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“Yes, foundation Will. Come on. He... wait, do I say he or she?”

Athena shrugged. “She. But it’s okay. They’re just words.”

“...she’s not using mine. Do you know how much it costs, even for a little tube like this? And she certainly can’t use Becca’s, so we need yours.”

“I have, uh, moisturiser...”

“Oh forget it. Athena, this had better be worth it to you.” Amber unzipped her makeup bag.

“Don’t worry,” Becca whispered to Will. “I thought she was talking about Asimov anyway.”

“I just don’t see why being a girl makes you want to buy into all this patriarchal crap. You can be a girl without playing into some corporate driven ideal of beauty.”

Athena smiled at the mirror. “I don’t need it. I’m just experimenting. Besides, no-one’s going to doubt you’re a girl however you dress, but they will with me.”

“Okay, that’s enough.” Amber made herding motions with her hands. “Out. This is exactly the reason I agreed to do this - Al... Athena’s one of the few people round here who this really matters to.”

“I know it’s hard for her,” Will whispered, sitting on Becca's bunk. “But it just seems so wrong that I’ve spent so long pushing back against this crap, and then the minute she tells us she’s embracing it with open arms.”

“Maybe it’s not about society, Will. Maybe it’s just about how she wants to look.”

“Everything’s about society...”

“Including your objection to makeup. It works both ways.”

“Ladies, ladies.” Amber’s voice echoed from the bathrooms. “I would like to introduce Athena.”

She was dressed in a blue sleeveless top Becca had lent her and a denim skirt. Her hair - well there was limited that could be done without a stylist, but the sides were clipped back with pink clips, and it worked. The makeup was subtle - a little lip gloss and eye shadow, but the overall effect was everything.
Becca stared. She couldn’t stop looking, couldn’t stop...

“I’m sorry. I, uh, have to go.” She tore across the room and out of the door. Disappointment crossed Athena’s face, but it wasn’t going to change how wonderful this felt.

Will shrugged begrudgingly. “You know I object to all this crap, right? But it... uh.... does kinda suit you.”