This just came out of nowhere this afternoon. Sort
of Ares/Joxer, but it's more about someone else.
PG-13 for a language, slashy themes, and serious angst.
Archive: joxerotica. strife_lust can have it too, if
you like. Anywhere else, please ask first.
Stand disclaimers, yadda yadda yadda.
Unseen and hiding in a shadowed alcove, he watched it
all, overheard every killing word.
"It's over. You are not to come here again."
"You heard me. Is that simple command too difficult
for you to understand?"
"No, no, but I...why, Ares? Have I done something to
upset you? Please, tell me and I'll--"
"I don't owe you any explanation. This was...amusing,
while it lasted. Now it is time to move on."
"Amusing?! B-but, I thought...I thought we--"
The god's raised voice boomed through the temple.
"Thought what, Joxer, that I loved you? Do you
forget who I am? I am the God of War. You are
nothing but an insignificant mortal who should drop to
his knees and thank me that I am allowing you to
leave here in one piece. We had some good times
together. Don't ruin it and try my patience by being a
bore, whining about love. Love has no place with war.
You have no place with war. Go. Now."
Silence. The blistering pain of a heart shattering
into a million pieces rippled through the air. Then a
small voice, defeated, lost: "All right. Good bye,
The mortal turned and left, his footfalls soft against
the hard, polished floor. The temple doors clanged
shut heavily, so loud the hiding god flinched, nearly
revealing himself as the sound made him jump.
Joxer did not see Ares' tears that followed, tears
that no mortal could ever be allowed to see. Nor did
Joxer hear the god's anguished cry, so full of rage
it made the walls shake. Joxer did not know that love
was something denied the God of War, unless he wished
to destroy the one who touched his heart.
Strife knew how that went, for his soul had been the
last Ares had shaped and darkened with his
'love'...until he no longer was wanted. Until he was
nothing but a tarnished reminder to Ares of how
everything he touched was eventually ruined,
corrupted. Perhaps it was a curse from the Fates; who
could say. It was simply the way things were, and had
been for thousands of years.
Strife could not understand his own feelings, nor did
he dare reveal his presence to his uncle while Ares
nursed his anger and heartache. Strife's first
reaction had been nothing short of gleeful delight.
His jealously over Ares' mortal consort had raged and
grown over the months of their involvement, as he had
been further pushed aside, ignored in favor of Ares'
Joxer, of all mortals! he had fumed endlessly. What
does Ares see in that blasted, incompetent, weakling?
Of course he knew the answer to the question well
enough. Joxer was, in so many ways, very much like he
had been...once. It was so long ago, yet the memory
was still fresh in Strife's immortal mind, which
forgot little. He recalled the awkward young godling
he had been, ill-raised and abused since birth by
Discord. Uncertain, undisciplined, awkward with his
powers, he was looked down upon by the other Olympians
as a minor deity who would never amount to anything.
But Ares had seen something there, in him, and taken
him under his wing. Built his confidence. Helped him
master control of his powers. Loved him, when no one
else ever had, seeming to delight in the things about
him which others had always ridiculed him for.
"You make me laugh, little one. You make me forget who
I am, who I have to be."
It had been hundreds of years since Strife had heard
those words uttered in his presence. When he had
overheard Ares say them to Joxer, for the first time,
the old wounds to Strife's heart had ripped open to
bleed anew. His jealousy and anger had been so fierce
he had nearly killed Joxer that very night, as the
mortal lay sleeping in the war god's arms.
He had stopped himself, at the last moment, knowing
too well what awaited him if he did as he wished.
Ares' wrath was not something even--or perhaps
especially--a god took lightly. Killing Joxer would
not win his way back into his uncle's heart, only
guaranty his own eternal misery.
And so he suffered through months of silent despair,
watching Ares fall deeper in love with Joxer every day
yet not admitting it, even to himself. Not until Joxer
had begun to follow the same path Strife had centuries
before, attempting to please the war god by trying to
become more like him. Harder. Violent. Destructive to
himself and to others. Ready to abandon all ties and
kinship in devotion to the dark god. Ares had realized
what was happening this time, and apparently had
seen that the only way to preserve the Joxer he loved
was to push him away.
Yes, it should have been a happy time for the God of
Mischief. Even if he knew Ares no longer loved him, he
yearned and lived for the small morsels of affection
and attention his uncle threw his way. Despise as he
so obviously did the god he had created, Ares seemed
to still feel some lingering...responsibility towards
Strife. Sympathy, underneath his disgust. When Ares
fucked him, Strife could still recall the past when it
had been something done in love, not simple, rage-
filled lust. He could fantasize about the past, and
hold out foolish hope that it might someday be that
way once more.
He knew it was only a matter of time now before Ares
would turn to him again to fulfill his needs.
Tartarus, he knew if he revealed his presence in the
temple at this very moment, Ares would probably throw
him down on the altar and pound into him for hours,
days, trying to force thoughts of Joxer out of his
mind, force the feeling of his body off his cock.
The idea only sickened Strife. His delight over
the end of Ares' affair with Joxer had quickly
dampened, and dissolved away completely the moment he
felt the pain of Joxer's breaking heart. It was too
familiar a feeling. It reminded him too much of the
day Ares had turned on him, telling him he no longer
loved Strife because of the creature he had become.
A barely audible plink against the marble floor
startled him. Shocked, he realized it was a tear,
fallen from his eye. Others dampened his cheek, until
he wiped them away before they could fall onto the
ground as well.
Tears. When have I cried before? Not since...
Well, it was a very long time.
He discreetly flashed out of the temple, leaving Ares
to deal with his misery alone.
Strife waited until nightfall to seek out Joxer,
needing some time to compose his emotions, take out
some of his pain on his favorite targets. He then
found the young mortal in the woods not far away from
Ares' temple, shivering against the cold of the night
air in front of a miserable excuse of a campfire.
Strife realized soon enough that some of that
shivering was in pain, not because of the cold.
Joxer's tears fell silently as his own had earlier,
but his body trembled with the force of his soundless
Strife reached out to touch the mortal's thoughts,
which were running wildly, endlessly, in a downward
spiral of despair that was all too familiar.
What did I do wrong? Gods, just tell me what I did
wrong, why he was so angry with me. I'll do anything
to make it better, anything, just tell me. Why
wouldn't he tell me?
How am I supposed to go on without him? Even if he
doesn't love me, even if he could never love me, I
love him enough for both of us...isn't that enough? Or
am I just a fool, a complete idiot. A good fuck to
toss aside once he grew bored. Gods, why did I let
myself ever think the God of War could love me?
"Because he did love you," Strife spoke up, startling
Joxer out of his heartbroken thoughts. "He loved you so
much he had to let you go."
"Why?" Joxer asked.
"So you don't turn into a freakshow like me, that's
why." Strife kneeled down low, his face inches from
the fire. He could feel the glimmer of fear and
queasiness his presence set off in Joxer. He had that
effect on most people, god or mortal. And Strife knew
that this particular mortal was fully aware that he
was far from the God of Mischief's favorite person.
"Take a good look, Joxer. This is what falling in love
with Ares does to you. It turns you all twisted and
sick, inside and out, 'till no one can stand looking
at you or being around you. Least of all Ares
"W-what do you mean?"
"Taken a good look at yourself lately?" With a flash,
Strife turned the flames into a reflecting mirror.
"Can't you see it happening already? That sickness is
already seeping into you--you can't avoid it once Ares
gets under your skin. I know he's sure been there
enough times. You dissed and said adios to Xena 'cause
she disapproved of you knocking boots with the big
guy. You've been hanging out with Ares bestest
generals and psychos, trying to become a better
fighter, like them. Just itching for your chance to
waste someone in battle and prove yourself to dear old
Unc, ain't that the story?"
"I just want him to be proud of me."
"He'll only end up hating you, the more you try. And
you won't be able to stop trying, even if you know
it's wrong. He knows that. That's why he blew you
off. This way, he'll always love you--even if he
knows he can never be with you again."
Joxer looked back and forth between Strife, and his
own hovering reflection. Did he see the changes there,
small but unmistakable to the god's eyes? After a
time, Strife sensed yes, and Joxer's horror at that.
When Strife let the reflection fade away, the mortal
turned his reddened eyes back to the god. "Why are you
telling me this?" I thought you hated me, was the
unspoken end to his remark.
"I dunno. Because we've both been screwed over by
Ares, and at least you've got a chance to not let it
fuck up the rest of your life?" Strife shrugged, and
sat down on the ground, stretching his legs. "Yeah, I
hated your scrawny little ass pretty good, Joxer. Had
a real nice list going of all the different ways I
would've liked to kill you. Had fun adding a new idea
or two every day, keeping the ol' creative juices
flowing." He saw the mortal lose what little color
he had in his face at the casual remark. "But I heard
Unc give you the heave-ho today, and for some damn
reason, I guess I decided I felt sorry for you. He
should have told you the truth."
"Why didn't he?"
"Fuck do I know. He's as thick as a brick sometimes,
when it comes to dealing with other people."
They sat there quietly for a while, Strife not certain
why he didn't want to leave yet. He'd done what he'd
intended to do, tell Joxer the reason why Ares had
ended their relationship. He could hear the buzz of
remaining questions in Joxer's mind, which the mortal
dared not ask, and which Strife was glad he didn't. He
wasn't ready to answer them. He looked over at the
broken-hearted mortal, understanding perfectly clearly at
that moment what Ares had seen in him. Strife saw so
much of who he had once been in those innocent eyes,
in Joxer's fragile yet radiant soul, that he could not
help but be attracted to it as well, now that he no
longer had reason to hate it.
Dangerous, he warned himself. Very dangerous.
But like a moth to a flame, he was helpless to resist.
Before he knew it, he had flashed over to Joxer's side
of the fire, and reached out with an
uncharacteristically gentle hand to touch the mortal's
soft cheek. Joxer stiffened in fear at the touch, but
then his questioning eyes met the god's and his panic
"I'll stay with you tonight, if you need someone,"
Strife found himself offering. "Someone to fuck,
someone to beat the shit out of..." I know I'm good
for both, if nothing else.
"How about just someone to hold me," Joxer suggested,
"until the pain goes away."
"That could take a long time," Strife told him, but he
didn't turn down the request. Instead he gently pulled
the slender man against him and down onto the ground,
where he materialized a soft blanket beneath them, and
one over them to keep out the cold.
When Joxer's tears started again, falling against
Strife's neck and seeping through his leather to his
skin, he did not complain. He didn't say anything. He
merely held Joxer tighter, and prayed desperately
that Ares did not come looking for him any time soon.