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When Hercules returned to the campsite carrying a brace of rabbits for the evening meal, he found Iolaus conspicuously absent. Frowning, he looked around the clearing for a sign of his friend. A fire had been started within the circle of stones and the spit lay to one side, ready for use. Where, then, was –

"Well I once loved a girl, a child I'm told," sang a familiar, exuberantly off-key voice. "I gave her my heart and she gave me a cold . . ." The words were accompanied by the sound of splashing. "So now I sit standing here out in the pouring rain, and I'll stumble back to Corinth and cry away my pain . . ."

Setting dinner aside for the moment, Hercules followed the singing and found his missing partner up to his chest in the sun-warmed water of the local fishing pond.

"Who is she?"

Iolaus tossed his head, flipping soaking strands of blonde hair out of his eyes. "What?"

"You know 'what'," replied Hercules, arms folded across his broad chest. "The girl. Who is she?"

"Who says there's a girl?"

"You're taking a bath."

"So? What's wrong with that?"

"You never take a bath—"

"I do so!"

"—more than once a month. Unless there's a girl. And," he continued, nodding toward the white lump on the grass. "You never use soap, unless she's pretty."

"Or twins," grinned Iolaus.


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August 2011

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