Strife in my Life
Chapter 1: You are a Total and Complete Idiot! (Strife Takes a Drink)
It was already too late when Ares had arrived. His nephew being the unpredictable, impulsive, and sometimes stupid deity he is could not keep his hands to himself. You would think he was still in diapers crawling around putting anything he could get his grubby paws on into his mouth. Well actually...by gods' standards he was practially a baby. Ares rolled his eyes thinking about his idiot Nephew.
Strife had been summoned to his Uncle's temple to give a progress report on some unrest he had been tasked with starting in a few small villages near Athens. There were three seperate riots and a lynch mob removing the prefect from one of the three select villages. It would force his sister to send out troops and leave her city vulnerable for an attack he'd had planned for months. The troops from Thrace and Sparta had marched across Greece. The woman had to understand her populace was growing faster than the farmland surrounding her city could sustain. If she wouldn't cull the masses then he would have to. That or Demeter would send a famine and force even more people to die, due to over farming of the land.
He'd been called away from his office by two of his more problamatic warlords over a land dispute. Both claimed their respective armies were encroaching. Well he had to straighten out that mess, which involved him smashing some skulls...literally.
When he came back there was Strife holding the forgotten bottle of fertility potion. They had never figured out a way to neutralize the potion and it had become a weight holding his latest scroll open on his desk.
The god of mischief had flashed into the office and waited for his uncle patiently...for about five minutes. Then he started to snoop around the desk holding all those scrolls...one black iron dagger, a set of shears...
"Why does Unc ave Shears?" Strife wondered out loud. He pocketed them giggling like a naughty child. There were some quills, an ink bottle...there was this plum shaped bottle with a plum colored liquid in it...plum juice go figure...well too shimmery to be normal juice. Strife picked up the bottle and the scroll it had been resting on rolled closed slowly. He watched it for a second then went back to the bottle he was holding.
"Wonda what this stuff is," He shook the bottle. The contents swirlled prettily, "Poison maybe?" He uncorked the bottle and inhaled the floral scent. He dipped his finger into the neck of the bottle and tilted it back. Sometimes his uncle had things like poison and weapons just lying around. That was why Cupid hated letting Bliss in his office. He never knew what he would find under the godling's pollow that night after coming home from Granpa Ares'.
Strife rubbed his fingers together and licked them...His tongue didn't tingle in that numb kind of way he enjoyed when he tasted poison...And this wasn't bitter. It tasted kind of like one of those future candies. He smiled. He had never known his uncle to have a sweet tooth.
It didn't taste half bad really. Strife felt a bit weird and he knew he probably was going to regret doing it, but what's eternity if one never took risks. He looked like a kid in the preverbial candy store tipping the bottle back not even having a clue what it was.
Suddenly the bottle was gone and he was slammed into the nearest wall with his uncle's fingers digging into his throat.
"What in tartarus are you doing?!" He snarled and lifted his nephew off the ground, "Spit it out! Spit it out now!"
Strife swallowed on reflex as he always did when he was in trouble with his uncle and about a third of what was left of the potion went down his throat. Though it was already too late anyway, he'd had enough with that first taste to start the change.
"Shit!" Ares tossed the godling across the room. He hit a column, shattering it with the force of Ares' throw.
He groaned and sat up in the rubble, "Well sorry Unc...I didn'a see yah name writtten on it..next time leave yah drinks where I cant find 'em."
"That wasn't a drink moron," Ares fisted his own hair yanking it in frustration, "Fuck! Fuck! FUCK!"
He dropped the bottle on the floor. It clinked but didn't break. He formed a fire ball in his hand and threw it at his nephew who was on his hands and knees trying to get out of the jagged shattered marble. The godling didn't manage to doge the fire ball, getting caught in the side and twisting into the air like a ragdoll. He smashed his head into the ground and just lay there for a minute letting the world stop spinning. Smoke wafted up from his black leathers. He waited for his uncle to cool off before trying to get up. Ares rarely kept hitting him once he was plastered to the ground like this. Strife spit out a tooth and chuckled to himself.
"Neva knew you was so protective of ya junk food," Strife muttered. He finally managed to get to his feet only to feel a sudden wave of dizzieness and nausea. Blackness crept into his vision and he was back on the floor.
"Shit! Strife!" Ares had calmed down...Maybe he had been a little rough, okay a lot rough, with his nephew. He knew Strife was far from the strongest god. He saw the boy laying there after he shot him with the fireball, and a tiny pang tugged at his heart. The guilt never saved Strife from a beating though. Ares might control it better but he was also a bit implusive by nature. Then when he stood back up he looked even paler than usual, if that were possible. His ice blue eyes rolled back in his head and he ended up on the floor again.
"Apollo!" Areas screamed. When he didn't appear immediatly he bellowed again, "Apollo get your golden ass over here!"
"What?!" The god of sun, intelect, and healing appeared in the room looking rather annoyed. He'd been enjoying his consort and barely had time to will himself clothed and over to Ares temple. He looked at the mess, at Strife, then back at Ares.
"What's your sister's spawn done and why did you bother me for this?" Then he noticed the bottle laying at Ares feet and snarled, "Why the fuck do you still have that potion? I thought you were going to destory it!"
"Never mind...Strife drank it!"
Apollo turned back to the passed out godling, he uttered a curse. Strife looked awful Ares had not held back in his rage. His face was slashed from the jagged rubble. Both his nose and mouth were bleeding and if the outward injuries looked bad the internal damage was much worse.
Apollo walked over and leaned down sensing the damage to his body. It was extensive, but nothing for a god to repair himself normally...however normal this was not. Strife was already relatively weak, but now his body was diverting his healing powers toward the job of reorganizing his internal organs. Aparently the potion worked on gods as well as it did on mortals. This was not good...not for the boy nor for their secret.
"You broke his spine in three places, Dude. If he were a mortal he would have been paralized...or dead," Apollo knew it was Ares doing if nothing else the singed flesh on his side gave his abuser away, "Most of his ribs are broken too, one is puncturing his left lung...his kidneys are bruised...His thorat is bruised. He's not healing," Apollo sent some energy into the young god trying to mitigate the damage. Strife groaned and tried to push the god away from him. Apollo was lucky he was weakened and mostly unconscious or he might have gotten a knife stuck in him or maybe those shears he'd swiped off his uncle's desk...There they were at Apollo's throat.
"Don' t-touch me yah prick," Strife's eyes were opened. He pressed the point of the shears into Apollo's juglar. Strife felt his heart in his throat as he opened his eyes to see one of the Big Twelve leaning over him with his hands on his chest. He panicked and pulled out the shears. Apollo sneered at him in his high and mighty way and blasted him in the temple. Then things went black and fuzzy again.
Apollo finished after a few minutes then stood dusting off his robes. He turned scowling at his brother, "You can clean him up and put him to bed, and don't fucking let anyone near him until we can figure something out! I'm gone dude, If you need anything hesitate to call!" Apollo flashed back to his own temple and his mortal who was laying only covered in a thin sheet and a slick coating of olive oil (hey you have your kinks and Apollo has his).
Ares walked over to his prone nephew and gently lifted the godling into his arms. He was light as a feather and thin as a rail. How something so delicate ended up in war boggled Ares mind. Strife was crafty and in his job he was...usually adequate. He was a sight better than his bat shit crazy mother. He carried Strife off to the rooms he still kept for his nephew. Ares deposited the young god on the bed and covered him with a blanket. He brushed back the hair from the younger god's face and sighed. He hoped he didn't lose it with his nephew like he almost had with Joxer that one time. He didn't see anything but a child in the godling. He never told Strife but he was next to a son in his eyes. That was why he was so hard on the lad. He expected a lot of him.
Cupid tapped his fingers. Since Joxer and Autolycus got settled he'd had a back log of petitions and matches to take care of. He was just looking over the last scroll, but he kept thinking of his mischief making cousin. He really did enjoy spending time with the fair skinned deity. Bliss loved him. In fact they could be siblings...in a way Strife was not much older than his son in terms of Godly time. But he wasn't a child where it counted. Cupid would gladly admit his atraction to the other god, if he didn't think it would frighten him off. Strife had major trust issues to work out before he would think of getting in a relationship. Even something casual with no strings attatched was out of the question. It was alright. Cupid had the time and he had patience. As they say, or will one day, 'Good things come to those who wait.'
Strife groaned and slowly sat up. His stomach was cramping, and he felt a warm sticky wetness between his legs. He was still in his singed leathers. He guessed his uncle had had a bit of mercy on him after he passed out from the beating and flashed him into his bed. He smelled blood and a lot of it. Why was he still bleeding? He threw the covers off of himself and looked at his lap. There was blood oozing through his crotch. It fanned out under him on the bed making a dark patch on the silk sheets.
"Fuck," Strife cursed, "Must'a ruptured sommin."
Strife stood and grabbed himself around the middle as another wave of cramps hit him. He felt a stabbing pain in his hips too.
"Broken hips an' internal bleedin?" Strife goraned, "Gotta rememba' not ta touch Unc's plum juice he's real teritorial bout that stuff, ahparrently," Strife chuckled as he limped to the adjoining bathroom to his room he willed his leathers away as he went and sticky clots of blood rolled down his legs leaving a trail and making him shudder. He could have willed the blood away, but he was too distracted by the pain. The prospect of a hot bath sounded so good, he didn't care if he was walking around buck naked and bloody from the butt down.
He saw the bath and willed it full of steaming water. He gingerly climbed over the edge of the tub and sank in slowly. He giggled seeing the pink swirling blood in the water. He felt a bit giddy. Strife reached for some stuff he's snagged from the future. Mr. BubblesTM. It was in a disgustingly pink bottle but it made his bath delightlyfully bubbly. He dumped about half the bottle in and started swishing the water around until it started to foam and churn and before long he had a nice covering of bubbles. He espically liked it because now he didn't have to look at his ugly skinny body.
Strife closed his eyes and dipped under the surface. He came back up wiping the soap from his eyes. His hair was plastered to his head instead of sticking up every which way. He pushed the fringe out of his face and reached for another bottle he'd procured from the furure. Shampoo, he had tried many kinds he'd found that he liked this GarnierTM stuff. It came from Gaul (one day to be called France he though). It smelled really nice and it made his hair feel really soft. Of course he ruined that by putting more future stuff in his hair called hair gel, but sometimes when he was alone he left it off.
Strife ploped a big gob of the shampoo on his head and started scrubbing he hummed and leaned back in the tub. His muscles were relaxing a bit making him feel slightly less crampy. Strife dipped below the bubbles again after a bit and rinsed the shampoo out of his hair. He laid back against the tub and hummed to himself, "Sometimes yah gotta spoil yahself."
Ares came into Strife's rooms expecting to see his nephew sleeping. He was not. The bed was rumpled and the smell of blood permeated the air. Ares eyes easlily caught the large dark stains against the grey silk sheets. There was a trail of blood leading into the bath camber.
"Apollo!" Ares bellowed. Apollo didn't come. Ares opened his mouth to yell when Apollo's son Asclepius appeared.
"Father sent me, Did you need help Uncle Ares?" Asclepius came forward looking concerned. He turned to the bed, seeing the blood he gasped.
Ares cursed his brother. The younger god waited expectantly, his eyes roamed over the evidences of someone needing assistance but being absent. Then a humming came from the bathing chamber and a naked Strife walked in drying his hair, not noticing his guests. Ares stared at his nephew noting the definite change. His hips were sloped his waist slightly narrower. It wasn't an unpleasing change either. Ares' eyes dilated and he became hyperaware of his nephew's sweet scent. He nearly forgot the other god standing there staring as well.
The heavy breathing next to him and then the clearing of a throat saved him from tackling his nephew and rutting him. It also finally alerted the godling that was scrubbing his head with a cloth. Strife's head snapped up and he squeeked. He blushed. It was uncertain weather it was being caught unawares or being seen naked that had alarmed him. He was dressed in a blink and his hands slid over his arms searching for the comforting metal of his blades.
"What'cha want?" Strife grunted and hugged himself closely, uncomfortably.
"I assume that's your blood?" The god of medicine spoke he was blushing noticably also.
"Oh," Strife looked at the blood on the floor leading back to his bed, "Sorry forgot ta clean it up. I'm ok now, don' need nothin." He snapped his fingers and the room was blood free.
"Strife," Ares warned through clenched teeth. He may still feel guilty over the beating he had given earlier, but that didn't mean he wouldn't stoop to threatening his nephew again. Ares had no idea if the blood was related to the potion or if Apollo had been careless in healing the young god, "Lay down and let Asclepius look at you."
"Unc?" Strife whined. He didn't want to get prodded, poked, and scrutinized. Ares glared at him and the godling hopped into his bed.
"If your idiot father is going to be sending you instead of taking responsibility for this mess I might as well let you see for yourself," Ares threw his hands up. He looked at the god of medicine and nodded toward the young god laying on the bed looking like a scaraficial lamb on an alter.
Asclepius slowly aproached, "Lets have a look then. Are you hurting?"
Strife shook his head. He was feeling crampy but it hardly bothered him any longer.
"There's no need to be nervous," Asclepius smiled gently as his hand slowly reached. Strife stilled. He glanced at his uncle wondering how bad an idea it would be to strike out or to transport away. Ares shook his head in warning.
A hand was placed on his stomach. That hand was warm and the energy was tryign to be comforting, but Strife didn't like being touched. He went rigid. There was a pull from his insides as the other god scanned his organs. He stopped and pulled back.
"Is that a womb?" Asclepius turned to Ares. Ares nodded frowning. The other god shook his head, "How? Tell me my father isn't responsible for this?" His eyes begged.
"He wasn't alone," Ares growled.
Asclepius fully turned to the god of war, "This is a violation. How could this have been allowed to happen?"
Ares quirked a brow at the normally placid younger god.
"What in Tartarus ah ya talkin about?" Strife lept up off the bed with a gazell like grace, and Like a gazell he felt like he was being tracked by a predator. Strife did the first thing that came to mind. He ran (well he transported himself). He was gone before either god could stop him.