A/N: Yay! The next chapter is here. Hope you enjoy reading this - it was fun to write. Also, this chapter is dedicated to all the great people that have been supporting this story so far. Love y'all and enjoy!
The contents of lunch slosh around inside my stomach. Achilles assures me that my sea legs will adapt to the rocking boat soon enough.
My stomach lurches again, and I care nothing about sea legs, as long as I can find my sea stomach.
Grasping the railing, my light lunch finds itself mixing with the sea. Miserable, I groan in protest, afraid that even the slightest movement will make me sick again.
The waves slosh against the boat gently, men hum and sing to themselves around the deck, and I wonder why I'm the only one who feels like I'm about to die on this sunny day at sea.
"Still sick?" Achilles appears, seemingly knowing when illness strikes. He frowns deeply causing the skin between his eyebrows to scrunch together. It has been three days at sea, with no improvement, and today has been the worse.
"I'm-I'm okay, just-," Gripping the side of the rocking ship, I dry heave towards the water. But my stomach is empty, and I groan pathetically.
A firm hand takes my elbow pulling me away from the edge of the ship. "You don't seem okay." His hand drops from my elbow, only to return around my waist. "Fetch, Patroclus, some fresh water. And maybe a bit of Ale." He calls out to the nearest Myrmidon, who instantly stops swabbing the deck to do as he was directed.
My vision blurs and my stomach churns, but I fight against the bitter bile in my throat. "You shouldn't... shouldn't...baby me." I whisper as he continues to drag me towards his cabin. "They'll think I am weak."
He grunts. "Spewing your guts across the seven seas, and mumbling how you want to die, doesn't really make you seem like a fearless warrior."
A groan escapes my lips this time, cause I know he's right. "I think I am dying, Cousin."
"You're not dying," he say fiercely as his grip tightens around my waist.
My legs wobble underneath and my vision blurs. "Damn, land loving legs," my voice is as shaky as my legs.
My legs fight for balance, but instead give out and buckle underneath me. And I groan as the deck rushes up to meet me, wondering if maybe I really am dying.
Instead of my face being introduced to the deck, Achilles's arm tightens and swings me forward into his chest. "You don't weigh nothing. How long have you been feeling ill?" He grunts, as he easily pulls me up into both arms.
Feeling faint, my head falls against his chest, and Achilles frowns down at me mumbling something that I cannot hear.
"Never earn any respect," My voice breaks, and my stomach churns while the boat drops causing my head to spin, and then I saw blackness.
Everything in my body aches. Not the good ache that comes after a hard training session with my cousin, but a deep cannot think or breathe ache.
"He is burning up, Eudurous."
Trying to turn towards my cousin's voice, my body burns and I instantly still myself against the soft bedding.
"A couple other of the Myrmidon are experiencing similar symptoms." Symptoms?Forcing my head and body to turn this time, a low groan escapes my lips, as I managed to turn towards the voices.
Achilles is at my side instantly, pushing the hair off of my sweaty forehead.
"Am I ill?"
"'Fraid So," Eudurous grunts out, crossing the room to me. "And being at sea for the first time doesn't help matters."
"Excuse me?" Achilles questions, poking me in the side, "You're glad you're ill?"
Cracking my eyes slightly, I start to nod my head, but instantly still when my temples ache and my stomach drops. "Just glad that I still have a chance to find my sea legs."
Achilles chuckles softly and reaches for the Ale. "This will help settle your stomach, lad." Sliding an arm around my shoulder, he sinks on to the bed with me. Lifting my body up against his chest. I groan in protest and I bite my tongue to keep from puking on my cousin.
"I'll fetch you some crackers. And I'll send in someone with some the medicine that we packed." Eudurous mumbles and then excuses himself from the room.
"You'll find your sea legs yet, Little Cousin. Here give this a sip," he encourages as he brings the Ale towards my lips. Wrinkling my nose at the strong smell, I tighten my lips in disgust.
""Tis just a bit of weak beer to help settle your stomach, Patroclus." Achilles coaxes as he lifts my head with his free hand. "Drink."
Shaking my head barely, he sighs. "At least I don't have to worry about you becoming a drunkard. Now drink this, before I have to pry your mouth open and pour it in myself. You know I will, Cousin."
Grunting my frustration, I open my mouth and allow the warm liquid to hit my tongue. The taste almost makes me gag, but the warm bubbles dance in my stomach and settling some of my nausea. And then the warmth slowly spreads to my whole body easing some of the pain.
Achilles lowers me back down to his feather mattress.
"It'll help you relax too, Cousin." Achilles mumbles, as he downs the rest of the Ale himself. I wanted to warn him about germs, but fatigue was getting the best of me. Besides, did demi-gods really worry about illnesses? Achilles could take on a whole army and come out to the better. It was hard to imagine him moaning and groaning like me, because of some silly illness.
He chuckled lightly again. "Illness and seasickness," he corrected gently. "And yes, I do get sick on occasion."
"Did I say that out loud?"
He grins down at me. "Get some rest. You've a fever that we'll hopefully break soon. I'll be close. And when they bring the medicine and crackers, I'll wake you."
The thought of crackers made me stomach spin. I don't want to eat.
"Just a couple bites, huh? So you'll keep the medicine down."
Why do I keep saying everything out loud?
"Just sleep, Cousin. Eudurous has duties to see to before he returns. Others are sick too. Maybe by then you'll be up for a bit of food." Achilles still has his arm wrapped around me and pulls me to his chest. "Sleep, hmmm?"
I nod feeling my fatigue and the alcohol take over my system. Achilles's head is in my hair, and even though I should feel embarrassed to be treated like a little kid with a nightmare, I'm glad that he's here.
"I'm glad to be here. You're gonna be okay, Patroclus. Now sleep, little cousin." And his arm tightens around me causing me to relax into his embrace. Only one thing comes to mind as I sink back in blissful darkness.
I'm not little.
And then the faint sound of chuckles.
Morning is heaven. The sea is still rocking the boat back and forth, but my stomach has settled.
I stretch slowly afraid that even the simplest movement will bring back my nausea. When my stomach doesn't lurch forward, I sit up and look around. The boat rocks, the planks groan above me, but I feel fine.
Tears prick my eyes in relief. That was the worse few days of my life.
"Your fever broke," Achilles voice cuts through my thoughts. He is standing by his desk and he looks very haggard. "Rough night. But you're okay. You're gonna be okay." He doesn't smile when he speaks, and his eyes are cold.
The acidic smell of vomit feels my nose then, and I turn to see a bucket near the bed. My cheeks heat as parts of the night flashes back towards me. Achilles forcing medicine and crackers down me throat. And them coming back up. Multiple times.
Following my gaze, Achilles crosses the room. "You are feeling better, right?"
When I nod, Achilles smiles slightly. "It's early yet. Get some more rest," he picks up the bucket and turns to leave. "I'll pitch this and bring it back just in case."
"What happened?" my voice cracks and my throat feels like sand.
His eyebrows bunch. "You don't remember?"
"You were really sick, Patroclus." Achilles looks like he is about to cross the room back towards me, but he freezes.
"And I'll bring you some more water."
"Cousin-," I try again.
"Yes? What is it, Patroclus?" He eyes me wearily as if I'm going to be sick again.
"NO!" His voice booms across the whole cabin, making me jump. "Don't you move," his body rigid and his gaze icy. "You need to rest before you're back up and around. I mean it, Patroclus."
"But-," Surely he didn't mean for me to stay in this cabin the whole trip?
Achilles eyes harden and he finally stalks towards me. "Do you know how sick you were last night?" Sitting the bucket back on the floor, he looms over me. "I thought I was going to lose you. Lose you, Patroclus. I shouldn't have let you come. It was too soon." His voice was dark, raw, and scarcely honest.
I gasped, feeling betrayed. He wish he hadn't brought me? "I can't help that I got sick-,"
His eyes narrow and his jaw ticks. "No, but you can keep yourself in this bed until you have regained your strength."
"Achilles, I'm okay now. A little fresh air-,"
"Patroclus, do NOT push me on this," Achilles turns leaving the bucket, and storms out of the room.
The noise from the outside world momentarily rushes inward when the door swings widely open, and I hear my cousin's voice barking out orders to whatever men are standing close.
Anger begins to build as I reply the conversation with Achilles over in my head. Keeping bound to the bed is not going to solve anything. He's treating me like a child.
Shuffling forward towards the edge, I stiffly force my feet toward the floor, and bite my lip nervously as I slowly stand.
"Sea Legs," I smile at the empty room, when I managed to stand without falling or becoming ill. "See that, Achilles? Sea legs!" The door doesn't swing open though, and I slowly shuffle forward.
If Achilles regrets bringing me already, then I'll have to prove to him that it was a good choice. And I'm not going to be able to do that from bed.
The sooner, I regain my strength the better. And to that, I need to inhale some fresh air.
Stopping in front of the door to catch my breath, I lean my ear against the rough wood listening for sounds of my cousin.
Rolling my shoulders and raising my chin defiantly, I reach forward and push the cabin door open.
The salty sea air rushes forward, stripping away the rotten smell of the cabin, clearing my head, filling my lungs, and allowing me to enjoy for the first time my nausea-free view of the open sea.
Smiling towards the sea, I stretched my tired limbs. Fresh air was exactly what I needed.
A/N: Poor Pat feeling so sick. And we see his first taste of innocent defiance here. Gotta start building somewhere.
Also, I hope Achilles anger came across in this chapter the way I intended it. I may explain it a bit more in the next chapter, but Achilles is mad at himself. And taking it out on Pat. Did that read? Or not really?
Overall, what did you think?