Title: Kill the Peanuts!

Author: Smenzer

Rating: PG

Pairing: Ares/Gabrielle

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

Teaser: Ares rages war on packing peanuts

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

Whoever owns the Rights to Xena: Warrior Princess.

It was the end of a long day and Ares was in a bad mood. First, Strife had broken his favorite chalice. After that, things had just gone down hill. His goody-goody brother had stopped another war, Zeus had yelled at him for seemingly no reason, Hades was on his case again about too many dead people and that was just the stuff that happened before noon! He didn't even want to think about what Xena had said to him. Right now all he wanted to do was sit in his chair and brood. The War God walked over to his throne and stopped.

Someone had left a big box on his chair.

"What's this?" Ares asked, surprised. He picked the box up and saw it had Hepheastus' symbol on the side. So, it was something from his brother's workshop. He was about to open it when a note on the chair's arm caught his eye. Putting the box down, Ares picked up the note.

Unk, Sorry I broke your favorite chalice. Here's a new one I ordered from Hephy. Hope ya like it. ~ Strife

"Finally something's going right today!" Ares said as a loud, earsplitting boom shook the temple. The War God turned and saw lightning out the temple window. A moment later rain started to pound on the roof just above.

Drip. Drip. Drip.

Cold rain water started to leak onto the floor and soon formed a small puddle.

"Great. Just great!" Ares moaned. He felt like blasting something with a lightning bolt, but that wouldn't fix the leak. So he moved a huge vase - one of Discord's bizarre ideas of decorating - under the leak. The heavy vase screeched like a woman screaming as it was forced across the smooth floor. With a satisfied grin, Ares watched the rain fall into the vase.

With the leaky roof being temporarily fixed, Ares turned to his box. He pried open the lid and was surprised to see some bizarre white things. Reaching inside, Ares picked a few up. They were small, as light as air and had a curled shape. One was shaped like a "S", another like an "E" and a third like a "L". As hard as he thought, Ares couldn't figure out what the things were!

"Where's my chalice?" Ares asked the empty temple in annoyance. "I don't want these stupid white...things!" The War God reached into the box and pulled out more of the white objects. Some jumped out of the box and slowly floated down onto the seat of his throne. And he soon discovered a few had the nerve to stick to his hands!

"What the...?" Ares raised his hand and stared at it, the palm facing him. The things were stuck to his hand! Ares shook his hand fiercely and was shocked to see they were still there! In fact, as he watched, one slowly crawled down past his wrist and onto his forearm! It was almost to his elbow when he angrily snatched it with his other hand!

With a snarl, Ares snapped the creature in half....only to have BOTH pieces stick to his hand!

The temple doors flew open and Ares turned. Lightning flashed in the doorway, revealing the silhouettes of two women. They moved inside and he saw it was Xena with her sidekick, Gabrielle. The two were soaking wet, water dripping down their faces, their long hair plastered to their heads. They both focused their startled eyes on him. Gabrielle covered her mouth with her hand, but her shaking body gave away her laughter. Xena just laughed outright.

Ares looked down at himself and saw his black leather outfit was covered with the white things! They were clinging to his pants, vest and a few were even hanging onto his chest hair! Plus the original ones were still on his hands and arm!

"What are you laughing at?" Ares snarled.

"What are those things?" Gabrielle asked as she came closer. The blonde bard tried very hard to keep her voice steady, so she wouldn't laugh. But seeing Ares like this, it wasn't easy!

"I don't know!" Ares fumed as he swatted at the things sticking to his chest. But it didn't do any good. The unknown objects just transferred from his vest to his hand! "AAArrrggggg! I had it with these things! I can't get them off myself!"

"Where did they come from?" Xena asked as she stepped closer to Ares. "How about you dry me and Gabrielle? In exchange, we'll get rid of those things for you."

"Sounds good to me." Ares waved his hand and the two women were dry. "Now get rid of these things!"

Gabrielle peered into the box sitting on Ares' throne. "They came from in here?"

"Yeah," Ares replied. "A new chalice is supposed to be in there, from Hepheastus' workshop, but so far I only found these darn things!"

Gabrielle reached inside the box, scooping handfuls of the white objects out. They were so light that many of them flew up into the air and got tangled in her long blonde hair. With a grin, Gabrielle pulled out the chalice. "Ha! I found it!"

"Oh, you found it all right!" Ares laughed as he took in Gabrielle's new appearance. The bard was just covered with the tiny objects. Dozens hung from her arms, they nestled in her hair and stuck to her stomach. Others marched down her legs and hung onto her skirt. A large pile of them surrounded her boots.

"Oh, this is stupid!" Xena stated as she took in Gabrielle's new appearance. "Those things aren't even alive. Just pull them off!"

"Yeah, well, I tried that already!" Ares told the Warrior Princess. "Didn't work."

Gabrielle blew at the objects sticking to the chalice. A few let go and floated to the floor. Most of them, however, stayed exactly where they were. Setting the chalice down carefully, Gabrielle shook her hand vigorously. She blinked her eyes when she realized they were still there! "Xena, Ares is right! These things don't come off! Yet they don't feel sticky. How can they stick if their not sticky? Are they alive after all?"

Xena rolled her eyes. "Oh, come here and I'll pick them off you two!"

Ares walked over to Xena and stood in front of her. "Go ahead. I'd like to see you out smart these things, Xena!"

"Piece of cake." Xena tore a handful off Ares' chest. She held up the white objects in front of his face, a wide grin on her face. "They came off really easy. Didn't require any strength at all."

"Now put them down." Ares stated dryly.

Spotting the large vase, Xena tried to drop the handful of white objects into the vase. But they stuck to her open palm! "What the....?"

"Now you understand!" Ares said.

Gabrielle brushed at herself frantically. A few fell off but most stuck to her body even harder! Moving closer to Ares' throne, she started scraping her arm along the back of it.

The War God turned and saw what Gabrielle was doing. "Hey! Stop that! I got to sit there, you know!"

"Well, I want these things off, Ares!" Gabrielle retorted. She rubbed her arms harder on the chair, trying to force them off her skin. But even MORE leaped from the seat of the chair onto her arms!

Ares started laughing.

"Xena, get these things off me! They jumped off the chair onto me! I saw it! They ARE alive!" Gabrielle ran at Xena. The bard slipped on a slick water puddle on the floor and fell on top of her friend. By the time the two picked themselves up from the floor, they were BOTH covered in the white things!

"Now look what you did! You got me covered in these things!" Xena snapped at Gabrielle. The Warrior Princess snatched the things off herself but didn't know what to do with them. So she stood there, holding two handfuls of white things. Her blue eyes fell on Ares. "You're a God. Why don't you blast these things?"

"I already lost my temper this morning." Ares explained as his eyed the hole in his roof. "That's the result."

"Fine. I'll handle this my way then." Xena pulled out her sword, eyeing the big pile of white shapes sitting on the floor. Oh, sure they were sitting there peacefully now, but Xena knew they would leap onto them any minute! "I'm gonna get you first, you white things!"

"Aaaaaiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!" Xena's warcry rang through the temple as she leaped forward in a flip. Her big boots came down right on the pile and she heard several of them crunch under her feet. But more were all around her and she swung her sword at them. The sword blade stirred the air and they flung upward, clinging to Xena's legs and her leather skirt.

Ares had quite enough of this by now. His blood boiled with anger.

"HEPHEASTUS!" Ares yelled.

The God of Making Things appeared. His dark hair was done in dozens of little braids and he wore a dirty apron. He stared at the three in shock. "Why are you all covered with packing peanuts?"

"We can't get these things off!" Gabrielle told him.

Xena's battle had stirred up the big pile of peanuts and now every one clung to her body. Not one packing peanut remained on the floor. Only her blue eyes were visible as she gave Hepheastus "that Look" of hers. "Now I know who I'm gonna kill!"

"Oooh, I guess I made them too strong. This invention needs more work. They were supposed to stick to the object, not to people!" Hepheastus explained as he waved his hand and all the peanuts flew into a sack. Without another word, he popped out.

All except for the few crunched peanuts under Xena's boots. They clung stubbornly to her feet with each step she took.

Crunch. Crunch. Crunch.