Disclaimer - The Xenaverse is owned by Universal/Renaissance, created by Rob Tapert.

Author's note - this story was originally a dream I had early Christmas Morn' 2000 J Hope you had a happy one! Archangel Gabriel not to be confused with Gabrielle.

(In the dream, I was watching it on TV, though it was real and I was worried about Hades!)  Followed by the Sequel "POMEGRANATE MAGICK"

Summary - AU - Hades endeavors to bring a peaceful end to the whole "Eve" saga.

Rating - G - Drama

Enjoy!

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WISDOM OF THE AGES

 

 

Xena and Gabrielle had ventured deep down to the Underworld to steal Hades' Helmet of Invisibility to protect them from the wrath of the Gods, however Hades had been ready for them and stood back as they fought the Proxidicai, sword drawn.

Hades wore his red crushed velvet cape, though this one was trimmed with a coloured, and gold embroided Asian design, his waist neatly wrapped in a sash of the same material.

As Xena left with Solan, Hades saw Gabrielle rush to the helmet and put it on, watching carefully, her footsteps in the Earth as she fought the Proxidicai. Pretending not to know where she was, he swiped his sword through the air, colliding with Gabrielle's side. He had no intention of killing her, and so did not swipe his sword too hard, though hard enough to wound and render her unconscious. Gabrielle felt a sharp pain as she fell before Hades, the helmet rolling off her head. Gabrielle's pain did not last long as she lost consciousness. Hades placed his helmet back on the pillar.

Xena realised her friend wasn't following and also knew it was too late to go back. If Gabrielle was dead, she would return for her in time. She didn't want to believe Hades had killed her. The God of the Underworld was one of the few Gods she'd considered a friend, but now things had changed. Xena saw Solan safely to the Elysian Fields before escaping the Underworld and giving birth to Eve.

Hades gently picked up Gabrielle's unconscious form. He had no desire to harm her, Xena or the Warrior Princess' newborn baby, but what else could he do to protect his family? He sighed softly to himself as he looked at Gabrielle's motionless body in his arms and kissed her softly. In another place and time perhaps, he and the creative Bard could have been something more, but not in this lifetime.

Hades called Cupid to his aide. In a few moments the winge'd God fluttered beside him.

"Thank you for coming so quickly," Hades said.

Regarding Cupid's shocked expression at Gabrielle, "she's unconscious," Hades assured, and paused before he spoke. "I need you to do something for me, if this mess is to be sorted out."

"The Gods want Eve and Xena dead. No holds barred. No quarter given. They're serious."

'I know. That's why I need your help, if we're to get through this with minimal, if any loss of life."

"Someone with some sense at least," Cupid said. "What do you need me to do? I'm not sure I can kill-"

"That's not what I need you to do," Hades said. "It may come at that, but let's just hope it doesn't Now here's what I need - both something of Eve's and Xena's. You'll have to disguise yourself. Give absolutely no indication of what you're up to and not the slightest inkling that you're a God, don't even mention Gods and don't get cocky."

Cupid nodded. "Gotcha, Uncle. Make love, not war."

Hades smiled. "Don't let Ares hear you say that."

As Cupid disappeared, Hades placed Gabrielle down on a soft resting ledge.

He waved his hand over his cape removing the blood stain and checked her wound again. Nowhere near fatal, though would be somewhat painful when she came to.

Cupid arrived where Xena had set up camp, in the guise of a lone traveler. As always wary at first, the Warrior Princess kept an eye on this traveler, though was satisfied when he did not arouse suspicions nor appear to be allied to the Gods in any way, proving to be quite helpful.

The 'traveler' feigned shock when Xena told him about the Gods and swore to help protect the baby. Somehow, Xena trusted this stranger, allowing Cupid to get close enough to Eve. The God of Love drew a small dagger, which he used to cut some of Eve's rags and shoved them into his pocket.

//That’s the first part over with, now to get something of Xena's ..//.

Cutting a piece of her clothing wouldn't be as easy, Cupid mused. Casually he approached the Warrior Princess as she washed some of Eve's diapers in the lake, the dagger hidden within his sleeve.

"Do you need some help?" he asked. "Looks like pretty smelly work."

Xena chuckled. "You get used to it."

She turned, Cupid smiled, his chance, now or never as Xena began to turn back around. The knife flicked out, he grabbed Xena's hair and hacked a lock of it off, Xena tried to grab his hand, though Cupid had been prepared for that and backed off, reassuming his Godlike self.

"I’ll kill you!!" Xena screamed. Her eyes widened and she looked horrified, not so much for herself as for her baby. She almost couldn't bear to look, though when she saw Eve playing happily, relaxed a tad and drew her sword, holding it menacingly at Cupid a few feet off the ground. Cupid placed the hair in a pouch.

"Relax, Xena, I haven't come to -"

"Get outta here or I’ll kill you, same goes for any of your kind!"

"Xena "

"LEAVE!!"

Cupid disappeared. Xena touched her hair and pouted, though relieved the baby was safe, though she shuddered when she saw a piece of Eve's clothing had been sliced off. Cupid could have just as easily sliced something else off, and she cursed herself for being so careless and wondered, not without worry what the Gods were planning.

Cupid returned to Hades, appearing before him in the Underworld.

The Lord of the Dead breathed a sigh of relief. "Thank you "

Cupid smiled. "Glad I could help, Uncle. Here're the goodies." The winge'd god pulled them out. "A piece of Eve’s attire and some of Xena’s hair."

"Hair of Xena How in all the Universes did you manage that?"

Cupid smirked. "She was pretty mad."

Hades laughed. "I'll bet. Give them here."

Cupid did as Hades asked. "What're you going to do with them?"

"An old spell of protection," Hades said.

"Wiccan . Ohh Gods That's against the Olympian-"

"There's nothing wrong with witchcraft," Hades said, a tad defensive. "Many fear it as they don't understand it, It really is a beautiful art once you get to know it and I really don't know how else to save them " He paused. "For the spell to work, I needed something of Eve's, something of Xena's and blood of someone close to Xena."

"You didn't say that. Don't tell me I have to go back. She'll have my love nuts for lunch - literally."

Hades smiled, "No, you don't." He produced a chalice. "Gabrielle's blood," he said. "Don't worry, she's fine. I only needed a little." He placed his hand gently on the still unconscious Bard. "Though we have to perform the spell in the presence of Eve and Xena."

"Oh shite."

Hades smiled as both he, Cupid and Gabrielle's form disappeared.

In a flash they reappeared a few metres away from Xena, sitting with her baby. In a flash she placed Eve down, sword drawn.

Unarmed, Hades held his hands out, a seemingly peaceful gesture. "Relax, Xena."

"So you can get me off guard and kill my child? I don't think so, Hades."

"I have a solution which will benefit all of us."

"What? Surrender now and I'll take Eve to the Elysian Fields? She won't feel a thing? Go fornicate yourself!"

"That isn't quite what I had in mind," Hades said.

Xena breathed as she saw Gabrielle by Hades' feet and looked about to rush him.

"She's unconscious, Xena. Whether she remains that way is up to you."

The Chalice appeared in his hand. Inside it, he placed the cutting from Eve's clothing and the lock of Xena's hair. The two shimmered as they submerged in the Bard's blood. Hades threw it up into the air and ignited it with a green fireball. Xena jerked, as the chalice caught alight and remained burning in the sky as Hades spoke ~~

~ Generous Angels, Hear My Plea

Let This Fusion

Set My People Free ~

Hades took a deep breath and repeated it.

The chalice exploded in a flash of blinding light. Hades and Cupid looked up, hoping their plea had not fallen on deaf ears.

Xena looked with awe, interest and wonder.

Archangel Gabriel appeared before the Lord of the Underworld, his face serene as he took the God's hand and smiled warmly as he kissed it.

Gabriel spoke softly. "Hades, the Angels hear your plea and will honour it."

The Lord of the Dead breathed a sigh of relief. "Thank you "

"But only if," Michael continued. "Your people do not abuse their powers. You are not guilty of this, Hades, but many of your kind are."

Hades nodded, somewhat ashamed. Cupid left for Mount Olympus to deliver the news.

"I will put this before the other Gods," Gabriel said. "You and your family will be spared the Twilight, Hades. You showed kindness and wisdom, using an art that many of your kind consider taboo. Your ingenuity, courage, compassion and love are what saved your people."

The Lord of the Dead failed to stop a tear meandering down his cheek, a little river of love. Gabriel gently kissed Hades' cheek before returning to the Heavens.

Xena lowered her sword and looked to Hades, kneeling beside Gabrielle, given Athena's blessing to heal her. The Sovereign of the Underworld gently placed his hand over Gabrielle's wound, healing it instantly, mending her torn attire.

The Bard sat with a start. Hades helped her up. Gabrielle looked bewildered, but somehow she sensed Hades was not here to harm her.

"Thank thank you..." she stammered.

"I had not intended the wound be fatal, Gabrielle."

The Warrior Princess looked into his serene blue eyes. "Hades, I'm sorry."

The Lord of the Underworld gave a warm smile. "What for, Xena? You had every right to protect your baby."

"And you had every right to protect your family. I was wrong to harbor so much animosity toward your kind. That's nothing short of racism and I'm ashamed if that."

Hades gave an understanding smile. "Xena, the Gods have hardly been fair to the mortals over the aeons."

"But you were, Hades, you're the God of judgment and Gabriel was right. You were one of the few who didn't abuse your powers and it's wrong that you would have suffered for what others have done."

Again Hades smiled warmly. "All is set right once more, Xena. With both Gods and Angels working together, I think we can work it out."

The Warrior Princess smiled at the God's wisdom and kindness.

Hades took Gabrielle's hand. "I'm eager to read what your write about this Are you-"

"I'm fine," she assured him with a smile.

Gently he kissed her cheek. "I'm glad."

With those soft words, Hades disappeared, to his secluded realm, relieved the ordeal had come to a peaceful end, leaving Gabrielle wondering if the Lord of the Underworld’s kiss went deeper than friendship.

The Bard would never know.

*

 

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