Title: One of those Father Son Things

Author: Smenzer

Rating: PG

Pairing: None. Young Hercules

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

Teaser: The sequel to "Final Days of Young Herc".

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

Whoever owns the Rights to Young Hercules.

It was the middle of the night and Hercules stood on the flat roof of the Academy, alone. The school was silent and only the quite buzzing of night insects could be heard, along with the occasional hoot of a hunting owl. All the cadets were asleep in their bunks and Hercules knew he should be there, too. But as usual, his thoughts were keeping him awake. So many things had happened to him recently, shocking things. He had promised himself he would not think of Zeus anymore and yet here he was staring up at the full moon, thinking of his absentee father!

"I don't understand you." He spoke to the silent moon riding high above in the night sky. "You tell my brother I'm your favorite son and yet you ignore me. It makes no sense! Of course, I found out you ignore both of us. It's wrong to make children and then abandon them. I would think that you, of all people, should know that! You are supposed to set an example for others to follow. What kind of example are you setting?"

After watching the night sky for a few minutes longer, Hercules headed back to his bunk. The last thing he wanted was to get caught by Chiron! But perhaps the centaur understood. Chiron could be understanding that way and often knew Hercules better than he himself did!

Just before he fell into a deep sleep, Hercules realized something. Perhaps the reason he never got a reply was because the moon belonged to Selene and not Zeus. Well, he certainly wasn't going to talk to thunderclouds during a storm. Oh well. Zeus wasn't worth it anyway. He had finally learned that, even if it had hurt a lot. And hurt it had. It would take a lot of hard work, but Hercules was determined to push Zeus from his thoughts.

From now on, he didn't have a father.

*** *** ***

Up on Mount Olympus, Zeus sat in his ornate golden throne and sulked. He had totally screwed up and he wished there was something he could do about it. Hercules was dertermed to forget about him and had practically disowned him. In fact, he HAD disowned him!

"How was I to know those two would get together?" Zeus asked the empty room. Hercules and Ares. They hated each other. It didn't matter that he had arranged it that way, the thing was they DID hate each other. At every opportunity Ares had tried to kill Hercules, usually getting Strife and Discord to help. Zeus knew that sooner or later one of them would die. If it was Hercules, Ares would be sent to Tarturas for all eternity and Zeus would be free of him. If Ares was killed by Hercules, it was the same result. Either way, Zeus knew he would win.

But then the impossible had happened. They had actually TALKED to each other. And it was all because of that darn cursed hat!

Zeus heard Hercules' words float up to him and the King of the Gods grew depressed. He knew that Hercules was a better man, er boy, than he would ever be. And Hercules was right. He was a bad father. A very bad father. If there was just some way he could regain Hercules' trust! But how?

Just then the huge doors to his throne room opened and Apollo strolled in. The God of the Sun walked with a confident swagger, almost as bright as his tight gold clothing. He stopped in front of Zeus' throne, looking at the elder God.

"What?" Zeus asked, not really interested. He wanted to be alone so he could sulk and moan to himself.

"Hera tells me you're not feeling well, that you're not eating your Ambrosia like you should. Since I'm the God of Healing, she wanted me to take a look at you." Apollo studied the King of the Gods as he talked. He had to admit, Zeus was in terrible shape. His exquisite white robe was dirty, his gray hair hung limp, there was big circles under his eyes and by Gods, he even stunk! Apollo had heard all about what the other Olympians were now calling the Hat Incident. He himself had gone up against his little brother a few times and had always lost. But it shocked him to see that Zeus was taking it so hard. Could Zeus actually *care* about that half- mortal brat he sired? "You look terrible. You haven't been taking care of yourself like you should. And being a God, that says a lot. Personal hygiene should be automatic. It's not like you have to actually take the time to do it, like those pitiful mortals do."

"Hercules hates me." Zeus blurted out. "And Ares hates me. They both ganged up on me and now I'll never be rid of him. Ares, I mean. Then one day he'll kill me like I killed my father, Cronus."

Apollo shook his head. He didn't want to admit it, but his little brother had been right. Old Zeus was screwed up in the head. Here he was hating one son because of what he MIGHT do in the future, just because he himself had done the same thing! Unfortunately, mental problems were extremely difficult to cure, even for a God. And it wasn't like Zeus was really crazy, it was more his odd ideas. Perhaps even guilt from what he had done all those centuries ago.

Oh, what will I ever do?" Zeus wailed loudly. "I don't want Hercules to hate me! I didn't mean to be a bad father! It's just that I'm a God and I have this job and ...."

Apollo shook his head. He knew that Zeus was making excuses. Worst, he was becoming more and more unstable. If he continued on like this much longer, the mortal world below would suffer. Already some areas were getting severe flooding from Zeus' severe depression. In those places, it rained nonstop for almost a week already. Several of the other Gods, mainly Gaia and Hades, were complaining. Of course, Hades complained whenever mortals died, as it forced him to do his job: the job the other Gods had not wanted. It didn't surprise Apollo that Hades didn't want it, either.

"Look, Zeus. You can't go on like this." Apollo told the King of the Gods. "The mortals are suffering do to your mood."

Zeus picked his head up and stared at Apollo. "It's hopeless. I ruined it."

"You are going on a vacation!" Apollo ordered the elder God. "You haven't been on a vacation for centuries. And you never take any time off. The combines stress from your job and this new emotional problem has pushed you over the edge. You need to go away and relax. See new scenery. Get away from it all."

"A vacation?" Zeus asked, surprised. He blinked his bloodshot eyes at Apollo, as if he couldn't believe what the other God had just said. "But where would I go?"

"Go visit the mortal world." Apollo suggested. "Or go to some of the Gods' vacation places. You know where they are. Many of them are very popular, you know."

"A vacation." Zeus repeated. "Yes, maybe I need a vacation. I don't remember the last time I was off of Mount Olympus. Maybe it was for my honeymoon? But that was ages ago. But are you sure it would be all right?"

"Of course." Apollo assured in a smooth, calm voice. "Mount Olympus will be fine. Nothing will happen while you're gone."

"Well, all right." Zeus slowly stood up, his knees popping loudly. He had sat too long in his chair for the past week. He kicked at the huge pile of used tissues surrounded his chair and frowned. Gods, what a mess he must appear to Apollo! No wonder Hera called the Medicine God to see him. She had been right. He couldn't do his job in this condition. "I'll go look at some travel brochures so I can decide where I shall go on Vacation."

Apollo watched Zeus leave the room, then frowned at the mess surrounding the throne. His sharp blue eyes noticed odd bits of food sticking out among the tissues. So he knew that Zeus had at least been eating. Sighing, Apollo started to clean up the mess.

*** ***

In a different room, Zeus was busy looking at Travel Brochures. He had no idea where he should go. So many places looked interesting. "But it won't be any fun going to these places by myself."

"Oh!" Zeus exclaimed loudly as an idea hit him on the head. "I'll take Hercules with me on vacation! We can have a real Father-Son outing! I bet he'll love that!"

To be continued.....