Author's Note: So this was my first fic, written at age 14.
20 year old me just happened to stumble across it the other day, felt awful that it was a) unfinished, b) embarrassingly unedited, and c) I hadn't actually written the parts of the story I wanted to write, and began writing more- so here we are. I'm heavily editing the first 2 chapters and working on the rest at the same time!
(if you happen to be one of my readers from back in the day, I'd highly suggest reading the newly posted first 2 chapters as I edit them, as some plot points may change!)
Troy was burning.
The ancient city which had withstood so much over countless ages had been captured at last by the invading Greeks. As one empire rose, another turned to ashes.
However, this was not what was going through the mind of the last living prince of Troy as he ran through the flaming city. In fact, the only thing he was focused on was the exact location of the passageway Hector had told him about.
Paris clenched his fist involuntarily. In his younger years, he had been obsessed with escaping the long shadow cast by his older brother. If he could only outshine him, he had thought, at anything, then he would consider himself a success- and perhaps his father would too. So when he saw the opportunity to capture the heart of the most beautiful woman in the world, he had seized it eagerly.
Senseless, thoughtless boy that I was.
The name Hector would be remembered for intense and undying devotion to a doomed city. Not only his battle prowess and love for his family, but his courage. Obviously too much of it for his own good. Paris would always be thought of as the foolish boy whose love for one woman came at the cost of thousands of lives and the fall of a once-great city. It just may have been worth it though, if only-
No. He could not dwell on the past, not now. If he started he feared he wouldn't be able to stem the tide of regret. Now where's that gods-damned tunnel...
Andromache and Astynax would be waiting for him, and if anything happened to them he would never forgive himself. Hector had made him promise to care for them if he should not return from his battle with Achilles, and Paris could not fail his brother in this, if nothing else. He felt new strength come into him, and he sprinted past the burning houses, past the crumbling ancient citadel, past the Trojan palace. Here, legs aching, he forced himself to pause and catch his breath. As he leaned on the base of the statue of Apollo that marked the entrance to the palace, chest heaving with effort, the wails of those either unable to get out or too stubbornly loyal to leave echoed in Paris's ears.
He couldn't stop himself. Every memory of his life in this palace came rushing back, vying for a place in the front of his mind...
Running in childish delight from Hector and Deiphobus through the hallways, as they managed to once again escape their lessons to play.
Looking out of his balcony at the moonlight reflected off the cold sea, wondering if his father's harsh words were motivated by love or disdain.
Lying under the shade of the fig tree in the gardens, laughing at something Helen had said, using the opportunity to thread his fingers through her hair and pull her closer to him, then closer still-
He jerked his head up. Enough. Gods only knew where she was now, but she had made it very clear the last time they'd spoken that she regretted ever having come with him to Troy. Not that he could blame her- and that was the worst part. Yet he loved her, he'd loved her then and he loved her still, gods help him. He forced himself to let go of the statue and, giving the only home he had ever known one last look, he took a deep breath and kept running.
Doing his best to dodge the seemingly endless flaming debris- who knew this city was so flammable, Hector was right about the building codes needing improvement- he navigated through the winding alleys of the Market Quarter, heading for the eastern gate. Just as he had managed to convince himself that as long as he kept his pace no Greek in his right mind would do so much as raise a sword at him, he collided head-on with one of the only Greeks who would recognize him by his appearance.
Paris groaned inwardly. But maybe, just maybe, he wouldn't recognize him. Please, whatever gods still favor Troy, don't let him recogni-
The Greek's bloodshot eyes met his and lit up almost instantly. Fuck.
"Well well well!" he slurred. "Look what we have here! It's the man- no, make that the boy who started it all!" Judging from his speech patterns (and the stench of his breath), Paris gathered that Diomedes had been one of the Greeks who had managed to locate the expansive royal Trojan wine cellar.
He allowed himself a small mirthless laugh. But then-
"Tell me prince, where's your pretty little Spartan whore now?" Diomedes said, his words dripping with condescension. "I'm willing to bet Menelaus has run her through already, but if not, I truly envy whichever man gets her first."
"One more word and I'll cut your fucking tongue out."
Diomedes had the gall to laugh. "Oh, will you now? Wouldn't that be a pity, for I'm planning on using it to taste your wife's-"
Faster than he'd known was possible, Paris had drawn his sword and raised it above his head.
Diomedes had no chance, sober or otherwise.
With a primal yell, he brought his blade down and plunged it into the larger man's throat. Diomedes dropped to his knees, eyes open wide. As blood spurted from the wound, he slowly sank to the dirt and began to gasp, choking on his own bitter blood.
Paris kicked him in the gut.
"I warned you. Greek filth," he spat, and walked past him, relaxing his rigorous pace to let his fury subside.
He trudged on blindly, paying little heed to where his feet were taking him. After a few minutes of deep breathing his senses returned, and he stopped to assess his surroundings. He was fairly certain that to get to the exit passage he ought to turn left at that courtyard he had just passed...
He turned on his heel and was just beginning to inspect the clay street markers when something in the courtyard caught his eye. Paris idly glanced in that direction, and had just begun to resume his assessment when what he had seen registered in his brain.
He whipped his head back around and gaped, a single thought running through his mind-
It was Helen. Four men- Greeks by the look of them- surrounded her, the largest of whom had her up against a wall, laughing as she struggled to free herself. Her normally immaculate golden hair was in disarray, and the top half of her dress was torn nearly to shreds. Paris felt as though someone had punched him in the gut.
"STOP!" The shout ripped from his throat involuntarily; he gave no thought to the tactic he would take or the fact that he had just given away his position. He drew his sword, barely conscious of how skewed the situation was in their favor. "Don't touch her!"
All four men turned to face him, but they made no move to release her. Helen raised her head, and he could see that her makeup was smudged. "Paris?" Her eyes met his and filled with sheer horror. "This can't be- you should leave, I'm- I'm fine, really, just go, please-"
The man holding her against the wall shoved his hand against her mouth. "Mouthy bitch you got here Paris. You remember me? No? Didn't think so. Your bastard of a brother killed my brother, 'fore he got what was coming to him. We," he gestured to the other men, one of whom looked to be nocking an arrow, "recognized your little queen here, thought we'd teach her a bit of a lesson for spreading her legs for you and getting us all into this useless piece of shit war."
Paris tried to think quickly. "I wouldn't do that if I were you, I don't think Menelaus would be too pleased when he hears-"
"You think I care, boy? I doubt he'll be feeling too gracious towards her; if he finds her." He turned back to Helen. "Now, where were we..."
He had no choice, he had to act now. Mustering all his strength he rushed headlong at the first man, managing to knock him to the ground. He turned to face the next, raising his sword-
A stinging pain pierced his flank. He whipped his head around and saw that the third man had managed to draw his bow, and was preparing another arrow. Helen let out a piercing scream. "Stop! Leave him be! I'll do anything, anything-" The man holding suddenly her let her go, and shoved her to the side. "Y'know, I believe you. But today's your lucky day, I think I'll let you off easy, and let you watch." He moved toward Paris.
Paris shakily stepped forward to face him, realizing an instant too late that he had let the second man out of his sight. He felt a cold, heavy blunt object hit his head, and lights danced in front of his eyes. His attacker seized the moment to grab his arms, pinning them behind his back as he was forced to his knees. He winced as his wounded leg hit the ground.
Through the haze of pain, he could see Helen was frantically trying to grab the archer's bow, but she was quickly pulled off of him by the first man, who Paris clearly hadn't hit hard enough.
"I said you had to watch. Hold her. How's this for an end worthy of a prince, hm? Wait 'till we tell Agamemnon." The leader gestured nonchalantly to the archer. "Shoot him."
He did. This time Paris saw the arrow sink into his stomach. A gasp escaped his lips, despite his efforts to face death as Hector would have, with honor. He thought suddenly of Andromache, of Astynax- were they awaiting him still? By risking himself had he doomed them, failed his brother again-
Another arrow, this time nearer his ribs. Helen was openly weeping now, struggling in the grasp of the Greek holding her. "Paris look at me, look at me-" Another- or was it two?- a pain in his neck- his thigh? His vision swam, he was losing count.
"You m-" he found it hard to speak, his mouth was wet, filled with something warm- blood, it must be, I've seen this happen- "Let her...you must promise to let her-"
"Is that all you can say? This bastard must have it bad. Don't you worry, we'll let her go, Whore or no, I'm not about to celebrate victory by killing the woman who's kept us here for ten years. We'll let her husband deal with her."
"You're my husband Paris, you're the only one I chose; I love you, please-" At this, Paris managed to raise his head- though it was so heavy, heavy- and look into the eyes of the woman he stole, married, fought for, loved, once more. He smiled, though he could not feel his face make the motion.
"I love you t-"
He was still smiling as the last arrow took him.
Author's note: ...so when I said "some plot points may change", what I meant was "I'm killing Paris and I'm sorry."
My edit of Chapter 2 should be up pretty soon, followed by the rest of it. No deadlines right now, but I'll get it done.
(also, I wasn't sure whether to make this T or M? I'll leave it T for now- if you think it should be M just comment and I can change it! Later it will probably change to M regardless)