He recognised that grunting. And the woman seemed to be really getting into it too. Oh, no, Herc, don't tell me you just couldn't say 'no', a*gain*!!? Dammit, the big guy really DID have to get the hang of the polite but *effective* refusal.
Out of curiosity, Iolaus took a peek round the tavern bedroom door. Yep, Herc and a woman. Phew! As least it wasn't another man. Iolaus would've been plagued by unwanted jealousy - not to mention a raging hard-on - all night if it had. But both he and Hercules still liked to indulge in the warmth and willingness of a woman from time to time; from festival to festival.
And this one was quite ... pretty ... and familiar. In fact pretty ... familiar ... O MY GOD!!!! *ARES*!!!!!!!!??
It was the totally helpless *omigod-he's-so-good-at-this-and-I-ABSOLUTELY-HATE-HIM-for it!!!* expression on Ares ... the woman's ... Ares, the woman's ... face - Before he had time to think he was slipping down the outside wall, barely able to get a breath past the hysterical laughing. Ares as a woman!! And, yes, a very pretty one at that.
"What happened?" he called back once he'd got his breath back and had realised that Ares - this time - had no obvious way to retaliate. "Did Deimos and Discord finally gang up on you!?"
"It was ..." (pant, groan,) "Ares, God of - Oh, *gods* Ares, you are *so* tight - God of Love," Hercules managed to get out, between thrusts. "From the ... *woah! Ohhhh, yeeaaahhh!!* - other side of the -" (pant, puff, groan,) "vortex. He zapped - ah, *shit*, this is incredible! - Ares with a retribution spell, told him he -" (pant, pant,) "he had to have it with me, to *gods, GODS, oh, Ares, aaahhhh!* - to change back .... to get back at - oh, Ares, *dammit*, how'd that fluffy bastard *know* how much I've always ... oooOOOAAAARRRGGGHHHH!!!!"
Iolaus, getting the gist of what Hercules had been trying to tell him, was still clutching his sides even whilst his best buddy was letting slip his guilty secret and then cresting up near the Pleiades someplace. So it was that the implication of that secret didn't sink in right away. When it did the laughing stopped rather abrubtly.
"Er, Herc? Did you just say what I *thought* you just said?"
(Pant, pant, groan, pant,)"I don't know, Iolaus ... what'd I say?" The words drifted out in a soft, dreamy voice.
That being answer enough to Iolaus' question, he hauled the demi-god to his feet, with some difficulty before pushing him in the general direction of the nearest chair. Hercules, still in the throes of post-coital lassitude, missed hopelessly and coiled into an unco-ordinated, rather soggy heap, on the floor. Iolaus sighed, and tried again, this time managing to deposit the large, and largely dead-weight body, onto the seat, where it spread loosely, threatening to head for the floor again at the slightest nudge.
Determined to get his point across, Iolaus bend down until he was nose to nose with his best friend. "You've always wanted *ARES*!!? What, are you nuts!!? Herc, you two, *hate* each other!!"
"Well, how'd you think *I* feel!!?" came an agrieved whimper from the bed behind him. "He's the bane of my life, he's the fly in my ointment, the rot in my crop ... he's the goody-two-shoes in my Big, Bad, God of War Review!!! Having to submit to his ... his ... *poking*!!! ... has been *tartarus* for me, and WHEN DO I TURN BACK!!? Ares said all I had to do was -"
Being interrupted by a totally resplendant and very smug God of Love was a natural annoyance, but considering the circumstances, Ares, the very pretty, extremely curvaceous, and totally helpless, *mortal* of war, looked like he was anxious to hear what Ares, God of Love, had to say.
"Well, Mr. Poodle-fluff; when do I get out of this, so that I can KICK YOUR ASS!!?"
Iolaus couldn't help but start giggling again. Coming from that demurely feminine voice, the words just didn't have the right impact...
"Well, now, since you're going to take that attitude, I really don't think I should tell you," Ares, God of Love, who was busy checking the seams in his pants to make sure they were straight, drawled out. He gave Hercules a big, friendly grin. "Enjoy yourself, big guy?" he simpered, only a hairsbreadth from batting his eyelashes, playfully.
Hercules wore one of those expressions that told Iolaus he was struggling against a big, sloppy grin and that he really rather badly thought he should be frowning harshly in the god's direction. It meant that he spent a few moments totally speechless. Just enough time for the god of Love to pat his arm, conspiratorially, and chuckle smarmily, "there you go, knew you'd love it," to him, before he moved on over to stand before the mortal Ares, with a very self-satisfied grin on his face.
"And you don't *get out of this* as easily as that," he remarked, the grin only widening, giving him the look of a cat who's found a bird cage with the door loose. The bright mischief in his eyes froze the *bird* to stillness.
Ares, Big, Bad God of .... er, mortal woman ... had a very bad feeling about this.
"Oh, no, you naughty boy, you needn't think you can just waltz into my world, take charge, play nasty games with the Empress and then pay for it with a little humpy, pumpy!" the god of Love continued. "Oh, no. For starters, Herc's just made you pregnant, which means you'll have to -"
"*PREGNANT*!!!!????" It came out as a very high pitched squeal, but even so was nearly drowned out by Iolaus' hysterical giggling. Nearly, but not quite. After all, mortal or not, woman or not, Ares was still ... ARES. And Ares was vvvvveeeeeeeerrrrrrryyyyyyyyyyy pissed off, right about that minute.
The god of Love actually backed up a step or two, beginning to look a little flustered. "Er, yes, and you'll have to carry to term of course, which means you'll have to give birth to it and then -"
He broke off at that point, some serious cowering coming into play as Ares, trying not to twist his/her delicate ankle, got up from the bed and began to advance on the god, looking ready to spring, super powers or no. "And then you'll change back again, oh woof!!!" Ares got out at high speed before vanishing to safety.
A very feminine, very shapely, very vulnerable and *INCREDIBLY* peeved Ares, stood, just seconds from a fit of groud-zero-annihilatory proportions.
Hercules, finally coming round from his *post-coital-with-stupid-grin* daze, got hastily to his feet, shrugged hastily into his clothes, and dragging Iolaus - still quivering with laughter - to his feet, proceded to head for the door.
Iolaus looked back over his shoulder to garner one last look at Ares in all his glorious humiliation. He couldn't resist it. "Good luck with the morning sickness, Ares! Try some meditation, it might help with the collywobbles!"
A hand clamped fiercely over his mouth as Hercules almost picked him up bodily to make sure he got him out of there before his mouth could do anymore damage.
"Herc? Hey, mmmfff, come on, ffut me, down, millya!!?"
Hot breath whispered in his ear as Hercules carried on carrying him, hand still firmly in place. "Iolaus, will you please shut up? We've got a lot of travelling to do, all of it in a straight line and only nine months to do it in ..."