And here is where I start desperately trying to fill as many h/c bingo prompts as possible before the deadline later this week. I did actually finish this one about two weeks ago, but then a big pile of RL happened so I'm only just posting it now. Fills the 'Confession in a desperate situation' prompt, although I've been fairly liberal in my definition of a 'desperate situation'.
Pairing/characters: Pythagoras/Icarus, Hercules, Jason
Warnings: Fluffy smut
Disclaimer: Not mine. BBC and Urban Myth Films own them.
Word count: approx 3107
Summary: Pythagoras has performance anxiety. Icarus makes everything better.
AN: Written for hc_bingo, fills the ‘Confession in a desperate situation’ prompt on my h/c bingo card
AN2: Thanks to clea2011 for the beta. Set at some point post-series 2.
cross posted to AO3
Pythagoras mumbled something that he hoped came out sounding something like, ‘stop shouting and leave me alone, I’m trying to sleep’.
“Pythagoras wake up, please.”
It was Icarus. And he sounded scared.
Pythagoras frowned and opened his eyes for all of a second before slamming them shut again with a quiet whimper as a stabbing headache right at the back of his brain made its presence felt.
He felt hands skittering over him, as if afraid to touch too hard, and made another attempt to open his eyes, more carefully this time.
“There you are.”
Icarus tried to smile down at him, but all Pythagoras could see in his expression was fear and worry.
“Is he alright?” another voice called from somewhere far away, and, inexplicably, far above.
“He’s awake,” Icarus shouted back.
Pythagoras winced and closed his eyes again.
“Please don’t shout. My head hurts.”
“Stay there,” the other voice called down. “We’ll fetch a rope.”
Pythagoras tried opening his eyes again.
“Was that Jason?” He paused and looked up at the dark, sheer rock face that towered above them. The sight did nothing to reassure him. “Will I regret asking what happened?”
“The cliff edge gave way under my feet and I fell. You tried to grab me and we both went together.”
Icarus’ eyes were still exuding worry, but at the explanation he also looked a little sheepish.
Pythagoras considered the cliff again, and then very carefully turned his head and looked down at the rocky ground where he was lying.
“How are we not dead if we fell that far onto rocks?”
“We didn’t. It was further up the canyon. We actually fell into the river. This was the flattest bit of ground I could find to drag you onto when I realised you were unconscious.”
“Unconscious? How long?”
“Just a few minutes. Not long.”
“Hang on. River?”
He turned his head the other way and saw the wide and relatively calm expanse of water flowing past them. Now he thought about it, that probably explained why his clothes were wet and sticking to his skin in a vaguely uncomfortable way.
Pythagoras pushed himself upright into a sitting position, and was pleased to note that while the headache did briefly flare again, there was no sense of dizziness or nausea.
Almost as soon as he moved Icarus was there, fussing and supporting him. Pythagoras let Icarus help him to move, more because he didn’t have the energy to try to stop him than because he actually needed help. After a little shuffling, he settled down leaning against the rock face, and finally, after reassurances that he was fine, Icarus sat down beside him.
“There was a tiny bit of bleeding,” Icarus told him, which of course immediately made Pythagoras start probing the back of his head with his fingers.
His fingers came away damp, mostly with water but there was a faint swirl of red there as well.
“Probably better to leave it alone,” Icarus said, his fingers curling around Pythagoras wrist and tugging his hand away to stop him poking at it again. “I already checked. Like I said, there was only a tiny bit of bleeding, and it’s mostly stopped already. But I think there might be a hell of a bruise in a few hours.”
“I suspect you are right.” Pythagoras paused and then turned to meet Icarus’ worried gaze. “Thank you, for saving me.”
“It was the least I could do, considering that you were the one trying to save me when we fell off the cliff in the first place.”
He gave Pythagoras a slightly lopsided, self-deprecating smile that made Pythagoras want to kiss him, although to be honest that wasn’t an unusual reaction to most of the expressions that Icarus made when he was looking at him. Unfortunately, Pythagoras suspected that actually kissing him would be a bad idea, because he was fairly certain that moving right now would probably hurt. As long he tried not to move too much, his headache seemed to abate a little. He wasn’t about to awaken it again if he could help it.
“Jason and the others will be back soon with rope. They will rescue us.”
Icarus’ voice was all hopeful optimism, but Pythagoras wasn’t entirely sure which of them he was trying to reassure the most.
A sudden thought occurred to Pythagoras.
“Icarus, are you hurt? I’m sorry, I didn’t even think to ask you.”
Icarus chuckled. “I am fine, my love. I pulled you out of the river, remember? I could hardly do that if I was injured.”
“But still...” Still, Pythagoras felt ashamed that it had taken him so long to even think about Icarus, regardless of his own head injury.
“I am fine,” Icarus repeated, his tone more serious this time. “You are the one that was unconscious. Just this once, I think it is my turn to worry about you, and not the other way around.”
They fell into a silence that was mostly comfortable. Pythagoras found himself watching the water flow past, the way the ripples caught the last rays of the sun as it slowly sank down towards the cliff top on the opposite side of the canyon. The soothing, monotonous sound of the river lulled him into a calm, sleepy state and he felt his eyes drifting closed. Maybe just a minute.
He jerked awake and smacked the back of his head against the rock wall.
His yell of pain was almost drowned out by Icarus’ immediate apologies, and he felt Icarus’ hands skittering over him again, gently checking his head, a constant litany of ‘sorrys’ and calming words accompanying the examination. Pythagoras eventually opened his eyes again and batted Icarus away.
“Pythagoras, I thought-”
“I know,” Pythagoras cut him off, rather more sharply than he had intended. He paused and breathed deeply. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to snap. And you are right, letting me fall asleep right now is probably not a good idea.”
“What do you want me to do?”
“We should find something to talk about.”
That was followed by an unexpected silence. Typical. They spent all day crammed on the Argo together and every night alone together, and never ran out things to say to each other, but now as soon as he said that neither of them could think of a thing.
“I wonder if we will make it back to the Argo before dark?” Icarus said eventually.
Given that shadows were already beginning to lengthen at the bottom of the canyon, Pythagoras suspected the answer was likely to be no.
“When we get back,” Icarus continued, “I will have to take you to bed and take off all your clothes and give you a thorough examination. For any further injuries, of course.”
Pythagoras turned to him, and saw Icarus was watching him with an expression that suggested injuries would be the last thing on his mind when he got Pythagoras naked.
Icarus very deliberately let his gaze travel up and down Pythagoras’ body, as if he were imagining what lay beneath the wet clothes. Pythagoras swallowed, still not used to being the subject of such attention.
“In fact,” Icarus continued, his voice low. “If we are to prevent you from losing consciousness again, I will have to find ways to keep you awake.”
Several images helpfully popped into Pythagoras’ mind, and he briefly closed his eyes, far too aware of his body responding in spite of his injuries, and the fact that his wet clothes were becoming uncomfortable in the cooling evening air.
“Such as?” he prompted, opening his eyes again in time to see Icarus shuffle a little and surreptitiously adjust his clothing.
Icarus turned his body so he was facing Pythagoras and the look in his eyes could only be described as hungry.
“I would start by kissing you. Not just your mouth, although that is very nice. But also your neck. On those very interesting collar bones you have. And all down your chest, slowly, making sure not to miss a spot. I want to find all the places that make you squirm and moan.”
Whether it was Icarus’ words or the look in his eyes, Pythagoras couldn’t stop his cock from responding, and a quiet whimper escaping.
Icarus smirked. “Yes. Like that. I like it when you makes sounds like that.”
“I... I enjoy making you incoherent as well,” Pythagoras said, inwardly wincing at his own awkwardness. This kind of talk, this game was still new to him. He wanted to try, though. For Icarus, he so very badly wanted to try.
Icarus’ smile only became smugger, though.
“So I noticed,” he commented. “You certainly seemed to be enjoying yourself the night before last.”
Pythagoras didn’t even need to close his eyes to be assailed by memories of Icarus writhing and whimpering beneath him, Icarus’ cock in his hand, the wholly unexpected feeling of power that came with the realisation that he could give someone else such pleasure.
“Perhaps I might even make use of that salve that I acquired,” Icarus said in a low voice, his expression speculative and hopeful.
He didn’t intend to but he couldn’t help it. Ever since Icarus had brought the little pot back from the market, every time Pythagoras saw it he couldn’t stop the flash of panic, and the heavy, uneasy feeling that settled in his stomach at the thought of what it represented.
He knew what Icarus wanted. It was impossible not to, especially when he caught the momentary look of disappointment in Icarus’ eyes whenever Pythagoras used his hand again, and the pot of salve remained unopened for another night.
The same disappointment that was there in his eyes now, in fact.
“Or not,” Icarus said quietly. “In fact, you’re hurt so probably best not to do anything too energetic.”
Suddenly Pythagoras couldn’t bear to see him so hurt and confused. He had to say something. To explain.
“It’s alright,” Icarus insisted. “It doesn’t matter.”
It wasn’t alright.
“Just forget I mentioned it, Pythagoras. I shouldn’t have-”
“I have never had sex.”
Whatever Icarus had been about to say stalled before the words left his mouth. He turned and stared at Pythagoras.
Pythagoras forced himself to continue speaking. He had started this, he had to finish it.
“I have never had sex with anyone, male or female. Icarus, I know what you want, and it’s not that I don’t want to. I do. But I did not want to admit my lack of experience to you.”
He still wasn’t admitting the real reason, and he knew it. He hadn’t wanted Icarus to know the truth because he was afraid. He was afraid of appearing foolish, but more importantly, he was afraid of being a disappointment.
It may have taken him a long time to fully understand just how much Icarus wanted him, but now he did know, while it was undoubtedly nice and flattering, it was also a little bit terrifying, and Pythagoras couldn’t help but feel the pressure of expectation. Always so confident in almost every other aspect of his life, Pythagoras had barely even admitted to himself just how much the thought of not living up to Icarus’ expectation was affecting him.
If it was just affecting him it wouldn’t be a problem. But now he had let it get so bad that it was affecting Icarus, and their relationship.
“You have never...?” Icarus sounded faintly incredulous. Pythagoras didn’t blame him. “Are you...” Icarus hesitated, and for a moment Pythagoras thought he could see a faint flush creeping into Icarus’ cheeks. “Are you saying you don’t know how to?”
“No!” No, gods, he wasn’t that pathetic! “No, of course not. I know the theory, obviously. But I have never actually put the theory into practice.”
“How...?” Icarus still looked and sounded utterly incredulous. That was not entirely the reaction he had been hoping for, and Pythagoras couldn’t hold his gaze any longer and looked down at where his fingers were fiddling in his lap. “Pythagoras, you are older than I am. How have you...?”
He knew Icarus was still staring at him, but Pythagoras couldn’t bring himself to look up and meet Icarus’ eyes. He didn’t want to see whatever expression was on his lover’s face.
“How have I managed to reach this age without ever having had sex?” He shrugged. “No one has ever wanted me for that kind of thing. I suppose if I really wanted to there are brothels, but honestly? I have no interest in sex for the sake of it. As part of a relationship, yes. But I have always been busy with work, and looking after Hercules, and Jason, and I have never had the kind of relationship that would have involved such intimacy.”
He paused and breathed deeply.
“And so now, when I finally do have such a relationship with an amazing man who I love and want more than anything, I find myself not really knowing what to do, or how to go about doing it.”
He stared down at his lap, still unable to look at Icarus. Even though the rational part of his brain was telling him that Icarus would not be so cruel, he knew that subconsciously he was waiting for the laughter, the mocking, the ridicule.
Just because he was used to it, didn’t mean it didn’t hurt.
Icarus shuffled to his knees, and then swung a leg over Pythagoras’ lap so that he was straddling him. Pythagoras felt a gentle hand lift his chin, forcing him to look up at Icarus.
There was a warm, fond smile on his face.
“Then I will take very great pleasure in making your first time as enjoyable and as memorable as possible,” Icarus promised.
Then he cupped Pythagoras’ face in his hands and kissed him, softly at first, but with a promise of more. Much, much more.
Pythagoras closed his eyes and returned the kiss. His arms slipped around Icarus’ waist and he tugged him closer. Was it really that simple? Suddenly all his anxiety seemed faintly ridiculous.
Eventually Icarus stopped kissing him and pulled back a little so they could see each other. That soft smile was still there on his face.
“Was that really what was bothering you all this time? Did you think it would matter to me?”
“When you put it like that I, suppose it does seem a little foolish,” Pythagoras admitted. “You really do not mind?”
“Why would I possibly mind, Pythagoras? When you are giving me the privilege, the honour of being your first.” His smile suddenly became rather more mischievous. “Besides, half the fun is in experimenting to discover what each other enjoys.”
“Experimenting?” Pythagoras said, feeling a smile tugging at his own lips. “Well, never let it be said that I am not a man of science.”
Icarus grinned in response to that.
He wriggled and pressed closer, and Pythagoras became acutely aware of Icarus’ arousal pressing against his own, rapidly hardening, cock. His eyes slid closed and his breath caught.
“See, previous experiments have proven that when I do this...” Icarus’ fingers trailed down Pythagoras’ jaw and neck, and scratched lightly at his chest through his clothes. Pythagoras squirmed against him, trying to achieve more contact, and was rewarded when Icarus’ hands continued down to his hips and held Pythagoras in place as he very deliberately pressed against him. Pythagoras gasped and moaned, burrowing his face into Icarus’ neck.
“Yes,” Icarus murmured. “When I do that, you make that sound.”
Icarus sounded entirely too smug. Well, two could play at that game.
Pythagoras nuzzled Icarus’ neck, and trailed kisses across his jaw and throat. Icarus threw his head back to give him better access, and Pythagoras took the opportunity to suck gently at that spot, right below his ear. Icarus did not disappoint, and within moments he was whimpering and rocking again him.
“Ah yes,” Pythagoras whispered, his lips still at Icarus’ throat. “I see that the results of my previous experiment here was not a fluke.”
Indeed, if previous experiments were anything to go by, if he continued in this vein for much longer Icarus would be all but begging in less than a minute.
“Repetition... and comparison of resul- oh gods yes right there... is an important... part of scientific endeavour.”
“Indeed,” Pythagoras mumbled as he continued to work at Icarus’ throat. If he didn’t stop soon he would leave a mark, but right then he wasn’t sure either of them were going to care about that.
He felt Icarus’ hand scrabbling at the hem of his tunic for a moment and then, in what Pythagoras felt was an unfair and blatant distraction tactic, Icarus cupped Pythagoras’ cock in his hand and ran his finger up its length through his trousers.
“Oi! You two! We’ve brought rope!”
Icarus scrambled back and almost stumbled over his own feet in an attempt to get off Pythagoras as quickly as possible. Pythagoras groaned and put his head in his hands.
“I am going to kill Hercules.”
“That seems a little harsh,” Icarus observed, although his flushed skin was at odds with his amused tone. “He is going help us get back to the ship where we can get naked and resume this in a rather more comfortable bed.”
Icarus had a good point.
Pythagoras looked up to see the end of the rope tumble down the rock face and come to a stop dangling a few feet away from them.
Icarus held a hand out and pulled Pythagoras to his feet. For a moment he felt a wave of dizziness and grabbed hold of Icarus to steady himself.
“Are you alright?”
“Yes. I’m fine. Although much as I hate to admit it, I think it might be wise to tie me onto the rope and pull me up rather than let me attempt to climb in this state.”
It was going to be embarrassing, and he had no doubt Hercules would never let him hear the end of it, but on balance it was better than risking falling down the cliff face a second time. And it also had the advantage of being a far quicker way of getting back to their bed on the Argo.
“I think that might be wise,” Icarus agreed. He tugged Pythagoras into a gentle hug, and kissed him again.
“Oi! When you’ve quite finished,” Hercules shouted down from the top of the cliff.
“Are you sure I can’t kill him?”