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07 March 2008 @ 05:25 pm
In all but Blood, ch 4  
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.

 

Three years after Patroclus arrived in Phthia, he and Achilles left to live with Chiron.

 

Achilles had grown increasingly attached to the older boy after his mother had left. Patroclus never told anyone that he ran after Thetis when he saw her pulling a boat into the sea early one morning. He remembered what his father told him about why Aegina disappeared, and instead almost even encouraged rumors that she returned home. Achilles continued to believe that she lived under the sea with her father. In reality, Patroclus had no idea what happened to her.

 

Neither of them received any sort of instruction in combat. At ten years old, Patroclus was far behind any other boys his age. Instead, he jealously watch their lessons from afar, and imitated what he could. But with no teacher, his movements were awkward, sometimes even clumsy.

 

Peleus accompanied the boys when they left, along with a single guard. Achilles rode most the way in front of Patroclus. The way led them up north, away from the sea and through Thessaly. A night was spent at the base of Mount Olympus, at the top of which a storm rumbled that seemed to last forever.

 

“It's okay,” Patroclus told a frightened Achilles. “Zeus is a good god. He won't hurt us. He's just warning us, telling us not to try to climb up there.”

 

“Why?”

 

“Because that's the home of the gods. Men are not allowed up there.”

 

The next day they continued even farther, into lands that were rumored to be inhabited by semi-barbaric tribes. In another couple of days, they finally came to a stop.

 

“This is as far as I take you,” Peleus said. Then, at Patroclus' horrified expression, he said, “Don't worry. You just go straight up this mountain. Chiron will find you—he's clever like that.”

 

So Patroclus and Achilles continued on their own. They were soon deep in a forest, and Patroclus had to try to work his way through. He instinctively held Achilles to him, and Achilles clutched both the horse's mane and the arm around his chest. Patroclus abruptly stopped the horse as he heard approaching hooves. Instead of the great centaur he imagined, though, an old man on a mule emerged from the trees.

 

“You Patroclus and Achilles?” he asked in a gruff voice. Without waiting for an answer, he said, “Good. You've probably guessed who I am. Come on”

 

Patroclus' jaw dropped when he realized that this was Chiron, the great teacher and wise king. It was Achilles that voiced his thoughts.

 

“You're not a centaur.”

 

Chiron looked around. “Give it some time, and we'll what people say about you, boy. In the meantime, would you reject me as a teacher?”

 

Achilles shook his head, eyes wide. They rode through the forest in silence. As they reached a clearing, another boy emerged from a cave and ran to Chiron.

 

“Never mind,” Chiron said to him. “Just because I'm old doesn't mean I need help. Go get my staff, boy.”


The boy went back into the cave and came back carrying a thick oak staff. Chiron climbed stiffly off his mule and grabbed the staff from the boy. Patroclus dismounted his horse and helped Achilles off too.

 

“This is Medeus,” Chiron said, slapping the other boy on the shoulder. “Medeus, this is Patroclus, son of Menoetius, and Achilles, son of Peleus.”

 

Medeus stiffened at their names, and his eyes narrowed in suspicion. Chiron looked between them for a few moments, and then glared at Medeus. Finally, the other boy gave a nod in their direction.

 

“How you doin'?” he said, the cold look still on his face.

 

He seemed to be about the same age, but Patroclus had never seen anyone like him. His skin was dark, and his hair were black as night, as were his eyes. His accent seemed to be a strange mix of Corinthian, Athenian, and something else he couldn't name. With a cold look, Medeus turned and walked off.

 

“Ooh,” Patroclus said, sneering. “'look at me, aren't I so great, nobody can even figure out where I'm from. I don't need anyone but myself.'”


Achilles gave a laugh at Patroclus' imitation, but stopped immediately at the look on Chiron's face.

 

Don't think you're the only ones with problems,” the old man said. “If anything, that boy has had it far worse than either of you have.”


Medeus didn't speak to either Patroclus or Achilles for a long time afterward. It didn't matter, anyway—both were too tired to be worried about the other boy's behavior. Looking back, it was quite an accomplishment, since more often than not Medeus was paired with Patroclus when Chiron was teaching them how to fight. When mistakes were made, Chiron might bang his staff on their shins, then yell at them to do whatever it was again, and Patroclus started to wonder where people got any of their ideas about their teacher. On the other hand, he was less somewhat rough with Achilles, and seeing the tension between him and Medeus, had Achilles learn with Patroclus, who tended to go somewhat easier on him, due to Achilles' much younger age. Sometimes Achilles might sense this, and would then yell at Patroclus for letting him win.


When they weren't fighting, they were being taught how to get along in the wild. Medeus generally was better than Achilles and Patroclus at this, although Patroclus was glad to find he was a faster learner when it came to tending wounds and curing illnesses. For the most part, they had to come up with their own food, although once again, Chiron was easier on Achilles.


One night, when Chiron was gone and Achilles had fallen asleep, Medeus finally spoke to Patroclus.

 

Your fathers were Argonauts, right?” he asked.

 

Yeah, why?”

 

What did they think of Jason?” Medeus asked.


Patroclus thought for a moment. He wasn't quite sure what to say. “I dunno,” he answered finally. “They thought he was a good leader.”

 

They didn't say anything about how he acted toward other people?”

 

No,” Patroclus said. “What's this about?”

 

My mother's Medea,” he finally sighed. “I was named after her. She was the one that helped Jason get the Golden Fleece.”

 

What? Really?” Patroclus lit up, but his smile faded when he saw Medeus' dark look. “You don't like him or something?”

 

No,” Medeus said, as if it were obvious. Then he sighed again. “My father fell in love with another woman when he returned to Corinth, and married her instead of my mother—he abandoned her and her kids. But...I realized I'm being really unfair. I still feel the right to hate Jason for what he did to my mother. I've never really met him, though, and I can't go around hating people because they were associated with him. I was stupid, and I'm sorry.”


Patroclus thought about this. It seemed to be stupid of him, too, to continue to be mad at someone when they realized their own mistakes. He looked down at Achilles, who was curled up under a cloak. When he looked back at Medeus, he was smiling.

 

It's okay,” he said. “We've all got our problems, right?”



Medeus nodded. "Yeah, I guess so."


Notes:
I will warn you now, Medeus will get in the way, to some extent. I'm going to try to make him less of a "why don't you just die already?" character, and more of an "aw...we need to find you a nice Persian boy" character.


I found it rather interesting that this kid was supposedly also raised by Chiron. He would later end up in Asia, and becomes a conqueror, and leader of the Medean Empire (and this is the point where we ask whether Alexander was the one with the ego, when Medeus' who empire was named after him). Anyway, while the place that he originally ruled was actually untouched by the Macedonians, there's some major clashing with both the Persian and Macedonian empires later on.


I was originally gonna cut this kid out of the story, due to a small time line error. Then I gave a whoop of joy--and felt a little bad afterward--when I found out what the Medean capital was--Ecbatana! I have been fighting with myself whether to completely disregard when the city was founded (some 900 years after the Trojan War). But anyway, I suppose you could consider Medeus to be a sort of symbolic form of Asia (or, if you're in an extremely generous mood, even a little bit of Bagoas).


Btw, I am currently laughing in a somewhat maniacal manner. It has been a rather interesting day.

Part 5: The Pelion-Ash Spear

OMG, two chapters in one day o.O It's been a long time since I've pulled something like that....

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Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished
 
 
 
See you later, instigator: YoshikiLoveoudeteron on March 7th, 2008 11:15 pm (UTC)
I really like this chapter! Patroclus is starting to care about Achilles a little more, isn't he? And I'm kind of glad you have the "Chiron-not-really-a-centaur" bit here - makes this feel more like something that could actually have happened.

I'm pretty fond of Medeus already (and I would totally approve of making him an "aww, we need to find you a nice Persian boy" character). Anyway, yeah, I've always thought Alexander's ego was an exaggerated issue. XD

Two chapters in a day, yay!
MissTeacakesmissteacakes on March 8th, 2008 03:13 am (UTC)
There was actually one historian who said that Chiron was actually Achilles' grandfather...but I decided that was just a little bit of a stretch for me.

And yeah, Patroclus is taking more interest in Achilles. I think it would start to happen once he could talk and stuff, himself. It's still more of a "little brother" bond at this point, though...
See you later, instigator: Bad Education2oudeteron on March 8th, 2008 02:05 pm (UTC)
Grandfather? Wow, never heard about that theory. Interesting, but I wouldn't go there.

Yes, definitely still more of a "little brother" than anything else. But that's the fun of progression... ^_~