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09 March 2008 @ 06:03 pm
In all but Blood, ch 6  
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.

 

Confrontations

Medeus whispered something in Patroclus' ear, causing the other boy to glare at him.

 

“Shut up,” Patroclus snapped.

 

“I would've,” Medeus said, raising an eyebrow and smirking.

 

“Would've what?” Achilles asked.

 

The three of them were bathing. Medeus and Patroclus had been having a private conversation nearly the whole time, and Achilles was tired of it. For some time now, the older two had gotten in the habit of leaving him out of conversations, and sometimes it even felt like they were blatantly excluding him.

 

“I would've talked to that girl we've been seeing around here,” he said. “The one from the village, with red hair. Her friends aren't bad looking either.”

 

Achilles frowned. “Is girls all you think about anymore?”


“Of course not,” Medeus said, giving his fake-innocent expression. It was soon ruined by a wicked smirk, and his eyes slid over to Patroclus. “I also love to think about pretty--” he gave a yell, then a laugh as Patroclus sent a splash of water at his face.

 

Achilles looked between the two as a glaring match passed between them. It almost seemed like they were having an argument without saying a word. Finally, Medeus shrugged and turned away.

 

“You're so lucky,” he said. “You got Patroclus to protect your virgin ears.”

 

Achilles' expression darkened. He had to admit, he wasn't entirely sure what a virgin was. However, he knew it was something girly, and that he didn't want Patroclus to let him be like that.

 

Tell me,” he said, angrily. “What were you talking about?”


Medeus smiled. “It's his own choice,” he said to Patroclus. “You have no right to stop me. You see,” he said as he turned back to Achilles. “I caught Patroclus watching some girls bathing the other day.”


Patroclus turned red and smacked more water at Medeus. Achilles looked at his friends in disbelief.

 

That's gross,” he said. “Why would you want to do that?”


Medeus laughed, and Patroclus turned a darker red and slid deeper into the water.

 

Aw, little Achilles,” Medeus teased. “You'll understand when you're older.”


Achilles looked away, suddenly angry and hurt. Sometimes the teasing had a way of doing that, and his age was an especially sore spot.

 

Shut up,” he growled.


Medeus' smile faded, and he said, “Hey, I'm sorry. I wasn't serious.”

 

Yes you were.”


Patroclus was looking between his friends, frowning slightly, probably contemplating the best way to stop a full confrontation. Perhaps it was their straightforward personalities, or maybe Patroclus' dislike of arguing, but Achilles tended to clash with Medeus most often. Either way, it was always Medeus who was unable to know when to stop teasing, and Achilles who was unable to keep his temper. These problems seemed to be coming up more and more often as they got older, and Achilles started to notice the age gap more.


Achilles was by no means stupid, nor blind. His friends had gone through physical changes over the past year or so quite different from his own—they suddenly got significantly taller and gained bulk; neither of them had quite the soft face shape as before, and hair had started growing on their arms and legs, along with other parts; there were other things too, though he didn't understand them. Changes in their demeanors, a sudden consciousness toward others their own age, and would sometimes wander off closer to a village they had found at the base of the mountain. And Achilles understood that somehow, this was an enormous step toward manhood, and it became clear that, until this happened for himself, he was still a child.


Patroclus suddenly rose from the water and reached for his chiton.

 

Let's go,” he said. “It's gonna start getting dark, and I'm getting wrinkles.”

 

Stop being such a woman,” Medeus said, laughing. Still, he got out of the water, and after a moment Achilles followed.


He was woken up late that night by Patroclus and Medeus talking quietly. They were facing each other, Medeus with his back to him. Achilles wished he could see his face, but contented himself with the fact that he could at least watch Patroclus' expression.

 

We should tell him,” Medeus was saying.

 

He's only nine years old,” Patroclus said.

 

So what? He's going to have to know eventually. Chiron clearly said that he was only explaining this once, and as far as I'm concerned, that means we have to tell Achilles. I'd rather just get it over with.”

 

Fine, go ahead. But I'm not going to.”

 

That's not fair.”

 

Do you really think he'll understand? And if he does, will he believe us?” Patroclus' eyebrows came together, and Achilles gave a small smile, before he remembered that he was arguing against telling Achilles something.


Medeus sighed. “Why not? When have we ever lied to him? Flat out lied?”


Patroclus looked away, as if debating with himself. “Would you really want to do this, though? He's still quite a bit away—three years, at least. Why not let him still be a child, while he can?”


A lump came to Achilles throat, and for the first time ever he found himself hating Patroclus for his decisions. He couldn't understand why he would want him to stay like he was, to keep him from growing up.

 

They do worse in Sparta,” Medeus said. “They--”

 

We're not in Sparta,” Patroclus said, looking exasperated. “Why shouldn't we allow him to stay ignorant for just a little while longer? It's not like explaining this to him is going to make him grow up any faster.”


Medeus was silent. After a little while, he asked, “Why are you so protective of him? And don't pull that 'little brother' crap on me again.”


Patroclus looked confused. “I wouldn't know what else to tell you.”

 

I noticed something today,” Medeus said. “When Achilles' hair is wet, it's just about the same shade as that girl you like so much.”


Patroclus shook his head, smiling now. “I hadn't. It can't be anything but coincidence.”


Medeus reached out a hand and touched Patroclus' face, then took a strand of his hair. Patroclus was focused completely on Medeus, with a strange look on his face, which Achilles recognized but still couldn't name. But then his eyes shifted up to look at Achilles, and their eyes met.

 

Y'know,” Medeus said. “You're really--”

 

Achilles,” Patroclus said, sitting up. “Why aren't you asleep?”

 

You two woke me up.”


Medeus was looking at Achilles now too, with another unreadable expression. He and Patroclus glanced at each other, and they were having another one of their silent battles. It was Patroclus that broke the gaze this time, his face resolute.

 

Go back to sleep,” he told Achilles, and then looked at Medeus with hard eyes.

 

Fine,” Medeus snapped, and turned on his side so that he wasn't looking at Patroclus. “Whatever. It's your call.”


Achilles lay on his back and cradled his arms in his hands. He wanted to yell at Patroclus, to tell him that he didn't want secrets kept from him. And for the first time, he wanted to seriously hurt his oldest friend. Yet, at the same time, he wanted to run over and hug him, and be able to lay down next to him and have them sleep side by side, the way they used to. But he didn't. He just lay there until he fell asleep.

Notes:
Ah, puberty. Isn't it wonderful?

 

I think these are going to be the years that are worst for Achilles. It'll take a few chapters, since Patroclus will be going off to Sparta for Helen soon, and fun stuff like that, but he'll grow up. And meanwhile, we've got some other sexual tensions developing...

 

And about the colour of his hair: See, I find it rather strange that, while he's in Skyros, he's called "Pyhrra", meaning "red-haired girl" when he's blonde, as specifically said by Homer. So I'm thinking he's reddish-blonde right now (like when other blondes get their hair wet and it looks brown), and it'll eventually lose the red to some extent. It's the fun thing about kids, that their hair colour can change.


 

 
 
Current Mood: awakeawake
 
 
 
See you later, instigator: Remus/Sirius2 (the_8th_square & teh_indyoudeteron on March 10th, 2008 10:26 pm (UTC)
Ooh, and the plot thickens... But really, this is getting wonderfully complicated for the boys. Can't wait to see how it develops. (Stop making a Patroclus/Medeus fan out of me! XD)

And yeah, the age difference would probably be worst around this time. About the hair, reddish-blonde sounds pretty reasonable.
MissTeacakes: lowbudgetmissteacakes on March 10th, 2008 11:45 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry. I can't do that. It's gotta happen.