Standard Disclaimer: I don't own the movie Troy, the poem the Iliad, or any of the characters. Does it really look like I'm making any money off this? Because I'm not.
Not-so standard Disclaimer: Yes, I love Homer's version of the Iliad (if only because in the poem Zeus yells at Ares for being a wimp), but I've done my best to make this fic true to the movie (except the parts that aren't, hence the reason this is an AU fic) so I hope you all enjoy! Oh yeah, and I'm assuming that everyone has already seen the movie, so I wont go into a long explanation of what's already happened to lead up to this scene. This is an AU fic in which Patroclus does not die, and we'll see where it goes from there.
He turned from the fallen enemy, searching for his next target. The ground surrounding Patroclus was littered with the bodies of his vanquished foes. The glittering bronze sword in his hand dripped with blood but he didn't dare relax his guard long enough to clean it. Just as it looked like there were no more Trojans to fight a strong hand came down upon his shoulders. Patroclus spun, raising his blade to attack, but at the last instant he pulled the blow with a move that only a master swordsman's reflexes could have accomplished.
Achilles stood before him, a look of pride on the seasoned warrior's face. He'd know Patroclus would not be careless enough to strike a friend. "Well done cousin! You fought as a true Myrmidon today."
Patroclus smiled boldly at the compliment, he had finallyconvinced Achilles to give him a chance and here he was – a victorious conqueror of the battlefield. "I have learned from the best." He was just bending down to properly clean his sword when the sound of a hundred horns broke through the battlefield.
The young warrior lurched to his feet, only to find himself tangled admits the blankets of his bed and he crashed against the side of the temporary hut. Patroclus wondered for a moment where his sword had gone but then the horns sounded again. All memories of his glorious dream disappeared as he tried to figure out what was happening. Yesterday Achilles announced that they were going home the next day, but it wasn't morning yet. Besides, Patroclus wasn't in any hurry to retreat. Just because his cousin wanted to spend his days with that pretty little acolyte from the temple didn't mean that the others couldn't fight. He was a trained warrior; even Achilles had to admit that. The Greeks were being slaughtered out there! Of course Patroclus was anxious to fight alongside his countrymen.
There were those loud horns again, and his drowsy mind finally realized what the noise meant. It only took a moment for Patroclus to gather his armor and weapons. The Greek camp was in panic, and he could see the fires rising.
"Patroclus! Help the men with the water!" Eudorus' orders rose over the chaos. The leader of Achilles' men had survived too many battles to be shocked by the mere sight of fire.
"What's going on?" yelled Patroclus as he ran to follow Eudorus.
"The Trojans, they snuck up in the night," was his simple answer. "Now hurry and help the others, Ares knows there'll be a battle by dawn." Eudorus looked up to the now smoky sky. "Only the Gods know what Achilles' orders will be."
Patroclus gave a quick salute and then hurried away. To anyone who noticed it looked like he was running to help the Myrmidons prepare for whatever would come, his target was the supplies they had packed the night before in preparation for their departure. The Trojans had just attacked the Greeks' camp in the middle of the night with no warning at all. In Patroclus' mind that classified them as dishonorable mongrels. He had been trained by Achilles, and honor meant everything to the Greek's greatest hero. That was what made it so hard to understand his cousins' refusal to fight. They had all seen that Agamemnon and his men needed Achilles and the Myrmidons, after the last and only battle against the Trojans that was painfully obvious. He finally found what he was looking for in one of the loosely packed crates.
He was almost all the way back to his hut before Eudorus spotted him. Patroclus froze; he had been caught carrying Achilles' golden armor, but strangely enough there was a smile on the older warrior's face. "Our lord has finally decided to join the battle. Did he give orders for the troops?"
This solved Patrolcus' problem nicely, and with the distraction of preparing for battle he doubted anyone would notice if the armor didn't fit his leaner frame perfectly. "My cousins' most trusted friend, Achilles knows you don't need orders to ready the men. He will meet you behind the dunes for the Myrmidons' triumphant change." That seemed to be just what Eudorus wanted to hear, and Patroclus quickly absented himself.
It was an intoxicating excitement as Patroclus belted on Achille's golden armor. This was the armor of a warrior trained by the Gods, and he could feel his strength rising just by wearing it. There was no one in sight as he stepped out into the open. He pulled on the helmet and took one last deep breath before giving a deep cry, a warrior's battle cry that originated deep within his belly. Patroclus didn't stop moving when he reached the assembled Myrmidons, instead he pointed, as he'd seen Achilles do, with the tip of his sword towards the battle lines; and with another lour roar strengthened by the men's voices he led the charge.
The crash of the battle was everything he'd dreamed of. The initial impact of a Trojan's shield against his sent vibrations all the way up to Patroclus' shoulder. Amidst the press of bodies he allowed those years of training to take over and he finally understood what his cousin had tried to express. The feeling of his blade slicing through a man's flesh as another Trojan was knocked backwards with a blow from his heavy shield was like nothing before. He suddenly understood what Achilles' meant when he talked about an addiction to fighting pared with disgust of hacking through men. He never wanted to stop, because when he did he would realize just how many spirits he'd sent to a premature death in the underworld. But it was intoxicating to know he held that kind of power within one swing of his sword.
Patroclus avoided looking at the faces of those men in front of him, those men he would cut down, instead he moved smoothly from one lunge to the next. There was no way to tell how far he had gone onto the battlefield until he found himself in an open circle opposite a man who could only be the Trojans' Prince Hector. In that second he was thrust from the chaotic battlefield into a duel to the death.
He circled warily, remembering everything Achilles had taught him about close one-on-one combat. The battle around them ceased as Patroclus' blow was deflected by Hector's shield. He ducked and parried the Trojans' attack, but Patroclus faltered when Hector's sword collided against his shield, the bone-crushing blow meant for his head nearly sent the hero in disguise to his knees. Patroclus' limbs seemed to drag as he clumsily blocked another attack and made his own feign at Hector.
The Prince easily blocked with his sword while and at the same time swung his large shield up at his opponents' head. Hector realized that he could have blocked with his shield and swung with his sword, it would have been a solid hit and quite possibly a kill, yet he'd held back the mortal blow. The sound of the two metals clashing rang over the battlefield as Achilles' helmet was knocked from his head. The blond warrior staggered backwards; stunned by the blow to his head he tripped and was caught by a pair of Trojan soldiers before he could fall. The soldier's held tight to the warrior's arms and spun the dazed man around to face Hector's killing blow, but the Trojan prince faltered. Hector's opponent proved to be not Achilles, but a young boy. The boy had moved like the famed warrior, and from a quick glance there may have been a family resemblance.
"Who?" Hector demanded, angered that his opponent hadn't been Achilles and by the thought that he had nearly killed this boy who was more a child than a man. "Where is Achilles?"
There was a loud commotion from the Greek soldiers, and Hector noted that the Greeks had seemed just as surprised to learn that it wasn't Achilles.
"Prince Hector," the speaker was one of the Grecian Kings. "The boy is his cousin." Odysseus, King of Ithaca, pushed past his soldiers to where Hector was standing, the Trojans' sword was an uncomfortably short distance from Patroclus' bare neck. The semi-conscious boy stood limply, held up only by his captor's arms.
"Achilles sent his cousin to face me?" Hector was insulted. "He sent a boy into battle?" Any respect he'd felt for Achilles as a hero was replaced by disgust.
"Achilles doesn't know," injected Eudorus, he had been watching the duel with dread, thinking that something was wrong with his lord. But now how would he explain to Achilles that the Myrmidons had followed Patroclus onto the battlefield?
"Enough for one day," declared Hector. He turned and motioned for his soldiers to return to the walls of Troy.
Eudorus and Odysseus both stepped forward. "What about the boy?" asked Odysseus while Eudorus stood ready to attack the Trojans who had started to drag Patruclus away.
Hector felt a panic rising within. This would surely bring the wrath of Achilles down upon himself and his city, but maybe the boy would be of some use? He hated to fight a war with these underhanded tricks but this might be the only way for him to protect Troy. "You will return to your ships. And when Achilles is ready to face me himself then we will talk." His cold-hearted words had a definant effect on the Greek soldiers and Hector couldn't help feeling ashamed of himself as he and his soldiers escorted their new captive back to the city.
Author note: So what do you think? Feel free to be brutally honest with me since I'll probably be revising as I go. Also, what do you think of the title?