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24 March 2008 @ 08:59 pm
In all but Blood, ch 9  
Title: In all but Blood
Rating: PG-13, for now
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.
Notes: Okay, I promised this would be up sooner. But I was discontent, so I ended up rewriting the whole thing. And from now on, I'm writing when I get the ideas, or else I'll do what I did, and lose interest (thank God it was temporary...)

 

Menoetius didn't look as old as Patroclus had initially feared he would. There were streaks of grey in his hair, and the lines on his face were somewhat more prominent than before, but he seemed as sturdy as ever. When he saw his son, his face lit up, and he appeared even younger. It amazed Patroclus how happiness could take years off a face, and how sadness could age. When the two of them embraces, Menoetius gave a great sigh and kissed his son's hair.


“Gods, you've gotten tall,” he said, holding Patroclus out to look at him. “You're already becoming a man so fast...”


“No quite yet,” Patroclus said, smiling. “Although I killed my first boar two years ago.”


“We've been out of touch too long, no matter what Chiron seems to think about contact between us two.”


“I've been getting almost no news at all. Only what the villages hear. Which isn't much.”


Menoetius put an arm around the boy's shoulders and let him inside. “Then you wouldn't have heard that I got married again.”


Patroclus looked at his father in surprise. “You did?”


Menoetius nodded. “Twice,” he said. “They're both political unions. Else I would have simply been content the live the rest of my life with Polymele.”


Patroclus could understand how his father could feel that way. Menoetius preferred his company to be a smaller group of close friends, and so rarely held large parties for social purposes. Likewise, he didn't often feel desire for another—the flip side of this, though, was that when he did, he was fiercely loyal. He married Polymele almost a year after his first wife had died. Patroclus was six at the time. Despite the age difference—Polymele was only ten years older than Patroclus—the match had been a good one; not only did Menoetius adore her, but she reciprocated his feelings, and loved Patroclus like a brother.


As it turned out, both Patroclus and Menoetius saw her as a breath of fresh air from the latter's two other wives. Philomela was from Athens, and closer Menoetius' age. She had a firm idea of what was proper, and often Polymele didn't fit into that category. Whenever the younger woman came back from some adventure she had with Patroclus, her lips would tighten with disapproval, but she would say nothing. In the meantime, Periopis was younger than Polymele. She the daughter of Pheres, who was a friend of Menoetius and king of Pherae, and she was rather more awkward. Every time Patroclus said something too open—which happened rather often, as Chiron had almost completely neglected teaching the boys anything about manners—she would blush and stare at her feet. After a while of this, he would start getting impatient with her, and leave lest he say something he knew he shouldn't.


It had been suggested that he stay for a week or two before heading out again. No matter how he looked at it, he would need to readjust to living in a house with others again. The bed felt a little too comfortable at times, and the food seemed extravagant compared to what he'd been living on, along with relearning what it was appropriate to say when. This last one was easier for him, although every once and a while he would slip.


Polymele seemed to take joy in making Patroclus fit to ask for Helen's hand. Although Menoetius encouraged her to some extent, there was a line to be drawn. He was never an extravagant man, and seemed to feel his son should follow the example, for which Patroclus was rather grateful. It seemed like a better idea to show some amount of frugality with Spartans anyway. Still, he was giving a beautiful brown horse, and some rather nice new clothes. Polymele would go out shopping for gifts for him to give, and Menoetius quietly commissioned Patroclus' first set of armour, although he made it clear that he wouldn't get it until he was fully a man. Patroclus felt he may have been a little disappointed if he didn't have to wait—he wanted to be given things when he deserved them, a feeling that he and Achilles had always shared.


Menoetius was very interested in what Patroclus had been doing on Mount Pelion. He was surprised to hear there was another boy living and training with them, and Patroclus could see him tense when he told him Medeus' name.


What's he like?” Menoetius said, almost conversationally.


He's great,” Patroclus said. “He's a really good friend—he's smart and really nice. Apparently he gets a bit of trouble from his mother every once and a while. He gets a little exasperated with her.” He felt that it would be best to leave out the exact level of their relationship, and was glad he did when Menoetius let out a sigh.


The next day, he asked Polymele about it as the two of them waded in the sea between the rocks.


Well, I don't know too much about her son, but from what I hear Medea's a real piece of work. They say she's a barbarian witch. You stay away from her bad side—it's dangerous even if you don't. Haven't you heard about her?”


Patroclus shook his head.


Well, Jason came across her when he was going after the Golden Fleece, and fell in love with her.”


I heard about that—that he gave Aphrodite Medea's credit, and married some other girl.”


That's not even the half of it. See, when the Argonauts were being pursued, she killed and dismembered her own brother, and spread his remains so that they would have to stop and pick him up, in order to give him funeral rights. She was a great user of magic too, and covered a man with a deadly poison, telling him it was a youth potion.


After all this, Jason went to go marry his other girl, and she got really mad. She'd had two of his kids, and killed her own brother for him, betraying her people. She got a guarantee from Aegeas of Athens to give her sanctuary, should she take revenge. So she sent a poisoned dress as a wedding present to the girl, and the girl burned up in it. The bride's father died too, holding his daughter as she writhed in agony. After this, Medea took her children—a little girl and boy—and killed both of them, to spite Jason.


She married Aegeas within a week after this, and nearly nine months later she had another son. Nobody was every able to prove whose son he was. At the time, Aegeas thought he'd lost his only son, and Medea thought her own son would end up on the throne. However, the lost son—that's Theseus—showed up. She recognized the boy before Aegeas did, and nearly tricked him into poisoning the boy. Aegeas figured it out at the last minute, and drove her and the boy out of Athens. It was thought they went back to Colchis, but apparently she left the boy with Chiron. Who knows Chiron's reason for taking him in—maybe he felt that it would be better for him to be raised away from Medea's conspiring, which could very well be true.”


Patroclus pulled his legs up to his chest. It hurt that, after years, Medeus had failed to tell either he or Achilles about these things. Anyone would have left it out at first, but he thought after all these years he thought maybe he would trust them enough with this type of thing. Neither of them would have thought any less of him for his family.


Chiron had been right in scolding him when they first met, though; he couldn't imagine what it would be like to be hated for his parents. While Patroclus felt Clysonymus' family may be justified in continuing to feel bitter toward him, Medeus had never even done anything to warrant others' spite.


He thought about Philomela, and how she would have reacted in learning about his friendship with the son of Medea. He wouldn't feel any shame in defending the other boy, but he refused to bring disharmony his his father's household. So he kept silent about Medeus for the rest of his stay in Opus.


Preparations
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Current Location: school
Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished
Current Music: Across the Universe Soundtrack
 
 
 
See you later, instigator: Toshioudeteron on March 26th, 2008 06:56 pm (UTC)
Wow, way to make Medea's story even more interesting by putting it in conjunction with Patroclus's relationship with Medeus. That was my favorite part of this chapter.