Warning: Well, what can I say? From the summary, you already know that in this fanfic, I will be tapping into Achilles' emotionally unstable and scarred persona. Of course, a fair warning is in order: Achilles is very traumatized and emotionally unstable in some of these segments, and because of his personality and some of his coping methods, some of these oneshots may be very frightening, upsetting, and triggering. You have been warned.

Disclaimer: I am a Greek goddess, and I own this universe and these lovely human beings.

…In my dreams. ;)

Acknowledgements: Aww, I can't help myself – I would like to once again dedicate this fanfic to HaloFin17, Horsetamer5, and bluebirdheart.

Author's Notes: So...I can't be the only one who gets the distinct vibe that Patroclus admires Achilles greatly, but only for his seemingly flawless and god-like qualities. I couldn't help but feel that, when watching this movie, Patroclus was both uneasy and even a bit judgmental when Achilles' flaws reared their ugly head.

This is what my fic will focus on: Achilles' flaws and how they affect his and Pat's relationship. Obviously, I think Patroclus would adore and love his cousin no matter what, but I think he would also have a difficult time respecting and still admiring Achilles after witnessing his flawed side, and in this fic, he will have to learn to come to terms with it.

Also, Achilles may seem OOC in some places, but I truly believe that deep down, he is a very messed up and broken person. PTSD? Oh, yes…

Oh, and do please note that these oneshots take place over the course of Pat's childhood pre-movie.

Last but not least...enjoy! :)

/

Prologue

Achilles was a fine specimen of a warrior who ruled over the southern region of Phthia and an elite tribe known as the Myrmidons. Many regarded him as the greatest warrior in the world, a flawless being, and several urban legends surrounded him. Some revered and heralded him as if he were a golden deity, while others vilified him. More often than not, it was the latter.

"You'd better behave yourself, or Achilles will come and get you," Grecian and non-Grecian women alike would scold their children. And of course, they would take their mothers very seriously, because who in their right mind would want to cross the great and terrible Achilles?

Mixed feelings about this warrior spread throughout Greece, for he was both greatly beloved and greatly reviled. But no matter where they stood, all were in agreement: he was a truly fearful being, invulnerable and perfect. Perfect.

Little did they know just how much his reputation and profession cost him, both physically and emotionally. In most of the city-states he traveled, whether for war or for business, the citizens would spit upon him and screech obscenities. One elderly man had even urinated on him.

Achilles never fought back against these citizens, for he saw no honor in battling against those who were unarmed and unskilled in warfare. However, their words, actions, and superstitions hurt him more than he cared to admit.

The superstitions… gods, the superstitions! As soon as word of his arrival reached merchants in the city-states, they stocked up on "blue eyes," little glass pieces of jewelry and pendants that the women would wear while avoiding his "evil eye."

Others would stock up on garlic or salt and throw these food products at him, screeching phrases meant to drive away evil in their culture.

Whenever he was called away to fight in one of Agamemnon's petty wars, soldiers whom he barely knew would walk directly up to him and whisper "Piase kokkino!" while fingering any red item that was within reach. Such a phrase was uttered in order to prevent fighting in Greece. They truly believed he was capable of fighting and killing his own comrades!

"He is not human. He is a creature, a creature of the Underworld!"

"He brings bad luck and death wherever he goes!"

"He is cold-hearted, vicious, evil…"

"Golden hair – you know what they say about Greek men with golden hair, right?"

"No, what?"

"They're freaks and symbolize bad luck!"

"Wretched bastard! How does Thetis feel, knowing she bore an inhuman creature?"

"You belong in the deepest, darkest, most fiery place of Tartarus!"

"He's possessed! Possessed!"

"You did this to him, Peleus." Athena's voice, full of wrath. "You've… destroyed him!"

"Piase kokkino, piase kokkino!"

Achilles sank to the ground and gripped at his golden air, trying in vain to expel from his mind the words spoken about him over the years. He had returned from yet another war on this day, and he now found himself in an isolated forest. This clearing in the woods was his place of solace, the only place where he could go when he needed to release his emotions and find.

They didn't know… Patroclus, Eudorus, Odysseus, his goddess mother… they all thought he was so invulnerable, so flawless, so absolutely perfect.

They didn't know! They didn't know just how much the guilt tortured and clawed at him after battles, how much he hated himself and wanted to sleep forever and never wake up. Nobody knew. They thought he was a cold-hearted, emotionless, and remorseless being… but nothing could be further from the truth.

Nobody knew that he was caged and forced into his lifestyle; they just assumed that he enjoyed his profession, enjoyed ending lives. They didn't know of the horrific nightmares that plagued and haunted him, nor did they know of his constant thirst and need for repentance.

It is repentance and peace I desire, not bloodshed, he screamed in his mind. Why can't they see that?

Wild-eyed and with heart pounding, he got up off the ground and staggered over to a tree.

I am so sorry.

Without another thought, he ran his arms down the tree, gasping as the rough bark cut into his wrists. He repeated this movement over and over again, until blood was trickling steadily down his arms and onto the forest floor.

Blood for blood. Pain for pain. It was only fair, he decided. He continued to viciously brush his arms over the bark, until his thoughts turned to blackness and he passed out from the pain.

End Notes: What do you think so far? Please feel free to give feedback and constructive criticism, as well as any requests or suggestions for some of these oneshots. :)

Btw, yes, those superstitions were real superstitions in Ancient Greece!