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06 May 2010 @ 07:27 pm
In All But Blood, ch. 42  
Title: In all but Blood
Rating: PG-13, for now (yell when it needs to go higher!)
Summary: When Patroclus accidentally kills a friend in an argument, he and his father are forced to flee to Phthia, where the queen is said to be a goddess and he's asked to look after her tiny son, unknowing that a series of events has been put into play that will change the world forever.

~*~

Iphigenia was a pretty, sweet girl, just about Achilles' age. Patroclus tried not to show how sad it made him that she was so happy. He stood in the entrance as Achilles moved forward to speak to her. The youth's smile had looked obviously fake as they headed toward her tend, and relaxed into something which appeared much more natural by the time they arrived.

 

Now she was laughing and talking happily to her would-be fiance. Patroclus leaned his head against the tent pole as he watched the two of them. Iphigenia looked directly at him and smiled knowingly.

 

“Is that your lover?” she asked Achilles.

 

Achilles flushed, and Patroclus knew that the youth was suddenly regretting bringing him along; it didn't do much for his image as a man, as if he were unable to be independent from his erastes.

 

“He's my captain.”

 

“I don't blame you,” she said, still grinning. “He's handsome.”

 

Achilles glanced at his lover, and Patroclus gave a small, mischevious grin. Achilles looked away quickly and said nothing. Iphigenia raised her eyebrows expectantly. Patroclus decided it might be warranted to put in a word.

 

“Sometimes a man has two roles to fulfill separately from one another,” he said, smiling mildly. “At this moment, I am an officer under Achilles.”

 

She looked at Patroclus in surprise. Leaning toward Achilles, she said in a very loud whisper, “He's a keeper.”

 

Patroclus laughed. Achilles, who had looked tense since she made the first commented about the relationship between the two, suddenly relaxed. The older man wondered if Achilles realized exactly how much a woman understood about the love between two men. Iphigenia seemed to recognize that a wife and a lover simply inhabited two different parts of her husband's life. It wasn't the first time that Patroclus worried about how cut off from life Achilles had been in Skyros.

 

“Son of Menoetius.” Patroclus turned to see a youth, not much older than Automedon. “King Agememnon wishes to speak to you.”

 

Patroclus glanced at Achilles, who looked just as mystified as he felt.

 

Me?”

 

“You are Patroclus, son of Menoetius, are you not?”

 

Yes.”

 

King Agamemnon sent for me to bring you.”

 

~*~

 

Agamemnon was pacing. He hated that he felt so anxious to speak to Achilles' captain—Achilles' lover—and knew that it wouldn't do for it to show so obviously. It seemed that there was little he could do about that, though. He remembered only a little about Patroclus from their stay in Sparta, and there was little doubt he would be quite different from the fifteen-year-old that he'd met. But people seemed to like him, and he figured it was worth a try.

 

Argynnus appeared first, parting the tent flaps and announcing Patroclus' arrival. The boy didn't stay, allowing the man to enter the tent alone. He was instantly struck by how handsome he was; he was comely as a youth, but this new confidence, which Agamemnon was sure he hadn't had five years before, brought something out. He could understand how someone could get attached. There was a polite curiosity in those green eyes, just about the same color that Achilles' had been when he came storming into the tent the day before.

 

Patroclus spoke first. “You wished to speak to me.”

 

Yes.” Agamemnon decided that he should just be straightforward. “Since you have either not thought of it or not taken the initiative, I have made the decision myself that I don't want Achilles to spend time with my daughter.” Something flickered in the other man's expression. “You may speak freely.”

 

Pardon my saying so, but shouldn't you be telling this to Achilles?” Patroclus' voice was curt. “This is not my business.”

 

Agamemnon busied himself with pouring wine, handing one to the younger man. He could tell by his expression and movements that he was taking it merely out of courtesy. The king was forming the words in his mind.

 

I will say this plainly,” he said. “I do not like Achilles. For all he wants to seem a man, he acts to be nothing but a spoiled child, and I'm not a patient man. You, on the other hand...the gods seem to have given you an unlimited supply of patience.”

 

Not the gods,” Patroclus said quietly. “Only experience.”

 

Agamemnon's mouth quirked into a half smile. “Is everything not decided by the gods?” He waved his hand dismissively. “The point is, Achilles will not listen to me, but he'll listen to you. And you listen to what a man has to say.”

 

Patroclus' eyes lowered for a few moments, then looked back up. “Does he not have a right to see her? He has, after all, been named her betrothed, however false the title may be.”

 

I'm doing him a favor. She will die, there's nothing that I can do about that—it is the wishes of the goddess, and all I can do is put it off. By spending time with her, Achilles can only become attached, and it'll be all the harder to complete the task at hand. In the meantime, I will simply pray for the mercy of Artemis.”

 

Patroclus was studying him with an unreadable look. Agamemnon hoped that he was considering his argument. Even if he decided to go against his wishes, the king's regret would be lessened a great deal by having spoken to him as opposed to Achilles; Patroclus, it seemed, had far more sense than his beloved.

 

After a while, Patroclus nodded.

 

I shall speak to Achilles,” he said slowly. “I believe I understand your argument. I don't agree, but I understand, and I'll do my best to explain it in a way he'll understand.”

 

Agamemnon relaxed all at once. “Thank you,” he said, sighing. “I had hoped you'd be so reasonable.”

 

Patroclus gave a small, wry smile. “I have to try, if just for Achilles' sake.”

 

When the younger man handed the wine cup back, it was empty.






Notes:
I decided to be kind to Agamemnon. Too often the other side's argument isn't put forward, and I think that's a little of the point behind this story.


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mookiepie007mookiepie007 on July 1st, 2010 02:05 pm (UTC)
I can't wait for the next installement! I'm so hooked! I should be studying for bio and lit class tomorrow (in which, coincidentally, we'll be starting discussion about the Iliad n__n ) but I decided a bit of a treat couldn't hurt. Never liked Agamemnon but I guess every coin has two sides. Oh, and I like that Iphigenia is totally cool.
G. Le: merlin and arthur: season one loveambrosiatea on April 1st, 2012 06:06 am (UTC)
I was scouring the internet for Patroclus/Achilles fic after reading "Song of Achilles" and I am sooo happy I came across yours'! Ngl I stayed up until 4 am last night reading your story and it was totally worth all the subsequent grogginess. It looks you haven't updated this in quite sometime but if you ever do, I hope you don't mind that I track your journal for updates. :D