Fool for Love

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      The following is an episode of the Young Hercules Fan Fiction Seasons, a non-profit virtual season project; written for fans by fans this is done to help keep the legacy of the short-lived television series Young Hercules alive on the Internet. The overall direction of the story that takes place in this virtual season may not be exactly what took place if an actual televised season had been produced.


ON THE NEXT YOUNG HERCULES:


(Hercules and Iolaus walk down a road)
SHE KNOWS HIM
(Six thugs around a young woman wearing a blue robe)
Megaera: "Hercules, I've heard of you."
(Iolaus looks confused as Hercules smiles at Megaera)
SHE KNOWS HIS THOUGHTS ON FAITH
Megaera, knowingly, "You've never had faith in any of
them have you? . . .I've been in service since I was a child."
BUT WHAT IS SHE HIDING?
(Iolaus and Hercules square off)
Iolaus: "Something's not right about her. She's too perfect."
IT'S A FIGHT FOR DESTINY!
(A large man grabs Megaera, pulling her into a house)
Jason, serious: "You can't just go chasing a girl into Hestia's Temple."
Hercules: "She needs me!"
(Megaera in a white robe)
(Iolaus looks at Megaera with suspicion)
(Megaera wipes tears from her eyes)
Hercules, to Megaera: "We won't let you go through this alone."
(Hercules and Megaera embrace)
ON THE NEXT YOUNG HERCULES
UP NEXT!

Teaser

      "So when all those beautiful princesses get a load of me-"

      "Get a whiff of you, you mean. How much of that did you put on Iolaus? Did you even bathe?" Hercules waved his hand at his best friend as they headed towards Jason's palace.

      Iolaus, his much shorter companion frowned. "Of course I did! This is a love scent Herk. It'll appeal to the senses of all those beautiful girls." he grinned.

      "The only thing it will appeal to are the bugs and you're not sleeping in the same room with me!" the demi-god laughed as Iolaus smoothed his curly, shoulder length blonde hair down.

      "Well don't expect me to be in early anyhow. I'll be romancing the stunning princess of Thebes. Or somewhere like that." Iolaus shrugged. "I'm not picky."

      "For your sake I hope they're not either." Hercules laughed as they rounded a bend and paused. Six thugs were surrounding a scared young woman with long golden hair clipped back, clothed in a soft, dark blue robe, belted at the waist. Hopelessly she looked around her, seeking a way out.

      "C'mon little lady, give us yer dinars." The ugly brute closest to her snarled. Whimpering the girl tried to back up but quickly realized there was another one behind her.

      "C'mon." Hercules and Iolaus started forward. The terrified girl saw them and paled further. "Hey!"

      The men turned and started to smile. The thugs advanced towards the boy, adjusting their spiked collars.

      "Look at the pretty boys wanting to play hero." one laughed, his gold nose ring glinting in the sun. The rotted yellow color of his teeth almost matched it.

      "Leave her alone!" Iolaus snapped.

      "Shorty here thinks he's hot stuff!" another laughed.

      Iolaus stepped forward and punched the thug in the face, sending him backwards.

      "There's nothing wrong with being short fatso!" he snarled, ducking as another lunged at him. The cadet tripped the thug and sent him to the ground.

      Hercules grabbed the leader as he swung and smashed his knee against the broad man's chest before throwing him backwards. The thug hit a tree and slid to the ground. The other two had advanced on Iolaus as Herk rushed to the girl's side.

      "Are you ok?" he asked. Shyly she nodded, brushing a stray lock of flaxen hair back from her face. The sides were clipped back and the rest fell down her back. Her dark blue robe reached the ground, belted at the waist. Dark eyes that were almost black stared at him. Pale skin, turning pink from sunburn was stark against her hair.

      "I'm Hercules. You're safe now." he smiled at the lovely girl.

      "Thank you for your assistance." she said softly. "Megaera. Call me Meg please. I've heard of you, Hercules."

Act One

"Fool For Love"

Also Starring
Mfundo Morrison as Theseus

Guest Starring
Rebbecca Herbst as Megaera

Based on "Young Hercules"
Created by Renaissance Pictures

Assistant Producer
Euterpe

Co-Executive Producers
Medea and Tern O'Brien

Executive Producer
Kent Simmons

Edited by Tern O'Brien
Story by Medea & Tern O'Brien

Teleplay by Tern O'Brien


      "Herk! A little help please!" Iolaus shouted.

      "Excuse me." Hercules ran to his friend's side, swinging a blow that sent another thug to the ground. The remaining two eyed the boys and wisely decided to leave in a hurry. Quickly they returned to Meg's side.

      "Iolaus." the cadet flashed his charming smile. Meg smiled politely at him but Hercules saw her nose twitch slightly and suppressed his laughter.

      "Meg." she said softly, extending a hand that he took eagerly. "I've heard of you."

      "You have?" Iolaus asked, pleased.

      "Hercules, son of Zeus." Meg murmured. A faint warning bell went off in Iolaus' head. How could this girl have heard of Herk?

      "How did you hear of me?" Herk asked, intrigued. Iolaus studied his friend. Smitten didn't quite fit the look on the demigod's face.

      "I'm very well educated in the gods and their families." she smiled, obviously uncomfortable with the topic. Herk changed it immediately.

      "Can we escort you somewhere?" Hercules asked, impressed by her height. She was several inches taller than Iolaus but not as tall as him. And those beautiful, jet black, almond shaped eyes made him dizzy.

      "I was on my way home. . .to Corinth." she smiled up at him.

      "Hey! We're headed to Corinth! We can take you there!" Iolaus grinned at the pretty girl, whose eyes were on Hercules.

      "We have a friend we're on the way to visit. Can we accompany you?" Herk asked.

      "That'd be nice." she kept smiling at Hercules as she readjusted her robe. Iolaus's eyes widened when he saw the glimpse of blue flash under her robe. It looked like. . .no. He was seeing things.

      Iolaus lagged behind the pair as they strolled towards Corinth, Herk and Meg laughing and chatting.

      Frowning, Iolaus dragged the stick in the dirt alongside him. One thing the thief had learned was that if something was perfect, it wasn't real. And Meg was too perfect. Hearing bits and pieces of the conversation, Iolaus was disturbed by the fact they had extensively talked about Herk's life. And Zeus. Lots about Zeus.

      "Well, I guess you're probably wondering about me." Meg said softly as they walked. Herk shrugged and half smiled.

      "Yeah, it'd be nice. You know since we rescued you and all." he laughed nervously.

      "I. . .was a priestess."

      "Was? Isn't it kind of a life thing?" he asked.

      "Not if you lose your faith." she smiled charmingly and Herk felt a strange pull in his heart.

      "How can you lose your faith?" he asked. The lonely soul was revealed through her sad smile.

      "You've never had faith in any of them have you?" she searched his eyes. "I suppose not, considering Zeus abandoned you."

      "It's not just Zeus. In the past year, various family members have made themselves known to me, and most of them are not pleasant." he sighed. "In fact, they're down right psychotic."

      "I realize all the gods have their bad sides but when all you see is the bad, it's hard to support that. I've been in service since I was a child, and leaving the grace of a goddess is not a wise choice." Meg said, almost absently.

      "Then why did you? If you don't mind me asking." Herk flashed his smile and Iolaus watched jealously as Meg looked up at him coyly.

      "It's hard to condone her actions when revenge seeps into each one." Meg replied.

      Iolaus listened carefully.

      "So uh, how did you decide to leave?" Iolaus asked, stepping up his pace to match theirs. Meg looked uncomfortable.

      "It wasn't easy."

      "Iolaus, she doesn't want to talk about it." Hercules said in a low, warning voice. Iolaus eyed the girl.

      "It's just. . .a very serious offense in my family and. . ."

      "It's ok, you don't have to talk about it." Herk shot a dark glance at Iolaus who started to ask another question, then snapped his mouth shut.

      "We're almost there." Hercules smiled at Meg. The last part of the journey he had been telling her about Alcmene, his mother, and her cooking. Iolaus had joined in long enough to rave about her food.

      "Good, I'm tired of walking." Meg laughed.

      "How is it you ended up walking all the way to Corinth?" Iolaus asked, ignoring Herk's look.

      "I didn't feel like being subjected to my father's servants, so I left the day before they were supposed to arrive and took an alternate route. But I ended up in Thebes so I'm much later than I expected to be."

      "Will you be in trouble?" Herk asked with concern. Meg shrugged, and Iolaus caught another flash of blue under the neckline of her dark robe. It was a glass peacock feather! This girl was a priestess of Hera! Iolaus remembered the beast of Hera's they fought the night they spent in the Hera's Valley. Granted they hadn't known till later it was Hera's beast but still. . .

      "My father's place is right up ahead. He's one of the silk merchants. Every generation the oldest daughter has been sent to the temple. I'm sure one of my sisters has already been sent to replace me, along with gifts to beg forgiveness."

      "Do you remember anything before you went to the temples?" Iolaus asked.

      "Not much. I was seven. I've rarely been outside the temple walls."

      That accounted for the ivory skin, Iolaus thought. No sun.

      "Where-"

      "Megaera!" a loud bellowing voice interrupted their conversation. The girl blanched when a large, angry man strode toward them, outfitted in silk and velvet.

      "Hello father." she said mildly. The man grabbed her by the arm.

      "First you disgrace me by turning your back on the great Hera! Then you run away, and show up with two boys!"

      "Hera?" Herk whispered.

      "Sir, we rescued her-" Iolaus started.

      "Aye! I bet you did! And I can only imagine what favors she bestowed on you it!"

      "Sir, nothing-" Herk started.

      "Enough, whelp! My tart of a daughter will be shipped to Hestia come morning and you'll never see the likes of her again!" he bellowed, forcing Meg into the house. Meg threw a desperate, pleading look over her shoulder at Hercules before the house swallowed her.

Act Two

      "Herk, I'm sorry but I can't do anything. She's under her father's rule."

      "Jase, you're the King! You can't do anything?"

      "I have no grounds Herk. I can't just randomly storm into every house and demand their daughters be turned over to me." Jason set his cup down, unhappy at his helplessness.

      "Why not? I would. Think of the beautiful girls to keep around-" Iolaus laughed through a piece of bread and started choking. Hercules hit him on the back.

      "That's why I'm the King and you're not." Jason snickered. Iolaus gulped his water down.

      "I just can't believe her father can control her future like that." Herk pushed his food around on his plate. "Women aren't property."

      "No, but they are under the rule of the owner of the house until they reach their majority. And that, is her father." Jason sighed.

      "Can't you change that?" Iolaus asked, shoveling food into his mouth. Jason chuckled.

      "By the time it took effect your friend would be an old maid. People don't react well to sudden change. There's some precedent about it. Slavery was abolished years ago but people still try to have them. To keep 'servants' they have to pay them but not enough. People still believe in the old ways." Jason explained.

      "It's so unfair. This beautiful girl, locked up like that." Herk pushed his plate away. Jason grinned.

      "So we finally get to the heart of the matter. She's beautiful." he grinned. "Maybe I should intervene. . .wait till she meets me. You'll be history."

      Herk rolled his eyes.

      "I just can't stand the thought of her locked up like that. It's not fair!" Herk slammed his fist against the table. Jason sighed.

      "I know. I wish there was something I could do. I've heard of her father though. He's a real bully. No other silk merchant has been able to run a successful business. He seems to have a real hold on the market."

      Herk, Jason, and Iolaus strolled through the marketplace, followed closely by a small group of Jason's guards. Ophistus, Jason's mentor, didn't approve of the young king strolling through the marketplace like a commoner, but Jason enjoyed his walks with his friends. It let him see his people, and make sure the city was thriving.

      The people were thrilled to see their king walk among them, and grew even more respect for him. Given the crown so young, many had been doubtful Aeson's son would live up to his father.

      "Gods, Iolaus, keep wearing that stuff and you'll scare Ares away." Jason coughed as the shortest member of their trio moved next to him.

      "Love scent. It's a love scent." Iolaus reminded him.

      "For what, a skunk?" Jason gagged. Hercules suddenly went quiet, staring at the carriage nearby.

      Jason looked up as a tall, blond young woman was led outside. Meg wore a long sleeved black shit, under a gold and black vest, and snug black pants. Eyes downcast, hair pulled back neatly, the young woman had the air of a lamb being sent to slaughter.

      "Is that her?" he demanded. Iolaus nodded. Meg didn't see them yet.

      Hercules watched her as her father roughly shoved her towards the carriage. Barking orders to coachman, he watched carefully as several trunks were loaded on top and secured. Meg stood quietly, head down. A short, pale blond woman flitted around nervously, straightening Meg's collar. Two younger girls hung in the doorway, watching, wide eyed and anxious, dressed in velvet, ribbons in their hair.

      Jason frowned as he watched the man handle his daughter. Dejected, Meg moved toward the carriage when she looked up. A quick smile flew over her lips as she saw the boys. The smile vanished as her father shoved her inside.

      "Jase, can't you do anything?" Hercules hissed. Jason shook his head.

      "No. His daughter has disgraced him, so she's being sent away. There's no law against that."

      The man turned to his wife and Meg peeked out form the curtain in the coach. Herk couldn't bear the hopelessness and pain in her eyes. Within a minute she had vanished behind the curtain as her father climbed inside and the coach started.

      "Let's go." Herk turned to Iolaus.

      "Huh? Go where?"

      "Herk, you can't just go chasing a girl to Hestia's temple!" Jason exclaimed.

      "She needs me Jase. Did you see the look on her face?" Hercules demanded. Jason rolled his eyes.

      "Herk, even if you got there her father is not<i> going to let you anywhere near her. And once she's in that temple, the priestesses will keep a close eye on her."

      "How do you know so much about the virgins?" Iolaus asked. Jason ignored the question.

      "Jase, she wanted me to follow her! I could tell her!"

      "Herk, we just met her yesterday. Maybe she was just trying to get a look at the last man she'll see before she's locked away in the temple. Of course it was me she was staring at." he beamed, straightening his patchwork vest proudly.

      "She was probably smelling you." Jason snickered. Herk's sky blue yes followed the carriage down the road.

      "Come on. Iolaus, please." Herk pleaded. Iolaus sighed. <i>What was with this girl? Why was so Hercules so infatuated with her?

Act Three

      Meg slipped her shoes on and crept to the window. Stepping onto the balcony the cool night air washed over her with pleasure and she took a deep breath. Hercules and Iolaus. . .the annoying small one had followed. Though they kept a safe distance, she periodically looked out the carriage to make sure they were there.

      With a cat's grace she slipped over the balcony and shimmied down the side, dropping quietly to the ground. The movement in the trees hadn't been imagined. Stealthily she hurried towards them.

      "Herk?" she whispered. A whiff of odorous cologne hit her. Iolaus was definitely nearby.

      The tall demi-god-god stepped out from the shadows.

      "Herk!" Meg ran to him. Eagerly they embraced, hugging each other tightly.

      "I was afraid you wouldn't be out here." she smiled up at him.

      "Of course. I told you I would help you." he smiled down at her. Iolaus rolled his eyes, shuffling his feet in the dirt to catch their attention. The shorter young man had noticed the dark blue robe of Hera was gone. She wore a shorter, white robe, that ironically enough displayed her smooth shoulders and long legs. The thin gold chain fell into the soft folds of the dress but when she moved, Iolaus caught the flash of blue hiding.

      "Iolaus, stand guard while Meg and I talk."

      "Of course." with a sigh, the curly haired cadet made himself comfortable on the ground. Why was Meg still wearing her pendant of Hera?

      Hercules took Meg by the hand and they walked further into the woods.

      "It was the strangest reception Herk. At Hera's temple, we eagerly welcome in new followers. This was so. . .solemn. I felt. . .trapped. Suffocated." she shuddered at the memory; as Herk promptly put one arm round her shoulders. Standing under the full moon Herk held her gently.

      "It'll be ok. You're closer to the Academy now." Herk said softly. Meg laughed bitterly.

      "Hercules, once I'm initiated to Hestia's service, there will be no male visitors. If I'm found out here with you, I don't know what would happen to me. To be thrown out of Hestia's service-"the dark eyes filled with tears, "There's no telling what my father would do to me."

      "Shh. It'll be ok. We'll figure something out. Iolaus and I always do. We won't let you got through this alone."

      "Iolaus. . .I don't think he likes me very much." Meg whispered.

      "Iolaus likes everyone. Especially girls. He's just something of a clod." Hercules chuckled. Meg didn't appear convinced. "I'll pretend I'm your brother or something. Better yet, we'll dress up as distant cousins." Hercules laughed, imaging Iolaus in a long skirt with a powdered wig on his head.

      "You're really determined to do this aren't you?" Meg asked, surprised. "Help me I mean."

      The soft smile on her lips stirred an unfamiliar sensation in Herk. A split second flash of Eurydice flitted through his mind before vanishing. Hercules smiled at Meg.

      "I have a thing for helping women." he smiled. Meg was special, like Eurydice had been. The tilt to her chin when she looked at him was so touchable. Deep, luscious coal colored eyes with no bottom.

      Not thinking, Herk ran one hand through her silky locks of hair.

      "What was that for?" Meg asked breathlessly, the thumping of her heart drowning out everything but his answer.

      "It just. . .needed it." he said softly as their lips drew closer.

      A loud cricket chirping startled them both and each pulled back.

      "Someone's coming." Herk whispered, pulling Meg into the shadows. The demi-god couldn't tell whose heart was racing faster, his or the one he held in his arms. A moment later the chirping came again.

      "False alarm." Hercules breathed. Meg didn't relax.

      "This is so risky." she whispered fearfully. "I should get back."

      "Yeah. I don't know want you tired tomorrow. . .for whatever it is you do. What do you do anyway?" he asked. Meg shrugged.

      "In Hera's temple I was a priestess. I led the daily prayers and rituals, meditations. Others came to me for advice. I took the new followers under my wing." tears rose again in her eyes. "Here I'm starting over. . .and I'll never be anything important, like a priestess."

      "Why not?" Hercules asked.

      "I'm sent to her as a reject of another god. . . .I have spent my life devoted to Hera and now I must change that all around for Hestia. It's more than just a vow of allegiance. It's faith." she whispered, wiping her tears away.

      "That doesn't seem fair." Herk said mournfully. Another bitter laugh escaped Meg.

      "When have you known the gods to be fair? Zeus wasn't very fair to you, was he?"

      Hercules nodded, thinking about his absentee father. And Ares. . .the demented God of War didn't exactly fight fairly either.

      "I suppose you're right." he sighed.

      "I have to change my entire life now. And just to be accepted by my father." she turned away from Herk to hide the flood of tears.

      "You said you left Hera's service because you lost you faith in her."

      "I lost my faith in her goodness. When her messages and dreams sent to us were only about revenge. . .I had to question her. You were one of her targets. And you did nothing to warrant such hatred. The compassionate mother figure I had known is gone. And I couldn't stay there. But I didn't think Father would send me here either.

      "Being sent to Hestia is to punish me for disgracing my father. As the oldest daughter and no brothers, it was up to me to set an example. And I've destroyed that. I'll never reach a level beyond initiate. I would have to devote my entire faith to Hestia. . . and i don't think I would be accepted."

      "Why not?" Herk asked, intrigued.

      "I've kissed a boy before. Hestian virgins must be as pure as a new day to be accepted as a priestess. Most of the Hestia's virgins have been here since they were very tiny."

      "I see." Herk murmured, not really seeing.

      "I'll reach my majority soon. . .and then i can do as I wish. But I have no skills to aid me in the world outside of the temples." tears gushed down her smooth cheeks. "My father will disown me if I leave. The only option is marriage and seeing as how we're not allowed male visitors, that's out of the question."

      Hercules hugged the sobbing girl.

      "I wish I could do more for you."

      "Just be my friend Herk. I need friends." she murmured against his leather shirt.

Act Four

      Dawn was stretching herself across the sky as the two cadets raced back to the Academy.

      "Gods, why did I let you talk me into this?" Iolaus mumbled. "If Feducious catches us-"

      "Keep moving and he won't."

      "I can't believe I slept in the wood last night on the ground because you and miss ga-ga were talking all night."

      "We had a lot to talk about." Herk grinned at his pal.

      "I bet. Like, getting to know each other." Iolaus rolled his eyes. "How can you spend all night talking with a beautiful girl?"

      "Have you ever spent all night with a beautiful girl?" Hercules demanded.

      "Of course I have!" Iolaus ducked his head when Hercules glared at him. "Well, uh. . .not exactly I suppose. Your mom is beautiful and I've spent the night there."

      "Iolaus," Hercules stopped running to catch his breath. "Meg is awesome. She's the greatest girl I've ever met. Since we met I can't stop thinking about her!"

      "Well, if I were you, I would try. Something's not right about her." Iolaus blurted out. Herk narrowed his ice blue eyes.

      "What are you talking about?" the demi-god demanded, his jaw tightening. Iolaus swallowed. Once again, he spoke before he thought.

      "Something bothers her me about Herk. She's too. . .perfect."

      "She is perfect Iolaus! She's so perfect." Herk sighed happily thinking, remembering their tight hug when they parted ways before dawn. Soft and. . .nice, he thought, chuckling.

      "Herk, haven't you learned by now that if something is too good to be true, then it is?" Iolaus asked. Hercules placed his hands on his hips, jaw tightening.

      "Iolaus, I finally met a girl that's really special. Like Eurydice was. But Meg is alive, and she likes me too."

      "Herk, I just think something's not right. She was a priestess of Hera. Remember when we killed her peacock? And that Protector creature thing came after us? It almost ate me! Hera is really powerful and she hates you."

      "I can't believe what I'm hearing." Hercules snapped. Iolaus sighed.

      "Herk, she wears a pendant of Hera! Haven't you seen it? That shiny blue peacock feather thing around her neck?"

      "What are you saying Iolaus?" Hercules snarled, towering over his best friend menacingly.

      "Whoa, Herk, I'm just saying something's not right about her." Iolaus put his hands up in defense.

      "And I say everything is right about her." he snapped. "Meg said you didn't like her. Is this why?"

      "Herk, I just think she's not being honest with us!"

      "I think you're jealous." Hercules smirked. Iolaus sighed.

      "You always get the girl. But I'm being serious."

      "You're being jealous." Hercules snapped and resumed his fast pace towards the Academy. Iolaus had to jog to keep up with him. The rest of the trip was silent.

Act Five

      That night, a bruised Iolaus crawled into his bunk above Hercules. Barely able to stay awake through classes, his best friend had pummeled him in practice drills until Theseus interceded and forced the demi-god to take a break outside. The smaller cadet Iolaus hadn't been able to withstand the demi-god's fury for very long.

      Hercules was lying on his bunk, eyes open, staring up blankly.

      "Hey you gave me a good whomping today." Iolaus forced a laugh. Herk had barely spoken to him all day.

      "You know tomorrow of course I'll give you one." Iolaus pulled his blanket over him. When Hercules didn't answer, Iolaus sighed and rolled over, immediately drifting into sleep.

THE PRODUCERS


KENT SIMMONS


TERN O'BRIEN AND MEDEA

Credits

Also Starring

Cordonius - Terry Batchelor

Creative Team
Aura
Barb Soden
Euterpe
Kalina
Kaya
Kent Simmons
Maggie Z
Medea
Pelee
Tern O'Brien
Thalia

Edit and Proof Read
Pelee
Tern O'Brien
Tracy Viader

Special Thanks To
Ed Naha
Mrinda Jez
Saderah

Technical Assistance
Jose Estreda

Young Hercules and its characters are © by Renaissance Pictures, USA Network, and
Studios USA. This fan fiction story, and virtual season project, are nonprofit and we by
no means want or intend to infringe copyrights of the characters and the television series.


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