AN: Given the number of requests received by readers of both FFN and the WWOMB, I've added an alternative version to the original that played out in the episode. This one's for you guys, please enjoy!

~ And What Could Have Been ~

He leans down and gently kisses me, and it's like nothing I've ever experienced before; the sensation is soft, painful even... teasingly painful... in that way that only Ares can possess.

It's certainly not what I expect.

Closing my eyes, I throw my arms around his neck until my fingers slowly find themselves twisting into his hair.

Pushing my body flush against his own only seems to exert the fire between us as I fervidly start to kiss him back, finally coming to terms with the truth that I want him too, just as much as the desires that've been haunting his soul 'till the end of time.

The attack is so primitive, and after a beat he responds, a low groan rumbling like thunder inside his throat.

In the heat his hands slip into my hair and down my back to cup my backside, lifting me up and into his lap while that erotic tongue of his continues to explore my mouth.

Suddenly, he pulls back, eyes wide and dark as his hands knead my behind.

Damn! At this point I know he's sensed the slightest amount of apprehension and disgust riding the train inside my head, the idea that we're about to burn while I'm stuck in Callisto's deplorable body.

"If it makes you feel any better..." His surprisingly warm words caress hotly against my neck before trailing a line of light kisses towards my chest, the armour once covering this unholy figure gone within a flash. "Being in Callisto's body could never change the fact that all I see is you."

"Even if I were a snake-haired Gorgon?" I curiously tease, wondering if perhaps that would change his outward view.

"Xena, you could look like Cerberus and I'd still know it was you." The joke circles back, easing the fear that's gripped my heart; and now his mouth has found my breast, nipping playfully then coming back for a taste, the sensations making me arch and grind.

He growls lustfully, and swiftly with one fluid movement, clears the scrolls and maps off a desk sitting lonely in the corner so that they flutter to the ground, sweeps me up in his arms again and lays me down across the short end of the table so that my head is almost off the edge.

Lowering his pants, Ares reveals his impressive erection and gazes down at me, yet in a matter of minutes I become fully aware of the candles burning around us and instantly pick up on what he plans to do.

Despite the image it paints, I can't help but find the thought incredibly arousing, and it's enough to know that the smart chuckle he lets escape signals nothing more than a firm indicator of just how wet I've become.

It's strange, even in this body all these functions and feelings are still mine, the only difference being the skin I'm wearing.

"My body doesn't make me who I am. My deeds do." A statement from earlier enters the mind, but before there's even a chance to revise Ares turns me flat on my stomach, and the excitement, the mystery of the unknown and what's to come, is more than I can bear.

With a quick gasp, I recognize the touch of a finger as it gently brushes my clit, sending a shiver or pleasure racing up and down my spine.

Another couple of strokes and then he's gone, leaving me blind in the dark, when all of a sudden, there's the most remarkable sensation of hot wax dripping upon my back.

At first it's like someone's been crying a stream of fiery tears before the storm and the flood, as a soothing icy wetness gradually begins to melt the pain.

He does this several times, taking me to Tartarus then back; the cool cube of ice as it glides over and over across my hips, up my back and hang on... I've been turned over again, when did this happen?

A silent grin forms on his lips as the water trickles, and before I know it, his tongue is following the same path, blazing a trail of kisses from my chest right down to the core.

"Wait," I fight to speak, panting hard as he raises his head. "I'm not ready."

The look in his eyes says different, but Ares decides to humour me, playing along with my obvious delusion while licking and thrusting his tongue to the brink of proving this point.

Gazing down again, he breathes, a salacious smile across his face, and in a moment he's filling me, holding my wrists tightly above my head and thrusting deep.

I moan... "Oh Yes."

"Gods, Xena, you're so ready." He whispers in veneration.

Wrapping my legs around his waist, I hold him the only way I can as he stays standing, staring down at me, brown eyes glowing passionate and possessive.

He starts to move then, and I mean _really_ move.

This isn't fucking, it's making love; and I'm enjoying it!

Before I know, I'm moaning again. It's so raw, so carnal, making me so wanton.

I revel in his possession, his lust quenching mine.

He's moving with ease, luxuriating into me, enjoying me, his lips slightly parted as our breathing increases.

Abruptly, he twists his hips from side to side, and the sensation is exquisite.


I close my eyes, feeling the build-up, that delicious, slow, step-climbing build pushing me higher and higher.

Oh God... his strokes increase slightly and I groan loudly.

I'm all sensation, all him, enjoying every thrust, every push that fills me.

He picks up pace, thrusting faster... harder... and my whole body his moving to his rhythm as my legs begin to stiffen and my insides quiver and quicken.

"Come on, Baby, give it up for me." Ares conjoles through gritted teeth, and the fervent need travelling along his voice, the strain, sends me over the edge.

I scream out his name in praise and passion as I touch the sun and burn, falling around him, falling down, back to a breathless, bright summit on Earth.

He slams into me and stops suddenly as he reaches his climax, pulling at my wrists and crying my name as he sinks gracefully and wearily onto me.

"What the Tartarus are you doing to me?" He breathes as he nuzzles my neck. "You sure weave some powerful magic."

He releases my wrists and I run my fingers through his hair, coming down from my high.

"You are mine." He says, each word a staccato. "Do you understand?"

He's so earnest, so impassioned, a zealot.

The force of his plea is so unexpected and disarming. I wonder why he's feeling like this?

"Yes, yours." I whisper, devoided by his fever.

He grabs my chin and kisses me roughly, then stands and holds his hand out to help me up.

"Always the gentleman." I murmer.

"A man can hope, Xena, dream even, and sometimes his dreams come true." The words reach for the sky, his eyes burning with assurance.

"So, on the desk, that's been a dream of yours?" I ask teasingly, trying humour to calm the heat between us.

He smiles an enigmatic smile that doesn't reach his eyes, and immediately I know what he's thinking.

As I start to retrieve my clothes though, getting them on just in time to see Gagnon burst into the room, it's only now I regard the reality I'm standing in front of Ares, secretly defending his life with my own; and that's not all...