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07 March 2008 @ 01:23 pm
In all but Blood, ch 3  
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.

Purification and Goodbyes

The morning of the purification ceremony was bright, hot, and muggy. Slaves stood by Thetis and Polymele, fanning them down, and Peleus and Menoetius wiped sweat from the backs of their necks. Patroclus thanked the gods that it was hot the day he left Opus—he was dressed in the clothes he had been wearing when he arrived.


An altar had been set up on the beach, a simple ring of stones and a fire. A piglet was held in the priest's hands, squealing and writhing in an attempt to get free. Peleus pulled out a knife, and Patroclus gripped the handle. Together, they slit the creature's throat, and Patroclus looked in a sort of horrified fascination as the blood spilled into a shallow bowl. The blood was then poured over Patroclus' head, and he felt a wave of nausea as it ran onto his face and hands.


A burning brand was pulled out of the fire, and waved in front of him, and he choked on the smoke. His bloodied garments were removed and placed in the fire. The priest lifted him up, and waded into the water, and Patroclus gasped as he was lowered into the freezing water. When he came back up above the surface, though, the blood had been washed off, and was fading away into the sea. A white robe was then placed on his shoulders.


The meat of the piglet was divided up, placed in fat, and covered in barley. It was placed on the fire to cook. The offering of meat was given to the gods, and Patroclus was given a cup with a very small amount of wine. He had never had the drink undiluted before, and almost choked. The adults laughed.


“Don't get used to it,” Peleus said, smiling. “Only barbarians drink it like this on any occasion other than celebrations.”


Patroclus was just glad when he was allowed to leave. He was changed into more comfortable clothes, and ran off. Behind him, he could hear the adults laughing.



Menoetius left the next day. As his horse was being prepared, he sat on the terrace with his son, looking out at the water. Patroclus was doing his best not to cry, but it ended up being too much for the boy. He did his best to hide his face as hot tears rolled down his cheeks.


“Hey,” Menoetius said, looking at his son. “Don't worry. It's not like this is a real goodbye. Nobody's going to stop you from ever seeing me again. This is all part of growing up.”


Patroclus nodded furiously, and wished with all his might that he could stop crying. He felt ashamed at acting like such a baby. “I know,” he choked out.


Menoetius wiped the tears from his son's face. “You'll see. You'll be too busy to even miss me. And you'll eventually stop caring what an old sod like me thinks about you.”


Patroclus really hoped that his father was joking about this. It was just too hard for him to believe.


Polymele gave him one last hug before mounting her own horse.


“Be good,” she said. “Work hard. Make your father proud.” Patroclus nodded. “We'll see each other again. I promise.”


He watched the two of them ride until they were out of sight. And even then, he continued sitting on the mountainside, as if he might be able to catch one last glimpse of them. Finally, Thetis came looking for him, and the two of them walked back to the house.

Chapter Notes:
Okay, so I lied about it being posted "later". I got to gasp in horror when I found out that my computer shut down and I lost most everything I wrote. Because of this, I might actually be able to get the next one up tonight o.O No guarantees, though--if I do, it could end up being around midnight or so (yay for weekends!) I should say now that, if at any time you feel the rating is not high enough, tell me. I tend to be extremely loose with ratings.

I had a choice of either making this chapter very long or very short. I decided short, so that I could just start right with the journey to Chiron. There will be some fillers in the beginning, so that you know what they've been doing for the past few years, but that's about it.

I also wasn't completely sure what happened to meat once the animal was sacrificed. So I whipped out The Iliad and took what Odysseus did with the cow that he gave to Apollo.

Part Four: Chiron and Medeus


Current Mood: crazycrazy
Current Music: Rufus Wainwright - April Fools
See you later, instigator: Bad Education2oudeteron on March 7th, 2008 06:59 pm (UTC)
Poor Patroclus, that purification ceremony must have been disturbing. Ah well, there was no helping it.

Patroclus really hoped that his father was joking about this. It was just too hard for him to believe.
Aww! That's so endearing. And so true.

I'm loose with ratings as well, but I think PG-13 still covers this.
CaptainTsukikocaptaintsukiko on August 13th, 2014 07:15 pm (UTC)
So sweet! I'd really like to think that menoetius would've acted like this in real life instead of being disappointed in his son...

That purification ceremony was disturbing but you described it as it is, instead of trying to skip or imply it...really nice!