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Pythagoras' Hidden Past

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"Hercules.  You're drunk!" Jason hears Pythagoras spit just as he wanders through the front door of their meager home.  "Go to bed."

"I'm not drunk," counters Hercules, even as he stumbles.  Jason automatically reaches out to steady the large man.

"Pythagoras-" Jason begins, but he is cut off by the inebriated Hercules.

Belching out an odorous air, Hercules slurs, "I simply said no one in this house has known love as I have.  As I have with Medusa."

Jason chances a look at Pythagoras, whose face is barely containing an anger that he has never seen.  Whatever Hercules said had clearly struck a nerve, as Jason could clearly see; Pythagoras' expression is pinched, and his skin is as dark as the burning embers of a bonfire.  But Hercules sees none of it, nor heeds the warning tone as Pythagoras grits his teeth and says, "Hercules..." and then shoves the large man.

"Oi," Jason calls as he gets an armful of drunken roommate. "Get off me," he says as he dodges the drunkard.  As Hercules falls to the dusty floor, Jason tries to catch Pythagoras' eye, but all he gets is the shadow of Pythagoras as he escapes out into the night.  In all his time in Atlantis, he had never once seen Pythagoras that angry, and the fact that he stormed out does not bode well.

"Hercules," Jason says as he finally glances down at the now snoring figure at his feet. Sighing, Jason mutters, "Let's get you to bed..."

~*~*~

Jason does a few chores around the house as he waits for Pythagoras to return. But as the noises outside become still, he finally decides to lie down.  What little sleep he does manage to get is fitful, waking with every noise.

The crow of a nearby rooster wakes Jason, and a quick glance into Pythagoras' room shows that it remains empty.  Jason gets up, stretches, and goes to the roof, a place where he and Pythagoras had spent many a night, but finds it barren.  He searches his mind, and thinks of one other place he knows Pythagoras spends time.  Throwing on his tunic, he sets out for the moors on the edge of town.

As he walks up, the sky just barely beginning to show the pinks and reds of the sunrise, he sees Pythagoras sitting on an outcrop of rock, a mist trickling over the terrain giving the area a haunted look. Pythagoras sits, knees pulled up to his chest and his face buried, protected by his long arms. Jason walks to him, the fog swirling around his feet as he treads lightly across the slick surfaces. When he is close enough, he calls, "Pythagoras?" his voice barely above the sound of the lapping waves.  "Py?"

Pythagoras heaves a deep breath, then raises his head. And though a smile covers his face, Jason can see the tear-stained cheeks, and can't help but reach out to touch the young man's shoulder when he sees pain hiding behind the eyes. "Are you okay?"

"I will be fine," Pythagoras says with a nod, though Jason isn't buying it.  As he wipes his nose, he motions to the empty slab next to him, saying, "Please, sit."

"Pythagoras," Jason said as he sat down. "You know Hercules-"

"-can be a complete and utter ass," Pythagoras finishes. He chances a look at Jason and shakes his head.  "He can be so caring and wonderful, but sometimes..."  Blowing out another sigh, he says, "He's more wrong than he will ever know."

"So you have known the love of a woman," Jason says with a smile.  He truly thinks of his friend mostly as asexual, if anything. 

Replying with a sardonic laugh, Pythagoras clarifies, "Actually, that part he got right - I have never known the touch of a woman."

"But then-" Jason asks, and then everything slips into place. "Ahh," he says, giving Pythagoras a smile in return for the curious look he is given. Voice even quieter than before, he asks, "What was his name?"

Pythagoras attempts a smile, but the sides of his mouth angle down as a tear glides down his face.  "It's okay," Jason adds, then slips an arm around Pythagoras. He was truly Jason's best friend here in Atlantis, and Jason wants to do what he can to comfort him.

"Icarus," Pythagoras quietly admits.  "He was the son of Daedalus, the inventor. Smart, like his father, but yet with the impish wit of a jester.  He could make me smile like no other person.  And when he looked into my eyes, I felt like...  Oh, this probably sounds silly."

With another squeeze to Pythagoras' shoulder, Jason adds, "Felt like he could reach down and touch your soul?"

Pythagoras dares to look into Jason's eyes, wiping away a stray tear, but yet nodding his head.  "As I am a man of science, I was not expecting that.  To find someone that...  That made me-"

"Feel whole?" Jason asks.  "That makes you feel like the moon and the sky, like a full belly and good wine?"

Nodding, Pythagoras says, "Yes."  Seconds later, his expression again turns dark. "We were together for just a short while, but Jason we were happy.  I finally found what others had spoken of for so long..."  As a tear slips from his eye, he adds, "But it was not to last. Icarus worked with his father on a project to aid Atlantis in her defense.  But he... He..."

Remembering his grade 10 Mythology class, Jason knows how the story of Icarus ends.  Instead of letting his friend relive the memories over again, he instead shushes him. "It's okay," he quietly says, pulling Pythagoras close.

After a few quiet moments, Pythagoras sighs and says, "I guess we should probably get back then," and tries to stand. But instead of letting him stand, Jason just tightens his grip as he looks out into the oranges and yellows of the sunrise.

"How 'bout we stay here a little longer?"