Disclaimers at end of story


 Summary: Hades learns the true nature of the Universe.

Author's notes: This is an alternate ending to the GodAwful episode Motherhood - and I do mean godawful...

I also cos-played and acted this out, dressed as Hades in my garden in the middle of the night.  Gods, it was fun!  ;)


Rating PG





The stars, half moon and firelight from a nearby hut, the only lights illuminating this dark night.

Xena stood still, sensing another in her midst. Gabrielle had taken Eve to Cyane for safety.

The Warrior Princess felt she wasn't alone. A second later, she had her answer as to who shared her moonlight. A slow shadow emerged, making no attempt to hide his formidable presence, his cape, crown and lethal sword silhouetted against the slightly damp grass.

"Xena ..."


He paced around her, then to her surprise, put his sword down, embedding it in the Earth, resting his hands upon its hilt. Xena noted it wasn't his usual sword.

"I don't want to do this."

Xena scrutinised him. "Then why are you?" She advanced upon him.

In an instant, Hades ripped his sword form the soil and held it to defence, though kept a safe distance from Xena, though the Warrior Princess sensed it wasn't from fear. She backed off a little as Hades continued to pace.

"You think I'm evil," he said, "for wanting to kill a mother and her child..."

"That about sums it up."

Hades shot her an annoyed glance. "And maybe I am. Under normal circumstances, I'd send any such man to Tartarus."

Xena eyed him. "That supposed to make me feel better? You're hardly gonna send yourself to Tartarus."

Hades looked at her, his expression changing from anger to near desperation, though he kept it in check. "I don't want to kill you, Xena, or Eve, but-"

"You must. You hope I understand. It's in mankind's best interests. You-"

"Why do you think I'm doing this, Xena?" Hades continued pacing, Xena not taking her eyes off him. He wouldn't let her speak. "Ohh of course. I'm a God. How dare these measly mortals defy me!" He hurled a fireball at a nearby shrub, decimating it. "The mortals should cower in terror at my mere formidable presence, let alone my power!" Hades' sarcasm was not lost on Xena. "I hate to tell you this, Warrior Princess, but my motives are more altruistic than they appear."

"Sorry if I don't accept them."

The two lunged, swords clashed, both matched in strength and guile. Xena's warrior cry piercing the crisp night air.

Hades swerved as the other's sword almost thrust through his midsection. Too close for comfort, he thought, standing his ground as he thrust his blade against Xena's, both warriors energies clashing in this colossal confrontation.

Sparks flying from the swords, each as desperate as the other to gain the upper hand.

Xena felt confident she would win, her cause being just. A part of her saddened to have to destroy Hades, the only God she had considered a friend.

Xena thrust her sword, Hades leapt back, his crown flying from his head.

"Lost your crown," Xena taunted.

Hades shook his head once, his hair slightly dishevelled.

"Damn thing weighs a ton."

Xena almost smiled, though gave Hades no quarter. He almost lost his sword as she came again, yelling in rage. Hades anger got the better of him as he thrust back, almost losing his life in the process, a split second swerve to the left saving it.

Angry more with himself than Xena, Hades thrust back, in control this time. He could not lose this battle, but then her surmised Xena felt she could not lose either.

A kick to the chest sent the Warrior Princess flying. Hades used the opportunity to thrust a fireball, in an instant it was deflected by her Chakram. Hades swerved, his sword absorbing the blow. Xena stood, both God and Princess fought. Xena kicked Hades' stomach, the Sovereign of the Underworld flying backward, his eyes wide as Xena charged him. Hades rolled right, Xena's sword plunging into the grass. Up in an instant, Hades clutched his sword, drawing Xena out into more open territory.

Swords clashed again, surrender not an option for either.

"Give it up, Xena... You can't win."

"Words of intimidation won't stop me, Hades."

Hades backed off a little. "What happened to the times where we'd have a friendly chat?"

Xena glared at him. "Those times died when you raised a hand against my baby."

"I had no choice!"

"I'll bet." She thrust her sword, Hades almost losing grip on his weapon.

The Lord of the Dead slammed his sword against Xena's with equal vigour, both not giving an inch.

Xena slammed her sword upward, smashing Hades' defence out of his hand, her foot slamming into his stomach, the God falling backward, Xena kicking him again and raising her sword. Hades' oceanic blue eyes showing his fear.


Xena almost turned to the frantic voice, then realised that would have given Hades the chance to escape and that she could not allow.

"Xena ... please..." the gentle Goddess begged.

Hades, flat on his back, swallowed, but right now he feared more for his sister than himself.

Out of the corner of her eye, the Warrior Princess saw tears streaming down the face of Death.

"Please, Xena ... Hades is all I have... He is all I have ever had. Please don't ..."

Xena looked sympathetic. "Celesta, I-"

"Ohh please, Xena ..."

Without fear for herself, she approached her brother.

"Celesta, no..."

It pained the Warrior Princess to even look at Celesta's pain.

"Xena ... He doesn't want to kill you or your baby ..."

"And I don't *want* to kill him, Celesta, but he's leaving me no choice."

"Xena, unlike any of the other Gods, my Brother is not fighting for -"

"Celesta ..."

"Hades, please. Xena must know."

Celesta's looked the Warrior Princess in the eye, looking into her very soul. Xena has never imagined Death to be so sensual.

"He fights not for power and control. He's fighting for his family, Xena, as you are fighting for yours. He might not show it to others, but he cares for us and loves us as deeply as we love him. Persephone even tried to blast him with a fireball to stop him facing you, terrified he might not survive. I begged him not to go, but, Xena, he went anyway, knowing it may well ensure his death."

Celesta's tears splashed onto Hades face, he gently took his sister's hand and smiled warmly.

"Thank you, my Sister, but I realise now, the Twilight is meant to come to pass."

"Hades ..."

Softly, he kissed her hand. "I realise my destiny lies elsewhere."

"No, Hades... This flame was never meant for you." Celesta shook her head in desperation. "It was never meant for you," her voice grew quiet. "Please ..."

Hades smiled gently again.

"Hades ..." Celesta's voice shivered, cherishing her brother's understanding smile.

Xena looked impressed, but didn't falter.

"I realise now the Twilight was set in motion the moment we Gods thought ourselves above the mortals we had come here to protect and guide. You and Eve were just the catalyst. Eventually our own arrogance would have destroyed us."

Xena looked down at the defeated God before her, sheathed her sword and helped him up.

Hades looked bewildered. "Xena? ..."

The Warrior Princess smiled. "Not many of your kind would have had the scruples to realise the truth, Hades, let alone admit it."

Celesta smiled warmly. "Thank you, Xena."

Xena touched Death's shoulder. "Thank your Brother."

Celesta threw her arms around Hades, his red crushed velvet cape blowing around her, as he returned the embrace, almost bringing a tear to the Warrior Princess.

"You're a traitor to us all, Hades!!!"

The Lord of the Dead let go his sister, thrusting her into Xena's arms, Athena's fireball missing Death by a hair.

Hades pulled his sword from the ground, deflecting Athena's next volley, into her breastplate. The Goddess of War screamed a look of fear and desperation overcoming her attractive features.

"I'm sorry," Hades whispered as the Goddess of War and Wisdom ceased to exist in this life.

Xena looked sympathetic. Any love she had for Athena was long gone, but she didn't need to be an Oracle to realise how much it had pained Hades to kill her.

However she didn't have time to dwell on it, as another leapt from the bushes. Haphaestos swung his mighty chain around Hades sword. The Lord of the Underworld yanked it out of Hephaestos' hand, the sword slicing through the chains. In an instant, the God of the Forge drew a dagger and thrust it toward Xena, the Warrior Princess swerving, though the dagger sliced her arm, rendering her unarmed. Haphaestos hollered as he charged. Xena went for her weapon. Hades ran toward her, slicing his sword, Haphaestos howling as he was sliced clean in two. Xena grabbed her sword and thrust, into whom she thought was Haphaestos.


Horrified, Celesta dropped her candle and ran to her Brother's side, catching him before he hit the ground.

Xena stared in horror, seeing the pained look in Hades' eyes as she accidentally ran him through.

Celesta wept as she knelt before Hades.

"I'm sorry ... I thought you were..."

Weakly, Hades nodded and gave a forgiving smile. Xena looked into Celesta's pale face. "I'm sorry..."

Death nodded, tears streaming down her gentle face, bearing no malevolence to the Warrior Princess as she cried.

Hades smiled gently. "Sister, if being Lord of the Dead taught me one thing, it's that Death isn't the end all of everything. It's a new beginning. Perhaps your flame was meant for me after all." He reached and handed the pristine white candle back to her.

"No... No..." she sobbed, her heart breaking.

Xena could almost not bear to look at her suffering.

Hades breathing slowed, though weak, he never let go his Sister's hand.

"It's my time, Celesta ... This world no longer needs the Gods. Our spirits will always be here, but it's time for us to move on, a new beginning for us all." Softly he squeezed his Sister's hand. "Come with me..." He urged gently.

Shivering, Celesta looked into her brother's dying eyes.

"Do not fear, My Sister, we will always be together."

Celesta smiled warmly and stroked her brother's warm cheek, as the light faded from his beautiful eyes. A gentle tear rolling down her cheek, the Spirit of Death raised her candle, and with a single wisp, blew it out. Xena stared as Celesta's body slumped over Hades, and this time she could not stop a tear escaping. She watched as the two Gods' bodies vanished in a subtle rainbow light. The Warrior Princess turned, away then heard something and turned back. Hades stood before her, a blue green glow encompassing him.

Xena became a tad weary, though Hades gentle smile negated that.

"I said being dead wasn't the end."

Celesta appeared before her brother, a lilac aura.

"Thank you, Xena," Hades said. "Killing me was the best thing you could have done."

The Warrior Princess looked surprised.

"I feel alive," he twirled, his crimson cape catching the moonlight. "Part of my Spirit remains here with those that have passed and will remain until the end of time."

"And part of my Spirit lights the way," Celesta told Xena.

"But there's one more thing I must do," Hades said as he tore his majestic sword from the Earth, "to ensure the future of this world."

"Some sword," Xena commented, impressed.

Hades smiled as his form walked to a large rock. With a single motion, he drove the sword into the stone.

"Where will you go?" Xena asked.

Hades pointed to a cluster in the stars. "There."

"And Persephone?"

Hades' spirit gave a sad smile. "I will miss her, but she is still needed here, as the Sovereign of the Underworld though my spirit will be with her always."

"Never thought I'd say this," Xena said, "but I think I'll miss you."

"Hades forbid!" he said with a smile.

After a pause, Hades continued. "I have chosen my new life. It will be a hard life, learning, teaching, service, guidance, love and sacrifice."

Xena smiled. "Like Eli."

Hades gave a knowing smile. "More than you know."

Celesta's spirit merged with her brother.

"I must leave now, Xena."

"As much as I hate to admit this, Hades and I know I've always said mortals make their own destinies, but the Gods-"

"Provided guidance from time to time?"

Xena gave a somewhat embarrassed nod.

"That's what we were here for, Xena. You have to look to yourselves now. Feel, don't think. Use your instincts."

Hades/Celesta's spirit turned, leaving Xena to her life as he started his new one, but left with gentle parting words before his form disappeared.

"May the Force Be With You."




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.

George Lucas (Lucasfilm) owns the Star Wars Universe.

The only profits I make are the joy my writings bring :)

I acted out this story before I wrote it too! A lot of fun!



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