Description: Achilles despises traitors. But what happens when that traitor is Patroclus.
Warning: This story is not for the light hearted or those who are set on Achilles being a 'golden' guardian. A lot of emotions come along with betrayal and I hope to capture some of them throughout the upcoming chapters. The rating will start at T for some violence. (( NO SLASH)). This is AU because the events are not going to follow the movie exactly.
This is the prologue - I hope to have chapter one up in a few days, but you never know.
Disclaimer: ...I don't own.
Each betrayal begins with trust. - Unknown
The first time I learned the meaning of traitor was also the first time I had seen my cousin's vicious side.
At the time, I had been causally sitting in the practice room watching him run through some standard drills. My parents had only been dead for a few months, and being comfortable around the war-lord and my new guardian was something that was still new.
We had fallen into our normal silence that consisted of me watching and him running drills on repeat.
He swung his sword around in the same direction multiple times before stabbing the air. Sitting there chewing on a piece of fruit, that he had brought me, I knew that I wanted to be just like him when I got older. I was mesmerized.
"My Lord," Eudorus called as he entered the tent quickly without knocking, causing me to jump and almost choke on my fruit. If Achilles was startled, he didn't show it. He turned to greet his friend with a smile that froze on his face.
"We caught him."
A weird look, that I have never seen before, crossed Achilles's face as he stared at his right hand man.
"Where is he?" I winced at the hardness in my cousin's voice, and stared blankly at Eudorus.
"In the court yard," Eudorus glanced at me momentarily, then back to his captain. "He's already been tied up."
Achilles nodded without a word, crossed the room and began to rummage through the different weapons and shields that he kept there. Finally choosing a long looking stick with thin chords attached to it, he rose and crossed back to the door.
Eudorus mumbled something to him lowly, and Achilles froze turning his head back towards me.
I had never seen my cousin look so scary or angry in my life. Not even when the priest, escorted me to his house in Pthia after my parents died.
At the time, he had thrown a nearby goblet across the room. I jumped but it didn't scare me because I felt like doing the same thing.
His eyes then had held pain, but his eyes were now cold and full of hate. "Patroclus, stay here."
I shivered, but before I could agree, he was gone.
I stared at the piece of half eaten fruit in my hand, no longer hungry I casted it aside and stood.
Being alone was awful. I would often would follow Achilles around becoming like a shadow to him. Some of Achilles's men found it amusing and took to calling me "mini-hilles."
When I had asked Achilles about it later that day, after Eudorus first christened me, he had just smiled and rubbed my golden locks, "It just means that you're a warrior in training."
I paced restlessly around the tent now. The walls felt like they were closing in on top of me.
No longer able to stand being alone and restrained to the practice tent, I set my shoulders back and pushed through the door.
The air outside was sticky and hot. Even though the sea wasn't that far away, the breeze wasn't carrying to the tent on the hill.
Eager to see what had caused my cousin to be so angry, I turned towards the courtyard hoping that this was the one that Eudorus had mentioned.
The steps were mostly broken stone but still easy to climb. Taking them two at a time, my body continued towards my cousin's main house and its adjoining courtyard.
At the gate, I froze when a loud crack soared through the thick evening air. Curious, I poked my head over the gate, only to be met by a loud, agonizing scream.
The sight that laid before me made my stomach turn. A man was on his knees, back bleeding, and tied to my favorite climbing tree. My breath caught when I recognized the man as one of my cousin's warriors, the Myrmidons.
My eyes quickly scanned the rest of the small garden. The rest of the Myrmidons seemed to be there too, including my cousin and Eudorus. The men almost looked humorous standing in the small garden forming a semi-circle around the tree with their enormous bodies.
Another crack and chilling scream brought my attention back to the center of the circle.
Beside the man with the bloody back, my cousin stood holding the stick he had fetched earlier. He raised it in the air and flecked his wrist, causing the chords to lash out violently and land on the man's back.
I gasped as the whip ripped some skin off of the man's back. Nobody heard me though, because the man let out another wild scream.
Why was Achilles doing this to one of his own men? My stomach twisted again, wondering what this man had done.
Achilles raised his wrist again and I closed my eyes not able to watch my new guardian cause such pain. The main hollered out before the whip even landed stopping Achilles.
"No, Achilles! Have mercy!" His voice was shake as if he was searching for a breath that wouldn't come. "Please...," It faded off, and I squinted my eyes open to see Achilles hand Eudorus the stick.
The great warrior squatted down to the man's level, who was now laying face down on the garden floor. He spoke so lowly to him that I couldn't hear what was being said.
Achilles stood up gracefully and I feared that he would grab the stick again. Instead, he nodded towards Eudorus and then turned toward the gathered men.
"The traitor," his voice was stern, "has told me the information that he has spoken to our enemies."
The men began mumbling to themselves in wonder, and I wondered what this exactly meant. "He has paid for his crimes," Achilles voice carried out over the crowd, "with a confession and thirty stripes."
Most men nodded their agreement, while a few called that he should be tortured more or even killed.
Achilles raised his hand and the Myrmidons voices were instantly quiet again. My cousin scanned the faces of each of his men, "This is our brother that betrayed us." He gestured to the man on the ground. "That makes it all the worse." A mummer of agreement shot up from his comrades.
"His information to our enemies could have cost us our lives." Again, men nodded and the braver ones called for more justice to be served.
I leaned forward as Achilles opened his mouth to continue to speech, but he stopped short when his eyes fell on me.
My heart dropped in my chest and my mouth fell open in shock. I instantly turned on my heels, as images of myself being the one beat with the whip passed through my head.
I hadn't listened to his command and left the tent.
I pushed passed the garden walls. Jumping over the stones that I knew were broken, I busted through the front door of Achilles's house moments later. A servant called out to me, but I ignored them as I pushed past them to my small room. Grabbing my mother's small journal and my father's knife, I turned to leave the room.
"Patroclus," My heart jumped in fear when I saw my cousin standing in the door. "Going on a trip?" he questioned, eyeing the journal and small knife in my hand.
A scream filled the air and I wondered if the man was being beat again. It wasn't till Achilles squatted down to my eye level, that I realized it was me screaming.
"I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry," I breathed, throwing myself backwards, placing my back firmly against the wall. My lungs felt like they were about to explode and I stared at him, ready for his next move.
He briefly looked like he had been hit. "You're afraid of me," but it sounded like a statement instead of a question.
"Patroclus-," he reached an arm out and I flinched away from his touch dropping the journal, but swinging the knife in front of me. I tried to copy the movement that I had seen him repeat earlier with the sword in the practice tent.
"Easy now," his voice didn't sound angry, "you're gonna hurt yourself." He gently reached forward, latching his large hand around my wrist causing me to drop the knife in his free hand. As soon as he secured the knife, he released his own hold from my wrist and leaned back.
"I'm sorry," I gasped again, feeling light headed. "I'll listen next time!"
"Easy, easy," His voice was soft and it reminded me of my mothers. Tears welled up in my eyes.
"I'm not angry at you." He placed the knife behind him on the floor and turned his hand out towards me.
I stared at him blankly as the silent tears continued to fall down my face.
"You're killing me, kid," he whispered softly, still keeping his hand towards me.
I licked my lips nervously and glanced towards the door and the finally back to my cousin's face.
"Hey, hey," his voice was light, "it's me, Patroclus. Me, Achilles." He emphasized the last two words, pausing briefly. "I'm not gonna hurt you."
And when I didn't move, he added, "You know that, Cousin. You do."
"You were...," I broke off my sentence. "Please don't beat me with that-,"
"Patroclus, I could never," he confirmed, as he scooted closer pulling me into a tight embrace. I stiffened under his touch and kept replying his words over in my mind 'never.'
"It's me. You needn't fear me," he tightened his hug as my tears turned to sobs. His arms were the arms that chased away the nightmares and protected me from harms. The hands that I grab, when I need extra help crossing the river into the woods, and the hands that show me how to expertly handle a sword. His eyes were soft, like my father's and voice gently, like my mother's.
"Achilles," the words flowed from my mouth between sobs, as I finally realized that this was my cousin. My cousin that I trusted. And with another loud sob, I relaxed into his embrace.
"That's better, little cousin," He rubbed my back, and rocked me gently back and forth in his arms. "Shhh, shhh, you're safe," he continued to rock back and forth as I cried into his shoulder.
After a few moments, he leaned back staring at my face. "Are you okay, now?"
I hiccuped, but managed to nod.
"You know," he began as he reached up drying one eye with the back of his thumb, "you are a part of lucky group."
Seeing that he had my full attention, he smiled lightly. "You never have to fear me, Patroclus. Not many can say that," he finished, wiping my other eye dry.
I tiredly leaned my head against his chest. "Promise?"
He leaned down kissing the top of my head, "On my life. I would never hurt you, little cousin."
I nodded in reply, knowing that he was telling the truth.
He rubbed my back gently, as he leaned his own head against the wall. "You nearly gutted me back there, kid," he mumbled as he closed his own eyes. "I don't think I can stand you being afraid of me."
"You're my protector." I offered up the only thing that came to mind. The only thing that finally made me realize that Achilles was telling the truth and not going to harm me.
He squeezed me gently, "That's right."
"I'm sorry," my face hide in the crock of his shoulder again, this time in embarrassment.
"Patrcolus," he whispered lowly, "It is okay. You were scared." He paused as he pushed some of the hair out of my eyes, but I still refused to look at him. "I'm sorry that you had to see that."
I shivered against him thinking about what I saw back in the garden. "When I tell you to stay, " he voice was low but still gentle, "it's for your own good. Sometimes I have to do things that may seem cruel...it's part of my role."
I peered up at his face now, and he thumbed my nose affecitionatly. "I'm not angry with you. Fear is a normal reaction to what you experienced. Just promise that you'll remember what I told you..."
His intense blue eyes met mine and I nodded in response. "I don't have to fear you."
"No matter what is going on, what I've did, or even," he grinned down at me at me, "when you get a little older and start getting into your own trouble. I may be angry, but I want you to remember that you can always come to me."
"I'm a lucky few." He nodded pleased that the lesson had stuck.
I leaned back now, staring at my guardian curiously. "But what did he do?" I whispered.
"I don't want to lie to you," he mumbled, moving me from his lap to the floor beside him.
I copied his stance leaning my hand against the wall, peering at him from the side of my eye. "Hesperos, betrayed me. Betrayed his brothers"
I turned my head to stare at him blankly. He opened one of his blue eye and peered down at me, "It could have caused us - you - to have been killed."
He sighed lightly, and turned his head fully toward me. "Why what?".
"Why would he do that?"
"Many reasons, Patroclus. Sometimes people are just wicked."
"Are you going to kill him?"
"I don't know," Achilles sighed again and leaned his head back against the wall. "He use to be a friend."
Achilles held up his hand to silence any more questions. "Enough about this for now. You'll understand when you're older."
"Just trust me on this."
I sighed this time, but nodded.
He grinned at me and stood, walking toward my knife. "Now about this," he questioned, kicking it with his toe. "Where did my young cousin, find such a vicious weapon?"
I felt my cheeks color slightly and licked my lips. "It was my father's."
Instead of questioning me, he simply nodded. "Want to learn how to properly use it? So you don't cut yourself?"
"Really? Can I?"
He chuckled, bending down to pick it up, and then offered his other hand to me. "Of course.."
I nodded then and reached for his open hand. He squeezed it tightly and we slowly walked back to the training tent.
The day I learned about traitors and what happens to them, was also the first day I learned to fight.
So what did you think of the prologue. I plan on picking up chapter 1, with Patroclus about the same age he was in the movie. No promises as when that chapter will be up - it may take a little while. So if you want to keep up, be sure to follow this story.
And comments always appreciated.