Title: Strange Days

Title: Strange Days

Author: Smenzer

Rating: PG

Pairing: None. Young Hercules

Archive: Yes, please. Let me know if you take it, OK?

Teaser: Hercules has a very strange day and Ares is involved!

Disclaimer: The characters are not mine. They belong to Studios USA or

Whoever owns the Rights to Young Hercules. This is just for fun.

Hercules laughed as he kicked the ball. The ball sailed through the air and Jason leaped for it. But he had been too low and the ball passed him by. It crashed onto the grass and bounced between two maple trees.

"Yes! Goal!" Hercules hooted and jumped into the air. "That's the second time I beat you at bagball, Jason. You just don't have what it takes!"

"You mean WE beat him." Iolaus reminded Hercules as they slapped their hands together in victory.

"Hah!" Jason retorted as he scooped up the ball. "The only reason you two losers beat me is because I pulled my muscle yesterday while doing the obstacle course. If I was in top form, you'd never beat me!"

"So you say!" Iolaus laughed. He ducked as Jason threw the ball at him.

The ball whizzed over Iolaus' head and smacked Hercules one in the face. Hercules fell over backward onto the clover-covered meadow. Hercules shook his head and rubbed his sore nose. At least it wasn't broke. "Good throw, Jason."

"Sorry, Herc." Jason said as he hurried over to his two friends. "I was aiming at Iolaus."

Hercules stretched out in the sweet grass and rested. It had been an intense game of bagball.

There was a flash of white light and a bunch of woman appeared. The leader wore a silver bikini-type top and a short tan skirt. She had short reddish-brown hair and wore a triangular headpiece. Long silver gauntlets circled her wrists and forearms while a necklace glittered around her throat. The other woman wore silver tops and short white skirts. Each was armed with a crossbow.

The leader raised her arm and pointed toward the guys. "There he is. Kill him!"

"Huh?" Hercules stared at the women and scrambled to his feet. "Who the heck is that?"

"I was hoping you could tell us that!" Jason said as he pulled out his sword. "And are they after you or me?"

"I don't know!" Hercules somersaulted and avoided a volley of arrows. The air whistled as the arrows zipped past and buried themselves in the maple trees. Herc soon realized all the arrows were aimed at him. "I think I'm the target, guys!"

"We're going to let Herc have all the fun?" Jason asked as he charged at two of the woman with the bows. He swung his sword and the women were forced to drop their bows. Reaching behind their backs, they pulled out long swords.

"Of course not!" Iolaus rushed at the other two women before they had a chance to get more arrows ready. He leaped into the air and landed with a foot on each woman's stomach. They crashed to the ground and Iolaus stole their bows.

"You'll not get away this easily, Hercules." The leader raised her hand and lightning shot from it. Before he could move, the white-hot electricity slammed into his chest and lifted him five feet into the air. He sailed through the air and crashed to the ground with a thud. Pain exploded in his head as it hit a rock hidden by the thick clover. His vision blurred and he moaned.

The leader popped out and instantly reappeared at his side. She drew her sword and raised it high in the air. She shook her head and gazed down at him sadly with blue eyes. "You shouldn't have done it, Hercules. But you did and now I have to kill you."

"Wait!" Hercules cried as he struggled to move. He ordered his body to roll out of the sword's way but his muscles refused to listen. He felt dizzy and he worried he might pass out. "I didn't do anything! I don't even know you!"

"Hercules!" shouted Jason as he glanced up from his fight with the two women. He ducked under a sword blade and kicked one woman in the knee. Then he blocked the blow from the other with his sword. He feared his friend was too far away and he could never reach him in time. "Iolaus! Save Herc!"

"OK!" Iolaus picked a fallen arrow off the ground and carefully aimed at the leader. He released the arrow and held his breath as it homed in on its target. "Oh Zeus, don't let me miss!"

The arrow struck the leader in her stomach.

"Yes! I got her!" Iolaus cried. The Golden Hunter frowned in confusion when she didn't drop to the ground. He hadn't seen her throw the lightning at Hercules.

"Oh, but you did do something. Something very terrible and now you must die for it." She pulled the arrow out and tossed it onto the grass. No blood marred the arrow's tip and there was not a single mark on her bare stomach. Her sword slashed the air as it headed for his unprotected neck.

Blue light flashed and something black blocked the sword.

"Sorry, Sis, but I can't let you do it." The black object moved and Hercules tried to focus his eyes on it. He heard the woman say "ooof!" as she was kicked in the chest and crashed against a far away tree. He felt arms slide under his knees and back, then he was hoisted into the air. A face swam above him and he closed his eyes for a moment. When he opened them, he moaned.

That face. He knew that face. Those dark eyes, the dark hair, the beard and mustache. The silver earring.

It was Ares!

"Look, I didn't do it, whatever it was!" Hercules told his older half-brother. "I don't even know what it is or who that woman is."

"Oh, but you did do it." Ares told Hercules as he held him against his chest. "And right now we're going to go on a little trip."

"No!" Jason cried as he watched Ares pick up Hercules. A few seconds later Ares and Hercules vanished.

A moment later Ares popped back in without Hercules. The God of War stood right in front of Jason. He grabbed Iolaus and Jason by the back of their shirts. "Oh yeah. Can't forget you two." Then the three vanished in a flash of blue light.

Jason looked around in shock as Ares let go of him. He had expected to be in some dark dungeon under Ares' temple, but he was in Hercules' bedroom in the Academy. The Demi-God moaned in his bed and Ares looked down at him. He placed his hand on Hercules' head and a warm yellow glow appeared. When Ares removed his hand, Hercules blinked his eyes and sat up.

"What did you do to him?" Jason demanded as he moved between Ares and Hercules. "And what do you want?"

"I healed his concussion, what does it look like?" Ares leaned against the wall and crossed his arms over his chest. "And as for what I want, I want to keep my little bro alive and in one piece. Now, that's what you want, isn't it?"

"You're lying! This is some kind of trick!" Jason said angrily as he pointed a finger at Ares. "You're always trying to kill us!"

"Yeah!" Iolaus agreed. "You make our lives miserable."

Hercules scrambled out of the bed and hurried over to the door. His headache was gone and his vision had cleared. He opened the door and stepped out into the hall. "Come on!"

The two followed Hercules out of the room and they ran downstairs toward the lunch room. They were an odd sight as they peered around corners and raced down halls. More than one cadet looked at them oddly as they walked by. Finally they reached the lunchroom and they collapsed at a table. "This is too odd." Jason told the others as he watched the doorway. "I mean, Ares did save you. But why? It doesn't make any sense."

"I don't know." Hercules ran his hand through his hair. "Both Ares and that woman said I did something. She wanted me dead because of it and I guess Ares saved me because of it. But I didn't do anything! I don't even know who she is."

"She's our sister, Athena." Ares replied as he appeared in a flash of blue light. "And I'm going to stick around to protect you. She wants to screw up my plans and I'm not going to let her do that. She's not even supposed to be here. Athena thinks she can take the law into her own hands. Well, I'm not going to allow that."

Ares waved his hand and food appeared on the table. There was a smoked ham, cheese, bread, fruit and pastries. Ares pulled out a chair and sat next to Hercules. He threw his arm around the Demi-God's shoulders and hugged him. "From now on we're going to be buddies!"

Hercules grimaced. Ares grip on him was too tight. And it just felt so strange! His mind kept telling him that this was some trick, yet he knew for a fact Ares had saved his life. And he had cured his injury, too. He wandered what had caused such a miraculous change in Ares. He didn't sense any hostility in his brother. It seemed, for once, Ares was telling the truth.

"What did I do?" Hercules asked him finally. "Why does Athena want me dead?"

"Sorry, can't tell you that." Ares replied as he popped a red grape into his mouth.

"Ah, come on!" Iolaus protested through a mouthful of food. Iolaus had wasted no time in digging into the feast before him. "You can tell us. We're buddies now, right? Hmmm, this stuff is good! Can you make more food like this? Do you know what Fiddle Face feeds us? Oats! The stuff is terrible! Ugh. Luckily something came along and ate it all. Even stole the oat pot! But Fiddle Face got in a new shipment from somewhere. He thinks we're all centaurs!"

"Yeah. Tell us what he did." Jason urged.

Before Ares could reply, Feducious stormed into the room. He marched right up to the table and glared at the four of them. "You are all in major trouble! Skipping classes and sneaking food in! Breaking school rules! You all have detention! I expect to see you in my office in ten minutes!"

Iolaus stopped in mid-chew and his body quivered.

Feducious leaned in closer and peered at Iolaus. "Are you laughing?"

Iolaus shook his head.

"Good." Feducious started to pile all the food onto his arm. "And I don't remember seeing you around here before. You better have your tuition fee for me or else! I'll be watching the four of you." Feducious managed to pile all the food onto his arm and staggered out of the room with it. They could hear him complaining all the way down the hall about sneaking in food and what cadets were coming to these days.

Iolaus busted out in laughter and the food from his mouth sprayed all over the table. Jason jumped backward and his chair toppled over onto the floor. They were all laughing when Athena appeared in a white flash of light.

She scowled at Ares and pointed a finger at Hercules. "How can you sit here with him after what he did? That's disgusting! Besides, we all know you want to kill him. So why are you stopping me?"

Ares rose from his chair and placed his hands on Hercules' shoulders. "I won't let you kill him. He's a goody-goody and he always will be. I admit he often ruins my plans and I enjoy trying to kill him. It's my hobby. But if he's dead, whom would I play with? But that's now what this is about. For once I totally approve of what he did."

"But I didn't do anything!" Hercules protested.

"Ah, but you will." Ares answered. "You saved the woman I love from being unjustly murdered by our father. Athena doesn't like it so she wants to kill you before it happens."

Hercules twisted around and looked up at Ares with wide blue eyes. "You...you're in love?" Iolaus stared at the War God with his mouth wide open. Jason had picked himself off the floor and righted his chair. He also stared at Ares in shock.

"What? You think I'm a monster? That I don't have feelings?" Ares replied. "Well, I do. And no one ever seems to remember that. I got this thing for her and I'll do anything for her."

"Ares! He was your father, too!" Athena protested.

"So? The old man never cared for me. Why should I care if he croaked?" His dark eyes focused on Athena. "You always had it easy. You run around and pretend you're a War Goddess but you don't know what it means to be War. Father never threw you in the Dark Place like he did to me. That other Cupid went insane in that place. It's a black void and no matter how far you walk there's nothing. Yeah, that's what dear old Mom and Dad did to me. I'd like to see how you'd fare after years in that place, Athena."

"This isn't about your childhood ordeals, Ares! This is about the Twilight!" Athena raised her hand and formed a fireball.

"You know, Sis. You're really stupid. If you throw that, you're toast." Ares laughed. "But go ahead, make my day. You'll be dead and I can rule Olympus. He still has Dad's protection order in this time, you know."

Athena fumed. Smoke poured out of her ears and her eyes turned red. The fireball disappeared as she absorbed the energy back into her body. "You may have won this battle, Ares, but I'll win the war! You'll mortal girlfriend won't live very long with her unnatural spawn! I'll see to that myself!"

Athena left with a white flash of light.

"Well, she's gone for good now." Ares told Hercules. "The only Athena you might see is your own from this time period."

"Whoa! You mean you're from the future?" Iolaus gasped. "And she wanted to kill Herc for something he didn't even do yet? That is so unfair!"

"Hey, come on." Jason said as he headed toward the door. "We better hurry up to Fiddle Face's office before we get in even more trouble!" They followed Jason down the hall until they reached Feducious' office. Jason flung open the door and they all skidded to a halt.

Feducious had the food spread out all over his desk. He stuffed an apple pastry in his mouth and chewed with his eyes closed. His hands and face were sticky with icing from the pastry. There was little left of the smoked ham but a bone.

"Hey! That was our food!" Iolaus complained angrily.

Their teacher's face turned red as he was caught pigging out.

"Well, I'll leave you boys with...Fiddle Face." Ares laughed as he popped back to his own time period.

"Fiddle Face? Fiddle Face?" Feducious yelled as he grabbed a broom from the corner of his office. "How dare you call me that? You all have detention for a week!"

Hercules, Iolaus and Jason took off down the hallway.

"Come back here, you hoodlums!" Feducious raced after them as fast as he could as he waved the room in the air. "You can't hide on me!"

The End