Hebe, goddess of eternal youth, stood behind her mortal half-brother Hercules in the mirror. Her eyebrows arched in a curious expression that said, "I hate that," and then she put her finger in her mouth and proceeded to make a gagging gesture.
"Is it that bad?" Hercules asked, biting his lip.
"Worse. It looks like you let Discord design a wardrobe for you..."Hebe joked. Herc playfully punched her in the stomach.
They pushed each other playfully for a few moments until their eyes met in the mirror. Hercules took her tenderly in his arms and pulled her toward the door. Iolaus opened up the door from the other side.
"You are both late. Late, late, late!" Iolaus laughed as he revelled in the delight of being the prompt one- for once.
"Yeah, yeah, yeah...." Hercules rolled his eyes. They left the room and made their way to the new teenage hangout that had just sprouted up the week before. As they walked down the road, Iolaus looked with jealous envy- a redundant feeling if nothing else- at Hebe and Hercules, who looked so deeply in love that nothing could have torn them apart. He wished more than anything that he could have her. How come Hercules got all the chicks? What kind of girls went after a half-god cutie with a lot of strength and....nevermind.
Jason obviously felt the same thing because he was seething with jealousy the whole way there as well. However, Hebe, oblivious to the whole anger-triangle that she had spawned between the three friends, could not help it. Unknown to the four of them, Fate had brought her and Hercules together, and it was meant to be.
Ares and Discord looked over the sight from a table at the club as Hercules and Hebe danced, and Iolaus and Jason sat together, completely ignoring any other beautiful woman in the club, and merely stared at Hebe, in love and yet unable to tear them apart.
"I think there's a little conflict over in the red corner, Ares," Discord commented. He nodded in agreement. "I think I have a plan..."
"And what makes you think this one will work?" Ares asked, his eyebrow arched.
"Because it involves a woman. Have you ever tried to put a beautiful woman between three friends to see what happened?" Discord replied, in an it's-so-obvious tone.
"Yes, but the woman was never my sister," Ares said. "Have you seen what she does to mortals who cross her?"
"You're not mortal," Discord reminded him. "And she's young. There's nothing cuter than young love."
"Or....young love triangles," Ares said, finally getting the point. He lifted a finger as their attention turned toward the scene by the dance floor.
"Jase," Iolaus said suddenly, turning to his longtime friend. "How come Hercules gets all the good-looking ones?"
"Yeah," Jason said in agreement. "I'm just as good as him. Why aren't I with Hebe?"
"I'm going to go do something about it," Iolaus decided. "Stay here until I give you the signal."
With that, Iolaus walked onto the dance floor and moved over to Herc and Hebe.
"May I cut in?" Iolaus asked. Hercules graciously stepped aside and began dancing with someone else. The short, blond sidekick went to dance with Hebe, and broke out in a series of ridiculous dance moves that made him look like he had to go to the bathroom. Hebe tried to dance in a manner that would compliment his, but she just couldn't find out just what the heck he was trying to do. Jason, sensing that the "fool" couldn't dance his way out of an olive sack, came up and cut in without Iolaus giving him a signal first. Jason, who was a considerably better dancer than Iolaus, created a sort of mood on the dance floor- the kind that could create steam, it was so hot- and began to get a little close to Hebe. A little too close for comfort. He put his arms around her waist and took her closer. Hercules had noticed them getting close, and although he was relieved she wasn't dancing with Iolaus, he didn't like Jason getting that close to his woman. Especially now that his hand was right on her butt, and Jase was a little too close to her mouth.
"Hey, hey!" Hercules yelled at Jason. "Don't touch her like that, she's mine!"
Hercules pushed Jason away from Hebe, just as Iolaus realized that he was no longer dancing with Hebe, but with himself.
"Hey, what in Hades?! I WAS dancing with her, Jason!" Iolaus complained. Jason put up his hands.
"Hey, watch it, guys. Obviously she enjoyed dancing with me more, right?" Jason said with a snotty attitude.
"Oh yeah? We'll see about that, you sneaky little fiend!" Iolaus said, leaping at him, knocking him to the ground. Hercules tried to pull them apart, and yet as he was doing it, someone's fist came out and hit him. He began throwing punches back, and pretty soon, it was a big massive brawl.
"STOP IT!" Hebe yelled, but nobody heard her. "Stop it, now!"
The boys just continued fighting, and as the fighting escalated, and the owner of the club came out to tear them apart and quiet them down, she began to sob. As the boys quieted down and made their final struggling attempts to leap at each other, she turned around, with all of them watching, and ran out.
"I hate you, I hate you all!" she yelled as she left the club. Hercules struggled out of the arms of the guard who had been holding him aside and ran after her, calling her name.
Hebe ignored the calls after her. She ran until she reached the banks of a river. She collapsed in the grass and a river nymph, startled, began giggling.
"Shoo, shoo!" she said. The nymph, understanding, swam off. Hebe sat there, trembling. What had just happened? She tried to understand why all of these people would fight. It didn't make sense to her. She lied down in the grass on her back and looked up at the stars. Footsteps behind her alerted her to the presence of someone uninvited.
"I thought I'd find you here," Herc said, sitting down next to her. She looked away. He went to hold her and she turned away. He grabbed her. "Look, I'm sorry, Hebe, I don't know what just happened, either. It was like I was come over with jealousy. It scares me because I thought I'd lost you. Please, don't be mad with me."
"I was so scared," Hebe stammered. "I didn't know what was going on."
He held her close, closer than he ever had.
"Sometimes I forget how delicate you are," he said. "I've never really realized how fragile you are."
He looked at her. She was so delicate, so beautiful. She looked like a porcelain doll. Sometimes he even envied her.
"I envy you," he admitted to her, finally.
"Why?" she asked, looking him in the eyes.
"You've seen things I'll never see. You've been places I can only imagine being. You've met..."Hercules trailed off.
"Dad," Hebe finished for him.
"Yes," he said sadly. "You have so many things I don't. Powers, immortality, you have no enemies..."
"Herc, it's not as good as it seems. I have powers, but only for one thing- youth. Eternal youth. I'm the embodiment of my calling, and since I'm immortal, I'll look like this forever, even after everyone else has died. And even I have enemies," she said.
"Oh, yeah, like who? You don't have enemies..." he said in disbelief.
"Discord," she offered. "She's jealous that mom and dad actually gave birth to someone that can be a positive influence."
"Discord doesn't like me, either," Herc retaliated.
"Oh, no, it's just Ares that doesn't like you. Discord and Strife are his little god-of-war wannabes. They'll do anything to get on Ares' good side," she excused it.
"Well Hera and Ares hate me," Hercules said, pointing at thin air as if to make a point.
"Well, not exactly. Hera is insanely jealous of anyone who is a son or daughter of Zeus that didn't come out of a bond between her and Dad. The fact that their marriage never worked and yet he can fall in love with all these mortals makes her pretty uncomfortable, and so she has to take out her anger on somebody. It might as well be the product of the union that makes her mad," Hebe explained.
"Whoa, that was a mouthful," Herc laughed. He kissed Hebe and almost laughed as she began talking again.
"And Ares...Ares hates EVERYBODY. He's just jealous because before you came along, he was dad's favorite son. Now all daddy talks about is Herc, Herc, Herc..."Hebe said.
"Really?" Hercules asked in disbelief, his eyes opened wider.
"Oh yeah. You'd be surprised," she said. "It's really funny. Every time I show up at Mount Olympus, 'Herc Herc blah blah, No Ares, not right now, Herc Herc blah blah blah...' "
They both laughed. He leaned in and kissed her deeply, pushing her softly back into the grass.
"Herc....Herc...?" Hebe tried to say.
"Blah, blah....let's get it on....blah blah..." he joked as the stars twinkled above them.
* * *
The next day, Iolaus and Jason were having lunch and laughing.
"And you...you...look sooooo ridiculous," Jason laughed, imitating the way Iolaus was dancing.
"Oh, really, Mr. Smooth Operator, steaming up the dance floor," Iolaus did a hilarious impersonation of Jason. In the distance, Ares turned to Discord, angry.
"What happened?! I thought you said this would work," he looked at Discord with a twisted expression that would be funny if he weren't ready to scream.
"It will, it will, just be patient...."she said, whispering the next part of the plan to him. He liked it, and walked toward Jason and Iolaus, morphing into a person that exactly resembled Hercules on the way.
"Hey, guys..." he said.
"Oh....hey, Herc..." Iolaus said.
"Listen, guys, I'm really sorry about last night," he apologized weakly. Jason and Iolaus nodded their heads as if to say, "It's okay."
"If you guys see Hebe around, could you ask her to come see me? She's still kind of upset at me, and I really would like to talk to her about what happened last night, see if I can make it up," he requested. They nodded again. He thanked them and walked around the corner, morphing back into his own self to meet up with Discord.
"Now, Ares...see the pros in action," she said as she walked away, morphing into a blond-haired beauty in a pink dress, heading towards Hercules.
Hebe approached the table where Jason and Iolaus were talking and eating. Her brown hair was up in braids down her back, and she twirled her hair nervously.
"Oh, hey, Hebe....Herc was looking for you," Iolaus said. "I think he may be over in the courtyard."
She nodded and walked toward the courtyard, just in time to get a view of Hercules and some other person...
Discord walked up to Hercules, grabbed him by the shoulders and kissed him, hard and passionately. He struggled to get away, but not until..
Hebe, sobbing that Hercules would betray her so soon, ran off, not able to catch a glimpse of who Herc was really kissing...
Herc pushed the blonde girl away and suddenly she vanished. Reappearing next to Ares, some distance off, she gave him a hi-five, taking her place by his side.
"Victory is mine," she said, laughing.
* * *
Jason approached Hebe in her familiar place, down by the river, and asked her what was the matter.
"I saw...and he was....and she...." Hebe sobbed halfway through her story, but Jason got the overall gist. He stood up to see Iolaus standing behind him. Iolaus, it seems, was equally as concerned. Hebe explained her story once again to Iolaus and suddenly Jason became inflamed with anger.
"What's wrong with him, man?" He asked.
"That's not the worst of it," Hebe said. "I'm....late..."
"No, no, you're not late, you're on t....oh.....I know what you mean," Iolaus said. The conversation carried itself to the ears of Ares, who was listening to his baby sister's sobs, with sympathy- something rare for the god of war.
"I thought goddesses didn't get that...."
"Well, we do, Jason...."
"Shut up Iolaus."
"Okay, okay, sheesh..."
Ares turned to Discord and gave her an inflamed look of anger, leaping for her neck, looking for something to hurt.
"You are going to get them together, and tell them about what kind of MESS you made, so that they can be reunited, got that, Dumb-cord?" Ares growled.
"Hey....don't get so hostile...I'll fix this, okay.....now let go of my throat, you psycho," she choked out. He let go. Rolling her eyes, Discord vanished to bring them all together to explain herself, yet again.
* * *
Once the six of them were assembled in the same room- Ares, Discord, Iolaus, Jason, and Herc and Hebe (who were sitting together, just drooling over each other once again,)- Discord had a chance to explain herself.
"...and, yeah, so I made a mistake, big deal," Discord said. Ares squeezed her arm. "Okay, okay....what I did was wrong, and I'm...."
She gulped, and took a breath.
Iolaus, who had been mocking her, let out a "Yeah, right." and scoffed. Irate, she looked at him. He immediately shut up.
"I hope you'll excuse this juvenile attempt at mischief," Ares said, pulling Discord off by her ear, and vanishing.
"That was so odd," Jason said, shaking his head. "Now that explains why I felt an extremely large urge to hit you, Iolaus..."
"You mean it doesn't explain all those other large urges to hit him?" Herc joked. Everyone burst into laughter. Cheiron approached them and cleared his throat.
"It looks to me like you two have work to do," he said, referring to Jason and Iolaus. Iolaus tried to voice his objection.
"But....but....but..," he sighed. "Nevermind..."
Jason and Iolaus walked off, led by Cheiron to do their chores.
Herc looked into Hebe's eyes, and kissed her. He picked her up and carried her down to the river bank, where he set her down. There they sat for the rest of the day, waiting for the sun to set and the stars to come out.
According to myth, Hebe and Hercules actually did have two sons together. It may not have been at the time that he was attending the academy, but...this is fiction, man!