Co Written By the lovely Spiritblaze
Disclaimer: We Own Nothing
Two weeks had passed since the Trojan War and Achilles being wounded. The two warriors were now safely back in Phthia. However, things were far from well for the two men; Achilles was in constant pain from his wound and was kept awake by horrific nightmares. On top of that, he was now dealing with a traumatized and clingy child who couldn't stand to be out of his sight for more than two seconds. In short, it had been a rough two weeks for them both.
Achilles sat up, putting his head in his hands. He was so tired, but the pain from his wound and his nightmares kept him awake each night. Try as he might, Achilles would never forget the look of utter pain and betrayal on his cousin's face when he was ordered to accompany Achilles to attack Troy.
I shouldn't have forced him to go, Achilles thought. I should have seen the signs that he was traumatized. I should - Achilles was jerked out of his thoughts by a small scream. Standing up, he moved slowly towards his little cousin's room.
Patroclus lay in his bed, thrashing wildly, clawing at an invisible enemy.
"No! Stop! Don't hurt them!" the seventeen-year-old screamed.
Achilles moved to the boy's side, gently restraining him.
"Shh, cub," he said quietly, "it's all right, you're not in Troy. You're home. You're safe."
"So much fire," Patroclus muttered, still trapped in his dream. "Too much fire. Not safe. Gonna burn."
"No, cub," Achilles said gently, "there's no fire here. You're not gonna burn."
Suddenly, Patroclus' eyes shot open and he scrambled away from his cousin, obviously still half trapped in his nightmare. The young man put his hands up protectively above his head, letting out a pitiful whimper.
"Please don't kill me," Patroclus whimpered, "I can't do it, I just can't!"
"What can't you do, cub?" Achilles asked, gently reaching out and pushing Patroclus' arms down and taking the child into his arms. This seemed to snap the young man out of his delirium and he clung more tightly to Achilles.
"I couldn't kill those people!" Patroclus sobbed. "They were innocent, and they didn't deserve to die!"
Oh gods, Achilles thought, as he drew his cousin closer to his chest and let his own tears fall.
Achilles held his cousin well into the night, crying silently and whispering desperate apologies to the boy. Patroclus gripped desperately onto his cousin, begging Achilles not to leave him alone. It was late when both of the warriors finally began to succumb to sleep. Patroclus had cried himself out and was now laying with his head against his cousin's shoulder, trying to make his breathing even out. As both men were falling asleep, Patroclus turned and whispered tiredly, "Thank you, Achilles, I love you."
Achilles leaned down and pressed a kiss to the boy's head. "I love you, too, cub. So very much."