The barbaric Greeks loved their torment of the helpless. Hector had now learnt this first-hand. One bastard had thought it would be amusing to prod at the captive with a dull spear, too afraid to even step near a bound man. Others had soon joined in. Hector had stayed stoically silent while the bastards were having their fun. Once he got free, he would make sure that he gained the same amount of pleasure hurting them as they did him. Oh gods. Hector prayed that those thoughts were the results of the sun and his current situation. He had always hated torture. The infliction of unnecessary pain and death disgusted him. He hated going into war, knowing that many women would not be seeing their loved ones again. And he always feared that Andromache would be one of those grieving women.
Hector swiveled his head around to make sure no one was around. Seeing only the flickering of torches, he relaxed all of his tensed muscles. As they loosened, he gave a whimper. He hadn't known that sitting still for so long could hurt as much as a knife.
Now for his escape plan. There was a sharp splinter sticking out of the pole. It would require some shoulder-wrenching to reach and progress would be excruciatingly slow but Hector could think of no better option. He didn't even know if there were any other options. He started to reach up, feeling blindly for that small, elusive sliver when one hand grabbed his bound wrists and he heard a snapping sound. Damn, he hadn't even heard the man approaching. Then came the silken words of the one man who he hated the most.
"Trying to escape? Trust me, it won't be this easy." The bastard's tone just reeked of arrogance and satisfaction. He and all the other Greeks had probably spent the whole day gloating about how pathetic and weak the prince of Troy was. When I get free, I will crush all of them and they'll shake and cry at the sight of my army. They'll wish that they had never crawled out of their whore-of-a-mother's stomach. And then once I -
Hector's thoughts were interrupted by a brutal yank of his wrists, which had been untied from the post. He was pulled to his feet and his legs promptly gave out, making him fall back against the sand. He was dragged back up, his body tingling from the blood rushing everywhere. His head spun from the sudden movement and the stars above looked like they were whirling around him. He was pushed against the wood, and saw a dark hood nearing his face. Hector immediately balked, weakly thrashing against the arm holding him back. Shaking his head violently, he prevented Achilles from pulling the cloth over his head.
"Be still!" Achilles hissed. He punched the Trojan, making his head snap to the side. Then he grabbed Hector's tangled locks and slammed his head back on the pole. Hector, dazed and in pain, was in shock and could only watch as the sack was pulled over him, the drawstring tightening at his neck. Hector was yanked forward by his neck, the drawstring serving as a leash. A fucking leash! Like he was an animal! Hector fought back, trying to pull away and digging his heels into the sand. Despite his efforts, the sand gave way under his feet and he was dragged forth, struggling every step of the way.
The darkness, the constriction of the hood, the stifling, hot air, filled with the scent of metal. Achilles' punch had filled his mouth with blood; Hector had no choice but to hold the foul liquid in, not wanting to spit it out into the cloth confining his head.
But the most terrifying thing was not his inability to see, but the result of his blindness. He had to put his trust - no, not his trust, he could not trust his enemy. He had to hope and pray that Achilles would not mislead him. Though Hector would definitely not put it past him. He inched forward, each foot searching for safe ground.
Achilles grew tired of the slow progress and he yanked on the lead rope. Caught off guard, Hector sprawled out on the sand, bringing his hands up to stop his fall. He spat out the blood that he had so carefully held in, splattering the sack, making it hot and sticky. He knelt there on all fours. Hearing, feeling his rapid heartbeat.
He heard Achilles' mocking voice above him, "We don't have any time for this, my prince."
Achilles felt a rush of perverse pleasure at the sight of the great Prince Hector. Kneeling before him. Patroclus would have his revenge if he got better. No, not if, Achilles thought, when. When he gets better. When he can walk around and talk and fight. Still thinking of his cousin, he continued leading his prisoner to a small, hastily-erected tent in the middle of the Myrmidon camp. Eudorus said he would be better! That he could heal of his wounds. So why? Why is he not awake?
And Achilles prayed. To any gods who would hear him. He promised them sacrifices, blood, glory in their name, anything, if only they could heal Patroclus. Raising his eyes to the dark sky, he repented for all of his sins. He begged for forgiveness and for mercy.
The next thing he knew, he was falling. His head hurt and his dinner was about to come back into his mouth. He flipped around, only to see a foot coming down at his face. Regaining his senses, he rolled to the side and scrambled up. A blindfolded, bound prince stumbled towards him. "Fight me! Fight me fairly!" Hector cried, his voice piercing the still of the night.
Achilles gave a soft laugh even though he was furious. He stalked around Hector who was struggling with the knots around his neck, wary of his enemy, but even more desperate to see. Achilles kept circling around the man, enjoying the way he struggled against all odds to win. Futile. Achilles darted at Hector, dodging one fist, two fists, swung in vain. He barreled into the man, landing on top of him when they both fell to the ground. Hector laid there, gasping for air in shallow pants, too winded to fight back as Achilles pinned down his wrists over his head. Achilles ground his knees into Hector's thighs, eliciting a pained grunt from the prone man's lips. Stretched out and with nothing to push off of, Hector was immobile. Again.
"Get away from me!" Hector shouted, his voice muffled by the hood.
Achilles smirked, "And why would I do such a thing?"
"Damn you, you fucking Greek!"
Achilles' grin grew wider and he shook his head in mock disapproval. "Such language. Not befitting of a prince. Didn't your whore of a mother teach little prince any manners?" Hector lunged up, snarling at Achilles, jaws snapping like a wild animal. Achilles shushed him, "I wouldn't be so loud. Many men in this camp want your head. Mounted on a pike."
At that moment, Agathon ran out of Achilles' tent, sword drawn and battle-ready. He stopped at the sight of Achilles straddling the prisoner, which, Achilles conceded, was sure to be a surprising sight. One that could be taken in a completely different way. "What are you doing?" Achilles snapped.
Jerking his thumb back to the tent, Agathon replied, "I was taking care-" he paused very briefly to glance quickly at Hector and saw Achilles' glare, warning him to be very cautious of his next words, "-of your armor. Like I promised, my lord."
"Finish it quickly and get some rest."
"Do you need help moving him, my lord?"
"Actually, yes. Hobble him and get me some cloth," Achilles commanded. Agathon ran to do his bidding and they were easily able to drag the now silent man into the small enclosure. They hooked his wrists onto a nail beaten into the support beam. Achilles forced Hector onto his toes and tightened the bonds, leaving Hector's calves straining to support his weight. Agathon left, going back to Achilles' tent to watch over Patroclus.
Achilles lit a lamp; the small flame illuminating the darkness. Hector was throwing all of his weight down, trying to free himself. Achilles stepped in front of him and grabbed his arms, firmly holding him still. "Hector, Hector, Hector. What am I to do with you? You keep trying to escape. Why? I'll tell you why. Because you-" Achilles emphasized his speech with a poke to Hector's exposed chest but then he stopped in shock. Hector let out a soft whine, so soft that any other man might not have been able to hear it. Almost indiscernible. But Achilles... He was blessed by the gods.
He froze. This was the first time that he had heard such a vulnerable sound come from the ever-brave and strong Hector. It astounded him so much that he just stood there, gaping at the prince. Hector seemed to regret his moment of weakness and he resumed his fierce glaring. Achilles frowned and, ignoring a flinch from Hector, ran his hand over the place he just poked. He laid his palm against Hector's hot skin and pushed, putting more and more pressure until Hector shuddered and tried to back away, which he couldn't.
Achilles brought the lantern up and saw the light mottling of bruises that covered his chest. Bruises that would darken over night. He was infuriated and demanded to know what had happened. He took the gag out of Hector's mouth and repeated his question, "What happened today?"
Hector did nothing, made no response, only glared. Achilles lost his patience and shouted, "Tell me!" Hector spat in his face and smiled, a fake, grim smile. Spittle ran down Achilles' cheek, and he wiped it off. Then, losing all self-control, he proceeded to slap Hector across the face with his wet fingers, smearing it on Hector's face.
"I've had enough," Achilles growled, "Enjoy your night." His face twisted in an ugly scowl and he matched glare for glare. He shoved the cloth back into Hector's mouth and stomped out of the tent in a fit.
Hector swayed there. He had long given up on struggling against his bonds. His wrists were chafed and bloody from supporting his 190 pounds whenever his calves had given out. His shoulders were aching far worse than they had when he was kneeling at the post, a sharp pain that would not go away. His head lolled to the side. So tired. But he could not sleep. Any attempt to relax led to more pain in his arms. It was a horrible cycle, one that would never let up. Alternating between standing on his tip-toes to bring relief to his arms and dropping to give his trembling, cramping legs a break. And his throat. It was dry, so dry. More dry than it was in the cloth fibers seemed to suck every bit of moisture from his mouth. Every swallow hurt.
He tried to distract himself from the torment by counting numbers. Solving puzzles. Repeating stories. Imagining beautiful places of paradise. Remembering Andromache. But the agony. It brought him back to reality, to the truth of his situation. So he stopped. Then he started thinking about his night. So much humiliation.
And then there was that soldier. The one who had come out of Achilles' tent. The liar. The very good liar. He would have fooled any other man. But Hector... He was blessed by the gods. The very short hitch in his breath had told Hector that the soldier had not been cleaning armor. And Hector had no doubt that Achilles knew it as well. Whatever had been in Achilles' tent was important to him and not information to be shared with Hector.
The secrecy only peaked Hector's interest. A particularly strong cramp seized Hector's leg, the worst one so far that night. The pain was so intense; Hector squeezed his eyes shut and bit down on his gag. His leg twitched sporadically. He couldn't do anything to help it. All he could do was dig his fingernails into the heel of his palm and wait until the cramp passed.
And so it continued.
He didn't notice the footsteps until they were right in front of him. He opened his eyes, but the inside of the tent was pitch black. He shrank back at the light caress of a soft hand at his face. "Hector."
Thanks for reading! So, yes there will be Hector!whump. Sorry. I'll try to rein it in, but please keep in mind that this will be a slave fic and there will be angst and pain. Also, if anyone has suggestions for a new title for this fic, I would be happy if you shared them because I'm not that happy with the current title.