In which herein lie fifty snippets from Archie's life, at least up until the first year at Olympus High School. All major characters are featured, as well as considerable ArchiexAtlanta.
My characterization of Archie's mother is clearly based on Thetis to some degree, and a number of ideas in the sentences are ones I plan on expanding on in future stories. This was mostly a writing excercise for me to actually think about the character and his background a bit more before launching into writing a full-fledged multi-chapter story, which I'm currently in the planning stages of.
There are interactions with at each of the other heroes, and yes, there are quite a few Archie/Atlanta moments, I suppose. I really didn't get creative with the shipping here. This took about six hours to write-out, I think?
Disclaimer: 'Class of the Titans' and all related characters are property of Studio B Productions, Nelvana, and Teletoon. The story itself belongs to the author. It is also a work of fanfiction, and no profit is generated from it.
Fifty Snapshots of a Descendant of Achilles
Archie hated doing almost anything remotely competitive with Neil, even if he was on his team -- it was so unfair that real talent, actual skills, and years of practice could lose out that often to sheer dumb luck.
When he was seven, he found it difficult to walk on his right heel for the first time, and his mother had taken him to the doctor for an x-ray to see if there was anything wrong with the bones in his ankle.
He liked Atlanta very much in the same way Achilles probably liked Patroclus, but even so, he wasn't quite sure about the part where they'd have to mix their ashes together after death.
Jay was to blame, really -- it was his fault for suggesting that all girls liked flowers, and it was his fault for not warning him that dandelions and purple loosestrife probably weren't the best cheap alternative for a girl volunteering with the Green Alliance.
Archie scoffs at Jay and Herry and calls them dorks for wearing salad bowls as helmets when playing war as boys, but he'd never admit that he did the exact same thing with one of his mother's hat boxes.
The others boys at elementary school made fun of him for wearing a leg brace and liked to pick him last for basketball, at least until he could jump higher than any of them ever could, even with years of practice.
For most children, memories of summer vacations at the beach meant sandcastles swallowed by the tide and collecting seashells under the hot summer sun, not being abducted by a crazy sea nymph claiming to be your many-times great-grandmother and thinking you look best in a dress.
Mom's always said you'll be greater than your father ever was, and from what she's said about him, it doesn't sound like too difficult a task.
Archie's so used to his saliva having a slight coppery tang to it that it feels just a little odd when it doesn't.
'Theresa, you may think kaleidoscopes are nice to look at, but only Herry could be amused by a baby's toy like that for so long.'
Most of his wardrobe was of some shade of blue, his hair was already naturally red, and yellow was a sissy colour, so by process of elimination, the only dye he could really use was purple, which was at least not pink.
In one of those 'chick flicks' he wouldn't be caught dead at, a scene where the main couple gets trapped and must wait to be rescued would an ideal moment for the two to engage in all sorts of romantic hijinks -- in Archie's case, Atlanta was much more content with making a futile attempt at finding a way out than sitting and bonding while waiting for help.
Archie was sure that having a bloodline traced back to swift-footed Achilles would mean he'd have the upper-hand in a duel against the descendant of Hector, not the other way around.
He'd said he'd give Neil a scar if he wanted one to show-off so badly, but it'd just been one of his usual thoughtless outbursts -- besides, it wasn't his fault that Neil startled easily and accidentally nicked himself with the triple-blade shaving razor while mowing those girly legs of his.
Achilles may have been the most beautiful and stunning Argive at Troy with his fair hair and broad shoulders, but there was hardly anything about Archie's pale pointy face, violently violet near-mullet, and a nose too overgrown to excuse as 'nobly Roman' that gave the impression of being classically heroic in appearance.
Whenever someone asked him about why he never unzipped his favourite blue sweater, he always muttered something about just liking it that way and leaving it at that, though the truth was that he'd never been able to get the zipper unstuck and he damn well wasn't going to ask anyone for help with something like that.
Between riding a griffin several thousand miles in the air without a safety harness, huddling in a submersible a few hundred kilometres beneath the sea, and being strapped to the backseat of a prototype jet piloted by a teenager without a G2 driver's license yet, Archie was quite sure that the method of transportation he was most comfortable with was walking with both feet cemented to the ground.
Archie doesn't consider himself to be even remotely Greek despite being a descendant of the greatest warrior in Greek mythology, and his spring holiday in Thessaly makes him feel more like yet another tacky foreigner tourist than a hero coming home again.
Archie opened one of the windows in his bedroom and yawned as a griffin flew past the building across the street.
'I'm a natural, I don't have to try to be the best (unlike some people).'
Atlanta liked to tease him about having a little black cloud following him around as a constant companion, and he was definitely not amused when Jay thought it would be funny to nickname it Patroclus.
If he couldn't ask Atlanta out on a date in-person, he figured the next best thing would be to give her a call on her PMR, though there was that nasty little problem of his finger somehow always hitting the cancel button before he could say anything.
Even with his lack of aesthetics, Archie could tell that the pendant that had mysteriously appeared on his desk overnight was of an intricate design, but whoever bought it for him should have known that real men don't wear necklaces.
Thanks to Neil, the only orange juice anyone could find at the brownstone was the freshly-squeezed sort with the little bits of pulp that would get stuck between your teeth, and while no one else seemed to mind, it drove Archie -- probably the only person to ever like their juice from concentrate -- crazy.
If you'd told him at the time that the timber wolf he had tickled and been bitten by was really Lycaon reincarnated, he wouldn't have believed you.
He's never been sick in his life and he never will be, and he can't help but feel every so slightly smug when a big strong guy like Herry can be brought down so easily by a common cold and a case of the sniffles.
Archie thought all girls would have soft hands like his mother's, and Atlanta surprises him when he discovers she probably has more callouses on her fingers than he does.
Only a descendant of Achilles who was otherwise immune to diseases and nearly invincible could be put out of commission temporarily by stubbing his heel against a coffee table.
Arachne's spider silk clings like a film of dried craft glue between his fingers, but his stomach feels airy and weightless when his hands stick for a moment too long to Atlanta's as she helps him off the ground.
'But Arch', you'll never have hair as wonderfully smooth, silky, and shiny as mine -- but who does? -- if you keep dyeing it that disgusting purple, unless you use this all-natural herbal shampoo imported from Milan and endorsed by yours truly,' Neil says with a smile as he shoves a bottle into your hand, which you toss into the first trashcan you can find.
Archie always thought that Jay and Theresa were way too sappy with their cuddling, hand-holding, and dinner-with-a-movie followed by watching the sunset dates, and he's glad that Atlanta's the kind of girl who thinks combat-training and comparing battle scars were the best ways to bond during their times-off.
'I thought you said only losers and dweebs read poetry,' says a voice that sounds disastrously like Atlanta's as a hand that looks just like hers snatches the book from between your fingers while you wish you inherited Thetis' shape-shifting abilities.
As helpful as Hope had been in the battle against the plague from Pandora's Box, and as pleasant an abstract concept she was, the others couldn't help but find her the fault of the annoyingly hopeful high Archie had been in for at least a week after the fight at the reservoir.
'Jay, I don't think Cronus is a morning-person, and neither am I,' Archie whines, smothering himself with a pillow and wishing the other boy would sleep-in more often on the weekend.
Odie thought it would be an 'enlightening educational experience' for the two of them to visit the ruins of Troy together over the summer, but during the explorations, Archie couldn't help but feel vaguely creeped-out by the possibility that he was trampling over his ancestor's ashes every second step.
Archie's daydreamed about what his first real kiss with a conscious Atlanta would be like -- it's usually on the mouth, but he sometimes thinks the cheek may be a bit more appropriate -- but when it finally comes, the last he expected was to get a mouthful of hair as she turned around to see who'd stumbled on them.
Archie never took detailed notes in class like Odie would, nor did he colour-code them as Theresa did, because, of course, he was perfect enough to do well on tests without being a complete dork about it (or so he thought).
In most cases, the average person would go to the Underworld only once at the end of their lifetime for an extended visit, not once to retrieve Orpheus' lyre, another to pluck Persephone's sacred flower, and Zeus knew how many more times before the inevitable long-term stay at the Elysian Fields.
It's supposed to be for his own good, but Archie's pretty damn sure that having Herry hold him upside-down by the ankles over the edge of the dock isn't going to get him over his fear of water anytime soon.
The door to Archie's bedroom at the brownstone was decorated with a single 'KEEP OUT' sign written in giant blood-red letters, but it never seemed to stop Herry from cheerfully barging in to ask if he could borrow an extra pencil.
Jay would never hear of it even though he has the strongest background in Greek mythology and the nature of the gods, but Archie sometimes asks Atlanta and maybe Neil if they're necessarily on the right side (if there is one), what with the gods being as fickle and jealous as they are.
Archie's mother never seemed to have grown out of the separation anxiety stage of childhood, and he sometimes wondered how she hadn't tracked him down to New Olympia and dragged him back home for his own safety yet.
The great thing about tracking giant homicidal monsters from Greek mythology was that they always left an easy trail to follow, often involving uprooted trees, footprints large enough to use as wading pools, and the occasional screaming masses of panicking citizens.
'You can't really expect me to believe you're the real Ares,' Archie says, still cross about being abducted without a proper explanation, 'unless you're going to tell me that part of the iIliad/i with you covering seven acres was just a joke.'
Judging by how long dinner took, Poseidon must have argued and bantered with Archie for at least an hour before coming to his senses and just carrying him back to his underwater palace.
For someone who found destroying a deadly plague, outrunning a forty-feet tall robot, and sparring with giants easy, telling a girl that he liked her in that way was surprisingly difficult.
Archie hated neckties, but he would rather strangle himself with one of those than wear a sundress and have 'Achilles at Skyros' jokes made at his expense again.
He hated it when Theresa's sixth sense was right, which it always was -- one, it was always something bad, and two, he'd outgrown believing in superstitions ages ago, and he didn't like to think he may have been wrong to do so.
Only in New Olympia could you be taught by the exact same teacher your many-times great-grandfather had a few thousand years ago, and have that teacher be half-man and half-horse.
'We go back in time to the war against the Titans, defeat Cronus like the prophecy said we would, and save the world, yet we're stuck out here seeing if we have enough change to take a bus back to school?'
Additional Author's Notes: I don't think most of the mythology references need to be explained here -- we all know about Achilles and Patroclus here, I'm assuming, as well as Hector, Thetis holding onto Achilles by the ankles as she dipped him into the Styx, cross-dressing at Skyros, etc. -- though one I'll explain a few.
For 'Flower', while not a mythology reference, it's probably good to know that dandelions and purple loosetrife and considered to be invasive species, and therefore an environmental hazard. 'Father' is a reference to the prophecy Prometheus knew about that said that Thetis would give birth to a son who would be greater than his father. That explains why Zeus married her off to Peleus, thus preventing the potential overthrow of the Olympians if Zeus had slept with her. For 'Homeland', Peleus and Achilles were from a part of Thessaly, and in 'Bite', Lycaon was a rather wicked mortal who fed Zeus human flesh and thus got turn into a wolf as a punishment.
'Sides' is kind of referring to how each generation of the gods is obsessed with maintaining power -- Cronus' era was actually the best era of all, so it's always made me wonder that the gods on the show are really just trying to keep themselves in power more than anything. I don't like how 'Liar' came out, but if I'm remembering the 'Iliad' correctly, there's a part where Ares falls down and covers seven acres of land. For 'Education', Achilles was one of Chiron's students at Mount Pelion.
That is all for notes this time, I think.