• Afterlife

    By Nephele

    The author does not own the characters from the series. They belong to MCA/Universal. We all know that. We're not making any money from this. We're just having fun. Okay?

    This story was written in response to a challenge. The challenge consisted of a list of items that had to be used in the story. The list appears at the end if you're curious.

    His brother's 'request' couldn't have come at a worse time. It seemed like every warlord in Greece had decided that now would be the perfect time to go to war. The death toll was rising every day.

    "And I *still* don't have enough staff to keep up with the normal workload!" Hades complained to the air around him.

    He'd been ranting like that ever since Zeus had asked for this little favor. He'd started out patiently enough, trying to explain that as Lord of the Underworld, he had too much to do. He couldn't spare the time to babysit one dead mortal. But brother or no, Zeus was still king of the gods.

    Hades came out of the tunnel into the open area along the Styx. A quick glance around failed to reveal his quarry.

    "Charon!" He called to the ferryman who was just off shore. "Where is he?"

    "He who, who's he? What am I, a mind reader now?" The last Charon said under his breath. It didn't pay to be smart-mouthed around the boss, a boss who was glaring at him. "Oh, right! You mean the little guy. He went that way, boss." The ferryman pointed to one of the other tunnel openings.

    Hades just grunted in response and set off to find the troublesome mortal.

    "Thanks for the info, Charon. Good work, Charon. Here's a little something for your trouble, Charon. Zip, nada, bupkes! I should go on strike or something. That'd teach him. No more Charon to kick around. Let him ferry the stiffs himself..."

    Hades sighed with relief when that voice finally faded to inaudibility. 'Why,' he wondered, 'did his one, semi-reliable, employee have to be such a grouch?' He looked around the gloomy cavern. 'Maybe it's the work environment.'

    His musings were interupted when a flash of gold caught his eye. Hades studied the mortal carefully. He wasn't tall but he wasn't really 'little' either. Compact was a better word. His golden hair blazed like a little piece of sunlight in the shadowy depths. He was beautiful.

    The Lord of the Underworld was *not* happy. 'If I'm going through all this trouble just so Zeus can put another notch in his bedpost...' He shook his head, leaving the thought unfinished.

    Everything happened too fast for Iolaus to really process it. One minute he was fighting at Herc's back; the next he was in his arms saying his last goodbye. And now... Well, now he was someplace else. That weird old guy had ferried him across a river, chivvied him ashore and left him there, alone.

    He knew where he was, really. He was on the 'Otherside'. That wasn't a very helpful label though. Iolaus knew the dead were supposed to cross a river and he'd done that. Now what? Nobody had ever said what came next. He'd already searched the cave he was in. There was nothing here and the only way out was via the river.

    The hair on the back of his neck rose. He wasn't alone anymore. Iolaus spun around searching the darkness. Nothing. Then all of sudden, he was there, a stranger all in black. Young looking and very serious. Iolaus felt an absurd desire to laugh but it was squelched by the aura of power that surrounded the newcomer.

    "Come on," the stranger commanded. He turned abruptly and without another word, strode from the cavern.

    Iolaus didn't want to obey that barked order but he was short on alternatives. He followed.

    He felt a moment of quesy disorientation as they left the tunnel. Last time Iolaus had come this way, it opened out at the riverbank. This time it went into an enormous chamber. Right in the middle of the space was what could best be described at a palace. The stranger was making straight for it. He couldn't take it anymore. Curiousity was driving him nuts.

    "Where are we?"

    No answer.

    "I know this is the Otherside. I know I died, but where, exactly is this?"

    The stranger glanced back at Iolaus irritation written across his face. He turned away without speaking and continued on toward the palace.

    "Who are you?"


    No one would ever accuse Iolaus of having an over abundance of patience. What little he had was now exhausted. He'd had enough of this silence. He stopped, crossing his arms in stubborn manner.

    "Look, I'm not taking another step until you tell me what's going on!"

    "I don't have time for this," the stranger muttered. He turned quickly and raised his hand. There was a brilliant flash of light, then Iolaus crumpled lifelessly to the ground.

    The dark stranger studied that still form for a moment as his anger drained away.


    Another gesture and both men vanished.

    When he woke the first thing Iolaus noticed was his change of location. He was lying in a large four poster bed hung with red curtains. Curtains that were currently drawn closed. The second thing he noted was his own condition. He felt strangly weak, drained. He decided to stay put for now and try to think things through while his body rested.

    If he'd thought about it at all, and he hadn't much, Iolaus had always assumed that when he died he'd end up in the Elysian Fields. Now he wasn't so sure. Nice as it was, this bed wasn't the sort of thing that had ever figured in any of his visions of paradise.

    So if this wasn't Elysium and he'd already crossed the Styx, that only left one option: Tartarus. If this was Tartarus then this luxurious bed with its blood red curtains was suddenly a lot more sinister.

    He had to know. No matter how bad it was, not knowing was worse. Wasn't it?

    Iolaus leapt from the bed. At least, that was his intention but his body was still too weak to manage 'leaping'. Nevertheless, he did get up. Opening the curtains revealed a bedroom furnished to match the bed.

    A quick search didn't turn up anything unusual. Iolaus did come to the conclusion that this was someone else's bedroom. There were clothes and personal items in the room that couldn't have been meant for him. The clothing was for a man but would never fit Iolaus.

    The room had no windows and only one door. A door which, despite his best efforts, remained closed.

    Eventually boredom and a lingering weakness drove him back to the bed and then to sleep.

    It was some hours before Hades thought to check on his guest again. He found Iolaus sleeping. Things in his room had been rearranged so he knew the blond had been awake at some point. That knowledge came as a relief.

    He really hadn't meant to hurt the man. It was hardly Iolaus' fault that Zeus had plans for him. In fact, given what he knew of his brother's methods, Hades realized that this mortal might have actively resisted Zeus. That could even be how he died.

    Hades studied the golden man in his bed. He could understand Zeus' obsession with this one. He really was glorious, all smooth skin and shining hair, and - he suddenly remembered - eyes like a summer sky.

    Hades recognized the signs of his growing arousal. He thought briefly of leaving but why should he? This was his realm, his palace, even his bed. For that matter, now that he was dead, Iolaus was legitamately Hades' property as well.

    'And,' he reasoned, 'it's not like Zeus even asked me not to. He just said to hold on to this one, not to send him on yet.'

    With that his decision was made. A quick gesture and Iolaus' clothes were gone. Hades moved to the side of the bed stripping off his gloves as he went. He reached out, combing one hand lightly through the mortal's golden curls.

    "So soft," he whispered.

    Hades sat on the edge of the bed and allowed his hand to further explore the splendor before him. He gently caressed the lean cheek then brushed his fingertips across the well-shaped lips. That last touch elicited a murmured response. Hades snatched his hand away as if burned.

    The Lord of the Underworld laughed at his own folly. What was he afraid of? Iolaus was just another mortal and a dead one at that. As such, he was entirely under Hades' control. He smiled at the thought that all this golden glory was his to do with as he pleased. He resumed his carresses.

    Iolaus woke to a gentle touch. He sighed with pleasure and opened his eyes to...nothing! Or, more precisely, no one.

    He bolted up out of the bed and across the room, eyes wide. He was in that same bedroom. Nothing appeared to be different. But something *had* been touching him, he was sure of it.

    "Who's there? Show yourself!"

    A beat and then a voice answered, "why not?"

    He winked into view the moment his helmet was removed. It was the same man Iolaus had seen before, the one who had brought him here from the cave. The same one who had hit him with some sort of lightning bolt, knocking him unconscious.

    "Who are you? What do you want?"

    "Hades," the stranger replied. "And you."

    "And me what?" Iolaus asked, confused.

    "And you are what I want."

    It was stated so matter-of-factly that it took a moment for Iolaus to realize what he meant. His body reacted to the idea before his brain had finished processing the situation. Hades' smile widened in response. It was then that Iolaus noticed his state of undress. He blushed. He didn't see his clothes anywhere and the only other option seemed to be the bed linens. Hades was between him and the bed. He decided to ignore his nudity for now. There were more important issues at hand.

    "So, I did die then?"

    "I'm afraid so." Hades set his helmet aside and settled back down on the bed.

    "Do you lock every new arrival in your bedroom?"

    "Hardly. In fact, you're the first."

    "Lucky me. Why?"

    "Not the reason you think. My brother asked me not to pass you on right away."

    "Your brother?"


    While Iolaus thought about that, Hades chased a few thoughts of his own. He usually wasn't this patient with mortals. Why was he answering this one's questions? What was so special about this beautiful golden man? He had to laugh at himself when his question answered itself.

    'I want him,' he thought. 'Enough to work for it.'

    Iolaus looked up at the god's brief bark of laughter. "I don't see anything funny."

    Hades smiled disarmingly. "I was laughing at myself."

    "Oh... okay, I guess," Iolaus trailed off, then: "it must have something to do with Hercules."

    "Excuse me?" It was Hades' turn to be confused.

    "Zeus," Iolaus said. "I was with Herc when I... well, died. I don't know what Zeas has in mind, why he asked you to keep me here, but it probably has to do with Hercules.

    "Well," Hades replied slowly, "that's certainly one possibility."

    "But you don't think it's the right answer, do you?"

    The Lord of the Underworld just shrugged.

    Iolaus was silent, thoughtful. Then he too shrugged and crossed back to the bed sitting next to his 'host'.

    "How far would you have gone? Before I mean, when I was asleep. How far?"

    Hades thought for a moment then shook his head. "I don't know. The situation has never come up before. I *do* know that I've never forced myself on an unwilling partner."

    They sat in silence, neither sure what to do now or even who should do it. Finally, Hades took the initiative. He reached out a hand and ran his fingers through the mortal's soft curls. When this first action was accepted, he moved a little closer and using the hand tangled in Iolaus' hair, turned him until they were face to face. Hades leaned in slowly giving the other man plenty of time to object should he wish. No objection was forthcoming so the god completed his move and pressed a gentle kiss against those expressive lips.

    He held the kiss waiting for a response of any kind. He got one when Iolaus' arms wrapped around him and the mortal deepened the kiss.

    Iolaus had never kissed a god before. He'd expected it to be different somehow. He wasn't sure what he thought would be different or even why he thought it should be. In any case, it wasn't. It was nice though, very nice. He flicked his tongue out gently teasing Hades' lips. It was a request, one that was quickly answered when those lips parted granting him access.

    'Ah, now this *was* different,' Iolaus thought. Hades tasted different, spicy maybe. He couldn't really define it. He liked it. He pressed further, deepening the kiss to the point of bruising.

    At length, Iolaus broke off. Coming up for air only to realize he didn't need to. He *was* panting but it had nothing to do with lack of oxygen.

    "Well, there's one advantage to being dead."

    Hades just cocked an eyebrow in inquiry.

    "I don't need to stop to breathe." Iolaus looked at his companion appraisingly. "Aren't you over dressed?"

    "You know, I believe you're correct." Hades smiled and his clothing vanished. "Better?"

    Iolaus' only reply was to pull the god to him for another searing kiss.

    Hades broke the kiss fairly quickly but only to free his mouth for further explorations. He trailed little nibbling kisses along the mortal's perfect jawline. Following it to one ear then tracing his way back to the other.

    Meanwhile, Iolaus began an exploration of his own. He ran his hands over every inch of the god's smooth back. When he'd mapped it to his satisfaction, he turned his attention to Hades' chest. He quickly found and began teasing the small nipples.

    Iolaus found himself wondering if the god's flesh would taste different too. He had to find out. He pushed Hades back onto the bed and bent his head to satisfy his curiosity.

    The dark god writhed under the blond's attentions. He was beginning to understand his brother's obsession with mortal lovers. 'If it was always like this...' The thought went unfinished as his attention was diverted by the feeling of teeth gently worrying his nipple. He couldn't remember ever feeling anything this wonderful before.

    Iolaus decided that gods *did* taste different. Though that difference was subtle, it was very nice. He'd had enough of Hades' chest for now. It was time to explore further.

    Leading with his hands, Iolaus worked his way down Hades' body. For some reason he was surprised to discover that gods had belly-buttons. He spent some time examining the evidence with his tongue. While his mouth was thus engaged, his hands slid down the god's hips and began stroking the lean thighs.

    Hades was squirming continuously now. He'd long ago lost any control over this encounter. He was amused at his earlier thoughts. That he'd ever believed Iolaus was under his power seemed ridiculous now. This mortal was the one with all the power here. The blond seemed to know more about his body than Hades did himself. He'd never given his navel much thought before. Iolaus was teaching him the error of his ways. Under Iolaus' talented mouth and hands, it seemed that every inch of flesh was exploding with new sensations.

    For his part, Iolaus was enjoying the sense of control he had. He'd been worried, even frightened earlier, not knowing what to expect. Having the upper hand now did a lot to restore his equilibrium. And he was definitely enjoying himself. Hades was a wonderfully responsive lover. He reacted delightfully to every move Iolaus made. It was *very* arousing.

    Moving lower again, Iolaus set his mouth to the smooth skin where thigh became hip. One hand traveled down the soft inner side of a leg while the other held the god down when his reactions would have him arch up.

    Hades was going mad with desire. This mortal was touching him everywhere except where he most wanted, needed to be touched. He tried to articulate his desire but all that came out were low, needy moans.

    His breath caught suddenly when he finally felt that wonderful mouth move to the center of his need. He bucked helplessly trying to bury himself in the warm wet cavern that surrounded the head of his cock. But it was no use. Iolaus was still in control. He simply moved with Hades until the god surrendered. When he was still again, or at least as still as he could manage, he was rewarded with a long slow sweep of the blond's tongue down to the root of his cock and back to the tip.

    Iolaus lapped up the moisture that had leaked from Hades' rock hard erection. Taking pity on the god, and thoroughly enjoying being in the position to do so, Iolaus quickly engulfed Hades' cock. He moved down taking in the full length.

    Hades was too close to the edge to last long. Within moments he cried out, his body arching convulsively as he came.

    Iolaus took in every drop unsurprised that this too tasted different. he released the god's softening manhood and began tracing hungry kisses across Hades' abdomen. He had just worked his way back up to that deliciously sensitive navel when it's owner stirred.

    Hades grabbed Iolaus' shoulders and hauled him up for a thorough kiss. He could taste himself in the mortal's mouth. He set himself to retrieving every bit of his seed that he could find. When he finally released that sweet mouth it was only to whisper a single word. That word was 'more'.

    Iolaus flashed a radiant smile at that. "Turn over," he replied, his voice husky with his own as yet unsatisfied desire.

    Hades obeyed with allacrity. He felt the mortal stradling the back of his legs. The small hands messaged his back with surprising strength. Iolaus was speaking again. Hades gathered what was left of his scattered wits until he could understand the blond's words.

    "...going to need some oil or something."

    Hades gestured quickly. he passed the jar that materialized back to Iolaus. The mortal pulled the stopper and poured a little of the contents into his hand.

    It was some kind of oil alright. He wasn't sure what kind. It was lightly scented and warmed to body temperature.


    Iolaus coated both hands with the slick stuff and began messaging the god's ass. As his fingers dug into the smooth flesh, he allowed his thumbs to slide into the crevase that seperated the two halves. With each pass he delved a little deeper until he was brushing Hades' hidden opening at each stroke. He paused to collect another dollup of oil. When his hands were once again well coated, he resumed his preparations.

    Hades was moaning almost continuously. It was such terrible, sweet torture. Never before in all his long existance had he felt so vulnerable. With that vulnerability came a strange sense of freedom. That his helplessness came at the hands of a mortal made it all that much sweeter. He could abandon himself in Iolaus' hands. It was a freedom he could never have felt with another god. There would have been too many complications involved in such an encounter.

    Yet again, Iolaus' touch scattered his thoughts. All intelligence lost in the moment of penetration as one of the mortal's slick digits worked its way into Hades most secret place.

    Had he thought the man's hands small before? That single finger seemed enormous now, and wonderful. Hades felt the finger probe deeply for a moment then it was removed. Before he could even frame a protest, it returned and it was joined by a second. He greeted this addition with the only sound he was still capable of making.

    Iolaus listened to Hades' moans and smiled. He began scissoring his fingers carefully, stetching the opening in preparation for what was still to come. When he felt the muscles around his fingers relax and yield to the pressure, he added a third. He was determined that there would be no pain here and so, renewed his efforts accordingly.

    Finally he was satisfied. Hades was as ready as it was possible for Iolaus to make him. He slipped his fingers free and quickly coated himself with more of the oil. He'd been left untouched for so long that his own perfuntory touch was almost enough to send him over the edge.

    Acknowleging his own need at last, he reached for the dark god before him. Pausing only to angle the hips for easier access, Iolaus slid into the welcoming heat with a cry of pleasure. He had intended to go slowly but in the end had not been able to control his body. He slid in quickly until he was buried to the hilt.

    Hades cried out at this too sudden invasion but it was surprise more that anything else that caused his reaction. The sound did serve to restore Iolaus' control. He held himself still ignoring his body's clamouring to give Hades time to adjust and relax. At length the god began moving against him, urging him to move.

    Iolaus began by slowly drawing out just a little before pressing back in. With each repitition, he moved a little further. Soon he was pulling almost all the way out before plunging in again. Hades was grunting and moaning but they were clearly sounds of pleasure.

    The mortal twisted, changing the angle of penetration. He was searching for that sweet spot deep inside the god. Iolaus hadn't been able to find it before with his fingers. Was this another difference between mortals and gods? Perhaps he couldn't find the spot in Hades because it wasn't there to be found. Iolaus was nothing if not persistant. He kept trying and was rewarded a moment later when the body beneath him arched up suddenly and Hades ... well, Hades screamed actually.

    A few more strokes against that sensitive spot and it was all over for Hades. He shouted as he came for the second time. His contracting muscles milked Iolaus' cock and brought the mortal tumbling over the brink a moment later.

    Hades awoke to find his arms full of gloriously warm, golden mortal. He nuzzled the bright curls and sighed in contentment. He felt well and thoroughly used and he loved it.

    "This is not exactly what I had in mind."

    Hades started at that voice. "Zeus."

    "Still," the king of the gods continued. "I don't suppose it will matter when I'm finished."

    Hades gestured at Iolaus, casting a spell that would insure the mortal's continued slumber. The lord of the underworld then climbed out of bed to confront his brother.

    "You can't have him, Zeus. He didn't want you before and he's not likely to now. Besides, he's mine."

    He'd expected anger or an argument in response. What he got was laughter.

    "I assure you, Hades, I have no designs upon Iolaus. Although, given your empassioned plea, I might just re-think that."

    Hades ignored that last bit for the tease it obviously was and focused on the important part of his brother's speech.

    "You didn't want him for yourself?"

    "No, not this time," Zeus replied, smiling.

    "Then what was this all about?"

    "My son, Hercules. This mortal is important to him in ways *I* don't even understand. I'm sending him back."

    "How? He's dead."

    "I'm going to turn back time and let my son prevent this."


    Hades was shocked. Sure most of the gods had the power to muck about with time but they were smart enough not to. Usually.

    "Zeus are you crazy? Have you thought this through at all? The repercussions could be..."

    Zeus held up a hand silencing his brother's protests. "I know what I'm doing. Don't worry, soon everything will be back the way it was before this started. You won't even remember this happened because it won't happen."

    "No," Hades whispered in a voice suddenly strangled with emotion. "Please, brother, I want to remember this, him. I need to."

    "That complicates an already complicated situation."

    "Please?" Hades spoke simply but his heart was in his voice.

    "Very well. If you want to say goodbye, do it now."

    Hades turned back to his bed and kissed Iolaus tenderly but did not wake him.

    "Does your son know how lucky he is?"

    Zeus closed the distance between them and draped a comforting arm across his brother's shoulders.

    "He will," came the reply.

    "Do it now, Zeus. Before I change my mind and fight you for him."

    The king of the gods took Hades at his word and everything reverted to the way it had been before. Everything that is except the memories of three people: Hercules, Zeus and Hades.

  • The End

    Here as promised are the challange requirements I had to work with:

    Person: Hades
    Place: The bedroom of Hades palace in the Underworld
    Prop: Hades wooden 4 poster bed, hung with red muslin curtains (as per The Other Side episode)
    Clothing: Hades Helmet of Invisibility
    Position: Iolaus on top (for a change!)

    E-mail the author at [email protected]

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