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16 July 2009 @ 11:20 pm
In All but Blood, ch 40  

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.

 


The wind blew from the North, and the ships stayed anchored—all eleven hundred and forty-six, exactly. Patroclus supposed this was an improvement, if only because it was a nice change of pace. For nearly a fortnight it came from the East.

 

Tired of waiting for the right wind, an enormous camp had been set up onshore. The Achaeans had been at war too long; they had self-segregated and were eying each other suspiciously. From the bow of one of their ships, Patroclus could see where each ended and the next began.

 

On nicer nights he had been sleeping aboard the ship, finding the rocking of the sea to be soothing. Achilles, seemingly determined to spend every night he could in his lover's arms, would join him, smiling contentedly. It worried Patroclus slightly, the thought of how much he'd miss it once Achilles grew up.

 

A flash of gold caught his eye, and he saw Achilles running through the camp to join him. Making it up to where Patroclus sat, he plopped onto the bench next to him. He was a little out of breath, but his face was glowing and he smiled at Patroclus.

 

“I just came from the Council,” Achilles said. “They were trying to make a decision of what we were going to do.”

 

“And?”

 

“Well, we consulted an oracle. Artemis is angry at Agamemnon—something to do with killing a sacred deer and bragging about it or something, which isn't a surprise since the man brags about everything.” Achilles stopped to take a breath. “He was told that the only way to make her happy was the sacrifice his most beautiful daughter.”

 

Patroclus was dumbstruck. “Is he going to?” he asked.

 

Achilles shrugged. “Dunno,” he said.

 

Patroclus frowned. “You're acting very cheerful about all this, considering an innocent girl's life is on the line.”

 

What do you want me to do about it?” Achilles said. “It's not my business, is it? I have no right to get involved in any of this.”

 

“This is bad business in general,” Patroclus sighed. “I don't like it.”

 

Achilles sighed and rested his head on Patroclus' shoulder, who smiled and took his hand. For a while, the two of them sat together, watching the movement throughout the camp. Once again, Patroclus was struck by the bizarreness of seeing so many people in one place.

 

He didn't know what to think about their current dilemma. On one hand, if Agamemnon refused to give up his daughter then what? Would they all go home? Would they end up rowing the whole way? Somehow neither of these options made much sense to him. But what if the girl was sacrificed to the goddess? They'd get their wind, and he would lose the little respect he had for Agamemnon.

 

“Hey, Achilles!”They looked down to see a soldier standing on the beach below them, smiling. “Congratulations on your engagement!”

 

“Huh?” Achilles was looking as if the man were speaking another language.

 

“Agamemnon just sent his wife a message,” came the reply. “He said to send his daughter right away, 'cause she was going to marry you.”

 

There was a stunned silence, before Achilles yelled, “WHAT?”

 

~*~

 

Agamemnon was washing when Achilles stormed in. When they first met, he had noticed the youth's incredible beauty, and vaguely considered courting him. However, it didn't take long for a dislike to rise between the two of them. Agamemnon found Achilles to be vain and hot tempered, and strangely starry-eyed over his current lover. He shrugged off the desire. He already had a potential eromenos; Argynnus may not have been as comely as Achilles, but he was handsome enough and much more agreeable than the Myrmidon prince.

 

Now he was faced with that beautiful anger. Achilles' face was flushed and his eyes, which had taken on an almost green hue, flashed dangerously. Agamemnon scowled deeply, but it was Achilles that spoke first.

 

You son of a bitch,” he growled. “I accepted that it was not my decision but I refuse to be part of some scheme to lure your daughter out here so you can murder her.”

 

The world is cruel,” Agamemnon said, throwing down the cloth he was holding. “How many parents have had to sacrifice their children to appease the gods? Andromeda was offered up. And even Psyche was left out in the wild without her father knowing why.”

 

It was your fault in the first place, if you weren't so arrogant. Is fortune all you care about?”

 

Don't be such a hypocrite,” Agamemnon snapped. “Your greed may not be for material wealth, but that's not the only incentive, is it? You would sacrifice your men for your own name—every one could die for all you care, so long as you get your precious glory.”

 

He felt some satisfaction as Achilles flinched. “Men die in war,” he said. “They know the risk they take.”

 

“These men don't risk for glory, though. It's for money. That's all it is. Now,” Agamemnon said. “I'm a busy man. Go back to your lover, spend the night with him. Within a few weeks he could be gone.”

 

For a moment he thought that the youth was going to hit him, but instead he swung around and stomped out of the tent in a fit of rage. He found this reaction mildly surprising, and thought maybe a god had stopped him. Not for his benefit surely; if there was one thing he had learned, the gods loved Achilles. With a sigh, he returned to what he had been doing before Achilles had come rushing in. Agamemnon was already beginning to worry about his ability to control him.


Notes: I know that these keep being short, but I don't want it to seem like I've been dragging them out. I'll talk about Ajax and Teucer and everyone next time, simply 'cause there didn't seem like a good part to include them.

And I don't like Agamemnon. However, I have vowed to (try) never demonize anyone, and that includes characters that I don't particularly like. Oh, and Argynnus was in my Big Book of Geneology. So I feel justified.

 

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