by Joseph Anderson

Xena, Gabrielle, and Joxer belong to MCA/Universal and Renaissance Pictures. No copyright infringement is intended with this fanfiction which may not be sold, may be copied for personal use only, and must contain all notices of copyright.

This takes place directly after the last scene of Forget Me Not. It is also a sequel to my story The Great Goddess. It doesn't fit in with my main storyline. I just wanted to have some fun. There is rough language and some implied sexual activity.

Joxer rubbed his nose where Gabby had just twisted it, and looked relievedly at Xena and the bard talking, putting their rift behind them finally he hoped. He was ashamed at his stupidity again, trying to feed Gabrielle false happy memories and telling her she loved him. Why did he do things like that? It was incredible he could act like such a fool but Joxer couldn't seem to help himself. It seemed to make sense at the time but then later he would realize he'd acted like an idiot one more time.

The warrior princess said, "It's over. Welcome home!" Xena and Gabrielle were hugging now, and feeling left out he just impulsively went over to them.

"Hey, aren't you forgetting about me?" he said, feeding them an easy setup.

Xena took it this time instead of Gabby. "No, Joxer. Not even Mnemosyne could help her with that." She walked away to emphasize the putdown but Gabrielle patted his chest as she followed her friend. He shrugged off the insult, knowing it was just schtick--well not just schtick but mostly. If they really felt like that Xena wouldn't let him hang around. Xena and Gabrielle had shown how they actually felt when those gamblers nearly beat him to death. They didn't respect him much but they did care about him--like a simple minded younger brother or something. He'd take what he could, just to be near Gabby.

He was preparing to follow them when a hand tapped his shoulder. Joxer spun around, tripped over his own feet and fell with a crash. Clanking he got back to his feet, saying to the smiling face, "Hi Aphrodite! Are you gonna make me a hero again? Because, I gotta tell you, after it's over it I feel worse than I did before."

The beautiful Goddess of Love shook her head and got an odd expression. "You really feel bad about Gabrielle, don't you, hon? When you sold your dad's scabbard to get her a necklace, she just called you an idiot because she'd hidden something in the that was your fault! Ya got me what you see in that self-important, selfish little...oh well. Anybody knows love is blind it ought to be me."

The fool blushed and looked away. "It was my fault, Aphrodite. They're the heroes. I'm just an idiot."

The blonde goddess's face got angry and she said, "That's IT!" She waved a hand and her clothes disappeared, replaced by a great crown, long pendant earrings, golden chains around her neck, ornaments on her breasts, jeweled clasps on her hands and feet, and a girdle of birthstones on her hips over a breechclout. A huge male lion was lazily sitting near her on the ground, licking it's paws.

Joxer looked at her and down at his crude buffoonish armor, then said to her, "Glorious Ishtar, Daughter of the Moon, why have you interrupted my mission?"

Ishtar said angrily, "Your mission sucks! That's why I interrupted it, Nin. I can't stand watching mortals dump on you! What are you trying to accomplish by being Joxer. He's a well meaning schmuck who never wins! I can't stand it!"

Joxer said, "Aphrodite isn't supposed to know who I am. That was our understanding."

Ishtar said, "Yeah, I stuck to it. When I'm Aphrodite I've screwed with Joxer myself--in more ways than one--that's quite a coincidence!" She said the last with a seductive laugh, and caught Joxer's eyes. She continued, "When I get pissed my other aspects can kick in, though, and I blew up at how Joxer talked about himself just now."

The tall man closed his eyes a moment. He reopened them and said, "I see what you mean. Joxer's really something. I like that 'Jerkster' bit, and that song, Joxer the Mighty. Marvelous!"

The most awesome of the goddesses said, "I'm glad you like it, dude, because Joxer is totally bummed when he isn't living in a fantasy world. Ain't ya had enough?"

He shook his head. "Not nearly enough, Ishtar. I want to see what happens. I hope Joxer lives to a ripe old age, though the way he keeps getting in over his head makes me doubt he'll manage it. Dahok is around here too, I see. You and Enlil keeping an eye on him?"

The Great Goddess said, "Yeah, we're watching the little juvenile delinquent. I sorta hope he messes with Aphrodite so I can manifest and teach him some manners. You oughta help, Nin. That punk came as close to shitting himself as a god can whenever he met you. You're not liable to go too far like Enlil; he's way worse than his aspect Zeus. Practically everytime somebody pisses on a wall Enlil wants to waste everybody with another flood."

The man shrugged and said, "I'll remain in this form. If Dahok kills Joxer not knowing who I am, it'll be worth it for the expression on his face."

Ishtar laughed, "That'd be tubular!" The Queen of Heaven said, "Why'd you have to make Joxer such a loser? You can experience life as a mortal without being a complete screwup."

"Already did that plenty of times: heroes, maids, common soldiers, wives, kings, merchants. I want to see what it's like to be a Joxer."

The Great Goddess said resignedly, "Okay, dude, I get it. Can I see the real you for a second though? I miss Ningizzida SO MUCH! It is so NOT FAIR!"

He gave her Joxer's silly grin and his absurd armor disappeared leaving him naked. Then the pale body began glowing and shifting, and in a moment Ishtar reached a jeweled hand out to caressingly stroke the thick scaled form. Hypnotically weaving far above her, the glowing eyes of the Serpent King looked down at her and the forked tongue flicked out. The long, multicolored, shimmering body began to encircle the goddess who moaned slightly.

"Ooooo Nin baby, you know what I like!" The bobbing weaving head moved lower, the tongue flicking at her earrings and white throat, and continuing working its way down her exquisite form. Exalted and glorious Ishtar began moaning louder, causing mysterious wailing winds throughout the world.