Title: Shades of a Lost Soul

Author: Jesse

Rating: PG-13

Warning: violence, vague sex references

Disclaimer: not mine, although, I'm not sure how copyright works on several thousand year old literature

Summary: Heroes dominate the stories of old, but those who stand beside them are almost more important. This is the story of the shadow of a legend, through the eyes of the girl who was more like him than perhaps anyone could have imagined.

AN: I'm in a class right now on Greek epic, so this is as close to factual as I can make it, except for the curtseying. I have no idea what the equivalent would be, so Briseis just curtseys.

Some Greek terms:

geras- the physical manifestation (usually a slave) of a hero's honour (and without geras, a hero has no honour, so when Briseis is taken from Akhilleus, Agamemnon is literally taking his honour, which is very offensive)

Gerontes- the circle of elders and chieftains who advise Agamemnon

Therapon- literally ritual substitute, but also something like a squire, though Patroklus is much more than just a squire.


She swallowed convulsively as the Acheans singled out her and a girl from another town. The other girl was grabbed by the arm by a big man, and dragged roughly away.

A dark-haired, dark eyed young man watched her unfathomable eyes. He smiled gently at her and inclined his head.

She followed without saying anything, falling in step a pace behind him.

He intentionally slowed his pace until she was beside him. "I'm Patroklus," he said quietly. "I'm to take you to Akhilleus."

Her eyes widened. She could not help it. Akhilleus.

He smiled the same gentle smile. "Be easy. He'll not hurt you for no reason, and he'll not see you mistreated by any other. His love for his mother gives him a respect of women most don't have," he assured her, "So you need not fear him. What's your name?"

"Hippodameia, daughter of Briseus, lord."

"Just Patroklus, Briseis," he answered. "Akhilleus is the only lord in the Myrmidon camp."

She warily eyed the men walking around. All of them eyed her, and several made lewd comments.

Patroklus narrowed his eyes at one of the more vocal. "Mind your tongue, Echepolus, or I'm sure milord can find another use for it. The hounds aren't so well fed as to turn down a treat."

The man dropped his eyes and muttered, "Sorry, Patroklus," but Briseis could see his scowl.

Patroklus raised his voice. "The spoils are being split among the men, since the Troiad has finally fallen." He nodded at Briseis. "She is for Akhilleus, so mind your tongues and your eyes!"

Immediately, everyone standing and staring found something to do.

"Would he really cut out that man's tongue?" Briseis asked softly, knowing she should stay silent, but unbearably curious.

Patroklus laughed. "Of course not. Akhilleus isn't cruel, Briseis, and Echepolus is one of his men. He just needs sharp words to keep him in line sometimes." They reached a tent and Patroklus turned towards it. "Don't fear," he repeated. He ducked in the flap, holding it back for her to follow him in. "Akhilleus," he called into the dim light, waiting for his eyes to adjust.

"Patroklus?"

When Briseis' eyes focused, she saw a man not much younger than Patroklus—certainly not yet thirty—with blonde hair and clear eyes, probably grey, but difficult to determine in the dimness. He was taller than Patroklus by half a head, but the Phthian was only a few inches taller than she. Akhilleus was also much broader in the chest than Patroklus, deeply muscled and scarred. He wore only a loincloth.

"The men awarded you geras," Patroklus was saying. He inclined his head her direction.

Deep eyes pinned her where she stood. "Thank you, Patroklus. Will you inform the men that we'll be returning to Agamemnon in the morning?"

"Of course," Patroklus answered. He turned and ducked out the flap, winking at her as he passed.

Unaccountably, she relaxed somewhat. The therapon's ease with his master made her a little easier about her own situation.

"What's your name?" Akhilleus asked.

"Briseis, Milord."

"Just Akhilleus," he answered. "How old are you?"

"Twenty-seven."

He nodded slowly. "Come in, girl. I won't bite you."

Swallowing, she took a few steps into the tent,

"Sit," he instructed, his voice still unaccountably gentle. "Let me tell you your duties."

She nodded, sinking to the skins. He was much kinder than her brothers had been to the women they had taken in war, and she knew he did not have to be. She was grateful.


Three days later, carrying a pitcher of water into Akhilleus' tent, she nearly crashed into Patroklus and dropped her pitcher.

"Whoa!" He cried, catching the pitcher with one hand and steadying her with the other. "Are you alright?" He asked, tilting her chin up and peering into her face.

"Fine," she managed, flushing with embarrassment. She had never been clumsy until she was made a slave. Now it seemed she could not walk without falling over. His easy grace only made her feel more stupid.

"Here," he said gently, handing the pitcher back. "No good doing a good job twice because I was foolish enough to get in your way."

She smiled at his gallantry, since the accident had clearly been her fault, curtsied, and murmured, "Thank you," as she stepped into the tent. The tent was exactly the same, for all that it had moved to the Achean camp on the beach outside of Troy itself.

"Excellent," Akhilleus murmured, taking the pitcher from her gratefully and taking a long drink. He then set it in the sand, digging it in so it would not fall over, and looked at her. "Are you alright? You looked flushed."

"Fine, milord." That was one habit he would ever get her to break. She would not break it. She would not. "Just embarrassed. I ran into Patroklus."

It was funny, she thought, how even bare mention of his therapon brought that smile to Akhilleus' face. She could imagine watching the two of them spar would be fun. Their verbal sparring was entertaining enough. She had the sudden image of Akhilleus with a sword in his hand. She could see him in her mind's eye, sparring with Patroklus. The image changed to him fighting for real, and she remembered with sudden, broken horror that this was then who had killed her husband and brothers. With a cry, she turned and ran out of the tent, unable to stop the tears.

"Briseis!" Akhilleus cried.

Patroklus crossed between the tents, a warning glare driving back the man going to fetch her. He stepped into the empty space off the sides of the last ship and curved around until he was sure she could see him approach. "Hey," he said gently, kneeling beside her. "It's okay to mourn, you know."

With a muffled wail, she threw herself at him, knocking him off balance and burying her face into the soft linen at his shoulder.

"Shh," he murmured, stroking her back. "Hey shh, you're gonna be okay." He carded his fingers gently through her hair, murmuring nonsense until she calmed.

She sniffed and sat back, eyes downcast.

"Hey," he said gently, tipping up her chin to force her to meet his eyes. "Better now?"

She nodded slowly.

His gentle smile warmed her. "It's okay to miss them."

"I'm surprised Akhilleus let you come after me," she said quietly, voice only wavering somewhat.

He let her change the subject. "I had to physically stop him, but he knew I was right. If he watched, he's probably thanking the gods that he let me come. He has no idea what to do with a crying woman. He has two half-sisters who think he's a brute."

She gave a watery chuckle. "Isn't he?"

Patroklus grinned. "Maybe a little." He regarded her for a moment. "Are you alright?" he asked softly.

She met his eyes, letting him see her pain and fear, but also her courage. "I'll be okay someday," she told him honestly.

He nodded. "That's all we can hope for. I'm here, if you ever want to talk. Or Akhilleus will try to listen. He cares for you."

She smiled. "He's very kind. I know he doesn't have to be."

"That's just Akhilleus," another voice said.

Briseis jumped, ducking her head abashedly. Fond of her or not, she was still only Akhilleus' slave.

"Eve, Odysseus," Patroklus said easily.

"Evening, Patroklus. Where's Akhilleus, missing out on the waterside party?"

Patroklus nodded towards the tents further up the beach. "Hiding, probably. What brings you down our way?"

"Gerontes are meeting," Odysseus answered, gaze wandering absently. "Came to fetch Akhilleus."

Patroklus grinned. "Please don't tell him I told you he was hiding," Patroklus called, pitching his voice so it would carry up to the tents without seeming to be intentionally shouted.

"I heard that!" Akhilleus yelled, his tone making it clear he knew his therapon was baiting him.

"Pardon?" Patroklus called back innocently.

Akhilleus moved down the beach, stalking like a lion.

Odysseus met him partway up, said something to him in an undertone, and offered a slight wave over his shoulder to Patroklus.

When they were gone, Patroklus looked at her again. "Odysseus is a good sort," he said quietly. "You needn't fear him. Some of the other leaders even I'm leery of, but Odysseus saves his brutality for the field."

She nodded slowly.

"Come on," he said. "Let's get you back to the tents."

He helped her up and guided her with a gentle hand on her shoulder. "How do you like it here?" He asked.

She looked at him wryly. "Well enough, I suppose. I count myself lucky to belong to Akhilleus."

"You fascinate him," Patroklus remarked, almost absently. "I've never seen him like he is with you, not even with Daidemia."

She wondered for a moment if he was not jealous, but the sparkle of amusement in his eyes told her that he was happy because Akhilleus was happy. "You love him," she realised.

He raised an eyebrow at her. "Don't you?"

She hesitated. The truth felt like a betrayal of her family. A lie felt like a betrayal of the unlikely friendship she had found with him.

He took pity on her. "Yes, I love him. I'd die for him a thousand times over if it would make him happy."

"It would break him," she answered. "Even I can see that, and I've known him only a few days."

Patroklus smiled. "He's stronger than even those who know him give him credit for."

Briseis shrugged. He certainly knew Akhilleus better than she.


Briseis was in Akhilleus' tent a few days later, talking with Akhilleus—one of the stranger of the things she did, at least in comparison to the duties of the slave girls her husband and brothers had brought home from war—when Patroklus came in. He was pale and sweaty and his eyes shone too brightly.

"You've been tending the sick again!" Akhilleus accused.

"Machaon needs all the help he can get," Patroklus answered, stumbling slightly and sitting carelessly, a far cry from his usual loose-limbed grace.

"Yes, but you're no help if you get sick too!" Akhilleus answered, titling Patroklus' face towards him and pressing his cheek to the therapon's forehead. "You're burning up," he murmured.

Without being asked, Briseis passed over the water pitcher.

Akhilleus smiled at her. "Will you go to Machaon and ask him for the herbs he's been giving the ill? He doesn't need to come; I can care for Patroklus, and he's busy enough, but I need the supplies."

"Of course," she answered, and slipped out of the tent. A few days before, Patroklus had taken her as he had carried messages for Akhilleus, so she would know the layout of the camp to do her own errands. She went to Machaon's camp and curtsied to his servant. "My lord sent me to beg a favour from Lord Machaon," she said politely, curtseying.

"Machaon," the servant called. "Akhilleus sent a messenger."

The young healer exited the tent, wiping his hands. "Yes?" he asked Briseis kindly.

She curtseyed again. "Patroklus has fallen ill, milord, and Lord Akhilleus asks for the herbs to tend him."

"Should I come?"

"No, milord. He said you were plenty busy and he could care for Patroklus."

Machaon nodded. "Hold on." He ducked back into the tent.

She could hear him rustling around and the wet hacking of the ill. The plague that had struck the army was terrible. She was only thankful that Apollo had been kind and spared the Myrmidon camp most of the illness.

"Here," he said, offering a bundle. "He needs to drink water with this in it," he showed her how much, "Three times a day. If Akhilleus needs anything, he can come to me."

"Thank you kindly, milord." Briseis hurried off to give the herbs to Akhilleus.


Days passed and Patroklus came quickly out of the haze of fever. Akhilleus kept him off his feet for longer than Patroklus thought necessary, but Machaon in the few trips he made to the Myrmidon camp said Akhilleus was right. Finally, Patroklus had been released from bed rest, though still only on light duty and completely banned from the fighting.

Briseis watched him prowl the camp while the rest of the men were out fighting with no great curiosity. "Are you so eager to die that you chafe at a rest?" she asked him acidly. With no one else around, she felt she could be frank with Akhilleus' therapon.

He met her eyes with a startling intensity. "Thetis of the sea, Akhilleus' mother, made a prophecy when Akhilleus was young. I remember so vividly her tears, for her son would be long-lived but forgotten, or his name would be spoken for all time, but his life would be short. His choice was made when he agreed to come to this place, and I chafe because while I am not beside him, I cannot keep him safe from those who would see it true sooner rather than later."

Briseis lurched, frozen by the realisation that she would miss Akhilleus fiercely when he was gone, that she would shed tears for the man who imprisoned her. Finally, she found her voice to reassure the man. "Surely his companions will keep him safe."

"Aye," he said wearily. "They will, but not as well as I can."

She squeezed his shoulder, offering the only comfort she could give.

Akhilleus swept into the Myrmidon camp, shoulders tight with anger.

Briseis watched him warily, staying back. She knew she had made the right choice when Akhilleus threw a pitcher at one of his men.

The rest of the men scattered, quickly finding things that needed doing and places they needed to be.

Patroklus put a hand on the man's shoulder, speaking quietly into his ear. As the man fled, Patroklus crossed to Akhilleus, kneeling beside him.

Akhilleus whirled on Patroklus, swinging.

Kneeling as he was, Patroklus could not get out of the way fast enough and Akhilleus caught him across the jaw, with a blow hard enough that it sat Patroklus back hard.

Akhilleus seemed to come back to himself and dropped to the sand beside Patroklus, tilting his face to examine the spectacular bruise already forming on the therapon's jaw. He was speaking quietly to Patroklus, running his fingers through the other man's hair.

Patroklus shook his head, meeting Akhilleus' eyes steadily. He put his hand on Akhilleus' shoulder and tilted his head, mouth moving.

Akhilleus sat beside him dejectedly, leaning into the arm Patroklus draped around his shoulders. Akhilleus was talking and Briseis wished she were close enough to hear, but did not want to risk going close enough to actually be able to do so. If Akhilleus was in a mood where he would strike Patroklus, no other mortal stood a chance anywhere near the hero.

Patroklus clasped Akhilleus' head to his shoulder, tightening his grip. They sat thus for several long moments, Akhilleus speak quietly into Patroklus' shoulder, but then they both rose, moving about the camp.

After a few minutes, Briseis started to come forward, but before she came more than a few steps closer to Akhilleus' tent, two men she did not know crossed to where Akhilleus stood. They were trembling, heads bowed respectfully before her lord, cowed in the face of his obvious ire. Neither seemed able to speak.

"Welcome, messengers of gods and men, come close, for my quarrel is not with you, but with Agamemnon who has sent you for the girl Briseis. Therefore, Patroklus, fetch her and give her over to them."

Akhilleus continued to speak, but Briseis could hear no more. Gods save her, she was to be taken from Akhilleus.

Patroklus found her a moment later. He took in her pale face and murmured, "You heard then? I am sorry. There is nothing to be done, if Akhilleus cannot keep them from taking you, but I do not doubt that he will do everything in his power to get you back." Patroklus spoke very softly and very fast. "I'm sorry," he repeated, sorrow in his eyes. He took her by the elbow and guided her behind the tents. "Keep your head down and do as he says; you will be alright. Do you trust me?" When she nodded, he slapped her as hard as he could.

She flinched back when he raised his hand again.

He struck her again, and she could feel her eyes blackening even as they stood. "I'm sorry, but Agamemnon would not sleep with an ugly concubine. It will buy you a little time."

Briseis threw her arms around Patroklus' neck, shaking. "I'm frightened."

He hugged her tightly. "Come," he said roughly. "This has almost taken too long as it is."

She let him lead her around to the front and pass her off to the heralds like baggage. She forced herself not to look back. Looking at Akhilleus would have broken the barriers she kept on her fear; the fine tremble in Patroklus' hand on her arm had almost been too much in itself.


Briseis hurried about the camp, ignoring the eyes that followed her. Everyone knew she was Agamemnon's slave girl. Some watched her with pity, others with lust, but she did her best to ignore them as she went for water for the king. She was grateful to Patroklus' foresight, for with the bruises on her face, Agamemnon had not touched her.

Lost in thought, she was not looking where she was going and ran into someone.

"Watch it!" the man snarled, hand flying back to strike her.

Briseis cringed, eyes down. When no blow fell, she looked up, the man struggled with someone else.

He had his hand up in the air, held fast at the wrist to keep him from striking her. He swung backwards at his captor with his free hand, but did not land a hit.

"Stand down, Thersites," Patroklus' voice snapped as the man continued to struggle. She saw the therapon's face when suddenly he shifted, and Thersites squeaked and hit the ground. "Agamemnon will be angry if you damage his goods and one thrashing a week is plenty for anyone, I've no doubt."

"Like you care except that the wench has Akhilleus enchanted."

Patroklus narrowed his eyes. "Say that again and I will give you a thrashing myself. Be gone, Thersites and do not concern yourself with the affairs of your betters." He looked at Briseis and she could see the concern in his eyes as he glanced over her discreetly. "Do your job, girl," he told her firmly, stepping out of her way.

There was a crowd between her and the well.

Patroklus eyed the gathered crowd, who had obviously hoped for a fight between Thersites and Patroklus. "Get out of her way," he commanded and they parted.

Briseis felt helplessly conspicuous, but filled her pitcher and walked back through the crowd. As she passed Patroklus and Thersites, before anyone could react, Thersites backhanded her, sending her tumbling. The pitcher spilled.

"Wench!"

She heard the roar of the crowd and forced herself to look up.

Patroklus had caught Thersites by the hair at the nape of his neck and dragged him backwards, one leg behind the other man's, holding him bent back at an uncomfortable angle. "I warned you," he said softly. Patroklus shifted his grip and Thersites squeaked again, suddenly completely unsupported except by Patroklus' hand in his hair.

He flailed for balance, cursing Patroklus, Akhilleus, Briseis, and the gods.

Patroklus slapped him—Briseis winced, since the blow was designed to hurt the man's pride and nothing else—and suddenly released his grip. He set his foot casually on Therites' chest. "Curse the gods and they will find a way to curse you in return. Curse a slavegirl and you look a blathering idiot. Curse me and I laugh at you. Curse Akhilleus and I will make you wish your father had never bedded your mother."

Thersites continued to spew malice and, shaking his head, Patroklus shifted his foot until it lay across the man's throat, cutting off air and words together.

"Are you finished?" Patroklus asked after a moment and shifted his weight back somewhat.

Thersites gasped an affirmative.

Patroklus stepped back, picked up Briseis' pitcher and thrust it at the man. "Fill it."

"What?"

Patroklus crossed his arms over his chest.

"All this over a slavegirl who's no better than she should be."

Patroklus casually tripped Thersites as he walked back, making him spill the pitcher. "That's no good," Patroklus said mockingly. "The king is thirsty, man! Don't take all day!"

The crowd roared with laughter.

Sullenly, Thersites filled the pitcher and thrust it at Patroklus and fled before the younger man could humiliate him anymore.

Patroklus handed her the pitcher. "That looks like it will bruise," he remarked softly, nodding her face. She could see the relief in his face. The bruise, for all it had hurt, would likely spare her from Agamemnon for a few more days. "You should go."

She nodded, but before she could, a voice cut across the dry air of the camp.

"Get back to work," a voice called. Odysseus walked over. "Are you alright, girl?"

She curtseyed deeply. "Fine, thank you kindly, milord."

"Made yourself a fine enemy, Patroklus."

Patroklus flashed a feral grin. "He insulted Akhilleus. And Agamemnon I know would not like men messing with his things."

"Of course," Odysseus drawled, "You always look out for Agamemnon's best interests."

"Of course," Patroklus answered, grinning. "I should be off. Akhilleus will wonder where I am."

Briseis curtseyed to the two men deeply before heading back towards the tent of the king of kings.


She knew the fighting was not going well. Chariots entered camp again and again, bearing the wounded. When Agamemnon was carried into his tent, bleeding, his charioteer barked at her to find Machaon.

She headed for the healer's section of camp, but found it deserted. She turned about and headed for the wall. The sentries could tell her where Machaon was, if he was on the field or off, though what she was going to do if he was on the field, she had no idea. "Pardon, good sir," she said politely to the man beside the gate, "But King Agamemnon requests Healer Machaon's service and I was sent to find him. Could you perhaps tell me if he is in the camp or on the field?"

"He's hurt, girl," the sentry said gruffly. "Nestor brought him off the field just a few minutes ago."

She curtseyed deeply. "Thank you, kind sir." Quickly, she crossed the camp towards the section set aside for Nestor and his men. She arrived just after Nestor and Machaon entered the tent after a stint at the waterside. Before she crossed to the tent, someone else stepped up to the flap.

Patroklus stuck his head into the tent.

She watched in surprise as Nestor tried to pull Patroklus into the tent, but the therapon stood his ground. "I cannot, for I was sent with all speed to see who it was that was injured and you brought back to the camp, and you know as well as I that the one who sent me is quick to anger and to lay blame to those it does not belong to. I see now myself that it was Machaon, shepherd of his people, and I must return to my lord with the news."

"Why should Akhilleus care who lives and dies in the Achean camp? Agamemnon and Diomedes have retired from the field to nurse their hurts, Odysseus too has returned, and Eurypylus was shot, but Akhilleus cares not for the hurts of the Acheans, for all his strength and courage. Will the ships burn and the Acheans die to a man before Akhilleus will fight?"

Patroklus ducked his head, but said nothing.

Nestor put a hand on Patroklus' shoulder. "Speak with Akhilleus. He will listen to you, but even if he will not fight, the Myrmidons are fresh and even with you at their head it would give us some breathing room. Ask him to let you wear his armour and strike fear into the hearts of the Trojans when they think Akhilleus is among us again."

Patroklus nodded slowly. "I will speak with Akhilleus," he promised. With that, he turned and left Nestor's tent.

Briseis, forgetting her errand, followed.

A man stepped suddenly out in front of Patroklus, begging for help.

Patroklus looked anguished. "Oh, unhappy captains of the Acheans," he cried. "Eurypylus, have we any chance at all?"

Eurypylus shook his head. "Nay, we shall perish at our ships, but please, help me to my ship. I know you've some skill with healing, for Charon the centaur taught it to Akhilleus."

Patroklus nodded quickly, tucking himself under the man's arm and supporting him away.

Briseis followed at a discreet distance, though when she saw Patroklus fumbling with both cloth and water, she stepped forward, taking the cloth from him and unrolling it.

Patroklus did not look at her, only murmured his thanks, attention entirely on his patient. They worked side-by-side until Eurypylus was settled, and then Patroklus stepped out of the tent for a while.

Briseis followed. "Patroklus," she said quietly.

He looked at her in surprise. "Briseis," he said. "What are you doing here?"

"Agamemnon is hurt and sent me for Machaon, but he is wounded and can be no help. I followed you after leaving Nestor's tent rather than return because I was curious what dark look was in your eyes as you left him."

Patroklus smiled at her gently. "It is nothing, Briseis."

She shook her head. "I am not a fool, Patroklus, though I am a woman. I see in your eyes a darkness even now."

He made no reply.

Briseis frowned. "Fine, keep your secrets, son of Menoetius, but know that I wanted to help."

He smiled at her. "I appreciate the sentiment, Briseis, but I do not think you will understand."

She narrowed her eyes at him. "Try me," she challenged as she might have her brothers or husband. It was certainly unfitting for a slave to one of her captors, but he laughed.

"Alright, little lioness, I will try. Nestor suggested I try to bring Akhilleus into the fighting, and if I could not, to borrow his armour and lead the Myrmidons myself, for we are fresh, and the thought that I am Akhilleus would drive fear into the Trojans and allow us to regroup. Hektor will want to fight Akhilleus as soon as he shows his face on the field."

"Nestor is sending you to your death!"

"Nestor is doing as he thinks he must," Patroklus answered sharply. "The choice is mine. Nestor has hedged his bets. If anyone can convince Akhilleus, it is me, and we are dying. I cannot let it go on."

"You will die!"

"Perhaps, or perhaps I will buy us the time we need."

"And if you do die?"

Patroklus stopped, forcing her to look at him. "Does it matter?"

"Of course it-" she began heatedly, and then understood. If he died, Akhilleus would rejoin the fighting to avenge him, and the Acheans would be victorious. She stared at him, open mouthed.

"The fame from the defeat of the Trojans will be greater than any the world has ever known. His name will live on forever, Briseis, and he will be immortal. Nothing short of that will ever make Akhilleus happy. I told you once that I would die to make him happy. If that is as the gods will it, so let it be."

She knew there was nothing to say to that. He was determined, and she was just a woman, just a slave.


After leaving Patroklus tending to Eurypylus, Briseis was busy, running errands, making sure Agamemnon was comfortable and cared for. So when Odysseus came into the tent only a few steps behind her, she ducked back to listen to the news of the camp.

Odysseus' face was pale with pain from his wound, and his expression was grim. "Rejoice, king of kings," he said bitterly, "For that which you have long hoped for has come to pass."

Agamemnon sat up in surprise, looking at Odysseus for clarification.

"The Acheans will be victorious in the coming days and the city will fall."

"You do not sound pleased, son of Laertes. If anything I hear bitterness in your voice. You claim to bring glad tidings, but here, if you have grievances with me, speak them!"

"As I say, we will be the victors in this war, for Akhilleus has resolved to return to the fighting as soon as he can be armed." Odysseus' jaw clenched.

"Continue," Agamemnon prompted, for he could see that Odysseus was not through.

"Patroklus is dead."

Briseis stood back as Akhilleus lit the pyre, his face streaked with ashes and tears. As she had said, all those days ago, Patroklus' death had destroyed him. She had been given back to Akhilleus, but he did not see her. He saw nothing but his grief.

She remembered Patroklus' insistence that immortalizing glory would come out of Akhilleus rejoining the war and the prophecy Patroklus had spoken of, what seemed so long ago but had truly only been a few days. It certainly seemed that he was gaining his fame, but just as Thetis had said, she could see that it would mean his death now that he no longer had Patroklus to fight beside him, to watch his back and to watch over. Now that he no longer had Patroklus to live for.

"Goodbye," she whispered.