Brothers

Summary: Brothers not by blood, but by spirit. Achilles watches over Patroclus through the night when he has a high fever out at sea. In Troy, Hector reflects on the love he has for his own brother… and about the danger he has gotten them all into. NON-SLASH! Just family fluff!

Disclaimer: I own nothing from the movie Troy or the book The Illiad.

A/N: This is my tenth story! Lol! I was watching Troy with one of my friends after school once, and I had this idea. Hope you like it!

They had left for Troy that morning. Achilles had spent most of the time watching the other soldiers prepare themselves for the arrival, and they seemed anxious as even the whisper of the name "Hector" drove fear into their hearts. Thinking about how great of a warrior he must be, Achilles almost felt resentment toward his vow not to fight in this war.

That morning had been perfect. When he grew tired of watching the soldiers, Achilles had spent a lot of time watching the ocean's waves as they headed for Troy. Patroclus had joined him.

"Beautiful day."the young warrior commented, smiling as the sun's rays reflected off his face.

Achilles smiled as well. "Yes, it is."he replied. "It almost makes me wish that we weren't sailing for such a grim reason."

Patroclus looked at him, confused. "I thought you told me that you weren't going to be fighting in this war."he said.

Achilles looked at him for a long moment then placed a sturdy hand on his shoulder. "Being there is enough."he muttered, then left, leaving Patroclus behind him, still confused.

As the day wore on, things got worse. A few of the soldiers had come down with a mysterious fever, and more caught it as time slowly inched forward. A couple had even died from it. As men who were not infected tended to the people who were, they searched for something that could give someone this terrible disease. But nothing was found; the cause was unknown.

"At this rate, we'll lose half the men on our ship by the time we reach Troy." Odysseus told Achilles, though he was exaggerating slightly.

Achilles didn't enjoy watching as more and more men came down with this fever, so he decided to spar a little with Patroclus to keep his mind off it. He was thankful that neither of them had caught the disease. As they fought, he noticed that the younger warrior was watching him carefully. "What's on your mind?" Achilles asked as he blocked a blow.

Patroclus grinned, backing away from his opponent's sword. "I know that look in your eye."he answered as he lunged his sword forward. "I've been seeing it since we left this morning. You wish that you could have the chance to fight Prince Hector, don't you?"

Achilles thought about his answer as he remained silent. Then, he sighed. "I will not fight this war, so I will not fight Hector."he replied. "Though he seems like an able warrior, I will not go against my vow. Tell me, Patroclus. Will you be fighting in this war?"

"You do not wish me to." Patroclus told him, his face hard. "So I will not." But the older warrior could tell that he wanted to fight the Trojans.

Achilles laughed a little. "I do not know why you think you must take my orders all of the time."he muttered, batting his cousin's sword aside.

Patroclus smiled. "I know."he said, shaking his thoughts off and deciding that he would try to convince the older warrior later to let him fight. His words left Achilles slightly confused.

As they continued to spar, Achilles noticed that his opponent was beginning to slow down. "Are you all right, Patroclus?" he asked, halting for a moment. "The sun is beginning to set."

"No. I'm all right." Patroclus answered. "We can continue."

Achilles narrowed his eyes when he noticed that Patroclus' face looked pale in the light of the golden sun setting in the distance. "Patroclus?" he said, watching as he leaned against one of the wooden walls of the boat for a moment. He panicked when he got no response. "Patroclus?!" He hurried over to his side.

Patroclus gave him a small smile. "I'm all right."he said, brushing his concern off. "You don't have to worry about me."

Achilles looked at him intently, worried to see that his face had grown even paler. "Patroclus, are you…" he began to ask, but stopped when the other warrior suddenly closed his eyes and put his arms on the wood to support himself, dropping his sword. Achilles placed his hands on his shoulders. "Patroclus!" he shouted, anxious. Then, fearing the worst, he set his hand gently on the young warrior's forehead. He was shocked and horrified to feel that it was blazing.

"No…" Achilles whispered to himself in horror. "Anyone but you." Then, he put one arm around Patroclus' waist and took one of his arms and put it around his own neck, supporting him as they walked toward the stairs that led below deck. Patroclus looked over at him, giving him a weak smile.

"Thank you."he muttered, barely able to hold his head up. Why had this fever come on so fast?

Achilles didn't reply. His face was set into a hard expression, ignoring all of the soldiers that were looking at him. He hurriedly walked down the hall and went into his room, gently laying Patroclus down on the bed and covered him with a heavy blanket. "I'll be right back."he said. "I'm going to get some water to try to help bring down your fever." He was about to leave, but he stopped and looked back when Patroclus grabbed his wrist.

"Please, Achilles. Don't leave me." Patroclus begged quietly. "I don't want to be left alone."

Achilles looked down on him with sympathy, understanding that for one so young to suddenly come down with this horrible fever must have been terrifying. He wouldn't want to be left alone either if he was in Patroclus' position and age.

But he also knew that he had to get water to help break the fever. Achilles was torn. He didn't want to leave Patroclus alone, but he also wanted to help him. He sighed and sat down next to the young warrior. "I'm not going to leave you, Patroclus."he promised. "Don't worry. I won't leave your side."

Patroclus gave him a weak but thankful smile as he closed his eyes, exhausted. Achilles watched him for a moment then looked out into the hall when he heard footsteps. He saw one of the many boys that they had brought as servants walk by with Odysseus, conversing about a man who had just come down with the fever. The warrior couldn't believe his luck.

"Boy!" Achilles shouted, getting to his feet. He watched as both the servant and Odysseus stopped, confused. Then, the boy ran into the room.

"Yes, Sir?" he asked. "What can I do for you?"

"I want you to fetch me a bowl of cold water and some cloths." Achilles told him. "Go with haste."

The boy nodded to him respectively. "Yes, Sir."he replied, rushing from the room. Odysseus watched him disappear up the stairs into the night then entered the room himself. His eyes were sad when they landed on the sleeping Patroclus.

"You know, Achilles, I was praying that neither one of you would get this wretched fever."he said quietly. "But I guess the gods don't listen to us all of the time."

Achilles looked at the king of Ithaca, anger in his eyes that he wouldn't unleash. "Why did it have to be him? I wish it would have been me."he muttered. "If it were in my power, I would take this fever from him and bear it myself. I would do anything to keep him alive. Patroclus is practically the only family I have."

Odysseus sighed. "I know that Patroclus is important to you since he is your cousin, and that's why I propose that we give him proper care."he told him. "We may not have doctors on this ship, but we have men who are completely able-!" He stopped when he saw the angry glare from the other warrior.

"I will be tending to him myself. I trust no one else to take care of him." Achilles whispered harshly. "Now, if you please, I want no one else to be in this room."

"If that is what you wish." Odysseus said, walking toward the door. "For your sake, I hope your cousin lives through the night, Achilles. You need him more than anyone." Then, he was gone.

Achilles sat back down on the bed, waiting for the servant boy to come back with the water. What was taking him so long? When he felt the sudden movement of the mattress, Patroclus slowly opened his eyes. "I'm sorry, Patroclus."the older warrior said gently. "I didn't mean to wake you."

"That's all right." Patroclus replied softly. Then, he looked up at his cousin, almost sadly. "I'm not going to make it to Troy, am I?" he asked in a whisper.

Achilles was horrified by his question. "Yes, you are."he answered with determination. "Not many people have died from this, Patroclus. Most are recovering. It will be the same for you. You are strong, and you will make it through this."

Patroclus smiled up at him, his eyes beginning to close again. Soon, he was asleep. Achilles sighed and placed his hand on top of the young warrior's blonde head. He couldn't lose Patroclus… "I will not let you die, Patroclus."he told him, hiding the fear from his voice. "I swear it."

Xxxxxxxxxx

It was later that night. Patroclus' fever had only gone up; his condition getting worse. Achilles hated to admit it, but he was beginning to doubt his own words that he had said to his cousin… Shaking his head, Achilles drove that thought out of his mind. No. He couldn't give up on Patroclus. He had to stay believing that the young warrior would live through the night. But he knew that he couldn't keep watching over him like this. He had to clear his mind.

Making sure that the cloth on Patroclus' head was cool enough, Achilles left the room and stepped up onto the moonlit deck. It was empty except for the few men who were controlling the ship. He walked over to the wooden side of the boat, staring out at the full moon that hung above them. The warrior sighed, tears almost filling his eyes as he thought about Patroclus. "Oh, great Athena," he whispered, "please allow my cousin to live."

As soon as the words left his mouth, Achilles felt a light wind brush up against him. On this breeze, he thought he heard a voice. Why are you stressing, Achilles?a woman asked. Patroclus is a strong man; very much like you.

Achilles watched in surprise when a gray owl landed on the wooden side of the boat next to him. Then, he sighed. "This is not a battle that Patroclus is in, Athena."he muttered,. "He has a fever that threatens to take his life."

I know.the owl replied, swirling her head around to look at him. Your cousin still has the strength to beat this fever.

"I wish I had this fever instead of him." Achilles said, running his hand through his hair. "That way, he wouldn't have to go through this."

Athena moved closer to him, her talons clicking against the wood with every step. You do not have the power to do a thing like that, even though your intentions are good.she told him. Even the gods do not have that power. You will just have to wait.

Achilles glared at her. "Wait?!" he snapped. "How can you expect me to wait?! My cousin is dying!"

All right, Achilles. Watch your temper. Athena said. If he makes it through the rest of the night, then I'll ask my father Zeus if I can help. Until then, take good care of him. Then, she spread her gray wings and flew toward the full moon.

"You cannot wait that long to help!" Achilles shouted after her. "Athena!" But it was too late. She was gone. Fuming, the warrior turned around, ignoring the strange looks that the men controlling the ship were giving him, and hurried below deck to his room. He immediately ran to Patroclus who was lying still, his face deathly pale. Achilles sat down next to him and took his hand in one of his, using his other to change the cloth again. He could tell that the young warrior's temperature was blazing. "Hold on, Patroclus." Achilles whispered, running his hand down his cousin's pale cheek. "Hold on until sunrise. Please."

Suddenly, he stared at the young warrior in horror. He wasn't responding to anything that he did. Was he even breathing?

"Patroclus!" Achilles shouted, shaking him a little. "Patroclus!"

Patroclus' head lolled limply to the side against his pillow, but he didn't give a reaction. He didn't respond to Achilles' shouts.

Terrified, Achilles put more water on his face, trying to revive him. Nothing was working. Patroclus wasn't reacting. The warrior didn't know what to do. It was almost sunrise. He couldn't lose his cousin now. "Patroclus, please! You have to be alive!" Achilles cried, desperate tears coming to his eyes. "You can't die on me! You're not just my cousin, but you're also my best friend!" Now, he was letting the tears fall from his eyes, and at that moment, he didn't care if Agamemnon himself saw them. This was his cousin… some of his only family.

"Patroclus, you're not just my cousin." Achilles whispered, picking up Patroclus' limp body into his arms and holding him close to him. "You're… you're my brother."

Suddenly, Patroclus took a deep breath and began to cough. Achilles looked down on him in surprise and watched as the young warrior's eyes fluttered open and gave him a weak smile. "Did… did you really mean that, Achilles?" he asked. "I… I have always considered you a brother too…"

Relieved, Achilles hugged Patroclus tightly. "You're all right."he muttered, looking at his cousin in awe. "How…" Then, he remembered what Athena had told him. It must have been morning. "Sunrise…" he whispered.

Patroclus seemed to perk up slightly when he heard the word "sunrise". "Achilles, if you are going to go above deck, may I go with you?" he asked.

Achilles sighed. "I am not sure if that is a good idea, Patroclus."he answered. "You still recover from a serious fever. I thought you had died!"

"Please, Achilles?" Patroclus replied. "It was a rough night for me. I never thought that I would see another sunrise again!"

Even though it was against his better judgement, Achilles smiled. It was such a simple request… "All right."he said, nodding. "Come on." He put one of the younger warrior's arms around his neck and helped him to stand, having to support him since his strength still had to return. Together, they slowly walked out of the room and up the stairs. They were surprised by what they saw.

The sky was still dark. Achilles looked around in confusion, feeling Patroclus shiver in the cool air next to him. So, Athena hadn't helped?

Then, he saw Patroclus smile out of the corner of his eyes. "Look."his cousin said, looking out at the sky. Achilles followed his gaze, and he smiled as well.

A thin line of light had appeared on the horizon and the sun was breaking into the dark blanket that hung over them, lighting the rest of the sky. Achilles looked at the beautiful sight for a few moments, then looked at Patroclus. His cousin looked peaceful and serene as the effects of the fever slowly wore off, his face glowing in the first morning's rays. Achilles sighed, feeling relived. He knew that he had almost lost the person he loved the most; the one he was willing to do anything for.

But he hadn't. Achilles was just relieved that his brother was alive.

Xxxxxxxxxx

Behind the walls of Troy, Hector watched Paris as he aimed another arrow at the target ahead of him. Morning was beginning to rise over their city, and the older prince knew that the Greeks could arrive any hour. Ever since his brother brought Helen, the wife of a king of Greece, to Troy, everything began to go wrong… Now, there was going to be a war, a war so big that it would never be forgotten.

Paris watched as his arrow hit the target, but then he dropped his bow and slumped to his knees. He couldn't believe what he had done. The young prince knew that he had acted upon the love he had for Helen, and that's why he had brought her to Troy. Now, the Greeks would be coming to take her back. Paris knew that he had let Troy down… let his father down… let his brother down…

Looking away from the golden sun, Hector was horrified when he saw his brother kneeling on the ground. "Paris!" he shouted as loud as he dared so he wouldn't wake anyone. "Paris! Are you all right?" He ran to his brother's side and knelt down next to him, placing his hands on his shoulders. "Are you all right, Paris?" he asked anxiously. "What's wrong?"

Sighing, Paris looked up at his older brother. "This is al my fault."he answered in a mutter, not able to look into Hector's eyes. "I started this war because I love Helen. Now… I let you down, Brother."

Hector pulled Paris into a hug when he heard his words. "You can never let me down."he told him. "You're my brother, and there's nothing in this world or the next that can change the love I have for you. The Greeks may be coming to start a war with us, but we will stand strong and face them, and Helen will stay here also. All right?"

Paris nodded, but didn't say anything. He felt that if he tried to speak a word, his voice would fail him.

Hector smiled down on him. "Come."he said, pulling the younger prince to his feet. "Father will be awake soon. Let us go inside so he does not fear for us." As they walked inside the palace, Hector thought about everything that had happened since their return to Troy… and the events that were about to unfold. He was determined to defend Troy from the Greeks, but he was even more determined to protect Paris. His brother's life came first, since he was the person that meant the most to him.

A/N: Thanks for reading! Hope you enjoyed it! Reviews are very much appreciated!