Sons of Sparta - A Story of the Spartans, Book 3

(inspired by the story 'Spartan' parts 1 through 4)

by argouru

Note: All credit for the creation of the Spartans and Amazons, as well as the Spartan mythos belongs to the author 'CF', to whom I owe special thanks for his allowing me to write about these incredible people.


Steven stood there in his best clothes, hesitating with his hand raised. "Knock softer," Sam told his son with a smile. "I they almost heard that one."

"Stop it," Daniel said with amused annoyance. "Leave the poor boy alone."

"Dad Sam, don't you dare embarrass me in front of my partner and his family!"

"Why didn't you just invite him over to meet us at our home first?" Sam asked. "That way I could just embarrass you in front of him."

"Dad Sam, if you don't knock it off and behave, I swear I'll lay you out and lock you in the trunk of the car!"

"And I'll help him!" Daniel added in a tone of mild warning.

"Oh alright... Killjoys," Sam muttered. "I'm kidding, Steven. I promise I'll behave. Thanks for inviting us to this."

Steven looked to his dads, both dressed nicely and smiled. "Thanks for coming. I love Giorgos, but his family seems to be very close-minded. I didn't want to face them alone."

"We're glad to be here, Son," Daniel said with a soft smile.

Steven knocked. The door opened to Giorgos, who smiled at them. Behind him were his mother and father, who looked nervous and uncomfortable, but smiled in greeting as best they could.

Sam saw Giorgos' face brighten considerably when he looked at Steven and the fathers' last fears that the bond wasn't true faded away instantly. There was no mistaking to look of a partner-bonded man when he gazed at his beloved.

"Steven," Giorgos said warmly, hugging him eagerly.

"Giorgos," Steven said as he pulled back, "These are my dads Daniel and Sam."

"Hi," they each said in greeting.

"Hi," Giorgos said with a big smile. "These are my parents, My father Kosma and my mother Inna."

The human parents nodded coolly, their smiles fixed. They shook the Spartans' hands nervously before they were allowed to enter.

"Thanks for having us over," Daniel said to them with a smile.

Kosma shrugged. "Giorgos insisted."

The corner of Inna's mouth quirked awkwardly. "Να είστε ε...γενικοί Κοσμά... Φαίνονται αρκετά φ...σιολογικό..." ('Na eíste evgenikoí Kosmá... Faínontai arketá fysiologikó...' 'Be nice Kosma... They look normal enough...') she muttered in Greek.

"Είμαστε φ...σιολογικό..." ('Eímaste fysiologikó...' 'We are normal'...) Sam replied in the same language. "`πλά διαφορετικές." ('Aplá diaforetikés.' 'Just different.')

Inna suddenly looked mortified, staring at Sam in a mixture of horror and shame. "Μιλάτε Ελληνικά;?" ('Miláte Elliniká?' 'You speak Greek?') she asked in a weak tone of voice.

"άπταιστα." ('áptaista'. 'Fluently'.) Sam replied with a smile.

Daniel glanced back and forth between them, unable to follow the conversation. Sam saw this and took pity on his partner. "Maybe we should stick with English."

"Sorry," Daniel apologized. "I don't have a head for languages. I try, but Greek seems pretty hard to learn... For me, at least."

"Mama," Giorgos said with exasperation. "Don't be rude."

"Sorry," the woman replied nervously.

"Please, enter," Kosma said, gesturing for them all to enter and looking as though he was trying to be open-minded.

"Please excuse, but other children are already in bed," Inna added.

Sam couldn't help but to wonder if they had been sent to their rooms early so as not to come into contact with their Spartan guests. He should've felt angrier than he did, but could only sigh with regret as to the close-minded attitudes of their hosts. "That's alright," he replied, noting the slight frown on Daniel's face as well as Steven's slightly pained expression. It helped to see that Giorgos also looked put out by this.

They were ushered directly to the dinner table, where Sam was surprised to see the food being offered was, of all things, homemade do-it-yourself tacos. "Oh... Mexican food tonight?"

Inna paused, looking at him sharply. "Yes. Why?"

"Oh..." Sam answered, looking embarrassed. "I just thought that since you're from Greece and have a Greek bistro, you'd make something from your homeland, is all."

Inna glared at him with resentment. "You want Greek food?" she said levelly in a bitter tone. "Go to bistro! We cook Greek every day for eight hours! We sick to death of native food! We eat differently here. No Greek food except on holidays! ...So tonight we make tacos," she finished with a shrug, sounding more tired than anything else.

Sam realized his blunder and was immediately ashamed of himself. "I-I'm sorry. Really. I guess you -would- be sick of eating the same things all the time. Taking your work home with you must be pretty boring. I am sorry," he said.

Before he could say any more, Daniel shoved a corn chip covered with salsa in his mouth. "Less talk, more eating," he said as he did so. He smiled kindly to their hostess. "Sorry. I tried to culture him but it just won't take."

The corner of Inna's mouth quirked with a flash of amusement and the tightness of her jaw lessened considerably. She also saw just how embarrassed Sam was and felt her irritation fade away. She shrugged. "Is okay."

They sat down to eat. "So," Kosma said, looking at Steven. "You are in school?"

The teen swallowed and nodded. "Yeah, I'm studying to become an architect."

"Oh?" Kosma asked, showing interest.

"I always loved buildings and want to be able to design them. It's a good line of work that allows a fair amount of creativity. I'm really good at math, too, which is a huge help."

"He definitely didn't get that from me!" Sam said with a weak grin.

"No, but I did get a good sense of humor from you... Only I know how to use it right," he replied with a grin.

Kosma and Inna smiled in spite of themselves.

"Ungrateful little brat," Sam teased, making the humans chuckle at how well the Spartan family got along.

"And what of you?" Kosma asked Daniel with a smile. "Which parent are you?"

"I'm Steven's birth father... I'm the one who carried him to term. Sam is the siring father, which is what you would traditionally consider to be the father, from a human perspective."

"I... See," Kosma said slowly, looking somewhat uncomfortable for a moment before he recovered. "And what do you do?"

"I'm a realtor."

"Ah... A good respectable profession," the human father replied, nodding in satisfaction. He turned to Sam. "And you? What is your line of work?"

Sam hesitated, looking to his son and Giorgos, who shrugged. "I know already," the human man said. "They will learn eventually, so it might as well be now."

"Know what?" Inna asked nervously. "What do you do?" she asked Sam apprehensively.

"I'm a priest," the bearded Spartan replied slowly in a slightly timid tone. He wasn't ashamed of his profession, but knew that many people wouldn't understand.

At this, Kosma and Inna brightened, looking very happy. "Ah!" Kosma replied eagerly. "Uh, which church do you belong to?"

"Temple," Sam corrected gently.

"What?" Kosma asked in confusion, his smile faltering.

"I'm an Apolline priest. I'm head priest of the local temple of Apollo."

The human parents went dead silent for well over a minute. Finally, Kosma found his voice. "That place made to look like an ancient Greek temple? You work there?"

"Yes," Sam replied firmly. "I'm head of clergy as well as the man who founded the temple."

"Why?" Inna asked with an expression of distaste. "Why believe such a thing?"

"Because Apollo answered my prayers. He's the only god who's ever done so."

"But surely if you prayed to-" Inna began to protest.

"No," Sam interrupted. "I prayed that way for eighteen years. All I asked for was that someone would love me enough to adopt me, but no one ever did. I spent eighteen years alone in an orphanage. After that, I didn't believe in anything but myself for twelve long years."

"Why did you choose to worship Apollo?" Kosma asked, shocked and saddened by the deeply buried pain in Sam's eyes..

Sam took a deep breath and told them of how after their first son Henry had been born, Sam had come down with an untreatable brain tumor and was given only a few months left to live. However, he had been afraid of what would happen to his partner and their son Henry, so had swallowed his pride and prayed to Apollo that they would be okay with him gone. Apollo had then done what no deity had ever done... He had spoken to Sam and answered his prayers after calling for sacrifice. Sam had felt that offering his life to Apollo was a more dignified end then the alternative, so had willingly killed himself for the sake of his family. Apollo had then answered his prayer by bringing him back to life and transforming him into a Spartan, the tumor being cured in the process, and Sam had lived happily ever since. After that, he had accepted Apollo as his god and devoted his life to worshipping the deity who had also adopted him in the process of answering his prayer.

The Greeks sat there numbly, absorbing that slowly. Even Giorgos was stunned as Steven hadn't told him about how Sam had become a worshipper and priest of Apollo.

Finally, Inna recovered and spoke timidly. "And how is it that you worship?"

Sam went into a long and detailed explanation of the methods of Apolline worship that could be described to the public. The humans were uncomfortable more and more the longer they listened.

"Naked?" Kosma asked weakly when Sam described how followers of Apollo worshipped nude. "Why?"

"For the symbolism. People wear clothing to hide who and what they truly are. Clothing is a barrier that keeps the truth locked away. By shedding our clothes as we approach our god, we are showing that we have nothing to hide both from Him and from ourselves. We show ourselves as we truly are and hide nothing, trusting both in ourselves and in Lord Apollo. Sex has nothing to do with it and orgies are forbidden in worship. While we acknowledge that sex is a valid and proper part of life, that's not why we worship our god."

"Then why worship?" Kosma asked.

"Apollo is a god of strength, wisdom, honesty, protection, and happiness. He watches over His worshippers and aids them in their lives as much as He can, so long as they wish it. He won't do everything, but He does love, treasure and support those who believe in Him. He is a benevolent god and one well worthy of our worship."

Inna looked bothered and spoke with apprehension. "And you would make our Giorgos worship Apollo as well?"

"No... No. Apollo accepts only those who worship Him by choice. He -never- forces Himself onto those who do not wish to worship Him. We're a non-proselytizing faith. We take only those who come to Apollo by their own choice, He even accepts being worshipped by those who also worship other gods and/or goddesses. One of our most regular parishioners is Wiccan and worships both Apollo and Athena. Whatever Giorgos chooses to believe in, we will accept as his personal choice and respect his wishes."

With that, the human parents relaxed. Daniel then explained how Spartan Emergence, gestation and childbirth occurred. Kosma and Inna were shocked at first, then saddened by what they were told.

"So," Inna said sadly. "Steven cannot raise girls? Only boys?"

Daniel nodded. "The children of Spartans are always Spartan as well. We can't have Amazon or human children of any gender. The boys will have genetic traits of both fathers, but will be Spartan only."

"Giorgos," Inna asked softly. "Is this truly what you want?"

They saw their son look deeply into Steven's eyes with an intense and powerful love, which the Spartan shared. As Kosma and Inna saw this, they realized that they could no longer doubt the love their son shared with Steven.

"Yes, Mama," Giorgos said softly. "I love Steven very much and would love to help him have sons of our own. I will give you grandsons. As for human grandsons and granddaughters, you have my siblings for that. I love you both. Please try to understand."

The human parents looked to each other with heavy hearts and nodded silently to each other before turning back to their son. "We will try to understand," Kosma said thickly. "As long as another generation of Xarhakos will come to be, then so be it."

"Actually," Steven countered gently, "the boys' last name would be Stevenson." The humans stared with stunned expressions, so he elaborated. "Spartan children always take the first name of their birth father with the suffix 'son' at the end, so my sons will bare my name as their last." He saw their faces fall with great sadness and felt guilty until a thought occurred to him. "However..." he said slowly, looking to his dads. "It's not carved in stone that Spartans can only have one last name, right?"

"Not really," Sam said. "It's not tradition, but I have a middle name, so anything's possible."

"Then it's settled. My sons will bear the last name of Xarhakos-Stevenson."

Kosma and Inna smiled tearfully at that. "You would do this?" Kosma asked, his voice thick with emotion.

"Yeah," Steven said.

Kosma and Inna rose, came around the table and hugged Steven in gratitude, then Sam and Daniel, welcoming the Spartans into their family as their last objections to the bond faded away...