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KISS OF A WARRIOR
WARNING: This story contains scenes of love between two women. If this offends you or is illegal where you live, go do something else.
DISCLAIMER: The characters of Xena and Gabrielle belong to MCA/Universal and no copyright infringement is intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This is my first attempt at fan fiction so please be kind. I had lots of fun writing this, and I hope you will enjoy it. I'd love to receive any comments or suggestions from you, so please E-Mail me at Thanks.
The rain whipped with Poseidon's rage. Tossing the large vessel across the angry waters that threatened to destroy the ship with each charging wave. The sails gave up, surrendering to the powers of the storm. The deck was covered in water, flooding down to the lower levels of the ship. The warrior had herself huddled in the corner of the captured vessel, her arms wrapped protectively around the young bard.
"I will show no mercy!" Cried Poseidon's deep voice from under the waters. "No one has shown me as much defiance as you have! A god does not allow a mortal, even the Warrior Princess, to disobey... and for that you shall die!"
A loud crack erupts from the top deck. The main mast breaks in two, sending the ship almost to ruin. The two women remain trapped inside what is left of the bottom deck, the water rising above their waists.
The ship starts to sink, the ocean swallowing it down to where Poseidon awaits, fingering his scepter in anticipation of victory. As the hull disappeared into the waters, the god of the sea smiled upon himself as he felt the powerful satisfaction of revenge.
The small island stood desolate from everything but the sea and the sky. It's beauty was breathtaking! Anything but human hands had touched the sandy beaches or rock scattered shore points... until that morning.
Battered, but alive, the two women lay sleeping on the sandy ground, unaware if they were still living or dead. The water's currents had swept them under, and had taunted them by bringing them to the surface for air only to be pulled back under in seconds. By some sort of miracle, they had survived and now lay collapsed on this island.
A sword lay next to the body of Xena. About a hundred yards away from her lay Gabrielle, her body being caressed by the incoming tide. The first eyes to open were of crystal blue, amazed to see the earth underneath them instead of Hades.
Xena pulled her body wearily off the ground, sand sticking to her still wet skin. Every muscle ached in agony. The island swayed like she was still on water. On the ground she finds her sword, glad to see it had made the journey also. Xena suddenly remembers everything about last night, and her first thought went to Gabrielle.
Gabrielle felt herself being shook, a voice screaming her name over and over. She opens her eyes and looks up to find the tall raven-haired woman standing over her like an angel that had come to take her away.
"Gab... Gabrielle!" Xena pulls her friend up to her, hugging her with the little strength she has left. "Gods, I thought you were dead."
"I can't believe it." Gabrielle says softly. "Poseidon..."
"Couldn't kill us." Xena interrupts. "And I'm telling you he ain't gonna be pleased when he finds that out."
Xena pulls Gabrielle from off the ground. Both of them look around, trying to figure out where they are. Xena listens carefully, trying to detect any sounds that could give her a clue where civilization might be. She shakes her head. "Nothing."
"It's a deserted island. Nothing here besides us." Xena says thoughtfully.
"Well that's great." Gabrielle says putting her hands on her hips. "What are we going to do now? We have no ship, no food, no..."
Xena puts her hand over Gabrielle's mouth. "We'll find a way out of here. And I'm sure there's plenty of food on this island somewhere."
"Well all I know is if we try and go back over Poseidon's little playground over there, we're not going to make it in one piece." Xena raises an eyebrow at her friend. "What? Aren't you upset Xena? Aren't you really really mad that we're stuck here for who knows how long?"
Xena grins to herself. "Not really."
"NOT REALLY? Xena, are you telling me you like being stranded on here?"
"I'm not saying anything. All I know is we're stuck here for now and I'm gonna make the most of it."
"Aren't you forgetting something? You're Xena: Warrior Princess remember? Xena doesn't like to be far away from adventure, battles, the people who need you." Gabrielle finishes puffing.
"Just think of it as a vacation." Xena grins and walks off to explore the island.
"Vacation." Gabrielle says under her breath. "That's good. What am I gonna do... Hey Xena, wait up!"
Gabrielle takes a triumphant step towards the edge of the shore, the water barley touching the tip of her boot. She turns around to see Xena walking calmly behind her, smiling slightly at how funny the young bard could be without herself knowing it.
"How long was that? About fifteen minutes?"
"That seems about right." Xena says setting herself down on the sand. Gabrielle joins her, sitting close to the warrior, their arms barley touching like they always do. She wipes her hand across her forehead. "Pretty hot once you get out of the shade. We were walking through that small jungle most of our trip."
"So how big is this place?" Gabrielle asks. "A mile across?"
"Seems that way." Xena says with little enthusiasm unlike her friend whose mood had changed considerably from when they first started walking across the island. "You don't seem so angry about being stuck here anymore."
Gabrielle looks down and pats some sand with her hand. "Yeah, well, I'm kind of getting use to it. I mean, I don't like it... I'm just beginning to realize how grateful we are that this island is here. Without it, we would probably be dead under water somewhere." She gets a distant look in her eyes as if she just noticed how close they had come to death.
Xena folds her arms across her chest. "Well, I wouldn't give Poseidon that satisfaction. Trouble with gods, they think the way to solve their anger is through taking lives." She glances down at her sword. "I learned that lesson long ago."
Gabrielle feels the sand shifting underneath her hand. "Do you feel that?"
"What?" Xena says still deep in thought about the past.
Gabrielle lifts up her hand and puts it back down again. "That!"
Xena looks over at Gabrielle with little interest. "Gabrielle, what are you..." She stops speaking as her own body begins to tremble.
"The islands shaking." Gabrielle says leaping off the ground. Xena stands up beside her, eyes positioned outward towards the sea.
The waves of the ocean begin to spiral around in a circle, going faster and faster. The island shakes more as the momentum of the whirlpool swells. From the center of the circle rises a powerful sprout of water shooting straight up into the sky. A scepter, followed by a water carved hand and body, rises high above the ocean. A yell comes deep within the god's throat, his voice mighty and deep. His eyes fall upon the two women who stand far below him.
Xena stares into Poseidon's eyes, no fear of any kind showing. She had been expecting him to show up ever since he had failed to kill her last night. "Poseidon... surprised to see me still alive?"
"Xena..." He yells his voice erupting like thunder. "You have escaped me for the last time. There is no way you will ever get off this island as long as you have to go through me."
"Well, it doesn't look like I have much of a choice." Xena yells up towards the towering god.
"Why Xena? Why do you hide your fear from me?"
"Because I have no fear to hide." Xena says in her strongest tone. "To me you are the weakest of all the gods. You kill out of anger and without good reason."
Poseidon raises his scepter in anger. "No one disobeys a god without being punished. You of all people should know that."
"Just because you are a god doesn't give you the right to pick and choose who lives and dies." Gabrielle says making Poseidon notice her for the first time.
"That's exactly what it means." Poseidon says with a penetrating gaze into the terrified bard's eyes. His attention focuses back on the warrior. "Your friend tries to be as brave as you. What kind of a warrior takes such an innocent young girl into a life she is defenseless in?"
A small grin peaks at the corners of Xena's lips. "Defenseless? You obviously don't know Gabrielle too well."
Poseidon takes in a deep breath, "We'll see about that. Luck only lasts so long Xena, and so does my patience. You will never leave this island alive as long as I am god of the sea. Never!" His voice bursts forth, leaving a long lasting rumble in the sky. He descends back into his domain, the raging waters a reminder of his presence.
"So much for a vacation." Xena says with her eyes still fixed onto the water.
Gabrielle has a worried expression on her face. The way Poseidon had looked at her sent a cold chill through her body. She could still feel his eyes pounding into hers, the power he held in that stare had almost made her scream. "What are we going to do?" Gabrielle says softly, her voice shaking slightly.
"First things first. We need to get something to eat." Xena starts to walk off, but notices her friend isn't following. "You okay Gabrielle?"
Gabrielle turns around to look at Xena. Seeing how relaxed she looked should have made her feel less tense, but for some reason it wasn't. "I guess I'm just still a little out of it. I'll be fine once I get some food in my stomach." She says putting on a fake smile.
Xena could tell Poseidon had really frightened Gabrielle. She herself was feeling a little bit scared about the situation. This island was off in the middle of nowhere. Most likely there wouldn't be any ships coming by anytime soon. The only thing to do now was hope by some miracle, Poseidon would change his mind about the whole thing or a ship would pass by.
Xena set the skinned rabbit down on a piece of sail that had come from the wrecked ship. She wraps it up, wondering how rabbits got on the island in the first place. The thought quickly left, as she didn't dwell on questions that weren't worth answering. She supposed if she were Gabrielle, it would have been pondered on for hours until some kind of answer could satisfy her mind.
The warrior walks quietly over to a high cliff that steadily slopes down into a small clear lake. Her eyes light up at the sight of Gabrielle, a small grin on her face as she watches the bard splashing around like a young child. The cold bath had seemed to drown her thoughts about Poseidon for now. Xena didn't want Gabrielle to notice her. It was the only time she could stare at her, besides when she was asleep, without having to hide the love that strayed in her eyes.
She wasn't sure when she had first started to feel this way about her friend. It could have been the first time she spoke or the first time her sweet laughter made Xena smile. But for some reason, this love was unlike any she had ever felt in her life. It made her feel so good inside, with every look and each gentle touch her body was sent through a wave of emotions. The need to touch her was almost unbearable, but she held back. The fear of losing her was too much to risk no matter how much it hurt not being able to tell her how she felt.
"Hopefully one day when I look into your eyes, the same kind of love will be there that I have for you." Xena says quietly to Gabrielle, knowing she can't hear her.
Xena erases the emotions off her face and begins to head down towards the water. She stops next to where Gabrielle's clothes are laid and begins to remove her own in a pile next to them. She slowly makes her way into the water, careful not to make a sound. A devilish smile appears on her face as she reaches the back of her unsuspecting friend.
"Iy-yi-yi-yi-yi-yi-yi-yi-ahhhhhhh!" Xena cries loudly. Gabrielle screams, her body jumping clear out of the water. She turns around to see her friend laughing hysterically.
"Oh, that's not funny." Gabrielle says, but can't help smiling despite trying to sound angry. She begins her own revenge by splashing some water into Xena's face, soon realizing her mistake as Xena begins to send waves of water back at her. "Alright!" Gabrielle says laughing. "Truce! Truce!"
They stop, both out of breath, but still having a giggling fit. Gabrielle speaks through gasps of air, "Don't you ever use that iy-yi-yi-yi whatever thing on me again." She says not being able to hide a smirk.
"Just making sure I still had it in me."
"Oh, it's still there alright." Gabrielle says twisting her finger into her ringing ear. "Hey, this place is pretty beautiful huh? The water is so refreshing... not like the usual body numbing bath."
"Yeah, it does feel good."
"Oh, it tastes good too. Have you tried some water yet?"
"Nah. I'm not that thirsty actually."
Gabrielle gets a concerned look on her face. "You should drink some. You had to get a lot of that salt water in your mouth from last night. You're gonna get dehydrated if you..."
"Don't worry about it Gabrielle. I promise, I'll drink some later." She says admiring her friend's concern for her. There was a time when she hated being cared for. It made her feel like less of a person because it took away from her warrior image. But with Gabrielle, she had come to like it and not be ashamed by it.
Gabrielle cups her hands together and gathers some water into them. She looks down at the small pool, into her own reflection. She could almost see Poseidon's eyes instead of her own. "Xena I want you to be honest with me." Gabrielle says meeting Xena's eyes.
"What is it?" Xena asks knowing already what her question would be.
"Do you think we can make it off this island?"
"The truth is I don't know." Xena says trying to keep some strength in her voice. Gabrielle had hoped to receive a better answer, but this one didn't surprise her any. She was beginning to feel as if the island would become their permanent home. "C'mon. I got a rabbit all set for eating. We can get a fire started and just relax for awhile."
"Food is definitely a good idea." Gabrielle says holding her stomach. "We haven't eaten since yesterday."
As they start to head out of the pond, Gabrielle suddenly begins to stumble forward. She grabs onto Xena's shoulders to keep herself from going under. Xena turns around, immediately hosting her friend up against her body.
"Gabrielle?" The warrior's eyes are wide with concern as she studies Gabrielle's face. She notices a paleness that didn't seem to be there a moment ago. "What's wrong?"
The bard lifts her head up weakly to look at Xena. "I'm okay. It's just... I guess I'm hungrier than I thought." Xena isn't really satisfied with the answer, but continues to help her friend out of the water without any questions. She helps Gabrielle down onto the ground and hands her clothes to her.
"Can you manage to get dressed while I go get the fire started?" Xena asks beginning to put her own clothes back on. "I don't want to leave you if..."
Gabrielle shakes her head. "No, I'll be fine." She looks up to see her friend's dissatisfied look. "Really Xena. Go ahead."
Xena reluctantly leaves her friend by the pond's shore and heads off to get some fire wood. She had an unsettling feeling inside her stomach. Not a sick feeling, but a kind of feeling that was making her uneasy, and even a little afraid. But she wasn't certain why.
The sun had just begun its slow journey down towards the endless horizon. Each ripple of water glistened as if lined with gold. The ocean's peaceful appearance was outlined by an unseen evil that Xena wasn't sure how to face. With her friend sick by her side, she could feel a buried hatred re-surfacing inside her.
Xena saw the reflection of the sunlit sea in Gabrielle's eyes, but also the extreme suffering that was steadily getting worse. She knew how much her friend loved the beauty of a sunset, so she hoped that bringing her down by the ocean to watch it would somehow help relieve the sickness.
Xena felt Gabrielle's hand slip into hers, and immediately her body went still. She looked over at Gabrielle to make sure she hadn't noticed her sudden loss of breath, and saw that she was safe. Xena acted as if nothing had happened (the best she could anyway).
"Your hand is cold." Gabrielle says softly, her voice blending in with the sound of the tide.
"No, yours is hot." Xena says instinctively placing her hand on Gabrielle's cheek. "And you have a fever. Maybe we outta go get a fire going before it gets too dark."
Xena can feel her hand being squeezed, almost like it was attached to her heart. "Please. Can we stay for just a few more minutes?" The bard says staring into the distant sun.
Gabrielle smiles to herself. She begins to recite a poem. "A thousand miles away, and still not alone. For wherever she is, I am at home. Warrior so close to me, my hand she holds. And in her body, she keeps my soul."
Xena can feel her body melting like the waves into the ocean. She looks over at Gabrielle, her mouth wanting so much to kiss her lips. To finally release the passion that she had been keeping inside of her for so long. But in her mind she knew that those words went no where past the love of friendship. Speechless, she could just smile and hope Gabrielle would understand that she just couldn't say anything without ruining the moment. Her talent for words was never one of her "many skills".
The two women silently watched the sun until it was no longer visible in the sky. Xena had a hard time getting Gabrielle to stand up, and practically had to carry her back to camp. Her body seemed almost dead when Xena laid it down on the ground.
The warrior kneels down next to her still friend. Feeling uncomfortable, she looks up into the sky hoping that somebody is watching them. "If anyone is listening to me... I know I don't deserve anything from the gods, but Gabrielle is everything to me." Tears begin to drip down her cheeks. She starts to speak in uncontrollable sobs. " I can't let her die, and if I could I'd take her place in a second. If you felt the kind of love I feel for her you'd understand... I can't live without her."
The moonlight collided with the dancing shadows of fire against the pale bard's skin. The sickness had only gotten worse since they had eaten, and Gabrielle ended up vomiting most of the food anyway. Tiny droplets of sweat were forming steadily all over her body, and she kept complaining about how cold she felt even though it was a very warm night.
Xena's concern only grew with each passing moment. Gabrielle had been sick before, but never so bad that she was moaning in pain. And the feeling Xena had inside was only getting worse. It was almost like she was sharing the pain in Gabrielle, but in different forms of emotion rather than in suffering.
Xena ran a cold piece of cloth over Gabrielle's incredibly feverish forehead. How she wished she could wrap her friend up in a warm blanket, but there was nothing like that around. The fire was the closest thing to it.
Gabrielle slid the back of her hand against Xena's defined cheekbone, and made an effort to show a weary smile. The warrior could feel her heart melting at the touch of her shaking hand. "Xena..."
"Shhh." Xena said softly as she continued to run the wet cloth over her face. "You need all the strength you can get."
"This feeling-it's eating me up inside. I don't know how much longer..."
"Hey, what are you talking about?" Xena interrupts. "Your not going to *die*. I'm sure it's just..."
"No, Xena." Gabrielle says so seriously Xena pulls away from her a little. "This isn't normal. There's something evil about it... I can't explain."
"I can feel it too." Xena says her eyes searching the night as if to find something. "Wait..." Her pupils grow wide. "Earlier-you said you drank some water."
"Yes, but I don't see..."
Xena's body jolts up quickly as if it was struck by something. "So this is his game." Her eyes focus back to Gabrielle's confused expression. "He's poisoned you."
"Who?" Gabrielle pauses not quite understanding. "You mean Poseidon? You think it was him?"
"No." Xena says her fists clenching into a tight ball. "I know it's Poseidon. He knows the worst way he can get revenge on me is through killing you. And I'm not going to let him." Xena says grabbing her sword from off the ground.
"Xena, what are you doing?" Gabrielle questions with her eyes on the sword that is clenched tightly in the warrior's hand. "You can't kill him. He's a god."
Xena leans closely over to Gabrielle and clutches her hand around the bard's arm. "I'm not gonna let you die. And a god isn't going to stop me either."
"And if I don't make it back..." Xena stops suddenly as if she wasn't sure what to say. She turns away from Gabrielle and starts running off into the dark jungle towards the awaiting god of the sea.
"Poseidon!" The warrior screams into the endless ocean, her sword ready at her side. The anger that was in her now was more intense than anything she had ever felt in her life. The fury in her eyes reflected the thoughts that were running through her mind. "You bastard! I'll slay you from all your domination, your kingdom, from your life!"
A deep rumbling laugh vibrates over the sky as Poseidon appears once again from the sea. His amused expression only adds to Xena's rage. He points his large scepter outward until the middle point is just inches from the warrior's neck. "You'll do no such thing with that stick you hold. You've brought this all upon yourself. Gabrielle's death will be all yours, and there's nothing you can do to change that."
Xena pushes the scepter out of her face, and holds up her sword. "Damn it Poseidon! What do you expect me to do? If you want me to apologize, I will. If you want me to beg for your forgiveness, I'll drop to my knees and plead with all my heart for you to save her. And if you want my life, you can have it because without her I can't live."
"Save it for Athena. Love is no good with me, especially coming from a woman who believes she can bargain with a god. Gabrielle is dead, and your soul is mine."
"My soul belongs to Gabrielle, and no one can take that from me. Not Hades, not you, or any god." Xena says harnessing her sword behind her back. "You have lost Poseidon. Whether she lives or dies, you can never take her from me."
Poseidon's face turns serious for a moment as he looks down at the warrior, his cold eyes searching deep into hers. With a final breath he mutters, "Go and say goodbye to your friend."
He drops back into the sea, the ocean closing in around him until there is no sign left of him. Xena stands there, her body barley being able to hold itself up. Life seemed to be crashing down around her, a strange feeling was taking over her body. An emptiness that stung right into her heart, slowly devouring the inside of her soul.
"Go to her." A voice carrying like wind, soft and sweet speaks through the air.
Xena looks around but sees no one, although she can feel the presence of someone near her. "Who's there?"
"Go to her..." The voice repeats, this time fading. "She will not last much longer."
Xena can feel a very light touch on her arm, like a soft breeze of wind. In the touch she feels a renewed strength and enough power to allow her body to run back through the maze of trees to where her dying friend awaits by a dimming fire. The thought of this being her last time to be with Gabrielle ached in the warrior's mind as she neared the campsite.
The warrior steps into the small clearing. She could feel her heart being torn in two as she saw Gabrielle's half-opened eyes staring at her, so lifeless. She quickly approaches her friend, and kneels down beside her putting her hands against the bard's drained face.
"I'm so sorry Gabrielle." Xena sobs as she gently strokes her friend's soft blond hair.
Gabrielle slowly reaches her trembling hand to Xena's face, placing it against her cheek. "Don't ever blame yourself for this Xena." She whispers. "Promise, you'll never forget me."
Xena pulls her face close to Gabrielle's. "How could I? Without you I don't even know if I can live."
"You have to. Please... do it for me." Gabrielle's eyes start to close. Her hand falls from Xena's face.
"No! Gabrielle!" Xena pulls the body up into her arms. "You can't leave me. I love you more than anything! Gabrielle..." Xena leans down until her lips are barley touching the bard's.
"I love you too." Gabrielle speaks with her last breath of air. Xena gently presses her lips up against Gabrielle's. She can feel a gentle breeze come over her, and a strange sensation taking over her body.
"You're love will save her." Says a familiar voice from behind Xena. She turns her body and sees a beautiful woman standing there in a long white gown.
"Athena." Xena gasps. "What do you mean?"
"I listened when you prayed, and watched you when you spoke with Poseidon about your love for Gabrielle. When you kissed Gabrielle, you released the effects of the poison from her." Athena looks over at Gabrielle's body. "She's going to be fine now ."
Xena looks over at her friend to see that she is breathing, and is gaining back her color. She looks back at Athena with tears in her eyes. "Thank you Athena. You don't know how much this means to me."
"I do." Athena says smiling. "There will be a ship passing by the island tomorrow morning. I have a feeling Poseidon won't be giving you any trouble."
Xena goes over to Athena and gives her a hug. "I will always remember what you have done for me. I owe you my life."
"You owe me nothing." Athena says with a smirk on her lips. "As long as you have love in your heart, I couldn't ask for anything more."
Xena glances over at Gabrielle. "Right now my heart is overflowing." She pulls away from Athena wiping tears away from her eyes. "Thank you again."
"Goodbye Warrior Princess. Take care of her." Athena whispers as she disappears from the air.
"I will." Xena promises as she looks up into the sky. Her soul felt whole again.
Gabrielle opens her eyes, squinting at the morning sun. She looks over to see her friend snuggled closely against her side, her arm wrapped around her body. She turns towards her and lightly kisses her on the lips. Xena's lips begin to respond, kissing back passionately.
Xena opens her eyes slowly, surprised to see it wasn't all a dream. "I could get used to waking up like this." She purrs looking deep into the green eyes for the first time without having to hide any of her love.
"You don't know how long I've been waiting to kiss your lips." Gabrielle says smiling. "Gods, I never thought I could love anyone so much."
"I'm sorry it took me so long to tell you. I just wasn't sure how..."
"I know. When I recited that poem last night, that was my way of telling you. It was so hard for me not to kiss you right there when you looked over at me. It was hard enough to get myself just to hold your hand."
Xena smiles and pulls the bard towards her for another kiss. Gabrielle opens her mouth, allowing Xena's tongue to roam against hers. She could feel her friend's hands trembling against her bare arms, and she knew then that Xena would be hers forever. Even when the warrior went up against all odds, never had she seen her so nervous. It made her smile just to think of it.
Xena pulls away. "What are you smiling about?"
Gabrielle begins to say something but is stopped by the loud sound of a horn. They both turn their heads out towards the ocean. "What's that?" Gabrielle asks.
Xena stands up quickly, grabbing her sword and leather from off the ground. "It's the ship. Hurry and get to the shore!"
"The ship?" Gabrielle says standing up slowly. "But how..."
"Go! This will be our only chance!" Xena yells as she quickly buckles up her armor.
They both run through the dense jungle until they reach the point where land meets ocean. Coming towards them is a large merchant vessel. Xena waves her arms wildly towards the ship until the sail is lowered and it heads in towards the shore.
A man climbs down off the ship, and stares at the two women curiously. He strokes his large beard and smiles. "Well you two seem to be far away from nowhere. How'd you end up here?"
Xena walks towards the large man, and Gabrielle follows behind. "Our ship got destroyed in a storm a couple days ago."
"Yes... Poseidon sure must have been mad at somebody that day." He says laughing. Xena and Gabrielle exchange a quick glance. "It knocked us off course for a few days, but I'm sure we're headed in the right direction now. We're headed back to Athens... plenty of room on board for two."
"That would be great." Gabrielle says eagerly.
Xena looks over at her. "Since when have you've been anxious to board a ship?"
"Hey, I can stand being on a ship for a few days, but being stranded on an island for eternity just doesn't seem like the better choice."
"I'll see you two aboard then." The man says walking back to the boat.
Xena turns towards Gabrielle letting out a sigh of relief. "Ready?"
Gabrielle turns back to look at the island for the last time. "We should come back here someday... you know, as long as we can get back home. It's a beautiful place- someone should enjoy it."
"Maybe for our honeymoon." Xena says putting her arm around her friend. "C'mon. Let's go."
Side-by-side they both walk off the island, leaving with more than they had ever dreamed. The ship heads off into the calm ocean where Poseidon sits grinding his teeth, powerless to do anything. As long as Athena was watching over them, he knew he couldn't win. Love was too powerful for even him to overcome, and he knew there was no way he'd ever get his revenge.