The Price

Rated:  NC-17


Pairings:  Hercules/Iolaus, Ares/Iolaus

Disclaimer: The principal characters are the property of MCA/Universal and Renaissance Pictures.  No copyright infringement is intended, and no financial profit is anticipated.

Summary:  Iolaus pays a high price to Ares to save Hercules' life.

Warning:  Forced sex and domination.

Note: A missing scene from 'Mother Of All Monsters'

The Price
By Valentin

"Pull the arrow out," Hercules gasped through clenched teeth, his eyes locked commandingly on Iolaus'.

Iolaus grasped the arrow reluctantly, his touch sending a bolt of pain through the demigod. Hercules was sweating profusely, the veins of his neck distended with the effort not to scream. Iolaus would have given anything to take his place. Instead, he locked his hands around the shaft of the Archer's arrow and pulled.

Hercules roared with agony and collapsed, and Iolaus took deep breaths to quell his nausea, finally allowing the terror he felt to show on his face.  "Rest well, my friend," he whispered, his hands skimming the beloved form gently, fingers tightening convulsively on Hercules' powerful shoulder.

"He'll be resting in peace in about 20 minutes," a voice observed from above him. Iolaus bent over Hercules' unconscious body in an automatic gesture of protection, then turned his head to find the voice's owner. He leaned against the boulder that sheltered them, silhouetted by the setting sun;
Iolaus squinted against the light, his eyes travelling up the indolently posed figure.

Powerful thighs encased in black leather. Ornate belt supporting a heavily-embossed sword. Black leather jerkin seated snugly on broad shoulders; maliciously glowing black eyes below a swirl of midnight curls.


"For once in your life you should have gone with your instincts, instead of opting for slavish obedience," the God of War continued. "If you'd left the arrow where it was until the bleeding stopped and then cut it out he might have had a chance. But you made more of a mess tearing it loose than my
mother's Archer did shooting it into him. Nice going, sidekick; you just killed the love of your life." He leaned interestedly over Iolaus' shoulder, watching the colour draining from Hercules' face as his breathing became more ragged.

Iolaus' face was whiter than the demigod's as he leaped to his feet and slammed Ares against the boulder in one swift movement. "Do something," he hissed through his teeth, gripping the collar of Ares' jerkin in trembling hands.

Ares laughed incredulously. "Do something? I am doing something. I'm watching my bastard brother bleed to death, courtesy of the man he thought was his best friend." He shook Iolaus' hands off easily. Hercules had begun to shake; his breathing was faint and rapid, his lips bluish. Ares settled on his haunches, turning Hercules' head to face him. "My original estimate may have been off," he said. "I give him ten more minutes at most."

The blood was pumping from Hercules' side more slowly now; Iolaus dropped to his knees beside Ares and snatched Hercules' still hand to his mouth, stifling a cry at its iciness. Raising an anguished face to Ares, he whispered, "Please."

Ares stared into the imploring blue eyes for a long moment, his own slowly lighting with spiteful pleasure. "Please what, little man?" he drawled.

Iolaus scarcely registered the hated epithet. "Please, Ares, save him.  You're a god; I know you can do it. Save him, and I'll do anything you want.  Tell Hades to take me instead of him. Please!"

"Gods don't barter over mortals. Besides, Hades isn't interested in you."  His assessing gaze swept Iolaus. "But I might be."

Iolaus looked at him uncomprehendingly. "Anything. If you want my service, it's yours."

"Don't be a fool. You're a warrior; you're already in my service, whether you choose to acknowledge it or not. No, I can think of far more interesting uses than battle for my brother's shadow." He brushed a lazy thumb over Iolaus' lower lip, who jerked back his head as if stung. Ares shrugged and made as if to depart, and Iolaus caught his arm.

"No! All right, save him now and I'll go with you," he spat, and Ares relished the hatred in his eyes.

"I don't think so," he said. "Come with me now, and if you please me I'll save Hercules afterward. Take it or leave it."

"And let him die while you fuck me? I don't think so," Iolaus mocked him, his eyes never leaving Ares', his still face almost concealing his desperation. Ares felt a second of admiration; perhaps this one would prove a worthy adversary, after all. Good; he hated winning too easily. But win he would, in the end.

He always had.

"Let go of him," he said, and when Iolaus backed off slightly, warily, he made a negligent gesture over Hercules' body, halting all movement; even his hair ceased to be ruffled by the soft wind. "He's stopped. It's up to you whether he lives or dies when he starts again. Shall we go?"

Iolaus stumbled after him, coming up short when he saw that Ares had led him to Alcmene's house. "Not here," he said involuntarily, and Ares grinned.

"I thought you'd appreciate the privacy. We can do it beside Hercules' body, if you'd rather. He'll never notice."

Iolaus' hands clenched by his sides, and Ares drank in the force of his hate like an aphrodesiac.  Delicious; hate was so much more exhilarating than fear. His brother was luckier than he deserved, to have this fiery mortal love him silently all these years. And now he, Ares, would have what Hercules hadn't noticed was his for the taking. Delicious, indeed.


The word almost startled Ares; had the mortal read his mind? "Because I can," he said. "Because you're his, even if he doesn't know it. Don't waste your breath," he advised as Iolaus began a heated denial. "Everyone on Olympus knows Hercules' lapdog is panting with unrequited love. Oh, he won't find out from me; why would I risk making him happy?"

"Are you going to tell him about this?" Iolaus asked; the words stuck in his throat.

"You assume he'll be alive for me to tell. You obviously have great confidence in your powers of persuasion. You'd better start persuading me, don't you think?"

Another wave of loathing. Ares' cock swelled. Today was turning out very well.

He sauntered to the bed and sat back against the headboard. "Take off your clothes," he ordered. "Slowly."

He watched as Iolaus removed his garments with hands that shook with rage.  Good; stay angry. That will make the victory all the sweeter. He studied the vulnerable flesh that was revealed to him. Small he was, but there was strength there. His hands had looked like a child's lying against Hercules'
broad chest; Ares pictured them clutching his buttocks, pulling his face down into a bruising kiss, fury-darkened eyes burning brilliant in the crucible of passion. This would have been satisfying had Iolaus been no more interesting than the usual run of dullards; his beauty was irrelevant, but
gratifying nonetheless. Ares could hardly wait to have those sleek thighs locked around his hips. Perhaps he'd even keep the blood-letting to a minimum this time.

He crooked a finger and Iolaus approached the bed, disdaining to conceal himself from Ares' sardonic regard. He lay stiffly on the coverings, barely flinching when Ares swung over his body to straddle his hips just below his flaccid penis. "Take off my belt," Ares told him, and he complied silently, his eyes on Ares'. The god leaned forward until his hands rested against the bed on either side of Iolaus' head, and the mortal could feel the hardness of his cock behind its leather prison. His nostrils flared slightly as Ares rocked gently against him; the god noted the tiny intake of breath, and smiled again. So responsive. Don't make this too easy, pretty boy; you'll spoil my fun.

Again at his command, Iolaus unfastened his jerkin and slid it off his shoulders; this time when Ares leaned forward, he felt Iolaus' stomach tighten under the slow caress of his body. "Get it over with!" Iolaus burst out, and Ares savoured his first victory.

"That's not how this is going to go, Iolaus," he said mildly, beginning a subtle rhythm against Iolaus' loins. "The deal was that I'd save Hercules' life if you pleased me. Rushing this won't please me at all. You telling me what to do doesn't please me, either. Neither does your lying there like a frightened virgin on her wedding night. You know, I find it quite exciting to think about fucking someone who hates me as much as you do. Hate is such a clean, uncomplicated emotion—no coy disguises or selfish hidden agendas, just refreshing, exhilarating rancour. You always know where you stand with
someone who hates you. How long do you think you can hold out, Iolaus? Not against me fucking you—we both know that's going to happen exactly when I choose. Against you wanting me to fuck you. Against you needing me to fuck you more than you need air, against you being so desperate for me to let you come that for that one second you'd even sacrifice Hercules."

A little over the top, maybe? He watched Iolaus' pupils dilate.

Victory number two.

He leaned toward Iolaus' mouth, and the man beneath him turned his head abruptly. A welcome surge of anger swept Ares; he caught Iolaus' chin in a punishing grip, forcing it up. "Don't turn away from me again," he said levelly. Iolaus waited tensely but Ares was still, watching his eyes until a hint of uncertainty crept into them—did Iolaus know how they betrayed him, those absurdly luminous eyes? -- and only then touching his tongue to the spot where his fingers had bruised Iolaus' jaw, licking the corners of his mouth, the curves of his cheekbones, the hollows of his lids in long, unhurried swipes, until Iolaus was shaking under the shocking intimacy of it. He greeted Ares' mouth on his own with something like relief, hesitating only briefly before opening to him, but Ares concentrated on his parted lips, licking and biting softly until he felt the involuntary movement of Iolaus' hips against his. His tongue slipped inside, teasing the ridged vault, the edges of teeth, drawing Iolaus' tongue into his own mouth to suck softly on it. Iolaus' cock was hard against him now, and he rocked against
it one more time, then moved away.

Iolaus' eyes fluttered open as Ares' weight left his body; he lowered his lashes quickly, but not quickly enough to prevent Ares from seeing his uneasiness.

You're not allowed to get comfortable, mortal. This is my game.

"Pull off my boots."

A fresh surge of defiance lit Iolaus' eyes at the calm words. "Do it yourself. I agreed to sex, not slavery."

Ares lay back, clasping his hands behind his head. "Suit yourself. If you don't stop to put on your pants, you might catch Hercules in time to say goodbye before he dies." He laughed as Iolaus dove off the bed to his clothes, turning quickly with his knife clutched tightly in one hand. Ares rose off the bed to meet him, looking down at his flushed, murderous face
with amusement.

"Take your best shot, Iolaus. And then take off my boots, like a good little slave."

Iolaus launched himself at Ares with a howl. The god disarmed him effortlessly, tossing the knife on the bedside table in a gesture of unconcern that he saw was not lost on Iolaus, then pulled the smaller man hard against his chest, locking one hand in blond curls, forcing Iolaus' head back to expose the straining column of his throat.

"Is it out of your system?" he inquired silkily, and let his mouth hover above the pulse that beat in Iolaus' throat for a long moment before releasing him suddenly to stretch out on the bed.

"Now, take. Off. My boots." His voice was soft, and dangerous.

Iolaus closed his eyes and visibly forced himself under control before approaching the bed and pulling Ares' boots off. The god laced his fingers behind his head again. "Now the trousers," he added. Iolaus bit his lip, but slid the leather over his hips without protest.

Very good, Iolaus. Submission gets easier with practice, doesn't it?

He patted the bed, turning on to his side and propping his head on his hand as Iolaus came to lie beside him. A pointed look at the space between them was all it took for Iolaus to shift reluctantly until he lay against Ares' body. Ares slid his hand easily up the inside of Iolaus' thigh and pulled it toward him, imprisoning it between his own. His cock hadn't been this hard in a long time; he rocked it against Iolaus' hip and ran his hand across his belly, dipping down to cup his balls and softened penis until he felt it stir anew against his palm.

Iolaus. I'll barely have to push you at all.

"I hate you, you son of a bitch." Iolaus said it unemotionally, almost conversationally, but his hands were fists at his sides.

"I'm counting on it," Ares said with satisfaction, and traced the pulse that hammered in Iolaus' throat. He pushed delicately at the mortal's mind. Not enough to influence his feelings; that would taint the victory. No, just enough to sharpen what was already there. Call it a minor erosion of self-control. Nothing that wouldn't have happened eventually, had Ares the time to properly train him. Yes.

His hand drifted upward to capture Iolaus' jaw again, and he stared at the curve of his upper lip for a long moment. "One of the things that annoys me most about my brother," he said, his breath warm in Iolaus' ear, hand moving almost absently down Iolaus' arm to unfurl the clenched fist and stroke the
tender skin of palm and wrist delicately, rhythmically; "is his inability to recognise the value of passion. It drives gods and mortals both. Of course, mortals aren't the best judges of how to exploit it; that's why you need us.  To show you how to turn passion to your advantage." Iolaus' cock was hard
again; his nostrils flared with the effort of taking slow, steady breaths.  Ares' hand moved to the swell of a smooth pectoral, fingers scraping lightly up and down, brushing the peak of a nipple again and again.

"Passion is what dragged you out of caves. It's what brought you civilisation and enlightenment. Passion is what's going to save Hercules' life, Iolaus. But if my complacent brother had his way, Greece would be peopled by smiling zombies whose blood has curdled in their veins."

"Hercules isn't like that." Iolaus said it slowly, as if the thought came from a distance.

"Isn't he? When have you ever seen him wade into a fight just for the sheer unholy joy of it? When has he ever slapped you on the back and congratulated you on a conquest, instead of making you feel like an errant child? When did he ever show you a fraction of what's in your face every time you look at

"I don't need Hercules to throw me on my back to prove he loves me." Iolaus had lost the battle to control his breathing and his words ended on a swift intake of breath as Ares' hand slid down to nudge his thighs further apart.  This time when Ares moved over him, he made room for the dark god between them without thought. Ares was careful to keep his smile from his face.

"You really are a lovely little package," he said idly, watching the red flush mount to Iolaus' throat as Ares pressed their loins together. It seemed he'd been hard forever. The soft scratch of the mortal's gold curls against his cock made him shiver deliciously, and he rocked into the heat and growing slickness. Iolaus' head went back; his hands buried themselves in the bedclothes for an instant, then with a groan he tangled them in Ares' hair and pulled him into a rage-filled kiss. Ares felt his lush bottom lip split against his teeth and let the blood spill from it as though he were human; its taste intoxicated him and he shared it with Iolaus, laughing triumphantly into his panting mouth, sliding his hands down over rib and hip to urge those strong thighs around his waist, just as he'd wanted from the

The third victory.

He'd a mind to sample this mortal's blood; he pulled a hand from his hair and sank suddenly sharp teeth into the tracery of blue veins below his wrist. Iolaus hissed and tried to pull his arm away, but Ares held him firmly; saltsweet and thick, it was underlaid with the rich taste of Iolaus' fury and arousal. Sex and blood; they made an immortal's life worth living.  Especially when there were games to be played with mortals like this one. He allowed the blood to trickle down his arm, scooping it from the hollow of his elbow and smearing it across his chest. He closed his eyes and breathed in its heady scent, some impulse bringing his own wrist to his mouth to tear at it and hold it, dripping, above Iolaus' face, there to limn a primitive, savage mask.

Not so far from the caves, after all.

Iolaus' eyes blazed above the jagged streaks of crimson; his tongue darted out, shockingly pink and delicate, to lick at the gore on Ares' cheek. He tightened his legs around Ares' waist and the god crushed their mouths together. He'd tapped a wellspring of violence that exceeded his most
optimistic expectations, and it was breathtaking.

"You serve me, Iolaus. There's a place inside you that knows complacency is the only real death. Acknowledge it or not. Like it or not. In the end, you belong to the God of War, and all your love of Hercules can't change that."  His voice was ragged, effortful; Iolaus stared at him, chest heaving.

"I serve you or have sex with you for the same reason: because the alternative is unacceptable. I kill one man because sometimes it's the only way to make sure a hundred live. You watch a hundred die because it pleases you. Just like it pleases you to think Hercules is incapable of passion.  You're right; it is passion that's going to save Hercules' life. Not ours, making hate on his mother's bed. His. His passion for life, for lives, even for the ones who don't deserve it, like you.

"Did you think you were going to seduce me into changing my mind?" His chuckle was unexpected, and mirthless. "I confess. You seduced me, all right. You overturned some rock inside me somewhere, and something I don't particularly want to look at came crawling out to meet you. So yeah, I want
you. But when this is over, I will walk away and not look back. I will never belong to you.

"Now shut up and fuck me, you bastard."

Ares shifted slightly to press his aching cock against the tightness of Iolaus' flesh. Not slick enough, he thought. "This is probably going to hurt you more than it does me," he remarked, pushing in without further preamble. Iolaus grunted as the head of Ares' cock pierced him.

"I don't give a fuck. Just do it," he gasped, and Ares tore into him, roaring. He couldn't remember the last time he wanted a mortal this badly.

Such a waste.

Their coupling was frenzied, animalistic; Iolaus' nails laid open Ares' back, and he responded by pulling the mortal's legs over his shoulders to thrust into him more deeply. He remembered trying to flip Iolaus on to his stomach and being bitten to the bone, Iolaus panting that he wanted to watch
Ares' face when he came. Somehow this excited Ares past bearing, as did the mortal's demands for more, harder, faster. He was vaguely aware of Iolaus' hands on his cock between them, and of his hoarse shriek when he came, his seed joining the blood that decorated the God of War's chest. He clamped on Ares' cock endlessly, painfully, heels drumming on Ares' bloody back as the god rode him, until finally he was limp and shuddering, jerking occasionally when Ares drove deeper into his unresisting body. His hand slipped off his cock, scrabbled among the tumbled bedclothes and returned to his side; then suddenly he was meeting Ares' thrusts again, grinding his ass brutally on Ares' cock, and through the red haze of his impending climax Ares saw Iolaus' hand come off the bed, light flashing from the thing he held in it.

He had time for a wave of astonishment and admiration before his orgasm and the knife struck him simultaneously.

The pain was incredible; he'd never come so hard in all his centuries of existence.

When he could see again, some small eternities later, he rolled off Iolaus on to his back and stared at the hilt of the knife that was buried in his chest.

"I didn't think it was possible for a mortal to surprise me any more," he said, and began to laugh. He laughed harder when Iolaus nonchalantly leaned over him to pull out the blade and toss it back on the table.

He turned back to Ares, suddenly impatient. "No more games, Ares. Save Hercules, and fix it so Demetrius doesn't gain so much of a head start that we can't catch up in time, or all this will be for nothing."

Ares yawned. "Even saving Hercules doesn't seem an unreasonable price to pay for the entertainment you've given me, Iolaus. Demetrius' wagon will break an axle and force him to make early camp. My brother should be ready to stagger after him by the time it's fixed."

Iolaus was halfway out the door when Ares spoke again. "If I were you, I'd wash before I let Hercules see me. You might be able to convince him the blood is his, but you're a little, well, ripe." He smiled again as Iolaus looked down at his gore-streaked body, at the toothmarks on his swollen nipples and the jagged wound that still oozed on his wrist.


The God of War sighed and gestured. "You'll have to handle dressing on your own." Iolaus turned too quickly and winced. "I wouldn't want you to forget me completely," Ares added, caressing his split lip. He decided it would amuse him to wear his own wounds a little longer. He brushed a hand across the place where Iolaus had stabbed him, and chuckled. Things had not gone exactly as planned. He was in an excellent mood.

We aren't finished with each other yet, Iolaus.

He vanished.

Hercules opened his eyes with an effort. "Iolaus," he said with relief, the familiar figure blurry, but unmistakable to him. There had been grass under him; now there was softness, a pillow instead of a rock. He'd known Iolaus would come through. In a minute he'd remember why his side hurt so much.

Hercules had remained unconscious during the time it had taken Iolaus to pull him into the house, hoist him onto the bed and stitch and dress his wound. Iolaus was grateful; it had given him time to compose himself, to prepare to act as though nothing had happened. Hopefully Hercules would attribute anything he gave away to the stress of the moment. He sighed heavily. Ares had removed the surface evidence of their encounter, except for the ache in his ass every time he moved. The rest of it wouldn't be erased so casually.

Hercules was alive. That was all that mattered. He'd think about the rest of it some other time.

"Thank the gods. I didn't think anyone could survive one of Hephaestus' arrows," he heard himself say.

He could do this.


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