Last Time
By Zandrel

All Xena: Warrior Princess characters do not belong to me. This story is for entertainment purposes only.

Thanks to DUS for your help and review on this. Glad you loved it. ;)

Please do review my work. Nothing better then to see emails from Fanfic telling me I have one :) :P

She didn't eat the apple.

It was over then, an understanding reached.


He couldn't resist seeing her afterwards though.

She felt his presence straight away; dangerous, protective, caring and warm, as always.

Getting up from the fire, she gave Gabrielle a look to say 'I'll be back in a minute'.

When Gabrielle gave a knowing nod, Xena knew she knew it was Ares and she silently thanked her for understanding.

Once in a secluded part of the forest, Xena was about to call out but Ares appeared in front of her before she could even begin to open her mouth.

"Ares... What do you want?" her voice had lost the sharpness that was usually present.

"Xena, I just need to know how you really feel about me…?"

The Warrior raised an eyebrow at his request.

"What? Why?"

He took a desperate step closer, almost touching her.

"Xena, please I need to know..."

"Why? You think I'm gonna' say something for you to hold against me?!"

"No, because I love you."

He leaned in and brushed his lips against hers, seeing no reaction, he captured them in a full kiss, cupping her face in his hands.

His words played through her head as he kissed her, realising what just happened, she abruptly pulled away.

Bringing a hand to her lips, Xena took another step away from him. Then just above a whisper she said:

"But I don't love you..."

Looking up into his gorgeous eyes, the Warrior Princess saw pain and brokenness.

"Ares... I'm sorry...But I..."

"No... Don't say anything else, it's ok..."

A look of finality passed between them.

"I'll see you around, Xena," she managed a small smile at him before he disappeared.

Little did she know, that would be the last time she'd ever see the God of War.

Once back on Olympus, Ares was beyond healing. His heart was broken; wars had raged out of control everywhere.

And that was when he died.

Opening an old weapons chest, he pulled everything out then ripped up the bottom of it.

There sat a rib of Chronos.

Taking it in his hands, there was no shaking just grim determination. Waving his hand he made a portal appear, showing Xena.

She was a thing of beauty, sleeping peacefully, fire light flicking over her face, chasing away the night's shadows.

Taking one last breath, he plunged the rib of Chronos into his heart. Red blood dripped down as he cried out in pain, melting into a heap on the floor.

The last thing he saw was Xena jumping up, looking around then staring straight at him through the mirror.

"He's dead..." Xena whispered, her voice scratching through the night air.

When she had felt the bond break, it was like someone had taken the air out of her lungs; a piece of her forever missing in the dark.

War died of Love.

A pang of guilt stabbed at her chest.

Then, she remembered he had a temple nearby.

Once checking on Gabrielle and grabbing her Chakram, she ran down the dusty road until she came to the entrance of the grand building.

Swinging open the black doors, she walked in to find him lying there, the mirror frozen on her face, in a pool of blood.

Xena just stood there for a minute. It was strange to see such a strong figure in her life, cold and lifeless on the floor.

Finally, Xena slowly walked over, boots turning red from his blood. She pulled the rib out of his chest and threw it to the side.

She looked into his eyes, there was so much pain but in the very depths, there was a message only she could understand.

She smiled at his dead body, tears welling up in her eyes. But she refused to let them fall.

"I love you. I left of my own free will..."

Looking into them one last time she brought her hand up to close his eye lids, sealing the secret message forever.

"Goodbye Ares," she whispered then stood up to see herself staring back at her image in the mirror.

With a punch, she smashed the glass, locking the memory in there forever.

Several days later, Xena threw the torch on the funeral pyre. There were only a few people there with her, Aphrodite, Gabrielle and a few others.

She watched his body catch fire, remembering everything that happened between them.

"Action and power draw you like a moth to a flame. It burns inside you. I burn inside you. You can feel me there... like a fever.'

Then she remembered the last thing she'd said to him.

"But I don't love you..."