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Gabrielle watched in horror as Xena's knees buckled and the mighty warrior went down. As she saw a roman guard come at her friend, sword raised and ready to strike, she knew nothing but saving Xena's life. She picked up a near by spear, and with the agility of her Amazon Princess spirit, she threw it at the guard, impaling it in his chest. Picking up Xena's sword, the bard cut her way through towards the fallen warrior. Ordering her to get up, she only received a weak reply saying she couldn't. Kneeling beside her companion, Gabrielle missed the sword coming at her, until it struck her in the back. She looked down at herself and saw the blade point sticking out from her chest and diverted her gaze towards Xena in time to see another soldier decapitate her friend, companion, mentor…lover, before it all went dark…



The desperate scream beside him woke the war god, bringing him alert in a second flat. He turned to see his lover, still half asleep, sit up and continue screaming.

Ares pulled his lover into his arms, rocking him back and forth, whispering soft words of reassurance, and slowly pulling him from his dreams and into the reality of his arms. As Joxer calmed down, Ares let out a sigh of defeat. For four nights, they had ignored his lover's dreams, chalking them up to preoccupation for his friends. But now… now, it couldn't be ignored any longer.

He felt Joxer pull away and he lowered his head to look into his eyes. The normally soft, loving brown eyes were now filled with panic and terror. He knew too. Knew that these dreams, were more than that. Much more than that.

The gift of prophecy wasn't always a cherished one.

"It's not just a dream anymore, is it, Ares?"

"No, love. It never was *just* a dream."

"Can you… I can't tell…are they still…" a choked sob broke him off.

"No. They're in Rome, is all I can tell. I can’t enter or use my powers within Rome. Mars is too willing for an excuse to wipe the Olympians out." Ares tugged Joxer back down in the bed with him. He laid him down on his chest, stroking his hair. "But, you Joxer, are not of Olympian blood. You can go. Look for them. As Joxer the Mighty, of course. They need the help of the god they don't even know they worship."

Joxer sighed. "I just… what if I go and then,"

Ares cut him off. "Jox, just because you go or don't go, won't make a difference in if it comes true or not. You got to go. See if Xena's okay. I'm worried." The war god was getting agitated.

"Ar. I'm worried about Xena too. And Gabrielle. I'm the one having the dreams, you know."

"I know, Jox. They are your best mortal friends. But Xena is my daughter, and Gabrielle loves her. I couldn't bear to lose them. Not yet."

Joxer got up from the bed and said, "I'm leaving, now." Before the words even left his mouth, his 'armor' appeared on his body.

"Be careful."

"Take care. I'll be back as soon as I can. With Xena and Gabby on tow."

"I love you."

"I love you too Ar." Joxer leaned over his lover of many years and kissed him, expressing his love, as words could never capture. And in a shower of blue and silver sparkles, Joxer left for Rome.

"Bring them back safe, love. Please." Ares prayed, knowing he'd hear, and comply.

The End