• The Fishing Trip

    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?

    The two friends sat quietly in the tavern, relaxing and nursing their mugs of ale. It had been an exhausting week for both of them. Iolaus was staring off into space, too tired to even think. Beside him, Hercules' eyes wandered back and forth between his mug and Iolaus' face. The demigod's fatigue was based more on emotion than anything physical. Several times in the last week, he'd come close to losing his friend, too close. The odds they had faced were almost overwhelming. In the end everything had turned out fine, but it set him thinking. He had realized how devastating it would be if the hunter were killed. Hercules was analyzing his feelings, trying to decide why he felt so strongly. He knew it was more than just fear of losing a friend. He'd lost friends before. It had never felt this bad. In fact, the last time he'd felt anything like this was when Hera had killed his family.

    So, he must love Iolaus like family, like a brother. He thought about that for a bit. It didn't quite fit. He loved Iolaus all right, it was the 'brother' part that didn't work. He loved him like...what? Not just a friend, not a brother, what did that leave? Lover? He studied the hunter as he mulled that one over. Iolaus was beautiful, he had to admit that. The way the light sparked fire in his golden hair, the smooth hard muscled chest, the expressive face with its brilliant blue eyes, yes, he was beautiful. Attractive. Hercules was attracted to him. He could picture himself holding the smaller man, kissing him. The image caused a reaction in his body. Yes, he could definitely imagine making love to Iolaus.

    Now, what to do about these feelings? Should he even do anything? He had no idea how the hunter would react. Iolaus had had plenty of lovers over the years, but they'd all been female. Hercules knew that other men had made advances to his friend from time to time. As far as he knew, Iolaus had always turned them down politely but firmly. What if he made a move and was rejected? Could they even be friends after that? Was it worth the risk? As much as he wanted more, he knew he could live with things the way they were. He wasn't so sure he could live without the blond warrior as part of his life.

    He was pretty sure Iolaus knew that Hercules had slept with other men on occasion. Maybe Iolaus just needs to find out what he's missing. If he'd never made love with a man, how could he be sure he wouldn't like it? Of course if Hercules just asked, he might get turned down. What if he didn't ask? What if he just seduced Iolaus? If he got the hunter drunk first he could use that as an excuse if the morning after brought regrets. He liked that plan. It would be best if they were somewhere isolated. Iolaus would probably be more uncomfortable if other people were around. The fatigue on his friend's face gave him the perfect solution.



    "I think we need a little vacation. What do you say to a nice quiet fishing trip?"

    "Really?" Iolaus was surprised. He usually had to brow beat Herc to get him to take a break.

    "Really. We can head out in the morning."

    "Sounds good to me."

    Iolaus eyed the large sack his friend was carrying. "What's all that, Herc? Do you doubt my fishing skills?"

    "Of course not. I just want to be able to completely relax for a few days. Maybe the spot I have in mind won't be good for fishing. Anyway, I don't know about you, but I'd like something besides fish to eat."

    They set out right after breakfast. Hercules knew of a small isolated lake that wasn't to far away. If they made good time on the road, they'd be there tonight. He'd made a point of telling people he was heading home for a while. If someone came looking for him in the next few days, he didn't want to be found. He felt a little guilty about that, but decided he'd earned a break.

    Luck or the Fates were on his side. For once, no one jumped them while they traveled. The pair reached the lake shortly after dark. They made their dinner from some of the supplies Hercules had brought. After eating, they decided to go to sleep. Iolaus planned to get up before dawn to try his luck with the fish.

    Hercules made a point of placing his bedroll right next to Iolaus'. It wasn't his usual practice, but Iolaus didn't seem to notice. The demigod wasn't planning to do anything tonight, tomorrow would be soon enough. He just wanted his friend to get used to him being close.

    True to his word, Iolaus was up and fishing by the time Hercules woke. The hunter had decided to try spear fishing first. He was in the lake, gazing intently into the water. It was quite a sight to wake up to. Since he knew he'd get wet, Iolaus had taken most of his cloths off. He wore only his breechcloth. As the sun cleared the hills, a shaft a pure dawn light illuminated the small man turning him gold. Hercules breath caught as a wave of desire swept over him. 'Gods, he's perfect.'

    Iolaus had gone completely still for a moment. Suddenly, he flashed into motion striking down with the spear. A few seconds, and a lot of splashing later, he walked out of the water with a sizable fish writhing on the end of his spear.

    "Morning, Herc. I got breakfast!"

    "So I see. I'll go gather some wood for the fire." He rose and headed quickly into the woods.

    "Okay." Iolaus answered, but Hercules was already gone. "What was that about?"

    Hercules stopped once he was far enough away. 'Gods,' he thought. 'I almost lost it there.' The vision of Iolaus walking toward him, almost naked, glistening with water and glowing in the dawn light, had been too much. He'd been so aroused by the sight it had taken every ounce of self control he possessed not to attack the golden hunter then and there. 'Get a grip, Hercules. This is too important to mess up.' He leaned against a tree, taking deep breaths to calm down. Finally, his pulse returned to normal and he began gathering the promised firewood.

    When he returned to their camp, he was relieved to see that Iolaus had his pants and boots on. He was still naked from the waist up, but it was a big improvement -- at least so far as maintaining self control was concerned.

    The fish cooked quickly and they enjoyed a leisurely breakfast. The pair spent the rest of the day lazing about, fishing without really caring if they caught anything. It was very pleasant for both men. They really had needed this break. After dinner, Hercules suggested a swim before they settled for the night. The weather was warm and Iolaus quickly agreed to the notion.

    As they stripped, Hercules kept stealing glances at his friend. He had to leap into the water to hide his reaction to his friend's naked body. Iolaus joined him shortly thereafter. He didn't appear to have noticed anything. They swam a bit, then started horsing around. Hercules started it by deliberately splashing the hunter. Iolaus retaliated by dunking Herc. Things quickly escalated from there. They ended up half wrestling in the water. Hercules was starting to get excited despite the cold water.

    Finally, Iolaus decided he'd had enough and swam to shore. The demigod followed. On shore, Iolaus reached for his clothes. That wasn't in Hercules' plan.

    "Iolaus, you're all wet. If dress now you'll be uncomfortable all night."

    "But I'm cold!" the hunter objected.

    "I've got something that'll warm you up." Hercules dug into the supply sack and pulled out two wineskins. He tossed one to Iolaus, keeping the other for himself. Iolaus had no way of knowing that Hercules' wineskin held nothing but colored water. The smaller man sat down on his blankets and took a healthy swig of wine.

    "Hey, that's good stuff!"

    Hercules smiled, he knew his friend's tastes. "Nothing but the best." He took a swig from his own skin. Then he turned to that task of rebuilding the fire for warmth and light. That accomplished, he sat down next to his friend. They watched the flames dance and made idle conversation. Hercules kept drinking encouraging Iolaus to do the same.

    The demigod had judged things perfectly. Iolaus was relaxed and drunk, but not too drunk. He wanted the hunter uninhibited not insensible. Hercules had draped an arm around the hunter's shoulders enjoying the closeness and the satiny warmth of his friend's skin. Iolaus eventually kicked Hercules off his blankets so he could go to bed. When Hercules rolled up in his own blankets he managed to move even closer to his quarry. Neither of them had gotten dressed.

    Iolaus was sleeping deeply when he began dreaming. The images were indistinct, but the sensations were very clear. In his dream someone was making love to him. The first thing he felt was a hand stroking him. It started at his brow and traveled gently down his cheek. Then it veered slightly to brush across his lips. He murmured softly at the sensation.

    A second had joined the first. It rested for a moment on his throat before moving down to caress his collar bone. The first hand mirrored the second on the other side of his neck. He felt his dream-lover's breath now. First on his eyes as the lips brush lightly against his lashes. Then the mouth moved lower to match with his in a kiss. Iolaus sighed with pleasure.

    When Iolaus sighed into his mouth, Hercules nearly lost it. He had to fight to maintain control over his own reactions to the golden sleeper. He knew he had to be very careful, had to move slowly. If Iolaus woke to soon it would ruin everything. He moved his hands lower, caressing that sculptured chest. His mouth moved lower as well, scattering small kisses across the hunter's throat.

    He continued his progress down his friend's body. Leading with his hands and following with his lips. As his hands moved down to caress the slim waist and muscular abdomen, his mouth moved to the chest. He started with more kisses but quickly moved on to licking that smooth satiny flesh. When his tongue ran across one sensitive nipple, Iolaus moaned. The sound sent a shiver of pleasure through Hercules' body. The demigod was having serious doubts about his ability to stay in control.

    It was, without a doubt, the most intensely erotic dream Iolaus had ever had. He knew he was growing hard. He had a feeling he'd be washing his blankets tomorrow, but right now he didn't care. He just hoped he'd stay asleep long enough for the dream to go all the way. With no one but Herc around it would be kind of embarrassing to wake up in his present condition.

    He could feel teeth now, gently nibbling at his chest occasionally worrying a hard nipple. One of the hands had slipped around his behind his back. He could feel the arm now as it raised him up arching his back slightly. The other hand had moved further down and was now stroking the tender skin of his inner thigh. His breath caught as all the stimulation swept over him.

    Hercules toyed briefly with Iolaus' scrotum before moving up to grasp the now hard shaft. The hunter groaned with pleasure when that hand began pumping him. Hercules trailed nibbling kisses down the rippled abdomen. He paused at the navel probing it with his tongue. His other hand slid down the blond's back, stroking and squeezing. The fingers slid around to find the split between those firm mounds. As his fingertips brushed at the tight opening they had found, he moved his mouth further down. It now took over the task of stroking that stiff penis.

    The hunter writhed under him, his breath coming now in moaning gasps. Hercules didn't think Iolaus would last much longer. He used his recently freed hand to gently spread the creamy thighs. Iolaus was still completely passive and yielded to the slightest pressure. Once he'd made room, he carefully spun down and settled one knee between the muscular legs. His mouth never once ceased in its attentions to the hunter's erection. He licked across the tip teasing and tasting it. Then he dropped down trying to take the entire length in his mouth. It wasn't possible but he came close. He let his tongue roam everywhere it could, seeking out all the little irregularities that made this member uniquely Iolaus'.

    It was too much, too intense! This couldn't be a dream. He'd never been this aroused in a dream before. He was feeling things that he had never felt before, not even while actually making love, never mind dreaming. He felt the tension building inside him, that special tightening in his groin that told him the end was near. When it came, when he came in a blinding flash of pure sensation, his eyes flew open.

    He couldn't focus at first, waves of pleasure still washing over his body. When at last he could see, he looked down the length of his body. When he saw who was there, he froze.

    When Iolaus cried out, Hercules finally lost control. His own orgasm spraying his stomach and his partner's groin. When it passed, he sagged slightly. His mouth relinquished the now flaccid member and his forehead dropped to rest heavily on the hunter's smooth abdomen. He felt the body under him stiffen and looked up.

    Blue eyes met blue eyes. An alarm went off in the demigod's mind. The eyes that met his looked shocked and frightened. 'Please, no. Let him understand.'

    "Herc?" The hunter's voice trembled.

    He straightened out, arms reaching to encircle his friend's shoulders. He held him close, but kept his grip light. He could feel the smaller man trembling with reaction. "Shh, Iolaus, it's all right." He rolled onto his side carrying the hunter with him. Iolaus wasn't fighting him, but he was still stiff in his arms. Hercules began rocking back and forth, hands gently rubbing the tense shoulders. Gradually Iolaus relaxed.

    "Hercules?" The voice was steadier now, soft.

    The demigod pulled away a little, so that he could see Iolaus' face. The fear had faded. 'Thank the gods!' he thought. Now the hunter just looked confused.

    "I'm sorry, Iolaus."

    "I thought I was dreaming, but I've never had a dream like this before."

    "I know. I'm sorry. I drank too much wine, I guess. I got carried away. I know I shouldn't have, but I couldn't seem to help myself."

    The hunter just nodded. He was trying to decipher his own feelings about the incident. He had never once felt attracted to another man. Nevertheless, he had enjoyed it. Hercules was looking at him strangely. He looked worried, and maybe a little afraid. What was he afraid of? There was something else in that earnest gaze, something that looked like...love? Iolaus wasn't sure how to answer such a gaze so he didn't try. Instead, he just rested his head against Hercules' chest and closed his eyes. Within a few minutes, he fell asleep.

    Hercules felt the body in his arms relax completely and knew the hunter had drifted back into sleep. 'That's a good sign, isn't it?' He wasn't sure. Maybe Iolaus was just too drunk and too tired to do anything about it right now. Hercules freed one hand to pull a blanket over both of them. He was more concerned for Iolaus' comfort than his own. He didn't expect to get much sleep anyway.

    His mind kept playing over the events of the evening. Everything had gone so well, exactly like he'd planned. He wanted to be happy, but instead he was worried. 'What if Iolaus hates me? Leaves me?' He didn't think he could handle never seeing the hunter again. 'Whatever it takes,' he decided. 'I'll do whatever he wants.'

    Hercules woke up just as dawn was greying the sky. He was surprised he'd slept at all. He was even more surprised when he realized that Iolaus was still snuggled against him fast asleep. He couldn't resist bending his head over to nuzzle that golden hair. It was a mistake. Hercules felt the hunter stiffen the moment he noticed the caress. The demigod pulled back quickly. The smaller man's eyes were studying him intently.

    "Hercules, about last night, what you did..."

    "I'm sorry, Iolaus, truly."

    "Yeah, you said. Look, I'm not mad, I just...I don't know. I enjoyed it, but...don't ever do anything like that again, at least, not without asking first. Okay?"

    "My word of honor."

    "Okay." The blond threw off the blanket and rose in one fluid movement. He walked over to the water and dove in. Hercules watched him as he swam across the lake. 'Not without asking first.' He considered the implications of that phrase, hoping he wasn't reading too much into it. When Iolaus got out to the middle he stopped there, treading water. 'Nothing ventured...' Hercules headed for the lake.

    Iolaus started swimming again before Hercules reached him, but he didn't seem to be trying to get away. His strokes were leasurely, relaxed. Hercules took his time gaining ground slowly. When he drew up even with the hunter he slowed his pace further to stay with him. They reached the farside of the lake, turned and swam back.

    By the time the returned to their starting point, the sun had risen. Iolaus clambered over to some large rocks and stretched out in the early light. Hercules joined him a moment later, sitting not too close. Iolaus was lying on his back with his head resting on his hands. He looked wonderful. The demigod stiffled the urge to reach out and stroke that smooth flesh. He had to turn away, not sure he could control himself otherwise.

    Iolaus saw the flush on his friend's face and understood it's implications. What he still didn't understand were his own feelings. He trusted Hercules, still did. He loved him too. He just wasn't sure it was the same kind of love the demigod appeared to have for him. He had often stated that he would do anything for Hercules. Maybe there were limits after all. Then again, it hadn't been unpleasant -- quite the opposite. It wasn't disgust or shame that he had felt last night. 'Mostly,' he thought. 'It was just surprise.' He'd known lots of men in his time who had shared blankets. He'd never thought anything of it, he'd just never felt the urge to join in. So, where did that leave him? 'Confused,' he decided.



    "Last night, was that just a spur of the moment thing, or had you been thinking about it?"

    "The truth?"


    "I'd been thinking about it. I might as well be completely honest. I planned it. I set things up to...to trap you." There, it was out in the open now. If Iolaus was going to leave over this, now was the time.


    Startled, Hercules turned to meet his gaze. He couldn't find any anger or recrimination in the blue eyes that met his. The only thing he saw was curiosity. "Why did I plan it?" The hunter nodded in reply. "I wanted you. It's that simple."

    "But, why the trap?"

    "I thought," Hercules sighed trying to find the right words. "I didn't think you'd agree if I asked you. I guess that makes me a rapist."

    "No." That denial was firm. "You're not. At any rate, I don't feel violated. That still leaves the question though. If you thought I'd say no, why seduce me?"

    "You've never been with a man before, at least as far as I know. I thought, perhaps if you knew what it was like..." He trailed off uncertainly.

    "You thought I'd like it? Well, I did. It was...good. I'm still not sure if I'd want to do it again though."

    "Your not sure. So, maybe you would?"

    "Maybe. I don't know."

    "What happens in the meantime, Iolaus? Do you want me to leave?"


    "Do you want to leave? Should we go back to town?"

    "No. I don't know about you, Herc, but I still need the rest. If fact, I think I could do with a nap right now." Iolaus rolled over onto his stomach, letting the sun caress his still damp back.

    Hercules watched him for a while. He wasn't quite sure if they'd actually resolved anything, if they had he wasn't sure what or how. He returned to their camp and cleaned things up there. Once the soiled blankets were cleaned and draped out in the sun to dry, he got dressed and started thinking about breakfast. He decided to see if the surrounding woods held any small game.

    Iolaus watched through slitted eyes as the demigod puttered about the camp. When Hercules headed off into the woods, he finally closed his eyes completely and dozed off.

    His stomach woke him up. He could smell meat cooking and smelled wonderful. Iolaus opened his eyes and saw Hercules was back. He was sitting on the far side of their campfire tending his cooking.

    Iolaus raised himself up onto his elbows. "Hey Herc, what did you catch."

    The demigod looked up, smiling. "Rabbit. Want some? It's about ready."

    "Sounds good." He levered himself the rest of the way up and walked over to the fire. It wasn't until he saw the pile of clothing that he realized he was still naked. With everything that had happened, he figured he ought to get dressed. That accomplished, he came around the Hercules' side of the fire and sat down.

    "Hot breakfast, huh? What, were you bored or something."

    "Something. Anyway, it's more like a hot lunch now."

    Iolaus looked up, checking the position of the sun. "Huh, must've been more tired than I thought."

    "We did have a busy week." Hercules pointed out while passing his friend a portion of meat.

    They ate in contented silence. Hercules was releived that things seemed to be back to normal between them. He'd spent quite a few anxious hours wondering if he had completely destroyed the only friendship that really mattered to him. After that scare, he was content to drop any notion of taking their relationship somewhere else. He was just glad to have the hunter by his side. His thoughts were interupted when Iolaus moved closer.

    "Herc? Kiss me."

    The demigod thought he'd mis-heard. He turned to face Iolaus. "What?"

    "Kiss me, please?" The hunter looked completely serious.

    "I'm not so sure that's a good idea, Iolaus. Last night, and this morning..."

    "I know, now I want you to kiss me. Unless you don't want to."

    Hercules reached out a tentative hand and gently stroked his beloved friend's cheek. "I want to."

    "Well, so do I." Iolaus' smile was shy and nervous. He leaned in and Hercules met him halfway.

    At first it was soft. They barely touched. Gradually, they both leaned in and deepened the kiss. Iolaus reached up and wrapped his arms around the demigod's shoulders. In response, Hercules pulled his friend into a close embrase. There was no more thought, only feelings. Iolaus could feel a heart pounding but he couldn't tell if it was his or Hercules', so close were they. An eternity later, they parted. Their eyes met and they saw love and desire in each other. Hercules pulled his friend, his lover in for another kiss. Another eternity passed, this time Iolaus pulled away.



    "I'm...I've never. I mean, apart from last night, I've never...you know, been with another guy. I don't know what to do."

    Hercules almost laughed out loud with relief and amusement. Relief that Iolaus seemed ready to continue and amusement that his friend, so confident with women, was acting shy and nervous with him. "I can show you, if you want me to?"


    There was little real conversation over the next few hours. A few murmured comments or suggestions, an occasional question, all punctuated by sighs and moans and other sounds of passion as Hercules gently and slowly taught his lover a great many new things. Iolaus was a quick study. He had always been a passionate man. All he needed was a little guidence. By dusk the two men lay curled together in a tangle of limbs, exhausted but happy.

    Hercules bent to nuzzle the blond hair beneath his chin knowing this time there would be no resistance. "Iolaus?"

    "Mmmm," was the sleepy reply.

    "I love you."

    "I love you too, Herc."

    Hercules decided then that it had been worth the risk.

    The End

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