The Times They Be
A Changing
By Chris
Ares looks into the mirror and the same face is there. Nothing has changed, no lines or gray hair has graced his face despite the passage of time..he is Ares....and he is alone.

Sitting upon his throne he gazes out into the empty temple. Once it was filled with those who worshiped and feared him. Even those who hated him came to make offerings or scream their hate at him.

It was all gone now..the silence was ringing in his ears. Not even the other gods were there to torment him. They had left so long ago...he had forgotten how long ago. He laughed at them at first for leaving..."the mortals will come back to us he shouted at them...I alone will receive them..this is my home..go on you fools go!"

So he waited.....they did not come back. Mortals turned their backs on the old ways and embraced the one god. Ares can feel a single tear run down his cheek. He is alone.

Ares walks to the mirror and waves his hand...memories now play across the glass and he smiles.

It is all before him now...even the face of Hercules brings a smile to his face. Ares misses the all to good half god brother of his. He would welcome the he wants only to embrace what he was foolish to throw away!

They all pass before him now..Iphicles, Hercules...Iolaus...Joxer..Xena and Talaus...he reaches out for them. He touches only cold glass and cold memories.

Ares leans his head upon the glass and now openly cries....he hates being alone!

Ares returns to his throne and once more sits...he must not allow regrets to tear him apart...he must be strong. He knows one day the mortals will return and he will be there. But how will he greet them as the god of war or as a loving father greets the return of a child long lost to him.

He wraps his hand about the hilt of his sword and it burns his flesh. Ares throws it far from him and it breaks as it hits the far wall. Ares stands and looks at the broken looks like the remnants of his heart and life laying there.

How had he come to this? He had been so foolish to have not have left with the others. His own arrogance and vainglory had brought him to this! Ares knows he has no one but himself to blame.

Talaus and Iolaus had tried so many times to warn him..but he would not listen. Now he would give anything to hold them in his arms and tell them how much he missed them. He smiles, Iolaus and those blue eyes like the sky and Talaus with his laugh that touched the heart.

The dust is heavy and cobwebs hang everywhere in his forgotten temple. The rats left long ago..he is truly alone.

Picking up a rock he aims it at the mirror, it will torment him no longer. Arching his head back he screams...the rock falls soundless to the ground, he cannot do it. No he cannot destroy the one place he can still see their faces...hear their voices.

Ares leans his body against the glass and presses it close...this is all he has now.

Voices caress at his ear and he can feel a small warm hand at his seems oh so real, he opens his eyes.

Iolaus and Talaus gaze back at him from the dirty glass. Talaus holds out his hands and beckons Ares to take them. Small tan hands press against the glass.

"It is time to come home Ares...take my hands..come let me bring you home."

Ares wipes at the tears on his face, can this be real? He places his hands on the glass. Slowly he can feel the glass vanish, small fingers wrap around his..."Talaus?"

"Come Ares it is time."

Iolaus and Talaus pull him through the mirror and he blinks his eyes in the bright sunshine..he has lived so long in darkness. Is this real...are they real?

"Where am I?"

Iolaus wraps his arms about the god`s waist...."home are home."

Talaus reaches up pulling him down for a deep kiss. Ares buries himself has been so long since he was touched.

"Hello Ares."

The god looks is Hercules. Ares shifts his feet, he does not know what to say after all this time and hatred.

"Welcome home Ares."

The god finds himself tight in his brother`s embrace. "Brother," Ares whispers.

The four men now leave the past behind them,.....Ares looks over his shoulder as the mirror shatters, the shards scatter to the four his regrets.