The Lesson

by E

Disclaimer(s): The usual, Herc and Iolaus, Jason, Artemis are not mine (I wish! Let's just say that if they were, there would be no need for a chorus denial.) No violence, this story takes place right after the Young Hercules ep about having the fire inside. Iolaus did resemble a drowned rat, but he dried off. No flamage please. Comments are welcome.

I would just like to thank Tara, for all her encouragement. I appreciate the feedback! Without further ado, let's get to the story.

"Come on, Iolaus, trust me. I won't let you drown!" Hercules called out to his friend.

"I almost did last time, remember?" Iolaus shouted back.

"Which is why now is the time to learn. What if you get pushed, or fall in the water when I'm not around? What'll you do then, Iolaus?" Hercules coaxed Iolaus into approaching the lake. He was still uneasy, but trusted Hercules with his life.

"Why didn't you learn to swim? This isn't the first time I've tried to get you into the water. We can't avoid it anymore. Yesterday's incident proved that." Hercules questioned his nervous friend.

"When I was six, Skourus threw me into a pond, trying to get me to swim. I panicked, I almost drowned, but he pulled me out just in time calling me a 'sissy boy' Ever since then, I never wanted to try again. I just freeze up, Herc. I can't help it" Iolaus tried to explain, recalling his previous home life with a shudder. Hercules remembered how Skourus had treated his son and knew the scars he had left.

"Artemis taught me how to swim when I was five. She was an excellent teacher, I've learned a lot from her. Hey, maybe she'll teach you, too." Hercules looked enthused, Iolaus glanced at his friend dubiously.

"Did I hear my younger brother call me? Hello, Iolaus, you're looking good. So, what can I do for you?" Artemis appeared in a flash of light, beaming at her brother and her golden hunter.

"Well, Iolaus needs to learn how to swim. You taught me very well, could you teach him?" Hercules asked hopefully, Iolaus, still slightly in aws of the goddess who had saved him, nodded quickly.

"Sure, I'm always glad to help out my hunter!" Artemis smiled.

Before long, Iolaus was swimming like the proverbial fish. A splash war started between Herc and Iolaus. Then Iolaus turned to Artemis, a mischevious grin on his face. She vanished, and then a tidal wave loomed over Iolaus and came crashing down on the young cadet. He came up sputtering, the boys heard Artemis' gentle laughter.

"Thanks, Artemis!" Iolaus choke, and Hercules echoed his thanks.

"No problem, boys. If either of you need me, just call. Bye!" And with that, she was gone. Hercules looked at the sun.

"Hey buddy, we need to get back to the academy. It's time for dinner." Hercules knew just how to motivate his best friend, FOOD! In a flash, Iolaus was out of the water and dressed.

"Hurry up, Herc, I'm starving." Iolaus was ready to go.

"I'm coming, sheesh" Hercules grinned at his hungry friend. They raced back to Academy, just in time for dinner.

"So, where have you two been? I haven't seen either of you all afternoon." Jason queried wondering what they had been up to.

"Just getting a little lesson. But next time you push me into a lake, I'll be ready!" Iolaus replied, he and Herc broke out laughing. Jason and the other cadets looked at them, wondering what they had missed.

(for now)

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