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19 May 2008 @ 10:23 am
In all but Blood, ch 14  
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.

 

Suitors


The palace in Sparta was beginning to run out of room. It wasn't huge in the first place, and there were already twenty suitors come to court Helen, some greater than others—Menelaus, brother Agamemnon; Patroclus, the prince from Opus, who lived with a cousin in Phthia and was reputed to have trained with Chiron; Odysseus, a king of farmers, who brought nothing but his wits; Antilochus, the youngest at fourteen, whose father was the successor of Heracles; huge Telamon Ajax, and his younger brother, Teucer. So many others, too, some so belligerent in the face of competition that Tyndareus feared they might break out in a brawl should he choose Helen a husband.


Castor and Pollux looked down into the hall from a window in their own room. Their guests were drinking and laughing loudly.


“Which do you think?” Castor asked, smiling and looking sideways at his brother. When Pollux raised his eyebrows and shook his head, he said, “Alright, who not?”


“Not Antilochus, nor Patroclus. They're both pretty young. The first too carefree, the other too kind. Neither would last long as Spartans. Telemon Ajax, maybe. Either Ajax, really.”


“What of Odysseus?”


Pollux looked at the man sitting to a side, who was drinking little and watching everyone with sharp eyes.


“He's clever—he's appealed to the Spartan ideal of frugality...there's a chance.”


“I fear his regret,” Castor said. Pollux looked curiously at his brother. “Penelope has already noticed Odysseus, and it's only a matter of time before he notices her. She would be a good match, they are like each other. Helen lacks their cunning, and I feel it would eventually bore him.”


Pollux laughed. “You mean she lacks their brains!”


“Can we not have a little tact,” Castor scolded, but he had an amused smirk. “Besides, I wouldn't wonder if the gods have already decided. I'm only suggesting we save all three of them a little face. All they need is a little...push.”


“You're horrible.” Still the amused glint didn't leave Pollux's eyes.


“It's our duty to advise Father as to the welfare of our dear sister Helen. I see no reason no to do the same for a cousin in the family's care.”


“And what of the others?”


Castor considered for a moment, then said, “Let them deal with it in their own fashion. It'll be their own blood on their hands. Sparta's concern is that of Helen, and the chosen suitor will be under our protection.”


~*~*~


Patroclus shared a dining couch with Antilochus, the only one there younger than himself. His manner was rather pleasant. He was honest almost to the point of naivete, and was always straightforward about opinions. It may have made him a good number enemies, if he wasn't always so good-natured about whatever he said. Even his complaints sounded laid back.


Of course, the fact that he had such pretty face also probably helped.


As of this moment, Antilochus was laying on his back so that he could look up at Patroclus while he talked. He was very interested in his life with Chiron, and the older youth was doing his best to answer without actually giving away that Chiron wasn't a centaur, and still explain as thoroughly as he could. They was talking as quietly as possible so they could still hear over the yelling of the others, but still leave the others out. Patroclus wished to be selective in who he told this stuff to, and right now Odysseus was looking over at them with sharp eyes; he had never met anyone so full of tricks, and the attention made Patroclus feel very uncomfortable.


I heard Chiron lives in a cave,” Antilochus said.


Yeah,” Patroclus said, nodding. “It's a little weird, because it's large, and furnished more or less like a real house. Sometimes he gets in a funny mood, and makes us come up with our own bedding and stuff though. Says we should get used to not having all the luxuries we'd normally have in a house, for when we go off to war or something.”


Does it get cold in the winter?”


Patroclus laughed. “What do you think? It's not like we've left Greece—and we're on top of a mountain no less. We usually go out and hunt for larger animals—wolves and bears, mostly—so we can get our hands on their pelts. Even then, Achilles and Medeus and I end up sleeping in the same bed, just to keep warm.”


Antilochus smiled. “Well...what happens to the pelts over the summer?”


We try to keep them as best we can. That doesn't always work, though. And the more we get, we can pile them up underneath us to make the bedding softer. I think Chiron might see it as cheating, but he doesn't say anything.”


What about his wife?” Antilochus asked. “I heard he was married to a princess...”


Patroclus paused, then said, “If he was, I never saw her, and we never asked. It just...didn't seem right.”


Antilochus considered this for a moment, before nodding. They were silent for a few moments, in which the sound in the rest of the hall seemed to become even more amplified. When Patroclus looked up, he saw a several of the men looking at them and laughing.


Across the room, Amphilochus yelled, “So, what are you two up to?”


Before Antilochus could respond, Patroclus yelled back, “Discussing the education of boys throughout Greece. There's been quite a problem, what with children not being taught to read and write.”


Amphilochus laughed again, then shouted, “Boys your age shouldn't be talking about stuff that we aren't even worried about.” Then he turned back to his own group, uninterested again.


What was he going on about?” Antilochus asked, scowling.


He probably was hoping to get a show from us,” Patroclus sighed. “If all grown men are that sex-driven, I think I'll stay fifteen.”


That's not so.” Odysseus had finally spoken up. Somehow, finding that he was listening in made Patroclus was far less unnerving than not knowing. “Just a good amount.”


Are you denying your involvement in such activities?” Antilochus asked him.


I prefer to stick to one at a time. I have better things to do.” Odysseus moved to the couch next to Patroclus and Antilochus, and moved his head closer to speak, suddenly making Patroclus feel as if they were conspirators. Somehow, it made him feel suddenly very important. “I was rather interested in your previous discussion, though. Although, I noticed, you're rather vague on certain subjects.”


Patroclus paused, then said, “It's better to keep some amount of mystery, else it could lose all its charm.”


Odysseus laughed. “Well said, son of Menoetius. Well then, let us change the subject. Tell me about these friends of yours.”


You aren't going to make this easy, are you?”


Never.”


Notes:

....Cause Odysseus is Teh Awesome. And actually, Penelope is my favorite female hero (yes, I consider her a hero) in all Greek mythology. She never breaks away from her restraints as a woman, but still manages to defy men within them. And her and Odysseus have the best man/woman romance. So yes, we're having a few side-stories, including the meeting of Odysseus and Penelope.

And the entrance of Antilochus, son of Nestor. Another very important character.


I've decided to get all the Helen crap done with first, since after this you won't see Patroclus for a long time. It'll be all about Achilles in drag.

Part Fifteen: Penelope

I decided that I would have this up today, as a sort of "congrats on finishing school" for euphony_of_love.
 
 
Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished
 
 
 
See you later, instigator: Alexander & Hephaistionoudeteron on May 19th, 2008 05:22 pm (UTC)
"This Helen crap" is actually pretty awesome so far! I love your take on it since reading just about the suitors would be kind of dull - so I'm all for your side stories. Odysseus rocks already.

The Patroclus-Antilochus exchange was... cute. There's just something really sympathetic about the two of them talking and getting to know each other in all this confusion of the others around them (some of whom could do with a bit of manners).

But my favorite part is the scene with Castor and Pollux. Sure, I like them as it is, but their dialogue here is just so enjoyable. This: “Can we not have a little tact,” Castor scolded, but he had an amused smirk. is for some reason my favorite line of this chapter. xD

Do I have to say it's wonderful of you to put this up today? Thank you so much! ^_^
MissTeacakes: smilemissteacakes on May 19th, 2008 07:37 pm (UTC)
Well, Helen was a little airhead, as far as I'm concerned. I couldn't take writing whole chapters about her. And I really can't see Odysseus as being the kind of person to get drunk anyway--when someone is that clever, it'd be frustrating to have your thought processes slowed.

And Castor and Pollux will be showing up again. I have a feeling they're gonna set it as their mission to get Odysseus and Penelope together.

And you're very welcome.
See you later, instigator: YoshikiLoveoudeteron on May 19th, 2008 09:17 pm (UTC)
Haha, me neither. And I agree about Odysseus - I can't imagine he'd enjoy being impaired in such a way just for a bit of amusement. (Though that may be my own aversion to drugs talking... I hardly ever touch alcohol because I'm a bit of a control freak and paranoid about side-effects of drugs to boot. XD)

That would be nice. I had a feeling this would be something of a "pet project" of theirs anyway.

^_^