'Winter Wheat' banner

FIC: "Winter Wheat" (1/1)
AUTHOR: Mistress Marilyn
DATE: July 25 & 26, 2004
FANDOM: "Troy" (Warner Bros. version 2004)
PAIRING: Odysseus / Paris
DISCLAIMER: I don't own 'em. They belong to Homer, to Warner Brothers, to the respective actors of the movie "Troy" -- and to the ages! This is the work of a fan, done for no remuneration save the satisfaction of the work itself.
WARNINGS: Slash, rape, mpreg, angst, death. (No! It's not as lurid as this sounds!)
SUMMARY: Odysseus and the Greeks finally take Troy, and Odysseus takes his own prize.
DEDICATION: To O.B., who seems to have given me some divine inspiration. Aphrodite blesses you, my love.
AUTHOR NOTES: This fic was written to be posted at a new Troy MPreg group I moderate:

"If they ever tell my story let them say that I walked with giants. Men rise and fall like the winter wheat, but these names will never die. Let them say I lived in the time of Hector. Let them say I lived in the time of Achilles."
            -- Odysseus (as played by Sean Bean in the movie "Troy")

The time comes when even the gods turn their faces away from you. It happens to every man, if he lives long enough and loves well enough and fights hard enough. Even a man blessed by the gods as I have been will find this to be true. And long before I earned the wrath of Poseidon on my way home to Ithaca, I offended the sun god, Apollo, by helping to defeat and sack his beloved city of Troy.

But it is Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty, of whom I speak. Aphrodite was known to have blessed the Trojan prince, Paris, with not only his fair form, but with the love of the Spartan queen, Helen. Or so it was said by many.

This story begins not when our fleet arrived upon the sands below Troy, but when we crouched in the belly of the beast that would finally breach those walls. Many of my companions and the best warriors of Greece were there, including the great and beautiful Achilles, whose eyes seem to glint across the blackness of that cramped space and smile at me that fateful night, promising glory.

Ah, glory.

The air was close and stagnant, even as the Trojans finally began the long labor of moving the giant horse we had fashioned out of the remains of some of our destroyed ships. When it was still daylight, and the imperfect workmanship of the structure still allowed enough of the sun to creep in, we heard the argument about whether or not to burn this supposed Greek gift to Poseidon, and we could plainly see the fear in some of the faces around us.

For me, I could only smile and shake my head. I knew the proud Trojans would never burn the horse. For them it would be a sign of their victory over the plague-stricken Greeks. They must have it -- take it inside the walls of their magnificent city.

It was many hours of making no sound or movement. My cramped muscles complained of the long confinement, and rivulets of sweat ran down my thighs and arms, but I knew I could wait forever, if need be. And so could my companions. We would be the ones to turn the tide of this war, and we were selected because we were willing to withstand discomfort and risk our lives.

We could hear the celebration inside the city. Hector's funeral games had barely ended, but the Trojans had already forgotten their brave warrior prince in their elation over what they believed was the departure of our armies. I felt sure my comrade Achilles, who had taken Hector's life in battle and desecrated his body in death, was still more grieved by this loss than the now seemingly victorious Trojans.

So goes glory, my friend.

When at last the city slept and the sounds of revelry had passed, we came forth from the bowels of the horse and climbed down. Achilles looked to me, those blue eyes strange and sorrowful, saying nothing. Then he turned and ran toward the tower.

The rest of us went to open the Scaean gate and allow our waiting army to enter.

The fighting was fierce, once the Trojans were awake and aware of our deception. The city was burning, and the air was acrid with smoke and the smell of death. My sword arm ached as I made my way through the tower and the temple, fighting Trojans and searching for Achilles. Blood spattered my legs and dripped off one elbow, but I myself was unharmed, once again lucky. My friend was not.

I saw Achilles and the woman, Briseis, the former acolyte of Apollo, across the temple yard. I knew then why Achilles had left our group -- to find this former captive that he had come to love and had finally set free. I was admiring the passion of their embrace when I heard the woman scream, "No!"

Before I could move, my friend was cut down by arrows, crippled first by a shot to one heel, then by a direct hit in the chest. I turned and saw the Trojan prince, Paris, his bow drawn taut for another shot, and I bellowed and began to run. But I had no way to reach him in time. He shot again. And then again. I looked from him to Achilles as I ran across the plaza. Achilles reached up and pulled out the arrows, throwing them aside as if they were mere stingers. But finally he crumpled and fell. I went to him.

"Don't kill him," Achilles said, his head cradled in the weeping girl's lap. "It was his right. I dishonored his brother, a better man than I. Promise me."

"I promise," I remember answering, although speech came hard. This was Greece's greatest warrior, and he was dying at my feet. I could barely see out of my burning eyes. I knelt beside Achilles and Briseis.

The girl's face was crumpled with sorrow. I looked at her, trying not to blame her for this tragedy. After all, Achilles' mother had foreseen his death in Troy, and I knew him to be ready for this inevitable end. But because of this woman, he had let down his guard. And of all people to have felled him, the beautiful and dissolute prince of Troy was the least likely.

And now this unlikely hero stood over us, his bow at his side, pulling at Briseis' arm, begging her to stand.

"Remember what you promised," Achilles said.

"I remember. Go in peace, brother." And then I stood and faced the beautiful son of Priam.

"Do you know who I am, Prince of Troy?" I asked.

He blinked at me, as thought seeing me for the first time. He didn't answer.

"I'm the King of Ithaca, a former suitor to the woman you stole from Sparta. I'm Odysseus, and I fashioned the horse that has finally conquered your city."

His eyes widened with fear, but he didn't try to raise his bow.

"I have promised my friend not to kill you, and I will keep that promise. But here, under the statue of the goddess Athena, you will become one of the spoils of this war."

I grabbed him by his shoulders and threw him down roughly, never taking my eyes off his comely face. I was struck by his beauty, even in my fury. And under my tunic I was the image of the god Priapus, engorged by anger and sudden desire. He saw what I was about to do, but his expression never changed. His clear eyes stayed open and rested on my face. I imagined I must look like an enraged beast to this boy, but I cared not at all.

I tore his garment away and raised his legs. His head reared back and struck the base of the statue, but his gaze never faltered. I felt his sandals rest on my shoulders as I shoved myself forward. Because of his renowned beauty, I doubted he had never been assailed in this way, but it was my goal to hurt him, not to make love to him. So I plunged into him as though using my sword, not my manhood. I thrust with so much energy that my foreskin pulled back painfully, and I shouted as I took him, oblivious to his own cries.

When I had finished with him, I dropped over him for an instant, and I could feel the shaking of his limp frame and taste salty tears on his face. I pulled away and sat back on my heels, still panting. I looked at Paris. His eyes were now closed. His tunic was covered with the blood from my sword arm.

I stood uncertainly, unable at first to get my balance. It seemed that a century had passed, but I knew it had not been long. I walked toward my fallen comrade, and I saw he was dead. Briseis lay across him, her long hair reddened by his blood. When I approached, I saw she had used Achilles' dagger to take her own life, plunging it into her chest. I reached down and picked up one slender wrist. She was warm, not long dead.

A great weight fell over me and I crumpled to my knees and wept. The war was over. Hector had fallen. Achilles was dead, just as was his cousin and beloved friend, Patroclus. This girl had taken her life as I raped Hector's brother, confirming the dread the Trojans had for the Greeks was not misplaced. And just a few feet away lay the body of our high king, Agamemnon, although I did not know it then.

It seemed a terrible ending to a story that had begun with so much promise.

It was then that the goddess cursed me, a much deserved curse.

I felt a hand on my shoulder. I looked up and saw the Trojan prince, Paris, his dark, curling hair tousled about his fair face, his eyes suddenly very old. He was holding a dagger, and I wondered for an instant if he thought to kill me. He held it out, but I saw that the hilt was pointed toward me.

"Use it," he said. "Finish me now." His voice was calm and clear.

I shook my head. "No. I promised him I wouldn't."

"Then I will."

He turned the dagger on himself, and suddenly I felt the strength return to my legs and arms. I sprung up and grabbed him by the wrists, wrestling the weapon away. "No! I won't allow it."
I gathered him in my arms and lifted him easily. He went limp, perhaps losing consciousness. Holding him in my arms, his face very near mine, I could smell his sweet scent beneath the blood of battle and the stench of rape. His beauty assaulted me more forcefully than my manhood had assaulted him, and I was suddenly, utterly lost.

I swayed for an instant, tightly closing my eyes.

"Oh, Aphrodite," I said aloud. "I have defiled your chosen and offended you. I deserve to feel your wrath."

A curse from the goddess of love is bittersweet, especially in this time and place. I now held the prince of a conquered land and what was I to do with him? I dared not release him from my arms for even an instant. I could not trust his actions any more than the actions of my comrades-in-arm.

Resolutely, I made my way across the plaza and down the steps of the tower toward the gates of Troy.

I stumbled many times making my way across the great plain toward the beach, carrying Paris. Although I knew him to be awake, he stayed limp in my arms, as though willing himself to die even without the aid of the dagger. Behind us the city of Troy still burned, but the wind from the sea carried the smoke toward the mountains, away from us. When I finally made my way over a hillock and could see the Aegean glistening with reflected stars, I stopped and gently lay Paris down.

My arms and shoulders were screaming with pain, and I wiped away the salty sweat that dripped into my eyes. The prince was no small man, although a graceful one. I groaned a little from my effort, I suppose, and he looked up at me.

"What are you going to do with me?" he asked.

I shrugged. "I don't know. Take you to Ithaca, perhaps."

"Why not just kill me?"

I shook my head. "I told you. I promised Achilles."

"Why should he care? He murdered my brother and defiled his body. Why should he care if you defile my body and then murder me?"

I knelt beside him, wanting to take him in my arms. I knew he would never allow this, not in the way I would have it, so I refrained. My chest throbbed painfully, though, and I remembered the goddess' curse.

"Hector killed Patroclus, and Achilles killed him. This is war. But he regretted it, and he asked me not to avenge him. I won't risk angering him now when someday I'll have to face him again."

"You'll keep me, like a camp follower, like a captured woman?"

I looked at him in the dim light of the waning moon and approaching dawn. He was indeed beautiful, more beautiful than any woman I had seen, even Helen whom I had first encountered in Sparta and competed for her hand. He was also more comely than any man, even the golden warrior, Achilles, whose face and form had belied his deadly nature. It seemed the goddess had perfected him in the likeness of one of her Erotes, her winged love-god attendants, for he was the image of Hermaphroditos, Aphrodites's handsome son who had been merged with a beautiful nymph and combined both sexes in one perfect form.

"I wronged you, and the gods will punish me for it, no doubt," I said. "I would ask your forgiveness if I thought I deserved it. I promise you I will not take you again until the time comes when you ask me."

His eyes narrowed as he looked at me, incredulous. "That time will never come, King Odysseus!"

I looked away from him and rubbed my beard. "Then I will die an unhappy man," I whispered.

I could hear people approaching. On the beach the tents were going back up, as many would not find the city of Troy a place fit to live in after this night. I needed to find my men, find my tent, and put the young prince out of sight. I could hear the keening sound of grief from the beach echoing the same sound from the city, and I imagined that many already knew of the deaths of Agamemnon and Achilles.

"We have to go. Just a little farther," I said.

"What happened to the girl -- to Briseis?" he asked.

"She took her life with Achilles' dagger."

He let out a sigh. "She was my cousin."

"I'm sorry," I said, knowing this would be little comfort.

"Helen got away. She won't be taken this night." I could hear the unspoken words that followed: "as I've been taken."

"Damn her," I spat out. Another offense to the goddess.

I reached down to take his hand, but he rose without touching me. We went down to the beach and walked among the massing men, some already carrying treasures from the city. Paris moved among them with his head held high, oblivious to the danger. I knew then I loved him despite the goddess and her curse, this fallen prince who had groveled in the dirt at his brother's feet when facing his rival, Menelaus, and yet stood tall enough in the end to avenge his brother and fell Greece's greatest warrior.

I saw my men and saw that my attendants had constructed my tent and made it ready. I opened the flap and gestured Paris inside, knowing this was a mean accommodation to someone like him, unused to war and its privations. Still, there would be fresh water, food and wine. And he would be safe with me, although he didn't know it yet.

The lamps had been lit, and their smoke caught in my eyes for a moment and made them water. I wiped at my face, and my hand came back with blood. I needed to wash myself and to examine the prince to make sure I had not injured him.

"Bring more water to wash with," I said to one of the attendants, and he scurried away to find some.

Paris sat down carefully on a small stool, his face an unreadable mask, albeit a lovely one. I wished for an instant that I were a poet or a bard, able to compose lyrical epics. But I was a warrior king, and although I had the gift of clever and convincing speech, I was not a man who could easily give voice to love.

He would eat nothing and would not let me look closely enough at him to assess any damage I might have done. He took a little water, than curled up on the corner of my fur throw. When he seemed to be sleeping, I covered him with another fur. I washed myself and removed my armor and soiled garments, then I lay down beside him, willing myself to stay a few inches away. Despite my exhaustion from the hours inside the horse and the battle for Troy, I wouldn't let myself sleep, not knowing what he might do if he awakened. Instead I did something I rarely did. I prayed.

"Goddess Hera, I have offended Apollo and Aphrodite on this long day. And for all I know, even flashing-eyed Athena, with whom I've often consorted in my dreams, now curses me for the offense of rape I committed at her feet. I fear the gods will all turn from me now. Great Hera, I know you to be a protector of wives and that your first thought would be for Penelope, my wife, who waits at home for a husband who is not anxious to return to her. But I beseech you to help me, as you have supported the Greeks in our war with Troy. Find some way to help me earn the affection of this boy without the help of the goddess of love. Help me heal the wounded heart and wounded body of this beautiful prince. When I return to Ithaca, I will have a new temple built in your honor and have many sacrifices made."

This was all the eloquence I could find to pray to the wife of Zeus and mother of the gods. I hoped she would listen.

It was many days then, before I slept. There was much to do to secure the sacked city, and these deeds are better left unspoken. War is brutal and victory is final. "We men are wretched things," my friend Achilles has said. And I can find very few arguments, especially remembering the final days in Troy.

One of my most memorable tasks was to place the coins on the eyes of Achilles atop his funeral pyre, the payment for the boatman who would ferry him across the River Styx to the world of the dead. The pyre was built as high as any I have ever seen, in the citadel tower of Troy. I lit the fire myself and was awarded his armor. It was said I had deserved it because I had devised the Trojan Horse. However, I took the armor for the one I alone knew had earned it: Paris, who had slain the hero.

With the death of Agamemnon, Nestor of Gerenia took the scepter and command of our thousands. He made plans for the Achaean occupation of this part of the world, for Troy's location was even more valuable than her treasures. And he gave the kings and warlords not needed in this task the leave to return to their homes.

As we prepared to leave the shores of Troy, there was much more work to do. We needed to stock provisions for our long voyage, as Ithaca was even farther away than Sparta. I had kept Paris inside my tent for many days, caring for him as much as he would let me. He seemed listless and ailing, and I feared he was more injured than he would admit. But I couldn't risk having one of the camp surgeons examine him, as his face was well known to us Greeks.

He would eat little, and often he was unable to keep his food down. On occasion he allowed me to hold his head when he was sick, and I kept a bowl near the place where we slept in case he might need to use it. I feared for him, but I tried to fight it. Each day my love for him grew, even though he rarely spoke much to me or even looked at me. The goddess had not found a way.

Or so I thought.

Much of the fleet sailed away, taking whatever they could from the conquered city. A few days before we were to set sail, I saw Paris washing himself. He had remained very clean, as all Trojans seemed to be, and each day he carefully bathed his skin with water and oil and dressed his thick hair. On this day, he was turned from me, washing his private parts, leaving me the view of his long, lean legs and his surprisingly muscular ass. I stood admiring him when he turned slightly and I noticed a strange curve to his belly; he was laying one hand across it, stroking it absently. I must have made a sound, because he glanced at me suddenly and covered himself.

"You know!" he said, making it an accusation.

"I know?"

"Some trick of the gods has emasculated me. I am truly a woman now."

I saw the tears welling in his eyes, and the tenderness I felt for him overwhelmed me. "You are no woman. But, yes, if this is what I think, the goddess has done it."

"You did it," he said.

"If this is true, it has made something good come of a great evil. I know I hurt you very badly, but I love you, just the same. I would undo it all if I could. But not this."

He slumped down on the fur and wept. I went to him and took him in my arms, marveling at the sweet feel and smell of him. And beneath the loose folds of his garment, I could feel the swelling in his belly and breasts. The goddess had made a miracle.

I softly touched the burgeoning places of his body. "This is what is left of Hector and Achilles and all the rest. This may be more than just a man, this divine gift."

"I prayed to the goddess Hera," I continued, "and asked for her help to make you love me. This is how she ties you to me, by turning the shame of my act into the precious fruit of a son."

His dark eyes, wet with tears, looked up at me. "You wanted me to love you?"

I nodded. "I have loved you these many days and regretted the pain I gave you. But I knew you could never look at me with any other thought than hate. Perhaps this babe will give you a cause to reconsider."

He sighed and let his weight fall against my arms and let me kiss him. I imagined he kissed me back, although it might have been just my own longing for him to do so.

"You will be safe, Paris, and your babe will be safe. I'll see to it."

And I did what I had to do. Paris would never be able to make the long voyage to Ithaca, not now. I needed to find a secure place for him in his homeland, so I sent scouts to Mount Ida to find a village or farm where he could stay. I would take him there myself, then I would have to leave him behind for now. My men were anxious to go home, and they would not go without me.

I found what I felt would be the perfect spot, a small farm well stocked and somewhat secluded. There the grass was green and the air clear, a good place for growing new life. I paid well for his care, and I felt assured he would be safe. He had been raised on Mt. Ida for a time, and as pampered as he appeared, he knew how to tend sheep and how to hunt. We traveled together on foot, he and I, and he bore up well. We had come to be much easier with one another, and on our journey to the farm he spoke of Troy and of Hector, although he never spoke again of Helen. Always free with words, I told him of my voyages and my comradeship with Achilles. It didn't seem to pain either of us to mention these names.

By the time he was settled in his new home, the bouts of sickness had passed and he seemed to have more energy and vigor in his step. I left him Achilles' arms, which he had earned and with which he could defend himself if need be. I knew his condition would cause speculation if he traveled beyond the confines of the farm I had chosen, so I instructed him to stay close to home.

When I was prepared to leave, we stood at the top of a green hill to say our good-byes. He surprised me when he asked, "When will you come for me?" The look in his eyes was more than curiosity.

"As soon as I can. It might be more than a year."

"We'll wait."

When he said this, I was overcome with joy and nearly gave way to weeping. But instead I gathered him in my arms and lay him down on the soft grass and stroked his smooth cheek, perfect save for one small scar he had earned in his infamous battle with Menelaus. I then made love to him, very carefully. I did not penetrate him, but I used my hands and mouth to pay him the tribute of my love and when finished I spent my seed between his strong thighs. I waited for him to say it, and when he finally whispered "I love you," we were both very near sleep, or so I thought.

"Odysseus? You didn't wait for me to ask."

I smiled. This was a promise I didn't mind breaking.

I left Troy some days later, and I imagined him watching from the mountain as my ship's sail caught the wind. The weather had turned foul, and I knew the journey would be long and arduous. How long and how arduous I did not guess.

If only I had not offended Poseidon!

Man's glory is short-lived, and the gods always have the final say. I still intend to make those sacrifices to the goddess Hera when I have the chance. I will ever honor her gift to me. And I still plan to sail across the Aegean again and return to the shores where Apollo's great city once ruled. I know that however long it takes, Paris and my son will await my return.

"If they ever tell my story let them say that I walked with giants. Men rise and fall like the winter wheat, but these names will never die. Let them say I lived in the time of Hector. Let them say I lived in the time of Achilles."

"Let them say I lived in the time of Paris, my beloved, the most beautiful man in the world."

The End

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