Title: No Response

Author: Kylie (kyliesmilie26)

Pairing: Who else? M/E… eventually ;)

Rating: PG-13 (for now). Adult themes and swearing.

Summary: Set during filming of the Holy Grail. The Pythons have spent a night in Doune Castle to see if it is haunted. One of the Pythons gets lost and the others go to look for him. This is what happens after they find him. Shit summary I know…

Disclaimer: I don't own, or have anything to do with, the amazing Michael Palin or Eric Idle. Or the other fabulous Pythons. They are real people and own themselves. I just fawn over them like the squeeing fangirl that I am.

Notes: This idea came to me after reading a fic called The Haunting of Doune. Basically what happens in this fic is that Michael and Eric have a conversation about Doune Castle being haunted and Michael goes to find out more. His search results in him and the other Pythons spend a night there, where they are each led blindfolded to different parts of the castle and expected to find their way back to the main room. Eric gets lost and the others need to find him (which they do). This is where my story takes a different spin on the original and what I think could have happened. ;)

So a big thank you to the author of the afore-mentioned fic for the idea. If you ever come across this, I hope you don't mind that I'm doing this, and enjoy my continuation. J

My thanks as always goes to my darling Meg (something in the way she) for being such a wonderful friend and inspiration. *hugs* Dedicated to you and all the other M/E shippers out there. :D *hugs*

Just for something different I've rambled on and if I don't stop it could be longer than the fic! :P

Hope you enjoy. *hugs* Feedback would be lovely and I hope you fall in love this baby, even just that little bit. :)

They had found him. It had taken longer than he had expected due to the twisting, winding secret passage. Yeah, no doubt Eric got the short straw, this would have to be the creepiest part of the castle.. It was little wonder that poor old Eric had not been able to find his way out of there. Hell, they had had to split into groups to search for him. And they had the advantage of being able to see where they were going, unlike Eric who had been blindfolded.

Eric was sitting crouched down on the cold, damp floor, leaning against a wall. His arms were wrapped around his torso. He appeared to be looking right at them; however his eyes were staring blankly ahead as if in a daze. He was drenched in cold sweat. God knows what experiences he had endured in the four hours (or more) since being dumped here.

"Oh thank God." Michael exclaimed, rushing over to his good friend. "You okay?"

No response.

"Eric?" He touched him gently on the shoulder so as not to startle him. That was the last thing he needed at this point.

After several moments he finally broke his staring into space and looked up in the direction of the voice he had heard. "Mike?"

Mike allowed himself a small smile. "Yeah it's me. It took us awhile, but we got here. When you said lost you weren't wrong. You got yourself in a good mess didn't you?"

Eric nodded grimly. "I s'pose." His voice seemed so quiet and small, and it was somewhat disturbing. Especially given the traumatic night they had all gone through.

"You okay Eric?" Terry asked, as he scanned the small room for the fifth time. He was a little worried about Eric's odd behaviour.

Michael was more than a little concerned about the normally unflappable Idle. Eric had hardly put two words together since they had finally located him in what had to be the smallest and furthest room in this dark labyrinth. Eric was hardly the shy and retiring type, even in his more serious moments. This was most unusual, and slightly disconcerting.

"I bet you're ready to get out of here, it's freaking ghastly." Gilliam observed. "Should we wait for Gray and Cleese?"

"No need." They turned to find Graham and John approaching them. Gray took one look at Eric and the doctor in him became worried. "How are you Idle?"

Again, no response. Eric merely sat there, his eyes seemingly looking through them.

"Has he spoken at all?" He asked the others.

"Not really." Terry replied solemnly. "And it is odd; you know how Eric loves the sound of his own voice."

"Ooh Terry, put the claws away love." Gilliam joked, trying to lighten the sombre atmosphere.

Graham nodded. "Has he recognised any of you?"

"Yeah he has." Michael replied, getting more concerned with each passing moment. He was also full of guilt – after all, it was his idea to spend a night here. "Gray what are you getting at?"

"I think he might be in shock."

"Well who wouldn't be after everything that's happened tonight?" John remarked, it had been a harrowing night for him too and he just wanted a nice warm bed... with a light on. Not that he'd tell the others.

Graham shook his head. "No I mean actual shock. It's where your body can shut down as a result of a traumatic experience. It's an acute stress reaction."


"It's a coping mechanism. It's a way of protecting the self from potential dangers."

"Okay okay, can we just get out of here? It's creepy as hell." John asked, getting a little freaked out himself.

Graham slowly approached Eric. "Eric? It's time to get out of here and back to the hotel."

As he expected he received no reply from his harried friend. "I'm going to help you up alright?"

Eric didn't reply but did flinch at Graham's touch, retreating further into himself.

"Oh hell, what are we going to do?" Mike asked, "We do need to get out of this goddamn forsaken place."

Graham paused for a moment. "Who did he respond to before?"

"Mike." Gilliam replied.

"Mike, you need to try and help him. He responded to your voice earlier, he might again."

Michael nodded, "Yeah alright." He followed Gray's lead and spoke in soft tones. "Eric? You want to get out of here huh? We've got to get back to something that's considered liveable."

Eric remained silent but after a few agonising moments allowed Michael to help him up. Michael was quite relieved that he was responding in some small fashion to somebody. He felt a strange sensation run through his veins at the realisation that it was him that Eric had subconsciously chosen.

Pride? Satisfaction? Happiness? He wasn't sure, but he felt it nonetheless.

It soon became obvious that he was even struggling to stand up. No sooner had Michael got up to a standing position that Eric was flagging against him, falling back down and pulling Michael with him. It was like his legs had given out, or that he'd suddenly lost the strength in his legs to keep him upright.

Michael, and the others, looked to Graham at this turn of events. "Hmm, thought that might happen." He mused, "Just try again Mike. This time you'll know that he can't really support himself, so you'll have to do it."

"Carry him?"

Gray shrugged, "Not necessarily, but it might be the only way to get him out."

Mike nodded, and directed his attention to the near catatonic Eric. "Come on Eric, let's try again eh? Don't be afraid to lean on me. I won't drop you or anything."

They eventually made their way out of the labyrinth of the twisting and seemingly endless passage, found the secret staircase that led them back to the Great Hall. It was a tedious process, with Eric hardly able to stand let alone walk, Eric gripping onto Michael (and the latter did subconsciously enjoy it), but they somehow made it back to their motel.

Michael worriedly watched a sleeping Eric. He was lying on Michael's bed after he had fallen asleep on the drive back to the motel, obviously worn out from the traumatic events of the last few hours. At one point he had rested his head on Mike's shoulder.

It was now almost seven in the morning. He had had no sleep, and was beginning to feel the effects. A part of him desperately wanted to sleep for three days. The other had to stay awake. It was his fault that Eric was now so withdrawn. "I can hardly keep my eyes open, but I should stay awake in case he wakes up."

Poor old Eric, I wonder what happened to trigger this reaction? Damn I hope he snaps out of it soon…

He yawned, and knew his body was going to defeat his mind and ever-increasing guilt. "Oh what a hell of a night…"

And he had a feeling that it was going to get worse before it improved.