Ungodly Hours
by Kira


"Hey Herc, did you ever wonder why the sky is blue? I mean, why blue? Why not yellow, or orange or red or..."

"Iolaus, you're babbling. I actually heard that the light is refracted from the water in the air and blue is the dominant colour so that..."

"Yeah right! Next thing you'll be telling me that the earth isn't flat!"

"Well actually..."The two bickered good-naturedly as they hiked down the road towards Corinth before settling into a companionable silence. After preventing a war between a group of misunderstood Amazons and a town bent on routing the women from their forest, the demi-god and the hunter were ready for a rest.

The sun shone brightly and a light breeze tousled the golden curls of the hunter as he shifted his sword onto his left shoulder. A sigh escaped his lips before he could trap it. Hercules looked down at his partner in concern, seeing for the first time the lines of exhaustion etching his handsome features.

"Hey buddy, are you okay? I haven't heard a word from you for the last two leagues," he asked with a smile. Iolaus glanced up and grinned.

"I'm fine *mother*. I'm just a bit...tired? We haven't had a break in a while you know and some of us are mortal." Hercules grinned back and they continued their journey. As the forest gave way to a small village, the sun had already begin its slow descent behind the mountains. The village consisted of a few cottages and an inn sprawling near a meadow where herds of cows were contentedly chewing their cud. There were lanterns lighting the street, smoke drifting lazily from chimneys, filling the air with the fragrant scent of birch. The villagers looked at the pair with curiosity as they entered the outskirts of the town.

Iolaus eyed the inn hungrily. "Hey Herc, how about actually sleeping indoors for a change, in a real bed?" Iolaus asked eagerly. "Besides, I'm starving and whatever they're cooking in there smells like ambrosia!"

More than happy to concede to the hunter's desire for a warm bed and a good meal, Hercules gestured for Iolaus to lead the way and they entered the warmth of the inn. There were a number of tables, mostly empty and a counter behind which lounged a middle-aged man. A great bear of a figure, the imposing barkeep had greying black hair and a rounded middle which bespoke a sedentary life style. But his eyes danced with laughter and lightheartedness. Upon seeing the newcomers, he walked around the counter, wiping his hands on a towel that had seen better days.

"Welcome strangers, what can I do for you? An ale? A meal? A room? A hot bath?" He cleared away some abandoned mugs of ale and nodded to Hercules and Iolaus to sit down.

"We'll take all of the above, thanks," Iolaus replied, sinking onto the bench with a contented grunt. He set his sword up against the leg of the table and took a deep drink of the ale that the innkeeper placed in front of him. Hercules quickly followed suit. Hercules watched with amusement as Iolaus powered through three bowls of rabbit stew and two more mugs of ale before sitting back with a contented sigh.

"Had enough, Iolaus?"

"Well, I really didn't want to eat that nice man out of house and home and I have plans for later which involve some strenuous activity that I would hate to do on a full stomach." Iolaus batted his eyelashes at his lover. "Anyway, it beats your cooking any day. How anyone who has such a great cook as a mother can manage to burn water is beyond me."

"Hhmmph." was all Hercules would grace that jest with. The Innkeeper, who introduced himself as Atonus came up to them as they relaxed in front of the fireplace. "Sir, your bath is ready."

Iolaus grinned at his friend, "See the respect I get here Herc, I think I'll just take up residence here!" Then he looked back at the innkeeper, "Please, Atonus, call me Iolaus. But feel free to make Hercules here feel important. Lead on to the bath!!" He leaned over and whispered in Hercules' ear. "Don't wait too long or the water will get cold."

Later, glowing clean, his damp hair curling on the nape of his neck, and thoroughly and utterly loved by Hercules, Iolaus reclined face down on the bed enjoying the soft strokes Hercules laved around his shoulders and spine. Hercules avoided going any further down towards the firmly muscles ass cheeks, too exhausted to try anymore bedroom gymnastics that night.

"Herc?"

"Yeah?"

"How soon is Iphicles expecting us?"

"Not right away I guess...Why?"

"Do we have to leave right away?"

"You mean stay here?"

"Yeah."

Hercules looked down at his lover and upon seeing how languid and relaxed he was, realized that it was about time they took a break. More time to spend uninterrupted, whiling it away with a certain blond lover. Oh yeah.

"I guess it couldn't hurt."

Iolaus' eyes opened and he directed a blinding smile at Hercules. "Kewl!"

Hercules snorted at the aphroditeism.

*******

The next few days were filled with big meals, warm beds and the welcoming hospitality of the villagers, who warmed to the heros from the first day. In return for their generosity, the duo partook in the mundane, boring, everyday chores that had to be completed, mending fences and roofs, tilling fields and the odd black smithing. And they loved it. For once, no bandits attacked, no monsters decided that the village looked extremely tasty, and no crazy gods made an appearance to disturb the peaceful tranquility of the villagers' lives. Hercules and Iolaus' nights where filled with hot sex and tender love.

It was the fourth day of their holiday, when Hercules chanced upon his lover telling stories of their adventures to a group of children in various stages of dirtiness and charm.

"...and so then I shot Hercules with Artemis's bow.."

"Did it hurt?" A small boy asked, removing his thumb from his mouth to ask the question with a faint lisp.

"No... Hercules didn't feel a thing. So Hercules was saved from being a pig..."

"I have a pig."

"That's nice. And Hercules took his lady pig friend and went to bring her back to the farm where her..."

"My pig's name is Brasius."

"That's a neat name. So on their way back to the farm, Aphrodite met up with them and she thought it would be neat if she could be a person like Hercules was a pig. So she took Artemis's bow and turned her into a woman."

"Did it hurt?"

"No, it didn't hurt.

Hercules laughed behind his hand at the sight of the golden hunter surrounded by a crowd of adoring children who insisted on peppering the story with questions and comments.

"Your friend has a wonderful way with children." Hercules turned to the woman who watched the story teller with open amusement. Sertia smiled and looked at her fourteen year old son who hung back at the edges of the circle of children, obviously interested but old enough to think he shouldn't be. He'd be a wonderful father.

"Yes he would. He also has way of telling the stories so that all of the embarrassing things happen to me. He's a born natural." Hercules replied with a sharp pang at the thought of Iolaus' son who had died and regetting the fact that they would never have children of their own. But sometimes you paid the price for love...that was one thing Hercules had learned a long, long time ago.

"Hercules, I understand that Iolaus is a rather renowned hunter."

"That would be an understatement actually, he's the best there is." Hercules said with evident pride.

"Do you....do you think he'd take Erik out with him hunting while he is here? Atonus can't get away from the inn for more than an hour at a time and Erik has always wanted to go. Would you be willing to ask?" Sertia asked hesitantly, lowering her eyes in embarrassment.

"Tell you what Sertia, why don't you ask him yourself. Given how Iolaus feels about hunting I can't see him refusing."

Hercules prediction was more than accurate, Iolaus responded to the request with abundant enthusiasm which couldn't help but excite Erik. Iolaus confided to Hercules that he was reluctant to give up the time that they could be spending together, but he couldn't let the young man down, not after his own abandonment by his father.

The boy was at first shy around the partner of such a legendary hero as Hercules, but the youthful antics of Iolaus soon put him at ease and they sat together, two blond heads bent earnestly over a map as they mapped out their plans. Atonus and Sertia were more than happy that their son would get a chance to hunt with their new found friend and Hercules was happy that his lover would be able to do that which he loved above all else -- with the exception of having great sex -- spending a couple of days in a forest.

********

"Iolaus! Look at me!" Iolaus glanced up at the voice that trickled down to him from the top of the oak tree.

"Erik, you probably should come down, your mother would kill me if you broke a leg!"

The boy scrambled down the branches and watched intently as Iolaus demonstrated how to set a snare. The two had been camping for the last two nights under the stars and during the day Erik had been soaking up all of Iolaus' "old hunters tricks". There was no doubt that both were enjoying themselves immensely.

"Do you have any kids, Iolaus?" Erik asked as they lay on their backs after enjoying the rabbit that they had caught and cooked, gazing at the bright pin pricks over head which twinkled against a deep black sky. Iolaus felt his breath catch in his throat at the innocent question which evoked such strong memories, even after all this time.

"I did. I had a son. He was just a baby when the plague went through our village and he died."

"Do you miss him?"

"Very much." Iolaus looked at the boy, almost a man, and felt a twinge of regret. Having a family simply didn't go with the lifestyle that he led -- in so many ways, not just his relationshhip with Hercules -- but no matter how often he told himself he was happy with his lot in life, a part of him wished for that which in reality, he couln't have. "But I have a good time traveling around and helping and meeting new people, and sometimes when I'm really lucky, I get to spend time with kids like you who I can do stuff with...stuff I wanted to do with my own son."

"Iolaus?"

"Yeah?"

"Thanks. This has been really great."

Iolaus grinned at him, his teeth flashing in the dark. Erik turned onto his side and fell asleep, confident that Iolaus could protect him from the blackness. For his part, Iolaus lay awake contemplating the fates that had conspired to bring him to where he was, wishing for Hercules' strong arms to surround him. With a sigh, he turned over himself and drifted off into Morpheus' kingdom.

******

The next day they started back. Iolaus was starting to look for a place to camp when his hunger's instincts went on full alert. Erik could sense a difference in the way the older man walked beside him. Suddenly Iolaus pulled him off the trail and putting his mouth close to his left ear, whispered "Erik, stay behind this bush and don't make a sound...okay?"

Erik nodded in confusion, but crouched behind the gorsebush trustingly.

Iolaus slowly padded through the forest, his senses keyed to the sounds and sights of the woods. The silence of the forest worried him. The birds were quiet and the squirrel that had been chattering contentedly above him suddenly skittered away into the shelter of the leafy canopy. Voices filtered through the trees and Iolaus wasn't hard pressed to identify them. Ares, Strife and Discord. Great, just what he needed, a couple of gods who really had it in for him.

Iolaus crept back to where Erik remained hidden.

"Erik...I need you to go back to the village and get Hercules. As fast as you can. Can you do that?" He knew that Hercules would want to make sure the trio didn't cause any trouble, but he didn't want to leave just in case they were up to their old tricks. Erik nodded and Iolaus patted him on the back.

"Good. Now go!" he hissed. Erik took off through the bush and Iolaus crept silently back to the trees bordering the clearing. He crouched silently, waiting...waiting. He didn't have to wait very long. A hand appeared out of nowhere, grabbing the nape of his neck and lifting him effortless into the air.

"Well, well, well. Look what we have here." A leather-clad Ares smirked as he propelled Iolaus into the clearing.

"Ooooh. Ares, let me have some fun." Discord looked at the pair with an evil smile.

"Now, now Discord. You know that I'm looking to catch a bigger fish. He's just the bait."

Iolaus twisted his neck around to look at Ares.

"What are you talking about?"

"What do you think? Hercules will come running and then I'll have my revenge."

Iolaus barely had time to register the ball of energy in Ares' hand when everything went dark.

******

Hercules pounded through the underbrush. As soon as Erik had arrived with the message from Iolaus, Hercules knew that something was wrong. He had a sinking feeling deep in the pit of this stomach that this was going to be bad. Really bad.

And as usual, he was right. He skidded into the clearing and took in the tableau before him. Ares stood facing his half brother, Discord and Strife holding a limp Iolaus between them. Ares smiled evilly.

"So, bro. You want your little 'buddy' back?" The god of war managed to place a dirty innuendo into his voice. "Want your little catamite back? Come and get him."

With a flick of his wrist, Ares gestured to Strife and Discord. A flash of light later and Iolaus was gone.

"What did you do to him!!?" Hercules roared, grabbing Ares by the front of his leather vest.

"Hey, easy on the threads there, big guy." Ares smirked. He held up a hand and a small box materialized in his palm.

"He's in here. We trapped his soul. Now. If you want him back...I'll cut you a deal --" Ares was cut off as Discord and Strife broke in.

"Slight change of plans, Ares. Life will be so much sweeter with the both of you out of the way." Discord sneered.

"Bye Bye!" Strife chortled. Hercules didn't have time to blink before darkness obscured his vision and consciousness faded.

"Oh boy! It worked!" Strike gibbered, jumping up and down. "So now what?"

Discord looked at her fellow god with disdain.

"Now they suffer the curse of Mendora's box. Forever trapped until released by a mortal god." She snorted. "A mortal god...like that'll ever happen. Now we just tuck the box away into those caves over there, and we're in the clear." With a triumphant smile she gazed upon the box. "Sleep well boys. It's my world now."

The seasons passed, the centuries turned and the millenniums rolled by. The little box lay undisturbed, until one fine July morning when it was uncovered from a pile of dirt and rubble by a palaeontologist looking for fossils. It slowly travelled the world, bought and sold by many hands, sitting on numerous shelves and in many a closet, over continents and across time. Until it came to a rainy city in a distant land.

*********

"Hey Jim! Look what I picked up" Jim looked up as Blair came in the door, scattering book bag, coat and hikers as he went to his room only to return holding a brown paper wrapped parcel. Jim smiled tolerantly at his partner's enthusiasm.

"You found something?"

"Oh yeah, man. I love garage sales. You can find such neat stuff at them. I found this cool thing," Blair carefully unwrapped his prize. "It has some carvings, I think that they're ancient Greek, and I'm pretty sure I can translate them. Hold on. It says, let's see."

Jim waited patiently as Blair scrutinized the sides of the box. He continued to wait as Blair pursed his lips in thought. He continued to wait, content to gaze at his friend's face. It was a nice face. Jim had put in many hours watching that face. He didn't think that Blair had noticed...he hoped not. He wasn't ready to act on his growing attraction to his roommate. He wasn't gay. He wasn't. It was just Blair. It had to be.

"I got it! It says 'Freedom only comes by the hands of the mortal god.' What do you think that means?" Blair looked up at his Sentinel. It was all Jim could do not to kiss that sensuous mouth. Instead he reached over and took the box from him, tracing the intricate symbols with sentinel fingers. He frowned as he detected a slight vibration. He was about to look up and ask Blair what was happening when the room was enveloped in a brilliant flash of light.

When the spots cleared and he finished blinking the tears out of his eyes, the box was gone.

"What in Tartarus just happened?!" A strange voice asked, filled with confusion and a tinge of anger.

And there were three more people in the loft.

*****

The world re-materialized around Iolaus. He dropped immediately into a defensive crouch, unsurprised to feel Herc's comforting bulk at his back. What a strange dwelling it was. The hunter's instincts quickly tagged potential threats, Ares, who was standing close to both he and Herc - looking fairly confused for a god -- and two strangers.

One of them was young, about Iolaus' height and had dark curly hair that fell to his shoulders. He stood nervously behind the other, who sported closely cropped hair, was clearly a warrior and had arm muscles to rival Herc's. After quickly stamping down on the lustful images that immediately came to mind, Iolaus realized that if the two were enemies, then the small one was the weak link in the warrior's armor. They reminded him of well, himself and Herc.

"What in Tartarus just happened?" Hercules was the first to recover from the shock. The foreign warrior raised a strange piece of metal, holding it in both hands, arms outstretched.

"Who are you?" he demanded. Hercules stepped forward, hands outstretched.

"We're not your enemies. We come in peace. I'm Hercules, this is my partner, Iolaus." Iolaus gave a small wave, his other hand resting on the pommel of his sword.

"And the sulking guy in leather is Ares," Iolaus popped in helpfully.

The metal device, which was clearly some sort of weapon -- of what kind, Iolaus had no idea --didn't waver. The warrior shook his head minutely.

"Hercules? Yeah right. Pull the other one while you're at it." The shorter one simply stood, looking like he'd been poleaxed.

Iolaus looked up at Hercules and they both shrugged. Ares didn't take so well to the change of scenery. Regaining his senses, the war god disappeared and then re-materialized behind the pair of strangers. He grabbed the small one by the neck, pulling him against his chest in a choke -hold.

"What year is it?" he snarled, increasing the grip on his hostage's throat. The other warrior swivled around smoothly, pointing the metal object at the god.

"Let him go." The tall man's voice held the promise of death, and Iolaus was clearly puzzled. Didn't he know that you couldn't kill a god? But he could only watch as Ares summoned a ball of energy and simply blasted the warrior across the room. He hit the wall with a dull thud, crumpling limply into a heap on the floor.

"Now. How long have we been in there?"

"I don't know," the young man in his grasp gasped.

Ares looked disgusted and rolled his eyes. Hercules took the opportunity to punch him firmly in the face. Not expecting the move, Ares dropped his burden. Iolaus darted forward and grabbed the stranger, pulling him out of harm's way as Hercules and Ares began hashing it out in typical style.

"You okay?"

"Yeah. Name's Blair, by the way." Blair panted.

Iolaus grinned. "Nice to meet you."

He pulled Blair under a convenient table.

"I've got to make sure that Jim's okay," the cute youngster said, eyes filled with concern.

"Who? Oh, you mean the buff dude." A grin lit Iolaus' face again at the blush that filled Blair's face with colour.

"Uh...yeah." God, he was adorable, Iolaus thought, immediately after 'he's a virgin' flew through his mind.

"Just wait a bit until Herc and Ares get done." Iolaus got comfortable, chortling a bit at the younger man's surprised expression.

"Uh, you do realize that those two guys are beating the crap out of each other." The sounds of kicks, blows, grunts and groans filled the room.

"Oh ,that? They do it all the time," Iolaus explained, waving a hand dismissively at the carnage. Blair followed Iolaus' gaze and the hunter almost laughed at the appreciative gleam in Blair's eyes as he observed Herc in full form. Iolaus felt his own blood quicken as those demi-god muscles flexed, a thin sheen of sweat adding a soft glow to tanned skin. Ares flew back from one well-placed kick,demolishing a table as he landed on top. What a lover, Iolaus grinned to himself.

Ares stood shakily. "I'm outta here." With a twist of his wrist he disappeared in a blinding flash. Hercules looked around at the destruction.

"Well. That went well."

*******

Jim winced as Blair gently placed the towel-wrapped bag of peas onto Jim's bruised forehead in an attempt to keep the swelling down.

"Good thing you have a hard head, eh big guy?" Blair joked, but a current of tension quivered under his nonchalant jesting. Their two guests had apologized for the destruction of the living room and were currently in the kitchen, looking -- with some wonder and awe -- at the marvels that awaited them in this new world and time.

Blair, ever the anthropologist, had barraged the two men claiming to be Greek heros with questions, until Jim had stepped in and diverted his roommate's attention with some judicious groans and moans. Iolaus and Hercules -- Jim was still trying to keep an open mind about the whole mess -- were content to leave the two to talk. Jim was eavesdropping on their conversation, splitting his attention between the wonderful hands that tended his wounds, and the tenor voices which whispered in the kitchen

//Herc, you okay?// Jim could hear the concern.

//I'm fine, Iolaus. Are *you* okay?// Jim quickly tuned out as the sounds of gentle kisses and caresses sent wonderful images to his brain and straight to his groin, which tightened unbearably. It was the last thing he needed with Blair leaning so close..oh, so close. But he couldn't, shouldn't be feeling this way. With a subtle shake, Jim forced himself calm down.

"So Jim, do you believe them?" Blair asked in a hushed voice. Jim quirked an eyebrow.

"I believed you, didn't I? Besides...that guy disappeared into thin air, for crying out loud. How much more evidence do you need...aside from the fact that their clothes, their weapons, everything about them is screaming 'ancient Greek hero," Jim added, just a tad snidely. Blair huffed as he kept the bag on Jim's temple.

"Good point. Can you believe it? Who would have thought that Hercules, a legend, was...I mean is...a real person?"

"Aren't you always telling me that myths and legends are often based more on reality than we'd like to think?" Jim pointed out, trying not to inhale the delightful musk that shrouded Blair. Blair paused in his ministrations.

"You actually listened?" There was a hint of incredulity in Blair's voice.

"I'm not as dumb as I look, Chief," Jim retorted, with a small deprecating grin. *I always listen to you, Blair*

"Thanks goodness for that, Jim," Blair shot back. *You don't look dumb...you look absofuckinglutely gorgeous.*

There was a pause, as both were lost in their thoughts. Jim was the first to recover and looked pointedly towards the kitchen.

"We should really figure out what we're going to do with our guests, you know." Jim grabbed Blair's arm as the younger man began to move towards the kitchen. "In a minute though. They're doing some catch up. Two thousand years is a long time to be cooped up without contact."

Understanding flitted across Blair's face and he took a seat next to Jim on the sofa. The two stared off into space, wrapped up in their own thoughts, about the odd occurrences of the day, and off the growing attraction both felt but were trying to deny.

******

Iolaus was torn between jumping into his lover's arms and gawking at the incredible things around him. One of the machines actually kept winter all year round! But his mind was quickly made for him as Hercules held out his arms and enfolded the hunter in a gentle, yet reaffirming hug.

"Herc, you okay?" Iolaus asked, knowing that a fight with Ares usually left his lover drained, frustrated, and a mass of kinks and bruises.

"I'm fine, Iolaus. Are you okay?" Iolaus closed his eyes as fingers carded through his hair. Two thousand years in a box had done nothing to dampen his love or libido. As Hercules buried his face in the golden curls, Iolaus squeezed his eyelids closed even tighter, inhaling the familiar heady musk of his lover. He ran a hand over Hercules' chest through the open vest, more to reassure himself that this was all real.

"I'm fine now," he finally replied as his head was tipped upward by a judiciously placed finger on the chin. The light in Hercules' eyes, declaring eternal, timeless love, encompassed Iolaus in its gleam. Then the hunter found himself caught up in a passionate kiss, Hercules' mouth claiming his.

They broke apart, slightly out of breath, lips swollen from the energetic kiss.

"We should go back out there." Hercules murmured, pulling Iolaus close and stroking a hand up his back under the purple vest. Iolaus bit down on a purr of contentment.

"Yeah, we should." It wasn't that Iolaus wanted to be rude to their hosts, but the only thing he wanted at the moment was to be loved within an inch of his life. Maybe twice, even. Two thousand years was a long time indeed.

"Let's go." Reluctantly they separated, although Iolaus retained a grip on Hercules's arm. Walking back to the living area, Hercules cleared his throat politely. The two men on the couch roused themselves from whatever deep thoughts they had been immersed in.

Blair jumped up, grabbing a notebook from among the ruins of the dining room table.

"This is sooo cool. I can't believe that this is really happening, I mean, I know that I've seen some pretty freaky things, but this has got to be the neatest." Iolaus grinned widely at the young man's chatter. He looked over at Hercules and didn't miss the look on the demi-god's face as he answered endless questions about Greek culture and history.

There was no doubt that Hercules was just as enamored by the frenetic beauty as he was. But it was clear that any intrusion on Blair would be met by the most stringent rebuttal by Jim. Iolaus had known as soon as he had seen them together, that any encroachment on one of them would be met with the other's ire.

"Oh, man, we've been horrible hosts. Can I get you something to eat?" Blair asked, blue eyes wide. Hercules looked relieved by a question that wasn't related to the social structure of Greece.

"Food? Oh yeah, I'm starving!" Iolaus' stomach rumbled at the thought of some hearty stew, or a nice juicy rabbit, dripping with gravy.

Five minutes later, he was staring at an odd looking dish that jiggled slightly on the plate as he prodded it with a fork.

"Um...what exactly is this?" he asked, ignoring the not-so-subtle kick to his leg from Herc.

"Oh, you'll love it. It's tofu casserole." Blair dug into his own serving, oblivious to the look of dismay from Jim and the look of utter incomprehension from Iolaus. Hercules, brave to the core, took a cautious bite and after a moment, followed Blair in rapidly consuming the meal.

A ringing noise filled the home, and Iolaus started, a hand going to where his sword normally rested. It took a few moments before he realized that the sword was resting in a small room of adjacent to the main living quarters. The burly man picked up a hand sized device and spoke into it. Iolaus watched in amazement as he carried on a conversation with a...a...

"What is that thing?" he asked, whispering loudly to Blair. "Does it have a demon inside it?"

Blair looked a bit stunned before replying. "Uh, no. That's a telephone. A communication device. You talk into one end and a person standing far away can hear you, and you can hear them."

Iolaus continued to watch as Jim talked on the telephone.

"Chief, that was Simon. I've got to go run through some stuff before court tomorrow. Can you...uh, handle this?" Jim waved expansively around the loft. "I won't be back 'til late."

"Sure, Jim. Go ahead. Call me before you home."

Jim quickly left, and Iolaus got the sense that the buff guy was happy to leave. Blair turned to him, blue eyes wide.

"Sorry about Jim. He can be a little...brusque."

Iolaus grinned. "Hey, that's okay. I'm sure he's busy. What does he do? Is he an advisor to the King? I heard something about a court?"

Blair's grin faltered, then a wry smile crossed his face. "Um...I think the first thing we ought to do is have a crash course in history."

******

"Wow." Iolaus said. Blair grinned at him, and felt a surge of...something when the gorgeous man smiled back, teeth flashing in a tanned face. "A lot has happened in two thousand years."

"Yeah." They were sitting on the couch, Blair sandwiched between the two of them, history books spread out on the coffee table, one resting across his knee. The presence of the two men on either side of him, their leather clad thighs intimately pressing against his was too much. He jumped up.

"I think I'd better clean this place up." Blair saw a look pass between the two men, but deliberately ignored it. Thinking of ice, the Dean of the University and the really smelly Tupperware container of algae in the fridge, he managed to banish his arousal back where it belonged, to the repressed recesses of his mind. He stood and gathered up his books.

"Great, we'll help. Do you have a broom?" Iolaus asked, pausing thoughtfully. "You do still have brooms in this century, don't you?"

Blair laughed and began the task of introducing the two heroes to the wonders of modern cleaning.

Fifteen minutes later, Iolaus was sweeping the floor of larger debris while Hercules braved the strange device that Blair had told them was called a 'vacuum'. It was amazing, and Iolaus was sure that Hermes would be bowled over with excitement. Imagine, a miniature tornado captured in such a small container. If Blair hadn't assured them that the machine was quite common, Iolaus would have bet that the gods had a hand in it somehow.

Iolaus had always been rather lax when it came to cleaning, not really seeing the point. But the sight of Hercules and Blair tidying the dwelling was almost too much. Hercules went out of his way to tease Iolaus, moving the furniture, just so, allowing his muscles to ripple in the way that Herc knew went straight to Iolaus' libido.

And Blair. Iolaus couldn't help but stare whenever the young man would reach down to pick something up, the material of his trousers would stretch across that incredible ass....Iolaus' mouth went dry. And then, putting the books back up on the shelf, Blair had to stretch up, the hem of his shirt riding high on his stomach, allowing the small flash of gold at his navel to catch Iolaus' eye. Surrounded by beauty, such a travesty, Iolaus mused.

Hercules wasn't immune either. Iolaus caught the demigod staring at their host more than once, both sharing a grin and a knowing look. There was hope yet. It wouldn't be the first time that they had invited someone to join them. And it probably wouldn't be the last.

Given the not-so-subtle glances by Blair, it didn't look like it would take much either. Iolaus grinned. He always loved a good seduction.

********

Blair could tell that his guests were planning something. They had been shooting glances at him and each other all afternoon as they tidied the loft. Both of them had been amazed at the simplest of things, which Blair realized modern people took completely for granted. Like a toilet. The look of wonder on their faces, watching the water swirl down the pipe with a soft whoosh almost made Blair shake his head. Once he had managed to convince them that the vacuum wasn't a demon, the fridge wasn't be-spelled, things had gone rather smoothly. Except for the heated looks.

Eventually something had to happen, and Blair wasn't completely unprepared when he found himself sandwiched between the two men in the kitchen. They were watching him make dinner while demonstrating the various marvels of the kitchen utensils.

"So much has changed," Hercules said rather wistfully. Blair looked up -- and up -- at the taller man, and realizeed that these two were all alone in a large world that was no longer their's. There was a sad look on Hercules face, and Blair couldn't help but feel a pang of pity. But then the demi-god smiled down at him, teeth flashing in a tanned face, and Blair could only catch his breath at the beauty in his smile.

Iolaus apparently hadn't missed the catch in Blair's breath and suddenly, Blair found himself with a compact warrior pressing up behind him. Blair pressed instinctively back against the firm body behind him, amazed at his own audacity. What the hell was he doing???

"But some things haven't." Blair's stomach tightened at the silky tones, his mouth suddenly dry.

"What?" he managed to squeak, only about an octave above his usual tenor. Iolaus backed off, and Blair felt as thought he could breath again. "I mean, aren't you two.." Blair waved his hand ambiguously back and forth between the two men. Hercules laughed gently.

"Yes, we are. But that doesn't mean that we haven't invited others to join with us in the past. If we misread your feelings in any way, I apologize." Hercules trapped the expressive hand between his two large ones. Blair licked his lips nervously, and heard a stifled groan from Iolaus.

"N..no, you didn't...misread. I mean, you guys are incredibly...uh..well..."

"Gorgeous? Loveable? Sexy as Tartarus?" Iolaus supplied with a teasing grin, with an underlying sultry tone that went straight to Blair's groin.

"Um...yeah." Blair didn't resist at Iolaus gently place his hands on either side of the younger man's face and pulled him into a deep kiss. When they broke apart, Blair was flushed and breathless. Iolaus smiled softly and look up at Hercules who was standing behind Blair, a look of arousal crossing his face.

"Sweet, Herc, just like I thought."

Blair lost all coherent thought as he was enveloped by two large arms which he knew from legend to be strong enough to crack him like a twig. *If only they were Jim's,* he managed to think with a pang of whimsy before giving himself up to the moment.

********

Jim stared morosely into his beer, contemplating the meaning of life and the lack thereof in his own. The smoky bar was a secret haunt of his, a place where he could retreat and pretend that he had never gone to Peru, had never reawakened his senses, had never met a whirlwind by the name of Blair Sandburg. Lately though, pretending he had never met Blair filled him with such an ache in his chest he felt as though he would burst.

"So, this is what men do for fun around here?" Jim turned at the low husky voice.

"You. What do you want?"

"You know, for a mortal, you seem to be taking this all in stride." Ares sat down on the empty stool next to Jim. "I mean, how many gods just suddenly show up in your house on an average day?"

"Given my life, the fact it hasn't happened before is surprising," Jim answered, downing his beer in a gulp and motioning the bar tender for two more. "The question for me right now, is what the hell do you want? I seem to remember you blasting me across a certain room just a few hours ago."

Ares managed to pull a contrite look, not even seeming out of place in his black leather vest and pants. Jim forced himself to pull his gaze away.

"Yeah, well, sorry about that. Two thousand years is a long time. Can't expect a guy to be all happy cheery after being stuck in a box that long."

Jim snorted and when the bar tender pushed the two frothy glasses in front of him, he slid one across to Ares.

"So, Sandburg tells me you're the God of War," Jim said conversationally. "You must love Cascade. Tons of crime, murder, mayhem."

Ares sniffed at the glass in front of him suspiciously, before taking a cautious sip. "Whatever. Doesn't matter that much if you can't get laid. It's not like I can go up to a girl and say 'let's fuck, I'm the god of war.' That might have worked back home, but all it got me here was a couple of slaps to the head."

Jim coughed on a mouthful of beer at the candor displayed by the god sitting beside him, sipping beer.

"It's the nineties. Things have changed."

Ares threw the detective a searching glance.

"So, you and Shorty a 'couple'?" he asked bluntly. Jim almost choked on his next sip and resisted the urge to ask 'a couple of what?'

"Ah, no. We're not." Jim glanced over at the god, recognizing the look that burned in his eyes.

"All the better," the god said, as he tipped back the glass, slurping down the last of the beer. Jim jerked involuntarily as a hand dropped onto his thigh. "You wanna go get hot and bothered?"

Jim squirmed out from under the questing fingers. "Sorry, pal. I'm not into one night stands."

"But, don't you get it? I can be whoever you want." Ares smirked and then shimmered, short black waves curling and growing into auburn curls, form shrinking and moulding. "Just think, you could know what's it like to have him."

Ares struck a seductive pose as Jim stared at the near perfect replica of his guide that stood in front of him. It looked like Blair, it sounded like Blair. But it didn't smell like Blair, and on a closer examination, the eyes weren't Blair's. It was most definitely eerie. In an incredibly erotic way.

The hand that returned to his thigh had the long nimble fingers of his guide, and a touch that was driving him wild as his jeans tightened unbearably at the groin.

"Hmmm. Looks like someone hasn't been getting any," Ares purred in his own voice, pulling Jim up. "Can we get a room somewhere? You know you want to."

The sound of Ares sexy voice coming from Blair's body was extremely disconcerting. But Jim allowed himself to be led outside and then managed to take the lead, directing them to a small seedy hotel he had occasion to visit when working for vice.

It was going to be an interesting evening.

*****

Blair had long since been reduced to a quivering mass, sprawled across the narrow bed in the spare room. Knowing that Jim would freak if anything were to happen on the sofa, Blair had managed to get the three of them at least through the french doors before he was attacked -- albeit gently -- by eager hands.

Much had changed over two thousand years but how to excite, titillate and arouse a lover wasn't one of them. Strong arms enveloped him from behind, circling his waist and inquisitive fingers popped the button on his jeans. After a moment of confusion with the zipper, Hercules quickly got the gist and Blair found himself efficiently divested of his pants while Iolaus devoured Blair's mouth in a searing kiss.

Refusing to be the passive observer, regardless of how tempting it was, Blair ran his hands over the soft skin that shrouded firm muscles. Kneading and stroking, he teased off the worn purple vest of the hunter before him, who shrugged his shoulders to help.

They were silent, except for the occasional gasp or moan. Finally naked, Blair felt an awkwardness, a hesitancy, a feeling of inadequacy. The two men, before and behind him, were seasoned warriors, with sinewy muscles, scars and bodies that rivalled Jim's. Not that I'm biased or anything, Blair thought. But next to their grandeur, he felt like he was back in gym class in grade five. Short, skinny, and worthy of the taunts that inevitably came his way.

Blushing in embarrassment, Blair squirmed away, and made a grab for his discarded clothes. But two sets of hands intercepted him. Iolaus raised Blair's chin with a finger as the younger man refused to meet either of their eyes.

"Hey Teacher, why suddenly so shy?" Blair swallowed as the gentle teasing soothed a bit of the ache. Understanding flitted over the hero's face, and he looked up at Hercules with a sad smile.

"I think you're going to have to teach the teacher, Hercules." Blair's brow wrinkled in confusion as Iolaus changed places with Hercules.

Hercules knelt before Blair, and slowly ran a hand up his flank.

"Did you know that we, Iolaus and I, weren't together until after we had both married, had children, had suffered much loss, and even after Iolaus had died?" There was a catch in his voice. "We were both in love, but I didn't think he loved me and Iolaus didn't think I could love him. But we were both wrong." He slowly caressed a nipple. "He thought he wasn't worthy of a demi-god's love. What he didn't see is that the outside is immaterial, it's the inside that counts. " A kiss to the puckered nub, sent a shiver through Blair's stomach. "Those with beautiful souls cannot help but shine. And you, Blair, you glow like a star."

Blair let out a shuddering gasp as a finger flicked at the navel ring, and behind him, a hand roved over the plane of his back, moving lower and lower. He could feel the heated breath of the warrior behind him.

"Will you shine for us Blair?" Iolaus whispered in his ear, his hands dancing through the curls that brushed Blair's bare shoulders. Pressing backwards, Blair inhaled sharply as he felt the *very* hard cock brush between his cheeks. The answering groan on the part of Iolaus, pushed his wavering mind over the edge. They wanted him. *They* wanted *him*. Maybe he could shine.

***********

The lights were dim, but it was more than enough for Jim to see. Almost too much. He couldn't believe that this was happening. He gripped the sheets in tight fists as hands moved down his bare back, stroking the planes of muscles that rippled under the firm touch. The god had quickly taken the lead when they had entered the dingy room, pushing Jim immediately onto the bed. A quick flick of the wrist and Jim had gasped as his clothes were gone. They had simply disappeared.

And now he was spread across the bed, pushing his hips into the mattress, as Ares laved his attention on his back. Jim closed his eyes and imagined smaller, gentler, mortal hands, and vibrant blue eyes and brown curls. The vision disappeared though as he gasped when a moist tongue traced small circles below his shoulder blade.

"Aha, finally." Ares chuckled. "I was beginning to think that you were a lost cause. But maybe I can pull something from you yet."

Jim bucked backwards as a finger slid between the cleft of his ass, teasing at his anus. He could feel Ares spread his cheeks, blowing soft gusts of heated air towards the clenching opening.

"Dammit! Do it already!" Jim panted as the finger made another aborted dive towards Jim's centre. That elicited a deep laugh from the god. Jim burrowed hi head into the pillow and groaned as Ares began to explore the depths of his ass. He bore down on the invading finger that spread slick coolness throughout him. A tongue lapped at the top of his ear and he could feel the tickle of beard at his throat.

"Relax."

Jim wasn't sure what it was that Ares did, but suddenly he felt as boneless as the chicken that Blair had bought for dinner. Ares slid into him, and the fullness was incredible. Jim panted, and tried to rise to his knees but a hand between his shoulders kept him flat. Ares' body blanketed him in a solid cover of smooth skin and firm muscle. The pace was frantic, animalistic and primal, as Ares thrust into him insistently. Jim was lost in the feeling of being taken, possessed and used by a being more powerful than anything he could have imagined. But it wasn't enough. The hand that grasped his cock stroked and pulled, teased and caressed, but it wasn't enough. Ares' breath was hot on his neck.

"Pretend it's him," the god whispered in his ears. "Pretend it's *him* in you, around you. Pretend he's the one fucking you."

Jim closed his eyes and came hard, shouting deep within his chest. The spasms of his ass pulled a climax from Ares, who slumped onto Jim, pressing him onto the mattress. Neither moved for a long time.

******

How they all managed to fit on the bed, Blair would never really know. But at the moment he didn't care. Surrounded on all sides by warm tanned flesh, with a wondrous ache in a new and somewhat frightening place, Blair felt good. He felt more than good. He felt free. A hand lightly stroked his chest, teasing at a well used nipple. Blair squirmed amidst the tangle of arms and legs of his bedfellows, a little whimper of delight breaking through.

"Are you okay?" Iolaus' voice was filled with concern, yet he managed to sound as though he was laughing. Blair turned his head to stare into the blue eyes.

"Yeah. Actually I'm fine. I...I didn't realize..." he trailed off, looking away, but a strong hand under his chin made him meet Iolaus' gaze.

"You hadn't ever had a male lover, huh?" The hunter grinned crookedly, and just a tad sadly. "Fear of the unknown is a stupid reason to avoid something that you so desperately want. And you do want it...don't you?" Blair nodded. "Just not with us."

"No! Tonight was...was incredible. I don't know how to thank you --"

"Teacher, if all we've done here tonight is to make you know what it means to be loved by the man you desire, then we've done our task. But never think that we were merely doing you a favour." Iolaus drew Blair in for a kiss. He lapped gently at Blair's lips before breaking away. "We have so much to learn about this place, but love, love is something that we know and doesn't change. I'm glad we could share that with you."

"Iolaus...I do believe that being stuck in that box has made you uncharacteristically erudite."

"Airyouwhat???" Iolaus laughed at Hercules' mumbled comment. The demi-god shifted Blair who was sprawled on top of him.

Blair chuckled and scrambled off the bed. He looked at the time and panicked. "Oh my god. Jim's going to be back any minute. We've got to clean up. Oh god. Here, grab those clothes, I'll toss them in the washer. Someone go get a shower!" An image of Jim coming home and smelling the abundant scent of sex and arousal that filled the room appeared in Blair's mind. His brain kicked in to high gear in panic.

"Relax, Blair. He doesn't have to know anything. We won't say anything if you don't want us to." Hercules handed over the bundle of clothes.

"Oh man. Jim will know...trust me. He'll just know." Blair managed to herd them into the bathroom, and demonstrated the workings of the shower. Iolaus merely stared at the bathtub with wide eyes until Hercules pulled him under the spray. Blair didn't stop to appreciate the view, hurrying to throw the clothes in the wash after throwing open all of the windows and the balcony doors. He had managed to get his breathing and heart rate down to normal, when a key rattled in the door, promptly causing him to lose his tenuous control. Jim was home.

********

Iolaus reveled in the feeling of the hot water cascading down his back. But he enjoyed the feel of Hercules' hands soaping his body from top to toe even more. "Mmm...you know Herc. I wonder if Hephaistos could build one of these. Imagine it, no more bathing in a freezing lake!"

Hercules rumbled deep in his chest and ran a soapy hand over Iolaus' chest and then around to his ass. "But it would be rather hard to haul around with you when travelling." The hands stilled, cupping his buttocks. Iolaus gave a sensuous wriggle, eliciting a groan from Hercules as his cock settled in the crack of the tight ass.

"Herc...do you think that we're stuck here?" Iolaus squirmed around, turning to face his lover. "I mean, I like this rain inside and all, but part of me really wants to be back home."

"I know." Hercules ran his hands through Iolaus' curls, rinsing them free of soap. "But we'll survive. There are so many things here to discover, and Blair and Jim seem to be willing to help."

Iolaus closed his eyes and tilted his head back to avoid soap in his eyes, his own hands wandering over Hercules' waist and down to stroke the erection that bumped against his belly. Through the sounds of the pelting streams of water he could hear voices raised in anger and forced himself to clamp down on his libido. "We should go out there. I'd hate for what happened to come between Blair and Jim."

Hercules tilted his head back and seared his mouth with a kiss that left them both groaning. "We'll be fine as long as we're together. You know that."

A kiss, a grope and a judicious application of soft towels later, clad in the borrowed clothes they made their way out of the bathroom. Iolaus knew that there was trouble ahead. Blair and Jim stood at opposite sides of the living area, arms crossed over chests.

"Is everything okay here?" Hercules asked, putting on his friendliest grin and spreading his arms in a hopeful gesture. The look that Jim shot him would have smote him on the spot had he been a god.

"Guess not," Iolaus murmured.

"Oh everything's just fine. Just fine," Jim ranted, waving his hands at the loft, clearly targeting Blair with his outburst. "I mean, why would anything be wrong. It's not like you broke any of the rules. Oh wait. Yeah. You did. So tell me why I shouldn't throw your ass out of here, along with your two *heros*."

"Jim's rules," Blair interjected at the pair's quizzical looks," which basically consist of things like colour coordinating the leftovers, no flushing the toilet after ten, and god forbid, no sex in the loft. That one's probably because he's not getting any and just doesn't want to feel insecure."

"Trust me, Sandburg. There's nothing insecure about my love life. I'm not the one getting fucked by two strangers." Iolaus saw a strange look cross the man's face. Blair's face paled, and his breath came in short bursts.

"Yeah...yeah, well...fuck you, man!" He pulled open the door and slammed it behind him, leaving Iolaus and Hercules to deal with the angry man before them.

A flash of light temporarily blinded them. "So kids, we having fun yet?"

Iolaus rolled his eyes. "Ares."

"Ya miss me?" Ares sauntered over to the dinner table and picked through the fruit bowl. "You know, as much as I like the culture here, I think we have a problem."

"Why doesn't that surprise me," Hercules sighed.

****

Blair stalked down the sidewalk, hands deep in his coat pocket fuming. How dare Jim treat him like that? It's not like they were lovers or anything. It's not like Jim had reason to be jealous. Blair stopped in his tracks, oblivious to the pedestrians that stared at him with curiosity as they moved around him. That was it. Jim was jealous. Jealous that Blair had made love with two other men.

But if Jim were jealous, that would mean... Blair's eyes widened. Jim had feelings for him! *Those* types of feelings. Like the ones Blair had for him.

Suddenly the situation changed. Suddenly Blair was faced with the realization that his feelings weren't unrequited after all. Blair realized that he had slept with two other men when the one he truly desired loved him after all. God, had he screwed everything up? Would Jim be able to get past his tryst with Hercules and Iolaus?

He'd just have to fix it. That's what he was good at, fixing things, resolving things. He could do this. He could. He turned to head back to the loft when a flash of light momentarily blinded him. Blinking the tears from his eyes, he squinted at the figure before him. A raven-haired woman, shorter than even himself, stood before him. She was clad in black leather, cut to reveal a rather voluptuous figure. Her eyes flashed.

"You. Do you have any idea how hard it is to kill you?" she snarled. Blair stood dumbfounded as she held out a hand. He had time to see a ball of fire swirling in her palm before she threw it at him. It hit his chest, knocking him backwards against the building behind him. As he sagged painfully onto the sidewalk, he could see her stalk toward him.

"This time, no one will save you."

*****

'Is Blair going to be okay?" Iolaus asked, looking up at Jim.

Jim sighed. "Yeah, he'll walk around, burn off some energy and come back." *And then we'll have this out once and for all, * he added silently. "But what I want to know is what you mean by 'we have a problem'?" Jim demanded, not quite meeting the frank gaze of the war god who had been engrossed in selecting from the fruit bowl.

"Guess what I found out?" Ares bit into a pear, licking the juices from his fingers.

"Enough with the suspense already, Ares. What's up?" Iolaus crossed his arms impatiently.

Ares snorted. "Besides you?" At Hercules' warning glance, Ares rolled his eyes. "Okay, okay. Look, I was surprised as anyone to see the amount of mayhem here. I mean, you'd think, Ares...War God...crime...it's a match! But actually, I've realized, what's going on here isn't war. It's chaos. And I prefer the more ordered mess of war myself."

"What's your point, Ares?" Hercules interjected.

"My point is, do you mortals think that this amount of crime all centred in one place is *natural*?" Ares directed his question towards Jim, his incredulity apparent. Jim's scowl dissuaded him from pressing the point. "Alright, alright. There's something behind all this crime. Something that feeds on chaos and disorder." Ares paused, waving his hand towards Hercules and Iolaus in an encouraging manner. "And that would be???...."

"Discord!" Iolaus spat. "Boy, is she still around?"

"Who's Discord?" Jim asked, eyes darting between the three men who stood in his loft.

"Trouble in a leather miniskirt," Iolaus quipped. "She's one of the gods from our time, and she's the one who stuck us in that box."

"Why would a Greek god be here in Cascade?"

"That's for her to know and us to find out," Hercules stated with firm determination in his voice. "If Discord's here, then she's up to no good. I, for one, am not going to stand by and let her mess around with mortals."

"Count me in, Herc," Iolaus volunteered, rubbing his hands together eagerly. "I'm in the mood for some action!"

Hercules nodded and turned to Jim. "Will you help us?"

Jim smiled, a smile that sent hardened criminals quivering to their mamas. "You're on my turf. This is my city, my tribe. No one, god or goddess, messes with my people."

*******

Blair cracked open his eyes, wincing as the sunlight bit into his brain, piercing his muzziness with painful clarity. He was confused for a moment. Normally, upon waking up, the world tended to be horizontal. But not this time. He was upright. That's when the throbbing pain in his shoulders and wrists made its presence known. He blinked and looked up at his bound arms. The thick rope bit into his wrists and was looped over a hook that dangled from the ceiling. Hook? Ceiling?

He looked about and realized that the sun was pouring in through a skylight in the ceiling of a meat packing plant. Flanks of meat hung around him in a grisly display.

"So. Just hanging around?" The woman's voice pealed off into laughter along with the snorting chuckle of a man's voice.

"Good one, Discord. Good one."

"Shut up, Strife."

Blair twisted around on the hook cringing at the pull on his wrists. Standing behind him were two...gods, he supposed. He wondered just how many of the damn things were wandering about Cascade...and how many he'd meet this week.

"You." The black-haired one, Discord, he figured, advanced towards him. "You are incredibly difficult to kill. Do you have any idea how hard it is to fix things to go your way when you're immortal without letting the cat out of the bag??? For the last twenty-nine years, I've devoted most of my time to keeping you from getting hold of that box. At first I thought, hey, he's not a cop...There's no way he'll end up partnering with that mortal-god guy...who by the way was *supposed* to die in a helicopter crash. But then you decided to study the guy, and what happens? I have to figure out a way to kill you without revealing myself. Tartarus, you've been a thorn in my side!"

*The hardest thing about miracles is making it look like a mistake. * The words echoed in Blair's' ears.

Discord continued. "First, I manage to get Kincaid to go to the police department. But nooo. You have to grow balls all of a sudden and go commando with a vending machine! The elevator was *supposed* to fall. But noooo, you had to be a master welder! The Golden. The perfect plan! Get you shot by the officers. But no, your *partner* had to save you. And let's not forget Alex. She practically fucked your friend, for crying out loud, and you still hung on!" Discord pushed Blair in the chest, rocking him slightly on the hook. "What does it take to put you down for good? I've tried everything to keep you from getting your hands on that box and bringing it to that Ellison guy. Quinn, Sid, Maya, Sam, Cassie. My best minions! What have you got that they don't?"

As the goddess ranted, Blair let a small smile play over his lips. "Jim."

That stopped the deadly woman in her tracks. "What?"

"Jim. That's what' I've got that they don't. Jim." The knowledge that his Blessed Protector was out there was all that Blair needed. Jim had saved him before and Jim would save him again. Even if he did hate him for sleeping with Iolaus and Hercules, Jim would save him. He had to.

"Well. This time, I've decided to do my own dirty work. You," She prodded his chest with a pointy-nailed finger. "Are going down. For good."

Blair swallowed as felt the heat of the fire ball as it gathered in her palm.

"And I'm going to make it long, drawn-out and painful. I think you owe me."

*Jim? Now would be a good time, man. A really good time. *

*********

"I managed to find her," Ares said, his face uncharacteristically serious. He had winked out of the loft, only to pop back moment later.

"Why can't you just get him?" Jim asked, his face reflecting his skepticism about the god's powers. Ares merely sighed.

"Its not that simple. You can't just interfere with a god...or goddess'...plans, you know."

"Well, unless you're a mortal," Iolaus chimed in, an impish grin crossing his face.

"Or a demi-god," Hercules added, grim determination written across his features.

"Or a cop." Jim felt compelled to add. "So where the hell is she?"

"A storehouse, down by the wharf. I'll be waiting." With a flick of his wrist he was gone.

"I hate it when he does that," Iolaus muttered. Jim pulled on his jacket and ushered his 'guests' out the door.

"I'm guessing neither of you have seen a truck before, huh?" Two blank stares met his gaze as they went down in the elevator. Jim sighed. This was going to be fun.

After convincing Iolaus that the truck was not going to swallow him alive, the trio were on their way. Jim shifted uncomfortably in his seat, unsure of what to say to the two men who now knew Blair in a way which Jim had only dreamed of. Jealousy warred with envy and his nervous sideways glances did not go unnoticed by the demigod. Iolaus was blissfully ignorant of the surreptitious glances as he clung to the dashboard with each swerve of the truck.

"Jim, I think we have to talk," Hercules began. Jim raised a hand to cut off whatever else was going to be said.

"I don't think we have anything to discuss."

"I do." Jim figured that Hercules would be like a dog with a bone, worrying at it until it was shredded to pieces.

"Look, you slept with Blair, that's your business."

"Well, not if the reason we invited him to be with us was because of you." Hercules murmured. Jim took his eyes off the road for just a bit too long and had to squeal the truck back over the solid line.

"What the hell does that mean?"

Hercules took a deep breath. "Are you blind? How can you be so oblivious to the love that Blair has for you?" He lowered his voice. "Blair was afraid...is afraid. He worries you don't feel the same way, or that you might not want him for who he is."

Jim scoffed. "Yeah, right. Blair's the most confident person I know. Besides, what would he see in someone like me anyway? I'm the antithesis of everything he's ever known, for God's sake."

Hercules merely shook his head and exchanged a wry grin with Iolaus. "Trust me on this, he is madly, deeply and crazily in love with you. And if you don't act on it, you're going to lose him. Comments like what you said back there in your home are a sure way to drive him away. Unless that's what you want to do."

A cold shiver travelled down Jim's spine that had nothing to do with the air conditioner. The thought of life without Blair was...was...well, unthinkable! As he thought back on what he had shouted at Blair, a wave of shame passed over him. For his words, for his hypocrisy, for everything that had happened which kept them apart. A hand on his arm pulled his attention from his wallowing in despair.

"Talk to him. He still loves you." Iolaus's eyes shone with confidence and Jim only wished he could believe it as strongly as the ancient hero beside him.

A flash in the backseat of the truck heralded Ares' arrival. "Well, it's about time you showed up. They're right in that warehouse over there."

Jim tried to calm his racing heart, sure that he would never get used to gods popping in and out of existence like that. "Okay, let's do this."

*****************

Blair hung by his wrists, writhing in agony. The diminutive goddess made up for her lack of height in pain, hurling lightening bolts and ball of fire at the target of her rage. The pain was overwhelming, and spots danced before his eyes as his nervous system refused to take on any more stimuli, shutting down in the face of the new onslaught of torture.

"Take that, you little pain! And that! This'll teach you to mess with Discord!" Discord released another volley of fiery bolts that danced over Blair's skin. He cried out, arching back in a taut bow, his muscles straining against tendons, skin stretching.

Suddenly the bolts ceased, shouts filling the air. Blair was aware of shouting, the sound of flesh impacting on flesh. And suddenly warm gentle hands were releasing his bonds, cradling him gently in strong arms. The pain continued, twitching his muscles into spasms and forcing his teeth to clatter in pain.

"Blair?"

Jim's voice soothed Blair's pain, surrounding him with a warm glow.

"j'm...," he managed to mumble around the scorching pain that travelled through his belly and up his spine. "hurts."

"I know. I know. Just sit tight. Don't move. You're safe."

Blair managed to open his swollen eyes, feeling the prick of tears as he gazed into Jim's face which was filled with concern....and love. His breath caught in his chest as he realized that Jim didn't hate him, but was afraid, just like he was afraid. He wasn't afraid any longer, but unfortunately, he could feel that it was too late. The strength was stealing from his limbs, leaving him numb and heavy, limply held by the man who meant more to him than life itself.

"Blair? Hold on. Don't you leave me. Don't you dare leave me."

Blair wished that Jim wouldn't sound so lost, that he didn't have to be there. But he was comforted by the presence of Hercules and Iolaus. He had a feeling they were quite intimate with loss and would be able to help the grieving Sentinel in his time of need. His eyelids grew heavy, pulled down by the weight of impending death that settled over him like a warm soft blanket.

"...love...you...," he whispered with his last breath as darkness overwhelmed him and shrouded him with silence.

********

Jim awkwardly shifted Blair in his arms, refusing to believe his ears, his eyes. He cursed his Sentinel senses, useless to do anything except hear the faltering heartbeat and see the stillness in Blair's chest. He had heard it all before. He had gone through this before. He had managed to bring his partner back before, but the churning in his stomach warned him that he wouldn't be able to fix this. This was not a Sentinel thing. This was a goddess thing.

He raised his eyes, filled with salty tears to stare at the woman...no, monster...responsible for the silence in the cooling body in his arms. Jim couldn't speak, couldn't move. Blair was dead. Gone. And he was alone. Again.

"Noooooo!"

There was a brilliant flash of light. Jim blinked, confused that his anguished cry sounded so feminine. Then he realized he hadn't cried...at least not out loud.

"Oh no. Discord! You messed everything up!" A woman...no, another goddes, it would seem...dressed in billowing pink silk and with a pink boa draped over a shoulder, stomped her sandal-clad foot in frustration. Jim gaped at the incredible cleavage that heaved dramatically as the blonde lady flounced over to Discord -- who was being restrained by Ares' firm grip.

"Why'd ya have to go and kill him?" she whined and then popped the shorter goddess in the mouth with her fist. "You ruined everything. The greatest love story that ever existed. This just isn't right." She abandoned Discord as the other goddess held her jaw and glared at the blonde.

"Aphrodite?" Iolaus stared at her in astonishment. The blond goddess looked over and beamed.

"Sweetcheeks! I'm so glad you're out of that nasty ol' box. Now come give Aphrodite a kiss." Iolaus was enveloped in a cloud of pink and lace. The kiss was passionate and long, and Hercules cleared his throat as the seconds ticked by.

Releasing her captive, Aphrodite flowed over to where Jim knelt on the unyielding floor, speechless and cold inside.

"Oh, Jimmy. This is all wrong. Let me hold him." She held out her arms and Jim, mesmerized by the all encompassing perfume that drifted about her like London fog, placed Blair into them. A glow enveloped the two of them, lighting Blair's slack features with an unearthly shine. Transcendent in his beauty, he became even more so as his blue eyes slowly opened and met Jim's. His chest rose in a steady cadence, his heartbeat once again filling Jim's ears.

"There. Now, my little Muffin, go back to Jimmy and make me proud," Aphrodite whispered in Blair's ear. Jim's ears grew hot at the sultry sound of her voice, but his face grew warmer at the heat in Blair's eyes that promised more than a brotherly hug.

"Well, isn't this cute. I'm going to take Discord here back to Zeus. She's got some explaining to do." Ares inclined his head in a sharp salute to Jim. "It was a blast, Jimmy boy."

Ares disappeared with Discord and Jim pulled Blair into his arms, vowing never to let him go again, feeling the warmth of Blair's body against his own. Feeling the life coursing through strong limbs, and the blood pumping through veins...and the firm erection pressing against his thigh.

"Want you, Jim. Want you so bad." Blair sighed against Jim's neck. Jim's own groin tightened, his breath hitching. "Take me home?"

Jim shot a look at Hercules and Iolaus, but Aphrodite hooked her arms around her old friends and winked at Jim. "Don't worry about these two, Jimmy. I'll take good care of them. Show them the ropes and all of the twentieth century. You go have some fun." Jim was worried by the gleam in her eye, but Blair's hands stroking up and down his back decided for him.

He pulled Blair into his arms, and heroically, trying not to pull a muscle, carried him to the truck. Time to take the love of his life home.

*******

As the loft door closed, hurried hands fumbled with buttons, struggled with zippers and frantically undressed the layersof clothing that lay between the two bodies pressed closely together. Lips touched, met, parted. Teeth nipped and tongues entwined. Soon both bodies were bare, pressing, rubbing and stroking against each other.

"Jim. Need you. Please." Blair's frantic whisperings were an audible aphrodisiac. The words bypassed Jim's cognitive functions as they stumbled up the stairs to fall gracelessly onto the bed. They bounced slightly, but nothing could stop the need, the desire, the pressing passion that refused to die.

"Don't understand," Jim moaned as Blair laved his nipples with a heated tongue.

"Hmm?" Blair continued his oral journey south, lapping delicately at the soft skin on Jim's inner thigh.

"Why...so...oh god...strong!" Jim arched off the bed as Blair ran his tongue over the underside of his cock.

"Aphrodite," Blair answered, taking a break from his suckling of the tip of Jim's penis. "Goddess...love." He returned to the object of his attention and Jim lost all reason.

********

"So Aphrodite, what exactly did you do to those two, anyway?" Iolaus asked, surveying Aphrodite's 'home' with interest. The Goddess had set up shop in an opulent building that proclaimed "Chapel of Love" and promised five minutes weddings and infinite delights within.

"Oh, I just gave them a little tweak in the right direction." She smirked. "Inhibitions are such nasty things when it comes to love."

She wriggled about happily, pointing out the various services her priestesses provided; massages, hot baths, lotions and potions, were all available, as were private rooms to try them out. Aphrodite put a finger on her chin as she surveyed the lot. Then with a glint in her eye she plucked a plastic bottle from a nearby shelf.

"Now for you two, I have a present! It's been so long since I've had fun with you guys. So, before we go off and I introduce you to all the great stuff here, you need to relax and have some time to yourself.

With a push, a shove and a "take your time", Hercules and Iolaus found themselves in a satin filled room, with a king-sized bed sprawling in the middle. Drapery hung from the four banisters and the scent of jasmine wafted through the air.

Hercules looked at the label on the bottle, not to surprised to see it in Greek. "Love Lotion 69". He blushed to the tip of his ears, and then had to adjust the tight jeans at his groin. One look from Iolaus and they raced for the bed.

***********

Blair moaned as he rose and fell on Jim's cock, riding him languidly into euphoria. The feel of the hard shaft piercing him, Jim's hand on his waist, sweat rolling down between his shoulder blades, all conspired to end their mating far too soon. He deliberately clenched his ass around Jim's erection, wanting to feel every sensation of the cock impaling him.

"Blair....I...have to confess...." Jim was trying hard to talk around the incredible feeling of Blair's heat surrounding him and caressing him.

"What?" Blair asked distractedly as he tried to find that perfect angle to...he mewled as Jim's cock brushed his prostate with blinding pleasure.

"I had sex...with...Ares..." Jim groaned, his fingers tightening on Blair's waist.

Blair paused in his rocking, visions of Ares and Jim fucking one another into oblivion, strength against strength, lean and dark against muscles and light, straining, groaning....The image was too much and he couldn't stop the climax that erupted out of him, spilling his semen onto Jim's rigid stomach. The spastic clenching was too much for Jim, who groaned and thrust his hips upward one more time before releasing deep into Blair

**********

Iolaus ran his hands over Hercules shoulder blades, relishing the feel of the hard muscles moving under soft skin. They had both been glad to get out of the odd clothing, and now, naked and glowing with the oils Aphrodite had left scattered about, they were tangled in the bed. Hercules lay face down, with Iolaus sprawled over him.

"I can't believe how far in the future we are," Hercules murmured. "What have we missed? What will we do?"

Iolaus shifted until his slowly re-awakening cock was nestled between Hercules tight buttocks. "Well, I figure not that much could have changed. We still have each other, there's still evil out there. How much different could it be?"

A flash of light filled the room.

"Oh, don't stop on my account," Ares leered as the two heroes turned to look at him. Iolaus sighed as he bumped his forehead against Hercules' spine. "I just thought I'd let you know that Zeus is pretty pissed about Discord. Seems that the crime here in Cascade has messed up Zeus' plans. Whatever they are."

"Am I interrupting you? No, Ares...not at all. Come right in," Iolaus said to himself, trying to rein in his libido which was raging at the feel of Hercules' tight ass...which the demigod insisted on clenching in the most disconcerting manner.

"Well, fine. Be that way. I've got to go. There's a great war on in the Middle East. And that's as good as sex." With a disdainful flick of the wrist Ares was gone. And Iolaus took advantage of the moment to slip in to Hercules with a powerful thrust.

Hercules was anything but passive to the enthusiastic thrusting, pushing back against the headboard to receive Iolaus' cock.

Discretely, Aphrodite watched, hidden in the corner, sighing with happiness, and just a little arousal...just a little.

*****

Blair lifted his head from the nape of Jim's neck.

"You slept with Ares???" His voice was filled with disbelief, tinged with a bit of anger.

"Yes." Jim could barely get the energy to answer the question. He was drained, sated, empty, but full of love, and he wanted to do it all again. He let Blair turn him over gently, wiping the semen from his front, so as not to stain the sheets. Always looking out for his Sentinel. Strong nimble hands massaged his shoulders. Jim resisted the urge to purr, but closed his eyes and relaxed into the gentle touches.

It was with a start that he noticed the soft click of the handcuffs as his hands were neatly attached to the railings running across the head of his bed.

"Wha??"

A breath puffed into his ear. "I love you, Jim. But you're going to have to pay."

"..pay...?" Jim's whisper was hoarse as a hand travelled down to stroke at his ass, teasing the crack.

"Pay. For breaking the rule. Number 101...I will sleep with no one but Blair Sandburg." Blair kissed and nipped at Jim's neck...hard. "Repeat it, Jim."

"I will...ah..."Jim couldn't stop the cry as a finger pressed into him. "Sleep with...." another finger joined the first, spreading cool gel around his hole and in him. "No one but Blair...oh god...Sandburg!"

Jim felt Blair position himself across his thighs. This was one punishment he was going to take. And he was going to enjoy every damn minute of it.


Finis

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