WHAT FRIENDS ARE FOR




Hercules

There are times I could easily take Iolaus by the shoulders and shake him until his teeth rattle! Okay, not often...okay, I'd never do it...I just feel like it sometimes. Like now.

Look at him. Laying there in bed. Looking pathetic and weak.

HA!

Okay, he got hurt. We walked into town just as some bandits rode in from the other direction. Before we knew it, we were in the middle of a fight. So what's new, right?

I saw him get hit in the back of his head with the hilt of a sword. Gods, he just went down. It's times like this he scares me to death! Took a while for him to wake up, too. And when he did, he wasn't making much sense...not that he does sometimes.

Okay, I didn't mean that either. But that happened two days ago and he's still milking it. At least he's not babbling nonsense like before and he can see how many fingers I'm holding up.

Okay, I hate it when Iolaus is hurt. I never forget how easily hurt he can be when compared to me. That's not bragging, you understand, it's just a fact. And I admit I don't like being reminded it takes him longer to heal than it takes me. Again, just a fact. I just prefer to shove those thoughts away. Too much thinking like that could drive a man crazy.

You know, he looks a little uncomfortable laying there. I'll just help him....

It's what friends are for.



Iolaus

Oh, gods, he's at it again. Yes, I'm comfortable...as comfortable as I can be cooped up in this bed. You know sometimes, I'd just like to take him by the shoulders and shake him until his teeth rattles...not that I could possibly ever do that, you understand.

Okay, I wouldn't do it...I'd just like to.

So I got hurt. What's the big deal? He takes it so personally sometimes. I admit I got clobbered this time. From what Herc says I was out for a few hours. And, by the way, I did not talk nonsense no matter what he says. My head hurt. He wanted me to talk and look at his fingers. I wanted to sleep. I figured he'd leave me alone if I'd just answer so I said the first thing that popped into my head...wish I could remember what it was.

He feels guilty, you see. He hates it when I'm hurt...not that I like it either. But when I get hurt, I have to let him fuss over me for a day or two. It's his way of sorta making it up to me that he didn't prevent me from getting hurt. Yeah, well, I don't always understand it myself.

So here I am...laying in bed with him hovering over me. It makes him feel like he's doing something constructive.

Hey, it's what friends are for....oh, gods, now what????



Hercules

Iolaus must be getting better. He's starting to snap at me. It's about time. Much more of this and I'd get worried something was really wrong.

All I asked was if he wanted something to help him sleep. What that any reason for him to accuse me of trying to help him visit Hades?

I just figure the more he sleeps, the quicker he'll heal, and the quicker we'll be on our way. Away from here so I don't have to think again about how easily he could have died...how easily I could have lost him...

Gotta stop that. Like I said, thinking like that will drive a man crazy...and Iolaus is doing that to me without any help.

That's it. Tomorrow's he's on his feet and we're leaving. He's milked this long enough...unless he's irritated because he's still in pain...nah. Nobody hurting that much could have eaten all that he did for lunch.

So take your best shot today, my friend. Tomorrow I'll get even for what you've put me through the last couple of days.

It's what friends are for, you know.



Iolaus

Sleep? Sleep! That's all I've done for a day and a half and he wants me to sleep even more! And he has the nerve to look surprised when I yelled at him.

Okay, he looked hurt when I yelled. Not that I actually think he'd do something like that...not Herc.

So enough of this. He's done enough coddling. I've let him play this long enough. Tomorrow we're leaving. I just wish he'd start bringing me more food. He hasn't brought enough to me that would keep a bird alive!

I can read him like a scroll, you know. Now he's starting to think something really might be wrong with me. So unless I want to start this whole cycle over...and I don't because there are no pretty girls soothing my fevered brow...Hey! Why aren't there any pretty girls here soothing my fevered brow?

I must be slipping. Oh, good one, Herc! Good one! Trap me in this room with only you to look after me! Yeah, that'll get me on my feet soon enough!

Okay, take your best shot today, my friend. Tomorrow I'll get even for what you've put me through the last couple of days.

It's what friends are for, you know.


THE END



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