Achilles can’t remember the last time that his phone was this active. It seems that, every time he can feel the sweet embrace of sleep start to overtake him, his phone is buzzing with a new notification. Eventually, Patroclus just turns it off, without bothering to check who the bevy of calls and text messages had been from. Achilles has a feeling that that’s going to come back to bite him in the ass, but right now, he’s far too tired to care. Besides, the only three people who ever actually call him are Patroclus, Briseis, and the lad. Patroclus is here with him, and Briseis would likely call Patroclus if she needed something or something was wrong with one of the kids, which left…
No, he’s… he’s just overthinking things. He just checked in with the lad… yesterday? At least, he thinks it was yesterday. Admittedly, his days had started to bleed together somewhere along the line, but… but he knows it couldn’t have been that long. Zagreus had said that Thanatos was doing okay, but that the medicine was having some adverse effects on his moods. He’d seemed to understand that that was normal, though, and didn’t mistake it for Thanatos’ true feelings toward him. He also understood what to look for, on the off-chance that he had to take Thanatos back to the hospital, so he wouldn’t be calling about that. So, whatever it was couldn’t be too important—
Still… he reaches over to smack Patroclus on the shoulder. His husband makes a strange sound, before turning around to face him, his dark eyes narrowed. “Sorry.” He shifts a little, “Could you maybe… text Nyx, and ask her to check on Thanatos and the lad?”
Patroclus’ features soften a little, “I… yeah, I can do that. Do you think that something’s wrong?” He takes out his phone and sends off a quick message to Nyx. Achilles eyes flutter closed.
He doesn’t know if what he’s feeling could constitute ‘worry’. He doesn’t even know, definitively, whether or not the lad is the one that’s been blowing up his phone. But he does think he’ll sleep a little easier, knowing Nyx is on the case. “I don’t think so, no. But I’ll feel better knowing.”
Patroclus nods, reaching up to twine his fingers in Achilles soft blonde hair. “It’s so short now…” He laments.
Achilles frowns, “You don’t like it.” He knew that Patroclus preferred him with long hair, but it hadn’t really mattered to him, in that moment. To be honest, he’s not sure if he really likes it, himself. It was just something different.
“It’s just… going to take some getting used to, is all. The last time your hair was this short…” He trails off, unwilling to complete that train of thought. It’s easy enough for Achilles to fill in the blanks, however…
“Would you… maybe… fix it for me?” He asks, weakly. Patroclus’ eyes widen a little. “I know that it looks… well, terrible. And I know how much you liked my hair long. So…” He doesn’t really mind what his hair looks like, so long as it doesn’t make Patroclus look like he’s looking right now ever again.
“Are you sure you wouldn’t rather have it done by a professional?” Patroclus had cut Pyrrhus’ hair once, once upon a time. It’d been a bit of a disaster. The poor kid’s hair still grew unevenly in the back.
Achilles nods, “I trust you.” He lays his head back down, and drifts off into a not-quite sleep state.
When he wakes, Patroclus is returning from the kitchen, his arms overflowing with various odds and ends. He’s replenished the ice in the washcloth he’d been holding over Achilles’ eyes, and brought him some fresh water to drink. He also has a couple of granola bars (most of which are the soft, chewy kind that Achilles likes—although there appear to be a few hard ones in the mix as well), some applesauce, and a protein shake. While none of the food is too substantial, it’s also not anything that will have an adverse effect on his already upset stomach. He’s going to be paying dearly for all of that crying earlier, if the ache in his belly is any indication.
“You’re awake.” Patroclus sounds a little surprised. How long was he asleep? “You can sleep for a little while longer, if you’d like. I just wanted to make sure that I had some supplies on hand, for when you felt ready to be up for a little while.” He sets all of the items down on the coffee table.
“Sit with me?” Achilles asks. Patroclus looks like he is about to mention that he was, in fact, sitting with him just a second ago, when Achilles amends, “On the couch. I want to use your lap as a pillow.”
“I…” He looks uncertain. Achilles drags himself over to make room for Patroclus to be able to sit comfortably alongside him, “You’re certain that this won’t make you uncomfortable.”
Achilles pauses for a moment, considering. Then, “I promise to tell you if you do anything that makes me uncomfortable.” He hates that he no longer feels confident enough in his own skin to know, definitively, what will and will not upset him. It would be easy enough, to say that Deidamia took that from him, but…
The truth is, he hasn’t felt comfortable in his own skin ever since the physical therapist told him that he was risking a serious fall every time he went more than a few steps without the assistance of his cane. He hadn’t believed her, at least, not at first—not until he’d fallen in front of Pyrrhus, after the young boy had asked him to get him a snack. The fall wouldn’t have been particularly bad, had he not landed directly on the tile floor. He’d been a giant bruise from hip to shoulder, and could barely move the left side of his body without wincing. Despite his best efforts, Pyrrhus had blamed himself for that for weeks.
He feels like a stranger, wearing Achilles Pelides’ broken meatsuit. He sees photos of himself from when he was younger and finds himself unable to identify with the smiling kid, surrounded by the sunshine bright faces of those that claimed to be his friends. He thinks about Zagreus’ surprise at discovering that Achilles was, in fact, married… about Briseis breaking the news to him that Patroclus had been talking to a divorce lawyer… about the fact that Patroclus had been on a not-date with his scummy boss… and he can’t help but think that none of these things would’ve happened to the Achilles Pelides.
Patroclus takes a seat on the newly vacated cushion. After a brief moment of consideration, Achilles slowly lowers himself down so that his head is resting on Patroclus’ lap. Yes, that’s nice… Absently, he reaches for his husband’s hand, bringing it around to rest on his stomach. Patroclus is quick to take the hint, and begins to rub soft, soothing circles on Achilles’ belly, through the thin fabric of his t-shirt.
It would feel better on bare skin. He’s not going to push. Not yet., at least.
Patroclus sets the new, ice-filled washcloth over his eyes. Achilles basks in the soothing numbness it provides for just a moment, before asking, “Pat… why did you choose to stay with me, after…” he trails off. He knows that Patroclus will understand what it is that he means.
“Why did I…?” He can almost hear the way that Patroclus is frowning, “Achilles, love, the idea of leaving you never even crossed my mind. I was never going to leave you to navigate all of this on your own. Never.”
Achilles sniffles. Patroclus, as if reading his mind, passes him a tissue so that he can blow his nose. “I just… It would’ve been so much easier. You could be with someone worthy of your love, l-like Briseis—”
Patroclus presses a finger to his lips, “Shh. I already told you, you have nothing to worry about with Briseis. Would it make you feel better if we hired a different nanny to watch the kids for a while?” It sounds nice, right now, but he knows he’d feel awful about it later. Brie loves their kids, and they love her. It wouldn’t be fair to any of them.
“N-No.” He shakes his head a little, causing the ice to shift.
“I have no intention of leaving you for Briseis—or anyone else that might come along.” Patroclus’ voice is firm, leaving no room for argument. Achilles concentrates on the feel of the pads of his fingers pressing lightly onto his belly. “And before you say anything, I know that she told you I’d talked with her father.”
“You… You do?” He doesn’t know why he’s surprised. He just… well, he supposed that Briseis would have mentioned that to Patroclus, especially if Patroclus mentioned if he’d run off that same night.
“It’s not what you think.” Patroclus says, before adding, “Achilles, love… I know that we talked with Brie about… well, taking the kids if anything happened to us. But I don’t think either of us seriously considered the possibility that something very well might happen to us before Pyrrhus… err, now Amaltheia, turns eighteen.”
Achilles furrows his brow, “But… why all the secrecy? You could’ve told me. I would’ve understood. Especially considering that we’ve had this conversation before—in great detail.”
Patroclus is silent for a moment, before conceding, “I knew that you would’ve had to update your will prior to your last deployment, so I figured that you would’ve included something to that effect. I just… wanted to make sure that all my ducks were in a row, in case something terrible happened. Not that I think anything will, but—"
“…It really scared you, didn’t it? To see me like that.” Achilles muses, not really expecting an answer.
“It did, yeah.” Patroclus’ voice is barely a whisper. “God, Achilles, I don’t even want to think about what I would do if something were to happen to you…” He presses a kiss to the crown of Achilles head, “But you don’t need to worry about it anymore. Everything’s taken care of now.”
It’s a reasonable enough explanation, and he has no reason to doubt Patroclus’ earnestness. It’s true that he’d been tasked with updating his will prior to his last deployment, and… well, it would be fair to say that he’d been far from thorough. He had included language that stated that Briseis were to care for Pyrrhus should Patroclus predecease him for whatever reason, but there was nothing in the document pertaining to Amaltheia because Amaltheia had yet to be born. It wasn’t a bad idea to go back and update that, just to make sure that all of his children were taken care of and all of his property accounted for.
He can’t fault Patroclus for going and talking to a lawyer after his accident. He hadn’t thought that there was ever any real risk of him dying, but anything was possible—the patient that Patroclus had lost on the table to an allergic reaction was a testament to that. Perhaps he would make an appointment to talk with Briseis’ father himself, just so that he could put those last few, important details into his will. He would try to remember to do so, when he was in a better frame of mind. For now, it was enough to rest easy in the knowledge that Patroclus was only trying to ensure that their little family was taken care of in the unlikely event of their untimely demise.
Patroclus’ hand stills, “Achilles… please don’t tell me that you actually thought that I was planning to divorce you.” Achilles is thankful for the washcloth over his eyes, so that he doesn’t have to see the look of absolute devastation on Patroclus’ face. It’s bad enough he can hear it in his voice. “Sweetheart, I would never—”
“I know that. Logically, I know that.” Achilles interrupts, his voice soft. “I just… sometimes I get to thinking about how much better your life would be if you didn’t have to deal with all of my bullshit. And then I wonder why you bother sticking around to deal with all of my bullshit, when you’d be so much happier—”
“First of all,” Patroclus resumes massaging his belly, pressing a bit more firmly now. “I love my life just the way it is, because you’re in it. Achilles, we… we’re two halves of the same whole. You’re it for me, love.”
“Pat…” Ugh, he needs another tissue. Patroclus presses another into his hand without missing a beat.
“Secondly… I’m not ‘dealing with your bullshit’. Achilles, you were shot. That’s a traumatic event, that takes time to properly process. I know you feel like six months is a long time, but it’s really not, in the grand scheme of things.”
And he knows that, he does, it’s just… “I want to be the man that you fell in love with again.”
Patroclus’ hand accidentally slips beneath the hem of his shirt, causing the calloused pads of his fingers dancing across Achilles’ bare midriff. Achilles tenses momentarily, before relaxing back against Patroclus’ leg. “Achilles, sweetheart… you never stopped being that man. The man you are today—”
“Is a teary-eyed, mucus-y mess.” Achilles huffs.
“Okay, yes, you are rather mucus-y.” Patroclus concedes, “But you’re also smart—” Achilles would object to that, “and funny, and caring, and loving. If anything, I’m more in love with you today than I was on the day that I married you.” That catches Achilles off-guard.
“Why?” He doesn’t mean for that to come out quite so judgmental, but… honestly, that doesn’t make any sense.
“Because now, we have two beautiful children who think the world of you. And every time I look at Pyrrhus, with that gap between his two front teeth, and the smattering of freckles on his cheeks, and that wild hair that’s always just a smidge too long… I think of you.”
Achilles sighs, “I do suppose that I make cute kids…”
“Kids?” The ‘s’ comes out in a long, serpentine hiss. “Do you have more kids that I ought to know about?”
He sticks out his tongue, “Wouldn’t you like to know?”
“Funny…” Patroclus doesn’t seem to quite know how to respond to that, and so he starts to peel open one of the soft, chewy granola bars. He presses it into Achilles’ hand, saying, “If you’re feeling well enough to crack jokes, then you’re well enough to eat some of this.”
Achilles doesn’t remember falling asleep, but when he next wakes, it’s to Patroclus squirming uncomfortably underneath him. His eyes flutter open, a little ache-y—but substantially less so than if Patroclus hadn’t thought to use the cold compress when he had. He whines, snuggling a bit closer to Patroclus’ midsection, when he realizes exactly what it is that’s causing his husband such distress. There is a sizeable tent in the front of Patroclus’ jeans, which seems to twitch every time Achilles’ face gets too close. Considering that his head had practically been on top of it, he can only imagine how hard he’s been struggling.
“I know that you must be really comfortable, but…” Patroclus is already trying to worm his way out from underneath Achilles. Achilles isn’t having any of it. “Achilles, love… I really need to take care of this.”
“I know.” Achilles takes a deep, steadying breath. “I… Maybe I could…” He licks his lips. This was never so hard, before… well, before everything. “I could help you with that, if you’d like.” His voice is scarcely louder than a whisper, and a little raspy. Patroclus’ eyes widen.
“Achilles, you… you’re under no obligation to do anything for me. I’m a grown ass man, who is fully capable of taking care of his own sexual urges. This is not your problem.” And, really, it’s sweet of him to be so insistent, but… “Besides, with everything that happened—”
“Say it.” Achilles cuts in sharply. “You’re not doing me any favors by beating around the bush. Deidamia assaulted me. She made me feel worthless… powerless… She took advantage of me.”
Patroclus’ face is a picture of pure heartbreak. But Achilles can’t afford to falter, not now. “Words are not capable of conveying how much I hate her, and everything that she’s done to you, my love.”
They feel the same, then. “But you, Pat… you’re not her.”
Patroclus’ eyes widen when Achilles moves to unlatch his belt. “Achilles, what’re you…?” Achilles pays him no mind, carefully sliding the slip of black leather from his pant loops. Once he has it free, he twists it around Patroclus’ wrists, binding them up behind his head. “Um…”
“I want to do this, Pat. Even if I can’t…” He still can’t bring himself to come out and say it. “But I… if I do it, I need to know that I am completely and totally in control. That you’re not going to—and I know you wouldn’t, but…” He fumbles with the button on Patroclus’ pants, slowly working them open, “Is the belt too tight?”
He’d left it a little loose, just in case. The knowledge that Pat is bound, and the visual of his hands behind his head, is helping more than anything else. “No, they’re… they’re fine.” Patroclus swallows hard.
“You’ll tell me if it becomes too much?” Achilles presses.
“I’m more worried about you—”
Achilles rolls his eyes. He understands why Pat is worried, of course, but he can do this. At least, he thinks that he can. And on the off-chance that he can’t, he has the power to walk away and let Pat take care of business in the bathroom. He slides Pat’s zipper down, nice and slow, before reaching inside his now open pants and taking hold of his aching length. Patroclus sucks in a sharp breath, his entire body practically radiating need. His hips twitch, desperate to buck up into Achilles’ hand, but he manages to hold them still, for the most part. Achilles slides off of the couch and carefully situates himself between Patroclus’ trembling legs.
He considers the length in his hand for a moment. This is certainly not the first time that he’s held Patroclus’ cock, nor is it the first time that he’s knelt between his husband’s legs with the intent of drinking down every utterly delectable inch of him… But this feels like a first, nonetheless. He remembers the smear of bright red lipstick on his shirt, and not being able to recall how it’d gotten there…
His grip tightens on Patroclus’ cock. His husband draws in a sharp, shaky breath.
“I need you to tell me, right now—yes or no. Because I’m not going to force myself on you if you don’t want me.” Achilles says. He is staring deeply into Patroclus’ dark eyes, his pupils so dilated it is near impossible to tell the inky black depths from the deep, dark brown of his irises.
Patroclus is barely keeping his heavily aroused body in check. The muscles in his arms twitch beneath his skin as he flexes against his bonds, “I… I don’t want what I want to influence what you’re willing to give.” He says.
Achilles frowns. That’s not an answer. “I…” He licks his lips, “I am as sure as I can be that in this exact moment, this is what I want to do. I may change my mind in five minutes and stop. I may not. But, as of right now, if you’re okay with it, I would very much like to suck your cock.”
Patroclus’ dark eyes flutter, “O-Okay. Then… yes. Yes, I would very much like w-whatever you’re willing to—”
Patroclus isn’t able to finish his sentence. Achilles licks his lips, before opening his mouth wide and taking every inch of Patroclus’ cock in one smooth glide. A second later, his nose is teasing the dense patch of curls nestled above Patroclus’ cock, his cheeks brushing the cool metal of the zipper. His throat is open and relaxed, his cheeks hollow as he takes a moment to appreciate the heaviness of Patroclus’ cock on his tongue. It’s every bit as big as he remembered, and sensitive, too. He swallows around it, intending just to tease—
He hears a rattling from somewhere above his head. Sliding up a little, he offers Patroclus’ leaking slit a slow lick, his sea-glass eyes flickering up in time to catch Patroclus digging his nails into his palms. His teeth are pressing into his bottom lip hard enough to draw blood, his pretty eyes sealed shut… Could he already be so close? He supposes that it has been awhile since they’ve been intimate like this, but still… Achilles bobs his head back down, spittle making his pale lips glisten in the dim light of Nyx’s living room. The television is still on in the distance, playing a show that neither he nor Patroclus has ever seen—or actually really care about.
“A-Achilles—” Patroclus’ hips twitch, just a little. Achilles’ hands snake up to push him back down onto the couch cushion. “F-Fuck, I… I’m really close.”
He supposes that that’s his cue to pull-off, if he doesn’t want a mouthful of Patroclus’ cum.
Except, his favorite part of all of this is watching Patroclus come undone, and so he presses Patroclus’ hips more firmly to the cushion and sucks, hard. The crotch of Patroclus’ jeans are soaked through with spittle and a bit of pre, so that anyone who cared to look would have no doubt as to what he’d been doing. He makes a delightfully broken sound, as Achilles takes him so deep that he has little choice but to spend down his throat. He swallows, reflexively, earning the most delightful shivers from his husband—who is far too sensitive to be enduring such exquisite torture. It’s only once Patroclus is practically sobbing from overstimulation that he pulls off with a wet pop.
“You alright there, Pat?” He asks. His throat is a little sore, but otherwise he feels… pretty okay. He could go for another nap, but… “Let me untie you there…” Patroclus seems relieved to be able to put his arms down, and Achilles can’t blame him.
“I… That was…” He takes a moment to catch his breath, before saying, “I’d kiss you, if you didn’t just…” Ah yes, he’d almost forgotten about Pat’s little blow-job related hang-up. He snorts.
“Go make yourself presentable, before Nyx comes home and wonders just what it was that we got up to on her couch in her absence.” Patroclus’ eyes widen, as if he was just now realizing that they weren’t at home. He barely waits for Achilles to clear the way before taking off for the bathroom, not even bothering to zip his pants before rushing off.
Achilles snorts, before easing himself back up onto the couch. He has a feeling that he’s going to regret having spend so much time kneeling like that… but right now, he’s feeling good, and he intends to ride that high for as long as possible. So, he makes himself comfortable in the corner of the couch where Patroclus had just been sitting and props up his ankle to help ease some of the swelling. He’s just about to reach for the remote, when he remembers the inundation of texts and calls that he’d received from Zagreus earlier. It takes him a moment to locate his phone, and then to turn it back on, and sure enough—
FIVE MISSED CALLS
There’s only one voicemail, though. And, oddly enough, it’s only ten seconds long. Confused, and more than a little concerned, Achilles presses play. Wherever the lad was when he made the call, there were plenty of people around, because there’s a dull roar of dozens upon dozens of overlapping voices. A little nearer to the receiver is someone singing “Rock the Boat” incredibly loudly—and off-key.
And then Zagreus’ voice cuts in with a soft, “I’m sorry, sir. I really wanted to tell you this in person, but… I quit.”