Dead Again
 By Candace
Note: Hebe was the cupbearer of the gods until Ganymede came along and stole her job. When Hercules ascended to Olympus, she was given to him by Zeus as his wife.

As an infant, Dionysus was given to Hermes to protect, the two are often depicted together in statues. I've used Dionysus and Bacchus interchangably in the following story, since Bacchus is a Xenaverse character.



Deep in the bowels of Zeus' palace on Olympus, Hermes shrugged and rolled the
dice, brushing a bit of plaster from his bare thighs and shaking out his
shoulder-length hair.

"Uh, Herm?" Deimos said as the ceiling continued to snow upon his brown
leathers, "What the fuck is that?"

"Read 'em and weep! Read 'em and weep!" Hermes crowed, scooping away the pile
of chits which represented, among other things, one of Hera's cows, a set of
fur lined handcuffs a-la-Heph, and a snake that had supposedly lived on
Medusa's head at some point.

"Wha? Hey," Deimos growled. "You flipped that die while I was looking at the

"Fair and square, little godling," Hermes beamed.

"Fair and square, my ass!" Deimos shrieked.

Hermes rifled through the pile of chits. "I don't see that one in here." He
held out the handful of garishly painted wooden disks under Deimos' nose.
"Which one is your ass? I'll put that in a *special* place."


Deimos made a little-girl noise and threw his arms around the other god's
neck, brushing against bare chest and bare shoulders since Hermes' wardrobe
consisted only of a pair of sandals. While Hermes was as puny and effete as
he, the Trickster God was infinitely older and much more powerful than he

Hermes tossed the wooden chits over his head, sending them clinking and
clattering away behind him. He threw his arm around his favorite nephew,
pressing his mouth against Deimos' ear. "We're missing something good."

With a flash of orange light, Hermes transported both gods to the great hall.

"The OTHER way, Herm, the OTHER way!"

Hermes held Deimos by the long leather fringes on his sleeves. "Shush,
Deimos. I wanted to see who was throwing a tantrum so that we can make fun of
'em later."

"ZEUUUUUS!" came the broken cry from outside.

Deimos' eyes brightened. "Hey."

Athena rushed in, spear at the ready, imposing as ever in her leather bra and
kilt. She stopped short of the massive double doors, puzzled. "That sounds

"Jercules!" Deimos cried, as the doors crashed inward.

Hercules was a wreck. His clothes were torn and filthy and his face was worn
and haggard. His expression didn't bode well.

"Which one of you stinking gods killed Iolaus?"

"In what manner was he killed?" Athena asked cautiously.

"I found him in the morning," Hercules grated out, "across the campfire from
me, naked, cold and dead. He'd been -- used."

"Calm yourself, brother," Athena said, stepping in front of him. "Your grief
is not allowing you to think clearly. You cannot blame all gods for the
actions of one god, if god it be who did this, any more than we may blame all
mortals for the action of one man."

"If god it be?" Hercules said, incredulous. "If god it be!!" He grabbed a
pouch off his belt, hands shaking, and upended the contents into his other
palm. "Tell me which mortals carry the soil of Olympus in their shoes!"

Deimos watched Athena analyze a pinch of the powder, knowing what she'd see.
The dirt around Zeus' palace wasn't just *any* dirt, it had a shimmer to it,
like an insect wing. There was nothing else quite like it.

"It appears you have a very strong case," Athena said, nodding
sympathetically, "but against who?"

"That's what I'm here to find out," Hercules replied in clipped tones.

"Wait," Athena said, placing her hand on Hercules' arm, "I'll summon Zeus so
that you needn't retell your story again and again."

"You're too kind," Hercules grunted as Athena closed her eyes, concentrating.

Momentarily, there was a shower of silvery sparkles and a puff of white smoke, out of which stepped Zeus, King of the Gods, with his consort Hera on his arm. Hercules stared at Hera blankly, though Deimos imagined that the rage within him was reaching critical.

"No, Hercules," Hera said calmly. "I am in adherence to our truce. I did not harm your partner, nor did I cause another to do so."

Hercules continued to stare, as if he would see evidence of a lie if he looked hard enough.

"Hera and I have been together the past several days," Zeus said, shaking his
head. "It is not her doing."

Deimos jumped as Hercules whirled around to face him. "What about you?"
Hercules asked, his voice low and dangerous, "Are you still angry about the
time I took away your piece of the Cronos stone?"

"Well, uh, yeah, but that doesn't mean I'd snuff your partner. He's the only thing about you I like." Deimos made a wiggling motion with his fingers, as if he'd just touched something sticky. "Besides, I've been with Hermes for at least a week."

Hercules stared at the wall, his expression blank and dangerous. "Ares." He spun and marched toward the door, taking huge strides. The doors swung shut before him with a mighty boom.

"Don't," Zeus said coldly. "I won't have you warring with your brother..."

"Iolaus was more than a brother to me. I don't give a damn if Ares and I share blood."

Zeus held up his hand. "Someone else will determine who the culprit is, and that is my final decision."

Hercules fumed, while Athena brightened noticeably.

Zeus looked around the room wearily. "You two," he said, pointing at the pair of slender blondes, "find out."

The Goddess of Wisdom shot Deimos a filthy look and spun on her heel, as if to leave. "Wait," Zeus said, making a minute gesture. A large, bushy potted plant occupied the space where Hercules had just been standing. "I need you to take care of that until their investigation is complete."


"Do you really think Ares did it?" Deimos whispered.

"Hard to know what to think," Hermes said, sliding into a supple pair of brown leather pants.

"You're wearing -- clothes?" Deimos said incredulously.

Hermes smiled at him. "For now, I think it might be best. I mean, I don't usually mind that people stare at my cock all day long, but I think that would only be a hindrance to my investigation."

"Oh my," Deimos breathed, his tongue flickering out to taste the air, "you're just scrumptious when you get dressed."

"Really?" Hermes said, smirking. He slid into a white silk shirt, turning slowly for Deimos as he did so.

"Oh yes, definitely. I can hardly wait to take it all off of you now."

Hermes shook his head, smiling. "Anyway, as I was saying, Hercules buried the body, so it's not as if we can go to the scene and find any evidence. Then dad went and treed Herc, so I can't question him as to any signs there may have been at the scene."

"Which he ruined," Deimos added.

"Um, right."

Deimos shrugged. "We can ask Ares."

Hermes buckled a broad belt around his slender waist, apparently unaware of the effect he was having on Deimos as he spread his legs and thrust his hips out to buckle it. "Why Ares, though? Don't you think that if Ares killed him, it would've been in a good, old-fashioned swordfight? I just don't see him pulling the mysterious thing in the silence of the night."

"What about the sex?" Deimos asked, tasting the air again, wiggling his fingers. "Maybe Ares just fucked him so good..." he trailed off, staring at the crotch of Hermes' pants.

Hermes shook his head. "No. Ares doesn't do rape, he does seduction."

"Right, he seduced him, then got inside him," Deimos jumped up and started thrusting his hips, "and pretty soon the little mortal was just floating among the stars."

"I've never heard of Ares fucking anyone to death," Hermes said skeptically. "I mean, this guy was a warrior, and all."

Deimos shrugged. "Well, I told you what I think happened. C'mere, Herm, that shirt's gonna look great with me undoing it."

"Hold on," Hermes said, neatly sidestepping Deimos' possessive arms. "I may not be able to go back and get anything from the scene, but I can do even better than that."

Deimos curled his lip. "Oh, goody."

"I can go ask Iolaus who did it."

Deimos' face froze. "Oh -- weird."

Hermes wrapped his arms around Deimos, saying, "Am I good or am I good?" as they flashed to the Underworld.

The gods appeared on the near side of the Styx, Hermes looking critically across the roiling, churning river, Deimos staring saucer-eyed at the landscape around him. "Damn," Hermes said. "I don't see anyone waiting to come over. That means he's already across."

Deimos stared at the lovely sky, dull and enigmatic like a gray, striated marble. "It's really quite beautiful down here," he breathed.

Hermes shrugged, taking his nephew by the hand and leading him toward Hades' palace.

"Do you think I can live down here?" Deimos panted. As the God of Travel, Hermes moved pretty fast once he got going.

"I dunno. I thought you worked for Ares. I don't think you can just switch and suddenly work for Hades."

Deimos devoured the landscape with bright eyes. "You work for Hades, though.
You could put in a good word for me."

Hermes must have been working some sort of travel magic, for the ground flew
by at a rapid pace, and shortly they were upon a grove of trees. Every other
tree was in bloom, the ground between them carpeted with fragrant petals. "I
hear her," Hermes said, pausing to cock his head.

Deimos heard a thin melody, as if someone was humming.

"Come on," said Hermes, taking Deimos by the hand and whisking him off again.
They strode through the mazelike grove, Deimos getting lost immediately, each
tree looking about the same to him as any other. They came upon a maiden in a
white shift, bent over the roots of a tree, pulling up weeds with a delicate silver knife.

"My Queen," Hermes said, bowing low, nudging Deimos meaningfully as he bowed
down. Deimos followed suit, bowing as low as his skin tight leather shorts
would allow.

The maiden tucked a lock of waist-length platinum hair behind her ear and looked both gods up and down. "You may rise."

Deimos shivered. Her voice was surprisingly low in pitch, which turned him
on. Most things turned him on, though, so that wasn't an unusual state of
being for him.

"You're looking radiant, as always, Persephone," Hermes said in his smoothest

*So that's Persephone,* Deimos though, sizing the girl up. *Queen of the
Underworld, abducted by Hades to the shock and dismay of all Olympus. I don't
know if she's all that.*

"What do you want?" she asked bluntly, apparently unaffected by Hermes'

*Then again, maybe she is.* Something about the way she seemed to abhor them
sent the blood straight to Deimos' groin.

"Just on a little fact-finding mission, sis. Did Iolaus happen to wander through your grove anytime lately?"

"He 'wanders through' every six months or so," she replied, deadpan.

Deimos found himself liking her a lot.

"This last time is what's important to me," Hermes smiled, a god of infinite patience.


"I need to talk to him about something, that's all."

Persephone shrugged and picked a chunk of lichen off one of her trees with the silver knife. "Yes, he's here, but he's settled now, so you're not allowed to talk to him."

"But if I could just have a few moments with him..." Hermes was cut off as a silver knife buried itself in the dirt between his feet."

"It's not my rule, darling brother. Do *I* make the rules around here? No. So stop whining to me."

Deimos shifted his tightening shorts minutely.

Abruptly, the goddess stepped behind a tree and was gone.

"I think I'd better stay around here and, um, make sure she's not mad," Deimos volunteered.

"Mad?" Hermes echoed. "Oh, that's just the way she is. You'll get used to it."

"I'll have to come back later and see for myself," Deimos murmured, wetting his lips in anticipation.

"May as well talk to The Boss and see if he'll let us visit with Iolaus for a bit, otherwise we'd never find him."

Deimos kept his eyes open for a flash of platinum or white or ivory as he was
dragged through the grove, but he emerged from the other side unrewarded.
Hermes hauled him over a small plain toward a tall, spindly structure, the
top of which was lost in the gray mist that took the place of clouds. "Hades'
palace," he explained unnecessarily.

Hermes showed Deimos in and began dragging him quickly through the house of
wonder before him. "You know your way around pretty good?" Deimos asked
shyly, awed by the eerie decor that surrounded him, rich and dark.

"I work here," Hermes said, unimpressed.

"What is it you exactly -- do?"

Hermes poked his head inside a room and, apparently unsatisfied, dragged
Deimos up a grand staircase. "I deadwalk. I take the new dead that Charon
drops off and I lead 'em to the grove. I mean, if I don't do it, someone else
will, but usually it's me."

"Deadwalker, cool job title."

Hermes began searching in earnest, poking his head into every room off the
long, second floor hall. "I don't care about the title. It's something to
keep me busy, is all. I hate being bored."

Deimos longed to stop and fondle the various decorations as he passed them
by, but he was being dragged relentlessly forth by his guide. "Hey, that's an
amazing... Whoa, what's that made of... Oooh, I like that..."

"Come on, Fright-Boy, you can enjoy the scenery later. We need to find Iolaus
before he starts forgetting key stuff."

"Is that how it works?" Deimos asked excitedly, hurrying to keep up with his
speedy uncle. "You begin forgetting things down here?"

"It varies," Hermes said, leading Deimos up a spindly, metal, circular
staircase. "There's a rhyme and reason behind it all, believe me, but it's
incredibly complex." The gods emerged into a round room with a conical
ceiling hung all around with translucent, billowing drapery.

"Pretty," Deimos breathed, gazing at the room, "so pretty." He brushed aside
a set of curtains, and another, advancing forward and brushing a gauzy wisp
of fabric out of his eyes.

"Usually I hear words like 'handsome' or 'regal' or somesuch nonsense as
that," chuckled a warm voice nearby.

Deimos plucked the fabric away from his face and took in the scene before
him, stunned. Two thin, pale bodies were twined before him on a mound of rich
velvet cushions. Deimos gaped stupidly from the Lord of the Underworld to his
dead cousin and back again. "Your Majesty," Deimos said as soon as he could
speak, bowing so low he couldn't breathe. Hermes mirrored the movement beside
him. "I apologize for the intrusion," the blond godling stammered.

"None is needed," Hades grinned, working his fingers through Strife's spiky
hair while the dead godling snuggled against him, beaming naughtily at his
living cousin. "It's not as if we're sequestered behind locked doors and
you've burst in, after all.

Deimos stared stupidly at the tangle of ivory limbs as Strife ran his
fingertips up and down Hades' chest, lingering at his nipple, tugging it as
he stared at Deimos.

"My Lord," Hermes said smoothly, "but a small request, a minute favor, if you
will, and we'll leave the two of you to your -- activities."

Hades smiled. "Perhaps a boon would be possible, if you might leave the God
of Fear for a spell." He glimpsed at Strife, then again at Deimos. "How alike
you are, almost as twins. One blond and tanned and living, one pale and
raven-haired and dead."

"People always gave lotsa lip service to the resemblance," Strife said,
continuing to roll Hades' nipple between thumb and forefinger while staring
into his cousin's eyes.

"Oh yeah," Deimos sighed, his hands finding the series of tiny buckles which
kept his leather suit on.

Hades bent his head to kiss Strife long and hard, exploring the dead godling
unhurriedly with his tongue. He left Strife gasping, then, and turned to
Hermes again. "And what is this tiny boon I'm to deliver?"

"I just need a few moments with one of the new dead," he shrugged. "Nothing

Hades' brow creased. "Whatever for?"

"There are just a few questions I have about the last minutes of his life."

Deimos frowned, wondering why Hermes wasn't being a little more direct with
the splendid piece of ass that was wrapped around his cousin. It could only
mean that quizzing a murder victim *was* a big deal around here, after all.


Hermes sagged as he dropped his casual facade. "Oh, please, Uncle Hades. It's
real important that we know who did this guy in. It was a god, and Zeus told
me to nail him."

Hades lay back, frowning. "I won't have you disturbing the murdered."

Hermes shuffled his feet. "But I'm sure he'd want his attacker brought to
justice. That's the kinda guy he was, uh, is. A fighter, ya know?"

"His name?"

"Iolaus," Hermes said in a small voice.

"No! Absolutely not. I *shall not* break or bend or ignore any more of the
rules where *that man* is concerned. End of discussion."

Deimos stood, frozen, his lacings in his hands. "I'm still up for being the
currency, here. Ask for something reasonable in return, Herm, wouldn't you?"

Hermes sighed. "Come on, Deimos."

"But -- but..."

"You are most welcome to visit me," murmured Hades, "but another time,

Deimos nodded, hoping he wasn't drooling. He staggered as Hermes tugged him
away, catching the barest glimpse of Hades turning a very smug Strife onto
his stomach and spreading the godling's legs wide. Cries of pain and pleasure
rang out as Deimos was dragged down the metal staircase, muttering under his


"Okay," Deimos growled. He couldn't recall a time when he'd ever been so
annoyed with Hermes, perhaps because he'd never been on the receiving end of
one of his pranks or foibles. Deimos wondered how Herm could work for Hades
for centuries and *still* screw that transaction up as badly as he had. "This
time, let me do the talking."

Hermes nodded. He looked tired.

"You don't knock on the doors to the Halls of War. Bad form. It would imply
that think Ares is a butler of some sort."

"So we just walk in? What if we catch him, um, like we did Hades?"

Deimos placed his hand on his hips and tipped his chin up. "You think
*that's* why Hades said no? Pah-leez. He was ready to impale Strife right in
front of us. With *me* joining in! Total exhibitionist, no qualms at all
about *that.* He was angry with the substance of your request, Herm, the meat
of it, the big picture."

"Oh, I see. And Ares *won't* be mad if you ask him if he killed Iolaus or
not, raping him first, of course."

"Nope," Deimos shrugged, setting his shoulder to the heavy door which creaked
open slowly. "Why should he be? He's the God of War, after all."

Deimos' eyes adjusted slowly to the dim interior of the Halls of War, smoky
with burning torches. The decor was just as wonderful here as that of the
Underworld, but different. While Hades was subtle and dark, Deimos' master
was brutal and dark. And brutal. And very dark. Bones crunched under their
feet as the blond gods made their way through the entry chamber, Hermes
glancing at the weapons hanging in each niche.

"Weird, how they're bloody, huh?" Deimos commented.

"I was just thinking that," Hermes said, voice hushed. "Doesn't it damage the
weapon if you don't, um, clean it off?"

"These are all retired," Deimos explained. "Each one has a story, each one
killed someone important."

"Cool," Hermes said, shrugging. He wasn't the squeamish sort.

The gods stepped through a doorway in the far wall and began working their
way deeper into the inner sanctum. The grinding of bone against marble
lessened beneath their feet, as the bones in the front room were mainly for
show, anyhow. Massive doors stood ajar on either side of them, low, male
laughter emanating from one.

"Request permission to enter," Deimos barked out, startling Hermes, who

"Whadda you want?" Ares drawled. Deimos grinned. His boss was in a wonderful

"I wanted to be the fist to give you the wonderful news, oh violent one,"
Deimos fawned.

"Then get in here and stop screaming at me from the doorway."

"At once, my dark Lord, at once."

Deimos wrung his hands together as he approached the God of War, Hermes
striding casually behind him. "What's with the toady act?" Hermes whispered
from the corner of his mouth.

"Sh. It's an evil killer thing," Deimos hissed back. "He gets off on it. You
wouldn't understand."

The gods proceeded, delving deeper into the smoke-filled crevasse of Ares' living space. Two sturdy couches faced each other at the far end, each occupied by a huge, muscular god, with a petite girl kneeling between the two. Deimos recognized Hebe first, her severe Egyptian haircut giving her away even through all the eye-burning smoke. She wore nothing but a tiny, beaded triangle that covered her loins, with her bare nipples painted gold. Deimos had meant to size up the third god in the room, but somehow those pointy, golden nipples just demanded to be looked at.

"Wine, Deimos?" she grinned, nodding toward the flagon she cradled in her lap.

"Wine?" he purred, pitching his voice low and sultry. "Sounds divine. Hehehehe."

Deimos yipped as Ares grabbed him by the seat of his pants and pulled him against his broad, furred chest. "Play with Hebe later. Tell me what you came to tell me now."

"Well, you see, my Lord, it seems," he wetted his lips with a flickering tongue, "that, ah, Hercules," he made a strange, meaningless motion with his fingers, "is bereft of a partner."

Ares nodded, grinning. "That was almost worth the amount of time it took you to spit it out."

"So you didn't know already?" Deimos smiled.

Ares shrugged. "You're the bearer of the good news, Deimos. You want a medal?"

The Godling of Fear spun to face Hermes, who had gravitated toward the second
couch. He had perched on the edge of it, the bulk of the settee being taken up my the massive body of Bacchus. "See," Deimos said gleefully. "I told you that if Ares was involved, we'd have known."

"True, true," Hermes said, shaking his head, clasping Bacchus' huge, red paw
in his slender hand as he did so. Deimos found it a bit creepy to watch the
two together, probably because of the size disparity. Hermes had raised
Bacchus, though, and the huge, monstrous god treated Hermes with deference,
always. "What do you think?" Hermes asked, turning toward his "little"
brother, Bacchus. "Seen anyone acting suspicious, lately? Guilty?"

The massive, goat-headed god warbled something unintelligible and looked to
the ceiling.

"Wow," Hermes chuckled, "you two must have been hittin' the grapes for a
while." He turned to Hebe. "Are they really wasted?"

The delicate goddess smiled ambiguously.

Hermes turned back to the God of Wine. "See, these footprints full of
Olympian earth were found at the scene."

"Would've been helpful for Jercules to leave some intact so we could've seen
how big they were," Deimos piped in, "wouldn't you say?"

Hermes shrugged. "Okay, so in his grief, Hercules destroys the scene. I
figure we can rule out Apollo, since he doesn't wear shoes."

Ares leaned forward, delighting in the game of wits. "And Artemis, since
she'd never leave tracks behind."

Deimos giggled. "And she doesn't have a cock, at least that we know of."

"Oh," Hermes said, slapping his own head. "Yeah. Important detail. Iolaus was
raped first."

"IT WASN'T RAPE!!" bellowed Bacchus, all heads whipping around to stare at

Deimos giggled again, while Ares, Hermes and Hebe stared at Bacchus.

"Do you know what happened?" Hermes asked quietly.

"Didn't rape him," the Wine God snarled defensively. "Didn't know he'd die,

"Show me," Hermes said gently, as if he was speaking to a child. Deimos could
have sworn that Bacchus was pouting, though it was hard to tell with such a
bestial, distorted face.

Bacchus grunted as he levered himself into a sitting position. "As you wish.
Here." He upended a cup of wine on the floor, and immediately images began to
coalesce on the reflective surface of the puddle.

Deimos dropped to his hands and knees to behold the twisted images. It was as
if he was looking through a pair of eyes that were were set wide apart.
Bacchus', he assumed. The scene was swaying madly: Trees, trees, ground, a
fire, trees, Iolaus naked, the starry sky.

Bacchus' voice: *He's not moving. He's not breathing.*

Another voice: *I thought he had some divine blood. I guess not.*

The vision faded.

"Uh, Bac, I think we need a little more than that," Hermes explained patiently. "Show us from the beginning. And make sure we see whoever was with you."

Bacchus snorted. "Very well." He waved his hand over the pool of wine again.

Part 2

"Herc? You know you mean a lot to me, Herc, dontcha?" The hunter's voice was

"Go to bed Iolaus," Hercules said as he prepared the camp for the evening.

"Don' know what I'd do withoutcha, Herc, oh Herc, oh buddy."

Hercules smiled despite himself. "Go on, you sleep over there. I don't want
to wake up to you vomiting all over me."

"Juss have one drink with me, Herc, buddy, pal. Juss one drink, to celebrate
our frennship."

Hercules sighed and took a long pull on the near-empty wineskin. "To
friends," he said, replacing the skin in Iolaus' grasp.

"You're the bess, Herc," Iolaus said, throwing his arms around the big guy's
neck, "the bess."

"All right," Hercules said, scooping his friend up in his arms. "Look,
Iolaus, here's your bedroll. Doesn't it look inviting?"

"Wheresa wine? Di'n we have more wine?"

"You *drank* all the wine."

Iolaus grinned giddily. "Thank the gods for wine, then. May it rain wine. May
I piss wine."

"Okay, Iolaus, you're getting -- strange. Time for bed."

With a bit more squabbling and nonsensical banter, Iolaus was placed in his
bedroll while Hercules made his way to his own bed, across the fire. The
hunter hummed to himself, savoring the last few sips in the wineskin one at a
time as his partner's snores drifted toward him.

"There's more where that came from."

"Huh? Who? Wha?" Iolaus sat up clumsily, and began pitching and swaying.
"Whoa -- that's some hat you got on, mister."

Bacchus smiled and approached the drunken man, quiet for all his bulk.
"Mortals don't always thank the gods for the great boons we've given you.
It's so nice to be remembered."

"Wow," Iolaus breathed, "you been out in the sun too long. I got some salve
for that, lemme see." He grabbed up his shoulderbag, which was at arm's
reach, and began rifling through his possessions. "Here, I gotta, I gotta,
iss good stuff. You'll like this stuff. C'mere, c'mere."

Bacchus strode to the bedroll, a full wineskin sloshing in either hand. He
knelt, strangely graceful, and allowed the mortal to approach him. "You'll
like this stuff. Smells good, for a salve. Usually they stink. This one's
nice." The wine god closed his eyes as the mortal anointed his face with the
fragrant unguent, covering his skin with small, careful strokes.

"Have more wine," Bacchus sighed, enjoying the light caresses. "There's
plenty for all."

Iolaus shot a purple stream into his mouth from the heavy, bulging wineskin
his new friend had given him. "Wow. *This* is good stuff too. Really good.
Really really good. Thanks."

"You're welcome."

Iolaus squinted at the large, sunburned man with the strange hat. "Ya know,
your chest is really sunburned, too. Lemme -- lemme -- lemme see that." He
toppled into Bacchus, giggling, and tore open the god's vest.

"Shh, you'll wake your friend," the goat-headed god admonished.

"Naw, he had a drink wif me. He'll sleep like a baby. Juss one drink, hehe."

"Ah." Bacchus watched, eyes gleaming, as Iolaus slathered the oils over his
chest, small sure hands moving over his shoulders, his chest, pausing over
the nipples as if indecisive, then plunging ahead and touching him there.

Bacchus gave a satisfied grunt which amused the hunter and encouraged him to
revisit the big, hard nipples. "Sunburn," Iolaus mused as he pinched and
plucked at Bacchus' nipples, "sussh a nasty thing."

The Wine God sighed appreciatively, sliding a meaty paw around Iolaus,
slipping it under his vest to cup his lower back. The hunter arched
beautifully as his new friend's flesh met his. "Um, this oil, this oil," he
ran his palms over Bacchus' chest in broad circles, "it smells good, dontcha

"Very good," Bacchus agreed, setting down his wineskin and pulling Iolaus
fully onto his lap, so that the smaller man straddled him.

"I bet it -- it..." he fell forward, dragging his wet mouth across Bacchus'
chest until it met his nipple. "Tastes good," he murmured, licking and
sucking the nipple loudly, eagerly.

Bacchus lay back, grinning at the stars as Iolaus sprawled atop him, mouthing
his chest, learning his huge, muscled body with his hands. "Ya know what
would be juss -- great?" Iolaus said as he laved Bacchus' neck, his breath
dancing tantalizingly over the god's damp skin.

"Hm?" the god rumbled, running his hands up and down the hunter's hot,
leather-clad thigh.

"Iss been a few years for me, since I been, um, ya know, fucked."

"I can't see why," Bacchus said, wetting his lips and smiling down at the
lovely mortal.

"Well, ya know, Herc is -- a great guy, don't get me wrong. But it's kinda
hard to, uh, pick up men when I'm out adventuring with him, see?"

"I'd be honored," Bacchus replied, taking one of Iolaus' hands from his
nipple and placing it over his leather-bound crotch.

"Ooh, you're so hard," Iolaus murmured into Bacchus' neck and he squirmed
atop him maddeningly. His breathing began coming harder as he explored the
rapidly growing cock inside the tight leather pants beneath him. Leather
squeaked upon leather as Iolaus ground himself into Bacchus' hip in
anticipation. "Can't wait, can't wait," he whispered, unlacing the god's
trousers with shaking fingers. He sat up, still straddling Bacchus, and
worked the pants down around his hips, plunging his hand in to expose the
god's flesh.

"Holy shit."

Bacchus' godly cock rose between his legs, the girth and length nearly the
size of Iolaus' forearm. Its head was a thing of wonder, shaped as a pointed

"Aw, shitshitshit. No way I can take that," Iolaus pouted.

<<But I can>>

Yet another figure stepped out of the shadows, this one slender and boyish,
with long, straight black hair that hung to the middle of his back.

"Cool cloak," Iolaus said, scratching his head in bewilderment.

"Ah, Thanatos!" cried Bacchus, heedless now of the soundly sleeping Hercules.
A third wineskin appeared in his hand. "Join us, please." He pulled Iolaus'
head toward him, placing his lips on the blond's ear. "Mayhap his cock is a
better fit for you," he whispered, "and I surely wouldn't mind tasting you as
you dance upon it."

"Grand idea!" Iolaus cried, swinging off of Bacchus' lap and handing a
wineskin to the newcomer. The feminine boy kicked off his boots and shimmied
out of his tight leather trousers before accepting the wineskin from Iolaus,
but he left his "cloak" on.

<<Watch me, mortal>> he said, though Iolaus didn't see his lips move.

"Oh, man. A big, red lumberjack and a ventriloquist, all in one night,"
Iolaus said giddily.

The ventriloquist kicked the terracotta jar of salve in Iolaus' direction.
<<Grease that obscene cock>>

"You don' hafta tell me twice," Iolaus said through his loopy grin, falling
to his knees and scooping out a fistful of unguent.

"Save a measure for yourself," the red man whispered, shuddering as Iolaus
took his mighty cock in hand and slicked it up and down, up and down.

"Oh yeah, uh huh," Iolaus agreed distractedly as he played with the marvelous
head, feeling the firm yet spongy flesh ripple through his greased fist.
"Maybe if I practice, then someday we can."

"Uhhn, that's it, that's it," Bacchus chanted as he rocked his hips,
thrusting his cock into Iolaus' fist.

<<Enough>> said the pale one, approaching them with a sultry sway to his
hips. <<Watch me, hero. Watch me and touch yourself>>

Iolaus fell on his ass nearby, rapidly freeing his cock from its confinement
as he wondered at the kinky bastards he'd had the good fortune to stumble
upon this night, a night when he sorely needed the distraction.

The cloaked man stood over the red man, a huge, bulky fellow, who was
sprawled happily upon Iolaus' bedroll. The pale one bore his weight on one
leg, rubbing the toe of his other foot around Bacchus' nipple in small
circles. <<You're all slippery>>

Bacchus grunted.

The one called Thanatos clutched the wineskin to his thin chest, rubbing the
sloshing container up and down his body, catching Iolaus' eyes and pumping
his hips into the yielding skin. "Oh yeah," Iolaus encouraged, grinning from
ear to ear.

<<Do you find me sexy?>> Thanatos asked.

Iolaus considered him for a long moment. "In a strange way, yes."

The thin, pale face softened momentarily. <<Good. Watch me, then, Iolaus.
Watch me take this cock for you>>

"Hah, a ventriloquist *and* a mind reader. Guessed my name."

Thanatos stared down at the red man and braced his feet carefully on either
side of him. <<Guide it>> he ordered as he began to squat.

Iolaus held his breath as Thanatos wiggled onto the fat, spiral tip,
wondering if that Bacchus guy would fuck Iolaus later with that part, just
the head. It looked unbelievably hot as it peeked in and out of the pale
guy's ass. The black leather cloak was apparently split up the middle, as it
moved itself out of the way so as not to interfere with Iolaus' line of
sight. It looked strangely batlike, the way it swayed and moved with a mind
of its own.

Iolaus' hand found his cock and he pumped it hard. He figured he was too
drunk to cum, heck, he'd be lucky to get it up at all, but that wasn't going
to stop him from enjoying his wonderful distraction.

"What brings you here?" asked Bacchus, gasping as the pale one took several
more inches of his length.

<<When this one hits the bottle, it's one of two things, isn't it?>>

"True." He wheezed as Thanatos worked himself down farther still, until he
was close to kneeling on the bedroll. "Either he's in love or he killed

<<There you have it>>

"That is so hot," Iolaus murmured, oblivious to their conversation. "Shit, it
looks like he's buried up to your lungs."

The strange golden eyes of the pale man flickered to Iolaus, holding his gaze
approvingly. <<You like this?>>

"Oh yeah," the hunter gasped, fondling his own cock.

Shutting his eyes tight with the effort, Thanatos squeezed down the rest of
the way, dropping his knees to the bedroll. Chest heaving, he unstopped the
wineskin he held and threw his head back, squeezing a long, red stream down
his throat. The wine overflowed his open mouth, running down his cheeks and
throat and chest in long rivulets that looked black in the moonlight.

Iolaus stood, cock in hand, and staggered around the coupling men, observing
them from every angle. "Real nice, real nice," he whispered, kneeling by
Bacchus' face, stroking the bony ridge between his -- horns.

"Let me taste you," the red man whispered, turning his face toward Iolaus'
groin. The hunter braced his hands on the other side of Bacchus' head while
the huge being took his cock between his lips, licking him, wetting him,
sucking him deep into his mouth. Not far away, the pale man rose and fell on
the mammoth shaft within him, eyes riveted on Iolaus' face.

Low groans that Iolaus wouldn't have heard otherwise vibrated all around his
cock, waking it through the haze of wine as Bacchus sucked it until it was
gleaming and long. The vibrations began to build and intensify as Thanatos
picked up his pace, riding the cock inside him with greater force. <<Don't
cum in his mouth. Not yet. I want you to cum with me inside you>>

Something tingled deep within Iolaus' body as the man said that, and he
reluctantly sat up, taking his hard, wet cock in hand and stroking it in time
with Bacchus' thrusts, his free hand wandering out to pinch the huge man's

Bacchus groaned and began to buck harder, to the obvious discomfort of the
man upon him. Thanatos simply closed his eyes and shot a new stream of wine
into his mouth as Bacchus' thrusts rocked his slender body. "So hot," Bacchus
grunted, thrusting, "so tight inside. Uhn. Uhn. Yeah. Yeah. YEAH! YEAH!!!"

Iolaus pinched down hard as the huge, muscular body beneath his hands jerked
wildly. Thanatos dropped his wineskin and simply held on to the thick,
muscled waist, his long black hair whipping back and forth as if he rode an
angry bull. The hunter glanced nervously at Hercules as the red man howled
bestially, pumping his seed into the slender boy with a vengeance, but the
big guy was, thankfully, out cold.

Thanatos stood slowly, trembling as the monstrous cock slid out and out and
out of him. Iolaus wasn't sure if there was blood on his thighs or if it was
just the same red wine that covered his pale chest. <<I'll need a moment to

"Oh, man," Iolaus said, falling back on the grass, cock still in hand,
pumping furiously, "that was the hottest thing I've ever seen."

His new friends both smiled at him, the pale one taking wincing steps toward
him, the red one turning onto his belly and crawling over.

"Y'know, I thought I was too drunk before," Iolaus said happily, "but it
looks like I might actually get off!"

<<We'll take you standing>> said Thanatos. <<You're a good height>>

"I dunno if I can *stay* standing, though," Iolaus laughed, glancing from the
winged, pale form that approached him from behind to the huge, muscular,
horned being at his feet.

"Don't worry," Bacchus said, "I'll hold you up." He recovered the unguent
from the campsite ground and thrust his huge fingers into the tiny pot,
coming away with the rest of the salve. Rising to his knees, he fondled the
hunter's balls with one hand, bringing his oiled hand around to the back.
"Hold onto my horns," he said. Iolaus complied giddily.

Thanatos looked up sharply from where he'd been cleaning his thighs on
Bacchus' vest. The Hunter was arched back deliciously, gasping, clutching
Bacchus by the horns as the god swallowed his cock. One huge hand supported
Iolaus' lower back while the other probed his ass firmly. <<Aren't you
pretty?>> Thanatos sounded kind of creepy to Iolaus, but he didn't really
think much of it. That was part of his charm. <<Look at my cock, Iolaus,
before I bury it in you>>

Iolaus pulled himself together enough to look at the pale one, ghastly and
pale-eyed and sticky with wine. He stroked his straight, heavy cock, his eyes
boring into Iolaus' brain.

"You gonna fuck me with that, or are you just a big tease?" Iolaus grinned.

With a sound something like a hiss, Thanatos swung around behind the blond,
his huge leathery wings snapping in the breeze.  Hands that were shockingly
cold caressed him from shoulder to rump, then one snaked around to play with
his chest while the other held the god's cock at the entrance to his body.

"C-cold," Iolaus gasped, shaking.

<<Yes, but good, isn't it?>>

"Oh yeah," Iolaus gasped as the frigid fingers closed around his nipple,
making it so hard that it hurt, though the pain was incredibly erotic.

<<Relax, now. Good. Good>>

Iolaus squeezed his eyes shut as the hard cock entered him. It hurt, it hurt,
he remembered now that getting fucked hurted, but then thick tongue swirled
around his cock insistently as a thick-lipped mouth sucked him hard.

"Oh gods -- oh gods..."

Then the pale god pushed into him and the pain was transcendent, blossomed
into a bittersweet pleasure. A thin white arm hauled him upright as Iolaus
began to buckle. <<Stay up, lover. Isn't it good?>>

"So good -- so good..." He found he was pushing back onto the stiff cock that
filled him, then pumping forward into the mouth that sucked him harder than
he'd ever been sucked before. Back (pain, pleasure). Forward (pain,
pleasure). And on, and on, until he felt almost liquid, his orgasm building
like a slow fire in his blood.

"Too good," Iolaus gasped with mild alarm as he was peaking. His head lolled
back to catch an awkward glance at the god behind him. "I've felt this
before," he sighed as Thanatos pumped into him. Iolaus' seed gushed forth,
Bacchus reaching a quick hand up to support his body, Thanatos holding him
around the waist and bracing his legs. The pale god pressed his forehead into
the crook of Iolaus' neck and shoulder as the mortal's orgasm pushed him over
the edge. He pumped, slowly, deliberately, as he filled the hunter with his

The three sprawled contentedly on the bedroll, looking at the stars. Bacchus
turned to offer his mortal friend a sip of wine, when he noticed that Iolaus
was awfully still. "He's not moving. He's not breathing."


"Good going," Ares chuckled.

Deimos adjusted his cruelly tight shorts.

"Well, *you* didn't kill him, obviously," Hermes said, cradling Bacchus'
massive head in his slender arms. "It was Thanatos."

"That's what he does," Ares said drily, then burst into more laughter.

Hebe stared at the crotch of Bacchus' pants.

"This was no murder," Hermes said. "It was obviously an accident."

"True," Hebe piped in. "After all, if Bacchus wanted to kill him, he could've
just fucked him. With that." She gazed longingly at the Wine God's groin.

"Tell that to Jercules," Deimos said, giggling. "I'm sure he'll feel much


Athena sharpened her spearhead as she glared at the offending plant in her
room. She'd watered it and placed it in the sun, but she drew the line at
speaking to it.

"Well?" she snapped as Hebe approached her cautiously. "What word from Zeus?"

"They're at an impasse," the raven hared goddess said, shrugging, her bare breast jiggling slightly with the movement. "Zeus has no jurisdiction over the Underworld gods, so he can't punish Thanatos."

Athena considered the situation. "How can you punish the God of Death for killing someone, at any rate?"

Hebe nodded. "Indeed."

Athena paced around her sparse living quarters. "So what now?"

"It's business as usual, until a solution suggests itself. Zeus did relegate the task of caring for Hercules to me, though. He says you have enough to do."

"True enough," Athena said, nodding slowly, "true enough."

Hebe bent gracefully and clasped the pot in which Hercules resided to her bare bosom. "I have just the spot for you," she crooned.