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Teacher's Pests

(Formerly "The Breakfast Club")

Episode #4
Production #V0804

Written by: John Loy

Directed by: Chris Graves

Production Draft - April 20, 1998
Pages 6-8 - May 14, 1998
Pages 1-1B - June 08, 1998

Pacific Island Pictures, LTD, All Rights Reserved © 1998

Cast List

Hercules
Jason
Iolaus - (ee-OH-lus)
Cheiron
Kora
Fiducius - (fi-DOO-shuss)
Shepherd
Leonidas - (lee-oh-NEE-dass)

Set List

Interiors:
Cheiron's Academy - Scroll Room
Cheiron's Academy - Stables
Cheiron's Academy - Shower Room
Kora's Inn

Exteriors:
Cheiron's Academy - Courtyard Cheiron's Academy - Pig Sty Cheiron's Academy - Gate

Teaser

FADE IN:

EXT. CHEIRON'S ACADEMY - TRAINING HALL - DAY

Establish -- with the sound of PADDED STAFFS HITTING AND PARRYING.

INT. ACADEMY - TRAINING HALL - ONE CORNER - CONTINUOUS

JASON lunges hard with a padded staff; HERC parries; Jason spins low; Herc jumps above it; then Jason brings his staff up to his shoulder level, held wide to block a hard downward slash by Herc. Both cadets are sweating from a hard workout. The staffs hold for a beat, neither giving an inch:

HERCULES
(straining)
Give up!
JASON
(straining)
Never!

(NOTE: IF THE ABOVE EXCHANGE IS TOO MUCH ACTION, JUST START ON THE NEITHER-GIVING-AN-INCH MOMENT.) Then they hear a BELL sound. Suddenly they both relax.

HERCULES
Had you.
JASON
In your dreams.

Each one picks up equipment -- padded staffs, shields, swords, etc. -- and puts it away -- against a wall, on a table, in a closet, etc. -- as they talk.

HERCULES
You got your stuff ready?
JASON
I've been ready for this break for days.
HERCULES
(indicating the academy)
I thought you loved this dump.
JASON
I love my family --

He tosses something heavy away.

JASON
That doesn't mean I want to spend my weekend with them.
HERCULES
I don't know... I could think of worse things than hanging around here with everybody else gone. It'd be nice and quiet.

As they finish putting stuff up, they come together as Jason shakes his head at Herc:

JASON
Remind me not to have you plan my next party.

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. CHEIRON'S ACADEMY - GATE - DAY

Laughing Students EXIT through the gate in groups of two and three. FIDUCIUS, the academy's grumpy bookkeeper, emerges from a doorway and heads across the traffic stream, loaded down with scrolls. A Student bumps into him, almost making him drop his armful. Fiducius struggles to keep his balance, shouting after the Student.

FIDUCIUS
Look out, you! Clumsy! You want a suspension?! Is that what you want?!

Glaring after the kid, Fiducius staggers on under his load.

INT. CHEIRON'S ACADEMY - SHOWER ROOM

The SCREEN is filled with steam. Through the mist emerges HERCULES, dressed but with wet hair and a towel draped around his neck. From the mist, a towel snaps at his butt.

HERCULES
(laughing)
Ow! Watch it!

JASON steps from the steam, twirling his towel.

JASON
Hurry up, will ya? I want to hit the road!
HERCULES
Relax. We've got plenty of --
(looks O.S.; stops short)

Whoa. Check that out.

ANGLE IN DORM

IOLAUS stands before his open locker, checking himself out in a mirror as he douses with cologne. The guys join him, sniffing and making faces. Jason waves a hand in the air.

JASON
Wow. Smells like a Satyr crawled in here and died!
IOLAUS
Very funny. Don't touch the hair!
HERCULES
Somebody's got some big plans for the weekend. What's up?
IOLAUS
(smugly)
If you losers must know, I've got a date... with Kora.

Herc gives him a playful shove.

HERCULES
Get serious!
IOLAUS
What can I say? I guess she's decided I'm the man for her!
JASON
(frowning)
I thought you said you were going to ask Kora for work -- as in being a busboy?
IOLAUS
(too cool)
Do I look like the busboy type?

He strikes a "cool" pose. Herc and Jason consider him a moment, exchanging looks -- then Herc turns back to Iolaus:

HERCULES
Dishwasher?

Iolaus rolls his eyes, turns back to his mirror.

IOLAUS
Ah, you're just jealous.
JASON
No, we're hungry.
HERCULES
Last one out the gate buys breakfast!

Herc bolts for the door. Iolaus and Jason look at each other for a brief beat, then race after him.

EXT. CHEIRON'S SCADEMY - COURTYARD - CONTINUOUS

The three guys come piling out the dormitory door, getting stuck for a BEAT before popping out, laughing. They tear madly across the courtyard toward the gate, shoving and grabbing at each other. Jason hurdles over a horse trough; Herc vaults over the horse. Up ahead, Fiducius emerges from the door with another large stack of scrolls. Iolaus, in the lead, glances back at his pals as he comes running straight toward Fiducius.

IOLAUS
Looks like somebody owes me a break --

WHAM! Iolaus runs smack into Fiducius. The scrolls go flying. Fiducius is thrown backwards, SCREAMS...

...and tumbles head over heels into a nearby well. There's a huge SPLASH. Herc and his pals pull up, as scrolls rain down around them. They look over to see CHEIRON stepping into the courtyard, frowning curiously. Fiducius throws his arms over the wall of the well and pulls himself into view, spitting out a stream of water. Herc glances at his friends.

HERCULES
Guys, I think we're in trouble.

FADE OUT.

Act One

FADE IN:

EXT. CHEIRON'S ACADEMY - COURTYARD - DAY

Herc, Jason, and Iolaus stand in a line before Cheiron and Fiducius, the latter soaking wet and furious.

FIDUCIUS
(sniffs)
H-h-hoodlums! T-t-terrorists!

He SNEEZES.

IOLAUS
Bless you.

Cheiron shoots him a look. Iolaus looks down.

HERCULES
Fiducius, we're really sorry. It was an accident.
FIDUCIUS
(sniffs)
Ha!
IOLAUS
We were just having a race, and--

Fiducius darts forward and jabs a finger in Iolaus's face.

FIDUCIUS
It was a premeditated, malicious attack on a despised authority figure! Don't think I don't know how you boys snicker at me behind my back!

He turns and stalks back to Cheiron, revealing a wet scroll which has unrolled and is plastered to his butt. The boys struggle not to laugh.

JASON
But we don't.
(snickers)

Really...

Herc and Iolaus repress more SNICKERS. Fiducius spins back toward them. Instant silence.

FIDUCIUS
Keep it up, boys! You're just digging yourselves a bigger hole!
(significantly)

This might even affect your permanent records!

The guys exchange worried glances. Fiducius stalks up to Cheiron. Cheiron gazes impassively at the boys.

CHEIRON
I trust the discipline Fiducius chooses will enlighten as well as punish.
(to Fiducius)

As always, I leave them in your care.

As Cheiron exits, Fiducius grins gleefully.

FIDUCIUS
(nasty pleasure)
You're going to be 'enlightened' all right... Boys, if you had plans for today, you can forget 'em! You're stuck here with me!

Herc and Jason look disappointed, but Iolaus is aghast.

IOLAUS
You can't do that!

With a little smile, Fiducius takes a step towards Iolaus.

FIDUCIUS
Why not?!
IOLAUS
I have to go! I promised somebody that... I mean...

Iolaus wilts under Fiducius' sneer.

FIDUCIUS
Obviously you've got me confused with somebody who cares.

He turns away. Iolaus hangs his head.

IOLAUS
Yes, sir.

Fiducius paces before the boys. As he starts pontificating, their lips move along with his. They've heard it all before.

FIDUCIUS
See, there are two little words you boys never learned: respect and responsibility! The keys to an orderly society!

ANGLE FROM GATE

In the B.G., Fiducius carries on before his captive audience. Cheiron EXITS PAST CAMERA. He smiles gently (not mocking) -- he's heard this lecture, too.

FIDUCIUS
You boys show no respect! You boys take no responsibility!

BACK ON GROUP IN COURTYARD

FIDUCIUS
When my boy Pythias was a student here, things were different!

He gives them a long, "meaningful" look, then turns away, hands clasped behind his back. Iolaus leans toward Herc.

IOLAUS
(sotto)
Just kill me now.

INT. CHEIRON'S ACADEMY - STABLES - DAY

Mucking out a disgusting horse stall, Jason pauses to wipe his brow, smearing a big streak of dirt on his face.

JASON
You really think he's gonna make us work all day?

Herc WALKS THROUGH, carrying a large hay bale.

HERCULES
Fiducius? The Dean of Mean? You bet!

WHAM! Another hay bale falls right behind him. Iolaus looks down at them from the loft.

IOLAUS
I can't stay here all day! There's no way! I gotta get out!

Herc drops his hay bale and Jason leans on his shovel. Both look up at Iolaus; they're going to enjoy this.

JASON
Oh, really? Tell us why. Exactly.
IOLAUS
Well, you know, I got that big date with Kora, and...

Herc and Jason exchange looks. Jason shakes his head and turns back to his shoveling.

HERCULES
Sorry! You'll have to do better than that.

Iolaus sags. He shrugs, giving it up.

IOLAUS
Okay, okay!
(beat)

I'm a busboy.

Jason shoots Herc a triumphant look, then smiles at Iolaus.

JASON
There! Now don't you feel better?
IOLAUS
(sarcastically)
Oh, yeah!
(sighs)

Today's my first day. If I don't show up, Kora's gonna fire me for sure!
HERCULES
So why don't you just tell that to Fiducius?
IOLAUS
Hey, I tried! He couldn't care less! Anyway, how could he prove I wasn't just making it up?

He glances around as if afraid of being overheard, then drops down out of the loft, landing between his friends.

IOLAUS
I, um... I was thinking I might try to sneak out.

Herc and Jason exchange concerned glances. Herc hurries to the stable door and closes it.

JASON
Are you crazy?!
HERCULES
If you got caught, he'd throw the book at you! You'd probably get kicked out of school!
IOLAUS
(shrugs)
Hey, if Kora fires me, I can't pay my tuition anyway.

He looks at his pals, hesitates.

IOLAUS
The thing is... I need you to cover for me.
JASON
You're kidding, right?
HERCULES
Iolaus... I don't know...
IOLAUS
Don't you remember why I'm here? Probation. If I'm not in the academy, I'm in jail. I'm going to Kora's whether you help me or not.

Herc and Jason exchange long looks. Finally Jason nods. Herc turns to Iolaus.

HERCULES
Okay. We'll cover for you.
IOLAUS
You guys are the best!

He grabs Herc by the shoulders, then turns to Jason, who raises his shovel.

JASON
Just don't hug me, okay?
IOLAUS
You got it.

Iolaus smiles as he steps to the door, peeks out, and exits.

EXT. CHEIRON'S ACADEMY - COURTYARD - CONTINUOUS

Iolaus slips into the courtyard and makes his way toward the gate. Suddenly, he sees Fiducius gathering up the scrolls, right by the gate. Iolaus dives behind the well just as Fiducius turns toward him. But a scroll falls off the stack, and when Fiducius bends to pick it up, Iolaus races for the gate and dives out. He's just disappeared from view when Fiducius straightens up.

INT. CHEIRON'S ACADEMY - STABLES - CONTINUOUS

Hercules is climbing down from the loft -- we see that he's not wearing his boots -- as Jason pulls up a stool by a goat and starts milking.

JASON
I can't believe I'm doing this.
HERCULES
You've milked goats before.

Herc crosses to one of the uprights supporting the loft. There's a rope hanging down which he pulls around behind the post.

JASON
You know what I mean. Fiducius would love to catch us pulling a stunt like this.
FIDUCIUS
(O.S.)
Like what?

Fiducius is standing in the doorway with a smug smile.

HERCULES
Uh, nothing, sir!

Jason bends to his bilking, and Herc picks up a hay bale. The guys sneak worried looks at each other -- how much did he hear? Fiducius strolls in, looking around. He glances into a stall, then shakes his head.

FIDUCIUS
You called this mucked out?! My boy Pythias would be ashamed to let a teacher see such shoddy work!
JASON
(sotto)
Yeah, I'll bet he could really shovel it.

Fiducius glares, seems about to reprimand him, then frowns, suddenly noticing something.

FIDUCIUS
Wait a second. Where's that Iolaus?

Herc glances at Jason. This is it.

HERCULES
Right up there -- in the loft!
FIDUCIUS
Where?

Dropping his bale, Herc points up into the loft. A pair of boots can be seen at the edge of the hay, toes pointing down, as if Iolaus is kneeling, faced away from them.

HERCULES
He's right up there.
(calls up to loft)

Iolaus!
FIDUCIUS
(impatient)
I'll go speed him up!

Fiducius drops his scrolls and grabs a pitchfork. He starts up the ladder. Herc gestured urgently to Jason, who aims a teat at Fiducius and squirts milk right in his eye.

FIDUCIUS
(yelps)
My eye!
JASON
Sorry! The goat moved!

Fiducius stumbles around blindly, groping for the ladder.

HERCULES
Iolaus! Toss me a bale!

Herc pulls the rope hidden behind the post. WHUMP! A bale of hay comes down, narrowly missing Fiducius, who jumps. Herc calls up to "Iolaus," then answers himself in a bad side-of-the-mouth imitation of Iolaus's voice.

HERCULES
Thanks!
(falsetto)

Welcome!

Jason jumps up and hustles the still-blinking Fiducius to the stable door.

JASON
Better go rinse out -- wouldn't want that milk to curdle!

Fiducius yanks his arm away, and turns to squint up at the loft.

FIDUCIUS
Let go of me! Stay alert up there if you know what's good for you!
HERCULES
(as Iolaus)
Yessir!

Fiducius stumbles out. Jason closes the stable door behind him, then leans against it, breathing a sigh of relief.

HERCULES
Think he bought it?
JASON
(shrugs)
That time.

INT. KORA'S INN - DAY

The joint is jumping. KORA is behind the counter as Iolaus comes running in, looking behind him as if pursued. He slams right into the counter, drawing a scornful look from her.

KORA
A little late for our first day, aren't we?
IOLAUS
(breathless)
Sorry. Shepherd rush hour.
KORA
(shakes her head)
That's a new one. Look, I'm really busy today, so I need you to wait tables.

Iolaus gives a pleased smile as she tosses him an apron.

IOLAUS
I'm a waiter? Cool!
(waggles his eyebrows)

Do waiters get to date the boss?

He teasingly reaches a hand towards her. Kora grabs it, gives his wrist a twist.

IOLAUS
Ngaa!
KORA
(with a sweet smile)
Not dead ones. Take the table in the corner. You got a customer waiting.

She lets go and exits into the kitchen. Iolaus flexes his hand. Another Waiter passes by with a tray. Iolaus snatches a tidbit and tosses it into his mouth. The Waiter glares.

IOLAUS
It's okay. I'm a waiter!

The guy shrugs, walks on. Then Iolaus looks across the room and spots his Customer on table nine. His face falls. Cheiron stands at the table, reading the menu scroll.

IOLAUS
(O.S.)
This just isn't my day.

FADE OUT.

Act Two

FADE IN:

INT. KORA'S INN - CONTINUOUS

Iolaus stares at Cheiron nervously. Spotting a hat rack nearby, he snatches a floppy, wide-brimmed shepherd's had off it and jams it low on his head, ducking a bit to enhance the effect. Kora emerges from the kitchen with a tray of food. When she sees Iolaus in the hat, she frowns, bemused but bewildered.

KORA
What's with the hat?
IOLAUS
(thinking fast)
I was just thinking, what if all the waiters wore different goofy hats? Wouldn't that be a cute gimmick?
KORA
We already have a cute gimmick. It's called serving the customers.

She gestures him on as she hurries OS with the tray. Across the room, Cheiron sets down the menu scroll, and starts to look up. Iolaus throws himself backwards through the kitchen door. (There's a major O.S. CRASH OF METAL AND CROCKERY.) Cheiron blinks, shrugs, then looks back at the menu.

INT. CHEIRON'S ACADEMY - SCROLL ROOM - DAY

Herc and Jason face a wall covered with shelves, all of which are filled with scrolls. Fiducius enters to drop another armful of scrolls atop a pile already on the floor between the boys.

FIDUCIUS
All these scrolls must be filed in strict alphabetical order.

Herc and Jason glance at the scrolls, then each other.

FIDUCIUS
When my boy Pythias went here, the students knew the value of a precisely ordered library.
(sighs)

But nobody reads these days.

(sarcastically)

Everyone's too busy going to plays, looking at sculptures!

He shakes his head, then looks around and reacts.

FIDUCIUS
Now where's Iolaus?

Herc affects a confused frown, glances around.

HERCULES
He was right behind me a second ago.

This time Fiducius isn't buying it. He regards them suspiciously.

FIDUCIUS
There's something strange going on here.

The guys blink at each other, at a loss. Jason brightens.

JASON
Oh, I remember! He went to slop the hogs!
FIDUCIUS
Slop the hogs.
JASON
Uhh, yeah!
FIDUCIUS
Really.

He looks at them. They look as innocent as possible.

FIDUCIUS
Very well. Get to work.

Fiducius exits. Herc glances at Jason.

HERCULES
Slop the hogs, huh?
JASON
(shrugs)
It was the only thing I could think of.

Herc crosses to peer out the door.

EXT. CHEIRON'S ACADEMY - COURTYARD - CONTINUOUS

Fiducius is at his office door. However, instead of going on, he glances across the courtyard, then hurries off.

HERCULES
(O.S.)
Uh oh!

INT CHEIRON'S ACADEMY - SCROLL ROOM - CONTINUOUS

Jason steps up to peer out over Herc's shoulder.

JASON
That burns me up. He didn't believe me!
HERCULES
I just hope I can get there first!

Herc speeds away. A beat, then Jason frowns, shakes his head:

JASON
(pensive, wistful)
Is there no trust anymore?

EXT. CHEIRON'S ACADEMY - COURTYARD - CONTINUOUS

Herc peeks out, sees Fiducius scurrying off to the far end of the courtyard. Herc takes off running, heading in the opposite direction from Fiducius.

INT. KORA'S INN - DAY - CLOSE ON MENU SCROLL

PULL BACK to REVEAL Cheiron reading the menu. Iolaus stands next to him, holding a tray piled high with goblets, pitchers, and stacks of dishes. Hat pulled down low, he struggles to hold the tray up between his face and Cheiron.

CHEIRON
Are the oats fresh today?
IOLAUS
(falsetto)
You bet!

Cheiron nods, rolls up the scroll, and hands it to Iolaus.

CHEIRON
I'll have the vegetarian stuffed grape leaves and a side of oats.
IOLAUS
(falsetto)
Thank you!

Iolaus almost drops the tray as he reaches one hand down to take the menu. He manages to keep it together, though, and backs away from the table, tray held high. Over by the counter, Kora reacts with a curious frown.

EXT.CHEIRON'S ACADEMY - PIG STY - DAY

Two or three large hogs wallow in the mud in F.G. Herc comes running around the corner of a building in B.G., and dashes for the pig pen. As Herc reaches the pen, Fiducius appears in the distance, coming around the far corner. Herc thinks fast, decides.

HERCULES
Iolaus... you owe me a big one!

Closing his eyes, he dives headfirst into the muck. A BEAT later, Fiducius strides up to the pig pen.

FIDUCIUS
Iolaus! Is that you?

Herc sticks his head up from behind the hogs. Herc's on his knees (IOLAUS IS SHORTER), covered with mud. He blinks at Fiducius, who's taken aback. Herc does the same bad Iolaus imitation he did before.

HERCULES
Yessir?
FIDUCIUS
(disgusted)
You really throw yourself into your work, don't you, boy?
HERCULES
Uhh... yessir.
FIDUCIUS
(sniffs the air)
I've got to say, it's better than that cologne you were wearing. Very well. Carry on. Just... wash up before you come back in.
HERCULES
Yessir.

Fiducius nods, turns to walk off. Herc stays right where he is, smiling goofily. A big hog noses him.

HERCULES
(sotto)
Back off, porky.

Fiducius glances back. Herc waves. Fiducius turns away, shaking his head and muttering to himself as he moves on. Herc gets to his feet as he asks the pigs:

HERCULES
Whaddya think, guys? Did we fool him?

He glances from the hogs to himself, sniffs distastefully, then dunks his head into a trough and splashes about madly.

INT. KORA'S INN - DAY

Iolaus waits warily by the delivery window of the kitchen. Leonidas, the cook, sets down two plates.

LEONIDAS
Prometheus with his coat on! Feedbag on the side!

Iolaus yanks down his floppy hat, grabs the plates, sets them on the tray, then lifts it up high again, blocking his face. Kora steps up and watches him head across the room. Cheiron is having a drink of water as Iolaus scurries up, his head craned around away from the table. Iolaus somehow manages to set the plates down without looking around. Holding the tray up beside his head, he hurries off. As Iolaus returns to the counter, Kora grabs him.

KORA
What's going on? Why are you hiding from him?
IOLAUS
Hiding? What makes you think I'm hiding?

A confused SHEPHERD turns from the hat rack, sees Iolaus and brightens.

SHEPHERD
Hey! My hat!

He whisks the floppy hat off Iolaus's head, jams it on, and exits.

CHEIRON
(O.S.)
Waiter!

Iolaus TAKES and ducks behind the counter. Frowning, Kora turns to see Cheiron holding up his empty glass.

CHEIRON
More water, please.

She glances down at Iolaus, rolls her eyes, then picks up a pitcher of water and heads across the room.

INT. CHEIRON'S ACADEMY - SCROLL ROOM - DAY

His arms full of scrolls, Jason stands on tiptoe to jam one in a high shelf. As he turns away, the scroll and a dozen around it falls. They bounce off him, mainly off his head, and hit the ground, opening up. With a sigh, he drops his other scrolls, and bends to pick the fallen, opened scrolls back up.

JASON
(sighs)
Great.

He grabs the scroll and is rolling it up when something on it catches his eye. He unrolls it again, and is scanning it when he hears a NOISE. He hastily rolls it up and stands up, holding it tight. He turns just as Herc comes running in, soaking wet.

JASON
(relieved)
Don't scare me like that! Hey, what happened?
HERCULES
Okay, so I got to the pigpen, right? Then--

Ignoring him, Jason turns and gestures to the shelves.

JASON
Do you know what these are? Student records!
HERCULES
Yeah? So?

Jason bends down and quickly stacks the dozen dropped, open scrolls in his arms.

JASON
I just knocked over most of the 'F's.

Hercules bends down to help while giving a quick, anxious glance at the door.

HERCULES
I wouldn't mess with those if I were you...

Jason looks at the scroll as he loads up with them:

JASON
(ignoring him)
Flaminius. Flaccus.
(big smile)

Ahh! Here we go!

Jason drops all the other scrolls as he brandishes the scroll triumphantly.

JASON
Pythias Fiducius! You know, as in 'back when my boy Pythias went here...'? Let's see if he was the hotshot Big Daddy says he was.

He starts unrolling the scroll. Herc runs toward him, hand out to stop him.

HERCULES
Jason! C'mon! Put it back!

Too late. Jason scans the scroll, then reacts, surprised.

JASON
Whoa.
(a beat)

Whoa!

Herc frowns, looks over Jason's shoulder.

HERCULES
What?
(reads; a beat)

Whoa! Incompletes? Hey, he even got a suspension!

Jason lowers the scroll and glances at Herc.

JASON
So much for Mr. Perfect Cadet!

Herc takes the scroll for a closer look.

HERCULES
You know what else is weird? There's nothing in here about him graduating.

A hand reaches in between them and yanks the scroll away. Both boys turn to see Fiducius standing there, fuming.

FIDUCIUS
That's because he didn't!

INT. KORA'S INN - DAY

Cheiron exits with a wave to Kora behind the counter.

KORA
Come again!

As soon as Cheiron is gone, Kora reaches behind the counter and yanks Iolaus up into view.

IOLAUS
So, uh, how'm I doing?
KORA
I'd say you're done.

She yanks his apron off over his head, practically taking his ears off. He blinks, his face falling.

IOLAUS
You mean... I'm fired?

There's a pause... then Kora smiles and shakes her head.

KORA
Nah. I've just had enough entertainment for one day.

Iolaus beams, relieved... then holds out a hand.

IOLAUS
Great. Hey! What about my pay?
KORA
It should just about cover your damages.
IOLAUS
(sheepishly)
Oh. Gotcha.

Kora jerks a thumb at the door.

KORA
Now beat it. See you next week.
IOLAUS
Thanks... boss!

With a broad smile, Iolaus crosses to the door, peers out, then runs like hell. Kora rolls her eyes and turns with a smile to a customer.

INT. CHEIRON'S ACADEMY - SCROLL ROOM - DAY

Fiducius stares at the boys, his face contorted with emotion. It's a tense moment. He looks down at his son's scroll... then starts to speak, as if to himself.

FIDUCIUS
He was a good boy, once... a good student. Made me proud.

Jason opens his mouth, but Herc touches his arm, and he remains silent. Fiducius talks as if he's forgotten they're in the room.

FIDUCIUS
But then he started getting into scrapes. Small ones at first... I went easy on him, I covered for him, let him get away with things.

He looks at the scroll again, then rolls it up roughly, as if he can't stand to read it.

FIDUCIUS
He got wilder and wilder... uncontrollable. I didn't know what to do with him. One day, he just ran away.

For the first time, Fiducius looks at them. He's angry, but also pleading, as if trying to justify himself.

FIDUCIUS
You wonder why I'm so hard on you boys?! I don't want the same thing to happen to you! I don't want to let you down... the way I did him.

He looks down. There's a moment of silence... and then Herc steps forward. He puts a hand on Fiducius' shoulder.

HERCULES
You can't take the blame for your son's mistakes. At some point you have to let him be responsible for himself.

A beat, then Fiducius looks up to him.

FIDUCIUS
I wish I could. Perhaps when you have children of your own you'll understand.
HERCULES
I do know that I would be grateful to have a father who cared about me as much as you care about Pythias.

Fiducius looks at him... but before he can speak, Iolaus comes running breathlessly in. His eyes meet Fiducius'.

IOLAUS
Sorry! I'll come back later!

Fiducius grabs him by the collar before he can take a step.

HERCULES
Fiducius! Wait! He had to leave! He's got a job!
JASON
We said we'd do his work for him!
IOLAUS
Don't blame them! It was my fault!
CHEIRON
(O.S.)
So. How did things go today?

All turn to see Cheiron standing in the doorway. Fiducius lets go of Iolaus. He glances at the boys.

FIDUCIUS
Not quite as I expected...

Fiducius looks from Cheiron to the boys, who are dying of suspense. If he's going to turn them in, this is his chance.

FIDUCIUS
But they worked hard.

The guys can't believe their ears. Fiducius walks past Cheiron, pauses and looks back at the boys.

FIDUCIUS
They're good boys.

With a last glance at them, Fiducius exits. Bemused, Cheiron looks from him to the boys.

CHEIRON
Sometimes it's the teacher who learns the lesson.
(beat)

Enjoy the rest of your day.

JASON/IOLAUS/HERCULES ad lib whoops. Cheiron turns to go, then turns back.

CHEIRON
One more thing. Iolaus!
IOLAUS
Yessir?
CHEIRON
Your tip.

Cheiron flips a coin into the air. Iolaus catches it. Off his dumbfounded reaction, we:

FADE OUT.

THE END