By Kitkat

Once upon a time, there was a godling named Strife. He worked very hard at what he did, yet he was constantly put down and made fun of by the other gods. They laughed at his clothes, the way he spoke, and especially his lack of skin color.  "Squishy white god" echoed through Strife's ears almost constantly.

Strife's most fervent wish was to go to the big Olympian Ball, and dance with Cupid.  He had mentioned to his mother that he wanted to attend the ball, but she just laughed and sent him on more errands.

Finally, the night of the ball arrived, and Strife was miserable.  He had spent the day helping everyone else get ready.  He'd picked up 'Dite's new dress, shined Ares' new codpiece, and another million things for everyone but himself.  One by one everyone went to the ball, leaving Strife alone, again.

Just as he was about to cry himself to sleep, a light appeared in his chamber.  Ares appeared before him, but this was not the Ares he knew. This Ares was wearing very tight white leather, and he was clean shaven.  Even more confusing, a gentle smile graced the usually predatory face.

"Unc?" Strife asked shakily.

"No time for small talk, boy, we need to get you ready for love" the man said, lots of emphasis on the word, love.  With a flourish, the man, who was obviously some god, changed Strife's outfit from the one piece thing he usually wore to something much more visually pleasing.  The pants were tight black leather, not much different than his own.  The shirt, though, was a crushed red velvet, loose and billowy. He also had new jewelry, including a thick silver chain around his neck.  To complete the outfit, Strife wore the most fabulous boots, patches of velvet and leather, with silver studs.  "Now you are ready" the stranger pronounced, "your chariot awaits."

Outside there was a glorious chariot, led by two black stallions. Strife stepped onto it, with the god, and they were off in a flash. Quickly, they arrived, as Strife jumped out of the chariot, his fairy godfather spoke again, "You must be home by sunrise."

"Dude, what am I? Some sort of bacchae?"  Strife asked flippantly.  The new clothes had given him a boost of self esteem. "Ok, ok dude, home by sunrise, gotcha!"  he said as he ran into the great hall where the party was being held.

"Kids these days," the god said as he vanished from sight.

Strife entered the dining room, listening to all the gasps and whispered questions about his new look.  As he passed Ares,  the God of War smiled in appreciation.  Strife blushed slightly but kept on going.  Finally he reached Cupid's table, where he was talking to his mom.  "Excuse me, Cupid, but would you care to dance?" he asked, proud of how strong his voice sounded.

Cupid looked confused at first, then recognizing him, he looked even more confused.  In what seemed like an eternity, but was only a minute, Cupid smiled and took Strife's hand. They walked over to the dance floor, and began to twirl with the music. They danced without talking for most of the night, letting their bodies and eyes speak for themselves.

Then he felt it.  The first rays of sun were beginning to peek over the horizon.  He broke out of Cupid's embrace, as much as he hated doing it.  As he ran out of the hall, Cupid gave chase, reaching out, but only grabbing the silver necklace, which came off in his hand.

Strife ran all the way back to his home, throwing himself onto the bed, feeling even more alone than before  because now he knew how wonderful that body felt against his.  At this point, Strife realized that he wasn't alone.  He rolled over and saw Cupid grinning at him with his necklace in one hand, and what looked like restraints in another.

"What?" Strife whispered.

"I wanted to return this" as he placed the necklace around Strife's throat, "and these"as he placed the restraints on Strife's wrists and around the posts of the bed, "are to make sure you don't run off on me again, at least not today."

Both gods smiled, and they lived happily ever after...

The End