What if someone warned Ares that he would one day lose Xena back when they first met, and they made him realise his feelings for her? This is an AU story kind of set during Young Hercules…. Ares and Xena Forever

What Could Have Been

Chapter 1

"Dammit" Ares yelled as he threw another fireball. The War God was beyond pissed. Once again Zeus stopped him from killing that bastard half brother of his, Hercules. What makes him so special, so perfect in their father's eyes? Ares needed bloodshed to clam down and he needed it before he blew ANOTHER temple. He opened a portal to see what battles were going on.

Unfortunately for him the only battle going on at the time was between Cortese and the small village of Amphipolis. He didn't really like Cortese, he didn't have a true warrior's spirit, was just motivated by greed, but he did have a few good warriors at his command. His army was more meant to scare people into giving up, than to actually fight. It looked as though they were about to take a village, which meant the villagers, stood up for themselves a rare thing in this age. 'Watching Cortese's men hack up some villages, oh well, better than nothing' Ares thought as he transported himself to the battle.

He arrived just as the villagers and the soldier clashed in no mans land. He was surprised to see that some of the villagers were actually holding their own. They were more organised than the usual morons who tried to defend their homes were. The villagers had traps set everywhere, taking out numerous masked soldiers. Some traps were very complicated not even The War God had thought of before.

He knew he had had some good warriors in the past from this village. The last one was Atrus, he was loyal and a member of his personal army till he was injured and had to leave. His wife stopped him from scarifying his daughter to me killed him 9 years ago. I kept an eye on his sons hoping his love and knowledge of war would be passed on to his sons but the older one was a piece loving coward and the younger one was just an idiot and was a follower, useless to me.

The bloody battle continued to rage son. The men of Cortese started to make it past the traps and were fighting the villagers. The villagers had little to no skill with a weapon and were being slaughtered. "Aiy iy iy iy iy" a war cry was heard throughout the battlefield. Ares turned and saw her.

She was tall for a woman, but still looked young, just at the age of womanhood. She had long raven black hair that whipped around her as she gracefully fought against the soldiers, cutting through them like flies. It was a magnificent sight, but it was her eyes that really caught Ares's attention. They were crystal blue with a fire in them that burned brightly with the rage and passion of war. 'Beautiful' was the only word the god of war could think at that moment. He felt a connection to this woman warrior he full of emotions he never felt together before. Pride…. Lust…Power…. and something else that was a mystery to him.

It was clear that she had skilled as she glided through the soldiers, with training she could become on of the be … no…. The greatest. Ares could always feel when someone lost their blood innocence on the battlefield, and if it not for this ability he never would of guess that she had just lost hers. She showed no horror at the bodies that she was leaving behind her, just a small wicked smile that showed the pleasure she was getting from the heat of the battle.

Ares was so immersed with the warrior female, drunk with the strange pleasurable feelings this woman was creating within him and the connection he felt, that he hadn't even realised the battle was over, the soldiers retreating, frightened of this women. When the last of the cowards ran off the women started looking around franticly, showing emotion for the first time after appearing on the war ground.

"Lyceus" she screamed as she ran to one of the fallen villagers. Ares recognised him, he was Atrus's younger son, 'What relationship do they have' he wondered as he listened in to their conversation curious to find out more about this warrior.

The women held Lyceus in her arms "Hold on, it's gonna be ok" she kept repeating over and over again as she pressed down on his wound trying to stop the bleeding. Lyceus put his hand on the women's cheek "Xena, make sure you take care of mother and Toris" he said as his hand fell away. Ares could see as Celesta took him away.

'No way' was all Ares could think. This fiery warrior was Atrus daughter, the one he overlooked because she was female. She showed Ares that he was wrong, Atrus's warrior spirit had been passed down to his child just not to one of his sons, but to his daughter. And she was perfect.

The God of War stood in the field reliving the battle, watching Xena's movements. Her technique had flaws, but there was talent there. He could easily see the battlelust in her eyes, a fire that could outmatch even his top warlords, maybe even match his own. Everything he had ever wanted in a warrior was raw within this woman, Xena. He could mould her, make her into his perfect warrior, and make her his Chosen. Ares had never taken a chosen before. All of the other Gods had had many though the centuries, but he had not found a warrior worthy of that right, that could make his dreams come true, until he looked into her eyes. He had to have her.

Ares went through the aether to find her and ended up at the tavern remaining invisible. Xena was putting the sword in her fallen brother's hands as her mother charged into the room. She cried over the body of her son.

"I did all I could" Xena said to her mother. A small hint of regret tainted her voice. It was regret that she could not save her brother, not for saving her home.

As Cyrene's eyes turned to Xena they were filled with hatred. "Yes, you did all you could" her voice was filled with sarcasm and blind rage " You raised the army! You talked him into fighting! These may, as be wounds from your sword! `` She slapped Xena across the face. Xena stood there glaring at her mother as she continues her rant `` he was the only thing I had left and you took him from me. `` With that the mother went back to the body calling her son name. Xena took one last look at her broken family and walked out of the tavern, with the unseen god of war following her.

As they left the tavern they were no cheers of victories or thanks for saving the village. Only glares of hatred. ``Are you happy Xena, my son is dead and it is your fault`` one villager said as they walked past. These shouts of anger continued all throughout the village until the village's magistrate approached her. ``There was no need for this bloodshed Xena, we could have run and let Cortese take whatever he wanted. But you made these simple boys think they had a chance against soldiers. You will only bring destruction to Amphipolis, leave and never return. `` The magistrate's words were harsh and cruel, but no matter what was said to her Xena levelled them all with a stony glaze. ``If this is my thanks for saving this village than I will go, but let me bury my brother. `` she said.

``You have no right. `` Cyrene had come out of the tavern and heard what was happening. `` You have no right to bury someone you killed. Leave you are no longer my daughter. This is no longer your village`` with that a mother turned her back on her daughter. Xena looked back at the crowed just as the first rock was thrown. ``Leave`` the mod of villagers chanted and they threw rocks at her.

Xena knew she could take them, but there was no point, so she turned her back and walked away from her only home with nothing, but the clothes on her back and her sword.

Ares watched as Xena walked out of the village than turned to look at the villagers in disgust. He knew they couldn't see him but he couldn't help but could not help glaring at villagers. He turned Xena through the aether, the sun was setting which meant she would have to make camp soon.

Xena couldn't believe what happened. She saved them, saved their lives and homes; lost her brother, and they exiled her. No matter what happened though she would not cry, she could not cry. When she saw that the sun was setting she knew she had to make camp soon, she did not have a bedroll and winter was on its way so she would need a fire to stay warm. She started to use the remaining light to gather wood and hunt for something to eat.

Xena was just able to start the fire before the last rays of light left the earth, but she was not able to find anything to eat. She knew there was a small pond nearby but she wouldn't be able to catch anything in the darkness so she would have to wait till light. She moved as close to the fire as she could try to remain warm. There was a cold wind lashing through the night and she so hungry. Xena put the last of the wood she was able to gather in the fire, praying it would last through the night laid down knowing she would need whatever energy she could get to survive.

Ares appeared just as the young warrior fell asleep. He walked to and stared down at her. The same strange feeling came over him as when he saw her on the battlefield. He looked around and saw the fire was dwindling and the night was getting colder, there was no chance the heat would last through the night. He looked back at the woman and saw she was curled into a ball and shivering. The God of War didn't know why but he didn't like seeing the fiery warrior so vulnerable. He waved a hand over the fire putting it out and leaned down to gently pick up the young women. She stirred slightly than nuzzled into the Gods warm chest. The strange connection he felt with this woman flared at the contact as he and Xena disappeared in a blue and slivery flash

Ares reappeared in his private bedchamber within temple near Amphipolis still cradling the sleeping women in the strong arms. He gently laid Xena on the bed and pulled the blankets over her and stared down at her beautiful face.

"Precious isn't she" a female voice came from behind Ares. He spun around to see a young woman. She had long straight blond hair and a white toga like robe draped around her. He could tell from the glow that surrounding her, she was a goddess, but he had never seen her.

"Who are you" Ares demanded his famous temper leaking into his tone.

"My name is Aleanna defender of the fates. And I am here to help you" she goddess said. "In the future you have done a favour for my fates and now I am returning it."

"Do I get to chose this favour" Ares asked interested. Though he had never seen this goddess before now, he did know of the goddess before him, he had heard of her ability to go through time and twist fate. It could prove useful to have her in his debt.

Aleanna smiled at the War God and lifts up her hand towards him as scroll appear `` You already have. `` She told Ares offering him the scroll.

Ares takes the scroll from the Goddess and a surprised look comes across his face as he reads the parchment, recognising his own writing.

To My Past Self

If Aleanna has came at the correct time than Xean should be sleeping soundly in your bed. You have now seen her fight and you are right, she is everything you have been looking for, and more for than just a warrior. As you were watching her fight you felt a connection with her, a feeling of which you have never truly felt before. It was love. She is your great warrior, your princess, your Enyo. Things will happen in the future that will separate her from you. Aleanna favour to me is to tell you and help prevent them. Don't lose Xena or the dream is lost.

Ares read the letter confused, had he gone soft in the future. Writing about love. The God looked at the woman sleeping on his bed. His thoughts couldn't help turning to how beautiful she was how peaceful she looked, how she looked like she belonged there in his bed.

Ares closed his eyes and went though each part of him,( something he almost never did, feeling weren't a big thing for him,) and he searched for the new connection he felt with the warrior woman. When he finally grasped it, warmth like no other filled him. If he had not been told the name of the feeling coursing through his veins he knew he would of, and his other self probably did, delude himself into think it was something else anything else other than …love.

Ares had been denied love all his life. Zeus didn't see why the God of War would need such emotions. He had seen it, the only Olympian he could stand was his sister Aphrodite, had wars fought in it's name but never felt. Until now.

Ares opened his eyes and gave the women on his bed a tender glaze. He stared at her in wonder for a moment than turned back to the goddess. "Tell me" he demanded "What takes her from me in this future"

"Many things, all avoidable. Allow me to tell you the story from the beginning, but first we should leave into a different room, wouldn't want to wake Xena." The goddess begins to leave the room. Ares takes one last longing look at his sleeping warrior and follows Aleanna.