AN: Hey all, my first story and it's a long one ... well I am known for reaching too far too fast but don't worry this story is done. I've already typed it up and will be updating at regular intervals, so no stress people. I'm a bit nervous ... I'm kind of in love with this story and my characters in it and I really hope you guys love 'em too. God maybe I'm more then a bit nervous but it'll probably pass once I get a few reviews - HINT HINT - lol.
Dusty Plains Of Troy
He stood on the dusty plains of Troy, the harsh midday sun beat down on him, and sweat trickled down his back in a steady stream. Everywhere he turned bronze, silver and the occasional flashy gold of men's armour glinted, making him squint.
He could hear Odysseus prepping his Cephallenians, Ajax's voice boomed louder then anyone, warning his men exactly what would happen they disgraced him. Heavy booms made it pretty clear what fate would befall them.
Achilles rolled his neck and grimaced as sweat squelched underneath the leather, beside him Eudorus once again cursed the Trojans. They were used to the heat, Greece wasn't as hot as this but they had fought in scorching places similar to this abroad, but that didn't mean they had to like it, and after such a lengthy break from war the men were understandably rusty and civilised.
"Look!" called out a Cretan, his dull bronze breast plate barely gleamed in the sun and the only pattern on it were some thin squiggles and a badly done bull in the centre, one of its horns higher then the other, its left eye drooping pathetically. Achilles turned with all the others to see what the fuss was about. They were too far away to make things out clearly but at the top of the gate, in an exclusive section for the Royal family and their friends, he saw an old man, a little stooped, with blazing white hair and glittering chunks of gold that played havoc on his eyes. Next to him stood a lady, her hair an iron grey, her clothes a rich cream, the gold draping her neck, arms, ears, waist and head, brighter, bigger and encrusted with gems he could spot from all the way here.
He imagined Agamemnon salivating.
Next to the old couple stood a dark haired man. The Prince? Was this Troy's Hector? He turned to Eudorus to ask but was distracted by the opening of the gates, it was said the God Poseidon himself had built them and no army had ever breached it. The Trojans flooded out, a sea of swarthy looking men, shorter then the Achaeans but wide and sturdy looking. Dark haired and bronze skinned, their heavily decorated armour was as thick and as heavy as it looked and they moved with an order that the majority of the Achaeans lacked. A group of men on fine horses ambled out after the soldiers, he took one look at them and dismissed them, most of them were old and potbellied, none of them looked like Troy's favourite son. No, his enemy was not one of them. He looked past them, looked through the gate and into Troy and there he spotted the man. Now this was Hector, he knew this was Hector, could tell by the way he stood, a warrior's grace and by the-
All the thoughts of where he was, what he was here to do and who he was vanished. The firm grip he had on his sword weakened and it almost slipped out of his grasp, he pushed past whoever was in front of him to get a better view. The Prince was embracing someone, a short someone in a white peplos with careful cobalt designs on the arms and around the bottom of the skirt.
She was chattering away to him with a large toothy smile on her thin face. She was young, he could tell she was young from all the way here by the reckless way she smiled and bounced on the tips of her toes. And she was devastatingly adorable. Dark black hair, some tight, some merely wavy, spilled over her shoulders in a mess of curls, framing her tanned face. She wasn't tall, extremely short actually, the Prince, not exactly a tall man himself, had to bend far to embrace her. And she was flat all over. The chiton didn't tent where breasts should be, didn't curve round a delicate rear, nor did it veil hips just perfect for child bearing. No bard would liken her to Aphrodite, or Artemis, yet he was drawn to her all the same and it was because of that smile. The radiance of it attracted him like crows to a carcass. That smile amidst looming war, those big eyes in a small face that beamed as well and that impatient way she brushed away a stray curl making it stick up in an awkward manner.
Hector patted it back down.
"Who is that?" he murmured without taking his eyes of the pair. God he hoped it wasn't the man's wife.
"Helen, Sire," replied Eudorus with awe.
"Helen?" startled he turned to Eudorus. "Isn't Helen blonde?" Eudorus nodded without looking at him, feeling confused Achilles fallowed the man's entranced gaze back to the gate and saw to his surprise another couple standing mere feet away from the one he had been transfixed on.
A pretty, young man with clear, barely sun kissed skin that only ever belonged to spoilt Princes stood with his arm around the blonde haired beauty he had heard so much about. Straight hair the colour of golden wheat, that from even here looked as soft as Egyptian silk, cascaded down her waist like a waterfall. And her curves -from her bountiful breasts to her entrancing hips filled her richly decorated white and gold chiton in a way that was making the men uncomfortable. Her skin was rosy and fair, and unblemished by the sun, slaves stood around her in bevies holding sunshades and peacock feather fans.
This was Aphrodite in human form, bards would churn out songs about her and men would fight over her with their dying breaths, her beauty wouldn't fade, not even after the years caught up with her and when she died women would still be compared with her and found lacking. Yet though her beauty stirred him and though he acknowledged her as being the most beautiful being he had ever seen, his eyes drank her in and then shifted back to the little crow who was now laughing hard at something Prince Hector had said. Maybe it was the melancholy tilt of Helen's face, the wistful smile, or the deadened look in those sky blue eyes, good weather blue that is. Achilles had never seen a woman like her, and it was unlikely that he would ever see another, but he had seen that hopeless war trodden look on thousands before.
On children who had lost parents and stood orphaned and alone on street corners begging for scraps and offering their bodiesin return. On wives who smeared dirt on their faces and clawed at their own flesh when their husbands never came home. On fathers with urns in their hands who talked of nothing except the end of their line and who would bury them now when they died. On young men- barely boys- who flinched at the slightest sound and dreamed of blood soaked grounds and maggots feasting on dead brothers, and cousins, and friends, and woke up to scarred skin and missing limbs and vomit choking up their throats.
She looked like every one of them, and he didn't care for that look.
"No, her. The one with the Prince."
Eudorus spared Hector and his companion a quick glance and then shrugged apologetically, "I'm sorry my lord." Achilles' anger shot upwards.
"The girl, Achilles? With Hector?" asked Odysseus as he pushed his way to the front to get a good look at Helen. His smile lined face with its shifty looking eyes tugged downwards into a curious frown. "Why?"
"Just answer me," he gritted out. His anger kicked almost to its peak when the girl embraced the Prince and he lifted her into his arms so that her head rested on his shoulder.
He found himself instinctively taking a step forward.
Odysseus didn't look all that taken aback by his tone, everyone was used to his moods by now but his clever eyes were taking everything in, shifting from Achilles back to the couple at the gates. "I think that is his sister, though I can't be sure. It's not the wife, I saw Andromache once, before she married … although maybe Hector too has many wives, like his father? Menelaus should be able to tell you more." Achilles spared him a questioning glance. "Many of the Princes' came down to Sparta during the Peace Treaty and Menelaus came here a few times as well."
The idea of searching for Menelaus seemed not only excruciatingly tempting but highly logical, even if they were lined up for battle, his men needed him and the Greeks were expecting him to win the war for them.
"Why?" Odysseus asked breaking him out of his rambling thoughts.
"I want her."
AN: I am a Classics and Archeo student so the details may be a bit much - okay a lot much - but I don't do it on purpose! And trust me this is the watered down version, my first draft was uh ... hmmm we'll leave it at that. But you cannot believe how much I stressed over the tiniest things, like over the dress descriptions, especially since I found out that they mostly tend to wear white ... well that wasn't fun fiction wise so I had to ignore that point ... but it nearly killed me. It did. No seriously.
Oh another important point is that I've tried to sort of blend it in, you will see a bit of the movie in it but there is also a lot of the Iliad in it, and the characters sway more towards Homer than Petersen.
This is just something that I want to know, hoping you might answer it. What do you think of Helen's description, beautiful enough? I know she's not todays idea of sheer beauty, she will be a little more curvy and umm bountiful, but the Greeks idealised women like her back then. I got it mostly from ancient Greek statues, especially the one of Aphrodite of Cnidus and Venus de'Medici.
Also, can you understand the military talk? Or is that still a little confusing. Just tell me guys, in the end it's you lot who have to put up with my crappy work.