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27 July 2008 @ 03:08 pm
Fic: In all but Blood, ch 18  
Title: In all but Blood
Rating: PG-13
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.

 

Menelaus was very aware that he wasn't a handsome man. He was beefy, and at the slightest touch of anger he would flush a deep red. He was built for war; he felt most comfortable with a sword in his hand, leading his men into battle with a rattling war cry.

 

He was not, however, good with women. At least Agamemnon could talk to them. He was generally charismatic, when people were cooperative with him. Menelaus, on the other hand, got tongue-tied, and as a result often succeeded in sticking his foot in his mouth. Other times, even when helping a lady from a horse, he felt like he would break them if he gripped too tightly.

 

At first he had been smug when Tyndareus announced that he had selected Menelaus to marry Helen. Oaths had taken an oath already, sacrifices and all. The other suitors would defend him if another man tried to dishonour his marriage by trying to take Helen, either by attacking him or charming her with words. Odysseus, who he had resented before because he knew full well that the man was smarter than him, had withdrawn and offered this solution, and suddenly he felt like embracing the man kissing him like he would a brother.

 

Helen, looking so beautiful, smiled, causing him to blush. He wished the others weren't here, he was embarrassed enough as it was, having such a pretty girl smiling at him. Why did she look at him like that, as if she were amused? If he were a girl like her, he would find it terrible to be married to an awkward—for he certainly felt awkward right now—unattractive man twice his age. If he were a girl, so much softer than he himself, he might cry at the thought.

 

“Um...My Lady,” he started, simply because he felt he should say something. “I...I hope you are happy with me. That is--”and suddenly he was flustered and stumbling over his words. “That is, eventually. That is...” He shut himself up before he could do any more damage. The other men were snickering.

 

“I hope so, too.” Why was she so amused?
 

She excused herself, and he looked around him. Some were amused, while others looked disappointed or angry. His eyes met Odysseus', from where the other man was talk with Patroclus and Antilochus. He raised his cup to Menelaus, causing the other two to look around. Menelaus nodded, trying to look pleasant. Odysseus was being genuinely friendly; the boys' expressions, though, were unreadable.

 

~*~

 

Patroclus sighed. “Medeus is really going to get on my case about this one. He warned me and everything. By the time I wanted to back out I was in too deep.”

 

Antilochus laughed. “Don't worry, you're not the only one. Father won't be too happy with me, either.” He paused. “Actually, I was thinking...you should come back with me, stay with us a while. And it'll put off your scolding for a while,” he added with a smile.

 

Patroclus hesitated. All he had thought about for the last day or so was getting back to Mount Pelion. He realized that, since the two of them met, he had never been apart from Achilles for so long. He remembered how, at the ripe old age of nine, he would get so annoyed at the little boy trailing after him, constantly wanting kisses and cuddles, insisting on sleeping with him during storms or after a nightmare. He wondered what he would have thought if he knew how much he would miss those sunny smiles and the almost selfish desire to be near him now.

 

It seemed a little strange to think that he was almost even looked forward to Medeus getting annoyed at him. Another somewhat selfish friend, Patroclus thought ruefully. Medeus was rather more sly in the ways to chose to satisfy his wants than Achilles; it made it much easier to keep them both happy.

 

He was a little ashamed to think that he not only missed doing things with Medeus, but he missed doing things. The two of them had been doing so for quite a while previous to the night before he left, when he allowed Medeus to take him. It was all well to do these things on his own, but it was much more fun with someone else. The only person he might consider doing them with here was Antilochus, but he would never be the one to make the first move. Antilochus never seemed at all interested, and Patroclus wondered if the younger boy had even really discovered sex yet.

 

Seeing how Patroclus was unsure, Antilochus said, “Well, just think about it. We're not leaving quite yet, anyway.”

 

Patroclus nodded. “Alright. I think about it.”

 

It wasn't as easy as Antilochus seemed to think it was. He wanted Patroclus to visit for a year or so, he knew that without asking. But Medeus could leave for Colchis at any time, and Patroclus wanted to at least say goodbye.

 

And he thought about Achilles. Achilles needed him, of that he was sure. But more and more, it seemed that he needed Achilles. The thought of not seeing the boy for a year or more made his stomach twist, and his heart started to ache. When he told Antilochus that he couldn't leave Achilles, the other youth gave an impatient sigh.

 

He's going to have to learn to live without you at some point,” he said.

 

It's not just that,” Patroclus said.

 

Antilochus looked annoyed, but nodded. “I wish I knew about this person that has settled himself so comfortably in your heart.”

 

Listen,” Patroclus said. “I promise, when Chiron lets us go, we'll both come. You'll like Achilles, I promise.”

 

You better.”

 

Where do you live?”

 

Hm?” Antilochus looked surprised. “To the west of here. We have from the western borders of Sparta's rule to the sea, and some way up to the Northwest. My father's palace is along the west coast. I have your promise?”

 

Yes!” Patroclus said, laughing. “Do I look like a person that would break a promise?”

 

Antilochus regarded him teasingly for a moment. “I don't know...” he said, and earned himself a slap upside the head.

 

The next day, they embraced and parted ways.


Notes:
Y'know, I used to hate Menelaus, now I just feel a little sorry for him. Helen loved him, and all. So I decided to give him a little bit. And Antilochus=Achilles & Patroclus' best friend during the war=the bearer of bad news. Poor kid. And he should never be anything more than a good friend.

Meanwhile, Patroclus has entered the full of being a teenage boy, and thus thinking mostly about sex. And he begins to realize how much he really loves Achilles, although there is not sexual desire yet (Achilles is still a little boy, after all!)

Three more chapters and I'll have broken my official record for longest story ever written (the 20 chapter one was really, really, really bad. I am very ashamed of it.)


Nineteen: A Final Goodbye

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See you later, instigator: Albus/Gellert (by ushitora_icons)oudeteron on July 28th, 2008 05:32 pm (UTC)
So you have done something nice with Helen, after all!

Aw, Patroclus and Antilochus do have that caring vibe here. But it's clear Patroclus's affection is focusing on Achilles... as it should be, of course. ^_^
MissTeacakes: alexhephmissteacakes on July 28th, 2008 06:36 pm (UTC)
I could never see Antilochus as anything but a good friend. As much as Patroclus still has a sort of thing for Medeus, everyone knows he really only loves one person ^_~
See you later, instigator: Y Tu Mamá También (by hyelle_narmo)oudeteron on July 28th, 2008 06:59 pm (UTC)
Exactly. But I do like how well they get along here. ^_^
Olivia: nightrunner: aleceosyn on August 1st, 2008 04:42 am (UTC)
aww. Menelaus is very endearingly awkward. I dislike Paris more than I do Menelaus--I mean, Helen ended up being so unhappy with him and he was a wimp wimp wimp in the beginning, haha.

I'm really curious to see how Achilles has grown up in Patroclus' absence :)
MissTeacakes: commodusmissteacakes on August 1st, 2008 02:12 pm (UTC)
It's about time Menelaus got some good publicity. It makes me kinda mad when all the ugly people are bad guys--or all the bad guys are ugly. And somewhere it says that when Helen saw him fighting Paris she remembered her love for him...