Disclaimer & Notices
Copyright: I do not own the Xena concept and certain characters but the plot is all mine.
Violence: There is violence.
Subtext: Yes, this where subtext is maintext.
Summary: From the episode Deja Vu All Over Again, Harry is about to stop the ticking time-bomb. Marco is patiently waiting for his moment to be Ares again. And being the sentimental guy, Ares cannot refuse to give Xena back what she's been missing besides just that past life.
Website: www . redhope . net
Started: January 9, 2009
Ended: January 10, 2009
Series: One Shot
by Red Hope
"Have you done this before?" Mattie checked, but she was tense and tightly clung to the chair. She prayed her faith in Harry being the once famous Warrior Princess was true.
"No," Harry admitted yet declared, "But I have many skills." He continued to assess the bomb's wires and grabbed the nearby scissors from the desk.
"It's the red wires," the doctor insisted. She had her head sharply twisted to the right. She could just make out Harry slipping the scissors' blades between the red wire.
But Harry hesitated from snipping the wire. "No... blue." He hastily went for the blue wire and cut it. He sighed when the clock stopped at two seconds.
Mattie dropped her head back against the chair after she didn't blow up into pieces. Then unexpectedly there was clapping from the doorway that Marco had rushed out, which caused Mattie to lift her head.
Harry stood up and turned to face Marco.
"Very good. You still haven't lost it... Xena," Marco praised. He took a few steps into the room and stopped once Harry approached him.
Harry placed his hands on his hips and slotted his eyes. "And you're as evil as ever... Ares."
Marco laughed heartedly and shifted into the dark God of War. With glee, he offered, "Sorry to put you through all this, but I had to be sure." He smirked but explained, "I knew if I challenge you, gave you every opportunity to visit your life back then, you'd regain your old identity."
Harry acted unmoved despite he was somewhat impressed. "Mmhmmm. What do you want, Ares?"
Ares chuckled and folded his muscular arms. "What I want... is what I've always wanted – you." He noted how Harry raised his eyebrow much like what Xena would have done. "But... we have a slight problem here."
Harry still had his hands on his hip, and he tilted his head to the side. "You escaping your tomb in Greece?" He smirked at the God of War.
Ares was amused, yet he suddenly went serious. "I don't plan to have you join me like this."
"Like what?" Harry drew out dangerously, "And as if I would join you."
"Oh but you will." Suddenly Ares shot out his arms and aimed his palms at Harry and the slumped form of Annie. Without warning bright, white lightening shot from Ares's hands and struck Harry and Annie. He gave out a sharp cry because of the amount of energy it took him to force Harry's soul out from his body but Annie was much easier to convince. "Xenaaaa!" he cried out in demand as he forced the two souls to switch bodies.
Harry gave a painful cry then when the lightening stopped, he stumbled to the floor and breathed heavily.
Annie had choked down her cry just before she received Harry's soul. She now shut her eyes and waited for the pain to reside.
Ares had fallen to his right knee, but he whipped his head up and eyed the hogged tied Annie.
Maggie couldn't believe what she witnessed and sat wide-eye. She looked from Harry to Annie and tried to hastily think about what to do. "Ares, stay away from them!" She feverishly fought her rope bonds now in renewed effort.
The God of War slowly climbed to his feet and sucked in a deep breath. He grinned widely at what he knew was success. "Now, where were we, Xena?"
Harry suddenly popped up on his feet again and stood between Ares and the girls. He lifted his hands up in a fist and warned, "Stay back, Ares or else."
Ares couldn't help his laugh but checked, "Really, Joxer what are you going to do?"
Harry's earlier arrogance was completely gone. He nervously smiled then laughed. "I swear I'll clock you!" He hoped his verbal threat was enough.
The bemused god just shook his head and sidestepped Harry.
But Harry hastily repositioned himself in front of the God of War. He raised his fists again then took a wild swing.
Ares ducked out of the way then became annoyed. He swiftly grabbed Harry by the throat and lifted him off his feet. "I've had enough of you." He proceeded to squeeze the man's throat.
"No!" Mattie hollered. She hissed in pain when she managed to get her right hand pulled through the rope. She tossed the rope aside then quickly got out of the chair. She jumped over the steps, rushed the God of War, and instinctively did a roundhouse kick at his arm. She was stunned when it worked.
Ares dropped Harry, who curled up onto the floor and coughed hard. Ares snarled at the doctor. "Still the irritating little blond." He took a menacing step towards Mattie.
But Mattie lost her nerve and backed up. She feared what Ares could do to her, but she noticed how he gave up pursuit. Then from behind, Mattie sensed a tall, dark presence that protectively loomed over her.
"Chaaaaya!" Annie cried out. She revealed her chakram and effortlessly threw it at Ares.
The god hollered in surprise and was thrown into the air by the sheer force behind the chakram. He landed hard onto the lounge chair and tumbled off it. Ares popped up and flicked his hair out of his face. He then peered down at the chakram stuck in his stomach.
Mattie released her breath then peered up at Annie beside her. "How'd you..."
Annie had a confident smirk, which was unlike her. Then in a deep timber, she replied, "I have many skills." She focused back on Ares, who climbed to his feet and ripped the chakram out from his chest. "I kinda like it there, Ares." She casually strolled down the steps, glanced at Harry, and focused back on her opponent.
The God of War scooped up Annie's sword and gave it a few spins. "Come on!" He was thrilled to see the old Xena completely back before him. "How I've missed you, Xena."
Annie slowly lifted her hands and bent her knees. She saw that Ares was prepared to make a move, but she held up her hand for a request. Once Ares paused, she reached to her face and removed the black glasses, which she tossed aside. "Much better."
Ares quickly came at Annie with an expert swipe.
Mattie hurried over to Harry and knelt beside him. "Get up." She urged him to his feet and moved him away from the battle. "We have to help Annie."
"In case you haven't noticed," Harry rambled, "she is fighting the God of War." He pointed at the dueling pair.
Annie gave her famous battle cry, dropped from high sword swipe, rolled towards her chakram, and she popped back up with her chakram in her right hand. She faced the god and held her weapon out towards the god. She gave a low but gleeful laugh to Ares then came for him.
Mattie sighed at Harry's lack of backbone.
Annie gave a sharp kicked to the God of War's chin and snapped his head back.
"Oh!" Ares nearly dropped the sword, but covered his chin with his right hand.
Annie didn't back down and delivered a hand blow to the god's wrist, which broke her sword from his hand. She followed up with a powerful kick to his chest and sent him hard onto his back again.
"Oh! Ow!" Ares hollered when his head collided roughly against the floor. He started to get up but found the chakram at his throat. "Okay, no! Time!" He held up his right hand and gave a pleading look to Annie. "I'm done."
Annie narrowed her eyes, but a dark smile curled at her lips. "That you are." She leaned in and lowered her voice, yet she threatened, "I will never join you... I wasted one life already."
"Oh come on," Ares debated, "You can't still be holding a grudge after all these years?"
Annie shook her head. "It's not a grudge. It's the difference between right and wrong... the Greater Good." She tilted her head. "You just never learned that lesson." Suddenly her chakram disappeared, and she climbed up to her feet after collecting her sword.
Ares achingly got up to his feet. He glanced at Mattie, who took Annie's side. He slotted his eyes at her and went to his back belt for a dagger.
Both Annie and Mattie knew it, but Mattie was quicker and landed a solid punch to his face to stop him.
Ares hissed in pain and backed away from the women. He held up his hands in defeat. "I'm really done, I swear it."
"Not so godly huh?" Mattie smugly remarked. "And that's for the little irritating blond remark."
The God of War glared at the doctor but let it go. He then revealed, "You tend to lose a little bit of your edge when you haven't been worshipped in awhile."
"You're breakin' our hearts," Annie retorted.
Ares huffed then took a step back. "Yeah, well don't worry about it. I'm still immortal." He dusted off his hands on his leather pants. "You're not gonna get rid 'a me, you know?" He noted Annie's dubious look then he mentioned, "I think I knew it was gonna work out this way."
Annie lowered her sword to her side. "So, why'd ya come back for me?"
The God of War took one last step back. He then answered, "Just call me a sentimental guy." He disappeared in bright lights but his voice softly called, "Until next time, Xena."
Annie was relieved once the god was gone, and she lowered her tense shoulders. She glanced down at Mattie but gazed over at Harry, who came down each step slowly. "Harry, I um..."
Harry shook his head and approached the pair. "It's alright." He looked once at the doctor then back at his girlfriend. "We both know we're not made for each other." He bit his lower lip but added, "She's your soulmate." He indicated Mattie.
Annie swallowed because she knew it too even without having to watch any of the show's episodes.
Harry hesitated but came around the women. "I'll leave you two to get reacquainted." He backed up towards the door and reached behind for the knob. "And another thing, I went back when Callisto had you two tied up. And you know what? Joxed saved your butts." He nodded a few times.
Annie and Mattie exchanged looks.
"I saw it from his point of view, and you would never have gotten that chakram if he hadn't come in when he did." Harry pointed a finger at Annie. "He had the heart of a lion, and a really, really big one too."
Annie held back her grin, barely. "You're right, Harry." She started to turn to Mattie.
"And," Harry persuade, "he was a very underrated fighter. Well... goodbye."
"Oh, Harry," Annie called. She couldn't help herself and coolly informed, "I've been aware for some time that you've been going into my underwear drawer at night and, um..." She clicked her tongue once then grinned at him. "It's nice to know it was in a good cause."
Harry had a deep flush. "Thanks, I guess." He decided to make a break for it and left the office. He closed the door behind him and strolled through the lobby. He then puckered his lips and whistled a familiar song that came down his lineage. He paused though just near the front door and considered something with a tilt of his head. He gave a giggly laugh, grabbed the handle, and opened the door.
Harry gathered himself with a bright smile and sang, "Harry the Mighty, he's a sight, dangerous fists of fury, learned his skills in that past life." He continued to his song on his way to the car.
Mattie faintly heard Harry's song and shook her head. She nervously turned to Annie and quietly checked, "Did... all of that just really happen?"
Annie lifted her sword and leaned it against her right, padded shoulder like a normal habit. "Yeah... it did." She revealed a warm smile.
Mattie mirrored back the smile but seriously offered, "It's funny... I do feel strangely attached to you."
Annie lowered her sword then directed the nearby step. She and Mattie went over to it, sat down, and Annie set her weapons off to the side. She turned back to the doctor. "What do you remember?"
Mattie fidgeted for a beat then took Annie's hands into hers. She kept her head bowed and studied her small hands in Annie's much larger ones. "I think I remember when we first met." She lifted her head and gazed deep into bright blue eyes that called to her. For an instant, she and Annie drifted back to their past lives as Xena and Gabrielle and recalled that fated day near Potidaea.
"It's been a long time," Mattie whispered.
Annie lifted her right hand to Mattie's cheek and lightly caressed her. "It's been too long, love." She leaned in and captured Mattie's soft lips for a long, searching kiss. She moaned at the rekindled feelings deep in her that told her Mattie was hers.
Mattie withdrew from the amazing kiss with a smile. She leaned her forehead against Annie's and murmured, "It feels so good to be back home."