Pairings: Hercules/Iolaus, Ares/Iolaus
Warning: Angst. Moderate BDSM, rape, and torture.
Disclaimers: The principal characters are the property of MCA/Universal and Renaissance Pictures. No copyright infringement is intended, and no financial profit is anticipated.
This story is part of the "Everything-but-the-Kitchen-Sink" series, which
is an alternate timeline for both series. The first Xena/Gabrielle
story branches off after the events in "The Debt." In this timeline,
Hope has conveniently vanished and Solan is still living with the Centaurs.
The stories in the series take place in the following order:
"Never Let me Down Again."
" . . . But We're Not the Same."
"How Long Till my Soul Gets It Right?"
"This Must Be the Place."
"The Dark Side of my Soul."
"Idylls of the Conqueror."
Summary: A brutal assault forces Hercules and Iolaus to face their feelings for each other.
Note: This story takes place just after the events in "Unchained Heart."
by Ruth Gifford and atara
Copyright (c) 1998
Part 1 of 2
"Go ahead," a male voice murmured softly. "Tell me what you want."
"Oh . . . please . . ." a woman's voice replied. "Don't tease . . ."
"I'm not teasing, baby; I'll do whatever you want as long as you ask for it."
"Cu-pid," she moaned breathlessly. "You're . . . driving me . . . crazy . . ."
That's the ticket, the listener thought. Just keep her busy, nephew, and let her keep you busy. He slipped into another part of the temple as the lovers got a little louder, completely oblivious to the drunk and snoring satyrs and their equally drunk and unconscious girlfriends who were scattered about the temple floor. As he accomplished his goal and prepared to leave, he shook his head, remembering his own long-ago days of drunken partying with mortals while choosing a new lover almost every night. Kids! he thought indulgently and not a little wistfully. He slipped out, not knowing that a pair of eyes was watching him with bleary half-interest.
Iolaus looked at the cup of wine in front of him. Someone had once told him that a man wasn't a drunkard unless he couldn't remember how many cups he put away. "Six," Iolaus muttered blearily. "And seven last night." He laughed bitterly. The problem with remembering how much he'd had to drink was that he also remembered the problem he was trying to forget.
Xena. Hercules. Xena and Hercules. Herc and Xena.
Over and over,
his mind kept running through the combination of names. His best
friend and the woman who had once betrayed him. The woman who had
used him in order to get him to destroy that same best friend, the woman
who had manipulated him with sex and words of love until he had become
her creature. In the end, it hadn't worked, but Iolaus doubted that
he'd ever forget the
pain and shame of knowing that she'd never cared for him, never meant any of the things she'd said to him. He was merely one more in a long line of men who had been snared by the Warrior Princess' wiles.
At least, he tried
to cheer himself up by thinking, he'd been the last. Forced to pay
a hideous price for one simple act of kindness, Xena had changed.
Iolaus hadn't believed it at first. Xena was brilliant, and
her apparent willingness to help Hercules stop Darphus had seemed like
her tricks. She'd been unable to get Iolaus to destroy Hercules, and so, Iolaus had assumed, she was going for the more direct route. But then he'd watched her during their fight with Darphus' men and he'd been forced to see that she'd come out of her long darkness to stand, blinking and surprised, in the light.
And Hercules had
helped her out of that darkness. It was the kind of thing he did
all the time. It was one of the things that made Iolaus care so much
for his friend. Hercules had a way of making people live up to their
potential. It was an almost magical talent to find the good in a
then get that person (and often the rest of the world) to see it.
Of course, Iolaus thought sadly, he doesn't usually have sex with them during the process. That hurt in so many ways that Iolaus didn't know where to start. It hurt because, even after all she'd done to him, he still considered Xena the most exciting lover he'd ever had. As uninhibited as any man Iolaus had ever been with, far more beautiful than any woman Iolaus had ever loved, strong and forceful and inventive, Xena had captivated him. When he knew that she and Hercules had been lovers, he'd been jealous, pure and simple. He wasn't in love with her any more, but it didn't matter; the thought of someone else being with her burned down in his gut.
It also hurt to know that Hercules had fallen in love with her. Herc had tried to hide it, but Iolaus knew his friend too well. Of course, Xena didn't love Hercules, at least not the way the hero wanted her to. She had her own agenda, her own wrongs that needed righting, and she wasn't the kind of person to stay with anyone out of gratitude. Iolaus had watched as Hercules and Xena said goodbye, and, in spite of his own mixed emotions, he'd hurt for his friend.
So I feel sorry
for him; I'm pissed off at him; I still feel like an idiot over letting
Xena use me like that, and I still want her. Am I messed up or what?
He thought about having another cup of wine, but decided that he didn't
want to end up crying or tearing up the tavern. So instead, he paid
the inn-keeper and headed up the stairs to his room. He was supposed to meet Hercules and Alcmene in Corinth the day after tomorrow to celebrate Iphicles' birthday, and he didn't want to be still woozy after a monumental drinking bout. Herc didn't need to deal with that on top of everything else.
I'll set out tomorrow, sleep on the road, find a good cold stream and bathe, and I'll be as good as new, Iolaus promised himself. Corinth was closer than a two day journey, but he wasn't sure how fast he'd be traveling tomorrow. For that matter, he thought as he fumbled with the door to his room, he didn't know when he'd be crawling out of bed tomorrow.
Finally he got the door opened and all but fell into the room. The only thing that stopped him from hitting the floor was a chest. A big strong chest with a pair of big strong arms that held him up as he staggered. "Herc?" Iolaus said, although, on second thought, he didn't think it was his friend.
"We'll get along a lot better, my friend," a smooth and vaguely familiar voice said, "if you never call me that again."
He had a moment to feel fear before the world spun around him and he was falling into some sort of fiery darkness.
Iolaus woke up feeling like an entire herd of centaurs had been having a party in his mouth. "Ugghhh . . ." he groaned.
"Here," a voice said, "drink this."
"This" proved to be water, clean cold water. Iolaus gulped it down thirstily and then looked up to thank his benefactor. His blood went cold as he saw that bearded face looking down at him and remembered whose voice it was he'd heard the night before.
Alcmene looked on as her son put the finishing touches on a section of the wall. Even for a demigod, he'd finished the task in an amazingly short amount of time, his face set and determined as he worked. He looked almost as if he were trying to exhaust himself. He'd shaken off all her efforts to get him to rest or to eat something, and finally she'd retired to the shade of a nearby tree and just watched him. He was far more impatient than she'd ever seen him, swearing under his breath when a rock slipped out of his grasp and moving without that unconscious grace she was accustomed to seeing in him.
"Well," his voice interrupted her musings. "There you are."
"Thank you, Hercules, it's a lovely section of wall. Perhaps you'd like to build me a barn in the hour of light you have left. Or maybe, if you still need something to do, you could go find a monster to fight."
His shoulders sagged. "Mother . . ."
"Come and eat something and tell me what happened."
". . . and so she left" Hercules said in conculsion. "She has her own battles to fight and she doesn't need me getting in her way."
Alcmene nodded as she looked at her son's restless hands. He'd reduced his bread to a small pile of crumbs and when he started toying with his spoon, she frowned. "Don't break that, Hercules, it's part of my favorite set. Iolaus made them for me, remember?"
Hercules put the spoon down as if it had burned him, remembering his friend's face as they'd parted. Iolaus had claimed to have "business" to deal with, but there had been a shadow in his friend's eyes that Hercules hadn't liked. It seemed to Hercules that Xena would always be between himself and his friend, and that was the last thing he wanted.
"She sounds very special," Alcmene said quietly. "But that's not all that's bothering you."
"It's Iolaus," Hercules said. "I don't think he still loves her, but I wish he didn't have to know that she and I . . ." He rose from his chair in an angry motion. "I hate hurting him like that, and . . . I'm just so confused about the whole thing."
"Perhaps you should
talk to Iolaus." Alcmene wasn't too surprised when her son rolled
his eyes and changed the subject by offering to clean off the table.
She loved him dearly, but Hercules was not one to talk about his feelings
with anyone, let alone Iolaus. She supposed that Iolaus wasn't
likely to want to talk about his feelings with Hercules either. Men, she thought with amused resignation.
"Why not?" Ares asked. The god smiled at Iolaus, a gesture that failed to reassure the mortal. "Maybe because you helped kill my dog."
"I never thought you were that sentimental."
"Ha. Ha," Ares replied dryly, his eyes narrowing. "I'm not the one who was sighing into his wine cup over a certain black haired, blue eyed warrior princess."
"I'm surprised you're not," Iolaus said. "She fought enough battles to make even you happy." He regretted the words almost the minute they were out of his mouth, but he tried to look calm as Ares raised a hand.
"I think we've talked long enough," the god said, his voice silky with menace.
and Iolaus felt the room swirl around him. When things steadied,
the first thing he noticed was that his wrists were bound above his head.
He could stand on his feet, although it was a bit of a stretch. The
next thing he noticed was that he was naked. He blinked and looked
around. He'd never been in Ares' temple, but he was pretty sure that he was there now. The whole place was made of polished black stone, and was decorated with a great deal of red and several displays of weapons. There was a large intimidating throne right in front of Iolaus. The throne was empty.
I have a bad feeling about this, Iolaus thought. He knew that Ares had been angry, but the god's anger had been cold rather than a blustering rage. The mortal would have preferred a blustering rage; at least that way, if Ares decided to kill him, it would be fast.
"Just hanging around?"
There was a flash of light and Ares appeared a second after his disembodied voice echoed through the temple. The god was sprawled on his throne and he was fidgeting with something that flashed golden between his fingers. Iolaus couldn't help being curious, although he did his best not to show it. Whatever it was didn't look like a weapon, but he couldn't be sure. This was Ares after all.
"Hanging around," Ares said. "I slay myself." He laughed as he rose to his feet and strolled slowly to where Iolaus was imprisoned. "My, my, you look nice. I can almost see why my idiot half-brother puts up with you." As if he was afraid that his prisoner hadn't grasped the meaning of his words, Ares ran one hand down Iolaus' side.
Iolaus was sure that his gulp of surprise echoed around the temple. Of all the things he'd expected of Ares, this was not it. Although the god's hand was warm where it still rested on the man's flank, Iolaus was completely unaroused.
Ares frowned, looking at the mortal he'd captured. He hadn't expected Iolaus to respond to his touch, and yet his considerable pride was injured when Iolaus looked at him as if he were something the hunter had found under a rock. Stupid mortal, Ares thought. Warriors beg for my touch.
He backed off and circled his victim, reflecting that this particular bit of revenge was going to be rather enjoyable. Iolaus was certainly a cut above most of Ares' mortal lovers, and, as the god usually chose men as dark as himself, the hunter's golden hair and pale skin were certainly different. "Hmmm . . ." Ares mused aloud as he paused behind Iolaus. "I must try blonds more often."
Iolaus drew a deep breath, but did not reply and Ares ran a finger down the mortal's spine. "You think you can resist," the god murmured, leaning in to whisper right in Iolaus' ear. "And, normally, you'd be right to think so. But, I have a little something for you, to help you . . . get past your unreasonable dislike of me."
Trying to hide his concern, Iolaus snorted. "Even a god couldn't do that, Ares."
"Perhaps not," Ares said as he strolled around to stand in front of Iolaus. "Luckily for me, what I have in mind was created by a goddess. Granted, she's my ditzy sister, but when she puts her mind to it, she can be deviously creative."
While Iolaus tried to figure out what Ares was talking about, his captor reached up and fastened something around the mortal's wrist. Iolaus felt an odd shiver roll across his skin, almost like goosebumps but not quite. Once it passed, however, he felt no different than he had earlier. He looked up at the slender gold chain around his wrist. An odd charm hung from it, but he couldn't see what it was supposed to represent.
"I hate to disappoint you," Iolaus said, "but I don't feel any . . . ohhhh . . ."
Blue eyes looked at Ares in alarm and the god laughed slightly. All he had done was stroke his way along Iolaus' wrist to the man's shoulder. To be honest, he hadn't even been sure that Aphrodite's little charm would work, but Iolaus had quivered as he was touched.
"You see," Ares purred, drawing a line with his finger from Iolaus' neck to his navel, "Aphrodite got tired of her mortal playthings falling in love with her, when all she was interested in was their bodies. She wanted their bodies to respond without their feelings getting in her way. I'm sure she never intended it for my purposes here, but that doesn't stop me from taking advantage of her work." He ran an appreciative hand along Iolaus' flank again, noticing that, instead of pulling away, Iolaus leaned into the caress.
"And she just . . . let you . . . have it?" Iolaus asked, trying as hard as he could to fight his response to the feel of Ares' hand on his skin. This is Ares! he shouted at himself. I refuse to be aroused by this monster! He'd had roughly the same thoughts before Ares had put the bracelet on him, but now they didn't have the same effect.
"Of course not," Ares retorted, caressing Iolaus' flank again. He looked down, noticing with a smirk that his touches were having an effect beyond making Iolaus short of breath. "I stole the damn thing."
"Funny you didn't . . . get Strife to . . . ohhh . . . do your dirty work." Iolaus was glad when Ares stopped touching him. That hand had become impossible to ignore, and he could feel its absence as soon as Ares pulled away. As much as his reason objected, his body was shaking with the need for more of those careful caresses. He tried to think of other things, battlefields he'd seen, the old woman who ran the bakery he'd used to steal pastries from, the Hydra . . . all the things he'd used in the past to rid himself of unwanted erections. None of it worked; Ares' hand was hot on his skin and Iolaus' body wanted more.
Telling himself that he wasn't responsible for what his body did when his mind wasn't controlling it, he made his voice hard in an attempt to distract Ares. "Maybe you didn't want Strife involved, because stealing a charm to help you rape a mortal is a little low. Even for you."
Ares' eyes seemed to glow, and he slapped Iolaus across the face. For a second, the mortal was relieved; Ares beating him was far easier to deal with than Ares caressing him. The comfort of that thought was ripped away from him as the heat of the blow seemed to shimmer across his skin. It felt like nearby lightning, and the sensation was pwoerfully erotic. Shocked even as he wanted more, Iolaus bit his lip and closed his eyes as Ares looked him over.
"My, my," the dark god murmured, his anger apparently gone. "Now this is interesting." He ran a careful finger along Iolaus' fully erect cock. "And such a surprise." He looked at Iolaus shrewdly. "To both of us, it would seem."
Iolaus kept his eyes closed, seriously wishing that when he opened them again he would find himself waking up hungover and vowing never to drink again. He knew better of course. Everything that was happening was too sharp-edged, too real to be a drunken dream. With more dignity than he knew, he opened his eyes and looked at Ares, making sure that the god could read the defiance in his eyes.
Ares frowned slightly. So, Herc's little friend was going to remain defiant? Oh, we'll see about that, Ares thought. I've tamed better men than you. And this time I have an advantage.
He reached out casually and pinched Iolaus' right nipple hard, and was rewarded with a smothered groan and the sight of his captive's hips jerking. Encouraged, he did the same to the other nipple.
Iolaus focused his attention on the monster skull that decorated Ares' throne, trying yet again to force himself to think about anything but what he was feeling. Again, it was no use; his body thrummed with desire as Ares began to toy roughly with his nipples.
In a way, it was one of the strangest (not to mention one of the most terrifying) things that had ever had happened to Iolaus. He could feel everything that Ares was doing to him, and he could feel his own treacherous body reacting to every rough touch, but his mind was oddly separated from the experience through the effect of Aphrodite's charm. Of course, since his body was happily responding to Ares, Iolaus' mind had plenty of time to think things over.
He shouldn't have been so surprised at his reaction to Ares' game. His time with Xena should have taught him that he actually preferred to be the follower instead of the leader in bed. In fact, it was possible that he was more infatuated with the memory of what Xena had done to his body than what she had done to his heart. Her beauty was truly amazing, but what had really enticed Iolaus was that beauty combined with the strength she displayed both in battle and in bed.
Slap! A sudden blow to his cheek, followed by another to the other side of his face, bought Iolaus back to the present.
"I'm going to give you a choice," Ares said angrily. "You can explain why you're not paying attention, or I can go into to your pathetic brain and find out for myself. Of course I may do some damage when I do. . ."
"Like I can trust you to keep to the bargain?"
Ares pinched the sensitive flesh on the underside of Iolaus' arm. It hurt and again Iolaus felt the pain flow though his body straight to his cock. "I'm the God of War, not the God of Deceit," Ares sneered. "I keep my bargains."
Ares was right, Iolaus mused. The god did keep his bargains. A little unused to talking about his thoughts, the mortal drew a deep breath. "I was . . . thinking about why I . . . why this is working . . . on me."
Ares moved around behind Iolaus. Leaning in to whisper in the mortal's ear, he said, "You mean why this is working for you."
As Iolaus opened his mouth to reply, Ares bit him hard right where his neck and shoulder met. Screaming, Iolaus arched back and lost his balance. He ended up with most of his weight caught in Ares' hard arms as the god continued to bite and suck on the same place. It hurt, oh gods, it hurt so much, and for a moment, Iolaus thought Ares had crossed the line. Then his body relaxed into Ares' arms and he felt the heat of the god surround him, almost as if it fountained from that one place where Ares' mouth bit and sucked at his flesh. He writhed in Ares' arms, craving more of this painful pleasure, and when Ares finally finished and let go of him, it was a long moment before Iolaus could stand on his own again.
"What was your answer?" Ares asked, as casually as if they were just friends talking. When Iolaus didn't answer, the god added, "to why you like what I'm doing?"
Oh no, Ares, Iolaus thought in anger. My body likes what you're doing. The rest of me hates you.
"I don't know, really," he managed to answer aloud, hoping Ares was true to his word and wasn't reading his thoughts. "I think I started to figure it out with Xena . . ."
Ares moved with catlike grace and speed to once more stand in front of Iolaus. "Don't say that name here!" he hissed. He slapped Iolaus again and then bent to bite and tug at the mortal's nipples.
"That's . . . why," Iolaus breathed in between moans of pleasure at what Ares was doing. He had meant to speak to himself, but the words slipped out and Ares pulled away and looked at him.
"What?" Ares demanded. When Iolaus remained silent, a knife appeared in Ares' hand. "This time if you don't answer, I'll go in and get the answer and then seriously hurt you."
"I'm here because you can't hurt Herc, and you won't hurt . . ." Iolaus looked at the knife, and hastily amended his final word. ". . . her."
"Clever little mortal," Ares purred, trying not to give any indication that Iolaus had struck a major nerve. He moved around behind his captive again, wanting to think without having to hide it. He began idly drawing the point of the dagger across Iolaus' golden skin, not drawing blood, but leaving thin pink lines. As Iolaus squirmed and moved, almost dancing under the knife, the god had to admit that he enjoyed toying with his newest victim.
And yet . . . Ares was feeling a growing discomfort with this game of his. For one thing, Iolaus was too damned clever. He had figured out one of Ares' motivating factors far too quickly for the god's taste. Further more, Ares wasn't too sure that he liked having Iolaus' mind detached from the man's admittedly attractive body. True, Iolaus wasn't fighting him every step of the way, but how much of a victory was there in triumphing over someone who didn't fight you? Ares looked thoughtfully up at the gleaming gold on Iolaus' wrist. He could remove the cham, but no, having Iolaus' trembling body at his command was too irresistable. Of course, Ares had a long history of playing games like this with his lovers, and he could tell from his victim's response that he hadn't really pushed the mortal. He caressed the dagger in anticipation.
Iolaus wondered what Ares was up to. The dagger point had stopped its maddeningly light movments on his back a moment ago, and nothing else was happening. He should have been relieved, but instead he was just nervous. What was Ares going to do next? Would he punish Iolaus for coming up with the reason (or one of the reasons) that Ares had captured him? Would it be more of this tease or . . .
Iolaus blinked in surprise; while he was thinking, Ares had moved around to stand in front of him again. Iolaus watched the dagger in the god's hand flash once and then he felt a sharp line of ice run down the underside of his arm. A moment later, the line flared into fire and he realized that Ares had actually cut his skin. It felt like a fairly shallow scratch, but when he turned his head to look, Iolaus could see the blood running down his arm. "Oh gods," he murmured softly, not at the pain, for it hardly hurt, but at the wave of desire he felt at the faint pain. But it was worse than that, for even in his mind he felt . . . something at knowing that he'd been made to bleed for another's pleasure. What is wrong with me? he wondered in desperation as his body trembled with need.
Ares took a deep breath and smiled tightly. "You're a little strange, aren't you, Iolaus? I like that in a lover." He made another fine incision on Iolaus' other arm and again the mortal felt his body move in response.
Ares continued to make fine cuts in Iolaus' skin. He was precise and careful, never cutting enough to cause serious pain, and always cutting enough to draw blood. Every once in a while, he brought the dagger to his mouth to lick the blood from it and Iolaus would feel a sort of mental shudder at the gesture. Physically he was more and more hungry for fulfillment, his body greedy with the need for some kind of release. Desire followed the knife as it marked his arms, his chest, his buttocks, and finally his thighs. When Ares placed the flat of the blade against the length of mortal's aching cock, Iolaus couldn't help the way he thrust against it.
Who would have imagined this? Ares thought. Hercules, you don't know what you're missing. He backed off and looked at his victim. Thin streaks of blood ran from the knife wounds and every muscle in the mortal's body was tense with desire. Suddenly impatient, the god waved his hand.
Iolaus was aware
of a moment of disorientation and then realized that he was bound to Ares'
throne. His face rested on the red cushion on the seat and his arms
were somehow cuffed to the arms of the throne. His knees were bound
to the foot of the throne in a way that left his legs spread. Even
his ankles were securely cuffed to the dais that the throne rested on.
turned his head, feeling velvet against his cheek and braced himself for the worst.
However, it was the knife first, this time traveling down the length of his spine to his tailbone. Then a hot tongue lapped at the blood on the small of his back and he moaned and arched his body. Again the knife marked him, this time a series of lines on his right buttock and then another series of lines on the left one. Again and again, Iolaus told his body not to respond and again and again he did respond, twisting and moving and begging silently for more. He was humiliated at his loss of control, humiliated that his body could so readily betray him. He wished himself anywhere else and thought of Hercules, but no . . . he couldn't bear the thought of Hercules seeing him like this.
When Ares finally put the knife down, the god wasn't thinking about his disappointment with the scene anymore. In fact, he wasn't thinking of much but his need to fuck the body in front of him. Between the thin rivulets of blood that ran down Iolaus' pale skin, the way the man was moving, and just the look of him tied to the throne like that, Ares was more eager for it than he had been in a long time. Grabbing a bottle of oil that hadn't been there a moment ago, the god moved in and knelt between Iolaus' bound legs.
"I'll have to thank Aphrodite," Ares murmured, leaning over Iolaus and whispering in his ear. The god caressed Iolaus' ass and nipped at the man's ear. "I love the fact that you're here, hating me, while your body wants me." As if to illustrate his point, he slid an oiled finger into Iolaus and chuckled as the mortal groaned and pushed back against him. "You're so eager for it," the god teased, moving another finger roughly inside.
Iolaus moaned again as the clawing tension that had built up in his body seemed to focus on his ass and Ares' fingers. Only my body, he told himself. It's only my body; I don't want this. Even that thought was hard to bear, and when, after a few moments, Ares' movements stilled, Iolaus felt a second of relief. Ares had three fingers buried inside him, but at least he'd stopped moving them. The relief didn't last, as Iolaus felt himself thrust back against Ares' hand. He heard a smothered groan behind him and then Ares' fingers withdrew.
"If you want it that badly, then I'm going to give it to you," the god said, and Iolaus felt something larger than fingers rest against his anus. To his shame, he arched his hips and slid his knees open a little further in invitation, and he cried out in mingled pain and pleasure as Ares' cock slowly moved into him.
Ares grabbed Iolaus' hips, slipping a little on the blood there. Once more he bent over the man's back and, finding the place he bitten earlier, latched onto it again with his teeth, as he began to thrust into Iolaus a little faster and a little harder. Iolaus moved with him, matching each thrust and for a moment Ares forgot himself. He could feel muscles move under the skin of the mortal beneath him, smell the blood and the sweat, taste the skin in his mouth. It felt like combat and smelled like a battlefield, and Ares let it all roll over him as he got ready to take everything he could from Iolaus. The god rarely had lovers who could keep up with him, and he couldn't remember the last time he'd had one who, as Iolaus did now, encouraged him to do more.
Of course, Ares remembered, it was only the man's body that was working to encourage Ares to fuck him harder. As the god obliged, digging his fingers with bruising strength into Iolaus' hips, he wondered what sex with Iolaus would be like if the mortal actually wanted it with both body and mind. It would never happen, at least not with Ares, and, in anger and lust the god moved again to whisper into his victim's ear.
"I know you don't really want this," he breathed, "and that's just fine with me. But I want you to think about how much your body likes this, how you're moving to get more of me inside you, how the pain made you hard. Think about how good it could be with someone you actually care about." He bit at Iolaus' ear and smiled at the man's loud groan of pleasure. "Maybe someone like Hercules . . ."
Iolaus yelled as, for a moment, his mind was in perfect tune with his body. It was as if his eyes opened for the first time and the force of the revelation washed over him in a wave of blinding light. If this were Herc behind him, fucking him like this, he would have everything he'd ever wanted, everything he'd craved for so long and so deeply inside himself it had never penetrated to his conscious attention. And it would never happen; he was sure of that. Damn you Ares! he thought futilely. Damn you for making me face that! Damn you, damn you, damn you . . .
Ares moved off Iolaus' back and into a position that allowed him to thrust even harder into the man beneath him. Iolaus was yelling incoherently now, cursing and begging for more at the same time, and, as Ares continued to fuck him, his neck arched back. Fascinated, Ares reached out a hand and grabbed a handful of gold curls.
Still thinking of Ares' words, Iolaus screamed and felt himself moving nearer to the edge. He didn't want to come; somehow to do so would be a surrender to this whole experience. Unfortunately, he realized, as his climax moved closer and closer, like it or not, he was going to come from this. His body didn't care about hate or torment; all his body knew was that it was getting fucked hard. And even his mind was in on the act, as Ares' words echoed in his head. Someone you actually care about . . . someone like Hercules . . . Knowing that it was useless to try and fight the orgasm any longer, Iolaus fought it anyway. But then a hot hand slid around his hip to roughly stroke his cock, and that darkly sinister voice was talking to him again.
"Come for me now, mortal," the god commanded and Iolaus couldn't help himself any more. He screamed and his orgasm slammed over him roughly as Ares thrust into him one more time. As he continued to climax, Iolaus had a vague notion that Ares was yelling and coming as well, but almost all of his attention was involved in the waves of fire that radiated from his cock and ass and washed out across is whole body. Finally, panting and gasping, they both went limp, Ares a heavy weight on Iolaus' back, pushing him into the throne.
Into the silence of the temple, a voice spoke, or rather roared, "DAMN YOU ARES!!!"
Hercules was wondering, for the seventh or eighth time, where Iolaus was. True, his friend had merely said that he'd meet Hercules in Corinth in time for Iphicles' celebration, but it was more like Iolaus to be early for a party. On top of it all, Hercules wanted to try to talk to Iolaus about Xena. He'd been thinking a great deal about what his mother had said to him, and he had resolved to try to talk with his friend. Now he paced the gardens of Iphicles' palace, not sure about how to bring up the subject of Xena when Iolaus did manage to arrive.
"Yo, Uncle Herc!" a voice out of nowhere called. Seconds later, his nephew Cupid appeared. "I've got a big problem, man."
"Oh?" Hercules asked. While Cupid was inclined to exaggerate, even Hercules had to admit that his nephew looked worried.
"It's Uncle Ares."
"Ares is a big problem." Hercules agreed. "What's he done now?"
"He fuckin' ripped me off, that's what." When Hercules looked curious, the young god explained. "OK, so it was my mom's charm he stole, but she lent it to me, and he took it from my temple, without asking. Who does he think he is, Hermes? And I'm the one that's going to catch all the flack from her."
"Whoa, slow down. What charm did Ares steal?"
"Well, mom likes to play with mortals, but she got tired of them falling in love with her. She'd say, 'They get all sentimental on me, and it's just gro-dy!'" Cupid grinned a little sheepishly, and Hercules had to smile at his dead-on imitation of his mother. Cupid continued, "So she made this charm that keeps your mind from interfering with your body--it's like your body responds, but your feelings aren't there. It's sort of weird really."
"And Ares took it?" Hercules frowned. "Are you sure it was Ares? Why would he want something like that? Maybe it was Autolycus."
"No man, it was Ares! I was foolin' around with my new girlfriend, and all the guys and their chicks were drunk and out of it, but one of my buds woke up a little and saw him. And what's more, he's using the charm on Iolaus."
"What?!" Hercules grabbed Cupid's arm. "Where is Iolaus, Cupid? What is Ares doing to him?"
"They're at Ares' temple, the big one." Cupid looked down, refusing to meet his uncle's eyes. "I don't know exactly what's going on." When Hercules shook him slightly in annoyance, the god pulled his arm away. "Hey! I can't just go barging into Ares' temple and beat the crap out of him, you know. He could take me in a minute."
"Maybe you can't beat the crap out of him, but if he's hurt Iolaus, I'm going to do just that. Can you take me there?"
Cupid suddenly looked at Hercules intently. "Whoa!" he almost whispered. Before Hercules could get impatient and ask him to explain, Cupid raised a hand and gestured. They were standing in a courtyard before a huge black stone building.
"Lovely little place he has here," Hercules muttered. He turned to Cupid, "you should probably stay out here."
"Hey, no problem, man." As Hercules turned to enter the temple, Cupid added, "I'll be here if you need help with Iolaus later." There was something odd in his nephew's voice, but Hercules didn't have time to figure out what Cupid was saying.
"Fine, Cupid," he muttered as he headed for the doors.
From behind him he heard something that sounded suspiciously like, "get a clue," but he ignored it and pushed the great doors open.
What he saw made his heart freeze and his breath rush out of him, as if he'd taken a blow to his gut. He stood, dumbstruck and paralyzed. Iolaus was on his knees, bent over Ares' throne, and the god was raping him from behind. Hercules took in the bindings that secured Iolaus and was aghast to see that his friend was covered in blood, blood that streaked and smeared every time the god adjusted his grip on Iolaus' body. He heard Ares command, "Come for me now, mortal," and witnessed both figures yelling and bucking in orgasm.
It was only then that he could shake off his paralysis and roar "DAMN YOU ARES!!!"
Ares lightly leapt to his feet, readjusting his clothes with a wave of the hand, and remarking, "Ah. Your timing is exquisite, brother." He advanced toward Hercules and gestured back at the kneeling and gasping Iolaus, "What's the problem? I'm just giving him what you should have years ago if you weren't too clueless to figure it out."
Hercules growled and ran toward the god, taking a flying leap and striking Ares in the chest with his boot. The god staggered backward, and Hercules grabbed him by his vest and threw him with all the force he could muster. Ares crashed into a column, which shattered around him. Hercules was at Iolaus' side in a moment, hastily snapping the bindings on his arms, knees, and ankles. Iolaus collapsed forward on the throne, his head in his hands, but Hercules had to turn to face Ares, who had quickly recovered.
They closed together in a flurry of gauntleted arms. Ares delivered a solid blow to Hercules' stomach, propelling him backward. Overcome with an uncontrollable fury, Hercules picked up an iron stand topped with rings of candles and charged Ares with it, swinging it in a wide arc and knocking the god off his feet and going on in one continuous motion to smash the stand into the nearest column. Ares jumped to his feet, grinning, and punched the demigod in the jaw. Hercules was oblivious to pain at the moment, and he rushed Ares, shoving him into a shield mounted on the wall, sending both god and shield clattering to the ground. Ares drew his knife, still stained with Iolaus' blood, but Hercules grabbed it out of his hand and threw it with blazing ferocity, burying it in the wall.
Panting, Ares taunted, as he jumped to his feet, "It does my heart good to see you getting in touch with your anger like this, little brother. I should play with your toys more often--particularly since I seem to appreciate this one more than you do." Hercules drew his arm back for another blow, but Ares blocked it with his arm, then vanished, only to reappear across the temple. Ares rushed Hercules this time, but the demigod threw himself into a roll right under him, sending the god crashing into another column. Ares was partly buried under chunks of marble, and Hercules took advantage of the fact to kick him repeatedly in the stomach and then moved around to kick him in the back. He then proceeded to take out his anger on inanimate objects, breaking weapons and shields and punching holes in the stone walls.
At first he didn't notice Iolaus, who had pulled himself to his feet, trying to get his attention. "Herc! Herc! HERC!!!" he yelled. "Can we just get out of here? This isn't doing me any good."
Hercules sagged, spent and heartsick at the sight of his friend, leaning weakly on Ares' throne, his body streaked with blood, and his hair matted with sweat and with blood where the god had grabbed it. He remembered the blond climaxing with a shout, and his mind spun, unable to find purchase on any thought that made any sense to him, except the realization that he was filled with self-loathing for being too caught up in his anger to realize Iolaus needed him. "I'm sorry, Iolaus," he murmured, his face drawn with pain.
He pulled a heavy chunk of marble off of Ares, and yanked the god to his feet. "Ares," he demanded, "I want you to heal all of his wounds now, or I'll trash this place so thoroughly you'll still be cleaning it up by the time you're obsolete." When the god hesitated, Hercules grabbed him by his vest with both hands, hauled him forward and ordered, "Do. It."
Ares sighed extravagantly and waved his hand carelessly, instantly healing Iolaus' injuries, cleaning him up, and restoring his clothes at the same time, commenting, "Fortunately for me, healing them doesn't take away the pleasure I got in inflicting them."
Hercules kicked the god's feet out from under him, letting him drop on his tailbone. He then went over to Iolaus, put an arm around his shoulder, and said "C'mon buddy."
Ares had gotten up, and was rubbing his tailbone and laughing. "Buddy? That's rich." He dropped gracefully onto his throne, still laughing as Hercules and Iolaus went out, until he was brought up short wondering what Hercules had meant by "obsolete."
to Part 2
to XWP and HTLJ