After having his stomach purged, Patroclus seemed to get better, sitting up on his own in bed and feeding himself.

"'Killes," he said one morning over breakfast in bed, "I want to see them. Can we find them, please?"

"Of course we can, Little Man. Whatever you need."

The boy teared up, and collapsed into his guardian's arms, breathing heavily to quell the threat of tears. Then the flood of tears came and all Achilles could do was hold on tight, just as he had always done.

The next week, they began packing and preparing for the trip to Pythia. Finally, it was the night before they were going to leave. Patroclus was emotional. He was crying, shaking with nerves, and cursing the gods all at once, and all while pacing before Achilles. Suddenly, he was full-out sobbing and his knees were giving out underneath him. Achilles caught him and brought him against himself.

"Hush, Patroclus, you're safe..."

"I can't do this, I can't do this..." Patroclus shook his head against his guardian's shoulder.

Achilles pet the boy's hair soothingly, "Yes you can. I know you can."

"No, I can't!"

"Patroclus, listen to me. Look at me. I will go with you, and I swear to the gods that I will keep you safe. I love you."

Patroclus could only nod haltingly before he began sobbing harder. Achilles took him into his arms and swayed and shushed quietly, not saying anything else.