I am so so sorry for the delay... that Muse is lazy, unable to finish a fic concisely it would seem and a DramaAngstWhore...

Is anyone still interested in this? I wouldn't blame you if you weren't...

Enjoy, and as always, feedback would be most appreciated. :)

Title: Two of Us 3/?

Author: Kylie (kyliesmilie26)

Pairing: Who else? M/E

Rating: R. For swearing and adult themes.

Summary: Okay… let's attempt to do a proper summary. Michael and Eric have been in a relationship – of sorts – for several years. One has realised that he is in love with the other person; question is, does that other love him back? Or have any kind of deep feelings for him at all? And what will happen when an attempt is made to talk about it?

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.

Previously…

He stared at his lover's frail, fragile form on the hospital bed. He could not take his eyes away from the horrible, yet very real, sight that would haunt him for some time to come… if not the rest of his days. He could not believe that he was sitting here in this hospital room, watching him fight for life.

His hand continued to hold the other man's. His other hand had found its way to his hair, which now seemed so listless. His fingers seemed to love playing with his hair it seemed. "You do need to wake up okay? I have to make things right and show you exactly how much you mean to me."


Five hours earlier…

Eric let the phone ring out for what seemed like the umpteenth time in the last hour. He knew exactly who it was trying to call. Well, maybe not exactly, but he could definitely narrow it down to one of five. They have probably all tried by now.

I just don't want to talk to them. How can I? Michael would have told them everything by now… just cannot face the humiliation.

A small, rational part within him knew that he was acting incredibly childish, but he could not help it. The mere thought of working through and editing sketches, writing sketches (let alone acting them out) made him feel ill. Or perhaps that was all that fucking booze you swallowed Idle.

He stupidly let his thoughts drift to Michael again. What are you, a sucker for punishment? Get a bloody grip.

"I can't believe I thanked him for helping me. All he did was throw it back in my face. It was his fucking fault in the first place!"

Eric sighed miserably, as he continued to nurse not only his self-inflicted hangover but his broken heart. "Just face it Idle, it's not going to happen."

But why did he kiss me as if his life depended on it? And why did he tend to me last night?

It's too bloody complicated…


He couldn't believe it. He never thought he'd be sitting here, watching him fight just to stay in this world. Especially after all the shit he had dealt him only hours before. He was only trying to help… Hangover or no hangover, nothing was going to make him move from the uncomfortable chair. He was going to stay here until he saw those hazel eyes. I should not have gone off at him earlier… I feel like the worst person on the planet. This is all my fault…

"I'm so sorry Mikey. I hope you can forgive me."

Eric wretchedly put his head into his free hand, massaging his seemingly never-ending headache (not that he gave a damn about that anymore) and rubbing his eyes, before nervously running his fingers through his already messed up blonde locks. This was because of countless and anxious toying of said hair following being told the worst news of his life. It was a nervous habit he had had since he was very young.

Thump! Thump! Thump!

Who the hell is that and what the fuck do they want? Eric groaned as the pounding of his door wreaked havoc on his throbbing headache. Why can't everyone just leave me alone for two minutes?

Thump!Thump!Thump!

The pounding was becoming more persistent and caused his alcohol-induced headache to seemingly implode from the torment.

"Idle will you open this damn door?"

Oh hell…

Can't they understand that I can't do this today? Or tomorrow. Or perhaps forever.

"Idle! If you don't open this bloody door right now…"

"What do you want Cleese? I'm busy." He snapped, in no mood to handle John and his fickle ways at the moment.

John took one long look and scoffed. "Sure you are."

Eric rolled his eyes. "What do you want?" He repeated, his tone a lot softer this time round. There was something indecipherable in the taller man's dark eyes. Something that startled him a little if he was being completely honest with himself.

John hesitated. This was not his strong suit at all… why was it that he got lumbered with this? What he was about to do did not come easily; it wasn't in his nature to be overtly gentile – especially with men. But Terry J had told him to break this shocking news to him gently, and he was stunned when he found out why. Really guys – you two?

Then again, he had noticed something between the youngest Pythons. Or was he imagining that now he knew the true extent of the relationship between the two?

"John?" Eric's voice broke him out of his chaotic thoughts.

"Uh, yeah. Can I come in?"

That slow simmering feeling of unease slowly, yet deliberately, began to boil. "I guess. Did you want a cuppa or something?" He asked, trying to be hospitable.

"No thanks… actually some water would be good."

"Water?" Eric asked in surprise.

"Yes please."

How the fuck am I going to tell him? Not sure how I would deal with an overly emotional Idle.

Eric walked in several minutes later with not one but two glasses. "It wouldn't hurt me to have one." He told him when John looked at him curiously.

Despite the almost overbearing nerves running through him, he had to chuckle. "So you admit you're ridiculously hungover?"

Eric chuckled too. "Yeah, is it that obvious?"

John nodded. "You'd have to be both deaf and blind not to see you're suffering from overindulgence in alcohol consumption."

Eric smirked as he wearily sat down. "So why are you here John? I wouldn't put it past you to have merely come to torture me when I'm in agony, I don't think that's it… or there's more to it than just a co-worker's teasing…"

"Eric…" John stopped his fellow Python's rambling. He hated that he couldn't do anything to prevent the hitch in his words. He hated Eric's perplexed and disconcerted countenance even more.

"What the fuck has happened?" Eric spat out, his timbre almost matching his 'female' voice. He could not shake off this anxious feeling. It had steadily been rising and now reached boiling point. He did not like how nervous and almost… meek, John appeared to be. He hadn't even made a flippant comeback on his gripe about him only coming to torture him in his hungover state.

"Can you sit down Eric?" Eric had got up and nervously paced his living room as he often did when he was worried about something. "Please?"

John's 'please' alone made him sit down. It was rare for John to use those two words – please and sorry.

"Can you just tell me?"

John sighed, inwardly grumbling (for the fifth or sixth time) at the fact that he was the one whose job it was to tell Eric this. "It's Michael. There's been an accident." He mumbled, unwilling to look the blonde in the eye.

Eric's eyes widened; his mouth opening and closing in shock as he sagged further into the beige cushions.

"You're lying." Was his initial response, unable to quite believe what John had just told him.

"I wish I was."

John loathed the scared, fearful look in Eric's baby blue eyes.

"I don't believe you." Eric's words caught badly – not caring about keeping his floundering emotions at bay.

John walked over to where Eric was slouched on the couch. "Come on mate, let's go and see how he is eh?"

Eric nodded, allowing the other man to lead him outside and into John's car.

"Act like a girl much Idle?" He muttered to himself as he continued to watch over an unconscious Michael. "You could have knocked me over with a feather when Cleese told me." He sighed, again running a shaking hand haphazardly through his long blonde locks.

He carefully placed a gentle kiss on each of Michael's closed eyelids. "You have to wake up soon Mikey. You're a fighter. Fight to come back to me okay?"


He heard hushed whispers coming from somewhere far away.

"Is he going to be alright?"

"What are we going to do?"

"How did he get like this?"

He wasn't sure what was happening, but he was content in the darkness – nothing could hurt him here… and he deserved to be surrounded by this veil of nothingness.


Eric was seemingly hypnotised by watching the rise and fall of his lover's chest. His eyes would then flicker to the tube that was helping him breathe. His ears were permanently attuned to the steady beep coming from the machine that was monitoring his heartbeat.

It had been twenty four hours since he had been told about Michael's accident. Plenty of doctors and nurses had come to monitor his condition. No one told him anything much, no matter how hard he tried to pry even a small tidbit of information. They either looked at him with a sad, sympathetic shrug and their reassurances they were doing all the possibly could… or stared at him in wonder, as if they were wondering what the hell he was doing here, keeping a bedside vigil beside a man. Being in a relationship with someone of the same sex was very much frowned upon and not many were open enough to accept it. He hated those dirty looks from those people…

It's little wonder Mikey and I really haven't made it official. He mused. Despite Gray having come out pretty early on in since Flying Circus began (and yes, he had slept plenty of times with Michael prior to that), Michael had not exactly been comfortable with their affair becoming public knowledge… and let's be honest, neither was Eric. Well at the time, that had gradually changed, and now Eric couldn't care less who knew he was in love with the man lying unconscious on the hospital bed.

That still doesn't mean I like those looks from those hoity-toity people who think they're better just because they're conforming to society expectations…

"Why can't they just tell me how you're doing Mike?" He grasped the limp hand in his, rubbing it gently. "Maybe I should have got in drag and made it look convincing… maybe then they'd tell me." He shook his head as a mocking chuckle escaped in spite of himself.

"I don't even really know what exactly happened to you…" His voice drifted off as his thoughts turned to all the possible scenarios that could have resulted in Michael ending up here, each one more painful than the one previous. These ranged from Michael simply losing control, to someone running through a red light to slamming into a tree.

He glanced upwards, as if in prayer to some deity who would be willing to listen. He wasn't sure what his thoughts on God were, but if some higher power did exist, he would pray as hard as he damn well could to bring Mikey back into the living.

Eric made an educated guess that the impact was felt predominantly on the driver's side given that most of Michael's injuries seemed to be on his right side. His right arm was in plaster, the cuts and bruises that marred his beautiful face favoured the right side, and his right leg was elevated and in some weird contraption that was designed to help it heal. It looked like it had come out of Star Trek or something. Gray would probably know all about it. He briefly pondered why he hadn't seen any of the others since John had driven him to the hospital, but thoughts of his Mikey strayed him away from that train of thought.

He just looks so frail and fragile. Should have been me. He sighed and furiously wiped away at an errant tear that had had the nerve to escape.


He continued to be surrounded by a thick cloud of darkness. Wherever he was, he felt quite safe. No pain, it was only him and the black that didn't seem to end.

Voices continued to drift to his conscious from time to time. Those tranquil whispers didn't seem to make much sense, but they were somewhat comforting.

One seemed to tug at his heartstrings.

"Stay with me…

Please, wake up…

Fight for me…"

Fight for what? It was giving him a terrible headache so he allowed himself to wallow in the darkness.


"Come on Mikey. I don't know how much more I can take…"

It had been six days. The six longest days of his life. Eric was holding on to what was left of his sanity by the smallest, finest piece of thread.

They had tried taking him off the ventilator two days ago with little success. They had had to put him back on it when it soon became clear he wasn't going to breathe on his own.

"Fuck that was too close." Eric muttered as his thoughts wandered to those heart-stopping moments. "You can't do that to me again Michael, you hear me?"

They had tried again earlier that day… and this time, he was able to breathe without the assistance of the ventilator. He still needed oxygen, but it was a massive relief to see that tube gone from his throat. Now it was just the wait to see (if) when he would wake.

He sighed for the umpteenth time in the past six days. "I miss you Mikey. I miss you so much. More than you'll ever know."

"The boys say hello. Apparently only one visitor can be in the room at a time and cos I'm the Greedy Bastard they aren't getting a look in." (The statement was partly true at least – he was the only one allowed in the room, and he was selfish… He had no idea what was happening with the others though…) He tried to joke; lighten the atmosphere a little. Not that it worked. Nothing would work… except to see those hazel eyes of Mikey's again…

"It's been pissing down all week Ducky. Typical London though really." He couldn't help but feel that the constant downpour reflected them in their current state – Eric's downcast and sombre mood, and concern for an unconscious Michael.

He stared at the handsome face of the man he adored. The bruises had now faded to that yellow colour and those many cuts were healing. His pallor looked better too – he seemed to have more colour to his beautiful face (or maybe that was just his wishful thinking).

His eye caught the notepad on the bedside table. It was something he had been working on, initially to keep him from losing his mind (hmm… not too sure if that worked), but he found himself reading his thoughts on and off to Michael. He wasn't entirely sure what the difference was, but he did find this calming. And he hoped it was soothing to his lover too.

"Do you want me to read some more of my shit to you Ducky?" He had taken to calling Michael by one of the pet names the other Pythons had given each other over the years. He didn't know which one he liked better – Mikey or the latter. Probably the former, as no one else tended to really use it all that much, while Ducky he knew Mike wasn't particularly fond of. Still, he thought that Ducky was cute, so he couldn't stop himself from using the moniker.

It wasn't at all surprising that what he had tried to trick himself into believing that he would work on some sketches, were never going to be anything of the sort.

"Of course you do, why wouldn't you eh? It's about you after all."

When hasn't it been anything but you?

He glanced down at his messy scrawl. "The penmanship is atrocious Idle." He prided himself on his usually very neat handwriting, but this he could barely look at without cringing in disgust. "Mike, you would not be impressed, it's hardly legible."

Michael,

I'm sitting here by your side. I haven't been anywhere else since I heard. Well duh Idle, you've already told him that countless times.

I can't help but mindlessly gaze upon you. Even all banged up; you are the most wonderful creature I've ever laid eyes on. Don't roll your eyes at me Mikey, it's true. From your luscious dark hair to your amazing lips, and by Jove those lips can fucking kiss!

But when it all comes down to it, it's your beautiful hazel eyes that get me. That look that only you know how to do makes me go weak in the knees.

I want to see those eyes again. Please Michael? Pretty please?

You know I'm not past begging. I have stooped to that level numerous times over the years. Only for you though Ducky. Only you.

I feel like I'm stuck on repeat. Not unlike that sketch where I'm stuck in a rut. Stuck in a rut. Stuck in a rut…

Ahem. Like I was saying I feel like I'm repeating myself. I keep reading over my notes in this err… journal (I refuse to call it a diary – it's not), and it's all the same thing. You. How scared I am for you, how much I want you to wake up, how sorry I am for what happened, and how much I love you.

Yes Michael, I, Eric Idle, love you.

I am so in love with you it's ridiculous.

And I think you're stuck with me forever.

He felt the faintest of pressures on his hand. He stared at their entwined hands in shock.

"Michael?" He asked, with bated breath. "Can you hear me?"

There was a spike in one of the machines that monitored Michael's condition. It was the one that monitored brain activity. It had gone up and down on occasion, but this was the biggest increase yet.

"Holy shit. You can hear me."

Eric allowed the notebook to fall on the floor without another thought. "Can you squeeze my hand again Michael?"

Again, he felt pressure applied on his hand, a little stronger this time, but still weak. Not that he gave a damn – it meant that Mikey was coming back to him.

"That's it Mike, you're doing great. Can you open your eyes for me Mikey?"

The eyelids flickered.

Eric waited, his heart doing cartwheels as he anxiously waited to see if Michael would open his eyes. The wait was too much; he closed his own eyes and looked at their joined hands.

"Love me, d'you Idle?" It was raspy and slurred, but it was there.

Eric opened his own eyes and looked up, to find those hazel eyes staring back at him, very glazed and barely focusing, but Michael was indeed awake and looking right at Eric.

"Oh god, you're awake! You've had me so worried Mikey. So so worried."

Michael took some time to process this, and several moments later asked, "W'happened?"

Eric held onto Michael's left hand tightly, silently praying that he wasn't hurting the man beside him anymore than he was already. He did not want to add to the debilitating pain he no doubt was going through. "You had an accident Ducky. It was pretty bad; the docs weren't sure whether you'd make it."

Michael groaned, seemingly unable to do much bar gaze into those hypnotising baby blues of the blonde looking at him with bountiful concern and almost… adoration, maybe? His thoughts were scattered, it was like they were shattered into a million pieces that he could not possibly put back together. The last thing he could remember was slamming the door into Eric's, (who had one hell of a hangover at the time – nice one Palin), face. Not to mention that stupid stupid mistake of kissing Terry. And yet, he was here…

"You okay Mikey?"

Eric's soft, worried timbre brought him back from the thoughts taking over his sluggish mind.

"Y-yeah Eric. Sleepy." Came the short, tired response.

Eric went red, cursing himself inwardly at his selfishness for wanting him to stay awake. "Yeah of course. You must be exhausted, you get some rest." He leant over and placed a delicate kiss on his forehead.

"K. You look cute with a beard Idle." He slurred as his eyes closed and breathing deepened as he drifted back into a drug-induced sleep.

Eric chuckled and unconsciously put his free hand to the week old growth, rubbing it thoughtfully. He hadn't even bothered to shave or change his clothes. Probably have a bad case of BO Idle.

He genuinely smiled for the first time in what felt like a month as he unashamedly stared at his Michael resting peacefully. Hopefully pain free too.


The darkness had again surrounded him. He still felt happy enough in the pitch black fog that was everywhere, but perhaps not quite as at ease as before. He couldn't put a finger on it, but the paradigm had shifted slightly towards wanting to escape the constant darkness.

He just wasn't sure how…

Those voices were still there from time to time.

"What the hell is going on?"

"What's happened?"

And that one that still made his heart ache…

"You have to come back to me.

Please…"

It was too hard, just too damn hard.


He was numb. Completely numb.

There was no other way to describe his emotions at this very moment.

How the fuck had it all gone to hell so quickly?

It wasn't that long ago he was awake and telling him that, yes, he really did love him back…

"You didn't answer me b'fore."

"What about?"

"I said something bout… no… heard you tell me that you love me."

He hesitated, and those damn cheeks flared bright red again. "Uh…"

"You did, d'you love me Eric?"

"… Uh, well…

Yes, I love you, fuck it all Mikey but I do love you."

The grin that lit up Michael's countenance upon hearing this also made his eyes sparkle. "Well that's just wonderful. Love you too Ewic…"

"You do?" He asked in surprise.

"Uh huh. And I am so so sorry bout kissin Terry…"

"It's alright Mikey. I've forgiven you."

"You have?"

"Yeah, after everything that's happened I realised that life's too fucking short to hold grudges over something so stupid. I was acting like a prat, I'm sorry."

Michael smiled, grabbing Eric's hand and placing it in his; offering comfort in the gentle, rhythmic strokes. "S'k. We good now?"

Eric grinned lazily. "Yeah we're good."

"Can you kiss me?" Michael asked, those big hazel eyes of his looking at him with that impossible-to-say-no look.

"Well I dunno…"

"Puhlease Ewic?" That damn pout of his got even more irresistible – if that were possible.

"Oh okay."

The kiss was soft and tender. Loving was the most apt term to describe it. The gentle kiss conveyed all the love they had just shared to the other. It was symbolic of what was to come…

So why…

"Why did you leave me Mikey?"

TBC…