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Recent Statuses

4 yrs ago
Busy as all hell right now. Working hard to get responses up!
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4 yrs ago
Home from vacation, should be catching up on all my roleplays over the next few days :)
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4 yrs ago
Gonna be gone camping until tomorrow evening. I'll try to keep up with things via phone, but I definitely won't have any posts up until tomorrow
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4 yrs ago
Don't read through old stuff you wrote, just don't
8 likes
4 yrs ago
Should have a post up for all my RPs today :)
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Bio



Heya! I'm Smarty and I'm just a dude who likes to write. That's really about it. I'll pretty much join anything and everything if I'm being honest, as long as it looks interesting. Don't hesitate to PM me if you wanna chat or something :) I promise I don't bite, I'm just very awkward that's all :D

Most Recent Posts



PAN
THE BALL
casually hating mortals again, lusting for that d, ready for the show


“I understand your urgency, Mr. Oakley, but the Vice-Mayor is just not comfortable making any big decisions until-”

“Of course, Mr. Vaughn. The silky smooth tones of Pan's voice slipped in amongst Mr. Vaughn's nervous words, stealing his thunder before he knew he had it. "Honestly, that seems so formal, I’ve been on the phone with you every day the past two weeks, trying and trying to get a meeting scheduled, and so, I feel, like maybe we’re on a first name basis. Am I right, Jerry?” Pan’s back and forths with the mayor's office had grown increasingly vexing. Had it occurred to them that their precious mayor had gone and gotten himself killed?

Stunned silence gripped the other end of the line. Jerry Vaugn may have been realizing that, although Peter Oakley was right about how many times they’d spoken in the past two weeks, he’d never handed out his first name. That morsel of information had been dug up, easily enough by Pan, among more personal details. If he was smart enough to figure grasp any of that, Pan never let him seize the victory.

“Look, Jerry, I like you. So I’ll be straight forward. I’m starting to feel, like mayyyyyyybe, the Vice-Mayor is avoiding me. Is that right, Jerry?” Pan’s words had an unmistakable edge to them, a tenor that grated against the nerves and screamed out ‘Danger!’

“No, no, no, of course not sir. It’s just, well, like I said, with the current uncertainty-”

“Jerry. The mayor has been missing for damn near three weeks. I’m not sure how much true crime you watch, but most disappearances turn into homicides after forty eight hours. Tell the Vice-Mayor I’ll be stopping by tomorrow, to discuss the deal I’d been working on with his predecessor.”

Jerry’s response was cut off by Pan’s thumb against the glass screen of his phone as he rolled his head back, groaning at the stupidity of mortals. He was trying to save them, couldn’t they see that? In the world of business however, good intentions were few and far between. How much easier this would be if they understood a currency other than money.

A text from Mars sent vibrations coursing through his phone and up his forearm. The message brought a smile to his face, lifting the burden of anger from his shoulders. He took a picture of his suit and sent it along with a message to tease his god of war.

To: Sir
Does this answer your question?


The weeks following the Conclave had found him starting most mornings in Mars’ arms, basking in the memories of the previous night. He didn’t know what to call their dalliances, their sudden entanglement, but he knew he didn’t want it to end. Where it might lead was known only to the Fates, but wasn’t that half the fun?

The thought of Mars was the only thing keeping him from telling the driver to change course and head for home. Well, Mars, and the distinct possibility that this night would go up in flames sooner, rather than later. If the guest list was to be believed, he wouldn’t be surprised if the night ended with a dead mortal and an investigation on behalf of the SPD. He couldn’t miss that, now could he?

As his limo approached the venue, the quiet he’d grown accustomed to faded, replaced by the slamming of car doors and the shouts of reporters. As his ride slowed to a halt in front of the entrance, Peter Oakley stepped out, smiling for the cameras. Modern architecture loomed above him, a ghastly beast of concrete and glass. Disgusting. Did the mortals realize they were dancing on a grave tonight?

“Mr. Oakley! Could you give a statement on your company’s new relationship with Triarri Corp? Do you think their history with fossil fuels weakens your company’s core values?” A reporter called out, notepad in hand.

Ever the charmer, Pan’s smile never faltered, even as his blood boiled. What did this mewling child know about his core values, about what he had done for the earth? He had spilled blood for these forests, gone to war for the plains. What had this boy done? Bought reusable grocery bags?

“If we seek to bring about the future, we’ll need all the help we can get. My partnership with Mr. Salvius is built on the foundation of transitioning Triarri Corp into a future that is powered by green energy. If anything, I think this move is representative of our core values. We don’t want to push out the companies that have helped build this world, but to change them, bring them into the new world. Hopefully Seattle is just as welcoming to that sentiment.” Pan punctuated his brief monologue with a curt nod, offering the cameras a few more angles before breaking for the door.

He breathed a sigh of relief once he was away from the vultures that circled outside. He spotted Venus and Cupid, engaged in conversation. From the shadows came Timor, wreathed in fear and loathing, followed shortly thereafter by one of Artemis’ Maidens, and then, the Sun and Moon themselves. Interesting. Artemis was bold to bring her spies out tonight, but he couldn’t say he was terribly surprised, or unhappy. Any info she gathered could be made of use to him, one way or another.

After a moment’s searching, he found Mars, standing next to Jupiter and looking down over the party. He had half a mind to interrupt whatever words they were sharing, but he kept himself restrained. There’d be time for his Roman tonight. Wearing a smile that only hinted at the devilish creature that lay beneath his youthful features, Pan grabbed a drink, and waited for the other shoe to drop.


mentions: Mars, via text @Gothelk



THE BALL


The garden behind the venue was well lit, and still devoid of most mortals. As the sun’s rays faded from view, Artemis gazed down at the city, from her vantage point behind a sculpted stone railing, and sighed. She had toiled after this wretched rock for centuries, and still, she was hardly any closer than when she’d begun. Could she truly be called the Mistress of the Hunt? Perhaps not…

The sun had set just moments ago, and already, it rose behind her, a singsong greeting piercing her thoughts. “You knoooow, if you missed me that much, you could’ve just come for a visit? You know where I live.”

Artemis turned and rolled her eyes, placing a pale hand against the fine fabric of his tux and shoving him back. “Personal space, Pollo,” she said, earning a chuckle from her twin. Despite her obvious annoyance, a smirk tugged at the corner of the huntress’ mouth. However much he vexed her, Apollo was one of the few people in this world that understood her, loathe as she might be to admit it. He didn’t need the ego boost.

Apollo, grinning, took a spot next to his sister, leaning against the railing. “Not quite so good as the ones I used to make, just saying.” This time, Artemis laughed. It was usually like this with them. If anyone could chisel away the stone that Artemis lived within, it was Pollo. “How are you Arty? No bullshit, please and thank you.”

Artemis sighed, looking everywhere until she was forced to meet Apollo’s eyes. “How do you think I am, oh great Oracle?” Her brother was many things, but he was not her keeper. If he’d guessed her thoughts, she’d have no choice but to go along with it, but she would not offer him her plans so willingly, as much as she wished she could. If Apollo ever found out what she truly wanted with the Colossus, he would place that chisel through her heart, of this she was certain.

“Low blow,” Apollo said, miming a wound to his heart with all the melodrama befitting a god of the arts. Artemis’ scoff was all the applause he required, and he quickly regained his composure, nudging his sister playfully. “I think, you’re tearing yourself up trying to find out who killed Hephaestus, because you can’t stand not having all the answers. Am I right?”

“It’s more than that Pollo, and you reducing it to something so trivial is foolish,” Arty replied, her mood quickly shifting. “Someone has a god killer, don’t you see why that might be something we should try and control? Ignoring it won’t make it go away.”

“Why do you think I want you to drop it!” Apollo hissed. Artemis might’ve seen the two as being on opposing sides, but Apollo never seemed to. Selfish as he could be, he wanted his sister safe. “You’re not invincible. Is it so hard to believe that I don’t want you to get hurt. Let Ares deal with this, you don’t need to be involved.”

“Oh, yes, because Ares ending up with a god killer is so much better!” Artemis threw her hands up in exasperation, a laugh brought on by the derangement of anger breaking through her lips.

Apollo’s retort was cut off by a muffled shout behind them, followed by the doors they’d come through shuddering. Concern replaced anger on both of their faces, and the two shared a look that said, ‘I’m not done, but this is much more troubling.’ In unison, the two tore open the doors, and Timor and Thalia came tumbling outside, Timor falling on top of the Maiden, hands clutching her wrists.

“Who sent you?” Timor hissed, only to be met by a swift kick to the side from Artemis.

“Get off of her, Dog. She’s mine,” Artemis said. Her words were thick with authority, a mother bear who’d caught a predator trying to make a meal out of her cubs. Timor grunted, growled, and stood to face her. He managed to take a step forward before Apollo spun him around.

“Hey, Sweeney Todd, this is not the place. Why don’t you go tell your daddy we say hello, okay?” Apollo said, smarmy as ever. Timor clenched and unclenched his fists, steely gaze boring into Apollo, surely imagining all the terrible things Metus would do to him if he asked. With a chilling grace, he brushed off his suit, and removed Apollo’s hands from his shoulders, before walking inside, gone like he’d never even been there. A shadow in the night
.
“Which one was that? Fear or Terror?” Apollo said, eyes trained on the doorway. The scene might be new, but this situation wasn’t all that strange. The twins had been quite the team in a fight. Having each other's backs was second nature.

“Fear. Timor. Mars and Venus’, and apparently he’s the nicer one.” Artemis said as she helped Thalia to her feet.

“Fucking Romans.”

Artemis focused now, on the girl in front of her. She was shaking, ever so slightly, but when Artemis brought a hand to her shoulder, Thalia pushed it away. “I’m fine, my lady. I can go back inside, if you want.”

“No. Go back to the car, Thalia. You’re done for the night.” Sympathy had left Artemis. She had a whole night left to get through, and Timor had already exposed one of her little birds. She didn’t have time to waste on Thalia’s ego.

“But-”

“Go. Now.”

Thalia didn’t hazard another word, and instead turned on her heel, slipping back into the ballroom, and presumably, back out to the limo in which she’d arrived. Once she was gone, Apollo turned to face Artemis, grinning despite the recent tension. “Gods, that was exciting! We never get to do fun shit like that anymore.”

Artemis rolled her eyes. If she kept speaking with Apollo, she was liable to lose them. “I don’t know what you’re talking about. That was a fucking mess.” She pursed her lips and crossed her arms, pacing back and forth. “If I’d known that Mars would’ve brought his hounds I’d have left the girls at home.”

“Oh look on the bright side, Arty. I think I agree with you now.”

Artemis chuckled at that. “I’m not surprised. You usually get there, eventually.”

It was Apollo’s turn to roll his eyes. “And they say I’m arrogant.”


TIMOR
DOWNTOWN → THE PAD → THE BALL
pensive, intrigued, calculating


In Seattle, once the sun went down, fear ran through the streets like rain through a gutter. Everywhere Timor walked, the smell enveloped him, invigorated him. Every breath he took brought the taste of it to his tongue. A woman across the street was unnerved by his smile, and a man in the nearby park was beginning to worry about what the gathering clouds might do to his tent. A child in an apartment he passed was watching a scary movie past his bedtime, and a young woman passing through an alley was clutching her keys between her knuckles, jumping at every shadow.

He shouldn’t be here, roaming the city, but he couldn’t help himself. A night surrounded by gods and rich, prattling mortals would not quench his thirst. The wealthy had fears, but none quite so sweet as those who’d been swept under society’s rug. And the gods? Well, fear ran off them the same as anyone else, perhaps better than some mortals. The deepest darkest secret of any god, is that they’re just as afraid as mortals. Timor’s hatred of the other pantheons stemmed less from a distaste for watching them squirm, and more so from a lack of patience for those divine beings who’d stood against Rome. Some were simply less worthy than others.

The apartment he shared with Metus was on the edge of the nicer parts of Seattle, where the haves were forced to look at the have-nots who’d been sacrificed in their scramble to the top. It was a nice place, surrounded by neighbors who’d describe the Salvius brothers as ‘good people’ and ‘hardworking boys.’ Timor let himself into a dark living room, and was greeted by a bolt of fur and a sudden series of loud, deep, barks.

“Crowley, sit.” Timor said, his voice monotone, yet commanding. In the dark, he could see the shape of a pit bull, face marked by a few old scars, plop down, tongue lolling out to say hello. He crouched down, bringing a hand up to pet Crowley, smiling softly as the dog lunged towards him in greeting.

After a moment with Crowley, Timor rose, and strode confidently through the darkened room to his own bedroom. Calloused fingers found purchase on a lightswitch and suddenly, the room was bathed in scarlet light, casting long shadows across the floor. Vintage horror movie posters covered the walls, and a desk across from his bed was cluttered with books, paperback spines intermixed with leather bound tomes. The tone of the room might’ve been off putting to most, but to Timor, it was comforting. The select few mortals who managed to find their way home with him often found it intriguing, though if they were spending the night with Timor, they were likely already intrigued by all that was strange and taboo.

His suit was hanging behind the door, freshly pressed this morning for the occasion. He might not have been looking forward to the event, but he’d been requested and that meant he’d be prepared. Crowley sat quietly on his bed while he changed and looked himself over in the mirror. He was gone as quickly as he’d come, a shadow in the night.

Flashy as his car might’ve been, Timor pulled out of his parking lot and onto the street with restraint. Power didn’t tempt him like it did others. The engine purred as he drove down the street, winding through the streets of Seattle. When he finally arrived at the venue, he parked his own car, and slipped in through the service entrance. Cameras held no allure for the god of fear, and he preferred to enter with a bit less conspicuity.

Italian leather slapped against white linoleum as Timor found his way to the ballroom, eyes quickly scanning for his fellow deities. He saw Baldr, watching the entrance, and Athena joining the fray. His mother stood off to the side, whispering in the ear of Greece’s huntress. He watched as they tried to hide their intimacy, but it was clear to see the dance they were doing. Mother, what are you doing?

Timor kept still though. Any judgements he had were not for him to speak. His mother knew what she was doing, even if he did not. Standing still, Timor found it easy to fade from view. Most mortals simply would prefer not to see him, and when he stood against the wall it was all too easy to overlook the pale, dark haired Salvius boy. On his right, two girls stood, dressed in white gowns, beautiful. They whispered before breaking apart, heading for opposite sides of the room. The same fear wafted off of them, ripe and bursting with flavor. Fear of discovery.

Strange. Like a cat, he moved from the wall, following one of the girls at a distance. Who had come along tonight? Spies in the ballroom? He couldn’t tail the both of them, but he could at least follow one. Every move she made tonight, the sentinel in the shadows would be watching. Nam bonum Roma

Victory And The Moon

The Ball
an @smarty0114 and @Icy Hot collab


“Ears open tonight ladies. We’re in the lion’s den now.” Artemis’ eyes never left the moon that hung high in the sky, her nose pressed to the cold glass of her limousine’s window. Despite her perceived lack of attention, Thalia and Zoe knew that Artemis was always watching, and they nodded with an almost religious fervor. “Pay special attention to the Romans, but if anyone seems off, check them out. I don’t want any surprises tonight.” The limousine slowed to a halt a moment later, and Artemis stepped out, cameras flashing to capture her gown.

Zoe and Thalia trailed behind her, assistants to the mortal eye, but once the cameras were gone, Selena O’Ryan disappeared once more, just another face the moon loved to show. A flick of the wrist sent her girls floating off into the ballroom, looking for a morsel that might sate her hunger for knowledge. Artemis’ attention was not with them though, but with a woman, beauty personified. Pale grey eyes traced her body, cloaked in elegance, and she couldn’t help but remember the treasures that hid beneath the cloth. She smiled softly, and crossed the room, snagging two glasses of champagne on the way.

She halted herself with an inhuman grace, her dress whirling around her at the sudden end of motion, her body a tornado of color for just a moment as she crept up behind Venus, bringing her lips close to her ear so that whatever words she spoke were theirs, and theirs alone. “I brought you a drink.”

Venus turned slowly, face alight with warmth and a twinkling of desire in those honey eyes that drank in the gorgeous goddess standing before her. The conversation she had been having with some “hot shot” mortal was long forgotten once she turned around, and the sound of a huff and heavy feet moving onwards made her chuckle, “Just what I needed, and the drink is a plus.” Venus’s voice was almost a whisper, the proximity of their bodies didn’t require a volume greater than that. The live classical music filling the room was a background meant to set the atmosphere but not demand the attention of the guests.

Venus claimed her drink gracefully and stole a quick peck from her dearest friend before she allowed space to fill them with a showy spin, the satin finished fabric twirling after her in a small sea of emerald green. The Emerald Dress had garner just the attention she was looking for as she entered the venue, paparazzi and reporters asking about her coming winter lines and asking for confirmations on various pieces of gossip buzzing around.

“Did you just arrive? I figured I’d be strutting into a room full of gods, and yet you are the first I’ve seen, the great and terrible host included.”

Since their first meeting years ago, Artemis had always thought that Venus wore the spotlight better. Her spin only cemented that theory in her head as Artemis watched the Victorious One twirl in elegant circles. There was a magnetism to Venus, a pull over others that impressed the moon goddess. She was incomparable, a beauty that knew no equal.

“Just a moment ago. If my brother’s coming tonight, I’m sure the rest of my family won’t be far off,” Artemis said, glancing at the entrance at the mention of Apollo. “Augustus is certainly in for an eventful evening,” Arty continued, a smirk spreading across her face as she looked back at Venus. “I’m sorry I haven’t been in touch. Everything going on… it’s been busy.” She didn’t need to utter Hephaestus’ name to get her point across. His death had hung over the entire city in the past weeks, though the mortals still seemed to be hoping for their mayor’s heroic return.

Venus waved off the apology with an understanding grace, “I am not so insecure to demand your attention at every passing moment- not that I would protest such an arrangement.” A small laugh passed through her lips as she took a sip of her champagne, “but I understand, the news came as a shock to us all. I just hope you have been tending to yourself in light of all the things you’ve got going on.” There is only room for sincerity in her tone as a gentle hand grasps Artemis’. Venus felt nothing at the news of Hephaestus’ death, and felt nothing for the Greeks in general but she had found herself worrying over Artemis and how such a fate would affect her.

Despite her curiosities Venus withholds the questions she wants to ask, at least for the time being. Instead of searching for answers and prodding for information she settles on something more easily digested, “The guest list for this event is quite peculiar, I’d be interested in learning who threw this whole soiree together… and on such a short notice at that. All the gods, even some who we all believed were long gone, and only the most affluent of humans, I’m excited to see what comes of the night.”

Venus' words clued Artemis in to something peculiar; Jupiter was only playing the role of host. She could only guess as to what that meant, and she was anything but hasty. She tucked the thought away for later, and returned her attention to the only person in the room that could deserve it. “We haven’t had a good show in a while. I’m sure tonight will change that.”

The huntress took a sip of champagne, her eyes never leaving the woman before her. Venus was different from all the others. Dynamic and exciting and brilliant, she was the Mother of Rome, the woman who birthed a nation that had changed the world. She wasn’t prey to be hunted, but a fellow predator, to be respected, and admired. She was well aware of how complicated this would become, especially now that she’d placed so much trust in Poseidon’s will. Their families would likely be at each other’s throats before the night was through, and they’d yet to find Hephaestus’ body. If she was right, and they discovered that the Romans had been involved with his death, chaos was sure to ensue.

“You should come by, after all of this. Spend the night,” Arty said. The smile that followed was not so different from her brother’s radiant grin. Whatever chaos rained down on Seattle, she was certain her and Venus would slip their way through, somehow, someway.

Venus raised an eyebrow at the suggestion, letting her desire for such a thing to remain tempered behind a pleasant smile. The goddess of Love was not without her enjoyment of a bit of coyness, “Mm that is a thought..” she mused in a purr like drawl, the magnetism of her words drawing her own body closer to Artemis’ again, “I would quite like that.” her words drew on as she leaned into Artemis her own lips ghosting against her ear as she whispered conspiratorial words dipped in sultry honey, “Let us hope the secrets of our families coming to light don’t have us parting like the sea and sky have…” she pulled back slowly the light of a chandelier twinkling in her eyes, “or at least tonight not be the event for that. I’d much rather fall asleep to the sounds of our pleasure echoing in my mind than that of angered men and mothers.” Venus brought her flute to her lips and space found real estate between them again as her attention diverted from Artemis for a moment to cast around the room taking note of the gods and goddesses that had entered, especially of a man standing alone dressed in green. Oh fate, how sweet you are.

Her cheeks flushed red, a sight reserved for Venus. No one else could set her mind racing and her heart aflame. No one else could uncoil the knot she’d wound herself into. Artemis was a being of complexity, and no simple creature would satisfy her. So many words hung in her throat, begging to be released. If they were alone she would assure Venus that no one would come between them, not if the huntress could help it. She’d hold her close and remind her that the echoings of their pleasure need not cease. How cruel it was that they were born worlds apart, forced to cross so many lines to be together. Cruel as it may be, she’d cross every line if it led to Venus. Her hand, still pressed between Venus’ slender fingers, squeezed, firm and soft all at once. A grasp that said, ‘I’m never letting go.’ “I’ll do my best to make you forget any mishaps,” Arty said, smirking. “Fair warning, if you’re hoping for a private conversation, stay away from the girls in white.” Artemis nodded over at Thalia and Zoe, but made no other expressions. Alerting Venus to her spies was foolish, risky, a lover’s mistake. Perhaps she was in love then. Or just a fool.

Venus couldn’t help the giggle that fell from her lips as Artemis made her aware of her spies, it was a sound purely of amusement and her tone when she spoke was filled with admiration, “How I could expect anything less from you is a fault of my own. I hope your family only shows their appreciation for you, you infinitely beautiful and brilliant woman.” Venus returns the squeeze, an echo of the sentiment Arty sent her first, but perhaps not as firm, or unwavering, or reliable as what shines in the radiance of the goddess holding onto her. Venus would much rather spend her night ignoring all else conspiring and gossiping with Artemis, but duty rings its bell as more people and gods arrive, she has celebrities and politicians to dress and gods to question.

“I’ll be finding you again later tonight, try not to be too rough on anyone.” Venus’ parting kiss was gentle but long enough to leave her desired effect before she completely pulled away and lost herself in the crowd with the Governor and her Husband in her line of sight.

Artemis bit her lip as Venus disappeared into the crowd, a smile pulling at the corner of her mouth. She knew why they had called her Venus the Victorious now. Even against the cold stone that she had erected, the Roman found a way. If Greece fell once more, would it matter, if Venus was by her side? That kiss made her think it would not.


BALDR
BALDR’S APARTMENT → THE BALL
nervously pining for a particular death goddess



Baldr stood in front of his mirror, fidgeting with a black tie. On the bed behind him, his clothes from the day were piled up, wrinkled and damp with sweat. He’d been doing construction work in one of the neighborhoods in the city before running home and showering, and the mess reflected his rush.

Parties always seemed to make him nervous. Once he’d loved them, more than anything in the world. Baldr the Brave was always the guest of honor, adored by all, celebrated for every minor deed. There were no parties in Helheim though. Only him, and Hel, and the legions of the dead, cursed to remain in the frozen reaches of that barren tundra until Ragnarok came. Or so he’d thought. Ragnarok had come early, or it had never gotten the chance to come at all; whatever happened, Baldr was alive now, had been for nearly two thousand years, and he was changed.

He’d never quite regained the gregarious nature of his old self. After an eternity with one affectless goddess of the dead, you grew accustomed to the quiet. Tonight though, he’d promised someone he’d attend. She wasn’t his beautiful Wolfsbane, but she seemed to care for him, which was more than he could say about the one who’d stolen his heart. Or was it? He never seemed to know, with her. Duty bound them to opposite sides of an eternal war, and maybe she was right, to choose responsibility over him. Those thoughts only exacerbated old wounds.

His tux was finely pressed, an expensive suit that he’d had tucked away in his closet for an occasion like this. The Seattle Redistribution Foundation was not unfamiliar with galas, but Brian Andersen rarely showed his face at such events. Schmoozing was not for him anymore. He couldn’t stand the mummer's game, all the fake smiles and forced laughter. He had good people that worked for him, people who were much better at putting on a mask. Tonight though, he’d force himself to be happy, to be Baldr the Blessed, beloved by all.

To: Girl With All The Books
I’m leaving now. See you there :)


He slipped his phone back into the inside pocket of his suit jacket, and soon enough, he was driving down the freeway, windows down, wind tousling his golden locks. He liked collecting these old cars, rebuilding them. He was often amazed at how fast the mortals seemed to throw things away now. When they’d first arrived on Earth, the people of Istanbul weren’t so terribly different from those he’d once watched over. The people today though, were unrecognizable. Not any less deserving of help, but certainly, much more confusing.

He wasn’t surprised by the venue choice. It was decidedly grand, though the stark modern architecture paled in comparison to some of the palaces he’d seen in his many lives. Where was the passion? The heart? Stiff marble reminded him only of a mausoleum, cursed places. The dead were not meant to be entombed in such a horrific fashion.

Baldr the Brave stepped from his car, quickly blinded by the flashing of cameras, the shouting of reporters eager to get a scoop on Augustus Kingsley or one of the other famous guests in attendance. He wondered how Seattle would react if they found out most of their celebrities were immortal deities, bound to the earth by some strange magic. Probably not well. He chuckled, and pushed his way to the entrance as the valet took his car. Brian Andersen had little trouble getting past reporters. His charming features weren’t comparable to the superstardom of his peers, and for that, he was grateful.

Inside, Baldr’s blue eyes searched the room for two faces, though he found neither there. In fact, it seemed he was early for once, at least in terms of gods. He hadn’t gotten a glimpse of any of his family, and the Vanir seemed just as elusive. Maybe that was for the best. He didn’t need to see her tonight, not when he was trying to accept that whatever he’d imagined between them was just that… imagined. They may share a strange and unusual sort of bond, but it could never be more than that.

He took a glass of champagne, and parked himself in a corner where he could see the entrance, watching for his date’s arrival. He hoped that his heart might skip a beat at her appearance, that she would melt the ice that had encased it and remind him who he was, so that he could make her happy, like she deserved. As much as he wished, and hoped and prayed, he still found that unlikely. He’d left his heart in Helheim.
xxxxxx
BEFORE THE PARTY AT CASA DE ACROPOLIS
A collab with @smarty0114 & @pandapolio


Dio whistled a tune he couldn't quite recognized as he strolled through a small park. For now the small area was vacant of humans, which was helpful for Dio. If any of them saw a young man walking through a park holding a stab wound they might make a fuss. Dio truly disliked hospitals, and most government funded institutions in fact. He could trace his distaste for these kind of things since his worship used to be banned in Greece. His followers would even be killed and treated like second class citizens at times. Of course it didn't help that they were typically exactly that: second class citizens. Women, slaves, and the downtroden had often used him as an escape from their lives. He was a way to forget pain and suffering, if just for a couple hours.

As he pondered Dio tripped over a gopher hole and stumbled to the ground roughly. Groaning he picked himself up and felt a tearing sensation in his wound. The hole in his stomach began to bleed aven more than before and Dio felt a nagging sense of worry in the back of his mind. "Well this is shit." While he wouldn't die from this, he could still feel the pain. Pushing through the pain he continued on his previous path, towards the street in front of him. Dio stumbled across the street and made his way up onto a raised porch. Testing the door he was relieved to find it was unlocked which meant someone was probably home. The injured god leaned on the wall as he entered the house, "Apollo, are you here?"

Dionysus stumbeled towards the closest chair he could find and fell into it. "Your a god of healing, right? Please tell me you better at fixing people up than you are at prophesy."

The house had been empty when Apollo returned from his escapades with Eros, but still a hot mess. Taking on the single molecule of responsibility that he and his friends shared amongst themselves, he set to work cleaning up his room. He needed it to look presentable, if Eros was going to come over tonight.

"Oh shit." Apollo's eyes widened for a moment, his eyebrows knitting together in confusion before instinct took over and he was grabbing a towel, then crouching next to his friend, lifting up his shirt to get a better look at the injury. He pressed the towel to the wound, watching as the white cloth bloomed with red. "Hold the towel right there, I'll be right back," he commanded, rushing back to his room, and returning with a black bag. He opened it to reveal an assortment of medical supplies, stolen from the hospital most likely. The way shit got around here, it was always good to be ready to sew someone up.

"So uh, what the fuck happened?" Apollo asked while he got to work cleaning the wound. He handed Dio a maximum strength Ibuprofen, the closest thing to godly painkillers he could find. Any urgency he'd once had was gone, now that the bleeding had been gotten under control. Dio wasn't anywhere near death, but Apollo had just cleaned these floors in anticipation of tonight. No blood on the floor was a major accomplisment as far as he was concerned. He knew a stab wound when he saw one, and he had to say, while it wasn't uncommon for one of his friends to get stabbed, it was almost always a damn good story.

Dio coughed in a poor imitation of a laugh as he winced in pain from the stab wound. "Unfortionately this wont be the best story I've ever told, but talking will distract me a bit. I had been drinking at that one bar downtown, the one with way to much blue paint everywhere. After a few drinks I feel the need to 'eject' my breakfast, so I head out back. After I handle my business this kid comes up to me and tries to take my effects. After a bit of arguing I give him back his knife and he runs off. Told you, lame story"

The sun god chuckled. That poor kid had probably thought he had an easy job that night. No clue he was mugging a fallen god. "It's certainly not the worst one I've heard."

As Apollo worked Dio was reminded of something similar to this situation that had happened more than a millenia ago. "Do you remember when I showed up at your palace on Olympus with a broken spear in my chest. Just like now you only started asking questions until after I was stabilized, something I'm not sure many of the others would do. I wish ... Thank you." What Dio almost said aloud would have betrayed more of himself than he ever wanted another to know. "Hephaestus also never asked too many questions. When I needed help he asked when not why, especially when I needed to get away from the others and their politics." At this point Dio was beginning to ramble thanks to the mix of alcohal, painkillers, and other substances the Federal Government heavily dissaproved of.

"I just want to see them again. Hephaestus, Ariadne...they deserved to live. Why did they die, but I'm alive? What did I do to deserve this?"

Apollo pursed his lips, carefully choosing his next words. He wasn't a stranger to grief. Many times he'd sat with one of his siblings and helped them mourn a loss. After all, healing wasn't exclusive to the body."That is Hephaestus alright. Not much for words but..." Apollo couldn't pretend like he and Hephaestus had been lifelong friends. Hera's son, his older brother if you wanted to get technical, had seen him as a usurper more often than not. He was treated to the affections of Zeus that Ares and the smith never recieved. It had been bound to cause jealousy. But still, when the twins needed weapons, Hephaestus forged them the finest bows, gifts beyond compare.

"We'll find who did this Dio. Knowing our family, they're out combing the streets as we speak." He couldn't prove it, but it didn't matter. A couple millenia with the same people, you start to realize that their first step is usually revenge. Not that he could blame them. If it had been Arty's name the Morrigan had called out at that Conclave, he definitely wouldn't be cleaning his room.

Dio couldn't help but roll his eyes when Apollo told him of their family's actions, "Of course they are looking for the killer, but they are probably all trying to screw each other over atthe same time. When has our family been able to have a simple converstion, let alone solve a murder?" A harsh anger tainted Dio's words, but he wasn't angry at his family. He was angry with himslef more thananything else. Dio hated that he knew that even if they weren't accomplishing much, they were doing more than him. He hated that he fell right back into his normal habits. He hated that he had tried to forget what was happening by drinking his sorrows away.

Mere seconds after being filled with rage he felt it all disipate, leaving him feeling empty. His anger just highlighted the fact he had no idea how to help no matter how much he wanted. "I...just don't know what to do. I haven't known what to do since Ariadne died. I feel so....lost."

The despair was familiar. Apollo had seen it take hold of many gods since the Fall, himself included. Immortality hardly bred happiness. He glanced up, brown eyes meeting Dionysus' gaze, delving into the darkness. "If it makes you feel any better, I don't think any of us know what to do," Apollo said. He glanced back down at Dio's wound, bringing up a needle so that he could stitch it shut. Godly regeneration would take care of the internal injuries, but the stitches would keep it from opening again too soon.

"The sun always rises," he said, eyes trained on his hands now, nimble fingers steady as he tried his best to minimize Dio's pain. "Even when it seems like it won't." Artemis had said that to him, once, long ago, in a tavern lost to the sands of time. He wasn't sure they'd have the same effect on his friend, but he could hope. "If I've learned anything down here, it's that there's never a perfect path. You just, do the best you can."

Dio could feel the pain in his side fade slightly as the Ibuprofen began to set in. He peered down at the the sun god working away at his wound and weakly smiled at him. "You are starting to sound old and wise, have I really been left that far behind?" Though he didn't completely show it he understood his cousin's words, and knew Apollo was right. Dio has a mission, and he can no longer put it off. "Thank you cousin. Even more than a thousand years trapped on earth cannot dim your light."

"Woah woah woah. Arty is old and wise, I'm young and clever," Apollo said, punctuating his jest with that dazzling grin he wore so well. He stood up, finished repairing Dio's side, and clapped his cousin on the shoulder. "Speaking of, if you really want to play detective, I'm sure Artemis is well on her way. I'm sure if you bug her enough she'll be happy for the help." Happy might've been a bit of an overstatement, but he knew Arty wouldn't rest until she had some answers, and with a god killer out there, it would give him some peace of mind to know someone was helping her. Not that she ever really needed it, her and her insistence on independence.

"I just hope she caves in to letting me help before an arrow or two is stuck in me. I would hate to make you fix me up twice in one week." Dio knew that Artemis had little patience for fools, and he knew he was prone to act a fool on occasion. On the other hand it was a way for Dio to help. "Maybe she will at least let me in the loop if I can't actively help her. Does your sister still hide out in her mountain stronghold like some billionare doomsday prepper?"

"That's the one," Apollo said. "Just, y'know, buzz in at the front gate, and try not to look threatening. Nine times outta ten, they call her down." His sister's rule about boys was a nuisance, but it was a nuisance he was forced to work around. Plus, he didn't want to be pulling an arrow out of Dio anymore than he did. Smiling, he clappped a hand on Dio's shoulder, looking him in the eyes as he delivered his next words. "Hang in there man."

Dio nodded to his friend and slowly stood up from the chair. Before he attempted to move any further he let his body become accostemed to it's new weakness. "Thanks again Apollo, I'm really glad you were here to stitch me back up. Would have hated to bleed all over the place." Dio looked around and could tell the Acropolis had been cleaned up quite a bit more than usual. "Especially after you made it looks so nice. Well I better head out, I apparently have a murderer to catch."

Dio made sure to avoid making any sudden movements as he walked back into the hallway he had previously stumbled through. As he reached the door Dio felt his phone vibrate and pulled it out of his pocket. Other than being on 7% it appears no emergencies had happened during his "incident". One notification though caught his eye and curiosity made him tap on it. After reading his screen Dio would have chuckled if he could have without hurting himself. "Well looks like I shouldn't go too far... and you shouldn't have cleaned so much." As he finished his sentence the amused god tossed his phone back towards Apollo. On that phone was the latest post from Jackson Drake's Instagram.

Apollo pursed his lips, torn between a love of amazing sex and great parties. It seemed like tonight might be a double feature. "Well, that's what I get for trying to make this place presentable." He shrugged. Eros was gonna have to watch him do a keg stand sooner or later.


Featuring: A guest appearance by self proclaimed sex god Leo Brooks
Location: The Party




The room was spinning, and the shot she’d just taken certainly wasn’t helping. How could Griffin Pierce of all people, send her into such a tail spin. She was Erica Fucking Monet, boys weren’t supposed to shake her to the core like this. It was beginning to dawn on her that she didn’t know herself quite as well as she thought she did. This mask she wore was just that; a way to hide the weakness that brewed inside, not just from the outside world, but from herself as well. She wasn’t strong and determined, she was just as prone to devolving into the giggling schoolgirl as everyone else.

Why did he have to say that shit, send butterflies fluttering through her? This wasn’t part of her plan. She sighed, pouring herself another mixed drink, as if more alcohol would put the turmoil she was feeling to rest. She turned around, saw Talya and Sav dancing together, far more closely than she would’ve expected. That was interesting. Over at beer pong, Nicholas and TJ were still playing their game, and she caught Bradley and Wes slipping out the entrance. Everyone had someone. Why couldn’t she let herself be the same?

The last pair that caught her eye were Griff and Leo, on the edge of the party. She looked away as quickly as she could, as if the sight of them had burned her. It had in a way. Leo was everything she hated at this school, and Griff was much of the same. Seeing them together only highlighted it. There was something different about him though. Unlike Leo, parts of his arrogance were deserved. Audacious yes, but overestimated, not at all.

TJ’s rally cry drew her from the depths of her thoughts. The liquor had clouded her thoughts, and while she would’ve found both games childish earlier today, alcohol and conflicting emotions mixed a cocktail of reckless abandon. She strutted over to the group, cup in hand, perhaps just a bit excited that Griffin and Leo were doing the same.

“If no ones got the balls to go, I guess I will,” Erica said as she took a seat across from the boy who’d begun to overtake her thoughts. Slender fingers danced along the empty glass bottle in the middle of the circle, and a twist of her delicate wrist sent it spinning. As it slowed, a hush fell over the circle, and Erica realized she was holding her breath. For a moment, it seemed like it’s course was set to end at Griffin’s feet, but inertia betrayed her, and sent it one further. She glanced up into the dark, hungry eyes of Leo Brooks.

“You’ve got to be fucking kidding me, I want a respin!” she shouted. She had no qualms about making her displeasure public knowledge, even if she doubted that she’d be able to get out of this one.

Leo couldn’t help but smile devilishly at Erica. He was getting exactly what he had wanted, and the best part about it was that he didn’t even need to seduce her for a kiss. He was getting one pro bono! A heart laugh escaped his lips, “That’s not how the game works, sweetheart.” He replied to her with a subtle shrug.

Rolling her eyes, Erica sighed in exasperation, before crawling across the gap between them. “You better fucking enjoy it, it’s the last time it ever happens,” she said. She didn’t dare look at Griffin, as much as she wanted to. Instead, with all the confidence she was so masterful at displaying, Erica placed both hands on the side of Leo’s face and pulled him to her, pressing her lips to his in a kiss that was more passionate than anyone there had expected. Say whatever you wanted about Erica, if she was going to do something, she’d do it right.

Say what you would about Leo, when his lips were up against hers, she realized why girls found him so attractive. He was pretty good at this. Wait, ew. The realization that she was almost enjoying this pushed her back, a bored look painted on her face, as if Leo had been average, at best.

The dark haired boy leaned into the kiss, resisting the temptation to grab the back of Erica’s neck and pull her closer. He had always wondered what it would be like when their lips met and now he was finally getting to experience it first hand. Leo didn’t expect it to be so intense and lustful… maybe the girl was desperate like his friend had pointed out only a few minutes previous. As they pulled away, he couldn’t help but smirk as if he had just won.

“Alright, next bitches!” she called out, sliding back to her spot without a second glance at Leo or Griff. Maybe she’d been trying to get the latter’s attention. Maybe she was just trying to prove something to herself. Whatever it was, she could only hope that fate led Griffin’s bottle to her.


HERA
HERA’S PENTHOUSE
stewing in a most divine depression


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

At least, for a moment.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



mentions: @Legion02


THE HONEY TRAP
POSEIDON’S APARTMENT
ARTEMIS & POSEIDON



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



mentions: @fledermaus


ARTEMIS
MOON RIVER RETREAT → Syrinx Tower
pensive, intrigued, calculating


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rolling her eyes and shaking her head, Artemis stepped out of the office, leaving Pan and his jokes behind. She’d remembered why she’d given up traveling with him all those years ago, and prayed she wouldn’t regret the deal she’d just made.
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