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12 November 2008 @ 08:39 pm
In all but Blood, ch 26  
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.


Awkward situation was right. Odysseus had gone in disguised only to be able to look around without disruption. It wasn't as if it was exactly hard to find Achilles. Even if he was properly dressed up, with his hair done and perhaps even some make-up, he would've been an ugly woman; just because a boy was beautiful didn't automatically make him so as a girl. And now as he stood miserably in a corner, half hiding his face, Odysseus could only feel sorry for him.


He motioned toward one of his servants—he had only brought two; he was only a merchant, after all—and when he came forward, he instructed him to bring in his “wares”. Mostly dresses and jewelry, since he was putting it out for the ladies of the court, but to bury a couple weapons in the stuff. Not too deep, they needed to be found, but enough that it wouldn't be so obvious to anyone passing by.


He settled himself behind his stall, and waited. The girls were giggling and pointing to the stuff, but Achilles hadn't moved. Of course, he was completely uninterested. After a moment of consideration, he leaned forward to address one of the girls.


“Excuse me, miss,” he said. “Perhaps your friend over there would like to come look.”


She and a couple of the others looked around. They turned back, smile smirks on their faces.


Oh, that's just Pyrrha,” one of them said. “She's always like that. Awkward and plain. She can be a real kill-joy.”


“Don't be so mean, Iantha,” another said. She turned back to 'Pyrrha'. “Come over an look at all this stuff.”


The first girl scoffed. “Iphis,” she said, annoyed. “Why do you have to talk to her?”


Iphis glared at her friend, and turned once again as Achilles started to hesitantly come forward. When he finally approached, she put her arm through his, and suddenly stopped and looked at him, surprised. She figured it out. Achilles was looking at her pleadingly, and she smiled and turned back to the table. Achilles ran his hand slowly over the stuff. He paused when he reached the fabric; he had found the weapons. When he moved aside the cloth curiously and found the shield, he ran his hand over it longingly.


“That's an odd thing for a young woman to be interested in,” Odysseus commented. Eyes going wide, Achilles tried to snatch his hand away. Odysseus grabbed his wrist, and held tight when he tried to pull away.


“Sir, what is the meaning of this?” Lycomedes, who had been watching over, came over. “Do you mean to hurt one of my guests?”


“It doesn't hurt,” Odysseus said. “Does it, Achilles?”


Achilles froze and stared. “What did you call me?” he whispered.


There was a momentary silence, and then the room broke out in murmurs. Achilles had turned a deep red, but looked Odysseus straight in the eye defiantly. It was Lycomedes' turn to freeze, and his lips tightened in anger.


“Who are you?” he asked.


“My name is Odysseus. I am the king of a small island just west of the mainland.” He turned back to Achilles. “I'm sorry that I had to go about it this way, but it was the only way to be certain. Tell me, are you tired of going about like this?”




“Want to go home?”




No!” Everyone turned to look at one of the girls. She was about the same age as Achilles, and was rather pretty, with dark red hair. If a person could breathe fire, Odysseus was sure she would. “You can't leave now!”


Why not? It's my life.”


Because I'm pregnant!”


There was another long silence. “Excuse me?” Achilles finally said.


“What?” Lycomedes snapped. “Deidamia--”


“It's his fault,” she said, pointing her finger at Achilles. “He took advantage of me--”


“Why you little bitch,” Achilles said, her eyes wide. “You wanted it, and you know it.”


Lycomedes bore down on Achilles, and grabbed the boy by his collar. There was suddenly a mad scramble as Odysseus and several men worked to separate the two of them. Lycomedes was cursing struggling to get free while Achilles just looked glared at him and Deidamia in turns. Finally, he wrenched himself free and stormed out.




“I didn't do it!”


“You didn't impregnate her?” Odysseus asked.


“Well,” Achilles said, then paused. “If she's pregnant, then it is through me, but I didn't rape her. She's just as responsible as I am.”


They were in the rooms that had been given Achilles. He had changed into a chiton, angry but refusing to look at the other two men in the room. Lycomedes had calmed down to some extent and was leaning the door. Odysseus was seated on the bed, and Phoenix was on a stool by the window. The old man gave a soft groan and ran his hands through his thinning hair.


What are you going to do?” he asked.


Go home,” Achilles replied. “I'm tired of all this. The whole family is messed up, Deidamia, Lycomedes, all of them.”


You're not going to take responsibility for your child?” Odysseus asked, frowning. “Is that really fair to the child?”


It's her fault.”


Achilles.” Lycomedes spoke up for the first time. “Deidamia is not some little village girl. She was born into a high class. Even if you don't want to marry her, at least take her with you. Turn her into your mistress, if you want. But I want both her and the child to be able to look people in the face without shame.”


Achilles looked at Lycomedes for a few minutes. Odysseus was glad that he was at least considering the idea. He didn't care what people said about his sympathy for women, no man should dishonour a lady like that. Finally, Achilles sighed and nodded.


Fine,” he said. “I'll take her with me.”


I have another favour to ask,” Lycomedes said. “Whether you want to take this up or not is your own decision. This is simply for a friend.”




How would you like to take a page with you?”

Notes: Yay for fast-paced updating! He's going back to his Patroclus! And we've added a couple more factors to the equation.

I was considering how long it might take to just prepare for war, and it could very well have taken quite a long time. You think, if they didn't prepare fast enough then they'd have to wait out the winter, and all. Anyway, I'm going to check with a few sources before I decide how long they'll be there. And...yeah, I'm getting ahead of myself.

Twenty-seven: Home


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