By Areswarrior
[ Reviews - 2]


He would have to meet with Livia after the Bachanilia tonight. There had to be a reason why Xena and Gabrielle were here in Rome after all those years. "How? Why?" he thought, "How in the name of me did they come back after all this time, not even aging one year, not even a day?" He was racking his brain trying to figure it out when one of his warriors came in and notified him that it was time to go. This would have to wait. He was going to enjoy himself tonight.

Later at the party, Xena had made an unexpected arrival. She had been there not only to confront Ares but to prove to Octavious of Livia's betrayal. Which she did by kissing Ares and making sure that Liva and Octavious saw it. Juding by the look on her face Xena had succeeded. Only when Xena took off after Livia did Ares realize the truth.

Livia was Eve. The realization hit him like a thunderbolt. Why had he not seen it before. He paced back and forth in his temple trying to make sense of it all. "Ok. Livia is Eve, which means she was never in the wagon to begin with, which also means that, knowing Xena and Gabrielle, that they must have found a way to fake their deaths." He stopped in mid pace with his eyes widened. Gabrielle was never dead, it was a plan to save Eve, and Ares showing up when he did and burying them delayed the reunion with the baby. Octavious had her hidden her all this time. "That's it," he roared, "Oh those two only they could have come up with a plan like that." A huge grin spread across his face.

One way or another Xena would get through to Livia and make her see who she really was, when that happens the Gods will be after her again. Ares decided to see Gabrielle, let her know that siding with him will be the only way to insure all their safety. He loved her and wasn't going to wait until she was really dead to tell her. "I only hope she will believe me," he thought as he transported himself to Gabrielle.

Gabrielle was sitting in the cave, where they had camped, waiting for Xena to return. She looked up from her scroll when she felt that presence again. Someone was there watching her. Gabrielle reached for her sais and staring into the darkness called out for who ever was there to show themselves.

"Hello Gabrielle."

She turned towards the voice, her mouth gaped open when she saw Ares standing before her. "Ares?" she gasped.

"Yes, it's me, I'm here."

"What are you doing here?"

"I came to see you, didn't you miss me," he inquired as he moved closer to her.

"Missed you?" she could feel herself getting angry "How dare you show yourself here after what you have done!" she readied her sais and moved in to attack him. "What were you thinking?!" Gabrielle struck Ares in his chest, only to remember that he was a God, and attacking him wouldn't do her any good. She back off shouting, "Answer me Ares!"

Ares just stood there letting her attack him, know she has more then enough reason to do so. He waited til she was finished shouting at him and calmly began to explain.

"First of all Gabrielle, I had no idea that you two weren't dead, that it was all a plan, and secondly, I definitely didn't know about Eve, I thought she had burned to death in the fire. So you really can't blame me for this can you?"

Gabrielle had to admit he was right, he had no idea about the plan, so she really couldn't blame him for putting them on ice.

She walked over to him, looking into his eyes, searching for any answer to the question she was going to ask him. "But why Ares? Why did you put us into the cave? Why didn't you just leave us on the beach?"

He looked into her eyes, could he really answer that and would she believe him. All of his life he had never been honest with anyone, only lied and manipulated them for his own cause. Could he really tell this woman, his chosen the truth. Yes, he had to. Ares didn't want to risk her dying before she knew the truth.

Ares took his hand, gently placing them on each side of her face, leaned down and kissed her, with such tenderness that it totally took the bard by surprise. As he broke the kiss he told her, "I did it because I love you Gabrielle. I did it for love."






The End

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