Title: It’s Always the Quiet Ones
Pairing/characters: Jason, Pythagoras, Hercules (Pythagoras/Hercules implied)
Disclaimer: Not mine. BBC and Urban Myth Films own them.
Word count: approx 1411
Summary: He wasn’t entirely certain why these people were chasing him, but the nasty looking daggers and ceremonial robes hadn’t boded well, so they had opted to run first and ask questions later.
AN: Fills the trope bingo square ‘Virginfic’.
Cross posted to AO3
Jason crashed through the foliage and charged headlong down the forest slope in what he hoped was vaguely the right direction for Atlantis. Behind him, he could hear Hercules and Pythagoras following, and even further behind them, he could hear the whoops and calls of the latest crazy band of people who had decided to try to kill him.
Actually, he wasn’t entirely certain why these people were chasing him, but the nasty looking daggers and ceremonial robes hadn’t boded well, so they had opted to run first and ask questions later, if they were caught.
Jason skidded to a halt and turned to see Pythagoras waving him back, while Hercules doubled over, gasping for breath.
Jason raced back and grabbed Hercules.
“We have to keep going.”
“Just give him a minute,” Pythagoras begged, his concern for his larger friend written all over his face.
Jason looked back up the slope, and while he could still hear their pursuers, there was no sign of them. Yet.
“Okay, but just for a minute.”
Jason spotted a hollow surrounded by trees, and led his friends into the cover so that they wouldn’t be as easily seen.
“Who are these people, and why are they chasing us?” Jason asked.
Pythagoras shook his head, still trying to catch his breath while Hercules wheezed.
“I’m not sure,” Pythagoras admitted when he could speak. “But I think they might be the Initiates.”
“Initiates. A highly secret cult who worship Dionysus, and some other gods, but mostly Dionysus, if rumours are to be believed.”
“So kind of like the Maenads?” Jason asked.
“Sort of. But not completely. They allow men to join, for a start. Also, the Initiates have a very particular interest in virgins.”
“What? Why? What do they want virgins for?” A second later, Jason couldn’t quite believe he had just asked that question.
Pythagoras looked unperturbed, however
“Well, again, if rumour is to be believed, when they find a virgin in their territory, they usually like to catch them, ritually sacrifice them, and then eat them.”
Jason decided he had been happier not knowing.
“How do they even know whether someone is a virgin or not?” Jason felt compelled to ask, even though that was far from the main problem they had right then.
Pythagoras shrugged. “Magic?”
There was a sudden crash of undergrowth, and a white-robed Initiate almost literally stumbled straight into their hiding place. He stared at them in shock for a second, and then opened his mouth to yell. Before he could make a sound, Jason punched him in the jaw, and Hercules smacked him over the back of the head with a rock. The Initiate slumped to the ground. Jason looked round at his friends, and as one they started to run again.
Virgins? Really? And more to the point, why the hell were these Initiates chasing the three of them? Jason couldn’t believe for a second that Hercules was a virgin; that was just ridiculous. And Jason knew that he wasn’t. So that only left one option.
Poor Pythagoras. Jason resolved to keep their resident genius mathematician in his sights at all times until they found a way to get out of this mess. He had to admit, Pythagoras was taking it surprisingly well; he hadn’t looked particularly worried as he had explained his suspicions. Maybe he was just too exhausted to panic.
One thing was for sure – they couldn’t keep running, not like this. It was too far back to anything even remotely like civilisation, they would never make it. Perhaps they could find somewhere to make a stand? Hide Pythagoras somewhere out of the way and he and Hercules could fight it out with the cultists?
Actually, that wasn’t such a bad plan. Jason saw a dense stand of trees, and wondered if that might be a good place. There was only one obvious way in, which would create a bottleneck to fight in and deny the Initiates the advantage of numbers.
Jason grabbed Pythagoras and bundled him into the narrow gap between two trees, and he and Hercules piled in after him.
“Right, we can’t keep running,” Jason announced. “We make a stand here. You hide, I’ll fight.”
Pythagoras looked up from where he was bent over leaning on his knees and catching his breath. He looked incredulous, and then shared a look with Hercules that obviously spoke volumes between the two of them, but meant surprisingly little to Jason. He kind of hated it when they did that.
“Um, Jason, I’m not so sure that’s a good idea,” Pythagoras ventured. “I mean, the part about you fighting. Maybe you should let me and Hercules handle it.”
“What are you talking about? They’re after you. You need to stay hidden in here.”
Pythagoras’ brows furrowed in outright confusion.
“Jason, what do you mean they’re after me? I’m not a virgin.”
It took Jason a moment to process that, and he stared at Pythagoras with what he suspected was an expression like a particularly stupid goldfish.
“You’re not?” He paused. “Are you sure?”
“Yes,” Pythagoras said slowly, in his patent, ‘let’s humour the ignorant person’ voice.
“But... when? You never talk about anyone. I’ve never seen you with anyone. Hercules is always saying he’s never seen you with anyone.”
It occurred to Jason that he was probably focussing on entirely the wrong thing right at that moment, but his brain was struggling to deal with what Pythagoras was saying.
“No, Hercules is always saying that he has never seen me with a woman, which is technically accurate.”
Yeah, that was about the most coherent comment Jason’s brain was capable of right then. But still...
“But you said they were chasing us because they think one of us is a virgin. Are you definitely sure?”
“Um, yes, he is.” That was Hercules. He looked entirely too shifty for Jason’s liking.
“And you’re so sure of that because...?”
It was difficult to tell underneath the semi-darkness of the trees, but Jason thought the big man might actually be going a little red in the face.
“Well, because I was there at the time.”
It took Jason a surprisingly long time to follow that sentence to its natural conclusion. When he did, he rather wished he hadn’t.
“You two...?” At Pythagoras’ nod, Jason squeezed his eyes shut. “Oh god. Mental images I do not want. I need the brain bleach right now!”
“Brain bleach?” Pythagoras asked, sounding confused.
“That’s beside the point,” Hercules interrupted. “Because if we’re not virgins, then someone is.”
When Jason opened his eyes, Hercules and Pythagoras were both looking rather pointedly at him.
“Me? No! No I’m not!”
“Are you sure?” Pythagoras echoed Jason’s own words back at him, genuine curiosity in his voice now.
Of course he was sure! Okay, it had been several years ago, and he had been quite drunk at that party, but he distinctly remembered going upstairs with Katie Morgan, and he remembered he had a condom in his pocket at the party and it was gone the next morning, and he remembered being very smug for most of the following day. And okay he didn’t actually remember much after he had gone upstairs, but that was just the alcohol, right? Right?
“Oh, you have got to be kidding me,” Jason groaned.
Pythagoras just raised his eyebrows and seemed to be doing his best to suppress a smirk.
“Right, so now we’ve established which of us the Initiates are after, what do we do about it?” Hercules demanded.
“Well, I think we have two obvious courses of action,” Pythagoras said. “One; we find somewhere, possibly here, where we won’t be found immediately, and one of us assists Jason in no longer being a virgin. Maybe then the Initiates will lose interest and leave us alone.”
Jason stared, incredulous. An entire vat of brain bleach was not going to be enough for the images that were now setting up camp in his head.
“Or two,” Pythagoras continued, “We just keep running and hope for the best.”
Hercules looked like he was in physical pain, although Jason wasn’t entirely sure which of the options he was objecting to the most. Pythagoras, on the other hand, looked vaguely amused. And speculative. And possibly slightly smug.
Jason made his mind up.
“I hope you two can keep up with me.”
He dived out of the copse and started to run.