Hidden 4 mos ago Post by Venus
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A @metanoia & @Venus Collaboration
Featuring Thunder & Miccy

As soon as the invitation to Jupiter’s charity gala had arrived to Marcela’s inbox, it had been sent straight to the Trash folder of her personal email account. After thousands of years avoiding her fellow deities, she continued to have no desire to become a prominent figure of the circle of gods and goddesses that lived and thrived under the mortal’s noses. But when her boss had made her assistance mandatory for security purposes, Marcela had no other choice than to swallow her pride, put on her best face and show up to the event.

The first order of business had been to discreetly inspect the surroundings of the venue, identify potential threats, pinpoint any vantage points and locate all escape routes. After making sure everything was in order, Marcy gave the all-clear for her boss to enter the ballroom, and hung around the powerful Asian woman until she was dismissed. Now somewhat free to do as she pleased, Marcela made a beeline straight for the bar to grab her signature mezcal martini before retreating to the significantly less crowded second floor.

From her new position on the top floor, the goddess of the underworld had a clear view of the arrivals and departures to the lavish event. Martini in hand, Marcy watched as a plethora of strangers made their way across the doors, with the sprinkle of a familiar face every once in a while. She had started out as a ball of nerves underneath the steely façade she was projecting, refusing to take her eyes from the entrance in fear that she would be caught off guard and miss the arrival of the one person she wanted to avoid the most. But the more time passed without spotting the handsome face of the Aztec god she’d been entangled with in her past lifetime, the less tense Marcy found herself being. She’d been about to depart her post to get a refill of her drink when something curious caught her eye.

The Greek goddess of divine justice had made her arrival, but she had done so on her lonesome and looking particularly distraught over something. Soon after, the Norse god of thunder had followed suit, looking as equally unhappy as the woman Marcy knew he was involved with. Frowning, the Aztec goddess descended the stairs, grabbed two champagne flutes from a passing waiter and approached the man she hadn’t spoken to since that fateful weekend in the early nineteenth century.

"You certainly look like you could use this…" Marcela drawled, offering the champagne glass in her hand to Thor.

“What a mind-reader you are.”

Having immediately drunk two glasses already, Thor proudly welcomed the offer his old friend presented him with and he did so with his usual mix of a grunt-laugh smirk that she might remember from all of those years ago. As he took a small sip from the glass, partially buzzed, his reaction to her dress was a bit more vocal than how he might usually carry himself, which was to say the dress itself complimented her well and he did his best to make his approval of it come out in a tasteful manner.

Mictecawhoti-- Thor was cursing himself. For as fond of her as he was (save for maybe the feathered serpent and a few others in that pantheon) he never could pronounce her name correctly. If the fate of Asgard depended on it, Ragnarok would have killed them all by now. "--sorry, I guess I still can’t get your name right.” He expelled an embarrassed chuckle, taking a much needed sip from his glass.

When she heard Thor’s terrible attempt at pronouncing her name, the Aztec goddess couldn’t help but break out of her usual haughty facade and burst into a fit of laughter. “We bonded for a magical three days and two nights, and you still can’t pronounce my name? Come on, tlatlatziniliztli. You’ve had over two hundred years to practice it!” she teased him, lightly elbowing his ribs.

Thor grunted when he felt her elbow dig into his midsection. She may look fragile but even a joking action was well-placed. “And if I was given another two centuries, I won’t be any closer than I am now.” He took another quick sip from the glass in his hand. “But funny you mention that weekend. As I recall, your name wasn’t what I remember being shouted to the heavens,” Thor teased, smirking.

There was no hiding the way Marcy’s lips curled up into a smug, knowing smirk at his words, even after she pressed her tongue against the inside of her cheek to disguise it. With how easily they had fallen into their usual flirtatious banter, it had probably been in everyone’s best interests that she and Thor hadn’t kept in contact throughout the years. Anyone with a pair of eyes would be able to see the chemistry between them. But as much as she wanted to one-up him with some highly suggestive comment that alluded to their time together, the brunette settled for elbowing him in the ribs again and changing the subject. Thor was a taken man, and wrecking homes was certainly not her domain. “Well, lucky for you, I’ve... rebranded, so to speak. I go by Marcela now-- or Marcy, for short. There’s no way you can mess that one up, Thunder.”

“Thank the Aesir!” Came Thor’s immediate response, but then he coughed. “I mean, I am sure for most, it is easily spoken without much difficulty. But for me personally, it warms my heart to know I won’t have to sound like a blubbering Jotun trying to recite some ancient text, Miccy.” On some level, he felt guilty for bringing that name back up, but Thor never wasted an opening when he saw one.

Thor didn’t have to wait long for Marcy’s response. As if the instant cringe wasn’t enough, the colorful words that follow would definitely leave no room for assumptions. “Kindly go fuck yourself,” she muttered sweetly, flipping him off while shooting him a sarcastic smile. It was all in good fun, of course-- as evidenced by the way she later rolled her eyes and shook her head at him but sported an amused smirk. “I still groan out loud whenever that Hey Mickey song comes up on the radio thanks to your unoriginal nickname. The eighties were a real nightmare.”

Thor started to hum the tune until it couldn’t be contained. So come on and give it to me anyway you can! Anyway you wanna do it, I’ll take it like a maaaaaan. Oh please, baby pleeease, don’t leave in the damp, Mickey--

Marcela let out a loud snort of laughter, followed by a snicker. “I swear, Thor Odinson: if you don’t stop singing that song right now, I’ll have to use the gun I’m hiding somewhere inside this dress to make you stop…” she growled at him, while the corners of her mouth were still turned upwards. “And I don’t think your Lady Justice will like that very much.”

Thor had been blankly staring at her the instant she said she had a gun. Everything else that came after was white noise. “Sorry, I know I’m an old man, but did you say you have a gun?” Thor asked, trying to keep his voice as quiet as he could as to not alert the many civilians and agents of law enforcement sure to be nearby.

"I most certainly did, yes," Marcy answered with a small shrug, taking a long sip from her champagne glass. "It comes with the territory of my line of work. Occupational hazards, you know? Always better to be safe than sorry."

“I get that,” Thor commented, mirroring Marcy’s actions.

It wasn’t as though Thor didn’t understand. In the years they had gone without speaking, despite not actually maintaining personal contact, Thor had heard whispers here and there. In his line of work -- both professional and extracurricular -- he heard stories of Marcy and what she did. When he first heard she was a hitwoman, Thor wasn’t exactly sure what to think. He knew what her domain was and more so, what that often implied, so it wasn’t as though her following down that path was unexpected. He often told himself that the ones she took out were criminals and that meant she wasn’t ruthlessly killing innocents, only those who deserved to have justice be rained down on them.

But bringing a gun here was a questionable decision, though it wasn’t one he wasn’t a stranger to. If he could bring Mjolnir with him everywhere he went without raising suspicions, he would. “Does your line of work make you happy?” Thor asked, breaking the temporary silence that befell their air of conversation. “I mean, is it fulfilling enough to make you want to keep doing it?”

Thor posed a very important question-- one that Marcela had a rather pessimistic answer for. There was a reason why the death goddess never stopped to think about the life path she had chosen for herself after the culmination of her self-imposed exile. “I haven’t been happy in centuries, Thor,” she confessed with a dry laugh, downing the rest of her champagne and setting the glass on a passing waiter’s tray before turning to face him. “But we all have to do what we can to stay afloat and live on, right? To say that doing what I do makes me happy would be a lie, and that’s not something you and I have ever done to each other. I can say, though, that this profession keeps me occupied enough to keep my mind from traveling down the same old dark paths of grief and sadness. And since Mictlāntēcutli’s departure all I have left on this Earth is myself. If I don’t put myself first, who will?”

There was some level of mutual understanding Thor was experiencing right now. Yes, on some level, though a few centuries before, Thor was of that same mindset: mindlessly distracting himself with whatever he could. The sound of his enemy’s skull being crushed by his manmade hammer, the feeling of taking another’s life in the name of justice. Thor, when Marcy spoke, heard himself many years ago, but it wasn’t until Themis did he see the light. He knew if he ever said that, it would come off as corny as hell, yet it was that simple. “What about Xolotl?” Thor asked point-blank. “He would most certainly put you above everyone else, would he not?”

Well that was a name Marcela didn’t think she’d be hearing so soon, let alone from Thor, of all people. It was clear from the way she sucked in all of the oxygen in their immediate surroundings before exhaling a long, deep breath. How Thor managed to remember this part of their conversations but not the correct way to pronounce her way was beyond her. “I don’t need Xolotl. I can take care of myself,” she said forcefully-- albeit a little too aggressively for her liking, so she hurriedly tried to make amends. “I’m sorry,” she told the Norse god with an apologetic little shrug. “It’s just… I already lost one man I loved. The last thing I want is to experience that excruciating pain for a second time.”

Thor frowned at the pessimism in her voice. He knew how much she loved Mict and, maybe because he never experienced loss quite like that, he couldn’t possibly understand the grief she endured. Still, he saw something in her eyes. “You might be able to fool everyone else, and maybe you have convinced yourself that’s the truth. But take it from someone who has found his soulmate: I know what someone’s eyes look like when they find someone special.” Thor allowed himself to pause and smile at his old friend. “And Marcy, you have that in spades.”

Discussing whatever feelings she had for Xolotl was not something the Aztec goddess wanted to indulge in-- especially not tonight, when the odds of them coming face to face with each other increased with every second she spent at this godforsaken gala. Her walls and defenses had to be at an all-time high, and a conversation like this could leave her open and vulnerable to any potential, unavoidable interactions in the near-future. So instead of offering the man a list of reasons why it didn’t matter what she did or didn’t feel for the Aztec god of lighting and fire, she chose to deflect his question from herself and onto him instead. “So you’re saying you found your soulmate? Because it sounds to me like you just said you found your soulmate,” Marcy questioned Thor with a teasing smirk.

He couldn’t help but curse at himself. At the same time, he shrugged, doing nothing to hide the truth from her. “I have,” he admitted simply. “Themis is my one and only.” Though his words were short, he spoke with pride as he always did about those important to him.

Thor was serious about this one. It was obvious by the pride in his voice, the gleam in his eyes, and the smile on his lips. Although she would never admit it, it warmed her heart to know that after centuries of losing lovers and offspring, Thor had finally found the person he was destined to have by his side.

But then she remembered how upset they both looked when arriving at the ball, and it made her wonder whether the couple was having any problems. The last thing she wanted was to see her dearest friend give his all to a woman and then get hurt, so she decided to see if there was any way she could be of assistance to him. “Forgive my intrusion, Thor, but is everything okay between you two? I couldn’t help but notice there was a frown on Themis’ face when she walked in, and that you seemed kind of distraught when I first approached you.”

Marcy’s firm reminder struck a chord with Thor and not in a negative way. He knew she was right (as she always was). But knowing how he left things off with Themis and how she stormed off, even if he were to fix things for the reasons that Marcy had stated, there was something he knew for a fact. “If only it were that simple.” Thor looked around him, making sure no mortal ears were listening to what they shouldn’t. Satisfied that there wasn’t, he continued and moved a foot closer to Marcy. “There’s something about my life and what I do -- something I haven’t divulged to Themis yet -- and she found out. And, of course, she confronted me about it during the ride here.” He chuckled at how clever that was. Just one of the many reasons why he loved her.

“And let me guess: instead of being honest, you lied to her. So she had to excuse herself before she added to that neat little bruise collection you have going on all over your face,” Marcy prompted with a questioning eyebrow.

“What?” His response was immediate. “No, she’s not responsible for my shiners. Themis is all about appearances, which is probably why she got so worried -- in her own way, mind you -- about my bruises. No, these were the result of an unforeseen consequence during a confrontation I encountered yesterday,” he admitted.

Marcela rolled her eyes and shook her head. She had forgotten how slow on the catch up Thor could be sometimes. “I wasn’t saying Themis was the one who hit you, tlatlatziniliztli. I was saying she probably wanted to hit you for lying to her,” she explained as if talking to a child. “But anyway, what’s your plan now? She clearly knows your secret already, and lying to her blew up on your face. If I may, allow me to offer you some advice, darling. If you love Lady Justice as much as you say you do, then go after her and fix your mess. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out things aren’t well between the two of you at the moment, and that can be dangerous in a place like this: full of gods and goddesses whose intentions you never quite know for certain. You never know who’s lurking around the corner waiting for their chance to use this against you and in their favor.”

That was a sentiment Thor could agree with. He knew he didn’t have a lot of friends among the pantheons. It’s not like Thor ever cared for their opinions. The only person whose opinion was worth giving a damn -- aside from Marcy, of course -- was Themis. If he had any hope of walking out of here with her no longer wanting to tear his head off, he had to swallow whatever worse-case scenario he had in his head and talk to her. “I guess I have a soulmate to find,” he joked, laughing as he set the now empty glass on a tray a passing waiter was holding. Thor gave Marcy a light hug. “Don’t be a stranger. We should definitely have tea or get a drink sometime. Maybe even have a double date.”

“Oh, absolutely! Me and my revolver would be delighted to be yours and Lady Justice’s dinner dates sometime!” she answered sarcastically before letting out a laugh. “But seriously, though, just let me know the date, time and place a few days in advance and I’ll be there. I would love to meet the woman who built up a good man into something even better.”

If Thor wasn’t the humble God that he was, he might have replied with a cheesy line about how you couldn’t improve perfection but he wasn’t conceited like the Allfather was. Given that he was the embodiment of honor and all that, he smirked with a chuckle. “You got it, Miccy!”

Before she could do more than laugh and flip him off again, Thor had disappeared into the crowd, going more towards the center of the venue. He took in his surroundings, keeping an eye out for a few people. His father, some of the other members of his pantheon, but on the top of his list was Themis. She was the top priority. If nothing else, he had to make sure they were back on solid ground before that double date could be scheduled.

“Now if I were a Titan Goddess of Justice, where would I be hiding?”
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Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by Akayaofthemoon
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Goddess of Prosperity

Lights streaked by, the city a blur as the breeze tussled her hair, the golden ringlets floating on the air from the open window and probably ruining any effort she had put into it to make it look presentable. A curl of a smirk fluttered on her glossy pink lips, the purr of the engine giving her a spark of joy as the car suddenly revved while she shifted gears, strappy heels flooring the acceleration without a care in the world. She glided over the streets like a skater on ice, not even the fear of being spotted to down her delighted mood as she knew luck was on her side. It was something she had never been without and she pitied those that didn’t have it in their lives. She understood sometimes a lack of luck is needed though, that the moment has to be right which is why she had tucked herself away from her pantheon. Timing is everything and it had not been time for them to begin to prosper or need the luck she could give earlier than this.

The murder of a god even one not of their own meant she was necessary. Her pantheon needed luck, even with all the skills and knowledge they possessed...they say there is nothing like a stroke of luck. If the odds are against you and no way out can be seen, then luck is what you hope for as the next solution. The goddess hoped that she could help tilt the scales in their favor a bit and that those of her pantheon would forgive her absence. Bun knew that it was slightly cruel to leave them wondering about if she was alive or lost as many others. Just a handful knew she still graced this world with her presence, the single one from her own pantheon being Mercury and that had been a simple coincidence. She had chalked it up to a Roman in need being close enough while needing her luck which instinctively caused a tug to bring her there even if she thought it was of her own desire. It was another reason she drifted from them. Chains and bonds were never something she could manage, at least not in the past. It’s probably why Jupiter had outgrown her when he was younger and why her heart hadn’t broken at their parting. She couldn’t find a reason to want to be held back from doing anything she desired. After all, the world is a stage and a stage is a world of entertainment.
If she wanted it, she worked to have it. When she was done, then she moved on.

Bun found life to be simple in that way or maybe she just hadn’t found the right challenge. No one to make her want to continue sticking around. Well, maybe that wasn’t entirely true...a few had potential in the drive to make her keep coming back but nothing she could count as solid yet. She was interested to see just how those events would turn out but for now, she only had one event in mind. Tires screeched to a stop at the red carpet and a flood of flashing lights, the smell of burning rubber in her wake as she knew she had left a permanent mark of her existence on the pavement. She opened the door before anyone could step in to assist and stepped out with a toss of hair over her shoulder. She strutted around the hood of her baby, lightly grazing her finger tips over what some might find as obnoxious green but happened to be the best color that was ever created. A valet shuffled quickly to her aid but found himself fumbling to catch keys as Bun tossed them over her shoulder and into the air as she passed by. ”Thanks sweetie, I’ll be back by later. Oh, and I don’t mind if you have yourself a joy ride. Everyone should live a little, right?”, she said with a wave and a wink before making her way through.

It was a blessing in disguise that none of the reporters knew exactly who she was so she didn’t even get stopped on her red carpet arrival. The pictures were plenty and so would the rumors but she could care less about what they thought. If anything, the mortals finding out about her attending a charity event would be beneficial for her image and the company. Her heels clicked against the white floor, the gold fabric of her dress lightly dragging as she made her way inside and took in the arrangement and stylistic choices of the party. It was beautiful but nothing to what she could have done with it. It made her almost miss when she would throw wonderful banquets for the gods and use the cornucopia to its fullest potential instead of having to hide it. She snagged the last drink on a tray as it passed by, tossing it back as she made her way to the bar. Another waiter passed by conveniently for her to deposit the empty glass just as she needed it. She scanned the area as she entered, looking for anyone familiar and felt fairly disappointed for a split second before she finally stopped a familiar Celt by the bar. Bun made her way over, slipping up behind them while whispering in his ear, ”I really hope one of those glasses is for me, Aangy.”

♧⌞⌝⌟⌜⌞⌝⌟⌜⌞⌝⌟⌜⌞♧ ♧⌞⌝⌟⌜⌞⌝⌟⌜⌞⌝⌟⌜⌞♧ ♧⌞⌝⌟⌜⌞⌝⌟⌜⌞⌝⌟⌜⌞♧ ♧⌞⌝⌟⌜⌞⌝⌟⌜⌞⌝⌟⌜⌞♧

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Hidden 3 mos ago Post by fledermaus
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fledermaus 【INUYASHA!】

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LOCATION: ʟᴏᴋɪ'ꜱ ᴊᴜᴩɪᴛᴇʀ'ꜱ ʙᴀʟʟ
MOOD: ᴍᴜʀᴅᴇʀ ᴏɴ ᴛʜᴇ ᴍɪɴᴅ.


Flashes of cameras; words, words, words. People congregate in front of his ball, interviewing and posing. Loki slips by, paying no heed to them. No one takes pictures of him, which is a damn shame, but just as well since fame was unbecoming of his occupation. Still, he took a moment to stand in just the right way that the cameras caught him during Pan’s interview. All the celebrities that knew him – and you would be surprised with the amount of celebrities with gambling addictions – turned away, eyes averted in shame and Loki smiled.

“Ah, it’s a good day to give to charity, isn’t it Todd?” Loki looked to his side for validation from his right-hand man only to find the spot empty, “Oh, that’s right. I killed him, didn’t I? Crying shame.”

Shamelessly, Loki skipped and hopped his way into the charity event, careful to not wrinkle his suit. Like always, his feet moved to an invisible rhythm as he sauntered into the main hall. His sharp eyes surveyed the room; there was what’s-her-name and what’s-his-face and mister-forgettable and misses-who-cares. After the invitations were sent out, his mind had trashed the names and wrote them off as insignificant. Except for a few people.

“Lookin’ handsome as always, Jupiter.” Loki said as he passed him and whoever had accosted him by the stairs, uncaring how loud he addressed him with his true name. It’s not like the mortals pay attention that closely.

A waiter passed by and Loki snagged a glass of champagne, taking a sip before his face contorted into disgust. He forgot how nasty the shit was without orange juice. Frankly, Loki was a cocktail kinda guy. His eyes raked the room again, looking for someone in particular with striking cerulean eyes – or some other word that means very intense blue. Loki wasn’t an interior designer.

His eyes lit up as he spotted his prey, and he hung back for a second to observe him. He cleaned up nice, Loki thought immediately, and then hated himself for thinking it. This was his mortal enemy! His nemesis! And the villain is always ugly, in movies at least. Well, sometimes. Sometimes Loki watched movies and couldn’t help but be attracted to their evil deeds. Ah, to be a villain as grand as a movie antagonist. Maybe Loki should make it a habit to kill more people; the more homocide one commits, generally the more attractive they become, right?

Loki approached Odin from behind, and abruptly poked him in the back with his pointer finger. He pushed hard enough that, on a mortal, it would surely bruise. It’s honestly the tamest thing Loki has done to Odin in a while.

“I would stab you,” Loki hummed as he came around to face Odin, “But I wouldn’t want to ruin your suit in front of all these people.” Not that it has stopped him before.
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Hidden 3 mos ago Post by sly13
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Cu Chulainn
Hero of Ireland

Connor listened to the purr of the engine as he spread through the streets of Seattle towards the ball that he had so kindly been invited to. Though if he was being honest he had no idea why he got invited in the first place. He wasn't some important figure in the mortal world if he was being honest with himself, just a simple detective and an MMA coach, nothing that would really spark the interest of the "elites" But hey a party was a party, and seeing the gods at each other's throat would always be worth having to were this stupid suit. At the thought, Conor pulled slightly at his own tie trying to give his throat some space allowing himself to breathe. He had to admit that he looked good in a suit but that didn't change the fact that he was never a fan.

He did wonder what gods would be in attendance tonight. He figured the Greeks and the Romans would be there in full force up to their usual nonsense. He knew his cousin was supposed to meet him there but that was as far as he knew about his pantheon. Now that he thought about it he wondered if his new partner was supposed to be there. His mind was pulled to the greek goddess known to the mortals as Agent Steele. "Well, what a better place to make a first impression than at a ball full of ego and alcohol," he thought happily to himself as he pulled to the front of the venue.

As he stepped through the threshold of the ballroom Conor held a mischievous grin on his face as his eyes scanned the room. The room was painfully white, which was a poor choice considering the list of guests that would be attending. As his eyes continued to roam the room his eyes settled on the bar off to the corner with none other than his very own cousin already starting off any good celebration right. Slowly making his way over to the bar he made sure to sidestep the various waiters and individuals already lost in their own stories and drinks to notice the Irishmen. As he reached the bar he threw an arm around his cousin pulling into a side hug as he laughed a bit. “Aye there you are.” Letting go of the man Connor took his seat next to him getting the bartender's attention for a drink. “So what's the plan col ceathrar?” He said with a devilish grin on his face as he brought the drink to his lips for the first of what was probably going to be many a drink for the night.
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Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Danvers
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Danvers boo

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feat. fear @smarty0114 & terror @Icy Hot

“Up and at 'em Kingsbury!”

A demanding voice abruptly pulled one sleeping roman from his stupor, before being followed by a loud series of bangs on the outside of the steel door. The noise reverberated through the room like bullets, stopping any chance of slipping back into unconsciousness. This rude awakening alerted him to the more familiar noises of the prison. The opening of doors like clockwork, guards barking orders, laughter mingled with shouting. For a man who had spent most of his life in the dreariness of the underworld, it had taken him a while to get used to the organised chaos. But now the customary cacophony was little more than soothing background noise. Unfortunately today there was a guard pushing back at him, stopping any further sleep, and the god was unable to help the hand that came down to rake lethargically over his face.

“Why the fuck are you waking me so early?” Pluto bit back, his voice little more than a languorous growl. Giving the guards lip normally was a guaranteed recipe for disaster. But he firstly, didn’t give a shit, and secondly, had known this particular guard for near on five years now. Steely blues moved to glance back at the slither of face he could see through the small opening in the door. LaVance was young but worth his salt, and had been the one to persuade Pluto that maybe, just maybe, beating the shit out of other inmates wasn’t in his best interest. He couldn’t help but feel a little pissed off at the guy for being so damn likeable. Fucking dickwad.

“Pax, don’t test my patience today. My asshole of a toddler vomited on me this morning and I’ve already had to break up two fights.” The latino guard made a noise of disgust when he spoke of the former and it was clear that this was the more undesirable of said events. Pluto couldn’t help but let out a humorless laugh, eyes rolling at the idea. “I’m sorry, I didn’t realise I was your personal therapist. Remind me again why I should care?” He knew he was pushing it but he was barely awake and testing the boundaries of mortals was something that he had always found endlessly amusing. Luckily LeVance didn’t seem to care, just letting out his own booming bark of a laugh in response.

“Therapist my ass. I don’t need someone else talking at me...wife does enough of that herself.” LeVance paused for a moment, still chuckling at his own substandard joke. “God, you really are such an asshole that you’ve forgotten what day it is?”

Hearing a snicker from the bunk above him, a well-aimed foot came up to kick the mattress where he knew the head of his cellmate would be comfortably situated. The asshole, otherwise known as Benny The Blowhard (it was a damn creative nickname that had a multitude of connotations), still had six years left to serve...so Pluto wasn’t entirely sure what he had to be so fucking happy about. Probably gotten his hands on some crack sticks again. “It’s tuesday. Fuckin’ Tuesday. Why the hell does it matter?” He muttered indifferently as he moved to prop himself up on his elbow, fingers raking through the dishevelled hair atop his head.

“Right you are.” LeVare replied with a small sigh as if he were contemplating whether dealing with the shit stains that were the inmates of King County, was really worth it. “Your times up bud. Unless you wanna volunteer for another twenty years in this shithole.”

“...So it is.” After a moment's silence the words slipped apathetically from the gods lips. A small part of him had assumed he wouldn’t get this far. The pressure of having to behave was heavy and one that the god would often rather fight against. But somehow, he’d done it. Sitting up, Pluto smoothly ducked his body so that his head didn’t hit against the wrought iron bars. A hand came up to rest against the cold metal, gaze roving over the cramped cell that he shared with the jumped-up thief above him. Five years in what barely could be classed as a broom closet. The one at max had been even more abysmal, though at least he’d been alone there.

“Damn, try to look more enthusiastic Kingsbury! Most guys are chomping at the bit to get outta here.” The steel door had slammed open at the guards words and LeVance curtly nodded at the God of Wealth. Pluto was well accustomed to this rigmarole. Standing up, he held out his wrists, allowing the cold bite of metal as it bit down against his skin. “I’m excited on the inside.” He countered dryly, although he was unable to help the smirk that pulled at the corner of his lips, revealing a hint of his true emotions.

As he was led out of the door the god, after a moment's thought, turned to glance back into the room. “Oi, Blowhard.” His voice cut through the air, causing the man the namesake belonged to to sling his gangly legs over the edge of his well-worn mattress. "I meant what I said.” This vague statement was simply met with a nod and content with this silent communication, Pluto responded with an equally stoic gesture before being led away from this life of slamming doors and ceaseless predictability.

After being strip-searched, given his clothes, and made to complete a near endless amount of paperwork, they were finally done. The god found himself desperately craving a cigarette, only that sharp hit of nicotine being able to soothe him after such a drawn-out process of bullshit. Unfortunately murder was something that mortals didn’t take lightly and he’d had to answer an endless stream of questions, several of which he’d had to bite back a laugh as he blurted out bare faced lies. The correctional officer, this one was known as Sanderson, had triple checked everything before she’d finally gave him a content nod.

“Looks like we’re all done here.” She said as she handed him a folder of useless contact details for ‘support services’. “You behave now Kingsbury.” Sanderson quipped, gaze steely as she stared the god down, eyebrows raised in questioning disbelief. She obviously felt the same way as him - surprised that the billionaire had managed to keep his composure long enough to wait out his sentence.

“Don’t I always?” Pluto muttered with a crooked smile as he slipped a Bregeut timepiece onto his wrist. He’d offered it to the officer but apparently taking gifts from convicts, or former convicts as it would now be, wasn’t allowed. Her loss.

It was a strange feeling to be back in the same place he had been decades before, though he was unable to deny the familiar wash of freedom, one he had felt a thousand times more intensely when he'd finally been released from the hell that was the Underworld. It was by no means unwelcomed and without looking back, the god had strolled out of the prison, doors slamming behind him with an air of finality until he was greeted by the hustle & bustle of Downtown Seattle. He was out.

The drizzle of the morning had just cleared away when Metus pulled the black Porsche into the visitor parking lot. Fear was ripe in the air that morning, almost wafting from the building a few hundred yards away, providing a warm welcome to Metus as he exited the suv. A deep inhale abated the growing hunger from the past uneventful week, had his uncle been needing a ride from anywhere else he probably would have said no.

“Do you remember what he looks like?” The question was asked without any serious interest in the answer but his listless eyes did turn their chilled gaze onto his better half (as per the consensus of everyone that knew the twins).

Timor met his brother's gaze with his own dark eyes, pale features expressionless as small drops of rain collected in his hair. “Dark hair. Strong chin. Decent fashion sense. Prison couldn’t have changed him that much,” Timor said with a noncommittal shrug. He was better at remembering the various visages of fear.

“You’d be both a terrible and wonderful witness with that description.” Metus’ response was flat and he turned his attention away from his brother. Intel gathering was a specialty of his, testing the human limits of loyalty against terror had become a favorite past time of his in this life among weaker creatures. He was good at his day job and even better at his night time hobbies.

Luckily, it wasn’t necessary for him to comb through the many dark-haired and strong-chinned faces of his memory, because alone stood a man, outside the detention center, exuding a casual confidence. Wordlessly the tall man crossed the parking lot, eyes darkening as he drew closer to the building, “Accurate description.” There was a hint of smirk on his stoic features as they approached their long lost uncle.

Plutos hand reached towards his pocket, the male letting out a disgruntled ‘fuck’ when he realised that he, obviously, did not have any cigarettes on him. Hoping that the twins had decided to take up the problematic habit of smoking, he lifted his head to see one unnervingly impassive god strolling towards him. Though it had been a couple of decades, he recognised Metus instantly, an eyebrow cocking up in amusement at the bitter mix of terror and trepidation that radiated off him.

Having no interest in soppy greetings or emotional embraces — which had been part of the reason he’d asked the twins to pick him up in the first place — he simply offered his nephew a small nod before slipping his hands gently into the pockets of his black chinos. “Got a smoke?”

Metus offered Pluto a single raised eyebrow at the question, patting himself down as if to ask himself the same question. An infuriating silent type of sarcasm he had nailed down in the past few decades, when no such smokes announced their presence on his body he offered a palms up gesture of ‘oops’ before finally speaking.

“I prefer to take the edge off with something that’s easier to wash away, and smoking doesn’t quite attract the ladies like it did back in the day, old man.” As if he cared about any of that, but his ease of slipping into the casual tone and nonchalant mannerisms of a young, attractive 20-something male was the very thing that made him respected and feared amongst both the Police Department and the Mob.

“We can pick some up on the way, but no smoking in the Cayenne.”

Timor fixed his uncle with his trademark unnerving stare, and shrugged. “He likes his car,” he said, before hopping in shotgun.

“Well that’s a load of bullshit.” A deep and biting laugh escaped his lips at the idea that people didn’t smoke anymore. Pluto liked to assume that any decisions mortals made were generally stupid ones, and the notion that tobacco was now dangerous was little more than humorous to the immortal being.

Eyes narrowed at the thought that he would have to wait even longer until he could have a hit but he bit back any retorts that came to mind. “Fine, fine. I won’t smoke in your…” The romans voice trailed off as they made their way over to the Porsche, a hand lingering on the handle. It wasn’t exactly what he would’ve chosen but he supposed it’d have to do. “They all out of Spyder’s?” He said with a sardonic smile before begrudgingly taking his place in the back.

Metus cast his unreadable gaze to Pluto through the rear view mirror once he was behind the wheel. The Cayenne purred to life and the engine revved at the behest of its owner, “I’ll make a note to ask next time I’m in the factory.”

There was a silence that fell in the car, Metus wasn’t a fan of modern music, and much preferred the sound of Italian performance and bustle of the city to accompany on his drives. There were many corner stores and smoke shops on their way from the prison to Pluto’s opulent five-star hotel and three of them passed by with no signs of Metus slowing down.

“So, a crime of passion?” As much as Metus tried to remain neutral the idea of murdering someone in such a way seemed unpleasant and menial to him.

“Mm?” Plutos gaze had moved to glance out of the window, a frown knitting his eyebrows together at both the fact that it was forever fucking raining in this city and because Metus was clearly not stopping for smokes. Apparently the guy really did love his car...

It was because of this distraction that it took him a moment too long to acknowledge the question, his sharp blue eyes narrowing when he finally did. Yet this quickly faded and the god instead leant nonchalantly back in his seat, cupping his mouth to stifle a yawn.

“Not particularly.” Came his deadpan response. Pluto had absolutely no desire to share anything close to his true feelings with his fellow Romans, especially the ones so aptly labelled as fear and terror. “I just have a particular distaste for stalkers. Especially ones of the mortal persuasion.” He shrugged his shoulders. Pluto had never once regretted his decision and he wasn’t about to start now. “I’m sure you have some far more interesting stories anyway…” He quipped, arms reaching up to languidly stretch away some of the fatigue he still felt.

Metus shrugged his shoulders, the shred of interest he had in Pluto’s murder vanishing as the older god deflected the question, “Timor’s the writer, could probably tell you a great story.”

Fear turned around so that he could look at his uncle. Of course, he had stories galore, filled with details that only his brother and uncle could truly appreciate. “Hephaestus is dead.” Now was not the time though. Who knew what they were taking Pluto back to?

A light chuckle escaped Pluto's lips at the mention of the recently deceased Grecian god. “I heard about that.” He said with a small shake of his head. “Well, if anyone was going to get themselves murdered, it was always going to be a Greek. I’m surprised there’s so many of them still alive to be honest.” That particular pantheon really did have their own brand of stupidity that was unmatched by any of the others.

“I heard the conclave was a shitshow…as usual.” He added, feeling a thousand times grateful that he had been unable to attend. Those so called ‘meetings’ were usually something he avoided like the Black Plague…less he be subjected to the eternal follies and dramatics of the greeks. “Do you boys know what happened?”

“Not a clue. Metus answered followed by a small yawn, a final corner store appeared on the horizon and opulence just a few hundred feet behind it, “only Mars attends the conclaves and we weren’t invited to brunch. Ask your king when you see him.”

At the mention of his brother the mild amusement melted from Pluto’s expression, replaced instead by disgruntled irritation. Jupiter had once befitted that title but the Roman was now as much a King as he was Lord of the underworld. “If I knew any Kings I would.” He grumbled, disdain dripping heavily from every word.

A smirk played at Metus’ lips but he didn’t offer any further commentary on the matter. Instead his gaze was locked on the quickly approaching corner store, which any sane being would consider out of reach with his current speed and position in the furthest lane from the turn. But this was easy.

A screeching of rubber and blare of horns offered a symphony to the reckless move he made. The agile Porsche jerked across three lanes, the sudden turn catching the systems of the car off guard, and the rain from earlier aiding in the car’s loss of control. For the first time that morning Metus’ face cracked into something a bit wider than a smirk, it was an unnerving smile that was devoid of any joy and held only malice. The fearful reaction from the bystanders bubbled in his gut like a giddiness for something great that was coming.

That buildup ended in a flat climax after the car narrowly missed an elderly woman who had been crossing the entrance to the parking lot. An abrupt stop had all passengers in the car lurching forward, the eyes of mortals were filled with awestruck terror. To them it was a miracle not a car was wrecked and not a person was injured, to Metus it came with a practiced precision.

Turning around with his smile toned down into a grin he faced his uncle, “Almost forgot about the cigarettes. Great job practicing seatbelt safety, that could have gotten messy at the end.”

The roman clenched his jaw, hooded eyes moving to stare over at the driver's seat. An eyebrow raised at the self-satisfied smirk on Metus’ face. Damn the twins. He should’ve expected that they would be up to their usual tricks, which apparently included trying to scare the shit out of him. It had taken the god more by surprise by anything and he was annoyed at even that.

“You missed the old woman.” He pointed out as he opened the door, stepping out before Metus decided to try and write off his precious car again. Mortals, who seemed to have forgotten what they were doing, were gawking stupidly at the Porsche, muttered whispers passing between those who were standing in pairs or groups. The roman paid no mind to this however. Two decades had clearly done nothing to curb their dull mindset. “My hotels round the corner from here. I’ll walk the rest of the way.” Pluto offered no thanks as he strolled towards the store, hands tucked idly into his pockets.

Fucking twins.

The night of the ball...

The last few days had, admittedly, been a bit of a blur for the roman god. He'd ignored the pull of desire which urged him insistently in one direction, instead focusing on those simple pleasures that had been out of his reach for the last twenty years. A penthouse view hadn't done anything to improve the dreary sight that was Seattle but a bottle or two of a suitably aged Lagavulin had nearly done the trick.

Nearly but not quite.

Ignoring any and all calls that the hotel had informed him of, the god of wealth had been unable to resist the temptation to spend. He admittedly preferred acquiring money but spending it was a pleasure that he had been bereft of for nearly two decades. It was for this reason that Pluto arrived at the ball in a car that cost more than dozens of mortals would earn over several lifetimes. Sure it was a ridiculously indulgent purchase, and sure the money could've been spent more wisely elsewhere, but Pluto frankly didn't care.

Yet when the night of the ball came, Pluto did not pull the multi-million dollar car up infront of the reams of paparazzi, but instead chose to steer it down a decidedly dim and sparsely occupied side street. Biding his time by lighting up a cigarette and allowing the smoke to drift through an open window, a few minutes passed before an equally smartly dressed man approached the Bugatti. The roman offered him a small nod as he stepped out of the vehicle, tossing the man the keys before reaching into his wallet to pull out a couple of hundred dollar bills. "Make sure they don't scratch it." He muttered, dark eyes casting over the mortal before turning to glance up at the grand — if you could call it that — venue.

There was only one reason he would ever deign to attend a ball, particularly one held by his brother. Luckily he was confidently certain that said reason would definitely be in attendance so, after tossing the half-lit cigarette on the ground, he'd made his way round to a back door that was only being watched by one solitary security guard. No journalists hounded this entrance. No cameras and incessant questions. Only a guard who already seemed to know that Pluto was coming and who stepped aside to allow him to pass through the sturdy fire door.

Striding through hallways filled with overworked catering staff and a kitchen where hors d'oeuvre were being carefully assembled, he ignored the confused glances that were cast his way until finally he reached the ballroom. He was neither late nor early but the ball already seemed to be in full swing, pockets of mortals meandering about, some recognisable deities standing out amongst the gloom of mortality. Pluto cared little about any of this though.

Now...now it was time to find his reason.
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Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by sly13
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Hades And Dio
GOD OF The Dead,

No matter how many times throughout history he had been forced to wear a suit, Dio could never be comfortable in one. It could be how stuffy and formal it made him feel, or could be deep-seated issues with his identity compared to his father. Both perfectly reasonable reasons, or so thought the god of wine. Fiddling with his collar he sat in the passenger seat of a car that probably cost more than a year's worth of rent for his apartment. The city was mostly a blur to Dio as the vehicle sped downtown towards the charity event. The invite had been very surprising to DIo, but he had soon realized how amazing of an opportunity it was. For starters, it would hopefully let him meet up with some friends of his he had not seen in centuries. Dionysus would also be able to talk to Artemis about her investigation and ask if he could help. Finally, it was going to be so much fun. So many people who hated each other were going to be in an enclosed space with copious amounts of liquor. There probably hadn’t been an event like this since the parties with the French monarchy. Dio could only imagine the chaos that was going to happen.

“This is just funny isn’t it? The Romans hide for years then suddenly reappear and invite everyone to a party. Almost like they got lonely plotting the demise of everyone and missed us.”

Hades continued to look forward as the city passed by him at a fast pace as he pondered his son's statement. “It is indeed.” Hades said in his usual even calculating tone. “I find it odd that they would openly invite everyone like this considering.” Hades stopped for a moment to let it hang in the air. He didn't need to bring up his Nephew, it was clear what he meant. “I am more concerned about my brothers being there and the usual drama that follows our family.” Hades thought for a moment more on the idea of his brothers all being present in a confined area for an entire evening, with Alcohol. They weren't even in the same room for long and the conclave had gone to shit in a heartbeat he couldn't begin to think what an entire evening would bring. “Just watch yourself when we get there. I don't trust the imposters, the rest of our family, and most other gods to not make some scenes tonight.” Hades knew his son could handle himself and definitely didn't need him as a protector anymore, but this whole issue still made him feel uneasy.

“I plan to enjoy the spectacle rather than, be it. I’ll watch myself while I’m there.” Dio knew that his father didn’t like or trust the Romans, or really any of the other gods for that matter. While they were at the ball he would have to make sure to watch his tongue. Couldn’t let any of his father’s enemies know Hades’ plans. “I have a few people to talk to once I’m there, so I probably won’t see you until the end of it. Or maybe a few days from now depends on how drunk I get.”


There was an easy silence in the car, not uncomfortable but rather nice, an easy calm before the storm that would inevitably hit the ball itself. That brief bit of silence was a nice feeling for Hades who had been so busy since the conclave it felt like the old days when his family once wagged war. That small time of peace, however, was quickly shattered as the car pulled into its place in front of the venue drawing the attention of plenty of photographers. “Well, it was nice while it lasted.” He said as he straightened his bow tie in the mirror. As he exited the car he put on a small smile just enough to please the swarm of mortals clambering for a photo of the wealthy man and his guest. “Always hated this part.” He said under his breath as he began to ascend the steps towards the ball itself doing his best to ignore the mortals and their rather loud and obnoxious questions.

Dio couldn’t help but grin as the cameras began to flash all around them. While he managed to slip through most of the crowd unnoticed, his father was not nearly as stealthy. Being a film student at the local college thankfully let him be inconspicuous amongst the mortals. Dio caught his father's eye from across the crowd of people and gave him a quick wave before entering the venue. Dio took a moment to scan the gleaming room that spread in front of him.

Dionysus immediately noticed many of the gods that had spread throughout the room before his arrival. Across the room, a few of the Romans had begun to gather around their “king”, though some still remained scattered amongst other guests. He hadn’t seen many of those faces for centuries, well at least not in person. His father could be described in many many words, but careless would never be one of them. Paranoid? Sure, but never careless. Ever since the fall, Hades has been preparing for war, and information is as valuable as Ambrosia.

Other than the Romans a few other pantheons had decent representation, though none of them were as organized. Of course, his Greek family had scattered like leaves in the wind, off to mingle and get wasted. While locating his Greek brethren he noticed a poor fool who happened to be getting wasted at the bar. After a second Dio recognized that poor fool as being his Uncle Poseidon. Dio was happy the sea god had resurfaced, no matter how unfortunate the timing was. He always preferred Poseidon over Zeus back in the day, especially since Posiedon wasn’t married to someone who had tried to kill Dio.

“I should go say something before the party is over. Doubt there will be much time for a calm discussion after this thing.

As he passed the threshold, Hades was immediately struck by just how blindingly bright white the room really was. As Hades let his eyes adjust slightly he gazed over the room seeing the usual suspects of an event such as these. Various companies, groups, banks, and especially politicians all mingling, trading stories, and fake compliments. So was the way of mortals he supposed, and gods to be fair, to always use an opportunity to push themselves forward. Glancing up towards the balcony of the main ballroom Hades could see two figures standing across the many attendants with a seemingly angry look on their faces, though it would be overlooked had you not been aware or perspective enough. “Ah so there sits the king,” he said to himself with a heavy amount of sarcasm as he lifted a glass from the serving tray that just passed him. Just as he began to lift the glass to his lips he paused for a moment at the sight of two figures gracing the dance floor. Almost immediately he could recognize the two people dancing carefree on the otherwise empty floor. For all his ability to never show a sign of weakness or a shred of emotion Hades felt a slight smile pull on the edges of his lips. It was almost too nice of sight to look away from until he felt a pain of shame and grief in his chest forcing his eyes to look away from the dance floor.
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Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by Danvers
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All the drugs in the world couldn’t compare to this high. It rushed through him like the unstoppable crackle of electricity, lighting his skin ablaze. His body felt as light as the clouds he had once floated above; when freedom was a gift he had clutched firmly in his hands and one he had valued only once it had been taken away. Yet, there had still been little, even as an Olympian, that could ever compare to this rush. The endless hours, the graft and toil, the risk and subsequent bounty. Had he known that cons would be so deliriously decadent, he would’ve started doing them centuries ago.

Short cons gave instant gratification but long cons were where he felt his true self. There were few things in this world that came close to the thrill of the game. The grecian adored mortal sins as much as the next man, but they still fell short to a god whose life had been spent ever testing the boundaries of others. He always required something more, something different. But as he strolled down the street, hands tucked in his pockets, shooting a cocky smile at everyone he passed, Hermes had to admit to himself that maybe there was one thing that could trump this feeling. Or perhaps one deity would be more accurate.

Finally reaching Cannabistro, the ever fleet of foot messenger god wasted no time before he was bounding up the stairs, taking two steps at a time as impatience pulled his body forwards. He couldn’t tell why he was so eager. Maybe it was just the desire to share his accomplishment or maybe it was something more. Hermes was never one to linger on these thoughts for too long though, instead focusing on immersing himself in the delicious feelings that arose from them.

Stopping at the front door, fingers came to press against his crisp white suit, smoothing down the wrinkles that had gathered. Anticipation pulled at Hermes’ lips, a small smile lighting up his already animated features. Nerves were a foreign feeling to him but the energy that rushed through him was probably as close as the herald ever came to such a thing, though he would be at a loss to explain it if he tried to. Raising a hand, his knuckles rapped firmly on the door, Hermes forcing himself to keep still as he waited for it to open.

Only the eager raps against his door could pull Jorm from his thoughts, gently pulling him from the stars he found himself in. This felt like years in the making, yet felt so natural like Hermes slotted himself right next to him. There was understanding in the puzzle piece analogy, but it never really fully came together outside of the bubble of experience he now found himself in. Hermes was there one second and then his the next and it brought him close to a searing sun without the scorch of heat against his skin. He wanted to bask in it.

But Hermes awaited him and the serpent sprang to his feet with all the giddiness trapped inside pistoning him forward. Wind swept him away, hair neatly pressed, eyes widened and his lips bit down upon as he pressed his hands against his suit and reached for the door to his apartment. First to light his vision was Hermes and Jormungandr drank in the glow that set upon Hermes’ shoulders. Lightning lit his eyes and coursed from Hermes’ skin to his until Jormungandr drank the sight of his newly found lover in.

”Oh… hey, wait a second,” Jormungandr’s brow pinched in question at the suit wrapped perfectly around Hermes’ lithe frame. The first thought was ‘damn’ followed quickly by a wandering mind so prone to daydreams of tangled arms lost in the desert of sheets, but that quickly faded to bewildered surprise. Jormungandr looked down to his own suit, perfectly matched to fit Hermes in some serendipitous display set by the universe that had ordained their meat. ”Well, uh, you’re always a present surprise, but this is certainly something else, Jormungandr said with a wry grin twisting his lips.

There left no chance for Hermes to respond in kind as Jormungandr immediately grasped the god’s hand and pulled him into the entryway. He pressed Hermes close to him, both arms coming to wrap around the messenger god’s waist as he leaned in close. ”Did you somehow arrange for this to happen, Noodle?” Jormungandr whispered as he touched his nose to Hermes’ cheek, ”Just to get me flustered, huh? Cause it’s working.”

Allowing himself to be pulled into Jormungandr's arms, Hermes pressed his body against his, relishing in the warmth that burned like a constant flame between them. The edge of his lips pulled into a small smirk at the norse gods words and feigning ignorance, he shook his head lightly. “Me? Do something like that? Of course not…” He trailed off, tongue dipping out to unconsciously wet his lips. “But tell me again about how you’re getting flustered.”

His hands came up to freely roam over Jorms chest, tracing over the fabric and taking note of the feel. The sight of his lover sent a new, entirely different thrum of energy speeding through his body and he had no qualms in openly admiring how damn perfect he looked in his attire. Of course, seeing him wrapped in naught but a bedsheet was what he would normally say he preferred, but this was equally, if not more, pleasurable.

“Maybe we should have a little bit of fun before the ball.” He muttered, lips moving to press against Jorms whilst his hands reached up to deftly undo the first two buttons of his shirt. Hermes was excited for the ball but he would gladly be unfashionably late, or even miss it completely, for the chance to spend another moment alone with him.

A hand reached to grasp at Hermes’ and Jormungandr used that moment to lace their fingers together. A chuckle rumbled his chest, reminiscent of the rolling waves of the oceans he toiled through or the muffled thunder of a storm broken by the surface of the water. ”None of that now,” Jormungandr spoke, pulling Hermes close again to let his lips slide soft against the Grecian’s, ”We’ve done enough of the sexy bit; it’s time I show you what I know of romance, now. I wanna make sure you end this night knowing full well how much I adore you, Hermy.”

His hands break a part to glide against the smooth fabric of Hermes’ suit until one reaches up to grasp at Hermes’ chin. Jormungandr tilts Hermes’ head up and allows himself to stare with the moon so clear in his own eyes, beheld by the man of his goddamned dreams. A sigh left him in a flitting breeze before he dipped low to capture Hermes’ lips in such soft, satin touches. ”I know you don’t mind being late, but I kinda wanna have fun at the ball tonight,” Jormungandr grinned, tilting his head to the side slightly as he once again pulled Hermes close to him. The title Hermes wore as conman and troublemaker excited Jormungandr and damned if he didn’t want a taste of what Hermes’ loved to do. It pumped an adrenaline into him that settled in his chest, bumping to the mixture of feelings the god in his arms drew out of him. ”Whaddya say? Wanna get into a little trouble, Herm?”

Any protests that Hermes may have had were swallowed down at the mention of mischief, eyebrows raising at this alluring prospect. “Always.” He grinned back, leaning in so that he could place a soft kiss at the corner of his mouth. “Are you sure you’re ready though? Sometimes people don’t like my games.” A hand reached up to idly play with the edge of the gods bowtie as he spoke, a glint of something unreadable playing in his eyes. It was true that tricksters weren’t always well received by both gods & mortals alike, and although this usually wouldn’t bother him, something deep down in his chest spoke up about fears of scaring Jorm off. The man was so honest, so good, and Hermes couldn’t see how he would enjoy such trickery.

A subtle shake of his head warded off these concerns though and he was back to donning his usual lopsided smile, making up his own mind before Jorm had a chance to respond. “Okay, we can play. But only if I get you to myself later...” He murmured pointedly, “And only if you tell me again about how much you adore me.” Hermes teased, bright blue pools locking onto Jorms own darker eyes, fingers moving to grasp the serpents in his own once more.

A soft expression played at the hard features that sculpted Jorm’s face at the sight of his trickster god’s own doubt. He felt Hermes reel away inside himself just slightly, at least from the odd look that swept the deity’s features. It tugged at something inside Jormungandr that growled below the sinew and bone of his chest. The grip he had against Hermes’ sides tightened and when he grasped at Jorm’s hands to twine their fingers like they were the very fabric of the space between them come together Jorm tugged him forward.

”Everything you do, everything you say, everything you are, Hermes, I adore,” Jormungandr leaned forward, forehead pressed to Hermes’ and their noses brushed together as the air swirled in the space between their lips, ”There’s nothing that could make me think otherwise. I want to be a part of your life and that includes the things you allow me to do with you. Your games, your job, your family. Whatever you desire me to take part in, I will. Likewise for you.”

Their hands fell apart so that Jorm could once again wrap his arms tight around Hermes’ waist and bring him in close. His grip felt tight, an assurance that Hermes would not fall from them, and Jormungandr let his breath mingle with Hermes’ as he pressed soft kiss after soft kiss to his lover’s lips. ”We’ll have the rest of the night, I promise.” He grinned, bringing a finger up to grasp at Hermes’ chin, though the smile dropped away to a hardened seriousness, ”I love every part of you, Hermes. I love the games you play and the trouble you make.”

The heralds chest moved in and out as he silently listened, basking in the light breaths and gentle kisses that were shared between words. Mentions of love and life stole the very air from within his lungs, in a way that only Jorm could. It gnawed at something inside, speaking to something that he thought was only possible for others but not him. His tongue was normally able to twist words to his desire, his command over language something he had always prized. To make someone hear what they wanted to hear, or think what he wanted them to think. But now he daren’t speak, for fear that his words would fall short compared to Jorms own sweet ones.

Instead, his hands came up to cup the gods face, pulling him down so that he could deliver a deep kiss. Lips pressed hard and desperately against his, and the god did not pull away until he was ready. “You are too good Jormungandr.” His words were breathy when he finally spoke. “Too good for someone like me.” A thumb rubbed against his cheek as he took another moment to relish in their closeness. He wanted all of what Jorm had said. Everything.

“Though if after tonight you still want me, you can have it all.” He said, smiling gently. Hermes had long kept parts of himself from the other gods but he wanted Jorm to know and see it all.

”I’m not too good for anyone, Hermes,” Jormungandr pressed another kiss to Hermes’, this time upon his forehead, ”We all deserve a little more than we allow ourselves to, I think. And, I dunno, but from my perspective up here, I think you deserve the world, Herm.” But with that, he allowed Hermes to guide him out without any fuss or protest.

If Hermes truly thought lesser of himself, then Jormungandr had a lot of work showing him otherwise. The world, Odin, the entire Norse pantheon, all told him what he couldn’t have with little words and lofty actions from the thrones they sat upon. Too long upon the earth had he spent thinking all he deserved were the depths of the ocean; not a soul he would let think of themselves in such a manner if Jormungandr could help it. That rang especially true for those closest to him: his brother, his nephews, his sister, his father, and since the day he and Hermes became friends and more than friends, him too.

Jormungandr wrapped a tight hand around Hermes’ own and led him down to the slightly beat up car he’d gotten. If Hermes’ had another idea, then he was very much welcome to speak up because it wouldn’t do well to roll up to a venue in such nice suits only to step out of a 2005 Honda Civic that could either be a dirty black or a dirty dark blue depending on the lighting. ”Please feel free to reveal that you brought a rented Rolls Royce just around the corner,” Jormungandr flashed a smirk down at Hermes, ”Though, anywhere I go with this noodle in my arms, I’m sure would make even the most run down car fancy.”

A cocky smile passed over the messenger gods face as he glanced at the Honda, eyes twinkling mischievously. “Well...” He started, pulling on Jorms hand to lead them a short ways down the street. “Rented is one way of putting it.” Letting their fingers untwine, the herald reached into his pocket, pulling out a set of keys and pointing them at a car that looked assuredly out of place amongst the dreary normality of the Seattle street. Borrowed was probably a more accurate way to describe how he had acquired this particular Aston Martin but even that was pushing at the limits of the truth.

Grinning excitedly at Jorm, any previous doubts that had marred his usually confident guise were swept away, now left by only an eagerness akin to a child who had just received a new toy. “She’s a beauty right? Purrs real deep too.” His voice was as smooth as the engine he described and the god gave Jorm a small wink before darting over to the drivers side. “Hop in.” He offered as he slid into his seat, nodding to the free space beside him.

Hermes really had little practical use for a car, having retained enough of his light and sure footedness to be able to get around quickly under his own steam. But he was unable to deny the thrill that came with driving something so powerful. It put his mind back to those cherished moments he had spent in the sky, darting from realm to realm with nothing but his own will to stop him. And when he’d seen this pretty gal, well...the temptation to take her for himself had been just too irresistible.

This had been quite a better surprise than the chariot that would slowly and unreliably tug them along. Jorm grinned, wondering at the exact measure to which Hermes’ took to get something of this magnitude into his own hands. Honestly, Jormungandr didn’t quite want to know or rather didn’t let himself ask despite the curiosity that tugged and pulled at him. It fascinated him to the lengths Hermes could soar to achieve these things that seemed so far from Jormungandr’s grasp—whether by legal means or no. As long as no one came away mortally injured, especially Hermes.

Jorm slid into the seat, leaning over immediately to press a kiss to Hermes’ lips barely able to contain the smile that stretched his own. ”You’re irresistible when you’re all giddy and excited, Herm,” he whispered, pressing another peck before leaning back into the plush seats of this rather fancy car. This didn’t quite suit him in the way that it did Hermes. He appreciated nice cars, but didn’t quite fancy one himself as they didn’t compare to what he already had around him. However, Jormungandr wouldn’t turn his nose at the offer to ride in one.

”What’re you waiting for? I’m surprised you’re able to resist slamming the pedal down and rushing to the ball,” Jormungandr laughed, quickly pushing the seatbelt into place. Though they couldn’t die, getting injured and the pain that followed really wasn’t something Jormungandr wanted to test at the moment. ”Go wild, Herm… just be careful of others,” Jorm made a gesture toward the road, smiling softly at the man next to him.

His hand had moved over to rest on Jorms thigh, which he gave a playful squeeze, fingers lingering a satisfactory moment too long. Even the simplest of touches were enough to send a burning heat rolling over his skin and the god forever had to pull himself back from moving into deeper territory. “Just making sure you’re tucked in tightly first.” He grinned, his smile giving a hint of the devilry that he always kept neatly simmering under the surface. Hermes had enough self-awareness to know how downright reckless he could be, particularly after a drink or two, but he had no plans on letting this particular god get hurt in any way.

“But if you really must insist…” Raising an eyebrow at Jorm, his hands moved to place the key in the ignition, the Aston emitting a satisfying purr as he turned it clockwise. He felt his heart quicken in excitement as if to match the beat of the engine before him. Little could compare to how fast he had once been but any speed, even that made by mortals, still sent a thrill rushing to his core.

In a flash, he had put the car in gear, purr turning into a biting growl, nimble tires spinning as the car shot down the street like a hunter after its prey. The twilight offered quieter roads and she flew round the corners, Hermes giving her no moment in which to slow her pursuit. When an open road laid itself out in front of them, he pushed her further, eyes moving over to Jorm playfully for the briefest of moments before flitting back to the whirr of lights and lines ahead. Cars were left behind in her wake, though none offered any protests, the sleek form of the Aston weaving in and out as seamlessly as a thread through the eye of a needle. There was no hesitation, no pause. Only an endlessly satisfying forward momentum which spoke to a part of him that few others understood.

The greek gods eyes were alight, excitement coursing through him, reviving that addictively intoxicating high. He could’ve continued on like this for hours but as quickly as they had set off...they had arrived. A feverish atmosphere of flashing cameras and eager shouts greeted them when Hermes pulled to a halt outside of the venue, fingers reaching over to reluctantly switch off the engine. Leaning closer to Jorm, a self-satisfied smile played at the edges of his lips as he gazed at his lover. “That was fun right?”

Speed had never fallen into Jormungandr’s jurisdiction; a being of grand size as he could span the entirety of the earth in but a few deep waves of his serpentine form. Therefore speed didn’t equate much to Jormungandr as it did to others, rather size and form influenced him. Which made the change from ringing the earth in his scales to a small speck of dust that is the human form all that disorienting. With that came the sudden shock of speed that sometimes hit him through a number of transportation, especially subways.

Yet, seeing the joy creep along Hermes’ face wiped away the dizzy spell that hit him, erupting into a deep yearning to see that look cross Hermes’ features an indefinite amount of times. He’d suddenly hoped that he himself would be the cause for such a look and in this case he felt he’d at least aided in it. What mattered was the fact that Jormungandr got to see it and cherish it close to his chest, filed away deep in precious memory banks.

His hand wisped over toward Hermes’ as they came to a stop. The quickness to which they’d arrived meant nothing compared to the steady slowing of time in his little moments watching Hermes envelope himself in joy and adrenaline. Jormungandr gripped the deity’s hand in his and squeezed hard and tight. ”That was exceptionally fun, Herm,” Jorm grinned, bringing the man’s hand to his lips as he kissed Hermes’ fingers, ”I could think of no better place than here with you.” Jormungandr tugged at him then, tilting his head toward the event with the round of flashing lights turning the night sky a stark white blaze.

For a moment Hermes didn’t want to go inside. Entering the ball would mean sharing Jorm with others and he selfishly felt a desire to keep him to himself. The buzz of life, the throng of people. All of it would normally draw him in like a moth to a flame. But he had recently found that such temptations mattered little when he was around Jorm, fading instead to the background of his desires. “Me neither.” He admitted as his gaze latched onto the serpents own soft brown eyes, hand moving to rub a thumb over his lips. The herald would have stayed like that for longer too...if not for the sudden sensation of being watched.

Turning his head, Hermes couldn’t help but let out a small chuckle as he became aware of the valet hovering awkwardly outside the Aston. The man was clearly trying, and failing, to avoid staring at the couple as they lingered for several moments too long. “Come on then.” He smiled, reluctantly shifting his body away from Jorms. “Let’s go show you off.” The messenger of the gods offered him a small wink as he opened the drivers side door, sliding out before handing the keys deftly to the valet.

Enraptured by a messenger god from an entirely different pantheon didn’t slot into a neat plan that Jorm would have imagined someone more organized would have. Yet, Jorm relished in the chaos of the life that surrounded him primarily because it had brought Hermes into his life among giving him a chance at freedom.

The irony in that statement alone should have made Jorm chuckle if he didn’t wholly believe it. He’d been tossed to the sea and left to wallow away in loneliness until the very end of time. He’d been destined to bring those end times, at least for his people he did. Knowing the inner workings of pantheon specific end-time prophecies and how they intersected with the world at large didn’t fall into Jorm’s varying talents. However, he supposed that didn’t matter when looking around him now his hand in Hermes’ walking through a throng of bustling reporters.

Now all that mattered was the man at his side and keeping them both free to do as they pleased. It filled Jorm with a welling, bubbling happiness that could only find a place in the bright smile he wore. He tightened his hand around Hermes’ own, smiled down at them as they entered into a den of possibilities.

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Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Venus
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Feat. Xolotl @beetlemoth

...This isn’t normal, right?

It’s a weeknight, and Xolotl was sitting in a limousine headed towards another gathering of gods; this time, organized by Jupiter, of all people. The Aztec god hadn’t pegged him as the type to throw such lavish parties with such poor timing, though he supposed he simply didn’t know the self-proclaimed ‘King of Gods’ as well as he thought.

Truth be told, after seeing how well the most recent Conclave went, Xolotl had all but promised himself that he was going to wash his hands of the whole affair.

…Obviously, things hadn’t worked out exactly the way he’d hoped, thanks to a certain Norse goddess currently sitting to his side.

He should be working, he thinks, or at the very least, coming up with some way to guard himself and his kin against the supposed god-killer on the loose. Yes, he knew that the death and life of gods was commonplace, a natural cycle dictated by the very cosmos they all resided in, but things change —– things have changed; and he wasn’t about to stand by and let his kin be slaughtered by a faceless killer.

Of course, Xolotl still thinks that this whole thing is a terrible idea.

Every god in Seattle all crammed into one place… what could possibly go wrong?

“Remind me why we’re even going to this thing, again?” His words are heavy with the beginnings of a sigh, spilling sluggishly from his lips like smoke. He’s annoyed, that much is certain, and his fingers are just itching for a cigarette, but after a moment’s hesitation, he stops himself. The car was a rental and he didn’t want to stink it up.

The Norse goddess let out an exasperated sigh. When she had asked Xolotl to be her date to Jupiter’s charity ball, she had expected the Aztec god to go about it as he usually did: playing along with her crazy ideas. She had anticipated a night of fine dining and cocktails, rubbing shoulders with the Seattle elite while showing each other off in the process, and culminating their evening with a good toss between the sheets. But prying the man away from his desk early on a weeknight and dragging him to the event was easier said than done. The closer the date, the deeper Xolotl seemed to dig his heels into the ground, and the more aggressive Freya had to get with her manipulation tactics of convincing. After what felt and seemed like a monumental effort, in the end she had managed to get him groomed to perfection, squeezed into a dapper-looking suit, and ushered into the limousine that was already waiting at his front door. To hear that he was once again questioning the motives behind their attendance, as if she hadn’t already listed them a million times before, made her bristle with annoyance.

“I could give you a few reasons,” Freya replied in a monotonous tone, raising a fist in Xolotl’s direction and lifting a finger for each reason offered. “One: you desperately needed a break away from the office before you work yourself into a comatose state (you really do abuse that godly stamina in being such a workaholic, you know that?). Two: it’s better to keep your friends close and your enemies closer. And three: because this might be that chance of a lifetime you've been waiting for to finally reconnect with that beloved underworld goddess of yours.”

Xolotl doesn’t say a word, simply listening to Freya speak with a flat, sullen look on his face. He could argue, say that he happened to work the perfect amount for what he was trying to accomplish, and that he would rather put as much distance between himself and his enemies as possible; but while he might loathe to admit it, the Norse goddess did indeed make a point —– several, in fact.

“…That’s fair.” Xolotl concedes with a sigh, as if greatly put-upon. It wasn’t like him to be so theatrical with his grievances, but that was the sort of behavior Freya brought out in him. And besides, he wasn’t about to let himself do something as stupid as get his hopes up. The last time he saw Mictēcacihuātl… It had to have been decades ago.

No use dwelling in the past, he tells himself.

“I’d just hate to make a habit out of it.”

All this pomp and needless frippery. He didn’t feel the need to point out exactly what ‘it’ was. At times, it seemed as if all the Romans saw fit to pride themselves on was their unrelenting penchant for excess. Xolotl decides then to practice hiding his disdain behind questions, deflecting. And quite frankly, he is rather curious about Freya’s own motivations for attending the ball.

“What about you? Anyone you’ll be looking out for once we’re there?” His words are casual, offhanded, though the sideways look he shoots Freya is anything but, nor is the smile that briefly crosses his lips. “You were awfully persistent about going. I can’t imagine you’d subject yourself to something like this on my account.”

Freya did not answer Xolotl’s question immediately. Instead, she took another moment to really think about her justifications for attending this ball. She could say that, as a socialite and important member of the Norse pantheon, her presence was almost to be expected, and that her absence would bring about the wrong kinds of attention. And, party, she would be right. But a half-truth was still an attempt at self-deception. Why would she be almost mandated to attend events like balls hosted by Romans, but got a pass when purposely skipping conclaves, in which topics of much more importance were discussed?

No: the sole reason for Freya’s appearance at this gala had a name and a face… One she hadn’t seen in centuries; but one that haunted her dreams, and one she was hoping she’d be over after tonight.

“Let’s just say you’re not the only one facing the ghosts of the past tonight…” she mused, letting out a sigh while turning to stare through the window at the roads and vehicles passing by. “I’m hoping to catch a glimpse of Janus this evening. As foolish as it may be, and as much as I know it will hurt, I’m certain it’s something I must do in order to free myself of these decaying chains and move on forward. In fact, it’s something I should’ve done ages ago,” she concluded, looking back at the Aztec god with a melancholic smile.

“Usually I’d get my darling Patty to be my wingman for events like these. But seeing as he’s... unavailable at the moment, I went with the only other man I trust.” she said with a small shrug. Normally, it was Pluto’s presence that would keep Freya calm and grounded during trying situations like these. But her beloved partner in crime was still in prison; dressed in an unflattering orange jumpsuit and sitting behind the cold iron bars of the same concrete cell he had occupied for the last five years (or twenty, if you counted the previous fifteen years he’d spent at a Washington facility before his transfer to Seattle). “And who needs the moral support just as much as I do, I might add.”

Before Xolotl could respond with more than a noncommittal grunt, the luxurious vehicle transporting the couple came to a stop right in front of the red carpet. Blinding white flashes shone through the tinted windows of the limousine, while a crowd of elegantly-dressed photographers and reporters could be seen waiting behind the velvet ropes, faces and cameras pointed and eagerly awaiting the reveal of which influential individual was making their presence known at the glamorous event.

“It’s showtime,” she told the Aztec male with a smile, just in time for the suited-up driver to open the door and graciously assist her in exiting the vehicle.

At once, the camera flashes went into a frenzy, accompanied by a sea of shutter clicks and deafening voices calling out for Seattle’s favorite socialite Astrid Wexler to look one way or another, give a smile, or disclose the details of what she was wearing. And for the next few minutes, the smirking brunette gave the crowd exactly what they wanted: greeting reporters and correspondents alike, posing for photos and conceding small interviews here and there. Once their appetites for curiosity had been mildly satisfied, the young woman waved at the crowd and sauntered off into the ballroom, the long train of her black dress trailing behind her.

The lady of the Norse pantheon had finally arrived.
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Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Legion02


Member Seen 20 hrs ago

Old Friends, Old Feelings
The Ball
Hel & Skadi

“You can go.” Hel stood over a corpse lying on the cold steel of the autopsy table. Bright, luminescent lights beamed down over it. The cadaver looked oddly peaceful, even with a bullet hole in between his eyes. The mortuarium in of itself was an oddly bright and open place. While the rooms where they performed their autopsies had those cold, sterile white tiles the antechamber before it was made of a more pleasant wood and windows. Though with the massive bulbs hanging over the steel slab, it felt like day. While in fact, it had just passed 7 a.m.

A girl looked up from behind a nearby cold, steel desk as she wrote something. “Are you sure, Mrs- I mean miss Krogh.” Jessie, the girl, brushed aside her long auburn hair as she spoke. It looked a little endearing. “I can stay. I don’t really like parties.” That was a lie, and Hel knew it. The girl had far too many wild party stories to not like parties. Though she didn’t really know why she would die. For the past few weeks now, she had joined Hel as an intern while she studied anatomy as a major.

“It’s okay.” Hel said as she walked up to the girl and took the clipboard she was holding on the desk. Her eyes scanned through the form. It was filled in perfectly. Her eyes turned to look at an anticipating Jessie. “Yeah, you’ve done more than enough for me today. Go and enjoy yourself. It’s a Friday evening, after all.” Hel said as she was about to turn around and walk back towards the corpse. The cause of death was simple enough, even if you forwent Occam’s Razor. All she had to do was draw blood and get it to the lab.

“Thank you!” The girl squealed as she suddenly rounded the desk and hugged Hel tightly. Surprising the older goddess of death. As a reaction, she almost hugged the girl back but then pulled back. Not wanting to subject her to any freezing embrace. Instead, she just lightly put her own head against the girls. A moment later, Jessie released her and ran towards the changing rooms to throw off the PP&E. Leaving Hel alone in the mortuarium.

The goddess just continued with her work. Drawing blood and other needed tissue samples for the lab. From the corner of her mind, she heard Jessie shout: “See you next week!” From Jessie. She just smiled and raised a bloody hand to wave at her as she left. Maybe she should remove the bullet as well. So she didn’t need to do it on Monday. With that done, she realized the labs probably closed already. For a second, she looked at the samples of blood sitting on her desk. It was getting late, but she could do them. She could tend to the graves later tonight. They wouldn’t run away.

The bloodwork didn’t take so long. Though Hel found herself stare out the window from time to time as she waited for a centrifuge or some other machine to finish its cycle. The sun was already down, casting the whole world in a familiar sensing shroud. Maybe she could take a little stroll through the city. Walk along the water. Hear the siren call of the waves. Maybe later, after she tended to the graves.

The fates had other plans when Skadi’s message made Hel’s ancient flip phone buzz. She frowned as she read the message. She loved Skadi dearly, but the Jötunn had a strange habit of bothering the goddess of death at times with things she preferred not to be bothered by. The message didn’t even attempt to hide away the lie. For a moment she just wanted to put down the phone and ignore it. But then guilt started gnawing at her. She couldn’t see her own family for obvious reasons, but she had no such reason not to see Skadi, and it had been ages since she last saw her Norse friend. It was unfair of Hel to ignore her now even if she felt apprehension about the party in every fiber of her body.

I’ll be there in an hour. She texted back as she got into her Mercedes. And as promised, an hour later a very friendly Uber delivered her to the party’s main entrance. Which was flanked on both sides by scores of photographers that were as utterly disinterested in her as she was in them. The goddess walked across the red carpet as if it was laid out specifically for her and showed her invitation to those at the door. Who graciously let her pass. Inside though she garnered more attention. Despite the fact that Hel felt like she was dressed for a fight. Chainmail was replaced by a black dress, the kohl around her eyes was replaced by impeccable eyeliner and her hair that normally was braided in the fashion of a shieldmaiden now hung loose down her shoulders. Skadi was easy enough to find.

Hel approached her, making sure she walked into her view before ever being near. She flashed the Jôtunn a small smile. “You know that Draugr are a real danger, right?” she said, only half-joking.

An innocent smile tugged the corners of Skadi’s lips up as she gave a diligent nod. Yes, of course, the Draugr were plagues upon this earth, but- “Being so dutiful and neglecting your friends and yourself is also dangerous, Hel.” Skadi met her friend the rest of the way and threw a friendly arm around her shoulders in a quick side hug. Showing her affections came easily to the Goddess, but she was aware Hel didn’t always have an easy time accepting said affections, so she kept it brief.

“Well, you look gorgeous. Is slaying ghost-monsters in designer brands a requirement for the seance?” The question was utterly playful, and Skadi made quick work of snagging champagne from a passing tray for the two of them to enjoy, “Here it’s expensive, so it’s good.” Skadi passed the flute to her friends before leading them closer to the outskirts of the busybodies networking and schmoozing, “I needed someone reliable to be here when all of this goes to shit. Can’t bring all the gods to one place without madness quickly following- if the last four conclaves have been any indication.”

The goddess of the dead turned a little red at the mention of her dress. “Well…It’s just… I don’t think they would’ve let me in wearing leather armor.” She knew Skadi was joking… probably. The Jötunn goddess was one of the few of the Norse pantheon that she could talk to freely. While she didn’t do it often enough, she did believe she knew her well enough to know when she was joking. Or so she hoped. Hel let herself be guided away from the main mass of people. Something she was grateful for. Then she got a glass of champagne thrust in her hands. “Oh I… I really shouldn’t.” And with a quick hand she managed to place the still full glass on a pass waiter carrying away empty glasses.

She was, however, not as gullible as Skadi might make her out to be. “I’m very happy to see you again.” She said, even though she hadn’t returned the hug. Skadi understood that about Hel a long time ago, luckily. “But…why did we have to meet here?” She then asked. The huntress knew full well that a party like this, with so many people, was not something for Hel. The living were so… alive. The dead were easier to care for. Easier to be around. Simpler. Calmer. Right now, despite the classical music play she felt a pressure in the room. Bearing down on her, expending her energy with every step taken and word said. She finally stopped Skadi and turned to face her, still with a bright smile on her face. “And before you try to lie-“ She raised her hand to keep the energetic huntress quiet for a bit longer. “I know you too well to have you pretend like you wouldn’t love the madness that will come soon enough. And when the time comes, it’s not like you really need me.”

Skadi’s eyes briefly trailed to a certain oblivious honey blonde haired man, eyes narrowing slightly with annoyance before returning to Hel. The history between them all was complicated, but especially between Hel and Baldr, well- Hel and everyone. Skiing along snow-capped mountains and rocketing downhill away from the loneliness that always chased after her was a choice she made as a goddess and something she was thankful to be rid of when she was “born” into this new life. Watching Hel continue her ways of isolation hurt Skadi in a way she couldn’t find the words to rationalize, and so she tried to pull Hel out of it little by little. Her meddling’s current goal was to melt the ice around the goddess’s heart, but her supporting crew provided more burden than they did aid.

Skadi couldn’t reveal her plan to Hel, not now at least, “I would never pretend not to be amused by the dealings of men. They’re interesting creatures, but sometimes I crave a more dependable and enjoyable company. Plus, nothing beats the company of the keeper of the dead who likes to pretend to hate you.” Skadi replied easily and bumped her hip into Hel’s as she nodded her head towards Thanatos and Baldr, “Added bonus is you make Than squirm like no one else can, and he’s already annoying me tonight. Don’t you have a little school girl crush on him or something? Or is it the “beloved by all” that reminds you of the heart in your chest?”

Hel playfully rolled her eyes at the hip bump to make her turn to look at Thanatos. She didn’t understand the problem. He brought clean deaths! Every death he caused went peacefully on its way. None of them ever became draugr. Even recently an elderly woman told her she’s grateful for his final blessing. It took the pain away. She was looking at him as the small smile formed. She’d have to tell him that, he would probably love to hear it.

Then her eyes fell upon Baldr. Skadi’s teasing words suddenly sounded distant. For a second Hel became dangerously aware of her own beating heart, and how it was beating just a little bit more forceful now. He was talking with Thanatos. The sight gave her a pang of yearning. Of wanting to be in the place of Thanatos, with all of Baldr’s attention on her again. Like in the old days down in Helheim. But that same memory conjured up the pleas of Freya and the other Aesir for him to return. “I had to let go.” She whispered. Even then she knew she had to let him go.

She turned away again when she realized her face was growing hot. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” She quickly rebutted Skadi with a smile, but her idle fingers were fidgeting. She needed something to do. Work to distract her. “Baldr and I are just friends.” A friend to meet up with. But only alone. Never surrounded by other people. She wasn’t good with other people. “Yeah, just friends.” If she repeated it often enough, would she finally start feeling like it?

“Oh? Is that so?” Skadi held back her smirk as she leaned closer to Hel, studying her expression for a moment before quickly pulling herself away. The faintest tinting of pink of Hel’s cheeks filled Skadi with a feeling of victory, “Well then, what are you waiting for, go say hi to your friends! I’ll catch up after I track down a glass of Sauvignon!”

Skadi pushed her palm against her friend’s back in an encouraging way before she was twirling off after her next whim.

The goddess of death didn’t entirely register what just happened. One moment she was talking with Skadi, then the goddess of the hunt shoved her towards Thanatos and Baldr. Hel turned around again, and moved to hide behind one of the columns. Trying to find her rather insistent friend. “You know I can’t talk to him with people around.” She said even though Skadi was nowhere around. No, no she couldn’t talk to him now. After all, it would be rude. Yes, rude! Rude because Thanatos and him were probably having a riveting conversation. Who was she to interrupt that? No, no she would say ‘hi’ later. When there were less people around. Or maybe tomorrow, over breakfast. Her eyes darted around, trying to find some familiar faces to hide amongst. She spotted no-one but she couldn’t stay here, in the almost-open where she could be found. Swallowing her own unease she stepped off into the same crowd forming around the bar after Skadi. Knowing there was no way to find the huntress.

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Hidden 2 mos ago Post by Gothelk
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Gothelk Vacancy

Member Seen 8 days ago

Desire to Sleep under the Sun.
The Ball
Let’s dance!

interactions: @gothelkx@icy hotx@smarty0114 collab

Apollo and Artemis strode in from the garden, not a hair out of place. The gala’s guests had hardly noticed either twins’ absence, a blessing given the scuffle they’d had with Timor. “We should do this more often. You and me, kicking ass, taking names. Just like the good ol’ days,” Apollo said, swinging an unwelcome arm around his sister’s shoulder. She grimaced and quickly slipped out from under him, flicking him in the back of the head as punishment for his transgressions.

“You stood up to one of the skinnier Romans. Calm down,” Artemis said, eyes searching the crowd for a face Apollo couldn’t care to remember. He rolled his eyes then, scoffing at the implication that he was not one of the most noteworthy beings she had the pleasure to interact with. Before he could retaliate Artemis was spinning around, cutting him off with her own words. “As much as I enjoy listening to you bluster, I have work to do.”

“Oh my gods, you are boring,” Apollo said, mostly to his sister’s back as she rejoined the party, mingling in the effortless way she’d perfected over the years. Apollo had seen first hand the allure his sister carried, the way she attracted any who seemed to gaze at her for too long. How many of these women would find themselves booking a weekend getaway at her retreat after the night was done?

As enchanting as his sister might have been, her charms had little effect on the sun. Apollo’s eyes were drawn instead to the sound of the entrance opening once more, letting in three gods along with the chatter and flashes of light from the outside. A smile brightened his face when his eyes fell upon Thanatos, Hypnos, and the one being in this world who had completely entranced him. The three of them were a pleasant sight, dressed in expensive suits that drew the eye, and Apollo quickly slipped through the throngs of people, a sunbeam sliding across the room until his hand found Eros’ and he was squeezing tightly. “Hey,” he said softly, holding Eros’ gaze for one blissful moment before turning his attention to Hypnos and his brother. “Hypnos, Thanny Boy, nice to see ya. Everybody watch out for the Romans. They’re feeling extra feisty tonight.”

A sleepy haze clung to Hypnos like a dusky fog, eyes roaming everywhere but the man to his side. The moment he’d found Apollo gliding through the crowd on sunrays, Hypnos’ smile lifted the slumber from his cheeks to paint them with a dash of rose. It felt hard to hold to any anxiety in the presence of the sun incarnate; Apollo had a knack for melting away the gripping worry at his heels.

”That’s no way to talk about our hosts, Pollo,” Hypnos yawned, letting the grin continue to stretch his lips. Staring at the sun’s arrival carried with it a sudden self-consciousness, like comparing something so radiant felt insurmountable. Hypnos stared down at his suit, his little bowtie that he adjusted slightly. Maybe he needn’t worry. He felt comfort next to Apollo, yet staring at him and Eros and even Than to the side of him had Hypnos feeling much smaller than usual.

Thanatos donned a smirk as his eyes traveled to the point where Apollo had attached himself to Eros. Apparently he wasn’t the only one who had been exercising his godly gifts, “I’ll make sure to keep an extra eye out when you find yourselves too preoccupied. If you’ll excuse me gentlemen I have a hopeless nerd to find.”

He bit his lip, looked off the side, but never let his smile falter. ”We can keep him outta trouble, right Eros?”” Hypnos offered, shuffling slightly on his feet as he kept towing the edge of a discomforting heat he couldn’t explain and the soft, sun alight like clouds on his skin. The slow, creeping conflict of his mind and body had his suit feeling all too itchy and he constantly came to scratch at the top of his collar.

Eros offered a comfortable smile as he returned the firm grasp on the radiant sun, wanting nothing more than to wrap himself in his warmth. But the time for that would come later, first it was a party for the three of them to enjoy, “A little trouble will keep things interesting, with all these stuffy business moguls and politicians in attendance their usual antics of trying to out class each other would make the night dull. We don’t need any more reasons to send you off into slumber, not so soon anyways.” Eros replies in a playful tone, before his attention is stolen by the doors to the venue opening again.

A short moment of shuffling to the side gives Eros a chance to get a good look at the people entering the venue. Two in particular stand out. The unnerving presence of a man who quickly disappeared into the shadowy corner of the room and the curly head of his best friend who had regained at least some of her confidence. The former of the two lingered in his mind when he turned back to his lover and dearest friend, “A Mad dog at a charity event? You wouldn’t have happened to see the other one scampering around in some dark creepy corner would you?”

“Unfortunately,” Apollo said, eyes trailing after Metus until he’d disappeared from sight. “He came crashing out into the garden, trying to scare the shit out of one of my sister’s girls. Had to stop him and Arty from turning this into a bloodbath,” Apollo said, lowering his voice so that their conversation wouldn’t fall on prying ears. He’d witnessed first hand the tricks his fellow deities were playing tonight.

Always one to think the best of people, Hypnos rubbed the back of his neck, sliding in closer to the other two. ”Perhaps they’d just gotten into a small argument of sorts? Hypnos brows pinched and he turned to look at the other two, wary of the shadows Eros’ eyes drifted toward. Even if the Greeks found themselves in an endless feud with their counterparts, Hypnos didn’t quite feel comfortable talking ill of them on their own turf. Who knew what eyes they had planted throughout the party. ”We should at least make nice for now; we’ve gone blind into one of their own parties, after all,” Hypnos bit at his lip, staring up at Apollo and then Eros. His eyes drifted to their lingering fingers, wondering at the nebulous feelings tugging at him. He pouched his lips slightly in thought at what it would feel like to perhaps mingle his fingers in with theirs’.

Hypnos lurched forward, hacking a cough as he choked on his own spit. Those thoughts immediately gave way to the sudden surge of anxiety that krept pink to his cheeks. ”Sorry, sorry. I’m okay.”

Apollo grinned at Hypnos, amused by the power that resided in this adorable man’s form. Who could guess that before him was the master of sleep, the inevitability of slumber personified? Just like Eros, there was something enchanting about Hypnos, a warm tug that seemed to pull gently at his sides, pleading with him to give in. “If only you were right about that, Hyp. It’s never nothing with the Romans,” Apollo mused, his voice singsonging the end of his sentence.

“Well, there’s not much left for us to do if this is a trap, so I suggest we make the most of what we can, while we are able.” The suggestion came out in its usual sultry manner as Eros swiped three flutes of bubbly from a passing server’s tray.

“To a fun night, and getting Hypnos to be on his worst behavior.”

A pall came across Hypnos face at the idea of him being anything but the lazy, but all over non-troublesome incarnation of sleep itself. He pressed a pout to his lips while accepting one of the flutes in Eros’ hand. ”You two can do your troublemaking; I’ll watch from the sides away from all the consequences,” Hypnos let out a little ‘hmph’ of a huff as he took a light sip from the flute. To be frank, Hypnos didn’t actually know whether he would follow Eros’ wings with the sun at his heels into any kind of fire. Though, staring at the two of them now, he’d like to think maybe he would—just this once, at least.

Apollo laughed at Hypnos’ expression, and he swore then and there that he’d make a gifted troublemaker out of this sleepy god yet. “I always did like an audience,” he said, grinning as he took a glass from Eros and brought it to his lips. “Don’t suppose anyone has heard any good theories as to why we were invited to this stuffy little evening? It seems like everyone’s here tonight,” Apollo mused, lowering his voice for Hypnos’ sake.

Eros’s eyes crinkled with amusement, the suggestion was an interesting one. Trying to discern what the Roman’s planned was a task perhaps not fit for a love god, “The only scheming I’ve taken up is in love. Building nations and winning wars is best left to the likes of Athena, hmm, your sister even, she’s quite fierce.” Eros answered truthfully, scheming and planning the demise of others was hardly as interesting as the dealings of love. And that happened to be bountiful in this room, glittering in the low light were threads that connected many bodies, lovers, family, friends, he could see them all, the days of old beckoned to him, daring him to pluck and play with the heart strings of mortals and gods alike. But this was not the old days, and certainly not his playground.

A light pinch of curiosity furrowed Hypnos’ brows as he looked off into the crowd. It swayed in beautiful colors and fabrics that dazzled his eyes, accompanied by a small wave of voices that mingled and melded together. Altogether it didn’t seem like a place Hypnos often found himself in, which gave him more reason to stick close to the two companions he found himself attached to. Apollo’s question rang in his ear, yet Hypnos couldn’t find the means toward any substantial answer. ”Maybe they have something important to show us all?” Hypnos offered, shuffling his feet a bit as he caught a glimpse of Mars, the one Roman he thought he’d seen at the Conclave, though sleep had made those glimpses rather hazy.

”How do you think they know of so many deities across all of these pantheons?” Hypnos asked, turning now toward the other two, ”It’s kinda eerie if you think too hard about it. Maybe I should just go back to my pile of covers ‘n pillows, after all.”

Apollo grinned at Eros’ mention of his sister. He was right that subterfuge was his sister’s game, but he was a hunter too, just a better looking one. His eyes fell on Pan, gazing up at Mars and Jupiter, and he pointed with his hand, nudging Hypnos as he did. “Maybe he knows,” he said. “My sister always said we shouldn’t put too much faith in the goat. Now look who he’s in bed with.” Apollo shrugged, letting his implications sit in the air before finishing what was left of his glass and placing it on a passing waiter’s tray. “I want to dance. Do they do dancing at these things? Or are the Roman’s too good for that sort of thing?”

”I would rather Mars over Ares, to be honest,” Hypnos swirled his wine around with a slight pout, ”He seems less likely to shoot up a venue just ‘cause someone sneezed in his direction.”

At the mention of Ares Eros’ eyes cast towards the entrance again and found a curious sight just as he did so. Tlaz had returned to the party in a much different state than she had exited, and even without war hot on her heels. That was peculiar, Eros completely expected Tlaz to follow Freya’s terrible advice but maybe she had better taste after all. “I hate to be a terrible date, but I think a crisis of the heart has occurred and what kind of love god would I be if I didn’t provide my profound wisdom.” Eros offered Hypnos and Apollo an apologetic smile, “I think a dance is just the thing this party and Hyp needs to relax, I’ll find you two after I’ve helped a sister out, okay?” Eros gave Apollo a quick kiss and ruffled Hypnos’ hair affectionately before running after his favorite Goddess Of Filth.

Apollo’s eyes lingered on Eros as he hurried off. Each time he left his view, a small part of him, buried deep beneath his gilded exterior, still worried it would be the last. Spinning on his heel, Apollo switched his focus to Hypnos. “C’mon Sleepy,” he teased, looping his arm through Hypnos’ own, smooth as still water and with the sort of nonchalance that only a Grecian knew. “Time to request a few songs from the strings over there.”

A small cry of indignation slipped through as Hypnos’ hands shot up to run through his hair. It faded in an instant to the arm looping through his. The butterflies Eros left in his wake settled in his stomach, burning now as the sun drew close. ”Songs now? Dancing?” Hypnos stammered, tripping along his feet, ”Oh, no, no. I, uh, I just do the music making not the… not the, uh, haha. No, no.” His eyes darted to the retreating Eros, wondering at his disappearance and hoping that he’d come to swoop in for a dance of his own, just not with the sleepy god.

“Hyppie, if I took the floor myself, I’d have half these suits lining up to come home with me tonight,” Apollo said, still charging full steam ahead towards the musicians playing at the base of the stairs, “and as flattering as that might be, I’ve lost my taste for the mundane.”

The duo closed in on the quartet, and Apollo, cocky as ever, flashed them his winning smile. “Good evening, many blessings, yada, yada, yada, etcetera, etcetera.” The band stared up at the manic, golden-haired god, unaware that they were talking to the patron of their craft. “You guys know anything, I don’t know, fun? Y’know, something I can dance to?”

A man holding a cello knitted his eyebrows together, clearly unsure as to whether or not he should be taking requests. After a moment, he relented, and the music started up once more, this time as upbeat as the strings would allow.

“Now that’s more like it!” Apollo didn’t give Hypnos another chance to protest. He dragged him to the dance floor with him, one hand gripping his hip, the other taking his hand so that he might lead the way. “Just follow my lead, kay?” With that, he was off, tethered only to the rhythm. The dance began simple enough, an easy waltz that eventually welded into something, wild, untamed. It was the dance of someone who’d reveled in music far and wide, who’d been taught all numbers of dances. Eyes fell on them, but even the mortals could not resist the pull of music, and the gravity of the sun.

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Hidden 1 mo ago Post by smarty0114
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Oh, Beloved.
The Ball
no place for pining!

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“Waiting for someone?”

“For me of course. Lovers like us cannot be kept apart; no lonesome corner or boring book is enough to keep me away forever, my love. How long have you been moping in this corner, Baldr?”

A smile graced the chiseled features of the most beloved, wandering mind pulled back to reality by the jests of his friends. “I was not moping,” Baldr said, though nothing could be further from the truth. It didn’t matter now, though. The arrival of two of his closest confidants on this plane of existence was already raising his spirits.

He swung his own arm around Than’s shoulders. The Greeks and their flirtatious ways had once been a mystery to him, but he’d grown used to them both over the centuries. “I’m surprised you were allowed past the front doors, Than. Has the big man upstairs finally softened to your family?”

Thanatos cracked a smirk at that notion. Far as he was concerned, no one dictated where he was allowed to go, especially not some “King of Gods” that spent his time golfing and playing in the snow.

“The only big man upstairs I take orders from is the Father of my savior Jesus Christ.”

Thanatos was able to hold a straight face for a moment before he was laughing at his own words. Leaving an affectionate pat to Baldr’s chest before pulling out of the embrace, only to secure them two glasses of bubbling gold. Not Thanatos’ choices of drink, but he had a shift to get to after the ball and unfortunately couldn’t get wasted, “Really, I couldn’t get out of attending. My brother’s ‘boyfriend’ is as meddlesome as they come, I imagine the same can be said of your mother. Has she found you a wife yet?”

“Not yet,” Baldr said, swirling the golden liquid in his glass, “and hopefully not-” Baldr’s words faded into the void, stolen by the arrival of Her, pale and cold as the realm she’d once lorded over, as hauntingly beautiful and ageless as the last time they’d met. For a moment, the ballroom fell away, and the only obstacle between them was space.

Space that he could not cross.

The stark realization pushed him back into reality, perhaps too harshly. He tore his eyes from Hel and returned them to Than. “Sorry, I, uh,” Baldr fumbled for the right words, “Did you know that she was coming?” The most beloved suddenly felt smaller than Ratatoskr, a speck among the branches of the World Tree.

Thanatos knew that look on Baldr’s face all too well and could feel the weight of his words on his own chest. To have felt love and to have lost it to means impervious to their godly powers- Thanatos understood, completely. There was a cold glint in his eyes as he stared at the sparkling goddess besides Hel, “Only just moments ago, I didn’t expect Skadi’s meddling to work so quickly. “ Thanatos saw the nod and promptly stepped into the view of Baldr, his back turned towards the two girls and shielding his friend’s hopeless pinning.

A sound of annoyance left Thanatos as he grumbled about having to go through such lengths, “You plan on staring at her from across the room the rest of this miserable existence, Golden Boy? What are you waiting for? The fucking stars to align?” Thanatos huffs with a shake of his head. Seeing his friend squander all of these crafted opportunities to reconnect with the woman that held his heart made quick work of getting under his skin, just as it always had.

“Shut up,” Baldr said, scoffing and playfully shoving his friend. “We’re just friends. Anything else would just complicate things.” Baldr craned his neck to see around Thanatos, but Skadi and Hel had already disappeared. “Anyways, you’re one to talk. Hypnos was looking for you the other day, and since you weren’t with me, I guess I’m just wondering where you could’ve disappeared to?” Baldr had flipped the tables with the effortless charisma that had earned him his reputation. “Don’t tell me you’re harassing me about my love life when you’re out spending days in strange apartments?” Baldr cocked an eyebrow, smirking.

Thanatos chuckled at that idea, ending up in stranger’s beds would have been a much more exciting tale to tell, but unfortunately it was not the truth of his life. He shook his head and turned to face the party again, arms crossed over his chest, “Ah yes, my strange apartment visits when I’m knocking down doors to get to my lover Gertrude who has collapsed and broken her hip from old age, or even more exhilarating Oscar on Main street whose wife called because he was having a heart attack, couldn’t believe that bastard had a wife all this time!” Thanatos clicks his tongue in disbelief, playing the part of a scorned lover just long enough to get his sarcasm through.

“Don’t say I’m harassing you; I can call Skadi over if you’re feeling a little masochistic, B.” Thanatos replied smoothly changing the focus back onto his friend, “I’m just looking out for you, Golden Boy, if Hel is the one you want, go for it, complications be damned. Living forever sucks but at least you’d get to spend it getting laid for once.”

Baldr sipped his champagne and shook his head. Whatever there was between him and Hel, it was delicate. A treasure that was not to be brought out and flaunted in front of everyone, but tucked away, safe from prying eyes and clumsy hands. Fear wrapped it’s frozen tendrils around him at the thought of the eyes that would fall upon them, and the whispers that might spring forth. Their families were destined to tear eachother apart, to plunge the world into darkness. The legends said that he would rise again, after the Aesir and Vanir had leveled Midgard, but they said nothing of a bride.

“We’ll have to agree to disagree. Our fathers are regularly trying to kill each other, and I think my mother would lose her mind if I brought her to meet Loki’s daughter.” Baldr stared down at his champagne, unwilling to admit that none of that would really matter, not so long as he had her. But that’s not what she wants.

Thanatos snorts but doesn’t push the subject any further; there would be another day to try to convince his friend. When he looked up at the crowd again his eyes met Eros’, immediately screwing up into disgust at the wink thrown his way as he flashed him a friendly bird in return. The ball room had shifted, people joining in to dance alongside Apollo. While other smaller groups pressed closer together and claimed the shadowy outskirts of the room, “You know, I’ve been thinking- s’weird that the Romans rounded us all up, don’t you think? Not like I’m one to talk, but they skip every conclave, and then all of a sudden bring us all together? I feel like I’m waiting for a butler to appear and tell us there’s been a murder we have to solve or somethin’.”

“I’ve been wondering about that myself,” Baldr replied. “I don’t remember Jupiter being one for tricks, yet this whole thing reeks of them.” The Aesir looked around the room, spotted his mother and Xolotl entering, clocked Hati, left behind by Odin. Perhaps his father held insight into Jupiter’s plans. He made a note to check in later. “I’m starting to think I should’ve just stayed home tonight. Might’ve been better for my sanity. All these schemes and secrets, it’s like Paris all over again,” he said, recalling the court intrigue that had plagued so many of his fellow gods.

“Paris, London, DC, the Conclave two weeks ago— it’s always one thing or another with them. If it weren’t so exhausting it would be entertaining.” Thanatos replied with a sour chuckle, “But I-“

“Hate all the gods and how arrogant they are? Toasty, haven’t you complained enough to poor Baldr for a good lifetime or two?” Skadi interjected, seemingly materializing beside her favorite Norse man, slinking her arm through his, “You know it’s far too early in both of your lives to be sulking and gossiping during a social gathering. Beloved, why don’t we leave the King of Melancholy to brood by himself and go have some fun, unless you want to third wheel and not bring us down, Toast?” Skadi bat her full lashes at Thanatos, donning her perfect pout as mischief twinkled in her eyes.

“Like I’d be the third wheel, didn’t you say he was my boyfriend earlier?” Thanatos scoffed, flicking his finger roughly against Skadi’s nose.

The Most Beloved grinned at Skadi’s return, unbothered by the bickering that quickly resumed between her and Than. “And what exactly does fun mean, here?” Baldr said, smirking. He’d learned the hard way that he’d likely end up going with Skadi no matter what she said, but it still paid to be on your toes. Especially with the ski queen.

“Ah, is this caution I’m hearing, Beloved?” Skadi teased and swung her arm out in a grand gesture, “Anything is more fun than what you’re currently doing, but the bar beckons and then the dance floor, and maybe if you decide to shed the ‘good boy’ persona you’ve been playing something mind blowing later on.” Skadi’s glacier blue eyes turned to Baldr’s giving him a playful wink as her arm slide from his and her hand slipped down to his, she wasn’t letting her efforts go to waste, even if she had to play the long con game, “Is that acceptable for you two?” she asked gently tugging on his hand, as her gaze bounced between Baldr and Thanatos.

Death incarnate rolled his eyes, he could practically hear the meddlesome thoughts bouncing off that empty head of hers, “not like we really have a choice anyways, right?”

Baldr swung an arm around Thantos’ shoulder, pulling him along as he followed Skadi’s lead. “Oh cheer up Than. We’ll try not to drink you under the table this time,” Baldr said, grinning. His eyes swept the pool of swaying bodies in search of Hel, but still, she evaded his sight. He thought to ask Skadi, but caught himself; no reason to give those stories anymore credence.
“Riiight, like either of you know anything about moderation when it comes to alcohol.” Thanatos quipped with a smirk but followed along without resistance. Out of the corner of his eye did a familiar glimpse of a love lost catch his attention. Thanatos pulled away from the “party train” momentarily as he looked around wide eyed, but no priestess filled his view, and he let out a chuckle, popping a few buttons on his shirt as he rejoined his friends.

“Alright, give me your worst.”

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Hidden 1 mo ago Post by smarty0114
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mopey, bothered by the GOAT, murder time

Timor watched the revelry from the shadows, nursing a glass of water, and his pride. How easily Popmpous Apollo would’ve fallen, had they been away from the prying eyes of mortals. Yet now, Apollo danced across the ballroom, and Timor sat skulking in the dark. He looked up to his father and uncle, and allowed himself, for a moment, to picture the day when their visions were reality; the day when order had conquered chaos, the day when his family stood above the other pantheons in victory, the day when Rome walked again.

Of course, a part of him knew, there would be no place for him or Metus in that world, at least not in the light. He and his brother were beasts of war, mad dogs, and if there was one thing he was certain of, it was that mad dogs did not make good princes. He might leave fear in his wake for all of eternity, but he would never have a throne. Timor chose to believe this was for the best.

He sensed Metus before he saw him, felt the terror begin to lace through the air, faint, but unmistakable. A black cat prowling through the grass, Timor slipped from his vantage point near the stairs and began moving through the crowd, in search of his brother. He might not be able to send the twin archers into the void, but Metus could at least help him find Artemis’ other little bird. The other girl he’d seen had managed to evade his gaze, but she could only hide for so long.

Timor’s path was suddenly blocked by a boy, or at least, a god in the shape of a boy. Pan looked up at him, smirking, a devil in Dolce. “Looking for someone?” Pan raised his champagne flute to his lips and took a generous swig.

“None of your business, goat.” His words were ice, encasing life as the temperature dropped far below freezing. Timor stared daggers down at the lord of the wilds, but received only a chuckle in response. He clenched his fist and ground his teeth; he wasn’t used to being laughed at.

“Come now, is that any way to speak to your father’s new partner?”

Timor didn’t like the way Pan emphasized his words. He had the sense that he was being toyed with, and it only made him angrier. Pan seemed to take the rage as jest, and laughed again, louder this time, so hard he had to grip his stomach. Finally, he calmed himself, and wiped away tears. “Relax, Killer. I’m here to help,” Pan said.

Timor crossed his arms, the rage receding, if only slightly. “I do not seek help from Grecians.”

Pan smiled. “Of course you don’t. Blood feud and all that.” Pan licked his lips. He was enjoying this. “I just figured, you might like to know, that I saw a girl sitting in the bar, looking much too interested in the various exits and entrances. Almost like she was planning an escape. Does that interest you?”

Timor grunted, unwilling to show any approval in his face, even if that small noise had been enough for Pan to know he’d accomplished his goal. The god of fear surveyed Pan briefly, weighing his words. “Where’s my brother?”

“Now that’s an easy one.” Pan turned, and pointed across the ballroom to where Metus stood, flanked by Cupid and Venus. “Better hurry. There’s spies afoot.” Pan slipped away, as quickly as he’d come, laughing at his own jest. Timor shook his head, but wasted no more time. Pan was right. Perhaps this called for some mad dogs.
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Hidden 1 mo ago Post by Icy Hot
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Icy Hot hand / crusher™

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𝔽𝕣𝕒𝕪𝕚𝕟𝕘 𝕋𝕙𝕣𝕖𝕒𝕕𝕤.
ᴛʜᴇ ʙᴀʟʟ
𝓁𝑜𝓋𝑒 𝒶𝓃𝒹 𝒻𝒾𝓁𝓉𝒽~

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Eros floated through the party from one group to another, he was a being that garnered the attention of all those in the same vicinity as him. Even though he sometimes preferred to get from one place to another without being held up by small talk and pictures, he couldn’t deny enjoying the attention. The God of Desire had only grown fonder of social interactions with humans. There was a sort of brilliance in their finite existence that led them to feel and express in ways gods could never mimic or truly understand.

Though now it was only the occasional compliment on his new show, an adoring fan or invasive entertainment news reporter looking for something juicy. The music had shifted, and so had the party-goers as Apollo and Hypnos invited them to the impromptu dance floor, so the rest of the way to the bar was painless. Well, there was plenty of pain radiating from a certain curly headed queen that reached the aches of his own heart.

“Whiskey? Isn’t that an old man’s drink?” His voice was quiet and saved only for her ears as he slid onto the stool next to her. Light fingers trailed along her shoulders as his green eyes cast over her form. There was a sadness that flashed in his eyes as he took count of the fraying threads that attached to her, a point on her back where his fingers stopped, “Things turned out differently, didn’t they?” he asked out of formality, it didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out why she had entered the ball alone and went straight for the alcohol.

A strangled laugh is pulled from the Aztec and found itself at the bottom of her drink as she tipped it back, draining it in one go, “What would you suggest an old soul like mine should consume then?” It took everything in her to keep the tears from breaching her lash line as she leaned into his delicate touches. It was soothing, always was with Eros; an unexpected calm, but sturdy nonetheless. “Something fitting. Something that screams ‘forever alone’. Whatever is easiest to say ‘you were right and I was wrong and you’re welcome for not becoming your new stepmom’.”

Eros’ chuckle was filled with relief, even though he could see through the mask of sarcasm, he was appreciative of it in the least. They were undying beings, who had lived through many lives, and love and lost all the same. Even when sorrow felt like it’d swallow them whole they always rebounded, indefinitely burdened by the curse of resilience. “I don’t think it’s appropriate for a woman I’ve shared a bed with to become my “mother”. Eros spoke truthfully, his face twisting in disgust as he hung up on the detail for a moment too long. The images that were forming in his mind were wildly uncomfortable and quickly killing his good mood so he waved them away, quite literally, moving onto another detail that fell from those pretty lips over hers.

“Forever alone, hmm?” Eros wondered as he studied her back, the attachments of old were worn lines, lingering feelings for living and deceased people that were better off forgotten about. But such musings of the heart were easier said than done. It was not the fraying lines of expired love that interested him, but the diamond among the rough that beckoned to his lithe fingers, daring him to pluck and unravel a history of passionate entanglements and fleeing princes and princesses, “Do you really believe that?”

This time a genuine smirk crossed her plump lips at the memory before her tongue darted out to wet them in anticipation of her next consumption. "Hm," a hum passed through her from somewhere deep within her. Memories of old that haven't crossed the forefront of her mind for some time. Not unlike her best friend, Tlaz waved them away as well. It took her only a moment to turn her body and attention towards Love incarnate at his words, uttered like a whisper on the wind. "What else would you call my love life then if not lacking? And it is no one's blame but my own."

There was a longing, a softness that held tight to her heart and gave a tight squeeze as the scent from before wafted back to the bar and overwhelmed her senses, "There was a time where I believed it had been real. Oh, Eros, it was beautiful. He was beautiful," the sigh that left her was that naïveté of youth in love. Starstruck and enamored. "Of course I am the reason nothing more became of our entanglements. Why is it that we fall the hardest and purest with mortals?"

Eros gave a small chuckle, he was all too familiar with falling in love with a mortal. Of course, it was he who had given his soul to a mortal and tried to give his life to be with her in the next one. There was some pain time could not mend, and the memory of her smile nearly winded him, “Physically they are weak, burdened by age and disease but that’s perhaps what makes their spirit so strong, and their passions so intense.” Eros studied Tlaz’s face, the longing in her eyes was a familiar look to him, and the defeat that slumped her shoulders was like a mirror to his past self.

“Your heart keeps you true, you have experienced profound love and nothing in this world can compare to that. Not even a couple of nights shared with Desire himself.” Eros’s eyes twinkled with playfulness, attempting to lighten the mood even just a little bit. As he watched her recount the memories of days past he watched the thread grow radiant, a beacon to his fingers that he could not deny. A single strum was all he needed to see the meeting of lovers, the whispers of sweet nothings into the air, the meeting in shady bars, and in spiritual sanctuaries, it was a lifetime of love he experienced in a few seconds, “Ticitl, hmm?” he said aloud a radiant grin spreading on his lips, “Ah, and there is hope yet for your heart to be at ease, though only if you can put up with sarcasm and frequent brooding.”

"Tīcitl..." the title, one that had long since been unspoken on her lips if not in the throes of late-night sessions where she would be alone with nothing but memories as company with which she indulged. The way the title, one she had given him no less, was spoken aloud in such a way fluttered through her chest she felt as if she would sprout wings and take off. Though a glimmer of gloom nestled between her bones and she remained grounded. So soon after having her heartstrings yanked in differing directions, tangling themselves around the Ares situation and then to dream of her tīcitl once more did not sit well within her.

The sinful filth; Tlazōlteōtl, reduced to a mess. Fitting.

His words were nearly lost on her as she had focused solely on the mention of her past lover. The one that got away as it were. Tlaz looked up into the eyes of her yōlicnīuhtli, piecing his meaning together. Rather attempting to. Hope tickled her ribs, fighting back through that gloom that threatened to dig in with its claws and take root. "Sarcasm and frequent—? What do you mean?" No, this was more than hope. Something that bordered along the lines of anxiousness and unsettling nerves.

Eros hadn’t expected that particular reaction and pursed his lips. The days of meddling and mischief had been far behind him, perhaps it was losing Psyche that turned him away from plucking along the threads of people’s attachments. A symptom of envy of those who had experienced love like him but not the severity of the loss. A beat passed, Eros contemplating calmly in the focus of Tlaz’s anxious gaze, and finally, he released a sigh, “Love always comes down to meddling.” with a wave he drew the attention of the bartender and ordered two double vodkas.

“Don’t you think it’s funny we cannot discern gods from mortals? Whatever bound us here certainly didn’t intend for us all to come together like this, though it seems even in all our years on earth we don’t all cross paths regularly.” Eros gave a nod to the bartender as the two glasses were set in front of him, he threw one back and pushed the other to Tlaz, “Don't you think it’s peculiar this Ticitl of yours has appeared time and time again before you? Well, except for the past hundred years or so.” Eros hummed standing from his seat to lean his back against the counter, his eyes scanning the sea of bodies around them.

Nodding along to his words of the infernal Colossal and it's seemingly derived pleasure of torturing the gods. Something she would never even begin to fathom reasonings for. Throughout her time in the mortal realm, she had come across many immortals, though they were forthcoming in their identities. Under the right circumstances, anyone can spill secrets. So, as he passed her her newest libation, never one to refuse a drink, Laz snatched up the glass rather quickly, hanging on every word flowing forth from the ever meddlesome Love. The words piercing her before settling, allowing them to sink in. Chopping up her slower and dulled perception of recent events. No longer muted to the meaning of his words she was at attention, back straight, trying to gain more height than what her heels provided. Turning this way and that in search of a familiar shock of blonde amidst the throng of passersby.

"Titus? He's immortal? He's here—" The breath of her words were light as she spoke them into the charged space between them before catching his eye. A delicate hand placed on his shoulder gripped at the fabric beneath her fingertips like a lifeline. Laz was sure he would be able to feel even the slightest of pressure applied had she a modicum of forethought of being gentle, caramelized honey pleaded to him, darting back between him and the people littering the event, "Please, Eros, tell me it's not a joke..."

“Would be a terrible time for a joke, don’t you think?” Eros had found the subject of their conversations, dressed in high-end designer clothing he would have never bought for himself, sporting his usual expression of exhaustion and sarcasm. Their eyes met and Eros sent a playful wink his way that was immediately met with disgust and a tactful middle finger before Thanatos returned his attention to his ‘date’.

He was right of course. Something she wouldn't dare admit aloud any other given time. Not wishing to inflate his ego past where it already resided. But if he was right. If Titus was alive. Here even... then she would admit anything to him in thankful prayers. Her attention was pulled from the side of his face, clearly, he was searching as well. If only she could figure where his gaze landed then she would have her answers. The pressure from before crawled back up from its temporary hiding spot, throwing itself against her ribs, trying to get her attention away from the light of hope that had threatened its existence. Still, she continued, even pressed her hand against Eros broad shoulder to give her a subtle boost from her position, anything to spot her tictil.

"A poorly timed joke," Laz spoke the words though her heart wasn't in them, attention still focused on everything and nothing all at once. So wrapped up in the idea that she would be able to spot him that the notion that he may not look the same never once crossed her mind. "Is something you would never want to be associated with your name. You're too good for tha—" It was hushed and abrupt in its halt as if it were a struggle to get the air out alone. Across the room, dressed to the nines in a fashion that was unlike anything she remembers seeing him in in all those past lives, hair tussled about as it was when he walked through those sanctuary doors. "Titus." His name on her lips meekly spoken, cracking around the edges as her grip increased with the pressure building inside her. Caramelized honey irises were pulled away to the luscious greens beside her, silently begging and pleading with him that this was real.

“Thanatos.” Eros corrected offering a warm smile as he looped his arm around Tlaz’s waist as a security measure, fearful of her legs giving out, “Sarcastic, brooding and not nearly as charming as your memory makes him out to be, but a good kid nonetheless.” he spoke with warmth in his tone, it was obvious Eros was close with him, “So what will you do, oh, broken-hearted goddess?”

She was more than appreciative of the support given by her best friend, physically and emotionally, her eyes darting back and forth, an inner turmoil raging as she mulled over her next course of action. If she were to wait, who is to say she will have this opportunity once more? But if she were to jump headfirst into his life once more there is no guarantee he would even welcome her as a friend let alone a lover. "Eros, I-," her words caught in her throat, something stung her eyes though she refused to blink them away. How could she completely dismiss what transpired not but an hour ago in favor of a love long lost? One, who up until this very moment, she believed to have been mortal and long deceased. "I don't know what to do. I'm scared," she was all but shaking the male holding her upright, "Scared of his thoughts of me after so long. Of what he will say. Gods, you know, you saw how I left him.”

Taking her eyes off of her companion in hopes of catching sight of TitusThanatos once more she noticed he was no longer in his previous spot. And it was then her heart dropped to the floor. Her moment was gone. He was gone. A heavy sigh found itself passing through her as she finished off the drink before her and motioning for another, lithe fingers tangling themselves in the curls that fell into her face a groan on her lips. If ever there was a time where sin incarnate needed a win, now would be the time. ” What is there for me to do? I'm all ears."

Eros pursed his lips in thought and gave a shrug, “You could do everything or you could do nothing and see how it plays out. I told you to give you a little bit of hope, as your best friend, and the incarnation of love I can’t have you turning your back on my existence.” he offered a small grin and leaned in closer to her tucking a curly lock of hair behind her ear, “Love transcends time, and true love is unconditional, my heart still beats for Psyche even after all this time.” he held her gaze a moment longer before pulling away. Eros grabbed Tlaz’s bicep and began his march to the dance floor, “A party is wasted sulking at a bar, and your decision isn’t going to be made tonight, so put it off for now— there’s no rush. We are immortal you know.”

There was no denying Eros and the odd ways he inserted himself into the fray when it came to matters of the heart. So with a true laugh on her lips, she halted to gesture to the bar they just left, "One last drink before we shame the lot of them with our dance moves." Slipping easily out from his grasp she sauntered back up to the bar, the newest crowd gathered forcing her down the line and into a sturdy chest. "Axno conetl," there was seldom a time when Laz would pass up a moment to shoot a scathing glare at someone, and with how the last couple of weeks have been she was ready for a fight. However, the chest she still found herself pressed up against seemed to read her energy and rumbled beneath her.

Jumping away, as much as she could with the number of mortals and gods corralled together, she was able to breathe an apology until her eyes raked up his frame. A familiar suit, tailored perfectly to the body is housed, encouraged her eyes to continue their descent skywards, rattling in her chest seemed to have escaped and encompassed the room around her. Honey meets the blue of the ocean and all the breath leaves her in that moment. Instead of standing there she was thrown back to the beginning. The first time. The sanctuary. Caution and trepidation was thrown out the window as soon as she locked eyes with him and deciding to take Eros’ advice she took the step off the edge. “Evening tīcitl. It’s been a long time.”

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Hidden 27 days ago Post by Gothelk
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Gothelk Vacancy

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ᴛʜᴇ ʙᴀʟʟ
ᴛʜᴇ ᴄʜᴀꜱᴇ ᴄᴏɴᴛɪɴᴜᴇꜱ

Interactions: @KZOMBI3 x @Gothelk Collab

Being bum-rushed by the equivalent of a speeding train resulting in the flute of champagne to spill out of his slacked grip and shatter once it reached the floor below, only served to increase the wolf's exacerbation and disdain for the predicament he found himself in for the night. However, upon coming face to face with the party responsible, the silver wolf was able to clamp down on anything too embarrassing from flying forth from his lips. Instead of gawking at the Moon himself, like he was typically prone to do in situations where he knew he couldn't be observed doing so, as if on reflex the scowl from earlier, the one that was more fitting for the Allfather than Hati's perpetual prey, was fixated across his face as he responded in kind, “Do you ever watch where you’re going? Isn’t it in your nature to just… live in the moment regardless of those around you?” Even Hati had to flinch at the words spewing forth, though it isn't like he would show that outwardly, so he resigned himself to just standing there, hand dripping in faded gold, remnants of glass glittered on the floor space between them.

Though to be completely honest, Hati was anything less than ecstatic to see his..., well, he wasn't entirely sure what they were to one another. At one point, friends before graduating to hunter and the hunted. After the fall it descended into something resembling a kinship once more. Nowadays when they spend time with one another Hati always finds himself trailing after the Moon, as was his destiny. His curse. But, with the view that was presented to him as he trailed behind on the heels of the Moon, dust in his wake, the sight was all worth it. A cross for the wolf to bear honorably. Hati would graciously and all too eagerly jump on that grenade.

A mumbled, incoherent form of an apology fell from the tip of his tongue as Hati stood to his full height, head turned away from the light of the Moon, a hand rubbing at the corners of his mouth. Anything to keep from actually having the words be heard. Mortification would consume him if he needed to be pleasant to someone once considered his ’enemy’ “I’m assuming you’ve only just arrived. We should get drinks. I need to get a drink, a new one.” Splendid recovery. Though he wanted to just stalk away through any of the other adequate candidates for prey, Hati held his ground. For now. His presence was the only being in all the realms that could hold his attention and command his following like a well trained mutt one would find in a dog show. It isn't something Hati particularly finds solace in but he isn't blind by ignorance to know that he is who he is around Maní.

The moon stood all but dazed to the wolf before him, watching the idiosyncrasies that befell the little movements of his head or arms. Silver coat and steel eyes always moved in such a way that fixed Mani’s gaze to the once proud son of Fenrir. It came to a point that the moon would dally against the horizon, waiting for the stomp of paws against the nebulous void surrounding him. The beat of his heart could stand testament to that feeling; every inch this close to Hati pumped that much more adrenaline into his veins.

Yet, that rush Mani held only to himself. It was preciously settled into the dust of his skin and kept from the hate that gnawed after him, biting and nipping at his heels. Though, that malice descended into contempt for which Mani could only ever wonder at. Duty bound Hati to him, so perhaps that hatred for duty slipped into hatred for the moon itself, a symbol branded beneath the dusted silver twilight of his fur.

”Huh…? Oh, yeah, no doubt, no doubt,” Mani coughed out, looking down immediately at the spillage he caused. He’d missed most of the words that slipped from Hati’s mouth, only fixated on the scowl that spread anger across his face. Contempt, even directed at him, looked well placed on Hati’s face. Weird, to think that, especially with a once giant wolf all but bared his fangs at him.

Mani turned and immediately began his path around the crowd. ”You stay here! I’ll go get that drink of yours. Think of it as an apology or something, yeah…. yeah,” Mani called out, one hand raising to offer a wave. Might as well get out of his own head while he’s at it. Hati looking at him like that both tore a hole in his chest and thrilled him. The thought of his sharp canines hovering over his neck coupled with the thought of Hati actually ripping at his jugular shot blood straight to his cheeks and sent his heart plummeting all at once. Confliction made him dizzy and the heat of people everywhere sent him onto an off-kilter course through the party.

The sight of Mani's retreating figure was both appreciated and a rip of flesh through his chest. Sure, Hati was able to allow his gaze to freely roam the expanse of his figure, but he was alone once more. Something within him compelled him forward, to move and stick to him like a silvery shadow. His silvery shadow. The one that Hati has always been to someone as magnificent as the moon. He can remember the times where his presence wasn't called for and he and his brother dwelled on Earth in those times. Sprawled out in the Ironwood, basking in the glow of the moon as he shone down on all the inhabitants. Running through the brush and undergrowth, chasing prey that didn't have the glory of the moon attached to their name, and wondering if Mani could look down and see him. Foolish thoughts of a foolish boy long since grown. Hati knew better now.

With only a few simple strides the silver wolf was easily able to catch up and eclipse the moon in his silvery shadow. A firm hand was placed on Mani's shoulder to let him know of his presence, a courtesy he never would have offered before. A smooth yet husky ghost of a chuckle escaped him as he turned Mani around, a sick form of humor splaying in the words he speaks and his face, "Can't ever seem to not follow you like some little lost pup." Hati's words were not meant to be heard, but he also chose not to hide them away from someone so intimate with him as Mani was. How easy would it be to rip into (moon rock) made flesh? He was so warm, compared to Hati who seemed to only run cold to the touch. It must have only been his imagination, though the moonstruck look he was giving him definitely was not. Hunger and competition and defiance, wrapped up nice and neat in a black three piece suit standing just over the head of the moon. Silver gaze bore into light of the moon, cutting through dark lashes, like branches of winter trees against a snowy backdrop. "Some fearsome doom bringer I've become," as much as the last bit hurt, Hati was a master at erecting a wall of stone before him. He had to in order to have been under Odin's thumb for so long. And so he added a smirk to drive home the subtle joke that may or may not have been true. Hati wouldn't put it past Mani to see through his lies and bullshit, but if he could pretend a little longer that he was at least smarter than the moon, he would be content.

Not sooner did the hand gripped his shoulder did Mani turn with two drinks in hand. He handed one to Hati, trying to hide the hitch in his breath at the small touch of their fingers. ”Habits die hard, I should know in my line of work,” Mani let a soft grin slide against his lips just as the tip of glass pressed to them. Sweet nectar of alcohol swept away the surface of adrenaline rushing through him.

Staring up at what once fell into clouds of silver fur against the glistening stars shook Mani into shackles. A chariot carted the moon against a lonely well of shadows, taking with it a dust of grey caught up in swirls of paws pattering the sky. He’d slouch forward, head turned to stare back into glowing silver that cut through him like hardened steel. That bite felt worse than the nips, than the inevitable vice around his body engulfing him to endless void.

The thought brought Mani’s gaze down, unable to catch the joke that slid from Hati’s lips. ”You could always kickstart the prophecy again,” Mani swirled his wine, eyes now darting up toward Hati. There was a slight seriousness to the edge of his own jest, wondering at the thoughts that barked inside Hati’s mind, ”I’m sure you miss the chase more than you lament being a lost pup. Miss… the blind hatred, even. That’s always easier, hm?”

A hum vibrated Mani’s lips, the wine glass pressing against them as his eyes drifted toward the mingle of guests to their side. ”I’m surrounded by so many people that it’s hard to feel alone anymore. It’s different, though, than hearing your feet behind me,” Mani muttered, half hoping Hati didn’t hear him and half hoping the wolf’s canid senses never truly vanished.

Hatred? He scoffed, no, not anymore. Not for the silver shadow that once danced across the night sky. Not for the being with whom he was charged with chasing. There should never have been any hatred for his counterpart. Young blood with a divine path set out for them by someone else, never gaining the chance to be and do whatever it is they wanted. The words tumbled forth from his mouth before he had a chance to stop them, never one to see an ounce of discomfort come to those so close and meaningful to the Hated wolf, "Hatred is a strong, powerful word. One I wouldn't use with you in the same breath," Hati attempted to distract his wandering tongue with the liquor he was given as payment. It could only do so much to hide the anxiousness running its course through his veins. "But I s'ppose I would need to rectify my boorish behavior towards you. Give in a little. Provide a chase?" The coyness of the smirk that lay evident on his face was one of pure teasing, but his eyes held a sort of truth to them. Should Mani be absolutely serious.

In a set of quick steps Hati was closer, invading Mani's personal space-he hadn't realized he'd done it-, gazing down at him eyes flicking across the bright shadow's mortal like features. Always memorizing the silhouette of the moon on any given backdrop. Basking in his glow as he had done so long ago. What he wouldn't give for a good chase ending in a setting phase below him, teeth that scrape bare flesh and leave behind bruises along skin as silver as the rock in the night sky. A painting come to life. One that he could mold and shape and use, but ultimately care for as the priceless piece he is.

Warm breath, emitting aromatic scents of the champagne and wine was assaulting Hati's usually keen senses. Eyes glazing over as he continued to relish in this time and space; so close to the moon he could reach out and touch him. "I will always chase after you, you know?" with an empty hand he brought to stroke lightly down Mani's jaw, thumb grazing his bottom lip, "It's not just a knee-jerk reaction. You and your entire being are intermingled with my own. You can't get rid of me that easily," Hati dove in as if for a kiss, before tilting his head just askew enough to dodge those lips dusted with stars, playfulness danced in his eyes.

How could words placate the worry that settled beneath the surface of his vast ocean like mind; anxiety did come foreign if only backed by the insecurities that befell him so infrequently. Even a man basked in moonlight with little care thrown to the winds had a few anxieties underfoot that even he sometimes refused to acknowledge. Hati seemed a sore spot in those regards. Conflicting feelings between them and the uncertainty that slid underneath did much to bore into his own mind and keep itself there.

Yet, a brush of silver and the hint of lost fur that flashed against the memories of satellite nights hung in an obsidian sky did all but wash that insecurity away. It fell before him like a mantle gently lifted by careful claws and shed to the precipice of his understanding. A meaning he meant to see all this time, but felt undeserving of it or rather felt unreciprocated. Adrenal surge bit his heels where shame had left her teeth marks, awash with the bright light of realization.

Mani’s hand came up to grasp at the smooth fabric of Hati’s suit, grasping at the tie to edge the wolf closer. Ice breath no longer at his ankles, nipping with a snap, but pressing winter’s breeze to redden his cheeks. An all too human hand held him still, thumb against his lip to catch the hitch in his breath. ”That’s an oath I’ll bind you to,” Mani whispered, feeling the stardust of his breath mingle with that frigid cold; a vacuum of space inked in bright dots around them. ”I’d invoke the Allfather’s name upon that promise; not even he could rend those ties. I see that now,” Mani breathed, leaning up and into what he thought would seal the words to irrevocable action.

The smirk on Hati's lips only grew with every utterance of speech toppling over stardust to linger in the air, "Is that so, tungl rykið mitt? A promise for a promise..."

Yet Hati tilted and Mani could only collide his body against the meteor of Hati’s own. Frustration came in a grunt as his hands pressed to Hati’s chest with his head tilted down to hide the pout that jutted his lips in the cold heat of Hati’s neck. No words escaped his lips, feeling winter fur surround him in that moment to sate the need that bit and yapped at the hairs of his neck. His other hand fell to Hati’s side, wrapping around him as Mani let in a deep breath. A hum left him at the satisfaction of Hati’s scent filling his lungs, though it melted away at the sudden need to smell of him for days—no, weeks until they felt one and the same. Like home.

”I’m the one that’s s’posed to tease, Garmr,” Mani said, still muffled by Hati’s neck as he refused to move an inch, ”You’re not allowed to play with your food.” At that, Mani tilted his head up in a sly grin as he gripped at Hati’s tie to pull his head down in a suddenness, mingling their breaths once again and hovering moonkissed lips just close enough to feel the space nearly eclipse Hati’s bite.

The teasing from both, the pout that nestled itself into the gap between Mani's dimples was too easy to coax from the moon that Hati couldn't help himself. Though at the same time he was denying himself the pleasure while he was at it. Odin's words flitted through his mind accompanied by frustration, how stubbornness brings about humiliation or honor, as if he would know honor. However, something within those words sings to the wolf twin. He doesn't want to let go of this moment. Never let go of his prize. If he has to chase the moon of eternity more, than so be it.

Feeling the warmth of their breaths mingling tickled his top lip and was cause for him to lick his chops in anticipation. To capture, to taste his prey, finally. The cat and mouse was fun, the chase thrilling, but it was the after that made his blood boil in ecstasy. "Then I shall feast," and in a swift motion, as swift as the wind that once drifted through the silver fur upon his body, illuminated by the light of the moon as Hati gave chase through the night sky, now too was he illuminated by the dazzling gaze that seemed hyper focused on the muzzle of the would-be wolf. All stardust and ichor. Fur and phases alike coming together after a long time coming. Fangs nipping at the plump bottom lip of the moon below him, a sight no Norse thought they would see - the moon bowing beneath the intense presence of the wolf destined to keep him on track.

A single large hand made to cup the base of Mani's neck, his fingers idly dancing along the hairline, giving a tug, forcing the moon's attention up and on him. Control, power, dominance fueled him as he inhaled stardust as if it were going to be denied to him at any moment and never return. Hati relished in the feeling of finally winning this game he was thrown into. It wasn't exactly how he imagined catching his prey of so long, but he wasn't complaining. Deep down, he knew it would end someplace similar at least in his mind. But being here, with their lips intertwined, breathe leaving him at every little noise and twitch emanating from the man beneath him. It was almost too much. And as much as he would have liked to continue ravishing his meal, a noise on the other side of the event caught his attention. Ears perking up at the familiarity of the voice, even this far away. Even with the blood rushing past. There was no mistaking Sköll.

Surprise twisted Mani into a full mooned daze that had his hands quickly reaching, desperate for something to hold against the sudden tide of pine and fur that threatened to sweep him away. It came in a silver flash of teeth, fangs bared to the bite of his lip that Mani breathed into — a sudden and deep inhale of air as his eyes caught the wolf staring hungry, starving down at him. What else but to let Hati grasp and take what could rightfully call his; he could devour him this instant and Mani would utter only bliss upon his tongue. It mattered not the way the wolf ate, just that it be him at the end of those perfect incisors and bared to the piercing gaze of the wolf, now man, who held him tight in his very claws.

A low whine slipped from Mani’s lips, deafened by the din of a party in full swing around him. Yet he heard and Hati’s keen ears could very well have picked upon the vibrations that thrummed against Mani’s throat. It waned to the fingers that slid into Hati’s dark locks of hair, tugging soft and needy. His lips pressed firm to all the centuries of wanting that seared his tongue against the lapping breath of Hati’s own — hard pressed like he wanted Hati to understand the longing he’d held longer than the stars had known the loneliness he sang upon the moon.

And then it vanished and Mani pulled back of his own accord with confusion playing along the lines of his face. His tongue darted out to lick the taste from his own lips while his eyes searched Hati’s. A nervous pang drummed against his ribs, though it faded slightly and the vigilance seemed to strike Hati. Unsure, Mani pressed, ”What is it? Did I… I didn’t do anything wrong?” The certainty of his words faltered from the haughty charm that held his tone, weakened to the sudden nerves that broke him and twisted Hati’s look into one of potential annoyance in his mind. Mani knew better, but he needed assurance to keep from biting a wound into his bottom lip.

Immediately after the whine left his throat, Hati's eyes snapped back to gaze into those iridescent moonbeams. His response came without a single thought given, "Never." As if to punctuate his statement, seeing the self-doubt reflect in pools of silver, the wolf bent down once more to capture Mani's elusive lips in a searing kiss.

The pressure that had built and stacked upon itself in the heat of the moment, ruptured all because he was so fine tuned to his twin's presence that he couldn't allow himself to enjoy in something that brought him peace. That freedom he had been searching for. For all it was worth, those nights chasing after the Moon, were some of the most freeing experiences of his existence. Aside from it being duty bound. Hati searched for the feeling, needed to build it up once more, to feel his prey tremble beneath his lingering touch out of pure submission and want. It made him feel wanted. If only for a moment. But even the prideful canine knew that that wasn't the case. Could feel the way the blood coursed through the veins under his fingers, his pulse spiking with every subtle drag of his claws along bare flesh. Mani was excited, that much was evident enough, but it still brought that surge of pride to swell in his chest. With the looks and sighs produced from the creature at his mercy, the silver wolf knew that he wasn't the only one pining.

Through and through did the moon deign to cast a look over his shoulders. Visions of silver dancing along the rays of sun in the background, light cast in reflection against the pale tone of his chariot. Hunter’s eyes dove into his skin, burrowed a long lasting surge of want and adrenaline until wolf teeth and bitter claws raked against his skin. It seared him, just as those thoughts burned brands deep to the twining fabric that kept him solid, safe.

Torn like sword through cloth and then sewn right back with a silver piece of him embedded against the beating arteries of his heart. To feel that burn from lips to tongue to searing throat filled Mani with something inexplicable. Inexplicable and woefully ethereal.

Deep breaths. In and out. Humid heat between the hunger slipping out to wet his tongue. Mani stared up at the wolf towering before him, all hatred and agony a cooked up facade to the bearing need that echoed the lingering touch. ”You’ll find me, yeah?” Mani asked. The line of his brows pinched, etching worry in spite of the jovial tone that dipped into his voice, ”You always do. I won’t doubt that now.” Though truth left his lips, Mani knew his doubts bed elsewhere; in failing love, unrequited, unsought. Yet he brushed those along. Eternity taught him many things: as fickle as gods were, if something struck strong enough and long enough, it would outlast even the cosmos. In that in lay within Hati, a hand against the other’s chest and a smile gracing the curve of his lips.

”Go do what you need to. I won’t keep you,” Mani said, hand falling to grasp at Hati’s, ”Though, I’m sure you would find it hard to resist.” He winked as laughter spilled from his throat, low and quiet against the murmur around them.

Hati could only offer up a small smile in reply. How was it that the one person who should despise him the most is the one most understanding, if not supportive? As quick as he once was, with all the grace he still possessed, the silver wolf swept down to place a chaste, yet gentle, kiss to the curvature of the Moon’s face before taking off in the direction of his whimpering brother.

Waxing, waning, to the tides he could tug the earth beneath his feat day after day. Between dusk he slipped to the horizon, a million horizons, and each one he’d watch the pedal of wolf paws against stardust. To think he’d ache to see them again, watching as that selfsame wolf pattered a pair of leather bound paws against marble floor.

Mani’s chest filled with a sigh, expelled into music that lifted feet and legs to celebratory rhythm. Were it any other night, he’d find himself amongst them all, dancing, laughing. This night, however, drink called to him and so did the moon hanging lonely in the sky. His fingers snatched a bottle mid-pour, the bartender opening his mouth to yell at him, but failing at the quickly retreating form.

October chill greeted his bones, carrying with it the smell of magnolias from the well sculpted trees along the garden path. He settled beneath one, staring at the blooms strong in this October cold. His head leaned against the bark, eyes peering between the petals at the stars barely visible against the bright Seattle backdrop. The moon peered back, between a dusting of clouds; a vision of silver and the smell of evergreen filled his lungs. Mani sighed, smiling at the bitter chill against his cheeks and the sudden giddiness at the bottle of wine in his hands. Laughter spilled as he tilted his head back, took a big swig, and let himself relax against the bloom of night.

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Hidden 14 days ago Post by Gothelk
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Gothelk Vacancy

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The Ball

collab between: @KZOMBI3 x @Gothelk
Rome fell to the filter of golden orange — bright to the flakes that settled in the deep green of rolling grass against the vanguard of hills. Summer lit her torch against the sky in an array of gorgeous oranges and yellows to lick the cypress trees in flames. Wheat swayed against the warm breeze like an arm brushed against the soft canid hide of earth that pressed her snout to the sun’s hand.

Upon the winding road, settled against cobbled stone to the post of a fence, jet black hair curled to the swaying wheat behind him. The huff of air against his cheek had him smile bright to the warm caress with his feet swaying slow against the rock. He took a deep breath to taste the birth of Rome on his tongue, eyes lifted to the flowering sky above him.

In this he could see the rise of something new in the iris of the earth’s ceiling and it breathed life into him. Breathed life against the curls of his hair as he giggled to the sudden hands at his sides. Thin and elegant, they gripped him to pull him into the fields of golden wheat — into piles of giggles that sang to the breeze brushing soft against the golden tendrils.


The word sank into his lungs in a deep breath that sank heavy upon his shoulders. Bitter had the word become until sorrow had taken her to the very depths of grief. The word tasted fresh of it against the pallet of his tongue. It only softened the memory of her. It only softed to the wheat of her hair in summer fields. It only softed at the bright smell of sun and fields of golden grain and the gentle acid of pomegranate that burned tears into the corner of his eyes.

It took a moment. Mars could only catch himself in the suddenness. All the stoicism that encased him in fine Italian marble cracked to reveal the soft, raven haired boy against a Roman fence swirling his feet in fresh, flame-licked air. It settled the hardness of his flame to a simmering sweet bonfire alight with cypress smoke that bit at his eyes.

Then he enveloped her in arms that covered her shoulder and back, hunched over with his head pressing wetness to her shoulder. Contra spem spero Mars whispered against the gold of his mother’s hair. “You died upon the earth, but not to the very stars of Rome, mother. Now you live for both?” He questioned, daring not a look upon his mother’s face for fear of his hopes crumbling like ash through his fingers.

There was a comfort, deeply rooted in her bones, at the feeling of his arms coming around to encase her in a warm embrace. Strong, sturdy, absolutely home. Like a long lost ghost of a memory surging back to place itself in the forefront of her mind.

A young boy of dark curls, now stood before her in place of the well grown man, playing among the golden fields as smoke billowed like clouds above their heads. The typical summer haze was pulsing with a new wave of heat. He turned around to make sure she was following, hair flaxen gold to match that which they waded through. Taking her hand to lead her further to the ledge where they were able to view the destruction before the phoenix would rise from the ashes settled on the scorched earth. Anew and better than before. The laugh that had escaped them both, capturing him in her arms from behind as she lifted him into the air. The way he clung back to her. A familiar pressure built within her now as it did all those years ago.

Tears bite at the edge of her vision as she tries to keep them back. If not for her sake, for his. Her boy. Her favorite son.

Pulling away only slightly, enough to gaze up into those orbs of duality her breath caught in her chest once more. As beautiful as he always was, more so now that he had grown into himself. Juno supposes they all have in some way or other. Cupping his cheeks with well manicured hands, eyes darting along every inch of his features she smiled so radiantly that the stars above should hang their heads in shame. "My son. There can be no glory for Rome without you." A subtle way for her to drop that he is more important to the queen than a city.

"Without you and Jupiter and Janus, there would be no Rome to herald."

Beneath the battering feet of clanking armor and metallic throes of pain and horror, between the cracks against the earth split and taken by strife, there was just a boy, raven hair curled, lit into darkened brown against the splitting sun and wide, paint splotched eyes crinkled by the tooth filled smile of his lips. Did he bury that boy deep into the core of his mind, wandering against the fragmented memories of sun touched skin, freckled to the heat of a Roman summer? Would Venus even recall the way he used to drag his feet loud along the dirt paths between sprawling farmlands?

”Carry yourself, Mars, like the world sits atop your head and each foot fall is a legion cutting a knife through desert sands.”

It felt like Rome himself spoke, hands upon his shoulders and kneeled to his ear.

“Move like summer against your heels, superbia meum. Laugh with butterflies against your chest and smile with the warmth that graces you every morning.”

Was that his mother? The way she talked, as if Rome was but secondary to the joy that sprung from his chest. He could hear it now, deep rumbles of her notes alight in his ear. Rome would look to him with adoration; Venus would see an equal; his sons would see a commander, to which, in his mother’s embrace, he feels as if that fails them time and time again. What contempt they must feel that the love pressed into his very chest by the gentle warmth of his mother’s tireless hands could not replicate itself in his stern looks, the reproaching intonation of his voice, the militaristic grip of his fist over their lives. Eternity must feel like torture to sons that feel no love from their father.

Mars pressed his eyes closed. He buried his head into his mother’s neck, stooped over and hunched, yet somehow smaller than the woman that reached up to embrace him. ”Rome would hang its head in shame, mother,” He whispered, ”That though you shower me in grace and pride, I feel only admonishment for my failures. To have stained even the memory of you now; I am a poor excuse for a son. Were I to have lived closer to the lessons you taught me, or even searched for a spattering of evidence of your survival.”

He furrowed his brows. ”I carried your name with me all this time, yet I could not live up to it.”

The words that spilled forth from the lips of her son before her were enough to crack through the armor she donned when approaching the eve of war. Still she clung to him, pulling him closer, squeezing him tighter. He needed the stability, always had. Her sweet boy. Her warrior. Hers. When she spoke it was as if they were thrown back in time. None of this colossal bullshit looming over them. Just the golden golden fields of wheat and grain dancing along to the tune of the subtle winds. Strong and sure, the words of a mother. A mother with burdens. "You have lived up to my name a thousand times over. You are not the only one to have failed in seeking, I too have fallen quite short to have only just announced myself to you.

Pulling away to gaze up at him through long lashes she gently shook his shoulders, gaining his somber attention and she was once again flooded with both relief at seeing him in the flesh once more, and the guilt that ate away at him. "But, here we are. Together once more and there isn't anything to pull me away." And as the surmounting gloom hung over them she was able to cut the tension with a haughty, "Rome can go fuck itself on my spear, my family is most important."

Though the wound of failure bit down against his throat, his mother’s words rang true. Mars could take the world by hand and let it drop, yet his mother would lean down to pry it from the depths and place it heavy against his palm. She would instill in him that failure did not mean an end, but rather a beginning. Though war and strategy took loss as merely a stepping stone to the next, it hadn’t occurred to him to apply that same methodology to other aspects of his life.

To think, after all these years all he required was that his mother take his cheeks to her hands and tell him what he needed to hear. Rather, that he just needed to listen in the first place.

A sigh left him and a smile broke through the hardened line of Mars’ lips. ”You would shout that to the heavens were you given the chance, mother,” Mars said, ”I am a coward to think of Rome over my own family, blood or not. I am glad to have a mother steadfast as you. I wondered, sometimes, how a mother could love strife incarnate, to see what her son wrought in the fields of battle. For glory or not, I shed blood and lacked remorse for those cast on the pyre. Perhaps Rome shouldn’t be everything to me. I am no Janus or Jupiter; the people mattered more than the power, anyhow. Maybe I just need to open my eyes more to the people around me, no?”

It came to him bright as daylight, the metallic odor sewing itself into the very fabric of the smoke that carried itself to darkened clouds. Were he to look up those days the fighting melted away to the seas, Mars would see each face molded to the clouds — smoke blotting out the sky. That he would look up one day to see his mother’s face there, his children’s, the loves of his life gnawed away at him the second the sky fell and they scorched the earth with their anger and confusion.

Mars shook himself of the thought. Aching away at their own pitying vulnerability did nothing for his own mental health. Taking his mother by the arm, he led her to the ground floor, eyes scanning the heads of each being in hopes the mongrel that planned this would meet his steeled gaze. They would find anger molten and cut in the depths of his pupils.

”Let me find you a drink, mother, and a seat,” Mars leaned low to her, hushed voice lowered beneath the din, ”I’m certain you want to give Jupiter a piece of your mind, but he deserves to rue in his worry for a moment more. You know best that man needs more than a tumble from his throne to get his own head out of his ass.”

A chuckle left him, eyes taking a glance up at Jupiter. ”Even a millennia isn’t a break enough from having to pry it out yourself, mother.”

A softened gaze hardens at the remembrance of her, er, of Jupiter. Self proclaimed king of gods. At one point, perhaps. Even still to this day? Maybe. Though the queen would never let him hear her say such things. Only boost an ego already too large to occupy the abysmal location they found themselves at for this sorry excuse for a gala. A roll of her eyes had her scoffing devolve into a chuckle, "He'd never be able to figure out whether he's pulling out or pushing in. Gods, he's ever the same, hmm." It was less of a question than a fact. No matter, he still held some sort of space in that heart of hers.

Turning her attention back to the handsome male draped on her arm, cradling her elbow like the gentlest of lifelines, she smiled warmly taking in the features of her son that were not as she remembered so many eons ago. His jaw, sharper. Eyes more piercing than Romulus' spear, darting back and forth throughout the room — as if she wouldn't have noticed? Juno may have been gone a millennia, but she was still his mother. Knew his habits of old. And knew that he was taking precautions. For what she couldn't say. Not yet.

"A drink sounds lovely. Do tell me, fili mi where is the rest of our lovely family." Words spoken sickly sweet would be enough to fool even that of other pantheons, but she was quite certain her son would be able to pick up on the intonations that plagued those few, simple words. Words that spoke volumes to the tune of 'Where is that mittatur procax of an ex of yours'. Her meaning clear, it had been far too long since their last reunion and if her memory served her justly, as it oft times did, when last they spoke it was not under the best of terms.

Hardened to the battles of war, it felt a mystery that Mars would treat the fragile beings beneath each pantheon with such tact and care. Or perhaps being erected the Father of the common Roman people did a number to soften the visage of battle that lay perpetual against chiseled marble. He leaned against the bar after letting his mother make herself comfortable upon one of the high stools. ”Your finest quality wine, please, and something sweet for me,” Mars smiled, a large tip sliding toward the harried bartender. A few flutes and the bottles found their way to him moments later and he nodded an appreciative thanks. ”I apologize for any hassle my friends may have caused you. Please, at the behest of the family running this gala, take a long break; the chill air is quite nice this time of night.”

With that he turned toward his mother, handing her a glass and sipping at his own. He cast his gaze once more over the raucous, peering through dancing limbs and whipping hair. Emerald glistened like a gem that cut through the rubble of darkness, sideled with the golden haired boy beside her. An outline of his wings, marble turned obsidian to the broken world crumbled at his feet. Unbridled love and conquest woven carefully to create the very heart of his son, yet he could feel the stitches having come undone through the years of strife that tolled away at his psyche. Too much of one thing left the other smothered beneath the fine wings pressed against his back.

Were he a better father, he’d share advice, yet love did not come to war as easily as he wanted. The way that his mother gave it freely to him and yet he found it so difficult to do the same. Perhap he merely wanted to keep it for himself, scared that her shadow would slip and falter in the many years she’d left this world. He carried her name, but carried her love for far longer, unable to look at it for fear his selfishness twisted and knotted, turned gold to malicious red.

Mars took a shaky sigh in, lifting the hand he held his drink in and pointing toward the figure swallowed in shimmering green and the marble cut of his son dipped to her side. ”Like father, like son. And, please, mother, you judge Venus much too harshly. Honestly, she offered me more kindness than I would have given myself,” Mars whispered, to which his gaze soon befell the madness of terror slipped through like a lightning cracked silver between two radiant glories.

What tipped the balance from love to panicked terror incarnate, Mars could not ascertain. Like all deities, however, the patron reflected their domain and no amount of anything could change that. Mars would never change his sons for the life of him. Yet, he felt the shift in times, society molding itself a brighter, less violent future, cast two feared and beloved ideals to the deepening shadows of the world. What could a father do to make his sons feel wanted, as if they belonged still, rather than cast out in fear of what they represent?

Mars’ brows furrowed, knowing full well Venus cared little for the hound beside her. Maybe that was too harsh; Metus was her son, beloved, yet Mars knew the depths of her disappointment.

His eyes flickered toward his mother once more, taking her hands in his. ”How does one do right by their children? How did you take a being like me, filled with the anger, vindication, and prejudice of a million people and mold me into what I am today?” His words whispered of desperation, like the world wanted of him, yet he could not readily give, ”How am I not just a being filled with the ferocity of war, fueled only by blood and fire? How am I able to see more of what I represent? How can I do that for my own children that their place in this world is just as solid as my own?”

Through the concerned etched into the lines of his brows and clouding the periphery of his vision, Mars saw a glimpse of his third son. He paused, staring at his mother for but a moment before whipping his head on its swivel. Like the honeyed fog slipping through pine and morning dew, he could smell the both of them. His hands tightened their grip slight enough to squeeze once he finally caught sight of them. The line of his lips tightened, pulling into a frown.

“To think that I have done right by you all warms my bones and lifts my soul to heights never before reached.” The smile she wore never faltered, only seemed to grow more, basking in the confidence her beloved bestowed upon her. Delicate fingers turned over the hands holding her, gripping her, seeking answers. Rubbing small, soothing circles into his skin.

Though immovable he was not. Juno was attuned to the smallest of quivers emanating from War incarnate. Bated breath waits for words of encouragement to spill forth, but it was words that tongue tied the once and future queen. Swiping her tongue across her lips offered her little reprieve as she mulled over words that would lift her son’s gaze up past the horizons of a new dawn as he once did. Before the fall. Before this…mess.

“We are born of the cosmos, of the breath of our parents. Of the earth and all her bountiful offerings. However we are molded, shaped, structured and cultivated by that which surrounds us.” There was a pause as she took time to set her empty glass on the counter and calm the rushing felt in her veins. “Nature vs. Nurture. Yes, you are a being of war, but that is not all you are. My most beloved, you are the father of a nation of people who look to you as a means of securing peace in a time of war.”

There was something truly building within her as she tried to get him to see and understand everything that she had already known. That titles and accolades did not make someone, but rather the situations and experiences do. The Roman queen wanted to remind him to think back on his dear sister, Bellona, and ask was she not of the same cloth as him? And yet, should memory serve her correctly, does not possess an ounce of the same virtues Mars does? “You cannot take what has been laid out before you as immortal as we are.” A ghost of a smile crossed her features as her gaze locked onto her family standing amongst the crowd, absent to her presence.

“Just as Metus will always rule his domain, Cupid and Timor too. But that is not all they are, fili mi. Just as you are not just War. Not just Rome. Take heed to remember these words. Oftentimes just something as simple as time spent together, nurturing that nature within them, is enough.”

Words slotted finely into place, elegant and nice to listen too. Backed by the experience and history of a woman — of a goddess meant to reign above all others, sacred in love and life, those words gave more meaning than maybe even Juno herself intended. Mars fell silent, let it stir between them as he stared at the palms of his hands upturned in hers. The Greeks had a word for this and, though feuds fueled between them raged in the minds of others, Mars did not shy away from acknowledging their influence, their strength, and culture. Agape, unconditional, transcendent love felt strongest between kin, whether by blood or covenant.

Without a sound of utterance on his lips, Mars released his hands from Juno’s grip and stood from his seat to pull her forward. ”I am lucky to have a mother such as you. Don’t let the time spent away from us burden you, please,” He whispered. If any notion of the hardened stoic chiseled to stand as righteous as any Roman had cracked and fallen away, now with his voice soft and sincere, filled with emotion, it came obvious that each carefully placed veneer vanished in the presence of his mother. ”You are and always will be my mother above all else and that you are here, breathing and healthy, is what truly matters.” Mars continued, ”I love you, mom.”

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