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In Sleep and Waking

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Achilles stirs, feeling the shores of sleep slip further from him.

He becomes aware of the heat slowly and then all at once, blankets suddenly stifling against his flushed skin. The dream still swims in his mind: the hot press of a mouth, the scrape of a beard.

Patroclus shifts in his arms, just so - just enough to brush against him where the heat coils, straining. He makes a stifled noise, pressing instinctively closer to chase that feeling left in the dream's wake. How he wishes for the dream to continue - but the last grains of slumber are falling away now, leaving him conscious and wanting.

He is pressed close against Patroclus from the waist down, and his arousal begs for friction. Now that he is awake, Achilles squeezes his legs together as the stirring in his loins only grows stronger. Embers of sleep-addled lust start to spark beneath his skin, simmer his blood as he lays there with Patroclus in his loose embrace. The longer he lets it sit, the stronger it becomes. It gnaws at him like a poor-picked bone, still meaty and fresh, goading him to give in.

A sigh leaves his lips as Achilles, not for the first time, accepts his fate.

It is quite foolish, he surmises at last, to deny that his body wants, desires, craves for his philtatos; his most beloved.

Patroclus moves again, and this time Achilles follows. He draws close to him, positioning himself so he may kiss the scruffiness of Patroclus’ jaw that Achilles so truly adores. He adorns him in kisses, from his chin to his cheeks. He kisses both his eyes, still shut with curled, dark lashes that tickle at Achilles’ mouth. He trails down the bridge of Patroclus’ nose, brushing the tip with the softest of pecks, and revels in the steady breaths that ghost over his neck. Then finally, Achilles finds his lips, slotting his own with Patroclus’ the way he has done a thousand times before.

He should not be so surprised when Patroclus responds. Slow, steady inhales become quick and short as they meld their mouths together. What starts off as chaste and leisurely turns into passionate and unforgivingly deliberate. An unfettered gasp comes from Patroclus when Achilles takes his lower lip into his mouth and sucks as he pulls back, releasing it towards the end. Patroclus hurries to do the same, reciprocating with matching hunger.

Achilles would smile if kissing Patroclus did not take up all forty-two of his facial muscles’ strength. He greets Pat’s tongue with his, tangling them with one another as his hands scrabble into fists against Patroclus’ shoulder blades.

They mingle, sharing each respiration like it holds a semblance of their life force within. From one mouth to the other, they explore more than wrestle for dominance, true to what they have done on so many occurrences in the past. Their playing field is equal, their hearts unraveled and vehement as they treasure this moment.

It is only when the need for air nags at Achilles’ lungs that he withdraws from Patroclus’ mouth. He pants against his cheekbone, mind clouded and heady with ardor. He cants his hips, grinding them laxly over Patroclus’ thigh, feeding on the passion that spikes his veins.

"I take it you had a pleasant dream?" Patroclus' voice is still rough with sleep, and the words are half-slurred against the curve of his neck. He can hear amusement there, and desire too; there is no hiding the way Pat's body responds to his, like the sweet notes of a lyre when its strings are plucked.

He chuckles, a deep, throaty noise, and rolls his hips again to chase that building heat. "I need you," he says simply. All of me needs all of you, always. "Even in sleep, it seems."

Patroclus meets the press of his body, thigh slotting between Achilles' to press against the unforgiving strain of his erection. Achilles is grateful - not for the first time - that they have long since given up the charade of wearing clothes to bed. He cannot bear to be parted from his Patroclus now, not when his dreams give way so sweetly to the reality of his lover's searing touch.

"My Achilles, always so insatiable," Patroclus chides softly, his voice edged with warmth. His fingers card easily through Achilles' hair, latching at his nape and tugging just the way he likes. He gasps against Patroclus' mouth, and Patroclus swallows the noise with a hot swipe of his tongue. They fall back into their rhythm, hungrier now, each kiss punctuated by the insistent press of Pat's thigh against his groin.

The memory of the dream comes back in a rush, spurred by the budding friction between them: him astride Patroclus, bearing down on him over and over as his lover breathes filthy encouragements. That feeling of fullness, intoxicating and heady, heightening heat under his skin now as he remembers the way he moaned for it.

He shivers, breaking from Pat's mouth to work a hot line of kisses down his jaw. "Patroclus," he says, and his voice is so raw with want that he can feel his lover's answering need swell against him. He shifts, straddling those shapely limbs in a single motion, his own erection aching as it strains against the hard lines of Pat's belly. "Let me ride you."

Patroclus knows better than to stifle his groan. He undulates involuntarily at the suggestion, clearly affected by Achilles’ words. “But your men…” he starts.

Achilles will listen to none of it. “Let them hear. I do not care. They cannot have what they do not own,” he declares defiantly. Achilles draws small figure-eights on Patroclus’ lap with his lower half.

“You are aristos achaion,” counters Patroclus, but it is less an argument and more a statement. “Your men look up to you.”

“Yet they do not own me.” Achilles places both palms on Patroclus’ firm pectorals. His fingers crawl until they find deep-colored nipples, already pebbling from exposure to the open air. He takes them each betwixt a forefinger and thumb, rolling them until Patroclus’ shoulders dip back, thorax jutting into his lover’s touch. “Enough about my men. You are the one lying in my pallet, not them, like tonight and all other nights.”

Patroclus smirks at the flare of jealousy within Achilles’ sea-green eyes, as clear as the Aegean. His own dark eyes are half-lidded, but nevertheless seem to stare right through Achilles’ soul; right through his heart.

He says simply, “Indeed, I am.”

Achilles releases his chest so he may guide Patroclus’ sturdily crafted hands to either side of his torso. He tips his head forward when the man caresses the skin there, petting his flank with so much care that Achilles arches his back for him. The whisper flows from the air cascading through his trachea, “My philtatos.”

How easy it is to call him this. Achilles does not hesitate for even one second to use the term: most beloved amongst all others. His whole mind, body, spirit speaks it true. There is no denying that he is Patroclus’; that Patroclus is the other half of his soul, wholly reunited when they come together in flesh.

“You want me inside you..?” Patroclus is talking to him, and it would be an utter shame if Achilles were to miss it. He nods in return and listens closely. Patroclus traces a swirling pattern upon the backside of his ribs. “Then take what you need, my heart.”

Achilles does not need to be told twice. His lover's words spur him to action as if he were on the battlefield, that same adrenaline hammering with each pulse of his heart. He bucks his hips hard and feels Pat's arousal curve to meet his hungry skin, brushing so close to his entrance that he shudders involuntarily.

It is delicious friction - but it is not enough. Now, in this moment, he needs to own and be owned.

He curls over Pat to reach beyond him, fumbling in the satchel that rests at the edge of their pallet. Patroclus takes advantage of the position to mouth at his exposed neck, the rough drag of his beard sending licks of pleasure down Achilles' spine. He loves that feeling - the pain-pleasure of it, the way it claims his skin in a bloom of red.

He grasps the vial between deft fingers, hovering a just moment longer to savor the scrape of Patroclus' jaw before he rights himself again. Patroclus doesn't waste the opportunity: he rolls up into him just as Achilles eases back, cock hard and jutting against the cleft of his ass.

Achilles groans a low, wanton noise. He uncorks the vial with his teeth and coats his fingers, slick and dripping as he reaches behind him to grasp Pat's cock. "So worked up already." He smiles his cat's smile then, delighting in the noise that Patroclus makes when he circles the swollen head. "Were you dreaming of me too, beloved?"

Patroclus huffs out a laugh, dark eyes shining up at him from beneath heavy lids. "I always dream of you," he says, and his hands are impossibly warm where they meet the curve of Achilles' hip. They tighten just so, and Achilles can't help but arch into it. Yes, he thinks. Yours.

"But this state I'm in is no dream's doing. You certainly know how to - ah -" Achilles strokes him once, twice, hand gliding slick over his cock, "- to wake a man, don't you?"

A chortle bubbles from Achilles’ throat, melodic, just the pitch and tone that he knows affects Patroclus the most. He flicks a fingertip where a bead of precum begins to pearl, swiping along the slit of Patroclus’ member, and watches him squeeze his eyes shut momentarily. He does it again, earning a warning growl from his lover.

“Achilles.”

This time, Achilles lets go of Patroclus completely. “Yes, my love?”

Patroclus would glare daggers if he were not so in love with him; Achilles is sure of it. “Cease your teasing. A man can only endure so much.”

As if to emphasize, Patroclus takes Achilles by the pelvis and shoves him down. His length slides deliciously between his cheeks, and Achilles moans in delight, writhing for more. But more, he does not get: Pat keeps him there, his hold so firm that there might be bruises on his person tomorrow if Patroclus clutches a little harder. The thought excites him and also frustrates him; he cannot fuck himself on Pat’s cock if Patroclus will not let him go.

Achilles keens, slapping at Patroclus’ hands so he can move once again, “All right, enough already. I see your point.”

Patroclus lips quirk into a grin at him beneath that gorgeous beard of his. He obeys, as he is never one to deny Achilles anything, and keeps his hands roaming his beloved’s body instead. Comforting palms brush against his abdomen, feeling the soft vee of the muscle adjacent to his iliac crests. He pets the blond trail of hair that starts just below his navel.

It feels exquisite, being touched like this, but impatience wears at the forefront of Achilles’ mind. With his arm still extended behind him, he adjusts his weight to his knees and lifts his ass for better angle.

“Oh,” says Patroclus, eyes darting between Achilles’ splayed legs.

Achilles can feel his cheeks rise in temperature as he brings his slippery fingers to his opening. With Patroclus’ eyes on him, he slips his index finger into himself, starting an in-and-out cadence almost immediately. He whines, “How I wish this was you. Your long digits. I would sink down to the knuckle.”

But when Patroclus lowers his arm to try and replace Achilles finger with his own, his lover shakes his head. Patroclus keeps his hands at bay.

“No.” Achilles murmurs, “Let me…” He adds a second finger, this time spreading himself in a precise scissoring action.

No matter how many times they come together, it seems that Achilles will never fully get used to receiving, as much as he loves it. He nearly salivates at the thought of being filled, how the stretch can be excruciating yet fulfilling. He pumps his fingers faster, then adds a third one. Combined, they are not nearly as thick as Patroclus, and he bites down on his lower lip as he feels the man’s cock bump where his radius meets ulna. The blunt tip smears its anticipation on his skin, searing him like a brand. He knows he should take more care in preparing himself, but in that moment, the temptation is too great to ignore.

With a hiss, Achilles removes his digits from his hole, feeling empty. Too empty.

"Now," he breathes, his voice pitched low and abraded with need. He has never been known for his patience. "Take me now."

They move as one: Patroclus canting his hips up and Achilles shifting back, eager, oil-slick fingers guiding the head of Pat's cock to his entrance. Patroclus hovers like that for just a breath, hands tight on Achilles' hips to keep him from bearing down. His eyes are like fire in the darkness of the tent. His hands dig into supple flesh, gaze roaming Achilles with a hunger that leaves him breathless.

And then, all at once, he drives in. Achilles gasps and arches like a bow, every nerve lighting with the electric force of it. "Yes," he groans, voice broken into shards of pleasure-pain. Patroclus stills, half-sheathed in a single thrust, and Achilles feels the sharp heat of it flickering as he adjusts to his lover's girth. Slowly - with great restraint, Achilles can see from the taut line of his brow - Patroclus starts to move. He pushes in inch by agonizing inch, and his brow slackens as he sinks further into Achilles' tight heat.

"Yes," Patroclus echoes, deep and throaty, and gods, if the sound of his voice like that doesn't go straight to Achilles' cock. "Achilles - "

Achilles bends to taste his name on Patroclus's lips, the shift of his body pushing Pat's member deeper until he's nearly buried to the hilt. The feeling has him gasping into Patroclus' open mouth, lost in the exquisite stretch of him, hands fisting tighter in the blankets beneath them.

He rolls his hips and they moan together, joined as one in the hot, searing drag of Pat's cock as it works him apart. Patroclus bucks his hips upward in answer once, twice, a slow pace building between the press of their bodies.

"So tight," Patroclus breathes, and Achilles pushes himself up to get a better sight of him. His hair is a dark halo around his head, framing the supple lines of his face, his lips parted on a decadent sigh.

If he could make a comment, he would. But nothing comes to mind as Patroclus thrusts deep, sheathing himself until Achilles can feel his balls brush his ass for a quick breath. A moan hitches midway in his throat, going ragged as it morphs into something more visceral, more true to his nature. Rooting his soles to the pallet beneath him, he steadies himself with knees bent and meets Patroclus halfway.

Up and down. Almost all the way out before diving back immeasurably. Achilles throws his head back in ecstasy as he proceeds to ride Patroclus for all he is worth. His beloved fills him just right, the pain of initial breach ebbing into pure delight. Pat's cock stretches him until he thinks he can take no more, and yet somehow finds the vigor to keep going, to work alongside Patroclus as he plows into Achilles from below.

Never does Achilles want this to end. Never does he want to part from his philtatos, not when they are like this. Patroclus drives up hard and fast into him then, punching the oxygen from his chest. Inside him, his cock hits what Achilles likes to call his innermost place; when he chokes out his pleasure, Patroclus strikes his prostate again with twice as much precision.

“So good, so good,” babbles Achilles, curls like waterfalls of gold cascading around Patroclus’ visage as he puts his forehead against his beloved’s. Their eyes lock in an intimate gaze. “You always know how to hold me, Patro- Pat!”

Patroclus grunts, thick with lust. His fingers dig into the meat of Achilles’ ass as he slams his body down into his thrust. Sweat casts a light sheen over him, and though Patroclus has mentioned how much he has always hated it before, Achilles finds him perfect and beautiful.

“My heart,” Patroclus calls him. He rams Achilles’ spot again and again, concentration heavy on his expression. “You shine brighter than Apollo Himself.”

Achilles gasps at the seemingly blasphemous comparison, but a well-timed thrust from Patroclus’ member causes his reply to burn to ashes upon his tongue.

The tingling, sparking sensation overcomes Achilles, and he falters in his pace to just receive. Patroclus plunges into him with a vitality that could rival the gods, claiming Achilles as his like their very first time and all the times after that. He leaves his groans unbidden for all to hear, but only for Achilles to savor.

Without warning, Patroclus heaves himself up into a sitting position, strong arms encircling Achilles as he never stops fucking him.

Achilles can do nothing but hold on, nails tearing at the umber skin of Patroclus’ back. He rubs his face along Patroclus’ beard, feeling every exhalation puff from his lover’s windpipe.

Achilles’ eyes roll back in their sockets as his lashes flutter, head tipping back. His chin barely misses the end of Patroclus’ nose, but neither of them care enough to say anything about it.

Instead, the slap of skin on skin is so loud, reverberating around them like a cacophony. It sounds like an orchestral work of song, unique to them and them alone. Their voices intertwine, become a noise, correspondent in tone and quality. It is so fluid and cohesive that they cannot discern whose vocals overcomes the other, or if they are simply speaking to each other without words.

It is like Achilles’ soul has found Patroclus’ through the spiritual plane of their existence in this lifetime, reaching for each other as their physical beings connect in an act of passion. He coasts on that emotion, that elation, as well as his tangible feelings in the here and now.

Achilles positively wails when Patroclus clutches his girth, neglected and weeping between them. The twist of his wrist is unyielding as he jerks Achilles to a silent beat; perhaps one that resides deep within the middle of his sternum. Achilles rests his head in the crook of Patroclus’ neck, hands scrabbling as his orgasm approaches fast.

“Pat,” he cries his beloved’s name like a mantra, tears pricking the rims of his eyes.

The wall of his abdomen clenches, toes curling as Patroclus speeds up in both his hips and hand. Everything else falls away; no more war, no more tents and camps or battlefields, no more armor. No more feuds and oaths and pacts. In this moment, Achilles’ daunting destiny will never come between them. Here, it is just him in Patroclus’ smoldering love, of which he reciprocates tenfold.

Patroclus is his everything, his better half, his rock, his crutch, his control. Love emanates from every corner of his person, makes Achilles feel like he is something more than a warrior; someone more than just aristos achaion. His devotion is so pure that it radiates through all that he does for Achilles. Even now, even in the throes of sensuality, Patroclus offers his entirety to Achilles, unafraid as he knows Achilles will do the same.

Achilles cannot contain himself. With his heart close to bursting and unrelenting pleasure both in and around him, he yells out his rapture, succumbing to satisfaction at long last.

His completion throws him to a riptide of gratification, vision blurring and his ears rushing with the sound of his own racing blood. His mouth hangs open in an “o” as he finds purchase, and he struggles to keep from biting at Patroclus’ neck. He makes a mess of both his stomach and Pat’s, opalescent cum splattering until all that remains is a sluggish stream seeping from his cock. It is only after what seems like an eternity does he start to come down from his orgasmic cloud, high-pitched noises falling from his lips like the lightest of flower petals as Patroclus hies toward completion and fucks into Achilles with immoderation.

“My Achilles,” Patroclus grits his back molars. His cock sends jolts of oversensitivity throughout Achilles’ nervous system as he goes rougher, harsher; not holding back.

He is getting close. Achilles can feel it in the erratic way he moves. Achilles spurs him on, and locates the last sliver of willpower in him to lift and drop himself on Patroclus’ length.

“Come in me,” he begs, bringing his face to Patroclus’. “Come inside me, Pat. Show me that I am yours.”

Patroclus ruts into him with singular abandon, the force of it rocking him like a boat on the waves. He holds himself over Patroclus, lips cresting his brow, his nose, thinking use me and I love you in dizzying turns. He can feel Pat's muscles tighten when his orgasm is close; can taste it in the wordless cry that rends his lips apart.

Pat's hands are in his hair then, holding him there, and he manages to breathe out a single word before the force of his completion shakes him apart at the seams: "Mine."

His hips stutter deep then, impossibly deep, and the word ends in a stifled cry as Achilles feels the hot release inside of him. He drives in again, again, chasing the aftershocks, milked by the insistent grind of Achilles' hips against his. "Yes," Achilles breathes, his muscles aching with exertion, his cock twitching in weak interest at the liquid heat blooming between his thighs, "Yes."

Finally Pat's trembling stills, and the grip of his hands soften around his waist. They breathe into the same charged space for a few precious moments. Deft fingers come up to tangle in his hair, fine waves askew from their passion. "Some days," Pat says quietly, still breathless from the force of his orgasm, fingers stroking the soft curls at the nape of Achilles' neck, "I still hardly dare to believe that you could be mine."

Achilles exhales, languid, and lets his weight settle over the length of Pat's body. He noses into the curve of his beard and feels the hammering of their hearts as one single, thrumming beat echoing between them. He takes Patroclus' hand in his and guides it to the place they're still joined, slick with oil and the seed of Pat's pleasure.

"I have always been yours," he answers simply. There is no glory without you, no pleasure. No joy. He might be the best of the Greeks, but he thinks perhaps it is more honorable yet to be one who could lay claim to the aristos achaion.

Pat circles his entrance with a blunt forefinger, cock gone soft inside him, and he clenches once just to hear a fledgeling gasp. This is them; the lazy, sated moments, where they can close their eyes and still imagine themselves beneath the golden sun of Phthia or the cypress bows of Pelion. They are anywhere. They are home.

"And I yours," Pat answers. His arms circle Achilles, but he makes no move to pull out. Good, Achilles thinks. Let me be one with you still, so that we may hold the world at arm's length just a little while longer. Patroclus noses into Achilles hair then, breathing a drowsy sigh, and Achilles feels his own limbs grow heavy where they lay tangled with Pat's.

He hopes he remembers this in the morning, does not mistake it for the continuation of his dream. Each of these moments is precious, even in their abundance, and he holds the weight of Pat's words close to his chest as sleep returns to claim them.

In sleep and waking, in death and life - I am always and eternally yours.