Mood: Been Better
Hathor felt like she was practically dragging herself over the threshold instead of shuffling in on her own two feet, hardly even remembering to close the door behind her once she had made it inside. It had been a miserable drive home, every microscopic movement and jostle causing searing pain to shoot through her as tears had continued to fall against her will, blurring her vision while she drove. ’Why did he have to feel so miserable and guilty? Should have just left him with it. Stupid Ares!’, she thought while carefully shrugging out of her jacket, harshly biting her lip as she did so before tossing it onto the coat rack and not caring if it made it on there or not. She made her way to the kitchen, determined to eat her weight in ice cream because she was damn sure that would make her feel better even if only a smidge but upon opening the freezer she found no such sweet treat, only a container with just a bite or two left of the confection she craved.
She stared at the bottom of the container far longer than she should have, feeling complete crushing disappointment. Angrily, Hathor tossed it into the trash and raked her fingers roughly through her hair in frustration. She glanced at the wine cabinet, her foot tapping as she debated on if she really wanted to take that direction. She had been trying to get better about that after all and put the heavy partying behind her.”Fuck it!”, she decided, snagging a bottle of her favorite homemade pomegranate wine, quickly working to discard the cork before making her way to the bathroom. If she couldn’t find her way to the bottom of a carton of ice cream then she was going to drown her sorrows in a bottle of wine. She took a swig, setting it on the sink counter before turning on the faucet to fill up the tub so she could take a well deserved bath. She pulled out some bubble bath gel, pouring a good amount into the water, only taking a moment to watch it foam before placing it back under the sink.
Hathor plopped down on the toilet lid, yanking off her boots even though the action of bending over to do so had been a horrible idea. It caused her to bite down on her fist to keep from crying out. She stood, panting softly and looking at herself in front of the bathroom mirror with a frown. Her lip was split open, looking more than a little worse for the wear since she had been biting at it. Her cheeks were swollen, already starting to bruise and her gums below them weren’t doing much better. She took a deep breath, slowly peeling the shirt away from her skin to have a look at where she knew the most damage was. She was already cursing and whimpering in pain by the time it was removed, deep bruises and some small cuts littered over her stomach reaching all the way around her sides. If she didn’t have a fractured rib or worse than she would be surprised. Hathor didn’t even bother to try and see her back, knowing it would probably be much worse than the darkened mass of skin on her front side. She thanked the stars that she didn’t have anywhere to be for the next few days, as she worked on removing the other items of clothing.
Phone and bottle in hand, she slid into water with a content sigh and shutting the faucet off with her foot. Setting the bottle aside for now, she looked to the text message on her phone and debated on what she should say. She didn’t want to give too much information since the last thing she needed was someone fretting over her or worse, getting upset with her over the actions she took. Hathor wasn’t about to ignore her pantheon though and not at least acknowledge that she wouldn’t be present.
To: Whomever & Egyptians
Sorry, I won’t be able to make it as planned. Something came up that couldn’t be avoided. I love you all and have a good time for me! 😘
With a small nod, deeming it suitable to send, it was off into the digital void and set the phone aside to pick up the wine once more. Instead of just drinking to drink as she had done earlier, she actually let herself savor the tangy sweetness of the pomegranate, relaxing fully into the water with a delighted hum as the heat soothed her physical pains while wine took care of the rest. It had been a long time since she had felt this miserable after a fight, she would give Ares that. She couldn’t exactly pinpoint the last time but it probably would have been somewhere in her mafia days, when she was helping Hades not only by being a doctor of sorts and giving them a safe place to stay with her bar but actually making certain problems disappear. Hathor knew Hades wasn’t blind to what she had done, with or without his permission. He played his mafia life like chess, moving everyone in the prime position and making them think it had been their plan all along. Hathor removed pieces from her chess set when she didn’t like them. It made a smile tug at her lips as she took another few chugs, closing her eyes and letting her thoughts drift even further than that.
The smell of cigar and cigarette smoke hung in the air, curling and billowing from various patrons. Smooth sensual notes from the saxophone rang clear over the other instruments creating an almost romantic sound as it echoed. The slow jazz poured out from the small stage while people swayed to the beat and held each other close in the dim lighting of the dance floor. Ruby painted lips curled into a gentle smile as obsidian eyes tenderly watched them, letting herself be entranced by their movements as she lazily wiped down the dark cherrywood bar. This place was her pride and joy, every piece of it held her own sweat, blood, and tears as she had been right there during the making of it. She helped to build every inch of this secret cove, a haven for those that were not ready to give up this kind of lifestyle.
The Mystic Waters was everything she had dreamed it would be, from the various rugged carpeting in shades of dark blue that made up everything but the dance floor, all the way to the soft lighting and crystal chandelier with drops of blue like glittering sapphires. The place was packed with clothed tables and cushioned wooden chairs to accommodate the crowds. Booths could be found around the outer edges of the dining area that could be curtained for a bit more privacy and often hosted many a VIP guest. It was easily one of the finest speakeasy around and she planned to keep it that way for a long time. Hathor had made it her mission to create this place, going as far as carving out a large portion of territory and claiming it as a neutral zone between multiple clashing mafia. If the gangs and mafia wanted to kill each other or duke it out in the streets, that was fine by her as it was their business but no blood was to be spilled on her turf and especially not here. It had been an unspoken rule but one she had backed up with her own hired help and a heap load of guns.
It would be an obvious lie to say there wasn’t tension when rivals decided to grace her pristine establishment with their presence but she always made sure to accommodate all parties fairly and kept them away from each other as much as possible. Sure, a few had to be thrown out a couple of times to get the picture but all an all she had been fairly lucky. She couldn’t help but be thankful that some mafia groups still knew how to be respectful instead of trying to challenge her. The thought of the mafia drew her attention to one such group that was currently seated, though her eyes instantly landed on a single man within the circle. Well, not really a man since a God could hardly be called such but her eyes took in his appearance, truly looking him over for the first time. He held himself in almost a regal manner but somehow still seemed approachable if one was cautious about how the interaction went. His eyes were dark, she could only assume they were brown from this distance but his stare seemed intense as he focused in on those speaking. Everything about his outward appearance was clean cut and precisely in place which seemed very different from the ruggedly handsome features of his face even as it continued to hold a seriously stern expression. While the seemingly cold or indifferent aura might be off putting to others, Hathor found herself intrigued by it, wondering what his personality was really like and if it at all matched his outward appearance. She couldn’t put her finger on it but she felt like there was much more than meets the eye when it came to the Greek God. The group was a frequent occurrence but the two immortal beings had hardly interacted at all. Hathor found no reason to really venture outside her pantheon, not going out of her way to make friends or get to know anyone else but for just this once the nagging curiosity was there or maybe it had been steadily growing with each visit.
The distinct sound of someone plopping down on one of the leather bar stools drew her gaze from the one in a crowd of many to focus her attention solely on her visitor, a dazzling smile lighting up on her face at his presence.”Hey Suit, long time no see. How have you been?, she asked, pulling out two glasses from behind the bar. The man giving a crooked grin, chuckling and tossing his fedora onto the bar before speaking up,”Ya know not to call me dat, beautiful. I much prefer my name on your lips.”
She found herself laughing, shaking her head at his antics before pouring them both a good shot of whiskey.”Sorry Mickey, can’t help myself. How have the Red Spades been treating you? Good I hope or should I crack open a few skulls for you?”, she asked playfully but actually was very serious about the matter. This shaggy sandy-blonde haired man with freckles dappled over the bridge of his nose who sat before her was one of the few mortals that didn’t make her want to pull her hair out. He had always been a pleasant fellow, sweet with words and kind in his actions. He had never given her a reason not to support him in his efforts though she couldn’t say she particularly cared for his boss, the Ace of Spades, leader of the Red Spades. The prick was always trying to cause trouble and more than once, she had been tempted to break his hand or maybe rip it off to beat him with it if he didn’t learn to keep it to himself. He also had the most over inflated ego and was the very definition of a slimeball which grated on her nerves but he had never crossed the line enough to flat out ban him. It was such a pity really but no one could say she wasn’t fair.
Unfortunately, it seemed like she might have hit a nerve with her questions to Mickey, the man turning his stormy blue eyes in every direction but her own and suddenly was unable to sit still. He grabbed the glass, tossing it back quickly, only focusing his attention on her for a brief moment before his eyes started to glance around the room for a second time, putting her nerves on edge. ”If it’s all the same to ya, I’d rather not talk ‘bout the Spades right now.”, he spoke, his words calm but his body language screaming he was anything but that. He locked his gaze onto her, looking straight into her eyes this time as he spoke once more,”Miss Sahraoui, why don’tcha skip out early? Let’s ditch this place, just you and me, have ourselves a night out on the town? Whatcha say? Ya in?”, he asked as if desperately pleading with her to take the bait. She didn’t know why he was asking but she knew something was up and she planned to get to the bottom of it.
”What’s really going on? The truth. I know we tease each other but we both know for a fact I’m not your type and we have never painted town red even as friends.”, she asked in concern, worry clawing at her gut and fearing something was seriously wrong. He bit his lip, groaning as he wiped his hands down his face before leaning slightly over the bar and gesturing for her to come in closer. Hathor leaned in just like he asked and waited to see what he would do or what he would answer with.”I don’t know the whole deal since I ain’t in the royal circle but...it seems dat there was a tip ‘bout some kinda hot shot bein’ here tonight. I don’t know what the boss is gonna do ‘bout dis or the information. I just wanna make sure you are alright and to get ya outta here. I woulda never forgiven myself if somethin’ happened to ya if I coulda stopped it.”, he whispered honestly. She felt like she had swallowed a stone that sank into the pit of her stomach while her heart jumped into her throat. Her hands shook slightly as she grabbed the glass of whiskey and took a shot.
”Are you sure it’s going down tonight?”, she asked, frantically trying to think on who she needed to advise about this and how quickly she could get everyone out. If the Ace of Spades was out for blood then he would have no problems getting through others to do it, mafia members or not. Her men were stationed around her turf and even more heavily around the place but something seemed off if her friend was this desperate. Mickey was about to give an answer when a loud slam was heard near the front entrance, a string of bullets flying through the air, and a scream of terror rang out. The place turned into chaos, the innocent bystanders thinking it was the cops and starting to scatter while her own people tried to herd them out the back exit. Those in various gangs around the place decided to take up arms, the no use of guns rule suddenly not applying now that the neutral zone had been violated. Shots were being fired left and right, screams getting louder and growing in numbers, tables slammed to the ground as they were forcibly overturned while the glasses and decorative centerpieces upon them were shattered, and orders were being barked out from multiple areas.
”Mickey, get out of here, now.”,she ordered, as one of her men popped out from around the corner. She steeled herself, signaling over to him in which he nodded and pulled her own gun out from behind the bar.”I can’t just leave ya!”, he insisted, puffing out his chest and ready to fight.”Please go, as a favor to me. I’m a big tough girl and can handle myself. My men and everyone else will be after the Spades now that they have violated the rules. You are not safe.”,she pleaded softly, placing a hand on his shoulder. He caved after that with a nod, placing the fedora back on his head with a flare and sliding his fingers over the rim.”Fine, I’ll go but ya gotta promise ta be here when I come back.”, he said, not moving an inch until she nodded with an ‘I promise’ and just like that, he was making a mad dash for the exit.
Hathor stepped out from behind the bar, taking her weapon from her flunkies hand as fury swam through her veins. She confidently stepped out into the crossfire happening in the dining area as if one would while taking a stroll down the catwalk. She pulled back the hammer on the revolver, rapidly shooting any of the Red Spades that dared to cross her path, the intense rage clear on her features. She wasn’t one for guns, the vile contraptions were messy and could end lives far too quickly for her tastes but that did not mean she didn’t know how to handle one. She discarded her revolver once the bullets were out and rolled to scoop up a weapon off of one of the fallen men, making sure to take cover behind one of the turned over tables. She worked to check the new weapon over when she realized that she wasn’t alone, a pair of ebony oxford shoes right beside her. Eyes drifted up his frame slowly to catch a glimpse at the one standing off to the side above her, only to be pleasantly surprised as he in turn looked down to her as she sat in an awkwardly crouched position, probably appearing rather ridiculous.
Both their eyes met, yet they did not speak to one another, just a moment of silence passing between them where immortal acknowledged immortal. If the situation were different, she might have indulged in holding his gaze and let time slip by but they both had more important tasks at hand. Her eyes fluttered back onto her targets as she leaned around the edge of her cover, carefully changing locations to weave her way through the tables and make her way to the better position to have a look see at the ones who had caused such destruction to her place. It seemed there were quite a few of the Ace’s men, suit and royal alike but the coward himself had decided not to show from what she could tell which just made her blood boil more. He thought he was going to get away with this!? That his lacking presence absolved him of the blatant disregard of the rules she had set because he wanted to take out another mafia ring. Did he think that she didn’t know he had orchestrated this? Afterlife help him if it had been a stand or message against the God of the Underworld. He already had himself lined up for a dose of punishment from one immortal, two just meant he was fucked beyond his imagination and not in the good way.
She stood, firing off a couple of shots before ducking behind the table again, watching a few new holes be made. It wasn’t like she could die from something so pathetic but that didn’t mean it didn’t hurt like a son of a bitch when it happened. If she could avoid bullets directly, then she would. Thankfully, not all of them were what she would call sharpshooters. Hathor popped out again, squeezing off a few more rounds and hitting a few more targets before the distinct click of an empty chamber greeted her ears. She tossed it to the side, moving back into hiding again when the return fire was shot off. While she hadn’t been hit, the older gentleman one table over had been and he slunk to the ground in agony. She bit her lip, moving over to his position quickly, wincing as a bullet grazed her arm on the journey over. He looked in bad shape, his shoulder bleeding profusely and in a horrid amount of pain.
She yanked him up into a seated position before working on ripping the bottom of her dress. She folded it quickly, pressing it down onto the wound as he yelped with a fresh string of curses in her direction.”I’m going to let that slide but just this once. Now, take your hand and keep pressure on that, even if you don’t feel like you are in pain. Keep pressure on it. Understand? Nod if you understand me.”,Hathor ordered, as she switched her own hand for his so he could apply pressure. She wished she had time to patch him up now, but it would have to wait and he would not be the only one in need of assistance by the time this was over. She felt the tingle of power rush through her as she placed a gentle squeeze on his free hand, a pain instantly ripping into her shoulder as if she had been the one shot and bleeding. She gasped, looking to her shoulder as she forced her mind to remember that it wasn’t real. The pain very much was but there was no wound, nothing to stress over as she forced herself to move. She grabbed her comrades' gun, signaling to one of her men to round up the group as she made her way to Hades. They needed a plan and she was happy to follow if he had ideas.
Hades and Hathor’s men closed in from both sides, slowly and strategically in their movements to carefully pin their opponents in as well as limiting their places to hide. The Spades didn’t have a chance, any hope of escape was thought of far too late, the group finding their ends swiftly while realizing the mistakes they had made, only a second before their demise. The speakeasy looked like a disaster zone, as though a tornado had torn right through it. She had to admit that it was a devastating blow for her, seeing the place in such shambles. She was usually the first to enjoy destruction but not when it was something precious to her. Instead it was sad and made her feel pathetic that she had not been able to properly protect her own.”Jimmy?”, she asked in a serious tone, pointedly looking to one of her own. She could see him gulp, none of them ever wishing to be in her presence when she was in a foul mood.
“Yes, Ma’am?”, he asked cautiously, trying to remain polite and ready to assist.”Get me the med kits. I’m going to need them and I want you in my office tomorrow. I have an assignment for you.”,she answered before walking away, not bothering to acknowledge the answer as she knew he would not deny her request. She carefully picked up chairs that were still suitable for use and went to work on helping the remaining people get the worst injured into the chairs to be taken care of. It wasn’t going to be a pleasant experience helping these men but it was something that felt right to do since she had failed them. Hathor took a deep breath, pushing down her pride as she made her way over to speak with Hades and try to apologize for the situation.”Ha..”,she started to speak before pausing, realizing she didn’t actually remember what his mortal alias was and with all the others around it might not be wise to call him by his given name. She quickly corrected herself, changing the first word of what she was planning to say,”Hey, can I speak with you for a moment?”
Hades who had been talking with one of his Judges turned around when he heard someone attempting to get his attention. As he looked at the person that had approached him he wasn't surprised much to see that he was the owner of the bar itself, the Egyptian goddess herself. What did surprise him however was her need to talk to her, though he supposed it was something to do with the shooting. “But of course Ma’am.” Hades finished as he dusted his hat off a bit from bits of woods and shrapnel. As he moved to follow her so that they could speak in private he waved off his judges “You know what to do.”
She led him to the stage, taking a seat on the edge of the wooden structure while trying to find the exact words to say. ”I wanted to thank you for defending my bar against the Red Spades. The damage would have been exponentially worse without you and your mens intervention. I also wanted to apologize for the situation. It should have never been able to happen in the first place.”,she spoke, only pausing for a moment to touch her aching shoulder before folding her hands in her lap.”I would like to repay you. Not just by patching up your men and using my powers to numb their pain, but to offer a continuing partnership. I think we made a good team and I would like this place to be a safe haven for those under your protection. The rules I hold would no longer apply as I would see them as my own and protect them as such.”
“No need to apologize, after all it's most likely my fault this happened. Guess the bastard couldn't help but take the chance to try and kill me.” Hades took a second however as he processed the idea the Egyptian goddess had in mind. Hades was accustomed to people coming to him or rather his subordinates for partnerships amongst the crime world. But those were mortals who had no idea what or who he really was. “I'd be honored at the partnership but I must warn you, working with me does not look well from my Family.” He let the word family fall off his tongue with sarcasm. “And I can not guarantee it will be any different from the others as well.” as Hades finished he took a glance around the once pristine bar that had now been torn asunder in the storm of lead that just happened. He had to admit, it was sad to see something so beautiful in such a poor state. As he finished his sweep of the bar Hades let his eyes settle back on the goddess before him gauging her reaction to his statement.
Hathor smiled softly, glad to hear that he was open to a partnership but raised an eyebrow at him at the warning he provided. She could care less about what the Greek pantheon thought of her and others could think what they wanted. She chuckled lightly before giving a shrug as she replied,”If they have an issue with who I spend my time with then it sounds like a personal problem for them. I believe that everyone should be judged by their own actions and not by the heresy of others. You have never done anything worthy of my scorn and you have never harmed any in my pantheon. I would be honored to have a partnership with you and hold no shame in being seen in your presence. I dare them to say something about it.”
Hades was happy to see that the egyptian goddess cared little for the stigma that often came with being near him. “Well I am glad to hear that Hathor.” he said let a smile grace his face as he stuck out his hand to seal the deal. As their hands met Hades eyes glowed a dim red before fading with the end of the hand shake.“And just like that, the deal is made.” Hades said with a wicked smirk on his face. “Now if you'll excuse me I believe I have a score to settle.”
If she looked back on that moment, taking the time to analyze it, that might have been when she started to walk towards the edge of falling for Hades. That genuine smile while holding out his hand to her so they could make the deal about their partnership official. In that moment, she felt no hesitation when she slipped her hand into his own and even as his eyes turned red, she hadn’t once felt regret for sealing such a deal but instead could only think about how wonderful it was to hear his voice saying her name, how magnificent he had appeared with a smile on his lips and how beautiful his gaze had been. Sadly, the deep dive into her thoughts and actions from the past were placed on hold as her mind was fuzzy and slowed. The bottom of the bottle was found long ago and the water was no longer as warm as it had been when she first entered. Time was irrelevant and every moment seemed fleeting in her eyes as she shakily tried to stand, slipping a few times back into the water with a laugh.
The pain she felt was like a distant memory, barely registering in her mind even though it was still there. It took a few tries to properly stand even as she did, she was still swaying on her feet as the world tilted around her. The bottle dropped from her fingers and sank into the water to be forgotten as she practically tripped out of the tub, catching herself in just the nick of time from falling but still having to sit on the tubs edge to not completely land on her face. Hathor frowned with a pout at the uncomfortable feeling of something beneath her and leaned to the side to retrieve the item, only to find her phone. A look of delight lit up on her face while staring at the piece of technology before cooing in a slurred voice that was trying to switch between languages,”Dewe 'ou are! Why are 'ou hidin' fwom mwe?
Hathor stood, her full attention on her phone as she stumbled out of the bathroom, making her way to the bedroom with a lot of tripping and door bumping which only caused a flutter of laughter to be heard. She tossed herself back on the bed once she arrived, looking to her phone as her mind kept slipping back to the past looping to Hades. She wanted to see him. She didn’t want to be here alone. It was lonely. He should cheer her up. ’Oh, I hab dah bestes' idea!, she thought to herself as she went to her contacts to pull up his name. She clicked on it, moving to snuggle into her blankets as she listened to the constant ring. The sound stopped, her heart speeding up as she opened her mouth to speak but frowned as she soon realized she had gotten his voicemail and not the real deal. She listened anyway, enjoying herself as she waited for her turn to speak but instead of starting her greeting as she should, her mouth just word vomited the first thought on her brain.
”من النجوم ، صوتك لا يصدق….., she slurred out with almost a purr to her voice. It took Hathor’s brain a moment to catch up, trying to remember why her native language was not going to work if trying to speak with the Greek god. She tried again, though her thoughts and words weren’t much better than talking in another language since they were jumping away from the beginning of a conversation to the middle of one. .”Fo' wunnin'......why can’t.....nu.....Whewe am 'ou! Hadesss, why 'ou nu answew!!? …….Fwuffy miss 'ou.....I’m sowwy.....not cowawd, I’ww show 'ou......awso pwease don’t be mad....Awes desewbed it.....way what wass I sayin’? Oh, fowgot to say hewwo…..hewwo! Dis am haff by da waz!.....Tiwed, am tiwed. Isa gotta go an' hab some sweepies. Nighty dawk time, ظلي.”, she dropped the phone from her ear as she stopped speaking, cuddling into bed with it still on. It was hard to say how much of the message or the garbled mess of words had been saved but she found herself drifting to sleep fairly quickly and feeling rather content.
Collab Section with: @sly13
Mentions: Ares & Hades