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Title: Strange Mutant in a Stranger Land
Rating: NC-17 eventually
Fandom: Xena/Herc Xmen crossover
Disclaimer: Any rights I am entitled to I freely give back to the copyrighted owners. I own nothing and make no claims.
Pairing: Ares/Joxer, Logan/Remy
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 Xmen.
Summary: Logan and Remy take a strange trip.
Standing back to give Joxer privacy while he made his offering at a small side altar Remy and Logan leaned against a large marble column looked over the dark temple curiously. The noted the weapons displayed on the walls along with murals and frescoes depicting various battle scenes.
Joxer finished his devotions and walked back to his new friends. “The priests are usually around the main altar in front of the throne. We'll have to go up there to find one they don't hang around the smaller ones.”
Remy questioned, “ Why's that?”
“Because the main altar is for important worshippers like warlords and generals and I usually worship at the altar dedicated to one less popular aspects of my god.” Joxer replied.
“What aspect is that?” Remy asked his curiosity aroused. “I never heard of different aspects of the god of war.”
“Most people haven't, even though they are always included in every temple built.” Joxer answered a little sheepishly. “I probably wouldn't know either if my father wasn't a warlord and I wasn't dedicated at birth to Ares, defender of Greece. My brothers and I were all dedicated to different aspects of war. My grandfather remembered the old ways and insisted until my father gave in just to keep him quiet. Jett was dedicated to vengeance and Jace…”
Logan shifted impatiently, “Let's go get a priest, you two can talk later after I get some answers.”
Remy shot a contrite glance at his new friend. “Sorry Logan I almost forgot why we were here.”
Joxer ushered them to the front of the temple near a door that led to the private portions of the structure. “This is where the priests come out I'll try to get their attention.”
After watching Joxer try to attract the attention of a priest for several minutes and be brushed off and ignored Logan decided a more direct approach was called for. Stalking to the altar where several priests had congregated and ignoring Joxer's frantic whispers to stop he stepped up to the group and tapped one of the priests on the shoulder.
“Hey bub, who do I talk to get some questions answered.” He bit out through clenched teeth.
“How about me?” an amused arrogant voice directed his attention to the formerly empty marble throne and the man clad in black leather who sprawled there casually one leg hooked over an armrest.
“And just who would you be?” Logan growled.
Coming to his feet the dark haired man strolled over to lean back on the altar a few feet behind him and answered mockingly. “Well since this is my temple I guess that would make me Ares, god of war now wouldn't it?”
“Listen up, Bub. I don't care who the hell you are, I'm tired of you people sneaking up on me.” Logan snarled having reached the end of his patience and then some.
Ares straightened slipping away from his altar, his face losing all trace of humor. “You know it's generally not considered wise to risk angering your patron god.”
Regaining a little of the ground he'd lost in controlling his temper Logan snapped back. “You ain't my patron anything, I don't worship anybody.”
Ares sauntered closer completely ignoring the claws that emerged from their sheaths inside the man's arms. “No,” he agreed. “you have never worshipped me with word or offerings, but your entire life has been spent worshipping me in your actions. Every battle, every fight, every time that you spilled blood you worshipped me knowing it or not.
“But that's not what you wanted to know. You wanted to know why Aphrodite said you were house of war. Now your history would be enough reason to be considered of my house. However, what she and I both have seen is my stamp all over you. You bear all the markings of being of my blood. A descendant of one of my children you almost scream demi god and house of war.”
“While your friend,” he turned abruptly to face Remy who had drawn near to watch his teammate's back and defend it if necessary. “shows almost as much godly blood as yourself he's harder to read. He does bear a small portion of my blood, but he also shows signs of Hermes, and as hard to read as he is almost certainly indicates that he shares Athena's blood as well, but by and large the highest concentration of godly power he bears is Aphrodite's signature and so he is `house of love'.” He finished lounging back against his altar looking very pleased with himself for completely dumbfounding his mortal audience.
Remy was the first to recover the power of speech after listening to the god of war. “You said I was harder to read den Logan. W'at do you mean by dat?” he asked
The war god replied, “It is never easy for one god to read another, in fact it can be quite painful to try. “But Athena is unique in the manner in which her mind is shielded. Yours is very similar in the manner and form if not as strong.”
“In fact,” he mentioned smugly. “just coming to this world has changed you both in ways I doubt you even realize.”
“What do you mean `changed'?” Logan interrupted suspiciously.
“Well to point out the obvious neither of you have realized that you are speaking Greek and that the accents of your former language and speech patterns appear only when your emotions are high.” Ares laughed at the expressions on their faces as they digest this latest piece of information.
Logan shook off the ramifications of this to concentrate on the immediate situation. He addressed the god of war. “You don't seem like the type to volunteer information unless it suits your purposes. So what do you want?”
“I want you to join me of course. With a little training I could see you leading my armies. As an almost un-killable warrior you would be a potent symbol for me. Your friend would be welcome as well. I can always use another thief and spy who can take care of himself. Although Strife would probably get more use out of him.”
Anything else the god of war might have said was interrupted by the appearance of the blonde goddess from last night. “Ares,” she shrieked stamping her foot, “you can't have Remy. He's mine.”
“Oh really,” Ares relied, “I don't see your mark on him anywhere. That means he is free to be recruited by any god who can get him.” Don't forget they came to me.”
Logan and Remy slowly backed away from the quarreling god and goddess. Joxer approached them, his face pale, and whispered. “It might be a good time to leave. It's never a good idea to be too close to gods arguing.
Unfortunately, Joxer's quietly spoken words caught Aphrodite's attention. “That's another thing, Joxie should be mine. Just because that idiot father of his dedicated him to you…”
Ares roared, his voice shaking the dust from the roof supports. “Joxer is mine and he will stay mine. Get your own worshippers and stop trying to steal mine. Now GET OUT!” the enraged war god thundered.
“Fine,” she capitulated a smug smile playing at the corners of her mouth. “he's obviously much too important to you. I think that the two of you should get a lot closer.” As she finished speaking she blew a handful of glittering shimmering dust into Ares' face saying, “Speak and see with your heart.” And disappeared leaving the sounds of her delighted laughter behind to echo throughout the chamber.
The three mortals watched in bemused fascination as the dark and dangerous god of war fell to his knees and covered his face after shouting. “Aphrodite you will pay for this.”
Joxer tentatively stepped forward, hand outstretched to aid his god. Logan held on to Joxer's other arm aborting his instinctive urge to aid his god “What do you think you're doing?” he growled.
He replied. “He's hurt; we can't leave him like this. Aphrodite's put spells on me before and we've got to see if he's okay.”
Joxer took note of the concern that Logan's face revealed and rushed to reassure him. “He's really not that bad I've noticed that a lot of how he reacts is in answer to how has been approached. I always approach him in his aspect of Ares, the defender and he's been a lot more reasonable than I have noticed him being when approached in his other aspects.”
Logan sighed and released him watching as he approached the fallen god whose priests had disappeared at the first words of anger spoken between Aphrodite and Ares.
“Logan, why'd you let Joxer go near him? You know Joxer can't take of his self.”
Keeping his eyes on Joxer and Ares, he replied quietly. “Remy I thought you were supposed to be the empath? When Aphrodite showed up complaining about you he was calm, almost bored, until she mentioned Joxer and then he went from calm to enraged instantly. Now you know and I know that the kid is more dangerous to himself than anyone else so why would a war god be so attached to him?”
Remy's eyes widened as he put the answer together. “You mean…?”
“Uh huh,” he drawled. “The pheromones pouring off the two of them are almost overwhelming.”
“You're right,” the Cajun responded as he opened his tightly bound shields a crack and flinched at the intensity of the emotions pouring off of the pair. “An' they don' have a clue.”
Logan and Remy watched in amazement as Joxer fussed over his god and Ares let him. They watched as their slim, awkward friend helped the powerful, heavily muscled god to his feet and urged him towards them. They noticed how careful Ares was with Joxer, how gently he touched the young mortal. How his fingers lingered to touch and stroke briefly and his attention was unwavering.
Logan couldn't resist making a snide comment. “Great warriors you have there, they disappeared at the first sign of trouble.”
Ares, tossed an irritated glance at Logan before immediately turning back to Joxer, replied. “Standard operating procedure. You see two gods fighting or arguing get the hell out of the temple. If the temple is still standing an hour later, come back. I train my people to be warriors, not stupid.
Logan snorted, “You'd be the first damn commander I've come across who does then.
Ares' eyes flashed dangerously before the soothing effect of Joxer's presence calmed him. “I am not a `commander' I am a GOD and the epitome of WAR in all its aspects. That means I don't waste anything that may be needed later on trivial nonsense. And as they could do nothing to help with another god their deaths would be an utter waste.”
Enjoying the fact that he'd managed to get a little of his own back after the loss of temper that Ares had witnessed. Logan missed the arrival of the newest godly visitor until Strife tapped him on the shoulder.
Strife giggled hysterically even as he leapt backwards to avoid the extended claws. “Hey Unc, I like this one. `s he yours or can I have `im.” He asked fingering the parallel slashes left by Logan's claws.
Not at all amused by the newcomer Logan held up his fist and retracted the three blades before re-extending only the middle claw giving the universally understood symbol. Only to have its recipient fall to the floor laughing.
With a low growl of disgust and frustration Wolverine turned and stomped towards the temple entrance leaving his dignity in tatters behind him.
The god of war appeared before him and halted his trek for the door. With a look of understanding and resignation he spoke. “Don't take it personally he does it to everyone. It's who he is.”
Logan studied the war god for a moment before asking. “So who the hell is he some kind of nut?”
“Even worse,” Ares replied, a faint look of embarrassment on his face. “he's family…and the god of mischief.”
Logan felt a spark of mischief of his own reached out and clapped a hand on the god's shoulder. “My sympathies.” He commiserated. “You poor bastard and you're stuck with him forever.” He sighed with mock sympathy.
“Hey! I'm not that bad. Tell him Unc.”
“No,” Ares agreed. “he's not that bad, usually he's worse.”
The younger god stalked over a sulky, pouting look on his face. “Just `cause I sunk that island and accidentally made that volcano blow two hundred years early. I ain't never gonna get any respect out of the rest of you am I?”
Logan and Ares shared a momentary look of complete understanding and stated emphatically in unison. “No.” and burst into laughter.
It was amazing what a little shared laughter could accomplish the Cajun thought as he watched his teammate and the god of war laugh at the scrawny looking god that Logan had almost eviscerated.
Said god got tired of being laughed at and stomped away to confront the other two mortals. “Hey you two give an honest opinion here. It's been six hundred years since I screwed up and I was a kid then. Don't you think he,” Strife waved his hand at the war god. “should have gotten over it by now?” he asked impatiently tapping his booted foot as he waited for an answer.
Joxer looked like he had been asked to commit ritual suicide by being asked. So taking pity on him Gambit answered for both of them.
“They should have now, but should've and do are two different t'ings.” He said unconsciously slipping into his native speech patterns. “Sometimes tho' de t'ings we do as young and stupid follow us de rest of our lives.” He said thinking of his own experiences with the Marauders. “So in a case like dat we gotta work twice as hard for half the respect.” He finished with a slight frown.
Strife blinked looking at the strange mortal as if he'd never thought about it that way and vanished without saying a word.
“Well that's a first.” The war god spoke faint disbelief in the tone of his voice. “I've never seen Strife quiet without threats of dismemberment.”
Remy just shrugged and shot a glance at his teammate taking in the thoughtful look and slight frown on his face.
Logan asked. “Do you really feel that way?”
“Sometimes.” Remy answered quietly before changing the subject. “Now is not the time to discuss it though.” He indicated their audience consisting of Ares and Joxer.
Still basking in the good will engendered by their shared moment of humor Wolverine turned to face the war god and said “We really came here to find out some information and I'm not much of a joiner of anything so I don't think I'll take you up on that offer to enter your service.” Remy and I need to find a way to get back home.”