The Fate Of Many Will Be Decided By The Bored One.
Cupid, God of Love, ran his hands through his normally perfect hair in frustration. He had forgotten about this ceremony today and his mother was going to kill him if he wasn't there. The source of his frustration smiled up at him, looking like a sweet little angel. Which he wasn't. And now no one would babysit Bliss. Everyone was too busy to help him out. He grabbed his son and tried the rounds again, everyone was in the meeting area anyway.
"Sorry," Hestia said as soon as he appeared. "I'm working on some lava beds. I can't watch him."
"I've got a war to supervise," Ares told him with a shrug.
Every one of the Gods decided they had to be busy right that moment. He nearly screamed in frustration. "Isn't there *anyone* who's not busy!" he yelled.
"Try the Fates," Hestia suggested.
"Yeah, their job is sedate, they could probably watch him sit around and do stuff," Discord added. She'd never be asked to sit the kid herself, but she could hamper someone else with him.
"That's a good idea," Cupid said with a nearly maniacal grin. He brought his son with him, popping them over to the Fates' cave. "Ladies?" he called, trying to sound respectful yet desperate. "Can I ask a major favor and beg completely?"
Clotho looked at him, giving him a dry look. "Our work is much too important to watch your son, even for an hour."
Cupid batted his eyes. "Please, guys! I've got to go stand behind Mom for a day-long ceremony and I can't take him with me, there's going to be an orgy later!" He bounced lightly on the balls of his feet. "Please? He'll be good. He promised."
Lachesis frowned but she looked at her sisters, who all sighed. "Fine," she agreed. "Set him up over there." She pointed at a clear spot on the floor, far away from their work. "He'll be good or he'll find himself beleaguered by fate," she said, staring down at the young boy. He smiled innocently at her.
"Make sure he has something to occupy him," Clotho said, turning back to her never-ending task.
Cupid set Bliss in the clear space and brought his favorite toys and books so the baby wouldn't get bored. "You guys are great. If you need anything, just yell my way. Later." He disappeared before anyone could stop him. His mother frowned at him, but he shrugged. "Couldn't find a sitter."
She waved a hand. "Whatever. You're here now. Go prepare the ceremonial wine for the weddings and sacrifices." He nodded and headed off, while she blew out a breath. "That boy's got to get a full-time sitter." She returned her attention to the couples who were coming in for the mass marriage, and looked over the people giving themselves into the service of Love.
Clotho looked up from her spinning, frowning at the thread in her hand. "This is a strange one," she announced. She held it up, letting her sisters see the odd color.
"Is she one of Demeter's?" Lachesis asked, leaning closer to examine it. "It's male!"
"I noticed," Clotho said, giving her a look. She glanced down at the baby in their care, just to make sure he wasn't doing anything, then back at her sisters. "What do we do about this?"
"That color would look wonderful in the present pattern," Atropos suggested. "Leave him. Demeter can only yell."
Lachesis snorted. "And yell, and yell, and yell," she added. "We may never hear the end of it."
"We are the ones who determine lives," Atropos reminded her. "We can always remind her that we can shorten her life if she complains too much." She glanced at the quiet little boy. "Put it in." She measured the thread and moved out of her sister's way so it could be cut. "We'll weave it in a few moments." She turned her back to look at the current pattern, there was a disturbing bare spot appearing in a few months' time.
The three women went back to work, only occasionally checking on their charge. Eventually, they went to take a breath of air, leaving him alone because they'd forgotten about him. Big mistake on their part.
Bliss looked around, frowning. He didn't like being passed around, but here he could have some fun. He knew what the Fates did, everybody knew that, and he knew they'd let him have *some* fun. After all, a tantrum usually got him what he wanted - no one wanted them to go on any longer than they had to. He stood up and toddled over to the tapestry the women were working on. "Pwetty," he said in awe. The three-dimensional pictures were wonderful, colorful, and held every life that ever was or ever would be. He touched one thread and cooed when a picture showed him the person it was about. "Wow." He touched a few more, accidentally moving some of the threads into contact. As he created new relationships and marriages, a small knot formed in the center of the weave. He didn't care, he'd found a gold thread. A wonderful gold thread with a picture that showed his Unclie Hades. He clapped and looked around, then grabbed a small hook so he could play with it. As he searched out more of the gold threads, his immature powers took his thoughts about his family and made them happen. He squeaked when he felt something happen to his grandfather.
He was going to be in such trouble.
He hurried back to his book, not wanting the Fates to know what he had done. He looked up and smiled sweetly when the three women came back in, but they went back to the threads, not even looking at the tapestry. He sighed in relief. It was going to be okay after all.
All over Greece and Olympus, people shuddered and looked around themselves, trying to figure out what the feeling of menace was. A few people wrapped their arms around their bodies, searching for the warmth that the feeling had taken from them. And then there was Cupid and Aphrodite, who were cluelessly going on with their mass marriage and dedication orgy celebration.
Ares was the first to notice something odd was going on. He figured this out at the same time that he realized he was sitting on the roof of his biggest temple singing show tunes from the future. He coughed, but thankfully he didn't have a hairball. He shook himself, resisting the urge to stand up and dance along with the songs. Even his usual anger wasn't going to help him, he'd probably sing as he killed whoever had done this to him.
On the other side of Greece, Hephaestus was banging on a shield and trying to keep the pretty yellow dress he was wearing away from any sparks. He was dancing too, just for a different reason. He finally tossed the shield aside and burst into tears. The pretty white lace had become smudged and singed. He stomped back to his hidden bedroom, going to sulk for a while. Hey, it always worked for his wife.
Aphrodite smiled at her son from across the busy temple floor, nodding him over for a drink. He wasn't doing anything right then, and her last dedicatee had just left her to go clean up. She handed him a mug of ale and they both turned to watch the results of the dedication ceremony, and the occasional honeymooning couple. "It went well," she remarked.
"It did," he agreed, taking a swig. "How much longer do you think this'll go on?"
She shrugged. "Maybe a few hours. Why?" She looked at her son.
"Because I had to leave Bliss with the Fates," he said with a grimace. "I'm sure if I don't go get him as soon as possible that something horrible will happen to me."
She chuckled and punched him on the arm. "Don't worry about it. Those women are more fun than they look." She finished her ale and petitely belched. "Well, I'm off." She carefully made her way through the throng of people on the floor, heading for one of the new dedicatees, a young redhead with perky breasts.
Cupid slowly sipped his ale, picking his next pleasure carefully. He wasn't sure his mother was right, the Fates didn't seem like much fun to him, but it would be okay for another hour or so. He was sure.
Lachesis watched her feet move like they were aliens. She looked at her sisters for help, but they were standing next to each other and doing strange dance steps, which happened to match what her feet were doing. Eventually, her feet convinced her body to get up, without her consent of course, and she joined them in the line.
"Why do I feel like yelling 'yahoo'?" Clotho asked, but no one answered her.
"I feel quite strange," Atropos noted a few moments later. She grabbed Clotho and spun her around, then grabbed Lachesis and started off on another sort of dance.
"We need another partner," Lachesis gasped, out of breath.
"Done," the other two said, and a light flashed, bringing Strife.
"Dance with us," Atropos ordered.
His eyes wide, Strife joined in, grabbing Clotho to match the other couple. By the time they switched off, he was into the dance ... and getting high on the mischief hovering in the air. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Bliss sitting innocently in his spot. "Hey, snuggles," he called, waving at him. Bliss giggled and waved back. "Why don'tcha go find Hera or somebody?"
"She's busy," Lachesis told him, dipping him down and bringing him back up quickly. A new pattern started, a waltz this time.
Hera watched the obviously insane man be drug away from his bedroom and his laboring wife. "A llama indeed," she snorted regally as she walked into the room. She stopped when she saw the furry head coming out of the pregnant woman's body.
"I believe that's an alpaca," a male voice said from behind her.
Hera jumped and glared at Hermes. "What was that?"
"I said that the dude was wrong, that's an alpaca. Same family as the llama though." He handed her the ribbon he had picked up. "Someone said I had to come give this to you." He shrugged at her confused look. "No idea, just the messenger." He zipped off.
Hera looked at the ribbon in her hand, then at the screaming woman. She walked over to help, not sure how much she could do about this situation. "How did this happen?" she asked.
"I don't know!" the woman sobbed. "I woke up like this a few hours ago!" She grunted and pushed some more. "Just get it *OUT*!"
Hera reached over and grabbed the forefeet, giving them a good tug. It was odd, but she'd seen worse. Tartarus, she had caused worse. She wondered who had cursed this woman, it hadn't been her and the child bore no taint of any God. She shrugged her musings off as the baby came free with a sucking noise. She handed it off to the woman and backed away when the woman looked at her for help. "I..." She shook her head and disappeared. She didn't know what to do about that situation at all. She'd pass it onto Artemis though, she might have a clue.
Artemis looked down off the stage, smiling at the 'women' she had shoved out of her way. She shimmied as she turned, showing off the shortness of her lion-hide skirt and brass bra. The men around her hooted and clapped for more. She wasn't quite sure how she had gotten there, but this was fun! She wiggled her chest, bending down to give the warriors a good view of her breasts, then giggled and backed away from the grabbing hands. She *wasn't* going to lose her virginity, not here and not now. She grabbed a stage support and swung around on it, tempting the men to try and grab her as she spun. The 'women' clapped and cat-called. Apparently it was something new for them to think about for their shows.
But why was she here? No matter how much fun this was, she was supposed to be boar hunting.
Ares had managed to get off his roof and inside his temple, and even into a locked room far away from the mortals, but he couldn't stop singing. The show tunes were gone, and now he was talking about some baby and 'getting it one more time'. He shuddered as the words hit his brain. Why couldn't he stop!?!
He slammed his head into one of the marble walls, hoping it would make him quit singing. No such luck; the headache made him switch languages but now he was singing love songs in a foreign language.
He was going to kill someone, and it was going to damn well be bloody. The doorknob rattled and he panicked, sending himself to his temple on Olympus before anyone else could catch him singing. The God of War did not sing.
Hermes looked at the kite he was flying and sighed in pleasure. It was nice to have some time off. No errands, no dead people to show the way to Asphodel, not even a single prayer to him that he had to pay attention to.
He noticed the pretty ribbons on the kite's tail and smiled. They were just like the one he'd given Hera. Maybe it meant something. That one had been blue though, and all his were red. He shrugged it off and got back to enjoying himself. He hoped everyone else got such a good day off. Most of them deserved it.
Athena growled at the beast crouched across from her. Her sword's grip was dripping with her sweat and her armor was starting to chafe, but she would kill this beast. She had never felt this alive before, not even on the battlefield. This single-combat against something stronger than her physical body was exhilarating. She stabbed at the beast, but it dodged and tried to swipe her. The cuts made her hiss, but it centered her attention firmly on the beast. The next stab caught the beast in the shoulder and it screamed, making her smile. "Good," she purred at it. "You're going down!" She lunged, catching the beast off guard and gutting it with one swipe. She wiped her sword off on the dying pelt, then turned to look at the crowds. Their applause nearly knocked her off her feet.
"If this is how Ares feels, no wonder he tries to keep me in my place," she said as she waved at the crowds. Her adoring fans. Behind her, the sound of another door opening caught her attention and this time something bigger and stronger came out. The elephant didn't stand a chance against her. "He won't win, I will feel like this forever," she promised herself as she met the charging beast. "Ares is just another beast to gut and knock down." She swiped at the leg nearest her, but it didn't slow the elephant down at all.
Bliss clapped as his sitters kept dancing. This was fun. "Funny!" he yelled, giggling when Strife looked at him. "Do funnies!"
Atropos smiled and dipped Strife, nearly landing him on the floor. When she pulled him up, she kissed him, stunning herself, her sisters, and Strife.
"Whoa, dancing is all good, but I'm not easy," Strife complained. The women all laughed. He was spun among the three women, each one grabbing a kiss from him. He grabbed the wall before he fell on the little spectator and smiled down at Bliss. "Havin' fun?" he asked.
Bliss zapped him with a little bit of his happiness. "Have fun," he told him. Strife looked shocked, but the Fates drug him back into the center of the room to dance with them. It wasn't like he could say no to them, they'd do something horrible to him.
Bliss giggled and started to clap again, enjoying their happiness as it flowed into him.
Zeus looked out across the farm then down at the plants he was watering. This was rather relaxing, nothing at all like his usual job. He moved down the row, watering the parsnips. He didn't really like them, but whoever had planted the garden apparently did because at least half of the plants were parsnips. As he continued to water the plants, the thought struck him. He wondered where his family was and if they were as relaxed as he was. He hoped so, it was good to be so relaxed. He smiled as Hermes flew overhead, a kite trailing behind him. At least someone was enjoying the fun. He pulled out his dick and watered the plants in the most natural way he knew how. His Godly essence would certainly make the plants grow.
He heard an outraged scream and zapped the woman. Her mouth would remain shut until she appreciated what he was doing for her. Mortals were so picky sometimes about what went on in front of them. Really, he was only trying to help the plants grow to their fullest girth.
Hermes reluctantly took the message and flew off, his kite tucked into his belt. He could get back to his fun in a few minutes, after he dropped this message off with Artemis. He flew into the tavern and stopped to watch. He didn't know Artemis had breasts like that. Wow. He whistled, making her smile up at him. "From Hera," he yelled, tossing the scroll to her. He created a floating chair and sat back to watch it go on. Those tassel things were ingenious, he wondered how she had thought of them.
He whistled again as she flipped up the back of her skirt. "Yeah, baby!" he yelled, clapping. "Take it all off!" Her skirt hit him on the face, obscuring his view of her lightly tanned buttocks and deerskin thong. "Oh, baby," he growled. He barely kept himself from lunging at her, but only because he knew that she could kick his ass if he tried for a quick grab. A few of the barmaids were grabbed by the other patrons, and the brawl was on.
"Oh, yeah!" he called. A fight was almost as good as an orgy, especially when you got the barmaids naked.
Bliss watched as the Fates and his buddy left to go play in the warm spring rain and hurried over to the pretty pictures again. He found all the pretty gold threads and started trying to fix things, because he knew Strife wouldn't normally dance with the old women. The knot he had started earlier just got more complicated though, as they joined together in strange and interesting ways the different patterns in the tapestry started to join together. The big knot that was created was pretty, in a chaotic sort of way. Very pretty swirls of colors.
"Oops," he said with a grin, noticing his father's line was now mixed up in there with everyone else's. "Oh, well. Love bwites. Unclie say so." He giggled and disappeared, going to watch the interactions he had created.
Ares eeped as he found himself surrounded by Hestian virgins. He hadn't been here a moment ago, but for some reason, he wanted to serenade them. As he strummed the lute that appeared in his hands and started to sing one of those songs in that language that was a lot like Latin, he felt some other God's power touching his body. He growled, making the ladies purr at him, and decided to go with it. He would get them later.
One of the purring women leaped at him, knocking the lute aside and capturing his fingers to suck on. "Fuck abstinence," she told him when he looked shocked. Her sisters in faith nodded and mumbled their agreement.
That's how Hestia found them, Ares helpless under her priestesses, the women going insane not only for him but for each other's bodies, and a strange tint of power floating around the room. "What is going on here?" she asked, her voice calm and motherly.
A few of the women looked up and went pale before running away, but the one sucking on Ares' fingers just glared at her. "Do you mind? I'm trying to get some sex here!"
Ares looked at Hestia and shrugged. "I was at home," he told her. "Singing."
She just nodded. "I understand completely, I was apparently planting black roses before I felt this going on, which as we all know isn't my 'thing' as you young ones say." She turned the creature on Ares' chest into a kitten and picked her up to look at her. "Behave or I'm going to have you fixed," she warned. The kitten mewled pitifully. "If you're good, I'll turn you back later." She set the kitten aside and helped Ares to his feet. "Do you know what's going on?"
"No, but if this is Strife's doing, he's dead," he promised her. He glanced down at his lute, then shrugged off the urge to play for her too. Even if his aunt needed to be serenaded on occasion, it didn't mean it had to come from him. He quickly backed up, nearly tripping over one of the women, and disappeared.
Hestia looked around, shaking her head. "This will not do," she told her girls. "Not at all. Go grab some cleaning equipment, you've got chores to do." They all nodded obediently and went to do as they were told. The lute was hidden in one of the girl's rooms, just in case the man wanted to come back.
Hermes felt himself being called and sighed in irritation. He ducked a flying boot as he hopped out of his chair and went to answer the summons. He landed in front of Zeus, who was lovingly patting a tree. "You called?" he asked.
"Yes," Zeus said, giving him a smile. "Go find out who did this before I kill all the Gods," he ordered quietly.
Hermes looked down and noticed his boss was...stuck to the tree. Funny, the tree didn't *feel* like it had been human recently. He mentally shrugged. "Sure thing. Where should I start?"
"With Strife if you please. I know this is bigger than he usually does, but it's best to weed out the usual suspects first."
Hermes nodded. "Okay. You got it, boss man. Be right back with a report." He hopped into the air and zoomed off, heading for where he could feel Strife's power signature. He landed on the lip of the cave to the Fates' lair and bravely stepped inside. What he saw robbed him of all speech, coherent thought, and ability to move. Oh, God, that was just...wrong!
Strife felt someone come in and looked over his shoulder, giving Hermes a helpless look. He didn't want to have to look at that either. But his friend's condition gave him an excuse. "Gotta go," he told the women, grabbing his clothes and making a dash for Hermes. "Gotta get him to see someone." He sent them both hurtling away from those insane women, before they jumped him and tried to have more sex with him. He landed in front of Zeus, who was not looking amused. "It wasn't me," he said desperately. "I just screwed the Fates. They jumped me and made me do it." He nearly started to cry.
Zeus shuddered and patted his loving tree friend. "I'm glad I got you," he told it. He looked between the two traumatized young men, then sighed. "Someone go find out who did this." Hermes whimpered softly. "Better yet, take him somewhere safe and then go find out who did this." He tried to get his cock out of the tree, but it wasn't letting him go. He just hoped that the cavity didn't have any bees. That honey had looked so tempting though....
Strife grabbed Hermes again and took him to the safest place he knew. To the people he knew would hurt him, but would never hurt Hermes because he was a major God, and they liked him. To people that even Zeus couldn't complain about. "Hey, gals," he said as he landed, smirking at Xena. "Gotta a prob for you. See him," he said, nudging Hermes, who whimpered again. "He just saw the Fates nekkid." Xena shuddered. "Yeah, so you take care'a him and I'm gonna go figure this shit out before they get me again." He gently shoved the other God toward the women.
"What are we supposed to do with him?" Gabrielle asked haughtily.
"He's in shock," Xena told her. "Trust me, he just needs a safe, quiet place to lie down and rest." She led him over to her bedroll and got him settled in for a little nap. By the time she turned around, Strife was gone. "This is bad," she told her companion.
"Even worse than when I had that scroll," Gabrielle agreed. "Should we go help?"
"Not if it means going and seeing the Fates naked," Xena decided. She sat down and picked up her chest plate to shine some more. "I'm never going near that sight again."
"When did you see them naked?"
"Don't ask. Just don't ask."
Bliss landed in front of his grandmother's temple and giggled. There was great happiness in there. Unfortunately, the building was blocked off from him entering it. No child could get in there. Not even the boys trying to peek into the windows. So, he decided to go make the rest of the town just as happy as the grandma's people were. He giggled as he ran down the streets, his chubby little legs not going very fast, but pumping very hard. As he passed each building, he zapped it with his barely controlled powers, making everyone inside laugh and tickle each other.
It was a good thing. He was happy, they were happy, even his father and grandfathers felt happy.
Everything was right in his world. For everyone else...maybe it was a little strange, but he was happy and that's all that mattered, right?
Hephaestus changed his clothes again, coming up with a lovely blue silk pantsuit, then decided he would go out. He had heard Athens had some great places to go and do things. Maybe he'd go there. He stopped at the mouth of his cave and looked around. Usually he had at least one petitioner waiting there to pounce on him, but it looked like everyone had gone finally. He stepped out and was promptly tripped over.
"I'm sorry," Joxer said, standing up and helping the poor woman...um, man up. He dusted him off and gave him a smile. "I'm sorry. I'm clumsy and that sort of thing happens. Do you know which way it is to the village? I'm a little lost."
Hephaestus smiled at him. This man didn't want anything from him, it was great! "I can show you," he offered, holding out his arm. Joxer carefully took it. "You really only want directions?"
"Yeah, I was on a boat and they dropped me off at the pier, apparently I was sleeping in the wrong spot and got mistaken for cargo, so I'm sorta stuck here. I figured the village might have a job I can do so I can earn enough money for passage back to the mainland." He looked his traveling companion over as they walked. "You're Hephaestus, aren't you?" The God nodded slowly, his face showing uncertainty. "Gee, I've heard a lot about you. Even Xena can't find any bad things to say about you," he confided with a goofy grin.
Hephaestus smiled at that compliment. Not many Gods could say that Xena couldn't badmouth them. "What were you thinking about doing?"
"I don't know, anything I guess. I mean, I've got *limits* but I should be able to do nearly anything. Just as long as it's not icky and it doesn't involve bodily fluids." He shuddered. "I'd probably get sick if I had to clean up after people who were getting sick."
The God of the Forge patted his hand gently. "I understand. I can't stand to see people throwing up either." He smiled. "I could probably use a forge assistant."
Joxer paled a little. "Um, fire and I don't really get along. It seems to like to pull me into them," he explained at the hurt look. "I'd love to come work for you, but you'd have to constantly help me bandage myself." He looked down at his feet. "I'm a little clumsy."
Hephaestus smiled and hugged the poor boy. "I'll make sure that no fire will ever pull you into it again," he promised. "It's got great benefits. I feed you."
"That's even better," Joxer exclaimed happily. "Okay. When do I start?"
"Right after you help me go find some fun."
"Fun? Like listening to bards fun, or like going to visit houses of ill-repute fun?"
"Both?" Hephaestus suggested. "The night's young."
"Then I know *just* the place," Joxer told him, sure of himself. "Can we go to Corinth or do we have to stay here on the island?"
"No, we can go to Corinth. Where?"
"Right next to the secondary market's fountain, down one of the side alleys, there's a special place. Great bards, beautiful men and women, and they know me there." He grinned. "They even like me."
"That's where we're going then." Hephaestus sent them there with a thought, landing them in the middle of the invitation room of the brothel. He looked around, smiling at all the metal work on the roof supports. "I think I'm going to like it here," he told the buxomous redheaded woman walking toward them.
"And you are?" She smiled at Joxer. "A friend of yours?"
"Yeah, this is Hephaestus. He wants to have some fun."
"Fun we can do," she assured him, not looking at his outfit. "Follow me and I'll take you to the center of the fun."
"Hey, Lady Sally, are there any bards here tonight?" Joxer asked as he followed behind her.
Hephaestus looked her over. "You're not from around here, are you?" he asked with a faint smile.
"No, it's a terrible miscalculation," she told him, smiling wryly. "But my husband seems to enjoy it so much that we're staying for a few years." She led him into the parlor, moving out of the way so they could see everything that was going on. And it was nearly every possible thing that was going on.
Aphrodite cleared her throat, but the people didn't stop what they were doing to pay attention to her. It made her want to scream, but she knew that they were just into their playing. She put two fingers in her mouth and whistled, getting everyone's attention. For a moment, then they went back to their fun. She looked at her son, who shrugged. "This isn't normal."
"Nope, it's not, but there's nothing we can do about it." Cupid counted the number of couples. "Set a few of the older priestesses to watch over them and shoo them out when they're done." He stretched up and wiggled his wings. "I'm gonna go pick up the brat." He disappeared, but came back a few moments later very pale and shaking. "Eww," he said finally. He full-body shuddered. "That was just ..." He searched for a word, but nothing fit.
"What happened, sweetie?" his mom asked, putting a hand on his shoulder. "What was that nasty?"
"I just flashed into the Fates' cave and caught them going at it." His mother shuddered, it even moved her hair - which never moved, not even in a hurricane. "Yeah." He looked around the room. "I don't remember seeing Bliss."
"You probably overlooked him." She blinked a few times, then looked at the crowd, then at him. "You don't think...."
"I do think," he sighed. He searched for his son's power and was nearly blinded by the towns surrounding the temple they were in. "Oh, damn," he whispered. "Feel around," he suggested.
Aphrodite closed her eyes and felt the towns around her, slowly starting to shake her head. "I'm going to punish him this time," she told her son. "He deserves it."
"He might, but I bet you're going to be in line." He flashed out, going to find his strongest supporters, ironically the House of War. "Strife," he gasped when he ran into him. "You've got to help me find Bliss and hide him."
"Bliss did this?" Strife asked. Cupid nodded. "No wonder the Fates were hit first." He swallowed hard, but couldn't keep it down anymore. He ran for a bush and threw up. "'Scuse me," he called in between heaves.
"Dude, what did he do to you?" Cupid called. A picture formed in front of him, making him nearly get sick too. "Eww, dude."
"I couldn't turn 'em down," Strife called from his bush. He finally came out and banished the picture. "I saw him there."
"They were sitting him."
"Oh. Oh, man," he yelled. "No wonder." He hit Cupid on the forehead. "He got into the tapestry!"
"Shit." Cupid cowered in on himself. "I'm so dead. *He* is so dead."
"Zeus was having fun with his tree at least," Strife said on the up-side, trying to cheer him up. He patted his buddy on the arm. "Can ya find 'im?"
"He's happified a few towns."
"Oh, well. We've got to find 'im before Hera and Zeus do." He lifted his head and looked up. "Ares? Discord? A little help here?"
Both Gods appeared and stared at him.
"The Fates were watching Bliss," Cupid told them.
"Fuck me," Discord sighed. "No wonder I was in the middle of the whorehouse with all the little delicate women begging me for more." She looked at her twin brother. "You?"
"Singing and the Hestian virgins," Ares admitted. He looked at his son and nephew. "Where is he?"
"That's what we need help with," Strife told him. Discord frowned at him. "Feel the air. He's gotten a few *towns*."
Ares felt around, then shook his head. "He's trying for Athens right now. Let's go get him and we'll figure out where to stick him so he doesn't get beaten to death for this stunt." The four Gods disappeared from the clearing and reappeared in the main square, narrowly missing their target because the baby God had just disappeared. Ares followed the signature, catching the little guy in a brothel. He looked up at the woman walking up to them. "Sorry, he's been naughty," he explained, standing up but keeping a very firm hold on the little guy.
She nodded. "I noticed. One of your type is here in a very nice blue pantsuit, with that very nice Joxer." She frowned at the little boy, making him cry. "I suggest that you behave in the future, young man, before they give you to *me* to punish."
Bliss pouted at her. "I just make happy. Everybawdy happy now." He sniffled. "I like happy."
Ares looked over his shoulder as he felt a familiar presence walk in. "That color looks good on you, Heph," he said, almost shocked. It was a very feminine pantsuit, the jacket was nearly a dress. His brother didn't normally dress like that. He glared down at his grandson. "You are in deep this time, little man."
Cupid appeared behind him and grabbed his son, holding him up to look in his face. "You're gonna be *mortal* for this, son," he ground out. He looked at his father, who had one eyebrow raised. "Strife got captured by the Fates for their own fun."
"Um, eww," Aphrodite said as she appeared. "Bad thoughts, son." She looked at the little boy. "Hera's figured out that it was you. She went to break up the Fates."
Hephaestus hitched a small bracelet on the little boy's arm. "Go find him somewhere safe for a month or so. It'll hide him." He watched as everybody disappeared. Then he slowly looked down at himself. "What am I doing in this?"
Joxer stuck his head in. "Does that mean that you don't need a forge assistant?"
"No, I could use one," Hephaestus told him, giving him a smile. "It'll pay for the trip here." He nodded at the Lady of the House. "May we still stay?"
"Stay for as long as you like, we never close." She smiled and walked away, going to talk to someone at the bar.
Hephaestus walked over to where Joxer was standing, smiling at him. "This was a very good idea. You'll make a good assistant." He patted the man on the shoulder and walked over to where someone was playing some black, long instrument with a mellow sound and multiple push keys. It was very interesting.
Joxer nearly kicked his heels together as he danced back to his discussion partner. This was all right!
Cupid carried Bliss into the camp of the warrior princess and sat down next to her, not looking at her.
"Is he broken too?" Gabrielle asked.
"No, he broke them all," he said with a faint smile, sounding nearly prideful. Xena looked at the little boy. "He was being sat by the Fates."
"Oh." Xena shuddered. "How long will it take to get it fixed?"
"I have no idea," he admitted, handing the little boy over to her. "Can you please teach him not to do that any more?" Xena gave him a disbelieving look. "He's mortal until no one wants to kill him. I figure you could probably teach him control."
"And we can teach him not to zap people," Gabrielle added.
Xena glared at her. "We can't travel with a child."
"Says you," Gabrielle snorted. "He's not that much trouble." Cupid looked at her. "I mean, how hard can it be to travel with a boy his age? He can walk."
"He can fly," Cupid pointed out. "But he should be good. Everyone's yelled at him." He stood up, noticing Hermes laying on the bedroll. "What happened to him?"
"He caught the Fates naked," Xena told him seriously.
"Oh, man. Poor Strife." Cupid shook his head as he disappeared.
"Poor Strife?" Gabrielle asked.
Hermes sat up screaming. "No, not Strife. You've got to save him, dudes!"
"It's okay," Xena told him. "It's all been fixed," she soothed, reaching over to pat him.
Gabrielle stared Bliss down. "You did this to him," she told him. "One of your pranks led to him not being able to act normally."
Xena glared at her. "We'll do this more subtly. It won't help him to be browbeaten."
Hera called the meeting of the Gods together, looking around to stop the small discussions. "We will ignore that the last two days ever happened," she told them. Zeus nodded fiercely beside her. "It didn't happen, it will never happen again, and the little *creature* who did this has been punished."
"Punished how?" Apollo asked. "I spent all day hiding in my temple from the sun!"
"He's been made mortal and placed with a couple who will instruct him in the finer art of restraint," Ares told him. "I'm keeping an eye on him."
"You put him with *Xena*?" Zeus asked. Ares nodded. "Will this work?"
"Yup. She's traveling with Gabrielle," Hephaestus told them. "She's been lecturing him since he got there." He looked at his helper, who was crouched down beside him and nearly laughing. "You don't agree?"
"No, I'm sure he's going to be very sorry within a month," Joxer told him, trying not to laugh out loud.
"I'm sure he's really sorry," Zeus agreed. He looked at Ares. "Two months."
"They'll kill him by then."
"Oh. Well, as long as possible then." He looked at his wife, who was looking smug. She had been the one to release him from his loving tree. He looked around again, noticing for the first time that Strife wasn't at the meeting. "Where's Strife?"
"He's gone to someone to talk about what happened," Aphrodite told him. Zeus made a motion for her to continue. "Bliss' playing with him got a little...extreme and he needed to get it out before he exploded." Everyone looked at her. "It's for him to tell you, not me, guys," she told them.
The Gods looked at their rulers again, then left when Zeus and Hera didn't add anything else.
Hera looked at Aphrodite. "What happened?" she asked.
"The Fates decided he should be their playmate," Aphrodite said quietly. Hera closed her eyes and shook her head before disappearing.
"Is that what got to Hermes?" Zeus asked. Aphrodite nodded. "Then we'll leave him alone for now." He looked around. "Ares?" Ares reappeared. "Is everything back to normal?"
"No. The towns he *blessed* are still screwed up. The Fates will have to straighten some of that out."
"Very well then, go back to your duties and try to hold on until they finish fixing everything." Ares disappeared again. "You too, Aphrodite."
"Yes, Zeus." She disappeared too.
The Fates all sighed as they looked at the mess their visitor had made of their beautiful tapestry. "We're going to have to cut all the threads for that generation," Lachesis said sadly. "We'll have to reweave the whole thing back three generations."
"It'll be a pain, but we can do it," Clotho opinioned. "If we can save the threads, it'll be easier."
"Not a chance," Discord said as she appeared. She pointed at her thread, which showed up as her picking flowers in a field next week. "It can't be saved." She looked at them. "Wipe it all out and remake it," she suggested quietly. "Otherwise, you're going to have to remember being with my son for the rest of your very long lives." All three women sighed, looking happy. "And he'll have to live with Hermes seeing him with you forever." Atropos looked at her. "You didn't see Hermes coming in to watch?" she asked with a smirk.
The sisters looked at each other, then decided with one mind. "We're reweaving," they announced in unison.