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Last Night of the World

Title: Last Night of the World
Fandom: Classical Mythology
Pairing: Achilles/Patroclus
Summary: A momentary interlude during the Trojan War. Written for sweetvalleyslut for Yuletide 2004. (S)




Last Night of the World


Peisander hailed me, as I walked by him; he was laughing, seemingly unconcerned by the battle that still raged in the distance. "He's in a foul mood," he called, gesturing towards Achilles' tent with a half-eaten piece of meat still on the bone. "Come, join us instead-- there is food here, and wine, plenty of both to spare, and we will not eat you alive."

"Nor will Achilles," I said with a faint smile, and that was the only acknowledgment I gave to his words. Perhaps, yes, others of the Myrmidons would make cheerier company, but they were not Achilles. And so I moved on, and entered Achilles' tent.

He was, as Peisander had predicted, not in the best of moods. I had seen him in fouler tempers, to be sure, but he was definitely brooding; I would not go so far as to call it sulking, though in a lesser man it might have been described thus. He sat with his head down, and did not look up as I entered, nor did he speak for a long moment. Then he said, "Patroclus, now is not the time."

"For what?" I asked him, reasonably.

"For anything." He looked up at me then, dark eyes glittering with underlying anger: not anger at me, no, but a fire that burns wood can as easily burn unwary flesh. Still, I knew Achilles well enough to be able to handle his inner fires, and he knew me well enough that he would not intentionally send its heat my way, and so I stepped closer.

I said, "I will go where you wish me to," but I took a deliberate step closer, and then knelt at his side. After a time, he inclined his head in acknowledgment, and reached out to touch my shoulder. He would not say the words themselves, but I took the gesture to mean: stay.

And I stayed.




He continued to brood for a while longer; it was clear to me, if not to him, that this was an unproductive, festering anger, sullen and deep. Knowing him, knowing his patterns of pride and anger, I knew that thinking on the situation would not get him anywhere, and that the only way to resolve things...

Well, in truth, the only way to truly resolve the situation would be for him to fight as his heart desired, which would require Agamemnon to apologise, well enough and sincerely enough that Achilles accepted it and relented. But that was beyond my control.

Pulling Achilles up out of this darkness which threatened to consume him, though; that was, possibly, not beyond my control.

From past experience I knew that the best way to stop his brooding was to distract him; and so I put my head on his knee and looked up with him with what I hoped was an endearing expression, and said, "Will you sing for me? It has been far too long, and I would hear your voice again, if it please you."

He gave me a look as though I were speaking some foreign language. "Sing," he echoed, and then shook his head. "No, Patroclus. I am in no mood to sing."

I bit my tongue to keep from saying that I knew that already -- after all, his mood was why I had asked it of him! -- but instead, I just sat back on my heels and gave him a broad grin. "Then I will sing, if you will not." And I started singing the most inappropriate song I could think of, a bawdy song more suited to poor lighting and poorer wine. And though I could sing well enough (a fact that he knew as well as I did), I sang deliberately off-key, as loud and raucous as I could manage.

Achilles' head snapped up, and he laughed, an abrupt startled sound; and then he moved towards me, fast as lightning, on top of me before I even registered the movement. He wrestled me to the ground, pinning me with his greater bulk -- though in truth, I did not fight him as hard as I might have in other situations -- and soon he had me beneath him, holding my wrists down with gentle strength.

"Enough," he said, sounding far more like his usual self. I gave a nod, though I had stopped singing before that. It had only been meant as a distraction, and it had achieved that well enough.

There was a long pause, where neither of us moved; his face was inches from my own, and his expression strange, with a slowly-fading smile on it. I raised my head up so that I could kiss him on the mouth, an invitation for more if he wished it -- and wish it he did, for after the briefest of hesitations he kissed me back, tongue slipping between my welcoming lips.

It was not new ground, this, but kissing my beloved Achilles was as pleasant as ever. I closed my eyes and surrendered to him, to his touches, aware but unashamed of the soft sounds of pleasure that came from my throat. I could feel his arousal grow, an insistent pressure against my thigh, as we kissed and touched each other; it was a fire of a different sort, and most welcome.

It was only a matter of time before he pulled back, eyes filled with dark heat, and fumbled at the fastenings to his clothes. He undressed the both of us only so much as was necessary, and then was back to kissing me. Fingers slick with sweet-scented oil entered me below, preparing me. I arched into his touch, all but moaning into his mouth, uncaring of who should hear us. Oh, but I was ready for this, I wanted this, wanted him...

Judging the look on his face, he wanted it too. And so, half impatiently, I echoed his earlier command: "Enough." And he smiled, stroking his own erection to coat it with the same oil, and settled into a position such that he could enter me.

No words fell from his lips, as he sheathed himself inside me, but his eyes spoke a thousand words, all of love. He moved slowly at first, as he always did, but as I met his movements eagerly, something inside him seemed to shift. He dropped his head, groaning low as he started moving with more desperation, more need. It was almost brutal, and yet, as ever, he held on to just enough control that he did not hurt me.

Into me he released all of the pent-up rage and frustration of the past several days, using it to fuel a better, brighter fire. His passion, his pride, his anger at Agamemnon, the restless energy of one who yearned to fight and yet refused, all flared into a single bright flame that washed over me. In a brief moment of clarity I looked at him, and saw truth: this was the distraction that he needed, perhaps even the only distraction that could break him from his mood. And then his hand closed around my erection, stroking in time to his thrusts, and I willingly let all rational thought flee from me.




He did not look quite so tense, afterwards; the fires that had flared so high earlier were now merely a peaceful glow. I lay with my head in his lap, his fingers stroking through my hair, both of us fully clothed again, and he seemed to radiate contentment. I gave him a sleepy smile, and said, more plaintively than I intended to, "Now will you sing?"

Achilles gave me a strange smile, but he leaned down and kissed my forehead. "If it would please you," he murmured.

"Always," I said to him.

He rose smoothly to his feet and fetched his silver-bridged lyre, and then returned to me, so that I could lean against him. He kissed me once again, gentle and unhurried, and then plucked a chord from the strings of the lyre and began to sing. His songs had a certain theme to them, all of the glory of men, but there was no resentment behind them, just sheer pleasure. I closed my eyes, and listened, and was content.

Thus it was that they found us, Phoenix and Ajax and Odysseus, when they came bearing Agamemnon's message.

To his guests, Achilles smiled and was welcoming, although his carefully polite smile was, to my eyes, far more brittle than the ones he shared with me. They spoke to him, sharing Agamemnon's apology and his offering; and I, watching Achilles, was all too aware that their words were summoning the dark sullen mood that had swallowed him earlier.

I made no sign of it, but my heart ached for him.




"Patroclus."

"Achilles," I said neutrally. I did not look at him, although I was aware of him crouching down next to me. In the growing late-afternoon gloom, the sea was grey and troubled; Poseidon was restless, and it matched my mood well.

"You are bothered." It was not a question.

Softly, I said, "Are we truly sailing for home, when the dawn comes?"

"Perhaps." His voice was quiet, almost unhappy. "This war has long since lost its early promise of glory and honor. I had thought that perhaps if Agamemnon apologised-- but his apology was hollow and meaningless, and he dared not even face me himself, but sent others to do his bidding. No: it would be for the best if we left, you and I and the Myrmidons all. Though," he added pensively, "I do believe that they may have no chance of defeating the Trojans, without us."

"I was not concerned with the fate of Troy," I murmured.

Although he must have known the answer, or at least suspected it, he asked me, "What, then?"

"You," I said. "I cannot tell if it is reason that drives your actions or whether it is emotion, pure stubborn resentment. And if it is the latter... You want to fight, I know you do, and you will never be happy if you forbid yourself from doing it just because of your anger."

I looked at him then, but he was staring out at the ocean. Beyond the ocean, even; his gaze was unfocused as though he were seeing something entirely different. "You heard from my own lips the prophecy given to me by my mother: that I would live a long life without glory by returning to the land that we have not seen in nine years, or that I would gain eternal glory beside the city of the Trojans yet never return home, but that I cannot have both." He was silent for a long time, and then looked at me, and said, "What would your counsel be, then? What would you do, in my place?"

For a while I was silent, as I decided what to say to him. Finally, hesitantly, I said, "It shames me some to say this, for it seems the voice of a coward and not one who would gain glory at the side of the great warrior Achilles..." He arched an eyebrow, and I gave a wry smile. "But yet, there is a part of me that says that we should leave, for I would prefer having you ever at my side, though the world forget you."

Achilles groaned at that, a low sound wrenched out of him almost unwillingly. "Oh, Patroclus," he said, pulling me to him in a tight embrace. He kissed the top of my head, and when I tilted my face up so that our lips met, he didn't resist. "Beloved," he whispered into my mouth, and then pulled back, touching my face. For all that he could kill a man without the slightest effort, his touch with me was gentle, always gentle. "It is not cowardice to feel thus -- or if it is," he added with the slightest of smiles, "then I am a coward as well, for nothing would please me more than to be with you."

He was quiet for a long moment, holding me, and then he said, "Tomorrow's dawn, then, we sail for home, you and I. Let Troy stand or fall as it may; we will be together, and that is enough."

"Yes," I said. And he spoke to me, then, in a soft lulling voice, telling me of home, of the land that our hearts yearned for and of our people, and of how our lives would be when we returned.

That night, I dreamt of home, and it was good.

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Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
badarsila
Dec. 28th, 2009 09:11 pm (UTC)
This is very good, and i like the way you describe Achilles moods, character, and temper in this fic of yours, its very spot on, and one of the most convincing potrayal of Achilles.

Your Patroclus is equally good too, very gentle and wise, funny, and know how to handle the volatile Achilles in all his moods.

The end part to me is the best, you manage to capture how i imagine it to be for them both if Patroclus didn't die, they will return home and might have a chance at a long lasting happiness together.

Its very beautiful, but at the same time very sad too, because despite all the plans they had together, it didn't end in happily ever after for them, very tragic.

All in all, this is one of the most best Achilles and Patroclus fic that i've manage to find in a while. You are really a talented writer, and i hope all the best to you.

Keep up the good work, ja-ne. ^_~




( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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