Atlanta and Theresa aren't like the other girls they know. Femmeslash. Mythology references now more clearly presented and explained in greater detail. Please read the notes before you review.
A fairly long and detailed set of footnotes on the classical and mythological references can be found at the end of the story, as is usual in my 'Class of the Titans' fanfiction. I've used a new and hopefully much cleaner format this time. Some lines are also borrowed directly (or somewhat) from the show, and you'll recognize them when you see them.
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.
The Most Devoted of Friends
Atlanta isn't like the other girls Theresa knows.
Other girls wear blouses buttoned one three five to the hollow of the neck and tucked into wool skirts bound at the hip, bony knees peeking through the dark pleats like a child in her first school play. Atlanta's wind-whipped shorts would please the headmistress' ruler at Theresa's last private school, but the old matron would snap it into splinters if she saw the other regulations (rule fifty-six: one pair of earrings, rule ninety-seven: hair must be of its natural respectable colour) the girl's fashion smashed all at once like the tray of teacups she once shattered by accident. Other girls smell like artificial lilacs and chemical roses, but Theresa can taste the scent of western winds and evergreen forests when she's with Atlanta.
Other girls are like the one who sat beside her in arithmetic and had such soft hands that she mistook red ink for blood when she scratched her phone number into her palm, but Atlanta's remind her of the maps she used to look at with her father (used to have fun with each other) when he told her of his cattle ranches in countries with names she couldn't pronounce -- the knuckles are mountains and valleys dotted with calluses for hills, and the scars that twist around them (/this one's from a fox I tracked when I was six/) like roads to nowhere. Other girls use their finely-manicured hands to flick the slick glossy pages of bridal magazines, but Atlanta uses hers, dirt-under-the-nails and all, to string her bow and claw the rough bark of the trees she climbs. Her hands are strong, and she doesn't let go easily.
Theresa likes Jay enough, but he's too much like her father sometimes. /All work and no play makes Jay a dull boy/, and even Hector laughed when he brought the war home to Andromache and Astyanax.
Theresa isn't like the other girls Atlanta knows.
Other girls prowl in packs as they prepare to pounce on their next football-brained prey, their hunting and mating calls the same glass-cutting shrieks no animals she's ever hunted had. Theresa doesn't hunt (she's already caught her catch) and prefers walking alone with Atlanta, and when she laughs, she tosses her hair back in thick waves of fire and her voice rings like windchimes and light. Other girls go to the mall to giggle over Tiffany's bracelets, but Theresa would rather browse the gods' weapons store during lunch for a new pair of nunchucks (/these are cute/) to practice with.
Other girls squeeze their salon-tanned legs into designer shorts (made in China, 100% polyester) and grease themselves with a sticky film of sour-sweet body spritz (melonberry-kiwi, 50mL for just $4.95) for gym class. Theresa may wear frilly pink nightgowns like a little girl and have a trust fund swollen enough to buy the franchises other girls worship like modern gods (irony), but she'll throw on any old pair of sweatpants, drawstrings long since sacrificed to the washing machine, to spar with Archie (/haven't you noticed he fights harder when he thinks you're looking, Atlanta?/, but she's not sure).
Like Atlanta, Theresa doesn't mind if the heat of sweat clings to her skin like a musky perfume -- there's always the showers in the girls' changeroom they can use afterwards where they can gossip without the boys overhearing. Woe fell upon Actaeon when he gazed upon Artemis of the golden arrows and her nymphs as they bathed in their sacred spring, where no man could enter without suffering a goddess' wrath.
All of the gods have their favourites -- Hera had Jason, and Aphrodite had her Adonis when she won him back from Persephone. Far-shooting Artemis, with whom swift-footed Atalanta was so often mistaken for, chose Hippolytus, a son of Theseus, as hers those many years ago, until he was claimed by Poseidon's curse. It's a story Jay has told before on missions and which Archie had reluctantly explained after being caught reading Euripides in the backmost corner of the library.
What the boys don't understand is why the two girls look at each other and laugh every time they hear it.
Additional Author's Notes: As per usual, here are notes on the various mythology references I usually like to throw into my stories, now with a clearer format (sort of borrowed from my anthology of Aristophanes' comedies) for ease of reading.
1. The Most Devoted of Friends -- While not entirely mythological and as mentioned before, the title is from a surviving fragment of a poem by Sappho, the Greek lyric poet associated with the island of Lesbos.
2. Even Hector laughed when he brought the war home to Andromache and Astyanax -- A reference to Book 6 of the 'Iliad', where Hector and Andromache's infant son, Astyanax, begins to cry when his father reaches for him, and the parents laugh. We discussed the nature of the laugh in one of my classical studies courses and while I won't go into deal, our professor claimed it was not amusement at the baby's fright (the ancient Greeks thought babies -- 'nepios' -- were idiots, and it was even used as such an insult), but socially corrective laughter directed at how Hector 'brought the workplace home' so to speak. Read that part of the 'Iliad' for yourself and see if you agree.
3. Woe fell upon Actaeon [...] -- A reference to the myth where Actaeon, while out hunting, accidentally saw Artemis naked while she bathed. She turned him into a stag as a punishment for violating her modesty, and his hunting dogs ate him. The golden arrows are a reference to one of Artemis' Homeric epithets.
4. All of the gods have their favourites -- Hera was Jason's divine patron in mythology, and Aphrodite did fight with Persephone over the possession of Adonis. Persephone's mostly thrown-in so that Theresa, like Atlanta, also has both her ancestor and mentor referenced. Atalanta was certainly very much like Artemis, but it's also a (hopefully) sly reference to the Artemis/Atalanta mix-up on the show for Atlanta's ancestry (I go with Atalanta, which is what the director says was intended). 'Far-shooting' is a Homeric epithet for both Artemis and Apollo, and 'swift-footed' is an epithet used to describe both Atalanta and Achilles.
5. Hippolytus, a son of Theseus -- Theseus had Hippolytus with Hippolyta. Long-story-short, Hippolytus worshipped Artemis for her chastity and scorned Aphrodite and all she represented, which annoyed her enough to set-up his death in a series of unfortunate misunderstandings. In the end, Theseus uses one of his curses from his father (ie. Poseidon) to kill Hippolytus. In revenge for his death, Artemis promises him that she will kill one of Aphrodite's favourites (ie. Adonis).
6. Caught reading Euripides -- The plot of the Hippolytus story mentioned in Footnote 5 can be read in Euripides' tragic play, titled 'Hippolytus'. Euripides was one of the three major ancient Greek tragedians, along with Aeschylus and Sophocles.