Iolaus' New Path

Iolaus' New Path


By Brittany


Rating: PG
Disclaimer: All Characters in this story do not belong to me and I'm not making any money off of this story. =)


"Let me get this straight. You what me to go into his office and wait for him to come see me, so I can apply? And he's already been given my record and somebody has already told him about me?!"

The guard snickered, "That's right, stupid. That way you have no chance of twisting the truth with that slick tongue of yours!"

The young man grinned, "Yeah, it is pretty slick, isn't it?"

"We could have it cut off! Would you like that!?"

The young man rolled his eyes and laughed, "Yeah, like you could ever do that to me!"

The guard lifted the young man off the ground and slammed him into the wall. "You just remember. This is your last chance, you good for nothing hindrance to society! After this you spend 20 years rotting in some jail cell!"

The young man made a face, "Whoa! You kiss your mom with that breath? Poor woman." He figured he pushed it too far.

The guard threw him to the ground. The young man tried to struggle, but since his hands and feet were tied, it was no use. He just had to bite his lip and try not to cry out too loudly as the guard repeatedly kicked him in the ribs.

"HEY!"

The guard spun around to face the man behind him. He snapped to attention. "Y-y-y-y-your majesty! Prince Jason!"

The young man looked at his rescuer. He tried to stand but the chains made him fail. Jason lifted the man off the ground "what did this man do to deserve this!?"

"Nothing, my prince! He's the young man I told Cheiron about."

"I see, your services are no longer needed here. You are dismissed."

"Yes sir," the guard saluted, then left.

Jason smiled kindly at the young man. He was dirty and thin but there was a twinkle in his eyes. Jason looked down at his chains, then removed them.

"Thank you," the young man whispered, rubbing at his wrist.

"No problem, and before you do, don't call me anything but Jason, 'cause in the academy Iím a normal cadet. And right now you should go into Cheironís office."

Once inside the office the young man's mind began to race. Could he really make a fresh start? Could he really make something out of his life, put his past behind him? He wanted to, but there was a part of him who wanted his own life back again. He prayed that whoever this Cheiron was that he would accept him and that his big mouth wouldn't ruin everything again. He needed this chance, but if he saw a way of getting out of here, he'd grab it. His thoughts were interrupted when the door opened.

"Iolaus?"

Iolaus turned around to see a centaur. He raised his eyebrows but said nothing. "Are you Cheiron?"

The Centaur gestured for him to sit down. Iolaus complied thankfully. "I am. And I see," he leafed through the papers in his hand as he walked around in front of his desk, "that you want to apply for the academy." He stared into Iolaus' blue eyes. Iolaus squirmed under the gaze of the tall centaur, the centaur who held his fate in his hands. He decided to try to be respectful. Now let's see if I can remember how to be respectful; it HAS been so many years, and this guy is my last chance.

"Yes sir, that's right."

Cheiron studied Iolaus, who felt his gaze pierce down to the depths of his soul. Did he look that uncomfortable? He had to hide it. He leaned an elbow on the desk and forced his eyes to meet Cheironís.

Cheiron cleared his throat "All right then, I have some questions to ask you."

Iolaus laughed and leaned back into his chair. He rolled his eyes back in his head and cracked his knuckles. "And I have them all memorized!" he said with a grin that stretched across his face.

"We'll see." He opened a file drawer and pulled out some more papers.

"How do you spell your name?"

"I-O-L-A-U-S"

"How old are you?"

He couldn't help it, he loved doing this to people.

"Dude, I don't know? How old are you?"

Cheiron looked up from his papers "I asked how old you are?"

"Like, Dude, if you don't even know how old you are, don't expect me to know." Iolaus leaned back, crossed his legs, and folded his arms across his chest, clucking his tongue and shaking his head.

Cheiron looked at him for a very long time before flipping through his papers and asking, "I thought you were checked by a psychologist?"

It was all Iolaus could do to keep a straight face.

This might be my chance. If I can get him to think I'm crazy like the other people did, I might be able to get out of here!

"Yeppy! I sure was," he said rather loudly in a singsong voice. "AND," he took in a large gasp of air, "THEY," he took in a large gasp of air, "FOUND," he took in a large gasp of air, "ME," he took in a large gasp of air, and started spinning his chair round and round, "LOONEY!" He then started spinning faster and faster, singing in a loud voice, "The itsy bitsy spider, went up the water spout!"

Cheiron found the psychological page in Iolausís file.

"Down came the rain and washed the spider out!"

Cheiron started reading the notes on the page. O.K. Iolaus, it seems like you try to pull the same gig on everyone. Well, it's not going to work on me. Whatever you are, you are definatly not crazy.

"Up came the sun and dried up all the rain and-"

"Iolaus, your little trick is not going to work on me."

Iolaus jerked the chair to a sudden halt. "WHAT!" He jerked the papers out of Cheiron's hands. Cheiron watched his expressions, as they turned to surprise then finally to embarrassment. He gave the pages back to Cheiron as his face turned three shades of red.

Oh, great. I can't believed they wrote those things about me, now I look stupid!

"Oh, well, ah, what's the question again?" He asked sheepishly.

"How old are you?"

"19."

"Your mother's name?"

Iolaus made little gagging noises and scrunched up his nose "Ciana." Cheiron gave him a sharp look. The gagging noises stopped.

"And she lives in Corinth?"

Iolaus shrugged his shoulders. "I guess," he mumbled.

"O.K. Now I need to go over a list of legal questions. I need the complete truth from you, Iolaus. Got it?"

Iolaus sighed and then leaned forward in his chair, "Yeah, sure, I'll come clean, but I'm not going to squeal on nobody besides me."

"Nobody expectes you to."

Iolaus grinned, "O.K. You better write this down, the government will want a copy. Yes, I have been in jail more than one week. You got that, Dude?"

Cheiron gave him an annoyed look. "I am not a DUDE! And yes I do."

"O.K. then, on with the questions! I have been convicted with murder. I DID NOT DO IT THOUGH! Yes, I had a bad childhood, I've been in a gang, and I hope I still am."

Cheiron looked at him for a very long time, "And it's that life style and the choices that you have made that have brought you here today. Are you proud of that? Well, Iolaus, it seems many people have tried to make you change your path, but I know something they don't, and that is, nobody can make you change your path. Now that path has brought you to a cross path, where yet again you must make a choice. You can continue on your path, or you can come to the Academy and try another. You're free to go."

Iolaus couldn't believe his ears. He's letting me go?

Iolaus stood up and started across the room.

"Iolaus."

He stopped.

"You better think about your path. It's your choice, but this may be your last crossroad."

Well, maybe it is, so?

Iolaus took another step.

Cheiron said quietly, "Iolaus, you've been down that road. You know were it leads."

Yeah, he's right there, I have been down that road. I could stay here... that might be cool, but he doesn't understand. I'll just make more mistakes.

Iolaus sighed and sat back down. His eyes were glassy.

"What made you change your mind?"

His voice cracked and his eyes wondered the floor for a bit, before finally meeting Cheiron's. A smile tugged at the corners of his mouth.

"See, it's like this. I'm a thief. I'm like a bug, a pest to the people, a tick more specifically. See, ticks have the annoying talent of survival. Their bodies are flat, so no matter how hard you try, you can't kill them. The tick can brag to his bug friends about his talents, but deep inside I am still a tick. I've realized that I may be the best tick in the world, but see, that can't hide what I am: a nasty, sneaky little tick, that nobody loves and nobody cares about. I'm different from the rest of the ticks. I wish I wasn't a tick. But this is the way I was born. I've made so many mistakes and bad choices. Cheiron, it's not that I like my path, it's that I was born on it. If my parents werenít going to support my sisters I, as the only real man in the family, had to do anything I could to feed them. See, I started on a path and I guess I had plenty of chances, but like you said, my bad choices have gotten me so lost in the woods that I'll never find a way out." He hung his head and brought his knees up to his chest. "You don't want a pest in your academy. There's no hope for me."

Cheiron smiled and walked around the desk. Iolaus stood up ready to be escorted out the door. Cheiron put a hand on Iolaus's shoulder and handed him some papers. "These are your copy." Iolaus looked up at Cheiron. "I-I don't under stand." he said in a confused voice.

"You might think there's no hope for you, but I do. And if you try your best, you can change. In fact, what you said to me over there, that was the first step on that new path. I'll help you, but most off all I'll accept you."

Iolaus smiled.

Wow I can't believe it. I will try, I really will.

"Welcome to the academy Iolaus."

"It's an honor, Sir."

THE END


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