The Differences of Siblings
ATTENTION: THIS IS NOT AN ACHILLES/BRISEIS STORY! THIS IS AN ACHILLES/OC STORY!
Disclaimer: I do not own Troy or The Iliad, though I sincerely wish I did.
The sun rose over the Aegean, making the water sparkle and scintillate in all its glory. A ship landed that day in Troy, and with it the spirits of the people rose immensely. There was a great celebration and gathering of the people around the main street which led from the gate up to the palace. The princes were back. The crowd cheered for their return as the parade of travellers returned to the palace.
The court gathered to near the steps of the palace, for they were glad that their princes were back. In the palace entrance, one man waited: King Priam, their father.
As the elder of the two princes approached his father with open arms, the King walked down the steps to meet him and embrace him warmly, saying, "My son."
Prince Hector returned warmly, "Father."
They broke away soon, and Hector stepped back, allowing his younger brother forward. "Paris," Priam said warmly with a smile, extending his arms out for his son.
Young Prince Paris stepped forward. His father held his head in his hands and kissed his son's temples in greeting. "Father," he said, backing away to the side, "This is Helen." He brought forward a beautiful woman with golden hair. She wore a simply white dress and was bedecked in golden jewellery.
"Helen? Helen of Sparta?" Priam asked, gazing at her carefully.
"Helen of Troy," Paris said.
Slowly, Priam turned his gaze from his son to Helen. Welcomingly, he said, "I've heard rumours of your beauty." He leaned in to kiss her temples as well and said kindly, "For once, gossips were right. Welcome."
Quite suddenly, the aging king turned and led the way into the palace, saying as he did, "Come."
The group walked into the antechamber of the palace only to be greeted by the closer members of court and, more importantly, the rest of the royal family.
Hector quickly spotted his wife Andromache and walked off to the side to embrace her and kiss her. She took their baby from the arms of a maid to show him their son Astyanax.
Hector took his son into his arms and said as he gazed fondly at him, "He's grown."
Almost the second he did, a call came from a different entrance to the room. "Hector!" Said prince looked up at his wife and said jokingly, "She would be the one to arrive right when I'm holding Astyanax."
Andromache took the baby from his arms and said while shaking her head and smiling, "Go to your cousin. She'll come to you if you do not."
"Astra!" he called, striding over to embrace her warmly.
They heard Astra's younger sister call out behind her, "Paris!"
"Briseis!" the younger brother responded warmly, walking over to kiss her temples. "Beloved Cousin, your beauty grows with each new moon."
The two pairs broke and switched, allowing Briseis and Hector to greet each other and Astra and Paris to embrace. Again, the pairs broke away, allowing Priam to join them. As they did, Hector observed, "A servant of Apollo now."
"The young men of Troy were devastated when Briseis chose the virgin robes," Priam said.
"Especially after Astra chose to serve Artemis," Paris added with a smile.
"Yes, well, let's just say I don't particularly like them," Astra responded with a smile.
Days passed, and Astra noticed the atmosphere of the people change as news spread of her cousin's folly. They knew who and what was coming, and they knew what it meant for them: war. The people were preparing for war.
On one of these days, Andromache hurried to Astra's room, trying to meet her before she made her customary visit to Apollo's temple. She was only just in time. Astra was walking out of her room when Andromache arrived.
"Andromache? To what do I owe this particularly early visit?" she asked.
"Please don't go to the temple this morning. I have a terrible feeling about you leaving the city today," Andromache pleaded earnestly.
Astra frowned in thought. After a bit, she assured the other woman, "I will be fine. I have done this for years."
"Please, Astra. I don't want to lose you. You've been such a good friend," Andromache pleaded, though even she was unsure why she felt so strongly about her not going.
"I shall be fine. I promise," Astra said with a smile. This reassured the other woman, though only slightly.
Andromache nodded and said, "Please be careful."
"I will. Now back to your husband. You know my cousin will be missing you."
Andromache nodded and began to walk away. However, she paused and turned to say, "Take care, my friend."
"Do not worry yourself," Astra assured her before leaving.
Later that same morning, a great bell was sounded in Troy. Prince Hector walked to the window to gaze in dread at the giant bell's movement on the horizon. They were here.
His wife walked to his side. She said in horror, "Briseis and Astra are at the temple."