Four episodes in, and I can't stop writing Atlantis fic! Help! On the other hand, it is helping with the trope bingo card, so yey!
Title: Out Loud
Warnings: Occasional mild language
Spoilers: 1.4 A Twist of Fate
Disclaimer: Not mine. BBC and Urban Myth Films own them.
Word count: approx 1996
Summary: Pythagoras gets drunk and says some things he didn’t really mean to say out loud.
AN: Thanks to fififolle for the beta.
AN2: Fills the trope bingo square ‘first time/last time’.
Cross posted to AO3
Pythagoras was well on the way to finishing a flagon of wine when Jason returned from... wherever it was he had been. Pythagoras suspected it was the Oracle again, but he didn’t bother asking, as Jason tended to get cagey when asked anything even remotely personal.
“I thought you’d be asleep,” Jason commented, dropping into a seat at the table.
“I can’t sleep. So I decided to get drunk instead.”
Pythagoras frowned. He hadn’t actually intended to say that out loud. He peered into the flagon, realised how little of it was left, and then poured himself another cupful.
“You? Drunk?” To say Jason looked surprised was an understatement. “Why?”
Pythagoras briefly contemplated being all enigmatic and silent. See how Jason liked a taste of his own medicine. Unfortunately it seemed the alcohol had gone straight to his sleep-deprived brain, and his mouth decided to carry on the conversation without any conscious decision on his part.
“Because I’m a terrible friend.”
When Jason didn’t immediately reply, Pythagoras glanced up and realised Jason was staring at him with his mouth slightly open and an expression of complete shock.
Jason had a nice mouth. Pythagoras dragged his gaze away in an effort not to get caught staring himself.
“You? Pythagoras, you are the most generous friend I’ve ever known. What on earth are you talking about?”
“Hercules.” Wasn’t it obvious? Honestly, Jason might be pretty, but he could be a little dim at times.
“I’m still not following,” Jason admitted.
“I’ve been horrible to him!” Pythagoras winced at the loudness of his voice, and then rested his elbows on the table and put his head in his hands.
“We all take the piss a bit, but he knows we’re only joking.”
“Yes, but I’ve been worse than usual. And I wasn’t always joking. And now I feel terrible because I ought to be happy for him and instead I’m trying to wreck it because I’m jealous.”
Okay, he really hadn’t meant to say that out loud. Pythagoras didn’t even dare to move his hands or open his eyes. He didn’t want to see how Jason was looking at him now after that.
“You are jealous?” Jason spoke slowly. “Of Hercules?”
He nodded, and then regretted it immediately. This really wasn’t fair, the headache wasn’t supposed to start until after he had got drunk.
Did Jason really need it spelling out?
“Because much as we joked about it, I think there’s a high probability that he is genuinely in love with Medusa, and she might like him as well. And if they do get together then everything is going to change. I’ll have to move out, for starters. This is still his house, and I can’t imagine them wanting me hanging around if they get married. And he’ll become all domestic and happy, and I’ll be destined to become old and lonely with nothing but scrolls and equations and triangles to keep me company.”
Oh, gods, that really did sound pathetic. He was sure it hadn’t sounded that pathetic when it had been going round and round in his head for the last few hours. He wanted to put it down to lack of sleep. In the three days since they had found the baby, he didn’t think he’d had more than five or six hours of sleep in total, and that had been in stretches of a couple of hours at a time.
Pythagoras had eventually realised that he had been far more snappy and, for want of a better word, bitchy, with his friends the last few days, and he wished he could blame it on exhaustion and the constant fear from being on the run from the city guard (again). But then, they had all been tired and on the run, and anyway, he knew it wasn’t solely down to that.
“You’ll still have me.”
Jason’s voice was unusually quiet.
Pythagoras’s thoughts abruptly stopped dead. Jason couldn’t have just said that. And if he had, he surely couldn’t mean it. Not in the way Pythagoras wanted him to mean it. He dared to look up. Jason gave him a small smile, and then reached over and took a swig from Pythagoras’s cup.
“If Medusa does move in, I’ll need to move out as well,” Jason said. He smiled again. “We could find somewhere to live together. Us, and your scrolls and triangles.”
Jason sounded like he meant it. They could live together, just the two of them. And gods, didn’t that conjure up images?
Then reality crashed back in, and Pythagoras shook his head. And winced again.
“No. It’s undoubtedly your fate to end up with the princess. Or some other important person. Or anyone you want, really. You’re special, Jason. Do you think we haven’t noticed? There’s something about you. You’re all mysterious and handsome and heroic and have superhuman athletic abilities. You are blessed by the gods. You could have anyone in Atlantis, you know?”
Pythagoras knew it, had known it right from the start, if he was honest with himself. Jason was destined for great things, he was like the heroes of legend that the bards sung about. And oh, shit. Had he actually told him he was handsome out loud?
Pythagoras buried his face in his hands again.
There was a long silence. Pythagoras vaguely wished that Jason would just go away for a while. At least then it would reduce the chances of him saying anything even more mortifying. Or if he did, there would be no one to hear it.
“Maybe I don’t want anyone in Atlantis.”
Oh, gods. Did that mean there was already someone? Some girl who had caught his eye? No doubt someone with a sob story, or someone he had rescued from trouble, because that was what Jason did without even thinking about it, the bloody stupid heroic handsome idiot. Pythagoras wasn’t sure he could deal with hearing all about this lucky girl right at that moment. Not on top of everything else.
“It’s okay. Don’t listen to me. I’ve had no sleep and too much wine.”
“I’m talking rubbish, obviously. Hercules always says if there’s one thing that I’m even worse at than sword fighting, it’s drinking. Constitution of a four year old. Or something.”
Fingers gently wrapped around Pythagoras’s wrists, and his hands were tugged away from his face. He looked up, and Jason leaned across the table and kissed him.
Oh. Oh. Jason really did have a very nice mouth. In the part of his brain that was still capable of having rational thoughts, it occurred to Pythagoras that it was probably a good thing that Jason was still holding his wrists, because otherwise there was a distinct possibility that there might some undignified flailing. There might be that anyway at some point, because between the wine and what this kiss was doing to his body, Pythagoras had a suspicion that what little coordination he did have was about to desert him completely.
Then, right at the point where his brain had finally caught up with proceedings, and was beginning to wonder if he should be joining in and contributing in some way, suddenly Jason’s mouth wasn’t there any more.
Pythagoras felt he ought to say something, although he wasn’t entirely sure of the etiquette in these situations, and more to the point, words involving more than one syllable might be problematic. Still, one syllable might be enough. ‘Yes’? Or ‘more’? Or maybe ‘woohoo’? Even though that was technically two syllables, they were both fairly simple, and a man of his intelligence ought to be able to manage that, surely?
What actually came out was a small squeak.
Jason raised his eyebrows, a smile playing at the corner of his very nice mouth.
“Should I take that as a good squeak, or a ‘don’t ever do that again’ squeak?”
See, he could manage syllables after all. Excellent.
Now Jason was smirking. That wasn’t fair, he had no right looking so handsome and having such a nice mouth and being smug about it as well.
“If I was to do it again, would I get punched?”
“No. Yes. Please. All of the above?”
Oh, yes, very eloquent. Pythagoras dropped his forehead onto the tabletop slightly harder than intended, and whimpered. Jason was still holding onto his wrists, and there was a part of him that hoped he would never let go, because surely if he did then it would break whatever spell was upon them.
“Pythagoras, are you okay?”
Oh yes. Very definitely okay. He nodded, and only succeeded in scraping his face on the wood.
“Ow.” It occurred to him that might be misinterpreted, so he added, “Yes, okay. Very okay. Some might even say good. Others might say completely and possibly terminally pathetic, but I’m trying to ignore them.”
Had he actually just said that? Bloody wine. Bloody distracting nice soft sexy Jason’s mouth. He paused. No it was okay, that hadn’t been out loud. He wondered if he ought to be worried that he actually had to check these things now.
“Pythagoras, you have done this before, right?”
“Of course I have!”
That drunken encounter with Lysimache at a party when he was sixteen counted, right? Of course, Lysimache had been a girl, and Jason was very definitely not a girl, and Jason was also a much better kisser, and maybe that was why he and Lysimache had tended to avoid each other for several months after that party, and he really needed to stop over-thinking this quite so much because he might start saying things he didn’t intend to again, and Jason might go away and not kiss him again, and that would definitely fall into the category of A Bad Thing.
“Really?” Jason sounded sceptical. Pythagoras didn’t blame him.
“Yes. Once. Sort of.”
“Sort of?” Now he could hear the smile in Jason’s voice.
“Hercules was right when he said I have very little knowledge of women.”
Actually, Hercules had said he had no knowledge of women, but there was no need to get that specific about it.
“Well, it’s a good thing I’m not a woman, then.”
At that, Pythagoras finally lifted his head and looked at Jason. The smile was still there, but it wasn’t half as mocking as Pythagoras had feared. More amused.
“No, in spite of all the wine, I had, in fact, noticed that you are not a woman.”
“Good. Glad we’ve got that cleared up. So...?”
Jason leaned closer again, but this time stopped before their lips met. Waited. Pythagoras closed the distance, and gods, this was even better than the first time. And then Jason opened his mouth even more and oh... Oh! Definitely better than last time, and Lysimache hadn’t done anything like that! Maybe it hadn’t counted after all.
Pythagoras was fairly certain he didn’t want this to stop, ever, but eventually the need to breathe became an issue. Apparently Jason’s superhuman abilities didn’t stretch to surviving without air either, so there was a reluctant cessation of activities.
“That... um...” Words appeared to have deserted him again, so Pythagoras gave up and just grinned at Jason.
“That’s better,” Jason said, returning his smile. “You looked as miserable as a wet weekend in Blackpool when I came in.”
Pythagoras turned that phrase over in his mind several times before eventually admitting defeat.
“I have no idea what you’re talking about.”
“I know. That’s okay. I wasn’t planning on talking very much for the next hour or so anyway.”
Jason finally let go of Pythagoras’s wrist, but it was only so he had a free hand to pick up and finish the last of the wine. By the time he’d done that, Pythagoras thought he had worked out what that last statement actually meant.
And really, he wasn’t going to be held responsible for anything that might be unintentionally said out loud after that point.