Only the Beginning
Summary: The reflections of Odysseus on Hector as Patroclus dies. Companion story to HaloFin17's fic "This is the End". Read this one first.
Disclaimer: I own nothing from the movie.
A/N: Halo and I had the idea to write a story about Patroclus' death from Eudorus' POV about a week ago. But then, my half-asleep mind gave me the idea of writing a sort of "companion story" from Odysseus' POV. So, after much deliberation of saying "I don't care which one I write with" for about fifteen minutes or so, we finally decided on who should write one. And I'm glad we finally did. So, after much struggle, I bring you the first part of these companion stories. Enjoy!
It was the battle that every man looked forward to, yet dreaded. Every man on both sides stopped fighting with each other as they turned their to watch the most anticipated battle; Hector, prince of Troy against Achilles, leader of the Myrmidon. Every man watched anxiously as the two great warriors exchanged blows with each other, wondering who would prove the more able warrior. But I was nervous. Though I knew that my friend was powerful, I took a moment to wonder if he actually stood a chance against Hector.
Then, the unexplainable happened. I watched in mounting horror as the prince's blade slit across the Myrmidon leader's throat, spilling his blood. Achilles slowly sunk to his knees and then collapsed to the hard ground.
A stunned silence echoed in the ears of every Greek as they looked down on the great warrior's writhing form. I couldn't believe what I had witnessed. I couldn't believe that the once thought great Achilles had been beaten down so quickly. It had seemed too easy…
This wasn't Achilles, it couldn't be. I had seen him in battle times before. His fighting style was the same. He looked the same. But it could not be Achilles. I could not believe that my friend had been defeated so easily…
I looked up at Hector, and I could tell that he was thinking the same thing I was. There was no triumph glowing on his face like the Trojans around him. In fact, I could see the dread hidden in those deep eyes as he looked down on Achilles. It had seemed too easy…
Then, the prince knelt down next to the Myrmidon leader and removed his helmet, shock etching across his face. The warrior's identity even silenced the Trojans, for it was not Achilles lying before them. Instead, it was the face of a young boy who couldn't have been older than seventeen years of age. He continued writhing on the hard ground, looking around desperately as he gasped for air. I would know that face anywhere…
I looked up at Eudorus, and I saw that he was feeling the same sadness and the same horror as I was at seeing the young cousin of Achilles lying before us, bleeding… dying… He met my gaze, and in that moment, we shared knowing looks. We both knew that the outcome of this event would not go without bloodshed. The end for one man would only be the beginning for another.
Hector looked down on the boy with sadness, his heart heavy from ending such a young life. My gaze traveled back to the prince, and I wondered if he knew what I did; if he knew his fate as I did. I feared for Hector. I knew that once Achilles learned that Patroclus had been killed by the prince's hand, Hector's death would soon follow. Yes, I feared for Hector. His demise began now.
I looked down on Patroclus again, and my heart wrenched at the sight. He was choking as he bled and gasped for air, his wide eyes looking wildly around for someone he knew. Achilles, perhaps? For a moment, I wanted to run from this nightmare and bring Achilles to the boy so he could see him one last time. But I knew that before I even reached the Myrmidon camp, the young cousin of Achilles would be dead.
For a moment, Patroclus' eyes landed on me, almost pleading with me. I opened my mouth to say something, but sighed as his eyes quickly moved away again to find someone else in the crowd around him. Eudorus, perhaps? Yes, that was highly possible. The Myrmidon second-in-command was more his friend than I was.
I heard Hector sigh as he grabbed his sword, raising it above his head. Then, in one fluid motion, he brought the blade down for the merciful finishing blow. I could hardly stand to watch as the suffering and the life of Patroclus was ended. I could see that it was as hard for Hector as it was for us as he removed his blade from the youth's body and got to his feet.
I slowly took a couple of steps forward, my eyes never leaving the unseeing ones of Patroclus. Hector came to me, but I did not look back until he spoke.
"Enough for one day."
Enough for one day… It seemed to me that he had already resigned himself to the inevitable. I took a deep breath as I nodded in silent agreement, ending the battle that had so recently been raging. It was truly enough for one day.
I turned away from the prince and looked at the rest of the Greek and Myrmidon soldiers around me. "Back to the ships!" I commanded with a heavy heart, knowing that they had had enough for one day also. I tried not to show it to them, but deep inside I was grieving for the loss of the young Patroclus. I had known his parents well, and I had grown fond of the boy from what I had seen of him. I couldn't believe that we had lost him. It was enough.
I heard my order being relayed throughout the men, but I ignored it. I glanced at Hector for a moment before looking at Patroclus once more. "It was his cousin," I muttered in a way of warning before I walked toward his still form. The prince had to know what was beginning…
Different orders were being relayed around me, and I could feel Hector's eyes on me as I walked. I heard his sigh of defeat, and I knew that he knew what was going to happen. He had now fully resigned himself to his fate.
I knelt down beside Patroclus' body next to Eudorus just as he was gently closing the boy's eyes. He looked at me, but I didn't look back until he spoke, and I was horrified by the words he said to me.
"We were going to sail home today."
I sadly looked back down on at the youth as Eudorus did the same beside me. Then, I looked up at the soldiers that were moving around me, and I sighed. "I don't think anyone's sailing home now," I replied quietly.
My eyes went back to the boy's lifeless form as Eudorus gently ran his hand over his golden head, and I wondered the consequences when Achilles heard news of his cousin's death. And once more, I feared for Hector and the outcome of the war, for I knew that his trouble was only starting. I looked up and watched as Hector headed back toward his city with his soldiers. This would be his last night to look upon his city. I knew that this was only the start.
Oh, Prince of Troy. This is only the beginning.