~ Chapter Two ~

Change of Heart

On impulse he charged forward, too impatient and overly enthused for formal introductions.

"So, Xena has a brat?!" Despite the intention, his heart and mind felt heavy with betrayal; why hadn't she mentioned it? There'd been plenty of opportunity both past and present. Was she afraid, or just pigheaded?

He decided on neither, putting it down to simple blindness. She was only mortal after all, even if that meant spending an eternity of Tartarus without her by his side; well, he'd just have to fix that now, wouldn't he?

"We know." His reverie was suddenly broken at the sound of Atropus' voice, wise yet ancient.

"Well of course; you think I'm here to swap tips on raising root vegetables?" This was beginning to become a chore and he was getting nowhere, unable to grasp answers, anything that might provide reason for Xena's distrust.

"You have questions?" Clotho insisted, allowing her fingertips to weave the thread of time.

"The prophecy has been foretold; Solan will never know the love of either of his parents." They continued, each nodding in unison, yet even for the Fates the future sounded cold.

"Kinda' morbid don't you think? If you try a little harder I'm sure we can come to some other arrangement, something a little more sunshine, lollipops and rainbows?"

He couldn't tell if it was the experience of having been deprived that sentiment himself or for the overwhelming desire of wanting to make each and every one of the Olympian's attest for giving him a reason to become Lord of battles and violence in the first place.

The reality however was stronger than he'd imagined; somehow, this little obsession had actively managed to worm her way inside his heart, giving him a new course of action, one he hoped would pay off in the end.

"Are you willing to pay the price, son of Zeus?" He considered the option briefly but pushed it aside, Xena was worth the effort and that meant more to him than eternity itself.

"So be it."