In the Spirit Of True Love

By Lily

Disclaimer: No I don't own any of the recognizable characters, but I do own Cassandra, Alexander, and Tessa. I also borrowed heavily from Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol

Author's Note: Even though I borrowed heavily from A Christmas Carol (I've been watching one two many Christmas specials) this isn't about Christmas or Solstice, it's about True Love. For example: the Spirit of True Love's Past, The Spirit of True Love's Present, and the Spirit of True Love's What If. And the second thing you should know about reading this is when I say Tessa talks in a demonic voice, you should think of how the girl in the Exorcist talked whenever she got possessed. Also this is my second story ever and I was really hyper when I wrote it, so there. And thank you to everyone who made me feel less nervous and less like a chicken-girl about posting a story.

Sex: It's mentioned once or twice

Violence: Yeah

Subtext: Big NO

Language: There is swearing every now and then

One more thing, at one point it gets kinda scary for Xena and Ares, but it's for their own good.

Please send me feedback about this story, even if you really hated it. But please try make your criticism constructive.

It was a beautiful Spring day. Birds were singing, flowers were blooming everywhere. There was peace, tranquility and love everywhere. Except at a certain War God's temple. Xena and Ares were having another fight. It was the eighth one this week, and it was only Wednesday.

"Why can't you just stop this war?!?" yelled Xena. "Can't you ever do anything for someone other than yourself?"

"What about all those other wars I stopped for you? Don't they count for anything?" Ares vehemently spat back at Xena. "You know I've got a job to do! Zeus has already been nagging me about all calling off too many wars! He'll have my head if I call off another!"

"Wars?!? Those were hardly wars! More like a couple of braindead idiots trying to ransack a village. Anyone could have stopped them! But no, big bad Ares is afraid of getting in trouble with Zeus! Why don't you grow a backbone and stand up to the old man?"

"I don't need to take this from you! You've never seen Zeus really pissed off! And I'll start and stop as many wars as I please, regardless of you or anyone else! So why don't you just quit?"

Xena's crystal blue eyes widened at that, but soon a smug look spread across her face. "Fine, you want to be like that? Well, don't expect to see me again tonight or any night for that matter."

"You think you can control me with sex? I can't believe you could be so childish!"

"If I'm being childish then why are you so upset? No, don't answer I already know. Talk to me when you're ready to call off the war."

Ares who was now sitting on his throne with one of his legs thrown over an arm of his throne only replied, "I don't think you're ready to end our relationship." But Xena had already left and didn't hear what he said.

Xena returned to where she, Gabrielle , and Joxer had set up camp; and for the rest of the day she complained about Ares. And gave Gabrielle and Joxer her speech about Ares was a stupid, arrogant, pigheaded, bastard and how she didn't know how she put up with him, for the umpteenth time. Ares on the other hand spent the rest of the day sulking on his throne and throwing fireballs at anyone who dared to disturb him.

But by nightfall they had both quit their sulking and complaining and finally subsided into the world of dreams. But even their dreams were filled with arguments and fights until neither of them could sleep. They both decided to take a walk, well Ares teleported himself to a spot at a nearby lake and sat on a rock staring at the full moon.

He hated to fight with Xena, but sometimes she could be so stubborn. Sometimes he could be just as stubborn. The spot on the rock he was sitting on was a special place to him and his princess. It was a quite place were they would go to sometimes and just sit there in each other's arms, thankful to have each other. Ares felt weird being there alone.

"Couldn't sleep either, huh?"

"Xena. Didn't expect to see you here."

"This is as much my place as it is yours."

"That's not what I meant. Do you ever take anything I say the right way?"

Before she could answer him, a glowing blond lady bearing a strong resemblance to Aphrodite appeared in front of them. She had the same blond curls and the exact same face. The only difference was instead of the pink lingerie stuff Aphrodite wore, she was wearing a beautiful long flowing white dress with a low neckline and short sleeves. Xena and Ares, who would have normally drawn their swords or chakram, just stared until finally the lady said "Are you two just going to sit there staring at me like a couple of idiots or what? I mean, I do look good and all, but really! Staring is impolite."

"Dite, That you?" Ares said as he kept staring, but now he was squinting as well.

"Aphrodite? That glory hog? Please! She could learn a lot from me! I'm Cassandra Spirit of True Love's Past, and I'm here to fix your problems."

"Are you Aphrodite's mom? At that Cassandra gave Xena one of the most evil look she had ever seen and then said "No, I'm not. I'd never claim that ditz as my own and I don't have kids anyway."

"Do I sense some hostility toward my sister?"

"Enough of your foolish questions. I'm here to talk about you not me. Now let me give you the basic itinerary. I'm going to show you two past images of each other in love so you can remember what it's like when you're not yelling at each other. Then my friend Alexander is going to show you how your fighting is screwing up your lives now. And finally my friend Tessa will show you guys a nice little 'what if' got it? Oh, and if you're wondering the point of all this, it's to get you two to kiss and make up. So don't pull a Zeus and Hera on us, ok."

"Hey, come to think of it, I remember when I was a little kid, once Mom was mumbling something like "damn meddling love spirits." That was you, huh?"

"Yep, that was me."

"Oh, so you're the one responsible for fixing their relationship. Ares, I don't think we need their help to screw us up even more."

"Now just wait a minute Warrior Princess Chick! We had to visit them three times. The first time, when Hera wasn't buying the whole thing about Athena not having a mom. Ares remembers the second visit, when they were being dumbasses like you two, fighting over the stupidest things. And the third time was when Hercules was born. I'd never seen Hera so mad, dude, it was scary."

"Are you sure you're not related to Aphrodite?"

But before Cassandra could give Xena another evil look or cuss her out, Ares asked "My parents had true love?"

"Yeah, it's hard to believe, but true. They used to be such a sweet couple. But then again you'd to surprised to know what passes for true love. But look what eternity can do to a person, I mean they still love each other...just not the way they used to. Now lets get going."

And before Xena could tell her that she talked a lot, the three of them were on a battlefield. Suddenly they saw a younger Xena was riding towards them. "That's me when I was a warlord!" Cassandra gave Xena a 'you idiot look' and replied, "Past images thing...remember?" The younger Xena was struck from behind and knocked off her horse. Within a minute Ares appeared and transported Xena off the battlefield. "Ha! That was me!" Cassandra was now completely convinced she was working with morons, and quickly transported them to a tent where warlord Xena and Ares were.

"Are you hurt?"

"I think I sprained my ankle, but other that that no."

"When I saw you fall, I was so worried. You know I couldn't stand to loose you."

"I know, I feel the same."

"Sweet, huh? I'll give you two a moment to think about what you just saw."

Then Ares quietly said, "Are you related to the Fates?"

Suddenly Cassandra began to glow red. "I have never dealt with such an obnoxious couple! You two are the most stupid, irritating couple in history! You make Zeus and Hera look like innocent school children! I hope you know I think you two truly do deserve each other! But if one of you dares to ask me who I'm related to again I'll take you to one of those past images that you'd much rather keep in the past! I'm not restricted to this love stuff, so don't mess with me! Got it"

By now Xena and Ares were trying their best to look innocent. Xena was trying even harder not to laugh at Cassandra's outburst, when Ares said, "You're not restricted to love images?"

"No. I can take you to all images of the past."

And with one of his most handsome devilish smiles he said "Then can you take me and Xena back to the time when Zeus was really busy and we made hot passionate love on his throne all night?"

"Yeah, that was so much fun."

Instead of replying to this Cassandra started glowing a deeper shade of red and took them to the next image. They were back where they had started at the lake. Now it was daylight and they could see an images of themselves sitting on the rock that Ares had been sitting on earlier.

"I remember this, it was about two weeks ago." Xena said as she walked closer to the images of themselves.

"Don't you wish it could always be like this?" The past Xena said to Ares as she snuggled closer to him.

"I think It will." Ares said as he tightened his arms around Xena

"Really?"

"Well, I know I'll always love you."

"I feel the same way, but I'm not talking about that. You know I'll always love you too.

I meant I wish we could always have moments like this. Just the two of us, no worries, no problems."

"I feel like this whenever I'm with you."

"Ares, you're so sweet. I can't believe I'm the only person that knows this. Right?"

"I think so."

Then the two just sat in each other's embrace so glad to have each other and a break from their hectic lives.

"Any comments?" Questioned Cassandra.

"Ares, what you said really was so sweet."

"I meant all of it."

"Then you'll stop the war?"

"I already told you, no."

"How can you be so thoughtful one moment and the next be a stubborn idiot?"

"I'm not being stubborn, Xena! If you want to see stubborn look in a mirror. Can't you see I'm just doing my job?"

All of a sudden, they realized that it was night again and the images from two weeks ago was gone. "Ok, I've done my job. Stay here Alexander will be here in a minute."

Now it was Xena's turn to look at Cassandra like she was a complete idiot. "That was it? That was supposed to make us want to work out our problems? I can see why Zeus and Hera aren't together any more."

"Well, I'm supposed to show you like, six or seven images, but I can't stand you guys!" With that she disappeared but she could still be heard ranting "Gods! Mortals! I wish the Titans were still here!"

No sooner had Cassandra disappeared, when a glowing guy appeared. He looked exactly like Cupid. He was dressed exactly the same as well. The only difference was he wasn't carrying a bow and arrows.

"Alex?" Xena inquired as she took a better look at him.

"Alexander." He corrected "Spirit of True Love's Present."

"You look just like my nephew..."

"Cupid. Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, I know. I've heard it a thousand times. But unlike Cupid I'm not anyone's assistant. Cassandra left in a hurry, didn't she? It usually takes her longer to do her job.

"I didn't like her, she kept giving me evil looks."

"Yeah, and she had an unfounded dislike of my sister."

"And she never seemed to quit talking."

Alexander could tell he had a lot on his hands and simply said, "Right." He couldn't think of what they could have done to get Cassandra in such a bad mood. "Well, I'm supposed to show you how your fighting is affecting others and your lives now. So let's get on with this. Oh, by the way you'll probably see some stuff you won't really like and you wont be able to hit anyone and no one can hear you." Within an instant the three of them were at Xena's camp. Joxer and Gabrielle were awake and talking by the fire.

"Joxer, If I have to hear the 'Ares is a stupid, arrogant, pigheaded, bastard; I don't know how I put up with him' speech on more time...I swear I'll take my little staff here, and beat Xena over the head with it until she shuts up!"

At that Xena tried to hit Gabrielle but her fist only went through her. Alexander shook his head at this because he had just said that she couldn't hit anyone.

"I know what you mean. If those two aren't at each others throats, they're all over each other and going at it like a couple of rabbits. Why can't they be more like us?"

"Us? Joxer what are you talking about?"

"Nothing Gabby."

Ares who was getting really bored said, "Alex, is there a point to this?"

"Alexander, and the point of this is to show Xena how her friends are tired of hearing her bitch about you."

"I got the point can we go now? Ares, remind me to do something mean to them later."

"Hey, Alex, you can't show anything about me. I don't complain about Xena to anyone."

"It's Alexander." He said giving Ares one of those evil looks Cassandra had given Xena "And we can go watch you sit on your throne pouting like a spoiled brat, throwing fireballs around, if you like."

"That's ok, I get the point. People are tired of me and Xena arguing and fighting and taking it out on them."

"Good, then my job here is done. Tessa should be here any second."

"Alex, me and Ares want you to know you where a lot more fun and easy going than that Cassandra chick."

Suddenly Alexander transformed into a giant, ugly, glowing red monster. "You Idiots! My name is Alexander!" Then he shot fire and lightning at Xena and Ares from his six eyes and quickly disappeared. Ares and Xena weren't hurt but they were shaken from being caught so off guard.

"That guy was scary! Ares, you ok?"

But before he could answer her, the third spirit appeared. Like the other two she was blond and glowed. She was dressed in a simple baby blue dress that was about knee length. But, there was something about this one that chilled Ares to his bones.

"Xena, I'm scared now. She looks just like Gabrielle."

"You have good reason to be afraid. I'm Tessa, Spirit of True Love's What Ifs, and I am also the most powerful of the three of us."

"What if you disappeared and took the irritating blond bard with you?"

"Ares!" Xena scolded

"What?!? I can't deal with the stress of having two of them around!"

Then Tessa screamed "Silence!" in a very demonic voice. Her eyes had also stared to glow red. Xena had to ask "Are you related to Hope?"

"Yes, actually. Your wonderful little friend Gabriele is one of my descendants and so is Hope."

Carefully, Ares asked "Are you evil?"

"I can be."

"Ha! I knew it! There was just no way in Tartarus anyone of pure mortal blood could be as annoying as Gabrielle!"

Tessa replied in her evil demon voice "Don't talk of my descendants that way!"

"What about that little bitch Hope? She killed my kid you know!"

"Well, there are mistakes in every family."

"That's what I thought!"

"Stop wasting my time you foolish, insignificant, beings!" Tessa boomed in the demon voice with her glowing red eyes. It got Ares and Xena to straiten up. And In a flash they found themselves in an old run down house that stank of kitty litter. It smelled like that for good reason too. There were probably 25 cats meowing around their feet, getting cat hair everywhere.

"Xena, this is what will happen to you if you can't work it out with Ares. You have one bad relationship after another. You never find the kind of love you had with Ares and you refuse to settle for less. So you end up an old maid living in this house with 25 cats names Fluffy and one named Ares. And you have no friends, they all got tired of hearing you bitch about your problems."

"Which one in named after me?"

"That old gray one in on the table that's pregnant."

"But that's a female?!?"

"She's old and can't half see. She thinks it's just a boy cat that gets really fat every now and then."

Then a crotchety old woman with white hair ands a walking stick walked into the room. "Here kitty, kitty, kitty, kitty. Oh, where's my precious Ares? There he is. Getting kinda fat again, aye boy? Here's some milk for you and the Fluffies." As soon as she puts the blow down all 25 cats jumped at her feet knocking her over.

"That's me?"

"Yes, Xena, does this frighten you?"

"Words can't express how scared I feel."

"Ok, now I want to see what's up with me."

"Patience War God." And with a wave of Tessa's hand they all found themselves in Ares throne room.

"Who's that fat, bald guy sitting on my throne?"

"You Ares."

Ares face went white as a sheet as he ran up to his throne to look at the man sitting there. The man was huge and bald. What was left of his hair was gray. The man looked nothing like Ares. But he had Ares' sword and the same exact dark eyes. It disturbed Ares so much he almost fell over.

"What happened to me?"

"After you and Xena Broke up all you did was sulk and pout and eat your troubles away. Aphrodite told you chocolates made her feel better, so you took her advice. Without the exercise you filled out a bit."

"And my hair?"

"Patience!" Tessa said in her demon voice. "You lost all interest in everything else and Zeus felt you weren't doing your job so he took from you the last nice thing you had left, your wonderful black hair."

"I wanna go home."

"Yeah, this place is creepy."

"Do you now understand why I am the most powerful?"

"Yes, we do. Right Ares?" He nodded his head yes, as Xena continued, "You can play some really sick mind games with people and gods."

"That is correct, Warrior Princess. You understand what you must now do?"

"Me and Xena need to stop fighting and find ways of compromising so we won't end up like this."

"Once again, you are correct. I see my job is done here. You will awake in your beds when I disappear. Remember this night well."

Just as Tessa had said Xena and Ares woke up in their respective beds. As soon as they woke up they each headed to their spot by the lake.

"Ares was it a dream?"

"If it was, I dreamt it to."

"I'm sorry, I know you've got a job to do."

"It's ok, I should have thought of compromising sooner instead of being stubborn."

"What if you postponed the war?"

"Yeah, and I'll move the location to somewhere less crowed so there will be less innocent people hurt."

"Great, what now?"

"I don't know. Want to watch the sun rise?"

"Ok."

So they sat by the lake and watched the sun rise. Then Ares made a lovely breakfast for Xena and him, and then they talked about why they'd really been fighting so much lately. They stayed by the lake until noon, when Ares was summoned to some meeting on Mount Olympus, but he promised Xena it wouldn't take very long. Later that night Xena got Gabrielle and Joxer back for what they'd said and Ares got rid of all the chocolates he had in his temples.

THE END