"Achilles! Please get off that tree!" Patroclus's voice sounded resigned.
"Achilles! Please! Get down! You'll only end up hurting yourself ..." a resigned sigh escaped his lips.
"I warned you, then do as you want ..."
At that point he left the tree behind and went back into their tent.
He loved Achilles, but his stubbornness was sometimes too much for his patience.
If he had woken up that day wanting to break his neck, it was none of his business.
He had warned him, more than that he could not do ...
He was rearranging the curtain when he heard the sound of a broken branch, followed by a thud.
He was neither surprised nor amused, he was rather upset.
It took a lot to overcome the limits of his patience, but Achilles with his hard head could sometimes bring out the worst in him.
He came out of the tent, with an expression on his face that communicated a silent "I told you!", He was just about to communicate it to him in words, when he found him on the ground with a confused look, holding a bleeding arm tight to his chest.
He didn't look particularly sore, but he just lay there motionless on the ground, sulking at the branches he had just fallen from.
A small group of soldiers had gathered to see what had happened.
Patroclus sighed, and pushed his way through the people who had gathered.
"What did I tell you?"
Achilles had the face of someone who knows he is wrong, but will never admit it.
He looked up at him, remaining silent.
"Get up! Come to the tent and I will treat your wound!"
Patroclus held out a hand to help him get up, but the other ignored it and got up by himself.
He followed him to the tent without saying a word and sat down next to Patroclus, who in the meantime was gathering everything he needed to medicate him.
"I told you, but you always have to do your own thing ... How can an intelligent person like you be so stupid is a mystery ... You could have really hurt yourself ... What your head tells you really I do not know..."
He kept muttering relentlessly as he examined the cut on the other's arm.
Dark blood on his tanned muscle.
Fortunately, it was nothing too serious. The cut wasn't very deep, but it should have removed some splinters of wood that got stuck.
It was certainly not the worst wound he had had to heal after all those years of war, but it was certainly the most avoidable.
His tanned body was marked by a myriad of more or less subtle light streaks, depending on the extent of the wound. This would become one of those many streaks, nothing more.
The blond kept his head bowed, he was intent on observing the nimble fingers of the oldest working on the cut.
He had always been better than him at that!
What he, with his hands, destroyed, Patroclus was able with his own to repair it, to heal it.
It was something he had always admired about him!
The patience and delicacy with which he treated all the soldiers returning from a fight.
The way he had of heartening and reassuring all those around him.
He looked up a little to see the other's concentrated expression as he worked on his skin.
The dark and fixed eyes, which followed the agile and steady hands. Not a moment of hesitation, nor a hasty gesture.
He was delicate and tried in every way not to make him feel pain, even if such a wound could no longer cause him any sensation.
He often wondered why Patroclus was still there, why he stayed with him.
Him and his stubbornness.
So stubborn that even Patroclus' infinite patience was exhausted.
A squeeze on his arm distracted him from his thoughts, Patroclus was finishing to adjust a bandage on the newly treated wound.
As soon as he was satisfied with his work, he lifted his face to observe him, his expression became softer.
With one hand he stroked his cheek, moving his face in his direction, to make him look into his eyes.
Dark eyes, clashing with his greens. Despite all those years, they had not lost the sweetness that had always characterized them.
"What is going on? You've been so gloomy since you woke up!"
His gaze had grown more apprehensive.
"Nothing! I just wanted to get some exercise, that's all ..."
Patroclus raised an eyebrow. That was just the last excuse that was added to a rather long list, which in those days was continuing to expand.
"Sure ... And you had to do it by climbing the only tree, which could not have supported your weight, it seems obvious... Don't make fun of me, I know perfectly well that you are not telling me the truth!"
His gaze became more determined, so much that he was forced to lower his own, no longer able to sustain those eyes fixed on his own.
It took a long time before he could murmur.
"Doesn't that tree remind you of the one we used to climb on Mount Pelio?"
Patroclus's fingers intertwined with his, a firm and decided grip, encouraging.
"I'm here! You can talk to me about anything!"
At that moment he broke.
"I can't make sense of anything we're experiencing, we've been here for years now and nothing that happens seems to have a reason!
We're here for my fault, for my stupid pride wounded for my stubborness, to risk our life every day, for a stupid cause. I dragged you into all of this, you don't deserve it. I would just like to go back to our former life! I really miss it!
How can you still stand next to me? Why are you doing it? No matter what I do or say, you are always here by my side! Why?"
A single tear escaped his control and he angrily wiped it away with his free hand.
After a moment of bewilderment, Patroclus held him in a hug.
"You are the most stubborn and proud man that has ever existed and you are also often an impulsive idiot, but that doesn't change the love I feel for you at all!"
He released the embrace and took his face in his hands. Sweet eyes fixed on his.
"I'm here next to you because I love you and you must never question this! NEVER!"
He kissed him, as if he were the most precious thing in the world, and for a moment it seemed to him that all their problems did not exist. He felt like he was a little boy again, far from the war. Happy with Patroclus.
And one day that war would be over and they would return to live their lives, happy in Ftia.
They promised themselves!
He wouldn't die there!
After all, what has Ector ever done to him?