Disclaimer: The Xenaverse is owned by Renaissance/Universal, 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.

Suammary: Hades evens the score.

Rating PG - Drama





Xena screamed in rage as she almost slipped into the ferocious river. She, Gabrielle were trying to stop an enormous flood, created by the Gods, with the help of Iolaus, Hercules, Joxer and Autolycus.

With her Chakram, Xena managed to divert the overflowing river, but that still didn't solve the problem, as the water kept rampaging. People were drowning, and the Warrior Princess knew she had to come up with something fast.

In a flash all but Xena and Gabrielle vanished, sent to other parts of Greece.

"By the Gods ...." Gabrielle whispered.

Xena grunted. "Ares!"

"Very good, Xena."

The mocking voice came from the clouds.

"But it's also *my* work." Callisto.

"And mine." Hera. Her peacock feather eyes formed in the clouds. "There's nothing you can do to stop us, mortal. The mortals of this land will perish. And more will follow. We will wash this planet clean!"

"Not if I have anything to do about it!"

Hera laughed. "And you will perish too my dear - you and your precious friend."

"Gabrielle!" Xena exclaimed when she heard her friend scream.

The stone bridge on which Gabrielle stood cracked, a raging torrent smashing into the side. The Bard used her staff to wedge herself, but slipped and hung on for dear life onto the side. Xena made her way to Gabrielle, dogging blasts from the three Gods. Xena made it to her friend as the bridge rumbled and began to break apart. This was a toughie. Xena threw her Chakram into a rock, threw her whip around it and tried to pull the both of them to safety, but the whip was cut by the three Gods. Xena almost plummeted to the rampaging waters below. Gabrielle grabbed her friend and stabilized herself.

The bridge began to split and crumble beneath them.

A God clad in black leather appeared on the worse for wear bridge.

"Hades!" Xena hissed. "You're in on this too?"

"I most certainly am not!" Hades said, offended.

He glared at the three Gods' in the sky.

"What's the meaning of this!?" he bellowed above the raging torrents, so vehemently the Gods stopped their assault.

"The mortals've outlived their usefulness," Ares snorted. "Their worship and sacrifices are getting so old."

"That is not your place," Hades snapped. "Poseidon's not gonna be happy when he finds out you've been dabbling in his realm."

Callisto laughed. A girlie sound. "He's asleep. Thanks to Morpheus' blanket."

"You should be happy, Hades dear," Hera said. "More souls for you."

"It's unnatural! Those people should not have died! Have you any idea how hard it is to keep up with so many deaths?! And you know you should not interfere with mortals like this!"

"Mortal, schmrotal ..." Callisto retorted. "Who cares anyway. We should rule." She chewed on her hair.

"*You* should be in Tartarus!" Hades snapped.

Callisto stuck her tongue out at him. Hades looked a tad offended, but that wasn't his concern right now.

"Stop this!" he demanded.

"And why would we want to do that?" Hera asked.

"You're destroying the Natural Order!"

Xena watched Hades, impressed. He rarely came out full force. A huge wave threatened to smash the bridge to pieces. Hades merely lifted his hand and the wave collapsed, then used his powers to still the waters and repair the bridge.

The other Gods fired. Hades blasted them furiously, although he had known they wouldn't give up without a fight. Xena's war cry cut the air like a sharpened blade. She leapt to the other side of the river, retrieved her Chakram and tossed it to Hades. The God of the Underworld used it to eliminate the other Gods fireballs, as the Chakram sliced through the air returning to his hand. "Impressive."

Xena looked quite impressed herself as Hades tossed it back to her.

The three antagonists weren't about to give up.

Hades blasted at them. Although he was one God against three, his power was great and he hadn't counted on Xena and Gabrielle sitting idle. Now that Hades had stilled the raging waters, Xena began jumping about.

"Hey, Ares, you've always wanted a crack at me - so take your best shot!"

Hades was puzzled at first and looked at her questioningly, but seeing Xena's 'I know what I'm doing' look, he nodded with a sly smile and out of the corner of his eye, saw Gabrielle scurrying like the wind into the forest on this side of the river bank. Hades blasted Ares with a fireball to further divert the Gods' attentions. Ares, fuming, appeared on the bridge and blasted at Hades. The Lord of the Dead swerved out of the way. Xena had never seen him move so fast. He definitely had it in him when he needed it. Hades blasted Ares again and the God of War sprawled backwards. Callisto suddenly appeared and hurled a fireball at Hades. Xena hurled a small tree trunk in front of him. Callisto's fireball incinerated it, giving Hades the time he needed to blast her. He shot Xena a thank you glance as she threw her Chakram, cutting Callisto's bare stomach. She shrieked in pain. Xena knew the Goddess would heal quickly, and took advantage of Callisto's predicament, throwing salt water on the wound, then piking up the howling and cursing Callisto, throwing her to the other side of the riverbank, where she gestured to Hades, hurling a fireball at the rocks above, trapping Callisto for the time being. Ares looked furious.

Hera blasted Hades. "You can't win, Brother dearest. Nice try though. Didn't think you had it in you."

Hades stood and steadied himself. "I can't let you do this..."

Hera's peacock eyes seemed to smile. "Oh, but you can - and you will."

Gabrielle stopped running when she felt she was deep enough into the forest.

"Uhh, beseeching Hermes ... beseeching Hermes."

Nothing happened.

"Hermes! Get your butt here NOW!!!"

An angry God appeared.

"Mortal! What gives you the right to-"

Ignoring him, Gabrielle interrupted and told him what was going on.

"Oh My Gods!"

"Get to Zeus - he has to know about this so it doesn't happen again ..."

"I'm like there, babe."

Hermes took off in a flash, leaving Gabrielle grateful she'd accomplished her mission as she rushed back to the battle site, grateful to find Xena and Hades still going strong. She had to admit Hades looked most impressive.

A bolt from Ares and Hades collided, eliminating one and other. Hades immediately released ten more bolts in rapid succession, startling Ares and catching him off guard. A few more bolts rendered the God of War unconscious.

"Impressive. So it's just you and me now," Hera said, "Oh, and those two mortals."

Hades stood his ground as Hera appeared before him.

"I'm surprised you're actually showing your face," he said, disdainful. "You know Zeus won't be impressed when he finds out what you're trying to do here."

"Hah! You'd be surprised what I've gotten away with. And who said anything about *trying?* Join us, Hades. We deserve better that playing God to these pathetic mortals and this world."

Hades shook his head. "The mortals need us for now," he said. "It's our purpose in time."

"We deserve better - we deserve more! This entire world will be ours!"

"I'm not interested in your sordid plans for domination, Sister - and are you gonna stop with this world? I doubt it."

"Clever, Brother. A pity we don't see more of each other. You're not half as boring as I'd thought you'd be."

Hades folded his rams. "Flattery won't get you anywhere."

Hera smiled. "You know being cooped up in that dreary Underworld, you poor thing, you really should get out more - and you can. Join us and you Persephone and Celesta will exalted position among the New Olympian Order."

Hades said nothing.

Xena became a tad worried. He *was* thinking about Hera's offer.

"Come on, Hades, you know you want to," Hera's slim form cooed.

"I might gripe and moan," Hades said, "but I'm needed down there. It was the Realm I was assigned to. The mortals need me."

"Forget these blasted mortals! Who cares what happens to them - alive or otherwise!"

"It's not just the mortals ..." Hades was said, keeping his anger in check. "It's the Cosmic Order."

"There will be a new Cosmic Order!" Hera thundered.

"Cosmic Balance isn't something you can change like a hairstyle. With your maniacal lust for power, you'll end up destroying the Universe - there'll be nothing left to rule - and I doubt you'll give me what you promise."

Hera's face flinched with anger and she sighed. "You know, Hades, Brother, you disappoint me. I really thought you had more guts than that."

"Oh, this *is* pathetic. First fireballs, then flattery and now you're trying to put me down. It's not gonna work, Hera. I'm not joining you and that's final."

Hera could tell by Hades words how firm he stood. She was quite impressed by his stance, but wasn't going to let *him* know that.

"Well maybe your wife'll be more persuasive..."

"You leave Persephone out of this!"

Hera smiled. "Ahh ... Well, Hades, you have two options. Either you, Celesta and Persephone join me, or your precious wife will be destroyed."

Hera showed an image of Persephone bound with chains made by Hephaestos, one of her minions holding the dagger of Helios, threateningly at the Godess' throat. Hades looked horrified.

Xena looked at Hera, then at Hades and shook her head, signalling to Hades it was a bluff.

Hades hid his relief and decided on a bluff himself.

"No ..." His voice quivered. "No ... Please ..."

The image of Persephone, frightened and struggling in tears was so realistic, he couldn't bear to look at it. Hades swallowed. "I ... I'll join you ... Just please don't hurt her." Hades took a deep breath.

Hera smiled. "I knew you'd see it our way. Welcome to the New Order of the Gods."

Hades swallowed, dropped to one knee. "I accept."

Hera walked closer to him. Hades raised his hand, releasing a fireball, into Her stomach. "Not!"

"You have just sealed your own and your beloved's doom!" Hera bellowed, thrusting her hand toward the image.

Hera made a violent gesture, her thug slicing Persephone's throat open, the Goddess' blood splattering in every direction. The scream rang in Hades ears, piercing his very soul. He looked horrified, and lost his lunch, even though it was just an image - he hoped.

Hera laughed. "Your sister is next."

Hades blasted her again and again, releasing as many fireballs as he could get out of his hands. The Queen of the Gods screamed in agony as she fell and Hades continued relentless.

"If you ever become mortal, I've a nice *warm* spot in Tartarus for you." He growled, his voice colder than the Amazon Land of the Dead.

Hera weakly looked up at the formidable God of the Dead and used what was left of her power to materialise on Mount Olympus. Ares and Callisto's forms disappeared along with hers.

"You dare defy the Order of the Gods!" Zeus's voice. "You shall be punished!"

A scream and a large Thunderbolt.

"I don't think they'll be bothering us for a while," Gabrielle said with a smile.

"Quite," Hades agreed. "Xena..." He looked very worried.

"Don't worry, Hades. I know a bluff when I see one."

"It looked so real ..."

"I know. It couldn't've been easy for you."

"It wasn't. That's three I owe you."

Xena smiled. "Hey, make it two. If it wasn't for you, we might be permanent guests of the Underworld ... You were very impressive."

Hades placed his hands on his hips. "So you didn't think I had it in me either, huh?"

Xena smiled again. "I didn't say that. Go on, Persephone's waiting for you."

Hades smiled. "Just one more thing." He used his powers to return the flood ravaged land to normal. "Thank you Xena."

"Thank *you,* Hades. We couldn't've done this without you."

Gabrielle took out her scroll. "Damn!" The ink had run.

"Allow me..." Hades lifted his finger and the words on Gabrielle's scroll reformed, the parchment dry.

The Bard's face brightened. "Thanks!"

Hades smiled. "I can't wait to read what you write about this."

"You know you should smile more often," Gabrielle said.

Hades smiled again. "I gotta go."

His form disappeared.

The Lord of the Dead still worried for his betrothed, though when she bounded to meet him and threw her arms around him, he sighed with relief.

"I was so worried about you!" She hugged him tight. "Hera told me you'd been killed. "She showed me an image of your body... Ohh ... It looked so real and awful ... " she sobbed, "if it wasn't for Cerberus sniffing and growling, I would've believed her."

Hades walked over to the three headed hound and patted him. "Good dog."

Cerberus licked his hand. Hades turned and hugged his wife.

"She showed me an image too. Xena was sure she was bluffing and I'm glad she was right."

Persephone smiled and took a bowl from the table. "Spiced Feta?"

Hades smiled. "Mm, don't mind if I do."

She took a piece, inserted it into his mouth. He swallowed and gently licked her fingers.

Persephone smiled and kissed her husband's cheek. Returning the kiss, caressing her soft lips, holding his beloved in his arms.

* * *

Siting on the soft grassy hill, as Xena sharpened her sword on a nearby rock, while Gabrielle took out her quill and began to give life to her scroll ...

Formidable, clad in black, he appeared, amidst the raging aquatic chaos which threatened to tear the very fabric of the Universe. The powerful Lord of The Dead stood his ground, dark blond fringe wet and slightly dishevelled, blown to one side of his smooth pale face, as the handsome Sovereign of The Underworld prepared, against all odds to battle to save the Universe as we know it...

* * *

From his castle, deep under the Earth, Hades smiled. "Hmm. Not bad at all."




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