Patroclus drew his legs up to his chest, trying not to sob. His whole body hurt and he felt sick from crying. He knew that it was getting dark, but he didn't want to go home, not after what had transpired that morning.
Patroclus sprinted up the hill, ecstatically. He had just learned a new fighting move and wanted to show it to his cousin. He moved to open the door to the house when he heard the angry voice of his cousin coming from inside.
"The boy never listens!" Achilles yelled, "he's arrogant, reckless and a danger to every man here! When I train with him, I constantly have to reign in my temper to keep from hitting him! I can't stand him, he may be young but he will never make it as Myrmidon, that's for sure! I should have never taken him in!"
Patroclus swallowed nervously, tears stinging his eyes. So this is what Achilles truly thought of him. "He thinks I'll never be a warrior," Patroclus said to himself, his voice cracking. "Well, if he doesn't want me anymore, then I'll just leave and make it easy on him."
That was how he had ended up here, hiding under one of the sea cliffs, crying out his feelings of pain and betrayal. A sudden noise jarred the eleven year old out of his thoughts and he fought to keep from sobbing as he heard his cousin call his name. He pressed himself closer to the cliff wall as he heard the footsteps approaching.
"Oh gods," he heard Achilles say before the older man drew Patroclus against his chest.
All of the fear and pain that Patroclus was feeling poured out as he laid his head against his cousin's chest and began to sob.
"I was so worried," Achilles whispered, pressing a kiss to the younger man's head. "Why did you run off like that, huh?"
"I h-heard you say that you w-were disappointed in me and that you regretted ever taking me in." Patroclus whimpered.
"Patroclus," Achilles said gently pushing the boy back so that he could look him in the eyes; "What you heard me say this morning had absolutely nothing to do with you. I was talking with Eudorus about one of the newer soldiers that we had recruited."
The weight of the relief, caused Patroclus to sob anew and strengthen his already white-knuckled grip on his cousin's armor.
"Oh cub," Achilles said, drawing his cousin closer to his chest, "there is nothing you could do that would make me not love you."