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Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by Gothelk
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Gothelk Vacancy

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ᴀᴘᴀʀᴛᴍᴇɴᴛ ᴀʙᴏᴠᴇ ᴄᴀɴɴɪʙɪꜱᴛʀᴏ
ꜰᴇʟʟᴇᴅ ʙʏ ᴀ ʟᴇᴛᴛᴇʀ

There, beneath the toiling seas tossed in waves beneath a blackened sky, a beast lay dormant waiting for the day he could feel his poison seep through the earth if only to hear cacophony of voices cry out in terrible pain. Poisonous serpent; god-ender; fearsome deep.

Italian food and marijuana connoisseur?

What can he call himself beyond a terrible serpent? A brother looking for a family he lost to time and fate. That what the letter trembling in his hands told him. His thumb swiped the stain in the corner. Odin confessed all his sins so long ago, yet bitter memories of that day came swirling up. Hate never came easy to him these days. Maybe as a serpent, staring to the heavens to pear through the stars at the branches of Yggdrasil, hoping that the Allfather took that moment to look down and lock his gaze with baleful eyes.

That wish vanished. His rage puttered out, deepening into longing for a home and a family to call his own again. They seemed ill-inclined to that. So, Jormungandr kept to himself, mingled with other gods, allowed his father in his life when murder and vengeance weren't at the tip of his tongue.

Yet, the past left still much to say and his fingers couldn't quite follow his mind fast enough.

...drunken night had me on stage the next morning with the wildest headache and many, many lines to memorize. I would not wish learning a Shakespearean play in less than two hours upon any poor soul. Suffice to say, Will did not let me warm his bed any longer...

Perhaps he rambled, but stories piled up, adventures needed telling. If he could just tell his sister directly, straight from the orator's mouth, he would. Yet, his words on a google doc would have to do.

...should have seen the look on the lady's face when I told her what I wanted to name my high end restaurant-slash-marijuana-dispensary. You know, if you're ever stressed or just wanna chill for a moment, you're always welcome here. Shit slaps, sis. I've done a shit ton of drugs, let me tell you, and due to my natural immunity to any and all toxins most of them did nothing for me, but weed works. Like really, really works.

Anyways, like I was saying the look on this lady's face when I tell her I wanna name this classy place Cannibistro was absolutely priceless. But, hey, if you sniff at a name like that, then maybe a chill ass environment just ain't your cup of tea, y'know?

He needed to cap it off somehow. Maybe ask a question himself. Jormungandr stared at the blinking line. Too many questions swirled in his head. Thousands of years worth of questions. It burned in his head because all of them needed answers. Knowing that he would likely not get most of them throttled his chest. It ached knowing how close someone he loved came, only for that person to erect a barrier between them — to widen that barrier until she became a blip on a map.

The morning sun baked against Jormungandr's chest. All he could think about as he stared into the light bouncing off glass was how unfortunate it was to wake up to that blinding, hot ray any time he desired a scroll through his laptop. Those mornings usually ended in finances for the restaurant, taxes and shit. That just made shit worse.

Jormungandr pressed a hand to his face. He didn't want for much. No, that's a lie. What Jormungandr wanted, what he desired, fate denied him since birth. Impossibilities lay in the face of a serpent whose only goal in life allowed him to live in peace with the family he never knew. It seemed that for some the Colossus was destiny shoving a middle finger up their ass. To Jormungandr the Colossus signaled a bone throne his way, but each time he reached out for it, his jaw would snap shut on air and the bone would tug further and further away.

Fuck it.

I know this is asking for the impossible: but come by in a week or so, please. I just want one family dinner. You, Fen, dad. I wish I could cook something that could remind us of home, but I know that's not something we really want to remember. Which is why I want to make something for this home, so we can make it a thousand years from now and remember that we were a family, even if it was just for one night.

I know you'll say no. I'm walking against a hurricane. But, please consider it. That's all I could ever ask.

The Great and Mighty World Bro,

Print. Send. Wait.

And while he waited, maybe he could find something to do. With the letter on its way to Hel, Jormungandr let his feet (oof, odd things) take him wherever they wanted to.

Maybe a walk would get his mind off such existential terrors.

Mentions: Hel @Legion02

𝓒𝓪𝓷𝓵𝓲𝓼 𝓡𝓮𝓼𝓽𝓪𝓾𝓻𝓪𝓷𝓽 10:47 AM
ᴍᴏʀɪᴀᴍᴜʀ ᴇᴛ ɪɴ ᴍᴇᴅɪᴀ ᴀʀᴍᴀ ʀᴜᴀᴍᴜꜱ

Earthen leaves burned orange against the ground, mingled with the sent of pine that bit the skin of his nose. He willed that smell into his sheets, yet it remained absent; it refused to even lie subtle beneath the waking morn of his tousled hair. It simply never existed upon the twisted sheets of his bed. Even as it grounded itself, rooted itself, inside the moors of his mind that's where it settled — intangible and ephemeral.

That felt unacceptable.

Yet that absence followed him through morning. It lay as a cloud in his coffee, bitter and roiling. Each person parted the path Mars marched along, careful to not run under foot. The partnership had been announced early the morning after his meeting and buzz still rolled through his ranks. It upset him in the most irrational way.

The downpour of his own misery fled the second he raised his voice in front of Hebe upon returning home to leave Virtus. She never liked the stuffy meetings his brothers held. He could tell by the drooped face that it bored her canine sensibilities to near madness. So, he determined that she'd go with Hebe as a right apology for allowing his mood to project in such an unprofessional way. There'd be no forgiveness for him if that anger were to find its way toward Hebe.

Mars was a patient man. He didn't need to go about acting like a child when mattered didn't move fast enough for him. Plus, the denial would make things all the sweeter.

Thus, when he arrived at the designated meeting spot, Mars had stowed away the rumbling anger and replaced it with the default statue representative of his regular attitude. When Canlis greeted him, Mars merely nodded. Though, his eyes slipped into a glare at the man's assertion, "Two of them are already awaiting your presence. I hope you have as wonderful a time as you did at Altura, Mr. Salvius."

"That is entirely in your hands," Mars replied, "Make sure not to crush it." As much as he liked humans, their tendency toward gossip grated on him more than their naivety. Mars straightened his jacket, posture rigidly upright, and marched away.

"Insulting of you to use his human name when lacking mortal presence, isn't it, brother?" Mars walked in nearly on Jupiter's heels. He did so with a tug at his lips — a remnant of a smile. "Dominus vobiscum, Janus. Unless that isn't the kind of Roman you're looking for," Mars said in jest as he carried himself toward one of the chairs settled on the table.

In his brothers' presence, Mars shed the frivolities that consumed his mind beyond the doorway. Though, he'd be hard pressed to call his recent encounter a frivolity; he'd like to think it set Rome further ahead on its path to reclaiming lost glory. Even if he'd say so red in the face and with a pinch in his brow.

Of course, before his brothers could monopolize all of his attention, Mars slipped his phone from an inner pocket in his jacket. He had a favor to ask of a few gods. While Rome was his home and his glory, Mars knew the benefit that other pantheons could afford them.

To: Detective Natalia Steele
I would do this in an e-mail, but time seems of the essence: I formally request your assistance in a matter that I think you'd find of utmost import.

Details are forthcoming.

How he achieved fishing out a Seattle detective's phone number without her knowing is for Mars to know and face the consequences of later. An e-mail had been scheduled that morning to send within the hour, anyways. He would rather give Athena the heads up now, however.

With his phone slid back into its pocket, Mars turned his attention back to his brothers. They'd receive it undivided until the end of their meeting, both to Mars' delight and chagrin. That contradiction was only ever possible in the presence of his siblings and he wouldn't dare ask the universe why.

Interactions: Janus @Icy Hot & Jupiter @fledermaus; Hebe @Danvers
Mentions via Text: Athena @metanoia
Moody Thoughts About: Ugh, Pan 😩 @smarty0114
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Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by Icy Hot
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Icy Hot hand / crusher™

Member Seen 11 days ago

𝓒𝓪𝓷𝓵𝓲𝓼 𝓡𝓮𝓼𝓽𝓪𝓾𝓻𝓪𝓷𝓽 10:50 AM
in vino veritas

I open my eyes so I can see with you.

The flames of revolution were bright, their heat encompasses all her being, even from the miles she stood away from them. Pride swelled in her heart, growing bigger and bigger, consuming her and then growing bigger yet. Victorious her people were, chanting their praise and appreciation for their great leader, a demigod of great feats, a man favored by Neptune and Venus and Mars. A man who fought and conquered beside his men, a king who’s legacy was of bravery, compassion, and camaraderie. From babe to adulthood, the wonder in his eyes never stopped twinkling, the confidence in his voice never wavered, and the brilliance of his smile never dimmed. There was no other like Aeneas to Venus, the blood of her blood, the sun in her sky, she had given everything to him, and in turn, he gave them all Rome.

And I live so I can die with you.

The flames of revolution burned bitterly this time. The heat was neither felt nor seen by the doting goddess. The Rome she mothered and protected, the history she helped create, and the success she garnered were all burned to the ground. The pain of the land she felt in her bones, the screams of mothers torn away from their children she heard in her dreams and the spirit of the warrior crumbling into nothing she felt in her soul. A single god who promised to heed prayers that had been left unanswered replaced the Romans who once protected the vast empire. Venus had remembered what it felt like to hold a dying Aeneas in her arms as she lived through the fall of Rome. The hollow screams of the mother in her echoed for centuries, that black void of emptiness expanding in the very depths of her spirit, washing everything in a bleak grey almost nothingness.

Only in the vision of shattered stained glass did she see the glory of her old self.

Aeneadum genetrix, hominum divomque voluptas,
Animum debes mutare, non caelum

The voice of war horns, of a warrior’s exertion, or victorious cheer echoes in her mind until-

With fluttering eyes, the face of a young woman fills her vision; there’s dampness on her cheeks she sets to ignore. Lifting her head and looking around in a small daze, she sees the familiar surroundings of her Seattle studio and none of her long lost child nor the place of her heart’s yearning. There’s a weight of hands at her thighs directing her vision down to the young woman who has gently woke her, she’s crouched, and worry furrows her manicured brows.

“Leo, are you alright?” Lana Morrison, Leona Faustus’ devout personal assistant, reaches a hand upwards towards the tears Venus realizes she’s still shedding. But the realization is all she needs to regain her composure, she pulls back, a wall slipping between her and the woman as she stands, a cold front has swept the room, and stoicism hardens her features.

“What time is it?” There was no acknowledgment for her inner turmoil. Decades after building herself anew, these dreams still plagued her, reminding her how far she had once fallen.

“It’s um 10:00 am, I was coming in to remind you of your meeting with your brothers, but I can call Westin and let him know you can’t make it if you need time to you-“

A single raised hand silenced her; she had been trained well by the unbecoming tyranny of the Mother of Rome, not that the mortal could never know of her many epithets lest she be more useful dead or in hiding.

A sigh rushed out of Venus’ lips, and she shook her curls by the roots, willing her poor mood to simply fall away.

“No need, it would be more a pain to cancel than to show up. Plus Mr.Canlis was kind enough to send over the wine list, and I think a taste of La Tâche, Grand Cru, 1990 will be enough to sedate my poor mood; otherwise, Marcus will just have to suffer.”

“La Ta- Is it wine? You and your fancy wines. What is this one $300 a bottle too?” Venus only replied with a coy smile and a shrug of her shoulders, she knows she has extravagant tastes, and so she's worked to create an empire that can afford such luxuries. But it is no Rome.

“Mox.” she ascends the stairs with her head held high, and her shoulders pushed back. An image of fierceness simmering in the pools of amber eyes held back by a millennium of practiced poise.

“Pick something nice out for me while I shower. A woman never arrives at an event on time, but there is a difference between fashionably late and being disrespectfully laggard.”

Venus was thankful for her assistant, especially when it meant she could drink as much wine as she wanted and not worry about taking her car home. Of course, that meant one of her fellow Romans would have to drop her off, but that was an issue to deal with after consuming all the wine she could.

“I know you designed that piece for someone else, but it really was meant for you... Perhaps it was on purpose? Lana spoke to Venus through the rolled down window letting a playful wink set her tone, “Don’t worry about calling me if you need anything, I only hav-”

“Lana, enjoy your vacation, I am very capable of handling myself… I think.” The two women shared a light laugh, and Venus waved a friendly goodbye. With her back turned to the departing car and eyes set on Canlis, it was time for business. Venus returned Joseph’s warm welcome with a pair of kisses applied to each side of his face and entertained his musings as he led her to the elevator.

“You know what I’m here for Joseph, please send a bottle up right away.” The closed doors afforded her a moment of quiet before the storm surely brewing in that private room of theirs. When the doors opened again, she was greeted by the beautiful views of the Pacific Northwest and then by her brother’s in arms.

”Don’t disgrace our language with such disgusting words, Marcus.” Venus pulled out the chair beside him and sat down leaning towards the God of War, ”And waiters are people too, or has your self-designated spot above them make you view them as less than?” Venus’ eyes twinkled with mischief, and her voice carried enough throughout the room to garner a couple of glances from the coming and going serving staff.

Lyrics from "Die With You" - Beyoncé
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Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by KZOMBI3
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KZOMBI3 𝖍𝖎𝖙 𝖎𝖙 𝖚𝖓𝖙𝖎𝖑 𝖎𝖙 𝖇𝖗𝖊𝖆𝖐𝖘

Member Seen 0-12 hrs ago

𝓑𝓲𝓽𝓽𝓮𝓻𝓼𝔀𝓮𝓮𝓽 𝓡𝓮𝓾𝓷𝓲𝓸𝓷𝓼
sᴇᴀᴛᴛʟᴇ ᴜɴɪᴠᴇʀsɪᴛʏ » ᴀʟᴘʜᴀ ᴅᴇʟᴛᴀ ᴘɪ
ᴄᴏᴄᴏ's ᴄᴏʟᴏʀ | ʜᴇʙᴇ's ᴄᴏʟᴏʀ

Comus was anything but surprised to find that Aphrodite had once again turned the situation to center around her. It wasn’t like Coco had any issues with the goddess of love, on the contrary, she adored her - she was fun to work with, good spirited and has helped the chaos wielder in many situations. However, after the stunt she pulled with her mist really put a damper on Comus’ already sour mood. 'And after the mention of her husband’s murder no less… what was she tryna accomplish...' the sour thoughts only seemed to increase the more she dwelled on them.

What did surprise her however, was the embrace and words of her grandfather as Hades crouched down to her level. She wholeheartedly believed that he was only there to comfort his son, as Dio had more of a relationship with both Hephaestus and Hades… that did not seem to be the case. At least not in this instance. Speaking words in whispered tones, words of support and threats of violence against any and all those who would seek to do them harm. A grip tight on her shoulder was so foreign but it was warm, despite the cold words falling from Hades’ lips, and she found herself leaning into the touch. Seeking more.

It was then that the mist of Aphrodite encroached upon their little huddled formation. Comus, through bleary eyes, looked around to those in the room still. Aphrodite’s little parlor trick seemed to have been working wonders on those trapped in the room, though she couldn’t discern what exactly that entailed. Comus just saw… them. Those in the room. A far away look in their eyes as they relished in the visions that plagued their minds, or of contempt and sorrow. 'What exactly is going on…’ The only thing to pull her from her internal deductions was the iron claw like vice that was applying more pressure to her shoulder via Hades.

“Hades… Hades… that hurts,” she tried to get his attention, the pressure building, the fabric of the mess top draping her shoulders now digging into her flesh. When the pain got to be too much, even by her standards, she released a squawk of agony, jolting the perpetrator from his revere. Before she knew it she was ripping his touch from her body and with an abrupt motion she was up on her feet and headed out of the room, slamming the door in the process.

The biting chill of the October wind would have caused Comus to hiss in retaliation, though the coolness of it all was a welcomed reprieve to the hot skin where Hades had bruised. And as luck would have it, as she examined it she noticed the skin there was beginning to change its color. “Great,” a huff passed her lips as she wandered the quad in search of a place to just plop down. The grass beneath her jean clad legs was no longer damp from the early morning dew, instead favoring a chilly, crispness that crunched when she spread out. Leaning over just slightly in order to pull the crumbled pack of smokes from her back pocket, she pulled a spliff out, placing it precariously between her painted lips before shielding it from the soft breeze and lighting it. A trail of mixed smoke dancing from the tip.

Hephaestus is gone. Aphrodite has made it about her… somehow. Rome has now entered the playing field after being gone for who the hell knows how long. What in the fuck is even going on anymore?! Coco pulled another long drag, deep in thought with her fucked up family tree, before exhaling upwards towards the sky. ’We should have another party tonight… maybe Tlaz will host at the club… don't think Pol and Herc want their ‘rents at the Casa?’

Lost in her own little world, eyes trained on the clouds passing overhead, the birds chirping annoyingly to the students rushing across campus. There was a tinkling voice that floated through the air and it reminded the anarchic goddess of a certain youthful someone. Of days spent serving the others among the clouds of Olympus, sneaking sips without the other gods knowing. Running through the fields at the base of the mountain in the dead of night, only to cause some trouble for the mortals they found along the way. Comus sighed at the memories. She misses Hebe much too much and was in the process of making a mental note to seek her out when she felt something collide into her lounging frame and topple onto her.

Said something let out a loud squeak, breaking the peaceful to-and-fro of the quad and causing several bemused students to turn their heads, some snickering at the sight in front of them. No-one would be able to miss the tangled mess of limbs, hair and headphones that was Hebe, who had abruptly tripped over the stretched out goddess. One second she had been happily making her way across the grassy lawn and the next, the ground had slipped from underneath her, world tilting sideways as she fell. Of course, any normal person probably would not have closed their eyes whilst running but she’d been so caught up in the soothing flow of the lyrics, soft lips mouthing in time with the foreign words, which she only knew by way of incessant repetition.

After a couple of bemused seconds, Hebe sat up, rubbing at where she had landed, rather roughly, on her arm. Luckily her topple had been cushioned by the relatively soft ground so she didn’t think it would bruise, although she could see the mess of grass & dirt that had been scraped against her skin. It wouldn’t be anything new anyway; she usually had at least a couple of them on her body from where she’d either tripped over her own feet or walked into some unsuspecting object. “Oh my god! I’m so so sor-” Looking immensely apologetic, Hebe turned to see who she had tripped over, letting out her second squeak of the morning as her gaze landed on the one and only Comus.

Large brown eyes widening in excitement, any pain that she may have been in was instantly forgotten. None of that mattered when Coco was here. Scrambling up from her fallen position, Hebe lunged across to her friend, reaching to pull her into an affectionately tight hug. As she wrapped her arms around the goddess, she couldn’t help but cling on just a little too tightly. If there was any moment, any time, in which she needed her bestest friend in all the worlds...it was now.

The ringing in her ears subsided some as Coco was once more embraced this day. ’How many more times was this going to happen?’ Though this time was more welcomed than all the others. What distant memory she thought was playing tricks on her mind earlier was made flesh and bone in the death grip that found itself around Comus’ neck.

Amber pools starred up into her own as the goddess of youth clung to her. It took her only a split second before it was all clicking into place and she was embracing the smaller girl in her own affection. Face lighting up in the midday sun, or what little had decided to breach through the clouds ’Apollo’s doing?’ She wondered briefly before all attention was brought back down to the woman in her grasp.

“HEEBS!? I have missed you so~” If they had been in a standing position Comus would have most definitely spun the two of them around. ”It’s been ages since I’ve seen your beautiful face. How have you been? Where have you been?” Coco pulled away slightly only after placing a plethora of quick kisses to Hebe’s hairline and temples, scanning the beauty before her, a giddy laugh on her lips. Spliff all but forgotten on the grass between them, the tumble having knocked it to smoldering, she made sure to grab it. ”Best not to start a campus fire just yet, hm?”

”You’ve done worse.” Nose crinkling as she smiled at her friend, Hebe was unable to contain the childlike giggle that escaped from her lips. For a moment her gaze lingered on the thin tube of rolling paper, tobacco and cannabis. It wasn’t something that she often did of her own volition, but the gentle prod of a friend was usually more than enough to get her to join in almost anything. Yet this moment of temptation was interrupted by the feel of her heart quickening at what should have been an otherwise lighthearted question from an old friend. Where has she been? That was something she wasn't sure if she could answer. At least not completely or truly honestly.

“Oh, well...nowhere really! Just trying to stay out of mothers way y’know…” A hesitant smile lit up her face as she caught her earlier emotions, pushing them down into a place where they wouldn’t threaten to overspill. Instead, she replaced them with an eagerness to share with someone she had once shared everything with. During those initial decades after their fall, when she had been too scared to do anything but dutifully follow her parents around, Coco had been the one giving her a nudge in the right...or wrong, as it may have been, direction. Her fun-loving, chaotic, rebellious attitude was something that Hebe had always looked up to, and which she still admired even to this day. “I’m living on campus now - with Alpha Delta Pi! You should totally come over some time. We can have a-“ Her words had been tripping over one another as they left her mouth, unbridled excitement etched across her face. Yet Hebe, now sat crossed legged on the grassy lawn, took pause. She was close enough to Coco to notice the slight redness around her eyes and the puffiness that came with unchecked tears.

“Coco? Are you okay?” All of the eagerness instantly fell away as she realised that her friend was definitely not her usual self, and she felt her stomach drop in concern. She hated seeing anyone upset but especially her friends...especially Coco. “You look like you’ve been crying...did someone upset you?! Do you want to come back to mine? I have hot coco! Oh, and you can hug Stampy if you want! Or we can go out if you’d rather do that…” Trailing off, Hebe leaned back towards her friend, hands reaching to clasp one between her own. “You can tell me anything you know...”

As the words left Hebe's mouth, her eyes searching her face, Comus could swear that her breath audibly hitched and there wasn't much she could do to take it back. Other than play it off as she had done since the beginning of time. "Psht, its nothing Heebs," and as if to drive the notion home she waved the spliff in front of the young woman's eyes. But Hebe didn't seem convinced in the slightest, the lie she spoke didn’t even convince herself, why did she think it would work.

A long, heavy sigh breached her lips as she sat there in the grass, the campus bustling around them, a breeze picking up. Comus, if she allowed her mind to wander long enough, she could trick herself into thinking they were back at the base of Olympus with the sun beating down on them, their linen peplos billowing about them as they chased one another before crashing down in the fields… Coco allowed herself a moment’s beat as her eyes closed, hand running through the tangles of her hair before releasing the breath she didn’t realize she was holding.

”It’s, uh,” she was able to steal a glance towards her dearest friend, who looked at her with concern, clutching one of her hands within her own. Hebe has always been too good of a soul. More than what Comus ever deserved. With another shaky breath she pushed through, she was an agent of chaos for crying out loud! She can open up and be vulnerable for Hebe. At the very least. ”I’ve missed you so much, Heebs… and, and it’s been a wild ride. I’m talking with dad and Hades more... and the lot of them really, but it’s not like the past is gonna be erased with just a few drinks and conversations, ya know? And then the stupid fucking conclave with everyone shoved into this small ass room where the Morrigan, ughh, she thinks she speaks on behalf of everyone and drops the bombshell that is Hephaestus. Oh, don’t get me started on the appearance of fucking Rome 2.0, though he did bring his cute pupper - not the point -,” the amount of air within Comus lungs could rival that of Aeolus himself as she spouted off all that had been weighing on her as of late. She refused to dig any deeper than the last 24 hours.

As Coco’s words spilled out, Hebe listened in quiet consternation, eyes blinking slowly as she tried to comprehend what her friend was saying. She could sense the worry… the doubt...the frustration that Comus was feeling. Reaching up a hand, she lightly dabbed at a tear that had slid down the goddess’ cheek, wishing she could somehow make her feel better.

“I’ve missed you too. I’m so sorry I haven’t been around! It’s just-” Hebe suddenly paused at mention of the conclave, teeth moving to nervously bite at her bottom lip. She remembered getting the text but she hadn’t attended any conclaves in a long time. The idea of there being so many gods…so many of her family in one room, was too much. Especially now. And none of these reasons had mattered anyway, for when she had woken up this morning, she had been far too preoccupied by that overwhelming and all consuming panic. All thoughts of the meeting had left her in that moment, and if she were honest, she had totally forgotten about it until now.

Shaking herself out of her reverie, Hebe realized that she had been squeezing Cocos hands tightly. Letting go, she instead brought them back to herself, a palm reaching to idly rub at where the dirt had been smeared haphazardly across her arm.

“Wait...Hephaestus?” Her soft voice broke the momentary silence that had landed between them, confusion etched across her features. “Did he do something? Is he okay?” Hebe couldn’t help but feel a pit of guilt sink into her stomach. It had been a long time since she had talked to her older brother. Months…years maybe, she couldn’t really remember. At one point in time they had been close. He had always been a stable rock, someone you could rely on to at least be there…even if he simply sat and let you speak. But that had been a long time ago and she realized sadly that she couldn’t remember the last time she had spoken to him.

Comus steely greys misted over once more. The tight grip Hebe once had on her hands she returned with vigor as she gripped onto the youthful beauty before her. "Hebe, he's gone." Coco wondered quickly if she should even spare her the finer detail that he was not just gone but murdered no less. Hebe was intelligent; she would either figure it out on her own or she would press Coco for the truth. She opted just to rip the bandage off and dive head first into the turmoil, "He was murdered. That's what the meeting was about… mostly. No one knows who or why. Heebs, love, I am so sorry…" It still felt insincere, those words spilling forth from her. She hoped that the warmth and physical touch she offered her was enough to convey her sorrowful sympathy. There wasn't anything else for her to offer. Not at this time at least. Not unless Hebe asked for chaos to rain down upon the perpetrators, which she would of course gladly partake in.

Without another moment’s thought she pulled the girl into her arms, cradling her to her chest and placing well deserved and shaky kisses to her temple. They were silent for a moment as Comus tried to think of what else she could do to help. Something. Anything. But there weren't a lot of helpful things that Coco prided herself in. She was excellent at causing mayhem and chaos and just overall revelries! Not consoling and comfort. Comus was the worst person to seek those from. Yet, she needed to try for Hebe’s sake.

“...Oh.” The word slipped quietly from her mouth, a mere whisper of a sound. Hebe tried to say something else but instead her mind just went into shutdown, trying and failing to process all that Coco had said. Her lovely, strong, diligent brother was gone. Dead. Hebe, even more than most, shuddered at the thought of that word. It, in many ways, was the opposite of who she was. Her whole purpose, her whole life, had always been dedicated to immortality, to the everlasting, and the idea that someone could just simply exist to be was almost incomprehensible. She’d never see Hephaestus again.

As the words sunk in, Hebe suddenly realized that she had started crying. Silent tears flowed uninterrupted down her cheeks, the odd one falling softly onto the exposed skin of her legs. She could feel her heart begin to race again, her vision beginning to blur, but this time she wasn’t alone. This time Comus was here and she clung onto the girl as she was pulled into her embrace. They were both wearing far too little clothing for the weather and she could feel the cold on their bodies, but that didn’t matter. She was just glad she was here.

"Are...are you okay?" After what seemed like an eternity, Hebe’s voice returned to her, the sound coming out as a dry croak. "The conclave must've been horrible...is mother..." She glanced up at the nearest building, wondering where the meeting was taking place. Was it over already? Or were they all still on campus? Part of her wanted to run and find her mother, to try and comfort her. They may have had their differences over the last few centuries but she still knew how much Hera would be aching. She couldn't though. Like always, it was just too much. Instead, she used both palms of her hands to wipe at the tears, thankful that she wasn’t wearing any makeup, for it would've been smeared spectacularly across her face.

"Um, can we go do something...anything?" Looking earnestly up at Comus, Hebe kept brushing away the tears as she tried her hardest to be brave. Her instinct was to run home, to hole up until this was all over. But she knew that wouldn't help and she knew that Coco needed her as well. They needed each other.

A crooked smile broke across her face, albeit wobbly. A distraction. Yes. That is exactly what they needed. Comus stood up slowly, the new position allowing for regular blood flow to pick up again, her legs prickly from their sleep. She gracefully, as best she could, helped the other girl up to her own feet, brushing off the little bits of grass and dirt that clung to either of them. The soreness of her shoulder throbbing slightly but was still not worth the space in the forefront of her mind. Instead she turned her gaze towards the smaller frame beside her, made even shorter with the heels Coco wore.

In a last ditch attempt to be as comforting as she could, she lightly wiped the last of a stray tear from Hebe’s cheek before booping her nose, goofy smile still in place, “So,” an arm slung over Hebe’s shoulder, hoping that she would take lead, she had no idea where she was going. She didn’t really care, being in Hebe’s presence like she was, was among the few things that could calm the chaos within her, “How do you feel about clubbing?”

Smiling gently at Comus as she tidied the pair of them up, a small strained laugh escaped from her throat. Just seeing Coco perk up made her feel better...even if a small part of her did know that they were both acting the part. It was the best they could do in the moment and she appreciated it nonetheless. “Clubbing?” Hebe paused at the suggestion, tilting her head as she considered it. She’d need to change before they headed out...unless workout attire had suddenly become fashionable among night owls and heavy drinkers. But she knew how much Coco loved any form of partying, and if that’s what she wanted to do, then so be it. “Sure, why not. It’ll be fun!”

Grabbing a hold of her friends hand, she began to pull Coco in the direction of her sorority house. “But let’s go back to mine first.” Hebe tried her best to remain chirpy, although the lingering thought of 'Hephaestus is gone' remained persistently in the back of her mind. “We can pick out some cute outfits…I think Sally might have some things you’d like if you wanna get changed. Though I love what you’re already wearing!” She couldn’t help but tease the goddess lightly, sticking her tongue out at her before continuing to haul the pair across the quad.

The trek towards Alpha Delta Pi, where Hebe lived, wasn’t too terrible. Every now and again the sun would break through the clouds before dipping back behind. Almost coy like. As if they were being controlled by someone’s emotions. Comus laughed heartily at the notion and couldn’t not divulge the thought to her traveling companion as well. When they had entered into the abode it screamed with the essence of Hebe. It was painfully obvious that the prime of life was a staple in the aesthetics around the place. Upon walking into Hebe's room she immediately headed for the closet and began throwing out articles of clothing.

"We're going to need to dress the part for Topan~” she cheered, trying her hardest to move past the, well past, and enjoy the reunion of her best friend. If not for her sake than for Hebe. Time flew out the window as they sat and goofed off in her dorm like room. Hours wasted lounging on her bed, her floor, the plush chair in the corner; gossiping about everything and nothing. A pillow fight may have ensued at one point resulting in the both of them tumbling atop her bed and staring at the ceiling. Time wasters indeed. When the sun began to set it was deemed appropriate to head out, Comus thought more and more about it. Opting instead to order take out and bundle together in that mess of room. Thanks to her chaotic nature, no doubt. “Heeb c’mon, we gotta watch something other than ‘When Harry Met Sally’,” a common argument throughout the night. The somber moments of earlier were easily replaced with merriment and laughter, secrets told like they were young girls once again with hushed whispers as if Hera were going to come around the corner any moment to reprimand them.

Wiping a tear from her eye, Coco was able to wheeze out a laugh, ”I missed this…” and without asking she searched for Hebe’s phone and snatched it up in one fluid motion. Tapping it open she then began typing, “Here! Now you have no reason not to bug me. Next time you’re free, you should swing by the Acropolis. Got some hunky hunks there who would be dying to see you~”

At mention of hunky hunks, Hebes head peeped out from where she was snugly wrapped in an overly fluffy blanket, only her face visible amidst the soft pile of fabric. “The Acropolis?” She may have known a little about the abode — social media being what it was — but she didn’t want to admit to Coco that she’d been paying attention. With her mind still preoccupied by thoughts of this, the goddess took her phone in her hands again, making sure to add some extra hearts and other cute emojis next to Comus’ name.

After she’d triple checked it had saved, Hebe reached over to where they had acquired an assortment of snacks, grabbing a marshmallow and popping it into her mouth. “Ilumushmallo…” Trying to speak with the sticky treat in her mouth clearly didn’t work, her words being instantly inaudible. “I mean, I love marshmallows!” She laughed when she was finally able to pipe up again, shuffling closer to her friend and opening up the blanket to invite her into what she definitely deemed a mini blanket fort…even if the structural integrity of the fort relied solely on her head. “So…” She paused for a moment, unsure how to ask what she really wanted to ask. “How is everyone…the guys…the other people that you know…the guy people…” Hebe frowned at herself as she realised that she sounded like an absolute idiot, sinking deeper into her not quite blanket fort.

A full belly laugh escaped the model as she watched her friend stuff marshmallows into her mouth, the epitome of a chubby bunny face. A face she couldn’t pass up on snapping a picture of and quickly sending it to the squad’s snapchat group. Oh, Comus knew exactly what Hebe was trying to hint at, it was obvious, and she refused to look at her with anything other than a shit eating grin, Hmm~? she feigned ignorance for the sake of making her little Heebs sweat it out. “The guy people… mmm, no. I have no idea who it is you’re talking about!” Regardless she climbed into the blanket fort, basking in the warmth it provided. The movie still played in the background, reaching the point where they’ve decided to visit the museum and Billy Crystal decided to adopt some wacked out European accent and no matter how much she was opposed to watching the movie once again, Coco found herself mimicking along with the actors on screen.

After settling beside the brunette, aptly stealing a few marshmallows herself, she conceded. One look from those innocent doe eyes and she was putty. “Ugh, yeah, yeah. They’re all good. ‘Pollo is the residential chef since the rest of us burn water… Hermes, well, he’s technically got his own place but dude is so whipped for Kore,” she paused just long enough to finish the puff in her mouth, “Oh, that guy is so fucking clueless to just about everything. Someone in particular, but that’s a different story. Herc is, well… here, see for yourself.” Instead of just showing Hebe the Snapchat history and stories updating every few minutes, Coco added her to the group list.

With a shrug she simply replied, “What?” Though a knowing grin was etched into her face. “Oh, c’mon, like you don’t already follow him. If you waaaant, we can swing by the Acropolis later this week and ya know. Hang out with him. I mean them…”

At Coco’s suggestion —as well as the rather embarrassing picture of her with a mouthful of mallows — Hebes hands reached up to cover her cheeks, where the faint beginnings of a blush had begun to appear. “I-, I dunno…” Hebe couldn’t help but feel a tinge of sadness as her gaze passed over the words and photos that made up the groups Snapchat story. Coco fit in so well with them and she could see that they were practically a family unit…a drunkenly adorable one, but one nonetheless. She was virtually an outsider now and she found that her heart had begun to race, for more than one reason, at the idea of seeing them…him, again. The mere thought of it sent her into a flustery panic.

Yet as she looked up at her friend, she was unable to deny the eager look on her face. Hebe desperately wanted to keep Coco close to her this time, even if that meant doing something that sent butterflies racing around her stomach. “Well, I guess...maybe. But only as long as you’re there!” She finally concluded, hands idly picking at the edge of the blanket. Gaze trailing back to the movie, her expression softened at the two fictional lovebirds. She may have watched them fall in love dozens of times but Hebe would never get fed up of it. And as one particularly cute scene finished, she turned back to her friend, nudging her shoulder lightly against hers. “Thanks for this Coco. Did I tell you how much I’ve missed you?”
collab: @Danvers mentions: @metanoia @smarty0114 @pandapolio @sly13 @Icy Hot @Mao Mao if you squint really hard
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Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by Heart of Thorns
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Heart of Thorns

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Home >>> 𝓒𝓪𝓷𝓵𝓲𝓼 𝓡𝓮𝓼𝓽𝓪𝓾𝓻𝓪𝓷𝓽
Mood: Doldrums into melancholia

The air was crisp and the view was mystifying. The clouds rolled heavy and the mist veiled a view of dense trees. In the corners of the speckled droplets are the edges of a cold lake and the colors of dying leaves. The abstract hues were brilliant, even through fogged glass that made up the entirety of the wall that ran high towards vaulted ceilings. There, within the beautiful architecture of a wealthy home, within the reflection of giant slabs of windows, was a god. Not one that would be easily recognizable—no, especially not now, with his sullen, irritated expression, and his unapproachable, easily-angered demeanor; not now, with all his sorrow and misery lacing together with all his wealth and achievement. No, Vulcan was not recognizable now.

“I can’t seem to get over the view, even after being here for so long.” The woman’s voice was familiar, though. A seduction hinted in her speech, finishing with a soft breath of lingering desire. Vulcan, now dressed in a suit tailored perfectly to fit his broad shoulders and wide chest, only gave her a quick glance. Her body was bare, her curves casting a faint shadow from the dimmed sunlight as she came closer to him.

She reached up, fixing the collar of his suit as she pressed her body against his. “A brunch. I didn’t take you for one to join in endeavors like that.”

“Well, it’s family, so . . .”

“How about a little scotch to get the edge off,” she suggested. She knew him well.

“No,” Vulcan answered curtly. “This is something I should arrive completely sober to.”

Her brows furrowed in confusion, her hands tracing the muscles beneath the smooth materials of his attire. “I’ve never seen you so worked up about a meeting before. What’s so important?”

Anna was her name; cute and delicate, smart and helpful. She was his assistant, and sometimes lover. Meddling into his business was always expected from her, but never appreciated. “The weight of this is heavier than anything you’ve ever seen me partake in before. Please don’t involve yourself.”

Anna scoffed, breathing up into his ear that she had to stand on her toes to reach. “Maybe you should have me cancel.”

Vulcan let out a heavy breath, not one of lust, but one of irritation. His gaze was still set on the whimsical environment that made up his backyard. His bedroom could be seen through the reflection, just behind the hourglass of her figure. “Did you not hear me? This is important.”

“Well,” she paused, “Maybe you can be late.” And her hands moved below his belt, maneuvering between his thighs.


“What? You never finish, and I think you should let me try again. Come on, I can make it quick.” Her voice and her touch were compelling, but still, Vulcan has had better—always, he’s heard, seen, felt so much better. He pushed her hands away, maybe a little too harshly.

“I can’t seem to win,” is all she said, stepping away from him. This time, Vulcan turned to face her. “You’re so hard to read. You’re impossible to get close to. Hell, you can’t even have sex right.”

Vulcan’s eyes seemed half-opened, more from absence with himself rather than exhaustion. Still, the clench of his jaw tightened the bones just above his thick neck. “That shouldn’t be anything new to you.”

He was about to turn around, but her frustration was still ascending like a rollercoaster. “I’ve worked with you for years, and everytime you ask me to come into the bedroom with you it’s like you’re trying to use me.”

Vulcan’s eyes twitched. “You work for me,” he clarified before continuing. “And I am using you for sex. That much is obvious.”

“No,” she was shaking her head. “You’re not using me just for sex, you’re using me to remember something—someone.” Vulcan’s eyes met hers, with devastation of a now revealed intent that he might’ve subconsciously had. “I’m not stupid.” She folded her arms. “I can see how distant you are, I can see how your eyes search for something that’s locked away in that damn confusing brain of yours.”

“What do you want from me?” Vulcan announced, his own anger increasing. He reached into his pocket and pulled a stack of cash from his wallet. “Here, is this what you want?” His voice was much more assertive, yelling almost. He threw it at her, watching the $100 bills fall softly around her.

There was silence as she subdued the tears that would gloss over the brown of her irises. This was the peak of her rollercoaster, the calm before it’s sudden drop. She inhaled deeply, and spoke with it’s release, “You know, it’s not nice to play with someone’s heart. Maybe that’s a lesson you should learn next. Maybe that’s something you have to feel before you do it to someone else again. Maybe have someone break your own damn heart for a change.” The words were like boulders that launched at him: fearful as they came, bigger as they approached, and painful as they collided into him. And so the broken hearted became the heart-breaker.

Vulcan turned to look out the window again, and he mumbled under his breath. “You’re fired.”

Another foreshadowing silence at her peak. “What?” She murmured back.

“I said,” Vulcan paused, spitting as he shouted into echoing rage, “You’re fired!”

And her descent finally came, with explosive anger that was supported from times like these before. It came in a prolonged scream as a lamp came flying beside him, only to crash into the glass of a window pane. The bulb shattered first, then the glass cracked next, and then the ceramic crashed as it hit the floor beside him. She stampeded out, with her clothes in hand, until a slam from a distant front door could be heard to finish her rampage.

Vulcan was far too numb to really process the situation. He didn’t feel the regret, nor the mistake—maybe not yet anyway. He stood, staring at the sharp glass on the ground, and it called to him, ominously.

✖ ✖ ✖ ✖ ✖

Vulcan had his butler call for a cab, he was too angered to drive and the brunch held too much weight for him to properly be coherent enough to pay attention. There was no doubt she was there, her involvement with the roman gods was prominent and undying. Now, in Vulcan’s decision to finally resurface after being MIA to the gods, he didn’t feel as ready as he thought he might’ve been. If it were decades, centuries even, that he would’ve seen her last, it would always feel like minutes—with her new human form taking just as much beauty as the last, and with all the more vibrance and temptation as her godly embodiment would bring forth. Each second that came closer to the brunch came with such a gale of once treasured memories that now haunt him in ways he couldn’t describe.

Before he knew it, the car door was opened for him, and the venue was staring at him with all it’s familiar architecture, housing the ones that could actually destroy his heart and soul; the ones that Anna’s words and actions wouldn’t even compare to.

Vulcan sent his butler off to park somewhere he wouldn’t be able to find. That way he wouldn’t feel obligated to turn and run from the coming moment he’s feared most. Still, he remained stalwart as he could with his decision, even if he was dragging his feet to the front entrance. The doors were opened for him, the first of the establishment’s hospitality.

Mr. Canlis greeted him first, “Now that’s an unfamiliar face to the Canlis Restaurant, but not one for my eyes. It’s a pleasure to finally meet you, Mr. D’Angelo. You are quite the artist—so brilliant in your craft. I just have to applaud you before you go on with your brunch.”

Vulcan was used to commendation, but the moment was so blurred that he couldn’t even hear the words leave his lips. He went through the motions absent-mindedly, shaking his hand and tilting his head in thanks. Without words, and only a simple smile, he proceeded to the elevator which would lead him to the event that he tried to predict for years.

As the doors closed, the elevator ascended much like his heart rate. The elevator was smooth and fast, but still his heart would beat four times in between the numbers that lit the display above the metal doors. He pulled at his collar, trying to find more room for oxygen to keep him standing.

But he was quick to put on a mask—to hide the quick breaths and the shaking of his hands. He clasped them together in front of him as he stood straight with his shoulders back. But if their eyes looked hard enough, they’d see the white of his fingertips that clenched too tight or maybe the hard set of his jaw. If they looked close enough, they would see his chest rising too fast for comfortable breathing, or maybe the awkward steps he would take to enter the room. If she looked, maybe just even once, she would stop his heart.

And the time finally came in which the metal doors framed the exquisite room. Though welcoming as it was, clad in expensive furniture and tabletop embellishments, it was still daunting. Even with the view of a beautiful city, just behind the foliage of trees, did the haunting moment commence into the still moments before the uncertainty of a nightmare.

Vulcan stepped inside, his hands falling to his side, but his thumbs scratching deep into his forefingers. His eyes scanned the room and he recognized his brothers first. But there, beneath the lighting of a delicate chandelier, did her curly brown hair fall gracefully. There, within the rays of a gentle sun, did her amber eyes glow above a brilliant smile. There, with linen tabletops and golden cutlery, expensive wine and spotless goblets, did Vulcan’s heart truly stop.

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Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by Icy Hot
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Icy Hot hand / crusher™

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T h e R o m a n s
𝓒𝓪𝓷𝓵𝓲𝓼 𝓡𝓮𝓼𝓽𝓪𝓾𝓻𝓪𝓷𝓽 10:55 AM

Janus pulled a seat out at the round table. A personal choice he made with each of their gatherings. Jupiter may have reigned as king once, but among the mortal world, they were all equals, and there was no seat for a king at a table when his empire had yet to be rebuilt. The oldest “sibling” paid no mind to the jest of his younger brother; Venus had said her piece and redundancy was a fault Janus was keen not to adopt. New developments and buzzing bits of information filled the morning to its brim and hidden beyond that stone face he wore, Janus was simmering with excitement for the coming tides of change.

With the wine bottles opened and light starters on the table, Janus leaned forward, his eyes scanning the faces of his brothers and sister. Save for a few absent faces; he was sure those seated here would be the leaders to usher in a new age and breathe life into the dream they all shared.

“I will take the liberty to skip the formalities, we all live together, and I’m sure we all have some business to attend to after this meal, so, let’s get to things. The morning news is doing its best to buy time on a fruitless investigation, the mayor is missing, and that makes for a perfect excuse to gather the group with the means to snuff out a god.” Bright crystal eyes landed on the God of War, the only Roman to attend the Conclave, “How was the Conclave? Learn anything of importance?”

Caught in his own web, of course. Mars refused to pout, but his cheeks tinted red at Venus’ remark. With his mouth open, he turned his eyes toward Janus as his elder sibling spoke. He promptly shut his mouth, though cast an indignant glare toward Venus before adjusting his posture and throwing an apologetic look toward one of the servers. He’d have to tip them heavily later.

”As expected, the Greeks made quite a scene, though that’s more for my amusement than it is of any import,” Mars explained, grinning to himself, ”Outside of the outbursts, Hephaestus’ death was the focus of the Conclave: the Morrigan explained that his death was unnatural. I’ve been examining a few disappearances that I think are connected to him. I suspect it may have something to do with what you’ve been up to, Julius. I’ve already notified and requested assistance from both Morrigan and Athena, since my pride allows me to work well with those outside of our Pantheon.” He threw a knowing glance at Jupiter.

”As well, while the Greek’s lost one, they gained another in Poseidon.”

Fingers tapped against the round table, the round table used to represent their equality in mortality. Jupiter despised the table - not that he hated being equal among his brothers and sister - but it represented the stripping of his power, the fall from his throne. Jupiter blew a puff of air from his nose, ears ringing with Mars’ report. Yada, yada, Greeks are awful, yada, yada.

“I see.” Jupiter ran a hand down his face, stubble stinging his palm, “We lose the mayor, and gain the Asshole of the Sea. I wonder how Neptune will feel.”

The wine in front of him was downed in one go, Jupiter never being the type of man to let things sit and swill. It wouldn’t be a good look to dismiss Poseidon’s new appearance, especially when the god had managed to avoid detection for such a long time.

He voiced his thoughts aloud, “We should keep a close eye on him and his goings, a god popping up after all these years at such an…opportunistic time is rather suspect.” Jupiter held his hand up, wordlessly asking for more wine.

Venus seldom had an interest in the musings of men. All their secrecy, betrayal, and death, it wasn’t good for her skin or something.Well at least that’s how she should have felt anyways, but the death of an enemy was something worth mulling over. The unsurprised look on Janus’ face confirmed her first assumptions; the damned man was always involved something or another. Like Jupiter she downed her first glass of red, since Janus was footing the bill she’d make sure to run it up a pretty penny.

“You know Jupiter, you can politely request a refill, I heard the humans love to have their existence acknowledged.” Venus’ voice was sickly sweet, but there was danger playing on her lips as she bared her teeth flashed a smile at him. Following her own advice she waved a hand to a passing waiter and offered a quick beam and happily received her refill, savoring this glass; her next two would be pounded back like cheap vodka.

Jupiter shifted uncomfortably at her smile, though he passed it off as adjusting his cuff link. His lack of words wasn’t meant to disrespect the human servers; it was just their place to acknowledge his wants and needs. He was a god, and they were mortals, whether they knew it or not was of no consequence to him. If he beckoned, they came. Still, when one of the servers filled his glass up, he gave a nod of thanks.

Enlightened by this turn of events, Mars took a sip of his own wine, looking up to offer a quiet ‘thank you’ to the server who offered a refill. The juice he could squeeze from this delighted him, but he awaited the opportunity to deliver his other bit of news.

“So it seems whatever our lovely two-faced brother has been working on is coming to fruition. A god slayer is on the loose, and you all seem more preoccupied with keeping your beds filled than uncovering the mystery.” Venus let out a sigh and took a sip, her eyes falling on Jupiter again, but only because he was across from her, “That’s a cute hickey by the way, that red-purple combo makes the color of your eyes pop.”

With a light cough, Mars shot a pointed look toward Jupiter. ”Speaking of that hickey,” Mars retrieved his phone from a jacket pocket, then tapped away for but a few seconds. He presented a picture he’d taken in a very non-discrete fashion of a man spewing chunks of fish sandwich onto Zeus’ ‘mighty’ boots. ”Your wonderful, terrible god of the sea. Honestly, he seemed pitiful and incredibly sad. I do like his podcast, however—very informational.”

Jupiter was a King of Gods, no matter what damn round table he sits at, and it’s only this reminder that has him keeping his face as stoic as the marble statues of his likeness. While the Greeks were notoriously the libidinous ones, Jupiter did have needs. He thought the man a simple mortal that he took to bed, but all this time, Jupiter had been laying with the enemy. If he were anyone else, he’d pick up his glass of wine and smash it against the wall. Fucking Greeks. Jupiter’s lip curls slightly, but otherwise shows nothing.

“Unfortunate.” Jupiter says, sipping at his wine just to give his mouth something to do while the gears turned in his head. “It does put me in an inconvenient position, but I haven’t revealed anything of import to him when I thought he was...ahem, human. Anything else we need to discuss?” Jupiter’s never felt more awkward in his life.

Janus cleared his throat, signaling an end to the battle of wits and gossip that could have carried on to fill the rest of the morning. Per usual, he ignored Venus’ pointed words, who he and his brother’s chose to have in their beds was none of her business, and as long as it did not impede on their plans, he would make it none of his. Janus’ own glass of wine remained untouched; his mind had been occupied by Mars’ confirmation of Hephaestus’ death; the news excited him more than it inspired fear.

“Well, the news Mars offers is deserving of celebration. The death of a greek sows the seeds of our coming victory, and the impending fall of our greatest enemies-” Janus rose his wine glass in the air in a toast just at the sound of the elevator’s arrival and hid his smirk behind the rim of his glass as he downed the contents. With a bit more enthusiasm, his eyes fell on the ever beautiful and ever confident Goddess of Love as he spoke his next words, “Please, join us Vulcan, it has been far too long.”

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Hidden 3 mos ago Post by smarty0114
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smarty0114 Human

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pensive, intrigued, calculating

Deep in the forests surrounding Moon River, a stag grazed on whatever greenery it could find. It’s fur was sleek, maintained only by nature. It’s eyes were deep black, cautiously scanning the surroundings every time it heard a noise, perusing the ferns and saplings that populated the forest floor. On one such occasion, the stag lifted it’s head and was greeted with an arrow through the eye. It died instantly, and Artemis emerged from her cover, flanked by six of her Maidens. Four of the girls got to work tying the deer to a pole to be carried back to camp. The muscles that were so clearly defined along their arms suggested that they were often the women picked for this particular job.

Artemis, along with Zoe and Thalia, treaded lightly ahead, breathing in the aroma of the forest. She smirked. A fitting way to start her morning, considering her plans for later.

“Thalia, what did our girl find out about Poseidon?” Artemis asked, her voice soft, pensive. She’d called in a girl to tail the returned Grecian the moment the Morrigan had ended her announcements, and she’d returned late in the night.

“She learned that he’s employed at a restaurant, Captain Nym’s. Going by the name, Peter Samaras,’” Thalia said, arms crossed behind her straightened back, a manila folder in one hand. She’d been a soldier before this, and her rigid training had not completely left her. She’d always treated Artemis like a general of sorts. Perhaps that was why she was second in command. “After work, she followed him to a man’s apartment. He spent the night there.” Thalia brought the folder around and took a photograph out, presenting it to Artemis.

“Curious” Artemis replied, smirking as she turned to face the two girls, and examine the picture. It was a poorly lit photograph, and zoomed in to such an extent that grain had clouded the finer details. Still, the face seemed familiar. She exhaled deeply, a rare smile on her face. “Maybe our little friend recognizes him.” Thalia and Zoe nodded along, but by now, they knew not to speak unless called upon. Artemis paced back and forth, eyes narrowed as she fell deep into thought.

Poseidon might be a possible ally in the search for the Colossus, but Pan’s recent announcement with Mars had tied an unexpected knot in her plans. His reappearance wasn’t a surprise to her, like Mars’ had been, but it was interesting that this press release came so quickly after the Conclave. She’d always suspected that at least some of the gods, both Grecian and otherwise, had never truly given up their ambitions. It was not in any of their natures to lay down and die. Recent events seemed to be proving her right.

“We’re ready to head back, my lady,” said one of the Maidens now carrying the stag on a pole.

Artemis glanced over, and nodded, chewing her lip as she remained deep in thought. “Thalia, go ahead and tell Maia to pull the car around.”

Thalia heeded the command, and set off ahead, jogging through the woods, while Artemis and the others trailed behind at a leisurely place. She’d use the walk to gather her thoughts. Pan had always thrived on the chaos of one’s mind. She would not give him that advantage today.

She found him in his office, like the secretary had told her she would. His legs were crossed at the ankles, propped up on his desk, the soles of Italian leather shoes pointed at her. He was on the phone, and when his eyes landed on her, he held up a finger, grinning that devilish grin he’d so perfected. She understood why his story had gripped mortals in such a particular way. Pan was a trickster, a beast of no true allegiance. It had taken her sometime to realize it, but it had made their friendship easier.

“Okay, well thank you Mr. Vaughn, I appreciate you keeping me up to date.” Pan hung up the phone and brought his legs down off the desk, gesturing to the empty seat in front of him. “I’d say this is a pleasant surprise, but it hardly was, and we both know you’re not one for pleasure anyways,” Pan quipped.

Artemis cocked her head, smirking. “You ever try doing stand up? You’d make a killing.” Her reply sent Pan into a fit of laughter, one that she endured until he’d calmed himself.

“Alright Arty, let’s cut the bullshit. I’m guessing you’re here about the press conference?” Pan said, leaning forward.

Artemis might’ve played the charade out a little longer, but she’d learned long ago that Pan wasn’t one to be fooled with little white lies. There was no point in beating around the bush when he’d gone and burned it down. “That’s half of it. I do think it’s interesting, you falling into bed with the Romans when Hephaestus’ body is still in the wind,” Artemis said. Her tone wasn’t accusatory, simply inquisitive.

“You’re one to talk, little huntress. If I were to look into your clients, who might I find?” Pan’s knowing smirk said enough. “Hephaestus’ death was shocking, yes, but it can’t stop me from doing business. If anything, I needed that contract with Mars even more. Hephaestus and I were set to meet in a few weeks, to discuss what Syrinx could offer Seattle.”

Any suspicions she’d had regarding Pan’s involvement in Hephaestus’ death went quiet. Pan was slippery, yes, but she knew him well enough to know that he didn’t act against his own self-interests. True, he was a liar, and a practiced one at that, but really, it wasn’t his style anyways. There were more important questions to be answered anyways, and she wasn’t willing to lose those answers over an unfounded accusation.

“Honestly, I’m more interested in whether or not you recognize this man,” Artemis said, slipping the manila folder out of her purse and opening it to reveal the picture of Poseidon’s mystery man.

Pan glanced at the picture, then looked back up at Artemis. “And what’s in it for me?”

“The gratitude of an old friend?” Artemis offered, though she was well aware he wouldn’t settle for something so trivial.

“An old friend, so near and dear to my heart that she just accused me of murder?”

“You and I both know that if I wanted to really accuse you, we wouldn’t be in your office. And quit pretending like murder is beneath you.”

Pan leaned back in his chair, exhaling deeply. “Keep your girls away from this building, and my house, and you’ve got yourself a deal.”

The two stared at each other for a moment, locked in a battle of wills. Finally, Artemis broke the silence. “Deal. No promises about your new friend though.”

“He doesn’t need me looking after him,” Pan said. His grin had returned, and he slid the photograph back to Artemis without a second glance. “It’s not the clearest picture, but I’m almost certain it’s Jupiter. Looks like the Roman’s bed holds more Greeks than we thought, doesn’t it?” Pan chuckled, spinning around in his chair as Artemis chewed her lip. It was suddenly imperative that she secure Posiedon.

She stood up quickly, sweeping the picture back into the folder and returning it to her purse. “I’d say thank you, but that would imply you did this out of the goodness of your heart.”

“You wound me,” Pan replied, gripping a nonexistent injury on his chest.

Rolling her eyes and shaking her head, Artemis stepped out of the office, leaving Pan and his jokes behind. She’d remembered why she’d given up traveling with him all those years ago, and prayed she wouldn’t regret the deal she’d just made.
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Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Icy Hot
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Icy Hot hand / crusher™

Member Seen 11 days ago

𝓟𝓮𝓻𝓯𝓮𝓬𝓽𝓲𝓸𝓷 𝓲𝓷 𝓽𝓱𝓮 𝓥𝓪𝓷𝓺𝓾𝓲𝓼𝓱
11 AM
can’t get enough.

interactions: a @icy hot x @smarty0114

Eros was roughly pulling open the door of his car, intent on escaping this place. Being gone for decades upon decades and coming back to facing death on all fronts was too much to bear. The God of Desire hardly knew Hephaestus, aside from being the craftsman of the gods. They operated in different circles in their godhood and as mortals, but the turmoil his murder brought was unnerving. Had a millennium of living among mortals deteriorated their pride and dignity as gods? Were they now simple beings at the mercy of such carnal emotions and reactions?

Then to see Psyche in such a way, to be reminded of that time where he had sought after a finite conclusion to this painfully endless life. Things had gotten too overwhelming, perhaps a reintroduction to a smaller gathering of gods could be organized in another fifty years, or a hundred or never?

“I thought I’d at least get a goodbye this time around. Maybe a phone number, and a lunch date. A ride in that fancy car too?”

Or maybe now?

Eros turned around to face the Sun God, a casual brow raised in curiosity as he allowed his eyes to trail over the man before him for a moment. They lingered on Apollo’s lips, the warm smile reminded him of the rays that washed over his nakedness earlier that morning, for a passing moment his thoughts went further back to the times that same warmth wrapped around him in the past.

“And here I thought you were chasing after me for an autograph.” Eros issued a wink and his posture relaxed back against the white Vanquish, “I’ve got a reservation for two at Altura in two hours and an empty mansion before then?”

Apollo pursed his lips and cocked his head, mentally checking his busy schedule for an opening with a melodrama only he could pull off so well. “I should be able to fit you in,” he said after a moment of his charade. “I’ve got one thing I need to do first, though.”

Thoughts fled from his mind, all but one, and his feet carried him forward, his arms extending out to grasp the man who’d been sneaking into his daydreams for so long. To see if it was still as real as he’d remembered. His right hand traveled upwards, fingers winding themselves through Eros’ golden crown, pulling him down to meet the sun. Lips crashed together, and it felt as if the floor had fallen out from under him.

As quickly as they’d come together, Apollo pulled away again, smiling. It was still very, very real. “Nice,” he said softly. The sky seemed brighter now, if only by a bit. He could have stayed in that spot for hours, crashed into Eros once more, and let the entire world fall away, but he craved more than that. “Okay, I’m ready,” Apollo said, practically glowing with excitement.

Eros let out a soft chuckle, the radiance of Apollo’s disposition casting aside the gloom that once held onto him. Lips tingling from the brief kiss, he leaned towards the god stealing another peck before gesturing to his car, “Your chariot awaits.”

The crisp October wind whipped past the Vanquish, tousling the golden locks of passenger and driver. Traffic was light at 10 A.M on a Saturday, much of Seattle was still tucked into the safety and warmth of sheets after a sleepless night. Some sleeping off hangovers, others recovering from various nightly escapades, Eros belonged to both groups. Usually, he’d still be in bed hiding away from the sun and its demanding presence, but things worked out differently when he decided to carry the sun to his room after a few bottles of wine.

The passion of the night lingered in Eros’ senses, the airy sighs of pleasure, the taste of Apollo on his lips, the tension of muscle against his palms. Eros cleared his throat, his hands tightened around the steering wheel, and his throat suddenly felt dry, but his thirst certainly wasn’t for any overpriced glass bottled water. The warm sensation of an untapped power spread through him, willing him to unleash it, to turn this car ride into some more explicit.

Eros’ eyes flickered to Apollo for the first time since they entered the car after a slightly awkward morning on Eros’ end. The radio offered a bit of grace to the otherwise silent car ride, between fantasizing and trying to shake off his nerves Eros had been uncharacteristically quiet. The long redlight he sat at made his silence very apparent to him. Eros wasn’t sure why he felt such a boyish nervousness stick with him after waking up beside the man he had been dreaming of the past century, but morning affirmations in front of the mirror weren’t enough to shake them off so he’d just have to power through it- ”Uh, so last night was great.”--or stumble through it.

”You were- spending time with you was great.” Eros made a point to keep his gaze focused on the road as he fumbled that interaction. Who the hell was he? Where had the charismatic sex coach gone? The sexiest man of the year with the confidence to bed anyone he wanted? It was almost reminiscent of the first times he tried to impress Psyche; the memory made him chuckle; it was exactly like that time.

”Sorry, It seems even I am at the mercy of my own nerves.” Eros looked beside him to Apollo, this time holding his gaze as he reached a gentle hand to caress the side of his face, “I couldn’t have imagined a more perfect night, thank you.”

Apollo had spent most of the morning car ride chewing the inside of his lip, the creeping feeling of rejection beginning to wrap its tendrils around him. After a night of skin against skin, a night of letting Eros touch every single part of him, the silence that came with his rise was jarring. He felt like he knew what was happening; he’d made plenty of drives like this. You talk as little as possible and hope they don’t ask too many questions about your plans. And they don’t, cause they don’t want to seem clingy, and you leave them in front of their house without much more than a wave.

But then, he spoke.

Eros spoke, and Apollo beamed, saving his lip from the perils of anxiety. He stuttered, but the words reached the sun god’s ears all the same, while his touch reignited a fire that burned throughout him. “Do I make you nervous?” Apollo asked, smirking and raising his eyebrows in suggestion. His own hand sought out Eros’ leg, seeking any type of contact he could. He felt the chiseled muscle that made up Eros’ thigh, and remembered what they’d looked like without pants. “I thought it was perfect too,” Apollo said, almost reassuring, while meeting Eros’ gaze once more.

Despite the blush that burned at his neck, he felt the tension in his shoulder melt away, his lips parted to answer Apollo’s question, but the impatience of mortals ended the sweet spell that enveloped that moment. The car jolted forward in response to a blaring horn and Eros’ hand fell away from Apollo’s face as he gave a hearty chuckle to the tune of burning rubber, “Yeah something like that.”

Once off the freeway, Eros settled for obeying the laws of the road, if only to prolong the car ride. “Besides fantasizing about me-” he gave a toothy grin a trademark heart-stopper among his fans, and show of his regaining confidence, ”what does a sun god do to pass the time in a rather dreary place like Washington? I wouldn’t mind spending our days eating and stumbling into bed, but we certainly have more to offer each other and more things to catch up on.”

“Y’know, I get drunk with the boys, I sleep with some mortals, and I do my best to get a tan,” Apollo said, waving his hand as if to highlight the importance his daily routine lacked.. “I play some shows at Hecate’s bar sometimes, but I don’t know, there’s no point in being a rockstar when you can’t tour.” He’d learned that lesson the hard way. “For once, you might have a more interesting life than I do,” Apollo said.

”For once” Eros repeated with a chuckle and shake of his head, “I’ll have to make it a point to swing by Hecate’s more frequently, seeing you on stage sounds like something I need in my life.” Eros pulled the car to stop outside of the expensive-looking condos, “I have a few appointments scheduled today, but I can come by later if you aren’t too booked for the night .”

“I’ll make dinner,” Apollo said, his voice smooth as silk, gentle as the harpist plucking her chords. He thought he could get used to this, driving around in the Vanquish and staring into the eyes of sex personified, always ready for more. Quickly, he planted his lips on Eros, stealing another kiss like the one in the parking lot, only longer and deeper, burning with a reignited passion. Not since Hyacinth had he been so enthralled. Each kiss begged to last forever; each parting seemed impossible.

Finally, he pulled away, still smiling. “Alright, go save the sex lives of all these gods forsaken mortals,” Apollo said. “And while you’re doing that, think of the culinary masterpiece you’re going to experience tonight.” One last look, and he stepped out of the car and jogged up the steps to the Acropolis.

Eros watched Apollo go, hungry eyes trailing the length of his lithe body. The god of desire drank in every graceful movement he made that carried him further and further away until he disappeared entirely behind a heavy metal door. For a moment longer, he sat in silence, enchanted still by the taste and sound of Apollo. The ringing of his phone through the car speaker snapped him out of it, gave a dreamy ”Fuck~”, a light chuckle and sped off to hurry up through this day.

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Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by Gothelk
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Gothelk Vacancy

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ᴄᴀᴘᴛᴀɪɴ ɴʏᴍ'ꜱ » ᴘᴏꜱᴇɪᴅᴏɴ'ꜱ ᴀᴘᴀʀᴛᴍᴇɴᴛ
ᴀᴛ ʟᴇᴀꜱᴛ ɪᴛ'ꜱ ɴᴏᴛ ᴠᴏᴍɪᴛ?

𝒊 𝒇𝒆𝒍𝒕 𝒉𝒊𝒔 𝒃𝒖𝒓𝒏𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒃𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒕𝒉
𝒍𝒊𝒌𝒆 𝒘𝒉𝒊𝒔𝒌𝒚 𝒉𝒆𝒂𝒕
𝒔𝒖𝒏𝒍𝒊𝒈𝒉𝒕 𝒘𝒉𝒊𝒔𝒌𝒆𝒓𝒔 𝒅𝒂𝒏𝒄𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒐𝒏 𝒔𝒆𝒂𝒔
𝒃𝒆𝒇𝒐𝒓𝒆 𝒍𝒊𝒈𝒉𝒕𝒏𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒘𝒐𝒖𝒍𝒅 𝒇𝒍𝒂𝒔𝒉 𝒐𝒗𝒆𝒓 𝒎𝒆
Moments of weakness came a dime dozen to Poseidon, dumped in alcohol until the wave of it slammed him into the ocean floor. Excuses couldn't lift the mountain that sat atop his shoulders, so he didn't make any. He merely showed up at the lobby door, flashed a smile at the greeter, and tumbled from elevator to bed sheets.

It's what he wanted, what he needed. Beyond knowledge or grief, Poseidon yearned for company. That's what the hot hands against the nape of his neck were for. The bites that sank into his shoulder. The purpling bruises against his thigh, his back, all over his neck. He sighed into every caress, ever hard hand, every pull against his skin. There'd be no other feeling than being cared for in a way only he'd allowed himself.

Perhaps Poseidon would get used and tossed aside and he'd tell himself he didn't mind. Until the next morning when his therapist called him over the phone wondering why he'd missed a session.

"Don't worry, I have free time this afternoon. Lucky you." She'd say. Lucky him indeed.

Walk of shame and all that, maybe a few lingering lips that would later burn to touch. A quick one that didn't end up being quick at all. Then off to work.

Which was where Poseidon found himself now, staring into the abyss of fried clam strips lifted close to his face to the point he now smelled of them.

"Dude? Peter. Peter, dude. DUDE?" A voice called from behind him, murky in the fog of his mind until it ripped him from those marshes.

"Wuh-?" Poseidon looked toward one of the cooks, Daniel, with wide eyes.

Daniel pulled his face into an expression of stupor, mimicking him, "WUH? Dude, you've been looking in a buddhist mind trance for like 15 minutes. Can you tell my dad I said 'fuck you' for me if you're still stuck in fried clam hell, Dante?"

Heat filled Poseidon's cheeks. Had he been staring for that long? He shook his head and set the dish down on a server platter before rushing out toward the table he'd intended to wait. With an apology on his tongue, Poseidon set the family's meal down and shuffled immediately into the back where air conditioning would greet his burning face. For a moment he wanted to dunk his head in water, maybe the sea that laid just outside this greasy, fast food hell. Instead, he settled on grabbing his phone from his pocket and quickly gathering his things.

He needn't say anything, Daniel already waved him out. "Get better dude. Maybe down a few cold ones. Or ten. Dunno. I'll tell the captain you threw up again or some shit." He winced at that, but waved in thanks nonetheless.


In the peace of his apartment, which mostly consisted of a number of large tanks filled to the brim with different assortments of fish and honestly nothing else of import, Poseidon allowed himself the respite of a shower. When the heat steamed the nervous panic from his brow, wiped the cold sweat of his ever present dread, Poseidon relaxed until he laid as dry as he could against soft linen. His hands grasped the sheets, wrapping it around himself to the nose and for a moment he simply stared at his ceiling to let his mind empty out.

Closing his eyes, Poseidon breathed deep. He counted his breath in, held; he counted it out, held. He chose to stay like this for what felt like hours until he finally allowed his eyes to open and his hand to reach for his phone.

Barely past eleven.

Time stood still for but a second with Poseidon's hand hovering over a name on his phone. Augustus. He bit his lip. Things started to get tricky for him as of late, but that wasn't something he couldn't deal with. It wasn't a surprise to Poseidon, especially when looking at his past which he never truly did too closely. A cursory glance.

Then it all came crashing to the rocks. His hand pressed the button, flying to tap words to fill the screen.

To: Augustus Kingsley
I know you're probably insanely busy but uh.... you mind if we had a chat? Maybe over lunch or something. I think there's a few things we need to talk about.

He nearly wrote 'my treat' but then remembered that day they actually did go for dinner and Poseidon bulked at the amount of numbers one could fit on a receipt. He'd choked on his wine that night, then choked on something else.

With a blush tinging his cheeks, Poseidon stood to queue up the edited episode for the week (a segment on the Philippine's own Bakunawa), then went off to gather whatever nice clothes he could find. Preferably ones that didn't smell like fish or grease, or both

Interactions: Jupiter @fledermaus

ʜʏᴘɴᴏꜱ' ꜱʟᴇᴇᴘ ᴄʜᴀᴍʙᴇʀ
ᴊᴜꜱᴛ... ᴡᴏᴏᴘꜱ

There could be no surprise for Hypnos that he'd miss a number of things that day. Why had he gone to the Conclave anyways other than to potentially get his ass chewed out by the Morrigan. Lucky for him when he'd awoken, tugged Kore awake, and fled, the goddess had her hands full with a phone call.

Still, to be filled in of the events held there didn't sit well with Hypnos. He should have at least been present to assist. Of course, all he could do now was feel guilty and sad... and sleepy. That's all he'd ever feel, usually in that order.

Deep dark met him that morning. His hands curled over the heavy duvet, tugging at it until the sheet covered the bridge of his nose. Ink danced against the backdrop, like hands reaching from the depths of a slow, calm river. He wanted to reach up and touch them, grasp their fingers in his until they melted into softness, into poppy petals that sank between the lines of his sheets. A sigh left him like mist into the void.

From darkness, Hypnos stepped into dim light where the sun would peak just between the fibers of his curtains. They'd settle softly, gentle against the hard, wooden floors rather than harsh and blinding. Between the sunspots on his floors, Hypnos glided toward the keyboard settled against the wall where the vines of a plant hung just above and pictures of quiet forests settled in frames against his cream walls. With no other urges that gripped him, no responsibilities beyond letting those he cared for know he still lived, Hypnos descended against the keyboards with soft eyes, half-lidded to the morning, but welcoming with a smile nonetheless and a familiar song on his tongue—not his, but still lovely.

True that I saw her hair like the branch of a tree / Willow dancin' on air before covering me / Under cotton and calicoes / Over canopy dappled long ago...

Sweet and airy, honey dripping from poppy for the earth and the air around him. It came and went like the birds on his windowsill, like the fall that bit at his heels, and the pang in his heart at starry nights in poppy fields, hands dipped into the river, a sudden person shaped void in his life in godhood and mortaldom. What he wanted to hold in his hands, yet never gave himself the chance to. That wasn't his to take or receive, he knew that. He knew that as hard as the guilt that ate at him. Until his song left him, keys pressing softer and softer until the melody flew to the rafters on wisps of his own terrible melancholia.

He needed something else that the keys of his piano wouldn't provide him.

To: Bringer of Dahlias
care to grab some tea? i... dont think i wanna be alone rn
i think my poppies are dying
no wait that's just me 😭

Even if Kore wanted to be alone or simply didn't answer for reasons Hypnos would understand, he still needed the backdrop of Seattle noise in his mind. It was too quiet up here and his own voice filling room didn't help that.

Oops, he forget a shirt and pants. The older gentleman across the hall gave him a look, brows a fine line against his forehead. Hypnos gasped, folding in on himself before he slunk back inside to retrieve his clothing.

Interactions: Kore (Text) @Icy Hot
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Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by pandapolio
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God of Hangovers

Constantinople was a city that never stopped moving for any occasion. The world could be ending and sure enough, there would be a vendor trying to sell you some trinket. The large market that filled the westernmost plaza of the city was no exception to this habit, even a few hours after the sun had set. Covered lanterns lit up the large area that would have been an open field if were not for the hundreds of tents that cluttered the plaza. People shuffled through the small corridors that naturally opened up between ramshackle shops. Citizens of the metropolis, rich and poor alike, came to purchase many of the items they needed in their day to day lives. At one vendor a wealthy patrician could be seen purchasing some form of roasted meat, while only a few steps away a small peasant woman was haggling over a rough piece of sheep’s wool.

Between the thousands of people gathered in the orange light of the lanterns, the god Dionysus was attempting to purchase some herbs from a small eastern woman who might just have lived as many years as the ageless diety. “Trust me, this wine is worth more than any gem or ore anyone could try and trade you. Just take a sip and you’ll understand what I mean.” Dio used his best smile while he said this, the same smile that could sway any mortal being only a few decades ago. “As if I would drink something a strange boy tries to force-feed me. You don’t get my age just trusting any honeyed words that come your way.” The old trader showed a near toothless grin as she pushed the skin of wine away from her.

“You also apparently didn’t live that long by being generous.”, Dio spat back at her. He was growing increasingly frustrated with this imp of a woman who dared defy him. Mortality was still something that Dionysus was adapting to daily, even though he had previously spent centuries roaming the planet. Back then he had been something “beyond” human, a being who merely existed near humans. Never did he have to pretend to be one of them.

“If you're going to take that kind of attitude with me I might as well raise the price to four denarii.”

“Fine, fine take your money, you greedy woman.” Dio tossed the money onto the table next to him and grabbed the herb before she could raise the price another time. Rushing away from the vendor Dio slipped through the crowds back east towards the center of the city. No matter how agile he was he couldn’t help but bump into some people earning himself some indignant shouts and curses. The young god ignored the insults and focused on making it out of the plaza as quickly as possible. Finally reaching an end to the mass of people Dio took a deep breath before continuing his jog into the city. As he headed inwards the smell of the sea receded somewhat and new scents began to overwhelm the senses. Imported spices from India and cured leather from the western edge of the empire dominated his nose as he passed by the shops of the many craftsmen who inhabited the city.

Dio stopped on a dime and ran down an alleyway between two tall buildings. He pulled aside a small curtain on the side of the rightmost building and made his way up the stairs that started at the entrance. Only once he reached a small door at the top did the god slow his ascent. Before entering Dio leaned against the wall and steeled himself against the growing pain he could feel pierce his heart. Dio faked a smile and entered the small room.

The room was cluttered and looked more like a large cupboard than anything. Shelves on the walls held an assortment of plates, cups, and random personal belongings. The floor was covered with colorful Persian rugs that only matched if one happened to be color blind. In the middle of the room, furs were piled to form a makeshift bed that was currently occupied. A slender form was curled up on top of the furs fast asleep oblivious to the world. Dio stood still not wanting to wake the resting woman and merely stood there gazing down at her. He didn’t know how long he stayed like this, Dio just knew he could wait here forever if she could be at peace asleep like this.

Eventually, the sleeping form began to move and raise its head. It was then that Dio could see the eyes of Ariadne, his wife. Even though her brunette hair was disheveled and she was a shade paler than healthy, Dio could feel his heart stop. Ever since he found her crying on the island of Naxos he had felt this way. Before the Colossus had happened he used to tell her she made him feel mortal. When Ariadne had asked what he meant by this he had at first hesitated, before voicing it best he could. “I have never feared death, for why should I? I am something beyond mortals and their limited view on life. I was born in the underworld of all places, dying would be a simple trip home. But when I am with you I truly feel afraid. I feel afraid that I could die at any moment. That I could be ripped away from you. An eternity in the pit of Tartarus can’t even compare to a minute without you.”

The tired eyes of Ariadne panned over the room until she saw her husband standing at the entrance. “How long have you been standing there?” When Dio saw his wife attempt to sit up he rushed to her side and put a hand on her back. Looking into her eyes Dio stopped faking his smile and whispered in her ear, “Not any longer than I would have wanted.” Ariadne giggled at him until a dry cough overtook her and she brought her hands to her mouth. When the coughing finally subsided Ariadne pulled her hands away from her face and let them fall onto her lap. A small amount of blood was visible on her palms and Dio quickly began to lay her back down. Dionysus pulled the herbs he bought out of his pocket and began to crush them into a bowl with the pommel of a small dagger.

“You are such a hopeless romantic. When I’m gone you better find someone to take care of you.” Dio winced when she said that last sentence, not wanting to remember the new mortality of his wife. “Dio, I need you to look at me.” He turned to face his wife and could see her clearly in pain trying to stay awake. “I need you to promise me you won’t cry for eternity when I’m gone. Try to enjoy your time here on earth. You can finally truly interact with humans without hurting them, I know you hated that your curse hurt those around you. Enjoy this freedom and live. Not as a god or a king, but as a human. Trust me, it’s not as bad as you think.”

She grabbed his hand and held it to her lips. She lightly kissed his knuckles before pulling him into a real kiss. Dio embraced her as best as he could without hurting her any more. Letting him go, Ariadne, stared into his eyes. “Hold me for the next few minutes, until I am gone. I want to feel your warmth.” They sat there still for a time with her eyes closed. Dio watched her breath as her breaths became more and more shallow. Tears could no longer be stopped as he waited for the love of his immortal life to die. His vision now clouded Dio couldn’t say if he sat there for seconds or hours, but when he could finally see again her breathing had stopped.

The entire world seemed to rock as Dio rocketed awake, jumping up from where he had been sleeping. As the world continued to spin he put a hand on a nearby wall to stabilize himself with. Eventually, the spinning stopped for long enough for him to realize the wall he was leaning on was brick, which happened to not be what his walls were made of in his apartment. Taking a look around himself Dio could make the simple observation that he was in some kind of back alley. As he turned to take in his surroundings a sharp pain pulled his attention towards his abdomen where he could see his shirt was covered in blood. Confused Dio used his free hand to search the pain he was feeling. It was there that he could feel an incision just below his ribcage on his left side. It was then that he saw a small glint of steel towards the exit of the alley. As he got closer he saw it was a small pocket knife covered in blood. Seeing it caused Dio to somewhat remember what had happened before his unplanned nap. A young adult had approached a drunk Dio and attempted to rob him. When the young god had proved uncooperative the youth had tried to scare him off with a knife. This conflict escalated until the thief had stabbed Dio. To the would-be murderer’s surprise, his victim had taken being shanked better than most. Dio took it so well in fact he pulled the knife out and stabbed it into his attacker’s shoulder. It was then that the thief decided Dio’s wallet wasn’t worth the trouble leaving Dio to pass out from either alcohol consumption or bleeding.

Leaving the back alley Dionysus began to make his way towards the general direction he was sure he lived. He checked his phone and noticed it had been several days since he had wandered away from the conclave to get drunk somewhere. Thinking to himself as he walked he came across a genius idea. He stopped in the middle of the sidewalk and clapped his hands together. Dio had finally solved how to be rid of the colossus and return to his wife. “I just have to die, that’s it!” The problem was he wasn’t sure if death by leaving the colossus was the same as a normal death. It was better to be safe and find another way to die. “Now I just need to find someone who can kill me.”
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Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by KZOMBI3
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KZOMBI3 𝖍𝖎𝖙 𝖎𝖙 𝖚𝖓𝖙𝖎𝖑 𝖎𝖙 𝖇𝖗𝖊𝖆𝖐𝖘

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So much time had passed since she had seen him. Heard from him. And the last thing she did hear from his kissed bruised lips was “Fuck. Fuck. Fuck! That can’t bode well. An ominous sign indeed. A heavy sigh escaped her lips as Tlazōlteōtl sat there at the bar, head in her hand, the other lazily stirring her whiskey. The condensation racing down the sides of the glass towards the cocktail napkin just beneath it. ’What did that even mean. Was it a misunderstanding? He wasn't too drunk, was he? No. That wasn't it. It would take much, much more for mortal's liquor to affect even the youngest of the gods. Then what? It baffled her to no end. It wasn't her powers. She would never use them on Ares as such. She knew that much at least. A terrible thought cracked across the forefront of her mind, ’was it all a nasty trick?

That alone soured her mood and it seeped from her in droves. She hopped from her spot, downing her drink, and proceeded to walk around the floor between the number of women that had taken up residency at the bar. The Jaguar was packed once more, it was Ladies Night after all, and the throng of veteran and new guests alike were crowding the bar in search of refills and placing new drink orders before the next dancer arrived on the main stage. Quite a few bachelorettes with their bridal party and friends this evening, ’Expect large tips tonight boys…’

As they swarmed the bar, Tlazōlteōtl lightly gave them a pat on the shoulder or hand, asking how it was they were enjoying themselves, listening to their idle chit chat, work her magic and then move on to the next one. However, a voice stopped her in her tracks. It wasn't familiar by any means, but it wasn't unfamiliar either. Something about it gnawed at the back of her mind. ’Where did she know it from?’ A few seats down from where the goddess stood was a beautiful woman with hair like flaxen gold curled and tousled over her shoulders, her tone seemed anxious but her voice was feathery and light indicative to a warm natured soul. But it wasn’t just the sound of the mysterious woman’s voice that caused her bead to swivel, it was her words calling out for Alex to call her back.

It could have been because Ares was taking up all the available real estate in her mind, but there was something just tugging her to get closer. To determine if this was intertwined together or, like it would most likely be, a complete coincidence. A cruel joke by the fates, surely, but a coincidence nonetheless.

Approaching the blonde without being spotted was a simple enough task to complete, she seemed completely focused on whatever conversation she was having with the voicemail on the other end. She was setting the phone down by the time Tlazōlteōtl sidled up next to her, ”Trouble in paradise?” an alluring lilt to her voice so as not to come off as completely nosey, as she nodded towards the phone still clutched in the woman’s perfectly manicured hands. Upon closer inspection to the woman she realized that she was unfamiliar to her. Then what was it about her voice that pulled her this way? It couldn’t have simply been because of the mention of Alex… how many Alexes were there in the world? Too many that’s for damn sure…’

Tlazōlteōtl is nearly floored when she catches the home screen of the woman’s phone as she goes to set it down. There, lit up for all the world to see, had anyone decided to just look down for those last fifteen seconds or so, would bear witness to Ares in all his mortal glory. A picture of him like no one had ever seen, or rather not many have seen. A side of him that was so well guarded that it had even taken her, the Goddess of Filth and Purification, quite some time before being graced with seeing him so content and relaxed and just… happy. It would have caused jealousy and rage to brew deep within her belly, at seeing his picture on her phone - this random mortal - if she weren’t so curious and confused.

The girl had just released a worried sigh and lowered her phone when Tlaz – a stranger to her – had approached her. She was a little surprised at first, but then looked at the phone the stranger was pointing at. “Oh no, it’s just… he promised to call me back and he didn’t but it’s fine. It’s fine. It happens.” She dismissed it with casual ease. But her voice betrayed a little worry. Alex hadn’t been home yesterday. Or today. That wasn’t new, but that didn’t mean she wasn’t feeling worried about him. Her sweet Alex. Did something happen to him? Wait… someone was talking to her. She shook herself loose of the worry as she extended her hand. “I’m so sorry, I haven’t introduced myself. I’m Julie!” She said with a bright smile.

'A name to a face,’ Tlazōlteōtl was many things, impolite to patrons was not one of them. Well, not unless they demanded it. This young woman didn't deserve it and therefore Tlazōlteōtl was cordial enough with an exotic smile and offering her hand. "A pleasure, Julie, I am Lalli Teotl; owner of the Jade Jaguar. May I be the first to welcome you into my establishment with a refreshment. Yasmin is a mix master, on the house of course." The tawny skinned goddess noticed that her company was going to refuse when she punctuated her statement with an "I insist, that way you can tell me all about this... guy. I've been told I'm an excellent listener," her fingertips barely touched Julie's exposed shoulder, but that's all it took for a brilliant smile to grace her face, a nod and Tlazōlteōtl was ordering towards Hathor with just a glance.

This mortal held connections with Ares. Connections that he had neglected to mention and divulge any time he was in her presence. Granted, there were things that she kept from him but in all fairness, he never inquired about her sex life; not really... but she had questioned him about it before. Many a time in fact. He always managed to dodge the question, or brush off her words with a knowing smirk, a lick to his lips and a gaze that just traveled over her before he derailed the topic. The thought struck her, had he always held a sort of power over her? Without her realizing? All signs pointed to yes, if the other night was any indication. Those were questions for another time. For now, her attention was turned to the mortal beside her, drinks now placed before them, Tlazōlteōtl took her drink in hand sipping lightly a question danced past her lips, "So, tell me Julie, what troubles you? How are you enjoying yourself," and subtle nod back to the now black screen of her phone, "All things considered?"

“Oh nothing is troubling me, really.” She quickly said, as she took the tiniest sip of the drink she could. Only if you looked really closely could have seen the liquid sit lower in the glass now. It wasn’t because she disliked the drink. Quite the opposite, it was delicious! But Julie knew she was a lightweight. What she had said was a lie though. As she kept glancing at her phone, hoping for a message from Alex. “I’m just here with some friends.” She then continued, turning around to point at a table where a bunch of girls were sitting, cheering and laughing with drinks that various guys bought for them in their hands. All of them were models, colleagues (or ex-colleagues technically) of Julie. Though some had brought their boyfriends along. The sight made Julie ache. Alex never went out with her and her friends. They only went on dates alone. All her friends kept bugging her to introduce him but he was adamant about it. He was adamant about many things but they never constrained her. “I just… kind of wished Alex would’ve come out with me.” She muttered. But then turned to face Lalli again. She wasn’t sure why the proprietor of such a big club would talk to little old her. She wasn’t anything special. Half her friends were more beautiful than she was. And she was just a photographer. “The club is really beautiful though! This is the first time I’ve been inside. And the first time I’ve seen someone use teal instead of red!”

Tlazōlteōtl was no stranger to the longing, forlorn look in her eyes, the telltale sign of weariness creeping into her voice as she spoke the words, as if speaking them aloud would miraculously summon him to her side. Or at least ring her phone. All signs that she herself felt towards a certain conniving messenger god. Many thanks were ushered from her as she accepted the compliments from this mortal. She knew her club was unique, but it never hurt to hear more praise. Especially praise as genuine as the ones she was currently receiving.

"Men…" she began, tapping a nail against the thick of her glass, "they need us to grab them by the tie and force their attention back to us. They get so lost in their own little worlds that they tend to neglect their other duties," Tlazōlteōtl smirked as her eyes raked over Julie, a beautiful mortal indeed before taking a long sip of her drink.

The ice settled at the bottom of the glass making the smallest of twinkling sounds. "Let's see 'im," she gestured almost impatiently, "Who is this man who is distracting you from Ladies Night…"

“Oh Alex isn’t like that!” Julie quickly said as she quickly went through her phone to pull the right picture of him. “I mean I know he’s away for long and sometimes just can’t answer his phone. But he always comes back. And he always got flowers and chocolates and…” Her words trailed off, but only because she remembered all the good things he did. All the effort he made. “He’s always with me when I need him.” She found the picture she had taken. One of the few ones she was in, kissing a soaked looking Ares. Julie handed the phone to Lalli as she told the story behind it.

“Molly, my cat, died three years ago. I couldn’t do anything. I just cried the whole day. That night I just sent him a small message. We had just started dating back then. I didn’t want to weigh him down and I knew I was going to be a mess for weeks. It was better to.. you know.. finish it.” Even though she knew that wasn’t the end, even uttering those words made her heart break a little. “An hour later he stood at my door. Drenched from the storm. Just to be with me. He cooked for me. He cleaned the house. He made sure everything around me was taken care of. My grandma always told me: ‘Julie, find you a man who does things for you. That’s how men show affection.’” For a second she stopped to wipe away a tear, one clearly of happiness, away before she continued. “I later learned his car had broken down and that he ran for half an hour through that storm. Two months later he went with me to the animal shelter and we adopted Snowball.” She finished with a laugh.

She would have let her mind wander, and for a brief moment it did. But not willingly or to something pleasant. No, the thoughts that plagued the mind of the goddess were that of… well she couldn't discern. Being around for as long as she had one would have thought the words would be present for her use. Bitterness? Resentment? Contempt? None of them aptly captured her inner turmoil.

Not only was this woman someone who knew Ares, as Alex of course, but someone with whom he shared his softer side. A caring side, completely separate from who he was that she knew. Were they not as close as she once believed? Did he not care for her as he did for this mortal? The events from the previous evening crossing her mind. A kiss that shook her to her core, and him as well, though it seemed for very different reasons. He had someone to go home to. Someone to cherish and embrace. To share those kinds of intimate moments with someone who wasn't of Aztec descent. His words echoed within her, “I… didn’t see who I should’ve seen...” of course! How could she have been so blind. Such an idiot. He didn't see her, why would he? What was she to him but a spur of the moment. He was hot blooded and riled up from the aftermath of the Conclave and then with the fight earlier that night. Unshed tears pricked her eyes and she was skilled enough in love lost to blink them away before being noticed.

Taking one last look at the phone she smiled softly, melancholic even. "He's always been a great guy…" the words uttered under her breath were meant to go unheard, though with the way Julie's posture changed she knew it wasn't the case. Backtracking, Tlazōlteōtl cleared her throat before passing the phone back, "Alex Miknosos right? We've known each other for awhile now," she gave a slight chuckle, "We were colleagues for the longest time, way back when."

Upon passing the phone back to her she took note of the screen lighting up, much like the smile he wore in the photo. She wondered, somberly, did he ever feel that elated in her presence? Did he ever believe there could have been more between them?

Julie furrowed her brow a little as Lalli looked at the picture. For a split second she thought she saw recognition in her eyes. No, not just recognition. Something different. Something darker. No, no that was impossible. Why would anyone dislike Alex? He was such a sweet person. Sure he could look a little intimidating but he wouldn’t dare hurt a fly. But when the woman before her said something about how he had always been a great guy, her expression turned a little lighter. Hopeful. Did she know Alex!? Then the bombshell fell. “Oh my god! You worked for Aegis Capital!?” Julie exclaimed as she took back her phone. Missing the melancholy in Lalli’s smile entirely. She couldn’t believe it. Finally she met someone from his history! “How was he like back then? Like was he always so guarded about things?” She asked as her eyes were practically sparkling. Maybe she’d finally get some more answers about who Alex used to be.

Whatever Tlazōlteōtl was expecting to happen, this was not it. She was, once again, at a loss for words but managed all the same, "Alex, yeah, guarded is putting it mildly," she smiled, body language becoming more relaxed as she leaned in. Reminiscing on all memories shared between them. Ah, the stories she could tell. "He's always been a hardass. Always making sure that the job was done and done right. To the point where he would do it himself. Alex never believed he was above others and expected that if he can lower himself to do the task at hand so could you."

Memories of moments shared played behind her eyes like a movie, fast forwarding and pausing only slightly on certain instances. One in particular stood out; a night they shared at a seedy bar, smoke clouding the air - thick and heavy - patrons speaking in different languages all hushed as if fearful of whatever they discussed would be overheard and deciphered. Tlazōlteōtl having just lost her only son had been on a bender, far worse than she feared any mortal felt. Ares was there, bumping her shoulders, throwing back drinks with her, allowing her to use him as her own personal punching bag. In hindsight he didn't deserve to be on the receiving end of her grief, but he was there and he allowed it. Offered himself up. Tlazōlteōtl was at rock bottom and he knew it, could sense the sorrow radiating off of her and let her go off, staying with her the entire time. Afterwards he claimed it was because that's what she needed, who was he to stop her from that? And it just made their bond so much more than colleagues...

It was difficult to pull her from the fond memories of the past, but it was done nonetheless, and she was still seated there with Julie. This human that somehow garnered the attention of Ares and managed to keep it all to herself. A person in his life, regardless of who it was, that had been hidden from all aspects of his true nature. But the same could be said of the reverse, none of the gods knew she existed in such a way as to be this intimate with an immortal.

Tlazōlteōtl kept her mouth shut about any of the dealings that have taken place between the two of them for the sake of Hades and his organization. Even the ones that may or may not have been wholly sanctioned, but that wasn't any of her concern. Business was business after all. Probably why she chose to stay so close to this Julie character. Even though she ached from confusion and envy of knowing that Julie was connected to the source of her anguish, she was still a client, a guest, and therefore will be treated as such.

"Alex is many things, Julie, I have known him for quite some time," she went to fiddle with her glass, ice now melted down from the humidity of the bodies dancing around them really wishing she had something else to quench this dry mouth of hers, "but once he sets his mind to something it's nearly impossible to pull him away until it's resolved." There was no ill will towards this woman, why should there be. She wasn't the one who toyed with her emotions. Wasn't the one who kissed her and ignited unrequited feelings to bloom and burst forth between her ribs and take hold like strangle vines of smoke and musk. No. That was reserved for Ares and the next time she saw him. For now, she just offered a slow, firm pat to the top of Julie's hand and as warm of a smile as she could muster with the amount of conflicting emotions surging through her.

The way Lalli spoke of Alex, she definitely knew him. Maybe as deep as Julie thought she knew him. Maybe she knew him even better than she did. For all their years together, he has rarely shared anything about his own past. It was like he was a ghost that just appeared in her life. He met her parents, went to weddings with her, took her out on dates in the most beautiful restaurants. Meanwhile she didn’t even know the name of his mother. Only once did he slip up and basically revealed that he had siblings. But she never met one in her life. Sometimes, during boring family events, she found herself fantasizing about the people that raised the one she loved. What were they like? They must’ve been the best people on the earth to raise someone like Alex. At those family events though Alex seemed to enjoy himself immensely. Maybe he just never met often with his own family.

But still, the way Lalli spoke of Alex… she knew him well. Better than her, maybe. The way this woman spoke as she fiddled with her glass. Did she know him from more than work? Had they been… together? Of course Julie felt envious about that. For a second she kept silent, letting the music fill the quiet void between them. Then, when she had gathered enough courage, she bit down on her lip and asked: “Did you… I mean were you two… more than colleagues once?”

"There was a time," she began, her thoughts drifting to the number of times throughout history where the idea of a more intimate relationship could have sprung forth from their friendship. However at her words she could physically see Julie's posture contort and deflate before she continued, "Where I believed that we could have been." There was something within herself that she was sure even the densest of mortals could sense, something so dismal that swarmed the words that fell from her lips.

So, with a quick switch in gears she added with a subdued sigh and a comical shrug, trying to seem as nonchalant about it all as best as she could. But the words, and just the entire situation of it all. Being here where it happened, talking with her it made it all so surreal. "But it seemed the Fates had different plans for the two of us, he's found you and I've never seen him as lively and elated as he's been these last few years." The corners of her lips were pulled into a slight smile that didn't quite reach her eyes but Tlazōlteōtl had had many a year to perfect the imposter.

Julie blushed and pursed her lips a little when she heard Lalli had never seen Alex so lively and elated. It felt like a compliment that was far too generous. She had to admit, when Lalli said ‘There was a time’ she felt envious. Afraid even! Who was she compared to such a beautiful and confident woman? Someone who worked with Alex. Who knew him much longer than she did. Someone that owned a club as big as this one! But when she continued, her heart eased up. Nothing happened and all was good.

She was about to ask then, with a big smile on her face, about Ares’ family. About everything they did together. About how he was when he was maybe younger. About his siblings. But her barrage of questions was quickly halted by her phone vibrating. She quickly checked the caller ID, hoping not to appear rude. But when she saw the name of the one calling, her entire face lit up. “I’m so sorry I have to take this!” She almost squealed towards Lalli before picking up.

“Hey!” She said, elated, through the phone. “Guess where I am! No. Nope. Alex, I’m with Cynthia! Nope. Not even close.” She winked playfully at Lalli before her. Tlazōlteōtl had already stood from her long seated position, glancing around through the crowds of people culminating within the teal and green walls of the Jaguar. It had become even more busy in the time that she's spent with the mortal. As Julie continued with her call with Ares, Tlazōlteōtl made sure to keep her ears open, straining to hear anything of his from the other side of the phone; especially at the mention of her name. “The Jade Jaguar! And I’ve met someone. Lalli, the owner of the club! She told me a lot about you already! Oh, tomorrow? Oh my god, I’m so sorry. I can’t make it. No, no I have a shoot in the morning. No, no you go! And tell her I’m dying to meet her! Alright. Alright, I’ll do that. Okay and Alex… I love you.” With that she ended the phone call and looked at Lalli again. Tlazōlteōtl believed that with that one innocent look that she was trying, searching, for any signs or tells that the goddess would be affected by those three little words. Tlazōlteōtl had to sing her own praises as she kept a neutral, friendly appearance. Or so she hoped. Though she doubted that there was any malicious bone in this mortal's frame.

“Sorry… I hadn’t heard of him in almost two days. I really wanted to take that.” She apologized, looking both extremely excited and just a little bit sad as well. Tlazōlteōtl only nodded, not really knowing what to say in this sort of situation. Well, she knew what she could say, but that would serve her no purpose other than trouble. So, she stood there, empty glasses in hand as she was about to take her leave letting Julie get back to her evening out with friends just as those words left her mouth, Oh and you have Alex’s regards.”
collab: @Legion02 mentions: @Akayaofthemoon @Danvers i think hermes is mentioned 🤔
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smarty0114 Human

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Artemis climbed the stairs of Poseidon’s apartment building with her usual cool and collected confidence. Thalia had sent her the address, and her driver was waiting outside. With Pan, she’d had an inkling of what to expect, but this meeting was shrouded in mystery. She hadn’t spoken with her uncle since before The Fall. Who knew what the centuries had done to the god she’d once known? If the Conclave was anything to go on, they had not been kind.

Still, this uncertainty didn’t shake her. She was a huntress, cautious and always prepared. She hoped Poseidon had simply been tricked. Tricked was better than falling head over heels for a Roman. An idiot in love couldn’t be reasoned with. Sooner or later, they’d become a liability, and she couldn’t have those. She refused.

She’d left her bag in the car. For this meeting, she carried only a bottle of wine, a vintage that Apollo had given her on her birthday years ago. She didn’t trust his taste in wines at all, but he’d insisted that Dionysus had picked it out, and if anyone knew wine it was him. It was intended as a gift, a very belated housewarming present, though Artemis never gave gifts without motive. Gifts softened people to you. Surprise gifts often made people feel as if they were on uneven ground, like they owed their gift giver a favor in return. Artemis could only hope her uncle had taken on such mortal thoughts.

Masking her face with her famously soft smile, Artemis strutted down the halls until she found the apartment number Thalia had given her. She knocked, three loud raps against the hard wood of the door, and waited for it to open.

Nerves always tickled at his stomach at the prospect of seeing him again. Oh, mortal-hood did a number on him in the lovesick department. Of course, he wasn’t supposed to catch feelings so he quickly shoved that trickle of emotion down with a deep breath at his doorway. Only for that deep breath to be interrupted by a hard knock.

Poseidon jolted, eyes wide as he looked down at the text message. He couldn’t have been just outside his door could he? No, the man was busy. He didn’t have time for…

The door opened cautiously with an eye peering out to see a young woman poised in front. Poseidon’s breath caught in his throat. ”Ah-Arty—” Poseidon said, then shook his head as he cut himself off and opened the door fully, ”Artemis? A surprise certainly, mainly because last he’d seen of Artemis he was certain they weren’t on good terms. Maybe that was his own mind playing upon his guilt and fear. It’d been so long ago that he wasn’t exactly sure what Artemis thought of him now. That didn’t erase the pinched expression on his face and the slight folding in upon himself in the shame that was about to come to him. She didn’t look upset, but to assume of Artemis was often a death wish.

“Surprised?” Artemis said, though the answer was clear. She didn’t wait for an invitation, slipping past Poseidon and across the threshold of his home. She spun in a small, graceful circle taking in the room and it’s assorted fish tanks. It was hardly in line with the Poseidon she’d once known, full of pride and arrogance and wrath. However, it matched the man she’d seen the other day pretty perfectly. Her uncle had clearly not been thriving in his mortaldom.

“I figured after your surprise appearance Thursday, that it might be nice to stop by. Nice work convincing everyone you were dead though, that almost had me fooled,” she said, smirking. She held the bottle of wine out for him to take, gripping it by the neck. “For you.” With the bottle passed off, Artemis strolled up to one of the fish tanks, bending over until she was eye level with the friends of Poseidon that swam around inside. “You’re dressed up. Off to meet someone?” Artemis asked, still gazing into the tank.

Poseidon barely had time to invite his niece inside before he stepped out of her path. Well, Augustus hadn’t replied, yet, so he supposed he had time to kill. A flush tinged on his cheeks as Artemis spoke, hands gripped around the wine bottle. ”Oh, this isn’t really necessary,” he said, staring down at the gift. He didn’t deserve gifts, was what came to mind as his hands twisted around the bottle.

”Thank you, though, I suppose. For the wine, not the, uh, well I—” Poseidon stammered on, looking anywhere but Artemis as he shut the door and set the wine on his counter. Shame still gripped him by the neck, threatening to tear the lump in his throat out. It probably looked obvious in his expression, but Poseidon willed that thought away.

A rush took him to one of his chairs, piled with envelopes that he set atop one of the fish tanks. ”Please, uh, take a seat. I was just waiting for a, um, ‘friend’ to have lunch with but he hasn’t replied, yet. I have time. D-do you want water? A snack… um,” Poseidon fumbled over his words, nearly over his own two feet attempting to provide any comforts Artemis wished.

Poseidon’s nerves seemed to be wafting off of him at this point. She couldn’t remember seeing him like this, not in all their time as gods. A piece of her took a simple sort of pleasure from seeing the Mighty Earthshaker tremble. Another piece of her still saw him as family, at least until he’d proven himself completely against her. The man before her was not the one she’d once known, but perhaps that was better. Perhaps, she could push him towards something greater, more important than whatever games he’d played before. The moon had always held a peculiar grasp over the sea, after all.

“I prefer to catch my meals, but I appreciate the offer,” Artemis said. Her voice betrayed none of the thoughts that raced through her head. She was marble, cold and unreadable to all but the most expert of sculptors. Slowly and with a litheness afforded to only the most graceful souls, she stood straight and made her way to take a seat on the couch, leaning confidently against the armrest. “If you’re waiting for me to castrate you over some centuries old disagreement, you can relax. If I’m right, you’re a different idiot than the one who fell to earth. An idiot who’s hopefully learned a few lessons. Like why we don’t turn women into monsters, perhaps?”
That bit hard into Poseidon’s heart. Again, he’d nearly tripped on his own two feet as he looked up at Artemis. Her expression gave nothing, not even the tone of her voice, but Poseidon was never apt at reading people. No hammer and chisel would fit his hands to take down any kind of wall. ”That’s not what I’d call myself. Though, my therapist says I shouldn’t be so cruel on myself,” Poseidon said. He scratched the back of his head and sat upon his collection of mail on the coffee table, hands gripping the wood beneath him.

”I’ve learned that lesson. But, sometimes,” he looked down toward his feet, shuffling them against the carpet, ”I think I got off easy. That I deserve…” He let himself trail off as he looked away from Artemis. He winced, a hand coming up to grasp his left arm as it seized. He tightened it into a fist at the sudden reminder, stared at it for a moment then looked up to catch Artemis’ eyes. ”Are you really just here to catch up with me?” he asked, hoping she’d just say yes and spare him the rejection.

Artemis’ eyes fell onto the hand, scarred by the Colossus’ magic. She’d seen the same injuries on others before, Apollo even bore some, though much less serious. Curious. “You’re hardly the only one with penances to pay.” Artemis sighed, hoping she wasn’t about to shatter the clearly fragile god of the sea. “If only our lives were simple enough for catching up. I think first, we need to talk about your ‘friend,’” Artemis said, punctuating her sentence with air quotes. “Do you know who he is?” Artemis asked. Her eyes scanned Poseidon’s face, awaiting a reaction that would answer her question.

Poseidon followed her gaze down, pursing his lips slightly. She spoke the truth and his self-pity seemed that much less important now. ”You’re right. Uh, but what about my,” Poseidon coughed and avoided Artemis’ gaze, ”friend. He’s nothing special. Well, he is, but… no, I mean. Hoo.” Poseidon’s eyes widened. Great God of the Sea, bringer of waves that tore down civilizations and earthquakes that break the world was on the verge of making a fool of himself.

”I mean, he’s a CEO, but it’s just a fling. I think. I… maybe? It’s just comfort, you know. I mean, he’s just a guy. Why would you come see me about him?” Poseidon asked, tilting his head. The gears in his head turned for a moment, wondering at Artemis’ logic. Then it clicked. ”Oh, gods, are you saying he’s connected to what happened with… with, uh…? No, no. Artemis. Artemis?”

Artemis smirked. So he had enough intuition to guess that much. Maybe there was something to salvage here. “All I know is that said CEO once went by a name that should ring a bell.” She leaned forward, relishing the tension that built up in the silence. She was a huntress, first and foremost, and there was a certain thrill that came with every chase, both physical and metaphorical. “Jupiter.” She cocked an eyebrow, allowing the shock to sink in before she continued. “I don’t have anything to connect the Romans to Hephaestus yet, but don’t you think it’s odd that they suddenly reappear just as we’re learning of his death?”
Cold washed over him like the moon had sunk to the sea and the tide rose to engulf him. Poseidon’s brows knitted together as he sat there, lips pushed up in contemplation. It sank in until he slowly looked at Artemis to reveal how her arrow pierced his skin. ”Jupiter?” He repeated, soft like the word would break the ice and plunge him.

Were this millennia ago, Poseidon would have taken to the sea with war on his heart and vengeance on his mind. This, however, shook him differently. The cracks he’d received in the fall and the years following broke that mold until he became glassy ice instead of roiling thunder against the waves. ”Why would they reveal themselves if now, though?” Poseidon looked to her, trying to piece what he could together, ”What would they gain from Hephaestus' death? What would any of us gain? What… would he…” Poseidon frowned, shuffling his feet against his carpet again.

”What were you hoping in telling me this? That I’d rise like I did before? Give them war?” Poseidon asked her, sincerely without any upset in his voice outside of the news that broke him, ”I’m not that person anymore, Arty—Artemis. I’m just a fool and an idiot, like you said. You’re better off using Ares for whatever you have up your sleeve.”

“If I wanted a dog, I’d go to the pound,” Artemis said. It was good to see that he was thinking. She had no desire to work with someone who’s passions rose and fell with the tides. “As it stands, you’re in the best position to get answers to all of those questions. Get close and use him, find out what they know. And then, bring it back to me.” For the first time since she’d stepped into the apartment, Artemis bared her teeth into a smile, as if she meant to highlight the implied ease of this task. Her girls did jobs like this all the time, and they were simply mortals.

Use him? Poseidon stared at Artemis for a moment. Well, that was definitely not the first thing he expected Artemis to ask of him. That alone took more to process than the entire Jupiter thing, if Poseidon was being honest with himself. ”You want me to… to honey trap the Roman king of gods?” Poseidon continued to stare at Artemis in disbelief, ”You sure you want me to do that? You have faith I can do that for you without, you know, having them trace it all back to you?” Whether that smile was meant to comfort him or not, Poseidon only saw a panther baring her fangs. Was Artemis always this chillingly frightening? That was a dumb question. Yes. Yes she was.

“This might come as a surprise, but yes, I do.” Artemis fixed Poseidon with her icy gaze, her best effort at conveying her dedication to this plan. “And if you fail to keep my involvement a secret, I’m confident that I have adequate protection from his wrath.” Artemis didn’t elaborate further on that protection, choosing instead to focus on winning Poseidon over. “You can do it, because I need you to, and you’ve always come through for family.” Strictly speaking, that wasn’t entirely true, but Arty figured a little embezzlement couldn’t hurt her here.

That couldn’t be true. Poseidon furrowed his brows in contemplation. But, that didn’t mean it couldn’t be true now. At least for Artemis, the others maybe not so much depending on who was doing the asking. But, Poseidon would be lying if he said he wasn’t a sucker for Arty and Apollo, or even Hermes.

Poseidon took a breath, let the wave crash in to soak into the sand before it released back to the sea at the mercy of the moon. ”Fine, I’ll do what I can. I just… I don’t have faith in myself, but I’ll do my best not to fail you, Artemis,” Poseidon said, finally. That saying ‘between a rock and a hard place’ didn’t account for the many different rocks Poseidon found himself in. Whether he wanted to do Artemis’ bidding or not, Poseidon needed his own answers and in getting those answers he could at least protect others he cared about.

“Thank you, Poseidon. I really do believe in you” Artemis said, that same predator’s smile on her face as she rose from the couch. Whatever he believed about himself, she was confident that she had not misplaced her trust. She slipped a business card for Selena O’Ryan from her pocket and handed it to her uncle. “For when you need to get in touch. You should get in touch with Apollo and Hermes and their merry band of ‘bros.’ I think that would be good for all of you, to be completely honest.” With those somewhat critical words of wisdom said, Artemis left as quickly as she’d arrived, a pale wisp in the wind.

At least someone believed in him. Out of all the bombshells that rained down on his little Seattle apartment, at least a flower grew in its midst. Poseidon slid the business card into his wallet before looking up to bid Artemis farewell. He only heard the click of the door, however, and he was yet again alone with his thoughts, his doubts, and his mounting anxiety.

Poseidon’s brows slid into a thin line while he stared at his doorway. Why’d he have to come out of hiding again? Loneliness had to be a better companion than this complex mess of terror overlaid with the antics of his ever raucous family. He had a number of things to talk about with a growing number of people and he just… just didn’t want to.

But, he supposed, Artemis counted on him and he himself did want those answers if only to clear the air.

mentions: @fledermaus
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Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Venus
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Venus Save a horse, ride a cowboy. -Melissa

Member Seen 0-12 hrs ago

A @Venus & @metanoia Collaboration

For several months, a certain Norse God had been moonlighting as what most have called “The Hooded Man”. In his neighborhood and those that surrounded where he lived, The Hooded Man was something of a myth. His identity hasn’t been uncovered by nobody, not the police that swore to protect the city from scum that threaten its safety, not the lawyers who were supposed to keep those locked up, and not the media who don’t care unless their politicians pay them to care.

Indeed, Thor’s midnight activities were out of his love for those without the benefit of being privileged and rich.

As much as he was devoted to his day job, which involved doing what he did at night but with more legality attached to it, he felt it wasn’t enough and it wouldn’t be as long as the mafia kept a presence in the city. So, whenever he saw a chance, Thor seized the night for himself and protected those who needed his help.

As it just so happened, however, his “help” took him away from a relaxing night spent with a certain someone who, by all rights, should have been more important than the call he received from one of his clients. Thor did what he could but now he had the most dangerous task a man like him in his situation could ever have--

Sneaking back in and hoping he didn’t wake up the only other person who the criminals feared more than The Hooded Man.

The creaking sound of a front door being carefully opened and closed gently coaxed Themis away from her slumber. The blonde’s eyelids fluttered for a few seconds, slowly adjusting themselves to the brightness in the small bedroom before ultimately opening up in greeting to the new day. After a moment of allowing her body to begin the process of waking, the young woman slowly propped herself up into a seating position, but immediately regretted her decision as that strong wave of nausea and dizziness that had been plaguing her for nearly a month now struck again. Grimacing and groaning softly, Themis closed her eyes and allowed her head to gently fall backwards onto the pillow again.

Walking down the hallway that led to his bedroom, Thor was hoping to sneak back into bed, maybe catch an hour or two of sleep, but he noticed Themis was up and she somehow looked worse than the drug dealer he caved into the ground looked. “You’re up early. Today’s your day off, isn’t it? Go ahead and go back to sleep if you want to!” Thor’s hope was that his encouragement would work so he could get a few extra hours himself, or, ya know, just a few hours in general.

"If only your bedroom wasn't as bright as it is…" the woman grumbled, finding the strength in Thor’s presence to successfully pull herself up into that seating position she had attempted before. "Thor, darling: have you ever considered investing in some blackout curtains? They do wonders for your beauty sleep."

He scoffed jokingly, taking a seat at the edge of the bed, in front of Themis. “But I look just fine!” He joked, knowing that how he looked and how he felt were complete strangers to each other. “Besides, it’s not normally this bright in Seattle. Usually you get woken up to a majestic family of clouds that let the sun peak through just enough to light up the room. It’s part of the reason I made this room my bedroom.”

"And the main reason why I adore the Seattle weather: the cool, cloudy days, with the near-daily rainfall and thunderstorms. It definitely beats the time where we lived in Istanbul," she admitted, grimacing at the vivid memory of the despicable heat of the turkish city.

“That’s another thing we can agree on,” he said, smiling at Themis, in hopes that his pearly whites, which thankfully weren’t harmed last night, would bring her some form of comfort. She appeared to be in dire need of it. “I much prefer the cool breeze of a spring morning than being in the dry, sickly heat. It makes me fortunate in these times where we must live in Midgard that we do so in a place with a versatile touch of Freyr. Without him, it’ll be Istanbul worldwide,” The thought of that made him want to cringe.

“Oh, God. That sounds like a nightmare…” Themis groaned, cringing hard at the thought of having to live in a world where there was no need for warm sweaters, hot drinks or cozy blankets. The subject, however, brought a question to the forefront of her mind-- especially when taking into consideration her host’s choice of wardrobe. “Where were you, anyway? It was the sound of the front door what woke me,” she told him, scooting closer to Thor’s imposing figure to affectionately wrap her arms around him, resting the side of her face against his broad back.

He knew what the easy answer to her question was: just saying that he was kicking the face of drug dealers into the pavement. But to say that would have to admit to, of all people, the ADA, that you, a guy who gets hired to protect people, was out breaking the law. Granted, it was a lot of fun and Thor really enjoyed the feeling when his fist cracks the jaw of scumbags who sell dimebags to kids. But, given how out of whack Themis looked, that news would most likely worsen her condition (he was assuming).

“I'm sorry. I didn’t mean to wake you. I had to run and do a few early morning errands. One of my guys screwed up some of the paperwork for one of our clients and I had to deal with it.” Truth was that did happen...last week. “I did go by the bakery around the corner and picked a few bagels. If you think you’re feeling well enough to eat, their everything bagel is better than anything in the city.”

Although she was still feeling off, the mention of food made Themis’ stomach grumble. She unentangled herself from Thor and was about to stand up when a blip from her phone alerted her to a new notification. Curious, the woman grabbed the device from where it had been resting on the nearest nightstand, unlocked it, and opened the email. The sender was Jupiter from the Roman pantheon, extending an invitation to a black tie event in fourteen days' time. Upon scanning the recipient list, Themis noticed the message had been sent to all gods and goddesses of every pantheon present on Earth.

"So apparently Jupiter's inviting us to a ball in two weeks?" the blonde announced, looking up at Thor with a dubious frown. "I'm not sure if it's a wise idea considering how... confrontational the conclave was. Or at least that's what Bastet told me, anyway." From the way tensions had built up and boiled over at the Seattle Library a few days previously, Themis was certainly not sorry that her illness and the return of the jury with the veredict for her case had caused her to miss the event.

Thor nodded, confirming he heard about how eventful the Conclave was. Part of him dreaded hearing from Morrigan about missing it but he had better things to do-- or rather, better faces to punch. But the issue of Jupiter’s black tie party hung over his head like a rain cloud he didn’t have any hand in creating. “Well, Jupiter has never been known for being wise. All of that money has to compensate for something, right?” Thor forced himself to laugh before letting out a sigh. “But I guess it wouldn’t be right if I didn’t show up. Maybe I can trash his place at some point. I’m sure that’ll be fun.”

"Thor--" came Themis' stern voice, although her tone was accompanied by a small smile. "I thought we had agreed on no more fighting? That you would be on your very best behavior?"

“Only when it came to starting fights, but the second I get provoked, there’s no way I’m leaving it unfinished.” Again, another forced laugh came from his lips, while Themis continued to smile as she shook her head. “Anyway, what do you think? Are you going to bother attending? You Greeks are pretty anti-Roman, aren’t you?”

"Honestly? I could care less about what pantheon anyone belongs to as long as they're good, decent people," she said matter-of-factly with a small shrug. "But I will say that I haven't got the slightest bit of interest in attending that ball. There are some wounds better left untouched for a while, and some faces better left unseen in order for oneself to truly heal from secrets, lies and betrayal." She was, of course, referring to the painful event that had led her to the arms of the man now sitting in front of her.

By this point, he turned to face her. “I understand not wanting to be among certain companies. I’m fairly certain there are a few who would be in their happiest mindsets if neither one of us showed up, but why give them that satisfaction?” His question was rhetorical as he continued, “The way I see it is this is the perfect opportunity to cast waves. But if it makes you feel better, if they start trouble, I’ll just beat the ever living daylights out of anyone who gives you or I the wrong look.” He desperately wanted to be given an excuse to kick some ass in the house of the Romans.

"Admit it, Thor: you just want an excuse to pull out that hammer of yours and go apeshit bashing people's skulls in," Themis said with a good-natured laugh, planting a kiss on his cheek before resting her chin on his shoulder. "We both know you could care less about any sort of opinion these individuals may have of you. It's the fighter in you the one who's begging to be let out of the cage again."

“Who says I need my hammer?” He laughed, letting a moment pass before addressing the other thing she correctly pointed out. “I won’t lie to you: I would give justice to those who escape it. There’s a part of me that wishes it was Istanbul again where I was free to fight until my heart’s content, but I know in this…progressive society, that’s considered to be a crime. It’s part of my reason why I started Heidrun. It’s why I do what the biased police around here refuse to do. It’s not a lot and I wish I could just wind back time, but it’s all I can really do.”

"There's a saying I like to keep at the forefront of my mind in regards to my livelihood: rules are the only thing that separates us from the animals," the woman mused, staring out into the open bedroom window for a second before turning her warm, hazel eyes in his direction. "And as an ADA, it is my duty to justly enforce these laws to the best of my ability. But I'm not oblivious to the fact that we live in a world where most things belong to a shade of gray, and are not simply black or white. And when I'm unable to carry out justice to the lengths it deserves to be, I'm glad we have you to finish the job. No guilty party will go unpunished by us. It's why we make such a great team."

He just sat there, looking at her, hearing what she had to say about...well, everything. About how she, an ADA of all people, was admitting the system wasn’t perfect; about how she,the ADA, didn’t outright condemn someone like him expressing a desire to sometimes take justice into his own hands. It made him feel validated. And not just because of his nightly activities. In all the time he had known Themis, of course, he knew why he was so attracted to her. She appealed to a lot of his ideals and, let’s face it: she’s heavenly, too. But it was also about what she represented, and how that part of him that wanted to protect those in need of it aligned with her desire to deliver justice to those who deserve it.

“I knew there was a reason why we always found our way back to each other.” He found himself admitting, cracking both a smile and a laugh. He took her hands into his. “I hope you know this is why I love you. Your ability to stand firm on what you believe in but also not shy to admit that sometimes personal justice can be an option is why we’ve always stayed connected throughout the centuries.”

"So you only love me for my morals? How utterly boring," she joked, the corners of her mouth curling upward with the hint of a playful smile and her eyes sparkling with mischief.

“Come on now, Themis,” Thor spoke as his hand left hers and firmly grabbed her thigh. He massaged it as he gently kissed her. Whether or not she was feeling good, Thor loved her regardless. “It goes without saying I have a deep fondness for more than just your morals-- as I’m sure you adore me for more than just my honor code.” He leaned in for another kiss, leaving out the gentleness this time.

“I mean, I won’t lie: those muscles of yours certainly help your case,” she teased, suggestively wiggling her eyebrows at Thor before letting out a giggle and returning his kiss with that level of passion and enthusiasm only he brought out of her.

The God of Thunder’s lips curled into a confident smile and he let his hands explore her legs some more. “What evidence do you have to back this up, counselor? The Jury would love to know.” Thor traced his arms from her legs to her lower back, gently tugging Themis closer to him so her...evidence could be presented to the court.

Themis' laugh echoed across the room-- a sound as bright as the rays of light peeking through the clouds outside. "If I present my facts to the court, then I risk everyone else falling in love with you too," she explained, standing up just long enough to take a seat in his lap and wrapping her arms around him once more. "I can't take that risk... I don't want to lose you," the blonde admitted, and the unexpected honesty and vulnerability of her statement forced Themis to bite her lower lip and avert her eyes.

And that was the last thing he expected to see; for her to speak so earnestly and truthfully. He was expecting some kind of comment about his muscles, some innuendo about other parts of his body -- maybe with a reference to Mjölnir. But to his genuine surprise, she chose a road that he often found himself wanting to go down as well. Still, part of his astute mind that always was wondering about what might happen next.

Following that mindset, he brought one arm from behind her back, raising it up to her chin, and grasped it gently, hoping this gesture would encourage her to allow her eyes to follow his voice. “And I don’t want to lose you either.” His voice was low and their opposing cheeks touched as he felt the warmth of her skin, subtle shocks of static electricity traveling from his being to hers.

She gently rested her forehead against his, finding comfort in his warmth and their physical contact. Even though Themis was certain his intentions were honest and true, a part of her begged for the verbal reassurance of what she knew in her heart. "I love you, Thor. I love you so, so much. Just… Please don't break my heart…" she whispered, leaning back just enough to look up at him with scared, pleading eyes.

It was in that moment that both of them knew what this moment represented. It wasn’t the admissions of deep adoration they held for each other for centuries nor the years of times they’ve remained as more than just friends but never crossing the invisible line drawn in the sand. No, it wasn’t about either of those things but rather about this moment being the true test of what exactly meant most to them. Thor knew this and it was confirmed to him, just now, that she knew it too. As sure as he was that Themis, proud Greek Goddess and ADA of King’s COunty, was scared shitless out of her mind, fearful of something far worse than an irreversible death, so was Thor of the fact that what he said right now would change the entire dynamic of their relationship -- the dynamic that, up until this point, had always been a casual friends with benefits arrangement. But something had changed and Thor couldn’t push it aside any longer. It was now or never.

So the God of Thunder surrendered himself entirely to the moment and locked eyes with Themis in his best attempt to give her the confirmation she needed. “On my honor as a God of Asgard and as a man who has always loved you: I will never break your heart, Themis, and there’ll never be a day where my love for you wanes.” He pulled her into a tight hug for the extra reassurance he couldn’t help but feel they both needed.

The insecurities, uncertainties, doubts and even the illness she'd been battling against, was momentarily forgotten as Themis allowed herself to get wrapped up and lost in Thor's strong, loving embrace. His arms had always felt like home to her-- providing her with a peace and sense of security she hadn't experienced before. Themis felt unconditionally loved and safe with Thor, resting easy knowing that even if the world around them was suddenly on fire, he would rather die than let a single flame touch her.

Once their embrace had come to an end, Themis gently took Thor's face in her hands. Their eyes met for a moment, forest green with stormy blue, before she made the promise that would seal their fates together forever.

"And you will have me… Until my last, dying breath..." the goddess swore to her lover, letting her ageless promise hang in the air before pulling Thor into the brazen kiss that would lead them to passionately come together as one.

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Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by Danvers
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Danvers boo

Member Seen 1 day ago

Brunch & Bonding
L’Atelier Du Rhöne, Seattle
Ares & Hebe

a @Danvers & @Legion02 collab

“Monsieur Miknosos!” Exclaimed the Maître d’Hôtel of the prestigious L’Atelier Du Rhöne restaurant. A restaurant that would never advertise itself as a restaurant. It was a tasteful yet extravagant location. A mixture of clinical white and the deepest, most light consuming black. Specially indoor grown vines and plants separated the few tables. Creating both a visual and auditory boundary between each table. It was located on the fourth story of some office building. It is also a place you need to be introduced to. “I have your table for two ready right here.” The man guided Ares to a small table situated right near the glass. Offering a wonderful view of the nearby park and the further skyline of Seattle. Especially now during autumn the view was magnificent. “Anything else I can offer you?”

“A coffee would be fine, thank you Jacques.” Ares said as he took his seat. The man was quick to assure L’Atelier’s in-house ground coffee would be in front of him within minutes. He looked out the windows into Seattle. Normally he would be pondering on the idea that somewhere out there, he could see his brother’s killer. Was he looking back at him? Or were they arrogant enough to believe Ares wasn’t a threat? If they did, it was a mistake. But they wouldn’t be the first to underestimate him. To his own surprise though, he felt his own thoughts drift along with his vision. Towards one place, now sadly blocked by a building.

Whilst Ares mulled over murder & revenge, an extremely flustered goddess stood outside of the establishment, hands nervously twirling a strand of her long brunette locks. Gently she shifted her weight from foot-to-foot, the restless movement prompting a small whine from the canine stood next to her. “It’s okay Vivi.” Smiling lightly down at her companion, Hebe ruffled the soft fur atop her head, receiving a small lick in response. This prompted a glance of disgust from the Maître d standing in front of them, who already looked like he was dealing with little more than shit on his shoe. Letting out a sharp cough, the attention of both the girl and dog were drawn back to the overly snooty employee, whose arms moved to cross stiffly across his chest.

“Like I was saying Miss-”


“Miss Cooper. This establishment caters to a very specific clientele, which thankfully does not include broke college students.” The air of superiority around the man was almost palpable as he looked her attire up and down, a smug smile spreading across his face. “We also have a wait list of several months, which I definitely do not see your name on…”

“But I’m meeting someone here. I promise I am!" Hebe, now looking to be on the verge of tears, pulled her phone from her pocket, beginning to route through her messages. Unfortunately she’d saved everyone by their original names and she, for the life of her, could not remember what surname Ares had graced himself with. “He’s tall and erm…has dark hair and probably looks a bit grumpy?” When this still didn't grant her entry, a momentary pout graced her lips before she let out a small sigh. Even though this man was being extremely rude, she couldn't bring herself to be mad at him - maybe he just had a really stressful job or he'd forgotten to have his coffee this morning. Yet, she also couldn't stand out here forever, so she dialled her big brother's number, anxiously waiting for him to pick up.

The Consigliere of Seattle’s largest mob empire (second largest, some would say) had his contemplations interrupted when the phone in his pocket suddenly started vibrating. Who would dare!? His calendar was very specific. The following hour was reserved for his sister and his sister alone! No matter what happened. No matter if a warehouse full of cocaine was blown up or the ATF lifted an entire container worth of guns headed for Mexico. He would not be interrupted. With fury he grabbed his phone. Ready to tear who ever dared to disobey that order a new one verbally with the promise further punishment later. Yet when he saw the caller ID he instantly softened. “Hebe! How are you?”

“Ar-” Glancing at the Maître d, who had fixed her with a hard stare, Hebe moved to shift her body away from him when she heard her brother's voice. Cupping a small hand over her mouth, she began to whisper into the phone, a fretful edge to her words. “Ares, I’m sooooo sorry I’m late! I’m outside but this guy won’t let me in! He says I’m not the right er…clientele and he’s not being very nice. Help me please!”

“I see…pass me on would you please?” Ares said quite calmly as he waited to hear the Maître d’s voice.

“Alright I have had quite enough of these jokes-“ The man got in before Ares interrupted him.

“Jacques. This is Alexander Miknosos. As I understand it you are currently standing in front of a lovely lady who you’ve deigned to be ‘not your clientele’. Well may I introduce you to my niece. Miss Cooper to you. You will extend her the same courtesy you will extend me, Jacques. Do you understand?” He made an extra effort not to sound menacing for once.

“But sir- She- The way she’s dressed. It goes against all that is L’Atelier. And she has a dog! A dog sir! I cannot stand for such vulgar displays and breaches of our image.” The Maître did not have the same desire to hide away what he said. Instead he was looking straight at Hebe and Vitrus beside her with utter disgust. As if he was just asked to let in some mud-covered animal into his own kitchen.

Ares remained silent for a second. Mulling over his next words. “You will let them in, Jacques. As a favor to me.”

The other side of the phone call went quiet for a while. “Very well then sir.” Ares heard and that was enough for him to end the call and wait a few more minutes for his favorite sister to come in.

When Jacques reluctantly informed her that she was permitted to enter, Hebe rushed past him, Vivi at her heels. A blush was burning her cheeks from his earlier words, which he had made no effort to disguise. She’d thought her outfit was cute and she found herself pulling self-consciously at the edge of her top as she made her way into the elevator. Hopefully Ares wouldn’t mind that she was wearing something so vulgar...as it had been so bluntly put.

When the doors of the elevator doors eventually pinged open, Hebe couldn’t help but let out a small ‘woah’, her eyes widening at the beautiful decor that surrounded her, gaze straying with wonder over to the view the windows cast over Seattle. She probably would’ve stood there admiring the surroundings for much longer, if she hadn’t suddenly spotted her brother, a wide smile spreading across her face when she did. “Ares! Hi!” Practically skipping over to him, Hebe instantly moved to wrap her arms around him. “This place is amazing! I’m so glad that he finally let me in!” As she pulled away from the hug, Hebe happily looked up at him, any earlier apprehension immediately washed away.

Ares embraced her with the same warmth as she embraced him. All his other siblings would laugh or scoff at him but never Hebe. Never sweet, innocent Hebe. When she let go, he did so as well. “I can assure you Jacques will remember you next time. But please, sit!” He said, motioning at the chair. “Oh and Hailey. Let’s be careful with our names.” He offered with a smile, before taking a seat himself. A waiter almost appeared out of nowhere beside the table. “I shall have a Chambord croissant-“ they were made fresh by the cook, Philippe. “-with a salmon selection and…a tin of Beluga caviar, please.” He then motioned for Hebe to order whatever she desired. The menu itself showed no prices at all. Like all restaurants of this caliber, even asking towards the price would be extremely impolite.

After taking a seat, Virtus had come to sit at her side, head resting gently against her lap. Hebe moved one hand to play with the dogs soft velvet ears, whilst the other flicked through the menu, a small indecisive frown crossing her features at the luxurious nature of it. It far exceeded anything she was used to and for a few moments, she was unsure what to choose.

“Um…can I have the-” Eventually having decided, she pointed to the ‘sweet pancakes topped with caramelised labneh, syrup stone fruits and sorrel’. “Thank you!” Hebe chirped to the waiter politely, before turning back to the Olympian sat across from her. She wasn’t entirely sure what half those words had meant — normally she would be just opting for some overly sugary sweet cereal for breakfast — but she at least knew that she liked pancakes. “This place is super fancy!” She half-whispered when the waiter had gone, leaning conspiratorially towards her brother. “You really didn’t have to go to this much effort just for me…”

“Nonsense!” Ares exclaimed. “I’d move heaven and earth for my favorite ‘niece’.” Right then a waiter appeared with two flutes of mimosa. Putting them down before Ares and Hebe. For a second Ares had eyes up Vitrus. He was well aware who the dog’s true owner was. But at the same time, the way it behaved around Hebe no doubt showed it was loyal to her as well. He could despise Mars with every fiber in his being but those same fibers harbored no ill will to the creature. Dogs did not choose their masters after all. A fact Ares was painfully well aware of at times.

He took a quick sip of his mimosa before asking her: “So how have your studies been? Actually, what is it you’re studying now?” While he was truly interested, this was all just a build up towards the real reason he had invited Hebe here. The notebook in question was still on Ares’ person. He had to know if his sweet sister was in any kind of danger. The Romans could pretend they were careful and protective of her but Ares had seen the gaps in their armor already. Or were they bait setup by Janus? This was the eternal shadow game Ares was playing.

“Oh, Anthropology!” Hebe nodded enthusiastically at his question as she took a sip of her mimosa, relishing in the sweet orange taste. “It’s actually really interesting! We’re learning about hominid social structures at the moment, and how they contributed to early modern human societies…” She paused when she realised that Ares probably did not find the details of an Anthropology degree all that interesting. “Lectures are kinda boring but I’m used to that by now.” She shrugged her petite shoulders as she took another gulp of her beverage — it was far too easy to drink — and if she had been around certain other friends, she probably would’ve been tempted to make it stronger.

“How’s your er…work?” Hebes head tilted as her gaze passed back over to Ares, a look of childlike curiosity flitting across her features. She wasn’t entirely sure what he did for work but she did know that he was always very busy, so she figured it must be something important.

“Oh things are perfectly fine at Aegis Capital.” Ares said with a dismissive ease. Of course, Aegis Capital’s sole reason for existence was to offer Ares a mantle of legitimacy. It was also one of the few companies he owned that had no ties to the underworld empire he helped manage. While he disliked lying to Hebe, he preferred her not to know that technically the United States would classify him as a terrorist. Either way, he wasn’t interested in his own work. It was the infectious enthusiasm Hebe had that he enjoyed vastly more. Of all the subjects in the world, history intrigued him the most. Probably because he lived through the vast majority of it. Though admittingly Anthropology was not his strong suit.

Right then he was once again disturbed by his phone vibrating on the table. With a frown that hid a storm he picked turned on the screen while it was still flat on the table. The second he saw the message though, his scowl disappeared and his entire face lit up. He even cracked a small smile when his eyes darted over the name. Before he quickly turned the phone off again and turned all of his attention back to Hebe.

Well, it was time then. “Hebe…” He said while leaning forward. “Did you… talk to Hephaestus sometime recently?”

The goddess in question, who had been leaning forwards to try and get a sneaky peek at Ares’ phone, quickly scrambled back to her seat at his question. A mischievous smile had graced her features when she had seen him looking so fondly at his messages but this dropped away, replaced instead with an expression of soft sorrow mingled with regret. “Did I…” Hebe paused, managing to hold back the tears that always threatened to well up when she thought about Hephaestus. “No, I hadn’t spoken to him in ages. I don’t really remember the last time we did to be honest…” Distractedly she played with the edge of her napkin, gaze looking anywhere but at her brother. She still felt so bad for not having spoken to Hephaestus before he died. Maybe things might’ve been different if she had...

“Why? Did he say anything to you before he y’know…” To say that word was still too much, still too impossible. So instead she just let the idea of it hang in the air, eyes moving for a moment to glance at the blanket of autumnal colours that had spread across the trees outside. To look down from this height made everything seem so peaceful and simple, even if she knew it was only an illusion.

She hadn’t spoken to him. That was a setback for sure. The only other option he had then was for Hephaestus to have had his people tail Hebe perhaps. It’s what Ares would’ve done. But at the same time, something was gnawing at him. Why Hebe? Why was she in the notebook with the other minor gods? Why was her name circled? What if the notebook didn’t come from his brother but in fact from the stranger that entered the forge god’s apartment? In that case he would have to track those pixels back to the main in question. But that still didn’t answer why Hebe’s name was circled. Under normal circumstances, he would have a detail of Spartans on Hebe’s tail by now. But her unique lifestyle coupled with her closeness with the Romans made that impossible.

The god of war wasn’t blind to Hebe’s own feelings though. Their brother’s death still hurt her. “No… No I hadn’t talked to him either in recent times.” Ares admitted. A weird realization dawned upon him. Zeus could not stand Ares, but Hera couldn’t stand Hephaestus. Did he fail his brother? Or was it better to have stayed away? No, no it was better to stay away. Still, that and several other things began to weigh down on his stomach like stones. So when the food came, he barely touched it really.

“On to better thoughts then.” He finally said, trying to break the perhaps somewhat awkward silence between them. “Guess who I met on my way here this morning?”

“Ooh, who?” Hebe was glad that Ares didn’t want to dwell on their lost sibling for too long. There was nothing that she or he could say that would make things better, nothing that would bring him back. So when he moved on to other matters, she gladly followed along, stabbing her fork into her pancakes as she wondered who had run into. “Was it someone famous?!” She added, only half-joking. Celebrities never seemed to come to Seattle, so she was always hoping that there would be news that one had graced the rainy city with their presence.

Ares was carefully dabbing his lips clean before answering, letting the tension slowly build up. “Well… no.” He began, having a slight teasing smile on his face. “It was Chadwick. The kid surprised me to be honest. I didn’t think he’d come up all the way from Washington. He said he came up to visit you.” He would’ve invited the mortal along if the Hephaestus matter wouldn’t be raised. Sadly duty took precedence. But surely they would meet again. He only hoped he didn’t spoil some surprise now though.

At Ares’ words, Hebe nearly choked on the mouthful of pancakes she had been chewing, prompting a rather loud coughing fit. A few of the surrounding patrons turned to glare at her and she could do naught but smile at them apologetically until it was over. Her thoughts were far away from the room though, a buzz of anxiety and familiar panic filling her mind. Chad was here? Now? How did he even know she was in Seattle? And why?

Her hands had begun to tremble and she tucked them under the table, clasping them together tightly. She could feel her body beginning to shut down and the only thing that kept her from completely freaking out, was the gentle nudge of Vivis wet nose against her fingers. Oh god. Don’t freak out Hebe. Just stay calm. She could not start panicking in front of Ares. Not only would it be super embarrassing but there was also no way she’d be able to explain herself.

“W-what did he say?” She eventually managed to blurt out some words, hoping that the shakiness wasn’t evident in her voice. “I mean, I-I didn’t know he was coming to visit…”

“Oh...” Ares said. Fuck, it was a surprise. And he just ruined it. Well he would have to make it up with Chad at some point. Though it was cute how she was so nervous and fidgety when he mentioned Chadwick. Young love was like that. Electric and fiery. Everything moved fast. The thoughts made him a bit melancholic. At least sweet Hebe was being reunited with her love. “He didn’t say much. Well in all honesty I didn’t really have the time. He just told me he’d find you anyway. I guess he knows you’re living in the dorms.” Ares said as a waiter took away their empty plates. “He seemed good. Driven.” When the move to Seattle happened, it felt odd that Chadwick didn’t seem to join Hebe. “You’ll have to forgive your older brother for asking” - Ares joked - “but… why did you guys decide to break it off?” He assumed it was at least mutual. With Hebe being so cute and flustered while Chad looked driven to get her back. “Surely he would’ve come with you to Seattle? You two were so close.”

“We, I-, It well…” Struggling for an answer, Hebes lips suddenly felt uncomfortably dry and she found herself downing the rest of her mimosa, taste buds barely acknowledging the sharp citrus tang. “We just- it just…wasn’t working out.” Her voice was a mere whisper, an excuse that she barely managed to let pass her lips. Looking up at her brother's eager expression, she found herself struggling to control herself, her chest moving in and out as breaths left her lungs in shallow gasps. She couldn’t do this. She had to leave. His words were too much for her… What did he mean he’d find her? That he knew where she lived?

“I just remembered I have a sorority er, thing. I have to go...” Hebe suddenly shot up from her chair, sending her cutlery as well as her thankfully now empty flute glass clattering to the floor, the latter smashing into countless pieces. “Oh god, I’m so sorry!” She exclaimed as a waiter came rushing over to pick up the pieces, bending down to help him before he politely brushed her away. “I-I’ll pay for the mess!” Hebe turned apologetically back to Ares, it taking everything in her not to run straight for the elevator. The barest of smiles pulled at the edges of her lips as she stepped over to him, waiting for the moment in which she could dart away.

Ares was quick to get up as well when the glass broke. His friendly demeanor instantly shifted to one of control. The waiter was quick to react but Ares was already walking around the man towards Hebe. He took her hands and turned them up so he could look at her palms. No cuts. No blood. Good. That was good. He dropped his commanding presence when he cracked a smile at her, released her hands and hugged her tight. “It’s okay sis.” He said, dropping the act he’d normally maintain in the presence of mortals. Hebe was the only one who returned the unconditional love he had for her. And as he held her in his arms, he wished he never had to let go. That he could protect her from everything. That was impossible and selfish though. She was her own person with her own freedom. So as he released her after the long hug, he gave a soft kiss on her forehead. “Take care, Hebe.” And then he let her go wherever she was needed.

"Bye..." The young goddesses words were weak and lacklustre as she was released from his embrace. Normally she would love being fawned over by one of her siblings but now, all she wanted to do was run. So when Ares let her go, she turned on her heel, rushing into the thankfully free elevator. Covering her eyes when the door closed, Hebe sunk to the floor, ignoring the pleading whines coming from Virtus. Her instinct was to rush straight back to her dorm and seek comfort in the distraction of her friends, but she daren't even do that. She could barely breathe let alone think. Pressing her palms against her face, she willed herself to calm down, to pretend that it was all going to be okay, to be brave enough to face up to it...to him. It didn't work...it never did. What was she going to do?

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Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Akayaofthemoon
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The blankets rustled as the single occupant rolled over with a soft moan, blinking against the harsh sunlight filtering in through the thin curtains of her bedroom window as the singing sound of a notification went off on her phone. Hathor slowly buried her arms underneath the mountain of pillows on her bed, searching around until her fingers wrapped around the object of her desire. Her dark eyes landed on the screen, lazily tapping the keypad to unlock it and clicked her mailbox to see who decided to email at this ungodly hour. Alright, it was technically 10AM which wasn’t ungodly by most means but who thought it was a good idea to do anything before noon on a Saturday? She opened the message, an eyebrow raising at the charity event invite before a small frown etched on her features.

What was Jupiter playing at? It was very clear that the Romans kept to themselves, only letting a select few close. Why the sudden change of character? It felt like there was a puzzle piece missing in this mystery but who was she to turn down a nice evening? It had been forever since she had been to a true party, at least one of elegance and not dancing in a club. Hathor sat up with a groan, knowing that there was no way she would be getting back to sleep now and deciding she might as well start her day. Sighing, she pushed herself out of bed and grabbed a pair of wireless headphones before heading over to the kitchen to whip up some breakfast. She popped the buds into her ears, starting up the music app, letting a flood of melodic sound fill her ears as she swept through the kitchen gathering supplies.

A few minutes later, Hathor stood, staring intensely at the plate before her as she radiated unhappiness. She didn’t even know it was possible to make something burnt and soggy at the same time but that is exactly how the french toast or the travesty she was trying to pass off as french toast was. Mortals made this look so easy but the only art in cooking she was able to manage were things that didn’t require a stove. An annoyed growl slipped past her lips as she jammed the failed attempts into the trash and sighed, hopping up onto the counter and raking her fingers through her hair. ’Well, that ended up being a waste of time.’, she thought to herself as her music switched to a different song. It relaxed her, washing over her frazzled nerves like a blanket of warmth as it pulled pleasant memories from her past due to the era of the song and it spoke clearly to how she felt at times.

Hathor debated on just going out to breakfast or grabbing a quick drink while skipping the meal altogether since it was getting a bit later in the day but neither option sounded pleasant if it was just on her own. It was no fun alone after all. There was still plenty of time before she would be meeting for drinks and a fun time with her pantheon, their own way of connecting and putting the mess from the conclave behind them. Her heart clenched at that sudden thought, the memories of that day still haunting her and making her feel more connected than she would normally feel for someone she didn’t know. Of course she knew that Hephaestus was a good god, caring and supportive. The reactions of his pantheon spoke volumes to who he was. Hathor hadn’t lied to Hera when she said they would find the killer. She wanted justice for him and for his patheon. He deserved that peace. She wanted to help in any way possible but right now, she didn’t know how. The song ended, pulling her from her thoughts and made her pull out the headphones, dropping them onto the counter as she opened up the contacts in her phone.

Who would be free to meet up with her or be willing to take her up on this offer? She scrolled down the list, ignoring those in her pantheon list since they would be meeting up soon and trying to avoid mortals since they wouldn’t understand if her behavior swayed. It was when she hit the ‘H’s that she paused momentarily, biting her lip as she stared at a particular name. It had been awhile since they had met up or hung out. Her fingers hovered over the name, a flood of nervous energy fluttering in her gut at the thought of asking him which was just silly after how long they had known each other. ’Pull it together Hathor, you are acting ridiculous!’, she thought to herself before clicking the contract to pull up a new text message.

Hey, would you like to grab some tea or coffee with me? It’s been awhile since we hung out just the two of us and I thought it might be nice to catch up. Drinks are on me if you decide you want to! Just let me know.

She quickly pressed send before she had a moment to change her mind and took a deep breath. No taking it back now, so it was out of her hands. It wasn’t like it was a date. It was just two friends getting a drink. If he said ‘no’ then she wouldn’t be any worse off than she was right at that moment (though the clenching of pain in her heart said otherwise). She still prayed he would agree. She knew he had eyes for someone else. She knew that if she wanted to be close to him than just being a supportive and good friend was the way it had to be. It didn’t stop her from feeling and acting like a fool.’Why am I always so hopeless when it comes to my own feelings of love?’, Hathor asked herself, knowing that she had no answer.

Tick Tick Tick. The single large grandfather clock continued its constant rhythm signaling the passing of every second. Hades let his pen rest atop the black wood desk as his hands were brought down along his face letting out a small groan of annoyance. Looking towards the clock Hades realized it was only about 10:30. “Damit Chronos.” he sweared to himself at how slow time seemed to pass by. Four hours had felt like a full day's worth of work but with nothing to show for it. Moving his vision down and to the side he could see Cerberus sitting by his desk with a questioning look towards his master. “It's nothing boy. Just a lot happening at the moment.”

The conclave had been a real shit show, as was expected. He truly did hate the fact that his family could never be anywhere without causing a scene of some kind. Leaning back in his chair trying his best to forget the work that laid on his desk as the events of the conclave returned to him. If Hera’s little stunt wasn't bad enough for the meeting as a whole then Aphrodite certainly didn't help, regardless of the intentions. As the thought of the damned pink mist returned Hades body stiffened once again just like at the meeting. He could remember his vision clearly even with his best efforts to forget it. He had fought so hard to not let the mist invade his mind but by the time he had realized it, it was already too late.

He could still see himself suddenly being pulled into a large dark room with minimal light. He had immediately recognised the room not just from its looks but also from the throne that he was suddenly sitting upon. It was a dark stone and metallic frame with a beautiful black velvet cushion. His Ebony throne that he had sat atop for endless time ruling over the underworld with an iron fist. Realising what this meant Hades turned to his side where the other chair was meant to be positioned. But sadly fate deemed it necessary for that part of the vision to be shipped as once Hades' eyes gained sight of the chair the whole vision shattered like glass as he fell from his throne once again.

That single vision had cost him most of what little sleep he usually got. “Why couldn't she have just left us to be and not intervene. Not like she ever cared for the poor bastard.” he said at no one, except maybe the dog by his side. Letting out another sigh Hades leaned forwards once again looking back to the clock to see how much time he had managed to waste. Seeing as the hand had not moved at all, at least he thought, Hades turned back towards his work before seeing he had two messages on his phone. One of these messages he was much happier to see than the other. The one was from none other than the head of the Roman house himself, Jupiter. Quickly reading through the message Hades was unsure of what to think. Something felt off about the whole thing. You don't just stay unseen for centuries and then suddenly throw a ball. Once he finished his eyes fell onto the signature at the bottom “King of the gods.” Hades stared at that line for a second more, never showing anything in his stoic face before he let out a small chuckle. “Is that so.”

The next message however was a far more pleasant one compared to “invitation” given out by Jupiter. Hathor had been one of the few gods/goddesses that Hades was close to outside his one family. And it had been a shame they had not talked or been able to really meet in past years. “That does sound nice. And I'm about ready to go to the underworld myself if I stay here any longer.” he said standing from his desk as he sent back “Sure. I'll meet you there.”

It was those simple texted words that brightened her day significantly and had Hathor sitting at her regular table near the large tinted bay window of Little Marjoram far sooner than she had originally planned for that day. She had done her best to cut off any questions from Imentet short, not really wanting to explain herself just yet and taking her place on the plush ottoman style chair while she waited for Hades to arrive. This place always gave her a feel of home, making her feel safe and as if nothing could possibly go wrong. The desert theme soothed her, reminding her of the rolling hills of soft sand at dawn with all the tones of orange and yellow as well as the soft lit atmosphere one could call romantic or mood lighting but in this case was to add to the theme. The shop really did feel Egyptian oasis, a miracle in what could be a harsh and unforgiving land. It did have a hint of other vibes such as a moroccan flair, especially the areas with pillowed seating which had even lower tables than the one she now sat at but that didn’t take away from the effect, only enhancing it.

It was easy to tell that memories, love, and detail had been placed with great care into this shop, from the multitude of dazzling and intricate rugs, to the swooping sections of delicate fabrics hung from the ceiling giving an elegance and almost a private feel even if it was not. The emotion could even be found in the tables themselves as they were made of a thick glass with real sand in between the panels which included fake rocks and plants to replicate the desert itself as you enjoyed your cup of tea. In her eyes, Imentet had made something truly wonderful that not only the different pantheons could experience and enjoy but humans as well or at least in the daylight section which was to represent the living. Hathor knew that the family would be headed to the depth of the night later, a representation of the dead but there was nothing to fear in either of those. Both were beautiful cycles and to be commended, celebrated, and honored for the journey they had taken in life which deserved much needed rest by the end. She could only hope that Hephaestus would have that in what lay beyond this world.

Her gaze pulled away from the window she had been peering through but with unseeing eyes, not wanting to start eagerly looking at every dark haired man that walked by, hoping it was the one she wished to see. It had been years since they had last seen each other and while she had hoped her feelings would fade, become a distant memory with limited time in his company, the conclave proved that that hadn’t changed. Aphrodite had pulled Ra from her mind first, after all...who could easily forget their first love but she had rushed through a few heartbreak like quicksand to get to just Hades. He had been her peaceful moment before the raging storm of guilt hit her. It still didn’t seem to be too much of a deterrent though since she was still here, brushing out the bottom portion of her blush pink dress yet again as she tried to get a hold of her nerves. Hathor lifted her head, her eyes landing on the door as it opened when she suddenly felt breathless, time almost feeling like it was slowing or maybe it was just her lack of notice to anything or anyone else. Her heart pounded wildly in her chest and butterflies fluttered in her stomach as a brilliant smile graced her lips before she even had any hope to stop it nor did she want to as she stared at who had come in. H...John!, she called with a light wave, glad she had caught her mishap of almost saying his real name before it was too late.

Hades took a quick second to adjust his suit once more making sure he still looked good. Not that his looks were everything to him but Hades did feel strongly about keeping up appearances. As he entered the tea shop Hades inhaled the divine smell of various teas as he made his way over to Hathor. “Greetings Yasmin.” Hades greeted with a genuine smile ignoring some of the looks he received from the other patrons. They weren't looks of fear so much as confusion. Hades was what you could call a regular of the shop. However in all his time of visiting the shop Hades had hardly if ever met with another sole. Preferring to keep to himself in the corner of the shop. Taking his seat across from her Hades continued “How are you feeling after the conclave? I know my sister can be quite overbearing when she wants to be… which is usually always.”

She gave a light chuckle, knowing that it was probably the truth from the few moments that she had been in Hera’s presence and by some of the past comments or stories about her person. ”I am feeling much better now that some time has passed. It still feels a bit strange and makes my heart ache when I recall the memories from the conclave. Enough about me though, how are Dio and Coco doing? How are you holding up? I am not sure how close each of you were to Hephaestus but I know family is important, it is a hard hit to lose anyone.”, Hathor said, her heart going out to each of them and the Greeks as a whole. She would have said she couldn’t imagine or understand what they were going through but the problem was, Hera had let her know exactly how they felt. Honestly, she was worried about them and what could happen as a result.

“I’m doing alright. Me and my nephew were never really that close in all honesty. Though he is one of the few that never truly deserved the lot he was given.” Hades paused for a moment, moving his vision to the sky just outside the window for a brief moment as if remembering the old days. “Dio was hit the hardest I’d say. Him and my son were always close.” Hades let out a chuckle remembering his son's antics with the forge god. “Dio was the only one that could ever get the stubborn fool to calm down. As for coco, I’m not sure.” He finished with a hint of sadness. “I think seeing her dad like that probably messed with her more than anything. I did my best to calm her down, but that was never my strongest ability.” Hades felt a pain of guilt hit his heart as he remembered accidentally hurting his own granddaughter as a result of his reaction to the vision.

“But enough of all the bad news. How has working for our dear friend Tlaz been?”

She nodded softly in understanding, not surprised that in such a big family that some of them didn’t have great connections. The knowledge that Dio had been very close to the forger didn’t hit her as shocking because the look on the god's face during the conclave had spoken volumes of the pain he had felt. It seemed that even the comfort from his father and daughter hadn’t even penetrated the pain to bring relief. She wished that Hera hadn't been in such bad shape so she could have helped as well. She didn’t know what happened with Coco but Hathor reached out her hand to place it on his for just a moment to try and comfort him, that moment of sadness that flashed behind those eyes making her want to do anything to wash it away. ”They are both lucky to have you. Just keep being there for them in the way only you can.”, she said softly before slowly pulling her hand back and smiling brightly at the much needed change in subject.

”It has been wonderful working with Tlaz! She is completely amazing and has been a dear friend to me. The change from the Bar Lounge to the Jade Jaguar has been liberating to say the least. I didn’t realize how stuck I was feeling until she convinced me to make a change. I kind of miss having my own bar like back in the day but I don’t miss the paperwork and responsibilities that went with it, that is for sure. I much prefer how it is now, where I can have fun and just be a more relaxed version of myself. What about you? How is working going? Smoothly, I hope?”

“Well I'm glad that you are enjoying the new job. No need in doing something if you get too stressed about it and no longer enjoy it.” Hades offered “Though it is a shame to not have your bar around anymore, I bet Tlaz is happy to have the best Bartender in her employ.” He finished with a smile on his face before letting out a slight sigh. “Heavy is the head that bears the crown, I suppose. Nothing I can't handle though.”

”You flatter me, John. I would hardly call myself the best but I appreciate that you think so.” Hathor replied with a small smirk, trying to keep herself from getting flustered or blushing at the small compliment. She rested her chin on her palm, looking him over as she took in what he said with a sigh which caused her brows to furrow a bit.”I have no doubts about that. You have always been able to handle even the most trying of situations with flawless dedication and persistence but I hope you know, it’s alright to lean on others. You don’t have to bear every burden alone. I doubt I am the only one to offer but...if you ever need anything even if it is just something small like someone to vent to then I am here for you.

Hathor paused for a moment to realize what she just said, stuttering nervously with a light blush, ”S-Sorry about that. It...uh, seems like I keep picking horrible subjects.” She looked away, biting her lip gently and rubbing her neck as she tried to think of what to say when an idea sparked. They had been so busy chatting that they hadn’t ordered anything yet which seemed like a safe bet. ”So, what kind of tea would you like?”, she asked softly, trying to change the subject in case he didn’t want to talk about her offer.

Hades shifted slightly in his chair for a moment taking on a more serious posture one could argue. His gaze seemed slightly more intense for only a minute as he stared straight at Hathor who was now attempting to avoid his gaze. Aside from the unwillingness to make eye contact with him Hathor seemed genuine in her offer to help should he simply ask. “Well I appreciate the offer Hathor, I may just have to take you up on that offer in the near future.” He finally spoke, keeping his gaze on the woman sitting in front of him. “Well I am a big fan of their Orange spice tea. How about yourself?” Hades finished showing a smile again while still attempting to gauge Hathor and her reactions.

The second Hades actually decided to speak of her offer instead taking the way out provided, her hands dropped back to fold into her lap and her eyes locked onto his own, not drawing away for a moment. Her expression was soft but serious as she spoke her next words, ”Say the word and I will be there for you, Hades. Anytime, any place, and anything you need that is within my power, you shall have. All you ever need do is ask.” A smile broke on her features as she continued, ”Orange spice sounds perfect. It is actually one of my favorites. Wait here, I’ll go talk to Imentet about it since I told her to hold off while I waited. Nothing worse than cold tea after all.” With that said, she gracefully rose from her seat, heading back to the front counter.

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Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by KZOMBI3
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The sounds of static popping and cracking of a record spinning idly on the platter as the stylus skips along the surface smoothly filled in the small space of the otherwise calm apartment. Chaos enveloped the small, modern contemporary kitchen as dishes, caked in batter, sat soaking in the skin. Flour dusted the counter tops, clearly spilled from the mixing bowls and forgotten about. Syrup that missed the plates, or fell from the edges of the picture perfect breakfast, sat in multiple tiny pools upon the surface as well. The static of the white noise is drowned out only by the soft lull of ivory keys making way for the drop of a concealed bass and snare. Almost like a music box in it's tinkling. Thumping in time with an invisible metronome, and it's in this sort of stillness that the chaotic energy is subdued. For a time. For a moment.

With sunlight streaming in through the open window, sheer cream curtains drawn back, Comus finds herself sitting atop the counters of her freshly destroyed scullery, flour decorating the apples of her cheeks and forehead. "This looks good enough to eat~" she sings aloud, clapping her bands together and kicking out her feet in a happy little dance before opening up her phone to snap a picture worthy of social media.

Once it's posted with a cute little caption of "Pollo isn't the only chef in the squad ✌" she is digging in, scrolling through her feed and messages, eyes snagging on the last few texts from Hebe talking about a brunch with Ares for that morning. Unfortunately, she had to cancel on her bestest best friend and a brunch with her favorite cousin; even if Ares was rooting the bill, all due to a fitting, and now a photo shoot taking place at 10. Which prompted her to shift her gaze to the time at the top of her phone screen only to help in surprise and nearly drop the handheld. "Oh shit! I'm gonna be late! Fuck!"

For the next ten minutes Coco spent it scrambling down from her position in the kitchen and rushed about trying to look somewhat presentable for when she arrived at the photo shoot with Aphrodite. She knew there was no way in Hades that she was going to get there in time so she sent off a quick text to the Goddess of Love informing her, hoping that she could keep the fashion coordinators off her ass when did finally stroll into the studio.

To: aphro love 🌺💗
im running late! again 😫 please dont kill me. keep the coordinator busy while i sneak in? 🤧 ill get you your fav drink! 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻 thank you love youuuu

Pleased enough with the quick text, she took one last final look around her cozy apartment, frowning quite a bit at the mess still sitting in her sink, but brushed the wrinkles away with the back of her wrist. "I'll deal with it later..." she grumbles as she closes and locks the door, rushing to the steps; Coco did not have time to wait on that shitty lift. As soon as Comus stepped out of the threshold of her complex she was greeted with a pleasant breeze picking up around her, carrying her loose strands of hair to whip about her; effectively hitting her in the face more than once. It had been some time since the Conclave and her catch up date with Hebe; making a note to have her come over and have another movie night - sans the rom-coms. Maybe. There is a lot of shit Coco puts up with for the sake of Hebe's happiness. If rom-coms are the deciding factor, than, well, Coco was just gonna have to suck it up.

The trek to the studio was tedious at best, boring at the worst. However, today seemed to be looking up for her as she spotted her dear grandfather strutting his stuff down the sidewalk. His tailored suits doing wonders for his figure and she had to wonder, to whom his he trying to impress? Steely greys pierced the crowds around the god among men taking notice of how he slipped into the tea shop, a local favorite of both mortals and godly beings. Hades plopped right down into the seat across from Hathor, the beauty that works at the Jade. Which reminded her to stop by and visit more often. A sly smirk "Granddad, you devil you..."

After swinging by the nearest coffee shop along the way towards the studio she passed by a line of stores, selling a myriad of different items; jewelry, boutique like fabrics and clothes, bags and books. One store in particular caught the goddesses chaotic eye, a pleasant smile tugging the corners of her lips up. She was already late, what's the harm in a few more minutes? A few minutes spent inside granted Coco a reprieve from the hassle of rushing to the shoot and just took her time, perusing the isles. The store was practically empty, morning sun light coming in through the large double pane, floor to ceiling windows, bathing the shop in warmth. The materials bowed beneath her fingertips as she scanned the shelves. 'It needs to be perfect... which one, which one...' Each one seemed duller than the last and she was just about to give up when the last shelf, up at the very top and towards the back caught her eye. Comus didn't need to feel the fabric used to know that it was perfect. Without hesitation she snatched it up - utilizing the staff's help of course, a cute mortal male who gave her an award winning smile - and proceeded to pay. A smile on her lips, a new item in her bag on her hips and a number slipped into her front pocket; the morning was starting to look up.

Until she arrived into the studio. Immediately she was bombarded by the assistant coordinator; who might as well have been just as bad. Always talking to someone whether it was the person in her ear or the other models, no one was really sure. Spouting off how everyone, a pointed look at Coco informed her that this was directed to her, should be grateful to be selected to showcase the Aeon brand. This was Leona Faustus after all. Coco wondered if it was possible to go blind with how hard she rolled her eyes. As the models were dismissed to head off to the makeup bench and changing racks she caught sight of some familiar faces. "Helen!" Before heading back towards the therapist and model combo, she set her possessions down on the bench and taking a long, sweet look at the item poking out of her bag. She pat the top of it, fingers carding through the shag like fabric, "Oh, can't wait! Heebs is gonna love you~" With a swift turn she headed towards Aphrodite, her promised drink in hand.

mentions: @baraquiel @Danvers @Icy Hot
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Hidden 3 mos ago Post by smarty0114
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smarty0114 Human

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stewing in a most divine depression

Hera lay sprawled on her couch, one hand draped over the edge and clutching a half-empty bottle of wine. The numbness Hathor had provided failed shortly after she’d gotten home from the Conclave. The sudden onslaught of pain seemed even worse the second time around, and the Queen of the Gods had found herself drowning her sorrows with an old friend. Chianti had nothing on nectar, but it quelled the storm inside her just as well.

At least, for a moment.

Unfortunately, that moment had passed. Her eyes fluttered awake, smudged with mascara and eye shadow from the night before. Her two day bender had left her with a pounding head, a worrying sign of how much she’d drank. Slowly and shakily, Hera pulled herself up into a sitting position, running a hand through her disheveled hair, a groan slipping past her lips. Realizing she still held the bottle of wine, she brought it to her lips, grimacing as she swallowed the stale red liquid.

Mornings like this weren’t uncommon. It had been many years since she’d had one, but they found her all the same. A cycle of pain, endless and inescapable. No matter what she did, she always seemed to end up alone. How long until she lost Ares too? He was all she had left now, her sweet, sweet boy.

Hera was stirred from her wallowing by the chiming of her phone, the tell-tale sign of an email. She’d taken the sick time she’d had and promptly used all of it, informing the hospital that she had a family emergency to take care of. Still, her inbox had been receiving messages from patients all night, those who hadn’t been informed of Dr. Bailey’s sudden leave of absence. This message wasn’t from a patient though.

Staring back at her from the phone screen was an invitation from Jupiter, of all people. She couldn’t help but scoff. Just like the Romans to reappear and plan a party, all while her son’s killer remained at large. The audacity. If Hera was in a headspace capable of rational thought, she might’ve found the whole thing off, suspicious even. As it stood however, her mind was preoccupied with thoughts of mourning, guilt, and vengeance.

She’d need to meet with Ares soon, to see what he’d gathered. By then, she’d need to be out of this pit, back into the shell of strength she wore so well. She could not let him see her weakness. In times like these, she needed to become a pillar of strength. Not just for him, but for herself as well, and though she might be loath to admit it, the rest of the Olympians as well. Their family was under attack, and that wouldn’t do. Revenge on the Greeks was a dish she’d reserved centuries ago.

Time soldiered on as Hera sat on the couch, awash in the haze of depression. She wasn’t sure how long she sat there before she arose, but by the time she stepped from the steam filled shower, toweling herself off, the sun was high in the sky, beaming down on the Seattle skyline. Once she was dressed, Hera stepped out of her bedroom and onto her balcony, lighting a cigarette while she gazed down at the streets, wondering which shadows hid the one she sought.

Many had warned Hera about the dangers of revenge. She hadn’t listened to any of them. Vengeance was the punishment bestowed on those who lied and cheated, slunk their ways through the shadows, those who broke their sacred oaths. It was the way of the world. This murderer had taken two things from her; her son and her dignity. She wouldn’t rest until she’d inflicted the same pain onto him.

Happiness and fulfillment, those would wait until she’d dealt with the rage. When they came, they would not stay long, fleeting friends who never seemed to hold her long enough. It mattered not. She’d begun to accept the pain. Every moment she endured was a test, molding her into a power that would one day refuse to be overtaken. One day, there would be no more shadows for her foes to hide in, and it will have all been worth it. And when that day arrived, heralded by a chorus of her champions, she would not be happy; she would be strong.

mentions: @Legion02
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Hidden 3 mos ago Post by metanoia
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Rise & Shine
Herc & Ben

Despite everything that happened at the Conclave and the general sense of dread and stress and that subtle feeling that everyone might die at the hands of Hera and her demented angry son of war, Heracles was feeling pretty spiffy when he woke up.

He was one of the few people in this world who responded well to the sounds of a morning bird that served as his alarm. No, this wasn’t a literal bird, but on his phone, he found a cool app, Rise and Shine, which had the feature of a regular alarm app but with the added benefit of having certain animal sounds. There were wild cats, dogs, the sound a goat makes when frightened, but Heracles was, if nothing else, a traditional God. And so he woke up to the proud crowing of a digitally-created rooster.

From then on, Heracles did everything Heracles did when he woke up before the sun did: he made a healthy breakfast. Since today was Saturday, that meant a spread of wheatcakes with a light drizzle of honey, a greek yogurt parfait, and a tall glass of soy milk, all of which were devoured fifteen minutes after posting a shot of it on Instagram. Thanks to that and his proud sponsor King Arthur’s Wheat Flour, which was never bleached and never bromated, he was going to find close to nine-thousand dollars in his bank account by tomorrow.

“Today’s going to be a great day!” He repeated to himself as he found himself out the door of Acropolis.

With his gym bag in the back seat of his red Ford F150 and the roaring engine sounding off as he left the upscale neighborhood that he and Apollo lived in, Heracles had the intention of going to the gym that was less than seven miles from his loft but then he had the thought of not wanting to work out alone, which brought him to a conversation he and Benten had the night before the conclave. Among other things, the conversation progressed onto how fit Herc was and just how out of shape Ben was. Whether it was a stupid suggestion then or a brilliant one, he didn’t know, but Heracles promised to help her out by being her gym buddy, and she agreed.

And that’s how he found himself back at Seattle U, walking in thigh-high shorts that showed off much of his well-toned legs and a matching, black tank. Thankfully for it being still relatively close from summer, it wasn’t that chilly but it still being morning, Heracles had the adrenaline of helping out a friend in dire need of his help.

After briskly walking for about ten minutes and asking around where Bentley Stark could be found, everyone he asked had told him at the Sigma Chi House and low and behold, there he was in front of it. As far as fraternity houses went, it wasn’t bad. Decent size and he even thought some decent parties must’ve been held here. And the thought that followed was how it paled in comparison to the wild times the OG fraternity held. Acropolis for life!

After he knocked a few times and had a slick back and forth with the guys who lived there, immediately they recognized him. Jackson Drake, the widely popular Instagram Influencer who had over a million subscribers and holder of two American Influencer Awards for Lifestyle Influencer of the year even though he technically wasn’t a lifestyle influencer. Still, he was known and that meant people wanted his photos.

Ten rounds of selfies later and one of his less-starstruck fans led him upstairs and to the room Bentley was sleeping in. He stood in front of her bed, watching her sleep for a few moments. Part of him was going to feel guilty for what he was about to do.

“Rise and shine!” He shouted, giving her bed a firm Leonidas, King of Sparta kick.

There was the sound of a babbling brook, flowing freely and without care to the world around it. The feeling of grass surrounded her, a featherlight feeling of fingertips trailing along her thighs, the wanton kiss against her lips, the breeze that played with their contrasting hair. They parted for only a moment, taking a breath, eyes filled with amorous passion

“You’re the most beautiful girl I know.” The words fell true, the brook seemed far away as Benten gazed into her lover’s eyes, cupping her cheek tenderly.

The lips of her liver moved but Ben missed the sound as a jolt went through her, a feeling of dread pitting in her stomach. Even her question fell silent on her ears as she felt the words flow from her mouth, the pounding of her heart was deafening in her ears, the scenery around her growing blurry, hazy through her panic. She reached for the lover that seemed a mile away now, shouting her name silently, eyes wide with fear. The lover she once saw was no more, instead, a hulking beast stood smug before her and opened its gnarly mouth to bellow-

Ben scrambles awake at the sudden intrusion, her back pressed to the headboard, looking around wildly for the monster that ruined her dreams. When her eyes landed on Heracles her shoulders slumped in relief, before tensing again after realizing she was in her room.

“What are you doing Jackson?” Irritation graced her tone as her eyes narrowed into a suspicious glare.

“What does it look like?” He backed away from her bed just enough so she could catch the glimpse of his outfit. “It’s Saturday, Ben! And you know what that means, right?” He left it open in hopes she would know.

Ben pursed her lips for a moment fighting the grogginess of her abrupt awakening. “Uhhhh… her eyes took in his appearance, he was wearing gym clothes and she was capable enough to at least put two and two together but wasn’t sure why he was here. “Okay, better question… why the fuck are you cock blocking dreamworld me to show off your bulging muscles? Did you get those shorts from GapKids®? they look like they’re going to burst around your quads dude.”

“Pfft, these are top of the line! Perfect for stretching, running, and they’re surprisingly comfy!” there was a sense of pride in his voice. “But more to the point, it’s leg day, Ben! So come on, get up!” He kicked her bed again but not with as much force as his first one did.

Ben’s thin patience was quickly running out, the second kick made her release a drawn-out sigh, willing herself to stay chill. Killing her bro was out of the picture, she wouldn’t survive prison, goddess or not. Alright, alright, it’s obvious you’ve dropped one too many dumbbells on that ample head of yours, so I can forgive you for ruining my beauty sleep. Now, please, swiftly get the hell out so I can return to what I was doing.”

Heracles was starting to become annoyed but he wasn’t going to succumb to the inner-Zeus-like tantrum he’s been known to throw “But you promised! Remember? At the party a few nights ago. You said you would be my workout partner!”

“What? I did no such th-“ Ben was interrupted by her own flood of memories. During the party at Acropolis after the conclave she had drunkenly committed to working out with Heracles, and she had done so on camera and to her fans. A groan filled with her deepest regrets escaped her and she flung herself back against her bed, pulling her duvet over her face, “Dude, no one ever means anything they say when they’re drunk! Well… I always mean it when I tell Coco I want her to sit on my face… but everything else is just bullshit dude. I’m busy today, maybe in my next life I’ll pursue being a bodybuilder with you.”

“Busy doing what?” He asked point-blank.

“I got a couple appointments, one in 75 seconds with going back to sleep and one at 3:45 with a cheesy Gordita crunch. Now if you wouldn’t mind, make sure to close the door all the way behind you. Byeee~” Ben pokes a hand out from under the covers and waved for a moment before getting comfortable again.

“I guess we’re doing this the hard way.”

Whether Ben was paying attention or not, the silence that followed should have been the first red flag. Heracles was a lot of things, but having the tendency to be quiet for no reason wasn’t one of them. When his yap stopped moving, either one of two things was about to happen: either he would leave you alone or something very bad was going to happen to someone in a short amount of time. Ben probably thought it was the former, but as he gripped her blanket with a firm grasp, in the following three seconds, it had been swiftly removed, exposing Ben in the shirt and shorts she had been wearing.

Ben had just about drifted back to sleep again when Herc ya led away her soft, sweet comfort. Goosebumps ran along her arms as the chill of the room crept along her exposed skin. A grumble left her as she pressed a pillow to her face, blocking out the light in the room, she could fall asleep like this if she really tried. Ben was adaptable to most situations and places, but that did not extend to the gym, “This is harassment! A targeted hate crime! I’ll call Athena if you don’t go away Herc, it’s illegal to be this committed to the gym. Do you want to go to jail again, you annoyingly fit bastard?”

He expected a fight, but what Ben was doing was just childish. “Oh, don’t be like that, Ben. You know Athena wouldn’t answer your call. Besides you made me a promise and who else will help you put some meat on those painfully-skinny legs of yours?” He asked her, pointing to her chicken legs. He always heard that negative reinforcement often produced positive results.

Ben moves the pillow from her face and gave a dramatic gasp, “How dare you-“ she threw the pillow with all her might at the beefcake, watching it thump against his head and fall to the ground. It was anticlimactic and did little to give her any sort of satisfaction,body shame me in my own home. Don’t think I’ve forgot about the times you tried to put the moves on me Heracles! You didn’t have any problems with my chicken legs then! For the last time, I’m booked and busy today! Call back tomorrow to see if I can reschedule you!”

He had the partial thought of giving up, but now he wouldn’t be Heracles, Conqueror of the 12 Labors of Olympus if he had thrown in the towel the minute things became difficult. If she wasn’t happy with him now, Gods only knew just how furious she was going to become as soon as he did what he was going to. “Just remember, you forced me to.”

With guilt hanging high within him, Heracles took both of Ben’s legs with relative ease. It was fortunate for him that she wasn’t so athletically gifted. Pulling her from one end of the bed took no effort whatsoever. And then as he placed his hands carefully around her waist, he picked her weightless body and threw her over one of his shoulders, making sure he wasn’t touching her in places that could land him his own canceled party hashtag.

While Ben had doubled down on the “try me bitch” approach she hadn’t thought Herc would actually do it. The man was mighty, but mostly docile, intimidating from afar like a pitbull with its lip curled, but up close, just a cute little bully that wants to cuddle you and lick your face. The banshee-like cry that reverberated off the walls of the room was completely called for when Ben ended up tossed over Herc’s shoulder like a sack of potatoes.

”PUT ME DOWN WONDER BOY!” Bentley Stark shrieked trying to grab onto anything she could as Herc made for the door.

And anything she did had little to no effect in stopping Heracles from walking out of Ben’s messy room and into the hallway, halfway to the stairs. “Just calm down! You’re making this into a bigger thing than it needs to be!” It was clear Herc was growing fatigued of her fight, but he couldn’t deny that he was getting some satisfaction from it all.

Bentley put all her energy to thrashing in his hold, beating her hands against his back, and clawing at all the walls and door frames she could. To no avail did she free herself from Herc’s iron grip, and so she channeled the potato energy and grew slack against him. Bentley’s fingers folded into the only sign language she knew and flashed the big ‘fuck you’ to all her laughing frat brothers, ”I can’t believe I once called you traitors my brothers! No more, you’re all dead to me! Dead! You hear me?”

The front door was quickly approaching, and with that, her window for escape was becoming narrower. Just as she was getting her second wind the final knife wedged deep into her back, the sharp tip piercing her heart, “Et tu Brad?”

Bentley’s Big stood beside the front door with his arms casually crossed over his chest an amused shake of his head was a response to her childish antics, “Count this as a necessary evil. With how heavy you breath running up the stairs every time, and I’d rather not gamble whether you’ll survive your next climb.”

“How dare you defy fate! If it’s my time it’s my time. Now I’ll meet my end to the sound of gym rats releasing their mating cries as they hit a max rep. This betrayal hits the deepest, sleep with one eye open Bradley otherwise I’ll be coming for those brows!” Brad only offered a hearty chuckle as he opened the door for Jackson and gave an enthusiastic wave to Bently as he closed the door following their exit.

“Thanks man! I’ll have her back in a few hours!” Jackson gave Brad a gesture that resembled a friendly wave as he ran out the frat house, feet firmly planting against the steps. They were about seven yards from the frat house when Herc made the conscious decision to allow Ben to walk with him as he set her down. That and her constant wiggling had rendered it impossible for him to continue carrying her without growing frustrated with his friend. “There. Now it’s not so bad. We only have about fifty feet to the parking lot. You can do that, I’m sure!” He said to her in an encouraging voice.

Ben didn’t try to hide her pouting as she practically stomped beside Heracles, producing the only sound she gave in response to his “encouragement”. Meanwhile her mind was racing, calculating the possibilities of her making a break from him and successfully getting away. By the time they reached his truck she had concluded there was no escape from this and resigned herself to the death that awaited her.

“Let's make this as swift and painless as possible, alright?” Ben grumbled once she was situated comfortably in the passenger seat.

For a rather long moment of silence, Herc thought about saying something, maybe give Ben one last comment to mull over. But then he thought about how that would defeat the purpose of what he knew at its core was him wanting to spend time with one of his friends and helping them achieve an ideal body that would make basic acts such as walking up a flight of stairs not seem like a marathon. So he decided against it and just hopped into the driver’s side seat, letting the engine roar for a minute before they were Fitness City-bound.

“Trust me, this will be fun! I’m an excellent spotter!”

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Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Legion02


Member Seen 21 hrs ago

Neptune's Mansion
Aphrodite & Neptune

The last few days for Aphrodite were a blur. She fully immersed herself in her work, talking to her clients to fix their relationships and all that. Whenever she was not at work, she never let her schedule vacant as she always found something to do such as her gym sessions or communicating with future clients. Whenever her phone dinged from a notification, Aphrodite hoped that it was Eros only to be saddened again when it wasn’t him. She would walk around in her room deep in thought while glancing on her phone, thinking about whether she should send him texts of how she missed him and wanted to talk to him, but she knew he’ll just ignore them just like he always did before.

Now, the goddess of love laid on the bed while staring at the ceiling. It was a bright cheerful morning but Aphrodite felt neither bright nor cheerful. The news of Hephaestus dying, the possibility that any of them would be killed at any moment, and her son being more distant to her than before made her feel very much sad. She didn’t want to spend the whole day crying and wallowing in her self-pity. Not yet, anyway.

She looked at her nightstand and saw a framed picture of her and Eros from years ago, smiling genuinely at the camera while they were spending a day on the beach. Aphrodite had a brief realization and smacked her face in annoyance. She was so busy these past few years that she forgot Seattle had a beach. She hurriedly got up and cleaned herself up, packed up some stuff she thought she might need, and got out of her apartment once she was ready. She put all her belongings in her car and drove off.

It was if a secret memory was unlocked in her mind and Aphrodite automatically knew where to go. She continued to drive into the greener part of Seattle until she arrived at one of the many beaches it offered. She got out of her car and walked barefoot, feeling the warm and grainy sand under her feet until the waves splashed against them. She saw several beach-front houses lined the sandy shores at a distance but she found herself alone at the moment. Deeply inhaling the salty breeze, Aphrodite felt instantly refreshed than ever before. It was the same beach that she and Eros used to visit whenever they had free time. Now that she was alone, Aphrodite felt the sea tugging at her stronger, beckoning her to return to the place where she was created. She took off her clothes until she’s only wearing a set of white triangle string bikini and dove into the cool waters of the sea.

“In other news the Seattle mayor has been declared missing for several days now. The beloved mayor…” Neptune mentally tuned out the massive TV that was showing the 24/7 new cycle. He didn’t want to let Hephaestus’ death affect the work he had to get in now early in the morning. Even though it was on the back of his mind at all times. First he had to get the right calls in, send the right e-mails, generally get things done. Jupiter had called them in for brunch which had ruined Neptune’s entire morning schedule. Though his older brother probably had a valid reason. The early morning breeze coming from the bay blew through Neptune’s opened floor-to-ceiling windows. Custom made. Most architects preferred to lock down a house entirely and then just put in some sort of climate control. Especially in big, modern mansions like the one Neptune had to own. But he had insisted on windows that could open up and as money wasn’t really an object, the architect and everyone involved in the construction had agreed. It was an expensive luxury but one well worth it as he now stood in front of the opened windows with an already cold coffee in his hands. Looking out into the bay water.

He had to go for a swim. With everything going on, it was the only thing that would make sense. Minutes later he was walking across his lawn, then his beach, into the water wearing only his swimming trunks. Leaving his back door unlocked and open. Sure, someone could have the stupid idea to burglar him. But if Neptune wouldn’t make short work of that transgression, he knew he could always count on his brothers to make an example out of the mortal offender.

Meanwhile, Aphrodite swam through the cool waters and continued to swim until she was in the deeper part of the bay. There, she saw a bountiful of fishes swimming through the branches of beautiful corals. She swam beside a sea turtle and even a few manta rays. She approached a nest of clam shells, reminiscing of the time she emerged from one herself. Even as she was gaining consciousness while being formed from sea foam made by the blood and semen of Ouranous’ genitals, she basked in the abundance of life energy all around her that’s present in the seas at that time. In the long time she was underwater, Aphrodite felt so rejuvenated and renewed.

She resurfaced after a few minutes, feeling proud that she could still hold her breath down for long periods of time. It’s a talent she honed herself on as she thought it was very useful for sex but she was surprised that it was also useful for swimming and diving too. She floated along the waters and looked back at how far she came. She also looked at the beach-front houses along the shore.Since she had nothing else to do, she decided to swim towards one of those houses to check it out. The house she chose was definitely the most luxurious-looking out of all of them. She craned her neck and looked through the large windows, noticing that it looked rather vacant. The owner must be gone but why would they leave their backdoor open like that?

Aphrodite looked around one more time to make sure no one was inside before emerging from the waters and entering the house through the back door. Well, she guessed house was the wrong word to describe this beautiful work of architecture-mansion-thingy. It wasn’t as impeccable as her Grecian mansion back at Mt. Olympus but this mansion was definitely divine in mortal standards. She was dripping wet, leaving puddles of sea water along the house’s floor as she looked around in awe of the interior designs. She knew it was very rude to enter people’s homes like this but she didn’t feel a shred of fear because she always had her powers to fall back on in case things get awry. In hindsight, she should have worn something more appropriate instead of a set of bikini but she just shrugged it off.

Only a few minutes later Neptune emerged from the seas. Well, emerging wouldn’t do it justice. It was as if the waves gently delivered him upon the shoreline. The water was his natural habitat, but as a mortal he was forced to stay ashore for longer than he cared for at times. Still, the refreshing water cleared his head for the day. Now he felt like he could face everything! Well, almost everything. There wasn’t a refreshing swim in the world that would prepare him to ever face off against his sister. Luckily for him, he and Venus often saw eye to eye on things.

Though as he approached his house, Neptune began to notice the strange puddles that formed on his specially treated hardwood floor. The aquarium wall remained untouched luckily. Clearly whoever had the stupid idea to burgle his house wasn’t a vandals as well. Slowly, quietly, Neptune stalked through his house. Not caring that he left a trail of water as well. He turned the corner, and in the far distance he saw the person who had entered his home.

She had to be a goddess. Had to be. Her beauty rivaled even Neptune’s sister. Wait…she was a goddess. Far off in the distance stood Aphrodite, admiring whatever she was looking at. Neptune didn’t want to disturb her. He did not want to break this serene moment.

Aphrodite was busy looking at the framed pictures. She leaned closer to get a better look at them and noticed that a certain man was always in them. Perhaps it was the owner of this house? Just by looking at the pictures, she could tell this man was taller than most of his peers and really muscular too. He was the rugged-type of handsomeness and his eyes made her feel like a prey being studied by a fierce predator.

She looked at the other pictures as well and was surprised as the owner of the house seemed to be very with the Roman gods like Mars and Janus. Too close for comfort, Aphrodite thought. With the way they smiled and were completely at ease with each other, in addition to the many pictures he had with the other Roman gods like Jupiter and Venus…

The goddess of love suddenly grew pale. Her eyes widened in fright as she realized that she might be in the house of a Roman god, in the house of her kin’s mortal rivals. All her confidence just melted away like the puddles on the floor. Judging by the aesthetic of the house and the fact that’s positioned just by the bay, Aphrodite guessed that this was the property of Neptune, the Roman god of the sea. She didn’t know the guy personally but she didn’t want to stay any longer to find out, and she knew she needed to get out of this house now.

She turned around to run away from the house, only to freeze on the spot as the owner of the house, Neptune himself. Aphrodite gulped, looking at him with a mix of surprise, fear, and nervousness as she looked at him up and down. No matter how scary he looked, she can’t deny that the Roman god looked even hotter when he’s half-naked. The way the light bounced off his tattooed, wet, muscular body made the Greek goddess all hot and flustered. Moments of awkward silence passed and Aphrodite just stood there while admiring Neptune’s physique before she remembered she was wet and half-naked herself.

”Y-You must be the owner of this house, eh? So sorry for barging in rudely to your very impressive abode. I-It looked so beautiful from the outside that I simply couldn’t resist having a l-look around the place. W-Well, I’ll make my leave now. B-Bye…” Aphrodite said with a high-pitched, shaking voice while she turned around and made her way to the main entrance of the house.

“You could leave.” Neptune said, as he turned around and headed for the kitchen. “Or you could stay.” A moment later he reappeared holding two flute glasses and a bottle of genuine, french Champagne. Imported from halfway across the world. “And I can give you a full tour.” With a gentle smile he made it clear that he didn’t really see her as a threat and well, how could he judge her for her appearance when in truth he was showing skin than she was. Besides, it wasn’t as if he was hating the view. Not every day a literal goddess of love and beauty walks your house. The god of water only wanted to make the best of it. At the same time, he kept his distance from the backdoor and Aphrodite alike. If she wanted to leave, well who was he to stop her?

Aphrodite blinked for a few seconds. A Roman god who doesn't want to kill her? That's as rare as a human coming back alive from the Underworld. She pondered for a bit, thinking that this may be one of their schemes but this Neptune guy seemed to be one of the good guys. She definitely didn't feel any sort of hostility coming from him, though he looked more curious than angry for someone who's mansion just got broken in by a stranger. Even when she truly knew he was going to let her leave as the doors were there for her to reach and go out of, Aphrodite still wanted to stay. She didn't know the reason, maybe perhaps she's been very lonely at her apartment. She could call the other gods and hang out with them, go to the clubs with them or to an orgy party for old time's sake, but she was too busy wallowing in her own sadness to make time for her godly social life.

She inclined her head to the side and curiously looked at him, gradually growing a sly smile. "You're not mad that someone just broke into your beautiful mansion?" Aphrodite teased while she slowly sauntered her way towards him. "My, I didn't know Romans were so hospitable, especially towards my kin, Lord Neptune. But if you insist…" She stopped until she had to crane her neck to look up at him, running her finger on his pec downwards before grabbing one of the two flute glasses from his hand. "I will gladly take you on that offer. Although, before we do that, I suppose we can first do something about the both of us being wet, no?"

Neptune just smiled at her question. “Only a little.” He answered, as he felt Aphrodite’s finger run along his peck and then take a glass. Carefully he filled hers, letting the bubbles rise to the brim of her glass, and then a little bit further. So a little foam would run along her fingers. Then he filled his own glass, clinking it with hers before he took a small sip. “Well…there are towels upstairs in the bathroom. Mind if I help you out?” He asked with a teasing grin. The little game they were playing was fun so far.

She dragged her tongue across her fingers to lick up the foam while making sure her eyes never left his before taking a sip of her drink too. She was beginning to like this man more, it seemed that he knew how to play the game and she could tell he was great at it. It's been a very long while since she last had fun with a man, especially a god as hot and amusing as Neptune. She had slept with Poseidon a bunch of times in the past, even bearing two children with him. Would a sea god from a different pantheon perform differently in bed too? It's a theory the love goddess really wanted to test.

Aphrodite smiled sweetly at him. "Of course, Lord Neptune. That sounds delightful." She said, walking to his side and hooking her arm over his. She gave a not-so-subtle squeeze on his bicep while still smiling at him. "Please lead the way, milord."

Lord Neptune. He kind of liked the tone of that. Of course it was all said in good fun. It was clear that Aphrodite was thoroughly enjoying the game as well, so he saw no reason to stop it now. With her on his arm he said: “Right this way, my lady.” With a smile as sweet as hers.

Upstairs he led her to the vast bathroom with a jacuzzi and walk-in shower with room enough for three people at least. Sadly there would be no showering for them. Either way, in the bathroom he put down the already half-finished glass of champagne and grabbed a towel. “Allow me.” He said with a seductive voice as he walked up behind Aphrodite. Slowly padding her dry. First her arms, then her shoulders, then further inwards and downwards. Along her stomach and then her waist. Testing with every touch where she would politely put a halt to it.

Aphrodite was liking the place more and more. She was quietly taking notes in her mind so she had some inspiration for her mansion one day in the future, if they're still bound to Earth by the Colossus at that period of time. She raised an eyebrow at Neptune and smirked at him, putting her glass beside his and raising her hands up in full submission. She really wanted him to just ditch the towel and use his hands instead but it's still all part of the game so she just let him have his fun. When she felt she was dry enough, she put her hand over his and gently pushed the towel away. She got another dry one and smiled a bit mischievously at him. "My turn." The love goddess said with a sultry tone.

Aphrodite walked around him to pad Neptune's broad muscular back first. He's much taller than she was so she had to touch his waist while reaching up to pad his shoulders and arms dry, pressing her body against his back in the process. Once the back was done, Aphrodite then moved to the front, the part where she'll have the most fun. She slowly wiped his pecs, running the towel slowly and gently against his chest before she moved down to his ripped abs. Aphrodite looked up directly at Neptune's eyes as she kneeled before him, a naughty grin on her face as she took her time in padding his thighs and legs dry while leaving his swimming trunks still soaking wet.

The games were reaching their crescendo and the spark was clear to the both of them. Or so Neptune assumed. He most certainly did not expect this to happen when he woke up today, and in all honesty he should’ve started preparing for his brother’s meeting. But then as he looked down at Aphrodite, suddenly no matter the subject it could not be important enough. When Aphrodite rose up again he gave a coy smile. “To the tour then, my lady.”
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Hidden 3 mos ago Post by metanoia
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Goddess of Wisdom and War

Athena had a moment of weakness the instant she found herself staring at her bedroom ceiling, the hovering ceiling fan blowing dusty air all over her bedding. Thoughts of the Conclave plagued her mind and she wanted to say that Hephaestus’ passing took its toll on her. She wanted to say that the reason she had been lying awake ten minutes before her alarm was set to go off at 5:00 am. Athena was a lot of things, but lowering herself to the likes of Ares and Loki by lying was not something she nor Natalia Steele did.

The reason she couldn’t go back to sleep or even call in sick today was that despite it being a Saturday -- and, if last night’s news coverage was to be taken as the Oracle’s Prophecy -- it was going to be a beautiful day. But no, she couldn’t do anything because she didn’t have a day off for at least five days. And that was assuming her Captain didn’t chew her out for ditching work two days ago for that God-forsaken Conclave. The nightmares of Hera’s annoying rant still haunted her dreams that were usually just reruns of what she had done in the day previous

Sometimes when her dreams were interrupted or a train of thought had been reduced to growing annoyances of whatever forced its way into her mind, Athena liked to channel the part of her that was supposed to be wiser than her brother, Ares. She did sometimes, but not always. Athena was guilty of violent thoughts and just exactly who she might find themselves on the receiving end of her worst thoughts.

“Hera is on the top of that list,” Athena muttered literally seconds before her alarm went off.

The Goddess of Sometimes Wisdom smacked her alarm clock so hard that it cracked the top but the ringing didn’t stop. At this moment, she didn’t care. Natalia Steele had to get ready for work. One hour later, she was cleaned, full of caffeine, and had a belly full of a day-old bagel with spicy butter that may or may not come back to haunt her later in the day. Either way, Athena was soon out the door and her black charger sped down her street and into the dawn of Seattle.

Detective Natalia Steele had a love/hate relationship with her job.

There were many facets of being a detective that brought her a lot of satisfaction: keeping neighborhoods safe, getting to bust those who might be selling to kids, and being part of something bigger than her -- bigger than Athena. She found a spiritual fulfillment when she did her part in those big busts that made nation-wide news. The Seattle Strangler? She helped with that. Back Alley Butcher? She pieced the complex puzzle that he left for her that led to a Florist by the name of Albert Travers, whose brother was the Back Alley Butcher. She has racked up over two-thousand arrests in her five years on the job. Of those two thousand and under DA Amanda Woodall’s strict principles, over seventy percent of those arrested were convicted.

Indeed there are many aspects of Natalia’s job that make her almost proud to wake up so early every day and get underpaid for her service.

But, on some days, the paperwork was enough to drive her mad without the assistance of Dionysus’ special wine. The same paperwork that was the same thing over and over again: misdemeanors about j-walking, false leads about what should have been major busts, false rape allegations that were meant to be followed through but due to “extenuating circumstances”, Natalia was forced to file these reports.

And she hated that. She hated that abusive husbands were allowed to dictate just what they could make their wives do. Sure, Natalia wasn’t Special Victims Unit. She wasn’t supercop Olivia Benson who bent the rules to make the right people suffer. She worked in Major Crimes, which meant she shouldn’t even be looking at another detective’s case log.

“Three, seven…” Natalia’s voice was low as she went down the list of unsolved cases ranging from sexual assault, battery, false statements -- everything that shouldn’t be there was in minimal detail. “Who in the--”


As her phone went off three times, Natalia answered in rather aggressively. “Yeah, this is Steele.” After waiting a minute, one of the B cops currently out patrolling said something that caught Athena’s attention. “Control the scene. Establish a perimeter. Don’t let any press within ten yards of the scene. I’ll be there as soon as I can.” Natalia quickly got up, grabbing her dark red leather jacket.

“What’s the rush, Steele? Got a hot date?” Colin Brady, her mortal partner, joked as he casually sat across from her. His arms were folded behind his head

She turned midstep, looking at his smug face, giving him a sly smirk. “Why don’t you come along and find out? Maybe you’ll learn something for a change.”

The sound of America-made muscle pulled onto the scene, the media held back at least twenty yards, which made the brunette smile. Everyone knew whenever she said a number -- any number, especially when it was about distance -- Athena always meant double. And it was a good thing that B-Cop listened to her.

The scene past the police tape, past the CSI roaming about, finishing up their preliminary findings, couldn’t have been given justice even if the mortal’s tried. The majority of the crime scene was in a back alley. There was blood splayed all over: along the walls, the dumpster, and trash cans were all tipped over. Pieces of teeth were spread throughout the ground, but it doesn’t look like there had been any body-sized blood prints -- which Athena was thankful for. At least she didn’t have to swallow any more darkness today.

“Detective Steele!” FBI Agent Dominic Evans called her over.

“So why in god’s name is there an FBI agent on this crime scene? A back alley brawl seems a bit below your pay grade.”

“Perhaps,” Dominic partially confirmed with a slight nod. He stepped in front of Athena and crouched down so he could get a better view of the ground. “But the MO of this particular crime scene matches the same one of a mysterious figure I’ve been chasing for quite some time.”

“How long?” Brady asked, saying what Athena was about to. He got a glare for his interruption.

“Give or take, seven years. This is the first time in five I have been this close.”

Athena had to applaud his dedication but she couldn’t help but laugh and she made no effort to hide it from him.

“I understand this might seem silly, but my record was spotless. Until this perp, at least. The only one who has escaped my justice and I don’t plan on letting it go.”

And that’s where he lost Athena’s praise -- hell, let’s just say her support was gone as well. If there was something that Athena hated more than anything in this mortal world, it was someone who didn’t know their place and who got in her way. These were her streets to govern, not his. And she wasn’t about to let some hotshot FBI agent seize control over a crime scene she was called to.

“Agent Evans, I know you don’t expect me to believe that your superiors back at Quantico approve of you abusing your power. Actually, I know for a fact that you, Dominic Tiberius Evans, the twenty-year veteran of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, have been suspended for six months because you thought you could weasel your way into investigations that matched this mystery Hooded Man you have claimed to be following for nearly a decade.”

“You stupid bitch. Who do you think--”

She raised her finger, sliding it side to side. “Not so fast. I will save you the embarrassment of finding out which of the two of us is the better fighter and I would hate for your fragile male ego to get crushed in less than five seconds. So here’s what we’re going to do!” She stepped close to him and Dominic flinched, resulting in a genuine smile to appear on Athena’s face. “You are going to politely excuse yourself from my crime scene. Fake a phone call, say you have all that you need -- I don’t really care. Just leave before your five-second window is closed.”

He grumbled something but then Athena started to countdown with her hand. Five, four, three, two, one--

“Excuse me, I have to take this call.”

“Smart choice.” Athena watched proudly as Dominic Evans walked off the crime scene and, hopefully, if she was lucky, he would never be seen again in a very long time or she might have to channel her ire against Hera and direct it on that poor excuse for a human walking away.

“I forgot how scary you could be, Natalia.”

“Don’t you go losing your balls on me, too, Colin.”

After an exchange of laughs, Athena glanced over at the press, spotting some familiar faces among the growing crowd. The scene was as controlled as it could be, but something about it stirred an uneasy storm within Athena’s core. There was something weirdly familiar about the brutality of the scene. She knew this corner, too. It was mafia territory, which made her worry. Not so much about those that were harmed. She was confident that they got what they deserved, but more so about the person responsible for sending them to the hospital.

For the next twenty minutes, Athena and Colin spent their time isolated from each other, interviewing witnesses, gathering as much intel as they could before they had finally exited the scene. “So what are we going to do?” Colin asked, arms folded over the hood of Athena’s black charger.

“You know for a seasoned detective, you can be awfully narrow-minded.” Athena shook her head and let out a sigh. “The drug dealers who were attacked are still alive and should be out of the ICU by the time we get there. So the most obvious choice is to question them and find out who did this.”

“And if they don’t know?”

Athena didn’t say anything. She just got into the driver’s seat and sat there, pondering what Dominic Evans had said. She hated to give him any credit, but his obsession wasn’t wrong. This same MO matched the one from DC. But if that’s the case, Athena only feared this investigation would get a lot more complicated.

“Then we might actually get to stretch our legs for once.”
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Hidden 3 mos ago Post by fledermaus
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fledermaus 【INUYASHA!】

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Eastside Café
Hel & Loki

The things that could get Hel nervous in the whole world could be counted on one hand. Most of the time she barely had a grasp on what time it was in the world. Now she was bitterly aware that it was 10:59 a.m. on the 3rd of October. She was also well aware of where she was. The Eastside Café. Under normal circumstances she would have considered it a cozy and sweet place. An excellent place to get lost in a book with a coffee in front of her. Today though she was fidgeting with her phone. The tea before her was steaming but left untouched. Her eyes darted around. Scanning the ever moving crowd. Hoping to spot her father before he saw her. She needed that upper hand. Though she wished she didn’t have to feel so standoffish. There were many things she wished for. To see and hug Fenrir and Jörmungandr… and her father. A small smile formed on the mask that was her face usually. After so many years of her rejecting him, he never gave up. He kept showing his love. It was a dangerous, reckless, fate-tempting love but it felt good to have it. If only she could return it. Of course she couldn’t. The second she gave in to his love, the second she’d return it there would be no turning back. It was simply too dangerous.

Loki, on the other hand, was having a grand old time. With a skip and a hop, whistling a jaunty tune that may or may not be from Hairspray, he entered into the Café. The trickster god loved his children and would do anything for them, but he was under no illusion that they all had their problems with him. They blamed him for not helping them, and truthfully Loki was powerless under the entrails of his child, but it was his burden to shoulder. If they needed him to be the bad guy, well Loki will be the baddest guy there is - yet he would make sure, at the end of the day, they knew they were loved.

“Hel! Er, Astrid!” Loki quickly amended, waving enthusiastically towards his daughter. “How is my beautiful daughter?”

They got strange looks in the cafe, all of them looking dubiously between the duo and their obvious age discrepancy. Loki paid them no mind; mortals always found a way to explain away the impossible. Surely, they’ll just think he’s a stepfather or a lover of a plastic surgeon.

For a faction of a second Hel broke into a full smile when she saw her father, before she pushed all of that down. This was no place for smiles or waves. Not to her. This was serious and dangerous. She didn’t mind his little slip-up though. “I’m good. And you?” She returned the question as she motioned him to sit in the chair before her. The one furthest away from her at the table. In her mind she pushed away the fact that she had found Jörmungandr and that she had sent him a letter. But at the same time she had a duty to protect her snake-brother as well. What if he and Loki weren’t seeing eye to eye? What if he felt the same and wanted to stay away from everyone? What if he hated Loki as much as he would have to hate her? It wasn’t her place to tell her father about her brother. Even if she so dearly wished to. Her own thoughts had consumed already too much of her attention to notice the weird looks of the mortals. Though if she had she wouldn’t have paid it any mind. What did it matter what a mortal thought. In how many decades would they be dead? Five? Six maybe? Eight, if they were particularly robust. What did the opinion of those who lived so short matter?

“I’m having a jolly good time!” Loki exclaimed before moving in conspiratorially, “Say, you should check your mailbox this afternoon. I heard good old Augustus has a present for us.”

Loki leaned back and flipped open the cafe’s menu, his previous deviousness slipping off his facade like it was nothing. That was the thing about Loki, the way he could switch his masks from one thing to the next, like cutting through softened butter. Some people found it disconcerting when they witnessed it, but the trickster didn’t particularly care. There was no point in hiding his ways in front of his daughter, she knows him and knows he’s almost always up to no good.

Hel took a quick sip of her cold cup of tea. Trying to hide the swallow of fear when her father talked about some present from Augustus. Once she had wondered if Loki truly was just a mischievous trickster, or a malevolent creature bent only towards destruction and pain. Ever since Baldur’s untimely demise she had her answer. It was that same answer that drove her to ask him to meet her here.

Slowly she put the cup of tea down, trying to move her body slightly in the chair so there was more distance between them. She bit on her lips as she looked down towards the cup, not daring to look at her father as she posed the question: “Did you kill…him?” He wouldn’t have been the first god he killed. She knew he was capable of that. Had it been some sick joke? Another ploy just to get the Greeks upset? Was he working towards something now? She didn’t know, but she did know that during Ragnarök Loki was at least responsible for many deaths amongst the gods. Was Hephaestus the first one to fall now? The long winter hadn’t begun yet, but prophecies could be vague like that.

"Kill who?" Loki asked nonchalantly, still perusing the menu. He already had coffee, maybe it was time for tea. "Ooh, do they have boba tea?"

It wasn't a trick, his ignorance. Loki was so used to being accused of killing someone that he could hardly keep up. Not to mention Hephaestus' untimely death has been replaced with Jupiter's ball as the most important event in his brain. It was only when he had flagged down someone to take his order (as politely as he could, Loki was chaotic not cruel...ish) that he remembered exactly who Hel could be referring to.

"Oh, Hephaestus!" He practically shouted and several heads turned towards the table; he carried on oblivious, "Of course I didn't kill him. If I were in possession of a god-killing weapon, good ole' Heph isn't the first person I'd visit."

People were definitely giving the two odd looks now. “Could you-” Hel said under her breath, feeling herself get mad. She stopped herself, taking a deep breath. She couldn’t get mad around Loki. it was dangerous for her specifically to get emotional around him. With a new found calm whisper she said: “Could you not speak so loud? I don’t want to be thrown into some mental institution again.”

It wasn’t like Loki wasn’t above testing a weapon out before he used it on Odin on Thor. Her father might appear like a jubilant, somewhat unthreatening fool at times but to her that was all just a facade. Loki was clever. Dangerously clever. Luckily for her though, Loki also wasn’t in a habit of lying to her. If he said that he didn’t like Hephaestus, then he truly didn’t. Strangely though, it didn’t make her feel better.

“Do you… know what could kill a god so suddenly?” If anyone would at least know about the god-killing weapon, it had to be Loki. Loki who had been searching for a way to finish off Odin and the other Aesir for seventeen long centuries already. Loki who would usher in Ragnarök. He had to know.

"Hmm…" Loki tapped his fingers against his chin in fake thought, and his tone turned serious, "The perfect way to murder a god? Ally with them. Make them trust you, need you even, and then rip it all away. The perfect way to murder a god isn't to murder them, darling, it's to make them want to die."

Then, like a switch, Loki's face lit up again and a woman moved into view to take his order, oblivious to the smidge of plotting he divulged to his daughter. He ordered a boba tea and watched her walk away with barely concealed excitement — he really liked boba. With his order taken, he turned back to Hel and threaded his fingers under his chin, a smile on his lips and scheming on the brain.

"Now, do I think old Heph decided to off himself?" He shrugged, "No, not at all. Whatever happened to him is beyond my mental scope of thought."

The way he described the murder of a god. It chilled even Hel. To think loss and pain could be so intense it would render living impossible for a god. She could not imagine it. Not in her own darkest days. Yet here was her father, seemingly intimately aware of it. Did he kill someone already this way? Her mind harkened back the vague memories of gods deciding to finish it. There weren’t many. Which ones were driven so far that they would jump off the ledge? Which one did her father murder?

With his finger on her chin, she suddenly felt like a child again. Looking up at the Aesir in Asgard. A place she had once called home. With her father peacefully beside her. The memory made her close her eyes for a split second even. Back then she was blind to the doom that was getting close with every second. For a split second she yearned for that again. To be amongst people and laugh and drink and just be happy.

Her eyes slowly opened again. No. No no no. Back then she was laughing with blackguards. That life of closeness and warmth was forever lost. Was it? Her thoughts trailed to Jörmungandr and Fenrir. She wondered how it would feel. All of them, together. Set in the same scene as her memory. Laughing and drinking and being happy. For a second she felt that happiness. Then icy fingers wrapped themselves around her heart. For a brief moment the breath she let out came out as cold vapor.

“I really wish things were different sometimes.” She finally admitted, not daring to look at her father as she did though. “The death…it scares me.” It felt odd. A goddess of the dead, fearing death itself. Would she go to Helheim alone? As a mortal? “I know Odin and Thor are looking for whatever weapon killed Hephaestus so they can use it on both my brothers.”

Loki smiled as the server placed his boba tea in front of him and took a long drag from the straw, noisily slurping the tea to the chagrin of their table-neighbors. "Psht, Odin is doing no such thing. The only head he's thinking with is his di — it doesn't matter. Listen, darling, men. ain't. shit." And he tapped his finger against her nose with each word, grinning while he did it. "Especially the Nordic ones."

Though, after his impromptu word of advice, Loki realizes he trivalised his daughter's fear. Loki is a good father, he takes note of these things and tries to communicate honestly with his children, but that doesn't mean he shouldn't help them with their fears. Even if he, personally, doesn't fear it. Because that's what good fathers do.

"Hel," Loki set down his boba tea to signify that he meant business, "I won't let Ragnarok happen. I swear it on my life, I'll do everything and more to stop it. But, we're safe as long as we have the Colossus. Take this time to spend with your brothers; don't fear death, fear not living. It's time to be with your family — we all miss you."

And she missed them. Deeply and dearly. Every day she wished they could all be together. But even now, being here with her father was dangerous. Every bit of proximity could lead to the end of her brothers. She would not be their murderer. “You don’t know if the Colossus is stopping it.” Her words turned icy as her barely thawed heart froze over again. She could miss them, yearn for them and wish for her family all she wanted. But she couldn’t act on it. Every day, she would have to shield herself from her own wants. Because it wasn’t about what she wanted. It would never be about what she wanted.

Slowly she reached over to hug Loki, and in their embrace she whispered: “I love you, dad. I know I don’t show it well or often but I do. With all my heart, I love you and Jorm and Fen.” With those words whispered, she released him from her always cold hugs and stood up, leaving the tea only half-drunk. “Goodbye.” She said, before bolting out of the tea shop. Begging her weary heart to be still.

Loki sighed, sitting back in his chair and taking another draw from his boba tea. He doesn’t know what he should do with that girl, she is as stubborn as he is. Loki sighs again, standing up and throwing some bills on the table for his drink. He knows he should wait for the receipt, but he has neither the care nor the time. Loki has some plotting he must do (and a dick appointment in the making).

a collab with @Legion02
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