An Alliance of Love
Aphrodite walked though the golden halls of Zeus and into the perfect gardens of the Kingdom of Olympus. Ahead she saw Athena goddess of wisdom waiting for her. They had arranged a secret meeting betwixt them.
"Hello Love Goddess. I'm glad you could tear yourself from guarding Aeneas to speak with me here." Athena said pleasantly as she made herself invisible to mortal and immortal eyes and made clear that Aphrodite should do likewise.
"It is no fault of my own that my son needs protecting from those brutish Greeks of yours. The ones you inflame with the passion to fight and destroy all that Aeneas holds dear." Aphrodite said coldly.
Athena smiled; the gods had become split over this war in Troy. Some gods were all but enemies now, all over a petty mortal battle for love.
"And that is why I have called you here." She replied. "I have a proposition for you. To end this Trojan War and bring the gods together again it peace. To save your Aeneas. Save Hector and Paris." She continued. "If you help me, we could save Troy."
"And let me guess, your precious Odysseus too?" Aphrodite inquired bitterly.
"Well, I won't deny that I have a soft spot for him but we are all a little guilty of blatant favouritism are we not?" Athena remarked pointedly.
"I see what you are making at. How do you think we could possibly end this war O' Goddess of Wisdom?"
Athena smiled once again; the way one does when about to share a secret delight. "To end a War of Love, you must make an Alliance of Love..."
Troy –The Greek Camp
The night was chill. The moon was a sliver of white and a breeze was blowing east, whistling past the ships as the men slept. The man trudged through the sand dunes, trying to avoid the light spanning from where the guards stood. He pulled the robes over his head to keep warm. Even though the day had been hot the only memory of it now was the heat of the sand under his feet.
He was seeking peace. A hard thing to do when Troy and Greece had been at war for months now. A seemingly endless war with no point it seemed now. All he desired most now was peace and solitude. He did not fear attack even as he moved further away from the protection of his army and towards that of his enemy. It was calm enough and the god Morpheus had covered all the sky with her shadow of sleep and though this eluded him for the time being it had given him the chance to escape under the noses of his men.
He looked back. All he could see now was the flicker of red from the fires and the shadows of the ships behind them. He sighed as he continued on, he could see up ahead a broken chariot, he decided he would rest here and reflect back on the previous months past. Something he had been unable to do up until now. The gods were smiling on them tonight.
Grasping the overturned wheel of the chariot he lowered himself to the ground and groaned slightly as his muscles complained. He was no longer as young as most of the other men, he was a seasoned warrior and knew all the secrets and ways of war, but this did have its drawbacks. His muscles where horribly tense and now that he finally had time to relax and pause for a while from fighting they made their presence known all the more. He sighed and rubbed his shoulder, then leaned back against the wheel... suddenly he felt a rush of wind past his head and he felt the cold touch of metal against his neck. He froze and waited for the owner of the knife to speak. He didn't have long to wait.
"Who are you?" the rough voice said.
"Who are you?" he replied.
"I have my blade at your throat. Would it be presumptuous of me to ask who you are?"
"If you take your knife away from my throat maybe I could show you." He grinned, as dangerous as he was playing things right now he couldn't help but enjoy playing this mind game with the man whose mercy he was at. He hadn't killed him yet at any rate so at least he had some power over him.
The knife pressed closer so that the vein running in his neck began to throb warmly against the cold edge.
"Do you think that you are so great that I would change my thoughts about killing you if you show me who you are. You are nothing but a foolish soldier who has wondered too far from his company. So how about you just answer the question: Who are you?"
"I could say the same for you but since I am at the disadvantage it would be prudent of me to answer you. I am Odysseus, son of Laertes, King of Ithaca. Now, will you allow me the same courtesy of your name before you take my life, soldier?"
Immediately the knife was withdrawn. And a shadow from behind the chariot rose up.
"I am Hector, son of Priam, Prince of Troy. Why do you come here, Odysseus?" The shadow of Hector moved out of the darkness of the chariot and the light of the moon caught his face... and the length of his uplifted knife.
"I come here for solitude and peace, though I see I have failed in both." Odysseus said grimly, staring passed the knife and into the scratched, handsome face of the Prince. "What of yourself? Why have you left your great walls to come so close to danger?"
"Do you think I see you and your men as a danger? No, not at this time of night. The darkness is deep and I know this country well. I could come to your King Agamemnon and slit his throat before he knew it. But that is not why I am here. I come also for peace and for solitude. I cannot find it in Troy where tension lays apon me like a dead horse and I hear the groans of injured men from my bed. So I came here. And though, as I said, I could take many lives of your men here tonight, while I am here, I choose not to. It is not right to take your enemy at unawares in the dead of night." Hector replied.
"Though you had no qualms taking me unaware it seems."
Hector looked sharply at Odysseus, then seeing the light of the joke in his eyes he couldn't help but smile slightly. He lowered his knife.
"So it would seem. Though it is an odd thing for us both to be unable to find peace with our own men and so escape and find it with our enemy."
"Yes, it is. Hector, share peace with me. Discard your knife. I have not brought my own, I promise. A foolish thing to do perhaps but I am in a fey mood. Come, sit with me." He patted the still warm sand beside him.
Hector frowned slightly and did not loosen his grip on his knife, but something outside of himself made him feel at ease and safe with Odysseus; he trusted him. Something willed him to drop his knife and he did so, leaving it in the sand he crossed the distance between himself and his enemy and sat beside him. There was a peaceable silence between the two men. Finally Odysseus spoke up:
"The last time I saw you was in the halls of Troy at a banquet. Now you're on the front line. Funny." He mused; he was not prepared for the reaction he got.
"This is ridiculous, this is totally and utterly ridiculous! I do not know why I am fighting you! I do not know why the Trojans and Greeks are fighting each other! What is it for, the love of one woman? The world is mad." Hector burst out, then fumed. He jumped as he felt a hand on his shoulder. It was Odysseus':
"Aye, the world is mad," he said quietly.
Hector stared at Odysseus. His eyes were grey-green as the sea, and his tussled, dark hair fell into his them as he peered out from under his hood. The moon caught the wrinkles on his face as he smiled empathetically at him. Something moved within Hector near the region of his heart, a bit of a flip-flop within him. He felt something for this man, his compassionate and handsome enemy. Invisible to Hector's eyes stood Aphrodite behind him whispering silent, seductive words into his ear as Athena stood behind Odysseus setting a heavenly moonbeam apon his lips and in the very depths of his eyes. Hector shivered and turned away, confused at his feelings for the Greek warrior.
Odysseus now turned from Hector too. "Yes, you speak what I have known all along. The world is mad." Then he clutched the wheel of the chariot and pulled himself up again, rubbing his back a little at the ache forming there.
"You don't mean to go so soon do you?" Hector asked, sounding a little too concerned to himself.
"I have found peace with you Hector and I thank you. Now I must return to my men to rest for tomorrow's battle. No doubt you will be there?" The joke was half-hearted and he yawned. "You see me now, I am tired. I need to sleep."
"Yes, of course. Well, goodnight Odysseus." Hector said chancing a smile at the older man.
"And to you too. Perhaps we shall meet again between our armies another night. It would please me. Goodnight Hector." Said Odysseus, smiling in return. Then he turned his back and left to walk back to his own camp.
Hector watched his back for awhile as Odysseus, now at peace enough to feel exhausted, stumbled through the sand back to camp.
"It would please me too..." he said quietly.