When I'm Gone

Summary: After his fight with Agamemnon, Achilles and Patroclus have a discussion that threatens to pull the two cousins apart. In his anger, Agamemnon has a plot to pull them even farther apart and to try to get Achilles to fight with him again. Will it work, or will the bond between the two cousins win out? Again, NO SLASH, and it's also not a song fic.

Disclaimer: I don't own anything from the movie Troy or from Homer's Iliad. I also don't own some of the lines from the movie that I put in.

A/N: Hey! This is my second Troy story, and I hope you like this one as much as my first. I was watching this movie with my mom, and I had this idea. So, enjoy!

Patroclus remained silent as he listened to Achilles tell him about the horrors of war and his own experiences. He looked away from him as he processed the words, but didn't really listen to them. Then, he stiffened when he heard something that made him feel cold.

"I taught you how to fight, but I did not teach you why to fight." Achilles finished.

"I fight for you." Patroclus told him, making his loyalty known to his cousin.

Achilles sighed. "And who will you fight for when I'm gone?" he asked. "Agamemnon, the power-hungry king?"

Patroclus shook his head, beginning to feel strained. "No." he answered. "I fight for and obey you alone. Soldiers obey…"

"Don't waste your life following some fool's orders." Achilles said, the stress he was feeling showing through on his face. "That's not the kind of life I want for you, Patroclus. You're young, and you have so much to live for. I don't want you to end up like me."

Patroclus dropped his gaze, not having an answer for that. For years Achilles had trained him, and now when he wanted to use the skills that he had learned, his cousin wouldn't let him use them… 'He's not even accepting my allegiance to him.'he thought bitterly. 'He doesn't think I'm ready, and he's not taking me seriously.'

Achilles looked up at the young warrior. "Go."he muttered, gesturing to the door of the tent. Patroclus raised his head and met his gaze, his face expressionless. Achilles looked back, looking impatient that his younger cousin hadn't left. Patroclus sighed and silently left the tent.

Not even a minute later, Odysseus entered the tent. Achilles sighed, not in the mood for more company. "Is everything all right, Achilles?" the king of Ithaca asked. "I'm sorry about what happened with Agamemnon earlier, but-!"

"It's all right." Achilles interrupted in answer, not wanting to think about how the king had taken Briseis away from him.

Odysseus sighed and folded his arms, looking down on Achilles skeptically. "So, is the word from your cousin true?" he said. "Are the Myrmidon not leaving for Troy?"

Achilles' eyes darkened. "I will not fight for Agamemnon," he replied, "nor will I fight alongside him. He has no honor."

"Achilles, you are being selfish." Odysseus remarked. "Why can't you fight for the good of the Greeks? Forget about yourself for once. Fight with us."

The great warrior didn't reply, nor was he planning to. He didn't care what the king had to say. He refused to fight with Agamemnon.

Odysseus sighed. "All right. If you will not fight, at least allow your cousin to."he said. "We need a good, strong arm like his."

"Leave Patroclus out of this." Achilles muttered darkly. "He is not fighting either."

"Why won't you let him?" Odysseus asked. "He's ready. You trained him well. You should be very proud!"

Achilles shook his head. "He is not ready to face the horrors that a war brings."he answered. "He will not fight. That is my final word."

Xxxxxxxxxx

Patroclus stood outside of the tent, listening to his cousin and Odysseus talk. He was pleased to hear the king of Ithaca say that they could use him. Finally, he was needed somewhere.

But his smile vanished when he heard Achilles' response. "Leave Patroclus out of this. He is not fighting either."

"Why won't you let him?" the young warrior heard Odysseus ask. "He's ready. You trained him well. You should be very proud!" Patroclus felt hopeful. Achilles had always listened to Odysseus, so this time shouldn't have been an exception.

This feeling soon vanished.

"He is not ready to face the horrors that a war brings. He will not fight. That is my final word."

Patroclus sighed and walked away from the tent, angered by Achilles' words. He was the great warrior's cousin, trained by Achilles himself. Why couldn't he trust him? Patroclus knew that he could fight as well as Achilles, but the older warrior didn't seem to understand that. He wanted to be a part of this war, one that no one would forget, and his cousin was the only thing standing in the way…

He watched all of the Myrmidon relax in their tents as he walked by, disgusted that just because Achilles wasn't fighting, they weren't. They should have been helping the other Greeks, Agamemnon's men.

Speaking of which…

Patroclus stopped walking through the sand, watching as kings Agamemnon and Menelaus started gathering their army, preparing to leave for Troy. His eyes stayed on the large group of men, wishing that he could be there with them.

That's when Menelaus glanced over, his eyes landing on the young warrior.

Xxxxxxxxxx

Menelaus scanned the beach, making sure that they hadn't left any of their soldiers behind. Then, his squinting eyes landed on Patroclus.

"Brother." Menelaus whispered, leaning closer to the other king so they could speak in hushed tones. "Isn't that kid Achilles' cousin?"

Agamemnon followed the other king's gaze, smirking when he saw the young warrior. "Yes. Patroclus, I believe his name is."he replied. "What I know for sure is that Achilles doesn't want him fighting in this war." He then looked thoughtfully at his brother. "Do we need an extra man?" he asked.

Catching on, Menelaus smirked as well as he nodded. "We can always use an extra man."he answered.

"Good. I'll go and speak with him then." Agamemnon said. Menelaus nodded as he watched his brother walk down the beach.

Patroclus looked startled when he saw the king walking toward him, and he instantly looked away. Agamemnon came to a stop in front of him, smiling. "Patroclus?" he asked. "Is that your name?"

Slowly looking up, Patroclus nodded. "Yes."he answered softly. "Why?"

"Oh, I was just wondering why you weren't heading to the city." Agamemnon replied. "Are the Myrmidon not going to fight?"

"No. Achilles refuses to lead them." Patroclus told him sullenly, angrily thinking about his cousin. "Besides, I am not considered a Myrmidon in the eyes of Achilles."

Agamemnon sighed. "That's right. You're his cousin, aren't you?" he muttered. "Well, if you were my cousin, I would let you fight by my side."

Patroclus only looked at him, his anger draining away. "You would?" he asked.

"Yes. I would." Agamemnon answered. "You have a good, strong arm on you. In fact, if you would like to, you could join my men as we head to Troy today. We always have a spot for another soldier. What do you say?"

For a moment, Patroclus' mood brightened at the possibility of finally being able to use the skills that he had learned. But then, his smile vanished when he thought about his cousin. "Thank you for the kind offer, King Agamemnon, but I am afraid that I cannot."he said. "Achilles would never approve…"

Agamemnon placed his hand on the young warrior's shoulder. "Patroclus, listen to me."he told him. "Don't think about what Achilles wants. Think about what you want. Do you want to fight the Trojans in this war?"

Patroclus looked at him for a long moment, not answering the king. He wanted more than anything to fight in this war, but he also didn't want to make Achilles any angrier than he already was.

Then, after another moment of thinking, he made his decision.

Xxxxxxxxxx

Odysseus walked out of the tent, sighing. It truly seemed like Achilles wasn't going to be heading to Troy with them. That part didn't bother him as much as the fact that he now had to face Agamemnon and tell him the news. He knew the king would not be happy.

The king of Ithaca was walking along the beach, wondering how he was going to tell Agamemnon about Achilles, when he saw something that confused him.

Not too far ahead, Agamemnon was talking to Patroclus. He couldn't hear what they were saying, but Odysseus moved to a spot where he would be less noticeable but still able to keep them in sight. Odysseus didn't know why Agamemnon would be talking to Achilles' cousin, but what he did know was that he did not like the king's smile…

Suddenly, he gasped when he saw something that horrified him. Agamemnon placed his arm around Patroclus' shoulders and steered him toward where the rest of his army was.

"Oh no." Odysseus whispered anxiously as he watched them walk away from the many tents. "I have to tell Achilles!"

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Achilles was still sitting in his tent, his thoughts lingering on Briseis and how he could get her back from Agamemnon. The king would pay, he would make sure of it.

Then, he looked up angrily when he heard someone enter his tent, but he was confused by who he saw.

"What is it, Odysseus?" he asked, wondering why the king of Ithaca had returned.

Odysseus sighed, a pained look on his face.

Achilles instantly went on alert. "What's wrong?" he muttered, knowing that something wasn't right.

The king nervously ran his hand through his hair. "It is about Patroclus…" he slowly began.

"Where is he?!" Achilles demanded, jumping up and quickly moving over to Odysseus.

Odysseus looked sadly back at the enraged warrior, their faces mere inches apart. "King Agamemnon… is taking him to Troy…" he told him. "Patroclus went with him, but I didn't see him resisting."

Achilles didn't answer, but Odysseus could tell that his fury was mounting. Without saying a word, he pushed past the king of Ithaca and grabbed his sword. Then, he hurriedly left the tent.

"Achilles!" Odysseus said anxiously, following him outside. But he sighed when he saw that the warrior was already running down the beach. "Just don't hurt anyone!"

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Achilles ran as fast as he could, hoping that he could catch up to Agamemnon's men before they reached Troy so he could get Patroclus back. But why would his cousin go with Agamemnon? It didn't make any sense to him.

But he knew that he would find out soon. Ahead of him, he saw Agamemnon and Menelaus' men moving slowly up the hill toward Troy. Achilles anxiously scanned the crowd, looking for Patroclus, but he was dismayed when he found no sign of him. He knew that he would just have to look harder for his cousin then.

Putting on an extra burst of speed, Achilles ran up the hill and burst into the crowd of soldiers. "Get out of my way!" he snapped as he ran by them, continuing to look for Patroclus.

Soon, the soldiers started up a cry of "Achilles!", but the warrior didn't mind. All he cared about was finding his cousin.

The noise of the shouts soon made Agamemnon and Menelaus stop their march and turn around… right when Achilles made it through the rest of the group. The warrior glared at the two kings, but he gasped when he saw who was standing between them.

"Patroclus?" he whispered, shocked.

His younger cousin cringed when he heard the soft sound of his name, and his expression was strained when he looked back at him. He didn't say anything.

Achilles shook off his shock and walked forward. "What in the world do you think you're doing, Patroclus?!" he demanded as he neared them.

Again, Patroclus didn't answer. His face went expressionless as his cousin got closer.

Achilles angrily looked up at Agamemnon when he approached. "What are you doing?" he asked angrily. "Is your taking my cousin a way to try to get me to fight for you again?"

Agamemnon laughed. "Well, I guess you could think of it that way."the king answered. "But I didn't force him to come with me. Your cousin came willingly."

The words hit Achilles harder and deeper than any weapon. He slowly looked over at Patroclus, who immediately looked away. "Patroclus… is that true?" he said quietly.

Instead of answering, Patroclus closed his eyes and hung his head. Achilles looked at the warrior in a pained way, knowing what the silent gesture meant, as Agamemnon laughed a little more.

"See, Achilles? The boy knows what he wants to do."the king told him. "When he came to me and asked if he could come along, I could not resist!"

At these words, Patroclus quickly looked up at Agamemnon with anger in his face. First, he had found out that he had been used, and now the king was lying about it?! Then, he looked over at his cousin. "Achilles, that is not what happened!" he begged desperately, his eyes and voice pleading. "You must believe me! Agamemnon came to me and told me that I could join him! He made it seem like the right thing! Please, Achilles!"

Achilles looked down on his cousin, and then gave him a small smile. "It's all right."he replied in a reassuring way. "I would believe your word over a king's any day."

Patroclus smiled back as Achilles pulled him into a one-armed hug. Then, the great warrior pulled out his sword and pointed it at Agamemnon. "You were messing with my cousin's mind, and that is something that I can never forgive you for." Achilles said in a threatening way. "I warn you now, hog-headed king, that next time we meet, I could be either your reluctant ally or your worst enemy. Next time, you might not be so lucky. And if I do end up fighting again, it will be for myself, not for you. I also repeat, before this war is over, I will look down on your corpse and smile."

Then, he put his sword away and began to pull Patroclus away from the two kings. "Come."he muttered.

But Agamemnon pulled out his own sword and pointed it toward the two cousins. Achilles stopped and looked behind him, keeping Patroclus away from the sword point as he looked up into Agamemnon's furious face. "Next time we meet, Achilles, I will have you killed for your lack of courtesy!" the king snapped.

Achilles only smirked at his words. "Just try."he challenged before disappearing into the crowd with his cousin.

Xxxxxxxxxx

Achilles watched as the sun began to set on the horizon, many thoughts running through his mind. He couldn't believe what Agamemnon had done. The warrior knew that it was true when he said that trying to get Patroclus to fight was something that he would never forgive him for.

The warrior looked behind him when he heard someone approaching him, and he smiled when he saw his cousin. "Patroclus!" he said warmly, gesturing for the young warrior to stand next to him. "Is everything all right?"

Patroclus smiled. "Yes. Everything's fine."he replied. "I just wanted to apologize for earlier…"

"You don't have to be sorry for that, Patroclus." Achilles told him, smiling back. "Agamemnon has the blame for what happened. He was using you to get to me. I'm the one who should be apologizing!"

But his smile vanished when Patroclus looked down. "What's wrong?" he asked. "You don't have to feel sorry for what happened!"

"Yes, I do." Patroclus answered, sighing. "I went with Agamemnon because I was angry with you for not letting me fight with you. I want to show you that I am ready to fight, but you weren't giving me that chance. So, when he said that he would let me fight with him, I guess I took that chance because he was giving me the opportunity that you were not."

Achilles slowly pulled his cousin into a hug. "Look, Patroclus."he muttered. "I was being so harsh on you before because I care about you, but now I think that I shouldn't have been so harsh. I don't want you fighting in this war because I don't know what I would do if something happened to you. You're pretty much the only family that I have now, and I value the trust and friendship that we have. There will be other wars, Patroclus, and I give you my promise now. When I believe the time is right, you will fight by my side."

Patroclus looked up at his cousin and smiled. "Thank you, Achilles."he said as they both turned to watch the sunset. "You don't know how much that promise means to me."

A/N: Well, hope you liked it! Reviews are much appreciated!