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Most Recent Posts

i'm in bro this looks tight
i'm contractually obligated to be here

i can confirm

Introducing: Daniel Helmsley & Michael Stroud

CW: Marijuana usage

Location: The Boys’s home → The Club Fair/The Gym at the Towers → The Club Fair
Mentions: Krista Müller, William Blake, East of Eden, Evelyn Harding
Interactions: William Blake @smarty0114

“Dude, yeah, I can hear you. The music’s not that fuckin’ loud!”

Danny lied blatantly into the phone as he spoke to his older brother. The music blaring from the Bluetooth speaker on the counter while he cooked his breakfast of champions made it almost impossible for Danny to hear anything, but it wasn’t like he really cared. This wasn’t the first phone call from back home that he’d ignored, and he had a feeling it wouldn’t be the last. The subject this time was whether or not Daniel Helmsley would be returning home for the holidays. Danny Boy planned to pull out every move in the book to make sure he got out of this. Whatever it takes.

“I can’t come home for the holidays, bro. I gotta watch the boys. Can you imagine what they’d get up to if I wasn’t watching them like a hawk dude?” It was only partially a lie; if Danny dipped for a few days, then the heavy burden of being the group’s leader would fall on Damon’s shoulders. Though, if Danny knew Damon — which he did — Damon would abhor the idea of babysitting James and Ryu, and Danny couldn’t see Will stepping in to handle things. He just couldn’t go. “What? Yeah, I know you don’t get it. How!? Because you have no friends, motherfucker.” Danny scoffed into the phone.

“Don’t give her the phone man. Come on, dude. Because I’m not going to change my mind just because my mom bitches at me! I don’t wanna go home! Fuck. I’m a grown ass man, let me do what I damn well please. They got a thing for where you’re headed man. It’s called no contact.” Danny snapped, as he reached up into the freezer to grab a bag of dino nuggets, which he tore open with his mouth. He dumped them onto a plate, and slammed it into the microwave before he punched the two minute button. “...yes I’m listening to Rage. Yes I know I go to school with East of Eden. I don’t like their fucking music! That’s why I’m not listening to them. Because Evelyn Harding’s music doesn’t have a message - this track has a message. Evelyn Harding fucking wishes. Wait, dude, come on.”

As the song came to a close, Danny could hear the sounds of the phone being passed around and he tried to steady himself. “Hi, mama. No, I’m good.” Danny said, before he slowly moved the phone away from his ear and sat it down on the counter. He knew his mom was going to talk a thousand miles a minute whether or not he could hear her and he needed both hands anyway. The microwave went off, and he popped it open to pull out his dino nuggets. He’d wanted bacon, but couldn’t find any in the fridge. There was never a shortage of frozen food though; not in the boys’s dormitory. “Ow! Fuck that’s hot.”

“I’m fine, I’m fine!” He quickly picked his phone back up, knowing his mother was going to be freaking out over him yelping in pain. He should have had the foresight to turn his hand metal before he grabbed the plate out of the microwave, but his mind was clouded. “Yes. Like I said, the fire was only a good thing for me. I think I called it a paradigm shift, didn’t I? That’s poetry, ma. Look, I can’t go unless the boys can come. They’re not gonna want to come to our house for the holiday! …ALRIGHT I’LL ASK THEM. Look, mama I gotta go. I got a busy day.” With that, Danny finally found the freedom to hang up.

He saw he had a message on his phone, but he had more important stuff to do. Danny opened the fridge and pulled out the ranch. He spun around and covered his dino nuggets in it. Satisfied with the meal that he had made for himself, he reached behind his ear and pulled out the joint he’d been hiding there since he got a phone call.

He held it in his lips and lit it with the Zippo lighter he always carried around, and inhaled deeply. After he pulled it out he let the smoke leave his mouth and a content smile crept across his lips. He grabbed his food and sat down on the couch, only managing to eat a couple of the mess of microwaved dino nuggets and ranch he’d made before he remembered he had a message to check on his phone.

“Oh for fuck’s sake!” He groaned as he stared down at the phone and the message on it.

From Bishop:
Ur late.

First off, he was late, there was no denying that. But Danny hardly thought he needed to physically be there for the club fair! He didn’t understand what he was supposed to do, shill for the club? It was a fucking frisbee golf club, no one else was going to join it! That was the beauty of the whole thing. Even so, if Bishop was on his ass all day over this then he’d hate every second of it. It was with a heavy heart that Danny quickly scarfed down his nuggets, and jumped to his feet.

To Bishop:

Dude, I had to get my early morning work out in. Gotta stay in top tip evil stoppin’ shape. I’ll be there. Sec

With that message sent, Danny only had to make it from the dorm to the fair, and once he made it to the fair, to his booth. Danny made his way to the bathroom and popped open the medicine cabinet to grab eye drops and tilted his head back to put a few drops in each eye. He blinked a few times, then slammed it shut and stared into his eyes that were still very obviously bloodshot and nodded. “...good enough.”

Danny almost made it to his booth before he suddenly started to get self-conscious. Danny liked to get stoned, but Danny did not like to be in public while stoned — one of the many side effects of smoking weed was paranoia, and it hit him hard as he rolled up onto the club fair. To him, it seemed like all eyes were on him as he did something as simple as walk among his classmates.

He barely made it halfway to his booth before he had to ask someone, anyone, if he looked as high as he fucking felt. He passed by a blonde student, and gripped him by the shoulders, spinning him to look him in the eyes. “Yo, do I look high to you?” He demanded, and the boy simply stared at him, before sputtering out.



Michael Stroud more or less remembered high school fondly. He’d had a group of friends, Scouts, and work to keep him busy. He lived with his parents, and he was exposed to a lot of the heroing business, the career he was coming to feel more and more like he was made for. One week in, and he wasn’t so sure about college. He’d imagined it going… differently in his head, but maybe he’d just watched too many movies. There were way more actual classes in real life, and a whole lot less prank wars and groups of ne’er-do-wells who ended up becoming friends with the nerds.

Between that and the fact that Michael couldn’t get over the thought that great things were expected of him just because of his lineage (adopted lineage even!), and it was kind of exhausting to be here. He was having trouble making friends because of the simple assumption that everyone knew who he was.

At least he liked his RA (seriously, how could someone be so nice and pretty at the same time?), and William was being nice and helping him adjust. Even so, Michael was finding one big problem with finding friends and making his way through his university years: Anxiety, with a capital A. That was why he’d had trouble sleeping that evening, which brought him to where he was now.

It was really one of his father’s suggestions that working out was a better use of his time than floating in the air above the Bechtel Tower, and Michael was doing his best to take that advice with him to Crystal Peak. He found himself in the gym of the Towers he stayed in. It was early enough in the morning that no one else was there, and Michael always found something genuinely comforting about exercising in solitude. Maybe it was all in his head, but even when he worked out with his father and other members of the Coalition on occasion, he’d felt like they were staring when he ran on the treadmill or when he deadlifted the bar. Had they thought he wasn’t trying because he wasn’t using his powers?

As time passed, and more people flooded in for their morning workouts, Michael was beginning to have a quiet realization. Keeping a comfortable pace on the treadmill, he looked around at the others and a smile crept across his lips as he thought to himself… no one cared. No one cared that he was running on the treadmill instead of flying in a wind tunnel, or bench pressing a car. In a way, it was freeing.

A few minutes later, and he was walking out of the shower with a newfound energy to tackle the day. If he could just go about his business, then maybe he could figure out the friends thing. The very least he could, he thought, was to attend the club fair, and maybe join a club or two. There had to be a couple for the things he liked, it was a massive school. Maybe a baking club… he knew there was a music club, Krista had tried to sell him on joining it, but Michael had no talent whatsoever when it came to music, and aside from that the idea of joining a club dominated by East of Eden didn’t really appeal to him. The frontwoman was frankly terrifying. On his way to the fair, Michael had the bright idea of looking for Will and joining a club or two he suggested. There had to be a few that Will was a part of, right?

He was practically bouncing with excitement as he made his way to the club fair, but that faded almost as quickly as it had come. Before he could even fully grasp what was happening, he felt a pair of hands grab him on the shoulder, and he found himself face to face with a man that looked more like a crazed hobo than a college student, demanding a question that seemed all too simple: “Yo, do I look high to you?”

All Michael could do was respond in a confused, almost distressed voice. “...wh-what?”

Danny Boy frowned as he stared down at the young man and shook his head. “Shit, you’re no help.” He released the kid, and looked up at the sky with a heavy sigh. If Bishop caught him stoned while on official business like this? He’d never be free from the endless bitching. He watched as the obviously exceptionally fresh freshman lifted a hand and pointed at something. “What?” No response, Danny rolled his bloodshot eyes. “What is it, Lassie? Is someone stuck in a well?”

Michael was confused to say the least. Lassie? Who the hell even was that? Still, he wanted to help and he just reached up to behind the other guy’s ear, and then pulled his fingers back, holding a joint that had only been smoked a bit. “Here.” He said, and the other guy’s eyes squinted a bit.

“Fuck. I forgot about that fuckin’ thing, good call… bro. What’s your name?” Despite the joint being held out to him, Danny didn’t make an attempt to take it back. Instead, he held out a hand and shook his head. “No way, little man. The way you look? You need that more than I do. I’m Danny by the way. Hey, do you like frisbee golf?”

Michael had no idea what to do with the joint he was now holding, and so he awkwardly held it at his side. He certainly wasn’t going to smoke the thing. It was drugs! He was holding drugs, if his mother could see him now… He had to take a deep breath to steady himself, and finally managed to sputter out. “Huh? I’m Michael. Hey, I’m looking for Will… uh, Will Blake. Do you know where he is? I’ve never played frisbee golf…”

“Never… never once!? What the fuck? Fuckin’ new generation is draggin’ us down. Walk and talk, Mikey boy —”

Please don’t call me that.

“Well I sure as shit ain’t sayin’ Michael every time like I walked out of That 70’s Show.” As requested though, they walked and talked. “Right, so. What do you do? What’s your super schtick? Everybody’s got a gimmick, y’know?”

“Uh, I can fly, and -”

“What!? You’re a flyer?! Now I been thinkin’ I could really use a flyer… I got a group, y’know, future Super Hero Team. Got a fast guy, got me — I’m a metal guy, an electric guy, and a big ol’ fuckin’ monstrosity of a demon Damon dog. Dude, you should play frisbee golf with us! You might like me and the rest of the Boys. Plus, I mean, if you can fly…”

“ you know where I can find Will?”

Michael knew there was a hint of desperation in his voice, but this guy seemed a bit… wild. He had to admit, Danny seemed to have an infectious way of talking. Michael would have been lying if he said he didn’t want to hear more about the ‘boys,’ or whatever Danny was talking about, but he felt like he needed Will around while he did it, just in case Danny tried something insane. Like handing him a joint he wanted nothing to do with.

“No, but I will sound the horn. Smile.” Before Michael could even protest, Danny had pulled his phone out and snapped a photo of him - joint in hand, which he quickly sent in a text to William Blake, his greatest frenemy.

To: Billiam
this urs?

Danny left a pause before he sent his next message, long enough for Will to check it, though not quite long enough for him to get a response in.

To: Billiam
mine now
need a flyer neway.

𝓹 𝓪 𝓷 𝓲 𝓴 / 𝓴 𝓪𝓵 𝓶

location: Taiyo Kai Seattle Building Top Floor - Amaterasu’s Office
interactions: Amaterasu @Hey Im Jordan & Uzume @metanoia
mentions: Tsukiyomi || Hercules || Apollo

For Amaterasu, the day had already been so frustrating. First, she’d missed the gathering of the gods. Then, she’d gotten served the wrong kind of water. She’d wanted lemon water, and what had her employees provided her? Watermelon, for some reason. At least Uzume was finally here to discuss the matters at hand.

They were seated in the corner office of her Seattle office, overlooking the lovely city. Amaterasu absolutely preferred Tokyo, but it was undeniable that Seattle had a charm to it. Officially, they were here to meet and talk about a few key business decisions that were coming up. More importantly, this was when they got to gossip about the other deities. Where Amaterasu hadn’t attended the brunch, Uzu had. And Amaterasu wanted to hear everything she’d missed out on!

Unfortunately, Uzume seemed liked her mind was in the clouds. That wasn’t uncommon for her, Amaterasu’s Uzu-chan often had moments where she spaced out, but this was a bit different. Amaterasu sat her water on a coaster on her wooden desk - she wasn’t going to have any rings - then finally broke the longstanding silence. “Uzu-chan. Is there something on your mind…? You’re quiet today.”

As per the usual whenever she had her mind on something, Uzume had barely registered what her mistress said to her. She heard her heavenly voice and that radiant tone in which she always spoke whenever she was concerned for Uzume, but she wasn’t entirely present. Truth of the matter was Uzume was incredibly bummed. A ridiculous way to describe such a mood, but it couldn’t be helped. She was bummed out because of what happened earlier in the day and how her high was grounded and she was incredibly low low low.

“Sorry?” Perking up mentally, she looked towards her boss, best friend, and her whole universe as eyes of concern matched the tone that she vaguely recalled calling out to her. “, it’s nothing really, Ama-sama.” That wasn’t exactly true and Uzume knew it. And if she knew it, then Amaterasu knew it too. Nothing that went through her mind, no matter how well-hidden, went past her mistress. “Okay, so it’s not actually not nothing. I went to the Luncheon. Or I wanted to.” She pursed her lips, looking at Amaterasu.

That was somewhat disappointing. “What stopped you?” Amaterasu paused, and ran her head through all the possible options for what could have both prevented Uzume from going to the luncheon (it was really a brunch, wasn’t it?) and could have thrown her so far off her game.

“It wasn’t a boy, was it?” She made a face at the thought, but trusted that Uzume wouldn’t be this shook up by a boy. Though her friend certainly had a flair for the dramatic, Amaterasu held onto the hope that she wouldn’t be so easily thrown off by love. It wasn’t like they were living in a romance manga.

“What? No! Why would you even think such a thing, Ama-sama!” Immediately, Uzume waved her hands emphatically and shook her head vigorously for extra emphasis. “It’s nothing like that at all. I mean there is someone that I--but no, it’s not that!” Uzume tried desperately to simmer down the level of momentary embarrassment she suddenly came under fire by (mostly due to Amaterasu’s implication that she didn’t go to the luncheon because of a crush). Truth was, she did have something of a crush but there was a completely valid reason.

Like telling a story through physical reenactment, Uzume moved in front of Amaterasu’s desk, making sure she had her mistress’ full attention. “So there I was, just getting out of my car, looking so cute -- like really cute! I wished you could have seen me. I picked out the most adorable sunflower dress! It would have stunned so many people.” She let herself get lost in the giddiness she was displaying, disappointment plastered all over her face because she didn’t get to show it off like she wanted to. “But yeah, okay so where was I?” She hummed for a few seconds and had an a-ha moment. “Right! So I was making my way downtown so to speak and I was stopped by…”

Uzume leaned closer, pausing for dramatic effects.

And then her head sank low.

Then it rose. COPS! That’s right. But not just regular old cops. It wasn’t mortal cops, but our kind of cops. Every mortal and some gods were escorted out. I think by that wolf boy person. Uh…Fenrir? I think that’s his name.” She scratched her head, making confused noises as she tried to remember if she had that right. “Anyway, that’s why I couldn’t go. Something happened and it was canceled!” She dramatically sighed, now feeling just as bummed out as she was in the moment of realizing that it was canceled.

It was like a wave of relief washed over her when Uzume confirmed that it wasn’t a boy that was distracting her. The burst of embarrassment she seemed to feel at the idea didn’t exactly put Ama’s fears of Uzume running off with a boy to rest. Stumbling, stammering, and even waving her arms around… Amaterasu keyed in on how Uzume had said there was someone she was interested in, but she intended to let her tell her story before she jumped on that point like a tiger pouncing on its prey.

Amaterasu had no doubt that Uzume had in fact been super cute. She considered making a distasteful comment about Uzume wearing the sunflower dress if she went on a date with her special someone, but she chose to let it go. Distracting Uzume from her story would probably lead to her forgetting it entirely when she was in this kind of state.

Once she finally finished, Amaterasu lifted her glass of water and took a sip as she thought about what she’d just heard. Divine ‘cops,’ deities being escorted out. Fenrir? No, that likely wasn’t right, it must have been Hati; but it was tough to be sure with Uzume when it came to names, but Amaterasu knew Fenrir was a troublemaker, and the one of the wolves who was useful was Hati… or maybe she was misremembering? She’d have to call Odin and ask him which was which.

“That’s… troubling, to say the least. I’ll have to make some calls and see if I can get the details if you don’t have them. Wait, if it was canceled, have you gotten your divine fruit? I don’t want you growing old on me.” Of course, Amaterasu had yet to eat hers either, but Amaterasu felt she was a lot less likely to forget it than the airheaded Uzume was.

“Fruit?” Uzume blinked cluelessly at Amaterasu. And she continued to do so for several moments, which caused all movements with her arms and legs, the usually vibrant expressions she had on her face were frozen in the sands of time. What Ama asked her hadn’t clicked until it did and she started to panic. “Oh my us! I didn’t!” As she started to pace back and forth frantically, she muttered inaudible words, thoughts racing through her mind over and over again. “It’s going to be okay, right? Right? I mean one year won’t make that much of a difference, right?” She asked Amaterasu while still pacing in the way she was.

“Uzu-chan,” Amaterasu said with a smile and a gentle chuckle as she shook her head. Amaterasu was amused by her reaction. Uzume seemed to be having a panic attack over something that she could handle with a simple text message. “I’ll just arrange to get the fruits from Persephone directly, there’s really nothing to be worried about, alright? Calm.” She spoke in a gentle voice, one she often used with Uzume to try and show her that everything was okay. “No reason to stress over something like that. And one year wouldn’t dim your shine a bit.”


Like a flick of a switch, the panic that was previously on her face and in her movements had been turned off, replaced by a smile and Uzume’s normal mannerisms. She had hyperfixated on the fact that she never got the fruit and that she would have really aged a year that she never considered that they could be just delivered to her. In the height of her momentary panic, she forgot that was a thing. Now that she was thinking about it, they did send the fruits to gods (she assumed they did). “You’re the best, Ama-sama!” Uzume exclaimed, smiling cheerfully as her overall disposition matched it. “All calm now!”

“Thank you, I know.” She smiled again and nodded her head. Sometimes, Uzume would fly off the handle, and Amaterasu just had to make sure she pumped the brakes a bit. “Such a shame that you didn’t make it into the luncheon, I thought you’d have all kinds of gossip to spill. I like hearing about what the other gods are up to, but being involved with them…? Eh, I think you’re the one that’s better at that, Uzu-chan. Have you checked your social media? Maybe there’s a get together where you can be a fly on the wall for me. That way I can still hear about their drama.” As catty as it was, the drama of the other pantheons fueled Amaterasu. She had her own inter-pantheon problems with Tsukiyomi, but for the most part the Japanese pantheon was pretty relaxed. She was lucky, in that regard.

Uzume didn’t think of that. Truth be told, she was more orless lost in her own head and down mood that she didn’t even think about checking on social media. But at the suggestion, the goddess of the dawn had an outward “ah!” exclamation as she whipped out her bedazzled iPhone. The case she had it in was gold and pink, with the case itself being pink and gold stones that looked fake, but it wasn’t. A present from someone special to her. Not that someone but another someone. Anyway, it was nice and she went surfing.

“Oh!” Uzume’s mouth opened as she went down her twitter feed. “You were right again, Ama-sama! There is a get together. At Zeno Megalos’ place--” She had to remember that she wasn’t among mortals. “I mean Hercules. You know, that total of a hunk beefcake!” Her heart may have possibly belonged to another, but Uzume wasn’t blind. Hercules was absolutely a drop-dead hunk. Greeks certainly had all the looks and Uzume definitely did that respectfully. “Seems they are having a party today.” A myriad of thoughts went through her mind like it was a speedway and a bunch of really fast cars were zooming in the usually spacious head of hers. She glanced back to her mistress. Part of her probably already knew the answer but it didn’t hurt to ask. “Could be a lot of fun! We could doll up and hit it up. Maybe?”

Amaterasu smiled, but ultimately shook her head no. “Thank you, Uzu-chan, but I have a long night ahead of me.” That much was true. Though her planned evening may have been centered around wine and mortal soap operas, it nonetheless was a long one. Aside from that, she had a text message on her phone that she hadn’t opened yet. Frankly, she was dreading opening it — she knew any message from Tsukiyomi was probably going to be trouble. Knowing how much of a socialite Uzume was compared to her though, Amaterasu did feel bad about making her got a party alone. “Why don’t you reach out to another god and see if they’d like to go with you? You have my permission to take whoever you want.” It would probably be one of the Aztec goddesses if Amaterasu had to guess, so far as she knew, Uzume spent a lot of time with them.

A wave of such immense disappointment passed through Uzume, the likes that rivaled her feeling when she couldn’t get into the luncheon on account of the cops. She knew these sort of parties weren’t typically her scene, but she was hoping Ama-Sama would want to come along anyway. Get a taste of life for herself, but also get to know the drama first-hand. “Oh..okay..” Uzume sunk her head down for a few moments, her overdramatic personality taking shape once again.

At least, that was until Amaterasu mentioned what quite possibly was the literal sun shining some light on an otherwise overcast situation. “You mean it!?” Her eyes shined bright like some kind of diamond in each eye and there was an instinctual response from Uzu as she leaned over the desk to bring Amaterasu into a tight hug. It was awkward and didn’t go as successfully as she saw it going in her head. She only managed to get part of the sun goddess’ neck into her grasp. But it was the thought that counted. “Thank you thank you thank you! You’re the best, Ama-sama!”

The sun goddess did not like being touched, but she thankfully made an exception for Uzume. Of course, Amaterasu hadn’t always enjoyed Uzume’s spontaneity, but over time she’d softened up to the often tackle style hugs or ‘glomps’ as Uzume sometimes called them. Unfortunately, it didn’t work quite as well when she was leaning over a desk to try and hug her. As she pulled away, Amaterasu nodded. “I just ask that you behave.” She knew that was a tall order likely to be ignored, but she hoped that Uzume would keep it in mind when she thought about making a bad decision. Not that Amaterasu was going to delude herself into thinking that would stop her.

She leaned back in her chair and smiled warmly, “but have a great time. You deserve a break after your long day.” While she was dismissing Uzume to do whatever she wanted, there was still a lot of night left for Amaterasu. She could dread it, and run from it all day — but in the end, Tsukiyomi would find her way to the building and into her office. One way or another. “I’m going to go back to my apartment and relax, if you need anything, I’m only a phone call away. Okay?”

Uzume never understood why Ama-sama always had to ask her to behave every time she went to some function. Whether it was a party hosted by some friends -- divine or otherwise -- of hers, getting together with Xochi and some of the others from Illicit, or, really just having fun, she always behaved. She was on her best behavior. But of course, what she considered her best behavior was what Amaterasu called ‘being a deviant’.

But she appreciated her mistress’ concern. She knew she cared and that these pleas she made with Uzu always came from a place of concern. That, at the least, she could keep in mind.

“I promise Ama-sama! Have a good day and night!” Blowing an enthusiastic kiss at her, Uzume left Amaterasu’s office.

She felt happier for some reason. Relieved? No, maybe it was more like she felt re-energized? Yeah that was it. It was a weight off her shoulder. What she needed right now was to blow off some steam. She needed to have herself a good time. Surround herself with people that would make her feel happy. She needed to drink, to dance, and maybe do some things that her mistress wouldn’t necessarily approve of.

“What she doesn’t know won’t hurt her~” Uzume giggled, getting into the elevator.

She hummed cheerfully as she watched the floor number get closer and closer to the ground floor. As she kept her eyes locked on it and the music from the elevator just became white noise at this point, an antsy Uzume was getting more uncontrollably excited the longer she had to wait for her exit. It didn’t help that occasionally people who also worked in the building got on, thus prolonging her exit.

At some point, there were about five other people in the elevator with her and Uzu struck up conversations with them. They didn’t seem particularly interested in the random nonsense she said, so after a few rounds of exchanges, she went quiet.

Thankfully, her exit came, and rushing out like the sometimes impatient ditz she was, Uzu got into her car, drove off and texted a certain someone.

“Siri! Text Farmer’s Market Hunk!”

Texting Farmer’s Market Hunk!

“Heyyyyy! It’s Uzu! There’s a party tonight. At Acropolis. You know Hercules and Apollo’s party pad? I was thinking -- we should totally go! You know, with each other!”

message sent

“I mean as a date! You know, like officially or you know whatever. Doesn’t need to be! It’ll be funnnnnnnn!”

message sent

What did she just do? Did she really just do that? She asked him out? This was a mistake. A terrible, terrible mistake…

Location: Around -> Acropolis
Interactions: The people who are at Acropolis, but she's mostly looking for Hercules @metanoia

If I took you everywhere then well you wouldn’t know how to walk
If I spoke on your behalf then well you wouldn’t know how to talk
If I gave you everything and everything is what I bought
I can take it all back
I never cared ‘bout what you thought

The sun was shockingly bright and shockingly high by the time she opened her eyes. How long had she been out for her ‘nap?’ She thought about checking the time on her phone, and decided she didn’t care, instead reaching down into the sand beside the hammock she was laying in, flopping her hand around in the sand to try and find what she was looking for. Eventually, her hand found the ice chest she’d brought along when she’d set up her new beachside relaxation point and popped it open.

She pulled out an energy drink and sat up in a hammock in the same motion, a feat that to her was impressive - mostly because she was nursing a massive hangover from a bender the night before. There were two paths forward; one was the path of a good day, where she sipped the energy drink until the caffeine filled up her body, and the other was to chug the energy as fast as possible and deal with the inevitable consequences.

The only thing that stopped her from chugging every drop in the can was her music being unceremoniously shut off. She turned to look at the culprit, and saw a child standing above her bluetooth speaker. She squinted at the kid, and the kid spoke first.

“You look like shit.”

“What? You look like shit.” Benzaiten retorted, tipping the energy drink can to her lips and slamming what was left of it down her throat before she stood up from the hammock and looked down at the child. It was almost as if Benzaiten was daring her to say something.

The kid threw up her arms, “I’m twelve!” She protested, and Benzaiten appeared deep in thought for a few moments before she conceded and nodded.

“Alright fine, kid. You got me. Whaddaya want?” She demanded, and the kid frowned. How did she not already know what she wanted? Wasn’t she supposed to be smart? She watched as the older woman looked around for something, and then threw her empty can into the ice chest. “I can’t believe there’s not a trash can out here.”

“Mom said if I came out here and woke you up, you’d have a job for me.” The kid explained, and Benzaiten raised an eyebrow. What the fuck did people think she was doing out here? Growing jobs for children on her job tree?

“I don’t have —”

“She also said that if you said you didn’t have a job to tell you that you can’t just sleep in our backyard like a lazy bum and surf and be a degenerate for free.”

Benzaiten squinted. The kid’s mom had a point, but she didn’t want to babysit all day! She had plans. She had to get stoned, and then show up at Acropolis to get stoned with the boys and see if she could crash there for a few days. She needed a break from this lot. “Alright, Kimi. Fine. Your mom has a point.” She conceded, heading toward the driveway of the beachhouse, “You want a job? Fine, fine. I’ll get you a job.” She said, as she approached her vehicle. She climbed inside and gestured for Kimi to follow. “Remember. No refunds.”

Say it ain't so, I will not go
Turn the lights off, carry me home
Keep your head still, I'll be your thrill
The night will go on, my little windmill

Over the course of the day, Kimi realized that ‘no refunds’ was a joke. Benzaiten was giving the ice cream away. Stopping at different hotspots throughout Seattle, Kimi thought it was too cold for ice cream, but she had underestimated the people with bloodshot eyes at skateparks - who took the ice cream from her at a speed she hadn’t expected. All the while, Benzaiten sat in the front seat with her feet kicked up on the dash, while she listened to music.

Before long, the day was coming to a close and Benzaiten was parking the ice cream truck back in its place in the driveway. She looked over at Kimi and gave a triumphant smile. “There, how’s that? Helluva job, huh? Selling ice cream is hard work. Especially when it’s cold… I wanted to get a taco truck for winter, but it’s too much work.” Benz made a face, as if it were an impossible task to fill out the paperwork necessary to get a food truck. “Anyway, let’s rock and roll. I gotta go see some friends.”

She watched Kimi hop out of the car and decided it was a job well done for her, then moved to get out herself. What she found when she opened the door, though, was a young girl holding out her hand. “What, are you serious?! We had a great day today! We bonded.” Kimi did not budge. Benzaiten sighed, and reached into her jeans’ back pocket to pull out her wallet, and grabbed two 20s and dropped them in Kimi’s hand.

“Yay! Thank you, grandma! Are you going to see the Greeks!? At, uh, uh, Acropolis? You should introduce me to Hercules sometime, I love the 12 Labors —”

“HEY! Not so loud, girl, we’re supposed to keep the whole god thing on the downlow… y’know? Artemis will come in here and kidnap you as punishment for me having a kid a few generations ago.”

“His YouTube channel is named Hercules too, grandma.”

“Oh.” Benzaiten did not watch her buddy’s YouTube channel. “Well, you can’t meet him anyway! He’d be a bad influence. Now get outta, and tell your mom I said not to wake me up again. Geeze, isn’t respect for your elders supposed to be a big thing in our culture?” Benzaiten watched as her granddaughter ran off back to the house, and then she jumped back into the truck.

She headed to the rear to grab her backpack and unzipped it, making sure the brick of weed she’d stashed away was still there, then slung it over her shoulder. Of course, she wasn’t foolish enough to bring an empty ice cream truck to the godlike frat house, that was just going to end in disaster. She hopped out of the truck and instead got on her bicycle. What better way to travel through Seattle in the cooler months? Bicycles were the way of the environmentally friendly person — disregard how she’d spent most of a day driving herself and her granddaughter around in an ice cream truck.

Shit! I missed the festival! At least I’m not Greek… Hera probably won’t care. Benzaiten silently thanked the fact that Hera wasn’t quite as demanding of other pantheons, and pedaled on. She had her headphones loosely wrapped around her neck, and more music accompanied her journey through the streets of Seattle.

Seattle was an unfortunately hilly city, but Benzaiten only regretted her choice on the way up on the way down. It was kind of fun to lift her legs off the pedals and enjoy the feeling of coasting down the hills. The wind rustled her hair around her shoulders as she went up and down the hills, bobbing her head up and down to the various songs she listened to while traveling.

Eventually, she slid her bike to a stop in front of Acropolis, and bounded inside without a care in the world, abandoning the bike in front of the entryway. As she stepped into the building, she bellowed, “HERC! WHERE YOU AT? I GOT WEED!” It was practically a mating call, coupled with music blasting from the headphones still wrapped around her neck.

Come my lady
Come-come my lady
You're my butterfly, sugar baby
Come my lady
Come-come my lady
You're my butterfly, sugar baby
three to go

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