Almost There

"You've helped a lot of people Heracles," Iolaus said removing the wine from Heracles hand.

"But what good has come from it besides expanding the reach of a greedy king? Have my children been brought back? Have I managed to wash their blood from my hands? I have helped so many, and yet I have not helped myself," Heracles opened another bottle of wine.

The two had found each other below the deck, near the most valuable of supplies, wine. Heracles could drink bottle after bottle and after seven, he may feel something. The average man could not keep up with him. The last year of his life had been filled with completing labors for a man he despised and drinking wine hoping to numb his hear to the pain, only to find his bladder relieved when he would piss it out.

Iolaus cared about his cousin, more than a cousin should. Almost as if he were a father. Heracles had taken him into battle. Had introduced him to his first wine, his first women, his first taste of freedom. Had taught the man anything a father would. It pained him to watch the man become so absorbed with defeating himself. Heracles end would come soon, at his own hand and Iolaus didn't wish to see that happen.

"Perhaps you have not helped absolve yourself from your children's deaths. But, to the people you have helped, you are nothing less than a hero. You were not the cause of your own pain. It may have been your hand, but you did not make the motion. Sometimes we are not the masters of our fate. Is Zeus not your father? Do you think he would have no plan when he witnessed Hera's actions? Mourn your children. But do not die with them," Iolaus struggled to stand after finishing the bottle of wine.

He removed another bottle from Heracles hands. Iolaus had reached his limit long ago. He only drank now, so that Heracles could not drink. He stumbled up the stairs tightly gripping the bottle as to not let it fall and go to waste.

"Iolaus, we make land soon. Make sure you are sober," Heracles called.

"You do the same," Iolaus responded making his way onto the deck and closing the door behind him.

Iolaus had spoken some fine words. They meant nothing to Heracles. He simply fetched another bottle of wine and drank. He would not stop drinking, and he would drink at a pace unmatched until the ship made land. He could help thousands, and he would still not help himself.

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