Golden Memories

Golden Memories


By Alayia


Rating: PG
Disclaimer: I don't own anything associated with the Fox Kids network, USA Studios, or anything else to do with Young Hercules, but I do own Vexious, Armineus, and the scary Enforcer of Hera's.
Summary: Kora tries to get four Golden Arrows to Artemis while Hercules tries to bring Eurydice back from the dead.
Author's Note: I do have an excerpt directly from the transcript from the Young Hercules episode "Lyre Liar" where Hercules has a flashback. The excerpt is copywrited 1998 by Fox and USA Studios.


[Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 | Chapter 5 | Chapter 6 | Chapter 7 | Chapter 8 | Chapter 9 | Chapter 10 | Chapter 11 | Chapter 12 ]

"All right, so I'm gonna say, 'Kora Baby, I know we didn't start off on the right foot, but hey, you still wanna go out for a little walk out under the stars with me tonight?' What do you think?"

"I think she's gonna slap you and then throw you out of the inn for saying something like that to her," the prince answered.

"Don't say something like that," the tallest one said, "I think she gonna slap him once for calling her 'Kora Baby', another for asking her out, and then she's gonna kick him out the door."

Hercules, Iolaus and Jason were on their way to Kora's Inn, the place where all the cadets from the Academy hanged at. Kora was the owner of the place and Iolaus always insists that she go out with him. Kora, though, made a promise that she could never have feelings for a man. At least now when she's under the obligation of Artemis, the goddess of the hunt. Artemis had saved Kora's life once, and now Kora serves the goddess as she pleases. Only when Artemis feels she has repaid the debt, can Kora love another. The one soul who knows about this obligation is Hercules.

Hercules was, to say, a very special person. His father was Zeus, king of the gods. Now, at eighteen, he started developing his godly strength. His mortal mother, Alcmene's son, Iphicles, resented Hercules for having powers of any type. From Hercules' perspective, he wasn't so lucky. First off, he has never met Zeus, he didn't ask to be a half god, and he confronts monsters, creatures, and evil siblings everyday because of that.

Hercules couldn't, though, restrain himself from laughing at his friend's constant attempt at wooing the blonde beauty. *I have one willful friend*, he thought.

When they reached Kora's, she seated them and got their orders. That was when Iolaus said, "Kora Baby, I know we didn't start off on the right foot, but-"

Kora didn't let him finish. "Listen, Iolaus, I don't want to. Right now, I have a whole inn full of hungry customers and I don't have time to do whatever with you." Then she strutted off.

Iolaus leaned his chin on the palm of his right hand and sighed, "She wants me."

Hercules rolled his eyes and Jason rubbed his temples. He just never gave up.

When Kora came back with the food a while later, she said, "Hercules, could I speak to you for a second?"

"Sure," he answered, following her into the back room.

"Great," Iolaus whined, "She'll go somewhere with Hercules."

This time, Jason rolled his eyes.

In the room, Kora sighed, "It's Artemis. Remember when I retrieved her golden bow for her?"

Hercules nodded. "She wants the golden arrows for it now."

"Golden arrows?" Hercules asked.

"Golden arrows," Kora repeated, "There are four of them, and they're each hidden in a different place."

"Well, where are they?"

"One's in Hephaestus' Forge," she recalled, "One in Hera's Sacred Valley, another in Apollo's Temple, and one in the Elisyan Fields."

"The Elisyan Fields?" Hercules couldn't believe it.

"Yeah, why?"

"Nothing," he sighed and reconsidered, "It's just I know Eurydice's in there."

"Oh," Kora stated, "I know she must have meant a lot to you."

"Not just that," Hercules said, remembering everything, "Eurydice sacrificed herself for me. She means the world to me."

His tears misted his vision; "She was willing to die to save us. She did. That takes courage. Out of all the heroic things I've done, nothing compares with what Eurydice did."

Kora knew she had to do something. This was the closest she'd seen the blue eyed blonde go to crazy. She took him and sat him in a chair. She tried to look into his eyes, but he kept turning his head away. She wanted to be sincere with him and she wanted him to know it.

"Listen, Hercules, what she did was incredible. Not even me, with the powers of the Huntress would think quick enough to do that."

"I partly blame myself," he droned on, lost in the memory. Kora knew he was talking more to himself than to her. "Someone like that shouldn't have died so young."

"Sometimes the fates work against us. Come here," She gave him a hug. It shook him from his spell, and made him grateful for the comfort. He just cried, pouring out everything within those tears. And not just with Eurydice, anything else that had caused him great pain. Kora was shocked. She had never seen the demigod cry before, let alone like this. When he sat back up, Kora gave him a cloth to wipe the rest of the tears.

"Thanks."

"You OK?"

"I'll be fine," Hercules insisted, "I'll help you."

"Thank you."

"No problem," he said, smiling through the tears.

Kora was grateful that he could do something like that for him. She knew that he could risk bumping into Eurydice when they were down there. She hoped, for his sake, that they didn't.

~~~~~

"Well that took a little more time than I had expected," Iolaus blurted out when Hercules came back.

"Listen guys," Hercules said, ignoring the comment, "I have to scarf down my soup and then hit the road with Kora."

"Kora?" Iolaus asked, outraged, "Where are you going?"

"Let's just say she needs help with a problem," Then added before Iolaus added any more to his whining, "And let's just leave it at that."

"OK," Iolaus responded. Hercules wasn't listening though.

Jason and Iolaus watched wide-eyed at their friend, who was shoveling the food into his mouth. At the rate he went, he was done and out of there within two minutes. The last words that they heard come out of the demigod's mouth were, "See ya."

He met up with Kora outside and started on their journey. They needed to hurry. It took about a half-day's walk to get to the forge and it was already midday. It was, well, night when they reached the forge. Hephaestus saw Hercules and embraced his forearm in a warm handshake.

"Hercules, what brings you here?" The metal smith god questioned.

"I need your help," Hercules explained, "You see, my friend, here, needs to locate a golden arrow for Artemis."

"Artemis, huh?" he observed, "She does get a pretty mean temper when she doesn't get her way. I'll help. Hey, aren't you the owns the inn?"

"Yes," Kora responded, "And the thing you did with the cinnamon was great. It's such a hot commodity."

"Great. Hey, I've never seen that before," Hephaestus said, pointing to a shield with a golden arrow in it, "I would know, too. I made them all."

"Heph, you're a genius," Hercules said as he took the shield. "How do we get it out?"

"Here, let me," Hephaestus took it and used something like a complicated crowbar to get it out. "There you go," he said as he gave it to Kora.

"Thanks,"

"Where are two headed next?" inquired the unique god.

"To Apollo's temple," Hercules responded.

"Oohh, good luck," he winced, "Be seeing you."

"You, too, Heph," And then the two started off again.

They stopped in a meadow next to a village near Thebes for the night. Since the temple itself was in Thebes, they figured that they could search better if they had a night's rest.

The sun streamed in from the clouds and hit Hercules' face, warming him and causing him to wake up with the last thought of the dream he had last night. More like a nightmare. He dreamt that he had to say goodbye to Eurydice again before she went back into the Elisyan Fields, but instead, he was watching the entire thing from afar. He didn't like it at all. He sat up and thought about it, hoping it wouldn't come true. He glanced over where Kora was sleeping that night and found she wasn't there. She must have gone hunting for breakfast. And since she was doing the hunting, he'd make the fire. It didn't stop him, though, to keep pondering about the dream while he did the mindless task. Then it dawned on him.

Yes, it was so simple; this was the answer he was waiting for. He was excited; he had to tell someone. He wanted Kora to come back right now.

Just then, someone came through the brush, but it wasn't Kora. It was a thug, looking for some trouble. Hercules rolled his eyes. He got up and faced the drunken man. He smelled strong of whiskey. Besides the fact that his body odor and the whiskey were appalling, he was a huge, burly man with an ax. Hercules could take him. Until unexpectedly the man swung his ax straight out in Hercules' range. He barely had time to duck it. In fact, Hercules watched at the ends of his blonde hair fall to the ground.

"I was needing a trim anyway," he muttered as he dodged another swing from the ax.

"You'll be needing more than that when Vexious is done with you, little man," he chuckled.

"*Little man*?" Hercules repeated. He then launched a roundhouse kick, knocking the ax out of Vexious' hand. He took his shirt with his right hand and his pant leg in his left. Hercules hoisted Vexious above his head. Then threw him at a tree. He crashed into it and broke it clean in half. Vexious got up; eyes wide and then ran away, screaming like a wild ape.

"He shoots, he scores!" he shouted at no one in particular.

"Does Cheiron teach that at the Academy?" said a voice behind him.

He turned around and saw Kora with two rabbits.

"Yeah, everyone should learn thug throwing," he said, smiling.

She looked down at the pile of ashes that had once been the fire last night, "Some fire."

"Oh, right," Hercules got the sticks and started the fire up, "I was just a little tied up."

"I'll say," Kora observed, "Listen, after breakfast, let's head to the temple."

"OK. About the mission," Hercules just realized that he didn't know how to break this to Kora, "Well, uh, I got this idea."

"All right, you mind telling me?"

"Well, I-I was just-just thinking here, but, um, uh-"

"Um, uh, what?"

"When we go to the Elisyan Fields, I mean, after we get the arrow, I go and steal my Uncle Hades' Helmet of Invisibility and then sneak Eurydice out of the Fields."

Kora could not believe it.

"Hercules, let me get this straight. You want to steal property from your uncle to sneak a dead girl out of paradise?"

He nodded.

Kora rolled her eyes, "Hercules, do you know the risks and possibilities of stealing from Hades?"

"But he understands how I feel about her," he insisted, "Every time I close my eyes, I can see her lifeless form, knowing that I could never be at rest with myself until I do something as great as she did for me. I feel as if I owe her something more than just making sure she goes to paradise, and this is how I'll do it."

"You really think that the god of the underworld is gonna understand if you steal one of his subjects?"

"Listen, let's just talk about it when we get there, OK?"

Hercules didn't want to discuss it anymore now that Kora thought that he was insane for even considering that. He also didn't want it bothering him while facing Apollo. Knowing him, he won't make getting a simple arrow easy.

~~~~~

"Listen, Vexious, it doesn't matter if you gave my little miserable half brother a trim with your puny ax, it matters if you hurt him or not," Apollo said, wanting to make sure he understood.

"Yes, sir." Vexious bowed his head and left the room silently.

Apollo glanced at his surroundings again. The temple was made entirely of gold. He was the sun god, after all. He saw the shrine directly across from him. The statue was of him, naturally, and the offerings were generous. The room smelled thick with sweet incense. He loved being a god. Then he heard a pitiful yell. *Ah, Hercules must be here and they must have found Vexious*, he thought. Vexious burst through the golden door, which must have hurt a lot. He skidded across the floor and knocked a golden vase down, making it shatter at once. In walked Hercules and some other girl he didn't recognize.

"Ah, brother," he smiled deviously, "Long time, no fight."

"I don't want to fight you, Apollo," Hercules reinforced, "I just want-"

"One of the missing arrows of Artemis," the sun god finished, "Maybe you'll find it, if you survive."

"What do you mean?" Kora asked.

Apollo smiled and pointed behind them. They turned and saw Vexious with his ax raised above his head and struck between the innkeeper and the cadet. They both threw themselves in different directions. Kora fell on some necklaces and when she tried to get up, she fell again. Vexious took his ax, and was about to slice her in half, when Apollo snapped his fingers, stopping the big man. "All right, I give in," he said smoothly, "I'll tell you were it is. It's on the highest mountain in the world. I could give you a chance to get it."

"What are you talking about?" Hercules inquired.

"You see, the only way of getting it is to take a ride on my board. You and me, Blondie. First one to get it can ask anything of the loser, and you know what I'm gonna ask. Take it, or leave it."

"Board?" Kora asked.

"This, sweet cheeks," Apollo said. He made his golden flying surfboard appear.

"I'm gonna have to ride that?" the demigod skeptically questioned.

"Yeah," Apollo answered, "I'll let you ride a loner. So, you up for the challenge, brother?"

"That's half brother to you," Hercules corrected, "Sure, I'm in."

*Apollo is so much like Ares, I don't know why on the side of Mt. Olympus that they don't team up*, Hercules thought, *But then again, maybe that's not such a hot idea.*

"All right, then. You shake on it?" Apollo stretched out his hand. Hercules reluctantly took it. Instantly, they were somewhere else. It was a cold, dried up meadow that looked like it had once had use. About fifty paces foreword was a very tall mountain, covered in snow. Hercules knew the arrow was up there. Somewhere.

"So, you ready for me to cream you?" Apollo taunted.

"I wouldn't give you half the satisfaction," Hercules shot back.

"Now that's the spirit!" Apollo gave Hercules his own board and hopped on his. Hercules tried to mirror the action, but since he was still adjusting to it, he wobbled and fell off. Kora came up to him with her face covered in worry.

"Hercules, you don't have to do this,"

"But I want to. I need to prove to Apollo that I can defeat him," he answered.

"All right. Good luck."

Kora stood in front of both of them, after Hercules finally got on his, raised her arms, and threw them down as a signal to say go. It was different for Hercules, but he started getting it. He sped up, chasing after the sun god. He got to the top. He could see the arrow sitting there like a trophy. He gained more speed after Apollo. He knew he'd never catch him on the board, so he jumped and threw the god onto the ground. They both grabbed for the arrow and rolled with both their hands on it. Hercules fell off the edge of a cliff that had a sharp drop. They were now in another place again. Apollo let go of the arrow and got up, leaving Hercules hang off the edge.

"Apollo, you coward!" Hercules yelled.

"I know," he said, "I got board just now. Later, losers." With that, the golden god disappeared.

Hercules threw the arrow on the surface. "Kora! Are you there?" he asked.

"Hercules!" Kora just found him. She helped him up. "Would you happen to know where your oh-so kind half brother left us?"

"Looks to me like Antioch," he answered, "Which puts us a day behind in our travels. Maybe we could buy some horses. How much money do you have?"

~~~~~

"Mother, they have the arrow. They'll be coming for yours next. Watch out."

"Don't worry, my son," the voice boomed, "I have enforcers."

Apollo was warning Hera that Hercules was coming after the golden arrow in the sacred forest.

"You'll never have to see the likes of him again, Apollo. Believe me, I'll make sure of it."

"Yes, mother." Apollo left the temple. *You are so gonna get it, you half mortal mistake*.

~~~~~

"Kora, are you OK?"

"What?"

Kora looked at Hercules, not hearing a word he said. They were going to get to the forest by horseback. They were on the trail now.

"I said, are you all right?"

"Hercules, I'm OK. It's just…what if we can't get the other two arrows? What would Artemis do? What would she do if I failed her? That's something I'd like to know, but wouldn't want to find out myself."

"We're not going to let that happen," Hercules assured, "I wouldn't want anything to happen to you. You're my friend. And besides, wouldn't want Iolaus to lose his number one love interest, would you?"

Kora laughed at the thought. The guy was head over heals for her and she couldn't do anything about it. Not with Artemis' law, anyway. She couldn't even like a guy. There was nothing she could do about it now, though.

~~~~~

"Eurydice, I have to go. I wish I could stay longer, but I can't. I have to go back to the surface. I'll miss you so much," Hercules said. He then bent down to give her a long, farewell kiss…

Eurydice jerked up. "Hercules," she sighed. It had only been a dream. She got up to take a walk, wanting to clear her head. She hadn't seen Hercules in months, but being in the Elysian Fields had an advantage over being alive. The dead could hear mortal's thoughts, and he, in particular, had been thinking of her a lot since she died. The Elysian Fields were paradise, but it felt like Tartarus was in your heart when your love was still alive. She really didn't have any family on the other side, for all she knew; everybody thought she was still alive.

Eurydice sighed as she sat down on a marble white bench in front of a clear lake. Her long, white dress touched the ground in layers. She didn't really know what to do. It was a dream and dreams don't come true, right? But then, do people dream when they're dead? These were all questions in the former Bacchae's head.

"What's the matter, little one?" said a voice. Eurydice looked up and saw Jason's father, King Aeson. When Jason and Hercules helped Eurydice into the Elysian Fields, Jason met up with the late king. Eurydice figured that the Fields were just so big that she'd never see Aeson again.

"Oh, hi, King Aeson," Eurydice greeted, "I have a dilemma. Have you ever had a dream that you didn't know if it was really going to happen or not?"

"Why, yes I have. You know, before you came, I had dreams all the time about Jason being here just on a visit. I guess it just depends on the dream, but you shouldn't be so glum in the Elysian Fields. Come with me, little one. Sounds like you need to clear your head."

~~~~~

"*That's* Hera's sacred valley?" Kora skeptically inquired, "I thought it would be more…feathery."

Laughing, Hercules answered, "That's the valley, believe it or not."

"Let's catch some food now," Kora suggested, "Artemis warned me about Hera's enforcers."

"I know," Hercules said matter-of-factly. Once, Hercules, Iolaus, and a new cadet, Theseus ventured into this very valley. They met up with an old man, named Aegeus, and they caught some peacocks. That night, the largest, scariest looking enforcer came to kill them. They killed it first, though.

Catching a few rabbits, the two ventured into the valley on horseback. After a while of riding, Kora eased up and said, "This place isn't so bad."

Just then, an enforcer jumped down from the trees behind them. It's green, scaly skin looked welted onto its body. It had long claws on its bony feet and hands and its red eyes were so indented into its head, Hercules and Kora couldn't even tell they were there, except for the fact that they were glowing like rubies. Its mouth was twisted and curved like a mummy's, with sharp, shark-like teeth. To top it all off, it had a set of horns, coiling and bending with jagged ends.

"Oh, isn't he gorgeous?" Kora muttered.

"Um, Kora?" Hercules asked, "Don't you think we should run?"

Nodding her head, she agreed, "Oh, yeah, let's go!"

The demigod and the blonde inn owner ran as fast as their horses would let, with the enforcer right behind. *Boy, that thing runs fast*, Hercules thought.

They rushed as fast as they could until they came to a fork in the road.

"Which way?" Kora asked frantically.

"It doesn't matter," Hercules answered, "We've got company."

Hercules flipped from his horse and confronted the ugly creature. He noticed that in the middle of its chest armor, there was the golden prize.

"Kora! Kora, look, the arrow!" Hercules exclaimed.

The monster grasped advantage of Hercules's distraction and took a swing at the half god's arm. Hercules cried in pain.

"Hercules!" Kora exclaimed.

Hercules winced as he looked at the four bleeding scratches on the top of his right arm. The monster roared and swung again at his shoulder. This time, the son of Zeus was ready. He dodged the blow and others as much as possible with out making him dizzy due to the loss of blood. *I'm beginning to think we should've brought weapons*, he pondered.

"Umph!" Hercules groaned as the enforcer charged his stomach into a tree. The last hit Hercules took, he wasn't ready for the charge. Now, on the ground, the demigod struggled to get up, but couldn't without some body part hurting. The monster pinned the practically dead half god to the ground and lifted its other claw in the air, ready for the final strike…

"Hercules!" Kora exclaimed.

Kora had no idea what to do. That thing was trying to kill them and Hercules was getting weaker and weaker. She had to do something, but she didn't know what. Artemis! Oh, I pray to the gods she helps! she thought.

"Artemis, please help me!" Kora cried, "Your half brother is dying. Please grant me the powers of the Huntress. I can't fulfill your wishes to get the arrows without it." Kora closed her eyes as she felt the bright sensation of the Huntress approaching her senses. Immediately, there wasn't a sound in the forest she wasn't aware of, her vision was as keen as ever, and her forest navigation was as finely in tune with her vision. She looked at the monster, ready for its last action on Hercules. Kora raised her bow and fitted her arrow in place within the blink of an eye, aiming for its heart. Shooting, the arrow hit the monster cleanly and even pulled the other one out. Smiling, Kora caught the golden arrow as the enforcer's lifeless body hit the earth. Now, she needed to concentrate on Hercules. *I hope he's OK,* she wished as she saw his unconscious form.

~~~~~

Hercules woke up with every bone and muscle in his body aching. He was sore in places he didn't even know he had. Though he was surprised to see the trail behind him in front of him. He pushed his golden-blonde hair out of his face as he looked behind him to see Kora back to normal, pulling his horse while riding her own. He winced looking at his throbbing arm. Those gashes were deep. He noticed that Kora had bandaged them up as much as she could. He went to take a peek at how bad it was.

"Don't touch it, Hercules," Kora ordered.

"Why?"

Sighing, Kora told him, "I've got some herbs on there for the healing." She jumped off her horse, stopping both of them. She went behind and asked the demigod, "Can you stand?" Kora offered her hand to help him up.

"I-I think so," Hercules answered, accepting her hand and trying to stand up. It was a slow process, but the son of Zeus managed to stand straight, with the help of Kora.

"You need to rest," the blonde innkeeper instructed him.

"I'm fine," Hercules insisted, "Get me on the horse so we can head to Lake Olympus."

"Whatever you say, demigod," Kora sighed, helping him on the animal.

"We've got a long way to go, Kora," Hercules informed, "We don't need to waste time."

~~~~~

"I'm pretty sure King Aeson thinks I'm insane," Eurydice said to herself, "I probably am, too, but I've got this feeling inside me that he's coming."

She went into her house at the bottom of a large hill. Everyone had their own houses in the Elysian Fields. She thought hers was lovely. It was all she could've ever wanted. Except for the fact that she was the only one living in there. She went to go make lunch. People still get hungry in Paradise, but the food always tastes wonderful. As she looked through her fruits, she found a shiny, golden arrow.

"What's this?" she asked herself, "Maybe I should keep it, just in case."

~~~~~

"OK, there's the lake," Kora announced. Lake Olympus was a huge lake, hence the name, and it seemed that it was the only source of water for miles around. "Explain this to me again?" Sighing as he jumped of his horse, he answered, "We have dive in the lake. If we swim deep enough, we reach the other side."

"Well, we'll get there one way or another, then, right?"

"I guess so, huh?"

"Let's jump together on three," Kora suggested.

In unison, they said, "Three!", jumping into the lake and down to the bottom as far as possible.

~~~~~

Charon was tired, as usual. Back and forth, carrying dead people across the river Styx. He'd seen the same thing so many times, Hades might as well make him a tour guide, too. Coming back to the entrance, he saw two people, one he recognized as Hades' nephew.

"Please, tell me you're dead this time, kid," Charon pleaded.

"No, b-but we have to see my Uncle Hades," Hercules told him.

"C'mon, Sharon, we have to get on!" Kora insisted.

"What did you call me?"

*Here comes the show-girl-bubble-dance rap*, Hercules thought. He whispered in Kora's ear, "Word of advice for the future, never mispronounce Charon's name."

"What, do I look like a showgirl? Huh? You think I should do a bubble dance? Charon!"

Sighing, Hercules said, "Yeah, and that's same thing you said to me last time. We've got a mission to take care of."

"Remember my policy? Abso-positivilutly no living morals!"

"I know, but…I'll row for you again. A-and Artemis will really get mad at you if you don't let her followers finish their missions."

"Artemis? Well," Charon rolled his eyes, "All right, get on, but don't tell Hades I did this. You still do the rowing?"

Smiling, Hercules answered, "Certainly, Charon."

~~~~~

"Hercules, that job offer is still open," Charon reminded him.

The son of Zeus shook his head, "Nah, no thanks, Charon. C'mon, Kora."

Hercules and the blonde ran off. Hercules skidded to a stop before reaching Hades' main chamber. "I can't do this," Hercules whispered, "I need to sneak in. Uncle Hades would never let me help you. I know where his Helmet of Invisibility is. I'll be back. Go ahead. He really is a nice guy. Don't be fooled by the outfit."

"Hercules!" Kora hissed, but he was already gone. She took a deep breath and approached the lord of the Underworld.

~~~~~

Hercules spotted the Helmet. He was so excited to see Eurydice, he was trembling. The only problem was the guards outnumbered him five to one. His only weakness was his anxiousness. Approaching the first guard, he hauled back and punched him in the face. The others came onto him quickly. He side kicked another one in the stomach, grabbed him and pulled him, swinging him around, hitting any of the other guards coming near him. Once they were all down, Hercules dropped the human club and snatched the Helmet, putting it on. He headed towards the entrance of the Elysian Fields. *I hope this works*, he thought.

~~~~~

Upon entering the Elysian Fields, Hercules got excited again. He took off the helmet and put it into his backpack he brought along. He started looking around for Kora. He spotted her near a small lake.

"Kora!" he called, "Over here!"

He ran down to the lake and saw her sitting next to someone wearing a cloak, covering their face.

"Hercules," Kora exclaimed pleasantly, "What took you so long?"

"W-well-"

"You see, I was just talking to a friend," she interrupted, "Well, she was only at my inn once, but…."

Kora nodded at the person, who stood up and uncovered her face, revealing a familiar blonde perosn to Hercules.

"Eurydice!" Hercules cried, running over and hugging her tightly.

"Hercules!" Eurydice exclaimed, "By the gods, I've missed you so."

"This is-this is just so wonderful, seeing you again," Hercules began. He let go of her and cupped his hands in her face and kissed her.

"This is all wonderful and all," Kora interrupted, "But we've got a mission, remember Romeo?"

Turning about nine shades of red, the demigod answered, "Y-yeah, I haven't forgotten. Er, uh, Eurydice? Uh, have you seen a golden arrow around anywhere?"

"By the gods, yes, I found one at my house," she responded.

"Really?" Kora asked, "Is it still there?"

"Of course," Eurydice answered, "Let me show you."

~~~~~

"Here it is," Eurydice announced, holding out the golden arrow.

"This is it!" Kora joyced, "We're done! The mission's complete!"

"Thanks, Eurydice," Hercules said.

Smiling, the ex-Bachhae asked, "No problem. Now what? Are you going to leave?"

The demigod glanced at Kora with a pleading look.

Shaking her head with a smile on her face, Kora answered, "I guess we can stay for a bit."

"Great," Eurydice smiled, "Let me make us something to eat."

"Ah, no thanks, Eury," Kora declined, "W-we already ate. C'mon, Herc, I gotta talk to you for a sec."

"Huh? What?" Hercules snapped out of his trance, "I gotta go. To, ah, talk to, um, her. I'll be back."

"What is it, Kora?" Hercules asked when out of earshot of Eurydice.

"Listen and listen to me very closely, demigod," Kora ordered, "Hades told me that no matter what you do, never, never eat the food from the Underworld. Also? You cannot take Eurydice from here. She'll be a condemned spirit after twenty-four spins of the sand glass. You have to make her a mortal again. How do you plan to pull that one off?"

"Ambrosia," Hercules whispered.

"Ambrosia?" Kora repeated skeptically.

"Yeah, ya know? The food of the gods? My mother told me once that a little bit of that could make someone living again."

"Did you notice that a lot of the stories your mom told you are all of a sudden coming true?" Kora asked.

Hercules stopped to think about that. "Yeah. Yeah, you're right, but if we go and get some Ambrosia and then Eurydice and I can still be together."

"Just where do you plan to get some?"

"Apollo's temple."

"Oh, no. No, no, no, no, no, Hercules. I'm not going back there. You're on your own on that one, son of Zeus."

"That's OK. 'Cause I never asked for your help. And don't try to stop me, all right?"

"Hey, it's your life," Kora settled, "Good luck. I'd better get going. I-I have to drop the arrows off at Artemis's temple. Thanks for your help, Hercules."

"Hey, wait a sec," Hercules called as she started to leave.

"What?" Kora turned around.

"I got an idea," he said, taking the arrows. He set them down on a rock and yelled, "Artemis! We got all your arrows! Come here and get them!"

Within seconds, the shadowy, blurry figure of Artemis appeared before them. "Good work, my Huntress. You have served me well. I will take into consideration your releasing. I will not forget you, either, half brother, Hercules. You did this to help my Huntress and I thank you." With that, the goddess of the hunt disappeared with the arrows.

"It worked," Hercules smiled, "There you go, I saved you the trip, huh?"

"Yeah, I guess," Kora agreed.

"Could ya still stick around? I have an idea how to get Eurydice outta here."

"Oh, really?"

"Yeah, and I really, really would like your help. I can't do it without you, Kora. Please?"

Kora took one look at his pleading face and said, "Oh, no, it's the puppy dog face. All right, I'll help." Giving Kora a triumphant smile, the half god continued, "The puppy face always works. This is gonna be complicated, but it'll work."

~~~~~

"Eurydice," Hercules exclaimed, "I have a way."

"For what, Hercules?" Eurydice asked, completely confused.

He went over and took her hands, "I have a way to make you living again."

"What? I like it here," Eurydice argued.

"Oh, c'mon, Eurydice. Y-ya can't stand here and say you like it here alone."

The smaller blonde sighed and closed her eyes. "I guess you're right. I feel so alone. But, how do you plan to get past Hades? What will we do if we get caught? I'll be re-judged and sent to Tartarus."

"I won't let that happen to ya," Hercules promised, wrapping her arms around her, comforting her, "I've got a plan and Kora's agreed to help. Ya up to it?"

Eurydice nodded, "Yeah, let's do it."

~~~~~

"You were successful?" Hades inquired as Kora passed through the gateway from the Fields.

Kora nodded agreeingly, "Oh, yes, thank you, Hades."

"Good. Give Artemis my regards," Hades told her.

"You know," Kora started, "You look like you lead a very stressing life, am I right?"

Hades nodded, "Stress. I guess you could call it that."

"I always found when I guess stressed, taking a long, luxurious bubble bath gets rid of it all."

"Bubble bath?" Hades thought about it, "Hanging around with dead people sure would give you a certain odor, wouldn't it? You're right, I'll take a bath. Can you find a way out?"

"Oh, yeah, Artemis'll get me," Kora lied.

"Very well, then. Like I said, give her my regards," Hades echoed as he went down the corridor.

Once he was gone, Kora peeked her head through the gateway to the Fields. "Guys, he's gone! Hurry up!"

"C'mon!" Hercules instructed.

Eurydice, Kora, and Hercules rushed out the door as fast as possible.

~~~~~

"Ya see that? That's Ambrosia," Hercules noted, pointing to a stand on the side of the big room in Apollo's temple. "I'm goin' in."

The son of Zeus somersaulted half way and jumped up and flipped the rest. He grabbed a piece of Ambrosia and ran back the rest of the way, skidding on the sleek floor, almost running over Kora.

"Here," Hercules said as he handed the small piece of Ambrosia to Eurydice. As she ate it, Kora and Hercules could see more color come into her cheeks. She smiled after the Ambrosia took its full effect.

"It worked!" the demigod joyced, hugging Eurydice. After he let go he noticed, "That was easy. A little too easy."

"Correctimundo, bro," Apollo announced, appearing into the room, "Now you don't think I'd let you take some of my Ambrosia without askin' do you?"

"W-well it's, uh, for my, uh," Hercules fumbled.

"Your little girlfriend?" Apollo interrupted, "Oh, go on, take it. Knock yourself out!"

Hercules gave himself a short, reassuring laugh, "Thanks, uh, we'll be going now." He and the others started to leave, but the door slammed in front of them.

"Oh, how stupid do you think I am?" Apollo finished, "Give me a break. Bro, I think it's time for another family feud. You win, you and your little party leaves in peace. I win, and…I get your girlfriend."

"Eurydice?" Hercules looked towards the newest living person.

"Uh, duh," Hercules could hear Apollo say.

"Do it, Hercules," Eurydice ordered, "I know you can win."

"I will if it's for you," Hercules promised. He looked up at Apollo, who was standing there, looking as bored as ever. He's about to get a surprise, the demigod thought. He jumped up and ran as fast as he legs would let him, shoving Apollo onto the floor into a full body tackle. Apollo pulled his right leg up and under Hercules's stomach. When the sun god had enough leverage, he kicked his younger half brother as hard as he could. With an unbearable pain in his stomach, Hercules hit the top of the wall and slid down to the bottom, hitting the floor with a thud. Unable to gain any recovery whatsoever, Hercules was picked up and kneed in, what Hercules thought couldn't take much more, his stomach. Then, he was whipped on the back with Apollo's forearm, making him collapse face down, into the golden floor. Apollo picked him up with the back of his shirt and sent him skidding into an entire altar. Offerings of all sorts, food, jewelry, gold, and the like, got all over the demigod. Trying to wipe some Spanikopita out of his blonde hair, Apollo opened his hand and lifted it and thrust it across the room. Hercules went flying and hit the wall…again. Although this time, he didn't move.

"One, two, three, four, five. Demigod's out," Apollo announced, "I win."

"Hercules!" Eurydice gasped.

"Oh, no," Kora groaned.

~~~~~

"Hercules," Eurydice whispered, "Please be OK."

Laughing triumphantly, Apollo ordered, "Hey, slave. Clean up this mess. I want Hercules's body out of here by sundown."

Seeing Hercules get up behind him, Eurydice smiled, crossed her arms and simply said, "No."

"What?" Apollo inquired.

"I *said*, no," Eurydice repeated, "Hercules isn't there, anymore."

"Huh?" Apollo turned around to see no Hercules. Someone tapped his shoulder and the sun god looked behind him to see Hercules smiling at him.

"Lookin' for me?" he asked sweetly, rearing back and punching him in the face, knocking the god onto the ground.

Seeing him knocked out, Hercules headed towards the door muttering, "C'mon, let's get outta here." He grabbed Eurydice's hand and Kora walked next to him.

~~~~~

"Hercules, what am I gonna do?" a worried Eurydice asked, "OK, I'm alive now, but if I go back to the Academy with you, Iolaus, Jason, or Lilith might know you're up to something."

"Ah, um, y-you could work at…Kora's?" Hercules suggested.

"Hercules-" Kora started.

"Please?" Hercules pleaded.

"Fine. Whatever."

"Oh, thank you, Kora!" Eurydice joyced, hugging the inn owner.

"No problem, Eurydice."

~~~~~

"Hey, Herc, where've ya been?" Jason inquired.

"Ah, I, uh, h-helped Kora, uh, w-w-with a new…a new shipment. Yeah."

"Speakin' a' Kora's, I'm starvin'," Iolaus added.

*Eurydice's working at Kora's today! Oh, no, why me?* "W-why go to Kora's? I-I mean, why not eat good Academy food?"

"Good? I think you took one too many hits from the battle 'bot, buddy," Iolaus said, "C'mon."

~~~~~

"You what?"

"I'm sorry, Kora, I didn't know."

"I can't believe you Armineus! I leave you in charge for just a few days, and you booked Orpheus to play?" Kora fumed.

"You told me to book someone," Armineus argued.

"Not Orpheus, you know what happened last time!" Kora scolded.

"There's nothing I can do, Kora, his band's already here."

Sighing, Kora put her hands in her face.

"Kora!" Eurydice gasped, entering the room, "Orpheus and his band are here! I can't serve them! They know me!"

"I know, Eurydice, I know," Kora told her, "Blame Armineus. Listen, if you want, I'll make Armineus a waiter and you can work in the kitchen, so no one'll see you, OK?"

"Thank you, Kora."

Hercules burst through the doors saying, "Kora! Orpheus is-"

"I know, hold your horses," Kora interrupted.

"Eurydice, oh, you look wonderful," Hercules commented, looking at her new dark pink shirt and navy blue long skirt. She was also wearing an apron of Kora's.

"Kora, I left my money bag here yesterday and-" Iolaus cut himself short upon entering the room, "E-Eurydice? B-but you're dead!" Iolaus backed up out through the doors and ran into a table. "Eurydice's back!"

"What?" a voice asked.

*Great*, Iolaus muttered, *Out of all the tables here, I run into Orpheus's*.

"What did you say?" Orpheus inquired, standing up, "Eurydice's back?"

"That's-that's not what I meant, though," Iolaus fumbled.

Ignoring the curly cadet, Orpheus headed through the doors to the kitchen. His eyes widened at the sight of Eurydice.

"Eurydice!"

"Orpheus!" Hercules and Eurydice exclaimed in unison.

"Hercules?" Orpheus walked up to them, "What did you do?"

"What do ya mean?"

"I mean, how did you get Eurydice to go with you?"

"First of all, it was Hercules and not you Orpheus. You never cared about me!"

"Of course I did, baby," Orpheus started.

"Oh, don't even go there, Orpheus," Eurydice continued, wrapping her arms around Hercules. Instinctively, Hercules covered her shoulders with his strong arms.

"You choose him over me? Fine, then…fine. Enjoy the concert, you two. It might be your last one."

~~~~~

"Bacchus, Eurydice's back," Orpheus informed.

"What? That means Hercules is back, too," Bacchus fumed.

Bacchus was the god of wine and good times. He had originally started the conflict between Eurydice, Orpheus, and Hercules. Probably the weirdest looking of all the gods, Bacchus had bright red skin, a gigantic head, mainly caused by the humongous horns on the sides, had long, black, stringy hair down the middle, fangs, and long, sharp claws.

"Yes, unfortunately," Orpheus muttered.

"I hope Eurydice's presence won't disrupt your performance tonight," Bacchus told him.

"Of, course not, Bacchus, I'd never betray you," Orpheus assured, "In fact, I have made sure your best Bacchae are out to make Hercules and Eurydice a part of the group."

"Wonderful," Bacchus evilly laughed, "Eurydice will be my number one Bacchae again and Hercules will be my prize!"

~~~~~

"Hercules, what do you think Orpheus meant when he said, 'It may be our last'?" Eurydice pondered. "I don't know, but knowing him, where there's Orpheus, there's…"

"Bacchus," Hercules and Eurydice answered in unison.

Hercules glanced outside, looking at all the people watching or dancing to Orpheus. Then he saw it. The Bacchae…they were changing. He ran out there and got Jason and Iolaus.

"Get in here!" Hercules ordered.

"Why? We're having a good time!" Jason argued.

"Just go!"

"What was that for?" Iolaus asked when they got to the kitchen.

"Bacchae," Hercules answered solidly.

"So, Eurydice's really back?" Jason asked, looking at the blonde.

Hercules nodded.

"Lemme guess…Ambrosia?" Iolaus inquired.

Again, Hercules nodded.

All of a sudden, Bacchae burst through the door.

"Smells like trouble..." Iolaus knew he'd said that before so he added, "Again!"

"Iolaus-" Hercules got cut off.

"Okay, so, I've always wanted to say it again!"

One of the Bacchae headed towards Kora, who was frozen. Iolaus kicked its side, and then whacked it on the side of its head, making the Bacchae unconscious. Kora screamed as it fell next to her. The inn owner instinctively jumped and hugged the blonde hunter's shoulder.

Iolaus smiled and looked at her saying, "You know I kinda like you this way."

~~~~~

"Eurydice, get under the counters!" Hercules instructed, kicking a Bacchae in the stomach, "I really *don't* wantcha to become a Bacchae again."

"I'd second that," Eurydice muttered as she hid behind a counter. She screamed when a Bacchae grabbed her hand and ripped her up.

"Eurydice, Bacchus wants you to join us again," she taunted.

"No! I don't want to go back! Never! Never!" Eurydice cried. She tore her wrist out of the Bacchae's hand. At an attempt to knock Bacchus's minion to the floor, Eurydice tried kicking it. With the blow being little slow, the Bacchae grabbed Eurydice's foot and knocked her to the floor instead. Bending down, fangs bearing, it went for Eurydice's neck.

Seeing Eurydice in her position, Iolaus body slammed the Bacchae into the wall.

"Boy, you think getting the blood sucked out of you once is bad enough," he muttered to her.

"You can say that again," Eurydice said while Iolaus helped her up.

~~~~~

"Okay, you take those two, and I'll take this one," Jason told Hercules.

"Why is that that I get two?" Hercules complained, picking one up and throwing it over him.

"Hey, you're the big guy," Jason answered, punching his Bacchae in the face, knocking it unconscious.

"Okay, fair enough," the demigod decided, kicking the other one in the stomach. Rubbing his hands together, Hercules said, "Boy, that was easy."

Nodding his head, Jason agreed, "Yeah, that kinda was, wasn't it?"

Without a second's notice, the Bacchae that Hercules threw over him, jumped up, gabbed Hercules's shoulder and buried its razor-sharp fangs into the half god's neck. With a weak sensation, Hercules widened his baby blue eyes.

"Hercules!" Eurydice cried.

After the Bacchae let go of his neck, Hercules rubbed the spot with his hand.

Eurydice looked out the window and she could just see the sun setting over the horizon.

"Oh, no," Hercules murmured, "Sunset. I-I'm gonna t-turn into a Bacchae, aren't I?"

Tears welling up in her eyes, Eurydice bit her lip and nodded. "There's nothing I can do. You're gonna be a Bacchae."

~~~~~

After the sun fell from the peak of the mountain and there was no more light, Hercules began to feel this odd changing sensation from inside him.

"E-Eurydice? W-what's happening to me?" he asked as his face paled.

"Oh, gods, he's changing," she muttered quickly, "Everyone get to the back."

"When Hercules becomes a Bacchae, wouldn't he be ten times as powerful as he was before?" Iolaus wondered.

"Yeah," Eurydice responded, "That's why Bacchus wants him so much. But knowing Hercules, he won't give up his free will as easily as I did."

Hercules groaned in pain when he felt the Bacchae fangs take its full effect. He watched as the nails on his fingers grew five times the length they normally were. And, in a flash of white light, his soft, blonde hair was gelled back, and his blue eyes were blazing yellow. He also had this burning sensation to bite someone's neck, but he knew it wasn't right.

*I can't give in to Bacchus*, he thought to himself, *I won't let him win. Never again*.

He looked down, laughed, and asked, "So, this is what it's like to be a Bacchae?"

"I don't see what's so funny," Iolaus spoke up.

"Oh, Hercules, I'm so sorry, Eurydice apologized, walking over to him.

"Stand back," he told her, stepping back himself, "You wouldn't believe how hard it is to keep myself from biting you."

"I understand," Eurydice said silently, going back to where she was in the first place.

"How long do you think you can keep a cool head, Hercules?" Jason inquired.

"I dunno, Jase, I'm tryin' so hard to be normal, but eventually, I'll lose it and be a full time Bacchae," Hercules answered. Eurydice glanced at Hercules and noticed his eyes were closed; he was fighting off another biting sensation.

"Hercules, Bacchae can only bite when they're Bacchae. You have to relax and you'll turn back into a human. Remember they can only change when they party?" Eurydice came up to him when he nodded.

"You're right," Hercules agreed.

Kora, stepping up, said, "Imagine you're in a field," she stopped to make sure his eyes were closed, "A big field, with…Eurydice." Kora saw a smile creep upon the newest Bacchae's face. "A-and you're sharing a picnic with her. You see a beautiful purple flower in the ground. You pick it and you hand it to her." Kora almost cracked up when she saw him to exactly what she told her to. "As Eurydice takes it…" She nods to Eurydice, "She leans in to thank you kindly for your generosity." Eurydice went up and gave him a kiss. She was terrified when he put his arms around her because he was still a Bacchae, but when she felt the warmth coming back into his face and the fangs go away, she knew it couldn't be anyone else. She smiled when she released her lips from his.

"It worked!" Eurydice exclaimed, "But it won't last. When the sun rises again, you have to go back to Bacchus's lair."

"There's gotta be some way to stop this," Kora insisted.

Hercules and Iolaus looked at each other and said in perfect unison, "Dryads."

"What are Dryads?" Eurydice asked.

"Remember the last time Orpheus came here and I used that bone to release all the people from Bacchus?" Eurydice nodded while Hercules continued, "That's the bone of a Dryad."

"Oh," she remarked quietly.

"Doesn't Cheiron still have a bone in the weapons room?" Iolaus asked.

"You mean that big thigh bone?" Jason inquired.

Hercules nodded.

"Yeah, it's still there," the prince answered.

"Good," he muttered, "We've still got-"

He then heard it-the music; he could feel the people dance. "The music. I gotta dance!"

"Wait!" Iolaus cried before the demigod left the room.

"What? You said yourself that I was a wet blanket, Iolaus!" With that, Hercules left the room.

"We gotta get that bone," Jason murmured, "C'mon, let's go."

Kora, Iolaus, Jason, and Eurydice started to head out the back door of the inn. Eurydice was closing the door behind her, when a Bacchae grabbed her, pulled her in, and shut the locked door. In her efforts, Eurydice, unable to do anything at the time but scream, screamed.

The two cadets and the Huntress realized that Eurydice was missing. She was trapped inside the inn filled with Bacchae.

"Eurydice!" Iolaus yelled.

"She's stuck in there, Iolaus," Kora told him.

"What are they gonna do?" Jason asked.

"I don't know. Wait, the Bacchae might use her to test Hercules's loyalty as a Bacchae!" Iolaus cried.

"What?" Kora and Jason inquired in unison.

"Eurydice's not a Bacchae yet, but Hercules is. They're gonna try to make Hercules bite Eurydice to test his loyalty to the cult," Iolaus explained, looking up at the inn.

"We gotta get them back," Kora murmured, "We can only hope."

~~~~~

Looking around at all the partying, Hercules got this sense of belonging. Though half of him still said it was terribly wrong, he couldn't fight the animal inside him.

Face it, you know you want to give in. It's part of who you are now. Don't resist it, embrace it, a voice inside him said.

*I am not part of this!* Hercules urged, *I will not let Bacchus win!*

But you see, Hercules, I am one with you now! the voice of Bacchus laughed.

*What? Noooo!*

In a flash of light, Hercules was transformed again into the monster, but with the entire attire, also. Laughing, Hercules joined the music and the dancing. Who knows? Maybe he'd bite his first victim by the end of the night.

"My Children!" Bacchus announced, going on stage as Orpheus stopped his music, "We have something very special for your entertainment tonight." The god of wine and good times gestured his hand.

"Let go of me! No!" Eurydice cried as a Bacchae dragged her out on stage.

"Eurydice," Hercules murmured.

"We'd like to initiate the newest member of our…Family," Bacchus continued, gesturing towards Hercules. All the Bacchae's eyes were on him.

"What do I have to do, Bacchus?" Hercules asked, completely possessed by his Bacchae side again.

"Bite Eurydice. Make her a part of our Family, too. You'll be together forever...forever," Bacchus laughed. He then whispered to Orpheus, "Music! Now!"

When Hercules heard the strumming of the beautiful lyre, he started to head towards the stage with an evil smile on his face.

"Hercules…Hercules, no," Eurydice insisted, "You can stop this!"

Hercules placed his clawed hands onto her shoulders and leaned his head down close to her neck.

"Hercules, remember what Bacchus did the last time? He betrayed you! Don't let him do it again."

Hercules froze, his eyes widened, remembering the worst moment of his life.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"There is no way! Why didn't you tell me?" Hercules inquired.

"But I did tell you…I worked it out," Eurydice murmured, walking down the isle with Bacchus.

"And now, Hercules, you shall pay for your defiance!" With a roar, Bacchus used his powers to make a power vine shoot through the air at the demigod.

"Look out!" Eurydice cried, pushing him out of the way. With a painful scream, Eurydice hit the wall of the canyon.

"Noooo!" Hercules shouted, running over to Eurydice's squirming body.

"It can't be," Bacchus murmured.

"You stay there, I'm gonna go get help, OK?" Hercules whimpered, cradling the dying Eurydice in his arms.

"No, Hercules," Eurydice begged meekly, "Don't leave me."

"Then why did you do that?" Hercules asked, his eyes starting to blur.

Eurydice smiled, her eyes dimming, "Just another daring rescue."

"Shhh," the son of Zeus pleaded.

"Listen, Hercules, don't give up on yourself. That's how Bacchus got to me. I'd lost hope in my own future," she hoarsely explained, "Sorry…I met you…too late." Hercules felt the life drain from her body.

"Nooooooooooooooooo!" Bacchus bellowed, "You confused her! Turned her against me!"

Standing up and facing his half brother, Hercules softly started, "You really believe that? Well, go ahead. Here's your chance," then switching to a shrieking tone, he shouted, tears flowing freely, "C'mon!!! Do it!"

Bacchus felt the desire to just kill him. If it's what Hercules really wanted, Bacchus could and would do it, but he decided not to. "No. The pain of this loss…is more than anything I could inflict. But when your sorrow fades…I will find you and take my revenge. Until then, Brother…"

With that, Bacchus disappeared, leaving Hercules in his despair.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"Hercules?" Eurydice inquired, looking over at him, who was looking into nothing. She spotted tears welling up in his eyes.

Getting frustrated, Bacchus shouted, "Bite her!"

Hercules was jolted out of his flash back. He looked at Eurydice. "You. You helped me with everything. It's Bacchus. This-this is his revenge." Hercules looked at Bacchus with a snarl. "You! You worm!" Hercules stood up, and headed towards Bacchus.

"My dear half brother," Bacchus explained, "You're forgetting one thing."

"Oh, and what would that be?" Hercules then remembered what Cheiron told him. The undead can only be defeated by their own. "I can kill you can't I?"

"I…I don't know what you are talking about," Bacchus denied.

"'The undead can only be defeated by their own.' I'm a Bacchae. Then, I'm an undead, aren't I? Which means I can kill ya."

"You're still forgetting one thing: Kill them both, my Bacchae!" he shouted, "It works both ways, then!"

*How am I gonna get outta this mess?* he thought.

~~~~~

"Kill them!" Bacchus snarled, "Kill them or you shall all pay the price!"

Hercules backed up against the wall with Eurydice.

"If you got any bright ideas," Eurydice started, "Any at all, I'm open."

"Um, plan? …No," Hercules squeaked as the Bacchae closed in on them.

"Well, you're a Bacchae, use your fangs!" she ordered, "You're part god. You're more powerful than them!"

"Hey, you're right!" he exclaimed. Bearing his fangs, he started hissing at the crowd with a vicious face. The Bacchae backed up slightly, taken aback at the demigod.

"Bacchus, call off your minions and…and I won't hurt Eurydice," Hercules yelled, grabbing Eurydice and placing his claws on her neck.

"What are you doing?" she whispered.

"Just play along," he murmured back.

"All right! Stay down, my children! Just don't hurt Eurydice," Bacchus said quietly, approaching the demigod.

Hercules looked around at the Bacchae receding. He smiled and let go of Eurydice saying, "That's much better. All right, let's make a deal. You and me…right here, right now! I win, you make me human again."

"And if you lose?" Bacchus inquired.

"I'll be the best Bacchae ever!" he answered, throwing his arms up to his sides, "C'mon!"

"Prepare to stay that way, Brother!" Bacchus shouted, taking a swing at the demigod's head. Ducking it with ease, Hercules countered by kicking his half brother's stomach. Moving back a few paces, Bacchus ran back and used the heal of his palm and hit Hercules square in the chest, making him fall down to the ground.

Trying to catch his breath, Hercules struggled to get up. Bacchus leaned down to look at his half brother.

"You think you could win over me?" Bacchus announced, laughing.

"I did twice, I can do it again, too," Hercules shot, tripping Bacchus, making him fall to the ground. Hopping up quickly, he spotted Iolaus, Kora, and Jason from across the room.

"Herc!" Iolaus shouted, throwing the Dryad bone to him.

Laughing, Bacchus told him, "I told you before, Brother! I am eternal!"

"Then I said, you're hold on these people isn't!" he reminded him, taking the bone, and slashing him across the chest.

"Ahhhhhhhhhhh!" Bacchus screamed as he disappeared.

In a bright flash of light, Hercules felt the sensation of his own self returning.

"Hercules!" Eurydice exclaimed, running into his arms. Wrapping his own arms around her and stroking her hair with one hand, he joyced, "I'm back, Eurydice!"

"Herc!" Iolaus shouted, going over with Jason and the inn owner.

"Hey, thanks, guys," Hercules smiled after he released Eurydice from his hug, "Couldn'ta done it without'cha."

Eurydice sighed. She knew she had to go back to the Fields before Hades noticed. She was aware that she would break Hercules's heart again, but she had to go back.

"Hercules?" Eurydice inquired.

"What is it?" he asked, facing her.

"This is probably the hardest thing I'll do. Hercules, you and I both know I have to go back."

Biting his lower lip, he whimpered, "No… no, I don't want you to leave. Stay here with me."

"I can't. I don't want to hurt you again like I did before."

"But, no! You're-you're alive! You can't go back unless…you're dead…" Hercules realized what she was going to do, "Oh, no! No, no, no, no, no, Eurydice, don't leave me."

"Hercules, you showed me what life really is. You saved me. Isn't that enough for you?" Eurydice closed her eyes and sighed, unable to bear Hercules's tearing face, "Listen, I would rather be tormented in Tartarus with you than be in the Elysian Fields and be without you. Sometimes, following your destiny involves great sacrifice."

Chocking a laugh Hercules told her, "You already said that."

"I know, but I mean it, Hercules," Eurydice insisted, "I know we'll be together again someday." Hercules glanced at Kora, Iolaus, and Jason. Kora was crying, Jason was just staring, and Iolaus had an 'Ooh-la-la' look on his face, complete with the smile.

"That is so beautiful," Kora murmured though her weeps.

Hercules blushed and faced Eurydice. He understood what she had to do…he was the one who brought her here in the first place. He'd go with her and if they got caught, he'd take full responsibility for everything. It was, after all, his very stupid idea. But he would miss her. Everything they've been through together, they've faced and conquered it. But Hercules thought this would be the hardest obstacle of all.

He managed a smile and asked, "Whaddya have to do to go back there again?"

"The same way I got in, Hercules," Eurydice responded, "I have to die again."

~~~~~

"What?" Hercules squeaked.

"Is that the only way?" Kora asked.

Eurydice nodded silently.

"Hey!" Apollo's voice sounded the room. Then in a golden flash of light, the sun god appeared. "I heard you might be needing some help!"

Apollo shot a fire bolt at Hercules, knowing that Eurydice would jump in front, sacrificing herself. *Just like play work*:

"Hercules! Look out!" Eurydice warned, pushing the demigod out of the way. And again, the sound of her agonizing scream echoed through the inn.

"Eurydice!" Hercules cried as he rushed to her side. Jason, Iolaus, and Kora followed.

Just barely being able to smile, Eurydice chocked a laugh and said, "See? I-I told you…it would…work out."

"No, don't leave me, yet," Hercules begged, beginning to sob, "I don't want you leave like this again."

"Maybe…maybe it was better this way. I'll see you…on the other…side," she whispered, "I'm sorry…Hercules."

Eurydice went limp in Hercules's arms again.

"See? I told you it would work out!!!" Apollo mocked with a rude laugh.

Glaring at Apollo, Hercules snarled, stood up and shouted, "You didn't let me say goodbye!!!"

Apollo covered his mouth, wide-eyed, looking like he was surprised. "I'm-I'm so sorry," he gasped. Then he smirked, "I'll be sure to give you time, next time."

"You had no idea!" Hercules yelled, grabbing Apollo's vest and slamming him against the wall.

"Oh, is Mr. I'm-the-strongest-half-god-in-the-world crying?" Apollo laughed.

"Yes!" Hercules hollered, tears flowing down his face, "I'm cryin'! I am cryin', is that OK with you?"

"It's fine," Apollo smiled, releasing his brother's grip on him. He started laughing again, "I just think it's funny!"

"Ugh! Shut up!" Hercules cried. He was going knock Apollo into the wall again, but the sun god disappeared. Slamming his hand against the wall, Hercules broke down, sinking to the floor.

"Oh, Hercules, it's all right," Kora comforted, going to his side, motioning Iolaus and Jason to go over also.

"Yeah, buddy," Jason added, following Kora, "You did the right thing."

"I gotta make sure Eurydice gets to the Fields again," Hercules remembered, standing up.

"I'll go with you," Kora offered.

"Me, too," Iolaus and Jason chimed in.

"No, you guys stay here," Kora told them, "I had a part in this, too."

~~~~~

"You masqueraded as a living person, you let people you know see you alive again, and you caused one of the worst riots in Eternity's history!" Hades scolded.

"It was me, Uncle Hades!" Hercules yelled, entering the rooms.

"Hercules, nephew, what is this?" Hades asked, placing his hands on his hips.

"Everything is my fault, Uncle Hades," Hercules repeated, "I snuck Eurydice out of the Fields, I made her living again, and I got her involved with Bacchus again. I also got her killed again."

"Hercules!" Eurydice cried, running into his arms.

"So if ya wanna blame someone, blame me!" Hercules told his uncle.

"No!" Eurydice objected, "*I* should be punished! Don't hold this against him, please!"

"I'm going to have to discipline someone for this," Hades said quietly, "This goes strictly against the codes!"

"Can I call in a favor from Artemis?" Hercules inquired.

"What?"

"A favor from Artemis," Hercules repeated, "I-I helped the Huntress retrieve the Golden Arrows."

"It's true," Kora chimed in, "Ask Artemis herself."

"All right," Hades decided, "I shall blame Artemis. Eurydice, it's time for you to go back to the Elysian Fields."

"Can I say goodbye, Uncle Hades?" Hercules requested.

"Yes. You may say goodbye."

"Hercules, I realized I wanna stay with you. Stay here with me forever," Eurydice pleaded.

"Eurydice, I have to go. I wish I could stay longer, but I can't. I have to go back to the surface. I'll miss you so much," Hercules said.

He bent down and gave her the saddest farewell kiss he'd ever given a girl.

"Good bye," she murmured as she disappeared through the gateway to Paradise, "I'll be with you."

"Good bye," Hercules whispered

Placing a hand on his shoulder, Kora told him, "C'mon, Hercules. Let's go home. You did the right thing."

"Yeah," Hercules agreed, "I did." He knew some how, some way, that he and Eurydice would meet again in Paradise.

The End


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