Hades refused to smile, though he tried hard not to. "Well come on you two, weíve got to sort out that mess you left." Hades turned to Zeus. "Brother, I need your permission to-"

Zeus nodded. "You have it, Hades. Restore the mortals to the point before the battle. The lesson is learned. No need for innocents to die."

"Thank you."

The three Gods appeared at the battle site. Hades raised an arm and gently waved his hand over it. A slight ripple, and all the bodies, blood, dead horses and broken weapons disappeared.

In the next moment, Adolai came running around the boulder. Cupid took aim. A perfect shot. In the next moment, Bren came riding his horse. Again, Cupidís aim was impeccable. He fell from his horse, to be helped up by Adolai and the two fell into an everlasting love, averting a bloody war.

"Well thatís done," Ares said. "Now, if memory serves, thereís a war brewing east of Sparta. Gotta go."

Cupid gave him a look.

"Trust me," Ares said. "These guys need to have it out, otherwise theyíll eventually tear up the whole of Sparta."

Hades groaned. "I guess I wonít get my beauty sleep after all."

"Like you need it," Cupid said, and almost gasped.

Hades gave a smile, then looked serious. "Next time you two decide to have a pissing match, make sure innocent lives are not compromised."

"Yes, Father," Ares said. "And besides, everything worked out didnít it?"

"This time."

Ares made a face then disappeared.

Cupid turned to Hades. "Iím sorry. We both behaved like children. I was angry ... But now Iíve learned something, and so has Ares, as hard as it is for him to admit ... and Iím grateful for what you did. You didnít have to restore those people you know. Eventually the City States would have had a cease fire and-"

"And continued to hate each other for centuries. "

A tear meandered down Cupidís cheek. "Thank you," he whispered as he leaned closer, giving Hades a gentle kiss on his cheek before he disappeared.

Hades stood atop the hill, wondering, as he looked around the peaceful land before him, but a few hours ago, stained with blood and he thought about what Cupid had said and touched his cheek. Would Persephone understand?

He would never know.

*

 

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