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A Rude Awakening Chapter One | A Rude Awakening Chapter Two | Chapter Three | Chapter Four | Chapter Five | Chapter Six and Seven | Chapter Eight | Chapter Nine | Chapter Ten
A Rude Awakening Chapter One
Title: A Rude awakening
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Disclaimer: Any rights I am entitled to I freely give back to the copyrighted owners of H: TLJ and X: WP. I own nothing and make no claims.
Archive: AJCS, and others ask and you shall receive.
Warning: If you are not 18 and don't like m/m relationships DON'T read this.
Notes: First slash and Xena/Herc story.
Summary: Joxer finally realizes that Gabrielle will never be his and discovers some unexpected friends of the Godly type.
I wasn't sure what woke me at first; it was early, very early before dawn in fact. Then I heard it again, “Oh Xena, yes, more…oh gods…” As the sun rose I saw what my heart had been trying to convince me that I hadn't heard. The woman I loved, Gabrielle, locked in a passionate embrace with Xena. I felt my heart shatter, as my dreams died a violent death. I closed my eyes trying to shut out the sight and sound of the two women as they made love.
It seemed to take an eternity before all was quiet again and I heard the normal morning sounds of breaking camp and getting ready for the day's journey. Even expecting it I jumped when I heard my name screamed, “Joxer! Get up, I think you could sleep through a war.” Gabrielle bellowed.
If only I could, I thought to myself as a bitter little grin twisted my lips. I sat up and tried to pretend that nothing had changed, but everything had. The little touches and the looks they shared that had seemed so innocent the day before took on a whole new meaning now that my eyes were opened. How could I have been so blind, so…so stupid?
As the day wore on my eyes were forced even further open as I realized what I had thought was teasing from friends was revealed to be honest disdain and disgust aimed at me. Coming upon a crossroads I decided I couldn't stand it anymore. With an attempt at my usual spirits I made a little speech about how I was needed elsewhere and that I would be leaving them here to journey alone and how I was sorry to leave them unprotected. Xena asked me if I was `ok' and I don't think she believed me when I assured her that I was. At least I could see a little honest concern in her eyes all I could see in Gabrielle's was relief and eagerness to be away from as she tugged on Xena's arm saying that I was an adult and could make my own decisions. I said my goodbyes and turned away.
I walked around the bend out of their sight and came to a stop my breath shuddering in and out of my lungs as I fought against the tears that were forcing their way out of my eyes. I scrubbed at my eyes with the back of my hand as I remembered the sly insults and put downs that I had listened to today.
I tore the ridiculous helmet from my head followed by the worthless armor that I had believed would make look like the hero I wanted to be instead of the fool I was for ever believing I could prove my father wrong. For believing that I could be something other than a worthless nothing.
“Joxie, that's not true. I felt your heart break and I came right away.” I turned to face the voice I heard and there was Aphrodite dressed as usual in her `almost' there clothing.
“Isn't it?” I rasped hoarsely my voice roughened by unshed tears. “I am nothing but a joke even to my so-called friends. They can't wait to get away from me and you can't tell me differently.”
She stepped closer and took my face between her hands and forced my chin up so she could look in my eyes. “I have never said it. I really didn't think I needed to, but why do you think I involve you in my plans and schemes? I do that because I can trust you and you have so much love in you that you are almost an extension of my godhood.
You are a blood innocent and provide my brother Ares with some of purest power he receives by your faithful worship of him. That you do so without expecting any return for it supplies him with a steady source of untainted power equal to what he receives during a battle. So you see, you aren't nothing in fact you are very, very special to us.” She finished.
“If that's the truth then why didn't you tell me that she could never love me?” I cried out.
“Oh Joxer, if you hadn't seen and heard it with your own eyes and ears would you have believed it?” she asked with the most serious expression on her face that I had ever seen.
“N-n-no,” I answered ducking my and glaring at the dirt as if was guilty of not telling me as well.
Raising my chin so she could look in my eyes again she said, “I can't take away the pain you are feeling now, but I can offer you hope for the future. I can assure you that there is a true love for you, one that will make you happier than you have ever dreamed of being.”
My heart leapt in my chest at her words, “Who…where…what's her name? Do I know her?” I blurted out.
Aphrodite smiled at me and said. “You'll just have to wait and see. If I told you, you would think I was manipulating you. I can tell you that you have met your love and it isn't anyone you would expect, but someone you are close to. In fact your true love would never expect you to be their love either.” With that she stepped away and I could almost see her step in to the air headed persona that everyone expects from her, “I gotta jet, you wouldn't believe the waves at Naxos.” Rose petals filled the air and she was gone.
My feet continued down the road I had chosen under their own direction. My mind was awhirl, who could it be? Meg? No we'd gone down that road and discovered that we liked each other as friends than lovers. There was a very short list of people I was close to. Excluding my brothers, and Xena and Gabrielle the only others I could think of were Hercules and Iolaus. That was completely out of the question the two of them cared so deeply for each other that even `I' couldn't miss that. Although the two of them were completely clueless.
They bright flash and the hair standing on end all over my body warned me that another god was incoming. I hunched my shoulders wondering who was coming and what they were gonna want from me.
Cupid materialized in front of me and spoke. “Dude, you're majorly bumming me out. I could feel your heartache all way out on Cyprus.”
“I'm sorry I am ruining your day.” I said sarcastically not caring that he could squish me like a bug.
“Joxer don't be that way I've come to cheer you up.” And with that he snapped his fingers and the world disappeared. We rematerialized and I stumbled and fell scarcely noticing the pure white marble under my body as I tried to keep my stomach from emptying its contents.
When the room quit spinning I looked up and saw Cupid standing next to me holding Bliss. “What…where are we?”
Offering me a hand up Cupid spoke. “My place.”
Pulling myself to my feet with his assistance, I stuttered. “O-Olympus?”
“Olympus.” He confirmed.
I swayed on my feet. I could feel the blood draining away from my face and I started seeing black spots before my eyes.
“Chill out, Joxer.” Cupid said gently shaking the stunned man's shoulder.
“Nothing's going to happen to you here.”
“You mean I'm not stuck here? He asked.
Cupid laughed out loud causing Bliss to giggle as well. “I forgot about that old rumor. Zeus started that when one of his `ladies' wanted to visit. Can you imagine the look on the old goat's face at the thought of Hera running into her?”
I laughed rather nervously, it would have been funny except that I didn't want to set myself up to be fried by lightening in the next storm.
“Anyway Joxer the reason I asked you up here was to take your mind off your troubles. And I-“
“By scaring me to death?” I questioned rather puzzled I thought Cupid liked me.
“No,” he chuckled, “not to scare you. To let you spend some time with Bliss. No one, especially a mortal can be miserable around him. In fact if you think about it I'll bet that you don't feel too bad at all right now.
I thought for a moment. “You're right I do feel better. I can still feel it, but it doesn't bother me so much. How'd he do that?”
“To quote my father, `It's a God thing.” Cupid replied.
“Oh, okay. So what do I do with Bliss or whatever?”
“I have some more work to do so I am gonna leave you here with him. He remembers you from when you watched him before and has wanted to see you ever since.” He bounced him on his arm and said to Bliss. “Right?”
The next moment I found my arms full of winged godling as Bliss launched himself at me. “JOSSER!” He shouted as he landed on me knocking me on my butt.
“I gotta get back to work now, see ya.” And Cupid was gone.