Title: Point of View

Author: Smenzer

Rating: PG

Pairing: Ares/Gabrielle

Archive: Yes, please. Let me know if you take it, OK?

Teaser: Ares offers Gabrielle a job

Disclaimer: The characters are not mine. They belong to Studios USA or

Whoever owns the Rights to Xena: Warrior Princess. This is just for fun. No money is being made.

I didn't believe it when he first came to me. I thought he was joking. I mean, who wouldn't? But he insisted he was sincere. I couldn't understand what he wanted with me. I thought it must be some plot to get at Xena. After all, Xena is the famous one, not me. I'm just a bard. Or I'm trying to be one. Xena's the real hero. She's the one that saves people, slays monsters and does all that incredible stuff. I don't know how she does it all! I travel with her every day and I still don't understand all her moves. Some of the things I've seen her do right before my very eyes seem like make-believe but they're real!

So I asked Ares: What do you want from me?

And he told me he wanted a bard. Seems like this one other God, someone I had never heard of, had made a very bad prediction. This had all the Gods worried. The prediction had been that some time in the future people would stop believing in them and that when that happened they would cease to exist. Well, Ares admitted they were not sure about the "ceasing to exist" part but they were very worried anyway. Then he continued to explain that HE had a plan to make sure that fate never happened to him.

I laughed. How could people not believe in the Olympian Gods?

Then Ares reminded me that before I had started traveling with Xena I had never seen a God before. He was right.

So the answer seemed clear to me. All he had to do was appear to more people so they could see him.

I could see right away Ares wasn't too crazy about this. For one, he didn't have the time o do this. Second, he pointed out some people might actually get frightened. Frightened! Of Ares! Who could imagine such a thing! Then he asked me if I was scared of him. I laughed and told him I wasn't. I still didn't understand why Ares wanted with me.

Then he told me. He said he wanted me to write about him, like I do with Xena. He pointed out it wasn't Xena's actions that made her famous but me writing about them. People would pass the scrolls around and read them. Scholars would make copies and send them to various libraries across the known world. Story tellers would memorize my scrolls and tell the stories to others.

I was speechless.

Was Xena's fame all my doing? Did my writings really have such a huge impact on the world, on history? Why, I can't even right action!

And now Ares wanted me to do the same for him. He hoped it would be enough to save him from a fate he claimed would be worse than death. At least with death there was an afterlife. But no one knew what happened to Gods when people stopped believing in them.

I thought of all the bad things Xena had told me about Ares, her dread warnings to stay clear of him. But I knew I wasn't frightened of him. His powers didn't scare me. Nor had he ever tried to harm me. Then he made me an offer that was very hard to refuse. He said he could show me things that Xena never could. I had originally started to travel with Xena to see the world and yet be safe. Xena provided the safety that I needed and I followed her where ever she went. In return I cooked and made camp. But I could see a lot more if I traveled with a God. Ares assured me he did many interesting things inside of a day, went to lots of places. Why, he could show me things a mortal had never seen before!

I thought about it and was tempted. And I must admit I was curious as to what a God did all day. Especially what Ares did all day. The more I thought about it, the more I realized I knew very little about Ares. Where did he live? In one of his temples? Up on Olympus in a palace? Did Gods have to wash? Where do they get Ambrosia from? Did he have any pets? There were huge gaps in information on the Gods and this was a truely unique oppurtunity to fill them in.

But should I trust Ares? Was he telling me the truth? Or was this a new scheme he had cooked up to catch Xena and I was the bait?

It would do very little good if it were a scheme because Xena wasn't here. She had left on some secret mission she had claimed was far too dangerous for me to go with her. I figured out long ago that just means she's going to do something she doesn't want me to know about. A list of possibilities runs through my head, none of them very nice. Xena does have her bad habits. She didn't give them all up. I doubt if she ever will. I guess she doesn't want the readers to know everything about her.

I thought about his offer as Ares waited for my reply. I could sit here on this rock until Xena returned, which would be about a week. Maybe two. Or I could go with Ares. The idea of going with him was kind of exciting, I must admit. I thought of all the incredible things he could show me. I had no idea what they would be but surely they'd be amazing!

He held out his hand. "Come with me, Gabrielle. Write about me."

I took his hand. Ares was right. I was the one who made Xena famous.

~ Gabrielle

My stomach twisted for a brief moment and then we appeared in a huge high cealinged room. Marble pillars were equaly spaced and torches hung from elaborate schones on the dark stone walls. I let go of Ares' hand and saw we were the only ones there. Doubt flickered across my mind. Had I made a mistake coming here with him? I could see this was not one of his temples. It was far too large. It was more like the great room of a palace, so I presumed we were up on Olympus somewhere. Which made me even more nervous. It meant I couldn't leave if Ares didn't want me to. You needed a God to take you down to the mortal world. Did Ares have some other reason for bringing me here than what he had told me? A possibility occured to me then, one I had not thought of just a few moments before and I mentally kicked myself for not thinking of it.

Before I could think of more dark thoughts, Ares called my name. He motioned for me to follow him, so I did. We climbed a great staircase, the stairs themselves made from gray marble. Everything was clean and spotless. I never had any idea that Ares had owned such a fantastic place. The more I saw, the more curious I became about the God of War. I had thought I knew of him from Xena, but somehow the remarks she had made just didn't fit. There were paintings on the wall in gilted golden frames. Statues lined the halls along with ornate mirrors and breathtaking vases. I knew the things must cost cost a fortune. But then he was a God. What else did I expect?

Finally we stopped before a tall double door. Ares opened it and told me this would be my bedroom while I stayed with him. I was amazed! The doors were twice as tall as me and so fancy. The room had a thick rich red carpet covering the stone floor. When I stepped on it, my feet sunk way in. The bed was one of those canapie beds I had once heard about but had never expected to see. Ares followed me into the room and pointed out other items: a writing desk with a special wheeled chair, a pair of bookcases to hold scrolls, a large cabinet that held writing supplies like ink and fresh scrolls. The room also had a balcony overlooking a beautiful garden in full bloom. Colorful birds with amazing fan tails bobbed their heads as they walked among the flowers. Ares told me they were his mother's prize peacocks and that I was the first mortal to ever lay eyes apon them. He also explained Hera would not harm me as long as I did not injure her birds but I was welcome to look at them. He then left me alone to settle in and explained that his room was right down the hall.

I still found it hard to believe I was up on Mount Olympus. But I was. And I was going to be working with Ares. So I gathered the supplies I would need and left the room to find him. I didn't have to go far. I found him in what he called the War Room. It was a large room that had maps on the wall. I recocnized Greece right away. It was the most detailed map that I had ever seen! It seemed to have every town, mountain, bridge and river on it. And it was in color! I ran my hand over it, amazed. There were other maps on the walls as well. I soon discovered these showed a much larger area, the countries around Greece. A few maps were totally new to me and Ares explained these places were on the other side of the world! Mortals wouldn't know they existed for a very long time yet. And I did. That made me feel very special, that Ares would trust me with such information.

Ares explained what he did here was plan the defense of Greece. He knew the ruler of each kingdom, their armies and everything. He knew who was strong, who was weak and who should no longer be in charge. Then he would arrange things so they were best for Greece. Other countries, like Rome, would try to take over someday and he had to have our armies ready for that.

Then he took my hand and we did his daily rounds. He had to visit each temple he had, showing himself to his high priests. They called him Lord Ares and were quite surprised to see me! But they wisely didn't say anything, just did as Ares commanded. Ares explained that his priests were sort of like cooks. A cook prepares food before one eats it. The priests take the prayers from his worshippers and focus it so he may deal with them easier. He said otherwise it would be too difficult for me to understand what they really did. Of course, the priests did other things, too. They kept his temple clean, cared for weapons, spoke to the people so the people knew what Ares desired of them and trained in combat. They also taught new novices how to be priests in Ares' temple.

All this popping about, which Ares said was called Teleporting, left me a bit dizzy. I had seen so many temples already but Ares was not done yet. Next he took me to his very first temple high on a mountain. There was no priests here, just the two of us. I saw right away this place was very different. In fact, it was filled with mountains of treasure! My mind whirled as I tried to take it in. Gold, silver, platinum, jewels, weapons, vases, all sorts of valuable items! My heart raced as I noticed something huge moving among the treasure. A giant golden eye with a long black slitted pupil stared at me. The creature shifted and I saw it was a giant brown mottled snake! Even traveling with Xena I had never seen a monster so large and frightening. I covered my mouth so I wouldn't scream and felt Ares tighten his hold around my slim waist. He whispered that the snake was his and I had nothing to fear from it; it was just a guardian for his treasure. The thing slithered closer and snuffled at me and then disappeared from sight. My heart was beating so fast I thought it would surely break free of my ribcage! Ares had been right when he promised to show me things I had never seen before! I just hoped he had nothing else of that nature waiting somewhere! One giant snake pet was enough, thank you!

Later after we had left the treasure cave I had asked him why he had taken me there. He apoligized quickly, saying he had never meant to frighten me with his pet. He also said the pet was necessary, as people do try to break into the place and steal stuff from him. This I could understand. I know some people would risk their lives for treasure like that. It reminded me of the dragon's mythical horde. I knew for a fact Auto would love to know about that place! Ares surprised me next by giving me an exquisite gold necklace studded with diamonds. I told him I couldn't possibly accept such a gift. But then he reminded me that I was an Amazon Queen after all and Queens should have some fancy jewelry. Smiling at me, he put the necklace around my neck and said something about being a good provider. After stepping back and admiring the necklace around my throat, Ares took me to dinner.

I soon discovered that Ares was very intelligent, more intelligent than Xena gave him credit for. He had many more interests than just war. For one, he breeded horses and said Argo had originally came from his stables. He also knew about mathamatics, something called science which he planned to teach me and a lot more stuff. He had also read my scrolls, every single one! I blushed in shame, that a God would actually read something that I wrote. And not that very long ago hadn't he been on my case because I couldn't write action? Well, I had learned action writing since then so maybe I was improving at my craft. I still found it very hard to believe Ares had offered me this job. I was sure they were a lot better, more experienced bards out there than me.

It was late so I retired to my too fancy bedroom. It was a room fit for a Queen. A real Queen, someone like Cleopatra. I found a frilly, almost transparent nightgown in the walk-in closet and put it on. Opening the glass doors, I walked out onto the balcony and gazed into the night sky. The sky was rich velvet and stars were everywhere, not only above but to all the sides as well. I think I saw a fluffly piece of cloud just beyond the roses and remembered I was up on Olympus. Things were bound to be different here. I was up high somewhere in the sky, not under it looking up as one normally did.

The thought of Ares bringing me here for another reason flickered through my mind again. Oh, I was sure he was telling the truth about me writing about him, but I wondered if there was more he was not saying yet. I fingered the necklace and tried to guess what it could possibly be. But it was late and my mind was fogged with sleep. I would try to figure it out tomorrow, as I learned more about the real Ares. For I had already sensed there were two Ares. The public Ares, that snarled, threatened and acted tough. Then there was the other Ares that hardly anyone ever got to see, the one that was gentle and cared, the one that was a true gentleman. I had seen him briefly when he gave me the necklace, his dark eyes shining with some emotion I could not identify right away. I knew I should have known what it was, but I'm not used to seeing those emotions from him and the precious gift had truely shocked me. Tomorrow I would pay closer attention to him.


Bard of Olympus